Book 1, The Ji Clan of Swallow Mountain, Chapter 9 – Archery
“Although the Goldstar Shirt is a treasure, I can break through it with a casual finger poke.” Yichuan looked at his son. “These things are all external. In the future, you must have accomplishments in the Fiendgod Body Refining techniques, and in term, Fiendgods specialize in body power. What you need to do is to utilize all of your potential and all of your strength.
“Right.” Ning nodded seriously.
“With the Fiendgod Body Refining, your strength will be great, your movements will be fast, your vision will be clear at great distances, your hearing will be more sensitive, and even your body’s recovery ability will be astonishing!” Yichuan looked at his son. “In order to transform these into true, mighty power…”
“First of all, what you need is a weapon!” Yichuan said. “Your strength might be ten times greater than your opponent’s, but your opponent might be able to shoot you to death from afar with an arrow. That’s what makes a good weapon so powerful.”
“In addition, you must be good at actually wielding a weapon. For example, a swordsman who has no internal strength but who has reached the second level of sword mastery, ‘man and sword become one’, is capable of easily piercing the throat of a powerful yet inexperienced warrior. After all, no matter how much internal strength the warrior has, he can’t block the sharpness of a sword!” Yichuan said slowly.
Ning understood this logic of course.
A powerful but stupid brute who encountered an assassin who was good at wielding shortswords would die in a single exchange of blows!
A strong body was just one aspect. Skill and technique was what determined how much of your power would be actually utilized! For example, in his past life, those competitors in the kickboxing or jujitsu competitions all were roughly on the same level in terms of physical fitness; it was technique and battle strategy which determined their competiveness.
“Tell me, what do you want to learn?” Yichuan looked at his son.
“Ning, son, think carefully.” Snow looked at her son as well.
Actually, in their hearts, they had already mapped out a plan for their son. After all, as they saw it, their son was still too young, even though he was smart and capable. But they still wanted to ask their son what he wanted, so as to help him learn to think everything through. And then, they would tell him what they thought and let him reflect on the differences.
“I want to learn three things.” Ning suddenly said.
“First of all, I wish to learn archery.” Ning said.
He was to walk on the Fiendgod Body Refining path. He would possess astonishing eyesight, and also enormous, heaven-granted strength. Naturally, he had to learn archery. The arrows released by a mighty Fiendgod were definitely capable of breaking past the sound barrier, and the power of its arrows was definitely far greater than the bullets of sniper rifles in his past life. He could kill his opponent from far away. And archery, according to the books he had read, wasn’t too hard to learn.
“Second, I want to learn how to use twin swords!”
The Ji clan specialized in sword techniques!
His father Yichuan was nicknamed the ‘Raindrop Sword’. With a resource such as this at his disposal, he absolutely had to learn how to use swords!
“Twin swords?” Yichuan frowned. “Continue.”
“Third, I need to learn agility-enhancing techniques and escaping techniques.” Ning said. “These are what I need.”
If he encountered a powerful opponent, he would flee!
Only escaping techniques would allow a person to live longer. And the longer one lived, the more possibilities one would have.
Snow laughed. “Ning is headed in the right direction. However, I think it’s best if you first start with single swords…there isn’t a single twin sword expert in the entire Ji clan, and when training in swords, the greatest danger is in losing concentration. You must focus all of your concentration on a single sword. Only this will allow you to achieve greater accomplishments.”
“Your mother’s words are correct.” Yichuan looked at his son.
“Father, mother, I’ve been able to divide my mind since I was born.” Ning raised his head to look at his parents. He wasn’t able to explain about the [Nuwa Painting], and so he just had to claim that he was able to divide his mind since he was born.
“Divide your mind?”
Yichuan and Snow were both shocked.
“Do you know what dividing your mind means?” Yichuan growled. “It isn’t as simple as multitasking. It means that your mind can simultaneously contemplate two separate matters without losing any effectiveness or causing any disruption.”
“I truly can divide my mind.” Ning said hurriedly.
“Then let’s give it a test.” Yichuan’s eyes began to glow with an astonishing light. With one hand, he pulled over two pieces of chalk. “Use these two rocks to write on the ground. With your left hand, write your mother’s name, while with your right hand, write my name. Write simultaneously!”
“Yes, father.” Ning nodded.
Ning took the two pieces of chalk. It felt rather similar to the chalk he had used in his previous life. Immediately, he began to use his hands to write as instructed. Writing with the chalk actually felt quite natural.
His left hand and right hand easily wrote at the same time, and what he wrote was the ancient, complicated script of this world. On one side, he wrote the name, “Ji Yichuan”. On the other, “Yuchi Snow.” His strokes were firm and very graceful.
“Ning, you…” Snow was stunned.
“But…” Yichuan was stunned as well.
“No wonder. No wonder you were able to train in the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Shining Heavens] so quickly.” Yichuan said slowly. “So our son’s soul is so powerful that he can divide his mind!”
Yichuan looked at his son as though he were looking at a piece of priceless, unpolished jade. Extremely excited, he said, “I’ve only been able to reach the level of dividing my mind because I’ve trained for so long. However, I’ve focused on using a single sword since I was young…my path is set, and hard to change! But my son is able to divide his mind since birth…he is a born twin sword user. He will be able to use twin swords as though two people were wielding them and make his opponents feel like they are being attacked by two people at once. What’s more, those two people will have their hearts and intentions totally linked, increasing the effectiveness ten times over!”
“From today onwards, I will personally train you in using swords!” Yichuan looked at his son.
Early next morning.
The thick natural energy of the world filled the hazy morning. Ning had already been brought by his father to the training grounds.
