Book 2 Chapter 11: The Spear Skills of Teng Qingshan
Teng Yongfan also spoke with a hint of frustration: “Qingshan, the spear is the hardest weapon to master, so why are you being so stubborn?”
Teng Qingshan smiled and said, “Ever since I was very little, I had felt envious whenever I watched the uncles practicing spear techniques in the raining field, so I would use a stick as a spear to practice whenever my parents weren’t home. In this manner, I have been practicing for two to three years. I really like using the long spear, and I think that my current mastery of spear techniques is as good as the uncles’.”
Everyone in the house laughed when they saw the expression on Teng Qingshan’s face.
Can the words of a child be taken seriously?
“Haha……Qingshan, little ones shouldn’t learn how to boast.” Teng Yongxiang laughed as he spoke, “All your uncles have been practicing the art of the spear for more than ten years and has a good grounding. How can you, a child, compare with them? Although the men of the Teng Jia Village are not masters, everyone of them has practiced for ten or twenty years and should not be underestimated.”
Teng Yongfan, who was at the older generation’s side, laughed and said ”I see how it is. So this is why your mother says that you always stay home alone and lock the courtyard door. You were practicing the Spear Arts. You didn’t tell us because you were afraid that we might make fun of you, right?”
Children usually loved to play, but Teng Qingshan had always shut himself away in the house yard. This had already attracted the attention of the couple, Teng Yongfan and Yuan Lan.
However, they didn’t say anything.
“If you guys don’t believe me, I will show you my spear skills.” Teng Qingshan said. He had no other way. This was his only option if he wanted the village elders to let him stay at Teng Jia Village, even if learning the Spear Arts was just an excuse. To be honest, he had always practiced the Xing Yi Martial Arts at home and had never practiced the Spear Arts.
“Alright. Let us see how good you are!” Teng Yunlong says with a laugh, “Let’s go to the weapons’ warehouse.”
The group of people left Teng Qingshan’s residence.
The weapons’ warehouse was a big house built out of azurestone. It was nearly seven meters high, thirteen meters wide, and thirty-three meters long.
“Chief!” Several clansmen were guarding the door of the weapons’ warehouse.
“Open the door.” Teng Yunlong said.
The two big gates opened with a thundering sound. Teng Yunlong smiled at Teng Qingshan and said, “Little Qingshan, go choose the spear that you like the most first. I would like to see the extent of your abilities.” With this, Teng Yunlong and the others entered the warehouse.
“Wow!” Teng Qingyu, who was in Yuan Lan’s arms, exclaimed and looked around in surprise.
The warehouse ground was covered with azurestone, and there were various different weapons hung on the walls such as axes, maces, hacking knives, bows, swords…. but most of the space was occupied with long sticks! The long and short sticks made from wood or iron were placed by the wall, but the weird thing was——
There were no long spears at all.
However, in the depth of the weapons warehouse, there were many big iron chests, each of them about a foot long, too small to store a long spear.
“Where are the spears?” Confused, Teng Qingshan looked at his grandpa.
“Aren’t those the spears?” Teng Yunlong pointed at the long sticks and laughed. “Qingshan, these long sticks are the shafts of the spears, while the tips of the spears are kept in the iron boxes carefully. You go to choose a spear shaft, and I will choose a spearhead for you.
Teng Qingshan understood and started choosing a spear shaft.
“Qingshan is too short and all of these shafts are too long.” Teng Yongfan frowned. A six year-old kid practicing with the long spear? The village doesn’t have a spear that short.
“Qingshan, you don’t have enough strength now, so you’d better choose a soft wooden one.” Teng Yongfan instructed. ”Among the wooden long spears, the cork spear shaft is the lightest one. It weighs only five or six Jin after adding the spearhead, which can be maneuvered with your strength.” He paused. “Qingshan, why did you choose that one. That spear shaft is made of green zhennan wood, the heaviest kind. You won’t be able to use it.”
The shafts in the Teng Jia Village Warehouse were mainly divided into three kinds: green zhennan wood, white ashwood, and corkwood. These three kinds of wood were suitable for making the shaft of a spear. Out of the three, cork was the lightest, followed by white ashwood, and lastly green zhennan wood, the heaviest wood. Of course, green zhennan’s qualities made it the best kind of wood.
It’s tenacity and elasticity was unbeatable, and the shaft of a spear made from green zhennan wood could withstand a great deal of strength. A good green zhennan tree usually grew for more than fifty years.
Fortunately, Teng Jia Village was on a mountain, so they were able find such useful materials quite easily.
“I will choose this one!” Teng Qingshan held a green zhennan stick in his hands and asked, “Grandfather, please help me find a spearhead to match this shaft.”
“All together, this shaft along with the spearhead will weigh a total of fifteen or sixteen Jin…” Teng Yunlong was a bit worried, ”To maneuver a fifteen or sixteen Jin Zhennan spear skillfully, I’m afraid the strength you currently possess is not enough.” In his opinion although his grandson had the strength to lift a hundred Jin, it was still difficult to freely maneuver a fifteen or sixteen Jin spear.
“Grandfather please help me to find spearhead.” Teng Qingshan requested again.
“Fine, you will give up your idea once you give it a try.” Teng Yunlong looked at the mark on the spear stem, opened an iron box and fished out a spearhead. Teng Qingshan glanced at it. This spearhead had the shape of a buckwheat leaf*. It had a long length, a thin blade, and a sharp head. The spearhead even had a blood groove that would make a deep hole if it was penetrated into someone’s body.
(TLN: buckwheat plants have leaves that look like arrowheads)
There was a red tassel attached under the spearhead as well.
