Suddenly, the crowd could feel the pressure on their bodies ease, the breath that had been stifled in their lungs could finally be breathed, but immediately following this they felt a flood of energy through their bodies, and became exceptionally tired, and many collapsed, only thinking of being able to sleep once they hit the ground.

But when the pressure lifted from Ren Chuanyun, he could only feel a sweetness in his throat, and he could not help but to swallow, already understanding in his heart of hearts that he had sustained internal injuries. It was really very hard to believe that someone as young as Bai Fengxi could have such strong internal energy! Without having even properly engaged, she was able to suppress everyone present! The only thing worth celebrating was that she had at least been merciful, and did not take any lives.

“Does anyone take any issue with my bringing Yan Yingzhou when I go?” they could hear Bai Fengxi’s soft voice ask.

Though no one wanted to let him go, but the crowd of people stood so in fear of her martial prowess that no one dared to speak.

“Please, do as you wish.” Ren Chuanyun adjusted his breathing, withdrawing his silver spear, and then waving his hand, called those five people who followed him away from the group and into position behind him.

“What? You don’t want to take the Xuanzun Seal?” Fengxi looked at him with a smile, her two eyes so bright they seemed to penetrate his very soul and see clearly all his thoughts.

But Ren Chuanyun also smiled casually and said, “My prince had previously stated, if I were to meet Bai Feng or Hei Xi, Master Yu Wuyuan, Prince Huang Chao of Huang Kingdom, or Princess Xiyun of Feng Country, no matter what, I was to back down.”

“Is that so?” Fengxi waved a hand, and the long white silk retreated back into her sleeve. “Does Prince Lanxi truly look so favourably upon us?”

“My prince once said that only these five are fit to become either his friends or his enemies.” Ren Chuanyun glanced at Fengxi, and then smiled inscrutably and said, “If Miss Feng is fated to come to Feng Kingdom some other day, my prince will certainly welcome you with ten li of embroidered tapestries.”

In the Eastern Realm, to spread ten li of embroidered tapestries was, among the vassals, considered to be the grandest of all courtesies. No matter how well-known and powerful Fengxi was, she was still a commoner; no matter what, she could never reach a position where the Crown Prince of a vassal state would welcome her with such ceremony, so Ren Chuanyun’s words were no more than an exaggeration.

“Ten li of embroidered tapestries? I fear that will become ten li of armed soldiers.” Even hearing that she was held in such high esteem by Ren Chuanyun, Fengxi remained unmoved, and her expression, on the contrary, was mild. “And as for you, if you hadn’t come at me before, I fear you wouldn’t ‘back down’ now, would you?”

Hearing this, Ren Chuanyun’s expression shifted imperceptibly, but then immediately resumed all semblance of normalcy. “Chuanyun has frequently heard my prince saying that the five of you were peerless masters, but before now I have never been fated to meet any of you. To have the luck to have seen Miss Feng today, I would of course be tempted to seek your instruction on a few of my martial tricks. If I have offended, I pray you will forgive me.”

“Is that so?” Fengxi asked mildly, and leapt very lightly onto a branch. Seeing this, the people below her could not but be on their guard.

Fengxi swept her eyes over the crowd, and a light smile floated upon her lips, and then, looking at Chuanyun, she said, “If you had treated Yan Yingzhou with a sliver of the respect due to a hero just then, according to your intention of reaping the benefits of the situation, I certainly wouldn’t have restrained myself to giving you instruction on just “a few” things.”

“Chuanyun gives many thanks to Miss Feng for her mercy,” Ren Chuanyun said with his head lowered, but his hand grasped his silver spear ever tighter.

“Haha…to have subordinates such as you is enough to see how powerful Prince Lanxi truly is! If we are fated to meet some other day, I, Fengxi, will most certainly personally ask Prince Lanxi for his guidance.” Fengxi suddenly lifted Yan Yingzhou and with him turned and went, and in the blink of an eye they lost all trace of her, but for her voice, which came from far away. “I won’t stay long with you today, but if there are any among you who seek the Xuanzun Seal, then you’re free to follow!”

Seeing that Fengxi had gone far away, the few subordinates behind Chuanyun asked, ““General, are we just going to leave it here?”

Ren Chuanyun raised a hand to stop them and said, “Bai Fengxi isn’t someone you or I can deal with. We’ll leave it until after we ask for instructions from His Highness.”

“Understood.” The five of them bowed.

“Let’s go.” Ren Chuanyun did not say anything to the others, but turned and led his subordinates quickly away.

After Ren Chuanyun left, those left in the forest looked upon each other in dismay, for the moment unable to decide if they should disperse or if they should chase after her.

At last, Ren Xun motioned with his hands and said, “My friends, I will first leave you; whether or not any of us are able to take the Xuanzun Seal from Bai Fengxi will depend on each of our lucks.”

