Si Tian Guan Chapter 162

Chapter 162: Xuan Mang

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As usual, the Emperor was still in Qingxin Residence, summoning Qu Chenzhou to divine the divinations.

There were rules to walking, sitting, and lying down in the palace. He walked with measured steps, albeit slowly. When the leading steward turned around, seemingly urging him on, he apologized, saying, “Shi Gonggong, I apologize, Chen Momo is strict in her management.”

His voice was gentle and cautious, like a small beast that could be startled at any moment. Shi Gonggong couldn’t help but smile.

“Qu Sitian hasn’t been in the palace for long, so it’s understandable that he hasn’t learned the rules. Moreover, the Emperor has shown you great favor, so you don’t need to be so restrained.”

Ignoring the encouragement in those words, Qu Chenzhou carefully counted his steps. He didn’t walk far before he grew tired and had to stop for a moment.

“Shi Gonggong,” he cautiously whispered, “Where did those Si Tian Guans… who came before me go?”

Shi Gonggong looked at him and smiled for a while before saying, “Qu Sitian, you don’t have to worry. Since the Emperor is backing you, you won’t end up like them, dead without a complete body.”

Qu Chenzhou fell silent and checked the time, not daring to delay any longer. He hurriedly made his way to Qingxin Residence.

The room was quiet, with Yu Dexi standing by the side, attending to Emperor Yu as he looked at a letter.

Without even lifting his head to look, Qu Chenzhou knew that it was the floral letter he had divined for the consorts a few days ago. There were two copies, one written by his own hand, given to the consorts, and another sent here to the Emperor.

Qu Chenzhou stood by the pearl curtain, listening to the gentle rustling of the floral letter being turned over. After a while, there was a call.

“Come here.”

He quietly approached and knelt in front of the steps.

Only then did Emperor Yu raise his eyes and smile, saying, “I called you here to look at the letter. How come you still haven’t corrected the habit of kneeling at every little movement? Chen Momo said you learned quickly, but it seems you haven’t changed this yet.”

“Yes,” Qu Chenzhou stood up, “This official will remember, Your Majesty.”

During these days, Emperor Yu also knew of his habit of being cautious and speaking little. Having seen many restless children of his age, he appreciated someone as smart as Qu Chenzhou, who knew when to be quiet and calm.

“The divination for Qingru, ‘Clouds obscure the Moon,’ what does it mean?”

“Your Majesty, please forgive me,” Qu Chenzhou’s voice was gentle, “I can’t figure out any clues.”

“This divination’s timing is quite coincidental, and it should be related to the child. Although Qingru doesn’t say much, I can see that she’s worried and aggrieved. Calling the imperial physician over to her scared her as well.”

“This… this official will go to apologize to the consort later…” 

Emperor Yu waved his hand. “Why would you blame yourself? If there really was some unexpected event, you would have given an early warning. Qingru should be grateful to you.”

“This official dare not…”

Emperor Yu looked at him, then picked up another copy of the floral letter, lightly dusting it off. He smiled ambiguously. “Peaches leave the branches in March, Chenzhou.”

Qu Chenzhou quickly straightened his body and bowed. “Your Majesty’s command.”

“Do you know whose son Consort Ming’s child is?”

“It is… Qi Wang.”

Emperor Yu nodded. “This matter has eluded me for so long, yet you have come up with an idea. You have quite the audacity.”

Qu Chenzhou’s knees weakened, and he fell heavily to the ground, his forehead pressing tightly against the back of his hand, trembling uncontrollably.

“Your Majesty, spare me… Your Majesty, spare me…”

“Hmm?” Emperor Yu set down the letter and looked down at him. “Why are you begging for mercy? Do you know what crime you have committed?”

Qu Chenzhou trembled for a moment, then began to sob softly. “I actually don’t know what crime I’ve committed… I can only divine divinations and speak what I see. They taught me to admit my mistakes, but I didn’t know… I just saw that Your Majesty seemed angry…”

“Who are ‘they’?”

“Chen Momo said if His Majesty is angry…” It would have been fine if he didn’t ask, but now that he did, tears rolled down Qu Chenzhou’s face. “If His Majesty is angry, I should admit my mistakes and deserve death.”

Emperor Yu suddenly burst into laughter, laughing so much that Qu Chenzhou couldn’t continue crying.

“Oh, Chenzhou,” Emperor Yu laughed until tears streamed down his face. “I didn’t believe it before, but it turns out there are people in this world who don’t lie. I was mistaken. You, child, are genuinely honest, and it’s quite adorable.”

Qu Chenzhou looked up in confusion, tears still fresh on his face.

“Do you remember, half a month ago, you divined a divination for me? You said ‘scatter salt like snow, the Golden Mountain sinks.'” Emperor Yu asked him, “Do you know where it came true?”

Qu Chenzhou shook his head.

