Chapter 148: Stepping into Transforming Jin!
“Thank you for allowing me this victory!”
Song Anran had been like a mountain when he had fainted. There was no movement besides the faint oscillation of his heart in his chest. At this moment, he did not seem like a master of martial arts, meaning that the wound he had been dealt was surely a tremendous one.
With a crackling sound as he disentangled himself, Wang Chao made use of his arms and legs to leap up as if by the tail of a snake and the leap of a monkey to fly four meters away. Readjusting his breath, his eyes flickered to look at the remaining three, Bai Xianyong, Wang Yunlian, and Dai Nu.
“Who is next? I will accept you all.” Wang Chao smiled and laughed. It seemed as if he was still filled with energy without losing a single iota of it even after all this fighting.
In the beginning, there had been eight experts gathered here. But in the time span of several exchanges, Xu Benliang had been thrown aside.
Yin Manchuan had been knocked unconscious by the Seafloor Smash.
Ma Huajun had his arm snapped and thrown up onto the roof in humiliation.
Chen Tianlei had his internal organs damaged by the competition between hammer fists.
And now Song Anran had been choked to the point of unconsciousness. In less than half an hour, five experts had been defeated one after another. Wang Chao’s victory had risen along with his momentum to an entirely unprecedented peak.
The killing move Wang Chao had just used, “Constriction of the Python”, had one arm pressed against Song Anran’s neck while the other was forced against his chest. At the same time, their bodies were pressed against each other, he had his hip bone slam into the acupoint on his opponent’s waist while his legs forced the joints in place. As a final touch, he would emit Jin throughout the enemy’s body evenly.
This wasn’t a fighting move meant to hit, but something secretive and sinister. This display of dexterity was completely different than the head on approach Wang Chao had done earlier. As a bonus, it had caused the remaining three men to feel an overwhelming amount of pressure. In their eyes, Wang Chao had grown even more dangerous.
Song Anran was highly skilled in martial arts and his body was unnaturally strong. When he used his “Dual Form of Bear and Eagle”, then his body would resemble that of a bear. Any regular act of Jujutsu or contortionism would easily be shaken and thrown off. But somehow, Wang Chao’s physical strength had been a step higher than his own. When he coiled around Song Anran, even a tree wouldn’t fail to have its bark damaged, let alone the skin of a person.
“Splendid.” Wang Yunlian bent over to take a look at the unconscious Song Anran before pressing against several crucial points on his body with a finger. A coughing fit could be heard from within Song Anran’s throat before he spat out a wad of phlegm. Even the expression in his eyes had begun to clear up.
“Brother Wang, do not fall for his bravado. His move just now was beyond furtive, but when he coiled around my body, not even a bit of Hidden Jin could be felt before he leaped away. It is clear that when challenging master Chen, all of his energy was used up.”
As soon as Song Anran awakened, his throat rumbled and spoke out those three sentences.
Wang Yunlian spoke in a small whisper, “No matter what, he is still younger than us. His body is better and even more robust. Even if he is injured, it won’t be any major obstruction to his life. We are old, 20 years past our prime age. And even now, his vigor is even higher than ours. If we continued, the outcome would not be as hopeful.”
“Ai! Just where in the world did such an expert come from? At such a tender young age, his martial arts has already reached perfection. Perhaps. Just perhaps a hundred years later, another Yang the Invincible has appeared?” Song Anran sighed.
“His martial arts may be high, but he is still far from being invincible. However, we cannot strive against him today either.” Wang Yunlian spoke as he advanced towards Wang Chao with wide open eyes.
Seeing the master of Yiquan come close, Wang Chao’s face had twitched inadvertently. “Yes? Does master Wang wish to push hands and test my skill as well?”
“There’ll be no need for that. I recognize your strength in martial arts. You are qualified to even open up your own school.” Wang Yunlian waved his hand. “The fist fears the youth, but it seems that we elders cannot accept our age. Why don’t we conclude things here? Master Wang, you need not be so overbearing. When you come to be of our age, our disciples will come to you to push hands and test your skill then.”
“That is fine, I will wait for them.” Wang Chao shut his eyes. Wang Yunlian’s words had been airtight and had put the blame of their defeat solely on their age.
