Translator : Casualtranslator
~ Enjoy ~
“Zhang Xiaohua, Zhang Xiaohu? Haha~ interesting.” Yu Deyi laughed.
Zhang Xiaohua also smiled, but his smile was neither arrogant like Yu Deyi, nor prideful like Shangguan Yu, it also did not seek to fawn like Yu Lun, nor was it modest like Li Jinfeng. His smile was sincere and from the heart, perhaps because he was proud of his second brother, or because he was happy about the current situation.
Yu Deyi retracted his laughter and asked, “Can you explain the meaning of the words just now?”
Zhang Xiaohua answered calmly, “The meaning of the words is, there are no special forces at play, and it is only the results of practice. I have also practiced martial arts for a few days, and did not have any improvements at all. When I heard you talk about my second brother, I was suddenly enlightened that there are many ways to achieve success, as long as one is proficient in a good martial art, then it would have the same effect as knowing several martial arts. There is also another saying, a hundred branches are not as good as a fine one, wouldn’t that also apply to this situation?”
While the others were dumbstruck, Li Jinfeng was roused to satisfaction as he praised, “Little brother Xiaohua, your explanation shows good understanding. The teacher in my school would also say that we are too greedy with knowledge, and it has the same reason as well. A person’s ability is limited, reading a thousand books might not bring you as much benefit as reading a single book attentively. I used to not place any importance in this line of reasoning, but after listening to little brother Xiaohu’s story, it seems I have to pay more heed to it.”
Yu Deyi pursed his lips and disagreed, he said, “You all do not train in martial arts so you won’t be able to understand, martial arts and books are two entirely different things. A person who only trained for a month could never gain victory over someone with many years of experience, perhaps the bodyguard made a slip up.”
Shangguan Yun said, “That was what sixth master Li thought as well, and even though he agreed to let Zhang Xiaohu stick to his decision, he still tried the test the boy out and went to find another two bodyguards the next day to exchange pointers with him. However, the result led everyone to be tongue-tied, even though Zhang Xiaohu did not achieve victory, the two bodyguards were also unable to gain the advantage over him. Hence, both matches ended in a tie.”
Yu Deyi lost his composure and stood up from his chair, he said, “That is impossible, I am familiar with the bodyguards in Lotus escort, there are many of them whose skills are unordinary and are comparable to those from the martial arts school division, how could they not beat this Zhang Xiaohu? It is impossible.”
Shangguan Yun waited for Yu Deyi to finish his rant before he said, “Young master Yu, you did not listen to the story carefully. They were competing in fist stances.”
“Oh~ exchanging pointers using fist stances, haha, I understand.” Yu Deyi slapped his forehead and sat down peacefully. He continued to say, “I actually lost my bearings. My master had already told me many times, how could I forget that they were competing in fist stances. In that case, if none of them used their inner energy, it is possible for the bodyguards to be forced into a tie. Nevertheless, even without using inner energy, I should be able to win over Zhang Xiaohu, isn’t he a mudbag who only just sprouted after all?” While Yu Deyi spoke with reason in the beginning, he began to show more of his colors the more he spoke.
When talking about the two words “inner energy”, Zhang Xiaohua and Li Jinfeng had confused expressions on their faces, while Yu Lun looked on enviously as he twiddled his pudgy fingers.
Li Jinfeng did not say anything as he looked at his conversation partners quietly. However, Zhang Xiaohua could not let lose this opportunity to learn more about martial arts so he asked unabashedly, “Erm, about inner energy, what kind of thing is it?”
“What kind of thing is inner energy? Hahaha.” When Yu Deyi heard these words, he burst out into laughter, shook his head and looked out at the door without explaining anything.
Shangguan Yun also had an amused expression on his face but he still explained, “Zhang Xiaohua, what this inner energy is, I won’t be able to explain it to you clearly. When you finally find a teacher of your own, you can ask him the same question again.”
Seeing that they did not reply him, Zhang Xiaohua looked towards Yu Lun but the latter was also smiling while his eyes looked greedily at young master Yu. Since Zhang Xiaohua was transparent in his eyes, how could he answer the boy’s question?
