Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 13 Ch. 145

Like an Orphaned Rabbit Running About Without a Destination, an Abandoned Wife Still Misses Home (Part 3)

“Dork.” Master Qi enjoyed a giggle. Noticing Hong Jiu space out, she said, “Dork, it’s time to fight. Stop spacing out. Think fast!”

Upon seeing the spurt of sword qi flowing behind Master Qi’s thrust, Hong Jiu spun around to pull out Hunt from the rock and swung back right away, blocking the entirety of Master Qi’s sword qi thrust.

Master Qi had yet to learn Dead Water Glacial Purification Swordplay, so she couldn’t be classified a master swordswoman. Her expertise was integrating the “glacial” part, but she couldn’t utilise internal energy since it was just a spar. That meant she had a big disadvantage against Hong Jiu since she was the inferior fighter in the first place. In order to provide a practical challenge, she had to attack violently.

Hong Jiu maintained a defensive strategy, standing his ground and blocking all the attacks directed at him.

Master Qi knew she’d never conquer Hong Jiu’s defence if she didn’t incorporate her internal discipline, especially now that he knew her techniques and style. It took two hours, but her aim of helping him had borne fruit. Whenever she moved in close with her attacks or used tricks at close range, though, he’d start to panic for some odd reason.

“Why is your broadswordplay so weird?”

“Hahaha, well, they say you must become one with your weapon. If the wielder is odd, so will the weapon be. What can I do about it?” Hong Jiu swung  vertically downwards, stabbing straight into the centre of the stone bridge.

Master Qi recognised she’d have been soundly defeated if he used that much force and speed in real combat against her. At the same time, she recognised he had levelled up in his training. With a joyous beam, she exclaimed, “You demonstrated advanced broadswordplay understanding with that. You’re no longer a beginner at broadswordplay.”

Hong Jiu stood tall with his hands with his hands behind his back and a small upward curve on his lips. Little did Master Qi know that he was forcing himself to act. He still couldn’t identify the reason, but he felt out of his wits whenever he was close to her. The big chop was an improvised creation to avoid being spellbound again. He could only feel safe when she was on the other side of the bridge.

Hong Jiu released a pent-up breath. “I owe it all to Patriarch Bai. While he didn’t tell me a single thing from the mental cultivation, he generously sacrificed his time to enlighten me in real combat. Without him, I still would be ignorant to the true meaning of broadswordplay.”

As already established, Hong Jiu could basically perform the majority of broadsword techniques. Howbeit, there was no system until now.

Master Qi cleared her throat deliberately.

Hong Jiu clapped his hands. “And, of course, thanks to you. Had you not sparred with me, I wouldn’t have been able to come up with the technique.”

Hong Jiu meant every word he said. Meanwhile, Master Qi’s cheeks turned rosy.

“Mm… I wasn’t entirely going out of my way to help you, to tell the truth. You know how I’ll have to fight the day after, too.”

Bai Zhiqing was barely stronger than either Darkcloud or Squall in a one-on-one fight, so Master Qi’s odds against one of them was unfavourable, to say the least. Therefore, she hoped to glean some useful pointers for her match. She, of course, knew that nobody liked her odds among the three who’d be fighting. In fact, they were most likely going into it with the assumption that she as doomed to lose. She, nevertheless, didn’t want Hong Jiu to share that assumption; she didn’t want to be a deserter before the fight even commenced. She believed that a man who wouldn’t quit when his chances of winning were nigh non-existent would understand her.

“Can you… give me some pointers?”

Hong Jiu just stood as still as a statue.

“… Don’t you have anything to say?”

Hong Jiu reached for the back of his head. “Uh, eat well and sleep well?”

Master Qi’s widened eyes gradually became misty. “You’re a jerk!”

“Huh? What did I do this t-”

“Hmph!” As Master Qi went to turn and leave, she discovered her feet were too numb to move as a result of Hong Jiu’s new technique – Ultimate Dragon.


Even though she was angry, Master Qi didn’t want to appear weaker and call for his help. During her moment of hesitation, she heard a cracking sound.

“Eh?” Master Qi suddenly lost her footing. As she descended involuntarily into the stream, she cried, “Help!”

Due to how short and narrow the stone bridge was, in addition to Hong Jiu practicing all night there and their spar, it was no longer able to withstand the brunt of Hong Jiu’s Ultimate Dragon technique.

Hong Jiu swiftly pulled Hunt into his embrace. At the same moment, he heard a loud splash of water.

Hong Jiu: “…”

Master Qi silently got out of the water, slowly turned her head around and looked at Hong Jiu.

