The Shadow Guard is also the White Moonlight [Rebirth] Chapter 82

Chapter 82

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The winter day dawned exceptionally late, and it was almost dawn when Fu Nian, who hadn’t dared to rest, quietly climbed to the Imperial Hospital.

The night medicine child, seeing that it was an old acquaintance, hastily stopped dozing off and got up from the floor.

“What’s wrong with you again?” The medicine child rubbed his eyes, looking at the man before him, whose mouth seemed unable to close, his face contorted in pain, and asked in confusion.

“Dislocated jaw…” Fu Nian’s voice was akin to groaning, barely intelligible.

“What?” The medicine child didn’t hear clearly and stared in surprise at Fu Nian, who seemed dazed, mouth half open, and saliva occasionally uncontrollably dribbling out.

“Dislocated!” Fu Nian shouted in a low voice, then quickly pointed at his own jaw that he couldn’t close, indicating that he couldn’t speak clearly.

—Earlier, Fu Nian had heard a “click” sound, and at that moment, he knew something was terribly wrong.

Fortunately, the lights were off, and Chu Zhaoyi had no intention of forcing him to do anything. Pretending to be tired and wanting to sleep didn’t arouse any suspicion.

After Chu Zhaoyi’s breathing had steadied, Fu Nian couldn’t wait any longer. He climbed out of bed, put on his clothes, and after a few rinses of mouthwash with osmanthus-scented water to ensure there would be no telltale odor in his mouth, he made his way to the Imperial Hospital in the dark.

“Dislocated jaw? This…” Xu Lingshan turned on the light and carefully examined Fu Nian’s condition. He even touched the jawbone, exclaiming, “Wow, it’s true! My master was just discussing orthopedic techniques a few days ago and was looking for a practical example. You’ve come at just the right time!”

Fu Nian heard the excitement in his tone and continued to hum in pain.

“How did it happen?” Since Fu Nian couldn’t speak coherently, Xu Lingshan continued to inquire, “Did you dislocate it because you were in a rush to eat something in the middle of the night?”

“Yes, I nibbled an apple,” Fu Nian mumbled, “Help set it back in place, and I’ll make sure you get some extra tea.”

Xu Lingshan then carefully explored Fu Nian’s facial bones with his hands. “Just to be clear, I’m not very skilled at this. If I can’t reset it properly, we’ll have to wait for my master to help you.”

Fu Nian signaled that he understood by nodding.

Even though he nodded, Fu Nian didn’t want to wait for the imperial physician. Imperial physicians were experienced and knowledgeable; there was a chance that they would immediately figure out how he got injured. That would be too embarrassing, especially if all the details had to be recorded. He couldn’t bear the thought of Chu Zhaoyi finding out—it would be too humiliating.

This was the first time he had sought medical assistance for such a minor injury. In the past, when his injuries were more severe, Fu Nian had always managed on his own, brewing medicines and enduring the pain.

“Strange, if you nibbled an apple, why does your mouth smell so strongly of sweet osmanthus?” Fu Nian overheard the medicine child mutter quietly.

In the midst of excruciating pain, he heard a muffled click.

Once the pain eased slightly, Fu Nian touched his own face and tried to speak by gently moving his jaw.

It worked! He could move it again!

“Thank you,” Fu Nian said as he wiped away the saliva with a piece of gauze. He then took a silver ingot wrapped in silk from his pouch and handed it to the medicine child.

After giving the silver, Fu Nian remembered something important. “By the way…”

In the past few days, or rather nights, he had been feeling a faint pulsing sensation in his lower abdomen. It was like a delicate yet powerful new life softly tapping, signifying its presence.

“What’s wrong now?”

“…It’s nothing. My memory is poor, and I tend to forget things. I’ve forgotten what I wanted to say.” Fu Nian scratched his head, thanked Xu Lingshan, and left the Imperial Hospital.

Although Fu Nian was reluctant to admit it, all the signs now… almost indicated that there was a little life taking root and sprouting inside his abdomen.

Back in the sleeping palace, there was still some time before the usual hour when Chu Zhaoyi would rise in the morning. Fu Nian handled the fragrances and the hot stove with great care while warming Chu Zhaoyi’s morning attire, ensuring there would be warm clothing for him when he woke up.

He moved quietly, making no noise, allowing Chu Zhaoyi, who was already sleep-deprived, to get a few more minutes of rest.

Finally, after placing the stewed tonic on the table to cool, Fu Nian went to wake up Chu Zhaoyi.

