Long Xuan didn’t know what was wrong with him. When he and Luo Wei were sitting opposite each other poring over the map of Northern Yan and going back and forth about how to retake Black Frost City, he actually thought about how pleasant it would be if this person stood shoulder-to-shoulder with him to win this country instead of fighting against him. Just as this notion arose within Long Xuan, he saw Luo Wei shut his mouth and knit his brows slightly as he looked at Long Xuan with some new caution. “What’s the matter?” Long Xuan’s subconscious mind opened his mouth and spoke for him.
Luo Wei replied, “Why did Sima Zhuxie come to you? The letter he handed over killed the entire Liu Family. He didn’t know that he had become enemies with you?”
Long Xuan felt a sense of loss. Luo Wei did not trust him at all, even for the sake of Greater Zhou. Hiding this loss deep within him, Long Xuan gave a disdainful look for Sima Zhuxie, “If I help him become emperor, he promises me Greater Zhou.”
“Just relying on him?”
“He doesn’t want me to ask my father to send troops to help him,” Long Xuan said. “Sima Zhuxie also knows I can’t do this with my current position. He only wants me to delay Greater Zhou’s dispatch of troops. Even if I can’t do it, he hopes I can tell him quickly when we set a date to send troops.”
Luo Wei’s face revealed no emotion as he replied, “That would be simple.”
“This stupid man,” Long Xuan mocked. “He treats me as if I am like him. In order to become an emperor, even the country can be destroyed. Without the country, what kind of emperor would he become? Sima Qingsha also found you. Seems this Sima Imperial Clan is entirely stupid.”
Luo Wei said, “They’re not stupid, they are just greedy for life. If Sima Zhuxie topples Hefang City, when it loses power, how many of those in the Sima royal family who disgraced him can live? If Sima Zhuxie loses, in the same way he will have no path to survival.”
“You think clearly for them.”
“In order to live, if there is still opportunity for survival, humans must always fight.”
“If it were me,” Long Xuan said to Luo Wei, “and the country was no longer under Sima while I dragged out my ignoble existence, I would rather die to protect the country.”
“With no way to become emperor, you would still be willing?” Luo Wei asked.
After Long Xuan uttered that “yes”, the hall fell into silence for a moment. Long Xuan fixed his eyes on Luo Wei, as if he was waiting for Luo Wei to reply to him and tell him whether he believed his “yes” or not.
Luo Wei was looking at the scene of drizzling rain printed on the screen behind Long Xuan, his gaze vacant. This “yes” he believed. Long Xuan was obsessed with the throne, and held sentimental love for this country. This person truly could become emperor and would not be bad for the country. It’s just, why is my surname Luo, and why is he not reincarnated in the empress’s womb? Maybe if circumstances were as such, they wouldn’t face this dead knot. In the last life that knot couldn’t be unraveled, and it seemed to be the case in this life as well.
“Luo Wei?” Long Xuan broke the silence. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to wait, but just that he suddenly did not want to know the answer. He was even a little afraid to know.
“It’s better to discuss with Eastern Shang about sending troops,” Luo Wei returned his gaze to the map, his finger pointing to the Eastern Shang country to the left of Northern Yan.
“Eastern Shang will be willing to send troops?”
“If we don’t ask how will we know? Eastern Shang and Northern Yan also have been at odds for many years. If they knew they could make a big profit from Northern Yan amidst the chaos, and even share a chunk of its lands, why would the Eastern Shang monarch be unwilling?”
Long Xuan also focused on the map. “What good would that do for Greater Zhou?”
“Just to let the Sima royal family attend to one thing and lose sight of the other.” Luo Wei pointed to Chun Du Pass, which separated Northern Yan and Eastern Shang. “If we can have Eastern Shang cross Chun Du, it doesn’t matter if Sima Zhuxie believes you or not. He will retreat.”
“Sima Qingsha will lead the troops out of Hefang, and we will lead troops to Black Frost. Three lines of troops will be at Tian Shui’s source, here.” Long Xuan’s finger trailed to a vast and empty field on the map. “Surrounding the Black Frost Cavalry.”
“What does it matter if the Black Frost Cavalry is known as the world’s best? Take this opportunity to annihilate the Black Frost Cavalry in one move, forever eliminating this trouble,” Luo Wei said.
Long Xuan calculated, “If Sima Qingsha regrets it then, there’s still Eastern Shang behind him. He will have no chance to renege.”
“So we won’t talk about the Black Frost City with the Sima royal family, only about how to help them solve the difficulties in Hefang.”
“You’ll trick Sima Qingsha to send people to open Black Frost City for us. I’ll trick Sima Zhuxie into retreating to Tian Shui’s source. And then, we still have to discuss with them a great gift as thanks.”
Luo Wei smiled. “So for people living on this earth, it’s best not to seek help from others.”
“If Eastern Shang’s appetite extends beyond Chun Du Pass?” Long Xuan asked.
“Would Eastern Shang evenly split Northern Yan with us with good intentions?” Luo Wei was not worried. “With Chun Du Pass in hand, they can send troops into Northern Yan at any time. I am actually worried that Mo Huan Sang won’t withdraw his troops. A leader of an army most dreads redoubling a siege.”
“If this is the case, we will just execute a fight to the death in Hefang City,” Long Xuan replied. “Luo Wei, developments are imminent. Many matters won’t go our way. You only need to remember we are doing this for Black Frost City and Black Frost City’s Tian Shui fountainhead. Other matters we can plan for in the future.”
Luo Wei nodded. “Okay, I see.”
“Hard to come by,” Long Xuan leaned back in his chair, “you can still say good things to me.”
Luo Wei sat still and replied, “There’s one more thing. How will you speak with His Majesty about this?”
“He believes you far more than he does me,” Long Xuan reasoned. “You should think about how to say it.”
Luo Wei slowly stood up. “This humble servant cannot bear the weight of Your Highness’s words. We’ve finished discussing matters, so this humble servant will take his leave.”
Luo Wei called himself a humble servant, so Long Xuan knew that their discussion of state affairs was over. Or at least, this person did not want to talk with him anymore. “Is that Wei Lan waiting for you outside the palace?” Long Xuan asked.
Luo Wei said, “Your Highness is also interested in the personal affairs of this humble servant?”
“He is not worthy of you,” Long Xuan also stood up and said.
“Your Highness is the son of dragons.” A sneer hung from the side of Luo Wei’s lips. “Naturally you will see any person as unworthy. This humble servant thinks Lan is very good; Your Highness need not trouble himself to worry about it.”
“The affairs between you and him, does the Senior Official’s side know about it?”
“This matter has nothing to do with Your Highness, right?” Luo Wei did not even salute to pay respects, turning to leave.
“You will marry a wife and have children in the future, can you treat him just like you do today?” Long Xuan asked from behind Luo Wei.
“Marry a wife and have children?” Luo Wei at once turned again to face Long Xuan, shouting, “You don’t know about that matter of mine?”
Long Xuan replied, “What do I know? You mean you are not in good health? I have already executed those four executioners, what do you want me to do? Haven’t I already sent…”
“Sent what?” Luo Wei asked.
“It’s nothing.” Long Xuan did not say that he had already sent the Hundred-Year Snow Mountain ginseng. He heard Luo Wei ask, and knew that Luo Zhi Qiu hadn’t told Luo Wei the truth. With Luo Wei’s temper, if he knew that Long Xuan gave the ginseng, he would definitely not eat it.
Luo Wei looked at Long Xuan suspiciously, wondering what tricks Long Xuan was going to play with him again.