Chapter 88: Iron-Blood Fist
Translator: WQL Editor: Geoffrey
The medicine applied to Zhang Tie's legs was brought by Captain Kerlin. Every two days, Captain Kerlin would visit Zhang Tie and would drop off a small packet of medicinal powder, which was to be applied to his wounds. Unknown whether it was the effect of the powder or the small tree in the Castle of Black Iron, Zhang Tie discovered that the recovery of the wounds on his legs was truly fast. By the second time he applied the medicinal powder to his wounds, Zhang Tie already did not need to use a crutch to walk. Six days later, when he applied the medicinal powder for the third time, Zhang Tie was already able to run.
During Captain Kerlin's third visit of bringing the medicinal powder, at the sight of the one-eyed man nodding as he squatted down to inspect the wounds on his legs, Zhang Tie knew that the number of days left in his vacation in Wild Wolf Castle was few. These past few days, Zhang Tie realized that the one-eyed man had been kinder to him. Sometimes, he would even casually chat with Zhang Tie, causing Zhang Tie to feel extremely flattered.
"After you apply the medicine on your wounds this time, you should be fine and can leave Wild Wolf Castle tomorrow. Don't even think about pretending to be sick to stay here. You're rather resilient, so if you pay a bit of attention and protect the wounds, then they will only scar!"
"Hmm, I know..." Zhang Tie sincerely looked at Captain Kerlin. "Captain Kerlin, I really have to thank you for taking care of me during this time. There's an old Chinese saying-if you are given a drop of water, then you will repay with a spring. You have saved my life this time. This is something that I will definitely never forget!"
Hearing Zhang Tie's words, Captain Kerlin slightly became stunned before showing a smile. "Boy, how do you think you could help me in your present condition? A LV 1 fighter like you is barely qualified to join the lowest level cannon fodder camps!"
"Although I am not able to help now, but that doesn't mean I can't in the future. Humans strive to keep improving themselves, step by step!" Zhang Tie calmly explained.
"Good, you have ambition!" Captain Kerlin encouraged him, "The 'escape' theory you explained in class gave me a good impression of you, but never would I have thought that you were this good at escaping. However, you can't always just escape. There will be many situations where you would have no choice but to fight. When faced with such a situation, you need real force and real combat capabilities to be able to survive. Suppose the pikemen matrix you're in was faced with a LV 4 pikemen matrix. At the order of your commander, you would have to charge forward at that matrix, as you have to follow military regulation and the fighting supervision squad was behind you. With your current capabilities, your only option would be to charge forward as cannon fodder, buying time for your commander to think of his plans and deployment. In such a scenario, do you think you could escape?"
Zhang Tie kept silent for a while before dejectedly answering, "No, I don't!"
"So, even if you were able to escape a hundred times, as long as you encounter this scenario, you will definitely die. As a man, as a fighter, you should not be using your abilities to avoid the enemy-instead, you should have your abilities to destroy them! If you want to become useful in the future, your current strength is not enough. You will have to further cultivate..." As Captain Kerlin said this, he pulled a book out from his clothes and casually threw it into Zhang Tie's hand. "I obtained this book from a battlefield before. Although it's not very precious, it's not ordinary either. At the very least, it's better than the fighting skills you have learned at school and the ones you would learn in the alliance's military. This will be my present to you. It will be up to you whether or not you can master it!"
Zhang Tie looked in amazement at the name of the book-. It seemed to be a very great skill.
Zhang Tie forcefully swallowed his saliva. At the same time, thinking of the other guys in the Hit-Plane Brotherhood, he asked, "Captain Kerlin, can I share this...this book with others?"
"Yes, you can. However, you'd better not let too many people know about it!"
"Why? Does this book contain secret knowledge?"
"Strictly speaking, this book contains top secret knowledge, but as many people have practiced it, it has become rather common. However, due to some reasons, even though this fighting skill has been learned by many people, you should still not spread it everywhere!"
"Why is it like this?"
"This Iron-Blood Fist is a fighting skill that the first emperor of the Norman Empire had learned from the Oriental Continent when he had traveled to the East to learn at a young age. In the past, only the monarchs of the Norman Empire was qualified to learn it. That is, until the eve of the Second Holy War between humans and magical beasts. At that time, the Iron-Blood Fist made its military debut and became a skill that could be practiced by every fighter of the Norman Empire. After several hundred years, it was no longer exclusive to the Norman Empire. Even in the Blackson Human Corridor, many people practice this skill..." Saying this, Captain Kerlin looked at Zhang Tie. "This is a very strange fist skill. Some people can master it well, while others will gain nothing from it. Almost every high-level fighter from the Norman Empire Military and the monarchs excelled at using the Iron-Blood Fist; however, with the exception of the monarchs of the Norman Empire, very few people in the Blackson Human Corridor are able to master it. Many people were only able to strengthen their body or slightly improve their fist skills by practicing this skill. They were not even able to reach the minimum threshold required for this Iron-Blood Fist technique!"
"How come? Did they practice a different version of Iron-Blood Fist?"
"Of course the books are the same; however, there were also many differences. Different people would have different outcomes..." The one-eyed man forced a smile of bitterness and dejection. "Have you heard about Battle Qi?"
"Yes, I heard it's a symbol of high-level fighters above LV 6!"
"Then, do you know where Battle Qi comes from?" the one-eyed man continued to ask Zhang Tie.
Zhang Tie shook his head.
