"Thank you, Mister!" Yang Baoshu looked elated.
He picked up the Modesty Sword carefully. It was quite heavy, and he could not really hold it properly.
The sword was definitely not a normal item. Yang Baoshu had not seen such a heavy wooden sword before. Even if it really was a wooden sword, it was certainly not made out of ordinary wood - it had to be very valuable!
It seemed like Mister Chu was really wealthy!
The scabbard, the quality of its materials, and its craftsmanship, everything was stunning. At first glance, it looked inconspicuous. However, upon touching it, he realized the true value of the sword! This Mister Chu was really rich!
As Chu Li watched Yang Baoshu's fascinated expression shift, he could not help but laugh.
After looking at the scabbard, Yang Baoshu became all the more careful. He pressed the compression spring and then slowly took out the Modesty Sword.
"Be careful, don't cut yourself." Chu Li reminded him before taking another bite of the dumplings.
Yang Baoshu nodded absent-mindedly, his eyes were locked on the body of the Modesty Sword as he examined it in detail. Although its color looked like it was made out of wood, it did not feel like it; Yang Baoshu figured that it had to be made out of some kind of bizarre material.
With that said, it had to be a material so rare and unknown that it could only be described with one word - priceless!
He wielded the sword to feel its weight.
"Don't hurt yourself!" Chu Li reminded him again.
Since the Modesty Sword really looked like a wooden sword, Yang Baoshu subconsciously felt that it was not sharp. However, in truth, it was the exact opposite.
A novice like Yang Baoshu could easily get hurt if he accidentally cut himself. Especially since he was wielding the Modesty Sword in a tight space.
Yang Baoshu laughed while wielding the sword. "There's no way I'll hurt myself."
As he said this, he stood up, and the tip of the sword touched the edge of the stone table.
A corner of the stone table sliced off while Yang Baoshu continued talking; he did not even realize that he had accidentally pared the stone table.
"Bam" the corner piece of the stone table crashed to the ground. It was only then, Yang Baoshu realized what he had just done.
He looked down and immediately saw the section of the table that was lying in pieces on the ground. Then, he looked at the Modesty Sword again. He shivered and was so shocked that he almost threw the sword away.
Fortunately, it only hit the stone table. If it really hit his body, then he would be missing a limb by now!
Yang Baoshu forced a nervous laugh. "Wow This is really a good sword! ... Nice sword!"
Chu Li laughed. "It is to build up my fitness and for health purposes. I usually just play around with it."
Right after, Yang Baoshu carefully placed the Modesty Sword back into its scabbard. He then drew a long breath of relief before placing it back on the table. Yang Baoshu smiled, and he exclaimed, "Mister, you must be an expert!"
"Oh, an expert?" Chu Li replied him casually as he continued eating his dumplings.
Yang Baoshu continued his praise, "Mister, you must be a martial arts master - a normal person wouldn't even dare use such a dangerous treasure sword!"
"Do I look like a person who does martial arts?" Chu Li laughed as he ate the last dumpling and then whistled contently.
Yang Baoshu immediately passed Chu Li some tea. "I heard that most experts are hidden and are disguised; just like how a hermit lives downtown and hides in the streets. Similar to Mister Chu!"
Chu Li laughed out loud while shaking his head. "Hahaha, Alright, let an expert like me give you a piece of advice then, take it as my thanks for the meal."
"Please go ahead, Mister!" Yang Baoshu instantly accepted the offer excitedly.
Chu Li said, "The Spirit Monkey is very ingenious, and it's always jumping around with high agility. Like your state of mind, when one's heart is like a frisky monkey and has a mind like a wild stallion, he'll be adventurous and uncontrollable - how active your mind is will determine how agile the Spirit Monkey is."
"I see..." Yang Baoshu was starting to grasp the concept. He quickly asked, "So I've been practicing it incorrectly?"
Chu Li replied, "I'm only talking about the Spirit Monkey, you'll have to figure the Agile Monkey Fist yourself."
"Thank you so much, Mister!" Yang Baoshu said happily.
Yang Baoshu suddenly felt like he understood everything.
He had wondered why the Agile Monkey Fist was so difficult to deal with, and it seemed like he had always been using the wrong method. He was putting in effort for nothing!
Instead of using too much strength and power, he needed to become more active and agile. If he had listened to Mister Chu's words from the start, he would probably have succeeded in mastering the Agile Monkey Fist by now!
Soon after, Yang Baoshu took his bowl and chopsticks and then returned to his courtyard. He sent them to the kitchen hurriedly before immediately starting his fist training.
Throughout his practice, he seemed to have gotten a better grip on being quick-witted.
