It took just a day of testing to realize that <Calligraphy> was an astounding martial arts technique, far superior to the <Heavenly Talisman> that she had managed to squeeze out a few times. With the sacrifice of a certain handsome man, a few vases of porcelain and ceramic, as well as a little raven, An Fei was able to obtain a sufficient mastery.
…or so she believed.
“Xiao Hei, ah, this Young Miss is truly sorry. Don’t take it to heart, alright?”
The young girl bobbed her head as her fingers stroked the little raven’s black feathers. An Fei flinched when she noticed the pair of crimson eyes boring holes into her heart, but soothed her nerves with a few quick breaths.
She attempted to practice writing in mid-air with the taijijian unsheathed.
Holding the elegant blade in a visually proper grip and balancing her body on the soles of her feet, An Fei had swung the blade through the air with the elegance of waving a brush.
Pretending that she had dipped the tip in a basin of ink, the young girl had performed two thrusts besides each other, than two slanted strokes in between the jabs.
She was attempting to write the elementary character for ‘fire’ by the guidelines written within <Calligraphy>. Nonetheless, the young girl had discovered two disastrous elements in her experiment.
The first was that before she had even begun the two slanted, downward vertical strokes to the left and right, the taijijian’s blade burst into a multitude of sparks, eventually taking shape of a raging wildfire traveling down the length of the blade.
Not to mention, as she clumsily swung through the air with an object that mostly resembled a blazing torch, a certain little raven had returned from its ventures outside.
The elegant taijijian’s sharp tip may have missed severing a leg or two, but the raging fires on its surface had utterly eviscerated the little creature’s underfeathers.
The little creature received one of its worst traumatic experiences, forced to take flight after making the decision to land. The room was soon filled with the stench of burnt raven feathers, prompting An Fei to choke for breath, and as a result, swerve the flaming blade towards the snow-white fox’s tail.
The snow-white fox screeched as it leapt from the bed and towards the wooden wall, shattering several vases with a sweep of its tail in its haste to escape. The sword embedded itself into the plainclothes bedsheets, and the fire soon began to devour hungrily onto its bewitching prey.
An Fei could only watch as the flames burnt the bed raw, and the tinkering of shattered porcelain and ceramic played a symphony of melodious schadenfreude.
Wielding a sword by herself was certainly challenging – the book got that part entirely correct in its sections about weapons…
“If I can spend a hundred golden taels to travel to Jiang’an by transference array, surely I can afford a few silver coins to repair the room? Why do you look so flustered and agitated?”
The young girl first lodged a retort towards the handsome man who had dedicated half an hour lecturing.
Responding in the same diligent tone that Wen Jiu had tossed in her direction, An Fei pushed her bottom lip into a disagreeable pout.
“Besides, it’s highly unlikely that we will make it back to Jiang’an anytime soon. Not to mention, what are you doing every night outside in the tavern, instead of cultivating like a proper cultivator of the Hundred Clan Coalition?”
“My dear Young Miss, gathering information regarding the local customs is much more different than practicing external martial arts in a mortal’s inn!”
Wen Jiu shouted with furrowed brows. Advancing forward and crossing his arms before his chest, the handsome man stared down onto the seated young girl, his cheek muscles threatening to twitch madly in exasperation.
“My dear Young Miss Xu, please be aware of our surroundings! This isn’t Great Yong; this is Bei Tang – enemy soil! We’re supposed to be mortal merchants traveling from neighboring Great Yan – wasn’t that the story that we’ve agreed to uphold?” he shouted with a stern expression.
“The locals of Goeun City suspect us because of our incomplete knowledge of their language, and to top it off, Young Miss just had to practice external martial arts in a mortal’s inn!? Are you trying to have the Violet Jade Pavilion place their fangs on our necks!?”
“But mortals can also practice external martial arts; I suppose that you haven’t told the locals that we’re merchants with absolute zero combative ability?” the young girl countered with a strong voice.
“Merchants wandering into foreign territory without any combat ability – that itself is suspicious to any nation, much less a Violet Jade Pavilion! Besides, Honorable Wen, what exactly have you been telling the locals that the lady at the front entrance stared weirdly at me when she noticed that we were living in different rooms?”
