Long Yu sat beside Luo Zhi Qiu. Though he frowned with worry, he still appeared gentle. “Uncle, I know Xiao Wei did a lot for me,” Long Yu whispered to Luo Zhi Qiu, “I also know that Long Xuan has some considerations.”
The gaze Luo Zhi Qiu watched Long Yu with changed.
“The Liu family’s extermination made Xiao Wei attract abuse, but the biggest beneficiary was me,” Long Yu said. “I am very grateful to Xiao Wei.”
“Then Your Highness should also know that if the Second Highness leaves the capital, we can’t anticipate what he will do next. Your Highness feels reassured enough for him to leave the capital?” Luo Zhi Qiu asked.
“Washing oneself of misfortune is a custom of the imperial family,” Long Yu said. “It is a fact that Long Xuan lost his son. Even if we wanted to, we couldn’t stop it. I think that after Lady Xu and her two subordinates’ deaths, in this world only Long Xuan knows how that child died. “
“Then why does Your Highness want Xiao Wei to leave the capital and go south?”
“Uncle, Long Xuan does not recognize me as his elder brother, but I still want to recognize him as a younger brother,” Long Yu replied. “I don’t want to see the worst result.”
“The worst result?”
“Xuan killing Xiao Wei, or Xiao Wei killing Xuan.”
“Your Highness! His Second Highness is a prince. How can Xiao Wei have the intent to kill him?” Luo Zhi Qiu hurriedly said. “Neither Xiao Wei nor this old minister can bear the weight of such words.”
“Uncle, we speak in private, and I don’t want to hide anything from you,” Long Yu replied. “Xiao Wei has the courage. He dealt with Liu Shuang Shi not because of the grudges between the Luos and the Lius, but for Long Xuan’s ambition to claim the rivers and mountains.” (T/N reminder: “rivers and mountains” = “this country.”)
This was Luo Zhi Qiu’s first time hearing Long Yu speaking of such matters, and he almost suspected that the person sitting next to him was not Long Yu.
“Now Imperial Concubine Li also has a son,” Long Yu continued, “This throne, there is one more person to fight for it. Even if Xuan doesn’t fight, my little brothers would not give up. My two brothers of the same mother, which of them is willing to become an official? Perhaps only Long Xiang doesn’t have this kind of intent right now, but what about in the future? Who knows whether as he grows older, this inclination will arise within him? I looked for Imperial Physician Wei to ask after Xiao Wei’s illness, and his condition is not good. Now he has damaged his heart arteries. Uncle, with Xiao Wei being in the capital and watching the intrigue within our imperial family, can he peacefully recuperate?”
Luo Zhi Qiu lowered his head. Long Yu was speaking the truth.
“I’m doing this for Xuan, but also for Xiao Wei,” Long Yu said. “Prime minister’s little young master shouldn’t live this kind of life. This time I went to the south and saw its verdant hills and clear waters, and my mood was much better than when I was in the capital. Xiao Wei should also go there and live for a time to change his frame of mind.”
“As long as Xiao Wei doesn’t speak up himself, His Majesty won’t let him go,” Luo Zhi Qiu also spoke the truth to Long Yu.
“Then uncle, persuade Xiao Wei,” Long Yu replied. “I will also see him in your residence, I owe him a thank you.”
“What about His Second Highness, what is Your Highness’s plan?” Luo Zhi Qiu asked.
“Uncle shall arrange this, just don’t harm his life.”
How should they approach this matter to meet Long Yu’s request? Luo Zhi Qiu didn’t know, but he agreed. If he didn’t handle this kind of matter, who could he trust to do so?
“Uncle has also worked hard right?” Long Yu got up and said, “He should clearly focus on how to help my Emperor Father govern this country, but now he has to think mostly on this throne. It’s a tough job for uncle.”
“Your Highness’s words are heavy,” Luo Zhi Qiu also got up and said, “This kind of thing has been unavoidable from ancient times to the present. Your Highness is the first son of the Empress. Inheriting the throne is originally within reason. This old minister hopes Your Highness won’t be overly sentimental.”
“It would be nice if my Emperor Father could really live for ten thousand years so that us sons don’t have to fight,” Long Yu whispered to Luo Zhi Qiu in jest. (T/N: Long Yu hopes his father can accomplish 万岁万万岁–lit. Translation = ten thousand years, ten thousand ten thousand years–which is a customary greeting court officials pay to the emperor in unison).
“His Highness can’t make such a joke.”
“If I can’t speak straightforwardly in front of my uncle, what freedom do I, this Crown Prince, have? In the past I could tease Xiao Wei for fun, but now that he’s like this, I don’t dare to tease anymore.” Long Yu curled his lips into a smile, and that calm and gentle crown prince immediately disappeared. His whole person seemed to have changed at the flip of a switch.
