Chapter 254: Shadow Fist (Part one)
– Next Day –
The white-haired elder still came to to the pavilion to practice Tai Chi. At about the same time, in the distance, he saw Xu Cheng.
Xu Cheng slowed down his steps and walked over.
Before he got close, the elder suddenly changed from practicing Tai Chi to the fist technique that he was showing Xu Cheng the other day.
Xu Cheng narrowed his eyes as he stared at the unpredictable movements of that elder. After about 30 seconds, the elders withdrew his hands and looked at Xu Cheng as he asked, “How much did you remember?”
Xu Cheng: “9.”
The elder frowned.
Xu Cheng: “9, excluding the 12 I remembered the other day.”
The elder faintly smiled. “Very well. This technique is called Shadow Fist, and its core principles are fast, accurate, and brutal, aiming for vital areas with each strike. It can attack or defend and has unlimited patterns to transform to with the accompanying footwork. Complimented by your power, it can either soften enemy attacks when defending but also launch invincible attacks. Now, take a look again, but this time pay attention to my footwork too.”
Xu Cheng nodded. Then, he focused his attention on the elder. He just saw that when the elder was using Ghost Fist, his footwork was also very strange. Xu Cheng felt that his eyes were almost not good enough to be used, and his brain’s ultrasonic sense was overworking to the limit when he was barelyable to capture and sync the old man’s hand and foot movements.
After the elder finished the set, he asked Xu Cheng, “How about it, how much did you remember?”
Xu Cheng shook his head. “I don’t know.”
The elder faintly smiled. “Come here.”
Xu Cheng walked over and came to the old man. Suddenly, the old man directly used Ghost Fist plus the footwork to attack him. Xu Cheng instinctively reacted, and when the elder attacked, he clearly remembered it from the strokes he witnessed and subconsciously defended against it.
The old man used actual combat to allow Xu Cheng to deeply memorize the techniques and different patterns. After he finished a set, Xu Cheng barely blocked his attacks. The elder faintly smiled, and then he suddenly attacked again, but this time, completely mixing up the order of his strokes and attacks, assembling strokes and patterns at his free will to strike.
At this moment, Xu Cheng was getting tested on how fast he could remember which stroke it was from the 30 and then quickly come up with a pattern to defend against it. He lagged behind by a step and the old man’s fist landed on his chest. Xu Cheng coughed as he felt the blunt pain and he also took a few steps back.
The Elder: “Although you remembered, you still aren’t able to freely utilize it. Come again!”
Then, the old man assembled another random pattern from the 30 strokes and attacked, but Xu Cheng reacted a lot faster this time. He quickly assembled a counter-pattern, but when they got to the 8th stroke, a fist still landed on his chest, forcing him to take three steps back and cough nonstop.
“Very well, you were actually able to defend against 8 strokes this time.” The elder faintly smiled, and then his face grew serious as his body drifted towards Xu Cheng again.
Xu Cheng became more and more used to the technique and this time, he was able to hold off until the 20th stroke. He gritted his teeth. “Again!”
This time, he decided to be on the offense with his version of Ghost Fist and Footwork. The old man casually disarmed and broke down his moves and then forced Xu Cheng to be on the defending side again. After Xu Cheng defended against more than 30 patterns of attacks, he seemed to have realized something. When he was hit back by the elder’s fist again, the elder smiled and asked him, “Are you a little confused?”
Xu Cheng nodded. “Yeah, Old Man, I noticed that when I’m fighting you, you didn’t have any fixed patterns at all. Although I remembered all 30 strokes, your completely chaotic way of utilizing and assembling those moves misguided me and almost made me forget about those 30 strokes already…”
The old man faintly smiled. “Very well. In fact, those 30 strokes are just a foundation. The most powerful aspect of this technique is that it can be broken apart and reassembled to achieve unpredictability. Even if one could remember those 30 moves, during combat, whoever with the faster brain that can keep on creating new patterns will prevail.”
Xu Cheng’s eyes brightened. “Old man, I seem to understand already. The true Shadow Fist’s 30 moves doesn’t have a first move or last move, because each move can be connected and performed smoothly and there’s no fixed patterns, right? So the Shadow Steps also follow the same principles.”