Chapter 64: One battle to make oneself known (Second)
“This guy’s footwork is nimble and quick. Even his hair is standing up, he must be a strong internal practitioner.”
In the moment Qin Maojiao was walking towards him, Wang Chao had already begun to observe his movements.
“He walks like an ape, that must mean he definitely learned the White Ape style of Tongbei Quan.” In an instant, Wang Chao had formulated a series of thoughts.
Tongbei Quan was transmitted down from the Sage of Ghost Valley in Yun Mengshan. It was from there that he saw a white ape leap into the air and used the ape’s movements to derive a new style of martial arts.
But the facts were unknown. After so many years, there was no more contextual clues to find out the truth.
But in the course of Chinese martial arts, they did not come from humans, but rather from observing the behaviors of animals.
An animal was nimble and sturdy while a human’s mind was sharp. Naturally, the Yin and Yang between the two would have an equilibrium to it.
Tongbei had gone through several eras of development before having multiple different branches. The earliest branch had been the White Ape styled Tongbei Quan, the Five Fists Tongbei, Chopping Fist Tongbei, and etcetera. Each one of the styles had their own focal points, and the White Ape style Tongbei specialized on a nimble movement with power that was like lightning.
“Those who move nimbly are the worst to fight against.”
Wang Chao had already reached the Hidden Jin stage, meaning he could leave an impression on even steel plates. But with all this strength, within a fight, no matter how fierce the Hidden Jin was, it was useless if he couldn’t hit someone with it.
This had been the case for many experts in the past. Back during the Republic of China in the year 1929, it had been very common to see in the Hangzhou Guoshu competition. That year, the Iron Palm master Liu Gaosheng had faced off against the “Sparrow” Cao Yanhai in such a manner.
Liu Gaosheng’s Iron Palm could shatter stones, but within the competition, he had been unable to hit anyone. In the end he had been knocked down by Cao Yanhai’s swift usage of Tantui.
In a split moment of observation of both Xu Zhen and this disciple, Wang Chao had already analyzed Qin Maojiao’s martial art’s characteristics.
With his opponent specializing in a nimble movement, Wang Chao didn’t dare to drop his guard in fear of dying himself.
As soon as the two were on the platform, the spectators began to cry out one after another.
“Fuckign hell, why aren’t you fighting? Don’t dawdle!”
“Kill that kid, I’ve 30,000 on this for a 1:2 stake!”
“Who cares for your 30,000? I’ve 50,000 riding on this!”
Naturally, Wang Chao had turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to them all. But the sister of Chen Aiyang had a strange look in her eyes as she looked at Wang Chao.
A fight between experts was usually highly sensitive, meaning many things could be learned just from a single glance.
“Begin!” The announcer boomed.
Qin Maojiao instantly sprung into action.
Wang Chao was but a speck of dust in his eyes.
In the next step, a long arm was thrusted forward at Wang Chao like a sharp spear.
His loose sleeves had rustled as it traveled through the air with a series of “pi pa pi pa” sounds like the rhythmic sounds of a wave slapping against a ship.
This was the true art of a Tongbei practitioner.
“A speed like this is far beyond Boulder and the others. It’s even stronger than Zhao Xinglong and maybe the Wing Chun practitioner Lin Lijun killed by Zhu Jia. At the very least, he’s even stronger than the first two.”
It only took a single glance to know who was an expert and who wasn’t.
When Wang Chao saw Qin Maojiao come rushing over, it was like the water rushing down a river. Like a strong gale of wind, it had interrupted his own breathing. With this, Wang Chao knew that this disciple had already learned the Clear Jin and was in the process of Chain Linking. His clear Jin wasn’t all that far away from Wang Chao’s.
“Seeing how arrogant he is, he must not have fully mastered himself of his emotions. This means he cannot break out with Hidden Jin.”
When breaking out with Hidden Jin, one must be calm but fierce. The pores had to loosen while the muscles had to be flexible.
With these two requirements, one also had to be strong in will and have a tempered mind. Even one strong in body would not be able to use the Hidden Jin without these requirements.
Crack! Wang Chao’s left arm bent at the elbow to put up a guard against Qin Maojiao’s arm. In the next moment, his arm extended to swing at the other fist.
