Ch 37 “Linlang is so unhesitant, is there no reluctance?”
King Huai residence.
In the last few days before New Year’s Eve, the mansion was decorated with lights and festoons, and red lanterns were hung everywhere, not only for New Year’s Eve, but also for the big wedding celebration of the princess’s introduction at the beginning of the next month.
The only exception was the main courtyard of the palace.
Xie Chaoqi’s residence didn’t even have a single bright color, not to mention the red lanterns.
When Song Shi came in, Xie Chaoqi was holding the hand stove in the corridor in a daze. Seeing him, he asked calmly, “What’s the news outside?
“Your Highness, last year on the last two days, the matter with the Ministry of Revenue, Zhou Daren doesn’t intend to investigate anymore, do you also want to stop here?” Song Shi asked him in a low voice.
Xie Chaoqi frowned lightly, and his voice became softer: “Otherwise, what else can we do?”
He knew what Song Shi meant. After the firearms depot exploded, the Jingzhao department asked for money for disaster relief, the Ministry of War asked for money to rebuild the firearms depot, and the Ministry of Industry asked for money to repair the city walls turned into ruins. The revenue department couldn’t get such a large sum of money, which finally annoyed the emperor. During this period, Emperor Qianming had been ordering someone to check the accounts of the revenue department, and this person was Zhou Siming, who had just been promoted to the right Shilang of the revenue department, Xie Chaoqi’s future father-in-law.
This matter was also part of Xie Chaoqi’s calculations. The factional struggles in the revenue department were fierce. Zhou Siming had just joined the department. Zhou Siming himself was also very concerned, and things went smoothly at first. They even found out the secret fishy tricks of the Bureau of the revenue Department. However, quickly, the manager of the internal affairs department met with mishap then the rotten accounts of the Minstry of Revenue surfaced. By this time, Zhou Siming didn’t dare to investigate any further.
Not only Zhou Siming, but even Xie Chaoqi retreated.
A branch of a plum blossom that slipped through the net protruded from the corner of the wall, struggling to sway in the cold wind. Xie Chaoqi saw it and stretched out his hand to pick it up by the roots without hesitation.
After Jiang Shi left, he no longer needed these things in his yard.
“This king is not afraid of offending the aristocratic families, not afraid of offending the princes of the clan, but not His Majesty. This matter cannot be investigated any further, so let’s stop here.” Xie Chaoqi said.
Song Shi lowered his head and said nothing.
In the villa of King Ke’s Mansion, Xie Chaoyuan listened to the report in a low voice, and glanced at Xie Chaoling who was sitting opposite and was fiddling with chess pieces. Xie Chaoling was engrossed, as if he didn’t care about it.
Xie Chaoyuan nodded casually, and ordered: “This king does not need to intervene in this matter, let’s see, just tell Song Shi to serve King Huai well.”
The voice of the subordinate was even lower: “It was also fortunate about the news from the palace, the Empress Dowager and regarding Concubine Shu’s matter. The nanny was arranged by King Xing to meet His Majesty.”
Xie Chaoling finally raised his eyes and asked Xie Chaoyuan: “Is there someone in King Xing’s residence?”
Xie Chaoyuan smiled and did not deny it.
Xie Chaoling frowned, as if thinking of something: “When the prince fell off the horse that day, His Royal Highness said that most of the things were done by King Xing, so was it King Xing who wanted to do this or His Highness giving King Xing a hand, or did Your Highness give all these ideas to King Xing?”
Xie Chaoyuan dropped a black piece on the chessboard and ate a large piece of Xie Chaoling’s white pieces. He twisted them up one by one and asked after a long while: “Is there any difference?”
“Your Highness thinks differently?” Xie Chaoling lowered his voice.
Xie Chaoyuan didn’t take it seriously: “There is no big difference, as long as you can achieve your goal.”
Xie Chaoling looked at him silently, and Xie Chaoyuan looked back calmly.
After a moment of stalemate, Xie Chaoling stopped asking and continued playing chess with lowered eyes.
In the afternoon, the manor had an unprecedented visitor.
Xie Chaoling was curled up on the couch with his eyes closed, when he heard this, he opened his eyes and took a look at Xie Chaoyuan: “Did Your Highness invite guests here?”
He thought that if Xie Chaoyuan locked him here, he would definitely not let anyone know about it.
Xie Chaoyuan didn’t explain, and stretched out his hand to brush his cheek: “You continue to sleep for a while, the king will go for a little bit and then return.”
After the person left, Xie Chaoling lost his sleepiness, sat up and asked Wang Jin: “Do you know what guests His Highness invited?”
