Si Tian Guan Chapter 145

Chapter 145 Life and Death

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Bai Shiyan rolled down from the slope and crouched behind a protruding boulder, hiding his figure.

As he leaned back, his back wound scraped against the rugged mountain wall, and he gritted his teeth to hold back a scream.

Two years ago, he never would have thought that he would one day listen to someone other than Zhongming, let alone risk his life to follow orders.

It was like he was under a spell.

What made him willingly take orders from others was not just his younger brother’s repeated kowtows on the ground, but also the unexpected confession from Qu Chenzhou before he left.

“Big Brother, I know you have many doubts about my identity. I am Qu Chenzhou.”

Those pair of glassy eyes looked calmly at him, calm beyond life and death.

“In my previous life, I was also Qu Chenzhou. I served as the Si Tian Guan for fifteen years before my death, and then I was reborn.”

He sat stunned, listening to that crazy and bloody past. For a moment, he thought he was going insane.

A few months ago, when Qu Chenzhou vaguely pleaded with him, he was only half-believing it. Since it hadn’t happened directly, he decided to wait and even thought that he should consult with Zhongming in case there was anything suspicious.

But now, the truth was laid out before him, without a single flaw and shockingly real, along with the carefully planned schemes that showed that Qu Chenzhou really would do anything for Zhongming.

It was like that in the past, and it was still like that now.

And the path that laid ahead of them after this sacrifice would indeed lead them to the shortcut.

“Does Zhongming know about this…?” His mind was dizzy, and when he asked this question, he already knew the answer.

How could Zhongming possibly know about all of this?

Whether it’s only a vague understanding or a full picture, it is a deep-seated hatred and extreme despair. No wonder he begged to keep it a secret from Zhongming.

“Will Zhongming remember?” 

Bai Shiyan asked, trembling with fear. He wouldn’t forget. Zhongming had asked him before – if the emperor ordered him to pursue himself, would he sacrifice his life, keeping both sides intact?

It turned out that it wasn’t just Zhongming talking nonsense, it was something that had actually happened in their past lives.

He had to believe Qu Chenzhou.

Seeing his uncertain gaze, Qu Chenzhou didn’t need to explain much – they all knew that once Zhongming became suspicious, it was only a matter of time before his memory returned.

Qu Chenzhou’s words were filled with a long sigh.

“Zhongming has become quite suspicious of me recently. This autumn hunt, I can’t be by his side, which is the best opportunity. Instead of trying to fix things, it’s better to just part ways.”

“I cannot divine for myself and dare not confirm the accuracy of my guess for the divination, but I can try it anyway.”

“This is a hurdle for Zhongming and me. I can only do my best. Whether or not we can overcome it depends on fate, and we also need the help of older brother and Jingchen.”

“I know this decision is too cruel for Zhongming, but sometimes one must destroy in order to create. I have no idea what happened after my death, but no matter what Zhongming remembers, please help him, older brother. This is my own decision, and it has nothing to do with him.”

“The past is already gone, and we can only look to the future. Our past grudges are not worth mentioning. We can settle everything once the dust settles.”

“From now on, I cannot always be by Zhongming’s side, so I entrust him to you, older brother.”

He watched his adopted brother silently sobbing, kowtowing repeatedly, and couldn’t help but be moved and believe in Qu Chenzhou’s words. He didn’t even reveal a single word to Liu Zhongming.  

It all started with him taking risks.

“Brother, it’s a matter of life and death,” Qu Chenzhou cast the divination of “believe in me, run towards death for life!”

It wasn’t just him, Qu Chenzhou was also fighting for his life.

In order to avoid the wailing and mourning, and not to let Qu Chenzhou’s sacrifice go to waste, they both had to fight for their lives.

Let’s begin.

The sound of clothes rubbing against dry grass quickly approached, and the pursuers behind them were getting closer. Bai Shiyan looked at the completely dark sky and quietly slipped out of his hiding place.

When he had a hundred people with him before, unexpected incidents kept happening during their patrols, and he had to separate and leave. He already knew it was the Southern Bureau’s doing.

It was a perfect opportunity with the night being dark and windy, and with the former Lietu people acting as a decoy.

Everything went as expected, without any difference.

This strengthened his trust, and he found an excuse to dismiss his subordinates and met with Ren Rui alone.

As he listened to the sound of footsteps in his ear, he hurriedly fled south- the north had already been sealed off, and these greedy dogs never considered letting him go back.

South was their goal.

When Bai Shiyan stepped over a gap, he hesitated for a moment.

The gathered wind from the mountains rushed up from below, chilling him to the bone. With this howling wind, the depth below was unfathomable.

This distance was only as wide as a shoulder, and the pitch-black darkness was covered by the dry grass beside the gap.

This hunting ground, they only come once every few years, and the terrain has only a vague outline. It’s unclear what lies beneath the gap.

But he remembered that if he continued forward from Beiwang Slope, there would be even fewer places to hide. When it was light out, he wouldn’t be able to hide anymore.

If the gap wasn’t deep enough or he didn’t hide in time, he would likely be trapped like a turtle in a jar.

If he died, the bond between his two younger brothers would never be untied.

His hesitation was only for a moment when he heard footsteps approaching.

Bai Shiyan suddenly held his breath, shrunk his body and grabbed onto the withered grass. He quickly entered the gap, and the rugged mountain walls scraped his flesh like a knife.

The firelight flickered above the gap, casting the shadows of the dry grass crisscrossed, and the noisy sound came from all directions.

“Go on both sides,” someone shouted loudly. “Surround the center! Don’t let anyone escape!”

The sound of horse hooves came over the dry twigs and leaves on the ground. The man immediately stood up straight and said, “General!”

“Where’s the person?” The man on horseback smiled wearily, but his eyes were like a starving wolf.

