Si Tian Guan Chapter 150

Chapter 150: Death

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The remnants of the western sunset had yet to fade completely, but it was already time to light the lamps. There was still some time before curfew, but the winter days were cold, and scattered patches of thin ice could be seen on the roads.

There were not many pedestrians, as if they had all been swept back home by the cold wind.

Qu Chenzhou forcefully pulled at his coat, no longer concerned about whether anyone was watching him. He stumbled forward, dragging the half-cut iron chain on his feet, producing a piercing sound as it scraped against the ground.

The winter wind cut through the skin, and the pain and cold were indistinguishable, leaving him numb.

Every night, Liu Zhongming seemed to have gone mad, unrestrainedly demanding him. His whole body was covered in injuries, and each step felt like tearing himself apart.

His vision blurred, and although the road junction was not far ahead, it felt impossible to reach.

He knew he shouldn’t stop. Liu Zhongming should have received the news by now and would be riding over from Jinxiu Ying. In the time it took to burn an incense stick, he would catch up.

But his feet were too heavy to take another step.

Leaning against the wall to catch his breath, he looked up at the sky. In the dark night, a crescent moon hung delicately like a slender eyebrow.

He sneered at himself inwardly – it turned out that luck was something that couldn’t be changed. When did his luck become so bad?

Today was the night of the new moon.

The sound of horse hooves resounded clearly on the chilly street. The approaching person hurriedly whipped the reins, each crack sounding closer than the last.

Qu Chenzhou forcefully shook off his drowsiness, brought on by the cold, and with all his strength, turned around, facing away from the approaching person, and struggled to continue walking forward.

“Qu Chenzhou! Stop right there!”

The sound was familiar, but he couldn’t discern whether it held more anger or pleading.

He couldn’t stop. In the darkness at the distant street corner, something was turning. If it was Jingchen’s carriage, it would be his way out.

Since he couldn’t predict his own fate, he chose to gamble with his life.

He wagered that he could squeeze through that narrow gateway of life.

“Qu Chenzhou!”

The neighing of a horse sounded behind him. The person didn’t ride over him, but dismounted and shouted, “Stop!”

Qu Chenzhou didn’t look back. With great difficulty, he took another step and could clearly see the gradually emerging shape of the carriage in the darkness.

Before a smile could form on his lips, the roaring sound behind him descended.

Before he could realize what had happened, he had collapsed to the ground, his mouth filled with the taste of blood. The suddenly gushing blood dyed the path ahead red.

Then came the searing pain across his back, as if it had been slashed. Warm blood flowed down his waist and ribs, quickly solidifying into red ice on the ground.

“Return right now!”

Qu Chenzhou seemed oblivious, crazed, and struggled with all his strength to move forward.

Liu Zhongming caught up in a few steps, stepping on his ankle, the whip dangling down. “Or let me beat you to death right here.”

“No…” Qu Chenzhou screamed hysterically, as if gaining some strength from that voice, and crawled forward another step.

His hands, bound in iron gauntlets, could no longer grasp his clothes. His skin rubbed against the icy gravel wrapped around him, unable to sense whether there were any injuries.

He trembled with pain throughout his body, unable to hear anything or feel anything.

The carriage in his sight drew closer, but Qu Chenzhou found it increasingly difficult to lift his head. Gradually, he lowered himself to the ground.

Someone jumped off the carriage first, but he didn’t know who. The noise in his ears was chaotic, and he couldn’t make out the argument happening above his head.

His eyelids grew heavier and heavier, as if he was on the verge of death, but he exerted all his strength to grasp the feet in front of him.

“Save me…” he pleaded hoarsely. “Save me…”

He lifted his head, desperately trying to see the person clearly by following the hem of their clothes. But all he saw was snow swirling through the air, falling on his head, as the frigid wind wrapped itself in boundless darkness, instantly engulfing him.


Liu Zhongming stumbled into the room as if he were drunk. A servant immediately came to assist him, but he grabbed the person in his embrace like a madman, greedily trying to smell the familiar scent from their neck. Then, with a horrifying expression, he pushed them away forcefully.

“No! You’re not him!”

His mind was in complete turmoil, desperately trying to recall who this “him” was, yet desperately trying to forget.

“Who is he? Where did he go?”

Liu Zhongming held his head, screaming hoarsely, as if trying to tear himself in half.

“Someone, quickly fetch the court physician!” someone ordered the servants while turning to him and calling out, “Zhongming! Wake up!”

He snapped out of it at the sound, pouncing on the person like a famished wolf, clutching their clothes and shouting fiercely, “Why did he leave the house! What did he tell you! Did he deceive you too! Why did you let him go!”

Someone rushed over to support him, preventing Bai Shiyan from being knocked down.

Bai Shiyan didn’t know what to say, looking at his terrifying gaze. All he could manage was, “Zhongming, let him go.”

