Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 13 Ch. 131

Locked Despair

Even though it was risky, Yuan Kou’s final cry compelled everyone to rush to the scene.

Yuan Kou lied still on the ground with his face scrunched up and eyes wide open. Not even he knew how he perished. I was very, very, very lucky because I nearly died, too.

Right as we went through the door, I released my last snow silkworm. The shell Yuan Kou ate was easy to attract. Because it attached itself to him, he froze, though I never imagined a practitioner of “Pure Yang One Qi’ would fear snow silkworms. I had the silkworm bite him so that I had a window to escape; I didn’t think it’d be the catalyst for his demise.

Due to Yuan Kou stepping down heavily, the stone wall anterior to us fired a hail of black arrows, and, in the blink of an eye, Yuan Kou died.

“My Lord, your arm!” cried Elise, focusing on the dozen-odd needles in my left arm.

“Don’t touch me.” I extended an arm to prevent Elise from coming closer. “The needles have poison that will block your airways… The poison is what took Yuan Kou’s life. Hurry back.” I resisted the pain to shepherd everyone back to the other side of the door, which was easy considering what they just saw. “That exit is a no go.”

I couldn’t force out the poison as I couldn’t mould internal energy, but the poison wasn’t fatal on me. Nevertheless, I felt the pain, and it was enough to make speaking a pain. “We could’ve gone out that way, but now…”

I genuinely believed that the other side of the Heaven Door was the outside world because the sunlight and breeze proved so. When Elise demonstrated how the Heaven Door’s rat hole worked the first time, I believed that I found hope. What I never expected was for the stone wall in front to shoot out needles from some holes and let sunlight through other holes.

I was taken aback when Teng unlocked the second door for the reason that the sound of the contraption differed to that of the first door. I initially assumed it was just a difference between the two doors. Now that I thought back on it, the difference wasn’t the doors but the mechanisms. The sound I heard came from deeper within, not between the two doors; it was soft enough for people to easily mistake it for a breeze from the outside.

“I don’t know what happened, but the contraptions at the exit were triggered, which have locked the exit, and all the contraptions there are now lethal ones,” I informed. “Elder, what are those types of contraptions called?”

Elder Lianhua had a long think before answering, “Perhaps it’s not Heaven and Earth Lock but ‘Autumn Lock’? The blueprint for creating the contraption went extinct over a century ago. If it was Jiang Chen, though…”

“Can I ask what an Autumn Lock is, Elder?”

“Autumn Locks aren’t designed solely to eliminate enemies but as a device to protect valuables. To unlock them, you need to first unlock the ‘Speechless’ lock, then ‘Pain of Parting’ lock. ‘Speechless’ is difficult to unlock, while ‘Pain of Parting’ is easy to unlock. Howbeit, as soon as both are unlocked, ‘Speechless’ leads to the escape, while ‘Pain of Parting’ leads to the path of death.”

Elder Lianhua clearly had plenty of knowledge on contraptions. Sadly, I didn’t understand much even with her extensive explanations.

Elder Lianhua continued, “That being said… Unless the underground base is a…”

I interrupted, asking, “Is the other person who can unlock it Jiang Chen?”

“… Unlikely.” Elder Lianhua stopped to think before carrying on, “If it really is an Autumn Lock, he wouldn’t have gone unlocked ‘Speechless’ now; he would’ve unlocked it when he was here.”

“It must’ve been an unforeseen situation.” I confidently asserted, “Jiang Chen didn’t think we’d actually be able to open the doors, so I doubt he unlocked the lock. That said… what exactly happened on the other side to activate a mechanism in here? They didn’t activate it to trap us…”

The one thing everyone knew for certain was that we now had no way out, and it was written on everyone’s faces.

“Don’t be down. We just have to rethink our strategy. Teng, open Earth Door. Everyone head back first. I need to readjust this stuff,” I said, pulling out the needles in my arm and throwing them on the ground.

Teng had two rounds of experience, so it took him no little effort to reopen the door.

While we were resting back inside the base, I applied some drugs to my wound. I was going to offer some words of comfort when I noticed something off. “Su Qi, what’s the deal?”

Su Qi quickly noticed what I noticed and rushed out to check, then raced back to report, “Fiends’ Genesis’ members are launching an attack on us!”

I focused my gaze into the distance, where I saw the armed group charging towards us. Elise’s small group of subordinates had already been subdued.

“They’re taking advantage of the situation!” Elise raged.

Gu Xianxian: “They must know we can’t escape, so they want to take the supplies!”

It was safe to say that the recent failed attempt to escape only amplified everyone’s anger.

“We’ll fight them to our last breath!” brayed Elise.

“No, we retreat,” I firmly ordered. “Don’t make emotional calls. It’s just an unexpected turn of events. There are plenty of stone rooms we can use to easily defend. Pull back for now.”

I didn’t see that coming, but I was sure it wouldn’t be the last thing I didn’t see coming.

Elise led a group to bring up the rear. Lang Qing led Gu Xianxian, Ning Zhuoru, Ouyang Xiucai and Elder Lianhua. Yan Jiangnan and I retreated via the least populated route. We already had a retreat plan in case we couldn’t ally with Fiends’ Genesis’ group, so it was just a matter of implementing the plan.

During our retreat, Yan Jiangnan inquired, “Senior, did you know Yuan Kou would betray us?”

“No. I knew he was never meant it when he said he wanted to join me. In saying that, I never foresaw the timing of his turn. I guess I should’ve expected it from a group of perverts.

“Fiends’ Genesis’ riot…”

“Was also unforeseen. I thought they’d agree to work with us, but we roll with the punches. It is what it is.”

“Your foresight is usually unbelievable, yet you have been repeatedly wrong today.”

“Not entirely, though. For instance, your intention to kill me was expected.”


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