Book 10 Chapter 19 Enrolling
On the morning of the 9th of July, in the spacious training field within the courtyard of Teng Qingshan’s mansion in Yi City:
“Brother Honghou, today is the 9th of July, right?”
“Yes, it is,” Teng Honghou replied with a nod as he looked at the other slim kid. As there were a total of 914 kids learning to cultivate fist art in Teng Qingshan’s residence, each house there accommodated six kids.
Not only did Teng Honghou share a room with Fang Xin, but he also slept right beside Fang Xin.
Within three months, the two boys had become as close as brothers.
“Ah Xin, don’t be discouraged. As long as there’s a hint of hope, you mustn’t give up. I already told you the important points to cultivate the Three Postures and the Monkey Fist. You are already doing very well… Maybe you will achieve a breakthrough when you practice today,” Teng Honghou continued saying words of encouragement.
Fang Xin was nine years old this year. However, he was weaker than the other kids his age. Back when they were traveling from Jiangning County to Yi City, Fang Xin had walked until there had been blisters on his feet. Still, he had clenched his teeth and endured all the way.
However, his body was innately weaker than his mind. Therefore, he was still unable to generate inner strength. After every group practice, Teng Honghou would teach Fang Xin,
doing everything he could to help his friend. With Teng Honghou’s help, Fang Xin managed to perfected the Monkey Fist and the Three Postures to the same level as Teng Honghou’s.
However, Fang Xin still didn’t generate any inner strength.
These three months of cultivation had improved Fang Xin’s physical quality slightly, and the sun had made his skin tan.
“You will definitely make a breakthrough.”
“Definitely. I will become an expert like Senior Jing Yi,” Fang Xin said inwardly, clenching his fist. The things he had experienced at such a young age caused him to harbor a great desire to be powerful. Teng Qingshan’s recruitment of disciples was obviously a chance for them to become powerful experts!
If Fang Xin had missed this opportunity, he might spend the rest of his life in regret!
“It’s 9th of July. We have been here for three months.”
“Yes, today is the last day of our cultivation. If we still can’t generate inner strength, we will have to leave.”
Some kids were practicing and muttering on the training field. Many of them had already given up.
“Teacher is here.”
“Teacher is here.”
Instantly, the training field became quiet, and none of the kids dared to utter a sound. At this very moment, Teng Shou who was dressed in a pair of long pants and a singlet, Teng Qingshan who had on a white robe, and Li Jun, who wore a purple dress, walked out of the inner court and entered the training field in the outer court. If Teng Shou had the aura of a beast, then Teng Qingshan was like a sheathed sword that appeared gentle and refined.
“It’s Senior Jing Yi.”
“Look, it’s Senior Jing Yi,” the 914 kids couldn’t help but clamor.
However, the moment Teng Shou glared at them, all the kids grew quiet. Still, they all stared at the white-robed and elegant Teng Qingshan with passionate eyes.
All the boys knew that the person standing before them was Senior Jing Yi, an expert who was much more powerful than the legendary Innate Experts.
At the frontmost of the training field:
Teng Shou stood respectfully beside Teng Qingshan and whispered, “Teacher, these are the 914 kids. The ones who managed to generate inner strength are all standing on the left side, and there are 92 of them altogether. The end of the second month and the beginning of the third month had the greatest number of kids breaking through and generating inner strength. However, during the last fifteen days, there were less and less kids making breakthroughs. In fact, no one achieved a breakthrough yesterday or even the day before yesterday.”
“92 kids?” Teng Qingshan looked down.
The 914 boys were divided into two groups. The disciples who had generated inner strength cultivated and practiced together, while the disciples who had yet to generate inner strength practiced together. However, in Teng Qingshan’s eyes, almost all the kids were practicing utmost efforts, with straightened backs and beaming eyes.
“These kids…” Teng Qingshan could see the excitement, admiration, and desire in their eyes.
