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In a moonlit courtyard.

Enclosed by high walls and paved with square bricks on the ground, the courtyard was decorated with well-arranged flowers and bushes; among them stood several street lamps, beaming with incandescent light. Under the lamplight were two moving figures, one of which was making vigorous and forcible movements, his imposing swings stirring the air. By contrast, the other figure was strolling idly around the yard in easy and graceful paces.

"That's freaking impossible! Again!"

Seeing his strikes being futile once more, Yuan Peiji jumped back rapidly, his words interspersed with curses. He was apparently vexed and enraged by his defeat. Barely had he stopped talking when he strode forward, extending his right fist out and charging directly at Gu Yu's face.

Gu Yu, on the other hand, made a deft turn at the approaching fist, moving around and placing himself behind Yuan Peiji.

Instead of being taken by surprise, Yuan was delighted with where Gu Yu was standing right now. Thrusting himself again at Gu Yu at once, Yuan bent his elbow, jabbing it at his opponent's chest.

It was a dirty yet effective move which could be broken down into two steps. The elbow blow came first, followed by a fierce swing of the forearm, lashing viciously at the opponent's crotch—hence its name, the "Crotch-smacking Hand Movement".

It was one of his favorite moves and he had mastered it through repeated practice with that fighting hobby of his. However, his elbow jabbed into empty air and his forearm had nothing to slap upon.

Turning around, Yuan Peiji saw that Gu Yu had long since moved meters away from him, which sent him bursting into a fury. "Mr. Gu, I know you have no regard for me whatsoever, but you can't keep evading without making any attacks! What sort of competition is this? At least let me know what hit me!"

In fact, it was not that Gu Yu would not attack; he only wanted to find more about the pattern of military attack and defense skills, hence the dawdling and stalling. By now he had observed long enough and with Yuan's complaint, Gu Yu replied, "All right. Get ready, then."

"Bring it on!"

That fellow was greatly irritated by Gu Yu's behavior so far and wanted nothing but throw himself completely into a fight.

As it turned out, he only had time to square himself up before a figure moved to his side in the blink of an eye. Sticking out a slender finger, Gu Yu dabbed Yuan's arm lightly.


He felt his arm going numb first, then pierced by an unbearable pain. His entire right arm was incapacitated.

'Bloody hell!'

Cursing under his breath, his vexation was amplified ten folds by now. Of course, Yuan Peiji was not one of those people who could not afford to lose. Fighting back the pain, he said, "I'm impressed! Mr. Gu, you are indeed an ancient martial arts powerhouse!"

"Ancient martial arts…"

Gu Yu felt the corner of his mouth twitching. 'Well, whatever you say.'

Back at the dinner table when Jiao Peng suffered from the public humiliation he brought onto himself, he played the part of an innocent victim after being smacked into the chair, slumping on it for quite a while. Seeing what Gu Yu was capable of, Yuan Peiji was thinking even more highly of him. The incident was handled with a single statement from Yuan: 'Nothing ever happened.'

After dinner, Yuan Peiji earnestly invited Gu Yu to his house, hoping to have a chat with him. Knowing Yuan's military background, Gu Yu also wanted to learn a thing or two from this guy and accepted his invitation.

Shortly after they arrived home, that bloke suggested a competition. Then... well, there was no "then"...

Gu Yu walked to Yuan's side now, picked up his arm and gave it a rub, eliminating the pain completely. Filled with mixed feelings, that bloke walked into the large room in silence. He downed half a bottle of XO before thumping it on the table. [1]

"I joined the army as a teenager and stayed there for five years. I would not say that I stood above the rest of my comrades-in-arms, but I did learn some solid stuff. However, I've just come to realize today that what I've learned was nothing... worthless!"

"Don't say that. The military combat skills must have their own merits. If it's not against any rules or regulations, I actually want to learn from it myself," smiled Gu Yu.

"Forget about the rules. I'll get you a teaching plan tomorrow. Just don't show it to anyone else."

Taking another gulp, Yuan Peiji went on, "What the army teaches are skills for actual combat. The unarmed combat takes only a small portion and most of the skills involve using weapons such as short sticks and daggers."

"Short sticks?"

The mention of those got Gu Yu interested. He asked, "Do you have one of those here? Could you show me a few moves?"

"Of course!"

The fellow agreed without any hesitation. Fetching a short stick, he started waving it around in the living room.

The length of a short stick was similar to that between one's wrist and shoulder. When holding it, one should keep their hands a hand-breadth away from the end of the stick, commonly known as "holding back a trick or two". [2]

Yuan Peiji's demonstration was extremely simple. His leg movements were mainly single steps and quick short steps, while slashing, sweeping, upward flipping and jabbing were the only means of attack. As unappealing as they might seem, they were extremely practical in actual combat.

Gu Yu watched carefully as the fellow made his incoherent explanation peppered with strength-issuing mechanism and techniques.

