The Human Emperor - Chapter 156: Bone Perceiving!
The Demonic Emperor Old Man had an eccentric and callous personality, and he had no qualms about claiming a person’s life. Wang Chong had sensed this quality in him back at Zhou Ji Charcoal Wine Brewery.
If he wasn’t from a demon of the unorthodox, it would impossible for him to emanate such a malevolent aura.
Even so, Wang Chong realized that there was another side to the Demonic Emperor Old Man.
While it was true that he had a skeptical personality, once one manages to earn his trust, he would let drop his guard and treat one as his confidant.
If not for this earnest personality of his, he wouldn’t have felt so indignant and furious at the betrayal of his disciple.
If being skeptical was his nature, he trusted no one at all and was wary of everyone, he wouldn’t have been so agitated by that matter.
“To think that he would accept me as his disciple so quickly!”
Wang Chong was caught by surprise.
Logically speaking, he should have been traumatized by the betrayal of his disciple, and it wouldn’t be bizarre if he refused to take in any disciples from then on.
As such, for this operation, Wang Chong was prepared for a long battle.
Yet, the actions of the Demonic Emperor Old Man caught Wang Chong off guard.
Wang Chong guessed that it might be due to him saving the other party’s life. As his benefactor, it wasn’t too surprising for the Demonic Emperor Old Man to regard him differently.
Wang Chong also suspected that it might be because he belonged to the government instead of the pugilistic world. This probably made the Demonic Emperor Old Man subconsciously feel that he was different from that unfilial disciple of his.
On top of that, the Demonic Emperor Old Man also craved for vengeance. Perhaps, it was due to his wish to borrow Wang Chong’s strength to get back at his unfilial disciple that he chose to make an exception and take Wang Chong in as his disciple!
“Disciple. Remember, my name is Zhang Wenfu. I might be powerless now, and my cultivation is only at Origin Energy realm, but before I was backstabbed by that bastard and his colluders, I was a Saint Martial realm expert, one that had a chance at reaching God Martial realm. Of the entire world, there was only a handful who were capable of rivaling me!”
Even though the Demonic Emperor Old Man had taken Wang Chong in as disciple, he seemed to fear that his own disciple was oblivious to his brilliant history and would underestimate him as a result of that, so he hurriedly filled him in on the details.
“In the pugilistic world, there’s no one who wouldn’t tremble upon hearing my name. None of those sect elders and leaders dare to speak of me, needless to say, the others.”
When talking about his previous glory, a hint of pride glowed on the Demonic Emperor Old Man’s face, and unknowingly, the disposition of a conqueror shrouded him.
Even Wang Chong couldn’t help but shudder before it.
The heaven-swallowing ocean-billowing imposing aura that the Demonic Emperor Old Man exuded flowed out naturally. To be capable of harnessing such powerful disposition despite his weakened state, it was hard to imagine how powerful he was when he was at his peak.
“Right, you still don’t know my title, do you?”
“Demonic Emperor Old Man!”
Wang Chong nearly replied instinctively upon hearing this question. Not only did he know the other party’s title, he knew quite a bit about his background as well.
However, it was fortunate that he bit his tongue to stop himself from speaking on time. Otherwise, he would be in deep trouble.
“My title is Demon… Sigh, you should just call me Demonic Emperor Old Man!”
Halfway through his words, the Demonic Emperor Old Man seemed to have thought of something, and he sighed deeply, changing his mind. This time, Wang Chong was truly astonished.
“The Demonic Emperor Old Man isn’t his true title!”
Wang Chong didn’t expect this.
All along, he thought that the Demonic Emperor Old Man was his official title. From the look of it, that wasn’t the case at all. The Demonic Emperor Old Man was just a random name that he came up with on the spot.
As though to sever his past from him.
“Disciple, I’ll ask you a question now, and you’ve to answer it seriously.”
The Demonic Emperor Old Man stared at Wang Chong with a grave expression.
“Teacher, feel free to speak.”
Wang Chong was taken aback. Even though he didn’t know what the Demonic Emperor Old Man was up to, he replied immediately.
