Si Tian Guan Chapter 130

Chapter 130: Daylily

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Although the empress cannot stand the scent of gardenia, she is a lover of flowers. June is the season when lotuses are in full bloom, and the Cultural and Artistic Gathering is held every year under the personal supervision of the empress.

If it weren’t for the empress’s invitation that was sent to the villa, Liu Zhongming wouldn’t have bothered to come. Qu Chenzhou and Ling He were working hard behind him, and he still had many things to do in front of the stage.

Not only did he have to maintain his previous business, he also needed to expand to more places and manage more money. Although he would eventually have to leave the Dali Temple, he found some unusual information from the files with the help of Ling He’s clues.

Over the past few years, pregnant women who disappeared were scattered throughout the country. Regardless of whether the local officials recorded the cases clearly or ambiguously, all the files were sent to the capital and quietly disappeared. Many of the victims withdrew their complaints and left. He even wondered if there were many more cases that didn’t have a chance to be sent to the capital. Who was the person suppressing these cases?

In addition to tracking the whereabouts of these victims, they also had to investigate the root cause of the situation at the Jinping Village.

Pan He had already woken up and was moved to a new location, still arranged according to the layout in the Jinxiu Ying, which allowed Ling He and Rong Jiuan to easily observe the situation through the small air vents.

Qu Chenzhou had been at the Jinping Village for a few days, but still had not sent back any news. Before leaving, he looked at Pan He and left two words with no clue – “baby”.

Liao Guangming was leading the troops outside, and the tasks that the Jinxiu Ying used to hold were now in chaos. The money was sent to maintain the expenses of training outside, and the morale of the Jinxiu Ying in the capital was low.

Since Liu Zhongming had the intention of reshuffling the Jinxiu Ying, he naturally wouldn’t miss this opportunity. He helped and pulled strings behind the scenes, paving the way for him to enter the Jinxiu Ying.

He knew that the emperor was watching from above, and that was the best way to let the emperor know what he wanted. When it comes to rewarding him in the future, he mustn’t give him the wrong reward.

He didn’t conceal his desires and weaknesses. 

Qu Chenzhou told him that the emperor liked people with desires and weaknesses because those who didn’t have them were difficult to control.

Even when he was busy, he couldn’t help but daydream. What made him feel uneasy was not Pan He or Liao Guangming, but Qu Chenzhou. 

This clever fox had tied a red string to his heart. When he was interested, he would beckon him over and tease him, but if he was unhappy, he would wave him away.

He was hopelessly controlled by the red string. He talked about saving money to live freely, but he loved to lie on his desk and read with him. He refused to say that he liked him and kept his heart to himself.

Although he secretly carved his name on a hairpin, that intelligent person couldn’t possibly not see his anxiety.

The wind at the half mountain pavilion was much cooler than down below, and the tea cooled quickly. Liu Zhongming poured out the remaining tea in his cup and stared blankly at the metal chimes hanging from the eaves.

“Zhongming really needs to discipline him properly.”

He remembered the expression of Huai Wang, still patient and gentle, but his words were piercing.

“I’m afraid Zhongming doesn’t know. Yesterday, I met your servant on the street and he said something to me.”

“He pulled at my sleeve and begged me to buy him back.”

He smiled amiably, but it felt like a knife in the heart. When he returned home, he dared not speak bluntly for fear of alarming someone or causing Qu Chenzhou to suspect him. He only asked, “Why?”

“It’s just a temporary measure.”

Qu Chenzhou replied simply, without any unnecessary explanation.

He stayed up all night and still didn’t continue to question. Chenzhou was clever and had reasons for everything he did. He was just a mortal and couldn’t see through everything, so he just listened quietly.

So that was that.

He unknowingly became like a frog in boiling water, still willingly helping others pack their luggage and counting down the days until they returned.

Longing for someone like starving and thirsting, that was the most important thing in his heart.

So that was that.

