Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 13 Ch. 51

Elaborate Assassination Plan (Part 1)

“I must kill him to earn Zero’s trust.”

I could understand why Yan Jiangnan wore a long face. Not only was Tiangou one of the Seven Stars but also practically Jiang Chen’s pet dog; Jiang Chen would hunt me down with a vengeance if I killed Tiangou. Although Zero currently held the highest authority, people in the compound only took orders from Kuanggu Sheng and Tiangou. The impact of Tiangou’s demise would cause much bigger ripples than Elder Lianhua or Yan Jiangbei’s deaths. Triggering a riot wasn’t conducive to my escape goal. Alas, I wish I had an alternative.

“But… why Tiangou? Kuanggu Sheng would work, as well,” opined Yan Jiangnan. He feared Tiangou, not Tiangou’s identity as Jiang Chen’s trusted aide.

The popular belief was that Tiangou was stronger than Kuanggu Sheng. Having fought both of them (getting beat up counted), my assessment was that it was an unfair comparison.

Kuanggu Sheng had better skills than Tiangou. When Kuanggu Sheng fought, he subconsciously liked to hold back.

Tiangou’s style was wild enough to describe it was the equivalent of a beast fighting and never stuck to a certain fighting pattern. As such, he appeared sharper than Kuanggu Sheng. People often equated a more brutal death to the murderer being more dangerous. Thus, the comparison was unfair. Nevertheless, Tiangou’s wild style was enough to instil fear.

“Tiangou needs to be killed first,” I asserted. “Tiangou is virtually a real dog. Apart from not eating his own poo, he’s inherited every other trait a dog has, especially his keen sense of smell.”

The catalyst for a change in one’s scent came from their internal system and wasn’t something they could change at will. While a strong external smell, such as drugs or blood, could conceal one’s true scent, it was only a transient effect. If Tiangou could smell even the slightest “Ming Feizhen” smell, the disguise was as good as done. Likewise, Yan Jiangnan’s body odour would change as his martial arts progressed changed, and Tiangou wouldn’t miss it.

“I’m not killing Tiangou for that alone. I need someone important to die at a specific moment, but they can’t be someone too tough to take down.”

“… You mean…”

“The moment we step into dungeon, the moment Zero comes across the me inside vanishes without a trace, I need someone outside the prison to die.”

“As long as someone strong outside dies at the same time we enter the prison… we have proven there is indeed an intruder in the base. That erases all suspicion surrounding us!”

All of Yan Jiangnan’s energy evaporated when he met my frigid gaze.

“There’s nothing to celebrate,” I stated with a straight face. “In twelve more hours, Zero will summon us to open the dungeon together. If Tiangou doesn’t die then, we’ll be the ones to die.”

I wasn’t sure if Yan Jiangnan’s reaction was fear or determination to fight.

“Elder, I am at your command.”

That was the first time Yan Jiangnan was so proactive since I had known him. We obviously weren’t friends. Sharing a common goal was enough to draw out his full strength, nonetheless. I gave a special name to aforementioned power – the power of stupidity.

“… The timing,” I said with a smile. “We need to make sure our timing is right so that Zero is convinced an outsider killed Tiangou. We need to kill Tiangou quick enough that people deem it impossible and then return to the scene.”

***

Name: Tiangou

Census registration: Unknown

Hobby: Butchering people

Tiangou always carried his broadsword. The guy wanted to test his blade on anyone over the most trivial of things. When it was time to eat, he insisted on going on all fours… on the table. If he ever had to abstain from committing homicide for a while, he could go spastic. Long-story short, he inherited every personality trait of dogs, except for eating his own poo…

I smugly set my brush down and proudly nodded at my handwriting.

Yan Jiangnan pinched his nose and asked, “Do you like it that much?”

I bobbed my head. “Of c-, ptoo!”

What sort of question is that?! You like poo!

“To assassinate Tiangou, we must first analyse him.”

“Is it not too late for that?”

“Of course it is. That’s why I finished ages ago. This is for you.” I slapped the sheet of paper onto Yan Jiangnan’s face, making sure the “poo” character was flush on his face.

We spent a fair amount of time on analysing Tiangou for our assassination plan.

“Tiangou is careless, so he won’t notice changes to major things. For instance, he never raised his vigilance after learning about the intruder. Having said that, he is extremely sensitive to hostility directed at him. He’ll catch the scent of any assassin who tries to close in on him. Luckily, we are now his comrades. It’s not difficult to make an excuse to approach him. What we need to do is make sure he doesn’t join us before we enter the dungeon. Otherwise, we’ll have no means of assassinating him. In other words, we need to single him out.”

I caught Yan Jiangnan sitting with his eyes narrowed, seemingly having too much time on his hands. After I questioned him, I learnt he made a fatal assumption.

“What am I nervous about? I already thought it through. With your abilities, you will reduce Tiangou to smithereens.”

“I’m not assassinating him.”

“What?! Wh-who will be assassinating him, then?”

I tilted my head. “You.”

“Me?”

“Why else did I train you?”

“But I have only trained for one day!”

“One day is too much? Okay, let’s go now.”

“No, no, no!”

“What are you worried about? Haven’t you recovered 80% of your abilities? You have nothing to fear.”

“I cannot defeat him in the first place… 80% is not enough to beat him now.”

“Knowing that you’re a weakling, of course I had to pull some strings first.” I got up, put the cheques into my shirt and grabbed a few items I had prepared beforehand.

“Elder, where are we going?”

“To pull some strings. Let’s move.” I picked up a wine jug and sauntered out with my head held high.

 

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