The Nine Cauldrons

 Chapter 6 Skill Progressing into Dao 

On the official road, the company of merchants were staring at those corpses. All of them were extremely surprised.

“Look at their attires. All these people were horse bandits. Each one of them was killed with a single slash!” The experienced guards checked the corpses and explained to the surrounding merchants, “One by one, all the thirty-seven horse bandits were killed with one strike. Based on the marks on the ground and the wounds, the killer should be just be a single person!”

Teng Qingshan casted a glance and also agreed with the guard.

“It is good that they are dead. These horse bandits eats a lot but they never worked and always wanted to rob and steal. Finally, they encountered a tough one.” Hei Zi cursed and said. The merchants and the horse bandits were enemies. In the eyes of the robbers and horse bandits, the merchants were like sheep.

“This person’s saber skill is so powerful. He alone fought against thirty-seven horse bandits and he only used a single strike to kill an enemy. He probably has the ability can be compared to people in «Earthly Ranking». If he could be our guard, then that would be good.” Old Zhang remarked emotionally.

A shout came from in front. “Everyone, quick keep moving!”

The merchants who were trying to join the bustle immediately mounted their horses and started to advance forward.

As the caravan advanced,Teng Qingshan mounted on his horse and tried to recall the sensation he felt before.
“In the past, if I wanted the horse to accelerate, I would have to hit the horse’s belly softly. The sensation before…..was as if the Scarlet Flame Horse was a part of my body. “If someone wanted to walk, they would naturally transmit energy from their waist to the thigh. The feet would then move one step forward.

Very natural!

And just now, Teng Qingshan naturally transmitted the muscle strength of his thigh to the Scarlet Flame Horse, causing the Scarlet Flame Horse to accelerate.

“This is the feeling I was searching for.. The state of ‘One with the Horse’ was a method to control the horse perfectly. However, control was not what I wanted when I was training on horseback……I wanted to harmonize the body of the war horse with my own body.. What I wanted was this state to be like a reflex, and that I can naturally control it with my thoughts.

Teng Qingshan immersed himself in the research of how he could naturally control the war horse. As time passed, Teng Qingshan’s skill was improving.

Soon, Teng Qingshan entered a mystical realm.

It was as if he himself had become a horse which was galloping. He could feel all four legs of the horse and he could even feel the heavens and earth in the surrounding through its four legs. Teng Qingshan was fascinated by this harmonious and congenial realm. The sensation was similar to the sensation he felt when he was practicing the Three Postures.

Although it wasn’t as obvious as the Three Postures, but it wasn’t rare for him to enter to this state anymore.

“Stop!” A voice resonated.

Immediately, the numerous horses stopped and Teng Qingshan naturally stopped as well. When he opened his eyes and a smile appeared on his face. He mumbled, “The Skill is progressing into Dao! Skill progressing into Dao! I see…..I had already touched ‘Dao,’ but I had no idea.”
TLN: In this case, Dao(?) is the state of enlightenment

Teng Qingshan finally understood the essence of drawing, writing, his own practice of the Three Postures, etc. and why these skills could assist his mind and heart to be in sync with the heavens and earth.

The essence was——Skill Progressing into Dao.

When someone had mastered a skill to its peak. Like the historical story in his previous life which talked about Pao Ding dissecting a cow. In Pao Ding’s eyes, the cow was not a cow. It was just bones,meat and other body parts. He could easily dissect a cow. He didn’t need to ponder about the strength of the knife or where he should cut. There was no need for anything! Because everything was natural like a river that formed naturally. In Pao Ding’s hand, the dissection of the cow was ‘Dao.’

As a skill improved, it would become Dao. Skill progressing into Dao!

Like drawing, one must at least had the foundation of drawing and the skill would improve, reaching a higher level. In the end,while drawing, one wouldn’t even need to pay attention to the drawing brush, paper, or ink. One would just need to immerse oneself into the drawing and express the anger, joy, or sadness in one’s heart.

Such level is already considered ‘Dao.’

It was the same with Teng Qingshan.

From the twelve postures of Xing Yi to the Five Element Boxing and the Five Element Boxing to the Three Postures. Actually, the moves of the Three Postures were very simple. However, the Three Postures contained ‘Dao’! The twelve postures of Xing Yi and the Five Element Boxing were skills with the purpose of training. When the Five Element Boxing reached perfection, it would also contain ‘Dao.’ As for the Three Postures, it was the origin of the Xing Yi Martial Arts and it also contained the ‘Dao’ of the Xing Yi Martial Arts!

Horse riding was the same!

When the grandmaster of the Internal Martial Arts reached perfection in his control of his muscles, he could easily be One with the Horse whenever he rode a horse. However, he had to do it intentionally. Whether it was Pao Ding dissecting the cow, drawing, or the practice of the Three Postures, if it was done intentionally, the result would be inferior.

Because Teng Qingshan had already reach that required realm, when he understood the essence of horse riding, the rest happened naturally.

This was the principle of how all the techniques and methods were connected!

“Haha, fortunately, I have perfect control over every bone and muscle. Therefore, regarding the skill of horse riding, I could easily reach the peak. I just needed to understand the last bit of immersing myself with the heavens and earth.” Teng Qingshan felt awesome as he was thinking, “This way, I can train on horseback during the day and and practice the three Postures during nighttime…..This way, my ‘Spirit’ will improve at a shocking speed.” As Teng Qingshan thought, expectations started to rise in his heart.

