Martial Arts Master Chapter 221-230

Chapter 221: Zhou Zhengquan Descending the Altar

Zhou Zhengquan was not stupid. Naturally, he dared not to compare stamina with Lou Cheng. There were already many before him who had tested Lou Cheng, only to end up with a great deal of bitter experience, and he wasn't stubborn enough to join them.

Sometimes you had to be apprehensive!

In the beginning, he noticed Lu Cheng's intention to make it a quick fight, so he decided to weaken his opponent bit by bit. When the time was right, he would make a sudden release of force and seize victory using his full strength.

Upon seeing Lou Cheng calm down and take a stance for comparing stamina with him, Zhou Zhengquan's heart flipped because his plan A was totally destroyed. Now he had no choice but to use plan B, which he had drawn up before the match.

But then I'll ruin my public image! Arching his waist and back to pounce forward like lightning, Zhou Zhengquan swung his center of gravity and slid to Lou Cheng's side the moment they approached. Then, he twisted his waist, raised his right arm, and gathered all the strength into a Fly Fall Punch, surging to be thrown at his opponent.

Crack! Lou Cheng turned sideways and swung his tightened right arm as if exploding the air with an iron hammer. Even if Zhou Zhengquan was made of stone, he would be beaten into pieces.

Bang!

While Lou Cheng swayed for a moment with a dull sound, Zhou Zhengquan immediately distanced himself from his opponent after what he did just now.

Crack crack crack! Bang bang bang! They kept fighting and separating continuously, making the most of Fly Fall Punch Continuation and 24 Blizzard Strikes, which seemed like a reproduction of the previous battle. However, Lou Cheng, who remained calm this time, knew clearly that the one who was anxious for an opportunity had already changed from himself to Zhou Zhengquan.

Through holding a defensive stance patiently, Lou Cheng successfully convinced his opponent that he intended to compare stamina, while he himself had already gotten ready for Zhou Zhengquan's release of power.

Devoting himself to the battle, Zhou Zhengquan gradually gained the upper hand in the hand-to-hand fight with no one was able to gather strength in their feet. As an experienced fighter, he was good at mingling his forces into one and adjusting his fighting rhythm swiftly, which enabled him to suppress Lou Cheng firmly. While on the other side, Lou Cheng kept defending himself along with his opponent's rhythm, waiting for a turning point to appear.

Crack! Failing to make a low kick, Zhou Zhengquan threw a Single Kick at Lou Cheng's arm, which was just raised to block his attack.

Lou Cheng suddenly lowered his center of gravity and twisted his back and waist. Then, he opened all his joints and muscles to make another fierce Swing Force.

He knew Zhou Zhengquan wouldn't let go of this opportunity!

Swinging his upper body to one side, Zhou Zhengquan seemed like he was almost thrown away. Then, all of a sudden, his Qi and blood quickly flew back to gather in his Dantian, which steadied his stance like Mountain Tai!

Amazing! In comparison with exerting strength from his feet, swinging back with borrowed strength was much smarter! While praising his opponent in his mind, Lou Cheng took advantage of the pause to compress the corresponding muscles and tendons in his arms and visualize a thunderstorm in his mind. His left leg pressed inward and his waist straightened to launch a mountain opening blast with crossed hands from top right to bottom left!

Mountain Blast Punch! Crack, a network of cracks appeared one by one on the ground around him!

At the same time, Zhou Zhengquan was visualizing a waterfall cascading off a precipice and crashing into the ground below, releasing a great burst of water.

The concentrated energy suddenly exploded in his Dantian with a horrible release of force, bending his arm like a bow with his fist acting like a hammer.

Snap!

Zhou Zhengquan's whole body seemed to be inflated as he threw out his right arm from a higher position, piercing layers of air like lightning.

The Fly Fall Punch, "Waterfall"!

Bang! Th sound of thunder suddenly rumbled overhead, stunning the cheering audience. There was an invisible ripple that turned into a gust of wind blowing from the sides of both fighters.

Lou Cheng gave a little hop with roaring in his ears and the feeling of giddiness, while all his Qi and blood were rolling as if they were unable to bear the release of the Dan-Stage master's strength. After noticing it was not enough to make a step backward, he had to continue moving further backwards.

At the same time, he moved his abdominal muscles, creating the sound of thunder within his body, trying to counteract the shock caused by that reversed "waterfall.'
On the other side, Zhou Zhengquan also suffered a lot from the Mountain Blast Punch and the regular killer move of Thunder Roar Zen. Feeling every joint trembling and every inch of his tendons swinging, he still noticed Lou Cheng's flaws while his opponent was bouncing back, but he was too weak to seize the opportunity to chase and pounce on Lou Cheng. Such situation perfectly met Lou Cheng's previous expectations. After taking four steps back to eliminate the shock caused by the release of a Dan-Stage master's strength, he began to adjust the corresponding body parts in preparation to step onto the ground and then bounce back first, with a
Severe Warning!

At this moment, Zhou Zhengquan's trembling body, rolling blood, and pale face all vanished in an instant. As he united all his qi, blood, and spirit to form a Human Body Big Dan!

Inside the broadcasting room of Songcheng TV station, Gan Le blurted out,

"Double Bursts!"

After successfully making a Triple Burst of Dan Stage, Zhou Zhengquan should still have enough energy and stamina for a Double Burst!

Yan Xiaoling, Brahman, and the audience, who had just been introduced to the horrible Triple Burst of Dan Stage, suddenly held their breath in anxiety, feeling their heart in their mouths.

According to his performance in the previous matches, they were not surprised that Zhou Zhengquan could still make two or three releases of Dan Stage. But no one had expected that he would make another double hit!

Just like Brahman, Gan Le, and Yan Zheke, Lou Cheng had never expected this situation either, so he was still in preparation for the Severe Warning when he realized Zhou Zhengquan was preparing a Force Concentration.

It was too late! Lou Cheng made a prompt decision, stopping the following preparation, and changing his action into the preparatory movement for Frost Force.

Luckily, Severe Warning was a derivative of Frost Force, so there were many similarities between them, like the corresponding state of the tendons, muscles, and internal organs. The difference between them was that Frost Force was relatively simpler and easier for Lou Cheng to use in such a short time. Boom!

The more compression he got, the more powerful his explosion could be. As the Dan within Zhou Zhengquan's body exploded, all his strength flew out to make him appear even taller and stronger than before. With one forward-pounce he approached Lou Cheng and then raised his right hand to give him a waterfall-like blow!

The surging muddy river in Lou Cheng's mind suddenly froze inch by inch, turning into a picture.

Transforming the cold current within his body into a flood, Lou Cheng turned his toes inward, twisted his waist and back, and then swung his right arm to punch upward.

Rocket-like Punch, Frost Force!

Bang! Lou Cheng suddenly lowered his body as he stepped heavily onto the stone brick. Along with his rolling Qi and blood, the remaining shock within his body came back to shake his organs, muscles, and tendons, causing him to almost spit blood. Feeling sick and weak, Lou Cheng had no choice but to roll back along the waterfall in order to eliminate the remaining shock, or he would receive a broken bone or internal injuries.

Zhou Zhengquan's fist was soon covered with a layer of frost after colliding with Lou Cheng's. Though a part of the cold current was broken up, the remains still made it into him and soon spread all over his body, making his body tremble and his muscles tighten uncontrollably.

If his body condition was the same as before, he would naturally increase his heartbeat and burn his hot blood to defrost his whole body. However, he had just attacked twice before receiving a Mountain Blast Punch, which drained his energy and shocked his organs severely. So for a short time, he stayed where he was and couldn't chase Lou Cheng, who had also lost his stance and center of gravity.

Thump-thump-thump! Boom boom boom! While one of them was listening to the loud beating of his heart, the other could hear the sound of thunder within him. They both seized the opportunity to quickly restore as much of their energy as they could. The whole gymnasium was quiet while the audience was praying for Lou Cheng in hopes that he would stand up first!

Yan Zheke couldn't help standing up from her seat while looking at the arena with great concern.

Boom! As soon as the shock was slightly relived, Lou Cheng stood up with a carp jumping move.

While Li Liantong, Fan Yanxi, and others in the audience burst into spontaneous cheers, Zhou Zhengquan also took action. Stepping heavily onto the ground, he once again raised his right arm and pounced towards Lou Cheng while visualizing a waterfall in his mind.

Snap!

Striking down with his fist, the Fly Fall Punch, "Waterfall"! Lou Cheng's feet were still trembling, making him unable to dodge. So he had to gather his remaining strength and tighten his muscles in his hands, wrists, and arms while visualizing a shimmering thundercloud in his mind.

Boom!

Lou Cheng raised his fist without hesitation, Thunder Roar Zen!

Bang! The moment he collided with Zhou Zhengquan's fist, Lou Cheng immediately exploded with all his tightened body parts to make a short but powerful release of strength.

Boom! Lou Cheng and Zhou Zhengquan both took a step back. Obviously, they were trembling with bewilderment in their eyes.

Boom! Hum! When they both recovered from the shock, Zhou Zhengquan took a deep breath, twisted his waist and back, and then threw another Fly Fall Punch, Waterfall, at Lou Cheng! When meeting on a narrow path, he who dares to act wins!

Knowing he shouldn't and couldn't dodge at this moment, Lou Cheng visualized a thundercloud in his mind and compressed the corresponding tendons and muscles to make a Rocket-like Punch based on the Thunder Roar Zen!

Bang!

Being greatly shocked, they both felt sick and found their whole body trembling as if losing control of it temporarily.

Boom! With the sound of thunder coming out from his abdomen, Lou Cheng seized the opportunity to use another Thunder Roar Zen without adjusting his body condition!

Obviously, Zhou Zhengquan was a step slow this time, since he only raised both arms to block the attack.

Bang! Giving a little hop, Zhou Zhengquan noticed both his arms turn weak.

Was he completely exhausted? Of course Lou Cheng wouldn't simply let his opponent go, so he shook his right shoulder and stretched his arm to make another Thunder Roar Zen!

Boom! As if being hit by a bomb, Zhou Zhengquan fell to the ground after blocking Lou Cheng's last attack, where he curled himself up and retched violently.

If he took another blow, he would have internal bleeding!

The referee raised his right hand and announced calmly,

"Third Round. Lou Cheng wins!"

After seeing Zhou Zhengquan fall to the ground and hearing the referee's announcement, Brahman, Yan Xiaoling, and the others in front of the screen breathed a sigh of relief, along with Li Liantong, Fan Yanxi, and the rest of the audience in the gymnasium. Regardless of the people around them, they couldn't help shouting with excitement,

"Lou Cheng!"

During the cheers and applause, they saw Lu Cheng suddenly bend over to retch with a painful expression. Obviously, he was not feeling good.

Yan Zheke again felt her heart in her mouth.

Meanwhile, Lou Cheng was in bewilderment, feeling as if his whole body was worn out.

How come the battle was much tougher and more dangerous than he had expected…
Since he could neither find any chances to use Severe Warning nor thoroughly eliminate the effect of the shock, it cost him too much to win this round…
Even though Zhou Zhengquan had made another double hit, it shouldn't have been like this…
While thinking of the Severe Warning, he suddenly thought of all the flaws he showed just now as well as how his teacher had warned him,

"Do you think that Zhou Zhengquan would stand there like a stake and wait until you've finished preparing 'Severe Warning'? Do you think that he will fight you head on? Even if your 'Frost Force' takes a short amount of time to form up, not to mention the 'Severe Warning' move you just grasped."

"If you really place all your hopes on this one move, then you will only feel like a three-year-old wielding a hundred pound hammer. Not only would you miss your enemy, you would more likely hurt yourself instead."

"The reason you practice 'Severe Warning' is not to master it, but to use it to further improve your grasp over 'Frost Force' and 'Thunder Roar Zen.' These two skills are your true assets in the battle against Zhou Zhengquan."

Yeah, I thought it was quite reasonable when I heard those words for the first time. However, were soon forgotten as I began devoting myself to practicing Severe Warning!

Old Shi, who was sitting in the home team area, sighed to himself with complex emotion,

"Hey, I was just like him at that age… "

It was easy to get dizzy with success.

Chapter 222: Don't Lose Vigor in Depression

In Songcheng TV radio station, the host Fang Juexiao couldn't help but praise,

"This match is really wonderful, it's been a long time since we've seen hard punches in such intensive fights! Mr. Gan, I see Lou Cheng is very painful and he's been retching. In your eyes, how much impact of the concussion he was affected?"

Gan Le sighed. "His body refining is close to the peak. He won't show any retching if he is feeling well and could control his body. Well, I had confidence in him earlier and thought he would have a great opportunity to win Hou Yue in the later match with his great physical strength so long as he could defeat Zhou Zhengquan. Now, well, the outcome of the victory will be reversed."

"So serious?" Fang Juexiao asked while knowing the answer. He knew that the audience watching the broadcasting was certainly very concerned about this point, even the students present would read the forums and look the broadcasting in the interim, to find out Lou Cheng's current state from both of their explanations.

Gan Le nodded as a mighty one in Dan stage, smashing a lot of people's expectations. "Yes, quite seriously."

Fang Juexiao made a pity look. "Unfortunately, this is no dialogue time to let him recover. Well, Hou Yue is about to board the arena, let's switch the picture back to the scene."

...

Yan Xiaoling felt her heart tightened after listening to the analysis of the two explanations, she posted in forum eagerly, tagged Unparalleled Dragon King, Road to the Arena and so on: "Come out come out, is our Lou Cheng's injury serious?"

Unparalleled Dragon King replied with a sigh emoji, "My vision and judgment can be better than a mighty one in Dan stage?" "I agree with the explanations, Lou Cheng is deeply affected and his status is terrible." Road to the Arena replied seriously.

Brahman post an expression of holding back the tears. "What should I do? I want to cry... "

"Don't cry, let's cheer Lou Cheng on!" Yan Xiaoling patted herself quickly, she bit her lips while clenched the fists, perturbed but expected to look at the live scene as tears still welled up in her eyes.

...

In Songcheng University martial arts' arena, Li Liantong and other people got nervous and flushed with an inexplicable care and bad feeling when they saw Lou Cheng's painful expression on the big screen even though they hadn't read the forum and listened to the explanations.

"How was he?" "Did he get hurt?"

"Would he lose the next competition?"

