Book 2 Chapter 12 : How Time Flies
“Qingshan, you will learn Spear Arts from your uncle Yongxiang from now on.”
Although Teng Qingshan’s Spear Arts weren’t excellent, his true ability already exceeded that of his uncle’s. Not wanting to waste any time, he laughed and asked, “Uncle, do you have new techniques to teach me?”
“This…” Teng Yongxiang felt too awkward to say anything.
Teng Jia Village’s Spear Arts was cultivated by farmers, so how could there be new different techniques? Of course, different people performing the same move could yield entirely different strengths. However, this was based off experiences, and could not be taught.
Having seen Teng Qingshan’s prior practice, Yongxiang knew that it was already quite good, and so he had nothing useful to teach.
“We only have one set of Spear Arts, which you have already seen. That one set is enough to immerse ourselves in practice for our entire lifetimes,” Teng Yongxiang said.
“I already understand the basics and some general principles; I can refine them myself,” Teng Qingshan said.
Teng Yunlong and Teng Yongxiang looked at each other and couldn’t think of anything to say. At their current levels, they had nothing left to teach Teng Qingshan.
“From tomorrow onwards, will you do morning training with the other men?” Teng Yongxiang asked.
“I am just a kid, so I might as well train by myself in the Western Forest.” Teng Qingshan already had his own plans.
Teng Jia Village was constructed adjacent to the foot of the Great Yan Mountain.
As Teng Jia Village was contiguous to a large mountain, whenever there was heavy rainfall or strong winds, some stones would fall from the cliffs. In order to protect themselves, the villagers planted rows of large trees at the west side of the village, and these trees had turned into a dense forest after a thousand years.
Even if there were falling stones, they would effortlessly be blocked by the rows of trees.
Presently in the forest, there was a child wearing a blue cotton-padded jacket and holding a green zhennan spear. Teng Qingshan casually stood with his right arm extended.
“Hu.” The fingers on his left hand firmly grasped the end of the long spear.
Teng Qingshan closed his eyes and stood completely still.
“What is Qingshan doing?” Not far away, Teng Yongxiang and Teng Yongfan watched quietly. Teng Yongxiang asked in a low voice, “Yongfan, your son is holding the spear while standing completely still. What kind of spear training is this? Why can I not see through it?”
“I also have no idea!” Teng Yongfan shook his head.
“Holding a spear like that wastes a lot of energy. Considering that Qingshan has a lot of strength, he can probably endure for the time it takes to drink a cup of tea. Then, the spear tip will droop,” Teng Yongxiang evaluated.
Having spent half his lifetime on mastering the Spear Arts, Teng Yongxiang naturally knew what he was talking about.
One hour passed. Teng Qingshan still stood firmly without any movement.
The second hour passed. Teng Qingshan was still standing resolutely.
“How is this possible?” Having completed morning training, Teng Yongxiang and Teng Yongfan saw that Teng Qingshan still hadn’t moved from his stance, and they were quite astonished.
“Come on, let’s go,” Teng Yongfan said.
Teng Qingshan silently stood with his eyes closed. Inexplicably, his muscles and bones were emitting soft cries. Suddenly, Teng Qingshan’s ears moved, and he proceeded to retract his spear. Turning his head towards the onlookers, he laughed. “Father, Uncle, why did you come?”
“Qingshan, what were you just practicing?” Teng Yongfan skeptically asked.
“Why were you holding the spear for such a long time?” Teng Yongxiang was also confused. “Shouldn’t you be practicing spear thrusts?”
Teng Qingshan hesitated and thought, “Should I tell them? I am afraid that they will be shocked if I tell them the truth. Oh well, I guess I will just tell them a couple of details.” Teng Qingshan said with a childish tone of voice, “Dad, Uncle! I practiced like this in the past. I believe that regardless of the weapon, it should be an extension of your limbs. If I can let this spear become part of my body, I will be able to manifest tremendous strength.”
