The new Imperial Physician carefully examined the unconscious Crown Princess. She laid on the bed, unmoving, except for the steady rise of her chest. Her breathing had returned to normal but her temperature is on the higher side, warning of an impending fever.
"Your Highness," the Imperial Physician slowly said. He rose from the chair and tucked her wrist back under the blankets.
"What is it?" Yu Zhen demanded. "What happened to my Wangfei?"
"It seems the Crown Princess has either overworked herself or she was under too much stress which resulted in her losing consciousness."
Yu Zhen's brows were knitted together in worry. He peered down at Li Xueyue who had not woken up while she was being moved from the private study to the bedroom. He was the one who settled her onto the bed, took off her shoes, her socks, and even fluffed the pillow for her. He had performed the miscellaneous tasks usually done by servants.
"Has the Crown Princess been under a lot of stress lately? Additionally, the miscarriage that happened a few days ago had already put a strain on her body. If she had been under a lot of stress lately, then these issues combined could've caused this reaction."
Stress? Yu Zhen thought back to the scroll he found, but his thoughts kept on drifting to something else—their passionate times in bed. How many times had they done it last night and this morning? If he recalled correctly, she was kept up all night…
Yu Zhen cleared his throat. "Will she recover?"
The Imperial Physician immediately nodded his head. "Your Highness, without a doubt, she will, since the Crown Princess is young and healthy. However, it seems her temperature has risen above normal, so we have to monitor her the entire afternoon and morning so that a fever would not break out."
Yu Zhen pressed his lips together. Had he overdone it this morning? She was still recovering, and he did not mean to... But he could not help it. Her reactions were too erotic for him to ignore.
Yu Zhen knew he had to be careful from this point on. However, he didn't think her body was so strained to the point of losing consciousness and developing a fever.
Yu Zhen had so much stamina that he had forgotten not everyone was like him—certainly not his wife who was thin and frail. At least, in his eyes, she was made of glass, easily shattered and broken.
"Since you are a very busy man, Your Highness, we can have the servants watch over her closely, and have them check on her periodically to make sure her temperature does not continue to rise."
Yu Zhen narrowed his eyes. "No need, I will watch over her."
The Imperial Physician blanched in response, his eyes nearly popping out of his sockets. He scratched his ears, wondering if he had heard incorrectly.
The future Emperor of this country, the leader of this kingdom, a man who commanded over hundreds of thousands of soldiers was willing to sit like a log and watch over his wife?
The Imperial Physician nervously chuckled. "I-I beg your pardon, Your Highness?" he stuttered out, wondering if he had misheard the Crown Prince.
"What are the measures to take to prevent a fever?" Yu Zhen asked, but his stern voice made it sound like a command.
The Imperial Physician wondered if it was snowing in Diyu … Or perhaps, there would be a blizzard in the middle of autumn. The occurrence of these impossible events would be less shocking than the Crown Prince's words.
"It is best to wait it out, Your Highness. If her temperature does rise, we will have to monitor the symptoms. For example, if she is experiencing chills, blankets should be placed on her, but if she is sweating profusely, then a cold cloth must be placed on her forehead and feet."
Yu Zhen nodded. As far as he remembered, no one had ever comforted him when he was sick in his youth. The servants took care of him, but nothing cured a sick patient faster than love in itself.
Yu Zhen did not know how to comfort Li Xueyue at a time like this. Staying by her side was the only thing he could think of, for it was something he yearned for during childhood.
"If that is all," Yu Zhen said without lifting his gaze from Li Xueyue. "Then get out."
The Imperial Physician bowed low. "If anything does happen, please let me know, Your Highness." With that said, he hurriedly left the room whilst closing the doors behind him.
Afterwards, the Imperial Physician stood outside briefly for a few seconds, wondering if this was real, and everything he had witnessed truly happened. People weren't allowed to spread gossip, but what he saw should never, ever get out.
The Crown Prince finally had a weakness. And it was in the form of a tiny woman with skills of a fighter, but a woman nonetheless, and they were easy to ruin. Killing a woman from the inside out was a lot easier than hurting the Crown Prince himself.
"I will vow silence," he muttered to himself, knowing his family was on the line. "And bring this secret to the grave."
The Imperial Physician was well aware that many people were already speculating, but his words could confirm their hypothesis. He decided that if anyone were to ask, he would deny the truth to Diyu and back.
- - - - -
Li Xueyue felt like she was drifting in nothingness. Her body was light and her actions were restricted. The only thing she could see was bleak darkness no matter how much she blinked her eyes and observed her surroundings.
Occasionally though, she would feel a gentle caress on her head, as if someone was adjusting her fringe. Then, she would feel a loving touch on her cheek. After a while, the touching would stop, and she was left with nothing.
Li Xueyue did not know how long she was stuck in the darkness. Before she knew it, she woke up to a blurry setting. She tiredly rubbed her eyes but found one of her hands being weighed down by something heavy.
Li Xueyue tilted her head to the side, where she saw a familiar head of black hair, beautiful as the midnight, healthy and shiny, like the stars.
Yu Zhen had fallen asleep by the bedside whilst holding one of her hands. He gripped it tightly as if frightened she would slip from his fingertips.
"What time is it…?" she whispered, careful not to wake him.
Li Xueyue slowly sat up in bed whilst being mindful not to move her other hand. She knew he was a light sleeper and any jerk or movement would startle him awake.
Li Xueyue winced at the hoarseness of her voice. Her throat was parched and she glanced around, wondering if there was anything to drink. Her eyes brightened at the sight of a pitcher of water beside the nightstand. Without wasting time, she hurriedly poured herself a cup of water with one hand and drank from it.
Instantly, she found her relief, as her shoulders sagged in satisfaction. Li Xueyue let out a quiet sigh and ran a hand through her hair. The windows were tightly shut, so she didn't know whether it was day or night.
"You look so stern even when asleep," Li Xueyue whispered whilst reaching a hand out to stroke the top of his head. Her palm gently rested on his hair, fondly stroking it.
Li Xueyue's heart swelled when his nose twitched. She wondered if he was cold and uncomfortable. Sleeping in a position like this must've been difficult. But she couldn't find it in herself to wake him up, knowing he rarely slept.
Li Xueyue was just worried about him, that's all. She bent down and kissed the back of his head, hoping, wishing, she could just relish in this moment a little while longer. She couldn't help but smile a bit.
Yu Zhen was not just a fleeting moment anymore, he was her forever. And it was more than she could ever ask for.
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