Si Tian Guan Chapter 125

Chapter 125: Heavy Rain

<Previous Chapter<Table of Contents>Next Chapter>

The rusty iron lock made a grating sound as the key turned, and after a moment, the iron door was pushed open.

A young jailer bowed and held a lantern in front, leading the way to the dim end of the corridor. He lit several oil lamps on the wall before silently exiting.

Liao Guangming stood outside the wooden fence with his hands behind his back, his face hidden in the shadows, not making a sound.

The person inside was groveling on a dirty pile of grass. When he heard Liao Guangming’s footsteps, he only trembled slightly and didn’t look up.

This silence seemed like a standoff, yet also like a soundless escape.

“Pan He.”

Liao Guangming’s voice sounded tired. He didn’t know why things had turned out this way, or when it had all started to change.

He had been by the emperor’s side for a long time and could sense the emperor’s thoughts from small details. He knew the emperor was getting tired of him, maybe he should have been alert since he had let him and Bo Yanming compete in the dark.

The emperor gradually felt that he was no longer indispensable.

So when Pan He fell into his hands, he knew it was his best chance, a test given to him by the emperor.

But what he didn’t expect was that not only did the emperor not reveal more information to him, he also carefully selected a troublesome opponent for him.

After that, everything seemed to have become a mess.

Pan He was tight-lipped, and Liao Guangming hadn’t yet figured out what life-or-death matter he was involved in, while Liu Zhongming was approaching step by step, asking for Pan He and taking away the case of the civil affairs case.

The Liu family had great power in the court. If he wasn’t cooperative with them, there were hardly any government offices that would cooperate with him. The remaining few were only relying on Tang Shizhong’s backing and were just using him as a pawn.

The Emperor hadn’t given him any important tasks for a while now. His previous favor was like sand slipping through his fingers and couldn’t be held onto anymore.

It wasn’t until Yu Gonggong asked the question that he heard about the attack on Bo Yan. And at that time, there were countless people who claimed to have seen it with their own eyes.

He hurriedly went to see Bo Yan, who generously told him not to worry about it. “I trust my junior brother.”

But he knew that if it weren’t for Bo Yan speaking up, how could the Emperor possibly know what kind of martial arts was used to leave a palm mark on Bo Yan’s body? And how could he be bothered to listen to his defense?

The bet he had to agree to at the Spring Festival banquet was no longer the most important thing. The mad dog of the southern bureau had latched onto him, and this bet was the Emperor’s last chance to help him.

He needed a good place to train his troops, but the southern and northern bureaus had been entrenched for too long, without a place for him.

“Pan He.”

He called out again and saw the person covered in blood move slightly. He sneered, “I never thought leaving you alive would actually have some value in the end.”

“I wish you…” He thought for a moment and said mockingly, “to last a few more days in his hands.”

Actually, he wanted to say something to Liu Zhongming’s face or, to be more precise, he really wanted to see how the arrogant Liu Zhongming would fail.

Just like he once did.

He was still young and didn’t know his limits – it wasn’t easy to get close to the Emperor.

Liao Guangming turned around in place, pulling on the reins. He smelled the increasingly humid air, feeling a sudden sense of unease.

“Some people really have good luck.”

Last year’s heavy rain in the south seemed to have advanced this year’s quota. Since the heavy snow during Chinese New Year, not a single drop of rain had fallen.

The people prayed for auspicious snow to bring a bountiful year, but instead, they were faced with spring drought.

In February and March, people were still used to it and would grumble a few words with calmness. But in April and May, the dry heat caused panic among many, and the fields and farms were full of worried faces.

The emperor also prayed for rain several times, but it seemed like God was sleeping and did not hear the prayers of the people.

It was not until Tai Shi Bureau’s Sichen Jiang Xingzhi presented a poem praying for rain that the emperor was greatly moved. The prose was beautiful and sincere, weeping for the people, and each word was written with blood.

The emperor was shocked after reading it and asked Si Chen Jiang Xingzhi about the author, only to find out that it was written by the former famous scholar who was now imprisoned, and entrusted to Ling He to deliver to Si Chen Jiang Xingzhi.

Perhaps recalling the calm and composed young man from the Golden Palace years ago, as well as the elegant and eloquent writing style, the emperor read the plea for rain several times and had it copied and circulated, burning the handwritten letter from Rong Jiuan on the altar.

That night, the rain poured down heavily, marking it the first refreshing rain of the year.

Liu Zhongming held up an oiled paper umbrella and walked on the waterlogged stone path. His boots were soaked halfway through when he found Qu Chenzhou by the lotus pond.

“Be careful not to catch a cold.”

He covered Qu Chenzhou with the umbrella and watched as his feet dabbled in the water, playfully creating ripples that disturbed the surface of the water and shook the newly opened lotus leaves.

“It’s not cold.” Qu Chenzhou pushed away the umbrella and caught the raindrops in his palms. “It only rained lightly after the heavy downpour a few days ago.”

Indeed, it was only a light rain, forming small beads of water on their hair that glistened in the sunlight. The cute little fox, who was once lively and sparkly, had now turned into a wet and fluffy ball, looking a bit silly.

Liu Zhongming laughed as he saw Qu Chenzhou’s slender and fair feet bobbing up and down in the water, disrupting the tranquility of the surface. He couldn’t help but remark on how quickly he had picked up bad habits and lost his proper and elegant manners since they first met.

“Even light rain won’t do. If you sit here, your clothes will get completely soaked.”

Without further ado, he put down the umbrella and lifted Qu Chenzhou onto his shoulders, carrying him back.

“This is the Bai family’s residence,” protested Qu Chenzhou, grabbing onto the clothes on his back and struggling to get free.

“Thanks to you, I’m also half a member of the Bai family. What’s wrong with carrying my own wife?” he joked.

Qu Chenzhou bent his knee and poked his chest, “Nonsense.”

“You’re being stubborn now?” Liu Zhongming grabbed his ankle and laughed, “Alright, I’ll keep account of everything and settle with you on our wedding night.”

Qu Chenzhou dared not kick Liu Zhongming anymore and could only stare at his wet clothes in frustration. “Shizi wasn’t like this before.”

“The previous Shizi was ruined by you.”

Liu Zhongming had already prepared hot water ahead of time and hurriedly pushed the drenched Qu Chenzhou inside. The candlelight in the room flickered as the wind from the clothes blew against the screen, and Liu Zhongming saw Qu Chenzhou’s thin wrists hang his coat on a wooden rack.

“Is Shizi not busy today?” the person inside asked calmly, unaware of Liu Zhongming’s restrained gaze.

“Busy,” he stared at the shadow on the screen, and another piece of clothing fell, the sound making his mouth dry. He felt like the little fox was deliberately teasing him: “Busy being scolded.”

Qu Chenzhou chuckled, the sound like stirring water, muttered “It’s so hot,” and sank into the wooden tub.

“It seems that the emperor is still reluctant to let Shizi leave the Dali Temple.”

“Just drag it out. Even if I get scolded a few more times, it’s no big deal,” Liu Zhongming dragged a chair and sat down, deliberately sighed deeply: “Everyone in the Dali Temple knows that because Rong Jiuan was taken to the civil affairs side, Ling He and I are at odds. Now that he is about to be promoted to a junior official, why should I stay and bring shame upon myself?”

“With Ling He’s abilities and Lin Xiang’s appreciation, he should have been promoted long ago. It’s just that there hasn’t been a good opportunity before.”

Liu Zhongming agreed with this statement: “I just didn’t expect Ling He to agree to meddle here.”

This was Qu Chenzhou’s idea. After all, he had no relationship with Rong Jiuan, and if Rong Jiuan’s “Prayer for Rain” was handed over to him, it would seem suspicious.

More importantly, they couldn’t let people know that Rong Jiuan was their person.

Jiang Xingzhi, who was in the Tai Shi Bureau, and Ling He, who was as close as brothers with Rong Jiuan, were the best candidates.

When he first went to find Ling He, he thought the other party would flatly refuse and stay away from these shameful shortcuts, but he didn’t expect Ling He to agree without hesitation.

From now on, let nature take its course.

After the heavy rain, forgiveness had been granted. Rong Jiuan was just one step away from the Hanlin Academy. Ling He was appointed as the junior magistrate of the Dali Temple, and thanks to Jiang Xingzhi’s contribution, the Tai Shi Bureau was able to hold its head high before the Si Tian Guan for the first time.

Liu Zhongming even knew that, thanks to Jiang Xingzhi’s introduction, Rong Jiuan and Ling He had privately paid a visit to Ning Wang, as a gesture of gratitude.

This seemingly happy ending was paid for with several years of hard-earned reputation.

Only now did he see that Ling He did not really care about the position of junior magistrate, but rather wanted to stand with Rong Jiuan.

After a moment of silence behind the screen, he asked, “What does Lin Xiang say about this?”

Lin Xiang respected and supported both Ling He and Rong Jiuan, but upon seeing their behavior, he could not express his anger in front of the emperor and refused to see them.

“Angry to the extreme. Ling He knelt outside the door for two days and didn’t see anyone. In the end, my dad went to plead for him, and I don’t know what happened next.”

