R:DSAT Chapter 182: Qi Lin Secret Substance

Wei Lan couldn’t answer Long Xuan’s question. They hadn’t gone to Yun Guan yet, and the battle was close at hand but had not begun. Wei Lan was categorically unaware of what would happen. How should he answer?

Because of the disparity in their statuses, Long Xuan’s gaze casually and impudently swept across Wei Lan from head to toe as he carefully sized him up. Wei Lan’s appearance was undoubtedly good. He was handsome, stood tall and straight, and had no lack of delicate prettiness. The style of the clothes he wore was ordinary, but the fabrics used were top-notch. Though the Senior Official’s residence was generous to its servants, this kind of clothing would definitely not be given to them to wear. Luo Wei did not treat Wei Lan as a servant, and it seemed that others in the official’s residence also did not take Wei Lan to be a servant. 

“If Your Highness has no instructions, then I will retreat.” Long Xuan eyed Wei Lan until Wei Lan couldn’t continue to sit there anymore. This prince’s gaze seemed to carry some perverseness, as if he would injure you just by looking. 

At this, Long Xuan opened his mouth again. “The reputation of the Qi Lin Shadow Guards is not good, but its martial arts indeed can be said to be on par with my Imperial Long Clan’s Imperial Cavalry Guards. Wei Lan, I exchanged blows with you last time. Your qinggong is not bad, but why do I feel that your internal energy is insufficient?” 

Wei Lan denied, “There’s no problem with my internal energy.” 

“Without the Qi Lin Villa’s medicine, your shadow guards’ internal energies would all degenerate, right?” 

Wei Lan stood up to leave.

“Luo Wei doesn’t understand martial arts,” Long Xuan continued, “So you concealed it from him, or perhaps all of you Qi Lin Shadow Guards who were rescued by him concealed it from him. Is it okay to treat your benefactor like this? Wei Lan, the killing fields are merciless. If it’s a critical juncture and your internal energy is of no use, what will Luo Wei do? He might not mind dying with you, but I still want him to live.”

Wei Lan replied, “Your Highness would care about the life and death of my household’s young master?” 

“Yes,” Long Xuan affirmed. “Your life and death do not concern only you. I don’t care about the life or death of anyone in the army, but Luo Wei and you lot are different. His life cannot be lost in Northern Yan.” 

“Your Highness wants me to tell the young master the truth, and not follow him to Northern Yan?” 

“Luo Wei trusts you. If he doesn’t bring you, he himself may not feel at ease.” Long Xuan took a small wooden box out from underneath the table, and pushed it before Wei Lan. “Take this with you.” 

Wei Lan used one hand to open the wooden box. There were two layers of pills in it, approximately totalling one hundred. A singularly familiar pine fragrance rushed into Wei Lan’s nasal cavity, immediately effecting huge changes in Wei Lan’s expression. 

“Qi Lin Villa’s secret substance,” Long Xuan expressionlessly observed Wei Lan’s sudden changes, continuing in a low voice, “I recreated it for you. Consider it a gift from me.” 

Wei Lan’s hand shook, and the lid of the wooden box shut with a “pa.” Only then did the waves of vertigo brought forth by that pine fragrance come to a stop. 

“I’m not asking you to eat it now,” Long Xuan said. “When you reach Sima Qingsha’s location in Northern Yan, you can judge the hour and size up the situation yourself. If the situation is critical, and you are not as strong as you would wish, it isn’t too late to use the medicine.”

“You know the young master will go to Sima Qingsha’s location?” Wei Lan asked Long Xuan, forcing down the nausea flooding him from the bottom of his heart. 

“How can he win trust without going to Crown Prince Qingsha? Just relying on his mouth?” 

“How could you make this medicine?” Wei Lan asked another question, thinking that Luo Ting Chao might have betrayed Luo Wei. Wei Lan turned pale.

“There is someone in the palace who can relieve your drug addiction. Of course they can also make this medicine,” Long Xuan replied. “I’ll remind you again: if you take this medicine again, your drug addiction will be incurable, so be very cautious.”

Wei Lan looked at the wooden box before him as if he were viewing a death amulet. 

“It seems that your young master’s life is nothing more than that for you.” Long Xuan’s voice seemed to carry a smile.

Wei Lan raised his head to look at Long Xuan. This person was smiling, and his smile was ordinary. There seemed to be no malice, nor the condescension of the upper strata, and his mien was not overbearing. However, that smile made one feel chilled from the bottom of one’s heart. 

“You must protect Luo Wei.” Long Xuan’s voice became cold again in the blink of an eye. “Otherwise, even if you walk on the road to the underworld, I will have a way to prevent you from being reincarnated. Mark my words.”

“Are you defending my young master?” Wei Lan was confused by what seemed like Long Xuan’s sudden concern for Luo Wei.

“Luo Wei won’t care,” Long Xuan leaned back in his chair, “but this is between me and you, and has nothing to do with him. I originally wanted to give you a top-notch sharp sword. But Luo Wei will take care of this for you. If I send it, he will find it suspicious. You should put this medicine away. Don’t let him find out, otherwise…” Long Xuan stopped speaking. 

“Otherwise what?” Wei Lan nevertheless still asked.

“Otherwise if he knows your internal energy is sometimes inadequate, how could Luo Wei still bring you to Northern Yan? He would definitely look everywhere for a famous doctor to cure you. Wei Lan, I don’t need to tell you these things, and I also shouldn’t need to teach you what to do right?” 

Wei Lan’s hand lay on the wooden box, and the blue veins beneath its skin bulged one by one. His mind was a chaotic mess now. 

Fu Yun waited in the lobby of the restaurant for a long time and still did not see Wei Lan leave. Just as he pondered what on earth his master could have to say such that he would take so long to converse with an unimportant imperial bodyguard like Wei Lan, he saw Long Xuan appear at the head of the flight of stairs.

“Let’s go back,” Long Xuan said to Fu Yun, who was greeting him from below. 

“Then that Wei Lan?” Fu Yun looked behind Long Xuan and did not see Wei Lan. His master wouldn’t have killed that incautious little bodyguard like this right? Such a thought arose in Fu Yun’s mind.

“He left.” Long Xuan did not turn back to look, and also did not pay any mind to the restaurant proprietor bowing and scraping after him as he left.

Fu Yun hurriedly walked to keep pace with Long Xuan at his back as he signalled for the guards to follow quickly. 

“Many thanks,” Long Xuan thanked the restaurant proprietor after exiting and sitting astride his horse. Then he urged his horse to move forward. 

“Your Highness?” Fu Yun didn’t ride a horse, and could only stare in vain as Long Xuan galloped further and further away. 

Long Xuan heard Fu Yun shouting behind him but did not turn his head. This person had money on him, so he didn’t worry about him not making it back before the palace gates shut. In the end, Wei Lan took away that box of medicine and left from the window in a daze. It seemed this person treated Luo Wei with sincerity. Discovering this, Long Xuan did not feel comfortable. These two were really a harmonious couple? As he entered a crowded street, Long Xuan pulled at the reins of his horse and slowed down. 

Wei Lan did not return to the official’s residence as Long Xuan thought, but followed behind Long Xuan on his entire journey. 

Long Xuan did not directly return to the palace, but rode his horse to an ordinary courtyard. A guard walked ahead and knocked on the door. A person inside opened a small window and glanced outside, then hurriedly opened the door to let Long Xuan and his party enter. 

Wei Lan waited outside for a while, and walked to the walled backyard of this household. He was about to climb in when he was blocked by a person rushing at him from behind. 

Nineteen took Wei Lan about one hundred meters away from this house with a courtyard before asking in a low voice, “Twenty-nine, why are you here?” 

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R:DSAT Chapter 181: His Second Highness’s Request to Meet

Wei Lan left the Senior Official’s residence and walked eastward. Turning at an intersection, he then headed north. He had never been to Imperial Physician Wei’s home, but he knew its location. Just as Wei Lan was concentrating to hasten his journey, he heard a person shout from behind him, “Is that the Senior Official Residence’s Imperial Bodyguard Wei in front?” 

Wei Lan turned his head. He knew this person–it was the head eunuch Fu Yun, who served by the Second Highness’s side. 

“What a coincidence.” Fu Yun walked over to the front of Wei Lan, bringing with him some of Long Xuan’s imperial bodyguards.

“Is there a problem?” Wei Lan’s hand fell to the sword at his waist, his guard rising. 

“Don’t misunderstand, Imperial Bodyguard Wei.” Fu Yun smiled insincerely. “Our Second Highness was just talking about how he wanted to meet Imperial Bodyguard Wei. Who would have thought that I would bump into him in the middle of the street?” 

“Mister is a servant within the palace. Would you so coincidentally have a chance encounter with me on the street?” Wei Lan questioned.

Long Xuan wanted to see Wei Lan, knowing that Luo Wei would not let Wei Lan meet him alone. Therefore he used the stupidest yet most effective method, and had Fu Yun bring his people outside the Senior Official’s residence to guard a tree stump lying in wait for the rabbit. Wei Lan would have to exit at some point, and he couldn’t possibly accompany Luo Wei each time. If they persisted in waiting there would be an opportunity. 

Fu Yun, the chief eunuch of the Hall of Literary Transcendence, could only obey his master and bring imperial bodyguards to stand by the gates of the Senior Official’s residence. Afraid that they would be seen by the Senior Official’s people, they could only hide in the corner of a side street. The side street was shaded; Fu Yun and the imperial bodyguards with him were frozen stiff by the cold. But they could be considered lucky, as Wei Lan really did leave the official’s residence alone today. Fu Yun saw Wei Lan exit the gates, waited a while, and then hurriedly followed.

“His Second Highness doesn’t have any other intentions. It’s for the third young master. He has something to tell you,” Fu Yun elaborated. 


“That this humble slave doesn’t know. Just make a trip, all right? We’re in broad daylight, and I’m in front of so many people.” Fu Yun pointed at the crowds coming and going around him. “Are you still afraid that if you go, you can’t come back?” 

Wei Lan asked, “You can bring me into the palace?” 

“You can’t enter, but His Second Highness can exit ah. I’ve already sent people to report to His Highness, just come with me.” 

“No need,” Wei Lan declined. “I still have things to do. The Second Highness wants to see me, so mister can leave the name of the place. After I finish my tasks, I will go to see the Second Highness.”

“Imperial Bodyguard Wei cannot let our Second Highness just wait there. If you are disrespectful to the prince, even the third young master will find it difficult to save you.” 

Wei Lan did not react to Fu Yun’s threat. He only stood there, his hand never leaving the hilt of the sword at his waist.

