I’ll update a few more chapters before I’m off for lessons~
It was already noon, with the sun hanging high up in the sky. Grandmaster Hong was lazing on a rock, roasting a rabbit that he just caught. In front of the rock, was Muyou and Yiqi in horse stance, holding two buckets of water each.
“Damn it, we have been scammed, how is this going to train inner strength. This is just physical training. That Grandmaster Hong was just lazing around there the whole day without giving any pointers.”
Just as Muyou was about to straightened his knees, a pebble flew towards his leg.
Muyou immediately bent his knees back to 90 degrees, in the standard horse stance. This had been repeating for the whole morning. Grandmaster Hong had been shooting pebbles at them if they were to slacken their posture one bit and warned them that if they collapsed, there will be no lunch for them.
“Why can’t you be like your younger brother. He only slackened his posture once, and he immediately learnt his lesson after being hit by a pebble. Whereas you, I have been shooting pebbles at you the whole morning.” Grandmaster Hong lazily nagged at Muyou while munching on his roasted rabbit.
Muyou’s face turned sour and he grumbled in his heart.
After an hour, Grandmaster Hong leapt down from his rock and started clearing the leaves on the ground, drawing a pattern on the ground. After closer inspection, actually it was a path being traced from the rock to Muyou and Yiqi.
“Ok, look at those two roasted hares on the rock, they are your lunch, to get there, you have to use your legs to trace this path which I have drawn for both of you. However, you have to maintain this horse stance and continue holding those two buckets of water. Remember, focus on your leg muscles and your body function as you move. When you are moving, your whole body should be still, and only your legs moving. Focus on your leg movement, your heartbeat, breathing rate, everything! Grasp your whole body and do not neglect any part of it when you move!”
Grandmaster Hong shouted as he waved his sleeve. “And who knows, maybe they will be able to have a glimpse of their inner strength energy.”
Yiqi started moving. Even as he moved, his whole body was still in the horse stance and his legs maintained at the 90 degrees.
“Grr.. Maintain my breathing rate… Control my heartbeat… Separate my leg movement from the rest of my body and pour all my energy into it…”
Yiqi gritted his teeth as sweat started pouring down his face. By now his whole body was drenched in sweat and was starting to tremble. His legs were moving at a snail pace, but he was definitely making progress.
Grandmaster Hong nodded his head in satisfaction, then glanced over at Muyou.
Muyou looked more frantic than Yiqi and his whole body was trembling furiously. He was trying to accomplish too many tasks at once, and his whole mind was panicking.
“Look at the path… Control my heartbeat… Maintain the stance… Move my.. Argh, where is the path again…” Muyou kept murmuring to himself.
Muyou had gone out of the path and stepped on a leaf. Just as he stepped on a leaf, a pebble flew towards him and hit him on the stomach, causing him to fall backwards.
“Restart! You need to stop panicking if not you will never have your lunch!” Grandmaster Hong shouted. He knew that this exercise was not easy, especially after maintaining the horse stance for the whole morning. However, this was the fastest way for them to grasp their whole body and inner strength. It was after pushing their body to the limit, then they would have a higher chance of a breakthrough.
Muyou gritted his teeth as he climbed back to his feet and went back to his horse stance. Luckily, when he fell, he did not spill much of the water or he would have to run to the river to refill.
Meanwhile, Yiqi was already halfway through. His body had become steadier, and his trembling had stopped. His eyes were focused on the path ahead, and his breathing had stabilised. As Yiqi started to grasp all of his body functions, he began to feel the inner strength energy circulating inside of him. By slowly utilising this inner strength, his leg movement was becoming smoother.
“Talent indeed.” Grandmaster Hong’s eyes lit up when he saw Yiqi’s movement. He could sense that Yiqi had begun to grasp his inner strength. When he turned to Muyou who was still at his starting point, he let out a disappointed sigh.
“Ok… Lets do this. Grasp the whole body, be a master of your body… Separate the functions… Focus on the path… Focus on the legs…” Muyou talked to himself as he looked attentively straight ahead on the path.
