Chapter 151: Listening to the "Coach"
When Yan Zheke pulled Qian Ruoyu forcefully back to balance and turned to her right side, Qian Ruoyu was astonished. She did not expect that the Songcheng University Martial Arts Club had another secret weapon other than the injured Lin Que and Lou Cheng. Being able to enter into Solemn Silence was a secret weapon, so was being able to understand and know every detail of one's own body!
This arrangement was exactly tailored for such a university division martial arts competition!
The good thing was that she had actual ﬁght experience with other ﬁghters. Though she was astonished, she was not ﬂustered. While she was unable to retract her right ﬁst, she immediately tightened the muscles on her right thigh. Bam! A side-kick delivered, fast and hard.
But, Yan Zheke did not stop there. She swiftly swung behind Qian Ruoyu, right at the moment where Qian Ruoyu retracted her right leg and was not able to put any strength to it. Oh no! She does not look like she never had any actual ﬁght experience?!
Facing Yan Zheke's furious punches, Qian Ruoyu silently said to herself that things were not going too well. Her right kicks started to pick up speed, and her arm repeated swung forward and backward, pounding repeatedly. These moves made the upper body turn upside down. It helped her to avoid critical hits by leaning the body to one side. At the same time, her lower body was steady and held her ﬁrmly to the ground, with no imbalance.
Since her punches were not reaching her opponent, Yan Zheke decided to turn her ﬁst into a palm strike, aiming for a lower height so that she could make Qian Ruoyu unstable.
However, at the same moment, Qian Ruoyu's upper body was like a huge spring. She sprung back and forth, as fast as the attacks were coming, and her left arm was raised, ready to deliver an elbow strike anytime.
Yan Zheke lifted her left hand and blocked the elbow attack just in time. As the blow was rather strong, she did not dare to slack, she continued her palm strikes, trying to give strength after strength.
In the midst of electrifying lights and ﬁre, with the blocked elbow attack, Qian Ruoyu swung her arm out with a bam, and her ﬁst was aimed towards Yan Zheke's abdomen.
Dense body pound! Stirring Yin Palm! Both are not a whole lot you can do about it!
Yan Zheke had watched countless videos of her rival. She was familiar with her rival's moves. Though it was her ﬁrst time in an actual ﬁght, though she was not too nervous, her mind still seemed to be a little fuzzy. She was unable to accumulate or to think in a well-rounded manner. Just like the bait and the current pounding moves, she had not been able to execute a good response in time.
The good thing was that her choices were not all wrong. As her left palm pushed against Qian Ruoyu's elbow, it drew a small arch, curving upwards. With a shake and matching the pressure on the right palm, she pushed her opponent forward by one step. Pam!
The distance between the two opponents grew wider. Qian Ruoyu's Dense Body Pound landed in the air. So she used the force that pushed her forward to take a few more steps away. Then, she turned, reverting the situation to how it is when they ﬁrst started the competition.
Previous scenes ﬂashed past Yan Zheke's mind. She knew very well that she lacked the actual battle experience, and was in passive position. She has misjudged a few times, but luckily she was careful, or else she would have lost.
At the moment, she then understood why Lou Cheng suggested that she went all out, not reserve any energy, and made herself the main lead of the battle.
This was because only like that can a rookie best avoid mistakes.
It always pays to listen to "elders"... Nonetheless, without experiencing it once herself, she would not be able to understand the penetrating insights of these words...
She took a gentle breath and felt herself entering competition state. Her mind was refreshed and alert, no longer nervous and slow.
Since she was enlightened, she would just need to heed Coach Lou's advice!
She pounced forward. Within a few steps she was near her rival, and she started her attack.
Lou Cheng heaved a sigh of relief after seeing Yan Zheke escape the blow of the Dense Body Pound so narrowly. From her ﬁnal neutralizing and countering tactics, he was sure that she had gotten used to ﬁghting in a competition and no longer had the rawness of a rookie.
"With such an experience to not be defeated in the face of danger, the martial arts road for Ke will only be easier from now on," Lou Cheng said to himself.
Similar to his experience, he was only enlightened after ﬁghting with the Shaolin disciple, Wu Shitong, and using the Listening Skill.
The spectators started to applaud. Following the name list on the big screen, many started to cheer for Yan Zheke. None of them had thought that such a delicate and demure lady could have such a refreshing experience, such elegant moves and energy.
Amongst the shouts of "Go, Yan Zheke, Go", Li Liantong, Shi Xiangyang and Zong Yanru were the loudest and most enthusiastic ones. Such atmosphere almost left one drunk, with no care for anything in the world. It was just them enjoying the moment, venting whatever emotions they were carrying, including happiness, pride, and even the negative emotions that they usually carried.
"How come everyone in Songcheng University Martial Arts Club can enter meditation state so easily?" Yu Qiao could not help but exclaim as his eyes followed the pretty silhouette greedily.
Members of the Dream Squad all had exceptional family backgrounds. However, till now, only Jiang Dingyi had entered the doors of the Solemn Silence.
For martial arts aristocratic families, skills such as Solemn Silence was not something that they could just train for anytime. If they were too young, although their mind was pure and sincere, they did not know anything. If they had tried to meditate, they would fall asleep. As they grew older, they would have more contact with the society and receive much more complex information. This would just make it harder to achieve the concealment of spirit and qi. Hence, the best age to train for Solemn Silence would be from 10 to 22 or 23 years old.
Amongst all these, there were intimate relations between the spirit and the body. The more passionate the qi and blood and the more spirited the person, the easier it would be to enter meditation. Records had shown that if ﬁghters trained for Solemn Silence after they had developed physically and reached a certain level of energy for their qi and blood, they would only end up being mentally drained, slow in their mind, and weak in their knees. Without some innate talent, it seemed almost impossible to master the Solemn Silence.
Upon considering these, martial arts aristocratic families usually sent their children to train for Solemn Silence between the ages of 17, 18 to 22 years old. Some families were extreme. They demanded that their children's physical development reached the level of Professional Ninth Pin before they could train. Jiang Dingyi, Feng Shaokun, and Qian Ruoyu all just started to train this recent two years.
Feng Shaokun responded in a worried tone. "Does the coach of Songcheng University have some secret teaching or way? Yan Zheke seems like she has already trained to some level for the Solemn Silence. Her full capability and potential shouldn't be just this. If Ruoyu is careless and slips up, it's going to be bad..."
Though the other girl was attractive, he still concerned and liked Qian Ruoyu the most.
"To ﬁnd the talented few among the tens of thousands of Songcheng University students, to train for Solemn Silence, is not difﬁcult at all..." Jiang Dingyi sighed.
Although his martial arts club had a few high-ranked Dan Stage ﬁghters to hold the fort, to be able to pick someone good from a hundred was already a feat, especially since they were not some famous or very strong force to begin with.
In the ring, Yan Zheke moved in towards Qian Ruoyu. With a Seabed Burst Punch, she aimed straight for Qian Ruoyu's abdomen.
In this process, she did a visualization. She mixed a little of the Meteor force with the ﬁst, which made it move so fast that it made sounds when it cut through the air.
Her body had not reached the level where she could execute the actual full Meteor force.
Bam! Qian Ruoyu's body dipped, and her left hand forcefully pounded downwards to block Yan Zheke's Burst Fist. Bam!
When the two exchanged blows, she decided to reattempt the same attack earlier. She led her rival's ﬁst to one side, and with a shake of her body, she retracted her ﬁsts, and borrowed the force. Her left hand sprung out towards Qian Ruoyu's shoulder, fast and furious.
The Brutal Blizzard of 24 Blizzard Strikes!
Qian Ruoyu was not surprised, in fact she was glad and was waiting for this moment. With both legs arched inwards, a force was released from her lower back and her right shoulder moved forward.
She was just in contact with Yan Zheke's palm. Right before her opponent managed to grab them, her shoulder suddenly tightened with a bounce followed by a shake immediately.
Yan Zheke's left hand was thrown off and stopped in midair. Jumping on the opportunity, Qian Ruoyu's right arm quickly threw a move out. She tried to use the Tai Chi Hand Wrap to catch Yan Zheke's palm.
When Jiang Dingyi and Feng Shaokun saw this scene, they immediately shouted a good job. They wished that they could run to the side of the ring to applaud. However, when they caught Lou Cheng smiling, they were enlightened and quickly shouted,
At this moment, Qian Ruoyu could no longer hear any sounds outside the ring. Without much hesitation, she held her rival's ﬁve ﬁngers and twisted them down.
But, before she could release her force, it was like Yan Zheke had predicted her move. Yan Zheke's left hand followed the direction of the hand twist, pulling their bodies closer to each other. Her right hand curled into a tight ﬁst and went all the way out towards Qian Ruoyu's abdomen. Qian Ruoyu did not dare to slacken. She decided to stop trying her right hand, and started to focus her strength and energy to deliver a thunderous pound with her left ﬁst.
In the midst of the mufﬂed cheers, Yan Zheke used some force from the Listening Skill. She lashed out her left hand. Subconsciously, Qian Ruoyu's grip tightened and with the combined force of the two, she pulled her forward.
With this pull, Yan Zheke's right thigh tightened, and her knee went right to Qian Ruoyu.
Pfft! Her knee hit Qian Ruoyu's abdomen squarely, but she managed to hold back some force.
The referee took back his hands that signaled "stop". He raised his right hand and announced, "Round one, Yan Zheke wins!"
Yan Zheke retracted her right leg. She stood upright while being a little shaky sometimes.
This means I've won?
Even though she made so many wrong judgments earlier and put herself in a bad position, once she followed her boyfriend's advice, she managed to turn the tables and score a victory so easily.
Qian Ruoyu really loved to use the Tai Chi Hand Wrap, and she also really loved to compete on Listening Skill...
Qian Ruoyu was going with the ﬂow too much. Her reaction was too slow when she was thrown off guard by the sudden change...
And, this was completely what Cheng had predicted earlier... As her thoughts ﬂowed, she could not help but turn and look at Lou Cheng. She saw a boy smiling brightly, punching a ﬁst in the air and giving a thumbs up.
"He has become someone who has seen enough and could differentiate the ﬁghters." This thought ﬂashed through Yan Zheke's mind. Her lips arched into a smile. She wrinkled her nose and made a face at Lou Cheng.
After she regained her senses, she started to become extremely excited about her ﬁrst win. She could not wait to dash down the ring and celebrate with Lou Cheng.
It was the ﬁrst time that a girl made a face to Lou Cheng. For that split moment, he was mesmerized. Spectator's eyes were glued to the big screen and no one missed this scene. The cheers died down.
Qian Ruoyu rubbed her belly and straightened her body. It was difﬁcult to read her expression. She never thought that she would lose this quick, and lose this cleanly.
When she realized that her opponent could pull back the core and balance with force, she should have used her Solemn Silence skills to support the battle of the Listening Skills.
Qian Ruoyu said reluctantly
"I didn't understand you and your abilities well enough. Just wait for it! I'll beat you the next time! "
After completing her sentence, she realized that Yan Zheke's mind was completely somewhere else. Yan Zheke was not listening to her, and in fact she was exchanging questionable views with her "coach", Lou Cheng.
So disrespectful! Qian Ruoyu snorted, turned and walked away. Feng Shaokun hurried forward to console her and gave her a pat on her back. Yan Zheke turned back. Her brows relaxed and with a small laugh, she said,
"The next time, I'll no longer be an amateur... "
It was only after a moment later did the spectators start to realize what had just happened. Many started to cheer for her loudly. Loud cheers echoed throughout the martial arts arena.
"Yan Zheke! Yan Zheke! Yan Zheke! "
Yan Zheke could ﬁnally understand the glorious feeling that her boyfriend had been raving about. Her cheeks were ﬂushed and as she saw Feng Shaokun step into the ring, the judgments that Lou Cheng made earlier came ﬂowing into her mind.
Everyone knew that Feng Shaokun had the hots for Qian Ruoyu, and he was the standard knight in shining armor you would ﬁnd anywhere. Since his beloved had just been defeated, he would be desperate to take revenge to get her to have a better impression on him. Hence, his way of ﬁghting would be more extreme than usual... This is my chance to use the 24 Blizzard Strikes!
Chapter 152: The Last Effort
In the Songcheng University Martial Arts Club arena, Sun Jian and the others shifted in their seats, with looks of great expectation on their faces.
At ﬁrst, they were not conﬁdent at all that Yan Zheke would come out victorious in her battle against Qian Ruoyu. After all, not everyone could amaze the world on their ﬁrst debut in the ring like Lou Cheng. Real combat experience must be accumulated over time.
However, as Yan Zheke steadied herself and counterattacked she deliberately showed an opening to her opponent. Qian Ruoyu grabbed at the chance and immediately got excited. Yan Zheke looked to use her Listening Skill with her opponent, this was because Lou Cheng had practiced the Listening Skill with Yan Zheke every day without being afraid of the noise from the crowd around them.
They didn't expect her training actually to come into play today! 'If even the ﬂedgling Yan Zheke could beat an opponent two Pins higher than herself, then I might not necessarily have any chance at all when facing an Amateur First Pin ﬁghter!
We might not necessarily lose the home game today!
Even without Lou Cheng and Lin Que, we're not without power. We will not purely depend on them!'
Seeing Feng Shaokun walk up the stone steps, Yan Zheke took deep breaths while trying to regain her strength, as much as possible.
The battle with Qian Ruoyu didn't last long so she didn't get a chance to show the 24 Blizzard Strikes. However, with her body still tensed and her brain in a muddle, she exhausted quickly, especially since she had narrowly escaped several difﬁcult situations already. Near exhaustion, she had to take a moment during the short break.
Feng Shaokun looked at the ﬂushed and panting Yan Zheke, seeing her excitement. She looked so charming that no one had dared to look straight into her bright eyes. Noticing the girl in front of him, Feng Shaokun blinked his eyes slowly and managed to shake off all distractions by recalling the indignant face of Qian Ruoyu.
'Ruoyu, I'll avenge you!'
At the thought of that, he got excited, for it was a great chance that Jiang Dingyi would never have!
The referee did not give much time in between rounds. He raised his right hand and said,
"Round Two. Start!"
