Applying X-ray Vision to Martial Arts
Xia Lei could master a foreign language in the short span of a few days; his learning ability was unimaginably miraculous. What was more difficult - learning a language or learning a martial art? Of course it was the former. Learning a martial art was not difficult at all for Xia Lei. He could quickly memorise the learning materials and all the movements of the instructor. He was also fit so the only thing he lacked was experience and some know-how.
How powerful would he be once he mastered these?
Even Liang Zheng-Chun, who had practiced Wing Chun his whole life, would not be able to answer this question.
The result of the competition was that Liang Si-Yao won and Xia Lei lost. Only Xia Lei knew why he had lost.
“Are you all right?” Liang Si-Yao asked in concern. She stretched out a hand to Xia Lei.
Xia Lei did not refuse her kindness and grabbed her hand to pull himself to his feet. He dusted himself off and smiled as he said, “I’m all right. I’ve already said that I won’t be able to beat you. Believe me now?”
“Did you really learn Wing Chun for just a few days?” Liang Si-Yao’s eyes were searching.
Xia Lei shrugged, “Yes, just a few days. Why would I lie to you?”
There had to be a motive for lying but he had no motive to lie like this.
Liang Si-Yao seemed to believe him. She walked to Liang Zheng-Chun and spoke softly in her father’s ear, “Dad, you’ve struck gold. You should accept him as your last disciple and have him become the beacon of Wing Chun for our school.”
Liang Zheng-Chun did not agree but he did not disagree either; he just looked at Xia Lei with a speculative gaze
When Lu Sheng heard Liang Si-Yao’s words, his face darkened. He had been a student of the school for over three years and his goal was to become a disciple of Liang Zheng-Chun but Liang Zheng-Chun never agreed. Liang Si-Yao knew about this too but she had never put in a good word for him in front of Liang Zheng-Chun. Now, an unknown punk like Xia Lei popped out of nowhere and Liang Si-Yao actually spoke for him, asking Liang Zheng-Chun to accept him as a disciple. How could he remain calm?!
“Hurmph!” snorted Lu Sheng, and he strode towards Xia Lei.
“Monk.” Liang Si-Yao pulled Lu Sheng to a stop and smiled as she said, “I haven’t practiced with you in a while. How about accompanying me for practice?”
Lu Sheng looked back at Liang Si-Yao and said nothing. He looked rather unhappy.
Liang Si-Yao shook Lu Sheng’s arm and said sweetly, “Come, Big Brother Sheng, let’s practice together.”
Lu Sheng forced a smile, “Okay, I’ll practice with you.” There were going to be many opportunities for him to take care of Xia Lei later but a practice session with Liang Si-Yao was hard to come by.
More students walked into the school at this time and Liang Zheng-Chun went to greet them and instruct them in their practice. The onlookers dispersed and continued their paired practice.
Xia Lei let out a silent breath. Lu Sheng’s eyes had been terrible to behold when he was walking towards him earlier and he knew what those eyes meant. Xia Lei knew that he was nowhere near a match for Lu Sheng at his current skill level. If he sparred with Lu Sheng, he would have a miserable end for sure.
Lu Sheng began his practice with Liang Si-Yao. Sticking Hands, Sticking Feet, accompanied by an exchange of punching, kicking and elbows. Their movements were slow but they looked very professional.
Xia Lei had a thought, ‘I was trying to see how Liang Si-Yao’s body was channeling power earlier but we were in the midst of sparring and she gave me no chance to use my X-ray ability on her. I don’t have anything to do now so I can take a look at how the power runs through her muscles and bones. Once I master the know-how of this I should have an increase in my strength.’
He willed it and his eye twitched. His left eye was like an angry flame, incinerating Liang Si-Yao’s clothing in an instant, then her skin. Liang Si-Yao did not look like a normal, whole human to his left eye any longer - she was like the anatomy model in biology class with no skin, hair or other external body parts. There were only muscle, ligaments, bones and blood vessels!
However, in Xia Lei’s right eye, Liang Si-Yao was still a long-legged beauty and her every movement invoked appreciation from him. Only Xia Lei could enjoy such a marvel in this world.
His left eye had X-ray vision while his right was normal; this gave Xia Lei the perfect conditions to compare and analyse. A simple example was when Liang Si-Yao made a frontal One-inch Punch movement. Xia Lei’s left eye saw how her muscles, ligaments and bones worked; they accumulated energy, then released that energy. In his right eye, he saw her palm curl into a fist and instantly attack. With his left and right eye working together in this way, the method of channeling power in Wing Chun was fully revealed to him right before his eyes!
“I see… I see… heh heh!” Xia Lei smiled. As he watched Liang Si-Yao and Lu Sheng practice, he couldn’t help mimicking Liang Si-Yao and learning her movements.
This time, he was not just mimicking her external movements but her internal movements too!
“What is that guy doing?” A student saw Xia Lei mimicking Liang Si-Yao’s movements and was curious.
The student who was practicing with him also stopped and looked at Xia Lei curiously. After half a beat, he said, “Is that fool trying to copy her? He’s moving like how Si-Yao is moving.”
Soon, more students discovered Xia Lei’s strange actions and started discussing him. Some made fun of him while others were simply curious.
Liang Zheng-Chun also looked at Xia Lei and he watched him for a while, then suddenly opened his mouth, so shocked he could not close it. The students were mocking Xia Lei and taking him for a fool for mimicking another but to his expert eyes, he was seeing technique!
