Translator : Casualtranslator
~ Enjoy ~
It was morning on that day, the sky was still dark and heavy but Zhang Xiaohua’s mood was bright and light.
Zhang Xiaohua was already waiting at the place where he practiced the horse stance last night and his heart was happily thinking inside, “Squad leader He should be teaching me on how to punch today.”
After a while later, He Tianshu walked over and saw Zhang Xiaohua who was waiting for him. He nodded his head delightedly and said, “Zhang Xiaohua, this is not bad at all. You have woken up so early, good, we shall begin today.”
Zhang Xiaohua asked, “What fist martial art will you teach me today?”
He Tianshu was surprised, “Fist martial art? Haha, don’t be anxious, first get the basics right. This horse stance is used to build your foundation, if your horse stance is not good enough, your lower body will be unsteady. The saying goes ‘want to train martial arts, first learn the horse stance’ and ‘horse stance for three years in the beginning’. As long as your lower body is steady, anything else will be easy to learn.”
Zhang Xiaohua opened in mouth in surprise, “What? Hold for three years, then when can I learn anything? Oh right, what is the lower body?”
He Tianshu smiled and said, “Three years is just a saying, but we may still need to learn martial arts while practicing the horse stance. If your horse stance is not good, your martial arts won’t be any better. Lower body refers to your body below your waist, only when your two legs are standing firmly on the ground will you not lose the advantage in a fight. Oh right, when you gave me a punch yesterday, even though the strength was quite large, had you noticed my legs? I was using the horse stance to receive your punch, don’t you feel that my body was still stable after being punched? If the lower body is light, I would have fallen back from your punch and you would have gained the advantage to continue attacking until I am defeated. For me to break from your attack to gain the upper hand would be difficult. Understood?”
Zhang Xiaohua nodded without really understanding, and then asked meekly, “Squad leader He, what is advantage?”
He Tianshu immediately adopted the horse stance and stood there steadily, he said, “This is a good question, but I will not answer you today. You will understand it slowly in the future, but for now I will have you continue practice your horse stance. Even though it may be hard in the beginning, you will need to endure and not cheat your way out. In the beginning, it is fine to hold up to the time to boil a kettle of tea before resting and continuing again. After one to two months later, once you can hold for a meal worth of time or even better, I will then teach you some fist martial arts.”
Zhang Xiaohua asked in joyful surprise, “Squad leader He, you said that I only have to hold for a meal worth of time in the horse stance?”
He Tianshu nodded his head and asked, “Yes, why?”
Zhang Xiaohua continued to ask, “Then, is it breakfast or dinner time?”
He Tianhu understood his student’s intention and smiled, he said, “Don’t bother about breakfast or dinner. Just hold there until I am satisfied.”
Zhang Xiaohua replied bitterly, “Alright, I understand. I will do the horse stance now for you to see.”
After finishing his sentence, his faced towards the east, pushed out his chest and placed his hands at his waist, and adopted a steady horse stance. He Tianshu smiled as he watched Zhang Xiaohua’s actions, pointed out a few slight mistakes and nodded his head in praise, “Zhang Xiaohua, not bad at all. You could still remember what you learnt yesterday. Let’s see how long can you hold, tell me when you are tired and I will let you rest.”
Zhang Xiaohua answered in acknowledgement and he kept quiet thereafter. His eyes looked afar into the sky as though he was searching for the sun.
He Tianshu also walked to another side to begin his daily practice, and by this time, the other three men also came out and took their spots to perform their usual routine.
He Tianshu was practicing the thousand leaves fist that day, and when he began to train, he was still watching Zhang Xiaohua from the corner of his eye to wait for the latter to give up so he could rest. However, Zhang Xiaohua did not sound out and as He Tianshu performed more strokes, he immersed himself into the movement and left all the other matters at the back of his head. This thousand leaves fist was quite cumbersome and performing the entire set of actions would consume quite a bit of stamina. When He Tianshu practiced normally, he would have some areas where he was unsatisfied with, but for some reason today, from the very first stroke all the way to the end, his breath and flow was smooth and when He Tianshu released his breath to end the practice, he heard exclamations of praise from the side. He thought, “These bunch of rabbits have improved in their judgement, to be able to see that I have made some advancements in my thousand leaves fist.”
While he thought like this inside, he turned his head and said, “You all…” Midway in his sentence, he swallowed the rest of his words.
There were no one surrounding to watch him, the three men were watching Zhang Xiaohua and his horse stance.
After He Tianshu had performed the thousand leaves fist, he was already standing at some distance from his original position, and while he walked back to where Zhang Xiaohua was holding the horse stance, he could hear from afar, “Do you dare to bet with me? If this Zhang Xiaohua can still stand for two meals worth of time, you will have to wash my socks for three days.”
The other person retorted, “You sure are shameless, how about this, I won’t take advantage of you. If Zhang Xiaohua can stand this for three meals worth of time, you wash my socks for two days.”
The last person replied in disdain, “What are you all pulling, look at the situation. Zhang Xiaohua can hold in this position for the whole morning, who would want to bet this with me?”
Then, the three men said in unison, “Hold it there Zhang Xiaohua, hold it there Zhang Xiaohua.”
He Tianshu walked over and scolded severely, “What are you all doing not practicing your martial arts seriously?”
