Chapter 99: Premature Labor Reveals A Secret
“A Yao?” A tender call came to him, breaking his train of thought.
“Nothing. You should eat more. You’ll need stamina when you deliver the babies.” He meticulously picked out the fish bone for her before putting the soft, white fish meat into her bowl.
“Okay.” She nodded with a smile. How could Su Shuilian not know what he had in his mind? Right now, nothing else could occupy his mind besides the two babies in her belly and whether she could have a smooth delivery or not.
Su Shuilian was sure she could safely give birth to the twins.
Especially after listening to the doctor’s stern warning.
That’s right. That day, after her health check, she wanted to see the doctor off when she accidentally overheard the conversation between him and A Yao in the other room: it was likely that she would encounter danger during her labor.
During ancient times delivering twins had a big possibility of maternal hemorrhage. The mother’s body would be damaged. In some serious cases, the mother could die during her labor.
However, she didn’t think that her body couldn’t endure this labor. Afterall, during the first three months of her pregnancy, she had drunk the Jade Heart Immortal Essence almost every day, a drop for a glass of water. After half a month of nourishing, she didn’t feel anything abnormal with her body.
Quite the contrary, she felt that her stamina was getting much better day after day. Thus, she didn’t feel annoyed with the heavy belly even if she walked fast. Except for the big belly that made her movements a little difficult, she didn’t feel any difference from her previous (non-pregnant) self.
Her babies’ movements were normal, too. Everyday, by breakfast, lunch, and dinner, they would greet her. Moreover, sometimes, they would give her little kicks. From those little mischievous moves, she guessed she was bearing boys. They were the healthy and brave boys like A Yao!
Thus, she didn’t really mind what the doctor had warned. Even if she didn’t believe in the Jade Heart Immortal Essence, she should believe in her own intuition! She was sure that she would deliver them safe and sound!
She talked to herself inwardly, and the twins in her belly gave her a light kick.
Haha, they agreed with her, didn’t they?
Thus, Su Shuilian relaxed her nerves. Everyday, she persistently took walks along the riverbank. Before sleeping, she and A Yao would talk to the babies in her belly. She even continued her sewing works she had put aside. She made several robes for A Yao for the Lunar New Year with two more inner-shirts as well as some thick mid-shirts. This was because A Yao didn’t like to wear thick and heavy winter clothes.
Of course, to not strain her eyes, she was always careful. Taking breaks, walking around, drinking, eating snacks. Moreover, before the sun set, she would stop working.
Perhaps because she was working regularly and properly, A Yao had never asked her to stop. But it was just Su Shuilian’s guess. She had never thought that her moves were misinterpreted by A Yao.
Time flew fast, and the winter solstice soon came.
Su Shuilian paid no mind when she found out about Situ Yun going to the imperial city to request Prince Jing’s Mansion to invite the imperial doctor.
If it could ease A Yao’s mind, she would agree with any of his arrangements, including the two experienced midwives Ling-momo had invited. Those two were staying in the room for the maids behind the central house. This was in fear of the possibility of premature labor.
And, she did hope that she could give birth to these twin boys safely. If her parents could invite the imperial doctor to this remote Fan Hua Town, it would be much better.
Moreover, Fan Hua City wasn’t big, it had only two clinics with several doctors, no matter how hard they counted. If something unexpected happened during her labor and the doctor couldn’t come in time, it would be a total mess!
Actually, in case they couldn’t invite the imperial doctor, she didn’t think that she would need a doctor during her labor.
“Young Lady, the wind has gotten stronger. Be careful and do not catch a cold.” Chun Lan brought over a cloak, shrouding Su Shuilian.. During this time, all the people were worried about her. They were worried something would happen unexpectedly.
“Yeah, we should get back inside then. A Yao is about to come back.” Su Shuilian tightened the cloak around her. She didn’t deny her maid’s goodwill.
It was nearing the end of wei-shi (1-3 pm). Two hours ago, Si Chong dragged A Yao to Guangci House in Fan Luo City to discuss private matters. He should be back around now. He told her that he would be back within two hours. Thus, he would be on time.
Chun Lan wanted to say something but she caught the noise coming from the front gate. Even Guard Xiao, who was always calm, rushed in from the front gate as if the sky had just fallen down. The expression on his face caused confusion to the two girls.
“Fourth Young Lady, the Elder Wangye and Elder Wangfei have arrived in Fan Luo City. They are on their way here now.”
Oh ~ Heavens! Su Shuilian blinked several times in surprise. Didn’t they say that the Elder Wangye was so sick he couldn’t even get up? Why did the two of them cross such a long distance to visit this small corner in the South-West of Da Hui Empire during a bitter cold winter day like this?
Su Shuilian wanted to ask when she felt a sudden contraction in her stomach, it was followed by extreme pain as if something was about to explode.
“Chun… Chun Lan…” Su Shuilian tugged on the maid standing by her.
“Young Lady! Are you okay?” Chun Lan was grabbed, and it woke her from the daze due to the sudden news of Elder Wangye and Elder Wangfei. When she saw Su Shuilian’s pale face, Chun Lan was panic-stricken.
“My Lady… are you about to give birth?” Xiao Heng stammered. He immediately ran to the big kitchen, reporting to Liang-momo, who had the highest rank here. “Chun Lan, take Young Lady indoors. I’m going to talk to Liang-momo and the midwives.” He yelled to the overwhelmed Chun Lan.
“Ah… yes…” Chun Lan finally got herself together. She supported Su Shuilian. “Lady, are you able to walk?”
“I can…” Su Shuilian tried to endure the pain. Just as she opened her mouth, she felt some sticky fluid dampen her inner pants. “Chun… Lan… It… looks like… I’m about to give birth…”
“Shuilian…” Suddenly a gliding shadow accompanied by a call from the door. Rushing toward Su Shuilian, Lin Si Yao scooped her up in his arms. “Chun Lan, hurry and prepare hot water!”
