Chapter 261: Prime Time
Lou Cheng directly left the stadium after leaving the emergency ward. He then found a quiet place to call Yan Zheke, telling her about Gu Shuang and Xing Jingjing's visit. He did not want her to have any negative feelings towards her close friend for causing his injuries.
After some more ﬂirting, Yan Zheke ended the call to continue her Internal Trainning Methods of Meteor force. Slowly making his way back with one hand in his pocket, Lou Cheng suddenly thought of something when he walked past the stores. He immediately texted Jiang Fei: "Fatty Jiang, I'm outside. Do you guys want snacks? I see sausage, corn… "
The past few days, he had been busy practicing, preparing, watching, and joining the matches. He had no time to accompany his parents and three cousins, except for meals. It was Jiang Fei and his friends who did all those for him, so he should reward them with food and drinks.
"Of course! How can there be no snacks while watching Martial Arts Competition?" Jiang Fei replied instantly and turned around to ask Qiu Hailin and Cao Lele. "What do you want to eat? Cheng says it's his treat!"
It was akin to how most people would never watch a movie without popcorn in hand!
"Me, me, me! I want a roast sausage and a corn cob. Tell Brother Lou Cheng that I want more pepper with my sausage!" The ﬁrst to reply was Qi Yunfei, who had been carefully listening to them. As she spoke, she could feel herself almost drooling. "And add a cup of iced cola!"
It must be that she was too nervous earlier!
With Qi Yunfei taking the lead, everyone else also gave up trying to be courteous. The girls ordered both, while Fatty Jiang, Cheng Qili, and Tao Xiaofei only ordered sausages. Lou Cheng's parents were in high spirit and ordered two corns.
Lou Cheng smiled upon receiving the list of orders. He bought all food they wanted and even bought a few bottles of drinks. Lugging multiple bags, he returned to the stadium and walked to his group of families and friends through the aisle.
"Here you go, your roast sausages and corns… " He distributed the food from left to right, a warm smile etched on his face.
His behavior gave them an odd, unbelievable feeling, as if they once again no longer recognize the Lou Cheng who was in front of them.
Even though he had come out of a battle bloodied and injured, he was now acting as if nothing had happened and was enjoying the tournament with everyone else like an ordinary person.
Was he still the gifted warrior who fought like a lion the past few days? Was he still the rising star of Xing province martial arts circle who appeared on the television?
His attitude towards family and friends was as usual, never once changing. ...
In the meeting room of Xing province TV station in the evening, a man who seemed to be the leader took out a cigarette without lighting it. He spoke in a local accent. "Since we've got our top 16 in the Youth Tournament, it's time to decide the shortlist of Apotheosis of Fighters. I want to nominate 18 ﬁghters in total, adding two more who's particularly strong in some aspect. Do you have any opinions?"
"No, director. What nicknames do we call them this time?" a woman wearing semi-rimless glasses asked.
"I don't have any ideas at the moment. This meeting is for everyone to brainstorm. Come on, make your suggestions." The leader smiled while ﬁddling with his unlit cigarette.
A young man with a messy hair thought for a while. "Nicknames like the Four Emperors, Six Kings, Eight Immortals?" "Four Emperors, Six Kings, Eight Immortals? What will those Mighty Ones with Physical Vulnerability who are already called kings think? Isn't it conceited for contestants of a Youth Tournament at the provincial level to have such nicknames?" A man addicted to web novels rejected the suggestion.
"That's true… " The woman with semi-rimless glasses thought for a while before making her suggestion. "What about Four Big Dippers, Six Earth Fiends, Eight Little Immortals?"
"Four Stars and Six Comets don't rhyme, but Eight Fairies is pretty good. We'll use that. As for the other two nicknames, think about them in these few days and decide them the next meeting." The leader then changed the topic. "We don't have to discuss about the top 16, but who do you nominate for other two positions?"
"I nominate Xing Jingjing. Her control over her supernatural ability of illusion is great. If she hadn't encountered Lou Cheng, she would've easily defeated the following several seeded ﬁghters," the woman with semi-rimless glasses answered without hesitation. "I'm also for Xing Jingjing."
The others also agreed.
"Then Xing Jingjing will be among the Eight Fairies," the leader said with interest. "Since she creates magic-like illusion and is ranked in the Eight Fairies, I have a nickname that suits her well."
"Which is?" the messy-haired young man asked curiously.
"Little Devil Immortal! What do you think?" The leader smiled proudly.
The woman with semi-rimless glasses looked stunned and then replied with a blank face. "If you think it's nice, then it must really be nice."
"That's settled then! Let's decide the next one." The leader thumped on the table in the manner of a swordsman, pleased with his talent for coming up nicknames.
He will name Top 16 Athelets one by one!
In the afternoon, Lou Cheng went to the stadium as usual. He watched every match, feeling as if he had gone back to the days of Little Warrior Sage Challenge Tournament. Though he was almost a Dan stage warrior, he attached the same importance and showed the same respect to the competition as before.
Anyone below 26 in the top 32 of the provincial level must not be an ordinary person. Watching them ﬁght up close would more or less beneﬁt him. Besides, the winner could be his opponent tomorrow night. Beginning from the top 16 competition, the matches were scheduled at the night prime time to attract the highest level of attention. This way, working adults could come to the stadium with their families or snuggle in their couches or beds to peacefully enjoy the tournament.
Lou Cheng felt more relaxed the next morning as he had no matches scheduled. Besides practicing his still stance, move stance, and his own ﬁghting style, most of his time was spent on practicing the Danqi State.
When he was about to ﬁnish exercising, Lou Cheng dropped into a stance and closed his eyes. He recalled his body's subtle changes during the Sextuple Explosion and what he had visualized after the outbreak of Dan stage. He once again tried to experiment with "withdraw".
When his will sank and stirred the situation, his Qi, blood, and force fused together. It spun around and closed into each other with signs of integration.
It sharpened Lou Cheng's perception of his surroundings. He can even sense the arrival of a mosquito with evil intentions. That delicate perception lasted for only the briefest moment before the balance was broken. Lou Cheng felt his Qi, blood, and force began surging outwards, forcing him to open his eyes and ease the burden on his body.
The outbreak of Dan stage relied not only on one's energy and stamina, but also on his ability to withstand pressure. That was not something Lou Cheng was worried about. On one hand, he was making rapid progress through ultimate practice. On the other, he could reduce the pressure and exhaustion with the help of Jindan.
After trying again and again, he gradually inched closer to the Dan stage.
"It's pretty efﬁcient to practice through actual combat. Maybe I'll become a real Mighty One of the Dan stage by the end of the Youth Tournament… " Withdrawing his stance, Lou Cheng's thought was cheerful despite his exhaustion.
... It was 7.30 at night. Gaofen Martial Arts Gymnasium was brilliantly illuminated, with the central arena laid out as a temporary stage for ﬁghters to draw lots. In front of the stage, there were chairs with names written on their backs. The seats were for special guests and the top 16 ﬁghters.
Other than the median dividers between zones, the stands around the arena were full under a blanket of shadow. People were eating popcorn, taking photos, and discussing the upcoming match. While some were real martial arts lovers, there were also those who came to enjoy the atmosphere with their families.
Lou Cheng sat in the second row of guest seats, third from the left. He live broadcasted the performance on stage to Yan Zheke, while patiently waiting for the lots-drawing ceremony.
Besides training and eating, he had been analyzing videos of other ﬁghters with his girlfriend the whole day. That was just in case he was selected for the ﬁrst match and had no time to study his opponent's videos. There were only 15 ﬁghters left besides him! "Why are they still not drawing lots yet?" Lou Cheng complained.
Yan Zheke sent a snickering emoji. "Are you nervous?"
"Not exactly. I'm just concerned," Lou Cheng replied with a smile.
He was indeed a little nervous. It would be embarrassing if he could not hold on until Ke returned or failed to rank in the top 4 as per his goal. But as an experienced ﬁghter who has joined many tournaments, such thoughts were normal and he did not have to worry about them.
At the same time, Yan Zheke was sitting in the departure lounge, watching the match broadcast using her tablet and earphones.
Chatting with her boyfriend, she was ﬁlled with anticipation. She kept two things secret from Lou Cheng. One was that she had crossed the threshold of the inner-reﬁning method and was given permission to "graduate" from her grandparents' lessons. The other one was that she had booked a 10.05 ﬂight tonight and would be back after the top 16 competition. Gu Shuang would be picking her up from the airport.
Hehe, she can also give him a surprise!
Lou Yuanwei was lying on the couch with sagging spirits, watching his mom switch between channels consistently and listening to his grandparents discussing about trivial household affairs with dad.
After making comprehensive a research, he found his initial plan to be unrealistic. So he had to give up creating unnecessary setbacks for himself temporarily and once again looked for a new way out. He inadvertently caught sight of a familiar ﬁgure in TV and blurted out,
"Mum, which channel did you stop at just now?"
W-was there something wrong with his eyes? He seemed to see someone!
Wang Lili gave her son a reproachful look. "Which one do you mean?"
"Mom, switch the channel again." Lou Yuanwei suddenly straightened himself, his eyebrows knitting.
Wang Lili returned to the channel in confusion, nagging, "If you want to watch something, just say it outright."
"Stop, stop, stop!" shouted Lou Yuanwei, as his eyes lit up. Wang Lili stopped at the Xin province satellite TV station and carefully looked at the screen. Then she said in surprise,
"Isn't that Cheng?"
"First seed Zhang Zhutong will ﬁght… " One special guest drew a small ball. "... with fourth seed Zuo Zhen!"
"A battle of powerful warriors…" Sighing, Lou Cheng suddenly heard his name. "No. 18 Lou Cheng… "
When the screen began to show a clip of his previous match, the guest reached into the box.
"He'll battle the ﬁfth seed Qiu Lin!" The ﬁfth seed Qiu Lin? Lou Cheng narrowed his eyes, feeling a little disappointed. But he was not afraid of Qiu Lin. Instead, he gradually became interested in their match.
Qiu Lin was a genuine Mighty One of Eighth Pin who had once joined the Ranking Event of Seventh Pin. Though she ultimately failed to get the rank, it showed her great conﬁdence in her abilities.
Besides, her ancestor was once a secular disciple of Daxing Temple and she herself have the supernatural ability of metalizing parts of her body!
Chapter 262: The Sound of Thunder Cloud
"The ﬁfth seed? Is she more powerful than the ninth seed?" Qi Fang, Lou Cheng's mum asked, nervous after hearing the drawing result.
She vaguely remembered that Jiang Fei had once mentioned it, but she was too worried to check if it was true.
"Yes." Jiang Fei's voice was soft. He himself felt a little hesitant.
Though they did not pin high hopes on Lou Cheng to win the ﬁrst or even the second prize, they sincerely hope that their old classmate would fulﬁll his wish. After all, Lou Cheng himself said he was aiming for a spot in the top 4. Who knew he would meet the powerful ﬁfth seed right at the beginning of the top 16 competition, putting his friends on the edge.
His misfortune was not at an ordinary level! "I thought the top 8 competition would be the true beginning of his test… " Qiu Hailin sighed. Qi Yunfei and the other girls unconsciously clenched their ﬁsts.
In Lou Cheng's fan forum, Eternal Nightfall or otherwise known as Yan Xiaoling tagged users Unparalleled Dragon King and Okamoto's Fan at once. "Hurry and tell me how powerful this Qiu Lin is. I've seen her personal data, but I'm still confused!"
She was always frank and had never pretended to be a know- it-all for appearances' sake.
Unparalleled Dragon King sent her a funny emoji. "She's a strong one. I feel like she can go against Lou Cheng. They share some common characteristics."
"Can you say everything you want in a single sentence?" Yan Xiaoling replied with an angry emoji. "With your low IQ, I'm worried you couldn't understand them all at once." Per his habit, Unparalleled Dragon King just had to make fun of the moderator as usual.
What she found most admirable was the little girl would never get angry no matter how they made fun of her. She would even play along with them and be self-deprecating, giving the forum a happy atmosphere. However, she would sometimes get annoyed and delete a lot of her close friends without reason. She often had mood swings.
"Oh, that's right… Then you think of them slowly." Sure enough, Yan Xiaoling did not get mad, as she just replied with a cute emoji.
Unparalleled Dragon King sent an emoji of red faced Nike smile. "Lou Cheng can do six successive bursts, she's almost there… "
"Why, why, why? Her supernatural ability is not stamina- based!" Brahman appeared, asking in confusion. Unparalleled Dragon King's response was quick. "It's a long story. Let me drink some sh*t ﬁrst… Qiu Lin came from a martial arts aristocratic family. Her supernatural ability is metalizing parts of her body. But instead of training herself to be a warrior specialized in supernatural ability, she devotes all her energy into practicing kung fu. When she was 18, she became certiﬁed as a Professional Ninth Pin with her ancestral Vajra Body Palm and Lotus Step, making her a rising star in the Xing province martial arts circle.
"But she wasn't content and felt there were still defects in her ancestral kung fu. Thus she went to Daxing Temple with her ancestor's relics. As you know, Daxing Temple only accepts monks. How could they accept her? However, the girl spent a whole year going to the pavilion halfway up the mountain to beg them. She greatly moved the temple's abbot, Fayuan, and he gave her seven days to read three books of physical invulnerability known as Lotus Print, Vajra Body (both were of Vajra Realm) and six-syllabled Sanskrit mantra (of Womb Realm)."
"And then? What happened?" Yan Xiaoling urged him to continue as if she was listening to a story. This elder sister's experience was quite interesting!
"Then? Then Qiu Lin got further enlightenment through the body movements of Lotus Print and made progress in learning Lotus Step. What's more, she gained basic knowledge of Hong Sound, which was one of the six-syllabled Sanskrit mantras. Once she made the Hong sound, she was able to realize her potential, restore energy, activate her Qi and blood, and temporarily enhance her strength. All these helped her to make ﬁve successive bursts earlier this year."
"Sounded so powerful… " Brahman praised heartily. "But she can't match my idol since ﬁve successive bursts are her limit! What's more, my idol hasn't shown his limit yet."
"You're good at math!" Okamoto's Fan cut into their conversation.
Unparalleled Dragon King smiled through tears. "Please pay attention to the key point! Hong Sound means draining the pond to catch the ﬁsh. That means it can be used only once a day, or she won't be able to ﬁght in the following matches. Even using it once would exhaust her, limiting her next performance."
"Wait, how do you pronounce 'Hong'? Sounds like a cow. Don't you think it's embarrassing to imitate a cow's sound in a ﬁght?" Yan Xiaoling asked after a short silence.
"It's 'Hong'! It's different from 'moo'!" Okamoto's Fan helplessly replied.
"Cheng?" Hearing Wang Lili's rising voice, Lou Debang, Lou Zhiqiang, and the others all turned their gaze to the television, not understanding what it had to do with Lou Cheng.
The screen had returned to the match on the arena, leaving no traces of Lou Cheng. "Mom, did you also see that?" Lou Yuanwei was cheering as if he found an ally.
He did not see wrongly earlier!
"Yes. Why is Cheng appearing on TV? He's even sitting in the front rows!" Though Wang Lili knew nothing about the tournament, she knew those sitting in the front rows were either rich or inﬂuential people.
"What are you talking about?" Lou Debang asked in the manner of the head of a family.
"What are you talking about?" Lou Debang asked in the manner of the head of a family.
There was no Cheng on the television!
Lou Yuanwei took a breath. "Grandpa, wait a minute. You'll deﬁnitely see him later!" It seemed that the world had changed a lot before he could notice it!
"So what if he's there? Is he any better than us if he's on TV?" Lou Zhiqiang replied out of the blue.
He seldom said anything good about others. If an ordinary guest was invited for dinner and presented with some dishes that were distasteful to him, he would not mention anything as not to sour the atmosphere. But Lou Zhiqiang was different. He would directly express his dissatisfaction and even criticize it.
When someone sent him a gift, he would even ﬁnd fault with it in front of the sender's face.
Upon learning who his opponent was, Lou Cheng stopped paying attention to the drawing and matches of other ﬁghters. He lowered his head to discuss about Qiu Lin with Yan Zheke. "... In several of her previous matches, her opponents weren't strong enough and she didn't seem to use her full strength." Finally Yan Zheke reminded him, "Gu Shuang said last month Qiu Lin had mentioned several times in private parties that she aimed to be in the top 3 of this tournament. She wouldn't say that if she didn't have the conﬁdence!"
