Chapter 14: Harder than Iron, Stronger than Steel
Translator: Irene Editor: Pranav
Lou Lan, who was sitting by the entrance of the Vanguard Training Hall, was bored to death.
When he finally noticed the limping Ai Hui, who had a bloody nose and a swollen face, he crooked his head and curiously asked, "Ai Hui, what happened?"
The moment Ai Hui identified Lou Lan, Ai Hui's dull eyes suddenly brightened. Without any hesitation, he grabbed onto Lou Lan and shoved the door open. "Do me a favor!"
Lou Lan stood up immediately and replied somewhat happily, "Okay."
Hurriedly pulling Lou Lan into the training hall, Ai Hui chose a spacious area before firmly standing still. With a serious expression, he sincerely requested, "Beat me up!"
Lou Lan opened his eyes wide as he gawked at Ai Hui; he thought he had heard wrong.
"Come on, hit me! As hard as you can!" Ai Hui urged.
He had been crashing and knocking into everything on his way back, but the amount of metal elemental energy that remained in his body was still aplenty. However, he had exhausted all his strength. Let alone knock into something, he was unable to lift even a single finger at this point. Plus, he did not dare to act recklessly in the city; he could not afford to pay for any damages.
But when he saw Lou Lan, he had immediately thought of this fantastic idea.
He could get the same results without even exerting any strength.
Lou Lan tilted his head and looked at Ai Hui seriously, before concernedly asking, "Ai Hui, have you gone crazy?"
"I have not. This is all part of training." Ai Hui racked his brains and then briefly explained, "I have created a secret training method."
"Oh..." Lou Lan had apparently started to understand the situation.
"Come on, come on!" Ai Hui vigorously encouraged him. "Use more strength. The harder, the better. Do not worry about hurting me. I have a high endurance!"
"But, I do not know how to fight," Lou Lan replied meekly.
Ai Hui felt like he had been struck by a bolt of lightning. His eyes were opened wide, as he stammered in disbelief, "Do... do not know how to fight?"
Ai Hui was almost convinced that he had misheard. Indeed, the word 'fight' had become unfamiliar to him. To a seasoned fighter who had undergone three years of hardship and severe training in the Wilderness, 'fight' was too trivial a term. He only registered the word after two seconds.
Wait, did not know how to fight? A sand puppet that did not know how to fight?
Ai Hui stared at Lou Lan expressionlessly.
All the sand puppets that he had come across were skilled fighters. They were also heartless, sly, and good at disguising and setting traps. They strictly followed orders and had all kinds of deadly tricks up their sleeves that were impossible to defend against.
Sand puppets were real killer machines; it could be said that they were born to battle.
But this was the first time he had encountered a sand puppet that did not know how to fight.
Ai Hui involuntarily blurted,"Then what do you know?"
Lou Lan counted on his fingers. "I can wash, cook, buy groceries, clean the house and garden, make tea..."
Ai Hui was utterly flabbergasted; he felt that his perception of the world had been hugely challenged. Was this... still a sand puppet?
When he finally regained his focus, Ai Hui demonstrated his powerful adaptability. Having no other choice, he could only reassure Lou Lan. "No problem, I will teach you!"
However, he did not sound confident.
Lou Lan, on the other hand, was thrilled. "I will work hard!"
Night soon arrived. The calabashes were lit as they released a brilliant white light, which enveloped the hall in a glow as bright as snow. Two entangled silhouettes could be seen. "The way you just attacked isn't right. You're a sand puppet with no joints. You should not blindly imitate. Lou Lan, you're a sand puppet! You should be soft when you have to and hard when you have to. Elemental energy is the key. Use it to strengthen your attacks!"
"Harder than iron! Stronger than steel!"
"Pay attention to the angle! Yes, the angle of attack is very important. Do not hold back!"
"Stop only when I ask you to. Yes, you are improving! Ooh, that is fierce. Use more strength! Ahh..."
