At this moment, Cheng Yujin was trapped in the hazy confusion between a past and present life. The voice was still roaring with all its might: “Don’t you want the child of your previous life? As a mother, how can you be so irresponsible?”
Cheng Yujin had been in pain for hours, and her consciousness gradually blurred. She couldn’t distinguish between hallucination and reality at this moment, and couldn’t tell whether the person in front of her was an illusion born from her imagination or the regret she buried deep under her reason.
She looked at the hazy figure and asked, “Who are you?”
“I am the child from your previous life. The unfortunate child who ended his life tragically.”
“No, you’re not.” Cheng Yujin declared. As soon as she spoke, her consciousness suddenly became clear. Her soul, which seemed to be floating all this time, gained solid ground again, allowing her reason and sound mind to return to her body.
Cheng Yujin gradually regained the clarity of her mind, and she said strongly, “According to you, if I want to compensate my child, I have to marry that scum Huo Changyuan and lose my life again? No. Doing that is truly irresponsible for the child. If I want to treat others well, I have to be good to myself first.”
“This is the case with one’s parents, with one’s husband, with one’s children. You are not my child from my previous life. You are me.”
After Cheng Yujin said those words, the mist that enveloped the figure dissipated, and she saw her own face.
“I don’t know why I dream of my past life, but you are not me, and I am not you. I have never married Huo Changyuan in this life, and the so-called ill-fated child has never existed. As long as they are born to me, they are my children, regardless of which life.”
“Regarding my previous life, what I regret the most is not that I gave a chance for my sister to occupy my life, nor to see my only child’s miserable end. The only thing I regret is that despite all the efforts I have made throughout, at the critical juncture, I let the right to choose my life and death fall on Huo Xue-shi’s hand. But it is different now. My husband who stands outside at this moment, the one who will make the critical decision when I wonder at the death’s gate, is Li Chengjing. I entrusted my life to him, and he deserves my trust. All rights and wrongs from the previous life can no longer affect me.”
Cheng Yujin always thought she didn’t care about her previous life, believing nothing could affect her rationality. But actually, it was not the case. Especially after she was about to become a mother herself — the self from her previous life who died in the dream from difficult labor, the child who died young after falling into the icy lake — had secretly been haunting her mind on dark nights. Cheng Yujin used reason to suppress her inner fear, only to make it grow instead. Everything finally broke out on the day of the labor, when she was at her weakest mentally and physically.
Only by facing the inner fear could she really be freed from it. Looking at the gradually dissipated fog, Cheng Yujin knew everything was finally over.
Once Cheng Yujin got rid of her inner fear, all kinds of voices flooded her mind at once. Seeing how Cheng Yujin had become unresponsive, the people in the delivery room were scared to death. They tried every method in the book and stuffed some ginseng into Cheng Yujin’s mouth, trying to replenish her energy. Seeing that Cheng Yujin finally reacted, they shouted with overjoy, “Crown Princess, please do your best and gather your strength.”
Cheng Yujin’s eyes suddenly wet with tears. She was still alive, and Li Chengjing was still waiting for her just outside the door. He was her Ninth Uncle, her husband, and the father of her children. He had been wandering for more than fourteen years, having no place to call home. How could she bear to leave him alone?
Cheng Yujin suddenly burst with strength. After a while, one of the midwives shouted, “The head is coming out! Crown Princess, please do your best. It’s almost there!”
Outside the delivery room, Li Chengjing stood motionless. The night had passed, and the sky in the east had begun to brighten slowly. Li Chengjing had been standing in the cold wind all night. Messengers had been coming back and forth several times, inquiring for news, but only Li Chengjing alone kept staying here unmoved.
Li Chengjing’s personal eunuchs repeatedly persuaded him to take a rest in the side hall, but he only shook his head. How could he rest at this moment? A few times, Li Chengjing heard the screams inside and had the urge to push the door and come in. Once, the situation was very dire. Cheng Yujin seemed to have fainted, and the people inside shouted her name several times. At the moment, Li Chengjing’s hand was already at the door.
But in the end, Li Chengjing forced himself to take a step back. He didn’t understand anything about delivery and couldn’t be of help. Worse, his presence would only add pressure to the people inside. Moreover, Cheng Yujin was so fond of her beauty, and she surely wouldn’t want to be seen in such a disheveled state. Also, Li Chengjing had been standing outside for a long time and was afraid of bringing dirt and dust into the delivery room, possibly infecting Cheng Yujin and their children.
Li Chengjing endured all night. The cold wind was rustling, and even the servants couldn’t stand being outside for hours. Only Li Chengjing stayed there unmoved. Another cold wind blew over, bringing fine flakes of the first snow. Li Chengjing looked into the endless horizon. It was almost dawn.
Cheng Yujin was in pain all night.
Li Chengjing called Liu Yi and said, “Send a message to His Majesty and say that Gu won’t attend today’s morning court.”
“Yes, Your Highness.” Liu Yi responded respectfully. Rainy or sunny, windy or snowy, the Crown Prince had never been absent from the morning court. But the Crown Princess’ delivery obviously warranted a special circumstance. After Liu Yi left, Li Chengjing stopped a palace maid delivering a basin of hot water, saying, “Send this message to everyone inside. No matter what happens, no matter what the cost, make sure to keep Crown Princess safe.”
The palace maid was startled by the look on Li Chengjing’s face and stuttered in response.
After a while, a burst of shout came from the delivery room. Finally, the midwife shouted excitedly, “The Crown Princess has given birth. It’s a boy!”
“Wait, there’s one more!”
A boy? Li Chengjing’s fists suddenly clenched. Cheng Yujin was carrying twins. Could it be… really the worst-case scenario?
At this moment, Liu Yi came back with a reply, and also happened to bring one of the Emperor’s personal eunuch with him. The eunuch bowed deeply to Li Chengjing and said, “Greetings to Your Highness. His Majesty is very concerned about you and said you don’t have to attend the morning court today. Secondly, His Majesty also ordered this servant to inquire about the Crown Princess’ situation.”
Li Chengjing’s fists clenched tightly. He was about to respond when another burst of shouting broke out in the delivery room. A servant girl shouted in surprise, her voice was hoarse: “It’s a girl!”
The next second, Du Ruo and Lian Qiao pushed open the door. Trying to best each other, they rushed to Li Chengjing and said loudly, “Your Highness, it’s a dragon and phoenix twins! The Crown Princess has given birth to a dragon and phoenix twins!”
“Dragon and phoenix twins!” The courtyard immediately burst into an uproar, and even the Emperor’s personal eunuch also gasped in surprise.
“Dragon and phoenix twins?” The eunuch finally reacted and clapped his hands in joy, “Congratulations to Your Highness. This is such a happy event! Dragon and phoenix twins are auspicious. Now that they have landed in the imperial family’s Eastern Palace, it must be a sign of heavenly favor. Heaven blesses our dynasty!”
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