Standing high in the Half-Mountain Pavilion, he could see the figure of Huai Wang approaching from the path, so he turned around and hid behind the artificial rock on the other side.

The book recorded people who openly or secretly supported Huai Wang, and the more names there were, the more he believed what Qu Chenzhou said – it was not yet time to meet with Huai Wang.

Whenever Huai Wang mentioned Qu Chenzhou or anything else, he dare not say he was completely certain and flawless.

But he could only hide from one side and not from the other.

The servants in the garden searched for him several times, but in the end, the news reached him that the Empress and Madam Liu were waiting for Shizi in the Goodness Hall.

He had nowhere to hide, so he could only grit his teeth and go socialize. He also knew that there was nothing else he could do after he went, and he just had to be resolute and not listen to anything.

As expected, there were not only the Empress, Madam Liu, and Ning Wang at the banquet, but also two other young ladies sitting next to Madam Liu.

Looking at their similar eyebrows and eyes to his mother and the Empress, one can tell which family they belong to.

Before, he didn’t think much of it without comparison, but now that he woke up every day to see Qu Chenzhou in front of him, whether he’s scolding or laughing, he realized that the colorful world outside can’t compare to the fragrance of home.

He already had the most beautiful little fox, who else can catch his eye?

Liu Zhongming sat at the bottom seat next to Ning Wang, lost in thought. But he was snapped out of it when Ning Wang poked him in the waist with a finger.

He endured the pain without making a sound, and looked up to see Ning Wang looking angry. He envied him for having the little fox, and was not happy. He had heard that Chenzhou had served tea to Ning Wang before, and he was unhappy about it. How dare Chenzhou have the face to serve tea!

He stole a glance at his mother and the Empress, who weren’t looking their way, and raised his eyebrows at Ning Wang, secretly pointing to his own eyes and then making a kissing gesture.

Ning Wang was about to explode with anger and kicked at him. But Liu Zhongming dodged it, and the kick landed on the chair, making a loud sound.

The Empress’s gaze turned to them. She first glanced at Ning Wang before smiling at Madam Liu and saying, “We’re talking about cosmetics and family matters, but it seems like they are getting bored.”

Ning Wang could remain silent with his head down, but Liu Zhongming could not. He had to stand up and reply, “How can we be bored? I’m completely absorbed in listening. Although I am careless, I still have a few unsuccessful cosmetic shops under my name. When I heard the Empress talking about this Su Luo Dai, I thought it was good, but later found out that the Dai tube was too rough. If the person who draws eyebrows has small hands, it’s not very convenient to hold.”

The Empress burst out laughing, and even the two girls across from her covered their mouths with their handkerchiefs, all with laughter in their eyes.

“Xiyu, I have always known that Zhongming is capable and efficient, but I never expected him to be so eloquent in this matter. Whichever lady becomes the Shizi consort in the future, I wonder how much joy they would have.”

Madam Liu quickly interjected, “Your Majesty, please don’t praise him too much. He is always not focused on his work, which can be very frustrating.”

“Zhongming is still young and playful, it’s natural for him to have some fun,” the Empress smiled. “Just look at Jingzhao, he’s the same. Once he gets married and has someone to manage him, he will naturally settle down.”

Zhongming didn’t want to say anything inappropriate, so he quickly picked up his cup when he saw Ning Wang pouring him tea.

Before leaving, Qu Chenzhou divined for him.

Sometimes Qu Chenzhou’s divinations were incredibly accurate, with clear indications of time and place. Sometimes, however, they were vague and confusing, leaving people scratching their heads.

This time, the divination had puzzled him for a long time – “Beware of daylilies.”

Since joining the Cultural and Artistic Gathering, he had always been vigilant. Even when he entered the room, he quickly scanned it, but there were no daylilies in sight, not even on the dresses of the two young ladies.

Sometimes he really hated this divination that relied on luck. Without Qu Chenzhou around, it was as if he had not received any advice, making him anxious for no reason.

