"Do you know any form of swordsmanship?" Chu Li asked.
"I don't know any swordsmanship, but I really want to learn," Yang Baoshu quickly answered.
Chu Li shook his head. "Swordsmanship is not easy, it's said that training to use the knife takes three years, but swordsmanship takes ten."
"From what I've heard, some people don't take ten years to learn it."
"Then those people didn't master it."
"Is that so Mister, have you mastered it yet?" Yang Baoshu pondered.
"Me ------ ? I'm still far from accomplishing that." Chu Li laughed.
"Then, if I want to learn swordsmanship, can I still do it? Is it too late for that?" Yang Baoshu asked.
"You're eighteen, right? If you train for ten years, you'll still only be twenty-eight, which is not too late." Chu Li signaled him to take a seat before continuing their conversation.
Yang Baoshu immediately perked up and asked, "If that's the case, then will you save me, Mister?"
"My swordsmanship is still lacking, it's just for showboating." Chu Li shook his head as he spoke.
Yang Baoshu looked at the long sword on the table with disappointment.
Even if it was just for show, it was good enough. At least this person was stronger than himself, who knew absolutely nothing about it.
It seemed like Chu Li was not willing to teach him. Because of this, Yang Baoshu figured that would ask his mother to prepare some gifts since gifts were a common way to pay respect to a master whose knowledge you were seeking.
Chu Li lifted his teacup up and took a sip.
Yang Baoshu seemed to have gotten the hint, so he stood up and started to move away. However, his eyes fell upon the long sword on the table again just as he was about to leave.
On the evening of the second day, Yang Baoshu returned with a long piece of wood. He spent quite some time in the courtyard as he worked with the wood, eventually carving it into a long sword, which turned out to have a shape and color similar to that of the Modesty Sword. The craftsmanship involved was indeed impressive.
As usual, Chu Li started practicing wielding the sword under the rays of the setting sun. His movements were slow as he tried to get a feel for it.
Once Chu LI figured out the perfect combination of strikes, the Omniscient Mirror would immediately imprint it in his mind and he could move on to the next move. Unfortunately, wielding the sword felt strange and foreign to him. Chu Li felt as though he was wading through a dense fog, unsure of where to go.
He mentally dug through every single martial arts manual he had ever read his knowledge furiously attacked the fog, doing its best to disperse it.
Despite his frustrations, however, Chu Li did not hurry. If one day was not enough, he would take two days, if two days were insufficient, he would take three - Chu Li knew that as long as he kept trying, he would eventually succeed.
While he was training, Yang Baoshu looked on while smiling. Chu Li acted as though he did not notice him and continued practicing.
At the same time, Yang Baoshu wielded his own wooden sword, doing his best to mimic Chu Li's movements. If nothing else, he was committed.
Yang Baoshu felt that it would not be considered a taboo for his martial arts training since Chu Li was practicing at such a slow-pace.
Unfortunately, Yang Baoshu could not feel even the slightest hint of power in these techniques. He would not even be able to kill a chicken if he really tried to use these moves in public.
Chu Li shut his eyes and focused himself entirely on what he was doing, he did not bother about anything else that was happening around him. Only at the crack of dawn did he finally stop.
Yang Baoshu quickly waved his sword and greeted him the second he noticed him open his eyes. "Mister, what do you think of my sword?"
Chu Li took a glance at it and whistled. "Nice sword!"
Yang Baoshu was elated. "Mister, let me tell you, my craftsmanship has been handed down my family for generations now - you won't find a better one in West Wall Street!"
Chu Li nodded. "That is good craftsmanship."
"Do you want me to make another one for you, Mister? Wooden swords are quite easily broken," Yang Baoshu asked.
"No thanks, I'm good." Chu Li smiled.
"Oh, no worries! If you ever do want one, please let me know. I'll definitely make a better one for you!" Yang Baoshu said while trying to hide his disappointment.
Yang Baoshu screamed abruptly as he fell down from the wall. He landed on the ground with a loud "thud".
"Bastard, now you are even learning how to climb over walls! Why aren't you practicing your fist technique after your meal? I saw you making strokes with a broken sword, are you crazy?!" Yang Baoshu's mother, Zhou Shi scolded him loudly.
Yang Baoshu brushed the mud off his body and frowned at her angrily. "Mother, I'm practicing my swordsmanship!"
"You haven't even finished training your fist technique and you want to practice swordsmanship? Don't you understand you'll have too much on your plate? Get back to training your fist technique properly, don't even think about sleeping if you don't complete twenty repetitions!" Zhou Shi snapped.
"Mother, I've practiced it countless times, the Agile Monkey Fist doesn't work! It doesn't have any powers at all, I can't even win a fight! That's why I want to practice swordsmanship!" Yang Baoshu said without thinking.
