Luo Zhi Qiu had only heard of the century-old snow mountain ginseng from books, and had never seen it before in person. Luo Zhi Qiu didn’t think about how Long Xuan could obtain such a precious item for now. What surprised him was that Long Xuan would unexpectedly send this to Luo Wei. Zhao Fu’s words were clear–Emperor Xing Wu had already found people to examine the ginseng, and they had declared that it had no problems and was safe for Luo Wei to use.
“Prime minister, take it ba.” Zhao Fu watched Luo Zhi Qiu standing there slow and motionless, so he handed the brocade box in his hand to Luo Zhi Qiu.
“Official thanks His Majesty and His Second Highness on behalf of his child,” Luo Zhi Qiu took the box and said. Because this was sent by Long Xuan, Luo Zhi Qiu didn’t have to knock his head on the floor as he expressed thanks like he did when receiving Emperor Xing Wu’s rewards.
Imperial Physician Wei had written the medical record and sent it to Zhao Fu. Emperor Xing Wu was still waiting for news in the palace, so Zhao Fu did not dare to stay long. He said a few auspicious words to Luo Zhi Qiu for the New Year, and after receiving Luo Zhi Qiu’s reward, he and the people he brought went back to the palace.
Luo Zhiqiu showed the snow mountain ginseng to Imperial Physician Wei and asked him, “Can my son use this ginseng?”
After seeing the snow mountain ginseng lying in the brocade box, Imperial Physician Wei’s eyes lit up as he said, “Prime minister, this is snow mountain ginseng ah!”
Luo Zhi Qiu confirmed, “Yes, it was obtained by the Second Highness. It’s said to be a hundred years old.”
Upon hearing that this item was a century-old snow mountain ginseng, Imperial Physician Wei was unable to sit still. He had his young manservant call over the other imperial physicians. Several people surrounding this snow mountain ginseng as if in worship.
Luo Zhi Qiu had to ask again, “Can Luo Wei use this ginseng?”
“Yes,” Imperial Physician Wei answered, “Although this item is not as it is in folklore, bringing the dead back to life, it really is a superior item that supplements and strengthens the core. The third young master cannot use anything better than this.”
Several imperial physicians nodded and agreed.
Luo Zhi Qiu handed over the snow mountain ginseng to Imperial Physician Wei and then hesitated for a long time, but still expressed his concerns with Imperial Physician Wei alone. “Master Wei also knows that there is discord between my son and His Second Highness. This time, His Second Highness disregarded former hatred and bestowed this panacea. Originally I could not thank him enough, but it’s only that Luo Wei is still young. I fear that he won’t know right from wrong, so I hope Master Wei won’t tell my son where this ginseng came from.”
Imperial Physician Wei readily agreed. As long as he healed Luo Wei, according to Emperor Xing Wu’s pampering love for Luo Wei, Imperial Physician Wei should be able to receive countless rewards. Perhaps he could even be promoted to nobility. The internal strife between these imperial relatives and people with powerful connections, he would treat as invisible.
Luo Wei slept until the sun set and evening fell, and when he opened his eyes, he saw that Wei Lan was still keeping watch at his bedside.
“You woke up?” Wei Lan’s hand covered Luo Wei’s forehead. There was none of the heat from a fever, which was a good thing.
“I want to eat something,” Luo Wei said.
“What does the young master want to eat?” Wei Lan asked. “I’ll go to the kitchen and have them cook.”
“That egg custard is not bad, let them make that,” Luo Wei replied.
“Okay, wait a minute.” Wei Lan got up to leave.
“Let Nineteen and the rest come in to see me,” Luo Wei stopped Wei Lan and said.
Wei Lan asked, “Is there something the young master wants them to do?”
“I only said half of what I meant to the last time,” Luo Wei said.”Didn’t you say I scared them that time? Let them come and accompany me to talk a bit.”
“Just talking? Young master, the prime minister and imperial physicians all said you can’t be troubled.”
“I have something to make them do,” Luo Wei saw Wei Lan looking awkward, and decided to speak frankly. “Lan, I’m already awake. How can I not think? Someone who doesn’t think is a fool.”
Wei Lan compromised. Luo Wei had already thought about what to do, so what else could he say? He went out and asked Nineteen and the rest, this group of five, to enter the inner room and see Luo Wei. He himself left for the kitchen, asking the chefs to make that tasteless egg custard for Luo Wei.
In the inner room, Luo Wei dressed himself, got out of bed, and sat on the ornamented chair beside the round table. His head was still dizzy, and after only putting on his clothes, he began to pant. Luo Wei frowned–how could this body reach this level of inadequacy?
Nineteen and the four others came in and saw Luo Wei sitting there waiting for them. They hurriedly began to kneel and pay respects.
“No need,” Luo Wei immediately said, “I just counted. There are exactly five empty stools in this room. Please sit down.”
“These subordinates dare not,” Nineteen bowed his head and demurred.
“Sit down,” Luo Wei insisted. “I can’t even successfully invite you to sit? The lot of you don’t have to be so humble and proper in front of me.”
Among the five people, Forty-two was the youngest. Hearing Luo Wei smilingly speaking thusly, Forty-two really sat his butt down and even asked Luo Wei, “Young master, is your health better now?”
“Much better,” Luo Wei smiled and looked at Nineteen. Even Wei Lan called him big brother Nineteen. This person’s words must carry the most weight among these five shadow guards.
“Thank you young master,” Nineteen thanked Luo Wei and then sat on the round stool opposite Luo Wei.
Once Nineteen sat, the three still standing all sat down.
“Wei Lan has already spoken with me about Nineteen’s matters,” Luo Wei wanted to finish what he was going to say before Wei Lan returned, so he cut to the chase and looked at Nineteen as he spoke.
Nineteen sat stiffly. He saw Luo Wei’s face held a gentle smile, without a trace of anger.
“Nineteen doesn’t have to care too much,” Luo Wei continued. “Your brothers are all here, each with good martial arts. They all need you to take care of them. With damaged internal force, it’s fine if you slowly practice.”
“Big brother Nineteen, your internal strength is damaged?” cried Forty-two.
“What is it?” Luo Wei asked Forty-two. “Your big brother Nineteen may not be able to beat you anymore, so you won’t listen to him?”
“I’ll listen,” Forty-two was a rarity among the shadow guards; he still had a bit of a child’s temperament. He said, “I listen to big brother Nineteen,” looked at Luo Wei, and then said, “I also listen to the young master.”
“Don’t talk nonsense!” Nineteen scolded Forty-two, “You naturally should listen to the young master!”
Luo Wei coughed a few times from laughter, “Listen to me, and listen to big brother Nineteen,” he said to the other shadow guards. “Big brother is big brother, he wouldn’t hurt you.”
All four nodded. Among their surviving shadow guards, Nineteen was the one with highest seniority and the oldest. Qi Lin Shadow Guards operated by having the older ones teach the younger ones. To the shadow guards, the words of their seniors were not much different from an imperial edict. Even if the substance in them sometimes acted up such that they had no way to reduce the effects and would engage in intercourse to release it, the shadow guards still regarded each other more as family. Their relations were not as filthy as outsiders guessed.
“My father’s disciple Xie Yu, young master Xie went to Yue Zhou,” Luo Wei said to the shadow guards. “Do you all know this?”
“Twenty-nine has mentioned,” Nineteen replied, and then realized that Twenty-nine was now called Wei Lan. He hurriedly corrected himself, “I mean Wei Lan said this to us.”
Luo Wei didn’t think too much of it and smiled, “Young Master Xie’s parents will come back to the capital in these few days. I want you to protect them on their way to Yue Zhou.”