Luo Wei did not sleep soundly. His back faced the tent entrance as he slept. Hearing the sound of steps behind him and thinking it was Wei Lan returning, he opened his mouth to say, “Lan, you finished washing up? Every bone in my body hurts, come massage me.”
Luo Wei’s tone was a bit languid, his voice like soft cotton. He did not seem to be the same third young master who allied himself with Sima Qingsha in Ye Jia. Sima Qingsha arrived at the side of the bed and glanced at the person sleeping on it. He was sealed tight in the blankets, only his half-wet hair exposing a bit outside.
“Why aren’t you moving?” Luo Wei lay there closing his eyes and smiled. “Are you also tired?”
Sima Qingsha reached out his hands to Luo Wei’s shoulders through the blanket. Using some strength, he began to massage.
Luo Wei arched in the blankets, even humming from his nose.
This noise wasn’t loud, but when Sima Qingsha heard it, it was as if a cat had rubbed its paw against his heart. He suddenly didn’t want to make a sound, only wanting to knead this person beneath his hands a few more times.
“Sima Qingsha still hasn’t come,” Luo Wei only thought that he was talking with Wei Lan, and said, “If he still doesn’t come, I’ll really fall asleep. Could it be that something happened again in Hefang City?”
At this, Sima Qingsha opened his mouth. “It turns out that in private, the third young master calls me by both my first and last name like this.”
Luo Wei heard this voice that wasn’t Wei Lan’s, and was so scared that he flipped over and sat up in one move.
“Third young master, we meet again.” Sima Qingsha loosened his hands, smiling at Luo Wei.
“It’s His Highness the Crown Prince ah.” Luo Wei was a bit uneasy. He said to Sima Qingsha with an awkward expression, “Apologies, I did not know it was you.” He began to lift his blankets to get out of bed.
“No need,” Sima Qingsha covered Luo Wei with the blanket again. He even considerately placed a pillow behind Luo Wei’s body. “I heard Sun Li say that since you returned from Ye Jia City, you’ve always been sick. Before and after the new year, your condition became even more serious. It should be me apologizing, having you make this journey while sick.”
Luo Wei saw Sima Qingsha speaking with him so familiarly. If he continued to be polite and paid his respects to this person, he’d appear estranged. He might as well half-lay, half-sit on the bed wrapped in his blankets while he spoke to Sima Qingsha. “I heard Crown Prince Zhuxie, with Mo Huan Sang’s support, bestowed himself the title of emperor. How could I have the thought to stay in the capital in convalescence? I worried about Crown Prince Qingsha’s safety, and also worried that my own future may not be peaceful.”
(T/N: translator is aware it’s strange Luo Wei called Zhuxie the crown prince. Is he not afraid of offending Qingsha?)
“You also worried about me?” Sima Qingsha asked.
“At the time when you and I got to know each other in Ye Jia, Sima Zhuxie thought to get rid of the crown prince,” Luo Wei replied. “This person does not care about the affection between brothers. I naturally would worry about you, the crown prince. If this time Sima Zhuxie succeeded, I, Luo Yun Qi, would worry about whether or not in my remaining years I could see Your Highness the Crown Prince’s face again while you still lived.”
Finally, at this point, Sima Qingsha wore some of his weariness on his face. After Sima Zhuxie rebelled and left, Emperor Sima Changtian fell gravely ill, never to recover. Now only Sima Qingsha alone busied himself over Northern Yan’s state affairs. Before his subjects, he had to pretend that everything was under control. There was no one who could share the heavy responsibilities on his shoulders with him. He knew that throughout history, to be a monarch was a solitary path. However, today had arrived too quickly and too suddenly for Sima Qingsha. At a time when he was wholly unprepared, the vast country was placed in his hands. The frightful feeling that he was seemingly the only person left between the heavens and the earth, Sima Qingsha had no one to relate this to.
Luo Wei had no particular intentions, but his gaze was still concerned as he looked at Sima Qingsha. “Crown prince, these days have been hard for you.”
“Yun Qi, many thanks,” Sima Qingsha thanked Luo Wei. He was sincere.
“I’m also doing this for myself.” Luo Wei smiled. “Crown Prince Zhuxie would definitely not let me go. No matter what price I pay, I will help Crown Prince Qingsha eliminate this great foe.”