"The Agile Monkey Fist doesn't work? You're just incapable! Your father used to practice this fist technique and he eventually became a personal bodyguard who traveled the world. He was so well known, and now you're saying that you can't do it?"
"Alright, alright, I'm incapable. I'll definitely train hard - you said you wanted twenty repetitions, I'll do twenty!" Once Yang Baoshu noticed that his mother's demeanor had changed, he immediately gave in.
"That's more like it, hurry up!"
Chu Li laughed.
He had finished reading through the Fist Manual that Yang Baoshu had through his Omniscient Mirror. The Agile Monkey Fist was certainly quite refined, however, a commoner would not be able to master it.
Spirit Beasts had all entered the Mountain Shiwan. Beasts like the Spirit Tiger, Spirit Monkey, and the such had all but disappeared. The modern world has pretty much never witnessed a Spirit Monkey before.
Because of this, the essence of the Agile Monkey Fist was never fully grasped, even if someone were to practice the Agile Monkey Fist, they would not be able to unleash its full power.
Furthermore, when Yang Baoshu trained, he turned the Agile Monkey Fist into some kind of weird ape fist. He exerted brute force which destroyed its original potential, not knowing that it was in complete contradiction to the gist of the Agile Monkey Fist. Because of this, even if Yang Baoshu were to train for a hundred years, he would not be able to grasp the essence of the Agile Monkey Fist, leaving his powers severely limited.
That evening, Chu Li bought two boxes of pastries and returned home. As he was walking down the avenue, he noticed Yang Baoshu who happened to be making his way home as well.
"Mister, you're back," Yang Baoshu greeted him happily.
Chu Li lifted his head lightly without saying a word, he was being exceptionally cold.
Yang Baoshu scratched his head helplessly.
This weird man was behaving strangely again. Yang Baoshu could not figure out why Chu Li acted like they were strangers whenever they were at this particular avenue. He would not even say a word. On the other hand, when they were at his house, Chu Li acted just fine and even showed him great hospitality. He really was a strange man!
Chu Li carried the pastries in one hand and used the other to rub his neck as he walked back to his house.
Yang Baoshu usually walked at a brisk pace, but because Chu Li was walking so slowly, he did not surpass him since it would be impolite. So, he could only follow him from behind, taking one slow step at a time, which made him really impatient.
Chu Li glanced at him once and signaled at him with a raised eyebrow.
Instantly, Yang Baoshu understood that he was asking him to go away, so he clenched his fists and hurried away quickly.
Once again, dawn arrived, and the lanterns lit up. Once more, Chu Li was still practicing his swordsmanship.
In the morning he practiced the Heavenly Demonic Power, the Art of White Tiger, and the Sentient Menace. From afternoon till night time he practiced the Duality Scripture and the Seven Forms of Godly Sword.
Chu Li spent almost all of his time training, except when he went out for strolls. Since he was not distracted by other affairs, he could calm his mind for his cultivation, thus making his advancement quite fast.
Chu Li thought to himself, that if he could always cultivate with such concentration, catching up to High Duke Lu would not actually be out of reach. Unfortunately, asking for such peaceful times was truly just wishful thinking.
As he was practicing with the sword, Yang Baoshu scaled the wall again. "Mister, mister, my mother made some dumplings, please come and try some."
As he said this, Yang Baoshu grabbed the ladder up and leaned it against Chu Li's courtyard, then held a plate of steaming dumplings in his hand as he walked down.
Before Chu Li could say anything, he placed it on the stone table. "My mother is a really good cook, try it!"
Yang Baoshu quickly passed him a pair of chopsticks.
Chu Li looked at him then took the chopsticks to try a dumpling. Although the filling was vegetarian, the fragrance of the dumpling lingered in his mouth - it was certainly very tasty.
"How is it, isn't it delicious?" Yang Baoshi said proudly.
"Not bad." Chu Li nodded satisfyingly.
Recently, his mouth had been suffering. Whether it be the restaurants in Qing Yun Town or Yang Xu's cooking skill, there was nothing that compared to Xue Ling's food.
This was why Chu Li felt very satisfied when he suddenly ate such a delicious dish.
"Come, come, take a seat and continue eating!" Yang Baoshu tried to be attentive as he wiped the wooden piers with his sleeves.
Chu Li sat down.
Yang Baoshu continued on with enthusiasm, "Mister, your sword is in the way."
As he said this, Yang Baoshu pushed the treasure sword to the side of the stone table.
However, as soon as he pushed it, a look of shock instantly fell upon his face.
It felt so heavy, which should not have been the case at all. It was not a wooden sword!
"Mister, please allow me to take a look at your treasure sword. Just one look." Yang Baoshu stared at the Modesty Sword curiously.
Chu Li was busy eating dumplings as he waved his hand dismissively. "Alright, go ahead and take a look."