Fu Yun took a few steps back, and the guards surrounding Wei Lan also looked nervous, each tightening his grip on his own sword. Fu Yun quickly divulged the name of the location, saying, “Drunken Red Robes, this is the capital’s most famous restaurant. You wouldn’t be unaware of it?” 

Wei Lan’s figure wavered; he was already several hundred meters away. 

Fu Yun watched Wei Lan leave and beat at his own chest, cursing left and right, “All of you are useless, getting scared just from seeing that little bodyguard’s cold face?” 

The imperial bodyguards thought to themselves, Head Steward, you were more scared than us yet you’re still going to scold people? 

“That guy used to be a killer,” Fu Yun continued to talk nonsense left and right, “I don’t know how many human lives he owes!” 

“Then the third young master still keeps him by his side?” A guard asked.

“What kind of good person is the third young master?” Fu Yun muttered lowly. 

“No wonder he has so much killing intent around him,” the guards began to discuss. 

“All of you shut up,” Fu Yun turned and scolded again, “aren’t you ashamed?” 

When Long Xuan arrived at Drunken Red Robes, Wei Lan hadn’t shown up yet. However, Long Xiang stuck to him the whole way there. 

“I want to go to Yun Guan,” Long Xiang only said this one sentence to Long Xuan. 

“What would you do there?” Long Xuan waved his hand to have the proprietor leave, so that the private room only held him and Long Xiang. 

“I’ll go into the army. I can do it too. Isn’t the purpose of my martial arts practice for me to go to the battlefield and kill our enemies?” 

“Don’t talk nonsense about matters Father Emperor hasn’t decided yet.” 

“Now everyone in the palace knows that we’re going to do battle with Northern Yan,” Long Xiang began to shout at Long Xuan, “big brother, don’t deceive me like I’m a kid!”

Long Xuan had poured half the tea in the teapot. Upon hearing Long Xiang’s shout, Long Xuan threw the pot into the tray. 

Long Xiang shut his mouth, cautiously eyeing his big brother. 

“What place is this?” Long Xuan looked at Long Xiang with strident fury. “You aren’t a small child, but do you act like an adult? You’ll shout for me in a restaurant about matters not yet settled by the court? Why don’t you go to the street and shout, so that everyone in the world can know about it?!” 

Long Xiang lowered his head and murmured, “This is a private room, isn’t there only big brother and me here?” 

Long Xuan tapped a finger on the tabletop and did not speak. 

Within a moment, an imperial bodyguard pushed the door open and reported, “Your Highness, the rooms to the left and right do not have guests.” Finishing his statement, the bodyguard did not wait for Long Xuan’s signal and retreated on his own. 

Long Xiang only then realized his error, his gaze beseeching Long Xuan’s forgiveness. “I forgot that the walls have ears. Brother, forgive me this time, I won’t forget again.”

Long Xuan’s ruthlessness towards Long Xiang did not last. He scolded out the anger in his heart, and then said to Long Xiang, “I’ll tell you the truth. This time you can’t go, so don’t think about it.” 

“Why?” Long Xiang was not convinced, and insisted on further clarity. 

“Whether you can be brought along, it’s not up to me.” Long Xuan was not planning to explain the twists and turns involved to Long Xiang. He himself could go this time because he was needed to deal with Sima Zhuxie. Otherwise, leaving aside others for now, one Luo Wei was enough to think of a way to completely obstruct him. Both brothers both entering the army? This was simply impossible. 

“Then who has the final say?” Long Xiang asked a silly question. 

“Go and ask the Emperor Father,” Long Xuan answered. “As long as the emperor nods his head, no one will block your way.”

Long Xiang exhaled once and stood up, saying, “Then big brother, you won’t stop me?” 

“I won’t stop you,” Long Xuan confirmed.

Long Xiang exited Drunken Red Robes. He straddled his horse and headed for the palace to find Emperor Xing Wu. 

Long Xuan leaned against the window, looking at this little brother of his showing little care for pedestrians as he rushed for the palace. Long Xuan sighed. When would Long Xiang become more sensible? Galloping on the road like this–if an imperial envoy saw it, he would certainly send a memorial to the emperor. Did they still have an uncle to protect them from disaster? 

After Long Xuan finished drinking a cup of tea, Fu Yun brought Wei Lan in. 

“Your Highness.” Wei Lan began to pay respects.

“It’s fine.” Long Xuan beckoned Wei Lan to come closer, saying, “This isn’t the palace, no need to be too polite. You wouldn’t sincerely pay respects to me anyway, so it’s fine that I don’t ask for this salute. Sit down.”

Wei Lan really did sit down. “Your Highness wants to speak with this lowly one about the third young master?”

“Don’t call yourself ‘this lowly one,’ too.” Long Xuan poured a cup of tea for Wei Lan. “How could a person who Luo Wei places in his heart be lowly?” 

“Why is Your Second Highness looking for me?” Wei Lan changed his way of speaking quite quickly. 

“War will soon begin. I want to know how you’ll keep your young master safe.” 

R:DSAT Chapter 180: Gifting Silver

Ning Fei didn’t know how to deal with a girl like Fu Wei. The girl had only known him for a few days, and she had already talked to him about marriage without anyone else present. For important milestones like marriage, parents were the masters and the matchmaker would be the go-between. Ning Fei himself was not from a normal background, but he did not expect that one day he would meet such a girl who talked about marriage on her own.

“Just give me one word.” Fu Wei came back to herself at this moment, and she relaxed. Anyway, it had already come to this, so she would speak openly. 

“You,” Ning Fei thought for a long time before saying, “How many days has Miss Fu known this humble one?”

“This time I came out, and it was naturally to marry,” Fu Wei said. “My family wanted me to enter the palace, but from what my father and the rest said, my little cousin stopped it.”

“Isn’t going to the palace good?”

“What’s so good about entering the palace? I wouldn’t cherish it!” Fu Wei said with a disdainful look. “My father is a provincial governor and there are already countless women in his courtyard, let alone those in the palace? This time I came out and my mother refused, but she couldn’t go against my father. General Ning, in your eyes, am I a person with no feminine virtues?”

“You-you’re fine,” Ning Fei replied. He thought Fu Wei was bold, but he didn’t believe that Fu Wei was a person who didn’t hold feminine virtue.

“Then would you marry me?”

Ning Fei squeezed his two hands behind his back nervously. It seemed he had never been as nervous as he was today in his life. Some thoughts Ning Fei couldn’t figure out by herself, but it seemed that if he gave up the girl in front of him he did not know if he would meet another in the future who could make him laugh to think of her, or who would make him so nervous. 

Luo Wei sat on the railing of the pond in the courtyard. There was a strong wind last night, but today was a bright and pleasant winter day. The sunlight shone warmly on his body, making Luo Wei want to sleep again.

Wei Lan nudged Luo Wei. “Sleep when we return to the room in a bit. You will catch a cold sleeping here.”

Qi Zi, who had gone outside to pack the carriage, ran back. He carried over a hand warmer that had already become cold, and asked Luo Wei, “Young master, this was found in the carriage. Did you change your hand warmer?”

Luo Wei was holding the one he used frequently in his hands, and he glanced at the one in Qi Zi’s. It was the one recently given to him by Long Xuan in the palace. “I won’t use this. Throw it away.”

“Throw it away?” Qi Zi queried. “Young master, this is an object from the palace, and there is a word branded on it.”

Luo Wei looked at the place Qi Zi pointed at, only to see the character “Long” branded on the hand warmer.

“We can’t casually throw away things from the palace right?” Qi Zi asked.

“Then put it in the warehouse,” Luo Wei amended.

“In the warehouse again?”

“Should I provide it as a sacrificial offering?”

Qi Zi saw Luo Wei’s heavy expression when he spoke, and hurriedly ran off. 

Soon after Qi Zi left, Ning Fei walked out of the room, his face again calm and composed.

“Finished talking?” Luo Wei did not get up and asked while sitting.

Ning Fei nodded, and said to Luo Wei and Wei Lan, “Yun Qi, Lan, I’m leaving now. My mother and younger siblings, Yun Qi, I will have to trouble you.”

“Okay,” Luo Wei replied. “Don’t worry, I will arrange it.”

“Lan,” Ning Fei continued, “The journey to Yun Guan from the capital is difficult. You have to take care of Yun Qi. Don’t let him get tired.”

Wei Lan agreed.

Ning Fei stretched out his hands, one on each side, and put them on Luo Wei and Wei Lan’s shoulders. He patted them and said, “Then we will see each other at Yun Guan!”

“Take care.” At this, Luo Wei stood to see him off.

“No need to see me out.” Ning Fei pressed Luo Wei down. “While you can still rest now, take more breaks.” After Ning Fei said this, he strode out. A great battle was imminent, making him inexplicably excited. As for the girl still in the room, Ning Fei felt sweetness in his heart. They would meet again, no matter how long or short the period of their parting would be.

Luo Wei and Wei Lan watched Ning Fei leave the courtyard together before walking back to the bedroom.

“Zi Zhou is gone?” Fu Wei asked when Luo Wei came in.

“You’ve even begun to call him Zi Zhou? Have you finished speaking? When will Zi Zhou marry you?” Luo Wei responded jocularly. 

“It would be good if he were like you,” Fu Wei said with distress written all over her. 

“What does it mean to be like me?”

“Doing things straightforwardly!” Fu Wei clarified. “He asked me to think again. I’ve thought it through, what else should I think about?”

“But he didn’t say he wouldn’t marry you.” Luo Wei saw that the silly girl couldn’t change her way of thinking, so he had to mention, “Now that there are important matters at the Yun Guan army, you should let him finish what he has to do and then come back to work out the affairs between you two. Isn’t that better?”

“Then I will send him off.” After Fu Wei understood, she immediately ran out.

“He’s already left!” Luo Wei shouted from behind.

“What if I can catch up?” When Fu Wei said this, she had already reached the courtyard entrance.

“You’ll see,” Luo Wei said to Wei Lan. “Even if she enters the Ning family in the future, she will be eaten to death by Zi Zhou.”

Wei Lan smiled and shook his head, then asked Luo Wei, “Do you want to go to bed to sleep again?”

“No.” Luo Wei headed to the study. “I haven’t written my letter to Sima Qingsha yet. I have to think about how to write this letter.”

The little apprentice of Imperial Physician Wei sent the boiled ginseng soup over and placed it in Wei Lan’s hands. His small face was sullen as he said, “This is the young master’s ginseng soup.”

