Martial King’s Retired Life - Volume 11.5 Chapter 62
Volume 11.5 Chapter 62
If anyone was to guess the twenty-odd year old was a ruffian, they were right. Er Laizi didn’t hold an official post in Miguo Branch and didn’t contribute anything besides dropping by to ask a few questions, then pour the monk’s big bowl of food down right in front of him. You couldn’t blame people for assuming Lord Miguo recruited the guy to frustrate his senior brother if you ever saw how awful Er Laizi’s appearance was.
“If you bow down, I’ll let you have this bowl of food,” demanded Er Laizi.
“Okay, I submit.”
“Hmph, I knew you wouldn’t eas-, wait, what?”
“Thanks for the meal.” The monk snatched the bowl of food, then sat down to devour it all.
“Y-y-you… Write me an admission, and I’ll take it back.”
“This one submits in mind but not in heart. Go back.” The monk respectfully push the bowl back.
“… You flipping monk!”
“Be careful with your words. Everyone in Miguo Branch is a monk. Cursing monks on monks’ territory, if your lord were to catch wind of it, do you know what will happen?”
“I’m not scared. Wh-what will happen?”
The monk smiled. “We have a hundred and eight taboos in our religion, each with their own penalties if infringed. The lightest punishment is having a hook through your tongue and your nerves pulled out.”
“I-I won’t forget this!” Despite the threat, Er Laizi had already disappeared from sight.
Hua Qing waited around for a while before coming out. “Do you really have a hundred and eight taboos in your religion?”
“Of course not.”
Hua Qing exhaled relief.
“Why would you think there are only a hundred and eight?”
“There are a total of five hundred and forty-eight taboos for our monks. Needless to say, putting a hook through tongues and whatnot is a fib.”
“I thought monks don’t lie.”
“A matter of expediency doesn’t grant many luxuries. You escaped detection this time because he is a poor martial artist. If an adept were to come here, you wouldn’t be able to escape their eyes and ears if you hid here. Furthermore, I assume you didn’t come here to accompany me to the grave.”
“I’m here in search of my brother. Shall I get going now?”
“I don’t think you can. I don’t know why nobody noticed you come here. In saying that, casters have always been on watch outside the formation. If you exit the way you entered, I guarantee you will die.”
“Doesn’t that mean I have to accompany you to your grave?”
“Not necessarily. There’s hope, but it depends on whether you’re willing to gamble on it or not.” The monk swivelled around. “From our conversation, you should be aware that I’m affiliated with Lotus Cul… My junior brother is the man you refer to as Lord Miguo.”
Zhuo Fengru himself wasn’t privy to the details of Lord Wugou and Lord Miguo’s conflict, so he couldn’t have told Hua Qing much. It wasn’t hard to identify the monk, nevertheless. If there was anything challenging, it was convincing himself that the monk in front of him was the senior of the oversized monk.
“People now call me Wugou. You can call me Wugou, as well.”
“Venerable Wugou, how did you end up confined here?”
Lord Wugou sat down and crossed his legs. “It’s a long story.”
Hua Qing asked for clarification at multiple points, and Lord Wugou answered without hesitation or withholding information.
“Did you not say this formation confines and immobilises you?”
“I can still get up and down. Besides forcing my way out, which would blow me up, I can do everything else, albeit slower than usual. Moreover, unless my junior brother reinforces it once a day, I’ll be able to escape. That’s why he hasn’t been able to leave Shennong. I tried to use that against him as a restraint, only for me to fall for his ploy.”
“I saw you snatch the bowl of food blazing fast.”
“I’m only 10% of the martial artist I once was. The formation has malfunctioned, but I’ll inexorably die at my current level.”
Hua Qing nodded. “Wait, doesn’t that mean you’ve been stuck here for an entire year? Who was the bald monk who set fire to Xu Manor, then?”
“Mm… most likely Venerable Kongcang. He learns Vajra Realm under Miguo and has achieved some results. It’s not surprising if he can modify his body after training it.”
