Chapter 32 Hand Stove
Every time Liu Zhongming came to inspect Qisheng building, Qu Chenzhou would see it, and would know even from a distance.
He seemed to have a keen sense and insight for this person whom he couldn’t make a detour around, for two lifetimes. In other words, they were really too familiar with each other.
It seemed that from the very first meeting, there was a sense of intimacy that cannot be described.
But now, he doesn’t know how he should face it.
They haven’t said a word since they left the residence. Now one was the master, and the other, a slave. Since he can’t get close, he should stand in his own position steadily and dutifully.
From the beginning of this second life, all unnecessary thoughts and delusions that he shouldn’t ever have, had been abandoned by him.
But occasionally he would instinctively take another look at the person who used to be his only belief and support, and he couldn’t ignore him.
Although he was afraid that the disaster of extinction would come for the Liu family again, Liu Zhongming still had many suspicions about him. If he now took the initiative to lean in, it might turn out counterproductive.
So he can only look at him silently every few moments, knowing that everything will go well in the days to come, and then feel relieved.
Liu Zhongming’s face was as still as the water and the mountains. Of course he could understand.
In the eyes that glanced past him, the young man’s anger and unwillingness were written brightly——why are you ignoring me?
——You ignore me, I ignore you.
He couldn’t help but smile.
Although in the eyes of outsiders, Liu Zhongming has always looked calm and relaxed, he knew how childish Zhongming actually was.
No one would know that this young and mature Prince had once shed tears and inexplicably threw a tantrum at him once.
But the next day, after school, Liu Zhongming had still followed him silently, grieving extremely: “You have been indifferent to me lately.”
Only then had he noticed that the dimsum that Zhongming used to bring him was getting better and better. It was difficult for the Prince to approach the kitchen for him and he realized that he had forgotten to compliment him with a few words.
“I was wrong, please don’t be angry.”
Zhongming burst into laughter in response to his soft apology.
He had once quietly asked Zhongming what he liked about him, and Zhongming had said that he liked being with him. He only knew that when they were together, he would feel relaxed and comfortable. And only then would he be his true self.
But such a childish and weak Zhongming had finally morphed his demeanor into another, under the tempering of blood and rain.
Qu Chenzhou shook his head. Even if he tried hard to forget it, after all, he had been through every second of it before, and many of those things would always come to him involuntarily.
“Little Brother Qu, come and help.” Someone greeted him with a section of crossbar from the side.
When he leaned down to lift one end of the crossbar, the man didn’t move any more, instead he leaned over and motioned him to look at the other side: “The Prince is here again. Guess who will have good luck this time?”
They all knew that their boss was kind and generous. In the previous few visits, he also promoted a few people who did agile work. So every time they met the Prince, many were eager to show off their skills.
Qu Chenzhou followed his eyes and looked at him, but he couldn’t take it back as quickly as before.
His eyes were flooded by scarlett red, and not just Liu Zhongming, but also the attendants around him. There was death painted on them, in shining red blood.
The same moment, the blood in his whole body turned cold, and he felt as if he had returned to the time when he saw the divinations of the ruler of the world on Zhongming.
Qu Chenzhou pinched his nails tightly in his flesh, forcing himself to wake up and calm down——his panic last time, did not give him a second chance to remedy it.
That cannot happen again.
Maybe it was because he had been standing in a trance for too long, a supervisor on the side finally noticed him.
This man was hired from outside. He didn’t know what happened to Qu Chenzhou, but knew that only if he were to stand out, the Prince would appreciate his work.
“Work! Why are you standing in a daze!” The overseer’s whip fell heavily on the ground, stirring up a cloud of dust.
He seemed to be awakened by this whip, suddenly turned his eyes over to the overseer, and immediately looked at Liu Zhongming in the distance, but did not move to work obediently.
“Are you deaf?! Come on, work!” The overseer had already warned him once and was not polite the second time, raising his hand to face him with a whip.
Qu Chenzhou dodged suddenly and grabbed the whip.
Zhongming had once taught him a few moves somehow, lest he was bullied in the academy again. He couldn’t do anything else, but these few moves to him were almost subconscious reflexes.
The overseer had never thought that someone with such a lowly background would dare to resist, so he was stunned for a while and allowed him to be pulled down.
Qu Chenzhou didn’t wait for him to react. He pulled the whip hard, and pulled the person over with the whip. He then pushed the person under him, involuntarily hitting him with a punch.
This time, like cold water dripping into a hot oil pan, the people around exploded.
Qu Chenzhou wrapped the whip around his neck a few times, and the man couldn’t get rid of it for a while. And not until he quickly dropped seven or eight punches, did the man react and rolled from under him.
The two were entangled and rolled together.
After all, Qu Chenzhou was still young and weak, and there were stewards who rushed over to hurriedly yell at people; so after struggling for a long time, he was pressed to the ground firmly.
The long-awaited voice finally came over his head: “What happened?”
He breathed a sigh of relief, and a huge crash followed.
It was the doctor from the residence who came to heal his injury. The old man looked up and down for a while before he recognized him.
“It turned out to be Little Brother Qu. You have grown a lot taller, I almost didn’t recognize you.”
“Doctor Qin.” He responded slightly.
The resident doctor opened the medicine box and checked the bruises on his body. He said with emotion: “You are still a kid after all Getting all riled up for useless matters. What are fights good for? Hey, does it hurt here?”
Qu Chenzhou sat on the bed. He sucked in a breath and replied softly: “It hurts, sorry to bother you.”
“Don’t mention it.” The resident doctor sighed while putting on the medicine: “Your body has been beaten so much, and it won’t be able to withstand much torment. So you should pay more attention to nursing in the future, otherwise you will suffer when you are old.”
