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Book 2 Chapter 7 - Essence of Martial Skill

Immortal Devil Transformation
     Raise the bow, add an arrow, pull back the bowstring.

    Under the first glimmer of dawn shining through the wooden framed window, Lin Xi meticulously completed these movements again and again.

    This time, what he used to hold the bow was his right hand, while what clasped the arrow was his left hand. After slowly and carefully completing these movements fifty times, Lin Xi lowered the black greatbow and black arrow, and removed the two light golden finger gloves on his left hand, gently massaging his left arm’s sore and swelling muscles.

    Half an hour or so later, a clear and melodious bell sound rang throughout Self Defense Freshman Dormitory. Lin Xi placed the bow and arrow into the cupboard, and then put the light golden finger gloves into a small black cloth bag before storing it properly in his sleeves. Then, he pushed open his door, waiting for Tang Ke and Li Kaiyun in the corridor, and then they routinely headed towards the first floor’s west side dining hall. After sitting down with Bian Linghan and the others, finishing their meals, they left the Self Defense Freshman Dormitory.

    This was now the third day he and Bian Linghan underwent special windstalker training, while this was the first day the other classes began. It seemed like in the evening, many student associations would recruit interested students in the various freshman dormitories.

    Lin Xi and that legendary middle-aged uncle’s way of thinking in this world was extremely simple: Since they couldn’t do anything about ending up in this world, then they could only find a way to properly live, live a bit more brilliantly.

    Since he already ended up becoming a Green Luan Academy student due to various events, forced to bear some of the responsibilities of this world, having some more low-profile secrets would always be a good thing.

    Lecturer Tong did advise him against training both his hands in using the bow, to not waste the time, but he still understood extremely clearly, that even though his aptitude was two, in reality, compared to others at the same cultivation level, he could definitely shoot more arrows. Moreover, the most crucial part was that this didn’t really waste too much more time.

    After training his left hand, he continued practicing holding the bow with his right hand. With his current stamina, he could only draw the bow fifty or so times.

    Moreover, this was still just a normal hardwood longbow… according to what Lecturer Tong said, what windstalkers pursued would forever be instantaneous assassination ability. That was why what would officially be prepared for windstalkers in the future would always be bows and arrows with the most astonishing power, what the body could barely bear.

    This type of bow and arrow, perhaps one couldn’t even fully draw it many times each day. Its true limitation, was actually still soul force.

    Soul force was the foundation of all cultivators in this world, which was why the first class all Green Luan Academy new students had was Soul Force Cultivation. Moreover, after several days of Soul Force Cultivation lessons, after Green Luan Academy’s students made some progress with their cultivation, Self Defense Department’s lessons would then consist of one day of Soul Force Cultivation, one day of Martial Skills, one day of Equestrian Archery, one day of Wilderness Survival, and then the fourth day would be elective courses, cycling like this.

    The coursework was packed quite densely, not much time for rest, but in reality, most of the lecturers’ courses only lasted around half a day. As such, the students had half the day to themselves, able to do what they wanted to do on their own.

    Today’s class was Martial Skills.

    …

    Just like the first Soul Force Cultivation lesson, the first day of Martial Skills was still in that mountain slope with purple flowers, the valley with the small stream and straw hut with the bamboo mats.

    Standing by the willow tree next to the stream was a black-robed lecturer none of these Self Defense Department students had seen before. He was middle-aged, pale-faced and beardless, lacking all expressions. On his black robes were also two emblems, just like Lecturer Tong’s, a thistles emblem and a meteor emblem.

    “My name is Xu Shengmo. From today on, I will be your lecturer for the Martial Skills course.”

    When he saw the Self Defense Department new students walk over, this pale-faced and beardless middle-aged black-robed lecturer broke off a branch from the willow tree beside him, indicating for everyone to gather in the open area before him.

    While speaking, his face lacked the slightest trace of expression, as if there was a white mask covering it.

    Lin Xi’s eyebrows jumped. Xu Shengmo seemed to have glanced over at him, moreover, those eyes were completely ice-cold, the pupils a bit yellow, to the extent where Lin Xi even felt a hint of killing intent.

    To treat one’s own academy’s students like this… the feeling this lecturer gave him was that towards living beings, perhaps it was just like the broken willow branch in his hands, not showing any affection or pity.

    “What is martial skill?”

    There were no excessive opening remarks. Xu Shengmo’s voice that lacked the slightest trace of warmth suddenly asked.

    “Lin Xi!” Before the others had time to reply, Xu Shengmo suddenly shouted Lin Xi’s name.

    Lin Xi was a bit stunned. After thinking for a bit, he said, “Martial skill, this is the skill to strike another down?”

    “As a member of the Self Defense Department, you had to think so long over this type of question, moreover still answering wrong after thinking for so long.” Xu Shengmo didn’t even give Lin Xi another look, instead shifting his expressionless gaze towards the others. “Martial skill, is naturally the skill to kill.”

    The coldness in these words and his expression made all of the Self Defense Department new students’ minds become cold. This was especially the case for Tang Ke, who stood next to Lin Xi; when he imagined himself facing this type of enemy, just this thought alone made him feel as if there was a huge rock weighing down on his chest. This fear that came from deep within actually covered his back in a fine layer of sweat.

