Si Tian Guan Chapter 115

Chapter 115: Punishment

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When the Empress entered Cining Palace, Concubine Xian had just come out from inside. 

Such a thing was common – Concubine Xian was weak in health, and even if the Emperor went to visit her out of old affection, he would not stay in the palace. 

Concubine Xian had the most free time and often accompanied the Empress Dowager, which gave her more opportunities to meet the Emperor. 

Initially, it was alarming, but over the past decade, Concubine Xian had always been silent, not even speaking a word, and didn’t even manage to secure a title for her son. As a result, no one paid attention to her anymore.

The Empress greeted her and was about to go up the stairs when she turned to look at Concubine Xian. The latter remained standing by her side, bowing her head. After a moment, someone asked, “I remember there were two magnolia trees planted here before. Why are they gone?”

It was currently the season when the trees were supposed to be full of flowers and buds.

Concubine Xian answered softly, “The Empress Dowager grew tired of them and preferred the elm plum. Xi Gonggong instructed someone to dig up the trees and was planning to plant some plum trees and wisteria instead.”

The Empress smiled knowingly. “It wasn’t the Empress Dowager who grew tired of them. It was the Emperor who liked small pink blossoms.”

Concubine Xian also smiled and pursed her lips. “Yes.”

“How is the Empress Dowager’s health lately? What has she been eating? Is she sleeping well?” the Empress asked.

“After the weather turned warm, she’s been feeling better. Sometimes she even goes for a walk in the garden,” Concubine Xian answered, looking up to see the food box held by Min Yue beside the Empress. “Today she only ate half a bowl of lily and glutinous rice porridge. She also mentioned feeling bored and wanting to talk to someone.”

The Empress nodded with satisfaction and left.

As they walked down the path, Concubine Xian heard a maid next to her snort in discontent, but when she looked at her, the maid quickly swallowed her words.

Concubine Xian knew what the maid was upset about. These trivial matters could easily be learned from the palace maids serving the Empress Dowager, yet the Empress insisted on her reporting everything truthfully.

But did any of these things really matter to her?

Concubine Xian stopped and looked back, smiling slightly.

Who knew what the Empress had mixed in with the soup she had sent in today and where Xi Gonggong would be sent by the Empress Dowager to dispose of it.

Those two weeping magnolia trees couldn’t withstand several years of irrigation in the end.

Within these palace walls that offer no freedom, everyone is a smart person, and everyone is also a fool.

When Qu Chenzhou was carried back upside down all the way, he knew things weren’t going to end well today.

He thought he’d be fine once he got rid of the shadow guard, but he didn’t expect Liu Zhongming to understand him so well and personally block him at a dead end.

“Shizi…” he called out with an awkward smile.

No one answered him.

He hung on Liu Zhongming’s back, pinching his waist. “Zhongming, would you like me to sing a song for you….”

Liu Zhongming finally responded with an “Mm,” kicked open the door, threw him onto the bed in the inner room, and skillfully tied his hands to the head of the bed with a handkerchief from his waist.

He knew that when the person was angry, he couldn’t even dare to struggle. He tried to explain desperately, “Last time Ning Wang interrupted, I didn’t see Liao Guangming. I should be able to meet him today. He won’t want to kill me, at most…”

Liu Zhongming had already gone to the outer room, and the sound of water came from behind the screen.

Qu Chenzhou’s scalp tingled as he remembered how he had been interrogated when he first arrived at the branch courtyard.

But when Liu Zhongming came in, he just shook his hand, indicating that he had only washed his hands outside.

“At most what?” he kindly asked, “You run pretty fast, I almost couldn’t catch up with you. It seems like you didn’t take my warning seriously last time, so this young master has to personally teach you a lesson.”

Qu Chenzhou forced a smile, “Young master… do you want to break my leg?”

“How could I bear to? Are you cold?”

This sudden question left Qu Chenzhou at a loss. He was just about to answer “not cold,” when his pants were grabbed and since his pants were loose to begin with, in just a moment, the skin on his legs was exposed to the air, causing a shiver to run through him. He didn’t know whether he was cold or just scared.

Suddenly, his eyes turned red and he tried to curl up his knees, but was stopped with a fist.

One hand wrapped around his back, cushioning between his lower back and the mattress, gently rubbing the birthmark there.

“Shizi… please don’t…” He was all too aware of the changes happening to himself, his voice trembling.

“You’re cold, aren’t you? You’ll warm up soon.”

The quilt was pulled over to cover him, and the hand between his knees tentatively touched him, at first only probing. One traced the shape of the birthmark, while the other made circles on his knee.

This teasing was like a tiny flame, swaying and licking, yet like a drop of water in the desert that vanished before he could even taste the relief it brought.

