Shen Yiren looked at Master Liu who forced his way through. She maintained her domineering presence and posture, glared at him, and then said: “Who’s this? Why’s he pretending that we’re close?”
Puhahaha! Your superior doesn't even recognise you!
Master Liu’s face turned red and he loudly said: “I’ll arrest you if you don’t stop, trash!” He attacked me with his palm strikes, leaving a number of shadows behind. He attacked me with seven palm strikes as soon as he arrived at the scene. Some master of a prestigious family he is…
He’s got talent. He advances and retreats like the wind. He's comparable to those guys performing on the streets… Please excuse me, I got too caught up in my explanation. Stop frequenting so many tea houses. Those places create a lot of Duan Zi’s.*
Alright, I'll get serious too.
It's been a while since I've actually fought somebody.
Let's identify his flaws first.
Crap. I can't figure out his moves…
His techniques don’t look like they’re from Qian Liu Villa’s, nor do they resemble Old Liu’s specialty. I remember Old Liu demonstrating it to me once. It was continually changing. It emphasised overcoming brute force with technical manoeuvres and was difficult to counter. How the heck did Master Liu here, managed to turn Old Liu's techniques into this sorry excuse for a martial art?
Just what the heck is this?
Screw it, I can't be bothered thinking.
People in the martial world show respect based on martial prowess, but very few knew of the invincible Ming Feizhen.
Most people think he doesn't even know martial arts.
Most martial artists these days prefer to place more emphasis on the external aspects of martial arts. By that I mean hand-to-hand combat, swordsmanship, and staff techniques. It’s not that there aren’t any internal style practitioners; it’s just that very few actually master them.
Everybody knows that practicing internal based martial arts will improve physical abilities. However, that only applies to the first few years of training. As the practitioner becomes more and more advanced, progress becomes slower and slower.
Let me make an example to clear it up. If one’s internal strength was level 1 at ten-years of age, and then practised a top-notch internal based style, then their internal strength at age twenty would be roughly level 100. But even if they continue to train diligently after that, by age thirty, they’d reach level 120 at best. And since progress slows down, by the time they reach sixty, they’d just barely have reached level 150.
In other words, if you were to compare the internal strength level of a young man who invested ten years into internal strength, his internal strength levels wouldn’t be that much different from an elder who spent their entire life focusing on training their internal strength.
It’s common knowledge that regardless of which internal style one chooses to practise, it’s highly unlikely that one will be able to surpass other practitioners by a long-shot.
The level one can achieve is limited by the time they have. The only way to improve infinitely is to be immortal. The slow progress is the reason most martial artists prefer styles which emphasise external aspects. Provided your internal strength level isn’t too bad, you'd be considered a skilled martial artist if you knew a lot of techniques, and of course, rare techniques.
For example, the Yi Jin Jing manual from Shaolin is a classic which has been passed down since ancient times could easily be the internal style. However, the abbot of Shaolin temple’s internal strength level is only slightly higher than someone as young as Shen Yiren. Subsequently, you can see that it’s basically impossible to make a name for yourself by relying on just internal strength styles.
This is precisely why people don’t show any recognition for youngsters who may have a high level of internal strength but know little in terms of techniques.
Liu Yuan continued to let his palms fly with feints thrown in here-and-there. They’d definitely confuse the enemy.
Qian Liu’s Style is all about changing and adapting. After he joined Liu Shan Men, he combined Liu Shan Men’s Five Elements Palms with the essential parts of his Qian Liu Palms, so he increased his technique repertoire even further. However, the Five Elements Palms are only basic techniques taught at Liu Shan Men. They were intended to be practised for health benefits, so it wasn’t really practical for combats. In this way, Liu Yuan took a fantastic style and transformed it into a style with no other function other than for show.
His basics weren’t bad, so normal people couldn’t beat him, allowing him to get away with it. And that’s how managed to survive at Liu Shan Men.
Noticing that Feizhen wasn’t moving, Liu Yuan saw an opening and struck his chest with a palm strike. Everyone in the venue went: “Whoa~”. Most people who know Liu Yuan know that his techniques are only good for show. The only thing he had going for him was the fact that he learnt from a reputable master and had a solid foundation so his blows had some power behind them. Normally, a strike like that would’ve destroyed someone’s internal organs. People were wondering if Feizhen was retarded. Who stands there and takes hits like that?
Just as everyone thought the victor had been decided, a cold smile crept up Liu Yuan’s face, and he struck at Ming Feizhen’s crown with a palm-strike without hesitation!
That palm-strike was a heavy blow. Striking someone’s Baihui point is the equivalent of killing them. Even a child who didn’t know martial arts could severely injure a grown man by striking it, and here, Liu Yuan put everything he had behind the strike. If it were not for Ming Feizhen’s profound abilities, that blow would’ve severely injured him if not killed him.
Ming Feizhen finally budged. The audience could now say with certainty that he wasn’t retarded. He slightly tilted his head to evade the strike. Liu Yuan seemingly knew which direction Feizhen was going to move in. His palm strike hit Feizhen’s leg and he followed up with a spin kick which struck the back of Ming Feizhen’s head.
The kick rocked Feizehn and send him backwards while Liu Yuan chased after him and used the same palm strike, again aiming for Feizhen’s skull.
Shen Yiren decided Liu Yuan was going too far and decided to reproach him.
Ming Feizhen regained his balance and looked extremely angry.
“Hey! Why do you keep trying to touch my head with your hand?! I don’t even want to know where your hand has been and what it’s been touching. Could you not touch me with your hands?!”
Liu Yuan was shocked. There was still a shadow on his hand as he asked: “Did you learn Iron Body?!”
Ming Feizhen replied: “Piss off! You’re the street busker here.”**
He lightly tapped Liu Yuan on the face. His strike looked like he was caressing the air, but that one strike caused the shadow in Liu Yuan’s hands to vanish…
Liu Yuan then fell to the ground, foaming at the mouth with stars floating around his head.
He couldn't get up.
And the crowd went silent…
*A reference to Duan Zi from天龙八部 (Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils). The guy was useless and pretty much a pretty boy who only had two moves at his disposal: one for running and one that only worked when plot-armour worked its magic. Tea houses were places people frequented to socialise. So he's basically saying "Spend more time training and less time playing because you suck."
**Iron-body is commonly performed on streets (in ancient times of course), so he's insulted that Liu Yuan suggested he learnt some shady low-level tricks street buskers use.