Chapter 49: Farewell (Part One)
Xuetu was indeed locked in her room by Miao Xueyou, who had even put the Snow Lady’s Ice Seal on the door. Miao Xueyou opened the seal and let Wangyue enter the room while she waited at the door.
“Xuetu,” Wangyue called out as he pushed open the door.
Xuetu was sulking in her bed with her favorite stuffed bunny and bear in her arms. The stuffed bunny was made personally by her father Tingyue before she was born; the stuffed bear was a gift that Wangyue brought to her from the human world. Hearing her uncle’s voice, she couldn’t believe her ears and leapt out of her bed immediately.
She ran over and threw herself into his arms, saying sulkily, ”Uncle Wangyue.”
“Let me look at you. My little Xuetu, you’ve lost weight,” Wangyue patted her on the head and said.
Xuetu was about 15 years old; her eyes and eyebrows resembled his brother’s but her personality was naughty and vivacious. Being grounded, she looked dispirited like a flower bud which had weathered a storm, and Wangyue’s heart went out to her.
“Where’s Brother Xiaoleng? Has he come back with you? Tell me about your journey.” She was eager to know what she had missed.
“Calm down. Let me sit down first.”
Wangyue told her what they had encountered on the journey. Despite his lack of story-telling talent, she was still fascinated. When she heard that Ouyang Xiaoleng’s coronation would be held in the capital city, she leapt up in excitement. ”Excellent! Excellent! Please talk to my mom; I want to go and attend Brother Xiaoleng’s coronation.”
“I’ll try,” he comforted her.
Xuetu was reluctant when he left; after all, Uncle Wangyue was her only connection to the outside world and she wanted him to tell her more stories.
“Xuetu wants to attend the coronation. Can I take her to the ceremony?” Wangyue asked Miao Xueyou before he left the Wutong Court.
“I’ll take her!”
Wangyue was reassured by her answer and knew little Xuetu would be thrilled even though he wouldn’t be the one taking her to the venue.
As he walked back, he considered Miao Xueyou’s changes. She had become a different person after his brother died. When his brother was alive, she had been the most charming woman in the capital city and loved to flirt with men, which made Wangyue dislike her. But his brother had loved this woman until he died. After her husband’s death, Miao Xueyou had become reclusive and seldom showed her face in public places; her style of dressing had become simple and plain. Meanwhile, she was more and more strict with Xuetu like an over-protective hen. But Wangyue understood her; after all, she was Xuetu’s only family in the world after his brother’s death; neither he nor Lord Yong could take her father’s place no matter how much they doted on her.
He loved Xuetu dearly because she was his brother’s only child and his only family in this world. Kind and playful, she was like a beam of sunlight in this turbid spirit world, and Wangyue loved sunshine. Maybe Miao Xueyou was right and they should give Xuetu an ordinary and peaceful life instead of getting her involved in fights for power and the war against Green Cloud. If she got hurt because of it, he’d never forgive himself.
But he remembered Xuetu’s melancholic face and her hunger for the outside world. What should he do? What was the best thing for her? When he was a child, his brother Tingyue was over-protective of him because they were orphaned at an early age and had only each other’s company. When he grew up, he chose to roam around the world, gaining the freedom he had craved for. Xuetu reminded him of his young self.
Xia Qiu had spent three days on the Immortality Island, feeling peaceful and happy. She chatted with Feather Crane Immortal, listened to him as he played the flute and learnt more about Soul Departure from him. When he was tired, she’d take a stroll on the island or mull over her own method of activating Soul Departure.
Before she could find her own method, she decided to copy Feather Crane Immortal and merge herself with nature. With the Immortal helping her steady the strength of her soul, she became more proficient at detaching her soul from her body over the past few days. When she was asleep, her soul could leave her body with ease, but she couldn’t go to any place she wanted. She had tried to follow Feather Crane Immortal to places outside of the Immortality Island but didn’t succeed.
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