The outburst of excited shouting because Zhou Zhengquan fell to the ground a moment ago had come into silence. Including Fan Yanxi, many female students who are in prayer put their hands on the lips.

"Go, Lou Cheng!"

At the host team seats, Yan Zheke walked toward the stone steps without noticing other people's gaze. She looked distressed and worried as her teeth bit lightly on her lip and her fists somehow clenched.

On the arena, Lou Cheng came to a little, he held his emotions without reviewing, rethinking and upsetting. He concealed his spirit and qi, visualized thundercloud and moved his belly little by little at once. He shocked every corner of his body in a moment through internal training methods to adjust the state of the body. He tried to recover as much as possible.

The energy wasn't completely independent of the body, it also relied on the state of body. Just like the people who caught cold, they were not only tired and weak, but also thinking slowly. When Lou Cheng suffered a tremendous impact, his spirit automatically had a small decay. He could not play "Severe Warning".

"Later I should defend first, then using the supernatural ability with the help of Frost Force or simply hiding in the normal moves, consuming the limit as soon as possible to squeeze Jindan, this is a non-solution if I fell into a dangerous situation!" Lou Cheng quickly made the decision. "Don't give up easily!"

This was not just because in Donglin he showed confidence and rhetoric to Ke, not only due to self-satisfaction, he failed to live up to Brother-in-law's effort and pain. There was one more important factor:

"I want victory!" "I just want to win but nothing else!"

He took a breath and thunder growled from his belly.

...

When the referee announced the result of the third game, Hou Yue jumped up from his seat and ran to the arena without thinking anything.

He always remembered that before he walked out of the locker room, senior brother Zhou told him: once he heard the announcement of the last game, he should run to the arena immediately without any delay.

When he came close, he suddenly shocked because he saw his senior brother was lying on the ground with messy hair and curled like a shrimp as he looked painful and even vomit a little yellow bile. "Is this senior brother Zhou?"

In Hou Yue's memory, senior brother Zhou Zhengquan was very focused on his appearance and style as his hair and clothes had always been arranged meticulous, and also tried his best to be gentle and calm every word and deed. His most worship idol was Xie An who was playing the chess-like nothing happened after he heard the news of Fei River's success.

He had lost before, but he always left gracefully in these rare failures. Senior Sister Zhuo and Li ridicule him for being a gentle rather than getting any merits.

But now, senior brother Zhou was so miserable and lost his manner. To create the chance for him to win Lou Chen, senior brother Zhou even throw his most valued image away.

Hou Yue who would be 18 in a few days was at the age that could be easily moved and excited. When he thought about this, His eyes immediately turned red and he burst out the rage of battle as well. "Whatever the cost may be and whatever the level may fight for, I can't fail senior brother Zhou's expectations!"

Hou Yue just went to the stone steps as Zhou Zhengquan had been helped by the staff down. When they passed by each other, Zhou Zhengquan who with pale face and messy hair whispered softly.

"Try hard... "

Hou Yue nodded his head vigorously and clenched his fists, said,

"Yes!"

When faced with a strong enemy like Lou Cheng, even if he was weak and pain, Hou Yue couldn't win without trying hard to take the chances when his body was still affected by the shock. Hou Yue boarded the arena, stood in the previous position where Zhou Zhengquan stood before. He heard the sounds of buzzing from Lou Cheng's body.

Lou Cheng opened his eyes and let out a turbid breath, he switched instantly from internal training to combat situation.

The referee raised his right hand, waving steadily:

"Begin!"

Lou Cheng whose calves were still shaking didn't move, even if he could, he wouldn't move. Because of this state, Chasing a monkey who ran all over the arena wasn't a wise decision. A little inattention might affect his mood, he thereby hit more and more urgent and compounded the problem.

Thereupon, he took a breath and froze heart lake to ice. He calmly observed Hou Yue's every move, not just only waiting for his attack, but also seizing the time to recover. The longer the battle is, the better for himself!

Hou Yue bounced around Lou Cheng with his flexible footwork. He suddenly strode to his opponent's side as he saw an opportunity, he twisted his waist and wrung all the strength into a strand, then threw a punch towards the center of Lou Cheng's waist.

Lou Cheng lowered himself into a half-sitting position and moved his spine. With the explosive force of shoulder, he clenched his fists and threw a downward punch.

Bang!

Both of them wobbled a little in the muffled sound. When Lou Cheng thought Hou Yue would keep moving and dodging around but saw Hou Yue clenched his teeth and opened his eyes wide while he exerted the force from foot and crushed the ground.

"Would he like to use the Fly Fall Punch-Waterfall to trigger the residual effect of my body?" Lou Cheng instantly understood the intention of Hou Yue, but he knew that his status wasn't enough to support him to dodge at this time, so he clenched the teeth either, then adjusting the corresponding muscle fascia and moving the related five viscera and six bowels to visualize a roaring river.

No one was a coward here!

With the courage of death, Lou Cheng Ice-bounded the silty water so that the spray became crystal and the whole world instantly stilled. He swelled his arm muscle and threw an upward punch like bore the weight.

This was the flood of cold current and the power of frost!

At this moment, Hou Yue suddenly clenched his fists with a downward cut in a great momentum like "Down it cascades a sheer three thousand feet".

Bang! When the two fists met, a brief hazy appeared just like the hoarfrost turned into mist. Lou Cheng's body trembled visibly once again, his facial muscle was hard to convulse.

The residual effect of his body was influenced a lot so that his previous attempt to recover was wasted.

Hou Yue shivered constantly and his lips turned purple, his hands and feet were frozen stiff.

Dong dong dong! His heart jumped, expanded and contracted rapidly to spurt the hot blood to dispel the chilliness in his body.

Then he made a choice which was contrary to his style and disposition that he visualized the water uprose and accumulated once again, then he twisted his waist and sprang the arm out.

"I will not back down even a half step!" In the meantime, Lou Cheng also moved his belly and visualized Thunder Cloud to reverse offset. He relieved preliminarily while he saw Hou Yue's sinister face and the attack he maintained. Lou Cheng didn't have time to change visualization, he could only turn internal training to external fight: He tightened his arm and thrust the fist upward.

Bang!

There seemed to be an explosive sound on the arena, both of them backed up a step as the rebounded power.

Hem! Hou Yue exerted internal training method, with his red eyes and uncleared shockwaves, he rushed forward while he broke the black bricks. He fought so crazy and concentrated so that he wasn't like the one he used to be.

At this time, Lou Cheng was so uncomfortable that he wanted to lie down directly. Therefore he had no time to squeeze Jindan but only managed to take a breath and with the force of venture and bet in the roaring of thunder, waved his arm to use Seabed Tremor! The fall flew down and hit the ground. Hou Yue didn't use downward cut with fist, just fisted on the side to block Lou Cheng's Thunder Roar Zen.

Bang!A sound of thunder came out of nowhere, the audience went quiet because of the shock. The residual effect of Lou Cheng's body was completely detonated that he lost all the energy and his qi and blood surged out of his throat, he felt so dizzy and tingling that he collapsed to the ground.

And Hou Yue who stood opposite to him that had gotten him one Frost Force and twice Tremor Punches, he couldn't stand anymore as his muscles sniffing, the joints trembling and his qi and blood boiling, so he fell on the ground with a loud crash.

After fighting with three moves continuously, Hou Yue who didn't well at this way and Lou Cheng who was in the poor state were both collapsed on the ground at the same time.

The referee stood by them and was counting down silently. Li Liantong, Fan Yanxi and other audience felt their angsty hearts were going to spit at first, then came to shout one name in chorus with tears:

"Lou Cheng! Lou Cheng!"

"Lou Cheng! Lou Cheng! Lou Cheng!" Yan Xiaoling, Brahman and others who were now sitting in front of the computer screens also whispered the name and wanted to give him the courage and power through the screen to help him up again.

"Lou Cheng! Lou Cheng!" Yan Zheke, Sun Jian and others were also shouting with the audience, but they stood at the side of the arena and the audience sat in the auditorium.

Lin Que subconsciously clenched his fists with his eyes staring at the arena fixedly.

Lou Cheng saw Hou Yue fell on the ground from the corner of his eye, he tried to stand up first by adjusting his body's situation while he was still retching and finishing one internal training with visualizing thundercloud. However, even his mind and thoughts were still in shock, he was unable to visualize.

"Lou Cheng!" "Lou Cheng!" in the measured shouting, one figure struggling to get back up, he stood steadily while his legs were still trembling.

An indescribable silence had replaced the shouting at once because the person who stood up was Hou Yue.

Hou Yue took a deep breath and stepped toward to Lou Cheng's side when he still looked pale.

He didn't need to do anything else. The referee raised his right hand and announced the result:

"Round Four, Hou Yue wins!"

When Hou Yue heard the result, he looked back at his team seats immediately with his face already covered with tears and snot.

"Senior brother Zhou, I win!"

"I live up to your expectations!"

Lin Que unclenched his hand and buried his face in the hands. Li Liantong, Wu Qian, Fan Yanxi and other students couldn't help crying.

"We have experienced all kinds of hardship, how can we stop here? We are only one step away from the success."

When Lou Cheng heard the announcement hazily, he was filled with pain and chagrin at once.

"It's all my fault!"

"I get dizzy in success!" "I have failed to live up to my responsibility to act!"

At this time, someone with the familiar scents helped him up.

As he turned half round, he saw Yan Zheke's beautiful face.

As long as he thought the promise that he didn't keep and her expectation that he broke eventually, all the swagger and confidence had vanished like soap bubbles. He was too guilty and shame to face Yan Zheke.

He whispered in pain,

"Sorry... "

Yan Zheke felt pity for the boy in front of her who was at a point of extreme anguish, she spoke softly with red eyes, "You played very well and you're very close to winning." "I should play better... " Lou Cheng clenched his fists, he wanted to punch himself to resolve the shame and self- accusation inward.

"I could surmount every difficulty to win the victory!"

Yan Zheke knew that the more they said, the more they grieved. She dropped this conversation and said firmly,

"Next time we win it back!"

Winning the prize back in next time? Lou Cheng was stunned, he made the commitment to her,

"Right!"

He calmed to down a little and went back to the seats. When he saw Lin Que who was miserable and the other people like Sun Jian who staring blankly, he couldn't help blaming himself. He took a breath and said solemnly, "Sorry, I didn't play well this time!"

Li Mao answered right away, "No, you're good enough! The rest of us are too weak!"

Because of that, now everything means nothing when they lost this competition, they couldn't expect to play the substitute competition.

"Right, we are so weak that we could only count on the two of you!" Lin Hua said with tears in his eyes.

Lin Que also put down his hands, with his sad eyes, he said firmly,

"It is also my fault, I'm not good enough... "

When Lou Cheng heard his teammates were rushing to take responsibility, tears blurred his eyes. At this moment, Geezer Shi remained silence for a while, then said,

"Do you understand?"

Lou Cheng hung the head down and nodded slightly. "Yes!"

"Never get dizzy with success!"

Geezer Shi sighed. "Then I teach you another word. You could neither get dizzy with success nor lose vigor in depression."

"Lost the vigor?" Lou Cheng looked up in bewilderment.

Geezer Shi nodded his head.

"Yes, the courage to pursue, the courage to exert, the courage to struggle!"

Chapter 223: Do it Again

"The spirit of chasing, the spirit of struggling, the spirit of fighting... " After listening to his words, Lou Cheng felt startled and he could not help but shiver. Then he constantly meditated on the three spirits, recovering from his feelings chagrin and self-blame.

The failure itself was not terrible. What was really terrible, was the feeling of depression after failing!

When Geezer Shi saw his reaction, he said with a satisfied smile, "As for you, Dongling Squad is only a small setback on your path as a martial artist. Once you conquer this stumbling block, when you look back, you will realize it was not a big deal after all. You should set your sight on a higher goal. The opponent whom you really need to challenge and defeat is in the University Martial Arts Meeting! When Peng Leyun was at the level of Eighth Pin, he beat Zhou Zhengquan down as easily as you beat most of the fighters of Ninth Pin."

After this match, he seemed to have decided to make their master-apprentice relationship public, so he taught Lou Cheng openly. Lou Cheng took a deep breath, feeling his goal for the next match was much clearer.

That was, trying to catch up to the "Great Monster," Peng Leyun, whose name had consistently been whispered his hearing this year, and fighting towards the real genius who had been set as his idols by his master since he began to learn martial arts, even catching up with him one day!

If he could not win first prize in the University Martial Arts Committee before Peng Leyun graduated from the university, then he would be full of regret, even if he had the honor of winning first prize alongside Lin Que!

Geezer Shi didn't say more about this. He turned, looked at Sun Jian, and said, "Why you are still here, go to the ring quickly. We have to start well and end well."

Since his team had lost the last round with a score of 2:3, even if Sun Jian defeated Hou Yue, whose physical condition was very bad, the final score would only be a draw. Then it would be time for the "bench war". Among the substitutes, Dongling Squad still had Li Shengnan who was a strong fighter of Professional Ninth Pin, however, there was not even one fighter of Amateur First Pin in the substitutes of Songcheng University Martial Arts Club. So the result wouldn't change. That was why Sun Jian didn't rush towards the ring. Even if he gave Hou Yue the chance to recover a little, it wouldn't have any influence on the final results.

"Good!" Sun Jian said while nodding, then walked towards the stone steps as his feelings welled up in his heart.

If we substitutes were a little stronger ...

Hou Yue who was still in the ring had already attacked three times with "Waterfall" from Fly Fall Punch, so not only did he feel exhausted, his body was still suffering from the remaining shock effect of the attacks. That meant that he couldn't run around the ring as before. Sun Jian fought carefully and cautiously around him for a while, finding his opponent had trouble even in moving steps, which lent him the courage to approach Hou Yue and throw 24 Blizzard Strikes at him. Finally, he gained an easy victory using limit attacks.

The referee raised his right hand and announced calmly, "Round Five, Sun Jian wins!"

Under normal circumstances, the audience would cheer for Sun Jian and applaud for the Martial Arts Club. But now they all sat there silently and were even sobbing as if they had watched a tragedy.

They had learned some common knowledge about the martial arts, so they knew the rules. They also knew that the substitutes in their own Martial Arts Club were much weaker than the substitutes in the other club.

Sure enough, the referee continued, announcing,

"The final result of this battle, Songcheng University Martial Arts Club wins. The total result, the two teams drew!"

