R:DSAT Chapter 198: Night Battle at Tian Shui’s Source

When the news that Mo Huan Sang’s Black Frost Cavalry had entered Tian Shui’s source reached Sima Qingsha’s army, Luo Wei was eating with Sima Qingsha and Yang Yuansu at the same table. 

“He really entered Tian Shui’s source?” Yang Yuansu spoke first. Inwardly, he did not believe that Mo Huan Sang would enter Tian Shui’s source to seek death. In these years this person had fought from all four quarters and established military glory. Was it possible that he carried an empty, false reputation? Was this person actually an idiot? 

Sima Qingsha subconsciously looked at Luo Wei. He wanted to hear what Luo Wei would say. 

Luo Wei leisurely lowered his head and drank hot soup. It seemed that Long Xuan had succeeded. The next task was Black Frost Cavalry’s annihilation. Feeling a gaze fall on his own body, Luo Wei raised his head to smile at Sima Qingsha as he looked at him, saying, “It seems Your Highness and the prince’s pursuit made Mo Huan Sang lose his head.” 

Mo Huan Sang couldn’t discern truth or falsehood from Luo Wei’s remark. However, at being with Luo Wei, seeing this person’s slight smile, and hearing this person speak a little–even if it was just dispensable polite formulas–Sima Qingsha’s disorderly heart could enjoy a bit of peace. “Then we also must enter Tian Shui’s source,” Sima Qingsha said. 

“Tian Shui’s source,” Yang Yuansu drank a gulp of Northern Yan’s strong alcohol, then continued, “that will be Mo Huan Sang’s burial ground!” 

“That is still up to His Highness.” In front of Sima Qingsha, Luo Wei seemed to always be good at understanding others. “After Mo Huan Sang’s soldiers lose, whether he is killed or kept, it’s all at the mercy of His Highness’s single thought.” 

“Naturally,” Yang Yuansu replied. “He’s a Northern Yan person. He should be dealt with by His Highness the Crown Prince.” 

At this, the atmosphere in the tent eased again. Luo Wei smiled again. “When the Tian Shui battle ends, this subordinate can return home. Eastern Shang also has many and varied state affairs. It must be that the prince is also eager to return home?” 

“That’s right,” Yang Yuansu confirmed. “A fallen leaf will return to its roots. How could I not think about returning home?” 

The two people who separately harbored their own thoughts glanced at each other, then at the fine food in front of them. Those who had ulterior motives would all see themselves reflected in their own kind. It was just that there was no need to expose each other.

Sima Qingsha sat at the side without noticing the abnormal expressions of the two people who sat at the same table as him. He only thought about how after the Tian Shui battle ended, Luo Wei would leave. This was an eventuality everyone knew about, but it was as if Sima Qingsha had just realized it. Sima Qingsha felt some sadness in his heart. 

In the following days, nobody was in the mood to joke anymore. Everyone shut his mouth and marched day and night, only seeking to reach Tian Shui’s source a day earlier. 

The soldiers who spread out into Tian Shui’s source like pouring water continuously streamed into the allied forces of Northern Yan and Eastern Shang. Mo Huan Sang’s Black Frost Cavalry and Luo Qi’s Yun Guan Cavalry had already faced off in Tian Shui’s source. Having fought a few times, each had sustained losses.

Luo Wei was anxious at heart. His big brother Luo Qi’s Yun Guan Cavalry was also a brave and strong military force in the last life, but Mo Huan Sang’s Black Frost Cavalry fought with all it had. Luo Wei did not believe that this time, Luo Qi could solely rely on the Yun Guan Cavalry under his command to resist Mo Huan Sang. However, Luo Wei did not let others see his anxiety. He still had to talk cheerfully and wittily in front of Sima Qingsha. He feared that Sima Qingsha, who only thought to kill Mo Huan Sang, would divide his attention to think further and discover that something was not right. 

Fortunately, Tian Shui fountainhead’s mud pit-like lands arrived beneath Luo Wei’s feet ten days later. 

Yang Yuansu did not want Mo Huan Sang to have the opportunity to catch his breath. After the army entered Tian Shui’s source, instead of first setting up camp it surged forward for a day and a night before catching up to the rear of the Black Frost Cavalry. Within the soft quagmire, the army entangled with the Black Frost Cavalry in a deadly struggle.

The Greater Zhou army at the front heard battle cries resounding from behind the Black Frost Cavalry. Seeing Northern Yan and Eastern Shang’s military banners from the observation towers in their barracks, they immediately charged forward. 

The war waged in front of Luo Wei had nothing to do with him. He could only stay within the rear of the army. 

Wei Lan and the dragon guards all gathered around Luo Wei. They were far away from Northern Yan’s soldiers, forming a small group. Wei Lan whispered a question to Luo Wei: “Can we go now?” 

“Not yet,” Luo Wei replied, hearing the distant, howling sounds of killing shaking the heavens. 

“Then when?” Ten asked. 

“When the Black Frost Cavalry’s fate cuts short,” Luo Wei answered. 

“Three armies are exchanging blows with Mo Huan Sang. This person still won’t die?” Ten remarked. 

“Our army is exhausted.” Luo Wei’s hands gripped the hems of his clothes. He didn’t let Wei Lan and the rest see how his hands shook. “Still can’t contain the Black Frost Cavalry. Let’s continue waiting.” 

Wei Lan and the few others with him only guarded Luo Wei. Imperial Physician Wei could only stand at the side fiddling with his bag of medicine. At this time, all of them had to listen to Luo Wei. 

This entire night, Long Xuan waited outside the official’s entrance. He was not in the mood to pay attention to the sounds of slaughter echoing not far away. He only wanted to see Luo Wei taking advantage of the chaos before Sima Qingsha regained his footing to return. Long Xuan stood in front of that entrance until daylight. The killing and shouting noises gradually quietened. The wounded were either carried or supported back by their comrades. But, from beginning to end, Luo Wei had not returned. 

Long Xuan looked at the imperial bodyguards behind him. At that, the bodyguards hastened to kneel. “Your Highness, this subordinate truly delivered your message to the third young master.” 

“Thinking he’s infallible, this bastard!” Long Xuan cursed out. Luo Wei did not grasp this opportunity. If he wanted to run later, Long Xuan thought that that would be difficult. 

At this time, Luo Qi also returned from the battlefield up ahead. It was another night of struggling at the risk of death. Luo Qi’s body had no visible wounds, and his expression was still calm. 

“Brother Shi Yi.” Long Xuan shook his head slightly when he saw Luo Qi.

Luo Qi saw Long Xuan shake his head and knew that Luo Wei had not returned. His body swayed twice as he sat on his horse.

“Let’s enter the camp and then talk.” Long Xuan strode forward two steps and caught hold of the reins of Luo Qi’s warhorse. 

Luo Qi returned to the commander’s tent and did not wait for Long Xuan to ask before he said, “Mo Huan Sang is worthy of his fame as a general.” 

Long Xuan replied, “With the armies of three countries, you still cannot take him down?” 

Luo Qi shook his head. Last night, Ning Fei fought one-on-one with Mo Huan Sang. Unexpectedly he nearly lost his life at Mo Huan Sang’s hands. Thinking of that scene now, Luo Qi felt apprehension. Beneath the heavens, Ning Fei’s martial ability was already rare. Was Mo Huan Sang truly as the Northern Yan army had spread by word-of-mouth, a deified general who had descended to this world? 

At this time, Ning Fei arrived outside the tent and requested a meeting. 

“Enter,” Luo Qi hastily had Ning Fei enter the tent. He did not know how Ning Fei fared after a night of chaotic warfare. 

Ning Fei walked in and, like Long Qi, was covered in mud. 

Luo Qi and Long Xuan saw that Ning Fei entered unassisted, his four limbs all attached, without any visible wounds. At this, they felt relieved. 

“Yun Qi hasn’t returned?” Ning Fei actually opened his mouth and first inquired after Luo Wei. 

Luo Qi sighed. “He hasn’t.” 

“It should be the case that he thought we would not be able to annihilate Mo Huan Sang yesterday, so he didn’t leave,” Long Xuan deduced. “Yun Qi wants to wait for Mo Huan Sang to reach the end of the road before he leaves. General Ning, are you injured?”

Ning Fei heard Long Xuan’s question and replied honestly, “This general was swept in the back by the butt of Mo Huan Sang’s spear.” 

“And you’re still coming here to ask after Yun Qi?” Luo Qi quickly spoke up. “Hurry and find a military doctor to see you.” 

Ning Fei said, “This general already escaped the brunt of Mo Huan Sang’s attack at that time, and has no obstruction in his breathing. It seems this general is lucky this time and hasn’t sustained injuries.” 

“You also aren’t Mo Huan Sang’s opponent?” Long Xuan asked. “Is this person really that strong?”

Ning Fei and Luo Qi both did not speak. As generals, they would not admit that their skills were inferior. Having fought with Mo Huan Sang, they did not feel that his martial ability was universally shocking. It was just that, for reasons unknown, they would inevitably feel terrified facing him. 

“I don’t believe that Mo Huan Sang is really some descended martial deity.” Long Xuan shook his head, continuing, “He’s doing it for survival. Unless you lot fight him for your lives, there’s no way you can be his opponent.” 

Luo Qi wanted to speak, “Your Highness-”

Long Xuan raised a hand to stop Luo Qi. “Brother Shi Yi need not say more. Why should the generals of our Zhou barracks fight with their lives? We are doing this only for Black Frost City, do we want to do this for his Northern Yan’s mountains and rivers too?” 

“Then why hasn’t Yun Qi returned?” Ning Fei asked the question he finally couldn’t suppress, “At this time, Mo Huan Sang still hasn’t reached the end of his road?”

R:DSAT Chapter 197: Excessive Rain

Sima Qingsha’s Northern Yan army traveled for fifteen days before meeting and merging with Yang Yuansu’s Eastern Shang army. 

Yang Yuansu had just turned thirty-five. He was in the prime of his life, with a short beard, slightly dark skin, and thin facial features. He had an imposing, impressive appearance. Without getting angry, he still possessed a formidable aura. Eastern Shang’s little emperor was barely six years old. This Yang Yuansu was called a Prince Regent, but in practice he was Eastern Shang’s emperor. 

After he finished discussing business with Sima Qingsha, Yang Yuansu specially looked towards Luo Wei to say, “You are Luo Wei, Luo Yun Qi?”

