Mo Qi Qi shakes her head resolutely, “No.”
Jun Yue Hen looks at her in shock, “Really, Qi Qi? Haven’t you always wanted to give His Majesty a child?”
“Maybe in the past, but not anymore. Let’s not talk about what the child ought to represent in the future; if this child is born, I will never be able to cut ties from Jun Qian Che, perhaps till the day I die. This child must not be born, I don’t want to have anything to with Jun Qian Che.”
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Happiness surges through Jun Yue Hen’s heart when she says that. The fire of his love for her burns brightly again.
“Qi Qi, I will support you no matter what your decision is. No matter what happen, I will stand behind you and support you,” promises Jun Yue Hen.
Mo Qi Qi smiles, “Thank you, Yue Hen. I am very lucky to have you as a friend.”
Jun Yue Hen smiles: Qi Qi, I do not wish to remain your friend. Perhaps, I will have the chance to give you happiness one day.
He gets up, “It is not proper for me to stay here for long. I should leave first. If there is anything you need, just send someone to me.”
Mo Qi Qi nods, “I will.”
Jun Yue Hen then leaves.
Mo Qi Qi sighs heavily, “Jun Yue Hen is such a good man. It’s a pity the old owner didn’t choose him. It’s a pity I don’t love him as well.”
“Your Ladyship, your tonic is here! Drink it while it’s hot,” Ban Xiang walks in while carrying a tray.
Mo Qi Qi looks at the bowl on top of the tray, “What is this?”
“This is blood bird’s nest, Your Ladyship. The physician also added some more things that are beneficial for the foetus, this is very nourishing! Hurry and drink it, Your Ladyship!”
The bowl smells thickly of Chinese medicine. Mo Qi Qi shakes her head, “I don’t want to, take it away!” If this is prepared by Jun Qian Che’s people, she must not simply drink it. Never mind the abortion tonic, what if it’s downright poison? Wouldn’t she die for nothing then?
“But Your Ladyship—- His Majesty personally ordered Imperial Physician Wang to prepare this for you. Wouldn’t His Majesty’s good grace fly out of the window if you refuse to drink this?”
Now that Jun Qian Che’s name has been publicly brought up, fury rises inside Mo Qi Qi’s stomach. She wants to drink this even less now. She glares at Ban Xiang, “Whose servant girl are you? Jun Qian Che’s or mine? I said I don’t want it, so take it away!”
“Your Ladyship, you are currently with a child. Do not anger yourself. This servant will take this away right away.” Ban Xiang immediately carries the tray away.
Mo Qi Qi grits her teeth, “Jun Qian Che sure is good when it comes to performing in public! Hmph!”
The day passes by, and night arrives. The night scene in Hua Bei Camp is pretty hectic. Soldiers are resting inside the tents after a long day of hard work. They are men who have sacrificed their lives and youth for the kingdom, leaving behind the warmth of their homes and the loving embrace of their loved ones.
Bai Jiu leaves her quarters and strolls outside the camp. It is then that she sees a man in a horse heading her way. When the moonlight shone on the figure, she realizes who it is, “Great General sir!”
Han Yi Xiao pulls the rope of his horse, prompting it to stop. Then, he looks at Bai Jiu, “It is so late, what are you doing outside the camp?”
Bai Jiu smiles at him warmly, “I couldn’t sleep. The moon looked alright, so I decided to stroll around. Besides, I want to see how the camp looks like at night. I’ve been here for a while, but I haven’t seen the camp at night, yet.”
Han Yi Xiao’s voice is solemn as he says, “You have worked really hard after entering the camp. It’s been hard on you.”
Bai Jiu waves him off, “No, not really. I like this way of living, so it’s not hard for me. Can you walk with me, Great General? It’s a bit boring walking by myself. Besides, I don’t know this place that well. What if I walked into somewhere I am not allowed to?”
Han Yi Xiao hesitates for a moment before nodding.
When the guards in charge of the night watch see that, they lead Han Yi Xiao’s horse away.
Both of them walk quietly, the silence only broken by the sound of birds and animals from the nearby forest.
Han Yi Xiao walks silently while Bai Jiu eyes him in interest, “Why are you only back at this time of the night? Did something happen?”
“His Majesty summoned me earlier. I have just returned from the imperial palace.”
“Oh! You are the great hero of our kingdom, the Emperor’s trusted aide. You are what the rest of us aspire to be!” praises Bai Jiu continuously.
Han Yi Xiao remains calm instead of swelling in pride despite the barrage of compliments, “The most important thing is the loyalty to His Majesty, and then, the sense of responsibility towards the common people, towards your own job. As long as one abides to that, everyone can be successful. There is nothing to be envious about. You, on the other hand, managed to win the martial arts competition despite your age. One must not underestimate you.”
Bai Jiu smiles happily, “To receive that compliment from you is an honor for me. I will continue to work hard!” How good does it feels to be acknowledged by him!
Both of them continue walking in silence while Bai Jiu racks her brain for topics of conversation, “I wonder if you happen to see the Empress earlier. Is she alright? Is she still in shock over the assassination attempts back then?”