Wang Chao had fully understood in his mind that each one of the experts gathered here weren’t even in their fifties. Meaning that they were still robust in strength and not yet closed to an age where they would have to accept their age as a delimiter to their strength.
The peak range of a practitioner was from their twenties to their forties.
As long as one wasn’t in the sixties range, they could at the very least preserve their physical strength and fight. Some practitioners in their forties were rich in experience and were far more terrifying than a youngster even.
On the other hand, if one were to come across a grandmaster who had nourished and cultivated his health by not smoking, not drinking, no impulse eating, no lecherous desires, and rose and fell with the sun and moon for dozens of years in order to cultivate their health, they would be a different story.
It wouldn’t be strange for these grandmasters to still maintain their peak physical strength from their fifties to their sixties. Throughout history, there had been many masters in their sixties and even seventies that were able to fight fiercely.
Although he knew that Wang Yunlian was looking for an excuse to save face, Wang Chao did not refute him. There had been an even deeper meaning behind Wang Yunlian’s words, “Sooner or later, our disciples will come to retake the face we lost here today.” But Wang Chao wasn’t too worried.
Today’s battle didn’t end with any deaths, but with the high statuses of the experts here, their situations would not be as good as it was before the fights.
“I’ve offended far too many people here today.” Wang Chao sighed deep within his heart.
“Chief Ma, I came here today to talk business and take my records, not to test my strength against yours. I did not mean or plan on being overbearing at all. We are all working for the sake of our nation, so I hope that today’s matters will remain a personal grudge and not leak into our official affairs. If any master wishes to test my martial arts, then they are free to come find me or have their disciples test me in their stead. I will receive them all.”
“I’ve no interest in keeping the files of you or your comrade. Today’s business will indeed be a personal grudge, but I know when to keep my personal and public life separate.” Ma Huajun’s face had been calm as he dropped his hand.
“Xiao Tan, take lieutenant colonel Wang to the records, here’s the key.” Ma Huajun tossed a key over and began to command several of the members of the bureau.
“I give my thanks!” Wang Chao took off the military uniform he had been wearing due to the broken down state of his clothes from the fight. In its current state, the uniform was no better than the clothes of a beggar.
His shoes were most especially destroyed. It was absolutely offending to the eyes, but Wang Chao’s bare feet could be seen, and there was not much he could do about it.
“I’ll come on over later this afternoon.”
With those words, Wang Chao turned around to leave. The 30-40 men and women near the gates had involuntarily made room for the seemingly god of war of a man to walk away and disappear from their sights.
Calling for a taxi to bring him to his own lodgings, Wang Chao had changed into a spare set of clothes and shoes before resting up for two hours. After recovering his strength and eating lunch, he drove back to the Ministry of State Security to retrieve the two files of his and Lin Yanan. This time it had been exceptionally profitable without any obstructions. On the way even, all of the members of the bureau had looked at Wang Chao as if he was a monster. In their eyes reflected fear, and also a little bit of admiration.
By night time, darkness had fallen. But outside the window, the city was ablaze with light.
In his guest room, Wang Chao had no interest in watching the city lights begin to dim, and neither did he have any interest in taking a stroll through the streets of the capital. All he was content on doing was to sit on his bed and immerse himself in his own thoughts.
In half a day’s worth of time, he had prevailed over five experts one after another. But in his heart, there was no joy. Instead, there was a deep sense of worry that turmoiled through his mind.
Each one of these experts was of unordinary statuses and rankings. If they weren’t the military instructor to the Central Police, then they were to the armed forces or even the special forces. That fight had been like a slap in the face for them, and while none of them had died, there would most definitely be some residual hatred. And with their powers, having something happen to him in the dark would be just as likely as not.
“When one rides a tiger, one simply does not get off midway through the ride. I could not simply let them defeat me if I was afraid of their statuses. With a closer look, I have made many enemies. The princeling, Zhao Jun, the elder martial brother of Zhang Wei, Xu Zhen, Ye Xuan, Yagyu Haruko, Yagyu Suimei, Miyagi Hanshin and the rest of the Japanese world of martial arts. I’ve also killed Duan Guochao and earned the hatred of the Shaolin Temple, and now, today, I have defeated many of the local experts of Beijing. The amount of enemies I have gained is numerous, be it inside the nation, or outside. What a mess this is.”