Luo Zhi Qiu sighed helplessly. This version of Long Yu, if he only appeared before Luo Zhi Qiu, was all right. If all the other officials witnessed this, they would definitely be frightened out of their wits.
Luo Wei’s illness rendered Emperor Xing Wu unwilling to hunt. He passed the responsibility of the third day’s hunt to Long Yu and Grand Prince Xin, Long Yi. After three days of hunting ended, Emperor Xing Wu ordered a return to the capital without a moment’s pause.
What Emperor Xing Wu did not expect was that, when he just arrived at the palace, Luo Wei was already waiting for him at the Hall of Eternal Light.
“Why are you here?” Emperor Xing Wu supported Luo Wei up from the ground and asked, “Did Imperial Physician Wei allow you to leave the official’s residence?”
“This lowly humble servant is here to beg His Majesty’s forgiveness,” Luo Wei replied.
“This child!” Emperor Xing Wu wanted to get angry again, but Luo Wei was standing in front of him, so he could not express the fire within him even if it had risen.
Even Zhao Fu and others like him could see that Luo Wei’s complexion was incredibly poor, to the point that even his lips were pale. Without Emperor Xing Wu’s instructions, Zhao Fu already brought his subordinate eunuchs along to burn the charcoal furnaces in the Hall of Eternal Light. Luo Wei had just been ordered to sit by Emperor Xing Wu when Zhao Fu immediately presented a bowl of ginseng soup to him.
“Drink and then talk,” Emperor Xing Wu ordered Luo Wei.
Luo Wei sat beside Emperor Xing Wu (T/N: he sat at Emperor Xing Wu’s 下首, which means that he sat at a lowlier position. For example, the head of the table or the seats immediately to the sides of it are 上首, meaning a position of higher rank. So Luo Wei’s seat would be far from those high rank positions, as 下首), drinking ginseng soup in gulps.
“The matters this time I will let go of,” said Emperor Xing Wu. “If you dare to hurt yourself again next time, I will definitely not easily forgive!”
Luo Wei put down the ginseng soup in his hand, and began to kneel to beg for forgiveness.
“Just drink,” Emperor Xing Wu hurriedly said, “You just sit down and listen to me.”
“I don’t dare to next time,” Luo Wei replied, seemingly with a bit of fear.
“There is no next time,” said Emperor Xing Wu.”Wei Er, when did I ever act fiercely towards you? You are sick and still came to the palace to beg forgiveness, do you fear me this much?”
Luo Wei replied, “The lowly servant made a mistake this time, and there’s also this lowly servant’s second elder brother. Now he has been placed under house arrest by Your Majesty, and this lowly servant also wants to beg for forgiveness on his behalf.”
“It seems that you ran here this time for Luo Ze.” Emperor Xing Wu could not bear to see Luo Wei while he calculated for the Luo family’s sake, and his expression sank immediately. “Shouldn’t he be punished?”
Luo Wei glanced at Emperor Xing Wu with a face full of grievances, but still said, “He should be punished.”
At this time, the eunuch outside the hall loudly announced, “Your Majesty, the Second Prince requests an audience.”
Luo Wei stood up from his seat. Zhao Fu was actually afraid that Luo Wei could not stand up and stretched out a hand to support him.
After Long Xuan entered the hall, he and Luo Wei glanced at each other. Both sets of eyes were indifferent.
“This humble son pays respects to Emperor Father, may he live a long life, may he live ten thousand years,” Long Xuan made grand gestures of respect towards Emperor Xing Wu.
“Rise,” Emperor Xing Wu said.
“This lowly servant has seen His Second Highness,” Luo Wei bowed and showed courtesy to Long Xuan.
“Yun Qi,” Long Xuan opened his mouth slightly, his lips splitting into a smile towards Luo Wei.
“Long Xuan, what have you come to see me for?” Emperor Xing Wu asked.
“Emperor Father, your humble son is not filial.” Long Xuan had just stood up, but at this time he knelt to the ground again, saying, “This humble son did not govern his family strictly, causing his eldest son to lack protection. This humble son deserves death!”
Emperor Xing Wu replied, “I also know that you are upset, and soon it will be the Lunar New Year. I don’t want you to leave the capital at that time, but the customs of our ancestors cannot be abolished. You shall still quickly leave the capital to wash away your misfortune.”
Jimorlas, thank you for the Ko-Fi and encouraging words. You’re really adding oil for this translator over the interweb! :*
Translator was suppressing the urge to reply to the Long Yu comments in the last chapter. Had to avoid spoiling his 180 here… what a sneaky boi