Martial Hero Rebirth
*note: pretty sure the author has terrible grammar, so I've taken the liberty of connecting his 'sentences'.
Chapter 30: Fight!
After all this, Linyi pushed Yuhai aside and stepped forward, walking out of the small courtyard. "I am Linyi," he said.
"So it is you?" Zhangxiong replied while sizing up Linyi. He gestured with his fists and yelled, "Alright, you are Linyi; Senior Brother Shangguan told me to teach you a lesson; let's not waste anymore words and just fight!"
"As you wish!" Linyi smiled calmly. Paying no attention to the worried faces surrounding him, he stepped out of the entrance of the small courtyard and had the crowd open an area for the fight.
The sound of Zhangxiong cracking his knuckles filled the air, and the sound as he twisted his neck was like muffled thunder. As Zhangxiong's eyes followed Linyi, his simple and honest face became fierce and terrifying. A violent aura began to issue from his body, terrifying the surrounding people and forcing them to step back. All the people looked at him with terror and admiration.
"So this is the top 100 of the Lower Courtyard? This is too terrifying, just his aura is already so intimidating!" shouted a new student incredulously.
"Hehe, don't underestimate Zhangxiong just because he is stupid and thick-skinned; his strength is still frightening! If it wasn't because a higher position in the top 100 does not alter his chances of entering the Upper Courtyard, his ranking would probably be even higher!" said an older student. He stood there arms crossed, laughing at the pale, terrified faces of the new students; it was as if he was seeing his own former self.
All the new students sucked in a deep breath; the battle-ready Zhangxiong was nothing less than a savage black bear!
"Eh? Senior Brother, you said that the top 100 ranking does not really affect the chances of entering the Upper Courtyard? Isn't it the higher your rank, the higher the chance?" asked a new student.
The old student laughed. "These things you will know soon enough, so there is no harm in telling you now. You all know that every year our Lower Courtyard recruits more than 10,000 people, but the Upper Courtyard almost always has only around 5,000. But the Upper Courtyard hasn't expelled anyone, so why does the number of people never increase?"
"Why is that?" The old student's words had grabbed the attention of many of the surrounding new students.
The old student looked around himself and saw the new students paying attention to him; pleased with himself he said, "This is because of how difficult it is to enter the Upper Courtyard. If you want to enter, you have to have Inner Force! Do you know how difficult it is to practice Inner Force? Many of the top 100, even after practicing for three or four years, still fail! They don't even get the most basic sense of Qi-flow!"
"What?" All the new students cried out.
One student asked "If Inner Force is so hard to practice, why is there a top 100 ranking at all?"
"Top 100? Ha!" The old student laughed with disdain, "in the Lower Courtyard top 100, higher ranking does not mean greater genius. It is in fact the opposite! The lower rankings are actually the real geniuses, because they wholeheartedly want to practice Inner Force, and spend all their time in secluded practice. They have no interest in ranking at all. All those higher ranking people have no hope in practicing their Inner Force, so they want to get a higher rank and try to use it to get into the Upper Courtyard. Upper Courtyard disciples have external duties and need to complete our Huashan's assignments. Every year, because Upper Courtyard disciples try to complete Huashan's assignments, they take part in the battles of Jiang-Hu and many die. In order to maintain the same number of disciples, the Upper Courtyard has to recruit people every year. Even if there are no geniuses who have succeeded in practicing Inner Force they still have to recruit, so they pick from the top 100 ranking. In reality, these so-called Ten Strongest of the ranking put into the Upper Courtyard will only be the lowest of the low that do not even have the qualifications to take external assignments. All they can do is odd jobs; the only benefit is that they can continue to stay at Huashan."
The old student's words riled up all the new students. Nobody thought that the high and mighty Lower Courtyard Top Ten was actually this type of person.
"Puh, and I used to think that the Top Ten were so impressive and geniuses with great talent. All of them just try to use tricks to get into the Upper Courtyard!"
"If we Huashan disciples want to enter the Upper Courtyard, we will obviously do it the right way, by successfully practicing our Inner Force! These tricksters shame all of us!"
"No wonder this Senior Brother Shangguan loves to suppress new students; it is because he is afraid that there will be a genius that takes away his opportunity to enter the Upper Courtyard!"
"Hehe, if we have a genius who successfully practices Inner Force before the old students, when the Upper Courtyard recruits, obviously there will be one less spot for them!"
All the new students cried out with indignation. What 'building character,' what 'teaching respect' or 'tempering.' What a load of bullshit! They are just afraid we will threaten their chance of entering the Upper Courtyard!
In the minds of all the new students, the images of all the top 100, especially the Top Ten, began to crumble.
The old student looked on with glee. He had long ago begun to hate these top 100 people who pretend to be high and mighty; on the surface they pretend to be powerhouses, but in the shadows they commit all kinds of vile acts.
