Chapter 3 Rebirth
This was the coldest weather this year, and the snow fell silently.
There was not even a bit of wind. Large swaths of snowflakes fell straight down from the sky, like someone tearing cotton wool in the air.
Pedestrians on the road wrapped their collars tightly and hurriedly passed by with their heads lowered, lest the annoying cold sneak into their necks.
Qu Chenzhou tried to follow the people several times so there was a place to avoid snow, but then he retreated several times, saying to himself: “I want to wait for him to come back…”
His voice disappeared in the dark night.
Reaching out, the condensed white ice crystals fell towards the palm of his hand, and then to the ground through his palm.
His barefeet stepped on the snow. He couldn’t feel cold and his hands were covered with scars that revealed his bones, but he didn’t feel any pain.
Only his heart was at a loss as if it were empty.
As the sky gradually dimmed, and pedestrians became scarce on the road, he sat under the flagpole again. Bending his knees, he hugged himself.
It was not because of the cold, but from a very young age, only by curling up in this way could he feel safe.
The lights in the distance went out one by one, and the streets at night became even more lonely. He could only hum to himself the few tunes left in his memory.
“As soon as the drums are louder, the March flowers bloom, the cuckoo screams in disorder, the small swallows fly, and the east wind calls every day…”
Others could not hear his voice. He was just relieving himself from boredom and singing to his own body; his body hung on a flagpole on the side.
He didn’t know why he was standing here or how he became like this. When others dragged his corpse away, he could only follow in a daze and come here.
The silver arrow had been pulled out, and no one had cleaned up the bloodstains. Fortunately, it was cold and it was wintertime; thus, his body had not rotted even after this long. He looked like he had just died, and was in a very extremely sorry state.
The hanging corpse was shown to the public and it was already the fourteenth day.
Zhongming had no reason not to hate him.
The thousands of people of the main and branch family of the Anding Marquis, the hundreds of people from the Liu family’s in-laws and long-time friends, the Bai family, Imperial Concubine Liu and the little prince in the palace all died because of him.
Not to mention that in the past years, many people in the world who had never seen him before, had their families destroyed because of him.
He deserved this end.
So there was no resentment.
He was just at a loss as to where he should go in the future. Maybe even God hated him for committing too many sins and punished him not to reincarnate and to watch himself being humiliated here.
He had never been as idle as he was now in his life, nor has he been as unrestrained as he was now. He raised his head to the sky and hummed without worrying about anything.
“Five watch drums sound, the bead curtains are all wet, the snow is all over the Sky and Mountains, the clouds are thousands of miles away, and there are thousands of guests in the cloud.”
Over the past ten days, his consciousness seemed to be getting weaker and weaker and his memory was getting worse and worse. He didn’t remember where he learned this tune, but he was very familiar with it.
Repeatedly, from the first watch of the drum to the fifth watch, and then from the fifth watch back to the first watch, tirelessly, until he saw the light from the horizon again.
In addition to the dawn, there were many other things.
The fierce horse stepped on the broken snow, and the people on horseback rushed towards him in the bright morning light.
Qu Chenzhou stood up facing the sunlight, his mouth hooked upwards.
He seemed to remember that a long time ago, there was such a person standing in front of him in the glare of the sun, asking in a smiling voice: “Qu Sitian?”
That was the first light that came into his life.
He involuntarily ran forward a few steps, and stretched out his arms to the man, “Zhongming…”
But the black-clothed man and his fast horse passed through his body. Arousing the snow, he kneeled under the flagpole in the middle.
Someone on the side quickly stepped forward and untied the body that had been hanging for days.
Liu Zhongming knelt on the ground, clinging to his already stiff body, crying heartbreakingly in the bright snow in the early morning.
Qu Chenzhou stood behind him in a daze. His voice was so stern and sorrowful that he couldn’t help touching his face——he was already a remnant soul, so how could there be tears to shed.
“Zhongming, why are you crying?”
He could only stretch out his hand and gently caress the top of Liu Zhongming’s head.
“I’m dead…Don’t cry.”
His fingers immersed themselves in Liu Zhongming’s hair, becoming more and more transparent in the sun, then it gradually disappeared like the morning mist that can’t see the sun.
Qu Chenzhou raised his lost hands in front of his eyes. He closed his eyes with some relief, and let out a sigh.
His body was dead and his soul will disperse, he… finally can be free.
His body was as light as flying in the clouds, but shouldn’t a person like him go to h*ll?
He didn’t know where he was going, but he just drifted like he was flying in a dream he had before. In a blink of an eye, he woke up and his body fell uncontrollably.
Qu Chenzhou leaped forward and his two hands supported the table in time. He stopped himself from falling, but something pressed painfully on his hand.
It was an oracle bone, something that he had not seen for many years.
Once in Qisheng Building, the owner of the building asked him to hold this thing and help the guests to read their futures. Although he didn’t need it, the owner said it looked more authentic.
