Chapter 190: Would You Be Able to Share Tang Zichen’s Loneliness?
“Sister Chen, you came specifically to Korea to track Choi Jang Baek and Yoshida Miyagi’s whereabouts, are you going to resolve some business with them?” A young woman to the side of Tang Zichen asked curiously.
Smiling, Tang Zichen replied, “The Jangbaek style Taekwondo has been developing quite furiously in the past few years. Taekwondo has already been making their rounds in the western nation and earned them enough capital to form an independent system outside the World Taekwondo Federation. They’re costing me plenty of business with their actions. And to join with a Karate organization only serves as another clash with the Chinese martial art dojos in the world. Actually, the Hongmen has already sent out assassination orders for those two, but they haven’t succeeded just yet. I might not be acting the capacity of the Hongmen anymore, but if Choi Jang Baek wishes to be rid of my younger brother, I may as well take advantage of this situation. Two birds with one stone, they say. I’ll be rid of this one nail soon enough.”
“But…..” The woman reflected, “Choi Jang Baek is a person of renown in Korea. If he suddenly dies, wouldn’t there be some sort of scandal. If the Hongmen kept sending people after to stop him and failed, that’s only a loss of their own resources. It’s true that Choi Jang Baek is strong, perceptive, and successful, but his sudden death would be an equally major event. Sister Chen, it goes without saying that he’ll have a hard time running if you go after him. But this is Korea–an unfavorable place for us.”
“Who said I was to kill him?” Tang Zichen huffed. “We’ll be destroying his reputation and stripping away that halo of his.”
“Does sister Chen plan to challenge and defeat him in public? Korea is a vassal state to the United States, so the American army has a base here. If sister Chen shows her face, that will be even more unfavorable.”
“I won’t be showing my face at all, naturally.” Tang Zichen explained. “I’ve a plan. Follow my plans later and it’ll work out. What a shame, Choi Jang Baek should have been someone my little brother should have defeated, but with how his situation is in China, it wasn’t to be. He has far too many enemies around him on every side, so I’ve no other choice but to wade into his affairs for him.”
“Sister Chen, I’ve heard news about your younger brother recently. Rumors say that he’s an extraordinary master of martial arts, but what makes me so curious is just how well he’d fare? How strong is his martial arts? If there’s a chance, I wish to try my hand with him. We’ve plenty of sisters that were taught personally by you, sister Chen. But we’ve heard that your younger brother had only learned from you for two years only.”
The women behind Tang Zichen were all looking at her with great curiosity.
“If my guess is correct, then his martial arts has reached a realm of perfection similar to what is said to be the Golden Elixir. The state of nothingness is imminent for him. The dozen of you combined wouldn’t be a match for him.” Tang Zichen stated with her eyes closed.
“Aah? If sister Chen says so, it must be correct then.” The woman spoke, but there was a clear tone of being unconvinced and was eager to prove herself should the time come.
It went without saying that such an obvious tone had been caught by Tang Zichen, but instead of saying anything, she smiled.
“Ah, how lonely it is!” Tang Zichen pondered to herself with her eyes closed. “Once I swallow this Golden Elixir, that will be the start of when my destiny follows me rather than Fate. With even more practice, I refine spirit and return to emptiness to break through the veil of illusion and free my true self. From those confines, my true self forever remains immaculate. What is known to man as the ‘divine’ is a man beyond comprehension. The closer one goes with both spirit and body, the closer one is to subtlety to merge with the Way in its true authenticity.”
“My colleague Shang Yunxiang is one who has understood this deep theory .”
TL Note: Please refer here for a better translation of this passage, credits to Paul Brennan.
These words were written by Sun Lu-tang in his later work, A Study of Baguazhang and used the terminology of Daoist alchemy to depict the highest realms of martial arts: Merge with the Way in its true authenticity.
Author Note: There had never been a codified terminology of martial arts in its own right. Since the ancient times, many grandmasters and teachers have borrowed the terminology from Daoist alchemy and perhaps the study of medicine to illustrate the classics of the fist. Because of this, the world has often times misunderstood the writings. The lead and mercury ball for example symbolized stillness and movement while using Yin and Yang to illustrate inhaling and exhaling. The Five Elements were used to depict the Jin of the fist as well. For future readers, this became a challenge to read and many felt as if they may as well be using a foreign language to try translate poetry from Tang and poems from Song while changing the inherent meanings.
The final meaning behind this final passage had only one meaning: Aside from me, my friend Shang Yunxiang had also reached this realm.
Tang Zichen might not have any friends, but she had her younger brother Wang Chao.
