Chapter 60: The New Year’s Eve (Part Two)
Xia Qiu knew whom Xuetu was referring to and exchanged a look with her with a smile on her face. Ouyang Xiaoleng looked away from them as if he also knew the answer. Seeing everyone except for him knew the answer, Qianqi got impatient.
“Come on and tell me whom I look like. Who is as handsome as I?” he asked.
Hearing his words, Xia Qiu and Xuetu laughed even harder; Xuetu was almost out of breath with laughter.
“You look like the big rabbit who gets drunk every day,” said Xuetu.
“No way I’m like that old drunkard!” Qianqi curled his lips and drained the liquor in his cup.
Xia Qiu sipped the liquor and found it fragrant, sweet, rich, and warm, and it didn’t sting her throat. However, when the liquor entered her stomach, she found it was quite strong as her whole body began to warm up from the inside to outside. The moment she put down her empty cup, the horse-faced spirit refilled it.
Before they noticed it, Xuetu had drunk three cups of spirit liquor. Under the effect of the alcohol, she got excited and began to sing loudly, exasperating Ouyang Xiaoleng who sat next to her.
“Hey, that’s enough for her.” When the horse-faced spirit was about to refill Xuetu’s cup, Ouyang Xiaoleng reached over and put her cup upside down.
“I want to drink some more!” Xuetu yelled and tried to grab the cup but it fell onto Ouyang Xiaoleng’s shoulder.
“We need to get her back first.”
Ouyang Xiaoleng was about to stand up when he saw Wangyue walk toward them. Planning to drink some hot spirit liquor, Wangyue had come here following the scent of the liquor and bumped into these kids. Looking at Xuetu who was leaning against Xiaoleng, he knew she was drunk.
“I’ll take her home. You kids go on with your fun!” Wangyue said to Ouyang Xiaoleng. Suppressing his thirst for the liquor, he bent down to carry Xuetu.
Xia Qiu knew Wangyue loved to drink and he must have been disappointed to walk here and not get a drop of liquor. She handed her cup to him; it was full of newly poured warm liquor. Wangyue took the cup with a smile, drained the liquor, and handed the cup back to her. They watched as his big figure disappeared in the crowds with the petite Xuetu on his back.
Wangyue walked slowly and steadily as he carried Xuetu back to Wutong Court, not wanting to wake up the girl. He was about to enter the house when a black-cloaked person walked out of it. The person’s face was concealed behind the hood and revealed only their eyes. When they passed each other, Wangyue saw the chilly look in the person’s white pupils. He didn’t recognize this person’s presence and wondered who had come and visited Miao Xueyou at this time of the day. From what he knew about her, she had few interactions with people after his brother died.
When he entered the living room, Miao Xueyou was calmly drinking tea sitting in a rattan chair. As she smelled liquor from Xuetu who was sleeping on Wangyue’s back, she looked displeased. Before he could ask about the person who had just left the house, she reprimanded him.
“Why did you let her drink liquor? She’s drunk!”
“Everyone is happy tonight; after all, it’s New Year’s Eve. I let her drink a few cups and didn’t know she’d get drunk so quickly.” Wangyue took the blame for getting Xuetu drunk.
“An old friend just left. Help me get her into her room. I’m about to turn in, too.”
Hearing that the person was her old friend, Wangyue didn’t pursue the topic despite his questions and helped her get Xuetu onto her bed; then he left the house.
Qianqi couldn’t stop talking after drinking the liquor and kept asking Xia Qiu and Ouyang Xiaoleng about their school life. Ouyang Xiaoleng answered him sporadically with an impatient look on his face. Xia Qiu watched them quietly and felt a bit amused. She lost count of the cups of spirit liquor that she had taken and felt her breath was full of the scent of liquor and sweet Osmanthus. She was a bit tipsy but wasn’t drunk.
A little before midnight, people began to swarm toward the watchtower. Ouyang Xiaoleng left a small gold ingot for the horse-faced spirit and pulled Xia Qiu up, setting off toward the mountain top. Not wanting to be left out, Qianqi took the other hand of hers and looked at Ouyang Xiaoleng challengingly under the effect of the liquor. When they reached the watchtower, many people were already standing there. Ouyang Hongye had arranged some guards to save good spots for them. When they arrived, the guards ushered them to stand behind the railing.
The view of the white lotus flowers against the purple sky was as pretty as before; together with the lanterns lining the streets, the view was breath-taking. The beautiful view and the noisy crowds gave Xia Qiu the feeling that she would enter the Soul Departure state any moment. After the big bell struck twelve times, the first firework was shot into the sky with a loud booming sound, drawing her wandering thoughts back to reality.
The huge fireworks blooming in the sky were so beautiful that they took away people’s breaths. Unlike the fireworks in the human world, these fireworks were injected with spirit power and could transform into many fantastic shapes. One looked like a phoenix flying across the sky with a huge golden tail; one looked like fluttering blue butterflies; one looked like fire-red golden fish swishing its tail. Fascinated by the beautiful fireworks, Xia Qiu felt all the effects of the liquor had evaporated.
“Happy New Year!” she turned to Ouyang Xiaoleng and Qianqi and said.
“Yeah! Happy New Year!” Qianqi returned with a smile.
“Happy New Year!” Ouyang Xiaoleng nodded thoughtfully, and his deep grey blue eyes reflected the lights from the fireworks blooming in the sky.
Xia Qiu saw many complicated emotions in his eyes. She studied him and found he looked more mature than last year. The beautiful youth as cold as an ice sculpture had become a Fox Spirit King overnight. As the king of the world, he shouldered the responsibility of guarding this world; and the fate of this world was closely related to the fate of her own world.
Born in different spaces, they were connected by the string of fate and were destined to go forward shoulder by shoulder. Subconsciously, he reached out for her hand and intertwined his fingers with hers. As the fireworks bloomed in the sky, they felt a strong attachment for each other surge up in their hearts. She wished she could stand by his side and watch fireworks year after year until the end of time.
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