Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 13 Ch. 116

An Apprehensive Heart Feared Going Home

“This isn’t something I want to share with outsiders; however, since my husband trusts you… Okay, I shall tell you.”

Before I let Ning Zhuoru start her speech, I had the kitchen serve me up thirteen dishes of side dishes and thirteen pots of wine. Good thing I had them prepare me a snack because it was one long story. Once I heard the story, I understood why she was reluctant to bring it up.

Allow me to summarise.

It all began half a year ago. While they were unmistakably getting sick of each other, they were in love pretty much congruently with the pugilistic world’s recounts. Sadly, a common problem between married couples soon crept into their relationship – no offspring.

Initially, nobody had an issue with Ning Zhuoru not producing a child. Gradually, though, the pressure was mounted onto her. Gu Xianxian didn’t realise it, but Ning Zhuoru was always trying for a child; she resorted to all sorts of old-school methods whether they were purely superstitious or not. Gu Xianxian thought he was levelling up his game when it was really just the magic of Ning Zhuoru’s supplemental soups that she made him drink every night. Unfortunately, none of the tricks she tried helped. When she consulted doctors, they didn’t dare to tell her the true diagnosis. She, therefore, resorted to asking a respected doctor, who frankly told her that she’d genetically struggle to conceive. In other words, Gu Xianxian wasn’t the problem. She was.

Naturally, the revelation of not being able to conceive for a woman seeking to be a mother was a painful blow. The depressing news negatively impacted her mood. Gu Xianxian was too straight-laced to comfort his wife despite his love for her. As a result, arguments became more commonplace.

“Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” Gu Xianxian’s eyes were red. “I had no idea you had done so much for us. It must’ve been so hard to bottle up all those feelings.”

“I think about you just as you think about me. I’ve always wanted to give you a child, but I… I considered asking you to divorce me instead of burdening you. I kept being prickly to deliberately annoy you.”

“Don’t be so silly like that!”

The two shared a tearful embrace.

It wasn’t really a big problem. More precisely, it wasn’t really a major problem from Gu Clan’s perspective. After all, wealthy households, like Gu Clan, had a simple solution to the problem – take a concubine. Liaodong people considered a lot of popular formalities red tape, and they didn’t care about lineage most of the time. Even if Ning Zhuoru couldn’t conceive, Gu Xianxian’s old man still would’ve had his son take a few concubines. That said…



The two of them were unlikely to agree to that.

I had a bite of my meat bun and questioned, “Why argue? What are doctors for?”

Gu Xianxian and Ning Zhuoru: “Read the room!”

Wow, the perfect sync of a couple.

Ning Zhuoru then continued with her story.

Ning Zhuoru received an invitation out of the blue from an unknown individual. In addition to the letter, they left behind a note promising a magic solution to her problem. At first, she brushed it off as a lame person’s prank, but her interest was piqued once she heard a woman in a nearby village managed to overcome her inability to conceive. That became the catalyst for her to follow the letter’s instructions, which eventually led to her finding Jiang Chen.

Jiang Chen candidly requested Ning Zhuoru guard Fiends’ Genesis’ new headquarters in exchange for the formula. She mulled it over plenty of times before she accepted the deal.

“Ru’er, how could you do business with someone like him?! Do you honestly think I would betray your feelings for a child?”

“I know you love me. However, how could I leave you and your family without a successor? You have no brothers or uncles; you’re the only man in your family. How can I let you down when you chose to stick with only me?”





I took a bite out of my chicken feet and suggested, “You can adopt.”

Gu Xianxian and Ning Zhuoru: “Keep your nose out of our business!”

“In any case, that’s how I came here. Thankfully, his formula worked. I… I…”

Tsk, tsk, Jiang Chen is smart, can fight and even make kids? One is never too old to learn. My seniors, you have done me proud.

“Congratulations, Ms. Gu. At least the formula is legit.”

“You knew long ago, didn’t you? I’ve had to order my herbs from your dispensary recently, and you even added a few herbal soups to help me with my mood. You clearly knew I was pregnant, yet you pit my husband against Lang Qing. Had anything happened to him, I’d be cutting you up right now.”

A good wife sure certainly reduces her husband’s problems. Didn’t expect you to find out.

Ning Zhuoru glared at me. “Trash friend.”

I licked the grease off my fingers. “You are right. Thing is, I still don’t know where Lang Qing fits into the picture.”

“… Dear, could you go grab something for me?”

Now that he knew the truth, Gu Xianxian was back to his pampering self and immediately left, leaving just Ning Zhuoru, I and her yet-to-be-born kid.

“Sister-in-Law, this isn’t appropriate, is it?”

“This involves a secret that will put the lives of those privy at risk.”

… Gu Xianxian, get your bum back here!

And, as you’d expect, I dragged Gu Xianxian back.

Ning Zhuoru griped, “Hmph, scoundrel!”

“Say what you will, but there’s no chance I’m going to be the sacrifice while you two get off scot free.”

“My husband’s trust is wasted on you.”

“What do you mean? Friends share the joys and woes. Right, Brother Gu?”

“Absolutely, absolutely.”

Though Ning Zhuoru inflated her cheeks, she knew I wasn’t going to back down. “For a while, I was happy after I found out I was pregnant. One day, though… I received a letter… from an anonymous sender. He accurately detailed every part of my deal with Jiang Chen, including the formula. I felt as though he had my every move in the palm of his hands. I was blackmailed into helping him. He threatened he’d poison my soup to take my child from me. I could only submit when he was so far ahead of me.”

What the hell is Fiends’ Genesis’ deal? They use letters for invitations, deals and even blackmail now? You the post office now?

“What’s his demand?”

“I wasn’t sure until I received a…” Ning Zhuoru took out a booklet from her shirt, the very one that was contained the assassination plan. “He told me to memorise everything in this booklet and then burn it. The intruder showed up, Kuanggu Sheng and Tiangou’s fight happened, and my husband never left my side, so I didn’t have an opportunity to read it. I finally had time more recently, but my ability to remember things has been compromised since I was pregnant, so… I couldn’t memorise everything.

“I haven’t felt healthy. Even though I use Jiang Chen’s formula daily, I’m still extremely susceptible to a miscarriage, so I need to have the miscarriage prevention soup daily, too. I couldn’t complete the task assigned, so I’m constantly afraid that I’ll be poisoned, yet I can’t tell anyone. One day, I found a spot to cry, and that’s where I came across a drunkard sleeping on the ground.”

“It was Lang Qing, am I right?” I asked.

“Yes. He is a good man. Because I was feeling depressed, I thoughtlessly aired my grievances, but I only mentioned my inability to tell my husband about my pregnancy challenge. Despite his aloof appearance, Hero Lang offered to fetch my medication for me with a promise to never let anyone tamper with it. After that, I entrusted him with bringing me my medication.”

Gu Xianxian expressed, “I misunderstood him. I wronged him.”

I voiced, “Yeah, you should really apologise for letting him rock your socks.”

Ning Zhuoru instantly glared at me again. “I was terrified when I learnt you got into a fight with him. I decided I had to tell my husband the truth when I heard the misunderstanding, but I didn’t expect…”

I bobbed my head. “So you knew someone was coming for you?”

“Yes. After I was pregnant, I seemed to be more sensitive to danger… While I couldn’t sense a presence, my intuition warned me someone was lurking nearby; it was just an uncomfortable gut feeling. As soon the Western Regions’ guard arrived, the sense of danger disappeared.”

Gu Xianxian cried, “Someone really targeted you just now?”

I nodded. “Captain Su Qi told me that there was someone snooping around, but they fled too quickly to track down.”

As Ning Zhuoru went into silent mode, an unnerving silence shrouded over us.

“Ms. Gu, forgive my rudeness, but I have a question I’d like to ask.”

“Go ahead.”

“Have you never found it odd for Jiang Chen to expend so much effort into employing you? Why do you think he requested your aid?”

With a grumpy undertone, Ning Zhuoru questioned, “My family is considered a prestigious clan in Liaodong. Why can’t he employ me?”

“Although I’ve heard of Ning Clan, I don’t know much. What does your family do?”

Ning Zhuoru proudly boasted, “Our family is the best at engineering and manufacturing contraptions in Liaodong.”

“So, your family picks locks?”

“Engineering and manufacturing contraptions!”

Gu Xianxian: “My father-in-law can open any lock in Liaodong.”

… And that’s lock picking!

“So, Ms. Gu, may I ask if you can pick locks?”

Ning Zhuoru’s face and ears turned red. “I-I married young. I never had time to learn such a complex and vast topic…”

In other words, you slacked off.

I couldn’t figure out what criteria Jiang Chen followed to recruit helpers. In terms of combat abilities, save for Lang Qing and Ouyang Xiucai, the rest weren’t of much use. Elder Lianhua could’ve been useful, but Gu Xianxian, Ning Zhuoru, and the Yan brothers, none of them were exactly strong. If loyalty was the metric he used, then the most loyal person was Tiangou, while the others weren’t even loyal to him but their long-lost master. Others didn’t even share the same goals as him. It was almost as though he recruited anyone as long as they fit his budget. Yet, he went as far as sharing a herbal formula to overcome pregnancy issues and went out of his way to recruit a young wife who wasn’t even of much help.

This Jiang Chen runt sure had some wild tastes. Sorry, I meant: what the hell was this Jiang Chen runt planning?


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