Chapter 40 Antidote
Liu Zhongming walked fast from the door to the inner courtyard. From beginning to end, his face was calm and collected, scaring everyone to not dare say a word.
Unexpectedly, as soon as he crossed the Chuhua Gate, someone greeted him with a blank expression: “Shizi.”
When he heard the voice calling himself, he stopped abruptly. For a moment, he didn’t know not whether he was pleased or angry. A whole lot of nasty words reached the tip of his tongue, and he barely swallowed it.
Qu Chenzhou looked at him uncertainly, not knowing his current frame of mind: “Did Shizi gain anything from entering the palace today??”
Of course there were gains. He had to face his previous failures and had to admit he had gone the wrong way.
“Qu Chenzhou, who on earth are you?”
He asked without giving up, and as expected, he was only answered with silence.
“Don’t worry about me, I want to be by myself for a while.”
Liu Zhongming spoke, and then broke into a run. His mind was a mess. Qu Chenzhou, who seemed to want to say something, was forced to halt by his words and only stood silently in place.
There was a momentary impulse of wanting to go back and ask, but he only paused for a moment and then turned around.
“Don’t follow me!”
When the door to the study was closed, his hands still shook without cease.
What Qu Chenzhou had said, was fulfilled. His sister’s eyes were like torches, and she should have seen the clues soon after entering the palace, but her sister didn’t dare to conceive the Emperor’s favor, because…
Because of his incompetence.
Liu Zhongming put his head on the table, blinked, and then something cold fell on the back of his hand.
What has he been doing all these years? He thought he was doing his best for his eldest brother, but in turn, ignored more important things.
If this continues, if one day someone attacks the Liu family, he will not even have the power to resist.
He now believed in what Qu Chenzhou had said.
Was it that in Qu Chenzhou’s previous life, he just danced blindfolded like this, dragging the entire Liu family into the abyss without knowing it?
This thought made him tremble with fear.
But in the chaos of his mind, he seemed to be able to hear the quiet and indifferent voice of Qu Chenzhou- Shizi, the way you are now,… have you really matured? If just a mention of your brother’s matter can make you this irritated, should I consider whether I need to find a new Lord?
——If Shizi intends to use this kind of innocence to seize the position of Di in the future, it is better to tell me earlier. My life is too cheap and not worth mentioning, but the poor Bai Liu family will suffer together.
Wiping his eyes fiercely with his sleeves, Liu Zhongming took a deep breath, straightened up his waist, and did not call for his servants. He dripped water and grounded the ink, then took a pen to copy scriptures, and calmed down.
Although he had delayed it all by more than four years in vain, fortunately, God still had mercy on him. With Qu Chenzhou pointing out his mistakes, irrespective of who this person actually is, he must make good use of it so that he won’t disappoint the people around him.
His sister is waiting for him.
He wrote extremely fast, and after a few pages, his mood gradually calmed down.
Outside the window, the sun was slanting to the west, and only a little afterglow was left. He shook the wet-inked paper and was about to put it aside when suddenly he thought of something in his heart. He looked at the paper from afar, then took out another paper from under the drawer.
That was what Qu Chenzhou had written before, had said might be used later, and placed it here with him.
He placed the two handwritings side by side, only to understand why he felt a very strange feeling when he saw Qu Chenzhou’s writing.
There was only a very subtle difference between the fonts of the two of them. If an outsider was to take a look, they might not be able to see the difference.
This discovery kept him stunned for a long time, until the bookcase went dark and the last rays of light were swallowed. Liu Zhongming suddenly jumped up and flew towards the bedroom.
Before going to the palace in the morning, the steward brought him something. He didn’t feel irritated at the time, so he stuck it in his arms and didn’t think about it anymore.
Seeing the darkening sky now, he remembered.
The steward had given him Qu Chenzhou’s medicine!
He finally knew what Qu Chenzhou wanted to say when he returned.
Today was Shuoye!
There was no one in the sarong, so he quickly withdrew again, and the people in the yard hurriedly stepped forward, saying that they had seen Little Brother Qu go to the east wing in the afternoon.
There were several wing rooms on the east side of the inner courtyard, one of which was specially assigned to Qu Chenzhou by Liu Zhongming.
He ran in the yard and looked into the house from across the corridor. Before he got close to the wing, he heard a noise, much like the sound of clothes being torn apart.
Liu Zhongming looked at the sky. There was still some time before Xu Shi (7-9pm), so he relaxed.
When the weather warmed up, the window of the wing room would be open. He stood behind the tree with their new leaves, tilted his head slightly, and looked into the window.
One can see the bookcase in the room directly from here.
There was another sound. This time he saw it with his own eyes, and it was indeed the sound of tearing clothes.
There was an old fashioned cloth, the kind worn by the common folks, on the table, and Qu Chenzhou held a pair of scissors in one hand, cutting it into strips.
Liu Zhongming watched him silently.
After cutting enough cloth strips on the table, Qu Chenzhou picked up a few strips, stroked them in his hands, then bit one end with his teeth. The cloth strips were then placed into a bundle. After weaving them together, he tested its strength, then tied it on. He tied the left wrist, then wrapped the right hand with the other end.
Liu Zhongming didn’t understand it at first, but now he finally did——Qu Chenzhou couldn’t get the medicine, and he seemed to know that the medicine might be very painful, so he planned to tie his hands and feet in advance to avoid hurting himself during the attack.
He couldn’t understand this person even a little.
