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“Weak mind, weak body.”
--Aleksandra ‘Zarya’ Zaryanova, Overwatch


Chapter 217 - Angering one to death

There was stunned silence as the dust settled. Then Prince Chu Feng coughed mightily and it ignited a commotion. His maids and some of the concerned nuns rushed to check on him.


“Haha, weak!” Bian Qing chortled as she flexed her biceps triumphantly.


“You lummox! Do you know who that is? That is Prince Chu Feng!” one of the senior nuns exclaimed angrily.


Bian Qing whistled without a care. “A prince? All I see was a defeated man who talked too much about killing non-existent bandits.”


“Be quiet! This is the second time in recent days that you have caused such big trouble! He is the prince of the realm, do you know what you just did? The king might censure our temple because of you!”


The giant woman shrugged. “So what? We’ll just move to another mountain.”


“His father is the king. Of the country!” the senior nun emphasized.


“Then we can go to another country,” Bian Qing said flippantly.


The senior drew a deep breath and stood to her full height like some sort avenging angel, though she was still dwarfed by Bian Qing.


“Looks you need another sermon from Master Zheng Yen. Someone, take her and report to the master so that she might repent and reflect on what she has done again!”


Bian Qing had a look of dismay, but she did not resist as the much smaller and younger nuns tugged on her meaty hands. It was a comical sight to have the childish nuns nagging the brutish woman as they left together.


“Don’t forget to tell the instructor that I won!” she called out and her martial sisters laughed, much to the exasperation of the senior nun.


“Prince Chu Xiong, I hope you can say a word or two to explain the matter later,” the senior nun beseeched.


Chu Xiong continued to fan himself and smiled. “Of course, of course. This was just sparring, I am sure royal father would understand.”


The nun bowed with gratitude. Privately she was slightly puzzled by the lack of urgency, didn’t he just see his own brother getting beaten down?


“Prince Chu Feng had been too proud lately, this would serve as a humbling experience. Rest assured, the king himself might be pleased at the prince being taken down a peg or two and to learn some humility. That is one point of this visit,” Huang Ming murmured.


“I see,” the nun nodded with relief.


“You should write a report about how he was brought down to earth, I am sure the king would enjoy reading it,” Huang Ming added.


“I will do that, thank you!” the nun said gratefully and left.


Chu Xiong chuckled. “Did you arrange for this beating too?” he asked.


Huang Ming only smiled, and Chu Xiong’s admiration for him grew larger. Just how far was this man seeing to have prepared something like this well in advance?


He did not know that Huang Ming knew nothing about Bian Qing or the impromptu duel. Huang Ming smiled to hide his own ignorance of the matter and to mystify Prince Chu Xiong. What harm was there to let the prince be in awe of him?


“You should go check on your brother,” he said instead. “Go play the concerned relative for once. And remember to wipe that grin off your face first.”


Chu Xiong nodded and went over to the prone Chu Feng.


While everyone else was preoccupied with treating the stricken prince, Qiong Ying discreetly stood beside Huang Ming. Together they watched as Chu Feng was fussed on by the nuns.


“Sending him to check up on the prince? You would be the death of Chu Feng,” she said.


“Oh, we don’t want that. It’s enough if he got some broken bones and wounded pride,” Huang Ming replied.


“How would you do it if I hadn’t arrange this?” she asked curiously.


You arranged this?” he asked in return as he kept his face straight.


“Indirectly, yes,” Qiong Ying said.


“You’re one dangerous lady,” Huang Ming said admiringly.


“Nowhere as dangerous as that Bian Qing,” she admitted. “She is beyond my expectations.”


“But you said you arranged this,” Huang Ming pointed out.


“Indirectly,” she reminded him.


He frowned, but before he could ask for more information, Prince Chu Feng had burst into a tantrum while the nuns were nursing him on the ground.


“Go away! All of you, get out of my sight!” he roared, causing the nuns to back off in fright.


“Now now, brother,” Chu Xiong said placatingly. “Don’t give them a hard time, they are worried after that beating you suffered.”


“You-!” Chu Feng shouted, but whatever invective he was preparing was interrupted by a hacking cough that yielded speckles of blood.


“Your highness, please allow us to help,” one of the nuns said.


“Please~?” a younger one pleaded with hands clasped together, her eyes round and teary.


How could any one resist?


“Raaaargh!” the prince growled and slammed a fist into the ground with futile frustration.


“You’d better do as they say, brother. Or do you want that giant woman to come back and knock you out first?” Chu Xiong asked, barely able to hide his mirth.


Helpless, Chu Feng allowed himself to be helped up by his maids and the nuns. As he shuffled away, he glared at his brother.


“This isn’t over,” he hissed.


“I’ll be sure to tell Miss Bian Qing that you want a rematch,” Chu Xiong said lightly.


It took all of Chu Feng’s pain and the fact that he was surrounded by the innocent nuns that he did not break into a paroxysm of curses there and then. Instead he allowed himself to be shepherded away as his brother watched on, fanning himself.


“That prince’s behaviour is oh-so-familiar,” Qiong Ying commented as she watched the scene.


“Mmm, he’s someone I’m raising,” Huang Ming said. “He has a bright future ahead of him.”


“With you as his mentor, what could go wrong?” Qiong Ying rolled her pretty green eyes.


“Speaking of which, how did you arrange for this to happen?”


“Indirectly,” Qiong Ying repeated once more. “Someone else handled the details, I only provided the general timing. In fact, you know the person quite well indeed,” she said as she turned to give him a mischievous smile.


“Who? I hate surprises,” Huang Ming muttered.


“Instructor!” one of the martial nuns called out. They clasped their hands and bowed reverently to someone who was climbing up the top of the stairs.


Huang Ming turned to see a tanned, short-haired woman, her lithe body rippled with agility and strength. She was carrying a spear which had its sharp business end wrapped in a leather bag to hide its lethal potential, as befitting one entering a temple.


Who else could it be but the War Goddess Zhao Sunli?


“Surprise,” Qiong Ying said smugly.
 

All three together,
Birds of a feather.​