Imperial Physician Wei surmised that Luo Wei’s coma this time was more serious than the one he fell into when he was rescued from Ku Liu’s hands. Imperial Physician Wei’s medical skills were second to none among famous doctors. One shake of his head and one “not good” from him engendered an ominous premonition in everyone’s hearts.
After Luo Wei did not awaken for five days, Emperor Xing Wu brought the empress and the crown prince to the Senior Official’s residence to see him.
Luo Zhi Yi only glanced at Luo Wei once, and then wept bitterly. Luo Wei lay on the bed covered with a few thick quilts. If not for him occasionally talking in his sleep, he would truly look just like a corpse. Luo Zhi Yi became the consort of Emperor Xing Wu–at that time still Prince Wu–at thirteen years old. From then on, she had not returned to the Luo residence. She never thought that after so many years, she would come back to see her little nephew one last time.
Luo Zhi Qiu saw that Emperor Xing Wu’s expression was also bleak, so he had Fu Hua support Luo Zhi Yi out into the main hall to rest. He accompanied the crown prince in retreating to the outer room, allowing Emperor Xing Wu alone to keep Luo Wei company at his sickbed.
“Wei Er?” Emperor Xing Wu leaned over as he sat on the bed, softly calling Luo Wei a few times.
Luo Wei was completely unresponsive, his complexion already a consistent wan, bloodless color that even seemed gray. According to Imperial Physician Wei, this was the appearance of one approaching death.
“What on earth happened to you?” Emperor Xing Wu said to Luo Wei, “I already don’t blame you anymore, and haven’t punished your second brother again. Why would you lose control of your mood? Is it I who frightened you? Wei Er, as long as you recover this time, I will promise you that in the future I will never get angry in front of you again. I am the emperor, and my <a TITLE=”(T/N: lit. = I have a golden mouth and words of jade. Idiom)”> utterances carry great weight</A>. Wei Er just don’t scare me like this, don’t scare your Emperor Father.”
After uttering the words “Emperor Father,” Emperor Xing Wu shut his eyes and did not let the tears drip past the rims of his eyes. He had said he wanted to protect this child, but now Luo Wei had become like this. He, this emperor, was truly useless. He could not protect the woman he loved, and he likewise could not protect their son. After a hundred years, how would he face Luo Zhi Jin?
Long Yu and Luo Zhi Qiu sat in the outer room. Since Luo Wei had become like this, Long Yu wanted to speak comforting words to Luo Zhi Qiu but these words would not break past his lips. Should he say that the heavens helped the worthy, and that misfortunes became blessings? These kinds of words were worth telling only if there was someone who believed them. Or should he say to Luo Zhi Qiu that Luo Wei would definitely be fine? Long Yu did not have the capability.
“Your Highness, have tea.” Luo Zhi Qiu forced vitality to his motions as he offered tea.
“Uncle, Xiao Wei?”
“Submit to the will of the heavens ba,” Luo Zhi Qiu replied. He had already written a letter. He had ordered someone to depart on this starry night to send it to Yun Guan, so that Luo Ze would return home. If Luo Wei was truly in a bad state, at the very least the whole family must be present.
Emperor Xing Wu could not stay in the Senior Official’s residence for long, and the empress and crown prince followed him. In the eyes of others, the pampering and favor bestowed upon this sick patient seemed to have reached its end.
Long Yu did not want to go back to the palace with the emperor and empress. “This humble son wants to stay a while longer.”
Emperor Xing Wu agreed. The fact that Long Yu could care for Luo Wei allowed him the slightest bit of gratification.
After everyone in the residence respectfully sent off the emperor and empress, Luo Zhi Qiu again accompanied Long Yu to return to Luo Wei’s bedroom.
“Uncle,” Long Yu stood in front of Luo Wei’s bed and said to Luo Zhi Qiu, “I want to be with Xiao Wei alone for a while.”
Emperor Xing Wu wanting to keep Luo Wei company alone was a father’s natural instinct, and Luo Zhi Qiu could understand. But why would Long Yu wish to? Though puzzled at heart, Luo Zhi Qiu would not touch Long Yu’s <a TITLE=”(T/N: the Chinese meaning of face. Respectability, etc.)”> face</A> so he retreated to the outer room.