She had already felt that one day, her younger brother would earn the right in being able to share in the loneliness she felt.
The one sapling she had planted into the ground long time ago had already turned into a giant sturdy tree without her noticing.
The neverending mysteries to the world were forever something that could never be unraveled and understood.
“The Jangbaek Taekwondo of Korea and the Goju-ryu Karate of Japan cordially invites the masters of the Shaolin Temple and the Laoshan School of Internal Martial Arts to a friendly exchange between disciples to further deepen the friendships between our three nations….”
There had been a grotesque look on Liu Qing’s face as he read off from the clear script on the letter.
From where he was seated on the sofa, Wang Chao was playing with two pure steel blades shaped in the sharp form of a crescent moon. On the interior of the sharp blades was a single protective hoop.
These two peculiar weapons were a pair to one another and were about a third of a meter tall. When wielded, these weapons were capable of ensnaring the weapon of another while also being capable of shearing, stabbing, pricking and protecting.
The weapons that Wang Chao was holding the model weapon of Baguazhang. The crescent moon knives, weapons that served as models for any internal martial artist.
“In the Legends of Tong Lin that Shan Tianfang was so often heard reciting, the Tong Lin of that story was modeled after Dong Haichuan and used this weapon. Up til now, I had always wanted to see what these daggers were like. I’ve heard that experts of this weapon were practically unrivalled on the battlefield. Master, you’re proficient in Baguazhang, might you be familiar with the routines of this weapon?”
Tan Wendong’s eyes stared attentively at the weapons with great interest. As a practitioner of the chain whip, he was extremely fond of weapons like this.
This set of knives naturally belonged to Liu Qing. When he first took them out, he had wanted to perform in front of Wang Chao and see just how well received it would be. Perhaps he would finally be able to give up the routines of these weapons and focus diligently on the methods of the hand and feet.
But when Wang Chao gave him the invitation letter, Liu Qing was no longer in the mood to demonstrate his expertise in the knives.
Yesterday when Yong Xiaolong had failed to cause trouble and was instead hurt by Wang Chao’s attacks, Lin Yanan had called them afterwards. To say that the Laoshan school was invited by the headmaster of the Jangbaek style Taekwondo. Not too long after, Lin Yanan had sent the letter and its formal envelope to them.
“The Goju-ryu Karate of the Miyagi family has dojos all over the world with just as many experts that practice it. Master, you once killed that kid Miyagi Hanshin, so their invitation this time must be relating to that.” Huo Ling’er spoke curiously.
“Your brother called for you yesterday.” Wang Chao suddenly spoke to Huo Ling’er out of nowhere as if he didn’t care for the letter.
“Uh….” Huo Ling’er had looked worried. “I don’t know how my big brother learned of it, but he told me to not go with master to this exchange. I refused thought. He should know that this exchange is a clear conspiracy just as much as I do. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be a way to learn myself in combat. Three years ago, I studied Karate in Japan and found how the experts fought against one another before. I never had the chance then, but I have the chance now. And I won’t let that chance slip away from me.”
Tan Wendong had looked to his senior disciple with a complicated look, but not to be outdone, he spoke coldly, “I’ve laid claim to the lives of plenty of people. Another few won’t matter to me.”
Standing up, Wang Chao strode two steps forward. “Choi Jang Baek has joined together with the Miyagi family to send this invitation. The destination is Seoul, the capital of Korea and where the Jangbaek Taekwondo dojo is. They’ll be accommodating room and board, travel expenses, and every other aspect that requires tending to. I’ve heard that he’s pulled some sponsors with him this time to try and win both fame and money after my defeat. What a clever game he’s playing. The warrior monks from the Shaolin Temple has already brought back some of the overseas monks to join them. This is an opportunity not to be refused. We might have three enemies against us, but that isn’t anything to be concerned about either.”
“Ling’er, Wendong, pack your stuff. Tomorrow, we return to Shandong and then to Korea. I would like to see just how much work Choi Jang Baek put into this.”
“But….with just Ling’er and Wendong, I’m afraid they won’t be enough to deal with a fight between schools.” Liu Qing spoke up hesitantly.
“That remains to be seen.” Wang Chao spoke. When he stood up, his mind had been set. He had a premonition that this trip to Korea would have an extremely important discovery in store for im.
He couldn’t quite put his finger on what this sensation was, but he was sure that it wasn’t the same danger as a hunter hunting its prey.
“What has the higher ups say about this? According to logic, they should know about this already, what preparations have they made?”
Just as Wang Chao was thinking about the organization, his phone suddenly started to ring.
It was Cao Yi.