“Chen Wu, Chen Zuoyi, Chen Yan, Chen Che, Chen Shuiqing, Chen Shaoze, Chen Zong.”
“Here.” Seven boys respond together.
“My name is Chen Chuyun. I am your coach of swordsmanship from today.” A white tight martial suit perfectly mirrors the graceful and robust figure of Chen Chuyun, who enjoys fair, ruddy and tender skin, her eyes are clear and bright and her long, black hair is tied in a ponytail at the back of her head. She looks very valiant and heroic and speaks articulately and coldly.
Chen Zong looks at this beauty in front of him and measures her age, probably seventeen to eighteen. However, her temperament radiates with something veiled and powerful, which is hard to estimate the huge gap between them.
Here is the clan hall of Chen Family.
There are sixty warriors in the clan and the branch. They are divided into five groups according to the kind of the Basic Martial Arts: Blade, Sword, Boxing, Palm and Leg.
Chen Zong ought to be sent to the boxing group in terms of his completeness in Tiger Fist, but he remains in the sword group due to his strong eagerness.
There are seven learners in his group, five boys and two girls. Two come from the branch and the rest are clan descendants.
“Now, I’ll teach you Tiger-Roar Knack.” Without any polite ceremony, Chen Chuyun gets to the point directly.
“Tiger-Roar Knack is the unique secret of our family to forge Blood and Spirit, which is absolutely forbidden to the outsiders.”
“Tiger-Roar Knack has two basic modes: mobile and immobile…” Chen Chuyun repeatedly teaches the secret to all students via concise and straightforward explanations and actions three times.
“Chen Zong, you have not reached the peak of the third level of Qi and Blood Condition so it is not appropriate for you to practice Tiger-Roar Knack.” Chen Chuyun looks at Chen Zong.
“All right.” Chen Zong nods.
A kind of proud expression shines from the eyes of Chen Zuoyi, as he started to know the Tiger-Roar Knack and practice it several months ago.
There are two major steps for a warrior to practice. Firstly, he has to reach the peak of Qi and Blood Condition of the third level via the Basic Martial Arts. Secondly, he is allowed to refine blood and spirit so as to prepare for the breakthrough of the fourth level of Qi and Blood Condition.
Without the peak of the third level of Qi and Blood Condition, it brings damage to blood and spirits to practice the Tiger-Roar Knack.
“I am going to explain the Tiger-Roar Knack. If you feel confused about something, consult me after class.”
Obviously, the core of this lesson is the Tiger-Roar Knack.
Two hours later, Chen Chuyun puts an end to the course and leaves after answering several questions. Ten days later, they will have the next lesson.
Five descendants from the clan leave without taking any notice of Chen Zong and Chen Yan. Chen Zong and Chen Yan turn around and leave after nodding to each other.
The clan hall is divided into two parts by a gate, inside and outside.
The outside of the clan hall is not very big, including dwelling area, a canteen, martial arts rooms, weapon rooms and so on. They, the newcomers, must have breakthroughs in Qi and Blood Condition to the fourth level so as to become warriors, or they will be expelled.
“I must improve myself to the peak of Qi and Blood Condition of the third level and then practice Tiger-Roar Knack to cultivate my blood and Qi.”
Chen Zong’s greatest wish is to find precious medicine for his father to cure his injury and recover his power and it requires enough strength. Therefore, he set a short-term goal, that was to break through and enter the clan hall. The realization of that of course leads to his second goal right now.
“Two energy pills from the branch and three from the clan hall recently may help me to break through but they cannot bring me the peak of the third level of Qi and Blood Condition.”
“Perhaps, I can try more Basic Martial Arts.”
Every breakthrough of Basic Martial Arts can stimulate the potential, with blood and Qi promoted to strengthen body together.
However, it is not easy to have breakthroughs in Basic Martial Arts.
