Thousand Miles of Heaven Chapter 55

Ch 55 “Hush, Royal Father will hear.”

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Xie Chaoling pushed someone away and said, “Rest well, King Ke. The imperial physician said to speak less and sleep more to conserve your energy.” 

He stood up and said, “I’ll come to see you tomorrow.” 

Xie Chaoyuan reached out to grab him and said, “Brother, please stay.” 

Xie Chaoling pulled his hand away and pointed fiercely at him, “You stay here and behave.”

Xie Chaoyuan watched him leave, then laid down, staring blankly for a moment. He smiled, then covered his eyes with his arm and slowly closed them. 

Early the next day, as Emperor Qianming had just gotten up, Xie Chaoling came in to pay his respects and reported what happened the previous night. 

When he heard that the old maid had left a letter of confession and hanged herself, Emperor Qianming frowned and his expression turned cold. “She poisoned your second brother, but who poisoned you? Why is it the same poison? Could it be a coincidence?” 

Xie Chaoling knew that his father the emperor couldn’t be easily fooled. Seeing the emperor’s expression, he knew he had many suspicions and guesses. He was about to say something when a report came from outside that King Lu had come to see him and had some information about the assassin who poisoned and attacked at the birthday banquet the other day. Emperor Qianming immediately said, “Let him in!”

King Lu hurried in. He was the late emperor’s brother and was highly respected by the current emperor due to his seniority and age. 

Before he could even kneel down to pay his respects, Emperor Qianming said directly, “Uncle, what do you know? Please tell us.” 

The old King brought an eunuch with him and reported seriously, “Your Majesty, this Zhang Dezi is one of my attendants. He went with me to the Empress Dowager’s birthday banquet. These past few days, I’ve noticed that he’s been acting strange and was hesitant to speak. I questioned him and found out that he had seen the assassin before the attack that night, so I immediately brought him here.” 

Emperor Qianming immediately looked at the person kneeling on the ground, who trembled with fear. He asked sternly, “Did you see the assassin that night? Where did you see him?”

“In response to Your Majesty’s question, during the birthday banquet that night, I had to relieve myself and apologized to the King to have someone else serve in my place. After leaving, I walked for a while and saw the assassin talking to someone in a secluded bamboo grove. In a rush to use the restroom, I only glanced at them and didn’t pay much attention to their conversation. When I returned, shortly after, the assassin had been killed by the prince. I went to take a closer look and could vaguely recognize that the person I saw was indeed the one I had seen earlier. I was afraid of getting into trouble, so I kept it to myself. Your Majesty, please forgive me for not speaking up earlier.” 

The eunuch named Zhang Dezi finished speaking with a forehead full of sweat and knocked his head on the ground.

Emperor Qianming pressed on, “Who was the person talking to him? Did you see clearly?!” 

“It was a guard. I had seen him before with King Xing,” replied Zhang Dezi. 

Xie Chaoling’s brow furrowed, and Emperor Qianming’s expression turned uglier. “Are you sure?” he asked. 

“I dare not lie. It involves King Xing, which is why I hesitated to speak up earlier,” said the kneeling Zhang Dezi, tears streaming down his face. 

King Lu spoke up, “Your Majesty, this matter is of great importance. I’m afraid of wronging King Xing, but there are suspicions. That’s why we brought the witness here to tell you in person.” 

“You did the right thing, Uncle,” Emperor Qianming said, his face dark. “Go and bring King Xing here.” 

In less than a quarter of an hour, Xie Chaohui arrived. After listening to the situation, he remained calm and composed, and asked the kneeling Zhang Dezi, “Which one of my guards did you see talking to the assassin? Bring him here, and we’ll have a face-to-face confrontation.”

“It was one of the guards who was with you that night,” said Zhang Dezi, pointing at the leftmost guard. “He has a birthmark on his forehead that’s easy to recognize. I couldn’t be mistaken.” 

The accused guard knelt down to defend himself, “I was waiting with everyone else outside the hall that night and didn’t leave. I never spoke to the assassin. Please investigate, Your Majesty.” 

Emperor Qianming’s brow furrowed tightly.

Xie Chaoling timely reminded him: “Your Majesty, we cannot make a decision based on just one side of the story. It is better to investigate thoroughly before making a decision.” 

But King Lu said: “Your Majesty, this matter does need to be investigated thoroughly, but Zhang Dezi has served me for many years. Although he is timid, he is not someone who dares to lie. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have brought him to see Your Majesty.” 

Xie Chaoling glanced at the old King, surprised in his heart. This man had been idle for several decades as the “idle King”. Why did he suddenly jump out and interfere in these matters and bite Xie Chaohui? 

Xie Chaohui remained calm: “Your Majesty, I also hope that the truth of the matter can be revealed and that the people around me can be cleared of suspicion.”

Emperor Qianming did not speak, his expression changing. He tapped his fingers lightly on the imperial case and squinted his eyes at Xie Chaohui. 

