In a vacant area, Luo Ze was tied to a long wooden bench.
Luo Wei kept running. From a distance, he saw the rods in the hands of the four executioners raised high, heavily landing blows on his second brother’s body. Luo Wei staggered and fell to the ground.
“Third young master, third young master!” the people chasing Luo Wei shouted repeatedly.
Luo Wei got up and ran to Luo Ze.
“Young master?” Zhao Fu heard the cries behind him, and turned to see Luo Wei. Seeing Luo Wei running straight to Luo Ze, in a flash of anxiety, he couldn’t care about his own identity anymore. He ran up to stop Luo Wei, both his hands firmly gripping Luo Wei’s waist.
“Let go!” Luo Wei struggled to free himself.
“Young master, this is His Majesty’s decree. You can’t interrupt the execution!” Zhao Fu steadfastly held onto Luo Wei and said, “Young master just listen to this humble slave’s one sentence, you cannot control this matter anymore!”
“Let go!” Luo Wei was weak from his illness and could not struggle out of Zhao Fu’s hands. He turned to shout at Zhao Fu, raising his hands to hit.
“Young master!” Zhao Fu did not want to see Luo Wei angering Emperor Xing Wu at this time, leaving his entire family unprotected. “Even if you hit this humble slave to death today, this humble slave cannot let you go! Young master, do you intend to defy His Majesty’s heavenly might?”
“Xiao Wei!” Luo Ze, in the midst of his execution, heard Luo Wei’s voice. His consciousness had already become murky, but he became clearheaded again. He had been bound so tightly that he could not move an inch, and he had no choice but to lie prone as he spoke to Luo Wei: “Don’t cause trouble. Second brother committed a crime; he committed a huge blunder. It should be this way.”
“Second brother!” Luo Wei wailed.
“In the future, you have to, you have to take care of your home,” Luo Ze disjointedly said.
Luo Wei’s eye sockets widened as if they would split. The rods in the hands of these four executioners concentrated on Luo Ze’s ankles. If this beating continued, even if Luo Ze didn’t die, his legs would be lost.
“Young master, leave!” Zhao Fu dragged Luo Wei back. “Don’t watch it.” These four executioners were all the close attendants of Second Prince Long Xuan, and Zhao Fu had no way to tell them to stop.
“You go away!” Luo Wei didn’t know where his strength came from, but after shoving Zhao Fu with all of his strength, he pushed him to the ground.
“Young master!” Zhao Fu had fallen to the ground but still shouted at Luo Wei: “You must not!”
Luo Wei ran to Luo Ze in a few steps and fell on Luo Ze’s body, protecting his brother with his own back.
The four executioners hesitated for a moment, but then proceeded to strike Luo Wei’s back with their rods.
“Xiao Wei!” When Emperor Xing Wu arrived, he saw this scene and let out a loud shout.
“Stop it!” Zhao Fu saw that Emperor Xing Wu had arrived and rushed forward, shouting to the four executioners.
Sweetness rose in Luo Wei’s throat, and he spit a mouthful of blood on Luo Ze’s back.
“Xiao, Xiao Wei?” Luo Ze regained his breath after Luo Wei blocked a few strikes, and heard Luo Wei’s unsteady breathing on his back. He anxiously asked, “How are you doing?”
“I’m okay.” Luo Wei’s back was on fire, but he couldn’t care at the moment.
“Luo Wei!” Emperor Xing Wu approached at this moment, trembling with anger, “How courageous you are!”
Luo Wei lay motionless on Luo Ze.
“Pull him away!” Emperor Xing Wu commanded with rage.
The four executioners came up, reached out, and pulled Luo Wei.
“Your Majesty!” Luo Wei didn’t wait for these four people to touch him, but knelt to the ground himself close to Luo Ze.
“You dare to even stop my decreed execution?” Emperor Xing Wu admonished Luo Wei, not knowing that Luo Wei had already suffered a few blows. Emperor Xing Wu could not feel distressed, he was truly enraged. “Is it that I pampered you too much, letting you lose sight of right and wrong?!
“Your Majesty!” Luo Wei said to Emperor Xing Wu. “My elder brother made a big mistake, but why did Consort Xu appear in the middle of that valley? The way into the hunting grounds was obviously not there!”
