Chapter 2 Liu Zhongming
Bai Shilei did not pass on the words of the Marshal completely.
Liu Zhongming gave a total of two sentences. The first was to protect him from death, and the second was not to taint his innocence.
Qu Chenzhou lived in the palace for a long time and rarely appeared in front of outsiders, but the more he was like this, the more mysterious the rumours were about him. And the most talked about, besides his divination of life and death, was his unparalleled appearance.
This made Liu Zhongming’s second command seem gentle.
Many people vaguely remembered that these two people were said to have had a very deep friendship a long time ago.
Many people even speculated that Qu Sitian would very likely survive this catastrophe. Even if he had to give away his body and receive humiliation and shame, at least he would still have his life left.
For someone as capable as Qu Chenzhou, not many would really be willing to give him up. Just look at the two emperors before and one would know.
The rumours were raging, and the court was flaring up for a while. Finally someone could not help but use the rumours to test Liu Zhongming’s meaning behind his words.
Liu Zhongming didn’t hesitate about this and only replied: The waste emperor can still be forgiven.
There was no need to say anymore words.
The waste emperor can be forgiven, but this person can’t stay no matter what.
Qu Chenzhou didn’t know anything about these things outside——after coming out of the Star Gazing Pavilion, someone from the Department of Control was ordered to wait for him there.
More than ten years later, he fell into slavery again.
The red-hot soldering iron smelled of burnt skin and flesh, leaving a “Ming” character on his back waist.
That was where he was most afraid of pain, and Liu Zhongming knew better than anyone else on how to make him suffer the most.
It was just a burn mark, but it could affect his whole body, making his legs unable to exert strength. However, the horse in front was holding a rope that bound him, and he had to take a step forward as the horse moved.
As if deliberately trying to humiliate him, the emperor’s imperial black gold woven garment was still worn on his body to show his noble status, but his hair was scattered, only using a red rope to carelessly tie it to the back of his head.
He was born in slavery, and if he hadn’t been pardoned by the emperor, he would not have been qualified to wear a crown.
Both sides of the road were crowded with onlookers.
For these ordinary people, in the past, Lord Si Tian Guan was as high as a god, living only in legends, with no one able to see him.
Now that the immortal was in trouble, being dragged on the street, even with the flames of war having just passed the imperial city, no one wanted to miss coming over to take a look.
He was able to walk staggeringly at first, but the pain on his back caused his legs to tremble. His shirt was soaked in cold sweat, and he was soon dragged to the ground by the horse.
Although there were soldiers separating them and creating distance around them, it couldn’t stop the voices of countless people from coming forward.
“That is the Si Tian Guan? I thought he was a superhuman with three heads and six arms!”
“What three heads and six arms, he doesn’t even need to use his hands, he can just use his mouth to kill you. Isn’t that godly?”
“Immortal my *ss! He’s just a dog who threatens others based on his master’s powers. Without anyone backing him, who cares what he says? Isn’t he just someone’s dog?”
Someone tutted: “His sin of killing is too heavy. I didn’t expect him to look like this. The gods in heaven also probably look like this.”
“If he did not look like this, how can the emperor be obedient to his words and cause all this?”
“No wonder…” Someone stared and muttered, “If he was willing to smile at me…”
“Shut up!” Beside him, someone scolded: “Do you want to die!”
“Deluding people with lies, creating chaos in court, and bringing harm to the country and the people.” Another sneered and said: “In ancient times, there was Concubine Daji and he is not much worse. He should be drenched with dog blood and beheaded!”
“I heard that his eyes can see yin and yang and the future, I wonder if it’s true.”
“Who knows, it shouldn’t be fake!”
This rumour was no longer a new story and a person boldly shouted on the side: “Military Lord, are his eyes yin yang demon pupils? What is it like? Let everyone see!”
Of course, the accompanying officers had been curious about this matter, and naturally had already seen it. Now that some people wanted to watch it together, to cure their boredom, he hurriedly kicked his side.
“Didn’t you hear what they said? Open your eyes! Just because your throat is mute, is it possible that your eyes are also blind?!”
Qu Chenzhou’s hands were tied behind his back, so he could only pant and crawl on the ground. Kicked while in a trance, he slowly opened his eyes.
The officer grabbed his hair and forced him to raise his face. There was a crowd of people all around, vying to squeeze in, wanting to take a closer look.
“It’s real! One eye is blue and the other is golden?”
“Let me see——he’s looking at me!”
Qu Chenzhou stared at the crowd not far away with some loss, wanting to say something.
He wanted to say that he really envied them for being able to have such a dull life, to have a home to go back down to earth, to be able to have someone waiting for them at home, to be able to talk and laugh like this unscrupulously.
What he asked for was just a place where he could live freely and well.
After seeing his eyes, someone hesitated: “Isn’t this bad? He won’t really be a god that had descended down to earth right? If we are like this, won’t we have offended…”
“Don’t think foolishly.” Someone interrupted immediately: “Did you only learn about him in the past few years? He had only put on airs for a few years, do you really consider him a god? He’s just a domestic slave bought for a couple of dollars.”
“Of course, who in the entire capital doesn’t know about it?”
“I only came here in the past few years, can you tell me?”
“There’s nothing fresh about this, you can find the news anywhere. More than ten years ago, he was sold to the very lively Qisheng Building.”
“Qisheng Building? Didn’t it collapse long ago?”
“Yes, later someone took an interest in him, you probably should know about this. I heard that to get him to the palace, Qisheng Building collapsed for this reason.”
“Not only Qisheng Building.” Someone on the side interrupted: “If he hadn’t entered the palace, the world wouldn’t be in chaos now…”
“Hush…” The words behind him were immediately blocked.