The doctor touched Qu Chenzhou’s neck with his fingers, then patted his wrist, and said: “This half-year, you have grown taller, and your body recovered well, so remember to keep it like this.”
Qu Chenzhou hummed an “En” softly.
Since he had his own room, it was much more convenient. In the past six months, he regulated his breathing and adjusted it diligently, and gradually achieved some results. The resident doctor was not a martial artist, so he naturally wouldn’t notice this.
Seeing that the resident doctor had finished his work and was about to pack his things and leave, he hurriedly got up: “Sir, I hope I’m not bothering you, but is the Prince… in the residence?”
“Oh, I don’t know about that.” the resident doctor thought about it and replied. “At the time I came to take a look at the situation in the yard, the Prince should not have been there.”
Qu Chenzhou thanked him, sent him out, and sat back on the bed again, feeling nervous.
When he was pulled to stand up some time ago, he had seen the gaze looking down on him from the horseback, and the strange shock in that gaze made him afraid to think about it.
After that, Liu Zhongming had simply asked him who was the one who made the first move, and then comforted the supervisor without punishing him, and later took him back to the residence again.
Zhongming was a cautious person by nature, and he had had a lot of doubts about him before. This incident now happened so coincidentally, that maybe this time after being brought to the residence, it would not be so easy to get out.
But he had no other way at that time.
He believed that Liu Zhongming would come over and ask him something very soon. He even planned to not speak, but a few days passed, and he still didn’t see half a figure.
He seemed to be just an idle diner in this courtyard.
This only made Qu Chenzhou feel that maybe the situation was much worse than he thought. He knew Liu Zhongming’s character. The more calm the situation was, the likelier it is for something important and big to happen.
And in this tense atmosphere, he who was waiting at the residence also recovered his former composure.
The more serious the incident, the calmer he was.
And a storm was coming.
When Liu Zhongming and Bai Shiyan entered the door together, Qu Chenzhou couldn’t help but smile bitterly in his heart. His luck had never been very good, and every time something happened, it was his worst possible guess.
“Greetings to the Prince, Greetings to General Bai.”
This time, Liu Zhongming did not help him, nor did he allow him to get up. He sat down at the table with Bai Shiyan before calmly looking down at him.
“Why did you hit someone all of a sudden? Because he hit you with a whip?”
Qu Chenzhou lowered his head and didn’t speak——Liu Zhongming had knowingly asked.
Since he was a child, the wounds left by whips and canes have hardly left his body. Why would he hit someone because of this little incident?
Liu Zhongming waited. He didn’t wait for an answer and neither did he force him, but simply nodded: “Anyways, if it wasn’t for your fight, I wouldn’t be able to sit here so peacefully now.”
“Am I right? So I guess I should be thanking you?” There was a sneer in his voice, suppressing the panic and helplessness in his heart.
After he watched the Qi Sheng building fall in shock, memories of Bai Shiyan’s concerns surfaced in his mind over and over again. Within his shock, there was also the anger of being fooled.
When he was questioned by his relatives and friends, he had even splashed dirty water on himself to protect an unknown slave. He kept telling himself that others might not understand it and only he would, when he saw that quiet sleeping face, the delicate sycamore flowers and his pure calm eyes.
But reality slapped him severely.
He felt betrayed, but in fact the other party had never promised him anything. There was nothing between them, nothing!
It’s just that he was hot-headed and passionate.
“Zhongming.” Bai Shiyan sat aside, watching him clench his teeth and his lips turn bloodless, and then he called out in a deep voice.
Liu Zhongming slowed his breathing and calmed himself down: “I have a clear sense of difference between gratitude and grievances, so I will naturally reward you and give you a chance to explain to me what is going on.”
He raised his hand, and something came out of his sleeve. It fell out and rolled to Qu Chenzhou’s body, grunting.
It was an exquisite plum blossom-shaped copper hand stove.
Qu Chenzhou didn’t pick it up. He didn’t need to look closely at all. He also knew which hand stove it was, and he also knew what Liu Zhongming was doing when he didn’t show up these days.
He sighed slightly, raised his head slowly, and looked directly at Liu Zhongming: “Are you investigating me?”
Needless to say, with these four words he had already admitted everything.
“That’s brave of you.” Liu Zhongming looked at his calm eyes and gritted his teeth.
“You played a good part injuring yourself to gain the enemy’s trust. After suffering such a huge setback and falling into my hands, are you really not afraid of death now?”
“I’m curious, who can possibly recruit someone like you?”
“Not placed beside one as a strategist, and instead was sent to me. It seems that your master is not a wise man.”
“Why save me? Is it better for him for me to be alive?”
“Who are you? What are you aiming to do?”
Liu Zhongming’s questions came one after another and there was almost no gap for a person to answer. This was his anger, his doubts, and the fear of the unknown that he had never met.
Even if ghosts and gods were peeping from this small hand furnace, there were still many unexplainable contradictions entangled in his mind. He even thought…maybe he could see a little gap in this mixed contradiction that would show some light.
A gap which would show that he was not deceived, nor betrayed.
But only his echoes gradually dissipated in the air.
“I don’t dare to keep such a big Buddha by my side,” Liu Zhongming lost his patience: “I will give you one night to think about it. Tomorrow, if you are still willing to continue to pretend to be deaf and dumb, I will let someone help you freshen up and send you on your road.”
Everyone who has walked in the palace knows what it means to be freshened up. Boiling water, iron brush that would brush and wash the person until their intestines were worn through and their belly decomposed.
The door slammed shut, leaving only Qu Chenzhou kneeling on the ground, holding up the stove in silence.