With a sigh, he glanced at the ancient sword right next to his bedside. “Ah, there is also that mysterious Jiang Hai. He vowed that in three years, he would take back this sword. He’s most definitely out there training himself harshly to take revenge one day.”
He looked at his own hands. These hands of his had already claimed the lives of many, and each life that he had claimed was not because of his own willingness. He had been forced to do so without being at liberty for a second choice. If he did not kill, then he would be killed.
Practice underwater to move nimbly, and treat water as if it was not there.
Fight above land with a steady step, and treat the air as if it were water.
Wang Chao no longer felt inclined to think about the grievances and foes he had made. In any case, he had offended far too many ever since his first appearance. The bigger the debt, the bigger the weight. Likewise, the more the louse, the more they bite.
He thought back to when he was comparing hammer fists with Chen Tianlei. In a burst of strength, he had made use of the Pounding Hammer and suddenly realized the key trick of truth and deceptions.
“The body must be light while the intent must be heavy. Bear by the bird by extension to gain a longer life.”
The final move of Song Anran, the “Dual Form of Bear and Eagle” had popped up in his mind as well.
The bear was one of the most cumbersome and heavy of animals. The bird, on the other hand, was one of the lightest and most nimble of animals. To be motionless and then in motion. The principle of cultivation seemed to be hidden within this.
Wang Chao stood up. Forming a fist, his body slackened along with his facial expressions. Even his dantian and genitals had grown relaxed. Slowly going through the motions of Taichi, Xingyiquan, and Baguazhang, he rotated through the three without stopping or with any ferocity. For that moment, he was like an elderly person exercising with the Taichi drills in the park.
But this “Wushu” that Wang Chao was slowly going through the motions for had a slightly peculiar and soft sensation to it.
TL Note: Instead of 武术, the author uses 舞术. Both are homonyms for Wushu, but the first means martial arts as a sport while the second means dance art.
Gradually, the air around Wang Chao seemed to have transformed into the currents of the water that pressed down onto his body with an overwhelming pressure. Every inch of his skin and pores had been rendered unable to breathe.
“The absolute Heavens, the absolute Heavens, the Heavens is found within mercury.”
Suddenly, Wang Chao’s mind flashed to a passage he had read in the Classics of the Fist.
Heaven referred to breathing. When man and Heaven united, it was extremely noticeable with each and every breath.
Mercury was a term within the Classics of the Fist that referred to movement.
The passage from the Classics of the Fist had meant that while practicing, one had to carefully stop breathing. Then after slowly practice while finding breath within the movements.
Both of Wang Chao’s hands streaked in a complete circle. From all over, his hands extended and withdrew, and open and closed almost akin to how the mouth and nose would breathe.
With a chop, the pores of the body loosened then tightened. His skin grew flush with red as if his blood had begun to rush out of it. In a flash of understanding, Wang Chao drew back his fist, causing his pores to close and open before goosebumps appeared along with the dark green color of his veins.
A steady sound of breathing could be heard from Wang Chao’s mouth and lips. With his fist, he exhaled, and with the recollection of his fist he inhaled.
Along with this exhale inhale method of his fists, his pores began to open and close rapidly.
In the final moments, each time his pores open and closed, it seemed as if water was boiling underneath, as steam had begun to rise.
If anyone were to look at Wang Chao know, they would discover and see that Wang Chao looked as if he was inhaling and exhaling a white mist.
This white mist was his sweat. Under the intensive laboring of his mental and physical efforts, it had evaporated into steam.
When an especially robust person exercised in the winter, they would sweat from the head. And from the head, sometimes, a white mist could be seen rising up from it.
But this white mist was rising up from every single pore on Wang Chao’s body.
Furthermore, he was not rigorously exercising his body. He was just slowly going through the motions while opening and closing his pores to evenly distribute the steam.
Back during the Republic of China, head of the Tianjin Guoshi Institute, Xue Dian had once depicted in his book, A True Explanation on Imitation Boxing, that “To have a cloudy mist rise up from every single one of the 84,00 pores while breathing, that is what the true breathing of the spirit looks like. To not have a tried and true teaching makes it hard to find the path, and to not persevere makes it hard to not find their state.”
This was also the Transforming Jin of Chinese Boxing.
Detailed down to the smallest of holes. Each and every pore should act freely and distribute the Jin evenly.
A feather cannot be added, and a fly cannot alight!