Si Tian Guan Chapter 188

Chapter 188: Turning Point

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With a thump in his heart, Liu Zhongming’s eyes widened.

As the long night neared its end, the first light of dawn illuminated the tall branches. Through the gaps in the weeds on the hillside, he spotted several clusters of pale yellow mushrooms.

The faint red tinge at the tip of the mushrooms had faded. The fresh blood consumed yesterday had become an integral part of the tree. The burnt signal flare laid askew in the tree hollow, and a part of the canopy’s branches were charred black.

Had he not seen it with his own eyes yesterday, he might have mistaken it for an ordinary tree in the woods.

As the two retreated silently, the canopy of the tree swayed slightly, as if rustled by the mountain breeze. Amidst the canopy’s movement, a thick root slithered like a snake from the ground, slowly advancing about half a foot.

It was like a slow-moving person taking a stroll.

Liu Zhongming saw a fine layer of goosebumps forming on Qu Chenzhou’s neck.

Knowing about the yin wood was one thing, witnessing it was another.

Yesterday, Ding Lekang’s sudden and silent death had been chilling enough, enough to keep them awake in the first place. Who could have anticipated that this eerie entity would reappear in their vicinity within a few hours, just a few yards away?

There was no room for doubt. Ding Lekang’s belt still hung from that tree branch.

Had Qu Chenzhou not awakened in time and it had gotten closer, they would have been trapped.

Suppressing the waves of cold creeping up his spine, Liu Zhongming gripped the sword in his hand tightly.

“Chenzhou, there’s something I’m not sure whether to say or not.”

“Shut up!” Qu Chenzhou didn’t even turn his head, his voice slightly trembling, “Don’t say it.”

“I feel like… it’s as if it’s following us.”

“Can you please stop…”

Qu Chenzhou’s words were abruptly cut off – their backs bumped into something.

Without turning around, just by feeling the intertwined branches, they knew what was blocking their way.

Their attention had been captivated by the slow-moving tree, and they hadn’t considered that this entity could even weave a web!

“D*mn it!”

Liu Zhongming cursed loudly and swung his sword back, severing several branches.

But perhaps because of the previous night’s experience, this web was resilient and dense. His swing only created a small gap, impossible for a person to pass through.

Even the severed branches acted like tentacles, attempting to coil around his blade.

“We can’t break through,” Qu Chenzhou pulled him back and pointed upwards, “Climb up.”

They had hidden in the cover of the hillside before. Since the tree roots and yin wood were below them, there was at least a slim chance of escape on the hillside.

Liu Zhongming slashed through the roots that had broken the ground’s surface, squatted down quickly, lifted Qu Chenzhou onto his shoulder, and then stood up swiftly.


With the situation dire, it wasn’t a time for politeness. Qu Chenzhou extended his hand, leaping up the hillside and immediately lying flat on the ground, reaching his hand down.

“Come up!”

Just as Liu Zhongming slashed away the roots binding his legs and leapt towards him, their hands were about to clasp, but suddenly a gap opened between them.

Something was entwined around his feet, pulling him back a few feet.

“F*ck!” He couldn’t help but swear.

No wonder so many people were devoured by the yin wood, it wasn’t just that the officials were helpless, even the common folk were trapped by rumors.

This entity had truly become cunning and strategic, not only avoiding crowds to prey on isolated victims, but also lurking and ambushing.

He couldn’t see what was happening on the hillside below. He could only thrust his short sword into the soil, pull his feet back with all his might, and attempt to snap the vine-like branch.

But that thing was both soft and tough, like a patient spider waiting for its prey. It wound itself around him in a methodical manner. After struggling for a few moments, his other foot was also ensnared.

The hand gripping the sword’s hilt turned white with effort.

Qu Chenzhou had imagined many ways to die, but he had never thought of turning into fertilizer like this, silently and soundlessly, in the midst of the wild mountains.

The tree branches, like the withered hands of an elderly person, curled and coiled around his back. They had reached his shoulders and were gradually constricting, narrowing his breath to a thin thread.

“Zhongming! Liu Zhongming!” He roared hysterically, “Run! Run fast!”

