Si Tian Guan Chapter 94

Chapter 94 Rong Jiuan

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When the iron door was about to be opened, the flames of the oil lamp embedded in the wall swayed a little, and the cold wind blowing in from the skylight suppressed all the shadows of the different shapes all around.

When the flames came up again, the iron door was closed, and there was a person standing on the steps, his whole figure was blocked by a cloak, only the food box in his hand was exposed.

The jailer trotted ahead, entered another gate, brought someone over after a short while, then retreated wisely, and closed the iron gate.

Ling He went to the side and dragged a wooden table over with one hand. The guards on duty often ate wine and played cards here to pass the time, making the table a mess.

He lifted the table, knocked the bowls and plates to the ground with a clatter, put the food box on without saying a word, and set the cups, plates, bowls and chopsticks one by one before gesturing to the opposite side.

“I was delayed on the road for a while,” his voice softened in a rare manner: “Eat it before it’s cold.”

Rong Jiuan sat down opposite, and when he picked up the chopsticks, the iron chain in his hand hit the table. There was a cold voice in the small cell.

Ling He didn’t bother to look, and focused on serving the dishes, only after a long time, the opposite bowl of rice had not gone down much.

“What?” He asked in a warm voice, and took another chopstick to check the temperature: “It’s still hot, it’s all your favorite food, Mother especially…”

“I’m not hungry.” Rong Jiuan put down his chopsticks.

He had been here for several months. Although he had been taken care of by Ling He, not tortured, and even the routine interrogation was done by Ling He himself, he was much thinner than when he came, as if he could be pushed down at any time like the swaying shadow.

His voice was faint, matching his eyebrows and eyes, even when he didn’t speak, others could still imagine the tone.

“Are there any news from Jinnan Prefecture?”

Ling He’s fingers turned white on the chopsticks, and then he slowly let go.

“Your memorial has been handed in. I don’t know whether it had reached the emperor, but the emperor sent someone to Jinnan Prefecture last year, and he had returned after the new year.”

“What was the result?” Seeing that he didn’t meet his eyes, he had already guessed it. He raised his eyes and asked calmly: “The magistrate of Jinnan Prefecture praised me for my integrity, yet together with Ren Rui, they believed that I severely deducted the food and embezzled the money?” 

Ling He looked at the dusky and greasy table, resisting his violent impulses.

“Praising you for your integrity is just a breath’s worth of effort. Since he can report to the capital in good conscious that everything is well, you should also know what kind of person he is.”

“The magistrate inquired about the movement of the capital and knew that Ren Rui was involved in a lot of things, and that behind the scenes there must be the three Wang Ye’s in the mix of it. Not wanting to get burned, he only claimed to be sick and it was the head bookkeeper who came out to stir up the water.”

“Ren Rui was involved a lot, and there must be three princes involved in the mess behind him. He didn’t want to get angry, but he just said that he was sick, and it was the master secretary who came forward to stir up trouble.”

“He was tactful. I think he was afraid that you may have had a chance to make a comeback. The account evidence given was vague, and there was plenty of room to say that you embezzled the money.”

“The most important thing was that the people who came to the capital with you all reversed their confessions, saying that they were ordered by you to take the money. I asked them several times to find out what happened, but they insisted relentlessly, and they had already returned to Jinnan Prefecture last year.”

“If someone had a loose mouth…but…”

He didn’t go on, and Rong Jiuan also understood—— It’s just that those who were willing to have a loose mouth were all dead.

They were single-minded and weak, unable to resist the torrent of power, nor can they shelter those who needed protection.

“Brother,” Rong Jiuan picked up the chopsticks again, stabilized the trembling on the chopsticks by the bowl, and said softly, “Bring me some paper and pens next time, and I will continue to shout my grievances.”

“Ah Jiu.” Ling He stretched out his hand, but when he touched the jagged finger bones, he withdrew it like being burned, and the words of comfort in his stomach were so ridiculous that he couldn’t say it.

Ah Jiu turned thinner under his nose, he couldn’t say “I will try my best to rescue you”, he couldn’t say “no one will take you to the Ministry of Criminal Justice”, and he couldn’t say “If something happens to you, I will not live alone”.

He was just a small boat that may be capsized at any time in the torrent, he was powerless with a guilty conscience.

Rong Jiuan looked down at the place that had been touched, was silent for a moment, and said softly: “Brother, teacher taught us that we should be grateful when we are in our prime, but now that dogs and flies of the world are driving us away, I can’t just focus on cleaning myself up”

“I only hate that I’m just a scholar with no power to restrain a chicken that I can’t be that hidden hero who kills one person in ten steps.”

