Ch 56 “Crown Prince Brother is a little abnormal today.”
In the early morning, Xie Chaoling went to the emperor to pay his respects, but he was stopped outside and was told that Imperial Concubine Zhao was currently inside and he had to wait a moment before entering.
Wang Qing quietly told him, “The imperial concubine came over about a quarter of an hour ago.
His Majesty is discussing with a group of cabinet officials in the next room.
The Empress didn’t notify anyone and barged in directly, and no one could stop her.”
He pointed in the direction of the next room, as if he was trying to make a deal with Xie Chaoling.
Xie Chaoling glanced in the direction he pointed, said nothing, and just waited outside.
“Your Majesty, someone has come forward and accused King Xing of sending people to assassinate the Crown Prince with poison.
The poison sent to Chaorong was the same as the one sent to the Crown Prince.
Chaorong’s life is still uncertain, and I, as his mother, cannot see him.
It feels like my heart has been ripped out when I think about this.
Your Majesty, please make a decision for Chaorong and me!”
The voice of imperial concubine Zhao next door was particularly sharp, crying and whining, and it was hard for people outside not to hear.
Xie Chaoling couldn’t help but frown.
The cabinet officials in the next room probably heard it too, and they kept glancing over here, talking in whispers.
On the day of the banquet, since everyone present was royal relatives and officials, Emperor Qianming didn’t want to make a big fuss before the investigation was clear.
He had been suppressing the news all this time.
This morning, he called in the cabinet officials to discuss, but imperial concubine Zhao suddenly barged in and said all this…
There were more than one or two people who wanted Xie Chaohui dead.
Now it was like a collapsing wall and everyone wanted to come and take a kick, and it seemed like Xie Chaoyuan, that little brat, had calculated everything correctly.
Xie Chaoling walked straight in.
His appearance interrupted imperial concubine Zhao’s tearful complaint, and Emperor Qianming’s face was extremely ugly, as if he had reached his limit.
Xie Chaoling first paid his respects to Emperor Qianming and then exchanged greetings with Imperial Concubine Zhao.
Imperial Concubine Zhao obviously didn’t expect the Crown Prince to suddenly appear.
Her expression was awkward, wiping away tears, but there was a fleeting anger in her eyes.
Xie Chaoling reminded the Emperor, “Royal Father, those old officials outside have been waiting for a long time.”
Emperor Qianming only then remembered that he had called in the officials for discussion.
He looked even more gloomy and, holding back his anger, signaled to Imperial Concubine Zhao, “You go down first.
After everything is clear, I will give you an explanation.”
After dismissing Imperial Concubine Zhao, Xie Chaoling comforted Emperor Qianming, “I heard that Second Brother is still unconscious.
Imperial Concubine Zhao is also anxious for her son.
Royal Father, please don’t blame her.”
If he hadn’t said anything, it would have been better.
After hearing Xie Chaorong’s stupidity and cruelty, Emperor Qianming was even more angry.
Xie Chaorong was raised by Imperial Concubine Zhao and now he was in such a situation.
As a father, he couldn’t say that he deserved it, but he was really angry and couldn’t calm down.
After leaving this sentence, Emperor Qianming strode to the next hall, Xie Chaoling followed.
When the emperor and the crown prince entered, all the cabinet officials immediately restrained their expressions and did not show it in front of the emperor.
On the day of the Empress Dowager’s birthday banquet, such a big event happened in the palace.
No matter how much you suppressed the rumors, most people should have heard about it.
It was just yesterday that King Lu’s people came out to testify against Xie Chaohui and Xie Chaohui had been detained.
They really didn’t know about this before.
Emperor Qianming called them here today to deliver the final judgment to the Shen family, and to discuss how to deal with the previous series of matters.
Besides the Shen family, other officials from the Ministry of Revenue will also be held accountable, and the head of the Guangchu department was already dead, so there will be a reform within the department.
Everyone immediately understood that the Emperor did not intend to let the Shen family bear all the responsibility and wanted to give them a lighter punishment by distributing the blame.
“As for those who have owed taxes and money to Guangchu department, I will give them a chance.
Within two months, they must fully repay the previously owed amount.
I will not hold them accountable afterwards.”
“Although Zhou Siming was not diligent in his previous audits, he made up for it later and uncovered the Shen family’s old accounts.
He did not betray my trust.
Now that there is a vacancy in the Ministry of Revenue, he will temporarily serve as the Shangshu.
As for the remaining positions, you can work with the Ministry of Personnel to choose the right candidates to fill them.”
“Another matter is that someone accused Hanlin Academy’s attendant lecturer, Zhang Qishan, of being unfilial and neglecting his elderly mother by abandoning her in the countryside without any care.