Following this announcement, from the stands, the audience burst into a continuous chant of "Yan Zheke, Yan Zheke..." Feng Shaokun ﬂexed his back muscles, coming at his opponent with a surprising speed, he moved like a giant sacred crane. He moved so fast that he was in Yan Zheke's face in a blink. He raised his right hand and put it near her head, just as if he were cupping her head in his hand.
His muscles caught up with his speed and his hand split the air, hard, creating an air torrent.
Downward Cut in Tiger-hug Posture!
The wind echoed around the room as if a tiger were roaring.
This split allowed the strike to have both sound and power.
With the previous advice of Lou Cheng and her own judgment on the situation, Yan Zheke had expected the attack and killer move from this opponent. Calm and composed, she gave a quick ﬂick of her right arm and threw a punch like a spear gun, knocking aside his Tiger Claw. Bam! As the two collided, Yan Zheke took a step back on her right foot and ﬁrmly stood her ground, weakening the power of her opponent.
At the same time, she adjusted her muscles and used the Yin- yang Twist to rebound with her right arm.
Bang! Just as her right ﬁst rebounded in a sudden snap, Feng Shaokun immediately unclenched his ﬁst and gave all his strength to his hands making the joints crackle. He changed the Downward Cut in Tiger-hug Posture into the White Crane Wing Stretching!
This was the killer move of the Tiger and Crane Double Form. Fast and furious, this move struck without any sign. It was even more terrifying than the Shooting Fillip and the Tiger Fist, and it could still be followed up by other moves. There was not a whole lot that could be done about it and if Yan Zheke had not studied his game videos before and remained impressed by this move, she might have had her wrist broken. Her right arm rebounded back and her body rocked backward. An image of a blizzard and wild wind ﬂashed in her mind. She kicked out her left leg, with a snap, aiming towards Feng Shaokun knee.
Feng Shaokun raised his left foot while twisting at his waist, immediately lifting his thigh and knee, forming a posture like a golden rooster standing on one leg. Then he kicked out at Yan Zheke's calf aiming for her braced foot.
Bam! The two vibrated, making a mufﬂed boom.
This made Yan Zheke ﬂing her leg back and she landed hard on the ground, redistributing her strength and using his inertia to fuel her next move.
Using her spine as the axis, she twisted her waist and moved her right shoulder, countering with an aggressive blast punch. By redistributing her momentum with his borrowed force, this strike was almost as powerful as the Tiger Fist.
The Brutal Blizzard was blowing harder! Her two moves coalesced quite intensely, leaving Feng Shaokun no time to use the Crane Steps to escape. Therefore, he had to use his shoulderblade while rotating the muscles of his back, so he could shift the force of his feet accordingly and then he clenched his right ﬁst like bird's beak, attacking the outside of Yan Zheke's Blast Punch.
Crane-perking Movement! A hole with a peck!
With a sharp jerk, the joint of her right arm ﬂicked and narrowly escaped his ﬁst. Instead, she met the Crane Peck at its strongest point.
Bam! Feng Shaokun's right arm snapped back. He couldn't help but shake out his ﬁst and give his arm a rest. A beak was not as strong as a ﬁst, Yan Zheke only got a minor bruise on her ﬁst.
Yan Zheke used the Yin-yang Twist and took back her right arm, to give a punch with her left ﬁst. This was even more aggressive than before just like the blizzard that never stopped. Bam, bam, bam! Bang, bang, bang! The girl used the 24 Blizzard Strikes with increasing power to repress Feng Shaokun, leaving him no chance to regain strength.
In response, the cheering from the stands only grew louder.
After enduring several attacks, Feng Shaokun felt that he had put himself at a disadvantaged position in the situation, so he became less aggressive and took a deep breath.
His face ﬂushed suddenly as his temples bunched up. As if fueled by gunpowder that had exploded in his body, he snapped a blow with his two legs as if blasted from a gun barrel.
Full of energy and aggression, Yan Zheke lowered her body to get positioned as Lou Cheng had taught her. She gathered force by levering the borrowed energy and gave a Burst Fist with a sudden snap.
Bam! The two swayed together and were on par with each other for this match. As they shook from the force of the counter blow, the battle slowed.
As Yan Zheke was about to attack again, she was overwhelmed by feelings of fatigue and dizziness. Her muscles ached and twitched when she realized that she was at the end of her limits.
She could barely complete the 24 Blizzard Strikes given her weakened physical condition, not to mention that she had already fought a ferocious battle which consumed most of her energy. She had used up the borrowed force with the last several moves. She was too weak to resume the ﬁght since the Brutal Blizzard had been interrupted.
Seeing that Feng Shaokun had recovered, Yan Zheke raised her right hand and gave the gesture for surrender, though she didn't look disappointed and even had a bright smile.
If I had more energy, I wouldn't be losing! Alas, I envy Cheng so badly. It's time to do more physical exercises.
Seeing her bright smile, Feng Shaokun was a little taken aback at ﬁrst before the referee announced,
"Round Two. Feng Shaokun wins!"
"I win?" Feng Shaokun felt lost, standing there while watching her back as she walked away.
But he came to himself almost immediately and began to massage his right arm while he caught his breath, trying to recover as much as possible.
The opponent's overwhelming 24 Blizzard Strikes and his last attack of the Modern Blast Punch had consumed a lot of his energy. He watched Yan Zheke step down out of the ring while the cheering Lou Cheng held up his arms and gave two thumbs up to her as a sign of praise. She did seize the perfect opportunity to perform the 24 Blizzard Strikes and that was quite impressive. Every movement was very handy and ﬂexible.
Her play seemed to work.
Yan Zheke chuckled as she walked over to Lou Cheng. She was just about to speak when she felt a little weak in the knees and stumbled forward.
She had pushed her body to its limits!
With Lou Cheng by her side, she had no fear of falling. Lou Cheng slid forward suddenly, catching her tightly in his arms.
"The feel of his chest is so comforting and reassuring..." As Yan Zheke thought this, the cheering from the stands screeched to a halt. The entire audience was stunned by their scene. Seeing this scene caused several boys to decide right there:
Coach, I want to learn martial arts!
"Well, everyone is watching us..." Yan Zheke blushed, pushing his arms away.
As a coach, Lou Cheng knew that the next round was critical.
So, he just held out his ﬁst saying nothing else to Yan Zheke.
Yan Zheke met Lou Cheng's ﬁst with a ﬁst bump and then she said in a low voice,
After that, she walked to where the home team was seated and Guo Qing and Lin Hua came right up to help her to her seat, with words of praise. At this moment, they saw Li Mao passing by with a pale face.
Yan Zheke was about to reach out her hand to give a ﬁst bump to cheer him on, but he just walked past her oblivious.
"Senior Brother Li looks so nervous..." Guo Qing murmured.
Lou Cheng had also noticed that. He thought fast, trying to ﬁgure out how to handle it.
Nervousness can slow a person's ability to think, but nervousness will fade. After surviving several moves with an opponent, Li Mao would be able to steady himself. Especially since he is not as tense as the last time.
Can we program him like a computer to still respond when his thinking becomes slowed? Can he respond by reﬂex alone?
What kind of programming is appropriate given the ever- changing match? Simpleness means it's useless and too sophisticated means it needs the ability to think...
Upon reﬂection, Lou Cheng had seen every move Feng Shaokun had made in the ring. He noticed that he was rubbing his right arm and wrist. Apparently, the Blast Punch had weakened him. His panting meant that he consumed a great deal of his energy. Under these circumstances, both his speed and power would decrease...
If I were the one who was going to ﬁght as an amateur, what would I do to ﬁght against such a strong opponent?
Lou Cheng had made up his mind. When Li Mao walked past him, he grabbed him and whispered,
"Just don't think about anything else and remember this: slide step left, low ﬂying kick and forward punch."
"Well, ﬁne..." Li Mao answered stifﬂy. Lou Cheng didn't let him go. He dropped his voice even lower to say:
"Repeat it back to me."
"Left... left slide, low kick, and then punch, left slide, low kick, and then punch." It seemed that Li Mao had no problem with mechanical recall.
"Good. If your mind goes blank, use the instructions I gave you to replace your own thinking and judgment." Lou Cheng urged again.
LI Mao nodded and walked across the stone steps.
Looking at his back, Lou Cheng took a deep breath and waited for the ﬁght to begin.
I taught him the simplest tactics to respond with and I hope that everything goes off without a hitch.
Chapter 153: The Eight Feet Man
While walking up the stairs to the arena, Li Mao felt that he was not as nervous as before. Maybe it was because this was not a very important tournament, so it did not matter even if he lost the battle. Coach Shi did not even bother to come, didn't it?
But why am I still afraid, and my body can't help but shiver?
Is it due to a large number of spectators? Or is it because Yan Zheke had performed much too well before that he felt pressurized not to let everyone's effort gone down the drain?
Perhaps there is no particular reason. It's simply that I'm born a loser who can't face such big situation, and deep in my blood ﬂows a sense of inferiority, or else why will I always feel nervous?
Li Mao was self-detesting as he stood in front of Feng Shaokun. He then noticed that the referee had raised his right arm and was ready to announce the start of the battle. "I, I'm not ready yet..." A buzz sound rang in his ear as he felt extremely nervous again. Though this did not slow down his thinking, he found it hard to concentrate as well.
Just then, a sentence ﬂashed through his mind,
"Just don't think about anything later and remember this: Slide step left, low ﬂying kick, followed by a Forward Punch."
"Slide step left, low ﬂying kick, followed by a Forward Punch..." Li Mao kept murmuring, as if holding on to his last straw of hope.
Feng Shaokun stopped his panting. Feeling the anxiety of his opponent in front of him, he heaved a sigh of relief.
Thank god, it's him!
A few days ago, Feng Shaokun had pondered about Li Mao's performance during the University Martial Arts Fair. He had a deep impression of Li Mao's stage fright reaction and had long decided that if this guy were his opponent, he would attack all the way. He would not even give this guy a chance to rest!
To meet this nervous bro after depleting a large amount of his energy was like a gift from God!
"Round Three. Begin!" The referee did not give Li Mao any time to prepare.
The moment the referee announced the start of the battle, Feng Shaokun, as though there were ice ﬂoats under his feet and "ﬂipping" wings on his back, swiftly as well as ferociously dashed towards his opponent. Within a split second, he was near his opponent.
"Slide step left, low ﬂying kick, followed by a Forward Punch..." Li Mao, without thinking much, naturally slid step to his left to dodge the attack. He then tightened his thighs, bent his knees and rapidly threw a low kick, which directly hit Feng Shaokun's joint. Feng Shaokun did not expect nervous bro to be able to dodge his attack in time, so he had no choice but to put his Tiger Hug Downward Cut to a halt, a move which he had bided his time just for a chance to launch. He then twisted his body and swung his leg, using a side kick to stop his opponent.
Bam! Both legs collided with one another. Li Mao acted like a robot as he adjusted his muscles. With the help of the borrowed force, he pulled back his right arm and shot out a Lightning Punch.
Slide step left, low ﬂying kick, followed by a Forward Punch!
Feng Shaokun jerked his right arm and threw out his Tiger Fist. He had decided to counter the opponent with an attack and was not planning to show any sign of weakness.
Bam! A dull rumble sounded. Feng Shaokun felt soreness in his right arm as the opponent struck his ﬁst. As he did not build enough strength for his attack, his opponent had managed to hit off his ﬁst. Sh*t! The sequelae from the ﬁerce battle just now! He made a prompt decision as he used his left foot as the pivot point and swung his right arm towards the back, turning his body to face the correct direction.
Li Mao, who managed to injure the opponent with a punch, seemed to get himself into the usual training momentum. He bounced his body from left to right and then borrowed the force again to throw out a left punch, which aimed directly at Feng Shaokun's chest.
I get the upper hand?
I unexpectedly succeeded?
With such simple moves like "slide step left, low ﬂying kick, followed by a Forward Punch"?
By then, Li Mao had ﬁnally awakened from his thoughts and his mind was back to the tournament. Though he was still feeling slightly nervous, his thoughts were still less agile, but at least he could still think, good enough to make a judgment on the situation in the battle.
Based on the current situation, he would not need to make either complicated judgment or ﬁrm decision. He just needs to be like how he usually was during training, where he skillfully launched the 24 Blizzard Strikes!
Bam! Feng Shaokun twisted his back in time, moved his shoulders, and clenched his left hand. He then pounded close to the opponent which stopped all actions, and prevented Li Mao's blasting move.
Li Mao's mind started to clear and his attention was focused. He began to feel that this tournament was going way too well, making him felt that he was back to his training ground.
And this "familiar" environment helped in reducing his anxiety!
He swung back his left ﬁst and channeled the energy via his spine to his soles. He then curled his back and instantly threw a whip kick towards Feng Shaokun's lower body.
Seeing this scene, Lou Cheng heaved a sigh of relief and was secretly happy for Li Mao. He then left his position by the ring and returned to the coach seat in a relaxed mood.
On the other hand, Feng Shaokun was feeling rather upset. He knew that he was under the pressure of 24 Blizzard Strikes, so without any hesitation, he countered the opponent with a whip kick. He then followed by a deep breath which made his face red and his temple pumped up.
Boom! Like a bomb exploded within the body, qi was released from Feng Shaokun's right ﬁst as he counter-attacked his opponent.
By now, Li Mao had gradually got used to the tournament atmosphere and he could handle simple analysis of the battle. He quickly judged the situation and speculated that his opponent might have depleted most of the energy. Without dodging the opponent's attack, he made use of the borrowed energy to launch a ferocious Lightning Downward Punch. Bam!
Both of them lost their balance and took a step back. Feng Shaokun seized this opportunity to carry out Crane Steps. He ﬂew like a bird and pounced beside Li Mao. He then followed up with a Downward Cut where he clenched his ﬁst like a Tiger Claw.
If it were the Li Mao from before, he would most likely have a hard time to defend against this attack. However, this time, Li Mao raised his right arm and lowered his center of gravity.
Clap! The instant the Tiger Fist hit the right arm, Feng Shaokun suddenly conjured a "Crane beak". He took advantage of the borrowed energy to bounce himself and pecked towards Li Mao's temple.
Li Mao's right arm went down with the hitting trend. He then bent his knees to steady himself, which made his body instantly shortened as he dodged Feng Shaokun's Crane Peck. At the same time, he channeled his energy to his left leg, which transformed his body into a bullet, as he dashed towards Feng Shaokun's abdomen.
