This night in the capital was a sleepless one for the monarch and his ministers.
Luo Wei shouldn’t stay up all night, but he still lingered–half-sitting and half-laying down–in Luo Zhi Qiu’s study until morning. Luo Ze couldn’t walk yet, so they didn’t let Luo Ze know about Northern Yan for fear that his wholehearted yearning for the battlefield would prevent him from caring for his injuries. Ning Fei was called out, and along with Wei Lan who had been deliberately included by Luo Wei, the four people in the study pointed at the map and discussed all night.
Ning Fei was excited about the opportunity to take Black Frost City, but he didn’t have much faith in Luo Wei successfully tricking open the gates of Black Frost City.
“It is a matter of effort,” Luo Wei stated with confidence. “Sima Qingsha and I can be considered acquaintances. Today if I send him charcoal in snowy weather, he will probably believe me. Zi Zhou, you aren’t thinking that I’m too villainous, violating the principles of a gentleman?”
(T/N: send him charcoal in snowy weather = help him in his hour of need).
Ning Fei shook his head. “The military profession is crafty, and the two countries will wage war. What use is there in speaking of gentlemen?”
“Then it seems that you will return to Yun Guan before the end of this year,” Luo Wei said with a smile. “Time is of the essence, do you have time to pack up?”
“I can go first,” Ning Fei replied. “It’s just that I must ask Yun Qi to arrange for someone to escort my mother and my younger siblings.”
I’ll arrange this,” Luo Wei promised. It seemed that as long as Ning Shu Ying did not die, Ning Fei could not be assured of his family’s safety.
Luo Zhi Qiu glanced at Wei Lan standing next to Luo Wei, and asked Luo Wei, “Who do you want to send to talk to Sima Qingsha? Lan? In Ye Jia City that day, only Lan was by your side. Sima Qingsha should be able to recognize Lan.”
“No need,” Luo Wei replied. “Sima Qingsha’s messenger is in the capital. It will suffice for me to reply to his letter.”
Ning Fei said, “With only one letter, can Sima Qingsha believe you?”
Luo Wei had already thought this point through. “As long as he opens the gates of Black Frost City, I will enter his army. If I am in his army, Sima Qingsha will take me as a hostage. He shouldn’t have too many suspicions.”
“No!” The three others in the room shouted almost simultaneously.
“Outside is still cold and snowy, did you think you could go out with your health as it is now?” Luo Zhi Qiu scolded Luo Wei.
Wei Lan also persuaded, “Young master, how could you enter Northern Yan’s army? What if something goes wrong?”
Ning Fei also spoke: “That’s too dangerous. If things change, no matter how many main forces we have in Northern Yan, we can’t save you.”
“This is a golden opportunity bestowed by the heavens.” Luo Wei’s conclusions, once drawn, were almost impossible to change. “If we miss it, we may have to delay Black Frost City’s return by dozens of winters and summer. Father, Zi Zhou, don’t worry. I have a sense of propriety. As for Lan,” Luo Wei smiled at Wei Lan and continued, “would you like to come with me?”
Wei Lan replied, “Where the young master goes, Wei Lan will follow. But does the young master have to go himself?”
“Lan,” Luo Wei said, “we’re thinking about another person’s city, but only want you to send one letter over. If it were you, you also wouldn’t trust me right?”
Wei Lan looked at Luo Zhi Qiu and Ning Fei, hoping for the two of them to persuade Luo Wei again.
Luo Zhi Qiu thought through different angles. He knew Luo Wei was right, but he was reluctant to let Luo Wei take such a risk.
Ning Fei also wanted to persuade Luo Wei, but even Luo Zhi Qiu could not think of a persuasive argument, so it was even more impossible for him.
“If my father has a better way, this son is willing to listen.” Luo Wei left some final leeway for Luo Zhi Qiu.
Luo Zhi Qiu smiled bitterly. A better way? He didn’t have one, and could only see whether Emperor Xing Wu and those generals had any.
After dawn arrived, Luo Wei went to his bedroom to sleep for a while.
Imperial Physician Wei saw that Luo Wei had only recovered a little bit of strength and now wanted to torment himself again. The physician couldn’t release the anger in his heart at Luo Wei, so he unleashed it all on Wei Lan.
Wei Lan had bitter words he couldn’t say out loud. He didn’t know if this imperial physician would be able to bear it after finding out that Luo Wei wanted to go to Northern Yan.
Luo Wei rushed to the Hall of Eternal Light after Emperor Xing Wu conducted his morning court.
