Luo Wei was still taking an afternoon nap while Wei Lan practiced writing at a table beside him. Xiao Xiao rushed towards Luo Wei’s room while shouting “young master” the entire way.
Luo Wei was awakened by Xiao Xiao, but he turned to Wei Lan to ask, “What’s wrong?”
“Young master,” Xiao Xiao rushed to the foot of Luo Wei’s bed. “Something disastrous happened!”
“What disaster?” Luo Wei asked. He was still a little muddleheaded and not yet fully awake.
“Young master,” Xiao Xiao almost reached out to shake Luo Wei to wakefulness, “The second young master has had an accident!”
Luo Wei didn’t have a speck of drowsiness anymore, and he immediately turned over and sat up. “What happened to my second brother?!” Today was the day of the Imperial Hunt in the Western Mountains. Did something happen in the hunting grounds?
Xiao Xiao was in a state of panic; he incoherently recounted what he had previously heard in the courtyard.
Luo Wei sat and listened to Xiao Xiao. He didn’t speak for a long while, but all the color in his face faded.
Wei Lan was frightened by this sudden disaster. Conspiring to murder a descendant of the emperor–how could the Second Young Master bear the burden of such a criminal charge? When Wei Lan recovered, he found that Luo Wei’s expression was not right. He quickly called out to him: “Young master?”
“Xiao Xiao,” Luo Wei said, “I want to change clothes.”
Xiao Xiao rushed to the clothes hangers to grab Luo Wei’s clothes.
“Lan,” Luo Wei spoke to Wei Lan again. “I’m going to the Western Mountain hunting grounds. Prepare the horses for me, I won’t ride a carriage.”
“The young master wants to go on horseback?”
“It’s okay,” Luo Wei forced himself to smile at Wei Lan. “If I can’t persevere, Lan, you can take me.”
Wei Lan nodded and went out to prepare the horses.
“Young master, get dressed.” Xiao Xiao brought Luo Wei’s clothes over.
Luo Wei hurriedly dressed and walked out of the bedroom to the main courtyard of the estate, followed by Xiao Xiao.
In the main hall within the courtyard, Bo Hua and Xu Yue Miao sat, out of their wits. Many servant women and young maids wailed, completing a scene that made it seem as if the house would soon be ransacked.
“Mother, second sister-in-law.” Luo Wei walked in quickly, still not lacking in etiquette and saluting with respect.
“Wei Er.” (T/N: “Er” is a familiar term of endearment appended to one’s name) Bo Hua saw Luo Wei at this moment and it was as if she’d found a support to rely on. “Your second brother…”
“Your son already knows about it,” Luo Wei said as he approached Bo Hua. “Mother, don’t worry, your son will go to the Western Mountains.”
“Okay.” Bo Hua had no ideas at this moment and could only listen to Luo Wei.
“Good then, don’t cry.” Luo Wei shouted to the crying servants and maids: “What are you crying like this for, for the extermination of a family and the confiscation of its possessions? My Luo family is still far from that day; I’m telling you to wipe your tears clean! Where’s the steward? If anyone else cries then get out of the estate for me! My Luo family doesn’t need you lot if you’re like this, a bunch of mourning servants!”
The steward standing to the side hurriedly went to stand in front of the crowd of maids, repeatedly gesturing at the eyes and urging the women not to cry.
Luo Wei had never been fierce in this household since his rebirth. Today’s outburst was even more vicious than those coming from the Third Young Master Luo of the past. The large room immediately quieted and no one dared to speak again. Even Bo Hua and Xu Yue Miao were frightened, speechlessly staring at Luo Wei.
“Second sister-in-law, go back and see Xiao You, don’t let him be scared,” Luo Wei had his outburst and then regained his composure. He softly said to Xu Yue Miao: “Little Brother will definitely protect Second Brother from harm, second sister-in-law please be at ease.”
Xu Yue Miao could only nod. At this time, Bo Hua had no ideas, and Xu Yue Miao somehow had even fewer.
“Wei Er.” Bo Hua looked at the terrified Xu Yue Miao, and said to Luo Wei: “Your father can only kneel outside of His Majesty’s tent now, what can you do?”
