Chapter 7: Becoming blood pact partners (Part Two)
Thorn decided to escort her to the school where Ouyang Xiaoleng would guard her. Then he’d return to North Star Palace to see Lord Yong. Turning into a small red sparrow, he followed her from the sky.
On her way to school, Xia Qiu ran into Du He but didn’t hear anything he said, wishing to see Ouyang Xiaoleng as soon as possible. But she was afraid to see him at the same time. The contradictory feelings were confusing; she felt like a child who wanted comfort from an adult after falling but tried to hold her tears back and act strong. She had promised she’d become his blood pact partner of her own will, but now she cringed at the idea.
However, all these confusing feelings vanished when she saw him. She was still hesitating how to tell him about the attack in the morning when she came to his side. Glancing at her face, he instantly knew something had happened. Holding her hand, he pulled her out of the classroom, leaving their classmates wowing in their seats.
Ouyang Xiaoleng realized he had acted boldly. He tried to keep a low profile, but whenever something happened to Xia Qiu, he just forgot himself and moved before he could think.
He pulled her to the platform on the top of the building in one breath. She had never known such a place existed in the school. From here, she could see very distant places.
“What happened?” Ouyang Xiaoleng demanded, losing his usual composure.
“No…Nothing!” Xia Qiu wondered how he knew something had happened to her.
“I sensed Thorn’s presence. He was with you, right?”
Xia Qiu knew she couldn’t hide it from him and told him about the black wolf’s attack in the morning. Not wanting to make him worry, she didn’t tell him how terrified she had been.
“Are you hurt?” He gripped her shoulders tightly.
Xia Qiu shook her head and was pulled into his arms before she could speak. He held her so tightly, almost as if he was afraid that she’d vanish any moment. In his embrace which felt warmer than sunshine, her uneasiness melted little by little as her tears dampened his shirt.
Ouyang Xiaoleng remembered how Xia Qiu had stroked him gently when he was wounded in his fox form many years ago, so he stroked the top of her head softly. No one had stroked him as she did, which was why the memory of it was engraved in his mind.
Burying her face against his chest, she sobbed for a long time. Neither of them spoke; gradually, she calmed down and her courage returned little by little. She wanted to gain the power that could help the person who was holding her, so she could be with him forever.
They missed the first class and returned to the classroom during the break.
“Qiu, are you okay?” As they walked in, Liu Lingmei ran over and asked Xia Qiu; then she pointed at Ouyang Xiaoleng with glaring eyes. “Did you do something to Qiu?!”
She looked like a kitten with her hair bristled in anger. Xia Qiu had never seen her so angry, feeling both grateful and amused. She felt much better now but didn’t know how to explain to her friend what had happened.
“No. He just talked to me.” Xia Qiu shook her head.
“Didn’t anyone ask you out?!” Dong Haofan walked over and tugged at Liu Lingmei; then he gave Ouyang Xiaoleng a thumbs-up with a knowing smile.
Liu Lingmei looked at Xia Qiu and then at Ouyang Xiaoleng with sudden understanding. It seemed the incident ended with people’s misunderstanding. Most of their classmates were convinced that icy cold Ouyang Xiaoleng liked Xia Qiu and had asked her out.
In the following two days, Ouyang Xiaoleng, Ouyang Hongye, and Thorn took turns to guard Xia Qiu, but Green Cloud’s minions didn’t appear. Everything was unexpectedly quiet before the blood pact ceremony.
On the day of the ceremony, Xia Qiu went with Ouyang Xiaoleng to the North Star Palace in the capital city after school and got separated when they reached there. Some ghost servants in the Fuxing Hall ushered Xia Qiu to a bathroom to bathe. Mist and intoxicating sandalwood scent and flower fragrance floated out from behind the sandalwood screen with several folds and layers of white curtains. A rectangle pool in the ground was filled with hot water with all kinds of flower petals floating on it.
Not to scare Xia Qiu, Ouyang Yong had instructed the ghost servants to put on masks when they served her in bathing and changing clothes, but it made it impossible to distinguish their genders. She was a bit embarrassed and hesitated for a while before allowing them to disrobe her and help her into the pool. All kinds of flower scents sank into her skin and nerves through the steam and her breathing; she felt refreshed from inside to outside.(read on noodletowntranslated dot com to support the actual translators)
After bath, the ghost servants helped her put on a light-weight white robe printed with patterns of plum flower; the robe was tied together by a pale pink belt. They pulled up her hair into a bun and pinned it into place with the Plum Blade in its hairpin form. Stepping into a pair of cloth boots with embroidered patterns, she stood before a big copper mirror and looked at the strange person in there. She wasn’t used to being dressed in long robes, but she liked how she looked.
Meanwhile, Ouyang Xiaoleng had finished his bath and came to the clearing surrounded by corridors in Fuxing Hall, dressed in a white long robe tied together by a silvery belt. Ouyang Yong, Ouyang Hongye, Wang yue and Thorn were waiting in there. In the center of the clearing was a desk on which the Profound Oath Knife lay quietly on a plate covered by silk sewed with gold threads. The knife was a gift from Heavenly God Qian Su to the first Fox Spirit King Li. Profound Oath Knife was a dagger made of pure silver; looking like an ordinary dagger, it was crafted exquisitely with a sharp blade. Symbols of the god world were engraved on the place that connected the handle and the body.(read on noodletowntranslated dot com to support the actual translators)
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