Chapter 165: Preparation
Zhang Xiaohua spent the whole morning in the Medicine field . After the rain, the field was quite muddy making it difficult to work . Moreover, today there were a lot of weeds in the Medicine field . Zhang Xiaohua didn't understand why the weeds that had been growing so slowly for the past couple of days would suddenly grow up today .
It was almost noon when he finished his work . The sun was shining brightly, but the ground was still muddy . Finding no suitable place to practice outside, Zhang Xiaohua sat in his grass shed to practice the Serene Heart Sutra . Silky Qi circulated through his meridians giving him a very comfortable and delightful feeling .
Zhang Xiaohua walked out of the shed at twilight . After a day of exposure to the bright sun, the fields in front of him were already dry . Zhang Xiaohua couldn't wait to practice his Heavenly Dipper Fist and exercise his muscles .
In fact, people have a routine and are used to doing certain things every day . If they don't do it someday, they feel uncomfortable . This is the same case with Zhang Xiaohua . Practising boxing has become his habit . If he does not practise boxing for a day, he feels itchy in his bones .
There is a patch of a clean area next to the grass shed, not too big, just enough for Zhang Xiaohua to practice his fist arts . After practising Heavenly Dipper Fist for some time, Zhang Xiaohua found himself making some progress . When he was practising it for the seventh time, he felt a cool flow tempering his bones . He entered the Third Layer of Heavenly Dipper Fist .
Zhang Xiaohua confirmed that the sensation of that cold stream was different from the feeling that he got from his meridians . But he couldn't tell the exact difference .
This advancement made Zhang Xiaohua very happy, but upon thinking about it, he didn't know why he had advanced . Zhang Xiaohua could only practise blindly hoping that he would somehow enter the next stage .
In the next few days, Zhang Xiaohua's life returned to normal . The weeds in the Medicine field were slowly decreasing . He Tianshu also did not come to meet Zhang Xiaohua . Presumably, he was immersed in understanding the Misty Steps .
In the next few days, while practising in the woods, Zhang Xiaohua managed to convert the theoretical knowledge of the Second Layer of Misty Steps in his mind into reality . He completely mastered the footwork of the Second Layer of Misty Steps . There were some differences in some steps that he understood compared to the steps written in the book, and there were also differences with what he actually practised, but overall they were similar to each other .
Apart from the Second Layer of Misty Steps, Zhang Xiaohua really had nothing else to prepare . He had practised Heavenly Dipper Fist countless times . The style was already inscribed in his mind . Since his return to the Huanxi Mountain Villa, he had not had the chance to spar with others, but he believed firmly that he would not suffer a loss in fist arts . He still practised Elder Yu's left-handed sword art . He liked the feeling of the warm current moving across his left arm, though he knew that even if he practised this sword art, he could not use it in the Martial Arts Competition . There he could only use the Heavenly Dipper Fist .
After learning the Second layer of Misty Steps, Zhang Xiaohua also tried to use Heavenly Dipper Fist while performing the Misty Steps but after practising for a while, he found that Misty Steps was just a kind of footwork technique, he could use it alone, but using it while boxing felt very uncoordinated, as if he was melding two very different things together . Zhang Xiaohua tried it and gave up .
So, every day, apart from practising the Heavenly Dipper Fist, Zhang Xiaohua put all his energy into the practice of Serene Heart Sutra .
After several days of cultivation, the Internal force in Zhang Xiaohua's meridians was still silky . There was no obvious increase . When he drew Yuan Qi into his body, those traces of vitality still disappeared in the body, but Zhang Xiaohua did not worry . He understood that the energy he was absorbing was too subtle, so he couldn't feel it when it entered the body . The Internal force that was flowing in his body must be constantly attracting and merging those undetectable traces of vitality in itself .
However, the progress in Internal Force Cultivation has been slow, he didn't know when he would reach the second layer of the Serene Heart Sutra .
Zhang Xiaohua occasionally paused in his cultivation and thought about his future prospects, but knowing that there was nothing else he could do currently, he shook his head and continued .
After ten days, He Tianshu still didn't show up . Zhang Xiaohua, who was cultivating peacefully, sometimes felt a little anxious in his heart . Hasn't He Tianshu understood the Misty Steps yet?
However, immediately, he thought of a question, why should he wait for He Tianshu?
Does he want him to teach the Second layer?
He has already learnt the Second layer, so would he want others to teach him again?
Thinking of this, Zhang Xiaohua couldn't help covering his forehead with his hands, frowning deeply, because he was used to relying on others and fell into a strange circle of thinking . Whether you have learned correctly or not can be known by gaining the affirmation of others, and giving yourself affirmation in your own heart . When others say that you have practised correctly, you don't doubt yourself anymore .
Such a way of thinking has some correctness, no doubt . There is even an old saying that if three people are walking together, one of them must be good enough to be my teacher . One can make up for one's deficiencies by learning from others' strong points . But in the case of Misty Steps, He Tianshu is also learning for the first time . Moreover, if He Tianshu's understanding differed from his, then which one would he follow?
