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Yuan Peiji was a man in his thirties. With a senior army officer as his grandfather, he was considered a third-generation military descendant.

Being aggressive ever since he was little, he had spent a few years in the army and was indeed a capable man. With that background of his, it was inevitable that he'd walk around carrying an air of arrogance about him. Nevertheless, he was marked by his utter respect towards powerhouses. What was more, he was a honest sort of guy, never stabbing anybody in the back.

It was because of this quality that he and Lei Ziming became friends.

The shooting range was Yuan Peiji's territory. He had invited his buddies over today simply to have some fun together. Lei Ziming arrived late because he went to pick up Gu Yu. Yuan was shooting flying saucers with his friends before running into Gu Yu and was annihilated in a matter of seconds—a miserable experience that no one else could understand.

"Are you OK?"

"What's with the gun-dropping?"

"Hey, what are you doing? Let's go!"

His friends were not affected and were watching him in surprise. Unable to explain the pain he was in, Yuan Peiji clenched his teeth, struggling to ward off the pressure. His face turned from yellow to red, then was drained of all color, which looked rather frightening.

Just as he was unable to hold on any longer and on the verge of collapsing to the ground, the force around him was suddenly lifted. The next moment, he felt free as a bird.

"Ha… ha…"

Puffing and panting, when he turned to look at that guy again, there was only horror in his eyes.

The ancient martial arts were nowhere to be found nowadays. The only bits that had not been lost were handed over to the state, which were in turn given to the army after some improvement to be used as a special training course for soldiers. During his several years in the army, he had heard people mention every now and then that there was a time in history when martial arts flourished in China—in that era, a certain master could win fights hands down, defeating the enemies with his aura alone.

As a result, Yuan Peiji was mistakenly assuming that Gu Yu was a disciple of some hermit master.

He immediately adjusted his attitude and strode towards Gu Yu, greeting him loudly from afar. "You're Ah Ming's friend, right? Nice to meet you. Welcome to our shooting range."


The buddies on his side were amazed. That was a complete turnaround from his attitude a few minutes ago. Wasn't he going on about sounding this guy out just then?

Seeing them approaching, Gu Yu didn't hold back the mocking thoughts of his. 'Now why did you point your gun at me? I'm one of those people that would even frighten myself when I go wild!'

As much as he would like to ridicule this man, he had to put on a polite face and replied, "I'm Gu Yu. Lei Ziming is still inside. You are…"

"Oh, I'm Yuan Peiji. This is Jiao Peng and this is Tang Jialin…"

After introducing everyone in turn, they were sort of acquainted.

It was at this point that Lei Ziming showed up, his mind still lingering over whatever he was doing over there. Seeing what was going on, he was slightly taken aback, then laughed out aloud. "Haha, I told you this fellow here would get along well with all of you guys. See, was I wrong?"

He moved closer to Gu Yu, all bouncing and glad. "How was it, Bro? Have another few rounds if you like it. That 92 of yours was too soft."


Hearing that, Yuan Peiji chimed in, "Indeed, that one won't do. I've got a sniper rifle here, wanna try it?"

"No, thanks, I'm quite alright…" Gu Yu was about to turn him down when an idea suddenly dawned on him. He asked, "Well, do you have one of those places here, the ones where you can test the power of a weapon?"

"Of course! This way!"

They were not the least bit suspicious over his request and the entire group moved to another range, where Gu Yu was told, "Here, this is the testing area. AK, Desert Eagle, 54—you name it. Take your pick!"

Gu Yu glanced around and saw that it was another vast empty area with similar equipment, only that the targets were replaced by steel plates. He replied, "I'll take a 54, then."

"Nice! Very patriotic!"

Yuan Peiji gave him a thumbs up; it was hard to tell whether he was fooling around or sincere. They sent someone to prepare the gun for him right away.

Before QSZ-92 came to the market, Type 54 had been the standard issue weapon known for its fierceness. A 4-mm-thick, homogeneously structured steel plate was set within a ten-meter distance. Gu Yu held the pistol in his hand and in a series of loud bangs, the magazine was emptied.

When the steel plate was pulled near to be examined, oh my, every single bullet had pierced through it!

He then tried a rifle at a fifty-meter range with a 6-mm steel plate, which still got pierced by the bullets.


Our fellow smacked his lips, his previous contempt towards modern firearms disappearing with this discovery. To hell with all the fiction, films, and TV series. Anyone fantasizing about blocking a bullet with flesh and bone could try it themselves!

