Chapter 29 Birthmark
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With the special mention from Liu Zhongming, Qu Chenzhou’s life after returning to Qisheng Building became much easier.
Du Quan even found him a small single room, removed the bedding that hadn’t been changed for many years and replaced it with a set that was almost new and not old. This was already a great gift.
The person who came to deliver the quilt was a chatterbox. From his babble, Qu Chenzhou came to know of another thing.
After his return, Prince Liu had sent another two hundred taels of silver, and the person in charge had conveyed to Du Quan the words of the heir— the burn mark on Little Brother Qu’s waist had not been cured yet, so if he were to be sent to the Department of Control, he was afraid it would hurt his body. Thus, if there was anything to be said or if anyone has any objections regarding the matter, they were to talk to the Prince.
He didn’t expect that even such a small matter would be remembered by Zhongming.
This thoughtful kindness was like a flower that fell from a tree to the palm of his hand. He dare not hold it tightly and dare not let it go.
When tossing around at night, his fingers couldn’t help but touch the scar on his back, where it had begun to heal.
His wounds elsewhere healed faster than ordinary people, only here, it was like a life gate.
That place had carried his slave mark for as long he can remember. When his body grows, he would have to rebrand it every few years, and every time it would be taking a trip to the gates of h*ll.
He always wished he could gouge out the flesh there.
But Steward Lin told him that there was originally a birthmark there. At first glance, it looked like a bird flapping its wings in a blazing fire.
He couldn’t see it himself, but Zhongming had once kissed it carefully and jokingly said, why does the birthmark look like the ancient Zhongming bird painted in books?
——You came with a birthmark of a Zhongming bird, and it is coincidentally my name. It seems that you were destined to be mine.
Those oaths… he rolled over and closed his eyes.
They were all in the past, forget it.
Du Quan’s patience was limited. After half a month, he did not see Prince Liu coming and Qu Chenzhou was kicked out again, to work as a handyman in the building.
The divination matter could however, no longer be the same as before.
Since being reminded by Jiang Xingzhi’s words, Du Quan had fully understood that he was deceived for many years, and thus put out the divination banner again.
But Qu Chenzhou as usual did not say anything. Du Quan was afraid that Liu Zhongming would come at who knows when, so he did not dare to beat the person to death like before. He held that person in the palm of his hands, but to him, the rest of them were like blackened tofu.
The two sides fell into a stalemate since Qu Chenzhou had no right to refuse to be taken out for divination. Du Quan could only count on picking up a leak occasionally, and even more so hoped that the heir could take a look at this person again.
But in the next few months, Qu Chenzhou never saw Liu Zhongming again. Those two months of calm days seemed like a hazy and gentle dream. After waking up, he didn’t even leave any warmth behind.
His life was back to its original track, but not everyone could be as calm as he was.
Liu Zhongming felt that his life was getting worse and worse.
He had thought that he had psychologically prepared himself enough before sending the person away. He had also lived alone for several years. It shouldn’t affect him if there was one more or less person around him, but when he returned to the bedroom at night, he felt that something was empty and was missing.
He couldn’t see anything outside while lying on his bed, and then he gradually calmed down.
It was only after reading “the world has been in peace for a long time, and the people of the world are arrogant and fragile, like women and children from the boudoir”, did he suddenly feel emotional and felt the need to discuss it with another. He blurted out a “Chenzhou”, only to realize that there was no one to answer.
No one will answer again.
On the pillow in the sarong, only half a bottle of Yulin ointment he had used, was left. Qu Chenzhou hadn’t touched it at all.
The flowering period of the sycamore tree was over. He watched the servants mix the green leaves in the gray soil and sweep them out together. No one would bury them carefully, and no one would gather the flowers and sleep peacefully under the porch, in the warm sunshine.
Many of the books they liked to read were the same. When he took out one of them and read it, thin dried flowers fell down and gently brushed the back of his hand.
Liu Zhongming broke down and threw away the book.
In just two months, he felt that he was really hopeless. All over his place, there were traces of someone else’s life.
He didn’t dare to stay in the residence, so he called his friends to continue socializing, only to find that things were not as good as he thought.
Although Shi Yan cared about him and understood him, their thoughts were quite different in many matters. Fang Wuyang was completely different from him, and the others need not even be mentioned.
Sitting in the lively banquet, he listened to the laughter around him. For a moment, it was as if he saw the young tender fingers move his black chess piece and say softly: “Knowing safety but not knowing danger, one can escape but not gain merit. This is a big problem.”
With those popular rumors going around in the market, his friends at the table had more topics to discuss. At first they just chatted about the romance tentatively. But after seeing him not saying anything, they gradually became bolder and began to talk about those things without restraint.
Later, a clever looking little gigolo was summoned and appeared at their banquet.
There were many people sitting on their knees, and many soft waists. Those little gigolos were smiling, and amidst the roars, they would drink the glass of wine in their hands.
The wine that was deliberately not swallowed in time overflowed from the little boy’s lips, soaking his chest, and a clear collarbone was revealed under the thin clothing.
Looking at the slender waist that was not yet in his arms, and those many necks and collarbones, he realized one thing—— he was afraid that no one could replace that figure.
It was not that Liu Zhongming had not been to Qisheng Building recently. He had simply bribed the guards in the backyard, so he could enter through the back door, and stand silently in a hidden place.
By the well a few meters away, the young man knelt on the ground washing baskets of vegetables. He seemed to have committed some mistake, and was wearing a pair of rusty shackles on his feet..
When the man turned around, he took two steps back, hiding in the corner, without getting caught.
He was afraid that he would only sink deeper and deeper.
If Du Quan hadn’t suddenly intervened and took the person away this time, what would he have become of him? Is this what the person behind the scenes wanted?
