Seeing the generals arguing to the point that they flushed with anger, Emperor Xing Wu’s expression also became worse and worse. Luo Zhi Qiu, this Senior Official, opened his mouth: “Your Majesty, the generals only just found out about Northern Yan’s civil unrest. From this humble servant’s point of view, we should give the generals some more time to think carefully.”
Emperor Xing Wu also knew that there were no results from today’s discussion. Black Frost City’s powerful defense was bestowed by the heavens, and wasn’t changeable through the efforts of men in one morning and night. For a hundred years, which emperor had not dreamt of returning Black Frost City to Greater Zhou with his own hands? But concurrently, which had achieved his wish? “Another discussion,” Emperor Xing Wu waved a hand to let everyone disperse.
Before exiting the hall, Luo Zhi Qiu glanced at Luo Wei and shook his head slightly.
Luo Wei knew that this was his father telling him not to show off and speak casually. Luo Wei nodded back to Luo Zhi Qiu.
At this, Luo Zhi Qiu left the hall with Zhao Henian.
“What does Wei Er have to say?” Emperor Xing Wu didn’t ask Long Yu and Long Xuan first, but actually addressed Luo Wei.
Luo Wei got up and replied, “This humble servant also just learned of this matter, and hasn’t thought of any good method at this time.”
“You are not a member of the army.” Emperor Xing Wu did not blame Luo Wei. On the contrary, he soothed him, “Even those veterans who are well-versed in killing don’t have a clue, let alone Wei Er.”
At this moment, Long Yu stood up. “Emperor Father should allow the generals to think about it for a few days.”
“Think about it for a few days? This news has already arrived late, and I still have to let them think for a few days?! When they’ve thought of a way, maybe Northern Yan’s new emperor will already have stabilized his power! They’re all disgraceful!” Speaking thusly, Emperor Xing Wu’s temper flared at the generals who had already left the hall and palace. “It seems that I’ve raised them in the capital for too long, to the point that these people have forgotten how to mount their horses and attack the enemy! Those wretched creatures!”
“Emperor Father, calm down.”
“Your Majesty, calm down.”
When Emperor Xing Wu’s rage rose, Long Yu, Long Xuan, and Luo Wei all could not continue standing. They rushed to kneel and beseech Emperor Xing Wu to quell his anger.
“Rise,” Emperor Xing Wu commanded. “Zhao Fu, support Wei Er up.”
Zhao Fu ran over to help Luo Wei get up.
Long Xuan continued to kneel and spoke: “Emperor Father, your humble servant of a son had thought that the civil strife in Northern Yan was already two months old. If Mo Huan Sang’s Black Frost Cavalry has already arrived at Hefang City, then Hefang City must have long ago fallen. Now that this battle is still ongoing, it seems that Mo Huan Sang and his Black Frost Cavalry has already spent their strength. The two sides should be in a stalemate.”
“That is reasonable,” Emperor Xing Wu raised a hand to allow Long Xuan to rise, then continued, “Do you have an idea?”
“Emperor Father, your humble servant of a son also needs time,” Long Xuan said. “Your humble son only thinks that our Greater Zhou still has time to plan and prepare. Beseeching Emperor Father not to be too anxious.”
“All of you retreat.” Hearing Long Xuan’s words, Emperor Xing Wu was a bit disappointed but not angry. He only let the three people in the hall leave. Just as the three saluted and prepared to exit, Emperor Xing Wu warned Luo Wei again, “Wei Er’s health only just improved. After returning home listen to the Imperial Physician and properly take care of yourself for me.”
“This humble servant sincerely obeys the imperial edict,” Luo Wei rushed to accept the decree.
“Go.” Emperor Xing Wu only then let Luo Wei leave. He himself also needed time to think about what to do next.
“You two might as well go sit in the Eastern Palace,” Long Yu invited Long Xuan and Luo Wei after leaving the Hall of Eternal Light.
Long Xuan smiled and said, “Big brother’s Eastern Palace is now full of people wishing him a happy New Year’s. I just took a look at the carriages and horses in front of the Eastern Palace gate and felt agitated. It’s a tough job for big brother and sister-in-law to tolerate. Let’s leave drinks and a meal with big brother for another day.”
