Yue eventually marries and later participates in the imperial military examination in the Song capital of Kaifeng.
There, he defeats all competitors and even turns down an offer from Cai Gui (蔡桂), the Prince of Liang, to be richly rewarded if he forfeits his chance for the military degree.
(Zhou Tong is not to be confused with the similarly named "Little Tyrant" in Water Margin.) Zhou teaches Yue and his three sworn brothers - Wang Gui (王贵), Tang Huai (湯懷) and Zhang Xian (張顯) - literary lessons on odd days and military lessons, involving archery and the eighteen weapons of war, on even days.
After years of practice, Zhou Tong enters his students into the Tangyin County military examination, in which Yue Fei wins first place by shooting a succession of nine arrows through the bullseye of a target 240 paces away.
During this time, he would wear coarse mourning robes, caps, and slippers, while abstaining from silken garments.According to the Shuo Yue Quanzhuan, the immortal Chen Tuan, disguised as a wandering priest, warned Yue Fei's father, Yue He (岳和), to put his wife and child inside a clay jar if the infant Yue Fei began to cry.A few days later, a young child squeezed Yue Fei's hand too hard and he began to cry.The novel states after being swept from Henan to Hubei, Yue and his mother are saved by the country squire Wang Ming (王明) and are permitted to stay in Wang's manor as domestic helpers.The young Yue Fei later becomes the adopted son and student of the Wang family's teacher, Zhou Tong, a famous master of military skills.Soon, it began to rain and the Yellow River flooded, wiping out the village.