The imperial physicians sent by Emperor Xing Wu and asked after by Luo Zhi Qiu all could not see to Luo Wei. After waking from his light sleep, Luo Wei refused to stay in the Western Mountains for a moment more. He hurried to see Luo Ze. Long Xuan would soon be able to leave the capital, and he also needed to consider what to do next.
“Your back suffered the blow of the rods. Let the imperial physicians see your back injuries first,” Luo Zhi Qiu said to Luo Wei.
“Just a few blows. When have I been so delicate that I can’t bump into anything?” Luo Wei refused.
“Then you have to see His Majesty. He also cares about you,” Luo Zhi Qiu replied.
“I will go to the palace to beg for His Majesty’s forgiveness,” Luo Wei said. “Now that all this has happened, how can I go to see your majesty? Should I go and plead for him not to confine second brother again?”
“It’s better to let Yun Qi go back,” Xie Yu thought that Luo Wei would be better off leaving now. “His Majesty is still in a fit of anger. If he sees Yun Qi again he might take his anger out on him.”
Emperor Xing Wu was currently so distressed for Luo Wei, how could he take out any anger on him? Luo Zhi Qiu had a hard time expressing this. Apart from Wei Lan, who wouldn’t think too much, Luo Wei and Xie Yu both had detail-oriented mindsets. If Luo Zhi Qiu said one unnecessary phrase, he was afraid that these two might figure that something was not quite right.
Luo Wei took Wei Lan and a team of ministerial bodyguards away.
“You let him go back in the snow?” Luo Zhi Qiu was left to face Emperor Xing Wu’s wrath.
“Xiao Wei is worried about his second brother,” Luo Zhi Qiu said.
“Their brotherly affections are so deep!” Emperor Xing Wu thought of Luo Wei blocking the blows of the execution rods for Luo Ze, and discomfort rose in his heart. That was his son, with a clear distinction in position from the officials of court. Now all he could do was watch his son exhaust his thoughts and ingenuity on behalf of the Luo family.
Luo Zhi Qiu had nothing to say. Luo Wei not returning to the imperial family was good for everyone, except that it wronged the child himself.
“Have Imperial Physician Wei go to the Senior Official’s residence,” Emperor Xing Wu finished venting his anger and said to Zhao Fu. “If there’s anything wrong with Luo Wei’s health, have him quickly report it to me.”
“Your Majesty, then regarding Luo Ze?” Luo Zhi Qiu asked.
“His matters will be discussed when the hunt concludes,” said Emperor Xing Wu. “He has fault, should he not be punished?”
Luo Zhi Qiu had no choice but to kneel down again to beg in humble apology.
“You may rise. How did Wei Er go back? Sitting in a carriage or on horseback?” Emperor Xing Wu asked.
Luo Zhi Qiu hurriedly replied, “He went back by carriage.”
The four-wheeled carriage bumped along on a public road. Luo Wei partially reclined as he drank the medicinal soup held in Wei Lan’s hands. The carriage kept shaking, rendering Luo Wei’s stomach gradually more uncomfortable. In a single moment when he couldn’t hold back, he spat out all the medicine he had already ingested.
Wei Lan called for the driver to stop.
“Don’t,” Luo Wei said as he took a breath, “stopping halfway would be even more terrible.”
“Young master, let me see your back,” Wei Lan requested, “I also have medicine here. If the skin is broken, we can apply it.”
“Not broken,” Luo Wei refuted, “no blood came out.”
“If you don’t see it how would you know whether you are injured or not?” Wei Lan tried to persuade Luo Wei: “If the young master goes home like this, the mistress and second young master will worry.”
Luo Wei lay on the soft cushion. “Take a look then,” he said to Wei Lan.
Wei Lan took the heater in the car close to him and Luo Wei, and then slowly pulled off Luo Wei’s upper garments. After seeing the large swath of Luo Wei’s back covered in bruises nearing a rich purple hue, Wei Lan sucked in a cold breath.
“What is it?” Luo Wei asked.
“Does it hurt?” Wei Lan didn’t dare to touch Luo Wei’s back with his hand.
“It’s fine,” Luo Wei answered. It was only a few strikes of the execution rod. Compared to the torture he’d endured in his previous life, this didn’t count as much.