He saw Liu Zhongming’s figure, a faint glimmer in his blurred vision, sprinting towards that yin wood.

“Have you gone f*cking mad? Run!”

A branch rose like the head of a snake, pierced through his forearm, silencing his sharp cries. Immediately after, his lower leg was struck with pain.

Pressing his head against the ground, Qu Chenzhou gripped the short sword with all his might, futilely crawling a step forward. He attempted to free himself from the encroaching vines all over his body. However, he watched in despair as the blade, scraping through the soft soil, was suddenly pushed back up.

In an instant, the world spun and inverted, and he and the sword were dragged backward. Another branch pierced through his skin, and the view of the sky began to narrow.

Suddenly, tears streamed down Qu Chenzhou’s face, and he screamed with all his might.

“Escape! I don’t hate you! I don’t hate you!”

He regretted it. If he had known, if he had realized they had little time left, he should have responded to that embrace, he should have told Zhongming that he had never hated him.

“Zhongming, don’t save me anymore! Run!”

Perhaps due to his struggling or the haphazard sword swings, the branch entwined around his leg slackened. Then, the part that had pierced his flesh stopped moving, and a tiny flame burst forth.

Qu Chenzhou could no longer suppress his tears, but he gritted his teeth through the pain and tore off the bindings on his body. Only then did he notice a fireball igniting several yards away.

The flames shot upwards, crackling as they incinerated the tree, and it even sounded as if they were hearing cries. The surrounding air twisted with the flames.

A figure was half crouched within the flames, seemingly trapped.

“Zhongming! Zhongming!”

He sprang to his feet, barely even taking out the object that had pierced his body. Without hesitation, he rushed over.

Now was not the time to cry, but the tears disobeyed and fell anyway.

Before reaching the flames, he felt the intense heat, making it impossible to move forward. Without thinking, he took off his outer garment and draped it over his head.

Just as he took this step, someone leaped up and rushed towards him. They reached out, pushing him out of the path of the scorching wave. He tumbled on the ground, then with another fling of his arm, he threw the burning cloak to the side.

Liu Zhongming’s entire face was black as coal, his hair and eyebrows singed. He used his sleeve to haphazardly wipe his face, then embraced Qu Chenzhou around the waist.


The tree roots were extending far and wide. After a string of them had ignited, the hillside below seemed to be ablaze, and even the soil took on a reddish hue.

Liu Zhongming had already been injured in his leg, now his entire body was marked with streaks of blood. The effort expended in this ordeal had nearly depleted his strength. Still, he managed to carry Qu Chenzhou and staggeringly ran a considerable distance before finally collapsing onto the ground.

In the distance, as the fire found fuel, the sky over there turned red, visible even from their position.

Breathing heavily, Liu Zhongming swallowed a few mouthfuls of saliva with great effort before extending his clenched hand, presenting something like a treasure.

“Chenzhou, guess…”

His collar was jerked up in an instant, and a familiar slap resounded on his face. Before he could even cover his face, another slap landed on the opposite side.

“Liu Zhongming! If you’re done living,” Qu Chenzhou’s breathing was ragged, tears uncontrollably streaming down his face, and several times he was choked by sobs, “then just go and die now! Don’t be a nuisance in front of me!”

Liu Zhongming gazed at him with a dazed expression, reaching out to wipe his cheek, “You… Don’t cry.”

As his hand moved across Qu Chenzhou’s face, the black streaks from the tears mingled with the smudges of ash, making him appear even more disheveled.

Finally, he couldn’t hold back a smile, and before Chenzhou could become angry, he stuffed the object in his hand into his embrace. He then tore off a strip of fabric from the hem of his clothes, gently guiding Qu Chenzhou to sit on the ground.

“Don’t cry. Aren’t I perfectly fine now?” He reached up and touched the soft hair on Chenzhou’s head, “Don’t move. Let me tend to your wounds first.”

Perhaps the sensation of his touch on his face brought him back to reality. Qu Chenzhou pressed his clenched fist against his chest, slowly calming his rapid breath.

