Legend of the Great Saint
Book 1, Chapter 24
Sick Yellow Tiger knew that his psychological blow wasn’t strong enough, and he said some more: “Seeing as your blade art and fist art are free and uninhibited, you must be walking the road of external martial arts. This kind of martial arts can be learned relatively fast, but without the support of a top-rank inner martial art, reaching the center from the outer, by the time you attain the realm of outer and inner dual cultivation, it’ll probably be difficult to become a first-grade master. Being an innate master is even more hopeless.”
“First-grade master? Then what grade am I? Also what’s an innate master?”
Li Qingshan’s series of questions made Sick Yellow Tiger believe the words about the person of high skills transmitting his techniques to him. How would he not know about this if he had a proper master: “Qingshan, your skill isn’t sufficient yet to be third grade.”
“That’s why it’s low grade!”
“You can be called ‘proficient’ since you could overthrow those ginseng gatherers. You’re still young, you don’t need to be too discouraged, as long as you train properly you’ll be able to become a third-grade master, then you’ll be able to run rampant. Qingshan, this will absolutely not be a problem with your natural aptitudes.”
Sick Yellow Tiger feared his psychological attack was too strong and had dampened his drive, so he kindly comforted him. But how could he know that the goal the green bull had given Li Qingshan from the start was to run rampant in the whole human world. As to the so-called inner martial art, it was even more of a joke.
“Innate masters dwell in even more profound mysteries. First they have to open their whole body’s meridians, break through the door of life and death, transforming their inner strength into true qi. They are able to circulate it at will inside their bodies, not suffering from any hindrance anymore. Once the true qi is strong to a certain level, they can even radiate it at will out of their bodies and injure people.”
Wait a little, it seems like I can already circulate the qi inside my body at will, I just can’t release it outside. It must be because the amount is still too small.
Li Qingshan suddenly understood that from the beginning he never stood on the same starting line compared to other ordinary persons. The road he walked on was something common martial artists had no way to imagine.
“Chief hunter, I will certainly become an innate master.”
Sick Yellow Tiger praised him with a “good ambition,” but his expression was noncommittal. Innate master? Back when he first heard about those things, wasn’t he also filled with the same kind of lofty ambitions and magnificent aspirations? How could it be so easy.
It was as if he saw a younger version of himself from back then: “If you really become an innate master, I’ll give you this chief hunter title of mine.” This actually wasn’t a casual commitment. The way he thought about it, even if Li Qingshan became an innate master, it would be several decades later. How could he know that the one in front of his eyes was already his so-called “innate master.”
Li Qingshan thought of something: “Chief hunter, it looks like your body isn’t in a great shape?”
“I was born frail and weak. The doctors originally said I couldn’t survive, but my mother didn’t believe them and stubbornly brought me up. I also didn’t believe I couldn’t match the other kids in the village, so I stubbornly trained my martial arts. But my foundation remains frail, and over the years I’ve accumulated painful wounds. I fear I don’t have much more time left to live.”
Li Qingshan actually felt some admiration for this man in front of him. Even without great supernatural skills or great techniques, the perseverance and determination was enough to set an example for him.
“Don’t worry chief hunter, you just need to find the spirit ginseng, it’ll surely be able to cure you.”
“En, although it’s as elusive as floating mist, there’s always a lifeline left. We’ll take the opportunity of the Ginseng King Village’s current upheaval and start searching the mountains today. Do you want to come along?”
“My body’s condition isn’t yet fully recovered, I probably won’t be able to lend a hand to the chief hunter.” Of course Li Qingshan wouldn’t agree. The other party was merely saying but they wouldn’t really trust him.
“Alright, then let’s wait until your body’s wounds heal, we’ll fight again then. I’ll arrange someone to teach you archery.” Sick Yellow Tiger patted his shoulder.
After Sick Yellow Tiger left, Li Qingshan immediately inquired the green bull.
The green bull said as if it was beneath his contempt: “What first grade second grade, do we also need to rank ants by strength? But this spirit ginseng will actually be of great help to your cultivation if you could obtain it.”
Li Qingshan could only watch it with meaningful eyes.
“Now you can learn hunting and not rely on me anymore, I’m very gratified. I’ll finally be able to get some rest. From today on, take good care of yourself!”
