Chapter 37: Twelve Moves
Seeing that Yi Yun was the first to follow his instructions, Zhang Yuxian nodded with satisfaction. The others did not think likewise. Zhao Tiezhu looked at Yi Yun eating the tree and sneered.
It wasn’t so simple eating wood.
You may be trying to be a hero, but I’ll see how you burst to your death later.
When the people faced famine, people ate grass roots and tree bark. But no one tried eating wood, especially uncooked hardwood.
Other than termites or borers, few animals in the world ate wood. The wood fibers in the wood was not something the stomach could digest.
“Go! Dig up some Guanyin clay!” Zhang Yuxian ordered. Guanyin clay was actually magnesium silicate. No one knew why it was called Guanyin clay. Perhaps people looked to the Guanyin goddess for help during times of famine. This clay could fill the stomachs, so it obtained such a name.
But in reality, Guanyin clay was a poison. It was not harmful in small amounts. But slightly larger portions would result in indigestion. It would be impossible to excrete it out, and a person would eventually die of abdominal distension.
Coincidentally, the Lian tribal clan had such a material. Some people may wonder why would people eat the Guanyin clay if they knew it could kill?
This was because of the ignorance of the local people. They believed that if they had a sincere heart, they would receive salvation from the goddess, Guanyin.
The second reason was that Guanyin clay tasted much better than tree bark and grass-roots. Its appearance and taste resembled flour. Some people who could not resist the temptation under extreme hunger would die from eating too much.
The Guanyin clay was dug up and piled into a bunch.
This Guanyin clay was moved over by the citizens. The citizens of the Lian tribal clan had become onlookers.
Seeing the people from the warrior preparation camp about to eat the Guanyin clay, the onlookers were worried. It was okay eating some Guanyin clay, but the results would be devastating if they finished that large amount.
“Begin,” Zhang Yuxian said lightly. Yi Yun did not hesitate and began eating the Guanyin clay in large amounts. It did not have any special taste but it tasted a bit creamy.
The Guanyin clay was much easier to swallow than the wood.
Seeing Yi Yun’s actions, the people from the warrior preparation camp could not take that lying down.
They bit the bullet and began eating.
They believed Zhang Yuxian wasn’t out to harm them. Although it was awful eating that, they had to endure the eating in order to practice the skill!
But just as the thought flashed in their heads, Zhang Yuxian destroyed that thought when he said, “The Elephant Swallowing Technique isn’t that easy to learn. Some people who ate the Guanyin clay for the practice of Elephant Swallowing Technique did not manage to learn it before dying of abdominal distention.”
Upon hearing Zhang Yuxian’s words, the courage they had mustered deflated.
If you can’t master the Elephant Swallowing Technique, eating all this wood and Guanyin clay would result in death!
Learning this technique could result in death. They thought they would be subjected to suffering, but it would not be life-threatening. But the truth proved that they had thought wrong!
Seeing Zhao Tiezhu and company’s expressions, Zhang Yuxian gave a disdainful glance, “Do you think the practicing of martial arts is to treat others to dinner and having a good time? And from that, you will learn a peerless skill?”
“When a warrior practices the arts, he has to understand that he will constantly confront death! There are often deaths even among the Jing Long Wei members’ normal training! Without pushing your body to its limits, how do you expect to break through!?”
“The path of martial arts, entering mysterious lands, vendettas, vying for treasure, destroying the devil within, escaping death, surviving tragedies! Which one of those doesn’t have death involved? You are only at the beginning stages. If you don’t dare to eat Guanyin clay, then don’t practice martial arts. Just die in this vast wilderness!”
Zhang Yuxian had no more demands from the likes of these people. He also did not say how much Guanyin clay or wood a beginner of the Elephant Swallowing Technique should consume.
It was up to a person’s courage to determine how much he should eat.
The warrior preparation camp members looked at each other. They subconsciously began to slow down their eating speeds.
As for Yi Yun, he paused for a while. After a short silence, he began eating at a constant speed, not affected by those words.
Zhang Yuxian noticed Yi Yun and nodded. This courage was admirable.
As for Zhao Tiezhu and company, they naturally noticed Yi Yun’s constant eating of the wood and Guanyin clay. Zhao Tiezhu maliciously whispered, “That little bastard, he may be showing off now, but he will die from a ruptured stomach later!”
“Don’t mind the idiot, Brother Zhao. We are just beginners. Let’s not eat too much. 250 grams, no…200 to 250 grams should do…”
The men from the warrior preparation camp began to carefully weigh the amount they ate. They ate it sparingly like a gluttonous child unwilling to finish a cake.
