Thousand Miles of Heaven Chapter 40

Ch 40 “My brother seems to be a different person these days.”

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Zhao Guogong’s Mansion.

In the seat, Xie Chaoyi shook his legs while gnawing on snacks, and looked up at Zhao Changming and his son from time to time.

“Uncle, cousin, haven’t you made up your mind yet? This is the perfect opportunity for you. When it’s time to make a choice, make a choice as soon as possible. I don’t believe you are such indecisive people.”

That little boy was only 12/13 years old. Since entering the mansion and sitting down until now, he has surprised Zhao Changming and his son several times, and it was the first time that they have seriously looked at this little nephew.

Xie Chaoyi smiled slightly: “I’m not wrong, am I?”

He was indeed right. Xie Chaoqi and Zhou Siming had worked hard to get hold of the Ministry of Accounts before, but later they found out the tricks of the Baoquan Bureau, and they were also involved in the Guangchu Division. It was only then that they stopped and handed over the job casually, which made Emperor Qianming very dissatisfied. For them, this was a rare opportunity.

The Baoquan Bureau was a coin minting bureau under the name of the Ministry of Revenue, but it colluded with merchants to take advantage of the difference between the market price of copper coins and the official price, and sell coins privately, earning the price difference and making huge profits. In the beginning, Xie Chaoqi and Zhou Siming thought it was an official stuffing their private pockets, and were already gearing up to report it to the emperor. Yet, who knew that the dealings between the Guangchu Department and the Ministry of Revenue Affairs soon surfaced. The money went into the pockets of those officials of the Ministry of the Revenue Department but most went to the Guangchu division!

Guangchu Department was the royal treasury and the emperor’s money bag. It holds the tax money of royal manors in various places in his hand, but it couldn’t make ends meet. One reason was that Daliang was finding a state so it leased out the royal manors to nobles and got them to pay tax and silver annually, but there were too many bad debts. Anyone can afford to offend the officials of the Guangshu Department. These people were not afraid of owing money to the emperor. Taxes and money can’t be collected at all. The second was the royal extravagance. From the first emperor to the Emperor Qianming, they all spent money like water. The annual expenditure of the Guangshu Division far exceeded the budget.

The officials of the Guangchu Division did not dare to report the truth to the emperor. If they had no money, they had to go to the Ministry of Revenue Affairs to ask for it. The Emperor stood behind the Guangchu Division. They wantonly amassed money, so that they can get a share of it themselves, but even so, the money collected was not enough to fill the hole of the Guangshu treasury, so they have been able to embezzle the money from the treasury under various names, which has created the current situation. The officials of the Ministry of Finance were rich, but the accounts of the Ministry of Revenues were stretched.

So Xie Chaoqi and Zhou Siming didn’t dare to investigate further. Xie Chaoqi said that he was not afraid of offending the princes or the family, but he dared not offend the emperor.

But Xie Chaoyi came to the Zhao Mansion today, in the name of New Year’s greetings, to persuade Zhao Changming and his son to make this matter a big deal.

“I know uncle and cousin, you also have a leased Royal manor under your name, and you have hesitated because you haven’t paid the tax every year on time. It’s no big deal. There are those princes ahead of you. They are the ones to get hit the hardest as it is also the most taboo about this matter. Why do you need to be anxious? As long as you expose the matter and let Royal father lose face, he will definitely annoy the person behind this plan, who do you think he will suspect?”

“Involving the Guangchu Division, it was caused by the theft of the warehouse in the East Palace. Everyone knew that the person to do this was actually third brother. Zhong Liang from the Guangchu Division, was close to him. He lost his life inexplicably, so wouldn’t father suspect that third brother deliberately abandoned such a pawn in order to set up a trap for fourth brother who was originally checking the accounts of the Revenue department and his future father-in-law? The most suitable heir in his heart also had a stain on him, so the old man will naturally have to reconsider. As for fourth brother, he was the one who insisted on checking the accounts of the Revenue department, and the emperor will definitely blame him, and his life will only become more difficult.”

“It’s not just father. Once this matter breaks out, the two of them will have to bear the annoyance and hatred of those princes and families, especially third brother. Royal father chose the daughter of the Yang family as his concubine for him. With the help of those aristocratic families behind him, if he stabbed them at this time, the consequences, tsk tsk, even if third brother didn’t do it, can those people let go of their doubts so easily? Once the grudge has formed, it will be difficult to eliminate it. “

“The matter has become serious. Even if Royal father was just pretending, he will definitely punish the Revenue department. Didn’t you always want to take down the Revenue department? Right now is a good time for you to install people in the Revenue department. Why hesitate?”