Emperor Yu didn’t explain further, only saying, “Get up. I know you only know how to divine divinations and don’t have any scheming. Why are you so flustered? You even forgot to address yourself as ‘this official.’ You keep saying ‘I’ and ‘I’. Chen Momo should watch over your adherence to etiquette more.”

Qu Chenzhou didn’t get up, but crawled forward a few steps on his knees and murmured softly, “Your Majesty, I… this official has one thing to beg of Your Majesty.”

Emperor Yu glanced at him and coldly laughed. “Zhen has been lenient toward you, and yet you still try to take advantage.”

“Your Majesty… Please forgive me…”

“Enough, speak your mind,” Emperor Yu said.

Qu Chenzhou kowtowed, his voice filled with a sob. “If one day I provoke Your Majesty and make you unhappy, I beg Your Majesty to let me die with my body intact.”

“What are you talking about?” Emperor Yu’s face turned cold. “Who fed you such nonsense?”

Even Yu Dexi looked over and asked, “Why did Qu Sitian say such things?”

Qu Chenzhou seemed hesitant to speak, but also afraid not to. After a long while, he whispered, “They said, the previous Si Tian Guans… none of them died with their bodies intact. They told me to be careful.”

“Who are ‘they’?”

This time, it was Yu Dexi who pressed for an answer. He was in charge of the palace attendants who rotated around Qu Chenzhou, so if there was any flaw, he would inevitably bear responsibility.

“It was… Shi Gonggong.”

Yu Dexi glanced at Emperor Yu, then walked out. In the distance, it seemed like someone let out a mournful scream. After a moment, he returned and nodded.

Emperor Yu’s gaze lingered on the floral letter for a moment, then he suddenly spat at Qu Chenzhou.

“Straighten your back!”

Qu Chenzhou didn’t understand but obediently straightened his spine.

“You are the Si Tiang Guan appointed by me, holding the second-rank position! Look at yourself now! You’re being bullied by just anyone! Stop crying, Zhen will support you in everything!”

Yu Dexi hurriedly stepped forward. “Your Majesty, Qu Sitian is still young after all.”

Emperor Yu naturally knew that and couldn’t help but sigh.

“I heard that you had unpleasant encounters with Qingru and Zhongming in the past few days?”

Qu Chenzhou’s shoulders, which had just straightened, slumped again. “This official acknowledges my mistake…”

“Zhen is asking if you know what mistake you made!”

“This official knows,” this time he answered promptly. “I couldn’t control myself, I talked back. I shouldn’t have contradicted the esteemed consort and the Shizi.”

“Stand up! Straighten your back!” Emperor Yu scolded him. “If I see you like this, crestfallen, again, I’ll give you twenty lashes next time! Remember it well!”

Qu Chenzhou stood up without making a sound, and after a while, Emperor Yu sneered.

“So you ‘couldn’t control yourself’? Your straightforward nature is probably why Zhongming doesn’t like you. He’s young, hot-tempered, and likes to hear pleasing words. It’s natural for him to be impatient with you.”

“As for your matters with Qingru, you’ve been too audacious. She has a gentle temperament and isn’t good at arguing with others. She only said something because she cares deeply for Zhongming.”

“Although Qingru didn’t argue with you, she always bears her grievances silently. Now that she’s pregnant, she shouldn’t hold in her frustrations.”

“The Empress told me that your tongue is venomous. Are you acting docile and clever in front of me, only to take advantage outside when you rely on my favor? Even daring to defy Qingru? You deserve to be punished.”

Qu Chenzhou lowered his head and weakly replied, “This official dare not… It’s just…”

“Just what? Now you’ve learned to make excuses?” Emperor Yu scolded him. “I’ll take into account your young age, humble background, and first offense. I will spare you this time. Go to Qingru these few days, admit your mistake, and seek her forgiveness.”


Qu Chenzhou quietly responded. Seeing Emperor Yu leaning against the soft pillow without speaking for a while, he was about to leave when he saw Emperor Yu raise his eyes.

“Yu Dexi, go and bring it for him.”

Yu Dexi bowed and left. After a moment, he returned with a tray, covered with satin cloth. Inside were neatly folded clothes, a sandalwood-colored outer robe with intricate golden embroidery.

Qu Chenzhou’s heart skipped a beat.

Yu Dexi stepped forward, unfolded the robe with golden embroidery in front of him, and personally helped him put it on. He couldn’t help but praise, “Qu Sitian looks even more handsome. This garment adds to your charm.”

“How is it?” Emperor Yu smiled as he appraised him. “How does this garment look? Do you like it?”

“It looks beautiful, I like it.”

Qu Chenzhou pinched the cuff. In the past, he had obtained such a precious item with blood on his hands, but this time it came to him so easily.

Meeting the old possession again stirred mixed emotions within him, but his face showed extraordinary joy. He lowered his head shyly and said, “It’s just… a bit long…”

Emperor Yu burst into laughter again.

