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In Zhang Xiao Hua’s dream, the flickering lights synchronised with the stars in the night sky. In the starry sky, countless stars, as if it received a signal, instantly flocked to a location like they could pass through space and time.
Not long after, the area around Zhang Xiao Hua was filled with a mass of intertwining star energy, the pores in his whole body piteously cried out as if the finest of foods were within sight and they opened their mouths wide open eager to have a taste.
As the star energy and yuan qi were absorbed into the body by the pores in small and hard to sense portions, the sleeping Zhang Xiao Hua unconsciously channeled the first layer of worry free heart sutra’s cultivation method, directed the energy according to the indicated pathways, and circulated it through the meridians.
The star energy, like before, was being refined slowly until it became pure yuan qi. At the same time, the inhaled yuan qi mixed and fused together with the yuan qi formed by star energy and then was further refined by the flickering lights. What was left was extremely pure yuan qi and this yuan qi was then stored in the centre of Zhang Xiao Hua’s dantian. The original amount of star energy and yuan qi absorbed was not a small amount , only the purification ability of the flickering lights was too shockingly strong and under the effect of this ability, the amount of yuan qi was lessened by 20 to 30 % each time. In the end, only the tiniest bit of yuan qi was left, however, the purity of the yuan qi that was left was… frightening!
All of this happened quietly while Zhang Xian Hua was unconscious and the amount of purified yuan qi was far too little, so little that Zhang Xiao Hua was incapable of sensing it. Only when the next day arrived with the morning sun rising did Zhang Xiao Hua finally open his eyes, rousing his clothes which contained dewdrops. However, he was still unaware of what benefits he gained for all the work he did last night.
Zhang Xiao Hua looked around at his surroundings. As he remembered yesterday’s events, he couldn’t help but let out a bitter laugh. Although he sat in that position for the entire night, his body didn’t have any hint of discomfort as he stood up to exercise his body a little. His spirit and mind is clear, so much so that he didn’t even have a trace of tiredness. It is even more invigorating compared to lying down on a warm bed. Zhang Xiao Hua couldn’t help but think to himself, why not in the future just not sleep and sell the heated bed in his room for some extra money? He could just sit in meditation and that would suffice.
Now that it’s morning, the sun has poked its head out. Zhang Xiao Hua faced the sun and made a swallowing motion, and another mouthful of warmth entered his body. Suddenly, it seemed as though Zhang Xiao Hua realised something, however, it was a faint thought and did not fully form. After tilting his head and thinking for a long time, he still couldn’t remember anything, so he just threw it to the back of his mind.
Zhang Xiao Hua wanted to go beside the herb fields to practise his heavenly dipper fist but unfortunately, beside the herb fields, there were no trees to obstruct vision. Since the beginning, when he trained his fist martial arts, Zhang Xiao Hua liked to avoid people. Now when he trained in an open area, he felt a little awkward. So he, in the end, he decided to go back to the forest to train his fist and sword.
However, when ZXH just reached the edge of the forest, he thought of something. Even without mentioning him only knowing this one set of martial arts and nothing more, his fist martial art will still be seen by others eventually, so who cares who will see it now. Although the stances were from other fist martial arts, after piecing all those various moves and stances together to form the heavenly dipper fist, it is still a fist martial art after all. In the future, there is no reason to hide it from other people. Furthermore, he himself said that he wanted to join the Piaomiao martial arts display competition, if he is not going to use his heavenly dipper fist then what could he possibly use? There is no need to care about the gossip of others. Why not just openly and righteously practise it?
But the sword technique imparted to him by Elder Yu was given on the condition that he wouldn’t show it to others, so when he practises the sword martial art, he needs to hide it from people.
Thinking up to here, Zhang Xiao Hua walked into the forest. Suddenly, he heard a “patter” sound. Zhang Xiao Hua was very surprised as it is the sound of someone falling down. Is it possible that someone is doing something bad in the forest in the broad daylight, while everything is lit up brightly?
Immediately, ZXH used his piao miao footsteps to quickly head towards the direction of the depths of the forest.
Who knew, when Zhang Xiao Hua just made several steps, he could hear a sound coming from within the depths of the forest. The voice sounded out with a few curses, “Why is this piaomiao steps so hard? This footwork is obviously wrong!”
The voice sounded very familiar, it is precisely Zhang Xiao Hua’s teacher He Tianshu.
Zhang Xiao Hua couldn’t help but exclaim, “Squad leader he, why are you up so early?”