“Why… why?” Liu Zhongming was completely stunned. “Don’t you hate him? Don’t you blame him? Wasn’t it him who led you to Beiwang Slope? Wasn’t it?”

He clung to this lifeline, asking frantically, “He didn’t write that note, did he? Right? I wrongly accused him! It was my fault! I was wrong, wasn’t I?”

In reality, he knew very well that only Qu Chenzhou was capable of such handwriting.

“Shiyan! I beg you, tell me! Tell me the truth! Did he instruct you to go to Beiwang Slope? Does it have anything to do with my sister’s situation on the watchtower?”

Amid Bai Shiyan’s hesitations, he got his answer.

“Zhongming,” Bai Shiyan avoided his gaze and spoke softly, “I know about your past…”

“What do you know!” Liu Zhongming felt a surge of pent-up frustration in his chest, unable to release it even if he screamed himself hoarse. “You don’t know anything!”

“I remember what happened in the past! He was nothing but a demon! He deserves to die a thousand deaths!”

Bai Shiyan glanced around, gesturing for everyone to leave before he let out a deep sigh.

Ever since the entanglement between the two little brothers, he had lived in a state of turmoil and anxiety for a long time. Before the autumn hunt, he had spent several sleepless nights.

Although he hadn’t experienced the same separation and farewell as before, he somewhat understood Liu Zhongming’s conflicting pain.

And he knew that Liu Zhongming’s true despair was immeasurably greater than what he himself had experienced.

He pondered and agonized, feeling so uncomfortable that he could explode. Yet, Qu Chenzhou had left him with this mess, not allowing him to speak, making him feel as if he were being fried in hot oil.

“Zhongming, take a few days to rest. I’ll talk to you in a few days.”

As he turned to leave, Liu Zhongming tightly grabbed onto him.

“What do you want to say? What did he tell you? Do you believe him? Why don’t you blame him for causing you harm? Did he sleep with you?”

Bai Shiyan’s anger surged, and he slapped Liu Zhongming across the face.

Suddenly, he understood what Qu Chenzhou had said—that between them, they had both let each other down, and there was no question of forgiveness.

Liu Zhongming was now kept in the dark, and one could say he was pitiable, but he was also deserving of hate. Between them, who should apologize to whom?

“Zhongming, since you asked like this, I’ll answer you,” he struggled to suppress his anger. “This time, I choose to believe Chenzhou. And on Chenzhou’s behalf, let me say this to you, Liu Zhongming: You’re just a b*stard! You’re not worthy of Chenzhou!”

Liu Zhongming stood there as if frozen, staring at Bai Shiyan in disbelief.

He had never expected to hear these words from Bai Shiyan’s mouth. He could even doubt himself, but he had never doubted the trust and honesty between him and Shiyan.

It wasn’t just Bai Shiyan.

And there was Jingchen… Jingchen, who had grown up with him.

Ever since he had been recognized by Fang Wuyang, Jingchen had gradually let go of the long-standing knot in his heart. They had more private interactions, joking and playing as if they had returned to the old days.

But it had all been his illusion.

Not long ago, Jingchen had stood against him, just like Shiyan was doing now, standing opposite him and even willing to confront him with a blade, all for the sake of Qu Chenzhou.

Jingchen had been firm in his stance, protecting Qu Chenzhou to the point where his attendants had drawn their weapons.

He should never have defied the prince, especially with Ning Wang obstructing him at every turn. Yet, as soon as he received the news, he had hurriedly gone alone from Jinxiu Ying without even bringing half his men.

He could only watch helplessly as Jingchen carried the unconscious Qu Chenzhou onto a carriage.

One Qu Chenzhou had driven everyone around him insane! Everything had been turned upside down!

Was it him who had gone mad? Or was he still trapped in an inescapable nightmare, still not waking up?

“Why… why are all of you…” Liu Zhongming crazily bit his own hand, the pain penetrating to the bone, blood flowing, yet he refused to stop.

“Why do all of you betray me!”

“I want to go out! Wake up! Let me wake up!”

Suddenly losing control, he rushed towards the wall of shadows, but before he could touch the cold stone, a sharp pain struck the back of his neck, and he collapsed to the ground.

The blow showed no mercy, and the searing pain seemed to linger in his neck, like rapidly growing weeds that rooted themselves in his mind.

When he regained consciousness in a daze, his head still throbbed intensely.

He had thought he would be lying in bed, but the first thing he saw was a desk with teacups placed on it. Somehow, he had fallen asleep leaning against the window.

Someone softly reminded him from the side, “Marshal, the people are about to arrive.”

Liu Zhongming was startled and instantly realized where he was. Only in that “previous life” had people addressed him like that.

He followed the person’s finger and looked down. The streets on both sides were packed with people, soldiers clearing a path in front, leaving the middle of the road empty.

