Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 13 Ch. 197

Yizhen is Canon?

A lingering silver droplet slipped from Shen Yiren’s head, slid down her neck to reach the valley. Due to the lack of space between her and her garment, the droplet melted as it sat there. Strangely, neither of them felt awkward despite the silence and heat. Instead, they gave each other a smile.

Shen Yiren stood up, lit up the candle, peered outside the window and softly said, “Hmm, it’s going to rain.”

“Haha, that’s a surprise.”

Shen Yiren made her way back to the bed, but she stopped before she reached it, then hopped straight onto it and found herself a comfortable spot to sit.

“Boss, isn’t this stealing from the injured?” Despite his complaint, Ming Feizhen gave way.

“Are you sure you want to continue fooling me?” Shen Yiren huffed a breath onto her fist. “On account of your suffering, I’ll spare you today. The next time you pretend to be in poor health, you know what’s coming.”

“But the thought of hurting me never even crossed your mind.”

“You knew?”

“If you were going to hit me, you wouldn’t use your fist but your…”

Shen Yiren reached into her sash and presented an inkstone. “You mean this?”

“That wasn’t meant to be a cue for you to take it out! Why would you bring that along if you were coming to rescue me?!”

“Well,” holding up the inkstone, Shen Yiren smugly replied, “who knows if you did something wrong again or not? There’s no harm in being prepared. Besides, I need it for writing letters. When used for writing letters, external threats are neutralised. When used to smack people, internal threats are neutralised. Two birds with one inkstone.”

Ming Feizhen rubbed his cheeks as though he was preparing for the inevitable.

The thunder clapped, but there was no breeze to relieve them of the sweltering heat. Even when thunder clapped again, the two continued holding their gazes against each other. It lasted until Shen Yiren started laughing, which prompted Ming Feizhen to chuckle, too.

“I thought you’d look at me.” Shen Yiren leaned back onto the wall and moaned as she relaxed. She was exhausted, but the time and place was never right.

“I thought you’d look at me, too.”

“Of course, you dork.” Shen Yiren giggled again as she stretched out her limbs. Once she was done, she exhaled hard. “I’m exhausted. I’ve forgotten when was the last time I got to sleep on a bed.” She was performing shoulder circles when a thought came to mind, prompting her to stop. “Why do you think I looked at you?”

Ming Feizhen had a think and then smiled. “Mm… you recalled some past experience?”

“Eh? How’d you know?”

Ming Feizhen leaned onto the same wall, reducing the distance between them to half a person. “You looked like you were reminiscing when you mentioned the rain.”

“Am I that easy to read?” Shen Yiren turned her head towards Ming Feizhen, sporting a playful look she rarely showed.

“I don’t know. I don’t really know how to read people in the first place,” Ming Feizhen turned toward Shen Yiren and looked down at her, “but I can read you.”

Shen Yiren didn’t question the authenticity of the claim because Ming Feizhen had promised to never lie to her. She wanted to see his eyes more as though it was a window to his heart. “I did recall something.” She gazed out the window again and continued, “I said, ‘Hmm,’ when I mentioned the rain because the rain impacts paths, which I don’t like. You commented, ‘… that’s a surprise,’ because you like rain, correct?”

“That’s correct. Everyone has their own perspective of the same thing. It’s interesting.”

Shen Yiren cracked a smile that expressed her satisfaction with Ming Feizhen’s perceptiveness. “A similar thing happened when I was born.”

“What happened?”

The thunder roared again, yet the quietness in the room seemed impervious.

“My dad always treasured my mother, so he was reluctant to leave her side when she was pregnant with Kuang and I, especially when she was close to bringing us to this world. He even asked his close friends to guard our home, so we had the most elites in the capital at the time.”

Ming Feizhen couldn’t help smiling as he imagined the unimaginable scene of Shen Wuzheng panicking around his wife.

