Ch 15 “Your Highness, I am indeed older than you.”
Every year when the frost descends, the temple fair at Nanshi was a grand occasion, no less bustling than during the lantern festival.
At the end of Chen Shi (7-9am), the carriage departed from the east gate of King Ke’s Mansion and went straight to Nanshi. Nanshi was on the south corner of the inner city, from the south city gate, it occupied two whole long streets.
King Ke’s Mansion was not far away, and it took less than an hour to arrive there.
Xie Chaoling was simple and easy-going, following Xie Chaoyuan who was pretending to be an ordinary rich man and did not attract attention.
There were many places to eat, drink and have fun at the temple fair, and there were various juggling performances, which were crowded with people. Feeling the novelty, Xie Chaoling’s eyes sparkled. He dragged Xie Chaoyuan to the crowded place and looked around.
“I didn’t expect there to be such a lively place in the capital. Has Your Highness been here before?” Xie Chaoling was attracted by the dragon lantern performance on the street corner, and asked Xie Chaoyuan casually.
Xie Chaoyuan raised his hand to hold his shoulder, telling him not to push forward: “I have never been here, but I have heard it mentioned many times.”
“Then Your Highness is not as playful as the rumors say.” Xie Chaoling smiled.
In the carpenter’s shop, he picked a yellow rosewood birdcage for Xiao Huang, which was very unique in shape. Xie Chaoling saw it at a glance, asked the price and paid directly.
Everyone in Prince Ke’s mansion had a share of funds, and Xie Chaoling naturally had one too. There was a lot of money every month. Xie Chaoyuan ordered someone to give it to him according to the share of the prince consort. Xie Chaoling didn’t know this.
“This bird cage is bigger than the one in the mansion, Xiao Huang is naughty, so it can be more comfortable in it.” Xie Chaoling bought something and showed it to Xie Chaoyuan in his hand.
Xie Chaoyuan squinted down, turned his eyes to look around the bird cage, and said indifferently: “If you want this kind of cage, the carpenter in the palace can make you eight or ten, which are better than this one.”
Xie Chaoling laughed and said, “There are ready-made ones for sale, why bother do it again? Your Highness, do you even care about such a trivial matter?”
This little Highness’s heart was probably as big as the eye of a needle.
Xie Chaoyuan turned his eyes away and said nothing.
Xie Chaoling’s gaze fell outside the shop. There was a candy seller’s stand in front of it, surrounded by a circle of children, exclaiming and laughing from time to time. Xie Chaoling’s mind moved, and he pulled Xie Chaoyuan over.
“You want a candy figurine? I’ll buy one for you.” Xie Chaoling looked at Xie Chaoyuan and smiled.
Xie Chaoyuan looked back at him, stern and silent. Xie Chaoling clicked his tongue: “Jealous of a bird? How old are you, Your Highness?”
Xie Chaoyuan still had a sulky face and said nothing. Xie Chaoling thought he wanted it, and after the group of children got the sugar figurines and left, they rushed to the stall owner. The old man raised his chin: “We want two.”
The old man smiled and asked them, “What kind of sugar do you guys want?”
Xie Chaoling said smoothly: “He is a rabbit, and I am a tiger, so I want these two zodiac signs.”
Xie Chaoyuan glanced at him, his mind sank, and he didn’t say anything. The birthday of the elder brother of the crown prince was the fifteenth day of the first lunar month of the Gengyin year, which was well known throughout the world.
Xie Chaoling’s full attention was on the old man’s rapidly moving hands, and he didn’t realize what he said.
A rabbit candy figurine was made very quickly, and the last step was to blow it up. The old man said to Xie Chaoyuan with a smile, “This little gentleman can blow it up by himself?”
Xie Chaoyuan signaled Xie Chaoling in a soft voice: “You help me. “
Xie Chaoling leaned over with a smile, and blew lightly into the slender tube, and the bright and clear candy rabbit figurine quickly puffed up.
The sugar figure was handed to Xie Chaoyuan, but he was silent. Xie Chaoling simply took his hand and said, “Hold it.”
Xie Chaoyuan stared at the sugar figure in his hand, and remained silent. Xie Chaoling couldn’t help laughing, he was obviously a little wolf cub, but his zodiac sign was a rabbit, it would be nice if Xie Chaoyuan was as docile and cute as a little white rabbit.
It’s a pity.
