Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 08 Ch. 45

From the Earth to the Sky, Supreme Fraud is I

Why Zha Pi? Reverend Zha? Since when? If he’s Zhou Botong’s disciple, he must be hundreds of years old. Did you run out of money by the time you reached Canhu Town and needed to con someone for money? Who you going to scam next, His Majesty?

Zha Pi coolly smiled: “Young Master Luo, this one is grateful for the care you have shown him in the last few days. Sadly, all good things must come to an end. Seeing as someone with you suspects this one, haha, let it be a bygone. This one has provided a prescription as per your request and shall bid farewell now.”

Why’d you try to dupe them if you knew you would have to run?

“Wait, wait, please pardon us, Reverend,” urged Luo Siming. “Doctor Luo cares for the patient just as you do. It is merely a case of you not understanding each other’s perspectives.”

“Luo Siming, did you get dropped on your head before I came here?” mocked Luo Siding. “You believe the bum? I beat fifty of these swindlers to death annually.”

“Wow, that is quite the claim to make,” remarked Zha Pi. “Do you mind giving an introduction, Young Master Luo?”

Luo Siming, with a stiff smile, expressed, “Please pardon him, Reverend. Everyone here is this one’s honoured guest. Th-”

“It will not be necessary.” Zha Pi held out a hand and maintained his collected smile despite his heart leaping: “Everyone here is famous.”

Seeing everyone exchange derisive glances, Luo Siming explained, “Reverend Zha is skilled at face reading.”

“Only you believe that,” Luo Siding commented.

Green Prince opined, “Brother, your cousin is full of crap, but he’s right this time. This guy is clearly a fraud.”

Zha Pi took out a folding fan from his belt and gently fanned himself, resembling a strategist: “This one lost interest in superficial glories and stopped minding disparaging comments long ago. The pill formula this one possesses is a prescription The Grand Supreme Elderly Lord personally imparted. Everyone at Mount Longhu knows about it, yet everyone here is sceptical of it. Hmph.”

“You think you can just walk off?” Doctor Luo blocked Zha Pi off from the door and posed his hands for combat: “You should be adept at martial arts if you are Zhou Botong’s disciple. Show me what you’ve got.”

Zha Pi slightly raised up the corners of his lips: “This one forewent fighting long ago. This one came here to save a life. If he engages in a fight, he is going against his goal. Doctor Luo, this one has come to treat you as a friend over the last few days we spent together. Why must we fight on the table and under the table? As you are displeased with this one, he shall take his leave.”

Seeing Doctor Luo step aside – despite not feeling convinced – Zha Pi celebrated in his head and continued toward the door.

“Wait, Reverend. We can talk this over,” called Luo Siming.

Chen Wanyun whooshed over to the door, cutting off Zha Pi’s path: “Hahaha, I am honoured to meet an empyrean from Quanzhen Sect.”

“Elder Chen, why are you exacerbating the situation?” admonished Yi Wangyou.

“What do you mean I am exacerbating the situation? Were we not just fretting about making up our numbers for the tournament? We have ourselves another adept now, do we not? Are we just going to let him leave?”

“Yes, why did I forget about Reverend Zha?” effused Luo Siming. “Although you are a daoist, with hundreds of years under your belt, your martial arts skills would naturally be in another realm. We have a request we would like your aid with. Please come back so that we can talk.”

Chen Wanyun conveyed, “Reverend Zha, they might snub you, but I understand you. They might accuse you of lying, but I believe everything you say.”

Stuck between wanting to run and having to hold up his reverend act, Zha Pi forced himself to smile: “Thank you for understanding. This one understands his background is astonishing to many. Sadly, there is nothing he can do about the truth.”

“How about you show them a skill or two to prove yourself? How about we have a palm strike exchange to demonstrate your strength?” Chen Wanyun capitalising on Zha Pi’s silence, added, “Am I not good enough to be worthy of your time, Reverend? Though I am not renowned by any means, I have been training since childhood and am quite confident I can hold my own weight.”

Chen Wanyun flicked his hand, blasting the door to the left off its hinges until it bounced off the wall on the opposite side and bounced back, leaving its print on the wall. The only way such a light and thin timber door could leave such deep etched marks was if Chen Wanyun hit it with a lot of power. Emperor Yuansheng was probably the only one in the escort who could rival his strength, to be frank.  Zha Pi’s face was probably as white as a sheet underneath his mask.

“Reverend, you would not be ducking me, would you? If you do not demonstrate your skill, how can you persuade us to believe you?”

Everyone understood what Chen Wanyun’s true intent was after hearing his challenge; the man wanted to teach Zha Pi a lesson.

Amused, Green Prince cheered, “He is right. One exchange is all we need to prove your authenticity.”

