Legend of the Great Saint
Book 1, Chapter 5
The green bull didn’t answer and closed its eyes.
Li Qingshan lay on the bed, and although he kept his face calm, he couldn’t control the wild surges of his emotions. He couldn’t fall asleep until half the night was past, but when the tightness in his heart finally relaxed down, he suddenly felt even more exhausted than after a whole day of farm work, and immediately sank into sleep.
That night, he dreamed he was facing ten thousand enemies and killing through them until their corpses piled into a mountain that covered the sun, the sea of blood submerging the stars.
The dream receded like a tide when he woke up. The sunlight brightly shone inside, already well into the morning.
Baldy Liu’s death was like a drop of cold water in a pan of frying oil. It stirred great waves in the village. This wretch did many evils in the village and finally died. Ordinary people all clapped their hands and offered praises, talking about retribution.
But next was guessing who did it? Those who had hatred with Baldy Liu were many, but those who dared to take revenge were few. There was no secret in a small village, and after one turn in their mind the villagers thought about what happened the previous day in the ancestral hall. As it happened, that person hadn’t come to see the ruckus yet, confirming the guesses of those people even more.
“Li the Second killed someone.”
“Look at him not making a sound usually, he actually had this kind of courage.”
“He’s probably fled by now already.”
In the midst of the quiet conversation voices, there was the pale white face of Big Wife Li. Steward Liu and Village Chief Li had faces sinking like cold water, and the other scoundrels were even more scared until their feet became soft. If the previous night they had been the one to go out, could they be the one lying there now?
A voice exclaimed in alarm: “Li the Second came!” The crowd voluntarily opened a way. Li Qingshan walked in great strides under the public stare and came beside Baldy Liu’s corpse. Last night was dark and he didn’t feel it, but today with a single glance he felt that the appearance of death was terrifying. But he didn’t expose anything on his face in the slightest and only said : “Good thing he died.” His eyes gazed left and right, sweeping across the crowd.
Everybody felt that Li Qingshan seemed to have become another person in the space of a single night, become a little fearsome. Everyone he looked at felt a chill on their back, even more so for those involved who jumped in fright.
Village Chief Li said: “Tie up Li the Second and carry him to the ancestral hall.”
The Crouching Bull Village was really far from the city, and they were more or less in a state of autonomy. Anything that happened in the village was decided by the village elders after discussion. Even in a murder case, they had to first arrest the person and send him to the government offices. It was no use hoping that the great lords of the government office would travel mountains and wade through water for several dozens of miles to come take someone from this broken place. Therefore they had almost no contact with the government and directly dealt punishment in the village.
There was a disturbance among the crowd of villagers. Li Qingshan frowned and shouted: “Who dares?” Even though he didn’t have a weapon in his hand, he exposed the prestige and might of murder like a sword coming out of its sheathe, baring its sharp edge.
None of the villagers came forward, but it was more than fear of Li Qingshan. There was a balance inside everyone’s mind, even more so for the rustic villagers: village chief you collude with tyrants in such a manner and bully honest people, what right do you have to order us? Everyone in the village saw the Second son grow up, he even calls you grandfather, you’re really something to act against him. This Baldy Liu committed crimes that couldn’t be erased even after death, the Second son got rid of harm for every villager.
“This Baldy Liu drank himself drunk and tripped to death, what does it have to with the Second son?” The one who spoke was Fifth Brother Zhang who had big grievances with Baldy Liu. Baldy Liu had taken advantage when he went to the fields and intentionally bullied his wife. At that time he’d wished nothing better than to fight to death with this wretch, but his wife painstakingly persuaded him not to. Today seeing his body lying down dead, there was an unspeakable satisfaction in his heart.
Someone immediately echoed: “Right, right, he tripped to death, it’s retribution from the heavens.”
At once voices rose up confusedly, all saying that Baldy Liu died accidentally, completely ignoring the small holes on Baldy Liu’s body. Their gaze when looking at Liu Qingshan carried a little more respect.
