“Who is… your Patriarch? And what is this <God’s Vision>?”
The young girl’s dull reply left the Second Elder of the Shen Family completely flabbergasted, and the woman’s eyes widened in disbelief.
The entire bedchamber became submerged within the suffocating tension that emanated from the darkness, devoid of sound save for the hastened breathing of the occupants.
Having been absent from the education of the fundamentals necessary to integrate into the jianghu, An Fei truly lacked any insight regarding the situation’s drastic curls and turns.
The young girl palmed her cheek as she gazed at the curtained bed, an oblique thought floating in her mind.
What was this <God’s Vision>?
Was it a martial arts technique, similar to the <Golden Lotus of Establishment> that her lotus petals were derived from?
“Then… why call it <God’s Vision>, can’t she make things much simpler for my ears…”
An Fei grumbled in a barely audible voice as she stretched her limbs, eagerly awaiting the Second Elder’s reply.
The little raven perched on her shoulder directed a lazy glance towards the curtained bed, the pair of purple eyes piercing through all illusions to reveal the truth.
“The compass isn’t revealing any signs of a seven-tailed fox’s blood…”
The woman’s low voice rang from within the curtained bed as she murmured to herself, the voice aghast and tinged with shock.
Behind the silken curtains, the Second Elder of the Shen Family groaned in pain as her mind threw a fit at the unexpected error.
“The compass revealed its presence a few weeks ago at this rotten town… but it’s no longer functioning as it should… what just happened?” the woman hoarsely scowled to herself, before directing her voice towards the young girl.
“Esteemed Guest, this lowly one of the Shen Family must bequeath a dire request of you.”
“A dire request?” An Fei’s eyebrow flinched in response.
“Surely… you aren’t asking for a fox’s blood from me?”
The young girl’s grip on the strap of her leather bag tightened as she stood in silence.
Not long after, An Fei could hear a hasty intake of breath, followed by the rustling of cloth.
“Esteemed Guest, that is exactly the case – the Shen Family must obtain the fox’s blood at all costs. However, we will not leave you without compensation, for we are not an unrighteous clan!”
The bedchamber quivered at the agitation within the Second Elder’s voice, the darkness encompassing the room releasing a keen cry of expectation and insanity.
At the unexpected rise in aura emanating from the elusive figure on the other side of the curtains, An Fei’s lips twitched, prompting her fingers to latch onto and wrap around the slender and cold hilt of the qama.
“I do not fully understand what the Second Elder means by compensation, nor have I yet to understand why this request is being pushed onto my shoulders,” the young girl calmly uttered as her scarlet irises flashed with a tinge of glacial intent.
“The blood of a seven tailed fox – the creature of a legend within the jianghu – why attempt to entrust a task onto my shoulders, when I am not even a practitioner of the mystic path of cultivation?”
“Because the Patriarch’s <God’s Vision> cannot lie unless the opposition is of the Nascent Soul Realm,” the Second Elder pursed her lips in angst.
“The results have divined that at some point of the Esteemed Guest’s life, the Esteemed Guest will encounter a seven-tailed fox. Hence, this lowly one’s request.”
The Second Elder’s voice returned to its respectful state, the tone smooth and flowery as though it had received the baptisms of spring.
“The Shen Family, as of this instance, has numerous enemies; some are equally powerful, whilst others are weaker in overall strength. Of course, our Shen Family is not the only clan that is in possession of a divining technique such as the <God’s Vision> – hence this lowly one’s offer of penance to the Esteemed Guest.”
“Oh, so that’s why…” the young girl bobbed her head in a disinterested mood, her right cheek puffed with a tinge of exasperation.
“Trying to get the most delicious slice of a pie before the others, that’s not a… hold on. What did you say?”
An Fei’s eyes rapidly blinked in confusion, a tinge of befuddlement racing through her irises as her head abruptly snapped towards the Second Elder’s direction.
The woman on the other side of the curtains trembled at the sudden, forceful display, her mind nearly shorting from the surprise.
