Si Tian Guan Chapter 126

Chapter 126: Wish

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After curfew, no one was allowed to wander around outside.

Bai Shiyan personally cleared the way, so Liu Zhongming and his companions were not considered idle people.

The wooden door was half closed. The people inside knew they were coming today and were already waiting in the courtyard.

Rong Jiuan still had the same calm expression. He held a lantern and only said, “My parents have already gone to bed. Please be quiet,” then looked at the person next to Liu Zhongming.

Before coming here, everyone knew what they should do. Liu Qingchi stood up with a book in his arms and bowed to Rong Jiuan. “Rong Tanhua, please enlighten us.”

Rong Tanhua, a great literary talent and proud to his bones, he was admired by many young men in the Jinxi Academy, and Liu Qingchi was one of them.

Rong Jiuan saw that the other party was still courteous to him at this time and understood what Liu Zhongming had mentioned before. He also returned the courtesy, “Thank you, Third Young Master.”

He was clear-headed and did not resist the few people. He took Liu Qingchi and went to the backyard.

There was only Ling He, who looked cold and indifferent, in the front hall. He didn’t even look at Qu Chenzhou and poured tea for Liu Zhongming, “Sit down, Shizi. Jiuan will be out in a moment.”

His attitude was distant, as if he didn’t know who the visitors were for tonight.

Qu Chenzhou didn’t wait for him to offer and dragged a chair to sit down below Liu Zhongming. He pushed his empty teacup forward with his fingertips and raised his eyebrows slightly when Ling He looked over. “Enshi Jade Dew.”

After a glance at the indifferent Liu Zhongming and then back to the arrogant Qu Chenzhou, Ling He knew he couldn’t brush off their visit tonight. He gritted his teeth, picked up the tea pot, and poured some tea into the cup.

“There’s none, white hair silver needles*.”
* type of tea 

Without even looking at the tea, Qu Chenzhou picked it up and poured the tea onto the floor.

Ling He knew that even if he tried to avoid any confrontation, he would still be pushed into a corner. 

“Shizi taught him well,” he sneered. “You let your servant act recklessly in my house. Don’t blame me for punishing the dog and not giving face to the owner.”

Holding his teacup, Liu Zhongming laughed. Usually, Qu Chenzhou only bullied him, but now, for the first time, he saw the little fox show his claws to someone else. It was surprisingly pleasing to see.

He suddenly wanted to see how arrogant and domineering Qu Chenzhou used to be.

“Yes, that’s right,” he said, smiling at Ling He. “I’ve spoiled him. He’s always like this to me at home.”

The person who was looking for trouble had now become two.

During the spring banquet, Ling He was present and seeing their appearance now, naturally he could see the true nature of the two men and understand that the performance by the Lotus Pond was just a show. 

However, he didn’t want to think too much about the motive behind the show. That was also the reason why he chose to stay out of it and advised Rong Jiuan to stay away from it.

He turned around to leave, but heard a cold laugh behind him.

“Lord Ling is so ungrateful. Even if you can’t exchange Rong Jiuan’s life for a cup of Enshi Jade Dew, you should at least say thank you,” said the voice.

Ling He didn’t turn around. “I have already thanked Shizi in person.”

Liu Zhongming laughed and pointed to himself. “You don’t need to thank me. You should thank Chenzhou.”

“Me?” Before anyone could answer, Qu Chenzhou chimed in. “Just thanking someone with words won’t do any good.”

Ling He couldn’t take it anymore and straightforwardly refused. “If the two of you have other ways I can help, Ling He will do so without hesitation. But please forgive me for not wanting to get involved in unnecessary troubles.”

Qu Chenzhou shook his head, clucking his tongue. “Lord Ling, you still don’t think far enough like Rong Tanhua. Can you name one thing in this court that has nothing to do with those ‘troubles’?”

Ling He’s face turned grim, and he remained silent.

Liu Zhongming had already made it clear to him that Pan He’s situation was worrying, and he hoped Ling He could help find some clues.

He could help, but he didn’t want to.

Rong Jiuan had already made up his mind, and there was no way to persuade him otherwise. Ling He only hoped to stay away from trouble and carve out a narrow path for himself when Rong Jiuan failed.

Seeing him hesitate, Qu Chenzhou dusted himself off and prepared to leave.

“Shizi, it seems someone is still thinking of using two-faced tactics,” he said to Liu Zhongming. “Since Lord Ling can’t be used, it’s no fun to send Rong Tanhua in alone. Let’s send them in together.”

“How dare you!” Ling He roared.

“Why wouldn’t I dare?”

Ling He realized that he had fallen in his rage and sneered, “What a big mouth. Who do you think you are?”

Qu Chenzhou stopped in front of him and lowered his head.

“Ling He, do you think I relied on luck to save Rong Jiuan from the execution platform?”

That’s exactly what Ling He had thought.

He had interrogated countless swindlers and so-called immortals, and before the bamboo stick fell, everyone was arrogant. But he had to admit that Qu Chenzhou’s invisible pressure made him feel like he was the one being interrogated.

Moreover, Liu Zhongming had already asked Rong Jiuan to prepare for his rain prayer essay well in advance, which made him think twice.

Qu Chenzhou did not continue to pressure him but smiled and chatted casually with them.

“Lord Ling is actually willing to serve me a slave tea, is it because you are grateful that I saved Rong Jiuan, or…”

His finger tapped Ling He’s shoulder. “Or is it because of this?”

Ling He felt like he had been burnt by a hot iron and took a few steps back, his face changing color.

“How did you know…”

“How did I know?” Qu Chenzhou crossed his arms and smiled lightly.

How could he not know? Those shameful scars had been on his body for more than ten years. When Ling He’s clothes were stripped off, he recognized the branding marks on his back at a glance.

It was a painful sight to behold.

He pointed to the marks and ordered the people around him to shave them off.

It was not just these branding marks. He had even seen Ling He’s bones after being scoured with boiling water and steel brushes.

“When the elderly couple of the Rong family were young, they found a baby in the river,” Liu Zhongming added slowly beside them, “and there happened to be a Department of Control upstream at that time.”

By this point, Ling He had no argument left.

Qu Chenzhou poked him with his finger and made him sit down. “Ling He, do you want people to know that the Rong family was harboring runaway slaves, or do you want to send Rong Jiuan back?”

Ling He’s gaze wandered between the two men in front of him, and he gritted his teeth and asked, “Are you threatening me?”

“Otherwise?” Qu Chenzhou retorted, “Do you think we came to beg for your help tonight?”

“Qu Chenzhou,” Ling He looked at him for a moment, then suddenly smiled too, “The Shizi said you are prescient, and at first, I didn’t believe it.”

“Now do you believe it?” 

“So you want me to believe it. If those news were spread, what would become of you? What of Shizi?”

Qu Chenzhou sneered and raised an eyebrow. “My lord, what did I say? Without his question, we wouldn’t have been able to proceed.”

When has Ling He ever suffered such humiliation? His face turned red.

“What are you laughing at?”

Qu Chenzhou turned around, and Liu Zhongming promptly handed him his teacup, moistening his throat.

“I’m laughing at your overestimation of yourself,” he drew a small circle in the air with his finger. “You go tell people, but…in return, I’ll destroy the safety of the Rong family and Rong Jiuan’s life. Would Lord Ling dare to try?”

Ling He dared not.

Not to mention the precautionary measure of preparing for rain in advance, he also had the invisible slave mark.

“I’m just a slave’s son. Do you really need to go to such lengths for Pan He?” Ling He was puzzled. “What do you want to do?”

Even if the other party was so overbearing, he still knew Qu Chenzhou’s deepest secret. Compared to that, his own slave mark seemed insignificant.

Qu Chenzhou walked over and bent down to whisper a few words in Ling He’s ear.


“What did you say to Ling He in the end?” On the way back to the courtyard, Liu Zhongming couldn’t help but ask.

He knew the little fox was good at seducing people, but thinking of how Ling He hesitated before relaxing, he couldn’t help but feel curious.

“It’s nothing serious. Doesn’t Shizi know? Ling He is the son of a female slave. His mother didn’t want him to follow in her footsteps, so she found an opportunity to throw him into the river. Regardless of whether he lived or died, he escaped the h*ll of the mortal world.”

Qu Chenzhou even had the heart to laugh: “Honestly, I’m a bit envious of him.”

Stunned and unable to speak for a while, Liu Zhongming was too uncomfortable to touch on something he didn’t want to talk about, and asked softly, “So what you told him was about his slave status?”

