Si Tian Guan Chapter 220

Chapter 220: Treacherous Official

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The weather in early May was as unpredictable as a cat and a dog.

Yesterday, strong winds had blown throughout the day, scattering the few remaining blossoms from the branches. Today, however, the sky was clear and sunny.

This alone was enough to lift the spirits of those who were about to depart.

However, as joyous as they might be, they dared not show a hint of it in front of Huai Wang.

For one, this journey was a solemn occasion for ancestral worship, not a time for jesting. Secondly, even those with a keen eye could tell that since Huai Wang’s departure, his face had remained as gloomy as ever, as if he were burdened with deep worries.

“Is Wangye not well-rested from last night?” someone kindly asked, “The journey is still long. Would Wangye like to rest in the carriage for a while?”

“No…” He declined softly, then changed his mind, asking, “How far is it to the Ten Li Pavilion?”

“Wangye, we’ve just left the city and it’s been a little over two quarters of an hour. We won’t reach the Ten Li Pavilion until around noon.”

Indeed, it was still early. Mu Jingyan dismounted his horse and went into the carriage, closing his eyes to rest.

Before long, someone outside the carriage called out, and then that person also climbed aboard.

It was one of his personal attendants.

Before he could even ask, the person swiftly began speaking.

“Wangye, Liu Zhongming is still in the other residence, and he hasn’t left. The Jinxiu Ying and the Northern Bureau are operating as usual. There haven’t been any unusual incidents in the city. We believe that if Liu Zhongming has made any arrangements, they are likely outside the Ten Li Pavilion.”

“What about Qu Chenzhou?”

The person hesitated, clearly not putting much stock in the person within the palace.

Mu Jingyan suddenly became angry, raising his voice again, “Qu Chenzhou? I’ve told you multiple times before to keep an eye on him. Did you all treat my words as if they were nothing?”

“Wangye, please calm down.” The person bowed and replied, “We’ve been paying attention as well.”

“Word has it that his eyes have started to improve. He’s been able to see faintly these past few days, but he still can’t move on his own. The Emperor had him try divination, but it didn’t work.”

Mu Jingyan asked, “I heard the day before yesterday that Bo Yan went to the palace to return the tokens for the Four Divisions. He could barely see anything. Why was he so eager to take back the duties of patrolling the palace?”

“We’ve inquired about that as well. It’s said that Qu Sitian doesn’t have his usual aides by his side, and he doesn’t feel at ease due to his impaired eyesight. To make him rest assured and focus on recovery, the Emperor had Bo Yan return the duties.”

Seeing Mu Jingyan remain silent, the person asked in confusion, “Qu Sitian is now in the palace and blinded. Even if he has control of the Four Divisions, what can he do?”

“Moreover, even if he can divine now, Wangye has already left the city. He won’t have time to do anything.”

“He has been recuperating in the palace all this time. He can’t possibly have any influence outside.”

“Could it be that he can help Liu Zhongming regain control of the Jinxiu Ying? Without the Jinxiu Ying, Liu Zhongming wouldn’t dare to make any rash moves.”

Despite the barrage of questions and speculations, Mu Jingyan wasn’t as optimistic.

He didn’t argue. After thinking for a long time, he simply asked, “Do you remember Yu Dexi?”

The person nodded quickly. Of course, they remembered. Yu Dexi’s death had left many within the palace shaken for a long time. A person who had stood firm by the Emperor’s side for twenty years had met an inexplicable end. The Emperor’s thoughts were truly unfathomable.

Indeed, it was like being by the side of a tiger.

“What exactly did Yu Dexi do to anger the Emperor?” he carefully asked, “Why did he run to the Huixin Palace? “

This question had also puzzled Mu Jingyan for a long time. Yu Dexi’s triumphant victory, bringing Qu Chenzhou into the Jinxiu Ying, had ended in his death soon after. Mu Jingyan couldn’t simply attribute it to coincidence.

Moreover, the problem now struck right at his greatest concern. The place where Yu Dexi was killed was close to Huixin Palace. And coincidentally, the person who had gone to Huixin Palace that day was him.

Furthermore, he had gone there due to a message from Liu Qingru. But he hadn’t even seen the person.