“Tsk tsk, it’s a curse, whoever buys him will fall out of luck.”
“Exactly. So, if I were Marshal Liu, I would not dare to keep him.”
These words fell into his ears and the already lifeless Qu Chenzhou began to tremble.
The officer seemed to have discovered filth on his hand and pushed him forward causing him to fall to the ground. He propped his head on the ground, knelt down a little bit, and stood up swaying.
“Zhongming…” He thought in his heart. He took a difficult step, even if he knew what was waiting for him at the end of the road.
In the dark underground, there wasn’t even the slightest opening of a window.
This bloody dark prison was a place where everyone who mentioned it would shudder. No one had ever walked out of it alive.
He was lying in a place where no trace of light could be seen. He did not know the year or day, but could only faintly hear the horrible sound of the torture device as it dragged on the ground.
He only knew that in the pain of his unconsciousness and consciousness, he was dangling by a breath, unable to die. He was not allowed to die.
Four months later, the new emperor ascended the throne and amnesty was given to the world. The only person not forgiven was Qu Chenzhou.
He was heavily restrained and dragged out of the dark prison. This was the first time he saw the sun after being put in prison, and the sun pierced his eyes.
After a few months of not seeing it and experiencing all kinds of things in prison, he was barely able to survive.
The soldiers who escorted him looked at him with horror, wondering how this stubborn man could still walk?
In Qu Chenzhou’s eyes, there was only the way forward—one step further, one more step, and he could see it.
He eventually fell outside the palace gate, dragged all the way up the sapphire stone steps, his bare feet knocking against the steps, leaving a long blood trail behind him.
In front of the Hall was a high platform specially set up for him.
Long before he attacked the capital, Liu Zhongming had already made an oath in front of the troops that if he could break into the gates of the nine-layer palace, he would sacrifice the blood of the sinister Qu Chenzhou to respect the deceased.
When he was tied to the cross, he completely lost his strength and could only barely stand by the shackles of the iron chain.
The only strength he had left was only enough to make him look up at the figure walking toward him.
After nearly ten years, he can finally see him again, but they were no longer the boys they used to be.
The beaded dragon robes, the imperial attire and the matured body, he looked even better than what he imagined.
He licked his dry lips, the name was already in his mouth, but there was no voice left for him to call out.
However, with just this one glance, the flowers that were once shining by the sun were blooming again. Qu Chenzhou pursed his thin lips, smiled, and lowered his head.
It was already good to be able to see him, it was worthwhile for him to wait so long.
It’s just that the sentence he tried so hard to ask had no chance to be spoken.
It’s just that the agreement to ride horses together again had faded to nothing after all.
“Qu Sitian! Do you still recognize me?” Liu Zhongming’s feet trembled violently, and even the tassel on his head trembled. It disturbed his vision, and he couldn’t see the bloodstained person not far away.
He didn’t care about the gaze of the people around him, and he tore off the crown and threw it aside. Jingchen, who was behind him, hurriedly stepped forward and helped him: “Your Majesty…”
“Qu Sitian! Look at me! You! Do you recognize me?” He pushed Jingchen away, and snarled.
Qu Chenzhou looked up weakly and ignored his anger.
“You dared to do those things back then, why don’t you dare to look at me now?!” Liu Zhongming sternly scolded, shaking his right hand, and the pitch-black whip whizzed down.
After the sound of breaking air, there was a sound of strong whipping on the flesh.
But Qu Chenzhou only shook, still silent, as if he didn’t feel the pain. There was no response, not even a trace of struggle.
“Qu Chenzhou!” Liu Zhongming’s voice suddenly increased. He choked up, and raised his hand with the fierce whip: “Look at me!”
“Look at me!”
“Raise your head!”
Jingchen couldn’t stand it anymore. He stopped Liu Zhongming, who looked crazy, and motioned the person beside him to take a look. After that person trotted over, he nodded to him, and then whispered: “Your Majesty, he is dead.”
Qu Chenzhou is dead.
The person who used to speak by the emperor’s side, the traitor who was cursed by the world, just silently died on the Broken Soul Platform, only having time to look at Liu Zhongming once.
Ten years of waiting, four months of patience and suffering, his wish had been granted and his lamp had been put out.
“He won’t die,” Liu Zhongming was stunned for a moment and did not have the madness Jingchen expected. He suddenly sneered: “How can a person who doesn’t have a heart and soul die?”
He stepped back, beckoned, and someone passed something prepared early in the morning.
Golden bow, silver arrow.
This was what he promised. One day, he would take him to see the free world outside and ride horses in the vast grasslands. Golden bows, silver arrows, and red-robed horses.
He took the arrow, pulled the bow, and let go.
The silver arrow broke through the wind and went straight to Qu Chenzhou’s heart.
The person tied to the Broken Soul Platform only shook with the strength of the arrow, his head bowed.
Liu Zhongming mechanically repeated the action of opening his bow and releasing the arrow. In front of his eyes, it was all a blur and clarity, again and again.
The blood flowed from the left half of the body all the way to Liu Zhongming’s feet, but Qu Chenzhou still closed his eyes peacefully. The corners of his mouth overflowing with blood even had a big smile.
Liu Zhongming finally stopped.
It took him nearly ten years to break through the palace wall he had hated the most. Finally he killed his most hated person in a cruel manner, only to realize that this was not the account or explanation he wanted.
Those bright springs of youth in his eyes and those sweet as spring peaches and summer plums of the past were given by the same person and buried by the same person.
“Chenzhou…” He knelt on the Broken Soul Platform, with his head against the golden bow, crying bitterly: “Chenzhou…”