When Zhang Xiao Hua rushed to the scene, He Tianshu was just getting off the floor. He brushed off the dirt from his body and with a surprised look on his face, he asked, “Zhang Xiao Hua? Why are you here? Why didn’t I hear your footsteps?”
Zhang Xiao Hua laughed and explained, “I normally train my fist martial art amongst these trees. Just now, I heard the sound of movement so I came over to check it out. Turns out Squad leader He was too concentrated in your training to hear my footsteps.”
He Tianshu’s eyebrows moved in all sorts of weird ways, “Movement? Ummm, just now I also heard it, it is probably a bird that broke a branch or something, don’t bother about it.”
Zhang Xiao Hua let out a burst of laughter, “Yes, that’s probably it. But, Squad leader He, why are you up so early today?”
He Tianshu took out a few sheets of paper from his breast and waved them, saying, “What else could be the reason but the piaomiao steps secret manual. Yesterday after you left, I looked over them carefully again but no matter what I do, I can’t understand how you are supposed to use these few steps and I couldn’t sleep well the whole night. So today, even before it’s light, I came here to practise and try it out, but reality proved to be the same as my thoughts. There are many areas in this martial art that are simply impossible to use, it could be that there are some errors inside.”
After hearing this, not only is Zhang Xiao Hua unconvinced, even He Tianshu himself also doesn’t have any confidence in his words. Maybe it is because of the previous bird breaking a stick explanation.
Zhang Xiao Hua’s curiosity was stirred and he asked, “Squad leader he. Is it really so mysterious? Even you can’t understand it? You are the deity of my heart you know so you must continue working hard, please don’t disappoint me ok?”
He Tianshu curled his lips saying, “It’s true, trust me. Ai, if only I was Zhang Xiao Hu.”
Zhang Xiao Hua asked inquisitively, “Why my second brother?”
He Tianshu enviously said, “If I was Zhang Xiao Hu, I would definitely have the ability to approach his teacher for guidance and he would definitely be able to explain this mystery to me. You wouldn’t understand. Rather than groping around blindly by yourself, having a teacher to guide you is like the difference between heaven and earth. As the saying goes, the predecessors plant the tree the descendants sit in the shade.
After hearing this, Zhang Xiao Hua nodded his head like a little bird pecking for rice. These words are really true. Rather than bitterly pondering over it yourself, isn’t it much faster just to ask someone and gain the answer?
Only, if he was the one to request a teacher then second brother would have to live a life of constant danger at the escort station. By comparison, Zhang Xiao Hua is satisfied with this outcome. As the saying goes, when fighting against the heavens or earth will give you boundless joy, when fighting against yourself, will you also have boundless joy?
Although sometimes, there are still some uncertainties even with this way of thinking. However, these footsteps still need to be figured out. He Tianshu told Zhang Xiao Hua, “Zhang Xiao Hua, you go the side and practise your fist martial art alright? Don’t disturb me. I will keep trying, I don’t believe that this basic footwork can elude me forever especially with my talent, which could gain qi sense in two days last time.”
After he says this, he waved his hand indicating to Zhang Xiao Hua that he should go do his own thing, and he returned to looking through those few thin pages again. Zhang Xiao Hua thought about it over and knowing that he wouldn’t be able to help, he prepared to turn and leave.
But at this moment, as He Tianshu performed the footwork and read the papers at the same time, unintentionally captured Zhang Xiao Hua’s attention. He has already learnt the Piaomiao footsteps first layer, only lacking the foundation of inner energy and is unable to put it to use fully. He doesn’t know what is the difference compared to using inner energy and without. However, after looking at He Tianshu using it fully, he paid attention, wanting to look at the true prowess of the piaomiao footsteps qigong.
Looking at He Tianshu performing the piaomiao footsteps in the small clearing in the forest, one foot would step north and another would step west. Occasionally, one foot would only move a small distance, occasionally it would step over an extremely large distance, as Zhang Xiao Hua was watching, he was unable to make head or tail of it at all. Then he saw both of He Tianshu’s feet step on the same spot and his figure became unsteady, almost falling to a side. Luckily, He Tianshu had made preparations before hand and his foot shot out to the side in an effort to support himself so the footsteps method ended here.
Zhang Xiao Hua understood that it was this portion that He Tianshu could not put into practise as this is what caused the previous fall. While Zhang Xiao Hua was thinking, He Tianshu determinedly started trying again.
