Chapter 28 Separation
Another knife landed who knows where. A fire burned and it hurt like someone had stuck his head in it.
Blood ran down his forehead, and his eyes were so blurry that he couldn’t open his eyes.
Qu Chenzhou wanted to try his best to struggle, but he didn’t know how many hands were holding his hair, that he couldn’t even shake his head.
The wound on his lower back that had not yet had the time to close was aching, and his chest also felt a little stuffy.
Those people kicking his chest weren’t holding back their strength at all. His consciousness was a little fuzzy, and he didn’t know if he had vomited blood.
While he was still distracted, all of a sudden, all the restraints on him disappeared, and he fell to the ground. And then he heard someone roar from above his head.
It was followed by a woman’s shrill and high-pitched voice that desperately burrowed into his ears. Very similar, it was very similar to the hysterical cry of the empress when King Ning lost power.
“Zhongming! I allowed you to move out, not to let you hide a little beast in the house!”
“I was wondering why you suddenly wanted two bowls of possets and salty snacks, so it was all for him!”
“I’m your mother, when have you been so considerate to me? Huh?”
“You can have as many female slaves to attend to you as you want, but men can’t do!”
“Which family’s slave is he? Return him for me, else I will kill him!”
He was given a Princess carry, but a shrill voice blocked their way: “Throw him down for me!”
“This is my place, and he is my person,” Liu Zhongming’s voice was full of anger, but he tried to drill his words into the other person’s mind: “If you want to touch him, you will have to ask if I agree!”
“I am your mother! You dare talk to me like this!?” Madam Liu screamed.
“You are my mother, so I didn’t chase you out right away, but I also ask you to respect me and not interfere with my affairs without my permission.”
“Liu Zhongming!” Madam Liu’s voice was crying: “I won’t allow you to touch this dirty thing! Put him down for me!”
Qu Chenzhou’s body shook, and it seemed that someone had thrown themselves over to fight for him. It was chaotic all around, but the clearest thing was Liu Zhongming’s outrage.
“Someone come, send Madam out! No one is allowed to let her in without my order!”
Madam Liu cried hysterically and was taken away, and gradually, all the noise subsided.
The person holding him trotted up and quickly laid him flat on the bed.
He wanted to try hard to open his eyes that were stuck together with dried blood. Someone put a hand on his forehead and whispered: “Don’t open it.”
The rope that bound his hand was untied, then the cloth that strangled his mouth. A warm and damp towel was carefully dabbed on his face to wipe off the blood that was flowing all over. Finally, it was placed on his eyes, slowly melting the clotted blood.
The resident doctor standing by the bed, opened his medicine box and said: “Prince, let me do the rest.”
Liu Zhongming got up and stepped aside, watching the resident doctor take off Qu Chenzhou’s clothes, leaving only a thin layer of obscene pants. Thinking of something, he turned his face slightly to the side for a moment, then couldn’t help turning back, carefully watching the actions of the resident doctor.
“Don’t worry, his whole body only has surface injuries. It’s not very serious.” The doctor pressed a bruise on his chest and pinned a few needles: “There is no blood congestion inside… and thank god, the bones are not broken. It’s okay, it’s just…”
He looked at Liu Zhongming’s face carefully: “Prince, which medicine should I use?”
When he proposed to use the Yulin ointment last time, the Prince refused, so he didn’t know if the Prince wanted this person to be dead or alive, or hanging by a thread.
“Use the best ones.”
The resident doctor relieved his heart and examined Qu Chenzhou’s whole body carefully. After applying the medicine, he re-wet the towel covering his eyes and wiped off the blood that gushed out of his face.
“Prince, this scar on Little Brother Qu’s face…” the resident doctor pressed his fingertips against the wound before confirming: “the wound wasn’t treated properly with medicine right at the beginning. They had just sprinkled some plant ash, so it’s now become a mixture of pus and blood mixed with plant ash, making it grow hard. With all that dirty stuff wrapped under the skin, it’s no wonder it has bulged so much.”
