Chapter 6: A Leaf Blade
Henyee Translations Henyee Translations
"Do I?" Chen Fan laughed in his mind.
He was not only the Celestial Lord but also the embodiment of martial spirit even among the cultivators.
Let it be the basic cultivation techniques or the art of killing and warfare; there was nothing that he did not have a knack for. As the grand master of the True Martial Immortal Sect, he was well versed in all kind of unarmed close quarter combat techniques. The girl's shambling forms and unrefined skills were laughable in his eyes.
Even the True Martial Sect's entry-level technique, the "True Martial thirty-six Sanshou forms" was much more sophisticated than what the girl had used. Not to mention that the "True Martial's thirty-six Sanshou forms" was only used among servants of the True Martial lords and the lowest cast of disciples. Any official member of the sect had long since forsaken the outdated technique.
Nonetheless, Chen Fan did not want to argue with her, nor did he want to reveal his identity as a cultivator, so he apologized readily, "I am afraid I don't fully understand your moves. I am sorry. I shook my head because I was thinking of something else."
"Then buzz off and stop staring at—" The girl was cut short by the elderly man, "Zi Qing, enough."
"Okay, Grandpa." Zi, Qing replied. She managed to shoot Chen Fan a searing glance before she walked back to her grandpa.
Chen Fan glanced at the old man and found out that he, too, possessed the internal energy, and he was much more powerful than the girl.
Chen Fan wagered that the amount of power in the old man was on par with that of a cultivator halfway through the Foundation Establishment phase. In other words, his power was above that of Chan Fan, at least for now. Meanwhile, he registered that the power of the girl was not even near that of a cultivator who had just started the first sub-level.
That being said, Chen Fan conceded that his comparison was flawed since he was comparing apple to oranges. An even better analogy for the cultivator and martial artist were knife and tofu. However large and firm a piece of tofu was, it would not be able to withstand a single slash of even the dullest knife.
Chen Fan was confident that he would be able to defeat the old man even if he had to face ten of him at the same time.
Realizing that there was nothing else to see, Chen Fan found another willow tree, sat cross-legged underneath it and started to cultivate.
His body and mind quickly entered the cultivation state as he initiated the Void Mortal Refinement art. Soon an invisible vacuum devoid of any energy formed around his body.
Chen Fan's strange actions aroused the elderly man's suspicion. He wondered why anyone would wake up this early in the morning, came to the park, and only to fall asleep again under a tree?
"Huh?" After a while, the old man suddenly gasped in surprise.
"What's going on, Grandpa?" Zi Qing asked curiously.
"Look at him carefully, did you see that?." The old man's face hardened.
"See what?" Zi Qing squinted her eyes and failed to see anything extraordinary.
"Pay attention to his breathing." The old man pressed on.
It wasn't until then that Zi Qing noticed that the boy's chest swell up and down at each breath. It was as if his lunges were two blowers. There were two wisps of white light spurting out of his nostrils, and they writhed and turned like snakes. The two rays of white lights were about the size of a needle, and one wouldn't notice them without looking very hard.
"What is that?" Zi Qing frowned.
"This is a very advanced method of harnessing internal energy. It is said that only some ancient sects of martial arts can do it. This kind of breathing required extremely powerful lungs. The practitioner of this technique is able to dive under the water for a really long time." The old man said slowly. "I didn't expect that I could see such a powerful martial artist in my lifetime. Gosh! he is so young, too; it's incredible."
The ponytail girl snorted, "He is just breathing heavily. It's not like he can kill people with his big lungs, Grandpa. It's overrated."
"You are too young too simple, sometimes naive. " The old man refuted with a loving voice. "No one could have done that without a few decades of practicing martial arts. I have never seen this technique used in real life, but only heard of it in legends."
"Is it really that powerful?" Suspicion flashed across Zi Qing's face.
Suddenly, she seemed to remember something, "Hold on a second. If he really is a bad-ass like you said then he did shake his head in disapproval of my practice, didn't he?" Zi Qing paused to mull over her own question.
"What a jerk! He did!" After a while, Zi Qing grunted and then she continued, "I don't care how powerful you think he is, I will test his strength."
Seeing the eagerness in his granddaughter, the old man heaved a deep sigh.
However, the old man didn't design to stop her. However powerful this young man might be, he and his granddaughter should be safe in his own territory. He had fought many brutal wars during his life, and he scarcely feared death, much less a young man.
The grandfather and granddaughter pair decided to wait for Chen Fan to finish his cultivation. About half an hour later, the boy opened his mouth and spat out a ghostly white glowing gas. This parcel of white gas shot forward a few meters and traced a silvery arch in the air.
"I was right. He is a powerful martial artist!" The old man's face hardened as reality set in.
