Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 13 Ch. 76

A Stressed Teacher without Remittance 

He Shi was dragged to the secret base. The “secret” base Su Xiao used for the contest preparation was just an unused room for storing miscellaneous equipment. Hong Jiu was the first person to solemnly introduce the room to Su Xiao, who solemnly introduced it to Wu Dayong, who solemnly introduced it to He Shi.

Once his freedom was returned, He Shi fumed, “It’s not a contest of who has the biggest team; dragging me into it isn’t going to help you.”

Needless to say, the problem never crossed Su Xiao’s mind. Nonetheless, problem solving wasn’t his duty in the first place.

“I know. There are seven subjects. I am taking on rites, arithmetic and martial arts. Wu Dayong is in charge of chariotry, calligraphy and music. You want to take part in archery?”

“… You sure are good at delegating the right person for the right job.”

“Ehehe, too kind, too kind.”

Wu Dayong said, “Su Xiao, let’s re-evaluate this. I can come in last place in calligraphy and music if we’re lucky, but chariotry? I’ll fall to my death.”

“Don’t be a chicken! The heavens do not abandon those who try. Practice. Sister Jin said I should be able to come to come in second to last place at the very least. See? I’ve improved. There are still more than ten days!”

Wu Dayong and He Shi could only feel sorry for Jin Zhaoying. As a matter of fact, they imagined she’d be punching the air right now.

He Shi sighed. “What gives you the idea you can win when you don’t excel at any of the seven subjects?”

As self-proclaimed second smartest person in the room, Wu Dayong responded, “That’s why you’re here to strategize.”

He Shi: “…”

No thug would let their captive go without a fight. Hence, He Shi caved in and opined, “Frankly, the chances of this team winning the contest can be summed up in three words.”

Su Xiao: “Dreams come true?”

Wu Dayong: “In the bag?”

He Shi nodded. “In your dreams.”

“Your attitude stinks! I have three words for you, too: watch your leg!”

He Shi angrily stepped back to avoid Wu Dayong catching his injured leg and prepared to counter with a front kick, but Su Xiao pushed them back to stop them.

“Stop.” Feeling guilty, Su Xiao massaged He Shi’s shoulders. “Sir He, what shall we do, then?”

Strategist He fumed, “That’s more like it. Take a page from his book and learn what guilt is.”

Wu Dayong decried, “Show us what you got then, tough guy. Everyone can talk.”

“Fine. You two went wrong at the most fundamental level!”

The two looked to each other in confusion.

Sounding is if he was lecturing children, He Shi elaborated, “Did it ever cross your mind that the contest is the entire class’s problem? Why does only a portion of the class have to bear the responsibility? Doesn’t twenty people a stronger force than three people?”

Su Xiao raised a hand. “The rule limits us to three participants, though.”

He Shi gracefully smiled. “But there are seven subjects.”

Wu Dayong: “Spit it out already.”

“…”

Just as the two glaring at each other went to fight again, Su Xiao pulled them apart, not that it stopped them from throwing kicks at each other in the air.

“I’m so mad that I’ve forgotten what I was trying to say… Right, there are seven subjects, but you don’t need to win all seven to take first place, correct?”

“Oh!” Wu Dayong licked his lips, then stoically asked, “You’re suggesting… we bribe the examiner?”

“Take a walk to the loo. Dip your head in there. Flush everything inside out so that you can replace it with more useful stuff.”

Su Xiao: “I get it now!”

He Shi smiled. “There is hope yet.”

“We can get second place and poison first place so that we win first place!”

“You need stop being so imaginative! What I meant is that there’s no need for one team to win seven events when we have so many people.” Seeing the duo’s impressed but perplexed looks, He Shi heaved a heavy breath. “Other classes gathered their best and are only sending their best team to compete, but there’s no stipulation that limits how many teams a class can register. Hence, we can take an unconventional approach. We can form several teams, each team focusing on their speciality. As long as each team can win in their respective events, the overall is ours.”

“Oooooh!” Su Xiao and Wu Dayong nudged one of He Shi’s shoulders each.

“Fear not the thug but the smart thug.”

“Tsk, tsk, tsk, you look honest to a fault, but you sure can be evil.”

“That’s rich coming from someone who wanted to bribe examiners and someone who wanted to poison contestants! Stop complimenting me with negative connotations!”

“Hang on.” Su Xiao stopped thumping He Shi’s shoulder to pose as a thinker. “What sort of teams should we form?”

“That is the key to this approach. We don’t need to win all seven events. Know why?”

“Because bribing…”

“Because poisoning…”

“Because you only need to win four events to win the overall!” At this point, He Shi contemplated giving up on academic pursuits to learn martial arts so that he could kill the two morons. “Winning four out of seven events nets us the overall. What reason is there to win all seven? Hence, we need to focus our strengths on winning four events.”

Su Xiao and Wu Dayong: “Oooooh! Best of seven! Yeah!”

“… You sure you understand? We haven’t actually won yet…”

Su Xiao beamed. “I know! That said, thanks to your idea, I feel we have a real chance of winning now! I’m happy!”

He Shi shook his head vigorously, making sure he wasn’t seeing things, then cleared his throat. “Do you know who is most proficient in music at the academy?”

Wu Dayong inflated his chest. “Right here.”

He Shi: “Well, hello, Mr. Good at Nothing.”

“I meant I know!”

Su Xiao clocked Wu Dayong over the head. “Then just say who it is!”

“So mean…” Rubbing his head, Wu Dayong continued, “Shi Weiliang. Her family runs a restaurant. She only made it into the academy thanks to her music skills.”

“That makes things easy. Ming Feizhen and she are acquaintances. He should be able to persuade her to join us.”

“Cool.” Wu Dayong turned to Su Xiao. “By the way, where is Ol’ Ming? I haven’t seen him in a while.”

“Tied up.”

He Shi and Wu Dayong flinched.

“Uh, I meant as in he’s tied up with helping people outside the city, yeah.”

He Shi and Wu Dayong: “Uhuh.”

“Th-that’s not important right now! Let’s go ask Miss Shi to help us! Let’s move! Let’s move!”

 

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