“Disciple, if I were to impart you a set of demonic arts despised by the world, will you still be willing to learn it?”
His face was extremely grim when he spoke those words.
In an instant, the atmosphere in the room grew heavy, as though it was laced with lead.
“I’m willing to learn!”
After contemplating seriously for a moment, Wang Chong replied.
“What if it’s the kind of demonic art that leaves heaps of corpses in its wake?”
The Demonic Emperor Old Man asked once more.
“I’m still willing to learn!”
Wang Chong replied without any hesitation. The 《Great Yinyang Heaven Creation Art》 was a skill that absorbed the energy of another. It was a skill that stole from the creations of the heaven, and it was definitely one of the most malevolent techniques among the demonic arts.
“Even if you’ll be despised as a demon and criticized for turning to the malevolent ways, are you still willing to learn it?”
At which, the face of the Demonic Emperor Old Man turned cold and austere as though a wintry night.
As though Wang Chong had said something wrong.
“Hahaha, teacher, are you jesting? Humans can be classified as righteous and evil, but can the same be applied to martial arts? If it is used for righteous purposes, then it would be righteous. If it is used for depraved purposes, then it would be malevolent. If one cultivates orthodox martial arts and commit depraved acts, is he not considered as evil?”
At this moment, Wang Chong straightened his back and chuckled.
The Demonic Emperor Old Man stared fixedly at Wang Chong with a sharp gaze, seemingly trying to peer into him to see if he truly meant his words.
Wang Chong knew what the Demonic Emperor Old Man was thinking of.
Normally, even if one didn’t hold any qualms toward demonic arts, one wouldn’t speak of it as casually as Wang Chong did. After all, the horrid reputation of demonic arts was too deeply etched in society.
However, Wang Chong truly didn’t harbor such thoughts.
What orthodox and unorthodox martial arts? In the end, it was just the classification created by self-righteous men! In the future, when the catastrophe struck, the beacon of war would strike the entire world. Not a single person would be spared.
In the end, everyone was just ashes beneath the hoofs of the steel cavalries. Would one be spared just because he cultivated orthodox martial arts?
Furthermore, during the catastrophe, a Martial Arts Fusion Conference was held, and everyone offered up their own martial arts. Of which, quite a sizeable amount was demonic arts.
Thus, Wang Chong truly held no qualms toward the unorthodox and demonic arts.
Martial arts couldn’t be classified by orthodox or unorthodox, what was righteous and evil were the hearts of the humans!
Wang Chong met the eyes of the Demonic Emperor Old Man.
Time seemed to have stopped as the elder and the youngster stared at one another silently.
Looking at the youngster before him, profound emotions welled up within the Demonic Emperor Old Man. He had met all kinds of people in his long life. There were some who spoke arrogantly, only to be empty inside. There were some who declared confidently, only to be trembling within. There were some who said that they didn’t mind the unorthodox ways, only to not mean what they said…
Even that unfilial disciple of his also claimed that he didn’t mind demonic arts at the very start, but on the inside, the Demonic Emperor Old Man could see that he was panicking.
But Wang Chong…
This was the first time he saw someone who truly held such beliefs, a person who didn’t bear the slightest prejudice toward the unorthodox ways.
A person who believed that there were no unorthodox or orthodox to martial arts, only righteous and evil people!
He had never felt this way before, and this caused him to fall into a daze.
“To think that I would find a person who truly bore no prejudice toward demonic ways in my later years!”
Words couldn’t begin to describe the emotions the Demonic Emperor Old Man was going through.
All along, he had been looking for a successor with such beliefs. However, all he met with was disappointment time and time again. Even the disciples that he picked carefully turned out to be hypocrites who put on a false front before him.
In the end, the Demonic Emperor Old Man despaired, and reality forced him to give up.
To think that after being backstabbed by his disciple, when he was in his worst state, he would find the disciple he had been searching for.
“This is truly heaven’s will!”
The sharp edge in his gaze dulled, and his eyes gradually grew gentler.
The Demonic Emperor Old Man realized that he might have just found the disciple he was the most satisfied with.
“Now, shall I see how your talent is?”