“This subordinate is precisely Luo Wei.” Luo Wei bowed and continued, “Luo Wei has seen the prince.”

(T/N: I’m always directly translating these modifiers which are used excessively in CN BL. Fully aware that it comes across as strange in English)

“Your name is well-known.” Yang Yuansu sized Luo Wei up and down. He did not think that someone who seemed like a delicate figurine could have the guts to dare to place himself in Northern Yan’s army.

(T/N: lit. Your name is like thunder piercing the ear.)

Luo Wei, neither servile nor overbearing, modestly denied this. He could make an approximate guess at Yang Yuansu’s thoughts. This was another person who wanted Mo Huan Sang dead. Otherwise, even if he controlled Chun Du Pass for a while, his Eastern Shang would not be able to guard it against the Black Frost Cavalry.

“This prince only worries that Mo Huan Sang won’t enter Tian Shui’s source.” Yang Yuansu saw that he would not be able to get Luo Wei to reveal any truths, so he diverted the discussion to battle.

Sima Qingsha said, “Right now, other than us following in close pursuit, there’s also Greater Zhou. We will see if Greater Zhou’s army can block Mo Huan Sang.”

Luo Wei could only smile. This was up to Long Xuan. Right now he and Long Xuan could not communicate. He also did not know about Long Xuan’s progress.

“Then what are we waiting for?” Yang Yuansu asked. “Let’s keep moving the troops.” 

“This person has quite the temper.” Luo Wei saw Yang Yuansu kicking down a sergeant who stood in his way, and whispered to Sima Qingsha, “I’ve been suspecting all along, this person sooner or later will want to be emperor himself.”

“Shhh,” Sima Qingsha hurriedly shushed Luo Wei. “Don’t concern yourself with Eastern Shang’s matters.” He stealthily pointed at Yang Yuansu, who walked in front of them, “If he hears it won’t be good.” 

Luo Wei stook out his tongue. “I won’t talk anymore.”

After interacting with Luo Wei these past few days, Sima Qingsha discovered that Luo Wei seemed staid but actually had the temperament of a youth. He could also be quite changeable. “You ah,” Sima Qingsha shook his head at Luo Wei, “what can I say about you?” 

“I’m just speaking the truth with Your Highness only.” Luo Wei stared at Yang Yuansu, so he did not notice Sima Qingsha’s unconsciously doting expression when he said these words. 

The army continued to move forward.

As Luo Wei rode on his horse, he suddenly heard the distant sound of thunder. He had just thought to say to Wei Lan–who was by his side–that it would rain again, when large drops of rain fell from the sky and pounded on his body. 

“It’s raining again,” Wei Lan hastened to put rainwear on Luo Wei. Annoyed as could be with the rain, Wei Lan did not care that he was surrounded by Northern Yan citizens as he complained, “Why does it rain every day in this Northern Yan place?”

The Northern Yan soldiers truly wanted to say to Wei Lan that they hadn’t had this much rain in previous years. Marching in this rain, they were also suffering unspeakable misery. 

The travelling formation of troops walked and walked, and then stopped. 

An officer who had come over from Sima Zhuxie’s location ran to the front of Luo Wei’s horse. He said, “Young master. The bridge in front has collapsed. His Highness invites the young master to temporarily avoid the rain.” 

(T/N: Did author mean to write Qingsha instead of Zhuxie?)

Luo Wei looked around. How was there any place for him to shelter from the rain? 

Wei Lan helped Luo Wei down from his horse. Eleven opened an umbrella for Luo Wei. 

“Just take care of yourselves.” Luo Wei had an umbrella in his own hand. He pulled Wei Lan beneath the umbrella, and said to Eleven, “I won’t get wet. Don’t let yourselves catch colds.” 

“Young master, where do you intend to go?” Ten stood at the very back, looking at their horses. 

“I need to empty my bladder,” Luo Wei replied simply and quite loudly, afraid that Ten wouldn’t be able to hear him from the back.

Some Northern Yan soldiers chuckled. Among top-ranked people, other than Third Young Master Luo, they had never encountered a second person who would directly yell out that they needed to pee.

“Let’s go la,” Wei Lan supported Luo Wei as they entered a forest on the side. “Is this a matter you want to shout about?” 

“Long Xuan’s person has arrived.” After entering this small patch of woods, Luo Wei spoke quietly to Wei Lan, “Let’s walk further in a bit.” 

Eleven and a few others guarded outside the woods. 

Luo Wei stood under an old, bent-necked locust tree. 

Wei Lan inspected the surroundings, and upon returning shook his head at Luo Wei. 

At this, Luo Wei faced an underbrush half the height of a man. “Come out.” 

From the underbrush, a man wearing the garb of a Northern Yan soldier walked out. He came towards Luo Wei and knelt on one knee. “This humble one greets the young master.” 

“Rise,” Luo Wei adopted a humble approach and supported him up. He recognized this person. This was one of Long Xuan’s competent, trusted imperial bodyguards who stayed by his side. “What message does His Highness want you to give me?” Luo Wei asked the imperial bodyguard. 

“In three days, His Highness and Mo Huan Sang’s army can reach Tian Shui’s fountainhead.” 

“That fast?” 

“In order to march faster, Mo Huan Sang threw out the main force’s heavy armor.” 

“Then when will His Highness make his move?” Right now, Luo Wei only cared about this. 

“His Highness wanted this humble one to pass on to the young master,” the imperial bodyguard lowered his head and continued, “he can’t find an opportunity with Mo Huan Sang. Sima Zhuxie is already half insane. His Highness is preparing to take him away.” 

“Sima Zhuxie is insane?” This news shocked Luo Wei. 

“This humble one hasn’t seen Sima Zhxie,” the imperial bodyguard replied guilelessly.

“Continue.” Luo Wei also didn’t continue to ask. Whether Sima Zhuxie was crazy or not, this had nothing to do with him. 

“His Highness asks the young master to prepare as well. When Mo Huan Sang chases him into Tian Shui’s fountainhead, the three armies will engage in a melee. His Highness says that would be the best opportunity for the young master to leave the Northern Yan army.” 

“I understand. Be careful on your way back.” Luo Wei again gave some considerate words to this imperial bodyguard. 

“This humble one will withdraw.” The imperial bodyguard walked into the depths of the woods. 

“Young master, are we also entering Tian Shui’s fountainhead?” Wei Lan asked. He began to feel an inexplicable nervousness again. 

“We still have to wait a few days.” Luo Wei raised his head and looked at the sky, not seeing any signs that the rainfall would stop. “If the rain continues like this, it’s uncertain whether anyone can stand on the grounds of Tian Shui’s fountainhead.” 

Wei Lan said, “Leaving while there’s a melee is a good method. But what should be done if Sima Qingsha sends someone to watch the young master?” 

“Then the only way is to kill someone.” Luo Wei walked out into the rain. “When the time comes we shall see. We’ve prepared the medicine to cope with the miasma. In case it doesn’t work, we can still go to the marshlands to escape for a while.” 

“Young master isn’t scared?” 

Luo Wei stopped his steps. He turned his head to Wei Lan. Wei Lan hadn’t concealed any of the fretfulness in his gaze, all of it pouring out. “When those events draw near, what use is there in being afraid?” Luo Wei hugged Wei Lan and said, “Though I’m afraid that Wei Lan will get injured. I’m not afraid of anything else.” 

Wei Lan could only embrace Luo Wei. Three days ago, perhaps because of the several months of rainy days, Wei Lan’s old bone injuries hurt. His two knee joints swelled, making it inconvenient to walk. Wei Lan himself could bear this, but he feared that the illnesses he had would not alleviate if there continued to be no sunlight on the day they reached Tian Shu’s source. Then how would he protect Luo Wei on his way out of the Northern Yan barracks? In his mind, Wei Lan saw that small wooden box filled with medicine again. Wei Lan shut his eyes and held Luo Wei tighter in his arms. He forced himself not to think about those things; at the very least, he would not think of them now. 

R:DSAT Chapter 196: Qingsha Sends Troops

After Sima Qingsha and Luo Wei’s long conversation, he left the barracks and returned to Hefang CIty to have another discussion with his officials that lasted the entire night. 

Luo Wei slept soundly that night, not caring at all whether the Northern Yan monarch and officials in Hefang City could come to a conclusion. Upon waking up, the day was already bright. Just as he wanted to get up, Wei Lan lifted the tent flap and entered, carrying a bowl of medicinal soup.

“Imperial Physician Wei just finished brewing this.” Wei Lan placed the medicinal soup in Luo Wei’s hands. He then brought over clothes for Luo Wei to wear.

“Is there news from Hefang City?” Luo Wei now drank medicine like it was water, pouring it into his stomach with a few gulps. Like this, he couldn’t perceive too much bitterness. 

“Not yet,” Wei Lan replied. “Do you want to scout out the city?” 

“No need.” Luo Wei reached out a hand to make it easier for Wei Lan to dress him, “entering that city isn’t easy. Let’s not trouble ourselves. Let’s wait.” 

“Will Sima Qingsha send troops?” Wei Lan asked.

“Other than sending troops, this crown prince doesn’t have any other easy way out,” Luo Wei finished dressing and still lay on the bed. He patted the warm, heated brick bed, full of spirit as he said to Wei Lan, “This is my first time sleeping on this kind of northern heated brick bed. It’s really warm. When I go back, I’ll have the bed made like this so I won’t be afraid of the cold.” 

Wei Lan carefully looked at the bed, replying, “This doesn’t look hard. Just that the ventilation must be done.” 

This early morning, two people nestled in the tent and studied the heated brick bed.

When afternoon came, Sima Qingsha arrived again at the barracks. This time he gave Luo Wei a letter declaring that he would send troops to chase after Mo Huan Sang. 

“Your Highness is wise,” Luo Wei praised. “Eliminating Mo Huan Sang means removing great trouble for Northern Yan. Your Highness can stably guard these rivers and mountains then.” 

“Mo Huan Sang has been retreating towards Black Frost City the entire time.” In front of Luo Wei, Sima Qingsha seemed to be willing to reveal some of his true emotions. He rubbed his bloodshot eyes and said, “Could it be that we must fight to the death with him outside Black Frost City?”

“If Your Highness decides to send soldiers, then us Zhou soldiers can also exit Black Frost City. At the Tian Shui fountainhead we can block Mo Huan Sang. What does Your Highness think?” 

