Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 13 Ch. 130

Meaningless Fame, Abysmal Gains

Regardless of gender or race, everyone took eight steps back – and then another eight – as soon as I took out an unknown pill from the porcelain vial. From afar, they shouted, “Are you sick in the head?! What the hell is that?!”

Yuan Kou was the only one to mutter under his breath, “Thank god, I had the better one. I should count my blessings.”

Let’s skip over the process and just get to the outcome. After Teng obediently consumed three unknown pills, we removed his hand and leg cuffs, wiped the blood left behind from when we nicely fed him the pills and then patiently waited for him to wake up.

It would’ve been a waste if Teng consumed all of the unknown pills I produced, so I looked to Ouyang Xiucai.

Ouyang Xiucai asserted, “Scholars study to protect morals. How can we practice unorthodoxy for the sake of a shortcut in our training?”

I looked to Lang Qing, who stated, “… I’d rather die.”

Elise went red in the face. “Unl-unless you agree to… No, no, no, I would still refuse.”

Why are you all so scared? These pills aren’t that bad.

Since nobody wanted a pill, I hurriedly stowed the remainder back into the vial and buried it deep underground.

While Teng resumed exploration, Yan Jiangnan imparted his knowledge, and the others supported Teng. Su Qi and Elise’s group continued monitoring Fiends’ Genesis’ group.

“Elder, how is it coming along?”

Elder Lianhua’s movements were so gentle that nobody would believe she was working with one of the most valuable metals in existence. Having said that, considering her age and the delicacy needed for her job, she deserved respect. The changes were very minor, but you could see the two materials’ changes with the naked eye.

Elder Lianhua set down the stuff in her hand and acknowledged me with a head gesture. “Your courtesy is appreciated.”

I, in return, saluted her. “If anything, I owe you an apology for my rudeness in our earlier confrontation. Due to the circumstances, I had no choice but to violate you. I beg your forgiveness.”

Elder Lianhua scanned my face closely, then chuckled under her breath. “What a strong resemblance.”

“Hmm? What?”

Elder Lianhua turned her back to me and returned to work.

To make it less awkward, I pretended to take in the scenery. “Uh, you are quite good at it.”

“This old lady is familiar with the process.” Elder Lianhua’s graceful and smooth movements made the process look far easier than it actually was. She wouldn’t have had trouble convincing someone she could complete the job with her eyes shut. “When Mistress learnt to smelt as a child, this old lady kept her company. Due to her competitive nature, she wouldn’t tell anyone her struggles when she faced a challenge. Instead, she’d wait to quietly ask this old lady. Decades have flown past in the blink of an eye.”

It was precisely because I knew who this “Mistress” was that I was even more surprised. Holding my hands in salute, I expressed, “I did not know you were the mentor of Tang Clan’s matriarch. It is an honour.”

“This old lady doesn’t qualify as a teacher. Howbeit, this old lady did take care of Mistress. This old lady did her best to impart her knowledge to Mistress.”

We chatted about the past, and I waited for a long time before finally saying, “I have a question that might anger you, so I please allow me to apologise in advance.”

“It must have been hard to resist asking all this time.”

As it looked as though she already knew what I wanted to ask, I had no qualms asking, “Unlike the other members of Fiends’ Genesis, you are loyal to Jiang Chen. Why, then, are you helping us?”

“Mm.” Without stopping her work, Elder Lianhua questioned, “As you know that, why are you trusting this old lady with these tasks?”

I shrugged. “I do not have a choice. You are the only one with knowledge on this. Whether I have chosen to mount a horse or a donkey, time will tell.”

Elder Lianhua chuckled. “Real men do not act. You are very straightforward man unlike the so-called orthodox disciples of the martial world.”

I couldn’t tell if I was being insulted or praised.

“Regardless of what agreement this old lady had with Jiang Chen, you can rest assured that the completed key will be given to you.”

“That is all I ask for. Thank you in advance.”

“Are you in a rush to get out for a woman?”

“Uh, well, partially? Although the food and drinks here are passable, I do miss the view of the moon and sunset during June and July by West Lake.”

“Your shifu was quite the ladies’ man. You… should be quite the womaniser yourself even if your magnetisation is only half of his.”

… Elder, are you still bitter about my attack? Just say it if you are. Mount Daluo are professionals at paying medical compensation fees. Don’t insult me with your eyes – and so politely at that!

“From what this old lady has heard, your shifu has three beautiful wives. He must be on cloud nine every day.”

“My shifu and three shiniangs are always romantic and harmonious. The three of them are one body…”

Hmm? Wait? I’ve heard this inquisition procedure many times hundreds of times before. This is exactly how ladies ask about my shifu… Wow, wow, wow, Shifu, you’re scum of the earth! What did you do to an elder?! Why is she thinking about you?!”