Liu Zhongming heard the meaning behind the words, and leaned over to look at him. As expected, he saw the yellow and white filth in the blood on the fingertips of the resident doctor. Some very small black spots were mixed in it as well.
“These cuts, although painful, Little Brother Qu should consider them a blessing in disguise. Now we can clean the dirt inside, then use some Yulin ointment and this face may still have hopes of being rescued.”
“Can it really be healed?” Liu Zhongming was surprised and delighted.
“I’m not sure yet. You will have to wait until the medicine is used and see the effect to know.”
The gloomy mood of the whole day finally cleared up just by these few words.
After sending him away, he turned around and took the medicine from the inner drawer. Martial arts practitioners often suffered injuries, so he would always have Yulin ointment in his bedroom.
When he sat back in the sarong, those demon pupils had already opened, and the blood clots stuck to his eyes had been washed away.
Under the gaze, Liu Zhongming actually felt a sense of guilt. If he hadn’t stayed in Huanyi building for so long today, he wouldn’t have allowed his mother to take advantage of this loophole and make this person suffer so much for nothing.
What was Qu Chenzhou experiencing when he watched the charming young man undressing in the Huanyi Building?
Qu Chenzhou said softly, but he was taken aback for a moment: “Why are you apologizing?”
“Because of me, you quarreled with your madam…”
“Don’t mention her,” Liu Zhongming simply skipped over it. Even if was not today and not for this matter, his mother would always be keen to intervene in his affairs. It was commonplace for them to quarrel: “Don’t move, I’m going to apply some medicine on your face. It will hurt a little. Bear with it.”
His fingers were covered in Yulin ointment, but was blocked by the person.
“It won’t be particularly painful,” Liu Zhongming rarely had such patience, and did not realize that his voice had become so soft, like coaxing a child who refused to take medicine: “There will definitely be no difference from the current pain, so bear with it.”
“I thank the Prince for his kindness.” Qu Chenzhou slowly pushed away the hand in front of him: “But there really is no need.”
He naturally knew that Yulin ointment could heal his face. In his last life, it was Zhongming who tried every possible means for him, and finally asked the imperial doctor who was helping in Liu Guifei’s palace to re-open his wound and heal it with Yulin ointment.
“If my face is cured,” Qu Chenzhou looked up at the flimsy gauze curtain——this place would no longer belong to him soon, and said softly, “when I return to the Qisheng building later, I am afraid that life will be difficult…”
These words made Liu Zhongming shiver like someone poured a ladle of ice water over him in the hottest time of summer, and then it struck him that Qu Chenzhou was not his. The master of his slave ring was Du Quan.
It would be fine if Qu Chenzhou was dead, but if he was still alive, he would have to return him sooner or later.
For a moment, he suddenly wanted Qu Chenzhou to pretend to die. Then he could alter his face and live with a different identity, but however, those eyes can’t be changed. So he would have no choice but to live in a place where no one can see him.
He had wanted to ask several times——would he stay for him, stay by his side, and no longer see others, but Bai Shiyan’s reminder would awaken him several times.
Did he really get poisoned without knowing it?
“Qu Chenzhou, have you… have you ever struggled for yourself?” He heard his own faint voice. He didn’t know whether he was asking Qu Chenzhou or himself.
“Yes,” Qu Chenzhou replied quickly, raising his hand to touch his face, then blood came out from the place just cleaned.
His gaze fell on Liu Zhongming’s face, and he calmly replied, “It simply ended up being a failure.”
That time when Du Quan stood facing him in the courtyard with a smirk, Liu Zhongming was not surprised.
With the help of Qu Chenzhou, he cleared up the people in the inner courtyard again.
His people wouldn’t spread any news, but his mother’s would, and perhaps even add details to the story to emphasize his love for the little slave.
For the son of a noble family, these kind of rumors would not impact his identity, but it was impossible for people like Du Quan to not take this opportunity to make trouble, with there being even Madam Liu behind, supporting him now.
