The wooden board snapped without effort.
Garen was finally able to roll to the side at the critical moment. He stood back up and solemnly stared at Rosetta.
"How can one strengthen one's mental fortitude, so he can act and achieve his goals subconsciously?"
Rosetta was surprised, then she started laughing as she shrugged her shoulders. "Don’t let the pursue of power blind your eyes and fool your heart. If you are strong, you are strong. If you are weak, then you are weak. Someone must have told you this theory, right?"
"How did you know?" Garen was stunned again.
"What kind of bullshit theory is that?" Rosetta sneered. "I can’t even count how many people I killed who believed it! So ignorant and so rigid! People who train using this trash theory will be trash afterward!"
She stretched her neck and flexed her lower body.
"Power is power! The more power you have, the stronger you are, and your mind and heart will be in turn cultivated by it! Invincible confidence is always the byproduct of invincible power!
"The strong minds were all created by the repetitive self-confirmation."
Garen paused a little. "So in other words, if I don’t doubt myself and believe that I’m always right, then my mind and heart shall behave the same way, right?"
"That’s right." The smile disappeared on Rosetta’s face. Her temples were getting so red that it looked like she was bleeding. "Next, I will add some more power so you can really understand the meaning of it."
Garen felt a chill. He knew that his senior sister was about to lose it on him. If he countered her attack directly, he wouldn’t feel good afterward. Last time, if it hadn’t been for his second brother, he would have gotten his ass kicked so hard by her that he would have ended up in a hospital.
Without hesitation, Garen turned around and rushed away. It was his most practiced martial art style in the White Cloud Combat Arts, after all.
He stomped his left foot and in two steps leaped toward the staircase. He then jumped down it without looking back.
He suddenly heard a subtle air-piercing sound. A hand slowly touched him on the left shoulder. Its movement didn’t make any sound. The hand seemed like it belonged to his lover, the movement very soft and gentle.
Garen, on the other hand, was very anxious. He struck his elbow backward, and his arm shot out like an arrow, the elbow being the sharp arrowhead.
This Shot Form was the form in the Four Forms that caused the most damage to the body, and it was the form that had the fastest speed and the highest burst power. With the help of special strength utilization techniques, any part of the body could be trained to burst out with power akin to a released arrow.
At this point, Garen was only able to train one part of his body - his right elbow.
His elbow strike was easily blocked.
Garen stomped his feet, and his body continued dropping toward the bottom of the staircase. His speed was a bit faster than usual. He was using his hidden strength, after all.
The White Cloud Secret Arts that he was mastering were slowly increasing his strength on a daily basis. Although he was at the peak of an adult’s strength’s threshold, his strength was still increasing at a steady pace. It had no sign of slowing down.
With this small differential in speed, Garen finally escaped the death chase by his senior sister. He firmly landed on the stairway on the first floor.
In the morning, there were quite a few disciples who were coming and going from the grand hall on the first floor. They all recognized Garen as the Dojo Master’s new disciple, who just joined the Dojo not long ago, when they saw him jumping off the second floor.
"Senior sister goes by the rule of zero combat under the second floor. I’m lucky that I got down in time." Garen wiped the sweat from his forehand as he calmed himself down. "The senior sister is the most dangerous practice opponent, but she did train my reflexes and reaction time. If I don’t stay cautious all the time, I will for sure be going to the hospital."
By now, he had realized the mysteriousness of White Cloud Dojo. His master Fei Baiyun wasn’t around most of the time, and Garen had no idea what he was doing. Besides that, from the way his senior sister spoke and her self-told stories, he could tell that she was a horror figure who’d killed a lot of people.
His second brother was actually a senior member at the Confederation’s Combat Association, and he was one of the examiners for the advancement in the Hobbyist Levels. Garen heard that he also ran some underground businesses. So he was definitely a successful man by all appearances.
In terms of his third brother, he was the very definition of a kid from a wealthy and politically influential family. His father was the Chief Inspector at Huaishan City. This position was created by the Confederation to inspect all the government officials of the municipal level. It was on the same level as the Mayor, which made his third brother’s father one of the two most influential people at Huaishan City. On top of that, his mother was the daughter of a Count, who was very well off.
A few days ago, during practice, Garen’s third brother somehow irritated senior sister and got beaten so hard that he had to go home to rest.
Garen thought his own defense was tough and agreed to practice with senior sister without doing any research. But unexpectedly, after only getting hit a few times by her palms, he noticed that the injured places on his body had already swollen up.
After fixing up his clothes, Garen called two people working at the Dojo. He asked them where his master and second brother had gone. But as expected, they didn’t know at all.
Garen drank some hot water and cleaned the sweat off of his body. He decided to wander around the Dojo, wanting to rest a little bit since he had the time.
His body was getting stronger and stronger. The shape of his muscles was getting harder to cover up by his uniform.
When he was walking around the field and such, other disciples of the Dojo greeted and saluted him.
In the middle of the field, there were three groups of disciples who were practicing White Cloud Combat Arts together. These were the core disciples who were picked from the individual branches. They were all in white uniforms and were very focused on the training.