“At the Tian Shui’s source?” Sima Qingsha looked at Luo Wei. “Yun Qi, have you lot long ago planned your response?” 

“We have thought quite a bit about a planned action,” Luo Wei revealed. “Deciding the battle at Tian Shui’s fountainhead with Mo Huan Sang, our Greater Zhou thinks is feasible. All that’s left is to see what Your Highness thinks.” 

“I’ve already sent people to meet Yang Yuansu.” Sima Qingsha did not speak further. He only told Luo Wei, “Tomorrow we will set out at 9 to 11 a.m. Yun Qi, you and I are both in the army. Make your preparations, all right?” 

Luo Wei handed over green tea that he had personally steeped himself to Sima Qingsha. “Last time at the Black Mountains, Your Highness said that Northern Yan’s tea is good. This time Yun Qi has tasted it for himself. Doesn’t Your Highness think your tea is too bitter?” 

Sima Qingsha took a sip and pursed his lips. “Our tea is just this bitter. Yun Qi isn’t used to it?” 

“I don’t like bitter tasting things.” Luo Wei still had jujube-steeped water in front of him. 

“Tasting tea also depends on the mood. How can I be in the mood now?” Sima Qingsha finished speaking and stood up. “I’m going to prepare. Yun Qi, wait for the battle to finish. I’ll find good tea that isn’t bitter for you.” 

“Okay.” Luo Wei stood up to see him off. “At that time, Your Highness will also be in the mood to taste tea.”

When Sima Qingsha arrived at the official’s entrance of the barracks, right before he mounted his horse, he suddenly whispered to Luo Wei, “Yun Qi, you steeped the tea well.” Finishing his words, he didn’t wait for Luo Wei to react before swiftly mounting his horse and leaving. 

“Young master?” Ten came forward a step to ask, “Northern Yan intends to send out troops?” 

“Yes,” Luo Wei stood motionless. When he saw Sima Qingsha turn his head to look towards him, he even waved at the departing man as he replied to Ten, “Tomorrow we’ll leave from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tidy up your luggage, we will be leaving again.” 

Throughout that night, Sima Qingsha sat by his Father Emperor Sima Changtian’s side. Emperor Sima Changtian was already paralyzed from a stroke. He lay on the imperial bed and looked at Sima Qingsha, as if he wished to say something but could not. 

Luo Wei and Wei Lan hugged each other in their sleep. Wei Lan didn’t dare to sleep deeply, but Luo Wei had a good night’s sleep. 

On the day they would set out, Luo Wei looked at the heavy rainfall that had started again outside the tent. He wrinkled his forehead and complained to Wei Lan, “Why is it raining again? They all say that there’s a lot of rainfall in the south. Why is the north also like this?” 

Today, Wei Lan also felt annoyed seeing this rain. They had to rush on the road in the rain again. Would Luo Wei’s body be able to endure?

“Young master.” Sun Li entered Luo Wei’s tent, having donned armor as well. He paid his respects and then continued, “His Highness requests the young master to go over.” 

“Does His Highness want me to travel with him? That isn’t necessary. I can go myself to the barracks of the main force.” 

“His Highness said he has more to talk about with the young master. Young master, please don’t have misgivings,” Sun Li replied.

Sima Qingsha saw Luo Wei walk to his front. Though winter had gone and spring was here, Luo Wei still wore thick winter clothes. He didn’t know if it was because this person was too thin, but these clothes did not make him appear oversized. 

“Your Highness,” Luo Wei directly strode over to Sima Qingsha’s horse and then stopped. “Spring rain is preciously hard to come by. On the day the army sets out, the sky delivers us this welcome fall of rain. Seems that this time Your Highness definitely can rid the country of its misfortune, seizing total victory.” 

“I’ll take your lucky words.” Sima Qingsha smiled. The army was setting out, and a sunny day would be a good omen. However, hearing Luo Wei speak, it was as if this spring rainfall had also become a good omen. 

From the head of Hefang City, three successive bursts of cannonfire sounded out. Three hundred fifty thousand Northern Yan soldiers left Hefang City for Tian Shui Fountainhead, situated outside Black Frost City.

Luo Wei and Sima Qingsha rode side-by-side on their horses. Luo Wei was adept at weighing others’ words and reading their facial expressions, and knew how to curry favor. In only a while, he made Sima Qingsha feel that he would not be lonely while journeying for this campaign. 

The news of Sima Qingsha and Hefang City sending troops reached Mo Huan Sang’s army before three days had passed. 

Before Mo Huan Sang had said anything, Sima Zhuxie almost lost his mind cursing Sima Qingsha for wanting to drive him to death, and then diverted his curses from Sima Qingsha to Sima Changtian. Finally, he had cursed out the entire imperial clan. 

Mo Huan Sang looked at Long Xuan, who sat at the side, with embarrassment. 

Long Xuan’s expression remained as usual, as if he hadn’t heard Sima Zhuxie hysterically shouting abuse.

Sima Zhuxie finished unleashing his rage, and then said to the two people in the tent, “I’m tired. Give me some quiet for a while.” 

After Mo Huan Sang exited the tent, he strided over a few steps to catch up to Long Xuan, saying, “Your Second Highness, Our Majesty is in a bad mood, so he lost his mind a bit when he spoke. I still hope that Second Highness will forgive it.” 

Long Xuan replied, “This isn’t a big deal. It seems His Majesty suffered quite a bit in Hefang’s imperial palace. Letting it out is also good.” 

Mo Huan Sang awkwardly smiled, “It’s good so long as Second Highness doesn’t find fault. This subordinate won’t accompany you, please do as you will.”

“All right. General Mo should accompany His Majesty.” 

Mo Huan Sang turned and ran off. 

From Long Xuan’s perspective, Sima Zhuxie was already a lunatic. He could be exploited, but other than that was useless. Unexpectedly, this Mo Huan Sang was rather a surprise to Long Xuan. He didn’t think that this demon well-known throughout the lands under heaven would actually be a well-mannered and bashful person. Mo Huan Sang’s appearance was not extraordinary, but his big eyes often held innocence like a child’s. That made this person truly somewhat cute. “Interesting,” Long Xuan said to himself, looking at Mo Huan Sang’s back. 

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Mo Huan Sang, hide yo kids and hide yo wife. Long Xuan is “interested” (ノдヽ)

ASV Chapter 83

The following days of Qin Kaiyi’s life were dull and tedious. 

His depression became more and more serious. Just when his suicidal ideations dominated his thoughts, Qin Kaiyi suddenly discovered that Shen Feixiao had some abnormalities.

Yes, abnormalities. Unlike in the past, when he would stay with him almost every day in the room, Shen Feixiao seemed to have some other matters. His face was somber for many days in a row, and he stayed in the room for shorter periods. His expression carried more unpleasantness. 

However, Qin Kaiyi was not interested in investigating these changes in Shen Feixiao. If it were the past, he would probably still think about what actually was going on, but now… 

Qin Kaiyi yawned, rubbed his eyes, rolled to his side, and then slept again.

Shen Feixiao didn’t say anything, and Qin Kaiyi didn’t ask. Matters that should have been easy to figure out became more and more severe, to the point that at the moment when Qin Kaiyi knew what happened, everything was already too late. 

When Ziyang Pei brought others and charged into the room where Qin Kaiyi was, Qin Kaiyi was completely stunned. He sat on the bed blankly, and his mouth opened slightly. He appeared to have no clue about the situation at all. 

“Qin Shi.” Ziyang Pei was wearing all black, and he seemed to be rather travel-worn. (T/N: lit. covered in dust). When he saw a white-haired Qin Kaiyi, there was a trace of subtle pain in his gaze: “Are you all right?”

Are you all right? What a strange hello. Although Qin Kaiyi’s mind was a bit sluggish, that did not prevent him from noticing some dramatic changes: “You… what about Shen Feixiao?”

“Why concern yourself about him?” As soon as Shen Feixiao was mentioned, Ziyang Pei’s tone sunk: “Don’t worry, he doesn’t have the spare time to manage you now.” 

“…Oh,” Qin Kaiyi foolishly replied. Then he again felt that something wasn’t quite right: “That can’t be, what do you mean he doesn’t have the spare time to manage me? What’s going on with him…” 

“Why do you still care about him.” Ziyang Pei saw that Qin Kaiyi kept mentioning Shen Feixiao, and his improved mood from seeing Qin Shi was swept clean away: “You’ve been imprisoned by him and tortured to this state, shouldn’t you hate him!” 

“Still fine.” Qin Kaiyi smiled with embarrassment. Although he disliked Shen Feixiao, he still didn’t walk to the point of hatred. After all… these matters were all brought about by his own self.

“Don’t talk so much,” Ziyang Pei said with an anxious expression. “Quickly follow me.”

“…Why should I go with you.” Qin Kaiyi sighed upon hearing Ziyang Pei’s words. “At that time it was you who sold me out to Shen Feixiao, now what are you doing pretending to be a good person.” 

Hearing Qin Kaiyi hitting the nail on the head, Ziyang Pei’s expression slightly twisted. He took a deep breath and said hoarsely, “Little Stone, that time was not of my own volition. Now I have paid off the debt in full, I won’t again…”

“Stop.” Qin Kaiyi hurriedly made a pause gesture: “Don’t get emotional with me. Ziyang Pei, frankly speaking, I don’t believe you at all, and I won’t go with you.”

“…” Ziyang Pei’s complexion instantly became overcast after hearing Qin Kaiyi’s words. He looked at Qin Kaiyi and gave two low chuckles, his tone full of gloom: “Goodness, Qin Shi, you’re really refusing a toast only to be forced to drink as punishment. (T/N: fig.: to hesitate to do something until forced to do even more). I’m not asking for your opinion now. If you want to suffer less, just hurry and follow me.”

Knew it. Qin Kaiyi observed Ziyang Pei exposing his true colors, and yawned carelessly. The expression with which he looked at Ziyang Pei was full of indolence: “Just do whatever you want.”

Ziyang Pei still had a sullen face. He stepped forward to Qin Kaiyi, who was sitting on the bed, and lifted him into a princess carry.

“Hey, I say.” Qin Kaiyi expressed that he really disliked this position: “I can walk by myself.”

Ziyang Pei simply ignored Qin Kaiyi’s words and, hugging Qin Kaiyi, he hurried out of the room. Seeing his appearance, he seemed to be fighting minutes and grasping at seconds. (T/N: idiom meaning racing against time). 

