Translator : Casualtranslator
~ Enjoy ~
Fist martial art manual
Zhang Xiaohua said slyly, “When there is a will, there is a way. Wasn’t it because elder brother was looking for a bride that he found his motivation and succeeded? Second brother must motivate himself too.”
“Dan” Zhang Xiaohu landed his fist on Zhang Xiaohua’s head and said, “The person is small but his guts are big. Don’t worry, your second brother’s heart is completely set on the Jianghu, and he will become someone who helps the needy and defenseless.”
“Oh right, there was a reason why I wanted to learn martial arts in the martial arts school, and that is to learn how to cultivate inner energy. This may be my only chance to do so.” Zhang Xiaohu explained to Zhang Xiaohua.
“Really, second brother, if you learn inner energy cultivation methods in the martial arts school division, then can you teach them to me as well?” Zhang Xiaohua said excitedly with his heart full of expectations.
Zhang Xiaohu could not bear to let Zhang Xiaohua down so he answered, “Look at what you are saying, Xiaohua. As long as second brother learns it and can teach you, I will definitely do so, how would I bear to hide it from you?”
“However,” Zhang Xiaohu gave the latter a reality check, “Even though the martial arts school can teach its student inner energy cultivation methods, not everyone will get the chance to learn it. Apart from aptitude, they will also look at a person’s background for an intimate connection with the escort station. Sigh, even if I could enter the martial arts school, it will still be difficult to learn an inner energy cultivation method.”
Zhang Xiaohua replied in disagreement, “Second brother’s aptitude is so good, and our family background is clear. Even though we are connected to the escort station now, that may not be the case in the future. Perhaps that was what sixth master Li was thinking when he spoke a good word for you.”
Zhang Xiaohu was very aware of his situation and said, “I heard that this aptitude towards inner energy cultivation method differs from the aptitude towards fist martial arts. Everyone can learn fist martial arts, but the same cannot be said for inner energy cultivation methods. Some people would train for many years before have a sliver of improvement, and other people will be able to step over to greater distances the moment they picked it up. Whether or not I have this aptitude is still not proven yet.”
“I think you will not have a problem, second brother, I have seen how good you are!” Zhang Xiaohua smiled as he said, “Furthermore, the inner energy cultivation method in Lotus escort should be pretty good, or at least up to Yu Deyi’s standard. You have seen yesterday how powerful his purple sand fist was and yet he still chooses to come here to learn martial arts, and Shangguan Yun also seemed to have an understanding towards inner energy and he also chose to come here secretly. And there is also Yu Lun who has not learnt about inner energy before but still came here to do so, you were not there yesterday when I saw how he bootlicked Yu Deyi as though he saw his master.”
Zhang Xiaohu said exasperatedly, “That’s right, he is also pitiful. He had to give up his dignity to pursue something that cannot be easily obtained, it has also been hard for him.”
Zhang Xiaohua laughed, “Dignity? Difficult on him? While sitting in the carriage, we could already see how he tried to butter up to Shangguan Yun, and from the way he acted yesterday, it was like a light carriage on a familiar road, so I doubt that he has given up yet.”
Zhang Xiaohu straightened his face and said, “Xiaohua, don’t be too quick to place your judgement on other people, everyone has their own way of life and so do we, so why bother about them?”
Zhang Xiaohua lowered his brows and said, “Amitabha, younger brother has been enlightened.”
After saying that, he burst out into laughter.
Zhang Xiaohu also laughed happily.
Time passes quickly when one is with someone he loves, and it became afternoon before they realized it. Yu Lun came as promised and Zhang Xiaohua ate the expectedly delicious food with relish. With Zhang Xiaohu’s help, he finished every crumb and even Zhang Xiaohu was surprised, was this the appetite of an injured patient?
After his meal, the Zhang Xiaohua who did not have any rest in the morning was feeling tired so Zhang Xiaohu let him sleep peacefully.
When Zhang Xiaohua was fast asleep, Zhang Xiaohu would continue to practice even and every stance of the sixth fist in his room patiently. His movements were sometimes quick, and slow at other times as he carefully felt the sensation of his movements with an expression of satisfaction in his eyes, as if he was drunk in his own fantasy.
