Si Tian Guan Chapter 215

Chapter 215 – Catching Cold

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Not knowing whether it was due to heightened awareness after the reminder or not, Consort Yu, despite her reluctance to think too much, couldn’t help but become suspicious. She felt a chill creeping in, even though she had just experienced a slightly stuffy nose.

Was it because she had been lost in thought for too long while standing on the steps, just after seeing her son off?

Or perhaps it was because Lady Zhuang had gotten too close when she came to pay her respects yesterday? She remembered Lady Zhuang having a heavy nasal tone; could she have caught a cold and passed it on to her?

Thinking of Qu Chenzhou’s pair of glass-like eyes that seemed to see through her, so cold and solemn, even though he had only expressed concern, it felt more like judgment.

As she prepared for bed, she made a point to instruct the servants to light the charcoal fire and add an extra layer of blanket. With an uneasy heart, she went to sleep.

Even her dreams were restless.

At times, she would engage in passionate dalliances with that person, and all the ultimate happiness the Emperor couldn’t provide her was now being repaid. She felt like she was rolling in fire, boiling in water, her body dripping with sweat.

At times, she would meet that person again, and his precious treasure between his legs would be gone. She felt utterly defeated, as if she had just crawled out of a grave.

And behind Zhou Huaishan was her son’s chilling fake smile, freezing her as though she had fallen into an icy cavern, causing her to shiver uncontrollably.

In a cycle of torment, she eventually woke up in a daze. The outside was still pitch-black, and there were only two candles left in the outer room. She hadn’t slept for long.

Feeling extremely cold, she realized she had overreacted earlier. The blanket was too much, and now she clung to a corner of it, with more than half of her body exposed. It felt hot on the outside, yet cold on the inside.

The worst-case scenario had indeed come true.

“Servant!” She shook the bell on the bedside and hoarsely ordered, “Fetch the imperial physician.”

Many people caught colds during this season every year, and there were always various medicines on hand. The imperial physician on night duty had just entered Chaoyang Palace when a bowl of warm medicine was already delivered.

It was indeed just an ordinary cold. The imperial physician watched her drink the medicine, had the palace maid lower the curtain, and then composedly wrote out a prescription, softly instructing her on the use of the medicine. He then tidied his medical kit, ready to leave.

Just as the palace maid with the lamp was about to part the curtain, a painful moan suddenly emanated from within the bed canopy. The neatly arranged blanket slid half-off, pushing the canopy open slightly.

The blocked warmth and ambiguous scent burst forth, and the intermittent moans from inside became more distinct.

The imperial physician panicked, hurriedly placing down his medical kit and approaching the bedside.

“Your Majesty, where do you feel uncomfortable? Please allow this official to inquire.”

But before the palace maid could bring Consort Yu’s hand out from the curtain, she suddenly let out a startled cry and was yanked inside by Consort Yu.

“Your Majesty! Please don’t! You… what are you doing…”

The young palace maid’s cry only half started before she was forcefully pushed out again. Consort Yu rolled off the bed, breathing heavily, her eyes bloodshot, cheeks flushed like she was drunk. The bed canopy could no longer conceal her unusual appearance.

Even the imperial physician was taken aback. For a moment, he didn’t know whether to enter or leave. Just as he hesitated, Consort Yu seemed to sense a flesh-craving predator and clumsily climbed to her feet, flinging herself onto him.

“Your Majesty!” The imperial physician was flustered and instinctively tried to push her away. His hands landed on a soft, warm body, scaring him so much that he pulled his hands back, afraid to move again. In that brief pause, Consort Yu’s belt had already been undone.

“Why did it take you so long…”

Her breath, moist with moisture, fell onto his Adam’s apple. In that moment, Consort Yu transformed into a springtime girl, whispering softly, her fragile fingertips exploring his clothing.

“I called you several times, why did you take so long…”

“Why did you go off to enjoy yourself? How dare you not come…”

“He’s not here today, so stay behind…”

The imperial physician was so scared that he stared blankly. He looked around in panic. The attending palace maid had covered her face and fled, screaming, “Someone come… Quick, someone come…”

Consort Yu couldn’t hear anything in her ears. She only felt an extreme sense of joy, a long-lost joy.

She was nothing now, not the cautious palace consort within the deep palace, not the apprehensive mother, not the unruly sister, and certainly not the pawn being observed and manipulated from all sides.

She was only herself.

In this soon-to-be-upturned world, there was only herself and unparalleled happiness.

She knew this should have been a joyful event, not one filled with guilt and disgust. She was finally free from all constraints, worries, and vexations, and she was just being herself.

“Don’t! Stop!”

Suddenly, the imperial physician, who was covered by something soft, screamed in terror, and even the thing she had been yearning for in her hand went limp.

Why not? It was such a wonderful thing.

It wasn’t until some viscous and slippery substance flowed from her forehead to her nose that she realized the pain, the sharp pain that radiated from her head.

The illusion of joy shattered, followed by a pounding in her head.