The other sugar figure was also pinched quickly. Xie Chaoyuan blew it and handed it to Xie Chaoling: “Let’s go, go and take a look.”
Xie Chaoling turned the wooden stick in his hand, stared at the sugar figure for a while, and finally thought about it later,…how does he remember that he is a tiger?
“Your Highness, I am indeed older than you.”
Xie Chaoling said after catching up with Xie Chaoyuan who had already taken a step ahead.
Xie Chaoyuan said “Yes”, his crown prince elder brother was less than two years older than him. They were supposed to be the closest brothers, but he had despicable thoughts that he shouldn’t have, wanting to monopolize his crown prince elder brother.
He didn’t care about right or wrong, as long as Xie Chaoling could be his.
Still failing to make His Royal Highness laugh, Xie Chaoling was a little discouraged, and wanted to say something, but a man who looked like a guard came to greet Xie Chaoyuan. He insisted that the king should drink tea at the teahouse opposite, so Xie Chaoyuan was invited to go up and talk.
Xie Chaoyuan looked up, and at the railing on the second floor of the teahouse across the street, his uncle Ding Wang, Xie Fengzhen, was leaning with a smile, and motioned to him: “Sixth nephew, come up.”
Xie Chaoyuan took Xie Chaoling up together.
When sitting down, Xie Fengzhen took a look at Xie Chaoling, Xie Chaoyuan smiled and said to Xie Fengzhen: “Uncle, don’t mind ] him, nephew just let him sit aside to drink tea and have some snacks.”
Xie Fengzhen didn’t take it seriously: “Up to you.”
This Ding Wang was the youngest brother of Emperor Qianming and was not yet thirty. He also led soldiers on the border in his early years, and was seriously injured on the battlefield later. Not only that, but it was said that the battle left him with a hidden disease, and he was unable to have any more children. He was still unmarried to this day, so Emperor Qianming indulged him very much. Those rich and idle kings in the capital, Xie Fengzhen lived the best life.
“Why is Royal Uncle in such a good mood today that he also came to Nanshi to visit the temple fair?” Xie Chaoyuan poured tea for Xie Fengzhen and asked him with a smile.
Among the sons of Emperor Qianming, Xie Fengzhen and Xie Chaoyuan walked the closest. It was because Xie Chaoyuan’s temper was similar to Xie Fengzhen, he was best at eating, drinking and having fun.
Xie Fengzhen said casually: “I just happened to pass by, so I came to take a look. By the way, two days ago, Your Majesty told me about the marriages of your brothers, but he didn’t mention you. Don’t you have any idea?”
Xie Chaoyuan laughed and said, “Royal Uncle hasn’t married so far, why worry about your nephew’s marriage?”
Xie Fengzhen shook his head: “You are different from me.”
“What’s the difference?”
Xie Fengzhen didn’t say much, smiled and mentioned something else: “Come to the manor next month. There are a few jars of good wine that have been stored for a long time. It’s almost time to open them. I will let you try something new.”
Xie Chaoyuan was neither for nor against: “There is really good wine, so nephew will naturally go.”
Xie Fengzhen said with a helpless smile: “I invite you to have a drink, yet you kid is still being pretentious with me, don’t worry, the wine will be good wine.”
Xie Chaoyuan agreed immediately: “Okay, I will definitely go there when the time comes.”
When they were talking, Xie Chaoling ate snacks and drank tea calmly, occasionally raising his eyes. His eyes passed by Xie Chaoyuan, and fell on Xie Fengzhen’s face opposite. His Royal Highness, King Ding, he vaguely felt him familiar, but after thinking about it, he was still the same as before, without a clue.
Xie Chaoyuan lowered his eyes,…why?
Later, Xie Fengzhen had to leave first. Since he was inconvenient in his legs and feet, he needed to use a wheelchair, so he called the servant to come in and push him out. It was only then that Xie Chaoling noticed that Wang Ye was different from ordinary people, and there was a fleeting surprise in his eyes, but he didn’t make a sound.
He knew that Xie Chaoyuan didn’t like drawing attention to himself, so he never said much in front of others.
The wheelchair passed by Xie Chaoling without stopping, but Xie Fengzhen turned his eyes sideways at that moment and glanced at him again. Xie Chaoling looked over, but Xie Fengzhen had already withdrawn his gaze and left straight away.
The strange feeling in Xie Chaoling’s heart grew stronger, and Xie Chaoyuan beside him asked him: “What is Lin Lang thinking?”
