“Muyou and Yiqi, come here.” Instructor Pang called out to Muyou and Yiqi. He had decided to test both of them.
When the other students saw Muyou and Yiqi being called over, they too followed over wanting to see witness the commotion.
When Instructor Pang instructed them to demonstrate the Tearing of Disarm, Muyou and Yiqi simply nodded their head as they started getting into the stance. Their arms movement had a certain stable pace to it, they were neither rushed nor sluggish. There was no extra movement, as each stroke executed by Muyou and Yiqi was designed to tear the opponent apart.
Cha cha cha!
These sounds echoed loudly as everybody was stunned silent witnessing Muyou and Yiqi’s demonstrations. Instructor Pang’s face was bursting with excitement! “These 2 are geniuses!” Instructor Pang muttered to himself excitedly. Most of his previous students would take 1 week to comprehend each stance and 1 month to master a stance. However, Muyou and Yiqi took just half a day to master the first stance of Panther Fists.
“Good good!” Instructor Pang exclaimed. “You 2 have mastered the Tearing of Disarm! That’s very good!” Instructor Pang could not stop himself from continuously praising them.
Muyou and Yiqi simply stood there looking quite sheepishly. The “Destroying of Limits” exercise which Grandmaster Hong had taught them, greatly helped them to comprehend martial arts skills.
The surrounding students had mixed expressions, some had looks of admiration while some had looks of dejection. Compared to Muyou and Yiqi who had mastered the Tearing of Disarm, most of them still could not comprehend it.
“All of you are geniuses in your own right, if you put in hard work, you will master this soon too.” Instructor Pang encouraged his class when he saw their dejected faces.
Instructor Pang then handed Muyou and Yiqi each a jade token with a Panther engraved on it. “This is the Panther token. In Panther Academy, we encouraged competition with oneself. You should not compete with others but yourself. Thus with every breakthrough you shall be awarded a Panther token.” Instructor Pang explained. “This token can be used for exchanging precious herbs or blood essence which will increase your growth. It could also be used for the renting of the Qi cultivation cave, this will be explained to you next time.”
“How about martial art manuals? Do we need to use these tokens to exchange for martial art manuals?” A student asked.
Instructor Pang smiled and shook his head. “Of course not, the martial arts manuals in Panther Academy can be accessed by every student. After all, every single one of you is a genius in one way or another. However, one can only access one martial arts manual at a time. Which means, you can only access another martial arts manual after you have comprehended the existing martial arts manual you are holding onto.”
“I have seen some students who went straight to learning the high-tier martial arts manual. However, even after 2 years, they could neither comprehend the high-tier martial arts manual nor learn a new set of martial arts skill. Thus, I would advise you all to start from the low-tier martial arts skills.”
After hearing Instructor Pang’s explanation, everybody had a better understanding of how Panther Academy works. Panther Academy was not like other sects or academies, where they promoted cut-throat competition, rather Panther Academy really focuses on individual growth.
“Now all of you go back and practise the first stance!” Instructor Pang commanded the surrounding students.
After witnessing Muyou and Yiqi’s mastery of the first stance, the students were even more motivated to train. Yue Hao was the first one, to rush back to the waterfall to practise the Tearing of Disarm. As a fellow roommate and a fellow “enemy of Wudang”, Yue Hao did not want to be a burden to Muyou and Yiqi.
After the crowd had dispersed, Instructor Pang looked at Muyou and Yiqi with an approving glance.
“Now, I am going to demonstrate the second stance of Panther Fists. It’s called the Hunter of the Night.”
Instructor Pang crouched his body as he started charging towards a rock. Halfway through the charge, he changed his direction and started circling around the rock. Suddenly, Instructor Pang leapt back to his original position. However, nothing seemed to have happened to the rock.
“Erm… Instructor Pang, what was that?” Muyou could not help but ask. Muyou and Yiqi were looking attentively at the demonstration but they could not comprehend that stance. Moreover, there seemed to have no change to the rock.
“Go take a closer look at the rock.” Instructor Pang smiled as he revealed the chunks of rubble on his hand.
When Muyou and Yiqi went to inspect the rock, they were shocked. There was a small and concise hole in the rock, it seemed to have been punctured by Instructor Pang’s fist. However, it was a silent, quick and deadly stroke by Instructor Pang.
