"Don’t ask me. I have no idea what master is thinking. We can’t be avoiding the stage once we get there, I just fear if we did, we would…" The eldest apprentice lost his prudent nature the moment he mentioned this, as he sighed, his sight was fickle.
"Master is such a… sigh… whatever. Just leave me here. I can’t be gambling my pride. Frankly speaking I am not that into the martial arts, exchanging fists whatsoever. I had been following his teaching all these years and… sigh! Also, brother, I wanted to tell you something…" He turned down his volume, carefully he spoke, "I wanted to learn Circuit Engineering."
"Circuit Engineering?" The brother frowned. He was aware of the fact that this younger brother in apprenticeship of his was not interested in the combats although he invested almost half of his youth on this collapsing dojo. Both of them joined Lan Yixing under a debt of gratitude. They begged to become his apprentices to return the favor. Lan Yixing accepted both of them as seeing their sincerity while he was actually looking for successors to his fists.
Who knows… both of them were never the candidates to begin with. They worked hard yet the progression was insignificant. They lost their passion after some time and grew lazier. It was a disappointment, a moment of sighing for Lan Yixing. He realized it would be fruitless even if he forced them so he stopped lecturing them.
They might not be talented but they were hardworking since the beginning. Their basics were great so the daily introductory courses were conducted by them at the dojo. Lan Yixing was troubled by his succession being unable to work out on his will, while seeing the two apprentices of his being fruitless as ever. He was muted and had become more withdrawn over time. He did not know how he should talk this out. He became less approachable in the end.
"Yes…" The volume was lower.
"Then are you heading to school?" The frown tightened, since that would mean this brother of his would be staying at school for the rest of his life.
"Yes." It was nearly inaudible.
The brother sighed, "Have you told this to master?"
"Nope," he shook his head as he replied. "I have a proposition for you! Could you please tell Master this for me?" His eyes were pleading.
"Ugh…" He looked at the puppy eyes, his heart softened, "Alright. I’ll help you. I’ll try. But you can’t go if master disallows." The last line went stern, which was a rare nature for him.
Lan Yixing who happened to pass by overheard their exchange. He lifted his hand and he put it down. A moment of silence lapsed as his eyes lost the luster. He wavered back to his room soundlessly.
Ye Chong required a huge portion of his day to work on his alchemy and that was not the only thing on his priority list.
With the Biology course conducted by Shang these days, he understood the human anatomy much better and came to the realization of how amazing the Black Covers’ technique was as some of them aim the particular spot of human body to achieve desired effects such as to strike an instant death and to disable their mobility. The more bizarre part was Ye Chong could not find any proper reference to support these details, which obviously defined the Black Covers’ vaster understanding of human anatomy compared to the 5 major galaxies.
What Ye Chong had learned from the Black Coves were the basics, they were more sophisticated than most of the combats he had witnessed before however.
He had been convinced to the fact that Black Coves had the most sophisticated techniques of combat ever, till he came to the understanding of the fact that there would always be a hidden dragon in the valley, his perception got to change.
For instance, those techniques Lan Yixing taught to him hand by hand were discovered to be not as underwhelmed as he had assumed to be compared with Black Coves style, especially in the aspect of muscle-motor control, Lan Yixing had the upper hand of the show. The catch was these techniques also required a high level of execution, a demand on the strength of the motor, the reaction speed, the flexibility and so on.
Nonetheless, these did not form a challenge to Ye Chong. He could feel the potency of martial arts gradually as he mastered the gist of it.
The burst strength he could execute was 1.5 times of his past. He was the kind who wielded monstrous strength and now he had become the one fist killer. He could break an alloy gate with a mere punch like before. What differed was he believed that he could do it without shattering his fist this time. He could already manipulate his muscle to perform a drastic vibration to buffer the shock from breaking through the door. And that would be how his fist was going to be protected, a result of his tenacious research these days.
Lan Yixing only taught Ye Chong the basics too but it was that curiosity in Ye Chong to be able to further expand the basics into something astonishing as he discovered some intriguing yet practical techniques within.
Of course it was all thanks to Ye Chong’s inhuman physique. If it was not for body, Ye Chong would have not been able to experiment those basics enough to pick them up.
As much as he recognized his body, he took even more effort to practice these basics seemingly exclusive for him. He wondered, how strong could Lan Yixing be? If compared to those of the Black Coves, who would be stronger?