“Reporting to the general, Bai Shiyan can’t run far…”

A whip cracked, and the man groaned and immediately changed his words, “I know my mistake. The Lietu’s common people can’t run away! They will be captured before dawn!”

“Captured?” The man on horseback sneered, “What’s the use of capturing them? After catching them, kill and burn them so they won’t be recognized.”


The horse’s hooves slowly walked across the gap. When they were about to leave, the man turned his head and looked down, gesturing with his eyes.

Several torches were lowered, and the weeds in the gap were instantly ignited. With the help of the mountain wind, the fire spread down the gap, and the flames crackled, illuminating the gap in red.

“General…” A soldier ran after him on horseback, looking back anxiously. “General, this season the mountains are all dry branches and fallen leaves. What if the mountain catches fire?”

“What can we do?” Ren Rui laughed out loud as if he had heard a joke. He swept the horse whip lightly across the soldier’s neck. “Cutie, it’s just a mountain. If it burns, it burns.”

With his support, the search became more reckless.

These people were all gathered by Ren Rui after he came to the capital. They were like-minded and naturally understood what Ren Rui wanted to do. They also knew that if they let Bai Shiyan escape at this point, after facing the emperor, no one would have a good ending.

In the quiet mountain forest in the middle of the night, there should have only been the sound of wind blowing through the dry leaves. The addition of footsteps was untimely, but not long after, a sudden roar was heard among the untimely sounds.

Ren Rui frowned and pulled on the reins, and before he could ask, someone quickly ran up the mountain slope to report.

“General! There’s a farmhouse up ahead, it looks pretty big, and there should be a lot of people living there. When we tried to enter, there was a guard, and several people were injured.”

“A guard…” Ren Rui laughed heartily. “The mighty Left Vanguard was chased around like a rat in this wild mountain, and still dares to come back and tell me? Where’s your face?”

The man knelt down on one knee immediately. “I know I was wrong! We’ll rush in right away!”

“Wait,” Ren Rui stopped him. “This is a place where there are no villages or stores nearby. How can there be people living in such a place?”

“I’m not sure, but the guard has good martial arts, not like an ordinary household. I’ll go and find out!”

“Find out what? Can’t you see the situation clearly?” Ren Rui spat. “It’s suspicious, they must have ulterior motives. After we enter, interrogate them one by one. If they have seen someone named Bai, and can’t answer, then they are all rebellious peasants plotting to harm the emperor.”

“But… I heard women and children’s voices inside…” The soldier hesitated. “What if they really are just innocent civilians?”

Ren Rui swung his whip like a venomous dragon, the sound echoed through the night as he yelled, “Civillians my fart? Do you mean to tell me that even the lowly folks in Liequ have no women or children left?”

“I said they’re dogs, so they ought to crawl on the ground like them! Be quick and efficient, and do a good job for me! Now get out of here!” he barked, and the man quickly obeyed, saying, “Yes, sir!”

Several others then escorted him up to a higher location, while cries of pain and despair echoed through the night, slowly giving way to the flickering light of torches moving in the distance, indicating that they had entered the village.

As people gradually returned from all directions, one reported, “General, we haven’t found anyone in the north.”

“There’s no one in the southwest either,” said another.

“We’ve searched the east, and there’s no one there either,” said a third.

With a cold glare, Ren Rui looked off into the distance at the torches and sneered, “So you mean to say that Bai Shiyan has grown wings and flown away under the watchful eyes of so many people?”

Everyone knew how unpredictable he could be, and they fell silent.

“Bring in more people and search the area again. We must find something, dead or alive. If we don’t, how will we justify ourselves to the emperor?” 

“General, Wangye instructed us to handle Bai Shiyan,” someone whispered beside him. “If we bring more people over and still can’t find anything by dawn, it might be difficult for Wangye to explain to the Emperor.”

“What do you mean we won’t find anything? Are you blind?” Ren Rui pointed his riding crop at a pile of heads in the distance. “There’s a trophy right there!”

Meanwhile, Bai Shiyan hung from a protruding rock on the cliff, with one hand grasping the stone and the other holding a knife, trying to keep his body suspended.

Not long after he descended, the ignited dry grass was blown down by the mountain wind. The yelling and shouting was less than two feet away from his head, and he was afraid to make a sound to avoid alerting the crowd. He couldn’t beat or descend quickly, and could only endure the flames that burned his hands, watching the fire slowly spread up his sleeves.

Fortunately, just as he was about to collapse, the voice above his head finally faded away.

Bai Shiyan quickly rubbed his arm against the grass on the mountain wall, climbed a few steps to the side, and avoided the burning vegetation. He found a foothold and extinguished the flames on his body.

However, he realized that he was now in a dilemma. The crack in front of him was extremely narrow, but the space below it widened suddenly, like the neck of a bottle. It was pitch black down there and he had no idea how deep it was. If he continued downward, he would have to crawl almost parallel to the ground, which was difficult with the items he was carrying. If he fell down accidentally, he would never be found again.

On the other hand, if he went back up, he would most likely meet Ren Rui head-on. With four hands against his two, he would never be able to defend himself, and if the torch were lit, no one would ever know where he had gone.

The stones under his feet made a soft rustling sound as they fell and were swallowed by the darkness below without a sound. He couldn’t afford to wait any longer. Even if this place could support him, the fire above would eventually burn down.

“Brother… heading to death for life… heading to death for life…”

His heart rate increased. Qu Chenzhou couldn’t fully decipher the truth behind the prophecy. So Bai Shiyan decided to take a chance with his own life. He took a deep breath and plunged his dagger into the crack, then reached out to feel for the mountain wall in the darkness.

With his life on the line, he took a step into the unknown doorway.

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