Perhaps it was because he had been on edge for so long that, when he finally relaxed, he found it difficult to concentrate.

The conversation between the Empress and his mother sounded disjointed and indistinct in his ears.

He was full of restlessness.

It was as if something was burning in his blood, and even the air he breathed out became scorching hot, warping and distorting the surroundings.

After drinking another cup of tea, the cool sensation only lingered in his chest for a few breaths before being swallowed by the flames. He just wanted something to quench his thirst.

Just a little bit would do.

Ning Wang was pouring tea again, and he instinctively reached out to stop him, noticing a small decoration embroidered on the cuff of his inner shirt.


He felt a chill, finally realizing that something was wrong.

In a daze, he saw a girl in goose yellow and peach red stand up and walk towards him with a graceful gait, as if to support him.

This was already inappropriate, but when their hands clasped, the comfortable warmth caused a shiver to run through his body. He wished he could embrace the person in front of him completely.

“Zhongming, are you tired?” His mother’s voice sounded far away, buzzing in his ears. “Help him to rest in the back.”

Gasping for breath, Zhongming suddenly let go of the hand that was supporting him and grabbed the tea cup on the table, smashing it to pieces.

Tea and broken porcelain flew everywhere, shocking the two girls, who retreated behind Madam Liu, at a loss.

He stumbled, hearing his mother’s scolding as if she was a stranger.

“Zhongming! How dare you act like a lunatic in front of the Empress and Ning Wang!”

The porcelain pieces left in his hand cut into his palm, and blood dripped from his fingers. Without a word, Zhongming turned around and was immediately embraced from behind by Ning Wang.

“Zhongming, are you okay? Let’s go, I’ll bring you…” Ning Wang’s words were interrupted as someone tripped him from behind, and he fell flat on the ground.

Countless footsteps approached from all sides.

Liu Zhongming stepped over Ning Wang and stumbled as he kicked open the half-closed door. He clenched his fists and tried to maintain his composure through the pain. Fortunately, he had received a warning from Qu Chenzhou and had brought many people with him, allowing him to recognize everyone surrounding him.

“Prepare the carriage!”

He was acutely aware of the restlessness within his body. Looking around, he felt that everyone looked like his little fox. It seemed as if he could satisfy his hunger and thirst by hugging any one of them.

“Return home!”

The carriage was waiting outside the door. Liu Zhongming got in with a stern face, still holding the broken porcelain shards in his hand. Blood dripped onto the carriage curtain from the shaft, causing the people around him, who didn’t know what had happened, to be too afraid to say a word or stop him.

The whip cracked urgently, and he sat in the carriage, unable to relax for even a moment. His skin felt like it was burning with pain, but it was no match for the anger he felt in his heart.

That was his mother! No matter how absurd the situation was, he had never imagined that his mother would use him as a means to please the empress.

The carriage ran quickly, escorted by trusted men. Even the Empress’s people didn’t dare to pull their faces and chase after him.

Thankfully, they safely returned to their residence.

The numbness of the pain increased, and Liu Zhongming even dared not let anyone help him, afraid that any touch might make him lose control. He stumbled into the inner courtyard and only when he sat down on the chair did he realize that he didn’t go straight to the bedroom, but came to the study.

Usually at this time, if Qu Chenzhou didn’t go out, he should be in the study.

But now that he had gone to Jinping Village, he had left Liu Zhongming with an empty shell, leaving him completely empty.

It was only a momentary sense of emptiness and grievance, but Liu Zhongming suddenly couldn’t help but cover his eyes, choking back sobs.

Never before had he understood so clearly that he needed Qu Chenzhou.

He couldn’t live without him anymore.

Hastily approaching footsteps could be heard from afar, and someone pushed open the door of the study.

Liu Zhongming was suddenly furious, “Get out!”

The penholder on the desk was thrown out, and soon made a cracking sound on the ground.

The person wrapped their arms around his neck and their slightly cool cheek pressed against his ear, whispering softly.

“Zhongming, it’s me.”

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