Nangong Han was an old man in the sanctuary. He had endured many trials in his time there, and his Shadow Punch was no joke.
Now, he was more shocked than he had ever been. Through the years, he had never been put in such an awkward position.
Despite what everyone thought, Nangong Han was indeed trying to use Shadow Punch. When Han Sen sought to block the shadow fist, Nangong Han would strike with his otherthat was his plan.
There was no need to hit Han Sen hard, as even the lightest jab would weaken his image and the respect he was given as a tutor. If he could tarnish Han Sen's reputation in such a way, Nangong Han hoped that Han Sen would be seen as an ignorant young man, too big for his breeches.
But when Nangong Han sought to create the shadow fist, something strange occurred. His fist did not work correctly.
At first, he believed he had let the excitement get to him, and that was why he missed. So, he tried to recalibrate his focus and deliver the punch again. But for some strange reason, he could not conjure the shadow fist at all. It was as if his actual fist was being magnetized towards Han Sen.
Nangong Han secretly opened a few of his gene locks to increase his power output.
But it didn't make any difference, and that realization soon robbed him of the snark with which he had invited Han Sen on stage. Against Han Sen, his Shadow Punch was useless. Its effectiveness had magically disappeared.
Nangong Han's fist still went up against Han Sen with the speed of thunder, but it was a far cry from what was supposed to occur. But for the uneducated audience, it was quite the spectacle. Rapid, maniacal fists blurred towards Han Sen, but he was able to block each one.
The other tutors of Martial Hall knew more of Nangong Han's capabilities, and they believed he was just being a coward. They thought he genuinely wanted to co-operate with Han Sen and get in his good books, rather than attempt to humiliate him.
Even Qin Xuan believed Nangong Han was playing nice. Otherwise, she reasoned, things wouldn't be going so smoothly.
No one else knew how Nangong Han was truly feeling, and the shock of this turn of events was starting to make him panic. Sweat started to form across his forehead.
He now wanted to stop attacking, but it was like he had been possessed. Nangong Han's fists had minds of their own, and they wouldn't stop coming towards Han Sen.
Nangong Han was looking at the young man on stage with horror, as if he was the Ghost of Christmas Past.
Understandably, Han Sen was feeling quite different. Han Sen was actually having fun. He was using Bao'er's energy flow to draw Nangong Han's fists to where he wanted them and feign a proper block. But Bao'er's energy flow was wild and uncontrollable, even for Han Sen. He had only planned to use it when he truly needed it, but now, the old tutor's fists were coming at him as if the stage was on fire.
Nangong Han's strength was not in raw force, but in speed and the shadow that veiled his moves. Still, he had four open gene locks, and even that was not enough to withstand the insane suction that suckered him in.
Although this trick did not deal damage to his enemies, Han Sen was glad he had this power. It could affect the way others moved, and therefore it was quite the gamechanger.
If Han Sen used this technique during key moments of battle, it could entirely change the course of a fight and give him the leg-up he needed to overcome powerful foes.
Han Sen had once tried the gourd's suction before, but after Bao'er was born, its strength had most certainly increased.
"Um, I thank you for your... co-operation. That is exactly how one must defend against incoming attacks." Nangong Han's hands suddenly dropped to his sides, and he did his best to maintain his composure and not reveal a hint of what had occurred to him.
Seeing Han Sen bow to him, Nangong Han was at least grateful that the young man had not tried to embarrass him on stage or reveal to the audience what had transpired.
Nangong Han went on to finish the rest of the lesson, but when it was over, he could hardly recall what he had talked about.
When Nangong Han returned to his friends from Martial Hall, they looked at him with great disdain. They all thought he was a coward.
Nangong Han wished to explain what had occurred, but he could not put it into words.
Han Sen had only become a surpasser recently, and there was no way he already had what it took to defeat Nangong Han.
If he told them that Han Sen was controlling his movements, they'd think he was lying.
"Tutor Nangong, the lesson was nice." Han Sen's voice rang out to him from nearby, and when he turned, he saw Qin Xuan and Han Sen approaching.
Nangong Han felt like collapsing to his knees and crying his eyes out. The tutors that were with him were looking at him as if he was a traitor.
"Tutor Nangong's lesson was truly amazing. I'll be eagerly anticipating the next," Qin Xuan said.
The tutors from Martial Hall continued to stare at Nangong Han, silently fuming with anger. They believed he had betrayed them.
"I didn't do anything wrong!" Nangong Han exclaimed in his heart, but try as he might, he could not spit out the words.
"Tutor Nangong, when I take the stage for a lesson of my own, I hope you can help me out, as well." Han Sen smiled at him, which only made Nangong Han's face distort even more. The old tutor wanted nothing more than to run away.