“Ning.” Yichuan looked at his son, then pointed at a nearby fur-clad, bearded man. “This is the number one expert archer of the Ji clan of the West Prefecture. His name is ‘Blindfish’. His archery skills are extremely high. Blindfish, come, let the little fellow see what you are all about.”
“Yes.” Blindfish said respectfully.
Yichuan walked in front of them towards four marble tablets, each one of them weighing several hundred pounds. Yichuan grabbed one of them, then threw it far away into the distance, and then grabbed another one and tossed that one as well. In the blink of an eye, all four of them were howling through the air.
These massive, heavy tablets were thrown with such force that they made the air howl. They were like four missiles, and had transformed into black dots in the sky.
“Hrm.” A pitch-black greatbow appeared in the hands of the bearded man, Blindfish, along with four arrows. He raised his bow high.
Shua! Shua! Shua! Shua!
Four arrows flashed through the skies, disappearing almost instantly as they chased after those four black dots. Pengpengpengpeng!!!!! Those four black dots totally disappeared.
Ning gaped at the sight.
He gaped for a long time.
“When father tossed those heavy stones, he threw them at least one or two kilometers and turned them into missiles?” Ning felt stunned. “And this Blindfish’s arrows…I felt like, in the blink of an eye, in less than a second, they arrived at that distance of a kilometer or two away. If we calculate it carefully…these arrows must have at least travelled at the speed of nearly two thousand meters a second.”
“The legendary god, Houyi, once sent out nine arrows in a row and shot and killed nine Golden Crows.” Blindfish laughed loudly. “Young master, I only possess some superficial skills.”
“Master Blindfish, the rubble won’t hit or hurt anyone when it falls, will it?” Ning suddenly remembered to ask this question.
Yichuan shook his head. “Ning, your Master Blindfish is a Xiantian lifeform, and has infused his arrows with his own innate energy. When the arrows reached the tablets, they immediately blew the tablets into dust which will drift down slowly. How can there be rubble which would smash anyone?”
Ning was secretly shocked.
“From today onwards, every morning, you will come train with your Master Blindfish for an hour in archery.” Yichuan said. “This can be considered your morning exercises. Blindfish, sorry to trouble you.”
“To be able to teach the young master is Blindfish’s glory.” Blindfish laughed loudly.
Yichuan nodded, then turned and left.
The entire training yard was very quiet. Only Blindfish and Ning were there. Not even a servant was present.
“Young master.” Blindfish looked at Ning. “To an archer, the most important thing is his bows and arrows. The arrow is divided into three parts; the arrowhead, the arrow shaft, and the feathers. As for the bow, it is comprised of the bowstring and the body. Arrows can be made in large quantities, but bows are far more precious!”
“There are two types of bows.”
“The first type of bow is made from an elastic bow body and a tough bowstring. When drawing the bow, the body of the bow will curve…and that is where the power comes from, the curving of the bow’s body. This is the most commonly seen type of bow, and is a fairly simple type of archery. It is easy to produce, and ordinary archers use it.”
“The second type of bow has a tough, inflexible bow body and an elastic bowstring. When pulling the bow, the bow’s body will essentially remain firm, while the bowstring will be pulled to an astonishing elastic length. This bow in my hand is that sort of bow!”
Blindfish handed the pitch-black greatbow in his hands to Ning.
Ning accepted this simple greatbow, and he instantly felt its weight. This greatbow was at least a hundred pounds heavy. He couldn’t help but stare at it carefully. The body of the greatbow was made from some sort of pitch-black metal which gleamed. The bowstring, however, was as thick as a finger, and carried a blue color. A terrifying fiendish aura could dimly be sensed as coming from the bowstring.
“This bow body was forged from ‘thunderwind metal’ and is incomparably tough. But the bowstring is even more precious…it was made from one of the draconic tendons of a Diremonster that was slain, a Dragonsnake. It possesses astonishing elasticity. Even if my strength was ten times greater, I wouldn’t be able to break it.” Blindfish laughed. “The name I gave my bow is ‘Thunderdragon Bow’.”
Ning’s eyes shone as he listened. A bowstring made from the tendons of a Dragonsnake, a Diremonster?
“Come, let’s begin to learn the proper stance.” With a flip of his hand, Blindfish produced an ordinary bow.
“Standing shot stance, crouching shot stance, backwards shot stance, falling shot stance, running shot stance!” Blindfish looked at Ning. “Young master, your training will be divided into two segments. The first is the basic segment. The second is the mental segment.”
“In the basic segment, you need to practice those five stances to the point where ‘hand, eye, and arrow become one.’ You must always hit your target. Only then can you move to the next segment.”
“In the mental segment, the stances are no longer important. The only thing you need is for your ‘mind and arrow to become one’. You no longer need to use your eyes to see. That’s simply too slow. You must rely on your mind! In the blink of an eye, you will draw your bow and fire your arrows upon your target as fast as lightning. In a truly critical situation, you only have a heartbeat to do what you need. Nobody will give you a chance to slowly aim. When you have mastered the mental segment, then you will have completed your apprenticeship.”
Ning listened and nodded.
And then, according to Blindfish’s instructions, he began to train in the proper stance.
“Waist straight! Left arm extended!”
“That’s the correct posture for drawing the bow. Stay in that posture!”
“Eyes! Eyes! Are your eyes blind?”
As soon as he began teaching in earnest, Blindfish began to roar at him. The ignorant Ning was like a piece of white parchment. Howled at again and again, Ning could do nothing but endure it and slowly learn.
A ten thousand meter high building is still built up from the ground floor. An expert archer had to start with the basics as well.