Chapter 234: To dance, a dance of blades (4)

“There’s really nothing wrong with that little lass’ body?”

Shen Haoren blinked as he interrogated the doctor after having finished his examination, unwilling to believe the latter’s casual analysis.

The middle-aged man restrained himself from leaping forwards and shaking the poor physician to his bones, albeit the chill in his glare lowered by at least a few degrees centigrade.

The little lass’s slightly tan skin had paled to the extent that it appeared no different than a sheet of snow white paper… and the fool before him dared to claim that she was just a tad ‘anemic’?

“To the Esteemed Mister, there really isn’t any grave issue with the young lady’s body,” the physician brushed at his legs with his hands, standing with a forlorn smile on his countenance.

“After administering several blood-replenishing fruits and herbs, the young lady will be of excellent health. The Esteemed Mister does not need to worry about any hidden dangers.”

With that, the doctor picked up his medicinal box, brushed the seat of his pants with his hands, and left from the inn owned by the Yang Clan, vanishing into the sea of people crowding the ends of the streets.

Taken aback, Shen Haoren slapped his forehead with his right hand, raising an unhappy eyebrow towards the bedridden young girl.

“Didn’t I clearly say that there wasn’t a severe issue with my body?”

An Fei revealed a pale smile, one that was tinged with indignance and irritation.

Fearing that the young girl could topple onto the floor without warning, Shen Ming Yue quickly leapt forwards to stabilize her swaying body, crooning in a soft voice.

“Little Sister, no need to be so frightened. Father is just worried about your health.”

“T-that’s right, ah!” Shen Haoren stammered as he dispatched another rude glare towards the young girl.

“You suddenly left your room looking no different than that of a jiangshi – what was this old man’s poor and fragile heart supposed to assume?”

The middle-aged man rubbed at his potbelly as he departed from the room along with his wife and son, and An Fei could hear him continue to sigh as he returned to his daily tasks.

As the room gradually returned to its peaceful and tranquil state, An Fei’s gaze captured Shen Ming Yue’s evasive and apologetic expression.

Without much additional prompting, the youthful girl lowered her head in shame, a soft voice escaping her lips.

“About that… Elder Sister is sorry. I didn’t think that Du Yongkang would be that cruel for yesterday’s affair.”

How else could he react when she had literally detonated his henchmen into numerous shards before his countenance?

Granted, she wasn’t directly noticed as the culprit, but with Du Yongkang’s imprinted arrogance, he was bound to form a connection tying her to the incident whether it was true or not.

The young girl nodded her head and remained silent, her thoughts flashing over her memories as she closed her eyes.

Shen Ming Yue lightly patted An Fei’s head and strode out of the room, presumably to wander throughout Dong Lin City for the rest of the day.

An Fei sank into the cleaned bedsheets, gradually dozing off into a light nap.

She was finally alone once again, and the circumstances didn’t seem to differ to much than the last time she had experienced such a circumstance.

When she traced the presence of Shen Haoren and the others, she discovered that they had departed from the inn to venture throughout the city – Shen Ming Yue included.

Tang Shiqi and Yang Jian had rummaged through a decrepit alleyway for some unknown and most likely unimportant reason.

Even the little raven and the small fox were not with her at the present.

Shu.

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Whilst her mind danced throughout the scenery presented in her nap, the young girl’s ears abruptly twitched.

An Fei’s consciousness resurfaced for a brief moment; the sound seemed to have emerged from that of rubbing fabric, and not of the blankets.

The abnormal sound didn’t surface for a cup of tea’s worth of time, prompting An Fei to return to her sleep with heavy eyelids. The young girl coiled the blankets around her body, her breathing light and even.

Shua…

After an unknown duration of time had passed, the abnormal sound rustled besides the young girl’s ears for the second time.

What was different from that of the first was the horrible, unseen danger flooding her heart with an intolerable dread.