Even though this old student also had not succeeded in practicing Internal Force and had no chance of entering the Upper Courtyard, yet he still hated how the Lower Courtyard was controlled by such people who ruined the entire atmosphere.
"Still, don't look down upon this Zhangxiong just because he is only ranked 100, he is still a rare genius. In all the Lower Courtyard, he might be the most likely to successfully practice Inner Force!"
"That's right, it's said that Zhangxiong can already sense his qi-flow!"
The looks that everyone gave Zhangxiong began to change - some became curious, and more became worried.
"So we can't underestimate this Zhangxiong, and he's really strong? Senior Brother Linyi is in trouble!"
"Ah, how can this Zhangxiong be so stupid? Why is this kind of top-notch talent listening to Shangguan's orders?"
"Zhangxiong's honest heart must have been tricked by Shangguan!"
"This Shangguan is really too vile!"
Hearing all this, Shangguan's spies all lowered their heads in shame. They knew best Shangguan Yun's character.
On the Second Courtyard's roof sat Hanbei, listening to the old and new students talking. With a gloomy face he looked at the bear-like Zhangxiong and a hint of worry appeared in his eyes.
"Senior Brother Linyi, will you still be able to win? If you can smoothly break through this challenge I, Hanbei, will let go of all grudges and wholeheartedly admire you! You are the strongest rookie!"
"Linyi take out your sword, I am going to hit you!"
Standing in the open area, Zhangxiong spoke simplemindedly. His honesty left everyone speechless.
Watching all of this, Linyi smiled at Zhangxiong's simple and honest heart. Truth be told, Linyi was beginning to like this straightforward and guileless person. With his sturdy bear-like figure, if he successfully practices Inner Force and also learned a quality defense martial art, this Zhangxiong would inevitably become a strong general that specializes at breaking through enemy lines. In the upcoming war between Righteous and Devil, he would definitely shine.
In Linyi's preparation for the upcoming war and chaotic battles of Jiang-Hu, Linyi had already decided to recruit Zhangxiong. Of course, the opportunity had not come yet. He still did not have the qualifications to recruit Zhangxiong. But to plant a seed now was still possible.
Linyi pulled out his sword while smiling and said "I'm ready, come!"
"Great!" Zhangxiong sucked in a deep breath and let out a deep shout! His thundering shout swept across the whole crowd, and caused everyone to be dizzy. Even Linyi was no exception.
Very quickly, Linyi sobered up and his eyes flashed. What a guy! The power of Zhangxiong's shout had some of the flavor of Shaolin's 72nd supreme skill - Lion's Roar, and this was without the power of Inner Force. If Zhangxiong had Inner Force, then the power of his shout might even cause everyone to faint immediately.
More and more, Linyi felt admiration for Zhangxiong. But of course, his sword was no weaker because of his admiration. On the contrary, he put in even more effort, and began to fight fiercely with Zhangxiong.
Zhangxiong spread his hand into a fan the size of a bear-paw, and with large strides ran forward and directly slapped it at Linyi's face.
Boom! Boom! Thundering explosions accompanied his every step, and the ground trembled as if it couldn't resist his power. A gale of wind followed Zhangxiong's fan and exploded in the ear.
Linyi stepped back, and as he dodged his sword pierced directly towards Zhangxiong's face.
Zhangxiong did not even try to dodge. Perhaps Zhangxiong has never in his life thought to dodge anything, and his other hand directly swatted towards Linyi's sword. Ridiculously, he was using his own body against Linyi's weapon!
Pu! Linyi's sword cut into Zhangxiong's hand, and blood spurt into the air; yet Zhangxiong's face did not change as he pushed Linyi's sword aside. As he gripped his fingers together a bronze light seemed to cover his fist, and he smashed his bronze fist towards Linyi. Huashan's Fist Art was displayed to incredible effect; this fist was incomparably tyrannical!
To the surrounding people, this fist's tyrannical way was as ancient as heaven and earth; it did not allow any retreat - there could be no dodging, no running - one can only face it head on. Even the incredibly experienced Linyi could think of no way to dodge this fist. After all, Linyi's speed was not much higher than Zhangxiong's, in fact it was even a little slower.
Linyi had no choice but to directly face this attack. To everyone's alarm, Linyi grit his teeth and stabbed his sword at Zhangxiong's fist. He wanted to force Zhangxiong to pull back his hand.
Yet to Zhangxiong pain and injury is as common as water. With no fear or intention to retreat, Zhangxiong smashed his fist directly at Linyi's sword.
Peng! A sound like metal hitting wood filled the air.
Linyi's sword only pierced Zhangxiong's skin, and did not inflict any serious injury.
Linyi could not help but shout, this Zhangxiong had actually practiced a Defensive Body Art to such a proficiency that his fist was incomparably hard.