The sleeping Zhang Xiaohua had dazedly entered the state which he was in during morning, and the thirty stances which he had learnt was swimming around his head again. Within the flow of his imagination, there were little figures of Zhang Xiaohua displaying each of the stance, and after a long while, the image became messy and two figures would occasionally link perfectly to each other. Suddenly, a tidal wave suddenly washed over Zhang Xiaohua’s heart as fast as lightning waking the boy up, and as Zhang Xiaohua tried to remember his dream, he was unable to recall any traces of it.
At that moment, Zhang Xiaohua noticed Zhang Xiaohu practicing his fist martial arts patiently in the empty space of the room. As he watched on, his heart could not helped but moved as an idea flowed into his head, could these thirty stances he remembered be linked together to form part of a martial art?
The more he thought about it, the less he was convinced by the idea, it was too far-fetched. Who would do something as silly as break a martial art into different martial arts? Did he have too much idle time?
However, this idea was like a seed in his heart, it would occasionally surface in his head involuntarily but he was not able to dig it out. By that time, he had lost his interest in watching Zhang Xiaohu’s practice.
Suddenly, he thought of another idea again. Since he was unable to practice a full set of martial arts, why not link these incomplete martial art stances together to form his own fist martial art?
He could walk his own path and practice a martial art that belonged solely to him.
But, was this feasible?
He immediately washed away his uncertainty, why not?
Hadn’t the two stances linked themselves together just now? Since he already had thirty stances and much time on his hands, why not try it out?
Perhaps he could succeed?
Zhang Xiaohua became nervous and his heart pumped faster. The weather was hot and he was covered with thick blankets yet his body felt cold, was this the effect of his excitement?
A newborn calf is unafraid of a tiger, and only Zhang Xiaohua who had this sort of mindset having never taught martial arts with proper instruction could think of such an unbelievable idea. If squad leader He knew his thoughts, he would definitely first feel the boy’s forehead to see if he had a fever, and then cry and yell all the way back to Ou Yan to let her send Xiaohua to the martial arts learning hall of Piaomiao sect, so that the boy could learn the elementary syllabus of martial arts with the other four to five year old children. He Tianshu will also definitely use this piece of advice that masters commonly imparted to their disciples, “Self-learning is very dangerous, one must follow the proper education method or he will have no future to speak of.”
The sixth fist, Rohan fist are all entry-level martial arts that have been tested and proven over uncountable years to become what they were, even modifying one stance would be incomparably difficult yet Zhang Xiaohua planned to use them to form his own fist martial art. If Zhang Xiaohua said that he could do it, the entire population of Jianghu will burst into laughter.
A pity that Zhang Xiaohua did not know these, and he was trying at that moment to piece the jumbled martial arts stances together like a jigsaw toy.
What he thought would be an easy task, since it was only thirty stances, became incredibly complex and Zhang Xiaohua’s head became dizzy from the effort. Unfortunately, Zhang Xiaohua had not learnt combinations and permutations in mathematics so he did not know how difficult it was to piece thirty martial arts stances together.
Slowly, he began to feel signs of despair, but upon seeing Zhang Xiaohu concentrating deeply on repeating two or three of the stances with a serious expression on his face, he thought that since they were blood brothers, then he should not be too stupid. Instead of piecing all thirty pieces together, Zhang Xiaohua thought that he could begin with putting two stances together first before linking them into larger groups, and indeed, Zhang Xiaohua found two stances that perfectly linked together not long after. Unfortunately, as he tried to form his second pair, his efforts were not as fruitful and he could not find any other stances that linked together as perfectly as the first.
Zhang Xiaohua entered a deep introspective mood again, was his way of thought wrong? However, since he had at least put two stances together, it meant that this road was viable so what else is there to think about?
Suddenly, a strange thought came into his mind, the stances he learnt were only incomplete parts of many stances in a martial art and there were others that he still had to learn, if he wanted to create a complete martial art, he would need to learn the rest of the stances.