Hong Jiu opened and closed his mouth numerous times as he stared at the soaked maiden.  “Uh, I, umm… I…”

“Hong Jiu!”

One fell into the stream. The other had a full hand tattooed onto his face.

The final verdict: it was a draw.


Lady Bai, who was flower gazing in a garden, turned around to see Master Qi with her head hanging down and clothes dripping water. Master Qi awkwardly greeted Master Qi. “Good morning, Lady Bai.”

“What happened? Why are you soaking wet?”

“It was all because of that big idiot!”

It was hard to fault Master Qi for being frustrated when she purposely dressed up, yet he didn’t acknowledge her, made some random comments and then let her fall.

Why did I even wear this to go see him?! It didn’t do anything. It just… just… hmph!

Lady Bai was never good at reading people, let alone reading the complex mind of the young maiden. Nonetheless, she could see the displeasure in Master Qi’s gaze. Hence, she pulled the maiden into an embrace, caressed her head and, in a gentle voice, queried, “What’s your name?”

Lady Bai was similar to Master Qi’s elder sister in number of ways – simple, caring and mysterious.

After bashfully sharing her name, Master Qi conveyed, “Sorry for getting your clothes wet, Lady Bai. I shall wash them before I return them to you.”

Lady Bai shook her head. “If you like him, there is no need to be hasty. If he, too, likes you, he will eventually let you know.”

Master Qi shook her head as if her life depended on it. “Who would like him?! Besides, given he’s so dense, he wouldn’t kn-, I mean, I don’t like him for sure.”

Lady Bai gently brushed Master Qi’s hair and smiled. “You are exactly how I initially was.”

Understanding what was implied, Master Qi hurriedly bid farewell and ran off.

Once she was back in her room, Master Qi couldn’t stop tossing and turning, flip flopping between anger and concern. She wasn’t angry with Hong Jiu for being dense or the fact that he chose to save his broadsword over her… Okay, there was a bit of bitterness of that if she was honest… Okay, very angry if she was more honest… To be fully honest, she was extremely inflamed about it. Could she be blamed, though? The main source of her frustration was that he, like everyone else, wrote her off already.

Master Qi didn’t fear risks. She didn’t fear staking her life in her life. She was only afraid of being a quitter before it even started. She didn’t mind if people wrote her off as long as it wasn’t Hong Jiu.


On the morning of the contest, Hai Yecha arrived on time with the exact team Hong Jiu’s group predicted. The battlefield was the same big platform they had their first confrontation.

Hai Yecha: “Hahaha, I’m surprised you had the guts to show up. You had your chance. It’s too late to tuck tail now. Darkcloud!”

With every step, Darkcloud left a dent on the stone platform. The whole point of the stunt was to intimidate his opponent. As far as his record showed, it had proven an effective strategy thus far. This time, be it Master Qi or Bai Zhiqing, neither of them looked confident.

Master Qi didn’t have as much internal energy as Darkcloud, while Bai Zhiqing’s internal energy stores were more depleted than the first encounter since he had been training Hong Jiu. Hai Yecha took this into account when he picked Darkcloud as their first contestant. Even though Hai Yecha knew he had a massive upper hand, the chance of losing was still there, and there was no way he was going to ignore that slim chance. He instructed Darkcloud to viciously kill his first opponent irrespective of who it was to deal a blow to the enemy’s morale. Obviously, it would’ve been best if it was Bai Zhiqing.

Hai Yecha: “Hahaha, we’ve made our call. Your turn.”

Master Qi took a few deep breaths, trying to summon courage to enter the arena. Bai Zhiqing knew they’d inevitably lose one match, so he gave her a nod. As she went to speak, she head, “I see you’re all still looking as ugly as a few days ago.”

Hong Jiu came out from a stone cave, eyes bleary and reeking of alcohol, most likely explained by the wine calabash hanging from his sash.

Darkcloud didn’t jump Hong Jiu when Hong Jiu set foot in the arena. Instead, he oriented himself side-on to express he wouldn’t attack until the official commencement was announced.

“Hong Jiu,” Knowing that Hong Jiu was his enemy’s ace, Hai Yecha grouched, “you’re wagging your tongue as though this has nothing to do with you. If you don’t want to fight, bugger off.”

“Who told you I’m not fighting?”

Everyone but Lady Bai sounded surprised. She took hold of Master Qi’s small hand and whispered, “See? He’s here to tell you.”

Master Qi’s face and ears turned bright red.

“Hahaha.” Hong Jiu used his loudest voice to declare, “I’m fighting this match.”


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