Si Tian Guan Chapter 187

Chapter 187: Yin Wood

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Qu Chenzhou’s face turned ghastly pale in an instant.

After encountering those two people halfway up the mountain, he had considered that the “tree monster” named Yan Guiqi, while possessing astonishing strength and overwhelming power, hadn’t initiated an attack against them. Even Ding Lekang, who had made the first move, had only injured his shoulder after being deterred by An Ning’s intervention.

From this perspective, the rumors of man-eating were probably nothing more than baseless fears, stories that people scared themselves with. Perhaps the reasons behind the disappearance of those travelers needed further investigation.

However, he had never expected that, apart from Yan Guiqi, there would be an actual tree monster. And Ding Lekang’s prophecy of doom had come true in this place.

There was no time for him to ponder further. The branches were rapidly coiling around him. His arms were bound, leaving him unable to free himself. All he could see was the shadow growing infinitely large in his vision.

Footsteps behind him grew closer and closer. Suddenly, a tremendous force collided with his shoulder, causing the tree branches severed by sword light to rain down like a shower.

Liu Zhongming used the momentum of the collision to break the bonds around Qu Chenzhou’s wrists, and he embraced Qu Chenzhou tightly. Together, they lunged forward more than ten feet.


Qu Chenzhou didn’t dare to hesitate for a moment. Rolling to his feet, he reached back and pulled Liu Zhongming. Yet, he felt a force yanking Liu Zhongming back.

“Don’t look back!” Gritting his teeth, Liu Zhongming yelled and turned around, pulling Qu Chenzhou with him. They dashed down the mountain without touching the ground.

Not long after they started running, a loud rumble echoed from behind like thunder on a clear day. Sparks scattered, briefly illuminating the already darkening sky.

But the recent horrifying sight was too much to bear. No one dared to stop. They kept on, rolling and crawling down the mountain until they reached the bottom, finally collapsing in exhaustion.

Lying on the ground, Liu Zhongming panted heavily, feeling a searing pain in his chest. Pressing his hand against it for a while, he murmured in a fluster.

“D*mn, this is bad…”

Indeed, it was bad.

They had encountered the most troublesome situation.

Ding Lekang was dead, and he had died much earlier than they had anticipated. The exploding firework signal was likely the one shaken off the man-eating tree that had killed Ding Lekang. It had inadvertently illuminated the situation.

Even if they were to set aside the two inexplicable strangers and the man-eating tree that killed Ding Lekang, those fireworks had ignited the spark of a hidden battle—anyone following to protect Ding Lekang and his people would clearly have seen it from beyond Chengsong Ridge.

This spark would blaze all the way to the Dingling Hill, ten miles away. Both sides’ forces would chase, fight, and be intercepted under the cover of the night, becoming both hunters and prey.

Meanwhile, Qu Chenzhou and Liu Zhongming found themselves trapped in this rarely-trodden mountain range. Armed with only two swords, they would have to traverse these ten miles at the mercy of fate. Moreover, this remote path wasn’t the same as the one they took to ascend the mountain. Finding the guards and horses wouldn’t be easy, and ahead of them laid an endless forest. Even the way back needed to be reexplored.

Liu Zhongming sat up, ignoring the pain in his legs. He reached out to his side and called softly, “Chenzhou?”

Since coming down the mountain, he hadn’t heard a single word from the little fox.

Qu Chenzhou was still beside him, seemingly awakened by his gentle touch. He rarely answered him so earnestly.

“Shizi, do you think…” His voice was tinged with confusion, “Could I really be a monster?”


Qu Chenzhou hadn’t expected him to reply so quickly, devoid of any reassurance. With an “oh,” he stopped talking.

“Chenzhou, you must have heard the saying, ‘The thief is put to death, the traitor becomes a lord.'”

He rolled onto his side and laid next to Qu Chenzhou, draping his arm over the slender waist. Qu Chenzhou didn’t seem to be in the mood to protest, nor did he push him away.


“Whether you’re good or evil, a ghost or a god, it doesn’t really matter. If you allow yourself to be bullied while standing low, you’re a demon. If you stand tall and are revered, you’re a deity.”

Qu Chenzhou looked at him sideways in the dimming light of evening. “Am I a deity?”

“You are.”