Teng Qingshan nodded involuntarily as he thought, “This flat spearhead can be used to stab, hack and scrape. The blood groove can prevent muscles from gripping the spearhead when it pierced into the body. The red tassel can protect the spear shaft from bloodstains and adds some skid resistance.” Teng Qingshan judged that the craftsmanship required to make such a masterpiece would be astonishing.
“Let me help you to attach the spearhead.” said Teng Yunlong and he inserted the stick into the spearhead. He even knocked it on the ground a few times, took several nails from the side of the warehouse, and hammered the nails in.
“Done!” Teng Yunlong smiled as he handed over the long spear to Teng Qingshan and said, “This green zhennan spear is fifteen Jin and about seven Chi long. Qingshan, are you sure you can use it?”
Compared to the height of the child, the one meter and seventy-five spear was indeed a little too long for a six year-old kid.
“Just watch and see!” Teng Qingshan couldn’t do anything about it. This spear was a little too long for him, but the other shorter spears were made of cork. Teng Qingshan was too lazy to use such weak spears and so he didn’t want to use them. According to Teng Qingshan’s understanding of his own strength, he would break off the cork stick if he used all of his strength.
“Back off!” Teng Qingshan said.
The group of people immediately dashed towards the other sides. However, all the elders of the village had a smile on their face. It was obvious that they were waiting to see this little boy make a fool of himself.
“Hu!” Teng Qingshan swung one of his hand and actually grabbed the handle of the spear shaft. The entire long spear became horizontal.
“Good arm strength!” Teng Yunlong and the group of people stared at him.
To grab the end of the handle of this fifteen Jin spear with one hand and even making the spear shaft perfectly horizontal required great arm strength.
“This little guy hid his ability in the Yearly Sacrifice.” Teng Yunlong and the others thought to themselves.
Using one hand to hold the spear. Teng Qingshan could feel the strength of this spear. After experiencing this feeling for a while, he nodded to himself.
He stretched his left hand, and grasped the middle of the spear, oscillating his right hand while his left hand lifted the spear up. In an instant, this green zhennan spear seemed to possessed a spirit and became like a viper moving in multiple directions. As Teng Qingshan turned around, both of his hands slid down towards the end of the spear. The green zhennan spear revolved easily around Teng Qingshan, hacking forcefully through the air when all of a sudden…
“Bang!” The spear hit the azurestone ground.
Teng Qingshan’s gaze sharpened as he hit the body of the spear with one hand. The long spear instantly became like a bolt of lightning, piercing towards the front with a ‘Sou’ sound. It even produced the howling sound of the air being cut by wind.
‘Grandfather, Father, Third Grandpa……How did I do?” Teng Qingshan averted his eyes from his spear and looked at the group of spectators.
Teng Yunlong, Teng Yongxiang and all the other people were shocked beyond words. They were simply left dumbstruck as shock filled their eyes.
Teng Qingshan maneuvered the spear naturally and smoothly just now. It looked very simple, but Teng Yunlong, Teng Yongxiang, and Teng Yongfan were professionals who had spent years practicing Spear Arts, so they could see that Teng Qingshan’s skills were extraordinary.
Just the sliding of the hands caused Teng Qingshan’s height to no longer be a factor limiting the performance of his green zhennan spear.
Just this sliding maneuver would be impossible without many years of hard work.
Not to mention that the hacking and stabbing variations were very swift and fierce.
“Genius!” Teng Yunlong exclaimed!
“Oh, Heavens!” Teng Yongxiang was utterly shocked.
Strength can be born within the body, but spear techniques needed years of long practice in order to be used perfectly. As the old saying goes, ”You can master a stick in a month’s time, a sword in a year’s time, but to master a spear, you need to spend your whole lifetime.” Just practicing basic skills needed several years; otherwise, you would be a mere greenhorn. Teng Qingshan’s moves looked simple, but they required real effects to be used perfectly.
Everyone there could see it clearly.
“Qingshan, my grandson, you are a genius!” Teng Yunlong stared at Teng Qingshan with glowing eyes as he asked, ”How did you practice this spear technique?!”
“I…I just simply used the wooden stick to practice when I stayed at home. Then I learned it secretly by watching the uncles whenever they practiced at the training field.” Teng Qingshan had already prepared a plausible excuse. Although the spear skill he just showed was powerful, he made sure that its level was similar to his uncles’.
“Learned it secretly? The world really has such a remarkable genius like this.” Teng Yongfan couldn’t helped but sigh in surprise.
Although Teng Qingshan’s spear skills were not as good as Teng Yongfan’s or Teng Yongxiang’s, it almost surpassed the remaining clansmen’s.
“Grandfather, Father, you guys agree to let me practice the spear, right?” Teng Qingshan asked.
“Of course, you are born for the spear!” Teng Yunlong hastily answered. If a six year old kid can possess such mastery over a spear, then this kid was born to use the spear.
Teng Qingshan smiled!
Actually, Spear Arts were a basic skill of Xing Yi Martial Arts. Xing Yi Martial Arts itself was a kind of Spear Fist, whether Bursting Fist, Drilling fist, Horizontal Fist, Cannon fist, or Slashing Fist; all of them contained the spirit of the spear. Practicing the spear to understand the Five Elements Fist was what his teacher Teng Bo Lei had taught him in his previous life.
Although Teng Qingshan hadn’t spent a long time learning spear techniques in his previous life, he became a Grandmaster. When he reached the Grandmaster realm, his mastery of spear techniques also improved greatly. Of course…… Teng Qingshan only showed a bit of his basic skills today.
However, just this tip of the iceberg showed had already caused the elders to exclaimed his talent as a genius.