Chapter 46: Reason In Vigorous Touches And Fine Strokes

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After the first round of the Divine Warrior Examination’s provincial examination, the final Qi And Blood Five Turns and higher warriors were narrowed down to about fifty.

Warriors that did not qualify were all ushered out of the training grounds.

The provincial examination soon entered the second round of eliminations.

After the second round, the field was much more solemn. A very long fence separated the selected warriors from the others. Fifty desks were placed on the ground, and upon them were brushes and paper.

This round of testing was of comprehension.

The Great Chong Dynasty’s philosophy was that “culture can rule a country, martial prowess brings about peace.” The selected warriors not only had to have superb talent in martial arts, their literary aspects must also be considerably talented. This literature was not so-called literary talent; it was understanding texts from the “Hundred Schools of Thought,” where every martial art had a school. If a warrior wanted to create an even greater prospect, choosing a Hundred Schools of Thought as a martial arts basis was even more important.

When the Great Chong Dynasty fought campaigns back then, it was thanks to the help of the Wanshou Temple’s Chan Monks that the country was finally founded. Naturally, after the founding, teachings were according to Chan.1

The second round of comprehension testing was thus of Chan Buddhism.

Atop the platform was a monk with a shiny, clean-shaven head and was dressed in the robes of the Wanshou Temple. The monk’s monastic name was Guan Jing, and his appearance was actually somewhat serious. This monk’s cultivation was not high, just at Qi And Blood Nine Turns level, however, he nevertheless received everyone’s respect.

The monk had come from Wanshou Temple.

The Great CHong Dynasty had a saying, “Drizzle establishes the temple on the Central Plains, the Four Sects of the world can only give way.” The Four Sects of the world mentioned referred to the largest four sects in the Great Chong Dynasty’s north, east, south, and west. But when it came to this temple that they could only yield to, this temple was none other than Wanshou Temple.

As the founding religion, the Wanshou Temple was considered by the Great Chong Dynasty’s commonfolk as the greatest existence second only to the imperial palace.

Monk Guan Jing swept his gaze over everyone, saying: “All living things begin from nothingness. Losing themselves, they become animals. Losing their original heart, they cycle as animals.” As expected of the Wanshou Temple’s highest Chan arts, the moment he spoke, he was obscure and unfathomable.

Chan was the Great Chong Dynasty’s most important school. Everyone had some grasp of it, and his words made others earnestly listen, as if they had a sort of understanding.

His flowing speech continuing, Monk Guan Jing began to draw up the theme for the exam.

The topic was actually obvious at a glance.

It was more or less as follows.

A rich merchant married four wives at once. The first wife acted cute, acting as his company all day, not stepping an inch away from him; the second wife he had fought for, an absolute beauty who could topple countries; the third wife indulged in life’s trifles, allowing him a stable life; the fourth wife was a hard worker, busying herself to and fro, such that even her husband basically forgot about her existence.

One time, the merchant was about to embark on a distant journey. To prevent loneliness during the long trip, he decided to choose one of his four wives to accompany him on his travel.

The topic was to test who the examinees would choose and also to illuminate their own understanding.

At first glance, the four wives each had their own merits, with no real difference in choice. However, Chen Mo knew that Chan was fond of playing with profound mysteries, a keen point in the mist. The simpler something was, oftentimes the more complicated it actually was, containing depth.

The so-called Chan just used ethereal thinking to look at an issue from another angle.

If he looked at it from the perspective of this provincial examination, the quintessence of solving the problem was necessarily related to “Chan.” Associating this back with the discussion this monk opened with, by Chan’s characteristics, the last was often the most related. Understanding this point, Chen Mo rationalized about choosing the fourth wife as accompaniment.

With this selection as an extension, he made an understanding of Chan and life. Taking his seat according to his number, he pondered a moment. Chen Mo then took up the brush. As a warrior who refined his qi and blood to Eight Turns, so long as he was a bit diligent in his efforts, it was not an exaggeration to say his writing was “vigorous touches and fine strokes, torrential words and flowing smoothness.”