However, from Zhang Xiaohua’s month of experience training in martial arts, he estimated that he would have to spend much time to learn many more martial arts to find the other missing stances. It would depend on his how memory to see how many stances he would remember from each martial art, but how many stances were there in his final complete fist martial art, and how many martial arts would he have to learn as a result?
Zhang Xiaohua naturally did not have the answer to how long he would need, but as for how many stances there will be, all he had to do was link all the martial arts stances perfectly together, and his fist martial art would reach its large accomplishment stage.
However, Zhang Xiaohua was immediately stumped with another question, how could he learn all these other martial arts? From the way squad leader He looked at him, it seemed that the former was disappointed at him and would not be willing to teach him further. Even if Zhang Xiaohua were to beg, he felt embarrassed of his own aptitude, if he could only remember bits and pieces from each martial art, where would he find the nerve to ask for further instruction?
Even if He Tianshu was willing to teach him, could the martial arts he teach fulfill Zhang Xiaohua’s huge requirement? Could it make up for the frighteningly poor memory of his?
It seemed that he had to find another way, but what can he do? Zhang Xiaohua smiled bitterly, he had overcome many difficulties to come Pingyang city, and gone through so many twists and turns before he managed to secure He Tianshu as an instructor to teach him martial arts. Wouldn’t it be a fool’s dream to hope to find another instructor?
Of course, he could ask his second brother to teach him martial arts. However, the idea perished as soon as he thought of it, Zhang Xiaohu had his own path on the martial art road and it involved focusing on a single fist martial art. Thus, Zhang Xiaohua could not let Zhang Xiaohu break his “chastity” just to help him, and he knew that his second brother would immediately deviate from his own training if he asked.
Sigh, learning could be considered as faith, but it was truly difficult.
Forget it, Zhang Xiaohua shook his head. The phrase “There will naturally be a road that reaches the mountain, and there will definitely be a Biaochi (speeding) carriage if there is a road” appeared in his mind, this phrase was indeed the “Biaochi” carriage station’s advertising slogan. When his injuries heal, perhaps he would find a solution to his problem then.
Zhang Xiaohua lay on his bed and looked at the ceiling in boredom, his right hand as still hurting and it could not move at all, these days spent nurturing his injuries will be difficult to bear apart from the delicious food.
Zhang Xiaohu was still engrossed in studying and improving his understanding of the sixth fist. Zhang Xiaohua was puzzled, his second brother had already practiced this fist martial art for more than a month, how could he still be so interested in it? He definitely would not be able to maintain his interest, and this was probably the difference arising from different people.
At that moment, a knock rang from outside the door, Zhang Xiaohu kept back his martial arts stance and went to open the door, and it was the scholar Li Jinfeng that had come to visit Zhang Xiaohua.
When Li Jinfeng entered the room, he said, “I am sorry, Xiaohua. I still had classes in the morning so I could not come by, hence I came straight after that. How are you feeling today?”
Zhang Xiaohua felt touched and he said, “Elder brother Li, you do not have to visit me if you are busy. This type of injury that I have will be healed in no time, and I don’t feel particularly uncomfortable anywhere as well, apart from the pain.”
Li Jinfeng sat by the bed, looked at Zhang Xiaohu and said, “Since we all came to Pingyang city together, it can be counted as fate tying us together. To be honest, even though my household is better off than yours, we are not so wealthy compared to the rest. I chose to pursue literature, unlike the two of you who are learning martial arts to enter the Jianghu, and this actually made me envious. I am also the only child in my household, so seeing the close relationship the both of you share makes me even more jealous, which is why I wanted to get closer to you. Brother Xiaohu, I hope you don’t mind.”
Zhang Xiaohu was surprised and he quickly replied, “Gentleman Li is exaggerating, you are a scholar who is bound to a good future, how can we compare to you. If you wish to come over more often, we will be more than willing to welcome you, why would we mind at all?”
Li Jinfeng smiled and said, “Stop calling me so politely, and don’t be so courteous in your speech. I will be finding the both of you to chat more often in the future.”