He gently raised his hand, stopping Ling He’s words: “If there is only one person in the world who understands me, it is you. I know what you have done for me all this time, even for you, I can’t help but argue for what’s right.”

“You were famous in Dali Temple, sentenced to prison proceedings, and you have brought the guilty to justice, clearing the innocent. To save more people, you can’t give up easily.”

“I know that forcing you to stay alone is cruel to you. But…”

“If I die,” he thought for a moment, pulling the ends of his hair, biting off a strand: “Father and mother… you will have to take care of them.”

Ling He covered his eyes with his hands, and after a long time, he slowly replied: “Okay.”


Because of the patronage of Shizi, the Huanyi Building’s back stairs was rebuilt and when stepping on it, there was no heavy creaking sound.

The person who came was also very careful, before pushing open the door, he dusted his body carefully, and then entered the door lightly. Without waiting for the nobleman on the seat to open his mouth, he took a few quick steps and bowed.

“Xu Ziwen greets Shizi.”

“We are all from the same clan, so you don’t need to be so polite.” Liu Zhongming didn’t bring anyone. He raised his fan, asking him to stand up, and then nodded to the chair beside him to signal him to sit down.

“Did it go well?”

Xu Ziwen smiled shyly. He was embarrassed to sit too close, so he just sat on the edge of the chair. He was wearing a navy blue coarse cloth gown, which was what Zaoli’s* often wore every day. 

* a servant in the old yamen

When he sat down, he lowered his head and stretched the folds of his cuffs with two fingers, and hurriedly replied: “Thank you Master Shizi for remembering. Everything is going well, the brothers inside are all very good, and the big guys are willing to help each other. Besides the regular money, there’s even some tips. It’s a good job.”

After thinking about it for a while, he added a thank you: “It’s all thanks to Shizi, I am sorry for the trouble.”

He was not young anymore, and he had never had a regular job. He finally got the opportunity to go to Jinxiu Ying to run an errand. Although it was as a jailer, it was still a good path to work in the yamen.

But the gate of the yamen opened to the south. No matter what, the filial silver had to be handed up, and it was difficult to cook at home, so where did the filial silver come from?

He thought about it and had no choice, but just in time for the New Year, he received a card from the Anding Marquis.

They were more or less distant relatives with the Marquis of Anding. They lived together in the capital, and they would routinely receive lantern festival cards in the previous years, but he just received it, thinking it was the Marquis mansion doing things in a complete manner and just sending it casually. He felt embarrassed to go, and was afraid of being ridiculed.

This year, there was really no other way. Throwing his caution to the wind, he heard that Liu Shizi’s business was very big, so even if it was a hair, it would be able to fill the debt.

What he never expected was that the Shizi actually noticed his embarrassment, and sent someone to the house to inquire about the situation. Not only did the task fall to his head smoothly, but he also had a lot of money left over.

It’s just that the Shizi also passed a message to him that there was some misunderstanding with Commander Liao that hadn’t been resolved. Although he didn’t mix in with officialdom, he immediately understood, and never mentioned himself and his relations with the Marquis of Anding in Jinxiu Ying.

Xu Ziwen was a smart man who knew the truth that no meritorious deeds will not be rewarded, so when Liu Zhongming approached him for questioning, he was relieved.

Accepting help from others was a last resort. The real long-term solution was to get closer to Shizi and be useful.

“Shizi, I have some clues about what you asked me to inquire about.”

He lowered his voice, wondering if it was an illusion. He always felt that there was some other person in the room, behind the screen, or somewhere else .

Liu Zhongming’s gaze quickly brought him back again.

“That Pan Gonggong is indeed still alive, locked in the lower cell.”

“I couldn’t go down to such a deep place for a while, and chatted with the old people. They said that when Pan He first came, Commander Liao mentioned him frequently, but when it was the end of the year, he didn’t pay much attention to it anymore.”

“There has been people from the palace, and they said it was… Yu Gonggong.”

Liu Zhongming remained calm. Pan He’s life was certainly important, but Yu Gonggong was an even more important clue. It shows that what they thought was not wrong, and that Bing Dilian and Pan He were indeed involved.

“Meeting Yu Gonggong, did Pan He have anything to say?”

“This…” Xu Ziwen couldn’t answer, then immediately responded, “Don’t worry, Shizi. If I try to get close to them again, there must be some wind in the grass.”

“No hurry, just do it naturally.” The room was silent for a moment. Liu Zhongming sat there, and one could hear the breathing of two people at the same time: “Is there anything else? Did Commander Liao use drugs to punish Pan He?”