In his mind, Lou Cheng whined that he also said his goal was the top 4... He sent her a pitiful face and took advantage of the moment to ask for comfort. "My opponent this time is so strong! Coach Yan, I need more cheering!"
Like shouting out the complete word "sweetie"!
"Well, just wait." Yan Zheke rolled her eyes in embarrassment, scolding him in her heart that he was increasingly shameless in taking advantage of her.
Er, why was she agreeing without hesitation? That made him nervous. Looking at the surprising text, he found it rather unsettling. Ke would not play a trick on him since his opponent was a tough master, would she?
Not daring to probe further in case Yan Zheke explode in anger and go back on her words, Lou Cheng swallowed his confusion and turned his attention back on his opponent.
In the ﬁrst round, ﬁrst seed Zhang Zhutong had a ﬁerce battle with fourth seed Zuo Zhen. Their ﬁght lasted for six minutes. It was Zhang Zhutong who ﬁnally won after accumulating advantages and made it to the top 8 ﬁrst.
In the audience, Lou Cheng saw up close the power of Zhang Zhutong's Smelter Force.
After the interlude, the referee exchanged positions with the game supervisor to take a few minutes to recover his strength. The game supervisor went up to the arena. Stopping at the center of it, he raised his right hand.
"Second round of the top 16 competition. Lou Cheng versus Qiu Lin!"
"It's really Cheng!" In the Lou's living room, Lou Yuanwei stood up while Lou Debang picked up his presbyopia glasses in disbelief.
Wang Lili and her husband exchanged looks, feeling as if they were in a dream.
Lou Cheng took a deep breath, stood up from his seat, and sent his girlfriend a text.
"Coach Yan, it's my turn!"
Why hasn't your cheering come yet? Yan Zheke let out a soft humph and announced her surprise for him.
"Cheng, I'm at the airport."
"Airport?" Lou Cheng was stunned momentarily before seeing the light. "Are you coming back?" He was overjoyed.
This was what he had been looking forward to for the past few days!
"I'll be able to see you tomorrow." Yan Zheke sent a shyly smiling emoji. "Are you satisﬁed with this kind of cheering?"
"I'm very satisﬁed! Very satisﬁed!" Lou Cheng's face was lit up with pleasure, his motivation rising.
He must not lose this round! He must not welcome Coach Yan with failure! Putting the phone in his pocket, Lou Cheng strode along the brilliant road under the full glare of the cameras and went up the arena with conﬁdence. He then handed his belongings to the new game supervisor, who was the former referee.
Qiu Lin went on the arena almost at the same time. She was wearing a pale yellow martial arts suit with black stripes over it. The front of her suit was embroidered with the words "So I've heard". The big screen showed the words embroidered on her back:
"From heaven to earth, I'm the mightiest!"
Despite the seemingly arrogant words, what Lou Cheng got was a sense of Buddhist zen rhyme.
Towering over Lou Cheng by half a head, Qiu Lin was handsome and valiant with extremely short hair and neutral facial features. After the referee marked the beginning of communication time, she smiled. "You're now the public enemy of the Gaofen martial arts circle."
"Why do you say that?" Lou Cheng asked curiously.
He did not remember provoking anyone from that circle!
The corners of Qiu Lin's mouth turned upwards. "You've only learned kung fu outside the province for a year, yet you easily defeat most of us. Doesn't that suggest that our province's martial arts circle is too weak?"
As a 21-year-old, she was good at all kinds of popular expressions.
"You all think too much… " Lou Cheng found the whole thing ridiculous.
"Just as there are no champions in the literature circles, there are no one who wants to come second in martial arts. It's normal for ﬁghters to compare with one another," Qiu Lin replied cheerfully. "Our consensus is that we'll stop you from reaching the ﬁnal at any costs. That's why you're ﬁghting me so early in the tournament. Believe me, if you win today's match, your opponent tomorrow will be either Han Zhifei or Zhang Zhutong."
What? Was she kidding? Though stunned at ﬁrst, Lou Cheng soon realized Qiu Lin nearly trapped him.
Was she trying to evoke his resentment and shake his peace of mind?
To make it easier for her to restrain him with the Buddhist Zen method?
Taking a deep breath, Lou Cheng visualized the scene of freezing water into ice. He froze his distracting thoughts along with the "water", turning his mind as clear and pure as a mirror again. No matter if she was telling the truth or who his opponent will be tomorrow, he should ﬁrst do well in this match!
Lou Cheng stopped talking. He closed his eyes and began adjusting his body condition.
The referee, who was the former game supervisor, glanced at the electronic clock and once again raised his right hand.
Boom! A deafening clamor burst from the arena and a thunder cloud materialized from thin air. Qiu Lin's martial arts suit swelled with air as she closed in on Lou Cheng in just one move.
Lotus Step, Buddha Voice! Lou Cheng was stunned that Qiu Lin had advanced her ancestral body movement to the level of Buddha Voice. It was normal for a punch or a kick to produce a clear and crisp sound of sliced air. But body movements were different. Through the changes made from quick movements, swift changes in direction, and muscle adjustments along the spinning force, only a ﬁghter who had mastered her movements to a certain degree could make the same explosion sound. In Taoism, it was called To Tread Dubhe and Alkaid; in Buddhism, it was Buddha Voice Is with You.
"Lotus Step, Thundercloud Movement." In the Xing province satellite TV studio, guest commentator Yu Hong gave Qiu Lin a word of praise.
There were eight garjita in Buddhism. They were vimoksa garjita (Emancipation Voice), anasrava garjita (Charity Voice), simhanda garjita (Roaring Lion Voice), maha-simhanda garjita (Great Roaring Lion Voice), prajna garjita (Wisdom Voice), maha-prajna garjita (Great Wisdom Voice), jala-dhara garjita (Thunder Cloud Voice), and maha-jala-dhara garjita (Great Thunder Cloud Voice). Among them, Great Thunder Voice was the embodiment of the intendment of delivering all living creatures from torment. It was also referred as "the voice of Buddha expounded, as great as thunder". The Great Thunder Temple, the famous Buddhist building, derived its name from it. While Great Wisdom Voice symbolized Prajna, Great Roaring Lion Voice symbolized majesty and virtue. Only warriors of physical invulnerability were able to master them.
As for the other ﬁve voices, they varied with different forces and kung fu. Each had its own merits. Though Qiu Lin's Thunder Cloud Voice was limited by her martial arts realm and could only improve her body movements most times, she could made great shocks with Thunder Cloud Voice to defuse the inﬂuence of Tremor Punch. It would also enhance her imposing manner, which strengthened her Buddha's Warrior Attendant Fist!
The one step Qiu Lin took immediately narrowed the gap between them. Lou Cheng was still suffering from the Thunder Cloud Voice buzzing in his ears when he saw Qiu Lin approaching, swinging her right hook and an iron-like ﬁst.
Whether it was due to the wind, her bulging muscle, or a combination of both, Qiu Lin's sleeves were pufﬁng with air along with her blowing ﬁst!
Buddha's Warrior Attendant Fist, Jingang Swings Gada! The strong wind resulting from the Lotus Step was pooling on Lou Cheng's face, even affecting his breathing patterns. At the critical moment, he took a step back. He lowered his center of gravity and made a Force Concentration. He swung his arm during the withdrawing and strengthening phase, ﬁercely pouncing on his opponent with the recoil.
Thunder Roar Zen, Repulse Tremor!
It was just the start of the match, but he was already using the outbreak of Dan stage without being stingy!
When the 'bomb' exploded to produce shock waves, Lou Cheng's full-frontal attack was not enough to touch Qiu Lin, who hadn't made Force Concentration yet. She retreated with graceful, little steps, like a dancing dandelion.
Lou Cheng's ﬁst hit straight into the metal. It hurt so much that he wanted to swing it a couple of times. But considering the situation, he was unwilling to give up his chance. Taking a sudden breath, he again made Force Concentration in preparation for another opportunity to pounce at his opponent.
After recovering from the slight tremor, Qiu Lin began moving with lotus-like movements and graceful footwork. She made it hard for Lou Cheng to distinguish the direction she was actually going.
Bang! The thunder cloud followed her changing movements, dragging the whole arena under the dark clouds, with endless echoes of thunder.
In an instant, Lou Cheng was unable to locate Qiu Lin. His contracted Qi, blood, force, and spirit, was about to burst out, but they no longer had a target.
This time, his double bursts seemed to be in vain.
This was exactly Qiu Lin's strategy to trick Lou Cheng into making an outbreak of Dan stage so she could approach and storm him before he could restore his energy. She did not believe that he could still make 10 fold, 20 fold, or even more explosion.
Boom! When the thunder boomed, Qiu Lin took the opportunity to slide next to Lou Cheng.
"What… " In the studio, guest commentator Yu Hong blurted in surprise.
He saw Lou Cheng standing still with an empty body, for there was no change on his contracted Qi, blood, and spirit.
What seemed quite normal was completely abnormal in his eyes!
For a warrior at Dan stage, Force Concentration meant setting his will as a core, collapsing and condensing all his Qi, blood, force, and spirit around it. After contracting those elements, there must be mutually exclusive activities among them, which would cause an outbreak of force without fail. In other words, once Force Concentration was completed, there would deﬁnitely be an outbreak of force. There would not be a delay. That was unless the warrior was above the Dan stage.
That was why Qiu Lin had tricked Lou Cheng into making an outbreak of Dan stage with her Lotus Step.
However, Lou Cheng had retained his Force Concentration for more than a second!
Teacher Yu Hong frowned, wondering if this was some kind of talent or supernatural ability.
Since Qiu Lin changed her position too often to stay a target, Lou Cheng gave up launching another immediate attack and retained his Force Concentration. Instead, he waited for his opponent's next move. As for the reason why he was able to retain Force Concentration?
Was it not normal? The Jindan within his body had not collapsed at all.
He just imitated the operation rule of it to make a fake Force Concentration. It had always been capable of maintaining its balance through spinning, unless he made changes to the system.
If not for the limited endurance of his other body parts, he would have retained it forever!
Slithering to Lou Cheng's side at an inconceivable angle, Qiu Lin's expression turned serious after a ﬂash of light. Without hesitation, she withdrew all her Qi and blood to make Force Concentration and turned into a ﬁerce Vajra Body with bulging muscles.
Qiu Lin sensed Lou Cheng's odd condition the moment she approached him, but it was too late for her to stop!
She was here at last! Lou Cheng relaxed his mind and spouted the Qi and blood in his Dantian, allowing the force to surge. He swung his left shoulder and arm to ﬁercely smash Qiu Lin.
Thunder Roar Zen, Single Hand Punch!
Bang! The wind ﬂattened their hair in another explosion of sound. They both swayed momentarily before ﬁnally losing control of their feet, crushing the black tiles underneath.
Boom! Qiu Lin, who was still suffering from the shock, drove force into her footwork and ﬂashed behind Lou Cheng like a ghost under the thunder cloud. Then she made Force Concentration and threw out her right ﬁst, a move named Jingang Strikes Bell!
Double Explosion! Nearly at the same time, Lou Cheng strode forward. He withdrew his Qi and force, condensing them into a ball that suddenly exploded.
Taking this opportunity to lean to his side, Lou Cheng threw his right arm at Qiu Lin who was behind him with a strong arc trajectory.
Thunder Roar Zen, Sudden Tremor!
Bang! The moment they collided, Qiu Lin's bulging muscles shrank and condensed all her force to gather Lou Cheng's remaining force, her own Qi, and blood in an instant and contract them into a point.
Known as Wisdom King Guards Temple in Buddha's Warrior Attendant Fist, it was an advanced method for self-defense and borrowing strength, as still as the mountain rock!
Now she stood where she was without shaking or moving, as if Lou Cheng's attack had not inﬂuenced her at all. At this moment, a point in Qiu Lin's Dantian exploded and the surging force almost instantly stretched her body. All her veins and tendons surfaced on her skin, shining like metals!
Now her body was so big she almost blocked Lou Cheng's entire view. Taking a step forward, she began punching Lou Cheng ﬁercely, evoking a series of explosion sound.
Buddha's Warrior Attendant Fist, Jingang Subdues Demons Movement!
In the face of her attacks, Lou Cheng seemed unable to block it directly as he twisted his waist and began rapidly retreating.
Zhang Zhutong, who was in the waiting room, sighed when he noticed the situation.
"What a pity. He can't dodge Qiu Lin's attacks forever." Confronting the strong with more strength was the only way to resist the combination of Jingang Subdues Demons Movementt and Lotus Step.
It seemed like it was no longer necessary for him to fear Lou Cheng's abnormal stamina.
Since matches between high-ranked Dan stage warriors were too severe to be maintained for long, they could not be arranged in different days for broadcast needs. Thus, the semi- ﬁnals and ﬁnals were scheduled in the same evening!
Qiu Lin's tendons and bones suddenly made sounds along with her organs, her mouth spitting a solemn Zen sound. When the Zen sound echoed within her body, Qiu Lin's face became ﬂushed as her Qi and blood began to ﬂourish. As if motivated, she immediately returned to her initial form with all her weakness eliminated.
She will not give Lou Cheng any opportunities!
While she was still pulling her punches, Qiu Lin made another outbreak and narrowed the gap between her and Lou Cheng with Lotus Steps, giving him no chance to dodge or use Force Concentration.
Even the ignorant ones in the audience knew who had the upper hand due to Qiu Lin's violent movements and ferocious attacks!
Lou Cheng came to an abrupt stop. He stormed heavily on the ground to swing his body and throw his ﬁst at Qiu Lin without hesitation.
It seemed so unbearably weak since he did not use Force Concentration. In his mind however, there was a red sun falling into a frozen river!
For him, stepping back was not running away. It was his trick to numb Qiu Lin's sense of crisis and feed her arrogance. He would then get time to prepare for his knockout blow.
Thunder Roar Zen, Severe Warning!
When their ﬁsts collided with each other, Lou Cheng ﬂew backward like a kite with a broken string to defuse the horrible shock the Buddha's Warrior Attendant Subdues Demons Movement and Qiu Lin's metalized body brought. Otherwise, his bones would likely be cracked or even broken.
"She wins… "
"Qiu Lin wins!" Many in the audience began making the same assumption. In their eyes, success was within spitting distance for Qiu Lin, since she only needed to catch up with Lou Cheng and deal her killing blow.
Qiu Lin, however, was stunned on the arena with her face rapidly turning pale. Above her blue-black lips, her eyes were frozen without light in them.
It seemed like she had suddenly understood some Buddhist symbolism and lost herself in that imaginary world!
Both feet onto the ground, Lou Cheng took two steps back and defused the inﬂuence of Qiu Lin's force. He poured all his strength into his Jindan, driving him back at Qiu Lin's side in a ﬂash. During the movements, he stretched his right hand to catch Qiu Lin's throat.
Only then did Qiu Lin metalize her neck to resist Lou Cheng's attack, as if she had just awakened from a long, frozen period. But she did not expect Lou Cheng's blow to be a deception made in a situation when she had not fully recovered and was unable to take swift Absolute Reaction. Swinging his center of gravity, Lou Cheng ﬂashed to the back of his opponent and clapped on both sides of her temples.
The referee was momentarily stunned before raising his right hand and shouting.
"Lou Cheng wins!"
The whole stadium was quiet without any response.
Chapter 263: Imitation
"Lou Cheng wins!"
When the referee's voice echoed in the arena, Lou Cheng quietly inhaled and withdrew his hands.
This match was much harder than he had expected...
He had already mentally prepared himself the moment he knew his opponent was Qiu Lin. Besides being good at Buddha's Warrior Attendant Fist and metalizing part of her body, Qiu Lin preferred ﬁghting her opponents with brute strength after demotivating them. What was more, she did not know Lou Cheng had mastered simpliﬁed movements of physical invulnerability. Considering all of this, it was not difﬁcult to see that Qiu Lin ought to handle with a variant of Severe Warning. He would not need to worry about her dodging his attacks.
Facing an opponent at this level, Lou Cheng had never thought about hiding his strength and unique skills or not giving his all! However, Lou Cheng found things were not as simple as he had expected at the beginning of this match. Seeing Qiu Lin once again make a breakthrough in the realm of Lotus Step and Buddha Voice, Lou Cheng realized he would not have the time to prepare for the pre-conditions of Severe Warning!
Thanks to two months of intensive training and the improvement of his own realm, Lou Cheng could use Severe Warning at a faster speed. But it was, after all, a simpliﬁed movement of physical invulnerability. It required Lou Cheng to adjust his corresponding muscles, tendons, and organs as he did when using Frost Force. But Qiu Lin's Thundercloud Movement would not even give him the chance to react.
Lou Cheng was therefore forced to gradually give Qiu Lin an impression of weakness and feed her arrogance. After directly blocking Qiu Lin's Triple Blow, Lou Cheng accurately determined that she was going to use "Hum" sound to suppress her potentiality. He seized the opportunity to retreat and rapidly prepare for the next round of the face-to-face ﬁght.
If Qiu Lin had accomplished four successive bursts by herself and spared no time on "Hum" sound, or if she had known Lou Cheng's mastery of the simpliﬁed movement of physical invulnerability, and thus used Lotus Step and Buddha Voice to climb on Lou Cheng's back before attacking to prevent a head- to-head collision, then it would have been anyone's guess who would win.
In other words, his victory was largely due to Qiu Lin being unaware of his unique skill and taken off guard.
Now that he had used this advantage, it would no longer be as effective in the following matches.
Thoughts ﬂashing through his mind, Lou Cheng looked at Qiu Lin, who had just turned around, and cupped his ﬁst in greeting.
"Thank you for your mercy."
Qiu Lin's face was still pale as her lips quivered.
"What unique skill was that?" Even now, Qiu Lin still could not quite believe she had lost, or the feeling of having her mind frozen.
Lou Cheng smiled and imitated her words.
"That's a secret."
He coolly turned and left the arena, persevering despite his exhaustion.
It was not that easy to bear the brunt of Triple Blow and Severe Warning!
In the waiting room, there was a moment that Zhang Zhutong almost felt like the match was unreal. How could Lou Cheng turned the tide against Qiu Lin, who had the upper hand, in such a short time?
Qiu Lin's face appeared on the screen with her lackluster eyes and seemingly frostbitten lips. This reminded Zhang Zhutong of Lou Cheng's retreat and "weak" counterattack without Force Concentration.
It was not because Lou Cheng feared Qiu Lin and dared not to go head-on-head with her, or he forgot Force Concentration in his nervousness. He was actually deliberately setting a trap!
What a tricky move!
Considering Qiu Lin's strength and physique, added with the fact that she had ﬂourished her blood with the "Hum" sound, Lou Cheng could not have made her so visibly stiff purely with Ice Sect Force. A simple Force Concentration could help her seize a winning chance.
This movement was not simple… Zhang Zhutong's pupils contracted pupils, some post-match fear rising in him. If it was not Qiu Lin, but him who ﬁrst encountered Lou Cheng in the top 16 competition, the result would still be not cheerful when met with that move!
Facing a ﬁghter who could make in-time outbreak, cause great injury to his opponent, has ﬁrm control of himself, and make the most of his abnormal stamina, who could defeat him?
As a Dan stage warrior, Zhang Zhutong soon got rid of his fear with a clear heart and ﬁrm will. He began analyzing Lou Cheng's performance.
Why did he take a few steps back before making his move instead of using it directly?
Did he need to prepare?
Thinking about it, Zhang Zhutong gradually conﬁrmed his suspicion and found a way to counter Lou Cheng's move. The host in the studio appeared on the screen then, consulting the special guest with a questioning look. "Teacher Yu Hong, I still can't understand the ﬁnal collision. Lou Cheng was obviously the one who was blown away and lagging behind, but why was it Qiu Lin who was stunned into standing
Thinking for a while, Yu Hong said, "If I didn't see it wrongly, it should be a simpliﬁed physical invulnerability move related to Frost Force… "
"A simpliﬁed physical invulnerable move?" The host gasped in shock.
"A simpliﬁed physical invulnerability move… " Zhang Zhutong lifted his head in surprise.
"A simpliﬁed physical invulnerability move?" In the waiting room beside Zhang Zhutong's, Han Zhifei was quiet for a long time. Han Ying, who had beneﬁted from association with her elder brother, turned to Xiong Yu blankly, only to ﬁnd the boy as dazed as her.
Xiong Yu recalled his match with Lou Cheng. Back then, he still dreamed getting a winning chance if only he tried hard enough. With the beneﬁt of hindsight, he felt a joke, like a frog in a well.
Lou Cheng was like an iceberg in the ocean. What he had shown above the water was just a small part of his strength. That was why he would give Xiong Yu a new impression after every match!
How fearsome was he?
What would happen if he utilized all his strength?
... "Lou Cheng wins?" Qi Yunfei rubbed her eyes, unable to believe what she had seen.
No one answered her.
Just a dozen of seconds ago, Qiu Lin was still as arrogant as a Vajra Body, making most of the audience sure that she would soon win this round. However, she inexplicably failed without even able to resist any attacks after a brief encounter with Lou Cheng.
Qi Yunfei quickly snapped back into focus. Seeing Brother Lou Cheng coolly standing on the arena and recalling his curious attack that had turned the tide, Qi Yunfei immediately understood what enigmatic meant, as well as what it meant to handle complicated matters with ease. Her adoration for Lou Cheng turned into sprouting little stars.
She was this close to being an actual brother-obsessed girl! Looking excitedly around her, she found Chen Xiaoxiao and the others had similar reactions. "Brother Lou Cheng is so great!"
In the quiet stadium, she shouted in excitement with her sharp voice.
Hearing Qi Yunfei congratulating Lou Cheng, Ma Xi fell into an inexplicable silence.
She recalled what her second elder brother had told her during Lunar New Year. He said once he had gained more conﬁdence, broadened his horizon, and enriched his mind, he would regard all the monetary disputes in their family as triﬂes that he need not care about or ﬁght for.
She had been doubting him until she saw his performance today. Looking at her second elder brother, who had stunned the whole stadium, acting in an elegant and conﬁdent manner, she began to believe in what he had said for the ﬁrst time…
... There was the same silence in the living room of Lou family.
When Lou Cheng turned around to leave the arena, Lou Yuanwei blurted out something. It was more like he was speaking to himself.
"Is it really Cheng?"
When did he become Superman?
If he had not heard wrongly earlier, it was the top 16 competition of the provincial Youth Tournament. That was to say, Cheng was among the top 16 young warriors in this province. No, he had just made the top 8!
With such strength, if Lou Cheng wanted a career in politics after graduation, he will be at the same level as a deputy director or even director of a police department. If he wanted to go into business, he could easily make a fortune by running a martial arts club. He would doubtlessly be either wealthy or respectable! Wang Lili and Lou Zhiqiang subconsciously turned to look at their father. They saw his stunned expression, before he took off his glasses to rub his eyes as he whispered to himself.
"Our ancestors has blessed us, our ancestors has blessed us…
Cheng had brought honor to the family name!
"Haha, my idol is such a miracle man. He can even master a simpliﬁed physical invulnerability move! Sure enough he had the mysterious air of a secret master!" Brahman sent a string of red hearts.
Eternal Nightfall, or Yan Xiaoling, commented with an emoji circling on the ground. "I can't take it anymore! A maiden heart is thumping in me.
Get out of the way, I'm going to show off!"
She posted her acceptance letter from Songcheng University, but forgot to mosaic her name on it in excitement.
"Oh, so your real name is Yan Xiaoling. What an honest, dependable and simple name," said Unparalleled Dragon King. No one knew whether she was praising or making fun of her.
"Of course, I'm different from those pretty and coquettish girls outside!" Now that her real name was exposed, she no longer bothered about being shameless. Yan Xiaoling showed her true self thoroughly. After all, it was not the ﬁrst time she was this careless. "The key point! Look at the key point!"
"Wow, girl. You're really accepted into Songcheng University!" Brahman replied, changing his tone.
"Well, I'll be Lou Cheng's junior in the new semester! I'll join the Martial Arts Club!" Yan Xiaoling said excitedly. Brahman sent an emoji biting its handkerchief with envy. "Could you get an autographed photo for me?"
"Brahman, what is our relationship? I'll deﬁnitely bring you a pile of photos!" Yan Xiaoling laughed in smug satisfaction.
"What relationship? Father-daughter relationship!" Brahman emphasized.
Okamoto's Fan cut in with a grinning emoji. "Lingling, don't indulge in tall talk. I bet you'll be as shy as a quail the moment you see Lou Cheng. Never mind asking for his autographs, you might not even dare to speak a single word to him!"
"Nonsense!" Yan Xiaoling replied ﬁercely. "I-I-I-I don't even dare to approach him!"
In real life, she was that weak and coward... Leaving no chance for the others to reply, she sent an angry emoji and continued, "Don't escape, you cheater! I'll beat you up! The pronunciation of 'Hum' you told me is wrong!"
"Eh, how did you out?" Okamoto's Fan sent a surprised emoji.
Yan Xiaoling replied with an emoji with an expression of 'see this bunch of ﬂowers? I rather throw it away than give it to you'.
"I'm not deaf! That old commentator has repeated it several times as 'Hum' sound!"
"Ke's boyfriend is so strong… " Gu Shuang praised, stunned by Lou Cheng's performance.
Though she knew little about martial arts and could hardly understand the matches earlier, Gu Shuang learned about Qiu Lin and her strength as a famous young ﬁghter in the Gao Fen martial arts circle from various people.
However tough Qiu Lin was, she lost to Lou Cheng within several moves.
Such a comparison gave her a clear understanding of who Ke called Silly Cheng and his strength for the ﬁrst time.
Xing Jingjing, who was sitting beside her, took a breath. Her expression shifted slightly.
"Sister Jingjing, what do you think Lou Cheng's nickname will be?" Gu Shuang's thoughts soon jumped to another topic.
Though Xing Jingjing was always calm and cold, she could not help gnashing her teeth when it came to nickname. She replied plainly,
"I don't know… " "He ended all his matches within several moves… Haha, will he get a nickname as Fast Shooter?" Gu Shuang burst into laughter.
In the departure lounge, Yan Zheke sighed with relief. She could still feel the wild thumping of her heart.
Before the match, she had discussed with Lou Cheng about the proper ﬁghting style to defeat Qiu Lin. She also knew her boyfriend would seize the opportunity to handle his opponent with simpliﬁed physical invulnerability moves. But there were still a lot of differences between rehearsal and actual combat. What was worse, they had never expected that Qiu Lin had improved her body movement to the realm of Lotus Step and Thundercloud Movement.
Yan Zheke had been worrying about Lou Cheng the whole match. Knowing her boyfriend was the winner, the girl put on a smile and seated herself properly, waiting for Lou Cheng's call.
He would deﬁnitely call her at once!
As soon as Lou Cheng left the arena, he was blocked by the reporter Wu Wei.
"You seemed to be in a hurry?" Wu Wei passed him the microphone and smiled. "You don't want to be interviewed?"
"No. I've just defeated such a tough opponent and won an important match. I want to share my joy with someone most important to me, er, with my families and friends," Lou Cheng replied cheerfully, the corner of his lips curled and his eyes soft. Lou Zhisheng, Qi Fang, and the others were watching the broadcast on the screen. Just as they were about to talk, they heard a girl sitting nearby saying, "Ah, he's so cute like that! I'm dragged into his fan club!"
Chapter 264: An Expert on Lip Language
Wu Wei laughed when she heard Lou Cheng's answer. "You don't need to hurry actually. All of your friends and family, wherever they are, they must be watching the game broadcast, as long as they are free. So you might as well share the joy with them now."
"That's different. I'll be too embarrassed to say anything." Lou Cheng made a joke through self-deprecation.
Actually, it was too private and sweet to be said in public…
Wu Wei almost lost control of her laughter, it took great effort to stop it. "All right then, I won't ask you to say anything to them. The ﬁrst question, all is known to all. The Force Concentration will immediately rebound with an outbreak of force once it is completed unless the user himself has reached the physical-invulnerability state. However, you were able to maintain the state of Force Concentration for two to three seconds, right? It's not in accord with common sense. So how did you do it?" It was the key question that had been emphasized several times by the staff in the studio.
Lou Cheng had already prepared for it, so he smiled and said, "Don't ﬁre and ice contradict each other? But both ice and blaze supernatural abilities exist within my body and they are always in balance. My Force Concentration was actually based on them, so it could last for a longer period of time. As for more details, not only could I not explain with brief words, but also these are my private martial arts secrets."
This explanation was the same as what he’d given to Yan Zheke, except it had been more detailed with the law of the Diametrical Unity, the theory of Circulating Balance, etc.
"The balance of ice and blaze supernatural abilities… " In the Xing province satellite TV studio, Yu Hong repeated Lou Cheng's words as if it reminded him of something and immediately eliminated his bewilderment.
"The balance of ice and blaze supernatural abilities… " Geezer Shi sat in front of the television and scoffed. It seemed that his scamp disciple had actually applied Longhu Immortal's method, "forming a tai chi Bagua within one's body with ice and ﬁre as yin and yang to balance his condensed Dan", into the process of Force Concentration. This was something quite unique.
So the brat did have some talent…
"Oh, so that's the way it is," Wu Wei acted as if he was suddenly seeing light. "The second question, what was your last unique skill that stunned Qiu Lin so quickly? Was it a simpliﬁed physical-invulnerability movement? You hadn't taken any pre-actions and we were all taken by surprise."
"Because I haven't totally mastered it." Lou Cheng replied with self-deprecating humor, "Even a simpliﬁed physical- invulnerability move is too difﬁcult and complex for me to apply in actual combat at present. So, I had to simplify it according to my condition, kind of like grasping the trunk and ignoring the other details."
As a variant version, his Severe Warning had mixed the visualization method based on the theory of "Diametrical Unity", the effect tended to be freezing.
"A simpliﬁed Simpliﬁed Physical Invulnerable Move?" Wu Wei asked in reply with humor.
"Somewhat." Lou Cheng put on a gentle smile without defending himself. It was better to play the fool at present.
"Second question, what did you talk about with Qiu Lin during the communication time? You seldom exchange ideas with opponents, right? Were you making a psychological attack?" Wu Wei smiled.
"Just a casual chat. We shall just compete in terms of kung fu instead of the tongue." Lou Cheng kept smiling.
He didn't mention what Qiu Lin had said at all, so no one knew if he was telling the truth or not. Since he would encounter the top 3 ﬁghters sooner or later, what he needed to do now was just handle them. "Yeah." Seeing that the arena was being cleaned for a stars' performance to be held later, Wu Wei ended the interview, "Lou Cheng, thanks for your time. You have entered the top 8 and are within a hair of the top 4, may your wish come true."
"Thank you." Lou Cheng replied with a smile.
As a dedicated reporter who was good at making the best use of limited time, Wu Wei blocked Qiu Lin's path as soon as she left Lou Cheng. The poor girl had just recovered from the shock.
"Qiu Lin, what did you think of the match?"
Qiu Lin touched her cold face and put on a wry smile, "Just before the referee announced the result, I still believed that I would be the winner."
She had never expected to be defeated by a single attack… "What was your feeling at the ﬁnal moment? Just after you were struck by the blow?" Wu Wei raised another question that most of the audience wanted to ask.
Qiu Lin thought for a while, and then told the truth half- jokingly,
"My feeling? I was frozen… "
"So the coldness lowered your IQ? Sure enough, it was a physical-invulnerability move related to the Ice Sect Force." Wu Wei said with relief, "What did you talk about with Lou Cheng during communication time?"
Qiu Lin curled her thin lips and said, "I made up a story to scare him but failed."
"What was it?" Wu Wei asked curiously.
Recalling her failure, Qiu Lin gnashed her teeth in anger. "That's a secret!"
"All right," Wu Wei gave her a professional smile. "Thanks for your cooperation. We all think you performed very well, like a powerful Buddha's warrior attendant."
"I personally dislike this simile… " said Qiu Lin, the corners of her mouth twitching.
In the TV station, an executive slapped his thigh and said,
"Let's call them Six Jinggang (Buddha's warrior attendant) and Eight Fairies! As for the number four, what noun could follow it?"
"No, I've just defeated such a tough opponent and won an important match. I want to share it with the most important person ﬁrst, er, share it with my family and friends… " Yan Zheke was watching Lou Cheng's interview with her earphones. When hearing his words, her immediate reaction was disgust, but then her heart softened. Smiling to show her dimples, the girl's eyes soon turned into two shimmering lakes reﬂecting the starlight.
When Lou Cheng ﬁnished the interview, and got back to his private restroom, Yan Zheke immediately sat straight, looking around carefully.
She was in the VIP airport lounge for the ﬁrst-class cabin, and there were not many people here. She occupied a corner with a small round glass coffee table before her, while the sofa in front of her was empty.
As soon as she moved her tablet to the coffee table, her cell phone began to play Cheng's exclusive ring.
The corner of Yan Zheke's lips immediately curled up as she unplugged the earphone and answered the call, her voice softened unconsciously. "Hello, Cheng?"