In other words, the time between his and Yu Dexi’s visits to Huixin Palace wasn’t much different. Considering that the Emperor personally killed Yu Dexi, the connection between these events was almost undeniable. The Emperor must have been deliberately drawn to Huixin Palace, where they went unnoticed, and he personally witnessed both of them entering and leaving.

Having his trusted allies take sides in this way was something the Emperor couldn’t tolerate the most.

Looking at it this way, everything fell into place. The Emperor’s haste to rescue Qu Chenzhou made sense. 

In reality, he hadn’t done anything, yet he had committed the Emperor’s greatest taboo—although the Emperor hadn’t expressed anything, he undoubtedly believed that Yu Dexi’s was completing things for him to lead to the downfall of Qu Chenzhou and Liu Zhongming.

So, on this ancestral pilgrimage, each step he took out of the city left him uneasy.

“Neither Qu Chenzhou nor Liu Zhongming have the capacity to spare, and it’s unlikely to be Liu Qingru. If there is someone else…” Mu Jingyan muttered to himself.

Suddenly, he shivered.

In addition to Liu Qingru, there is undoubtedly another influential figure in the palace who is aligned with Qu Chenzhou. Otherwise, who would coordinate so well with Liu Qingru’s timing and lead both him and Yu Dexi into a trap without their knowledge?

“What?” The person asked in confusion, “What person?”

This seemingly simple question seemed to snap the most sensitive string. Mu Jingyan abruptly shouted, “Stop!”

“No…” he quickly denied his own words, “Don’t stop…”

Seeing Mu Jingyan’s sudden pallor, the attendant asked nervously, “Wangye, what’s wrong? Should we send a pigeon message back?”

Mu Jingyan shook his head slightly, his forehead throbbing.

He finally understood that even though everything was going according to his plan, at least during these few days when he was out of the city, Qu Chenzhou and Liu Zhongming couldn’t make any trouble.

However, now it appeared that the other side might be playing along, letting him leave without his guard up, leaving behind a lethal strike from that hidden person.

Although he didn’t know what kind of trap awaited him, allowing such a dangerous individual to remain before the Emperor, with Qu Chenzhou guiding him from behind, perhaps when he returned to the capital, a beheading execution awaited him.

“Return to the capital!”

The attendant was astonished, “Wangye, this trip is meant for ancestral worship. How can you change your mind just like that?”

At present, Mu Jingyan was indeed caught between a rock and a hard place. Returning was a must, and he needed a valid reason to turn back.

“I remember… Before Mu Jingzhao’s uprising, the Emperor had the Northern Bureau stationed near the Guanshan Pavilion.”

Seeing his intense gaze, the attendant leaned in to hear the low instructions.

“Go to the Ten Li Pavilion… Send the useless ones to their deaths… Wait in the same place for an hour… and return to the capital with my guards.”

“You…” The attendant finally grasped his intention, “You mean the Northern Bureau is pursuing you… and you’re returning to the capital for that reason? But some of the people accompanying you this time are imperial relatives… won’t it be…”

His doubts were silenced by the gaze from the other side, so he could only turn the question around, “But the people at the Ten Li Pavilion… it might not be easy to bring them along, especially after what happened before…”

“Bring as many as you can!” Mu Jingyan snapped, “The Northern Bureau won’t be able to assemble a significant force in a short time. Ensuring my safe entry into the palace is crucial!”

He won’t forget that year, the fate of Liao Guangming, who fled back to the capital alone, was what he was concerned about. Being able to bring a few hundred people was sufficient, and when combined with the hidden slave soldiers, there were around a thousand people.

No one could anticipate his sudden return journey. Even if he encountered resistance from the Northern Bureau upon entering the capital and faced the Emperor, he had prepared a persuasive argument from both sides.

Once he entered the capital, he presumed that Liu Zhongming wouldn’t dare to make a move against him in secret.


In that moment, this ingenious plan was like clearing obstructed energy channels, making him feel thoroughly clear.

“Go back! This time, I want to see what tricks Liu Zhongming and Qu Chenzhou have to save Bai Shiyan!”

Suddenly, Mu Jingyan burst into laughter uncontrollably.

