CHAPTER 09 ♦ DAN TIAN
last edited: 11.05.20
Yin Xu Dong who had respectfully abided by his Shi Fu‘s commands and accepted his fate as a babysitter, however, upon finding the little brat in the living room, saw him nested in the sofa, sobbing spasmodically.
Ho, his Shi Fu had even starved the little brat till he cried?
He walked up to the little brat, “Oi, little step-bro, you starving? Gimme a minute, your step-sis especially instructed me to come over and make you some food, so don’t cry.”
Qin Peng Cheng, having suddenly heard an unfamiliar male voice, raised his head. He recognised that person, he was the ge ge next door.
(T/N: “哥哥“= ge ge; older brother)
Though he was young, the little boy’s ego was particularly strong. And so, having been suddenly seen crying, he was immediately flustered, and wiped away the tears on his cheeks with the back of his hands, “How did you come in?” He remembered the front door was locked.
“Me? I came in from your step-sis’s balcony. Bring me to your kitchen, and let’s see what’s there is to eat. I’ll make some for the both of you.” After becoming an errand boy, then downgraded to a pet keeper, and once again downgraded to a chef, Yin Xu Dong’s immunity had already been trained to a level akin to that of a black belt holder.
Qin Peng Cheng pouted: “Why are you making it? Where’s that women?”
Yin Xu Dong knocked his head, speaking sternly: “What ‘where’s that women’! Don’t you know how to address her as jie jie?” That was his Shi Fu, how could he allow others to bluster her name.
(T/N: “姐姐” = Jie Jie; older sister)
Qin Peng Cheng dodged his hand. Hugging his own head, he argued: “You’re speaking up for that women, you’re actually her accomplice right?! You guys are actually bunching up together to bully me right?! Y’all are all bad people! Jerks!”
Yin Xu Dong rolled his eyes speechlessly. This brat sure had his facts all over the place while wanting to benefit from others! He should’ve just starved him! However, if he were to return empty-handed, Qin Ke Xuan’s dagger eyes, or maybe real daggers, would definitely laser him to death. In the end, he gave up overthinking and just went into the kitchen to make some food.
Qin Ke Xuan however sure had ways to make things difficult for him! Other than making instant noodles, he did not know how to cook!
After hunting all over the place, he could only find noodles from the bunch of unprocessed food. Forget it, noodles and instant noodles were both noodles, they should work the same way right.
Only after fiddling in the kitchen for the longest of time did Yin Xu Dong produce a pot of noodles. He scooped a bowl for the little brat and scooped a bowl for himself. This was his first time cooking, he had to get a taste of it no matter what. After taking a bite though, he could not find it in himself to swallow down a second one. As for the little brat, who by the way had not given him any face, he’d long ran off to the toilet to vomit it out.
“Where is he?” Qin Ke Xuan entered the kitchen, took a set of utensils from the cupboard and scooped a bowl of noodles for herself, then sat herself down, ready to eat. At seeing that, Yin Xu Dong, worried for that his Shi Fu would suddenly decide to expel her disciple, quickly reached out and pressed her chopsticks down. God forbid if she were to expel him over a pot of poorly cooked noodles! “This, can you not eat it?”
“This, that…” Yin Xu Dong minced his words, reluctant to speak.
Qin Ke Xuan was impatient, “Cut your nonsense, if you don’t want to die, move your hands.”
Faced with the two choices, dying or being expelled, he struggled with himself for a while and decided to go with the former.
Qin Ke Xuan picked up a few strands of noodles with her chopsticks and sniffed – it’s not poisoned. She ate the first chopstick-ful, then the second, and then the third…
Yin Xu Dong stared at Qin Ke Xuan polishing her bowl, his eyes widening. He asked, shocked: “Are your taste buds functioning?”
“Then you, you…”
“It doesn’t taste very good. But it’s fine as long as it can satisfy my hunger.”
Yin Xu Dong was thoroughly touched and inspired. From that moment on, he decided that he would practice his culinary skills!
