Making a phone call, Chen Aiyang relayed an order for someone to bring the recording over. Soon enough, the recording was played back on the LCD TV mounted on the wall. With a flickering motion, the fight within the lounge of the headquarters could be seen on its display.
Spellbound, Wang Chao was entranced by the purple-dressed woman on the display. Every camera angle, every word, and every movement had been a breath of fresh air to him. It had left such a deep and immeasurable imprint on Wang Chao that he would never be able to get rid of it.
Seeing this image, the memories of three years ago that had nearly been forgotten all came rushing back such as practicing with Tang Zichen at the shores of Lake Tianxing. Every scene, every action, everything came flowing back to him in crystal clear memory.
Walking on the water jars, hitting the sandbags, and taking a tumble onto the ground. Each time he had a bruise, it had been Tang Zichen who carefully used medicine or her needles to treat his wounds.
Every single time he practiced with the spear and felt his arms begin to ache, it had been Tang Zichen who helped massage the arms to lax the muscles.
Every time he practiced another set of stances, it had been her who corrected him. Every mnemonic of martial arts he had learned, it had been her who explained it to him.
In those two years, food, clothes, living-everything had been provided for by Tang Zichen.
To Wang Chao, Tang Zichen had been like his beloved elder sister who was looking after her weak younger brother lovingly. This type of feeling had suddenly came gushing out as soon as he saw the familiar figure of her on the display.
“Your younger brother has grown up, did you know that? But yet, your younger brother has still not caught up with you. I cannot pass down your teachings just yet.” Wang Chao spoke to himself in a voice only he could hear with a look of anguish.
His train of thought had brought him to that evening.
The sunset was giving off its final radiance over the glittering Lake Tianxing.
With both oars drifting through the waters, the tiny boat gently floated to the center of the water.
Tang Zichen stepped upon the water, and floated away from him.
From that moment on, Wang Chao had never seen her again. From that moment on in Wang Chao’s heart, this sister of his was akin to the Immortals from Daoism that descended into the mortal world to enlighten him.
From that day, that familiar sensation of melodious and pure singing would forever drift through Wang Chao’s heart.
“Together we paddle this boat,
Through the waves it shall float,
A beautiful white tower rising above the waters
This scenery surrounded by trees and the red wall moat,
The boat is gentle, and upon the waters it feels fair,
Blowing ahead with this cool and refreshing air……”
The song of a child was filled with a liveliness that contained no impurities.
Ah, the secular world. If only it was like the songs of a child in its cheerfulness and purity. A world without guilt, how beautiful that would be.
Before Tang Zichen left, Wang Chao’s heart had been like a child.
“We are all merely mortals. No matter how strong our martial arts or how exquisite our skill, we still must struggle to live within the world of mortals. Perhaps your meaning was to leave behind a legacy that would allow for martial arts to slowly pass down one generation from the next. You’ve said to me many times before, there is another world I should not step into. And that I should live my life in peace. But, even now, I have slowly stepped into the very same world as yours. In this world, I cannot be as happy as a child. I cannot be as clean, and neither will my song be as carefree. Maybe I have failed to live up to your expectations.”
The pure and clean song of a child, Tang Zichen’s Immortal figure, the battles of the secular world, bloody murder, money, power, and seduction. Everything had already mixed together to choke Wang Chao’s heart.
Wang Chao’s mind had already oscillated back and forth many times before arriving back at a deep realm of thinking.
This realm of thinking was quite curious. It was almost as if he could see through everything in the outside world and could hear all. But. His heart seemed as if it had fled into the void and stood detached from this outside world.
His body was in the secular world, but his mind stood above the clouds.
“Master Chen, her martial arts is truly impeccable. Her inner organs and muscles are both capable of emitting the sounds of thunder. As with the universe, she is one, and so she has returned to a realm of nothing. You are truly not an opponent for her.” Wang Chao’s mind had snapped back in place. In that split-second, he had remembered something important.
“When in the Jianghu, one cannot move freely. Sis Chen, you were right. We martial artists are not Immortals. Despite our hearts being able to depart from the secular world, our bodies remain connected to it. Even now, it seems that you are no exception to it.”
“In the Jianghu, we must help each other in the most humble circumstances. With my current identity, even if I were to seek you out. It may not necessarily be a good thing to meet. With my current skill and miniscule achievements, I am still a ways away from your level.”
Wang Chao gave a deep exhale.
In a split moment, he had put himself in the shoes of another. After thinking about him in the place of Tang Zichen, he had made his decision.
Even in the Jianghu, one mustn’t forget to help each other in the most humble circumstances.
Even up to this day, Tang Zichen remained in Wang Chao’s mind. She was not some sort of unattainable dream-but she too was a member of the secular world.
Martial artists were not Immortals. Their hearts could transcend, but their bodies could not.
Wang Chao’s calm demeanor had been such that even Chen Aiyang had been unable to see the billows of emotions underneath his expression.
