After the Pagoda of Sun and Moon concluded its abnormal opening, the city of Jiang’an and Great Yong witnessed a decrease in snowfall. The streets of Jiang’an gradually became filled with bustling citizens once again, the city of wealth and commerce quickly regaining its prosperity as the snow on the streets were gradually cleared out.
And of course, following the opening of the Pagoda of Sun and Moon was the rise of new schools of martial arts and cultivation.
Many of those who had attained a complete set of cultivation and martial arts techniques from the Pagoda of Sun and Moon were more than eager to establish schools of martial arts to bolster their reputation.
The martial arts and cultivation techniques they taught, was of course, quite a watered-down edition of the copy they had obtained during their six-hour quest.
Though the government of Great Yong and the Three Lotus Sect’s members frowned upon this practice, none of them interfered for the copies of cultivation or martial arts techniques, was not their responsibility.
If one were to suffer misfortune, harm, or even death by joining a rapidly initiated school of martial arts, then they could only blame their poor luck.
Furthermore, the techniques obtained by an overwhelming majority of the crowd originated from the first platform of the Pagoda of Sun and Moon, hence those who joined the makeshift schools belonged to those either unable to attain significant contribution merit to enter the Pagoda of Sun and Moon or obtain a cultivation technique from the government’s general repository, or were unable to venture out of Jiang’an.
The streets of Jiang’an regained their unstoppable current of wealth, and the young masters and young misses of the officials’ families began to reinitiate their poetry gatherings and scholar associations, bringing an irksome mixture of a grimace and helpless smile on the elders’ countenances.
Surprisingly, the Imperial Court refused to convene after the opening of the Pagoda of Sun and Moon.
Even when both Left and Right Imperial Censors banged on the gates of the Imperial Court each morning, the eunuchs could only helplessly reply that the emperor had already adjourned court for the day.
Such events were worthy of suspicion, and the atmosphere of Jiang’an slowly but surely began to shift towards a tense current.
However, the transformation was excruciatingly sluggish, leading to many remaining oblivious and enjoying their current life to the fullest.
A prime example would be the rumors and gossiping regarding the Fourth Young Miss of Wei amongst the manor’s servants.
Those from the Peach Fragrance Residence claimed that the Fourth Young Miss had indeed awakened from a fourteen-year long coma, but was now wandering around like an infant, hence leading to her unable to leave the study of the Flowing Wind Residence.
The servants of the Slumbering Dawn Residence refuted that the Fourth Young Miss was simply being excruciatingly lazy and pestering the Master until he dared not to frequent his own study.
The residence of the Second Young Master of Wei’s servants somehow were unable to accept the idea that the Fourth Young Miss was anything but ugly, hence why she did not display her appearance in public.
The abode of the Third Young Miss Wei Rou Yan and Fifth Young Miss Wei Yan Yue persistently stated that the Fourth Young Miss was stuck in a pretentious phase, and was not mature enough to venture outside of the Flowing Wind Residence.
And the servants of the Flowing Wind Residence complained that the Fourth Young Miss was perfectly fine in maturity and was merely physically ill and unable to bear the winter weather.
…the manor of Wei’s servants were caught in a disaster, one caused by a lack of verified information and the snow causing many of the servants’ mental states to become slightly askew from boredom and being boxed in their quarters for weeks.
As long as they received chores from their masters, they would soon return to normal.
And work they received, and a massive quantity without sufficient time to aptly prepare; once the streets of Jiang’an had cleared, the officials’ manors, the Wei manor included, dispatched a slew of servants from each residence to devour the marketplace’s stocked goods.
Compared to remaining cooped up in the small servants’ quarters or return to a working lifestyle in the manor, albeit with some extent of misery, the servants all deigned to select the latter.
…as for the subject of the rumors, An Fei was currently in a war with the two maidservants.
“Fourth. Young. Miss.” Xiao Wen’s voice was stern, the maidservant’s countenance denying the chance of a refusal as she stared at the cowering girl in the linen bed.
“The Fourth Young Miss must take the medicine! The Fourth Young Miss has just awoken from a coma of four days, the Fourth Young Miss’ body is extremely fragile. Not to mention that the medicine is good towards alleviating the effects of anemia, which is something the Fourth Young Miss desperately requires after vomiting all of that blood back then!”