Many people were saying earlier that Xia Lei looked like he had been practicing for at least a year when he was striking the wooden dummy but as an expert, it was clear that Xia Lei was just a novice. Xia Lei had only learnt some moves but was unable to channel power. And since he could not channel power, his movements looked nice but lacked strength and there was no power at all. He’d thought Xia Lei was just a clever copy-cat and was seeking instant benefits because of that. He’d not been very willing at all when Liang Si-Yao had asked him to accept Xia Lei as a disciple. Martial artists did not like those seeking instant benefits and he was no different. However, as he watched Xia Lei copy Liang Si-Yao’s movements, he was stunned yet moved.
Liang Zheng-Chun walked towards Xia Lei.
When Xia Lei saw Liang Zheng-Chun approach, he stopped using his X-ray vision and his mimicking. A mild hallucination appeared before him but it disappeared quickly.
Liang Zheng-Chun stared straight at Xia Lei and spoke in praise, “Lei, you’re a quick study.”
Xia Lei laughed and said politely, “Master Liang, I just have a good memory.”
“Watch me and learn how I do it,” said Liang Zheng-Chun.
Xia Lei froze, then nodded, “Yes.”
Liang Zheng-Chun had only taught him some of the most basic things for the past few days and showed him nothing of any higher-level moves. He did not know why Liang Zheng-Chun had changed his mind but this was an opportunity to learn real martial arts and he would definitely not miss it.
He actually had a reason for using his X-ray vision on Liang Si-Yao and not Lu Sheng. From what he saw, a descendant of Wing Chun like Liang Zheng-Chun must have something he would never teach an outsider. However, Liang Si-Yao was not an outsider - she was Liang Zheng-Chun’s daughter and he would definitely pass on all the secrets he knew to her. That was why he had chosen to use his ability on Liang Si-Yao to study and learn Wing Chun from and not Lu Sheng.
Liang Zheng-Chun was personally showing him moves now and it was definitely better to use his X-ray vision on him than on Liang Si-Yao, and he could also learn even higher-level things!
Liang Zheng-Chun got into a beginning stance and asked, “Are you ready?”
Xia Lei copied Liang Zheng-Chun’s stance, “I am ready, Master Liang.”
What he’d readied was his eye.
Liang Zheng-Chun let out a clear shout and punched as he stepped, then moved back while putting pressure on his elbows, going through his Wing Chun movements rhythmically.
Xia Lei’s left eye entered X-ray mode and locked into Liang Zheng-Chun. He analysed and learnt from Liang Zheng-Chun like how he had learnt from Liang Si-Yao.
Liang Zheng-Chun was impressive indeed. His movements were more precise and quick as lightning yet like a swaying willow tree when he went slow. He channelled and held back his power naturally, releasing it like floodwater when attacking and like the retreating tide when he held back. His transition was quick too; almost blazing quick.
Everyone ceased their own activities, including Liang Si-Yao and Lu Sheng. They moved to watch Liang Zheng-Chun and Xia Lei.
“What’s Master Liang doing? Is he teaching that guy Wing Chun?” said someone.
“Isn’t it obvious?” said someone.
“This guy has only been here a few days and Master Liu is teaching him personally. What’s so good about him?” said someone.
“He’s good at copying,” said someone.
“Hee hee hee,” laughed someone.
There was a flurry of discussion and almost everyone was of the mind that Xia Lei was just good at copying and was not so great.
Lu Sheng’s face grew stormier and stormier and he became angrier and angrier. Liang Zheng-Chun had not agreed when Liang Si-Yao asked him to accept Xia Lei as a disciple earlier but that was just ten minutes ago and Liang Zheng-Chun was personally teaching Xia Lei Wing Chun now. And, as he discovered, the Wing Chun Liang Zheng-Chun was teaching Xia Lei had some moves that he was seeing for the first time!
“Hurmph!” Lu Sheng grew angrier as he watched.
Liang Si-Yao did not notice the change in Lu Sheng’s mood. She watched Xia Lei practice Wing Chun with her father, her eyes full of happiness and curiosity.
A few minutes later, Liang Zheng-Chun relaxed his stance and he looked at Xia Lei’s face, straight at his eyes.
Xia Lei, however, fell to a sitting position on the floor, panting heavily. His forehead and neck were beaded with sweat and his clothes were half soaked in sweat.
His body had used up too much energy with the consecutive use of his left eye; persisting in its use had exhausted him.
When he collapsed to the floor, the hallucinations appeared. The school became a kindergarten and the walls were plastered with cartoon posters, sunflowers, red suns, bears and so on. The onlooking students also became cute little kindergarteners, staring at him curiously, the red dots on their foreheads exceptionally eye-catching. Then he saw Liang Si-Yao. She was wearing toilet training pants, her little bum exposed for all to see. The weirdest one was Liang Zheng-Chun. He’d become the matron of the kindergarten and was combing a thick, black braid…
“Lei, are you all right?” Liang Zheng-Chun was worried when he walked to Xia Lei’s side and saw that he looked sick.
Xia Lei shook his head vigorously and the hallucinations disappeared. He supported himself and got to his feet as he said, “I’m fine, I’m fine… I’m just a little tired. I’ll be okay once I’ve had some rest.”
“You’re really all right?”
“Yes. You don’t have to worry, Master Liang.” Xia Lei smiled, “Thank you for teaching me Wing Chun. I’ve learnt a lot.”
Liang Zheng-Chun asked probingly, “Tell me, how much have you learnt?”
Xia Lei thought for a bit, “I don’t know. A little? Maybe a bit more than a little.”
Liang Zheng-Chun did not seem satisfied with his answer. His brows wrinkled in a frown.
“Hurmph!” Lu Sheng scoffed, “You’re trying to say that you learnt a lot, didn’t you? Let’s spar. Let me see how much you’ve learnt.”
Liang Zheng-Chun and Liang Si-Yao said nothing to stop Lu Sheng this time.
Xia Lei bared his teeth in a smile, “Sure. But give me half an hour to rest. I’ll spar with you after half an hour.”
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