"Here begins the 'Bench War'!"

Geezer Shi looked at Li Mao and others, then he sighed, "Do you want to fight with them?"

"Do we want to go to fight with them? There is no possibility for us to win the battle and no way to change the result..." Li Mao and Lin Hua were speechless for a while because they also felt very bewildered.

Why should we waste our stamina or our effort?

As Yan Zheke's eyelashes hung down, covering her eyes, she squeezed a smile and said,

"Of course, we'll fight! Coach Shi, didn't you say that we are here to get for real combat experience? So why wouldn't we fight, even if there is no chance for us to win?"

"Yes, that makes sense," Geezer Shi said, blushing and laughing hollowly, "Then go fight."

I almost forget that slogan... "Don't you want to cheer me up?" Yan Zheke reached out her hands towards Lou Cheng with her bright, red-rimmed, eyes.

Lou Cheng took a breath, then he said in the voice that only two of them could hear,

"Coach Yan, just go for it!"

Pa, they clapped their hands.

Yan Zheke turned around and walked down the stand to the stone steps. There was not just sorrow, sadness, pity, and regret within her heart, but also a firm belief,

We can be beaten down, but we must never give up!

Watching such a beautiful girl, who did not seem to belong on this violent arena, walking up to the ring without any hesitation, the audience also started to feel inspired as they began to calm down and achieve peace of mind. Soon, the audience could be heard chanting.

We are good enough to fight on such a great level!

...

There were few miracles around the world. At first, Li Shengnan was actually frightened by the ferocious attacks of Yan Zheke at the beginning of the battle. But, as a fighter who had more experience and strength than Yan Zheke, she quickly calmed down and began to attack her opponent. She won the battle very easily and quickly. She even defeated Li Mao and almost defeated Lin Hua in the next rounds.

The referee took a breath before he announced it loudly,

"'Bench War', Dongling Squad wins!"

"The final result, Dongling Squad wins!" The whole arena was silent, and everyone in the martial arts arena looked so sad. Yan Zheke bit her lower lip and pulled Lou Cheng, with her eyes full of tears, and said, "Cheng, let's go say thank you to the audience."

Lou Cheng also had the same idea, but because he didn't win, he couldn't do it because he was afraid to face the passionate students and see their disappointed eyes and sad looks.

At this moment, after he heard the suggestion of his girlfriend, he took a deep breath and said,

"Okay!"

As a man, I can't retreat. Since this is my responsibility, I should face it on my own!
No matter why they are disappointed or how they curse, even if they throw stuff at me, I have to take it. And I will make this fight up to them by continuing to take my duty next time! Lou Cheng stood up and patted the other members, like Sun Jian and Li Mao. Then he took them to the stands where they made a bow together to the audience, hand in hand.

Thanks for your support, thanks for your cheering, thanks for your slogans, and thanks for your sorrow.
This was the moment that Lou Cheng had prepared for. He was waiting to accept the insults of the audience. Suddenly, there was a hoarse scream from the stands,

"Let's do it next time!"

"Do it next time..." Lou Cheng and others were stunned for a while, so they didn't understand this sentence immediately.

The audience in the stands was shocked at first, but then they also began to scream in a disorganized way, "Let's do it next time!" "Let's do it next time!" "Let's do it next time!"

"Next time please win for us!"

The scream gradually become orderly and unified as it began affecting the audience in the other stands as well. In the end, the whole audience shouted in an organized way,

"Let's do it next time!" "Let's do it next time!"

They had no complaints and no disappointment, only encouragement and expectations.

Lou Cheng suddenly had tears in his eyes while his nose became sour, even though he always believed that men shouldn't easily shed tears and men should shed sweats instead of tears. Then he led his members to bow politely again to the audience as thanks for their love and support! It's so good to have an audience like you. Next time, we will win the battle for you!

"Let's do it next time!" "Let's do it next time!"

The cheering chants in the arena were also shown on TV, allowing many people to hear it. It made the young girls, like Yan Xiaoling and Brahman, begin to cry suddenly. They cried sadly as they followed the audience by shouting chokingly, "Next time, do it. Let's do it next time... "

"Let's do it next time!" "Let's do it next time!"

Even Shu Rui, who only graduated from the university one year ago, felt affected by the atmosphere. She sniffed, with her nose feeling sour, because she was afraid that she would also begin to cry like the young girls. At the same time, there was a problem wandering in her mind, "What should I do. Songcheng University lost the match, so how do I interview Lin Que after this..." Thinking of this, she really was about to cry. "Let's do it next time!" "Let's do it next time!"

Lou Cheng turned to look at Yan Zheke with his eyes full of tears, and he found that although her eyes were also filled with tears and the rims of her eyes were obviously red, she was still fighting back tears.

"Just cry," He said, shaking her hands slightly.

Yan Zheke took a breath and smiled very sadly before saying, "I never cry when I am sad... "

"Let's do it next time!" "Let's do it next time!"

Some people, like Li Liantong and Fan Yanxi, had already burst into tears because they were struck by this atmosphere. They were also shouting as they cried.

Laughing would be a happy memory to recall while crying would be a sad event for people to remember. ...

After this match, Lou Cheng took a shower, changed his clothes, and walked out of the locker room directly.

He had already grown used to it, just like traveling along a familiar road in a light carriage, so he knew there would be an interview waiting for him. He just wanted to finish it as soon as possible.

Shu Rui looked at him in surprise as she laughed, then said,"Lou Cheng, I thought that you would be the last one to come out."

Lou Cheng was going to play a joke and say, "I gave the spotlight to my members last time because we had won the match. But today, we lost, so I should be the one to take responsibility." However, he actually didn't have the mood to joke about it, so he only answered politely, "Last time I didn't know you were waiting to interview us." Shu Rui complained to herself, then she changed to the right topic, "It seems that you are a little depressed. Was the match today important to you?"

"Every match I participated in is important to me." Lou Cheng said in a simple way, "Failure will definitely make people depressed."

Shu Rui thought for a while before she said, "So I dare to ask, what's your opinion about this failure? What do you think caused you to lose the match? And is there anything that you need to improve on?"

"Our team had the same possibility to win the battle as Dongling Squad. This time, we lost the game mainly because I went with the flow of martial arts so smoothly that I became a little arrogant. If it was not for me wanting to beat my enemy in one extreme attack, I would not have been hit by the eruption of Zhou Zhengquan's Dan stage." Lou Cheng said sincerely. It was very brave of him to take responsibility.

Men should never shirk their responsibility! As for the reason, that it was the simplified movement of physical invulnerability that caused him to lose the game, he certainly wouldn't talk about it. Since he didn't use it, it would be his trump card.

Shu Rui thought back deeply for a while and then she comforted Lou Cheng, "It's normal for young people to be dazed and confused. But, knowing how to reflect and review is a sign of maturity. So, Lou Cheng, since your team will participate in the National University Martial Arts Match in six months, what kind of target have you set?"

"Well, we would like to be in the national finals." Lou Cheng did not say his goal was Peng Leyun, the national champion, because it would certainly be laughed at dramatically by others.

Yes, your team is strong, but still, you aren't at the same level as Peng Leyun. Or, we can say, you still are much weaker than him, and his progess is not slower than yours!

"I hope that you can achieve your goals." Shu Rui ended this brief interview. Then she continued to interview Yan Zheke and others, one by one. At last, she faced an ultimate challenge, which was, Lin Que who lacked any expression on his face.

"Lin Que, what do you think of your performances in today's battle?" Shu Rui tried to ask him from the perspective of the Martial Arts Competition.

Lin Que answered indifferently, "Not very good."

"Why?" Shu Rui thought she was going to be crazy. Could you please answer in one go? Why do you behave like a voice assistant that can only answer exactly what I asked?
"I never expected that Zhou Zhengquan would attack with three violent eruptions at the beginning of the battle." Lin Que spoke with vague pain in his eyes.

If I had fought a little bit better and hurt Zhou Zhengquan, then the result would definitely be different... Shu Rui nodded and kept asking, "The National University Martial Arts Match will be hosted in six months, so what's your plan or your expectation for it?"

Lin Que was silent for a few seconds, and then he answered,

"Practicing hard."

When he finished his words, he passed by Shu Rui and walked towards the exit of the arena.

After hearing this answer, Shu Rui was inexplicably sad. If Lin Que said, "It's a secret" or "I can not tell you," it would mean that he was actually in a good mood because he could tell dry jokes. However, he must feel very hurt now...

...

Time went by. It had been more than one month since the match they fought in May. It was burning hot outside. Lou Cheng stood next to the lush trees as he closed his eyes to visualize a thunderbolt. Then, he compressed his muscles and moved his abdomen to create a slight shock that could constantly strengthen the organs in his body.

Gradually, he felt his heart beat more and more powerful as blood gushed out from it to flow through every organ in his body. And under his control, his heart quickly slowed down its beat with no obstacles, so did the other organs.

This symbolized that his martial arts has been tempered into his body, and it was also the sign of the peak of body refining!

The next step was to unify the forces around his body at one point and begin to learn how to "take back"... Lou Cheng opened his eyes, which were full of a strong and ferocious vigor.

He did not squeeze the Jindan again to improve his supernatural ability, because he felt it went through the process when he tried to learn how to "take back". There were many fighters with a supernatural ability that can't achieve the level of Dan Stage because their supernatural ability became too strong. I am a fighter, I shouldn't be confused about the main goal and the first goal. So I will ask my master about it and try to avoid awakening other supernatural abilities until I can understand how to "take back".
In addition, my master has said that he had some hints about the fighting style of the Fire Sect. And he would have the opportunity to get it for me next semester.
Of course, this is in the future. What is most important now is,
Go back home! Back to Xiushan! Go back to Xiushan together with Ke!
His mind suddenly visualized a picture which looked like a Great Sun falling from the sky and crashing down onto a frozen river that was thousands of miles long. Yin and Yang crashing into each other ferociously.

"Bam!" Lou Cheng punched towards the tree in front of him. And then he took back his hand, turning away without even glancing at it.

As he was walking away, the leaves suddenly began to fall one at a time from the tree, which seemed to stand still. As they dropped down faster, the color of the leaves also appeared to turn more yellow, as if it was the cold winter in September.

(The end of the first part)

Chapter 224: The First Meal in Xiushan

Twilight had passed and the train was moving. Yan Zheke could not bear the tired feeling, so she fell asleep on her boyfriend's shoulder.

Lou Cheng didn't move his right shoulder. Using his left hand, he gently reached out and grabbed the backpack next to them. Then he opened the zipper, dragged out a coat, and covered Yan Zheke.

A man should always prevent their girlfriend from getting cold.

Also, high-speed bullet trains are always hot in winter and cold in summer!

Lou Cheng had taken his girlfriend's travel habits into consideration. So, he did not want her to bear sitting on the train for several hours and proposed to fly home. But Yan Zheke refused, giving him an account of the time for both. From the new campus of Song University to the airport, it takes nearly 50 minutes, almost the same as the train station. After arriving at the airport, you have to take a boarding card, check your baggage, go through the security, and do a series of other things. That will take an hour. Even if the aircraft can take off on time, it still needs at least two hours. And the destination is the capital Gaofen, which means you have to ride a train to reach Xiushan. Adding it all together, it's at least five
hours. And the high-speed rail from Songcheng directly to
Xiushan, starting from the new campus, only requires six hours. And you do not need to be so removed. So it is obvious which is better.

When he returned to school previously, Lou Cheng chose a bullet train, which ran at night, in order to keep the taste of the food he was bringing. That naturally was not as fast as the high-speed rail.

The scene outside constantly swept by. Lou Cheng was a little bit excited, yet a little depressed.

The excitement was because he was homesick. He missed his father, mother, and everything in Xiushan. The melancholy was because once he went back to Xiushan, he could no longer be with Yan Zheke every day. She went south during the winter, which meant she did not see her relatives and friends for almost a year. So, there must be all kinds of parties. More importantly, she always had to accompany her parents, meaning she was not as free as at school.

Fortunately, they had agreed to exercise together every morning!

Lou Cheng's thoughts flew even as the high-speed rail began to slow down. The radio announced they were arriving at the station.

"Next station, Xiushan!"

The long eyelashes of Yan Zheke trembled two times. Her eyes slowly opened, looking oblivious and bewilderment because she just woke up.

"Where are we now?" "We will arrive soon." Lou Cheng put his left hand into his pants pocket and took out a pack of paper towels.

Yan Zheke had just woken up, "huh", she said, blushed, and let her boyfriend wipe her mouth.

Sleep drool again!

"Your T-shirt... " She said, as her eyes turned and she saw the wet spot on Lou Cheng's clothes. She could not help but smile, feeling a little embarrassed, but somehow a little prideful as well.

Lou Cheng was about to poke fun at her, but her cell phone played a cheerful ringtone.

"Empress Dowager... " Yan Zheke shrank her neck as she spoke those two words after seeing the caller ID. Then she chose to answer. "Hey, mother... I'll arrive in a few minutes ... You are waiting outside?... I know you love me the most." Her face stretched, with a smile as she continued, "Well, the train is about to stop. I'll get my suitcase first. Bye."

"Poor me. No one to pick me up." Lou Cheng made a self- deprecating comment after quietly listening.

They had no car, so there was no difference between picking him up or not. He'd be better of just taking a bus.

"Right, poor Cheng. Big sister will pick you up." Yan Zheke answered with a smile, easily helping him sort out his collar.

Lou Cheng stood up with a smile. One hand per bag, he took down her tractor box and the big backpack, easily and steadily. The other passengers were all impressed.

This boy was not tall nor robust, but he was really powerful! Carrying two bags, dragging the suitcase, holding Yan Zheke, Lou Cheng went through the door. He got off the platform, went through the gate, and arrived at the hall.

Yan Zheke stopped walking, with melancholy in her voice, she said, "Hand me my luggage."

Having helped her carry the luggage, Lou Cheng waved.
Enduring his dismay, he slightly smiled and said,

"See you."

"See you tomorrow." Yan Zheke said as she sighed and smiled.

Although they had made an appointment to exercise every morning, Lou Cheng felt the Empress Dowager would give them a hard time. She dragged the suitcase a few steps away, stopped, and looked back at Lou Cheng. After hesitating for a few seconds, she waved her hand, turned back, and walked toward the outside of the hall.