Garen was relaxing his body wandering around as he checked his Potential Meter, 155%.
"It has been more than a week since I went to the uncle’s place. Now I have another potential point that I can utilize. I have to decide carefully on where I want to allocate it."
He wasn’t planning to use it on any technique. It would be a huge waste to squander it on an ordinary one. It would only make sense if the technique was very hard to master. But at the moment, he couldn’t add the point to White Cloud Secret Arts nor the Explosive Fist Arts. Thus, the potential point was better spent on his own attributes.
Since White Cloud Combat Arts were the most essential foundation, Garen planned to completely understand and practice it form by form, and not use any potential points to jack the level up. He wanted to see if there were any differences between the techniques that he practiced to level and the techniques that he used the potential points to level up.
He quickly skimmed through his attribute pane.
Strength 2.12, Agility 1.10, Vitality 1.35, Intelligence 1.5
"Long term exercises have increased my vitality by 0.01. My strength has also increased under the effect of White Cloud Secret Arts. However, I feel like 2.2 is the absolute maximum amount of strength that I can reach."
Garen had a feeling. An intuition sent to his brain by his body.
It was reaching the ultimate strength threshold, and even White Cloud Secret Arts couldn’t increase it anymore. This ultimate threshold was the congenital physical limit; everyone had their own.
"Looks like 2.2 strength is my limit. I’m a bit weaker compared to second brother. Second brother’s strength is about 450 pounds, which is an equivalent of 2.25 in terms of attribute points. His congenital physical limit might be higher than mine, but I heard that his strength has not increased in a long time. Could it be that 450 pounds is the peak strength for all humans?"
Garen thought to himself.
"I should do some research on my own."
And he did exactly that. He turned around and went to the library in the Dojo.
The strong, bald elder was still sitting in front of it. His eyes were closed as he sat cross-legged.
Garen thought of something and walked up to the elder. "Big master Bai, can I ask you a question?"
After a solid four to five minutes, the elder opened his eyes. "Go ahead."
"What’s the peak strength for humans?" Garen asked quietly.
"Peak strength?" The elder thought about it and said, "In terms of measuring we use here, it should be around 480 pounds. This is the best record in the industry. But since each person has a different potential, we all stop at our own limit despite how hard we train."
"Then, where do you think my limit lies?" Garen asked, pointing at himself.
"You?" Big Master Bai carefully observed Garen. "I think your peak strength is somewhere between 430 pounds and 450 pounds."
"So accurate!" Garen was surprised. It was fortunate that his body grew a lot since he mastered White Cloud Secret Arts, and he was able to hide some of his strength well. Otherwise, this elder might have seen through him.
After his body changed, his strength instantly reached the limit, and his skin’s defense got a lot better as well. It was one time better than the elementary Explosive Fist Arts. Without hundreds of pounds of strength, no one would able to pierce through his skin with a knife.
"Thank you for your time." Garen bowed and showed his respect. He turned around and left after he saw the elder close his eyes.
"Then looks like 2.40 is my absolute peak for strength. If I add the potential points to it, it should increase by 0.3, which is like 60 pounds of strength. But I’m not sure if my limit will be stretched after it is reached."
Garen was very unsure. If he wasn’t able to stretch out his limits, then it will put a hard cap on his future potential.
But if his limit was stretched and topped, then his future potential would be limitless!
"Maybe I should try."
His eyes landed on the strength attribute.
The attribute slowly jumped up. It went from 2.12 directly to 2.20. Suddenly, Garen’s whole body became numb. It was if all the muscles in his body begun beating in a rhythm, one identical to the rhythm of the beating of his heart.
He felt that his temples were beating the fastest, as if some things were about to jump out of them.
This condition only lasted for about a dozen seconds. Garen looked at his attibute pane after it stopped, and his strength had increased to 2.20. It didn’t go above it, but a new symbol appeared behind it.
He knew what it was by just looking at it once.
"So my vitality couldn’t handle too much strength? Looks like I have to increase my vitality at the same time."
The remaining 0.22 of the potential point that were left after the majority of it was used for increasing strength were allocated to vitality.
The attribute for vitality instantly jumped from 1.35 to 1.57.
After adding the potential points to vitality, Garen felt something warm inside his body, as if there was a furnace that continuously baked his internal organs. He could even vaguely hear the ‘Ziz’ sound that his flesh and blood made.
The flow of the blood, the beat of the heart—Garen felt an additional feeling on top of those feelings including the compressing of his lungs due to breathing. It was an unprecedented control over his own body.
After a light noise, Garen was surprised to see the Explosive Fist Arts that were on the elementary level jump to the intermediate level in his technique pane. Another aggressive swelling started within his body.
Garen almost couldn’t stand and walk normally. He could barely keep himself from falling by leaning against the wall. It was fortunate that no one was around to see him like this.
He felt that a layer of invisible liquid was slowly secreting within his body. It came from his internal organs, travelled through the bones, muscles, skin and covered the entire surface of his body.