He let out a soft groan, his body trembling with fine tremors. If his hands were not tied, he might have reached out long ago.

Liu Zhongming’s heart thumped loudly, but the delicate appearance of the little fox breathing in his hand made it impossible for him to look away, it was even more captivating than in his dreams.

His freshly washed hand was still cool, but the water had already dried, and the touch of skin against skin felt different from usual, almost gentle.

The mischievous thoughts he had earlier turned into genuine tenderness.

Tears were swirling in the glassy eyes of Qu Chenzhou, and he unconsciously pushed away the hand.

It was unclear if he was too anxious, but he felt like he was the one in the hazy figure, yet it didn’t seem like him.

Liu Zhongming tried twice and got up to search for a rouge box in the cabinet. In just a short while, there were faint, sobbing calls for him.

“Zhongming… Zhongming…”

“Craving it this much?” He bent down, and this time, there was no resistance at all. “You ran pretty fast. It seems like you have some energy that needs to be vented, let me help you relieve it.”

Suddenly, Qu Chenzhou arched his back, as if struggling to breathe, and trembled as he begged for mercy. “Zhongming… I won’t run next time…”

“You’re still thinking about next time?”

Liu Zhongming’s face blushed slightly, almost moved by the pitiful appearance of the little fox, but when he thought of his despicable behavior, he had no intention of letting him go easily.

It was the first time he had done this, and he was still a bit unfamiliar. He changed his sitting position, moved back a bit, but suddenly felt someone struggling, as if unwilling to let him go.

“Hmm?” He pressed down on the lower abdomen through the quilt and asked with a smile, “Chenzhou, what’s this?”

The person under the blanket was very scared, keeping their eyes closed but involuntarily trembling.

“No…” Qu Chenzhou’s voice was weak, “Don’t… look at me…”

Before he could finish speaking, he suddenly arched his neck, but no sound came out.

“Is it here?” With his thumb wiping away the tears at Qu Chenzhou’s eyes and brushing over his lips, Liu Zhongming carefully observed his expression and asked, “Is it here?”

Qu Chenzhou struggled for a moment and bit his lip, refusing to speak. But he soon gave in and tears fell onto his temples.

Liu Zhongming patted his head and said, “Good.”

Qu Chenzhou finally breathed a sigh of relief. But he never expected the bed to creak and Liu Zhongming would leave, causing Qu Chenzhou to unconsciously call out, “Zhongming…”

The bedding next to him rustled and made some noise. After a moment, the blanket was rolled up halfway.

Qu Chenzhou opened his tearful eyes and saw Liu Zhongming holding a brush, rolling it a few times in something before it disappeared from his sight.

Before he could even plead for mercy, he felt the cool liquid on the soft brush.

He murmured, tears rolling down his cheeks once again, “Zhong… Ming…”

The liquid in the brush flowed out like water wrung out from a towel. At first, it felt cool, but soon it felt like a raging fire that burned the dry weeds vigorously in the wind.

He felt as if all his bones had been crushed, and someone had dug out his internal organs, leaving him incomplete.

“Zhongming…” His voice choked in his throat, and he forgot that his hands were tied, struggling to lift his body, longing for comfort.

The brush was twisted a few times and then reappeared with a fresh red tip.

With his eyes closed, Qu Chenzhou felt the brush move around his body again.

“Zhongming…” He called out again.

Zhongming brushed aside the sweat-soaked hair on his forehead and asked, “What’s wrong?”

Qu Chenzhou tilted his head to lick Zhongming’s wrist, his eyes full of desire, “Give me… give me…”

“Be good. I promised you that I’ll give it to you when we’re in the bridal chamber on our wedding night.”

Liu Zhongming seemed to be rummaging through a box next to him, but he didn’t have the strength to look. After a moment, he felt something pressed against his cheek.

It trembled slightly.

“What’s this?” Staring at the round ball in front of him, Liu Zhongming said, “If you guess correctly, I’ll give it to you.”

Qu Chenzhou, who was weakened by the ordeal, choked in his throat and answered with difficulty, “A… a Mianziling.”

“Good guess. Do you want it?”

Qu Chenzhou didn’t care about much and nodded while biting his lips: “Yes…”

Liu Zhongming’s hand reached into his mouth and opened his jaws with two fingers: “Hold it in your mouth.”

After being stuffed into Qu Chenzhou’s mouth, the Mianziling became moist and hot. It felt like a trapped bird, flapping wildly in his mouth and making his tongue numb from the shaking.

“You’re doing great.” Liu Zhongming praised him, seemingly unaware of his writhing body, then took out the ball from his mouth and put in another one.

