Si Tian Guan Chapter 109

Chapter 109 Twins

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Liu Zhongming first took out ice cubes from the compartment under the soft bed, wrapped them in a handkerchief and threw them over, then took two hangover medicines in his mouth and pressed them under his tongue.

Qu Chenzhou took it silently, and pressed the handkerchief on his face.

The left side was still hot and painful. The slap barely left any force unused, and only when he drew back with the back of his hand did he seem to regain some sanity and lighten up a bit.

He could sense that it was one thing for Liu Zhongming to do a play for others to watch, but he was also angry because of the previous incident. The kiss just now completely angered Liu Zhongming.

The two remained silent, and the carriage moved forward for a long time before Liu Zhongming covered his eyes with his hands and asked, “Does it still hurt?” 

It must still hurt.

Qu Chenzhou licked the corner of his mouth lightly, and asked: “Is Shizi’s anger gone?” 

If he did not ask, it would be fine, but after asking, the shameful scene seemed to replay once again. Liu Zhongming sat up, but saw Qu Chenzhou’s face with five red fingerprints, his heart seized a moment, then he turned his face away, leaning against the carriage wall without moving.

“Ning Wang and Liao Guangming, what did you see?”

Qu Chenzhou shook his head: “For the time being, there was nothing for Ning Wang. Liao Guangming was too vigilant, I didn’t have time to look at him for too long, but his ups and downs were closely related to Ren Rui, we have to be careful in dealing with Ren Rui.”

Liu Zhongming stifled an “en”.

Although Ren Rui was crazy, he was not as vigilant as Liao Guangming who had made too many enemies, and he had more chances of divination.

“Pan He’s side…” Qu Chenzhou asked softly: “What is Shizi’s plan?”

Liao Guangming’s attitude today made it clear that even if he admitted defeat, he would not give up Pan He easily.

Liu Zhongming thought about their conversation on the stairs, and slowly said: “I guess, Liao Guangming should only have a half-knowledge of what is going on in Pan He’s stomach. He has been in the court for a long time, and he followed the emperor closely, so because of that he might have some guesses.”

“There is another possibility,” Qu Chenzhou added: “Before the emperor thought that Shizi was also a candidate, he intentionally revealed it to Liao Guangming. If so, I guess that the emperor may have been dissatisfied with Liao Guangming and planned to give him another chance. It’s just that I don’t know how much has been revealed.”

If this guess was true, then they can’t lose this time.

“It is indeed possible. In any case, between Liao Guangming and myself, there can only be one.” Liu Zhongming pressed his forehead, although he was not drunk, his head was still dizzy.

“Do you think Liao Guangming knows about Bing Dilian? Was Bing Dilian talking about twins, or Fang Wuyang the two of them?”

“Twins.” Qu Chenzhou replied affirmatively.

Liu Zhongming also agreed with this view.

If the emperor knew that Fang Wuyang was living outside, and wanted to search for him, he would have looked for it long ago, how could it be possible for him to allow Pan He to procrastinate for so long.

But on their side, apart from the clue of twins, they had no other clues.

“Shizi, I have other ideas about Fang Wuyang.” After a moment of silence, Qu Chenzhou said slowly, “Do you think there is something that doesn’t make sense about Fang Wuyang and Jingchen?” 

“Let’s hear it.”

“First, Concubine Xian was pregnant with twins. It’s an ominous matter, and she dared not let outsiders know about it. Instead, she can only rely on the doctor around her to hide it, but the size of her belly would be different from that of a single child. Since she doesn’t want people to find out from beginning to end, she must have needed to give birth in advance.”

Liu Zhongming’s heart skipped a beat.

Jingchen was indeed weak and sick when he was young, and he couldn’t be raised well in the palace. The emperor deliberately had Jingchen live with the Bai family for a period of time, and asked his uncle to teach him some ways to strengthen his body.

Jingchen had lived with the Bai family for several years, so they had always played together, and their relationship was much better than the other princes.

“You said…Jingchen was born prematurely, so Concubine Xian could keep the twins a secret from beginning to end?”

“I don’t know, it’s just a guess, I can’t think of a second method.”

Qu Chenzhou threw aside the handkerchief covering his cheeks, and laid down on his back: “Second, since Concubine Xian concealed such a thing, if she needed help from others, why not her natal family, why the Lord Marquis and General Bai?”