Zhang Xiaohua stopped his cultivation of Serene Heart Sutra and started to deliberate upon this issue .
It didn't take long for him to relax his frowning brows . In fact, it was simple . Even if He Tianshu came to teach Zhang Xiaohua, he would not change what he had learned . Like the Heavenly Dipper Fist, many of his moves were different from what was used in the Jianghu . He would never change his habits because of imitation . Moreover, Zhang Xiaohua also deeply believed that Heavenly Dipper Fist had the effect of tempering his bones . Did there exist other fist arts that could boast of such an effect? If he only pursued learning from others, could he have achieved this?
There is an old saying, there is no path in the world . If there are many people, it becomes the path .
Maybe there are many people walking on others' paths, and there is no path in front of him, but if he goes forward himself, there will be away . Maybe what he leaves behind are just footprints, but those would be a sign in the eyes of future generations . If he walks very far, then his own path will also become a way .
Thinking of this, Zhang Xiaohua felt very relaxed, his whole spirit was rejuvenated and seemed to have matured .
There is an old saying that learning without thinking is just deceiving yourself . Zhang Xiaohua used to study blindly, and always felt that he was less qualified than others . He was always looking up to others and keeping his head buried . The events of this time gave him the basis to raise his head . In this moment, where he wasn't practising but just thinking, was a starting point for quantitative and qualitative changes to Zhang Xiaohua . It would have a profound impact on Zhang Xiaohua's future .
Now that he had let go of the mentality of asking for help, Zhang Xiaohua immediately considered the Third Layer of Misty Steps, which he considered to be an actual movement technique .
This is what Zhang Xiaohua dreamed of . It was fun to think about . A person moving unfettered in the world without measuring the land step by step . It would seem that the whole world was his own .
At least, after learning this movement technique, when he went back to Guo village, he wouldn't need to ride a horse-drawn carriage . Wasn't this a saving?
Wanting to strike the iron when it was hot, Zhang Xiaohua was eager to go to the woods to practice the Third Layer, but just as he got up, he felt ashamed . Just now he was thinking deeply about taking the road that no one had ever travelled before, but this road wasn't easy to travel . He should take one step at a time to see the end .
So, Zhang Xiaohua returned to the grass shed, sat cross-legged in meditation and practised some exercises of the Heart Sutra . Only then did he try to recall the Third Layer of Misty Steps from his memory .
Although Zhang Xiaohua could not form an image of the method of the Vertical Law recorded in the Third Layer, he remembered the content completely . He carefully meditated in accordance with the mantra, little by little until he was convinced that there was nothing missing . Then he went to the woods .
However, the result was unexpected .
Zhang Xiaohua couldn't even perform the first step of the Vertical Law . No matter how hard he tried, he wasn't able to make his Internal force flow in the required meridians to achieve Body Lightening .
He used to think that since Internal force was the basis of the movement the technique, as long as there was Internal force, it would be possible to perform the movement technique by circulating the Internal force . But the reality told him a cruel fact, conjectures are illusory, practising is the only right way .
It didn't surprise him, because he had learned many martial arts, and there were none that he accomplished overnight . There were many obstacles and many twists and turns . If learning this movement technique was so smooth and easy, then Zhang Xiaohua would have to doubt if he was actually a great individual .
Zhang Xiaohua, who failed to practice the movement skills, walked out of the woods . He naturally thought of He Tianshu . Although he has already determined his own way, he could still learn from others . Zhang Xiaohua wanted to hear the opinion of his master .
Zhang Xiaohua persuaded himself while walking towards the courtyard .
It is a pity that He Tianshu was not in the room, so Zhang Xiaohua, who wanted to ask for advice, had to reluctantly return to his own grass shed to meditate and practice .
It was already the afternoon of the second day when he met He Tianshu .
He Tianshu, sitting in front of Zhang Xiaohua, with a rosy complexion and a very energetic spirit, did not have the decadence of staying up late at nights . Zhang Xiaohua was very surprised . Was this the effect of complete comprehension of the Misty Steps?
After careful inquiries, he found out that He Tianshu has not completed the enlightenment of the Second layer of exercises, but recently he went back to the Medicine Hall and only based on the part of the exercises he understood, he easily defeated a person he had never been able to defeat before . It was very surprising . Everyone came close to him wanting to know the reason, this made He Tianshu, who was rarely seen in the Medicine Hall, greatly out of breath .
Since the matter was related to the Misty Steps, he did not dare to tell anyone . Only when he came to Zhang Xiaohua, that he was able to share his joy .
Looking at He Tianshu's complacent and satisfied appearance because of a victory, Zhang Xiaohua felt a little sad . The law of the jungle reigns supreme in Jianghu . The strong bully the weak .
After He Tianshu finished talking about what happened in the Medicine Hall, Zhang Xiaohua, accompanied with a smile, asked about his issued regarding the movement technique .
He Tianshu heard Zhang Xiaohua talking about movement techniques and felt strange . He said, "How come you are suddenly asking about the movement technique? You have lived in the grass shed for many days, have you got a sense of qi?"
