Shi Feixuan's tender body was slightly shaken; she flew horizontally toward the Tianjin Bridge.
Jolted by the impact, the three-zhang long ribbon was bended first, and then the force flowed along the length of the ribbon, making a wave, which, in turn, became a dozen or so rotating rings; like a shadow it followed Wanwan as she soared into the air to pursue Shi Feixuan, who was flying away in the opposite direction.
One after another Kou Zhong, three men, dodged the flying blades thrown by Wanwan. Meanwhile the two women already crossed sword and ribbon in the air above the bridge, like numerous strings [of musical instrument] being plucked together at the same time, in an instant they already exchanged more than ten moves.
Although it happened in such a short period of time, the battle was incomparably intense. Each move carried full power; ruthless, swift and fierce, speed against speed. Amidst the flashes of the sword and the shadows of the ribbon, the two women fought in the air, and down onto the bridge. Their figures advancing and retreating abruptly, like a rabbit evading the falcon's hunt. Since the spectators could not even see their face and figure clearly, they could forget about trying to intervene. They only know that at any time the conclusion would come, in the form of splashing blood and a dead body lying on the ground.
Ba Fenghan was the first to rush toward the head of the bridge. He was about to act when Wanwan and Shi Feixuan suddenly separated.
Shi Feixuan floated toward the railing of the bridge, the Color Empty Sword was pointing toward Wanwan; an unusual redness appeared on her pretty face.
In an extremely graceful posture, Wanwan soared up and landed down on the head of the bridge on the opposite side.
Before her feet touched the ground, Bu Tan and Bu Ju's more than a hundred catty Buddhist staffs swept down from the sky, bringing with them the pressure of a storm, blowing her clothes that it was pressed up against her body, emphasizing her beautiful body lines.
Kou Zhong and the others cried ‘Bad!' inwardly; they were the only ones who knew best the level of Wanwan's formidability. How could these two monks be her match?
Wanwan's sparkling-and-translucent-like-jade bare feet lightly pushed on the flagstone of the bridgehead, propelling herself at an angle, and in an instant she broke through the two monks' staff shadows.
Amidst her tender laughter, Bu Tan and Bu Ju staggered and fell to the side. Wanwan continued to rise, and then changed direction toward the Luo River. Glancing back, she laughed and said, "Meizi's [younger sister] is indeed out of the ordinary; thank you for letting Wanwan experience it!”
Right this moment, strange light suddenly flashed; a burst of rays of light shot up at an angle from the small barge parked under the bridge, fast like a thunderbolt it struck Wanwan, who was still flying in the air.
Again Wanwan let out her sweet-sounding, silver-bell like tender laughter. Her right sleeve brushed away, she swept the tip of the folding fan to the side, and said with a laugh, "Hou Xiong is no longer a man who cherishes flowers?”
The interceptor was none other than the ‘Passionate Prince' Hou Xibai.
His folding fan's momentum being blocked, Hou Xibai let out a stifled groan as he was jolted back onto the ground, and was thrown about a zhang until he was stopped by the embankment.
Borrowing the reaction force, Wanwan flew up at an angle and disappeared behind the multi-story building some distance away from the River.
Came and went like the wind, or like a demon or a specter, making people unsure whether it was real, or they were simply having a nightmare.
In the meantime Bu Tan and Bu Ju had just landed on the ground. Although they were no longer staggering, their footsteps were heavy; a clear sign that they had suffered injury.
Liao Kong swept past Ba Fenghan, three men, who were stopping at the head of the bridge, toward Shi Feixuan, and put his palms together in greeting.
Bu Chi and Bu Chen stood behind the three, quietly taking their position to surround them.
Shi Feixuan floated over the bridge; her expression was as calm as ever, with some kind of gracefulness, free and easy, beautiful appearance of a fairy.
Her deep gaze was fixed on the distance, where Wanwan was disappearing in the dark.
Hou Xibai scrambled toward the bridge. Deeply concerned, he asked, "Feixuan, is your honorable self well?”
All eyes were on this as-simple-and-elegant-as-a-fairy beauty.
Shi Feixuan gave a slight smile; she said glibly, "Tian Mo Gong is indeed worthy to be called the Demon Cult's consummate skill; its countless changes emerge in endless succession.”
And then her gaze fell on Xu Ziling. "How's Xu Xiong's injury?” she asked tenderly.
Xu Ziling did not expect that, under this circumstance, she still cared about the injury of this ‘enemy'; an extremely odd feeling emerged in his heart. "Shouldn't be a problem,” he replied seriously, "Thank you, Miss, for your concern.”
‘Pfft!' Shi Feixuan burst out in tender laughter. "It was me who injure you,” she said, "Why did you thank me?”
Her rarely-came-out burst of laughter was like a blooming flower, or the sunrise from the eastern mountain; so brilliant that it dazzled everybody else. Except for Liao Kong, who still looked like an old monk in deep meditation, even the Four Great Protector Vajra were also staring blankly at her. Kou Zhong, Hou Xibai, and the others need not be mentioned.