“On the day I was born, Uncle Ye, Shifu Shisan and my dad waited outside. My uncle said he would’ve been there if he didn’t receive word late. We didn’t know my mother was carrying twins, so my mother’s maid went out to notify them that I was born. Apparently, Shifu said, ‘Would’ve been better if it was a boy’. Uncle Ye said, ‘Oh, a girl, nice.’ Dad said, ‘That’s a surprise’.”

“Ahahaha, his reaction doesn’t surprise me.”

“I was told he was so happy that he cried.” Shen Yiren grabbed the jug of wine at the corner of the table and had a mouthful. Whether it was to avoid exacerbating his wounds or to avoid them both merrily drinking, she didn’t pass it over to Ming Feizhen.

Ming Feizhen quite liked the unforgettable Shen Wuzheng despite them sharing few interactions.

Ximen Chuideng never shared the details of what transpired back then with Ming Feizhen, so clearly there was more to it. Afterwards, Divine Moon Cult paid an unsalvageable price for it.

“Personally, I want to be like my father.”

“You can.”

“Hahaha, here you go again.”

The two separated by a jug of wine looked straight ahead as they conversed without reserve.

“I’ve told you my story. Now I need to hear yours.”

“Too many.”

“I want to hear them.”

Ming Feizhen rubbed his chin, trying to think of one that he could tell without leaving his listener more confused than before. “When I was seven, my shifu said I could start learning to drink.”

“You started learning to drink when you were seven?”

“Yeah. Shifu said, ‘You may still be young, but there are all sorts of dangerous, twisted, voodoo tricks that you can’t defend against, especially alcohol.’ He then passed me fifteen jugs to drink.

“Being only seven years old, I started drinking and asked, ‘Would they poison the alcohol’?

“Shifu replied, ‘I would.’

“I spat that thing out without a moment of hesitation and cried, ‘Shifu! There’s something wrong with the alcohol you gave me!’

“Shifu, with a straight face, told me, ‘Never forget: as long as it’s alcohol, there’s something wrong with it. There is no such thing as non-problematic alcohol. How else would you explain why people are incomprehensible after drinking? Did Li Bai resemble a human in any form after he drank? Do human beings write the lines he wrote after he drank?’

“’What do I do then?’ I asked.

“’The only solution is to build up tolerance. You drink water, don’t you? Do you have a problem with drinking water? No. Therefore, when you can drink alcohol like you drink water, the problem is solved.’

“I didn’t really get it, but it made sense to me, so I smashed back one jug after another. There was unmistakably something wrong with the alcohol. Some of them set my belly alight after I drank them, while some gave me splitting headaches, and then same made me high. Shifu would be there next to me mumbling something like, ‘This drug can be sold…’, ‘This one won’t work,’ and so forth.

“The uncomfortable experiences did gradually subside. By the time I was close to eleven, I no longer felt any pains. Nowadays, I can, wait. What? Sell? Did Shifu use me as a lab rat to test poisons?!”

“Hahaha.” As she rolled on the bed with her hands around her stomach, Shen Yiren cried, “You only just realised?!”

Ming Feizhen went on a verbal tirade for a while and then ended up laughing with Shen Yiren.

“Next time, I’ll tell you the story of how we walked corpses in Xiangxi.”

“You walked corpses?”


Time flew by as the two chatted. By the time they realised it, Ming Feizhen was already recounting his time in the underground palace and how he drove off Gongsun Chu. Luckily for him, the inkstone never visited his face.

“Feizhen, you’ve added another big merit next to your name.”

“Really?! I achieved something despite being locked up for so long?”

“The imperial court may not officially acknowledge it since it was technically Tianhu who drove Jiang Chen off, not to mention his status. I, however, know who actually drove off Jiang Chen.”

“I want a reward.”

Had it been under different circumstances, Ming Feizhen would’ve received his reward already – a peck on the cheek with an inkstone.

“Sure.” Shen Yiren bent her knees up, wrapped them around her legs and rested her cheek on them. “So what do you want?”

There was a sudden moment of pause in the conversation while nature went about raging outside. Ming Feizhen stared at Shen Yiren’s pair of lips without uttering a word.


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