Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 14 Ch. 51

Allow Me to Host a Serious Meeting

You weren’t supposed to respond to that! Don’t give me that dirty look! I wasn’t trying to reunite with family! I didn’t even remember our connection existed! It’s my shifu’s fault!

“Your embarrassment!” Long Zaitian pulled me back. “Marshal Long here has questions for you lot.”

Song Chi politely instructed, “Brother Xun Feng, hold off on sharing the antidote for a moment.”

“You can go.” Long Zaitian backed down.

Tang Ye pushed Long Zaitian and I back. “Miss Bai, where were you during the mathematics contest?”

Bai Yumo poked her head out from behind Song Chi and looked welcoming.

Lass, you need to protect your tummy if you crush on good-looking guys!

“I was with Young Master Ling.”

Ling Shaoxuan sonorously asserted, “That’s right.”

“Why did you leave when you were registered for the mathematics contest?”

Ling Shaoxuan barked, “It’s none of your business! Who are you to question her?”

“We are here on business.”

Song Chi smiled. “Business? You have been reinstated? The Ministry of Personnel has yet to receive your paper work; you are not permitted to carry out work, are you?”

Tang Ye couldn’t argue when he knew Song Chi was privy to the details since he helped Song Ou run Liu Shan Men. Hence, he pointed to the dragon behind him. “He is here to carry out a job.”

Long Zaitian restored his tough-guy aura. “Exactly. What are you staring at?! I’ve just been promoted. I’m overseeing security in the capital from now. I’m here for the bronze-masked killer. The lass return-, Miss Bai, this one has a few questions for you.”

Tang Ye frowned. “Why are you chickening out?”

“You going to shield me from Third Master Bai if he comes to avenge his daughter?!” Switching his tone back to a polite one, Long Zaitian resumed, “Miss Bai, our… group, through analysing a large body of data using high-quality analysis methods, have discovered some things worth looking into. The evidence suggests that you may have a slim chance of being connected to the bronze-masked killer who has been committing many murders in the capital. Of course, we are maintaining that these are only suspicious. Coincidentally, you happened to be missing when the bronze-masked killer showed up not long ago. Therefore, we wish to inquire where you have been.”

“I just told you: I was with Young Master Ling.”

“Understood. Case cleared. You have proven your innocence!”

“No she hasn’t!” exclaimed Tang Ye. “There are seven categories in the competition, yet you are choosing to excuse yourself from participation from whenever you choose without any explanation? May I ask what you were doing with Young Master Ling? According to our knowledge, he was too busy running just a while ago to even catch his breath.”

Xun Feng stepped forward to confront Tang Ye. “Why is there anything suspicious about that? Was it not Su Xiao who suggested the plan? Why does it matter if we participate or not when we are deliberately throwing the contest?”

“Please answer the question.”

Ling Shaoxuan grouched, “Don’t push it! What are you going to do if we refuse to answer?!”

Tang Ye’s question was nothing more than a procedural question without any substance. It’d take a special idiot to think Bai Yumo would admit, “Yes, I’m the masked killer. Bring it on.” Hence, it was a useless question no matter who posed it. The real aim of asking the pointless question was to buy me time to listen to how Bai Yumo’s qi flowed.

While the bronze-masked assassin utilised a bizarre internal discipline and could hide all movement sounds in combat, nobody would always be moulding energy the same way for every day life as they would in combat.

When I fought Ling Fengxing, I remember him virtually blending into nature once he drew his sword. Purely through interlinked minds, I couldn’t sense his presence; it was as if I was fighting nature itself. However, outside of that scenario, his flow of qi was vivid to my ears and similar to every other disciple of Mount Lu Sword Sanctuary, so it was safe to assume the concealment was a result of the internal discipline he learnt. Assuming Bai Yumo also practiced a discipline that explored the dao of heaven, then her qi flow would be unique. Irrespective of how she concealed it, there was bound to be some trace of difference. That was why I concentrated solely on listening to her qi flow while they engaged in verbal warfare.

Mm, she’s growing healthily. She’s in perfect shape to give birth… It’s just a pity there’s an imbalance of yin and yang in her body… What the hell am I listening to?!

Her flow of qi only proved that she was a typical maiden. Her internal flow was different to ordinary folks, but that was merely because she practiced Bai Clan’s martial arts; it wasn’t anything jaw-dropping. At most, she was a tad superior to Bai Laimu, but they were definitely practitioners of the same discipline – Bai Clan’s Yearning Broadswordplay.

As I was musing, I accidentally met with Bai Yumo’s gaze.

“… Hello, Aunt.”

“Oh, oh, hello.”

“… Are you doing well?”

“I’m fine… Thank you, nephew.”

Why am I just staring at her?! Why did you have to marry his eldest niece, Shifu?! Let me smack you one! Now I understand how it feels for Shifu to run into Young Shiyi and why he runs! This is painfully embarrassing!