Zhang Xiaohua nodded and said, "I have Qi sense, but . . . "
He didn't wait for Zhang Xiaohua to finish his speech, He Tianshu raised his hands and praised, "Good, Zhang Xiaohua, you are really good . I thought you would have difficulty in cultivating Internal strength . But, now you already have a sense of Qi by using Headstrong Bull Strength, unexpectedly this cultivation art also has some good points . "
Zhang Xiaohua listened and wanted to correct him . He opened his mouth and but couldn't say it .
He Tianshu did not pay attention to Zhang Xiaohua's appearance, and said, "However, if you only have a sense of qi, and you want to practice movement techniques, it is still too early for that . I remember when I was a child, I practised Qi techniques only after cultivating the Internal force for two years . You have to consolidate the Qi and cultivate the Internal force to a certain degree before you can mobilize the Internal force and perform skills . "
Zhang Xiaohua listened and tentatively said: "Then Captain He, how long have you practised your movement techniques?"
He Tianshu thought without hesitation, "One year . I remember very well, one year is average in the sect . The movement skills we practise are the undisclosed secrets of the sect, and there are many people who practise . This is about average . "
Zhang Xiaohua was shocked, "Such a long time!"
"Yeah, why? How long do you think it will take? One day, six months?" He Tianshu felt a little funny .
Then he said, "Movement techniques require Internal force to be utilised in a certain way . They are not like the fist arts . In boxing, the meridians are fixed . As long as you perform the boxing moves, the Internal force is sent to the meridians accordingly . "
"Fist arts have their own uses of Internal force?" Zhang Xiaohua wondered .
"Yeah," He Tianshu explained, "A lot of families' boxing techniques are also methods of practising Internal force, and each move must have special coordination of Internal force . Of course, there are many other techniques that are not so . However, these latter techniques are less powerful, and can be practised by most people, while the former is a secret of many schools . "
Zhang Xiaohua thought about it and noticed that he couldn't use his Internal force in the Heavenly Dipper Fists . Presumably, this was the reason .
He didn't know if the Heavenly Dipper Fist could reach the ninth layer and if his Internal force and bone tempering could help in some way .
Subsequently, He Tianshu asked again, "Why did you ask for Movement techniques? Did your second brother find you some Qi techniques?"
Zhang Xiaohua froze for a moment and asked, "Captain He, have you seen the Third Layer of the Misty Steps?"
He Tianshu said, puzzled, "I have just seen up to the Second layer . Why? What's wrong?"
Zhang Xiaohua did not know whether to laugh or cry . He said, "You should take a good look at the Third layer . You will know after reading it . "
He Tianshu listened, and carefully removed the footwork from his bosom, and picked up the Third layer of exercises that he hadn't seen before .
The Third layer of the Misty Steps consists of two pages . He Tianshu watched the first page for a long time . The more he looked, the more excited he was . His eyes were shining from excitement . Zhang Xiaohua was puzzled . Are these exercises very powerful?
He himself didn't feel much .
After a long while, He Tianshu reluctantly looked away from the first page and moved to the second page . This time it was different from the first page . He Tianshu just looked at the first line of words and his expression changed . He got up from the chair and muttered, "How is it possible? How can it be possible?"
He rapidly glanced the rest of the page . The contents of the two pages are similar . On the first page, He Tianshu took a long time, but he finished the second page after a while . After He Tianshu finished reading, he sat back in his chair and closed his eyes and thought about it . It took a long time before he opened his eyes and looked at Zhang Xiaohua tiredly, and asked, "Zhang Xiaohua, have you seen the movement skills written on these two pages?"
Zhang Xiaohua nodded and said, "Yes, Captain He, I saw it last time when I took it, but when I practised the first page, I couldn't control my Internal force . "
He Tianshu smiled and said, "You aimed a little too high . You just have Qi sense . Where is the Internal force for you to use?"
Then, he raised the pages in his hands and said, "Zhang Xiaohua, I really want to thank you . I have also gotten the opportunity to learn such a profound movement technique, I owe you the favour . "
Zhang Xiaohua listened in surprise and beckoned with his hands saying, "Captain He, don't say that you have worked so hard to teach me boxing techniques . I haven't thanked you yet and your contribution to saving the Villa Master Ou was also high . You should thank the Sect Master Ou . "
He Tianshu smiled and said, "I know my own contributions . Forget it, I will not be so polite with you . I will keep your favour in my heart . I just said that the movement techniques I practised in the past were Misty Faction's foundation Cultivation arts . Almost everyone practises these basic skills . Do you know the value of this Movement technique?"
Zhang Xiaohua shook his head and secretly said in his heart, "It doesn't look like much . "
He Tianshu smiled and said, "The advantages and disadvantages of different movement techniques mainly depend on the efficiency of the use of Internal force and the movement skills . This Misty Steps movement technique can be said to be the best in our Misty Faction . It cannot even be compared with the movement technique I learned before . With this, not only can I upgrade my existing movement skills to a higher level, but also, with my Internal training, my Internal force will have more potential to be tapped . In many cases, it may be the key to victory or defeat, and may even affect life and death . "
Zhang Xiaohua was stunned, "It's actually so serious!"