A cry caused Wei Xuan to pause in his steps and blink. Adjusting his grip on the box containing gardening tools, the minister slowly turned around to face a maidservant running towards him.
Coming to a stop, the maidservant’s countenance was red from exertion, and she rested her palms on her knees as she panted for breath, streams of sweat running down her brow.
The attractive countenance tinged with scarlet would oftentimes make for a great sight, but both the master and servant turned a blind eye towards the issue.
“Speak,” Wei Xuan uttered after watching Xiao Ying straighten her back and draw heavy breaths.
“Why are you so hurried? If it’s a mild problem, didn’t I instruct you to pass a note later in the evening?”
“It’s… It’s about the Fourth Young Miss,” Xiao Ying dipped into a respectful bow before speaking in a controlled tone.
Her gaze shifting around, the maidservant ushered for Wei Xuan to step closer and bend down, before standing on her toes to whisper into the minister’s ear.
“Today marks the eighth day since the Fourth Young Miss fell into a coma. Currently, the Fourth Young Miss is experiencing a mild fever, causing the other sisters in the study to roar in panic.”
Watching the minister’s countenance darken by the piece of information she had presented, the maidservant spoke in a similar worried tone, deliberately diminishing her voice to attract less attention.
“Master, should we really do nothing? The medications and prescriptions Physician Gao dispatched to us before he departed, will they truly be adequate? Shouldn’t we at least search for a few physicians?”
Wei Xuan felt warmth welling in his chest upon hearing the maidservant’s words, his judgement and experience indicating that Xiao Ying’s intention was sincere. However, he berated her in a steely tone, his expression not changing a single bit.
“Do you really want such news to reach the Imperial Court? That Feng Tian Mu, don’t you think his intentions are clear, asking me regularly whether Fei’er’s condition had abated? Do you really want your Fourth Young Miss to be ravaged by those claws of that Imperial Physician lecher of a young man overreaching on his pride!?”
With every sentence, the minister’s voice soared towards the heavens, a faint pulse of spiritual essence stampeding across the courtyard. Startled and scared by the sudden shockwave, the maidservant quickly swung her head from side to side, her eyes radiating a dense fear.
“This servant dares not! This servant dares not tarnish the Fourth Young Miss in any fashion, only wishing for the betterment of her health!”
“Then go,” Wei Xuan spoke in an airy voice, seemingly having vented his resentment.
“Go utilize Physician Gao’s assortments to alleviate Fei’er’s symptoms. A mild fever should be cured with the methods he left behind without a single issue, given his skill and ability.”
Xiao Ying bowed, before racing towards the study. Looking down at the box of tools embraced within his arms, Wei Xuan huffed and hemmed for a while, seemingly unable to make a decision.
Ultimately, he waved a servant to come over, thrusting the box into the confused servant’s arms before departing with a statement that both further bewildered and frightened the servant.
“Take good care of the begonias and amaryllis, there are not that many left, nor is the merchant arriving soon. If they aren’t tended to properly by the time the Fourth Young Miss sees them, see where your head will go!”
The servant didn’t understand and could only stand in a daze, his gaze fixated towards the minister’s departing back.
Unconsciously, his hand creeped up to massage and scratch his neck, wondering when it was going to depart from his shoulders.
There weren’t any begonia or amaryllis seeds left in the storehouse of the manor, nor were there any planted in the courtyard! So…how was he supposed to carry out his task?
A cloud of silver sparks expanded from the drawing table, the silver light dissipating in a grievous removal of their existence.
“Not again…” the minister growled as he viciously prodded at the symbol before him with a brush.
“To think that not even calming techniques couldn’t dissolve the illusory barrier…”
Before the minister was a plain drawing table of oak, the appearance and composition far too ordinary to the mahogany table in his study. The center of the table was occupied by a sheet of paper, numerous brushes decorating its sides.
The room Wei Xuan sat in was rather cramped by itself, encompassing an area of three square meters total.
Other than the drawing table, a rough stack of leather scrolls and books, and a chair of which Wei Xuan sat upon, there were nothing else in the room.
Currently, the minister was grumpily glaring at a symbol painted in the center of the page.
The only words Wei Xuan could use to describe the symbol was that it was demonic, complex, and terrifying.
Each and every attempt he had utilized to either peer into the symbol’s contents or tear it apart had been mercilessly rebuffed by a profound, invisible yet formidable barrier.
Buddha’s arts, devils’ illusions, the scholar’s decomposition brush, or even the World domains’ elusive techniques, none could bypass the barrier before him.
The symbol appeared as nothing more than a compacted mess of scribbled calligraphy.
Spanning no more than a square centimeter in size, the contents of the symbol seemed indecipherable, the words having been overlapped and overwritten from many different angles and sizes to form an oblique diagram.
Some instances, Wei Xuan could perceive a demon’s eye with a slitted pupil, but others only brought forth a bewildering slew of Buddhist symbols and scriptures.
Taking in a deep breath, Wei Xuan regulated his physical condition to its peak, calming his body and mind until a tranquil pool of spiritual essence resided in his dantian.
Picking up a brush in his right hand and expertly spinning it around, the minister took a deep breath before willing the spiritual essence to agitate and boil to a surging fury.
Commanding the spiritual essence within his dantian to form a flowing current, Wei Xuan slowly forced the ends of the stream to converge to a single point, causing the current to reverse itself upon the multiple distortions that befell it as it was compressed to a single bead.
Extracting thin streams of spiritual essence from the dantian, he began to wrap them around the converged bead, gradually restraining the destructive and volatile properties of converged spiritual essence.
However, Wei Xuan dared not let the bead subside within his dantian, willing the converged mass of spiritual essence to travel through his meridians to be expelled from his body. Opening his eyes, the minister could see a silver bead hovering before his chest, the hastily constructed binding array seemingly about to disintegrate within moments.
Without hesitation, he jabbed the bead with the tip of the brush, causing the bead to quake and begin to rapidly disintegrate. Rotating the brush clockwise, Wei Xuan coaxed the bead of silver light to devolve into threads that coiled around the brush’s tip, bathing it in a dense silver radiance reeking of violence and aggression.
“Since the various techniques won’t work, then brute force it shall be!”
With the symbol as the target, the minister stabbed the brush forth, landing on the white sheet of paper with a heavy yet light strike.
The moment the brush’s tip contacted the symbol of ink, the drawing table exploded into a silver-colored radiance that washed every spot of the room and eroded at Wei Xuan’s hastily construed barrier of spiritual essence.
When the immense light had dissipated, Wei Xuan lowered what remained of a barrier, his eyes inquisitively searching for the remains of the drawing table.
The drawing table was naturally extinguished from the irradiation of uncontrolled spiritual essence, having been reduced to a meagre pile of scraps. The brushes had disintegrated into plumes of ash scattering across the floor, the scrolls and books barely preserved from a similar fate by Wei Xuan’s efforts.
However, that sheet of paper remained untouched, laying gracefully in the ground amongst the piles of ash, the symbol unblemished regardless of his continued attempts of breaking through.
Staring at the demonic symbol that mocked his ability of a cultivator well versed in expelling barriers and illusions, an unnatural grin edged onto Wei Xuan’s lips, his eyes burning with a vivid determination and vigor.
A faint aura began to permeate the atmosphere of the isolated room, hinting of rampant bloodlust and merciless execution.
“You villainous demon, I will obtain my daughter from your grasp at all costs!”