Ch 23 A complete picture finally flashed through my mind that had been empty for several months.
Emperor’s study room.
Emperor Qianming frowned, these few days he listened to his ministers report one after another every day, he was so angry that he had a headache again. Even so, everyone was still embarrassing him, the emperor.
Xie Fengzhen came in to pay his respects. Because of his inconvenient legs, Emperor Qianming directly excused him and let him sit in front of him, sighing and complaining: “These people in the court wish to piss me off as soon as possible. Tell me what they even do. What’s the matter, for the sake of self-interest, they dare to move the military salary without permission, and now they have made a big mess. Now that something happened, everyone just passes on the blame to each other. No one is good, no one really considers the country for Zhen.”
Xie Fengzhen quietly listened to Emperor Qianming’s complaints, and did not respond.
Emperor Qianming talked for a long time, felt bored, sighed and said: “Zhao’s arrogance is too much. This Dongshan Ying cannot continue on like this. This time I will transfer people in from outside no matter what.”
Xie Fengzhen finally opened his mouth and asked him: ” What’s Your Majesty’s plan?”
“I’ve thought about it before. I’ve always wanted to transfer people from Xitai Ying, but there were too many people who opposed it and many things happened. Now that I was reminded, why not just transfer people from outside the capital? The northwest is still in peace now, so it shouldn’t be a big problem to transfer someone back. Xu Shan, the left deputy commander of the army stationed in the northwest, is a capable man. He is a native of the northwest and has no roots in the capital. If I call him back, those old men would be less vigilant so that things can go smoothly, what do you think?”
Xie Fengzhen thought for a while and said: “Xu Shan, your brother has never worked with him. I heard that he is young and promising, and he was promoted to the left commander position in just a few years. This is indeed a capable person. Now that something happened in the capital, related to both Dongshan Ying and the Ministry of War, they should not dare to object to the transfer, especially Dongshan Ying. If Your Majesty is lenient, they should find a way to get down from this mess by themselves.”
Emperor Qianming’s face was ugly. It was because he was lenient and it was because Zhao Changming and those people were too ruthless. Before he ordered a thorough investigation of this private embezzlement of soldiers’ salaries, they had already pushed people out to take the blame. Even if he wanted to do a big sweep, there were no excuses.
Xie Fengzhen suddenly asked: “Your Majesty, who told you about the transfer of people from the northwest?”
Emperor Qianming took a sip of tea and said casually: “I have been worrying about this for the past two days, it’s thanks to Wang Qing for reminding me. He said that I can look elsewhere. I was thinking about it earlier and almost forgot about this.”
Xie Fengzhen knew that the old eunuch was the number one favored person in front of Emperor Qianming, and he was very cherished, so he didn’t say any more. Instead, he brought up another thing that bothered him: “If Your Majesty feels that you can’t handle the Jingwei army, you don’t have to worry that you must start from the inside. You may wish to follow the example of the late emperor when dealing with the Dongshan Ying, and build another Jingwei yamen to fight against it. Now is a good time to separate the courts to have them fight. Take advantage of the explosion of the firearms depot to separate the security guards in the inner and outer cities so that they can perform their own duties.”
After Xie Fengzhen finished speaking, Emperor Qianming thought for a while, he couldn’t help but feel passionate. This idea was really good. There were forbidden troops in the imperial city. As long as another Jingwei army was built in the outer city, the original Jingwei army would be trapped in the inner city, what is there to fear?
Emperor Qianming’s depression was swept away immediately: “Okay, this matter can be discussed in the long run, especially the candidate for the leader, I have to think carefully.”
Xie Fengzhen did not stay with Emperor Qianming for long, and later said that he had to retire in advance.
When he walked out of the hall, he met the old eunuch Wang Qing, who came over to greet him with a smile. Xie Fengzhen glanced at him, nodded and left quickly.
After getting out of the palace and getting on the carriage, he ordered his people: “Go to Nanshi.”
Xie Chaoling had just arrived in the Southwest Outer City at this moment. More than ten days later, the place was still in a mess, with toppled and charred houses everywhere, emitting lingering smoke. It was not an exaggeration to say that the burnt smell that did not go away was a purgatory on earth.
Occasionally, he could see a few soldiers of the Jingwei Army or government servants of the Jingzhao Mansion, lazily hiding in a shelter away from the wind to rest. Some civilians who asked for help were driven away impatiently before they could finish speaking.
The carriage stopped at the corner of the street, not near the place where the fire started. Xie Chaoling looked at it coldly for a while, but never said a word.
Wang Jin beside him persuaded him in a low voice: “Langjun, let’s go back earlier, this place smells bad, we won’t want it to affect you.”
Xie Chaoling glanced at him, and finally said: “Am I some kind of big shot? Where did I come from? How can it affect me?”
Wang Jin shut up awkwardly.
Xie Chaoling didn’t teach the other person anymore. Seeing the tragic situation after the disaster with his own eyes, his heart was still restless.
He was different from Xie Chaoyuan. Xie Chaoyuan said he didn’t care about these two thousand lives, but he did. Him donating goods and funds was just a cup of water on a burning cart of firewood.
It was a complete man-made disaster and it should never have happened. That Fourth Highness really deserved to die.
After watching in silence for a long time, Xie Chaoling closed his eyes and told the people in a low voice: “Let’s go.”
Wang Jin felt relieved, but Xie Chaoling said in the next sentence: “This is not far from Nanshi, let’s go to Nanshi, I want to drink some tea. “
Xie Chaoling ignored him. Wang Jin gritted his teeth and had to order the people to go to Nanshi.
Entering the city from the southwestern inner city gate, and passing through two squares, one would see the bustling Nanshi City, which was like another world.