The idiot had called her ﬁrst, as expected.
Lou Cheng's heart quivered when he heard the girl's soft voice. Standing up from the sofa, he smiled and replied,
"I almost lost the game."
"Was that possible? Though it was breathtaking, I always believed that everything was in your hands." Yan Zheke said in surprise.
Lou Cheng explained with a smile, "Qiu Lin was too self- conﬁdent and even arrogant. If she had made the most of The Lotus Step and Buddha Voice, I would have suffered big time. Thanks to Coach Yan's blessing, she made the wrong choice and wasted her great strength!" "Pft… Are you praising me?" Yan Zheke burst out laughing with curled eyebrows and eyes.
What a surprise that Cheng could make a girl laugh!
"I'm telling the truth! When that reporter asked me to share my joy with someone just now, I felt an urge to express gratitude to Coach Yan for her instruction behind all my achievements, and also for her efforts in all these days." Lou Cheng smiled with a lowered voice.
"You're so disgusting!" Yan Zheke covered her mouth with one hand while her body trembled with laughter.
Curling the corner of his lips, Lou Cheng echoed Yan Zheke's words occasionally while waiting patiently for the girl to stop laughing.
Eventually, they both calmed down without saying anything. They were just listening to each other's breath in silence as if feeling the lover's heart. As their emotion was being brewed along with the fast- spreading quiet atmosphere, Lou Cheng ﬁnally opened his mouth.
"Ke, what's your ﬂight time? When will it arrive?"
"Ten o ﬁve, and it'll arrive at around one o'clock." Yan Zheke's voice was faint. She was still immersed in the atmosphere just now.
"One o'clock a.m.? It's unsafe at night." Lou Cheng was concerned.
"Gu Shuang will pick me up. Go to sleep on time and get sufﬁcient rest since you still have a Top Eight competition tomorrow, do you understand? Or I'll leave you alone!" Yan Zheke smiled; her eyes were lit with joy.
"Okay okay, I'll obey Coach Yan's order and wait for you tomorrow!" Lou Cheng said happily. After chatting for a while, Yan Zheke suddenly recalled something and tried hard to stiﬂe a laugh.
"Let's continue our talk later through messenger. It's time for you to call your parents. Remember you promised to share the joy with friends and family?"
Hey hey, obviously I was saying that to correct myself and satisfy the audience.
Isn't the saying "forget one's mother as soon as he gets a wife"?
Er, what am I thinking about…
"That's true… " Lou Cheng recalled what he'd said.
After ﬁnishing the conversation, he hurried to call his mum. "Hi Mom, I was taking a shower in the restroom since I was all sweaty." Lou Cheng made an excuse for his being late.
Not knowing what had happened in the restroom, Qi Fang immediately set suspicions aside and replied with great joy, "You're right, it was actually the time for you to take a shower. Cheng, are you injured? That girl seemed to be too ﬁerce."
"I'm ﬁne and feeling good. We have professional physical therapists here to help me relax myself," Lou Cheng added since his mom would deﬁnitely raise this question. "Mom, I've entered the top 8 and will get at least a one-hundred-thousand bonus."
"I know I know. Have a good rest in the room, don't come out!" Qi Fang laughed more happily.
She had already known about the bonus from Jiang Fei and Cao Lele.
... While Lou Cheng was chatting with his mom, Yan Zheke signed into the forum and went through the posts, experiencing the excitement of Lou Cheng's fans.
Her feelings were complicated. She knew that Eternal Nightfall, (Yan Xiaoling) had been accepted by Songcheng University and was preparing to join the Martial Arts Club. On the one hand she felt happy and was quite interested in it since this junior sister was so cute, on the other hand she still felt a little weird because of Yan Xiaoling's admiration of Cheng.
After going through the other fans' replies with a smile, she was about to log out when she noticed a new post:
"I'm a lip-reading expert, let me translate the communication between Lou Cheng and Qiu Lin!"
Oops, she'd forgotten to ask him about it… Yan Zheke clicked open the post to read the Bull Demon King's words:
"You're now the public enemy of the Gaofen martial arts circle." ...
Reading line by line, Yan Zheke stopped when it came to the prediction of Lou Cheng's next opponent. Either Han Zhifei or Zhang Zhutong? Yan Zheke frowned in anger.
Was it true or not?
Was Qiu Lin making up lies to sting Lou Cheng or simply telling the truth?
As thoughts ﬂashed through her mind, Yan Zheke clicked open the dialog box and messaged Xing Jingjing: Sister Jingjing, could you please ﬁnd me a reliable lip-reading expert?
She knew many similar experts were cooperating with the police.
Xing Jingjing was confused. "Why do you want such an expert?" Yan Zheke didn't conceal anything. "I want a transcription of Cheng and Qiu Lin's communication."
Gu Shuang appeared, "What's wrong with their communication? Did Qiu Lin ﬂirt with your man?"
Yan Zheke had absolutely no doubt. "Not in the least! @Shuangshuang, are you familiar with any reporters or public relations ﬁrms? I want to make the shady dealings public and attract more attention to it."
Thus the whole martial arts circle of Gaofen would have to avoid arousing suspicion no matter whether they had done it or not. Gossip was a fearful thing!
Chapter 265: A Night of Trouble
After the call with his mother, Lou Cheng walked into the bathroom to wash off the tiredness off his body.
He leisurely walked back to the sofa, wiping his hair with a towel. When he picked up the phone, he found the message notiﬁcations on his phone almost full.
So many? Lou Cheng opened it in surprise and scrolled down to read the messages one by one.
Du Liyu gave him a "thumbs up", and said, "Cheng, you're awesome! You're the only one whom I appreciate in this class! Come on, advance into the semi-ﬁnals!"
Xing Chengwu sent a short message: "Haha, Lou, good. You made a good reputation for Xiushan. Keep up the good ﬁght and fully exert yourself!"
His high school teacher, Old Wu, also left a text message: "Very good, very good, Lou Cheng. I hope you will develop more and more in the ﬁeld of martial arts and go further and further!"
Lou Yuanwei sent a "surprising face eyes" emoji, "Cheng, when you come back and then we can talk more about it... Our grandpa lets me tell you that you are the pride of our family."
Wu Ting said, "Lou Sir, you were hot! You are totally gonna enter the top four (strewing ﬂowers to the sky emoji)!"
Zhang Qiufan sent a "smiling" emoji and said, "Lou Sir is terriﬁc!"
Wei Renjie said concisely, "Congratulations on entering the top eight."
Surprised by all the congratulatory messages from his friends and family, Lou Cheng felt so much pride and joy. The prime-time relay of Xing Province Satelite Television was really outstanding!
It was no surprise that his High school homeroom teacher, Old Wu had recognized him because he was a martial arts lover. He was always paying attention to The Youth Tournament. But he hadn't expected that even his cousins had seen it!
He wondered if his Empress Dowager and his future father- in-law had watched it. If they did, how had they judged his performance?
Lou Cheng was happy to share this with Yan Zheke. He found his ointment and began to cure today's wounds. Fighting head- on with a metalized ﬁst wasn't a laughing matter. It had been even more painful than punching a steal iron plate!
Yan Zheke ﬁnalized the last thing, she felt so content and relieved. Don't bother Cheng with this kind of little thing, he always praises me!
At this point, she heard the airport radio broadcasting a notice. Her ﬂight would be delayed by an hour.
A little bit of worried, she logged on the software to see the situation and she found that due to weather, the ﬂight couldn't land and the plane was about to land at the airport of the neighboring province. That is to say, it might be late for more than an hour, and the ﬂight could even be canceled.
"Oh, so outrageous," she muttered to herself.
But still, she had to keep smiling and chat with Cheng. She couldn't let him ﬁnd out that her ﬂight had been canceled, he might worry, and it would affect his rest.
Yan Zheke took a deep breath and she was going to reply to Lou Cheng but at that moment she received his new message: "Ke Ke, your ﬂight will be late for an hour?" "How do you know?" Yan Zheke was shocked and confused.
"Jiang Nan Fei Xing province, 10:05 pm. With these two pieces of information, I would be an idiot if I couldn't ﬁnd the ﬂight number. When I checked it online, there was an app that sends updates on this ﬂight so I downloaded it."
Watching him ramble to boast himself, Yan Zheke was very touched. She started to smile again gradually, her bad mood seemed to have dissipated a lot. She whispered to herself, "Such a fool."
Lou Cheng said, "You are going to arrive at two o'clock in the morning? Won't you be too tired?"
Yan Zheke said, "It's ﬁne. It's normal for the plane to be very late (trying not to cry sticker)."
In the past, she would have been reluctant to wait all night for the ﬂight. She would rather just cancel it and arrange accommodation to avoid waiting so long. But this time she wanted to wait. She didn't want to postpone for another day. I can't let her feel so bored waiting... With this idea in mind, Lou Cheng chatted with the girl until almost 11 pm.
Unfortunately, the ﬂight was then delayed again until 12:30 pm.
Painfully, Lou Cheng suggested said, "Maybe your cousin can pick you up? And then come back tomorrow?"
Even if he did not have ﬂight experience, he could see that his girlfriend wouldn't be able to take the ﬂight until 1 am.
Yan Zheke pursed her lips, and replied, "I've waited so long already, I can't give up now. If there is a delay again, I will go back!"
If it was delayed again, she would just cancel the ﬂight.
Lou Cheng said, "This makes me think of a famous quote, 'I'm here anyway'." Lou Cheng deliberately lightened the atmosphere to ease his girlfriend's feelings.
Yan Zheke said, "Haha... Don't ever say this again. Owing to this sentence, I've suffered many losses!" Yan Zheke smiled and suddenly she felt that waiting wasn't so tough.
Lou Cheng wanted to ask her what kind of losses, but in light of the current situation, he decided to ask her later.
Lou Cheng asked, "Is Gu Shuang still coming to pick you up?"
"I don't know yet. I'm not even sure whether I can take the ﬂight tonight or not. I told her that she can sleep ﬁrst and I'll call her when I land." Yan Zheke had arranged everything already.
Before Lou Cheng started the next topic, she realized something and said, "You still haven't slept yet! What time is it? You have the game tomorrow (frowning sticker)!" When Coach Yan got angry, Lou Cheng's heart trembled. He explained, "I'm just afraid that you will feel lonely. Plus, my match is in the evening. I can catch up on sleep tomorrow afternoon."
Yan Zheke smiled very lightly. "I am not a child anymore." She replied with an embarrassing emoji.
Lou Cheng said, "You are not a child, but you are a little fairy lol!" Lou Cheng typed at the keyboard quickly, laughing.
Yan Zheke raised her eyebrows, tilted her head, and then replied, "Well okay, you'd better sleep. I'm a little sleepy, and I'll take a nap for a while. When I board, I'll send you a message. But you aren't allowed to reply because you need to sleep well!"
"Ok, well, good night. Don't catch cold while sleeping." Lou Cheng exhorted again.
Ke Ke had told him that the airport's air-conditioning was very strong. He put down the phone and turned on the mode of concealment of spirit and qi, Lou Cheng fell into sleep rapidly. But he didn't sleep very well. He was concerned about someone, waiting for a message.
Ding! The sound of his phone. He awakened immediately, and grabbed his phone.
Yan Zheke said, "Finally... (burst into tears sticker)"
It was 00:50 am.
Lou Cheng smiled with the emoji of patting your head sticker.
Yan Zheke said, "Go back to sleep(glaring anger face emoji)!" Yan Zheke asked the air hostess for a blanket gently.
Feeling more assured, Lou Cheng fell into sleep again but this time he slept more deeply, and he didn't turn the phone into silent mode.
Then, he woke up again because of the app reminder: Due to airport trafﬁc control, the ﬂight can't take off until 2 am.
Yan Zheke hadn't told him, because with the blanket covering her body, half an hour ago she had already fallen asleep.
If take off was at two, the plane would land at ﬁve o'clock.
Lou Cheng set his alarm for 4:50 am.
Getting up half an hour earlier won't be that different, besides I can catch up on sleep again in the afternoon!
At 4:50 am, when the clock rang, Lou Cheng got up immediately without any struggle and stopped the alarm. He picked up the phone, looked ﬁrst to see whether there was any message from Yan Zheke. With no message received, he determined the landing time with the application, 5:15 am.
I guess I could make it on time? Keke said that it takes more than 10 minutes to get out of the airport... Lou Cheng washed his face quickly, rinsed his mouth, changed clothes and dashed out of the room with his wallet.
The Gao Fen was very peaceful at 5 o'clock in the morning, only the road lamp was lit up. The air was crisp and fresh without the hustle and bustle of daylight.
The road was empty, only the occasional car sped by from time to time. While looking for a taxi, Lou Cheng thought about a famous saying, and then said to himself with a secret smile on his face, "Now I know how Gao Feng looks at 5 o'clock in the morning."
Under normal circumstances, outside the nice hotel, there was no shortage of taxis. It didn't take long for Lou Cheng to get a taxi. When he got into the car he sent Yan Zheke a message: I am on my way to the airport. I'll pick you up. No need to call Gu Shuang.
No trafﬁc jams, the car ride felt as smooth as wind. Lou Cheng sat in the back seat, resting with his eyes closed.
At 5:20 a.m., the app notiﬁcation and Yan Zheke's message arrived one after another.
"Hum, are you able to bargain?" Yan Zheke sent an "angry face" emoji.
Lou Cheng typed his message in a pleasant mood: Just half an hour earlier than usual, no big deal. I will sleep again in the afternoon.
Soon I get to see Ke Ke!
Yan Zheke said, "Humph! You're here anyway. What can I do!" Yan Zheke sent a (There's nothing I can do) sticker, but when she typed the words "You're here anyway", she suddenly smiled and felt a kind of sweetness.
I didn't mean what I said...
The car at night drove so fast. Lou Cheng entered into the arrival hall and waited for his fairy whom he kept yearning for day and night. After a few minutes, he saw her walk out with her luggage.
She wore a very simple, plain white T-shirt, jeans and sneakers, she also had a knitted garment. She had bright eyes and graceful eyebrows, delicate facial features, as always.
Lou Cheng gazed at her for a few seconds, then he went over to her, took her suitcase and held her slightly cold hands, like a long time couple walking towards outside.
Unfortunately, there are many people here ... Yan Zheke bowed her head down with her hanging hair. Her face was ﬂushed red, following Lou Cheng quietly.
After a few steps, Lou Cheng laughed lightly and said,
"It's like taking my wife back home."
"Pooh, how cheeky and shameless you are... " Yan Zheke turned to look in another direction and pretended to rebuke him, but in her eyes there was an apparent shyness.
"Come to my place and rest a little bit? Wait until Gu Shuang has slept enough." Lou Cheng proposed.
Yan Zheke's eyes dropped and she agreed, "I need to send her a message, let her sleep peacefully."
Seeing the girl agree so easily, Lou Cheng felt her trust in him. Though his heart felt warm, he still teased her, "Trust me so easily? You're not afraid of me doing bad things?"
Yan Zheke gave him a cold stare, "Well, you have to do your morning exercises and train for the match. I'm not afraid at all."
"I'm a person of formidable physical strength," Lou Cheng cracked a joke.
Yan Zheke suddenly blinked her eyes and posed a pitiful gesture. "How could you bully such a poor girl like me?"
In front of her boyfriend, she was becoming more and more relaxed.
Facing such a cute girl, Lou Cheng felt that he had no immunity at all, so he responded in a hurry, "Ok, ok, no bad things!" "Haha," Yan Zheke laughed soon, very proud.
They got in the car. They didn't talk too much but the time passed quickly, the destination was already in sight.
Lou Cheng held the girl's hand while dragging her luggage. They walked into the elevator and came back to the door of his room.
Yan Zheke opened the door, and looked around a bit. "Your place seems quite nice... "
Lou Cheng closed the door, ignoring the luggage, and stepped quickly in front of the girl. He held her forcefully, smelled her fragrance that he was familiar with, and whispered in her ear, "Ke Ke, I missed you."
Yan Zheke's body reacted stifﬂy ﬁrst, but after she heard this sentence, her body became soft. She clasped his back quietly with her arms. They kissed each other ﬁercely to relief the pain from longing each other every day. The girl stepped back little by little, and somehow, they were close to the edge of the bed.
Lou Cheng lifted his head with great patience, but looking at her red cheeks and amazing eyes, he almost kissed her again.
"You, you have the match... " Yan Zheke avoided looking him in the eyes, breathing slightly, shy and timid.
