Have fun reading!
*[TN: update, I’ve changed the names of the 3 basic sword stances from (slash, slice and stab) to (cleave, pick, and stab)]
Chapter 12 : Danger of Death (1)
“Ah Dai, quickly stop!” Owen cried out, if Ah Dai continued, the true qi would be compressed too much, and there was a chance of his hand exploding.
However, Ah Dai was already unable to stop. After his true qi was condensed, it was no longer the gentle energy circulating within his body. His eyes widened as he shouted, “AH——” His right fist suddenly shot towards the rock, and a beam of white light that was around 5 centimetres in diameter shot out. Immediately after, Ah Dai collapsed onto the ground, his body was limp.
“Boom, boom—” The two loud bangs made Owen dumbfounded, even if Ah Dai could smash the rock into powder, he would not be this shocked. However, the sight before him was really unbelievable. There was a hole in the middle of the average-sized rock, caused by the dou qi that Ah Dai emitted. The dou qi had passed through the rock, and hit heavily against the surface of the sea, causing a water column of almost 10 metres to appear. However, there were no signs of cracks around the area where the rock had been penetrated, showing how concentrated the attack was.
Owen stood dumbfoundedly, only reacting after a long time. The strike that Ah Dai executed just now had already reached 50% of Owen’s strength, which is to say, the dou qi that Ah Dai had released, was 200% of his own standard. Ah! Owen walked up and hugged Ah Dai in his arms, then stretched out his right hand and placed in on Ah Dai’s dantian, checking his current condition. Ah Dai’s dantian was surprisingly empty, not even a sliver of dou qi was left. His whole body was limp, clearly a sign of overexertion. Owen bitterly laughed, “He really used all of his qi in this earth-shattering strike! This kid, has—”
Carrying Ah Dai, Owen continuously channeled his true qi into Ah Dai’s body. After a while, Ah Dai slowly woke up. When he was executing the earth-shattering strike, he felt as though his body was sucked dry, the explosive force from the compressed dou qi had taken away all of his energy.
“Uncle, was my earth-shattering strike successful?”
Owen forced a smile and nodded, “You are too reckless. If you were attacking enemies instead, I’m afraid you will not be able to recover, even after a week. 200%, that is a frightening power! Ah Dai, how did you compress the dou qi, but not let it explode?”
Ah Dai replied, “I don’t know either. Yesterday I was thinking about the through point strike that you mentioned, and I thought that it would be better to compress the energy to the smallest possible. Therefore, I tried my best to compress my true qi, and execute it like dou qi. After that, I don’t know what happened. Can true qi explode too?”
“Of course, when true qi is too concentrated, the powerful energy will explode. There was even a case where an expert had died from compressing the true qi within his body. Perhaps, the spiritual power from your meditation, coupled with the Fruit of Rebirth, have saved you this time. In the future, unless there is no other choice, you must never do this again, it’s too dangerous.”
Ah Dai nodded, “Uncle, my body feels empty, it’s so uncomfortable! Didn’t you say that there will be an endless supply of true qi when cultivating the Boundless Life Art? How come I’ve used up all of it, and there’s no more?”
Owen snapped back, “Even though it’s endless, it still requires a source to supply. Even your source has been used up, how will your true qi be able to replenish? Let’s go back, I’ll help you recover your energy first.”
Even though Owen had used the same source of true qi to help Ah Dai cultivate, it still took a full two day’s worth of effort, before Ah Dai finally recovered to his initial state. In the two days, Owen had advised Ah Dai on the methods of cultivation, as well as how to execute the dou qi to the greatest effect and efficiency.
“Your energy has recovered, today you shall go up onto the wooden pole again. Remember what I’ve taught you, use 70% and keep 30%. Be careful not to use the earth-shattering strike again. Overexertion will not be beneficial towards your future cultivation.”
Ah Dai was also fearful, as it took two whole days before the true qi within him could recover to its initial state.
The days passed by as Ah Dai continued his practicing through point strike. He had found the correct method, the impact of the waves was no longer a threat to him, instead it helped him to improve rapidly. After 3 months, he could endure for a whole afternoon, not letting the waves hit his body. His body also became sturdier with each day of fighting against the waves, there was a healthy bronzed glow on his skin, a stark difference from his original fair skin, and a sharp, cold glint would occasionally flash across his eyes.
