Martial King’s Retired Life

Book 15: Chapter 56

The sourc𝗲 of this content is 𝐟𝗿𝐞𝐞𝘄𝐞𝗯𝐧𝗼𝘃𝐞𝗹.𝗰𝗼𝐦

Yesterday Must be Discarded

Clang! The big man’s broadsword soared into the ether, while his arm swelled up. Though he screamed out pain and anger, he didn’t dare to advance again.

The three assailants cast their gazes to the spot on the ground where they heard something drop softly. They were all cognisant that the object was what disarmed their ally and saved Li Zizi’s life. It bounced twice on the ground before lying flat against the ground. They all shifted their gaze from the copper coin to Ming Feizhen in synchrony, only to receive an angry glare. They quickly noticed that Ming Feizhen had a stone in his hand that he was about to throw but was beaten to the punch.

Everyone who knew Duke Ming knew that he saw food as important as alcohol, alcohol as important as money, and money as important food. Asking him to throw a copper coin to stop an attack was tantamount to demanding him to dig out a bone of his to throw. Besides, he was Duke Ming. Who were they? Why would he use money to resolve something he could’ve resolved with a stone?

There was only one person left who could’ve disarmed the big man – Li Zizi. When he was about to perish, the first thing that came to mind wasn’t whether or not his shifu would assist him. Instead, he recalled the lesson on having to remain calm whilst using Pure Yang One Qi from the manual. He promptly calmed himself and tried to circulate qi through his body. After he discovered he was only able to mobilise his right hand and wrist, he decided to place his faith in a coin he had in his hand as a backup plan before he engaged them. Pinpointing his assailant by their qi, he flicked the coin at the spot where he sensed the densest qi, which happened to be the broadsword.

The disarmed man only had his brute strength going for him as a combatant, but his arm strength was enough to match, even win, martial artists who had undertaken training in an internal discipline. His most dangerous trait, though, was his reckless and fearless style of fighting; he was willing to sacrifice a limb to catch his target. All that being said, he wasn’t all brawn and no brains. The fact that his weapon weighing over a dozen kilograms was sent sky high and that his arm was numb when his opponent was just a lanky kid was alarming, and he knew what that alarm meant.

Li Zizi’s body felt supple again once he expelled the rampaging yang qi in him with the flick, allowing him to vanish from their sight before they knew it. He was light and nimble, so as soon as he reduced his height and moved with the support of pure yang qi, he was akin to a high-velocity arrow out of an encirclement. Li Zizi looked relaxed once he escaped; it was as though he was never in danger.𝙛𝙧𝓮𝓮𝙬𝓮𝒃𝒏𝓸𝒗𝓮𝙡.𝓬𝓸𝓶

“Crafty little brat!” brayed Peng Caiji, advancing on Li Zizi.

Peng Caiji knew Li Zizi didn’t just pull some voodoo trick, but Tong Chuan’s demise left the chain of command broken, so Peng Caiji jumped into the leader’s boots before their group fell apart. Moreover, he noticed that Li Zizi didn’t seem able to use the dangerous skills at will, so he assumed it was safe to attack – and possibly seize victory – as long as he measured their distance appropriately.

The other two advanced, as well, before Peng Caiji’s blade could reach Li Zizi, and even the big man fetched his weapon to surround Li Zizi.

Li Zizi didn’t fear them; he feared Pure Yang One Qi. The repercussions of using the pure yang qi acted as fast as he could collect true qi, not to mention there were different sorts of repercussions that he couldn’t predict the timing of. To even survive using the discipline in real combat was worth celebrating, but Li Zizi was different. Instead of worrying about the problems with the discipline, he was focused on figuring out how to employ it.

When Ming Feizhen told Li Zizi he was a benevolent character, he didn’t mention that benevolence was the trait of a ruler.

Li Zizi’s hands made their way to the shoulders of the whip user using the same movements as before, yet the whip user was still shocked and unable to react in time. Likewise, Li Zizi was surprised with his own legs’ speed. Alas, moving at that speed exhausted all his energy, making it impossible to mount an effective attack. The both of them were stunned and stumped when Li Zizi stopped there with a grip as weak as a mosquito landing on its target. Nonetheless, the whip user freaked out, assuming Li Zizi could inflict the same sort of damage on him as he did to Tong Chuan as soon as he willed it. Li Zizi also knew he was lucky that his opponent misunderstood the situation.

Luckily for Li Zizi this time, he didn’t expend an excessive amount of pure yang qi. He used 120% power when he took out Tong Chuan, but he only used up to 80% to move into position this time after experience the consequences of going too far. Learning that the volume he reserved wasn’t sufficient for a second attack was valuable experience for him.

Li Zizi’s internal energy, or more precisely, his pure yang true qi, was one factor he needed to grasp. At one point, he thought Pure Yang One Qi empowered one to utilise maximum power at will after listening to Yuan Kou, allowing one to blast the enemy before they could peak. Now that he used it in real combat, it occurred to him that it wasn’t how it worked. Despite the qi coming from within him, Li Zizi felt that the true qi came from an external source. After all, he could tell his own internal energy wasn’t potent enough to put away Tong Chuan in one punch. However, the not-so-potent internal energy accumulated extremely fast all of a sudden into a massive volume that not even he could comprehend, and it peaked when he struck. After impact, it disappeared. When he moulded energy again, it filled his body again.

As the manual stated, “Infinity is wherever there is creation. Creation is between complete destruction.” Every time he expended all his energy, new energy would be formed at the end, and the process would repeat infinitely. Hence, despite different paths, the process developed his unique internal discipline foundation.

The second thing he learnt through this battle was usage. Pure yang true qi’s infinite production was predicated on an unstable foundation. To be more specific, Li Zizi wasn’t at a level where he could collect and disperse it at will yet, so there was an element of randomness, rendering it impossible for him to know when he would recover true qi.

The first time Li Zizi failed was due to his recovery speed being too fast. The second time he failed was due to his recovery being slower than he anticipated. Under those circumstances, he was far off from being able to apply it to real combat. Nevertheless, he understood why his shifu brought him here.

From the last two exchanges, Li Zizi learnt that his actions influenced the rate of pure yang true qi collection and dispersion. He wouldn’t have learnt that if he just practiced behind closed doors.

The pure yang true qi accumulated rapidly. It had to be used, but it couldn’t be fully used up. Once it was used up in one sitting, the new pure yang qi required qi recalibration, or he would’ve lost control faster than normal. It was advantageous to be able to put everything into one blow at will, but it was a suicidal strategy when going up against multiple opponents. Therefore, leaving about 10% to 20% in reserve became a golden rule for himself.freewebno(v)el

As Li Zizi celebrated his new progress inwardly, he felt a cold breeze close in on his shoulder. He rotated his body to dodge, but he felt sluggish compared to before. In the spur of the moment, he drove his foot into the whip user’s chest, using the impact to rebound away, but his right sleeve was left with a hole from Peng Caiji’s sneak attack.

Li Zizi was sure he obliged with all the teachings in the manual, yet he felt that his pure yang true qi was recovering painfully slowly. He launched himself away the same time just then as before, yet he nearly lost his arm. In other words, keeping energy in reserve gave him a backup option, but the trade-off was slower recovery of pure yang true qi. If there was a perfect analogy, it would’ve been that Pure Yang One Qi was a blade that Li Zizi could hold, but it wasn’t one he could control well enough to aim yet.

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