Chapter 717 - Premature Labor

The upper-class nobles in the capital all praised the yet to be born heir of Imperial Prince Xu as the most filial and compassionate child towards his lady mother. There was a reason for this.

First, when Imperial Prince Xu’s heir was still a fetus, Princess Consort Xu often forgot that she was pregnant. She didn’t have any morning sickness in the early stages of her pregnancy and her feet didn’t become swollen or cramped in the later stages of her pregnancy. As Imperial Prince Xu’s heir, the fetus has been quiet and had never troubled his mother. 

Second, Princess Consort Xu was expected to be due in mid-May (lunar calendar), towards the beginning of summer. Women were most afraid of convalescing for a month[1] during the summer. They wouldn’t be able to wash their hair or take a bath for an entire month. Wouldn’t they smell bad in the summer? 

Imperial Prince Xu’s heir decided to come out two months earlier, arriving into this world in the spring of March. At that time, the spring flowers bloomed beautifully and the weather was neither hot nor cold, which was perfect for convalescing. If this wasn’t showing compassion to his mother, then what was? 

Yu Xiaocao didn’t expect that she would give birth prematurely. Without any sign, her belly started to hurt. At that time, she was eating tasty roasted hazelnuts and walnuts, while drinking juice from freshly squeezed fruit from the plantation’s cold warehouse. She was lying on the couch happily and comfortably as she basked in the warmth from the spring sun.  

During her pregnancy, she was spoiled by her husband, and pampered by her mother and godmother. Her mother-in-law would frequently come over to take care of her. She was living so comfortably that the Heaves couldn’t stand it anymore and had played a joke on her. 

She had just finished drinking half a cup of strawberry juice. Yu Xiaocao reached out her hand towards the hazelnut kernels that her husband had peeled for her. She grabbed a handful of hazelnut kernels and was just about to put them in her mouth when she suddenly felt a wave of pain from her stomach. She didn’t take the incident to heart at the beginning because she thought she still had two more months before her due date. Who would’ve known that her body, which had been nourished until it was healthy by the little divine stone, would actually go into labor prematurely for no apparent reason? 

However, the attentive Zhu Junyang noticed the momentary discomfort displayed by his wife. He asked with concern, “What’s the matter? Is it because one of the hazelnut kernels is bitter? That shouldn't have happened because I hand picked them one by one.” 

The wave of pain quickly disappeared, making it seem as if the pain was merely an illusion. While Zhu Junyang was pinching the walnuts open, Yu Xiaocao picked up a piece of hazelnut kernel and stuffed it into his mouth. She smiled and said, “It’s nothing. Have a taste of this hazelnut kernel. I had someone roast this with the new recipe I made. How does it taste?” 

Zhu Junyang opened his mouth obediently and ate the hazelnut kernel that his little wife had fed him. Just as she was about to pull her finger away, he gently nibbled on her finger and grinned, “Sweet! It’s very fragrant!” 

Yu Xiaocao rolled her eyes at him and asked, “Are the hazelnut kernels fragrant or are my fingers fragrant?” 

Zhu Junyang hurriedly used his beautiful phoenix eyes to stare at her. His gaze was filled with electricity as he said, “No matter how fragrant the hazelnut kernels are, they still can’t compare to my wife’s fingers…” 

“Elegant but insincere words… hiss!” The expression on Yu Xiaocao’s face suddenly changed. She touched her bulging belly and frowned slightly. 

Zhu Junyang hurriedly put down the hazelnuts in his hand and wiped his hands on his clothes. He supported her into a sitting position and impatiently asked, “What’s wrong? Where do you feel uncomfortable?” 

“My belly suddenly started to hurt…” Yu Xiaocao subtly noticed that something was wrong. 

Stomach pain? “Could it be that you’re about to give birth?” Zhu Junyang’s first thought was this. After all, he had noticed that his wife’s belly, which had supported their child for seven months, was almost the same size as other women’s who were about to give birth.

