Although Beatriss’s nemesis Madam Guto has finally been “dealt with,” Beatriss and Tetsukichi noticed with some alarm that one of her former charges, a charming young woman named Phi Phong was actually really really charming. Golfo had married her. Fair enough, he is a man who appreciates an attractive and vivacious woman and doesn’t care about the misfortunes of her past. But Tetsukichi’s Uncle Anca Sansar had adopted the big-hearted but loutish and low-born Golfo as his son and seemed to delight in giving both Golfo himself and especially his daughter-in-law a place of prominence in his household.
Tetsukichi sought an audience with Afu in the Forbidden City, but was diverted from his goal of seeking the Priest’s assistance in divining Phi Phong’s powers and intentions. Because Afu had something else on his mind. Two things. First, he believed that Gwinch, the foreign sohei was directing slaving operations from the Southwest frontier region. AND he believed that “Fun Town”—the entertainment district where out-of-town laborers spent most of their wages— was also the secret base of the Slavelords.
Beatriss and Testsukichi agreed to investigate Fun Town. Following a tip from a drunk, they ended up at the tavern of the White Warrior and enjoyed a quick, greasy meal. Beatriss struck up a conversation with a monk and asked him about Phi Phong and whether he might help determine the source of her powers. Of course he could help—or at least he knew someone else at the monastery who could and he was on his way there now. And which monastery was that? The Monastery of the Two-fold Path, right outside the city. Ok, maybe another time. Leaving the tavern, they saw the ghostly form of a woman jumping from the third-story window of the building next-door. Shrugging off this oddity, they returned home.
Beatriss and Tetsukichi enjoyed quotidian life for a few days. There was a naming ceremony for Tetsukichi's daughter, who was had been born during the winter. Afu presided over the ceremony. Afterwards, he talked with Phi Phong and reported to Beatriss that she seemed like a very nice young woman. (Arrghh! Beatriss resolved that she would NOT leave her kids with Phi Phong.)