The candlestick, still dripping with oil, fell time and time again, breaking the shell of the enveloping illusion. The roaring outside seemed to stab through her like a knife.

“Prostitute! Prostitute!”

“How many people have you been with behind my back? Am I not enough for you? I’ve become like this, isn’t it all for you?”

“He’s not my son! He’s not my son! Tell me! Whose b*stard is he?”

“How dare you! How dare you!”


Blood sealed off one of her eyes. As Consort Yu slowly collapsed, the faint warmth she held in her hand slipped away. She didn’t even manage to hold onto a scrap of clothing.

She laid sprawled on the ground, her view filled with chaotic footsteps and swaying garments. Her ears were filled with countless screams, roars, and cries, making it impossible to distinguish whose voices they were.

But inexplicably, she felt an unprecedented sense of tranquility.

None of it would have anything to do with her.

Finally, she was just herself.

“You’ve managed to do something remarkable.” Ling He took a sip of tea, then asked with some uncertainty, “Was it you?”

Liu Zhongming didn’t deny it, only puzzled, “Has this reached your hands? It’s impossible!”

“Indeed, it should be impossible. Everything is clear, from witnesses to evidence, the murderer and the victim. It’s an internal affair of Chaoyang Palace, not involving any outsiders, so naturally, it won’t reach my hands.”

“I still don’t know the details of what exactly happened.”

Ling He raised his eyebrows slightly, showing a hint of surprise.

“I’ve only heard bits and pieces. They say that while Consort Yu was receiving medical treatment from the imperial physician, a night-guarding eunuch outside suddenly went mad and attacked them with a candlestick, killing Consort Yu and the imperial physician. When the Jinwu Guards arrived, he had also committed suicide.”

Liu Zhongming glanced to the side. When an incident occurred at Chaoyang Palace, it was natural for the Emperor and his sister to handle it. He needed to avoid suspicion. At this point, he knew even less than Ling He.

However, with Consort Yu’s death, even if Three Blessings didn’t commit suicide, there would be no way out for him when the Jinwu Guards arrived.

He felt no guilt or regret whatsoever.

Previously, during the time Bai Shiyan had found an opportunity to bring Chenzhou to Chaoyang Palace and secretly see Three Blessings’s appearance, Chenzhou had finally remembered where he had seen that face before. He remembered it even after being reborn.

In the previous life, it was in the cold palace where his sister had been imprisoned.

Chenzhou, hiding in the shadows, clearly saw that it was Three Blessings who had brought people… during that most unbearable time, he had acted as a lookout for Mu Jingyan at the door.

Both father and son deserved to die, and it was just a matter of tidying up.

Ling He also caught the glance that Liu Zhongming gave. He changed the subject of his inquiry, “Why?”

“What why?” Qu Chenzhou looked up at him, “Is Lord Ling asking why we insisted on Consort Yu’s death, or are you asking why the old night-guarding eunuch suddenly killed someone?”

Ling He was surprised, “You know about this? The former.”

“The answer to the former is simple. Mu Jingyan’s greatest support comes from the Song family, but in reality, there are gaps between the two heads of the Song family and Huai Wang. If there wasn’t Consort Yu as a link between them, the Song family wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice themselves for Mu Jingyan.”

“Moreover, they know that given the conflicts between them, even if Mu Jingyan were to become powerful in the future, the Song family might not end up in a good position.”

“Without Consort Yu, the Song family is completely free and will have a chance to escape. Just wait and see. In less than half a month, the positions of the Yushi Tai and the Salt and Iron Commissioner will both be vacated.”

Ling He caught a sensitive keyword, “Conflicts between them?”

Qu Chenzhou’s smile was like ripples on the water caused by a dragonfly, gentle and fleeting, “Some matters, Lord Ling, it’s best you don’t know.”

“And the latter?” Ling He persistently asked, “Is the old night-guarding eunuch your people?”

Even if he said these words, Ling He himself didn’t believe them. How could Mu Jingyan, who had such a meticulous mind, allow an unknown person to infiltrate Chaoyang Palace?

“Of course not, but the details behind it cannot be revealed. If Lord Ling is interested, how about making a bet? You can try to investigate and if you can find out, then I’ll concede.”


If it was someone else saying this, Ling He would have immediately taken up the challenge.

But after getting along with Qu Chenzhou for so long, he knew too well about his temperament—unyielding like a hawk toward a hare. For him to say something like this, it meant that he was absolutely sure that he wouldn’t gain anything.

Qu Chenzhou had a unique skill in maneuvering through a hundred steps as if they were one. There was no need for him to fight a losing battle.

The atmosphere between the two men became tense once again. Liu Zhongming timely intervened and changed the topic, smoothing things over.

“The palace walls are not impervious to wind, and even you’ve heard about it. Surely, others must know too. But the imperial harem hasn’t caused any major disturbances, which can also reveal the Emperor’s attitude. This matter can’t be discussed in detail. After all, it doesn’t sound good. The culprit is already dead, so they’re trying to smooth things over.”

