Chapter 2 - Kung fu?
Two people beside the leader rushed up, while another backed toward the alley’s entrance to prevent Gu Fei from escaping.
The two arrived before Gu Fei in an instant and threw a punch and a kick, respectively. Gu Fei unhurriedly took a slight step back, completely dodging the attacks from both sides. Raising his left leg, he kicked the guy on his left right in the center of his face. But just as Gu Fei was about to unleash his other leg to the person to his right, the latter had already retreated to the side out of shock.
Gu Fei smiled wryly. He would be able to kick not just a single person if this were in reality. Right now, however, his speed was completely limited by the stats of a Mage’s body in-game, preventing him from completing his move so that he had only used half of it. Furthermore, his power was greatly reduced; after being struck, the person on the left only covered his face, staring at Gu Fei in surprise. Were this in reality, taking a kick from Gu Fei to the face would knock him unconscious for at least four or five hours.
“He really does have some moves!” The leader’s expression changed, but he did not become too flustered. Gu Fei’s kick did connect, but his strength was clearly limited. He immediately hollered, “He’s just a Mage! Nothing to be afraid of!” He rushed into the fray to join his group after shouting that.
Gu Fei moved about between the three people. Even though the Mage’s physique severely limited his strength and vitality, he was still in possession of just enough agility; at least the disparity was not too evident under the situation that everyone was still new to the game and did not level up yet. Gu Fei would throw a punch or kick from time to time, making contact every time due to his rich fighting experience. On the other hand, the three struggled to even make contact with Gu Fei’s clothes. The leader became more and more flabbergasted, This guy has got quite a few moves. If he had a little more strength, the three of us would be knocked down long ago. Thankfully, he’s just a Mage.
Gu Fei felt rather dejected right now. Many of his kung fu moves were being restrained by the various limitations of the game. In other words, even if he had chosen Fighter as his job class, he would have remained unable to utilize his kung fu skills properly – unless he assigned some of his stat points into Agility, Strength, etc. after leveling up. On the other hand, it meant that as long as he assigned some stat points into those, he had the chance to use his kung fu despite being a Mage. Gu Fei could not help but feel invigorated when he thought of this.
The three people around Gu Fei soon realized that they could not do anything to him. They also saw Gu Fei becoming more spirited the more he fought, even revealing an extremely satisfied smile, so they all became rattled inside.
In Gu Fei’s eyes, these flashy, street-level techniques were filled with holes. Gu Fei had no intention to tangle with these people further, so he found an opportunity to back out from the encirclement. He laughed, “Still want to keep fighting?”
The three had suffered quite a number of punches and kicks from Gu Fei. Although the strength behind those was not staggering, it was still unpleasant as they were repeatedly struck mostly in the same spot by Gu Fei. At this moment, the villain on the left sported a blackened left eye, the villain on the right possessed a blackened right eye, and the leader in the middle had a bloody nose. Afraid that the blood would get into his mouth when he spoke, the leader raised his head and wiped away the blood with his hand. Following this action, he said to his three companions, “Let’s go!”
“Wait!” Gu Fei said, “You plan to leave just like that without even apologizing?”
“Apologize?” the leader laughed, “You couldn’t even beat me to death, so why should I apologize?”
True enough. After fighting for so long, Gu Fei could only give the three some black eyes and a nosebleed. The wounds were not unendurable and critical, and they were even more impossible to cause death. Death would only occur in the game if a person’s HP hit nil. In the current situation, the three were all beaten black and blue, but their HP remained full. This was probably one of the game’s larger bugs.
Gu Fei only chuckled faintly, bending down to pick up a rock. With a sudden stroke of his arm, the rock struck the leader’s head with a thud.
The leader was greatly angered, “You….”
“How would you feel if I have struck your eye just now?” Gu Fei said calmly.
The leader was stunned. He initially thought Gu Fei had simply gotten lucky with that throw, but the tone of his voice suggested that he was capable of hitting whatever he wanted.
“Your eyes will of course be fine in reality, but it's the opposite inside the game… Don’t forget, this is a virtual-reality game,” Gu Fei admonished.
The leader retreated a few steps in fright, but he soon considered the plausibility of someone hitting his eyes just because the person said so. Was it possible for someone to be that capable? He became relieved inside and sneered, “Who are you trying to fool?”
Without a word, Gu Fei picked up a rock by flicking it up with his foot. With a wave of his right hand….
“Arghhhh!” With a sharp scream, the leader clutched his right eye as he collapsed to the ground. He rolled around as he cried out in pain nonstop. The pain of being hit directly inside the eye largely eclipsed being beaten to a blackened eye.
