Si Tian Guan Chapter 224

Chapter 224: Extra One

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Liu Zhongming woke up from a deep sleep and immediately realized that the space beside him was empty. He exclaimed anxiously before even opening his eyes, “Chenzhou! Chenzhou!”

He remembered that Chenzhou had returned, dusty and tired yet contented. But now, the bed was empty, as if the previous moments were just a beautiful dream he had.


Just as he was about to rush outside, the room’s door creaked open, and a draft of cold air swept in. A gentle laughter followed.

“I’m here.”

“Shouting so loudly even before opening your eyes, what kind of appearance is that? Fortunately, I’ve been hearing about Lord Marquis’s reputation these past few days while I was away.”

Liu Zhongming’s nerves completely relaxed, and he didn’t even have the strength to get up. He could only squint and call out, “You little fox, come over.”

His little fox discarded the snowy cloak and slipped into the warm bedding, causing Liu Zhongming to grimace due to the cold. Yet, he didn’t want to let go.

“Why are you getting up so early? Sleep a little longer and rest.”

“After coming back for these few days, I’ve been sleeping day and night. I’ve had enough of an early sleep.”

“It’s been tough for you outside.” Like touching a smooth silk fabric, his hand moved from the back of his neck to the distinct collarbone, and no matter how he touched, it was filled with tenderness. “You’re still so thin. Stay in the capital for a while longer, let me take care of you. Hiss, it’s so cold…”

A pair of ice-cold hands slipped into his clothing without hesitation.

“Just warming up.”

He obediently warmed him, but those hands weren’t so obedient. Fingernails lightly scratched along sharp lines, slowly moving from his chest downwards.

“Zhongming, busy with official duties these past few years, it seems your martial arts practice hasn’t been neglected either. You’re even tougher than before?”

“Are you praising me? There’s actually something even tougher.”

“Where?” Qu Chenzhou raised an eyebrow, knowingly asking, “Why haven’t I seen it?”

Liu Zhongming held onto that hand and guided it to the right place. The little fox’s struggles were more of a giveaway: “Did you miss me?”

“Who has time to miss you,” Qu Chenzhou’s fingers played delicately, blowing cool air against Liu Zhongming’s neck, “What would I miss you for?”

“For what?”

Liu Zhongming finally opened his eyes and rolled over, pinning the person beneath him.

“In the early morning, you came back all cleaned up to tease me. What did you want to do?”

Qu Chenzhou’s hands were firmly held and couldn’t move. He lifted his knee to kick him, and his rosy tongue briefly darted out from the edge of his lips. Smiling mischievously, he said, “This subordinate is dull-witted, and hopes that Lord Marquis will enlighten me.”

“Sure thing.”

Liu Zhongming leisurely reached for Qu Chenzhou’s belt, pulling it off and then binding his slender wrist to the bedpost.

Qu Chenzhou didn’t struggle; he let himself be bound, tilted his neck to receive a kiss, but it only resulted in a brief brush.

“I haven’t freshened up yet.”

With one hand, Liu Zhongming retrieved a porcelain bottle from a hidden compartment beside the bed and poured two pills into his hand.

Qu Chenzhou hadn’t received his fill of kisses, obediently took the medicine, and his mouth filled with a sweet fragrance. He sighed with feigned bitterness and said, “Marquis has everything ready here. Who usually uses it…”

He hadn’t finished speaking when he let out a soft hum – he had just been fed one as well. Just as he was about to instinctively curl up, his foot was seized, and it too was bound to the foot of the bed.

“Qu Sitian, have you figured it out yet? What do you want to do?” Liu Zhongming asked him.

He was still putting up a front: “This subordinate doesn’t know, I hope Lord Marquis can instruct me.”

“You really don’t know?” Liu Zhongming got out of bed, leaned over him, but it wasn’t for a kiss. He affectionately scratched his chin instead. “Stay put, think carefully. When I come back after washing up, I’ll ask you.”

Qu Chenzhou was dumbfounded. He tried to struggle, only to find himself unable to move.

“Liu Zhongming!” He watched Liu Zhongming’s figure disappear out the door, the door closing properly behind him. He couldn’t help but feel both embarrassed and angry. “Liu Zhongming! You come back here!”

But there was no response, and Liu Zhongming had truly just left him here alone.

The air quickly filled with a peculiar sweetness, as if all of it was exhaled from his breath. He felt as though he was lying on a bed of fine grass, with rapidly sprouting tender grass blades piercing his skin through the bedding, causing a mix of pain and itching.

Only his left leg could move freely, but even that wasn’t as good as having both legs bound. Every bend and stretch didn’t quench his thirst. That little bit of satisfaction was like drops of water in a desert, disappearing without a trace, leaving him even more parched.


Urgently, he licked his lips, feeling both hot and thirsty, shivering intensely, his weak throaty sounds tinged with desire.

But with the servants walking around the courtyard, he didn’t dare to speak loudly. His pleas for mercy turned into quiet murmurs.