“Trying to smooth things over…” Qu Chenzhou sneered, “Apart from being spirited in power struggles, what our Emperor wants is for everything to be hastily concluded. After all, it’s not his own life.”

Ling He frowned, inevitably reminded of the cases he had dealt with in the past, as if this sentence had stirred up a lot of reluctance and helplessness. His lips moved for a long time before he swallowed back what he wanted to say and took a sip of tea.

“I hope… everything will get better.”

“It will get better,” Liu Zhongming replied without hesitation, “If Lan Er doesn’t consider doing something serious, I’ll have Dayu change his last name.”

Ling He shivered, “Lord Shizi, please be cautious with your words!”

Liu Zhongming grinned and didn’t bring it up again. Instead, he asked, “What’s the Emperor’s move?”

This question was directed at both of them.

Qu Chenzhou shook his head.

He was in control of the four departments within the palace. Not only did he know what had happened that night, he even knew what Three Blessings had yelled. However, he had ordered everyone to stay silent, not allowing any of the foul language to spread.

But apart from performing his regular divinations, the Emperor hadn’t asked him to do much else. It was as if the person in Chaoyang Palace was just like someone who had died of old age.

Although the feeling was extremely subtle, he sensed a slight change in the Emperor’s attitude towards him, perhaps starting from the time when the Qu family appeared.

The Emperor had gradually grown accustomed to his presence. Even the most precious treasures became covered in dust over time. The Emperor also understood that Qu Chenzhou had risen by attaching himself, and once he left the imperial family, he would be nothing.

To outsiders, he was an esteemed exiled immortal, but after looking at him for a long time, the Emperor viewed him as nothing more than a weed flower.

“In fact, I didn’t know originally, but Jiuan told me,” Ling He chimed in, “For the Emperor, the most important thing now is to placate Huai Wang and the Song family. Consort Yu has been posthumously promoted and it’s said that she will be buried with the status of an Imperial Noble Consort.”

Consort Yu’s death was brutal, so the Emperor must surely placate Huai Wang. Every word in the placating edict was penned by Rong Jiuan.

As for the scandal within it, it would naturally be silently suppressed.

Right now, it wasn’t their time to meddle and stir the waters. No matter what happened to Huai Wang, as long as it wasn’t a grave crime deserving of death, the Emperor would lean towards Huai Wang’s side.

“How did you manage it?” Ling He once again expressed his confusion, twirling the teacup in his hand. Suddenly, he asked, “Did I board a thief’s boat?”

Liu Zhongming humbly sought advice, “What do you mean by a thief’s boat?”

“If one day I stop cooperating with you, would you also silently eliminate me?”

In response to this concern, Qu Chenzhou gave an affirmative answer, “Be careful, we might.”

Ling He lifted his chin and warned with a threatening tone, “Just you wait. If one day you end up at the Dali Temple, you’ll be done for.”

“Bring it,” Qu Chenzhou raised his eyebrows in challenge.

Liu Zhongming calmly took a sip of tea, playing the peacemaker between the sparks flying between the two.

“Alright, alright, peace at home leads to success in everything.”

“I’m not on the same side as you,” Ling He coldly rejected his goodwill, “Don’t think I’m joking with you. On the surface, the Emperor is glossing over this, but the matter involving Consort Yu was hastily resolved. It won’t be easy to fool Huai Wang.”

“As for Huai Wang…”

Naturally, they had gone to Huai Wang Residence to express their condolences. Compared to usual, Mu Jingyan was much quieter. He didn’t say anything when he saw Liu Zhongming.

But as Qu Chenzhou left, he stared at him for a long time.

Even without turning back, Ling He could sense that wolf-like gaze piercing into his back.

Ling He looked at the hourglass on the wall, stood up to leave, and reminded Qu Chenzhou before departing.

“Don’t think I’m joking with you. If he’s contending with Zhongming, the biggest obstacle in between is you. If he doesn’t eliminate you, he won’t be able to touch Zhongming.”

“If you really end up at the Dali Temple, consider it your good fortune.”

He glanced at the two men in front of him. “If you fall into the hands of the Jinxiu Ying, it won’t just be your own affair. It means the Emperor has been influenced by Mu Jingyan and is now doubting both of you. You should take care of yourselves.”

A lamp sputtered out in the silent flow of the hourglass’s sand, making a faint clicking sound, as if a pebble had dropped into still water.

Ling He’s reminder was sensible and rational, and it was currently their biggest challenge.

“We’ll talk about this another day,” Qu Chenzhou softly replied, “When I went to offer my condolences earlier, I didn’t see any divinations on Mu Jingyan.”

In reality, this was meant to console himself. Mu Jingyan would never act directly.

Liu Zhongming gave a faint acknowledgment, then kissed him on the forehead before seeing him off. Their gazes were severed as the door grew narrower.

Qu Chenzhou leaned against the wall as he exited, returning the artwork to its original position. Suddenly, as if blessed, he looked around.

Yet in the silent night, it seemed as if nothing was there.

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