Feng Shaokun chose not to go head-on. He made use of Crane Steps, swiftly dodged the attack and changed to a new position for his next attack.
Within a minute, he launched a series of attacks. However, Li Mao had already kept himself cool. He seemed as though he had returned to the coldest night in the twelfth month of the lunar year, when he was up against the darkness against the chilly wind. As he recalled the tough days he practiced hard while others were having fun with the ﬁrecrackers, he no longer felt nervous. Every movement and every stance that he exhibited was precise, and his defense was impenetrable.
Just right this month he had managed to master the 24 Blizzard Strikes!
While launching his attacks, he suddenly felt that Feng Shaokun's strength had reduced a lot. The time taken between each step was also obviously longer than before. "He's at his limit!" Without much thinking or hesitation, Li Mao instantly took a sliding step and pounced towards his opponent.
Feng Shaokun's chest tightened. He abandoned all the wild thoughts on his mind as he straightened and wriggled his back. He raised both his arms and posed them like the wings of a sacred crane, as he slammed ﬁercely towards Li Mao's temples.
Just when his palms were about to hit the opponent's raised arms, he suddenly lifted his hip and changed his center of gravity. Now, he displayed the stance of a golden rooster standing on one leg. His right foot silently kicked out, like a tiger doing a straight kick.
Tiger and Crane Assault!
Bam! Bam! Just when Li Mao had managed to block off the attack of the "Sacred crane", he saw a killer blow was on his way when the opponent's right foot ﬂew in his direction. Since he could not defend against it in time, he bent and rolled on the ground—Lazy Donkey Rolling on the Ground. As he was rolling, he felt a sense of disappointment. It was not easy that he was ﬁnally ﬁghting normally. Yet he seemed to have fallen into his enemy's trap and was about to fail.
Just then, Li Mao noticed that Feng Shaokun did not pursue him on, which provided him with a breathing space.
Is he really exhausted already?
Was that his last counterattack?
While the thoughts ran through Li Mao's mind, he shot up from his back like a carp jumping and stood up once more. Facing Feng Shaokun who had just got closer to him, he leaped from his feet, and together with his spinal cord, he violently threw a Blast Punch at his opponent.
Bam! Feng Shaokun raised his right arm and blocked the punch in time. However, his body could not help but swayed from the impact. It was obvious that he had reached his limit.
Li Mao took advantage of the situation. Without sparing any thoughts for his opponent, he pursued with another strong punch.
Bang! Feng Shaokun's arms gave way. His stance was broke apart.
Li Mao's eyes almost turned red. He took a sliding step to get closer to his opponent. He then slanted his body and ﬁercely knocked the opponent.
Feng Shaokun leaned backward while trying to dodge the body slam. However, his energy was fully drained so he lost his balance and fell down.
Li Mao rushed over and tightened his thigh. With a jerk from his knee, he kicked out his leg and stopped it in front of Feng Shaokun's throat. "Round Three, Li Mao wins!" The referee raised his right hand and announced the result.
I really won?
I really won?
Li Mao couldn't believe his ears. In that split second, he felt as though he was back to the University Martial Arts Fair, where he had disappointed everyone by losing to his opponent easily even when he had gained the upper hand, and it was all because he was nervous.
Yet now, I ﬁnally won?
At this moment, many scenes ﬂashed in front of Li Mao's eyes. He saw Chen Changhua was so disappointed that he punched the shelves till there was blood on his ﬁst, Lin Que was using a warm towel to cover the painful expression on his face and Coach Shi was trying his best to encourage the defeated team. He could see his own disappointment and heartache everytime he lost in a battle, and his tough and bitter self-training that he persisted on everyday. He recalled the days where he continued his training in a chilly and bone- piercing winter wind, as well as in the early morning when the sky was still dark and everywhere was dead silent. He also saw the scenes where Lou Cheng and the others were cautiously taking care of his feelings, as well as racking their brains to ease him from anxiety...
Everyone at the arena was cheering and shouting. He could not help but turn his head to look at Songcheng University Martial Arts club seating area.
There, he saw Lou Cheng holding onto Yan Zheke's hand, Yan Zheke holding onto Guo Qing's, Guo Qing's holding onto Li Xiaowen's, Li Xiaowen holding onto Lin Hua's, Lin Hua holding onto Sun Jian's and Sun Jian holding onto Lin Que's. When Li Mao was looking at their direction, they unitedly swung their hands up and cheered aloud.
"Li Mao, you're the best!"
Li Mao's eyes reddened as tears continuously ﬂowed from his eyes. He knew the camera was locked onto him and everyone could see his expression from the large projected screen. Yet he could not stop himself from crying.
He was a big man that was eight feet tall, but yet at this moment, he cried like a little child.
Chapter 154: Lou Cheng's "Secret Spell"
Li Mao was neither as pretty as Yan Zheke, nor as famous as Lin Que. The students at the stand only cared if he won his match, and had zero interest in himself at all. It wasn't until they saw him sobbing on the ring, n 1.8 meters tall man crying like a child on the ring did they feel both shocked and confused.
"It's just a normal preliminary match, does he seriously need to cry this hard..." Some audiences were both confused and bewildered. They all thought that Li Mao's reactions were too much.
A student suddenly recalled the 'rubbish' who was cursed and scolded at during last year's incident and recognized Li Mao, whose face was already covered with tears and mucus. "Ay, I know him! He was the guy who was trampled by the opponent last year like a wooden post during the Martial Arts Club's critical advancement match and ruined our absolute advantage! I almost cried out loud at the time..."
"Yes, yes! He's that nervous bro!" Some of the students immediately came to a realization the second they were reminded of that match.
It was only then that they understood why Li Mao had wept so bitterly after the battle. This was the mark where he bid goodbye to his past and discarded the heavy burden within his heart. This was the outcome after a long road of pain and hardships, the gratiﬁcation for making up part of his mistakes and the gratitude towards his companions for not abandoning him.
Afterall, it was easier to win your opponent than to win oneself!
Students who had understood this feeling recalled their pasts, making them feel a little warmth in their hearts, as well as sadness. One of them related it to his own stage-fright experience as he raised his arm and exclaimed.
"You can do it, Li Mao!"
As everyone was too stunned by the crying scene, they had forgotten to cheer Mao Li on. However, when the high-pitched voice pierced through the silence, many people were awakened by it.
This seemed to have summoned the rest of the students, whose mixed feelings were welled up, as they started to raise the arms and shouted in unison,
"You can do it, Li Mao!"
The cheers formed a wave throughout the stand and soon, the voices echoed in the arena was so loud that the arena almost trembled in the cheering,
"You can do it, Li Mao!"
These encouraging cheers reverberated around Li Mao's ears like raging waves, as the tears started to swell up in his eyes and blurred his vision. He covered his face with his hands and he continuously murmured to himself,
"Thank you everyone, thank you everyone..."
Feng Shaokun got up from the ground and glanced at him, looking confused. He did not know why the sudden outburst of emotions from the spectators.
In regards to the battle, he was ﬁlled with stubbornness and regrets. If he had not depleted most of his energy in the previous round of battle, he would deﬁnitely not feel exhausted after his Tiger and Crane Assault killer move. He would not have any delay in his movements, and thus would not lose this great opportunity of winning.
As for why he had depleted so much energy in the previous battle, it was because he was too aggressive in his attacks and did not have the chance to launch Crane Steps, which provided Yan Zheke a good opportunity for her 24 Blizzard Strikes. The reason why his attacks had become more aggressive was mainly that he wanted to revenge for his lover, who had lost badly in the battle. He wanted to help her to gain back some face...
When Feng Shaokun thought of all these, he felt a strong sense of unjust and regrets within his heart. He turned away and marched his way down the ring. He hated to be up there for another second longer.
Just then, he noticed Qian Ruoyu was standing beside Jiang Dingyi and whispering into his ear. They were very near each other and the way they acted made them look close.
His heart and face sunk at the same time. He then saw Jiang Dingyi stood up like an iron tower and marched straight towards him.
"What did Ruoyu tell you just now?" Feng Shaokun blurted out and asked as they brushed past one another. Jiang Dingyi smiled gently and replied, "She said Li Mao had depleted most of his energy, so she wants me to make use of my strength and force him to ﬁght aggressively. This is to end the battle fast."
"Make use of his strength..." Feng Shaokun murmured. His eyes revealed a look of unhappiness and he felt angry for being looked down upon. At the same time, he was upset that he was being "despised" by his lover.
As he returned to his seat, he noticed the anxiety on Qian Ruoyu's beautiful face as she tightly pursed her lips. She looked nervous yet hopeful, and a little sorrow. Looking at her, he could not help but soften his heart and gently said,
"With Old Jiang, we'll certainly win."
Qian Ruoyu rolled her eyes and looked at him shockingly as she said, "Hopefully, well, he can't possibly lose to a substitute at Songcheng University Martial Arts Club..." How long has Shaokun not mention "Old Jiang" this nickname?
At this moment, she suddenly felt guilty. Just because of her greediness, selﬁshness, pride and hesitation, she had caused the two boys who had grown up together to be drifted apart.
The thought ﬂashed through her mind and was quickly thrown to the back of her mind. Her attention was back again to the tournament, and she had a strong desire of winning.
None of Songcheng University Martial Arts Club's leading player was in this battle, and their real coach was not even present for this battle. If they themselves were to lose here, wasn't it too ashamed for them to return?
The Dream Squad formed by her was not created just to enjoy the crowd, nor for fun. It was created to prove to those who thought she was spoilt that she could be successful using her own effort too!
I'm no longer a child. I have dreams as well! …
At Songcheng University Martial Arts Club seating area, after "Coach" Lou Cheng and the others formed a human wave to cheer for Li Mao, they immediately released the hands and returned to their seats.
Just when Sun Jian had settled himself down, he suddenly remembered something and instantly stood up. He then walked towards Lou Cheng, moved closer to him and said,
"Cheng, no, I mean Coach Lou! What did you say to Li Mao just now? What kind of secret know-how did you pass to him that made him successfully relieve himself from anxiety?"
"I really have great admiration of you now. I feel that you have a mystical charm. You initially whispered to Yan Zheke, and she managed to win on her virgin ﬁght on the ring. Later, you whispered to Li Mao again, and this nervous bro won the battle as well! Why not you whisper to me as well before my battle?" Seeing Sun Jian's curious and hopeful look, as well as feeling a stare from Yan Zheke, Lou Cheng chuckled and said,
"Well, I told Senior Li Mao to...go front go back hit up hit down kick left kick right low strong kick, followed by a light punch..."
"Whadda f*ck?" Sun Jian blurted out, looking stunned.
Lou Cheng saw the confused and shocked look on Yan Zheke's face, who was sitting beside him. He laughed and added,
"That's a list of moves, a list of moves for the ﬁnal blow!"
"... stop kidding." Sun Jian ﬁnally understood that he got fooled by Lou Cheng, and Lou Cheng's inner thigh was gently pinched by Yan Zheke. Lou Cheng resisted his laughter and commented. "Actually I didn't say much. I kinda guessed that Feng Shaokun would make use Senior Li Mao's anxiety to give him the ﬁrst strike. However, his right arm had been continuously attacked by Ke in the previous battle and had experienced two times of violent
attack. Though he was not injured, but under the circumstance that he had not much time for recovery, he deﬁnitely would face with some difﬁculties in exerting strength. Thus, I advised Senior Li Mao not to think of anything, just directly slide step left, low ﬂying kick, followed by Forward Punch to the opponent's right side."
"After these moves, Senior Li Mao should have already overcome his anxiety if he's still not defeated."
His words made Yan Zheke felt proud of him, as a sweet- looking smile was faintly discernible on her face.
"I see... That's quite suitable for Li Mao's situation. Of course, your vicious foresight and good experience play a major part as well, which allows you to foresee Feng Shaokun's move..." Sun Jian sighed, and admired Lou Cheng even more. Lou Cheng modestly replied, "Even if I guess wrongly, it doesn't matter. It won't worsen the outcome anyway."
Yan Zheke felt the same honor as her boyfriend was praised. She silently lowered her right hand and held onto Lou Cheng's left hand. However, Lou Cheng initiated to grab her hand instead and tickled her palm.
"Then what did you tell your girlfriend?" Sun Jian asked curiously.
It was indeed amazing that he could make a newbie win in her virgin battle on the ring despite of the several mistakes she made!
"I told her that I'll lend her my strength!" Lou Cheng would never say things that made others felt that Yan Zheke's victory was all because of him, so he started spurting nonsense.
It's ﬁne as long as her girl understand his intention! Yan Zheke started giggling upon hearing his nonsense, and yet at the same time, she was touched by his intention. She spread her right hand wider and interlocked her ﬁngers with Lou Cheng's.
"Seriously?" Sun Jian obviously did not believe his words.
Lou Cheng chortled and replied, "Of course, I'm serious. This is the words of encouragement for your love. Senior Sister Lin and you are long time couple, so both of you will not understand."
Sun Jian returned him a despised look and nodded his head, still feeling slightly suspicious of his words. On the other hand, Yan Zheke blushed, snorted and turned her head to look at the ring.
By this time, Jiang Dingyi had already stood opposite of Li Mao and the referee had also raised his right hand. Sun Jian did not return to his seat as he stood beside Lou Cheng to watch the battle on the ring. Li Mao quickly wiped his tears. He felt that the heavy rock in his heart had ﬂowed out of his body along with his tears. This made his mind clear as he felt a sense of relief.
"I'll just need to deplete as much of his energy as possible!" He secretly made a decision.
In the previous battle, he had carried his anxiety feeling throughout the battle, which had depleted most of his energy. Now he was already at the end of his rope.
The referee waved down his right hand and shouted,
"Round Four. Begin!"
Jiang Dingyi was almost 1.9 meters tall, with copper brown skin tone. He didn't look like someone who was below the age of 20. At this moment, he leaped two big steps forward, pulling their distance closer as he tightened his right arm and advanced with a slashing move. Li Mao immediately reacted to his opponent's move as he twisted his back and swung out his right arm. Like a spear, his ﬁst swung and pierced his opponent, creating a loud tearing sound through the air.
Jiang Dingyi's right-hand slash suddenly stopped advancing. It was actually a deceiving move to cheat Li Mao into attacking ﬁrst. He then directly used the strength from his shoulder joints and arm joint to move as he rapidly swung out his arm again, this time, ferociously towards his opponent's wrist.
