Chapter 48 – Sparring Trainer
Under the starry sky, Feng Ji Xing stood on the side of the courtyard and watched with excitement. Standing by his side, Luolet laughed, “We’ll get to see Imperial Guard Chu Huai Dian’s magnificent secret art again!”
“Magnificent?” Lin Mu Yu asked in surprise. Martial art is martial art, what’s so magnificent about martial arts?
However, seeing Feng Ji Xing’s serious look, Lin Mu Yu understood that this brother of Chu Yao’s must be quite strong.
Instead, Chu Yao had a worried expression. “Older brother, Ah Yu was heavily wounded a few days ago, so you really have to watch yourself. Not to mention the fact that he is only a level 50 Battle Saint, and you’ve already stepped into Heaven realm.”
Chu Huai Dian gave her a faint a smile, “Don’t worry Ah Yao, I won’t use battle energy then.”
Starlight fell upon Lin Mu Yu’s new suit of white garment and reflected the burning look in his clear eyes. The journey through Seven Star Forest seemed to have changed his temperament completely, so much that he became more calm and steady. Adding on to his already handsome appearance, perhaps already so in the eyes of young love-yearning girls, he now looked like a young hero of indomitable spirit.
Looking at the other side, Chu Huai Dian was also an extremely handsome youth. Wearing a vividly-green jacket, he adjusted the special white scarf characteristic of the Imperial Guards. Grabbing his fist, Chu Huai Dian bowed and smiled, “Chu Huai Dian. Heaven realm, level 68, Sky Master. Please to spar with you, Ah Yu!”
Lin Mu Yu frowned in his mind. This guy is level 68, stronger than Feng Ji Xing. This sparring match seems a little pointless now…
However, he returned the salute and said, “Lin Mu Yu. Level 50, Battle Saint. I hope brother Chu will be a little softer with the punches…”
Chu Huai Dian couldn’t help but let out a laugh, “Then Ah Yu, you’ll have to be careful!”
As he spoke, he opened his hand and swirled his energy between his fingers. Suddenly, the wave gushed out of his finger tips and formed an energy formation on his finger tips. The energy collected but did not scatter. The slowly revolving energy field looked as beautiful as the starry sky!
No wonder why Luolet would say that Chu Huai Dian’s secret art is magnificent!
“Star Plucking Finger, transforming true energy into finger strength for attack. Here I come!”
Chu Huai Dian dashed forward with a leap. The index and middle finger of his hand stood straight as an energy blast shot out from his fingertips.
Lin Mu Yu instantly used Butterfly Step in the same moment he formed his Dragon Scale Rampart. Dodging the Star Plucking Finger strike with a fancy flicker step, he immediately threw a punch at Chu Huai Dian’s back before Chu Huai Dian could attack again.
Star Plucking Finger was an attack method that forced energy to be released from the fingertips, so preparing an attack would need some time. Lin Mu Yu gambled on the possibility that because Chu Huai Dian was extremely strong in long range attacks, his weak point could be in close quarters combat.
But he was clearly too hopeful. Chu Huai Dian avoided the punch with a side step, then followed up with a punch of his own towards the Ebony Scale wall.
Residual energy scattered when the Ebony Scales trembled. Lin Mu Yu felt his energy reserve and blood rolling over and over from the impact. As expected, Chu Huai Dian was already holding back. This punch was at most carrying not even fifty percent of its power.
“What a strong defense!”
Chu Huai Dian couldn’t help but be amazed. With a laugh, he suddenly lifted both hands. Suddenly, he unleashed a barrage of Star Plucking Finger strikes. Three continuous blasts of energy landed onto the Ebony Scale and quickly shattered the first layer. Those blast crashed onto the Ebony Scale like blinking stars. How could Lin Mu Yu defend against such a strong level of power.
He could only depend on Dragon Scale Rampart now.
Stomping down with his feet, Lin Mu Yu called forth multiple gourd vines from underground. The vines lashed out and coiled around the opponent’s ankles.