“You mean this is my sister-in-law’s fault?!” Long Xiang said angrily. “Luo Wei, at this time you still have to quibble for your brother?!”
“Your Majesty,” Luo Wei ignored Long Xiang, and only said to Emperor Xing Wu: “This matter concerns imperial sons. This humble servant only hopes that His Majesty can investigate in detail.”
“In your opinion, the Commander General has no fault?” Long Xuan said.
“Your Majesty,” Luo Wei was even less likely to pay Long Xuan any attention. At this time, their Luo family’s only opportunity at a reprieve from death was in Emperor Xing Wu’s hands. “My elder brother joined the army at the age of thirteen and has made countless outstanding contributions. Guarding the capital in these years, there’s even less room for even the slightest lack of diligence. This humble servant didn’t want to stop the execution. It’s only that elder brother is a military man, but the rod fell on his ankles over and over. With such punishment, elder brother’s two legs would be destroyed.”
“What do you want to say?” Emperor Xing Wu asked.
“Your Majesty, this humble lowly servant’s elder brother can protect our Great Zhou and open new territories on its behalf, and he has a beloved wife and a young child at home.” Luo Wei’s face almost stuck to the yellow soil. “Luo Wei is only a person who reads books and lacks accomplishments, even lacking the strength to truss a chicken; unmarried and carefree. This humble servant will compensate for the young Imperial grandson’s life on his elder brother’s behalf. This humble servant begs His Majesty to fulfill this wish!”
“You!” Emperor Xing Wu was so angry that he could not speak.
Luo Wei looked at Luo Zhi Qiu, who was staring at him in shock, and unexpectedly smiled.
“Wei Er!” Luo Zhi Qiu realized something, and a shout erupted from his lips.
Luo Wei got up and ran to a big stone not far away from him, slamming himself against it. If he had to die to resolve this matter, then he had better die.
“Young master!” Zhao Fu had been standing behind Luo Wei. Watching Luo Wei knock himself against that big stone, Zhao Fu instinctively reached out and pulled.
“Wei Er!” Emperor Xing Wu, Luo Zhi Qiu, and Luo Ze all shouted out in grief.
Luo Wei was pulled away by Zhao Fu, and the force with which he hit the stone was much smaller. However, he had still slammed himself against it to the point that blood flooded out from his head, and he fainted on the spot. Though he didn’t know why, Emperor Xing Wu favored him. He hoped that this move could make Emperor Xing Wu let second brother go and do away with his anger at the Luo family. Long Xuan dared to use the ruse of self-injury, so Luo Wei naturally also dared. It was just that Luo Wei would not harm others.
“Imperial physician!” Emperor Xing Wu saw Luo Wei’s face painted in blood, motionless in Zhao Fu’s arms. He was so frightened that he could not breathe. For the sake of an imperial descendant who had not yet come to this world, he would have to bury his and Yu Zhi Jin’s son. Emperor Xing Wu could not bear this cost. “Imperial physician, quickly call the imperial physician over!”
Zhao Fu’s hand covered the wound on Luo Wei’s head. The blood flowing from the injury instantly dyed his hand red.
Emperor Xing Wu could no longer care that he was under the gaze of thousands of staring eyes (T/N: idiom. Figuratively means many eyes, not truly thousands). With quick steps, on the brink of breaking into a run, he rushed to Luo Wei’s side.
“Your Majesty.” Zhao Fu hugged Luo Wei and dared not move.
“Wei Er?” Emperor Xing Wu reached out carefully to Luo Wei’s nose to feel for breath. Feeling a minute breeze, only then did he manage to breathe smoothly again.
Luo Zhi Qiu also ran a few steps forward, but upon seeing Emperor Xing Wu almost squatting down beside Luo Wei, he abruptly stopped. He only stood in his original position and watched, his heart riddled with anxiety while he remained too afraid to go closer.
Luo Wei’s consciousness returned. He opened his eyes, and saw Emperor Xing Wu in front of him.
“How, how are you?” Emperor Xing Wu watched Luo Wei open his eyes to look at him and hurriedly said, “You hold on, the imperial physician will come soon!”
“Beseeching you to bestow mercy,” Luo Wei only continued to beg Emperor Xing Wu. “This humble servant is willing to pay with his life, let this humble servant’s second brother go.”