Turning off the monitor, Chen Aiyang said, “In this world, there will always be grandmasters. The grandmasters Yang Luchan, Dong Haichuan, Li Luoneng and Sun Lu-tang, they have already been lost to the sands of time. All that is left of them are legends meant for the later generations to admire. Even after a hundred years since then with so many experts appearing one after another, none of them have reached the degree the grandmasters of the past were capable of. Within this flourishing and decaying century, I believe that the grandmasters of now are only capable of the attaining the Transforming realm. In the future, amongst these men, perhaps you or I will be one of them, but who can tell? The world rises, the world falls, as does martial arts.”
“You are right, but even then, it is still a long ways from now. We shouldn’t speak of this for now.” Wang Chao slowly recollected himself. “I came here today because I heard that you were injured and that you were sent a challenge. So I wanted to be your replacement for the match. How heavy are your injuries?”
“It’s nothing too serious, the meridians within my chest has been injured. But with a month of recuperation, I should heal up. Your help this time, I truly apologize for the trouble.” Chen Aiyang had a melancholic expression on his face. Because of his loss, it could be seen that the power struggle had damaged his mood.
“Don’t say those words. We are practitioners of Chinese boxing, our promises are ones that must be kept. I believe that in the future, if something were to happen to me, you would come lend a hand as well.” Wang Chao spoke. “But, this challenger is another fellow disciple with Zhang Guangming; a Canadian martial artist by the name of Cheng Shanming. Do you know of any potential information?”
“Zhang Guangming was born in the 1980s. In the past, he studied Bajiquan under the tutelage of Manchurian Baji master Huo Qingyun. After seven or eight years, Huo Qingyun passed away, causing Zhang Guangming to leave for Vietnam where he established his name. In that match, it was actually by luck that I won. In terms of skill, he is not inferior to mine own.”
Chen Aiyang began to think back on his memories, “That competition was truthfully the most shocking match I have ever been in. But after that victory, I was given money and fame. Not only did Zhang Guangming learn Bajiquan, but he was also an expert of Baguazhang. I’ve only heard Zhu Hongzhi mention the younger disciple once; he is a direct descendant of the Cheng Sect’s Baguazhang. Cheng Mingshan’s patriarchal grandfather is the elder Cheng Tinghua.”
“Baguazhang. In the past, Li Shuwen taught Huo Diange, and in turn, Huo Diange taught Huo Qingyun. And in those eight years before Huo Qingyun passed away, he taught the nephew of Cheng Tinghua. The two sects helped each other, thus, the lineage of Huo Qingyun has Baguazhang mixed in with their Bajiquan.”
Wang Chao nodded his head, “The Wulin of the past would often times help each other. That is a story that everyone knows. Sun Lu-Tang had once helped Hao Weizhen and later received a secret to Taichi. But Cheng Shanming, how is his skill at martial arts?”
“His martial arts has not yet reached the Transforming Jin realm, but he has at the very least reached the pinnacle of Hidden Jin. But that was three or four years ago, and Zhu Hongzhi had only mentioned him once. Whether he has improved or degraded, I do not know. But this battle is not one where either of us has any guarantees.”
Chen Aiyang spoke, “The Chinese Revival Society had only left the letter two days ago. With there only seven days to respond, that means we only have five days left.”
“To be able to fight with such a high-leveled expert, that is something I have always dreamed of.” Wang Chao smiled.
Chen Aiyang gave a determined stare at Wang Chao for a moment before suddenly speaking, “Master Wang. You are open-minded, and have the air of a master. For the sake of an insignificant friend like me, you are willing to risk your own life. I cannot hold back anything from you. You must know that despite me being known for my Taichi in the martial arts world, my strongest killing move is in fact not from Taichi.”
“Eh?!” Wang Chao gave a startled look.
“My killing move is a combination of techniques, the “Flying Horse Treading on Sparrow”.
TL Note: A joke of the real life statue: Galloping Horse Treading On Flying Sparrow
(The statue) and (The killing move)
“Flying Horse Treading Sparrow!” Wang Chao was stunned.
“This is an ancient technique from the past, a killing move on the battlefield that was passed down from the Han Dynasty. Afterwards, it became a secret that was later honed by countless of masters of martial arts. Soon, it became a one-strike kill move. In essence, it is a combination of the horse stance and the sparrow stance of Xingyiquan.” Chen Aiyang explained.
“In truth, many disciplines of martial arts originated from the movements of animals. Xingyi is like Bagua, Bagua is like Taichi, and Taichi is like Xingyi. Wingchun is like Bajiquan, and Bajiquan is like Hung Ga. Everything has their similarities.” Wang Chao explained.
“You speak correctly.” Chen Aiyang said. “I saw your Pounding Jin of the horse stance. Already it has reached a stage where countless permutations can evolve from it. As long as you perfect the sparrow stance, then your attainments in martial arts will be able to lead you to being able to master the form and spirit of the “Flying Horse Treading on Sparrow”. If used within a match, then your chances of winning will be that much larger!” “I’ll take it first,” Lu Li said, not trying to pretend.
Water Fairy nodded her head. Her tone was soft; she wasn’t the slightest unhappy towards this decision.