“No! “Xu Ziwen replied firmly.

The old jailer below was a widower, and he had no one to chat with him all year round. If he cut a few catties of meat and carried alcohol, he could hear a lot of words.

“He said that the most poisonous thing is to extract a confession in prison with drug punishment, Bi Hongzi, it was something that made people wish for death even more than seeing blood.”

“The old man said he only followed him a few times. A tiny bottle was enough to kill a big man with pain. It was said that no one can survive three bottles, but after three bottles, it is hard to say whether a person can survive.”

“But people can become confused by the medicine, you can ask only a few questions. They would nod and shake their head to answer, one can surely force out one or two hidden sentences, but it is impossible to have someone say things clearly.”

This thing may be something special only the Jinxiu Ying used, Liu Zhongming didn’t pay attention to this before, nor heard of it, if Qu Chenzhou didn’t ask him to ask Xu Ziwen to investigate, he still wouldn’t know there was such a thing in the middle.

For some reason, when he heard Qu Chenzhou mention it, he couldn’t help asking how Qu Chenzhou knew about Bi Hongzi.

Fortunately, Qu Chenzhou answered very quickly – “After Liao Guangming’s death, a lot was found and confiscated, and I used it to torture many people”, it made his beating heart calm down again, and he secretly laughed at what he was afraid of.

Looking at it now, if Bi Hongzi hadn’t been used, then Liao Guangming probably only knew a little and so far he hadn’t been able to find the trick to pry Pan He’s mouth open.

When it has gotten to their side, they should count on Qu Chenzhou’s eyes, but before that, the most important thing was how to get Pan He from Liao Guangming.

Hearing the sound of footsteps gradually disappearing outside the door, Liu Zhongming guessed that the person had already descended the back stairs, so he got up and walked around the screen, and couldn’t help laughing.

Behind the screen, on the bed with side screens, there was a person lying with his back facing him. The big red embroidered quilt covered his head all the way, and the quilt was undulated evenly, the person underneath sleeping soundly.

No wonder he didn’t hear any movement inside when he was asking the question just now, they had fallen asleep.

He stared at the quilt for a while, he couldn’t get enough of this pleasing thing, even blocked by the quilt and especially when he thought of Ning Wang’s look of wanting to die and live, he was always very proud.

This man was his.

Sometimes he would laugh at himself for not being able to concentrate. Seeing Qu Chenzhou as his, no matter whether it was from him recovering from the scar on his face or obtaining this radiant appearance by accident, Qu Chenzhou was always very calm, not sharing with him the excitement. 

In comparison, they seemed to have never seen anything in the world.

“There are many beauties in the palace.” Qu Chenzhou told him so.

In all fairness, he didn’t quite agree with this explanation, just look at Ning Wang’s reaction.

He sat very lightly on the edge of the bed, fearing that the person inside would be suffocated to death. As soon as he lifted a corner of the quilt, Qu Chenzhou frowned, turned around, covering his eyes with the back of his hand, and asked vaguely: “It’s time to eat?”

Liu Zhongming almost laughed angrily and took his hand down.

“As soon as you open your eyes, you think about eating? Were you a starving ghost reincarnated?”

Qu Chenzhou opened his eyes in a daze, looked at the strange layout around him, and then remembered where he was. He laid down for a while before slowly sitting up, he pulled the quilt up to his chin and asked, “When is Xu Ziwen coming?”

“The person is gone,” Liu Zhongming fetched tea to wake him up: “When did you fall asleep? Were you that bored?”

Qu Chenzhou relaxed his mouth, he had forgotten that his whole body was exhausted when he laid down. Since he was attacked at the Lantern Festival, Liu Zhongming not only assigned secret guards to guard him, but also forced him to practice martial arts.

It’s a pity that his body had been bruised purple, and he was growing, yet he can’t eat enough or sleep enough every day.

Liu Zhongming always said that raising him was almost like raising a pig.

“Was there anything new?”

“Not right now, see him again when you are not sleepy,” Liu Zhongming pressed his shoulders with two fingers: “Lie down, I will allow you to rest for today. I’ll go to the yamen in the afternoon, go back after you have had enough rest, I will let Zhiwei accompany you to relieve boredom.”


The door was knocked several times in response and a timid voice said outside the door: “Shizi, Zhiwei is requesting an audience. “

The author had something to say: 

Q: Is it true that no one can survive three bottles of Bi Hongzi?

Qu: Thank you for the invitation, I’m still here, actually I didn’t make it through

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