Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 13 Ch. 127

Moss Spreads. The Curtain of Mist Rises.

Surprisingly, Lang Qing decided to share his opinion. “You think they’ll take orders from you, too?”

There were far too many people involved already for me to know who “too” referred to.

“If you don’t try, the answer is always ‘no’. Moreover, Jiang Chen intends to kill all of us, which means they’re included. I don’t think they’re stupid enough to remain loyal to a master who abandoned them.”

Lang Qing: “Be my guest, then.”

“Let’s leave that discussion for later. Right now, we can’t delay our escape a second longer. With his double lock, Jiang Chen could kill us without lifting a finger. I need to get a grasp of the contraption first. Elise.”

“Yes, My Lord. Thanks to my lord’s generous appreciation, I shall tell you all what I can. However, there is one disclaimer I need to make. All my knowledge of contraptions comes from Jiang Chen. Whether he taught me anything wrong or not is beyond my awareness, and I have no means of testing. Please be sure to proceed with extra caution.”

Elise proceeded to explain what she understood about the double lock, how to unlock it as well as the immediate problem. “There’s a contraption room north, east, south and west of the compound. Half of them require a specific method to trigger, while the other half require people in the rooms to operate at the same time. Jiang Chen has had both sides modified, so there are no means of determining how to open the doors.”

“I’ve been here long enough to take a detailed look at the contraptions. I can say for certain that Jiang Chen didn’t have this compound constructed. If you ask me, it’s most likely an abandoned ruin from long ago. As such, I suspect the contraptions weren’t originally designed to trap people. Jiang Chen merely made use of its existence to trap us. Since it wasn’t designed to be a confinement mechanism, there has to be a flaw somewhere. Is it possible to try activating them one by one?” I asked.

Elise replied, “I have tried that. However, I do not know anything about contraptions.”

Assuming Yuan Kou was knowledgeable on contraptions, I shifted my gaze over to him.

Yuan Kou said, “I, too, have checked them carefully. You are correct, Sir. Perhaps we can find out how to work them for our purposes if we experiment with each one. In saying that, owing to the complexity of the contraptions and their age, they are highly vulnerable to damage. If any competent is damaged, our last hope will be dashed. It would be best if someone who has a wealth of knowledge on contraptions and can keep a pulse on all of them were to check; perhaps they can glean something.”

All of us looked to Ning Zhuoru and then sighed.

With red cheeks, Ning Zhuoru snapped, “Wh-what?! It’s not like anyone can master them just because they want to.”

“Incompetence is the mistake that has bred all these problems.”

“You voiced your thoughts aloud!”

Eh? Did I say it that loudly?

Ouyang Xiucai smiled. “To be fair, Ning Clan’s contraption expertise lies in unlocking locks. They don’t extensively work with contraptions. Lady Gu probably wouldn’t be able to figure out how to open the doors even if she inherited all of her family’s teachings.”

“Aren’t we trying to unlock a lock?”

“That’s true… If only we had Elder Lianhua. As a member of Tang Clan, she may be enlightened on the topic of contraptions.”

The problem was, she was hurt bad, had been unconscious for ages and was old. Nobody was even sure if she’d wake up again.

Me: “Exactly, exactly.”

Everyone narrowed their eyes on me: “Don’t tell me… it was deliberate on your part.”

“What do you mean? How is it my fault?”

All I did was increase the dosage… What drug? Don’t ask. If you do, I’ll tell you I fed her sedatives.

“Okay, okay… I’ll go wake her later.” What could I do besides surrender under duress? “That being said, we need an immediate solution. Elise, are there any other ways?”

“Jiang Chen only told me… Hang on. He did…” Elise furrowed her brows. “He did mention an alternative method to open the heaven and earth lock. After he taught me how to open the doors, he said that, once the door is shut, nobody can enter. I didn’t want to believe that was true, so I asked if there was no other way. Otherwise, would we not just be trapping ourselves if someone sabotaged the contraption? He told me there was a contraption between the two locks that could open the doors.”


“My Lord, do you remember the stone door with the hole?”

“The rat hole?”

“Yes. That hole leads straight out of the base.”

“But… that’s a rat hole.”

“Yes, there is a device inside the hole. Jiang Chen said that specific device can open the main doors.”

“… Who designed it? Were they expecting a rat to unlock the doors for them?!”

Elise smiled as she shook her head. “That would not actually be difficult. After all, beast taming is not a rare skill, although it would be quite challenging to train a beast to complete a task of that complex degree. Nevertheless, the point is that it is virtually impossible to open the doors.”

We still can’t get out when even rats can unlock locks now?


“First, there is an engraving in there that will immediately drive beasts to madness as soon as they enter due to the engraver’s internal energy. As soon as the engraver’s internal energy and intruder’s internal energies connect, the latter will be influenced. How would they unlock it under those circumstances?

“Second, you need to follow a specific formula to activate the device inside. Therefore, they would need to know how to work the device or be an expert in lock picking. A tamed beast, suffice to say, would not be able to do any of that.”

I looked over to Ning Zhuoru again, prompting the angry woman to hide behind her husband.

Gu Xianxian remarked, “Honey, you really should’ve learnt even a little.”

Of course, Gu Xianxian earned himself a heartless slap.

I whined, “Just who designed the damn lock? It’s clearly designed to be impossible to unlock.”

“Um, My Lord, there is actually a third issue…”

“There are still more problems?”

“Third, according to Jiang Chen, the key for the lock is made from an antique metal. The key requires two completely opposite materials to manufacture. Jiang Chen referred to the key and lock as ‘Jade Blade Frost Key’ and ‘Black Aurum Flame Key’.”

“Frost jade? Black aurum? Combined to make a key? Who the devil would have such a thing?!”

Yuan Kou: “Wu Ping.”

“Me? I don’t.”

Yuan Kou clarified, “No, this one meant the swordsman you killed – Wu Ping. He insisted that the only thing keeping him from reaching the same ranks as the first-rate swordsmen was due to him lacking a good weapon. For that reason, he spent years searching for a first-rate weapon. Supposedly, he collected quite a bit of black aurum fragments to forge a good sword. Unfortunately, before he could finish forging it…”

Ah… He died by my hands? Come on now. Even if you gave him the best sword in the world, Luo Ming would’ve ended him in two swings. You can’t blame me.

“He may be dead, but his belongings are still there. I can search through them. Maybe I’ll be able to find those fragments. Uh, as for frost jade, though…” I glanced to Yuan Kou.

Yuan Kou shook his head. “If I had something so valuable, would I need to work under you?”


I turned my attention to Elise.

Elise dejectedly said, “We do not like jade in the Western Regions… If I knew you were a fan, I would have bought all of it with my pocket money.”

It’s not about whether I like jade or not! By the way, are you telling me your holy maiden is given pocket money?!

Lang Qing suddenly declared, “I have a piece.”

“Hand it over!” I enthused.

“It probably cannot be used since it has not been polished, though. The polished one is outside. If you want, I can give it to you once we’re out.”

And why in the world would I need it once I get out?! To sell?!

“Your words, not mine!”

He wasn’t wrong, though. It took a lot of knowledge and skilful hands to produce a key out of cold jade.

And… we’re still stuck…

Elise opined, “We would need a team that had someone who learns internal discipline centred around mental skills, someone with jade frost, someone with black aurum, someone who can unlock the locks, and someone who can place the cold jade into the correct position in order to activate the contraption. Where would we be able to find a squad like that, though…”

True. How would we coincidentally have a team capable of all that out of us injured and defeated individuals?

As I ruminated on all the conditions we needed to fulfil, I swept my gaze over everyone in the room.



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