Li Qingshan was suddenly moved, so this was the so-called public opinion.
Village Chief Li knew that if he continued like this, his prestige in the village would be greatly disturbed, and he was also truly a little afraid of Li Qingshan’s revenge. If he had known before this kid was so vicious, he certainly wouldn’t have crooked his mouth just for the sake of some silver. The villagers didn’t listen to his commands, while the other scoundrels were even worse than ordinary people and had already sneaked off secretly.
He only glanced once at Steward Liu. He should have been able to command his servants and workers, but Steward Liu only turned a blind eye. Anyway it was originally because Li the Eldest absolutely wanted to sell him the land. He’d never stuck his face out, he had a great house and great industries, so why would he clash with this kind of powerful man over such a trivial thing? Moreover a slight carelessness could arouse public anger, it was even more harm than good.
Unconsciously he’d already started to treat Li Qingshan as a powerful man.
“Possessed by evil spirits, possessed by evil spirits, I warned beforehand, I warned beforehand.” The witch suddenly pointed at Li Qingshan and howled.
The expression of every villager greatly changed, and they subconsciously retreated farther away from Li Qingshan.
Li Qingshan went forward and kicked her down: “You old thief, until when are you going to falsely accuse me. I’ll tear your mouth off if you dare to say one more word.”
The witch uttered “aiyo” and didn’t dare talk any longer, only staring him with bitter eyes.
Li Qingshan was calm and fearless: “If you really have supernatural powers, let your gods and demons come find me, let’s see if I’m afraid of them.” His words done, he walked out of the crowd with his head held high. He directly went somewhere with no on around, and dispersed the momentum he carried just now. He could sense his heart beating fiercely, but he knew he made the right decision.
If he’d hidden inside his house out of fear and given Village Chief Li time to gather the villagers, he would probably have been captured before nightfall. With his current physique, he couldn’t resist against a few burly fellows. He could only be genuinely safe and sounds by taking risks and pressuring the people with his momentum, then obtain the public opinion.
The green bull was already waiting for a long time when he went back to the mud house. It looked
up and down at Li Qingshan.
Li Qingshan also felt the strange atmosphere. He went forward and deferentially gave his respects, then raised his head and asked with a smile: “Elder brother bull, do I still need to arrange a feast to formally become your apprentice?”
The green bull said: “Your wine and meat, didn’t I give them all to you? You’re still talking about a feast for becoming master and apprentice.”
Li Qingshan spread his hands and said: “I’ll help you get some tender grass, won’t that do?”
The green bull’s eyes became heavy: “Not joking with you, I only taught you this art of murder because you had already stored a heart of murder. In the future you won’t be lacking in struggles, and you won’t see another peaceful day. The day your abilities are lacking, and you find yourself killed, you can only die with no complaints.”
“The strong prey on the weak, it’s the same anywhere you go. I don’t dare to say no complaints, just no regrets.”
The green bull said: “No regrets, well said. Since you’ve made up your mind, I’ll pass on to you a set of [Bull Demon Strong Fist]. When you can train to the strength of one bull and establish your foundations, I’ll give you the [Tiger Demon Bone Refining Fist]. When you cultivate the two techniques together, you can learn a daoist supernatural skill ‘Strength of Nine Bulls and Two Tigers’, by that time you’ll be able to run rampant in the human world.”
“Strength of Nine Bulls and Two Tigers?” Li Qingshan felt it was too ordinary when he heard. Nine tigers and two bulls, what’s extraordinary with that, those were the most ordinary of domestic animals or wild beasts. Could they also be worthy of being called a supernatural skill and run riot across the human world?
But thinking carefully, he was shocked. He had taken care of the bull for more than a dozen years, and had a deep knowledge of how great the strength of a bull was. One bull’s strength could resist ten strong men, if he could only obtain one bull’s strength, he could don armor and hold a spear, kill through a battlefield, and be worthy of the name of a fierce general.
