Thousand Miles of Heaven Chapter 52

Ch 52 Spitting out a big mouthful of black blood

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Before noon, Xie Chaoling returned to his bedroom, entered the door and sat on the couch as soon as he entered. He called for someone to bring a copper mirror and carefully examined himself in it. 

Looking closely at the mirror, his lower lip was bitten off, and the bright red part was still oozing blood.

Xie Chaoling hissed softly, and Liao Zhi asked him cautiously: “Your Highness, do you want someone to bring the ointment?”

Xie Chaoling put down the bronze mirror in his hand, and said solemnly: “It’s too dry today, bring some warm water, so that I can moisten my lips.”

Liao Zhi: “…yes.”

After having lunch, Xie Chaoling took a nap for a while. At the second quarter of the hour, he got up and was getting dressed when someone came in and reported that the emperor had summoned King Huai to the palace before noon and severely scolded him. King Huai was still kneeling in front of the emperor and not allowed to get up.

Xie Chaoling raised his eyebrows when he heard that. Liao Zhi explained to him in a low voice: “I heard that after you paid your respects to the emperor this morning, the emperor received an impeachment against you and got very angry. That’s why he scolded King Huai so severely.”

Xie Chaoling listened nonchalantly, with the corner of his mouth curled slightly: “I understand.”

The emperor’s patience had a limit. Even when Xie Chaoling came out of the palace to attend the empress dowager’s birthday celebration, there were still people who pursued him and bit him, it was no wonder that the emperor was angry.

It was too naive to think that he could use this opportunity to bring down the crown prince.

Xie Chaoqi was ordered to kneel outside the Emperor Qianming’s chamber all day until nightfall. It rained intermittently all day long and turned into a downpour. It wasn’t until someone came out to convey the emperor’s message that Xie Chaoqi did not need to attend the empress dowager’s birthday banquet tomorrow and was allowed to go back home and reflect on his behavior.

Although there were attendants holding umbrellas behind him all the time, Xie Chaoqi was already drenched and shivering all over when he was helped up by someone. He almost fell down again.

Song Shi stretched out his hand to support him, and reminded him in a low voice, “Your Highness, be careful.”

Xie Chaoqi flicked his hand away vigorously, not allowing anyone to follow him, and not wanting an umbrella, he walked into the heavy rain in a daze.

Emperor Qianming’s cold and stern scolding words still ring in his ears, “You are treacherous by nature and have wild ambitions,”. These words were his father’s entire evaluation of him. Today, Emperor Qianming even admitted that he knew that he had betrayed the Crown Prince and caused the deaths of his siblings and mother. He had been avoiding this fact all along, but it was now exposed by his father’s unrelenting accusation.

There was also the phrase “self-willing to be inferior”, scolding him for disregarding his status and royal face, and committing himself to Jiang Shi. In the eyes of his Royal Father, Jiang Shi’s death was not a pity, and he deserved to die as well.

Jiang Shi, Jiang Shi…

Xie Chaoqi slipped and fell, and all the servants behind him exclaimed.

Song Shi stepped forward to help him up. Xie Chaoqi stared at him, his red eyes filled with coldness: “Are you really Jiang Shi’s younger brother?”

Song Shi was taken aback.

Xie Chaoqi waved his hand away and stood up slowly. Although he was in an extremely sorry state, he was extremely calm at the moment: “This king had always wondered why every step of this king’s plan and everything he did was known to everyone. I didn’t think it through until the Crown Prince came back. The Crown prince and King Ke, whose person are you? Heh, they are basically in the same group, it doesn’t matter who you are.” 

As for this time, he was completely calculated. It was not he who targeted and impeached the crown prince, but the emperor identified him as being it. That’s right, those b*stards in the Hanlin Academy were all provocative. He said that he was not the one behind the scenes, but who would believe it? Who didn’t know that those people have always wanted to pull the crown prince off the horse and have him restore the old East Palace.

Not to mention, he was the one who came out to target Shen Family first.

Maybe it was someone else who targeted the crown prince and blamed him for the matter, or maybe it was the crown prince himself who made it happen, in order to suppress him and suppress the Hanlin Academy, and even force the emperor to let the Shen Family go.

The crown prince is so calculating, yet he deserves to be rejected by the emperor?

Song Shi knelt on the ground, looked up at Xie Chaoqi, there was no panic in his eyes, but he didn’t say anything.

Xie Chaoqi sneered: “It’s fine if you refuse to admit it. This king will not wrong you casually. I will give you another chance. Tomorrow, at the Empress Dowager’s birthday banquet, someone will poison the crown prince at the banquet. If you are really not their person, the crown prince will be the one who dies, otherwise, if this king finds out that the crown prince or King Ke is on guard, this king will assume that you told them, and you will die.” 

