Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 3 Ch. 44



The Father Runs Into Trouble While His Kid Runs Into Me

Nan Junfei was lying on the ground gasping for air: “Your majesty… you saw through me long ago……”

“It wasn’t hard.”

The emperor tossed his crossbow aside and placed his hand behind his back. The emperor’s hands were still shaking in the darkness. Thorn-tears had truly sealed his qi. He tried to mould energy multiple times, but that only caused Thorn-tears to penetrate deeper within. His hands and feet were numb, leaving him powerless while he felt a sharp stinging pain in his dantian every now and then. It took him everything he had to fire the crossbow.

Though Shen Yiren tried to help everyone neutralise the poison, the only person she didn’t dare to give hemlock poison to was the emperor. For her, the emperor wasn’t just her respected and beloved uncle, but also the foundation of a vassal’s loyalty. As such, poisoning the emperor without careful deliberation was not something she could do, even if it was a matter of expediency.

As a result, the emperor was in a horrible condition and was only bluffing as best as he could to hide the fact from Nan Junfei.

“I stopped trusting everyone the moment Cheng’er launched his revolt. Anyone could’ve been Cheng’er’s men so I came up with a method to determine if the person in question could be trusted. Those who mentioned the three words ‘imperial jade seal’ were moles, no questions asked.  Not only did you repeatedly mention it, you even showed your urgency on your face. That’s when I started paying attention. I continued to repetitively mention Cheng’er’s operation today. You and I were both poisoned and both in peril, but you were very calm. And you had so much to say when analysing his plan, which is completely contradictory to your usual self that speaks very little.”

“I can’t believe I revealed myself like that……”

“The League of Assassins must’ve grown a few more guts to dare and come invade my imperial palace. Yet they only sent small-timers like the Black Winds Thirteen Wings. There’s no way Cheng’er could’ve relied on them alone to attack the imperial palace. I felt something was wrong long ago. I just happened to not be able to figure it out until I saw that Qilin Guard, Jiao Meng with formidable skills. His palm strikes were incredibly powerful and shocking. He stood out to me particularly when he defeated my skilled fighters around me alone like a man who established his magnanimity in a wave. That reminded me of a style. The style counters variations by not varying the users techniques, drawing out fights with stamina, and focusing on brute strength as its core element. That style is called Fu Xiang Divine Palms.”

The corner of Nan Junfei’s eye twitched a little after what he heard so the emperor knew his guess was right. The emperor then continued: “The cultivation and execution is extremely similar to what Jiao Meng used. So it was strange, because according to what I know, Fu Xiang Divine Palms is a style that originates from South Xinjiang. If it was being used in the Central Plains, then only one person would be using it. That would be Fu Xiang, an assassin who made a name for himself in the north.”

The emperor then got angrier and he raised his voice: “Kuang Tian, Fu Xiang, Yu Ye, Zhong Ning! God damn Yu Ye, Zhong Ning, Nan Junfei. I underestimated you. Mystery was a group that rose to prominence in the last six to seven years while you had entered the palace long before Mystery appeared. I thought you were just more regulated and disciplined when I saw how you were usually very careful in the palace as though you were afraid of making mistakes. I never thought that it was all a cover for your real identity as an assassin!”

“In the past, my alias was Yu Ye of the Southern Sky. The two words, Yu Ye were taken from that alias of mine after I became an assassin.” Nan Junfei lay on the ground like a mouldy-old prawn. He smiled helplessly and added: “But that’s not the reason. I’m certain that you weren’t suspicious of me before you entered the imperial study. At least, I’m not entirely sure.”

“You’re right. I had no way of confirming your stance after I entered so I stayed here to watch you. You barged in claiming enemies had come. You can trick people with your voice, but not your eyes. Your two sly-snake eyes were scanning the room the entire time like a dog searching for its prey! Is there any need to say what you were thinking at that point?”

“I see now…… You are most certainly wise, your majesty. Not even such small actions could escape your eyes. To be honest, I was not deliberately trying to be careful. It was just that I had to be careful in front of you.” Nan Junfei smiled and slowly got up from the ground. He panted for air and continued: “Since it was my eyes that betrayed me, I did not get hit with this arrow for no reason.”