“Sigh~”, Zhang Xiaohua sighed in his heart, but he was inspired soon after. Since you won’t’ tell me what it is, I can ask squad leader He later on. After all, he is an official disciple from Piaomiao sect, so he would be able to explain it to me.
Just as he was thinking about it, Yu Deyi retracted his gaze and focused it on Zhang Xiaohua, he said, “Zhang Xiaohua, I can tell you what inner energy is, but I have a condition.”
Zhang Xiaohua was surprised and he asked, “Condition, what condition?”
Yu Deyi smiled and said, “Simple, if you get your second brother to compete fist stances with me, I will explain what it is to you.”
Zhang Xiaohua immediately shook his head and said, “I cannot do so, I can’t represent my second brother to accept you request to spar. It has been a long time since I’ve met him as well.”
Yu Deyi teased, “I knew it, you would not dare to accept my challenge, you are just a coward from the village.”
Zhang Xiaohua shook his head again and said, “This has nothing to do with courage. Maybe I am a coward, but I will not ‘back off from a million people’ and let my second brother get into a fight with someone else for such a ridiculous reason. I may not know what inner energy is, but there are many people who do. Since it is not just a secret among all of you, I will naturally find out one day. Don’t you agree, young master Yu?”
Yu Deyi was initially looking at Zhang Xiaohua jeeringly, but after listening to the latter’s words, he straightened his face, whipped open his fan and said, “Zhang Xiaohua? What a surprise that you are able to think so thoroughly despite your young age. Are you really from the village?”
Zhang Xiaohua maintained his smiled and said, “It is not important whether or not I came from the village, I only know that I should do things which I believe are right.”
Yu Deyi nodded seriously and said, “Zhang Xiaohua, I retract the words I said to you earlier. Since you said that you will find out what it is sooner or later, I shall explain what inner energy is to you right now, so you can learn the difference between the village and the city.”
After he finished his sentence, he stared at Zhang Xiaohua while waiting for the latter’s reply. Zhang Xiaohua’s innocent gaze met his eyes squarely and his expression was completely calm, as though he was saying, “Say if you want, I did not force you to it. I do not mind if you do not explain at all.”
Seeing that Zhang Xiaohua did not reply him, Yu Deyi had no choice but to explain slowly, “Actually, this inner energy is too complex to explain in words. Since you have not trained in martial arts, I am not sure how to explain it to you. Put simply, if you can use inner energy, your body can produce a type of force which differs from the external force your body usually produce. This force can be trained and grow, and it will circulate around your body when you are not using it. Different martial arts will have different ways of using this force, and the destructive power you can release will also differ. If your second brother is only exchanging fist stances, then that would mean that he is not using this potent weapon. In a real fight, your brother will be weaponless when he does not possess inner energy, while the opponent will be holding a long sharp sword. Therefore, your second brother would definitely lose, do you understand now?”
These words by Yu Deyi were said to stun Zhang Xiaohua, but it also gave him a valuable lesson on martial arts. Zhang Xiaohua would have never imagined learning martial arts to be so complex, and had thought that it was simply about practicing those fist movements, but now it seemed that he has yet to learn any inner energy cultivation moves yet.
After listening to Yu Deyi’s explanation, Zhang Xiaohua asked, “Is there any inner energy application in Rohan fist? Where can I find the cultivation method to learn this inner energy?”
“Dang” Yu Deyi collapsed onto the floor from his chair. Yu Lun hurriedly supported the former up again while carefully dusting his clothes, and he smiled fawningly, “Young master Yu, be careful. There is no need to get too surprised while talking to this servant.”
Yu Deyi carefully sat on his chair and used his fingers to grip a firm holding, he threw his fan on the table and said gravely, “This Zhang Xiaohua is no ordinary person, the questions he ask are so startling and vulgar that it has expanded my horizons, I have to be careful when speaking to him.”
