Legend of the Great Saint
Book 1, Chapter7
Silver was lost and recovered. Big Couple Li exposed expressions of pleasant surprise and big Wife Li didn’t even care about her face’s pain anymore, hurriedly hugging the bag of silver in her arms.
The three scoundrels were all left speechless, admiration exposed on their faces. This wasn’t a small amount of silver, it was enough to freely spend for a while, but he actually threw it so easily on the ground. Originally they only felt fear, but now watching Li Qingshan’s back, they faintly felt much more respect for him.
They actually believed that those good men who made clear distinction between grudge and gratitude were only random nonsense cooked up by storytellers, but they didn’t think they would see one with their own eyes. If he could be like this at such a young age, he would certainly be a character of note in the future. The contempt they felt because of Li Qingshan’s age was now also completely eliminated.
Li Qingshan walked in great strides in front of them. As the day fell below the western mountains and the green hills quieted, he felt incomparably calm and relaxed, as if he’d been unloaded from an invisible burden. New vigor came to his body out of nowhere and even his fatigue entirely vanished. He faintly felt that if he were to practice the [Bull Demon Strong Fist] right now, it would be much smoother than earlier during the day.
This wasn’t an illusion of his. Whether daoist supernatural skills or mortal martial arts, they all paid attention to the suitability of the practitioner’s mood. The [Bull Demon Strong Fist] was originally an unrestrained technique requiring a clear mind and the courage to forge ahead.
Li Qingshan forthrightly threw his resentment away and there was no more gloom in his heart, hence it naturally suited the quintessence within.
Li Qingshan’s vision fell brightly on the three scoundrels when they went back to the thatched house: “I have to offer you many thanks for just now.” Without the pressure of those three, those brother and sister-in-law of his would certainly not have caved in so easily. If they started playing rough with their sticks and knives, he truly had no real way, and maybe he would even have suffered.
His mind was moved. He didn’t think that he could handle this matter so smoothly and now understood the advantages of numbers. Even the bull demon king also needed six sworn brothers1, to say nothing about him! Of course, those three scoundrels weren’t worthy of being his brothers.
The three hurriedly said: “What is big brother talking about? We already can’t thank you enough for being a great man with a broad mind and not bicker with us over small matters. Baldy Liu didn’t know good from evil and even death can’t wipe his crimes away, we followed him and greatly offended in the past…”
Li Qingshan interrupted with a wave of the hand: “The past is in the past.”
The three scoundrels all felt relaxed when they obtained this promise. They started to get other ideas and fawned around him one and all, becoming excited and emotional as they spoke, almost as if they were about to burn a few blades of grass as incense and become his sworn brothers.
Even in his past life Li Qingshan had never been praised and flattered this much. Although it came from the mouths of three rascals he looked down upon, it was still difficult to avoid the pride and hilarity in his heart. But becoming sworn brothers was impossible, so he said a few random things and sent the three away.
The green bull crouching at the side said: “Why didn’t you promise them? They were willing to gang up and to make you their leader, you’d have been safer in the village, and you would also have had people inform you about any news.”
What the villagers struggled about was precisely manpower. Often times a family with many brothers and many sons wouldn’t be easily bullied, they might even go bully others.
Li Qingshan proudly said: “The people this Li Qingshan wants to associate with, even if they aren’t heroes unmatched under the sky, still must be men with bones of iron who value feelings and righteousness. How could I wallow in the mire together with these three.” His voice was awe-inspiring, and a few crows flew up in surprise, roaming among the treetops.
The green bull became quiet and didn’t speak anymore. It sank into deep contemplation as it looked at Li Qingshan’s high-spirited and heroic appearance.
Li Qingshan felt a little embarrassed and rubbed the back of his head: “Brother bull, you must be laughing at me for saying big words, but it’s just what I’m thinking. You’re the only one I can tell these things to.”
Once again the green bull took out a wine gourd out of nowhere and threw it to Li Qingshan: “It’s better to go back and plow the land if you don’t even dare to say a few words. What other big words do you have, say them all out and let me listen.”
Li Qingshan pulled the cork with practiced ease. He lifted his head and gulp gulp drank a few mouthfuls of wine, casually wiping his mouth, his smiling showing his teeth: “I want to wander everywhere in those five lakes and four seas, through the nine provinces under the heavens2, taste every fine delicacies on this world, drink every fine liquor under the sky, cultivate the fiercest divine skills, battle the strongest enemies, bed the most beautiful women. Only this could be considered not a waste of this life! Brother bull, do you think I can realize this dream?”