All of them desired to become powerful experts!
They had signed up and walked all the way from Jiangning County City to Yi City. If they didn’t have the desire to become a powerful expert, why would they have gone through such suffering?
“It’s better than I expected. 92 kids.” Teng Qingshan smiled. “That means almost one out of ten kids succeeded… Oh, when the Gui Yuan Sect was recruiting, the kids who had bad physical balance and flexibility were eliminated. So, if we add the kids that signed up but didn’t pass the test, it means that out of twenty kids, at least one is suitable to practice the Internal Martial Art.”
Teng Qingshan was rather satisfied with this ratio.
In the world of his previous life, the proportion of people who managed to generate inner strength after cultivating the Internal Martial Art was much lower. There were two reasons for that. Firstly, the physical quality of the people in his previous life was not as good that of the people in the Land of the Nine Prefectures. Secondly, the amount of the Spiritual Qi of the Heavens and the Earth in the world of his previous life was insufficient. These two things caused the difference in proportion.
“8th of April!” Teng Qingshan spoke suddenly. He didn’t speak loudly, but his voice boomed in every kid’s ears, and every kid held their breath as they listened carefully.
“All of you walked a distance of over 300 Li to get here and since the 9th of April, you’ve all been cultivating and learning the fist art I created… Today is the 9th of July, and it is the last day of your cultivation as what we have said earlier—”
“Today, you all must practice and cultivate conscientiously like how you guys have been doing. Your teacher Teng Shou will be here to teach you all.”
“However, tomorrow, the ones that were unable to generate inner strength will be sent back to Jiangning.”
Teng Qingshan’s cold-looking eyes seemed to stare deep into the bottom of their hearts. “Remember, this is the last day. Choose whether to stay here and cultivate for one last day or leave immediately.” Teng Qingshan’s voice sounded magical, resonating in the minds of the kids. All the kids clenched their fist as a great desire rose in their hearts.
“Start practicing,” Teng Qingshan instructed Teng Shou and immediately left the outer court with Li Jun.
When Teng Qingshan returned to the inner court, he could hear loud breathing sounds in the outer court. The kids’ breathing seemed to have become much stronger suddenly.
“Qingshan, did you just?” Li Jun asked with a smile.
“I just used some tricks,” Teng Qingshan replied with a laugh. With the last thing he spoke to the kids, he used his powerful Spirit to hypnotize them halfway, stirring up and magnifying the desire hidden at the bottom of their hearts. Actually, this hypnotism was just an easy technique. The God of Heaven, the great monk Su Mengte, could affect Innate Experts with just a glance.
During the battle at Hong Tian City, Su Mengte had actually used his voice to mentally influence the almost 80,000 cavalrymen of Hong Tian City who were prepared to die. In the end, the voices of You Shijin and Zou Tianchang freed the cavalrymen of Hong Tian City from the hypnotism.
Similarly, Teng Qingshan could affect these kids with just a slight performance.
During the evening:
“Teacher, Teacher.” Teng Shou ran over with a happy expression toward Teng Qingshan, who sat cross-legged on the training field in the inner court.
“What is it?” Teng Qingshan opened his eyes and asked.
“Teacher, four more boys achieved a breakthrough today,” Teng Shou said hastily. “I think your words must have had an effect. Four more boys actually managed to generate inner strength on the last day.”
Teng Qingshan responded with a smile.
The boys had worked hard for three months. Now that they had reached the last day, they naturally felt a great amount of pressure. The mild hypnotism intensified the boys’ desire to be strong. The fact that four boys were able to achieve a breakthrough was absolutely something he had expected.
In a dorm room where a group of boys:
The three-Zhang-(8 metres)long bed, which occupied almost half of the room, was shared by a total of six boys. Meanwhile, the edges of the bed were used to put various items.
“Haha, I did it! I finally achieved a breakthrough!” A handsome boy shouted excitedly as he skipped and jumped about in the room.