The street was full of traffic and crowds, and the smell of burnt food was replaced by the sweet smell of food from the street snack shop. Remembering that Xie Chaoyuan said that the snacks in this shop were delicious and hard to buy when he came last time, Xie Chaoling ordered someone to stop the carriage.
“You get out of the carriage…” Xie Chaoling changed his words midway, “Forget it, I’ll go by myself.”
Wang Jin couldn’t persuade him, so he had to help Xie Chaoling down.
After getting out of the carriage, Xie Chaoling immediately noticed that there were more people following him out of the house this time than before, several of them were unfamiliar faces. These people were not there when he got into the carriage at first, they had followed him later.
Xie Chaoling glanced at the faces of those people calmly, and went to the store to buy some snacks.
Picking the flavors he liked and the one Xie Chaoyuan liked, Xie Chaoling asked Wang Jin to pay. He sat down casually in the store, twisting a piece of marzipan cake, threw it in his mouth, chewed it a few times, and asked Wang Jin when he came over: “Who are those people outside?” When did they join us? Why haven’t I seen them before?”
Wang Jin lowered his head and said in a low voice: “These people are sent by His Highness when he left the mansion. He said that he was afraid that you would not be comfortable coming out alone, so he ordered those extra people to follow you and to serve you.”
Xie Chaoling sneered, the little Highness was probably afraid that he would run away.
He squinted at Wang Jin again.
“What I came out for today, did you mention it to His Highness?”
Wang Jin was sweating on his back, and hurriedly said, “No, this servant never said anything, not a single word.”
Xie Chaoling knew that this person was timid, so he would not dare mention it, but seeing his timid and hopeless appearance, he can guess that his appearance must have been abnormal, which made people suspicious.
Xie Chaoyuan had become suspicious, but he was willing to let him go out of the house alone, which was strange.
Xie Chaoling imagined Xie Chaoyuan forcing himself to suppress himself and couldn’t help but raise the corners of his lips.
After slowly eating a piece of snack, he wiped his hands again. Seeing that the people outside were getting impatient and looking at him from time to time, Xie Chaoling got up and went out.
But before getting into the carriage, he said: “The street is so lively, let me go shopping first.”
No one dared to persuade him, nor could they.
Xie Chaoling walked along the street. Seeing shops he was interested in, he would stop to wander around from time to time, buying a bunch of useless things. The people who came out kept trailing behind. Xie Chaoling seemed to be playing tricks on people, sometimes deliberately stopping, pretending to look left and right, and then stepping forward when those people raised their vigilance.
Wang Jin followed behind and wiped his sweat silently. His Royal Highness was such a person. Was it fun to tease these servants…
When passing by the teahouse, Xie Chaoling looked up inadvertently, but saw no one. He was not in a hurry, he saw a vendor with a stall across the street, and went straight over.
It was the same old sugar seller last time. Xie Chaoling asked him to make it again, and waited patiently.
By the window on the second floor of the teahouse, Xie Fengzhen’s guard turned his head and said: “Your Highness, the person has already arrived below, there are too many people following, it is estimated that they will not be able to come up.”
Xie Fengzhen put down the teacup: “Bring a pen.”
He wrote down a note, then ordered: “Call a maid who is familiar and brighter to send it down.”
A sugar figurine was made quickly, and Xie Chaoling took it smoothly. Seeing that there was a woman choosing a comb at the vendor ahead, he paused.
When the second sugar figurine was ready, he also stepped over.
The little lady had already left, and he was the only one left in front of the stall. The stall owner smiled and asked if he would buy a comb to give to his sweetheart, “Do you want to pick one, Sir? They are all made of high-quality peach wood.”
Thinking of Xie Chaoyuan who loved to play with his hair, Xie Chaoling picked out a generous style that didn’t look like a girl’s, and handed over the money with his own hands.
The note fell into the palm of his hand. Xie Chaoling’s expression remained unchanged, and he naturally withdrew his hand.
Walking all the way to the end of the street, Wang Jin repeatedly reminded that it was late, and Xie Chaoling finally agreed to go back.
Wang Jin hurriedly asked someone to pull the carriage, stretched out his hand to hold Xie Chaoling’s arm, and helped him into the carriage. Xie Chaoling was thinking about things absently, when he suddenly heard the sound of crackling firecrackers. He looked up and saw a few children running to the middle of the road, playing with firecrackers.
One of the horses pulling the cart flicked its tail anxiously and snorted, as if startled by the sound. Amidst the laughter of children, a string of firecrackers was thrown to the side of the cart and landed at the horse’s feet.
After a sharp neigh, Xie Chaoling was caught off guard by the frantically galloping horse. Before he could stand still, he fell onto the carriage, while Wang Jin was thrown directly off the carriage.
There were screams and exclamations behind, and the crazy horse dragged the carriage, running all the way, knocking down countless pedestrians and vendors. Xie Chaoling laid on the carriage board and hugged one side of the carriage, barely not being thrown off.
His mind was blank, and he clenched his teeth desperately.
The road ahead was almost at the city gate, and the crazy Horse still didn’t intend to stop, as if it was about to hit the city wall directly.
Looking at the city wall that was getting closer and closer ahead, Xie Chaoling’s eyes shrank suddenly. He let go of his hand immediately, and was thrown from the carriage board to the ground.
The moment he fell, a complete picture finally flashed through his thoughts after months of emptiness. He leaned forward to avoid the cold arrow shot in the forest, and the mount under him suddenly went crazy, leading him out of the forest until it fell off a cliff.
Can’t wait until next week to see more? Want to show your support? Come to my Patreon where you can get up to 5 more chapters of Thousand Miles of Heavens right away or get access to early chapters of all the available BL novels! Or go donate at Paypal or Ko-fi to show your appreciation! :)