"Was the Mister next door satisfied?" Yang Baoshu's mother walked into the courtyard from the kitchen, and she saw him practicing. She watched him for a while before asking, "Why is your practice looking like such a mess? Look what you've turned the fist technique into! It's so odd-looking!"
"How is it odd?" Yang Baoshu said while he continued practicing.
"No no no, that's not how your father used to train." Zhou Shi shook her head.
"Mother, father was the one who did it incorrectly. The Spirit Monkey is ingenious, not strong," Yang Baoshu said.
"Stop with this nonsense - your father didn't practice it that way!" Zhou Shi scoffed.
Yang Baoshu continued with his own training. "Mister Chu said that the Spirit Monkey is ingenious and active, just like how a human's mind is active."
"Hmph, he's not even a man who practices martial arts, what does he know!"
"Mister Chu is a scholar, he has read about the Spirit Monkey from books before. Why would he lie to me? Moreover, he gave me this pointer as thanks for the meal. Mister Chu even said that he admires your cooking!"
Although Yang Baoshu felt that Mister Chu was an other-worldly expert, he knew that he would suffer another round of taunting if he told his mother about it. Hence, he reckoned it would be better if he kept quiet about it.
"How dare he talk nonsense and mislead you after eating my food, I just wasted a plate of dumplings!" Zhou Shi complained.
Yang Baoshu quickly said, "Mother, lower your voice, Mister Chu can hear you!"
"So what if he can hear me, I didn't say anything wrong!" She lowered her volume as she said grumpily.
Yang Baoshu continued, "Mother, let me try to practice it first, if it really isn't right, I'll change my method back."
"... Alright, but you have to always remember not to be gullible. Don't trust whatever people say so easily!"
"Yes, yes, I'm keeping that in mind!"
Chu Li listened to the mother and son's conversation with a smile on his face. Then, he returned his attention back to his swordplay and continued practicing again.
Yang Baoshu practiced the Agile Monkey Fist for half the night and felt his skill hugely improve; he had also become unusually active. Hence, he left home early and arrived at the Swan Goose Association in the morning of the second day.
The Swan Goose Association had a big courtyard with a wide martial arts field located in its center; all sorts of weapons were placed beside the field.
When Yang Baoshu arrived, around ten other people were already training diligently.
A tall and handsome young man approached him. "Baoshu, what's the good news, why are you so happy?"
"Zheng Xia, come and watch, I'm going to really teach Hu a lesson today!" Yang Baoshu said with confidence.
Upon hearing this, Zheng Xia immediately pulled him aside. "Are you out of your mind? You should be thankful that he doesn't cause you any trouble. Why are you seeking to anger him now?"
"It's time for me to pay off old scores!" Yang Baoshu scoffed.
Zheng Xia whispered, "Our martial arts won't win against Hu Yu. How can we fight?"
"I found the true essence of the Agile Monkey Fist. This time, I'll beat him to a pulp and leave him begging for mercy!" Yang Baoshu proudly announced.
"The true essence of Agile Monkey Fist?" Zheng Xia asked dubiously.
"Yo, isn't that Brother Baoshu?" An enigmatic voice asked from behind them.
Instantly, Yang Baoshu and Zheng Xia turned around. They were glaring.
A small, skinny and dark young man was staring at them with a smirk on his face. His smirk was cocky and insulting. "Brother Baoshu, you're quite early today, since when did you become so hardworking. Have you finally decided to practice your martial arts properly?"
"Hu, let's have a friendly match!" Yang Baoshu said in a cold tone.
Hu Yu smiled from ear to ear at the challenge. He spoke loudly, intentionally trying to get all the other practitioners' attention, "A friendly match? Did you say that you wanted a friendly match?"
Yang Baoshu stood up tall.
Hu Yu laughed loudly. "It won't be a friendly match, it will be me beating you up!"
"This time I'll beat you up!" Yang Baoshu scoffed angrily.
Hu Yu laughed. "I see you're going mad! You want to beat me up? Very well, fool. Let's see who beats who up then. Watch this!"
Right after saying this, he launched a punch at Yang Baoshu.
Yang Baoshu leaped up and managed to dodge it impressively.
"Yo, you've gained some skill!" Hu Yu laughed curiously before going at him again. His strikes were fast yet deadly.
Initially, Yang Baoshu could maintain his flexibility, and he managed to dodge Hi Yu's strikes with relative ease. However, he became tired after doing so ten times. Yang Baoshu then took a punch. He panicked and became anxious. Yang Baoshu began taking hits like a headless chicken. Hu Yu was merciless and continued raining blows on him. He would have beaten Yang Baoshu to a bloody pulp if Zheng Xia had not held him back.