As his brush slithered, Chen Mo very quickly wrote out the mystery of this point.

He likened the first wife to the corporeal body. The form of the corporeal body was inseparable, accompanying all day long, but after death, oneself would still separate from it; the second wife referred to property. It was not brought along in birth, and it was not taken along in death; the third wife referred to one’s actual wife. While alive, husband and wife shared their life. After death, they would nevertheless part ways; the last wife referred to one’s nature. People often forgot about its existence, but it nevertheless eternally accompanied oneself.

A short while later, Chen Mo had only used half of the allotted time before rolling his paper up, yet some warriors were even still contemplating their thoughts on solving the topic.

The surrounding spectators let out astonished gasps. Some disapproved of Chen Mo turning his paper in so quickly, mocking him as probably posturing, deliberately relying on Chang’an Mansion’s backing.

Even the most impartial Wanshou Temple did not dare deliberately make things difficult when they saw His Highness of the Chang’an Mansion. As long as they were in the right direction, that would do.

Chen Mo sat in his position, not minding them, closing his eyes and relaxing.

Monk Guan Jing showed a suspicious expression when he saw Chen Mo roll his scroll up so quickly. This monk’s eyes contained a bit of disdain, thinking the same as the others, assuming that Chen Mo felt that he could pass using his status as long as he explained the fundamentals. 

Even if you can pass, I can also discipline you if you are too lacking, make your Chang’an Mansion lose face, Monk Guan Jing thought to himself, opening Chen Mo’s scroll for review.

“Good writing!!”

“Good understanding!!”

After a moment of review, Monk Guan Jing gave enormous praise, saying the word “good” several times in succession. To be able to move a Chan monk as calm as still waters so much, everyone realized Chen Mo had passed.

The other warriors still racking their brains looked up in succession after hearing Monk Guan Jing’s praise, their expressions shocked and envious. They wrote at tremendous speed, accelerating their pace.

The second to finish was Qing Wan. The girl’s response was bold and flamboyant, charming and beautiful, also receiving Monk Guan Jing’s commendations.

The second examination tested a warrior’s comprehension time and calligraphy, the so-called “see characters as one sees people,” the mentality a warrior could best embody under time pressure. Several warriors very quickly finished their responses. What a pity that for the sake of saving time, their handwriting was illegible, and the quintessence regarding the story, “self,” had actually become impressive-sounding but empty words full of vim. They were eliminated.

Finally, Monk Guan Jing carefully perused the examinations, selecting based on time, handwriting, comprehension, knowledge, understanding, and other criteria, the top eight warriors to enter final round of testing.

As the sun set, the weather was still very beautiful. The provincial examination was required to be completed within a day. After a brief moment of rest, the final round of evaluations immediately began.

The third round was the final round and very simple.

In the end, the Divine Warrior Examination spoke with martial arts. The Great Chong Dynasty’s greatest and most arrogant talents were powerful warriors. The final round of testing was of true strength.

The eight warriors who passed the second round were all of extraordinary levels of mastery, whether in comprehension, talent, or martial study. They could be counted as the most eminent of the younger generation. The eight warriors were divided into two groups, then split into pairs, proceeding to one on one battles.

After the third battle, the final victor would be Azure Dragon Town’s provincial examination juren2 this time, and the number two could only join the defeated warriors of other towns as reserve candidates.

Before this, Qing Wan was originally the strongest pick for juren, but afterwards, Chen Mo astonishingly defeated all of the Qing Family, becoming Azure Dragon Town’s strongest warrior without doubt. No one in the younger generation was able to rival him. The provincial examination juren position was currently in his pocket. He never expected that Qing Wan, despite everything, would break through to Three Flowers Overhead Early Stage before the examination. Although the Essence Flower was still in the budding stage, her power nevertheless made progress by leaps and bounds.