Chu Huai Dian did not even bat an eye as he summoned his Purple Sable spirit. With a high pitched cry, it unleashed a sonic boom attack and shattered the gourd vines into pieces. Right when the vines broke, a sudden gust of strong energy came flying through the air. Sonic Punch!
Chu Huai Dian did not get a chance to raise his defenses and took the hit directly. Scrunching up and dashing several steps back, his expression seemed to have changed slightly. Ignoring the heavy feeling over his chest, he quickly collected energy on top of his finger. A single stellar energy orb revolved on his fingertip, but this time it was at seventy percent power. He smiled, “Ah Yu, be careful now!”
This attack was certainly impressive, seeing as it passed directly through the Dragon Scale Rampart. Luckily, the energy strength had nearly dissipated when it reached Lin Mu Yu’s chest. However, Lin Mu Yu was unbelievably shocked. What he thought to be the ultimate defense was like a fragile paper against Chu Huai Dian’s Star Plucking Finger.
Lifting his hand, he collected lightning onto his palm. Turning his hand into a blade of lightning, he dashed forth with Starfall Steps and struck out with his barehanded Lightning Chop!
Hot air exploded as an energy shield shattered before Chu Huai Dian’s chest. He took several steps back, while energy still gathering fiercely at his fingertip. However, a few seconds later, he waved his hand and dissipated the energy strength. He laughed, “Let’s stop here. Ah Yu, your cultivation is certainly surprising. To be this strong at your young age, no wonder those mercenaries from Silver Fir were beaten black and blue!”
Lin Mu Yu panted loudly as he gasped for air. In truth, he understood that if Chu Huai Dian were to attack now, he would have no way to defend against it!
Feng Ji Xing was smiling heartily, “That was as entertaining as I expected, but brother Chu, you didn’t get to experience Ah Yu’s swordsmanship. That is quite a shame, you know. Hahaha…”
Chu Huai Dian chuckled, “There will be opportunities to spar again in the future.”
He looked at Feng Ji Xing and continued, “Brother Feng, there is something that I need your help with.”
Being as smart as he was, Feng Ji Xing waved, “I still have some connections within the Capital, so it shouldn’t be too much trouble to send Ah Yao to the Panacea Division to train in medicine refining. Ah Yu, do you want to go there as well?”
Lin Mu Yu shook his head, “Big brother Feng, if it is possible, I would like you to write me a recommendation letter for the Temple. I want to refine my martial arts at the Temple.”
“Oh? You want to work at the Temple?”
“It’s not impossible, but…” Feng Ji Xing paused for a thought, “The Temple is a place where your strength determines everything. There are quite a number of Heaven realm practitioners in there. I’m just worried that you’ll be bullied after joining the Temple.”
“Don’t worry. I will become stronger and bully them back!”
Feng Ji Xing immediately wrote two recommendation letters on the spot. One was to arrange for Lin Mu Yu to join the Temple, while the other one was for Chu Yao to join the Panacea Division. Luckily, since neither of the two had a place to live in Lanyan City yet, joining the Temple and the Panacea Division would at least give them a place to call home. However, in order to not attract attention, Lin Mu Yu used an alias, “Lin Zhi”. What Feng Ji Xing didn’t know was that Lin Zhi was his real name back in the old world.
On the morning of the next day, Lin Mu Yu woke up early and freshened up. Looking at his savings, he found that he only had 51 gold Yin coins left. After all the fighting and running away, he expected that he would have lost quite a bit of money. Since Chu Yao would probably need to spend more money as an alchemist, he put aside 40 gold Yin coins for her and left 11 coins for himself. After all, he reasoned that he wouldn’t need to spend as much in terms of food and clothes anyway.
Because the Panacea Division headquarter was only one street away from the Temple, Chu Yao said while pulling on Lin Mu Yu’s arm, “Ah Yu, you have to come see me often, okay? If I’m free, I’ll go see you at the Temple as well.”
“Yeah, I will.”
Lin Mu Yu nodded. Holding the recommendation letter in his hand, he lead his horse towards the towering but stately building in the distance. The Warring Saint Temple called the Empire’s cradle of the strong was his destination. The moment he took his first step into the Temple, Lin Mu Yu had walked onto a path of no return, but it was also the path of the strong. Without enough power, he would have to bow down to others. Only by grasping his own strength will he be able to control his own life.