Qin Kaiyi, who was carried out by Ziyang Pei, only then found out what had happened.

Shen Feixiao’s formation seemed to have already been broken, and Qin Kaiyi suddenly realized that the place where he was trapped had always been inside the Lingshan Sect… and at this time, injured and collapsed Lingshan and Hua Lian Sect disciples lay all around. 

“Are you attacking the Lingshan Sect?” His mind hadn’t been so clear in a long time. Qin Kaiyi looked at Ziyang Pei with a face full of astonishment. “You haven’t gone crazy ba?”

“Of course not.” Ziyang Pei’s expression was very indifferent. He glanced at Qin Kaiyi and then said: “If Shen Feixiao weren’t here, the Lingshan Sect would have long been in my pocket.”

“…” Qin Kaiyi really felt a bit cheap at this moment; he actually worried a bit for Shen Feixiao’s safety after listening to Ziyang Pei’s words. After all, if something really happened to Shen Feixiao, he was afraid that there was no way for the Lingshan Sect to continue to exist.  

“What, could it be that you are still worried about him?” Ziyang Pei looked at Qin Kaiyi and frowned, but felt that it was a bit funny: “He is like that to you, yet unexpectedly you are still worried about him.”

“…” Qin Kaiyi didn’t speak anymore. He directly reached out a hand and covered his own eyes. 

Ziyang Pei saw Qin Kaiyi appearing too lazy to speak, and snorted. He didn’t delay further and immediately prepared to fly away from the Lingshan Sect. However, before he flew out of the broken large formation, he heard an incredibly cold voice. 

“Ziyang Pei.” Shen Feixiao  appeared behind Ziyang Pei in a miserable state. He held a long sword in his hand, and his lengthy black hair was a bit messy. “Where are you going?”

Not expecting that Shen Feixiao would escape from Ziyang Shi’s restraint in such a short amount of time, Ziyang Pei narrowed his eyes in displeasure–he was originally unafraid of Shen Feixiao, but the blame lay with the soul contract he had made with Qin Kaiyi. If he really hurt Shen Feixiao, it would definitely be a stupid move where he killed a thousand of the enemy and harmed eight hundred of his own (T/N: meaning a victory on the surface while harming himself, something not worth doing), and furthermore… judging by Shen Feixiao’s current strength, the outcome of their battle was not clear.

“Where else can I go?” Though Shen Feixiao caught up, Ziyang Pei was not in a hurry. He looked at Shen Feixiao, whose face was full of viciousness, with a trace of laughter: “Naturally I was going to take Little Stone away.”

“Let him go, and I will spare your life.” Shen Feixia’s mood was quite bad. He knew that Ziyang Pei had always had other ideas about the Lingshan Sect, but he didn’t think that he would show his hand within such a short amount of time! 

“No can do.” Ziyang Pei lowered his head and glanced down at Qin Kaiyi with tenderness, and then laughed grimly: “If I let him go, what do I use to restrain you?”

“…” Hearing this sentence, Shen Feixiao’s ink-black eyes flashed with cold light.

Qin Kaiyi listened to the conversation between the two, and helplessly discovered that he had again become cannon fodder. He just knew that this guy Ziyang Pei coming to find him couldn’t be anything good. Who knew how much suffering one could incur from pissing off Shen Feixiao. 

“Shen Feixiao, if it wasn’t for Qin Shi striking a soul contract with me back then to protect you, I would not be afraid of you.” Ziyang Pei’s hands holding Qin Kaiyi slightly tightened, such that Qin Kaiyi felt a little pain. “Your shixiong is so good to you, but you hardened your heart and let him suffer Gu poison, and even whitened his hair… you’re really a wolf cub that can’t be raised right.” (T/N: wolf cub means brutal/ungrateful young person). 

“How shixiong has treated me, I am very clear on.” Shen Feixiao was completely indifferent to Ziyang Pei’s provocation. His long hair flowed and scattered without any wind as his Nascent Soul stage qi madly swelled: “It’s just a pity that you will die here today.” 

“Oh?” Ziyang Pei didn’t care about Shen Feixiao’s threat at all. He cheerily squeezed Qin Kaiyi’s chin up, and then forcefully pressed a kiss on his lips. “Even your shixiong’s life, you no longer want?” 

“…” The purple light in Shen Feixiao’s eyes flourished. 

“Really worth investing the capital.” Seeing Shen Feixiao’s unusual reaction, Ziyang Pei quickly understood. He swept off the Rain-Soaked Bell attached to Qin Kaiyi’s wrist and sneered, “Your own heart demons are so serious, yet you still worry about Qin Shi… but Shen Feixiao, you really underestimate me. Did you really think that what was leading Qin Shi astray was a heart demon?” (T/N: author wrote “what was leading Qin Kaiyi astray,” but I assumed that was a mistake, as ZYP shouldn’t know MC’s real name). 

“What do you mean?” Shen Feixiao’s pupils contracted. 

“What I mean is.” Ziyang Pei lifted a lock of Qin Kaiyi’s hair and looked at Shen Feixiao with a smile that was yet not a smile: “You don’t… really think that the Gu I gave you is the mother Gu of the one in Qin Shi’s golden core?” (T/N: I changed Qin Kaiyi to Qin Shi again in ZYP’s dialogue). 

“……” Shen Feixiao’s expression instantly twisted. 

“Hey.” As a member of the society of spectators of rough mud horses (T/N: rough mud horse = sounds like/euphemism for f*ck your mom), Qin Kaiyi suddenly felt exhausted physically and mentally, and felt that he could not love anymore (T/N: think it’s a joke, because it’s common to say that you are tired and can’t love anymore): “Can you not pull me into this fight between you two?”

“No.” Speaking in unison, at this time those two very much had a mutual understanding. 

“Okay, then you guys continue.” Qin Kaiyi knew that his words had no weight so, full of self-awareness, he decided to shut his mouth. 

“Don’t be afraid Little Stone, just know that Shen Feixiao shouldn’t try to stop me.” Ziyang Pei looked at Qin Kaiyi seriously, and didn’t look like he was joking: “I will take you out of here.”

Qin Kaiyi wanted to express that he really was not comforted at all.

“Put down shixiong.” Looking at Shen Feixiao, he seemed to be itching to smash Ziyang Pei to bits and wrap him into dumplings to eat: “Ziyang Pei, get rid of the Gu in my shixiong’s body, and I will let you go.”  

“Shen Feixiao, you really… think too much.” Zi Yangpei hummed and then laughed once: “To whom the deer falls isn’t yet a foregone conclusion.” (T/N: “to whom the deer falls” is an idiom referring to who will win a prize/emerge victor). 

“Brother.” Ziyang Shi had, at who knows what point in time, appeared behind Ziyang Pei: “Everything is ready.”

“…” Qin Kaiyi felt that there was something strange in this atmosphere. 

“Don’t hurt him.” After transferring Qin Kaiyi from his arms to Ziyang Shi, Ziyang Pei placed all his attention on Shen Feixiao. He sneered: “Shen Feixiao, it seems that today we’ll settle this matter without courtesy.”

“Hmph, don’t tell me I should be scared of you?” Shen Feixiao knew that Ziyang Pei wouldn’t touch Qin Shi for the time being, and gave himself free rein. “Then come on.” 

After saying this, Shen Feixiao launched a killing move, attacking Ziyang Pei ruthlessly! 

“I’m really jealous of you.” Ziyang Shi watched the two men ferociously fighting and coldly said to the Qin Kaiyi in his arms: “What on earth kind of advantages do you have that it would be worth it for them to be like this for you? Qin Shi, sometimes when one’s life is too good, that can incite the jealousy of the Heavens.” 

“Oh.” Qin Kaiyi didn’t react to Ziyang Shi’s provocation. He responded casually and cast his attention to the two people fighting.

He didn’t know why, but he was very uneasy, as if he knew that something would happen… 

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R:DSAT Chapter 195: It’s the Young Master Who Harmed Him

Luo Wei did not sleep soundly. His back faced the tent entrance as he slept. Hearing the sound of steps behind him and thinking it was Wei Lan returning, he opened his mouth to say, “Lan, you finished washing up? Every bone in my body hurts, come massage me.” 

Luo Wei’s tone was a bit languid, his voice like soft cotton. He did not seem to be the same third young master who allied himself with Sima Qingsha in Ye Jia. Sima Qingsha arrived at the side of the bed and glanced at the person sleeping on it. He was sealed tight in the blankets, only his half-wet hair exposing a bit outside. 

“Why aren’t you moving?” Luo Wei lay there closing his eyes and smiled. “Are you also tired?” 

Sima Qingsha reached out his hands to Luo Wei’s shoulders through the blanket. Using some strength, he began to massage.

Luo Wei arched in the blankets, even humming from his nose. 

This noise wasn’t loud, but when Sima Qingsha heard it, it was as if a cat had rubbed its paw against his heart. He suddenly didn’t want to make a sound, only wanting to knead this person beneath his hands a few more times. 

“Sima Qingsha still hasn’t come,” Luo Wei only thought that he was talking with Wei Lan, and said, “If he still doesn’t come, I’ll really fall asleep. Could it be that something happened again in Hefang City?” 

At this, Sima Qingsha opened his mouth. “It turns out that in private, the third young master calls me by both my first and last name like this.”

Luo Wei heard this voice that wasn’t Wei Lan’s, and was so scared that he flipped over and sat up in one move. 

“Third young master, we meet again.” Sima Qingsha loosened his hands, smiling at Luo Wei. 

“It’s His Highness the Crown Prince ah.” Luo Wei was a bit uneasy. He said to Sima Qingsha with an awkward expression, “Apologies, I did not know it was you.” He began to lift his blankets to get out of bed. 

“No need,” Sima Qingsha covered Luo Wei with the blanket again. He even considerately placed a pillow behind Luo Wei’s body. “I heard Sun Li say that since you returned from Ye Jia City, you’ve always been sick. Before and after the new year, your condition became even more serious. It should be me apologizing, having you make this journey while sick.” 

Luo Wei saw Sima Qingsha speaking with him so familiarly. If he continued to be polite and paid his respects to this person, he’d appear estranged. He might as well half-lay, half-sit on the bed wrapped in his blankets while he spoke to Sima Qingsha. “I heard Crown Prince Zhuxie, with Mo Huan Sang’s support, bestowed himself the title of emperor. How could I have the thought to stay in the capital in convalescence? I worried about Crown Prince Qingsha’s safety, and also worried that my own future may not be peaceful.”