"You will definitely know of these kinds of things in the future, but it's fine for me to tell you now. As you know, the human body is very mysterious. It contains seven forces-the force of one's Qi, the force of one's blood, the force of one's meridians, the force of one's channels, the force of one's bones, the force of one's marrow, and the force of one's spiritual energy. When one reaches LV 4, besides the Shrine burning point, he or she would have already ignited three other burning points on the vertebrate. At this time, the force of Qi, the force of blood, and the force of bones would have been activated. After practicing, the above three forces will combine and form a new Hidden Force. In the eyes of many experts, this is when a person could be considered to have a real fighting force. When one reaches LV 5, they will trigger the force of Qi, the force of blood, and the force of bones. After practicing, he or she would be able to combine the six forces together and improve the Hidden Force into a True Force, which is a mark of someone who has become a true fighter. That's why, a LV 5 soldier could be improved to be a fighter..."
Although what Captain Kerlin had told him was normal in the eyes of many others, it was still a miraculous topic to Zhang Tie, who was learning this for the first time. Only now did Zhang Tie realize that the cultivation system was based on many rigid standards. "Are you saying that Battle Qi is a product of a fighter combining his force of spiritual energy into his True Force?"
"Yes, if you want to form Battle Qi, you will have to combine the seven forces in your body. This is the foundation. Aside from the combination of the seven forces, you will also need a sufficient amount of strong Qi, which would be combined with the seven forces before you are able to form Battle Qi. When it accumulates to a certain degree, such force will appear on your body and this is called Battle Qi appearance. This is also the reason why many people have difficulties in training the Iron-Blood Fist. Most people who practice the Iron-Blood Fist can't form the Iron-Blood Battle Qi when they reach LV 6. If it wasn't triggered by the Iron-Blood Battle Qi, then the Iron-Blood Fist would not pose a threat to any of the high-level fighters at all. That's why many people will give up practicing it after they reach LV 6..."
"What about Hidden Force and True Force? Is it difficult to form them?"
"Of course!" Captain Kerlin nodded. "Iron-Blood Hidden Force and Iron-Blood True Force are two barriers you have to break through. Besides the monarchy of the Norman Empire, only one in a hundred people who practice the Iron-Blood Fist skill would be able to form Iron-Blood Hidden Force, and only one in ten of which would be able to form the Iron-Blood True Force. From that one tenth, at most one in twenty or thirty of the people who had formed the Iron-Blood True Force would be able to form Iron-Blood Battle Qi..."
Zhang Tie stood still for a while before dejectedly asking, "So you're saying that at most 1 out of every 20,000 or 30,000 people who practice the Iron-Blood Fist Skill is able to form their Iron-Blood Battle Qi and become a true high-level fighter?"
With wide opened eyes, Captain Kerlin responded, "Of course. If it wasn't that difficult, then everyone in the world would become a high-level fighter. If it was that easily mastered, then even if 1/100 of the fighters in the Norman Empire Military could form their Iron-Blood Battle Qi, then the Norman Empire would already be able to sweep through the whole Blackson Human Corridor. Don't think that this secret fighting skill from the monarchy of the Norman Empire could be that easily mastered. The Iron-Blood Fist is this mighty because of its Hidden Force, True Force, and Battle Qi are much more advanced than any other forms of Hidden Force, True Force, and Battle Qi. Any cultivator who has mastered the Iron-Blood Fist skill would become a top existence within their level. If we were to take two people with different forms of Hidden Force, the person with the Iron-Blood Hidden Force would be at least five times stronger the other person who has a common Hidden Force..."
"That powerful!?" Zhang Tie slightly gaped before a question flashed in his mind. "Captain Kerlin, how far have you practiced it? Have you formed Iron-Blood Battle Qi?"
After asking, Zhang Tie felt a bit of regret. As he knew Captain Kerlin had never displayed this fist skill in public, then he must not have formed it.
Certainly, hearing Zhang Tie's question, Captain Kerlin's face turned slightly red. Glaring at Zhang Tie, he furiously replied, "No crap, I'm practicing the Mad Lion Battle Qi. Previously, I almost formed Iron-Blood Hidden Force. If I had mastered the Iron-Blood Fist Skill and had formed Iron-Blood Battle Qi, then the Andaman Alliance would have long invited me over. Currently, I am just a junior captain. If I had mastered the Iron-Blood Fist skill, I would have long been promoted to colonel. Even if it's not within the Andaman Alliance, I would still have a great chance in the Norman Empire. Because this fist skill is known as the 'Fist of the Battle God' within the Norman Empire military and is revered by them. As long as you could form Iron-Blood Hidden Force, then you would be promoted to second lieutenant at the very least. For others who want to be promoted to second lieutenant, they would have to be at least LV 6, while people who have formed Iron-Blood Hidden Force could already be able to promoted to second lieutenant at LV 4. That is how people who have formed Iron-Blood Fist skill are treated in Norman Empire Military. If you don't want to practice it, just give it back to me. I will give it to someone else. Even though Iron-Blood Battle Qi probably won't be formed, this fist skill is still useful to a certain degree..." Captain Kerlin pretended to take it back.
"Don't do that..." Hearing Captain Kerlin's words, Zhang Tie hurriedly hid the book in his clothes. With a brilliant smile on his face, Zhang Tie immediately started to flatter him, "Captain Kerlin, you must have gained this book too late, missing the best time to cultivate, which caused you to fail to form the Iron-Blood Battle Qi. In contrast, the people in the Norman Empire must have been lucky because they had already started to practice it since they were very young. If Captain Kerlin had started to practice it at a young age as well, then you would definitely have made it."
Hearing Zhang Tie's flattery, Captain Kerlin became a bit delighted. After exchanging a few more words with Zhang Tie, Captain Kerlin left the ward where Zhang Tie was recuperating.
After Captain Kerlin left, Zhang Tie started to read the first page of under the lights from the lamps in the room. However, the aggressive sentence printed in Chinese at the beginning completely shocked Zhang Tie--Fist Skill namely power. When one exerts their utmost effort, one will obtain the essence of the skill!