Xie Chaohui lowered his head, calm as usual, not showing any signs of fear. 

After a while, Emperor Qianming slowly said: “Uncle, you may retire for now. Your people have done a great service. I will have someone investigate the matter thoroughly.” 

King Lu took his people and left first. Emperor Qianming had the rest of the people also leave, leaving only the three of them, father and sons, in the hall. He coldly signaled Xie Chaohui: “Kneel down.” 

Xie Chaohui knelt down, his shoulders straight and upright. 

“Only you have been to that horse farm these past few days. Someone said that they saw you meet with the assassin that night. I want you to tell me the truth. Were you the one who attempted to poison and assassinate the crown prince at the Empress Dowager’s birthday banquet? And are you also the one who poisoned your second brother with the help of someone close to the Princess of Leping?” 

“I did not do it,” Xie Chaohui insisted, his eyes not showing any panic. 

“If it’s not you, could it be that little girl, Princess Leping?!” Emperor Qianming suddenly became angry.

At the mention of Princess Leping, there was a hint of hesitation in Xie Chaohui’s expression. He clenched his fists tightly. Xie Chaoling saw this and quickly said, “Your Majesty, Old Liuma has already confessed and admitted that she poisoned our second brother. Maybe it really was her. She’s an old person in the palace and has served both the late emperor and the former crown prince, so it wouldn’t be difficult for her to do these things.” 

“Then what about the person who poisoned you? Could it also be her? What grudges do you have with her that would make her send someone to poison and assassinate you in public?”

Xie Chaoling lowered his head and said, “The matter still needs to be investigated. I just hope that Royal Father will not believe in one-sided words and make hasty conclusions.” 

Xie Chaohui was temporarily detained. Xie Chaoling came out of the emperor’s place and saw Xie Huizhen standing outside with red eyes. He walked up to him and whispered, “Come with me.” 

“I want to see Royal Grandfather.” 

Xie Chaoling’s voice was even lower, “What do you want to do?” 

“I just saw Third uncle being taken away by someone. Does Royal Grandfather think that Third uncle is the one who instructed Liu Mama? I want to clarify things with the Royal Grandfather. I cannot let Third uncle suffer an injustice.”

Xie Chaoling stopped him: “This matter is not as simple as you think, don’t meddle in it, go back.”

Xie Huizhen glared at him.

Xie Chaoling was helpless: “I will find a way for your third uncle. Go back.”

After Xie Huizhen was dismissed, Xie Chaoling went to Xie Chaohui’s place again.

Xie Chaohui was already in custody, but no one dared to stop Xie Chaoling from going in to see someone, so they let him in.

Xie Chaohui’s expression was still calm, and there was no embarrassment on his face after being calculated by others. Xie Chaoling asked him straight to the point: “Who do you think did this?”

“King Huai or King Ke may have a share.” Xie Chaohui said calmly.

Xie Chaoling raised his eyebrows. If it was said that Xie Chaoqi was involved, he believed it, but there was no evidence, or maybe that little b*stard Xie Chaoyuan helped him destroy the evidence in order to put the matter on Xie Chaohui. No matter how much they guessed, it was useless.

Now that King Lu came out like this, he put Xie Chaohui in a passive position.

The old King had a higher status than their Royal Father, and he had always been indifferent to worldly affairs. He suddenly came out with someone to accuse Xie Chaohui, so perhaps not many people would suspect that he was lying. 

“Have you offended King Lu?” Xie Chaoling asked. 

Xie Chaohui shook his head and said frankly, “But I offended the Empress Dowager. Royal Father’s birth mother, Imperial Concubine Wenshu, was killed by the Empress Dowager. She took away the mother and left the child. The late Emperor accidentally found out about these things, but he didn’t dare to tell His Majesty. He also helped to hide a living witness who escaped from the hands of the Empress Dowager. It was a nanny who served by Imperial Concubine Wenshu’s side. In order to strike at the Zhao family, I found the nanny and sent her to Royal Father using some means, so that Royal Father knew the truth at that time.” 

“King Ke had previously planted someone by my side, and he must have known what I had done. In order to deal with me, he should have told the Empress Dowager what I had done.” 

Xie Chaoling knew these things. Earlier, when he was still at King Ke’s mansion, Xie Chaoyuan did not avoid talking about it with him. 

“So the Empress Dowager wanted to take advantage of the situation and put you in a dead end, using King Lu’s hand. But why did King Lu want to help the Empress Dowager?” 

Xie Chaohui sneered, “King Lu has a relationship with the Empress Dowager. It is the reason why the Empress Dowager killed Imperial Concubine Wen Shu back then, but there is no solid evidence for this matter, and I didn’t let the maidservant mention it in front of the Emperor.” 

So that’s how it was. 

Xie Chaoling’s mind turned quickly, and he soon had an idea. He looked at Xie Chaohui and said, “Regardless of whether King Ke did it or not, I don’t want to involve him.” 