“Little step-bro! Come and finish your serving! Even your sis didn’t say a word, you dare to not eat it?” Yin Xu Dong grabbed the Qin Peng Cheng who had been stealing glances at them from behind the door, and pressed him down on his seat, in front of his bowl of noodles.
Qin Peng Cheng looked at the Qin Ke Xuan. The latter after finishing her own bowl of noodles was calmly and expressionlessly scooping a second serving. At that, he remarked: “Is this even edible?”
Qin Ke Xuan met his gaze, picked up his pair of chopsticks, and placed it in his hands, “Eat.”
Yin Xu Dong watched merrily as Qin Peng Cheng had his little face scrunched up while eating the bowl of noodles with difficulty. He too picked up his bowl of noodles and started eating, aye, that was his wonderful fruit of his hard work! Delicious!
The three of them exhausted the entire pot of noodles, of course, the majority of it went down Qin Ke Xuan’s stomach. Since it was late, and on top of the fact that Qin Peng Cheng was too tired to bother the two of them, he quickly ran away to bathe.
Yin Xu Dong, too, crawled back home, not forgetting to implore Qin Ke Xuan: “Honoured Shi Fu, you definitely have to teach me Xiao Li Flying Daggers!”
However, on the second day, he wished so hard he could hit his head against the wall such that he could miraculously get amnesia, and forget.
Qin Ke Xuan stood beside Yin Xu Dong’s bed, putting it out there plainly: “If you’re not getting up, you don’t need to appear in front of me anymore.”
Yin Xu Dong squirmed painfully before sitting up unwillingly, “Da Jie, what time is it now? It’s four-thirty, my god! The sun hasn’t even risen!”
“You’re choosing to never appear before me again?”
“Don’t! I’m just saying, talking. You turn around first, I’ll change my clothes.”
Qin Ke Xuan walked out to wait at the balcony. After a short while, Yin Xu Dong walked out slowly, “Where are we going?”
“Just follow me.” Qin Ke Xuan pushed off the balcony railing, leaping lightly, and jumped off the balcony right in front of the shocked Yin Xu Dong.
Yin Xu Dong hurriedly pounced towards the railings, and bent forward to look down, his suppressed voice low with worry: “Are you okay? Any injuries?” That was the freaking second floor!
Qin Ke Xuan rolled her eyes again. Sadly the sky was still dark, so the recipient to her eye-rolling upstairs did not receive her eyeroll. “Hurry come down.” He was wasting away her time.
Seeing how she stood there, all intact, Yin Xu Dong was relieved, “Ok, wait.” After saying that, his person disappeared from the balcony.
Only after waiting for quite a while did Qin Ke Xuan hear him running from the front door. Her normal unruffled-ness and calmness was turned upside down as Qin Ke Xuan suddenly had the urge to exterminate this disciple she had taken in strangely.
“Whew~ If I jump down, there’s definitely gonna be loads of noise, if my parents hear that, I’d be dead. Oh right, Shi Fu, how did you manage to jump down so soundlessly? That was so sick!”
Qin Ke Xuan inhaled deeply, pressing down her surging anger, “From today onwards, you will start by learning the ways of the Inner Gong*, finish learning Qing Gong before talking about anything else.”
(T/N: “内功心法” = “the ways of the Inner Gong”)
“Qing Gong?!” Upon hearing this, Yin Xu Dong was happy enough to leap up to the second floor balcony, Qing Gong actually really existed! What Xiao Li Flying Daggers and Sunflower Dian Xue hand, Qing Gong is the way to go man!
“If you wake people up, you can forget about joining me.”
Yin Xu Dong quickly covered his mouth and nodded his head excitedly, “Whatever Shi Fu says is the way to go! Where are we going now?”
Qin Ke Xuan turned back and walked forward, “Just follow me.”
Yin Xu Dong followed her ecstatically.
