Chapter 37 Faithful Dog
* will be using Shizi instead of prince now to refer to Liu Zhongming
When he got out of the sedan chair, Liu Zhongming was lent a hand.
He hadn’t seen Liao Guangming in a long time, and thus chatted with him enthusiastically for a while. And before leaving, he drank up a few more glasses.
He was helped by the accompanying steward until he entered the door of the inner courtyard where he waved his hand, and allowed the person to retreat. He stood by the door and rested for a while. After entering the door, he didn’t return to the bedroom. Instead he turned left.
Passing through the door, he found the study room at the end of limestone road.
Liu Zhongming leaned against the Chuihua doors, and didn’t rush into the courtyard.
Under the promenade outside the study, someone was sitting on the sunny steps with their toes on the ground. A piece of paper was spread on the raised knee.
A few sheets of paper were also laid around him, weighed down with stones, and the white paper was curled up by the wind.
He lowered his head to write something, and from time to time he straightened the blown paper with his hand, as if he was going through it repeatedly.
Liu Zhongming couldn’t see the face hidden by the low-hanging long hair, but he still looked at the quiet and leisurely space under the sun like he was bewitched.
His looks really don’t amount to much. He thought about the nonsense that he had told Liao Guangming. And actually, his eyes don’t matter either.
For some people, it could be just a single movement, a look in the eyes, a lot of flavor in the ordinary, but that was enough to make people unable to remove their eyes from them.
He thought he was good-looking.
At this young age of fifteen years old, for him to look so good, it must be in his bones.
Qu Chenzhou sensed a presence. He looked up, smiled at him, and nodded.
He felt that the wine was getting to his head—— he’s a kid now, but what happens when he grows up?
Liu Zhongming walked over slowly, and sat down on the steps. It was really a good place to rest. The sunlight fell through the tall trees, making people feel so warm and comfortable, that they would want to just stay still.
Like those cats and dogs on the street- in a sorry state but free.
This time Qu Chenzhou didn’t put away the paper spread, so he stretched out his head and glanced at it. Each piece of paper had two or three names written on it and a few marks. He couldn’t understand it. No wonder he didn’t avoid me this time, he thought.
“Drank a lot? Why don’t you take a break first?” Although Qu Chenzhou rarely socialized, he also knew of the things surrounding the wine table.
“A decent amount, but the sobering medicine there is really good. I put two under my tongue and also brought some Pear white back. Have you ever drunk it before?”
“No.” Qu Chenzhou lowered his head and wrote a word, with the corner of his mouth raising a little.
Pear White is too sweet. He can’t drink it, but Zhongming loves to. The latter’s alcohol tolerance is also not very good, so after drinking a little, he would always do something to him. But he himself, however, would never know if the other party was really drunk or pretending to be so.
Liu Zhongming picked up a piece of paper. This was the first time he saw Qu Chenzhou write.
FIt was obviously the first time, but for some reason the strokes on the paper gave him a sense of deja vu.
He rubbed his head, feeling a little dizzy. Maybe he drank a little too much.
Before he had time to consider his style carefully, his eyes fell on Qu Chenzhou in his periphery.
The sun fell on his figure dyeing the little fluff on his head with a hazy golden color, and it felt as if it had blurred his scars.
This profile was familiar.
The last time he saw this was in that dream. The person there was also sitting on the sun lit steps with him, eating in small bites. However, his bearingwas different from the person in front of him.
This situation was very strange. It was the same body, but because of the different soul, there was a heaven and earth difference in presence.
He resisted the impulse, and did not touch the scars and soft cheeks.
Since there was such a thing as borrowing a corpse to return one’s soul, he didn’t know if the dream could also be real.
He wanted to ask: in the future that the other party had experienced, who was the one who was sitting on the porch and sharing the same box of lunch with him?
But he knew that this question would not be answered, so he asked casually: “Why don’t you go in? Why sit at the door?”
“The sun outside the door is very nice.”
On the piece of paper, the names of Bai Shiyan and Fang Wuyang were written and he watched absently. He pondered the answer, and asked nonchalantly, “Did Shi Yan come here?”
Qu Chenzhou stopped his pen as soon as he said that. He stopped painting in circles, and responded: “Yes.”