Bam! Since Li Mao's wrist was not considered strong, after Jiang Dingyi slashed at his wrist, he felt an instant pain. He immediately withdrew his right arm as if he was electrocuted, but had also managed to borrow some energy from it. He then slid his feet and moved to the right side of his opponent. Enduring the pain on his wrist, he threw a Blast Punch with his left hand towards the "yaoyan" on Jiang Dingyi's waist.
Jiang Dingyi lowered his body and bent backward. He straightened his right arm like a "knife" to block Li Mao's punch.
Bang! A dull sound was heard. Jiang Dingyi used his elbow as a pivot, his arm as an edge of a knife and his palm as the knifepoint. He took advantage of the situation and launched a Mega Slash at his opponent.
Li Mao relied on his elbow and sprang his back. He once again dodged the attack and appeared behind his opponent.
Just when he was about to launch an attack, Jiang Dingyi suddenly twisted his back, swung his leg with a back sweep before he leaned to one side.
Bam! Jiang Dingyi's kick was full of strength as it split the air loudly apart and ferociously headed towards Li Mao.
Li Mao rapidly lowered his shoulders and went into a stance which blocked off the kick. Bang! The collision caused Li Mao to feel weak all of a sudden. Before he could recover from it, he lost his balance and staggered to the side.
When Jiang Dingyi retreated his leg and was about to launch an attack, Li Mao, who ﬁnally recovered from the collision, had leaped forward and launched a counterattack onto his opponent before steadying himself.
"I'm near my limit! I must exhaust him ﬁrst!" That was the only thought that reverberated in his heart at that time.
Facing with such hurried counterattack, Jiang Dingyi did not dodge at all. He raised his left arm and blocked the attack, which stopped Li Mao's right ﬁst.
He then made use of the situation and lifted his left leg. He leaned his body and as though he was holding a sharp knife, he viciously "pierced" it towards the opponent's abdomen.
Li Mao leaned close to the opponent. He used his left hand to block, sucked in his abdomen and moved his back. That was how he blocked against Jiang Dingyi's hand without caring much as he knocked the opponent with his side, and hit the opponent's left arm and shoulder. He was trying to be like an arrow that was stretched to its maximum before shooting it to break down the thick city wall!
Bang! Jiang Dingyi endured the pain, seized the opportunity and grabbed Li Mao's body. He then tripped Li Mao's legs and lifted him up before he ﬁercely threw him down onto the ground.
Li Mao fell hard onto the ground and he felt extremely dizzy from the impact. At this moment, he had a hard time standing up.
The referee took a look at him and announced the result,
"Round Four. Jiang Dingyi wins!" Jiang Dingyi rubbed his left shoulder as he glanced at Li Mao in a mixed feeling. He never expected his opponent to ﬁght so hard and viciously. Thus, he became careless and was hit on his left shoulder. Luckily the opponent was already at his limit and was unable to exert full force, so he wasn't injured.
Seeing such scene, Lou Cheng sighed and leaned closer to Sun Jian as he whispered into his ear,
"Senior Brother Sun, you're full of experience with no anxiety issue, so there's not much for me to say. However, since you strongly request for it, I'd just say a word or two."
"First, continuous strong attack on the opponent's left side."
"What's second?" Sun Jian curiously pursued on.
Lou Cheng smiled and replied,
"Second?" "Kick his sorry ass!"
Sun Jian initially burst into laughter but instantly recovered.
With a stern face, he clenched his ﬁst and roared,
"Kick his sorry ass!"
Chapter 155: Rising to the Challenge
"Kick your sorry ass!"
As he roared out this sentence, Sun Jian felt so ready to go on a warpath that even his emotions had become elated. He walked towards the ring and saw Li Mao struggling to stand up on his feet. Li Mao shook his head once and staggered back to his team.
When he came across Li Mao who was still feeling a little dizzy, Sun Jian took the initiative to extend his ﬁst and said wholeheartedly,
Li Mao instinctively straightened up his back. He could not hide his smile when he gently bumped ﬁst with Sun Jian and completed the greeting ceremony.
"Senior Brother Sun, do your best!" Sun Jian nodded and walked past Li Mao. He had seen the path leading towards honor and glory.
This is the last battle of the match. I shall be the end of all battles!
This time, I'm really ﬁghting instead of only showing a pose!
While he went upstairs along the stone, Sun Jian suddenly had some feelings.
I was born in a family with professors. So I studied from the subordinate kindergarten, attached primary school, attached secondary school, key high school and now to my father's university without experiencing too many setbacks and never been bullied by other students. At ﬁrst, I started to learn martial arts only for showing off in front of my childhood friends. Later, I practiced it because I wanted to escape from the higher standard of my father and regarded the Martial Arts Club as a shelter which could help me get peace and freedom. With this mentality, I certainly won't be afraid, but on the contrary, I also won't treat the ﬁght with a tough and desperate attitude.
Just after shouted out "kick your sorry ass," he felt that his educated and gentle manner was thrown away. Meanwhile, the brutality hidden in the bottom of his heart was woken up which encouraged him to challenge the strong monster.
Boarding on the ring, Sun Jian suddenly felt that he was so small when he saw his opponent who was almost 190 centimeters high just like an iron tower. He felt that he had to look up at him just like facing his father who was an academic leader whose image was so great within his heart. He was afraid of his father and he had a deep shadow for his frowning, his strictness and his order.
If you couldn't challenge the authority and wouldn't obey the orders, the only thing you could do is to escape.
But now, he wouldn't escape anymore because he had to face it anyway. Looking at the high and powerful Jiang Dingyi who looked like invincible, he cried in a low voice, "Kick your sorry ass!"
Lou Cheng knew nothing about Sun Jian's psychological changes. Now, he felt very relaxed and did not hold too earnest expectations to the ﬁnal results.
The development of those several games had already made him feel satisﬁed today!
Yan Zheke has won her ﬁrst ﬁghting game and also accumulated the experience about crisis. Li Mao ﬁnally defeated the devil hiding in his heart and achieved his dream of victory. So there is no reason for me to feel unsatisﬁed!
As for the ﬁnal victory, it looks like the brightest jewel on the top of crown which is better to have it. But without the victory it still won't damage the essence of the crown. At that time, Li Mao got back to the seat accompanied by a burst of applause and he stopped in front of Lou Cheng.
Lou Cheng reached out his right hand and held it into a ﬁst.
"You did it!"
Li Mao looked like he was going to cry. He also reached out his right hand and pounded ﬁst with Lou Cheng. At the same time, he whispered,
Thanks for never giving me up!
At ﬁrst, Lou Cheng was going to recall some famous sayings to encourage Senior Brother Li Mao. And if he couldn't think of them, he would make some up. But the referee on the ring did not give him this opportunity. He waved his right hand to announce the start of the last game when both Jiang Dingyi and Sun Jian had stood by.
Sun Jian had much more experience on the real ﬁght than Lou Cheng. So without Lou Cheng's reminding, he knew that he had to hit the left shoulder of Jiang Dingyi ﬁercely which was hurt by Li Mao. As soon as he heard the word "start," he suddenly leaned back, walked with Snake Steps and ﬂashed to the left side of his enemy.
With his spine straightened, his right leg also became tighten. He snapped out his leg very quickly and kicked to the left knee of Jiang Dingyi.
Jiang Dingyi was good at power and not ﬂexible enough. So he didn't compete with Sun Jian about agility and physical movement. Facing this, there appeared the scene which was that the ground cracked and the volcanic erupted in his mind. And the muscle on his thigh suddenly tightened which made his pants stretched and outlined the good-shaped muscles.
Bam! A side kick was thrown out remarkably and came so quickly which exactly confronted with the Whip Kick of Sun Jian.
Sun Jian swung back his right leg and felt a burst of soreness of his hurting points which made him almost lose his focus.
This made him realize the gap between Jiang Dingyi and him in power.
Simply comparing the power of the body with Jiang Dingyi, he was much worse than him who also controlled the meditation and had the idea of short burst of ﬁghting the game!
Sun Jian was so ﬁrm that he did not let the depressed feelings affect himself. He sat back his right foot, stepped on the ground and straightened his back to hit the left shoulder of his opponent ferociously like a bomb. Because both Sun Jian and Li Mao didn't reach the meditation level on 24 Blizzard Strikes, they didn't have the corresponding visualizing ways to help them. They could play some power out only by experiences and feelings during the ﬁghting process. If they met an enemy with much too strong
power, they would have a problem in dealing with the
coherence of their movements and couldn't play the power out which also meant that they couldn't ﬁght more ferocious and more desperate.
And Li Mao could narrowly play the 24 Blizzard Strikes just now, only because he was ﬁghting with Feng Shaokun who had already consumed a lot of stamina and had declined a lot in all respects. However, Sun Jian couldn't play the same way as his Junior Brother Li Mao.
But he also had his own advantage, that is, he was able to hit the wound of his opponent ﬁercely.
As soon as he took back his right leg that he had to face the Blast Punch from his enemy. Jiang Dingyi didn't move his left shoulder and set his right foot as a pivot which helped him move backward quickly. Meanwhile, he hit his right hand ﬁercely like a knife which went exactly down to the ﬁst of Sun Jian. This movement made the right arm of Sun Jian bounce off and made him took back his attack quickly.
Sun Jian wasn't very annoyed. On the contrary, he was a little glad. He thought that the previous performance of Jiang Dingyi showed that his injury on his left shoulder was so heavy that he might have no chance to use his left hand.
He slid to the right side of Jiang Dingyi who was turning back at that time. He then opened his left hand like a sharp claw and suddenly hit the left shoulder of Jiang Dingyi. Once he could clutch him, then his enemy would get injured heavily with a fracture.
The members of Martial Arts Club like Sun Jian and Li Mao who were born in the ordinary family were different from others. They mostly were taught by the famous teacher in their home town. So what they learned also included a lot of great playing style except 24 Blizzard Strikes. For example, the Flower-tearing and Willow-striking Hand which Sun Jian was playing now, and if it could be played practically, it could almost cut down one arm of the enemy with only one grasping, one catching and one tearing. Jiang Dingyi showed no emotion. He twisted his spine peristalsis and bounced his back to abruptly throw himself to the right side to avoid the grasping from Sun Jian.
Sun Jian felt so happy and he honestly caught up with his enemy. He continuously hit the left side of Jiang Dingyi. While Jiang Dingyi sometimes defended by legs, sometimes he changed his moving style or sometimes he ran away to avoid his attack, but he still couldn't get rid of his attacks and was forced to the edge of the ring.
When Sun Jian was going to take this advantage to beat him down, he found that Jiang Dingyi suddenly paused as if his legs were two nails which made him ﬁrmly stand on the edge of the ring, and his body suddenly rounded back with this rebounding trend. He also lifted his left arm which turned into a sharp knife and front swept horribly with the help of visualization.
At that moment, he was like a great general who was riding a horse and ﬁghting a war. He dragged a long knife and was chased by the enemy. And then he suddenly straightened the reins so that his beloved horse could stop at once and raise its forefeet. At the same time, he could depend on the rebounding power to ﬁght back and unexpectedly kill the chasing enemy.
That was the Trailing Blade Style!
Jiang Dingyi planned for a long time to wait for this opportunity which could beat down Sun Jian at once!
Sun Jian rushed too hard and was unable to avoid. So he could only take a deep breath and set up his left arm to defend himself.
Bang! Jiang Dingyi hit Sun Jian's left arm ﬁercely with his left hand. The Trailing Blade Style which he had planned for a long time showed its great power and hit Sun Jian out only with one attack.
"Li Mao was ﬂying..." Yan Zheke clenched the left palm of Lou Cheng with worries in her beautiful eyes. She hoped that today could be a perfect day that she could get the victory and at the same time their Martial Arts Club also could win the game.
"Senior Brother Sun offered to ﬂy away..." Lou Cheng comforted his girlfriend while he was staring at the ring.
Sun Jian was hit out. Just when he was reaching the ground, he suddenly stretched out of his two hands and used the power on his fascia joint to press on the ground.
Bang! His body suddenly bounced to another direction and escaped from the "leg blade" of Jiang Dingyi very narrowly.
During the process of bouncing, Sun Jian turned over in the air and touched the ground with his feet. Then he bounced again to change a position and ﬁnally he found his center of gravity.
That was Catapulting Movement! It was in the same level of Modern Blast Punch and Shooting Fillip which was made by imitating the jump shot of bullets.
If Sun Jian didn't ﬂy out when facing the last strike, he would at least get fractures on his left arm. So people could know the terror of the Trailing Blade Style!
As soon as he stood still, Sun Jian saw that Jiang Dingyi rushed over aggressively.
He did not choose to escape. He clenched his teeth and directly fought back with only one thought in his mind,
I don't believe that your left shoulder will be okay after it was directly hit by Li Mao and played such ferocious Trailing Blade Style.
Never give him the opportunity to recover! In the face of this ferocious attack, Jiang Dingyi ﬁnally changed his attitude.
These two people closed to each other in a moment. Sun Jian bent a little and escaped to the front of his enemy, and then he started the hand-to-hand ﬁght with Jiang Dingyi steadily and surely with his hand, wrist and elbow just like practicing with a wooden man.
Bang, bang, bang. These two continued to attack each other with the playing sound broke out again and again. The audience also felt very nervous because of the ﬁerce ﬁghting process.
Sun Jian thought he was going to be beaten down by his enemy whose power was a little stronger than him, he suddenly perceived that the left arm of Jiang Dingyi slowed down a bit.
Too late to think about the reason, Sun Jian hit his enemy with a cross elbow as soon as possible and took the advantage to attack. Pooh! His elbowing beat back the left arm of Jiang Dingyi so that to make Jiang Dingyi expose a lot of space on his body for him to attack.
That's an opportunity!
Sun Jian was unable to think carefully about the current situation, following the instinct, and he straightened his elbow with the power from the rebounding and the power of the joints. Then he threw out his forearm.
His forearm with a ﬁst hit exactly on the ribs, even though this strike wasn't powerful. It still made his enemy scream and suddenly shrink the body.
Sun Jian took this chance to resist counterattack of his enemy and at the same time, he opened his ﬁst to grab his enemy. Then, he moved forward with his right leg and put it in the middle of Jiang Dingyi's legs. At that time, there was only one thought in his mind, that was,
"Kick your sorry ass!"