“What’s the matter?” Luo Wei saw the little child fuming as he ran away, and asked Wei Lan, “Did I offend this little doctor too?”

Wei Lan took the ginseng soup and went into the study with Luo Wei. Imperial Physician Wei was angry with them. This little apprentice probably undeservedly suffered the wrath of an Imperial Physician Wei who had no outlet. “Children have a lot of mood swings,” Wei Lan explained. “The young master has never spoken to him, so how can he have offended him?”

Luo Wei bowed his head and took a sip of the freshly brewed snow ginseng soup. He said to Wei Lan, “I always feel that the taste of this ginseng soup is different from what I used to drink. Is this ginseng soup?”

“Maybe some medicinal materials have been added in it.” There were not many people in the official’s residence who knew about Long Xuan sending the snow mountain ginseng, and Wei Lan didn’t know the truth either. “Didn’t the Imperial Physician Wei mention that?”

Luo Wei drank the ginseng soup in a few mouthfuls, and praised Imperial Physician Wei: “His medical skills are indeed brilliant, I want to thank him. When we leave the capital, Lan, you go to see what good things are in the warehouse and take a few things to give to him.”

“Zi Zhou told me that we should take Imperial Physician Wei to Yun Guan,” Wei Lan said.

Luo Wei had just picked up a pen to write on the letter paper. He paused. “Take him with us?”

“I also feel that we have to take Imperial Physician Wei with us. If the young master gets sick on the road, we won’t be afraid if he’s there.”

“Let’s talk about it later,” Luo Wei replied after thinking for a bit. An Imperial Physician Lin had been killed by him in the hands of Long Xuan, and now he couldn’t even return the body to Imperial Physician Lin’s family. Any way one looked at it, this Imperial Physician Wei was also his savior. It was better not to implicate him if he could help it. Thinking of Imperial Physician Lin, Luo Wei remembered something and said to Wei Lan, “The Imperial Physician Lin who came to me, you know of him?”

Wei Lan affirmed, “I know.”

“Lan, take a trip. Bring five hundred taels of silver to his family. Don’t let people in the official’s residence know about it,” Luo Wei instructed. “Go and see if his family has any requests. Come back and tell me.” 

Wei Lan watched Luo Wei begin to immerse himself in writing his letter. He moved the room’s charcoal furnace closer to Luo Wei, and then went to Luo Wei’s bedroom to get banknotes worth five hundred silver taels. He left the residence in the direction of Imperial Physician Lin’s home. 

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R:DSAT Chapter 179: I Want to Marry Him, is He Willing?

Luo Wei left the palace, sat on the carriage returning home and began to fall asleep. In the end, Wei Lan carried him all the way back to the bedroom, but Luo Wei did not wake up. He had pulled an all-nighter, and his nap in the morning didn’t make up for it at all. 

Imperial Physician Wei disregarded his own image as he rolled his eyes at Wei Lan and stood in the courtyard to scold him. “The young master just got a bit better and ran outside, not even sleeping. Don’t mention snow ginseng, it’s useless even if you picked the Queen Mother of the West’s peaches of immortality!”

Wei Lan lowered his head to accept the scolding. After he finished listening, he asked, “Then how is the health of my family’s young master today?”

Imperial Physician Wei was so out of breath he almost fainted. “I’ve spoken for half a day, but you didn’t understand, did you?”

“You haven’t said whether the young master’s health is good or bad?” Wei Lan looked earnest.

He couldn’t stay in this official’s residence anymore. Imperial Physician Wei gritted his teeth. The people in this courtyard were all shameless and unafraid of scolding. In the courtyard on the other side, the one with broken legs sat on the bed and still thought about playing with broadswords! What kind of family of sick patients was this!

“Master Wei?” Wei Lan still called out to Imperial Physician Wei. He knew Luo Wei was not a good patient, but he couldn’t control Luo Wei, so he could only fix his attention on the doctor. 

“I’m going to see how the medicine is cooking.” Imperial Physician Wei was not in a good mood. He turned around to leave with rage boiling in his stomach, only to see Ning Fei walk in. “Why are you here?” Imperial Physician Wei’s tone worsened. “The young master just fell asleep.”

Ning Fei looked at Wei Lan, “The young master is asleep?”

Wei Lan confirmed, “He slept right after coming out of the palace, and hasn’t woken up yet. Do you have something urgent to see the young master about?”

Ning Fei felt awkward. “I have come to say goodbye to the young master.”

“Leaving today?”

“En, there are a lot of things in the army that need to be prepared in advance. I’m afraid it won’t be good to leave late.”

“Then I will call the young master,” Wei Lan said immediately.

“Wait,” Imperial Physician Wei shouted at the two people who were about to enter Luo Wei’s bedroom, “You really won’t let him sleep? Do you resent that he has recovered too quickly?”

“Master, General Ning is leaving. If he doesn’t let the young master know, he will be blamed,” Wei Lan said helplessly.

“Whatever!” Imperial Physician Wei gave up. No one listened to him anyway.

Ning Fei asked in a low voice, “He still doesn’t know that the young master is going to Northern Yan?”

“I haven’t told him yet.”

Ning Fei whispered in Wei Lan’s ear, “If Yun Qi must go to Northern Yan, you remember to bring this Imperial Physician Wei with him. The young master cannot leave him.”

“He is willing to go with us?” Wei Lan said with uncertainty. 

“It doesn’t matter if you have Yun Qi go and ask for an imperial decree, or whatever,” Ning Fei replied. “Anyway, you must take him, otherwise if Yun Qi gets sick midway, what will you do? The military doctors in the army are all experts at treating external injuries. You can’t count on any of them for Yun Qi’s illness.”

Wei Lan agreed, “I’ll take note and talk to the young master.”

In the bedroom, Luo Wei slept soundly. Wei Lan walked to the front of the bed and pushed at Luo Wei, calling, “Young master?”

Luo Wei opened his eyes in a daze. He first looked at Wei Lan with a somewhat foolish-looking smile, and then asked, “Is it dawn?”

Wei Lan didn’t respond yet when Ning Fei began to laugh, “Yun Qi, did you sleep yourself silly? It’s still broad daylight.”

“Zi Zhou?” Luo Wei saw that Ning Fei was also there, and the confusion passed. He hurriedly prepared to get up.

Wei Lan took thick clothes and put them on Luo Wei. “Get dressed first.” 

“Why did Zi Zhou come?” Luo Wei sat still, letting Wei Lan put clothes on him as he asked Ning Fei.

“I’m going back to Yun Guan and came to say good-bye,” Ning Fei answered. 

“Is everything packed?”

“I have nothing to bring, just a few changes of clothes.”

“It’s also good to leave early.” Luo Wei took water from Wei Lan’s hand, and drank half the cup in one go. “Tell my eldest brother everything, so you all can prepare.”

“I understand,” Ning Fei affirmed. “It is said that the Black Frost Cavalry is the best in the world, I have long wished to meet them.”

“Yes,” Luo Wei said. “We will take back Black Frost City. If we want to defend it, we must get rid of this Black Frost Cavalry. This time I think the entire army at Yun Guan will be dispatched, so you should prepare early.”

“Take care of yourself.” Ning Fei didn’t want to disturb Luo Wei further. After saying what needed to be said in a few words, Ning Fei wanted to take his leave.

Just as Ning Fei was about to leave and Luo Wei asked Wei Lan to send Ning Fei out, Fu Wei’s voice came from the outer room, “Cousin, your sixth cousin is ​​here, come out!”

Qi Zi and Xiao Xiao were both blocking her, but they couldn’t stop her.

“Wait a minute.” Luo Wei hurriedly sat up on the bed and shouted towards the outer room, “I will come out now.”

“Then I’ll wait here,” Ning Fei said.

“You won’t see her?” Luo Wei asked.

Ning Fei replied with some shyness, “It’s not good for me to meet her all the time.”

“All right,” Luo Wei said as he got out of bed, “this is also not the time to talk about love affairs.”

In the outer room, Fu Wei walked back and forth without stopping for a moment. Qi Zi and Xiao Xiao stood at the door of the inner room like door gods, for fear that this young lady’s temper would flare up and she would break in. This one didn’t seem to care about reputation, but their young master still needed his to be good.

Luo Wei put on his clothes in a hurry, and asked when he came out to see Fu Wei, “What’s wrong? What happened?”

“Ning Fei is leaving!” Fu Wei shouted.

“Oh,” Luo Wei replied. “I know.” He waved a hand to have Qi Zi and Xiao Xiao leave, “The army has some matters he must leave early to deal with.” 

“Then what should I do?” Fu Wei asked Luo Wei. 

“What do you mean what should you do? Zi Zhou didn’t do anything to cousin right?”

“You’re making fun of me!” Fu Wei pointed at Luo Wei, her pair of long, shapely eyebrows going vertical.

“Sixth cousin,” Wei Lan began. 

“You aren’t a good person either!” Fu Wei scolded Wei Lan too. 

Wei Lan originally had good intentions and wanted to tell Fu Wei that Ning Fei was in the inner room, but having been interrupted by Fu Wei, he was pushed behind Luo Wei. He wanted to speak up but couldn’t. 

“All right, we are all not good people,” Luo Wei said to Fu Wei. “Cousin, what are your plans for Zi Zhou? If you don’t say it, how can we know?” 

“Can’t you tell?”

“I can’t tell, I haven’t made my own family yet.” 

“I,” Fu Wei held back for a long time. She finally suppressed herself until her face reddened, and didn’t say anything.

Luo Wei continued, “Cousin doesn’t have any plans, so what are you doing finding me? Zi Zhou is a general of the imperial court and has a government job. It is impossible for him to accompany cousin to practice martial arts every day.”

“He is in a hurry to go back, is he going to do battle?”

“This is a military matter, I don’t know.”

“Where is he now?”

“Do you have something to discuss with him?”

Fu Wei saw Luo Wei looking as if this had nothing to do with him, and she hated it to the point her teeth itched. 

“I’m tired.” Luo Wei yawned. “Cousin, do as you will.”

“I want to ask if he will marry me,” Fu Wei blurted out in a voice not unlike a mosquito’s hum. 

“What did you say?” Luo Wei heard it clearly, but he didn’t expect this Fu Wei to be so courageous.

“I want to marry,” Fu Wei threw caution to the wind and said loudly, “I just don’t know if he wants to marry.”

Now Ning Fei couldn’t sit still in the inner room anymore, and walked out in a few steps.

When Fu Wei saw Ning Fei coming out of the door of the inner room, she was struck dumb where she stood and didn’t know where to put her hands and feet.