“Li Gonggong, why are you so late today…?” Chu Zhaoyi blinked as he woke up and only then realized that the hand resting on his shoulder was the cold prosthetic one. “Ah Nian…”

“It’s me,” Fu Nian said as he picked up the clothes from the nearby rack and began dressing Chu Zhaoyi. “You didn’t instruct me to wake you early for your calligraphy practice and reading in the study today, so I took care of the morning affairs before waking you.”

Chu Zhaoyi accepted the clothes and indicated that he would dress himself. “You don’t need to wake me up for such trivial matters in the future.”

Fu Nian hesitated for a moment and then hastily added, “I can take care of these small things quietly, without disturbing your sleep. You used to appreciate having me manage your morning routines.”

Chu Zhaoyi paused in the midst of dressing.

He had to admit that Fu Nian was indeed very good at taking care of him, both as a skilled blade-wielder and as a caring partner. Especially before, Chu Zhaoyi knew that Fu Nian had feelings for him, and he had always been loyal to him, so he had enjoyed Fu Nian’s care and support without hesitation.

Even though he felt a bit guilty, there was no regret in his heart.

Now, after years of misunderstandings and complications, the once arrogant and willful youth had matured, and Chu Zhaoyi belatedly realized just how much he owed Fu Nian.

“This subordinate can still handle this small matter,” Fu Nian said, seeing that Chu Zhaoyi hadn’t responded and was just brooding while fastening his boots. He quickly brought over the scattered hot supplements and tested their temperature on the back of his hand. “Even if you temporarily doubt that this subordinate can be your fastest blade as before, but…” 

“Ah Nian. What I mean is, the task isn’t as important as you resting properly… It’s not a lack of trust in you, it’s just that, throughout history, which empress hasn’t lived a life of luxury, which is taken care of while getting her hands dirty? These things don’t need to trouble you,” Chu Zhaoyi said, sounding irritated at this point.

Despite the previous misunderstandings between the two of them, Fu Nian occasionally made some subtle moves in front of him, engaged in some ‘small actions’ that went against palace rules. When he refused to speak to him unless necessary, Chu Zhaoyi felt somewhat relieved. He was relieved that this stoic individual would finally take actions beyond his orders and act in accordance with his own inner thoughts.

Now, upon seeing that Fu Nian was still the same, maintaining this loyal yet humble attitude, Chu Zhaoyi felt even more irritable.

Thinking about how Fu Nian’s current character was largely a result of his own actions during his youth, Chu Zhaoyi couldn’t help but feel both regret and annoyance.

Faced with this sudden display of concern, Fu Nian was momentarily stunned and didn’t immediately realize the play Chu Zhaoyi was referring to. 

In the past, whenever he was relieved of his duties, it was never done so indirectly. 

“Thank you for Your Majesty’s understanding. But Your Majesty may have forgotten, Subordinate is a Shadow Guard who can take up blood feuds on your behalf, a blade to cut down the guilty souls.” After saying this, Fu Nian handed him the bowl and was about to reach for a sable fur for Chu Zhaoyi. However, he suddenly felt a tug from behind. 

Fu Nian, caught off guard, ended up lying straight on the soft bed, his face filled with confusion. “Your Majesty?” 

Perhaps it was due to contact with the bedding, Fu Nian couldn’t resist and quickly turned over, letting out a yawn. 

“You’re not sleeping yet in such a state? Your burn hasn’t completely healed,” Chu Zhaoyi said, not minding Fu Nian’s resistance and forcefully removed his shoes, then placed him on the mattress. 

“I’m not sleepy…” Fu Nian started to say but was interrupted by a yawn. 

Chu Zhaoyi: “…” 

Fu Nian also realized his words didn’t carry much conviction. 

“Alright.” In the end, Fu Nian, under Chu Zhaoyi’s authoritative gaze, obediently pulled up the blanket.”

The guilt of skipping morning training was quickly swallowed up by sleepiness.

The bed still retained the warmth and scent of Chu Zhaoyi.

On the verge of falling asleep, Fu Nian unconsciously snuggled into the spot where Chu Zhaoyi had slept, nudging the sheets with his head, and finally, he drifted off to sleep.

It was a gloomy winter day, and even in broad daylight, the sky remained gray.

When Fu Nian woke up, he glanced at the sky and determined that it was not yet noon.

He opened the letter envelope on the table and unfolded the note inside.

