"It’s not their fault. They didn’t know initially. Let’s not talk about this. Su Lin and I will get back up where we fell. Let the two of us handle it. If you meddle with this, it’s just gonna add to our embarrassment." Celine shook her head in defeat. "I heard Andrela from the Celestial Circle Gate and you were working together?"
"Oh please. Both of you were celebrities of the south. Behemoth Gate had it bad this time. With you and him together, the Red Sand Sword Gate will definitely follow your tracks. And with your connection with the Southern Sky Holy Fist Gate, the whole of the Southern Martial Arts Community is basically your oyster farm." Celine sighed. "If anyone annoyed me in the future I’ll just call out your name and watch them quiver."
"Give it up." Garen sat on the bed, shaking his head.
"Oh yes, do you still want the rest of the Red Jade Palm?"
"Of course I do, the more the merrier. You’re finally willing to give it all to me?" Garen teased her.
"I already gave Su Lin the whole of his parts. Yours shouldn’t be delayed too. Besides, I’m not even sure if you still want the Red Jade Palm." Celine made a face as if she’s annoyed.
"Of course I do." Garen smiled. "Even if I don’t train in it, I can still collect it. White Cloud Gate needs to be stronger, but it lacks in that department when compared to the other sects. Also, talents between different disciples vary, if I can get more Secret Martial Arts, I may be able to fully develop a disciple’s talents."
"I’ll give it to you in a bit." Celine sighed as she scrutinized Garen, her gaze deep and full of admiration.
"Your Aura is so strong, it’s unbelievable. Have you had a breakthrough last trip?"
"That’s right. Where’s your mini-me? I don’t think I saw him in the manor.
"He ran away with our beloved Eight-Arm Dragon King. That twerp realized his immeasurable talent in the Gun Arts and followed Yoda to the military base to train his firing skills. It’s been about two months." Celine said helplessly. "He left me, his first teacher, for firearm, this is ridiculous."
Garen laughed softly.
"Right, if you’re ready we can start with the last part of Red Jade Palm. I have time now, but I need to leave in a few days."
The two of them sat together, one explaining, the other memorizing.
Celine only needed to say things once before Garen was able to memorize word by word. Celine who tried so hard to memorize everything when she learned it was so jealous for that.
The following two days, Garen stayed in the manor to help the two patients with blood circulation massages. After making sure they’re both alright, he told them about his long trip for them to be mentally prepared before leaving.
After that, he went to Red Sand Sword Gate to discuss things with the Gate Master and to visit Beo who had finally recovered from the coma. He also visited Seven Moon Gate and Circling Dance Gate.
Time flew like an arrow, it was soon the third month of the year.
Garen’s final destination was set to the be the headquarter of Southern Sky Holy Fist Gate at Wei Maen City. It was close to the Skylark Mountain Range and Skylark Mountain Waterfall.
White Bird Holy Fist Palosa hermitted there.
He decided to wait for Palosa to come out of his recluse before telling him about the Promise of March. If his departure to Smoke island was joined by Palosa, it would be a much safer option. With only the three of them, it would be hard to overpower IPA.
‘Southern Sky Holy Fist Gate’
An onyx tablet was erected with a tilt in front of a series of white buildings. The words were inscribed into the tablet with a strong calligraphy style.
Garen stood in front of the tablet with elites from the Southern Sky Holy Fist Gate who came out to greet him around. He lightly touched the tablet, surprised by the skill.
"Who made the inscription?"
"The previous Gate Master." Sky Warrior Corbella explained with pride. "Southern Sky Holy Fist Gate was not a simple sect, it’s got a rich history on its own."
"I’ve heard about that." Garen nodded in understanding and glanced at the elites around him.
Behind him were two Elders who are pretty strong before breaking through to being a Grandmaster of Combat. If they went out on their own to found their own sect, they might even be stronger than Fei Baiyun.
Waiting in front were three middle-aged fighters who were infinitely close to being Grandmasters of Combat, even though they probably will not make it given their age, they’re still strong enough to keep up the appearance of a strong sect.
Slightly further, in front of the entrance, were two Grandmasters of Combat in different clothes. Judging from their Spirit, they’re probably only slightly weaker than Sky Warriors like Corbella.
Southern Sky Holy Fist Gate had three Sky Warriors, Garen had already been given the title Divine Warrior like Palosa, and was only second to Palosa. Hence he was called the Second Divine Warrior.
The extra slot for Sky Warrior was open for the Grandmasters of Combat in the sect to compete for.