"Kick him out!" He suddenly pushed up his arms and used the right leg as a fulcrum. He cast his enemy out to the edge of the ring.
Jiang Dingyi fell outside the ring with his back touching the ground, accompanied by the cheering words and crying of the audience.
Sun Jian gasped and raised his right hand. He shouted within his heart,
"Awesome!" The referee also raised his right hand to announce the result,
"Round Five, Sun Jian wins!"
"The ﬁnal result is Songcheng University Martial Arts Club wins!"
Chapter 156: Experience Counts
The audiences wiped the cold sweat off their palms and let out a sigh of relief. The entire arena was ﬁlled with thunderous cheers, boiling up for a victory that had been long overdue. Although they had not prepared mini trumpets or other items to boost the cheer, it was still sufﬁcient to create a passionate atmosphere.
Qian Ruoyu's expression turned incredibly ugly in the middle of it. She felt extremely wronged and stiﬂed on the inside, wanting just to turn and leave abruptly just like that. She didn't want to wait for even a second longer.
"I'm an adult now. I'm not a spoiled child. I must bear the responsibility of what I've created..." She bit the bottom half of her lip softly with her white and tidy teeth and convinced herself to be strong on the inside. She didn't turn her head and leave right away but waited for Jiang Dingyi's return instead.
Right now Jiang Dingyi was feeling extremely depressed as well. The match had been a dissatisfying loss to him. His meditation skill was shallow, and he had not yet reached the level where he could control every strand of muscle in his body. Therefore, he wasn't able to pull back his center of gravity at a critical moment and dodge out of the way. Moreover, his ﬁghting style wasn't a hit-and-run type to begin with, so the pain and aching on his left shoulder and the sluggishness of his qi and blood were enlarged to the max after Sun Jian had gotten close to him and forced a hand-to-hand combat. As a result, his loss was decided in that one instant.
"If only I hadn't gotten careless and let Li Mao hit me..." he thought in annoyance. He felt ashamed to meet Qian Ruoyu to the point where even his returning footsteps had become slow.
When he returned to Dream Squad's seat area, Qian Ruoyu inhaled deeply and said,
"The main reason for our defeat today is on me. Dingyi, Shaokun, if the two of you had faced Sun Jian and Li Mao at your peak condition, the chances of your victory would be 80% or higher. I was the one who underestimated my enemy too much and lost to Yan Zheke too quickly, forcing the both of you to exhaust yourself earlier than anticipated. That was why we have lost. This is my mistake. I apologize to you all." Jiang Dingyi and Feng Shaokun weren't the only ones who were surprised. Even Yu Qiao and the reserve members were caught off guard when they heard Qian Ruoyu's words. They didn't think that their proud little princess would stay cool, not blame someone else, and reﬂect on her own mistakes.
Has she gotten a little more mature?
Feng Shaokun recovered and immediately consoled her. "Ruoyu, this is not your mistake. The main reason we lost is due to a lack of sufﬁcient information. Songcheng University Martial Arts Club's Yan Zheke hid her level of skill too well, and no one knew that she had already achieved a small attainment in meditation, and that her 24 Blizzard Strikes had climbed to the next level."
"Yeah, none of us had expected this." Jiang Dingyi echoed.
Qian Ruoyu felt a little better and touched at their words. Her eyes looked red enough to burst into tears at any moment. She inhaled deeply and calmed herself down. Then, she pointed to the opposite side of the ring and said,
"One may lose the battle, but not the war. Let us head over and greet them so that no one can say we're ill mannered."
Normally speaking, both parties were expected to meet up and greet each other as a show of politeness after a group challenge tournament was over. However, this usually did not happen. While the winners were happy to perform the gesture, the losers were normally too distressed even to try at all.
Lou Cheng imitated a scene he saw in a Professional Martial Arts Competition before and led the home team to clap and gesture at the spectators grandstand as a show of support. In return, they were greeted with even greater waves of claps and cheers.
It was at this moment he saw Qian Ruoyu and the others walking over to them. Therefore, he beckoned Sun Jian, Li Mao and Yan Zheke to him before meeting them. Qian Ruoyu cast a glance at the pure and beautiful Yan Zheke before turning to face Lou Cheng. She exhaled and said,
"You all have fought very well today..."
Lou Cheng was feeling good, so naturally he turned humble and pointed at his girlfriend, smiling faintly.
"The main reason for our victory is because we have a secret weapon that caused you to misjudge the situation. Otherwise, it would have been difﬁcult to tell to whom the spoils will go."
It was the truth. They were weaker if both parties' members were to be compared individually.
Yan Zheke was pleased, happy and embarrassed by his praise. She shot a glance at him before turning away to look at the side. Her expression could not fool those who were experienced in such things. Both Yu Qiao and Feng Shaokun sighed respectively on the inside. "As expected, a beautiful girl's heart is usually owned by someone else already!"
As for Lou Cheng, while a powerful 19 years old Professional Ninth Pin ﬁghter might not normally catch the eye, it was impossible to ignore the fact that he had reached his level of prowess in just a half a year. Therefore, they did not feel that Yan Zheke was a beautiful ﬂower poked into a pile of manure. They only felt that it made sense for a beautiful girl like Yan Zheke to become matched with an impressive man like Lou Cheng!
Qian Ruoyu felt a lot better when she heard Lou Cheng's honest words. The feeling of self-blame also subsided by a lot as she put on a faint smile and said,
"There is deﬁnitely hope for you to advance out of the group with your current performance. I wish that you all may go higher and higher."
Lou Cheng also smiled and replied, "Then we'll wish that you'll grow stronger with each ﬁght, and get better with each match."
Qian Ruoyu immediately felt that he was a good person and recovered some of her old spirits. After saying a word of thanks, she then led Dream Squad into the away team's locker room.
Yan Zheke's eyes moved about as she watched their backs.
She said with a sigh, "She isn't as delicate as I thought..."
At this point, she broke out in laughter. "And their relationship isn't as turbulent as I expected either..."
She sounded a little sorry for not being able to watch a real life version of melodramatic love disputes.
"Yeah..." Lou Cheng looked sideways at her with a regretful expression on his face too. Sun Jian and Li Mao knew nothing about the gossip behind Dream Squad at all. They were bewildered when they heard Yan Zheke's words, and when they saw Lou Cheng and her looking and smiling at each other as if they shared a little secret that only they knew about, a grimace overtook their mouths before they turned their heads and walked away.
"Let's return to the locker room." Lou Cheng beamed and held Yan Zheke's delicate hand in his own, declaring his ownership under the gazes of thousands of people.
Yan Zheke blushed slightly, but she allowed the gesture generously in attempt to put an end to any potential woos that might occur after today's match. It was just too troublesome!
As a university with rather strict management policies, the intimate gestures of the lovers in Songcheng University were normally restricted to the trees beside the lake and pedestrian walkway. No one had ever held hands under the spotlight until now. When the students saw this, they immediately thought to make a scene as those who could whistle whistled and those who could shout shouted. The scene immediately turned playful. Yan Zheke was so embarrassed that she lowered her head and rushed towards the locker room. However, when they were about to approach the door, she noticed Lou Cheng's sudden pause beside her.
Eh... She looked up and saw Geezer Shi drinking wine at the entrance.
"Ma-Coach Shi, why have you come? Didn't you say that you have something to do last minute?" Lou Cheng was just as surprised.
Geezer Shi laughed mischievously and said, "If I didn't have something to do last minute, where would you ﬁnd the chance to show off? If I was here, god knows how nervous Li Mao would still be!"
"Plus, I'm already old. I've broken away from you youngsters for too long, and I really have no idea how to encourage you guys." Lou Cheng and Yan Zheke immediately came to a realization and understood Coach Shi's earnest intentions.
"Let me borrow your boyfriend for a couple of minutes. This old man has something to speak with him." Geezer Shi beamed at Yan Zheke.
Yan Zheke was both embarrassed and distressed to be teased by a senior. She loosened her right hand and ran into the locker room without turning around.
Lou Cheng followed Geezer Shi to a secluded spot at a corner of the locker room several steps away. Then he said easily, "I thought you really have something to do last minute, master..."
He thought that he had found Longhu Immortal's legacy residence!
Geezer Shi let out a laugh and looked at Lou Cheng. "What did you think I'd be doing?" "Er, didn't you say that a friend came a long way to seek out Longhu Immortal's legacy residence? I thought they ﬁnally found it and invited you along as a helper." An idea ﬂashed through Lou Cheng's mind, and he took the opportunity to probe further.
Geezer Shi drank a sip of wine and smiled faintly. "They did ﬁnd it. Last night, they invited your master to explore Zhaoshan Lake. However, it was only a side residence with nothing in it."
"Zhaoshan Lake? Wasn't it Weishui Lake?" Lou Cheng's mind went blank for a moment. He had a feeling that his master and the others had hit the wrong target.
Geezer Shi let out a 'heh' seeing his expression and said,
"You seem to feel much more at ease after hearing this?"
"Ah?" At ﬁrst, Lou Cheng was surprised. Then, every hair on his body stood on its end as he became ﬁlled with a kind of tension he never felt before until now. What did master mean by that?
Did he learn about my Jindan?
Geezer Shi chuckled and said, "There's no need to be nervous, brat. With exception to those people with top class talent, everyone grows stronger from a little bit of luck. The only difference lies in when they get their luck, such as a golden scale ﬁsh can only transform into a real dragon after encountering the wind and clouds. Your master has lived for a very long time. What have I not seen, and what have I not experienced in my life? Why would I care about your little fortuitous luck?"
"Er, little fortuitous luck?" Lou Cheng was stunned for a brief moment before he eased up a little and asked, "Master, when did you ﬁnd out?"
"Your master only guessed it last night." Geezer Shi said with a pleased look, "Half a year ago, your master had already sensed a strange energy ﬂuctuation during the day of opening of the martial arts club. Unfortunately, I was a little far away from it and didn't ﬁnd anything when I reached there. Later on, you've displayed an extraordinary amount of talent in meditation and near inﬁnite stamina, and although you've successfully unleashed the Frost Force, you've awakened the Power of Blaze instead... All these things seem like nothing at ﬁrst glance, and they still amount to nothing when connected together. After all, some ﬁghters awaken their talents a bit late everywhere in this world."
"However, when we explored Long Hu Immortal's side residence, your master discovered from some remnant records that the Immortal had emulated the core of yin and yang through the use of ice and ﬁre. I immediately came to realize what happened. Damn it, this is the only way you could have awakened the Power of Blaze despite unleashing the Frost Force. And so, after I've put together everything, I went to explore Weishui Lake myself and found this thing. Hehe, your master had trod more bridges than the roads you had walked, brat. Do you really think you can fool me? I'm a physical invulnerable ﬁghter, and cultivation is at best a reference to me. What're you scared about?"
Geezer Shi took out the half burned, a half frozen skeleton of a black ﬁsh from his pocket and shook it to dust with a casual shake of his hand. "Experience does count..." Lou Cheng was both impressed and left with a taste of lingering fear as he confessed honestly. "Your guesses are spot on, master. While I was training beside the lake, I encountered this black ﬁsh by accident and obtained a bit of Longhu Immortal's inheritance from its stomach."
At this point, he could not help but ask, "Master, are you, disappointed that I've advanced by leaps and bounds only because I relied on Longhu Immortal's inheritance?"
"Not really. I have seen all of the willpower, nature and combat talent you've displayed for the past half a year, and I'm relatively satisﬁed with them. You're not the kind of person who would grow arrogant and forget your roots just because you've obtained a good fortune." Geezer Shi nodded slightly and said, "I haven't discovered Longhu Immortal's legacy residence in Weishui Lake either. It would appear that there're many queer things in that place. We'll consider this again once you've fully digested his inheritance."
Lou Cheng pondered for a moment before taking the initiative to ask, "But digesting it is very dangerous. Every time I awaken something, I would experience a rebound effect. Do you have a plan, master?" This was a tacit admission to Geezer Shi about his Jindan. Most of the worry and haze that had been hidden in his heart for the past half a year vanished instantly when he saw that his master had acted kindly and without greed.
Chapter 157: One and Only
"Rebound effect?" For one rare moment Geezer Shi looked serious as he chewed the two words and asked, "Let me ask you ﬁrst. Do you wish to be a ﬁghter, or do you want to be a cultivator in the future? You'd not be able to regret your decision once you've entered high-ranked Dan Stage."
Lou Cheng was a child who grew up watching Professional Martial Arts Competitions. He was nurtured this way, and he held a dream and a pure and passionate love for martial arts. When he heard this, he answered without hesitation,
"Of course, I want to be a ﬁghter!"
More importantly, the legacy of cultivators had been severed since a long time ago. Cultivating based on remaining records would only produce minimal results at twice the effort. On the other hand, he had the guidance of seniors and the collation and examination of his lovers if he trod on the path of martial arts. There was also an immense number of relevant information and companions whom he could spar and discuss with! "Very good." Geezer Shi praised once before clicking his tongue. "Then you must always remember that martial arts is your main path, and cultivation is something that supplements it. It's true that the other mountain's stone can polish jade, but it doesn't mean the stone itself can become the jade you wish to be. The greatest taboo in the path of cultivation is none other than to shilly-shally, hesitate, unwilling to choose and irrespective of what's important and what's not. Alright, why don't you tell me how you normally digest it ﬁrst?"
Lou Cheng deliberated his choice of words and said, "It could help me recover my fatigue. Through this, I continuously push myself and increase my stamina..."
Geezer Shi interrupted him in annoyance before he could ﬁnish.
"I knew it! No wonder I was gasping for breath at the beginning!"
Before Lou Cheng could explain, he let out a sigh and continued, "Not bad. You understand how to purposefully use your fortuitous encounter to increase your abilities and not purely rely on it. With your willpower and temperament, it's not in vain that I've taken you as my disciple. Ay, come on, continue!"
"Wasn't you the one who interrupted me?" Lou Cheng judged silently on the inside before recalling where he had left off the conversation. "It could help me enter meditation and conceal my spirit and qi swiftly. However, half a year of hard work later, I'm able to enter into a meditative state now swiftly. In fact, I'm close to achieving the level of great attainment. However, I'm still unable to perform inward vision just yet..."
