Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 13 Ch. 75

Stay Away

“The answer is simple,” He Shi casually remarked. “He’s my friend. As a student of the academy, I have the prerogative to invite friends in for a tour. Loud and clear?”

Song Chi smirked. “Loud and clear.”

Frankly, Song Chi didn’t harbour any malicious intentions toward Su Xiao besides disqualifying him pre-emptively. Worst came to worst, they’d just have to win in the contest. He had nothing to gain, and potentially had losses to make, if he made an enemy out of He Shi, however. Though Huang Yuzao was absent, He Shi’s entry into politics was guaranteed with Huang Yuzao backing him. Whether it was abuse of power or impartial judgement, Huang Yuzao would ensure He Shi partook in the imperial exams. Now that Huang Yuzao was out of the picture, howbeit, His Majesty would give He Shi bigger opportunities on account of his old friend. He Shi just threatened to arrest him, did he not? What would give He Shi the authority to arrest him? An official post. If He Shi was confident he could enter politics without even being privy to Huang Yuzao’s predicament, what would stop him now?

Song Chi casually said, “Enjoy your tour, Baihu Su. This one shall not keep you.”

Su Xiao scratched his head while He Shi frowned, sensing the threat that was now going to burgeon in the shadows. He Shi knew full well that Song Chi wasn’t going to be easy to stop.

He Shi: To remain composed and calculate when he had an overwhelming physical advantage… He has not let his clan down.

“I suggest you avoid him in the future whenever you see him. You won’t be so lucky next time. The extent to which I can help is l-” He Shi turned his head to see Su Xiao staring intently at him. “What?”

“Join me, please!”

He Shi had read “stars in one’s eyes” as a description before, but it was his first time seeing it in real life.

Su Xiao tugged at He Shi’s sleeve. “You’re so smart! How did you persuade him? I still can’t even figure it out! You’re Big Brother Ming’s friend, right? Join my team!”

Despite the lack of context, He Shi understood what Su Xiao was talking about because Su Xiao and Tang Ye were popular at the academy. He could tell from his observations that the two were Ming Feizhen’s friends. He wasn’t close with Ming Feizhen, but he decided to speak up for Su Xiao on account of Ming Feizhen and he being beat up together. That, nevertheless, didn’t mean he had the slightest interest in participating in the idol competition.

“Say ‘yes’ already. Stop thinking about pointless stuff.”

Su Xiao looked up upon hearing the voice.

“What do you want to say this time, Wu Dayong?” questioned He Shi.

Wu Dayong, sporting Western sunnies, strutted over at a pace three times slower than usual, making the fluttering of his robe subtler.

“Wu Dayong!” Su Xiao tackled Wu Dayong to the ground and stepped on him.

“Stop! Stop! Stop! Su Xiao, this is not elegant!”

“What time did we agree on?! What time is it now?!”

“I was there! I was doing what a gentleman should and staying aside so that you guys could flirt.” The only truth – that was also only partially true – was that Wu Dayong went into hiding as soon as he saw Song Chi getting confrontational. “Plus, aren’t I here to help you persuade He Shi?”

Su Xiao removed his foot. “What’s your idea?”

He Shi grinned. “Yeah, even I’m curious what grand idea you have.”

“Heh, you bet it’s grand.” Wu Dayong crawled to his feet and dusted himself. “He Shi, say, ‘yes’. Stop being wishy washy with meaningless speeches.”

“Your persuasion tactic is anything but grand.”

“A life will be in danger if you don’t accept.”

“Huh, danger to one’s life? In the academy? Who?”

Even though he still had a footprint on his face, Wu Dayong asserted, “Me.”

“How is that my issue?!”

Wu Dayong clung to He Shi’s thigh. “I went and challenged Ironhead Palace as soon as Su Xiao invited me to join him. I didn’t expect Tang Ye to disappear. If you don’t accept, I might be bludgeoned to death at any moment!”

“Didn’t you ask for it?! Moreover, I’m not much better off than you, okay?! Don’t you know the second-generation rich kids hate me? They’ll only beat you more viciously if I join you!”

“Exactly! They’ll beat you instead of me! Doesn’t that mean I’ll be safe?”

“I pray for your death!”

“You’re so cold-blooded. Are you really going to watch them murder your classmate?!”

“That’s rich coming from you! Also, there’s no reason to cling onto my pants while you’re speaking!”

Wu Dayong knew well that He Shi wouldn’t run around without his pants. Since he lacked strength and stamina, relying on a single attack would be folly. Just as Qi general Sun Bin attacked Wei’s capital at Daliang in 354 BC to lift the Wei siege on Zhao’s capital of Handan, Wu Dayong attacked He Shi’s pants to force He Shi to concede, or he’d have to strut around without his pants. Alas, although his strategy was splendid, Su Xiao couldn’t stand the moral wrongs.

“Stop, stop, stop. We’re all classmates. Shake hands and make up,” Su Xiao advised, prompting them to let go of each other. He then grabbed He Shi’s hand and pulled it over.

Wearing a grim expression, Wu Dayong asserted, “Su Xiao, you can’t let him go, or I’ll be beaten to death.”

He Shi wiped his forehead sweat. “At least someone understands reason… Hmm? Uh, you can hold my hand, but why did you rub a cinnabar on my finger? Hey, hey, hey, what are you grabbing from your shirt?! Stop! Stooop!”

Su Xiao pressed He Shi’s finger onto the registration form for the idol contest before happily releasing the latter’s hand. “Done.”

Wu Dayong ecstatically clapped.

Meanwhile, He Shi flopped to the ground in tears. “… You ruffians…”

“There’s no point crying over spilt tea.” Su Xiao switched from a smile to a stoic face, crouched down and then, mimicking an English accent, said, “You’re already ours, son. Don’t try to resist. You better give me a hundred and flipping eighty ideas a day, aye.”

“Yeah, yeah, you stuck up prick. No point acting like a virgin now that you’ve stamped it,” added Wu Dayong.

“This is unfair! I won’t concede!” protested He Shi.

Su Xiao: “Hahaha, cry for help. Nobody will come to your rescue even if you scream till you lose your voice.”

Wu Dayong: “You might annoy your enemies enough for them to come kill you, though.”

“Stop the futile resistance. Now, let us devise our strategy.”

What could He Shi do besides let Su Xiao drag him, literally, along?

Su Xiao and Wu Dayong’s primary weakness was wits. Now that they found someone who could cover that part, there was no way they’d let him slip away.

In times of need, fairness and freedom were secondary considerations.

 

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