 “The rest of us go out first,” Luo Wei held back a smile. “You both can talk.”

R:DSAT Chapter 178: Hand Warmer

This night in the capital was a sleepless one for the monarch and his ministers. 

Luo Wei shouldn’t stay up all night, but he still lingered–half-sitting and half-laying down–in Luo Zhi Qiu’s study until morning. Luo Ze couldn’t walk yet, so they didn’t let Luo Ze know about Northern Yan for fear that his wholehearted yearning for the battlefield would prevent him from caring for his injuries. Ning Fei was called out, and along with Wei Lan who had been deliberately included by Luo Wei, the four people in the study pointed at the map and discussed all night.

Ning Fei was excited about the opportunity to take Black Frost City, but he didn’t have much faith in Luo Wei successfully tricking open the gates of Black Frost City. 

“It is a matter of effort,” Luo Wei stated with confidence. “Sima Qingsha and I can be considered acquaintances. Today if I send him charcoal in snowy weather, he will probably believe me. Zi Zhou, you aren’t thinking that I’m too villainous, violating the principles of a gentleman?” 

(T/N: send him charcoal in snowy weather = help him in his hour of need).

Ning Fei shook his head. “The military profession is crafty, and the two countries will wage war. What use is there in speaking of gentlemen?”

“Then it seems that you will return to Yun Guan before the end of this year,” Luo Wei said with a smile. “Time is of the essence, do you have time to pack up?”

“I can go first,” Ning Fei replied. “It’s just that I must ask Yun Qi to arrange for someone to escort my mother and my younger siblings.”

I’ll arrange this,” Luo Wei promised. It seemed that as long as Ning Shu Ying did not die, Ning Fei could not be assured of his family’s safety.

Luo Zhi Qiu glanced at Wei Lan standing next to Luo Wei, and asked Luo Wei, “Who do you want to send to talk to Sima Qingsha? Lan? In Ye Jia City that day, only Lan was by your side. Sima Qingsha should be able to recognize Lan.”

“No need,” Luo Wei replied. “Sima Qingsha’s messenger is in the capital. It will suffice for me to reply to his letter.”

Ning Fei said, “With only one letter, can Sima Qingsha believe you?” 

Luo Wei had already thought this point through. “As long as he opens the gates of Black Frost City, I will enter his army. If I am in his army, Sima Qingsha will take me as a hostage. He shouldn’t have too many suspicions.” 

“No!” The three others in the room shouted almost simultaneously.

“Outside is still cold and snowy, did you think you could go out with your health as it is now?” Luo Zhi Qiu scolded Luo Wei. 

Wei Lan also persuaded, “Young master, how could you enter Northern Yan’s army? What if something goes wrong?”

Ning Fei also spoke: “That’s too dangerous. If things change, no matter how many main forces we have in Northern Yan, we can’t save you.” 

“This is a golden opportunity bestowed by the heavens.” Luo Wei’s conclusions, once drawn, were almost impossible to change. “If we miss it, we may have to delay Black Frost City’s return by dozens of winters and summer. Father, Zi Zhou, don’t worry. I have a sense of propriety. As for Lan,” Luo Wei smiled at Wei Lan and continued, “would you like to come with me?” 

Wei Lan replied, “Where the young master goes, Wei Lan will follow. But does the young master have to go himself?” 

“Lan,” Luo Wei said, “we’re thinking about another person’s city, but only want you to send one letter over. If it were you, you also wouldn’t trust me right?” 

Wei Lan looked at Luo Zhi Qiu and Ning Fei, hoping for the two of them to persuade Luo Wei again. 

Luo Zhi Qiu thought through different angles. He knew Luo Wei was right, but he was reluctant to let Luo Wei take such a risk. 

Ning Fei also wanted to persuade Luo Wei, but even Luo Zhi Qiu could not think of a persuasive argument, so it was even more impossible for him. 

“If my father has a better way, this son is willing to listen.” Luo Wei left some final leeway for Luo Zhi Qiu. 

Luo Zhi Qiu smiled bitterly. A better way? He didn’t have one, and could only see whether Emperor Xing Wu and those generals had any. 

After dawn arrived, Luo Wei went to his bedroom to sleep for a while. 

Imperial Physician Wei saw that Luo Wei had only recovered a little bit of strength and now wanted to torment himself again. The physician couldn’t release the anger in his heart at Luo Wei, so he unleashed it all on Wei Lan. 

Wei Lan had bitter words he couldn’t say out loud. He didn’t know if this imperial physician would be able to bear it after finding out that Luo Wei wanted to go to Northern Yan. 

Luo Wei rushed to the Hall of Eternal Light after Emperor Xing Wu conducted his morning court. 

At this time, Emperor Xing Wu was in a great rage within the Hall of Eternal Light. After this morning court, not one good method to deal with Black Frost City resulted. A court full of civil and military officials had not a single useful person! 

Luo Wei stood in front of Emperor Xing Wu’s imperial writing desk and related the method that he and Long Xuan had discussed yesterday. He only hid the matter of the Sima brothers separately finding them. 

Emperor Xing Wu at first didn’t hope for Luo Wei to have any good solutions, but after hearing Luo Wei speak a few turns, he calmed his mind to listen. In the beginning he would nod his head, but as he listened further, Emperor Xing Wu gave not a hint of an expression. 

After the majority of Luo Wei’s voluminous speech flowed out of him, he anxiously waited for Emperor Xing Wu to give him a reply. 

“Go back and rest first,” Emperor Xing Wu said after sitting silently for a long time. “This idea is not bad, but I must think about it.” 

“Your Majesty, this matter is better dealt with sooner rather than later,” Luo Wei reminded him. 

Emperor Xing Wu raised his head and glared at Luo Wei. “You don’t take your own life seriously, but I still treasure your life!”

“This humble servant…” 

“You let me think about it.” Emperor Xing Wu rarely drove Luo Wei away. “This is not just your life, do you know how many people are required to contribute to your plan? I will give you an explanation. Go back home and rest.”

“This humble servant doesn’t need any explanation,” Luo Wei wanted to say a few more words, itching to persuade Emperor Xing Wu right now. 

“Obey!” Emperor Xing Wu waved a hand at Luo Wei, “Don’t make trouble for me.”

“Young master, let’s go,” Zhao Fu came over and urged Luo Wei to leave. He had served Emperor Xing Wu for many years. This emperor already faced Luo Wei with his greatest reserve of patience. If Luo Wei continued to speak, Emperor Xing Wu would not rage at Luo Wei. However, when Luo Wei left, those who were serving beside them would really suffer.

“Is this what you discussed with Long Xuan yesterday?” Emperor Xing Wu suddenly asked again.

“Yes,” Luo Wei said. Long Xuan still had to exert himself for this matter, and he couldn’t erase Long Xuan’s merits, so it was better to admit it.

Emperor Xing Wu only waved his hand to bid Luo Wei leave.

Luo Wei left the Hall of Eternal Light and saw Long Xuan standing not far from him next to a flower pavilion. 

“You all step back first,” Long Xuan said to the eunuchs carrying Luo Wei’s palanquin. 

The two eunuchs stepped back in a hurry, standing far away to wait.

“What did my Emperor Father say?” Long Xuan asked Luo Wei after the two eunuchs retreated.

“His Majesty said he has to think about it.”

“What did you say about the Sima brothers?”

“I only said that I got to know Sima Qingsha during the last Yun Guan battle. I didn’t say anything about you and Sima Zhuxie.”

“Then I should thank you.”

“His Majesty himself said that this is for the country of Greater Zhou. Luo Wei has not yet reached the point where he can’t distinguish between what’s important and what’s not. But his Majesty did not actually agree. I don’t know what the result will be.”

“He didn’t agree, but he didn’t refuse you either. This is the only feasible way. He will agree,” Long Xuan reasoned.

“Then how will you persuade His Majesty to allow you to go to battle? Will he let you go?” Luo Wei asked.

“As long as you don’t make trouble for me, I can go to the battlefield to fight for the country.” Long Xuan was in the mood to joke with Luo Wei at this time.

Luo Wei did not feel like continuing to talk, and shed his face as he began to leave. 

(T/N: to give someone face is to give them respect/show propriety. To shed your face means you’re doing away with showing propriety/respect.) 

Long Xuan grabbed Luo Wei’s hand, softening his voice, “Go back and get a good night’s sleep. You have bloodshot eyes. Didn’t sleep last night?”

Luo Wei wanted to shake Long Xuan’s hand off. This was the imperial palace. He didn’t want to–and didn’t dare to–get hopelessly muddled with Long Xuan. He only said one word: “Okay.” 

Long Xuan let go of Luo Wei’s hand and then put a hand warmer into it, “Why didn’t you remember to hold it today?”

“What on earth do you want?” Luo Wei wanted to throw the hand warmer, but was afraid that others would see. 

“The war is imminent, what will we do if you get sick again?” Long Xuan’s tone was quite pompous.

“You,” Luo Wei choked on his words from Long Xuan-induced stress. But the hand warmer was toasty yet not too hot, and it really warmed his cold hands. 

I’m guessing it’s almost time for ML #3, are your bodies ready? Mine was 20 chapters ago… 

R:DSAT Chapter 177: Can You Trust Me?

Luo Wei exited the Hall of Literary Transcendence, only to find that lanterns had already been lit outside. He’d entered the palace at dusk, and now it was almost midnight.

Long Xuan walked behind Luo Wei and said in a low voice, “Luo Wei. The grievances between you and me are difficult, but for the sake of Greater Zhou’s mountains and rivers, it’s better to put down rancor for the time being and collaborate with me. At least before Black Frost City returns, you must trust me.” 

Luo Wei looked back at Long Xuan. This man clearly stood on the veranda beneath the halo of palace lanterns, but his body was shrouded in shadows. Luo Wei couldn’t see Long Xuan’s expression clearly, and only replied, “When has this humble servant not trusted Your Highness? The grievances Your Highness speaks of are even more so beyond discussion.” 

“Luo Wei, even for the state, even for this country you cannot trust me?”

“Can you regret?” Luo Wei suddenly asked. 

Long Xuan did not understand. “Regret what?” 

“To go to Yue Zhou, your Hall of Literary Transcendence lost two family members,” Luo Wei elaborated. “Today it seems those two’s departure was not worthwhile, and you don’t regret it?” 

Long Xuan did not think too much before replying, “I have never thought twice about people who are already dead.” 

Luo Wei looked at the palace rooms before him. There were many beautiful women here, and he had really asked an extraneous question. He continued, “Soon there will be a true mistress here. I just don’t know which noble family’s daughter will be fortunate enough to enter the Hall of Literary Transcendence.” 

