Thousand Miles of Heaven Chapter 75

Ch 75 “Do I look unwell and sickly? Is it not a good look?”

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Xirong Palace.

Xirong King sat with his eyes closed on his throne, his face as calm as water, tapping his fingers on the white tiger fur beneath him without making a sound for a long time.

Xie Chaoyuan stood below the throne, his expression calm despite being ignored for so long. Xirong King remained silent, as if trying to test his patience.

After a long silence, someone finally spoke up for Xirong King, asking, “Little Prince, did you hear about the assassination of the Liang Dynasty’s Crown Prince last night?”

Xie Chaoyuan casually turned his gaze to King Kunxi, the most powerful Wangye in the Xirong court and Xirong King’s cousin. 

He smirked, “Really? I handed over the person to my father, and I haven’t heard anything about it since. Did the Liang Crown Prince really get assassinated? Who did it?”

His tone and manner were too calm, and despite their doubts, the two men across from him couldn’t read anything from his face.

Finally, Xirong King spoke up, “You really don’t know?”

“I don’t,” Xie Chaoyuan replied. “My husband has been sick these past few days, and except for visiting my father early in the morning every day, I’ve been staying home and don’t know anything about what’s happening outside.”

Xirong King coughed twice. “Well, if you really don’t know, then that’s that. But there are some things you must know. The Liang Dynasty is in chaos right now. The emperor is gravely ill and unconscious, and his only surviving son has conspired with others to take him hostage and close the city gates. The news must have spread throughout the Liang Dynasty, and their northwest army is probably in disarray, too busy to care about us Xirong people. This is a great opportunity for us to strike, and to ensure nothing goes wrong, do those spies you left behind in the Liang court still support us now that we’re allied with each other?”

Xie Chaoyuan’s expression didn’t change. “If my father decides to take action, I’ll send a letter.”

He agreed so readily that it surprised Xirong King, who had prepared a long speech of threats and temptations but never had the chance to use them. King Kunxi was equally taken aback. The two men exchanged a glance, and Xirong King laughed, “I knew you were a good son. As long as you remain loyal to Xirong, everyone will know that you are my good son.”

Xie Chaoyuan lowered his eyes and thanked him quietly.

After sending Xie Chaoyuan away, Xirong King took a gulp of wine and shook his head. “Whoever assassinated the Liang Crown Prince is really hateful!”

If they had the Crown Prince of the Liang Dynasty in their hands, they could take advantage of this opportunity to launch a large-scale attack and easily conquer the Central Plains of the Daliang. But now, with this unexpected turn of events, they were truly frustrated.

“The king should be careful of those around him,” King Kunxi reminded him in a deep voice.

Xirong King’s face turned red, and his dark circles looked even more terrifying. King Kunxi added, “King, even though the little prince agreed to help us so easily, we have lost the Crown Prince of the Liang Dynasty, and that means there are now more variables. To be on the safe side…”

After leaving the Xirong Palace, Xie Chaoyuan asked Wang Rang behind him, “Did you see it clearly? Is the Xirong King’s appearance a sure sign of the after-effects of Wu Shi San?”

Wang Rang lowered his voice, “It should be. These days I have been inquiring about it. The nobles on the Xirong side still have the custom of taking Wu Shi San. The Xirong King’s appearance clearly shows that he is addicted to drugs.”

Wu Shi San was once popular in the earlier dynasties, and the noble families all followed the trend. However, since the founding of the Daliang dynasty, the emperor ordered its prohibition, and it gradually disappeared in Daliang. However, the surrounding small countries still have plenty of people who are fond of it, and the Xirong King seems to be one of them.

“But King Kunxi’s expression is clear, his complexion is rosy and full, indicating that he has not touched that thing,” Wang Rang added.

Xie Chaoyuan sneered, “He has great ambitions.”

The Xirong King is sitting on the throne, but who is actually controlling the court behind him is uncertain.

Wang Rang couldn’t help but worry, “Your Highness, about the promise you made to the Xirong King just now…”

“They have the ability to break through the Northwest Army’s defense line before they can talk about it,” Xie Chaoyuan said nonchalantly. The so-called collusion from inside and outside is not guaranteed to succeed. He has never made such a promise before.

After leaving the Xirong Palace, Xie Chaoyuan did not immediately return. Instead, he went to another place.