“You’ve still got one eye,” Gu Fei said to the leader. With another flick of his foot, two more rocks flew up, which Gu Fei caught with a wave of his arm. He swept his gaze past the other two people beside the leader, “I have two rocks in my hand this time.”
“Sor – Sorry!” The two quickly stammered out an apology, as they had been utterly frightened by the screams of their leader who continued to roll on the ground.
“Scram!” Gu Fei waved his hand, and the two hurriedly pulled their leader up from the ground. Clutching his right eye with his left eye shut tightly, the leader trembled from the pain. He stammered, “Let’s go… Carry me away quickly….” The two were momentarily stunned, before hastily leaving as they supported him. As for the person previously guarding the alley exit, he had already disappeared long ago.
Ah Fa was dumbfounded as he watched everything unfold from his hiding spot near the alley’s entrance. He only returned to his senses after the four people had completely disappeared. Rushing into the alley, he stared at Gu Fei in shock, “Sir, do you really know kung fu?”
“Of course, I’ve been practicing kung fu since young.” Gu Fei’s words were exactly the same as what he normally said back in school; even his tone and expression were hardly different.
Gu Fei really did know kung fu.
He was born into a family of kung fu practitioners, so he had been practicing kung fu since he was young. While his family all had their careers and professions externally, they all had one goal internally, and that was the propagation of Chinese martial art traditions. But despite that being the case, Gu Fei was aware that no one in the family took the matter to heart except for his father and him.
Unlike his father who had quite a selection of sparring partners since some of his uncles knew a couple of kung fu moves off the top of their heads, Gu Fei did not have one in his generation. Not only that, everyone else in his generation held contempt toward Gu Fei who had zealously been practicing kung fu since young, “What century is this? The sky is filled with airplanes and the streets are filled with computers. Kung fu? Can you make a living with kung fu?”
Gu Fei wanted to prove them wrong, but it just led to even more derision.
There was no arguing against the truth. In this day and age, it really was very difficult to put food on the table through kung fu.
Gu Fei had even tried each and every area in the sporting world – the domain where the specialty of kung fu could be leveraged the easiest. However, there were some sports that resulted in repeat offenses for Gu Fei due to his failure to grasp the rules, such as kicking people above waist level in soccer and making illegal personal contact in basketball. There were also some other sports where kung fu gave him no advantage, like chess, and even some sports that fell under Gu Fei’s natural weaknesses, like swimming, diving and other water sports – Gu Fei could not swim.
Gu Fei could not manage in actual kung fu sporting events either.
The kung fu Gu Fei practiced focused on exercising the body and various fighting techniques. There were no advantages for him participating in performance-based martial arts categories. His father also explicitly forbade him from participating in events with full-contact fighting which he was best at.
“We practice martial arts to train ourselves, to break through the limits of the human body. It’s not for brawling!” his father said earnestly.
“Don’t we break through the limits of the human body to better defeat our opponents?” Gu Fei was puzzled.
“You’re wrong. The best way to defeat your opponent is to shoot them!” said his father.
His father nodded solemnly, “That’s right. Shoot them!”
Before Gu Fei could finish speaking, his father threw a fist. They were a family of kung fu practitioners; if words made no sense, talk with the fist! In the past, his father was still strong and healthy, and his kung fu was better than Gu Fei. Furthermore, Gu Fei obviously could not lay his hands on his father, which resulted in him taking a beating. That was also the same day that he went to Yulin Middle School for an interview….
All in all, after being eliminated from all sporting events, Gu Fei still managed to remain in the sporting world – if being a sports teacher counted.
With the footage of him taking a beating from his dad widely spread, he was labeled as shameless whenever he tried to tell people about his kung fu expertise.
Was it really that difficult for kung fu to survive in the current society? Gu Fei was overwhelmed by sorrow. Nowadays, he barely even participated in his family gatherings. Before, the older generation had still believed that Gu Fei was persevering with the propagation of kung fu. They had even considered him as a role model of the family; someone that the others of Gu Fei’s generation should look up to. But now, he was just a P.E. teacher while everyone else would show up to the family gathering in splendid clothes, indicating their successes in life. The older generation began to hesitate as a result, and no one believed anymore that Gu Fei was the most outstanding in his generation other than his father.
However, his father was even more adamant of his stance that “Kung fu is not to be used for brawling.”
“I will not allow you to harm anyone with kung fu!” his father said firmly.
“Not even bad people?” asked Gu Fei.
“Not even bad people!” His father was resolute, “Police are there for a reason! There are laws to punish them!”
“Then what is the use of kung fu?” Gu Fei was distressing. He hated how he could not understand everything like his father, caught in a dilemma over the purpose of kung fu.