To my dear readers,
Thank you for being patient with me. I haven’t been feeling too well and on top of that, I just keep avoiding to translate because it is so hard (mentally draining). Even my mom is complaining I’m too slow (she reads my blog on a tablet). I told her, just read the Chinese version on your own! Haha. She cannot read English anyway, so she uses google translate to translate my blog into Chinese. Sometimes, the grammar is all over the place and she gets a headache. Haha.
Anyhow, here is Chapter 18. By the way, this chapter was very poetic. Some of the words like “似懂非懂” “形易学，意难懂”, sounds so much better/wiser in Chinese. When I translate it literally, “Seems to understand but not understand” It just sounds stupid. “Form is easy to learn, meaning is hard to understand” doesn’t sound good either. 😦
Here is the Chinese version
Here is my promoted post: Random relationship thoughts
Chapter 18 Practicing
In Tian Yu Zi’s opinion, Xuan Luo seemed to understand…but not really. However, compared to before, he was much better; originally, Xuan Luo was like a blank slate.
Xuan Luo still had doubt within his heart, but since Tian Yu Zi was asleep, he did not want to disturb him. Hence, he went off to the side to reflect on what he had learnt.
“A sword fighter should practice the fist first; the fist is part of our body, while the sword is an extension of our body’s outer strength…”
But Xuan Luo was conflicted. Why couldn’t he just go straight to practicing the sword? Why must he practice the fist first? The question remained unanswered inside Xuan Luo’s stomach.
Tian Yu Zi’s nap lasted the whole afternoon. By the time he awoke, it was night time. The night sky of Wu Dang had no firelight. There was only starlight. By now, most of the disciples had gone to bed. In the Clan, most of them were disciplined to wake up at 5am and go to bed by 9pm.
Right now, Wu Dang was covered in a peaceful silence.
Xuan Luo’s habit of climbing up onto the roof for star gazing had not changed. However, the roofs of the buildings were so high in Wu Dang, and he could not climb up on his own. He tried looking for a ladder, but failed to find one. Thus, Xuan Luo sighed as he look up at the brightly lit sky.
But how could he give up on such a beautiful sight? Xuan Luo didn’t care anymore. He lied down on the ground, with his two arms behind his head, and looked up the evening sky.
He felt satisfied and at peace.
At that moment, Tian Yu Zi popped his old wrinkly face in front of Xuan Luo and made a silly expression. He giggled and said, “Young man, it’s not good to sleep on the floor!”
“Go away, don’t block my stars!” Xuan Luo grumpily replied.
“Haha. Go watch it from the roof! There is no “feel” if you’re watching from the ground.” Tian Yu Zi teased.
“I want to, but the roof is too high. I can’t get up there!” Xuan Luo made a gesture with his hand.
“Ohhhh, so that’s why you’re here. Follow me!”
Seeing Tian Yu Zi like this, Xuan Luo wasn’t sure what he was up to. Yet, at the same time, he could kind of guess.
Once Xuan Luo was standing upright, Tian Yu Zi grabbed onto his clothes and pushed up. Xuan Luo felt like he was flying, and next thing he knew, he was on the roof!
He was pleasantly surprised.
Next, Tian Yu Zi used one leg to leap from the ground; he twirled and landed on the roof right next to him.
As Xuan Luo lied down looking at the sky, his face was covered with bliss. He felt like he could forget everything. There was only him. That feeling felt sooooo good.
Seeing Xuan Luo smiling, Tian Yu Zi grinned. He lied down next to Xuan Luo and softly whispered, “Every star represents a person. The star above your head represents you….”
Tian Yu Zi spoke very softly, and Xuan Luo quietly listened. Soon, his eyes slowly closed and his breathing became very calm as he fell in a deep slumber.
Morning. As the first bit of sunshine sprinkled on Xuan Luo, he turned his body around and fell right off the roof!
Xuan Luo didn’t have any time to react. Before he could do anything, he had already violently fell off the roof. He landed flat on the ground.
Tian Yu Zi had woken up very early. Last night, he did not want to disturb Xuan Luo’s sleep. While he was watching him, he felt as if Xuan Luo was his child. He really wanted to protect him, and couldn’t bear to disrupt him. Hence, he left him on the roof. Of course, there was also another reason for him to leave Xuan Luo on the roof. Tian Yu Zi was full of mischief and loved joking around. If it weren’t for his appearance, you would have thought he was a child. Then again, Tian Yu Zi could be considered an old child. Haha.
“Owww!” Xuan Luo wailed. He grabbed onto his waist, and struggled to get up.
It was fortunate that Xuan Luo had a rather strong physique. The fall did not caused any internal damage. The only pain he sustained was the outer impact from the ground.
Xuan Luo looked around his surroundings and saw Tian Yu Zi practicing his fists. Hence, he did not go up to interrupt. After deeply thinking about it yesterday, he had decided not to practice nei li for now; since even if he did not purposely practice it, nei li will still increase on its own. Obviously, if he purposely practiced it, the progress will definitely be faster. However, his style would suffer.
“Hehe. You’re awake!? Come practice with me!” Tian Yu Zi was happy to see how beat up Xuan Luo looked.
Xuan Luo was a bit speechless. Originally, he wanted to yell at Tian Yu Zi for bring him up the roof but not helping him down, but he decided to leave it.
“I don’t know what you’re practicing. How can I practice with you?” Xuan Luo rebutted.
“Don’t worry about it. Just follow my movements!” With that, Tian Yu Zi went to the center of his courtyard and started practicing once more.
Tian Yu Zi purposely went slower so Xuan Luo could imitate his movements. However, Xuan Luo had never came across something like this before. Therefore, his movements were very rigid and rough.
Although the fist form itself looked simple, and it was only a couple of movements, each time when the movement changed, Xuan Luo felt like he couldn’t keep up. There were a lot of fine details in between. It took him a lot of effort to catch everything.
After following Tian Yu Zi two to three times, Xuan Luo was able to complete the whole set on his own. However, he was still very rusty. In addition, his fists only demonstrated form, but no meaning.
Xuan Luo was at a stage where he only knew how to use his rigid movements to complete a set.
Tian Yu Zi had stopped practicing and turned around to watch Xuan Luo. The smile on his face remained. As he watched Xuan Luo practice, he didn’t interrupt.
Softly, he murmured and nodded, “Hmm, not bad. You’ve already grasped the basics of fists. Definitely a Martial Arts material!”
Xuan Luo did not hear the compliment because he was too immersed in his practice.
Although Xuan Luo’s movements were stiff, with practice, he became smoother and smoother. Once he is able to find the meaning of the form, he will have mastered the basic level. However, form is easy, meaning is hard. That is the difficult thing about Martial Arts. Having form but no meaning is like “all show and no go” (haha, sorry, this is very hard to translate).