“If you say this I won’t be so ashamed,” Sima Qingsha bluntly pointed out Luo Wei’s purpose, “you say it’s for yourself, but really it’s my Imperial Sima clan’s family matters. I did not think that it would unexpectedly come to this irreparable state today. My ancestors used all nine lives to conquer these lands, but that big brother of mine doesn’t care. He only wants to get back at his so-called enemies. Yun Qi, even if you don’t say it I know–various countries are now laughing at my Northern Yan. Our family produced an unfilial son, and that alone caused a disturbance that could vanquish a nation.”
“Your Highness recognizes Zhuxie as his elder brother?” Luo Wei picked out the sound of “big brother” from what Sima Qingsha said. If this person still recognized Sima Zhuxie as a big brother, then he would have to think through these matters first. He could not again incite Sima Qingsha to kill Sima Zhuxie.
“That brotherly affection is already gone,” Sima Qingsha’s voice carried melancholy, “what brotherhood is there to speak of?”
“Your Highness,” Luo Wei straightened out his body a bit, saying, “Crown Prince Zhuxie’s two eyes are already blind. I’m wondering whether it is possible that it was Mo Huan Sang himself who wanted to revolt, and he is twirling Crown Prince Zhuxie in his fingers?”
(T/N: 将诛邪太子搙去, suggestions for this translation welcome.)
“Is that possible?” Sima Qingsha had never considered this.
“Like this, it’s not the Sima imperial clan that produced an unfilial son, but only Northern Yan producing a rebel traitor,” Luo Wei reasoned. “The various countries observing today, which one hasn’t had this kind of armed rebellion from an official? Who could still make fun of Northern Yan?”
“That’s not possible. Zhuxie is definitely willing. After he lost his position as crown prince, he would think all day about how to make a comeback. If Mo Huan Sang is holding him under duress, he could just die and my Northern Yan would not be in this troubled state, with the citizens unable to make a living.”
(T/N: lit. = to return to office after living as a hermit on Mount Dongshan).
“The facts are not at all important,” Luo Wei already had an idea solidified in his mind. He enticed Sima Zhuxie, “As long as Your Highness snatches Zhuxie back from Mo Huan Sang, the facts only depend on what comes out of your mouth. You can say whatever you want. Who can run to see Zhuxie and make things clear?”
“Snatch Zhuxie back?”
“If you don’t, this matter of Northern Yan’s can only be a weapon for mockery,” Luo Wei reasoned. “Mo Huan Sang is retreating now because our Zhou soldiers entered Black Frost City. Eastern Shang’s Yang Yuansu also went over Chun Du Pass. He cannot take Hefang City for a while, and also doesn’t want to be attacked from the front and rear, so he temporarily retreated. Your Highness, Hefant City has not yet seen the Black Frost Cavalry, but our lot cannot stay in Northern Yan forever. If you don’t take care of the Black Frost Cavalry, on the day that that fiend Mo Huan Shang comes back to deal the killing blow, what will you do?”
After Luo Wei’s speech, Sima Qingsha became silent.
“Furthermore in my view, keeping Eastern Shang’s army further away from Hefang City is safest,” Luo Wei spoke of another one of Sima Qingsha’s worries.
“You want me to send troops to chase Mo Huan Sang?” Sima Qingsha asked.
“I’m only suggesting.” Luo Wei looked to be completely thinking on Sima Qingsha’s behalf. “Crown Prince Qingsha is taking such a great risk at this time. Asking for Greater Zhou and Eastern Shang’s help, isn’t it just to eradicate Mo Huan Sang once and for all?”
Wei Lan tidied up the bathing room and rushed over. Seeing many people standing before Luo Wei’s tent’s entrance, he panicked slightly.
“Sima Qingsha arrived.” Ten pulled Wei Lan, who was about to barge into the tent. “He’s chatting with the young master in the tent. We can just wait here.”
At this, Wei Lan stood with Ten, facing Sima Qingsha’s imperial bodyguards.
Ten saw Wei Lan still frequently looking towards the tent entrance and whispered, “Don’t worry, how could Sima Qingsha harm the young master now? Right now it’s the young master harming him.”
Luo Wei is COLD AS ICE when tricking this poor man. In modern times he would be the #1 love scammer on plentyoffish
He’s like yeah enjoy my free therapy while it lasts, imma suck you dry. Sima Qingsha more like si-ma d1_ck