Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 11.5 Ch. 13

Chapter 13

“So you do realise you’re in the wrong. Please rest, brothers. With me here, he will not get away.” The swordsman saluted everyone one by one – just as you’d expect from the scion of an affluent family.

“May I ask where you came from, soldier of justice?” Ming Feizhen inquired.

“Hmph, I was enjoying my meal in the inn when I caught you throwing someone out the window, then throw someone up. Were you born in the year of the bowstring? Did you learn martial arts to bounce people?”

Ming Feizhen: Is this how moronic I look when I presumptuously enforce justice?

“Still feigning, are we? I’ll give you until three to disarm and yield. Otherwise, hmph.” The swordsman raised his sword. “Three. Two….”

Ming Feizhen looked down to his empty hands, then back up to the swordsman’s sword. “How about you give me your expensive sword, and I’ll disarm. I don’t want to make you look too stupid.”

“One! You asked for it!”

The swordsman drew his sword using a technique called “Cold Sheath”, a technique now rarely used besides by large swordplay sects. In Jiangnan, only Mount Lu Sword Sanctuary and Luo Sword Manor used it. Among the three biggest sects, only Wudang taught it. Each school had their own variation of how it should be performed.

Ming Feizhen snatched the sword from the swordsman whilst letting the latter slip by his side. The swordsman, however, didn’t realise his had was abnormally light until seven steps later.

“Qingshuang.” Ming Feizhen held the sword to the sun to see the name of the sword. “This is worth several hundred silvers.”

The humiliated swordsman aimed his palm at Ming Feizhen’s torso. “Return Qingshuang!”

Ming Feizhen discarded Qingshuang. “I’ve disarmed, bro.”

Ming Feizhen sent the sword back to its sheath faster than the swordsman’s eyes could follow. The force of the sword sliding into the sheath knocked the swordsman onto his back so quick that he went from seeing Ming Feizhen to the sky straight away.

Crawling to his feet, the swordsman questioned, “Wh-what sorcery was that?”

Ming Feizhen shrugged.

Someone from the inn voiced, “Labelling advanced skill as sorcery because you are the inferior man is typical of a scoundrel with a loud mouth. Young Master, don’t disappoint this old one.”

Ming Feizhen: “That’s some potent internal strength.”

The man used something similar to amplifying his voice over a long distance, but he didn’t sound as though he was forcing himself to extend its reach.

“You’re claiming that was a martial skill?”

Judging from the tone of their exchange, the man in the inn and the swordsman were acquainted.

“Can’t you tell that the young man has developed his internal energy to an extreme degree? When he threw the young master in white up, it was all force. When he caught the young master’s fall, he switched to diffusing the force. When he took your sword, he focused on fluidity. When he returned your sword, it was rigid force. It’s clear to say that he has been taught well. Your internal strength is decent, but you are a dozen years too early to match adepts.”

“What should I do, then?”

“What did you spend ten years learning swordplay for? If you can’t outmuscle, can’t you win with skill? When do you plan to use your Tideturning Swordplay’s thirteen sword techniques if not now?”

Ming Feizhen had a waiter bring him a bench, umbrella a colossal watermelon. The waiter wasn’t going to say no to a man who made short work of so many adepts when he had his job, mother and siblings to feed. Ming Feizhen was shaking his leg on the bench and enjoying his watermelon when he heard, “Take this!”

The diagonal slash from the swordsman was in a different league to his previous attacks, prompting Ming Feizhen to raise the watermelon as a shield. Ming Feizhen then lowered the watermelon to bite into the juicy watermelon that the swordsman kindly cut for him.

The swordsman launched a three-slash combo that missed. Ming Feizhen, still eating, flicked a seed at the swordsman’s face, sending him to his knees.

“… Tideturning didn’t work.”

The man in the inn exhaled heavily. “Nothing works if you’re sloppy. The essence of your swordplay  is to attack without giving your opponent room to counter, so stick to your opponent. As such, you must control your tempo, or it won’t amount to anything. You’re never going to perform it the way it should be performed if you’re riled up and overzealous. Try slowing down about 30%.”

The swordsman swiped off the seed on his face, then restarted, coming out akin to tides coming one after another. Ming Feizhen picked up seeds from the ground, flicking one, two and three seeds all accurately at the swordsman’s face.

“… He got away.”

“Although sticking to your opponent is the crux of your swordplay, it doesn’t warrant mindlessly swinging your sword. In what fight does one person just block and eat attacks? You can shut your opponent down with offence. You think your unarmed opponent would  be afraid of your blade?”

The swordsman shed his erratic style after the lecture, becoming more dangerous. In response to the threat edging closer, Ming Feizhen flicked the blade out of the swordsman’s hand and into the heavens.

“Well… he really isn’t scared.”

Man in the inn: “…”

Ming Feizhen flicked a bunch more of seeds, then laid on the ground. He tossed a string of money to the waiter and then called, “Hey, come out, and fight me yourself.”

Glossary

Qingshuang – The name of Liu Bang’s sword. For those who don’t know, Liu Bang is also known as Emperor Gaozu of Han.

 

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