As soon as I retreated a step, I noticed all the inquisitive gazes on me. When I flipped my palms face up, they all insulted me with their gazes.

I never said I could definitely find out the truth! I said I’d try! When did I ever promise anything?!

“That’s all we have to say! What else do you want to ask?!” loudly asked Ling Shaoxuan, breaking my train of thought.

Song Chi stepped out from his group of allies with his hands in front of him. The way his sleeves billowed made it clear that he had no qualms throwing hands. “I was the one who asked Sister Bai to stay in the capital, so I have a duty to ensure her safety.”

None of us could beat Song Chi one on one, so…

“Let me.” Zhao Tiankui marched to the front.

“He’s pretty tough. Not even you may be able to beat him,” I warned.

Eyes on the front, Zhao Tiankui whispered back, “It’s a chance to gain fame.”

Go challenge Baima if you’re so darn desperate for fame! Give me back my gratitude for mistaking you for supporting me!

Since Song Chi never had even a lick of respect for Long Zaitian, he spoke directly to me. “Duke Ming, you are a man who carries a prestigious identity. You would not abuse your power to make life difficult for a young girl, would you? That is not to mention she is your aunt.”

Don’t go leveraging family relationships now.

I reactively angled my face away from them.

“Or do you genuinely feel she and the assassin bear a strong resemblance?”

“Quite the contrary.” I shook my head. “That being said, what the eyes hear may not correspond with what the eyes see.”

I abruptly focused my gaze on Song Chi. He held his breath as he prepared to perform a palm technique with his left hand and knife-hand technique with his right. Neither of us won the mental warfare. I inhaled, then belted, “Tang Ye!”

Tang Ye zipped to the right from my left, passing Song Chi and Xun Feng, then chopped at Bai Yumo’s neck without any reservation. With his skill, his hand was as sharp as an actual blade. Bai Yumo crossed her arms to block, but she was too late.

Tang Ye’s technique was derived from a technique of Ancient King String designed to work as a counter. He passed through Bai Yumo’s guard as if she never put up a guard and headed straight to her chin. A moment away from Tang Ye taking off her head, she fell backwards. Tang Ye suddenly rotated, and a sound of metal grinding came from his hand as he treated, effectively avoiding Song Chi’s hand whip.

At the same time Tang Ye steadied himself on his feet, Zhao Tiankui grunted as he advanced with his own punch, meeting Song Chi’s palm head on with his fist. Both Zhao Tiankui and Song Chi were quite surprised by each other’s strength when they were repelled seven steps back each. Realistically speaking, Zhao Tiankui would’ve lost in an actual fight since Song Chi only intercepted with his palm when he had another knife hand ready, yet their clash resulted in a draw.

Tang Ye cast the projectile he caught to the ground. Rather than be mad about Tang Ye catching his projectile, Xun Feng was angrier over the fact that Tang Ye slipped past him. Nevertheless, checking on Bai Yumo was more important than picking a fight.

Ling Shaoxuan swiftly caught Bai Yumo when she passed out, so she didn’t suffer a concussion. “She’s not hurt. She just passed out.”

Tang Ye knew how to control his output, so he never hurt Bai Yumo. Judging from her reaction, she was just scared out of her wits. Her reaction erased virtually all suspicions surrounding her. That was good news for everyone, but the situation was rather… awkward…

Xun Feng scoffed, “Does this mean our alliance is called off?”


Long Zaitian whispered, “Give me the antidote first.”

“Of course it’s off!”

“My antidote, you jacka$$!”

“We have a matter of right and wrong before us. Marshal Long, can you please not abuse your power in times like this?” Despite what he said, Xun Feng generously tossed Long Zaitian the antidote, to which the latter accepted with a beam.

“Su Xiao’s plan is not going to work. Che Gulu isn’t worth our time, either.”

You guys all saw through Su Xiao’s ploy? Why would you forfeit the chance to win, then?

“We never were confident in rites, calligraphy and mathematics, so it makes no meaningful difference if we let you take them or not. If it is enough to make you happy, though, then it is worth the sacrifice,” condescendingly mocked Xun Feng.

Xun Feng was said to be a splendid poet. Even if his calligraphy was inferior to He Shi’s, second place should’ve been guaranteed. It only just dawned on me that the children of the White Princes were always in second and third place in the scenario that there was stronger competition. They coaxed us into building overconfidence and erasing tension when they would’ve placed second anyway. Had we not learnt this now, it might’ve costed us significantly tomorrow.

“Alliances and what have you are but games. We had no choice but to win from the beginning. We could’ve taken the glory and prizes without your permission, so why do we need to care about your feelings?”

“Easier said than done. As long as I am around, you won’t have your way,” I replied.

Xun Feng chuckled. “You have to take the imperial exam tomorrow.”

I chuckled. “And you don’t?”


“Hahah-, mm?”