(T/N: translator is aware it’s strange Luo Wei called Zhuxie the crown prince. Is he not afraid of offending Qingsha?)

“You also worried about me?” Sima Qingsha asked.

“At the time when you and I got to know each other in Ye Jia, Sima Zhuxie thought to get rid of the crown prince,” Luo Wei replied. “This person does not care about the affection between brothers. I naturally would worry about you, the crown prince. If this time Sima Zhuxie succeeded, I, Luo Yun Qi, would worry about whether or not in my remaining years I could see Your Highness the Crown Prince’s face again while you still lived.”

Finally, at this point, Sima Qingsha wore some of his weariness on his face. After Sima Zhuxie rebelled and left, Emperor Sima Changtian fell gravely ill, never to recover. Now only Sima Qingsha alone busied himself over Northern Yan’s state affairs. Before his subjects, he had to pretend that everything was under control. There was no one who could share the heavy responsibilities on his shoulders with him. He knew that throughout history, to be a monarch was a solitary path. However, today had arrived too quickly and too suddenly for Sima Qingsha. At a time when he was wholly unprepared, the vast country was placed in his hands. The frightful feeling that he was seemingly the only person left between the heavens and the earth, Sima Qingsha had no one to relate this to.

Luo Wei had no particular intentions, but his gaze was still concerned as he looked at Sima Qingsha. “Crown prince, these days have been hard for you.” 

“Yun Qi, many thanks,” Sima Qingsha thanked Luo Wei. He was sincere.

“I’m also doing this for myself.” Luo Wei smiled. “Crown Prince Zhuxie would definitely not let me go. No matter what price I pay, I will help Crown Prince Qingsha eliminate this great foe.”

“If you say this I won’t be so ashamed,” Sima Qingsha bluntly pointed out Luo Wei’s purpose, “you say it’s for yourself, but really it’s my Imperial Sima clan’s family matters. I did not think that it would unexpectedly come to this irreparable state today. My ancestors used all nine lives to conquer these lands, but that big brother of mine doesn’t care. He only wants to get back at his so-called enemies. Yun Qi, even if you don’t say it I know–various countries are now laughing at my Northern Yan. Our family produced an unfilial son, and that alone caused a disturbance that could vanquish a nation.” 

“Your Highness recognizes Zhuxie as his elder brother?” Luo Wei picked out the sound of “big brother” from what Sima Qingsha said. If this person still recognized Sima Zhuxie as a big brother, then he would have to think through these matters first. He could not again incite Sima Qingsha to kill Sima Zhuxie. 

“That brotherly affection is already gone,” Sima Qingsha’s voice carried melancholy, “what brotherhood is there to speak of?” 

“Your Highness,” Luo Wei straightened out his body a bit, saying, “Crown Prince Zhuxie’s two eyes are already blind. I’m wondering whether it is possible that it was Mo Huan Sang himself who wanted to revolt, and he is twirling Crown Prince Zhuxie in his fingers?” 

(T/N: 将诛邪太子搙去, suggestions for this translation welcome.)

“Is that possible?” Sima Qingsha had never considered this. 

“Like this, it’s not the Sima imperial clan that produced an unfilial son, but only Northern Yan producing a rebel traitor,” Luo Wei reasoned. “The various countries observing today, which one hasn’t had this kind of armed rebellion from an official? Who could still make fun of Northern Yan?” 

“That’s not possible. Zhuxie is definitely willing. After he lost his position as crown prince, he would think all day about how to make a comeback. If Mo Huan Sang is holding him under duress, he could just die and my Northern Yan would not be in this troubled state, with the citizens unable to make a living.” 

(T/N: lit. = to return to office after living as a hermit on Mount Dongshan).

“The facts are not at all important,” Luo Wei already had an idea solidified in his mind. He enticed Sima Zhuxie, “As long as Your Highness snatches Zhuxie back from Mo Huan Sang, the facts only depend on what comes out of your mouth. You can say whatever you want. Who can run to see Zhuxie and make things clear?” 

“Snatch Zhuxie back?” 

“If you don’t, this matter of Northern Yan’s can only be a weapon for mockery,” Luo Wei reasoned. “Mo Huan Sang is retreating now because our Zhou soldiers entered Black Frost City. Eastern Shang’s Yang Yuansu also went over Chun Du Pass. He cannot take Hefang City for a while, and also doesn’t want to be attacked from the front and rear, so he temporarily retreated. Your Highness, Hefant City has not yet seen the Black Frost Cavalry, but our lot cannot stay in Northern Yan forever. If you don’t take care of the Black Frost Cavalry, on the day that that fiend Mo Huan Shang comes back to deal the killing blow, what will you do?” 

After Luo Wei’s speech, Sima Qingsha became silent. 

“Furthermore in my view, keeping Eastern Shang’s army further away from Hefang City is safest,” Luo Wei spoke of another one of Sima Qingsha’s worries.

“You want me to send troops to chase Mo Huan Sang?” Sima Qingsha asked.

“I’m only suggesting.” Luo Wei looked to be completely thinking on Sima Qingsha’s behalf. “Crown Prince Qingsha is taking such a great risk at this time. Asking for Greater Zhou and Eastern Shang’s help, isn’t it just to eradicate Mo Huan Sang once and for all?” 

Wei Lan tidied up the bathing room and rushed over. Seeing many people standing before Luo Wei’s tent’s entrance, he panicked slightly. 

“Sima Qingsha arrived.” Ten pulled Wei Lan, who was about to barge into the tent. “He’s chatting with the young master in the tent. We can just wait here.” 

At this, Wei Lan stood with Ten, facing Sima Qingsha’s imperial bodyguards.

Ten saw Wei Lan still frequently looking towards the tent entrance and whispered, “Don’t worry, how could Sima Qingsha harm the young master now? Right now it’s the young master harming him.” 

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Luo Wei is COLD AS ICE when tricking this poor man. In modern times he would be the #1 love scammer on plentyoffish

He’s like yeah enjoy my free therapy while it lasts, imma suck you dry. Sima Qingsha more like si-ma d1_ck

R:DSAT Chapter 194: Northern Yan’s Barracks

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. 

“He’s bathing.” 

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.” 

R:DSAT Chapter 193: The Day of Black Frost City’s Return

Previously he had been constantly drawing plans for Black Frost City. However, when Luo Wei really stood below Black Frost City, he actually felt rather calm. Sun Li brought people to Luo Wei’s side, and they surrounded him in a tight circle, placing Luo Wei under their control. 

“Young master, shall we enter the city?” Sun Li asked. 

“Let’s enter,” Luo Wei replied. His tone was so carefree that, rather than entering Black Frost City, he seemed to be returning to his own house. 

Sun Li let loose a whistling arrow into the sky with one hand. 

In the downpour, Luo Wei saw the arrow fly towards the empty sky, unable to see the moon and stars. The arrow released a long, sharp, and severe sound, before blossoming like a firework in midair. Immediately afterwards it died out amid the rain without a trace.

Black Frost’s city gate let out a great “boom.” Before the stunned gazes of the Zhou soldiers, it opened wide with a loud bang. 

Ning Fei brought the front line of the battalion to wait at the moat outside the city gate. Seeing the gate open and the bridge drop, Ning Fei only shouted one word to the troops under his command: “charge!” He took the lead to gallop towards Black Frost City. 

The generals and troops behind him were all Yun Guan Cavalry’s elite. Seeing Ning Fei’s horse charging forward, they immediately reacted and swept forth like a tide towards Black Frost City. 

Sun Li was so anxious that he almost pressed up against Luo Wei’s body.

“Let’s enter the city ba,” Luo Wei patted Sun Li’s shoulder, “no need to be nervous, aren’t I still here?”

At this time the Zhou army already lit torches. Sun Li saw Luo Wei’s face still full of smiles. “After you young master.” Sun Li’s voice seemed to tremble because of his excessive tension.

Luo Wei hit his horse to move forward. Before him in the distance, under the flames of lanterns, Long Xuan stood. Luo Wei had no way to stop his horse, and could only pass by Long Xuan’s side. Having ridden a fair distance, Luo Wei could not help but turn his head. Under those lanterns, any trace of Long Xuan had already disappeared. This person would take advantage of the chaos to enter Sima Zhuxie’s army. This undertaking was no less dangerous than his. 

“What is the young master looking at?” Sun Li asked. His nerves were extremely taut right now. He stared and didn’t let go of each and every move of Luo Wei’s. 

“It’s nothing.” Luo Wei straightened up on his horse. “Let’s not stop, and directly go through the city out the northern gate to where your master is.” 

“We will listen to all the young master’s instructions.” Sun Li was eager to do this anyway, and hurriedly agreed.

Long Xuan and his own imperial bodyguards concealed themselves among the Yun Guan Cavalry. He saw Luo Wei riding past him on his horse. This person had never practiced martial arts, but as he rode on the horse, one could not detect his sickliness from his disposition. As a matter of fact, he seemed somewhat strong and healthy. 

“Your Highness?” An imperial bodyguard called.

“Let’s go,” Long Xuan said. When he looked forward again, Luo Wei’s figure had already gone. This person will live to return, Long Xuan said to himself. I have not permitted him to die. How could he die? 

At the city gate, many Northern Yan soldiers’ corpses lay on the ground and atop the city. The rain had scoured away the blood of people on the ground, spreading it into the moat. Though the water of the moat hadn’t been dyed red, streaks of dark crimson showed on the ground like streams of muddy water. One could tell that a bitter battle had occurred before the Zhou troops arrived. 

Luo Wei urged his horse to a rapid pace, and could not take a closer look at the scenery of Black Frost City that swiftly flashed past him. He only saw that the homes that lined the street all had their doors and windows tightly shut. The people inside presumably were already startled out of their wits by this unforeseen misfortune, only daring to hole up in their homes and submitting to the will of the heavens. “How will you deal with Mo Huan Sang’s family?” Luo Wei almost reached the northern gate of Black Frost City and only then thought to ask Sun Li this question. 

“The young master doesn’t know ah,” Sun Li sighed, “The Mo clan’s people this time have all been brought by Mo Huan Sang into his army.” 