Qin Maojiao was 26 years old at this moment, but he had started learning martial arts when he was 15. He had already 11 years of experience and tutelage, but with the arrogant personality he had he would never be able to reach the Hidden Jin stage. However, he had already reached the pinnacle of the Clear Jin stage, so each fist and arm had been extraordinarily strong.
Wang Chao had improved his physique with the Tiger’s Thunder. So that meant while he had only learned martial arts for a mere three years, he had already reached the summit of Clear Jin as well.
Thus when both fighters struck each other, neither side had been at an advantage or disadvantage.
“Where did an expert like this come from?! This iron arm of mine from Tongbei can force even master to use 70% of his strength to counter! But this guy’s strength is the same as mine? Crossing Fist Jin, he is an expert at Xingyi!” Qin Maojiao’s arm had immediately become numb after the clash. Forming a stance resembling that of an ape, he bounded forward.
“Xingyi disciples rely on a hard strike down the median line from straight ahead, I’d better focus on my agility to avoid him. When he loses energy, he’ll be open up to my attacks.”
Qin Maojiao was an expert of reputable name. Upon noticing the hardness of the strike, he had recollected his thoughts straight away. Taking advantage of the nimbleness of the ape stance, he had forged ahead to strike.
Qin Maojiao’s ape style movements was considered excellent even amongst his peers. Back when he was learning the movements, he had watched the movements of a monkey for two years. After imitating the leaps and somersaults for many years, he had finally reached a stage of perfection with it.
Every expert had a brilliant past that helped them.
On the otherside, Wang Chao had realized just how strong the enemy was.
His block had been using the Xingyi style’s Crossing Fist Jin.
“The Crossing Fist requires one’s arm to be bent, but within it there is a hidden straight strike.” When both arms struck, it was like two maces colliding against each other.
In this clash, Wang Chao hadn’t used the Hidden Jin.
He had to be prudent with his usage of it.
An expert internal practitioner was extremely sensitive with his pores and hairs. Even a gust of wind that could only affect a single blade of grass could be felt by them.
This rang especially true for Qin Maojiao who was an expert at the White Ape style Tongbei. With his figure like an ape, his speed was incomparably fast. Wang Chao’s Hidden Jin had not yet reached a stage where the natural break out of the Hidden Jin was instinctive meaning that it was still easy to dodge. To use it now would only be a huge waste of energy.
If he were to go against another person who could use Hidden Jin, then he would lose for sure.
And to lose was to die! Or worse, a cripple!
A fight was that serious.
The first strike between these two had been at a complete balance.
Qin Maojiao’s leap had brought him behind Wang Chao. With another strike, he aimed it at Wang Chao’s vertebrae.
With his strength, if the strike collided, then even a wooden pillar would snap in half, let alone Wang Chao’s vertebrae.
“Good!” The spectators that knew a little bit about martial arts had nodded at this exchange. Seeing Qin Maojiao’s strange leap and then freakish speed towards Wang Chao’s back had impressed many people there.
“His ape stance is at a realm of perfection! Given 5 years and him tempering his emotions to rid his haughtiness, then he would be able to practice the Hidden Jin. By then, he would earn the rights to challenge even my brother.”
Seeing Qin Maojiao’s movements, even Chen Bin had been surprised at his skill.
“That other kid is a Xingyi expert. It’s a shame he’s rather inflexible and wouldn’t be able to defend against any unpredictable movements.”
This was Chen Bin’s verdict on Wang Chao.
Then suddenly, Wang Chao altered his stance into one from Bagua, avoiding Qin Maojiao’s strike.
At the same time, he rushed to Qin Maojiao’s side with his arms stretched wide like the wings of an eagle before striking out with the ferocity of a tiger dashing out of its cave. The force in his fists had been incomparably strong and unyieldingly firm.
The movements and power of the tiger and eagle stance had been perfectly harmonized together.
At the same time of his charge, both of his arms had shook in a way to add a more penetrative power. Just like a soldier sifting through the mountains, he had advanced further downwards and brought Qin Maojiao under his force.
At the same time of his fists, his lungs had begun to fluctuate in breath to match with the movements of his muscles. In a moment of action, Wang Chao had managed to utter out the primal roar of a tiger.