“It looks like you have a misunderstanding… This old lady and Patriarch Ming are not acquainted. He most likely does not remember this old lady.”

Oh, really? Oh… So it’s a crush. I strongly you suggest you give up on him. The scumbag isn’t worth it.

“… It does not make sense for someone of your calibre to be in this situation. Did an accident rob you of your internal energy?” Elder Lianhua sounded genuinely concerned for my wellbeing.

“Seventeen days.”


“Thank you for asking. In seventeen more days, I will have recovered completely.”

Elder Lianhua was taken aback when I gave such a precise timestamp. Nevertheless, she bobbed her head and replied, “Indeed, there is sound reason to be concerned until then.”

I nodded back with a bitter smile. “I bet all the things that could go wrong will go wrong.”

Not only did the unknown pill help Teng, but it also upgraded his internal energy considerably, granting him significantly greater resistance against the engraving. I had him keep a pill in his mouth when using his internal energy as a means of avoiding qi deviation when the engraving attacked him. Maybe it was thanks to the stink, but the engraving couldn’t influence his mind whatsoever anymore. In just three days, he was able to describe every detail of the lock for me to draw out and use as a means of deducing the key’s shape for Elder Lianhua. Elder Lianhua had finished fusing the two materials into one with an uneven ratio and just needed to give it a form. In just five days, we were able to produce a key.

Upon returning to “Earth Door”, we all looked to Teng, entrusting him with our hope.

Teng used three strings to get the key into the hole, while Ouyang, Lang Qing and Yuan Kou supplemented him with internal energy whenever he was short. With an unknown pill in his mouth, his focus was optimised to slot the key into the keyhole with two strings. Everyone’s heartbeats were audible as they waited with bated breath.

Once he turned the key, Teng exhaled hard. “Done.”

Everybody else exhaled, too. We listened to the sound of the door slowly lowering that we yearned for.

The next step was the most important step.

Teng took a few breaths to readjust and focus. Elise switched out with Yuan Kou as the latter expended the most energy.

After a short exploration, Teng smiled. “… They’re the same.”

We all understand that meant we didn’t need to spend more time going through another round of labour to open “Heaven Door”.

Once again, Teng took a few deep breaths to steady his shaky hands and slotted the key in. Right as we focused all of our attention on his hand to await the turn, the wind howled out of the blue. Following several quick thuds in successions, we turned to see Gu Xianxian and two warriors cough blood as they dropped. Due to the distance between myself, Yan Jiangnan and Su Qi, I ended up being taken hostage.

“Sir, you truly surprised me. I didn’t expect you to open the convoluted lock, hahaha!”

“Are you not afraid of my poison anymore, Yuan Kou?”

Yuan Kou responded, “Hahaha, how much longer do you think I’ll let you fool me? Your so-called poison was but powder ground from snow silkworm’s shell. You think I’m medically illiterate?”

Elise roared, “Yuan Kou, release him this instant, or do you prefer to die?!”

“Do I prefer to die? Hahaha.” Yuan Kou, grabbing me by the back of my shirt, held me out in front of him as a meat shield. If he exerted any force upon me, he’d kill me instantly, and so nobody dared to recklessly advance on him. “What can you do to me when he’s in my hands? Be it here or beyond these doors, if you refuse to follow my demands, I might accidentally exert too much force and snap someone’s neck. Open the door!”

Teng hesitated.

Elise yelled, “Don’t open it!”

Ouyang Xiucai stressed, “Once the door is open, he’ll escape, and it’ll be even more difficult to rescue Brother Wu.”

“You think you’re the only smart ones? Get in my way, and I’ll kill him.” Yuan Kou struck the air with his palm twice, hitting Ouyang Xiucai, who ate the shot without moving, hard enough to draw blood from his mouth.

“Open up or he dies here. Open it!” Yuan Kou brayed, holding his left hand open over my skull.

In a one-on-one fight, nobody present could stop Yuan Kou, let alone trying to fight him whilst considering me.

Elise tightened her fists until they turned white.

Teng, having kept silent the whole time, hesitantly turned the door, opening “Heaven Door”.

“Hahahaha, I appreciate it, Brother Teng. Now, all of you stand to one side.”

Sunlight nobody had seen gradually sneaked through the door.

“Nobody is to follow me out. Teng, close the door once I get out and toss me the key before it shuts. Don’t try anything cute with me.”

Though Teng didn’t respond, Yuan Kou knew Teng wouldn’t disobey him.

Once the opening was big enough for an adult to fit through, Yuan Kou condescendingly laughed as he leaped out.

All of a sudden, everyone heard a high-pitched cry from the other side of the door that startled them and finally sent chills up their spine because they recognised the owner of the voice – Yuan Kou.


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