Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 14 Ch. 110

Ming Feizhen’s Pinch

“Is this the famous Nine Dragons Fire Jade?”

“No.” Lan Jiqiong leisurely grabbed a small box from the bookshelf. “It’s the ‘Cool Cool Reading Token’, which allows you to read any book at the academy freely for one year! With it, you will never have to worry about any hitches in your academic career!”

“… Oh.” When he saw Lan Jiqiong grab another small box from the bookshelf, Xun Feng almost lost control over his breathing.


“Nine Dragons Fire Jade!”

“No! This is ‘Strong Studies Token’, which allows you to visit any professor any time for supplementary tutoring. With it, you will never have to worry about any hitches in your ac-”

“Academic career, right?” Xun Feng wore a long face.

“Exactly. Why don’t you look happy? Why do you have so little interest in studying?”

“… I am not your student.”

“I see. Well, the prizes are all here.” Lan Jiqiong palmed himself on the forehead, then pushed the cold jade box over. “This is the third, which is the Nine Dragons Fire Jade you mentioned.”

Xun Feng, beaming, reached both hands for it, but Lan Jiqiong didn’t let go.

“Thuban Lan? Why are you not letting go?”

Lan Jiqiong pressed down on the box whilst staring at Xun Feng’s shoulder. “Is… your shoulder injured?”

Considering Che Gulu caught Xun Feng on the shoulder yesterday, yet Xun Feng strangely had plenty of strength as he tried to wrestle the box from Lan Jiqiong.

Xun Feng formed a small smile. “It is, but I have bandaged it.”

“Uhm, take care.”

“Thank you for your concern. Could you let go now?”

Lan Jiqiong didn’t budge.

“Thuban Lan…”

“I can’t give it to you yet. Our sects get along quite well, and our teachers are even closer. As such, I need to give you a disclaimer. Do you know why we need to use this ice jade box for the item?”

“Is this a test?”


“I shall answer, then.”

“By all means.”

Gaze fixated on Lan Jiqiong and hands pulling, Xun Feng responded, “Nine Dragons Fire jade is among the best of the Dragon Fire Jade series. The immense amount of heat energy in it puts it in a class of sacred items for yang items. It’s said to be capable of collecting and blasting flames that will incinerate all objects and burn living organisms forever. Left unchecked, there would never be a day of peace at Daren Academy. Thus, the ice jade box is the best candidate to contain it. Seeing the box is the same as finding Fire Jade.”

“Correct. However, you should be aware of the Fire Jade’s value, I assume? Carelessness will…” Lan Jiqiong swiftly shifted his gaze from Xun Feng to out the window, “result in someone trying to steal it!”

Nothing moved. Nothing made a sound. Neither of them moved.

“There is nobody…”

“Seriously,” mumbled Lan Jiqiong. “My senior brother and I have discussed this extensively. We both agree that this draws villains to it, but we don’t know who that’ll be. We thought it would be the prime opportunity today, but nobody has shown up surprisingly.”

Xun Feng picked up the box as if it was rightfully his. “You are thinking too much.”

“That’s why the two of us came to a conclusion.”

“What conclusion?”

“Whoever is so eager to grab it is the one in question. Simple, right?”

Xun Feng smiled whilst watching Lan Jiqiong, but never loosened his grip. “What are you implying?”

“Nothing. Your shoulder is injured?”

Gales suddenly spawned in the room as a result of dozens of blows being exchanged. Subsequently, Lan Jiqiong ploughed through the door against his will. Lan Jiqiong spat out a mouthful of blood and cursed, “You’ve been hiding your true skill all this time, huh?”

Xun Feng ambled out from the dust and showed no surprise when he came into the encirclement of Confucianism disciples. He threw a firework into the sky, adding another stroke to the dark canvas. Quite obviously, he was part of the reason for the chaos out on the streets.

“Hero He, have you no shame, putting on this façade as the next head of Confucianism?” Despite how many people were present, Xun Feng only ever looked at He Kanyu.

He Kanyu meandered forward. “Cold Mountain Temple’s Four Holy Monks are all exceptional individuals. Your actions at the academy have casted suspicion on yourself, and those suspicions have proven warranted.”

Lan Jiqiong was a capable fighter, but it barely took Xun Feng any time to hurt him bad, not to mention Xun Feng had to compromise one hand in order to hold the ice jade box. Clearly, his draw against Che Gulu was a result of him deliberately throwing the match, and the shoulder injury was a hoax.

Xun Feng held his spare hand in prayer. “I came for this jade item. Since I have obtained it, I have no reason to continue pretending. Your praise makes me blush, Brother He.”

“There’s no need to blush. If there was no one else who’d try to steal the Fire Jade today, I would never have suspected it was you. By extension, you are involved in tonight’s uproar.”

“My only task was to obtain this Fire Jade. I will not tell you what to think now that I have achieved my goal.”

“Are you sure you’ve achieved your goal?”

