Legend of the Great Saint
Book 1, Chapter 16
The other two scoundrels were scared stiff. Their faces became white, and they couldn’t move. The thing inside the porcelain jar shone in their eyes. The porcelain jar was filled with sparkling white silver. It was such an amount that they’d never seen in their whole life, and even Steward Liu and those old folks who had a foot inside the grave also showed an expression of temptation.
Li Qingshan pushed them away. They were about to get immediately angry. Even the most cowardly person would get red eyes and a hammering heart for the sake of wealth, becoming more vicious. But then they looked at Li Qingshan and didn’t dare to move again.
Li Qingshan didn’t care about their thoughts. He pulled the jar out and put it at the side. A very small skeleton emerged under the porcelain jar. This skeleton had long ago lost all flesh and blood, appearing grayish white. It was unknown how many years it’d been buried.
Little An finally nodded. Li Qingshan let out a sigh, watched left and right, then poured out all the silver from the jar and filled it with the white bones instead.
The silver tumbled on the ground and piled into a small hill.
This time, everyone around stared straight at it, not even caring about those few skeletons anymore.
Steward Liu was someone who’d seen the world, and made a rough estimation. This silver was worth at least several hundred taels1, and even he was about to have red eyes, let alone others.
In this kind of small mountain village, it could really be called a vast fortune.
Li Qingshan also didn’t expect the witch’s scamming to have plundered so much silver during those years. As they said: “Wealth moves man’s heart.” He wasn’t an immortal who didn’t eat the food of the common people either. He was also tempted by this fortune, after all in the future there were many things to spend money on!
Just talking about meat, he didn’t want to always rely on the green bull. The green bull wanted him to be independent, so he was going to show it some independence. Moreover he also wanted a change of taste, maybe he could go to the market and buy a few jars of good wine.
But he also understood that “men die for wealth while birds die for food.” If he took all of this white silver away, right now those people wouldn’t dare say much because of his prestige, but they would still bear anger in their hearts. It would leave behind quite the root for disaster, and maybe even the witch’s death wouldn’t be settled peacefully.
“Village Chief Li, you’re the person with the highest virtue and standing, so first tell us what we should do with this silver.” Li Qingshan wiped off the blood from the steel blade’s back, and sheathed it back into the scabbard. It sounded like he wanted Village Chief Li to make the decision, but when he said the four words “highest virtue and standing,” his tone was noticeable heavier.
“How could I how could I, this is you Second Son’s credit. You cut off this great scourge for the village, so you should handle this silver.” Village Chief had just played a disgraceful role a few days ago, and he always felt that Li Qingshan’s words carried a strong taste of intimidation, so how would he dare agree to this request.
Li Qingshan looked left and right, and those he looked at all hurriedly nodded: “Second Son you just handle it!” He then nodded. He didn’t mind splitting the silver and exchanging that for peace, but if there really was someone who couldn’t see clearly and wanted to take the lion’s share of his spoils, then they’d have to first ask the blade in his hand if it agreed or not.
In this group of people, who wasn’t much older than Li Qingshan, but no one felt indignant at listening to the arrangements of a fifteen years old young man. The present Li Qingshan wasn’t the Li Qingshan from the past; that unwavering and cruel blade that murdered someone had already awed them all.
Li Qingshan sat on the ground and partitioned the money. He held the porcelain jar filled with white bones in one hand, the other hand holding his short knife, while a group of mighty people and elder people lowered their heads as they listened to his words.
But everyone was surprised at the first person he distributed silver to.
“Uncle Wealthy, the witch ruined your household and killed your family, by reason you should have compensation. Take this silver. In the future don’t spend your life drunk, only then can you comfort the spirit of the departed.” Li Qingshan used the blade’s scabbard and poked at the silver piled into a small hill, pushing out some silver.
“How…how could I accept this!” Wealthy Li also didn’t expect Li Qingshan to say this, and he was at a loss as what to do.
“Take it away!” Li Qingshan actually wanted to praise and reward him for his courage at standing out right now and shouldering the burden for the murder.
Wealthy Li put the silver away with unspeakable gratitude.
Li Qingshan looked again at the two scoundrels: “Those are for you.” He glanced at that scoundrel lying dead on the ground: “And it’s also for him. Give him a good burial when you go back. In the future earn a honest living, don’t do those lowlife chicken stealing dog stealing things anymore, or I fear you could meet the same kind of disaster.”
The two scoundrels were both surprised and happy as they gathered the silver. When Li Qingshan had mentioned this companion of theirs, their faces were both pale white, but they didn’t look too saddened. Whether they would actually spend the money and give this companion a burial, only the heavens could know.
Finally Li Qingshan cupped his hands at Steward Liu, Village Chief Li, and the group of village elders: “In the past few days, I’ve greatly offended you all, this silver can be said to be an apology. I still hope you’ll forgive this boy for not understanding things. However, if I still hear about old people not respecting themselves and bullying the weak with the strong in the village…” His mouth said apology, but his face didn’t express the slightest regret. His voice was even sterner and harsher when he said the last few words.
Those people repeatedly said: “We won’t we won’t!”
Li Qingshan nodded his ascent and pushed out a pile of silver for themselves to divide.
“What about the rest of the villagers?” Village Chief Li saw that there was still a great pile left after he got his own share of the silver. Since even Wealthy Li this kind of victim could get compensation, then the village wasn’t lacking in people suffering from injustice. It could be said that every family and every household had made offerings to the witch.
Li Qingshan sent him a glance: “The several of you still have objections?” Although he sympathized with the villagers, he wasn’t planning on footing the bill for someone else’s silliness. If it weren’t for him killing the witch with a swift and decisive blade, those people could very well have tried to block him at the threats and urges of the witch.
Moreover, how to split the silver, which family got more and which family got less, there could absolutely not be any perfect fairness. In the end he would not only not get any advantage, but instead become the object of everyone’s hatred.
Village Chief Li had also seen through this point, and he wanted to trip this young man who had all this momentum with him. To speak frankly, what did the interest of the villagers have to do with him? He was merely afraid of the ever increasing threat to his authority in the village posed by this man in front of him. It could very well be that in a few years, when he became a genuinely mature adult, he wouldn’t even able to hang onto this status of village chief.
But he didn’t expect that with Li Qingshan’s thoughts would be so meticulous at such a young age, as if he had seen through his plot with one glance. It made him even more terrified and he didn’t dare to speak any longer.
Li Qingshan wrapped up the rest of the silver: “Then I’ll have to invite all of you to give an explanation to the village. If someone ran his tongue off and talked nonsense, and it fell into my ears, hmph!”
A group of person obediently promised. The blade was in front of them, and they also got benefits, who would dare speak nonsense.
Led out by Village Chief Li, they explained to the village people. They greatly praised Li Qingshan’s virtues at removing this scourge for sake of the people. At first there were some die-hard believers of the witch who couldn’t accept it, but when remains were carried out one by one, everyone shut their mouths. Someone who had so many bones of the dead buried inside their backyard, could they be a good person?
Also, who wanted to offend Li Qingshan this kind of fierce and powerful man for the sake of a dead person. There was even this group of elders with “high virtue and standing.”
Li Qingshan didn’t appear himself. Instead he took the bronze bell from the witch’s severed hand. He could vaguely feel the spirituality inside, different from ordinary tools. He asked Little An: “She was using this stuff to control you?”
Little An nodded and looked with terror at this bronze bell.
Li Qingshan held the bell and strongly twisted it, twisting the bell until it deformed. That spirituality suddenly vanished. Afterwards he went outside the door and threw away the bell with all his strength. He turned his head back and smiled: “You’re free!”