“How could second brother hurt royal descendants?” Luo Wei replied. “There must be something else in these matters. Mother, don’t worry, aunt is still at the Western Mountains. She won’t have something happen to second brother in front of her. By the way, mother, who came back to report? Your son wants to see him.”
“He’s outside. Should I call him in?”
“No,” Luo Wei answered, “I’ll go outside and ask him some questions. Mother, now the family still needs you to stay and guard it. Even if some disaster has befallen my Luo family, this cannot be displayed for outsiders to laugh at.”
“Mother knows.” Bo Hua stabilized her mind. Luo Wei was right, no matter what, the family could not fall into chaos. The father and sons were outside, and as the matriarch she should protect the household well for them.
“Then your son is going.” Luo Wei turned and began to leave.
“Little brother,” Xu Yue Miao stood up and shouted at Luo Wei.
“Second sister-in-law still has some instructions?” Luo Wei stopped and asked.
“Everything depends on little brother,” Xu Yue Miao said. Now she just wanted a promise that Luo Ze would be fine. No matter who gave her that promise, as long as she could receive it she would better.
“Okay,” Luo Wei smiled gently at Xu Yue Miao. “Second sister-in-law, wait at home with Yu Er and don’t worry. Little brother will definitely see to Second Brother’s safe return.”
Xu Yue Miao nodded her head. Luo Wei’s existence had never before allowed her to feel at ease like today.
Luo Wei exited the main hall. The one who reported back, Luo Zhi Qiu’s attendant, walked to the front of him.
“Let’s talk while walking.” Luo Wei didn’t stop his steps, and said to the attendant: “Tell me again what’s going on.”
The attendant followed Luo Wei all the way out of the house and got on a horse rushing towards the Western Mountains.
Luo Wei kept silent all the way. After listening to the attendant narrate these matters in full detail, Luo Wei only felt waves of blackness fall before his eyes. How could a woman from the Back Palace appear in a closed-off valley in the Western Mountains? To protect her fetus, Lady Xu should clearly have been bedridden to convalesce. How could she run off to the Western Mountain hunting grounds? Long Xuan, it must be Long Xuan! This person actually… Luo Wei’s body swayed on the horse.
Wei Lan had been following Luo Wei closely at his side. Seeing that Luo Wei was about to fall off his horse, he leaned over and stretched out a supporting hand, anxiously asking, “Is the young master uncomfortable?”
“I’m fine,” Luo Wei took a deep breath. “Let’s hurry it up.”
“I’ll take the young master,” Wei Lan said.
“No, I’m okay,” Luo Wei declined, raising his whip. The white horse felt the sting of the whip, snorted, and ran forward.
Wei Lan closely followed Luo Wei as if he were the Imperial Guard of a prime minister.
When Luo Wei arrived at the hunting grounds, it was already dusk.
“Third young master?” Zhao Fu saw Luo Wei. He knew that Luo Wei would definitely come, but still pretended to be surprised, saying to Luo Wei: “How come you came?”
When Luo Wei had just entered the mountain, he had already heard from Luo Ze’s men that Luo Ze was in custody under the orders of Emperor Xing Wu. Furthermore, his father Luo Zhi Qiu was still in Emperor Xing Wu’s tent and had not come out. “Mister Zhao,” Luo Wei said to Zhao Fu. “I want to request to see His Majesty. Mister please pass on my request for me.” (T/N: I’m using “mister” in place of “eunuch” per Acid’s original translations. The Chinese words, 公公, can also mean Grandpa.)
“Young master,” Zhao Fu whispered to Luo Wei, “how can His Majesty meet you now? You should go back to your house and wait for news.”
Luo Wei stood still and beseeched Zhao Fu: “Please pass this on for me, mister. If His Majesty won’t see me, Luo Wei will resign himself to that.”
Bo Hua’s name in Chinese looks to me more like Fu Hua. However, I will keep the original translation of “Bo Hua.”
Thank you Thrien for the Ko-Fi and lovely words of encouragement :*