Su Shuilian relaxed a little bit when she saw Lin Si Yao. Leaning against him, she felt him rushing toward the main bedroom.
Whether it was inside or outside the house, it was a big ruckus.
Luckily, they had an appointment with the doctor in Hui Chun Clinic. All they needed to do was go to the city to pick him up.
Thus, Xiao Heng and another guard drove the horse carriage they hadn’t had a chance to use for a long time, galloping toward the city.
But because of that, they had forgotten to tell Lin Si Yao and Liang-momo of Elder Wangye and Elder Wangfei’s arrival.
By the time they suddenly remembered this, the carriage was running on the main road of Fan Luo City.
Xiao Heng frowned, hoping that Chun Lan would remember this and tell the others. It was a big event after all. He didn’t know why the Elder Wangye and Wangfei traveled such a great distance here. It wasn’t just to visit the Fourth Young Lady, right?
Xiao Heng shook his head, wiping off this unlikely assumption.
Let alone the fact that the Fourth Young Lady wasn’t the Elder Wangfei’s biological daughter, with Elder Wangye’s distant and cold temperament, it was impossible for them to travel to such a remote area for an unfamiliar daughter.
Everybody knew that the thing that the Prince Jing’s Mansion didn’t lack the most were the Young Ladies.
It is said that the Elder Wangye had seven concubines and many other unnamed mistresses or chamber maids. There was a total of three Young Masters and nine Young Ladies. Besides the oldest Young Master who had inherited his royal title, the other two Young Masters had passed away when they were still young. The nine Young Ladies were vigorous with healthy bodies. And this actually did not include the Fourth Young Lady whom he was assigned to protect now. Two years ago, the former Prince took her to the mansion. And it was according to her age, she placed as the fourth among the ladies.
Although the Fourth Young Lady had been lost and neglected for so many years, after she was found, the Elder Wangye had arranged everything properly and cared for her. He even took her mother’s memorial tablet to the ancestral hall. Such treatments had been much better than what the other young ladies received. How was it possible for them to even travel such a far distance to visit her.
Xiao Heng thought while urging the horse to run faster. They needed to pick up the doctor and bring him to Fan Hua Town quickly.
If it was because he was slow and something happened to the Fourth Young Lady, the Elder Wangye wouldn’t spare his life, and he couldn’t forgive himself either.
Crossing the dusty road, the horse-drawn carriage reached the clinic. As Xiao Heng was about to jump off the carriage and pick up the doctor, he saw a luxurious, eight-horse carriage parked in the middle of the road.
“Chief Guard Xiao? Why are you here?” Dong Mei, the first-grade maid of the Elder Wangfei, lifted the curtain of the carriage and asked.
“Miss Dong Mei,” Xiao Heng and the other guard exchanged looks. They immediately got off the carriage, walking toward the luxurious carriage. They kneeled to greet the ones in the carriage.
“No need for formal greetings in public.” A tired male voice arose from the carriage, stopping Xiao Heng’s and the other’s moves.
“Why are you here and not by and protecting the Young Lady?”
“Your Highness, our Lady’s about to give birth. We’re here to pick up the doctor.
“Then why are you still here? Still idling for nothing!?” A low shout came from the carriage followed by some hurried urge. “Quick! Make haste to Fan Hua Town! Didn’t they say that she was due in two months?”
When Xiao Heng and the other guard entered the clinic, the luxurious carriage already started to make its way towards Fan Hua Town.
A calm and gentle voice of a woman sounded, breaking the tense air inside the carriage after the booming news Xiao Heng had just given.
“Best to calm down. Didn’t Mister Ouyang depart ahead of us with that child Situ?”
“Ouyang? Even if he’s the imperial doctor, he is still a male. How could he enter the delivery room?”
“Ouyang also has a female apprentice. She’s assisted the Ladies in the imperial palace in their labors not just once.”
“Humph, just a little girl that has yet to reach puberty! It would be the death of us if we believed Ouyang’s words!”
“Liang Xuan Jing! Are you trying to go against me? En Xu is also my daughter. If it hadn’t been your damn mistress, that should be killed thousands of times, how could my daughter and I be separated for 15 years?”
“Stop! Are you going to calculate the debt with me now?”
“Yes! If something were to happen to En Xu, I will depart this world with her! Wuwuwu… What are you doing?!”
“Don’t talk nonsense! So what if they’re twins? With Ouyang’s medical skills, anything can be cured!”
“… Then what the heck were you so worried about?”
“I… I just babbled. How could you compliment that old guy? Even if he’s more excellent, you’re my Wangfei. And you can only look at me.”
“Humph! So old and still trying to flirt!”
“Wasn’t it just a misunderstanding before? You blamed me for killing your daughter even though I was not at fault! Our grievances should already be settled, what else is there to say?!”
“Oh yeah? Who was the one who married so many concubines? And the chamber maids, countless! Harrumph!”
“Cai Yun, I had already explained to you. I did that because I wanted to provoke you!”
“Oh right, you’ve provoked me so much I wasn’t able to bear children for more than seventeen years! If En Xu weren’t still alive, perhaps I would have died as a poor, lonely old woman!”
“Don’t you have me…”
“Oh, I’m sorry? With seven concubine wives gazing at you like an ambush of tigresses, I don’t want to get involved and sully myself!”
“Feng Cai Yun! Don’t be so excessive. I may yield but it doesn’t mean I’m afraid of you.”
“Hmph! Do I look like I’m afraid of you! Anyway, I found my daughter. I will just live with her! Who wants to return to that cage!”
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