Luo Wei curled up on the bed. Twangs of pain thrashed at his lower abdomen, as if even his intestines had been injured. Luo Wei was quite familiar with this kind of hurt, but experiencing it again today, he had to expend all his strength to bear it. This also rendered Luo Wei uninterested in meticulously thinking about Wei Lan’s abnormal behavior. He had always trusted Wei Lan. He only reasoned that Wei Lan must be worried about his sickly self entering Northern Yan, and had been angered by his unwillingness to listen to persuasion. He didn’t think any further. Heat rose in his lower abdomen, and Luo Wei turned on his side. Wei Lan sat on the edge of the bed and placed a warmer on his underbelly.
“Warm it up and it will be a bit more comfortable,” Wei Lan said, his eyes suffused with red.
“You cried?” Luo Wei asked.
“No,” Wei Lan denied. “When I burnt the charcoal, the ashes went in my eyes.”
Luo Wei wanted to say more, but only lightly hummed and curled up again.
Wei Lan adjusted his strength to massage Luo Wei. He felt Luo Wei unfold his body beneath his hands and only then became a bit more at ease. He didn’t tell Luo Wei the truth because the truth was difficult to speak of. Everyone said that the Qi Lin Shadow Guards were filthy things. It wasn’t as if every person under the heavens could be wrong, they truly were dirty. But it was just that Wei Lan did not want Luo Wei to also see him like that. In the Qi Lin Mountain Villa, the scene of their encounter was not Wei Lan’s most unbearable moment. His truly undesirable, unbearable appearance showed itself when he craved the Qi Lin secret substance. Wei Lan hoped Luo Wei would never see that.
In today’s morning court, Emperor Xing Wu decided to send troops to Northern Yan.
Luo Wei gave Sun Li the letter he personally wrote. Without prior consultation, he happened to hold the same view as Long Xuan–he also sent six shadow guards from the Xiao Yi Apothecary to monitor Sun Li on his way back to Northern Yan, all in the name of protection.
Sun Li had just stepped out when Emperor Xing Wu announced his decree for Luo Wei to enter the palace, and thus he stepped back into the Luo residence.
“Can the young master still walk?” Wei Lan asked. He was muddleheaded, and even thought about killing himself.
(T/N: 浑浑噩噩–húnhún’è’è–can mean muddleheaded nowadays. In older texts it means being simple, solemn, and honest.)
“I can walk.” Luo Wei supported himself by holding onto Wei Lan’s shoulder. His two legs felt soft, and as he walked he felt as if his feet were stepping on cotton. His lower half still ached.
“I’ll carry you out.” Wei Lan felt a twinge of guilt again, as well as loving distress.
“You can’t today,” Luo Wei declined. If Emperor Xing Wu knew that he did not even have the strength to walk out of his door, how could he go to Northern Yan?
“It’s all my fault.” After they sat in the carriage, Wei Lan spoke up again.
“Lan,” Luo Wei lay on his side on the soft cushion in the carriage. He tugged Wei Lan’s hand over. “Give me some more time, and wait until I finish everything that needs to be done. We’ll leave and go to Xuan Zhou, and never come back.”
Wei Lan nodded. If he still had his life, in order to stay by this person’s side he would follow him anywhere.
“So don’t worry about me. I won’t let anything happen to me, and Lan must do the same. Xuan Zhou is Lan’s hometown. If that place is good, it would be fine for us to spend our last years there.”
Wei Lan barely mustered a smile. “Young master is someone who will receive the position of Prime Minister, how can he spend his last years with me in Xuan Zhou?”
“Who told you this?” Luo Wei turned over and lay on Wei Lan’s lap. “Family, this country, the lands under heaven, how could I have a heart big enough to pack all of these in?”
“Then what does the young master want to do in the future?” Wei Lan rubbed Luo Wei’s belly for him as he asked.
“Live with Lan behind closed doors,” Luo Wei replied simply. “Just us two. Right, Lan, would you want a child?” Speaking of the future, Luo Wei suddenly asked another question.
“Don’t want,” Wei Lan said. “I have the young master; this one person is enough for me.”
“Good, then it’s just us two,” Luo Wei continued. “We’ll find a place in Xuan Zhou and live there.”
Agony bubbled in Wei Lan’s heart. “Xuan Zhou isn’t a good place. It’s a border town. The scenery also isn’t beautiful. Other than deserts, there’s more deserts.”
