Pulse Reading (1)
"Group 4." Lorist looked at a very well dressed noble youth before shaking his head in resignation. That youth's eyes contained no trace of energy and his face looked pale as a ghost. Another spoiled brat... Due to engaging in lustful coital activities, although his body looked youthful and strong, the internal energy of the body had been damaged. Without proper rest and recuperation, there's no way he would be able to awaken his Battle Force. It's no wonder he failed his first Battle Force awakening course.
"Go finish up the procedure. Your body has been greatly damaged, I'm sure you yourself constantly feel a pressing feeling in your chest and sweat lots as well as tire easily when you exert strength. You'll also tire out quickly with only a little exercise and don't have much appetite to eat, right? Do you have nightmares often too?"
"Ah? How did you know?" asked the noble youth with a face full of astonishment. It really was too wondrous. He did not think that the rumors about Instructor Locke being able to understand his body condition by using only three fingers to read his pulse on his wrist! He even knew about the nightmares he was having - something that he had kept even from his own family!
That youth stood up, looked at Lorist with a moved expression and left after respectfully bowing.
Within the vast hall, there were four tables lined up next to each other in the left corner. Lorist sat at the first table and small pillows could be seen on top of the table. Instructing each student to put their hands on a pillow with their wrist up, Lorist read their pulse one by one. If he put on a white coat, there's no doubt he would look like a doctor giving a diagnosis.
At the three tables beside sat Instructors Anfya, Marlin and Hughes. Lorist often had them reread the pulses of the students whose pulses had been read by him. The three of them tried to mimic the way Lorist did it. Among them, Instructor Anfya looked like she knew what she was doing, Instructor Hughes seemed like he was getting an idea and Instructor Marlin could only scratch his head in confusion.
Behind the four of them were ten or so Silver and Iron ranked instructors. One of the female Iron ranked instructors wrote the names of the students according to their respective groups as decided by Lorist while the others around her looked at the pulse reading instructors with interest and started chatting away. Another ten or so instructors were distributing uniforms and other necessities at the right side of the hall to the students. The 24 other newly-appointed assistant instructors were the busiest. Not only did they have to maintain the order in the hall, they also had to guide the students to their respective dorms according to their groups, often having to respond politely to any questions they have on the way.
The school bell rang and signaled the time for recess. Lorist stood up and stretched himself before saying to the rest of the students, "Alright, that's it for the morning session. We'll start again at 2 in the afternoon. Remember your numbers and don't be late."
The students who were already in queue could only leave with frustration. Some of them even voiced it out, obviously disappointed at having to wait even longer even though their turn was so close.
"How many more are there left, Instructor Grisha?" Lorist asked the female Iron rank instructor who helped register the student names.
"Another 106," she replied.
"Gah, we're finally finishing up. I'm so tired... The schedule later will be a little tighter, we'll have to assign the instructors to manage the different groups as well as decide on the regimens for each group of students." Lorist turned his head and asked Anfya, Marlin and Hughes, "What about you three? Have you learned anything today?"
"I really can't tell. I don't feel anything when I touch their wrist," said Instructor Marlin.
"That noble youth's pulse from just now was quite weak and didn't feel stable enough. The other students who were assigned to Group 1's pulses were much stronger in comparison and could be clearly felt. Even though that noble youth looked quite well built and healthy, his pulse was hard to feel and I even had to press harder to only detect the slightest pulse," described Instructor Anfya clearly. It seemed that Lorist wasn't wrong about how Anfya was the most adept at pulse reading.
"You are correct. That kid has been fooling around with women since a young age and that has harmed the harmony of his internal energy, causing a disparity between his outer healthy state and his inner weak constitution, which was reflected in the feeling you got from feeling his pulse. The thirty or so students just now were mostly children of noble families and usually had quite a number of problems with their internal state. Many of them have engaged in carnal activities and have detrimental living habits, causing them to have a weak pulse and circulation which will cause them to have a low chance at awakening their Battle Force. That's why, their meals and living habits will have to be strictly planned and monitored," said Lorist as he praised Anfya's appraisal.
"Instructor Locke, I can already feel the minute differences of the students' pulses, but I can't distinguish the small details like Anfya can," said Instructor Hughes.
"Actually, Instructor Hughes, for you to be able to feel that within only three days is already quite an impressive feat. The reason Anfya is so good at it is because I've started teaching her this since the last course. As long as you train hard and feel the pulse with a calm mind, you'll naturally be able to do it better with more experience. This time, the amount of students are rather high so you should try to take the pulses of 100 students each day to try to feel the differences of each one. You can even compare theirs to your own. By the time the course ends, you might even be able to surpass Instructor Anfya in this," said Lorist with a smile.
"As for you guys, try it out if you're interested and ask me if you have any questions. As long as you master pulse reading, then you will be able to easily tell the conditions of the students' bodies and understand when the circulation of the blood is the strongest in each one. Only then can one successfully awaken their Battle Force with a hundred percent. This is the secret to how I managed to successfully help every one of my students awaken their Battle Force," said Lorist towards the Silver and Iron ranked instructors standing nearby.
A few of them were really enthusiastic in trying it out while some others hesitated and didn't bother trying. The failure of Marlin, a Gold ranked instructor, to grasp pulse reading only showed that it wasn't as easy as it seemed.
That year when Lorist was put in charge of his first Battle Force awakening course, there were only 17 students from commoner families. Due to the theory that Battle Force had a higher chance of being awakened if one's magical beast factors in the blood was higher, it was believed that the descendants of nobles, and by extension, the descendants of Sword Saints, had a much higher chance to awaken their Battle Force.
