With one sweep of the fan, everything had changed.
The small fox had grown to become an adult in size and stature, its silken fur exuding a heavenly temptation of a softness that bewitched the soul.
The black steel carriage had somehow become refined in its material composition, the imposing demeanor released from the box structure sufficient of imposing a deep fear onto its bystanders.
The warhorses responsible for acting as the carriage’s steeds were constantly invigorated despite their heavy workload, as though they were privy to an unlimited source of vitality.
And surrounding the carriage was no longer an endless plains, but a towering sea of grass and plantlife.
Everything had changed for the former plains that stood between Dong Lin City and Tianfeng City, and yet some aspects remained the same.
“I get it, I get it! Quiet down already, will you!?”
Caw! Caw! Caw!
Seated on a ledge of the black steel carraige’s driver’s cabin, a little raven no bigger than the size of an adult male’s palm screeched at the top of its pitiful lungs.
The pair of black feathered wings flapped as though to express its sheer angst and annoyance, and an unearthly pulse of dense violet swathed the environment with each pulse of the wings.
“Xiao Hei, it’ll just be one more – just one more, alright? I promise!”
The pathetic voice of an equally annoyed young girl resounded from within the black steel carraige’s main cabin. An Fei allowed her body to slump against the soft cushions of a cotton pillow, her eyes gazing towards to the apathetic sky of light blue.
Clenched within her right palm, was a soft fan.
The clasps were constructed of an unassuming green jade, and the textured cloth was hardly anything but ordinary.
The only nontrivial aspect of the folding fan before her was the two distinctively colored sides, and the characters of life and death embroidered onto their surface.
…and that her brief motions of attempting to fan herself with the fan had resulted in the little raven’s utter plight and absolute fury.
All she wanted to do was to test her newly acquired equipment, why did it have to respond so harshly?
“One more… just once more, and I think I got the basic concept of it…”
The die was cast, and the soft and delicate fingers pried apart the jade clasps. Pinching the base of the folding fan with her thumb and forefinger, An Fei took a deep breath to steady her nerves.
The leaves of the fan were spread open in a smooth movement, only to reveal a spectral sea of blinding white and a massive character embroidered in black threads –
The young girl paled, and her left hand shot up from its lax posture besides her bosom to slap the fan shut.
An Fei’s lips twitched as she stared hard at the firmly shut fan, her neck not daring to turn as an awkward silence emerged to swallow her whole…
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry!!”
The abrupt tension that effused throughout the air was dispersed with an equally intense and swift speed as powerful cry of a soul enraged to oblivion burst throughout the plains.
The ground shivered in its rage, and a massive pillar of violet light soared towards the heavens to skewer the skies alive.
The faint vibration of the air swept throughout the interior of the black steel carriage, passing through all barriers with ease. The decorations and furniture remained in their ordinary states, yet when the pressure wave swept across the young girl’s figure…
An Fei was swept cleanly from her feet to slam against the hardened floor of the carriage, bringing forth wave after wave of searing pain to her forehead.
Nonetheless, regardless of her pained screeches, the little raven purposefully turned a deaf ear as it continued to direct the warhorses despite their doubts.
By accident, the young girl had opened the fan to display ‘death’ towards her direction; as such, ‘life’ was directed towards the frontal half of the black steel carriage – including that of the little raven and the several warhorses attached.
When vitality was bequeathed to a living being, the fundamental capabilities of their soul and physique were enhanced beyond comprehensible limits.
Strength, agility, stamina, even longevity; the infused vitality was not discriminative when it improved the body.
Hence, the spiritual creatures and practitioners alike, the ‘life’ of the fan of life and death in An Fei’s hands was the ultimate panacea.
With one sweep of the fan, they could deliver the breath of life to their doorstop with each passing moment.
As they granted vitality to themselves and those behind them, the existences in front would suffer of equal magnitude to the bequeathed blessing.
If one possessed sufficient determination and apathy towards living beings, they could abuse the fan to achieve pseudo immortality – unable to die as long as they possessed the strength to utilize the fan.
To the selfish creature that was a creature who had become enlightened to the existence of spiritual essence, how wasn’t An Fei’s fan the perfect treasure to achieve the status as an undying legend?
It was just a pity that the fan benefited not only living beings, but all existence without limit.
Though they wouldn’t transcend the limits of their longevity and achieve the ultimate conclusion as with spiritual creatures, inanimate objects were not bereaved from eye-popping benefits.
If in a state of disrepair of damaged condition, they would be restored to their prime even if all that remained was age-old dust.
If the magnitude of damage was less than that of the bequeathed blessing, then the material would be enhanced by the remaining proportion.
The folding fan of life and death was legendary and defiant of a logical principles of heaven and earth. Man could abuse it to transcend their limits to achieve immortality, and yet…
The fan was also a pain!
A major pain!
When the folding fan bequeathed the blessings of longevity and vitality to inanimate objects, they would drastically increase in density to prepare for purification.
As such, before the ritual of purification was completed, the object would become twice, or three times as more dense than usual…
If the blessed object were a sword, that would be fine… but not in a case of a carriage!
Especially, especially when it was moving – moving at a high speed, in fact!
And when the folding fan only blessed half of the carriage and cursed the other, the little raven responsible for pulling the carriage simply wanted to quit.
Every time the fluctuation of divine essence swept across the endless plains, the little creature deeply wished it could relax the reins, jump off the carriage, and hunker its feather head into its wings to sob and wail.
One side – no, one corner of the carriage suddenly tripled in its weight, while the other three-fourths reduced by an equal margin. Then, all of a sudden, the reverse would happen.
With the little raven’s task to maintain a high-speed state of travel with the attribute of comfort as the young girl inside had the fun of her nine generations of lives with the accursed fan… the difficulty level soared through the f*cking ceiling and breached the heavens.
The warhorses would persistently receive blessing after blessing, as with both the black steel carriage and the dingy wooden box latched onto the back, enough to make even Wei Xuan cry with desperation.
Within a span of a single day, the superior breed of warhorses reared and developed by Ming Xia had broken past their mortal shackles due to the numerous blessings of vitality shoved down their throats.
…they had shattered those same shackles many times in a single day, for the other half of the fan wasn’t as benevolent…
“Ah… fine, I won’t be doing it anymore. Happy?”
To the little raven’s delight, the young girl capitulated after recovering from her painful affair with the solid floor.
And hence, the seemingly ordinary fan was placed to the side or perhaps released into the Sanctum – far away from the black steel carriage, which was exactly what the little raven needed –
“…so bored, and we won’t reach the city for at least a few more days… ah!”
What was she planning this time?
“I know, what did I have to do again… [Fire]!”
Was the little lass attempting to practice the mystic arts? But he had confirmed with Jun Mo prior to dispatching his spiritual imprint, that this mortal world did not possess any shred of the mystic arts…
Wait! What was that?
Spiritual inflection – no, divine inflection!? And attached with a burning odor?
Divine essence emanating from the center of the carriage!? Trails of smoke behind them?
No, no, no – you stupid lass, just what are you doing now –
Amidst a sea of flames billowing out in every direction, a young girl’s exclamation of surprise and awe, and a little raven’s death call suffused with the purest despair, a black steel carriage dragged by eight warhorses with a wooden carriage latched to its back fled at the highest speed it could muster.
What was left behind was the smoking remains of what used to be an expansive plains, one that had stretched to the boundaries of the horizon, but now reduced to a charred crisp.