The more Xie Chaoyi said, the more complacent he became, and his excitement was beyond words.

Zhao Wenqing frowned: “Your Highness, you should know that the Second Highness has also annoyed His Majesty because of this incident, and the foot ban has just been lifted these few days because of Chinese New Year.”

Xie Chaoyi said disdainfully: “Cousin, uncle, am I not as good as Second Brother? Between him and myself, it’s just that I was born a few years later. As I said just now, when it’s time to make a choice, you have to make a decision as soon as possible. A child like me understands this truth, how can you not understand it? The Zhao family is in decline now, and even grandmother has a rift with Royal father. This year’s New Year’s Eve family banquet was held in Qinghe Hall, and she complained of illness and did not attend. If you don’t do anything, won’t you be just fish meat in the future?”

Xie Chaoyi after leaving, Zhao Changming and his son were still drinking tea in the living room. Zhao Wenqing asked Zhao Changming in a low voice: “Father, what do you think?”

“Seventh Highness is smart, but this matter, I do not think it is this simple.”

Zhao Wenqing gritted his teeth and said: “I think we can give it a try, regardless of other things, Second Highness is indeed too disappointing.”

Zhao Changming pondered for a moment, lowered his head to drink tea, and stopped talking.

Xie Chaoyi walked out of Zhao Guogong’s mansion briskly, very satisfied.

The servant behind him asked him in a low voice: “Your Highness, why didn’t you tell the crown prince matter to Guogong?”

Xie Chaoyi snorted coldly: “This matter is now the trump card in this king’s hands. Why should I tell them?”

Although he was young, he had a lot of thoughts. Knowing that the crown prince was still alive and with Xie Chaoyuan that night, he immediately guessed who was behind all these things. The prince hid in the dark and wanted to defeat these people one by one, so if he helped the crown prince, the praying mantis to catch the cicadas, he would be the last oriole!

King Ke Residence.

Hearing the sound of firecrackers outside, Xie Chaoling put down the book in his hand, thought of something, and suddenly asked, “Is it already the fifteenth?”

“En, it’s the fifteenth,” Xie Chaoyuan looked up at him, “Today is the Lantern Festival.” 

There was a moment of trance, and then he muttered to himself: “It’s already the Lantern Festival so soon.”

“There are also various celebrations and banquets in the Lantern Festival Palace. Don’t you want to go, Your Highness?”

“No,” Xie Chaoyuan said indifferently, ” I’ve already asked people to tell them I’m sick, but no one cares anyway.”

Xie Chaoling nodded and didn’t ask any more questions.

They read quietly until evening, and Xie Chaoyuan told them to serve the meal.

There was an extra bowl of noodles in front of Xie Chaoling. There was a yellow egg on the white noodles, with chopped green onions floating on them. They were longevity noodles. He was slightly surprised and looked at Xie Chaoyuan. Xie Chaoyuan smiled and said: “Today is your birthday.”

Xie Chaoling asked: “How does Your Highness know that today is my birthday?”

“If you know it, you know it.” 

Everyone knows the crown prince’s birthday .

The two of them probed separately, both pretending to be confused with knowing this, neither of them wanted to pierce the layer of paper first.

“Thank you, Your Highness.”

Xie Chaoling thanked in a low voice, took an empty bowl, and gave half of the noodles to Xie Chaoyuan: “Your Highness, eat with me.”

Xie Chaoyuan took the bowl. It was not only the noodles, Xie Chaoling also divided the egg in hal. Seeing Xie Chaoyuan staring down at the bowl but not moving his chopsticks, Xie Chaoling urged him, “You eat.” 

“Does Linlang know what it means to share longevity noodles with another in Bailing Kingdom?” Xie Chaoyuan asked suddenly.

Xie Chaoling was puzzled: “What do you mean?”

Longevity noodles was not easily shared with others. Eating the same bowl of Longevity noodles was long term bond. Xie Chaoyuan said the words, and shook his head: “Forget it.”

After nightfall, it snowed outside again. Xie Chaoling stood by the window holding a hand warmer for a while. Xie Chaoyuan hugged him from behind, Xie Chaoling leaned back, leaning on Xie Chaoyuan, looking up at the full moon hanging in the night sky, and did not move for a long time .

“It’s snowing and you can see the moon.” Xie Chaoling sighed softly.