In the past few days, neither he nor Qu Chenzhou mentioned this matter again. They were still reading, chatting, drinking tea, gathering flowers, and sometimes talking as before.
He could see that Qu Chenzhou was a very smart person. Always thinking about the long-term, advancing and retreating, knowing what to say and what not to say- he was very reasonable.
So every time he thought of the figure running away in the street, the young man kneeling there stubbornly shaking his head and refusing to speak, and the calm “I just failed, that’s all”, it was as if a huge hand was strangling his throat and making his breathing difficult.
He didn’t ask anything until he handed him over to Du Quan.
About those manners, the discussions, life experiences, divinations, maybe he didn’t try enough methods, or he really couldn’t force him to answer the questions or maybe he didn’t really know.
Du Quan didn’t want to leave when he received the person. Instead, he smiled eagerly and murmured to Liu Zhongming: “Prince, how was Little Brother Qu? Were you satisfied?”
Liu Zhongming didn’t expect that there would be a day when he would admit something that was a taboo so lightly.
Rumors had been spread already, and if he denied it again, he didn’t know what Du Quan would do to Chenzhou when he returned.
“That’s good,” Du Quan smiled like a flower on his face, and pulled Qu Chenzhou over to praise: “Prince has foresight. Many customers have asked for Little Brother Qu before, but I didn’t agree. His body has remained clean because I knew he would meet a distinguished guest sooner or later.”
Like he had perceived the gaze falling on his body, Qu Chenzhou slowly raised his eyes, as if he saw the question again in Liu Zhongming’s eyes.
“Have you ever struggled for yourself?”
He naturally had done that, and in the end had ended up as a corpse put out for display in public. But well… it can be regarded as seeking benevolence and receiving benevolence.
Du Quan had repeated his words several times. Seeing that Liu Zhongming only responded briefly, he had to give up. He looked back at Qu Chenzhou and reprimanded: “Chenzhou, for the Prince to treasure you, is a blessing. Don’t forget your identity. Take it off.”
Liu Zhongming was startled. Qu Chenzhou paused for a moment, then he actually removed his girdle first, and then slowly took off his outer shirt.
“What are you doing?!”
Du Quan explained to him hurriedly: “Prince must not know anything about the law. They aren’t allowed to wear such good silk and satin, or else they will be punished by officials when they walk on the streets.”
Qu Chenzhou never raised his eyes to look at him. He endured the shame, took off his gown and trousers, but when he put his hand on the belt of the trousers, he stopped for a moment and turned his face away.
This kind of embarrassment, he didn’t want Zhongming to witness it.
The person behind kicked him impatiently. He staggered two steps, knelt on the ground, and pulled his belt away.
He heard Liu Zhongming’s voice.
Du Quan hurriedly waved a signal to pause, and ran up a few steps. Accompanied by a smile, he asked: “Prince, do you have any instructions?”
“Someone come, go fetch 300 liangs.”
Du Quan smiled. He had blabbered and made it difficult for Qu Chenzhou exactly for this. He smiled and said: “How could I, how could I?!”
“Manager Du, this is your reward.” Liu Zhongming stared at the kneeling figure. The hand under his sleeves couldn’t help but clench.
He never thought that one day he would say such a thing for himself unscrupulously: “Little Brother Qu served me well. I am very satisfied. This is for you.”
“Of course! That’s a matter of course, my Prince.”
With the silver, a last piece of clothing,f the trousers that covered his shame was left alone. The people standing by the side handed over the baggage, had Qu Chenzhou change into a coarse linen and finally, a rope was tied through his slave ring.
Du Quan took the silver with a smile on his face and said diligently: “Prince, make sure to come often to Qisheng building for tea in the future.”
“En.” Liu Zhongming replied casually: “Take care of him, I will see him another day.”
There were no more excuses to keep him, and he could only watch the group of people drift away.
He didn’t know if he heard his whispers or something else. Before disappearing at the door, Qu Chenzhou stopped and looked back at him.