Chapter 16: Decipher the mystery of runes (Part One)

Only people familiar with the Old Ouyang Manor knew that the building had a basement in addition to the three floors above the ground. The basement had been used as an information bank for a long time. At this moment, Dong Muya was searching through the shelves in the underground information bank; finally, her gaze rested on a picture book on a high shelf; it had three strange symbols printed on the cover. She pulled out the book and flipped through it. Then she jumped down from the ladder and returned to the desk at the end of the information bank.

On the desk were piled several dictionaries that were used specially to decipher these runes. The dictionaries were compiled by the information bank’s previous manager Li Xun, who came from a family that had served the Ouyang Family for generations. Ever since his grandfather took over the management of the information bank, Li Xun, his father, and his grandfather had traveled to many places to find ways to decipher the mysterious runes and godly decrees. Finally, Li Xun compiled these heavy dictionaries with the information they found.

Li Xun was a stubborn old man who spent all his life on the documents about the holy realm in the godly world and the spirit world; sometimes, he stayed inside the information bank for two weeks, eating and sleeping in the place. At that time, transportation and communication methods were very backward, and he had taken great efforts to search for books and documents for the information bank. He even deciphered many obscure ancient books written in different languages.

About 20 years ago, he felt his life was coming to an end. Engrossed in his work in the information bank, he had remained single all his life. As he was worried that no one could inherit his work of a lifetime after he died, Dong Muya appeared. At that time, she was just a girl of about nine years old, but she had excellent memory and understanding. Unlike other children, she didn’t fear the things that went beyond ordinary people’s understanding; instead, she was fascinated with them. When he told her stories about the holy realm and the spirit world, the lights in her eyes gave him hope. He didn’t know if Dong Muya would still be willing to manage the information bank after she grew up, but still he took the risk and handed her his life-long research and the information bank which embodied the loyalty of generations of the Li Family to the Ouyang Family.

In those years, Dong Muya spent most of her time after school and weekends studying from her teacher Li Xun in the information bank. No one had expected the young girl would be so determined and hardworking; she never showed any signs of giving up. In fact, interest was only one of the reasons that kept her going with this work. The other reason was her secret: as an ordinary human, this was her only way to get close to a certain person’s world; this person was Ouyang Hongye.

Li Xun was a strict teacher and Dong Muya was an obedient and hardworking student. She dispelled his doubts with her talent and enthusiasm and quickly mastered the methods to catalogue and search information and use the dictionaries. Li Xun was very satisfied with her.

After graduating from university with excellent grades, Dong Muya ignored her parents’ protests and friends’ persuasions and returned to Yongchuan to manage the information bank hidden under the Old Ouyang Manor. Teaching Chinese in the high school was only her disguise or a means to earn a living. In fact, she was the only child from a rich family; her father had expanded the family business from Yongchuan to Shanghai and wanted her to take over the business, but she refused him without hesitation. Her parents couldn’t make her stay even with the threat of cutting her off. She walked out from her home in Shanghai and returned to Yongchuan to be an ordinary teacher in the high school. Years later, her parents stopped talking to her.

Rebelling and living away from her parents were a painful and sad experience. To forget it, she put all her energy and time in the information bank. During vacations and holidays, she travelled to different places to search for information and do research. In recent years, she had catalogued and stored the books and documents in a digital format with the modern technology, so they could find information more quickly. Even Ouyang Hongye was amazed by what she had achieved. She had become the master of the information bank and no one was as familiar with it as she was.

The moment Xia Qiu returned to the human world from the capital city of the spirit world, her cell phone began vibrating in her pocket. She took it out and saw it was a call from her dad. After a second of hesitation, she answered it.

“Hello!”

“Xia Qiu, I’m dad.”

“Yeah.”

“I called you many times but couldn’t get through to you.”

Her dad’s voice was deeper than usual, and she could sense his disapproval.

“The connection wasn’t good in my friend’s home, I guess. What’s up?” Xia Qiu lied, trying hard to sound calm.

“Your grandparents told me you are coming home very late recently. They didn’t say it, but they are concerned about you. They’re old and I hope you aren’t doing anything to make them worry.”

“Got it!” Xia Qiu answered and knew her dad wouldn’t lose temper with her since she and her dad were not close.


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