Chapter 9: This… is cultivation?
Yuan Chenglei had woke up in a very excited state.
After all, last night Lao ban had promised to teach him to cultivate!
“Er… Lao ban, what is this?”
Lao ban had sent him a link with a playlist of exercise videos for him to do each morning before breakfast.
Okay, okay, so he shouldn’t have expected to jump right into ‘Lightning Palm Strike’ or ‘Flaming Fist Formation’ or whatever other chuuni-sounding martial arts moves there were, but … ‘CUT’s ‘Nope’ Dance Version’, ‘Ladies’ Life ‘My Man’ Choreography’, aren’t these videos pop group dance choreography videos?
Even though Yuan Chenglei could understand being given normal exercise videos right at the beginning, pop group dances?
As expected, Yuan Chenglei’s mouth couldn’t keep still and he said, “Lao ban, I thought you said you’d start teaching me how to cultivate?”
Lao ban seems to have expected this reaction.
“Your case is a little different, Little Cheng. Although there have been a few rare cases where people began to cultivate at a later age, very few of them manage to finish Qi Condensation.”
Yuan Chenglei enthusiasm deflated a little. “Then, Lao ban, you mean I won’t get very far?”
Lao ban’s pale eyes pierced him as he said, “Even if you were just half a disciple to this Master White Jade Wings, it would be an embarrassment to me if you can’t finish Foundation Building, let alone Qi Condensation. However, you have accumulated 20 years of impurities, and in living in this modern society it’s possible that there are muscles you’ve barely used. There are extra precautions we must take.”
Yuan Chenglei was excited once again, but the question still remained.
“So, Lao ban, what’s with the pop group dances?”
Lao ban chuckled lightly, saying, “Well, do your best to learn them. It’s fine if you take them one at a time. I’ll have breakfast ready at 7.”
Yuan Chenglei watched speechlessly as Lao ban went down the small stairs and out of sight.
What the f*k! Is he getting ready to cultivate or become a male idol?! Or a female one?!
Yuan Chenglei sighed and started the playlist from the beginning.
Zhao Jinjing didn’t sleep very well.
Every time she was on the brink of drifting off, she’d hear the crackling of fire and screams or smell the stench of burning flesh before she’d snap back into wakefulness and realize it was all her imagination.
She saw that the sky was just beginning to turn light when she suddenly awoke and the sun was up in the sky.
She felt awful.
Part of her thought that she should be happy just to be alive, but the other part was wishing she had just died back then.
Zhao Jinjing got up off the cot and moved her heavy feet.
If she remembered correctly, the bathroom was in the basement…
There was thumping sounds coming from that guy’s room… Yuan Chenglei, was it?
His door was slightly, no, completely open.
Despite her listless, sullen mood, Zhao Jinjing’s natural curiosity got the best of her and she peeked in.
And her listless, sullen mood was blown off somewhere.
… Did a spider fall in his clothes?
That was all she could think of as she watched Yuan Chenglei moving furiously around in the room.
In front of him, on a table, was a laptop showing idol dances.
Was he… trying to dance?
Quietly, Zhao Jinjing closed the door.
It would be better not to comment on it, she thought.
Going down the stairs, with her depression being usurped by her confusion, Zhao Jinjing entered the basement.
There was Laoban, cooking breakfast.
“Good morning, Little Jingjing.”
He nodded at her as he stirred the clay pot on the stove.
Zhao Jinjing felt a bit shy, since she was in the presence of a great senior (she HAD grown up in a cultivators’ clan, after all), but her curiosity was greater.
“U-um, Laoban Song, Chenglei is…?
“Ah, yes, I can tell he’s begun up there.”
If you listened closely, you could just hear the sounds of feet moving quickly. And if you listened REALLY closely, you could just hear Yuan Chenglei yell, “What the heck am I doing?!” in frustration.
For a master like Senior – no, Laoban Song, the sounds were probably perfectly clear.
“That’s the new training Little Cheng’s begun. I wonder if it will go well, though…”
Zhao Jinjing had to stop herself from staring dully at Laoban.
What kind of kungfu was THAT?!
And besides, Laoban’s eyes were sparkling a little too much, like he was way too excited about the situation.
Yuan Chenglei isn’t just being played around with, is he?
Zhao Jinjing seriously had that kind of worry.
A little while later, Yuan Chenglei came down to the basement with dead-fish eyes.
“How did it go?” Laoban asked, eyes still sparkling.
“That’s… I’m not tired, but somehow, I’m tired…” Yuan Chenglei said as he sat down heavily and slumped on top of the table.