“That can’t be because I’m less than eight months pregnant! Isn’t it the norm for a woman to be pregnant for ten months before giving birth? My mother said that I need to carry the child at least nine months before giving birth!” Yu Xiaocao held her stomach with a puzzled and doubtful expression on her face. 

Zhu Junyang frowned and asked, “Could it be that you ate something bad that caused you stomach pain? That shouldn’t be right either. In the past few days, I have personally checked all the food you consumed and there’s nothing different or spoiled!” The past few days, it was his turn to take a vacation from work, which was why he was leisurely staying at home today. He willingly allowed himself to be his wife’s walnut clamp.

“Hiccup…” Xiaocao suddenly turned red from embarrassment. The corners of her mouth turned downward as she looked at her husband. She stammered, “I…I seem to have…peed my pants!” 

In the later stages of pregnancy, due to the fetus repressing the belly, it was normal for pregnant women to frequently urinate. However, urinating without any sign was something to be concerned about. 

At this time, Senior Servant Li walked over with a bowl of bird’s nest lotus seed congee. Once again, it was time for the princess consort to have an afternoon snack. Senior Servant Li was one of Princess Consort Jing’s servants. She also raised Zhu Junyang when he was still young. When Xiaocao became pregnant, Princess Consort Jing became worried because there wasn’t anyone with experience around, so she sent Senior Servant Li to serve them.

Zhu Junyang hurriedly explained the situation to Senior Servant Li. Senior Servant Li’s expression immediately changed as she said, “Could it be that Princess Consort Xu’s water broke? Quickly send someone to invite a midwife over! Your Highness, don’t worry. This is your first child, and the young heir probably won’t be born so soon, so please drink the bird’s nest congee first.” 

Yu Xiaocao obediently listened to her words and drank the bird’s nest congee, which was currently cooled to the perfect temperature in one breath. After she let out a hiccup, she cupped her belly and endured the pain as she asked, “I didn’t knock or bump into anything, so why am I giving birth prematurely?” 

Senior Servant Li didn’t know the situation well either. She hesitated a little before she said, “This servant doesn’t know either, but I’ve heard that a small number of women would give birth after being pregnant for only seven months after their water broke… don’t worry, a premature child can survive at seven months old, but not at eight months… the young heir will definitely be fine!” 

“What do you mean by living or not living? Don’t you know how to speak?!” Zhu Junyang was so angry that he almost slapped the old thing to death. Didn’t she see how scared the princess consort appeared to be? Why would she still say these frightening words? Was she trying to deliberately make his wife uncomfortable? Imperial Prince Xu, who had always been an unwavering mountain, stuttered as he tried to comfort his wife, “Don’t listen to her. How can my seed not be able to withstand even a small storm? You and the baby will both be fine…” 

Yu Xiaocao endured the pain and rolled her eyes at her husband, “What do you mean by ‘your seed’? It’s unpleasant to hear! Moreover, my baby is strong!” Even though she said that she was still very nervous. In her previous life, there were many babies who were born prematurely and died even though the medicinal treatments and conditions were so advanced in modern times. It was impossible for her not to worry at all. 

“Where is Yuanzi? Invite him here for me!” The little divine stone could sense her baby's life force. As long as he was there, Xiaocao would feel much more at ease. On the other hand, if there was something wrong with the child, it could also guard the baby with its spiritual power, so that the situation would not worsen.

Zhu Junyang was currently confused and didn’t know what to do as he stared at his wife who was in pain while letting out cold sweat. But after hearing his wife’s request, he straightened up immediately and said, “Yes, that’s right, yes! Bring the guy named Yuanzi here. He will definitely have a solution!” 

He had long guessed Yuanzi’s identity; however, since his wife didn’t want to discuss it, he didn’t ask her. There were many mysterious and unsolved riddles surrounding his wife, but he was willing to guard them for her until she planned on disclosing it. 

