Chapter 20: 020
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Xu Yi stood to the side with a hint of interest on her face.
“The rest of you, step aside. Let me begin.”
Astonished by someone having the guts to take on Coach Chen Huan, a few students stopped their practice to watch the battle.
Feng Xia cupped her hands and moved to the side, observing Lin Sheng. She did not think that she had lost; it was just a lack of rest the day before.
“Let’s see how this kid gets crushed!” Feng Xia murmured. After attending the class for over two months, she was the most senior student in the class and naturally found it shameful that a newcomer could defeat her.
Loud shouts ensued as the two sticks collided. At that moment, everyone including Xu Yi seemed to see two swords, not sticks, in the fight.
Lunging forward and pressing her wooden stick against Lin Sheng’s, Chen Huan bent her elbow to try to knock Lin Sheng’s weapon away. This move, which she had yet to teach her students, looked like a simple combination of grab and sword techniques but took her a long time to master.
Chen Huan did not hold back as she wanted to defeat Lin Sheng in the first round to defend her pride as a coach. But Chen Huan was shocked when she discovered that they both were maintaining an equally long distance from each other.
Unable to beat Lin Sheng in the first round, Chen Huan was forced to change her tactics. Otherwise, she would only lose face if the battle dragged on.
“Awesome!” Xu Yi’s face turned solemn.
“Distance calculation is the heart of Naxi swordsmanship. Its primary purpose is to first get in a position where the opponent can’t reach you, then look for opportunities to strike the opponent’s weak point.
“However, Chen Huan couldn’t even get the upper hand just now. There’s something in this rookie.”
“Really?” A new student was in awe. With a little foundation before joining the club, this new student had practiced with Chen Huan many times, and each time, Chen Huan would defeat him in an instant. Now, seeing how Chen Huan and Lin Sheng had been evenly matched for several rounds, the student was amazed.
“His improvement’s too fast!” a male student said in a low voice. “I remember that he just started coming three weeks ago. Has he learned this before?”
“Unlikely. I think he’s born for this kind of sport.” Xu Yi shook her head.
Just as they spoke, there was a change in the battle. Each time Chen Huan attacked, Lin Sheng would dodge with much agility. How would she face her other students when she could not even defeat a three-week-old newbie? So, Chen Huan became anxious. She wanted to win and had to win decisively. Yet, the more emotional she got, the more anxious she got and the more mistakes she made in her moves. Her face soon turned red.
At first, Lin Sheng did not realize what was happening because he was immersed in the instinctive control of his muscle memory. When Lin Sheng finally noticed Chen Huan’s strange movements and expressions, he realized that he had overdone it and quickly revealed an opening by slowing down his riposte on the right on purpose.
Seeing the opportunity, Chen Huan was delighted and quickly struck Lin Sheng through the opening. Hit on the right rib with his chest wide open, Lin Sheng retreated several steps back.
Just as Lin Sheng was about to concede defeat, Chen Huan, with eyes turned red, roared and struck down from above with both hands. She knew that Lin Sheng lost on purpose, but the battle had dragged on for too long, and it would not look good on her to be bogged down by a student. She needed to maintain her reputation by achieving an absolute win.
Not allowing Lin Sheng to concede defeat, Chen Huan decided to further take advantage of Lin Sheng’s good-will by launching a quick attack from above.
Wanting to stop the sparring session and not seeing what was coming, the surprise attack caught Lin Sheng off-guard. In a split second, he instinctively clenched his stick with one hand and thrust it straight forward while his body moved sideways.
Chen Huan’s wooden stick struck down from above with full force but barely scraped Lin Sheng’s mask. Had the stick hit him on the head directly, he would have been badly hurt even with the helmet on.
Almost at the same time, Lin Sheng’s wooden stick struck Chen Huan in her abdomen. Dropping her stick to the floor, she groaned and squatted down with both hands on her stomach, appearing to be in acute pain.
Sensing that things had gone terribly wrong, Lin Sheng quickly went up to check on Chen Huan.
“Lin Sheng!” Xu Yi shouted at Lin Sheng. “What did you do?! This is just a training session. Why did you use so much force?”
Walking over and squatting next to Chen Huan, Xu Yi checked her injury.
Lin Sheng’s purposeful loss and Chen Huan’s willful pursuit happened so fast that no one in their surroundings noticed what had happened.
Lin Sheng stood in the same spot silently. He just followed his instincts—evading, then riposting. It was Ravel’s muscle memory that controlled him.
It seemed that the blow was a heavy one to Chen Huan even with the bamboo body armor. For a while, she could not get to her feet. But if Lin Sheng had not fought back, Chen Huan would have struck him good and proper. Chen Huan obviously did it on purpose, pretending not to see that Lin Sheng was taking a dive.
“How long have you been learning this? Stop fooling us by claiming to be a newbie!” Xu Yi said coldly as she got to her feet.
“What do you mean?” Lin Sheng was stunned.
“Stop pretending! Are you here for a dojo challenge?” Xu Yi felt that she had guessed correctly.
“Take your money back and get the hell out of here! You’re not welcome here!” Xu Yi showed Lin Sheng the door. After taking a look at Chen Huan’s injury and seeing a large bruise on her abdomen, Xu Yi could not believe that Lin Sheng could be so ruthless.
Lin Sheng did not say anything.
It was just a misunderstanding. Chen Huan deliberately made use of the opportunity to attack Lin Sheng to save her own face. Had he been an ordinary student, things would not have developed that way. But Lin Sheng was anything but an average student.
Nonetheless, he had achieved what he wanted and tested how potent Ravel’s swordsmanship was.
“It looks like you’re not going to explain yourself. Goodbye, then.” Lin Sheng saw that Chen Huan had no intention of clearing the air, and the other students had begun to resent him with Xu Yi influencing the narrative. He felt that it was pointless to stay there any longer.
Taking off his armor and dropping the wooden stick on the floor, Lin Sheng walked to the classroom’s exit. It was only then that he noticed the incident had attracted many onlookers. Many of them were female students from next door, and some were people he had never seen before.
“Excuse me.” Lin Sheng headed directly to the office, where he was given a refund of his ¥100. With his money in hand, Lin Sheng went straight downstairs.
The sky was getting dark. Standing downstairs, Lin Sheng looked back at the signboard of the Tengchong Swordsmanship Club. He never thought things would end up that way, with him having to leave the club after just three weeks of lessons. Chen Huan seemed like a good coach at first, but it turned out that to save face, she…
Not wanting to harp on it anymore, Lin Sheng shook his head since he could not explain what had happened to himself either.
Just as he turned around and was about to leave, someone called him.
“Wait a minute, buddy!”
Suddenly, a tall man rushed up to him from behind and patted him on the shoulder.