Lou Cheng sighed, standing there, intending to wait for a while and then go out, so that he could avoid the embarrassment of meeting Empress Dowager.

More than a minute later, his cell phone rang.

Yan Zheke said with a "red face smile", "I met Empress Dowager. You should also go home soon."

"Relax, the bus doesn't stop running until nine o'clock." Lou Cheng replied while carrying his luggage out of the station.

Yan Zheke sent a "well-behaved sit" emoji, "In fact, I wanted to give you a farewell kiss... " "To the shy Little Ke, was this just about thinking?" Lou Cheng replied with a grinning face.

"Hey, you understand me very well." Yan Zheke answered with "humming" emoji.

Having said a few words, the girl slowed down. Apparently, she was talking to her parents. Lou Cheng put the phone in his pocket. He sped up to catch up with the last bus.

He stood straight at the back door, holding Yin-Yang Stance, and took out his phone.

It was almost eight o'clock. He didn't ask his mother to leave food for him, so he had to get something to eat by himself!

He had so many ways to eat his fill now that he was back in Xiushan. Lou Cheng selected Qin Rui's phone number from the address book and immediately called to see whether the old classmate was free.

Firstly, he would thank him for helping his cousin's boyfriend join the ancient mountain martial arts club. Secondly, he would ask for a part-time job over the summer.

"Hey, Cheng, you are back?" From the other end of the phone, Qin Rui was very pleased to ask.

Lou Cheng smiled and said, "Yes. Just arrived in Xiushan, no food at home, I intended to eat outside. Are you free? Come eat with me?"

"Well, where do you want to go? There is a new Crayfish hall at Peace Bridge. It's very good. You can try it." Qin Rui did not hesitate to agree, although he had just had dinner at half past six.

After Dai Linfeng and other brothers witnessed Lou Cheng beat that Professional Ninth Pin, his position at the martial arts club unknowingly rose. He had never enjoyed such respect.

He deeply felt the fickleness of the world and the necessity of his own personal connections. No doubt, Lou Cheng was definitely the most worthy of good relations.

Lou Cheng laughed and said, "Let's got there next time. I'm returning home after half a year, so I want to eat something familiar, like Old Liu Barbecue. Let's meet there."

"OK." Qin Riu paused and said," Your cousin is at the martial arts club. Should we invite her and Xiao Ding to come together?"

Ding Yanbo had joined the ancient mountain martial arts club for almost a month. Qin Rui naturally found out that he was not a family member of Lou Cheng, but the boyfriend of a family member of Lou Cheng.

"Feifei? Is she in Xiushan?" Lou Cheng surprisedly asked. When did Qi Yunfei come to Xiushan from Ningshui?

Did my aunt say nothing about it?

Qi Yunfei achieved a normal result on the test in June. She failed to be admitted to Xiushan NO.1 and Ningshui NO.2, but fortunately, the score was very close. Lou Cheng's aunt, Qi Yan, offered up the money to send her to Xiushan NO.1.

"Yes, she said these days she was living in your house." Qin Rui smiled and answered.

"She lives at my house... Then I have to sleep on the sofa!" Lou Cheng did not expect that he would be the "king of the living room" the first day he came back. He felt both angry and amused as he replied, "That's fine, you can tell them to come over. I will have a look at that dude!"

Also, he would say a few words so that Feifei would not abandon her studies. ...

When Lou Cheng arrived at the Old Liu Barbecue with his luggage, Qi Yunfei and her boyfriend were already waiting there. And Qin Rui would arrive a few minutes later because he came from his home.

Qi Yunfei was dressed like a popular little girl nowadays. She waved her hand lively.

"Brother Cheng! Brother Cheng! Here, here!"

Lou Cheng smiled and walked back. He looked over the young man who was called Ding Yanbo. He was more than 1.8 meters tall, which made a cute contrast with little Qi Yunfei. His look was not superior, only positive, with no hostility. His eyebrows were filled with this age-specific vigorous vitality.

"Grown-up girl, quietly going to Xiushan!" Lou Cheng arrived in front of them and set his backpack aside. Qi Yunfei proudly laughed, then said, "What quietly? I told my mother that I would go to your house to play for a week!"

As for her sister, Chen Xiaoxiao, she was still struggling with class.

Then Qi Yunfei pulled Ding Yanbo, urging him she said, "Called him Brother Lou Cheng!"

Ding Yanbo had no way out. He embarrassedly shouted, "Brother Lou Cheng."

"Sit down." Lou Cheng pointed to the chair, casually asked, "You have been in the martial arts club for a month, right? How do you feel?"

He wanted to laugh after hearing these words. If Yan Zheke was here, he would have been happy as flowers. When did Cheng become so old-fashioned? Sure enough, it was very different to be here with the identity of the brother!

Ding Yanbo stiffly replied, "So-so. I am tired, but I also feel that I have learned a lot of things. Brother Rui is serious, but he is also very kind to us."

"That is not what you said before!" Qi Yunfei interrupted with laughter, "You said Brother Rui was always wearing a cold face and always beating you. That was not polite. How long since you changed your position?"

Ding Yanbo grabbed his chin, and said, "Now I understand that Brother Rui did that for our own good."

"Being strict is good." Lou Cheng agreed.

Qi Yunfei shrank her lips and said, "Brother Lou Cheng, you do not know how much he has changed over time. Brother Rui this, Brother Rui that. He was almost like Brother Rui's shadow!" "That was in order to learn martial arts better!" Ding Yanbo explained, "You do not know how powerful Brother Rui is. He can get ranked in the whole generation of Xiushan. Do you know the Greenskin from Ningshui County? What a powerful person! Brother Rui beat him with only a kick and a slap!"

"Greenskin? The Greenskin that came to our school to fight?" Qi Yunfei's eyes widely opened, flashing different colors.

"Yes, that is him! In front of Brother Rui, he was obedient like a dog." Ding Yanbo excitedly answered with a face of worship. Then he said, "Right, Brother Rui had just finished the Ranking Event and got the rank of Amateur First Pin!"

Qin Rui had passed the amateur ranking match in June? Lou Cheng pleasedly nodded his head.

At this time, he noticed the arrival of Qin Rui in advance. He waved and loudly shouted,

"Qin Rui, here!" Ding Yanbo and Qi Yunfei saw Qin Rui walking towards them. He was more than 1.9 meters tall, like half of an iron tower.

They hurriedly stood up, then cautiously and fearfully said,

"Brother Rui... "

Qin Rui smiled. He was about to speak. Suddenly he found the Qi of Lou Cheng was close to an upper limit, naturally revealing a sharp and strong feeling. He sat there quietly, but it was as if he was even taller than Rui.

Has he reached the peak? He was lost for a while. With a half bitter and half surprise expression, he laughed and said,

"Cheng, I was just about to call you Brother Lou."

Chapter 225: Summer School

Brother Lou? Did Brother Rui just call Lou Cheng, Brother Lou? Qi Yunfei who was feeling at a loss, blinked in disbelief.

This was wrong!

Could it be because they were in a close relationship such as classmates and were happy to poke fun at each other?

Well, that must be the case!

Next to her, Ding Yanbo also with looked perplexed. He had entered Gushan Martial Arts School for nearly a month, and had not seen Brother Rui call someone else brother!

The friendship between him and Feifei's cousin must be close. So close that they could joke like that. "Brother Lou sounds weird. It makes me sound so old." Lou Cheng took the cup with a smile. He raised the pot of buckwheat tea on the table and poured two half cups, "I heard you've got Amateur First Pin? You know I don't drink, so in place of alcohol, I'll use tea to give you a toast. Congratulations."

Qin Rui immediately sat down, took the cup, and touched Lou Cheng's. After he finished and wiped his mouth, he smiled and said, "There's no need to congratulate me. I can't compare with you. I'm strong and tall, as long as I practice diligently enough and learn something, Amateur First Pin is relatively simple to get. Huh. Anything more will be difficult."

Can't compare with you? Qi Yunfei was once again confused, then she found thought of another reason for this.

Brother Rui meant that his Amateur First Pin could not compare with the diploma from Songcheng University?

Ding Yanbo was stunned, Brother Rui always appeared serious. Only when he was facing Senior Brother Dai would his expression be more relaxed. But now he was smiling so gently and sounding so sincere.

So is this his other side?

It was not like the Brother Rui he knew!

Are they best buddies?

In the face of Qin Rui's sigh, Lou Cheng poked fun at him, "Don't be modest. No kidding! I don't know how many people want to get to Amateur First Pin. So in the future, you have to eat bite by bite. You have to walk step by step. Man, you'll always find a way."

"I mean it, I thought you might get the certificate at the end of April. So I searched on the Internet. After searching, gosh, it scared me. I didn't dare to call to congratulate you. Feels like we're not in the same world," Qin Rui sighed and said with a smile. "And now how long has it been? Within a blink of an eye, you've gone past what I could have imagined!" While he listened to Qin Rui's ramble, Ding Yanbo rubbed his eyes, suspecting that he had a case of mistaken identity.

Isn't this Brother Rui?

When did Brother Rui behave and nag like a 30 or 40-year- old drunkard?

He had not drunk anything yet, right? How could he be drunk!

Just as he was looking around, Qi Yunfei pulled his clothes, winked at him and then said, "They're so busy. There's no one serving us. I'll go up to order food. Brother Lou Cheng, Brother Rui, what would you like?"

"Ten sticks of chicken wings, ten sticks of chicken butt... " Lou Cheng ordered his usual dishes. "Most importantly eggplant, six sticks. Qin Rui, what do you want to eat?" Qin Rui shook his head and said, "I ate at 7 earlier, so I've no appetite now. I'll just pick some food off your plate. Uh, give me a can of coconut juice. I've also quit drinking."

"Haha, yes, nice job quitting!" Lou turned to Qi Yunfei, "I want a can of herbal tea, the rest you can order yourself."

"Sure." Qi Yunfei pulled Ding Yanbo and walked towards the barbecue grilling area.

While waiting to order, she lowered her voice and scolded, "Liar!"

"What liar?" Ding Yanbo was not too sure why he was being scolded.

"You said Brother Rui was very cool and serious!" Qi Yunfei glanced at her boyfriend. "He doesn't seem like it when I met him earlier. He was laughing and smiling so much like a sunflower under the sun. How loving and warm!" Ding Yanbo held his chin, smiled and said, "I don't understand, either! Maybe he gets along well with your brother... Feifei, you said your brother was also practicing martial arts and was quite powerful. Did Brother Rui say how we could find his profile on the Internet?"

"How would I know? I have never searched him before!" Qi Yunfei was also full of curiosity, urging, "Quickly! Google him!"

"Ah." Ding Yanbo took out the phone, opened the page APP, and entered two words "Lou Cheng". He thought this might not be too accurate so he asked, "Is your brother in Songcheng University?"

"Yes, I've told you several times!" Qi Yunfei said gruffly.

With "Lou Cheng, Songcheng University" as a key word, Ding Yanbo clicked on search. The page refreshed with new topics. Top of the list was the introduction of various subjects.

"Hey, there are people who have created a wiki page of your brother!" Ding Yanbo excitedly pointed. He found that the editors were "Eternal Nightfall", "Brahman" and "Unparalleled Dragon King" among others.

"Name: Lou Cheng"

"Age: 19"

"Height: 1.75 ~ 1.77m"

"Weight: unknown"

"School: Songcheng University"

"Martial Arts Rank: Professional Ninth Pin"

Seeing the term "Professional Ninth Pin", Ding Yanbo's heart skipped a beat. With a shake of his hand, he almost threw out the phone. Professional Ninth Pin?

There was no Professional Ninth Pin in the entire martial arts circle of Xiushan...

No, everyone could edit or add anything to the wikipedia, it was not credible... Ding Yanbo scrolled down the page and saw a photo. He determined that it was Lou Cheng, his girlfriend's cousin. At the same time, he also found some links. Some were fans forums, others were videos of his fights.

Videos never lie. It would be obvious whether it was CG or not! Ding Yanbo clicked on one and quickly dragged the progress bar forward.

Pop!

His cell phone dropped and hit the ground hard. "What happened?" Qi Yunfei quickly checked on her boyfriend, and saw his mouth half opened.

Ding Yanbo shuddered and quickly bent over to pick up his phone. The flash of broken bricks amidst a spider web of cracks and crazy double arm slashes seemed to be truly hitting his soul.

That was scary!

That was frightening!

Was this really Feifei's cousin?

"What's wrong?" Seeing that her boyfriend did not answer, Qi Yunfei's tone became concerned.

Ding Yanbo passed the phone to her, "Watch it for yourself...
" "What's there to see?" Qi Yunfei's chubby face was filled of suspicion. She took the phone, clicked play and dragged the play bar forward a few times.

Pop!

The poor cell phone once again fell onto the ground, cracking the surface of its tempered glass film protection.

Qi Yunfei's mouth slightly opened. Her eyes were filled with confusion.

To her, the shock she had just received was much bigger than Ding Yanbo. After all, this was the cousin whom she spent all summer vacation chatting with.

She took a breath and with dazed eyes, she said,

"I might have met an imposter of my cousin... " Their eyes met and remained transfixed until it was their turn to order food.

...

After ordering, they took the coconut juice, herbal tea and other beverages back to the seat, quietly. Then they overheard Lou Cheng telling Qin Rui how to upgrade from Amateur First Pin to Professional Ninth Pin.

"Focusing and improving meditation is the best. This saves you a few years or even more of body refining." Lou Cheng imitated his master's way of talking. "Think about it. You can only visualize properly after you know the concealment of spirit. And all the 'inner practice' needs visualization. If not, to polish by the accumulation of physical tempering will be very hard."

"'Inner practice' 'is the core of the body refining state. With higher ranks, it would help practitioners quickly reach the physical quality of Professional Ninth Pin and even be promoted to the peak of body refining. But it is inherited, so not every martial arts club would have it." Qin Rui thoughtfully nodded his head. "I understand. Without supernatural ability, visualisation meditation is at the core of how to improve martial arts."

Speaking of which, he smiled. "But our martial arts club doesn't have internal training methods."

This was not just any general stance training!

"Where there is a will, there is a way. As long as you can meditate, there are always ways to get internal training methods, such as from awards from competitions, exchanging at the martial arts association or buying any that are available on the market." Lou Cheng comforted Qin Rui.

