Though springtime in the north was full of fresh greenery, it did let people feel a single wisp of warmth.
On the road with Sun Li, Luo Wei had to both avoid Mo Huan Sang’s troops and relentlessly travel through starry nights. His face which had originally regained some of its rosiness again became pallid. Fortunately, his heart was tight with anxiety–though others could see he did not appear well, Luo Wei himself did not feel tired.
Wei Lan and a few others took turns to find Imperial Physician Wei. They all worried for Luo Wei’s health. Without exception, Imperial Physician Wei would roll his eyes at each of these people as he served. With how they kept on the run every day, what methods could he have to improve Luo Wei’s health? He felt the medicinal bag on his body. It contained not only the snow mountain ginseng Long Xuan gave, but the best supplements the palace had to offer that had been bestowed by Emperor Xing Wu. If not for these items, which couldn’t be bought even with a thousand gold pieces, Luo Wei might already be resting in peace.
At the same time that Luo Wei’s party galloped towards Hefang City, Eastern Shang’s great army traveled through Chun Du Pass towards Hefang City under the command of Prince Regent Yang Yuansu.
“Black Frost Cavalry is exceptionally strong and brave,” Luo Wei said, as he saw Sun Li look near fainting after discovering that Eastern Shang had entered Northern Yan. “This time if the Black Frost Cavalry is not annihilated, your Northern Yan will experience no end of trouble in the future.”
Sun Li replied, “The Black Frost Cavalry also has people that my master can use, why should they all be annihilated?”
“It’s hard to fathom a person’s mind,” Luo Wei reasoned. “How can Crown Prince Qingsha know that those who seek refuge at his side don’t have other ideas? Those are all people who went from the cradle to the grave with Mo Huan Sang. If someone can even throw away such a relationship, General Sun, would you dare to use such a person?”
Sun Li had nothing to say to that. The Mo family controlled the Black Frost Cavalry. If Sima Qingsha wanted to use them, that was easier said than done.
One month later, Luo Wei and his party arrived at the Northern Yan barracks outside Hefang City. At this time Sima Zhuxie and Mo Huan Sang’s army already retreated, and Eastern Shang’s army was not far from Hefang City.
Luo Wei did not enter Hefang City. He only had Sun Li enter the city to report his presence to Sima Qingsha.
This party of people had hastened on their journey night and day for one month. Each one of them was dirty beyond recognition. Luo Wei had everyone freshen up. He himself took a bath with Wei Lan.
Laying on the edge of the bath barrel, Luo Wei shut his eyes fighting sleep. “We’ll be meeting the main master. I have to clean up a bit,” Luo Wei said to Wei Lan, who was wiping his back for him.
“Skinnier again,” Wei Lan touched the bones beneath his hands and spoke as if complaining.
“Nonsense.” Luo Wei pinched his waist, gathering some flesh for Wei Lan to see, “if I’m skinny, then later on can I still look human? What is this? Is it meat growing on someone else’s body?”
“All right.” Wei Lan slapped Luo Wei’s hand away. For a person with thin skin and soft flesh, even if he only pinched himself and wouldn’t cause himself pain, his waist would still redden. “Almost washed up, don’t move around.”
“This bath barrel is really big,” Luo Wei yawned, “the two of us still have free space. It seems one more person can fit in too.”
“Who else do you want to let in?” Wei Lan came close to the side of Luo Wei’s ear and asked.
Luo Wei had just drank medicinal soup before taking a bath. Now that he was also breathing in the hot vapors of the bath, his cheeks held two abnormal but lovely clouds of red. He turned his head to smile at Wei Lan, “Other than you, who else can there be? Am I that kind of an indecent bast*rd?”
Wei Lan shook his head, saying, “Close your eyes, hair needs washing.”
Luo Wei obeyed and shut his eyes, but in the next second felt something enter his body. It didn’t go deep, but stopped near the entrance. “Lan,” Luo Wei murmured, his eyes still shut.
“It’ll be fine soon,” Wei Lan said beside Luo Wei’s ear.
Luo Wei’s hand felt behind him, “Just this is enough?” He smiled and said, “Why don’t I help you.”
Wei Lan let out a smothered groan, tightening his hold on Luo Wei slightly.
After this round of l*ve-making, Luo Wei leaned in Wei Lan’s arms and almost fell asleep.
Wei Lan held Luo Wei for a long while, and then said, “Why don’t you go out and then sleep, okay?”
“En,” Luo Wei opened his eyes, “Sima Qingsha is almost here. I still have to deal with this person.”
Wei Lan cleaned Luo Wei from head to toe one more time.
Luo Wei stood outside the bath barrel alone, put on his clothes, and looked at Wei Lan washing up as he said, “Mo Huan Sang retreated. It seems Long Xuan already arrived at the army barracks there.”
Wei Lan replied, “Then young master wants to convince Sima Qingsha to send troops?”
“En,” Luo Wei confirmed. “Lan, first wash up here. I’ll return to the tent to wait for Sima Qingsha.
“I’m almost done.” Wei Lan didn’t dare to let Luo Wei leave by himself.
“Wash a bit more thoroughly.” Luo Wei walked to the front of the barrel and placed soap on Wei Lan’s back. “We won’t stay here long. Once the troops move out, I don’t know when we’ll next bathe. The dragon guards are there, you don’t need to be so tense every day. You almost seem to be possessed.”
“Young master!” Wei Lan wanted to rise.
“Be obedient,” Luo Wei pressed Wei Lan’s shoulders down and kissed Wei Lan’s hair. “When you’ve finished bathing then come to the tent to find me. It’ll be fine.”
“You can’t walk around.”
“This place is the Northern Yan barracks,” Luo Wei smiled as he walked out, “do you take it as our own place, such that I could walk around?”
Wei Lan’s body was covered in soap. He couldn’t wash it off immediately, and could only watch Luo Wei sway out.
The resting tent had already been swept clean by Northern Yan soldiers. The dragon guards also just bathed, standing relaxed and alert in the tent. Seeing Luo Wei enter they said, “Young master, Crown Prince Qingsha just sent someone over. He said he would be a bit late.”
Luo Wei replied, “Did he say why he’d be late?”
“No,” Ten replied. “They’ve made the bed for the young master. How about the young master taking a nap?”
(T/N: I believe this is the guard named Ten who accompanied Luo Wei to Yu Zhou. In the text he is called Long Shi, literally Dragon Ten.)
Luo Wei didn’t see Ten as an outsider. He directly fell onto the bed and said, “Then I’ll sleep for a while. When Sima Qingsha arrives, Ten, call me.”
“Where’s Lan?” Ten didn’t see Wei Lan so he asked.
Ten wanted to ask how Wei Lan could take a bath for so long, but seeing Luo had already flipped over and shut his eyes to sleep, he could only retreat from the tent.
Sima Qingsha said he would be a bit late. Luo Wei had only just lay down for a short while when he arrived at the barracks with a team of imperial bodyguards.
Ten was guarding the tent entrance. Seeing Sima Qingsha coming to the front of the tent with his people, he hurriedly paid his respects to Sima Qingsha and said, “My family’s young master has fallen asleep, this subordinate will go call him up.”
“No need,” Sima Qingsha was under heavy pressure, but on the outside he still had an imperial bearing. He waved a hand at Ten, smiling, “It’s not the first meeting between the third young master and I. I’ll go in to see him, the rest of you wait outside the tent. Yun Qi and I have matters to discuss.” Sima Qingsha lowered his voice and individually spoke to Ten, “I think Yun Qi won’t blame me for being impolite.”