“Instead of staying undecided on whether I can trust him or not, how about just letting Elder Chen test him,” Luo Siming decided in his mind. “Reverend, if you do not mind, please show us something to put the speculations to rest.”

There was no way Zha Pi would risk his life; however, I doubted he could come up with a solution.

Chen Wanyun blustered, “You still going to keep pretending? Die!”

Zha Pi couldn’t find any oxygen to breathe in from the moment Chen Wanyun’s arm started to part the air, so he shut his eyes in surrender.

“Don’t let him intimidate you. Hit him back. I’m right here,” Zha Pi suddenly heard.

Like a man who was hit with an epiphany, Zha Pi went, “Wada!” and uncorked a palm strike.

Cups, plates, chairs and benches titled or turned over. They say that gusts billow whenever Wutong Jin Yuxuan’s disciples used Vajra Divine Might. When Zha Pi palm struck, they would have to describe his strike as a rampaging tornado.

Yi Wangyou cried, “Reverend, please hold back!”

In less than the blink of an eye upon contact, Chen Wanyun detonated a scarlet firework as he snapped a beam overhead and gave a reason to renovate the roof, screaming, “Ah” all the way out. They could still his voice echoing a kilometre away.

Luo Siming’s four bodyguards stormed into the room, swords at the ready, although they couldn’t tell who the enemy was. Upon noticing the light shining through from above and glancing down to see Reverend Zha in his pose…

Zha Pi’s eyes were fixed on his hands, jaw dangling open.

Luo Siding bolted over to Zha Pi, bowing and expressing, “You truly are in a league of your own, Reverend. Please forgive this one for speaking ill of you.”

The veteran swindler lifted his bottom jaw up whilst pulling his hand back to his beard: “You show promise.”

I removed my Shadow King String from Zha Pi after using the same trick I did with Mountain Monster back in the woods. For the record, I could use roughly fifty percent of my full power when manipulating someone else using Shadow King String. Abels would body Chen Wanyun, and I wasn’t exactly concentrating, so…

“Siming never imagined your martial arts prowess was also as profound as your divination expertise, Reverend.”

Green Prince: “Mamma mia, a true empyrean has descended upon us mere mortals. Let me take a closer look. Oh… Oh… These arms, this posture, these eyes… A true empyrean. A true empyrean. Fourth Brother, I can assure you he is a true empyrean.”

Luo Siming cracked a smile in response to Green Prince’s reaction: “I agree, Brother.”

Owing to how familiar he was with Zha Pi, Luo Siming actually found it harder to believe the former was that incredible. Nevertheless, there was no questioning that was real power. Therefore, Luo Siming gave Zha Pi the respect owed.

As I went to tell Zha Pi what to say to get out, I heard someone’s heartbeat for a second northeast on the roof. I focused my attention in that direction to envision the appearance of the individual. I was surprised I never detected their presence the entire time and never would’ve of they didn’t frantically try to hide his presence after Zha Pi blew a hole in the ceiling. In fact, they were likely there before me.

I had extended the radius of my enhanced listening to half a kilometre. There was nobody else besides my shifu, grandmaster and those monsters who could enter my listening radius without me sensing them, so it was a testament to the individual’s skill.

Damn it, they must’ve heard the entire conversation. Whichever team they’re with, it’s going to spell trouble for me.

I hurled my empty skewer in their direction. By the time they noticed it pierce through the tile, it had already gone through their shirt. They hastily rolled three circles to the right, though my skewer acquired its target.

“Who’s there?!” brayed Yi Wangyou, prompting Luo The Four Samuume Swordsmen to give chase in teams of two.

The other one listening in turned out to be a stocky and tall man based on his physique. He had everything but his eyes hidden in darkness. In spite of his size, he nimbly manoeuvred his way out of The Four Samumme Swordsmen’s special sword formation in no time.

Why did he shoot me a glare? Did he notice something?

The individual pitched a tile at me, though I presumed he merely predicted I was there based on the trajectory I hit him. His accuracy forced me to move along the beam to jump out of the hole in the ceiling, startling everyone in the room with the presence of a second eavesdropper.

The stocky man hastily sealed his accupoint to staunch his bleeding: “Sneak attackers are cowards.”

I ribbed, “Eavesdroppers are rats.”

Identifying me from my voice, Zha Pi pointed to the man in black: “Capture him!”

Thanks to Zha Pi establishing his authority from his exchange with Chen Wanyun, The Four Samuume Swordsmen went for us.

The individual bridged the gap between me and him to try detonating his fist in my face, only for me to smash him back, destroying the tiles with our clash. Those inside the room had already run outside to chase after us, so they were safe from the raining tiles.

