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Read Martial Arts Master Chapter 8

Martial Arts Master is a Webnovel made by Cuttlefish That Loves Diving, 爱潜水的乌贼.
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In his dream, Lou Cheng’s martial skills were progressing by leaps and bounds. In merely a few years he earned favor widely across the professional martial arts world. A budding martial artist, he managed to defeat Qian Donglou and scored the t.i.tle Martial Lord, rising to the top of Chinese martial arts alongside Chen Qitao, the Dragon King. Adored by numerous fans, backed by a variety of supportive groups, and chased by many gorgeous girls, Lou upheld his principles and followed his soul despite all temptations. He eventually walked down the aisle with Yan Zheke, soaked in blessings from their schoolmates Cai Zongming, Zhao Qiang, Qiu Zhigao and Zhang Jingye, and expectation from his worn and weary parents.

At that very moment, Lou Cheng noticed his skin was turning scorched black with veins flaming fiercely underneath. There was a layer of frost on his back where chillness was flooding out as if inside an iceberg near the South Pole, just like that dead black fish.

With great fear he turned around, feeling Yan Zheke’s eyes on him, strange and horrified.

“Ahh!”

Lou Cheng suddenly opened his eyes and found himself curled up on his side in bed. A gentle beam of light shone through the window, barely illuminating the dark dorm room. Within his sight, the bed, the desk, the chair and the mosquito net all seemed familiar yet strange and he was carried away with a short spell of pleasure in the dream.

After a moment of blankness, he took a few deep breaths and finally figured out where he was and what he was doing.

“A nightmare…” Lou Cheng looked out the window as the day was dawning and fell into a trance. The dream seemed blurry already, yet the delusion, the desire, and the fear it bore remained clear.

He picked up his mobile and lit up the screen – not yet seven. He wanted to fall back asleep but found it impossible. He heaved and tossed about till 7 o’clock, then got out of bed. Out of the small bedroom, he stepped into the lavatory.

After a hectic time, he took a sit in the living room. Browsing content posted in the forum late last night by active experienced users, he flashed smiles and gradually calmed down. His expectations in martial progress from consuming the Jindan started to emerge, along with the ones for today’s martial arts lesson and Yan Zheke’s warm words, “See you tomorrow.”

Holding a flurry of excitement, Lou Cheng returned to his small dorm room. He turned a blind eye to Zhao Qiang who was getting up with sleepy eyes to read English and dug out a new martial arts suit from his wardrobe.

This original Longhu Club suit was a gift Lou Cheng got upon his senior high graduation. The navy blue suit of traditional and modern design appeared elegant yet straightforward, similar to a leotard but loose enough to not repress forces from muscles. It would make the wearer look mettled as long as he was not too dispirited.

Lou Cheng walked back to the lavatory in the martial arts suit after fixing his cuffs and trouser legs. He gazed at himself in the mirror where a green dragon and a white tiger twined up into an emblem adorned with cloud and wind patterns on his left chest, manifesting the great power of the club.

Styling his hair with water, Lou Cheng grinned at himself, “Not bad!”

“What a narcissist,” satirized Cai Zongming with a yawn as he walked in.

Lou Cheng clicked his tongue, “The one that uses men’s skincare products every day is the real narcissist!”

“Come on! I gotta take care of my face,” replied Cai Zongming as he stepped to the squatting toilet. Apparently, he woke up to urinate after the booze-up last night, unlike Lou Cheng and Zhao Qiang who get up early.

Zhao Qiang rolled his eyes at the two upon hearing their conversation while was.h.i.+ng up. He watched Cai Zongming walk into the squatting toilet and commented as the door closed behind him, “You two would do great in cross-talk. Never too early for you!”

“Ha-hah,” laughed Lou Cheng, “Little Ming will hurl down our roof if I don’t teach him some lessons now and then!”

He stepped out and changed into a black pair of exercise shoes, waiting for Cai Zongming to go for breakfast.

