Startled to discover Wei Xuan’s handsome countenance just inches from her face, An Fei released a shocked cry, ignoring any notion of pretending to be a mental idiot.
After she heard her own voice crying in surprise, the girl plopped her mouth shut in fear and bewilderment.
Why did Second Uncle have such a menacing expression?
His gaze towards her contained not a single shred of the fatherly affection he had showered onto her for several weeks, and was of malevolence and viciousness, as if An Fei had massacred his important family members before his eyes.
Wei Xuan drawled in a calm, nearly sardonic voice. An eyebrow shot up to the skies as he observed the young girl before him quiver, the trepidation and confusion contained within those scarlet irises magnifying by the second.
“Second Uncle, Second Uncle…” the minister sneered.
“This Wei Xuan is an only child, and does not have any blood siblings! Demon, depart back to the depths of the Underworld!”
Hearing Wei Xuan’s barely suppressed fury as he spoke with gritted teeth, An Fei could only become even more confused.
There shouldn’t have been a demon anywhere, so why was Second Uncle directed such a horrifying gaze towards her? The Second Uncle within her memories was always an easygoing person, amiable and caring of her since she was a child.
Second Uncle shouldn’t have changed this much, something must have happened!
Unaware of the thoughts of the girl before him, Wei Xuan’s fury peaked when he saw her tilt her head to express confusion. Unable to control himself, the fingers of his right hand lashed forward, gripping An Fei by the throat!
“Demon, return my daughter to me!” he roared in a muted whisper, as if afraid to speak in a loud voice. However, the stern character and determination for vengeance rang true within the words he spoke.
“My daughter’s precious soul, return it to this venerate! The lives of humans are not the livestock of you demons!”
“Demon…” An Fei croaked in response, no longer caring to pretend as a confused and bumbling infant as she struggled for air.
Gasping for whatever amount of air flowed between Wei Xuan’s tight and vice-like grip, the girl mumbled in a partial daze.
“I’m not…a…demon… What demon… are you talking…about…Second…Unc-!”
Hearing the address ‘Second Uncle’ escape again from An Fei’s lips, Wei Xuan’s pupils constricted as his blood began roaring with, crashing against the walls of the veins with an ever-increasing furor.
An unearthly rage coursing through his entire body, the minister fought to keep himself rational, but ultimately ended up pinching whatever minimal air An Fei could attain.
Suddenly, a white sheet of paper was thrust before An Fei’s pale countenance, taking up her entire vision. Her eyes fixated onto the center of the paper, the girl could see a dense, complex symbol of ink spanning over an area of a single square centimeter.
Overhead, Wei Xuan’s cold voice rang throughout the study, devoid of any emotion.
“Then what is this demonic symbol, if not a demonic one?” the minister steely intoned.
“The spiritual fluctuations are of an attribute that is unable to be replicated through human means, what else than the Demons and Spirits?”
“However, Spirits are renown throughout the continent to be of generosity and virtue, which only leaves your Demons as the viable candidate. Say, if you are not a demon, then what are you?”
Just as the girl was about to struggle for a reply, Wei Xuan uttered one last statement in an eerily calm voice before roughly tossing the girl onto the linen bed of the study. Her throat burning in pain but no longer clamped by two searing fingers, An Fei took in deep gulps of air, her body limp and devoid of strength.
Ignoring her blurry vision, the girl remained staring at the sheet of paper, or more particularly, the symbol drawn at the center.
…Though she couldn’t make out the exact details, An Fei definitely saw violet lights of varying degrees and hues emitted from the characters that formed the symbol, which exacerbated her confusion to an all-time high.
Why was the same type of light that she had observed in the realm of crystal appearing in the study, especially on the symbol she had drawn to enter the mysterious crystal realm?
There was a distinct relation between the symbol and the realm of crystal as she had read its contents out loud to enter the mysterious zone, but was it the same as the medicinal herbs and weapons?
Or did the odd light she had constantly observed originate from all sorts of objects and living entities, essentially a universal property?
An Fei didn’t know, yet couldn’t help but continue to gaze at the symbol with wonderment. Even after she had read its contents out loud, the symbol was not emitting such lights, so when did it even begin to display such phenomenon?
Suddenly, the girl shivered, her body beginning to convulse and spasm involuntarily as she felt a cold gaze land on her. Her limbs, her torso, even the marrow of her bones felt as if doused in subzero temperature water, making her lay on the bed helpless and unable to even blink in retaliation.
The gaze seemed to travel across her entire body, and from its piercing intensity of which the cold sensation struck her body, An Fei thought that the gaze was capable of examining even the individual cells forming the compact tissue.
Eventually, nausea began to accumulate at a frightening rate when the girl felt the gaze strike her head, her mind reeling as if struck by a powerful hammer.
Why were you doing this?
Before An Fei could squeeze out her plea, a strong wave of nausea and lethargy struck her mind, casting the girl into a deep slumber devoid of dreams.
Stepping back as the silver glow receded from his irises, Wei Xuan staggered onto a nearby chair, weakness spreading to every point on his body. Though his constitution and physique were at peak operation, his mind was nearing the lowest straits.
He had utilized the <Glistening Teardrop> technique taught to him by his master. To detect all signs of demons, spiritual intents of malice or otherworldly intention, anything that could have attracted an anomaly to the user would trigger a reaction upon activation of the technique.
To achieve such an effect, he had infused a stead stream of spiritual essence through the various meridians around his body, merging the contaminated streams and supplementing his vision to achieve an extraordinary effect.
Merging the spiritual essence within the Yin Heel Vessel and the Yang Link Vessel, along with pairing the spiritual essence contaminated by the Yang Heel Vessel and the Yin Link Vessel to form two distinct blends of a multifarious spiritual essence, Wei Xuan had fused the streams at the Dicang acupuncture point before allowing them to expunge and permeate the atmosphere.
A simple infusion of spiritual essence into his vision had manifested the entry levels of the <Glistening Teardrop> technique, permitting him to scrutinize An Fei’s body and soul for any anomaly or malignant spirit.
…He had not found any.
Not a single demonic entity, rogue spirit, or spiritual anomaly could be found within either An Fei’s physical body or soul.
However, he had verified with Xiao Wen through a Blood Rune Recital that it was indeed An Fei who had drawn the demonic symbol with ink and brush, as well as vocalizing a weird incantation upon completion.
The girl had fallen into a coma afterwards.
…All of his experiments and attempts in breaking the profound, invisible barrier that enclosed the symbol had come to naught.
The closest he had come was to force the symbol to reveal the demonic aura that it currently exuded with schadenfreude, mocking the minister for his futile and imprudent righteousness.
Murmuring to himself in a daze, Wei Xuan snapped out of his stupor when his gaze landed onto An Fei’s neck. The milky and fair skin that was white and snow and smooth as war jade had two arcs of purple bruises on either side of neck, creating a rather vicious and jarring sight.
Staring at the destruction he had caused with his own hand with widened eyes, the minister could feel pain surge in his chest as if someone had taken ahold of his heart and given a merciless squeeze.
He wanted to reach out and caress that bruised and damaged skin, a stabbing pain erupting in Wei Xuan’s heart and causing hot tears to spill from the stoic man’s eyes.
A soft whisper ruminated along with nature’s groans and cackles, revealing a deep despair, sorrow, and regret.
“What do I do now…”