The Martial Artist Association would often be referred to as the Martial Arts Association, so that it would appear closer to the people.

Qi Yunfei was silently sitting after she took the drinks to the table. She was behaving well — all quiet and cute. Her eyes constantly glanced back and forth between Lou Cheng and Qin Rui. She noticed that although her cousin's facial features had not changed much, but his face and jawline were increasingly angular, exuding masculinity.

She did not look carefully before, but now Brother Lou Cheng seemed to have become more handsome, with a special and charming aura around him.

Lou Cheng could feel Qi Yunfei staring. He touched his face, slightly worried. He said,

"Is there something on my face?"

Did Keke leave lipstick marks on my face again?

"Nothing!" Qi Yunfei was sitting up straighter and more still than she would in front of her mother. Ding Yanbo was trembling, afraid to take a loo or to speak. Lou Cheng took the drinks. He helped Qin Rui open his and handed it to him. He laughed,

"Here! This drink is for you... Ding Yanbo thanks for the taking the trouble."

He did not know what to say to his cousin's boyfriend.

"What is this? I said no trouble!" Qin Rui and Lou Cheng gave a cheer and drank happily.

Qi Yunfei's eyes turned. She pulled up the perplexed Ding Yanbo, urging, "Didn't you say you wanted to perform a toast to Brother Lou Cheng and say 'thank you' to him?"

"When did I ... " Ding Yanbo wanted to refute this, but the little girl stared back at him. So he picked up the soy milk bottle nervously. "Brother Lou Cheng, thank you for your help." Lou Cheng touched his jar and drank. When he was about to speak, Qin Rui interrupted, "Ding, meeting Cheng is your luck. Some skills he casually teaches you are stronger than ours. Don't waste this opportunity."

"Yes, Brother Rui." Ding Yanbo was not a fool. He could hear Qin Rui's sincerity from that advice, so he quickly said, "Brother Lou Cheng, a toast to you again."

This time, he downed the whole bottle of soy milk.

"Practice martial arts hard. Don't let Feifei worry." Lou Cheng smiled, and made his point as a cousin. And then along the same topic, he asked, "Qin Rui, does your martial arts club have part-time coaches?"

Qin Rui paused for a moment, then he laughed. "Yes! We are just worried that we do not have enough staff! Do you want to come?"

"I've nothing to do during this holiday. Practicing martial arts also costs me a lot of money. Ah, I don't want to trouble my parents on this matter, so I was intending to find a martial arts part-time job." Lou Cheng calmly said.

"Great! We want experts like you!" Qin Rui answered with great surprise. "Every summer vacation, many junior high school students would be sent by their parents to practice at least two months of martial arts. In order to improve their physical fitness. Huh, we have more than a dozen summer classes every year. It's very easy. They don't want to achieve a formal rank, it is just exercise."

Chapter 226: Silent Care

"This kind of class? Any student with a Pin ranking can teach them, right? Why are you worried about insufficient manpower?" Lou Cheng asked while stomach rumbled. The barbecue meat was not ready yet.

Qin Rui laughed and said, "You don't understand. Now, everything needs to be divided into ranks. Our Summer Class is three times a week, half a day each session. Different classes are sorted into suitable times. There are also several classes with tuition. Casually find a set of students with Pin, that is the lowest class, 888 for two months. The more powerful teachers are 1288. Our disciples teach for 2088. Nominally they will follow their teachers. They don't only pay, but they also need to have connections."

"And this works?" Lou Cheng listened with full of interest. The only uncomfortable part was that his stomach was burning with hunger.

Although he was more mature than when he first entered the university, the social class that he had contact with was relatively monotonous. So many things were still confusing. Qin Rui gently patted the table and said, "Believe me! At first, we did not want to split the classes like that either, but the parents were dissatisfied. Oh, how can my child practice with so many other people? What can he learn? What if he is not taken care of? What if he is hurt? Do you have a better class here? One with fewer students and more a powerful teacher, money is not a problem!"

He pinched his throat when he was saying the last few sentences, which looked quite vivid and funny. Qi Yunfei and Ding Yanbo could not help but laugh out loud like two small quails.

Ding Yanbo did not think Brother Rui even had such a side.

"Comparison is the source of human progress... " Lou Cheng forged a famous sentence. His nose wiggled as the fragrance of barbecued meat made it to his nose.

Qin Rui drank some coconut juice and continued, "College students speak well. Who doesn't have that bit of competitive spirit? If you were to do part-time, you'll probably be scheduled for the most advanced classes. And believe it or not, there will be a team of students waiting to enlist. You are a rare Professional Ninth Pin in Xiushan... "

Before he could finish, Lou Cheng humorously added,

"Living!"

Puff... Qi Yunfei just drank some soymilk and almost spit it out.

Qin Rui smiled and breathed. "The moment, you, our living advertisement is out, the other martial arts clubs can only shut down. We definitely wish you would come!"

"I don't think you need my name in your promotions right?" In this regard, Lou Cheng was shy and easily embarrassed.

"Okay. You want to be modest," said Qin Rui frankly. "I can't decide what to do. I'll ask my master tomorrow and give you a call." He was not the owner of that martial arts dojo. It was impossible to promise the salary or bonus Lou Cheng could get at this moment.

"Sure, sorry to trouble you." Lou Cheng sincerely thanked him.

At this moment, wistfully, he finally saw the first batch of barbecue being sent over.

Later, he ate and replied to Yan Zheke, while chatting with Qin Rui about high school students and the Xiushan martial arts circle. By the time they had eaten enough, it was close to 9:30 p.m.

After paying the bill and saying goodbye, Lou Cheng looked at his cousin and said,

"Feifei, it's late already. Are you going back with me?" "Yup." Qi Yunfei replied while lightly nodding.

She was so well-behaved that Lou Cheng was a little surprised. He thought she would drag her feet and refuse to do so!

When did this the little devil become so easy to talk to?

He did not reveal his doubts. They said goodbye to Qin Rui and Ding Yanbo. He stopped a taxi and they went straight to their district.

In the car, Qi Yunfei maintained a quiet and silent attitude. Lou Cheng was amazed. He guessed that she must have been stunned by something.

Just now she was cheerful and playful!

"Feifei, how are you? You seem a little depressed." Lou Cheng looked at the taxi driver in the front seat and asked her with concern.

Qi Yunfei awakened from her daze and said, "I played the whole day. So I'm a little sleepy."

"I'm also sleepy. I didn't even take a nap." Lou Cheng reached up with his hand and covered his mouth, yawned, and smelled the heavy barbecue flavor.

Entering their estate, back at home, his mother Qi Fang greeted them when he was just about to open the door.

"You bad boy. Why did you come back so late? Where did you go?"

"Uh, how come you two came back together?"

Lou Cheng laughed and said, "We met on the way home. Mom, today when you called, why didn't you say Feifei was coming?" Qi Fang laughed twice. "I must have been too busy and forgot about it."

She sniffed and said, with a voice of disdain, "Barbecue! You had a barbecue, that's why you are back so late? I told you that those things were not hygienic. We never know if the meat they use is good or bad. Eat less!"

Familiar nagging, familiar concern. Lou Cheng did not have the slightest thought of arguing, so he just replied, "Yes, yes, yes."

Qi Fang continued for a while. Then suddenly, she patted her head and said, "Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. Cheng, you sleep in the living room tonight. We're giving your room to your cousin."

"Mom, am I your real son? This is my first day back home!" Lou Cheng said jokingly.

Qi Fang went back to the sofa and sat down next to Lou Zhisheng. She smiled and said, "I only dare do this, precisely because you're my biological son."

Eh, did mum just become fashionable... Lou Cheng chuckled. He did not hurry to pack things, sitting down on the single sofa instead. He had intended to have a chat with his father and mother. But all Qi Yunfei did was to go to the room after a quick greeting. After changing clothes, she went straight to the bathroom.

Lou Zhisheng pushed up his gold-rimmed glasses, looked at Lou Cheng with a smile, and said,

"Nice. You're looking good. Martial arts is a very useful thing."

Hearing this sentence, Qi Fang looked up and took a breath. She carefully looked at her precious son, then she laughed and said,

"If your dad didn't mention it, I would not have noticed. All I could see is that you've lost weight. Your spirit is good! You seem more 'shuntou' as compared to your father when he was young!"

"Shuntou" is Xiushan dialect, meaning handsome.

"How is it about me again?" Lou Zhisheng complained and sipped a mouth of tea. After pondering for a dozen seconds, he said "Cheng, is it expensive to practice martial arts? If you do not have enough money, although we're not that rich, we still have some savings."

Lou Cheng did not expect that his dad would make such an offer from the start. In a daze, he asked, "Dad, why did you suddenly ask?"

To Improve from the body refining stage to the Dan stage required a nutritional medicine soup and other things to cooperate with the practice of martial arts so that the strength of the body could integrate as a whole. Though this would cost a lot, he had already made his plans. Besides the Youth Tournament within the province at the end of July and early August, he also intended to get a part-time job at Gushan Martial Arts School. Along with his private savings of 20,000, he should have enough.

Lou Zhisheng let out a sigh.

"Your dad is a knucklehead, only knowledgeable about his own work, and not too concerned about other aspects. Since I knew that you intend to travel down the path of a martial artist, I wanted to do some research, only to find out that I'm of no use. I don't understand anything. I can only watch TV and ask the young men in our factory. They said that Professional Nine Pin to Eight Pin is a threshold to cross. It'll be very expensive. You called your mother before to tell her the news, so you should be at this threshold, right?"

Father and mother did not ask much about martial arts related things, so Lou Cheng thought that his family was not for or against martial arts. Who knew they had been quietly concerned, inquiring about it, and preparing. This love had no regrets, without a word.

Puff... he breathed out, barely laughed, and said, "Dad, Mom, you don't have to worry. I received a bonus from fighting in the competition. And I'll have a part-time job at a classmate's school during summer break. I should have enough. If not, I'll ask you for help."

Mom and Dad have already worked hard enough just to afford my tuition fees!

"You keep that little bit of money to spend. Don't scrimp and save too much, you'll be easily looked down on by roommates and friends!" Qi Fang interrupted.

"What is 'a little' money?" Lou Cheng laughed, "I've more than 20,000 on my card!"

He only told mum he had prize money from the preliminaries, but not specifically how much. Qi Fang took it for granted, thinking that it was no more than a thousand.

"More than 20,000?" Qi Fang widened her eyes, Lou Zhisheng could not help but push up his glasses. Oops, he accidentally exposed how much his private savings was... Lou Cheng quickly laughed and said, "Yes, at your son's current strength, making a few thousand CNY is very easy. Save your money for a bigger house. I can't sleep in the living room every time my cousin comes, right?"

Qi Fang laughed, covered her eyes, then said, "Oh, our child has a gift... "

Lou Zhisheng drank his tea and took a long breath,

"Your mother was right, you really have more skills than when I was young... "

Lou Cheng smiled. "This is called 'the blue dye extracted from indigo is bluer than indigo'."

These words made the old couple laugh. The topic moved from martial arts to the other matters. And Qi Yunfei slipped into the room while rubbing her half -long-half-short hair. She turned on her computer and seriously watched the content of the last search, a section of fighting videos with Lou Cheng in them!

After watching a video, she could not help but look outside. It seemed unbelievable that the protagonist on the arena was in the living room. She could not believe that it was her cousin!

In the living room, Lou Zhisheng and Qi Fang knew their son had to exercise every day, so they went back to their room after 10.

Lou Cheng took out his boxer briefs, intending to take a shower before sleeping. He had just walked two steps when he remembered his cousin was in the house. So he went back to his backpack and took out the pajamas that Yan Zheke gave him.

He could not wear boxers and run around in front of a 15- year-old girl, right?

He knew how to avoid trouble now that he was older. Hey, Zheke certainly did not expect the pajamas she gave would come in handy at a time like this!"

Lou Cheng's thoughts flew. Suddenly he heard his bedroom door opened.

Qi Yunfei was standing at the door with her face flushed. She grinned and shouted,

"Big brother Lou Cheng!"

"Huh?" Lou Cheng looked at her in bewilderment.

"Nothing, I just wanted to call you that." Qi Yunfei shut the door, feeling very happy.

Haha, I have a super powerful brother!

Chapter 227: Interest First

"Are you insane?" Lou Cheng was shocked, his lips twitching.
He burst into an ironic laugh, completely puzzled.

Is this the so-called generation gap?

It's almost impossible to understand what's on Fei's mind.

He shook the matter off his head and walked into the bathroom to complete his washing up.

Back in the living room, he turned off the light and lay down on the couch under a thin duvet, entering his chatting mode with Yan Zheke on his mobile as usual. He finally found peace and joy in his heart, like the dim moonlight shining through the window.

"Poor me... I'm sleeping in the living room on my first day home..." Lou Cheng added the pitiful emoji his girlfriend loved to use. Be a rascal among rascal. "Ha-hah. I'm rolling and rolling in my massive bed after such a long separation!" Yan Zheke chuckled.

Lou Cheng sent a table smashing emoji and complained, "You don't comfort me at all!"

"There, there. Let big sister give you a hug. You can sleep in bed soon." Yan Zheke loved to call herself a big sister in front of Lou Cheng recently though she was actually one year younger.

"Sleep in bed? Together with my big sister?" Lou Cheng went on to tease her with a sneer.

Yan Zheke used a yelling emoji. "Phew! I won't sleep with the pervert! You just teased me with the photo of a BBQ eggplant!"

"I was trying to seduce you. Seduce you to eat it with me one day." Lou Cheng smiled. Yan Zheke asked while stroking her chin and rolling her eyes, "What if I want to eat it now?"

"I'll order one and deliver it to you now." Lou Cheng offered.

"Never mind. My parents are both at home. You come here now is like a sheep going to a tiger's mouth. It's already past 10. You should sleep so you'll have the energy for tomorrow's morning exercise. Entering the Dan stage is the most important thing right now, understand?" Yan Zheke lay on top of a teddy bear's belly, smiling.

"Understood! Coach Yan, don't worry!" Lou Cheng was between seriousness and a joke.

Before I reach the peak of the body refining stage, my future brother-in-law is already a capable Professional Eighth Pin martial artist in the Dan stage. I have this target to catch up with. Not to mention the devil Peng Leyun!