“You also heard that I am going to establish a proper wife?” Long Xuan asked. 

“Yes, I heard,” Luo Wei affirmed. “Women will not ask much about the state and country, but the topic of Your Second Highness and the Third Highness’s establishment of proper wives is of great interest for them.” 

Long Xuan considered a bit more, and realized that Luo Wei would know of these matters even when he stayed at home sick. Putting aside his own business, it was impossible for the Luo family to ignore third brother Long Xing’s selection of a proper wife.

After Luo Wei bowed and saluted to Long Xuan, he said, “No need to see this humble servant out.”

The wind in the courtyard suddenly strengthened, its passing inciting the susurrus of the thickets in the courtyard. The palace lanterns hanging from the veranda also rocked back and forth, light and shadow flashing continually. 

“Your Highness.” Fu Yun trotted over from the end of a covered walkway. 

Long Xuan didn’t look at Fu Yun. He looked at Luo Wei’s shoulders shrinking from the cold of the blowing wind. 

“Your Highness.” When Fu Yun walked closer, Long Xuan and Luo Wei saw Zhao Fu and Wei Lan following behind Fu Yun. 

“Lan?” Luo Wei looked at Wei Lan, who had walked to his front, in surprise. “Why are you here?” 

Wei Lan smiled at Luo Wei, and then followed Zhao Fu in saluting Long Xuan. 

After saluting Long Xuan, Zhao Fu smilingly said to Luo Wei, “Young master, His Majesty knows you came to His Second Highness’s place. It’s late at night and the wind is blowing. His Majesty ordered this humble slave to lead Imperial Bodyguard Wei into the palace to wait on the young master.” 

Luo Wei made a gesture of thanks in the direction of the Hall of Eternal Light. 

Zhao Fu continued to face Luo Wei with a smile, “Young master, His Majesty was afraid that us humble slaves would not be able to serve the young master.” 

“Where are these words of Mr. Zhao’s coming from?” Luo Wei laughed. “His Majesty is feeling sorry for you guys!” 

(T/N: again, keeping acid’s translation of “mister” for the term of address for eunuchs.)

Zhao Fu smiled as he repeatedly emphasized that he did not dare to think so. 

“Your Highness.” Luo Wei and Zhao Fu completed their banter, so Luo Wei addressed Long Xuan as he stood beside them, “This humble servant will retreat.” 

Long Xuan replied, “Okay, be careful on your way.” 

Luo Wei had just taken a step on the stairs when the wind blew even more fiercely than it just had. Luo Wei used his sleeves to cover his face, leaning towards Wei Lan. 

Wei Lan hurriedly draped the fur overcoat in his hands on Luo Wei. 

Long Xuan’s hands, which had come up to undo the belt of his thick overcoat, fell again. 

Wei Lan and Luo Wei switched sides so that Wei Lan blocked some of the wind for Luo Wei as he supported him out of the Hall of Literary Transcendence. 

Long Xuan watched the two people walking together amid the biting, chilling wind, each indeed intending to accompany the other. Long Xuan’s expression was frosty as he turned around to enter the hall. He didn’t want to look anymore, but he couldn’t walk forward to separate the two men. He could only walk away by himself. 

Outside the Hall of Literary Transcendence, Luo Wei said to Zhao Fu, “Go back Mr. Zhao. It’s fine now that Wei Lan and I have exited the palace.” 

Zhao Fu replied, “The young master will get tired.” 

“It’s okay,” Luo Wei’s reward had already entered Zhao Fu’s hands as he spoke, “I’ve sat for a long time, and want to walk. Wei Lan is here, you guys don’t need to take care of me.” 

 Zhao Fu said, “Then the young master should sit in the soft palanquin to exit the palace, and have Imperial Bodyguard Wei accompany him out?” 

Luo Wei whispered to Zhao Fu, “I still want to walk around in the palace. This is Wei Lan’s first time inside.” 

Zhao Fu chuckled. “This slave understands. As the young master wishes.” He took a multicolored ceramic glazed palace lantern from behind him, putting it in Wei Lan’s hands. 

“Let’s go,” Luo Wei said from beside Wei Lan. 

Wei Lan held the glazed lamp in one hand while supporting Luo Wei with the other, and whispered to Luo Wei, “The young master knows the way out of the palace?”

“I know it,” Luo Wei whispered back with a smile. “Follow me and you won’t get lost.” 

Zhao Fu watched the two people walk further away step by step, and then said the two eunuchs holding the palanquin, “Just follow the third young master from this distance. If he can’t walk further, you will help him up.” 

The two little eunuchs hurriedly followed with the empty palanquin.

Fu Yun ran back to Long Xuan’s study and reported to Long Xuan, “Your Royal Highness, the third young master and Wei Lan have left.”

Long Xuan looked at the teacup opposite him. At his place, not to mention drinking a sip of tea, Luo Wei did not even touch his white jade teacup once. “Zhao Fu and the rest followed?” Long Xuan asked. 

Fu Yun replied, “Third young master didn’t let Zhao Fu and the rest follow. Zhao Fu signalled and knows how to curry favor. After the third young master was far away, Zhao Fu had the two eunuchs holding the palanquin follow from behind.” 

Long Xuan lowered his head and looked carefully at the map of Northern Yan’s landscapes and rivers again.

Zhao Fu could not wait for Long Xuan to speak, and he quietly walked out. 

(T/N: Author wrote Zhao Fu. Maybe he followed Fu Yun in? Translator confused too.) 

The doors and windows in the study were shut tightly, and the medicinal scent on the opposite side of the desk seemed to stagnate in that one chi of space. Long Xuan didn’t know what he was thinking. After immersing himself in the rivers and mountains of that map for a while, he picked up the untouched cup of tea and splashed it on the opposite side of the desk. When the white jade cup had not a drop left in it, Long Xuan fiercely flung it to the ground, smashing it into pieces.

(T/N: 1 chi = ⅓ of a meter).

Zhao Fu stood guard outside the study. Hearing the movements in the study, he did not dare to investigate.

On the stone path covered in fallen leaves, Luo Wei and Wei Lan walked shoulder to shoulder. 

“Are you cold?” Wei Lan asked.

“I’m all wrapped up like this already,” Luo Wei replied. “If it gets colder, can I still go out of the house?”

Wei Lan felt Luo Wei’s hand. The hand holding the warmer had sweat a bit. “The Prime Minister wanted me to bring the young master back a bit earlier. I didn’t expect it to be so late.”

“I had matters to discuss and it got a bit late. I’ll talk with you about it when we’re back.” Luo Wei lowered his voice and continued, “There are listening ears everywhere in this palace, I don’t dare speak.” 

Wei Lan looked at their surroundings. Except for the two little eunuchs who followed them from far away carrying the empty palanquin, there was no one else. “It turns out that the palace is like this,” Wei Lan said to Luo Wei. “It’s different from what I imagined.”

“What did you think the palace is like?”

“It is said that the road to the palace is paved with gold, the buildings are covered with jade, and the night pearls illuminate the dark like its daytime.”

Luo Wei laughed, “So it turned out you believed this?”

“Unexpectedly, there are also fallen leaves on the roads in the palace.” Wei Lan lowered his head and smiled with embarrassment. 

“It was just blown down by the wind,” Luo Wei said. “Someone will clean it tomorrow morning. But I like to walk on this kind of road.”

Wei Lan smiled and said, “Then in the future I will ask Xiao Xiao and them not to sweep the fallen leaves in the young master’s courtyard.”

“If he won’t even sweep the grounds, won’t he die from laziness?” 

Both of them laughed, and the leaves they stepped on rustled beneath. In this quiet night in the palace, these sounds carried far–these weren’t sounds of music, but they were just as sweet to the ear. 

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R:DSAT Chapter 176: Conspiring

Long Xuan didn’t know what was wrong with him. When he and Luo Wei were sitting opposite each other poring over the map of Northern Yan and going back and forth about how to retake Black Frost City, he actually thought about how pleasant it would be if this person stood shoulder-to-shoulder with him to win this country instead of fighting against him. Just as this notion arose within Long Xuan, he saw Luo Wei shut his mouth and knit his brows slightly as he looked at Long Xuan with some new caution. “What’s the matter?” Long Xuan’s subconscious mind opened his mouth and spoke for him. 

Luo Wei replied, “Why did Sima Zhuxie come to you? The letter he handed over killed the entire Liu Family. He didn’t know that he had become enemies with you?”

Long Xuan felt a sense of loss. Luo Wei did not trust him at all, even for the sake of Greater Zhou. Hiding this loss deep within him, Long Xuan gave a disdainful look for Sima Zhuxie, “If I help him become emperor, he promises me Greater Zhou.”

“Just relying on him?” 

“He doesn’t want me to ask my father to send troops to help him,” Long Xuan said. “Sima Zhuxie also knows I can’t do this with my current position. He only wants me to delay Greater Zhou’s dispatch of troops. Even if I can’t do it, he hopes I can tell him quickly when we set a date to send troops.”

Luo Wei’s face revealed no emotion as he replied, “That would be simple.” 

“This stupid man,” Long Xuan mocked. “He treats me as if I am like him. In order to become an emperor, even the country can be destroyed. Without the country, what kind of emperor would he become? Sima Qingsha also found you. Seems this Sima Imperial Clan is entirely stupid.”

Luo Wei said, “They’re not stupid, they are just greedy for life. If Sima Zhuxie topples Hefang City, when it loses power, how many of those in the Sima royal family who disgraced him can live? If Sima Zhuxie loses, in the same way he will have no path to survival.”

“You think clearly for them.”

“In order to live, if there is still opportunity for survival, humans must always fight.”

“If it were me,” Long Xuan said to Luo Wei, “and the country was no longer under Sima while I dragged out my ignoble existence, I would rather die to protect the country.” 

“With no way to become emperor, you would still be willing?” Luo Wei asked.


After Long Xuan uttered that “yes”, the hall fell into silence for a moment. Long Xuan fixed his eyes on Luo Wei, as if he was waiting for Luo Wei to reply to him and tell him whether he believed his “yes” or not. 

Luo Wei was looking at the scene of drizzling rain printed on the screen behind Long Xuan, his gaze vacant. This “yes” he believed. Long Xuan was obsessed with the throne, and held sentimental love for this country. This person truly could become emperor and would not be bad for the country. It’s just, why is my surname Luo, and why is he not reincarnated in the empress’s womb? Maybe if circumstances were as such, they wouldn’t face this dead knot. In the last life that knot couldn’t be unraveled, and it seemed to be the case in this life as well. 

