Chapter 89 The New Year
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Liu Zhongming leaned on his arm, looked at the bell that was sitting still above his head, and understood what Qu Chenzhou wanted to see repeatedly in the booklet.
Although he had long known that the palace was by no means as glamorous as it looked on the surface, he never expected it to be so chaotic.
But a bigger mystery remained unanswered.
If the Song family wanted to hide Zhou Huaishan to be a life saver in the future, would they hide the person in the palace? Concubine Yu was losing her control, so why did they put him by Concubine Yu’s side?
Does Zhou Huaishan know that the person with whom he once had a spring night was Concubine Yu?
What about Huai Wang… Did he know that he was not the emperor’s biological son?
He thought up these doubts, but he couldn’t find out anything at all. Even Qu Chenzhou himself said that if there was no secret method, if he didn’t happen to ask that question, it would be impossible to know about this kind of thing.
Although Qu Chenzhou said it lightly, when he looked back and thought about it, he felt cold all over his body.
The former Qu Chenzhou not only asked about Huai Wang’s identity, but even asked about Zhou Huaishan’s name. After that… Huai Wang, who was very thoughtful, did he discover Qu Chenzhou’s secret?
So after that, what would happen to Qu Chenzhou? Will he die because of it?
Liu Zhongming turned over and did not dare to think further.
But if it was for this reason that Qu Chenzhou had a grudge against Huai Wang, it was justifiable.
For some reason, he felt very sad. He didn’t know if it was because of the life and death that the little fox had experienced in the past, or because the person that the little fox was thinking about… couldn’t save the little fox in time.
There was a slight jingle on the top of his head, and he immediately rolled over from the sarong and sat up, only to realize when he was about to get out of bed that it wasn’t that person inside who was pulling the rope, but that the movement of him turning over was too heavy.
The resident doctor did not let them stay in the same bed, saying that the Shizi was precious, and that it was close to the end of the year, so he needed to go back to the residence for new year favors and catching a cold cannot happen.
He was afraid that the outside wind would seep through the door, so he had Qu Chenzhou sleep well inside, and he came out to stay in the sarong.
They were worried that Qu Chenzhou would suddenly have a fever in the middle of the night, so they had the person pull a rope. The end of the rope hung down where Qu Chenzhou could reach, and the other end was stretched into the sarong, where the bell fell.
He didn’t know if it was because he was so overwhelmed that he couldn’t sleep, but he couldn’t help but look at the bell, feeling as if it would ring in the next moment.
Qu Chenzhou’s hand was only an inch away from the knot. Although there was no sound, he knew that there was another person on the other end of the rope.
Since returning from the mountains, their relationship has gradually eased. Rather than obediently listening to the abbot’s words, it was better to say that they have noticed the changes in each other.
When Zhongming was willing to take one more step towards him, he was willing to take one step forward. When he was willing to take one step forward, Zhongming was willing to take two more steps.
Those suspicions dissipated from the increasingly narrow space between them.
He turned over gently, and there seemed to be a faint fragrance left by someone between the quilts.
“Good night.” He moved his lips and said silently to the knot, “Thank you.”
Near the end of the year was Liu Zhongming’s busiest day. In addition to the previous news, shops big and small began to prepare their accounts for the year. Although there were large and small managers who shared the verification, they would eventually be brought together to him.
This year was much better than previous years.
Qu Chenzhou was smart, did things quickly, and his handwriting was almost the same. After seven or eight days of hands-on teaching, he could take on a lot of burdens, and he only needed to deal with some difficult affairs.
Often Qu Chenzhou had already checked and approved it, while his head was buried in the volumes. Qu Chenzhou leaned against the window, throwing fruit into his mouth, while looking at the stewards waiting to be called outside the study, and telling him some not funny jokes.
“The old man with the goatee will break his leg on the way back, Shizi remind him a little.”
“The young man with small eyes is about to become a father. He has a baby girl.”
Liu Zhongming couldn’t focus on work when he heard these, so he could only reprimand with a wry smile: “Shut up!”
After everything was done, and the New Year approached, he would go back to the Marquis Mansion, and he would not see him again for half a month.