As for normal people who practice the Basic Martial Arts, it takes them three months to actually touch upon the rough idea of it, one year for initial success, and another three years for great achievement. Even for someone gifted, it also takes him two years for the final step. It is still infeasible for a man to improve his strength and power mainly by the means of Basic Martial Arts even if he could reach great achievement of a skill in a year.
However, Chen Zong is an exception because he has been transformed by the mysterious sword tip, which makes him extraordinary and helps him when practicing the Basic Martial so that Great Achievement is attainable in shorter time for him, which is an advantage available to him.
The outside martial arts room here is several times larger than the one of the branch in Lake Town. A middle-aged man, in charge of this room, sits at a table besides the door.
There are bookshelves on three sides of this room and each collects over 100 books with clear classifications. Books on Basic Martial Arts and relevant reflections of practicing them are placed on the left bookshelf.
Six desks and several chairs, wooden and tidy, are placed in the middle, providing an easy access to common disciples because no books here are allowed to be taken out.
Glancing at the bookshelf, Chen Zong unexpectedly finds three books for Basic Martial Arts of the branch tribe of Lake Town and the rest is new to him.
Water Snake Hand
Headstone Smash Palm
Shadow Broken Swordsmanship
Willow Flicking Swordsmanship
Eagle Striking Swordsmanship
And so on.
Chen Zong runs his eyes over the bookshelf. Each Basic Martial Arts textbook contains at least three books of reflections. Some possess more than ten.
“There are thirty-two textbooks on Basic Martial Arts. What a big number!” It impressively amazes Chen Zong and informs him that there are only five arts on weapons in total, rare and precious, three on sword and two on knife. Obviously, it is a notoriously hard way to practice Basic Martial Arts via weapons.
Chen Zong fetches three textbooks on swordsmanship, some relevant reflections and then walks to a desk. He sits down, reading.
Shadow Broken Swordsmanship pays great attention to skills. Its force of attack and defense is not very strong, but it illusively brandishes with broken shadows so as to disturb one’s eyesight. There are six types. Great Achievement can train over 60% percent of the learner’s body.
The tip of the sword between eyebrow space quivers slightly and a silver dragon dances in the air, which makes his mind very clear. He can memorize the content completely, but also quickly understands and grasps.
Finishing reading the textbook, he looks over some learning reflections such as “Simple Analysis of Shadow Broken Swordsmanship”, “My practice of Shadow Broken Swordsmanship”, “Imagination of Shadow Broken Swordsmanship” so as to widely assimilate wisdom of predecessors and have better comprehension.
Willow Flicking Swordsmanship waves sword like a withy. It lays stress on flexibility like a swinging willow in the wind. It has a balance between attack and defense with six types in total. Great Achievement can train 60% percent of the learner’s body.
After going through all information about Willow Flicking Swordsmanship, Chen Zong turns to Eagle Striking Swordsmanship.
The style of Eagle Striking Swordsmanship is completely different from that of Willow Flicking Swordsmanship. The major attacking point is the tip of weapon. In attack, player imitates the movement of the sharp beak, claws and wings of an eagle. It is an aggressively offensive swordsmanship that particularly concentrates on swiftness and fierceness. A learner’s body can be trained over 60% percent when he finishes Great Achievement.
Having read the textbook of Eagle Striking Swordsmanship, Chen Zong browses a couple of books of reflections. All of them are placed back to the bookshelf after fully memorized.
“Boy, reading in this way is really helpful?” The librarian insouciantly asks.
“Yes.” Chen Zong answers and leaves the room. The librarian shakes his head and views it as a joke.
In the Martial Arts Practicing field, he finds a place with few people where he is going to practice sword. He poses the starting-up type of Shadow Broken Swordsmanship and strikes after thinking over it.
Very quickly, he practices one time.
“I feel unfamiliar, but it is just the first time to practice.”
Obvious progreass follows the second time.
More skillful performance comes with the third time.
Improvement can be felt by Chen Zong from every time. The tenth time slightly shocks his blood and Qi, which are strengthened a little bit, hard to perceive.
Chen Zong starts the starting-up type of Willow Flicking Swordsmanship after consolidating the Shadow Broken Swordsmanship. He looks like a drooping willow of waterside.