He then turned to Zhang Xiaohua and said, “This little brother, how can you ask such a question, it is so obvious that you are an idiot who has not learnt any martial arts before! Everyone knows that this Rohan fist originated from Dalin temple and is now widespread across the Jianghu, its position in the Jianghu is like just like the surname Zhang among the general population, this staple martial art is as common as cabbage, how can it be accompanied by profound inner energy usage? Do you know what inner energy is? Only the top practitioners in Jianghu will have the chance to learn it, it is like a pearl on the crown. The different types of inner energy cultivation methods are carefully guarded and passed down over time by the different sects and only core disciples are given access to learn them. You will have to be dreaming if you think you can learn any inner energy cultivation method. Furthermore, even if you found an inner energy cultivation method, you may not able to learn it.”
Zhang Xiaohua was stunned like a wooden chicken, he asked, “Why?”
Yu Deyi replied smugly, “There are thousands of thousands of thousands of people in the world, and everyone’s aptitude is different. Even if every single one of them is given access to this inner energy cultivation method, those that can practice it and produce inner energy are only a rare few. Think about it, if this inner energy can be easily trained, inner energy cultivation methods won’t be so rare anymore.”
Li Jinfeng who was at a side was also dumfounded and he interrupted, “If young master Yu had not explain, I would not have known. Learning martial arts is so profound, everyone’s aptitude is different, and the opportunities they cross also differ. Three thousand water sprouts but I can only scoop one, enough, I will just continue to pursue the literature with a book in one hand as I travel with the mundane masses.”
Zhang Xiaohua was being swept off his feet by Yu Deyi’s words, but the phrase, “Three thousand water sprouts but I can only scoop one” woke him up, he has not even completed learning the martial arts he was taught, so this matter of inner energy could be left for much later.”
Yu Lun also added from the side, “Young master Yu’s words are marvelous, I just do not have the fate to encounter such a pearl which is why I cast my lot with the Lotus escort. If I am still unable to find my fate here, I would have to impose on young master Yu in the future.”
Yu Deyi looked at Yu Lun without answering him, what a joke, this inner energy cultivation method was an important treasure, why would anyone let an outsider look at it? However, this Lotus escort did have some shallow cultivation methods for students with potential to learn from, he could still consider referring the latter to these techniques. Thus, Yu Deyi nodded his head slowly as he faced Yu Lun’s smile.
When Yu Lun saw Yu Deyi gave a sign of approval, he burst with joy and immediately grabbed the fan on the table, opened it carefully and fanned Yu Deyi, which secretly gained him the disapproval from Shangguan Yun.
At that moment, Zhang Xiaohua spoke up again, “Young master Yu, since you have explained the matter of inner energy to me, that how about I represent my second brother to accept your challenge for an exchange in fist martial arts?”
Yu Deyi was surprised as he asked, “Zhang Xiaohua, what do you mean? While discussing with you earlier, you refused my request but now that I dropped the matter, you turn around to accept it, why so?”
Zhang Xiaohua smiled mysteriously and said, “Since my second brother has learnt the same martial art since his first day, he must have reached some achievement in it, and to be able to hold his own against the other bodyguards would mean that it is too easy for him. Since you have kindly offered to instruct him in the fist martial arts, why would I obstruct you if he wished the same as well?”
“Hahaha,” Yu Deyi laughed and said, “Not bad, I guess that Zhang Xiaohu must be excited if he learnt that I wanted to challenge him. Alright, let’s go find you. You can lead the way.”
After a moment later, Zhang Xiaohua still remained in his position. Yun Deyi wrinkled his brow and asked, “What’s wrong? You don’t dare to again?”
Zhang Xiaohua sheepishly answered, “This is only my second time in Lotus escort, how would I know where my second brother is?” His face was full of innocence as he replied.
Yu Lun hurriedly offered, “I know where he is, I shall bring everyone there now.”
After he said his sentence, Yu Lun returned the fan to Yu Deyi and motioned the latter to step to the front. Yu Deyi did not stand on the ceremony, he opened his fan with gusto and stepped out of the room suavely. Zhang Xiaohua thought to himself, “If we are comparing flashiness, my second brother will not be your match.”
The place for the delivery hands were not in the courtyard they were at, Zhang Xiaohua followed the party and passed by two courtyards before reaching their destination. The courtyard for delivery hands was evidently simpler looking, it seemed that there was a large difference between free and paid accommodation.
