Chapter 5 – Waking Up
“What you said does indeed makes sense. Well, we will do as you say. After we have dealt with the present disaster, I will leave the Bai Clan with you.” With a flash of his eyes, Gu Lao San firmed his resolve.
“Haha, that’s the spirit. You and I have known each other for many years, if I had no confidence, how am I supposed to complete the task? You go ahead and deal with the body of the ‘young master’, but remember to leave behind his clothes and equipment. I will go ahead and save this kid. By the looks of things, if I don’t hurry up he really will kick the bucket. This is going to cost me a lot of Yuan Qi.” Guan Lao Da patted Gu Lao San on his shoulder with a smile.
Gu Lao San nodded, and strode toward the pit.
Guan Lao Da dealt with the kid’s clothes with a few swift motions, immediately exposing the vicious wounds all over his body, along with numerous other scars.
Even for someone who had seen as many things as Guan Lao Da, he couldn’t help but gasp in shock. However, his hands unhesitatingly flew toward the youth’s wounds and started to pat the areas around them. At first sporadically, then he furiously increased his intensity until the beatings sounded like the firing of firecrackers.
The youth’s body turned bright red and his body, which had swelled up because of water, reverted back to normal.
All of a sudden Guan Lao Da stopped his actions midway. He reached into his robes and pulled out a yellow wooden case.
After gently patting the box with a few fingers, the lid automatically popped open with a “pong”. Once it opened it revealed several extremely fine-tipped, silver needles of varying sizes.
With just two fingers, he reached into the case, and with a mere touch, he pulled out a single silver needle with a well practiced motion.
Carrying an intense expression, Guan Lao Da moved his arm. It instantly became a blur as he swiftly jabbed several points on the youth’s body.
Liu Ming had no idea when he came out of the river, but he now found that his head felt unbearably painful. It was like it was being split open while every inch of his body felt unnaturally burning hot. However, a cool sensation swept across his entire body while he wasn’t paying attention, bringing him such relief that he nearly cried out loud. At the same time, he felt an immense wave of sleepiness descend upon him and, unknowingly, fell into a deep sleep.
As he slept like a baby, numerous scenes flashed through his consciousness one after another. One of which depicted the shadows of a middle-aged couple whose faces were unclear, yet there were a bunch of weird demonic faces as well. They surrounded him and incessantly spoke to him in a language he couldn’t understand.
The couple gave him a sense of familiarity.
The youth tried his best to listen to what was being said, but it was clearly an impossible task given the other disturbances around him. In his desperation he tried to push the demons away, but found himself without an ounce of strength. His heart became heavy as his emotions boiled.
He had no idea how long he remained in this state, but after a while, Liu Ming gradually woke up. He could feel a ball of warmth flowing through and around his body.
The moment he opened his eyes, he found himself face to face with a square-faced, middle-aged man.
The man, upon seeing Liu Ming awaken, immediately barked at him.
“Don’t think of anything, hurry up and train. If you don’t, all the effort from earlier will be wasted.”
As Liu Ming heard this, he felt a chill run through his body, and without thinking too much, mentally brought out a familiar breathing technique. He then began to direct this warm flow to different parts of his body.
It was at this moment that Guan Lao Da released the breath he was holding and withdrew the hand he had placed on the kid’s chest. He then stood up and observed Liu Ming’s actions with a detached gaze.
After a while, the youth’s pale pallor finally started to gain some color, opening his eyes he looked at Guan Lao Da.
“Many thanks to elder for your merciful rescue. If not, this kid would have been dead by now.” Liu Ming stood up and respectfully bowed while he spoke.
He had no idea who this person standing in front of him was, but he had rescued him. And, it was natural that he would feel extremely grateful toward his benefactor.
At this point he looked around, trying to get a better idea of his surroundings, and found himself in a pit not too far from the river. He had also been dressed in brand new clothes and his wounds had all been bandaged. The slightly cool sensations coming from the wounds told him that they had evidently used extremely high quality medicine on him.
As for the side effects from the skills that he had used a while back, the thing that he was most worried about was the internal injuries. They should have burst open long ago but instead they had all been well suppressed with help from the other party.
However, no matter how skilled this stranger was, the disastrous condition of his body was simply too devastating. It was only a matter of time before his injuries would begin to act up again.
While he was on Savage Island, he had learned some forbidden techniques from the prisoners there. Those techniques were extremely effective against enemies, but the price paid for using them was extremely high as well. It was basically a double-edged sword.
If it wasn’t for the teachings of ‘Uncle Qian’—who taught him a set of Breathing Techniques that allowed his recovery to far surpass that of an ordinary human being—he would never even have considered using these Secret Techniques so casually.
The fact that he did not die from his injuries when he fell into the river was largely due to the effectiveness of this nameless Breathing Technique.
Seeing the composure of this youth, Guan Lao Da was slightly taken aback but still presented a smile as he replied.
“It’s nothing, saving you was just a little thing.”
“Ah, you do not seem to be alone.” Liu Ming said unexpectedly.
“I have a partner who went to settle some other stuff, but he will be back soon. By the looks of things, you have not eaten in a number of days. Eat up first, then we will talk about other things.” Guan Lao Da said with a hearty smile.