This roar had been deep but reserved in a way that matched with his aura. It was almost as if Wang Chao’s body was harboring a tiger within it!
Xingyi was comprised of will and intent. To learn will was to obtain intent. Within a lie was truth, and within a truth was a lie. There was no tiger here, but at the same time, there was indeed a tiger.
Wang Chao had this sudden revelation at that moment!
This single move had been comprised of both the tiger stance’s Chopping Fist Jin. At the same time, it contained the Pounding Fist Jin.
To learn one teaching was to learn a hundred teachings for his Assault of the Dragon and Snake. With these analogies, Wang Chao had gradually began to combine the stances of everything into one personalized usage for his own way of fighting.
His movements had been from the Bagua style. After applying oil to his feet and learning to walk on top of a water jar, he had slipped and fallen just as many times as Qin Maojiao, if not more.
Qin Maojiao had only seen that his fist had missed along with Wang Chao suddenly disappearing from view and then reappearing right by his side. Then the next moment, all he could hear was the roar of a tiger.
At that moment, Qin Maojiao had felt a little skeptical. Was his opponent taken over by the spirit of a tiger?
While his strength was strong, his mentality was not as resolved as Wang Chao.
And while Wang Chao had some sort of information on him, he did not understand anything about Wang Chao.
It was these two points that would be enough for him to lose his life.
Frantically, Qin Maojiao held his hands in a horizontal guard before leaping backwards.
But with his thoughts in a disarray, he had lost the previous advantage he had. In the end, Wang Chao had found an opportunity and clashed fists once more.
But this time, Wang Chao had broken out with the Hidden Jin!
Qin Maojiao’s arms could only feel a sharp stinging sensation as if he had been stabbed with a myriad of needles for a painful feeling.
The pain of the stinging sensation had been so strong that he had lost power over his pores. Opening wide, he began to sweat, losing power with each droplet.
Naturally, Wang Chao had shown no quarter with such a golden opportunity in front of him. Going straight for his median line, Wang Chao formed the palms of the tiger stance and slammed a strike full of Hidden Jin into Qin Maojiao’s chest.
“Ugh! Cough, cough!” A guttural sound could be heard from Qin Maojiao’s mouth along with the sound of his sternum breaking, harmonizing into sounding like the song of death.
After the strike, Wang Chao stepped back two steps only to see Qin Maojiao’s face start to grow red. His legs began to sway as if he was drunk as his arms began to slacken.
Spinning around for two revolutions, his young body slowly fell off the platform like water with blood spilling out from his mouth.
His eyes had gone wide with shock as he stared at Wang Chao. A fierce struggle could be seen as he tried to stay alive, but it was sadly futile.
After two attempts, all of the fight in him had suddenly evaporated as his pupils lost the gleam of light.
“Hidden Jin of the tiger stance!” Chen Bin cried out in understanding. The two fighters had been too fast for most to follow, but Wang Chao’s fighting method had been far too fierce. Even if her brother Chen Aiyang the Taichi master were here, it would be difficult for him to save Qin Maojiao.
“How is this possible!”
After a brief moment of stupefied silence, Chen Bin had crushed the metal pot that had her Waolaoji brand Chinese herb tea.
The brown liquid had splashed all over her hand, but she hadn’t noticed. Her eyes could only stare rigidly at Wang Chao.
The metal pot of Chinese herb tea had unexpectedly make a loud crisp sound when she crushed it.
The sound seemed to have been like a strike of lightning that broke through the silence. Everyone had instantly recovered their spirits and began to cry out loud.
Some were shocked, some were ecstatic. Some had even struggled to stay silent while others had been silent because they had just lost a wealthy sum of money, leaving them extraordinarily vexed.
“This competition goes to the Daxing Corporation! May their representative come up to receive your prize. For those who won their gambles, please come to the back to receive your winnings.” After some time, the voice of the organizer had spoken out once more in a voice befitting that of a professional emcee.
Lu Chengwen had been utterly shocked at first. But after hearing the voice of the announcer, he suddenly regained his bearings and quickly instructed to his men. “Quick quick, get that kid out of here before anything happens.”