The individual engaged each other three times, trading blow for blow. As much as he was hesitant to, the strength discrepancy with my force strike forced my opponent to back down.

“You have my respect.”

Who is this guy? It’s been a long time since I’ve had had to exchange several moves with someone.

The man evaded two of Luo Siming’s bodyguards and made a dash for it, impelling me to follow him with The Four Samuume Swordsmen in tow. As Green Prince’s bodyguard, Yi Wangyou had to stay behind to guard the former.

The lengthy chase revealed he had the internal energy to supply bountiful endurance, and his movements allowed him to go fast. While I could keep up, The Four Samuume Swordsmen couldn’t keep up with his tank or speed.

The man inhaled deeply to dial up his speed once he tired out the enemy. Since The Four Samuume Swordsmen couldn’t catch him, they naturally turned to me, orbiting around me and then simultaneously closing in on four sides.

I guffawed as I clapped my hands together, generating a warm barricade they couldn’t pass through. As a consequence of me terminating their horizontal force, gravity overwhelmed them. I flicked a celestial spider thread to snatch Zhiheng Sword.

“I won’t let you touch my Zhiheng!”

I imposed my agenda, snatching all four swords over, while the four returned to the ground steadily.

“All right, catch!”

I threw the swords in every direction nice and far away in the woods outside of Canhu Town. As much as they hated me for it, they rushed after their swords whilst cursing me.  I then took in a big breath and spotted the man in black a second or so after, though I kept a safe distance to track him.

Wait… Is Zha Pi going to be all right by himself?

***

Luo Siming, still suspicious, asked, “Reverend, would you be able to tell this one who those two were and where they come from?”

If Zha Pi could answer, tigers would be flying.

Luo Siming continued, “How about you demonstrate your amazing divination talent for us, Reverend?”

Though Luo Siming’s unusual attitude confounded him, Yi Wangyou dismissed it and gave Zha Pi a hold-fist salute: “Your talents know no bounds. This one’s sect dabbles in Daoism, so we can be of the same big family. It is shameful to admit, but this one focused on martial arts and failed to inherit our sect’s divination knowledge.”

Besides Zha Pi’s martial prowess being worthy of respect, there was also the fact that he was supposed to be considerably older than Yi Wangyou despite appearances. For that reason, Yi Yangyou showed Zha Pi the highest degree of respect.

Zha Pi replied, “And if I do not want to?”

They couldn’t force Zha Pi against his will; not after the astonishing palm strike. Yet, that only served to raise more alarms for Luo Siming: “Could there be some reason you cannot tell us for your objection, Reverend?”

Cornered, Zha Pi resorted to reversing their roles: “Young Master Luo, what are you insinuating?!”

“Ah, ah…” Nobody had ever seen Luo Siming so out of character; he had his hands around his belly region and grimaced similarly to someone poisoned or winded. Before anyone could make heads or tails of his situation, he had passed out.

Doctor Luo rushed to check Luo Siming’s pulse. Alas, he was unable to find anything besides erratic changes: “R-Reverend, this old one apologises for accusing you. Young Master always believed in you, though. Please do not hate him for my mistake.”

Even though Zha Pi didn’t have the foggiest idea as to what was going on, he maintained his composure: “You think this one couldn’t tell you used Young Master Luo to test him? Consider it penance to remember your lesson.”

After Zha Pi whipped his sleeve, the clouds showed themselves out, letting a silver beam shine through. From the perspective of those around, they assumed it was Zha Pi’s work.

“This one needs to rest now. Let us call it a day.”

“He is… a true reverend…” Green Prince mumbled as he watched Zha Pi amble off, prompting Yi Wangyou to turn around to see who spoke his mind. The two regarded each other with a nod, acknowledging their agreement. Green Prince then said, “In ancient times, there was Daoist Chen Tuan, the sage credited with creation of the kung fu system Six Harmonies and Eight Methods. Reverend Zha not only possesses inconceivable knowledge but also martial prowess beyond our imagination. We should address him as Rever-”

“Empyrean Zha!” Yi Wangyou announced, finishing off Green Prince’s sentence.

Glossary

Zhiheng – A type of plum blossom.

Daoist Chen Tuan – He is an actual figure in legends (some believe he actually existed, though there are varying accounts of his actual biography). Besides being credited with creating Six Harmonies and Eight Methods, he’s also believed to be the pioneer behind Taiji Ruler and a 24-season Daoyin Method, which uses seated and standing exercises for health benefits.

Immortal Zha – If you have forgotten, “zha” in “Zha Pi” means “scum”. It might not be too comical in English because I can’t do it justice due to syntax differences the two languages. If you read it in Chinese, it will impel you to read it as “Scum Immortal”.

 

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