Chapter 9: Ember Dragon King’s son (Part One)

It was early morning, and dusty sunlight shone into the dilapidated house through the holes in the walls.

Ouyang Hongye patted Ouyang Xiaoleng lightly and woke him up. The three of them set off toward the Dongyao dock to take a ferry. Ouyang Xiaoleng remembered his dream last night and began to miss Xia Qiu. But he had only been away from her for a few days, how could he miss her so soon? He had never felt like this before; the feeling was strange but strong.

When they came to the dock outside Dongyao City, the ferry hadn’t arrived yet. Different from other places in the spirit world, the water here was very clear. Wangyue couldn’t resist the temptation and scooped it up with his hands.

“Watch out!”

The ferryman on the ferry heading toward them from the distance yelled at Wangyue.

Before Wangyue could react, a huge fish with fin spikes as sharp as fangs leapt out from the water and lunged at Wangyue fiercely. Wangyue was caught by surprise; fortunately, Ouyang Hongye pulled him back, helping him dodge the monster fish’s attack. The monster fish dropped back into water but watched them with bulging eyes; soon hundreds of such monster fish gathered in the water.

By now the ferry had come to the dock and the ferry man told them, “These fish were transformed from the souls of the soldiers who died in the Great Battle 16 years ago. Their physical bodies are gone, but their souls have returned to guard Dongyao. They’d attack anyone who tries to cross the river unless you are in the boats marked personally by Ember Dragon King.”

The ferry man wearing a brown cloak was thin and small and his face was shielded by the lip of a big straw hat.

“The water isn’t wide. People can fly across it!” Ouyang Xiaoleng was puzzled.

“Don’t underestimate the moat around Dongyao. Ember Dragon King set up a realm shield on it; if you tried to fly across it, you’d be pulled into water and feed the fish. Why do you want to cross the moat anyway?” The ferry man asked after the explanation.

“We want to visit an old friend! Don’t play dumb with us, Sanmu!” Ouyang Hongye smiled at the ferryman.

Hearing Ouyang Hongye call out his name, the ferryman took off the straw hat and revealed his face. His hair and moustache were brown, and his black small eyes were round and smart; his pointy ears and two protruding front teeth made him look like a clown.

Sanmu had been one of Ouyang Xueye’s subordinates and a good friend of Ouyang Hongye’s. After the Great Battle 16 years ago, he went to Dongyao with Ember Dragon King. Among the remaining cities, Dongyao had the most advanced intelligence system. While he worked for Ember Dragon King, he also collected intelligence for Ouyang Yong and Ouyang Hongye. It was he who had discovered the movements of Green Cloud’s people and wrote to Ouyang Hongye about them; after some consideration, he then invited them to come and enlist Ember Dragon King’s help.

“I haven’t seen you for years and you still have the face that makes me so jealous that I want to scratch it,” said Sanmu. As he turned from Ouyang Hongye to Ouyang Xiaoleng, his small round eyes widened. “Are you… Are you Lord Xueye’s son?”

Ouyang Xiaoleng nodded but didn’t speak.

Sanmu bowed deeply to him and looked up in great pleasure. His eyes turned red-rimmed as he said in a choking voice, “You resemble Lord Xueye! I almost took you as him from the distance. Brother Ouyang, finally a person more beautiful than you appeared!”

“Stop the nonsense. Years have passed and you haven’t changed a bit!” Ouyang Hongye rolled his eyes at Sanmu with feigned anger, somehow touched by this guy’s excitement.

Ouyang Xueye had been like a god in Ouyang Xueye’s eyes. As a rat spirit, he had weak spirit power and wasn’t a good fighter; he had been upset and even hated himself for not being able to fight for Ouyang Xueye. Xueye noticed his frustration and discovered his talent in moving agilely and alertly, entrusting him with the work to collect intelligence from all over the spirit world. He had done a good job and got lots of merits for his work, which helped him regain his self-confidence.

“Well, let’s talk later. Get on board; Ember Dragon King is waiting for you!”

As he spoke, Sanmu caught the metal ring on the bank with a long hook and steadied the boat.(read on noodletowntranslated dot com to support the actual translators)

After they got aboard the boat, the monster fish transformed by dead people’s souls spread out and formed a gateway for them, leading the ferry toward the city gate of Dongyao.

The green walls of Dongyao City stood at least 100 meters tall above the water; on the black huge gates were engraved totems of a dragon which looked noble and magnificent. Sanmu waved at the watchtower on the wall beside the gate. With a yell “Lift the gate”, huge grinding noises of gears came to their ears as the gate was lifted slowly. Sanmu paddled the boat into the city through the waterway.(read on noodletowntranslated dot com to support the actual translators)

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