He had already been back from Ningzhou City for half a year.
Within the half a year, he used the money that Wen Huayang gave him to purchase a small courtyard in Qinlingjun City, as instructed by his teacher Xu Yong.
This world was very realistic. Like him, now he was the Wu's inner core disciple and had a certain position within the Wu's. As compared to those inner core disciples, or the outer core discipless, it was much better. However, this also could be compared the other way.
Every month the monthly stipend was only a few money. It was enough for a small kid like him. However, as he grew older he would need more.
There were many missions for the disciples to execute. On one hand, it could train them. On the other hand, it could enable them to earn more money. However, in the final analysis, it was working for someone else. As for the normal inner core disciples, it could be so. However, for vital inner core disciples like him, the road seemed to be a bit narrow.
Furthermore, there were many inner core disciples from rich families. Outside of the Wu Family, they had a lot of estates.
If he didn't make preparations for himself, he would just be an Elder like Xu Yong in the future. He would just be a very good thug merely. Who knew in the future if there was a life and death battle, he would even be thrown out as cannon fodder. That was not the ending that he wanted.
Although he did not want to be rich, nor did he wish for the power to rule the world.
However, at least he must live safe and have a comfortable life. In this case, he needed his own estates.
As for this point, the Wu Family didn't reject it. In fact, they were happy to see that their own family members having a new influence emerge.
With every additional strength, the Wu's strength would also correspondingly increase.
Just like the Tian Long Taoism, for the Wu Family which was born from the Tian Long Taoism's power, they would naturally support it without reserve. Because when the Wu Family became stronger, it was equivalent to the Tian Long Taoism becoming stronger. The same for the Wu Family, under the power of it, there existed many smaller well-known families and influences. When they strengthened, so did the Wu Family.
As for those small influences underneath the big influences expanding, becoming stronger, would they betray the main family? That didn't need to be worried about.
Easier said than done!
Building an influence from the beginning to prosperity usually needed an accumulation of work from a few generations. Just like the Wu Family, after developing for 500-600 years, it still had developed until this stage with the helping of Tian Long Taoism. Junior Leopard was a bumpkin coming from a mountain village, serving under the Wu's. How could he build an influence that would threaten the Wu's?
Furthermore, Junior Leopard was not building an influence. He was only buying a few estates, merely leaving a backup plan. That was natural for humans to do so.
As such, Junior Leopard bought a courtyard, and settled down here. After buying this small courtyard, he only lived here for a few days sometimes. Most of the time, he still practiced the martial arts skills in the Wu Family, and listened to Xu Yong's guidance.
After all he was still the Wu's core disciple who hadn't finished his apprenticeship.
These few days, Xu Yong once again began to forge weapons, staying within the Wu's smelting chamber all the time. Junior Leopard had nothing to do here. Therefore, he came to the courtyard which he arranged for himself and stayed for a few days.
This courtyard, apart from him, there was only an old servant, Old Cang.
This courtyard which he bought in Qinlingjun City was considered slightly far from the city center. Originally, it belonged to a merchant. But the merchant was losing money. He could only sell his property to pay off the debts. Junior Leopard saw that it was peaceful here, so he decided to buy this place.
Old Cang was originally that merchant's servant. Without son and daughter, after this merchant sold the courtyard, he had nowhere to go. Junior Leopard saw that he was old and familiar with the surroundings, so he kept him to take care of the courtyard in his stead. The few times that Junior Leopard came here, he found that this courtyard was cleaned. Even though the servant was old, he had nimble hands. The dishes he cooked were good. Hence, Junior Leopard was extremely satisfied.
One punch, one kick
The figure moved slowly and silently in a small room, making no sound.
His fists were tightly clenched from the beginning until the end. There were moments it was raised, and moments it was down. Sometimes it moved forward, and sometimes it retreated.
Every fist would leave a semi-circle route in the air, floating, seemingly far. It was as steady as a mountain, as quiet as an abyss!
Every time the ground beneath his feet would follow his stamp, as if there was an earthquake.
Every movement was so clear and perfect!
Following the display of his fist trend, a kind of quaint, desolate fist intent followed his movement and permeated through the small room.
It was merely the fist intent.
His movements did not even stir up the air.
This was the result of incorporating the Snake-like Breath Holding Skill into the punching skill. Not only the Snake-like Breath Holding Skill, the Extraordinary Strength Fist, the Taiji Punching Skill, the Wild Hammering Skill were also slowly merged into this Thirteen Punches of Desolation. That was what made this fist intent.
The Thirteen Punches of Desolation was profound and mysterious. It was a set of punching skill passed down from the antiquity times. Naturally, it was not something that a rookie like Junior Leopard could use freely as he wanted. However, during the process of training the fist, Junior Leopard also had some revelations of his own. Especially when he realized that within the Thirteen Punches of Desolation, the way of using strength and its Punching technique were similar to the Taiji Fist. He then tried to incorporate some of the fist intent within Taiji Fist into it. He accidentally discovered that this had tremendous benefits towards his cultivation of the Thirteen Punches of Desolation. Junior Leopard couldn't understand some hard punching techniques of the Thirteen Punches of Desolation. However, when he compared the punching techniques and Tai-Chi Quan, he understood those hard parts.