Owen stood on a rock, looking pleased as Ah Dai continuously fought back the waves with his punches. He nodded in satisfaction, and muttered, “His progress is really fast! Although the Fruit of Rebirth has an extraordinary effect, this kid has indeed worked hard as well.” The hard work needed to withstand the waves was not what normal people could imagine. Ah Dai had stopped learning knowledge, and only spent all of his time fighting against the waves, meditating and cultivating. However, he had never once complained.
In the afternoon, Owen untied Ah Dai from the wooden pole. After they had eaten,just as Ah Dai was about to return to the wooden pole, Owen stopped him. “We will begin the next lesson, your dou qi execution is already quite good.” As he spoke, he grabbed Ah Dai’s slender arms, “Do you know, the form of your hands are better than Uncle’s? Most of my martial arts are related to the sword. From today onwards, you will need to experience the features of the sword. I have nothing to teach you in this aspect, you will need to experience it for yourself. Only after you can become true friends with the sword, will you be able to unleash its true power.” He retrieved the huge broadsword behind the rocks, which he had hidden when they first arrived. As it was unused for a few years, it was covered with rust.
[TN: so apparently, Owen had 2 swords, one was the Hell’s Sword, and the other was the broadsword from his school Q~Q ]
“Old buddy! You must be lonely. ” Owen looked at the broadsword in his hands with misty eyes. The sword had accompanied him for 30 years! He held the sword in one hand, and the other hand was radiating white colored true qi. He guided the white light towards the sword, instantly removing the rust on the sword, revealing a glimmering sword.
“Ah Dai, this broadsword had accompanied me for 30 years, from today onwards, it will be your partner. It is five feet six in length, the hilt is one feet two, the blade four feet four; its maximum width is half a foot, the thickest part is three feet, and it weighs 76 kilograms. Its name is TianGang Sword.”
Ah Dai was shocked, “76 kilograms? Uncle, did you say wrongly?” Even the town blacksmith’s hammer weighed only 20 kilograms.
Owen lifted up the sword, and with just the quiver of his finger, he caused the sword to create an afterimage. The 76 kilogram sword seemed like a light feather in his hands. Placing the sword in front of him, he sighed while stroking the blade of the sword, “Is it very heavy? Perhaps, at the start you may think so, but once you have become one with the sword, you will no longer feel its weight.”
Ah Dai looked at the TianGang Sword that was even taller than him, his heart filled with excitement as he walked up and asked, “Uncle, can I try it?”
Owen curled his fingers around the hilt, pointing the sharp end of the sword downwards, and passed the sword over. As Ah Dai grabbed hold of the hilt, Owen loosened his grip, and Ah Dai felt a sudden heaviness. Although he had mentally prepared himself, he did not grab the sword tight enough, and the sharp edge of the sword instantly sunk into the ground, causing a loud sound. Owen chided, “Silly kid, did you cultivate the Boundless Life Art for naught? Use qi to wield the sword.”
Ah Dai stuck out his tongue, as he took a deep breath and started circulating the true qi within his body, causing a white glow to emanate from his body. With both of his hands, he gripped the hilt of the sword tightly, and instantly lifted the TianGang Sword. Under the help of the true qi, the sword indeed felt lighter. However, he still could not wield it with ease, if not for his constant training of using dou qi, he might not have been able to even lift it. Owen said in a low voice, “Guide your qi in your dantian, steady your feet and circulate the true qi to your waist. From waist to back, from back to shoulder, from shoulder to arm, from arm to elbow, from elbow to wrist, from wrist to hand, from hand to finger. This is the foundation of using the sword. There are 36 moves in the TianGang Sword Technique, however they are very complicated. I’m afraid that you won’t be able to remember them, so I’ve simplified them into 9 moves. Look, this is the first move, Rainbow Through the Sun.”
There was a blur in front of Ah Dai’s eyes, and his hands suddenly felt lighter. In just a moment, the TianGang Sword was already in Owen’s hands. Owen’s body flashed in the air, as he became one with the sword, dashing out. The TianGang Sword was surrounded with the white glow, and there was an indomitable aura around it. When he landed, Owen asked, “Did you observe it carefully? It may seem easy, but it requires your hands, eyes and heart to be coordinated. How about this, you don’t need to practise the sword technique now. Today, you will just practise the three basic sword stances, cleave, pick and stab.” He described the main points of the three stances, and passed the TianGang Sword to Ah Dai before he left.
“I cleave, I cleave!” When the sun had finally set, Ah Dai had already practised to the point that his whole body was sore. Although it was just three simple stances, he could not seem to find the correct feeling.