While waiting, he logged in his QQ account, longing to chat with Yan Zheke but afraid of scaring her away with being too enthusiastic. He quickly checked messages from several freshmen groups and his cla.s.s before browsing through moments updated by his friends. To his surprise, Yan Zheke just posted ten minutes ago:

“Sleepy but very happy! Today I will enjoy breakfast for all those who get up late. You’re welcome!”

“How adorable!” Lou Cheng talked to himself and gently tapped his face. How could he forget to read Yan Zheke’s old posts yesterday?

It would help to satisfy his desire formed by acc.u.mulated curiosity about her and a good way to understand her better!

As Lou Cheng was browsing through Yan Zheke’s old moments, Cai Zongming was ready to go and approached with a yawn, “Cheng, look at your kinky smirk. You must be up to something bad. What are you reading?”

“Nothing.” Lou Cheng signed out with a smile and put his mobile away.

Cai Zongming took a glance at Lou Cheng and wagged his head, “This is what we call amorous!”

The pair continued to mess with each other while walking out of the dorm room to the nearest canteen for some soy milk, tea eggs, and steamed buns before they made their way leisurely to the Martial Arts Club.

The teaching buildings and living quarters of Songcheng University were separated from each other. The three-story fine block set right by the lake was the office building for the university management. The room deep to the left on the third floor with the sign “Dean’s” on the door was filled like in a sauna. A black-haired senior in his 50s was starting the day with a tea ceremony. Opposite to him sat an undisciplined man in his 70s or even 80s. Wearing an old white t-s.h.i.+rt, the old man had entirely white hair, yet not many wrinkles.

His eyes were half closed and his nose gently fluttered as if tasting the drifting fragrance of the tea,

“Ah… Ah-choo!”

A loud sneeze shook the whole office. The black-haired man’s hand trembled and almost dropped his purple clay teapot over his suit.

“Can’t you remain silent for five minutes?” asked the suited senior in an annoyed tone.

The old man with white hair rubbed his nose, “I would be quiet like your old dog if you were pouring a shot of strong liquor.”

“Well, you can pick a bottle from my wine cellar if you manage to take the Martial Arts Club to the national tournament. Pick three if you make it to the top eight. Have a sleepover if you get the champions.h.i.+p,” the suited senior waved his hand as if giving a speech, “As Princ.i.p.al of the University and a martial arts enthusiast, I see this as my last chance to see the Songcheng University Martial Arts Club rise again!”

Grunt… The old man in a white t-s.h.i.+rt swallowed and let out a brief sputter of laughter, “Deal! Considering our brotherhood, I’ll do my best without you asking. Wait for my good news!”

Watching the old man walk out of the office, Princ.i.p.al waited for another five minutes to make a phone call, “Hey, Yuejian. Your dad didn’t draw himself back.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll make sure to keep him busy. He won’t be idle at home any longer.”

“No need. I have known your father since childhood time!”

In the grove by the lake, the old man gazed at the waves with his ears moving gently. He took a sip from a metal wine flask and sighed with a faint smile.

Inside the Martial Arts Club gym, the first martial arts lesson had a very high attendance. Even Lou Cheng’s roommate Qiu Zhigao showed up.

Lou Cheng looked about in search of Yan Zheke, ignoring Cai Zongming standing right next to him. Cai quietly complained about Lou’s hiberdating. Finally, Lou Chang spotted Yan Zheke’s beautiful figure stepping out of the girls’ locker room. Having her black hair tied up, she wore a white martial arts suit with the same emblem of the twining dragon and tiger, another version of Longhu Club’s suits.

When the four eyes met, a smile climbed on their faces for their matching suits.

As Lou Cheng was about to approach Yan for a quick chat, Chen Changhua, the st.u.r.dy Martial Arts Club Manager with bushy eyebrows, came out from the men’s locker room, followed by the slender and fresh Lin Que. The two had their lips pursed. The atmosphere between them seemed depressing.