"I know... " Lou Cheng yelled into the air, "I'm gonna wash my face with cold water!"
"Go, I will wait for you and we can do the morning exercises together." Yan Zheke twinkled her watery eyes and laughed with her mouth closed.
Lou Cheng rushed into the bathroom, wiped his face and stayed there for a couple of minutes. When he came out, he found that Yan Zheke was lying on the bed on one side already with her even breathing. Just a few minutes, and she had fallen asleep. It seemed that she was really very sleepy... Lou Cheng didn't say anything. He squatted down, holding her ankle to take off her shoes while listening carefully in case of waking her up if he was not gentle enough.
He put her shoes on the ﬂoor, took off her knitted garment and then he rolled the quilt back to cover her body.
Finishing all this, he watched Yan Zheke's beautiful and quiet face in sleep. He smiled, leaned over and pecked at her pink lips. He whispered,
"Little fairy, good morning."
When he raised his head, the rising sun shone a few rays of light on the bed, which dyed the bed a little brighter. It made the girl look like a painting, peaceful and quiet.
Seeing this scene, Lou Cheng felt so quiet in his heart. This is the meaning of being a guardian knight.
He closed his eyes, recalling what had happened in the past, then, naturally, he made a "close" attempt.
Blood restrained, strength withdrawn, and spiritual force embraced, when they spun to a certain extent, they interlinked together naturally.
At once, Lou Cheng perceived a sense of gratiﬁcation and satisfaction gained from the inﬁnite universe, and all the energy of the cosmos dropped into his heart.
When water ﬂows, a channel is formed. The body can be transformed into one big dan.
Chapter 266: Does This Seem Like A Default Decision
At this moment, Lou Cheng felt the blood was ﬂowing all through his body. Blood was Qi, Qi was energy and energy was the base of spirit. He felt so fresh and pure as if he could light up his whole surroundings and there was no obstacle in his way anymore.
The soft and delicate breathing of the girl came into his ears, linking his pulse. A wave of light swung in his heart, echoing the dawn light outside the window.
Human body big dan, circular and bright.
Lou Cheng sensed a wonderful feeling. He closed his eyes and held his breath with ears dropped. He tried to be isolated from his own senses, but deep down in his heart and in his mind, he was outlining the scenes outside. The dark brown carpet, the curtains with no shade cloth, the bed with the white quilt, the girl who was sleeping with her body huddling up on one side. Her mouth was shining with the crystal light of dribble. Outside the house, there were birds ﬂying over, an old man jogging, and brilliant sunlight... This picture wasn't totally static, it kept developing and changing. For example, an ant was climbing next to the window trying to come in, but it couldn't penetrate the smooth glass.
This wonderful sentiment faded quickly. Lou Cheng opened his eyes, and the "Force Concentration" was off. Looking to the window, he was stunned to see an ant climbing in the sunlight, an ant that wasn't there before.
"What is happening?" Lou Cheng felt inexplicable surprise. He wanted to try again but could not grasp the same kind of wonderful feeling.
Was it because when he transformed the body into a big Dan, the initial blend of the Spirit, qi, and blood and other things stimulated the Jindan, which activated its feature similar to Ice Mirror, or blended other forces?
Lou Cheng was curious. He intended to explore this in daily training little by little. He moved his body a little, feeling the real change from when he'd entered into the Dan stage.
Since the breakthrough was just a process, not an essential point, he guessed he had improved himself enough. As for now, he didn't have a thorough improvement. His improvement of the Force Concentration and the power exploding more strongly was just because of the initial blend of spirit, qi, and blood. Using "as the arm moves the ﬁnger" was a strange way to describe it, but it indeed expressed better his subtle feeling when he arranged his forces and controlled his body.
In this respect, since he could do the explosion many times, the simpliﬁed version of physical invulnerability, it seemed that he was qualiﬁed enough to get the job certiﬁcate of Seventh Pin!
Of course, there was still a big difference between him and the real seventh or eighth pin. Starting from Dan stage, he could reﬁne his physical body, improve his physical strength and exceed the limit of a human body. Force and speed, they were among the keys needed for him to make the most important breakthrough in the future. According to some semi-true and false information spread online, the basic essence of "Training the inner radicular pulp" was that the variation came step by step from the spiritual inﬂuence of the gene, the combination of visualization, core energy training and the feedback of the universe. Therefore, for people who were close to physical invulnerability, people of high-ranked Dan Stage and the mighty ones who could master
physical invulnerability, their descendants could have the variation ability naturally. However, for these experts, it was easy to become possessed by the Devil, causing genetic crash.
"Phew, another half a year to improve my physical strength, and I can be almost at Seventh Pin..." Lou Cheng thought about this happily. Then he stepped next to the window, and isolated the sunlight by closing the curtain and the shade cloth together to make the room dimmer and more suitable for sleep.
He looked back at Yan Zheke's peaceful and pretty face, smiled and whispered in her ears.
"Coach Yan, I am going to do my morning exercise." He gently left the room and closed the door. He went to a nearby park to consolidate the realm of Danqi.
Breaking through this threshold, he could really gain a foothold in the martial arts community and begin to provide for Ke's future!
No need to waste his time anymore. Lou Cheng would save a lot of time by putting more energy into adapting to this realm. Before his martial art practice had been mainly at the body reﬁning stage. Even if he was now at Dan Stage, he could still use the old moves, but it had to combine with the current features, not to be used indiscriminately.
And ﬁghting with someone like Qiu Lin, a strong Dan ﬁghter, had made him learn and experience a lot, especially the "Wisdom King Guards Temple", which gave him some ideas and new directions that he wanted to try.
His bulging muscles caused friction sounds, which was offset by the blasting boom of rubbing his ﬁsts and kicking his legs. Lou Cheng started to make his moves. The more he practiced, the more it became silent, like the roaring waves hidden in the turbulent.
In a sunny restaurant, full of light, Yu Hong was sitting in the parent position. He squinted his eyes and smiled.
"The sun in the summer comes out really early... "
It gets hot too early!
He picked up the stack of newspapers next to his hand, casually browsing through it, and waited for his wife to cook him some breakfast.
"Now only stubborn old men like you still read the newspaper. We all learned to go on the Internet... " his wife nagged him, carrying a dish from the kitchen. "It's just my habit." Yu Hong took the plate with a laugh.
Eating quietly for a moment, the grandchild who had come over to spend his summer break with them, suddenly spoke. "Grandpa, Grandpa, look at this news and these posts from Weibo!"
"What news?" Puzzled, Yu Hung took the phone.
He ﬁxed his eyes on it, and was shocked at the headline:
Shady Deal! Xing Province Youth Tournament Committee Deliberately Suppressed Genius!
Scrolling down the screen, Yu Hong read quickly to the end.
He couldn't help but proclaim,
"Absurd!" Was there no professional ethics for the journalists these days? This kind of thing could be made into news?
Something said in a casual conversation should be treated seriously?
The grandchild looked at him with fear, and whispered, "It's quite a hot debate online right now."
"Really? Let me see." Yu Hong said with his gloomy seriousness.
His face gradually turned to a frown as he read all the information on the internet.
There were two groups of people arguing online. One group advocated that it was just something said in casual conversation and shouldn't be taken seriously. It was very schematic to make a big deal out of it. This suited Yu Hong's taste. But another group thought it was impossible that wind had come from the hollow cave, so there must be something behind this. Because reputation was very important in the ﬁeld of martial arts, it wasn't surprising that something like this was happening.
With all the quarreling, the debate was getting more and more attention by not only the people who were usually concerned about the Youth Tournament but also some ordinary people. They rolled up their sleeves and picked their side to quarrel.
Having looked for a long time, Yu Hong felt that this would not be the case if the debate continued. He picked up his phone to call the chairman of the province's Martial Artist Association.
The number of people who were at the high-rank Dan Stage was just a handful, so of course they knew each other.
"Old Yin, did you see the news about the Shady Deal?" Yu Hong started direct to the point, not beating around the bush.
Yin Huaming forced a smile. "Yes, of course, I saw it. I didn't pay much attention, when I ﬁrst heard that some lip-reading experts had disclosed something about this. But after just one night, this thing has gotten enormous public attention. These journalists just want a scoop, they try to make a name for themselves by criticizing everyone. Qui Lin is so careless, why would she say something so intimidating? Plus, why do the online users care so much about this kind of news? If no one cared, then it would fade soon, so no one takes it seriously."
He was whining and complaining.
"We old fellows don't know much about the things on the internet. Besides, who knows anyway?" Yu Hong comforted him. "What are you going to do about it?"
"Have a news conference with Qiu Lin to clarify it. Emphasize the common sense of casual conversation and silent treatment." Yin Huaming sighed.
Yu Hong thought about it for a moment, then asked, "What if Lou Cheng draws Han Zhifei or Zhang Zhutong by the lot tonight?" Yin Huaming remained silent for a while before replying, "Then it will be one disaster after another, adding insult to injury."
Even if one jumped into the Yellow River, one could not wash oneself clean.
He didn't wait for Yu Hong's reply and continued, "There are two ways to solve this. One is to ﬁnd the reporter who broke the news to draw lots, so it doesn't matter what result she draws. Second, well, for insurance purpose, do not let Lou Cheng draw Han Zhifei or Zhang Zhutong... "
At 8:30 am, already so tired mentally, Lou Cheng put away his stance, bought some breakfast, and returned to the hotel.
I will harvest a lot in this training! The sun had been shining so bright outside, yet inside the room, it was very dim. Lou Cheng found that Yan Zheke was still sleeping. He put down the breakfast gently, took some clothes to change into and left the room again.
"Hey, Qin Rui, are you up?" He called his old classmate and asked bluntly.
"Yes, and the morning training is ﬁnished already. Want to get some breakfast together? The breakfast at this hotel is quite good." Qin Rui smiled to answer.
Lou Cheng laughed. "I've already eaten. Can I take a shower in your room?"
"What's the matter? Is the bathroom in your room is broken?" Qin Rui asked in surprise.
Lou Cheng took a breath, "Long story, I can't bother with the details." He couldn't tell him that Yan Zheke was sleeping in his bed, and he was afraid to wake her up, so couldn't take a shower in his own room.
What would people think?
"Well, okay." Qin Rui thought it was strange, but he agreed anyway.
After showering, Lou Cheng was back in his room and sat at the edge of the bed next to the girl. Watching her pure and ﬂawless face, he suddenly felt like he needed to take a nap as well.
He took off his pants, pulled back the quilt, cautiously moved on the bed and lay down next to his fairy.
Yan Zheke's arms naturally stretched out to him, and the warm temperature from his body woke her up. Eyes still fogged with sleep, she stammered, "You, you, me... "
What was going on?
"I came to catch up on sleep." He laughed, with his left arm against the bed to support his body.
Sleep... Yan Zheke looked out the window at a loss, "What time is it?"
"Almost nine o'clock. I have ﬁnished the morning exercises, and brought you some breakfast." Lou Cheng laughed again, "But you are really easy to wake up, even if my movement is quiet."
"I was just sleeping and suddenly there was one more body beside me. It would be strange if you didn't wake me up!" Yan Zheke rolled her eyes and gradually recalled what had happened before. Then she grumbled, "Why didn't you wake me up! We agreed that we were gonna do the exercises together!" "I saw that you were sleeping very peacefully. I didn't have the heart to wake you up." Lou Cheng was getting closer to his fairy, touching her skin.
Yan Zheke pouted playfully. "I was just feeling a little sleepy. I wanted to take a nap for a while, to refresh myself, so that I could do the exercise better. I thought that you would remind me in time, but, humph!"
After the painful waiting of half a night, Yan Zheke felt so assured and comfortable kissing Cheng. The sudden relax had made her feel sleepy and tired immediately.
As Lou Cheng was trying to hold her in his arms, she pushed back the quilt and got off the bed from the other side.
"You, where are you going?" asked Lou Cheng, a little bit disappointed.
Yan Zheke didn't look back. She pouted and said grufﬂy, "To change my pajamas!"
"Well, I'm waiting for you yo~ " Lou Cheng responded happily and deliberately copied the way the little fairy talked.
"Aha, you are getting funnier and funnier!" Yan Zheke was squatting next to her trolley case and then she laughed so hard that she couldn't even stand straight. Her blush had deepened when she'd said "Change my pajamas," and now it was returning to normal.
She went to brush her teeth and put cotton pajamas on. She closed her eyes and worked up the courage to get back into the bed. Then she put her foot on Lou Cheng's lap and chuckled, "Hairy legs!"
The familiar body temperature, familiar smell and familiar feeling, made her dizzy. Thinking about the half-naked picture that Lou Cheng had sent to her, she couldn't help but giggle.
"What?" Lou Cheng asked, feeling her skin. "Nothing, just feel like laughing." Yan Zheke lied on one side, and curiously put her hand on his abdomen.
The room was dim, and their bodies were very close. Some secret fragrance was ﬂoating between their noses, and Lou Cheng's breathing had become very heavy. His heartbeat sped up and his body became excited.
Yan Zheke was also a ﬁghter and had good listening skills, so she sensed it immediately. She patted Lou Cheng, blushing.
What was she thinking about!?
"It's hard not to have a reaction when I see you," he replied, helplessly.
"But I also need to sleep well." Yan Zheke adjusted her body, well-behaved, and secretly snickered. "Ok, ok. Sleep." Lou turned around and hugged her, forcing himself to freeze into ice.
A day of "ear to ear and temple to temple", Yan Zheke went to ﬁnd Gu Shuang and did her exercises, meanwhile Lou Cheng accompanied his family and friends for dinner.
In the evening, after having studied all the information about the other candidates, Lou Cheng took a deep breath, stood up and said,
"I should go to the stadium."
Yan Zheke stood up as well and helped him to arrange his collar on tiptoe. She kissed him on his face and encouraged him:
"Go for it!"
Chapter 267: The Attitude of the Crowd
It was a summer evening. The sky was ablaze, and no signs of darkness could be seen.
Lou Cheng walked pleasantly in the twilight, slowly leaving the darkness of his room, brewing the ﬁghting plan.
Only one more step and his mission would be complete!
Then he could tell his teacher the good news!
When he entered the arena, he went to the exclusive lounge. He saw the staff member, Fang Siqi, who served the seeded ﬁghters, waiting expectantly.
"Hello." The white-collared beauty bent in the standard style.
"Hello." Lou Cheng nodded feeling slightly strange. Today, Fang Siqi was barely familiar. She usually tried to make him feel at home by chatting politely, but now, she was obviously in an estranged mood.
Lou Cheng shook his head silently and without giving it another thought, walked toward his room.
Suddenly, he perceived that Fang was secretly watching him.
"What?" Lou Cheng calmly asked, he did not cover up his doubts.
"Nothing." Then Fang Siqi asked curiously, "Mr. Lou Cheng, did you not see the news?"
"What news?" Lou Cheng asked in surprise.
Was there any special news? After the game last night, he'd browsed the forum and news, enjoyed the praise in the report and excitement of the fans, but hadn't found anything strange!
As for today, ﬁrst he'd slept with the little fairy, then he'd studied the ﬁghting videos of the remaining seven opponents, and ﬁnally he'd exchanged intimately with Yan Zheke, indeed he'd had no time to pay attention to the news.
The news related to the Martial Arts Competition included the news from all aspects only at the end of the game, praising the winners or criticizing the losers. After a few hours there were deeper reports with more technical contents. This was Lou Cheng's favorite part. It could help him summarize the game, and it helped him to ﬁnd his own problems.
The next day, the vast majority of the news was just frying leftover rice, and Lou Cheng would only watch it if he had free time.
"You really don't know?" Fang Siqi was stunned, looking into Lou Cheng's eyes, dark, deep, and peaceful, "Anyway, it's not a big deal. I have to deal with other things." She stepped on high heels and left. Lou Cheng was confused.
What news? Lou Cheng went into his lounge with this question, took out his phone, logged in and searched.
What he saw scared him. A gang of people were quarreling on his fan forum, which annoyed Eternal Nightfall and Brahman a lot.
This was just the aftermath of a hot topic, how could the main battleﬁeld be in a small private forum?
Seeing these messages, Lou Cheng understood what had happened. The lip-reading expert had interpreted what Qiu Lin said, and then tipped-off the reporters, leading to great distrust of the Youth Tournament Committee.
As one of the protagonists, he was no doubt mentioned. While some people sympathized with him, took pity on him, cheered for him, and unswervingly supported him, others suspected that this was his own fault, for the purpose of avoiding a strong enemy through deliberate speculation, dressing up as the weak, and smearing the Committee as well as the Gao Fen martial arts. It was extremely vicious.
