Si Tian Guan Chapter 123

Chapter 123: Opponent

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A cup of warm water was held to the lips of Qu Chenzhou. He wanted to lift his hand to hold it, but found that his arm was weak, and a layer of sweat had stuck his clothes to his body. He could only lower his head and take a few sips.

“Just a fever,” the person by the bed put the cup aside, tucking his hand back into the blanket and touching his forehead, “it’s gone now, just lie down a little longer.”

Half of his body leaned on the other person’s body, and with a tilt of his head, he could smell a pleasant scent. He softly called out, “Shizi…”

“What’s wrong?” Liu Zhongming lowered his head, “Do you still feel uncomfortable?”

“Shizi…” He didn’t answer, and called out again, his throat slightly dry.

After falling into the lotus pond, he knew that he probably couldn’t avoid this kind of thing. The water was cold, but it couldn’t match the darkness in his dream.

He needed some reassuring sounds to confirm that he had escaped the nightmare.

“I’m here,” Liu Zhongming saw that he was bored, picked up a slice of pear and fed it to him.

“Auntie has settled down. Even though the baby was born twenty days early, he’s still a loud and lively little guy. Auntie is also fine and has gone to sleep. When she wakes up, let’s go see her together.”

The pear slice was thoughtfully soaked in salt water and didn’t have a strong taste.

Qu Chenzhou held it in his mouth, mumbling again, “Zhongming.”

Liu Zhongming liked it when he called his name.

Many people called him “Zhongming,” but it was the first time he felt… such a fragrant feeling from his own name being called.

“Call my name again.”

“En, Zhongming.”

“What are you doing!” He used the pear slice as bait, baiting him to call out several times, before asking, “Are you planning to make me give more money?”

Qu Chenzhou bit the pear slice with a crisp sound, as if basking in the light. He covered his eyes with the back of his hand, and his lips moved slightly, still calling him “Zhongming.”

Liu Zhongming tried to use his hand to block the pear slice from going into Qu Chenzhou’s mouth, but was bitten along with his fingers.

“Little fox, are you craving meat?”

He stirred his fingers, and his soft tongue followed suit, sliding back and forth.

“So bad,” he teased, luring him again.

“In this state…” He withdrew his fingers and wiped the water on Qu Chenzhou’s lips. “Do you still want me to keep your innocence?”

Qu Chenzhou didn’t give him an answer, only pursed his lips.

He was sure he saw the little fox smiling, but in the blink of an eye, those glassy eyes blinked as if they had seen something, and the smile faded.

There was nothing there, except…the ring on his thumb.

As he expected, Qu Chenzhou pushed away the food he fed him and stopped playing around, asking, “Have you heard about what happened in the Western Garden? I already discussed it with General Bai, did Shizi hear about it?”

“Yeah,” Zhongming didn’t let him up, allowing him to rest on his arm. “Uncle said he would investigate, but for now, we can only wait.”

He smoothed Qu Chenzhou’s hair by his ear and said, “Thanks to you.”

If it were any one of them, they wouldn’t have been able to both evade the empress and the sudden crossbow attack on Aunt at the same time.

“It’s not time to thank me yet,” Qu Chenzhou half-squinted and asked softly, “Was the Madam’s premature delivery due to being frightened?”

“Not really,” replied Liu Zhongming, shaking his head gently.

They had underestimated the accuracy of Qu Chenzhou’s divination. As soon as he had mentioned “early birth of a noble son,” they should have been alert. After all, his aunt was not young and could not possibly be eligible for such a prediction.

But they had only noted that Chenzhou guessed it was a boy and did not delve any deeper.

“Shilei said that he had been guarding my aunt all along, but he was not skilled in medicine. He only knew that shortly after the imperial physician went in, the maidservant screamed and called for help.”

“It was Imperial Physician Xia, the one the Empress had recommended to my sister. Perhaps because my aunt knew it was someone close to her, she let down her guard.”

“As for the Emperor’s side, it’s hard to say whether my aunt’s early birth was due to Imperial Physician Xia or the water accident. If investigated, it may only result in a suspension.”