The childish nature of this speech shocked them both.
“A part of the body?” Teng Yongxiang and Teng Yongfan were flabbergasted.
“This, this…” Teng Yongxiang cried out suddenly. ”Yongfan, I have previously heard about the ‘One with the Spear’ state. Is Qingshan’s belief in the spear being an extension of his body the same as this ‘One with the Spear’?”
Teng Yongfan’s eyes lit up
“One with the Spear” was something that the Teng Clan members had heard about before, but nobody knew how to achieve this state. After all, a spear was a spear and a human was a human. How could a person become “One with the Spear”?
“Qingshan, how can a spear become a part of the body?” Teng Yongfan then asked. Teng Yongxiang also looked at the child.
Teng Qingshan proudly smiled. “This is one of my ideas: if I can sense the strength of the spear when I hold it, once I perfect it, I will be able to even sense a fly sitting on the spear.” Truthfully, this method was one of his previous life’s three major Internal Martial Arts: Tai Ji’s “Large Foundation Spear”.
“Large Foundation Spear” was actually quite simple to learn.
The most important part of this technique was perception.
If one were to cultivate this, one would be able to sense a hair on one’s spear. Reaching this ultra-perceptive stage would allow the spear to become a part of oneself.
Furthermore, if one were to clash with an opponent’s weapon on the battlefield, one would be able to instantly follow their enemy’s movements and pierce their body like a viper, creating a large cavity. True experts only needed one strike to slay their foe.
From now on, the spear would be the core of his life, so he needed to lay a good foundation. Thus, he had to meticulously study this “Large Foundation Spear”.
There were two reasons for choosing a spear as his main weapon. Firstly, during battles with weapons, an inch longer meant an inch stronger, so longer weapons would gain superiority. It also meant that he could stab opponents with his spear while those who used a sword wouldn’t be able to reach him. However, the longer a weapon was, the harder it would be to control its movements.
Secondly, Xing Yi Martial Arts had a spear martial art, therefore Teng Qingshan had already reached a decent level of proficiency with this weapon.
“To be able to feel the energy of the spear while holding it?” Teng Yongfan and Teng Yongxiang glanced at each other with a hint of doubt in their eyes. They didn’t say anything as they left Teng Qingshan to himself.
Teng Qingshan smiled.
“Large Foundation Spear” was generally acknowledged among the major Internal Martial Arts as the best way to train the spear.
“A weapon will forever be an extension of one’s arms and legs. In order to train a weapon to its pinnacle, one must first train his fist and feet to extreme levels. Otherwise, one shouldn’t even bother talking about how to use weapons. My Xing Yi Martial Arts have already reached the Grandmaster Realm, so it should be just enough to start practice with the spear,” Teng Qingshan said.
As he grasped the spear in one hand, his body started to emit a strange crying sound again.
This sound came from his muscles and bones.
“In the passing months and years, I will hone my spear skills for my entire life. The way of the spear is very difficult; although my fist skills have reached the Grandmaster Realm, my spear skills are still far away. Xing Yi’s Five Element Boxing is inherently interconnected with Spear Arts. Starting today, I will start morphing Xing Yi’s Five Element Boxing into Xing Yi’s Five Element Spears.”
Despite having formulated a plan, Teng Qingshan understood that evolving Xing Yi’s Five Element Boxing into Xing Yi’s Five Element Spears was not something that could be accomplished in a mere three to five years.
Many people spent their entire lives on Spear Arts but were never considered masters of the spear. One could see how difficult Spear Arts were.
Time flowed like water and within the blink of an eye, three years had passed.
On the training grounds.
“Mum, it’s almost time to eat, but brother still hasn’t returned from his spear training in the forest?” The little red-faced girl asked her mother, Yuan Lan.
“He trains his spear the whole day as if he is possessed. Rebuking him is useless,” Yuan Lian said with a smile on her face. Since her son was so diligent, from a mother’s perspective, she was naturally proud. Moreover, Teng Qingshan’s name was becoming progressively more influential, and his potential was growing more and more limitless.