This was really lying in the gun. No wonder Fang Siqi had looked at him like that. Lou Cheng suddenly understood, neither laughing nor crying.
Fang Siqi was a staff member of the Martial Artist Association and the Youth Tournament Committee!
He'd seen the post of the lip-reading expert "Bull Demon King" last night, but hadn't cared. He'd thought it was just a little controversy in their own forum, and would not spread.
His mood had not been much affected, because the focus of the quarrel was no doubt on the Youth Tournament Committee. The attention on himself was not as bad as the journalists being sprayed for lack of professional ethics.
"Do not worry about it, it's in God's hands." Lou Cheng closed his eyes, adjusting his mind. Anyway, he hadn't expected to have to avoid Zhang Zhutong and Han Zhifei, rather he was prepared to ﬁght against them!
At 7.20p.m. Fang Siqi sounded the door of Lou Cheng's lounge room, and informed him that he could be admitted and sit in the ﬁrst position on the left side of the second row of guest's area.
Lou Cheng patted the martial arts suit, proudly stood up, and went to the exit, where he met Zhang Zhutong, Han Zhifei and Liu Xunzhen. These ﬁghters kept away from him quietly and seemed to want to avoid arousing suspicion.
They were the mainstays of Gao Fen martial arts.
"Do you think he did it? To ensure the ﬁrst four?" Zhang Zhutong asked leisurely with his hands in his pockets. No one knew whether he was asking Han Zhifei on the left, or Liu Xunzhen on the right. He did not bother to lower his voice, it seemed he was not afraid to be heard by Lou Cheng, or maybe, he deliberately let him hear.
"Perhaps, the ultimate beneﬁciaries are the most suspicious." Liu Xunzhen said concisely.
Zhang Zhutong laughed. "He may be scared by Qiu Lin's words, and not want to encounter me in the quarter-ﬁnals, so he found people to make a big deal, to make use of his physical metamorphosis advantage."
Witnessing Lou Cheng defeating Qiu Lin, he'd considered him as the main opponent, inferior only to Han Zhifei.
So, now the confrontation of the souls would start!
You tell the story better than Anderson... Lou Cheng mocked, but didn't reply. Taking this kind of thing seriously could cause failure. It was easy to let it affect the state of the game.
Taking a deep breath, Lou Cheng visualized in his mind a scene of freezing water to ice.
Han Zhifei said in low voice,
"It might not be him. He might not be the only beneﬁciary."
"Who else?" Liu Xunzhen frowned.
"The Committee, and television stations." Han Zhifei looked around, "Don't you think the attention paid to the game has increased a lot with this tip-off, and such a quarrel?"
Those who did not watch the Youth Tournament, but had glanced at the news, and even some friends in other provinces, were now attracted to see the broadcast. In this impetuous era, being noted was a good thing, whether it was praise or blame.
Liu Xunzhen sulked, and didn't say anything more. He had been persuaded by Han Zhifei to some extent.
This type of hype was common to the entertainment circle, the quarrel was played round after round before the broadcast of some ﬁlms and television dramas.
For the committee, as long as the ﬁnal performance was justiﬁed, was such a quarrel to increase the number of critics, not a good thing? For television stations, the audience ratings improved, the cover crowd increased, and their faces were not hurt, wasn't it great?
Zhang Zhutong nodded thoughtfully and said with a smile,
"It seems that I have misunderstood." He said this easily, as if the previous accusations never happened.
Yan Zheke came to the arena once the guests had been seated.
She followed the tips, found her position, and found Gu Shuang and Xing Jingjing.
"Is something wrong?" Yan Zheke asked carefully.
Gu Shuang smiled and said, "There will be no problem, it has nothing to do with us."
After speaking, for insurance purposes, she sent the following words with messenger: If the Organizing Committee wants to check, it should just check the television station, who deserves it for speculating. In Yan Zheke's proposal, she reminded the TV station and other people through a mediary, she'd ﬁnally found a public relations company that had a good relationship with the television station to coordinate it.
"Alright, I feel relieved." Yan Zheke gave a gentle smile.
This must not affect Lou Cheng's image!
While they whispered, many eyes were attracted to the beautiful Yan Zheke, including Cao Lele and Qiu Hailin in the back row.
"Look, look, isn't that Yan Zheke of Class three?" Cao Lele pulled at the sleeves of his teacher.
Qiu Hailin looked over, and saw Yan Zheke wearing a chiffon shirt with a half up hairstyle, in the noisy environment she possessed a kind of quietly blooming beauty. As a girl herself she could see a slight absence, "It is. She has also come to watch the game." "Yan Zheke?" Hearing their words, Jiang Fei and Cheng Qili, who knew the secret love story turned around in surprise, to view the radiant girl.
This was the second time they'd seen Yan Zheke, and after more than a year, they felt she was more beautiful than a goddess. She was more self-conﬁdent and graceful than she’d been in high school from what they could remember. They could see she really was charming.
Being looked at by others this way, Yan Zheke, with a small achievement in meditation, certainly had the subtle induction. She glanced over subconsciously, and saw a few strange, but slightly familiar men and women.
Jiang Fei... She ﬁrst recognized Jiang Fei, because Lou Cheng had shown her their group photo on his phone.
She suddenly understood that this was Lou Cheng's group of friends and relatives. The one wearing black half-rim glasses with acne should be Old Cheng-Cheng Qili. The guy with a wine-colored face was most likely Tao Xiaofei. The one with the large bald forehead was the class 4 leader Qiu Hailin. The pretty little girl was Cao Lele, Lou Cheng's old desk-mate. The man wearing gold-rimmed glasses, was that Lou Cheng's father? Was the woman next to him Lou Cheng's mother?
She did not know why, but Yan Zheke suddenly felt inexplicably shy. Her face ﬂushed as she said hello to Jiang Fei and the others shyly.
Jiang Fei knew about the relationship between her and Lou Chang, she could not be without courtesy...
In front of her were his mother and father, she could not be without courtesy...
After greeting them, she immediately turned to sit down, clutching her hot face, and complained to Gu Shuang,
"Why did you pick this spot?"
"What's the matter with it?" Gu Shuang looked up foolishly. "Lou Cheng's father and mother are sitting behind us... " Yan Zheke said quietly.
Gu Shuang was surprised at ﬁrst, then she laughed.
"Coincidental, completely coincidental! The ugly daughter- in-law will have to see her mother in-law… "
"Pooh!" Yan Zheke was shy.
"Yan Zheke knows us? To give us a greeting?" Tao Xiaofei was stunned, Cao Lele was also confused.
"Maybe, maybe she knew me," said Qiu Hailin, not conﬁdently. As the leader of Class four, she had contacted Yan Zheke several times.
Jiang Fei tightly closed his mouth, for fear that he would accidentally expose his secret, the pitiful sight of the iron chain was vivid!
"Lele, that girl is your classmate? Beautiful! More beautiful than the internet star!" Qi Yunfei and Chen Xiaoxiao also noted the waving of Yan Zheke.
Qi Fang followed by laughing, "The girl is very good-looking."
It is your new daughter-in-law, Jiang Fei secretly mocked.
Sitting in his position, Lou Cheng did not care about the eyes of others. He was smiling and watching Yan Zheke telling him that his Mom and Dad were behind her. "Should this count as meeting the parents?" His mouth upturned, pressing the keyboard.
At this point, the guests took the ﬁrst player.
"No. 18, Lou Cheng."
Uh... Lou Cheng looked up toward the arena.
Yan Xiaoling and the others also focused on the lots, swearing that the results were not right, they would begin to black the committee!
Guests had drawn out the opponent of Lou Cheng.
"No. 6, Meng Jiefeng."
Chapter 268: The Fragments of the Plague Sect
"No.6 seeded ﬁghter... " Qi Fang raised her eyebrows in relief, as if a stone in her heart had been dropped.
From her point of view, since her son had reached ﬁfth place, he would deﬁnitely win the No. 6 seeded ﬁghter, wouldn't he?
"Oh, I worship Bodhisattva today. It's so convenient!" She smiled and patted Lou Zhisheng who stood by her side.
Because matches weren't held during the day, the group of family and friends often visited Gao Fen together.
"That's superstition." Lou Zhisheng muttered, but the smile on her face was difﬁcult to cover.
Cao Lele, Qiu Hailin and others had similar thoughts. They also thought that the chance was pretty good because this opponent was weaker than Qiu Lin. They became very happy and looked forward to the beginning of the game. Only Jiang Fei, who felt like a ﬁshbone was stuck in his throat, was not happy. He really wanted to tell everyone that Yan Zheke was Cheng's girlfriend.
Why can't people just be honest?
I really suffer a lot for this friendship!
"The No.6 seeded ﬁghter is Meng Jiefeng." Yan Zheke puffed out her cheeks. She thought that this opponent was neither good nor bad.
It could only be said that this opponent was better than Han Zhifei or Zhang Zhutong.
"Ke, your boyfriend is so lucky. His opponent is the No.6 seeded ﬁghter, Meng Jiefeng. He is certainly weaker than Qiu Lin, right?" Gu Shuang's tone gradually became unsure as she noticed Yan Zheke and Xing Jingjing were looking at her like she was an idiot.
Xing Jingjing answered her, "This opponent isn't much weaker than the former, even though this one plays more ferociously."
"Sister Jingjing, he has made huge progress in the past six months, hasn't he?" Yan Zheke asked with great concern.
The reason she'd asked Xing Jingjing was that Meng Jiefeng was the rising star of the Gao Fen police system. He was also a mighty member of Professional Eighth Pin. He barely took part in the Challenge Tournaments aside from the contests of their own system, so videos of his contests were hard to ﬁnd. Prior to this youth tournament, he hadn't fought in public since the Spring Festival.
Xing Jingjing thought for a while and answered, "Hmm, I heard that he has improved and mastered a more ferocious playing style." She then emphasized the "ferocious playing style" once again.
Yan Zheke understood what she'd said completely. After Meng Jiefeng graduated from the martial arts school, he'd joined the army. He'd made a large contribution to the troops, so he was rewarded with the opportunity to learn the "Chill Force" in the fragments of Plague Sect!
When facing him, his opponents would often become weaker and weaker. If they were careless for a while afterward, they would then get a fever and feel extremely weak even if they had won the contest. So, his nickname was Flu Virus.
He had another problem. Aside from the "Chill Force", whether he had other martial arts styles in the fragments of the Plague Sect or not, people did not know. Anyway, he had never used other styles in the Challenge Tournament. He always fought with other ﬁghters using the Metal-like Reﬁned Body and the Modern Xingyi.
Thinking of these, Yan Zheke could not help but worry about Lou Cheng. She picked up the phone and sent Lou Cheng the information that Xing Jingjing had revealed just now. ...
"No.6 seeded ﬁghter?"
In the Lou family's living room, Lou Debang suddenly became excited and picked up the phone next to him. He called someone and said loudly, "Hey, Old Liu, are you watching TV right now? Ah, you are watching. Have you watched anything from Xing province? It's rebroadcasting my grandson's contest, the youth tournament for the young ﬁghters of the whole province. He made it into the top eight. In the next contest, he will compete with the No.6 seeded ﬁghter! Which grandson? The son of Zhisheng, Cheng!"
"Old Zhu, haven't I told you before? Turn to the Xing Province Satellite Television as soon as possible, Cheng is going to be on!"
Lou Cheng's grandparents informed their friends and relatives one by one. They were so excited that their faces were ﬂushed.
Wang Lili pulled Lou Zhiqiang aside and whispered, "Have you told Old Xin and your other friends? This is a glorious thing for our family. After this, Weiwei will also be more conﬁdent when he has a blind date later.
"What are you talking about? What if he loses?!" Lou Zhiqiang never spoke positively.
Lou Yuanwei sat on the single sofa next to them and felt like he was in a dream when he was watching the happy atmosphere in the living room.
Isn't Cheng living the life I always dreamed of?
The life of hopes and a better future...
... In the QQ group of Lou Cheng's classmates in Senior High.
Du Liyu whose nickname was "Little Xin" sent a link,
"Everyone should go to support Cheng. The next contest is to decide the ﬁnal four ﬁghters. And Cheng will ﬁght with the No.6 seeded ﬁghter!"
"What are you talking about?" His former desk mate, Tong Hua, was bewildered.
Not until Du Liyu answered her question, Jiang Fei who has borne for quite a while answered, "She is talking about Lou Cheng. He is participating in the Provincial Youth Fighter Championship! He has advanced to the quarterﬁnals!"
"Really?" Xiong Tao was surprised.
The Provincial Youth Fighter Championship? It sounded like a prominent contest! In high school, they had known that he was good at studying, but they didn't know that he was so good at sports.
"Really, now even I throw myself down at Cheng's feet in admiration." Qin Rui who sat with most of the members in Gushan Martial Arts School said.
Because he was an expert acknowledged by all the classmates, the students in class four believed him a little and clicked the link to watch the video.
Lou Cheng's fan forum had kept up its active atmosphere since this morning.
The members, Nie Qiqi and "All Good Names Are Taken By Dogs" felt so pleased to see the return of the familiar funny moderators, "Eternal Nightfall" and "Brahman". They supported Lou Cheng and kept cheering for him. The newly joined forum members, like "Bull Demon King" and "Innocence" were against the tyranny and showed their disdain for the lottery result. They thought it was inevitable because the tyranny had been exposed to the public. They hoped that Lou Cheng could defeat his opponent and advance in the semiﬁnals.
But others, like "Bad girl", "Cunning woman", held a conspiracy belief. They used this result to debate with the people who believed in the tyranny. They said it had been made by Lou Cheng on purpose. They hoped Lou Cheng would get the ﬂu and become seriously sick.
Watching people debating in the forum constantly, the members who didn't care too much like Eternal Nightfall, Brahman, Unparalleled Dragon King, and Okamoto's Fan sighed, they wanted to return to the previous, harmonious and stable forum like before.
Lou Cheng's crazy fans, Eternal Nightfall and Brahman admitted that they were weak in debating.
... Because it was the ﬁrst battle, the dance and song program had ended before Lou Cheng had time to discuss much with Yan Zheke. After the ring was cleaned up, the referee came out. Lou Cheng had to put down the phone and began to meditate to clear his mind and improve his state.
"The ﬁrst match: Lou Cheng vs. Meng Jiefeng." The referee glanced at the electronic clock, and made a gesture to both sides.
At ﬁrst, Lou Cheng had the impulse to wave to Yan Yanke in the stand, but he thought of her special reminder and sensed the camera's focus, ﬁnally stopping himself.
He couldn't show off their relationship in front of the audience, or his father-in-law would bring a knife from Gao Fen to kill him tonight...
Recalling the scene when Yan Zheke had offered to kiss him and cheer for him later, he took a breath and walked along the brilliant road under the brightness of ﬂoodlight towards the stone stage. He was like a new car. Every step he took was like every trip the car ran. His physical state gradually mixed in his mental state. His momentum slowly rose until he set foot on the ring. Then a series of crisp, low bombing sounds appeared in his body and his muscles and bones made a rising sound.
Seeing such strong momentum, the audience held their breath and felt the Number 18 ﬁghter, Lou Cheng, become much taller.
Meng Jiefeng was neither tall nor short with inch-long hair. He had sharp eyes and wore a dark blue martial arts suit which made him slightly charming. He stepped onto the ring almost at the same time as Lou Cheng.
He stood on the ground casually and introverted his momentum, introverted so that not to ﬁght against Cheng directly.
The referee raised his right hand and announced,
"Three-minute talk time." Meng Jiefeng said with a smile, "You must feel a lot of pressure?"
"It's normal." Lou Cheng answered with a humble attitude.
"No, you are lying!" Meng Jiefeng's eyes became sharp as if he was interrogating a criminal, "You are afraid of the inﬂuence of my 'Cold Force' which would make you sick after this battle, so you will lose the battle next day and never have the chance to advance in the semiﬁnals. Then your competence won't be testiﬁed, and everybody will believe that you advanced in the semiﬁnals by some other tricks. You will end up dying like a normal person and be criticized by everyone. They will charge you as a villain."
He wanted to bury the seed of hesitation in the heart of his opponents so that his opponent would make mistakes and be unable to decide which way to go when judging something.
"I have a clear conscience. Whatever others say won't inﬂuence me at all". Lou Cheng said honestly, "If I have an opponent, I will challenge him in the right way. If there are some discredits, I will also challenge him in the right way. To answer the doubt by the victories I've obtained is my martial arts belief. Maybe it sounds a little immature, but it's my real position."