Liu Zhongming had suspicions before.

But in the past few days, no matter if it was father, uncle, or Jingchen, they were all searched for by themselves, it was reasonable not to think that outsiders would get involved, so he didn’t think about it.

Having it pointed out by Qu Chenzhou at this moment was inexplicably horrifying.

No matter how good the relationship between Concubine Xian and the Liu family was, one wouldn’t skip over their maternal family, unless… 

Somehow, he suddenly remembered that at the Mid-Autumn Festival last year, Concubine Xian smiled brightly and softly called his second uncle, Shangshu Liu.

As for his second uncle, after washing off the smell of rouge powder all over his body, he stood idly outside the hall with him, waiting until Concubine Xian arrived.

He didn’t know what it was like before, but now he remembered that the eyes that looked at each other should not belong to those two people.

“Third,” Qu Chenzhou continued: “When the concubine served in bed, it was recorded in the daily records of the palace. In this way, the twins in the empress’ stomach and the month would not match.” 

Liu Zhongming lost his voice: ” You mean…”

He didn’t dare to say that guess, but since Qu Chenzhou once mentioned that Huai Wang was not of royal blood, then this guess was not impossible.

Only this guess can perfectly connect these contradictions.

“Fourth, Shizi said that Jingchen had a sudden change in temperament. If we guess that the cause of that time was that Jingchen learned that he had a brother in exile,” Qu Chenzhou turned his face sideways and asked, “What would Shizi do first if you were Jingchen?”

“Of course I would secretly send someone to find out the whereabouts of my elder brother.” Liu Zhongming replied quickly, but he also understood the meaning of Qu Chenzhou’s words.

It would be a surprise to find out that he had a brother all of a sudden, even if he couldn’t let his brother go back to the palace because of them being twins, it wouldn’t be a big blow because of this, unless he knew something else.

The karma were intertwined by several threads in the mist, and only the two of them knew that some things should be buried under the dust of time forever.

No wonder father and uncle believed that Jingchen would not be their enemy, no wonder he and Shiyan made an oath never to hurt Jingchen.

Jingchen… his surname should have been Liu.

He felt a little tired, but his mind was clearer than before. Over the past few days, he seemed to have gotten used to all kinds of shocks and unthinkable things.

“Is there anything else?”

“Shizi, have you ever thought about who that friend of Lord Marquis and General Bai, Fang Wuyang’s master, would be?”

Liu Zhongming had guessed.

Ever since Qu Chenzhou mentioned “Lord Marquis and General Bai came forward”, he had already guessed it.

Many years ago, except for the empress’s natal family who supported the emperor, there were three people who single-handedly protected the emperor from the siege and allowed him to ascend to the position of the supreme throne.

Among the three, apart from Anding Marquis and General Cheqi, Pei Xiao, Pei Dutong*, who was in charge of the three armies.

* Dutong = name of ancient military official

A few years after the emperor ascended the throne, Pei Dutong left with his seal.

“Fang Wuyang’s master…is Pei Xiao.”

Qu Chenzhou nodded: “If that’s the case, it will be much easier. I will ask Shiyan later to see if Fang Wuyang’s martial arts path is the same as Bo Yan and Liao Guangming.”

When the time comes, open spears are easy to dodge, but dark arrows are hard to prevent – and they will be the arrows hiding in the dark.

Liao Guangming should have his own opponent, and should not focus on Liu Zhongming.

In the silence of the two, the carriage entered the courtyard through the side door.

Qu Chenzhou got out of the carriage first, and before he had time to stretch out his hand into the carriage, Liu Zhongming jumped off by himself and stood there without making a sound.

The carriage was driven to the backyard, and there was no shelter between the two of them, but they still had nothing to say.

Qu Chenzhou handed back the handkerchief: “Your Majesty is busy, so I will leave first.”

Liu Zhongming’s temper, which had been suppressed with great difficulty, was finally ignited; he slapped away, and the anger accumulated in the past few days was covered by a thin layer. 

“Qu Chenzhou, I gave you a few days, should you give me an explanation?

“It was me who acted without permission and broke the rules set by Shizi ……” Qu Chenzhou looked at the ground and replied in a soft voice: “Shizi can punish me at will.”