Han Yi Xiao looks at her, a certain light flashing in his eyes as he casually says, “You sure are very worried about the Empress, General Bai.”
Damn! “Hehe, this General is an official to the Kingdom, it is only natural for me to worry about the Emperor and Empress. His Majesty trusted me and gave me the honor to be one of those in charge of their safety. In the end, I didn’t do my job properly and caused them to fall off a cliff. Lucky the gods were protecting His and Her Majesty, otherwise, I would be cursed by the entire kingdom. His Majesty is honourable and calm, he had probably experienced many kinds of situation and is used to it. Her Ladyship however, is a different case. Everyone knows that she is the pearl within Duke Zhen’s palm, she has been under a lot of protection and care ever since she was born. Now, she is the honourable Mother of the Kingdom, living in luxury inside the palace. When would she have time to get used to people trying to kill her? The assassination attempts during the trip must have shocked her to the core. That’s why I asked. If that question was inappropriate, please help educate me, sir,” replies Bai Jiu smartly.
Han Yi Xiao’s suspicion immediately dissolves. His lips carry the trace of a smile as he says, “You did not say anything wrong, I was the one who think too much. No matter how dainty the Empress is, she is still Duke Zhen’s daughter, and she also knows martial arts. She is not the same as other young maidens. She will be able adjust easily to any situation. Also, she is currently pregnant.”
Bai Jiu looks at him in shock, “Really? The Empress is pregnant! This is a great news! This is His Majesty’s first child! If this is a boy, this child will be the future Crown Prince!” Mo Jiu Jiu is genuinely happy for her sister. This has been her sister’s life-long dream, who would have thought that she would be able to achieve it?
Han Yi Xiao stops in his steps and looks at her in earnest, “Do you really think the Empress should give birth to this child?”
Bai Jiu freezes as she looks at him in confusion, “What do you mean, Great General?”
Han Yi Xiao looks at her before sitting at a nearby slope, looking at the night view.
Bai Jiu sits next to him, “You seem worried, Great General.”
Han Yi Xiao smiles, “General Bai is really good at reading other people’s mood. You are right. I am worried about the child inside the Empress’ stomach.”
Bai Jiu laughs, “What is there for you to worry about, Great General! That child is the Emperor’s, not yours!”
“Because this child will directly impact the future of our Kingdom,” says Han Yi Xiao, thinking really far ahead.
Bai Jiu cannot grasp the meaning behind his words. She shakes her head a couple of times in confusion, “This General is dim-witted and cannot understand you, Great General.”
Han Yi Xiao looks at Bai Jiu before saying, “You have always been smart, General Bai, why are you suddenly so muddle-headed? The Empress is Duke Zhen’s daughter. Duke Zhen’s manor is powerful enough on it’s own, half of the court are already on their side. They also have the power to close to half of the army that the Kingdom have. Just think about this. Won’t Mo Clan pose too much threat for His Majesty with this child around?”
If the child is a princess, then it would be fine. Females cannot interfere with court. However, if it’s a prince, Duke Zhen will definitely do everything he can to force the Emperor to instate the child as the Crown Prince.
“If the Empress gives birth to a child, that child automatically becomes a primary prince or princess. What is wrong with making the child the Crown Prince?” asks Bai Jiu earnestly.
“There will be nothing wrong with it if the Empress isn’t Duke Zhen’s daughter. Unfortunately, she is. The child, if a boy, will only add up to Duke Zhen’s already colossal power. By then, Duke Zhen’s manor will be more powerful than His Majesty himself. Do you think they will still care about the Emperor? If they have conflict with the Emperor in the future, wouldn’t it be easy for them to rally around and force the Emperor to abdicate, handing the throne over to the little prince? By then, the entire Kingdom will belong to them. By then, loyal officials will be on the chopping block, while their crooked cronies will obtain glory. The entire kingdom will be in shambles.” Hatred flashes in Han Yi Xiao’s eyes.
When Bai Jiu hears all that, she suddenly has the desire to stand up and give him a piece of her mind. However, wary of exposing her identity, she can only say, “I think you think too much, Great General. Although Duke Zhen really is powerful, I don’t think he is gutsy enough to take His Majesty head on. Besides, the child that the Empress bear will be surnamed Jun, how could it be possible for him to be a pawn under Duke Zhen’s hand? People say that once a daughter is married, she belongs to her husband. That means that the Empress is already the Emperor’s. Her Ladyship loves His Majesty so deeply, she will never allow Duke Zhen to harm the Emperor. Duke Zhen, on the other hand, loves his daughter so much, he will definitely listen to her.”
Han Yi Xiao sneers, “Mo Chang Xiao is a crooked and corrupted official. He is capable of doing anything when it comes to power. He could sell his own brothers, what is there that he could not do?”
Bai Jiu mutters to herself angrily under her breath, her heart long ago ready to argue with him. However, in order to protect her identity and to understand Han Yi Xiao even better, she can only keep quiet. She repeatedly tells herself to keep quiet, otherwise, everything that she has done will be in vain.
Bai Jiu pretends to put on a curious expression, “You seem to hate Duke Zhen so much, Great General. Did anything happen between you two?” Han Yi Xiao seems to hate Mo Clan so much. It shows on his face.
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