“Stand in line and get ready. The new coach will arrive any second.” Standing in front the crowd, Chen Changhua shouted loudly.

With experience from the military training, all members quickly lined up. Lin Que casually paced to the front of Lou Cheng’s column, despite Chen Changhua’s angry gaze.

A shadowy figure appeared at the entrance of the gym, approaching and revealing itself as an old and clumsy man in a worn-out white t-s.h.i.+rt and white hair. His skin was in good condition with fewer wrinkles than expected.

“Master s.h.i.+,” Chen Changhua stepped forward to greet him.

The old man nodded gently and signaled him to join the team. The new coach stood facing the crowd and spoke after some cough, “My family name is s.h.i.+, which means to offer. From today, kids, I’ll be your martial coach. You may call me Coach s.h.i.+ or Geezer s.h.i.+. I’ve always been easygoing and approachable with respect for the elderly and fondness for the youth.”

Respect for the elderly and fondness for the youth… Respect for the elderly? “Quite hard to find someone older than you, isn’t it?” Lou Cheng talked to himself in silence and exchanged a glance with Cai Zongming. Apparently, Little Ming shared the same view.

Geezer s.h.i.+ continued with a grin,

“Regional matches for the National University Martial Arts Games will start in November. The Princ.i.p.al expects us to do better this year. Three martial arts lessons per week are way from enough. I intend to gather our members with potentials for a daily special training from eight to noon. Rest a.s.sured, the Princ.i.p.al has agreed to help move all your morning cla.s.ses around if you are in for the morning training. Maybe evenings.”

His words brought a shock to everyone. Members whispered to one another in disbelief.

“Training every morning with no day-off… He-heh… What about games, relations.h.i.+ps, and leisurely activities,” complained Cai Zongming quietly.

Schedules for first-year students were not so tight. However, dedicating all morning hours to martial practice would leave them little free time besides cla.s.ses and sleep.

Listening to complaints from the crowd, Lou Cheng fell into an odd silence. He just gave a curt response to Cai Zongming.

Geezer s.h.i.+ took out a sheet with the register of members and shouted in a loud voice, “Lin Que, are you in?”

Lin answered coldly, “Yes.”

“Good. The next, Chen Changhua. What about you?” continued Geezer s.h.i.+.

Chen glanced at Lin Que and gnashed his teeth with anger, “Yes!”

“Wu Dong, what about you?”

“Yes!”

“Sun Jian?”

“Yes!”

“Lin Hua?”

“Yes!”

“Li Mao?”

“Yes!”

Geezer s.h.i.+ called out names of Amateur Sixth Pin or higher from the soph.o.m.ore year to the senior. Most of them chose to take part in the training while a few turned down the opportunity.

“Cai Zongming,” he came to the freshmen.

Cai answered with no hesitation, “Coach, I’ll have to say no. Studying is more important!”

Geezer s.h.i.+ moved on to the next with little care, “Qiu Zhigao?”

“I… I can’t”, responded Qiu Zhigao.

“Guo Qing?”

“Yes!”

Geezer s.h.i.+ took out his wine pot and had a sip, “Of course, the Martial Arts Club is open to all. Students of lower than Amateur Sixth Pin are also welcome to partic.i.p.ate in the special training. As the saying goes, partic.i.p.ation matters and improving physical fitness is the key. Requirements for these students will be lowered accordingly. So… Anybody? Raise your hand.”

Members of the Martial Arts Club looked at each other and remained silent. A pa.s.sion for martial arts was one thing, but spending so much time on martial practice and sacrificing all free time was another story. After all, the special training would still be hard and tiring, even though the requirements were lowered.

In the dead silence, a hand rose abruptly. Cai Zongming turned to look and was shocked by what he saw. It was Lou Cheng.

Lou Cheng shouted, “Coach s.h.i.+, I want to join the special training!”

His voice echoed among the team.

If running could help the Golden Elixir function slowly, would some professional, hardcore martial arts training help with its absorption by the body?

———-

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