In a flurry of limbs, Wei Lan threw the pill back into its box and answered, “I’m here, wait a moment young master.” He stuffed the wooden box beneath his pillow.
Luo Wei waited for Wei Lan to open the door and then entered his room. He shrunk into himself. “You didn’t put a furnace in this room or light a lamp. What were you doing in this room?” He asked Wei Lan.
Wei Lan only then remembered that his room was cold, and hurriedly replied, “I’ll send you back to your room.”
The two of them returned to Luo Wei’s bedroom, and in that short period Luo had already sneezed many times.
“Why don’t I call Imperial Physician Wei over to take a look?” Wei Lan rubbed Luo Wei’s hands within his own and asked, “Have you already caught a chill?”
Luo Wei sat on his bed, which had already been made. The heater had been placed in the quilts already, too. “I saw you weren’t there, so I went to see if you had fallen asleep in your own room.”
“Did you take a bath?” Wei Lan pet Luo Wei’s hair. It was still a bit wet.
“En. If I still didn’t wash I’d really get stinky.”
“Quickly lie down.” Wei Lan’s anxiety rose. This person ran over to his place in this state, what would he do if he caught a cold again?
“My hair hasn’t dried.” Luo Wei sat in the quilts but refused to lie down.
Wei Lan took a dry cloth towel and wiped Luo Wei’s hair for him.
“Is there really nothing wrong with you today?” Luo Wei turned his head and asked Wei Lan.
“Nothing’s wrong,” Wei Lan’s hand passed through the sheets of Luo Wei’s hair. A person who had been sick for so long could not have the black sheen of healthy hair. Though Luo Wei’s hair was still a deep black, it had lost some luster. Even half-wet, it was a bit rough to the touch. “Can young master’s body really withstand going to Northern Yan?” Wei Lan couldn’t help asking Luo Wei again, “What to do if you get sick again?”
“I will take care of myself for you.” Luo Wei smiled lightly and embraced Wei Lan. “Are you really all right? Why did you stay by yourself in your room? Are you worried about something?”
“I was thinking about the journey to Northern Yan,” Wei Lan lied.
“You’re worried I’ll get sick again there?”
“Yes, what would happen if you got sick again?”
“Then let’s bring Imperial Physician Wei.” Luo Wei’s head was buried in Wei Lan’s arms, and he couldn’t see Wei Lan’s absent-minded gaze. “Then can you stop worrying?”
Wei Lan only tightened his embrace. “As long as young master is fine then that’s good, Wei Lan doesn’t want anything else.”
“You don’t want to see Black Frost City’s return?”
“I want that. As long as it’s something the young master sets out to do, it must go smoothly.”
“Don’t only think about me every day,” Luo Wei got up into a half-kneeling position, looking at Wei Lan as he said, “Lan, if something happened to you, I would be anxious to death.”
“Nothing will happen to me,” Wei Lan reassured.
“If you see Long Xuan in the future, avoid him. Don’t pay him any mind. Compared to him, Luo Ting Chao is a gentleman. Promise me, don’t provoke him.”
“If he provokes you, you cannot meet with him alone.”
“Did nothing else happen today, truly?”
“So obedient?” Luo Wei’s beautiful eyes curved into crescent moons. “Actually Lan, you also don’t need to worry about my health. I’m much better now. There’s a lot I can do now.”
Wei Lan replied distractedly, “Imperial Physician Wei also said you could go to Northern Yan?”
“Do I have to ask Imperial Physician Wei for permission to do what I need to?” Luo Wei placed a kiss on Wei Lan’s lips.
The sound of the night watch’s gongs came from outside. It was already past 3 a.m.
Hearing the sounds of gongs, Wei Lan stilled.
Luo Wei exhaled. Tonight Wei Lan was like howling winds and torrential rain, sweeping him away with him and almost suffocating him. “Lan, I, wu,” Luo Wei wanted to speak, but before he could Wei Lan kissed his words back.
(T/N: howling winds and torrential rain refers to difficult, dangerous situations).