Learning to read was one example. In Teng Jia Village, everyone had to learn to read at the age of six, and needed to learn at least three thousand words.
While other kids spent several years learning these words, Teng Qingshan learned them all within one month.
Another example was spear cultivation. People thought that Teng Qingshan had developed a skill called “Original Large Spear”, when in fact it was just Large Foundation Spear. Many elites in the clan like Teng Yongxiang and Teng Yongfan were considered to have fairly good skills with the spear, but after trying Large Foundation Spear for a few months, they found that their spear skills had tremendously improved.
Spears seemed to contain spirits of their own.
An additional example was strength. Teng Qingshan had been strong from a young age, and during the most recent yearly ceremony, he shocked everyone by easily lifting a 300 Jin stone despite only being nine years old. After all, when the other genius, Teng Qinghu, was nine, he could only lift 300 Jin. Those outside of the clan would praise him as someone with “the strength of an ox”.
Pertaining to Teng Qingshan’s plethora of legends: in short, he was hailed by the Teng Jia Village as the clan’s once-in-a-millennium genius.
In the forest.
A teenager held a green spear while looking at the yellow leaves on a giant tree. He suddenly kicked the tree in three spots with lightning speed.
“Buzz!” The tree began to shake, and myriads of leaves fell from the tree.
When the first leaf to fall from the tree was three inches away from Teng Qingshan’s head, his spear began to move!
The spear instantly transformed into a hail of arrows that streaked across the sky. The top of Teng Qingshan’s head was covered by the afterimages of spears. Within a moment, all the leaves had fallen to the ground. If one were to examine them carefully, one would discover that each leaf had been pierced once to form a small hole.
“Bursting Fists like arrows; today, I have finally achieved great success with morphing Xing Yi’s Five Element Boxing’s Bursting Fist into the Spear Art, Pursuing Shadow.
Teng Qingshan glanced at the tree next to him.
With a shake, his spear shot out like lightning and stabbed a caterpillar on the tree with a “Pu” sound. However, the tree didn’t sustain the slightest damage.
Clearly, when Teng Qingshan stabbed the caterpillar, the long spear had stopped before reaching the tree bark. If this precise control had been seen by his father or others, they would have been stupefied. This sort of Spear Art, in their eyes, had reached an outrageous level.
Nonetheless, in Teng Qingshan’s eyes, it was barely anything.
“An Internal Martial Arts elder previously said that learning the spear required an entire lifetime. He really was correct; Spear Arts are indeed difficult! The so called ‘One with the Spear’ is only the foundation for spear experts. Regarding morphing Xing Yi’s Five Element Boxing into Five Element Spears, until today, I have only transformed Bursting Fist into the Spear Art Pursuing Shadow and Crossing Fist into the Spear Art Transmutation Unity Qi.
Crossing Fist was an earth attribute technique and was considered the Five Element Boxing’s only defensive technique.
Naturally, Transmutation Unity Qi was a defensive Spear Art.
Teng Qingshan’s Spear Art did not have an established style and only followed a mental state. Regardless of whether it was Taichi, Xing Yi Martial Arts or Eight Trigram Palms, a lot of importance was placed on mental state. The mental state of the user was the greatest power of every boxing technique, and the Spear Arts were no different.
The Spear Art, Pursuing Shadow, contained the mental state of Bursting Fist. Turning a boxing technique’s mental state into a spear’s was exceptionally difficult and Teng Qingshan had spent three years before successfully converting two techniques.
One could say that the reason why Teng Qingshan was able to create these two techniques within three years was because he was a Xing Yi Grandmaster.
“One inch longer is another inch stronger. The same concept applied to spears is a lot more formidable.” Teng Qingshan thought carefully. “Among these two moves, one is for defense and one is for offense. I should try these out soon with my spear.” Teng Qingshan turned his head and began walking home.
It was time for lunch.