“That is the essence of Hunter of the Night. This stance is deadly and swift. Once you have mastered this stance, you will be able to execute this stance to the effect like my demonstration. Your opponents should not even know what has hit them. Although this is the 2nd stance of Panther Fists, this is one of the more complicated stances among the five stances. Now, this stance places lots of focus on the footwork and you have to…” Instructor Pang started explaining the Hunter of the Night to Muyou and Yiqi.
At night, it was free time for the students, however, the students would utilise this time to train their inner strength and cultivate their Qi. On Muyou, Yiqi and Yue Hao’s way back to their room, they received dirty stares from the noble students, especially the Wudang disciples. They did not create any trouble yet, so Muyou simply disregarded all the dirty stares. Moreover, everybody was too tired with the training and only focused on their individual training. Nobody wanted to waste any time to stir trouble.
This routine went on for the first week. The training was extremely beneficial for their growth, especially the morning run. It seemed like a normal 10km run, but after every run, Muyou and Yiqi would feel that their inner energy was completely drained. Muyou’s inner strength had reached peak of Iron Body, with only 1 more meridian point to Marble Body. Yiqi’s inner strength had already reached the initial stages of Marble Body. Their inner strength growth in this week was incredible. Muyou and Yiqi could not help but think that if 1 week in Panther Academy was so effective, then how powerful they would be in 2 years time.
However, their Qi did not seem to experience much growth. Other than their individual Qi cultivation during their night free time, they did not have any other training regarding their Qi. They had asked Instructor Pang, but Instructor Pang said that only after the first 3 months, then they would start undergoing training for their Qi. So, Instructor Pang urged them to focus on their martial arts skills and inner strength first.
The Sunday was a free day for the students, so Muyou, Yiqi and Yue Hao decided to use this day to explore the Panther Academy. Afterall, all of them had Panther tokens now so they decided to see what they could do with it. Yiqi had 16 Panther tokens because he had comprehended the Panther Fists and broken through to Marble Body. Each stance comprehended would be awarded 1 Panther token, if you had comprehended a complete set of martial art skills you would be awarded another Panther token, breaking through from Iron Body to Marble Body would be awarded 10 Panther tokens. Thus, Yiqi had 16 Panther tokens whereas Muyou only had 6 because he had not broken through to Marble Body. On the other hand, Yue Hao only had 2 Panther tokens because he had only comprehended the first 2 stances of Panther Fists.
Instructor Pang wanted Muyou and Yiqi to go to the Panther Martial Collections Hall to start learning another martial art skills, however Muyou and Yiqi insisted on mastering Panther Fists first before starting to learn another martial art skills. Although Muyou and Yiqi had comprehended the whole set of Panther Fists, they had not mastered the last 2 stances of Panther Fists. Compared to the other 4 stances, the first stance Tearing of Disarm seemed to be very rudimentary. Just to comprehend the 5th stance, took Muyou and Yiqi 2 whole days.
Their first stop was the Panther Medicinal Hall, they had decided to see what precious herbs were there which could help their growth.
When they saw the Panther Medicinal Hall, they realised that there was a huge crowd gathered at the entrance.
“What do you mean we have to pay you a Panther token to enter? Do not be overbearing!” a disgruntled student shouted.
“It has always been this way. Commoners like you all should pay a portion of your Panther Tokens as tributes to us. Demanding only 1 Panther token is already being merciful on our part.” Another student said arrogantly. He had long wavy black hair, skin as smooth as silk and a perfect complexion. Just looking at him, everybody could tell that he was of noble birth and had eaten many precious tonics.
“Hai Cheng, keep a look out here and collect a Panther Token from everybody. I would be going in first.” that noble student instructed Hai Cheng before strolling into the Medicinal Hall with his entourage of other students.
“Understood.” Hai Cheng bowed respectfully before turning towards the crowd. “You all heard Pang Jing! All of you commoners, pay a panther token before going in! If not, don’t blame me for being uncourteous.”
Muyou smiled as he witnessed the scene. “It seemed like this Wudang disciple had not only recover, but had also become a lackey. How low can he sink…”