Xun Feng opened the ice jade box slowly to discover it was empty. “… Now this is a tested and tried Confucianism tactic.”

“You speak too highly of us. We are fools who have fallen for your ploys until now.”

Xun Feng shut the box and looked annoyed. “Where is it?”

“Are you not even going to try pretending anymore?“

“I’ll ask again: where is it?”

“Do you genuinely think I’d tell you?”

“Fine.” Xun Feng snorted. “I’ll ask you again after I have my hands around Huang Yuzao’s throat.”

Sword qi and a gale from Xun Feng’s palm collided. Though Xun Feng managed to make short work of Lan Jiqiong and had yet to show his full capacity, nobody was convinced he could beat He Kanyu in a fair fight until they saw two hand prints on He Kanyu’s chest.

“Senior Brother!” Lan Jiqiong rushed forward to catch He Kanyu, while the twenty-plus others quickly assumed a defensive position.

He Kanyu, ghastly pale, needed several breaths to regain his composure. He looked furious before grimacing. It was Lan Jiqiong’s first time seeing his senior so enraged.

He Kanyu struggled to his feet and slowly exhaled. “You used poison!”

None of the others could determine when Xun Feng poisoned He Kanyu.

Xun Feng supinated his free hand. “Tang Clan has a poison called ‘love is pain’. I’m weak, only got my hands on a small dose, and you are vigilant. My only option, therefore, was to put it in the firework.”

Since He Kanyu was already afflicted with “love is pain”, he was vulnerable when his teacher was threatened, rendering him open to Xun Feng’s attack. It wouldn’t have been hard for He Kanyu to apprehend Xun Feng with his team, but their two best fighters were now injured. Knowing that, He Kanyu raised his sword, stepped forward twice and instructed, “Left and right, get in formation. If he can’t be subdued, kill him.”

He Kanyu’s cold voice put everyone on high alert, and they immediately surrounded Xun Feng.

Xun Feng sighed. “I knew you would be trouble. Hero He, to be frank, I have been searching in the academy for a long time, and you have been the person I have feared most. You look ordinary, but you leave no openings. Before I attempted to search for Nine Dragons Fire Jade at night, I would have to consider what to do if you discovered me. Were it not for you, I wouldn’t have wasted my time and energy on that lousy idol competition. I was waiting to steal it and then leave straight away. I’m surprised you’re still so calm in this situation. You don’t think this is all I’m capable of, though, do you? I didn’t shoot the firework just to poison you.”

“Don’t listen to him! Take him down!”

“Why do you refuse to believe me? Bronze Mask!”

He Kanyu instinctively bound backwards. He felt the wind of the broadsword qi that landed an inch in front of his foot and saw the dust rise.

Bronze Mask’s appearance on the rooftop made the Confucianism members gasp. While she had their attention, Xun Feng sneaked off speedily.

He Kanyu resisted the pain to shout, “You… colluded! After him!”

Xun Feng miscalculated the fact that the item wouldn’t be in the box, but there weren’t many boxes that could function the same way. As such, he figured the Nine Dragons Fire Jade had to be stored in location with similar conditions, and he had one place in mind, which was the very spot he was speeding towards.


“You’re the branch leader of Jiuqu Gang. Why are you setting fire here?”

The culprit ceased his hand.

“Serving him is a lame excuse. Where is Gongsun Chu?” Ye Yun sighed. “I know you wouldn’t know; I was just trying to see your reaction. Lame. Stop trying to declare your loyalty. You’re just doing this for money.”

The arsonist, who never had a chance to say a word, felt more fearful than ever in his life. It didn’t take long before his head splattered.

“You people are like bugs. There’s no end to you no matter how many I kill.” Due to his post, Ye Yun wasn’t suited for work on the frontline. Due to his personality, he wasn’t an ideal bodyguard, either. He was only out on the front line to force Gongsun Chu out from hiding.

Emperor’s Entourage deduced that Gongsun Chu left a small number of elite fighters in the capital to carry out secret missions; however, they were unable to find any trails to follow. The fireworks appearing in every direction caught Emperor’s Entourage off guard as it wasn’t a plan that a small group could’ve executed. Upon looking into it further, Ye Yun got mad for the reason that their presumption was the complete opposite of reality. If the people left in the capital weren’t small-fry criminals, they were clerks at stores. The strongest one was no match for the Hidden Dragons working together, while the weakest was basically never trained. It was no wonder they avoided Liu Shan Men and Emperor’s Entourage’s detection. If Gongsun Chu wanted to prove that he didn’t need competent fighters and could make the security protocol look so pathetic with enough numbers and a month, he succeeded.