As a sect with enough manpower to fight Black Mark Association, Southern Sky Holy Fist Gate naturally had more than just three Grandmasters of Combat, but the ones who managed to achieve the level of a King of Fist or Sky Warrior were still too rare. In that context, aside from Garen and Palosa, there were not more than five who qualified.
They weren’t around for as long as Red Sand Sword Gate and Celestial Circle Gate, but it’s already good enough that they managed to gather five Grandmasters of Combat.
Coincidentally, Garen was dropping by when they were holding the intrasectional championship for a new Sky Warrior.
Gate Master Bondi had decided to call anyone who’s a Grandmaster of Combat a Sky Warrior now that Black Mark Association has technically disbanded. Without an enemy, Southern Sky Holy Fist Gate gradually became lax, the title of a Sky Warrior became sort of a bragging right for the few Grandmasters of Combat to fight about.
Since everyone wanted it, it was decided that everyone will get it. Five Grandmasters of Combat, five Sky Warriors. Among these Sky Warriors, there exists conflicts of interest. To solve that issue, the intrasectional championship was born. Not only they can solve the issues they have with one another, it was also a way to showcase their power.
Southern Sky Holy Fist Gate was originally formed by multiple smaller sects, the outcome of this intrasectional championship would determine the advantage each group gets, heating up the competition even more.
Garen arrived at this point.
"Sir Garen, this way please." A middle-aged man greeted him and let Garen walk in the first.
"No need for such formalities." Garen smiled and marched in.
The bunch of people marched behind him, as if he’s a celebrity being followed by his fans.
On the other side of the entrance was a large field dissected into tiny rectangular fields like a chessboard. Within every rectangle, several disciples stood.
Some of them were only in their teenage, and some of them were at least 50 years old.
Cheering came from all sides of the field with energy and gusto.
With Corbella’s lead, Garen walked in from the side of the field with people following him, drawing gazes all around.
Soon, they arrived at a large conference hall. It was painted white, and the style was very reminiscent of the buildings for court trials of the past.
Outside the conference hall, Gate Master Bondi and other High Elders waited for Garen on top of the staircase.
"Welcome, Second Divine Warrior, Sir Garen."
"Anything but Holy Mammoth." Garen answered with a smile.
The bunch of people entered the hall and was greeted with the sight of two disciples in white in the middle of the hall, indicating the championship had already begun.
Garen’s seat was positioned higher than the Gate Master’s beside an empty one, which is Palosa’s.
After everyone was seated, the announcer proclaimed, "February 28th, Year 2088, Southern Sky Holy Fist Gate Intrasectional Championship, fifth match, begin!"
The bell rang from one side of the room.
Hundreds of people sat in the hall, everyone of them were elites of the sect, some were competing disciples, some were their masters or family, most of them, however, were the core disciples of each branch, here to widen their horizon.
As the bell rang, the two disciples in the middle started getting anxious, they circled around each other, trying to look for each other’s weakness.
After a while, both of them were drenched in sweat due to the stress. Their masters, the Gate Master, and even the legendary Divine Warrior were all here. They were so worried about making basic mistakes, they were extra cautious with their movements.
A dozen minutes later, both of them finally charged at each other and started sparring.
In their over-cautiousness, they have lost their usual power and looked like they kept hesitating. People were getting bored with the match that was underwhelming.
After some time spent in a tie, the taller disciple finally ran out of stamina and was hit on his shoulders and sent out of the field. The judge who had ran out of patience hurried forward to announce the winner.
Gate Master who sat in front of Garen shook his head out of embarrassment.
"They’re too cautious and didn’t let go. Too much hesitation and without commitment to their movements. Maybe your presence stressed them out too much, Sir Garen. They were terrified of embarrassing themselves."
"Their foundation were still pretty good." Garen lightened the situation with a smile.
The same happened with the next match. After the match was over, Gate Master furiously left his seat to lecture contestants and their masters alike.
The following match was slightly better, two graceful female disciples fought against each other with ferocity and agility, letting people raise their hopes a little more.
The ninth match onward, the skill levels gradually raised within the fighters. Each of the disciples who went on had mastered the ability to use the Vibrating Fist technique. Below the level of Grandmasters of Combat, it was considered basic to have mastered the ability to Vibrate. Otherwise, they couldn’t even be considered a Martial Artist.
Anyone who was called Martial Artist must have complete control over the technique of Vibration. With that, they would be able to start teaching students in smaller places.