Martial King’s Retired Life - Volume 12 Chapter 35
Book 12: Chapter 35
According to Boss, someone from Song Clan was catching up with His Majesty in the palace, which was why I was thinking about Song Clan on my way back to the academy. His Majesty didn’t show any fondness for Song Ou. In contrast, he appreciated and quite liked Song Clan.
I wasn’t very familiar with the Seven Champion White Princes. Relatively speaking, I was only informed on two of them, namely Gold and Silver Sect in addition to Song Clan. Compared to the other five with thousands of years of history, the two were new to the list, with only two to three hundred years of history. Hence, if they wanted to win against the other five, they’d need to think and act laterally.
Gold and Silver Sect’s principle priority was money. Their belief was the money could buy gods; gods had to spend money, as well. Thus, they sought money until they turned corrupt. The imperial court’s assistance, as well as granted special privileges, unquestionably had a role in Gold and Silver Sect’s quick growth from an ordinarily wealthy family into one of the three wealthiest families in only a century. The cornerstone of their growth, nevertheless, was their indifference to the martial world and political arena’s affairs. Had it not been for the golden vat asking to get clobbered, they wouldn’t have faded out. With that said, their foundations were still as solid as before. As long as his old man selected a new successor, they’d be able to recover their recent losses in a matter of months. Returning to the business realm instead of trying to get involved with politics might not have been a bad move.
In contrast to the profit-driven Gold and Silver Sect, Song Clan’s primary concern was networking. Presiding over Jiangdu District, their earnings from Yangzhou alone were a headache to calculate. In terms of wealth, they were behind only Gold and Silver Sect and Luo Sword Manor (prior to Luo Ming’s deeds). Yet, they advanced gradually in the pugilistic world, consolidating every step they took, refraining from flaunting their wealth as their goal was to win the support of the pugilistic world. Based on my knowledge, the pugilistic world viewed Song Clan in a positive light, with some calling them “Martial World’s Duke” and “the pugilistic world’s most exalted clan”.
Song Clan’s patriarch liked to observe justice, make friends and crack complicated cases in the pugilistic world. Cases that the government couldn’t resolve were taken to Song Clan, where their patriarch would solve the matter with reason. They said, regardless of which side of the law one is on, they must take a step back if Song Clan’s patriarch spoke up.
Song Clan’s martial arts weren’t acclaimed. Their only famous discipline was “Sundering the Nine Heavens” palm discipline, and it was only something they learned thanks to their ancestor who coincidentally saved an adept. The adept married one of their daughters, which was how it was introduced into their family. It took several generations of modification and usage for it to be included among the three boxing and five palm disciplines.
Having had a taste of the martial arts nectar, Song Clan combined it with their vast network, setting up marriages left, right and centre. As a result, they were sworn siblings here, disciple and master there. In time, they used those means to expand their network until Song Clan members were virtually ubiquitous across the land. Want an example? Song Ou was in Liu Shan Men, and someone else was speaking to His Majesty.
Contrary to their strictness in their family, Song Clan liberally befriended people outside of their family but kept a balance to ensure there was no friction in their links. While they didn’t develop fast, they didn’t fall prey to the bad habit of trying to expedite progress at the expense of loose ends. They embodied the steadiness mantra better than any of the Seven Champion White Princes. Owing to their discipline to their policy and networks, if they were ever in a pickle, they could count on help from many people.
If I were to venture a guess, Boss likely selected Song Clan for marriage in consideration of their positive reputation. Song Clan’s decision to accept the offer demonstrated their patriarch was a courageous individual. After all, the decision brought on the risk of friction with Qilin Guards and Emperor’s Entourage, on top of potentially rousing His Majesty’s suspicions. As far as things had developed, his judgment was sound. Instead of suspecting them, His Majesty gradually granted them more. Song Clan definitely had ambitions, but they weren’t afraid to wear it on their sleeves. For that reason, His Majesty didn’t question them.
The only thing His Majesty didn’t like was fact that he was angry over his daughter being wasted. He actually liked Song Ou’s indifference to big matters and cowardice to get involved with small matters. If Song Ou was disappointing, His Majesty would just scold or insult him. If Song Ou coveted power, though, His Majesty would probably send him to the castration room when he was exasperated.
As for Boss and Song Ou’s interactions in private…
I rubbed my chest.
What’s this stuffy feeling? Did I gave too much to eat? Whatever. It’s not like His Majesty could do anything about what they do in private.
Anyway, His Majesty not liking Song Ou didn’t mean he was dissatisfied with Song Clan.
I only just sm-, I should say, Song Ou came asking to get smashed, and someone from his family already paid a visit. I couldn’t tell if it was a calculated move or pure coincidence.
Anyhow, I had more important problems to contemplate. It was time I found a way to repay my debts. The Martial World Treasury only cared for money, not friendships. If they decided to spread my secrets, my only option would be to lead Tang Ye and Su Xiao on a bloody charge out of the capital, escape to then Western Regions, then con people out of money and girls out of their bodies as fake deities.
… Doesn’t seem like a bad idea, actually. Well, I probably wouldn’t even reach the west city doors in my current condition. Pick yourself up! Whatever obstacles I face, I’ll take them on!
The rock with “Rongyu” carved on still accompanied the pond, adding a lick of antiquity. I went around to the back of it, where the main doors of Daren Academy were. There was an elder in his fifties, hands behind his back, who gave off the vibe of a commanding general underneath the “Daren Academy” plaque. The man accompanying seemed the same age; however, he resembled a statue inside Confucius’ shrine. Since I didn’t recognise them, I strolled past.
“Stop,” the scholarly-looking man called out.
“Who are you?” I reactively asked.
Instead of answering my question, he visually analysed me in a condescending manner. “What sort of student are you? You don’t even know how to greet people?”
Didn’t I ask you for a name?!
He grabbed his beard. “You’re as insensible as I’ve heard.”
You’re the insensible one! I don’t even know you folks. What did you call out to me for?
The imposing man, in a deep voice, announced, “I am Zhao Tiankui.”
… I think I’ve heard that name before?
Zhao Tiankui’s animosity toward me was virtually worn as a coat. “I’m here to visit my son. I heard you have taken care of him quite a bit. I shall pay a visit to Liu Shan Men when I am free.”
I offered up a hold-fist salute. “We will be waiting with a warm reception.”
“Hmph, I thought you had a solid spine, but you’re just another brownnoser,” the old scholar surprisingly ribbed.
“Uh, and you are?” I inquired.
The scholar blew his beard. “This old one is Song Lian. Song Ou is his nephew. You have also been taking care of his nephew.”
“So both of you are here to pick a bone with me?!
Song Lian unexpectedly shook his head. “This old one’s nephew is too soft; a lesson is what he needs. In saying that, this old one is also a teacher at Daren Academy in charge of the Disciplinary Department. General Zhao is here to visit his son. This old one is here to catch a student. You! Why are you only arriving now?”
What the hell?! You have family members in the imperial court and Daren Academy?!