In the faint night, their faces were so close. After a long while, a refutation finally came, “I’m not…”

“You are!” His tone grew firmer.

Qu Chenzhou suddenly grew annoyed, snatching away the hand resting on his waist and tossing it aside. “Get lost!”

“Since you’re feeling wronged, why not leave with me, little deity,” Liu Zhongming reached out and helped him up, “It’s getting dark. Let’s find some food first. It seems we’ll have to spend the night outdoors. We’ll need a sheltered spot to fend off the wind.”

The forest was naturally dark, and once night fell, it became pitch black. Despite carrying firelighters and flint stones, this wasn’t the time to waste them. Supporting each other, they walked with cautious steps, sticking closely to the base of the mountain to find their way.

The place they descended was a narrow passage between two mountains, not an easy path to traverse. Just a few steps forward, Qu Chenzhou halted.

“Are you tired?”

Liu Zhongming was about to ask, but before he could, he was pushed back and found himself sitting against a boulder. A pair of hands then began feeling his legs, prompting him to grasp those hands, feeling a bit embarrassed.

“You want some, huh? This place isn’t good. We’ll find a flatter spot later… Uh…”

The hand that had been pinching his thigh suddenly twisted it harshly, and the pain made his voice waver.

“Where are you hurt?”

He didn’t even need to answer before the hand in the darkness reached the sticky substance on his calf. A broken tree branch that had pierced through his skin and flesh was still lodged inside.

A sound of ripping fabric echoed as several pieces of cloth bindings were undone from around his legs.

“Zhongming, bear with it. I’m going to pull it out.”

Hearing this voice again, calling him by that name, Liu Zhongming was momentarily stunned. Then, the searing pain from his calf spread throughout his body, and a sudden bout of dizziness overwhelmed his mind.

He shivered suddenly.

That kind of pain was strangely familiar. A piercing pain wrapped in silence and despair.

Qu Chenzhou fumbled to bind his wound, asking softly, “Can you walk?”

In the hazy state of mind, a hand reached out in front of him. Somehow, it made his nose tingle, and in an instant of abandon, he cradled that hand against his face.

“Chenzhou, I really miss…”

A crisp sound cut off the final word, “you.”

Liu Zhongming covered half of his face, being led by someone with a tree branch, and he walked slowly behind.



They both spoke at the same time, but Liu Zhongming quickly reined in his words, “You go ahead.”

“Shizi’s well-being carries great significance. There’s no need to risk saving me. In the future, such things shouldn’t happen again.”

He paused for a moment, then asked in a daze, “Are you saying I should let you die and not save you?”

“If Shizi killed me at the Broken Soul Platform,” the words from up ahead sounded as cold as the forest’s wind, “Bestowed the slave marks upon me twice, paraded me through the streets twice—it’s nothing more than refusing to save me at a critical moment. Why pretend otherwise?”

A lump formed in Liu Zhongming’s throat, and he whispered, “Chenzhou, if you want, my…”

“Do I want Shizi’s life? What would I do with it? Eat it as a delicacy?”

He could tell that Qu Chenzhou’s mood was worse than usual. He could only answer repeatedly, “I’ll listen to you, I’ll listen to you.”

“What will you listen to from me?”

This was a life-or-death question. Liu Zhongming thought carefully for a moment and answered sincerely, “I’ll listen to you, and after we return, I’ll eat more parsley like you said.”

Whether or not he had guessed the answer correctly, the person in front of him didn’t find fault again. They walked in silence for a while before responding, “Indeed, you said it.”

During this season, the mountain’s fruits were ripe for the picking. Although Liu Zhongming had limited knowledge of them, it was better than Qu Chenzhou, who couldn’t see anything at all. Along the way, they managed to gather some fruits and found a sheltered spot on a hillside covered by grass.

Once they settled down somewhat and filled their stomachs halfway, they finally had the energy to discuss the events of the day.

“Who were those two people exactly?”

Liu Zhongming believed they didn’t know each other. He couldn’t figure out the meaning behind the words, but one thing was certain: they didn’t harbor ill intentions.

Not only were there no ill intentions, that young man named An Ning even conversed with Chenzhou enthusiastically and innocently. It didn’t seem like an act.

However, given Chenzhou’s past experiences, Liu Zhongming knew that he had never had the chance to interact with such a peculiar person, let alone care for them.