Geezer Shi nodded slightly as a sign of acknowledgment, but he did not interrupt further.
"Other than these two points, its balance would be broken whenever I push it to its limits. A bit of its energy would leak outside, integrate into my body and create the talent of a supernatural ability through a rebound effect." Lou Cheng said honestly, "During the ﬁrst rebound effect, I had nearly died at Yanling." "As I thought, it's a little similar to the physical invulnerability stage..." Geezer Shi said thoughtfully, "Longhu Immortal's cultivation emphasizes on the balance between ice and ﬁre, yin and yang. The might of the rebound effect when you awaken the Power of Frost should be similar to the ﬁrst rebound effect. You can try this with your current constitution."
Lou Cheng said 'weakly', "I did... it's about the same as the rebound effect when I ﬁrst awakened the Power of Blaze..."
The corner of Geezer Shi's mouth twitched once before he said in annoyance and amusement, "Your wings had gotten tough I see, brat! If I'm to describe this philosophically, your self-initiative is seriously impressive!"
"Master, you know about philosophy?" Lou Cheng sidetracked the topic and said.
Geezer Shi let out a 'heh' and said, "Do you think your master is illiterate? Mm, since you've awakened the Power of Frost, I'd be able to teach you a few things once your arm has recovered. As for the time for the second cycle of your awakening, you don't be hasty. You should wait until the qi and blood of your physical body have reached the peak of body reﬁning state, and when you can withdraw
and release them freely, you can attempt again. Remember to
come and look for me then. At the worst, I'd be able to protect your life at least! Tsk, young people these days are so foolishly bold!"
Lou Cheng was assaulted by a pang of guilty conscience and didn't dare to answer him.
"For now, digest the Jindan following your own pace. Later on, you should learn how to extract its essence and discard the useless residue. When you've merged the stuff of cultivation into your martial arts, do allow your master to ﬁgure out how you should tread the next step." Geezer Shi laughed in self- depreciation before saying, "I guess I have to suffer the embarrassment and ask for some research data later."
"Research data?" Lou Cheng asked in curiosity. Geezer Shi spoke with a smile that wasn't quite a smile, "Do you think that Longhu Immortal was the only cultivator in ancient times? Many relevant legacy residences have been found in succession, and it's also why we can conﬁrm that the path of cultivation takes a different approach but shares the
same end destination as martial arts, but it's not able to break through the limits just the same. Moreover, the inheritances of the path of cultivation were unavoidably severed because its cultivators often secluded themselves in mountains and forests for great lengths of time."
"The army had found plenty of inheritances and thus had a deeper researched understanding of cultivation. They had even purposely chosen a group of volunteers to tread the path of cultivation for observation purposes. Hehe, in the end, the imagination that could not be made real is just an imagination."
At this point, he sighed. "However, the data researched by the military isn't of much use to you. Your wish is to walk the path of martial arts with characteristics of cultivation merged into it. There's nothing in your path that coincides with the direction they're headed right now. You'd have to wait until my old friend obtains the inheritance of Longhu Immortal and combines it with his ﬁndings as reference and see if he can discover anything. You don't have to be hasty. Right now, you should focus on training your physical body to the peak ﬁrst."
"Yes, master." Lou Cheng said sincerely. The fact that his master would watch over him the next time he squeezes the Jindan was a great boon to him already.
Geezer Shi nodded and returned to his usual lax appearance, saying, "Alright, that's it. Go do whatever you need to do."
Lou Cheng was just about to turn back to the locker room when he failed to restrain himself from asking one more question.
"Master, are you seriously not curious about this?"
Geezer Shi smiled and said, "Do you want to hear the truth or a lie?" "What's the truth? What's the lie?" Lou Cheng asked with the mind to get to the bottom of things.
"The lie is that your master has attained physical invulnerability for many years. My path has been set since a long time ago, and the stuff of cultivation can only be useful to me for a time or act as a mere reference. It can no longer boost my abilities directly, which is why I've never paid too much attention to the military's research of cultivation despite having cooperated with them for many years." Geezer Shi chuckled. "As for the truth, your master is old and can't afford to squander much time and effort anymore. Even if blending the stuff of cultivation could really help me achieve greater heights, I don't have the courage to attempt recklessly any longer. After all, isn't it better to have my old friend opening the path ahead and you, a lively lab rat to experience things for me? What you obtained, your masters possess all the channels in the world to obtain as well."
"That is true..." when he heard the truth, Lou Cheng felt at ease completely and relaxed on the inside.
Geezer Shi took out a small wine jug, took a sip, hummed a Chinese opera tune and turned around to leave at his leisure. As he watched his master going away, Lou Cheng's feeling was like the surface of a lake that had calmed down after an intense turbulence. There were still some ripples amidst his calm and collected mind.
He suddenly sighed and felt a strange kind of loss.
To him, the Jindan was the crutch he relied upon to swiftly ﬂy through the ranks of martial arts and his greatest trump card. It was the secret that he was most unwilling to share with anyone because it made him unique and full of conﬁdence.
When his master discovered its existence, and when he realized those cultivator inheritances were rare but not unique, he seemed to have lost that feeling of uniqueness and conﬁdence. Therefore, he couldn't help but feel a pang of loss.
However, looking from another point of view, the Jindan itself contained too much danger and unpredictability. His life would be much, much safer if he had his master, a physical invulnerable Mighty One to watch over him. Moreover, his true uniqueness and conﬁdence were not the Jindan, but the tenacity, willpower, temperament, conﬁdence and combat talent he 'awakened' through the Jindan.
They were his true and biggest dependence on his path of martial arts!
When he ﬁgured this out, Lou Cheng recovered himself and felt exceptionally relaxed. He felt as if he had discarded a heavy burden that had been hidden inside his heart for too long; discarded the worry that he would perish at any moment due to the instability of the Jindan.
He began walking towards the entrance of the locker room as conﬁdently and calmly as ever.
When Geezer Shi walked out of the martial arts arena and headed to the teachers' apartment, he suddenly hiccupped and smacked his head. "Look at my memory. I forgot to ask exactly what the brat had obtained."
Oh well, if it's not a life artifact, then it has to be an externally cultivated spirit core..."
When Lou Cheng entered the locker room, Yan Zheke had just ﬁnished bathing. Her black hair was tied together loosely by a black elastic band, making her looking refreshing and attractive. Li Mao walked back and forth excitedly and talked to others non-stop. The sweat on his face was still present, and it was evident that he hadn't bathed yet. The others were busy with their own things.
Li Mao hurriedly shouted when he saw Lou Cheng coming in,
"Cheng, everyone, I'll be treating tonight. We'll celebrate at the academy cafeteria!" He wished to express his own gratitude and happiness.
Yan Zheke took out an ointment from the cabinet and joked. "Senior Brother Li Mao, are you disregarding Senior Brother Sun Jian and me? We're the protagonists of today as well. If anyone's treating today, then it'll have to be the three of us together!"
Sun Jian also echoed. "Yeah, Li Mao, are you trying to take all the merit or something? I'm the last ﬁghter to stand in the ring, and I'm the captain this match. How can I possibly let you treat us alone?"
Lou Cheng and the others all understood that they did not wish for Li Mao, whose family was of average wealth to spend too much money. Therefore, they had echoed the sentiment and made Li Mao both embarrassed and touched. In the end, he accepted the compromise.
"Let me help you massage your bruises, alright?" Lou Cheng walked before Yan Zheke and took over the ointment with a great smile on his face. Yan Zheke pursed her lips and cast a smiling glance at him.
She let out a cute humph and said,
"Show me your skill then~!"
When she was done speaking, she turned around and sat down at the edge of a bench. She opened the button of her cuffs and rolled her sleeves upwards, revealing a section of snow white skin. However, the minor bruises and swellings on her skin looked rather scary. Perhaps it was because that her skin was tender.
Lou Cheng picked up her wrist and put ointment ﬁrst on the small swelling on the surface of her ﬁst. He felt both regret and tenderness for her wounds, and he applied the ointment extremely seriously.
"Not bad..." Yan Zheke smiled with a little bit of embarrassment as she stared at the swirling pattern on top of Lou Cheng's head and bit the bottom half of her lip softly with her pearl white teeth. "Of course, I apply ointment to my own body everyday after training. My proﬁciency reached max level a long time ago." Lou Cheng said humorously while feeling relaxed and happy on the inside.
When Yan Zheke saw Sun Jian, Lin Hua and the others leaving one after another, and Li Mao had entered the shower room to shower, she exclaimed softly.
"Hmm?" Lou Cheng lifted his head and looked at the girl. He could see that her eyes were as gentle as water.
"Thank you..." Yan Zheke turned her head and looked sideways as she spoke softly.
She wasn't thanking him for now, but before.
Lou Cheng answered with a mischievous smile, "Do we still need thanks between us?"
This was the purposely innocent answer Yan Zheke had given him earlier. Now that he had used it to reply her gratitude, it immediately drew a laugh and a playful pout from the girl. Lou Cheng felt dazed as he stared at her, feeling a sense of his own 'uniqueness' once more...
In this world, I'm the only boy Yan Zheke likes...
Chapter 158: Is There a Kind of Forever
While Lou Cheng was smiling absent-mindedly, Yan Zheke tilted her head and looked at him in puzzlement. She asked,
"Cheng. Why are you wearing such an odd look on your face?"
"Ah?" Lou Cheng suddenly returned to earth and realized that he was drunk in his self-delusion just now. So he answered humorously, "When I see your smile, I thought I must be a very, very particular and unique man out of the billions of other men on Earth to be chosen by a girl as good as you Yan Zheke."
After he had gotten rid of the anxiety and fear within his heart, he felt so extraordinarily relaxed that he was able to say the things that he was normally too embarrassed to talk about.
"Pooh..." Yan Zheke immediately broke into laughter upon hearing this, and it took her an enormous amount of effort before she ﬁnally stopped her body from trembling. Then, she put on a look of grievance and said, "Cheng, you've changed!" "I did?" Lou Cheng asked subconsciously.
Yan Zheke nibbled her lower lip softly and said pitifully,
"You're not like this before..."
"Oh? How was I before?" Lou Cheng let out a laugh and asked.
A beautiful dimple appeared on Yan Zheke's face as she looked up and said 'grievingly',
"The ﬁrst time you talked to me, you were so nervous that you would stammer out of anxiety! Later on, you would only send me corny words through QQ. However, you can say all these things to me with a straight face now! Humph, tell me! You have a 'dog' outside, haven't you? You must be practicing with it every day..." Speaking of this, she really pretended to be mad and covered her mouth with her left hand. She smiled with her eyes even shimmering.
Lou Cheng also felt fun. He sat down by her side to dig a block of ointment and picked up her wrist. He continued to smear the bruises on the girl's right arm and until Yan Zheke stopped laughing he answered, "I was just inspired in the moment..."
At that time, he heard Li Mao almost stopped bathing. So he transferred the topic quickly. "What I told you today is the basic issues you should pay attention to as a new ﬁghter. Although it's my experience and lessons learned, it turns that other coach will also instruct you the same way as me."
Yan Zheke said with a smile, "But the ﬁrst time you were playing the Challenge Tournament, did you have any guidance?"
"Oh, I didn't get it..." Lou Cheng stunned for a while. "How can Coach Shi even not ask about me and let me fend for myself?" Not until he guided Yan Zheke that he found something wrong about his ﬁrst Challenge Tournament. At that time, he thought that all the coaches treated their apprentices the same attitude as Coach Shi when their apprentices had a challenge tournament.
While Geezer Shi got back to the teacher's apartment, he lied on the sofa and put legs on the coffee table without any manner.
He wrinkled his brows, thinking out loud.
"This guy has luck, curiosity, and perseverance. But he went with the ﬂow so successfully, so I need to teach him some lessons about failure..."
... While they were chatting like straying off topic, Lou Cheng had rubbed the bruises on the arms and hands of Yan Zheke. He got out of the seat and squatted before her, and then pointed to her leg and said,
"Are there also some bruises?"
Yan Zheke answered "Yes" with biting her lips.
Lou Cheng rolled up her pants cautiously and was afraid of touching her wound. And then he glanced at her skinny white legs which had ﬁne lines. When he found the bruise, he held up her shank with one hand and used the other hand to rub the bruise with ointment carefully. He discovered that the girl's leg touching as soft and delicate as ivory that he was reluctant to let it go.
Watching Lou Cheng squatting before her so toughly and feeling his tenderness and love, Yan Zheke was very happy, so she thought that she should change a position for the convenience of Lou Cheng. Should I put feet on the bench? No, this posture is so ugly and rude...
Or should I put my feet on his knee to raise the calf so that he needn't bend anymore? But the shoes are dirty. If I really want to do so, I have to take off the shoes ﬁrst...
Yan Zheke suddenly felt too shy and ultimately she gave up this idea. So she intended to sit holding her knees. When she was going to say it, she heard that the bathroom door opened and she heard the footsteps of Li Mao. She quickly pushed back the falling hair and sat very seriously and square.
Li Mao had been used to their sweetness. He glanced at them and said,
"Cheng, Yan Zheke, see you at half past six!"
"Okay, see you later!" Lou Cheng turned back and waved good bye. He watched Li Mao opening the door and walking out. Bang! The door of the locker room closed by itself and it again isolated them from the outside world.
"Well, let's change the other leg." Lou Cheng put down Yan Zheke's pant which was rolled over just now inch by inch to avoid sticking the ointment on the pant.
Then, he rolled up her right pant and slightly adjusted his center of gravity to keep awkward squatting posture which even made him feel embarrassed. He rubbed the scattered bruises carefully and slowly with the ointment.
While he was rubbing, he suddenly found the unusual quietness all around. The sound outside the locker room was so far from him like it came from the horizon.
Are there only Yan Zheke and me in the locker room?
Only two of us? After realizing this point and hearing gentle and long breath sound of the girl, Lou Cheng felt the skin he was touching being more tender and delicate. He suddenly felt like ants in the pants.
In the locker room which was as quiet as isolated with the whole world, he suddenly was woken up by the heavier breath sound. After he thought over that he just found the sound was his.
And the girl's breath seemed to be already affected by his breath which also vaguely sped up a little.
