Chapter 61: Hidden currents (Part One)

Sitting behind her desk, Xia Qiu tried to concentrate on the highlighted contents in her textbook but failed. Winter vacation would come soon after the New Year, which meant that the final exams were imminent.

She was now used to her life traveling between the human world and the spirit world. During the day, she was a high school student, but at night she learnt saber techniques in the Old Ouyang Manor or in the spirit world.

She saw Ouyang Xiaoleng each day but had little private time with him. Besides, she had little knowledge about the things going on in the capital city of the spirit world. Despite her busy schedule, she felt empty sometimes as if she was stuck in the crevice between the two worlds, belonging to neither of them.

Her cell phone vibrated, startling her. It was a message from Liu Lingmei: Look out of the window!

She looked out of the window of her room and found it was snowing. Watching the crystal-like snowflakes spin down in sunlight, she had the urge to open the window and touch the coolness of the snow.

She sent the emojis of a snowflake and a smiling face to Liu Lingmei. She took a photo of the snow outside the window and sent the picture and the emoji of snowflake to Ouyang Xiaoleng. He should be in the capital city of the spirit world at this moment but would see the message when he came back to the Old Ouyang Manor.

The moment she pressed the Send button, her cell phone vibrated again. Did he reply to her message? She thought hopefully. But when she opened the message, she saw it was from Dong Muya,”I got some information about Soul Departure. Come and see me in the Old Ouyang Manor when you have time.”

Xia Qiu closed her book and exhaled deeply. Not able to concentrate on the textbooks, she decided to take them with her and consult with Dong Muya about her lessons in the school. Stuffing the books into her school bag, she grabbed a thick coat from her wardrobe and walked out of her room.

“Are you going out? Lunch is almost ready!” It was lunch time and her grandmother was cooking in the kitchen. Seeing she was all bundled up, the old lady asked her.

“Yeah. I need to go and see a teacher.”

“The teacher who’s been very good to you since the semester began? Ask her to visit us when she’s got time!”

“Okay. I’m going now.”

It wasn’t as cold as she had expected. As she walked on the thin layer of snow on the ground, the crunchy sounds made by her shoes were pleasant to her ears. On the streets, the pedestrians walked in the snow cautiously. Some kids were having snowball fights on the curb and almost hit her with a snowball. The kid who had thrown the snowball looked ashamed and then stuck out his tongue playfully when she smiled at him.

Ouyang Xiaoleng had always accompanied her when she visited the Old Ouyang Manor; walking toward the manor without him, she felt a bit strange. After the battles during the rune crisis, Ouyang Yong finally acknowledged her fighting abilities and she didn’t need special protection for the time being.

She walked down the narrow lane between the two buildings and entered the maze path leading to the Old Ouyang Manor. Snow fell in the courtyard, but the flowers were still blooming. The door wasn’t locked; Xia Qiu walked in and found the living room was empty. Knowing that Dong Muya must be working in the basement, she walked downstairs.

As usual, the smell of coffee and cigarette floated out from the underground information bank. Dong Muya was busy typing her newly acquired information into her computer and didn’t look up until Xia Qiu came before her. Xia Qiu could see the dark circles under her eyes behind the glasses.

“Xia Qiu!” Dong Muya exhaled deeply and stopped typing, giving her a tired smile.

“Ms. Dong!”

Xia Qiu smiled as she wondered if Dong Muya would sometimes feel as empty and helpless as she was for not belonging to any of the worlds. Then she decided the answer was no. After all, Dong Muya put all her time and energy in her work like a machine that felt no fatigue.

“Do you remember the weird online guy who sold me the information about the Feather Crane Immortal? I kept badgering him and he finally gave me a clue. Following the clue, I found lots of information about Soul Departure.” Dong Muya’s energy returned as she talked about her work.

“Before the New Year, I had a Soul Departure experience in which I saw something that would happen immediately in the same space, which helped me stop it from happening.” Xia Qiu had never told anyone how she had predicted Liu Lingmei’s accident on that day.

“Indeed! Well, come and read the information I found.”

Dong Muya clicked on a file folder on her computer and opened one of the files in it. Pushing the screen to Xia Qiu, she said,”A few people in this world also have the talent of Soul Departure but they call it Lucid Dreaming. In most of the cases of Lucid Dreaming, they remain conscious in the dreams and their souls can detach from their bodies and walk freely. But your case is different. You can see things happening in the past or in the future through Soul Departure. If you can master this ability, you’ll have an extraordinary power.”

“The Feather Crane Immortal said that every user has his or her own way to control their Soul Departures, but I still haven’t found my method yet.”

“Your Soul Departures seemed to happen randomly, but they were not coincidental. In your first Soul Departure, you were drawn by the Black Fire Hell; in the second case, you had it because you were worried that the person staying in the Bird Concealment Platform before you guys arrived might be your enemy; in the third case, you were curious about the looks of the Feather Crane Immortal standing on the opposite bank… I think each of your Soul Departures was guided by your own subconsciousness.”

“You’re right. The latest one happened because I was worried that Lingmei might be in danger due to her fatigue…”

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