Chapter 5 Training On Horseback
The eight hundred tea bricks were weighed ten at a time and then they were separately placed into two boxes. Only eight hundred tea bricks were stored, therefore, the size of the two boxes were not too big. There wasn’t even a need for making a iron stand. The two boxes were very simply hung on two sides of the Scarlet Flame Horse.
The Scarlet Flame Horse had same rank as the Dark Veins Horse.
When the Black Armored Army travelled, Black Veins Horses and their riders would wear a suit of heavy armor. The total load on these horses would be a few hundred jin, however, a Black Vein Horse could still gallop very fast.
A Scarlet Flame Horse, which usually costs about a thousand silver taels, could carry these two boxes very easily.
“Master Zhou, there’s no need to send me off.
Teng Qingshan gestured with a smile. He mounted on the Scarlet Flame Horse and galloped away, leaving Qing Yang Tea House effortlessly.
Next day, early morning at the West Gate of Hua City.
The cold wind at early morning of winter was bone-chilling, but all merchants and guards still assembled here..
“Everyone is present! Depart!” A loud shout resounded and the caravan was formed again and the few hundred men continued their journey.
Teng Qingshan, Old Zhang, Hei Zi, and the others were mixed together and they formed a team among themselves.
“Qin Wei, I noticed that you don’t have many tea bricks stocked.” Old Zhang glanced at two boxes hanging at Teng Qingshan’s horse and saw that those boxes couldn’t be considered very big. He continued to ask, “What grade are the goods? Third Grade? Second Grade? Or……First Grade?”
“Second Grade.” Teng Qingshan did not keep it a secret.
“Second Grade goods?” At the side, Hei Zi yelled. “Brother Qin, you are very fierce. These two boxes should weigh around at least a thousand jin. This means that the goods that should have costed almost ten thousand silver taels. If you can successfully ship these goods to Yanzhou, you can at least sell them for hundred thousand silver taels. Tsk, tsk…….Just this single trip of yours is equivalent to twenty trips of mine. Brother Qin, you will be able to enjoy your life after this trip.”
These merchants had very sharp eyes. Just by looking at these boxes, they could guess their approximate weight.
Teng Qingshan mounted the Scarlet Flame Horse and galloped forward.
The speed of this caravan didn’t give the Scarlet Flame Horse any pressure.
“This trip of mine is slightly safer since I am following a caravan, but I had to pay a great amount of silver for each trip. For this trip, I had to pay at least twenty thousand silver taels and if I include the payment for my goods, it would be thirty thousand silver taels. Plus, this trip will take one year. It’s not worth it!” Teng Qingshan shook his head as he explained.
That Baldy Jia also chuckled, “If you want to earn money, you have to take risks.”
“You will earn a lot if you successfully sold these tea bricks at the great prairie.” Old Zhang sighed emotionally, “But that great prairie is too dangerous, and if you encounter a gang of horse bandits, you won’t be able to escape.”
Teng Qingshan only responded with a grin.
On their way, everyone only chatted occasionally and spend most of the time saving energy by recuperating. Travelling for a long period of time was very tiring.
“Eh?” Teng Qingshan’s ears twitched and he stared ahead into the distance. “Is that a gang of bandits ambushing?”. However, he wasn’t nervous at all, because…… he had already encountered bandits more than twice in this journey and these merchants who had been doing businesses for a long time were already experienced in dealing with these stuffs.
A while later——
“Haha……” Together with a refreshing guffaw, a large number of bandits who were holding bows and machetes appeared. There were also many horse bandits that were wielding long spears. All of them charged towards the official road as they formed an organized formation and blocked the official road deadly.
Immediately, the company of merchants stopped.
“There are a lot of people. There must be at least a thousand bandits.” Teng Qingshan scanned the group of bandits and immediately made his decision.
“F*ck. The horse bandits again!” Hei Zi cursed softly and said, “If the horse bandits didn’t exist, I would have earned a lot more money.”