“The Esteemed Guest… is asking for?”
The Second Elder blinked with concern, her mouth drooping into a bewitching pout.
“Can you repeat… what you just said?”
“That the Shen Family has numerous enemies from the beginning of our clan’s history?”
“Not that, ah,” the young girl barely restrained herself from stomping her foot in impatience.
“The aforementioned content, if the Second Elder may?”
“That the Shen Family is not the exclusive possessor of divining techniques?” the woman tilted her head in complete confusion, unable to comprehend An Fei’s sudden agitation that was not unlike her own bout of insanity.
“The <God’s Vision> is a unique martial arts technique that belongs to our Shen Family’s Patriarch, but the others certainly do not lack any divining techniques that are on par as the <God’s Vision>…”
The young girl visibly deflated as her eyes nearly rolled towards the impartial and cruel heavens.
For the umpteenth time, An Fei wished that she had not left the forest, despite the dangers it had presented to her wellbeing and general safety.
After all, if the Shen Family wasn’t the only one that could ‘divine’ her connection to the small fox, thus causing immense troubles for her in the future…
Small fox, can I throw you back to your forest protector, the massive jiaolong that has extraordinarily terrible breath?
As the young girl gradually regained her diminishing willpower and courage to remain outside of the secluded Wu Ji Forest, the small fox trembled in its niche within the leather bag.
As it glanced outside through the drawstring, the small creature swore in its heart that the little raven’s sneer that it saw was not a dream.
“Since the Second Elder has introduced such information…” An Fei took a deep breath, her consciousness berating itself for its stupendous mistake of accepting the seven-tailed fox.
“I wish to know what enemies the Shen Family faces, and how much protection the Shen Family is capable of offering to my undefended self.”
The Second Elder’s countenance broke into an uneasy smile that was filled with both happiness and worry at the young girl’s concession.
The woman clenched her fists into the silken blankets, her heart urging itself to regain its calm.
“The Bone Spirit Town and others… are mere subsidiaries of the Du Zhou Province,” the Second Elder gasped with an eager breath.
“Of the Du Zhou Province, the families that are opposed to our Shen Family and are of equal strength include the Fang Family, the Guo Family, the Gu Shi Clan, and the Heavenly Jade Manor. Other than that… the number of weaker clans that are allied with these families… exceed a few hundred.”
The Second Elder’s countenance flushed scarlet in embarrassment, her sharp wit clearly capable of visualizing the young girl’s utterly dismayed and bemused expression even though her vision remained obscured by the dense curtain.
At the brief moments of silence, the woman cringed in a sensational agony, her heart desperately seeking at least some reply to assuage the bitter heat spreading throughout her nerves.
…An Fei’s expression was spectacular indeed, and even one step further than the Second Elder’s predictions.
Four clans that were of equal strength and capability as this Shen Family, and a few hundred subsidiary entities, of which every single last one of them were after her for the small fox based on their shoddy divination technique?
…are you f*cking kidding me!?
The little raven guffawed in respectful and solemn silence as it witnessed the young girl nearly vomit from the stress squeezing against her shoulders.
Watching its indirect tormentor reveal wretched expression after expression as she suffered in complete silence and agony, the immortal spirit within the pair of violet eyes felt a surge of release course throughout his soul.
“And… the names of the families that are of similar interest to the Shen Family?” the young girl forced the words out of her throat.
“Ahem! Esteemed Guest…” the Second Elder found herself unable to retain her confident and awe-inspiring demeanor, and the personality of an embarrassed woman rose forth to take its last stand.
“It would not be wise to ask such a mundane question…”
The voice that trailed from within the curtained bed was indeed soft – unbearably soft to the extent that it was inaudible.
Part of it was muffled by the Second Elder’s own palms, whilst a significant portion was rebutted by the cloth curtains dividing the two occupants of the bedchamber.
An Fei felt her knees nearly give out in shock and absolute dismay, having been disillusioned and splashed awaken to the grim reality.