As the third ball was taken out, his tongue was already numb and he couldn’t even speak. But when the blanket was opened and closed, he suddenly let out a hoarse cry, tears streaming down his face.


Seeing him with tears all over his face, Zhongming bent over and hugged him, one hand pressing on his abdomen, softly answering, “Chenzhou, it’s me.”

Chenzhou responded hastily, curled up and exhaled, but could only make a hoarse, long hum, calling out repeatedly, “Zhongming…Zhongming…”

Zhongming had never seen him so weak and helpless, nor had he seen him in such a pitiful, unguarded state. He was hesitant to take out the ball, but then he saw Chenzhou put his leg on his arm.

The helpless little fox opened his mouth slightly towards him, his pink tongue anxiously licking his lips, frantically looking for him.

He smiled brightly, relieved, and leaned down to kiss his hot breath on his lips.

The trembling body in his arms was soothed by his kiss, gradually getting used to the noisy movements, whimpering and sobbing in his arms.

Their interaction was even more passionate and lingering than usual, with crystal-clear water stains entangling between them, both of them not getting enough of each other’s deliciousness.

“What color…do you want?” His voice was muffled by their kiss.

Qu Chenzhou tilted his head weakly and nibbled on him, whimpering, “Red…”

He glanced at him askew and snorted, biting the greedy little fox. “Red won’t do. You won’t be able to handle it,” he said, shaking a blue cord in his hand. A carved flower of soft jade was tied to the end of the cord. “Let’s do blue.”

Sitting beside the bed, Liu Zhongming reached a hand under the covers, teasing Qu Chenzhou’s lips bit by bit, making him feel helpless and unable to resist.

Qu Chenzhou’s voice had completely softened as he hoarsely pleaded, “Kiss…kiss me…”

“Where do you want me to kiss you?” Liu Zhongming’s fingers slid down from his ear, tracing a path to his neck and pausing at his lips. “Will you still run away?”

“No, I won’t…” Qu Chenzhou shook his head desperately, not daring to argue, and tried to lift his head to find him. “I won’t run anymore…”

Liu Zhongming lowered his head, grasped his delicate chin and sealed off all the gaps in his breath. Starting from the tip of his tongue, he slowly swallowed all of Qu Chenzhou’s voice.

Qu Chenzhou’s feet pressed into the bed linens as he kissed him, desperately savoring his warm, soft lips and the kiss. His toes brushed against the soft, slippery tassels of the cord.

Liu Zhongming hugged his slender waist until the spasms in his arms slowly stopped before letting go of him, watching him panting and sweating profusely.

“What did you say just now?”

“I said… I won’t run anymore…” Tears flowed down Qu Chenzhou’s face. He knew that not answering would lead to no good, so he struggled to speak, stuttering and sobbing: “No… not anymore… just now already…”

“Just now what?”

After teasing him for a while, Liu Zhongming had already become familiar with him. By tilting his hand slightly, he could wipe it away, but he acted as if he didn’t know anything and casually rubbed it off with two fingers on the bedclothes.”

“Where did this trickle of spring water come from?” He put his fingers in his mouth and licked them. “Chenzhou, why are you so sweet?”

Just when he thought it was over, Qu Chenzhou didn’t expect more teasing to come, struggling and crying out.

“Spare me today…”

“Okay,” Liu Zhongming grabbed a towel and wiped the sweat off Qu Chenzhou’s forehead, leaning in to kiss him. “You said you’ll sing a song for me to listen to, so sing it now. If I feel comfortable listening, I’ll let you go.”

“No…” Qu Chenzhou’s refusal was silenced, his voice suddenly disappeared, tears rolling down his face.

“Don’t want to sing anymore?”

“Can’t stop… frenzied like a bee and butterfly…” He closed his eyes, humming intermittently, full of unwillingness, “Yellow flower buds… so pitiful… wherever the rain gallops…”

His wrist was untied, but he didn’t even have the strength to crawl up.

Holding him, Liu Zhongming lifted him up and leaned him against his chest, walking towards the door.

Qu Chenzhou’s chin rested on his shoulder, tears rolling down in clusters onto his neck. He turned his head and bit his earlobe, pleading in a hoarse voice, “…take it out…”

“What?” Liu Zhongming smiled, pretending not to know.

Before leaving the screen, he casually grabbed a cloak to wrap it around him, and they walked out of the bedroom in the dim night.

The bathroom was not close, but as they walked steadily, his voice called out to him in a low hum. Qu Chenzhou clung tightly to his sleeve, and before they even reached the bathroom door, their clothes were in a mess. The person in his arms had already fallen asleep from exhaustion.

“Next time you run away,” he turned his head and rubbed against the little fox’s hair: “Next time you run away, we will get married.”

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