Zhang Xiaohu was pretty well-known then, when the party said that they were looking for him, the people in courtyard could immediately point out the right room and bring them there. The door of the room was closed, so Zhang Xiaohua knocked gently on the door and heard a familiar voice in response ,”Who is it?”
Zhang Xiaohua could not wait and longer and he opened the door while calling, “Second brother.” He then rushed into the room which was quite spacious. Zhang Xiaohu was in a horse stance with his two hands forming circles as though he was in the middle of training when he heard Zhang Xiaohua’s voice and then saw him enter the room. He recovered his posture and shouted happily, “Xiaohua, haha, it’s you. I have missed you to death.”
After finishing his sentence, he lunged over and hugged Zhang Xiaohua. After all, the two brothers have not met for more than a month, and Zhang Xiaohua’s visit was also unexpected. When he relaxed his embrace, he noticed that Zhang Xiaohua’s face seemed to have grown chubbier and he felt more relaxed. If his brother became skinnier, Zhang Xiaohu would be tormented by his guilt.
Seeing the two brothers ended their affection, Li Jinfeng stepped forward and greeted, “Zhang Xiaohua, hello, do you still remember me?”
Zhang Xiaohu then noticed the people who had entered with Zhang Xiaohua, he smiled and said, “Of course I do, you were all in the same carriage as we two brothers when we came to Pingyang city, how would I forget? Except, this person is?”
Yu Deyi walked to the front and said, “I am Yu Deyi from the martial arts school division, and have admired brother Zhang’s reputation for long.”
“Martial arts school division?” Zhang Xiaohu felt strange, why was this person with Zhang Xiaohua?
Yu Lun hurriedly explained, “Zhang Xiaohu, this young master Yu, gentleman Ma and I are all learning martial arts here in the martial arts school division. After being here all these time, we only recently learnt that you were also here as well, so we came over to meet you. I apologize for our late visit.”
Zhang Xiaohu smiled as he said, “I see, so we are all brothers from the escort station, please be at ease. I was also unaware that you all were in the martial arts school division or I would have looked for you. Come, please take a sit.”
However, he turned embarrassed. Even though the room was rather spacious, there was only one chair in the corner, where could his visitors sit? Not possibly on his bed right?
Zhang Xiaohu scratched his head.
Yu Deyi said, “It is alright, I am not here to catch up. I came looking for brother Zhang to exchange some pointers, so I will wait outside instead.”
After finishing his sentence, he turned around and walked out, while Shangguan Yun and Lu Yun cupped their fists before following suit.
Hence, only Li Jinfeng and Zhang Xiaohua, as well as a confused Zhang Xiaohu was left in the room.
Zhang Xiaohua’s face was apologetic as he explained the earlier event before saying, “Second brother, was I right to do this? Am I making things difficult for you?”
Zhang Xiaohua patted Zhang Xiaohua’s shoulders and said, “Xiaohua, you have grown up. You did well and I would have done the same if I were you. Practicing martial arts is all about pursuing progress, even if I lose, I will not lose my passion to improve, so I will definitely accept such a challenge. Furthermore, while examining this fist martial art for the past few days, I have learnt something new and was looking for someone to test it with, so the timing was opportune. Yu Deyi has come at the right time, haha, let’s experience the martial arts from the martial arts school division.”
After he finished his sentence, he held on to Zhang Xiaohua’s hands and left the room together.
Yu Deyi and the rest were not outside the house, so they had probably gone ahead to the field.
When the three people reached the field, there were already quite a few people gathered there. It seemed that the news of Zhang Xiaohu and Yu Deyi’s match had already spread, and even more people were continuing to join the crowd.
Zhang Xiaohu and the other two squeezed among the crowd as they said, “Excuse me, excuse me, I can’t enter.”
By the time Zhang Xiaohu squeezed to the center of the crow, his back was already full of perspiration, Zhang Xiaohua felt a tinge of regret, learning martial arts can only help fight against a hundred people. Learning to control people’s emotions is the true profound martial art, by using the crowd as a weapon, you can still claim victory even when faced with a hundred, or a thousand enemies. He only learnt this after seeing the embarrassment on his second brother’s face.