Xun Feng held his hands up in a cupped-fist salute. “His Majesty has allowed us to participate in the idol competition and then take the imperial exams at night.”

Why do they get this special privilege?!

Long Zaitian quietly said, “If your ancestors helped establish the dynasty, maybe you’d get to enjoy similar privileges.”

“Isn’t that what my grandmaster did?!”

“That’s why you’re still alive after all the times you disrespected His Majesty.”

You make too much sense! So, they get to continue participating in the idol competition tomorrow, while I have to take part in the imperial exams?! Doesn’t this mean they can do whatever they want?!


I was supposed to return to Eight Deities, but nobody was going to challenge me there anymore, and I wouldn’t be there for the next three days, so I removed the ring and returned to Liu Shan Men. If nothing else, I was safest at Liu Shan Men.

We didn’t get anything out of our interrogation – besides me and one of my aunts getting to know each other. Well, there was Long Zaitian getting a hole in his bottom, but that was a good gain.

“This is the worst gain.” Long Zaitian started rambling as soon as soon as he set his bowl of rice down, “Those White Princes treat everyone like they’re peasants on the curb off the road. Just because I was being polite, they treated me as if I’m nobody. The moment His Majesty assigns me a post outside of the capital, I’ll go through their taxes three times in a single day.”

“They manage their own taxes, not to mention you’re a military official, not a civil servant. Just deal with it.”

While I did say that, it was hard to say I didn’t feel vexed. I had to fend off an assassination attempt, and all my investigation efforts had yet to bear any fruit. My appetite was so bad that I pushed away my ninth bowl of seaweed soup.

“Ming Feizhen, stop thinking. Let’s talk shop.” Long Zaitian rubbed his hands together as he chuckled. “Where… is Miss Shen?”

“Busy working. She won’t be coming in today.”

Long Zaitian hung his head down, not that I felt any better.

Boss was looking into Elder Yu Sihe’s case, which was another tough nut to crack.

The situation was getting as messy as my hair that I rubbed. There was the idol competition to win, the imperial exams to pass, the cases to investigate, the Champion White Princes’ plans with Gongsun Chu and then there was Jingan, and it had to all hit me when I wasn’t able to fight. If only all of them were just one case.

For instance, the bronze-masked killer was presumably the one who killed Elder Yu Sihe and was a member of the Seven Champion White Princes. Since they were going to infiltrate the capital via the secret passage Northern Wondrous Warrior Manor provided access to, Gongsun Chu would join them. Jingan… Jingan… About her…  I had no clue what she was thinking.

I took all the cases and all the existing clues, swirled them around in my brain, and… I managed to just make myself more confused. Even though I entertained the possibility, I knew it was ridiculously laughable that I’d even consider it. If Bai Yumo was the masked killer, how could she have killed Elder Yu Sihe when she wasn’t even born at the time, not to mention the assassin was piss weak compared to Uncle Huang.

Hang on, hang on, what?!

Why would the bronze-masked assassin need the secret passage when he was already in the capital? That meant he wasn’t affiliated with the White Princes. Naturally, then, the passage would be reserved for their secret weapon, and there weren’t many candidates. If the person who killed Elder Yu didn’t count, then who would?

I whacked my thigh, exclaimed, “I’ve figured it out!” and sat up straight.

Long Zaitian jolted. “Figured what out?”

“I’ve figured it out!”

“Figured out what?!”

“I’ve finally figured it out!”

“Are you going to tell us what or not?!”

I finally figured out the reason the bronze-masked assassin was after my life! It always perplexed me why he wanted to kill me when we had no bad blood between us. It was because I asked Zuo Suniang to seal the secret passage! They nearly had me fooled. Whether or not Bai Yumo was the wearer of the mask, if the assassin wasn’t part of the White Princes, I’d let you kick my head around as a ball!

I was willing to bet that they had caught wind of me visiting His Majesty to provide updates. Their goal wasn’t to kill me; their goal was to use the attempts on my life as a warning to Zuo Suniang. They wanted to deter her from sabotaging the plan. As long as she didn’t betray them right away, they still had an opportunity to strike.

Credit to them for a smart play. The one thing their strategy didn’t account for was that I didn’t visit Zuo Suniang as Ming Feizhen, so she wouldn’t be shaken unless she heard Fuma Jingan was assassinated.

I still had time. Before they realised Zuo Suniang didn’t receive the warning and implemented a second tactic, I needed to gain access to the secret passage!

“Call everyone in. We need to hold a meeting!”

I stationed the team at all patrol points and had Teng install a string formation, or I wouldn’t have been able to eat without worrying for my life.

Everyone was solemn since I was serious. Tang Ye seemed to particularly admire my serious demeanour.

“Big Bro, what is the main topic of our meeting?”

“This pertains to a national affair, so I need everyone to take this serious!” I picked up the brush to scribble on a sheet of paper and pasted it on the wall. “The purpose of today’s meeting is to discuss…”

A widow’s sleep.


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