Wei Lan didn’t know what was wrong with him. He obtained pleasure from Luo Wei’s body, but still thought of those pills. Since he was a child, he thirsted for those pills above all else. Every day, to earn one pill, he could unhesitatingly kill close friends who had grown up with him. He could lie under another’s body like a plaything. He could do anything, commit murder and arson, anything as long as when night fell, he could eat that one pill and forget it all. He originally thought that after leaving the Qi Lin Mountain Villa with Luo Wei at his side, he would not think about his past again. In front of Long Xuan, he looked at those pills as they emitted their pine fragrance, and he realized that he had been deceiving himself and others for a long time now. He still longed for these small Qi Lin secret medicines, and cherished those short fluttering spurts of nirvana. Even as he made love with Luo Wei in this moment, though Luo Wei’s body was exquisitely beautiful, it still couldn’t give him that feeling.
When daylight stained the window paper white, Luo Wei struggled beneath Wei Lan’s body.
Wei Lan absent-mindedly lowered his head to look at Luo Wei, but did not stop.
“Hurts,” Luo Wei shouted lowly, “Lan, it hurts.”
Hurts? Wei Lan heard Luo Wei call out in pain and seemed to wake up from a dream, but he couldn’t control his body. He left his traces inside Luo Wei.
“Hurts.” Luo Wei shoved at Wei Lan. This night was no different from torture to him. It was as if Wei Lan had been possessed by demons, transformed from his past tenderness. Luo Wei could bear it at first, but finally he couldn’t hold back his cries of pain. Thankfully Wei Lan seemed to have been awoken by his shouts, and he stopped.
“Young master?” Wei Lan stretched out a hand to touch, and blood met his fingers. At once his mind finally woke up. “What-what happened to you? I’ll call Imperial Physician Wei over!” Wei Lan began to get out of bed.
“Don’t,” Luo Wei gasped, his forehead covered with beads of sweat, “There’s treatments in the room. Go to the bath house and have them heat water. I want to bathe.”
Wei Lan stood there foolishly. The candle light illuminated all the purple marks on Luo Wei’s body. Wei Lan did not dare to believe that these were all his doing.
“Wei Lan!” Luo Wei even shouted his surname out along with his first name.
Luo Wei’s courtyard had a pond specially used for bathing, but he hadn’t used it since he fell ill. This early morning, Luo Wei suddenly wished to use it. The servants in the courtyard all bustled around, and finally upon hearing the steward’s report, even Luo Zhi Qiu rushed over just to see Luo Wei.
“It’s nothing.” Luo Wei lay on the bed, his face flushed. “I woke up from my sleep sweaty all over.”
Luo Zhi Qiu stayed in Luo Wei’s bedroom and also found it hot. “Is it from the heat?”
Wei Lan added potpourri to the incense burner at the side. His complexion was pale, as if his spirit had left his body unguarded.
(T/N: “spirit had left his body unguarded” = idiom meaning he was inattentive or frightened out of his mind).
Luo Zhi Qiu asked another question, “Why did you think of burning incense?”
“I’m sick of smelling medicine in the room,” Luo Wei said as he glanced at Wei Lan.
This room wasn’t ventilated. The scent of their lovemaking wouldn’t disperse, so they could only use incense.
“When you bathe, open the windows and let the breeze in and it will be fine.” Luo Zhi Qiu pulled at his collar. Standing in this room for too long, he almost couldn’t bear it. The heat was fine, but more importantly there was an unspeakably strange odor that dizzied Luo Zhi Qiu to smell it.
After Luo Zhi Qiu left, Wei Lan stood beside Luo Wei’s bed. He didn’t know what to say, or perhaps he should just kneel and beg forgiveness. He bit at his lips.
Luo Wei saw this as he lay on the bed, and swiped at Wei Lan’s hand. “Don’t bite. If you keep biting it’ll split.”
“Forget it, I know you don’t want me to go to Northern Yan.” Luo Wei thought for a morning and believed that he had guessed the reason for Wei Lan’s loss of control last night. “Are you angry with me?”