Liu Zhongming was so angry that his face was livid, he sulked so much in vain, it turned out that the other party didn’t know what he was angry at.

But for a smart person like Qu Chenzhou, does he not know, or does he not want to know?

“Accept punishment?” He grinned, “Come with me.”

The two turned to the room behind the study, opened the wooden door on the ground, and walked down the stone steps.

It was a place that Qu Chenzhou was familiar with. It was here that he practiced his flying thorns, but he also will not forget what it was used for.

Liu Zhongming stood still in the middle, and asked in a cold voice: “Rules, do you remember?

“Yes,” Qu Shenzhou replied softly, “First, refusal to answer is forbidden, second, disobeying orders is forbidden, third, running away is forbidden, and fourth, no private divination.”

“Well, how many rules have you abided with?”

Qu Chenzhou didn’t abide by any of them.

Before going out, Liu Zhongming asked him where he was going, but he didn’t say anything. Liu Zhongming asked him to take a token to coordinate people around, but he didn’t go, and even did a feint, avoiding the hidden guards, and ran away by himself.

Not only that, but he had a good chat with Jiang Xingzhi and Fang Wuyang, and even gave someone a divination.

Seeing that he was silent, Liu Zhongming asked again: “And?”

“One mistake, thirty lashes.”

This time it was Liu Zhongming’s turn not to speak, but to look at him coldly.

Qu Chenzhou knew that he couldn’t avoid this scene, and under his gaze, he felt his back hurting. He hadn’t suffered this kind of pain for a long time, and he didn’t expect it would be by Zhongming’s hands.

He waited for a while, but he didn’t hear Liu Zhongming speak, so he had to move the shackles on the side, lowered the two iron chains, and raised his hand to fasten the shackles.

“One hundred and twenty lashes, I thank Shizi.”

He spoke lightly, but his heart was hanging in his throat. If one hundred and twenty lashes go down, even if he doesn’t die, he will be disabled.

When Liu Zhongming took the whip from the weapon rack, he felt goose bumps all over his body, and he thought there was no more luck – Zhongming endured it for too long, and it would be fatal if he struck.

Three-feet whip.

The shorter the whip, the more terrifying the force on the body. With Liu Zhongming’s hand strength, if he sincerely wanted to break his bones, it would only take a few dozen whips.

His eyes were a little red, he adjusted his breathing slowly, and lowered his head, only to realize that he had just been in a trance and forgot to take off his shirt.

If the rags got into the wound, it would be another form of torture.


Liu Zhongming thought he was begging for mercy, patted the whip in his hand, and raised his voice and asked, “What?” 

“Can you let me take off my shirt first?”

Liu Zhongming smiled coldly, as if impatient with his talkativeness. He walked around twice, tore off a piece of his shirt, pinched his chin, and stuffed it in his mouth.

Qu Chenzhou relaxed his body resignedly and closed his eyes.

But what he heard first was not the whip wind, but the sound of clothes falling to the ground.

“You reminded me very well.” Seeing him looking over, Liu Zhongming kicked off his outer robe, then went to undo the lace of his middle coat, tore it off with one hand and threw it aside: “It is indeed time to take off the clothes.” 

In an instant, Qu Chenzhou understood what he was going to do, and immediately struggled like crazy, but he could only make a humming sound from his throat.

“I can’t control you, it’s because I’m incompetent,” Liu Zhongming took a few steps back holding the whip, “Since it’s useless to teach you, then I will teach myself.” 

Qu Chenzhou shook his head desperately, shaking the iron chain wildly. There was a hissing sound, but he could only watch as the three-foot whip passed around his shoulder with the sound of the wind, and hit Liu Zhongming’s back with a crisp sound.

Liu Zhongming only frowned, and whipped again with his hand.

The blood droplets brought up by the whip flew onto Qu Chenzhou’s face, scorching it until his eyes were blurred, and the blood all over his body was boiling.

He struggled and sobbed amidst the cracking of the whip, and his eyes soaked in water gradually became laxed amidst the blocked hissing.

The whip cut his internal organs to pieces, and finally he only had a little breath left, and his body was still shaking like a spasm.

After an unknown amount of time, the cloth in his mouth was taken out.

“Stop whipping, please…” He finally burst into tears: “Zhongming, I was wrong…”

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