“Zhongming… I’ve figured it out…”

“I miss you…”

“Give me…”

Whether the person was truly absent outside the door or just callous, there was still no response. The longer he waited, the more difficult it became to bear. Finally, he couldn’t help but curse, “Liu Zhongming! You b*stard!”

This time, someone actually responded and entered. With a fresh scent of water, they had indeed gone for a bath.

“Still have the energy to curse me?” Liu Zhongming was left with only his inner garment, pulling up the covers and covering both of them. He smiled and scratched Qu Chenzhou’s skin playfully, then his fingers gradually moved downwards. “Still haven’t figured it out?”

“I’ve figured it out!” Qu Chenzhou’s breathing became rapid. He didn’t want to be at a disadvantage, so he spoke softly, “Zhongming, I really miss you. I want…”


Liu Zhongming nonchalantly responded, placing a soft cushion behind Qu Chenzhou’s waist. He lowered his head to receive the fragrance Qu Chenzhou released. It was as if he held a jade scepter, full of patience, and his words were vague.

“You’ve been away for so long, I didn’t dare to divert your attention. I also didn’t write to inform you about the situation in the capital.”

“After you left, Jingchen took Consort Xian to the fief. Outwardly, it was said that Consort Xian had passed away, but only a few people in the palace know the truth.”

“Fang Wuyang still feels uneasy, so I left him in Jinxiu Ying for now. From time to time, I let him go back and visit. After we leave, I plan to leave Jinxiu Ying to him. As Pei’s disciple, he’s worthy.”

“Second Uncle left early too, distributing his property. He didn’t say where he was going, but I think he must be looking for… Jingchen.”

“Zhiwei is a good child. Now that he’s free from slavery, he’s taken back his name, Qin Siyuan. Last year, I arranged a good marriage for him and gifted him a shop on the west side of the city. Both of them are diligent, and they’re living a good life.”

“There have been many changes in the court personnel.”

“My father was in charge of the handover in the court for half a year, and he passed the position of Anding Marquis to me. Ling He took over Cui Lao’s position, and Jiuan took over Lin Xiang’s position.”

“My sister arranged marriages for the both of them, but they’re both quite shy. The imperial decree is kept hidden at home, and they’re not willing to let outsiders know.”

Qu Chenzhou wanted to hear more details from him, but Liu Zhongming’s slow pace frustrated him. One sentence was stretched into several segments: “They… are afraid that others will say… the same family is in power…”

“Yeah,” Liu Zhongming untied the bindings on his feet and placed another cushion behind his waist before saying, “Don’t worry about them. They’ve been living together all this time. I’ve even seen the determination Ling He has when he clings to Jiuan sometimes. Whether there’s an imperial decree or not, it’s all the same.”

Qu Chenzhou tilted his head slightly back, his upper body almost suspended by the soft cushion. Tears welled up in his eyes as he caught a glimpse of the red tassel in the hidden compartment, and the slightly cool sensation of Ming * rubbing against his ankle. He closed his eyes unable to bear it, exhaling gently.

“I know you didn’t have time outside, and you didn’t have anything convenient at hand. Let me help you relieve your fatigue first.”

Liu Zhongming turned around, kissed his ankle where he held it, and pressed his lips until the person beneath him suddenly arched his body, licking his lips, chuckling softly. He smoothed out the bright red tassel.

“Zhongming!” Qu Chenzhou called him hoarsely, “Warm me up a bit more, it’s so cold…”

“Cold is good,” Liu Zhongming leaned over, brushing his agitated tongue, and softly asked, “Did you figure it out just now? Or are you still in the dark?”

“What… what…” Qu Chenzhou’s voice was strained, unable to think.

“You’ve never reported anything good or bad when you were outside, were you worried I’d be concerned?” Liu Zhongming wiped away the moisture at the corner of Qu Chenzhou’s eyes.

“No…” Now, Qu Chenzhou completely understood what the other person was asking. He struggled desperately, but his resistance made him go weak in the waist. He could only explain softly, “Zhongming… I didn’t mean to… keep it from you…” 

“Is that so?” Liu Zhongming smiled and bit his lip, showing no signs of being affected. “When you came back from Yujin Mansion with the message that everything was going smoothly, what was the reality?” 

Qu Chenzhou knew he couldn’t escape this. He was originally keeping his mouth shut, but that cold object had stopped not far from the burning place, refusing to move. 

He shivered and tried to take the initiative to approach it, but his hands were tied. 

“What was the reality?” Liu Zhongming asked again.

“Yujin Mansion… the wealthy and local gentry… wouldn’t release… the captives, instigated the slaves to revolt. I… I went alone to negotiate with them…”

“You’re really daring!” Liu Zhongming’s expression changed. He wished he could jump into the fray, but was afraid of hurting Qu Chenzhou, so he had to suppress his anger.

“My people didn’t find out, yet you said you weren’t intentionally keeping it from me! If I had known you were so reckless, I wouldn’t have let you go out! Only once?”