Guan Lao Da walked a few steps away and bent over, pulling out a package wrapped in a flowery cloth from some unknown place. Upon opening it, it was revealed that it was full of all kinds of delicious snacks, which he brought and placed in front of the youth.
Indeed, Liu Ming had been starving for a long time. With a word of thanks he took the package and started to stuff his face ravenously.
In a flash, he devoured seven or eight pastries of varying sizes, upon which he slowed down his eating speed.
“There is no need to rush young one, if there is not enough I still have more with me. Ah right, may I have the pleasure of knowing your name? Why were you in such a place and with such ridiculously heavy injuries?” Guan Lao Da asked as he laughed.
“I am a merchant, my name is Yang Yuan. Originally I was transporting a shipment of extremely valuable cargo with my uncle, ready to do business somewhere else. Unfortunately we met a group of bandits on the way. I escaped into the river while I have no idea if my uncle managed to survive or not.” Liu Ming gave a fake name as he sighed with a sorrowful expression.
While he was on Savage island, Liu Ming had learned a technique to manipulate his emotions and control his facial muscles from a well known fraud. It was a simple matter for him to produce such an expression.
Now that he was a wanted fugitive, carelessly giving out his real name would bring him no end of trouble.
“Ah brother Yang, it was such misfortune for you to encounter bandits. Indeed, in recent times the world is in turmoil. To think that these bandits would have the nerve to commit these crimes in broad daylight, they really have no fear. When we return I will get the head to report it to the officials and put out several wanted posters, making sure that this band of bandits will definitely be arrested.” Guan Lao Da expressed his fury upon hearing about the bandits and inadvertently revealed his true feelings.
If not for bandits killing the young master they were escorting, the pair would never have fallen into such dire circumstances.
“If that is true, my uncle’s spirit in heaven will definitely thank you.” Liu Ming replied with a somber expression.
“This is a small issue, do not worry about it. However, from your injuries, it looks as though you have experienced a fierce battle and even used abilities that burned your own potential. If not, then the healing process would not have been so troublesome.” Guan Lao Da asked while looking troubled.
“My uncle and I both learned a handful of fighting skills and were schooled in some secret techniques. We engaged the bandits in a fierce, all out battle. Due to their overwhelming numbers I only had one escape route which was the river.” Liu Ming replied without too much thought.
“Brother Yang, you are too humble. You have a Spiritual Pulse within your body, and are clearly a well trained Practitioner of some caliber. How can it be that you only know a handful of techniques? To be able to force you into the river, they cannot be any ordinary bandits.” Guan Lao Da replied while laughing at Liu Ming’s reply.
“Spiritual Pulse? What is that? I have heard people speak of Practitioners before…” Liu Ming replied truthfully.
“Could it be that you do not know that Practitioners are people that have a Spiritual Pulse? And even then they are ranked the lowest among Spiritual Pulse wielders? If you really were unaware, where could you possibly have learned the method of training your spirit? Even more so, how did you get such a decent sized Yuan Li…?” Guan Lao Da looked at the youth through squinted eyes.
“I honestly do not know what ‘Yuan Li’ is, but when I was young, I found a nameless Breathing Technique which had the effect of strengthening my body. I have been practicing it all these years. Perhaps this might be the Yuan Li training technique Uncle Guan speaks of!” Liu Ming’s eyes lit up as realization dawned upon him.
“So it was like that… that is indeed a possibility. Although, the methods to train Yuan Li have always been controlled by the Practitioner Families, there are still some low profile techniques that exist. It’s such a pity, if only you knew a few more skills that Practitioners use and had a Practitioner Weapon by your side, then a band of bandits would never have been a match for you.” Guan Lao Da said as he shook his head, evidently not intending to pursue the matter any further.
“Does this mean that the technique elder used to heal me was one based on the use of Yuan Li? Conversely, this also means that elder is a Practitioner!” Liu Ming exclaimed while looking peaceful even though his heart was in turmoil.
While in the midst of escaping, he unexpectedly ran into Practitioners. And now, yet another one appeared before his eyes, this was definitely a rare accident.
While he was on the Savage Island, he had heard numerous rumors regarding Practitioners from the mouths of the other prisoners.
From what he heard, these Practitioners were a rarity within Da Xuan Country. Normal people would have extremely little contact with them and they all possessed unbelievable abilities. They could move light-footed through the air or they could take control of the air itself and use it to injure people. Even more incredible feats included being able to wield super strength, invulnerable to sword and spear attacks, even being immune to drowning or burning. These feats made it so that one man could be the equivalent of a thousand men.
The only way to recognize them was when they released their power. They would often be holding something known as a “Practitioner Weapon,” which upon activation would give off all kinds of light.
Of course, some of the prisoners spoke of the stronger Practitioners who could utilize their full power without a Practitioner Weapon.
Therefore, when Liu Ming first saw that blue-robed man use his Practitioner Weapon, he immediately turned tail and ran for his life.
If not, he might have lost his life to some bizarre attack.
Of course, now that he was told that he himself possessed a Spiritual Pulse and could be considered a Practitioner, he couldn’t help but be taken aback
In an instant, the unknown Breathing Technique ‘Uncle Qian’ taught him was immediately brought to mind.