Teng Qingshan then withdrew his thoughts and looked in front of him.

Beside the official road, a family of three was standing. One was a barefooted, long haired man who wore ragged clothes and had a war saber strapped to his waist. A thin lady and an unkempt boy who were also dressed in ragged clothes stood beside him.

“Be one of our guards? Not anyone can be a guard of this company of merchants.” A sound was heard in front.

The wild man’s eyes flashed as he said in a deep voice, “I will be your guard for ten silver taels a day!”

“Ten silver taels a day? Who do you think you are?” Hearing this, a lot of people started to laugh.

“Ten silver taels. An ordinary mountaineer can only earn ten silver taels a year. Do you think you can earn this much in one day? Haha…..Do you think you are an expert of the «Earthly Ranking»?”

Teng Qingshan looked at the wild man with interest. He felt that this wild man should be an expert. However, why did he look so miserable? If it was just he himself in a difficult state, then that’s alright, but even his wife and son were in such a miserable state.

“You all!”

The wild man said as he pointed at the guards among the company of merchants, “If any of the guards can take three of my moves, I will leave immediately!”

These words were too arrogant.

Many of the guards began to clamor. In this caravan, more than half of them were guards. Besides some guards that were specially hired by a few merchants, the whole company of merchants hired a big team of guards together.

“Three moves?”

“Listen to his nonsense.” Everyone laughed. Although the guards were laughing, no one accepted the challenge. Because everyone knew…..that in this great land of the nine prefectures, a powerful figure could pop out from anywhere. One shouldn’t simply charge and fight first. If one did simply rush in front and fought, the consequences wouldn’t be good.

“Hmph!” The wild man sneered and grabbed the hilt of his saber with his right hand.


All the guards only saw a streak of black light! When the black light disappeared, the wild man had already sheathed his saber.


Those guards were staring at the ground in shock since a six to seven zhang long ravine appeared on the ground. The war saber was not even four chi long, yet the ravine that his slash created had the length of six to seven zhangs……It was obvious that the speed of the war saber was too quick to the point that it produced a force of air which tore the ground.

“An expert!” The guards immediately understood that they had encountered a powerful expert.

“Ten taels a day then. Starting from today, you are the guard of this company of merchants.” The organizer shouted immediately.Ten taels a day for an expert this strong? An expert like this might not even be hired with over a hundred silver taels.

“Yeah.” The wild man looked around and saw the horse-pulled cart beside Teng Qingshan and the other merchants. He immediately held his child and ran to the cart, placing the child on the cart. The lady in ragged clothes ran over and sat on the cart with the child.

The wild man then mounted on a horse.

The caravan departed again!

“An expert. Where did a figure like him came from? In terms of the skill of sabers, he is as good as the ‘Thunder God Saber’ Wu Yue, whom I have seen in the past.” Teng Qingshan said to himself. Others didn’t see clearly, but Teng Qingshan did. This wild man…was a powerful figure.

“Did this wild man kill the corpses that we found on the official road?” Teng Qingshan said in his mind.

“Nevermind. I am not going to think about that.”

Although this wild man affrighted the guards, Teng Qingshan was an expert who killed a True Dan Innate Expert in one move. The wild man only drew his attention.

Teng Qingshan once again immersed himself in the state of ‘One with the Horse’. The feeling of being one with the horse caused Teng Qingshan’s soul to cheer in joy.

Days went by.

At Yangzhou, Lake Qing.

During evening, the cold wind blew as the waves on the Qing Lake were surging. However, there was still a boat moving against the waves.

“Danchen, with your talent, you can definitely be the pillar of the Qing Hu Island in the future…..However, why did you choose to go to Yuzhou and be a protector of a stationary point in a city?” An Elder and a black cloaked young man was sitting cross-legged against each other. This black cloaked young man was Yan Danchen, whom Teng Qingshan rescued in the past.

The elder stared at the disciple before his eyes and sighed secretly.

Ever since this disciple lost his family, his personality changed and he spent all his energy on training. He was also extremely talented. In the past, he wasn’t training seriously, and he was even thinking of taking over the family’s business. However now, he was training with all his his heart, his speed of improvement was extremely shocking. Plus, Yan Danchen’s face never showed any expression. The murderous intent between his brows caused many of the other disciples to feel slightly afraid of him.

“Teacher, the training of the inner strength needs time. There’s no trick to this. Training in Qing Hu Island or Training in Yuzhou City makes no difference. Plus….I felt that my sword art had reached a bottleneck. It will be better for me to venture the foreign places.” Yan Danchen said indifferently.


The elder nodded and said, “Just remember to keep training! Also, when you arrive at Yuzhou and become the Protector of the stationary point, regarding the management of the information and news….nothing big has happened recently. Only the important issue is to catch Teng Qingshan. If Teng Qingshan escaped towards Yuzhou, you will have to spend time searching for him. However, the land of the nine prefectures is big, thus the possibility of Teng Qingshan escaping to Yuzhou is not big. You should just train at ease.”

“Yes.” Yan Danchen nodded and said.

“Yeah. Danchen. Now, Qing Hu Island had lost a lot of innate experts. You must reach a high level in the realm of sword arts. Do your best” The elder said.

“Yes, teacher.” Yan Danchen was always expressionless.

The boat floated away on the gloomy lake waters. Yan Danchen left Qing Hu Island and headed towards Yuzhou which was located at the center of the nine prefectures.

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