Translator : Casualtranslator
~ Enjoy ~
After He Tianshu waited for a while, he still did not see Zhang Xiaohua move and could not help but ask curiously, “What is the matter, Zhang Xiaohua, why haven’t you started?”
Zhang Xiaohua faced him and replied apologetically, “Squad leader He, sorry but I have forgotten it.”
He Tianshu smiled and said, “No problem, this sixth fist is a complex set of fist movements, forgetting is a normal thing. We will assume that you have not learnt it before, and I will teach you the basic Rohan fist. Watch me as I demonstrate it once.”
Then, he began to display the entire set of Rohan fists stance and after he was done, he asked Zhang Xiaohua, “Do you understand?”
Zhang Xiaohua shook his head and said, “No, you were too fast for me to see clearly.”
He Tianshu smiled and performed the same set of actions in a slower pace, then asked Zhang Xiaohua again, “Did you see it clearly this time?”
Zhang Xiaohua nodded and said, “I did.”
He Tianshu asked, “Can you show it to me?”
Zhang Xiaohua shook his head again and said, “I could not remember.”
He Tianshu nodded and said, “Alright, I will do it again and you will copy my movements this time.”
After finishing his sentence and without waiting for Zhang Xiaohua to respond, he began to perform the same set of actions. Zhang Xiaohua stood by his side and tried to mimic the same sets of movements and after He Tianshu was done, Zhang Xiaohua finished as well.
He Tianshu asked again, “So how was it, could you remember?”
Zhang Xiaohua closed his eyes and pondered, he then said, “Squad leader He, can you do it again so I can learn from you?”
He Tianshu agreed, “Alright.”
Then, he slowly performed the stance again, and his speed was even slower than before and Zhang Xiaohua repeated his motions by the side.
He Tianshu saw the Zhang Xiaohua was done so he said, “Zhang Xiaohua, do it again on your own and let me see it.”
Zhang Xiaohua closed his eyes and searched within his memory, he positioned his hands and began to perform the Rohan fist as he could remember. However, he stopped halfway through and said sheepishly, “Squad leader He, I have forgotten, can you do it again?”
He Tianshu was slightly exasperated but he patiently performed it again in an even slower pace. Zhang Xiaohua carefully followed his motions but when he tried it himself again, he only remembered a few more stances than his previous attempt. Thus, he asked again, “Squad leader He, I still cannot remember, can you do it again?”
By this time, He Tianshu’s furrow between his brows became even deeper, he did not perform the complete set of actions again, but instead continued from where Zhang Xiaohua stopped. Stroke by stroke, he directed Zhang Xiaohua until his whole body was filled with sweat, and was even more exhausted than exchanging pointers with someone else.
Thinking that Zhang Xiaohua must have learnt it all by then, He Tianshu instructed Zhang Xiaohua to demonstrate the Rohan fist from beginning to end, but halfway through, the latter stopped and scratched his head apologetically. Just as he was about to speak, He Tianshu broke first and said, “Did you forget again, and you need me to demonstrate again?”
Zhang Xiaohua’s face turned red and he replied, “Yes.”
He Tianshu sighed out deeply and said, “This will be the last time.” Then, he continued his method of teaching Zhang Xiaohua stroke by stroke as he went through all the movements. Then, he sighed in relief and asked, “You should have learnt it by now right.”
Zhang Xiaohua strained to nod his head so He Tianshu said, “Then go ahead.“
Hence, Zhang Xiaohua performed the Rohan fist again. The looks on his face was serious, and fortunately he did not stop where he last forgotten, and smoothly went past that part like flowing clouds and water, but his momentum did not continue for long. Two to three strokes later, Zhang Xiaohua stopped again and peeked at He Tianshu as though he wanted to say something. The pitiful He Tianshu was almost driven crazy and he said, “Did you forget it again, and need me to demonstrate?”
Zhang Xiaohua nodded his head cheerfully.
He Tianshu was at a loss for words, he pointed to Zhang Xiaohua and said, “Zhang Xiaohua-ah, Zhang Xiaohua, are you a genius or an idiot? There are only eighteen stances in this Rohan fist, and is considered the simple entry level martial art. Smarter people are able to pick it up after one demonstration, and even for me whom my master called a stupid as a bull took four tries before I could perform it from start to end without any reminders. You… you have taken five tries, so why do you only remember eleven stances?”
Zhang Xiaohua answered carefully, “Squad leader He, you have displayed it six times.”
He Tianshu ignored his words and continued, “When other people learn martial arts, they find the horse stance most difficult yet you don’t even require any practice and can hold it longer than I. I have trained this horse stance for who knows how long and could still remember how difficult it was but you easily passed this obstacle so calling you a genius would not be far-fetched. Yet why is it so difficult for you to learn fist stances? Fine, I won’t say anymore, I will perform the sixth demonstration, which will also be my last.”
Zhang Xiaohua corrected him again, “Squad leader He, it would be your seventh demonstration.”
He Tianshu waved his hand and said, “I don’t care if it is the seventh or eighth, this will be the very last one.”
After finishing his sentence, he performed it painfully slowly, like a snail crawling on a leaf before sighing out deeply and looking at Zhang Xiaohua. Zhang Xiaohua closed his eyes and pondered for quite a while before he entered the first stance. However, good news did not come to He Tianshu because when Zhang Xiaohua reached the thirteenth stance, he stopped again and did continue any further. Zhang Xiaohua looked at He Tianshu and opened his mouth, but no words could come out.