Long Yu saw that only he and an unconscious Luo Wei remained in the room. He walked to the front of the moon window and gently opened it halfway. Sticking out his head, he whispered to the person standing under a laurel tree, “come in.”
Long Xuan entered through the window. When his feet hit the ground, he whispered to Long Yu, “Big brother, thank you.”
“His condition is not good. Go to see him, but don’t make noise.” Long Yu shook his head at Long Xuan, whose expression was serious. “I will wait for you outside the window.” Long Yu finished speaking and climbed out the window.
Long Xuan closed the window. Last time he saw Luo Wei close it, so he also knew how to.
Long Yu stood outside the window, and when the cold wind blew, he felt chilled. Long Xuan had come running to him, almost begging for his help to see Luo Wei. Long Yu did not know what relationship Long Xuan and Luo Wei really had. He had personally heard Luo Wei say that he liked Long Xuan, and had also seen how Long Xuan would embarrass Luo Wei. Why did these two people become like fire and water after Luo Wei fell injured? Did Long Xuan do something excessive to make him and Luo Wei fall out with each other? Luo Wei ignored Long Xuan, but Long Xuan seemed to stick to Luo Wei, and Long Yu did not know what these two were thinking. Long Yu walked to the laurel tree. He would always be willing to help his brothers, but he did not know how many among his brothers would accept his care.
Long Xuan sat beside Luo Wei. “You’ll just keep sleeping like this?” he asked Luo Wei in a low voice.
Luo Wei only quietly slept.
“You!” Long Xuan suddenly stalked over as if possessed, and whispered into Luo Wei’s ear, “Didn’t you say you would fight with me till the last gasp? You’ll just leave like this? Those four foolish things, I’ll handle them so you won’t feel wronged, this isn’t enough?”
Luo Wei’s face was ice-cold. His eyebrows were still tightly furrowed as he slept.
“When I don’t allow you to die, you can’t die!” Long Xuan’s hand grabbed Luo Wei’s neck and he whispered to Luo Wei, “I want you to watch me become a monarch overlooking these lands under heaven. I want you to see with your own eyes how good an emperor I am! As long as you live, and act as the former Luo Wei, I will guarantee that your Luo clan will have no superiors! Do you hear me?!” Long Xuan hoped that he could see Luo Wei open his two eyes at this point, but Luo Wei had not even a trace of a reaction. Even his furrowed brow did not change.
The grip of Long Xuan’s hand tightened slightly.
Luo Wei’s mouth opened a bit.
Long Xuan’s hand did not loosen.
Luo Wei’s face gradually reddened, and his mouth opened wider.
“Damn you!” Long Xuan’s hand slackened, “Waiting for you to die of sickness like this, I would rather personally kill you, that way even as a ghost you wouldn’t forget me!” Long Xuan kissed Luo Wei; he kissed every inch of that beautiful face, “just because I threw away half of that mandarin duck belt buckle, you changed? Or is it that you’ve always been acting, and have simply never put me in your heart? Is it worth it to do this for Long Yu’s sake? Long Yu is better than me, I admit, but you have always been at my side!” Long Xuan’s tongue pried open Luo Wei’s mouth, which had already slightly opened. Between Luo Wei’s lips and teeth, the taste of medicine suffused. His entire mouth was bitter and astringent, but it was as if Long Xuan tasted sweet nectar. This person could not die. Before he allowed him to die, he could not die. “If you won’t speak, I’ll take it as you agreeing with me,” Long Xuan said to Luo Wei.
Standing under the laurel tree, Long Yu saw Long Xuan opening the window again. He quietly walked below the window.
The two brothers exchanged positions, and as they did so Long Yu heard Long Xuan tell him, “I’ll go back to the palace first.”
“This is the prime minister’s residence, and there are many guards. Be careful,” Long Yu warned.
“They can’t discover me.” Long Xuan was at least confident in this. “Big brother, thank you,” he said to Long Xuan. In the next instant, in a few steps, his figure had gone far away.