Chapter 17: Qigong Deviation
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
Yin Strength and Yang Strength needed to be practiced together. The higher level one reached, the more powerful he would be. Though it was safe to start from Yin Strength, it would take longer to master it. If one wanted to improve faster, he had to practice Yang Strength first with a top martial artist's guidance and help.
There were two sides to everything—a positive and a negative. If either strength went beyond their limit, it would be more harmful than beneficial. Therefore, Yang Strength practice had to be accompanied by Yin Strength practice for protection and vice versa.
If a practitioner started with the first level of Yang Strength and did not have Yin Strength to neutralize it, he would need to turn to an external force for help. The "external force" had to have reached at least the second level of Yin Strength.
When he practiced the first level of Yang Strength, Gu Shenwei was guided by his father, who had reached the fifth level of Yin Strength. While teaching the manual to his son, Gu Lun had been careful and reminded him that, to be safe, laying down a solid foundation was more important than anything else.
Gu Shenwei had used this as his primary excuse and had not practiced hard over the years. Therefore, he had not moved forward after mastering the first level of Yang Strength and had postponed reaching the first level of Yin Strength.
Gu Shenwei had intentionally not told this key point to Slave Yao. Instead, he had encouraged Slave Yao to study harder so that he could improve faster.
The faster Slave Yao practiced Yang Strength, the deeper he would suffer from Qigong Deviation.
It was the only way he could inconspicuously remove Slave Yao, who had two masters, Mama Xue and Slave Huan. If Slave Yao died because of practicing Kung Fu, the first suspect would be Mama Xue.
The plan seemed flawless, but the only problem was that Qigong Deviation was uncontrollable.
Gu Shenwei had learned a little about Qigong Deviation from his father, but he had no idea when Slave Yao would suffer from Qigong Deviation.
It would be useless for Gu Shenwei if Slave Yao were to suffer from Qigong Deviation several months in the future. Once Slave Yao entered East Castle, he would encounter many masters who would be able to identify their new apprentice's Yin and Yang Strength sooner or later.
Besides, Han Shiqi would come back in half a month and he had already chosen Gu Shenwei to serve him during the night.
Gu Shenwei felt the danger as if a sword was hanging over his head.
Gu Shenwei did not have a reason to be softhearted, but he was not a cold-blooded killer. When watching a still-living teenager walk toward death because of his plot, he unconsciously fell into self-reproaching from time to time.
"Should Slave Yao die? Must he really die?"
Since Gu Shenwei taught him Yin and Yang Strength, Slave Yao seemed to treat him as his friend. Certainly, in Slave Yao's eyes, "friends" were classified hierarchically. He never forgot to remind Slave Huan that he had a higher status and was stronger so he could provide wisdom and power and that Slave Huan should return his loyalty and appreciation.
He often instilled his philosophy of life into Slave Huan.
"You must have heard of the two rules for killers of Golden Roc Fort: First, no exposure—Hide in the dark as much as you possibly can. Second, show no mercy—Leave no further trouble.
"You know, being a slave is the same as being a killer. Masters have a higher status; servants have a lower status. If you want to climb up, you should throw all your rules and dignity away first. Do what they want you to do and show them you're happy about it. As I often say, 'wash your butt clean'. Is washing it clean enough? No, you should take the initiative to play up to them. Make something new to make them like you. Then, sometime you'll have a chance to see your new master by treading on the old master. Don't hesitate at that time.
"Friends? Are servants qualified to make friends? Everyone is like a rung of a ladder trod on by one another. Today, I step on you, but tomorrow, you may tread on me."
Hearing such a "heart-to-heart" talk, Gu Shenwei only listened to it and spoke to himself secretly, "He's right, so you can kill him without feeling guilty."
Slave Yao's Internal Strength advanced at a miraculous pace, and his power became stronger and stronger. The Tiger-taming Fist set that he had learned from Mama Xue was also quite fierce. They combined with each other and became increasingly more powerful.
The two of them often fought with each other. Gu Shenwei only knew the Baguazhang Technique. Though he had not completely mastered it, he was stronger than the new practitioner, Slave Yao. Especially during the first few days, Gu Shenwei totally gained the upper hand. However, with the uncontrollable growth of Yang Strength in Slave Yao's body, Gu Shenwei gradually could not handle it.
Slave Yao had only practiced Yin and Yang Strength for just over 10 days, unexpectedly more effectively than Gu Shenwei, who had half-heartedly practiced it for nearly 10 years.
Gu Shenwei even suspected that his father was wrong and that Qigong Deviation did not exist at all. Slave Yao was brimming with energy. There were no life-threatening signs.
The 14th day after Slave Yao had felt hot in his Dantian, something happened. After practicing the Tiger-taming Fist set, he was sweating profusely, as if he had just taken a shower. It had never happened before.
"You look a little tired."
"I'm fine. I have sweat a lot since I was a kid. I feel inexhaustible strength. Yin and Yang Strength is so helpful. How did you learn it? It seems that you're weaker than me."
"I didn't study hard, otherwise, I wouldn't have been caught and sold by them."
Slave Yao did not ask anything further, for the teenagers had an unwritten rule that no one inquired about the other's origin. Even the most-talkative Slave Yao had never mentioned his past.
Slave Yao practiced Yin and Yang Strength one more time, stepping on 64 hexagrams, carrying the strength of Yin and Yang and taking a deep breath. After finishing it, he sweated more heavily and pressed on his chest, as if it was a little painful.
"Are you uncomfortable?" Gu Shenwei asked, trying his best not to let his voice appear that he cared too much about it.
"No, I'm fine. Mmm, I feel a little pain here. Just a little. Maybe I practiced it too hard."