"Err... Cheng, speaking of morning exercise... I have one piece of good news and one bad. Which one do you want to hear first?" Yan Zheke added an emoji sitting there in a trance.

"Bad news... We can't do exercise together tomorrow morning?" asked Lou Cheng, very sensitive.

Yan Zheke clinched her fist and cried. "Unfortunately yes. And not only tomorrow... The Queen Mother has put on a few pounds recently and is also thinking about doing some morning exercise. So we'll be doing it together to improve our relationship and she wants to teach me a little bit. I can join you only when she's away for business or feels sleeping in."

"Damn! Queen Mother, you must be doing this on purpose! I didn't know you sometimes want to sleep in!" Lou Cheng could not afford to resent it. He swallowed his disappointment and tried to comfort her. "Queen Mother is too busy to stick to the morning exercise. Your parents both go to work. They can't lock you up as if you were still a young child. We'll find time to date."

"Yes!" Yan Zheke sat elegantly and nodded along. "Cheng, I thought you would be really disappointed." "I'm disappointed indeed. Feels like the beautiful mornings I've been looking forward to are no longer beautiful. But what can we do? She's your mother after all," replied Lou Cheng honestly. An idea flashed in his head and he added, "Don't eat too much breakfast tomorrow."

Yan Zheke's soft dimples appeared reading Lou Cheng's words, her eyes gentle and caring. This strange line out of the blue confused her. "Why?"

"Secret!" Lou Cheng would not tell her he was to send the rice dumplings she'd been longing for to her tomorrow morning.

"Secret? You asked me to eat less tomorrow morning. I bet you're to send some food. What breakfast am I longing for in Xiushan?" Yan Zheke sent a "there is only one truth" emoji before continuing. "You're to deliver the rice dumplings to me?"

Lou Cheng replied a stunned dog. "How smart! You got me!" It supposed to be a surprise!

"He-heh... I'm a reputed detective." Yan Zheke in her white sleeping gown turned around in bed with her mobile, and her lips pursed and eyes curved with an obvious smile.

She was so very pleased with this compliment. It sounded better than the rice dumplings.

It's thanks to my reasoning power and our mutual understanding and tacit.

She sat elegantly after an over ten-second laugh. "But my dad will cook breakfast for me tomorrow. I haven't had his cooking for almost a year. And tomorrow night we're going to my grandparents' home. I'll be having breakfast with them the day after tomorrow. Your surprise will have to wait until the day after..."

She started to feel guilty, wanting to make up. "Deal. Breakfast in three days." Lou Cheng heaved a sigh. "As expected, I can't see Ke every day."

A flush alongside a smile came to Yan Zheke's face. "I'll come to find you whenever I can."

"I can also come to see you." Lou Cheng adjusted his mood and sneered. "Hey, what's the good news?"

"The good news?" Yan Zheke chuckled, leaning towards a cushion.

There's light in her eyes and redness on her cheeks, her teeth gently biting on her bottom lip as her fingers slowly typing.

"The good news is..."

"Cheng, I have started missing you..." Lou Cheng's heart was beaten, becoming very soft. He carried a very light smile and replied,

"I'm also missing my Ke."

At that very moment, he felt the moonlight tranquil and the dark night gentle.

Time flew fast while they were chatting. The clock was turning 10:30. Lou Cheng said goodnight to Yan Zheke unwillingly and shared a photo taken during the BBQ dinner earlier.

The first meal back in Xiushan!

He wasn't very keen on this kind of stuff. He would update once every ten days or two weeks.

He logged out his QQ and put his mobile away, tasting the peaceful night and the sweet love in Yan Zheke's message, falling asleep with a satisfied smile.

He woke up naturally the next morning, washed up quietly, changed into his navy blue martial arts suit and logged on his QQ to send Yan Zheke a laughing emoji with hands around its waist.

"The handsome one is up!"

"The beautiful one is sitting on her bed, in a trance..." Yan Zheke replied an emoji with circles in its eyes.

They chatted a little bit before Ke finally struggled to get up.
Lou Cheng checked replies to his new post.

The first one was from Fatty Jiang. "Cheng, your first meal back in Xiushan was not home-made? Is Aunt not around? He- heh... My train arrives tonight. Don't forget to treat me to a meal. Those with a girlfriend must take me out to a big meal!" Lou Cheng attempted to tease him on his weight, asking him not to think about big meals considering his weight before he noticed other replies.

Cheng Qili was in shock. "What? Cheng, you've got a girlfriend?"

Qin Rui replied with astonishment, "Cheng, when did you get a girlfriend? A classmate from your university?"

The class monitor Qiu Hailin laughed with a hand covering her mouth. "I didn't see this coming. Cheng, you have solved a big problem in the first year, without telling anyone."

His previous desk mate Cao Lele laughed along. "Neither did
I. This is not the Lou Cheng I know! When are you going to show us your girlfriend?"

"Holy crap! Brother Lou, barking dogs don't bite. I'm still single!" Tao Xiaofei followed. Lou Cheng looked blankly with only one thought in his mind.

Damn you, Fatty Jiang! You and your big mouth!

...

Lou Cheng consolidated the peak status of the body refining stage through exercises, recalling his conversation with his master before leaving school.

"The meaning of withdrawal requires all forces in your body to mingle together in a solid one. Otherwise, it'll be a tree without roots or the water without a source. This is why one can't jump onto it early and must wait until the peak of the body refining stage to try it." Geezer Shi took a sip of the wine.

Lou Cheng was very impressed. "Master, you said it so well..."

Sounds so well educated... Geezer Shi continued with a proud smile, "It was from my master. Hey, boy, can't you focus on the key point? You've mastered meditation and gained the inward vision but you shouldn't underestimate the Dan stage. This is the very first threshold in professional martial arts training after all."

"I won't talk too much. Here are the words for you: the human body's grand Dan is round and bright. The rest is you to explore and recognize. Come back when you have no other ways."

"That's it?" Lou Cheng felt his master was not a real one.

"What else do you want? Everyone has his own characteristics and personality. Relying on the master won't take you very far unless you're fine sitting under me all your life. Besides, don't you want to mix Taoist practice into your training? I can't help you there. From now on, you must learn to feel and explore on your own." Geezer Shi sounded more serious than usual. "All in all, call me when you need me but don't always expect an answer from me." "Yes, master." Lou Cheng nodded with his mind in deep thoughts.

A gentle breeze caressed his cheeks. The early morning in June was not hot but Lou Cheng didn't add anything new to his morning training because he hadn't bought medicines to start to mingle his forces into one yet.

After his exercise, Lou Cheng returned home and had breakfast without Qi Yunfei who would usually sleep until noon. He took the list of medicines his master gave him and went straight to Jishan House, the best traditional Chinese drugstore of the city.

..

Outside Jishan House, Lou Cheng was interrupted by the ring of his mobile.

He saw Qin Rui's name and picked up. "Hello, Cheng. My master is very glad you're interested in working part-time for us." Qin Rui got right to the point. "He proposed two types of work for you to choose from."

"Name it." Lou Cheng was pleased.

Qin Rui thought it over and adjusted his tone. "The first one you'll become part of our advertisement as a part-time instructor for two months. There won't be a monthly salary but you get 30% from our profit from the summer camp. Cheng, let me be honest with you. I was scared when I first heard of it. I've never seen my master being this generous with anyone! On average we'll have 20 summer classes. The profit in these two summer months after deducting staff salary, utilities, equipment depreciation and site abrasion will be at least one million!"

"At least one million? 30% of it will be at least 300,000?" Lou Cheng had never heard such a big amount of money. He felt stunned and excited.

300,000... 300,000! It's enough to buy a flat in Xiushan where the average price per square meter is only 3,500. "Could this be real?" Lou Cheng held himself back from saying yes and stabilized his breath. "What about the second one?"

"The second one we won't use you to promote. You'll just take one VIP class. You know, those classes are usually advertised as instructed by my master in person. The tuition fee will be 5,888 and there'll be ten of them in your class. All their tuition fee will be yours. The equipment and site aren't a concern for you. If you see anything off in our training and practice, correct us." Qin Rui explained in details patiently. "Moreover, there'll be an individual tutoring fee. The more you make, the more you earn."

"What individual tutoring fee?" asked Lou Cheng, confused.

"Think about it. Except for VIP classes, other classes each will have 30 to 50 students. How could one instructor guide so many? Instructors teach students and check on their progress in general, correcting one or two from time to time. This won't be enough for some students, and they'll approach you for one- on-one tutoring, paying extra to get a better result. Instructors at my level charge 300 yuan per hour." Qin Rui laughed out. "You can set your price later. Honestly, I'm tempted to pay for a few sessions of yours already!"

"Ha-hah. For you it's free." Lou Cheng smiled.

Qin Rui continued, "This kind of tutoring fee we need to give a certain percentage to the martial arts club but you don't need to."

"The latter one was apparently not as good. A small class of ten students needed no more one-on-one instruction..." Lou Cheng was very tempted by the bonus, but he understood that it was a bit too much for a Professional Ninth Pin martial artist...

Abnormality indicates trouble!

"Don't be blinded by the greed. I'd better consult my master. After all, this old dog still has a few tricks..." Lou Cheng said with a smile, "Qin Rui, I'll think about it and let you know." "Sure. Call me," answered Qin Rui generously.

Chapter 228: There's Something You Should Do But Some Are Not

Lou Cheng took a deep breath and shook his head to calm himself down in front of the lure of money.

About half a minute later, he dialed his master's number.

Geezer Shi's cough followed a merry ringtone. "Hey, brat!
Cough... You've got trouble already so quickly?"

"Master, no. It's not a martial arts problem but something else," explained Lou Cheng.

"Name it then. What's the matter? You killed another guy?" asked Geezer Shi casually.

"Fine, master deems me as a homicidal maniac now." Lou Cheng pissed on himself in secret before briefing about his seeking for a part-time job and Gushan Martial Arts School's two offers. Then he asked, "Master, which one do you think I should choose?"

"Your heart is leaning to the first one, isn't it? Hundreds of thousands of yuan are placed before you. It's hard for you not to feel tempted," answered Geezer Shi with a laugh.

Lou Cheng heaved a sigh and went on to explain. "I'm very tempted but with some kind of a guilty conscience, I don't think I should take it. I'm not worth it yet... A Professional Ninth Pin part-time instructor can make ten grand per month on average. Okay, it is probably considered a scarce resource in Xiushan and we have it doubled. That's way too much for two months' work."

One can not reap where he/she has not sown. Bigger profit comes with bigger risk!

"You sound sober enough." Geezer Shi chuckled. "First of all, anyone with a discerning eye can easily see that your overall strength is among the best few in the body refining stage. Considering your young age, short training and great potential, you are more than just an average Professional Ninth Pin martial artist so the average salary and benefits won't apply to you. Second, cough-cough... That martial art school's first offer is pretty much a bundle sale. In this circle, once you allow them to use your name, you must bear the corresponding responsibility.

"If you can turn around and leave everything behind after, taking this money is not a big deal. However, that's not you. You fought your life for an old friend. After dinner comes the reckoning. If someone capable challenges the school, will you stand up against them? If they get in trouble and turn to you for aid, will you step out to help? If they bully the competitors and dominate the market under your name, will you pry into their conduct?

"A man, especially those living in this circle, relies on his face. I'm not saying such bundle deals are all bad. Well known martial artists more or less have some income from such cooperation. Cough-cough... But remember to shine your name and learn the other party's lowdown and morality before making your decision. Don't be dragged down without knowing why.

"Ask yourself if you are willing to tie your future to that martial arts school for that amount of money. Yes, I've been a bit dramatic. Just trying to make a point."

Lou Cheng asked himself the question and pondered.

"I got it, master. I know what to do."

I better not bite off more than I can chew!

"Terrific. I have one more line for you. Money is important but your center should be your martial arts training. Improve yourself and you'll have more opportunities to make more money." Geezer Shi warned before hanging up.

Lou Cheng spent a few minutes on calming himself down. Instead of answering Qin Rui, he dialed Yan Zheke's mobile number.

Sitting at the dinner table, Yan Zheke was having a bowl of porridge made by her father with homemade pickled veggies while chatting with her parents, enjoying their company. Her mobile began to ring and vibrate.

The corners of her mouth went upward and her eyes and brows softened after a quick glance at the phone, excited, perturbed and concerned.

"I need to answer this," said Yan Zheke in her slender voice. She picked up her phone and quickly went to the living room. As the phone call connected, she made her way upstairs.

"Hello. What's up?" Yan Zheke intended to sound flat and stiff.

Watching her daughter from behind, Ji Mingyu sighed over her daughter's softened eyes and unconscious smile.

Silly girl! Who can you fool?

She glanced at her husband, who seemed completely unaware, and spoke to herself, Only these crude men!

Hmm! Your little princess is pretty much taken away. You don't feel anything!

Noticing the different tone of Yan Zheke, Lou Cheng put on a gentle smile and asked, "Your parents are around?"

Yan Zheke went upstairs to her bedroom like a little whirlwind. Leaning to the door, she burst into a silent laugh. "Not anymore."

"That's good. I have something to consult Coach Yan." Lou Cheng moved to the side, leaving the entrance to Jishan House open.

Yan Zheke's sweet dimples appeared. She answered merrily, "Go ahead. I'll give you some good advice."

It doesn't sound bad at all. "Ke, remember I told you I wanted to work part-time in some martial arts club? I asked Qin Rui to help me and his master offered me a position... " Lou Cheng informed his girlfriend of the entire matter.

Yan Zheke listened carefully with a smile on her face. She really liked it that Lou Cheng always discussed things with her before making up his mind, giving her a strong feeling of involvement as a partner breathing the same air and sharing the same fate together.

She understood Lou Cheng was not indecisive. At critical moments, he was actually a man of determination, very reliable.

"I agree with Coach Shi's opinion. Cheng, you don't need to get too involved with Xiushan's martial arts clubs." Yan Zheke put her thoughts into words carefully. "Uncle Xing and my mom both mentioned martial arts clubs in small places like Xiushan usually have ties to local gangs. You might get dirt on yourself. "My dad likes to read old books. One of his favorite lines is 'There's something you should do but some are not'."

Lou Cheng planned to get some information on Gushan Martial Arts School from Yan Zheke. Her words strengthened his decision. He promised with no hesitation, "Hmm. I'll follow Coach Yan's advice and take the second offer."