Ye Yun had killed roughly thirty arsonists tonight, but the fireworks had already disrupted all order. That being said, both Ye Yun and Gongsun Chu knew that the mind game was meaningless even if it could irritate Ye Yun for as long as the White Princes’ armies didn’t move. That, of course, would be a different story if the armies tried to assault the city. In that scenario, the head of the Ministry of Defence would lead an army to battle. Before that, though, The Ultimate Three might’ve returned to collect a few heads; this would’ve been the easier solution. Ye Yun wasn’t convinced that Gongsun Chu would use such a predictable strategy, nevertheless. Ye Yun believed Gongsun Chu had sneaked into the capital and had himself covered. Shitou most likely accompanied him at all times, so it certainly wouldn’t have been easy to restrain Gongsun Chu even if they were in the capital.

Ye Yun hoped killing the pawns would force Gongsun Chu to personally carry out his plans. Unfortunately, there was still no sign of that happening.

What is… or who is he waiting for?


Ming Feizhen grabbed a sheet of paper, a brush and then started writing. Within moments, he called Wang Zhenyun over and instructed, “Send this to Liu Shan Men.”

“But… During the exams, sending information out is… Though this old one is the head examiner, this is t-”

“Yeah, yeah, save me the tripe. The first thing you’d want to do if anything goes awry here is to contact your ‘superior’, right? You must’ve been dying to contact them all this time. Go ahead, but don’t lose this letter, or you’ll be losing your head next.”

Needless to say, Ming Feizhen wasn’t referring to His Majesty’s decree for an execution but an actual beheading. These sorts of threats worked wonders in Taishu Hall.

Once Wang Zhenyun left, Ming Feizhen returned to contemplating until he heard the sound of fireworks. “What’s there to celebrate, you twats?”

Ming Feizhen was unaware of the events occurring outside. The letter did provide some information, but it didn’t cover what was currently going on. Nevertheless, he felt relief to finally have confirmation that Bai Yumo was Bronze Mask, although it was a surprise. The other thing Shen Yiren mentioned was He Kanyu’s plan to capture Xun Feng, but she lacked faith in them. Based on the timing of things, Ming Feizhen assumed they’d be fighting right about now. As for the White Princes’ activities, he couldn’t wrap his head around the logic. Nonetheless, he didn’t bother thinking about it because there was someone smarter outside.

Ming Feizhen paced around in the room. He expected big events to take place tonight. Regrettably, he had yet to fully recover, and the exams weren’t over yet. He took two bites out of a side dish and a drink of alcohol to feel better. He still felt uneasy even after clearing the table, but no amount of thinking got him anywhere. In the end, even the food didn’t taste as it would’ve.

“Tangyuan brewed in osmanthus wine!” cheered Ming Feizhen, watching a waft of dessert.

The cooks at Taishu Hall were really good. Ming Feizhen ordered Wang Zhenyun to fetch him a bowl as soon as he smelt the tangyuan, but Wang Zhenyun was out on a job… Thus, Duke Ming personally went to st- (steal), grab a p- (pot), bowl!

Ming Feizhen still had his wits about him in case of assassins.

The cooks were still busy cooking late at night. Nobody would kick Ming Feizhen out even if they noticed him since he was in an examiner’s uniform. With that said, it was still best to not be seen. He slipped over to the steaming big pot, grabbed a massive bowl and emptied out the pot while nobody was paying attention. Because he ladled out the tangyuan in a crouched posture, he only grabbed six balls, while the rest was the broth. Suddenly, he heard a soft exclamation.

The pretty woman who suddenly came to life when she saw Ming Feizhen was probably in her thirties. He immediately gestured for her not to scream. She checked around, then quietly whispered, “Why are you here, Sir?”

“I… was hungry.”

The cook smiled and whispered, “Head out first. I shall bring you some in a moment.”


Not long after Ming Feizhen sneaked back out, the cook came out with a big pot of tangyuan. Owing to how physically weak she was, Ming Feizhen rushed to her aid before she spilt the delicacy and said, “You should not take such a big basin. You should have considered your limitations.”

“I was worried you would not have enough… Are you going to eat here?” questioned the cook, noticing Ming Feizhen close to drooling.

“I will take it back to eat.”

“Would it not be tiring to carry such a large pot back? Besides, I would be scolded if a pot was missing from the kitchen.”

She had a point. She covered her giggle as she watched him space out. “There is a storage room over there opposite the garden. Help yourself.”

“Please show the way!”

For a storage room, it was decently clean and tidy. There was a chair, a table and all the writing instruments, probably since it was prepared for an examiner. Ming Feizhen set the pot down on the table and then noticed something odd – there was only one chair for the square table.

“Your name w-”

She suddenly hugged Ming Feizhen.

“Stop! What are you doing?! We can talk this over! I don’t pay!”

The cook knocked Ming Feizhen into the chair with her momentum. He had more to say, but he suddenly felt his arms restrained. He heard the sound of mechanisms clicking, and all four of his limbs were confined to the chair. No matter how he struggled, he couldn’t even loosen the metal restraints.

The cook stood up and informed, “My name? My husband’s surname is Wu, ‘Wu’ in ‘Wu Ping’!”


Tangyuan – A traditional Chinese dessert made of glutinous rice shaped into balls that are served in a hot broth or syrup.


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