After Sun Li received Luo Wei’s news, he came to the Zhou barracks again on the afternoon of the second day. The rain still had no intention of stopping. The Zhou army was clearly stationed on barren land, but now it seemed they had sunken into a great quagmire. The Zhou soldiers standing in the heavy rain brought forth an illusion in Sun Li’s mind–it seemed as if, with nowhere to go, these soldiers could only decompose in this quagmire until they became white bones.
Luo Wei’s tent was also flooded, but he still seemed relaxed. He even had the inclination to make small talk with Sun Li.
Sun Li asked Luo Wei, “Young master, this subordinate just saw your barracks. It’s much bigger than it was the last time this subordinate came.”
Luo Wei, his expression helpless, explained, “General Sun also saw the continuous rainfall. Now we’re soaking in mud water. Many places we originally set up barracks at are already wasted. We have no choice but to erect our tents again.”
“So it was like this.” Sun Li cupped his hands in salute towards Luo Wei. “Young master has suffered.”
“This bit of hardship doesn’t count.” Luo Wei smiled at Sun Li. “General Sun can see that our army camp has become bigger. Your eyesight is not bad. Crown Prince Qingsha is so fortunate to have such a useful and talented subordinate.”
Sun Li gave a ridiculing smile. Luo Wei’s words were implicitly pointing out that he still did not trust him, and satirized him for it. At this time, Sun Li did not dare to continue this conversation with Luo Wei. After all, Sima Qingsha was still waiting for these Zhou soldiers to go and rescue him. “When will the young master prepare to enter Black Frost City?” He asked Luo Wei.
“Early morning tomorrow,” Luo Wei answered. “Can General Sun open the gates of Black Frost City at that time?”
Sun Li hurriedly agreed. He already waited for Luo Wei for days, and had long been anxious. Now, finally Luo Wei said he would enter Black Frost City. Sun Li only feared that Luo Wei would meet with some misfortune. How could he dare to say no?
“Then good.” Luo Wei straightforwardly stated, “Tomorrow between 3 a.m. to 5 a.m., General Sun will protect me as I enter Black Frost City.”
Luo Wei had delayed for ten days without opening his mouth to mention entering Black Frost City, making Sun Li begin to suspect that this person had changed his mind and wanted to discuss some conditions with his master. Today he finally got his definite answer. Relieved, Sun Li said, “Young master don’t worry.” He stood up and said seriously, “Tomorrow morning this subordinate will meet the young master outside Black Frost City.”
“Then General Sun, that’s settled,” Luo Wei replied. He turned to Wei Lan at his side. “Lan, send General Sun out of the barracks.”
“After you general,” Wei Lan walked to Sun Li’s side, gesturing for him to go ahead. He had no good impression of this person, but at this time could not avoid showing a respectful attitude towards him.
When Sun Li left the Zhou army’s barracks, he looked at the heavy rain almost splashing from the skies. It seemed he still had to thank these successive days of heavy rain, making Luo Wei unable to bear delaying his entry to Black Frost City.
The time for entering Black Frost City had been set. The Zhou barracks became busy in preparation for striking camp and erecting a stronghold, heading towards Black Frost City.
Every camp general with high enough status ran to find Luo Qi. This excursion did not leave them feeling confident. They wanted to attack Black Frost City. But no one told them how to attack. Even if they wanted to force themselves in, they’d only be sinking into mud. Even horses couldn’t gallop, how could they fight this battle?”
“It’s already been arranged,” Luo Qi reassured his subordinate generals. “Tomorrow we’ll send troops. No one in the army can move even by a hair. Use cloth to to bind the legs and snouts of the domesticated animals. The warhorses’ reins must be taken off.”
(T/N: 悬钤–I’m not sure what this means in the context of horses. Suggestions welcome.)
“What’s this for?” A general asked. “We’ll go so quietly?”
“Yes,” Luo Qi replied. “The court has already properly arranged this matter. We just need to follow orders. Also, tomorrow if anyone makes noise, ruining this commander’s war, behead him without forgiveness.”
The generals all accepted orders and left. Though they couldn’t understand how the court in the capital could arrange this battle for them from thousands of miles away, soldiers had a duty to obey orders. Therefore, they would do as Luo Qi said.
