In the instant the change was completed, Garen felt a tingling sensation throughout his entire body. Suddenly, his blood flow increased, and the pleasant feeling from just now abruptly changed to a cool and refreshing feeling as his heart rate accelerated like a rapid drum beat.
At the attribute column at the bottom of his sight, his strength attribute was once again changing. From the initial 0.45, it gradually changed to 0.46, then to 0.47, 0.48, 0.49 to 0.5!! The number stopped at 0.5 and, at that moment, Garen felt that all the muscles in his body were screaming in pain; from various parts of his body, a powerful force rushed out.
His arms, legs and chest were all slightly enlarging.
Garen could not help but exhale, the air that he breathed out was slightly hot.
At this moment, the elderly man's voice sounded out again, "After training, use the Secret Method of our dojo together with the basic fighting techniques. A special technique to exert force combined with the Secret Method training will allow you to achieve the most explosive output. You will experience the benefits yourself in the future. Each stage will experience a different level of explosiveness."
"At most, a normal person's instantaneous peak force is around 200 pounds. By training using a Special Method and the use of an Explosive Force Technique, your strength will be able to reach this limit and might even exceed it.
The elderly man stood as his eyes swept through the students.
"There are no shortcuts in martial arts! There's only diligence! Sweat! Effort!! As long as you put in enough effort, you can compensate for your lack of talent!"
"Yes!" Everyone could not help but shout out loud.
The elderly man nodded in satisfaction, took out a piece of paper from his pocket, then walked to the wall and pasted it on. Then, he walked out of the hall and closed the door behind him.
Garen's entire body was bulging, and his blood was flowing at a high speed. However, he did not feel cold in the slightest. He breathed out once more and slowly recovered from the posture; he rested while standing still. Everyone around him was caught up in the excitement and did not notice his strange demeanor.
The wooden hall was filled with clamor; students who were familiar with each other were asking each other about their experience regarding the Secret Method.
"Hey! Garen, how are you feeling?" Feeling a tap on his shoulder, Garen quickly turned around and found Erwin standing behind him.
"There's a pleasant feeling throughout my entire body; it feels similar to how it feels after going for a run!" Garen quickly replied, "Senior Brother Erwin, how about you?"
"You can just call me Erwin." There's a trace of excitement in Erwin's expression. "I feel the same way you do. Also, I heard that after training using the Secret Method, our Explosive Force Technique will be even stronger. Moreover, the stronger our body is, the more powerful our peak force will be! My original strength was around 120 pounds, but I think I've reached 200 pounds with this Secret Method! This is a normal man's limit!
"It's just that starting from 160 pounds, it gets even harder the more we train. In order to exceed 200 pounds, every slightest improvement requires a lot of hard work and effort."
"Senior Brother, since you have a strong foundation from the start, your situation is better than ours." Garen helplessly shrugged his shoulders. "I am content as long as I can reach your standard."
"That's simple." Erwin patted Garen's shoulder with a smile. "With a weak foundation, you'll find that you will improve quickly from the start and only slow down much later. Since there’s a limit to the human body, it only gets harder towards the end. In our White Cloud Dojo, the highest record is 250 pounds."
"250 pounds?" Garen quietly noted down this number. "Where can we test our strength?"
"The headquarters specially made sandbags with different weights so that we can test our strength. We can roughly estimate our strength based on how far we can hit the sandbags," Erwin explained.
"Why don't we go and try it out?" Garen was eager to try.
"That's right, Senior Brother Erwin, let's go and try it."
While the two of them were talking, two of the students approached and introduced themselves. The boy was Khairul and the girl was Rodelisa; they were in the same batch as Garen.
"Sure, let's go and test our current strength!" Erwin was interested as well. He brought the three of them out of the wooden hall and traversed through the red wooden corridors. They soon passed by a rectangular sports field made of white stone and entered a black courtyard built on its edge.
Within the courtyard, five black sandbags of different sizes were hanging on a black metallic frame. On its right, there were many old boxing gloves on a wooden shelf. There were already some students around the sandbags testing their strength.
Garen looked at all of the sandbags; from left to right, they were labeled: 120, 140, 160, 180, and 200. The five sandbags each corresponded to a different weight. A white line was drawn behind the sandbags; it was there for validation. Only when the sandbags crossed the line after getting hit would the force of the blow be considered as meeting the corresponding weight.
At that moment, a group of people had already given it a try, and no one managed to hit the sandbags far enough to reach the white line. They could not do it even with the lightest 120 pounds sandbag.
Soon, a slim and flat-chested girl with short silver hair walked out of the crowd. It was the girl that competed with Garen for the 15th placing: Daris. Daris stood in front of the 120 pound sandbag. She breathed in deeply, took a step back and pulled her right fist back. Like a coiled up spring, her pose was impeccable, and she had a solemn expression on her face.
Following her movements, the surroundings quieted down. Everyone was attentively looking at her to see how well she would do.