Once he finished that sentence, Nan Junfei clenched his teeth, and resisted the pain as he yanked the short arrow out, causing a downpour of blood.

Luckily for him, the arrow wasn’t barbed so it didn’t open too big of a wound. It did hurt intensely though. Nan Junfei clenched his teeth and sealed his meridian. He moulded energy three times and he managed to stop the excessive bleeding. He then took out his medication for incision wounds he always had on him and had himself some. He then looked at the emperor. He had lost a fair bit of blood but he still had clear vision, and his internal energy was evidently fine.

The emperor didn’t expect for him to be so tough, let alone stand up again. For a moment, the emperor got slightly flustered: “Y-You can still stand?”

Nan Junfei chuckled and replied: “I just praised you for being wise and here you are being stupid. Your majesty, do you perhaps remember what style I am a master of by any chance?”

Though the style Nan Junfei is well-versed in is famous, it’s got nothing to do with his wound. His alias was Yu Ye Southern Sky. However, that was because he was good with qinggong and secret weapons. It had nothing to do with him pulling an arrow out.

The emperor thought about it and suddenly blurted out something that came to mind: “Qi Release Aspiration Manual! Damn you! I taught you that back then, and now you’re using it against me!”

In one particular year when the emperor went to see how the people were doing outside the palace, a bandit tried to hurt the emperor. Nan Junfei took the attack with his body and was severely wounded. After not being able to heal for a long time, the emperor taught him the healing technique of the royal family, Qi Release Aspiration Manual.

After years of practice, Nan Junfei became proficient with the style. He sneakily used that style when he was hit by the arrow just before. And it had amazing healing properties as usual. He managed to stop the bleeding swiftly and his internal and external energy systems weren’t damaged.

The emperor furiously exclaimed: “You bastard!” He went to strike him with his palms. However, he had lost all of his internal energy and had yet to recover.

Nan Junfei intercepted the emperor’s arm and slapped, knocking him onto the ground.

“Hmph! The patriarch was so skilled yet has trash like you for a descendent. Once you die, I’ll use all of your skills and combine them into an invincible style. Let’s see how your Li family’s rule fares then!”

The emperor was sprawled out on the ground and couldn’t get up as though he was completely out of energy.

“I didn’t want to do this, but you didn’t give me a chance. Your majesty, I originally wanted to give you a swift death, but you forced me to do it the hard way.”

Nan Junfei laughed coldly and his tone slowly became more violent: “Your majesty, I do execute my targets normally. I don’t interrogate my targets or anything like that. Only my brother Zhong Ning is a crazy murderous killer who’s also specialised in all sorts of interrogation techniques. And he’s a sick-perverted bastard who goes for men and women. If you don’t hand over the imperial jade seal, my brother Zhong Ning might just like you given your looks when he gets here.”

Just when he got to that part, somebody kicked the door open. Nan Junfei turned around with glee to look: “Speak of the devil.”

Nan Junfei shouted toward the door: “Zhong Ning, come in!”

========================

“Zhong Ning, you bastard! Stop right there!!”

I was galloping in the harem’s flower garden. Behind me was a pretty girl chasing me down with a sabre in her hand.

I’ve ran a few laps in the harem with this girl in red already.

It’s not that I can’t shake her off, but I need to find some makeup here. I don’t know what the heck is up with the harem today either. There’s a maid or a eunuch standing on guard every three steps so I had to take detours to avoid those places. But then I got stuck on a big straight path, making it very easy for her to chase me from behind.

Just what the hell man?!

I’m just looking for some makeup. Name me one girl that doesn’t use any! Just why is it so hard for me to find some?!

“Stop right there, Zhong Ning!”

She yelled out with her beautiful-clear voice again. The speed with which the girl in red wielded her broadsword was honestly swifter than I imagined. She slashed at me again.

