Chapter 19: Possessing The Arching Fish Back
Translator: YH Editor: X
Looking at the profusely sweating Shi Xueman, the middle-aged man was filled with regret. In hindsight, organizing the blind battle was truly a bad idea. He had brought this upon Miss Xueman.
Among the descendants from the current generation of the Shi family, Miss Xueman was the most passionate. Despite her seemingly cold exterior, she was actually a warm person and was cherished by everyone. His eagerness in obtaining merit had resulted in Miss Xueman's tireless training, for which he blamed himself greatly and felt terribly guilty. He had tried to persuade her a couple of times, but to no avail. Once Miss Xueman had made up her mind, there was no turning back.
This aspect of her personality was very much like her father's.
The middle-aged man sighed deeply. He had worked together with Xueman's father before and had the utmost admiration for him. The figure in the training hall drenched with sweat reminded him of the past, and his mind wandered back to 20 years ago.
Currently, Shi Xueman had finished her training and was headed toward the middle-aged man. "Uncle Yong Zheng, you don't have to worry too much about me. I can practice on my own," she said while wiping her sweat.
The way she spoke was ice-cold, yet not completely distant.
Shi Xueman had only recently found out from her grandfather that the person in charge of the training hall was her father's colleague. Although his lack of talent limited his accomplishments, she still respectfully regarded him as an elder on account of his good relationship with her father in the past.
"I'm worried that it's too exhausting," Uncle Yong Zheng replied. "You don't have to be so hard on yourself. Sigh, your father used to be exactly the same. He couldn't even sleep a wink whenever he lost to someone. Like father like daughter indeed."
Shi Xueman quietly listened. From a young age, she had rarely met her father. The impression she had of him was based on what others told her.
"This list contains the name of all the newly enrolled students in the Society of Excellence," Yong Zheng said as he handed over the namelist. "I will continue to monitor any new members. Although repeating this so many times makes me sound really long-winded, I still want to remind you that you don't have to be so harsh on yourself since that was just a fluke."
Shi Xueman took the list, calmly saying, "Uncle Yong Zheng, that was not an accident. A loss is simply a loss, and there are no excuses for it."
Expecting such a reply, Yong Zheng smiled wryly..
Shi Xueman suddenly asked, "Uncle Yong Zheng, how do you feel about organizing another blind battle?"
"Organize another blind battle?" Yong Zheng was momentarily shocked, but quickly responded, "Is Young Mistress thinking of luring him into a trap?"
"Indeed," Shi Xueman said with a nod, "I have concluded that there are only two possible reasons as to why that person would participate in the blind battle. The first is that he is interested in the battle itself. With his skill in fighting in the dark, it would not be surprising for him to be enticed by such a unique competition. The other possibility is that he is poor and simply joined for the prize money."
Yong Zheng muttered, "The first reason seems more probable. Someone who is strong enough to defeat Young Mistress can't possibly be moved by a mere 50,000 yuan."
"Xueman feels that way too. Can we spend some effort on another blind battle? A revamped blind battle should attract our target." Shi Xueman continued, "Even though the second possibility seems less likely, we cannot completely discount it. The prize money must be raised."
Yong Zheng's eyes lit up as he said, "This is a great idea! Since he is so skilled in battling in the dark, a novel form of the blind battle is sure to entice him. As long as it is interesting enough, he will definitely be attracted. The prize money can easily be handled. We can raise it to 500,000 yuan."
"Make it a million," Shi Xueman stated resolutely. "I'll be heading back shortly, so matters regarding the blind battle will need to be handled by you. I have a three-day rest period in two weeks and will be back again to trouble Uncle Yong Zheng then.
Yong Zheng sighed, "Leave it to me."
As long as it was within his ability, he would carry out his mission thoroughly. To be honest, he was also very curious about this mysterious genius who could defeat Miss Xueman.
The Suspending Golden Pagoda.
Ai Hui viciously smashed his back against the wall like a large, ferocious fish. A barely perceptible jitter traveled across his back at the same instant when he contacted the wall. An abnormally resounding boom rang through the air.
Ai Hui's eyes lit up. This time around, there was obvious improvement in the power of his [Arching Fish Back]. It was now full of explosive power, far exceeding all his previous attempts.
Before he had time to rejoice, a peerless force rebounded from the wall. His body was flung several meters away from the wall like a rag doll.
He landed heavily in the mud. Luckily, he was experienced enough to make adjustments in mid-air. Even though his landing position seemed to cut a sorry figure, he was not even scratched.
He casually plucked a blade of grass as he got up and started to chew on it. A pensive glint in his eyes hinted that he was deep in thought.
The power of that last [Arching Fish Back] had completely exceeded his expectations. If his [Arching Fish Back] had been this powerful in the previous fight, his opponent's chest would probably have been shattered.
The power of the [Arching Fish Back] was much greater than he initially thought. More importantly, he still had the capacity to improve.
Ai Hui spat out the grass chaff as his eyes flashed with excitement.
[Arching Fish Back] wasn't some superior skill, nor was it part of any system of skills. Not being part of a system meant that it was possible to train this skill independently. Training the power of this skill up a notch would certainly make it a killing move.
In his initial plan, [Arching Fish Back] was only intended to be used as part of his training, but he was pleasantly surprised when he unexpectedly discovered its use as a potential killing move.
He became even more engrossed in his training, repeating the same old routine everyday. He would enter the pagoda to gather metal elemental energy, exit the pagoda, and practice the [Arching Fish Back] on its walls. He would then proceed by sitting in a lotus pose, entering a meditative state, and absorbing the elemental energy. Repeating the process tirelessly, his elemental energy increased slowly but surely.
Possibly as a result of his increased elemental energy, his body's compatibility with the metal elemental energy had risen. As his [Arching Fish Back] became more refined, the efficacy of his trainings improved, but he soon discovered another issue. The metal elemental energy in his back was efficiently scattered with the [Arching Fish Back], but scattering the energy in other parts of his body with his palm was much less effective.
However, the technique used to generate power in the [Arching Fish Back] could not be employed in other parts of the body. The essence of the move lied in its use of one's spinal column and back muscles to mimic how a fish struggles to break free when caught.
Realizing that his progress was hampered by this issue, Ai Hui knew that he needed to go back and make some additional preparations.
He had previously returned one time for some dry rations and also asked Lou Lan for help with cleaning the training ground, to which Lou Lan happily agreed.
Continuously training for seven days had left him looking like a savage. His clothes were dilapidated but could not mask his impressive demeanour. Beneath his unkempt hair and dirt-crusted face were a pair of eyes as calm as water.