Lorist didn't agree to that theory in the slightest. From his experience in training in the Blazing Battle Force, he understood that its key lay in the circulation of the blood and felt that Battle Force awakening definitely had something to do with it as well. As long as every one tried to awaken their Battle Force at the time when their circulation was at its peak, the chances of succeeding would undoubtedly rise. And, the key to good circulation was a good diet and healthy living habits.
The reason why more noble descendants manage to awaken their Battle Force was probably related to their better living conditions. Given that they had more access to food than other commoners, they naturally had taken in more nutrition than the others, hence boosting the chances of their success. From his observations, Lorist discovered that the reason those noble students who didn't manage to awaken their Battle Force was not the low amount of magical beast factors in their blood but their tendency to live an unhealthy life of debauchery as every one of them were either sex maniacs or alcoholics. This was the main reason Lorist rejected the common theory about Battle Force awakening.
As for the reason why commoner students tended to fail in Battle Force awakening, that was because they had to live frugally and cannot afford to eat sufficient nutritious food on a daily basis, causing their circulation to weaken in the long run. Lorist at that time made a bold hypothesis and used the 17 students in his class as the guinea pigs to test his theories on.
But how would he be able to ascertain the status of the students' circulations? Having been born into a family with a long line of traditional Chinese healers, even though Lorist did not personally receive instruction from his healer grandfather, he still knew about the basic principles of pulse reading. While he couldn't diagnose individual diseases in the body, he could still use it to identify the strength of a person's circulation and he employed this technique on his students.
Just like Lorist predicted, all of the students in his class were malnourished. Lorist thought back to his days at the army. The new recruits he had trained for three months had all transformed from sickly baby-faced fellows into healthy, able-bodied men. However, there was a small problem. How would he be able to provide these students with appropriate nutrition, given that they didn't have sufficient money to buy good food in the first place?
It was then when he decided to let the students work part time to earn the money they needed. While they hadn't awakened their Battle Force, there would be no problem for them to handle simple jobs like sweeping trash, watering flowers, washing clothes etc. Reaching out to the manager of the janitors at the academy, he had the students work under him and collected the money they earned and used it to prepare nutritious meals for them.
The equivalent profession to doctors in Grindia were herbalists, who were highly-skilled in creating herbal recipe combinations to heal various diseases. While most medicines could be created with herbs alone, quite a number required ingredients from magical beasts as well. Even though he was forced to remember all those Chinese herbal recipes in his previous life, he couldn't find those ingredients on Grindia at all. Lorist could only rely on the knowledge he gained from the herbalism and magical beast biology courses he had attended to come up with the appropriate menu for his students.
After three months of arduous physical training and eating well, all 17 commoner students managed to awaken their Battle Force successfully, much to the shock and surprise of the academy. That resulted in Lorist being selected to be the instructor for a Battle Force awakening course once again the next year with a class of 31 students of different ages and family backgrounds who had not been picked by the other instructors. Once again using his pulse reading skills, he tailor made a regimen for each of his students and had all of them successfully awaken their Battle Force within a semester as well.
This time the academy administration was really astonished. They even suspected whether Lorist held some kind of secret technique that could help with Battle Force awakening. That was why on the third year, Lorist's class had up to 59 students with 10 of them being nobles who specifically nominated him, 3 of which had failed once before in Battle Force awakening. The administration had also sent Instructor Anfya to be Lorist's aide and hoped that she would be able to figure out how Lorist was able to be so successful.
The conditions of these 59 students were even worse than those of Lorist's class in the previous year, especially those of noble descent. Half of them had weak constitutions. The three who had failed previously were even worse; they already couldn't take it after running around the school field for two laps. Lorist was quite impressed that they even dared to try to awaken their Battle Force.
Adequate nutrition wasn't enough to heal the bodies of the noble students as the damage was quite severe. Given that the nobles would naturally have quite an amount of money, he collected a fee from each of them and worked together with the herbalist researchers in the academy to put together a concoction made with several types of magical beast blood and some expensive herbs to boost their circulation. The noble students had to consume the concoction on a regular basis along with adequate physical training. Coupled with pulse reading, Lorist had every one of them successfully awaken their Battle Force when their circulation was in peak condition.
Throughout the whole process, Lorist made no attempt to hide the secrets of pulse reading and even generously demonstrated it to Instructor Anfya and enthusiastically explained every single detail of the method to her.
Lorist wasn't expecting Anfya to be able to pick up the art that swiftly either because while pulse reading may look easy, he wouldn't have been able to comprehend it had he not spent several years in his past life helping out and looking at his grandfather perform the technique himself. Even those university students who learned the art in theory or those foreign researchers who had studied the theories couldn't actually put it into practice without actual guidance from a proper master.
Having grown up by the side of his grandfather in his previous life, Lorist only managed to learn but a small part of the complicated technique by observing his grandfather work. He himself didn't dare to claim that he had a good understanding of pulse reading. The following things happened just as he had predicted. The other four instructors, including his good friend Instructor Yuriy who had recently been promoted to a horsemanship instructor for attaining the Silver rank, gave up learning rather quickly.
As for Anfya, she persevered and believed Lorist's words and gradually came to be able to distinguish the more obvious differences in the pulses of the students. It was rumored that she even practiced it on her husband and children so often to the point where they ran away the moment she entered their sights.
Naturally, all the students in Lorist's third Battle Force awakening course had passed as well, resulting in him being awarded the Gold ranked instructor medal for Battle Force awakening. Along with his Gold swordsmanship medal, he became the academy's famed dual Gold ranked instructor.
Having gone to the Relic Islands for the expedition last year, Lorist wasn't able to hold a class at that time. Presently, it was his fourth time as the head Battle Force awakening instructor and his students numbered up to a staggering 879 people, all of whom had specified Lorist to be their instructor for his fame as a Gold ranked Battle Force instructor and were even willing to pay two times the price.