“Your Highness, please carry the princess consort to the delivery room first. Be careful not to let the wind blow her…” Senior Servant Li, who had just been reprimanded, saw that her master was still standing rooted in place like he didn’t know what to do. The princess consort was still sitting on the couch! 

“Oh right, yes, you’re right! Little lass, let’s head to the delivery room first. The midwife should be here soon. don’t be afraid, I’m here and I will stay by your side!” Zhu Junyang bent down and picked up Xiaocao. He strode towards the delivery room that had been prepared in advance. 

After another wave of pain passed, Yu Xiaocao looked up and saw that her husband’s forehead was covered in a thick layer of sweat. She was still in the mood to tease him, “Look at how much you’re sweating. If other people didn’t know the truth, then they would’ve thought that you’re the one who’s experiencing labor pain!” 

“If I can, then I would rather experience the pain in your stead!” Zhu Junyang was very distressed when he saw how his wife was biting her lip to endure the labor pain. In all their years together, except for the one time in Jinling, when did his little lass ever experience such pain? 

The little lass had always been delicate. When the needle pricked her finger while she was embroidering a purse, she would cry and complain to him. If pain was divided into twelve different levels, then the pain a woman experienced during childbirth would reach the highest level of pain. How could he not feel distressed for her after seeing how pale her face was while she forced herself not to let out any cries of pain? 

“Where’s the midwife? Why isn’t she here yet? Also, where’s Yuanzi? On a regular day, he would always hover around the princess consort, but when she needs him, he can’t be found anywhere…” Zhu Junyang paced back and forth in front of the delivery bed. The floor was about to be worn down from all the pacing. 

“Your Highness, don’t worry! This is princess consort’s first child, so she wouldn’t be delivering the baby so soon…” Senior Servant Li couldn’t help but try and comfort him. 

Zhu Junyang suddenly stopped pacing and looked towards her, “Senior Servant Li, is there anything that can help ease the princess consort’s pain? Don’t you see how much pain she’s experiencing?” 

“Uh…Your Highness, women are bound to experience pain like this, you…” Senior Servant Li expressed her disapproval. Who didn’t experience pain when having a baby? Even the empress had to experience pain for over five hours when she was giving birth to the crown prince. If there was a method to ease the pain, then wouldn’t it be used on the empress, who was the mother of the country? 

But this was not what Zhu Junyang wanted to hear. He waved his hand impatiently at her and said, “Okay, fine! I don’t even know why my lady mother has sent you here. You can’t help with anything and instead, all you do is say things that make me angry…” 

Senior Servant Li felt quite aggrieved by this. What did she say wrong? All she said was the truth, okay? Alas, she didn’t expect the young imperial prince to be such an unreasonable master!

“Your Highness, Young Master Yuanzi is here!” Yingchun ran until she was out of breath. She was currently dragging the little divine stone, who had been fishing in the lotus pond of the back garden. 

When she found the little divine stone, she didn’t say anything and just pulled him away. The little divine stone was still dumbfounded and puzzled as he was shoved to the front of the delivery room. At this time, he finally understood everything after he saw how much pain Xiaocao was experiencing from labor. 

He asked Imperial Prince Xu to make all the people in the delivery room that didn’t have a specific duty to leave. He put his right hand two centimeters above Xiaocao’s belly and a golden ball of light scattered from the palm of his hand. The soft light enveloped Xiaocao’s belly. Xiaocao suddenly felt the pain from her stomach easing significantly. 

“Yuanzi, can you help me check to see if my baby is okay?” When she saw the little divine stone, who was her pillar, Xiaocao relaxed immensely. When Zhu Junyang took notice of it, he felt a burst of anger rising from his heart. It seemed like he was not the only person who could give her a sense of security. 

The little divine stone used his spiritual power to softly placate the little bun inside her belly. After he retracted his hand, he said, [The baby is in good health!] 


[1] convalescing for a month - needs to follow a special diet, observe various taboos to protect the body from exposure to the "wind"

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Myst.2's Thoughts

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Translator: Vi