“I heard people say that if no one is home to watch over it during the Chinese New Year, evil spirits will take advantage of it.” This time Qu Chenzhou declined the kindness of going to the Bai Family’s for the New Year: “I will help Shizi to watch the house.”
Liu Zhongming did not force it, thinking this was good as well.
“It’s New Year’s Eve, do you want something?” he asked.
Qu Chenzhou escorted him out to the door, thinking for a long while under his expectant gaze.
“A plate of dumplings.”
At noon after New Year’s Eve, snow fell, and there were a lot fewer pedestrians on the street. In the afternoon, it was a collection of beggars, and not many people rushed around, and the sellers closed their stalls and went home early.
Qu Chenzhou asked Steward Lin to go home early, and also took some private money from the eight treasure exquisite box.
Steward Lin naturally wouldn’t accept it, so he almost broke his tongue, saying that the Shizi had given him a monthly payment, and he was usually rewarded, and there was no rule that he was forbidden to save up money privately. It was much better than having no money in the Qisheng Building. The money was lucky money for the children at home.
Seeing that he was doing well now, Steward Lin was comforted. Since he couldn’t shirk him off, he accepted it and left.
There were still many people left in the courtyard. Qu Chenzhou didn’t want to be confined at home, so he asked the steward to accompany him out for a walk.
The capital ten years later was not much different from today. He walked slowly along the road he remembered, and the new snow made a pleasant creaking sound under his boots.
In a few hours, it will be the new year.
As a lonely ghost, he walked the old road again in the old year, picked up the footprints of the past, and truly lived again in the new year.
The steward was well-trained, and was instructed by Liu Zhongming. Carrying a lantern, he followed him without saying a word. He walked from the courtyard to the inner river, turned to the street outside the palace gate, and circled back.
Qu Chenzhou stood at the empty intersection and looked around, only to understand why the former Liu Zhongming hung him here to show the public.
What he faced at that time was the former Marquis Mansion.
But at that time, the Marquis Mansion had already been razed to the ground, and not even the ruins were left.
This was his end and starting point, but when he stood here again, he couldn’t help but think about the figure in the morning light, and he was vaguely uneasy.
Zhongming should know everything… But how did he know?
Even if Huai Wang was really a mad dog, preferring to have a life and death struggle to drag Zhongming into h*ll, but would Zhongming believe what he said so easily?
The people around Huai Wang would definitely not be able to convince Zhongming.
Therefore, there must be such a straw that Zhongming believes.
Who will it be? Or could it be something else?
And after that… how will Zhongming spend the rest of his life?
For some reason, he always felt that after his soul left, something happened that he didn’t know.
Qu Chenzhou stood blankly for a long time.
He laughed at himself a bit, for having the mood to worry about his previous life.
The rest of him was at a loss, always feeling that an invisible thread should still exist here connecting a lot of vague things together.
Like a stray spider silk, only in a special location can you see the thin thread that shines in the sun.
Where is this location?
He was in a trance when he heard the steward next to him say softly, “Little Brother Qu, someone is coming here.”
The person who came here was in a hurry, and the sound of hurried and heavy footsteps approached quickly. Before he could turn around, he heard the man ask: “Qu Chenzho… from the room of Anding Marquis Shizi?”
Qu Chenzhou turned his head, the face in front of him was younger than he remembered, it was Ling He.
Now he was considered a slave to a master. He didn’t have to kneel to ordinary people. He just stood sideways and lowered his head to answer: “Yes.
Most Departments were closed. Ling He today was only wearing a common outfit, his hand holding a red lacquer food box, unclear who he was running to on this New Year’s Eve snowy night to deliver meals to.
It was hard for him to look up, his eyes only stopped on the hem of Ling He’s clothes, waiting patiently.
After a long while, he heard Ling He ask, “Do you still remember Dan Lang?”
Qu Chenzhou smiled bitterly in his heart. He had done a lively face show. This case was already closed, and only Ling He would hold on to it like this.
But he knew even more that no matter how hard he tried, there were a lot of unfinished cases in the Criminal Division, and many things were beyond Ling He’s control.
“Daren please understand…” He replied softly: “This slave has rules, and Shizi clearly ordered that I am not allowed to answer other people’s questions without the permission of the master.”
