Chapter 233: To dance, a dance of blades (3)

Why did she refuse the offer to study the path of cultivation under his tutelage?

Damn, your disciple just wanted to kill me, and you want me to acknowledge him as a Senior Brother?

The young girl deeply wished to curse, but could only pat at her intestines with a consoling sigh.

“My father forbade upholding the path of cultivation.”

An Fei casually tossed out as she sank into a chair besides Shen Ming Yue, the searing pain at her abdomen causing her vision to become hazy and obscured with an unusual mist.

The young girl fought to remain awake as she glanced at the elderly shopkeeper, her fingers gripping the underside of the table to secure her posture.

“Forbidden from cultivating? Why is that?”

The elderly shopkeeper frowned as his fingers brushed against the base of his weathered chin.

Lightly moving his feet about and brushing against a roughened shard of shattered porcelain, the old man gently stood onto his feet.

“Lingxue, if this old bag of bones is capable of repairing your constitution, are you willing to become my disciple onto the path of cultivation?”

The young girl paused, unsure how to evade and defuse the situation with the least effort. Leaning against the back of her chair, An Fei avoided Shen Ming Yue’s probing eyes as she lowered her gaze to focus onto her thumbs.

“This old bag of bones isn’t bluffing with words – with my honor as Wang Qinian, fifteenth guardian of the Hundred Clans Coalition, I can acquire the ingredients and holy medicines necessary to cure your constitution.”

The old man continued to press for a reply, his countenance displaying a mixture of pleading and devoted interest as he fervently stared into the young girl’s eyes.

Her lips continuing to twitch in a combination of pain and unease, An Fei finally acquiesced, though she kept her words as ambiguous as possible.

“If the Esteemed Senior is indeed capable of achieving such a feat, then Junior surely cannot reject.”

“Then that’s settled!” the old man clapped his hands in joy, his enthusiasm easily passed onto the youths possessing ulterior motives.

“Until you formerly accept me as Master, there’s no issue with you visiting my lectures however you see fit. Everyone, we shall meet once again next week!”

“Understood, Esteemed Senior!”

The youths rose to lower themselves into a deep, respectful bow, departing from the restaurant in orderly steps.

Soon, only the elderly storekeeper and the shattered remains of a porcelain cup was left to sway quietly within the desolate and lonesome restaurant.

The old man continued to gaze upon the seat of which An Fei had last occupied, his memories flashing to the scene he had witnessed a few minutes prior.

“An external martial arts technique could be so extraordinary and powerful… if she had become a real practitioner of the jianghu, just how formidable of a height could she reach?”

Pu!

The first thing after she entered the Sanctum since a long period of time, An Fei vomited several mouthfuls of blood onto the crystalline floor.

The young girl collapsed onto her hands and knees, her throat pulsating in urgency as painful globules of blood splattered across the sky-blue crystal.

“Argh… to think that this could happen as a result…”

An Fei howled within her heart as she continued to spill her blood onto the floor, the torrential rivers of pain sweeping across her body without rest.

Her body warped and convulsed as though it was alight on gasoline flames whilst trapped in a chamber of liquid nitrogen at the same instance.

Golden light emanated from the crystalline surfaces to gently lay upon the young girl’s body, suppressing the majority of the discomfort and acrimonious sensation barraging the nerves.

Coughing up one final globule of blood, An Fei’s lips twitched at the small puddle that pooled below her gaze.

The crimson light that emanated from her abdomen… to think that her defenses had been crippled to that extent…

The young girl shook the nauseous and dizzy sensation from her ringing head, before carefully making her way towards the bathroom in the boudoir of the first gateway.

Emerging with a large towel slightly damp with water, An Fei undertook the long and exhausting journey back to the Seventeenth Archive to clean up the mess she had made.

Lowering herself onto her sore knees and rubbing at the slowly congealing blood to wipe it away, the young girl quickly lapsed into deep thought.

The <Steps of Underlying Shadow> was still capable of protecting her body from any physical harm.

Even if she were to receive a spray of shotgun pellets to the chest at point blank range, her body would not receive any damage.

The martial arts technique permitted her to avoid every and all incoming attacks that possessed material energy without many complications.

