The rod in Five-Bamboo’s hands struck Fan Xian’s head viciously with a loud thud.
The inner energy in Fan Xian’s Yintang (Not quite sure what this is, but I suppose it’s one of his pressure points. I’ll leave its name as it is for now ~MCM) was still rushing out from his head. One could almost glimpse a faint light emanating from him, especially around the forehead, where multi-colored lights formed densely and faded hazily. A thick atmosphere of frustration was radiating from the point where the inner energy was stuck, causing Fan Xian to be vexed and distress. He could only raise his head and stare at the sky in despair.
As the inner energy was forming, Five-Bamboo’s rod struck his forehead.
The blow from the rod on his body felt as if it had struck his soul, causing an exploding pain in his head, resembling the lightning that dissipated the dark clouds and allowed the clear rays of sunlight to pass.
“Take off your clothes!”
This phrase originates from the Qin Nation’s classics “Records of Adages” (Might change this name later ~MCM). It was said that Gen Jian, who was the master of one of the current Four Grandmasters, the Northern Qi’s state master Ku He, would often say that the human body was like an undershirt – only by removing it can one achieve great things. (I’m liking this master already ~MCM)
Even the books on Buddhism in Fan Xian’s previous life would contain similar teachings, like what the master of Qin Yuan, Chang Yun, (Not too sure about this name as well ~MCM) once said, “Once you detach yourself from the undershirt which is your body, it will feel as great as binge drinking like a fool.” (Okay, well… This is kind of a literal translation. Trust me, it sounds deeper in Mandarin. So deep in fact, that Adele might be rolling in it. ~MCM)
And this was exactly why Fan Xian understood the meaning behind Five-Bamboo’s words immediately even though he was in great pain and in a stupor. He exerted more energy unto the meridian on his forehead and regained his composure. Focusing on all the pain within his body, he attempted to detach himself from it. He forced himself to believe that this pain was not his own; a mere fragment of pain that was someone else’s.
By removing all attachment to his body and letting all the senses fade away, the optimal condition for overcoming the final milestone of mastering the “Potent” scroll is achieved.
A single human body cannot possibly contain the potent energy from the Heaven and the Earth. Only by giving away one’s body and being one with the natural world can one connect with and master this potent energy.
The inner energy within Fan Xian’s body gradually stabilized. With the major pressure point on his forehead unblocked, a calm but powerful inner energy was able to flow into him, meandering around his spine and filling his Snow Mountain.
But what was curious about this is that the behavior of inner energy that flowed to the Snow Mountain that used to be as quiet as the ocean was subtly changed. After this incident, it began to replenish some of the inner energy to his Dantian.
Because of that, the flow of inner energy within his body was finally smooth after having formed a perfect bridge between the world and within him.
Fan Xian woke up groggily a long while after. A pool of dark and disgusting liquid was formed where he was. He glanced to the side at the emotionless Five-Bamboo and gave a weak smile. “Thanks, Uncle. Your rod was certainly vicious…,” he laughed weakly.
At the moment, though his body still felt weak, his spirit was extremely exuberant. He did a quick check with his eyes closed of his internal conditions and familiarized himself with the new flow of inner energy within him. The potent inner energy was still as strong as ever; however, the flow was visibly less strained and significantly smoother.
Fan Xian heaved a sigh of relief. To think that he finally managed to master the inner energy only found in Wuxia novels. A sudden urge filled him and he slammed his right arm unto the floor beside him.
A muffled thud resounded, like a rage torn to shreds by red hot wires.
A shallow handprint was imprinted unto the floor; the shape around the print was very smooth.
Fan Xian lifted his right hand and examined it. Glancing back down at the handprint to his right, he compared the sizes and confirmed that the handprint was made by him. After stoning for a long time, he finally recovered and sighed in awe. “This is really cool.”
“This is just trace inner energy that was leftover. After you rest, you’ll be fine,” Five-Bamboo said from the side.
“Didn’t you say you have never trained in inner energy, Uncle? How do you know what this is?”
“I have seen other people train before. That is how I know what you had to do today.”
“Ohhh, so it is kind of like you have never tasted pork, but you have at least seen a pig.”
Fan Xian suddenly realized that he had indirectly insulted himself and chuckled a little. “That milestone was rather dangerous. If nothing to for that blow, I’m afraid I might have gotten into a vegetative state.”
“What is a vegetative state?” Five-Bamboo asked coolly.
Fan Xian looked up into the sky and let his mind wander, ignoring Five-Bamboo.
He suddenly realized that the experience the blind Five-Bamboo had gotten was merely empirical, if… if that blow was so strong that it knocked him unconscious, the potent inner energy within him would spiral out of control, destroying and smashing his internal organs into a mess of meat and goo……
He shivered and removed that horrific imagery from his mind, staring proudly at the panoramic ocean in front of him. He was excited that he finally mastered this, the doubt and unease from the incident with the assassin had also been quelled.
During the few days after the incident, Fan Xian could never understand why the assassin actually used poison. Was the skill of creating antidotes from Fei Jie really just for this day? That was a tad too coincidental and far-sighted. Moreover, the Second Mistress was too bold. Even though she has the support of some unknown high-ranking official from the Capital, to think she would even resort to poison. This was equivalent to saying that even the old hag’s (this was put as ***, which I presume is censored because old hag is kind of an insult ~MCM) life was meaningless – that old lady who used to be the Emperor’s nanny.
It cannot be that his father in the Capital did not even realize anything, can it?
As he was pondering over this issue, he heard a song from a distant cliff.
This cliff was close to the ocean and faraway from Danzhou. Moreover, the land behind the cliff was safe but the reefs in front of the cliff were sharp and dangerous. The fishing boats barely came close, which was why it was usually very quiet around here. This was why Five-Bamboo chose this spot to teach Fan Xian his killing techniques. The song that was suddenly heard thus gave Fan Xian a sense of unease.
Although he was nervous, he was not careless. Carefully, he prone down on the cliff’s floor and moved towards the song’s location.
He looked far away and, amidst the chaotic waves, a small boat was seen passing through the jet black rocks. The black rocks appeared and disappeared with the white spray of the ocean and the boat that looked like it would crash against the rocks anytime.
Yet, the small boat seemed to sail unharmed.
A person with a hat was sitting on the boat and singing a song, “The waves only blossom once, yet compared to the thousand year old stone, they are not much different, just like the clouds.” (Going literal here. Man do I hate short mandarin phrases ~MCM)
The singing was smooth and calm, yet it could be heard clearly from the cliff amidst the thunderous waves.
Fan Xian was reminded of a famous quote from the poem “The Ode to the Morning Glory” by Song Yong Zhen De, “Only blossoming once in the morning, yet compared to the thousand year pine, they are not much different.” Although the man on the boat was not classy, he was rather enigmatic.
As he thought this, he heard Five-Bamboo’s cool voice, “Hide well.
Fan Xian conscientiously hid his body behind a rock. The shadow beside him suddenly blurred and he watched in horror as Five-Bamboo leapt off the cliff that was a few hundred feet high!