|Water Margin character|
|Rank||47th, Upright Star (地正星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends|
|Chief Justice of Liangshan|
|Hometown||Jingzhao (near present-day Xi'an, Shaanxi)|
|First appearance||Chapter 44|
Pei Xuan is a fictional character in the Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 47th of the 108 Liangshan heroes and 11th of the 72 Earthly Fiends. He is nicknamed "Iron Face".
Pei Xuan is from Jingzhao (near present-day Xi'an, Shaanxi) and he serves as a magistrate there. He has a reputation for being stern as he always metes out sentences to convicts according to the laws without showing any mercy. He does not yield to threats nor bribes. He earns himself the nickname "Iron Face" as a result. He is also an accomplished swordsman and scholar as well.
Pei Xuan's reputation as a fair and just magistrate ultimately leads him into trouble with corrupt government officials, who fear that he might interfere in their affairs. Pei Xuan is framed for insubordination to the governor and imprisoned. He is sentenced to exile on Shamen Island later. He passes by Yinma River along the way where a bandit gang led by Deng Fei and Meng Kang live. The bandits attack the guards and free Pei Xuan. Pei Xuan is grateful to the bandits and he joins them. He becomes their chief as he is the oldest among the trio.
One day, Dai Zong passes by Yinma River and meets the trio. Dai Zong invites them to join the outlaw band at Liangshan Marsh and they agree. They disguise themselves as soldiers and travel to Liangshan. Pei Xuan is appointed as the chief military judge of Liangshan after the Grand Assembly. He oversees the handing out of rewards and punishments and serves as Liangshan's de facto Chief Justice.
Pei Xuan follows the heroes on their campaigns against the Liao invaders and rebel forces after they have been granted amnesty by the emperor. During the Wang Qing campaign, Pei Xuan, Xiao Rang and Jin Dajian are captured by the enemy general Liang Yong. They are subjected to torture but they refuse to surrender. Liang Yong's subordinate turns on him later and kills him. The three of them are released.
Pei Xuan is one of the few lucky survivors after the Fang La campaign. He is offered an official post by the emperor in recognition of his contributions but he declines the offer. He goes back to Yinma River with Yang Lin.
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- Buck, Pearl. All Men are Brothers. Moyer Bell Ltd, 2006. ISBN 9781559213035.
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