Standing in front of the Temple were two scale-mail-wearing soldiers. In truth, the Empire was the backing behind the Temple, so the talents from the Temple naturally would enter into the Imperial Army to serve the Empire. That’s why it was no surprise to see two soldiers guarding the Temple.
“Young man, what is the purpose of your visit?” A soldier asked.
Lin Mu Yu gave them the recommendation letter and replied, “This is a recommendation letter from Commander Feng Ji Xing, Commanding General of the Forbidden Army. I want to join the Temple.”
“Oh? General Feng’s recommendation?” The soldier took the letter and skimmed through the contents, then smile, “Ah, since you’re General Feng’s friend, I’ll bring you to see the headmaster.”
The adjacent to the large, heavy main doors of the Temple was a single side door. Light pierced through from outside like a sharp knife cutting through the darkness. The interior of the Temple relied on the countless torches hanging on each side of pillars. Lin Mu Yu looked up towards the ceiling, but was surprised to see that the pillars were actually twelve gigantic bronze statues standing stalwartly over the path. The statues were masterfully made and looked extremely lifelike. They were probably the twelve heroes of the Empire mentioned often in legends, but Lin Mu Yu had no idea who they were exactly.
Walking out of the long hallway, he was outside once more. They had arrived at the opening training grounds, but there were only twenty or so people silently training. Some were practicing their swordsmanship, while others were calmly meditating. By the energy swirling around their bodies, he could tell that these were all strong practitioners.
A short distance away was a domed temple. This was the true center of the Temple.
The soldier knocked on the door and said, “The boy who General Feng recommended is here.”
“Let him in.”
The doors slowly opened. Lin Mu Yu walked in after he asked the soldier to lead Ye Liang’s horse to the stable. It was a horse of good stamina and speed, so he naturally would not toss it away.
There were twelve steel seats inside the main temple, but there were only three filled seats. Two elders and a single young man of around thirty years old. The Temple’s greatest power lies within the hands of the twelve deacons, and three out of twelve were in the room.
“Youngster, what is your name?” The white-haired elder asked.
“Stand at the center of the circular platform, then raise your energy to the maximum.”
Lin Mu Yu walked towards the platform. There was a gigantic crystal under platform. When he started channeling the energy in his body, the crystal began to flicker brightly. The more his mustered his energy, the more energetic the flickering became. Finally, when he reached the peak of his energy level, the elder smiled and said, “Not bad. A new level 50 Battle Saint of Earth realm. Could probably hold the job of a copper-star instructor. How old are you now?”
“24. What’s a copper-star instructor?” Lin Mu Yu asked with a confused face.
The other elder laughed, “Reaching Earth realm’s third stage at 24 years old… This kind of level progression seems to be above that of Deacon Zenfang, haha!”
Right then, the young deacon stood up from his seat in the corner. A smile was on his face as he said, “Deacon Zai Yang, I don’t think someone as young as he could this easily hold the position of an instructor. I don’t think everyone will agree with the decision.”
Zai Yang paused, and asked, “Master Zenfang, what do you have in mind instead?”
Zenfang give him a faint smile, “Why don’t we let him be a trainer first?”
“That would be ok too, I suppose…” Zai Yang did not oppose the suggestion.
Lin Mu Yu asked apologetically, “Excuse me, master, what is the difference between an instructor and a trainer?”
The look of disdain and pride dashed through Zenfang’s eyes. He slowly explained with a voice full of undisguised contempt, “There are only two kinds of people in the Temple. One is hits, while the other is there to take hits. Instructors are the ones who hit, and their main job is to handle teaching the various students in battle and fighting techniques. On the other hand, trainers are the ones who will be the training dummy for the instructors. Do you understand now?”
Lin Mu Yu’s heart sunk in an instant, but he still clenched his fist and answered, “I got it!”
Even if a dragon is made to swim forever, one day it will still have the chance to take flight!