Book 1 (Spoiler alert, there’s only 1 book)
Chapter 2: Penetrating Fist
In the wee hours of the morning, stood a lonely mountain peak surrounded by a thick white fog that caused one’s vision to become fuzzy.
Within a dense forest behind the mountain peak, a sudden and intense gasp sounded out. Upon taking a closer look, in an open space within the woods, a tiny figure could be seen hanging from a thick and sturdy branch using both of his hands. This tiny body borrowed the pulling force from his arms to move up and down repeatedly. As he made these movements, his body formed some strange poses; the kind of poses that utilized all the muscles in the body, exercising all of them together.
Additionally, there were a few pitch-black iron weights hanging on his arms and ankles. Sweat dripped off his clothes and onto the metal weights, causing them to likewise become dripping with wetness.
Naturally, this tiny figure was Lin Dong. Unlike his peers, he did not enjoy the luxury of wealth and riches due to his childhood circumstances, but rather his strict father taught him that the most important things for training were willpower and diligence. These things were his only advantage over the rest of his peers who were blessed with a good amount of wealth.
Sweat dripped into his eyes causing a stinging pain that made Lin Dong clench his jaw in response. He could already feel the pain stemming from extreme overexertion. At this point, most people would definitely choose to take a break and rest. However, he remembered what his father told him: that only during this time, will one be able to break through his limits. Hence……he must endure!
He absolutely must not let go!
For the Family Competition half a year later, he needed to train as if his life was on the line!
The sensation you receive as you approach your limit leaves you feeling dizzy and nauseous. Nonetheless, Lin Dong gritted his teeth and persevered on. Suddenly, he felt a strange heat gushing from within his body, and immediately this feeling refreshed him and lifted his spirits.
It was the power of the Red Ginseng!
Several days ago, the stalk of Red Ginseng was meant to be used to heal Lin Xiao’s injuries. However, upon Lin Xiao insistence, it was finally delivered into Lin Dong’s body.
It must be said that this kind of elixir truly provides a major boost for a low-leveled Tempered Body practitioner like Lin Dong. Within a mere few days of training, Lin Dong could clearly feel that his body had become at least twice as strong as it used to be.
However, while the Red Ginseng’s provided a major boost to Lin Dong’s training, the power of the elixir was not unlimited. After all, this Red Ginseng was merely a grade 1 elixir. Therefore, after five days, the effects of the elixir gradually started to dissipate.
However, as the effect of the elixir dissipated, it did not completely disappear. This was because Lin Dong’s body was only at the initial stage of the strengthening process, thus it was unable to absorb all of the medicinal effects of the elixir. Hence, some of the medicinal effects remained hidden within the deepest parts of his body. Only when Lin Dong’s body was pushed to the extremes, would it finally be squeezed out and devoured by his hungry body.
As the warmth of the medicinal effect slowly seep into his body, Lin Dong felt as though he could hear the countless cells in his body rejoicing together as all his fatigue and pain were gradually replaced with an invigorating energy.
Lin Dong grabbed onto the tree trunk and violently flung his body, with a somersault, he flipped in the air and steadily landed on the ground. He stretched his back as all the bones in his body suddenly made popping sounds. To Lin Dong’s delight, he found that his body had indeed become much tougher.
“Tempered Body 3rd Layer!”
Lin Dong gripped his tiny fists tightly as he enjoyed the power surging through his muscles, his tiny face breaking out into a smile of surprise and delight. Due to his family circumstances, ever since he started training, he had little opportunity to make use of elixirs. Thus, he did not expect that just after a single use, the results actually turned out so good.
“Hmm, not bad…”
As Lin Dong was busy celebrating his advancement, a voice echoed from beside him. He hastily turned his head to see Lin Xiao standing below a big tree, clothed in a plain attire. Furthermore, he could see a shadow of a smile emerging on Lin Xiao’s usually stern face.
Lin Dong excitedly proclaimed when he saw Lin Xiao who was standing beside the tree.
Lin Xiao nodded his head as he approached Lin Dong. Scanning his son’s body, a rare smile finally emerged as he said: “Tempered Body 3rd Layer, not bad.”