“Brother Zhao, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Let’s do it step by step. We will do it steadily. We will let Lord Zhang see our martial arts talent! How could we not match up to a little kid!”
The men from the warrior preparation camp suppressed their anger. Zhang Yuxian had looked down on them, and his words implied that he had chosen them just to fill the numbers.
They had conceded to that, but they could not agree to Zhang Yuxian’s high appraisal of a sickly child like Yi Yun!
They thought they could lift stone rollers while practicing martial arts with Zhang Yuxian. It was their forte where they could posture and easily repress Yi Yun. It would have been fun.
But they never expected that they were required to eat a tree for their cultivation!
It was like a bolt out of the blue!
“It’s just eating wood and Guanyin clay. What’s there to fear? Bros, eat! We have to exceed Yi Yun. This little chick is just here to play after all.”
Zhao Tiezhu grew madder and madder just thinking. If the other men did not dare eat, he would purposely eat more. He did not believe he would be unable to learn the Elephant Swallowing Technique.
At this point, Yi Yun had already eaten about a kilogram of Guanyin clay at a leisurely speed. The Guanyin clay had begun to expand in his stomach. He felt as if a lead block had been stuffed into his stomach and was falling.
Yi Yun’s stomach began to hurt.
This kind of pain was not obvious in the beginning, but it became worse as time went by, to the point of causing people to die from pain.
Suddenly, Yi Yun heard a voice say, “Follow me, do these twelve moves.”
Yi Yun raised his head and saw Zhang Yuxian standing in front of everyone. Zhang Yuxian eyes were on him, with an encouraging smile.
With that, Zhang Yuxian began to move.
It was hard to describe Zhang Yuxian’s movements. His movements looked like a blur. It seemed like he was standing in another space-time dimension, having cut off contact from the outside world.
He demonstrated each of the moves which were extremely strange. But when the actions connected, it gave off a consistent natural feel.
Zhang Yuxian’s speed varied. It contained a hard to describe charm.
These actions appeared in the irises of the people, but it was as if seeing a shadow that didn’t exist. It looked like an illusion.
Yi Yun suddenly thought of something, he felt like it was a dream seeing Zhang Yuxian’s movements.
In a dream, the things seen, the words said were all very real and clear.
It was possible to have utmost creativity in the dreams, creating beautiful poems.
One could feel that his literary talent was excellent in the dream, but no matter what, he would never be able to remember what was written or said.
Upon waking up, everything would be forgotten.
Seeing Zhang Yuxian’s movements, Yi Yun had such a strange idea.
Is the “Elephant Swallowing Technique” just a fundamental skill? Why do I find it much better than the “Dragon Rib Tiger Bone Fist”?
Yi Yun could not believe it.
At this point, Zhang Yuxian had already finished. Although he could not remember most of the moves, Yi Yun knew that Zhang Yuxian had done the entire set of movements three times!
“Alright, these are the twelve moves of the Elephant Swallowing Technique. Do it accordingly. If you can do it, you will have some small success with the Elephant Swallowing Technique, and it wouldn’t be hard to digest that bit of Guanyin clay.”
Hearing Zhang Yuxian’s words, Zhao Tiezhu and company stared wide-eyed!
What did Zhang Yuxian just do?
They only saw a blur. Zhang Yuxian’s body shook, leaving some after-images, and then he was back there standing.
Some of them were thinking if they were giddy, since they had seen double.
They did not understand the situation. It was impossible for them to follow Zhang Yuxian’s movements!
Upon seeing the sodden expressions of the warrior preparation camp members, Zhang Yuxian asked, “What’s the problem?”
“A…A question…” Zhao Tiezhu swallowed a mouthful of saliva and said his question with difficulty. “If…If we can’t learn yo…your movements, then wh…what will happen to the Guanyin clay and wood that we just ate?”
Zhao Tiezhu felt hopeless. It was too complicated. He couldn’t even understand the moves. It was impossible for him to learn it in three days!
“Oh?” Zhang Yuxian frowned. He could not be bothered with Zhao Tiezhu’s retarded question and said, “When you go to the bathroom, use a finger or a pick to dig, and you might survive. Remember not to drink any water.”
Hearing Zhang Yuxian finish his words, Zhao Tiezhu and company suddenly felt like they had eaten a kilogram of shit, the kind that had been festering in the intestines for days.
That expression was indescribable.