Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 13 Ch. 54

Elaborate Assassination Plan (Part 4)

“What gives you that idea?” Kuanggu Sheng was still smiling, but he stopped bothering with his façade due to Tiangou’s stance. “I only foresaw two results when I invited you to come with me. One, you would accept my offer, and we would achieve something big. Alternatively, I would separate your head from your shoulders the moment you asked me, ‘You wish to kill me?’”

“Why haven’t you?”

“Hehehe, you would rather be Fiends’ Genesis’ lapdog than your own man. Brother Tiangou, are you sure you want to perish along with Fiends’ Genesis?”

Tiangou unwrapped his broadsword with serrated edges and used the cloth for sheathing it to wipe the blade. “I don’t believe in gods residing above us. They never answered my pleas.” He then gripped the cloth and his hilt in separate hands and added, “I don’t believe in monarchs. They won’t give me permission to kill. I must kill.” Holding his gaze against Kuanggu Sheng’s, he continued, “Twenty years ago, Master took me in. I never begged him, but he chose me. Since then, I swore to be his guard dog until the day I am cold in the ground. I won’t allow anyone to ruin his assets. At least, not as long as I am alive.” Tiangou subsequently folded his torso forward, seemingly preparing to propel himself forward violently. “You, too, are something he left behind.”

“… Once was.”

“I know.”

“It would appear that I’m not the only one who wants to kill you.”

“That connection you mentioned, does it have anything to do with why you’re willing to remain in the compound?”

Tiangou was the only sentry assigned during the new base’s construction a few months ago as there was no need for a second member of the Seven Stars. Yet, Kuanggu Sheng offered to stay on the base ever since finding out an Executioner from the organisation had joined them there.

“Haha, Brother Tiangou, who’s the better fighter between us?”

“Based on your Beijiang origins, that’s a conversation that shouldn’t even be had.”

“Well, I won’t deny that my foundations come from Beijiang. Likewise, your skills don’t derive from an orthodox sect, either. Your foundation is underdeveloped compared to mine since you started later in life. How many exchanges shall we have today?”

Tiangou shut his eyes whilst answering, “Master once said, once one has reached the final stage in their discipline, it doesn’t matter when you started or what age you reached level so and so. You are whatever your level is.”

Kuanggu Sheng sighed. “Shang Bieshi is a true prodigy.”

“You shouldn’t address Master by his name.”

“How shall I address him? Suffocating-in-the-desolate-mountains Loser?” Kuangu Sheng paused to exam Tiangou’s reaction before adding the final insult. “Or should I just be direct and call him Sore Loser?”

“You asked for it.”

Tiangou opened his eyes, then, like an arrow off a loaded bowstring, launched himself forward and swung straight for Kuanggu Sheng’s neck. There was no doubt that he’d shave off a chunk of flesh if his blade just grazed Kuanggu Sheng’s neck.

Casually strolling backwards, Kuanggu Sheng directed Tiangou’s swing trajectory with his right hand whilst executing his hook counter off his left.

Tiangou forged his broadsword skills in real-life combat, so he was trained to fight ruthlessly. Plus, he wasn’t planning to waste time on needless exchanges. He never expected Kuanggu Sheng to spot his opening so easily to launch a defence and counter simultaneously. Nonetheless, Tiangou responded with vertical slashes.

Kuanggu Sheng didn’t foresee Tiangou’s marvellous technical finesse, either, prompting him to retreat again and again.

Right as Tiangou brought his blade into position for his third attack, Kuanggu Sheng roared as he threw a ball at the ground, generating a loud sound. Unsure he could block Kuanggu Sheng’s attack, Tiangou didn’t try to stand his ground. Instead of a strike flying out, though, a field of white smoke formed, obstructing Tiangou’s vision.

Hearing the door clack, Tiangou thundered, “You’re not getting away!”

Already outside, Kuanggu Sheng shouted back, “Fine. You want to fight to the death?!”

“Your sentence was death from the moment you chose to betray Fiends’ Genesis!”

***

One only needed to look at the number of empty jugs strewn across the floor to tell that Wu Ping, Ouyang Xuicai and Yan Jiangnan were inebriated. The moment they set foot in the room, the two lackeys who were the worst at holding their liquor nearly lost their legs. Their leader griped, “What were they thinking? Mr. Zero is calling for them. Why would they choose now of all times to drink so much…?”

“So, do we just go and report back to Mr. Zero?”

The leader shot a glare in the direction of his mindless subordinate who voiced his suggestion, then instructed, “Try waking them. You guys, bring some water. If we can’t wake them up nicely, we’ll just have to splash them.”

While Zero wasn’t the sort of person they’d like to be on the bad side of, splashing the elite mercenaries awake wasn’t exactly the most respectful thing to do. All they could do was pray that the three usually-cordial adepts wouldn’t make them pay for it. No matter how they called, they couldn’t wake the trio up; not even splashing water worked.

Ouyang Xiucai was first to regain awareness since he was the strongest. “Who are you people? What do you want?”

“Who dere?” Yan Jiangnan also came to, albeit without a completely functioning tongue.

Wu Ping was the only one who had yet to wake.

 

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