There appeared a little bit inexplicable atmosphere among the breathing sound. Lou Cheng felt his mouth patched and tongue scorched and felt strangely nervous. He found that the girl's leg seemed soft, but in fact, it contained the surprising ﬂexibility which was made by the long-term martial arts practice. So he enjoyed every time he pressed his hand on it.
He heard that Yan Zheke's breath became lower as if she was restrained her emotion. But the more she behaved like this, the thirstier he was. He felt her breathing sound was like a feather which tickled his heart gently and continuously.
Lou Cheng's hands gradually slowed down. It seemed that he was not rubbing the bruises.
Surrounded by the empty silence, Yan Zheke suddenly called him in a low voice,
This shivering sound made Lou Cheng feel surprised. He suddenly raised his head and saw the girl whose eyes were as beautiful as lake. And the girl was so shy that her cheek became pink which was so lovely that he liked so much.
"What..." Lou Cheng didn't know why he had to swallow spittle so hard and he felt Yan Zheke was also gently trembling. When he was speaking, Yan Zheke put her hands on his shoulders. She bent over and said in front of Lou Cheng's face with crimson cheek,
"I'm not showing my thanks... "
Before she ﬁnished her words, she suddenly closed her eyes and held her breath. Then she kissed the corner of his mouth.
Lou Cheng stunned for a while. And when he saw that the girl moved back shyly with a little proudness like a frightened white rabbit who was trying to avoid, his blood immediately burned. He suddenly sat straight and rushed forward to hold Yan Zheke. Then he kissed her beautiful lips at once.
Yan Zheke struggled by instinct. Her head shook around so that Lou Cheng only kissed her cheek.
But only because of this slight kiss, she was suddenly quiet and closed her eyes with her hands falling down to seize the clothes of Lou Cheng. Lou Cheng kissed the girl's cheek once and once again. He felt her cheek was so soft and smooth which was actually much better than the skin on the arms and legs.
He kissed Yan Zheke with his dry lips for a while and then moved to her glowing pink lips. He was getting there closer and closer.
Finally, he could not help but kiss her lips directly, containing both her upper and lower lip at one time.
The hands clutching his skirt of Yan Zheke suddenly paralyzed. She seemed to have a ﬁne sigh and she became submissive to lean to Lou Cheng with her quivering eyelashes.
Lou Cheng felt that the girl's lips were as sweet as orange petals. Sometimes he sucked them, and sometimes he outlined her lips with the tongue. He never missed any good taste on her lips and kissed in a daze.
He occasionally separated the girl's lips and counted her shell teeth with his tongue. He tasted something sweet, but no longer separated her teeth delicately until he found that the girl was closing her teeth very ﬁrmly. He gave up forwardly and he would wait till the girl agreed to kiss like that.
After a long time, Yan Zheke suddenly took back her lips. She breathed heavily and glanced at him shyly and charmingly,
"Do you want to suffocate me..."
She said it when her cheek was against Lou Cheng's. Lou Cheng understood what kind of breathing was like the orchid. He also puffed because of the excitement. Meanwhile he laughed, "Couldn't you breathe with your nose?"
Is this the instinct?
"Well, I'm not as amative as you!" Yan Zheke said.
I just like to kiss with holding my breath, so what?! Seeing the shining eyes, pink cheek and glossy lips of Yan Zheke, Lou Cheng couldn't help but kiss her once again and he kept both the two tempting lips in his mouth.
This time, he no longer kissed violently. He tasted the taste on her lips carefully and put his hands on the back of the girl as he gently touched her back.
They separated and kissed again and again. Finally Yan Zheke pushed him away and said to him seriously as she was pufﬁng,
"We should go back now!"
And if we go on like this, I really do not know what will happen next!
"Go back?" Lou Cheng said in dismay, "How good here is with no noise and no bystanders." Having such a place for date is rare!
Yan Zheke wiped her mouth and turned to the other side.
"Well, I won't give 'pervert' like you a chance to make something wrong!"
Speaking of this, she found that Lou Cheng was in a loss through the corner of her eye, so she suddenly changed a soft tone.
"I have a lot of things to do next. I can do my homework at night, but I have to take advantage of the warm sun today to dry the quilt, to wash clothes and to clean up the dormitory."
"Well, OK." Lou Cheng could sense the girl's fear, so he didn't ask more. And he was already contented that he could kiss her for so many times!
He glanced at Yan Zheke and suddenly laughed. "But we can't go back immediately. We have to wait for a moment."
"Why?" Yan Zheke asked with her 'bright eyes'.
"Because what you look like now..." Lou Cheng laughed and reminded her with his eyes full of uncovered love.
Yan Zheke took out the phone with confusion and used the screen as a mirror. Then she found her lips were so red and glossy and her cheek was also red which directly gave people the feeling that she had kissed for a long time.
"Big pervert!" She pounded Lou Cheng shyly and said, "Right, you haven't ﬁnished rubbing my bruises. Continue now!"
Lou Cheng squatted again with a smile and continued to rub the bruises on the right leg of Yan Zheke. Sometimes when he looked up to the girl, he found that she always bit her lower lip and looked at him shyly and quietly. Even though she said nothing, her beautiful eyes contained a lot of emotions. The locker room became quiet again. Different from the previous quietness ﬁlled with pink, this time it was like the lake at night, peaceful and tranquil.
Lou Cheng suddenly thought of a song with one special lyric,
"When I was seventeen years old, I kissed her face and I thought that we would be together forever..."
And now, when he was nineteen years old, he ﬁrst had a feeling about forever.
Chapter 159: Tiantong Taoist Temple
In the spacious locker room, a young lady wearing a fresh set of white martial arts suit with black trimmings, sat elegantly with both hands by her side. She had a quiet, bashful but happy expression. Kneeling in front of her, was a boy who bent over, carefully applying ointment on her. It was a beautiful sight oozing with youth. Their eyes met time to time, making the painting seem even more magical.
In no time, Lou Cheng had rubbed away all the bruises and red swelling. He looked at the girl's left leg reluctantly and said,
"I remember you used the top of your foot to give Feng Shaokun a blow. There should be some bruises there right? "
"Ah? " Yan Zheke jolted awake from her dream, pulled her leg back and with a slight ﬂush, lowered her head and said, "No need for that. I'll do it myself when I get back..."
After saying that, before Lou Cheng could say anything, she blinked her eyes and asked, "Do I look normal already? "
Lou Cheng looked at her and smiled. "Much better than just now."
As he spoke, he gently and carefully rolled down the right side of her trousers.
Yan Zheke smiled softly. She checked her reﬂection in her phone and with energy recharged, she said,
"Let's go back then!"
"You're back to normal, but I haven't recovered..." Lou Cheng did not dare to stand up, he smiled and continued to kneel. "I'm always mistaken. I shouldn't relate you to doing laundry, sunning the quilt and other chores like spring cleaning."
A fairy should be away from ordinary mortal chores! Yan Zheke broke into a laugh and said, "Which girl lives in a vacuum? If I don't do my laundry, you mean I have to throw a piece of clothing away every time I wear one? Unless you're saying that you'll do laundry for me?"
Lou Cheng tried to hold back a smile and said seriously, "That's also alright. "
Yan Zheke rolled her eyes and said, "Rough men like you don't know how to do laundry properly. You'd probably just rub the clothes a little. I don't trust you with it! Wait till I've taught you..."
Just at this moment, she stopped suddenly and felt somewhat bashful and sweet at the same time.
Does she promise a far ahead future?
In the midst of a dreamy feel, she suddenly recalled a line: Always giving empty promises during youth. "When people are young, they would not be unable to grasp the length of time, the heartlessness of time, the difﬁculties of reality and how relationships and people change so easily. They often feel that "for life", "forever" such promises and commitments are easy to fulﬁll..." As these thoughts ﬂew by, Yan Zheke who was hardly 19 years old started to feel a little emotional.
"That sounds good!" Lou Cheng did not realize that the girl's mood had changed and instead he agreed very readily. Regardless whether it was a household chore or not, as long as he had Yan Zheke, everything would be good.
Yan Zheke looked at him with deep emotions. She pursed her lips and said,
"Then, you'd better remember what you've said today!"
"I'll grab a little notebook to note it down." Lou Cheng chuckled. He always believed that notes were inﬁnitely better than memory. He sensed the abnormal change in emotions and quickly switched the topic. "Ke, shall we have fun at the Songcheng Ocean Aquarium tomorrow afternoon?"
Then they could head to the third place that he had already checked out to enjoy some delicious food. Both locations were no more than 15 minutes by car!
Ay, since they had started dating ofﬁcially, he had no time to explore new areas. They always wanted to be together the moment they were free. "It's true when they say you cannot be loyal and ﬁlial at the same time. Ay, it's kind of strange to use this saying here..."
Yan Zheke blinked and with an apologetic tone, she said, "I'm afraid we can't do that. Tomorrow afternoon I have to go to the Tiantong Taoist temple. "
"Huh? " Lou Cheng looked at her in bewilderment.
How come she never mentioned this matter before? "I also just heard from my brother," Yan Zheke said with her lips tightly pressed together. "After he was injured, he moved to the Tiantong Taoist temple to recuperate. The environment is good, the air is fresh and the chief Taoist practitioner is also my uncle's old friend from Songcheng days. So it's best to recuperate there. An elder in our family heard that he was injured and will be visiting him since he's nearby. I was called along, so we have to wait till next week to go to the Aquarium."
"Actually, I'm not really fond of such gatherings. It's a little pressurizing to have a conversation with elders whom I'm not close too." The more she explained, the more dissatisﬁed she got. She wanted to be with Lou Cheng more than some gathering.
Initially Lou Cheng was disappointed, but when he saw how sad and dissatisﬁed Yan Zheke was, he lit up from an idea and laughed.
"Then tomorrow afternoon I'll go to the Tiantong Taoist temple too! " "Ah? " Yan Zheke was caught off guard and could not react in time.
Lou Cheng laughed and said, "We'll just take it as a date to the Tiantong Taoist temple! "
Anyway the scenery is pretty there and their food is known to be rather delicious.
"Who wants to go on a date with you?" Yan Zheke said shyly, and then she asked, "But once we're there, I can't accompany you. For you to just roam around alone, isn't that boring?"
Lou Cheng conﬁdently replied, "You can go in and have a chat with the elder and your cousin ﬁrst. Then ﬁnd an excuse to come out. They can't possibly stop you from offering some prayers and taking a hike, right? When it's dinner, you return to them again and I'll settle dinner on my own."
Yan Zheke was right in the midst of the relationship's honeymoon period. She deﬁnitely would not bear to waste a precious weekend away, so she was swayed by the suggestion. She considered for a while before saying, "OK then. Anyway Uncle and us, young people have a generation gap. We don't have much to talk about anyway."
"So this's happily decided!" Lou Cheng clasped his hands and smiled. "Hmm, how's your cousin going to move to the Tiantong Taoist temple to recuperate? Doesn't he need to go for class? "
Yan Zheke somewhat sighed and with a helpless smile, she said, "He said that he could handle the current curriculum through self-study and revision..."
Just at this moment, she realized that Lou Cheng was kneeling the whole time in the most awkward and uncomfortable position. She said with some suspicion,
"Why aren't you standing up? "
"If I had stood up earlier, you'd have called me a hooligan!" Lou Cheng was relieved and reached to adjust his pants as he stood up slowly. "Got too engrossed in our conversation. Did you just forget?"
Shouldn't be obvious already!
Yan Zheke looked at him suspiciously. "I keep having the feeling that you're hiding something from me. What was your hand doing just now! "
"The pants got a little crooked after kneeling. Just adjusting them." Lou Cheng lied without batting an eyelid. He stretched out his hand and said, "Let's head back. Before someone starts accusing me of becoming a big pervert."
Yan Zheke was tickled by the words and stretched her hand out for Lou Cheng to hold on. She whispered,
"You. Are. One!"
… After separating from Lou Cheng, Yan Zheke went back to her room with light steps and some bags in her hands. When she opened the door, she saw Li Liantong, Shi Xiangyang and Zong Yanru looking at her quietly, and all ready to interrogate her.
"You girls, what're you up to?" Yan Zheke questioned in a surprised manner.
Li Liantong laughed coldly and said, "Ke, you didn't cover your tracks properly! "
"Ah?" Yan Zheke was shocked and quickly checked herself.
Didn't Cheng say that I looked normal already?
I checked myself too!
Li Liantong burst out in laughter and turned to Shi Xiangyang and Zong Yanru. "See? Just a little trick will spill the beans. Come on, call daddy!"
"What were you guys betting on?" Yan Zheke said in an embarrassed but also furious manner.
"I was betting that you and Lou Cheng were kissing passionately. The girls, they didn't believe, so they threw in their pride and said they'll call me Dad if they lose." Li Liantong said smugly.
Shi Xiangyang and Zong Yanru felt funny and angry at the same time. They both called Li Liantong Dad and then turned to look at Yan Zheke with a judging look.
"Ke, how could you let Cheng succeed!"
Yan Zheke turned red and said, "I didn't confess anything. All I did was touching my lips!" Li Liantong sniggered and said, "Even if we didn't trick you, I can be sure of what you did. Didn't we cheer for you? After the competition, I was looking for you. I wanted to take a picture with the now famous female star, so I waited outside the locker room. I just waited and waited, until everyone was gone. You and Lou Cheng still didn't come out!"
"A male and female all alone in a room. Plus, you're an ofﬁcial pair. As long as he's a man, he'll surely make a move, and if you didn't "co-operate", you would have stepped out soon enough. How could it be, that for the past 10 to 20 minutes, the locker room door didn't move an inch?"
Yan Zheke was speechless. She had no grounds to refute anything. Her face was just burning and she could not wait to climb onto the bed and sleep. She could not tolerate talking to Dirty Tong for any moment longer!
"See, you've admitted it!" Li Liantong stretched her hands out, feeling proud about what she had just uncovered.
Seeing that Yan Zheke was completely embarrassed, Zong Yanru's heart softened and tried to change the conversation subject.
"It's completely natural for couples to kiss. What's there to gossip about..."
Before she ﬁnished her sentence, upon hearing the word "kiss", Yan Zheke took a quick step forward and covered Zong Yanru's mouth with her hand, her face turning redder than ever.
This word from Ru was more damaging than any of Dirty Tong!
