Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Wu Zhu was a strange and mysterious person. In Fan Xian’s eyes, Uncle Wu Zhu’s life had been very lonely. For thirty-something years, he never had a companion or anyone to talk to. To this day, some inhabitants of Danzhou still thought Wu Zhu was not only blind, but deaf too.
Forever wearing that black strip of cloth over his eyes, Wu Zhu made Fan Xian wonder if there was some unsightly scar behind the blindfold.
Fei Jie called him "Master Wu", an obvious sign that Uncle Wu Zhu had once took part in the capital’s official circles. However, he did not act like a government official in the slightest. Rather, he was like a sage who did not partake in earthly matters.
Thinking about this, Fan Xian looked at Wu Zhu, who by this point had returned to a state of silence and continued to "gaze" at the sunset. He basked in the red rays, his blindfold reflecting a fiery color.
Suddenly, Fan Xian had a scary thought. After pondering for a while, he asked: "Uncle, you keep blanking out at the scenery; did you come down from the heavens?"
At this point, Fan Xian had already fully accepted things like neigong, and even started to believe in the existence of a heavenly figure. Even so, if his friend for over ten years were to suddenly turn into some divine sage who descended from the clouds, Fan Xian would not be able to accept this—especially if he were to include to another world. Fan Xian would only end up being scared senseless and fall down.
Wu Zhu shook his head: "I am merely almost remembering the past, when the Lady and I ventured out."
"You sure you and my mom aren’t sages?"
"Are there any supernatural beings in the world?"
"Isn’t there a temple?"
"Who said supernatural beings lived in temples?"
"Uncle, are you remembering some events?"
"No, I merely forgot some things, some unimportant things."
Wu Zhu stood up and gave an almost-unnoticeable nod towards the sea, as if saying farewell to an unknown place. He then said lightly: "Let’s go back. I can tell you some of those things now."
Fan Xian smiled. Wu hadn’t forgotten the promise that, once he turned sixteen, he would be told certain things about his mother.
Walking to the edge of the cliff, Fan Xian took in a breath of air. Zhenqi slowly began circulating inside his body. His entire form held on to the cliff. The zhenqi traveled to his palms through the meridians, coming out as film thinner than a strand of silk before returning to his body through the edges of his hands. His hands had miraculously provided the zhenqi with surfaces of contact—because zhenqi is shapeless, it could form a perfect seal along the edge of Fan Xian’s palms.
His hands sticking to the slick rocks, Fan Xian secured himself using the adhering force of his zhenqi. By releasing his zhenqi, he could unstick and reposition his hands. Using this method, Fan Xian began to climb down from the cliff with relative ease.
He looked like Spider-Man.
An ordinary martial artist, regardless of how much zhenqi he had, would never accomplish this. Fan Xian could do it due to his unusual training and body, and also his unique way of thinking.
In this world, every martial artist only cared about "substance" and "potential".
"Substance," of course, referred to how much zhenqi a person had, and "potential" could only be described in the figurative sense, meaning something akin to realms. Studying other crafts had never been the foc
us of the strong.
Wu Zhu saw substance and potential… merely as ways to describe the quantity and quality of zhenqi and the mastery of its control. After teaching Fan Xian for over ten years, his pupil stayed somewhere between level three and level seven, making almost no progress in the past four years.
The general trend among the strong martial artists was to use their zhenqi like a one-time tool or weapon, releasing all of it at once like water to attack their opponents. Once released, they had no intention of restoring it. They exhausted their zhenqi after every major battle, though they could still recover by meditating.
They could hardly be blamed for adopting such a philosophy. After all, once zhenqi leaves the body, it would be insane to even think about taking it back.
But Fan Xian thought otherwise. The circulatory path of his zhenqi was already different from other people’s to begin with. It entered from his back through the xueshan, meaning he had an opening there which formed a circuit with the yuanqi from nature. For that reason, his sense of zhenqi was much sharper.
On top of that… Fan Xian was often bored and very stingy… so he kept on releasing his zhenqi and then taking it back.
He toiled with this experiment for three years, and he could now finally release his zhenqi within one-tenth of an inch away from his palm and reclaim it.
Such a short distance made it completely unsuited for attacking an enemy, causing Fan Xian to sadly admit that he wasted three years on something useless.
A useless trick it may be, but Fan Xian still thought of a way to make use of it. Once every three days he would scale the cliffs by the sea, not an easy task by any means. In a stroke of genius, he started to use the skill for climbing.
Perhaps this was his greatest advantage over other people of this world, that being his way of thinking which was unlimited by time. He had no preconceived notions, and everything was new and possible to him.
Like a fish swimming through the water, Fan Xian made his way down the cliff.
Looking up, Wu Zhu had already become a small speck. Fan Xian smiled; he wasn’t in a hurry. Besides, he enjoyed watching Wu Zhu descend the mountain.
Wu Zhu took a step forward, as if there was solid ground in front of him.
His foot suspended in midair, Wu Zhu fell. Every thirty feet, he would leisurely reach out a hand and gently press against the cliff, slowing his descent. After doing this around ten times, Wu Zhu stood emotionless at the bottom of the cliff.
Wu Zhu had made it look easy, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Direction, angle, amount of force, and even the sea wind needed to be calculated meticulously. There wasn’t even the slightest room for error. Such strong and precise level of judgement could only belong to one of the strongest in the world.
Considering Wu Zhu was blind, the descriptor "one of" could be removed.
Although he had seen it countless times, Fan Xian couldn’t help but admire him: