The disciples of the Wen who had successfully passed the Major Examination were allowed access to several benefits when they become Inner Disciples. These include the ability to transfer family members with no objections allowed. The Inner Disciple also gains access to the wealth of the clan at will and upon request; the money will be delivered to the disciple in charge without any questions.
The Wen clan’s teachings had been handed down through the generations for over two thousand years and there were hundreds of direct disciples. Everyone was like a biological weapon with an identity card and the wealth accumulated was unimaginable.
The status of Wen Leyang at the moment was just next to the three Elders and his First Uncle Wen Tunhai, but so far he had no opportunity to enjoy those privileges yet. In fact, he was in deep trouble right now.
The very next morning after he was initiated, Wen Leyang ran excitedly to the house of his First Uncle to begin his first day as an Inner Disciple. Wen Tunhai was waiting for him and happily pointed to a vat before giving him this order, “Get in there! You have to soak in the medicinal potion every morning!”
“Cut the nonsense! There’s a reason for this!” said Wen Tunhai in an authoritative tone although the joy of finally taking revenge on Wen Leyang was clearly showing in his eyes. Without further delay, he lifted his leg and gave Wen Leyang a real hard kick at the buttocks and sent him flying straight into the vat.
The boiling medicinal potion instantly covered his body and all three million and six thousand pores on his body gave out a sigh of relief. With the instructions from his First, Uncle, Wen Leyang sat quietly in the vat and waited for the medicine to take effect in his body. He had over twelve years of experience with soaking in the medicinal potion, and the effects usually begin after soaking for about an hour. First a dry and hot sensation would be felt as if a rat was prodding around all his limbs and bones, leaving one feeling itchy yet numb. He would then be lifted out by his parents and massaged at the seven mysterious acupoints. The prickly hot feeling would gradually subside and be replaced with an energized body and a sharp mind which never got tired and fatigued even after a whole day of sprinting up and down the mountain.
However, it was different this time. After soaking for a while, Wen Leyang immediately felt something was not right. The medicine slowly seeped into his body through his skin but instead of a prodding rat sensation like usual, it felt like thousands of knives instead.
His body felt as though it was being stabbed and cut by countless blunt and rusty blades. The pleasant feeling at the very beginning had disappeared entirely, every second spent in the vat felt like two hours in hell and Wen Leyang resisted with great difficulty. When he could take any more of it, he let out a groan of pain and looked at his First Uncle standing in the courtyard, “First Uncle, if you refrain from urinating for one day, you’ll be able to get rid of The Impotence Pill’s effect. I’m not lying…”
Wen Tunhai cursed at him and scolded with a smile, “Stop talking rubbish! I’ve got no time to play with you, just get out from there when the pain gets unbearable! You’ve got to know, only the Disciples of the Tuo Xie Sect has the privilege to soak in this potion while others can only dream about it!”
Wen Leyang gave a heavy nod and bit his lips without saying a word. His expression looked like he wanted to fight with the potion in the vat to death. Normally he is amiable and well-liked amongst his siblings but when he got serious, not even a God could change his mind.
With a smile, Wen Tunhai did not bother much. At that moment, his wife called out from the house, “Head of the family, breakfast is ready!”
Wen Yun Hai acknowledged his wife and reminded Wen Leyang again, “Boy, get out from there when you can’t handle the pain anymore!” He then walked into his house. Not long after that, there came a furious roar, “Why is it always porridge? I don’t drink water, porridge or anything that’s liquid!”
After a while, Wen Tunhai yelled from the house, “Boy, that’s long enough. Come on, get out from there!”
Not a single sound came from the courtyard.
With a bowl in his hand, Wen Tunhai walked out from his house looking puzzled. He cried out and a rice bowl instantly cut through the air with a piercing sound and made its way straight to the vat. Smash! The huge vat was shattered into pieces by an ordinary rice bowl and the medicinal potion exploded like a rocket and splashed out. The surface that came into contact with the potion immediately turned into ashes with an awful burnt smell, even an idiot could tell how poisonous the potion in the vat was by the looks of it.
Wen Leyang’s limp body collapsed as he fainted but even so, he was still biting his lips tightly.
Wen Tunhai stomped his feet in anger, then force-opened Leyang’s mouth and fed him a pill. Turning around, he then shouted at his wife, “Get me the bamboo needles now!”
The detoxification bamboo needle used by the Wen clan was slightly thicker than those used for embroidery and has a hollow body. The movements of Wen Tunhai’s fingers was like the wind, so fast that one could not even see properly. After a short while, all thirty-six bamboo needles, green as jade, were studded all over Wen Leyang’s body. He then injected medicine powder of various colors through the hollow centers of the needle into Wen Leyang’s body. With that, Wen Leyang finally lets out a moan and lifted his eyelids shakily. A sense of pride was seen in his eyes as he said, “First Uncle, that should be long enough, right?” What he did not know was, he just took a walk around the Gate of Hell and nearly died moments ago. If it was not for Wen Tunhai’s extraordinary skills of dealing with poisons, he would have died for sure.
Wen Tunhai wiped away the sweat from his forehead as he scolded, “B*llshit! It’s not about how long you can soak! You’ve got to start practicing martial art immediately after the soak or else the poison will burn the meridians and you’ll end up a wreck after all! A beginner should’ve gotten out from the vat when the pain got unbearable!”
“Huh? Why didn’t you tell me earlier?” asked Leyang.
While pulling out the bamboo needles, Wen Tunhai said, “I kept asking you to get out from there when you can’t stand it anymore! And you, you b*stard took no heed of my words!”
“So, right now…”
“If you don’t start practicing right now, you’ll be a wreck for sure and other than farting, you won’t be able to do much at all!”
Wen Leyang gave out a cry and bolted up like he had been electrocuted, “Then let’s get moving! But, which martial art do I practice?” After hearing the words from First Uncle, he now felt his skin, muscles and blood veins were getting tight, as if it will break apart in no time.
Without further delay, Wen Tunhai took out a small manual and threw it at him, “Follow this, it’s the Art of Punching manual! Go!”
Even Wen Leyang knew soaking for way too long, topped with highly toxic poison in his body would create a seriousness matter for himself. He caught the slightly over ten paged manual that his First Uncle threw at him and got into posture right away. For the first move, he planted his face straight into the ground.
In the second move, he landed heavily on his back with a pebble coincidently poking right at his tailbone. Wen Leyang let out a cry and struggled up to his feet, he then proceeded to do the third move. Looking at his First Uncle with a bitter smile, “First Uncle, is this manual… printed correctly?”
The competency of Wen Leyang was not amongst the best. However, the body that went through cultivation in the medicinal potion since young and the hard work that was put into practicing martial arts had formed a steady fundamental in him. He had acquired attainment in terms of adaptability as well as strength in his Chinese punching skills. However, following this Punching Manual, he failed to carry on. In short, every move on this manual was about teaching one how to fall on the ground, heavily.
Take the first move for example, it required the body to lean forward and then be flung backwards with the Reverse Steps of Nine Temples; in the second move, it required his full body to be thrust forward with a right handed punch, striking the ground with great force, but with both legs jumping vertically with great explosive power.
The following movements were even more incredible. Wen Leyang took a glance at it and thought that there was no way he could pull off such complicated movements without getting a seizure. Just by the mere look of it, the movements that were recorded on the last few pages were especially problematic to practice. Martial Arts usually placed emphasis on overall body coordination. However, those moves required both the hands, the feet and even the shoulders to act on their own in separate ways. For example, the left shoulder would be drawing circles while the right shoulder had to move up and down; the left palm is in the posture of Tai Chi while the right palm in the posture of Black Tiger Digging Heart; left leg performing a split leap with the right knee circling in the form of Entangled Roots of the Old Trees.
Looking at Wen Leyang having so many comments even when he was faced with literal imminent death, Wen Tunhai scolded anxiously, “Open your useless eyes and look carefully, that book was handwritten by our ancestor!”
Even during such a critical moment, First Uncle Wen had managed to crack a bad joke.
Wen Leyang acknowledged the words by his First Uncles and realized that there was nothing wrong with the Punching Manual. Well, First Uncle gave the manual correctly, but whether there was anything wrong with the content of the manual, he reserved his opinions to himself.