Zhao Jinjing sipped her warmed soymilk as she watched the scene skeptically.
Yuan Chenglei continued his complaints.
“Even though I can understand what they’re doing perfectly well, my body can’t keep up and I just feel like an idiot.”
Even if he didn’t look good doing it, Yuan Chenglei had thought that he could at least keep up, since he’d been drinking that special tea Laoban prepared, but in reality he couldn’t keep up at all. It wasn’t a matter of reflexes… how to say it… he didn’t know how, but he was always behind.
“Well, that’s the kind of training it is,” Laoban said as he placed a bowl of congee in front of Yuan Chenglei.
“Huh?” was Yuan Chenglei’s response.
“Your body doesn’t do what you want it to do. It’s that kind of training.”
Aaaah… Yuan Chenglei and Zhao Jinjing suddenly … well, ‘understood’ might not be the correct term, but it all made a lot more sense. Certainly, hip hop dancers moved in ways where you doubted they had bones. But…
“Laoban Song, normally you use kungfu or tai chi for that…”
Zhao Jinjing couldn’t help but reveal that information.
As expected, Yuan Chenglei was suddenly looking pretty sullenly at Laoban.
“Of course, when you’re starting to cultivate at the age of 5, it’s good to be taught kungfu and tai chi. But the impurities and bad habits in movement in a 5-year-old is much less than a 20-year-old. To begin with, the stiffness and lack of range in your movements is also influenced by impurities, not just a lack of flexibility.”
That… Zhao Jinjing didn’t know about that.
“There’s no point to teaching Little Cheng techniques when it’s guaranteed I’ll have to fix the bad habits in the future?” Laoban finished.
“It’s harder to fix mistakes than to start fresh, you mean?” Yuan Chenglei asked.
“Indeed, but if it’s possible to substitute with something else, then…”
“No, I see the reasoning, but…” Yuan Chenglei felt like holding his head. Idol dances, though? At the least…
“Why girl group ones-“ “Your hips are also important.”
Yuan Chenglei’s tears came out a little. Ah. There was no way to avoid having to shake his hips to the music. To think such a Tribulation would come right away!
“Well, well. You have 20 years of impurities built up. Although there are concoctions to expel them immediately, the side effects of doing so are a little difficult to someone who has not undergone Foundation Building yet. In a sense, what we are doing is the true foundation building. It can’t be helped that you must start with mundane tactics.”
Yuan Chenglei thought it over, and it seemed like something that made sense.
Still, he couldn’t help but ask, “By the way, Lao ban, has someone like me tried to expel all the impurities at once before?”
“Some would start bleeding violently, both internally and from their pores, and others would become almost fatally poisoned from the impurities that are condensed before they are expelled.”
Ah, he shouldn’t have asked after all, Yuan Chenglei thought.
“Then, if it’s like that, shouldn’t I also start out like Brother Cheng? Although I have some qi condensation, I basically haven’t done any other cultivation, so I would have a lot of impurities too,” Zhao Jinjing said.
“That’s true. Your body would be able to withstand the forceful expulsion of impurities better, but there’s no point in forcing you to undergo such trauma,” Laoban said thoughtfully.
Yuan Chenglei paled slightly.
The thought of this little sis’ seeing his ‘dancing’ was a traumatic enough thought.
He didn’t know that all had already been revealed.
Yuan Chenglei was an unfortunate with very little natural rhythm. He was also quite tone deaf (although that never stopped him at karaoke).
If he’s so bad at dancing, how long will it take before he actually started ‘cultivation’?
Yuan Chenglei sighed and took a slurp of the congee.
“So much garlic! Ah, it’s millet congee? But it’s heavily seasoned!”
Only now did Yuan Chenglei actually look into the bowl.
There was water-beaten egg in the millet, and when he looked closer, there was oats, ginger, and garlic clearly floating about.
This… was a little heavy in taste for breakfast, and there was no tofu or pickled veggies for side dishes.
“Laoban, is breakfast different for some reason?”
“It’s full of things that will aid digestion and get your bowels moving.”
Yuan Chenglei felt a cold sweat break out.
“In other words, this is… ”
“A detox diet. It will be interesting to see how far mundane methods can go.”
Yuan Chenglei felt chills running down his spine at Laoban’s pleased look, and Zhao Jinjing suddenly remembered something her father had told her.
White Jade Wings was considered something like a mad scientist in the cultivation world.
Un. She suddenly remembered it now.
<A/n: … um… there actually will be fantasy elements… lol>