Ling He’s brows twitched. When he was about to say something, he knew the venting of anger on the person in front of him wouldn’t help, and his eyes turned to the side indifferently.
The steward of the residence recognized him, and he also stepped forward and bowed in response: “Replying to Master Ling, Shizi has indeed set some rules for Little Brother Qu. If he violates one, he will be whipped thirty.”
Ling He was not here to block Qu Chenzhou tonight. After listening to the steward’s answer, he only looked at Qu Chenzhou for a moment, then turned and left.
Qu Chenzhou raised his eyes behind him, and the divinations he saw were unexpected and reasonable.
“It’s Rong Jiuan…”
The night was getting darker, and the sound of firecrackers filled the air with the smell of the New Year.
Qu Chenzhou was locked in the house every year. It smelled fresh and he didn’t think the smell was bad. Taking advantage of the fact that there was no curfew these days, he walked a long way until the fine snow that melted on his boots got wet then he just remembered to go back.
The snow in front of the gate of the courtyard was full of broken red coal and black. It seemed that the people from the courtyard had already joined in the fun and set off fireworks, and across the melted snow and ice, someone stood on the steps looking at him.
“I’m still not strict enough with you, I thought you were going to transform into your original form tonight and go back to the mountains and forests.”
Qu Chenzhou couldn’t help laughing, and replied in a manic voice: “If I have transformed into my original form, will the Shizi skin me?”
“Yes, not only skin you, but also eat you.” The man jokingly smiled and raised the food box in his hand to him: “The dumplings you asked for have been brought to you.”
His eyes were uncertain, and he pursed his lips tightly. He had too many memories tonight, there was fear of saying what he shouldn’t say, fear that he wanted the person to stay at the wrong time.
Without waiting for him to speak, Liu Zhongming took a few steps over, wrapped his arms around his waist, and placed him on the steps to stand.
There was a difference in height between them. Even if they were one step away, Qu Chenzhou was a little shorter, and he could only look at the person with a slightly raised chin.
“Little fox,” he said several times. He was no longer young, but Liu Zhongming chose to call him that: “This Shizi slipped out during his busy schedule to do this, how will you thank me?”
Qu Chenzhou shook the snow from the hat upwards. The drooping brim covered his gaze, and the line of sight was narrow, making him unable to see Liu Zhongming’s gaze, only the place that was allowed to be touched.
He called out softly, leaned forward slowly, and watched Liu Zhongming bite the bullet and keep still, but a large swath of red rose from his neck like a surge.
“Congratulations on the new year…”
A hand clapped behind his head, blocking his irresponsible escape plan, and the black and white snow caps were tightly closed together, preventing light and snowflakes from entering their world.
There was a deafening sound of firecrackers on the street not far away, and the two were separated like a dream.
“Next time,” Liu Zhongming lowered his snow cap, covered his face, and warned softly, “Be a little sincere.”
“What is sincerity?” Qu Chenzhou put his fingertips on his hand, with a sly smile in his eyes: “Everyone belongs to Shizi, and Shizi can take it for himself.”
Zhongming shoved the food box over, complained vaguely, turned around quickly and went down the steps. He then turned back and said “Congratulations to you too”.
Qu Chenzhou stood under the lights with a smile, watching the carriage disappear around the corner, and then raised his hand to catch the falling snow flakes – it will be a new year soon.
Before that day comes, let him leave the past behind.
The author has something to say: Tips:
Ling He—the chief of the criminal department of Dali Temple, who was groomed into bones by Qu Chenzhou in his previous life, Rong Jiuan—in the previous piece, Ling He accompanied Rong Tanhua to watch the list. Upright in his previous life, he followed Qu Chenzhou to the pole and was killed [it was mentioned in the previous article, if you have the patience to look at it again, you can find it] Because the full text and the protagonist’s emotional entanglements are a bit too much, the deputy CP and supporting roles will be less, but I will try my best to make the characters fuller. If there is still some space, maybe, maybe I will mention it in the extras
PS: Zhongming’s rule 4 for Xiao Qu is that he is not allowed to talk to people, just to help stop people who talk nonsense.
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Thank You for the new chapter (ෆ`꒳´ෆ) ˡºᵛᵉ❤