Song Shi calmly asked him: “Your Highness is not afraid of things happening and implicating yourself later? Once the crown prince dies, if it is found that the mastermind behind the scenes is Your Highness, Your Highness will also die.”

Xie Chaoqi stared at the continuous splash of the rainstorm, and opened the corner of his mouth contemptuously: “Do you think that this king is still afraid of death today?”

The next day was the Empress Dowager’s birthday, and there was a birthday banquet in the other palace in Beihai. The Empress Dowager took the initiative not to do a big event, offering to have a meal with just the family, and Emperor Qianming agreed. The birthday banquet was similar to the New Year’s banquet, there were only the princes and grandsons and the close relatives of the imperial family.

Xie Chaoling went a little later, together with Emperor Qianming. He was at Emperor Qianming’s place before, and Emperor Qianming finally changed the sentence given to the Shen family in front of him, from beheading to exile. This was already the biggest concession the emperor could make.

Xie Chaoling thanked his Royal Father for Princess Shurou, and did not ask for more. He had always known that his Royal Father was generally a wise emperor, with ambitions for revenge, courage and strategy, but his face was too big. If it were him, he would make the same choice as his Royal Father. Of course, generally speaking, he wouldn’t put himself in such an embarrassing situation.

The emperor has already lost face by doing this. Face was just a way of deceiving oneself.

Xie Chaoyuan, who was always lazy, came early today. Before Xie Chaoling came with Emperor Qianming, he was talking with Xie Fengzhen alone.

Xie Fengzhen asked him if he had heard of Li Huan being captured and abused by mountain bandits. Xie Chaoyuan said with a smile: “This matter is so big that even Royal Father is planning to send troops to the Dongshan Ying to suppress the bandits. Of course this nephew had heard of it but why is Royal Uncle specifically asking nephew about this?” 

“That day this king also went to pay homage to several General Lis’, but Li Huan didn’t show up, he was taken away a day before that.” Xie Fengxuan stared into his eyes and said.

Xie Chaoyuan smiled: “So Royal Uncle means that the crown prince is lying. If so, why doesn’t Royal Uncle ask the crown prince, but nephew?”

Xie Fengzhen’s expression was slightly cold: “There are some things you know, so there is no need for the king to say them explicitly, but it is better for you not to provoke the crown prince, and not to harm the innocent.”

“If the Crown Prince is truly innocent, he wouldn’t let this matter pass so lightly,” said Xie Chaoyuan, his smile fading. “But let’s not talk about that. Whether or not I have provoked the Crown Prince is between him and me. If Your Highness wants to inquire about it, why not ask the Crown Prince? Or is it that Your Highness can’t persuade the Crown Prince and has come to persuade me instead?”

“The Crown Prince is the heir to the Eastern Palace and will be the ruler of the country and the world in the future. He cannot have any stain on his reputation,” reminded Xie Fengjue in a cold voice.

Xie Chaoyuan didn’t take it seriously: “If you are an emperor, you must have no stains? Does Royal Uncle believe this? I thought that Royal Uncle could understand me, but I was wrong. Royal Uncle, you are also such a narrow-minded person. If so, as an esteemed king, why do you have to personally visit the Li family’s ancestral tomb every year? Is it just for the sake of camaraderie that you have to go to such lengths?”

“This king is different from you. I never resort to coercion and calculation,” coldly said Xie Fengjue. “The stain I am talking about is not your relationship with the Crown Prince, but your true identity. The Crown Prince may not want to expose you now, but someday you will become the biggest threat to his position. At that time, I will personally take care of you for the Crown Prince. You have been warned.” 

Xie Chaoyuan’s face darkened.

The sound of the emperor and the crown prince’s arrival had already been heard from outside, Xie Chaoyuan lowered his eyes and got up, and went forward with the others to meet him.

The birthday banquet began.

The Empress Dowager came out to accept the greetings and toasts from everyone. When it was the turn of the princes, she smiled and said that Xie Chaohui and Xie Chaoqi were going to marry their consorts in a few days, ignoring that Xie Chaoqi was reprimanded by the emperor and went back to the house to think behind closed doors. This was indeed a double blessing. Then she turned the conversation to the matter of Xie Chaoling and his brothers.

Of course, the empress dowager was not completely ignorant. Since the emperor would not allow her to intervene in the matter of the crown prince’s marriage, she simply made a passing remark: “Chaoyuan and Chaoyi are not young anymore. It’s time to settle their affairs. Since I have nothing else to do here in Beihai these days, let me help you pick out a good match for each of them.”

Obviously, the matter between Zhao Wanniang and Xie Chaoyuan before did not deter her. Not only did she want to marry Zhao Wanniang to Xie Chaoyi, but she still had designs on Xie Chaoyuan.