Get off me! I’m in a rush to save the emperor here! Can’t we just do away with our debts when we’ve got national matters to deal with here?!

I suddenly stopped and threw a palm strike, forcing her to learn to back of…… I can’t kill her or hurt her…… This is tough man!! Why didn’t my shifu teach me some useful stuff back then?!

While I was complaining about for the umpteenth time about how my shifu isn’t reliable, the girl in red took two steps back and then slashed the force of my palm strike away.

She seemed to struggle to breathe a little due to my palm strike as she was short on breath.

I couldn’t face her front-on in case she recognised me in my constable uniform. As such, I kept my back to her and thundered: “I have important business to attend to. Missy, if you continue chasing me, watch out for your umm… your dudou!”

Kekeke, I just mentioned a place she must guard……

“Pervert!”

The girl in red swiftly covered her chest. A red flush appeared on her face. She wore a stern expression on and exclaimed: “You barged into the harem which is an unforgivable offense, and you’re the second team of the League of Assassins’, Mystery. How can I let you go?!”

I made a mistake. This girl in red isn’t your average seventeen, eighteen, nineteen year old girl. Her martial arts knowledge is vast and managed to keep calm like this after a mysterious man suddenly barged in on her bathing. Her composure is impressive and commendable.

“A-And…..” Her voice trembled a little. She looked at me with disdain in her heroic and beautiful eyes: “You, Zhong Ning, are an infamous evil figure in the pugilistic world, wreaking havoc wherever you go. People in the pugilistic world call you one of the four biggest perverts. You go for men and women, you disgusting-sick pervert! What were you trying to do in the harem?!”

My jaw dropped to the ground.

What? What? What?

He goes for guys and girls? Shit! I didn’t know this guy’s appetite was that liberal!!

“Your highness! We have trouble!”

A group of imperial guards rushed over. I looked at their leader. It was a proper imperial guard, not one of the orange prince’s henchmen. It looks like the crisis at the flying fish pavilion has been resolved after Fu Xiang’s defeat. The imperial guard captains had begun to return to their posts and the guards themselves had returned to their rightful posts.

Eh? But what did the team-captain call this girl in red just now……?

She glared at my back then and clenched her teeth before saying: “You guys came at the right time. I was worried about not being able to find a helping hand. Just now this man……” It looks like she cares about her reputation and can’t reveal that I peeped on her bathing. She switched to: “He barged into the harem from out of nowhere and was rude to me. Arrest him and as the princess, I shall reward you handsomely!”

Hmm? Something’s weird.

Did she just address herself the way I think she did?!

Other than the empress, the only ones who address themselves like that in the palace are……

As soon as the imperial guards heard what she said, they shouted out like I molested their mother. They angrily roared: “You rude bastard! One glance and you can tell you’re not a good person. How dare you humiliate the second princess!”

Sec-ond princess!!!

The girl in red is the second princess of the current dynasty, Li Hongzhuang!

Once I learnt of her identity, my hairs stood up and I realised one more thing: I just threatened her by saying to her face that I was going to strip her dudou off. My name is going to go down in history now!

Note: I have to acknowledge that I made a big mistake. I read Zhong Ning as Zhong Yi (凝 VS 疑), I left the left part out when. Author helped me point it out. I’ve corrected that in previous chapters. Profuse apologies.

Glossary

*Dudou is like an undershirt worn in ancient China instead of a bra. It’s not called a bellyband which it’s often mistranslated as. That refers to a variety of other devices including horses’ harness or a compression garment expectant mothers wear. For a visual, google: 肚兜

**Li Hongzhuang refers to herself as 本宫 which translated literally is “This palace”. The English translation in the right context is just “I”, so for raw readers, I did add in the “…as the princess, I…” part for smoother reading and so that MFZ’s reaction wasn’t just nonsensical to you. From here on out though, whenever 本宫 is used, I will simply translate it as “I” unless I need to do that again. As in the chapter, it’s how the empress, sometimes other ladies of the emperor (because there are different ways) and princesses refer to themselves. In English, it’s just “I”, hence why the changes I made to adapt it.

 

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