Wang Jin rolled his eyes around, and said in a low voice: “The servant just went to the kitchen to help you get some snacks. I took a look from a distance and saw that the person who came here looked like a man dressed from the feudal state.”
Xie Chaoling was a little surprised: “Are you sure?”
“It must be, the clothes of those vassals are very different from those of Daliang people, you can tell at a glance.” Wang Jin said firmly.
Xie Chaoling turned his thoughts, and stood up: “I’ll go and have a look.”
Xie Chaoyuan was meeting people in the front study.
The person who came was dressed as a member of the Bailing clan, but he was offering a great gift from the Xirong Kingdom. Xie Chaoyuan said impatiently: “Get up, this is the king’s private estate, there is no need to do these things here.”
Every new years, the vassal states of Da Liang would send officials to the capital to pay tribute, and Bailing Kingdom was one of them, but this one in front of him was a Xirong man who had sneaked into the ranks of Bailing Kingdom’s envoys, calling himself Shumu.
“Little prince, Wang Ye ordered me to bring you gifts, they are all rare treasures, please accept them.” The visitor said respectfully.
Xie Chaoyuan nodded casually: “Help me to convey my thanks for your lord, and things have been accepted with a smile.”
Having said that, it seemed he didn’t care much from his tone, as if he was dismissive.
Shumu looked at his expression, and cautiously asked: “Little prince, Wang Ye asks you, when will you have it in your hands?”
Xie Chaoyuan squinted and said, “When did this king promise that he would definitely get it?”
There was a slight sound outside, like the sound of cold wind blowing dead branches. Xie Chaoyuan was absent-minded, turned his head to look at the window, and then looked away.
Seeing his attitude, there was a flash of anger on Shumu’s face, and then he suppressed his voice and apologized with a smile: “Wang Ye said that as long as we can get the map of Daliang’s garrison in the northwest, our Xirong Kingdom can break through Daliang in one fell swoop. The northwest defense line, from the northwest to the capital of Daliang, there was no way that Daliang soldiers and horses could stop our cavalry on this road. Now Daliang Dongshan Battalion has our army’s internal support. This great country is in the pocket of our Xirong Kingdom, and with these military exploits, Wang Ye will be able to ascend to the throne smoothly, and this position will also belong to you, little prince, in the future.”
Xie Chaoyuan snorted: “Your Wang Ye has more than a dozen of sons by his side, this prince doesn’t even know how many others are outside, this kind of empty promise, do you treat me as a fool?”
Shumu flattered him: “Wang Ye said that the other ones are not as good as you little prince. As long as you can help him achieve great things, you can rest assured that the position will be given to you in the future.”
“Really?” Xie Chaoyuan twitched his lips slightly: “The Northwest Army has the garrison map of the Northwest Army. Since Xu Shan is one of your people, he has been in the Northwest Army for so many years, and he is already sitting in the position of deputy commander, you can ask him for what you want, why do you go far to find this king?”
Shumu explained embarrassingly: “The vice-commanders of the Northwest Army only have the blueprints of their respective divisions, and the complete blueprints are only in the hands of their commanders, and Xu Shan does not have them either. The troops under his direct command are in the rear, and what the Wang Ye needs is the deployment blueprints of the Northwest Front Army.”
This point Xie Chaoyuan naturally knew. Xu Shan was a capable man, but his qualifications in the army were too low. There were five or six deputy commanders in the Northwest Army.
No longer interested in dealing with this person, Xie Chaoyuan didn’t go around in circles: “The garrison map is not so easy to get. Except for the Northwest Army, only the Emperor and the Ministry of War have a copy. I can’t steal it from the Emperor’s place. The Ministry of War is in the hands of the Zhao family who can cover the sky with one hand. This king has just entered the court and has no foundation. It will take some time and effort to get the blueprints. Just wait, anyway, after so many years an extra moment is nothing.”
Shumu was anxious and happy when he heard the words: “Little Prince, are you sure? How long will it take?”
“I can’t guarantee this. Please tell Wang Ye to be patient. If there is news, I will send someone to send it to you.” Xie Chaoyuan said.
Xie Chaoling had stood outside the window for a while.
Except for Wang Rang, no one was allowed to guard outside Xie Chaoyuan’s study room, but when he entered this courtyard earlier, there were people at the gate, and the sword in the guard’s hand was even out of its sheath. Xie Chaoling just walked in without seeing it. The person retreated again and again until Xie Chaoling stepped into the courtyard, but he never dared to make a real move against him.
