Chapter 66: The distorted hunger (Part One)
After giving Wangyue detailed instructions, Ouyang Hongye watched him ride to the horizon, wondering when he’d see his friend again. He had refilled Wangyue’s flask with the good wine they had transported back from Nanzhe City. After Wangyue left, his tightly wound nerves relaxed; as tension left his body, he was struck with exhaustion and weakness, which had worsened due to his low spirits.
He pulled himself together and walked toward the North Star Palace where lots of problems were waiting for him to solve. He must do whatever he could to patch things up, or his brother Wangyue’s huge sacrifice would go to waste.
Xia Qiu was woken up by the knocking on the windowpane from the red bird transformed by Thorn. She had slept poorly the night before due to the heavy thoughts on her mind and stumbled a little as she walked back to the capital city of the spirit world with Thorn. The only thing that supported her was her desire to see Ouyang Xiaoleng. She wondered if he had recovered a little bit more in the last night; she hoped his wound was less painful.
The North Star Palace was chaotic with the news that Wangyue had broken out of the dungeon. The counts regretted that they hadn’t demanded Wangyue’s immediate death; on the other hand, they were fearful whenever they thought about the mysterious person who had released Wangyue and Yaksha. They swarmed into the front hall and waited for Ouyang Yong and Shi Wangcheng to give them an explanation.
To avoid the counts, Thorn led Xia Qiu into the North Star Palace through the small door on the rear mountain. He did it because some people attributed all the bad things happening lately to Xia Qiu, the human blood pact partner, saying that all these crises came after she made the blood pact with the Fox Spirit King. Only a small group of people held this opinion, but Ouyang Yong and Ouyang Hongye didn’t want Xia Qiu to be bothered by it.
Considering Ouyang Xiaoleng was still weak, they had the talk in the residential court in the Yuheng Hall. After he woke up in the morning, a male spirit servant changed his bandages and helped him into clean clothes. After one night’s rest, his wound had almost healed, which was the miraculous result of the spirit power. After taking a bowl of plain congee and pills from Ouyang Yong, he felt much better.
Ouyang Hongye came into the room before others. It was early morning when he saw off Wangyue; as soon as he returned to the palace, he came here to report what had happened.
“Did it go well?” leaning on the headboard, Ouyang Xiaoleng ordered the two spirit servants out of the room and asked immediately.
“Yeah. Don’t worry. I told him where to find Sanmu. He knows that before he gets any useful information, he can’t have any contact with anyone in the capital city, not even us!” Ouyang Hongye answered.
“Good! Before we find the spies in the capital city, we can’t do anything to alert them!”
“How is the wound?”
“Look. It’s almost healed!”
Ouyang Xiaoleng spread out his arms to show that he had healed. Ouyang Hongye’s heart rose in his throat, saying, “Don’t do it; you’ll cause it to open again!”
Xia Qiu came in after a while. She was relieved to see that Ouyang Xiaoleng’s complexion was much better than yesterday and that he could talk effortlessly with Ouyang Hongye.
He watched her walk in with tenderness in his eyes even though he didn’t smile.
“Xia Qiu!” Ouyang Hongye nodded at her.
Xia Qiu walked to their side with a smile and said, “Hongye! Xiaoleng!”
“Let’s wait for Lord Yong. I’m sure he’ll be here very soon!” Ouyang Hongye glanced at the empty chair by the bed and said.
“Okay. Only the four of us?” she asked.
In the past, whenever she came to a meeting in the spirit world, she’d see Wangyue and Qianqi with them. She missed their presences.
“The things we’re going to talk about are confidential; so, we are the only people here!” Ouyang Hongye shared Xia Qiu’s sentiment.
At this moment, Ouyang Yong opened the door and walked into the room. Wearing an old robe, he looked that he had poor sleep last night.
“Wangyue escaped from Yongchuan last night; the issue about him is settled for the time being. We need to talk about what to do next.”
Sitting down, Ouyang Yong cut to the chase. He didn’t explain how Wangyue escaped from the dungeon in the North Star Palace, but Xia Qiu could guess it from the others’ calm faces.
“Any ideas about the spy lurking in the capital city?” Ouyang Hongye asked.
“Nothing! I’ve questioned each of the guards on duty in the dungeon on the night when Yaksha escaped. They’ve lost memories of that period,” said Ouyang Yong.
“What do you guys think of Count Red Ear Devil Spirit?” Ouyang Xiaoleng asked thoughtfully.
“He objected to your ascending to the throne from the very beginning and has many followers in the capital city!” Ouyang Yong answered after some consideration.
“Maybe we should do some investigation on him,” Ouyang Hongye suggested.
“I was thinking of it, too!” Ouyang Yong agreed.
Xia Qiu knew nothing about Red Ear Devil Spirit except that he had done some great “contribution” to the unfair trial on Wangyue.
“I agree! Whom should we send?” Ouyang Xiaoleng asked.
“Let my secret weapons to do it! It is time give them a test!”
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