“Liu Zhongming is probably staring at the map right now, guessing where I am, waiting for me at the Ten Li Pavilion. Unfortunately, he will wait in vain. He certainly couldn’t imagine that I…”

“On the return journey?” Liu Zhongming’s charcoal pen stabbed into the map, his expression tense. “Who told you?”

Zhiwei stood by the desk, intimidated by his abrupt tone. His words became stuttered.

“It’s… it’s someone you know… Commander Bo. He came to me a few days ago and said… Huai Wang set off at the Mao hour and will likely pause around the Chen hour, taking about one or two hours to regroup the personnel returning to the capital.”

“You still have time to prepare, but the timing must be precise. You need to speak carefully when you’re in front of the Emperor, matching the timing.”

In reality, Zhiwei didn’t fully understand what he was saying, but General Bo spoke with such gravity that he knew he couldn’t afford to withhold a single word. If he did, the Shizi’s life might be in danger. These days he had refrained from sleeping, fearing that he might reveal something in his dreams.

“He told me to pass the message to you at the Si hour today… without revealing it earlier… General Bo emphasized the importance of it, I… I dare not defy. My apologies, Lord Shizi…”

He stole a glance at Liu Zhongming’s increasingly sullen face and cautiously continued, “General Bo also said that Huai Wang is returning to the capital, and Qu Sitian has left a vacant seat in the palace, so he requests that Lord Shizi and General Bai make early preparations together.”

“Huai Wang is returning to the capital…” After a moment of panic, Liu Zhongming calmed down completely.

This intricate arrangement, the deep understanding of Huai Wang’s suspicions, and the familiarity even with those around him — how could this all be orchestrated by Bo Yan?

If he hadn’t heard the last part, he wouldn’t have comprehended the whole scheme. But the phrase “vacant seat” cleared his confusion.

Qu Chenzhou was still unchangingly audacious. He even feared Liu Zhongming’s disagreement and worked through the gathering of forces halfway through Huai Wang’s journey, only allowing Zhiwei to inform him then.

If his guess was right, at this moment, Qu Chenzhou was already on his way to Qingxin Residence, or he might have already met the Emperor.

Qu Chenzhou used himself as a bargaining chip, setting up a high-stakes gamble.

He wasn’t just after Mu Jingyan’s life but also the dossier they had once been helpless about — the rot within Dayu would be fully exposed.

The bowstring had been drawn taut, and there was no turning back for anyone.

“Little lunatic!” He felt his blood boiling in an instant. “Madman!”

Zhiwei followed him, anxiously reminding, “Lord Shizi, you are still under house arrest. You can’t leave… Where are you going?”

Liu Zhongming stepped over the threshold.

“There’s a little lunatic who wants to die. I must catch him!”

Qu Chenzhou slowly crossed the threshold, adjusting his robe. With the support of palace attendants, he bowed deeply, “I pay my respects to the Emperor.”

Emperor Yu was in the midst of playing chess with himself. A black piece was tremblingly falling from his fingers onto the board.

He had just felt a surge of nameless frustration, and then he froze for a moment at the sound of the voice, sighing, “Are you feeling better?”

Qu Chenzhou bowed again on the ground, “I’ve improved quite a bit. I could vaguely see my shadow yesterday, and today I can go out alone.”

“Since you’re feeling better, why kneel? Stand up,” Emperor Yu pushed the scattered chess pieces, “Let’s not rush to divine the future; play another game with me.”

Someone brought over a chair and placed it by the soft couch. After squinting for a while, he confirmed that the palace attendant wasn’t Yu Dexi. He couldn’t help but let out another sigh.

Qu Chenzhou adeptly arranged the chess pieces on the board, asking cautiously, “Is there something on Your Majesty’s mind?”

“Something on my mind?” Emperor Yu chuckled as he saw how considerately he avoided bringing up the groundless calamity, “You’re still so young, how could you understand what’s weighing on the mind.”

Indeed, Qu Chenzhou didn’t press further. A chess piece gently fell onto the board, evoking a lot of emotions and sorrow in him.

When Yu Dexi was still around, he hadn’t felt this aged. But now that Yu Dexi was gone, he realized that many things around him had changed, and the palace seemed much emptier than he remembered.

He couldn’t help but feel emotional.