My father-in-law sounds intellectual... Hmm... It's quite different from praising my master...

Yan Zheke chuckled, highly satisfied. She then threw another question. "Have you got your medicine?"

"I'm right outside the drugstore," laughed Lou Cheng.

"Which one?" asked Yan Zheke with a bright smile, her eyes rolling with beams. "Jishan House, allegedly the best drugstore in Xiushan that sells genuine medicine at a fair rate." Lou Cheng enjoyed chatting with his girl.

Yan Zheke smiled, her lips pursed. "That I can promise you.
Don't you find the name familiar?"

"Familiar how?" Lou Cheng was baffled.

Yan Zheke burst into a laugh. "Remember? Empress Dowager's family name is Ji!"

"Empress Dowager is Empress Dowager to me... " Lou Cheng made a joke.

Holy crap! What a small world! I'm going to Empress Dowager's drugstore!

Concerned Lou Cheng might feel inferior, Yan Zheke went on to explain, "My dad used to be a poor doctor. Empress Dowager didn't have much to do when she first came to Xiushan. She started her own business while coaching private students. It took her much time and effort to make the company survive. When they finally made peace with my grandparents, the company began to take shape and develop. I grew up in a relative's courtyard, much more lively and bustling than now. Wherever I went, I would meet some uncles and aunts who loved to pinch my face."

"He-heh. That's quite similar to my quarter." Lou Cheng knew his girlfriend's background pretty well that he didn't think much about it nor care. He joked along. "I thought you were quite ill in your earlier years without much a cheek."

"A bit baby fat... " Yan Zheke was slightly embarrassed.

She could tell her boyfriend didn't feel uncomfortable about it. He was still full of confidence.

Lovers in a hot relationship could talk about random stuff forever. The phone call lasted until Ji Mingyu urged Yan Zheke to go down. She found it hard to tear herself away from her boyfriend but had to say goodbye to Cheng and start her day — spending the morning with her parents and visiting her grandpa in the County of Zhengque.

...

Holding the hot phone, Lou Cheng dialed Qin Rui's number, determined.

"Cheng, you've decided?" Qin Rui sounded full of joy.

My old classmate is about to work part-time in the school as a capable Professional Ninth Pin martial artist. All the schoolmates will look up upon me!

"Yeah. I just phoned my master. I'm not done training with him yet so I can't use my name as an advertisement. You know, in this circle we must honor teachers and esteem truth." Lou Cheng blamed his master. He felt lost after turning the first offer down. "300,000 yuan... My dad hasn't saved this much after decades of hard work... "

Never mind. In this world, there's something we should do but some are not.

"Understood!" Qin Rui had sympathy for his opinion. "So you'll take the VIP class? I'll tell my master right away. Sigh... Cheng, you are already this powerful, still not done training? Your master is too strict... When can you finish? After reaching the Dan stage?"

From this, not hard to guess how brilliant Lou Cheng's master must be!

"Maybe... " answered Lou Cheng, his face blank as he had no idea when his training would end.

Dan stage? High-ranked Dan Stage? Or physical invulnerability stage? Qin Rui called back after a few minutes and laughed. "My master said it won't be a problem. Come over if you have time today. Let's clinch the deal."

"Sure. I'll be over in one hour." Lou Cheng exhaled, feeling at ease as everything settled.

He hung up and walked in Jishan House. He purchased bags of medicine according to the Seven Posts, which cost him over 1,700 yuan.

"1,700 for one week's medicine... Two months... It will be 15,000... " Lou Cheng did some calculation and was shocked by how money consuming it was to enter the Dan stage.

That's if I can wield my strength as one in two months!

No wonder Ke asked me to save my money... To keep his recipe secure, he didn't let the drugstore cook the medicine for him. He brought the bags back home and then headed over to Gushan Martial Arts School.

Outside his destination, he fixed his clothes and hair and whisked away the dust before going in.

From today, I'll be a coach here. I must care for my appearance!

Chapter 229: Gushan Martial Arts School

Gushan Martial Arts School was situated at the surrounding of Xiushan's new commercial district. It was a quiet and elegant place within a bustling environment, and a three-story building that had slightly aged with time.

Once Lou Cheng was done tidying up his appearance, he passed through a couple of plane trees and pushed open the main entrance's door. He discovered that Qin Rui was waiting for him at the front desk since a long time ago.

"You came early." He walked over and welcomed Lou Cheng happily.

Lou Cheng patted his arm and joked, "That's because I'm not familiar with Xiushan, am I? I couldn't even estimate the right time to take the bus."

"Haha, I guess Xiushan has changed a lot in just half a year. There are noisy renovations everywhere in the area." Qin Rui replied before leading Lou Cheng inside the building. It was only after he walked in that Lou Cheng realized how big Gushan Martial Arts School was. The first floor's practice ground alone was several times bigger than the Hongluo Martial Arts School's practice ground he visited before. The area was cleverly designed and split into seven to eight areas. Some places were bustling with activities, and some places only had eleven to twelve people. They were all practicing
standing stance or punches seriously.

Qin Rui chuckled and gave Lou Cheng a brief introduction when he noticed his gaze, "It's huge, isn't it? My master often said that acquiring this place is his proudest and most regretful moment in his life."

"Proudest and most regretful moment?" Lou Cheng took the bait and asked.

Qin Rui pointed at the practice ground and said, "Originally, this place is a worker's club for a Sanji factory. It was sold during a difficult time, so my master bought it since he was looking for a place to open a martial arts school. That was many, many years ago when house prices isn't even a known concept yet. Back then, my master spent most of his savings and owed a lot of money after purchasing this place and the necessary equipment to furnish it. However, as you can see house prices had gone up by more than ten-fold. Right now, our martial arts school is the most valuable and excellent asset we possess!"

"Oh, I see." Lou Cheng laughed involuntarily. The idea never entered his mind at all.

After all, who would've thought that the proudest moment of a martial arts school would be its 'real estate investment'?

He then asked again with a bit of curiosity, "Then why is it his most regretful moment?"
Qin Rui himself could no longer restrain his urge to smile. "Back then my master was still young and full of vigor. He was wondering if he should leave Xiushan and open a martial arts school at Gaofen. However, he ultimately gave up when he saw the opportunity to grab this big building for himself. Moreover, he figured that a Professional Ninth Pin martial arts school would at best make a tiny splash in the big pond that was Gaofen. When he thought that he would be oppressed no matter where he went in Gaofen, he decided that he might as well stay at Xiushan and maintain his circle of influence."

"But now? Every time he thought of Gaofen's house prices, he would be so wrapped up in regret that he couldn't stop talking every day and every month about it. He would forget that he was lucky to buy such a big house and enjoy a martial arts school that's doing relatively well, or that the sheer amount of compensation he would get from relocation alone would've rid him from any money troubles he might have for the rest of his life."

Pu! Why is the proudest and most regretful moments of a martial arts school owner all about home appreciation? Is this what a martial arts school should be paying attention to? Lou Cheng couldn't withhold his laughter. Suddenly, he felt a closer connection with this martial arts school. It was uh, a little more relatable so to speak...

After turning a corner and walking a few steps, Qin Rui led him up a flight of stairs all the way until the third floor of the building. The lighting here was a little dim, with long corridors and many doors at the sides. Qin Rui didn't do a second introduction before the meeting. He looked a little nervous and solemn as he walked to the innermost room and knocked on the door rhythmically.

Dong dong dong! Dong dong dong! After knocking on the door twice, a slightly hoarse voice rang from the inside,

"Please, come in."

Qin Rui turned the handle, pushed the door and allowed Lou Cheng to see everything inside the room in one glance. The room had big windows and was filled with sunlight. The tables and chairs were carved out of rosewood, and the teaset was brimming with warmth.

Chu Weicai stood up. His face was etched with deep wrinkles, and his eyes were very sharp. He walked towards Lou Cheng and chuckled,

"People say that seeing is believing, and your well-rounded spirit and vigorous physique truly is an eye opener, my friend! Qin Rui and Linfeng had always thought highly of you and sung your praises to me, but it isn't until that I saw your latest match videos that I truly believe their words. It was then I thought: oh, heroes truly are born from the young. There has never been an invulnerable physical realm Mighty One in Xiushan's history, but maybe you can fix this regret of ours!"

His words had a very worldly feeling behind them.

Lou Cheng thought himself used to such situations already, but when he was flattered by a worldly fellow like Chu Weicai where words of praises were tossed at like cannonballs, he immediately panicked a little and didn't know how to respond. In the end, he could only reply humbly, "You are too kind."

Chu Weicai finally welcomed Lou Cheng to the guest's seat after they exchanged a few conventional greetings with each other. While steeping a pot of kungfu tea, he beamed and said, "Qin Rui had told me your intentions, I can fully understand your master's way of thinking. If my poor disciples were to head outdoors, I would've told them for certain not to advertise themselves carelessly before they are accomplished." Qin Rui and Dai Linfeng didn't sit down. They stood on the left and right side of Chu Weicai respectively. One could see that Gushan Martial Arts School's master and disciple relationship was more traditional and serious. They were nothing like Lou Cheng cracking jokes and even deriding Geezer Shi before him. Of course, the foremost reason behind their casual interaction was that Geezer Shi himself wasn't an overly serious person.

Before Lou Cheng could answer him, Chu Weicai picked up his purple clay teapot and poured Lou Cheng a cup of fragrant tea. "Come, take it. This is the Hermen wild camellia tea I requested a friend to bring to me. It is equal to Ningshui County's Maojian green tea.

The tea was pale yellow, and ripples broke smoothly from its surface. Lou Cheng took one sip and was immediately assaulted by a bitter taste in his mouth. Then, ripples of sweetness rolled off his tongue as if the taste buds on his tongue had come alive. The tea left behind a rich aftertaste.

"This tea is amazing!" Lou Cheng didn't know tea at all, so he could only return a shallow praise. Chu Weicai smiled reservedly before changing the topic. "The martial arts school now has 3 VIP classes. I am old already, so normally I would just observe them casually and give them a few pointers. Linfeng is the one who leads the classes most of the time. Two classes would visit the school during every holiday, and they are more familiar with Linfeng at this point. They may not be used to having a different coach all of a sudden, so I can only leave the last class in your care. When the time is right, then we will recruit a new class... This class starts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 to 12 pm. Are you okay with this?"

"Yes." Lou Cheng thought for a moment before adding, "What happens if I have something to do last minute?"

"You may find someone to replace you or switch to a different class." Chu Weicai beckoned at Dai Linfeng to pick up for white papers from the study table, "I know this is the first time you work as a part-time coach, and I've purposely asked Linfeng to prepare a contract so you may rest your worries. After all, nothing is set in stone unless it's in black and white, right? Take it, and have a look. This contract is very simple. I didn't ask a lawyer to do this since the outcome is often too complicated. I can't understand what they've written." The four pieces of white papers were split into two copies, and the actual contract was only two pages long. There were roughly seven or eight lines of content that lay down the rules of several things. The first line was about the method of payment. Lou Cheng would be paid 10 thousand before he started working, and a total of 20 thousand by the end of July. The remaining balance would be paid after the summer school
was over. The second line stated that a percentage would not be taken off personal tutoring fees. The third line stated that Lou Cheng was solely responsible for any problems that might arise from corporal punishment he dealt...

Lou Cheng read the contract carefully. After he confirmed that there were no ambiguous statements, he smiled and said,

"I'm fine with this."

"Alright, then let us sign the contract right away." Chu Weicai asked Dai Linfeng to bring over a fountain pen and smiled derisively at himself, "A fountain pen is more comfortable to me at my age. I just can't get used to the felt-tip pen or ballpoint pen you youngsters are familiar with." A moment later, both parties had signed the agreement and kept a copy for themselves. Meanwhile, Lou Cheng wrote the card number on another piece of paper.
"Welcome to our martial arts school. We will bask in your glory if you became famous and celebrated in the future!" Chu Weicai shook both of Lou Cheng's hands to officially express his welcome before he gave him a friendly warning, "These kids are here to strengthen their bodies and learn a few self- defense skills. So please don't be too harsh on them and let them rest if necessary, just in case they overtrain and hurt themselves."

"Got it." Lou Cheng happily agreed.

He wasn't inexperienced. Normally, the special training members would aid the lazy Geezer Shi to split the normal members into groups and teach them during the regular martial arts lessons. Most of the students who joined the Martial Arts Club were looking to better their bodies and learn a few self-defense skills anyway. "You may come directly on Monday." Chu Weicai turned his head to look at his disciple, "Qin Rui, tour Lou Cheng around the area so he may familiarize himself with the environment."

"Yes, master." Qin Rui exhaled. His expression had turned relaxed.

It was only when the duo had left and the door was closed when Dai Linfeng frowned slightly and asked, "Master, there's no need to act so solicitously, is there? He's obviously trying to keep some distance from us... "

It was only then Chu Weicai smiled and said, "You are still too young. The most important factor to a person's success is to learn how to recognize people, and know what kind of person you should stay away from, befriend, or make great efforts to befriend with... Sigh. I would've gotten out of Xiushan already if I hadn't learned this only when I was forty years old... "

... "The third floor is where our lounge, locker room, office and strength training gymnasium for internal disciples are... the second floor has two practice grounds and three big strength training gymnasiums. It's normally quite empty, so a part of the room would be used as a gym. When summer school starts, then everyone would have to rotate usage by time. But your VIP classes don't need to worry about this. You may use strength training gymnasium on the third floor directly. Personal tutoring also happens there as well... " Qin Rui introduced the martial arts school's layout and facilities to Lou Cheng.

When the duo walked past a practice ground, they suddenly heard an outburst of pleasant surprise,

"Big brother Lou Cheng!"

When Lou Cheng looked to that direction, he discovered that the person who made the exclamation was his cousin's boyfriend Ding Yanbo. He was a long-term student in this martial arts school, and he was practicing his footing and stance with seven to eight other people. "Train well." Lou Cheng smiled encouragingly. Meanwhile, Qin Rui straightened his expression and corrected a few mistakes in his student's posture. This was the group of students he was responsible to teach.

When the duo went away, a student finally asked Ding Yanbo with a soft voice, "Who's that, Dingding? You know him? He looks pretty strong... "

They might not recognize the signs when a fighter had cultivated to a certain level at body refinement stage, they could still sense the sharpness and power brimming from Lou Cheng's presence. He didn't appear weak at all despite standing beside Qin Rui with a height of 1.9 meters.

