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The next morning, to Zen's surprise, no guard appeared to dress and escort him to the Martial Arts Hall. Since the beating process was crucial to his refinement as a mysterious weapon, Zen dressed and walked to the Hall.

As he marched, Zen thought over the disturbing behavior of his two uncles and their sons. They seemed to be defying the rules of the Luo Clan. Especially Perrin and Andrew never cared about the family rules. Perhaps this was the reason why some servants in the Luo Clan had dared to become arrogant and haughty.

However, even if others disregarded the rules set by the Luo Clan, it didn't mean Zen would ignore the values he grew up with. It also did not mean that others should expect Zen to look the other way if they openly flaunted the Luo Clan's rules. He was not pedantic, but Zen did have morals and values that he respected.

When Zen reached the Hall, he noticed that the atmosphere was somewhat different from usual.

By now word had spread that Zen had beaten Darren and Grey the previous day.

Two years ago, Zen had become a convicted person after false allegations were levied against him and his family. He then became a slave for the Luo Clan.

Like other convicted slaves, he was made to work as a human punchbag in the Martial Arts Hall. He always stayed indifferent to violence. No matter how much the Luo children attacked and beat him, he endured, let go of his anger, and remained quiet, as if he were a docile sheep.

People had forgotten that Zen was the young master of the Luo Clan. They had also forgotten his strength. He was one of the youngest to reach the flesh refining level.

After the previous day's incident, the children realized that Zen would not always tolerate everything that came his way. The children could assault him without repercussion as they were members of the Luo Clan.

Other people who were not part of the Clan were not going to get away with treating Zen however they chose.

Because of this, the Luo children now began looking at Zen with respect. When the trainer, Corey, asked the Luo children to pick their punchbags, no one dared to select Zen. This came as a surprise to Zen. He knew how important this beating was to the refining process, and he had been looking forward to being beaten today.

Zen smiled bitterly.

What he needed was to exercise and refine his body, but when the Luo children didn't select him as their punchbag, Zen found himself in a dilemma.

He could not ask the children to beat him. Being a punchbag was not a fun job, and it would seem very odd for a punchbag to invite a beating. He could not reveal why he needed to be beaten either.

Once all the punchbags had been selected, Zen found that he was the only one left in the corner of the Martial Arts Hall. Zen was very unhappy indeed. The Luo children should not be so frightened!

He walked toward Melvin Luo who was practicing with a stone man and said, "Melvin, what good is it to fight with a stone man? I'll help you practice."

"Well..." Melvin said with a frown. After his last encounter with Zen, and having heard about the beating Zen gave to Grey and Darren, Melvin wasn't so sure that he wanted to get into a fight with the former young master.

"I am a punchbag. It is my duty to help you practice! Don't worry, my leather is thick. It can protect me." Zen patted his chest as he spoke.

After hearing what Zen said, Melvin felt embarrassed. What would people say about Melvin if he were to refuse beating a punchbag? The Luo children who practiced daily were supposed to be stronger, meaner, and more resilient than the punchbags who were battered and bruised daily. Would he look weak?

Would the other children make fun of him? Could he risk angering Zen and getting a beating similar to Darren and Grey?

Regardless of what the others would say, Melvin still felt worried. He wasn't as strong as before. If he could get 100 marks because of his strength earlier, now he could only get 50 or 60 marks.

Melvin shrugged as he accepted Zen's offer. He couldn't possibly look bad in front of the other children. Once the practice started, Zen realized why Melvin had hesitated. The strength with which Melvin was hitting Zen was insufficient to refine his body. The effect this beating had on his body was not the same as the last time when Melvin had beaten Zen. This dissatisfied Zen.

"More Strength! Hit hard right here!

Your fist is too slow. What are you worried about?

Now that is much better, but it is still not as good as yesterday."

Seeing a punchbag tutoring a Luo child was unusual indeed. It was also rare to see a punchbag asking to be beaten harder. A group of children in the Martial Arts Hall were astonished by what they were witnessing. Their mouths hung open as they watched the practice session between Zen and Melvin. They could not guess what Zen was thinking.
However, Melvin didn't pay attention to the other children. At first, he was upset with what Zen was saying. He felt as though Zen was taunting him. However, when Melvin noticed that he was slowly becoming better, he put aside his anger and focused. His limbs felt more comfortable now, and his power seemed to have returned to normal level.




The power of Melvin's fist passed from Zen's chest to his inner flesh. Zen fell to the floor and thrashed in agony until the warmth began flowing through his body. As this continued, Zen felt the impurities in his bones being refined, like reeling silk from cocoons.

Each punch purified his bones. With an increase in his bone strength, Zen could feel that he was getting tougher.

Melvin's punches were like a Magical Pill for Zen's body. The joy of this qualitative change could not be described with words. After each punch, Zen remembered to feign being in agony. Pain showed on his face, but secretly, he rejoiced in the refinement that his body was undergoing. It took all of his will power to stop from shouting 'let your fists hit me more violently!'

Zen smiled as the guards went to refill the copper pot. The copper pot was used to keep track of time. The pot had a small opening from which water would trickle out. It took an hour for the pot to get empty. Zen had been eagerly counting how many times the guards had refilled it. Since the pot had been refilled three times, it meant that three hours had passed.

The thought brought joy to Zen as it meant that the Luo servants would be bringing food, both for the children and their punchbags. Usually, Zen like all other punchbags was unhappy as the Luo children were served delicious delicacies, while the punchbags got cold water and hard bread.

This time, however, Zen was too hungry to care about the food. After three hours of refining and practicing, he was very starving. Since the refinement process used a lot of physical energy, he didn't care that the food was unpalatable. Zen grabbed the bread and was about to stuff it into his mouth when he was interrupted.

A porcelain basin full of exquisite and fragrant meat suddenly appeared in front of Zen.

When he looked up, Zen was surprised to see that Melvin was standing before him. "Let's eat together," Melvin said as he handed his rice bowl to Zen.

Instead of refusing, Zen smiled gratefully and grabbed a handful of meat.

"You beat Grey. Young Master Andrew will get you into trouble for that," Melvin whispered.

Zen gobbled his food. Since he was a punchbag, he didn't get good food. It had been a while since anyone offered him delicious meat. While chewing, Zen nodded. He knew that Melvin was simply reminding him of what was going to happen.

After all, he was the former young master of the Luo Clan, and so he knew these rules better than anyone else.


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