It wasn’t until the figure dragged the heavy vegetable basket away that the surrounding sounds rolled towards him like water bursting a bank.
Through a half-open window, he saw a fat woman in the kitchen chopping vegetables and talking to others.
The person next to her seemed to be asking something and the woman sneered: “You don’t need to keep it for him. He is being raised by a nobleman, so how can he want our cheap tea and rice!”
The man said something again and the woman dropped her kitchen knife heavily and sighed. Her voice was full of contempt: “My kindness was treated as donkey liver and lungs. I thought he was a nice kid, but I didn’t expect his stomach to be full of dirty stuff.”
“He doesn’t want to be clean, but instead sticks to Steward Wu’s body.”
“He’s at a young age full of strength, yet he just wants to climb the nest of nobles. Don’t care about him. You don’t need to save food for him. ”
“Now when Steward Wu is gone, I didn’t expect him to allow him to climb to a higher branch. Just wait and see, a big noble family like that can get whomever they want. It’ll be strange if they still remember him.”
Liu Zhongming quickly understood who they were talking about and stayed in a daze for a long time.
On the same day, he sent another person to send money to Qisheng Building. But again, he did not show up.
Qu Chenzhou knew that he had been there, and he could tell from Du Quan’s attitude towards him that Du Quan would let him live a good life every time he got a lot of money in his account.
Gradually, Du Quan became more and more aware of this system. He only saw money but no person. While thinking about it, he was afraid that the prince was not so interested in this person. If one day he can’t remember him again, this financial road will be broken again.
Qu Chenzhou was more worried than him.
Du Quan’s greed and dissatisfaction were filled with violence, and it was impossible for him to change. If this continues, he thought, sooner or later, something is bound to happen.
The number of clients seeking divination became much more than before. One day, he saw Jiang Xingzhi again. Fortunately, when he clearly said “I don’t know” this time, the other party’s scrutiny became puzzled again.
After removing the pus on his face, the swelling had come down a little. When Du Quan kept looking at his face repeatedly, what he saw was an expression he didn’t wish to see at all.
If Liu Zhongming, that financial road was cut off one day, maybe Chunqing building will be his next residence.
From the room separated by a wall, crying sounded out again. He didn’t know whose family was gone again this time.
It can’t go on like this.
Liu Zhongming’s question seemed to echo in his mind time and time again
——have you ever struggled for yourself?
Qu Chenzhou carried two more bags of rice back to the backyard. Just when he reached the threshold, and was about to take the next trip, he heard the steward announce a break.
This was an extremely rare event. Being able to look outside, he realized how bad he wished to run away. After taking a bun, he sat on the threshold and looked at the bustling street outside.
Because there were shackles on his feet and there were guards outside, the stewards were not afraid of them running away. Hence occupying such a space could be tolerated.
He ate the bun in small bites and slowly scanned the people on the street.
Every five days, he can repeat divination for the same person. It takes more energy to know what kind of influence he has in the other party’s causality line.
The opportunity to look outside is too precious, and he…wanted to struggle for himself once more.
But there were too many people coming and going. Looking at them had made him dizzy, his face turned pale and his body began to feel a little overwhelmed.
A voice chanting to start work rang in the courtyard.
Someone passed by and went to the door to receive a heavy bag. He had to stand up against the wall, but suddenly focused his eyes on a person walking from the street.
The man looked like a fool, looking around at the street stalls. Finally, he sat at the street tea stall picking at his teeth and drinking his tea.
The tea stall owner also recognized the famous rogue on the street, and endured it, pretending as if he hadn’t seen him. After the man finished drinking his tea and left, he went forward to clean up.
Qu Chenzhou stared at the rogue wandering in the street for a long time, then finally heaved a sigh of relief.
Two days later, it was a day when a guest wanted to see him. He got up early and finished his chores, went back and changed into clean clothes, and dragged out the basin under the bed.
Footsteps came from outside the door.The person who came to pick him up was coming soon. Qu Chenzhou’s hands left the cold water in the basin, wiped his hands, carefully pushed the basin back, and answered the door.
“Chenzhou, move quickly. It’s not here today. We need to to go to the opposite Relaxing Bamboo Pavillion. We can’t let the guests wait, so we need to go in advance…”
Steward Lin said this while taking the slave ring from the tray and putting it on him. When he reached his wrist, he was taken aback.
“Why are your hands so cold?”
Qu Chenzhou lowered his head and asked in a low voice, “Steward Lin, can you give me a hand stove? I want to warm it up.”
Steward Lin felt a little pain——the child is so weak, and now that the weather is bad, if he gets a cold, it will not get better for a while.
Even Shopkeeper Du, thinking about the Prince’s instructions and the money from meeting the guests, wouldn’t want the child to get sick.
“Go and get the cloak in my room, and then get him a hand stove.”
There were still guests waiting, so the servants dared not delay time, and rushed to find things.
The cloak was easy to handle, but in weather before winter, no one would be carrying hand stoves, thus it would take a lot of time for a freshly fired hand stove.
Steward Lin couldn’t wait any longer, so he could only take Qu Chenzhou to go out, but at the door, he met the wife of the young master who had just married over a few months ago.
She had heard about it when she came, that there was a strange-looking domestic slave in her husband’s family, but she had never met him.
It just so happened that this young wife also had a cold-fearing physique, and she had a good temper. Seeing Steward Lin seeming to be in trouble, she stopped and asked the reason. Then, she allowed someone to bring over her hand stove she was using.
Qu Chenzhou took it solemnly, knelt and thanked her.
At this time, not only the young lady, but no one knew that the fate of many people in the world will be changed because of this little hand stove.
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