"Judging from her flawless posture, she must have trained before," Erwin whispered to Garen. "I heard that her family runs a dojo as well. It's just that after her father passed away and her mother fell sick, there was no one to take over, and it was difficult for the the dojo to continue. She joined the White Cloud Dojo to make a name for herself, and once she gains enough fame, she'll be able to revitalize her family's dojo."
"Isn't she only sixteen or seventeen years old? It must be hard for her to take the responsibility of her entire household on her shoulders." Garen slowly nodded.
Suddenly, Daris charged forward while wearing the old gloves, her right fist striking out in a straight line and brutally hitting the black sandbag.
Daris was struck by the sandbag as it swung back, causing her to fall onto the floor. Her eyes reddened and welled up with tears.
The surrounding students all burst out in laughter.
"From her posture, you wouldn't think that she would only reach a third of the distance..."
"Shouldn't the requirement be lower for a girl?"
The sandbag made a whooshing sound as it swung and continued to wobble around.
Another boy went up and tried; he looked muscular and was a head taller than both Garen and Erwin.
With a dull thud, the boy struck the sandbag and it covered most of the distance and was only a small distance away from the white line. "It was so close to reaching 120 pounds." He shook his head and walked off.
The boy next to Garen, Khairul, managed to reach half of the distance. The girl, Rodelisa, managed to reach a third of the distance.
"Aren't you going to try?"
"I'll continue watching first." Garen nodded. He did not know his current strength either, but he was slightly expectant as well after greatly improving.
"Then, I'll go first." Erwin walked towards the sandbags as he rolled up his sleeves.
Erwin easily crossed the white line for 120 pounds. With an easygoing expression, he warmed up his fist in a relaxed manner.
The spectactating students immediately quieted down; all of their attention were attracted. This was the first new student that easily passed.
Daris was also standing in a corner looking at Erwin; in her eyes, envy was written all over.
"Senior Brother, good luck!"
"You can do it!"
Garen and the other two loudly shouted.
Erwin smiled and walked to the front of the 140 pounds sandbag. He took a standard fighting stance and breathed in deeply.
The black sandbag immediately swung up, flying over most of the distance before easily crossing over the white line.
Then, it was the 160 pounds sandbag; with a dull thud, there was still a little distance before the sandbag could reach the line.
Erwin shook his head with a smile. "I can't do it, this is my limit. I’ve already tried many times before. I had a breakthrough today only because of the Secret Method; I couldn't even reach 140 pounds before."
"I'll give it a try as well." Garen walked forward and stood at the 120 pounds position. Wearing the gloves and not using any techniques, he immediately took a pose and breathed in deeply.
"I'll use three quarters of my strength." He slowly relaxed the muscles in his arm, estimating three quarters of his strength.
He tightened his fist.
The black sandbag immediately flew out; there was still a little distance before it could cross the white line though.
Even though his fist was wrapped inside the gloves, Garen could still feel a numb sensation in his hand.
"Not bad!!" Erwin loudly cheered. As a lifelong martial artist, he could tell that Garen did not put in all of his effort into that punch. If Garen had tried his best, he would easily break through to 120 pounds. Previously, Erwin thought that this junior brother would not be able to do it, at least not within such a short amount of time. "As expected, youngsters still in their puberty are scary..." Erwin was speechless as he shook his head.
Among the other students, the previous few that almost passed looked at Garen's physique and did not want to admit defeat; they got ready to start trying once more. All of them made up their mind to break through to 120 pounds that day.
The rest of the students were still quite lacking. Some of them started to gather around the students with better results to ask them about force exertion techniques, while the rest slowly dispersed.
Daris bit her lower lip as she stared at Garen. "He wasn't as strong as me previously... Yet, he has grown so much within a month! How is this possible!?" She recalled training day in and day out just to inherit the dojo, but she barely reached the standard of an ordinary girl due to having a weak physique from birth. Along the way, she shed a lot of tears and suffered a lot. In that moment, she suddenly felt wronged from the unfairness of this world.
Garen relaxedly stretched his hands and neck as he estimated his current level. "If I use all of my strength, I should be able to easily break through to 120 pounds. However, 140 pounds should be quite difficult. My actual strength should be much lower than Senior Brother Erwin."
From within the entire White Cloud Dojo, Erwin's level was superior among the new disciples. However, he had reached the limit of his physique, so he would need to put in a lot of effort to make any more improvements.
The strength of ordinary formal disciples was around 160 pounds, while the stronger ones were disciples that had been training for a long time. The highest 200 pounds could only be reached by the dojo master; that was the limit of adults. At least, that was the limit of adults in the confederation.
The fact that Erwin was able to get close to the limit of an adult by the age of 18 was obviously the result of long-term training. And since Garen was able to reach 120 pounds by 16 years old, it was clear that he was within the upper tier among his peers.
Furthermore, he had yet to use the second stage of the Secret Method after comprehending it. When combined with an Explosive Force Technique, his strength would greatly increase, and he might even be able to reach 140 pounds.