Before the words had been fully said, there were already people beginning to encircle Bai Fengxi, unsheathing their sabres and brandishing their swords, waving around their hands and feet, making to attack her.

Among these guests there was no shortage of Wei An’s friends, and hearing how wretchedly he was injured they could not but attempt to avenge him, while others wanted to come to the aid of Han Xuanling, and others still could not suffer Fengxi’s arrogance to pass, or wanted to join in the fun, or wanted to see for themselves whether Bai Fengxi was truly as strong as the rumours made her out to be.

In but a moment the garden was full of fluttering shadows, knocking the tables and chairs about, with flailing sabres and gliding swords. But Fengxi’s face was still full of smiles, her bearing carefree. With a casual wave of her left hand, she hit someone’s face, with a slap of her right, she struck someone’s shoulder, with a stretch of the leg, someone flew from the circle, and with a thrust of the foot, someone fell to the ground, and from time to time one could even hear her clear voice lightly scolding.

“Ya! This move is far too slow!”

“Are you stupid? If this palm had attacked my left side, I might have even been hit.”

“Idiot! Are you really going to attack from the left because I told you so?”

“This older brother, your feet are really quite stinky. I beg of you, don’t extend them here!”

“Ya, my friend, your arm is so hairy, it’s enough to scare a person half to death! Here, let me help you pluck some out!”

Between these bouts of scolding there was, every so often, the sound of screaming, porcelain breaking, and the garden began the scene of utter chaos.

But Fengxi passed through the crowd with ease, walking where she wanted to walk, occasionally hitting this person, or sometimes clawing that person, or else pulling at this person’s fine hairs, and tugging at that person’s thick locks. These Bai heroes seemed like performing monkeys in her hands, unable to escape from her grasp no matter how hard they tried.

“Alright, I’ve wiped away all the oil on my hands; I don’t want to play anymore!”

These words had just been spoken when a length of wide silk flew out, like a dragon roaming the sky. With a “pudong! pudong!” sound, those who had been opposing her were every one of them swept off their feet and collapsed onto the ground.

After everyone was sprawled across the ground, Fengxi’s white silk was retracted into her sleeve, and she clapped her hands breezily. “Old Master Han, the heroes you’ve invited don’t seem to be all that great after all; they’re only good enough for me to wipe my hands off on!”

“Bai Fengxi, you…you…”

Looking around at all the heroes of Bai Kingdom that had come to wish him felicitations who were now collapsed in a heap about him, all badly battered, while Fengxi had only done so because she had wanted to get rid of the oil on her hands, Han Xuanling became so angry he could hardly form words.

“Old Master Han, don’t be too angry, I was ever so gentle with them.” Fengxi’s face showed no signs of remorse. “Who told them to try to overpower me with their strength in numbers? In any case, they’ve only sustained a little bit of physical damage, they’ll be better in three to five days with a bit of rest.”

“Too angry? Gentle with them?” Han Xuanling shouted, at this time no longer caring about maintaining the dignity of his status, looking at Fengxi with gnashed teeth. “My birthday festivities have been totally ruined by you, and you’re telling me not to be angry? You broke Wei An’s arm; is that what gentle looks like?!”

“Old Master Han, you can’t blame that one on me.” Fengxi waved her hands, making light of the matter. “Who told you to set down the rule that, regardless of personal weath, everyone who comes looking for medicine has to give you a thousand pounds of gold? I’m poor, where would I find the money to bring you? If you’d given the life-saving medicine to me earlier, I wouldn’t have caused such a fuss. So at the very root, it’s all because you’re too greedy and too selfish!”

“And as for Wei An, hmph!” she snorted coldly, and her gaze swept briefly over Wei An, who was still moaning and groaning off to the side. And this Wei An, having been swept by her gaze, suddenly felt a cold tremor through his body, and ceased to speak.

Coldly, Fengxi said, “In that tea pavilion just outside Ruancheng, that old uncle was only a little bit slow, and couldn’t pour tea quickly enough for this hero, Wei An, but didn’t he go so far as to hit the man hard enough to make him cough up blood? If you use martial skill to abuse people, are you still worthy of being called a hero? I want him to know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of this treatment!”