Seeing the inconvenienced look on Zhang Xiaohua’s face, He Tianshu felt as if there were a thousand grievances in his heart, and he did not know what to say. Instead, he walked off while thinking of the same old phrase: the higher the expectations, the greater the fall.
He Tianshu saw in Zhang Xiaohua an opportunity for himself to advance, but after seeing Zhang Xiaohua’s aptitude in martial arts, he could only blame himself for having eyes but did not see.
In the night, the Zhang Xiaohua who was left behind by a wave from He Tianshu stood there awkwardly. He clenched his teeth as he watched the disappearing back of He Tianshu, but did not follow behind. Instead, he frowned and tried to recall for a long time. Then, he entered the horse stance again and began to perform the Rohan fist. Up to one point, he stopped, having forgotten the rest. Hence, he stood there to recall again, continued to perform it, and stopped midway again. If He Tianshu saw Zhang Xiaohua repeating these set of motions for several cycles, his nose would have definitely flared in anger, because Zhang Xiaohua performed up to the thirteen stance on the first cycle, tenth stance on the second cycle, ninth stance on the third cycle. In short, he forgot more the more he practiced until he reached the sixth stance where he did not forget any more.
This kind of aptitude, sigh. The sigh did not come from He Tianshu who had already left long before, but it came from elder Yu who was standing on a wall faraway. He shook his head and thought, even if the boy had one thousand jin of strength, what would be the use?
The elder Yu who had come secretly to watch their training left feeling disappointed.
Thus, Zhang Xiaohua was left truly alone this time as he kept repeating the motions up to the sixth stance in fear of forgetting another stance.
Knowing that it had gotten really late, Zhang Xiaohua could not endure it any longer and he went back to his room to sleep. The room smelt the same as usual, and Zhang Xiaohua shook his head before opening the windows.
Strangely, although it was already May and the room was warm and stuffy without the opened windows, Ma Jing continued to close his windows every day which made Zhang Xiaohua stumped.
While lying on his bed, Zhang Xiaohua’s head was still full of the stances of the Rohan fist, but it was always up to the sixth stance as he tossed and turned before falling asleep eventually.
In the middle of the night, the bright flashing lights did not miss their appointment with Zhang Xiaohua at his dreamland, but Zhang Xiaohua did not seem to notice that the flickering lights had appeared on his four limbs.
In the morning of the next day, Zhang Xiaohua was the first one again to reach the place where they trained their martial arts. He naturally displayed the Rohan fist, mm, the first six stances of the Rohan fist to be accurate. Zhang Xiaohua still felt satisfied with himself because he had not forgotten any more stances over the night.
However, when He Tianshu arrived, he was not as satisfied as Zhang Xiaohua as the latter was of himself.
He Tianshu’s eyes were red as if he did not get a good night rest, probably because he was busy thinking for a long time. Evidently, people will lose sleep when they were bothered or unhappy.
Upon seeing Zhang Xiaohua demonstrate the first six, no, it was five and a half stances of the Rohan fist, He Tianshu’s heart itched to give the former a good kick in his butt. Before he left the night, Zhang Xiaohua could still perform up to the thirteenth stance, why was it only up to five and a half stance now? The fifth stance should be to turn his body to the right and raise his left elbow up while the right arm would form a fist to punch down and towards the front, but Zhang Xiaohua has kept his left elbow down and his right hands punched upwards like a firing cannon, sigh, it could only be considered half a stance.
He Tianshu was speechless, he had taught him each hand movement one by one over six times, no seven times and the boy actually forgotten up to the fifth stance on the next day. Furthermore, the other five stances had some variations from the original stance, his aptitude was truly one in a hundred.
He Tianshu shook his head and was about to walk over to aside to continue his own training, but when he saw Zhang Xiaohua peeking at him through the corner of his eyes as well as the latter’s diligence in trying, He Tianshu’s heart eventually softened. “Never mind, even though the villa master instructed me to teach him martial arts, she did not request me to teach the boy personally.“ Thus, he pointed to a disciple who just walked out of the courtyard and said, “You, go over and teach Zhang Xiaohua the Rohan fist.”
The disciple was surprised and he turned to see Zhang Xiaohua stumbling over the first five stances, he could not help but blurt out a laugh. Seeing He Tianshu’s gaze meeting his eyes, he quickly wiped off the smile and ran over to tell Zhang Xiaohua to stop. Then, he displayed the Rohan fist from beginning to end once.
He Tianshu was looking over as he trained, but he later engrossed himself in his own practice. The reason was because Zhang Xiaohua had fumbled like he did the night before.
When it was time to eat breakfast, Zhang Xiaohua had only learnt up to the tenth stance, and that disciple was still patiently explaining and demonstrating the movements again. Seeing the sweat that glittered across the disciple’s forehead, Zhang Xiaohua said apologetically, “Thanks you for your trouble.”
The disciple smiled bitterly and said, “It is okay, treat it as me reliving my old memories.”
However, he thought bitterly inside, “If I were to teach Zhang Xiaohua like this for the next few days, this Rohan fist would become his own personal specialty, because the Piaomiao sect would not have another disciple who practiced the Rohan fist as many time as he did.”