“It’s good to be young.”

“Why does Your Majesty say that?” Qu Chenzhou rubbed the black chess piece between his fingers, patiently waiting for his opponent’s move.

“When I was your age…”

Emperor Yu had to admit that he was indeed getting older. He couldn’t help but reminisce about the past, not only couldn’t he concentrate solely on playing chess, but his recollections of those days were also becoming less clear.

What was he doing at eighteen?

His position as the crown prince was unshakable, and the ultimate throne was within his grasp. In fact, he had wanted to patiently wait for a few more years, but reaching this point had been much more arduous than he had anticipated. He didn’t want to endure as the aging crown prince, so he had to take action.

But he hadn’t expected that sitting in that position wasn’t the end of his troubles; it was the beginning of worries. So many skeptical gazes, so much resistance to his authority – there was so much he still had to do.

Meanwhile, on the other side, just as he had caught his breath, his sons were gradually shedding their youthful innocence. Each of them resembled him from the past.

As his sons knelt and paid their respects, he couldn’t discern whether they were kneeling to him as their father or to the position he held.

Looking back on the journey he had taken, he found it hard to determine whether it had been more bitter or sweet.

Despite all of this, he had to admit that the feeling of having everyone under his control was addictive. He no longer had to live according to others’ whims, as he had to in his childhood.

Seeing him continuously contemplating the chess pieces, Qu Chenzhou beckoned a palace attendant to step forward. He glanced at the hourglass by the window, personally brought a tray of tea, and then had the attending staff withdraw.

Emperor Yu glanced sideways, perhaps filled with emotions, his mind preoccupied, but he didn’t say anything.

Qu Chenzhou poured tea for both of them, offered it with both hands, and softly inquired, “Your Majesty, are you reminiscing about Yu Gonggong?”

Emperor Yu hesitated for a moment, realizing that Qu Chenzhou had been residing in the palace for these days and must have heard about the matter. His expression darkened.

Whether it was his imagination or not, the atmosphere between them seemed somewhat different from usual since Qu Chenzhou’s arrival today. Qu Chenzhou’s humble demeanor had diminished somewhat, resulting in an inexplicable sense of pressure.

“He deserved his fate.” Emperor Yu let out a cold snort before finally saying, “What have you heard?”

“Even someone like Yu Gonggong has died. Who would dare to have an opinion? I’m merely thinking that Yu Gonggong probably never knew the true reasons why you had him killed, even until his death,” Qu Chenzhou answered with a smile, almost without hesitation, as he placed a piece on the board.

“Whose divination did you read? What do you know?!” Emperor Yu’s expression hardened as he questioned. 

In response to his urgent and stern tone, Qu Chenzhou simply smiled. 

“Your Majesty, I can only know about future events. Since Yu Gonggong has passed away, where else could I have read any divination? I’m just making casual remarks. Yu Gonggong’s death must have been due to something displeasing to Your Majesty, much like what happened with the previous individual.” 

Emperor Yu sensed that there was more to his words and furrowed his brow, asking, “What do you mean? Who is this previous individual you mentioned?” 

As they continued their conversation, the pace of their chess game seemed to quicken, with the crisp sound of pieces landing on the board, reminiscent of someone vigorously beating a drum. 

“I’m talking about Qi Wang.”

Qu Chenzhou lowered his head slightly, his gaze fixed on the chessboard, as if the person opposite him was someone he was chatting casually with.

“Qi Wang has controlled the military for several years. If he were more astute, he could have easily incited conflicts along the borders, diverting the Bai family’s main forces, and then both inside and outside the capital, who would be more influential than Qi Wang?”

“But unfortunately, he was stubborn. All he hoped for was that Your Majesty would look at him more favorably. As a result, this esteemed Wangye met his end in a foreign land.”

“Ning Wang, on the other hand, is much more obedient. While others regard you as the Emperor, he alone sees you as his father. He even often talks about how, when he was young, you used to lift him up onto your shoulders.”

“But it’s a pity… he never understood Your Majesty’s thoughts.”

“Qu Chenzhou!” With a snap, Emperor Yu’s white piece fell onto the board as he scolded, “How dare you speak like this! Do you realize what you’re saying?”

