Chapter 106: He’s Vengeful, She’s Vicious, You’re Greedy (7)

“Father, why do you seem so distraught today?”

An Fei’s inquiry during dinner startled Wei Xuan, and a fragrant piece of prawn slipped from his chopsticks to splatter into his bowl of soup.

Rapidly shaking his head to bring his senses back to normal, the minister cleaned up the mess, reclaiming his now-soiled piece of prawn as he glanced at the young girl.

“Fei’er, why do you say that? Father is fine, don’t worry so much!”

“…has there been any issue with the Imperial Court?” the young girl pressed on between mouthfuls of jiaozi.

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“Imperial Court?” Wei Xuan muttered, a hint of surprise masked behind a doting gaze.

Raising his hand to pet the young girl on her head, the minister adopted a clueless expression.

“Why do you say that there’s trouble at the Imperial Court?”

“Because Elder Brother is still living in the study even after a week had passed.”

The hand froze midair as awkwardness suffused the atmosphere.

His countenance visibly contorting from the uneasiness roiling in his stomach, Wei Xuan eventually continued his action, nearly causing An Fei to topple her bowl of rice onto the ground in surprise.

Hurriedly reclaiming her bowl and stuffing her mouth with a mouthwatering proportion of spicy chicken, the girl took a glance at the minister and Eldest Young Master’s countenance, and couldn’t help but withdraw a little.

Father and Eldest Brother… what were they thinking to adopt that sort of unusual expression, as if they were attempting to stomach something vulgar and intolerable?

Nonetheless, the girl fully employed her advantage to its limit, spearing the most delicious and fragrant articles of food whilst the two men were recovering from their surprise.

An Fei preoccupied herself with eating to her heart’s content without interruption, but Wei Xuan and Wei Chang Feng couldn’t bring themselves to eat another bite.

The Fourth Young Miss of Wei had now reached a stage of development of which by Great Yong’s standards, though she couldn’t explore out of the manor without permission, her reputation and image would receive harsh scrutiny.

Each and every conduct committed by the girl would be judged by the elders of Jiang’an, thus maintaining a healthy reputation was paramount.

Living in her father’s study could be considered as acceptable for she lacked a residence of her own, and Wei Xuan did not stay at the Flowing Wind Residence for long.

However, if they were to throw in an Eldest Young Master staying in the same study room as a young girl, could they truly explain later in the future?

This… was quite the difficult question, ah.

Without their awareness, the Eldest Brother and minister exchanged a wry glance, before losing themselves in their thoughts, blankly observing the young girl slowly demolish the vast array of dishes one by one.

“Father, why did you want me to do this absurd calligraphy assignment?”

An Fei asked, placing the enormous stacks of paper onto the drawing table before Wei Xuan’s astonished gaze. With each stack of paper slammed onto the wooden surface, the drawing table and the sitting Wei Xuan groaned at the sudden impact.

“What’s this?”

Wei Xuan murmured, setting aside the book clenched in his hand to pick up the sheet of paper at the top of the nearest overwhelming stack of paper.

As usual, the formerly white and pristine sheet of paper had been covered with rows upon rows of thinly written characters.

“The unearthly spirit is of two facets, the unwillingness of man and the harsh fate of destiny…” the minister read, his lips silently tracing each word.

“The principle of forgiveness dispels the unwilling resentment within conflict and allows, at the minimum, remedial of an incident…”

Suddenly, the minister’s head shot up, an incredible agitation and excitement displayed on his countenance.

Before the young girl’s bemused glare, the minister’s bloodshot eyes roamed across the stacks of paper, patting each stack with a contented gaze.

“Fei’er, have you finished Father’s calligraphy assignment?”

“No!” An Fei instantly shot back with resentment, turning away from the drooling minister to march towards the curtained bed.

Wei Xuan revealed a wry smile at the young girl’s aggrieved temperament, and quickly rushed forward the clasp her arms to bring her to a halt.

“Little lass, don’t be mad, alright?” the minister wheedled without shame before the Eldest Young Master’s gaze.

Before her puffed cheeks and annoyance fermenting within her gaze, Wei Xuan immediately escorted the young girl to relax on the bed, his gaze as warm and doting as it could ever be.