Subtle improvement of blood and Qi arrives at the tenth time after crossing the threshold.
Next one is the Eagle Striking Swordsmanship.
A man looks like a big eagle that is about to soar when exercising it. The sword in hand waves like the wings of eagle, stretching out as if to fly.
Another ten times of practicing a different swordsmanship, Eagle-Striking, have promoted his level of blood and Qi as well.
Successive enhancement of blood and Qi will next nourish his body and increase his power.
“What a stupid man he is!”
“It cooks his own goose to practice three swordsmanship on Basic Martial Arts.”
“I know that guy, Chen Zong. He used to practice fist. Coach Chen He has much expectation of him due to his completeness on fist. However, he refused fist group and entered sword group.”
“So it’s him! It means he has studied four different Basic Martial Arts.”
“He is such a fool!”
Some people whispered, not far away. They do not practice sword. Their power of observation is limited. They fail to discover that Chen Zong has crossed the threshold of three swordsmanships. Chen Zong hears clearly the conversation among them, so that he knows what they are thinking about very well.
Normally, the more kinds of Basic Martial Arts one practices, the more disadvantages one has for every Basic Martial Art requires a lot of time and energy. A man has his limit. More Basic Martial Arts share more time and energy, with the result that they drag down each other and even hinder any tiny progress.
Generally, a man practices two at most. One begins before entering the clan hall and the other might be a supplementary way to practice here.
A learner understands well after entering the clan hall that a warrior has two levels divided by the peak of Qi and Blood Condition of the third level: one focuses on the Basic Martial Arts, the other emphasizes the cultivation of blood and Qi.
To increase comprehensive power is of fundamental importance. A learner can practice the Grade Martial Arts as soon as he reaches the fourth level of Qi and Blood Condition and becomes a warrior. Comparing with the Basic Martial Arts, the power is much stronger, hard to account for.
They believe Chen Zong puts the cart before the horse.
The spreading of this news to Chen He triggers his ironical smile, “Does Chen Zong believe the success of Tiger Fist also indicates another completeness on swordsmanship?”
“Chen Zong, you are wasting your time.” Chen Yuyao sputters to him. “Your completion of Tiger Fist confirms your amazing talent on fist. Why you choose sword? If swordsmanship is acceptable, why you practice three different ones?
“I have my judgment.” Chen Zong knows Chen Yuyao is concerned with him, but it is not convenient for him to tell her his great adventure that offers him superiority of sworsmanship.
“Are you worthy of the great expectation from Uncle Zhengtang towards you?” Chen Yuyao is annoyed. However, she has no idea of the source of her worry and anger.
“I have my judgment.” Chen Zong tells her mildly again. Chen Yuyao stamps her feet and leaves with anger.
Chen Zong shakes his head and takes back his eyes. Swordsmanship continues.
Three swordsmanships have crossed the threshold, which expands his blood and Qi with improvement of strength. His idea is proven to work so he is sure to go on.
In the evening of the second day, Chen Zong keeps practicing sword. A figure walks briskly from far away. With a light pace and enough distance over dozens of meters, the figure does not disturb Chen Zong.
After ten times for each swordsmanship, Chen Zong catches sight of the figure. He bows. “Coach.”
“Well, I heard you practice three Basic Martial Swordsmanships together so I come to see.” The voice of Chen Chuyun is chilly, just like the night wind. “Three swordsmanships were all learnt yesterday morning?”
“Yes.” Chen Zong nods. It is not something furtive.
“Only two days to cross the threshold of three.” A fiery light overflows from the eyes of Chen Chuyun, which seems to melt the night. “So, you are a genius of swordsmanship.”
“You are flattering me!” Chen Zong speaks humbly.
“It is not necessary to be modest. Can you reach initial achievement on three swordsmanship in ten days?” Sober eyesight of Chen Chuyun falls on Chen Zong.
“Yes.” Chen Zong responds unhesitatingly.