The three men saw He Tianshu came over and they rushed to explain at the same time.
In reality, while the three men were practicing their martial arts, they already saw Zhang Xiaohua holding the horse stance in his position. Since they all did it before, they did not pay much attention to the boy. However, they were not as engrossed in their practice as He Tianshu and would occasionally peek at the boy to see when he would fall and sit back down. The longer they watched, the more they realized that Zhang Xiaohua was different from them; not only did Zhang Xiaohua slowly lowered his butt until it reached the ground, he maintained his position as though he had been doing so for at least three years. After seeing so, the three men gave up on their practice and surrounded Zhang Xiaohua while asking the boy of his circumstances. Zhang Xiaohua spoke casually as he held the horse stance, his face was not red and his breathing was even as though he was sitting on a real chair. When the three men found out that it was Zhang Xiaohua’s second time doing the horse stance, they were at a loss for words. Since they had nothing to say, they started to cheer the boy on.
He Tianshu looked suspiciously as Zhang Xiaohua and then at the three people, he asked, “Are you sure Zhang Xiaohua did not cheat?”
The three men nodded together with their faces unchanged.
He Tianshu faced Zhang Xiaohua and asked, “Xiaohua, you didn’t cheat while doing the horse stance last night right?”
Zhang Xiaohua nodded and replied, “Yes, squad leader He. I really did not bluff you, and I did not cheat.”
He Tianshu said seriously, “En, I believe you, Xiaohua. Oh right, are your legs sore now? Is there any part of your body not feeling well?”
Zhang Xiaohua pondered for a moment and replied, “It is okay, squad leader He. My leg is a little tired, but the rest of my body feels fine.”
He Tianshu pondered and said, “Zhang Xiaohua, if I make you hold this horse stance continuously, how long do you think you can hold for?”
Zhang Xiaohua thought about it and answered, “Probably until afternoon I guess, I still feel quite good.”
He Tianshu’s face changed its color and just as he was about to speak, Zhang Xiaohua saw He Tianshu’s change in expression and quickly said, “Squad leader He, about this, if I really tried I will be able to hold on longer, even holding until nighttime would be possible. In that case, you can start teaching me fist stance right.”
He Tianshu’s face darkened even more and he asked solemnly, “Zhang Xiaohua, be honest with me. You have really not learnt any martial arts before, not even the horse stance?”
Zhang Xiaohua maintained the horse stance as he did not dare to move, and said urgently, “Yes, squad leader He. Before I met you, I really did not learn any martial arts before. The first time I heard of this horse stance was when you said it to me.”
He Tianshu thought for a while and indeed, when he thought Zhang Xiaohua last night, the latter’s movements was rigid and unfamiliar with the horse stance position. Furthermore, there was no benefit in lying about not having any martial arts experience, since having some is better than having none at all.
Suddenly, a thought struck onto He Tianshu like lightning, “Could this Zhang Xiaohua be a martial arts genius?!” However, when he looked at Zhang Xiaohua’s average appearance, childish expression and slightly thin frame, they somehow do not match up to the two words “genius”.
It was the first time He Tianshu suspected his judgment was wrong, “Aren’t geniuses supposed to be like jade trees in the wind?”
Just as He Tianshu was thinking, the person at the side said, “Squad leader He, it is time to eat. If not, it will affect our morning duties.”
He Tianshu nodded his head and said, “Alright, You all hurry to the canteen, work is more important. If something happens to those herbs, we will all be implicated.”
After saying his sentence, he brought everyone to the courtyard and then to the canteen, leaving behind Zhang Xiaohua who was still in the horse stance position as he cried out, “Squad leader He, I am hungry too, what should I do?”
The He Tianshu who had already entered the courtyard slapped his forehead and said, “I have actually forgotten about Zhang Xiaohua.”
He quickly yelled back, “Xiaohua….. you can count to have passed the test. Hurry eat your breakfast and we will talk later at night.”
Zhang Xiaohua heeded the man’s instructions and ran like a rabbit out of its burrow behind the four men to the canteen, his body seemingly fine even after the exercise.
In the canteen, the azure robed men with little hats were almost done with their breakfast, and when they saw Zhang Xiaohua rushed over, they seemed to be happy over his misfortune. When Zhang Xiaohua sat down and even before he picked up his chopsticks, Tian Zhongxi walked over and said, “Zhang Xiaohua, I know that you are young and are in the period of growth, so it is normally to want to sleep more. However, you should have some self-discipline, do not wake up too late. I will not blame you this time round, but if you are late again in the future, I will deduct it from your pay. Understood?”
Zhang Xiaohua was about to explain, “I…”
Tian Zhongxi immediately said, “Do not give me any excuse, being lazy is just that. I have heard it all from Ma Jing so do not find any more excuses, I hope you will correct your behavior in the future, and be a good servant in the Huanxi mountain villa.”
EN: This dumbass….MC you better need to shut his mouth.
Then, he patted Zhang Xiaohua’s shoulders and walked off.
Zhang Xiaohua turned his gaze to Ma Jing who flashed him a smile, put down his chopsticks and left the canteen.
Zhang Xiaohua wondered, “I have been stepping on toes wherever I go unintentionally. I only just arrived, and want to learn martial arts. Why does this Ma Jing keep bullying me?”