Fighting God Chapter 14: Training – Fist of the Elusive Mole Part 2
And so, Aldred began conditioning his body in order to fully utilize the Fist of the Elusive Mole. There were many methods to temper and condition the body, but it all came down to which body parts were important and which training methods benefited the most for the Fist Technique. Naturally, one wouldn’t train their legs for a fist technique and vice versa. So, what was needed for the new Fist Technique that Aldred was striving to perfect? Well, it was a known fact that moles depended a lot on their powerful claws – they needed them for digging and for fending off against predators and other moles – as well as their speed which they needed in order to evade attacks and travel quickly underground.
Thus, Aldred began training his hands, wrists, and especially his fingers. There were two parts that he needed to train for – the first was the strength of his hands, wrists, and fingers and the second was the speed of the movements of his arms and hands. He needed strength in order to dig through earth, sand, and rocks as well as for defense and attack. He needed speed in order to quickly maneuver in the ground as well as on the surface. So, in order for Aldred to train these two aspects, he devised a few plans.
There was an age old method for tempering and conditioning one’s hands, wrists, and fingers – the old sand in the bucket method. However, Aldred did not believe his hands could initially handle the roughness of the sand. So, he decided to start easy…with water. Filling a barrel with water, he positioned himself near the opening of the barrel. Bending his knees so that he was in a horse stance, he began thrusting his open-palmed hands and into the water over and over again. After one or two hours of continuous thrusting, he could feel the fruits of the training. His wrists, fingers, and palms felt sore but that’s just how the body signals to the brain that the affected parts were being strengthened.
Next, he took a break from body training and started cultivating the Earth God Cultivation Technique. He started meditating and absorbing the Qi from the soil. He regulated his breathing with each absorption of Qi and visualized how the Qi was being absorbed and circulated within his body. After about an hour of this, he stretched his muscles by doing stances and basic movements. Then, Aldred started doing some push-ups as well as pull-ups. Starting easy, he would only attempt to finish twenty of each. Naturally, the repetitions increased by 20 after each week. Afterwards, he would clench and unclench his fists a few hundred times. All this in a morning’s worth of training.
During the afternoon, he’ll continue his training by doing some more stances and basic movements before starting on some speed- and stamina-increasing exercises…in other words, he started running. First, he would sprint a couple of short distances for about 100 repetitions. Then, he would add weights of around 10 kilograms to his body and started long-distance running for an hour or so. After completing these exercises, he would meditate to regain some energy and decrease fatigue. Then, he would begin training the speed of his arms, wrists, and fingers.
Aldred used another age old method to train the speed of his arms, wrists, and fingers – the boiling water method. Taking out a pot of water and bringing it to a boil, he dropped a few pieces of metal into the boiling water. Then, he quickly snatched the pieces out of the pot. Obviously, it was initially hard to even take one piece of metal out without feeling the pain of scalding water. But with practice and time, Aldred was able to take all the pieces of metal out of the boiling water without hurting himself.
This training goes on for a month before he increased the level of difficulty. This time, instead of using water for the strength training, he used a bucket of millet. He would thrust his hands all the way into the millet and out over and over again for an hour. The initial few hundred thrusts were the most painful. For a body that had never experienced such tempering, it was natural for the skin of the hands to tear away and leave a bloody mess. Gritting through the pain, he would continue training. But this time, he would only thrust his fingers in for an hour. Afterwards, he would grab handfuls of millet over and over again.
The cultivation continues as normal. However, push-ups and pull-ups increased in difficulty as well. Push-ups went from hand push-ups to five-finger push-ups. Pull-ups changed into pulling on a rope up a tree. Nothing much changed with the speed training for the arms, wrists, and fingers – he still used boiling water…but instead of clear water, he used murky water so that it would be harder to locate the metal pieces.
