Chapter13: Natural Calligrapher
Ever since Cui Chenlin appeared, I’ve had a feeling of intense crisis, no matter whether I am at school, or at home. I have been practicing boxing in any free time that I get. The elementary style of Xing Yi Quan Five Fists had already been practiced by me to the point of knowing it inside out. However, I could only get the form, not the essence. The essence of Xing Yi Quan Five Fists may be extremely important to other people, but it was not so important to me.
Moving as they pleased, all kinds of primordial qi located within my body were shuttling back and forth. Apparently, they had taken my body to be an amusement park. I did not take great pains to restrain the primordial qi, but with the passage of time, they were apparently leaving behind their aura within my body. Some luminous primordial qi had begun considering my body as their hiding place.
Looking at me working so hard while shadowboxing, Teacher Lin was clearly aware of my thoughts.
“Huang Jingyang, Teacher Lin doesn’t need your protection, you are a child. If Cui Chenlin comes, I won’t let him hurt you. We live in a society controlled by laws, he cannot injure somebody as he pleases.” Teacher Lin was worried that my little body wouldn’t be able to bear such heavy pressure, also she couldn’t bear to see me undergo so much suffering on her account.
“Teacher Lin, I won’t let you get hurt. In case if he comes, I will use my fist to drive him back.” I said resolutely.
Chopping Fist, Smashing Fist, Drilling Fist, Exploding Fist, and Crossing Fist, were the five forms of the fist technique, although I could only retain the form while doing them, my body had become a good conductor of primordial qi. Whenever I use these fist techniques to the fullest, different types of primordial qi spontaneously begin shuttling back and forth within my body. From a chaotic mess with no order to a slow but steady collected stream. These different types of mischievous primordial qi then take on a small snake-like appearance, and flow like a stream all around in my body. I didn’t know how to guide them, so I just let them move around for now. However, whenever I put the fist techniques to use, these tiny snakes begin to follow a specific path. It was as if all of the water within the farmlands had flowed into the pond erratically and then from the pond into the pool before slowly flowing into the river.
[TLNote: For seeing the five fist technique in action https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQZ3xn-UmjI%5D
“Huang Jingyang, how about you teach Teacher Lin to fight? This way, Teacher Lin would also be able to help you later.” Teacher Lin said.
I nodded after a bit of thought: “Ok. However, practicing fighting is very exhausting.”
“Teacher Lin is not afraid of hardship.” Teacher Lin said smiling.
However, I could only teach Teacher Lin the movements, Teacher Lin couldn’t actually feel the existence of primordial qi, so she could only learn the hollow forms. However, Teacher Lin was still learning earnestly and paying scrupulous attention to every detail. This made me, as a little teacher, feel a sense of accomplishment.
Time flew by very quickly, when waking up in the morning, the mountains, rivers, fields would all be appear as mere traces within the fog. A white gas would always be floating atop the water in the well. While speaking, white mist would always come out from the mouth. Thus, one would know that Autumn had already quietly passed, and Winter had arrived uninvited. Walking on the paths in the field, the soles of the feet would always become sticky with mud. The soil below would make crisp sounds of crunching, naturally it was the sounds of those dog teeth-like ice-crystals getting crushed.
Coming out at this time, one could feel a whiff of the frigid coldness, the plants were covered in white ice crystals. Holding the plants in one’s hand, one could feel the bone-chilling coldness. However, these things didn’t matter much for me as far as I was concerned. I would pick the tender green water grass together with my little hands, while using the sickle to cut them from the roots, and then put them into the little basket on my back.
In this ice-cold weather, I didn’t feel any cold in my hands. I had already rigorously rubbed my hands together beforehand, and now they had already become boiling hot, and it was easy to resist the bitter coldness of the water grass.
Originally, Grandpa wouldn’t have allowed me to come out on such a cold day and cut the water grass. However, I was thinking of the fish which, after growing up, could be sold during new year’s time for a lot more money. During the new year’s celebration time, the bigger the fish, the better price it would be able to reach because making dried fish meat, required bigger fish.
Early morning every day, watching the shoal of fish in the fish pond fiercely snatching at the water grass thrown by me, had become a daily pleasure. There was a time when Grandpa felt quite puzzled, as to why the crucian carps all came out to fight over the water grass I threw. Originally, in other people’s fish ponds, only the grass carps would eat the water grass, and other fish needed to be fed other feed.
Teacher Lin rubbed her hands, put them on her mouth, before exhaling a mouthful of steam. She was still feeling very cold in her hands.
“Huang Jingyang, it’s such a cold day, how can you go and cut fish grass?” Teacher Lin took my hand but was amazed to find that my hand was still as warm as before.
“Teacher Lin, I am not afraid of the cold, see how I am still emitting steam.” I laughed.
“Are you sweating? Hurry up and go change your clothes.” Teacher Lin was worried that my back might get cold.
I shook my head: “It’s nothing. It will evaporate soon.”
“Won’t do, you have to change your clothes, Teacher Lin will help wipe your back.” Teacher Lin was very firm, leaving no room for dissent.
“Alright, but only after I finish feeding these fish with the grass.” I kept incessantly throwing the fish grass from the bamboo basket, immediately, a large number of fish rushed out inside the water, making every effort possible in the struggle to get at the fish grass floating on the surface of the water.