The growth and decay of the yin wood extended along with its roots. Seeing that the main root had turned into charcoal and the trunk that had pierced his wound had shriveled, he managed to pull it out with some tolerance.

It was only when the last wound had been treated and bound that the person behind him moved to sit in front.

Most of the light was blocked in front of him, and he didn’t want others to see his current state. He rested his chin on his knees and lowered his head slightly.

“Liu Zhongming, why didn’t you run!” The words were squeezed through his teeth, one by one, “I told you long ago, whether I live or die, it’s none of your business!”

Liu Zhongming peered up from below, meeting him face to face and looking into his reddened eyes.

“Chenzhou, guess what I found out…”

He turned his head to the side.

Following his gaze, Liu Zhongming squatted in front of him, “Guess what I found out?”

He turned his head to the other side.

This time, Liu Zhongming gently lifted his chin, turning his face back, and leaned in, joyfully whispering a few words in his ear.

“Sheyuan penetrating bone needle.”

Qu Chenzhou sprang up, then slumped back onto the ground, his face pale.

Liu Zhongming squatted in front of him, their eyes meeting for a moment, then he burst into laughter suddenly, unable to contain himself. It was as if he wanted to roll on the ground in joy. His hair, now all disheveled, trembled along with his shoulders as he laughed, leaving Qu Chenzhou stunned.

“Liu Zhongming! You’ve gone mad!”

“No, no, I’m not mad!” Liu Zhongming grabbed his hand, taking advantage of the situation to be a bit brazen, “Chenzhou, you don’t know how happy I am right now. Quickly, give me a slap or two. Am I dreaming?”

Qu Chenzhou’s hand lifted, but in the end, it didn’t fall. It was captured and pressed against Liu Zhongming’s face.

“Chenzhou, you knew a long time ago, didn’t you?”

Liu Zhongming turned his face to the side, his lips brushing against Qu Chenzhou’s palm, “I’m really so happy.”

“You’ve said multiple times that I shouldn’t care about whether you live or die. You said you’re not worth me seeking death for, that I should live well. You knew it long ago. Were you worried about me?”

Qu Chenzhou clenched his lips, suddenly turning his head away, “I felt unworthy for myself, not for you. All this talk about penetrating-bone needle is just your own action. I wouldn’t want to live through it all again, suffering like that for no reason.”

Liu Zhongming lowered his head, gently tracing his fingers one by one.

“I know, it’s always been me who wronged you. But if I were given another chance, I would still beg for the Sheyuan penetrating bone needle.”

“You!” Qu Chenzhou abruptly tried to pull his hand back, “You…”

“I know life is not the same without you.” Liu Zhongming held onto his hand, not letting go, “Chenzhou, it’s my selfishness. I long for you.”

“You told me to live well, and I’m willing to follow your words.”

“But if one day you’re no longer here, I will beg once again for a chance for you to be reborn. Even if it means my soul disperses, never entering the cycle of reincarnation, I still want you to live.”

“You’re so intelligent that even without me, you’ll find a good path and gain freedom.”

“Next time, take care of yourself. Don’t worry about me or the matters of the Liu family anymore. Don’t be consumed by sadness and thoughts of death, don’t be humiliated by others.”

“This world is filled with many beautiful landscapes. You should go and see them. I’m not worth keeping you here all the time.”

Qu Chenzhou turned his face to the side, taking a few deep breaths.

“I… I’m not doing this for you…”

“I’m doing it for you.” Liu Zhongming embraced his shoulder, “Chenzhou, I’m willing to do anything for you, to face hundreds of death without regrets.”

Qu Chenzhou clenched his teeth, “I don’t want…”

Something was stuck on his forehead, interrupting his words.

“In the wild mountains and forests, this isn’t the place for banter. Let’s find a beautiful place and cherish each other there.”

Qu Chenzhou’s face reddened. He grabbed the object, “Who’s bantering with you! What’s this?”

In his hand laid a piece of jade-like material, slightly larger than the jade pendant he had before. As it shifted, it refracted the dazzling light of the morning sun.

“Found it in that tree,” Liu Zhongming played with it in his hand, “You tell me, could this thing be the ‘turning point’ you mentioned before?”

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