“You certainly can!”
“Very well, I hope your words come true!”
The great dreams of the young man echoed in this small courtyard. Perhaps at this very moment, even he himself didn’t take them seriously, but a spark had already fallen into his innermost being, about to light up a burning prairie.
Li Qingshan took advantage of his heart of wine and practiced the three styles of the [Bull Demon Strong Fist] another time. Half-drunk and half-lucid, he also had no idea whether his moves were correct or not. He was just waving his fist and kicking his feet as his heart wished, while the green bull merely drank wine at the side and didn’t say anything.
Li Qingshan fell drunk on the ground.
The next day, the matter about Li Qingshan returning the money to his brother and sister-in-law very quickly spread around the whole village through the mouths of the three scoundrels. Concerning his choice, some people were full of admiration and praised his extraordinary mettle. Some people also laughed mockingly, what are you going to eat without the land? Aren’t you still going to be a hired worker for Steward Liu, let’s see what kind of mettle you’ll have by then.
But they still didn’t really dare say it brazenly in the open. The Second Son Li’s prestige in the Crouching Bull Village was already faintly rising.
Steward Liu was half and half happy and worried about this thing. Happy naturally that Li the Second wouldn’t come haggling over this piece of land, but worried that Li the Second distinguished grudges and gratitude so clearly. Maybe right now he was merely containing his hatred and was waiting for an opportunity to take revenge. After all that Baldy Liu was acting under his orders back then.
It would actually be better if Li the Second came charging in now. He had a thousand ways to deal with him. But you couldn’t ask him to be on his guard day after day, night after night. It was indeed “rather bully the old than a poor young man.”
While Steward Liu was thinking in the hall, a crooked old man supported by a young man came to his door. He was stopped by the gatekeeping servants.
Steward Liu immediately went out and greeted them, his fat face smiling: “Great Village Chief Li, which wind blew you this way?”
Village Chief Li said with a stern face: “I don’t know when you put a guard here, what are you guarding against?”
Steward Liu smiled, a little embarrassed. Although he was a landowner, it was merely a small mountain village after all, and his gate couldn’t be as rich as the great wealthy city families. It only had an old concierge, what gatekeeper was there usually?
Although he exhausted all means to take over the village’s lands, most of it was still from honest business, and even if he bullied he bullied negligible people, so he didn’t have many personal enemies. Now the one he guarded against was naturally Li Qingshan. In his eyes, this kid also used to be someone negligible, but lately his reactions really surpassed his expectations.
The two men went inside the house to chat. Village chief Li didn’t beat around the bush and said: “Steward Liu, you’re someone who’s seen the world. Tell me, how should we tidy up this Li the Second?”
His eyes were fully bloodshot. The villagers were afraid of Li Qingshan, and likewise he was also afraid. The older they became the more people feared death. Last night he had lain on the bed tossing and turning, find it difficult to sleep. He had hurriedly sat up anytime there was some motion, afraid it was Li Qingshan secretly coming in to take this old life of his. He almost couldn’t fall asleep the whole night.
He’d gotten up at the very dawn, making a firm resolution. If he couldn’t get rid of this anxiety, he had no way to live anymore, so he came to Steward Liu.
Steward Liu spread his hands and said: “How to tidy him up, the villagers all respect him as a hero, and besides there’s no evidence it was him who killed Baldy Liu.”
“How isn’t he the one who killed him, it was almost written on his face.” Said the young man beside Village Chief Li. He was Village Chief Li’s son Tiger Li. He was also a tyrant in the village, and nowadays Li Qingshan had stolen a lot of his thunder so he felt very unhappy.
“Even if it’s written on his face you still couldn’t read.” Steward Liu glared at him. Even an ignorant kid like you dares to act wild in front of me? He looked at Village Chief Li and spoke in a slow tone: “Do you know what he did last night?”
“Of course I know, everyone thinks he’s a hero, this way I’m even more unable of commanding them, that’s why I came to find you.”
As the one with the greatest power in the village, Village Chief was already used to have things the way he ordered, but suddenly a kid jumped out and offended his dignity, so he also felt very angry and very hurt. He resolved he absolutely had to retrieve this face. He gave no thought as to who actually was the first one to overturn right and wrong, reverse black and white.