Xuan Ji could still remember what he had said earlier that day. You will remain here, now and always.
No, he was only saying these things because he was caught up in the moment of anger, she thought.
He didn’t love her, so why did he want her to stay at his quarters? Besides, if she were to remain here, in other people’s eyes, it would look as if he was favoring her and that was not good for him either.
But listening to the icy tone of his voice at the moment, there was little room for doubt of his conviction.
Her heart grew apprehensive and intuition told her to escape so without thinking, she ran for the door.
“Today, I’ve sentenced that maidservant to death, the one you knocked unconscious in this room.” Behind her, his voice callously issued.
Xuan Ji’s heart gave a start and she turned around, her voice shaking as she asked, “What did you just say?”
Long Fei Li did not repeat himself. He strode over to his desk and calmly took a seat before faintly saying, “I promised you that I wouldn’t touch the servants of Fengjiu Palace, but the servants who wait on you here, I’ve not made such a promise. That maidservant did not watch over you carefully. Her punishment for failing to carrying out her duties properly—”
He directed his gaze at her as he said, “Is death.”
Xuan Ji’s hands and feet grew ice cold. She wanted to rush up to him and give him a piece of her mind, to slap him as she did last time. But in the end, she could only lean back against the door and sink powerlessly to the ground.
He unhurriedly asked, “Didn’t you want to leave? Hmm, there are several maidservants waiting on you outside the hall….”
The underlying implications of his words were evident. What else could she do?
With trembling hands, she covered her face. It was then she felt it, the wetness of tears. She was crying.
Numbly, Xuan Ji got to her feet and made her way to the desk.
At a distance close enough for their breaths to mingle, she was suddenly pulled into his arms.
The warmth of his lips and tongue brushed against her face, near the corner of her eyes as he swallowed her tears.
She must get away from here! She must leave tomorrow! This thought was buried deep in her heart. She felt she had finally let go, now she was free of the shackles keeping her here.
In Long Fei Li’s arms, her warm body softly rested quietly. She was clever and he, satisfied with her behaviour, hugged her tightly in response. He then gave a light slap of his hands and immediately the door was pushed open as two eunuchs entered.
Long Fei Li glanced at the ground and the two eunuchs immediately understood. Quickly, they cleaned up the mess, placed the memorials neatly on the table and replaced the paper and ink before withdrawing from the room.
Picking up a memorial, Long Fei Li proceeded to read through it.
In her despair, Xuan Ji remained still, silently staring at the ground. After some time, she heard him ask, “How do you know them?”
Xuan Ji’s heart gave a shudder and after a long silence, she indifferently replied, “It was a chance encounter on the streets of the capital.”
“Hmm, a chance encounter and they both asked me for you.” Long Fei Li paused for a moment, then coldly chuckled.
Xuan Ji did not elaborate on the details and merely said, “You can ask Yu Zhi.”
She then closed her eyes and said, “I’m tired. If you won’t let me go back, what about my injury? Will it be treated or not? Help me summon Physician Lady Cui. My chest hurts.”
Startled, Long Fei Li wanted to examine her wound and extended his hand to lift her outer garment.
“Hey, who wants you to take a look! I said, summon Physician Lady Cui!”
In the dark night sky, the stars faintly glowed.
An anguished groan issued, startling Long Fei Li awake. Opening his eyes, he instantly reached for the person lying in his arms. Her body was burning up, hot as coal. Frightened, he gently laid her down on the bed and headed for the door in a rush without his shoes.
“Summon Lady Physician Cui!”
The Emperor’s roaring voice resonated through Chuxiu Hall during the third night watch(11pm-1am).
Candles were lit and Chuxiu Hall was instantly enveloped in light, glowing brightly in the darkness of night. Outside the palace hall, imperial guards patrolled the perimeter while servants were standing by anxiously in the courtyard.
Inside the hall, the two Head Eunuchs, Xu Xi and Xia Sang stood by, a solemn expression upon their faces.
The Emperor was seated at the edge of the bed, wearing only his inner robes, his face lined with alarm and anger as he embraced Concubine Nian tightly in his arms.
Carrying a medicine box, Physician Lady Cui, hurrying along with the eunuch, came upon such a scene.
Concubine Nian’s eyes were closed, her face flushed and knitted in pain.
Without delay, Physician Lady Cui immediately went up to take her pulse.
In a deep voice, the Emperor angrily asked, “You came to see her before she went to bed. She was fine then, why is she like this now?”
Physician Lady Cui was gripped with both shock and fear. She looked at the emperor and gritted her teeth, she replied, “Her Highness’ injuries were originally very serious. She even suffered a miscarriage and today she moved about which has put a strain on her body, and…..”
“And what?” The emperor asked impatiently.
“And with the accumulating troubles in her heart, it has caused a high fever to break out. For a sick patient, emotional troubles are detrimental. If the high fever does not subside, no matter how good the medicine is….. I’m afraid it will be ineffective.”
Physician Lady Cui’s heart nearly leapt out of her chest as she knelt down and kowtowed.
The medicine will be ineffective……
Long Fei Li was stunned. Looking at Xuan Ji’s face, seeing the sweat on her forehead, her brows tightly knitted in pain, he was perplexed and somewhat in a daze as he could not formulate any words at the moment.
“Long Fei Li, Long Fei Li…”
Her weak voice issued, incoherently in his arms, pulling him from his daze. He bowed down and kissed her furrowed brows as he said, “Xiao Qi, I’m here, I’m here.”
“It hurts …I want to go out…. ” Unconsciously, her hand reached out and clung at his lapel.
Pain seized his heart as he angrily said, “Don’t you hear her? She said it hurts. Are you deaf? Quickly treat her!”
Physician Lady Cui shook her head and said in a trembling voice, “Your Majesty, if the troubles in her heart cannot be resolved, even if you want to take this servant’s life, this servant still cannot cure her. Even the two Imperial Physicians can’t either…..”
“Xiao Qi, tell me, I’ll give you whatever you want,” Long Fei Li promised in a hoarse voice as he tightly held the woman in his arms.
Running a high fever, Xuan Ji moved her lips, but her voice was low and faint. Long Fei Li bent down to listen to her incoherent words. Gritting his teeth, he said, “I promise you! As long as you recover, I will accompany you out of the palace! ”
I felt for Xuanji in this chapter. Imagine the emotional pain she’s in when she realizes that she’s responsible for a second person’s death.
From the way this chapter ended, you can tell Xuanji and Long Fei Li are about to head out of the palace soon and I can’t wait because that means we are about to see Bai Zhan Feng again!