“He brought his clan members?” Luo Wei felt it was unheard of. “The old and children also were brought along?” 

“Yes,” Sun Li confirmed. “Mo Huan Sang is determined to rebel. If he doesn’t succeed, he’s prepared to take his family members with him to the grave.” 

“Place somebody on a field of death and he will fight to live,” Luo Wei wiped the rainwater on his face, “your great General Mo is an intense person.” 

Sun Li spoke with hatred, “Young master don’t say this. This subordinate itches to kill this traitor with his own hands.” 

“You’ll have an opportunity,” Luo Wei assured. “When the time comes General Sun’s riches and honor will be boundless. Don’t forget Greater Zhou, and the Luo family.” 

Sun Li forced a smile, “The young master is joking again with this subordinate. This subordinate’s riches and honor aren’t worth comparing to the young master’s.”

“Wait until Crown Prince Qingsha sits upon the throne,” Luo Wei replied quietly, “you’re still afraid he would treat you unfairly?”

Sun Li also lowered his voice to reply, “Then this subordinate will first thank the young master for his good words.” 

Two people spoke on the deserted main street, spurring on their horses to run wildly. Before long they exited the Black Frost northern gate.

Wei Lan and the Dragon guards followed behind. Seeing those in front had exited the gate, they urged their horses forward. Sun Li’s subordinates tactfully made space for them. 

Wei Lan pointed at the city gate tower behind them and told Luo Wei, “Young master, eldest young master is on top.” 

Luo Wei looked back from atop his horse, and saw Luo Qi standing on Black Frost City’s northern city tower. He waved his hand at Luo Qi. 

Luo Qi occupied a crenel on the city wall. His mouth opened and closed; he was saying something in Luo Wei’s direction. 

The rainfall was too loud. Black Frost’s city tower was also too tall. Luo Wei could not hear a single word from Luo Qi. He could only point at his own ears and shake his hand at Luo Qi. 

“Be careful, big brother will wait for your return!” Luo Qi shouted louder from his perch atop the city tower.

Luo Wei could hear Luo Qi’s voice now, but still could not clearly discern what he was saying. Finally he could only wave goodbye, leaving Luo Qi with an unfettered smile, and then continue northward with Sun Li.

When Ning Fei walked to the top of the north city tower, Luo Wei and his party’s figures could no longer be seen in the distance. “Commander,” Ning Fei walked to Luo Qi’s side and said in a small voice, “His Second Highness and them also left the city.” 

Only then did Luo Qi withdraw his gaze from the horizon. Outside the city, several horses also galloped north, but chose a different road from Luo Wei’s party. 

“Should we close the city gates now?” Ning Fei asked.

“Wait a moment,” Luo Qi replied.

Not long after, some daring city residents saw that the Zhou soldiers only searched the alleys and streets for those belonging to the Black Frost Cavalry while turning a blind eye to ordinary people, and also noticed that the north city gate remained open. First, some single, unemployed, bare-chested men ran out. The Zhou soldiers saw but acted as if they did not. At that, more and more people ran towards the north of the city. 

Luo Qi continued to watch from atop the city tower, counting approximately a thousand people had run out. He turned to Ning Fei, “Zi Zhou, close the city gates. If there are still those running out, chase them back in without exception.” 

Ning Fei received his orders and left. 

Luo Qi called the secretary of the main forces over. “Go write a notice to reassure the public. Tell the city’s residents we have come at Crown Prince Qingsha’s invitation to Northern Yan to help them eliminate this rebel state official Mo Huan Sang, that traitor. Do not let the city’s residents be anxious. Us Zhou soldiers won’t stay long. Black Frost City is still Northern Yan’s Black Frost City.” 

“Commander?” The secretary’s face held astonishment. They still wanted this Black Frost City to return?

“Don’t ask too many questions. Write it how you want, but the meaning must be conveyed,” Luo Qi said with his back turned to the secretary. 

“This student obeys,” the secretary also accepted his orders and left.

Luo Qi stood on the lofty Black Frost city tower, the north wind screaming and rainwater ice-cold, with his hands gripping black brick. Luo Qi didn’t think that he would one day stand atop Black Frost City’s tower. This was his childhood fantasy. Today it had come true, and even in a way as smooth-sailing as a beautiful dream. 

Ning Fei came to the tower to debrief and saw Luo Qi beckoning him over. He hurried over to Luo Qi’s side, saying, “Commander has further instructions?” 

“Zi Zhou,” Luo Qi softly said. “Today is the day that Black Frost City returned.” 

Ning Fei unexpectedly also reached a hand out to feel a brick laid at the head of Black Frost City. He felt dampness along with a frigid cold that reached bone. He and Luo Qi both looked towards the distance. Continuing towards the north, past the horizon–the limit of what they could see–Tian Shui’s fountainhead should lay there. In that place, a violent battle still waited for them.

R:DSAT Chapter 192: I’ll Entrust Luo Wei to You

After Sun Li received Luo Wei’s news, he came to the Zhou barracks again on the afternoon of the second day. The rain still had no intention of stopping. The Zhou army was clearly stationed on barren land, but now it seemed they had sunken into a great quagmire. The Zhou soldiers standing in the heavy rain brought forth an illusion in Sun Li’s mind–it seemed as if, with nowhere to go, these soldiers could only decompose in this quagmire until they became white bones.

Luo Wei’s tent was also flooded, but he still seemed relaxed. He even had the inclination to make small talk with Sun Li. 

Sun Li asked Luo Wei, “Young master, this subordinate just saw your barracks. It’s much bigger than it was the last time this subordinate came.” 

Luo Wei, his expression helpless, explained, “General Sun also saw the continuous rainfall. Now we’re soaking in mud water. Many places we originally set up barracks at are already wasted. We have no choice but to erect our tents again.” 

“So it was like this.” Sun Li cupped his hands in salute towards Luo Wei. “Young master has suffered.”

“This bit of hardship doesn’t count.” Luo Wei smiled at Sun Li. “General Sun can see that our army camp has become bigger. Your eyesight is not bad. Crown Prince Qingsha is so fortunate to have such a useful and talented subordinate.” 

Sun Li gave a ridiculing smile. Luo Wei’s words were implicitly pointing out that he still did not trust him, and satirized him for it. At this time, Sun Li did not dare to continue this conversation with Luo Wei. After all, Sima Qingsha was still waiting for these Zhou soldiers to go and rescue him. “When will the young master prepare to enter Black Frost City?” He asked Luo Wei. 

“Early morning tomorrow,” Luo Wei answered. “Can General Sun open the gates of Black Frost City at that time?” 

Sun Li hurriedly agreed. He already waited for Luo Wei for days, and had long been anxious. Now, finally Luo Wei said he would enter Black Frost City. Sun Li only feared that Luo Wei would meet with some misfortune. How could he dare to say no? 

“Then good.” Luo Wei straightforwardly stated, “Tomorrow between 3 a.m. to 5 a.m., General Sun will protect me as I enter Black Frost City.” 

Luo Wei had delayed for ten days without opening his mouth to mention entering Black Frost City, making Sun Li begin to suspect that this person had changed his mind and wanted to discuss some conditions with his master. Today he finally got his definite answer. Relieved, Sun Li said, “Young master don’t worry.” He stood up and said seriously, “Tomorrow morning this subordinate will meet the young master outside Black Frost City.” 

“Then General Sun, that’s settled,” Luo Wei replied. He turned to Wei Lan at his side. “Lan, send General Sun out of the barracks.” 

“After you general,” Wei Lan walked to Sun Li’s side, gesturing for him to go ahead. He had no good impression of this person, but at this time could not avoid showing a respectful attitude towards him. 

When Sun Li left the Zhou army’s barracks, he looked at the heavy rain almost splashing from the skies. It seemed he still had to thank these successive days of heavy rain, making Luo Wei unable to bear delaying his entry to Black Frost City.

The time for entering Black Frost City had been set. The Zhou barracks became busy in preparation for striking camp and erecting a stronghold, heading towards Black Frost City. 

Every camp general with high enough status ran to find Luo Qi. This excursion did not leave them feeling confident. They wanted to attack Black Frost City. But no one told them how to attack. Even if they wanted to force themselves in, they’d only be sinking into mud. Even horses couldn’t gallop, how could they fight this battle?” 

“It’s already been arranged,” Luo Qi reassured his subordinate generals. “Tomorrow we’ll send troops. No one in the army can move even by a hair. Use cloth to to bind the legs and snouts of the domesticated animals. The warhorses’ reins must be taken off.” 

(T/N: 悬钤–I’m not sure what this means in the context of horses. Suggestions welcome.)

“What’s this for?” A general asked. “We’ll go so quietly?” 

“Yes,” Luo Qi replied. “The court has already properly arranged this matter. We just need to follow orders. Also, tomorrow if anyone makes noise, ruining this commander’s war, behead him without forgiveness.” 

The generals all accepted orders and left. Though they couldn’t understand how the court in the capital could arrange this battle for them from thousands of miles away, soldiers had a duty to obey orders. Therefore, they would do as Luo Qi said.

As the army readied itself to set out, Luo Qi only then had time to see Luo Wei. When he entered Luo Wei’s tent, Wei Lan was just helping Luo Wei to don soft golden inner armor. Luo Qi came up to take it from Wei Lan’s hands, and helped Luo Wei to dress himself. “When you’ve left your big brother’s army, everything is up to you yourself. Big brother knows you’re smart, but wise men can have a thousand thoughts but neglect one. When you go to Sima Qingsha’s, you also have to listen to Lan and them. Don’t do everything yourself without listening to persuasion.” 

“Okay big brother.” Luo Wei smiled. “I’m also not an obstinate and self-opinionated person, I will come back. When we’ve gone back to Yun Guan, perhaps sister-in-law will give me another nephew. Right, big brother, what name do you want to give your child?” 

Luo Qi was between laughter and tears from Luo Wei’s messing around. “What kind of time is it now for you t o think of these things?” He put on Luo Wei’s soft armor for him and then knocked on Luo Wei’s forehead, asking, “This armor is also the emperor’s gift?” 

“Yes,” Luo Wei lowered his head and looked at the soft armor on his body. “They say that it’s impervious to sword and spear. I don’t believe it.” 

“You can talk nonsense about a gift from the emperor?” Luo Qi glared at Luo Wei.