Qin Ke Xuan brought Yin Xu Dong north-west of their district. That area did not have any housing nearby, only some greenery. On top of that, it was still early in the morning so it was dark. The place was isolated, hence suitable and secluded even a place to train without being discovered.
“Sit down.” Qin Ke Xuan dropped down first.
Yin Xu Dong followed suit, and sat down, following how Qin Ke Xuan sat with her legs crisscrossed.
Qin Ke Xuan closed her eyes, “I’ll be reciting the verse to the way of the Inner Gong once, imprint it in your memory.”
“Yes! Shi Fu!”
“Settle one’s Qi and restrain one’s self, purify one’s heart and regard one’s mien. Exhale one’s Qi, from out inhaling in. Crystallise with the core and disseminate with the body… Focus one’s will and sink Qi to one’s Dan Tian. In through one’ mouth, reconcile through one’s nose, stop while preserving one’s potency.”
(T/N: “丹田” = “Dan Tian”; two inches below the navel where one’s Qi resides)
“Forget it, repeat after me and follow what I do.”
“… allow it to cycle in your body, and let it sink into your Dan Tian.”
Yin Xu Dong raised his hand: “Shi Fu, can I ask a question?”
“Where is the Dan Tian?”
Qin Ke Xuan’s gnawed her teeth, “Two to three inches below your navel.”
“Compress the Qi in your body into your Dan Tian.”
Yin Xu Dong followed Qin Ke Xuan’s instructions dutifully. He pushed his “Qi“, unsure as to whether it even existed or not, down towards the Dan Tian, of which the position he was, again, unsure of. After a while, his expression scrunched up.
“What is it?” Did he become possessed by the evils?
“If you have something to say, say it, if you have fart, fart it*.”
(T/N: it’s a Chinese saying, it basically means “out with it”.)
“… I, I want to fart.” Yin Xu Dong said mincingly as though she had wronged him.
“… I want to kill you.”
Qin Ke Xuan once again was overwhelmed with madness, the kind of that makes you faint from anger. She minched her lips together, moved away from him, and settled at a spot far enough away from Yin Xu Dong before starting her own cultivating.
Though the distance between the two of them were pretty significant, the place was silent and coupled with Qin Ke Xuan’s sensitive hearing and sight, she was still able to hear the elongated “poooot” clearly.
The sides of Qin Ke Xuan’s lips twitched.
After a while, when Yin Xu Dong decided there was no lingering smell on him, he started slowly, a small step by a small step, towards Qin Ke Xuan’s direction.
“Shi Fu~” Yin Xu Dong felt wronged, he didn’t want to do that either, but who knew such training would squeeze out a fart?
“Shut up.” Qin Ke Xuan was worried her diverted attention at him would result in her getting possessed.
Yin Xu Dong shut his mouth obediently and looked at Qin Ke Xuan pitifully.
Qin Ke Xuan finished cycling her Qi and drew her training to a close. She stood up and looked at the anxious Yin Xu Dong, “You can graduate from your apprenticeship.”
Yin Xu Dong: “…”
Qin Ke Xuan did not spare him any more glances and went straight home.
Yin Xu Dong, who was in a dilemma, followed behind. Wasn’t it just a fart? Was there a need to go so far? “Shi Fu! You can’t be so cruel! At least teach me some moves! Since I can’t seem to learn Inner Gong, then why don’t you teach me Xiao Li Flying Daggers? Or Sunflower Dian Xue Hand! Aye~ Shi Fu! Don’t run! Wait for me!”
Qin Ke Xuan shook off the tailing Yin Xu Dong quickly and returned home on her own. Accelerating towards the spot below her balcony, she leapt up. Grabbing the protruding slab on the side, she pushed her body up with a boost of her hand before landing quietly on the balcony, disappearing into the room.
Yin Xu Dong ran back home, huffing and puffing away. He had long lost Qin Ke Xuan, so he fished out his keys and pushed into his house helplessly. He hesitated for a while before climbing over his balcony and into Qin Ke Xuan’s room.
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TRANSLATOR & EDITOR: Wynne