The smile subsided, Shi Feixuan returned to her still-water-without-any-ripple expression. Sweeping Xu Ziling, three men, with her gaze, she spoke indifferently, "For the time being, we'll set the Jade Annulus of He Clan matter aside. I will decide how to pursue this matter later.”
And then turning her attention to Hou Xibai, she said, "Feixuan will momentarily stay at the Dhyana Temple to recover. If there's karma between us, I will see Hou Xiong later.”
Finished speaking, she turned around and left.
Liao Kong and the others, five monks, immediately put their palms together in salute toward Xu, Kou and Ba; they were very polite that it did not look like they consider the three as their enemy. And then they left to escort Shi Feixuan.
Ba Fenghan and the others looked at each other; they all did not expect that this matter would end like this, so they were not sure if they should thank Wanwan, or they should hate her.
Hou Xibai appeared to be in daze; he mumbled repeatedly, "Feixuan is injured, Feixuan is injured …”
Kou Zhong made an eye signal toward Ba Fenghan. The latter turned to Hou Xibai, "Hou Xiong …”
He had just started, Hou Xibai, who was still on the bridge, suddenly turned around to look at them. His eyes turned cold as he said, "Next time if the three gentlemen are dealing with Yin Gui Pai, please do not forget to leave me a share.”
With a leap he landed on the small barge under the bridge, and let the current bring the boat downstream.
All around them the street has returned to its cold and quiet atmosphere.
Ba Fenghan sighed involuntarily; turning toward Xu Ziling, he asked, "Is Ziling all right?”
Xu Ziling looked up at the moon above; heaving a deep, heavy sigh, he shook his head and said, "Just now my heart was slightly tight, but now I feel much better!”
Kou Zhong walked over toward Xu Ziling; with an arm around his shoulder, he raised the other hand's thumb and praised, "Xiao Ling is really all right! This is called glorious defeat. Over time, we need not be afraid of anybody.”
And then he added, "What are we going to do now? Shall we go back to that wine shop and drink until morning, or find a quiet place and have his mother's good sleep for a while?”
Looking around, Xu Ziling wondered aloud, "How come along the Heavenly Street all stores and shops have their doors and windows closed? We don't even see half a pedestrian on the street either. Don't you think this is strange?”
Kou Zhong speculated, "Perhaps that ********* Wang Shichong is afraid bystanders might be injured accidentally, hence he issued an order prohibiting anybody to step out even half a pace after certain hours certain time. Or something like that. Maybe?”
Frowning, Ba Fenghan said, "That is one possibility, but I still feel like something is wrong.”
Kou Zhong pulled the arm with which he embraced Xu Ziling's shoulders, "Standing foolishly waiting for people to challenge us for battle like this is not the way to deal with this matter; we'd better go someplace else.”
Sneering, Xu Ziling said, "Who would put us up for the night now? Including your old friend Wang Shichong, who'd welcome us in Luoyang?”
It was not clear whether Ba Fenghan was thinking about Princess Dong Ming; he sighed and said, "How about Mr. Xu's little nest?”
Kou Zhong's heart was moved; he laughed and said, "How about going to the casino's big boss Rong Fengxiang's magnificent residence to hide for the night? Doing a bit of harm to this fellow is not a bad thing either.”
The other two looked at him, stunned.
Kou Zhong explained, "Tonight Dong Shuni was going to the Rong Mansion to join Rong Fengxiang's birthday feast; she even told me to wait at the back door, she'd slip out and we'd elope together, so … Hey! Why are you two looking at me with such a dreadful and dubious expression like that?”
Ba Fenghan coldly said, "If Dong Shuni had wanted to elope, she would have eloped for a hundred times. Why does she show you, Zhong Shao, a special favor? Don't you find it suspicious?”
Kou Zhong was stunned. "You think that's impossible?” he said, "I did not treat her too shabbily either! You think she is setting a trap to harm me?”
Xu Ziling said, "What relationship does she have with you? Why did she pick you? Why does she want to elope with you?”
Kou Zhong sighed and said, "Actually, she and I had a bit of relationship; but now that you mentioned it, I also feel that there's something not quite right. I hope she was just joking! Otherwise there must be a bit of problem here; like, she is a woman who adores glory, splendor, wealth and rank, how could she be willing to abandon all those, and come with me, a lone wanderer, to the other end of the world?”
And then he clapped his hands and said, "All right! Enough chitchat! Where are we going now?”
Suddenly all three men's eyes lit up.
Actually, the entire Tianjin Bridge lit up.
Turning their heads around, they saw a huge, brightly lit ship, was sailing upstream toward the Tianjin Bridge.
This ship originally had no light, but suddenly it became this bright; they definitely had a team of well-trained ‘lamplighters'.
Kou Zhong sighed and said, "Old Ba, you win! I am afraid tonight we really have to bear it until dawn. I hope two gentlemen still remember that Triangular Formation.”