Emperor Qianming’s face was a little ugly, he could reluctantly agree to let the Empress Dowager choose Xie Chaoyi’s concubine according to her wishes, but she still wanted to take Xie Chaoyuan’s hand, that was unacceptable.

Today was the Empress Dowager’s birthday banquet, and all the family members were there, so the emperor suppressed his anger. He pretended not to hear, said a few auspicious words off topic, and ordered someone to send the Empress Dowager back to the Empress Hall, where all the female relatives had a banquet .

Xie Chaoyuan had a gloomy face and one couldn’t see the emotion in his eyes, but Xie Chaoling was always smiling, not showing the slightest bit of unhappiness.

Afterwards, everyone went back to their respective seats and sat down, and the maids filed in to serve the food and wine. The unhappiness just now disappeared without a trace, and the singing and dancing in the hall was peaceful, full of joy.

Finally, it was time for everyone to toast each other.

Xie Chaohui went to toast with Xie Chaoling. Xie Chaoling was very generous, he stood up and drank with him, talking and laughing, they looked like they had a good brotherly relationship.

Xie Chaoyuan stared coldly for a while, then poured the wine in his glass into his mouth.

After drinking for three rounds, Xie Chaoyuan took the jug and swayed over to Xie Chaoling. Xie Chaoling was eating when he heard a familiar laugh above his head and raised his eyes. Xie Chaoyuan shook the jug and said to him, “Crown Prince Brother, would you like to do me a favor and have a drink with me?”

Xie Chaoling put down his chopsticks and signaled him to sit down with his eyes.

Xie Chaoyuan sat down calmly and poured wine for Xie Chaoling.

Most of the people in the hall were drunk, and because they were all close relatives, they didn’t have so many reservations. They gathered in groups of three or five to chat, and some even complained to Emperor Qianming about their family affairs. Xie Chaoling and Xie Chaoyuan sat together, drank and chatted, and no one paid any attention to them.

“These dishes are cold, do you still want to eat, Crown Prince Brother? Is this still edible?” Seeing that Xie Chaoling finished drinking, Xie Chaoyuan poured him another glass and asked him with a smile.

“As long as it’s edible,” Xie Chaoling said casually.

If he didn’t bury his head in eating all the time, people will keep asking him to drink, which was very annoying.

Xie Chaoyuan did not expose him: “I heard that the Qionghua flowers on Qionghua Island is in full bloom, do you want to see them tomorrow?”

Xie Chaoling’s eyes moved: “Are you inviting me to go together?” “

“Ah, just the two of us. Every time I come to this palace, I like to go to the island to play. Will you accompany me this time, Crown Prince?” Xie Chaoyuan lowered his voice and leaned closer to Xie Chaoling.

There was a fleeting smile in Xie Chaoling’s eyes, and then he pretended to be serious and reminded him: “It’s not good for Sixth Brother to play with things like this, you are not too young. Since you have entered the court, you should learn to do serious things. Share the worries of Royal Father, don’t spend all your time thinking about having fun.”

“I’m not capable of sharing worries with others,” Xie Chaoyuan drank the rest of the wine in his glass in one gulp, “unless that person is crown prince older brother.” 

“So, will Crown Prince older brother be willing to come tomorrow?” 

Xie Chaoling moved his eyes away. “Let’s wait and see.”

Half a jug of wine was finished quickly, Xie Chaoling asked someone to bring another jug, the little eunuch brought the wine on a tray. Xie Chaoling took it, first poured a glass for Xie Chaoyuan, and then poured one to himself. 

“This wine is quite strong. Crown Prince Brother, Be careful not to get drunk again.” Xie Chaoyuan picked up his cup, took a sip, and beat Xie Chaoling to it.

Xie Chaoling raised his glass and was about to say something, when there was a crisp sound, the wine glass fell to the ground in the hand of the person beside him. Xie Chaoling looked in surprise, and saw Xie Chaoyuan covering his chest with one hand, bent down in pain, and spitting out a big mouthful of black blood.

The eunuch who had been serving the wine suddenly drew a dagger from his waist and stabbed towards Xie Chaoling. Xie Chaoyuan raised his hand to block, and in a flash, he intercepted the person. With gritted teeth, he snatched the dagger and plunged it into the eunuch’s heart amidst the astonished cries of the surrounding people.

The next moment, Xie Chaoyuan also fell down, and Xie Chaoling subconsciously stretched out his hand to help, and Xie Chaoyuan fell on top of him.

The hall was in chaos, and Xie Chaoyuan was still vomiting blood.

Before losing consciousness, he leaned on Xie Chaoling and looked down at the eunuch lying on the ground in a corpse-like state. His gaze gradually became unfocused but especially calm. In an angle where no one could see, he silently sneered.

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Note: The words used by the emperor to curse King Huai were borrowed from historical allusions.

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