Chapter 25: Bury the hatchet (Part Two)
“You can see it now,” Fenghuo answered.
“I have no time to look! Wangye, take Fengyue into the place; I’ll go in after you and close the gate,” Ouyang Hongye instructed.
“Got it.” Wangyue dragged Fenghuo into the darkness of the small passage leading to the gate of Nanzhe Palace.
Ouyang Hongye slashed his sword, chopping three ghost heads, and pushed back the ghosts nearest to the gate with the Wind Move Leaf Dance. Then he dashed into the gate swiftly and pushed the gate closed with his back. Feeder death ghosts banged on the gate from outside and screamed shrilly. Wangyue helped Fenghuo stand against the wall and dashed over to Ouyang Hongye’s side to latch the gate. The bar hadn’t been used for a long time and it took great efforts to pull it down.
The moment the gate was latched, they braced themselves for feeder death ghosts that might pounce on them from the darkness at any moment. Fenghuo’s strength had returned gradually, and he could stand up and move his feet slowly.
“Wind Stop Flames Rise.” Ouyang Hongye illuminated their surroundings with his Burning Flame which looked very bright in the darkness.
Fenghuo was more familiar with the interior of the palace than his companions since he had visited it many times at the Nanzhe City Master’s invitation. Hongye hadn’t left him behind and he must do his best to help his team.
“The private garden of the Nanzhe City Master was a forbidden zone that only he could enter. It can only be accessed through a secret passage,” Fenghuo told his companions.
“Do you know where the secret passage is?” Ouyang Hongye asked.
“Take this road and walk through the front hall and the main hall; turn the ninth of the 18 copper puma heads on the left wall in the left side hall, and we’ll see the secret passage. It’s a maze path leading to the city master’s private garden and his treasure vault,” Fenghuo told him everything he knew.
“You know not only his private garden, but his treasure vault as well. That’s wonderful,” Wangyue was impressed.
“I was young and curious, so I followed the Nanzhe City Master and had a glance of the great treasures of Nanzhe City from a distance. But I didn’t notice the frescos you mentioned,” Fenghuo sounded regretful.
“You’re very helpful!” Ouyang Hongye said in satisfaction.
In the darkness, voices of feeder death ghosts rose here and there. Their ragged uniforms and hats showed that they had been servants in the palace. The ghosts had lost their ability of thinking, but they followed their old habits. The ghosts outside the palace were not allowed to enter the place while the ghosts inside still guarded the palace and never stepped out of it.
Following Fenghuo’s instruction, they entered the front hall which had lost its previous glory and was covered by dust and filled with the pungent smell of decay. Ouyang Hongye used the Wind Move Leaf Wave and lit the torches on the walls of the palace with his spirit power. The lights illuminated the spacious front hall; despite its dilapidation, they could imagine how magnificent it had been; it was obvious that this palace had been as grand as the North Star Palace.
Golden color glittered from under the dust; the extravagant city master had had the walls and ground coated in gold. The feeder death ghosts in the palace got restless as if they had sensed the scent of invaders. They swarmed into the front hall and surrounded the invaders. The sound waves from the ghosts grated on Hongye, Wangyue and Fenghuo’s eardrums and nerves. Fatigued by the previous battle, Hongye could only block the sound attack on his nerves with pure will.
“There’re so many feeder death ghosts in the palace; it seems we can’t enter the main hall with ease.” Despite the enemies around them, Ouyang Hongye still looked casual and elegant.
“I’m not afraid of their big number; but the reverberation in the hall is too good. I hate their screams; now the sound effect in the hall makes the screams even more unbearable.” Wangyue was furious at the ghosts’ howls.
“Do you remember the song I taught you when we drank?” Ouyang Hongye asked.
“Of course. I liked it when you sang it and made you teach it to me.” Wangyue recalled.
“Do you want to kill our way out while singing the song?” Ouyang Hongye asked.
“Good idea!” Wangyue agreed.
Ouyang Hongye began to sing and Wangyue sang along with him:
“Rosy clouds are walls and mist are the curtain;
“The pond is foggy and lotus leaves stand like umbrellas;
“Flowers fly and butterflies dance around them;
“Godly birds return in ethereal music.”
It was a song describing the fairyland; the tune was peaceful and leisurely, cleansing their minds off the frustration and restlessness caused by the feeder death ghosts; they felt lightened in body and fearless no matter how many ghosts were surrounding them. Fenghuo’s numbed nerves relaxed completely; summoning his two axes, he entered the fray.
The song seemed to merge their spirit powers as they moved more and more in sync with each other; soon they killed most of the ghosts in the hall and broke out from the siege before moving toward the main hall.
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