Legend of the Great Saint
Book 1, Chapter 6
How many so-called geniuses with astonishing talents had the green bull seen? One and all endowed with rare gifts and luck like that of a god, but those who attained any real achievement were only a few. On the contrary, many who were originally obscure and unknown nobodies became in one go renowned under the heavens and walked to the highest peaks on this road of cultivation.
These years, he had deliberately observed with cool eyes on the sidelines no matter what hardship tempered Li Qingshan, and had only spoken at a critical moment. Like a master craftsman, he slowly polished the material in his hands, casting an exceptional divine weapon.
What ordinary people cared about were natural endowments and destiny, those external things, but what it regarded as important was a man’s resolve. If you don’t have a strong will, then even if I gave you an opportunity vast as the sky, would you be able to shoulder it?
Thus, one was willing to teach, and one was willing to learn, then naturally the speed of progress was divine. In less than two hours of effort, Li Qingshan had a broad understanding about the [Bull Demon Strong Fist], faintly grasping the outline within.
Although the [Bull Demon Strong Fist] was a fist scripture, it focused on training tendons, bones, skin and muscles, on strengthening the body, while the fist techniques were instead secondary. There were only three styles in total, separated as “Bull Demon’s Horn Gore,” “Bull Demon’s Hoof Stamp,” “Demon Bull Skin Shift,” all the most basic of styles among fist techniques, but they could reach the complex from the simple, giving rise to countless transformations.
Of course, to grasp was one thing, to practice was another thing. To obtain achievements, one couldn’t skimp on the polishing through days and months. Li Qingshan had already experienced the two most basic things need to train in this supernatural skill. They were precisely wine and meat.
Whether supernatural skills or dao techniques, they still couldn’t create something out of nothing, transform for no reason an ordinary man into possessing the strength of ox. Even if the technique’s power overflowed the heavens, it still couldn’t avoid the process of gathering and transformation, of massing the essence of the sun and moon, breathing in the spiritual qi of heaven and earth. When the dao reached to the farther depths, you could eat the wind and drink the dew, abstain from eating grains, and use the spiritual qi of heaven and earth to replace mortal food.
Li Qingshan only had a mortal body, where would he find the ability to communicate with the spiritual qi of heaven and earth. He also couldn’t find immortal pills and spiritual medicine, so he had to start with those most ordinary things, constantly replenishing and transforming qi essence.
Li Qingshan’s body still wasn’t tough enough even though he ate meat for a few days. He could barely practice those three styles once, his sweat dripping like rain while he panted and puffed, his belly wildly growling.
Enduring to noon, he seemed to have been starving for three days, and ate the rest of his wild boar meat in one breath without a morsel left. Unexpectedly he ate even more than the first time.
He couldn’t lie down and rest in the afternoon either, but had to meditate and nourish his qi and experience the feeling of qi circulating through his body. When his body recovered more or less, he practiced another set of fist techniques, then repeated the same cycle several times, until nightfall. Li Qingshan was already utterly drained and he didn’t even want to move a single finger.
Three silhouettes sneakily groped their way to the front of Li Qingshan’s thatched house. Li Qingshan heard the sound of their movements and walked out of the house. He saw it was the three scoundrels who used to mix up with Baldy Liu. He feared they were there to avenge their big brother, and he couldn’t help crying bitterness in his heart. At this moment he was bone-weary, how could he be their opponent? Even in normal conditions he couldn’t fight alone against three men.
But he couldn’t imagine that when the three scoundrels saw him, they were like mice that saw a cat. They bowed their heads and paid their respect, shouting: “Spare our lives.”
Li Qingshan froze a moment and asked: “Why did you come here?”
How could he know that when the three scoundrels saw Baldy Liu’s dead corpse, they were scared until their guts split open. They were afraid Li Qingshan wouldn’t let matters rest after killing Baldy Liu and would come find trouble for them this night, so they braced themselves and came to his door to explain, only saying that they were also under orders. Every sin rested on Baldy Liu, and the one behind his back, Steward Liu.