After this, he turned and walked away, and those people, seeing that he, too, had left, quickly made like birds and beasts and scattered in all four directions, leaving but a few corpses and the slumped body of the fainted, handless Zeng Fu in the forest.

Bai Kingdom, Mount Xuan.

The colour of the sky had just began to show traces of dawn, and on the curtain of the sky there remained the faint sliver of a crescent moon, holding back all of its brilliance. In the soft of dawn, a layer of fog embraced the towering summit of Mount Xuan. At this time, Mount Xuan seemed quiet as a painting, though occasionally the songs of those early-rising birds rang out.

On the north peak of Mount Xuan there was a cave from which came an exceptionally soft and muffled moan, which came from the man who lay within it.  After the man made the sound, he finally opened his eyes, first quickly taking in his surroundings, and then rising, but when he had just lifted his two arms, he let out a cry of pain.

“You’re awake.” A voice, light, but holding a thread of indolence, reverberated.

The man followed to the voice to gaze at the maiden sitting at the mouth of the cavern, facing away from him while brushing a head full of long black hair, and though the lighting dark, he could see the glint of blue light emitted by her black hair as the comb slipped past.

“Who are you?” the man asked, but once he opened his mouth he found his throat to be dry, and his voice to be hoarse and unpleasant.

“Yan Yingzhou, shouldn’t you be a little more courteous towards the person who saved your life?” The maiden at the mouth of the cave stood and turned to walk towards him, a wooden comb grasped in one hand, a lock of hair in the other, brushing intermittently.

“You saved me?” Yan Yingzhou answered her question with a question, and then remembered the sky-cutting Cloud-Piercing Silver Spear of Ren Chuanyun’s rushing towards him before he passed out, and then suddenly recalled a matter of greater import, and could not help grasping at his back in a fluster, but could not find anything there but his wound, leading to a rush of pain. And only now did he discover that the upper half of his body was unexpectedly bare and unclothed, and on his lower half there was only a pair of underclothes.  

“Are you looking for that?”

The maiden’s hand pointed to his left, and there was a pile of torn cloth, upon which there were traces of dried blood, and by the shreds of cloth there was a parcel.

“Don’t worry, I didn’t throw it away, nor did I touch it,” the maiden said, as if seeing through his worries.

Yan Yingzhou raised his head to look at her, just now realising that the girl had a pure, smart face, a hint of a blithe character between her brows, a snow-white jade crescent dangling upon her forehead, and was clothed in robes of loose white silk, while her long black hair was not tied back in anyway, but was let to drape vertically behind her, carrying about her entire person an indescribable air of leisure and ease.

“Bai Fengxi?” asked Yan Yingzhou, looking at the snow-white jade moon ornament upon her forehead.

“Well, I’m not Hei Fengxi.” Fengxi smiled carelessly, and then said, “Are the four generals of the Huang Kingdom as unafraid of death as you are? Last night I did a little counting, and aside from the old scars, there are a total of thirty-eight wounds on your body, but not only did you not die, but you were only unconscious for a single night before waking, and your situation doesn’t look to bad. If you were any normal person, even if you didn’t die you’d be out for at least three, five days.”

“You counted my injuries?” Yan Yingzhou asked with a strange expression on his face, thinking about the clothes currently on his body…

“Why yes! I counted up and down your entire body.” Fengxi stepped closer, putting away the comb in her hand, and then looked with some amusement at the expression on his face. “To find out how many external injuries you’d accrued, I had to staunch your bleeding and administer medicine, and in that way I saw your scars; I only counted them by the bye, and nothing more. And what’s more, the clothes on your body were already reduced to rags, which is why I peeled them off of my own accord, so as to avoid them interfering with my administering medicine for you.“

She had not finished speaking before Yan Yingzhou felt the blood rush upwards and his face grow hot.

“Ya! Why is your face so red? Could it be you’re feverish?” Fengxi exclaimed suddenly, and then reached out a hand to press against his forehead.

The cool hands had only just touched his forehead when Yan Yingzhou immediately scampered backwards as if in fear. “Don’t touch me!”

“Why not?” Fengxi asked, tilting her head, and then smiled at him with some mischievousness. “Could it be you’re not feverish but blushing? And you’re blushing because you’re embarrassed? And you’re embarrassed because I’ve seen your whole body and touched your whole body? Is that why?”

Hearing this, Yan Yingzhou felt as if all the blood in his body had rushed to his face, and looking at Fengxi’s face full of that radiant smile, and, after some time, shouted resentfully, “Are you a woman or not?”

“Haha!” Fengxi suddenly guffawed, without any of the gentleness or refinement that a woman should have, though her smile was yet so natural and pleasant.

“Of course I’m a woman, but you’ve definitely never seen a woman like me before, right?” Fengxi finally replied.