“Your Majesty, unwelcome advice is hard to swallow,” Qu Chenzhou’s voice was gentle, as if he were addressing a sulking child, “Could you allow me to finish speaking?”

Despite his reluctance to believe it, Emperor Yu could sense that the person before him was like a completely different individual.

“Are you… Qu Chenzhou?”

“Absolutely.” Qu Chenzhou nodded slightly, his slender fingers picking up a few white pieces from the board and tossing them into the nearby basket, “Your Majesty, you underestimated me.”

Only then did Emperor Yu remember to look at the chessboard. He had indeed underestimated him, and in his haste, he had misplaced a piece.

He stared coldly as Qu Chenzhou collected the pieces. His voice was deep as he asked, “What do you want to say?”

Qu Chenzhou paused for a moment, seemingly recalling where he had left off.

“Ning Wang…” he softly repeated, “Because of Ning Wang, I gained Your Majesty’s trust. I accompanied Your Majesty to bid farewell to the Empress. During that night, I pondered the events and realized that the Empress saw through everything. She was the one who truly understood.”

“This is utter nonsense! She was delusional, her words mean nothing!” Emperor Yu suddenly erupted in anger, shouting loudly, “Guards!”

Outside Qingxin Residence, it remained quiet, with no response.

Qu Chenzhou chuckled lightly. “Your Majesty, you’ve forgotten. Nowadays, the four divisions of the palace are all under my command. And I have important matters to report to you, so naturally, idle individuals have withdrawn. Who else is there?”

Emperor Yu’s face changed drastically. Yet, being a long-standing ruler, he remained seated with composure. His murky gaze seemed capable of splitting a person in half.

“What do you want to say? Are you trying to offer military advice as well?”

“How could I dare?” Qu Chenzhou smiled modestly, “When I was suffering in the dungeons of the Jinxiu Ying, I pondered the Empress’s words repeatedly.”

“The Empress was right. No matter how significant my contributions were, they pale in comparison to the Tang family’s deeds. Yet, Your Majesty still regards the Tang family as a thorn in your side.”

“I’m just a minor Si Tian Guan, and when Your Majesty bestows favor upon me, I shine brilliantly. But I don’t know which statement of mine aroused suspicion in Your Majesty’s mind, causing you to subject me to such harsh tortures.”

“From the previous incident with Bi Hongzi to this one in the Jinxiu Ying, do you know what I was thinking when I suffered humiliation in those places?”

“The Shizi is correct; I am indeed hard to satisfy.”

“In the past, at Qisheng Building, I merely hoped to avoid getting beaten and have enough to eat. So, I endured the shame and climbed into the Shizi’s bed.”

“But the Shizi wasn’t a virtuous man either. I had to find a better master. Luckily, fate smiled upon me. By taking a step towards Jing Wang, I reached Your Majesty’s side.”

“But, Your Majesty…” Qu Chenzhou held a chess piece between his fingertips, lightly tapping the board. His voice carried a hint of grievance, “If you had treated me sincerely, would I have ended up here today?”

Emperor Yu abruptly stood up, but Qu Chenzhou was quicker, intercepting him and pushing him back onto the couch.

“Qu Chenzhou!” He yelled aloud, “Aren’t you afraid of death?”

“Afraid of death? Of course, I’m terribly afraid,” Qu Chenzhou smiled through gritted teeth, “If it weren’t for Wangye, I’d probably be dead in the Jinxiu Ying by now. Your Majesty, your question seems a little late, doesn’t it?”

Emperor Yu’s brows furrowed, his lips trembling slightly, “That… Wangye…”

“What do you think?” Qu Chenzhou retorted, “Wangye helped me escape, willingly taking the risk himself. How can I possibly repay such a debt of gratitude?”

Emperor Yu’s complexion turned pale. He finally understood what Qu Chenzhou was getting at.

“You… you mean… Yu Dexi isn’t…”

“Isn’t what?”

Qu Chenzhou propped up the chessboard and looked down with a smile that filled his brows. The person who had once been submissive now felt like a sword hanging over his head, so sharp that it sent a shiver down the spine.

“Not Huai Wang’s person? Of course not. With Wangye’s forces in the palace, it was effortless to lure Yu Dexi away,” he replied.

