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His agility, eye speed, and physical reaction were all fast enough to match the fist’s speed. However, he usually could only block the first punch before the change in attack method left him defenseless.
After being whacked more than ten times, Garen staggered a few steps backward . To be beaten up repeatedly without a chance to counter attack made him very depressed. When he finally stabilized his body, he hastily pushed forward with his palm.
There was no technique involved with what he was doing. It was a simple and plain strike in the form of a palm. It received the powerful palm from Joshua head-on.
The two palms clashed together with great force.
Garen turned his foot and fell back more than 10 steps. His face turned white and, for a moment, he could not catch his breath.
All he felt was a surge of heat that spun around continuously in his chest. This heat was trapped inside and could not leave his body. The middle of his right palm was boiling hot and as red as a lobster.
Looking up, he saw Third Senior Brother Joshua walking over with a worried look.
"Are you okay Junior Brother? Just now I got lost in the moment and forgot you were underage. I used a little bit too much power…"
"It’s okay…" Garen had felt Third Senior Brother restrain his strength when he realized something was wrong. As a result, Garen was not wounded at all. Garen lifted his right arm, "My blood is just a little congested."
Just now, he estimated that Third Senior Brother’s palm strength definitely exceeded 180 pounds. Looking at Joshua, Garen was sure that that was not even Joshua’s limit. Joshua was also definitely a freak who could surpass 200 pounds.
"Joshua’s strength is around 300 pounds, the weakest one out of all of us. My strength is about 350 pounds. Your Second Senior Brother is the strongest. He was tested two days ago and his strength is above 450 pounds," Elder Senior Sister Rosetta walked over. She grabbed Garen’s arm and massaged it slowly.
"Martial arts does not comply with the idea that the stronger you are, the more likely you are to win." Second Senior Brother Frank rubbed his chin. "Rosetta, you have already surpassed Stage E of training. I am still stuck at Amateur Stage Nine."
"You are lacking in agility. Having only strength is not necessarily a good thing. It slows you down because you are so heavy." Rosetta pinched Frank’s arm with a smile on her face. "Look at all the fat on your body. When we hang out tonight, we will have to order extra meat just for you."
"That’s because I’m consuming a lot of energy now," Frank shrugged helplessly. "Next, let me test the extent of our Junior Brother’s skills. At the same time, we can roughly evaluate the highest stage our Junior Brother can achieve."
"Sounds good. After all, you are one of the judges in our city that determines the Amateur Martial Arts placements," Rosetta agreed while nodding.
Frank, nicknamed Eiffel Tower because he was two meters tall, stood in front of Garen and forcefully pushed Joshua away. Joshua speechlessly ran to the side and sat down to watch the battle.
"Junior Brother, you better beat him up good!" Joshua waved his fist and softly encouraged.
"Senior Brother, you got our roles mixed up…" Garen smiled bitterly.
Everyone in the group softly laughed.
"Please." Frank stood barefoot on the ground. He casually swung his arm and released a wave of wind that made a mess of Garen’s hair, despite a distance of four meters between them.
Garen knew that these Senior Siblings were fully grown adults. Not only had their strength reached the usual limit, but the synergy between the Explosive Fist Arts and other techniques raised their peak strength far beyond the standard maximum value. After all, the standard value was set based on an average adult male.
Therefore, everyone here was much stronger than him. At times like this, not displaying any personality defects or bad habits was more than enough. Winning was simply impossible for Garen.
Comprehending this, he inhaled deeply. He expanded his chest and held his breath.
Side step! Straight punch!
The fist hit Frank’s body heavily. It felt like the punch landed on a rubber car tire that was sturdy but elastic. The powerful rebound caused Garen to retreat four to five steps.
Feeling this shocking resistance, Garen was aghast.
"Your guess is correct. The technique I practice is the Mammoth Secret Technique," Frank replied with a smile. "The Explosive Fist Technique is a basic technique in our dojo. It is an iconic technique that enhances the user’s explosive power. Of course, it also makes the skin more durable. The real Secret Method of our dojo is the Mammoth Secret Technique. This is a secret technique that we do not pass down publicly."
"A secret technique?"
"Yes, every dojo has exclusive martial arts skills called secret techniques that they selectively teach. In White Cloud Dojo, the Explosive Fist Technique cannot be considered strong because most dojos have similar techniques. However, the Mammoth Secret Technique is different. It is something unique that only we have and other dojos don’t. This technique allows the user to defend himself while enhancing muscle strength," Frank explained patiently.
"Now I will use one-tenth of my power to attack you. You should try to block me."
Garen readied himself in a guarding position as he concentrated fully on the opponent. All the strength in his body converged. He knew that even if he unleashed all his strength, in front of his Second Senior Brother, he was considered to be the same level as a bean sprout. He could easily be destroyed with one wave of his Senior Brother’s hand. However, during these times, he especially needed to be careful and not expose his secret.
No matter how much talent one has, it was impossible to perfect the White Cloud Secret Method and elementary Explosive Fist Technique within a month. To successfully do so was beyond the capabilities of a genius. Only a freak or a monster could achieve that.
The moment someone dug deep into the issue, they could find out about his secret abilities.
Frank stretched out his right arm and grabbed Garen’s right shoulder with his big hand. Like a handheld folding fan that was blasted down by a strong gust of wind, Frank pushed down.
The two of them stood together. One was unmistakably gigantic, the other was extremely petite. It was like an adult capturing a kid.
The speed of the palm was not that fast, but the way it moved seemed inescapable. The giant hand was quivering nonstop, as if at any time it could swing in any direction it wanted. This feeling of uncertainty clouded Garen’s judgment and he had no idea which direction to dodge if he wanted to evade.
Helplessly, he mustered 140 pounds of strength and met the palm with resolution.