“Then is it peaceful?” Luo Wei asked.
“I don’t remember. I only remember that there aren’t many roads out of that place.”
“Then isn’t it a lonely town?”
“Just about,” Wei Lan affirmed. “Would the young master still want to go to such a place?”
“Let’s go,” Luo Wei answered. “That place is Lan’s hometown. In any case I want to take a look. Isn’t Lan’s mother also interred there? Let’s burn the older miss some paper money, this is something that should be done.”
“Okay.” Wei Lan hung his head low. “When the young master finishes all his tasks, let’s go to Xuan Zhou.”
Luo Wei pillowed himself on Wei Lan’s thighs and closed his eyes.
“Sleep first, young master,” Wei Lan murmured. “I’ll call for you when we reach the palace gates.”
Luo Wei hummed and didn’t speak anymore. Before long, he fell asleep.
“Qi Zi,” Wei Lan lifted the window curtains and called.
“Big bro Wei.” Qi Zi, who had been leading the way in front, ran over.
“The young master fell asleep. You should go slower,” Wei Lan whispered.
Qi Zi agreed and ran to the front again. That request was too easy.
Wei Lan held Luo Wei, brushing away the stray hairs at Luo Wei’s temples. His gaze did not leave that peacefully sleeping person for a second, and he tightened his embrace. How good it would be if this carriage was taking them to Xuan Zhou, Wei Lan thought in his heart.
No matter how slowly Luo Wei’s carriage moved, it would eventually arrive at the imperial palace gates.
Luo Wei exited the carriage. The eunuchs who carried his palanquin saw him, saluted and greeted him, then said, “Young master, His Majesty said that the young master requires someone to wait upon him. He specially permitted Imperial Bodyguard Wei to enter the palace.”
Luo Wei spoke his thanks for the emperor, then turned to Wei Lan and smiled. “Then Lan, come into the palace with me.”
Wei Lan followed beside Luo Wei’s palanquin and entered the imperial palace. This was Wei Lan’s second time inside the vast interior of the imperial palace, a place that was once too high to reach. When he actually saw it, Wei Lan did not think that this place was a paradise on earth. Staying at Luo Wei’s side with light steps, Wei Lan did not spare any sideways glances. Amid gold and jade in glorious splendor, no matter how beautiful the scenery, Wei Lan could not see it. Only Luo Wei entered his eyes.
When Luo Wei neared the Hall of Eternal Light, his appearance while walking made the imperial father and son within the hall stare.
“What’s the matter with you?” Emperor Xing Wu asked after he watched Zhao Fu support Luo Wei to his seat.
Luo Wei carelessly replied, “This humble servant didn’t sleep well yesterday, and twisted his waist.”
“How old are you, that you can twist your waist?” Emperor Xing Wu opened his mouth to scold. Seeing Luo Wei beginning to kneel to ask forgiveness, he had to swallow the rest of his words back. He eased his tone, “Wei Er, I have decided to send troops to Northern Yan.”
Luo Wei forced himself up. “Your Highness is wise.”
“I am just worried about you.” Emperor Xing Wu had Luo Wei sit, then continued, “Entering Sima Qingsha’s army, when all is said and done, how certain are you that you can escape unscathed?”
Luo Wei only smiled and said, “This humble servant will do his best to preserve himself. Your Majesty, please don’t worry about this humble servant.”
Yesterday night, Emperor Xing Wu sat below Luo Zhi Jin’s portrait, spiritless and at a loss. In the end, the country was most important. He understood that Luo Wei could lose his life in Northern Yan, but he still decided to let Luo Wei take this risk.
Long Xuan accompanied Luo Wei at Emperor Xing Wu’s side. He looked again at the map of Northern Yan spread out on the floor. The great battle they had discussed would soon come to fruition. Long Xuan was a bit inattentive. He had already thought through what he should have, and did not need to think anymore. He only coldly observed Emperor Xing Wu speaking in warm, soft tones to Luo Wei, imparting a thousand warnings and ten thousand counsels. Long Xuan only found it funny. Who cares how dearly he loved him? At the end of the day, weren’t these rivers and mountains left behind by their ancestors the most important?
Or so LX thinks, yet last life he boohooed like a baby and died after LW was gone. Lmao, cuck