“Luo Wei?” Long Xuan broke the silence. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to wait, but just that he suddenly did not want to know the answer. He was even a little afraid to know. 

“It’s better to discuss with Eastern Shang about sending troops,” Luo Wei returned his gaze to the map, his finger pointing to the Eastern Shang country to the left of Northern Yan.

“Eastern Shang will be willing to send troops?”

“If we don’t ask how will we know? Eastern Shang and Northern Yan also have been at odds for many years. If they knew they could make a big profit from Northern Yan amidst the chaos, and even share a chunk of its lands, why would the Eastern Shang monarch be unwilling?” 

Long Xuan also focused on the map. “What good would that do for Greater Zhou?”

“Just to let the Sima royal family attend to one thing and lose sight of the other.” Luo Wei pointed to Chun Du Pass, which separated Northern Yan and Eastern Shang. “If we can have Eastern Shang cross Chun Du, it doesn’t matter if Sima Zhuxie believes you or not. He will retreat.” 

“Sima Qingsha will lead the troops out of Hefang, and we will lead troops to Black Frost. Three lines of troops will be at Tian Shui’s source, here.” Long Xuan’s finger trailed to a vast and empty field on the map. “Surrounding the Black Frost Cavalry.” 

“What does it matter if the Black Frost Cavalry is known as the world’s best? Take this opportunity to annihilate the Black Frost Cavalry in one move, forever eliminating this trouble,” Luo Wei said.

Long Xuan calculated, “If Sima Qingsha regrets it then, there’s still Eastern Shang behind him. He will have no chance to renege.” 

“So we won’t talk about the Black Frost City with the Sima royal family, only about how to help them solve the difficulties in Hefang.”

“You’ll trick Sima Qingsha to send people to open Black Frost City for us. I’ll trick Sima Zhuxie into retreating to Tian Shui’s source. And then, we still have to discuss with them a great gift as thanks.”

Luo Wei smiled. “So for people living on this earth, it’s best not to seek help from others.” 

“If Eastern Shang’s appetite extends beyond Chun Du Pass?” Long Xuan asked. 

“Would Eastern Shang evenly split Northern Yan with us with good intentions?” Luo Wei was not worried. “With Chun Du Pass in hand, they can send troops into Northern Yan at any time. I am actually worried that Mo Huan Sang won’t withdraw his troops. A leader of an army most dreads redoubling a siege.” 

“If this is the case, we will just execute a fight to the death in Hefang City,” Long Xuan replied. “Luo Wei, developments are imminent. Many matters won’t go our way. You only need to remember we are doing this for Black Frost City and Black Frost City’s Tian Shui fountainhead. Other matters we can plan for in the future.” 

Luo Wei nodded. “Okay, I see.” 

“Hard to come by,” Long Xuan leaned back in his chair, “you can still say good things to me.” 

Luo Wei sat still and replied, “There’s one more thing. How will you speak with His Majesty about this?” 

“He believes you far more than he does me,” Long Xuan reasoned. “You should think about how to say it.” 

Luo Wei slowly stood up. “This humble servant cannot bear the weight of Your Highness’s words. We’ve finished discussing matters, so this humble servant will take his leave.” 

Luo Wei called himself a humble servant, so Long Xuan knew that their discussion of state affairs was over. Or at least, this person did not want to talk with him anymore. “Is that Wei Lan waiting for you outside the palace?” Long Xuan asked. 

Luo Wei said, “Your Highness is also interested in the personal affairs of this humble servant?” 

“He is not worthy of you,” Long Xuan also stood up and said.

“Your Highness is the son of dragons.” A sneer hung from the side of Luo Wei’s lips. “Naturally you will see any person as unworthy. This humble servant thinks Lan is very good; Your Highness need not trouble himself to worry about it.” 

“The affairs between you and him, does the Senior Official’s side know about it?” 

“This matter has nothing to do with Your Highness, right?” Luo Wei did not even salute to pay respects, turning to leave. 

“You will marry a wife and have children in the future, can you treat him just like you do today?” Long Xuan asked from behind Luo Wei. 

“Marry a wife and have children?” Luo Wei at once turned again to face Long Xuan, shouting, “You don’t know about that matter of mine?”

Long Xuan replied, “What do I know? You mean you are not in good health? I have already executed those four executioners, what do you want me to do? Haven’t I already sent…”

“Sent what?” Luo Wei asked.

“It’s nothing.” Long Xuan did not say that he had already sent the Hundred-Year Snow Mountain ginseng. He heard Luo Wei ask, and knew that Luo Zhi Qiu hadn’t told Luo Wei the truth. With Luo Wei’s temper, if he knew that Long Xuan gave the ginseng, he would definitely not eat it. 

Luo Wei looked at Long Xuan suspiciously, wondering what tricks Long Xuan was going to play with him again.

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ASV Chapter 75: Amen

However, compared with Qin Kaiyi’s pale and shocked face, Tang Shayun’s expression was so excited. As if she had mentally collapsed, she shouted all her grievances at Qin Kaiyi until Qin Kaiyi stepped forward and slapped her hard, so that the almost despairing shouting came to an end.

“Wuwuwu (T/N: crying noises)… why… why is this happening, why would I encounter such a thing… why… I want to leave here, I want to go home!!! Who will save me… Who will save me…” Tang Shayun was crying and lying on the ground, her voice incredibly mournful. 

“…” Qin Kaiyi stood next to Tang Shayun and watched her mental state crumble. After a long time, a slight sigh came out of his mouth–who wouldn’t want to go home after coming to this world?

While witnessing everything, Shen Feixiao’s expression became more and more profound. 

“Master, you don’t want to know who that person called Yan Gu is?” The eggplant clearly understood Shen Feixiao. He watched the uncomfortable discourse between Qin Kaiyi and Tang Shayun, and his focus obviously wasn’t on the relationship between those two. 

“Don’t want to.” Shen Feixiao’s expression was very indifferent. He knew that the illusion technique Tang Shayun used was not an ordinary illusion to imitate any human form, but one that would imitate the person who the victim of the illusion thought could help him most. “Yan Gu is fine, Ziyang Pei is also fine, all cannot think to take him from my hands.” 

Looking at the rich purple in Shen Feixiao’s eyes, the eggplant knew that he could not hook Shen Feixiao’s interest and boredly shrugged: “Okay, there really seems to be a relationship between Tang Shayun and Qin Kaiyi… wu, what does the master plan to do?”

“Don’t you know what I plan to do?” Shen Feixiao showed a smile that was yet not a smile, looking at the eggplant pretending to be silly, “Don’t be too greedy.”

“… Okay.” The corners of his mouth pulling, the eggplant mumbled, “Ruining her just like this… what a pity.” The original natural demonic body should have a better use.

Shen Feixiao pretended not to hear the complaints of eggplant. He looked at Qin Kaiyi through the mirror, watching him standing on the spot with his head hanging down. He stood up after a while: “Remove the formation.”

“Yes.” The eggplant had no power to object.

Qin Kaiyi didn’t know when the bright moonlight shone in… He looked up and found that the atmosphere of the corridor he was in had somehow changed, shedding its previous lifelessness. The building at the moment had a smart ancient charm. If it were not for Tang Shayun, who was crying and almost fainting on the ground, Qin Kaiyi guessed that he might have even appreciated the scenery. 

“Don’t cry.” Looking at Tang Shayun still crying, Qin Kaiyi had no pity. What this girl had done was too cruel. He didn’t have much of an intention to help her. After all, he had heard of the story of the farmer helping the snake. 

“Wuwuwu (T/N: crying noises)…” But Tang Shayun completely ignored Qin Kaiyi. The method to leave her body could only be used once in a lifetime, and now she had ruined her only chance to leave.

“…” Qin Kaiyi wanted to say something, but when he thought that Shen Feixiao might be spying on them, he suppressed that urge. Tang Shayun’s words were enough to arouse Shen Feixiao’s vigilance. If he himself said something… maybe even he would be implicated. 

“Shixiong.” Shen Feixiao’s voice came from afar. Qin Kaiyi stiffened as soon as he heard that voice. He turned to look at Shen Feixiao not far away, and then looked at the almost unconscious Tang Shayun, thinking that this really was a game set up by Shen Feixiao… he just didn’t know what the purpose of this game was. 

“Go back.” Shen Feixiao didn’t express any opinion on Qin Kaiyi standing outside for half a night. Both he and Qin Kaiyi were well aware, so it was unnecessary to say anything.

“…” Qin Kaiyi was silent, and did not answer Shen Feixiao’s words.

“Let’s go.” Shen Feixiao finished saying this and lifted Qin Kaiyi into his embrace, ignoring his struggles. He frowned slightly after feeling the coldness of Qin Kaiyi’s skin. 

Qin Kaiyi knew that his resistance was futile. After struggling twice, he accepted his fate. He finally glanced at Tang Shayun lying on the ground. Somehow, there was a  sense of the fox grieving at the rabbit’s death. (T/N: idiom meaning sympathy for a like-minded person in distress). 

Shen Feixiao didn’t seem to notice Qin Kaiyi’s gloominess at all. He held Qin Kaiyi through the long wooden corridor and returned to the room where Qin Kaiyi first came out. Then he kicked the door open and walked in. 

“What do you want?!” When Shen Feixiao put him on the bed, Qin Kaiyi had to admit that his nerves collapsed again. He shrunk back on reflex, but Shen Feixiao grabbed onto his feet. 

Shen Feixiao didn’t say anything and just held Qin Kaiyi’s feet in his hands. Qin Kaiyi’s feet were very beautiful, with a texture not as rough as the average man. Beautifully shaped musculature and bone structure were wrapped in a layer of white jade-like skin. Those smooth and round toes gently and cautiously shrunk back due to fear, looking both pitiful and cute.  

Shen Feixiao held Qin Kaiyi’s feet in his hands and did nothing else.

And Qin Kaiyi froze for a while before reacting–Shen Feixiao was warming his feet! Warming his feet!! Too terrifying, it was really too terrifying… with half his body laying on the bed, Qin Kaiyi almost had the urge to viciously kick Shen Feixiao and then run around the room screaming, but his only remaining bit of reason stopped him… 

“Shixiong, do you want to go out for a walk.” Shen Feixiao was silent for a long time before lightly speaking.

“… Where?” Qin Kaiyi didn’t believe that Shen Feixiao would be so kind.

“Of course you can’t go far.” Shen Feixiao noticed Qin Kaiyi’s feet warming up, but didn’t let go, instead playing with them in his hands. “It’s not safe to go far.”