“What did I just say? Even until his death, Yu Dexi had no idea where he offended you. In fact… you were equally unaware,” he continued.


Emperor Yu suddenly pushed him aside, grabbing the cord of the bell near the window.

“Guards! Guards!”

Before the urgent ringing had a chance to dissipate in the air, the sound of chaotic footsteps could be heard outside the door. Before he had time to regret, the commotion outside finally relieved the anxiety that had been gripping his throat.

“Your Majesty!” Bo Yan came bursting in with people, prostrating themselves on the ground, “Your Majesty, Huai Wang has returned to the capital! He has passed through the city gates and is headed in the direction of the palace!”

“Returned… to the capital…” Emperor Yu was shocked for a moment, then erupted in anger, “Wasn’t he supposed to go to Fangze Altar? Why is he coming back now…”

Suddenly, a sharp blade was placed against his neck, causing Bo Yan to leap to his feet in alarm.

“Qu Sitian! What are you doing!”

“Why did Wangye come back? Naturally, to bring the troops from Ten Li Pavillion,” Qu Chenzhou answered for Bo Yan. He pulled Emperor Yu back and kicked over the desk to serve as a barrier, then sneered, “”If it weren’t for His Majesty’s decision to eliminate Ning Wang, how could Wangye have obtained the Ten Li Pavilion? If it weren’t for His Majesty’s cooling of his heart, how could I have switched my allegiance to Wangye?”

Emperor Yu trembled uncontrollably, unable to restrain himself. The veins on his neck bulged, and he said, “Rebel… Treacherous Official…” 

Bo Yan saw the dagger move slightly, and his whole body froze. He hurriedly shouted, “Qu Sitian, don’t be impulsive! Everything can be discussed. Release the Emperor! I’ll spare your life!” 

“Everything can be discussed? Sure,” Qu Chenzhou lifted the back of Emperor Yu’s robe and scolded, “Isn’t it tiring to sit in this position, Your Majesty? My handwriting is also barely passable. How about abdicating the throne today? It would save Wangye the trouble.” 

“You… You won’t succeed!”

Emperor Yu struggled desperately to stand up, but Qu Chenzhou held him down, making him sit back down. His anger almost caused him to faint, but the splash of tea on his face from the table brought him back to his senses.

“The wise prioritize the present situation. How could Your Majesty not understand? Did Commander Bo Yan discover anything when he came?”

Propping himself up on the desk beside the couch, Emperor Yu’s eyes fixed on Bo Yan as he clutched his chest and gasped heavily, unable to speak.

After a moment, Bo Yan realized, “Patrols?! It’s… the patrol?!”

Qu Chenzhou smiled, “Commander Bo Yan is indeed shrewd. Before I arrived here, I had already reassigned the four divisions. Now, there are only about a hundred people guarding the palace. I left West Hua gate and Chengtian gate. If they enter from there, they’ll get here a bit faster.”

Emperor Yu’s hands trembled as he tried to reach for the dagger, but Qu Chenzhou was faster, moving the weapon out of his reach and twisting his arm behind his back, pressing the blade against his neck once more.

“I advise Your Majesty to act quickly. Isn’t it better to be a leisurely and prosperous former emperor? It’s just a decree…”

“Don’t be unreasonable with Your Majesty!” Bo Yan suddenly stood up. He tried to step forward, but the dagger, suddenly pointed closer, forced him to retreat a few steps.

“Your Majesty, don’t panic! When Huai Wang passed through the city gates, General Bai had already swiftly gathered the guards from the Northern Bureau. I’ve also dispatched forces from the Eight Divisions to assist.”

“When I came to report to Your Majesty, the skirmish had already broken out near Guang’en Temple!”

“General Bai said that he had informed the Lord Marquis and the Shizi. The Shizi is rushing to Jinxiu Ying to command troops, making every effort to intercept Huai Wang’s forces.”

“I ask Your Majesty to pardon the Shizi for his disobedience.”

“Alright, alright, innocent! Innocent!” Emperor Yu’s mixture of fear and joy was hard to suppress, “Good children! Good children!”