After 15 minutes, Yiqi finally reached the rock and happily put down his water buckets. As he grabbed his roasted hare on the rock, he stared at Muyou. Muyou was still at the starting point. At this point, Yiqi and Grandmaster Hong were worried about Muyou’s progress.
Suddenly, Grandmaster Hong realised Muyou’s body has relaxed but still maintaining the horse stance and carrying the two water buckets. His breathing and pulse rate have stabilised drastically. Just as he was about to nod his head in approval, Muyou closed his eyes and started tracing the path with his legs.
Yiqi stared in disbelief while Grandmaster Hong nodded his head in approval. Muyou’s movements were smoother than Yiqi, moreover, he did it from his memorisation of the path. Muyou’s leg movement was like a master painter’s brush strokes.
In just 5 minutes, Muyou had reached the rock and he let out a huge roar of satisfaction. He was tired but was extremely satisfied with his performance. He had finally managed to grasp the inner strength within him! He leapt up to the rock and immediately started to devour his lunch.
“There are tremendous potential in these two boys if I were to guide them who knows how far they will go. Hmmm, let me see how far I can push them in these few days before I leave.” Grandmaster Hong stared at them hungrily chowing on their lunch. Grandmaster Hong and wandered the country for many years, and had guided quite a number of people whom he had met. However, due to his quirky personality, his training was unorthodox and extremely tough. Most people would give up after his first session. Out of all the people he had guided, only less than 10 managed to last through the first day. The longest he had stayed to guide a person was 15 days, but that person was a genius and Grandmaster Hong left because he felt bored.
“We will proceed with the second lesson after your two finish your lunch! If you have noticed the path which I have drawn to this rock, was quite an unusual path. In fact that path was part of the leg movements of an Inner Strength Cultivation exercise. In tracing that path, you should have realised that you had to constantly circulate the Inner Strength around your legs.”
Muyou and Yiqi nodded their heads furiously as they continued chomping on their lunch. When they were tracing the path, they had to constantly focus on the distribution of the internal strength in their legs. As they progressed, they realised that they were more proficient in the usage of internal strength at various parts of their leg muscles.
“This will allow you to have better control of your inner strength, which will be very useful. In fights, if you were able to distribute more inner strength to your point of contact with your opponent, you might be able to overpower him despite having a weaker inner strength. That is because you are more proficient in controlling your inner strength.”
Grandmaster Hong walked towards the front of the rock and looked up at both of them.
“Now you better watch closely, the Inner Strength Cultivation exercise I am about to demonstrate to you two is something I have developed myself through the years. I call it the Destroying of Limits. This exercise will allow you to not only gain better control of your inner strength but also increase the growth of your inner strength.”
Grandmaster Hong started to demonstrate the Destroying of Limits. It was indeed a difficult exercise to master, as almost every limbs of his were in action. His movements were very slow, but in his slowness there were acuteness.
Pop! Pop! Pop!
With each slow strike of his, contained all of his inner strength. With his four limbs in action, his internal strength was being circulated at a very fast rate. Although his strikes were very slow and gentle, but Muyou and Yiqi realised that within all of the strikes contained a deadly amount of inner strength.
Grandmaster Hong finally stopped and looked up at their astonished faces.
“This might look very easy, just randomly circulating your inner strength. However, there is a certain sequence to it, in fact all of the Inner Strength Cultivation exercises in the World have a certain sequence. These sequence were formed on the knowledge and trials of previous masters. So if you were to just randomly circulate your inner strength and exert it at random points, you will certainly suffer an injury.” Grandmaster Hong warned them with stern eyes. “Oh, and whatever I am going to teach you, do not ever pass them down to anybody else without my permission. Not even your loved ones or future children. If you do, I will personally hunt you down and strip you of all of your martial art skills.”
Muyou and Yiqi shuddered, this was the first time they had felt Grandmaster Hong’s killing intent.