If Qu Chenzhou had been silent in the past, it would be understandable. After all, if he had spoken too much, he would’ve been seen through.
But now that they have already pierced this layer of window paper, even with his resurrection from the dead, Qu Chenzhou still had very few words to say.
Only when it comes to making suggestions, would he talk non-stop with eloquence.
The answers at all other times were concise and short. Regarding his own affairs, depending on his mood he would choose to answer or not, and there would be almost no response when he asked for it.
If someone prepared food for him, he would eat it. If not., he would endure the hunger without saying a word. He wore new clothes when they were made. If there was nothing, there would be no complaints.
No desires or requests.
Liu Zhongming even wondered if this person would go out naked if he didn’t give him clothes.
Even when the rope to tie his hair was gone, Qu Chenzhou went to remove the bed curtain by himself and tied it indiscriminately.
This person was someone who would not beg for mercy even when tortured. Most of the time, he was like a quiet stone in the courtyard, never actively disturbing others.
And the indifference and alienation in him was also a repellant for others to approach him.
Sometimes, Liu Zhongming felt that this person seemed to have been living so lonely and stubbornly, and had nothing to do with anyone. Can there be such a person in the palace?
How can such a person be allowed to exist?
“What are you doing?”
After seeing enough, he pushed the door open and asked knowingly.
Qu Chenzhou was still biting the cloth rope in his mouth, and was startled by the sound of the door opening. The cloth rope fell out of his mouth.
“Why are you here alone, and what are you doing?” Liu Zhongming waited for a while, but was used to him not responding, so he threw the medicine bottle in his arms on the table: “Take it.”
Qu Chenzhou caught the medicine bottle that was rolling, glanced at him unexpectedly, and didn’t say anything. He raised his head and poured the antidote into his mouth, frowning.
Liu Zhongming looked around, there was no water in the room. It seemed that Qu Chenzhou had never expected him to administer medicine. For a while, he didn’t know whether he should be angry.
Why is this person’s temper so weird? Is it so difficult to lower his head and softly ask for medicine? Is it possible that he, Liu Zhongming, is a monster that can eat people?
Moreover, he had not even prepared water. Was he determined that he would be difficult and refuse to administer the medicine?
He couldn’t even swallow it, yet he just took the medicine so obediently. So well behaved, and it was not like Qu Chenzhou at all.
Liu Zhongming could only go outside to call some servants to bring in some water. Seeing Qu Chenzhou swallow the medicine, a stone in his heart fell to the ground.
He dragged his chair and sat down at the table. On the table were the clothes Qu Chenzhou wore in Qisheng Building, with two sleeves cut off.
“Why do you still keep this thing? Didn’t Steward She make new clothes for you?”
Qu Chenzhou nodded and shook his head, not knowing what to say.
“Today’s Shuoye. You remembered, yet why didn’t you ask me for it?”
This time, Qu Chenzhou responded: “Because Shizi looked very angry.”
“Was not angry with you.” After calming down for a whole afternoon and being shocked by that short interlude, Liu Zhongming’s initial shock had calmed down a lot.
He picked up the clothes on the table. It was washed very cleanly, but he could still see some mottled colors, which looked like traces of blood that could not be washed off.
The clothes looked like a big sack smaller than himself. Just by looking at this size, he could imagine the owner’s slender and thin body. He dropped the clothes and saw Qu Chenzhou biting the cloth rope silently, from his wrist, untying it.
Seeing that the other party didn’t mean to ask him for help at all, he didn’t go up himself. After looking for a while, he asked, “You’ve never asked anyone for help before? Isn’t that too lonely?”
Qu Chenzhou looked at the knot for a moment, and didn’t know whether he was thinking about the past or his words carefully. Then he smiled and said, “I have a bad personality, so I have no friends.”
“Bad personality…” Liu Zhongming laughed, “You are quite self-aware.”
Qu Chenzhou replied in a dull voice, bit the cloth rope and glanced at the door.
Before he drove the guest away, Liu Zhongming asked, “Where did you learn to read books before?”
Qu Chenzhou’s eyes flashed, and he slowly raised his head: “Why?”
“Who did you learn your words from?”
Liu Zhongming waited patiently, squeezing the armrest of the bamboo chair with his hands creaking, and not surprisingly, he saw the other person look away from him. His temples were throbbing with pain.
This attitude clearly meant a refusal to answer.
This person can’t be cooked or boiled. If he refused to speak, he could do nothing but give in.
“Since my sister’s matter was on point as you predicted, I will trust you more. Let me give you something to show my sincerity.”
Qu Chenzhou shook his head gently: “I don’t lack anything,so don’t bother.”
“Don’t lack anything?” Liu Zhongming stared into his eyes and smiled: “You have been staying at the residence for more than a month, yet you haven’t stepped out once.”
Qu Chenzhou’s body stiffened, his eyes filled with shock and joy that could not be concealed.
Liu Zhongming knew that he had bet on the right treasure this time.
“I asked Steward Lin to come over here to take care of you and give you a waist card. From now on, you can enter and leave the residence. Just take Steward Lin and report to the concierge.”
He wanted to see where the other party would go. Who would he look for?
Anyone who has been inside a wall for a long time will go crazy, not to mention that it has been more than a year since Qu Chenzhou fled to the streets. Even if he was a person who had come back from the dead, he had not walked freely for too long.
Liu Zhongming was confident that Qu Chenzhou would inevitably be impatient to leave the house the next morning.
He guessed one thing right, but did not expect the second.