Nine bulls and two tigers weren’t anything exceptional, but if that strength all combined inside a man’s body, he would have a power of tens of thousand pounds with the lift of his hand, who would be able to stop him? Even if Lu Bu1were to be reborn and Li Yuanba2to come to this world, they couldn’t block a light punch of his.
“But since it’s a daoist skill, why are they called bull demons tiger demons?”
“This technique was originally a technique from ancient times, it’s already lost nowadays.”
Li Qingshan was excited when he heard the two words “ancient times.” To his knowledge, any spiritual pills or herbs, secret books or treasures, as long as they had some relationship with those two words, they would all be powerful beyond compare.
But the green bull’s following explanation made him greatly disappointed, because the reason this technique had been lost was because it was too difficult to use, and it was replaced by divine skills created by later generations geniuses. In short it had been eliminated by natural selection.
Although sages of ancient times were admittedly strong, there was no reason later generations couldn’t measure up to previous generations, even more so as they stood on the shoulders of the previous generations.
“The cultivators back then attached more importance to training qi and less importance on training the body to the point of considering it mortal flesh, so they would naturally not pay any attention anymore to this kind of technique pursuing brute force.”
“Heh, don’t be too disappointed, the supernatural skill I’m teaching you is already not the same as the original. It was improved by an almighty member of the monster clan, that’s the reason it’s called bull demon tiger demon. Bull demon to train the body, tiger demon to train the bones, follow the demons to enter the dao. As they say, “as the daoist rises one foot, the demon rises ten.” The might is a lot stronger.”
“I have a human body, if I cultivate this technique will I suffer any side effect?”
“No idea, because no human tried, maybe you could really deviate from the right way and transform into a monster.”
The bull green said it with ease. Li Qingshan only smiled wrily. It would be one thing to cultivate a technique passed on from ancient times, he would become at most a “strange person” and be mocked by other cultivators. Cultivating a technique that’d gone through revision at the hands of monsters and demons, he could become a “freak” and maybe get killed in the name of great justice.
But now wasn’t a time when he could pick meat from the fat. Li Qingshan considered carefully for a while and took a deep breath: “Then please elder brother bull teach me this supernatural skill.” If someone could understand his hunger to change his fate at this moment, they’d realize that he’d accept the assistance from even the devil.
The green bull explained to him in details the essence of this [Bull Demon Strong Fist]. Li Qingshan immediately practiced, starting to imitate one move and one form at a time, exercising his muscles and bones, operating his four limbs.
Under the dazzling sunlight, there were an old bull and a young man between the dancing shades of the trees. The old bull reclined leisurely and gave instructions while the young man listened respectfully with rapt attention.
Although the green bull couldn’t demonstrate himself, he hit the nail on the head each time he spoke, making Li Qingshan suddenly see the light, increasing his understanding of the [Bull Demon Strong Fist], and making him even more motivated to train.
The green bull spoke carelessly, but in his heart he was also satisfied by the comprehension of this “disciple.” Worthy of someone with inborn wisdom, this kind of people would certainly not live long among wild grasses. Unfortunately he was born in this village deep in the mountains. His fate was really unfavorable, like a dragon in shallow waters and a tiger fallen from the mountain to the plains.
Otherwise in any flourishing city, whether learning martial arts or scholarly arts, he would have long ago risen above others and become an elite, and he wouldn’t have to suffer anger from some stupid villagers.
But it was only thanks to this that this excellent material could fall into its hooves. What it wanted to teach was more than a mere elite.
- Character from the Three Kingdoms era. Seen in modern culture as the strongest fighter in that era due to the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
- Fictional character said to be the greatest out of the 18 (fictional) great warriors of the Sui-Tang period, first mentioned in the novel Shuo Tang. Li Yuanba wields two 200kg hammers and is said to be extreme strong and extremely dumb, almost like a berserker. Some novels even mention him as a warrior that can only be matched by Xiang Yu, said to be the greatest fighter in Chinese history.