Lan Yixing in reality was totally unaware of Ye Chong’s ninja improvements. He was depressed. Lan family of the September was the well-known martial artists and now… they were heading to their demise, with no successor to bring the techniques to the next century. The conversation between his apprentices was heartbreaking indeed, yet he could not express his anger on them. He might be a reserved person but he was not unreasonable. Keeping the apprentices stuck with him would only put their youth into waste while hindering their path in the end.
He had made up his mind, to let them go, break free and do whatever they wanted, disregarding a wilting tree like him. Sigh… the combats, the martial artists… are they going to be extinct one day?
No! I can’t be letting the Lan family martial arts end here! Tenacity came in his eyes. Clenched his fists, making the cracking sounds loud, determination boiled in is blood. By hook or by crook, he had to make something happen during the tournament. It was the golden opportunity to make a turnabout!
That was another headache. None of his apprentices seemed keen to join the show while he was also aware of their standards. Teaching newbies was not an issue, but… staging their skills was… embarrassing I guess.
Well I can’t be heading there all by myself.
Hua Tiankai was so great… His dojo was running well, with every of his apprentices being both talented and young. Look at me…
Sigh, what a puzzle.
He remembered he had a new boy in his dojo. Yes! How could I forget that? He was just a new boy, a part timer! Unlike an official apprentice, even if he was underwhelming, people would not judge! "He is just a part time student who came to my dojo less than a month ago." That was more than enough to decline the staging offer.
Yes, yes, yes. Lan Yixing fancied the idea. Right, that would be it! He spat his breath and confirmed bringing Ye Chong to the tournament. Well then, I should be investing sometimes to teach him a few new tricks. Although Lan Yixing did not believe Ye Chong to have the mastery to learn all these, well somehow it would comfort him better doing so.
Ye Chong who was indulged in his research had no idea that his fate had been decided by Lan Yixing without a word.
"Ye! Ye! Hah! I got it!" Shang was excited as ever.
"What did you get?" asked Ye Chong, his action remained as he felt the rhythm and changes in his flipping arms.
"I got you some Bing Bing news. I know why she came here for. Hah, Ye, interested? Intrigued? Wink wink, nudge, nudge." Shang seriously sounded like a kid working up over an extra candy in front of his friends.
He could feel his hands weakened but he forced it up, "Not interested," he replied expressionlessly.
"Ha~ Ye, stop lying, you can’t lie to me. Your heartbeat sped up just now. Hehehehe…" Ridiculed Shang.
Ye Chong was too busy to entertain as he knew his further responses would only get the artificial indulgence more excited. He concluded from his journey, the best method to deal with Shang was to shut up and show ignorance.
"Tsk…" Muttered Shang, "Ye, you are a boring person you know what. How could you ignore your beloved Bing Bing? Gosh, it would be a life misfortune for any woman to marry you! Yikes, such a senseless boy. Bing Bing came here for the tournament this time you know?"
"Tournament?" That was the keyword Ye Chong perceived from the line.
"Yeah, there would be lots of professional fighters I heard. Ye, this is a real life combating you know? One on one, man to man, flesh to flesh. Hehehehe, our Bing Bing is the VIP for the show. Tsk, tsk, tsk, as expected from her, all great and grace…," complimented Shang.
"So…" He changed his tone, "Ye, how about we join this tournament?"
"No!" The answer was firm. That rush in his head had convinced Ye Chong the fact that he could never be eternally calm as Mu. Only the alertness from time to time could effectively reduce mistakes like this. Despite the fact that he was really interested to witness the real deals fighting, he still wished to reduce his exposure to the public.
"Ye… You really wanted to see your lovely Bing Bing all alone at the seat, watching those men fighting in blood and sweat without anyone to share her inner thoughts to? Ye, don’t you have a soft spot for ladies, a loving and gentle nature to humanity?"
"Mo Fei!" The scream interrupted Shang’s motivational talk.
Thank God! Ye Chong was appreciating the scream, he ran out of the gate and saw Lan Yixing at the outside.
"Follow me," concisely Lan Yixing spoke, less talk more work as usual.
They got to his room. It was a spacious room but it was rather simple… or even crude. There was no adornment, although there was one practice room inside separated by one wall with his bedroom.
Lan Yixing led Ye Chong to his practice room.
"Show me what I have taught you before," he spoke flatly.
As he said, Ye Chong performed everything he taught before. He tried controlling himself during the process. He did not want to frighten the master by showing some odd moves.
"Fair," concisely the man commented. His expression unchanged, although it was an earthquake in his head. Did he miss out a lot on this boy? The basics might look simple but they were not simple to grab the gist within! Mo Fei somehow wielded the gist…
He calmed himself as he spoke slowly, "Today onwards, I would teach you a few new moves. Please learn them with determination."