“Of course,” Qu Chenzhou nodded, “I promised him that if Shizi succeeds, first, he will definitely abolish the slave system, and second, he can safely handle legal cases in the Dali Temple…”

He spoke halfway, then suddenly turned his head to look at Liu Zhongming, and smiled, ” Shizi, have I overstepped my bounds?”

“No,” Liu Zhongming smiled and patted his head, “You should do so. However… I didn’t expect him to really reveal the truth because of his slave status, or was it because of the Dali Temple?”

“Both, I suppose. After seeing so much at the Dali Temple, even the most upright person can’t help but resort to evil means. ” Qu Chenzhou tapped his own shoulder, “Moreover if you can’t think of a solution, it’s because you don’t know… what it feels like to have this thing on your person.”

Liu Zhongming’s heart twisted and his steps became heavy, as if he couldn’t lift his feet. 

“Chenzhou, you…” 

“My lord, in my previous life, I walked many crooked paths and didn’t do many good deeds,” Qu Chenzhou interrupted him, “This time, I’m counting on you to make up for my past regrets.” 

“Don’t worry, I will do everything in my power.”

Although he said that, the feeling in Liu Zhongming’s heart was still not good. He caught up a few steps and walked side by side with Qu Chenzhou.

“Chenzhou, were you always like this in the past?”

“So arrogant?” Qu Chenzhou pursed his lips and smiled. “That’s why many people hate me.”

“It’s not arrogance,” Liu Zhongming looked at him and took the opportunity to grab the hand swinging leisurely at his side. “It’s…something I really like. Your wish, I will definitely help you achieve your wish.”

For so long, this was the first time he had said the word “like” to Qu Chenzhou so frankly.

The former pride and aloofness had long been shattered and scattered, leaving no trace.

No wonder Uncle was willing to let go of all his sharpness in front of Aunt. It was because of liking.

He indulged in the hole in his heart, which was filled with a little fox. When its tail wagged, it tickled; when it nibbled, it hurt. But no matter if it was painful or itchy, he held on to its furry body tightly, reluctant to let go.

That soft hand didn’t try to break free from his sweaty palm.

Qu Chenzhou stopped walking and turned his head to look at him, his profile softened, and a smile in his beautiful eyebrows and eyes, was all lit up by the light of the lanterns.

For a moment, Liu Zhongming thought he was still in a dream, but the feeling of the ring on their fingers pressed against his hand made him want to focus on the present reality rather than dwell on the past.

“Why are you smiling?” Liu Zhongming had been through enough to not be afraid of Qu Chenzhou’s ridicule. He leaned in and repeated, “I like you.”

Qu Chenzhou stopped and pushed him against the wall, standing on his tiptoes, lightly kissing the birthmark at the corner of his eye like blowing a breath. Liu Zhongming’s ears turned red and he lowered his head, revealing to someone reckless the taboo that he had kept hidden for so long, and he heard a sigh in his ear.

“Shizi won’t like,” Qu Chenzhou said.

“I like,” Liu Zhongming emphasized.

Qu Chenzhou met his gaze, his eyes damp. He thought the moonlight was perfect and the breeze was warm, and he was rarely able to express his love so openly. He was pleased to hear the sweet words from the little fox’s mouth with a hint of coquetry, but all he heard was a plea.

“Shizi, abolishing slavery has been my lifelong wish for two generations. Please don’t forget it when you achieve great success.”

Upon hearing this, it made one’s heart race. Liu Zhongming tightened his arms and held the person in his embrace.

“There will be such a day, what about after?” he asked.

He felt that tonight’s Qu Chenzhou was somehow strange, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it.

If it was alienation, the person was clearly in his arms, and his hand was still resting on his waist, but if it was intimacy, it seemed to lack that certain flavor.

It left him feeling uncertain.

“What do you want to do afterwards?” he raised the lantern and looked at the bright eyes with long, feathery eyelashes.

Qu Chenzhou lowered his gaze, seeming to hesitate for a moment before speaking.

“I want to save up some money and…live a free life,” he said.

Liu Zhongming’s hand froze in mid-air, finally realizing where that unease and strangeness came from – in Qu Chenzhou’s envisioned future, he seemed to be absent.

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