Gu Shenwei immediately realized that the first sign of Qigong Deviation had shown up. Obviously, Slave Yao felt pain in the Tianchi acupoint, which was the same as what Gu Shenwei's father had warned him about before.
The Tianchi acupoint belonged to the Pericardium Meridian. Next, he would feel pain on each of the acupoints in his arms. When both his arms entirely shook uncontrollably, he would die shortly afterward.
"Maybe you're practicing Internal Strength too fast. You should slow down," Gu Shenwei sincerely said, though he had wished that Slave Yao could improve faster.
He did not expect Slave Yao to frown. It was the first time that he was angry with Slave Huan over the past few days.
"What do you know? Mama Xue puts a lot of pressure on me. She said that I have a long way to go and would get killed on the first day after entering East Castle. F**k, it's a real fight. No matter how clean you wash your butt, it won't help. I still want to enjoy my life. Practice it... though I have to suffer more pain, I'll practice it. I'll master the first level of Yang Strength, and practice the first level of Yin Strength. Then I can practice the shortcut manual."
Gu Shenwei somehow admired Slave Yao because the pointy-faced teenager, who was not accustomed to enduring hardships, now seemed persistent.
"I'll kill the bastard as soon as I become a killer."
Gu Shenwei did not ask whether the bastard was in the fort or was someone that Slave Yao knew before, nor did Slave Yao mention it.
"It would be meaningless for me to come to Golden Roc Fort if I weren't the most highly respected killer. Slave Huan, I'm not such a person who will always repay someone for his help. But I'll remember your help from this time. Don't worry. I know that you have a secret. I won't tell anyone. I want you to be my right-hand man."
Slave Yao blinked his eyes. Though he was under the moon, his little, thin face looked red and his two eyes shone, as if he had just taken a huge gulp of mellow wine.
From his words, Gu Shenwei did not know whether he should be moved, or resentful, or both. He was the young Master of the Gu family, not a right-hand man for a servant. However, in the ruthless Golden Roc Fort, he desperately wished that there was a "friend-like" person by his side.
Gu Shenwei squeezed out a smile and said, "I'm afraid I'm not qualified for that."
Slave Yao held his head high as he patted Gu Shenwei's shoulder. "Whether you're qualified or not is up to me."
At night, lying on the brick bed, Gu Shenwei prayed to the unnamed Will of the Divine in private and strengthened his resolve for revenge.
He was like an evil-minded doctor, who beheld his patient got an incurable disease. He not only held his tongue at this point, but also offered his patient sweet poisons.
However, Gu Shenwei would not have finally made up his mind if one thing had not happened later.
Gu Shenwei had been gingerly inquiring about where the jail of Golden Roc Fort was. He believed that his older sister, Cuilan, had to be having a rough time in such a place.
However, it was not easy. As a new slave in training, he only had a small chance to get out of the little yard. Each time they went out, they were led by someone and were not allowed to look around at will, let alone chat with others.
There were no residents in the small yard. People who went there were generally the dying and were not talkative at all.
However, one heavily injured man still revealed some important information. The man was beyond recognition. Different from former killer apprentices, he was smelly and immediately breathed his last breath after being carried into the room. The ones who were carrying him turned around and ran to the western door.
Slave Ji, who was supervising the teenagers to wash clothes, covered his nose and said,
"People from Ghost Yard are so smelly. I don't know how those guards can bear it."
A teenager, who had just learned how to flatter his superior, looked puzzled and interested in it. "Boss, what's Ghost Yard?"
"Obviously, one is a human being outside the yard, but becomes a ghost after going inside. You little bastards, if any one of you is naughty, I'll send you to Ghost Yard. You'll half-rot first before you're dead. Humph, I think Slave Yao isn't far away from Ghost Yard..."
Slave Yao was learning fist techniques in Mama Xue's place, so he could not hear the threat. However, he would know at night. Except for the brothers Slave Qi and Slave Xie, the other teenagers would scramble to tell Slave Yao everything.
Slave Ji rambled on. Gu Shenwei knew that Ghost Yard was just a dozen steps away from here. Its real name was Heart Cleansing Yard.
Ghost Yard and Ghost Cliff must have been neighbors.
That night, after practicing Yin and Yang Strength with Slave Yao, Gu Shenwei could not fall asleep. While the other teenagers were snoring, he sat up and quietly got out of the brick bed. It was the second time that he stealthily left the room. He kept his eyes open in the dark and was able to get used to the dim moonlight outside.
He went to Slave Ji's room. Slave Ji seldom locked the door while sleeping, as if he was waiting for someone all the time. Of course, the person he waited for could not have been Slave Huan.
Gu Shenwei quietly opened the door. He often cleaned the room, so he was quite familiar with its layout.
Slave Ji was sleeping deeply with a rosewood stick by his hand.
Behind the door hung three keys, one of which could open the eastern door. What Slave Ji did was open it in the morning and close it at night.
Gu Shenwei took off that key and retreated from the room. Closing the door, he walked toward the eastern door.
Last time, he had just pushed the door, which aroused the night watchman's attention. He thought that it might have been a coincidence that the night watchman happened to be patrolling nearby. This time, no one would notice him if he had a bit of luck.
In order to find his older sister, he was willing to take any risk.
Listening for a while at the door, Gu Shenwei opened it and stepped outside. Then, he squatted down to listen carefully. After ensuring no one was hiding nearby, he stood up and walked toward the narrow alley against the wall.
Every morning, he would pass through the alley and pay his respects to the Eighth Young Mistress. However, he had never expected that behind the tall, plain door he had once passed by there was a jail.