Even if he didn’t get an answer to this question, he could still guess. With Qu Chenzhou’s temperament, how could there have been only one time?

“…Never again,” Qu Chenzhou pleaded softly, finally quenching his thirst a bit. His tongue found his lips as he whimpered, “I won’t dare anymore… Zhongming, I miss you so much…”

Years of pent-up frustration within Liu Zhongming dissipated in an instant. He was completely softened by Qu Chenzhou’s rare gentle and pitiful voice. Seeing him shivering pitifully, he could only untie the bindings and hold him, his scolding also mellowed.

“Don’t think you can escape by pretending to be pitiful. I haven’t settled the account with you from the Huai Wang incident from before yet!”

Qu Chenzhou’s whole body tensed. He was about to plead for forgiveness, but suddenly leaned his head back against Liu Zhongming’s chest, tears streaming down his face, leaving only soft sobs.

“Zhongming… I really… won’t dare again next time…”

“No more next time. This time, I’ll make sure you remember.”

Liu Zhongming allowed the soft tip of his tongue that was pressed against his lips to enter his mouth. Seeing his pupils lose their focus, his damp hair disheveled across his face from sweat, Liu Zhongming’s heart softened further. He stopped pressing him for answers, focusing instead on soothing and teasing.

After a short while, Qu Chenzhou was already in a daze in his arms. Liu Zhongming reached over and blocked him with his hand, gently biting his warm earlobe and whispering, “So soon? Wait a little longer.”

“Zhong… Zhongming… let go…”

This soft, feeble protest had no effect whatsoever, and Ming* was tossed onto the bed.

“You b*stard… always using these things to tease me,” Qu Chenzhou clenched his teeth and bit onto the hard, uncomfortable arm that held him, “Are you out of supplies or something!”

“Sharp-tongued, aren’t you? You’ll know soon enough.”

Liu Zhongming didn’t fall for his provocation, biting him firmly and retorting, “You’re unrepentant. I can’t stop you. Since you dare to do it, you should also know the consequences that come afterward.”

“Don’t…” Qu Chenzhou laid in the secure curve of Liu Zhongming’s arm, unable to move left or right, the fire within him refused to die down, “I won’t dare again…”

Caught between them, his heart raced in anxiety, yet someone else seemed calm. One hand trapped him, while the other fumbled in the hidden compartment, retrieving a silver-patterned object.

Qu Chenzhou glanced sideways, catching a glint of light as it flashed in the sun. He was too weak to stand up, saying, “You rascal… the dignified Anding Marquis learning these things from somewhere…”

“Learned them from various places,” Liu Zhongming sat down against the stacked cushions, securing Qu Chenzhou’s hand in his own, “Do you know? Let me show you.”

Qu Chenzhou’s face flushed a drunken red. Like a marionette, his hands were intertwined with another’s. Just as he was about to use the back of his hand to shield his eyes, his body suddenly lifted and then descended.

He landed in the gentle embrace, and both of them let out a long sigh simultaneously.

Qu Chenzhou leaned his head against the warm neck hollow, intending to lift his head for a kiss, but he was lifted by the person behind him, his knees hugged up. He exclaimed in a fluster, “No… don’t go out…”

Liu Zhongming couldn’t help but chuckle, biting his earlobe, “So, Chenzhou likes to play like this. It’s freezing outside, I can’t bear to let you go. Wait until the weather warms up…”

The intimate shadows of the two appeared in the bronze mirror.

Qu Chenzhou covered his eyes with the back of his hand, “Don’t…”

“Don’t what?” Liu Zhongming removed his hand and gently lifted his chin, “Look in the mirror.”

“No looking…” He couldn’t avoid it, nor could he get up. He could only tightly close his eyes, biting his lower lip, “Stop playing around… give it to me…”

Liu Zhongming held his hand, overlapping it with his own, sticking a finger to it absentmindedly. He then placed Qu Chenzhou’s finger into his mouth, his muffled laughter carrying a mischievous tone.

“How long has Chenzhou remained pure and chaste?”

Qu Chenzhou playfully pinched him, his choked voice intermittent, “I… I knew Lord Marquis was fooling around behind my back… learning all sorts of pleasures… I wouldn’t have… come back…”

“Innocent misunderstanding. If you hadn’t returned, I would have crossed mountains and rivers to find you. In this life, the next… until I found you.”

Liu Zhongming pulled his face back, “Look in the mirror…”

Qu Chenzhou stubbornly bit his lower lip, tears silently streaming down his cheeks. He slowly opened his eyes and looked at their reflection in the mirror.

“I heard it from Zhiwei,” Liu Zhongming’s breath carried uncontrollable laughter, “He said you told him that you like looking at yourself in the mirror.”

Before Qu Chenzhou could turn angry, Liu Zhongming burst into laughter, lifting him up as they both leaned against the bronze mirror.

“Today, I’ll make sure you get a good look…”

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