No official matters today. In the next three days, you will be responsible for interrogating Fu Nineteen and Fu Bie. Do not visit them for now; I will have you handle them personally later.】 

Fu Nian carefully put away the letter.

Since Chu Zhaoyi ordered him not to visit, he wouldn’t go.

After dressing, Fu Nian once again stood in front of the bronze mirror.

Whether it was an illusion or something else, now, even with tight-fitting clothes, he couldn’t hide his slightly rounder abdomen.

If he was indeed pregnant… it wouldn’t be long before it would be discovered, probably within a month.

Shortly after noon, Fu Nian arrived at the largest medical clinic in the capital.

It was the same clinic where he had referred to the physician as a quack during his last visit.

“Are you the…”

Before Fu Nian could speak, the doctor stood up with excitement upon seeing him.

Others in the clinic couldn’t help but look in their direction.

The doctor realized he was being too emotional and quickly said, “Please come inside.”

In the inner room, Fu Nian hesitated before speaking, “I apologize for my previous attitude. I misunderstood you. I now realize that your medical skills are truly exceptional, and what you said may be true. I’ve been experiencing a series of symptoms related to pregnancy, and especially now, it seems that the baby has started moving. I…”

“It’s okay, it’s okay,” the doctor interrupted, putting down his pen and searching for his previous records. “It’s normal for a man to be shocked when hearing such words. When you left last time, I already thought you’d come back.”

Fu Nian obediently extended his hand for the doctor to check his pulse.

“The fetal condition is not very stable. Have you recently suffered any injuries?” the doctor inquired.

“I have extensive burns on my back,” Fu Nian answered truthfully.

The doctor furrowed his brow at this revelation.

“Since it’s unstable, can it be… sent away directly?” Fu Nian hastily inquired.

The doctor’s hand, which had been feeling his pulse, paused for a moment. He then looked up and assessed the man before him.

While the clothing wasn’t extravagant in style, the fabric was of high quality, and his speech and demeanor were refined. He had a curved blade hanging at his waist with a gem-encrusted hilt, indicating that he wasn’t a poor man.

“Young man, here’s the thing,” the doctor began, “I understand that you, as a man, must be anxious about having a child. However, from what I can see now, the child is still healthy. The joy of family life is something you will share with your wives and concubines in the future. There’s no need to worry about such a minor issue. Moreover, it’s already past April, and sending the child away would be highly risky, especially since I have no experience with causing a miscarriage in men.”

“I have no wives or concubines,” Fu Nian paused for a moment before continuing, “I serve my lord as a military officer. My lord detests ‘male pregnancy,’ as it goes against natural order, and that’s why I… wanted to send the child away.” As he spoke, his voice gradually lowered, “Although I find the pregnancy situation suspicious, I’m not opposed to it. Thank you for your kind intentions.”

“I’m powerless and dare not get involved in this matter,” the physician shook his head, sighing continuously. “Seeing that you seem educated and literate, even if it’s for a monarch as powerful as the Emperor of the nine heavy Gates, bearing children is a natural occurrence, and the emperor must approve. Such a cruel lord…”

Fu Nian thought to himself, “You’re absolutely right.”

“My lord is understanding and not a cruel person! Since sending the child away is not possible… do you have any methods to make it less noticeable?” Fu Nian inquired.

“Where would there be such a method? It’s already April, and by May at the latest, it will be impossible to conceal. Since you’re a military officer, methods like binding your abdomen with cloth or wearing loose clothing won’t work. I still advise you to make plans for the child’s future as soon as possible. Don’t do anything foolish, as even if you forcibly send the child away, your body will likely no longer be able to engage in martial arts,” the physician warned.

“Thank you, doctor.”

Since the path of sending the child away was not feasible…

In the end, after paying the consultation fee, Fu Nian still obtained the medication for stabilizing the pregnancy.

After leaving the clinic, he sat at a nearby eatery and ordered some sweet soups.

Shortly after sitting down, he felt a slight movement in his abdomen.

“Alright, don’t make trouble. I won’t send you away…” Fu Nian lowered his head and muttered to himself in a soft voice, “What I said earlier was impulsive. I’m sorry you had to hear it.”

Having been by Chu Zhaoyi’s side for many years, the financial support for raising a child was undoubtedly not an issue.

But Fu Nian was thinking about how to conceal this matter.

After sharing a bed with Chu Zhaoyi yesterday, Chu Zhaoyi had already noticed a change in his physique.

So… should he forcibly leave Chu Zhaoyi for a while? Fu Nian thought about it this way.

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