As the army readied itself to set out, Luo Qi only then had time to see Luo Wei. When he entered Luo Wei’s tent, Wei Lan was just helping Luo Wei to don soft golden inner armor. Luo Qi came up to take it from Wei Lan’s hands, and helped Luo Wei to dress himself. “When you’ve left your big brother’s army, everything is up to you yourself. Big brother knows you’re smart, but wise men can have a thousand thoughts but neglect one. When you go to Sima Qingsha’s, you also have to listen to Lan and them. Don’t do everything yourself without listening to persuasion.”
“Okay big brother.” Luo Wei smiled. “I’m also not an obstinate and self-opinionated person, I will come back. When we’ve gone back to Yun Guan, perhaps sister-in-law will give me another nephew. Right, big brother, what name do you want to give your child?”
Luo Qi was between laughter and tears from Luo Wei’s messing around. “What kind of time is it now for you t o think of these things?” He put on Luo Wei’s soft armor for him and then knocked on Luo Wei’s forehead, asking, “This armor is also the emperor’s gift?”
“Yes,” Luo Wei lowered his head and looked at the soft armor on his body. “They say that it’s impervious to sword and spear. I don’t believe it.”
“You can talk nonsense about a gift from the emperor?” Luo Qi glared at Luo Wei.
Luo Qi had always been a solemn man. Even if he wasn’t glaring, no one dared to talk too much with him. However, this Luo Wei didn’t fear his big brother, all smiles as he asked, “Big brother, will your son also learn martial arts and enlist in the future?”
“It’s proper for you to think about what to do later.” Luo Qi helped Luo Wei put his winter clothes on. “That’s a topic for the future. How do you know a little niece won’t come out?”
“I also would like a little niece. Our family just so happens to lack a little girl,” Luo Wei said.
“Enough,” Luo Qi replied. “Don’t talk nonsense again. Just remember that you have to return safely.”
“All right,” Luo Wei shook out his hands and feet, pacing back and forth a few steps. Heavy and thick winter clothes, along with the soft armor within them, made it a bit difficult to move freely and breathe.
“Too heavy?” Luo Qi asked. Seeing Luo Wei nod, he said, “It’s too cold, you have to wear more. Get used to it and it’ll be fine.”
Wei Lan brought the snow ginseng soup in and put it in Luo Wei’s hands.
Luo Qi suddenly cupped his fists in respectful salute to Wei Lan.
“Eldest young master, this is?” Wei Lan was startled, hurriedly moving sideways to avoid Luo Qi’s respects.
“Lan,” Luo Qi said, “I’m entrusting Xiao Wei to you. He doesn’t know martial arts, and his health isn’t good. You are earnest. Xiao Wei also listens to you. You’ll take care of him through this entire battle.”
“Eldest young master, be at ease,” Wei Lan hurried to reply. “Wei Lan will stake his life to protect the young master thoroughly.”
“Bah,” Luo Wei’s expression changed, and he spit towards the ground. “Why speak of dying? When it really comes to that, if you dare to lose your life to save me, I will definitely die in front of you. Lan, do you believe it?”
Wei Lan looked at Luo Wei, struck dumb. He had a thousand sentences and ten thousand words he wanted to say, but didn’t know where to start.
“Say something!” Luo Wei pulled at Wei Lan’s lapels. “Did you mark my words?”
Wei Lan softly replied, “If something happens to the young master, then how can Wei Lan live on?”
“All right, all right.” Luo Qi looked at the two from the side, perceiving a bit of something. It was just that the troops would soon move out, and he had no time to think deeply. He said to Luo Wei and Wei Lan, “Nothing will happen to either of you. You all have to come back safely for me.”
“That’s right.” Luo Wei looked at Wei Lan and said, “We all have stay safe and sound.”
“En,” Wei Lan replied. “I’ve noted the young master’s words.”
“Xuan Zhou?” Luo Wei said.
Wei Lan nodded.
At this, the two of them regarded each other with smiles. Only Luo Qi watched from the side, foggy.
Luo Wei spitting and wiping his mouth, what a clown. What happened to maintaining his image? Giving me Fu Wei vibes ass
Thank you LeProfessionalHobo and meihua for the ko-fis, and thank you everyone for reading and commenting. The support means a lot. I know I really need to get cracking on translating this 400+ chapter monstrosity–please forgive me for the hiatus guys. The translation bug disappeared on me for a long while. I’m enjoying translating/reading this again, so am going to try and make it to the finish line.