Chapter 1 Qu Chenzhou
In the seventh year of Yuande, the fire that had already burned the city gate finally approached the forbidden city.
In the past, the palace walls that the common people dared not look up to when they passed by, were now scorched by the fire. The glory and dignity of the past can no longer be seen and the high up nobles had long been stamped on.
Since last night, the screams of killings rushing into the palace gates from all directions had become one. In the past, the place where only quiet whispers and laughter existed had now turned into a land of blood in a blink of an eye.
No one could escape, and those who wanted to escape had become souls of the deceased under the sword.
The emperor did not show up for a few days, and the nobles hid in the hall not daring to move, anxiously awaiting for the killing god who might come at any time.
But everyone was thinking that they would certainly not bear the brunt. In this deep palace, the thing receiving the most attention from the rebels was the brilliant, famous Star Gazing Pavilion.
That year, someone lightly opened their lips and uttered divinatory words, causing the Liu clan to be almost completely slaughtered. Fortunately, the destined person was fated to be lucky and live a grand life, thus he escaped by luck.
In the next few years, the flames of war began to ignite, and it has now burned the palace walls.
Therefore, the person who was hated the most by the individual about to ascend to the throne, was probably the Si Tian Guan1, the person who determined that individual’s life and death and caused the emperor to execute the Liu family.
What everyone in the world knew was something naturally what the person at the Star Gazing Pavilion also knew.
But he was a lot calmer than everyone else.
The candlelight on the side was erratic. Reflecting through the low-hanging fine black hair, it illuminated his white cheeks, soft and delicate. The extraordinary pair of eyes were brightly lit by the fire, cold and beautiful.
Since the fire broke out in the palace last night, he had been sitting alone at the desk, looking at the untouched white paper in front of him in a daze. After a long time, he gently lifted the long hair that fell on his shoulders and started writing.
“Zhongming, see the letter as if meeting in person…”
Over the years, he had recited these words countless times silently in his heart. Ten years of love, full of repentance and loneliness. Finally, they had the chance to see the sky, but what he wrote were just trivial things.
When the magnolia opened, when the tree around the corner was pulled out, when the step missed a step and someone accidentally tumbled down and sprained their ankle, it seemed that he was not the only one who was clumsy.
He hummed the tune lightly, while quickly filling out one paper. It was then thrown into the incense and turned to ashes.
Writing until he was sore, he got up, went to the cabinet and took out a package. He took out the eight-treasure exquisite box inside. The key of the box was not with him, so once it was locked, he couldn’t open it again.
But he knew that that person must still have the key, waiting to open the exquisite box one day, expecting him to leave a few words.
What a pity——he took the few handfuls of the ashes from the incense burner and put it in preciously.
The silver lock on the lid locked with a crisp sound.
Just treat it as the last time he played a prank.
He wondered when the person opened this box and saw a box full of paper ashes burned beyond recognition, would he be furious? Would he hate him so much he would scatter his ashes everywhere.
After that, he stood at the highest point, silently watching the firelight shining down. The shadows were faint and the screams were everywhere. The heavy footsteps and humming noises had already sounded around the Star Gazing Pavilion.
Someone shouted: “Guard this entire place, don’t let anyone escape! Wait for the marshal’s order!”
The corners of his mouth lifted. He wanted to laugh. He hadn’t escaped all these years, so where can he escape to now?
It wasn’t until dawn that the sound of mixed footsteps came as promised.
He turned around, calmly looked at the oncoming crowd, and greeted the two young men who headed the group: “Jingchen, General Bai, I trust you have been well since we last met.”
As early as when he was climbing the stairs, Bai Shilei who was behind Jingchen had almost squeezed his fists until it bled. His eyes glared at him, itching to stab him.
Jingchen stretched out his hand to stop Bai Shilei’s impulse. He stared at the other party’s well-known eyes, and politely returned the courtesy: “Qu Sitian, we have not seen for many years, your elegance and mannerism seems better than that of the past. No wonder, everyone says this official is extraordinary with no other that can be compared in the world.”
“I don’t deserve so much praise.” Qu Chenzhou nodded, then said nothing more.
Jing Chen raised his hand, and someone brought a glass of wine.
“Does Qu Sitian have any wishes left?”