“Yes, yes yes! You’re reasonable, everything you do is reasonable! Forcing people to give you medicine is reasonable! Disturbing someone else’s birthday feast is reasonable! And injuring someone is reasonable too! Do you really believe that there is no one under heaven who can control you, Bai Fengxi? Do you really think Bai Fengxi is unparalleled?” At this point, Han Xuanling was so angry he’d started shaking all over, his blood had rushed to the top of his head, and his eyes were all ablaze as he pointed at Fengxi. “Then I’ll ask someone who really can manage you to take care of you!”

”Oh? Who? What big hero did you invite?” When she heard this, Fengxi’s eyes lit up, and she questioned Han Xuanling with sudden interest.

“Someone go to the back garden and ask Young Master Fengxi to come!” Han Xuanling beckoned an old servant over, and the servant left immediately for the back garden.

“Fengxi? Hei Fengxi? You invited Hei Fengxi to come deal with Bai Fengxi?” Fengxi asked, her face full of a strange expression.

“Hmph! What? Scared?” Seeing the expression on her face, Han Xuanling immediately assumed that she was afraid.

“No.” Fengxi shook her head, and her gaze seemed almost compassionate. “Old Master Han, who did you manage to get Hei Fengxi to show up?”

“The day before yesterday, Young Master Feng had just arrived in Ruancheng when he came to call on me, so of course I invited him.” Han Xuanling watched Fengxi carefully. “Bai Fengxi, if you have any courage, then I dare you not to escape!”

“Haha…how could I escape?” Fengxi began to laugh as if she had heard some good joke, and after she finished she turned to look upon Han Xuanling and, as if speaking to herself, she sighed, “It’s been said that it’s easy to invite a deity but harder to send it away, haven’t you heard?”

“Hmph! You’re a plague I wish I could ask to leave!” Han Xuanling stared hatefully at Fengxi. If the fire in one’s eyes could kill a person, Fengxi would now be no more than a heap of ash!

“Ai, you can’t even tell who the true plague is; I really don’t know how you’ve managed to live to today,” Fengxi said, shaking her head and sighing lightly.

Just as they were speaking, two green-robed youths stepped into the garden. They must have been fourteen or fifteen, were very neat and tidy, delicate and pretty, and they looked like mirror reflections of one another. In each of their hands was a package.

The two youths walked to the center of the garden and raised clasped hands in greeting.

“There’s no need to be so polite. May I ask where Young Master Feng is?” Han Xuanling asked hastily.

But who would have thought that these two youths turned not towards him, but towards Fengxi, and, speaking in unison, said, “Our Young Master is currently washing his face. He will be done presently, if you will please wait.”

Then they turned from Fengxi to yell at those heroes who were sprawled across the ground: “All you! You need to leave immediately; our Young Master is coming soon.”

The two youths began to act just as the sounds of their speech reached spectator ears, moving with incredible speed around the garden. Some of the Bai Kingdom swordsmen picked themselves up, but others were shoved aside by their little hands, and the tables, the chairs, the plates, the bowls, were all kicked away by their feet or picked up by their hands. In no time at all, they had cleared up a space.

After clearing everything away, one of the youths went to bring over a large mahogany chair, and another brought a small tea table, after which they opened their bundles. One brought out a little broom, with which he dusted the chair and the tea table, while the other laid a brocade cushion on the chair. And then one brought out a jade teacup while the other raised a jasper teapot; one raised the lid while the other poured still-hot water onto the tea leaves.

Their movements were very quick and nimble, over in but an instant, and once they were done, they left, only to return again presently to lay down red carpet all the way to the chair and, when they had finished everything, they took up positions to the left and right of the chair.

As they were doing all of this, Han Xuanling and his host of heroes looked on blankly, not knowing what to make of anything, while Fengxi watched silently, the look on her face like a smile, yet not a smile, like mockery, yet not a mockery.

Another moment passed, yet Hei Fengxi had still not appeared. Even Han Xuanling longed to ask after him, yet, gazing upon the stillness of the two young servants, he swallowed the question that had risen to his tongue.

“Ah…” Fengxi yawned widely, then suddenly restrained herself, and called out: “Black fox, if you don’t get out here this minute, I will skin you alive!”

“Woman, you’ve always been so crude.”