Chapter 174: Steps of Underlying Shadow (2)

The first technique listed within the book titled the <Shadow Dance>, the <Steps of Underlying Shadow>, was to be interpreted as a martial technique capable of providing the practitioner an absolute evasion against physical assaults to the body.

When An Fei had read through the technique, she had obtained the impression that the technique outlined an alternate method of transferring external kinetic energy, defying the natural laws of physics with the ultimate cheat known as refined atmospheric spiritual qi, the spiritual essence contained within the body.

By ingraining a preconfigured set of motions into the essence of the body to allow the bones to respond without any extensive planning, the technique carved a distinct series of channels for the spiritual essence to convey the additional kinetic energy and prevent the circumstance of injury.

“Capture, realign, and release.”

The young girl tapped her finger onto the ground, swaying her body to the rhythmic sound reflected off of the crystalline floor.

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An Fei scanned through the pages of the book, her eyes dragging over each blurred character as though it were an infested evil.

“The <Shadow Dance> realizes the theory that every existence possesses an invisible field of interaction… one that permits others to make contact – is it referencing about inertia?” the young girl’s eyebrows shot up in thought, only to deflate later.

“But inertia would defy the phenomenon I experienced, and spiritual essence would similarly break that theory into smithereens… If one person does not possess a field of influence or merges into another person’s field of influence, then the second person will never be able to inflict harm, huh…”

The young girl could understand this argument solely due to the fact that she had experienced such phenomenon hundreds of times.

Each time she engaged combat with an enemy, An Fei had not received a single scratch onto the linen coat even if claws were scraping against her face.

The instant any object attempted to strike her body, the transmitted force would simply be diverted and redirected to strike towards its source.

As the <Steps of Underlying Shadow>’s engraving of passive spiritual essence channels nullified any form of physical resistance, it simply wasn’t possible to inflict physical harm onto An Fei’s body.

That, she was well familiar with. However…

“To merge into another existence’s field of interaction, the practitioner transmits a blank pulse of spiritual essence through the preconfigured channels into their surroundings via a thin, polarized wave,” the young girl deciphered with difficulty.

“The constant emission of blank pulses of spiritual essence without a unique frequency prevents the detection of the practitioner even though visual… perception… is functional, and tactile senses are not incapacitated.”

…what was a polarized wave?

An Fei scratched her head in frustration, her mind painfully devoid of any information relative to the passage’s topic.

The young girl had an inkling that she could perhaps obtain a clue had she not become embroiled in the massive conflict over a single mirror, but only released a heavy sigh of regret.

As for a blank pulse…

“Ah, I don’t know!!”

The young girl released a heartfelt cry before sinking backwards until her back rested against the ground, reveling in the warm and comfortable sensation transmitted through the sky-blue crystal floor.

An Fei rubbed at her eyes as she tortured her already exhausted mind a step further, dragging herself by chains to read on further to obtain a single clue that could remove a portion of the mental haze tamping on her consciousness.

“Spiritual essence comprises of an intention, imprint, and direction. A blank pulse is generated… by eliminating either the intention or imprint, or assimilating the direction into the imprint.”

The young girl’s spirits became invigorated by a slight amount, though her mind remained as blank as ever.

An Fei curled her fingers into tight fists as she bored holes into the book’s white pages, her consciousness threatening itself to not fall asleep.

Spiritual essence comprised of an intention, imprint, and a configured direction.

That, by itself, was rather self-explanatory, or at the least, the fundamental definitions were easily decipherable.

The spiritual essence used to construct the handle-less steel sword that accompanied her journey throughout the Wu Ji Forest was a prime example of such definitions.

Each time she conjured the sword, An Fei gathered the spiritual essence at her heart to traverse through the channels defined by the <Golden Lotus of Establishment>, disperse from her body, and coalesce into a sword.

The channels formed by the cultivation technique constituted the imprint, the intention was the manifestation of the steel blade radiating with malevolence, and the direction was any coordinate irrelevant to her physical body.

And yet…

“How do I… remove either of the intention or imprint of a unit of spiritual essence?” An Fei scowled to herself as she tapped her finger on the pages of the book.

“Removing the imprint… would it be to expel the spiritual essence without a technique? And removing the intention… equates to random expulsion, right?”

How was she to remove the imprint of spiritual essence and dispel it from her body?

An Fei scratched at her head in confusion, unable to discern any plausible answer.

The <Golden Lotus of Establishment> formulated a plausible combination of pathways to achieve a world-changing, tangible result, and was at the most, temporary.

Whenever An Fei did not transmit spiritual essence throughout the specialized acupuncture points and the Governing Vessel, the channels were nonexistent on the mental visualization of her body whenever she closed her eyes.

The <Steps of Underlying Shadow> carved the specified pathways into the essence of her body, causing those pathways to become concrete and resistant to change even if it achieved a similarly tangible phenomenon.

Thus, those altercated pathways were discernable on the mental visualization, albeit significantly fainter compared to the others.

At the current moment, the young girl was unable to hypothesize a functional method of removing the imprint from a unit of spiritual essence wielded at her disposal.

An Fei rocked back and forth, her hands grasping onto her knees as she fell into her thoughts.

Removing the intention…

Forming the handle-less steel sword insinuated that she attribute the utilized spiritual essence to attend to the intention of constituting a sword with a lethal edge.

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From that point, the sword’s actions and movements conformed to the concept of seeking death through laceration, impact, or puncture – the same concepts that constituted a natural blade wielded by man.

Then, to form that sword… she had to first transmit spiritual essence into the Bingfeng and Tianzong acupuncture points, then forcibly merge the two polarized attributes of spiritual essence into a unified whole and imprint the intention of manifesting into a sword to achieve the intended result.

As a result, the intention of spiritual essence followed the successful completion of the imprint… and the direction remained constant – to manifest somewhere outside of her body.

“Removing the intention… the <Golden Lotus of Establishment> generates a lotus petal regardless of the acupuncture points I utilize, constituting an intention at the beginning,” An Fei sighed as she mused to herself in silence.

“Perhaps if I were to wantonly release the spiritual essence without any thoughts of what result I desired, then – wait, I don’t have that much spiritual essence to begin with whenever I’m in the continent.”

The young girl palmed her face with both of her hands, her mind screeching with an excruciating pain.

An Fei pulled herself away from the book, rolling into a sprawled position on the crystalline floor, her mind automatically lulling itself into a light doze.

As for this problem, though she didn’t allot much time to her agenda, she would ruminate about it later.

“Second Elder Sister, I’ve returned.”

A round-bellied middle-aged man waddled into the room, his brow constantly releasing beads of sweat that dripped onto his cheeks.

Shen Haoren ignored the maidservants guarding the doors, wading through the maze of furniture with ease, kneeling before the draped curtains of a bed with his left arm offered, the palm facing the sky.

“Haoren?”

A soft, enchanting voice echoed from within the closed curtains of the bed, causing the middle-aged man’s mind to bolt away from his adorable wife and focus on his duty.

“Second Elder Sister, Haoren is here!”

Shen Haoren yelped with an unguarded voice, his conscience releasing a painful sigh at his immediate future.

The middle-aged man retracted his hands and brought them close to his ears, as though preparing to withstand a deadly lecture.

“You seem to have brought nobody with you. What happened?”

The enchanting voice tickled at his ears, the mellow contents warming the middle-aged man’s heart and causing him to lower his defenses. Shen Haoren thought for a brief moment, before opening his mouth with a deadpan gaze.

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