Of course, those were the parts the two sets of punching skills had in common. The Taiji Fist was profound and mysterious, and so was the Thirteen Punches of Desolation. Two of them shone on each other. The progress would of course be fast. However, to really merge the them into one, that was definitely impossible.
Even though that was the case, now Junior Leopard's punching skill had a big increment. His understanding towards the Thirteen Punches of Desolation was no longer beneath Xu Yong.
"Well, I said it. This guy really has potential!"
Junior Leopard was practicing within the room and had no idea that every movement within the room was seen by others.
"Is he the interesting fella you talked about?"
Outside the window, two men dressed in black cloaks were standing on a big tree in the courtyard and their bodies melded with the darkness. One of them was actually the mysterious black-cloaked man who snatched the Tianluo Dark Gold from the Wen Family in Ningzhou City and injured Junior Leopard. The other man was dressed as he was. The only difference was the pattern embroidered on the back of their black cloaks. The man who appeared in Ningzhou City had a soaring big rooster pattern in his cloak; the pattern on the other man's cloak was a python whose head was held high. Their gazes shot through the window, and closely followed Junior Leopard who was practicing his fist in the room.
"Half a year ago, I met this kid in the Wen Family. He tried to sneak attack me, and was thrown off by my Gang Qi!"
"Oh?" The other black-cloaked man's gaze flashed slightly, "Be thrown off by your Gang Qi, you reserved your strength?"
"No, he dispelled the strength of my Gang Qi which scared me on the spot!"
"He was able to dispel the strength of your Gang Qi?" The man who had a python pattern on his back was very shocked, "You're not joking, are you?"
"You look at me, do I look like I'm joking?" The black-cloaked man who had a rooster pattern on his back said, "Look at his punching skills. Even though it was slightly immature, however, it already has contained punching essence. In time to come, if he realizes the fist intent and divine thoughts, it's not hard to reach the Advanced Level!"
"It's a pity that he is just a Wu's disciple. To reach the Tendon-Changing Realm will be extremely difficult!" The man who had a python pattern on his back laughed, "Even if he could realize the fist intent and divine thoughts, it would be for naught!"
"What difficulty is there, as long as you and I..."
"Don't get me involved.
It's none of my business. This boy is indeed not bad, but he was too young. Even if we agree, the higher-up won't agree. Let's put the matter aside for the time being, okay?"
"Well, I just worried that a long delay may cause trouble" The black-cloaked man fell into deep thought for a while, and nodded.
"A long delay may cause trouble? There's nothing to worry about!" The young man who had a python pattern on his back said, "he's a Wu's disciple now, Elder's disciple. For the time being, no one will notice him. Golden Rooster, now it's troubled times. It's better to save trouble. Besides, it's not the time to recruit followers. Wait till all is calm, and if the boy displays any more special abilities, then, it won't be too late to find him!"
"Yeah, that's all we can do now!" The black-cloaked man nodded, "Snake Head, do you have confidence in that matter!"
"There is no whether there is confidence or not, but only doing my duty to my best of ability. What we can only add fuel to the fire. Success is good. Even if we fail, it's just an additional experience and lesson. There won't be too much loss. Let's go, we still have things to do. It's a waste of time to take me here to see a boy!"
"It's a waste of time? Is it not good to show you a young genius"
"It's not up to you. It takes time to test!"
In the night sky, two shadows went further and further, disappearing into the black scenery.
Within the room, Junior Leopard breathed a sigh of relief. After he breathe out the last bit of turbid air from within his body and withdrew his fists, his face revealed a suspicious expression.
"Hum, not bad, lately my punching skills improved very quickly, but why did I always feel that there's a little bit stagnant? Now that my punching skills are natural and smooth, there shouldn't be any stagnant? It's weird. Is this the legendary practice bottleneck? No, I have never heard of a Level Two cultivation meeting the bottleneck. My inside breath has been expanding, and my physical strength can bear the Internal Qi of Level Three. There shouldn't be any problems!"
Junior Leopard sat back on his bed and quietly began to ruminate.
What he didn't know was that he merged the Taiji Fist and Thirteen Punches of Desolation together to practice. Its effects were far more obvious than what he originally thought. As for now, he could already push his punching skills into a higher state. Only one step, he could realize his own fist intent and divine thoughts. However, his cultivation was too low, only at Level Two.
It had to be known that most practicers could realize the mysterious workings of divine thoughts when they were at Level Six and were going to break through to Level Seven. Hence, when he was practicing his punches, he felt a feeling of stagnation.