But that phrase “reuniting and continuing your past relationship” made his heart bloom, and he couldn’t wait to pull the person aside and ask in detail.

“How could they possibly be human? I couldn’t even read divinations,” Qu Chenzhou reclined with his face upwards, listening to the insects chirping in the grass. “But since they said we’ll meet again, we can ask later. However, as for Ding Lekang…”

If he hadn’t seen it with his own eyes, he wouldn’t have believed it, no matter what.

Liu Zhongming, on the other hand, appeared much calmer.

“I said it earlier, my men have also suffered injuries over here.”

“Jiuan told me that ancient texts mention this type of yin wood, formed by burying a dead body under an inopportune tree. It becomes a wood spirit and might develop a taste for human flesh.”

“I was skeptical before and didn’t have time to discuss it with you on the way. Today, I’ve learned something new.”

“Wait…,” Qu Chenzhou muttered, “didn’t Shizi say that the cases related to this yin wood were concentrated among these three locations? Can they all be focused only in Chengsong Ridge?”

This was also a puzzle Liu Zhongming couldn’t solve.

“It’s not just concentrated in Chengsong Ridge. Could it be that there are really so many of these monsters? That’s unlikely.”

Yet apart from this assumption, he couldn’t come up with any other possibilities.

“It’s impossible.” Qu Chenzhou affirmed his thought. “According to Jiuan, this yin wood would require the right conditions and talents to appear. If there were a large number of these creatures, how could the three Zhou governments not take it seriously?”

It seemed like they were stuck in a dead end no matter how they thought about it.

“Chenzhou, could the ‘turning point’ you mentioned be that thing?”

“I don’t know,” Qu Chenzhou sounded frustrated, “if it were, can Shizi wield his might and strip it bare, dragging it here for me to see?”

“I can!” Liu Zhongming assured, patting his chest.

“Get lost.” Qu Chenzhou turned over. “I’m going to sleep.”

The grass behind him rustled softly.

“Chenzhou… Are you cold?”

Eyes closed, Qu Chenzhou turned and pulled the hand that was draped over his waist away.

“Chenzhou, I’m cold.”

Qu Chenzhou closed his eyes and ignored him. The hand cautiously crept back and after a few tentative touches, finally settled around him securely.

As if relieved of a burden, Liu Zhongming let out a comfortable sigh, “Warm.”

Being close to each other was indeed warmer than he had expected, even more reassuring. In this makeshift bed between heaven and earth, he soon felt the warmth tickling his nose, and his awareness started to blur.

A sudden twinge of pain shot through his leg again, from where the yin wood’s branch had pierced him when he pushed Qu Chenzhou away.

This pain instantly dispelled his drowsiness. He wanted to sit up and see, but found himself unable to move.

“Zhongming!” Someone was sobbing near his ear, “It’s not too late to regret now! He’s already dead! How can someone come back to life after dying? It’s not too late to regret now!”

He heard his own strained voice, “I won’t regret… I want to see him. I want to see him again…”

“If you’re dead, how can you see him? Wake up!”

For a moment, he was puzzled by this question, but Jingchen’s cries and the bone-deep pain in his arm brought him back to his senses.

If he didn’t see…

If he didn’t see, then Chenzhou, clever and translucent, could probably live a life he liked and wouldn’t have to carry the burden of his past life, wouldn’t be trapped by it.

Yet he still wanted to see, even if it meant crossing the cycle of reincarnation, he still wanted to see.

To see that vibrant and vivid Chenzhou, to see him twirling a sycamore flower and smiling lightly in the sunlight.

“No more! Don’t continue!”

Jingchen tried to stop something, but the intoxicating scent of that sharp object on the tip of his nose captivated him.

Sheyuan penetrating bone needle

He remembered now. The connection between his past and present lives had finally formed into a perfect link – it was the Sheyuan penetrating bone needle

He could finally see it!

Liu Zhongming suddenly burst into laughter – he could finally see again!

The pain surged through his limbs and bones, as if even his breath was being choked. Just as he was about to struggle, he felt a light touch on his face.

“Don’t make a sound.”

Opening his eyes, he saw Qu Chenzhou’s hand covering his mouth.

“We guessed right. There isn’t a lot of yin wood, just one.”

Qu Chenzhou pulled him back, whispering softly.

“However… it can move.”

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