Ch 16 “What’s the name of the guard next to you?”
Winter solstice, Xie Chaoyuan received an invitation from Ding Wang’s Mansion, inviting him to have a drink and stay for a while at the manor outside the city.
Xie Chaoyuan casually threw the invitation aside, Xie Chaoling came over to pick it up, looked at it, and asked him: “Is this written by Ding Wang himself? The handwriting is quite beautiful,… what kind of person is that Ding Wang?”
Xie Chaoyuan lifted his eye: “Why do you ask this?”
Xie Chaoling said honestly: “He looks familiar, I always feel that I have seen them somewhere before.”
This is the second time he said such words to Xie Chaoyuan, staring into Xie Chaoyuan’s eyes, as if testing him.
“Really?” Xie Chaoyuan spat out these words slowly, then didn’t add anything further.
Is that so… and so what?
Xie Chaoling thought that His Highness looked at him like this and made him want to beat him, so he coughed softly: “If Your Highness doesn’t want to say it, then that’s fine.”
“Royal Uncle is His Majesty’s youngest brother. When the first emperor passed away, he went to the northwest border when he was just fifteen. Leading the army, he was seriously injured in the fierce battle with the Xirong Kingdom, he barely recovered his life. Since then, he has been ill and returned to the capital to be an idle king. Our Daliang, have fought with the Xirong Kingdom for a hundred years, and that was the most tragic battle. Xirong lost nearly 200,000 soldiers, Daliang also lost 100,000 elite soldiers, several generals were killed or injured, crown prince older brother’s grandfather and two uncles all died in that battle.”
Xie Chaoyuan spoke carelessly and Xie Chaoling frowned slightly. Stared at by Xie Chaoyuan’s black eyes, the strange feeling was still lingering. Xie Chaoyuan’s words seem to have something to say, but Xie Chaoling’s blank thoughts really couldn’t figure it out.
Xie Chaoyuan smiled again: “Actually, it’s good for Royal Uncle to be an idle king. He doesn’t have any ambitions at all, so he won’t be suspected by His Majesty.”
Xie Chaoling didn’t know what to say for a while. Xie Chaoyuan patted the back of his hand, and didn’t continue this topic.
Then on that day, Xie Chaoyuan took Xie Chaoling with him to Ding Wang’s Mansion outside the city.
Xie Fengzhen sent invitations to all the princes and county princes in the capital, and many people came. Xie Chaoyuan lived in a small courtyard near the water. The advantage was that it was quiet and far from the others. Xie Fengzhen knew his temper and he had no patience to deal with vain etiquette, so he specially made arrangements.
As soon as he was settled down, King Ding sent someone to call Xie Chaoyuan over, saying that the food and drink had been prepared and he was waiting for him.
Xie Chaoyuan had no choice but to agree, and told Xie Chaoling: “Tell people what you want to eat, and let them prepare it for you. Royal Uncle’s manor has all kinds of game. You are welcome to eat anything. There is a hot spring pond in the backyard. You can go play by yourself. I’m going to have a drink with Royal Uncle, and I’ll be back soon.”
“I can do whatever I want, but I can’t just go out for a stroll, right?” Xie Chaoling twitched his lips.
Xie Chaoyuan didn’t say much: “Be obedient.”
Xie Chaoling waved his hand, signaling him to leave quickly.
The banquet hall was bustling with music, singing and dancing, and the aroma of wine was overflowing. Xie Fengzhen was famous for being fun and enjoyable. This kind of banquet was what he was most passionate about, and he would hold it from time to time. Since he was not very old and his seniority was not low, there are always many people who supported him.
This time there were no outsiders, and all the visitors were Xie princes, not to mention those rules and etiquette, everyone drank to their heart’s content and enjoyed themselves.
Xie Chaoyuan came a little later, and sat cross-legged by the wine table specially reserved for him, and punished himself three times. Xie Fengzhen teased him: “Sixth nephew, what were you doing hiding in the room? This king sent someone to call you three times to invite you over here. Is it true that it’s the same as the rumors outside, saying that you have been hiding someone in the golden house recently, and you don’t want to leave?”