“It was all thanks to the Red Ginseng”, Lin Dong chuckled as he dipped and shook his head.
“The Red Ginseng is merely a grade 1 elixir, even if others consumed it, it will still take them at least one or two months to advance the Tempered Body from the 2nd to the 3rd Layer. This is the result of your hard work and training.” Lin Xiao softly sighed as he gazed at Lin Dong who was standing before him. He had naturally noticed how hard Lin Dong was pushing himself during this period of time. Several times, he would see his wife tearing up and even though he did not say anything, as Lin Dong’s father, he nonetheless felt some heart-ache.
He understood that the reason why Lin Dong was training so incessantly was because he desired to achieve a good result in the upcoming annual Family Competition that was half a year away. This would restore some of his father’s honor and reputation in the Lin Family.
Lin Dong grinned happily as he felt that all his hard work and effort after all this time had finally bore some fruit. He felt that he was catching up to the top students in the Lin Family.
“You can throw away the iron weights now. Since you have already mastered Tempered Body 3rd Layer, you are now just eligible to train in martial arts. Let me impart a set of fist techniques to you.” Lin Xiao said.
Upon hearing this news, Lin Dong’s jet-black eyes immediately lit up. Even though he had finally reached Tempered Body 3rd Layer, he did not know any techniques at all, and when he fought with others, he could only rely on brute force. Therefore, in his heart, he was very eager to learn these martial arts in order to boost his fighting potential. However, because of the temperament of his father’s body, Lin Xiao had yet to teach him any martial arts. Now that his chance has finally arrived, he was naturally ecstatic.
“All the martial arts in the world can be classified into nine levels and three categories. The levels 1,2 and 3 belong to the lower category while the levels 7,8 and 9 belong
to the top category and the rest belong to the middle category. What I am about to teach you is a lower category, level 1 fist technique, termed as the “Penetrating Fist.” Lin Xiao explained.
Lin Dong nodded his head, he did not feel upset even though he was only learning a lower category, level 1 fist technique. He understood that you need to take things step by step, and that for most people, it was already a great opportunity to learn a level 1 martial arts skill. It is said that within the Lin Family, the highest martial arts was merely a level 4 martial arts skill and this was obtained by grandpa from the Hidden Scripture Pavilion through chance when he was still a inner circle member of the Lin Clan.
“Even though martial arts have different levels, the most important part lies in the user himself. In the hands of a strong user, even a level 1 martial arts skill can become a powerful and deadly force. Therefore, the stronger one’s body is, the more powerful the martial arts’ attacks become.” Lin Xiao extended his palm and signalled to Lin Dong: “Come, use all your strength and your greatest speed to attack me.”
Lin Dong blinked his eyes, as he discarded the iron weights strapped on his wrist, before dashing forward to deliver a punch at Lin Xiao.
As he faced Lin Dong’s full-power blow, Lin Xiao merely stretched forth his hand, and deftly slid his palm across Lin Dong’s sleeves. A crisp crackling sound then followed before Lin Dong jumped in pain. Gritting his teeth, he hastily rolled up his sleeves only to discover that his entire arm had turned red.
“Penetrating Fist requires one to exert force while sticking closely to one’s clothes. If I had exerted more force or even used a trace of Yuan power, your whole arm including your bones will be completely shattered.” Lin Xiao casually followed up: “ In order to master Penetrating Fist, you need to train with your clothes. Since this martial art emphasizes on exerting force while sticking closely to one’s clothes, when you are training in this skill, the clothes that stick to your body will produce a sound as well. There are a total of 9 forms for this skill, also known as the 9 echoes. This is because when you use each form, a crisp sound will echo out. And as each form is used in succession and the 9 echoes eventually all sound out, its power can even be comparable to that of a level 2 martial arts skill.”
“You had better watch closely and memorize all nine forms closely!”
With a low shout, Lin Xiao stretched out his limbs and positioned his stance, seeming as fierce as a tiger. And when he exerted his moves, it looked as agile as a monkey. A series of crisp crackling sounds continuously sounded out from his clothes.
