Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 13 Ch. 34

Mount Wuju’s Valley of Yearning

“They’re seriously back?” Bai Zhiqing stroked his neck. “I only have 50% of my power right now; I don’t even know how many I can beat. Worst comes to worst, we’ll just have to squash them with numbers…”

Hong Jiu and Guan Ning instinctively looked to each other, both recalling Nine-Lives Cat Fiend’s grudge. Everyone saw how dejected she was that night. For someone as dangerous as her to emotionally break down in front of her enemies over something from twenty years ago, it wasn’t hard to imagine how dreadful the experience was for her.

To everyone’s surprise, Bai Zhiqing asked, “Hang on. Did the intruders scare my wife?” Despite losing half of his powers, he was able to project his question to his disciple with pinpoint precision.

The out-of-breath disciple replied, “She said she was feeling stuffy, so she left the mountain to see what all the noise below was about.”

Master Qi’s group couldn’t believe what they heard. She went down the mountain when she knew an enemy was in their territory? She had to be either mad or low on IQ.

“Say what?! How are they qualified to meet someone as benevolent as her and as beautiful as a goddess? Let’s go. I’m going to bury them.”

Hong Jiu expressed, “Third Grandpa, let us join you.”

“Let’s hurry, then.” Bai Zhiqing’s feet moved as he spoke already.

From the outside, the dangerous terrain of Valley of Yearning was invisible. Furthermore, unless somebody knew how to navigate it, it would be a tiring journey. As they climbed with Bai Zhiqing, they could see that, although it was located in Jiangnan, it was difficult to conquer but easy to defend thanks to the fact that the mountains were connected to each other.

Thanks to their wise foreign investments, despite being located outside of Jiangnan, Bai Clan was considered a prosperous one. Even though Bai Clan had called Mount Wuju home since their first generation, and continued to stay there even after twenty-three generations, they continued operating a business on the water channels because that was what they came from. That was the reason that, among the three biggest martial arts clans that did business on the waters, Bai Clan’s Penglai Island was the most influential.

During an era of upheaval, nobody ever had any doubts when doing business with Bai Clan since Bai Clan was always transparent, as well as continued their blue-collar work ethic even once they had other options. Bai Clan would never try to go the extra mile to raise their earning potential. To businessmen, Bai Clan was Idiots Clan. Ironically, the careers of those who considered Bai Clan idiots were over.

Given the current dynasty elected Jinling to be its capital, Bai Clan naturally became a clan they wanted the support of. They were located close to the capital, possessed immense wealth, influence and power. Who could sleep comfortably knowing there was a mighty tiger sleeping beside them?

When Li Dynasty’s progenitor returned from a trip to talk to Bai Clan, he was all smiles. From that day onwards, Bai Clan became another member of the White Princes. From their patriarch down to their militia, they chose righteousness over money.

Crowning Bai Clan their rank as a White Prince would easily be one of the most bizarre things in the world. They had a longer history as residents of Mount Wuju than the imperial court. Mount Wuju was located in an autonomous region. Their home was not a gift from the imperial court to them. They didn’t have any money, food or troops shortage. Penglai Island had tens of thousands of troops to deploy if necessary. If they grew their military any more, the next Emperor after Emperor Yuansheng might never have been able to sleep. Given these points, bestowing them the authority to administrate their own region, recruit soldiers and collect their own taxes was meaningless.

The militia at Valley of Yearning and overseas only acknowledged one ruler – their patriarch. They acknowledged Bai Clan but not Li Clan. Even when they entered employment as a civil servant, they often continued living alone as a member of Bai Clan.

So, they didn’t gain anything besides an extra title, yet Bai Clan was happy.

The other six White Princes never interacted with Bai Clan just as Bai Clan had no interest in befriending them. An ally you couldn’t understand was more dangerous than an enemy. Howbeit, that was the very reason Valley of Yearning had few friends in the martial world and, by extension, few enemies. When there were disagreements in business, they would strive to resolve it so that both parties won. It went without saying that rarely did anyone have the courage to confront them; that went double in this generation with the three brothers constantly one-upping the other, effectively creating an infinite progression.

This was only the second time somebody had trespassed into Valley of Yearning’s backyard since Bai Zhiqing took the reins as valley ruler. If his wife wasn’t the one in danger, he’d probably have been thrilled.

Because Hong Jiu hadn’t completely recovered, he couldn’t perform his qinggong as he usually could. As a result of trying to keep up with Bai Zhiqing’s brisk pace, he soon slipped and rolled down the mountain. Thankfully, someone caught him before he could tumble all the way down, so he looked up to express thanks, only to be met with Master Qi’s stare of disdain. She said, “You’re as heavy as a pig,” then continued off.

Hong Jiu: What’s her issue?!

Annoyed, Hong Jiu gave chase, stimulating his newly developed internal energy. As a result, the intervals between his inhales grew longer and longer, not that it was enough to keep up with Master Qi’s qinggong.

As they raced alongside Bai Zhiqing, with neither of them taking the lead and seeing Hong Jiu’s simper, Master Qi said, “You need not worry, Patriarch Bai. We have fought with the intruders already, and we can say with confidence that they are not dangerous enough to be a threat to Valley of Yearning.”

Master Qi’s comment wasn’t flattery. If the erstwhile Fiends’ Genesis wasn’t the three brothers’ match and wasn’t match for Bai Clan’s military, they weren’t a match now. However, Hong Jiu saw beyond the comment, so he checked on Bai Zhiqing. As expected, the comment raised Bai Zhiqing’s concern level. Hong Jiu was already running as fast as he could; if Bai Zhiqing increased his pace, Hong Jiu would have problems.

Unsurprisingly, Master Qi then inquired, “Does your wife not know martial arts?”

“She’s actually formidable, replied Bai Zhiqing. Before they could ask for further clarification, he declared, “We’ve arrived!” He mustered up more qi, launching himself onto a boulder on the other side.

At a glance, there were an estimated hundred people guarding the path upwards. In contrast, the enemies they were fighting only numbered a few dozen, so they had managed to hold the invaders back.

Hong Jiu ducked behind a boulder to scope out the situation. The leader of the enemies was none other than the man who left first – Hai Yecha. Judging from the fact that there were zombie-like soldiers on the field, it was safe to assume Drought Demon was close by, too.

Hong Jiu: This is northeast of the Fiends’ Genesis compound we raided, isn’t it?

Hai Yecha’s group left two days ahead of the rest, but they arrived after Hong Jiu’s group for they didn’t know the way in and had been trying their luck in Bai Clan’s backyard. Had Bai Zhiqing’s wife not descended the mountain, Fiends’ Genesis’ group might very well have still been wandering two weeks later.

“My Lady, are you all right?!”

Facing off against Hai Yecha on the boulder opposite him was none other than Bai Zhiqing’s wife. The moment Hai Yecha espied Bai Zhiqing, he was so livid that he charged at Bai Zhiqing’s wife without delay!

 

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