At this time, Emperor Xing Wu was in a great rage within the Hall of Eternal Light. After this morning court, not one good method to deal with Black Frost City resulted. A court full of civil and military officials had not a single useful person!
Luo Wei stood in front of Emperor Xing Wu’s imperial writing desk and related the method that he and Long Xuan had discussed yesterday. He only hid the matter of the Sima brothers separately finding them.
Emperor Xing Wu at first didn’t hope for Luo Wei to have any good solutions, but after hearing Luo Wei speak a few turns, he calmed his mind to listen. In the beginning he would nod his head, but as he listened further, Emperor Xing Wu gave not a hint of an expression.
After the majority of Luo Wei’s voluminous speech flowed out of him, he anxiously waited for Emperor Xing Wu to give him a reply.
“Go back and rest first,” Emperor Xing Wu said after sitting silently for a long time. “This idea is not bad, but I must think about it.”
“Your Majesty, this matter is better dealt with sooner rather than later,” Luo Wei reminded him.
Emperor Xing Wu raised his head and glared at Luo Wei. “You don’t take your own life seriously, but I still treasure your life!”
“This humble servant…”
“You let me think about it.” Emperor Xing Wu rarely drove Luo Wei away. “This is not just your life, do you know how many people are required to contribute to your plan? I will give you an explanation. Go back home and rest.”
“This humble servant doesn’t need any explanation,” Luo Wei wanted to say a few more words, itching to persuade Emperor Xing Wu right now.
“Obey!” Emperor Xing Wu waved a hand at Luo Wei, “Don’t make trouble for me.”
“Young master, let’s go,” Zhao Fu came over and urged Luo Wei to leave. He had served Emperor Xing Wu for many years. This emperor already faced Luo Wei with his greatest reserve of patience. If Luo Wei continued to speak, Emperor Xing Wu would not rage at Luo Wei. However, when Luo Wei left, those who were serving beside them would really suffer.
“Is this what you discussed with Long Xuan yesterday?” Emperor Xing Wu suddenly asked again.
“Yes,” Luo Wei said. Long Xuan still had to exert himself for this matter, and he couldn’t erase Long Xuan’s merits, so it was better to admit it.
Emperor Xing Wu only waved his hand to bid Luo Wei leave.
Luo Wei left the Hall of Eternal Light and saw Long Xuan standing not far from him next to a flower pavilion.
“You all step back first,” Long Xuan said to the eunuchs carrying Luo Wei’s palanquin.
The two eunuchs stepped back in a hurry, standing far away to wait.
“What did my Emperor Father say?” Long Xuan asked Luo Wei after the two eunuchs retreated.
“His Majesty said he has to think about it.”
“What did you say about the Sima brothers?”
“I only said that I got to know Sima Qingsha during the last Yun Guan battle. I didn’t say anything about you and Sima Zhuxie.”
“Then I should thank you.”
“His Majesty himself said that this is for the country of Greater Zhou. Luo Wei has not yet reached the point where he can’t distinguish between what’s important and what’s not. But his Majesty did not actually agree. I don’t know what the result will be.”
“He didn’t agree, but he didn’t refuse you either. This is the only feasible way. He will agree,” Long Xuan reasoned.
“Then how will you persuade His Majesty to allow you to go to battle? Will he let you go?” Luo Wei asked.
“As long as you don’t make trouble for me, I can go to the battlefield to fight for the country.” Long Xuan was in the mood to joke with Luo Wei at this time.
Luo Wei did not feel like continuing to talk, and shed his face as he began to leave.
(T/N: to give someone face is to give them respect/show propriety. To shed your face means you’re doing away with showing propriety/respect.)
Long Xuan grabbed Luo Wei’s hand, softening his voice, “Go back and get a good night’s sleep. You have bloodshot eyes. Didn’t sleep last night?”
Luo Wei wanted to shake Long Xuan’s hand off. This was the imperial palace. He didn’t want to–and didn’t dare to–get hopelessly muddled with Long Xuan. He only said one word: “Okay.”
Long Xuan let go of Luo Wei’s hand and then put a hand warmer into it, “Why didn’t you remember to hold it today?”
“What on earth do you want?” Luo Wei wanted to throw the hand warmer, but was afraid that others would see.
“The war is imminent, what will we do if you get sick again?” Long Xuan’s tone was quite pompous.
“You,” Luo Wei choked on his words from Long Xuan-induced stress. But the hand warmer was toasty yet not too hot, and it really warmed his cold hands.
I’m guessing it’s almost time for ML #3, are your bodies ready? Mine was 20 chapters ago…