Lin Dong gazed attentively as Lin Xiao’s fists danced around, his mind concentrated solely on the sight before him. Everything else was ignored, and all that was reflected in his eyes was this set of fist technique!
Because he was teaching Lin Dong, Lin Xiao purposely slowed down and repeated each move a few times. Finally he gently slowed to a halt and turned to face Lin Dong, asking: “Have you memorized it?”
Lin Dong muttered to himself for a while before nodding his head, somewhat unsure.
“Oh? Why don’t you show me?”
Astonishment streaked across Lin Xiao’s face, although he had slowed his speed by quite a bit, these 9 forms of the Penetrating Fist were not extremely easy to learn. Moreover, this was Lin Dong’s first ever contact with martial arts, could he have actually managed to memorise it so quickly?
As if he could sense Lin Xiao’s astonishment, Lin Dong took two steps forward, and extended both both fists outwards before he performed a set of forms, though in a shoddy and slow manner.
A smither of delight emerged on Lin Xiao’s face as he stood to one side and witnessed his son go through all 9 forms of the Penetrating Fist. Even though his performance was very amateurish and carried little substance, his accomplishment was still impressive especially considering that this was his first ever exposure to the Penetrating Fist. Moreover, this also demonstrated that he was a gifted and talented learner. Upon discovery of this fact, Lin Xiao felt overjoyed as he realized his son had inherited the kind of potential that he had at that age.
“Father, why is it that when I use the Penetrating Fist, there isn’t even a single sound?” Lin Dong helplessly asked as he completed another set of forms in shoddy and slow manner.
“You little brat, if it were so easy to produce a sound, then this set of moves would not live up to its name.” Lin Xiao chided before continuing: “Remember that as you train, carefully feel your power flowing. As long as you can make your clothes follow your power and not the other way around, then you would be considered to have successfully learnt this set of moves. Come, try a few more times.”
Lin Dong’s mouth chanted these words a few times before he tried to turn theory into action as he drilled. Meanwhile, Lin Xiao stood beside him, while occasionally pointing out some mistakes or slipups.
On the vacant land in the woods, a figure of a boy continuously danced about. Even as sweat sprayed his body, it did not distract him even the slightest bit, as his tiny face remained especially serious.
The afternoon quickly passed as Lin Dong continuously practiced without rest, and his efforts was not for naught. Lin Dong gradually became more proficient at the 9 forms of the Penetrating Fist and although he was still unable to produce any sounds, his attitude did not waver at all.
“Let today’s training end here, you can resume your practice tomorrow.” Lin Xiao suddenly said as he glanced to the sky before turning back to look at Lin Dong who was perspiring profusely. The amount of dedication and persistence the latter had displayed in his training had caused even him to be somewhat moved. Soon after, he secretly sighed as he moaned the fact that his many years of dispiritedness had forced his child to mature a lot faster than normal.
“En, Father please go back to rest first, let me stay just a little longer before returning home.” Lin Dong replied, his fists did not stop as he concentrated on following Lin Xiao’s instructions to feel the tiny movements and changes in the power flowing through his muscles.
In response, Lin Xiao could only helplessly shake his head. Lin Dong’s improvement was very distinct, but to cause a sound with the Penetrating Fist was not easy, Lin Xiao had previously trained for a whole week before he finally succeeded.
Quickly informing Lin Dong that he was leaving, Lin Xiao turned around with his hands at his back. As he turned, a smiling expression surfaced on his face, the perceptive ability that Lin Dong displayed today caused him to be extremely satisfied.
“This child is unusually perceptive and possesses an unrelenting willpower that even surpasses me at my prime, this shouldn’t be too difficult for him……”
As this thought flashed across Lin Xiao’s mind, a loud, clear and crisp ‘Pa’ sound abruptly sounded out from behind. Immediately, his face went rigid as he staggered forward. Yet, at this moment, a bright light sparkled in his eyes.
“It appears that it was not too difficult but a rather easy matter for him to accomplish ……”