At this moment, the organizer of the company said loudly, “Second Leader Lan! We are also seeking a living. Please make a way. Just take these silver notes and buy some tea.” Simultaneously, a guard beside him immediately took a wad of silver notes and ran towards the leader of the horse bandits.
The leader of the horse bandits was a muscular man with an iron nose ring. He took the silver notes and checked them.
“Old Man Wu.” The leader of the horse bandits mocked, “These years, no one is living a good life! Half a month ago, many of my brothers died. I have a family to take care of and we also need silver……Therefore, the road fee has increased! This five thousand silver taels…..Yeah, give me another three thousand silver taels and I will let you guys continue your journey!”
Immediately, a company of merchants became agitated.
Those silver notes that was given to the bandits were paid by merchants. They hired a large number of guards and they also had to pay the gang of horse bandits that appeared along the way. Doing business was already very hard.
“Second Leader Lan!” The organizer shouted loudly, “A small stream flows far. You guys have already asked for a lot. We won’t be able to earn anything. In the future, everyone would be afraid of using this road and they will probably choose to take a reroute. So……Second Leader Lan, I will give another thousand silver taels and we each take a step back. How’s that? This is not our first time doing business together.”
Immediately, the guards hired by the company of merchants were on guard.
The leader of the horse bandits narrowed his eyes.
He then sneered, “Okay, I will give you some respect!”
Immediately, the company of merchants gave another thousand silver taels. As the leader of the horse bandits ordered, all the horse bandits made way. The company of merchants then continued advancing.
“Increase…increase… f*ck these increases! Baldy Jia cursed and said, “If they continue to increase it this rate, we will be forced to to increase the price of our goods. We, the merchants who do small businesses, it will make our life harder!”
“When we go back home, we need to discuss the price increase of the goods. If we don’t increase the price, we won’t be able to survive.” Old Zhang also said.
The merchants were also divided in ranks.
If you could manage to join one of the great merchant companies like Yangzhou Salt Merchants, the danger would decrease to the lowest point when you were doing business. With great number of elite guards, most gangs of horse bandits wouldn’t dare to provoke them.
As for Teng Qingshan’s group, they were all considered free and leisure merchants. The cost of shipping would be higher and their the earnings would be lesser.
It was cloudy day.
Teng Qingshan mounted on the Scarlet Flame Horse and advanced with the caravan.
“Now, the most important thing is to reach the Realm of Enlightenment first, then improve to the Realm of True Self. As long as I can reach the Golden Dan of the Innate Realm, with my physical strength, I won’t be afraid the Golden Dan Innate Experts anymore.” Teng Qingshan was heading to the faraway North Sea and traveling with a horse was going to take a long time.
Therefore, besides besides practicing the Three Xing Yi Postures in the pitch-black room, Teng Qingshan mainly trained on horseback.
“The improvement of a realm comes from the improvement of the ‘Spirit!’” Teng Qingshan could still remember the words Emperor Yu said, “Only through the improvement of the ‘Spirit, one could naturally reach the Realm of Enlightenment and the Realm of True-Self. The real purpose of the methods on the books of secret techniques like writing and drawing was to cultivate the Spirit! And strengthen the Spirit.”
His Spirit had reached the peak of the Minute Subtlety at the age of seventeen.
Even his teacher, Zhuge Yuanhong, only reached the innate realm at the age of thirty and the first generation genius, Xiang Fanchen, only managed to reach the Innate Realm at the age of sixteen.
In terms of the strength of the spirit, the sixteen years old Teng Qingshan definitely surpassed the sixteen years old Xiang Fanchen.
The only thing was that Teng Qingshan’s inner strength had not reached the peak and he didn’t have any breakthroughs for a long time. However, when he reached the Emptiness Dan Innate Realm, he was already at the peak of the Minute Subtlety. So he was just one step away from the Realm of Enlightenment.
As one strive to reach the Innate Realm, the improvement of ‘Spirit’ is the hardest thing.