He was the one of the four boys who had achieved a breakthrough today. One could imagine the kind of joy he felt for being able to achieve a breakthrough on the very last day.
At this moment, Teng Honghou was accompanying the skinny Fang Xin. Fang Xin curled up into a ball and leaned on the wall beside the bed with tears welling in his eyes. Teng Honghou, who sat beside Fang Xin, spoke softly, “Ah Xin, don’t be sad. Actually…” Teng Honghou wanted to say something, but he didn’t know what to say.
The two of them would be parting tomorrow.
In the future, in the Land of the Nine Prefectures, one of them might become a powerful expert while the other might become a person of low status.
“Brother Honghou, speak no more.” Fang Xin shook his head and pursed his lips.
Suddenly, Teng Honghou thought of something. He said hastily, “We still have time. They are deciding who should leave tomorrow. Maybe you will achieve a breakthrough tonight.”
“Tonight?” As Fang Xin raised his head, his eyes lit up.
The night of the 9th of July was a sleepless night for many boys. Many of them practiced the fist art under the cover of night. All of them desired to generate inner strength tomorrow, judgement day.
It was the morning of the 10th of July. During the hot summer, early mornings were very cool and refreshing. However, only some of the 914 kids were in a good mood. Most of them felt terrible. Although they had stayed up all night practicing, none of them felt like sleeping As they assembled on the training field.
There was a complete silence!
On the training field, four people stood right at the front: heir teacher, Teng Shou; Senior Jing Yi, whom they admired; Senior Jing Yi’s wife; and the Sovereign of Gui Yuan Sect, Zhuge Yuanhong.
“Today is the 10th of July!” Teng Qingshan said loudly as he stared at the 914 kids. “The ones who have generated inner strength may stay and cultivate even more profound fist art, attaining even greater power. As for the ones who have not generated inner strength, you all will be going back to the Gui Yuan Sect. Did any more of you manage to generate inner strength from last night until even now?”
Many of the kids looked around.
There was silence, a complete silence.
No one had been able to achieve a breakthrough last night.
“As expected,” Teng Qingshan thought, “With such great pressure and without the help of my hypnotism, how is it possible for them to achieve a breakthrough?”
“Alright. This means that a total of 96 boys have generated inner strength. I will ask the members of the Gui Yuan Sect to send the other 818 boys back to Jiangning.”
The moment Teng Qingshan said this, many boys on the entire training field broke into tears. Some even cried out loud.
Their three months of effort…!
Their desire to become powerful experts…!
They had failed!
Besides Teng Honghou, the oldest kid was only ten.
“Men bleed, but they never cry!” Teng Shou roared.
Immediately, many boys stopped crying.
“Three months,” Teng Qingshan said, “You all have been here for three months. Today… all 914 of you, along with your teacher, Teng Shou, and I will practice the Three Postures one last time!”
Teng Qingshan positioned himself in the Rising Hand Posture of the Three Postures.
Immediately, Teng Shou followed, and the other 914 kids also did the same.
Including Teng Qingshan, everyone began performing the moves of the Three Postures. Many of the kids held back their tears as they practiced the moves. 818 of the kids already knew that they had failed. They had been given the “death sentence.” However, although they were sad, they felt a sense of relaxation they hadn’t felt for a long time. They no longer felt any pressure or burden. As Teng Qingshan led them, the kids actually practiced better than before.
Teng Qingshan’s cultivation state was obviously much higher than that of Teng Shou.
One punch and then the other…
“That’s the last time.” The skinny boy Fang Xin was immersed in the cultivation of fist art. Now that he knew he had failed, he no longer felt any pressure. At this moment, as he imitated Teng Qingshan’s fist art, the fist art he performed actually seemed slightly authentic.
Unknowingly, a hint of inner strength had already emerged in his body…
The loud voices of the kids resonated in the entire training field and boomed through the clouds.