Zhang Xiaohua said happily, “Alright, elder brother Li, I like a lively atmosphere, so come as often as you can.”
Li Jinfeng replied happily, “Alright, Xiaohua. Honestly, it is not easy to find people to get along with when you are out and alone.”
“Oh right, I also bought some snacks on the streets just now, would you be able to eat them in your current condition?” Li Jinfeng said as he brought out a small cloth package, from which he took out some snacks.
“Can, I can eat it, why wouldn’t I be able to.” Seeing that there was something nice to eat, Zhang Xiaohua said immediately.
Zhang Xiaohu took the snacks over and fed Zhang Xiaohua, making the latter overjoyed as he said, “Thank you elder brother Li, this snack is really delicious, I have never eaten it before. I love to eat the most, and I don’t think the physician had instructed me to avoid any particular food, a good appetite is a good body after all.”
Seeing that Zhang Xiaohua enjoyed the snack, Li Jinfeng also felt happy as though he was looking at himself from the past.
He then took out an old and tattered book from his breast and said, “This is the fist martial art manual that I found in the library while I was reading, it seemed that someone had left it there. Rather than to let it sit and rot, I thought of bringing it to you since you can’t move about while nursing your injuries. When you are bored, you can read it to pass the time.”
Zhang Xiaohua thought that he was getting something good but when he saw the book, his face turned bitter as he said, “Why is it a book? Elder brother Li, I can’t read. I may recognize a few words here and there, but reading a book will be too difficult.”
“Oh?” Li Jinfeng also felt embarrassed as he said, “I have overlooked this possibility. Haha, however, Xiaohua, this is a book on fist martial arts. I have flipped through it and the contents are mostly pictures instead. There are some words inside to describe the moves, perhaps you can understand when you read them?”
“Fist martial art manual?” Zhang Xiaohua was surprised and he said, “I wonder what a fist martial art manual is?”
Li Jinfeng was astonished when he heard these words, he said, “You do not know what a fist martial art manual is?”
Zhang Xiaohua asked back, “I don’t know, why must I know it?”
Li Jinfeng smiled and said, “Fist martial arts manual is a book that contains martial arts technique, I thought that all the people who practice martial arts who know them but I guess this is not the case.”
Zhang Xiaohua’s face turned red as he said, “I only started practicing recently, and not everyone would know what a fist martial art manual is, there are always exceptions to a case. Second brother, did you know?”
“This, about this, I heard of this before so it can be counted as a yes.” Zhang Xiaohu’s face also turned slightly hot.
Li Jinfeng knew that the two brothers came from the village and are unaware of many things so he did not make fun of them, he said, “Even though I don’t practice martial arts, I have at least read several stories and accounts so my knowledge on the subject is not trivial. It has been said that martial arts used to be taught from oral description so secrets could be kept. However, if one of the inheritor of the martial arts learnt something wrong, he would cause the future generations to learn wrongly as well. Or in the case where a person disappears before he found someone to inherit his martial arts, the martial art would be lost forever. Hence, some smart people later recorded the techniques and explanations into books which were convenient to pass around. Thus, there came to be fist martial arts manual, sword manuals, spear manuals, kick manuals, whip manuals and the like, although I have not seen them before.”
Zhang Xiaohua’s eyes brightened as he asked, “Elder brother Li has not seen of energy manuals before?”
Li Jinfeng was surprised and he asked back, “What are energy manuals?”
Zhang Xiaohua replied, “That is a book that contains inner energy cultivation methods.”
Li Jinfeng shook his head and said, “No, but they may exist.”
“Oh~” Zhang Xiaohua shook his head in disappointment, if he could obtain this “energy manual”, then it would be the best situation possible, and his brother and he can follow the pictures to learn inner energy cultivation.
However, he was still happy because it was already not bad that he could learn fist martial arts. He was still wondering how to pick up new fist martial arts just now, and Li Jinfeng actually sent him a way. With fist martial art manuals, could he self-learn and not find an instructor anymore? It seemed that all his problems were solved with this.