After the laughing ﬁts, Shi Xiangyang caught her breath and said,
"Alright, alright. I thought we wanted to have a picture with Heroine Yan? Let's do it before she changes out of her martial arts suit! " "Me, ﬁrst! " Li Liantong squeezed to Yan Zheke's side, hooked her arm and posed.
At the same time, she said emotionally, "Ke, you have a different beauty charm when you're in the martial arts suit and ﬁghting. Making people's little weak heart beat so fast. I'm truly considering whether I should snatch you away from Lou Cheng!"
Yan Zheke gave a forced smile and said, "First, you got to be able to beat him..."
"Huh..." Li Liantong grunted unhappily. "If that's the case, I can only step back and look for a boyfriend with great martial arts skills. Super secure then."
"That may not be the case though. Many martial arts people have bad character and temper, which will make you insecure instead. Don't just look for a boyfriend because you want a boyfriend." Yan Zheke said thoughtfully.
Li Liantong was a little stunned. "I was just saying. You don't need to be so serious, Ke..."
"Alright, one, two, three..." Shi Xiangyang raised her phone and shouted.
The beautiful memory was captured on the screen.
While they took photos, Lou Cheng strolled down the streets, towards his own dormitory. As he walked, he recalled the sweet taste earlier and sighed.
He had wanted to come clean with Yan Zheke about the Jindan since his master already knew about it. However, there were simply too many people in the locker room, and then as he was so absorbed in the kiss, he completely forgot to look for the opportunity to tell her. When they separated, he had gathered the courage to tell her, but then the timing was not right again.
"Perhaps after the Jin Dan starts to dissolve... Then, it's maybe more appropriate to tell Ke..." Lou Cheng thought to himself.
He understood within him that such a decision was to keep a secret. On the other hand, he liked Yan Zheke too much, and he was afraid that it would wake him up from this beautiful dream. He felt a little guilty, not conﬁdent and somewhat not good enough for that girl.
So, he had to continue to improve himself, and hopefully, one day he would have the conﬁdence to tell her everything.
Back in his room, he sat at the living area, talking to Yan Zheke and ﬂipping sheets of pictures and corresponding commentary on them.
"Ey, Cheng? You're going to take the Marine Biology class?" Cai Zongming asked as he walked past Lou Cheng and saw the pictures.
Lou Cheng laughed brightly and said,
"No, just preparing for my date next week. "
"Tsk!" Cai Zongming pointed his middle ﬁnger to express his displeasure and despise for Lou Cheng.
The next morning, Lou Cheng found out happily that because he had awakened the Power of Frost, his body's capability had improved in a short amount of time. The injury on his right arm was healed a day earlier and now he could start his rehabilitation training.
This also meant that he could ﬁnally practice the "Thunder Roar Zen" tactic which he had been training in his mind repeatedly!
Chapter 160: Let Me Do It
Next to the lake, the green grass grew, and the tree leaves renewed. It was just the scent of spring in the morning air.
Lou Cheng breathed in the refreshing morning air and jogged to his usual morning training spot while carrying the things to bring to the martial arts club later. This helped him to somewhat start his warmup.
His recovered right arm made him feel lighter. He could not wait to start practicing the "Thunder Roar Zen" tactic that he had been enlightened on.
When he reached the location, Geezer Shi was already waiting for him. He saw how Lou Cheng was running and exclaimed in shock.
"Your injury is all good?"
"Yes, perhaps because of the awakening of the Power of Frost. The body got stimulated and became stronger." Lou Cheng explained and had a hard time hiding his smile.
Geezer Shi clicked his tongue and said, "You really don't follow the rules huh... As your master, I was thinking of seeing your Power of Frost and try to understand its unique points so that I can teach some moves after you have recovered. Who would have thought that you are all ﬁne now. Forget it, you still have the Thunder Roar Zen to train for, and we're not in a hurry anyway. Let's see the Power of Frost ﬁrst."
"Yes, master!" Lou Cheng placed his bags next to the trees and got into position. He started to move the cold currents within his body.
Pam! He shook his left arm, struck a palm and left a mark on the tree bark.
While Lou Cheng was executing his moves, Geezer Shi's vision was coated in a frost blue color, as though he had become a never-dying crystal icy soul. They quietly lit everything around them. Although the clothes were not transparent, and the ﬂesh and blood were still solid, the tracks of where the things were interacting could be seen. Everything, every detail too.
Seeing that the white frosty palm print disappeared after Lou Cheng retracted his hand, Geezer Shi nodded lighted and said,
"Alright, I think I've got the grasp of it. Let me work on it and I can teach you tomorrow. You can start practicing the other moves ﬁrst."
Lou Cheng said "OK" but did not rush into practicing the "Thunder Roar Zen". Instead, he remained where he was and as per his usual routine, started to train his still stance, the trick movements, cleansed his internal body and practiced the 24 Blizzard Strikes.
Since his right arm had just recovered, it was still somewhat weak and uncomfortable for Lou Cheng to stretch it to warm up. It looked like the arm was still not ready for pound training. If he were to practice the "Thunder Roar Zen" immediately, it would probably be injured again. To injure the same place time and time again would result in an old ailment which would keep coming back and would be difﬁcult to heal completely.
So, Geezer Shi's original judgment of two weeks for the injury to heal was accurate—ﬁve days for quiet recuperation, another one week plus for rehabilitation training. This would help him to return to the Challenge Tournament as good as ever, without any burdensome ailment.
Pam, Pam, Pam! The sound of air cracking through repeatedly rang through the woods. Lou Cheng was striking the 24 Blizzard Strikes time to time again. Finally, he felt that the right arm was once again part of him. Every twitch of the muscle or every release of force was within his control!
After he completed the rest of his practices, Lou Cheng took a short break. He stood upright and straight, closed his eyes and recalled the moves of the "Thunder Roar Zen" once. Then, he visualized the scene of heavy thunder clouds and lightning strikes. In the midst of the thunder rumble, he controlled his body, and followed his previous experience where he was passive. He tightened the muscles of his hands, lower arms, upper arms, shoulders and back, as though he was doing a pressure treatment. Then, with force from his feet, the crazy rebound force wrapped around the joints of the ankles, knees and all the other muscles surrounding them was channeled to the waist. It combined and propelled through the spine and burst out through his left ﬁst.
When his ﬁst got nearer the target in midair, Lou Cheng "expanded" each and every muscle within him. Just like an exploding bomb, tearing through air and giving off a deep rumble.
One ﬁst out, Lou Cheng's whole body shook. However, he did not feel or receive any obvious vibration.
This attempt of the "Thunder Roar Zen" failed! "Not tight enough, not pressured enough, the rhythm is wrong too..." Lou Cheng was not frustrated. In fact, he felt that the failure was expected. Even if he had grasped the way and threshold of it, it was never easy to be good at a martial art skill. Failures were inevitable!
Bam! Bam! Bam! Both hands took turns to give the punch. He failed repeatedly and retried repeatedly.
Thanks to Jindan to help replenish energy, or else he would probably have to wait till tomorrow to continue practicing.
But all these failures were not for nothing. They helped him eliminate errors bit by bit, gain new ideas and check the adjustments he had done. He only felt closer to the mastering the skill!
With a good four, ﬁve days of pounding practice, whenever Lou Cheng's muscles tightened, both legs bent in, working with bouncing rhythm at the end of the spine and the force from the lower back, his right arm sprung out with a tight ﬁst smashed down. Boom!
Within his mind, lightning and clouds rolled and the thunder rumbled, matching the "expansion" of the tight muscles of his hands, arms and shoulder.
The air space directly in front of Lou Cheng's ﬁst seemed to have exploded and there were invisible air waves and waves that radiated out.
"Phew... This'll do!" Lou Cheng exhaled a long breath and felt the rebound tremors.
Geezer Shi looked on the side, giving advice from time to time. These helped to cheer Lou Cheng and at this time, he laughed and said with a not so nice tone, "Only you, only you would use such crazy way to train... Just make sure you don't overdo it. Your right arm is still weak."
"Alright, we can count that you've mastered the "Thunder Roar Zen". You only need to practice a little more and familiarize yourself with the moves, before you could ﬁght."
After saying that, he put his hands behind him and walked away from Lou Cheng slowly. It was not until he reached the Long Bridge, he started cursing.
"This rascal is completely inhuman. He'll probably use up that thing in no time to come..."
Lou Cheng did not feel anything about whatever his master had said. He was completely immersed in familiarizing himself with the "Thunder Roar Zen". He hoped to train till it was intuitive.
Bam! Bam! Bam! After his left hand was out, his right hand pounded. The quick succession of move resulted in some tremors, like he had transformed into a beast in human form. It was hard to tell how much time had passed. He ﬁnally got the stance, pinched his right arm and decided that practice hours were over.
He took a towel from his bag to wipe his sweat before he started his last training item to increase his endurance!
After hiding his bag properly, he started to jog along the lakeside, pressuring his body along the way. Then, he saw a familiar face.
Li Mao was standing by the lake, with his eyes shut practicing his stance!
"Senior Brother Li? " Lou Cheng approached him with curiosity.
Li Mao opened his eyes and smiled brightly. "Cheng! We meet again!" "The main thing is that you're seldom up this early to train..." Lou Cheng joked.
Li Mao smiled again and said, "I don't have the insane physical stamina you have. After four hours of special training I'd be exhausted, if I still go for morning training, sooner or later I'll be hurt from the fatigue. But after the battle yesterday, I relieved a lot of the burden in my heart. Since it's rare that I could feel so much at peace, I thought perhaps itwould be nice to practice and improve my still stance, and see if I can get any inspiration and succeed in concealment of spirit and qi."
"Not bad." Lou Cheng praised him and then encouraged him. "There's hope! "
Li Mao nodded in agreement and gave a mysterious smile. "Actually, I also met Senior Brother Sun Jian earlier."
"He also starts morning training?" Lou Cheng asked with great surprise. Sun Jian did not seem like that kind of person... He was just fooling around with martial arts!
"No, Senior Brother Sun Jian was memorizing some books in the morning. He said that he wants to return to Huahai with Senior Sister Lin after graduation and work hard there." Li Mo explained.
"I see..." The truth dawned on Lou Cheng. He raised his ﬁst and said,
"Then, let's work hard together!"
"Yeah, let's do it!" Li Mo raised his ﬁst too.
As he turned to continue his jog, Lou Cheng suddenly recalled a scene from the celebratory dinner yesterday:
Li Mo raised his beer mug and with teary eyes, he looked around and said, "I'm someone who doesn't say mushy words, but I've to say, I owe everyone a thank-you for all this time. And now, I'll quote a line from an old song to express my thoughts."
"One word, one lifetime, one-lifetime relationship, one cup of wine!"
After singing that line, he downed all the beer in his mug and continued to drink a few more mugs.
The Tiantong Taoist temple was located at Mount Shaoheng in Songcheng West. With a tranquil environment, many martial arts experts prayed here.
As expected from the ever-popular spring season, there were many tourists during the weekend. This only made the quiet temple more lively, but without damaging the beautiful greens and serene feeling of the surroundings. "I'm heading to the side yard. Feel free to walk around by yourself." Yan Zheke looked left and right. Cautiously but cutely, she said, "Let's continue on QQ!"
"Yes!" Lou Cheng waved the phone in his hand and saw her walk into the side yard.
He put both hands into his sweater and started to stroll around leisurely, breathing in the air so fresh that it just refreshed the mind, as well as the faint scent of sandalwood from burning incense.
After he took his time to look around the front hall, the Taoist School statues in the side hall, he walked into the main hall (Mahavira Hall) and saw the statue of the Three Pristine Ones (Sanqing) facing the front of the hall majestically.
The Primeval Lord of Heaven(Yuanshi Tianzun) stood tall in the middle, his head adorned with a crown, his face with a strict and serious expression. The Heavenly Lord of Dao and its Virtue (Daode Tianzun) stood on the left, his hair all white, his face natural and bright looking. The Heavenly Lord of the Numinous Treasure (Lingbao Tianzun) stood on the right, tall and exquisite with a dominating aura. Three of them all stood tall above, looking down on whoever stepping in the hall. Combined with the somewhat empty hall, there seemed to be a holy and solemn feeling. A feeling so strong that even guests would feel the need to pray.
"Such grandeur..." Lou Cheng sighed in awe. Since he was already here, he decided to offer some prayers.
He turned, ﬁshed out his wallet and bought three incense sticks. He walked to the urn, facing the Primeval Lord of Heaven(Yuanshi Tianzun), and he prayed for his family's safety, long-lasting romance and success in martial arts.
After all these, he put the three incense sticks into the incense burner and prayed again.
After leaving the hall, with the pure heart and mind of a tourist, he walked towards the backyard. Just as he turned past the corner of the wall, he saw a crowd gathered with continuous sharp sounds of ﬁsts and kicks in the collision. "A ﬁght?" Lou Cheng's curiosity was stirred. Like a ﬁsh, he slid his way through the crowd and managed to get to the front. What greeted him was a small square lined with limestone. Two ﬁgures were in a ﬁerce ﬁght, with a middle- aged Taoist priest as the referee.
Just as he made himself comfortable at where he was, he saw one of the young ﬁghters decked in a black martial arts suit, lower his weight into a squat, move his back muscles, and use his right arm as a huge spear to "pierce" forward.
This move seemed simple but it made Lou Cheng feel that he was currently in an ancient battle ground, with people holding long spears, and charging ahead on horses.
"Good! " He could not help but shout out loud.
This expert's back muscles were so toned and well-trained that he had absolute control over them. This was rare even amongst the Professional Ninth Pin experts!
Bam! With one hit, the opposing young Taoist priest lost all his stance.
"I've lost..." The young Taoist priest did not struggle. He just smiled bitterly and shook his head in resignation.
The black martial arts suit man did not seem satisﬁed. He looked around and said,
"Is anyone else interested in having a round with me?
Especially since we have a Taoist practitioner as the referee!"
Lou Cheng was tempted. Suddenly, he felt the urge to ﬁght and try.
He had ﬁnally mastered the "Thunder Roar Zen", so he really wanted to try it at an actual ﬁght!
As for the right arm that was still weak, he could just be defensive on that end... Again, the bushy browed, large eyed lad clad in black martial arts suit said arrogantly,
"Is anyone else interested in having a round with me?"
Lou Cheng exhaled and stepped out of the crowd. While he took off his shirt, he smiled and said,