The young girl’s eyelids snapped open, but she didn’t dare move her body.

What was going on?

As if having determined that she was not inclined to arouse herself for the immediate period of time, the source of the highly disturbing and mysterious sound emerged once more.

The rustling of cloth magnified in her ear, and An Fei could aptly discern the rustic slice of metal brushing against the fibers of fabric.

“Looks like she really is asleep.”

A hoarse voice echoed through the silent room, muffled as though it were mitigated by a dense layer of cloth.

The rustling of cloth rattled against An Fei’s ear, and she heard a second speaker that was no different from that of the first.

“The Young Master didn’t spare his attacks on the brat, after all. Furthermore, she seems to be severely anemic as well, which should make the next events certainly easier.”

Young Master?

Du Yongkang!?

An Fei’s heart pulsed with a chilly sensation, before a searing heat assaulted her vessels with the desire to vent her fury.

The young girl’s eyelids fluttered at an even pace as though she were lightly slumbering, but her fingers had begun to move.

The Du Clan again…

First it was an unwarranted provocation by Du Yongkang, who had sought to make trouble with her for no apparent reason.

The next day, he had enacted the role of a careful Senior Brother taking care of his juniors, with the intention of harming her through a mock assessment.

And now, he dared to dispatch assassins…

Underneath the cover of the blankets layered above her body, An Fei’s right hand reached towards the folds of her dress at her bosom.

The young girl slipped her hand in towards her left side whilst dampening her sounds as much as possible, until her fingers had reached that of a series of securely tied knots and a metallic object.

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The qama’s thirty-centimeter blade was hidden at her left side, secured against the dress’ inner threads by a series of complicated knots that appeared to be impossible to undo within a short amount of time.

Nonetheless, An Fei’s fingers continued to explore downwards, until her fingers brushed against the third knot.

“What!?”

One of the men shouted in alarm as he had just finished his survey of the room.

Detecting something to be amiss due to a terrible premonition racing through his heart, the shadowed man had glanced downwards – to face a pair of scarlet irises dull of lustre.

“Not good, she’s awak-“

Hum!

An Fei pulled against the fiber at the top of the third knot, undoing the critical component of the mesh that secured the qama’s sheath to her dress.

The young girl lurched her body into a sitting motion as swiftly as possible, her left hand lightly extended in a loose grip towards the floor.

As if predestined to land into her arm, the qama separated from its sheath to follow the patterned web of woven threads to race into the left sleeve, and into her extended hand.

Ignoring the fact that her body was mostly on the bed, An Fei gripped hard onto the qama and swung upwards in a diagonal slash, the tip of the blade barely grazing the shadowed man’s extended palm.

“This brat had a hidden weapon on her body!”

The shadowed man who was in the midst of retreating shivered in fear as he felt the small tinge of pain flare into an uncontrollable bonfire.

Just as he saw his companions lower their hands onto their weapons, he saw the pale and anemic figure of a young girl stand on top of her bed, a short qama’s lethal blade aimed directly towards their heads.

The shadowed figures glared onto An Fei dressed in a peach blossom hanfu, and An Fei narrowed her eyes at the five figures completely covered from head to toe in blackened fabric.

All that emerged from the mummification of cloth was their eyes, nose, and lips.

“Who are you?”

The young girl frowned as her eyes began to dance around her surroundings.

Having completed her scan, An Fei’s heart churned with disappointment and worry as she noticed that the leather bag gifted by Sheng Miaolan when she left Jiang’an was not present in the room.

Holding the twin butterfly swords in her hands seemed to offer a better modicum of security.

“Who we are?” one of the shadowed figures scoffed.

“You have the gall to ask us who we are? Why not pay attention to your life first, little girl!”

At that moment, a black shadow dropped from the wooden ceiling, a sharp and deathly grey light aimed directly towards An Fei’s exposed nape.

- my thoughts:
A Young Master's assault in the day, and assassins at night...
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