ARC 1 – The Way to become an Empress Part 41
“Why are you the one apologizing now?” I asked in a soft voice, as I really don’t know why he’s doing so.
Ji Zhen Tian looked stumped as to what to say, or how to explain.
Then, as if finding his words, or his courage perhaps? He said,
“You can never get pregnant anymore.”
I can’t describe how Ji Zhen Tian looked when he whispered so. I don’t know if he’s sad, or he’s feeling pity, or he’s regretful, I’m not sure. His face looked like a mixture of those.
Then he continued,
“It was because of the soup Li Zhen Zhen made you drink. Also, the incense you received. Though, I told your maids to get rid of all the incense Li Zhen Zhen gave you. But… I’m sorry, Ling-er. I was not able to do anything about the soup. I’m sorry.” Li Zhen Tian then hugged me once again, this time not so tight, and as if comforting me.
I already know all these from the system. My face probably didn’t look surprised.
But… I came to know the answer to one of the things I was wondering about. The incense. I did bring those sticks to my chambers, but I never lit them up. I left them on a table by the side, and before I knew it, they’ve disappeared. So it was like that. Ji Zhen Tian ordered my servants to get rid of them. I see.
“You don’t have to be sorry, Zhen Tian.” I whispered in his arms. “It’s not your fault. You can’t do much about what’s happening in the royal harem that’s being managed by the Empress. I know. I understand. And, I’m fine. Zhen Tian, I’m okay. Rather, I’m sorry for not being able to fulfil my role as a wife.”
Ji Zhen Tian then let me free from his hug, both his hands on either sides of my shoulders.
“Ling-er. Never say that again. Don’t be sorry for that. As long as I have you, I don’t need blood-related children. We can always adopt.” Then he muttered to himself, “I actually already have a plan.”
I heard that, but I didn’t ask anymore. It wasn’t any of my concerns what his plan of adoption is about.
Instead, I replied, “Ah, yes, Your Majesty. There are always other women who can give you heirs. It doesn’t have to be my child. I’ll do my best to support Your Majesty’s children and their mothers. Please don’t worry.” I said with a smile. I was not being sarcastic.
His grip on my shoulders tightened when I said those words.
“I said I don’t need anyone else! Why can’t you understand that?!”
I was slightly taken aback by Ji Zhen Tian sudden outburst.
“Sorry for raising my voice just now, Ling-er.” He said as my surprise probably showed up on my face. “But I meant it. I only need you. If… if you don’t trust me yet, I can prove to you how much I value you. How much, I love you.” He said his final sentence endearingly, as if he’s sharing a secret he’s kept for a long time.
“Your Ma- Zhen Tian…”
“And, I’m sorry for not being able to protect you before it ended up like this.” Ji Zhen Tian really looked regretful. I can feel he’s truly sincere with his words.
I then shook my head, saying, “You don’t have to be sorry for that, Zhen Tian.”
Then he replied, his resolve evident. “I’ll protect you from now on. I swear I will. You just have to be yourself, Ling-er. From now on, you don’t have to do anything you don’t like. I’ll protect you from all those negative things.” He whispered against my lips as he began to kiss me again.
But in the middle of the kiss, I broke it, saying, “Zhen Tian, I’m still sick. You might catch my cold.” Though it’s too late to say this now since we have already kissed earlier. Passionately, even. Still, I just got reminded of it, and I can’t have Ji Zhen Tian bedridden with illness at a crucial time like this, at this time, when the story is already reaching its climax.
Ji Zhen Tian then pecked on my lips one last time.
“You’re right. Ling-er is still sick. I should not have held you up so long. In the first place, I should not have let you come all the way here. I should have been the one to come to you.” Ji Zhen Tian said worriedly and regretfully.
I shook my head once again. “No… I understand that Zhen Tian is busy with all the things in the palace and the court. I just… I just went here as soon as I could to inform you of the important thing. I- I wanted to be of help to Zhen Tian, at least for one last time. I thought that the whole day yesterday. I couldn’t help myself. Even if it brings me down, I just can’t afford to let you get hurt. The information I told you, may help you prepare for the worst. At least, at that time, Zhen Tian would have made some preparations so as to not lose your life and avoid the worst case scenario.”
Ji Zhen Tian hugged me once again.
“Ling-er… Ah, Ling-er… If you say that, I can’t hold myself back anymore. But I know I should. You’re still sick… And, everything is not yet over. I need to wait.” Ji Zhen Tian sighed.
He kissed the top of my head before letting go of me.
“You should go back already. You need to rest.” He paused for awhile, then continued, “About the things we talked about today, don’t tell anyone else. Ling-er doesn’t need to do anything, so you shouldn’t worry. This time, I’ll definitely protect you. Rest well and recover your health, Ling-er.” He said as he guided me to where my servants were waiting.
“Take care of your mistress. Let her rest well and make sure she recovers properly. I’ll send some nourishment supplements, so make sure Imperial Consort Ye takes them along with her prescripted medicine.” Ji Zhen Tian ordered my maids as soon as we arrived.
“Yes, Your Majesty.” My maids replied.
“Rest well.” Ji Zhen Tian told me softly as he began to turn around and go back inside his palace.
I think today’s plan succeeded.
“System, what’s my favorability rating?” I asked the system in my head as my maids and I were going back to my palace.
《Ji Zhen Tian favorability rating: 92. Congrats host, you passed.》 The furry ball appeared in front of me.
“Good. Kowtowing today wasn’t a waste of effort. …But, that rating is still not final, no?”
《Yes. There’s still a probability for ratings to go down in an instant. Please do be careful of such ups and downs, host.》
“So I need to maintain that, huh.”
It’s not yet time to think about that. There’s a more urgent issue that needs to be thought about. Even though Ji Zhen Tian said I don’t need to worry, I couldn’t help but be.
Shall I think of back-ups immediately now?