“Lin Xiang is a smart person. Who knows if he’s really angry or just pretending to be angry to show others,” Qu Chenzhou just smiled. “He won’t leave those two alone. What about Shizi’s side?”

“As for me,” Liu Zhongming chuckled. “What do you think?”

He, Liu Zhongming, was not willing to be inferior to others, especially under Ling He. So as soon as he received the news, he decisively resigned from his position and has been frequently summoned to the palace by the emperor in recent days and scolded severely.

“What about the emperor’s attitude?”

“His attitude is… telling me to go back to the Dali Temple and behave myself, or my dad will punish me with a beating if I keep acting recklessly.”

“In fact, although the emperor sounded fierce, upon closer inspection, it was all bark and no bite. If he really wanted to send him there, it would probably depend on the results from Pan He’s side.

Liao Guangming couldn’t lower his own status, but he had already allowed his deputy to frequently contact them.

Pan He was certainly important, but clearing the abandoned graves took time and manpower, and the agarwood and yellow sandalwood grew well there. How could they just give it away for free?

The price wasn’t too crazy, nor did it shrink by much, but Liao Guangming’s time was precious, and judging by the tone of the past few days, it wouldn’t last long.

Their focus now was how to get information from Pan He. Although Xu Ziwen had secretly passed on information saying that Liao Guangming couldn’t possibly be sincere in helping them, Pan He’s situation was probably worse than they thought.

Nevertheless, everything was proceeding smoothly as Qu Chenzhou had predicted, but being scolded back and forth by others was not a pleasant experience.

He was full of grievances, but the person inside not only didn’t think of comforting him, but instead slapped the bath bucket and laughed devilishly.

“Are you going to take off your pants and get beat? When are you going to do it? Don’t forget to call me to come and watch…”

As Qu Chenzhou had not finished laughing, someone kicked down the screen in front of him. Startled, he froze and laid still by the side of the bathtub, watching as Liu Zhongming stepped on the fallen screen and walked towards him.

Before he could react and sink under the water, he was held under the armpit and fixed to the edge of the tub.

“Shizi…” he laughed stiffly. “If you have something to say, say it nicely.”

“What if I don’t say it nicely?” Liu Zhongming propped his arm and prevented Qu Chenzhou from escaping. “Do you want to know how I’ll punish you?”

Qu Chenzhou felt the gaze on top of his head sweeping behind him. Since he couldn’t move, he had to concede and asked with a forced smile, “Shizi, do you want to bathe together?”

If it were in the past, Liu Zhongming would have been too shy to know what to do, but now he knew that once he backed down, the little fox would pursue him even more fiercely.


He went to undress, but he didn’t expect Qu Chenzhou to use his hands, which had just become free, to grab a ladle of water and splash it on his face, and then try to run away.

Liu Zhongming turned his head slightly to avoid the water, and then raised his right hand to swing his coat around Qu Chenzhou, wrapping him up. Before Qu Chenzhou could climb out of the tub, Liu Zhongming had already stepped into the tub and held him in his arms, circling him completely. He used one hand to peel back one side of the coat, leaving only Qu Chenzhou’s head exposed.

“Running,” he smiled and asked, “why aren’t you running?”

In his embrace, Qu Chenzhou couldn’t even stretch out his legs and could only curl up like a drenched quail. His black hair was split apart by the water, revealing the soft nape of his neck, carrying the water’s color.

Helpless and defenseless, he allowed him to do as he pleased.

“Shizi…” Qu Chenzhou tried to negotiate with him while forcing himself to remain calm, “What about our agreement…”

“What agreement?” He knew what the little fox was talking about but pretended not to. He kneaded the person in his arms carefully under the water and said, “The agreement about marrying you? I remember, I won’t go back on my word.”

As the defeated little fox retreated back into his hole, he stuck his head out again after a while and licked him, begging, “Zhongming…”

Stunned, Liu Zhongming almost lost his composure at this moment.

Qu Chenzhou half-closed his eyes, as if he was melting in his hands, with a gentle expression on his face. He tilted his head back and rested it on his shoulder socket, exhaling softly as he asked, “Do you want to consummate the marriage?”

Liu Zhongming felt that he might not be able to restrain himself much longer.

He longed for him more than anyone else, he was willing to treat the little fox as a carrot hanging in front of him, willing to go to great lengths to covet this lethal carrot.

The longer he waited, the sweeter it tasted.

He was willing to wait for that day.

“Dream on,” he pinched the little fox’s chin with two fingers and lowered his head, “but you can still have a taste.”

Their lips met in a sweet kiss.

They both sank under the water together.

Author’s note: This doesn’t count as running away

<Previous Chapter<Table of Contents>Next Chapter>

1 thought on “Si Tian Guan Chapter 125”

Leave a comment