There was a burst of laughter in the hall, and Xie Chaoyuan raised his glass again and laughed: “Uncle, don’t make fun of nephew! Nephew will just take the punishment wine.”
After going back and forth like this, no one cared about him being late, of course, except for Xie Chaorong.
Xie Chaorong, who was sitting in the front left, poured a big gulp of wine into his mouth, squinted his eyes, and sneered, “What kind of beauty is hidden in the golden house, an ordinary-looking guard, yet the sixth child even treats him as a treasure? You stinking b*stard, didn’t you learn from fourth brother?”
Xie Chaoqi was sitting on Xie Chaoyuan’s right hand, and he was silently pouring his own drink. No one would respond, but when Xie Chaorong said this, Xie Chaoyuan hadn’t said anything yet when Xie Chaoqi forcefully put down the wine glass in his hand, and the table shook due to the shock, and the dishes on the table rattled.
The singing and dancing sound stopped just at this moment. Xie Chaoqi was too noisy, everyone turned their attention to him. Xie Chaoqi ignored it, and just stared at Xie Chaorong with a sullen expression.
Xie Chaorong provocatively said: “What? This king is right. Doesn’t Old Six have the same problem as you now, treating a bodyguard with a mud-legged background as a treasure? How shameful.”
On the contrary, Xie Chaoyuan, who was being called, kept his expression the same, with a smile on his lips as he drank his own wine, pretending to be watching a play.
Xie Chaoqi got up, and walked towards Xie Chaorong step by step with a wine glass in hand.
Without waiting for the others to react, Xie Chaoqi had already stood in front of Xie Chaorong’s alcohol table, pouring wine on his face.
Xie Chaorong was stunned. He regained his senses and wiped his face vigorously, then suddenly got up: “Are you f*cking crazy?!”
Xie Chaoqi’s answer was only a sneer filled with disgust.
Xie Chaorong gasped for breath, his eyes were burning, and he was about to beat Xie Chaoqi with his fist, but he drank too much and became unstable. Discs were taken down together, making a mess.
“Your Highness!” the servant girl behind Xie Chaorong exclaimed, rushing up to help him.
Xie Chaoqi looked down at Xie Chaorong who fell to the ground and couldn’t get up, the hatred in his eyes was undisguised.
“That’s enough, what are you doing? After all, you are all brothers, do you guys know what you look like? If you want to make trouble, don’t make trouble here.”
Xie Fengzhen finally stopped him, and the rest of the people also tried to persuade him to make peace. Xie Chaoqi stood there silently with downcast eyes. When Xie Chaorong, who was cursing, was helped back to change clothes, he said to Xie Fengzhen in a low voice: “Sorry for disturbing Royal Uncle. Nephew is not feeling well and will go back and rest first.”
Xie Chaoqi left straight away, Xie Fengzhen didn’t say anything, and continued to drink with the others.
Xie Chaoyuan withdrew his gaze, put a piece of food with chopsticks into his mouth, and chewed slowly.
At dusk, Xie Chaoling put down the book at hand and stretched his arms.
Xie Chaoyuan, who said he would come back earlier, has not been seen yet. Although the little highness was annoying, he had not seen him for half a day, and there were only these servants around who dared not take a breath, which was boring.
Wang Jin seemed to see that Xie Chaoling was bored, so he asked him tentatively, “Do you want to play with kites, sir? Lufu and the others just made a few kites, so you can go outside and play in the yard.”
Xie Chaoling got up lazily, fine, it’s better than nothing. Those maid servants were indeed flying kites in the courtyard outside. When they saw Xie Chaoling coming out, they hurried to take back the strings, but Xie Chaoling stopped them: “Keep flying, I’ll watch.”
Xie Chaoling lifted his head and several kites gradually unfolded into the twillight and the bright colors were embellished under the sunset.
Wang Jin raised his eyes cautiously, and saw that he was staring at him with an expression of no displeasure, and asked him, “Your Majesty, do you want to try it yourself?”
Xie Chaoling nodded casually.