"Don't worry grandpa; Brother Qi is here to protect us. Can a martial artist dodge a bullet? I think not."
Zi Qing has a brave soul; although she was as surprised by the development, she was not afraid.
Unlike her grandfather, she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Her prestigious family background had sheltered her from many dangers; she was young and fearless, driven by purely the valor of ignorance.
The young man inside the jeep had been watching the development from inside his car. His hand had reached his waist where his gun rested.
Chen Fan pushed himself up to his feet, and he looked dissatisfied with today's result of cultivation.
Although the numinous abode he had found under the willow tree was able to aid his cultivation, its effect paled in comparison with that directly absorbing the qi in the herbs.
He turned his head around and was surprised by the pair that lurked behind him all the while.
Seeing that the boy had woken up, the old man smiled and stepped forward to greet Chen Fan:" Greetings, young man. Glad to see another budding martial artist! My name is Wei Fu, May I ask what your name is? Where do you hail from? and may I have the honor to know your teacher's name?"
"Wei Fu?" The name sounded very familiar to Chen Fan.
But he had seen countless people over the past 500 years, so he doubted he would remember who the old man was.
Seeing the tightened bodies of the two, Chen Fan wagered that the sight of his cultivation had caught their interest.
Chen Fan shook his head, "I am not really a martial artist. You can think of me as a… monk who follows the way of Dao."
He couldn't tell them his real identity; even if he did, these two mortals would never understand what cultivation meant.
"A monk? Are you from the Dao Sect?" The old man looked confused. He had never heard any martial artist from the Dao Sect before.
"Grandpa, let's not waste our time on him any longer. Let me spar with him already," Zi Qing turned around and shot an icy glance at Chen Fan. "Why did you lie to me earlier? Now show me what you can do!"
"Are you trying to provoke me into a duel?
No one had shouted taunts at Chen Fan for many centuries, and therefore, the girl's challenge was a refreshing change for him.
"I'll be damned! Should I beat up a girl or get beaten up?" Chen Fan thought to himself.
Chen Fan felt he was on the horns of the dilemma, after weighing his options, he decided not to get involved. He gave the girl a big shrug and then said, "I am sorry, but I'm just a monk. We only cultivate internal harmony but never fight with fists and weapons."
The girl snorted contemptuously. "Bull shit, I saw you sneered at me while I was practicing my forms! Don't play dumb!" The girl flung back at Chen Fan.
"Young man, what will be the harm in a little spar session? Although my granddaughter was still at the beginner level, she was well under way to master our family's first technique. I was hoping that with your help, she could advance even faster." The old man said slowly but firmly.
Despite the old man's calm voice, his suspicion didn't recede the slightest. He had given the boy his name, but the latter seemed to have never heard of it before. How could any powerful martial artist not recognize his name?
Chen Fan shook his head and heaved a sigh of resignation. He knew he had to oblige the girl's request.
He picked up a fallen willow leaf from the ground with two deft fingers as he channeled out his arcane energy. With a flick of the finger, the willow leaf flew out like a bullet.
The leaf traveled at such incredible speed that it blurred into a dark shadowy line in the air. It grazed pass the girl's face and eventually hit a large tree trunk. The tree that got hit shook violently, raining leaves and twigs under the tree.
"Watch out!" The old man shouted out as soon as he saw the leaf turned into a weapon, but his warning came too late.
"What the—" Zi Qing was still in shock. Her long dark hair on the right side was cut to shoulder length; the crystal earrings she was wearing also fell to the ground.
She touched her cheek and found a thin line of a wound where blood was seeping through. She turned around and saw the willow leaf was lodged into the tree trunk like a piece of metal.
"Turning a piece of leaf into a weapon? That's crazy!"
The old man's heart was caught in his throat during the turn of event. Seeing the girl was unharmed, he finally heaved a sigh of relief.
He smiled wryly, "I have never even dreamed of seeing such martial arts skills during my lifetime. No… this is not martial arts; this is… something far more powerful. Even I wouldn't be able to withstand such a blow much less, my granddaughter."
So saying, the old man came up to Chen Fan and saluted him, "It was an honor to meet you, grand-master!" the old man spoke with great emotion in his voice. Never had he thought that he would encounter a hermit grandmaster, a very young one while at it!
The old man wagered that he might be the only person who could comprehend the full power of this young man. He doubted that he could find anyone in China who was more powerful than him.
Zi Qing ran to the willow tree and pulled out the willow leaf with much difficulty, and then she turned to Chen Fan and looked at him incredulously.
"How did you do it?" She murmured.
Even the man in the car was shocked by the development. He almost forgot that he was still holding the gun in his hand.
What was the point of using a gun when his opponent was faster than a bullet?