Gazing at Wang Chong, the Demonic Emperor Old Man thought.
A hand darted as though a flash of lightning from the sleeves of the Demonic Emperor Old Man. Before Wang Chong could react, his hands had already slid around Wang Chong’s wrist.
Wang Chong was astonished.
The Demonic Emperor Old Man’s skill was truly shocking. Even though he had fallen to Origin Energy realm, Wang Chong realized that he had no way of escaping from the other party at all.
Thinking about it, this was the third time the Demonic Emperor Old Man had made a move on him.
But soon, Wang Chong realized that the Demonic Emperor Old Man didn’t harbor any malicious intentions. His hands slid around the place and pinched on Wang Chong’s bones and joints.
Wang Chong wasn’t foreign to this technique. Back then, in his previous life, the other elders also used it on him.
This was known as the ‘Bone Perceiving Technique’, and it was used to test one’s root bone.
Wang Chong sat quietly, allowing the Demonic Emperor Old Man to slowly perceive his bones.
The first thing one had to do when accepting a disciple was to perceive one’s disciple’s root bone. This technique had been passed down from generation to generation over a very long period of time, and the Demonic Emperor Old Man was well-versed with it.
Only after one’s root bone was perceived could one’s teacher choose a suitable martial art for one to learn. Otherwise, being too over ambitious could potentially ruin a person.
As soon as his palm touched Wang Chong, the Demonic Emperor Old Man was taken aback.
To think that a fifteen-year-old boy would have reached Tiger Bone, this was something inconceivable.
“Wait! This isn’t just Tiger Bone 1-dan, but Tiger Bone 3-dan, the highest level of Tiger Bone!”
The more the Demonic Emperor Old Man perceived, the more shocked he became.
As a mere Origin Energy realm cultivator, Wang Chong wasn’t particularly strong. However, his root bone was so good that it could scare people to death.
It was common knowledge that it was the most difficult to raise the level of one’s root bone.
But for some reason, Wang Chong still managed to achieve Tiger Bone 3-dan at such a young age.
“No, that’s not just it. There are signs of a dragon!”
The shock the Demonic Emperor Old Man felt only continued to deepen. Initially, he thought that it was just an ordinary Tiger Bone, but when he started touching Wang Chong’s heel, he could feel a vague majesty of a dragon hidden within his bones.
‘Dragon Imbued Tiger Bone’! This meant that Tiger Bone wasn’t Wang Chong’s limit. The signs of a dragon meant that Wang Chong had the potential to push through the final barrier and reach Dragon Bone!
In other words, he possessed unparalleled talent!
With such talents, one was eligible to cultivate more than 99% of the different martial arts in the pugilistic world without worry. The Demonic Emperor Old Man didn’t expect that the offspring of a clan of generals would actually possess Dragon Imbued Tiger Bone!
In that moment, the Demonic Emperor Old Man was dumbstruck.
Just as he had lost everything, the disciple he casually accepted turned out to be overflowing with talent, possessing the top-quality root bone that didn’t even appear one in ten thousand!
None of his three previous disciples possessed such talents.
Not to mention, Wang Chong was only a fifteen-year-old child!
This meant that his bone was still malleable, and endless potential lay within his body.
“Inconceivable! Truly inconceivable! …”
The Demonic Emperor Old Man was completely stunned.
This was truly a godsent opportunity!
These sects usually cultivate and live for ‘justice’. Orthodox martial arts usually promote getting stronger by one’s hard work.
Unorthodox martial arts = demonic arts.
However, unorthodox didn’t necessarily just refer to demonic arts. It refer to those who don’t conform to social norms, those who are ‘outcast’ either voluntarily or forced out of society due to their ways.
Such sects usually learn demonic arts (i.e. drinking of blood to boost one’s strength etc). Demonic arts are usually ‘shortcuts’ to getting stronger. Take for example the Great Yinyang Heaven Creation Art, it allows the user to consume the energy of others to strengthen himself.
Members of unorthodox sects tend to be stereotyped as bloodthirsty and callous.
However, in many works, this line is blurred, especially in Jin Yong’s work.