Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 09 Ch. 19

From The Perspective of a Certain Someone

“Thank you. Thank you,” I repeated with zest even as the congratulatory phrases started to grow repetitive and thoughtless for protocol’s sake.

“May Golden Boy and Jade Maiden share an eternity of happiness.”

“May they both live long and healthy lives with many grandkids.”

“May the man’s nether region and the woman’s personality be loose.”

Hey, last one, get back here! You never tasted Wutong Jin Yuxuan’s power, have you?!

Although they sounded exuberant, I knew better than anyone that they only bothered showing any politeness because they wanted to join the banquet! I bet they all figured it was better to confront my shifu at Mount Daluo rather than deal with my broke bum. They were looking to catch the bigger fish.

While Mount Daluo was laden with natural obstacles, we, needless to say, would put in the work to ensure they could visit as proper, VIP guests. Bad luck for them because I couldn’t guarantee how my shiniangs would react to the news. From experience, trying to get something out of my shifu’s pouch once he bagged it was… Well, I turned a blind eye to those things since I had no means of predicting who the loser would be, and this was no exception.

“It is this one’s mistake for not realising Mount Daluo’s successor had honoured us with his presence,” Luo Ming said after everyone left.

Huofeng and I put Luo Ming in a dilemma, consequently embarrassing him, when she decided to hijack his spotlight and I delayed his plans, stole the limelight with my announcement and made him wait for everyone to congratulate me. I wouldn’t blame him for raging, yet he wasn’t bothered – at least, he didn’t appear to be.

“With you here, we have representatives from the three biggest sects dignifying this one and Huzhou. We will have plenty of quality weapons to work with now.”

Three? Shaolin also sent someone?

“What weapon are you forging?” somebody queried.

Luo Ming responded with a smile and then entered the building with his son and daughter in tow.

“Wait, Patriarch Luo. What sort of weapon are you planning to forge?”

“Did you not say you were going to reveal the details of Refining Divine Convention? Why did you stop there?”

Sly fox, bloody quelled the awkward atmosphere with a couple of words.

I hurried after Boss to advise, “Boss, don’t go.”

Boss just kept going, but she couldn’t cut in line or leap off the heads of the famous individuals also heading in.

“Hehe, nowhere to go now, huh? Liste-”

Boss strafed to continue forward.

Hey, come on! Are you going to overlook Refining Divine Convention just to avoid me?!

“Xiao, go on ahead. I’ll be there in a tick.”

“Eh? But I’m on my own.” Su Xiao grabbed his head.

“So what? I’ll be back in a jiffy.”

As he watched Boss and I recede into the crowd, Su Xiao grumbled, “If Vice-Captain Shen, Tang Ye and you aren’t around, doesn’t that mean I’m the only member left of Liu Shan Men?” He then grabbed a strand of green bristlegrass to dangle in his mouth and strolled in with both hands behind his head. “Liu Shan Men rests on my shoulders when it counts. Getting paid peanuts for doing all this work is shaving years off my lifespan.”

***

Boss Shen refused to stop no matter how I called. Luckily, she couldn’t run off using her qingong, lest she be mistaken for an assassin, granting me the advantage since I had the longer legs. Boss might’ve looked tall, but that was attributed to her proportions, not actual height. She eventually pulled over at a gazebo for she couldn’t cross the lake.

“Boss, what are you running from?!”

Boss spun around, showing resolve to jump into the lake.

“Shen Yiren! Stop right there!” I rushed over to seize Boss’ wrist.

I could feel Boss’ hand shaking with the urge to draw a sword and saw her feet creep my way, ready to launch up at my nether region. Nevertheless, she repressed the urges and turned back to me, forcing the words behind my teeth back down my throat. I had never seen that feminine abashment in her eyes. By no means was I denying her as a woman. I was speaking relatively. It would usually be Shen Kuang who wore those eyes. Eventually, I read her reluctance to be consigned to something.

“Boss, I act-”

“I know.”

“Y-you know?”

“If you’re about to mention you not being an ordinary disciple, then I already knew about it.”

“Eh?”

Boss Shen’s gaze fell on me as an act of violence: “I’m not so foolish that I can’t tell you aren’t an ordinary disciple. While I accepted your job application because of your aunt, your performances did exceed my expectations. Your judgement and creativity surpasses every veteran constable I know of. Why would you think I couldn’t tell?”