Time ticked by.
Lou Lan was excited because he believed that he was progressing swiftly. He always felt happy whenever he was able to learn something new. Although he believed that Ai Hui's obsession was slightly strange, he was still glad to be able to help.
Keeping Ai Hui's oft-repeated advice "Do not hold back!" in mind, he struck hard.
Lou Lan beautifully launched fifteen consecutive strikes as he compiled enough energy to release a final blow. A resounding boom was produced by a punch that surpassed all his previous hits. Like a human punching bag, Ai Hui formed a graceful arc as he flew more than thirty feet away.
Lou Lan was extremely satisfied with his recent attack; he had executed it perfectly, without a single mistake.
Ai Hui gasped for breath as he laid pitifully on the ground. His gaze was unfocused, and he looked lifeless.
Lou Lan bent over, tilted his head and earnestly asked, "Ai Hui, are we going to resume training?"
Ai Hui could no longer feel the sting because all of his muscles and flesh were aching. The remaining metal elemental energy should have dispersed. Let us end it here...
However, Ai Hui immediately realized something horrifying: the muscles in his face had become numb from the previous explosive attack, and now, he could not even open his mouth. Not only that, his whole body was paralyzed.
Did he just teach Lou Lan how to launch a paralyzing attack? Damn, why did he do that?
"Ai Hui?" Lou Lan crooked his head. "Are we going to continue?"
Enough! It was enough! More than enough!
Ai Hui moaned inwardly.
Lou Lan's face appeared to dawn with realization as he suddenly recalled something. "I understand now! You mentioned earlier that I should only stop when you say so. I got it, let us resume! Lou Lan will continue to work hard!"
Lou Lan transformed one of his arms into a sand whip and launched an attack at Ai Hui while repeatedly muttering, "Harder than iron! Stronger than steel!"
No! Ai Hui's moan turned into horror. No, no, no! Hey, hey, hey! Enough! Stop training! Let us stop training...
Bang, bang, bang!
Amidst a barrage of violent, storm-like attacks, the helpless Ai Hui felt himself crumbling inside.
Duanmu Huanghun looked gloomy. All his close friends were intentionally avoiding him, as they knew that this fellow had better not be provoked when in a bad mood. However, now, he was not just in a bad mood; he was in an incredibly dreadful mood!
They all knew that Duanmu Huanghun was an exceedingly proud person, who had always exuded grace and elegance. When had they ever seen him with such a black face? Moreover, with his expression worsening each day, he now looked as if he was ready to kill. Anyone with well-working eyes would shun him as well.
Duanmu Huanghun was feeling extremely terrible. After scanning the school compound yet again, his face darkened.
Damn it! That bastard!
He clenched his fist so hard it became white.
It had already been a few days! That damned garbage actually dared to skip so many classes!
His pride was already hurt from the fact that he had to coach a rookie. He desperately tried to console himself. Look at the bigger picture! I will become a leader! I am a genius!
Yet reality had actually dealt him such a brutal blow. He could do nothing about it except swallow his anger and humiliation.
It was awful enough that he had failed to find Ai Hui after making so many trips down to various training grounds. He had already accepted the fact that Ai Hui was the lousiest student of the entire Induction Ground and had long since planned to drag him over and drill him, but...
This fellow did not even attend classes!
At this point, all Duanmu Huanghun wanted to do was curse. He had seen lazy people, but never any to this extent!
If you don't even go to class, then why in the world did you join?
It had not been easy for him to lower his pride and concede to his teacher's request. But what happened now? He could not even find that fellow!
Duanmu Huanghun was crying inside. Why are you toying with me? What wretched luck I have, for me to experience something this ridiculous! For me to meet such a ridiculous person!
Just the thought of this garbage damaging his reputation of a great genius sent him into a blazing fury.
Just you wait!
Hate was swiftly growing in Duanmu Huanghun's heart.