It was neither Bai Yunfei nor Tang Xinyun's intention to go see the Qin straight away. They both wanted to relax a bit before they dealt with business, and touring the city seemed like an appropriate way to enjoy themselves. Reaching the heart of the city at noon, the two of them decided to finish things off with a nice lunch before they went for the Qin.
This particular restaurant boasted of a decent menu with a perk quite unusual compared to the restaurants outside the city. Due to their close proximity to the primal stone mine, the vegetation and other livestock used in the restaurant had a certain trait to it that made it even more delicious.
Though expensive, the meal was still quite nice to have, and the two thought it to be well worth the cost.
Tang Xinyun had just been wiping her mouth with a wet cloth and Bai Yunfei pouring himself another ladle of soup to drink when he noticed something. Putting his bowl down, Bai Yunfei turned around.
Curious, Tang Xinyun looked up from the table and in the same direction of him to where a group of richly-dressed youths was just walking in.
The four men were leering all towards the same person: herself. Everyone else in the restaurant had caught onto that fact and were already starting to shy away from the place so as to avoid any trouble. It was with a sinking feeling in her chest that Tang Xinyun realized what was going on. Clearly, the son of a wealthy family had their eyes on her now—for the umpteenth time…
She wasn't worried, to say the least. Bai Yunfei would usually intervene before things got out of hand with the methodology Bai Yunfei preferred most; playing the fool until the huge reveal.
Despite all his theatrics when doing so, Tang Xinyun couldn't say she didn't enjoy it.
But there was something different this time. When Bai Yunfei turned his head back to look at the newcoming people, he started a bit when he realized just who it was.
Two surprised voices spoke out simultaneously—Bai Yunfei and the richly-dressed youth leading the group.
"They know each other?" Admittedly, Tang Xinyun was confused by this. How did Bai Yunfei know someone in Swallow City?
Her answer came to her in the form of a whisper.
"Xinyun, that's Qin Shoufeng, the second son of the Qin."
"Eh?" She looked back at the youth, "Qin Shoufeng? Really? How did you know that?"
"Oh, I nearly forgot to mention it, haha. I actually met him a while before!" He winked.
"Lord Feng, do you know them?"
Zhang Qian asked, perplexed by how the situation was developing.
A myriad of emotions was flashing across Qin Shoufeng's eyes.
Surprise, fear, anger, and even a little excitement.
His emotions grew even more pronounced when he heard the name Bai Yunfei mentioned.
He looked back to Tang Xinyun, not quite sure if he should believe what he had just heard.
"Xinyun? Are…are you really Tang Xinyun?!" He cried out upon reaffirming the lady companion with Bai Yunfei.
He actually wasn't all too familiar with what Tang Xinyun looked like despite his betrothment to her. Tang Xinyun rarely ventured out from her home, and even during the times she wasn't home, she was at the Crafting School. The only time he had seen her was when they were twelve when his father took him to the Tang for a courtesy visit. A long time had passed since then, and Tang Xinyun was essentially an entirely different person. So it was little wonder he failed to recognize her straight away.
Still, he was able to connect the dots when Bai Yunfei said her name.
As surprised as she was to meet Qin Shoufeng here, Tang Xinyun bowed her head in greeting. "I am Tang Xinyun, a pleasure to meet you, lord Qin."
She didn't look 'embarrassed' to see her 'fiance', of course, since she didn't see him as one.
"Tang Xinyun? She's actually Tang Xinyun?!" Zhang Qian and the others gaped.
Sun Jian's eyes swiveled in their sockets as he looked at Tang Xinyun again before adopting a small smile on his face.
"Haha!! Brother Feng's wife! We were just talking about you! How unexpected to see you show up so quickly afterwards, and what a blessing it is!"
Bai Yunfei raised an eyebrow, "Hey, watch who you call your brother. When did I have a person like you as my brother?"
"Ahh?" Sun Jian paused briefly to stare at Bai Yunfei. He wasn't quite sure what Bai Yunfei was saying.
But Qin Shoufeng did. Anger consumed his eyes as he pointed a finger at the other. "Bai Yunfei! What are you playing at?! Why did you come to my Swallow City for?! And why is Tang Xinyun with you?!"
Bai Yunfei glanced lazily over to him, "Haha, what a voice you have. Since when did Swallow City become yours? You'll find out what I'm here for soon enough. You also don't need to know why Xinyun is with me."
So flummoxed was Qin Shoufeng he didn't even know what to do or even say for a solid minute afterward.
Zhang Qian and the other males with Qin Shoufeng were listening intently to this interaction with great confusion. It was Sun Jian that looked most angry as though Bai Yunfei had insulted his own father.
"Who the blazes are you?! How dare you talk to lord Feng like that! Are you tired of living?!"
It was either an ignorant reaction or a slow one if he didn't catch onto the name Qin Shoufeng said. Sun Jian had somehow mistaken Bai Yunfei to be the son to a wealthy family and eager to make his name known in the world.
But this was Swallow City, the land Qin Shoufeng and his family presided and ruled over. It'd be fine if he were to make some noise on behalf of Qin Shoufeng.
"You're not from around here, are you? It's laughable that you don't even recognize Lord Feng, you should kneel down in front of him if you want to keep on living! Listen here—you're in over your head here. I don't know what kind of pipe dreams you have for miss Tang, but she's the fiance of lord Feng, so quit your daydreams and stop bothering her, she's out of your league! And even if lord Feng is generous enough to turn the other cheek, I definitely won't! Pah! It's little wonder you're not pissing yourself with your moral character. Stealing lord Feng's fiance away from him? Pah!!"
Each sentence was spoken with an increasing amount of effort to intimidate Bai Yunfei. Unfortunately for him, he wasn't getting a single reaction out of him, and his 'companions' were completely silent. If they weren't backing him up, that meant he was going to used to gauge how Bai Yunfei would act.
"What's all this racket!! Can't you see there are people trying to relax here?! Yunfei, shut this idiot up!"
An annoyed voice called out into the restaurant from outside a nearby window while Bai Yunfei had been standing there in silence. Under the wide-open eyes of Qin Shoufeng and his group, a prisma oriole had flown in to glare at them while a small white bird sat next to it with a look of 'admiration' in its eyes…
It was the fact that this bird was speaking that really confused Qin Shoufeng's group.
Then Bai Yunfei gave the bird an answer, "Alright…"
What happened came to most as only a blur. Hardly anyone could even register any movement coming from Bai Yunfei before there was a popping sound.
In the moment after, Sun Jian spun around on his feet twice before collapsing to the ground. His eyes were completely unfocused and there was a large swollen bump on the right side of his face. With how froth was coming out from his mouth, anyone could see that he had collapsed.
Or in other words, he had been shut up.
The entire restaurant was staring wide-eyed at the situation now. Qin Shoufeng had his eyes still wide open too, but his right index finger was shaking crazily at Bai Yunfei as he tried his best to form a word other than 'you'.
When Bai Yunfei slapped Sun Jian, it was as if the slap had also served to strike fear into Qin Shoufeng's heart. He couldn't even help himself, his heart was beating wildly as if to warn him of impending danger.
Qin Shoufeng hadn't expected that it'd be Bai Yunfei to be the first to make a move!