The maidservant coaxed An Fei with a gentle expression, holding forward a tray with a rather large ginseng.
The ginseng was of the size of An Fei’s head, the skin a deep scarlet and tantalizing in appearance, indicating a complete saturation of vitality.
However, the girl continued to shake her head in refusal, much to the maidservant’s ire.
She didn’t want to eat!
Her mind filled to the brim with the <Eternal Sanctum>’s explicit warning against the consumption and interaction with items with spiritual qi belonging to the world, An Fei gazed at the large specimen of ginseng with horror and fear.
With that scarlet, plump skin and the saturation of vitality, the ginseng was bound to possess a large quantity of spiritual qi.
Unfortunately for the Fourth Young Miss, Xiao Ying’s helpful intention ultimately consigned her to misery.
“Fourth Young Miss, you must eat the medicine,” the maidservant clutched onto An Fei’s arm.
“This Blood Spirit Ginseng is aged well over a hundred years old, and possesses great restorative effects towards one’s vitality and especially for the Fourth Young Miss, replenishes any lost blood.”
“Furthermore, the ginseng is highly beneficial towards the Fourth Young Miss; having stepped onto the path of cultivation, the ginseng is a coal sent amidst a cold winter, for within the ginseng is a vast reservoir the Fourth Young Miss can refine and advance greatly in her cultivation!”
…the ginseng truly possessed spiritual qi belonging to a mortal world…
Glancing at the excitement and desire within the maidservants’ gaze directed towards the massive ginseng on the tray, the young girl palmed her face before crawling back into bed.
The intense blood loss and aftereffects of abruptly waking from a coma were indeed taxing on her body, and she deeply desired for a solid moment of rest.
You can have it, this Young Miss doesn’t want to die so soon, ah!
“Fourth Young Miss!” Xiao Wen pleaded.
“The Fourth Young Miss only needs to consume a sliver of the ginseng to fully recover. There is no need to worry regarding the taste, this maidservant has prepared sufficient honey to dull the taste of bitter medicine!”
“I… I don’t want,” the girl weakly groaned, her hands clapped over her ears as she desperately tried to blot out the nagging voices.
However, a pair of sturdy and powerful hands gently dragged her arms away, and a low voice rang in her ear.
“Fei’er… what are you doing? Go take your medicine, it is only beneficial to your body.”
Her lips curved into a frustrated pout, the girl rolled her body within the blankets to face the minister, her sullen eyes meeting Wei Xuan’s gaze head-on.
After pondering for a brief moment, An Fei opened her mouth to utter three words that astounded the minister and maidservants.
“…don’t want… sick.”
“Don’t want? Sick?” Wei Xuan felt an urge to either clutch his temple or throttle the girl before him.
Choosing neither and instead stroking An Fei’s head, the minister coaxed in a soft croon, attempting to diminish the girl’s stubbornness.
“Fei’er, people take medicine when they’re sick. When you threw up blood earlier, Father thought that his heart was about to tear! Come, eat a tiny piece of ginseng, then Father will watch over you until you fully recover. Afterwards, we can try to advance further in your cultivation, alright?”
The girl continued to shake her head, the denial evident in the dull scarlet irises. For the first time, Wei Xuan felt frustration bubble inside him towards An Fei, and his voice came out slightly rougher than normal.
“Eat!” the minister boomed, his left hand curled into a fist underneath the bed, hidden from the girl’s sight.
“Eat the ginseng, you silly girl! Do you want to kill yourself!?”
Underneath Wei Xuan’s imposing glare and reminded of the cold, helpless sensation she had felt earlier when the minister had lost control, An Fei quickly capitulated, unwilling to undergo a similar experience.
Propped into a seated position by Xiao Wen and watching Xiao Ying cut a thin sliver the size of a toothpick from the head-sized ginseng, the girl ate the medicine under the watchful gaze of Wei Xuan, a look of despair on her countenance.
Watching the girl’s throat tremble as it forced the sliver of ginseng down, Wei Xuan released a tensed sigh of relief, feeling utterly mentally drained.
Whilst he was patting the girl’s head to soothe her irrational fear, his relief quickly morphed into horror as the girl before him started to madly convulse, thick rivulets of blood streaming down her nose, mouth, and the corner of her eyes.