Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 15 Ch. 57

Fragrant Breeze Across the Bank that One Can’t Bear to Smell

As soon as he gained his footing, Li Zizi heard a bronze cudgel and executioner broadsword slicing through the air towards his lower back and left hamstring. Although it wasn’t a swift dodge, he did manage to get out of the way just in time. His foes possessed more strength than they needed to kill him, but they lacked the dexterity to catch him; they weren’t fast enough to even deal debilitating damage at his level. Howbeit, he couldn’t go farther away because of Peng Caiji’s presence. The sunlight reflected off Peng Caiji’s blade hampered Li Zizi’s vision, while Peng Caiji himself would strike akin to a calculative snake.

Since Li Zizi couldn’t control his pure yang true qi at will, Peng Caiji wouldn’t miss an opportunity when the former overcommitted. Once that happened, Li Zizi wouldn’t have any time to cycle his qi, and trying to accrue new pure yang true qi whilst dealing with Peng Caiji was too risky. Keeping up a defensive effort meant utilising true qi at a slow rate, which went against the nature of Pure Yang One Qi. As a consequence, he could feel himself burning up inside, which was a common symptom of qi deviation.

As he continued staying out of harm’s way, Li Zizi recalled Ming Feizhen mentioning his shifu managed to break weapons and drop people with just a tree branch as a young boy. Li Zizi believed that the true version of Pure Yang One Qi should’ve produced power output of that magnitude.

“Shifu, I do not have a weapon.”

The man eating a grilled drumstick under a tree responded, “True… Catch.”

Ming Feizhen threw Li Zizi an ordinary tree branch that landed atop Li Zizi’s head without the former needing to look up. Li Zizi assumed he forgot about the weapon part because he was foolish, not because his shifu wanted to make it more challenging for him, so he gladly accepted it until he discovered it was a tree branch no longer than a palm and no shorter than a toothpick; it was too light to even scratch an itch.

Li Zizi cast his gaze to Ming Feizhen, who had started a fire, and was using the original tree branch Li Zizi’s branch came from to roast some potatoes. Li Zizi, though livid, shifted out of Peng Caiji’s blade trajectory. He didn’t want to try dismantling it a second time after his first taste of it. While the discipline wasn’t powerful on its own, the fact that it allowed Peng Caiji to stick to his target, especially when he was cunning, was what made it truly dangerous.

As soon as Li Zizi saw an upward curve at the corner of Peng Caiji’s lips, he knew he was in for trouble. Li Zizi’s foot slipped from underneath him as Peng Caiji pulled him in with the vacuum his swing generated. The moment Li Zizi’s lost his balance, the whip user coiled his whip around Li Zizi’s left ankle and pulled it tight, effectively immobilising Li Zizi. Wasting no time at all, the other three charged in.

Li Zizi had previously learnt martial arts under different instructors in the capital and Luoyang. Unfortunately, due to his mother doting on him, she lost it every time he grazed his knee or had any other minor injury. Nobody ever gave him the simulation of a real fight unless they were a massive jerk of some sort. As such, he never advanced to a high level, but he was never terrible, either. His fundamental techniques were solid, but no feasible skills came to mind when he was immobilised and cornered. Thus, he fell back on the boxing techniques he learnt last month.

Once Li Zizi started countering, the three attackers suddenly started struggling. They had never seen anyone box in a remotely similar way. As he had never used it in combat himself, not even Li Zizi knew what to expect. His base looked unsteady, and his punches seemed weak, yet the three of them were unable to predict what to expect next. There didn’t seem to be a structure to his style of fighting. Some of his punches appeared to be a waste of energy, but ignoring them would’ve allowed Li Zizi to throw another two punches.

Li Zizi suddenly uncorked a palm strike. The three of them retreated a step each upon feeling a wave of heat from Li Zizi’s hand. Their retreat gave him the opportunity to slice the whip restricting his right leg. Before they could make another move, he blasted the big man with a flying sidekick, then spun around and chopped at the back of Peng Caiji’s head. Peng Caiji was some distance away, so he didn’t expect an attack aimed at him. As a result, he barely moved his head out of the way. Since Peng Caiji moved out of the way, Li Zizi’s attack landed on the forehead of the cudgel wielder, who was standing where Peng Caiji was, completely unbalancing the cudgel wielder who stumbled backwards.

The strikes all looked mindless and somewhat clumsy, yet there was a sense of liberation. It was too late for Peng Caiji to regret his decision, however. It was too late to run now. He clenched his teeth and asked, “Impressive discipline. Which sect is it from?”

“None.” Li Zizi got into his stance.

Peng Caiji knew Li Zizi was trying to hide a secret, but he didn’t know that Li Zizi wasn’t trying to hide the sect’s name as the discipline didn’t even exist two months ago. After all, the discipline was Ming Feizhen’s thoughtless mish-mash of ideas to entertain the boy. Ming Feizhen just went back to link up the disconnected parts to systemise it. It was a discipline created without much thought and taught without much thought. Thus, it was named, “Mindless Twenty-five Techniques.”


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