Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 10 Ch. 104

Two Stories (Part 7)

Ming Suwen brewed a new pot of tea since the last pot had gone cold during her story. “You must also be thirsty. Have some tea.”

Shen Yiren needed a moment to zone back in. In contrast to Ming Suwen’s delicate manner of drinking, Shen Yiren wasn’t so stiff. Once she hydrated, she closed her eyes to return to the story. “I… didn’t know he had such a past. He… must’ve been in a lot of pain.”

Ming Suwen replaced herself and Ming Feizhen with “she” and “he” in her story. Nonetheless, Shen Yiren could tell who they were and Ming Suwen substituted their names since she told Ming Feizhen that she wouldn’t listen to his secrets if he didn’t want to tell her. For the same reason, Ming Suwen never mentioned any of their background details.

Shen Yiren seldom interrupted Ming Suwen’s story with questions. Gradually, Shen Yiren saw herself living in the moment with them, watching Ming Feizhen defend Ming Suwen and seeing every expression he switched between. It wasn’t very hard to match the young boy with the adult version she knew.

“Yeah. I heard that Six Evils’ might is impossible to estimate, but we know that large beasts can’t withstand them, and adepts are as fragile as sandcastles to them. The pain… I witnessed him suffer isn’t something a human can bear.

“Overnight, his bones, nerves and skin underwent a drastic transformation at the behest of some kind of energy. His bones broke and regrew repetitively. Even though he wasn’t conscious, he’d start rolling in bed whenever he had a lapse.

“I doubt you knew about this as it’s the top secret of Mount Daluo. Feizhen has always been the type to be a victim of tunnel vision as well as preferring to solve things on his own. He’ll take it all on his shoulders and then walk off without asking for anything once he’s done. You probably wouldn’t ever know any of this if I didn’t tell you because he’s never wanted to talk about it.”

Shen Yiren bobbed her head: “… I’m not educated on Six Evils. After he ate it…”

“My cousin says that Six Evils’ life source is aggressive qi, which actually resembles humankind’s true qi. Nobody has wielded their qi, though. It would destroy humans’ meridians, and the most advanced mental cultivation styles work on true qi, and the drivers are what is compatible with them. It’s not easy to find a discipline that can manipulate Six Evils’ qi.”

“Meaning…”

Ming Suwen let a winsome smile bloom: “What other discipline besides Wudang’s Tai Chi could be capable of refining a mountain of energy into thin needles?”

“Patriarch Ming… really stole Wudang’s Tai Chi?”

“Though I’m not privy to the details, it was something like that. Else, Feizhen wouldn’t be alive.”

“Huan Xinglai!”

“How do you know that name? Oh, he used it in Huzhou.”

Shen Yiren hadn’t forgotten the bemusing and unimaginable spectacle. “No wonder why he’s so proficient at Tai Chi. I’m equally amazed that Mount Daluo and Wudang haven’t gone to war.”

“Well, you’re only saying that because you don’t know what sort of man Mount Daluo’s patriarch is. There’s hardly been anything that he hasn’t been able to do when he sets his mind to it. I’ve heard several absurd things he’s done. Every time he gets married, he turns the martial world on its head and sideways. He’s pretty much always had his way when he wants something or someone. My cousin took him in as a disciple because of his fortune.”

Hah, sounds exactly like Feizhen. Hang on, fortune?

“What is Patriarch Ming’s forrtune reading?”

“Oh, I guarantee you didn’t expect this. My cousin caught him pinching food before when he wasn’t even ten. You know how he explained himself? He said he stole the food for my cousin. Intrigued, my cousin decided to read his fortune. The reading said – Devil Incarnate.”

“Devil Incarnate?”

“My cousin says he was born with the fate. If left to his own devices, he’d plunge the world into chaos. My cousin took him under his wings in hopes that he could use his gifts for good. I don’t know how he mentored him, but I suppose my cousin deserves credit for circumventing him leading Demon Sect.”

A while later into their conversation, Ming Suwen stated, “I have another story to tell. This is more recent and without the emotional rollercoaster.”

Ming Suwen nonchalantly gave a recount of Ming Feizhen’s clash with Jin Wangsun for the patriarch spot, the Imperial Martial Arts Tournament, the story of her offering herself for sale after witnessing him flirt with Princess Jingan and so forth. Shen Yiren’s nerves were in a bundle the entire time until they reached the part where Ming Feizhen brought Ming Suwen back to Liu Shan Men.

“No wonder why you suddenly had a change of heart and chose to join Liu Shan Men.”

Ming Feizhen did tell Shen Yiren the story, albeit in a much more condensed and censored form.

“I know Feizhen cares about me, but I did that because I didn’t think he liked me until today… I’m now satisfied with life. I assume you know what I mean.”

Shen Yiren fathomed why Ming Suwen shared her personal feelings and the secrets of Mount Daluo without needing to be told.

“… Let me also tell you a story. There was once a girl blessed with parents who cherished her. One day, someone killed her parents. Although she survived the blaze, she didn’t know where to go next. A man saved her and gave her a reason to live. She then tried her best to restore her family’s glory, their blood, sweat and tears, and set out to avenge them. She’s sold herself. Half of her heart perished in the inferno with her parents. The other half is dedicated to her saviour.”

“Doesn’t sound like a story.”

“Sound like or doesn’t sound like, it makes no difference. My body is sold. My heart has been given away. I have no rights to myself. All I can give is an empty shell. I am grateful you appreciate me, but let us end this topic here.”

 

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