    Next to the stream, under the willow tree, there was a momentary silence.

    “Lin Xi, I believe you won’t be opposed to cooperating with me for a bit, allowing everyone else to understand some of the principles behind what I said a bit more easily.” Xu Shengmo’s gaze suddenly stopped over Lin Xi’s body again, saying this coldly.

    Lin Xi’s brows furrowed slightly, but Xu Shengmo already continued without giving him the chance to refuse, “Step forward, use any methods you want to attack me with all your strength.”

    …

    Lin Xi stood in front of Xu Shengmo. Suddenly, his body moved, a fist smashing towards Xu Shengmo’s lower abdomen.

    He knew that even if his fist could hit Xu Shengmo, it wouldn’t be able to inflict any harm, which was why he went all out, not holding back in the slightest.

    However, as soon as his fist moved, a willow branch already swept out, smashing into his arm.

    Even though this willow branch was slender, when it was brought down, Lin Xi immediately suppressed a cry of pain. The pain from his arm seemed to seep into his bones, his entire body curling up, stopping in place.

    “...”

    Lin Xi’s expression of pain that made even his brows twist together, as well as the simple and explosive pa sound from the willow branch’s strike made all of the Self Defense Department’s new students couldn’t help but suck in a cold breath of air. They all couldn’t help but feel an urge to rub their own arms. However, Xu Shengmo who stood quietly next to the willow tree looked at Lin Xi with mockery, saying coldly, “I had you attack me with full force. Your current fighting strength hasn’t been lost, only feeling a bit of pain, why did you stop? If it was on the battlefield, if just this amount of pain could make you stop, then you would have long been killed by the enemy. Continue!”

    Lin Xi clenched his teeth, the pain coming from his right arm enough to leave a numbing feeling for half a day. After his right hand trembled slightly, his left fist smashed fiercely towards Xu Shengmo’s chest.

    Pa!

    The willow branch in Xu Shengmo’s hand came down on Lin Xi’s left arm with incomparable precision, striking Lin Xi until the left side of his body sunk slightly, curling from pain.

    When Lin Xi’s body curled, a foot fiercely kicked towards Xu Shengmo’s crotch.

    Regardless of who it was, when they saw a youngster who was under so much pain his body even curled, yet still sent out this type of kick, they would feel a bit of coldness inside. However, another pa sounded. Xu Shengmo only moved his wrist, the willow branch smashing into Lin Xi’s leg.

    Lin Xi couldn’t stand still anymore, now half kneeling on the ground, his entire body shaking a bit. After witnessing this type of scene, even Mu Shanzi and Qiu Lu who didn’t get along with him couldn’t feel joy in his misfortune, but rather rejoiced that it wasn’t them, chills running through their bodies. However, what none of the new students expected was that when Lin Xi’s hand lowered towards his ankle, looking like he was trying to massage the pain, Lin Xi instead fiercely grabbed a rock on the ground, chucking it at Xu Shengmo. At the same time, he sprung back up with all his strength, sending a vicious kick towards Xu Shengmo.

    This strike was not only completely unexpected, it could also be described with the word ‘treacherous’. However, Xu Shengmo was still expressionless. He coldly reached out an arm, the willow branch smashing down on the rock Lin Xi flung out with incomparable precision.

    Pa! An explosive sound rang out.

    The willow branch broke apart bit by bit, turning into fragments. Meanwhile, the rock Lin Xi flung out flew backwards, smashing straight into Lin Xi’s chest.

    Lin Xi’s expression suddenly became snow-white, his leg already less than an inch from Xu Shengmo, but it instead ended up short, not making contact, his body falling heavily onto the ground.

    …

    “Lin Xi, are you okay?!”

    Hua Jiyue reached out a hand, wishing to support Lin Xi, this rather outspoken and straightforward young lady not caring about what others thought at all. However, when she saw that the moment Lin Xi opened his mouth, he couldn’t even breathe, complexion snow-white, entire body shaking, the hand she reached out with immediately went rigid, fearing that her actions would only cause Lin Xi further harm.

    He really was vicious, this made her couldn’t help but produce a type of indescribable resentment towards this academy lecturer.

    “Soul force can allow you all to endure some pain you normally cannot endure.” However, Xu Shengmo didn’t even give Lin Xi who was sitting on the ground a look, throwing aside the broken willow branch in his hands, instead coldly saying, “The reason why I could easily knock you all down, even kill all of you, is because I am faster and stronger than all of you. All tricks, under absolute speed and power, don’t have any use. All of those other academies would impart some flashy tricks, but in Green Luan Academy, I will only teach you all how to become faster and stronger, the most efficient methods to kill your opponent. If we really have to talk about technique, I will only tell you that by striking the weak points of the human body, your attacks will be more effective.”

    While still not giving Lin Xi a look, Xu Shengmo coldly said, “That is why our Green Luan Academy’s students are superior, their skills in facing the enemy are all obtained through endless real combat.”

    “The essence of Martial Skills class… so it is to continuously be beaten, continuously fight?”

    Lin Xi who finally caught his breath seemed to have made a trip to hell and back. He laughed bitterly... speed, precision, direct killing methods, wasn’t this precisely Jing Wuming…[1]

    


    1. Gu Long’s wuxia novel character