Luo Wei spent a long time writing his letter to Sima Qingsha. He was afraid that he would miswrite a word or use the wrong turn of phrase, so that Sima Qingsha could see that something was wrong and all their plans would go down the drain.
When Wei Lan returned, the lamps had already been lit in the study. He pushed the door in and saw Luo Wei bent over his desk writing.
“You’re back.” Luo Wei heard the door open and raised his head to look at Wei Lan. He let slip a smile, “Why did you take so long? Did Imperial Physician Lin’s family have a lot to say to you?”
Wei Lan walked to the front of the desk. “They are very grateful to the young master, and said they want to return to their hometown next year.”
“No other requests?”
“They want to know where Imperial Physician Lin has been buried.
Luo Wei put down the pen in his hand. He lied to Imperial Physician Lin’s family, saying that Imperial Physician Lin had offended a master in the palace. He told them not to publicly disclose this, otherwise they would also be in the line of fire. With this he suppressed the Lin family’s plans to enter the imperial hospital to make noise. Asking him for the corpse? Luo Wei did not even know how Long Xuan killed Imperial Physician Lin, where could he go to find the accomplished doctor’s body?
Wei Lan said, “I told them that the young master has done his best.”
“I didn’t try my best.” Luo Wei rubbed his eyes. “Have you eaten Lan? If you haven’t eaten, go and eat, Xiao Xiao left you a meal.”
“Young master, I saw the Second Highness on the street and followed him all the way, discovering that he is in contact with Northern Yan people.”
Luo Wei looked up at Wei Lan. After running outside for half a day, this man’s lips were so dry that they had cracked. He reached out and poured a cup of hot jujube tea for Wei Lan to drink, saying, “Xie Yu has spoken to me about this. That should be the person sent by Sima Zhuxie to look for the Second Highness, just like Sima Qingsha sent Sun Li to look for me. You don’t need to be nervous, it’s okay.”
“That’s good as long as there’s no problem,” Wei Lan said and then sat, taking a sip of the jujube tea Luo Wei had poured for him. Luo Wei’s appetite had always been poor. Imperial Physician Wei said that green tea hurt the stomach, so Luo Wei could now only drink this jujube-steeped water.
Luo Wei called for Xiao Xiao to bring Wei Lan’s supper to his study for Wei Lan to eat. He looked at the meal Xiao Xiao laid out on the table. There were two meat dishes and two vegetarian ones, and, to Luo Wei’s satisfaction, all of them were to Wei Lan’s taste. Once Wei Lan took a bite of rice, Luo Wei finally turned his attention back to writing his letter.
Wei Lan ate his meal without tasting it. He couldn’t even distinguish what dishes entered his mouth as he ate.
Luo Wei again balled up a half-written letter, throwing it into the charcoal furnace at his feet. Wanting to see whether Wei Lan had finished eating, he raised his head, only to find that the normally speedy eater was counting the rice grains in his bowl. “What’s wrong? Is the meal not tasty today?” Luo Wei asked.
“No, no,” Wei Lan heard Luo Wei speak, and as if waking from a dream, he sent another bite of rice into his mouth.
Luo Wei was afraid that Wei Lan was obfuscating, and used a soup spoon to scoop some rice and beef into his mouth to taste. He then said, “The taste isn’t bad, you don’t have an appetite today?”
“Young master,” Wei Lan set down his bowl and chopsticks, “you still have to be careful of Villa Master Luo.”
Luo Wei’s expression turned apprehensive. “Why are you saying this now? Did Luo Ting Chao find you?”
“No,” Wei Lan denied. “I only think that the young master cannot completely trust this person, and should take some precautions.”
Luo Wei pushed away his pens, ink, and paper, asking Wei Lan, “Today you only went to Imperial Physician Lin’s place, then bumped into the Second Highness and followed him. Nothing else?”
“Nothing else.” Wei Lan straightforwardly shook his head.
“Lan, you’ve been at my side for so long, and only thought to remind me to guard against Luo Ting Chao today? Tell me the truth, what happened?”
“I have always thought things through slowly,” Wei Lan mumbled. “Luo Ting Chao isn’t some good person, I just saw that the young master wanted to use him so I didn’t want to say anything bad about him.”
“Then why did you want to say this today?” Luo Wei asked, unsure what was going on with Wei Lan. He began to regret sending Wei Lan out today by himself. If Wei Lan encountered something on the way, if he didn’t disclose that then Luo Wei had no one to ask.
“The young master asked him to kill Ning Shu Ying, why does he have no news even today?” Wei Lan finally found words to deceive Luo Wei with.
“Is Ning Shu Ying that easy to kill?” Luo Wei saw Wei Lan eating in large bites, his face no longer as heavy with worries as just before, and wondered if he himself had been oversensitive. “You’re suspicious of him only over this?”
“I can’t concretely say anything, but young master should still be careful of this man. He’s a fickle villain without any trustworthiness to speak of,” Wei Lan mentioned Luo Ting Chao without a shred of mercy. Long Xuan said that secret medicine wasn’t related to Luo Ting Chao, but Wei Lan could not fully take that man at his word. As long as it was possible for Luo Ting Chao to betray, Wei Lan would remind Luo Wei to be careful. He would not let this villain bite the hand that fed.
“All right,” Luo Wei said. “I’ll investigate Luo Ting Chao. Lan, this person did not hurt you lightly. If you feel that you don’t want him to live on, I can…”
“Young master,” Wei Lan interjected, “So long as he is loyal to the young master, there is no hatred or desire for revenge between him and Wei Lan. I also do not want his life.”
“All right, all right,” Luo Wei replied. “Lan has his martial arts. If he wants to take vengeance he can do so himself, and doesn’t need me, isn’t that right?”
Luo Wei brought up his martial arts, and Wei Lan panicked again. He lowered his head and pretended to drink soup, saying, “Young master, remember to send someone to investigate Luo Ting Chao.”
“En, I’ll take note.” Luo Wei reground his ink as he joked with Wei Lan, “Lan, why do you think this letter is so hard to write? I have written it all afternoon and still haven’t finished. It seems I still need to practice my ability to trick people.”
Wei Lan couldn’t help with this. He lowered his head to eat.
Not long after, Xie Yu came to find Luo Wei. Seeing Wei Lan, he said, “Lan is here too? Eating at this hour?”
“I’ve finished.” Wei Lan picked up his bowl and chopsticks to send to the kitchen so that Xie Yu and Luo Wei could have their chat.
“You still haven’t written it?” Xie Yu glanced at the blank white paper before Luo Wei. “This has to be sent tomorrow, you’re preparing to stay up all night?”
Luo Wei nursed a headache, replying, “I always feel like it’s not quite right.”
Xie Yu offered, “Then write it out and I’ll see where it’s not right.”
Though Xie Yu and Luo Wei both discussed this letter to write it, they revised and revised again until midnight before finishing.
Wei Lan sat in his own room. Having essentially accompanied Luo Wei in the capital constantly, he seldom used this room. He placed the small wooden box Long Xuan had given him in front of him. Those who had not eaten this substance would not know how comfortable it felt once it entered the stomach. Even amidst mountains of daggers and seas of flames, one would feel up in the clouds. Wei Lan opened the box and took one pill in hand. As he looked at it, a thirst howled within him. The taste of being in seventh heaven, sampling it just once more would be good too.
“Lan?” The pill was about to be crushed to dust in Wei Lan’s hand, when Luo Wei’s voice rung out from outside the door. “Are you inside?”
Work has gotten terribly busy, and my terrible new laptop has a double-spacing bug now. The will to update this website has waned greatly as a result :’
To make up for it, here’s 3 new chapter updates