“Today is the fifteenth day of the first lunar month.”

“Your Highness, why did you set off firecrackers during the day and not let them off later?”

“It’s too noisy. I’m afraid they’ll disturb you, so I didn’t allow them to be released.”

Xie Chaoling said helplessly: “It’s too quiet, do you still have the fireworks and lanterns from last time?”

“Want to play?”

“Yes, on the Lantern Festival, there must be lights to celebrate the festival.” Xie Chaoling smiled.

Xie Chaoyuan asked someone to go to the storeroom to bring all the remaining fireworks and lanterns, and put them in the courtyard. Xie Chaoling took the incense and went over to light it by himself.

When the fireworks shot up, Xie Chaoyuan grabbed him back, frowned and said, “Be careful, don’t stand so close.”

Xie Chaoling turned back and smiled at him, with fireworks in his eyes: “I used to have a younger brother in my family who was very good-looking. It’s just that I don’t like his temper. I played this game with him to make him happy. It was many years ago.”

Last time Xie Chaoyuan said that they played this game together when they were young, and Xie Chaoling thought about it for a long time these days. It was only then that he slowly picked up these fragmentary memories of childhood, and today he specially used them to talk with Xie Chaoyuan.

Xie Chaoyuan’s eyes moved: “Really?”

“Really, my younger brother was just like His Highness, with a domineering and awkward temper. He didn’t show it when he was a child. I was also deceived by him. He only has a good-looking face. Every time I see him, I want to pinch his face.”

Xie Chaoyuan put his hands into fists to his lips and coughed lightly.

The smile in Xie Chaoling’s eyes deepened: “Even so, I actually quite like him.”

Xie Chaoyuan was slightly taken aback.

Xie Chaoling bent down and grabbed a ball of snow, and threw it at him with a smile.

Xie Chaoyuan didn’t dodge, the snowball hit his heart and scattered, following his heartbeat.

Xie Chaoling smiled at him in the snow and fog, saying that he liked him.

At that moment, he almost thought his dream had come true.

Xie Chaoling rushed over, Xie Chaoyuan opened his arms to catch him, staggered back two steps while hugging Xie Chaoling, and fell into the snow.

Xie Chaoling held his face in his cold hands, and rubbed his nose against him: “Your Highness, are you unhappy?” 

The misty moonlight reflected in Xie Chaoyuan’s black eyes, and he said hoarsely: “I am happy.”

Xie Chaoling laughed in his ear: “Let’s go back to the house.”

There was still only one lamp left in the house, dragging out a dim light and shadow to conceal the chaotic emotions in it.

Behind the bed curtain, Xie Chaoling laid on the mattress, looking at Xie Chaoyuan who was sitting beside him, looking down at him intently. His fingers rubbed the side of his face slowly, Xie Chaoling asked in a low voice: “What are you thinking, Your Highness?”

“I’m thinking about what you’re thinking of.”

Xie Chaoyuan silently looked at him.

On New Year’s Eve, Xie Chaoling went to the study with him, and spent the night reading with him in the room. He never turned off the lights, and said that he would welcome the New Year with him. In the middle of the night, it snowed outside, and Xie Chaoling quietly leaned against him, not mentioning the unpleasant things.

For the past half month, Xie Chaoling was locked up in this courtyard . He didn’t get angry or complain. He was very happy every day, and he would change his ways to make him happy, and he was even more enthusiastic at night.

Xie Chaoyuan thought, if this was indeed a beautiful dream, he would rather never wake up.

“My brother seems to be a different person these days.” Xie Chaoyuan stared at the person below him, and said slowly.

“Your Highness doesn’t like it?”

“I like it.”

Xie Chaoyuan’s voice was even lower. His crown prince brother, he likes everything, even if he knows that everything in front of him was just an illusion. He would rather pretend to be deaf and dumb, and choose to allow himself to be deceived with the others together with Xie Chaoling.

Xie Chaoling raised his hand to untie his belt and clothes. The lying posture made Xie Chaoling’s movements a little awkward. He pulled the belt for a while before undoing the coiled dragon buckle, then took off Xie Chaoyuan’s outer shirt, and pulled open the inside. Xie Chaoling propped up his upper body, closed his eyes and raised his head to kiss Xie Chaoyuan’s chest.

Xie Chaoyuan embraced him, and kissed him first on the top of his head, then his forehead, the tip of his nose, and then his lips.

Before getting distracted, Xie Chaoling thought, let him indulge and be willful in the last period of this time.

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