"Hehe, he's, he's my cousin!" Ding Yanbo brazenly lied to his schoolmates and told them that he was his cousin, "He's brother Rui's classmate. Brother Rui had purposely invited him over to teach the VIP classes!"

"Really?" several students asked in astonishment. This was the VIP classes that the schoolmaster was personally responsible for they were talking about!

"Of course. Why would I lie to you guys about this? You'd know a few days later!" Ding Yanbo's face was red with excitement.

I haven't even told you guys that big brother Lou Cheng might very well work as the martial arts school head coach!

This was something Qin Rui brought up while they were chatting idly.

When the rest of the students were about to inquire deeper into the matter, Qin Rui suddenly paused his footsteps, turned and roared, "What are you guys talking about? Are you guys planning to skip lunch?"

The students immediately fell silent, afraid to let even a squeak escape their mouths. When he saw this, Lou Cheng said in amusement, "Pretty imposing, aren't you?"

"It's the only way, you know! If you dare show a smile to these brats they'd returned a laugh and goof off just as brazenly! I'm telling you, Cheng, you must set an example when you teach your VIP class on Monday. If they're afraid of you, then they'd be easy to handle. Otherwise, a kid this age can climb up the sky if you let them!" Qin Rui taught Lou Cheng his own experiences.

Lou Cheng nodded thoughtfully and said, "Alright."

How should I set an example?

What a conundrum...

While thinking, Qin Rui asked in a small voice, "Cheng, are you planning to participate in this term's Youth Tournament?"

Chapter 230: The Goal of the Youth Tournament

Lou Cheng was still pondering how best to set an example. He wondered if he should bring a rock over and shatter it to pieces with a single kick right in front of the kids, but he also thought that that would be too forceful, intentional, artificial and lacking in expert grace.

Since he was thinking, he reacted only a few seconds after hearing Qin Rui's question, "I am planning to participate in the tournament, but I'm not sure if I'm qualified to register."

The Youth Tournament's full title was 'Xing Province's 3rd Youth Fighter Championship'. It was held every three years, and the requirement was that all fighters must be from the local province and below 26 years old. This was due to the unwritten rule 'there is no hope for those beyond 30 years old to become a physical invulnerable fighter' being compatible in most situations. That was why all fighters who exceeded 25 years old could no longer be considered a youth fighter.

Lou Cheng's age met the requirement, but the real problem lay in the fact that his registered residence had been transferred to Songcheng University's address. He had also participated his ranking even at Songcheng, so he wasn't sure if he counted as a local province fighter. Since he was a little nervous about his chances, he was even planning to ask his master to open a backdoor for him if it didn't work out.

The address of my identity card is still Xiushan City anyway!

"Register?" Qin Rui wore a blank look on his face.

As someone who hadn't entered university, he had no idea how Cheng, a born and bred Xing Province young man no longer counted as a local province fighter just because he went to university. It was only until Lou Cheng explained things to him that he came to realization and laughed, "Don't worry, this is not a problem. If you can't register yourself, then you can participate as a member of our martial arts school. Didn't you check the supplementary rules? Local province fighters include fighters who are here due to work reasons. The company or organization the fighter belonged to will register on his behalf."

"In that case, I'm glad." Lou Cheng let out a sigh of relief and a smile from the bottom of his heart. This was the challenge tournament he had selected very carefully for himself. It perfectly fitted his personal criteria of high prize money, a suitable tier of challenge and minimum amount of travel.

It wasn't like he couldn't find other good tournaments out there. For example, there was the 'Warrior Sage Event' that was held on every middle third of August and finalized on the coming year of early April with an ultimate showdown. However, even if Lou Cheng wanted to participate in that event, he was guaranteed to be defeated one way or another. He didn't possess the strength to win the prize money at all.

Meanwhile, 'Xing Province's 3rd Youth Fighter Championship' was held together by the provincial government and local Martial Artist Association. The initial objective of the tournament was just to set a standard for youth fighters to strive for so that they could alter their image of a province with weak martial arts. However, they discovered that the TV ratings were pretty high after the event was held. After all, the battles of physical invulnerable fighters and high- ranked Dan Stage fighters were relatively different from low- level fist fights. While many of audiences loved watching thunder and fire flashing across the screen, they enjoyed the thrill of flesh striking against one another too. Therefore, the tournament was held a second and third time beyond the preplanned one term. With the recent boom of webcast, broadcast fees and prize money had risen tremendously as well. Looking at the plan announced this year, the top 32 fighters were qualified for a flat prize money. The champion would enjoy 600,000 RMB, the first runner-up would enjoy 350,000 RMB, and the second and third runner-up would enjoy 200,000 RMB each. The last four participants of the top 8 would be awarded 100,000 RMB each, the last eight participants of the top 16 would be awarded 50,000 RMB each, and the last 16 participants of the top 32 would be awarded 10,000 RMB each.

Lou Cheng didn't know much about the local province's martial arts circle, but he found through the internet and Yan Zheke that there were at most seven or eight Dan stage fighters below 26 years old and even fewer Professional Ninth Pin fighters with powerful supernatural abilities. As long as his luck wasn't completely rotten, he was guaranteed a spot in the top 32. He might not necessarily have no chance to strive for top 16 or top 8 either!

If this month's training yielded great results, then Lou Cheng thought he might aim even higher... Qin Rui followed Lou Cheng's sigh with a laugh before he said sincerely, "Our martial arts school is the one who's benefiting from this arrangement. Can you imagine? The caster would introduce you according to your profile. They would say that you're the VIP class coach of Xiushan City's Gushan Martial Arts School. Since you're guaranteed a spot among the top 32, won't our martial arts school reputation spread from Xiushan towards the entire province? Hehe, maybe you'd even get a spot in the 'Xing Province Apotheosis of Youth Fighters'."

Lou Cheng had read about the Youth Tournament before, so naturally, he knew what the 'Apotheosis of Youth Fighters' Qin Rui was talking about. It was an imitation of ancient customs and a Youth Tournament's summary segment created by the Xing Province satellite TV. Only the top 16 fighters or fighters who were extraordinary in certain aspects would be invited for an exclusive interview. Then, the fighters would be given nicknames they made up on their own that sounded ridiculously melodramatic most of the time, such as Little White Dragon, Emperor Fists of God and so on.

Since he could never a similarly ridiculous apotheosis called the 'Dongling Apotheosis of Fighters', Lou Cheng had no interest in it at all. He let out a perfunctory laugh and asked, "Will you be participating too?" "Yeah, all inner disciples would be participating in the tournament. We told the parents about this during summer school registration, which is why we've priced it lower than last year too." Qin Rui inhaled and said with a longing expression, "Although there's no way we would enter top 32 and earn prize money, we could at least earn some real combat experience and figure out exactly where we stand among all the
youth fighters of the province along the way. Only then we'd be
able to find our goal and motivation to work harder."

"Eh? This doesn't sound like something you'd say normally, does it?" Lou Cheng joked.

Qin Rui gave him a bitter smile and said, "This is what my master has been prattling about lately... Cheng, my master told you to decide yourself what price you would like to set for private tutoring. So, what's the price you're going to set?"

"Why did you ask this all of a sudden? I'm not sure how much I should how much I should ask per hour for my level of skill myself... " Lou Cheng answered awkwardly. Plus, it was absolutely within his power to teach a small ten- man class on his own. He didn't need to act unconscionably and start a private tutoring class at all.

Some money could be earned, and some shouldn't.

"Senior brother Dai went to Gaofen last month and asked about this. The standard pricing of a Professional Ninth Pin fighter's private tutoring is worth five to six hundred per hour. You're definitely stronger than the average Professional Ninth Pin fighters, so you've got to charge at least eight hundred per hour!" after he said this, Qin Rui asked with a smile on his face, "Cheng, do you think that no one would come to you for private tutoring?"

"There are only 10 people in the VIP class. It's almost the same as private tutoring already... " Lou Cheng frowned and voiced his thoughts to Qin Rui.

Qin Rui laughed mischievously, "Your private tutoring students won't be from the VIP class. It is us inner disciples and long-term students who wish to grow stronger who'd be asking for your help!" Naturally, this type of private tutoring didn't include the teaching of martial arts and fighting style. Therefore, a lot of problems could be solved within an hour or two per person. There was no need for constant guidance.

"I see... " it was only now Lou Cheng finally figured out his true 'customers'. Therefore, he beamed at Qin Rui and said, "In any case, your fee is free of charge."

There was no way those VIP class brats who sought for better health would understand the worth of a top class Professional Ninth Pin fighter anyway!

"No way, I can't take it for free. How am I going to face you in the future like this? Just give me a classmate's discount." Qin Rui beamed, "I'm booking two hours of private tutoring next week, okay? I need to prepare for the Youth Tournament!"

"Alright, I'll give you a 70% classmate's discount. I'll give you a call when I'm free later." Lou Cheng understood Qin Rui's attitude that refused to take advantage of others for nothing. This was because he was the same kind of person. In reality, he knew that Qin Rui didn't earn much. Since the cost of his martial arts training in his master's martial arts school was paid by his master himself, in return his salary was far lower than what an average Amateur First Pin fighter would earn. It was said that he earned a fixed salary of two thousand per month and took a percentage off private tutoring. When he obtained his Amateur First Pin certificate, his fixed salary went up by another thousand. Meanwhile, even the top student among the inner disciples, Dai Linfeng was earning three thousand and five hundred per month only.

Of course, it was a passable income at a low-cost place like Xiushan.

Qin Rui was feeling happy, so he randomly threw a question at Lou Cheng, "There's no need to visit any relatives during summer break, so you should be pretty free, aren't you? Hehe, you can't be planning to go on a date with your girlfriend, are you?"

"Hehe... " Lou Cheng let out a dry laugh and acknowledged it tacitly. Qin Rui already knew he had a girlfriend anyway. It's all because of Fatty Jiang and his big mouth!

The duo returned to the first floor and didn't continue the topic further. They went into one of the summer schools — there would only be five classes of summer break students at a time inside the martial arts arena. Any more than that would affect the students' long-term training.

While walking, Qin Rui suddenly thought that something wasn't right. This was because he hadn't thought through his previous question at all!

Cheng had found his girlfriend only after he started university. So how on earth were they going to date each other now that holidays had started?

Did he seriously just acknowledge my question tacitly because I asked a careless question?

Is he planning to get her from across the country... wait, she could be someone from our own province... she might even belong in Xiushan... The more he thought, the more his fire of gossip was stoked. He planned to ask someone later and check who else in Xiushan was studying in Songcheng.

...

The inner disciple Xu Rongfei felt a sense of helplessness as he watched the summer break students failing to assume a horse stance horrendously. He straightened his face and was just about to preach when he suddenly noticed Qin Rui walking over with a young man dressed in a close fitting t-shirt.

When he looked towards their direction, the young man grew more and more familiar to him. Then he recalled what his senior brother Dai told him earlier. Qin Rui's classmate Lou Cheng was going to work here!

Abruptly, he felt as if he had returned to that early morning of the first day of Chinese New Year, and that bloody and terrifying scene. He saw that seemingly unexcelled man dressed in black exercise clothes slowly collapsed to the ground, while the youngster who hadn't completely shed his innocence stood tall at the end of the battle. Now, he had shed his innocence and was no longer a youngster. He slowly made his way before him.

Xu Rongfei subconsciously straightened his body and exclaimed respectfully,

"Brother Cheng... "

"Just call me Lou Cheng." Lou Cheng smiled and said.

Even brother Lou is better sounding than brother Cheng, okay! Don't tell me you know nothing about MAG (Manga, Anime, and Games )!

While speaking, he swept his gaze across the young boys and girls brimming with the innocence of childhood. He could sense their excitement to be here for the first time.

He supposed that practicing martial arts was a fad for these kids. It must appear so fun in their eyes before they learned its hardships...

After exchanging some conventional greetings, Lou Cheng and Qin Rui bid Xu Rongfei goodbye and continued to loiter around the first floor's practice ground. While staring at their backs, a girl asked curiously, "Who's that, coach Xu? I don't think I saw him in the sign-up sheet before?"

The sign-up sheet would outline the responsible coach for every class. The good ones would be given detailed introductions, whereas the average ones would be briefed over shortly. It allowed the participants to choose which class they wished to register until the slots were filled.

As Xu Rongfei thought of Dai Linfeng's earlier words, he let out a sigh and said,

"He's the new coach of the VIP classes."

"Wow, the VIP classes!" the students of the 30-man class expressed their admiration and yearning. That was the martial arts class taught by the schoolmaster himself!

Did this mean that that obviously very strong-looking older brother was about the same level as the schoolmaster?

...

After they were done touring the martial arts school, Qin Rui sent Lou Cheng out of the front entrance. When the duo were bidding each other goodbye, they saw Chu Weicai leading Dai Linfeng out of the building in a hurry.

"Chairman Wei has invited us over for a meeting. Are you interested in joining us?" Chu Weicai stopped in front of Lou Cheng and asked politely.

"No, it's fine." Lou Cheng turned down the invitation. "We shall take our leave then." Chu Weicai didn't draw out the conversation and headed straight towards the parking lot with Dai Linfeng.

Qin Rui walked beside Lou Cheng and chuckled, "It's probably about the preliminaries captain... "

Lou Cheng nodded and understood roughly what was going on.

Qin Rui continued, "Xiushan's teams were all eliminated during the group stages. Chairman Wei had more or less figured out our current standard too. He plans to pick five or six fighters starting the summer breaks and invite one or two local Professional Ninth Pins for half a year of special training. It's rumored that besides the input of capital, they would provide internal training methods and good coaches too... "

"You have a chance if you work hard and give it your best shot. You are an Amateur First Pin fighter after all." Lou Cheng consoled Qin Rui after seeing the envy on his face. "I'll try." Qin Rui inhaled once before beaming, "Chairman Wei had been sending out invites to several native Professional Ninth Pin fighters for a while now. He's probably going to talk about this again today. In my opinion, the best captain is right here, isn't he? Cheng, wouldn't you be able to sweep them all with your strength?"

"Me? I don't have the time... " Lou Cheng shook his head.

If everything went well, then he would be going on a journey to dominate the university martial arts national tournament while the preliminaries were running next year.

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