Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 13 Ch. 62

Truth (Part 2)

The privy people were told not to mention Kuanggu Sheng and Tiangou’s fight for the sake of avoiding panic. It was even more important than ever to make sure everyone was switched on since an enemy was lurking around. In reality, they wouldn’t have mentioned a word of it or make guesses, lest Zero silence them.

Fiends’ Genesis wasn’t built in a day; there was enough time for rules, written and unwritten, and regulations to be imprinted into every member’s minds. They knew the new Fiends’ Genesis’ base hid many secrets, but they also knew that covering their eyes and ears was the secret trick to a long life.

Problem was, improvised solutions weren’t good enough. They could hide the fight, but they couldn’t stop unfound rumours from spreading. One such rumour was that an intruder dropped one and killed the other as soon as he came across the two, that the intruder was a fish to water in the contraption-riddled compound, that he could behead several people before having breakfast and so forth. Nobody bothered to think about how exaggerated the claims were or how the numerous rumours were all told by the same barely-literate person because they were too focused on their fear. The troops on patrol would touch their necks every few steps to check their head was still where it was supposed to be.

Zero desired that high level of alertness for it was the only way they’d have a chance of luring out the lurking intruder. That being said, she was surprised the rumours travelled so fast, proving that Fiends’ Genesis were also good at information delivery.

In response to the events and rumours, Guanhu Island’s master, Yuan Kou, moved his blankets and pillow to the dungeon. After all, the intruder was unlikely to return to the dungeon after they had assassinated their target there.

The Guxian couple isolated themselves in their room, citing, “We have been diagnosed with weakness, pain and shortness of breath if we raise our voice.” Coincidentally, people who passed by their room reported hearing them arguing loud enough to be heard from twenty metres away.

Then there was Lang Qing, who continued about his daily life as if he was on vacation, making sure he was getting through his days drunk and sleeping somewhere new daily. On the occasions Ming Feizhen tested him, Ming Feizhen sensed hostility and saw the man reach for his weapon at record speed.

Xian Shiteng, the cold-blooded assassin from Dongying, felt as though someone from his industry was challenging his pride, so he decided to investigate the intruder case on his own.

When asked why he wasn’t worried at all, Ouyang Xuicai shrugged and answered, “Why? Fiends’ Genesis captured the individual. If they want revenge, they would seek out Fiends’ Genesis. Are Tiangou and Kuanggu Sheng’s conditions not proof of that? Of course, I’m not naïve enough to believe they’d target Fiends’ Genesis exclusively. If they truly had what it took to wipe us out, though, what are they waiting for? Why would they need to try catching us off guard? Time that’s spent worrying is time that could be spent figuring how to subdue the intruder.”

I couldn’t offer a counterargument even if I wanted to. It felt as though Ouyang Xiucai had improved mentally and physically. Had I chosen him as my victim instead of Tiangou and Kuanggu Sheng, it’d have been hard to fool him.

“You fooled him, though, did you not?” Yan Jiangnan still appeared scared of me. “If we did not have Ouyang Xiucai as our witness, we would be hard pressed to prove we were not involved.”

“We did drink with him for several hours. Where is the lie?” I righteously argued. I was too busy with my concoction in the cauldron to care about what mental gymnastics Yan Jiangnan was doing in his head. “Ask whatever it is you want to ask, or you won’t have time for them later.”

“Did you not say your strength has hit rock bottom? How did you kill him so cleanly? Also, did you not tell me to go? How come you swapped roles with me at the last minute? Also, I thought we were going to Tiangou, so how come Kuanggu Sheng died? Also, why do we have to switch to this room?”

“Your eyes not work? What you see is what it is. What’s the point of asking me? More importantly, drink this.”

Yan Jiangnan twisted his face into the shape of a shrivelled tomato, not that I could blame him. I mean, I held the bowl as far away as I could. If you thought it was the same random concoction I made last time for him, you were right. I still had no clue what effects it had, but I could tell you the taste was weird.

Frankly, it was so troublesome to concoct that I didn’t want to make it a second time; however, Zero was monitoring our every move. If I suddenly didn’t use as many herbs as I did last time, it’d rouse suspicion, so, besides hair dye ingredients, I had the people at the dispensary fetch me a bunch of new herbs. Formulating a new drug would take too much effort. Consequently, I just made the same one as last time. Yan Jiangnan was still alive after drinking it last time, so it wouldn’t hurt to drink again… presumably.

Before he resigned himself to drinking the concoction, Yan Jiangnan pleaded every deity in the firmament to rescue him and only brought it to his mouth once his pleas were ignored.

“Impressive.”

Yan Jiangnan nearly sprayed everything out of his mouth when he heard the foreign voice.

I continued on with my head down instead of looking back at Zero. She came up to the furnace and said to me, “I didn’t know you know how make medicine… and so well.”

I raised my hands in salute. “You flatter me. My knowledge is but only a drop in the bucket.”

“No need to be modest. Nobody in the base has medical knowledge, so, while they can heal internal injuries and deal with broken bones, sprains and the sort, nobody knows anything about medicine… From today onwards, I shall entrust Fiends’ Genesis’ new base’s dispensary to you, Brother Wu. I thank you on behalf of everyone who needs to consult you in the future.”

I spun around to Zero and squinted. “Is this your request for peace?”

Following a brief silence, Zero glanced toward Yan Jiangnan and ordered, “Leave us.”

As much as he wanted to listen in, Yan Jiangnan had no place arguing with Zero.

“Drink your medication before you leave,” I said.

Yan Jiangnan’s twisted face made a return. He thought he wasn’t going to have to drink it a second time. This time, however, he forced himself to guzzle it in case Zero’s patience ran out. He went out the door with the barely any time in contact with the ground.

Zero stared at me for quite a while before asking, “Can I trust you?”

 

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