Since the day he was born, his Spirit grew in quite a shocking speed. However, Teng Qingshan did not think that…the ‘Spirit’ in his previous life was substituted into this life. In this life, he only had the memories of his previous life.
“The reason my ‘Spirit’ improved this fast must be related to my Xing Yi Martial Arts.” Teng Qingshan thought to himself, “Whether it’s drawing or writing, all other methods only had one purpose; it was to sharpen one’s mind, letting the mind unify with the heavens and earth and be in sync with the heavens and earth. This way…..the ‘Spirit’ would grow. However, the ‘Spirit’ of ordinary human beings doesn’t grow, instead, it would only be consumed.
“The Three Postures that I practiced always gives me the feeling of being immersed in equal Yin and Yang.
“It’s obvious that reaching the grandmaster realm of the Internal Martial Arts and understanding the Three Postures benefited the improvement of the ‘Spirit’ greatly.”
Since Teng Qingshan realized that, he began to practiced the Three Postures every night, and sat quietly to rest for only four to six hours.
“The reason why drawing, writing, and travelling the world can strengthen the ‘Spirit’ is because when you reach a higher and deeper level in drawing and writing, you can concentrate with your whole body and mind. Your heart and mind will be in sync with the heavens and earth. Travelling the southern areas, venturing the northern areas, and watching the high mountains and rivers can cause your heart to throb, immersing your heart and mind into the heavens and earth…..”
“To be more specific, when you reach a high level in drawing, writing, playing instruments, singing, or anything, you should be able to be in sync with the heavens and earth, causing the ‘Spirit’ to grow stronger.”
“If that’s the case, then even reaching a high level on horse riding can make the ‘Spirit’ strong too!”
In Teng Qingshan’s eyes, all techniques and methods are connected!
The strengthening of the ‘Spirit did not depend which method you used, but whether that method suited the practitioner. If you take the ‘Three Postures’ as an example. Even if Teng Qingshan told Zhuge Yuanhong, Gu Yong, and the other Golden Dan Innate Experts, these people didn’t know anything about the Internal Martial Arts. They wouldn’t be able to understand the meaning of the Three Postures, which appeared to be very simple.
As for drawing……Zhuge Yuanhong could rely on drawing to strengthen his ‘Spirit.’ This was a good method for him.
However, to Teng Qingshan, drawing was useless.
Therefore, when it comes to methods which strengthened the ‘Spirit, ’ a best method did not exist. There was only the most suitable one.
The ‘Three Postures’ suited Teng Qingshan very well.
And now, Teng Qingshan was pondering about how to train on horseback! Since he joined this caravan half a month ago, Teng Qingshan had been pondering about this issue….Until now..
“Riding horses while unifying the heart and mind with the heavens and earth……”
When Teng Qingshan was riding on the horse, he was ‘One with the Horse.’ His muscles were perfectly in coordination with the horses. However, Teng Qingshan could only grasp that conception occasionally.
Drip! Drop! Drip! Drop!
The Scarlet Flame Horse started galloping when Teng Qingshan mounted the horse. It was as if he was one with the horse.
“So many corpses!”
“So many people died.”
Suddenly, the entire company of the merchants clamored
“Brother Qin, quick! Let’s go and see what happened?” Hei Zi shouted.
“Oh.” Teng Qingshan responded while he was still in the state of ‘One with the Horse.’ His leg muscles involuntarily transmitted a vibration as the Scarlet Flame Horse immediately accelerated.
“What did I do just now!” Teng Qingshan suddenly roused out of the state of the ‘One with the Horse.’
“Yes, it’s this feeling! It’s this kind of feeling!” Surprise and joy could be seen on Teng Qingshan’s face. As a grandmaster of the Internal Martial Arts, with his control of the body, he could remain in the state of the ‘One with the Horse’ for a long period of time. After half a month of the training, he was finally able to touch the edge of the cultivation on horseback.