This time, Zhang Xiao Hua focused carefully on the footsteps that He Tianshu used, carefully observed every move. Although Zhang Xiao Hua already had a basic understanding, the moves were very confusing and he could only barely remember 3 or 4 out of every ten moves. Again, when reaching that portion, He Tianshu made the same mistake and almost fell.
“Pei!” He Tianshu viciously spat on the floor before carefully putting the few pieces of paper in his hand back into his breast and angrily said, “I don’t believe that I won’t be able to master you”
Then he looked up, seeing Zhang Xiao Hua watching from the side, he was shocked, “Zhang Xiao Hua, why haven’t you went and practised your fist?”
Zhang Xiao Hua laughed and said, “Squad leader He, just now I saw that your practise was already not bad, why don’t I follow and learn a bit?”
He Tianshu was slightly annoyed, “I haven’t finished learning, how am I supposed to teach you? You should wait a bit longer “
Immediately after he said that, He Tianshu made a sudden reversal, changing what he said, “Okay, since you are so eager to learn, then I shall pass what I have learnt so far to you.”
After he said this, he displayed the position, saying, “ You just follow behind me and copy my footsteps, learn it step by step.”
Zhang Xiao Hua excitedly ran behind He Tianshu , saying, “Ok, Squad leader He, you can start.”
He Tianshu laughed and said, “Okay, I am starting, you follow and learn.”
Afterwards, he followed his previous comprehension, slowly displayed the footsteps he used just now.
Behind him, Zhang Xiao Hua copied exactly what was demonstrated, maybe it’s because he already saw it twice, Zhang Xiao Hua started without too much difficulty. Seeing the situation, He Tianshu increased his pace until he reached the spot where he encountered difficulty last time. His feet stepped towards the same position but he barely formed the stance. Afterwards, he turned and leaped to the side, with eyes full of mirth looking at Zhang Xiao Hua.
Zhang Xiao Hua was in the midst of learning and had no time to think of other things. Following He Tianshu was hard enough and suddenly seeing He Tianshu stepping to the side, he was very surprised but doesn’t know why, his two legs moved automatically like what he saw He Tianshu did earlier, both moving to the same location.
What He Tianshu wanted was exactly this outcome and he eagerly anticipated Zhang Xiao Hua to fall down!
Looking at Zhang Xiao Hua at this moment, his body was already tilted towards a side, in the same position that He Tianshu was in earlier. However, in this moment, he blankly stared at He Tianshu who was enjoying the show from the side. He did not intentionally control his body to prevent the fall, but at this moment, when he was about to the fall, he seems to naturally step forward slightly, missing it barely. Soon after, his right leg followed the direction of his body and moved to the side. The almost falling posture stabilised upright, and in the midst of all this, his body seems to have changed places. His figure was in another location.
This was such an unexpected event that He Tianshu who was watching from the side, hoping to see Zhang Xiao Hua make a fool of himself, eyes almost popped out. What, what is going on?
He Tianshu energetically walked forward asking , “Zhang Xiao Hua, have you seen this footwork before?”
Zhang Xiao Hua stood still out of confusion, not understanding said, “Squad leader He, of course, I have never seen it before, even if I had, I wouldn’t understand it.”
He Tianshu took out those few pieces of paper, pointed at a line on the page, “If you have never seen it before, how come you can put it to use correctly? Your every step was performed exactly the same as what was written here? I tried that posture and angle just now multiple times, but it didn’t work for me! It made me exhausted until I fell down on the ground!”
At this point, He Tianshu didn’t care about his face anymore and blurted everything out.
Zhang Xiao Hua knitted his brows and said, “How would I know? I only followed the footsteps that you taught and performed it out.”
He Tianshi didn’t believe him and said, “Zhang Xiao Hua, are you able to do it again?”
Zhang Xiao Hua thought back and could slightly recall what he did so he said, “I will try again, I might be able to.”
After saying this, he combined what he saw He Tianshu perform just now and the memory of what he just did, and step by step, performed it out. Although he hadn’t even performed up to that difficult portion, just the earlier portions made He Tianshu covered in cold sweat. This piaomiao footstep has many complications. He Tianshu knew in his heart that only after he sat in room bitterly pondering for so many days, and was still referring to the manual, he finally managed to perform it fluently. Zhang Xiao Hua, this guy was already able to perform it perfectly after seeing him perform it for the first time and only see them for a few time?
This compared to the stupid Zhang Xiao Hua learning fist martial arts impression that he had is very different!