"When I set foot in the ring, I only consider the opponent in front of me in my heart and to defeat him with my power. This is the signiﬁcant respect I have to give him. As for the next battles or the ﬁnal impact, I don't care about them so much."
Because of the disturbance before this battle, he had reﬂected a little. With this conversation, he again summarized his thoughts.
In the actual combat, whatever you feared would happen to you more easily, so you had to keep a ﬁrm mind.
Meng Jiefeng shrank his eyes slightly and laughed, "I hope you can remember what you said just now."
He did not say anything more for he knew the standard and was afraid of having a bad effect. After a while, the referee checked the time. He once again raised his right hand and suddenly waved,
Meng Jiefeng's muscles and fascia suddenly bulged causing his martial arts suit to look very tight. And people could see that every piece of his tendons and vessels extruded from his exposed body parts. They all looked dark blue like iron so that the skin was as hard and cold as steel.
"Metal-like Reﬁned Body" was the euphemism for it!
Meng Jiefeng used his back as the axis as he moved one step forward. He twitched the fascia on his side and stretched his right arm.
CRACK! His neck suddenly thickened and rubbed the air to make a bombing sound. The pieces of dark blue tendon and vessel seemed to outline many frightening ﬂower patterns on his body. PIA! The crisp sound rang constantly. His right ﬁst punched out at high running speed.
Lou Cheng's heart Lake was as clear and quite as ice. In a ﬂash, his center of gravity moved backward. He bounced his spine and ran backward.
After entering Dan stage, his Condensation Stance seemed to have improved because of the wonderful feeling he had. It didn't mean that he had predictions or the absolute reaction to dangers, but it could help him have a clearer mind, a more intuitive vision, and make a more accurate judgment.
Seeing that his opponent was moving back, Meng Jiefeng stepped on the ground hard. He ran forwards with the power coming from the precise rebound.
But just at the moment that his body leaned forwards slightly, Lou Cheng suddenly stopped. His center of gravity sank. He then exerted force into his feet and turned back to ﬁght against his opponent within a split second. He tightened the muscles on his back and punched out his right ﬁst. This was a ferocious counterattack! He played this attack so properly just as Meng Jiefeng ﬁnished his punch that he didn't have the time to strike a new attack. It was an embarrassing situation for Meng Jiefeng.
Meng Jiefeng took a breath and slightly withdrew his force. He followed with a release that made his right ﬁst come back strangely, his left arm extended and slashed out to the other side. The dark blue ﬂower pattern on his neck became clearer.
This was the result of all the forces in his body uniting as a whole!
Seeing his arm was about to be struck by the opponent's ﬁst, Lou Cheng suddenly changed the center of gravity and dragged his arm which he actually ﬂailed out abruptly to the other side. He disappeared from Meng Jiefeng and ﬂashed behind him.
During this abrupt process, the force of Lou Cheng changed and rounded transparently and ﬂuently so that his twisted movements looked very smooth and natural. "Dan Stage!" In the TV broadcasting room, the guest host, Yu Hong, said in a praising and emotional tone.
"Dan stage!" Zhang Zhutong did not return to the restroom.
He stood by the ring and exhaled a breath.
What he was unwilling to face had still happened. After so many battles, Lou Cheng had kept improving himself and shortened his practicing time to become a real Mighty Fighter of Dan stage.
The moment that Lou Cheng arrived behind his back, he tried his best to bounce his back so that he can exert new force into his right ﬁst. With tight muscles and thunderclouds in his mind, he chopped Meng Jiefeng's spine.
The ﬁst was so ferocious that Meng Jiefeng's hair prickled and made him feel slightly bitter. But he did not look panicked at all, he even began to laugh.
So great, you're behind me now!
Within his mind, there suddenly appeared a big vicious bell, covered in ﬂoral motifs.
His belly wriggled and his visceral rubbed. A sound came from his throat, so low that others could not hear.
Just as Lou Cheng's ﬁst was about to strike, his ear suddenly moved. There was a sudden, throbbing pain in his head and his arms softened involuntarily.
Chapter 269: Subduing People with Power
Since he was a child, Lou Cheng has always been in good health, so he has never experienced any splitting headache. But at this moment, he understood the meaning behind those four words. Out of the blue, without any signs, he was suffering from a sudden massive headache on the arena!
"No, it was not a sudden headache!" He instantly understood when he remembered the irritable change in his ears earlier.
This was the unique skills of Plague Sect that used inaudible sounds to cause headaches in the listener!
And the opponent will most deﬁnitely take advantage of your illness to defeat you!
Meng Jiefeng pursed his mouth, a strong ﬁghting desire glistening in his eyes. He twisted his back, kicked his right leg behind him like a scorpion swaying its tail. The mistake ﬁghters who were close to or had just entered the Dan stage made the most often was thinking they could use Force Concentration to handle any issue. Although the Headache Ululating could be reduced by shrinking the qi and blood, using Force Concentration blindly at such a limited distance was akin to serving oneself as a human sandbag for the opponent.
Even if an ordinary attack will expend some of his power, making it difﬁcult for him to directly use Force Concentration later on, he could still kick Lou Cheng's vital parts!
Pia! His dark blue trousers were pulled tight and his right leg bulged three times its former thickness. Causing a ripple in the air, he ferociously kicked between Lou Cheng's legs.
Horse kick and scorpion swings tail!
The minute Lou Cheng understood it, he recalled his life-or- death ﬁght with the Professional Ninth Pin in Dark Sect. His ﬂesh crawled. He felt like he was once again teetering on the dangerous edge of life. He had no fears, panic, or hesitations. With a heart as still as a lake of ice, he calmly made his decision. He moved his arm that had most of its force dissipated, stretching the tendon, and unleashed his force within a short distance. He opened his palm wide and caught Meng Jiefeng's back, and ripped his dark blue martial arts suit in the process.
Dang! Meng Jiefeng also moved against his attack. His skin bulged as dark-blue as iron which abruptly blocked the claws that could even tear the metal chain apart.
Lou Cheng did not expect to break the defense of Metal-like Reﬁned Body in one hit. The force in his ﬁngertips was smooth and clear, so he stopped gripping and pressed his hand downwards.
Meng Jiefeng's center of gravity sank under Lou Cheng's pressure and the right leg that he had extended lost all its strength halfway to his kick. But it slowed only a short moment before recovering its ferocious momentum.
Thanks to the rebound from his force on Meng Jiefeng's back, Lou Cheng moved his center of gravity all the while enduring his headache. He made a forceful turn, barely dodging the dangerous horse kick. He took a few steps backwards to put some distance between he and his opponent. He withdrew his qi and blood and held his force to condensing all the sensations of his headache.
"Well done! Offense is the best defense! Lou Cheng's response to the sudden attack is too beautifully done!" When Lou Cheng showed his ﬁve ﬁngers, the guest commentator in the broadcasting studio complimented him. "Everyone can watch the playback later. Just now Meng Jiefeng's abdomen bulged and his throat moved. Obviously, he attacked with inaudible sounds. If I'm not mistaken, those are attacks that cause a headache from Plague Sect. He has never used it before, so it's not something that can be easily detected. To think Lou Cheng can respond that way when he's suffering from the headache, it really shows how great his actual ﬁghting ability is. Eh... "
He suddenly paused because he saw that Meng Jiefeng was not disappointed when his kicks missed his enemy. He turned around by this trend and attacked Lou Cheng face to face. When Lou Cheng was still doing the Force Concentration, his eyes turned dark and his abdomen became round again. His throat trembled and sent out an invisible sound with the help of "soundless bell". HUM!
The blood vessels in Lou Cheng's forehead twitched. He once again felt the pain of headache. It seemed that his spirit was also affected. Before he could complete his attempt of Force Concentration, his preparation had become a total chaos.
The sound attacks in Plague Sect attacked not only the ﬂesh but also the spirit!
After Meng Jiefeng's twin Headache Ululating attacks, his face also paled despite being a strong ﬁghter of the Dan stage. Taking advantage of the chaos in his opponent's body, he inhaled. His temple bulged, tinting his skin red.
It seemed as if gunpowder exploded in his body. He swung his right arms, thrusting himself forwards. He propelled his body to cut through the air, shortening the distance. It allowed him to run into Lou Cheng's chest like a bomb. He used a technique that combined the Modern Blast Punch with Tremor Punch!
He had entered this Youth Tournament with the unpopular idea of advancing into the top four, he thought.
After his attempt at Force Concentration was interrupted earlier, Lou Cheng dared not make a second attempt so soon. It was too late for him to doge and he was left to endure the impact of Meng Jiefeng's aggressive ﬁst squarely on his body. He ﬁrst took a short breath and stabilized his qi and blood, visualizing a scene of overhead dark clouds and thunder.
Pia! His hand, wrist, and arm muscles tightened. He swung his shoulder and punched with his right ﬁst.
Tremor Punch against Tremor Punch! Bang! Without smoke and only waves of wind blowing in all direction, a loud sound came from the arena. Lou Cheng's qi and blood twisted in him. His vital organs were all affected. He felt so sick that his throat was dry and his head was dizzy.
Meng Jiefeng shared similar feelings, but he endured better than his opponent because what he practiced was Metal-like Reﬁned Body. He shrank the muscles in his abdomen and thickened his neck, making the dark green veins protruding under his skin form an odd ﬂoral pattern.
He did not retreat. He hit out a ferocious pound with his bulging left arm, his ﬁst glowing a green light.
Lou Cheng was afraid his opponent's unique skills would once again affect him. He did not dare use Force Concentration in his current state. He could only control his organs through inner practice, compressing his muscles to make a reverse wave to offset his attack. His back muscles made a brief appearance and his hands were crossed in front of his body to block Meng Jiefeng's ﬁst. Phew!
The sound of whistles rang everywhere. Lou Cheng felt his opponent's ﬁst turning hot and cold, giving him an empty feeling like he was being hurt by the dark wind. He could not help shuddering. He had a feeling he was about to fall ill.
The Chill Frost? He thought of an idea and visualized the scene of a red sun falling into an icy river without hesitation.
He did not have time to prepare Severe Warning, but that was not his goal anyway. Based on the pre-match discussions, he visualized the collision between ice and ﬁre, leading to the explosion of his supernatural ability and dispersion of the weird force invading his body.
Kill the person with ice and ﬁre!
Bang! Lou Cheng's face sometimes turned red, sometimes green. The cold currents mixed with the hot waves surged to eliminate the feeling of emptiness and exhaustion. However, it was impossible for Meng Jiefeng to wait for him to recover. He continued to use killer moves on Lou Cheng without stopping.
With the use of Chill Force, Lou Cheng had gotten rid of the continuous negativity of Headache Ululating. He exerted force into his feet, lowered his waist, and used Force Concentration!
Boom! The force gushed. Meng Jiefeng's skin bulged, exposed a dark green color. His ﬁgure became a little bigger. He took a step forwards and bent backwards. Throwing out his right arm, he wielded it like a spear.
Just as Lou Cheng had gotten rid of the effects of Chill Force, he was now confronting such a ferocious attack.
Under normal circumstances, normal ﬁghters of the Dan stage would have no time to defend themselves with Force Concentration. The defeat was inevitable. However, Lou Cheng inhaled slightly and instantly restrained his qi and blood, spirit and force. But he did not try to pursue the ultimate state. He also did not try to condense a "point" or create a quick, half-baked Dan.
In it contained a way to balance and to rotate!
When the half-made human body big Dan became solid, it would explode and create reasonably strong "waves".
"It's also possible this way, huh... " The guest commentator, Yu Hong, whispered to himself.
This seemed like an imitation of Force Concentration by the ﬁghters who lacked understanding about martial arts, but in essence, this was different. Aside from its smaller impact, it was basically Force Concentration.
In a split second, Lou Cheng half-ﬁnished the eruption of the power of Dan stage. His muscles bulged and his body leaned forwards. He quickly moved his shoulders before he suddenly punched out a ﬁst downwards. Bang!
As their ﬁsts collided, Meng Jiefeng bent his back and the muscles on his arm were so powerful that his sleeves were almost ripped apart. He was completely unleashing the power of "Raise".
Lou Cheng was only unleashing half his outbreak, so he was obviously weaker than an opponent using his full strength. Attacked by the pulling force, he found it difﬁcult to stabilize his center of gravity and he was abruptly thrown into the air.
From the beginning, one passive step was followed by a series of even more passive steps!
In a life-and-death match, every movement was meant to be fatal!
Yan Zheke covered her mouth unconsciously because she was afraid that she would cry out of Lou Cheng's name. Before the ﬁsh jumped over the dragon gate and under the condition that he didn't have the ﬂying supernatural ability, if a ﬁghter left the ground passively, it meant that he was about to lose the match.
Meng Jiefeng did not do so well before this match, but this time he showed all his strength!
"How powerful." Zhang Zhutong's chuckle was full of complications.
Meng Jiefeng had become much stronger since last year. If it was him who confronted Meng Jiefeng instead of Lou Cheng, he would likely be forced into passivity as well.
It was not only Lou Cheng who can drop surprises! Qiu Lin can, so can Meng Jiefeng.
After he sent Lou Cheng ﬂying in one move, Meng Jiefeng once again breathed into his Dantian and made a Double Explosion. Crack! With the broken sound, he rushed at Lou Cheng with a bullet-like speed. Lou Cheng had just begun adjusting his center of gravity, two meters from the ground.
Had he not blocked Meng Jiefeng with his half outbreak, he might not even be able to adjust his center of gravity!
Seeing Meng Jiefeng standing below and waiting for a chance to attack him, Lou Cheng breathed in and lowered his upper body.
He took a short time to adjust his muscles and prepare his visualization of the scene of a red sun falling into an icy river.
Bring it on!
Take his Severe Warning!
Seeing Lou Cheng lowering himself so much he almost showed the crown of his head, Meng Jiefeng suddenly laughed and stepped next to Lou Cheng.
It was not as if Meng Jiefeng missed out on Lou Cheng and Qiu Lin's match and did not know his simpliﬁed movement of physical invulnerability. Knowing Lou Cheng had the time to prepare, how he could go strength against strength with him?
As his joints accumulated power, the fascia on his wrist protruded and turned a terrifying black and green.
He pierced the air with Eagle Claw and defended himself with Shooting Fillip.
Lou Cheng was not disappointed to ﬁnd his opponent being cautious. He seized the chance when his enemy on the move and used Force Concentration mid-air.
His body suddenly curled up with the introversion of qi and blood, force and spirit. He rolled himself as a ball. He then quickly stretched his body in the air. With the power from the outbreak of Dan stage, he kicked out his right foot ferociously. Pia! His right foot kicked on Meng Jiefeng's Eagle Claw. Rebounding, he changed his position and kicked his opponent's throat at the same time. It seemed that he wanted to use it as a stepping stone to go upwards like Goddess Chang ﬂying to the moon!
Meng Jiefeng swayed after Lou Cheng's violent kick. He thought he might have to retreat and lost the chance to win if his enemy was not mid-air or using all his power. If he waited for Lou Cheng to land and use Force Concentration again, it would be difﬁcult for him to defeat an opponent who can use an unlimited amount of successive bursts. After all, he had used Headache Chime twice himself.
He raised his left arm against Lou Cheng's feet. Then he turned over and exerted force on Lou Cheng's legs so that he could ﬂy even higher!
Lou Cheng used the momentum to jump over his opponent's head. He landed further away, like a bird seeking for the ground. But Meng Jiefeng moved his center of gravity and took three steps backwards. Once again he stood on the position. Inhaling and compressing his qi and blood, he made Force Concentration. Bang! His temple bulged. His back straightened and he punched a Rocket-like Punch towards the sky!
A real rocket!
When he was making Force Concentration, Lou Cheng was also making one of his own. Lou Cheng uniﬁed his qi and blood and dropped with a fast speed, allowing him to change position in time.
Boom! That point exploded. Lou Cheng tightened his muscles and extended his right hand to catch his enemy's ﬁst.
His vessels and tendons were so prominent that they could not help trembling from the impact of the explosion. But his ﬁve ﬁngers were ﬁrmly holding the opponent's right ﬁst. Buzz! While he was doing his inner practice to eliminate the effect of the tremor, Lou Cheng heard the sound of the opponent's actions through his connection with Meng Jiefeng and his perfect meditation ability.
He was going to punch out his left ﬁst, his Collapsing Sea Floor ﬁst... Lou Cheng thought of a new idea and began to pressing his opponent instead of grasping. His body abruptly bounced, avoiding Meng Jiefeng's chain attack in time.
