Chapter 3: Old Ouyang Manor (Part Two)

“Hi. I’m Xia Qiu, Ouyang Xiaoleng’s classmate.” Xia Qiu had been holding her breath due to her nervousness. When she spoke, she could smell the faint flower scent in the garden.

“Oh? You’re Xia Qiu! Come in!” The man ushered her into the front yard and continued, “I’m Xiaoleng’s adoptive father, Ouyang Hongye.”

Xia Qiu thought he deserved this name Hongye (Note: Hongye in Chinese means red leaf). When he moved forward, his red robe flowed in the breeze gently like a floating red leaf, giving him an elegant and flowy look. But she was even more amazed when she entered the garden of the house; she felt she was walking in a dream surrounded by views as beautiful as Suzhou gardens on pictures but more fairy-like.

Ouyang Hongye ushered Xia Qiu into the living room and asked her to sit down. Then he pulled open the glass door of the living room, letting in the smell of flowers  from the garden. He picked up a teacup from the tea table, put it before Xia Qiu, and filled it with fragrant tea. After that, he sat down across from her and studied her. This morning after he sent Ouyang Xiaoleng on his way, he had transformed into Ouyang Xiaoleng and went to the school. He had used this special method to draw Xia Qiu into the Old Ouyang Manor.

“Can I see Ouyang Xiaoleng, please?”

Xia Qiu was puzzled at the absence of Ouyang Xiaoleng. Embarrassed to sit alone with his adoptive father, she lowered her head and took a big gulp of tea. A breeze came in with the flower scents in the garden and mingled with the tea scent; she felt each nerve of her body was soaked in the scents. Her eyes got blurry and her thoughts became fuzzy.

“He must be changing clothes upstairs and will come down very soon.”

Ouyang Hongye’s voice sounded distant to her ears and then dimmed until she lost her consciousness.

The wind grew stronger and the cold feeling woke her up. When she opened her eyes, she was astonished to find that she was floating in the air. Ouyang Hongye held her hand and was pulling her higher into the air above the garden. Looking down, she found the whole manor with its garden was engulfed by a huge semi-transparent net that seemed to be made of silk.

“Am I dreaming? What’s that?” she blurted out the questions.

“The big net thing is called a realm shield. With it, we keep the place out of people’s detection. Black Fire Hell is also inside the realm shield. Look at the spot engulfed in red light; that is the place. A big devil that severely damaged the human world, god world, and spirit world 10,000 years ago is sealed in there. Put simply, it’s a prison in human words. The evil but powerful spirits and devils are all locked in cages hanging in the air and get burned by underground magma continuously until they are turned into ashes.”

Xia Qiu wondered if she was dreaming again. But if it was a dream, it felt so real. She couldn’t quite understand the things that Ouyang Hongye described, but he reminded her of the nightmare she had had in Yongchuan Forest three days ago. In that dream, the horror world under the crack on the ground fitted his description of Black Fire Hell. She had been searching for evidence of the existence of those monsters, but when it came, she was unsettled.

“I know you must be finding it hard to accept right now. In fact, it’s Xiaoleng’s duty to tell you this!” Ouyang Hongye saw the confusion in her eyes but still continued, “I’m not human, but a Red-Haired Fox Spirit, as is Xiaoleng. We came from the spirit world’s capital city, which is also named Yongchuan. It’s connected to the human world by the Double Life Black Corridor. Have you heard of the legend about the path in Yongchuan Forest leading to the spirit world?”(read on noodletowntranslated dot com to support the actual translators)

Xia Qiu nodded. Ouyang Hongye didn’t sound like he was joking; after all, if he was a human, he wouldn’t be able to pull her into the air and fly. So, she decided to hear the rest of the story.

“Xiaoleng’s grandfather was the Silver Fox God guarding the border of the god world, but he loved the human world and always went to the human world in secret. His behavior was against the law but the king of the god world, Qian Su’s punishment for him was quite unexpected—he sent Silver Fox God into the spirit world to rule the world as the Fox Spirit King and guard the key to the door of Black Fire Hell. The key is called the Spirit King’s Crown. Every Fox Spirit King must find a god-blessed human he can share minds with and make a blood pact with the human. Only the blood pact can wake up the huge godly power inside the Fox Spirit King; this power was passed down from the Silver Fox God. At the same time, the human who made the blood pact will break the seal on the power given by Qian Su.”(read on noodletowntranslated dot com to support the actual translators)


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