After investigating the matter and confirming its veracity, he is not fit to serve and will be stripped of his official position and exiled to the Southwest today.”
“Furthermore, last month, the chief of the Luan Yi Wei resigned due to illness.
Chang Ke, who was originally from Luan Yi Wei, will take over the position.
As for the commander of the Inner City Guards, he will be succeeded by the son of King Zhao.”
The Emperor made decisive decisions on all the previously unresolved matters in just a few words, leaving no room for anyone to criticize him.
The cabinet ministers all had their own thoughts but did not raise any objections.
It is only right to repay the taxes owed, and giving two more months is already the Emperor’s leniency.
No one can say anything about that.
As for how the royal and noble families will curse behind closed doors, that is not his concern.
Moreover, the incident where Xie Chaoqi was scolded and punished by the Emperor and sent back home to reflect on his actions has already spread.
The eight-character evaluation has essentially ruined his future.
Zhou Siming was Xie Chaoqi’s father-in-law-to-be, and the Emperor only allowed him to temporarily serve as the Shangshu to teach him a lesson.
From now on, he can only obey the Emperor’s orders.
If he has any inappropriate thoughts again, this temporary position may disappear at any time.
Furthermore, Zhang Qishan, who was previously leading the charge against the accusations against the Crown Prince, will be stripped of his official position and exiled to the Southwest.
This is clearly a response to the previous behavior of the Hanlin Academy members, and Zhang Qishan’s fate serves as a warning to all of them.
Regarding the appointment of Chang Ke as the general manager of the Luan Yi Wei and the successor of the Inner City Guard, Duke Zhao’s son, no one had expected it.
Luan Yi Wei was responsible for guarding the emperor’s carriage and was a closer personal guard to the emperor than the palace forbidden army during the previous dynasty.
However, due to an incident where a Luan Yi Wei soldier assassinated the emperor during the founding of the dynasty, this guard had since become a mere ceremonial unit and was trampled underfoot by the Forbidden Army.
Chang Ke would not have wanted this position, but the emperor insisted on appointing Duke Zhao’s son, who had been idle at home for a long time due to the incident at Dongshan hunting grounds, as his successor.
Chang Ke was also a member of the Zhao family’s faction, so this was an internal matter for them.
The emperor’s actions clearly aimed to divide the Zhao family’s supporters.
After the cabinet officials called for the discussion left, Xie Chaoling was still pondering over the meaning of the edicts issued by his father, the emperor.
Suddenly, Emperor Qianming said to him, “I have already chosen the candidate for your crown princess.
The fifteen-year-old daughter of Left Shangshu Zuo Lun is gentle and graceful, both beautiful and intelligent.
She is a suitable match for you.
I will formally issue an edict in a few days.”
Xie Chaoling was surprised.
Zuo Lun was also a key member of the Zhao family’s faction.
The Zhao family father and son also intended to use him to place their own people in the Ministry of Household Affairs, so that they could take control of it.
Not only did the emperor not intend to grant them their wish, but he was determined to break up the Zhao family’s supporters.
Seeing Xie Chaoling’s unusual expression, Emperor Qianming said, “I have already sent someone to assess that young lady.
She is indeed very good, and you should like her.
If Zuo Lun is obedient, he can be promoted in the future.
If he is not obedient, he can be dealt with accordingly, and there is no need to have any concerns.”
Xie Chaoling lowered his eyes to conceal his emotions and said, “I will follow your decree, Royal Father.”
After leaving the emperor’s presence, Xie Chaoling stopped in the corridor for a moment.
He saw some Qionghuas in the garden, and remembered the day when Xie Chaoyuan had invited him to go to Qionghua Island to see the flowers during the birthday banquet.
His mood was slightly complicated.
“Prepare a ship… I want to go to Qionghua Island.”
The crown prince always acted impulsively these days, and Liao Zhi had already gotten used to it.
He didn’t say much and simply ordered someone to prepare the ship.
They boarded the ship and went to the island.
Qionghua Island was in the middle of the North Sea, and the island was quiet, with only the sound of birds singing in the spring.
Qionghuas were blooming everywhere, pure white like jade, graceful and charming, with a strong and intoxicating fragrance.
Xie Chaoling had been here before, but had never felt that this place was any different from other places.
He wandered aimlessly, seemingly admiring the scenery, but his mind was heavy with thoughts.
“Your Highness?” When Liao Zhi called him, Xie Chaoling had stopped in front of a blooming Qionghua bush for a while, lost in thought.
Xie Chaoling regained his senses and picked a few branches of the most brilliant flowers.
After some consideration, he picked a few more and held them in his hand.
“Let’s go,” he said.
Did you come to this island to take a stroll around, just to pick a few flowers?
Liao Zhi was a little speechless, but he didn’t dare to speak too much.
