Yang Yi just leaned against the wall and didn’t say anything for a long time.
Recalling what had happened over the past two days, Yang Yi realized he had indeed turned arrogant as Zhang Yong had pointed out.
So far, he had managed to do as he pleased, but who among those he had defeated was an expert? Let’s not talk about experts, none of them could even throw a proper punch. They only had physical strength. In comparison to the average person, they were at most slightly stronger than the average person.
In addition to that, people outside the prison wouldn’t be using knives but guns instead.
Yang Yi wouldn’t be spending his entire life in prison. Thus, it was pointless for him to keep the same mindset from prison. If he continued to use the prison mindset on the outside, he would only end up losing his life.
Moreover, he was no longer in the era where superb martial arts would allow him to run rampant in the world. It would only give him a better foundation rather than something he could use as a trump card to do as he pleases. Yang Yi was then roused from his thoughts due to the burning sensation on his cheek.
“Thank you, Brother Yong,” Yang Yi was extremely sincere when he thanked Zhang Yong. After a short interval, he softly added, “Thank you for getting me back on the right track.”
Zhang Yong then leaned against the wall as well as he said, “I have a solid foundation because I have been training since I was a child. After I joined the army, I didn’t have it too difficult as a recruit because of this solid foundation. Sadly, I realized that this solid foundation of mine was useless after I graduated recruit training.”
He then sighed before he continued, “Let me tell you, martial arts are now outdated because this is the era of guns. Regardless of how good you are at fighting, it’s useless if you can’t block bullets. Nowadays, how often do you engage in close quarter combat? Bullets will be flying everywhere from hundreds of meters away. You’ll either end up dead or injured if you’re shot, so what’s the use of training your martial arts to a high level?”
Yang Yi remained silent. Thus, Zhang Yong took out two cigarettes to light before passing one to Yang Yi and saying, “Take a guess, how many people do you think I have killed with my bare hands?”
Yang Yi took the cigarette and put it in his mouth before giving it some thought. He then answered, “Ten people? You’re so skilled. You have been both a mercenary and a hitman, so there should at least be ten right?”
Zhang Yong extended three fingers and said, “Three. Only three.”
“Ah, so few?”
Zhang Yong shook his head as he said, “Few? Out of the three people, two of them were actually not a threat because they were captives. I bashed them to death out of anger because of the things they had done.”
“Ah! So to be precise, there was only one person?”
Zhang Yong chuckled as he said, “As for the last one, he had already suffered a grievous injury when I killed him with my bare hands.”
Yang Yi’s mouth was wide open not knowing what to say after hearing that.
So, Zhang Yong took another deep breath and added, “I only fought barehanded once. As to fighting with a knife, I did kill a few men in a life and death fight. Anyhow, always keep this in mind, your bare hands should always be your last line of defense. Although it’s the most reliable weapon, it’s not the most efficient. If you can use a gun, you should always do so. If there’s no gun, use a knife or a shiv. In short, you should never put too much emphasis on your fists.”
Yang Yi nodded as he answered, “I will definitely remember that.”
Zhang Yong removed the cigarette from his mouth and chuckled before he solemnly said, “After practicing martial arts my whole life, I was reluctant to let go and stop. Even still, there’s value to practicing martial arts because it has saved my life once. So, do you think it is still worth it?”
“Worth it! It’s definitely worth it because we only have one life after all!”
Zhang Yong nodded as he laughed out loud, “That’s my thought exactly. It’s possible you may never need it in your whole life. However, you’ll be glad that you have practiced martial arts if there is even one moment in which you need it. I won’t say that martial arts are entirely useless. Although it won’t have a decisive impact on the result of a battle, practicing martial arts will allow your movements to be agiler and your mind to be sharper. This will give you an advantage over those who don’t practice martial arts.”
Yang Yi answered full of determination, “Brother Yong, rest assured that I will continue to practice martial arts. I will never stop doing so.”
Zhang Yong just nodded as he said, “Since you want to be a spy, martial arts will be much more useful since the underground world is not the battlefield. Your survival rate will improve even if you can simply shoot faster than your enemy.”
Zhang Yong stood back up after finishing what he had to say. He then offered his hand and pulled Yang Yi up.
After he stood up, Yang Yi rubbed his stomach as he smiled bitterly and said, “Brother Yong, I have to thank you for straightening me up, but your methods are just too ruthless. It hurts like hell.”
Zhang Yong just laughed as he said, “You won’t remember the lesson if I am not heavy handed. Moreover, what does my action count for if you always keep in mind what I have taught you?”
Yang Yi sat on his bed and started contemplating for some time before he asked Zhang Yong. “Brother Yong, if that’s the case, should I continue to pick fights with other inmates?”
“Of course, you should continue to fight. Haven’t you comprehended something about the essence of martial arts from your fight with those White men?”
“Yes! However, I can’t quite describe what the thing I have comprehended is.”
Zhang Yong just laughed, “It should be right if you can’t describe it. Such a thing can only be comprehended as you experience more fights. You will get better as you gradually accumulate more experience. In the future, you will be able to handle fights much more dangerous than today and you will take on fights without being frozen in fear, so make sure to experience more fights.”
Yang Yi heavily said, “That’s my thought as well. By the way Brother Yong, there’s one last matter I would like to ask you about. Do you think I should continue to recruit more underlings?”
“Why would you ask such a question?”
“I feel like I was becoming too arrogant. My underlings’ flattery made the situation even worse. I don’t think this is good for me.”
Zhang Yong was merrily laughing as he said, “Are you going solo in the future? I believe you’ll definitely have group of men to assist you right? If so, you should take it as practice on how to manage your underlings.”
“But, they’re just a bunch of inmates...”
“Just a bunch of inmates? All the men locked up here are men with vast experience! In fact, they are the best of those with vast experience. If you compare their life experience with the common folks living on the outside, the common folks on the outside are just like little princes and princesses from fairy tales. You’ll be really amazing if you can manage them properly. It works to your advantage because there are no guns in prison. If you messed with this bunch of guys on the outside, it would be difficult to say who would end up being the boss.”
Yang Yi just laughed as he replied, “You’re right, Brother Yong. What you say is very well thought out since you always take the bigger picture into consideration.”
Zhang Yong solemnly answered him, “It’s just that I have more experience than you. Whoever you recruit, make sure you are able to discern them with your eyes. Those who are willing to become your underling do so not because they like you but because you can protect them. They are only willing to do your bidding because you have value to them. If not, don’t you think they would be idiots? Don’t think so highly of yourself and think they can’t survive without you. You should always be cautious. How many of them do you think will still remain by your side once you have lost your usefulness? Nowadays, you should count your blessings if you’re able to come across those who are willing to go through thick and thin with you.”