“Next time I will talk to Shi Yan and tell him to leave you alone.”
Liu Zhongming smiled happily, like a kid who secretly found candy to eat, but he was also slightly annoyed. He was really fooled before.
“Because Shi Yan doesn’t like you in my study, so you just sit outside, right? Is Qu Chenzhou really only able to tell the truth?”
He seemed to discover that the person in front of him was really cunning, talking to him in circles.
“The sun outside the door is very nice” was naturally the truth. At first it sounded like an answer to one’s own question, so if one was inattentive, one would be led to think in the wrong place.
Qu Chenzhou laughed.
He was really still very young, full of childishness in his cunning. Just by looking at his smile, he knew that he was playing tricks, but he couldn’t hate him.
“Naturally,” he asked back, “What did Shizi find?”
He knew that many things would inevitably be unable to be concealed. In his previous life, Zhongming helped him sort many things out.
Although he could only tell the truth, there were questions, rhetorical questions, hypotheses, guesses, etc., many of which can be irrelevant to the truth and can be used as he pleased.
After living in the palace for a long time, he was also used to speaking like this.
The smile in front of him was totally unrepentant and had no guilt for deceiving the people. Liu Zhongming squinted his eyes and pinched the small pointed chin in front of him with two fingers: “Hello, little fox.”
——Dare to lead him in circles like this?
The little fox’s glazed eyes met his, and smiled slightly: “Hello, big fox.”
——It’s just an insignificant talent, hasn’t it been seen through?
Since growing up, this was the first time someone quarreled with Liu Zhongming levellessly. He grinded his teeth and asked: “Has anyone told you before that you are really annoying?”
“Yes,” Qu Chenzhou replied calmly: “There are many.”
Liu Zhongming had nothing to say. His eyes avoided his eyes that seemed to penetrate through the human heart. He looked at him up and down a few times, he couldn’t think of anything that would allow him to prevail, so he could only angrily say: “Little Chou Ba Guai.” (calling him ugly, but this is more teasing manner of saying it)
Qu Chenzhou was not annoyed: “Shizi chose yourself.”
There were many new versions of Liu Shizi’s love affairs in the capital. However, it was Liu Zhongming himself who was the initiator. He decided it himself, and now he didn’t even have a place to vent.
“This Shizi can renege at any time.”
Qu Chenzhou effortlessly removed his finger from his chin, picked up the paper on the ground, and kindly persuaded: “My Shizi, if you are reneging, do it as soon as possible, so as not to be called bad-sighted.”
“You!” Liu Zhongming was annoyed: “You’re really…”
Before the word “disgusting” came out, Liu Zhongming’s speech was stagnant. On the piece of paper he picked up, three words——Liu Qingyan.
His big brother’s name had always been his taboo for several years.
The moment that name jumped into his eyes, he was so ashamed that he even began to hate himself.
He had no clue about the matters of his big brother. His efforts in these past few years have not even had any responses. Now that he finally had some clues, he still had the mind to develop untimely feelings?
No matter how lingering the person in his dreams was, it was nothing more than an illusion.
Qu Chenzhou glanced at him, took away the paper in his hand, and did not say much. If Liu Zhongming couldn’t wake up from his brother’s death, no one could do anything.
He needed Liu Zhongming to mature by himself.
“Qu Chenzhou,” Liu Zhongming looked at his empty hand, the three words seemed to have been branded there: “You said that there is no way out for the Liu family, why did you say that? What happened to the Liu family when you were alive? Tell me!”
Qu Chenzhou looked down and hesitated.
“Tell me!” Liu Zhongming propped his hands on the wall, trapping Qu Chenzhou in a narrow space. He looked down: “I don’t want to be your thread puppet! I don’t want to be ignorant and blind on the battlefield! Tell me, where is the enemy!”
“Can Shizi not think of it? In the world, it is the land of the Emperor and his ministers.” Qu Chenzhou calmly looked up at him: “The position of the Bai Liu family in court, Shizi should know better than I do. Dare I ask, who can shake it?”