Long Yu asked Luo Wei again, “Then Xiao Wei? You don’t think it’s too noisy there do you?”
(T/N: Xiao = little. Little Wei).
Long Xuan’s remark seemed to be a joke, but if someone who used his head heard it, he would take it as the Crown Prince having a personal friendship with a court councilor and ganging up for personal interest. “If this humble servant ran over to the Eastern Palace hall now, His Royal Highness might be bothered by this humble servant,” Luo Wei replied with a smile as well. “This humble one is only afraid that after returning home, his daddy the Prime Minister would spend a night making him read scriptures.” Since the Crown Prince didn’t even take Long Xuan’s words seriously, then why should he say more?
Long Yu laughed heartily. “Okay, then I won’t make you listen to uncle’s scriptures. Xiao Wei, I’ll owe you this meal first and make it up to you in the future.”
“Okay.” Luo Wei bowed to the crown prince with his hands held in front. “This humble servant will remember what Your Royal Highness said.”
Long Yu brought his people with him to the Eastern Palace.
“My big brother is someone who can always laugh,” Long Xuan stood at Luo Wei’s side, whispering, “I don’t know why he is always so happy.”
“What’s wrong with laughing?” Luo Wei replied. “It’s better than crying.”
“That’s right,” Long Xuan agreed. “We should live a bit more happily. Since you won’t go to the Eastern Palace, then come to my place and sit for a while. The Hall of Literary Transcendence is very peaceful.”
Luo Wei glanced at the two eunuchs who had been ordered by Emperor Xing Wu to carry over the soft palanquin. The Hall of Literary Transcendence–if possible, he didn’t want to enter it again in this lifetime. It was only that now, Luo Wei bitterly smiled and asked Long Xuan, “Your Royal Highness wants to walk back?”
“Your health isn’t good, just sit up there. I’ll walk by your side. We still have proper business to discuss.” Long Xuan spoke and then leaned close to Luo Wei’s ear, “Making small talk here for half a day, don’t you think it isn’t worthwhile?”
Luo Wei sat atop the soft palanquin, with one order to the two eunuchs: “Follow his Second Highness.”
Long Xuan looked at Luo Wei’s peeved appearance as he sat on the palanquin, and the corners of his mouth curved into a smile unconsciously. Long Xuan’s faint smile shocked the surrounding palace residents who had become accustomed to his cold face. It turned out that when this Second Prince smiled, he would become more handsome. This kind of a shallow smile still brought warmth akin to the sun on a cold winter’s day.
But Luo Wei did not notice. His eyes stayed on the road ahead. He had no intention of admiring the scenery or caring about the person walking beside him. All he was thinking about was Black Frost City. The opportunity was right in front of him, how could he let it slip?
The arrangements in the Hall of Literary Transcendence were the same as before; Long Xuan’s preferences never changed. Luo Wei was very familiar with this place. This familiar feeling made Luo Wei very uncomfortable as he sat here with Long Xuan.
Long Xuan asked all the palace eunuchs who were serving him to leave and asked Luo Wei, “Did Sima Qingsha look for you?”
“This humble servant does not understand what Your Highness is talking about.”
“Sima Zhuxie found me,” Long Xuan said directly.
Luo Wei only replied, “Then it seems the internal strife in Northern Yan is definitely at an impasse.”
Long Xuan spread a map on the study desk. This one was not as clear as the one in the Hall of Eternal Light, but it was better than Luo Wei’s. “You have also heard from the generals: even if the battle is deadlocked, we cannot attack Black Frost City. I think this is the reason why Mo Huan Sang dared to lead troops northward. He is not worried that our Yun Guan Cavalry will step foot in his Black Frost City.”
Luo Wei looked at the map and said, “Why do we have to focus on Black Frost City, don’t think about it anymore if storming it doesn’t work.”
Long Xuan pointed to Hefang City on the map. “You mean, why don’t we think about this city?”
“It seems that your Highness thinks so too.” Luo Wei looked up at Long Xuan.
“Compared to Black Frost City,” Long Xuan’s finger tapped the dot marking Hefang City, “it is much easier to plot for this city.”