The maid handed the kite string in her hand to Xie Chaoling, and lowered her head to remind him in a low voice how to take up and release the string. This thing didn’t look difficult, but it was not easy to control it as one liked, and one had to control the angle of strength.
The kite string was too thin, and Xie Chaoling felt a little uncomfortable. After the sky darkened and the wind picked up, he tried to let the kite fly higher, but accidentally let it go.
The maidservant screamed, and watched helplessly as the kite string broke and flew out of the courtyard.
Xie Chaoling frowned. Wang Jin hurriedly called someone to pick it up outside, and Xie Chaoling said, “I’ll go by myself.”
“His Highness said you can’t…”
Wang Jin didn’t finish his sentence, and when Xie Chaoling turned to look at him and met those calm and bright black eyes, everything was stuck in his throat.
He lost his memory and was trapped in this small courtyard by Xie Chaoyuan, but he was still the heir of the East Palace, a look was enough to make people shudder.
Wang Jin lowered his head, only to feel cold sweat dripping down his back, and he didn’t dare to stop him.
Xie Chaoling had strode out the door.
The kite had already disappeared, Xie Chaoling looked for it all the way, looking around.
Wang Jin frightened, followed behind him, begging him to go back in a low voice, but Xie Chaoling turned a deaf ear to him. Fortunately, the disguise he made when he came this morning has not been torn off and had not attracted attention.
At last they found the kite hanging from a high branch under a heather tree.
Wang Jin secretly breathed a sigh of relief, and quickly ordered someone to climb up the tree to get it. Xie Chaoling stood aside silently, his eyes fell on the pavilions and waterside pavilions in the distance, until a voice suddenly appeared behind him: “Which mansion are you from? What are you doing here?”
Xie Chaoling turned around, it was Ding Wang whom he had met at the Nanshi Temple Fair that day.
Wang Jin was shocked when he saw the person who came, he brought the rest of the people to kneel on the ground, then tremblingly said: “Greetings to His Highness King Ding.
Xie Chaoling finally reacted and he should have done his greetings but he had never done this in Xie Chaoyuan’s place, so he didn’t know whether to raise his hand or bend down first.
Xie Fengzhen glanced at Wang Jin, who was overly frightened and saluted directly, and looked at Xie Chaoling, who looked slightly uncomfortable in front of him.
“This king has met you before. You are someone close to Ah Yuan.” He stared at Xie Chaoling’s face, with probing and scrutinizing eyes.
Xie Chaoling was about to speak, when Xie Chaoyuan’s voice came from behind: “Royal Uncle!”
Xie Chaoyuan had already stepped forward, blocking Xie Chaoling’s body without a trace, and asked Xie Fengzhen with a smile: “Didn’t Royal Uncle go back to change clothes? Why are you still here?”
Xie Fengzhen looked at him in a blink of an eye, and said casually: “Your people were here doing something and everyone is making a fuss.”
Wang Jin had already prostrated himself on the ground, pleading his guilt: “Slave, this slave is here to pick up the kite, and the kite is hung on this tree. Oh, Your Highness, forgive me.”
Xie Chaoyuan said: “Royal Uncle, don’t lower yourself to argue with them, they are all unruly things.”
“It’s not okay for a personal servant to make such a fuss.” Xie Fengzhen smiled and didn’t say any more, “Since this is the case, you take him back, and this king will not discipline you.”
Xie Chaoyuan was taught his lesson, took his leave and left.
When turning around, Xie Fengzhen said again: “Sixth nephew, I forgot to ask you last time, what’s the name of the guard next to you?”
Xie Chaoyuan paused, and replied in a deep voice: “He doesn’t have a name, so nephew gave him a name. He’s called Linlang, it’s not worth mentioning.”
“Linlang,” Xie Fengzhen said after hearing it once, “it’s a good name.”
Xie Chaoyuan nodded and led the people back.
As soon as they entered the door, Wang Jin and the others knelt down to plead guilty.
Xie Chaoyuan didn’t say a word, just looked at Xie Chaoling.
Xie Chaoling was very helpless, and after thinking about it, he decided not to argue: “If your Highness is angry that I disobediently ran out and caused you trouble, then punish me.”