There was no precursor to the phenomenon, nor were there any indicative signs.
The instant the young girl opened the fan to reveal the white cloth, death descended unto the Shattered Star Continent.
Everything that could directly sense the concept instilled within the characters etched in black embroidery, instantly sacrificed their souls and vitality. Be it plant, animal, or inanimate object, all existence that paid witness to the exposing of death surrendered their grasp on the nature of being existence.
An invisible, imperceptible fluctuation exuded from the white-textured cloth of the fan to permeate throughout the world.
Half of the oscillating wave was infused with death, and the other was infused with life. As An Fei gazed with wonder, she witnessed an extraordinary change onto the world.
The plains before her field of vision, transformed into a decaying battlefield.
Grass, plants, spiritual herbs – even the microorganisms of the world were doomed to instantly perish and dissipate into an unrecognizable ash.
The soil and sediment were no exception, and soon, the young girl found herself standing at the edge of a bottomless ravine.
A ravine that possessed an infinite supply of an unidentifiable material with the appearance and texture of ash, a ravine that was deeper than the depth of the earth, and yet possessing of no depth at all.
Moreover, the world behind her was also susceptible to the unusual transformation.
The grass and plants grew at speeds visible to the eye; their knee-height stalks had reached the young girl’s height in the matter of a few breaths of time, and the faint rustling of fibrous material across the softened earth indicated of a continued transformation.
Their colors became increasingly vibrant and attractive, and the freshness of the atmosphere improved dramatically.
One side of the fan induced life, the other robbed vitality without distinction.
When death shone upon the world, not a single entity could plea for an extended lease of their existence. Similarly, when life shone its brilliant and invasive rays onto the populace, every entity received earthshaking benefits and vitality.
“And when resources were introduced into the world without a specified limit or restriction, chaos is ensured,” the young girl snapped the fan shut to remark with a rueful voice.
“But the phenomena induced by this fan isn’t selective. That is to say…”
The single demonstration of the fan’s potential had given An Fei a sufficiently satisfactory result. The young girl tapped the clasps of the fan against the base of her chin, pondering in silence.
She had opened the fan for a mere thirty seconds of time, and yet the effects of the white and black textured leaves had thoroughly changed at least four hundred meters of the plains in either direction.
In a battle, the fan could be utilized to immediately incapacitate and kill an enemy, while rejuvenating herself by an equal magnitude.
Similarly, if she were to heal an injury, the fan would rob an equal amount of vitality from her person.
…and it seemed that the Sanctum would not retain her longevity if she were to squander it via constant blessings of ‘life’ onto others…
“So, I have to be extremely greedy and miserly now? That doesn’t seem to be necessarily that difficult, does it?”
The young girl hummed in a melodious undertone, wading through the tall grasses that had far exceeded her body’s height.
Unfortunately, due to the thickness of the foliage exceeding what her sensory abilities could tolerate, An Fei found lost.
…she settled the issue of not being able to return by chopping through a sea of plants and grass, prompting another few hundred thousand souls to flutter to the Underworld Bridge to complain regarding their grievances…
“Oh? Xiao Hei, you didn’t change one bit?”
An Fei’s surprised voice startled the little raven from its afternoon nap, and the little creature took aflight with a startled screech.
The black wings flapped arduously against the abrupt increase in the density of the atmosphere, prompting it to tumble to the soft earth in an utterly awkward fashion.
Disgruntled and highly dissatisfied, the little raven shook its feathery head from side to side, only to direct a pained and vicious glare onto An Fei when it saw her lips trembling in laughter.
The little creature screamed in anger, forced to claw its way back onto its perch on the black steel carriage.
Nobody understood the painful lives of a spiritual imprint!
Whichever idiot reinforced the density of the atmospheric molecules to the point that they had interlocked into a viscous form not much different from that of honey, they were bound to face this Heavenly Immortal’s anger!
To dare strip this Immortal of his flight, how audacious!
“Yes, yes, I’m not laughing – pt – I’m not laughing at you, not at all…”
The young girl was oblivious to the miseries of a certain Heavenly Immortal who was present in the form of a spiritual imprint, and lazily climbed into the carriage.
However, when she stepped through the reinforced wooden door, An Fei’s brows lifted in surprise.
She had completely forgotten that the carriage had been behind her whilst she was conducting her unwarranted test run of the fan’s peculiarities. And hence…
…she had finally become aware of the drastic changes imposed onto the world behind her.
The grass grew beyond their physical capabilities, exceeding their height by at least a dozen folds.
Similarly, every pebble and cluster of sediment flickered with an exuberant, colorful light – not on par with the medicine gardens of the Sanctum, but not too far from it.
The black steel carriage and the warhorses assigned as its workhorses were no different.
The monolith of steel had subtly become stronger in its defenses, more so in its ability to withstand deformation and overall resilience to damage.
The holes that An Fei’s taijijian had inflicted onto the walls of the carriages during her tussle with Ming Xia had been repaired without leaving behind a scratch, and the carriage exuded a natural aura of innate suppression and domination not unlike that of a fierce creature.
The warhorses each displayed a ruthless spirit within their eyes, and though their appearance had not changed, An Fei’s inexperienced eyes could still discern the noticeable improvement in strength, agility, and endurance of the steeds of war.
If not for worse, the items within the carriage had improved in their quality, with several implements including the writing brush and inkstone on the drawing table besides her having swapped their materials for those of higher quality.
Just the writing brush alone had replaced its bristles with the hairs of a phoenix’s plume, and crackled with faint sparks of fire, much less the ink grindstone that released a cooling sensation upon the slightest contact.
The little raven hadn’t changed in size, and the small fox… had gotten fatter?
“Xiao Bai, why did you become so heavy…”
The young girl groaned as she petted the fur of the formerly small fox, her already punished sore knees and legs screaming in agony from the increased weight of a fully-grown fox.
Thinking back upon her willful actions and their consequences, An Fei couldn’t suppress the twitch of her lips.
The snow-white fox scowled at the insulting remark that ignited its conscientious thoughts regarding its weight, and leapt from An Fei’s lap to slink out of the carriage in a fit of anger.
The young girl’s hiss of pain was hatefully ignored, and Xiao Bai had stepped outside to sit alongside the little raven outside of the carriage.
The formerly palm-sized Xiao Bai had suddenly increased in size to resemble the growth of an Artic fox. The small figure had ballooned into one of twenty-three centimeters in height and nearly a meter in length – dimensions fitting for a true adult of its species.
Granted, the bigger Xiao Bai became, the heavier the body of heavenly soft and pristine fur became.
An Fei could no longer hold and caress the small creature in her palm, and allowing the snow white fox to rest on her shoulders was a definite negative for the frail young girl’s frame.
“Ah… Xiao Bai’s no longer cute… though the tails are really, really soft…”
An Fei’s lips inadvertently suppressed a thin line of saliva radiating with desire, but ultimately allowed for the thought to perish. The young girl soon found herself suppressing an untimely yawn, and departed to the Sanctum to rest.
She seemed to have forgotten the terrors of the folding fan with its jade clasps –
“Not this time!”
A delicate hand grasped around the thin structure of the textured fan with the metallic strips, preventing it from landing the customary blow.
Heaving a light sigh at having averted from exacerbating the swelling of the back of her head from being inflamed one step further, An Fei stepped towards the first corrid –
“Ah!!! Oh, you – wu….”
The folding fan of life and death was divine regardless of the location – how could a measly young mortal girl stop it from having its daily fun?