“So it was him!” Hua Qing smacked the ground, leaving a vague handprint in the ground and parting dust, yet his hand didn’t hurt, leaving his jaw wide.
“That is the hope I speak of. Are you aware you can draw true qi from the relic?”
“Me? I can use it?”
“I don’t know the details, but perhaps it’s established a link with you owing to the length of time you’ve been together. Otherwise, when I hit you, you should’ve died even though it absorbed my energy. If I’m not wrong, you transferred a portion of its storage to enhance your internal strength, thereby healing yourself. Based on my estimations, you should have 30% of my energy now.”
Wugou closed his eyes. “There’s no need to be moved. Nobody can predict the workings of fate. Just accept the fate given to you.”
“No, what I meant was, all I did was kick up a bit of dust. 30% of your strength is too shabby, don’t you think?”
“…” Wugou stabbed two fingers into the ground, creating two deep holes.
“That’s crazy! What discipline was that? Dragon Claw?”
“If you think it is not too shabby, this one can teach you it.”
“Really?!” Hua Qing had always been looking forward to learning an advanced discipline, so it was a given he’d accept the offer. “Wait. There’s no free lunch in this world. Let’s hear your terms and conditions.”
“… Ahahaha, you sure are straightforward; however, this one does not have any terms or conditions. His goal is the same as yours, except his is in the form of stopping his foolish junior. We do not have much time. Please listen to the theory!”
Smoke whisked from Hua Qing’s skull – a sign that someone had been developing their internal energy for at least a decade. Upon opening his eyes, his perception of the world had altered, just as the first time Ming Feizhen taught him. Details that once eluded him now announced themselves to him.
Because Wugou was busy marvelling at his overnight accomplishment, he failed to hear the encroaching individual.
Er Laizi popped out from the forest to espy Hua Qing. “Damn, found something!”
Wugou switching between “I” and “This one” is deliberate because he switches his tone throughout the conversation.
Theory Wugou mentions – This is a big topic, so let’s dive into it once and never have to do it again. Plus, you’ll be able to read other series without having to figure out what it’s all about.
Theory here might make you think of books and so forth, but they’re not physiology or biochemistry lessons. Depending on what you read, you may have seen the same term translated as “methods” in new-school xianxia and xuanhuan. I prefer the translation “theory” because I think it expresses how they fit into the martial arts system more (theory and practical).
Theory refers to phrases that teach you how to mould energy for specific purposes, the principles of the discipline and how you should think about techniques.
In the realm of Chinese fiction, these phrases will generally require learners to decipher rather than follow like a procedure. For instance, let’s use Chen’s Tai Chi. Chen’s Tai Chi introduced something called “Silk Cocoon Reeling”. You can say that this is the “theory phrase”. You might see this and think, “What the hell do they want me to do?” Let’s decipher it now.
An analogy from astronomy is that while the earth is rotating around the sun, the earth is also rotating around its own axis. This means that when the arms are moving in a circular arc motion, each arm is also rotating around an axis along the direction of the arm. Deciphering it, it means that one side should retract as the other extends. One should move counter clockwise if the other is moving clockwise. Using a jab, cross combo as an example: once the jab is thrown, the jab should come back as the cross comes out. Try for yourself. Extend one arm and then just think about extending the posterior arm, allowing the anterior side to come back automatically. Now, try again, but deliberately think about moving the two sides as a sea saw. All else equal, you’re going to be faster and will hit harder on the latter – provided your timing is right.
Using Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms as an example, “The Divine Dragon Swishes its Tail” means for you to “swing” (same character as “swish”) a palm behind at an opponent behind you (Li Sheng is first to demonstrate this in Legend of the Condor Heroes) since your tail is at your rear and swinging your tail happens from the rear). See the recurring theme?
In these fictional stories, you have to learn the theory in order to learn the practical. One without the other results in a flawed system. Please don’t go thinking we do this in real life; we don’t.