Chapter 3.1 A Xuan Mountain Night Passes Sudden as a Dream

Mount Xuan, North Peak  

Looking at the empty cavern, Fengxi’s hands loosened, and the clothes she’d held tumbled to the floor.

That person hadn’t waited for her? He was injured so heavily, yet not only did he leave by himself, he didn’t even wait for her to come back with medicine?

“Why is he such an idiot?” Fengxi muttered angrily to herself, and walked to the entrance, whereupon she discovered herself suddenly surrounded by a large number of people.

“Bai Fengxi, hand over the Xuanzun Seal!”

They were the same lines, only this time, they were directed towards her. Fengxi sneered.

“I don’t have any Xuanzun Seal. You’d better leave quickly, lest you anger me!”

She swept disinterested eyes over the gathered crowd, some of whom she had not seen before, some of whom she’d already met at the foot of Mount Xuan. A quick count yielded one, two hundred people. They really didn’t know when to give it up! Did they really believe that some Xuanzun Seal was enough to command the world, to be the master of the land? Fools!

“Bullshit! You were the one who rescued Yan Yingzhou; it would have been the simplest thing in the world to take it from him while he was passed out! If you don’t have it, then who would?” a large man by the name of Ge bellowed.

He had just spoken when suddenly, his vision blurred, and his throat constricted, and it became hard to breathe, and when he looked down, he saw that a strip of white silk had wrapped itself around his neck.

“Let – let – cough – let go of me!” he railed, his face already startlingly red, and, coughing violently, he grabbed at the silk and pulled at it with all of his might, but it grew tighter the more he struggled.

“Hai, if I said that I don’t have it, then I don’t have it! When has Bai Fengxi ever told a lie? It’s not as if I’m that black fox!” Fengxi said coldly, and pulled her hand back, the white silk unraveling from around the man’s neck, letting him go.

He began to heave almost immediately, taking gulp after gulp of air, feeling rather like he’d just snatched his life back from the jaws of death.

“Miss Feng, since the Xuanzun Seal is not with you, then be so kind as to tell us where Yan Yingzhou is,” said a man of about thirty, with regular features and an air of righteousness about him.

“And you are?” asked Fengxi with a fleeting glance towards him.

“Your humble servant is Linghu Ju, and I’m under orders from my liege the King of Nan to return with the Xuanzun Seal, in order to calm the chaos of the world,” he replied, raising clasped hands in greeting.  “I can give my word that I only seek the Xuanzun Seal, and have no intention of harming anyone.”

“‘Calm the chaos of the world?’ What lofty words!” Fengxi laughed mockingly, and then raised her head to gaze towards the sky, and sighed heavily. “Linghu Ju, your reputation as a as a swordsman is scattered far and wide, and I can believe that you have no ulterior motive, but your king…don’t make me laugh!”

“Since Miss Fengxi trusts me, then please tell me where Yan Yingzhou is.”

“I don’t know where he’s gone, either,” Fengxi said. “If you do find him, don’t forget to let me know – I’ve half a mind to skin him alive!” She couldn’t help gnashing her teeth in frustration.

“Master Linghu, you mustn’t be fooled by her!” A large, meaty man detached himself from the crowd, and almost immediately, the tall Linghu Ju seemed to shrink to only half the size of the other man.

“That’s right, don’t be fooled by her. Perhaps she’s hiding Yan Yingzhou, and perhaps she took the Xuanzun Seal from him long ago,” the crowd started to wildly guess.

“Silence!” Linghu Ju suddenly roared. “Bai Fengxi has always been an upright and honourable person, definitely not the lowlife you make her out to be; how dare you insult her thus?”

“Yi?” Hearing this Fengxi could not help but to look towards Linghu Ju, sizing him up carefully.

It must be known that even though she never did anything against the moral code, she was wild and unrestrained, frank and straightforward, certainly nothing like those upright models of integrity. Some people feared her, some people despised her, some people kept far away from her, and there were already few enough people who liked her at all, let alone held her in such high esteem, and certainly not any upright, honourable men like him! How could she not be surprised?

“How can you be so sure that I’m noble of heart and not some villain?” Fengxi looked towards Linghu Ju with eyes that seemed to smile, but were not smiling.

“I just do.” Linghu Ju did not say much, merely nodded his head. “Since Miss Feng doesn’t know the whereabouts of Yan Yingzhou, then I will take my leave.” Then he waved his hand and called, “Heroes of Nan Kingdom, if you still recognise me as your leader, then you will please leave with me!”

He took his leave of Fengxi and turned to leave, taking twenty, thirty people with him.

Seeing Linghu Ju leave, Fengxi turned her head towards the people who remained where they were, and she began to laugh. “Are you determined to force me to slaughter? I warn you, I’m not some virtuous and kindly person whose hands have never been stained with blood!”

Immediately after she spoke, the white silk began to encircle her entire body, as if a white dragon bursting through to the sky, and in but a moment, a gust of energy swept towards the crowd, and in their hearts there began to creep a coldness, and they could not help but to tense, to keep their eyes fixed upon Fengxi lest she make a sudden move.

Even Linghu Ju, more than thirty feet away, could feel its effects, and his hand jumped reflexively to the hilt of his sword. Then, suddenly, as if coming to his senses, he took it off, sighed, and with large strides, continued on his way out of the clearing. But was he sighing for Fengxi or for the heroes who surrounded her?

The white silk fluttered, gently as a feather, to the ground, and Fengxi wound it back towards her slowly, bit by bit, with deliberate movements. She said lightly, “You should all leave. I don’t want to see any blood.” And her face looked suddenly weary.

The others swallowed unconsciously. They could not help being frighted as they thought of the might with which silk had billowed, but they could not help feeling resentful at the thought of leaving just like that as they thought of the Seal.

In the midst of this impasse, Fengxi suddenly wrinkled her brow and cocked her head, as if hearing something. Fixing her gaze on something in the distance, she took off, quick as a flash, and hurtled across woods. By the time the crowd gathered their wits about them, she was already long gone.