“They are surprisingly happy to eat this. Oh that’s right, Huang Jingyang, is it not said that only grass carps can eat grass? How could these crucian carps also be able to eat this grass?” Even though Teacher Lin didn’t know anything about farming, such common sense type topics she understood very well.
Why would I know? I I shook my head: “I throw, and they eat it, right?”
“Strange.” Teacher Lin scratched her head, she also couldn’t understand why the animals being raised by me were so strange? The ox would graze on the field ridges on its own, patterned pigs would go to a fixed place for urination and defecation. The chicks, ducklings, and goslings would all chatter non-stop everyday, but when they went into action they would move with an army-like discipline. In addition to that there was a dog which was a bit too clever. It seemed like whatever thing I put my hand on would become especially strange.
Teacher Lin already knew about my money making schemes, but she was worried that there would be a day, when I would be even more aggrieved. For example, If through great efforts I manage to make some money, my Mama and Papa still don’t bother with me, she wouldn’t be able to bear to see me so inconsolably heart-broken.
“Huang Jingyang, if in the future, these fish, or these chickens, ducks and geese, are all sold for money, but your Mama still doesn’t come back, then what?” Teacher Lin for my own good was trying to prepare me mentally in advance. She already knew about the situation of our family. Mama and Papa didn’t bring back my younger brother, because they were worried that my younger brother would get infected with my bad luck. Perhaps they had already given up on me, because I had bad luck in my body. People in the rural area were very afraid of ghosts, and I had been labelled an evil spirit by the People.
“Then that would mean that the money wasn’t enough, as soon as I have enough money, they will certainly come back. At present, it is insufficient, but next year I will make a profit. I will buy a cow, have it give birth to a calf, in the future turning into a herd of cattle. Grandpa said that a cow could be sold for a several thousand yuan. Then I will have a lot of money. Next year, I will also raise a lot more pigs. Chickens, Ducks and Geese will also be increased a bit. I can also obtain the chicken eggs. And when that moment comes, I will be super wealthy.” My thirst for money doesn’t originate from greed, but from my eagerness for familial love.
Teacher Lin looked away, while using her hand to stroke her hair.
“Teacher Lin, will you truly wait until I grow up and marry me in the future?” My emotional train of thought took a big leap. This was actually more in consonance with my age.
Teacher Lin turned around her head, and I saw that there were traces of tears flowing on her face. After crying, there would be teardrops left behind in the eyelashes, even if wiped cleanly, the eyelashes would end up sticking together.
“Of course I will. However, when that time comes and Teacher Lin gets old, will you turn your back on Teacher Lin?” Teacher Lin said with a smile.
Teacher Lin’s smile was very beautiful, even better than that of those celebrities in those tv shows and movies.
“Teacher Lin will never grow old.” I said earnestly.
“Only monsters never get old. Teacher Lin is not a monster.” Teacher Lin grinned happily.
“I won’t allow you to grow old.” I was not feeling very comfortable with this topic of Teacher Lin growing old.
After Teacher Lin came to live at our house, the looks within the eyes of my classmates towards me became even more complicated. Originally they used to look down at me very much, but now they have turned envious. Even though Teacher Lin treated all the children in the school equally, she had inadvertently, started to treat me as her child.
My grades were the best in class. There was nothing to be done about that, as with Teacher Lin’s free private tutoring, I was always several steps ahead of other children in the class. My writing was also the best amongst the students in the class. Teacher Lin even made me participate in school calligraphy competition, and my calligraphy was posted on the school bulletin board. Seeing characters written by me being posted on the school bulletin board, made me feel excited down to the bottom of my heart. A brat who was cultivating Dao was still just a brat. Furthermore, even I myself didn’t know that I was cultivating Dao.
What felt very unexpected to me and Teacher Lin, was that even after two months, Cui Chenlin didn’t show up. We had very quickly begun to forget about this person. Teacher Lin also hadn’t returned home, and every once in a while, would go to the village branch clerk house to make a call home. Has the danger passed already? or has Cui Chenlin given up on Teacher Lin?
Although I had been writing seal script for a long time, I still found it very difficult to write the letter like that 天 (Sky/Heaven) character which I had written on that day.
“How did you manage to write this character. When I saw this character written by you, it seemed to me like, three fen into the wood. It’s a saying where the ink of the characters written is able to penetrate down into the table. It surprised me when I saw it.” Teacher Lin was busy looking down under the table.
“Ah! It’s actually true!” Teacher Lin found the 天 character written by me under the table. The ink had unexpectedly penetrated through the table. I also went to look and the 天 character was surprisingly clear. The 天 character was symmetrical, and even when looking from the other side, it could be seen clearly and distinctly.
This character, was really a work of art. From this one character, one was able to make out the sky’s vastness, the sky’s wideness and the sky’s grandeur. A single character could accommodate every natural manifestation of the world. This was really somewhat inconceivable.
Teacher Lin blankly squatted down on the ground, clearly she was still wondering how was I able to write a character which was so inconceivable.
“Huang Jingyang, you are a natural calligrapher. From now on, the time that you spend practicing calligraphy every day will have to be extended.” Teacher Lin had made up her mind.