Chapter 173: Steps of Underlying Shadow (1)

As she carefully waded in the dense current of people in the Harmony Road, An Fei rubbed her chin in thought.

She didn’t remember the exact contents of the <Steps of Underlying Shadows> besides the foundations of the passive evasive maneuvers that had been forcibly ingrained into her body during her experience of the Wu Ji Forest, but the young girl did recall a significant portion of a single statement.

It was declared impossible to inflict injury or harm onto an object or person who did not possess a respective field of influence.

“That sentence clearly didn’t end with just that, but I’ve forgotten…”

The young girl nibbled at her bottom lip in annoyance, reminding herself to review the technique the moment she returned to the Sanctum.

As she mused in her thoughts, An Fei was brusquely interrupted by a rude and harsh voice.

“Excuse me, are you the one with the seven-tailed fox mentioned at the Eight Immortals Pavilion today?”

“Huh?” the young girl reacted a few moments afterwards, her eyebrows raised in confusion as she glared at the intruder.

A round-bellied middle-aged man with a rather unsightly complexion but dressed in elegant, luxurious clothes stood before her, the fingers of his right hand rubbing together as though to express his greed.

Noticing that the young girl before him had reacted to his question, the man revealed a grimace of a smile, his unpleasant countenance rippling with a grotesque resonance.

“Aiyo, you don’t have to look at me like that, Young Lady,” the middle-aged man waved his hands in an attempt to sue for peace.

“H-here! I’ll introduce myself first, I am Shen Haoren of the Shen Family that oversees the Yuan Ming district.”

“Shen Family? Yuan Ming district?” An Fei echoed with a tinge of distrust and scrutiny evident in her voice.

“Don’t look at me as though I were a molester, ah!” the middle-aged man revealed a trace of cold sweat at his brow.

“If I really dared to do such an act, my wife back home would flog me until midnight. So please, Young Lady… can you calm your raven down…?”

The young girl glanced towards her left shoulder to discover that the little raven had spread its wings to their maximum length, a clear malevolent and vicious aura erupting from its body to wash over the vicinity.

The passerby merely shivered and scowled to themselves in a low voice, but the clear target of the glare of malice desperately wished to flee home.

“Xiao Hei?”

Caw!

An Fei murmured in a low inquisitive voice, the scarlet irises undulating with a curious flicker.

The little raven huffed as it directed another glare towards the flustered and frightened Shen Haoren, before returning to its prideful stance.

The young girl redirected her glance towards the middle-aged man, nearly causing him to jump in fear.

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This lass, though her expression was completely neutral, why does it feel as though her aura is not unlike that of that accursed demon of a bird, ah!?

Shen Haoren pumped at his brow with a tiny square of a cloth, gesturing towards the young girl with a sweaty palm.

“Young Lady, I… this Haoren wanted to invite you to my Shen Manor for a brief chat,” the middle-aged man spoke with a squeaky voice, waving both hands before An Fei could even speak.

“Ah-ah-ah-ah! Don’t give me that look; it’s not me who wants to look for you, but my elder sister! Right, the manor elder, my Second Elder Sister, wanted me to fetch you for a quick chat at the Shen Manor in Bone Spirit Town.”

When did she become so extraordinary, that an unknown person would instantly know her from first glance?

An Fei blinked as she narrowed her eyes towards Shen Haoren, watching the round-bellied man squirm in discomfort and anxiousness.

The young girl stroked the smooth feathers of the little raven, directing an inquisitive but cold glance towards the flustered envoy of the Shen Family.

“But why?” the young girl asked with a soft voice.

“I don’t know your Shen Family, nor am I any special. Why does your Second Elder Sister, the so-called manor elder of the established Shen Family, call for an insignificant person such as I?”

“B-because you have that seven-tailed fox, don’t you?”

Shen Haoren blurted in a loud voice, causing many people in their surroundings to stop their movements and gasp. Ignoring the utterly malicious and baleful aura exuding from An Fei’s pores, the middle-aged man recited a calming mantra in his heart, his mouth moving incessantly as to deny the young girl a chance of rebuttal.

“Earlier, the Fang Clan’s Fang Man attempted to poach off your spirit beast for a cheapskate price of letting you become his maid. But w-we, the Shen Family, are different. My sister has an interesting business proposal for you, one you may not feel so rejected from. If – If –“

“If I were to come to your Shen Family’s Manor, I would probably be slain on the spot without speaking a single word,” An Fei’s cold voice quelled the middle-aged man into silence.

“Sorry, Mister Shen Haoren of the Shen Family. I don’t have your so-called spirit beast, a seven tailed fox, nor do I have any interest in sacrificing my life over several words. Besides, I wasn’t even at the Eight Immortals Residence today, so how could you pin such a title onto my pitiful head?”

The young girl scathed at the round-bellied man, causing more beads of sweat to drop from his forehead.

When Shen Haoren finally raised his head to deliver a flustered but effective argument to the young girl, he discovered himself standing alone in an encirclement of the excited people of the Harmony Road.

“But… but Second Elder Sister’s predictions are never wrong…” Shen Haoren whimpered, before screaming in fright as the encirclement closed in without any warning.

The round-bellied man was forced at fistpoint to reveal all of the information he had gathered regarding the incident of the seven tailed fox at the Eight Immortals Pavilion, permitted to flee to the Shen Manor only when the sun had settled for the day.

“Perhaps I shouldn’t walk around in the linen coat anymore…”

When An Fei returned to the Sanctum for the night, she glanced downwards towards the white linen coat that covered her body to her knees.

After the incident at the Eight Immortals Pavilion, many people would be searching for a young girl in a spotless white linen coat.

Although its temperature modulating functionalities and impenetrable defense were insatiably appealing, the young girl was uncertain whether she should uphold the additional risk of incessant trouble.

“Aih, I’ll think about it later,” An Fei knocked herself on her forehead.

The young girl sank to the ground, settling herself into a relaxed position against the crystalline floor of the Sanctum.

Relishing in the warm and comfortable sensation reverberating in her body from the sky-blue crystal, An Fei pried open the book she had set aside ever since she had obtained the mortal cultivation’s Foundation Establishment Realm.

<Shadow Dance>’s first technique of movement, <Steps of Underlying Shadow>.

The first segment of the <Steps of Underlying Shadow> depicted the numerous postures and stances the body was to be trained in adapting to the concept of absolute evasion, a feat that An Fei rather admired and appreciated.

However, the young girl had noticed a secondary subject within the technique describing an apt method of concealing a person’s presence.

At the last time that the young girl had read the book, she was busy focusing on mastering the initial segment to attain the notion of evasion.

“Integrate into the field of influence of another person by triggering artificial fluctuations…?”

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What does that mean?

An Fei rubbed at her eyes with her fingers, the feeling of bitter frustration threatening to gnaw at her heart.

The young girl clenched her hands into fists, urging herself to prevent her impatience and anger from boiling into another frustrating meltdown.

“The technique worked last time, the technique should work this time as well…”

With a deep breath, a pair of trembling hands supported the book as a delicate finger flipped the page…

- my thoughts:
Don't you worry, An Fei, this author is here to... Make everything chaotic and terrifying!
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