“How was your training?” Owen suddenly appeared on the rock, whilst holding a tree branch.
Ah Dai scratched his head and replied, “I don’t know how to put it, but it just feels different from what you have demonstrated.”
Owen took a look at the sword marks on the rocks, and shook his head, “Slashing requires an imposing power. Although you can only use 70% of your power and keep the remaining 30% for the next move, you need to display the dominance over your opponents. Look.” As he spoke, he raised the tree branch high above his head. The surrounding wind seemed to have stopped moving, no longer blowing across Ah Dai’s body. An abnormally strong pressure forced Ah Dai back a few steps, as he looked in shock at the tree branch in Owen’s hands.
The pressure suddenly disappeared, causing Ah Dai’s body to feel light. “Did you look carefully? Now, use your sword to slash towards me, as long as you can make both of my feet leave the ground, you will have succeeded,” said Owen.
Ah Dai nodded, and copied Owen’s movements, his hands lifting the TianGang Sword into the air. He let out a warning to Owen as he channelled dou qi into the sword, slashing the sword downwards. Although his strike did not have the dominance of Owen’s, there was still a faint radiance emanating from the TianGang Sword.
Owen let out a pleased smile. Just as the sword was about to hit him, he used the tree branch to gently slice towards the sword, directing it away. Ah Dai felt that the sword in his hands had suddenly become heavier, as it slashed downwards, with almost half of the blade sinking into the ground.
Owen said, “Dou qi needs to either be conserved or suddenly released. If you had not released all of your dou qi just now, I would not have been able to deflect it so easily. Again.”
Just like this, the pair of old and young started to train on the rocks. The endless true qi continuously supported Ah Dai in wielding the sword. It was at night when Ah Dai could finally force Owen to defend against him. Although he was unable to force back Owen, Owen was still pleased with the results. In order to let Ah Dai better grasp the essence of the sword and to understand its meaning, Owen continued to tie Ah Dai on the wooden pole. However, the difference was that Ah Dai had to use the TianGang Sword to slash apart the waves. Time flew by, and in the blink of an eye, Ah Dai and Owen had already lived in Sweetrock Town for six years.
On top of the rock, a light constantly flashed. It was Ah Dai, who was practising the TianGang Sword Technique. In the continent, the 36 moves of the TianGang Sword Technique was considered to be one of the most widespread sword arts. Its power was not very great, but it was extremely useful for large-scale fights, making it suitable for the battlefield. Although Owen had simplified it for Ah Dai, the power of the technique did not lessen. After a long period of training, Ah Dai was already skilled in using his dou qi to control the TianGang Sword. Due to his earlier years of establishing a strong foundation for his dou qi, Ah Dai was now able to learn other stuff in a much shorter time. In the three years, Owen had imparted his whole lifetime of skills to Ah Dai. Ah Dai might be a little dumb, but his hard work had paid off. His Boundless Life Art was almost at the Fifth Stage, and there was huge improvement in his body and sword techniques. When facing Owen who was wielding a tree branch, he could at least withstand ten moves without defeat.
Owen stood by the side, looking at Ah Dai who was practising the sword, and revealed a satisfied expression. After Ah Dai’s Boundless Life Art had broken through to the Fifth Stage, he would be able to learn the secret techniques. The eighteen year old Ah Dai was almost the same height as Owen, and his shoulders were broad. Apart from his youthful face, he seemed almost like an adult.
“Okay, Ah Dai, come back,” Owen shouted loudly.
Ah Dai used his qi to lighten himself, and landed beside Owen whilst holding his sword, “Uncle, are we going to learn something new today?”
Owen smiled, shaking his head, “In this few years, you have already learnt most of the basics, Uncle is very pleased with that. After some time, when your Boundless Life Art has reached the Fifth Stage, Uncle will teach you the infamous Hell’s Sword Technique. That is my true ability! Let’s go, your Uncle Schiel came over today morning, inviting us to a crab meal. You are going to enjoy yourself.”
Once food was mentioned, Ah Dai was still like a child, his eyes glistened with excitement, and he laughed, “Okay! Ah Dai loves to eat crabs!”
The two of them laughed and chatted on the way back to Sweetrock Town, while the TianGang Sword was left amidst the rocks as usual. Although Schiel and his family were very close to Owen, Schiel still did not know that Owen and Ah Dai had practised martial arts. Owen had only told them that Ah Dai had grown up, and was working in the shipyard.