“…” Qin Kaiyi stopped talking. He knew Shen Feixiao still wanted to say a bit more. 

“I know shixiong wants to leave,” Shen Feixiao’s tone was very calm, as if speaking of trivial matters, “but that’s impossible. No matter where shixiong flees, I will get shixiong back… then break shixiong’s legs with my own hands.”

Those words clearly had no tonal inflections, but made Qin Kaiyi’s blood run cold. He looked at Shen Feixiao’s expressionless face and did not dare to doubt the truth of his words.

“So shixiong must not run away.” Shen Feixiao let go of Qin Kaiyi’s shivering feet in his hands. “Otherwise I can’t control myself.”

“…” Qin Kaiyi held back for a long time without saying anything. What could he say? Shen Feixiao was obviously abnormal now; reasoning with a lunatic?? He was not that stupid!

“If shixiong is bored, I can call some people to accompany shixiong.” Shen Feixiao looked at Qin Kaiyi casually and said, “Would it be good to call that Yan Gu over?”

“…” So Shen Feixiao did hear his conversation with Tang Shayun! The cold sweat on Qin Kaiyi’s forehead dripped down at once, and he remembered the truths that Tang Shayun revealed in her state of mental collapse. He somehow began to feel guilty. 

“Shixiong, is that an agreement?” Shen Feixiao warmly asked. 

“… No.” Squeezing out one word after a long while, Qin Kaiyi took a deep breath and said, “No, I’m very good by myself, don’t get Yan Gu.” He didn’t know if Shen Feixiao had the ability to find Yan Gu, but he knew… If Yan Gu was also caught, then that would really cut off his last chance.

“Is it.” Shen Feixiao lowly chuckled, and did not force Qin Kaiyi anymore. He stood up. “Shixiong stood outside for one night, he must be exhausted. Then I will not disturb his rest.”

“… Goodbye.” Qin Kaiyi really wanted Shen Feixiao to get as far away as possible. 

However, at the moment when Shen Feixiao pushed open the door and was about to leave, Qin Kaiyi heard a long-lost voice ringing in his mind [System Tip: The transmigrator without a system has been eliminated, triggering the last part of the plot——Shen Feixiao’s revenge, the mission time is not limited. Please let Qin Shi be personally killed by Shen Feixiao, gather the final return value, and return to your original world; the transmigrator without a system has been eliminated, triggering the last part of the plot——Shen Feixiao’s revenge, the mission time is not limited. Please let Qin Shi be personally killed by Shen Feixiao, gather the final return value, and return to your original world] “…” Looking at Shen Feixiao’s back, Qin Kaiyi choked back a blurted out cry of surprise, and he was shocked to the point that his face became deathly white.

He hadn’t written Qin Shi’s ending yet but was already going through it. It seemed that Qin Shi’s final ending had been filled in by this world as well. 

But making Shen Feixiao kill him? Qin Kaiyi couldn’t help but think of Shen Feixiao warming his feet just now, and he inexplicably shivered–this challenge was really a bit difficult…

“Shen Feixiao, how should it be so he would kill me… how should it be… to kill me,” Qin Kaiyi whispered with a bitter smile. In fact, it was quite simple to make Shen Feixiao angry, but after getting angry–Shen Feixiao obviously only got on top of him instead of killing him ahhhhhhh!!!

The last mission had been issued, and he was only one step away from home… but why did this step look so… far away?

After a night of fatigue, Qin Kaiyi curled up at the head of the bed again and gradually fell asleep. After he fell asleep, the originally closed door was pushed open with one hand. Shen Feixiao, who was supposed to leave, walked in quietly and put a thin blanket on Qin Kaiyi before leaving again. 

At some point in time, Shen Feixiao had begun to habitually eavesdrop on his shixiong talking to himself—but this time, what he heard almost made him rush in from the outside.

“… Shen Feixiao, how should it be so he would kill you.” The man standing outside the door had a twisted and sorrowful smile. “Shen Feixiao… how could he be willing to kill you.” (T/N: 舍得, more implication of being unwilling to part with something). My dearly loved shixiong… all that you have done, what exactly is it for? Could it be that your purpose is to make me despair a bit, and then despair some more? Until I am completely crazy, and only then would you show a satisfied smile??

“Hehehe.” A low laugh came out of Shen Feixiao’s mouth. After staggering a few times, he held onto a pillar in the corridor, and his eyes were like an abandoned plot of land covered with unchecked wild growth. “Then let me see for myself how heartless you actually are.” 

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Damn, didn’t know SFX had a foot fet1sh…

R:DSAT Chapter 175: Plotting in the Hall of Literary Transcendence

Seeing the generals arguing to the point that they flushed with anger, Emperor Xing Wu’s expression also became worse and worse. Luo Zhi Qiu, this Senior Official, opened his mouth: “Your Majesty, the generals only just found out about Northern Yan’s civil unrest. From this humble servant’s point of view, we should give the generals some more time to think carefully.” 

Emperor Xing Wu also knew that there were no results from today’s discussion. Black Frost City’s powerful defense was bestowed by the heavens, and wasn’t changeable through the efforts of men in one morning and night. For a hundred years, which emperor had not dreamt of returning Black Frost City to Greater Zhou with his own hands? But concurrently, which had achieved his wish? “Another discussion,” Emperor Xing Wu waved a hand to let everyone disperse. 

Before exiting the hall, Luo Zhi Qiu glanced at Luo Wei and shook his head slightly. 

Luo Wei knew that this was his father telling him not to show off and speak casually. Luo Wei nodded back to Luo Zhi Qiu. 

At this, Luo Zhi Qiu left the hall with Zhao Henian. 

“What does Wei Er have to say?” Emperor Xing Wu didn’t ask Long Yu and Long Xuan first, but actually addressed Luo Wei. 

Luo Wei got up and replied, “This humble servant also just learned of this matter, and hasn’t thought of any good method at this time.” 

“You are not a member of the army.” Emperor Xing Wu did not blame Luo Wei. On the contrary, he soothed him, “Even those veterans who are well-versed in killing don’t have a clue, let alone Wei Er.” 

At this moment, Long Yu stood up. “Emperor Father should allow the generals to think about it for a few days.” 

“Think about it for a few days? This news has already arrived late, and I still have to let them think for a few days?! When they’ve thought of a way, maybe Northern Yan’s new emperor will already have stabilized his power! They’re all disgraceful!” Speaking thusly, Emperor Xing Wu’s temper flared at the generals who had already left the hall and palace. “It seems that I’ve raised them in the capital for too long, to the point that these people have forgotten how to mount their horses and attack the enemy! Those wretched creatures!” 

“Emperor Father, calm down.” 

“Your Majesty, calm down.” 

When Emperor Xing Wu’s rage rose, Long Yu, Long Xuan, and Luo Wei all could not continue standing. They rushed to kneel and beseech Emperor Xing Wu to quell his anger. 

“Rise,” Emperor Xing Wu commanded. “Zhao Fu, support Wei Er up.”

Zhao Fu ran over to help Luo Wei get up.

Long Xuan continued to kneel and spoke: “Emperor Father, your humble servant of a son had thought that the civil strife in Northern Yan was already two months old. If Mo Huan Sang’s Black Frost Cavalry has already arrived at Hefang City, then Hefang City must have long ago fallen. Now that this battle is still ongoing, it seems that Mo Huan Sang and his Black Frost Cavalry has already spent their strength. The two sides should be in a stalemate.” 

“That is reasonable,” Emperor Xing Wu raised a hand to allow Long Xuan to rise, then continued, “Do you have an idea?”

“Emperor Father, your humble servant of a son also needs time,” Long Xuan said. “Your humble son only thinks that our Greater Zhou still has time to plan and prepare. Beseeching Emperor Father not to be too anxious.” 

“All of you retreat.” Hearing Long Xuan’s words, Emperor Xing Wu was a bit disappointed but not angry. He only let the three people in the hall leave. Just as the three saluted and prepared to exit, Emperor Xing Wu warned Luo Wei again, “Wei Er’s health only just improved. After returning home listen to the Imperial Physician and properly take care of yourself for me.” 

“This humble servant sincerely obeys the imperial edict,” Luo Wei rushed to accept the decree. 

“Go.” Emperor Xing Wu only then let Luo Wei leave. He himself also needed time to think about what to do next. 

“You two might as well go sit in the Eastern Palace,” Long Yu invited Long Xuan and Luo Wei after leaving the Hall of Eternal Light.

Long Xuan smiled and said, “Big brother’s Eastern Palace is now full of people wishing him a happy New Year’s. I just took a look at the carriages and horses in front of the Eastern Palace gate and felt agitated. It’s a tough job for big brother and sister-in-law to tolerate. Let’s leave drinks and a meal with big brother for another day.”

Long Yu asked Luo Wei again, “Then Xiao Wei? You don’t think it’s too noisy there do you?” 

(T/N: Xiao = little. Little Wei). 

Long Xuan’s remark seemed to be a joke, but if someone who used his head heard it, he would take it as the Crown Prince having a personal friendship with a court councilor and ganging up for personal interest. “If this humble servant ran over to the Eastern Palace hall now, His Royal Highness might be bothered by this humble servant,” Luo Wei replied with a smile as well. “This humble one is only afraid that after returning home, his daddy the Prime Minister would spend a night making him read scriptures.” Since the Crown Prince didn’t even take Long Xuan’s words seriously, then why should he say more? 

Long Yu laughed heartily. “Okay, then I won’t make you listen to uncle’s scriptures. Xiao Wei, I’ll owe you this meal first and make it up to you in the future.” 

“Okay.” Luo Wei bowed to the crown prince with his hands held in front. “This humble servant will remember what Your Royal Highness said.”

Long Yu brought his people with him to the Eastern Palace. 

“My big brother is someone who can always laugh,” Long Xuan stood at Luo Wei’s side, whispering, “I don’t know why he is always so happy.” 

“What’s wrong with laughing?” Luo Wei replied. “It’s better than crying.” 

“That’s right,” Long Xuan agreed. “We should live a bit more happily. Since you won’t go to the Eastern Palace, then come to my place and sit for a while. The Hall of Literary Transcendence is very peaceful.” 

Luo Wei glanced at the two eunuchs who had been ordered by Emperor Xing Wu to carry over the soft palanquin. The Hall of Literary Transcendence–if possible, he didn’t want to enter it again in this lifetime. It was only that now, Luo Wei bitterly smiled and asked Long Xuan, “Your Royal Highness wants to walk back?” 

