Chapter 52: Blade Force
“This isn’t some sword skill, what kind of society are we in now? How can there be something like that? Let me tell you, this isn’t a sword skill or some secret technique. If you think that this like the flashy sword techniques you see in movies or anime then you are dead wrong. This is just something an old man blindly developed through luck. I personally feel that this may be useful so I’m telling you guys about it.” Bai Yi explained.
“That old man called this thing… blade force!” Bai Yi said as his broadsword split through the air, and abruptly stopped at a spot.
“This is the most basic blade force!”
Most basic blade force?
Everyone stared at Bai Yi’s movements, but after looking for awhile none of them understood what was going on. This so-called most basic thing, it couldn’t be that it was just a downward strike? Bai Yi saw the blank looks on their faces and suddenly felt like laughing. To think back, he followed that old man for the sake of culinary skills but ended up learning a bunch of nonsensical stuff.
Hong Qi Hua stared at Bai Yi’s movements, and suddenly her eyes lit up. Complete stillness!
“Is it stillness?”
“Finally, somebody could see it. That’s right, this is the most basic blade force control. If you can’t even keep your sword completely still, then there’s no need to think about the rest.” Bai Yi said and demonstrated again. His right hand held the sword horizontally in the air, still without a single hint of movement.
Hong Qi Hua drew her own short knife, and held it horizontally in the air. Her two knives were not even 25 centimeters long, and their weight was very light too. It was completely incomparable to Bai Yi’s broadsword. However, when she raised her knife horizontally in the air she immediately realised that her muscles were trembling involuntarily. This wasn’t due to fatigue or that it was too heavy, but it was the automatic trembling of her muscles. It wasn’t obvious but definitely existed.
Everyone started to raise their own swords after seeing Hong Qi Hua’s actions. Just like Hong Qi Hua, everyone immediately discovered that their arms were shaking slightly when holding the sword. No matter how they changed the position, this kind of shaking was always there.
Bai Yi didn’t tell the rest of them how to train this, but beckoned to Momo.
“Momo, you try too!”
Momo looked at Bai Yi, and after a moment she cheerfully nodded her head.
“En!” Momo replied tenderly and clumsily took out the short sword that Bai Yi picked for her. Her short sword was also a straight-edged blade like Bai Yi’s broadsword. It was only half a meter long but to Momo it was just like a long sword. She even needed both hands to be able to hold onto the hilt. Bai Yi similarly did not tell Momo what to do, but just stood there and watched Momo clumsily fiddle with her short sword.
Sharpei stood watching by the side when it suddenly opened its mouth wide and yawned. It then continued laying down on the floor and stared at the rest of them lazily. The pet pig Pupu similarly laid on the ground with its fat and round body a distance away from Sharpei. Just as Bai Yi said, animals that assimilated with activated cells would become more intelligent… even if it was a pig.
After a while, Bai Yi smiled looking at Momo’s watery eyes, and taught her how to hold the sword properly. Bai Yi only looked at the rest after Momo learned how to hold onto the short sword. Only Hong Qi Hua wasn’t distracted by his actions just now, and she continued to hold her knife straight, both eyes focusing on the movements of her arm.
“It still isn’t completely still. Even if it looks completely still, it’s just your eyes lying to you. What you guys need to grasp is the fine control over every single contraction of your muscles.” Bai Yi pressed down on Hong Qi Hua’s knife with his broadsword.
Hong Qi Hua immediately discovered that her knife had stopped moving. However, it didn’t feel like the stillness that came from leaning on an object for support. It felt more like Bai Yi’s movements were adjusting themselves based on the movements of her muscles. However, the result of this kind of interaction was actually absolute stillness, making it feel extremely strange.
Everyone looked over, and Bai Yi demonstrated it on them one by one. After that, he went to sit down feeling slightly tired. An injured body was really too troublesome, it couldn’t even last through that bit of activity.
“I hope you guys understand that though I made you guys choose swords, it’s not necessary that you guys must use swords.”
“Then what do we use?”
“Use your body!”
“A blade is just an extension of your body. What I hope you guys can grasp is the gradually increasing power of your body. If you guys want to, it doesn’t matter if you want to use an axe, club or even your empty fist. Fundamentally, it’s fine as long as you guys can grasp and display the powerful strength within your bodies. As for why I made you guys choose a sword, it’s just because a sword is more easily obtainable. Moreover, having a weapon at this stage is definitely better than being empty-handed.”
Everyone slowly nodded as they heard Bai Yi’s words, each having their own thoughts.
“Uncle Bai, you’re a chef right? Does a chef need to learn so many things?” Hong Qi Hua asked curiously. The rest of them looked over as well, if chefs were really that awesome then how can the other professions survive?
“Ah… hahahaha!” Bai Yi heard and couldn’t help but to laugh awkwardly.