In the afternoon, Xie Chaoling went to see Xie Chaoyuan again.
Xie Chaoyuan recovered quickly, of course this was what Xie Chaoling felt.
In front of people, even those imperial physicians, he always pretended to be in great pain, shouting that this hurts and that hurts, but he refused to take medicine.
Last night, Xie Chaoyuan clearly showed great skill and courage.
If it weren’t for that, Xie Chaoling would have thought he was being deceived by this little animal.
Xie Chaoling entered the door and ordered someone to bottle the picked flowers.
Xie Chaoyuan glanced at him and smiled, “Where did the Crown Prince pick these flowers? Did you pick them for me?”
“I went to Qionghua Island this morning, and the flowers there were blooming nicely,” Xie Chaoling said in a casual tone, as if he had just wandered around and picked some flowers along the way.
Xie Chaoyuan looked at him, smiling with a hidden meaning, “Is that so?”
“Isn’t it?” Xie Chaoling said lightly.
“If the Crown Prince said it is, so it is.
It’s a pity that I’m so ill now that I can’t go see them myself.
It’s a good thing that the Crown Prince remembered me and specially picked these flowers for me,” Xie Chaoyuan said in a sarcastic tone.
Xie Chaoyuan’s tone was really asking for a beating, but Xie Chaoling just smiled and replied, “If Sixth Brother didn’t mention it, I would have forgotten about it.
You said you wanted to go see the flowers on Qionghua Island that day, but now you can’t go anywhere with your current condition.”
The underlying meaning was that he deserved it.
They exchanged a few more sarcastic remarks before Xie Chaoyuan pulled Xie Chaoling over and thanked him sincerely.
Xie Chaoling was relieved and patted his face, “You should be more honest.”
Xie Chaoyuan caught his hand and kissed his lips.
Then he asked someone to bring the flower vase and picked out a flower, twisting it between his fingers and smiling slyly, “Do you know, Crown Prince, that Qionghua flowers are only given to beloved ones?”
“I haven’t heard of that,” Xie Chaoling said nonchalantly, not fooled by Xie Chaoyuan.
Instead, he lectured him seriously, “You should read more serious books when you have free time, and stop reading those vulgar words and phrases.”
Xie Chaoyuan clicked his tongue and recited a poem, “The daughter of the Qin family of Ximen, is as beautiful as a Qionghua flower.
… I think the Crown Prince’s appearance is no worse than this flower.”
“It’s mutual,” Xie Chaoling said.
“I’ve heard that Sixth Brother’s mother was extremely beautiful, and that’s why Sixth Brother has such a pleasing appearance.”
Xie Chaoyuan leaned closer to him and whispered, “Is that the only reason why I’m pleasing?”
“Naturally,” Xie Chaoling nodded.
Xie Chaoyuan stared at him for a while and sighed lightly, “I think the Crown Prince is loved everywhere.”
He liked him so much that he only wanted to keep him for himself, and this was far from enough.
Xie Chaoling didn’t say anything more and changed the subject, “When you rest a few more days, the Emperor should issue an order to return to the palace.
You should take care of yourself when you go back home and stop coming up with bad ideas.
Don’t let it happen again.”
Xie Chaoyuan looked at him with an inscrutable expression, “Does that mean you have found a way to save King Xing?”
Xie Chaoling didn’t want to talk to him about it, “In any case, there won’t be a next time.”
Xie Chaoyuan laughed but didn’t say whether he agreed or not.
“The Crown Prince is acting a bit abnormal today,” he said.
Xie Chaoling’s expression didn’t change, “How can you tell?”
“Why say it out loud? Don’t you know it yourself?” Xie Chaoyuan asked.
Xie Chaoling shook his head, “You think too much.”
Regarding the matter of marriage, he didn’t say it out loud.
Anyway, in a few days, the imperial decree will be issued, and everyone will know by then.
If he says it now, this little b*stard might just go crazy on the spot.
Xie Chaoling didn’t stay long at Xie Chaoyuan’s place.
After a few words, he said he had something to do and left.
When he turned around, Xie Chaoyuan grabbed him back, his hot breath pressing against him, and he kissed him fiercely and urgently on the lips.
A quarter of an hour later, Xie Chaoling left, with a bright red oozing mark on his lips.
Xie Chaoyuan leaned on the couch, watching the person go away, the smile gradually faded from the corner of his mouth.
Wang Rang came in and said in a low voice: “His Majesty has chosen the daughter of Zuo Shangshu, the Minister of Officials, as a consort for His Royal Highness, and the imperial edict of marriage will be issued in a few days.”
Xie Chaoyuan’s black eyes drooped, and his emotions were unclear as he twisted the flower branch in his hand.
He viciously snapped the stem of the flower.
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