Luo Qi had always been a solemn man. Even if he wasn’t glaring, no one dared to talk too much with him. However, this Luo Wei didn’t fear his big brother, all smiles as he asked, “Big brother, will your son also learn martial arts and enlist in the future?” 

“It’s proper for you to think about what to do later.” Luo Qi helped Luo Wei put his winter clothes on. “That’s a topic for the future. How do you know a little niece won’t come out?” 

“I also would like a little niece. Our family just so happens to lack a little girl,” Luo Wei said.

“Enough,” Luo Qi replied. “Don’t talk nonsense again. Just remember that you have to return safely.” 

“All right,” Luo Wei shook out his hands and feet, pacing back and forth a few steps. Heavy and thick winter clothes, along with the soft armor within them, made it a bit difficult to move freely and breathe.

“Too heavy?” Luo Qi asked. Seeing Luo Wei nod, he said, “It’s too cold, you have to wear more. Get used to it and it’ll be fine.” 

Wei Lan brought the snow ginseng soup in and put it in Luo Wei’s hands.

Luo Qi suddenly cupped his fists in respectful salute to Wei Lan. 

“Eldest young master, this is?” Wei Lan was startled, hurriedly moving sideways to avoid Luo Qi’s respects.

“Lan,” Luo Qi said, “I’m entrusting Xiao Wei to you. He doesn’t know martial arts, and his health isn’t good. You are earnest. Xiao Wei also listens to you. You’ll take care of him through this entire battle.” 

“Eldest young master, be at ease,” Wei Lan hurried to reply. “Wei Lan will stake his life to protect the young master thoroughly.” 

“Bah,” Luo Wei’s expression changed, and he spit towards the ground. “Why speak of dying? When it really comes to that, if you dare to lose your life to save me, I will definitely die in front of you. Lan, do you believe it?”

Wei Lan looked at Luo Wei, struck dumb. He had a thousand sentences and ten thousand words he wanted to say, but didn’t know where to start. 

“Say something!” Luo Wei pulled at Wei Lan’s lapels. “Did you mark my words?” 

Wei Lan softly replied, “If something happens to the young master, then how can Wei Lan live on?” 

“All right, all right.” Luo Qi looked at the two from the side, perceiving a bit of something. It was just that the troops would soon move out, and he had no time to think deeply. He said to Luo Wei and Wei Lan, “Nothing will happen to either of you. You all have to come back safely for me.” 

“That’s right.” Luo Wei looked at Wei Lan and said, “We all have stay safe and sound.” 

“En,” Wei Lan replied. “I’ve noted the young master’s words.” 

“Xuan Zhou?” Luo Wei said.

Wei Lan nodded.

At this, the two of them regarded each other with smiles. Only Luo Qi watched from the side, foggy. 


Luo Wei spitting and wiping his mouth, what a clown. What happened to maintaining his image? Giving me Fu Wei vibes ass

Thank you LeProfessionalHobo and meihua for the ko-fis, and thank you everyone for reading and commenting. The support means a lot. I know I really need to get cracking on translating this 400+ chapter monstrosity–please forgive me for the hiatus guys. The translation bug disappeared on me for a long while. I’m enjoying translating/reading this again, so am going to try and make it to the finish line.

R:DSAT Chapter 191: To Capture Brigands, First Catch Their King

Long Xuan arrived ten days later than Luo Wei at the Zhou army’s barracks situated 50 li from Black Frost City. With the two hundred thousand conscripts Emperor Xing Wu ordered to be gathered from all around the country, a total of five hundred thousand Greater Zhou troops assembled outside Black Frost City.

Once Long Xuan arrived at the barracks, he was directly welcomed into the tent set aside for the commander of the main force. 

“It’s been hard on Your Highness to come all this way,” Luo Qi exchanged pleasantries with Long Xuan. 

“It was fine.” Long Xuan nonchalantly glanced at Luo Wei. Seeing Luo Wei’s decent complexion, he did not continue to look and said to Luo Qi, “Originally we could have arrived three days earlier, but it rained the whole way here. The road turned to mud, and the army could not move fast.”

The two Luo brothers in the commander’s tent both saw muddy water on Long Xuan’s body. Long Xuan was not like Luo Wei; he could not use his status as a prince to arrive with great fanfare. Otherwise, he would have no way to regain Sima Zhuxie’s trust. Long Xuan could only get by in the barracks of the cavalry the whole way here, acting as a low-ranked cavalryman. He hadn’t suffered lightly on the way here. 

Long Xuan lowered his head to look at himself. He carelessly used his hands to brush off the pieces of mud that clung to his chest, and said, “I long ago heard that spring had arrived, and Black Frost City’s roads had scented bushes and trees. Now I’ve finally seen it.” 

Luo Wei said, “Then did you know that the Tian Shui fountainhead area is all marsh?” 

Long Xuan sat down and drank some hot water Luo Qi poured him. “I’ve heard, but never seen it personally.” 

Luo Wei asked, “Then how can we have Mo Huan Sang retreat to the Tian Shui fountainhead? Do we really take him for a fool?” 

“It turned out that Yun Qi didn’t know that that place was a swamp,” Long Xuan remarked simply. 

Luo Wei coldly replied, “I’m not a general with troops under my command, and also not a businessman. Should I spend all my days at home staring at maps?” 

“Xiao Wei,” Luo Qi heard Luo Wei’s tone as he spoke to Long Xuan, truly disrespectful. He hurriedly interjected to stop Luo Wei. Even if their Luo family protected the Crown Prince, they could not be so disrespectful to a prince.

“It’s okay.” Contrary to what one might expect, Long Xuan had a good temper when faced with Luo Wei. “Aren’t there places where troops can be stationed?”

Luo Qi questioned, “There are open spaces suited for battle. But how will Your Highness make Mo Huan Sang enter Tian Shui’s fountainhead?”

Long Xuan answered, “He raised troops in revolt for Sima Zhuxie. I think in the same way, he would also enter Tian Shui fountainhead for Sima Zhuxie right?”

“You want to capture Sima Zhuxie?” Luo Wei never needed to think too hard to know Long Xuan’s thoughts. He immediately reasoned, “You’ll nab Sima Zhuxie to threaten Mo Huan Sang?”

“You’ll got to Sima Qingsha’s army, and I will also go to Sima Zhuxie’s.” Long Xuan looked at Luo Wei as he spoke, “As long as I’m at Zhuxie’s side, I think I’ll have an opportunity to take him out of Mo Huan Sang’s army.”

“Is that possible?” Luo Zi now looked as if he were listening to an Arabian Nights story. 

Luo Wei asked, “And if you can’t take Sima Zhuxie out?”

“Victory or defeat will be determined with this one move. It doesn’t matter how I do it, I will succeed in this matter. You don’t need to worry,” Long Xuan replied.

Luo Qi said from the side, “Why would this Mo Huan Sang be willing to throw his life in for Sima Zhuxie?” 

“Sima Zhuxie’s wife is from Black Frost’s Mo clan right,” Luo Wei answered. He had really not thought about this before.

Long Xuan just responded, “As long as we know he is willing it’s fine. As for why, that’s other people’s problem. We don’t need to know.” 

Luo Wei nodded, he agreed with that.

Luo Qi looked at these two people and suddenly felt at a loss for words. It seemed he’d asked an unnecessary question.

Long Xuan had drunk the whole cup of hot water and sat for a while in the commander’s tent. His whole body warmed up. He said to Luo Wei, “The time is right, let’s discuss entering their armies once more. When separate three ways, if we still want to communicate it won’t be so easy.” 

Luo Wei walked to Luo Qi’s commander’s desk. Among a pile of plans and charts, he pulled out the map of Northern Yan that Luo Qi had drawn himself. 

“What about Wei Lan?” Long Xuan also walked over to the desk. His gaze swept over the map and revealed a bit of admiration, but his mouth asked Luo Wei another question. 

“Why are you asking about Wei Lan?” Luo Wei immediately raised his vigilance.

“You don’t practice martial arts,” Long Xuan clarified. “When you reach Sima Qingsha, he cannot be a single step away from you. Luo Wei, this matter you can hide from anyone else. But Wei Lan is the person who will protect your life. Any matter, big or small, you have to let him know about.” 

“Your Highness’s words make sense,” Luo Qi agreed. “Xiao Wei, let Wei Lan come.” 

Luo Wei looked at Long Xuan suspiciously. Would this person truly have good intentions; would he truly think on behalf of Luo Wei’s life and death? 

“If Sima Qingsha doesn’t leave Hefang City,” Long Xuan continued, “what use is it for me to lead Mo Huan Sang over? Luo Wei, you’re the same as me, you don’t have a way out of this.” 

“I know.” Luo Wei convinced himself in his heart to believe this man just this once. “Big brother, have someone bring Lan in.” 

After Wei Lan entered the commander’s tent, other than paying his respects, giving his regards, and glancing once at Long Xuan, he did not raise his head to look at Long Xuan again. He only quietly stood at Luo Wei’s side, focusing on listening to the discussion between the three other people in the tent. He marked every word down in his mind.

After nightfall, a disturbance rang out from the direction of the barrack’s rationing area. 

“What happened?” Luo Qi originally already prepared to leave the tent and investigate, and he almost ended up with an armful of a hurried Ning Fei when he knocked against him coming into the tent.

“The rainwater dashed dozens of war chariots’ worth of rations.” Ning Fei had just come from the rationing area, and his whole body was soaked. 

“If you’re afraid of something it’ll happen,” Luo Qi said, vexed. He had feared that the successive days of rainfall would wet the rations, so he had had the rations placed on higher ground. He did not expect that other places in the barracks would only be flooded, while the rations on high ground unexpectedly got dashed by water. 

Ning Fei wiped at the mud water on his face. “Right now we can’t determine if it’s rain water. It seemed to me that below the ground there, water was rising up. General Mo already ordered them to move the rations.” 

“Your Highness,” Luo Qi said to Long Xuan, “General Mo will go to take a look at the rations.” 

Long Xuan just dipped his head in acknowledgement. 

Luo Qi and Ning Fei hurriedly rushed out of the tent.

“This place’s climate isn’t good.” Long Xuan threw the pen he was using to point at the map on the table. He turned to Luo Wei, “It would be best for us to quickly battle and quickly conclude. If this battle drags into a year, when winter comes, we still won’t be able to return to the capital. Then we’ll have to prepare to freeze to death with the army here.” 

