Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 13 Ch. 159

Blackmail Bargain

Had it not been too perilous to delay, Emperor Yuansheng wouldn’t have granted the Qilin Guards all the power. It was something he kept to himself, so Jiang Chen exposing it compelled all the officials to turn to Emperor Yuansheng. While he was visibly displeased, he didn’t collapse. “Hmph, sowing discord? I know very well what your aim is. If you weren’t afraid of the Qilin Guards, you wouldn’t be hiding behind your magic tricks and mind g-”

“Let’s put aside the imperial court for now. As Emperor, you’ve done a lousy job of maintaining the martial world. The Seven Champion White Princes do as they please and are deserving of punishment by execution, yet the best idea you have is stripping them of power?”

Jiang Chen successfully had the officials gossiping and His Majesty in a corner since members of the seven were present.

Following a talking hiatus, Jiang Chen said, “You gentlemen are all cultured men. These boring words of a ruffian must be toxic for your ears. That said, you may be interested in what I have to say.”

Without Jiang Chen needing to send a signal, more people were brought before the imperial court. All the officials were trembling, wondering which familiar face they’d see. To their surprise, nobody recognised the individual brought before them. Instead, the calmest person among them was the one who thundered, “How dare you kidnap my third uncle?!”

The hostage was none other than Patriarch Song’s third youngest brother – Song Zhi – and the inflamed individual was none other than Song Chi.

“Zi Li, don’t get worked up. Let’s see what he’s up to.” Xun Feng gently pressed down on Song Chi’s shoulders, though his own hands were shaking. “… My uncle is there, too.”

Song Chi wasn’t a stranger to Monk Dadao or any of the others there. Since Emperor Yuansheng couldn’t put a name to every face, he asked Song Chi to help him identify them. Every time Song Chi uttered a name, Emperor Yuansheng would bring his brows closer and closer together.

“Li Yong, seeing as you are incapable of filling your shoes, allow me to assist you.” Jiang Chen stood up and meandered up to one hostage’s side. “This is Jin Clan’s Jin Shixun. He takes advantage of his ancestors’ achievements to indulge in alcohol, food, rape and any other heinous deed you could think of…”

A trail of blood formed on the ground. Jiang Chen flicked his sleeve and swung his sword at Jin Shixun’s throat. Jin Shixun stretched his mouth wide as if he was gasping for air. His eyes looked ready to pop out of their sockets. Everyone watched as he silently writhed his way to becoming a legitimate corpse. Despite the heat, they pulled their clothes tighter to their skin.

“Perhaps some of the people I have here are innocent, and perhaps some aren’t. Nevertheless, as they have all enjoyed privileges as White Princes, they should contribute their share to their families, right? When their family’s survival is hanging in the balance, they should courageously sacrifice their lives, should they not? If they were to try tuck tailing in the face of danger, you’d want to kill them even if I don’t, right?”

Li Shijiao’s robotic translation perfectly fitted Jiang Chen’s emotionless expression and amble.

Nobody could predict what Jiang Chen would do next.

“Based on this logic, wouldn’t you agree that, the higher up you are on the hierarchy as the executioner, the more fun it is?”

Jiang Chen’s gait as he walked toward each person, his gestures and posture were identical to when he executed Jin Shixun. Accordingly, everyone watching interpreted the visual cues as portents of another execution. He never identified who they were. Instead, the people below would pronounce the names of the individuals he approached.

“That’s my father!” Ling Shaoxuan rubbed his eyes and then rubbed them again. In the end, even his legs buckled underneath him. “Your Majesty, Aunt, th-that’s my father!”

“I can see that!” Her Majesty grouched through her clenched teeth.

“Your Majesty.” Ling Shaoxuan kowtowed repetitively at Emperor Yuansheng’s head despite his blood staining the concrete.

“You have some nerve!” Emperor Yuansheng roared.

Jiang Chen cracked a smirk and then started laughing. “Li Yong, don’t you feel these people are hypocrites? They’re always prattling on and on about their loyalty to your face. When they’re in a pinch, though, they have no loyalty. Fiends’ Genesis just happens to have an unquenchable feud against the Seven Champion White Princes. How about I give you a hand in sorting them out?”

“Your attempts at sowing discord will not succeed!” thundered Emperor Yuansheng.

“It’d be boring to just watch from the sidelines. As such, I’ve prepared a small surprise so that you can get involved.”

Another person was brought forward from behind Jiang Chen. Unlike previous hostages, everybody instantly recognised him, but none of them understood why he was there.

“His Highness Red Prince!” blurted Prime Minister Li.

“… Chi’er! How did you get your hands on Chi’er?!” Emperor Yuansheng shouted.

“This son of yours seems to have a lot of confidence in himself. Of all the times he could choose, he chose to leave the capital in its current state. Well, I guess he inherited his self-confidence from you. After all, you let me get my hands on two of your sons.”

Another bound hostage was brought up to Red Prince’s side.

“Cheng’er.” Her Majesty almost passed out when she saw her exiled son.

“So, do you believe it’s fair now, gentlemen? Everyone is now on the same boat.”

With tears coursing down her face, Her Majesty gripped His Majesty’s sleeve as she pleaded, “Your Majesty, please save Cheng’er. He only has one last life. Please save him.”

Even with his face as white as if he’d seen a ghost, Emperor Yuansheng didn’t take his eyes off Jiang Chen.

Jiang Chen sat back down and dusted himself. “Emperor who considers his people his family. Answer this: in exchange for the safety of your sons and people, are you willing to forsake your throne? I’m truly curious.”


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