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Currently, the overwhelming zhenqi inside Fan Xian had reacted automatically, forming a dense layer which blanketed his back. However, the wooden stick was even faster and "stabbed" him before the zhenqi could react.
The term "stab" meant that the stick was thrust in a straight line by its owner, with all the power focused into the tip.
Fan Xian let out a cry. Although the youth’s body was protected by zhenqi, the blow he just received sent pain down to the bone, causing his body to curl up. One moment he was writhing on the ground in pain, the next he pushed off against the ground with his hands and started to roll while assuming the same curled up position. Fan Xian ferociously kicked behind him.
Seeing a beautiful young boy performing such an insidious kick was enough to shock anybody, though what answered his kick was a simple slapping sound.
Fan Xian half-knelt on the ground, continuously massaging his ankle. He inhaled the cold air as his face twisted from the pain.
He knew begging for mercy would be useless, as proven early on these past few years. All he could do was eye the blind man standing three meters away and calculating his next move. As agreed, if he could land a single blow on the blind man, even a corner of his clothing, it would be considered a victory for Fan Xian, with the reward being a month-long break.
Having suffered several years of being beaten, Fan Xian had yet to accomplish that, due in part to Wu Zhu being alarmingly swift and not giving away his position. Even more terrifyingly, Wu Zhu made no extra movements that would give away what he planned to do next, making him unpredictable to Fan Xian. As an example, with Wu Zhu, indicators such as line of sight cannot be taken advantage of.
Secondly, that inconspicuous wooden stick—every time Fan Xian tried to get near Wu Zhu using zhenqi or underhanded tricks, that stick would move like the claw of a demon from hell, mercilessly slamming into Fan Xian’s wrists, ankles, or even his fingers.
They weren’t broken, but they hurt. The pain was unbearable.
What absolutely baffled Fan Xian was that, no matter how hard he tried to muffle the sound of his movements, Wu Zhu, through his blindfold, could still locate and hit him every time without fail despite the roaring of the waves crashing into the rocks below.
"Ay-ya-ya-ya…" taking another hit to the wrist, Fan Xian cried out, his voice dragging like he was singing Beijing opera. He distanced himself away from that merciless blind man.
A small, nameless yellow flower bloomed meekly on the cliffs.
Fan Xian lay on the edge of the cliff, his strength gone. The sea below had already calmed down, glistening gold from sunshine. The reefs that were constantly bashed by the waves finally gained a moment of peace and began to slowly dry. Some crustaceans climbed over them, looking like tiny black dots when viewed from above.
Touching the painful spots on his body, Fan Xian navigated his qi to inspect his interior condition. He discovered that his rampaging zhenqi had been partially absorbed into the xueshan behind his waist, while the rest of it was used up trying to defend against those relentless stick strikes. The zhenqi inside him right now was calm … just like the sea before him.
Fan Xian knew resting now would do his training no good, and so, in spite of the soreness and pain, he got up with great difficulty and assumed a lotus position as he began to carry out the maneuvers from the Scrolls of Power. He shot a glance at Wu Zhu, who was standing at the cliff’s edge.
The black strip of cloth which covered Wu Zhu’s eyes flapped in the sea wind.
"That’s really cool, not just acting cool." Fan Xian made a silent judgement about the blind man. He said in a quiet voice: "Careful, Uncle, or you’ll fall."
Naturally, a powerful character such as Wu Zhu would not die from simply falling off a cliff. Fan Xian was only making meaningless chatter.
"Don’t get distracted."
Wu Zhu only spoke one emotionless sentence and stopped responding to Fan Xian.
Fan Xian signed and started to calm himself, entering a state of meditation. After who knows how long, he came back to himself among the sea winds, and discovered the sun had already changed its position. And Wu Zhu, not too far away from him, still kept the same posture, looking like a sturdy flagpole which could never be broken.
Fan Xian stood up, noticing his body had completely recovered, his zhenqi full to the brim. The pressure on his meridian also died down significantly. While his muscles, ankles, and wrists still ached, those would be taken care of once he returns to the branch house and rub on the medicine he prepared himself.
Walking through the wind, which carried the faint smell of the sea, Fan Xian walked over and stood next to Wu Zhu, and would have been shoulder-to-shoulder if he weren’t so much shorter than the blind man. Fan Xian picked up a rock and chucked it towards the sea with all his might. Currently, zhenqi was flooding throughout his body, making his strength much greater than that of regular people. The rock flew far, and when it finally hit the water, the splash could barely be seen by the naked eye.
Somewhat full of himself, Fan Xian thought not even those master martial artists could match his arm strength. Seeing the powerful waves and the birds flying freely overhead, his spirits got a boost from what was around him. He spread his arms wide and roared at the sea.
"Capital, I will arrive one day!"
Wu Zhu still stood there in silence, as if not hearing Fan Xian.
"What are you going to do?"
Fan Xian blanked out a bit before realizing Wu Zhu, who was always reserved with his words as if they were gold, finally spoke. He answered, smiling: "I’m going to see exactly what the world is like, of course."
"The outside world is dangerous." Wu Zhu said in his usual cold tone. He did not turn around.
Fan Xian shrugged his frail shoulders, looking somewhat mischievous: "with Uncle Wu Zhu protecting me, what would I be afraid of?"
"After the Lady was born, I forgot some things." There was a pause in Wu Zhu’s otherwise unchanging tone. "There are many people in this world who could harm me, and naturally they could harm you too."
"Uncle is so modest." Fan Xian laughed sweetly, thinking, "In this still unfamiliar world, I have only you as my bodyguard. If ever you decide to walk away, what would I do?"
"If I was with you in the capital, I would bring you trouble."
Fan Xian raised his head, looking at Wu Zhu’s almost eternally expressionless face, and thought for a moment. He then answered, with some embarrassment: "I would protect you."
Wu Zhu finally turned around after hearing this, and intensely "looked" Fan Xian in the eye, and said: "The Lady...she said the same thing."
Fan Xian smiled, knowing part of his shamelessness came from his mother after all.