“Young master, do you have anywhere that’s uncomfortable? You just vomited medicine, is your stomach uncomfortable?” Wei Lan inquired.
“My stomach is a bit congested, but it’s just a bit.” Luo Wei did not conceal this from Wei Lan.
Wei Lan gently placed his hand on Luo Wei’s back, rubbed it gently, and immediately heard the sounds of Luo Wei’s breathing. Wei Lan was also someone accustomed to receiving punishment, and he was unafraid of purpling or swelling with red. However, he was afraid that Luo Wei had suffered internal injuries.
“Don’t continue,” Luo Wei said as he bore the pain, “go back and let the doctor see it.”
Wei Lan wanted to transfer some internal energy to make Luo Wei more comfortable. Just as he thought to do this, he realized that he didn’t know where Luo Wei was hurt. Hastily transferring his internal energy could even worsen Luo Wei’s condition.
“Are the injuries heavy?” Luo Wei couldn’t see his own back and could only ask Wei Lan.
“Young master should have stayed in the Western Mountains so the imperial physicians could take a look,” Wei Lan said.
“I’m more at ease at home,” Luo Wei reached out for his clothes.
Wei Lan dressed Luo Wei for him and said, “Does the young master want to hide from the second prince?”
“That person handles matters unreasonably.” Luo Wei heard Wei Lan mention Long Xuan, and immediately advised, “Lan, you should really avoid him a bit in the future.”
“He, to the young master,” Wei Lan couldn’t bring himself to speak of the kiss.
“Just consider it as something you haven’t seen,” Luo Wei said. “Just take it as that person going mad.”
“He likes… likes young master?”
These words scared Luo Wei to stillness. He then turned to Wei Lan and said with a smile, “To be liked by this person is the most unfortunate thing in the world. Lan, never say this again in the future.”
“I know, he and the crown prince are adversaries,” Wei Lan said, “I heard the second young master mention this.”
“My second brother,” Luo Wei shook his head.
“Second young master spoke wrongly?”
“It’s right,” Luo Wei said, “but it’s just that he shouldn’t say it everywhere. He only said this to Lan?”
“I was not alone at the time,” Wei Lan replied.
“Look,” Luo Wei fastened his sash and asked Wei Lan, “Lan, the martial arts of the Second Prince have been exhibited. Say, could a few of your brothers eliminate a person like him?”
Wei Lan was momentarily dazed.
“There will also be experts like those from Ming Jian Villa at his side,” Luo Wei added.
“Young master, killing should not occur when there are many people present. If the preferred method is death under a blade, there are many ways,” Wei Lan confided in a low voice.
“Don’t be nervous,” Luo Wei quickly replied, “I’m just asking, I haven’t thought of killing anyone.”
The carriage momentarily sunk into silence.
Quite a long time later, Luo Wei spoke: “Relax, you all are no longer Qi Lin Shadow Guards. I will not let your brothers become murder weapons again.”
“If the young master wants to kill someone,” Wei Lan said, “Wei Lan can go.”
“I know, you even want to kill a prince,” Luo Wei leaned on Wei Lan’s shoulder. “Remember my words, this person is someone Lan can’t afford to provoke. Don’t provoke him, and avoid him when you see him.”
“What about the young master?”
“I will also be careful,” Luo Wei looked up at Wei Lan, “and avoid that person.”
Wei Lan lowered his head, and his lips met with Luo Wei’s.
When Luo Wei’s carriage stopped in front of the gate of the Senior Official’s residence, it was already past three in the morning.
The snowfall within the city was heavier than that outside of it. The streets outside the ministerial residence and the high steps leading into it were all covered in thick layers of snow. A steward brought a servant with him who carried a lantern to receive Luo Wei outside of the estate.
Wei Lan supported Luo Wei out of the car, “Let’s ask the doctor to take a look first.”
“I’ll go and see my second brother first.” Luo Wei patted Wei Lan’s hand in reassurance.
“Is the young master uncomfortable?” The steward asked hurriedly. “The doctor who examined the second young master is still in the house.”
“How is my second brother?” Luo Wei asked.
The steward said with a bitter expression, “The second young master’s leg was badly injured, and the doctor said he cannot get out of bed for a few months.”
Luo Wei let out a sigh of relief. He ignored his physical pain for the moment, and after quickly stepping into the estate, he walked to Luo Ze’s courtyard.