Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 7 Ch. 79

Dead End (Part 1)

“Impossible!” shrilled River Monster.

River Monster, or rather, Miss E, never adopted a different surname irrespective of the appearance she assumed. Abels never denied her right to keep her surname for it was her pride. The “E” surname was the equivalent of the “Ji” surname in Nanjiang and “Shenzhou” surname in the Central Plain. The surname’s genesis could be traced as far back as thousands of years.

Unlike in the Central Plain, where surnames and more changed with each dynasty, those part of Nanjiang emphasised heritage more than other regions. Those enthroned had to hail from the “E” lineage. Thus, all of the monarchs of Nanjiang’s countries carried the surname “E”. River Monster came from the country closest to the Central Plain. Her bloodline was considered pure and venerated, and her surname was held in the same high esteem as her ability to tame wild beasts, which was a skillset Nanjiang’s imperial family passed down.

The Central Plain’s Emperor from three generations ago once attempted to conquer Nanjiang, enlisting a hundred thousand soldiers, including elites from the Seven Champion White Princes, yet they were decimated at the hands of Nanjiang’s beast tamers, who introduced beast soldiers the army of the Central Plain’s had never encountered in their lifetime.

Nanjiang’s imperial family wasn’t the only population who were fans of taming rare beasts. It was the norm for elderly and even children on streets to tame beasts. Some of them honed their taming skills to turn themselves into valuable assets. Furthermore, Nanjiang was reputed for being the home to many precious and rare beasts. As such, the elephants and apes they sent to battle toppled the Central Plain’s formations in no time and laid waste to their invaders. Nanjiang only had two generals in their defence line, yet the Central Plain’s army were unable to make a dent in their defences.

Decades ago, two geniuses surfaced in the Central Plain, one being a literacy genius and the other a martial arts genius. Despite the gifts bestowed on the Central Plain, they still couldn’t defeat Nanjiang’s beast soldiers. In the end, they resorted to sowing discord amongst Nanjiang’s leaders to finally force Nanjiang’s nations to surrender to the Central Plain. Even though Nanjiang surrendered, their beast-taming prowess for battle was still perceived to be unbeatable.

A beast tamer capable of taming three large beasts was classified as a full-fledged tamer. One who could simultaneously control six was considered elite. One who could control ten at once was called a beast-taming master. Needless to say, those Nanjiang’s military coveted was obvious.

River Monster’s beast-taming skills were considered in a league of their own even going by Nanjiang’s toughest standards because she was young, yet controlled forty beasts at once – not to mention she tamed bears, a class that tamers in Nanjiang couldn’t fathom controlling and only found in Beijiang. It would be a miracle if there were more than four others who possessed talent that rivalled hers.

River Monster’s skills were the product of an early start, an indomitable will and the courage to risk her life taming Beijiang’s wolves. She practiced controlling the beasts using her voice, scents and more daily. Ten years of effort to tame the black bears, yet they fled helter-skelter against one man. One man. How could she not feel vexed?

“What did you do, you barbarian?! What poison did you use to scare off my babies?!” reasonably interrogated River Monster.

“Didn’t I just tell you animals hate me?” Ming Feizhen rhetorically asked with a shrug.

River Monster juggled probable explanations in her head and calmed down. She hypothesised, “Did you… ever eat a violent wild beast or… ancient rare beast, granting you qi that scares animals off?”

It wasn’t surprise or mockery that came to Ming Feizhen’s face but praise reserved for when a kid showed improvement in class. River Monster felt her confidence fading by the second as she sensed the immeasurable power Abels exuded coming from him and her fear she denied being dug out of her.

“When I was young… I ate a rare beast. I then ate some spiders on a snowy mountain. Maybe that’s why?”

Emperor Yuansheng was speechless as he watched the two converse. Still, he was a monarch, and a monarch had to stand above all others. Snickering, he belittled, “River Monster, you don’t intend to deny your defeat after you accepted the bet, do you? You do have a reputation to uphold.”

River Monster’s only ace was her black bear soldiers’ ferocity. Without them, she was out of moves. She had the qinggong to outrun them. Nevertheless, her stamina was finite.

“… I didn’t pay much attention at first, but… are you Young Master Zhong Ming, Night Fortress’ envoy?”

All eyes turned to Ming Feizhen.

“I am.”

“No, you’re not.” River Monster cracked a grin: “I should’ve realised why Master stressed Mountain Monster and I weren’t enough. Young Master Zhong Ming my foot. They called you Ming Feizhen, didn’t they? I think it’s safe to conclude that’s your real name. I heard Night Fortress’ master… shared the same surname.”

The corner of River Monster’s lips curled back down to form a straight line: “You are Night Fortress’ master.”


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