Li Qingshan said: “You don’t need to say anything, I’m already aware of these matters.” That night he’d heard clearly, but of course he couldn’t answer that he was the one who killed Baldy Liu.
The three scoundrels trembled in their heart. Remembering that this fiend was just outside the window that night, they became even more frightened.
Li Qingshan vaguely understood why those three people were so afraid. He remembered that in his previous world, something like a murderer on the run happened to the small city he lived in. All kinds of rumors had flown and filled the sky, frightening people to the point no one dared step outside at night. Now he’d put on such a layer of a murderer’s aura.
Wicked people were also separated in different levels. The three scoundrels were only chicken stealing “small wicked wretches,” and facing his kind of “great sinister fiend” they could only bow their heads and be obedient. His face didn’t show any change but he felt some weirdness inside. He didn’t even manage to successfully practice any kind of supernatural skill, and only with a little change in his state of mind, his status in the village already went through an earthshaking change.
Those changes were all caused by the green bull, maybe this also counted as turning the rotten into something magical!
Li Qingshan didn’t pay them heed, and exerted himself to practice the [Bull Demon Strong Fist] one more time. This time there were three people present and he trained with special diligence. He knew that the present him was merely false bravado, and the results would be too terrible to imagine if people found out he’d already used up all his meager abilities.
The three scoundrel cautiously looked on the sideline. They’d been in the village so many years and had never heard that Li Qingshan understood fist techniques. In the darkness Li Qingshan’s moves were awe-inspiring and full of strength. He obviously wasn’t trying to fool them. They couldn’t help think back to what the witch said, it could really be that Li Qingshan was possessed by some monster demon.
The color of the sky was becoming darker. They became scared until their legs and belly cramped up. They wanted to leave but couldn’t open their mouth either, afraid Li Qingshan would suddenly reveal his original demon body and devour them in one bite.
When Li Qingshan finished his exercise, he ordered: “Follow me.” He walked outside the door on his own, not caring about them anymore. The three scoundrels glanced at each other and could only follow behind.
By this time, many villagers were eating in front of their door. Those familiar with Li Qingshan cautiously greeted him, those unfamiliar hurried to hide back inside their house. Even if during the day they’d protected Li Qingshan out of moral indignation, there was no one who didn’t feel some fear coming face to face with this murderer.
The three scoundrels usually followed Baldy Liu and fooled around. Baldy Liu still had some face in the village depending on his viciousness, but they were loathed by people and disliked by dogs. How could they have this kind of prestige? They immediately forgot their fear and started to feel proud instead. If they could follow Second Son Li, it would be a lot more lofty and stylish than in the past.
Some elderly people sighed. Although the evil wretch Baldy Liu was punished, they were afraid it gave birth to a bigger scourge. At least Baldy Liu never took a man’s life with his hands, and people weren’t all that much afraid of him.
Li Qingshan also had a kind of intimately novel sensation as he walked on this road he’d walked countless times before. He clearly recognized that he already wasn’t the Li Qingshan from the past anymore. He directly came in front of a thatched house, and was immediately filled with a thousand emotions when he remembered that he was still moping here not so long ago.
Inside the door Big Couple Li pressed against the door trembling in fright. Big Brother Li held a stick in his hand while Big Wife Li held a kitchen knife. Something that the scoundrels feared, how could they not fear either? But they weren’t the same as the scoundrels, they had the silver from selling the land in their hands, and if they gave in to Li Qingshan they couldn’t hold onto that money anymore.
So today they didn’t even do any farm work and stayed at home, discussing for the whole day. Finally it was Big Brother Li who made the decision: “He’s only one person, do we still have to fear him? If he dares to come, I’ll get rid of this evil creature on behalf of the Li clan.” But only a little time after he said those hard words, he saw Li Qingshan come find them with three persons in tow, and was suddenly scared into hiding inside the house.