“Of course it isn’t like that, probably only that old man is so crazy. The old man that I’m talking about is the master that taught me cooking, he was active in the 90s. At that time, the old wuxia novels were very popular, and the old man was also crazy over it. He then somehow blindly developed a set of ‘blade techniques’. Of course, he didn’t become some expert pugilist, in the end he just became a chef that wasn’t too good nor too lousy. Later when I learnt the culinary arts from him, he forced me to learn a bunch of nonsensical things.” Bai Yi explained to the rest of them after laughing.
“However, at that time I was pretty diligent in learning those things, and I still thought that I’d met some legendary expert.” Bai Yi seemed to have suddenly recalled something and laughed.
“Oh, what happened?” The others couldn’t help but smile as well.
“It’s probably just my own wuxia dream. Before I started learning cooking I happened to watch a movie by Stephen Chow, I forgot the name of the movie but it’s the one with Buddha’s Divine Palm (I think he’s probably talking about Kung Fu Hustle directed by Stephen Chow, it’s a martial arts comedy film and pretty awesome). My dad said that my grades weren’t good, so I might as well learn to be a chef. I was initially very unwilling, but when I found out that the master I was going to learn from was a legendary ‘expert’, you can imagine how excited I was at that time.” Bai Yi said and couldn’t help but laugh to himself.
As long as you were in China, who didn’t have a wuxia dream? Especially to Bai Yi then, at the age of 15 years old, how could he not be excited to the point of death meeting a legendary expert?
Hong Qi Hua heard this, also covered her mouth, and laughed.
The rest of them definitely couldn’t understand, but Hong Qi Hua as a Chinese could understand the wuxia fantasy that was in the bones of the Chinese people.
No matter how strange this ‘blade force’ of Bai Yi’s was, it was still pretty useful to them now. Maybe it didn’t have that kind of shocking destructive power like in the movies, but looking at Bai Yi’s extremely delicate and fine control over knives, they could tell that this was still useful.
Bai Yi continued to explain for a few hours, this so-called ‘blade force’ wasn’t just simply absolute stillness, but there were still some other aspects to it. Actually, to put it plainly, it was neither difficult nor mysterious. It was just about extremely delicate and fine control over blades. People before didn’t pay attention to this because there was no need to. Who would practice sword skills in modern society?
Bai Yi explained till his mouth was dry. These theories had very strong Chinese influences on them so only Hong Qi Hua could understand them completely. After translating them to English, they just seemed to be incongruous, so he wasn’t sure if the rest of them could understand what he’d said.
Seeing that Momo had already started dozing off, Bai Yi stopped his explanation and let everyone go to sleep.
It was late at night. Everyone laid down simple mattresses in two neighbouring classrooms and prepared to sleep. The food in the school was all taken away, but things like blankets could still be found in the student hostels. In this kind of environment now, they couldn’t expect too much.
“Daddy!” Momo pulled on Bai Yi’s right hand. For as long as she can remember, Momo had always slept with Bai Yi. Now that they had to sleep separately, Momo was quite uneasy.
“Don’t be afraid, follow older sister Hong Qi Hua and the others, but you must remember one thing…” Bai Yi quietly moved himself beside her ear. “Don’t wet the bed, ok?”
Momo’s cheeks instantly became red, and the soft fur that grew on her face swayed about.
“I, I won’t!” Momo didn’t seem to have much confidence when saying this.
“Hahahaha!” Bai Yi couldn’t help but laugh seeing Momo like this. The others heard Bai Yi’s laughter and didn’t know what he was laughing about. Hong Qi Hua walked over and looked at Bai Yi and Momo in puzzlement. Bai Yi of course wouldn’t spread his daughter’s embarrassing incident out at this time. This was a secret between them!
“Nothing important, I have to depend on you to take care of Momo then.” Bai Yi said.
“Sharpei, you follow them too. Be on guard!” Bai Yi said to Sharpei. It was now 1.5 meters long, and the huge Sharpei already seemed to be extremely fierce and sinister.
“Woof!” Sharpei barked and followed Hong Qi Hua to the girl’s classroom. Apparently, Sharpei really could understand Bai Yi’s words now. When Hong Qi Hua brought Momo to the other classroom, Bai Yi returned to the classroom where the guys slept. Entering the room, Woolf sneakily came up beside Bai Yi and said softly in glee: “My blanket definitely belonged to a girl, I can smell a sweet scent!”
“……!” Bai Yi was speechless, Woolf, this guy.
“Idiot, everything here was taken from the female hostel.” Martin sneered. The two of them started to quarrel again, but after a short while they seemed to begin talking about something sneakily again. Occasionally he could hear Martin’s pleased voice with words such as ‘bra’ and ‘lace’. Bai Yi didn’t know whether to laugh or cry hearing all this on the side, but he too added in a few words from time to time.
The female hostel had always been man’s fantasy!