You… have a point. Su Xiao is probably the only person who never suspected me. My fault for being stupid.

“Then… are you refusing to speak to me because you’re angry with me?”

I don’t know if Boss ever showed another person the same tender gaze before, but I saw it a second time, sweeping me off my feet.

“I’m not angry with you… I just don’t like it.”

“Don’t like… what?”

“Don’t like the fact that you didn’t take the initiative to confess your identity to me.” The forlorn smile couldn’t diminish Boss’ beauty. “Feizhen, based on the time I’ve been your superior, tell me how you evaluate me.”

What’s she hinting at? I need to think instead of blurting honest answers, like mesmerising and having an admirable rack.

“You… are a good superior.”

“Yeah?” Boss Shen erased her soft aura and resurrected her indomitable will in its place. “I’m a lot more unapproachable than you imagine. I won’t keep anyone who cannot bring any merit to the table. I don’t know if you realise it, but you’ve always shone to me.

“I rarely speak glowingly of anyone and am not good at it. My intuition tells me that you’re more valuable than Xiao Han and Yan Ling. Perhaps you’ve been under the impression that your merry days at Liu Shan Men aren’t out of the ordinary. In reality, I’ve never allowed anyone besides you to have six hours off. I’ve completely lost count of how many times Old Huang has reported you for breaking rules daily, yet I’ve never held you accountable for any offence. You know why?”

Wait a second… Boss knows I stole wine, ate more than my allowance, conned Old Huang of money and peeped on the female constables bathing, yet I’ve been spared all this time? This special privilege is the bomb, son!

Boss squinted: “When did you peep?!”

… She didn’t know? Wait, did I voice my thoughts without realising it? I smashed myself in the foot?

After a lecture, Boss elucidated, “I’ve kept you because you’re useful. You’re clever, knowledgeable, seasoned, scrupulous, attentive and have a knack for sensing danger. Even though cases you handle have nigh absurd resolutions, they’re unimpeachable. Frankly, I sometimes feel inferior to you. There’s no way I can waste someone of your calibre, which is why I’ve kept you.

“I was under the assumption that you keep behaving slovenly and haven’t opened up to me because you haven’t acknowledged me. For that reason, I’ve been trying to accomplish something big enough to earn your respect. I never thought someone would expose you before you could confess to me.”

I always took Boss’ nice treatment for granted, never questioning how she perceived me. “I… apologise…”

Boss kicked me in the calf, putting her back into it, no less. I crouched down to grab my calf and yelled, “What was that for?!”

“Your fault for being so easy for them to identify.” Arms folded and looking askance, Boss expressed, “I told you all of that to let you know that I’m not angry. I’m just bitter about doing so much for nothing. You’re still my best helper despite your martial arts skills being inadequate.”

“Eh? Wh-what did you just say?” I couldn’t see Boss’ face vividly from behind my tousled hair, but I was sure I didn’t mishear.

“You’re still my best helper despite your martial arts skills being inadeq-…ate… Why are you staring at me?”

“How should I know?” Really, I didn’t. I couldn’t clarify what the feeling was.

Boss walked off mumbling for a few steps then verbalised, “Let’s go see Luo Ming’s Refining Divine Convention. This is important. And don’t get lost.” Boss suddenly stopped after another two steps and reversed back to me. “By the way, I have more to say to you.”

“Ok-okay, what is it?”

“Not here. Come to my room around nine to eleven tonight.” And this time, Boss didn’t back up.

I heaved a huge breath once Boss was out of sight and used my hand as shade from the sun.

I never thought there’d come a day where I could prove myself without having to rely on hitting someone.

I turned my fingers into steely clamps, basking them in the sun for a second and then relaxed them.

Have I changed my life? Eh, hold up, hold up. Go see her? At night? In her room? Serious?

“Boss, let’s discuss this! Hey! Hey!”

Glossary

May the man’s nether region and the woman’s personality be loose – The original phrase is, “The man is the dog food, and the maiden is the dog,” which is a rhyme on words. I replaced it because the joke doesn’t rhyme in English, and, as far as I know, the joke doesn’t hold up in English. I did ensure the intent of the joke/ill-willed “blessing” has been maintained. As you may, or may not, know, lots of sexual jokes involve the dog word in Chinese.

 

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