The only problem – a glaring one, in fact – was spiritual essence…

“…I’m especially fragile against spiritual essence, more so in my present state, huh?”

An Fei sulked as she tossed the soiled towel into a bucket full with warm water, gently washing out the diluted stains of crimson splattered across its surface.

The young girl retrieved the towel to scrub at the residue, her motions assisted by the bastion of golden light underneath.

The young girl had found herself incapable of interacting with spiritual essence due to the injuries at her abdomen.

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Firstly, due to the special and unfortunate circumstances of the <Eternal Sanctum> An Fei’s body was easily corroded by spiritual essence originating from the mortal world, though the inverse was true for the practitioner who encountered spiritual essence originating from the Sanctum.

Martial arts techniques, spiritual artefacts and medicinal ingredients as well as spiritual beasts and herbs – she couldn’t directly contact them with her body, unless An Fei wished to experience a mind-numbing pain.

In certain circumstances, the young girl couldn’t even breath properly due to the excessive concentration of spiritual essence within the vicinity – effectively rendering her into a cripple for the most part.

When compounded with her present injury of breaking through without the protection of the Sanctum warding off the wrath of the mortal world, An Fei would experience a hellish pain when circulating spiritual essence obtained from the Sanctum itself, much less originating from that of the mortal world.

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Palming her chest to assuage her agitated breath and emotions, the young girl leaned against the side of the bed.

“I wonder how long it would take to fully recover?”

An Fei lightly murmured as she gazed at the ceiling of sky-blue crystal, her peripheral vision laced with the tens of thousands of books shelved neatly to surround the platform on all fronts.

The young girl patted the smooth and warm surface of the crystalline floor, standing up with a pale sigh.

“I should probably return – Shen Ming Yue would have gotten concerned by now, and I doubt that the Du Clan would be finished with their revenge.”

With that, the young girl reluctantly recited the necessary words of the Divine Script to depart from the Sanctum of Eternal Peace.

As her figure dissipated into countless particles of multicolored light, An Fei couldn’t help but think of a sentence she had read in the book bound by black fabric.

…wasn’t there an Archive dedicated to medicine and the treatment of wounds?

Since she had a plethora of books available at her disposal and a seemingly infinite medicine garden – no, several of them, it shouldn’t be that hard to discover an apt treatment to swiftly recover from her injury…

Or so she thought.

When the door to their room finally opened and the young girl stepped out, Shen Ming Yue thought that she had finally experienced one of the undead’s creatures.

The pale skin, lifeless scarlet irises, and the hands limply lying by her sides – An Fei appeared too much like that of a jiangshi.

If she were to don a Blood Spirit cap and hop around with her hands clasped before her chest, the manifestation of a jiangshi would be complete…

“Little Sister, are you… well?”

The youthful girl stumbled over her words as she fought to discover an apt description of An Fei’s condition without proving to be too offensive.

Taking a deep breath and rushing to explain as she witnessed the young girl’s brows furrow in displeasure, Shen Ming Yue simply stepped forward to wrap the young girl in a warm hug.

“Little Sister, let Elder Sister call for a doctor to visit, alright? Elder Sister is sorry that Little Sister got injured at the gathering… I didn’t expect Du Yongkang to expend his grudges before the Esteemed Senior in such a fashion.”

An Fei’s disguise had originally reduced her pearly white skin to that of a more tanned appearance, the soft cream-like texture replaced with a smooth but far inferior touch.

Even then, the sudden loss of blood caused her countenance to become deathly-white, and the combination with her scarlet irises was sufficient to give anyone a fright.

“Ming Yue, did you really leave so early to visit that Esteemed Sen – a jiangshi? What is a jiangshi doing in Dong Lin City, especially at such a time?”

Shen Haoren’s lazy voice emanated from the top of the stairs as the middle-aged man descended from a higher platform. Hearing his audible gasp of surprise and the suspicion in his words, An Fei’s lips quirked into an uncomfortable smile.

She was slightly anemic and that constituted into that of a jiangshi – did they want her to hop around with her hands before her chest and a charm plastered to her forehead at the break of midnight?

- my thoughts:
Remember, if you're friends look exceedingly pale and lifeless, always ask the following question: Would you like to dress up as a jiangshi for Halloween?
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