Danyou Temple, the largest temple in Xirong, is located at the westernmost end of Lidu, with a large area and magnificent buildings that was not inferior to the Xirong Palace. It is home to the most prestigious living Buddhas and monks in Xirong and is considered a sacred place in the hearts of the Xirong people.

Xie Chaoyuan entered the temple through the back door with a low profile and was led to a courtyard deep in the temple. He first paid his respects to the living Buddha upon entering, “Your Excellency, it is an honor to meet you.”

The hundred-year-old living Buddha with wrinkles all over his face and a decrepit appearance opened his eyes and stared at him for a moment. “Little prince, it’s nice to meet you.”

Xie Chaoyuan smiled and said, “Just now, I came from the front yard and saw that it was bustling with guests and devout followers. It’s a pity that the Living Buddha can’t move around freely now and can only stay in this small courtyard. It’s a blessing for the young monks. If things continue like this, people will only remember the monks and forget the true Living Buddha.”

“The little prince doesn’t need to say these things,” the Living Buddha said lightly. “I am old, and the future of Xirong belongs to the monks. It is right for the people of Xirong to respect them.”

Xie Chaoyuan disagreed, “Although I am new to Xirong, I also know that there has never been a case where two Buddhas are equally respected. The so-called monks are just excuses used by people with ulterior motives to deceive the world and steal fame. You are the only Living Buddha, and ten years ago when you could still move around freely, how could they dare to create such a monk? Unfortunately, the people are ignorant and have been deceived by them.”

The Living Buddha’s eyes briefly flickered with a shadow, then he said, “On the day when the monk was born, the golden light of the West will appear, and everyone will witness it with their own eyes.”

“What does that matter?” Xie Chaoyuan said disdainfully. “It’s just an illusion created by people who know a little bit of magic.”

Finally, the person on the seat looked at him directly and said, “The little prince came here today for a reason, why not speak directly?”

Xie Chaoyuan smiled and said, “The people of Xirong fear the destiny of the monk, even the king is deferential towards him. But having grown up in the Liang Dynasty, I am not concerned about this. I can help solve the problem for the Living Buddha. Without the monk, you will still be the only Buddha in Xirong.”

“What do you want?” The Living Buddha asked calmly.

“Of course, I want to use the name of the Living Buddha to establish my prestige in Xirong,” Xie Chaoyuan said.

After finishing the last drop of blood, Xie Chaoling collapsed onto the bed, covered in cold sweat. Wang Jin immediately fed him some sugar water.

Xie Chaoling drank half a cup with his eyes closed. The dizziness and vertigo subsided slightly, but he still felt extremely uncomfortable, and his fingers were numb and painful. Today was already the fourth day, and he didn’t faint again, but his body was getting weaker day by day, and he could barely hold on by gritting his teeth.

Wang Jin wiped his eyes and went to bring in some hot porridge and soup for Xie Chaoling. Even if Xie Chaoling had no appetite, he had to eat more, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to endure it.

Cleaning the blood on the fingertips, Xie Chaoling lowered his head and remained silent for a moment, then put on his fur gloves again.

“Your Highness, you should use some medicine on your hand, or else it will get infected,” Wang Jin choked and reminded him.

“Forget it, I have to continue tomorrow anyway.”

He quickly finished his food without even tasting it, then closed his eyes and leaned back on the bed, instructing Wang Jin, “Let me know when he comes in.”

Xie Chaoling fell asleep quickly, his breathing becoming light. Wang Jin didn’t dare to disturb him any further and covered him with a cloak before leaving the room.

Later that evening, Xie Chaoyuan returned and Wang Jin informed someone to tell Xie Chaoling while he himself was stopped by Xie Chaoyuan.

Xie Chaoyuan asked what Xie Chaoling had eaten and done that day and how he was feeling. Wang Jin answered each question, but Xie Chaoyuan’s brows furrowed when he heard the answers. He called for the two doctors to ask more questions. Even after many days, Xie Chaoling’s condition showed no signs of improvement, and the doctors were at a loss as to why. If there were other suitable doctors available, Xie Chaoyuan would have sent them away long ago.

Hearing the same words “as usual,” Xie Chaoyuan’s face darkened and he strode into the room.

Xie Chaoling had already opened his eyes, but he was not sleeping soundly. He woke up at the sound of footsteps outside, but he was still dizzy and a bit confused, just staring blankly at the bed.