This juren contest thus became good to watch.

Everyone was either discussing about Qing Wan defending her fame as Azure Dragon Town’s number one genius warrior to retrieve the Qing Family’s honor or Chen Mo who came from Chang’an and turned famous overnight by displaying his full capabilities. As it turned out, the other six warriors accompanying them were completely ignored. This made those young men and women very upset in their hearts. 

Of course, despite being upset, the power disparity was actually evident. They had no choice but to submit to the humiliation.

The brackets were very quickly decided. Qing Wan and Chen Mo had become the number one and number two candidates in the second round of testing through their comprehension abilities and were split into separate groups.

Chen Mo’s first opponent was the Shen Family’s Shen Ran.

This guy once had a dispute with Chen Mo back during Qing Wan’s birthday banquet. Afterwards, he picked a quarrel and was beaten badly by Chen Mo. The youth that had fainted immediately paled in the face when he saw his opponent was surprisingly Chen Mo, his body shuddering.

But at this moment, everyone was looking at them. The Shen Family elder sitting in the platform above was also taking note of him.

Even if he was fully aware that he would be defeated, he would still have to lose with courage. He could not let other people look down on the Shen Family.

Thinking of this, Shen Ran grit his teeth, puffed out his chest and adopted posture of a fierce tiger pouncing on food, a stance from the Tiger And Leopard Fist. But Shen Ran’s confidence was insufficient, and he had a mental trauma towards Chen Mo. Originally he should be glaring like a tiger would at prey. His vigorous “Fierce Tiger Pounces On Prey Stance” was somewhat restrained in the eyes of others, the aura of a bluff.

The surrounding spectators roared with laughter.

Even the noble families in the stands were gleeful.

What sort of tiger was this, this was clearly a sick kitten.

“Without the will to win, you are not a warrior. You might as well jump down and concede defeat.” Chen Mo said insipidly, simply not desiring to waste time with such a person.

Chen Mo’s words actually stirred Shen Ran’s spirit. Other people felt what he said was very logical and held a new level of respect for Chen Mo.

Shen Ran roared, taking action.

His cry shook the mountains and forest, grated upon the eardrums, numbing the whole body, as if a tiger had actually roared. Within a breath, Shen Ran attacked Chen Mo.

His punch was like a massive hammer, swinging downwards. A heavy force fanned into the surroundings and stifled many of the warriors, deafening them. Combined with Shen Ran’s appearance of an evil and mad tiger, he was surprisingly somewhat intimidating.

Shen Ran did not know how long he had trained this “Leopard Lunge Tiger Pounce.” His legs had the swiftness of a leopard, his hands had the strength of a tiger, and his eyes were full of a beast’s pressure. Combined with his already Qi And Blood Six Turns power, not many among Azure Dragon Town’s youth could withstand this.

Any way it was put, noble families had some capabilities.

Chen Mo strode forward a single step, attacking with a punch.

This punch was not fancy at all, with nothing superfluous. It was simple, quick, and unremarkable at first glance. Shen Ran was inwardly delighted. No matter how abnormal Chen Mo was, at least against this punch, he could make this guy taste a bit of suffering.

Just as he thought this, abruptly, the punch was in front of him.

All of a sudden.

Shen Ran caught this punch, only feeling that the power of this ordinary fist instantly flow over his whole body as swift as a tide.

Too fierce.

Shen Ran only thought of this phrase to describe the feeling of the power that overcame him. All of his own speed and power were instantly submerged and drowned, cruelly broken.

His bones cracked and snapped.

Shen Ran screamed, and his eyes widened. He did not dare believe this as he flew off of the platform.

One hit KO!

Everyone was speechless.

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  1. In 108 MOD, I translated “Zen” as “Chan.” Then I switched to “Zen” initially here. But after some discussion, Chan is actually an acceptable translation.
  2. 舉人, meaning “graduate”

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