“Chenzhou, it’s been so long since I felt this happy. The garment is indeed a bit long. Originally, I planned to give it to you when you grew older and more stable. Look at you now, so pitiful. Wear it for now, and Yu Dexi will have one tailored for you later.”

Yu Dexi smiled and smoothed the collar, saying, “Qu Sitian, this garment is not only good-looking, it’s called the Xuan Mang Woven Gold Robe. It’s a favor bestowed by His Majesty.”

Qu Chenzhou repeated in confusion, “Xuan Mang Woven Gold Robe…”

“You are young, promoted hastily. There will undoubtedly be many accusations within the court,” Emperor Yu took the rare opportunity to explain a few more words. “This robe bestowed upon you signifies the position of a national master.”

Yu Dexi was afraid he wouldn’t understand and added, “Even if you encounter the Shizi, Marquis, Lin Xiang, or Deputy Minister Tang, Qu Sitian can sit on equal footing with them, without the need to bow.”

Qu Chenzhou was about to kneel down to express his gratitude but was stopped by Emperor Yu’s gaze.

“This is me giving you confidence. Straighten your back, don’t embarrass me outside, crying and looking pitiful. But if Zhen finds out that you become arrogant and lawless, relying on my favor, Zhen won’t be lenient with you!”

“This official dare not.”

“Daring to argue with Qingru? Is there something you’re afraid of?” Emperor Yu scolded him with a laugh, and then ordered, “Yu Dexi, there’s no need for the personnel at the Star Gazing Pavilion to take turns anymore. Let Chenzhou choose his own people. From now on, both inside and outside the Star Gazing Pavilion will be managed by Chenzhou himself. Chenzhou!”

“This official is here.”

“When you have time, consult with Yu Dexi and Bo Yan and learn to manage your subordinates. You’re young, but since you’re already in this position, straighten your demeanor for me.”

As if joking, Emperor Yu laughed again. “Next time Zhongming speaks nonsense to you, even if you kick him, he will have to bear it.”

Only then did Qu Chenzhou kowtow.

“I will do my utmost and fulfill Your Majesty’s trust.”

“You may go,” Emperor Yu waved his hand. “When you go to apologize to Qingru, take off this garment so as not to arouse unnecessary suspicion.”

The beaded curtains closed, swaying until they gradually came to a stop, closing the gap left by the departing figure.

Emperor Yu then picked up the floral stationery on the table, looked at the divination message of the March Peach, and asked, “Yu Dexi, what do you think?”

Yu Dexi quickly lowered his head and said, “The world belongs to Your Majesty, and the people are all Your Majesty’s subjects. Life and death, advance and retreat, all are the will of the Emperor. Your servant does not know.”

Emperor Yu leaned against the side and flicked the floral stationery with his finger, laughing to himself.

“Truly a straightforward and innocent young calf, quite adorable.”



When Consort Yu saw the person who came in, she stopped pretending to be sick and tugged at her son’s sleeve, pleading.

“Quickly come up with an idea! Since the Emperor had his first experience, who knows if he’ll call that Qu Sitian for divination again? I can’t pretend to be sick every time.”

“Fortunately, I didn’t go this time, and that ordeal fell on Mu Jingde’s side. What should we do next time?”

Mu Jingyan pulled back his sleeve and carefully picked up the soup bowls on the table.

“Drink some medicine, recover quickly, and don’t let your son worry.”

Consort Yu, feeling helpless, could only drink the medicine first. She wanted to ask further, but she lost the courage to do so.

“I heard,” this time it was Mu Jingyan who spoke first. “Qu Sitian does have some ability. In these past two months, he has made Royal Father believe in him wholeheartedly. He’s not like those charlatans from before.”

Consort Yu finally voiced her worries. “Yes, I heard that the divinations he performed for the Noble Consort and the Ming Consort were quite pointed and accurate. What should I do?”

“Accurate?” Mu Jingyan sat down by the tea stove, gently fanning himself, and sneered. “Royal Mother, how do you know he’s accurate?”

Consort Yu was taken aback. “Even the Emperor believes in him, and at the palace banquet…”

“Is Royal Mother a newcomer to the palace? When the Emperor praises him, it’s just a show on the surface. Did Royal Mother really believe it?”

Consort Yu couldn’t help but feel embarrassed, but she was still uneasy in her heart and could only try to persuade her son.

“But look… his entry into the palace is also suspicious. Mu Jingchen said he mentioned it very early on, telling Mu Jingchen to save him on the first day of the eleventh month. How do you explain that?”

When this was mentioned, Mu Jingyan stopped fanning himself.

This made Consort Yu even more on edge. “Jingyan, what’s wrong?”

“Royal Mother may not know, but he also pleaded with me to save him.”

Mu Jingyan stared at the flames in the tea stove.

“Rather than his deceptive tricks, I’m more interested in knowing whose side he’s really on.”

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