Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 3 Ch. 21

I Know That You’re Waiting For Me to Act

“All of you stop or else I’ll snap his highness’s neck!” Xiang Batian’s roar caused all of the Black Winds Thirteen Wings to back off. Even Fu Xiang and co. were forced to stop as the orange prince was the pillar of their operation. Without him, the plan wouldn’t exist.

Eunuch Nan and Shen Yiren who were locked in a battle with Fu Xiang also backed down at the same time. The result had been decided so they avoided a battle with Fu Xiang.

Fu Xiang and Shen Yiren both couldn’t help but breathe a breath of relief. It was clear that neither side won. Fu Xiang is strong and his palm techniques are miraculous, but in terms of internal strength, you had Eunuch Nan who possessed profound internal strength, and in terms of technique, you had Shen Yiren. As such, neither of them could find the win in a short span of time.

Splitting up in this sort of tight situation could become a huge handicap. The orange prince was captured by Xiang Batian precisely because of said reason.

The orange prince didn’t panic despite Xiang Batian having grabbed hold of him. He just shook his head with an expressionless look and sighed: “So you were my father’s man too, Xiang Batian. Now that I didn’t think of. You drank, gambled and were lecherous, plus you killed your teacher and ran away. And yet you’re being valued so highly?”

Xiang Baitian didn’t speak to the orange prince. He just reported to the emperor: “Your majesty, I have not let you down.”

The emperor nodded and said with a smile: “Cheng’er, you schemed, gathered men and bribed the Qilin Guards, but you didn’t think that your closest henchman would be working for me, did you?”

“I see. I see……” The orange prince’s expression was absolutely calm. He slowly turned to face Xiang Batian and said: “So that’s why you desperately trying to get rid of Jia Yunfeng? You were acting all greedy and like a scoundrel before me. Aren’t you the scheming one?”

Xiang Baitian arrogantly replied: “You need not admire me, your highness. It was all his majesty’s plans. I just followed it.”

The orange prince nodded: “I thought it was odd too. Normally you’re not calculative, yet you were very calculative this time. It appears you really did receive orders from my father.”

“Xiang Baitian is a member of your mother’s servants’ family. I promised him that I would resolve the enmity between him and Cold Mountain Temple if he could successfully complete this job.”

The Xiang family was the empress’s servants. So even though the orange prince was capable of ordering them, the emperor was even more capable of ordering them.

Emperor Yuansheng’s talent lies in using people well, and not sticking to a fixed formula. He would use someone even if they were like Xiang Baitian as long as they could complete tasks. The emperor took two steps forward slowly. Eunuch Nan and Shen Yiren guarded him from his side in case Fu Xiang or the Black Winds Thirteen Wings acted. The emperor swept his gaze over the Black Winds Thirteen Wings around the orange prince.

“Cheng’er, the people around you should wake up. Jia Yunfeng is an example. He as a Patriarch didn’t guide you well and instead helped you. I spared his life but I can’t let him walk away easily. Xiang Batian crippling his right hand is but just a small punishment. He’s fortunate to still have his head on his shoulders. And do you know how many people these random assassins from the pugilistic world brashly following you have killed? That’s enough now. It’s time to stop this. Now surrender!”

The emperor sent Xiang Batian an eye-signal. Xiang Batian dragged the orange prince two steps back, back to the centre of the royal family’s seating area, but he got blocked off by Fu Xiang.

“Get lost, or I’ll snap his neck!”

“No one shall pass beyond this point.” Fu Xiang laughed and said: “We from the League of Assassins do the work once we’re paid. We only kill people, we don’t save people. I don’t care if you want to kill, and I won’t be in your way if I kill either. It’s up to who’s faster.”

“Piss off! You don’t care? If you don’t care, come at me if you’re so tough and see what I do to you.”

While Xiang Batian was talking tough, he was actually quite scared. At the end of the day, he was holding onto the emperor’s son. Even if he committed a heinous crime, it would naturally fall on the emperor to punish him. Even if he were to be killed, there is only one person in the entire world who is qualified to sharpen the emperor’s blade. Who was Xiang Batian to be worthy of the emperor’s target of revenge?

The only reason Xiang Batian pledged his service to the emperor was for money and because the Cold Mountain Temple was pressing his matter to the point where he had no other choice. Not only would killing the orange prince do him no good, his life would be in trouble too, so there was no way he’d kill the orange prince.

Although Fu Xiang was worried about hurting the orange prince if he attacked, he knew that Xiang Batian wouldn’t hurt the prince, rendering Xiang Batian’s threat useless against him. Therefore, he blocked his path without any hesitation.

As the two of them were facing off, the orange prince suddenly said: “You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are undefended. You can ensure the safety of your defence if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked. With no attack nor defence, there is no need to fight.”

The emperor was aware that the orange prince had a love for war strategy from a young age, but he never expected his nerdy nature to come out now. He was confused by what he had heard.

The orange prince leisurely said: “Father, I know that you’re waiting for me to act. As soon as I act, you’ll subdue me as fast as possible. But I haven’t acted since the beginning of the imperial martial arts tournament until now, which is why you haven’t restrained me, and instead had Nan Junfei and General Manager Liu try to force my hand.”