Besides the unfamiliar oracle bone, he also saw his hand.
This was a pair of young hands, with well-proportioned flesh and bones. The joints were not so distinct and were a little rough, completely different from his familiar pair of slender white hands.
Qu Chenzhou himself was a monster by nature and had truly turned into a soul. He saw his body separate from himself and even experienced such weird things; so for a while, he didn’t understand what he was encountering now.
He was still in a daze, when a shout came from in front of him: “Du Quan! What is going on?!”
Du Quan? The owner of Qisheng building who has been dead for many years?
But compared to Du Quan who was still alive, his eyes were on the person, opposite to him, who was separated from him by a table.
The man looked over forty. He had a well-maintained face, extremely pale and with no beard. He was covered with powder, and he sneered at Du Quan.
Qu Chenzhou curled up his fingers, pinching the oracle bone.
It’s Pan He… When he was fourteen years old, Pan Gonggong1, who had only visited Qisheng Building that one time, because of his divination, wanted to use him to please the emperor.
Within two months from that day, Qisheng Building disappeared and he was sent to the palace. He was without freedom ever since.
Pan Gonggong was also when he first showed his capability in taking the first step to starting a massacre.
Du Quan didn’t expect Qu Chenzhou to be in a daze. He hurriedly pushed him, and smiled at Pan He, “Don’t be angry, Pan Gonggong, this child has always been a bit weird, just wait a minute.”
Pan He unfolded his fan and looked up and down Qu Chenzhou for a moment: “Du Quan, you shouldn’t be selling dog meat with a sheep’s head, you are deceiving people with these gimmicks.”
“Gonggong must be kidding, how could this little person dare,” Du Quan said with a smile: “This little person told you before, this kid had a great divine light when he was young, however the bigger he turned, the worse he got. If he can’t calculate anything, I hope Daren2 can just take it as entertainment.”
Pan He was not young anymore. He was not as open to these kind of supernatural phenomena as young people. Hearing what he said, he nodded: “This is natural. Children have clean eyes and when they grow, the smoke also becomes heavier, it’s normal if they can’t see it.”
Qu Chenzhou stared blankly at the two people who should have turned into skeletons already. He lifted up his hand to take a look. It really was the hand of when he was a youth. The covering over his face was also the same as before.
But the dialogue in front of him was unfamiliar, completely different from before.
The hexagrams that appeared on Pan He’s body were also very different from before.
In his previous life, he had made an accurate divination for Pan He——there was gold in the south. Make a detour around Luo City.
Pan He followed his orders to go south half skeptical. However, earning a lot of money and escaping the turmoil in Luo City by detouring it, he was moved by crooked thoughts.
What was this current situation? Could it be that God is asking him to see the people he hated in his life and the most memorable events again before he was reborn, to remember them on the Road of forgetfulness?
Qu Chenzhou’s breathing became short, he couldn’t tell whether he was illusory or real.
The voices and body shapes of Du Quan and Pan He were hovering and twisting around him. It turned into ghost-like voices, whistling and screaming, and the sounds became unclear.
A splitting headache.
Such a nightmarish person, even in a dream, he didn’t want to see them.
If it was a dream, let him be unruly once! Be unbridled for once! Vent once!
He slammed the oracle bone in his right hand against Pan He’s finger, stepped on the table with a chair, and stepped on Pan He’s chest amidst a scream of exclamation. He took advantage of his strength, and rushed out of the room.
The sunlight outside the building was as always, full of the warmth of early spring, which was a place where he had never walked freely.
Under the exclamation and curses on the street, he ran down all the way. The exhaustion caused by the running and the fright of the pedestrians around him were real, so real that he began to panic again.
It was as if everything before was a nightmare for him, while the real him was still sold in the Qisheng building, with nothing happening.
The people in Qisheng building shouted and chased after him, but his fear had already made him careless.
Being able to run with both feet again, being able to breathe the warm air greedily and hungerly, and being able to feel the violent heartbeat in his chest, no matter if it was true or not, it didn’t matter anymore.
Even dreaming would be good.
But now he was a young man with a thin body. Before he rushed out the distance of two blocks, the people behind him rushed up like a wolf, crushed him underneath, and twisted his arms.
Qu Chenzhou kept his head up desperately, ignoring the dust rising from the ground. He choked and screamed: “Help! Is there anyone!? Help me!”
“What’s the matter?” There was a boy’s voice above his head.
He was like a drowning man, eager to grab onto his life-saving straw. He never thought anyone would answer.
This sound made his whole body tremble as if all his struggling strength was taken away in an instant.
So familiar. How could he forget the voice that had appeared countless times in his dreams?
Qu Chenzhou involuntarily raised his head. In the backlight of the sun, a young man was riding on a horse, leaning slightly towards him.
“What’s the matter?”
The name in his mouth that he didn’t dare to call out.
- Court Eunuch
- Title of respect toward superiors