What would happen when a 7.62 mm rifle bullet passed through a human body?

To begin with, a small opening would be left on the skin before the impact damaged the internal organs and exited the human body at a speed of 570 meters per second. The blast would leave another wound at least 12 cm in diameter.

As a result, Gu Yu had to accept the fact that even cultivators who possessed spiritual bodies could not confront firearms directly, let alone those still in the Refinement of the form stage. Only after one reached a level of Human Immortal or above, or was equipped with some sort of talisman, would one not be threatened by a bullet... probably.

That being said, cultivators had their own advantages, such as predicting their enemies' moves beforehand. 'As soon as you start to bear hostility towards me in your mind, I can sense it. Then, I can either conjure up an illusion or close in at full speed. After that, K.O.'

Of course, it would also depend on other factors such as the specific terrain, environment, etc.

Anyhow, Gu Yu did not come all the way here for nothing. He now had a relatively clear idea of firearms.

They chatted for quite some time in the club. Yuan Peiji was a proud man, but as soon as he accepted someone, that person would become his friend right away. It was not the case with the rest of the group, though. Hearing that Gu Yu was merely an incense maker with no background whatsoever, they instantly turned away.

It was especially obvious with Jiao Peng, who was only acknowledging Gu Yu to humor Lei Ziming.

Before they knew it, it was afternoon already. Yuan Peiji acted as the host and treated the group to the rooms in the best hotel of the area. He had his own private room there, to which the five of them filed in.

Before anything was said, five pretty girls in cheongsam walked in, arranging the tableware with nimble hands. They did not leave right away after the bowls and chopsticks were set, but each stood behind one guest, massaging their shoulders in a practiced manner. [1]


Gu Yu could not stand the cloying fragrance coming from the girls. He frowned involuntarily.

Noticing this, Yuan Peiji beckoned the girls to leave right away. "That's enough. We won't be needing you today. You can all leave."


The chance of getting any tips today was gone. The girls exited the room swiftly with disappointed faces.

The room felt much less crowded right away. Dinner was served later, on which they feasted in a friendly atmosphere. They were all hard drinkers. Before long, they had ran through two bottles of liquor.

Yuan Peiji was an interesting man in terms of his hosting style. Feeling that they were acquainted well enough by now, he filled his glass to the rim and stood up. "Mr. Gu, I'm a straightforward man and I always speak my mind. I offended you back there and please accept my apology. I'll empty my glass first!"

With that, he tilted his head back and drained the glass.

Lei Ziming was secretly surprised. Yuan Peiji had been addressing Gu Yu as Mr. Gu ever since the start, which was very rare considering his usual temperament.

After that, Yuan went on. "I myself am interested in only three things: drinking, fighting, and making friends. All three are here today. I'm happy! There's one thing I must make clear, though. You said you are an incense maker; I believe you. But, I won't buy it if you say you're nothing but an incense maker. Now, I need a word from you. What exactly do you do?"

"What do you think I do?" Gu Yu grinned.

"Just answer the damn question. Don't beat about the bush!" Next to them, Jiao Peng did not like the way Gu Yu talked and sneered.

"What if I don't want to answer?" He darted a look at Jiao Peng.


That bloke had long since found Gu Yu an eye sore. As the liquor took effect, he smacked the table and stood up. Moving a few steps closer, he went, "Boy, hooking up with Ah Ming doesn't make you a somebody!"

"Do sit down."

Gu Yu gestured with his hand. The others could not tell if he made contact with Jiao Peng, and only saw that Jiao Peng stumbled back in a series of rapid, thumping steps, then slumped into a chair with a thud.


Blinking, Jiao Peng did not even realized what had happened, making the scene all the more weird and funny.

However, Yuan Peiji's face brightened up. He had been speculating about Gu Yu's background all this time and was more reassured by this: he was definitely a hermit master! [2]

[1] ED/N: If someone doesn't know of the dress known as cheongsam, go google it. Also known as qipao in pinyin, you can look it up under this name as well.

[2] ED/N: Do note that the English word hermit is usually related to Christianity and most of "western" hermits are saints, people living away from sin, temptations and other sh*t, or some ascetics (the latter still religious, but not necessary Christian). However, there was obviously no Christianity in China of old times and so the Chinese understand the word hermit with emphasis on living away from society (or while concealing one's identity within the society), and in this case, most hermits seem to be martial arts masters (though this may be a recent association created through wuxia etc).

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