“Fei’er, Father isn’t trying to make things hard for you, but helping you practice calligraphy. Soon, your Third Sister will become engaged, and then you will have express permission to roam the streets of Jiang’an – at that point, it would be a little unreasonable to be unable to read characters, no?”

Rou Yan was getting engaged? With whom, and since when?

Wei Chang Feng’s gaze immediately shot up to glare daggers into Wei Xuan’s back, his cold eyes conveying a confused intention.

The minister waved towards the Eldest Young Master behind his back, the fingers clasped and presented in a well-known arrangement indicating for the youth to remain silent.

He didn’t want any unnecessary banter at this critical moment!

Happily dedicating time to placate the girl and promising to take her through the streets of Jiang’an the following week, Wei Xuan waltzed back towards the drawing table, his gluttonous gaze piercing through the sheets of paper placed on top.

The stacks of paper were neatly arranged by their title, allowing the minister to conserve as much effort as possible.

Indeed, while examining the large stacks of ‘calligraphy assignment’ completed by An Fei, Wei Xuan’s heart couldn’t help but burst with joy.

The girl had lied to him, here stood before him, in their undying might and glory, all of the works by the Great Scholar Tie transcribed into that highly efficient and swift calligraphy of hers!

All of the works that the band of scholars and officials had wagered!

The prize pool already far surpassed the Wei Family’s wealth, this was far worth the effort.

Furthermore, they had managed to deceive a few unsuspecting officials and scholars to gamble millions of taels of silver on the wager by establishing a strict time limit.

It did not matter who completed the transcription; they just needed to be done by the same person in the fastest possible time!

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“…if I recall correctly, Fellow Zhang stated that the prize pool had exceeded thirty million taels of silver…”

The minister licked his lips in anticipation, his experienced hands reaching for twine cords and wrapping paper.

Upon receiving half of the prize money, An Fei would immediately ascend to become the richest young miss in the upper socialites of Jiang’an; this would be enough compensation, right?

Ignoring the blatant shuffling of feet of the minister as he rushed to wrap each book in a durable cover and securing them, the young girl closed the bedcurtains, staring at the ceiling with a dazed expression.

…Father, you’re just a little too greedy, ah!

Even by looking at Eldest Brother’s unusual expression, that statement regarding Wei Rou Yan’s engagement was obviously a lie!

“Whatever, as long as he gives me a share of the profits, this daughter won’t fight it out… won’t fight it out…”

The girl shook her head in a resolute manner, calming her emotions and crawling into a sitting position on the bed. Wrapping her body with the comfortable blankets, An Fei took in a deep breath.

With the slightest fluctuation of her will, the coiled thread of spiritual essence within her chest cavity galvanized into motion. The thread shook off two frayed segments, before wrapping around her heart.

She didn’t dare willfully consume the meagre spiritual essence reserved within her body whilst in the study of the Flowing Wind Residence. Thus, she could only rely on minimal quantities and hope that it could still trigger a satisfactory result.

The Bingfeng and Tianzong acupuncture points on her body released their respective muted radiance of cyan and orange light, and was even faintly visible through the silk clothes.

An Fei involuntarily shuddered as her left shoulder experienced a tinge of cold and hot sensations at the same time, bringing her body into a stable condition after allowing the odd sensation to disperse.

Next, channeling the spiritual essence through the Governing Vessel.

Squeezing her eyes shut, the young girl buried her mind deep into the sea of consciousness, quickly determining the location of the two phrases she had deliberated on prior to exiting the Sanctum.

Death by the sword!

Death by the pen!

Without requiring any further prompting, the altered spiritual essence streamed from the two acupuncture points, headed directly towards the meridians with unstoppable momentum.

Entering from the base of the Governing Vessel, the streams of cyan and orange light gravitated towards the other.

Mere tenths of a second later, the two lights had merged into a unified whole, ejected from her palm to hover in the form of a tepid lotus petal.

This time, the snow-white petal did not reveal any distorted flickering of light, and an intense satisfaction flooded her heart.

Though the petal couldn’t achieve much as she had learned neither any martial arts technique to complement the spiritual essence within her body nor observed the <Golden Lotus of Establishment>’s applications of the lotus, An Fei was satisfied with her earn-

“Who’s there!?”

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