The emperor felt something was odd as he listened to him.  The orange prince wasn’t saying things somebody that’s been seized would be saying. He sounded as he had plans in place already. He was already in a pinch. Around him were guards while the warriors of the imperial court had laid siege to the platform from below when they knew of the incident. He had no way of overturning the situation so how was he still so confident?

The orange prince laughed and continued: “Father, you’re waiting for me to act when I’ve already made my move, and you’re too late to realise it.”

The emperor felt what he said was odd, but he looked composed. Could it be that he still has an ace in the hole? With that, the emperor replayed everything that had taken place today to try and figure out where a hiccup occurred. Suddenly a bad possibility came to mind. The emperor quickly tried to mould his internal energy. He was fine when he just initiated it, but then he felt his qi become erratic and was unable to use his strength. Panicked, he tried to mould energy once again and he felt a throbbing pain in his dantian as a result of it.

Everything before his eyes began to spin. His lower abdomen hurt while his arms and legs became jelly.

“You wicked creature! You!” He could no longer stay on his feet, consequently sitting back down. He looked to his side to find that both Cao Jian and Eunuch Nan were suffering from the same ailment. Everybody had dropped to the ground gasping for air and became completely powerless.

But it wasn’t just them. Other than the few fighting in the rings, the hundreds of the imperial court’s warriors below the platform, guards, officials, relatives of the royal family and even the members of the emperor’s security detail by their side were suffering the same ailment. All of them were suffering from a poison akin to nerve-numbing medicines. Nobody was able to stand. They dropped to the ground, covering up the entire flying fish pavilion. The only ones who were still standing were the few servants and eunuchs who didn’t know martial arts.

The corner of the orange prince’s mouth crept up into a cold smile. He stood in place without moving. Xiang Batian who was holding him cussed when he saw the emperor drop: “Son of a bitch! What have you done?!” But he lost his strength in his arms and couldn’t hold the orange prince steady anymore.

“You dare curse at my mother!?” The orange prince reversed Xiang Batian’s hold. He pulled out a small shiny blade from his waist and slashed at Xiang Batian’s large rough hands, slicing off four fingers. Xiang Baitian who was in so much pain he could no longer stand and dropped to the ground crying for dear heaven.

“Traitor!” The orange prince chuckled in a cold tone: “Throw him off the platform!”

Two from the Black Winds Thirteen Wings stepped forth to carry out the prince’s orders. They dragged Xiang Batian to the edge of the platform. Xiang Baitian panicked and exclaimed: “No, no! I don’t want to die! Your highness, please spare me! I will do anything for you without hesitation! I’ll do anything!”

The orange prince scoffed and said: “You’ve been thinking about how to capture me since the day you entered my service for merit. I imagine you must’ve imagined this scene countless times in your mind before. But I’ve never imagined killing you.”

Xiang Batian laughed along with him when he felt that the orange prince had calmed down: “You are most benevolent, your highness! I have served you for half-a-year and always done my best. As long as you spare me, I… I will capture that bastard of an emperor for you.”

“My foot! You three-headed snake!”

Shen Yiren mercilessly added an insult: “If Jia Yunfeng were to find out he lost to a scoundrel like you, I think he’d wake up in the middle of his sleep. He’d be angered to death!”

“He’s already crippled, what difference does it make if he’s dead or not?” Xiang Batian argued and then added: “I would do anything for his highness whether it be climbing a mountain of blades or crossing a sea of fire. I’ll kill you lot like stray dogs! Vice-captain Shen, you best stop being stubborn. Ask for his highness’s grace. Learn from me. It’s your fortune to be able to serve his highness.”

The orange prince laughed and said: “How self-presumptuous. I never visualised the scene of killing you because your life is worth less than an ant’s life to me. But since you insulted my mother and my father, I can’t forgive you. Throw him off!”

The two Black Winds Thirteen Wings members were very experienced. One of them hit Xiang Batian’s spine with his palm strike, snapping it into three whilst the other dislocated his shoulders so that he couldn’t move his arms. They then found a position and kicked him off, ensuring that he landed neck-first into the ground. The platform was high as it was, plus Xiang Baitian’s spine was snapped so he dropped down to the ground without making a sound, snapping his joints and splitting his nerves. Naturally, he died on the spot.

The orange prince’s mood wasn’t affected at all like he really was killing an ant. It was as if Xiang Batian’s death had nothing to do with him.

The emperor had never recognised the severity of the prophecy more than now. Even he himself wouldn’t have killed a bastard like Xiang Batian as if he was just another ant passing by. Seeing the orange prince’s cold demeanour when he killed Xiang Baitian froze the emperor’s heart.

The emperor just felt they were naughty kids when they were young. And when they came of age, the emperor persuaded himself that they were just in their rebellious stage of youth.

But the emperor couldn’t pretend he didn’t witness the result of his decisions now. The six dragons shall seal the nation prophecy was real and so was the orange prince’s revolt.

The chance of the orange prince succeeding existed convincingly since the emperor had never been in such a pinch during his entire rule up until now.

The orange prince leisurely walked up to his father and indifferently demanded: “Father, hand over the imperial jade seal.“

The young dragon that had come of age was now baring his fangs at him.

“And then submissively… call me Master Cheng!!”

In that moment, the only thing the emperor wanted to say was “Mother. Fucker.”

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