He then seized the opportunity to sink his center of gravity once again. Finally, he landed on the ground before his enemy made his kick.
With his feet on the ground, Lou Cheng took a breath before he used Force Concentration again. He then swung his left arm from the other side.
Double successive bursts!
At such a close distance, Meng Jiefeng had no other way, but to make a Double Explosion as well. His temples bulged as he lashed out his Modern Blast Punch to trade ﬁsts with Lou Cheng.
Bang! They both trembled at the same time. Meng Jiefeng defended himself with Metal-like Reﬁned Body, but Lou Cheng once again casually completed Force Concentration, his condition completely recovered.
He wanted to suppress his opponent using his ability to pull off successive bursts!
The unique skills in Plague Sect were indeed powerful, but he would not give Meng Jiefeng the opportunity to use them!
Bang! Because Meng Jiefeng could not catch up with the ﬁghting speed, his arms began trembling and his qi and blood also rolled over. He lost his center of gravity as well. Lou Cheng took this opportunity to catch up to him. He began to hit his opponent who had a Metal-like Reﬁned Body.
Dang! Dang! Dang!
One tremor! Two tremors! Three tremors!
Lou Cheng hit on Meng Jiefeng's metal-like body and punched out the tremors, not giving Meng Jiefeng any opportunity to recover or use the unique skills of Plague Sect!
Four tremors! Five tremors! Six tremors! Lou Cheng was excited as if he was Thor. From above, he punched his opponent on the shoulder.
A crisp sound echoed. Meng Jiefeng staggered and fell to the ground in dizziness, without sustaining any visible external injuries. Lou Cheng was so excited that he wanted to hit two more tremors, but the referee stopped him.
"Lou Cheng wins!"
The sound was so loud that the audience actually had a hearty and delighted feeling!
Chapter 270: Candidness
"Lou Cheng wins!"
Hearing the referee's declaration and watching Meng Jiefeng falling, Yan Zheke forgot all her reservations and worries. She hastily stood up, waving and subconsciously yelling with a ﬂushed face.
Earlier in the match, her heartbeat was violent as her worries and tension piled up. She felt as if her boyfriend was being forced to walk along a dangerous edge, possibly failing with every move he made.
Now that the triumph came like the ﬁrst sign of the dawn, all her suppressed emotions erupted as if they were driven by Force Concentration.
Cheng won! There was a mixture of relief, ecstasy, pride, and excitement circling in her mind like a storm. That feeling lasted for a long time.
After the ﬁrst outbreak of emotion, Yan Zheke calmed down and came to her senses. She subconsciously turned towards Lou Cheng's family and friends, worried that they noticed her lapse in behavior and found out about her relationship with Lou Cheng.
Though she did not quite understand martial arts competitions, Qi Fang relished in the breathtaking atmosphere earlier and noticed the silence and depression of Jiang Fei and the rest. Now that her heartbeat had slowed to a normal pace, a rare excitement burst in her.
No one paid attention to her abnormal manner since they were all overjoyed. As expected, Cao Lele and Qi Yunfei were yelling to vent their emotions, but even Lou Zhisheng was waving his ﬁst with the others, his wire-rimmed glasses askew. "He wins!"
"Cheng (Brother Lou Cheng) wins!"
When Yan Zheke saw the reactions of Lou Cheng's cheerleaders and the cameras that were still focused on the arena, she sighed with relief knowing her excitement had gone unnoticed.
She found a nearby Gu Shuang joining the Mexican wave, yelling.
"Lou Cheng! Lou Cheng!"
Gu Shuang only noticed the eyes of her two close friends on her after a long while. She shrugged and stuck her tongue out in embarrassment. "The ﬁght was so tense breathtaking. I'm also excited."
Thanks to the contagious atmosphere in the stadium, she temporarily forgot to behave like a lady.
"Then let's continue the wave!" Yan Zheke took the girl's hand in hers and wave forward together.
"Lou Cheng wins!"
Lou Cheng stopped and let out a long breath when he heard the referee, immersing himself in relaxation and joy.
This match truly made him relive the tense experience of having to be cautious or be killed within a few moves with Qiu Lin. But there were still differences between the two matches. When he fought Qiu Lin, everything was still within his grasp despite her unexpected performance at the stage of Lotus Step and Buddha Voice making things complicated. As per Ke's words, he was still in control. But in this match, Lou Cheng was passive throughout. The situation worsened when he was thrown out with Raise Force. It seemed as if he had been toeing the line between success and failure, where the smallest mistake in his judgment and reaction would stop him at the gate of semiﬁnals.
It was both a test for his actual combat abilities and a measure of his present realm.
If he had not already reached the real Danqi state, he would not have been able to smoothly use Force Concentration in time mid-air. It could stop him from making successive bursts against the law of nature and human body.
Realizing he had learned so much from his past matches, Lou Cheng was loosening up his muscles when he saw Meng Jiefeng struggling to get up. "You're good enough to reach the top 4."
"I won't be modest about that." Meng Jiefeng gasped, a trace of dizziness still in his eyes. He held back his urge to vomit with difﬁculty. "Too bad I met an abnormal guy like you."
If Lou Cheng's stamina was a little weaker, thus leaving him a brief respite in the last wave of Tremor Punch, Meng Jiefeng would have used all his remaining strength to make another Headache Sound.
He unfortunately had not seen any trace of exhaustion from Lou Cheng until now.
If only he had reached the level of Seventh Pin, he would have been able to make another Headache Sound as soon as he began falling. If that happened, the outcome would have been different.
Lou Cheng could not read minds nor could he hear the 'what ifs' in Meng Jiefeng's mind. He could only follow up on their conversation. "Everybody has their strengths. Though my stamina is superior and I can make an endless amount of successive bursts, haven't you mastered the sonic attack skill of Plague Sect? If I learned that, you wouldn't stand a chance at all."
Perhaps it was his excitement and joy after a difﬁcult battle. Lou Cheng did not leave after just exchanging few words as usual. He had become a talker this time.
"That's right, that's right... " Shaking the 'what ifs' out of his mind, Meng Jiefeng kneaded his temples. "Cold Wind Force isn't as simple as you think. Take a hot bath when you go back. Remember not to sleep with the air-conditioner on. Don't blame me if you catch a cold tomorrow out of carelessness."
No wonder it was called Flu Virus… The unique skills of Plague Sect were really disgusting… Lou Cheng cupped his ﬁst in greeting.
"Thank you." They turned around and left the arena in different directions.
In the living room of Lou family's house, Lou Yuanwei placed one hand on his chest, ﬁnding his maniacally beating heart. He almost felt like he could not endure the sensation.
Too exciting, too exciting, this match was too exciting! Fortunately Cheng ﬁnally won! Taking several deep breaths, Lou Yuanwei recalled something and turned to look beside him.
The game was thrilling enough that it was hard to endure for a young man like him. What if it brought on a heart attack to his aged grandparents? While he was worrying, he noticed grandpa's ruddy face. The latter asked him a question, looking confused.
"He won!" Lou Yuanwei gave a positive answer.
"Good, good, good!" Lou Debang and his wife once again picked up the phone to call their relatives and friends. They soon basked in praise as Lou Cheng's achievement spread through the telephone line.
Wang Lili cast a complaining glance at Lou Zhiqiang. "It's all your fault! Why couldn't Cheng win the game? Quick! Call Old Xin and the rest to win back some face."
"The match is already over, what's the use of calling them now? Do you want them to watch the reruns?" Lou Zhiqiang stubbornly refused to admit his fault. ...
In the QQ group of Lou Cheng's senior year classmates.
Wang Jie, who used to be Lou Cheng's deskmate, sent an emoji with an inscrutable smile. "God, I feel like I've lived a fake senior year and had a fake deskmate!"
"Me too… " Jiang Fei replied with a sweating emoji. "Maybe I've been living in a fake world since I knew Cheng."
Tong Hua, Du Liyu's ex-deskmate, sent an emoji snapping its ﬁngers. "I remember now! In last our class reunion before the New Year Festival, Lou Cheng said he made progress in martial arts and was already a young swordsman, right? So it's actually true! Oh yeah, he also said he quit drinking and smoking for kung fu, even arguing with Saudi Arabian over that. I didn't really believe in him then, but now it's proven to be true!"
"Stop talking about me! We never argued!" Tao Xiaofei replied with an emoji throwing itself at Tong Hua's feet. "I'm now wholeheartedly serving Brother Lou. I feel so much pride!"
Students who had been quiet lurkers appeared one after another to excitedly discuss Lou Cheng's match. A classmate of theirs had become a celebrity just one year after senior year. What an awesome person!
"I was almost frightened to death!" Wu Ting said in a panicked voice, holding Zhang Qiufan's hand after venting her excitement.
Zhang Qiufan raised her head proudly. "I wasn't frightened at all. I always believed Sir Lou would win!"
"Your knowledge of martial arts is shallow and you haven't broadened your horizons yet. I've already experienced a lot including all kinds of shocks and dreadful things, but I'm still in favor of Sir Lou. See the gap between our realms?" Wu Ting delivered a speech that stunned both Zhang Qiufan and Yao Ruiwei, as if she was actually telling the truth.
Secretly glancing at her dad Wu Qinggui and uncle Wei Renjie, Wu Ting found them in an indescribable silence, where they were at loss of words.
The greatest shock was usually quiet.
Stepping down the stone steps, Lou Cheng turned his gaze to the stands and pretended to wave to his parents. He was actually looking at Yan Zheke who sat in the front row.
"Lou Cheng, we meet again." Wu Wei blocked his path. "Congratulations! You've made it to the top 4 and achieved your goal!" "Thank you," Lou Cheng responded politely, withdrawing his gaze.
Wu Wei smiled. "Do you have a new goal for tomorrow's match?"
She was trapping him with her words.
"Nothing speciﬁc. I'll ﬁght in each match with all my might and apply all that I've learned. I'll see what works. If it works, I'll see what's its advantage. If it doesn't, then I'll ﬁnd out why it doesn't... " Lou Cheng was still stuck in his talker state.
There was nothing worth reporting… Complaining to herself, Wu Wei smiled and asked, "We all noticed that you became stiff twice in the battle with a painful expression. Was it because of Meng Jiefeng's unique skills of Plague Sect? What did you feel then?"
"That's right. It should be the inaudible sonic attack skill of Plague Sect. As for my feelings, I experienced a head-splitting headache," said Lou Cheng, reviewing the battle. After questioning several details of the match, Wu Wei raised her eyebrows and smiled. "Lou Cheng, have you heard about the scoop? About your in-match communication with Qiu Lin."
"Yes, I have." Lou Cheng knew the reporters would not let go of this.
"What do you think? Many are saying it's unfair." Wu Wei raised a skillful question. The unfairness may refer to the Committee's suppressing Lou Cheng or Lou Cheng not drawing Zhang Zhutong or Han Zhifei for this round, making it unfair for other ﬁghters.
Lou Cheng thought for a moment before answering.
"I believe in the fairness of the Committee's drawing process.
He did not say much this time. He felt it would easier for people to criticize him the more he said. Was this the struggle of fame?
On the other side, Yan Zheke was now seated and listening to her boyfriend's interview, as if she was experiencing his feelings.
Frowning, she took out her phone and browsed Lou Cheng's fan forum, where many people were quarreling.
On one side were Eternal Nightfall, Brahman, and Unparalleled Dragon King venting their joy and excitement using all the means, like sending cute emojis, behaving crazily, analyzing and congratulating Lou Cheng for successfully making it to the top 4. On the other side, many were still cursing with increasingly poisonous attitudes.
"Look! He reached the top 4 with unacknowledged kung fu!"
"If he hadn't drawn that Meng Jiefeng as opponent, that Lou nobody wouldn't have made the top 4!" "He even said he believed in the Committee's drawing result.
What a hypocrite! He's even worse than a crook!"
"Damn it! Nice guys ﬁnish last, bad guys always win!"
Eternal Nightfall could no longer contain her anger after the quarrel. She replied, "You, can't you use your eyes or ears? That grandpa guest said Meng Jiefeng had mastered the sonic attack skill of Plague Sect and was at the level of top 4!"
Though she was baring her fangs and brandishing her claws, she still lacked experience in attacking other people's weaknesses, thus making her seem weak.
"So what? They're just saying that!"
Seeing those on her side struggling to counterattack even as Brahman and the rest joined in, Yan Zheke clenched her teeth, feeling a sudden urge to do something for Lou Cheng. Cheng should not be shouldering these things…
In the following matches, Zhang Zhutong defeated a non- seeded player, while Han Zifei defeated the second seed and Liu Xunzhen defeated a eighth seed. As the audience began leaving the stadium, Yan Zheke arrived at a nearby parking lot with Gu Shuang and Xing Jingjing with a worried expression.
She raised her head, as if she had made up her mind.
"Shuang Shuang, send me to Cheng."
"What?" Gu Shuang felt so confused. "Isn't he ﬁghting in the semi-ﬁnals tomorrow?"
"What on earth are you thinking!" Yan Zheke chewed her lower lip, both amused and vexed. "There's something I want to tell him." "Can't you use QQ or call him?" Gu Shuang frowned in confusion.
Yan Zheke shook her head. "I want to tell him face to face."
"Alright… " Gu Shuang gave in since she knew Ke was too stubborn for her to change her mind.
Returning to his hotel room, Lou Cheng turned off the air- conditioner and was about to go to bed when he saw Ke's text.
"I'm outside the door."
"Eh? Outside?" Lou Cheng was bafﬂed into speechlessness.
Ke was supposed to be resting in Gu Shuang's home. Why was she here? Could it be... Lou Cheng could not help thinking something was off. An idea occupied his mind and caused his throat to dry.
He still has the semi-ﬁnals and ﬁnals tomorrow…
Oh, forget the competitions!
This competition was not the only Challenge Tournament around!
Running towards the door, he felt something was weird this time. Ke's usual brisk tone was missing in her text earlier.
Was she here for something else? Still confused, he opened the door. His girlfriend was wearing a chiffon shirt, making her look elegant in the dim light.
He stepped aside and let her in. Closing the door, Lou Cheng was about to say something when Yan Zheke spoke ﬁrst as she looked down at her toes.
"Cheng, do you know the scoop? Have you seen the quarrels in your forum?"
"Yeah, why?" Lou Cheng asked, looking puzzled.
Yan Zheke took a deep breath and lightly bit her lips. "I, I, I was the one who got someone to publish the scoop. I was worried that they're really suppressing you… "
She exhaled as if she freed herself from something heavy.
Since it had come to this, she did not want to conceal anything from Cheng.
"What?" Lou Cheng froze. He recalled his conversation with Meng Jiefeng, in which he claimed with a clear conscience that he had nothing to do with the scoop and hype.
So it was the Committee who deliberately prevented him from drawing Zhang Zhutong or Han Zhifei to prevent suspicion?
That was so unfair to the other ﬁghters…
He knew Ke had done all this purely for him and it did move him. But he could not help having some other feelings about it.
Yan Zheke cast a glance at him. "What's wrong, Cheng?"
Seeing his girlfriend ask the question timidly, Lou Cheng hastened to reply. "No, no."
Casanova's instructions came to his mind. Communication with a girl required good attitude. For starters, a compliment... Pausing to choose his words carefully, Lou Cheng continued, "Actually I'm very moved. You've done so much for me and I know you have the best of intentions, but… "
"But what?" Yan Zheke breathed a secret sigh of relief.
"But can you please consult me ﬁrst when you want to do something important like this next time? Ask for my opinion?" Lou Cheng hurried to add, "I don't mean you've done something wrong. I just dislike the feeling of being kept in the dark."
This way, he could stop her in time.
"Okay," Yan Zheke said. "I'm here because I don't want to hide it from you… Maybe I'm used to making my own decisions and haven't developed the habit of consulting you yet. I'll, I'll work hard to change... "
She realized they needed to discuss things openly and frequently talk to each other to get along with each other well. Instead of keeping everything to themselves, they should learn to consult each other before taking action.
It would deﬁnitely be uncomfortable at ﬁrst, but it was a necessary price to be pay for a good relationship.
"I'll do the same." Lou Cheng no longer struggled about what had happened.
Even if he did not want it to, it had already happened...
Yan Zheke suddenly hissed in irritation. "Hope you'll keep it in mind! Will you take action without asking for my opinion when you encounter someone like Wang Xu in the future?"
"No, I won't do it again!" Lou Cheng hurried to make a promise.
How long ago was that incident? Why was she still talking about it? Who was the one who came to apologize...