Take the movement of wrist-rotating as an example. When making an inward strike with a short stick, one's wrist should shake and rotate anti-clockwise, and clockwise when striking outward. In that way, the stick would move more smoothly and freely, enhancing its explosive power in the meantime.

Secretly, Gu Yu was pleasantly surprised. That was exactly what he had hoped to see here!

With the exceptional power of the conjuring skill and its ability to defy any defensive mechanism, its effect could be so disturbing by the standards of mundane world that Gu Yu could not use it liberally. Consequently, he needed a relatively plausible identity as a cover, such as the one that guy over here had mistakenly thought he had—that, well, ancient-martial-art powerhouse which sent Gu Yu's eyes rolling.

Gu Yu's physical fitness had enabled him to grasp and apply any moves skillfully as long as he understood the principles.

Because of that, Yuan Peiji almost performed the role of a perfect teammate here, providing Gu Yu with things he needed the most. Together with the gun-testing earlier, Gu Yu now felt he had owed Yuan a lot of favors.

That fellow, however, went on with his demonstration and did not stop until quite some time later.

"Now how was that?" He asked.

"Awesome!" Gu Yu offered his compliment. Standing up, he said wholeheartedly, "It's been a long day and you've helped me a lot. Thank you."


Not thinking much of what he had offered Gu Yu, Yuan Peiji said, "You're a capable man yourself and I like you. These two are reasons enough for me to lend a hand. Plus, those were just lousy little favors."

"Hehe…" Gu Yu smiled and went on asking, "Do you have any training room here?"

"Yes, of course!"

"Take me there, please."


The fellow led Gu Yu there despite finding the request rather strange.

The training room was set in the basement; it was an incredibly spacious room with all the equipment one needed. As soon as they entered the room, Gu Yu locked the door behind him, turned around and ordered, "Take off your clothes!"

"What are you doing?"

The fellow jumped at these words. Fear crept up his big face for the first time.

"Oh, take off you top. I want to have a look at your meridians," realizing the expression he just used was misleading, Gu Yu corrected his wording.

Reassured, Yuan took off his top, revealing his muscular body and sitting down cross-legged as requested. Gu Yu put his palm on Yuan's back and sent in a streak of faint and gentle energy, sensing it attentively.

Probably as a result of practicing martial arts throughout the years, Yuan was in great shape physically and had few internal injuries too. He was gifted with abundant essence and blood and had wide meridians. As it turned out, he was well-endowed in this aspect. [3]

After that, Gu Yu moved his palm downwards, slipping all the way down to Yuan's tail bone.


Yuan Peiji squirmed, feeling uncomfortable with the gayish touch of that hand. However, immediately after that, a hot sensation gushed out from where his coccyx was, then flowed into his every limb and meridian.

"Mr. Gu!" He cried out involuntarily.

"Calm your mind!" With his face as unmoved as still water, Gu Yu ordered in a low voice.

The fellow quivered inside, then his head resumed its clarity, as if under a spell.

Such state went on for a few minutes. Yuan felt he was itchy all over and the torment was almost unbearable. Just as he thought he could no longer stand it, the palm lifted slightly, then gave him a slap.


The hot flow exploded instantaneously. The powerful impact blasted open some abstruse, clearing out a pathway for his essence and blood. He felt happiness and lightness he had never experienced before, which filled up every neuron of his instantly.

Gu Yu had not finished yet. The palm moved upwards, sweeping all the way up along the backbone and stopped at the back of his neck, and then came another slap.


The fellow finally cried out aloud, which had brought him the utmost clarity and he felt his body was cleared of all burdens.

Even an idiot could realize by now that an enormous gift had been dropped onto his lap. Yuan Peiji settled his mind slightly, then bolted up and turned around, bowing all the way down, showing full courtesy.

"Thank you, sir!"

He had changed his way of addressing Gu Yu, which said a lot about his attitude.

"Haha, you don't have to do that."

Gu Yu waved casually, lifting Yuan up.

He had opened up an abstruse for Yuan with his energy, which would make the latter's essence and blood more exuberant and enhance his physical strength. He was doing it to return the favor, but if one had to compare the two, what he had given Yuan was obviously much more generous.

The favor was immediately interpreted as a debt of gratitude. Yuan Peiji straightened up and the look in his eyes could be summarized with one sentence, 'Should you need me any time from now on, come hell or high water, I'll be at your service.'

[1] ED/N: XO was in the raws. Most likely it refers to Extra Old (cognac).

[2] TL/N: The term literally meant "leaving out a hand".

ED/N: It's a fairly common phrase in CN, and means you aren't using your full strength (ace in the sleeve) right away should you need to use it later, and to avoid the opponent finding out about your full strength (ace in the sleeve).

[3] ED/N: Think not injuries caused by attack but rather damage caused by impurities, unhealthy lifestyle, environment pollution and so on.

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