“My sister said Imperial Physician Xia doesn’t need to stay, and I will take care of this. You just stay here and don’t worry.”

“I’ve told my sister a lot, and when I mentioned Pan He, she told me something.”

“After Pan He was sent to Jinxiu Ying, she went to serve the Emperor and overheard him and Yu Gonggong mentioning a place name – Jinping Village.”

“I’ve never heard of this place before. I’ll have Fang Wuyang investigate it some other day.”

“The people outside are waiting to see me and Shiyan fall out. If I come here a few more times, it will let them speculate,” he muttered on without pause, but Qu Chenzhou didn’t respond until the last sentence.

“Not appropriate,” he said softly. “The Bai and Liu families are inseparable, only by maintaining unity can we have the best deterrent. Even if it’s just for show, we cannot allow any rifts. Those who don’t believe will try to test us in various ways, while those who do believe will be eager to take advantage of it. It will only invite trouble for no reason.”


Liu Zhongming was confused.

As they had previously discussed, the Emperor did not want to see any one family dominate, and instead preferred a balance of power between the three provinces and three princes. Everyone also had their own enemies, such as Liao Guangming and Bo Yan.

If he wanted to rise up, he would inevitably need a rival to contend with.

Looking around, the most evenly matched opponent was Shiyan.

“Not appropriate,” Qu Chenzhou persisted. “Shizi should deal with what’s in front of him first. I’ll consider this matter later. How about Liao Guangming’s side?”

Although he asked, he knew that Jiang Xingzhi had a way to fool Qi Wang and was unlikely to fail.

“As expected, the emperor spoke up and there was no reason for Liao Guangming to refuse,” said Liu Zhongming, bringing good news as expected. “There is no place in the city for Liao Guangming and he seems to have plans for the burial land.”

“Money is definitely necessary, and Pan He needs to be taken. My only concern now is whether Pan He can hold on,” sighed Liu Zhongming.

Xu Ziwen had been bringing news from the Jinxiu Ying frequently, and Liao Guangming was getting more and more anxious, not knowing whether Pan He could be delivered to them in one piece.

“With the bet, Liao Guangming knows what Shizi wants. Pan He’s life is guaranteed, but for everything else…” Qu Chenzhou closed his eyes and pondered for a long time before saying, “I will do my best, but we still need Ling He.”

“Ling He?”

“Yes. I can only divine once every five days, but Ling He is different. He observes people with meticulous attention and can deduce many details from every move. To understand Pan He’s thoughts, we need Ling He’s help.”

And to get Ling He’s full help, we first need to release Rong Jiuan from prison and push him into the Hanlin Academy.

“It hasn’t rained for a long time,” sighed Liu Zhongming.

It really had been a long time. More and more people were anxiously looking forward to rain under the merciless scorching sun.

After multiple revisions, Rong Jiuan’s “Ode to Praying for Rain” was now ready.

Everyone was waiting for a heavy rain.

“It will come,” Qu Chenzhou smiled faintly. He wiped off the sweat on his forehead, got up and lifted the blanket, “Let’s go see Madam first.”

Liu Zhongming sat down at the table without avoiding Qu Chenzhou, watching him change clothes.

The old scar on his back has faded, only two butterfly bones were still clearly visible. The last time he saw this situation by candlelight was two years ago.

It seems that the two of them have been arguing and fighting for two years already.

“Chenzhou,” he stared blankly, thinking that they would have more years ahead of them, “It’s a capital crime to disrespect the emperor. Don’t take any more risks.”

Qu Chenzhou knew what Liu Zhongming was worried about, but he didn’t rush to appease him. After thinking for a moment, he said, “Because I found a strange divination.”

Not only did he see the same divination on the emperor today, but also in the previous life.

He was eager to know why this divination kept appearing on the emperor.

“What is the crime of giving birth to a child?” he asked softly, “Shizi, what exactly does it mean?”


The palace maid went out and closed the door, but the bead curtain kept swaying.

It was not until the clanging sound completely subsided that Concubine Yu confirmed that there was no one else in the room. She grabbed the sleeve of Huai Wang, and asked anxiously, “Jingyan, did you do that to Madam Bai?”