The little raven spluttered to itself at An Fei’s comment and quickly took flight, escaping the hideous range of the taijijian’s edge to observe the argument from a better angle.
Wen Jiu stood stiffly in silence as he searched for a plausible answer to ward off the young girl’s irritated expression, but remained silent in the end.
“Young Miss Xu, can we not go into such a sensitive issue, ah?” the handsome man compromised with a trembling smile.
“At this rate, we’re going to have to find a different in in Goeun to reside in; I suspect that the owner of the inn has already issued a report to a member of the Violet Jade Pavilion stationed in the city.”
“Report? Why – the city’s not in a particular state of unrest, so there wouldn’t be a necessity to weed out spies, no?”
An Fei frowned. Her fingers swiftly dove into the comfortable fur of the snow white fox, and the pair of scarlet irises glared onto Wen Jiu’s countenance.
The handsome man quickly shook his head in denial, spreading his hands out to his sides in defense.
“Rather than suspicion towards within the city, the entire empire of Bei Tang is on grave alert,” Wen Jiu released a sigh of defeat.
“At Crag’s Pass in the Heavenly Palm Province of Great Yan, a genius of the Violet Jade Pavilion was slain by an expert of our Great Yong in a single duel just moments before the Young Miss’ incident. However fair the duel may be, even if it were mediated by Great Yan, the Violet Jade Pavilion will never let such an incident go.”
“A genius cultivator of the Violet Jade Pavilion was slain today, and the entire sect arises in a fury? Geniuses in the jianghu are rather common, are they not?”
There was someone surnamed Du and named Yongkang who was considered a genius of Great Yong, but he lost to a mortal girl and her external martial arts technique…
The Hundred Clan Coalition’s representative of the Wen Family trembled as a wheezing cough struggled to extricate itself from his body at An Fei’s disdainful remark.
Clutching his chest with humiliation racing through his veins as his ears perfectly captured the implied meaning with the young girl’s sentence, Wen Jiu didn’t know what to respond with.
“…I completely forgot, Young Miss Xu didn’t know much of the jianghu’s intricacies,” the handsome man finally pushed through his sealed lips.
“The genius cultivator dispatched by the Violet Jade Pavilion to Crag’s Pass was a true genius of cultivation. Even in our Great Yong’s Taiyi Sect, there wouldn’t be many that can match his prowess, not to mention at his age.”
An Fei raised a brow in silence.
Funnily enough, Du Yongkang was also regarded as someone who was a true genius of cultivation, and one that couldn’t be matched by others in his age…
“This genius is much stronger than Youth Du Yongkang!” Wen Jiu protested.
“The reason why Youth Du Yongkang even returned to Dong Lin City in the first place was because he lost to the Violet Jade Pavilion’s genius at the border conflict! He never had a chance!”
The other eyebrow soared through the air to meet its pair in the skies.
Du Yongkang still lost to a mortal girl without any cultivation… not to mention a certain Yang Jian, and a few dozen old members of the Hundred Clan Coalition…
“Not even Elder Brother Yang can defeat that genius in his achievements at his age! Alas, that poor youth ticked off Han Lin Academy’s Heaven’s Childe Wei, that was clearly the wrong move for him regardless of the perspective, ah.”
An Fei rhythmically nodded her head to the flustered man’s gestures. The young girl was about to respond with another half-hearted note, but abruptly came to a pause.
“Han Lin Academy? Heaven’s Childe Wei?”
The words “Han Lin Academy” were rather familiar in her memory, and the “Wei” was rather suspicious as well…
“That’s right, a young monster in our Great Yong. Right, Heaven’s Childe Wei has a rather legendary story, not to mention that he has an elder brother who is a senior disciple at the Taiyi Sect,” Wen Jiu nodded with an appreciative expression.
“The story of how that pair of elder and younger brothers stomped through the sects in Great Yan and Bei Tang by themselves and without any assistance from their elders is a rather renowned one in the entirety of the jianghu!”
…she seemed to know of a certain person whose surname was Wei, was enrolled in a supposed “Han Lin Academy”, not to mention having an Elder Brother who was a senior disciple in the Taiyi Sect…
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