When Xie Chaoyuan entered, Xie Chaoling finally regained his senses and coughed a few times before calling out, “Sixth Brother.”

Xie Chaoyuan approached him and looked down at him.

Xie Chaoling lifted his head and said, “You’re back, come and sit. Why are you standing?”

Xie Chaoyuan’s hand stroked from Xie Chaoling’s forehead to his chin, and he asked in a deep voice, “Are you still feeling unwell today? Why is your face so pale?”

Xie Chaoling forced a smile and said, “Do I look ugly with this sickly appearance?”

Xie Chaoyuan frowned.

Guessing that his words had made Xie Chaoyuan angry again, Xie Chaoling lightly patted the back of his hand and said, “Come on, sit down. I’m just joking with you.”

Xie Chaoyuan sat down and hugged him tightly.

After a quiet embrace for a moment, Xie Chaoling suppressed the pain and whispered, “I’m really fine. I’ll be better in a few days.”

Xie Chaoyuan tried to feel his forehead, but he wasn’t running a fever. However, Xie Chaoling looked so weak and frail that he could collapse at any moment.

“I promise, I’ll be better in a few days,” Xie Chaoling repeated.

Xie Chaoyuan’s lips pressed tightly together, his expression gloomy. It was clear that he didn’t believe what Xie Chaoling said.

Xie Chaoling had to change the subject, “Sixth Brother, tell me about what happened outside. Just give me some relief. Where did you go today?”

“That fake prince is dead,” Xie Chaoyuan said softly, glancing at Xie Chaoling before continuing, “He was assassinated at his residence. We don’t know who did it. The Xirong King is furious and suspects me, but it’s not surprising. It would be strange if he didn’t suspect me. I just don’t know who has the ability to kill the fake prince under the nose of the Xirong King, and why they did it.”

Xie Chaoling listened quietly and brushed his clothes with his hand before asking softly, “Can you handle it if the Xirong King suspects you?”

“It’s alright. I went to see the living Buddha today and made a deal with him.”

Xie Chaoyuan briefly explained the situation, and Xie Chaoling chuckled softly after hearing it. “Sixth Brother’s brain is indeed still working well. He found a way to stand firm here as soon as he arrived.”

As long as they could rely on the living Buddha and use his name to expand their influence, even if the Xirong King discovered that Xie Chaoyuan had no connections left in Daliang, it would not be easy for him to move against him.

Xie Chaoling thought it was good. He could leave this place with peace of mind.

“Are you very concerned about these matters?” Xie Chaoyuan raised an eyebrow and looked at him.

“I always hope that you are well,” Xie Chaoling sighed lightly. “If you are doing well, I can also feel at ease.”

Xie Chaoyuan’s gaze paused for a moment, and he hugged him tightly after a brief silence. “Your health is not good. Don’t worry about these things. I’m fine, but you’re the one who fell ill.”

Xie Chaoling closed his eyes and smiled. “Mm, I’ll be fine soon.”

Wang Jin went out to help Xie Chaoling make medicine. There were not many people in the mansion, and the newly purchased ones were all doing rough work. Xie Chaoyuan did not trust them, so he left the task of taking care of Xie Chaoling to Wang Jin alone.

As he was walking in the courtyard, a servant who was cleaning muttered in a low voice, “Why are these flowers all dying? What a pity.”

Wang Jin looked over. In the past few days, he had poured the blood water into these pots of flowers, and now the flowers that were already withered were completely dead.

“Give them to me. They were probably frozen to death by the cold weather,” Wang Jin said, picking up the flowerpots, intending to throw them away to avoid arousing suspicion.

The servant didn’t dare to say anything and quickly stepped aside.

As Wang Jin carried the flowers out, he bumped into Wang Rang, who was just coming in through the gate.

Wang Rang caught sight of the flowers in Wang Jin’s arms and asked, “Aren’t these planted by the lord? How come they all withered?”

Wang Jin answered cautiously, “They were frozen and damaged. The lord asked me to throw them away.”

Suddenly, Wang Rang reached out and lightly wiped along the edge of one of the flower pots, staring at his own finger and asking, “Why is there blood here?”

Wang Jin lowered his head even more, “I am clumsy and accidentally cut my hand just now.”

Wang Rang looked at him and paused for a moment, “Is that so? Then go and throw them away quickly.”

Wang Jin nodded, hugged the thing in his hands tightly, and hurrying away.

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