“If it’s cold then wear more,” Luo Wei replied. “Once the battle begins, who knows when it will end? One year? I’d say that time is only enough for us to lead Mo Huan Sang to Tian Shui fountainhead.” 

“You have so little faith in your big brother’s abilities?” Long Xuan heard Luo Wei speak, and felt puzzled. “In your view, Mo Huan Sang far surpasses your older brother?”

“It’s not that. It’s just that this person’s reputation can’t only be the result of talking big. Your Highness, I actually wonder about your idea to attack Sima Zhuxie. Why not just see if there’s an opportunity to get rid of Mo Huan Sang?”

“You want me to kill Mo Huan Sang in the middle of the Black Frost army?”

“To capture the brigand, first catch their king. If Mo Huan Sang is gone, can this blind man Sima Zhuxie command the Black Frost Cavalry?”

Long Xuan laughed out a single “ha,” “Luo Wei, if I kill Mo Huan Sang, Sima Zhuxie has no ability to oversee the Black Frost Cavalry, but how will I retreat intact? Do you want me to also die among the Black Frost army?”

“How could I have such an idea?” Luo Wei also laughed. “I’m only saying if there’s an opportunity, Your Highness can play it by ear. No need to force it. Anyway, would Your Highness not have ways to kill people? You need not draw blood to kill.” 

The rain fell heavier outside the tent, pattering on the top of the tent with speedy dripping sounds. It was as if countless people ceaselessly beat on their drums. Wei Lan looked towards the two people in front of him. Their smiling faces were cheerful, but their eyes were cold. Wei Lan began to feel that Luo Wei and Long Xuan were in their own world, and outsiders could not interfere.

Luo Wei seemed to perceive something. He still looked at Long Xuan, but held onto Wei Lan’s hand.

Seeing this scene, Long Xuan did not change his smile, but his gaze became frostier.

R:DSAT Chapter 190: Stationing Troops at Black Frost City

Speed was a crucial asset in war. On the second day of Luo Wei’s arrival at the Yun Guan barracks, the army had already finished preparing to enter battle. With only a single command voiced by Luo Qi, they would leave Yun Guan and directly pounce on Black Frost City. 

Ye Xiu arrived to send off Luo Qi and Luo Wei. 

Seeing Ye Xiu’s slightly bulging belly, a rare smile alighted on Luo Wei’s face, ruining his image. His white teeth even showed.

“You have a stupid smile, just like you big brother,” Ye Xiu shoved Luo Wei. 

Luo Wei leaned in front of Ye Xiu and whispered, “Big brother didn’t tell me.” 

Ye Xiu sternly replied, “Is now the right time to speak of such things? Little brother, listen to your sister-in-law. You have to come back in one piece. Sister-in-law will wait for you here in Yun Guan. You hear me?” 

“Okay,” Luo Wei readily agreed. “Sister-in-law don’t worry. I’ll take care of myself. I’ll even look after big brother.” 

“He doesn’t need you to look after him. Take good care of yourself and I won’t worry. Lan,” Ye Xiu turned to Wei Lan, who stood at Luo Wei’s side, and said, “You have to look after Xiao Wei ah. Come back safe and sound with Xiao Wei.” 

“Yes,” Wei Lan replied. “Wei Lan takes note.” 

“Let’s go,” Luo Qi came over and said.

“Sister-in-law, I’m leaving,” Luo Wei waved at Ye Xiu, walking towards the main forces of the army with Wei Lan. 

“I’m leaving,” Luo Qi murmured to Ye Xiu. 

“Go,” Ye Xiu only reached out a hand to touch Luo Qi’s armor. She’d wiped this armor clean again last night, and now Luo Qi’s helmet and hauberk shone brightly, making Ye Xiu very satisfied. She said, “I will wait for you to return home.” 

Luo Qi mounted his horse, and looked down again at Ye Xiu. His gaze stopped at Ye Xiu’s stomach for a moment, and then he waved a hand at the general who would transmit his orders.

The sound of the bugle horn signalling battle blasted out.

Three hundred thousand Yun Guan cavalrymen all headed out. 

After walking in the daytime and galloping at night for thirteen days, all the soldiers arrived fifty li outside of Black Frost City. They set up their barracks on barren land. 

(T/N: li is an ancient measure of length, approximately 500 meters). 

Luo Qi stood with Luo Wei in an observation tower within the barracks. He pointed at the city in front and told Luo Wei, “Black Frost City lies ahead.” 

“No wonder it’s called Black Frost City.” After seeing Black Frost City with his own eyes, Luo Wei learned that its city walls were built with black bricks. Looking from far away, other than the fluttering multicolored woven flag atop the city gate tower, this city was all black. The people who stood erect facing north were situated between the two deep abysses of the mountain ravines, their backs like black-feathered vultures. 

Qi Zi came to the foot of the observation tower and said to Luo Wei, “Young master, that man surnamed Sun came again.” 

“He arrived quickly.” Luo Wei whispered to Luo Qi, “It’s Sima Qingsha’s subordinate Sun Li. I’ll go see him.”

“Should I go with you?” Luo Qi asked.

“No need.” Luo Wei, with Luo Qi’s support, stepped down from the observation tower on a ladder made from wooden sticks temporarily nailed together. “There are some words Sun Li may not dare speak when big brother is there.” 

Sun Li waited in Luo Wei’s tent. He couldn’t sit still, pacing back and forth. These few days, his life consisted only of rushing about to and fro. Greater Zhou’s army had already sped over at its quickest speed. However, standing atop Hefang City today, Sima Qingsha could see the figures of the Black Frost Cavalry. The anxiously waiting prince complained that the Zhou army was “slow and late.”

“General Sun,” Luo Wei cupped his fists at Sun Li once he entered the tent, “we’ve already rushed over at our greatest speed. I don’t know how Crown Prince Qingsha’s situation is over there today?” 

Luo Wei’s question was asked with deep concern, and one couldn’t detect any pretense in it. Sun LI also did not know if he could trust this person–he wanted to but did not dare to. “Young master,” Sun Li bowed in salute at the same time as he spoke, “my master has anxiously waited for the young master.” 

“Our army has already arrived.” Luo Wei pulled Sun Li to sit down, saying, “It just depends on the arrangements made by Crown Prince Qingsha.”

Sun Li replied, “Young master, after the Zhou army enters Black Frost City, you’ll really go with me to meet with my master?” 

“There are some things I want to say to Crown Prince Qingsha face-to-face.” Luo Wei smiled. “Luo Wei is untalented, and is willing to endure misfortunes together with Crown Prince Qingsha. Regarding this point, General Sun can believe Luo Wei.” 

“When the the time comes, if young master changes his mind then this humble one just,” Sun Li did not finish his threatening words, but he knew that Luo Wei should understand his meaning. 

“When the time comes, General Sun will be at my side,” Luo Wei naturally understood and replied. “The commander leading the troops is my big brother, and General Sun should know that us brothers are very close. So he would consider my life.” 

“Young master permits me to bring others to stay by the young master’s side?” 

“Yes,” Luo Wei confirmed. “When the time comes and we enter Black Frost City, I’ll trouble General Sun to protect me.” 

With Luo Wei’s remarks, Sun Li had nothing more to say. If the Zhou troops became hostile once they entered Black Frost City, he would definitely kill Luo Wei. This noble young master Luo Wei’s life, in Sun Li’s perspective, was already the greatest collateral he could offer. 

“Then I’ll wait for General Sun’s news here,” Luo Wei finished.

Sun Li came and went swiftly. He still needed to arrange Black Frost City’s matters. 

Wei Lan sent Sun Li out of the Zhou army’s barracks. When he returned to the tent, he saw Imperial Physician Wei standing as he watched Luo Wei drink a round of his prescribed three ginseng soups per day. 

Luo Wei finished drinking the soup and carelessly wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. He asked Wei Lan, “He left?” 

Imperial Physician Wei looked at Luo Wei and suppressed the urge to shake his head. There was a handkerchief on the side but this person used his hand instead. Outsiders all spoke of how the Luo family’s third young master was some kind of rich and honorable man, but in reality how was this person like a clan’s young master? “Young master is discussing official business, I’ll take my leave,” Imperial Physician Wei said. 

“Oh. Go out then,” Luo Wei glanced at Imperial Physician Wei’s deadpan face and didn’t see through his thoughts. 

“You’ve finished discussing?” Wei Lan asked once Imperial Physician Wei left.

“Finished,” Luo Wei confirmed. “Just waiting for them to open the city gates.”

Wei Lan questioned, “Are they able to open the city gates? Sun Li said he muddled through getting out of the city.” 

“If he could do that, it means that Sun Li and them can already control Black Frost City.” Luo Wei saw Sun Li shuttling back and forth in and out of Black Frost City a few times, and so was not the slightest bit worried about Sun Li and the rest opening the city gates.

“Young master,” Wei Lan bypassed the table between Luo Wei and him, and came close to Luo Wei’s front. “What did you discuss, can I know about it?” 

This time, Luo Wei noticed the anxiety in Wei Lan’s gaze and said, “Lan, what are you worried about?” 

“I’m worried that the young master’s plans have changed. When the time comes if the young master acts on his own initiative again,” he pointed at Luo Wei’s incomplete finger.

“It’s no big deal.” Luo Wei suddenly felt a bit guilty. “It’s just that on the day we enter the city, Sun Li will bring people to follow me at my side. Lan won’t need to follow me on that day.” 

Wei Lan thought about these words of Luo Wei’s, but couldn’t understand them for a moment. 

“It’s just that, nothing else.” Luo Wei smiled at Wei Lan, his face holding some fawning to curry favor. 

“At that time he’ll want to use the young master as a hostage?” Wei Lan’s mind took a few turns. After he understood the implications of this arrangement, his face immediately darkened. “This person really has guts!” 

“Actually this was my own suggestion,” Luo Wei evasively looked around, “Lan don’t be angry. This is the only way to make them open the city gates.” 

“No. I’m not at ease.”

“Be at ease,” Luo Wei tugged at Wei Lan’s hand, “they won’t dare to injure me. Otherwise what could they gamble to ensure Black Frost City’s return? Lan won’t be too far from me, there’ll just be some people in between. I’ll be in front of your eyes.” 

“Why does the young master always like to put his body in danger?” Wei Lan angrily asked.

“Because it’s worth it,” Luo Wei answered.

This answer finally flustered and exasperated the good-tempered Wei Lan.