However, after this outcome, it made He Tianshu’s confidence suffer a huge blow again. That Zhang Xiao Hua was unexpectedly flawlessly performing it and after doing it perfectly, he jovially turned around, stopped his feet, smiled and asked, “Squad leader He, is this how it’s done?”
He Tianshu stuttered a bit, his mind was still in a state of shock and said, “Yes, yes, it’s like this.”
Shortly after, he just threw Zhang Xiao Hua to the side, not believing it until he tried it for himself once more. What was a pity, he is still stopped at the difficult portion and almost fell again.
He Tianshu was very baffled. Why can’t he do it right? How did this Zhang Xiao Hua manage to do it in one try?
Thus, He Tianshu walked to Zhang Xiao Hua’s side, rub his hands together and asked, “How did you manage to do it just now? Is it just casually moving for that step? Looking at your smooth steps, it is very pretty, it’s as graceful as me, can you tell me how to control your body when it’s about to fall?”
Zhang Xiao Hua tilted his head and thought about it, saying, “Squad leader He, I am actually not very sure how I did it. But about what you were saying about controlling your body as you fall, I never completely controlled my body at all, only instinctually extend my leg. That smooth action was just something I accidentally did, my body felt that going that way would be correct.”
He Tianshu didn’t understand and asked, “Your body is already tilted, how can you not care? Isn’t it just letting yourself fall?”
Zhang Xiao Hua nodded his head and answered, “Yes, that’s exactly it.”
He Tianshu was pensive and he said thoughtfully, “I’ve got it, just behave according to instinct and let nature take its course. The left leg will definitely be able to pass by the right leg, creating a smooth movement. “
Zhang Xiao Hua was also unable to explain the reason why so he just said, “That should be right. In any case, I wasn’t doing anything at all.
He Tianshu nodded his head and started practising, but, our dear Squad leader He was miserable, his figure horizontally fell to the ground awfully.
He Tianshu leapt like a struggling carp off the ground, flustered, and exasperated saying, “Didn’t you say to do nothing, how did I still fall down, and you didn’t?”
Zhang Xiao Hua scratched his head, saying, “Could it be a problem with character, Squad leader He, yesterday when I was coming back from the manor villa, I helped a granny cross the road you know.”
How could He Tianshu believe this? He compared the moves and spoke at the same time, “Now the left leg steps here, then place the right leg here. The body will still tilt and since you said to follow your body to step, I instinctively used force to move towards this direction, then, my body tilted. The more strength I tried to use, the more my figure slants, why is this happening?”
He Tianshu muttered like a demon and Zhang Xiao Hua, who didn’t understand, asked, “Squad Leader He, why must you apply strength to take a step forward, what strength are you applying?”
He Tianshu was slightly impatient, “Of course it’s inner energy, without inner energy how can your steps be fast and light?”
Zhang Xiao Hua pouted and said, “Squad leader He, since when did I have inner energy? I haven’t even developed qi sense yet!”
After hearing this, He Tianshu’s face couldn’t tell whether it was cloudy or clear, face-palming, seemingly understood. His cheap follower simply doesn’t have inner energy, how was he able to use the steps?
After finding the reason, He Tianshu couldn’t wait to practise it once more, sure enough, this time he succeeded in using it without a single mistake. However, in He Tianshu’s heart was not just the feeling of joy but he was also full of a weird feeling. This footwork unexpectedly doesn’t work with inner energy?
“Haa” He Tianshu let out a sigh, he doesn’t know what he is sad about and he started walking, prepared to leave.
Zhang Xiao Hua quickly chased up and asked, “Squad leader He, are we not training anymore? It’s still early right now and breakfast hasn’t even been prepared.”
He Tianshu paid no attention and said, “I have been pondering for a long time, and only learned this little bit, how do I keep training? How about I give you the secret manual and you go and see if you can train it yourself?”
After saying this, he moved to take it out from his chest.
After hearing this, Zhang Xiao Hua immediately waved his hand, he was joking a bit for fun. Just now, he looked at the manual and saw pictures full of footsteps. Just looking at it gave him a headache. Now, he clearly understood the difficulty of being a self taught genius. Since there is someone willing to teach him, why would he need to take a detour?
Zhang Xiao Hua laughed and said, “I am only about concerned squad leader He’s health. Now it’s even earlier than breakfast time, why not train a bit ? As the saying goes, doing things is for the mansion and only your body is really yours so you must take care of your health.”