Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 09 Ch. 05

Li Yuansheng’s Family Rules Him at Home

“If your team wins, this peasant will confess everything. Should you wish to execute or punish this peasant, he will be at your mercy. Luo Sword Manor will also write an official letter to withdraw from the Seven Champion White Princes, acting as your vanguard. That is the bet this peasant proposes.”

The purpose of Emperor Yuansheng’s visit to Huzhou was to persuade Luo Ming to help him seize the Seven Champion White Prince’s rights his ancestors bestowed. It was imperative for Emperor Yuansheng to depose of the Seven Champion White Princes’ special rights if he was to further develop his kingdom. Howbeit, if Emperor Yuansheng tried to take back their rights using force, he would instigate an uprising, thereby causing unimaginable harm. If an influential entity of Luo Sword Manor’s standing was to take the initiative to strip themselves of their special authority and publicly announce they stepped down on their own accord, they could avoid a war. Most importantly, Luo Ming despised lies. Therefore, he would never renege on a promise.

“Should you lose, on the contrary, this peasant would like you to make a promise. This peasant wants… a head.”

Politicians consider their losses before they consider their gains. Emperor Yuansheng contemplated the offer then questioned, “Whose head?”

“That has yet to be decided; it could be anyone. No matter how difficult, painful, expensive it may be, even if it is Empress Dowager’s head, you must take it.”

“No what impertinence is, Luo Ming! How dare you use Empress Dowager Her Majesty as an example?!”

“This peasant is merely preparing you for what ay coe. He has also put Luo Sword Manor’s past, present and future on the line, even giving up all the contributions made toward your kingdom in the past. It is a fair trade.”

As long as Emperor Yuansheng gave his word, not even The Ultimate Three together could protect the head Luo Ming desired. On a deeper level, it was evident that Luo Ming wasn’t confident he could exact his vengeance, therefore asking for Emperor Yuansheng’s aid. Needless to say, plans do not always proceed as intended.

Since Luo Ming might not ask for his nemesis’ head – assuming he was telling the truth – Luo Ming could ask for Emperor Yuansheng’s head for all anyone knew. If he then blackmailed Emperor Yuansheng with the latter’s own head, then Emperor Yuansheng would be at his beck and call.

If I refuse, I may lay down my life here. I’m not afraid of death, so why can’t I decide? Is it because of my craving for career accomplishments, or is it because I flinched when Luo Ming aimed his sword at my neck?

“I… accept.”

Wrath, seemingly hidden within the depths of Luo Ming’s heart, manifested on his lips: “This peasant is at your service.”

***

Luo Ming wiped Brave Shine after Emperor Yuansheng left Edgehearing House, smiling.

I didn’t expect him to be so forthright with me. I thought I would have to decide whether or not to assassinate him once my secret was out in the open, but we aren’t enemies yet. His forbearance has stopped me from progressing into a demon. This is becoming more and more interesting. Let’s see how you win against me, Brother.

“What is it?” Luo Ming queried upon seeing a scout appear.

“Master… your subject heard that we failed to apprehend the one who breached Lotus Root Ground?”

Asking the first gate’s swordsmen to stop an injured Abels is an order still too tall for them.

Up until now, nobody had ever breached the sixth, let alone fifth, gate of Lotus Root Ground, where each gate’s defences were tougher than the last.

“Has he breached the second gate yet?”

“H-he has.”

“The second gate’s formation’s chief goal is to kill. He might not get through. Send reinforcements.”

“Master, that… may be impossible.”

“Why?” Luo Ming stopped wiping.

“He… broke through the first three gates in one fell swoop and is currently at the fourth gate. When I left, he sent the captain of the third gate into Taihu Lake. Our brothers have been unable to rescue him…”

“Three gates already? Bodhi, I thought too lightly of you. I’ll honour you with a personal welcome and farewell.”

***

Upon hearing Emperor Yuansheng whip his robe and return to their group’s courtyard, Long Zaitian and Dugu went over to welcome him: “Your Majesty, did your parley with Patriarch Luo go well?”

“What do you think?” Emperor Yuansheng asked with a corner of his lips hiked up.

“That is a foregone conclusion,” responded Long Zaitian. “Your striking, dashing demeanour is proof that you easily succeeded. Patriarch Luo is not deaf, while you are the ruler of the world. Would he dare to oppose you?”

Emperor Yuansheng wagged his hand: “Haha, Dugu, where is Tianhu at the moment?”

“He… is currently on a touring mission, so his whereabouts are unknown. To summon him, you would need to use the Forbidden City’s Nine Phantasmal Stars Ceremony.”

“I see.” Emperor Yuansheng caressed his beard: “Where is Baima right now, Vice-Captain Long?”

“Mm… Purportedly, Grand Commander found a hideout of League of Assassins in Jinzhou some time ago and personally led a team to eradicate them but has yet to return to Jinyong City. Even if he has returned to the border, he has never been the type to answer summons, only reallocations. You would need Golden Pattern Token and your imperial seal to summon him.”

“I see. I need you two, my loyal vassals, to find ways to summon both of them.”

Long Zaitian and Dugu: “Your Majesty, it is too late to call them back for New Year. New Year ended days ago.”

Emperor Yuansheng got up to give them a boot each: “Idiots! New Year?! Call them now! A head is going to roll soon! Summon them back. Now! This second!”

 

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