“Your health isn’t good, just sit up there. I’ll walk by your side. We still have proper business to discuss.” Long Xuan spoke and then leaned close to Luo Wei’s ear, “Making small talk here for half a day, don’t you think it isn’t worthwhile?” 

Luo Wei sat atop the soft palanquin, with one order to the two eunuchs: “Follow his Second Highness.” 

Long Xuan looked at Luo Wei’s peeved appearance as he sat on the palanquin, and the corners of his mouth curved into a smile unconsciously. Long Xuan’s faint smile shocked the surrounding palace residents who had become accustomed to his cold face. It turned out that when this Second Prince smiled, he would become more handsome. This kind of a shallow smile still brought warmth akin to the sun on a cold winter’s day. 

But Luo Wei did not notice. His eyes stayed on the road ahead. He had no intention of admiring the scenery or caring about the person walking beside him. All he was thinking about was Black Frost City. The opportunity was right in front of him, how could he let it slip?

The arrangements in the Hall of Literary Transcendence were the same as before; Long Xuan’s preferences never changed. Luo Wei was very familiar with this place. This familiar feeling made Luo Wei very uncomfortable as he sat here with Long Xuan. 

Long Xuan asked all the palace eunuchs who were serving him to leave and asked Luo Wei, “Did Sima Qingsha look for you?”

“This humble servant does not understand what Your Highness is talking about.”

“Sima Zhuxie found me,” Long Xuan said directly.

Luo Wei only replied, “Then it seems the internal strife in Northern Yan is definitely at an impasse.”

Long Xuan spread a map on the study desk. This one was not as clear as the one in the Hall of Eternal Light, but it was better than Luo Wei’s. “You have also heard from the generals: even if the battle is deadlocked, we cannot attack Black Frost City. I think this is the reason why Mo Huan Sang dared to lead troops northward. He is not worried that our Yun Guan Cavalry will step foot in his Black Frost City.”

Luo Wei looked at the map and said, “Why do we have to focus on Black Frost City, don’t think about it anymore if storming it doesn’t work.”

Long Xuan pointed to Hefang City on the map. “You mean, why don’t we think about this city?”

“It seems that your Highness thinks so too.” Luo Wei looked up at Long Xuan.

“Compared to Black Frost City,” Long Xuan’s finger tapped the dot marking Hefang City, “it is much easier to plot for this city.”

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R:DSAT Chapter 174: Discussion in the Palace Regarding Black Frost

Luo Wei didn’t spare attention for Fu Jing Zong’s matters anymore.The Fu family could call the shots. The shrewdest person in the Fu family was the third master; this Fu Jing Zong was not worth the headache. Sitting in the carriage drinking the medicinal soup Wei Lan handed to him, Luo Wei asked Wei Lan, “Lan, have you heard of Black Frost City?” 

Wei Lan answered, “I’ve heard second young master speak of it.” 

“What did my second brother say?” 

Wei Lan recalled Luo Ze’s words and told Luo Wei, “Second young master said that Black Frost City is the strategic gateway between Northern Yan and our Greater Zhou. In the past it was a city of Greater Zhou, but it was snatched away by Northern Yan.” 

“En, he’s right. It is like this.” 

“Second young master also said that if he could recover Black Frost City in this lifetime, his life would be worth it.” 

Luo Wei raised his eyebrows. “He wants to attack Black Frost City?” 

“Second young master said Black Frost City’s moat is too deep, the city’s walls are too high, and the city’s gate is forged with refined steel. It’s easy to defend but difficult to attack. Our Greater Zhou still does not have the ability to conquer Black Frost City.” 

“Spoken well.” Luo Wei was contemplating how to hide the fact that he had had contact with Sima Qingsha from Emperor Xing Wu, while also convincing Emperor Xing Wu that he could gain Sima Qingsha’s trust. He asked Wei Lan another question: “Lan is also interested in the battlefield?” 

Wei Lan replied, “Second young master just told me to listen.” 

At this moment, Qi Zi said from outside the carriage window, “Young master, just now your guest followed behind us.” 

“No matter,” Luo Wei responded. This Sun Li seemed to be a cautious person who could only feel at peace if he saw Luo Wei enter the palace with his own eyes. “Just let him follow, and we’ll pretend we don’t know.” 

“It’s really fine?” Wei Lan wasn’t at ease. This visitor seemed odd no matter how he looked at it. 

“It’s fine,” Luo Wei affirmed. “He wants my help, how can he harm me?”

This answer reassured Wei Lan.

Sun Li followed Luo Wei’s carriage the entire way, watched him enter the palace from afar, and then retraced his steps to wait on a path Luo Wei had to take to return home. If his master hadn’t reached the end of his rope, he wouldn’t think to borrow troops from Greater Zhou. Northern Yan and Greater Zhou could be described as old enemies. If Greater Zhou turned around to bite at Northern Yan, the Sima clan would not be able to maintain its state power. But if Sima Zhuxie was allowed to capture Hefang City, though the country would still be under the Sima clan, how many of the Sima royal family could survive? 

“Just take a gamble.” Sima Qingsha finished writing the letter requesting aid and then faced Sun Li, who had questioned whether he was asking a tiger to peel its skin for him. Sima Qingsha sighed, “It depends on how big Luo Yun Qi’s heart is.” 

(T/N: “Asking a tiger to peel its skin for him” is a metaphor meaning it’s impossible to ask another person to let go of his benefits when you have a conflict of interest in your discussion). 

To this day, Sun Li did not understand those words. What did it mean to consider how big Luo Wei’s heart was? Resigning himself to fate, Sun Li did not grasp Sima Qingsha’s meaning and felt that they had now become gamblers. They were “playing” a round, staking their country in a grand bet. 

When Luo Wei entered the Hall of Eternal Light, he discovered that not only had his father Luo Zhi Qiu been rushed to the palace, the great generals in the capital had all arrived. A map a quarter of the size of the hall lay on the ground below the imperial writing desk in the Hall of Eternal Light. Luo Wei paid his respects to Emperor Xing Wu and secretly glanced at the map. It depicted Northern Yan’s mountains and rivers.

“Why did Wei Er come back? Hurry and rise, speak.” Emperor Xing Wu observed Luo Wei’s appearance as he walked into the hall. His pace could be considered steady and his face had a hint of red, allowing Emperor Xing Wu to let his worries be. It seemed Luo Wei’s illness took a turn for the better. In his heart, Emperor Xing Wu noted down Long Xuan’s meritorious deed in sending the Snow Mountain ginseng. 

“Your servant went out to visit a friend today. After returning home I heard my mother say that father had been urgently called to the palace by Your Majesty, so your servant also entered the palace.”

“Are you worrying about your father being here with me?” Emperor Xing Wu asked. 

Luo Wei hurriedly denied, “No, your humble servant only remembered that he hadn’t wished Your Majesty a happy New Year.” 

“All right.” Emperor Xing Wu began to smile. “You’re worried about your daddy and don’t need to find another excuse. You can’t even tell a good fib!” 

Luo Wei feigned alarm, preparing to kneel in apology.

“It’s the New Year. I will have mercy on you this time.” Emperor Xing Wu saw Luo Wei’s little ploy getting exposed and found it funny. His expression became more amiable. 

 Luo Wei pointed to the map of Northern Yan on the ground and said, “This humble servant didn’t know that Your Majesty was discussing state affairs, so this humble one will ask to be excused.”

“In general you should understand these things,” Emperor Xing Wu said. “Just stand over-” Just as Emperor Xing Wu thought to have Luo Wei stand next to Luo Zhi Qiu, he remembered that Luo Wei’s body could not take standing for long periods. He glanced at Zhao Fu. 

Zhao Fu rushed to the side and carried a mahogany stool over for Luo Wei. 

“Just sit where you usually do,” Emperor Xing Wu continued. He saw Luo Wei wanted to decline and spoke again: “Your health isn’t good. If you tire yourself, do you want me to ask about national affairs or about you? Be obedient and go sit.” 

All the generals in the hall were standing with their hands down. This matter did not concern them, and they also could not envy the special favor Luo Wei had just received. 

Who dared to disobey the emperor? Luo Wei had to sit down obediently. After sitting, he saw Crown Prince Long Yu opposite him, and the person standing next to Long Yu shocked Luo Wei so much he almost leapt from his stool. Why was Long Xuan here? 

Long Yu smiled at Luo Wei and nodded.

Luo Wei’s surprise only lasted a moment. He sat and bent at the waist towards Long Yu, nodding with a smile too. 

Emperor Xing Wu continued to discuss Northern Yan’s civil strife with his generals.

Luo Wei looked at Long Xuan, and Long Xuan also looked at him. The two people’s gazes met, coldness exchanged along with some evasiveness. Suddenly both of them realized why the other would be here. 

Long Xuan glanced at the map on the floor, then looked again at Luo Wei. He actually smiled. 

Luo Wei looked away from Long Xuan’s smile. Sima Qingsha could find him, so Sima Zhuxie could also find Long Xuan. He just received news, and Long Xuan already returned to the capital. It seemed that Sima Zhuxie’s people moved faster than Sun Li. Gaining any amount of henchmen did not compare to recovering Emperor Xing Wu’s trust, so Long Xuan abandoned everything in Yue Zhou to return to the capital. An opportunity for which this man exchanged the lives of his own woman and son was abandoned by him like this.

Long Yu looked at Long Xuan, then looked at Luo Wei. In Long Xuan’s perspective, both of them were listening intently to the generals. But it only appeared to be so. Only these two people knew whether they were acting or really listening.

The generals of Greater Zhou argued for a long time. They all talked about Black Frost City and wanted to fight this battle, but in the end couldn’t come up with a feasible way to fight or even discuss the fight. The world-famous Black Frost Cavalry had mostly departed from Black Frost City, but the city wall stood over twelve meters tall while the moat was twelve meters deep. Even if only the old and weak women and children were stationed on the top of the city, how could Greater Zhou break through the wall and moat of Black Frost City?

Emperor Xing Wu’s map of Northern Yan gave Luo Wei his first full view of Black Frost City. From Sun Li saying that Mo Huan Sang had sealed four gates, Luo Wei thought that this city was the same as others in this world which had gates on four sides. Unexpectedly, Luo Wei discovered that Black Frost City was suspended atop a cliff. Only the north and south gates were open to traffic. The east and west gates faced deep mountain valleys. Other than birds, other beasts could not be found. Commonly used siege tactics would be at a disadvantage. Running strong soldiers and sturdy horses to freely take such a city by storm was equivalent to visiting the Yellow Springs.

(T/N: Yellow Springs = Chinese underworld). 

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