“The… the Emperor?” Liu Zhongming couldn’t believe it: “but the Emperor treats my sister…”
Liu Qingru was favored as soon as she entered the palace. In just a few years, she was given the position of Noble Concubine, and had always been a favorite.
Everyone guessed privately that if Concubine Liu gave birth to a prince, no matter how young the prince was, it would have a huge impact on the current situation.
Although he had imagined that if his sister was pregnant, the Liu family would indeed become a target from all sides, he never thought that the sharp blade would come from the Emperor.
“Shizi once asked which one the Emperor will keep in the end.”
“The Emperor actually doesn’t love anyone, except for himself. Otherwise, how could he indulge in divination, seek good luck, avoid evil and ask for medicine?”
“So whether it is Qi Wang, Ning Wang, Huai Wang, or the prince who has not yet been crowned king, he doesn’t want to give up his position to anyone.”
Qu Chenzhou sneered: “He is very willing to look at others, act like a clown and fight to the point of exposing blood. In the end, he will deliberately leave a puppet that he can hold firmly in his hand.”
“As for the other sons, it doesn’t matter whether they are dead or alive.”
At this point, Liu Zhongming trembled a little, and finally understood why Qu Chenzhou wanted him to fight for the position of Jinxiuying.
In order to replace his sister’s future child who is still babbling, he needed to be the “puppet” who is “loyal” enough to make the Emperor put his guard down.
“Not mentioning Shizi who didn’t expect that, how many of those people who are fighting to be favored by the Emperor have thought this thoroughly?”
Qu Chenzhou’s words stopped for a moment.
At the beginning, it was not just Zhongming. He had been with the Emperor for so long, and he stupidly couldn’t see clearly: “If Shizi doesn’t believe me, go to the palace to chat with the imperial concubine, she should have a clear idea.”
“Shizi wants to know the past, so I might as well tell you some of the matter.”
“The imperial concubine did give birth to a prince, but there were many slanders, and repeated rumors become a fact. The Emperor began to become jealous, fearing that the Bai Liu family would force him to establish an heir in the future.”
“Absurd…I …” Liu Zhongming wanted to argue.
“Shizi wants to say that the Liu family has been loyal and good for generations and the Bai family was an impenetrable defense, right?”
Qu Chenzhou shook his head: “Success is there, but failure is also there. Shizi held a position in the Dali Office and even though you had a flourishing reputation, once involved in the controversy of the heir, this was not a good thing.”
“Because the Emperor could not control you, nor could he use you to control the Bai Liu family.”
“The murderer who killed your brother is protected and they are not willing to see the imperial concubine’s child threaten them.”
“They also know that Shizi will never give up on the murderer, and will trace back to them sooner or later. Now that no pawns are shown, it is only because Shizi is still unable to pose a threat to them. Moreover, they are not willing to allow side issues to keep arising.”
Liu Zhongming opened and closed his lips, then asked, “Which Wang Ye… is it?”
It’s not like hadn’t imagined this possibility, but he always felt that it was impossible. Before everything was decided, which Wang Ye needed to commit such a risk to make a move on his brother?
Now that he heard the definite answer in these words, he realized that he was really not ready yet.
“When the time comes, I won’t need to say it and Shizi will know.”
Qu Chenzhou pushed his hand away, stepped down the steps, and walked towards the flower gate: “Before that, I ask Shizi to be cautious. Don’t take it lightly. In any case, you must stand firm in front of the Emperor to be able to face anyone.”
Liu Zhongming’s stiff arms dropped. He was startled for a while, then suddenly turned around to follow, and grabbed Qu Chenzhou’s sleeves. “You just said…someone said slandering words to the Emperor, did the Emperor believe it? Then we…”
Although he knew that this “we” was referring to the Bai Liu family, Qu Chenzhou still felt as if he had been hit by something. He felt so suffocated, he couldn’t breathe for a while.
——The red qi offends ziwei, the white rainbow pierces through the moon, the soldiers will usurp in treacherous times, the heavens name the ruler.”
Because of his divinations, the Emperor’s seven-points of belief became extreme jealousy. The Emperor’s jealousy was the source and he was the fuze that ignited everything.
“In the Marquis mansion, no one escaped besides Shizi. The Liu family was broken and purged within 15 days.”