Then, he saw the person approaching.

That person had their hands bound and was being dragged behind a horse. They stumbled a few steps but couldn’t keep up and suddenly fell to the ground, dragged a few feet.

The soldiers following behind caught up and, amidst the crowd’s astonishment, whipped the person, disregarding their convulsions and curling up. They grabbed the person by the hair, lifting them up.

This scene felt familiar, and Liu Zhongming’s heart tightened. He suddenly understood why Qu Chenzhou had said, “How you treated me before.”

Qu Chenzhou had every reason to hate him, a hatred that even a rebirth couldn’t erase.

A hatred that could endure humiliation and suffering for so long, entangling and intertwining with him, making him willingly dig out his own heart and offering it up, only to watch it being trampled upon.

He didn’t know which version of Liu Zhongming sat here; the two lives seemed to overlap.


National hatred, family grudges, deceit, betrayal, he had lost even the strength to go mad.

The voices around him were incomprehensible, sounding in his ears like Chenzhou’s heart-wrenching cries in a dazed consciousness.

“Liu Zhongming, you will regret this!”

He shouldn’t regret it.

“A treacherous minister causing harm to the country deserves to die,” he withdrew his gaze and watched his own reflection in the trembling water being shattered by his shaky hand. Through gritted teeth, he said, “This is what he deserves.”

A sense of confusion overwhelmed him, love and hatred distant from him, completely unconsidered. He remained trapped in a corner, unable to break free.

He didn’t understand what he had done wrong, why he had ended up in this state of being betrayed by everyone close to him.

Should he not have discarded the ring and seen through his past life?

Should he have blinded himself and allowed others to push him into the abyss?

“Your Majesty,” someone asked cautiously, “Should we wake him up?”

Liu Zhongming raised his head in a daze, no longer in the teahouse. The lighting was dim, the space confined—it was the dark dungeon underground.

He knew that he had fallen into the intricately woven dream again. He knew he was dreaming, believing that he would wake up in the next moment, but he kept spinning in the dream.

But he was tired, having given up struggling, no longer desiring to wake up.

In that other world, Qu Chenzhou had left him, and he had nothing to hold onto.

Not far in front of him stood a wooden rack, holding a person inside. Their hands and neck were restrained, their eyes blindfolded, their head tilted slightly back, having already fallen into unconsciousness.

The person softly said, “He has been standing here for two hours today, keeping him awake. If it continues, he might not be able to endure.”

“Endure…” he murmured to himself, his mind blank.

Not long ago, they had consummated their marriage, forced by him. The wedding night that had been imagined countless times in his mind should have been beautiful and intimate, but he had turned it into a h*llish nightmare.

There were no smiling faces under candlelight, no tender welcome, no sweet words of vows, no night-long embrace.

He looked at the lifeless body in his arms, blood mixed with something, dripping down the legs and onto the ground, and suddenly he broke down, crying in pain.

Why didn’t they die together? Why did they have to stay alive?

“No… don’t die…” he involuntarily heard himself muttering in a trance, “Let him live, don’t let him die…”

To live.

Deep down, he knew that Qu Chenzhou had to die. Only through death could the public anger be appeased, and the many victims find solace.

But Qu Chenzhou had always been vivid in his memories, even after ten years. He remembered every frown and smile. He dared not think about what would happen if Qu Chenzhou died…

Liu Zhongming stumbled and was supported by someone. It was Jingchen by his side.

“Your Majesty,” as if to completely shatter his hopes, Jingchen softly informed him, “He is dead.”

The deceased was bound to the Broken Soul Platform not far away, head hanging low, several silver arrows piercing through his heart, the bow still clutched in his hand.

With just one glance, Liu Zhongming abruptly let go of the bow as if scalded by boiling water. His eyes were filled with blood, and his ears were filled with his own hysterical wailing.

He had finally avenged himself, but he himself was torn apart by the blades of vengeance.

Qu Chenzhou was dead, and he was alive, living in a world where there would never be Qu Chenzhou again.

He crawled on the ground, screaming in agony.

“Zhongming, Zhongming!” Jingchen’s voice continued to call out to him.

But he had no strength to get up, no strength to lift his head. It felt as if he would be frozen to death in the cold wind, trembling and choking.

A cup of tea was suddenly splashed onto his face, and Liu Zhongming abruptly woke up. He saw the familiar canopy above his head, and the person in front of him, Mu Jingchen, looked much younger than the person who had supported him earlier.

He stared blankly at Mu Jingchen, opened his mouth, and tears from his wet cheeks flowed into his mouth, salty and bitter. “Where is Chenzhou…”

Mu Jingchen froze for a moment and helped him up.

“Shiyan asked me to call you.”

“Let’s go and see Qu Chenzhou.”

“He’s not doing well.”

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