After he struck, Garen felt like he hit a metal plate. The throbbing from the collision greatly pained his hand. A strange wave of power pressed down from the top of Frank’s hand. It wasn’t exactly heavy, however as soon as Frank’s palm contacted with Garen’s, a forceful shivering and numbness extended down Garen’s arm.
Subconsciously, to resist this numbness, Garen unleashed all his strength and ruthlessly pushed forward with two hundred pounds worth of strength.
The result was the same.
Flopping, he fell on his butt to the ground. His entire body was numb and he had no strength left in his body.
Frank nodded in approval and retracted his hand.
"Your physique is not bad. If you learn some fundamental combat arts and do not conceal a part of your strength, then achieving Amateur Stage Six is no problem."
"Really??" Garen lowkey celebrated. "Stage Five amateurs can earn five to six thousand monthly if employed…" He then bitterly smiled. He thought that he could battle equally with these Senior Disciples if he used all of his strength. However, the result was all the same because of his weak abilities.
"Only five to six thousand could make you this happy? Are you in need of money?" Fei Baiyun walked over and slapped the top of Garen’s head.
"I have something I want to buy." Garen then suddenly remembered that the emblem was gone. The happiness he felt died down.
"Before your Senior Disciples, you dare to hide your real strength? Did you know that your Second Senior Brother was born with monstrous strength before he was introduced to martial arts? At age 15, he had 200 pounds of strength, a height of 1.9m, and doubled your Elder Senior Sister in size. So you were born with more strength than a regular person, what’s there to hide?" Elder Senior Sister Rosetta teased.
Garen was speechless. As long as nobody found out about his unusual level in the Explosive Fist Technique and the Secret Method, he was okay.
Behind him a few people dragged out chairs and sat down. The three Senior Disciples began to discuss the details of the recent practice just now.
Elder Senior Sister advised on aiming only to hit the vitals of the opponent using speed and explosive force. Hitting the fatal areas of the opponent was the easiest and cleanest way to win a battle. Therefore, she taught Garen that in order to kill with one attack, he must pay attention, dodge, and respond to the opponent’s explosive power. It would most effective for him to concentrate all his time and energy on improving only one area.
Second Senior Brother advocated for overall strength. He lectured Garen to exercise his whole body because if he was able to fully improve physically, he could face any situation with ease.
Third Senior Brother believed in survival before anything else. If one cannot beat the opponent, one should run. He believed that practicing martial arts just to strengthen the physique was enough, therefore there was no point in fighting to the point of injury or death. It would be unpleasant to ruin relationships between people and enemies would only accumulate if one always fought every battle to the end. Based on his beliefs, the more friends the better, since everyone would live in harmony that way.
Third Senior Brother’s beliefs were unanimously despised by everyone else. Elder Senior Sister and Second Senior Brother’s debate over who was right became more and more heated. In the end, they could not reach a consensus and ended up battling it out physically.
After a few rounds that lasted for more than 10 minutes, Second Senior Brother was eventually defeated, though he did not admit defeat. It was obvious that his strength exploded too quickly and he was very afraid of hurting Elder Senior Sister. Because of his thick skin and fat, he was instead punched repeatedly, losing the battle.
Garen watched from the side with cold sweat spilling out of his pores. Only when these Senior Disciples battled each other did he realize their true strength.
He was terrified that he would be helplessly slaughtered in seconds the moment he went against any of them.
Eldest Senior Sister was the strongest, yet still was only at Stage E, so it was difficult to imagine what higher staged seniors could do.
"Alright, alright, everyone stop," Fei Baiyun announced while loudly clapping. He looked at Garen and said, "Don’t think too much. The reality is that the higher you go, the harder it is to step into the next stage. Those above the E Stage usually have a better understanding of the laws behind these techniques. Those big dojos are all the same. Strength like your Second Senior Brother’s can be placed at the medium to upper class anywhere."
"Those who achieve higher stages are usually stronger when it comes to special Secret Methods. For example, I know about a type of Secret Method that could instantly accelerate and achieve unmatchable speed for the user. Combine that ability with a sharp weapon and a high-quality killer secret technique is created. Different techniques have different effects based on different environments and the influences around them. In our White Cloud Dojo, we were enlightened with the Mammoth Secret Technique from the inspiration of the mammoth."
Garen knew that his real abilities were nothing before his master and his Senior Brothers and Sister. Everyone here was considered to be great figures within the martial arts community. Although Garen did not know how they would fare in real battles, regular people could not kill his seniors even if they had guns, unless they attacked vital areas.
Fortunately, his master and Senior Disciples did not even consider the fact that he had already advanced the White Cloud Secret Arts to the second stage. If he could reach stage three, then he could improve his strength attribute again.
None of this was actually important. From the Senior Disciple’s conversations, Garen learned that the White Cloud Secret Arts was used to enhance strength. With every increase in level, it could forcefully improve the strength attribute. However, the end result was already determined at birth.
The higher a person’s natural talent was, the greater the increase in strength, and the stronger the total strength.
Second Senior Brother was a perfect example of this. He was born strong and trained the White Cloud Secret Arts to a high level. Coupled with the Mammoth Secret Technique, his strength grew to a frighteningly powerful level.
The key point was that Garen’s strength attribute could be improved infinitely by his special ability. Therefore, he could reach the same level as his Second Senior Brother despite his lack of natural talent.
Compared to Elder Senior Sister’s style of hitting the vital points of the opponent, Garen was leaning more toward Second Senior Brother’s straightforward style of being holistically trained. With this method, there would be no vital weakness. No matter how critical the situation becomes, his fighting style could face it easily and effectively.
Even now, Garen’s heart was actually still filled with fear and insecurity toward this world. These emotions, along with his crazy passion for martial arts, made him more than willing to devote all his energy into training.