Xie Chaohui’s expression was indifferent. “I dare not comment on the Crown Prince’s decision.” 

Xie Chaohui’s tactfulness satisfied Xie Chaoling. 

“Don’t worry, since you are innocent, I will find a way to help you, and I won’t let the matter affect Leping Princess.” 

Xie Chaohui nodded. “Thank you. I hope the Crown Prince’s words count.” 

Xie Chaoling didn’t visit Xie Chaoyuan until nightfall.

The little brat had already been carried back to his own bedroom in the side palace, he had to rest here for some time. 

When Xie Chaoling arrived, he had just finished bathing in his bedroom, and the servants were cleaning up the bathtub. Xie Chaoling’s face sank when he saw this, and he asked Wang Rang coldly, “King Ke is still seriously ill. Did the imperial physician say he could bathe?” 

Wang Rang answered carefully, “His Highness said there was no problem and insisted on taking a bath. We couldn’t dissuade him. Please forgive me, Your Highness.”

Xie Chaoyuan lazily leaned against the head of the bed. “Don’t scold my people, Crown Prince. They are just following my orders.” 

Xie Chaoling’s face became even darker. He walked over, and the palace attendants instinctively retreated and closed the door behind them. 

Xie Chaoyuan reached out and pulled Xie Chaoling down to sit, and his hands wrapped around his waist as he leaned closer to him and asked, “Is my brother unhappy again today?” 

“No wonder you are so confident that you could bring down King Xing. You had King Lu as your backup.” Xie Chaoling sneered. 

Xie Chaoyuan didn’t think much of it. “I can’t predict the Empress Dowager’s thoughts. My brother, the Crown Prince, thinks too highly of me. All I can say is that King Xing was unlucky. He offended too many people, and too many people wanted him dead.” 

“Do you believe that I will reveal everything you’ve done?” Xie Chaoling gritted his teeth. 

Xie Chaoyuan looked at him and smiled. “Would the Crown Prince be willing to do so?” 

They stared at each other in silence for a moment, and Xie Chaoyuan leaned closer to Xie Chaoling, his laughter lower, “Since the Crown Prince came at this time, would you like to stay tonight?” 

Xie Chaoling looked at him mockingly, “If I stay, aren’t you afraid of being discovered?”

“My brother is not afraid, and neither am I.”

Xie Chaoyuan suppressed his smile, and added in a low voice: “Stay here.”

“You are still coughing up blood yesterday, but you’ll be fine today?”

Xie Chaoyuan didn’t take it seriously: “It’s just a small problem, crown prince will know after trying it.”

The sickness after being poisoned can no longer be seen on this person’s face, and he probably really pretended before.

Xie Chaoling looked at him for a moment, lowered his head, and bit his shoulder and neck hard.

The palace lanterns were extinguished, and the clothes were scattered all over the place.

Covered in sweat, Xie Chaoyuan sat on top of Xie Chaoying, his body so hot that it didn’t feel like his own. Xie Chaoling held Xie Chaoyuan’s face in his hands, frowning as he kissed him, and asked in a hoarse voice, “Have you completely detoxed? Don’t harm me.” 

Xie Chaoyuan pressed his lips against his brother’s and whispered, “You’re overthinking it, brother. The poison isn’t that potent. Even if some of it gets inside you, it won’t harm you.” 

Xie Chaoling didn’t say anything else and lowered his head to continue kissing him. 

At the height of their passion, the Emperor’s voice suddenly sounded from outside: “Is King Ke already asleep at this hour? I’m going in to see him. Is he feeling better?” 

Xie Chaoling opened his steamy, lust-filled eyes, there was a rare panic in them. He pushed Xie Chaoyuan away, trying to get up, but was pulled down by Xie Chaoyuan with force. 

He gasped and gritted his teeth. 

Xie Chaoyuan seemed to be deliberately teasing him, biting his earlobe and laughing softly. “You…get away…” 

“Hush,” Xie Chaoyuan whispered in his ear, “Father will hear.” 

Then, the deliberately raised voice of Wang Rang came from outside: “Your Highness just drank medicine and fell asleep. The lamp is out. His Highness has been complaining of body pains these past two days due to the remaining poison in his body. He’s been sleeping restlessly at night. He finally drank the medicine and fell asleep. Your Majesty, maybe you should come back tomorrow instead!” 

Then, Emperor Qianming said, “That’s all right, let him sleep. I’ll come back tomorrow when I have time. Take good care of him and don’t be lazy at night.” 

“We dare not, Your Majesty!” Wang Rang replied loudly. 

The footsteps gradually receded. Xie Chaoling’s tense body suddenly relaxed, and his entire body was covered in sticky sweat. 

He lowered his head and viciously bit into Xie Chaoyuan’s shoulder, as if venting his anger. 

Xie Chaoyuan hugged him and flipped him over, and Xie Chaoling opened his eyes in the darkness, saying, “In half an hour at most, I have to leave.” 

Xie Chaoyuan laughed and kissed his lips.

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