Xie Chaoling regained consciousness, peeled a peanut and threw it into his mouth: “It’s nothing.”
Seeing Xie Chaoyuan looking at him all the time, he smiled, peeled another one, and said to Xie Chaoyuan: “Your Highness, open your mouth.”
The peanut was fed into Xie Chaoyuan’s mouth. Xie Chaoyuan chewed and swallowed slowly. He looked at Xie Chaoling and said: “Don’t think too much, it’s enough to stay at my side with peace of mind.”
Xie Chaoling had nothing to say, and continued to eat snacks.
After sitting for a while, the guards outside came in to report that Lord Zhang was here, and seeing His Highness here, he came up to say hello.
Xie Chaoyuan ordered: “Let him in.”
After returning to the capital, Xie Chaoyuan hadn’t seen this boy for some time. Zhang Shaoyang entered the door and greeted Xie Chaoyuan with a smile on his face. Seeing Xie Chaoling sitting next to him, he was stunned for a moment. He muttered in his heart that this must be a favored one, and dare not talk about it in his face.
“Are you coming to the temple fair too?” Xie Chaoyuan asked him casually.
Zhang Shaoyang smiled apologetically: “Your Highness knows that I’m a loafer, so why would I join in wherever there is excitement? I just came here, saw His Highness’s people downstairs, and I guessed that His Highness was there, so I thought of coming up to say hello.”
He said this then winked and asked Xie Chaoyuan: “Your Highness, do you still need people?”
“No, you can keep it for yourself.” Xie Chaoyuan calmly refused him.
Xie Chaoling placed the peeled peanuts one by one on the plate in front of Xie Chaoyuan, and did not even move his eyes when he heard this.
Zhang Shaoyang was stunned for a moment, secretly thinking that the person in front of him was really favored, it’s strange that His Highness doesn’t want anyone else.
Xie Chaoling didn’t care about this at all. Anyway, those people Xie Chaoyuan took back would not enter Xile Tang. Although he didn’t want to be jealous, if Xie Chaoyuan really favored other people in Xile Tang, then he…he will no longer care about Xie Chaoyuan.
Xie Chaoyuan asked about other things: “Are there any interesting new things out there recently?”
Zhang Shaoyang knew a lot of people from different circles in the capital, and he was the most well-informed. When Xie Chaoyuan asked this, he lowered his voice mysteriously: “There is something I want to tell Your Highness.”
Zhang Shaoyang looked at Xie Chaoling. With a glance, Xie Chaoyuan said: “If you have something to say, there is no need to hesitate.”
When Xie Chaoyuan said so, Zhang Shaoyang didn’t dare to delay any longer, and told Xie Chaoyuan all the things he had heard: “I heard that someone took the soldiers salaries sent by the imperial court and used it for loan sharks. The money was used to seek huge profits, and they only released it to those impoverished people. After that, even if there is only a copper coin in the hands of those people, they could be seized by them. Those people are afraid to tell the officials, so this matter has never been brought up.”
Xie Chaoyuan’s eyes moved: “What salary?”
Seeing that Xie Chaoyuan seemed interested, Zhang Shaoyang hurriedly said: “Dongshan Ying.”
“Are you sure?”
“If it is not confirmed news, I dare not tell it to Your Highness. Your Highness knows that I know a lot of people who have things that can’t be shown, and this is true.” Zhang Shaoyang nodded vigorously.
After Zhang Shaoyang left, Xie Chaoling filled up Xie Chaoyuan’s almost empty teacup, and asked him in a low voice, “Is your Highness planning something bad again?”
Xie Chaoyuan smiled, “I told you, Lin Lang, you really think highly of me. Although this king enters the court, I am only a foil, with no root or foundation behind me. What kind of bad idea can this king come up with, it’s just to feed the fish and watch the show.”
What he said seemed to be true and false, Xie Chaoling didn’t bother to guess and didn’t ask.
“Your Highness finally smiled.”
Unlike the polite smile in front of King Ding before, this little Highness didn’t put on a show for him.
Xie Chaoyuan raised his hand to caress his face, but said nothing.
“That Ding Wang just now, have I met him before? He looks familiar.” Xie Chaoling said suddenly.
Xie Chaoyuan paused slightly with his hand resting on his cheek: “I don’t know.”
He pulled him up again: “Let’s go, since we’re here, let’s not sit here all the time, let’s go shopping.”
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