“What are you talking about, mother?” Mu Jingyan raised his hand to pull out his sleeve, smiled lightly, and continued to fan the fire on the tea stove with a small fan, patiently and gently.

“Everyone in the West Garden knows that it was Liu Zhongming’s slave who pushed Madam Bai down. What does it have to do with me?”

This kind of excuse might work on others, but Concubine Yu knew her son too well. The more he spoke lightly like this, the more she worried.

She looked out the window, paced back and forth anxiously for a few steps, and when she spoke again, her voice became weak and pleading.

“Jingyan, let them fight it out, okay? Zhang Zhou is a good place, far away from the conflict. You… can you go and plead with the emperor?”

The rest of her words were swallowed back under her son’s gaze.

“Stay away from conflict?” Mu Jingyan sneered.

He looked six or seven points like Concubine Yu, with a gentle and kind appearance. Whether he smiled or not, he always looked amiable.

“Mother wants to stay away from troubles again?” he asked again, with a smile in his eyes. “Did mother only sleep with someone else for a piece of Zhangzhou for her son?”

“You…” Concubine Yu’s throat tightened, tears rolling uncontrollably down her face. Afraid of being heard, she could only bite her handkerchief and lay on the couch.

Mu Jingyan stared fixedly at the tea stove, as if the most important thing was the boiling water in front of him.

It wasn’t until the sound of sobbing gradually subsided that he spoke again casually, almost to himself, “Why did Madam Bai fall into the water at that particular time?”

This was not the first time that Concubine Yu had cried because of her son. She was used to his indifference, and even if she cried again, it would not move his heart of stone. She could only endure the choking, and answered softly, “I heard that it was that slave who had a grudge against Zhongming but dared not attack him, so he took the opportunity to revenge himself on Madam Bai.”

Mu Jingyan didn’t say anything. He had also heard this explanation from idle gossip.

Saying how Zhongming only loves that little monster’s face, in reality, he was very harsh on the person. He often scolds and beats them, even giving them a spanking without blinking an eye. It’s no wonder the little monster has been resentful for a long time.

This theory makes sense.

That slave does have a pair of lively eyes and a stunning face. He also inquired about him at Qisheng Building and knew that the little monster was stubborn and difficult to train, which was not likable.

It does make sense.

But he still felt uncomfortable and can’t pinpoint where it is exactly. Maybe it’s because he hasn’t encountered anything unpleasant for too long. The last time he felt uncomfortable was probably due to the rouge incident with Ning Wang.

Fortunately, regardless of the reason, Liu Zhongming has had an unpleasant encounter with Bai Shiyan.

It is said that Liu Zhongming has visited the Bai residence several times in the past few days, and when he comes out, he looks unhappy as if he had a conflict with someone.

Although it’s not ideal, it’s not far from what was expected.

“Next, it depends on whether that slave can come out of the Bai family alive.” He brewed the first cup of tea with boiling water and looked at the tea leaves swirling in the cup. He didn’t neglect Concubine Yu either. “What does Mother think?”

“He will… will be alive.” Concubine Yu trembled as she looked at the teacup, unable to forget the feeling of being scalded by hot water when she said the wrong thing last time. “They have been on good terms for so many years, and Liu Weiying is safe, and the Bai Family… will give some face.”

Seeing her son nodding in agreement, her anxious heart finally eased.

“As for Liao Guangming’s side… was it also arranged by you?”

Mu Jingyan neither confirmed nor denied, patiently brewing the tea three times before offering it with respect.

“Please enjoy, mother. Your son will come to accompany you for tea another day.”

Concubine Yu dared not sit down and saw him off at the door.

The palace maids walking outside were light-footed and silent, making no sound except for the sweeping noise that came from a distance, slow and regular.

Outside the gate was an old eunuch sweeping the floor, with a face that looked like it hadn’t seen fifty years, but with more than half of his hair already turning white and a hunched back.

Mu Jingyan glanced at him for a moment, then smiled.

“You sweep very clean, here’s a reward.”

Author’s note: Does anyone want to guess who this old eunuch sweeping the floor is? Hehe, it’s already the Lunar New Year, I wish everyone all the best.

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