One month had gone by. Because he was the little brother-in-law of Wang Tianlei and still young, it was natural that Wang Tianlei would have his guard down. In fact, Wang Tianlei never had any intention of being on guard because he knew so little about martial arts and had only learned some basics.
But the basics were enough for Little Shiba.
This was a martial arts world.
However, it was quite different from what he had read about in martial arts novels.
Here, the martial arts focused on balancing the inner and outer cycles. In a novel, you could gain a hundred years of power just by eating a piece of fruit. But here it was impossible. Even if there were such a magic fruit in this world, if a little child like Little Shiba ate it then he would blow up like a balloon, turning into a mass of flesh with his blood in a roaring spray, and finally disappearing from this world.
Wang Tianlei was skilled in the martial arts that he had learned from the army. At the age of 15, he was forced to be a dependable man and joined the army and learned martial arts skills from the army of Jin. But just like those of other countries, the skills taught by the military were the roughest and crudest, but also the most practical.
The greatest benefit that he had gained from Wang Tianlei was not martial arts skills, but instead simply knowledge. Having been born in a closed off village, Little Shiba knew little about the details of the world.
And Wang Tianlei, having been a soldier for a few years outside, had been able to bring him a wealth of information. Although the martial arts he had learned were the most rudimentary, his three-year military career had made him become the most knowledgeable man in that tiny village.
This principle was similar to that of Little Shiba's previous life. In those remote western mountains, the most knowledgeable villagers were often those demobilized veterans.
People, who served in the army, came from different places and backgrounds and so each brought with them a diverse collection of trivia. Even though some of their news was exaggerated, Wang Tianlei still had a lot of general knowledge about the world, such as some basic knowledge of geography, the name of the Emperor, the army he had served in, and the martial arts he had practiced.
As the roughest means of internal cultivation, Unusual Strength Qigong could hone his Internal Strength, and wield great power when combined with the Nine Sword Fighting Styles and the Thousand Killing Fist. It was most suitable for a battle array. As for the Dark Bear Fist, skin toughening was at the core of this fighting move.
Internally the warrior worked on his breathing and Qi, while externally worked on his muscles, bones, and skin—these two maxims were the most widespread in martial arts circles, and also the most fundamental.
In this world, martial arts sought to balance inner and outer cycle for both Internal Strength and External Strength. Exercising Internal Strength was an inside-out process while exercising External Strength was the reverse. Both were equally important.
If you practiced External Strength without Internal Strength, you would only toughen your outer skin. And as for the other way round, you would be only practising a simple Internal Qi, which had no real use in the outside world.
Training one's Internal Qi and External Strength was a reciprocal process and each was equally important.
Internal Qi exercises used Internal Strength such as Unusual Strength Qigong, while External Strength relied on punching skills such as Dark Bear Fist. Both Dark Bear Fist and Unusual Strength Qigong were the standard martial arts skills used by the Jin army.
Of course, Internal Strength and punching skills were the most basic skills. But how to practice was more complex.
Take, for example, External Strength; except for punching skills, you would still need a large number of medicinal herbs to wash and forge your muscles and bones if you wanted to reach the most basic level. However, these herbs were very expensive and impossible for ordinary people to obtain. Even if you could get them, you wouldn't know the recipe for the medicinal soup for washing and forging. These were all secrets well-kept by well-known rich and powerful families.
Besides, there were countless medium and small-sized schools in the world who had a good grasp of some punching skills, Internal Strength, herbal potions and so on. Most of their resources were ordinary. Along with such schools, you would be ready to hold your own out in the world, but would not be able to make a name for yourself.
But, that was enough for him for now.
Wang Tianlei was totally surprised about his little brother-in-law's enthusiasm for martial arts, but he did not give it much thought. After all, who would suspect the whims of a little child of three or four years old?
What was more, in order to ingratiate himself with his new bride, he spared no efforts to teach his little brother-in-law and passing on everything he knew, in order to show his generosity. In fact, he did not expect that a three-year-old child would have the ability to remember everything that he had been teaching him.
But, Little Shiba could get it.
He followed Wang Tianlei to practice punching skills and martial arts for a month. Throughout the course of this training, he obtained a sense of Qi and could feel the tendons and vessels in his body. He was only three years old; such a young age was perfectly suitable for practicing internal breathing, which could serve as a strong foundation. At such an age, the strand of Qi from the womb had not totally dissipated and sensibility for the essence of the world was still at a high level. Besides, his soul from another world was marked with memories of a previous life. Therefore, he was able to stride effortlessly over the first barrier of practicing Internal Qi—gathering the pneuma and obtaining a sense of Qi.
After crossing the first barrier, the following stage of practice was step-by-step cultivation.
That was true. But, he could not practice casually because he was too young and his body was not fully grown. Generally speaking, children born into well-known families all started to practice their Internal Strength at the age of two or three, to lay the foundation. Then they would begin to practice their punching skills at the age of seven or eight. They would start with skin toughening exercises and continue on the skills of forging bones and changing tendons. At the same time, medicinal soups would be made to wash the entire body. Wang Tianlei mentioned this vaguely in the past, but Little Shiba kept it firmly in mind.
Of course, besides some of the most basic punching skills of skin toughening, both bone-forging and tendon-changing were secrets of some schools that were forbidden to spread. It was impossible for a man like Little Shiba to grasp if he had no particular chances. So was the ordinary people.
Fortunately, he had learned Tai Chi Quan.
Little Shiba had been a man born and bred in a new and modern age and had an illustrious career as a civil servant in his previous life. As the saying goes, "If a leader sets an example, it'll be followed by his subordinates." In his previous life, the division chief of his department, an almost 60-year-old man, had worked all of his life and had few hobbies; although as he grew older, he developed a love for Tai Chi Quan.
But, Tai Chi Quan wasn't for common people. If you wanted to practice it well, you would better find a paid coach. As the division chief, he had the means and set up an interesting class for Tai Chi Quan after encouraging the director to go and find a coach in the name of the department. Each person a gym suit.
Although only a few people were interested in Tai Chi Quan in the department, many had attended the class. It was worthwhile just for the free Adidas suit alone.
Wang Bo, Little Shiba's name in his previous life, was also a member of the class. Unlike those who tried it for only two or three days, he attended the class every day and studied hard. Within only a few months, he had grasped not only the frame of Tai Chi Quan, but also the pithy formulas, key points, and a little of every kind of aspects of it. He was even familiar with different schools, as well as the disadvantages and advantages of practicing Tai Chi Quan.
It was not that he was really interested in Tai Chi Quan, and he was just trying to flatter the division chief.