Qu Chenzhou’s calm and waveless eyes fell on the wine glass, then he raised it again.
He was accustomed to being taciturn in the palace. Now at the end, he didn’t even know what to say.
“Yes.” He replied after thinking for a moment: “Qu Chenzhou’s death is not pitiful, but I ask the marshal to save the emperor’s life.”
“Bah!” Bai Shilei spat fiercely: “What a loyal dog. What qualifications do you have to intercede for others? The friendship from the past? Do you know how Second Brother has passed these years?”
“It was me who let him down.” Qu Chenzhou fell silent for a moment, then he pursed his thin lips and insisted: “I am willing to die for the emperor’s life.”
“Does Qu Sitian think this is poisonous wine?” Jing Chen’s calmness also contained mockery: “If Qu Sitian wants to die quickly, then that is too naive of you.”
The wine glass in Jing Chen’s hand was handed over.
“Qu Sitian’s tongue is like a knife. You should know how many people have lost their families because of your words these years. The marshal just wants to seal your mouth first. Regarding how to handle you, it will be spoke about later.”
Qu Chenzhou sighed lightly in his heart. He wanted to laugh at himself, but found that he was used to being calm.
Those who should come will always come, and Zhongming doesn’t even want to listen to his excuses.
But… his hands were covered with blood, so what good excuse could there be?
After a while, he took the wine slowly and looked at the reflection in the glass. He asked softly: “Can I see him?”
Bai Shilei sneered at the back: “Qu Chenzhou, what face do you have to meet him?”
Qu Chenzhou pursed his lips, not at all unhappy because of his mockery: “Then he… does he have any words for me?”
“Yes.” This time there was an answer. Bai Shilei’s mouth had a mocking smile: “Second Brother said, anything is fine as long as you don’t kill it.”
Qu Chenzhou felt like he was punched in the chest, and couldn’t breath for a moment.
He raised his wine glass and saw the flushed eyes in the reflection: “Okay.”
After so many years, he still has not grown. Just by Zhongming’s fierce words, he already couldn’t help but have his eyes turn red.
Seeing him about to drink, Jing Chen suddenly asked: “It is said that Qu Sitian, as a spiritual speaker, cannot lie, can you answer me something first?”
Qu Chenzhou’s eyes did not leave the rippling liquid in the cup: “Please Speak.”
“Does Qu Sitian know that every word of yours is related to the life and death of many people?”
“Then why do you have to say those things!? In your eyes, are the lives of others so cheap? !” Even Jing Chen, who was always calm, carried a hint of anger in his voice.
Qu Chenzhou looked at himself reflected in the wine glass. Without saying a word, his expression was calm.
Jing Chen gritted his teeth: “No wonder everyone says that Qu Sitian is like an immortal, with no joy or sorrow, all divinations and words accurate. The people in this world must be like dogs in your eyes?”
“Aren’t they?” Qu Chenzhou raised his eyes to look at him, and asked rhetorically.
Bai Shilei almost crushed his mouthful of teeth. If it weren’t for the order, he would have liked to smash this person into pieces on the spot: “Then you waiting here, did you still hold a little hope to survive?”
“I I want to live.” Qu Chenzhou still replied simply, not caring whether this would irritate the person in front of him.
He looked around at the blood-stained people in front of him——everyone should be like that. In this world, if it is possible, who doesn’t want to live?
No one asked him any more questions.
Qu Chenzhou closed his eyes and drank the wine in his glass. The wine burned into his abdomen all the way like a raging fire.
A trace of blood dripped from his mouth uncontrollably, he wiped it off with the back of his hand. He tried to stabilize the shaking of his hands, and placed back the wine glass.
After that, he went to the Star Gazing Pavilion where he had lived for more than ten years in the hands of a crowd of people.
“Qu Chenzhou!” Someone roared behind him: “A person like you, even if you die and go to the Netherworld, no one will let you go!”
Qu Chenzhou turned and looked at Bai Shilei and Jingchen, but there was no sound.
The voices that accompanied him for more than 20 years, the voice that brought countless disasters to him and the world finally left him with a glass of wine.
Even if he could calculate the fate of others, he couldn’t see his own tomorrow.
- Official of heaven