After a month of using millet, he switched to sand. The training was the same as with the millet. Five-finger push-ups became four-finger push-ups. Pulling on a rope up a tree became pulling a rope up a mountain. Hot murky water became hot ash. Weights for running increased as well. With each passing month, the four-finger push-ups became three-finger…two-finger…and finally one-finger push-ups. Pulling on a rope up a mountain became mountain climbing using both legs and hands, which became mountain climbing using only hands. The barrel of sand became a barrel of mud….a barrel of earth… a barrel of rocks…a barrel of crystal and metal ores. The hot ash switches to hot coal and then fire. Weights for running kept increasing until it reached 70 kilograms. The training started in the beginning of winter and finally ended at the beginning of autumn of the next year.
After so many months of training, he had tempered, conditioned, and strengthened his hands, wrists, and fingers so much that he could pierce through solid rock like butter. He could run hard all day without breaking a sweat. He could run very fast as well and the speed of his arms were blurrily fast. His arms were strengthened to a degree that he could climb up mountains with ease.
During these types of training, Aldred did not forget to cultivate the Earth God Cultivation Technique and after a few months of cultivation, he was finally able to break through to the Qi Forming Stage. Now, Aldred can generate his own Qi. Forming one’s Qi was also a form of body refining and tempering. Qi was energy and energy was needed to power the movements of one’s body as well as toughen the natural defenses of the body. By having the ability to generate Qi, Aldred can generate energy and thus have the necessary amount of power he needed to execute certain movements and attacks. After a year’s worth of cultivation, Aldred had made a few more breakthroughs and was able to become Qi Forming 3rd Stage.
Aldred needed one more breakthrough in order to become Core Condensing Stage. At Core Condensing, he will be able to condense all the Qi he had gathered into a ball-shaped gassy-like Qi cluster. This cluster, after solidifying, will be shaped into a core…a dantian of some shape. The shape of the dantian will depend on his inner self. Once his core was formed, he would be able to envelop certain parts of his body with Qi…something like Qi armor In addition, he would be able to envelop objects he was holding with Qi as well, for instance enveloping Qi on a sword to make it sharper. With this goal in mind, Aldred continuing training.
During the days of his training, he was able to clear and calm his mind. He did a lot of thinking…some things just didn’t make sense. Why was Big Sis Caroline at the house so early? Didn’t she take Pammy to the city? By carriage, for a round trip, it would still take at least a day of traveling. If she saw Tristan travel to the direction of the cave…then, that would mean she was already back at the house! Less than two hours had passed since Tristan left the study room! This…was suspicious. Also…why were there blood and grime on the heel of Tristan’s shoe? It…it’s as if Tristan…was dragged…. Also, where’s the grime? When he ran towards the cave, there was no grime anywhere on the ground. If the beast was truly sealed…why would Tristan’s shoe be so far away from the cave? If the beast was truly sealed deep inside the cave, how would we be able to see Tristan’s arm near the entrance of the cave? How did Uncle Ralph and Big Sis Caroline discover the body so fast? In fact…why was the body in a bundle? Both Uncle Ralph and Big Sis Caroline didn’t bring any cloth-like material into the cave…. This…it can’t be….
Aldred made a conclusion…but he didn’t have any hard evidence. He can’t just accuse Big Sis Caroline and Uncle Ralph or warn the other kids since the kids all adore them. If it was between them and him, the kids would trust them. There’s only one way to find out…he needed to go to the cave and see for himself whether the beast really killed Tristan or not. The next day, he got up early and headed towards the cave on the pretense that he was going to the river to wash clothes.
A year ago….
“You were too careless.” Uncle Ralph reproached.
“No worries, the kids don’t suspect a thing.” Big Sis Caroline replied.
“Hmph! I won’t be so sure. The drastic measures you took were too contradicting. Why would you leave the arm out near the entrance of the cave? Why would there be a shoe out there as well?”
“I was in a hurry when the shoe fell off. And who knew the arm would crumble so easily.”
“Hmph! You’re lucky the kids were stupid. If they could put two and two together, our plans would be exposed immediately.”
“Ha! Even if they found out, so what? With our ranks, we can just kill them off, no trouble at all.”
“You’re right…let’s just hope so.”