“Trying to stop a tank with a mantis’s arm, you court death!” Qu Chenzhou’s voice suddenly turned fierce, and he exerted force with the dagger in his hand, “Quickly summon Rongan! Draft the abdication edict for me!”

“Qu Sitian! Don’t act recklessly!” Bo Yan also shouted loudly, “If His Majesty is lost, even if Huai Wang succeeds the throne, he’ll be guilty of regicide, leaving behind an eternal infamy! Qu Sitian, be cautious!”

The atmosphere in the room was deadlocked, filled only with the increasingly heavy sounds of their breathing.

The dagger in Qu Chenzhou’s hand pressed down several times, but he had to let go again. Bo Yan didn’t dare to advance or retreat, and Emperor Yu continued to prop himself up on the desk, enduring his coughs.

The silence didn’t last too long. At first, it was just a faint sound, so faint that it seemed like an auditory illusion.

But before long, the sounds became distinct—many people shouting and fighting together.

“Your Majesty!” someone outside the door reported loudly, “Huai Wang has brought people to Chengtian Gate! They are currently engaged in battle with the guards from both the North and South Bureau, as well as the Jinxiu Ying! Please leave this place as soon as possible, Your Majesty!”

Emperor Yu’s face turned pale, and he glanced at the gleaming blade around his neck.

“Your Majesty, stay here. We will defend Chengtian Gate! No one will take a step back!” Bo Yan spoke up for him and drew his waist knife, “Your Majesty, I’m willing to be the last shield in front of you!”

“Dream on! Have you forgotten about me?” Qu Chenzhou suddenly kicked aside the table in front of him and shoved Emperor Yu, slowly moving towards the exit, “Move!”

Emperor Yu’s complexion turned ashen, and he grabbed onto the door frame.

The direction Qu Chenzhou was forcing him towards was undoubtedly Chengtian Gate, where he would command the people to stop fighting.

However, with Mu Jingyan’s cruelty, if he sacrificed Qu Chenzhou to secure his own life, he could easily shift all the blame onto him and ascend the throne unscrupulously.


His refusal was interrupted by a scream. A blood-stained dagger pierced through his palm, forcibly prying his hand away from the door frame.

But in the split second that the dagger moved away from his neck, Bo Yan’s waist knife had already swiftly descended between them. As Qu Chenzhou had to retreat, Bo Yan quickly stepped forward, shielding Emperor Yu behind him.

“Don’t pursue! Protect the Emperor!”

Indeed, there was no need to continue the pursuit.

Almost as Qu Chenzhou withdrew, the doors of Qingxin Residence were kicked open. Liu Zhongming entered, covered in bloodstains, carrying a longsword. He loudly shouted, “I, Liu Zhongming, am late in rescuing Your Majesty! Huai Wang, Mu Jingyan, has rebelled! He has been captured at Chengtian Gate!”

“Zhongming! Zhongming!” Emperor Yu’s trembling voice even carried a note of crying, “You’ve arrived just in time! Quickly apprehend him…”

Behind him, Bo Yan swiftly glanced at Liu Zhongming. With one hand, he supported Emperor Yu’s lower back and gently pressed on his lumbar point. The old man immediately fell unconscious.

With guards on either side, Bo Yan carried Emperor Yu out quickly, leaving the two confronting figures behind.

“Qu Chenzhou!”

Liu Zhongming didn’t even cast a glance at Bo Yan. He kept his gaze fixed on Qu Chenzhou as he took a step forward, as if wanting to crush the ground beneath him, letting the person before him know his hatred.

He truly hated, hated that little fox for disregarding his life and taking matters into his own hands, being heartless enough to leave him alone.

How could he be so heartless!

Seeing Qu Chenzhou avoid his gaze, he clenched his hands together, and with a determined force, attempted to use a small grab technique to restrain him. He didn’t dodge or evade, instead offering a hand for the other person to catch.

In the end, the other person wasn’t willing to break his wrist. However, his longsword was already resting horizontally against Qu Chenzhou’s neck.

“Qu Chenzhou,” Liu Zhongming choked back the emotion in his voice, “You won’t find it so easy to die this time!”

Author’s Note: Read on to the next chapter. Don’t say that Qu Chenzhou’s actions aren’t necessary or that you can’t understand what he’s trying to do.

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