In the past few days, Wang Rang was allowed to go back to his hometown to visit his relatives, so there was no one in the yard, so Xie Chaoling stood directly outside the window of Xie Chaoyuan’s study and listened to what they had to say inside.
Until the Xirong man left, Xie Chaoling still stood there without moving. After that, the window was pushed open from inside, and Xie Chaoyuan’s calm face appeared behind him.
“How long have you been here?” he asked.
Xie Chaoling said: “How does Your Highness know that I’m here?”
“I heard something,” Xie Chaoyuan pointed to his ear, “I’m very sensitive here.”
Xie Chaoling nodded: “That’s how it is.”
Xie Chaoyuan stretched out his hand and brushed his frozen red earlobes: “Isn’t it cold to stand outside? Come in.”
Xie Chaoling entered the door, sat down by the brazier, stared at the burning charcoal fire, and did not take the tea that Xie Chaoyuan handed over.
Xie Chaoyuan put down the teacup casually: “Not thirsty?”
“My ears are not worse than His Highness’s.” Xie Chaoling said calmly.
Xie Chaoyuan understood what he said, and his expression didn’t move for a moment: “Whatever Linlang wants to ask, just ask.”
Xie Chaoling looked at him: “Your Highness is from Xirong? The son of Xirong Wang Ye?”
“I don’t know, maybe,” Xie Chaoyuan said indifferently, “When I was in the other palace when I was a child, the people of Xirong sent people to look for my mother. Later, I became to have a father of the Xirong prince. Maybe there will be another one next time.” People from Bailing came to recognize me as a son, who knows, my mother had more than one or two friends before she came to the capital, maybe even she herself couldn’t figure it out. But is it important, anyway, the prince of Xirong believes that I am.”
Xie Chaoling frowned: “But you are not His Majesty’s son.”
Xie Chaoyuan smiled: “Linlang doesn’t seem to be surprised at all, you already knew?”
“You want to steal the map of the Northwest Garrison for them?” Xie Chaoling changed the subject.
The smile on the corner of Xie Chaoyuan’s mouth restrained: “Linlang knows, so what are you going to do? Go and report on me? Tell people that I am not only not His Majesty’s son, nor the Prince of Daliang, but also planning to help the Xirong Kingdom steal Daliang’s military map?”
“What is Your Highness planning to do?” Xie Chaoling insisted on asking.
After staring at each other in silence for a moment, Xie Chaoyuan got up, took out a volume of drawings from the bookshelf and threw it in front of Xie Chaoling.
Xie Chaoling picked it up and slowly unfolded it. It was the deployment map of the Northwest Front Army Garrison that that person had been wanting just now.
“Where did your Highness steal it from?” Xie Chaoling’s black eyes were filled with coldness. “It was stolen from His Majesty,” Xie Chaoyuan said, “It was five years ago, or two years ago, I don’t remember, anyway, it’s not now. It was privately copied when it was being taken out to be destroyed.”
They were changed every three years, and the blueprints will be kept in the emperor’s office and in the Ministry of War, and will be destroyed after the expiration date. Expired blueprints also cannot be passed on, but it was easier to steal them when they were confirmed.
“What does your Highness mean?” Xie Chaoling asked him.
“Those Xirong people are too annoying, delay them for a while, then I will get more benefits. Next time when they ask me, I will give them this.” Xie Chaoyuan said casually, as if talking about something ordinary.
Xie Chaoling looked down at the drawing in his hand for a moment, threw it aside, and raised his eyes to look at the person in front of him: “Your Highness, are you really not afraid that I will reveal these secrets of yours?”
Xie Chaoyuan looked back at him: “Would you?”
“I’m also a citizen of Daliang. If Your Highness really helps outsiders deal with Daliang, I have to do something.” Xie Chaoling said calmly.
Xie Chaoyuan looked at him, and suddenly smiled: ” Really?”
“Are you not?”
Xie Chaoyuan approached, lifted Xie Chaoling’s face: “Whatever Linlang wants to do, I am waiting.”
Xie Chaoyuan’s eyes reflected Xie Chaoling’s gloomy expression, his voice got closer: “Linlang is so unhesitant, is there no reluctantance?”
The little white cat was also like this back then. He appeared to rely on him, then bit him while teasing and was never seen again.
Xie Chaoyuan’s finger slowly stroked Xie Chaoling’s cheek.
His elder brother, the crown prince, was more delicate and ruthless than the little white cat, but even so, he still wanted to keep him in captivity.
Xie Chaoling closed his eyes and opened them again, then stood up: “Let’s go back, it’s cold here, let’s go back.”
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