“If all the women in the world were like you were…” Yan Yingzhou had just opened his mouth when he suddenly stopped himself. He was never good with words, and he owed Fengxi his life, so it seemed inappropriate to say anything unpleasant.

“If all the women in the world were like me, then what?” Fengxi’s eyes held barely-contained laughter while looking at him, while her face held traces of rumination. “Actually, I haven’t seen many men like you either; what have you lost in being looked at and touched by me? It’s not as if I looked at you on purpose, you must know that I was one who rescued you, okay?”

The blood had only just begun to flow from Yan Yingzhou’s face when it rushed back up again.

“Ya, ya, you’re blushing again!” Fengxi shouted, as if she’d discovered something exceptionally amusing. “Could it be…could it be you’ve never been touched or looked at by a woman? Ya, your face is even redder! I really am right! It’s really quite hard to believe. Ah, to think that this “Fierce Wind” General is a hero with an impressive reputation, and you’ve been famous for so long, and you must be around thirty! Yet you’ve never touched a woman before? Oh, this is a thing unheard of!”

“So this is what Bai Fengxi is like?” Yan Yingzhou’s face was red enough to rival the morning clouds, and the words he had held back for so long now erupted from his mouth.

“That’s right, this is exactly what I’m like.” Fengxi nodded, and then approached him and said, “Did I disappoint you?”

Upon seeing her approach, Yan Yingzhou sat up immediately and scurried backwards, but who knew that this movement would irritate the injuries that covered his entire body.

“Aiyo!” he groaned involuntarily.

Some of the wounds on his body had split, and blood began again to trickle down from them.

“Stay still!” Fengxi extended a hand to restrain him, so that he could not move away even if he wanted to. “I used up all the medicine I had on me in order to staunch your bleeding, and now look, they’ve opened again; what a waste!”

Her gaze swept over his whole body, and stopped suddenly below his ribs, where Gong Wudu’s steel fan had left a particularly deep cut. The blood flowing from it now was black.

“There is poison on Gong Wudu’s fan, and though I helped you suck a lot of the poison from your own yesterday, it seems like it still hasn’t been cleared out of your system, and neither of us has any antidotes on us; what are we going to do now?” Fengxi frowned, looking at the black blood trickling from his body.

“You helped me suck poison from my wound?” Yan Yingzhou froze at this, his eyes sweeping over her captivatingly red lips, and then felt the wound below his ribs flare up with heat as if on fire.

“If I hadn’t, I’m afraid you’d have died yesterday.” Fengxi didn’t take any note of his expression, and turned to walk to the mouth of the cave, and when she returned she carried in her hand some water and wild fruit. “You must be starved, why don’t you eat a few of these fruits to alleviate some of your hunger? I’ll go down the mountain and find you some medicine and get you some clothes along the way.”

Fengxi handed the water and the fruit over to him, and then spoke again: “Those people from yesterday won’t have given up on the Xuanzun Seal, and they’re definitely still searching for you, so don’t go wandering about, or else if they come, you should hide yourself away; I’ll be able to find you.”

After this, she turned to leave. Yan Yingzhou looked at her retreating figure and then suddenly shouted, “Wait a moment!”

Fengxi stopped to turn and look at him. “Did you want to say something else?”

“You…you…I…um…this…” Yan Yingzhou stuttered for quite a while, but was unable to say anything, though his entire face was turning red with the exertion.

“You want to thank me? Tell me to be careful?” Fengxi guessed, only thinking how funny it was that he was like this. “Yan Yingzhou, how did you become the “Fierce Wind” General with such an awkward personality? Hey, I rescued you, and I’ve seen your entire body; is it that you want me to take responsibility for your purity? Did you want to marry yourself to me in gratitude?”

“You!” Yang Yingzhou glared at Fengxi, but did not know how to respond.

To think that he made his name so young, was by nature reticent, solemn, and honourable, was the leader of the Four Generals of Huang Kingdom and looked upon favourably by the Crown Prince, was respected by his peers and obeyed by his subordinates. When had he ever met anyone as unreserved as Fengxi?

“Haha… so this is the mighty General Fierce Wind…how funny!” Fengxi laughed loudly and so unrestrainedly that she couldn’t even stand upright. “Are the Generals Wind, Frost, Snow, and Rain just amusing as you? If so, I’ll definitely go to Huang Kingdom to play!”

She laughed while walking towards the entrance of the cave, but at the mouth of the cave she suddenly turned at looked at him, the laugh on her face even more brilliant and resplendent than the morning sun, set against the light that pierced through the red clouds, she made Yan Yingzhou feel so suddenly dizzy and rattled.

“Yan Yingzhou, I wanted to tell you one last thing before I go, and that is…your body may have many scars, but your figure is still very worth looking at!”

Saying this, she left with a guffaw, leaving behind a red-eared Yan Yingzhou, who wished he could dig a hole and bury himself inside.