Li Qingshan said: “Drag them all out.”
The three scoundrels were intimidated by his prestige and didn’t dare refuse. They had a lot of experience bullying this kind of common people after all, and with a shout they broke into the door. Big Couple Li immediately disarmed and surrendered, not daring to put up any resistance. They were terrified until their face was the color of dirt, trembling nonstop.
“Second brother, second brother, what’s this you’re doing?” Big Brother Li squeezed out a smile that was even uglier than crying.
Li Qingshan said: “I’m not looking for you.” He said to Big Wife Li: “Thieving wench, it doesn’t matter if you usually insult me, but yesterday you insulted my parents. Today I definitely won’t spare you.”
Big Wife Li was scared until her legs became soft when he stared at her, not having her usual arrogant appearance anymore: “Little Second, that was me talking without thinking. I took care of you for a dozen years, we’re all family.”
Li Qingshan smiled coldly: “All a family? It wouldn’t have mattered if you didn’t mention it, but now that you did I still got accounts to settle. First let’s talk about those stinky words from yesterday, what should we do?”
A small and thin scoundrel that looked like a monkey fawned and said: “How does this need big brother to act, junior brother knows the rules.” So saying he rolled up his sleeves and slapped toward Big Wife Li’s face.
Li Qingshan caught the scoundrel’s hand. Yesterday in the ancestral hall he would have liked nothing better than doing this, but today looking at their trembling appearance he somewhat couldn’t bear to. He remembered that those two were still his brother and sister-in-law no matter what, how could he let them suffer such humiliation at the hand of a hoodlum?
But he couldn’t let this pass. Something flashed in his mind and he said to Big Brother Li: “Don’t tell me those she insulted weren’t your own father and mother? Don’t you know how to discipline her?”
Big Brother Li realized the truth: “Right right right!” As if he was nervous Li Qingshan wouldn’t be satisfied, he put in strength and violently slapped Big Wife Li’s face several times. Big Wife Li’s face immediately became swollen.
Li Qingshan felt that this big brother of his looked very satisfied as he hit his wife. He wondered if he wasn’t using this occasion to take revenge. Anyway his own anger dissipated more than half, and he asked: “You said we’re all a family. Let me ask you, where’s the money from selling the land?”
Big Wife Li’s face that had been hit swollen red became pale white at once. Big Brother Li also closed up tight and didn’t utter a word. This money was their flesh and blood, Li Qingshan was trying to cut off their flesh this time! Compared to this money, they’d rather get beaten instead.
Big Wife Li suddenly became unreasonable: “Kill me then, kill your own sister-in-law, let’s see if there’s no official coming to arrest you, I don’t know what money you’re talking about, if you want it you can go ask for it to Steward Liu!”
Li Qingshan said sternly: “You really think I won’t dare?” This was already not a bluff. The murderous aura from killing Baldy Liu the previous night seemed to borrow the night’s darkness to come back around him. That young man in the stream’s reflection, with his body covered in blood and his two eyes staring round, had already merged with him into one.
The three scoundrels on the sideline felt their body go cold and couldn’t resist taking a step back, looking terrified at Li Qingshan.
The Big Couple Li who took the blunt of it were even more scared stiff. When did they see such a terrifying person in their whole life? It was hard to imagine this was the same Li the Second who had lived together with them for more than a dozen years.
In the end, a bag of silver was paid into Li Qingshsan’s hand. Li Qingshan weighed it. Looking at the colorless faces of Big Couple Li, he sighed in his heart. Just for the sake of this little silver, they had to coerce their own brother to such a degree. He turned around and walked away, the three scoundrels scurrying after him.
Right when Big Couple Li was ready to hold their heads and cry in anguish, the silver bag drew a curve and landed in front of them with a “pa.”
Li Qingshan’s words came from very far away: “Although you treated me as a servant, throwing insults and contempt at me, it’s also thanks to you that I could survive to this day. From today on, gratitude and grudge are settled, there’s no more relationship between us.”