Not only was everyone amazed, but they felt like they were watching a display of affection. What happened to the big fight that they were anticipating?
Lu Li assigned this T1 set to himself. With another piece in the future, he would have four pieces.
The Nightslayer set included a total of 8 pieces, but there was no way that Lu Li would really wear all of them. The difficulty in obtaining all of them was too great, and not to mention, better sets would probably be available to him by the time he completed the whole set.
Water Fairy was currently wearing four pieces of a T0 set. Although she had nearly completed her quests, her gear would at best be upgraded to a T0.5 set. However, she wasn’t interested in fighting over this equipment with Lu Li at all.
Seeing that the situation had played out amicably, no one could really say anything to provoke them. Lu Li was quite generous when he let Water Fairy take the equipment that dropped earlier.
Wendelian continued to loot; the second piece was also a Legendary.
This time, it wasn’t part of a set. Instead, it was a cape – The Emperor’s New Cape. Although its value wasn’t as great as Lu Li’s piece, the most famous item that Thaurissan had to offer was this Cape.
The drop rate of the Nightslayer Bracelets was too low. It was so low that almost no one knew that it dropped from this Boss.
“Why is it for magic classes? Why?!”
Elevenless, Sea Breaker, Green Flag Wine and the others were disappointed. Although Capes didn’t have a class restriction, there were still Attributes assigned to it. No matter how good the Attributes were, a Warrior wearing a Mage Cape was pointless.
The Attributes of the Cape gave bonus Constitution and Intelligence. There were three special effects included – one was a speed boost for survival, while the other increased damage and critical strikes, like Emperor Thaurissan’s Avatar of Flame. However, the immunity to magic attacks was altered to 5 seconds of immunity towards all control statuses and it also came some of damage reduction.
This cape was available to all magic type classes, including healers.
Lu Li looked at March Rain and sighed quietly.
This was pure luck with so many competing.
He couldn’t really help, but…
In the end, Unforgettable Maple obtained the equipment. Besides Sorrowless, who was expressionless all the way, everyone else couldn’t help but look a little disappointed.
While the others were hoping for Wendelian to loot another Legendary equipment, Lu Li began to private message Unforgettable Maple to borrow the new equipment.
“Sister Maple, how about lending it to me for a bit?”
Unforgettable Maple laughed incredulously, “Haha, what did you just call me? Is this how you ask others for a favor? Why should I lend it to you?”
“Because I’ll use it against Glory Capital.”
Lu Li wasn’t the slightest bit affected by Unforgettable Maple’s attitude. He was sure that he landed his target on the right spot – Unforgettable Maple’s poor broken heart. Majin Temple was enemies with Glory Capital, but they had run up against each other two times and lost both times during the competition.
Since then, Unforgettable Maple saw Sorrowless and his Glory Capital as his worst enemies for life.
“You…” Unforgettable Maple wanted to retaliate, but Lu Li had made a convincing offer.
He was someone that really held onto grudges, and wasn’t so silly as to think that he had to get revenge through his own hands. Just the thought of Glory Capital winning the championship made his heart ache.
However, he didn’t want to lend his new equipment to Ruling Sword for nothing either.
There needed to be profit for Majin Temple as well with Ruling Sword’s championship.
“We might have chances to work together in the future.”
It seemed like Lu Li knew what was going on in his head. There was nothing to gain, but there were also no losses for Majin Temple in this deal either.
Plenty of people in this world were doing things that harmed others’ but didn’t benefit themselves either. With the first agreement, there would most likely be a second. In that way, Majin Temple would slowly grow to become their allies. As the old saying went – the enemy of an enemy is a friend.
Unforgettable Maple wouldn’t agree easily, his eyes rolled as he said, “It’s not impossible, but I need to see some benefits first. How about a few equips with fire resistance as the rent?”
Lu Li wanted to spit at his face. Everyone needed fire resistance equipment at this point; they really didn’t have spares to lend out.
“How about this – I’ll give you two good items in the near future, items that can give pieces of equipment a 5% fire resistance boost. How’s that?” Lu Li thought for a bit and decided to offer a little more. This Cape was too good for magic damage classes like Fat Monkey and Kitty Likes Meat. Their burst would hit another level higher.
He could keep pushing Unforgettable Maple to give in, and he was almost certain too that Unforgettable Maple would give in at the end.
However, a trade like this would surely upset him, and he might find a chance to get revenge in the future, so Lu Li was willing to give up some profit for him.
Not to mention, these items that increased fire resistance were consumables. They would lose value after a while.
“5% fire resistance… is it an enchantment?” Unforgettable Maple’s eyes lit up; he immediately understood the key point to this. This was a boost for the equipment itself; it wasn’t just a piece of equipment with a flat boost of 0.05% fire resistance. These were two entirely different concepts.
“It’s an Engineering item, not an enchantment, but you can think of it like that. The effects are the same anyway,” Lu Li confirmed as he nodded his head.
“Ten!” Unforgettable Maple was convinced.
“No way, I can only get 5, and you want 10. Take it or leave it,” Lu Li said.