It was as expected. The green bull had always followed the same line, and it would absolutely not act to help him. Li Qingshan also didn’t truly plan on depending on it. As to play the two villages and snatch the food from the tiger’s mouth, he had even less this kind of self-confidence. Most probably it would be throwing his life away in vain. He just sighed a few time with emotion, and erase this matter from his mind. He chewed a ginseng, sat in meditation and circulated his qi, only falling asleep in the depths of the night.
A ghost rose from the locust wood plaque like a strand of green smoke, shaping into a handsome child. He took a look at Li Qingshan and seemed to make a decision. He rode the night wind and flew toward the mountains, his bloodless lips moving open and closed.
If someone proficient in lips-reading could see, they would know that the words repeated in his mouth were “spirit ginseng.”
The green bull opened its eyes and took a look, then closed them back and returned to sleep.
Little An flew out of Horse Rein Village, flying into the undulating ranges of mountains. He freely went through layer after layer of forest trees, but from time to time he had to avoid the incoming fierce mountain winds. He saw in the far distance a dot of fire light, and when he flew close he discovered it was the Horse Rein Village hunters carrying weapons while resting beside a bonfire. Sick Yellow Tiger was discussing in a low voice with several hunters about battle techniques. Little An circled a few laps around and listened for a while, then rode the wind as he flew toward Old White Peak.
He carefully examined each river stream, each piece of rock. Of course, his attention would occasionally be attracted by small animals he met on the way, and he would forget his original goal, but he would always be able to return to his senses very quickly and continue searching. There was only one thought left in his mind: I must, I must find the spirit ginseng, this way I’ll be able to help him.
During the fourth night watch period1, the ginseng gatherers launched a night raid, but they were killed and beaten back by Sick Yellow Tiger who was long ago prepared. However neither side had found the spirit ginseng. It was the same for Little An.
Using the time left before sunrise he returned to the village, his face full of exhaustion, almost fed up. It wasn’t easy for a child’s thoughts to persist for so long. Moreover, this work was too lonely for him, he’d already had enough of the taste of loneliness. But looking at the face of Li Qingshan who was still asleep, his heart suddenly bubbled anew with motivation. He shook his fists and drilled inside the locust wood plaque to sleep.
In the early morning, a grim looking old hunter called for Li Qingshan: “The chief hunter told me to teach you archery!”
Li Qingshan noticed that his left foot was a little lame, but he only quickly glanced over it once to stay polite. Unexpectedly the old hunter already noticed and calmly said: “It was bitten by a wolf. Follow me!”
To the west of the village was an open space where a group of teenagers already stood waiting. The oldest ones were about the same age as Li Qingshan, while the youngest ones still had snot hanging from their noses. But everyone was carrying a hunting bow on their backs, and their gazes when looking at Li Qingshan were a little guarded and unkind.
“Grandpa Cang, he’s also with us?”
Grandpa lightly nodded and didn’t explain too much, directly saying: “Pull your bows!”
This group of kids suddenly stopped talking. They pulled their hunting bows and aimed at the distant target. Grandpa Cang corrected their postures one by one and explained the main aspects of archery, tossing Li Qingshan to the side.
Li Qingshan didn’t feel bored, but instead listened carefully on the sideline. Thus an hour went by. Grandpa Cang ordered a rest and finally said to Li Qingshan: “Better first train your strength!” before pointing at a row of stone locks on the side.
Li Qingshan went and snatched the stone locks. Compared to the green bull, this kind of teacher who didn’t even take your life seriously, this level of cold shoulder was still within his acceptable range.
Grandpa Cang exposed some surprised expression. He pretty disliked Li Qingshan, but he still couldn’t defy Sick Yellow Tiger’s instruction, so he gave him a cold reception on purpose. It could also count as polishing his temperament. But he didn’t think that he wouldn’t get angry at all, which was completely different from what he imagined, so he thought: “No wonder the chief hunter took a fancy to him!”
“Kid, where do you come from?” That group of children couldn’t resist any longer and came forward, their faces full of provocation.
“Crouching Bull Village.”
“Hmph, a mere farm worker, you actually have some bull strength. We heard you even took a bull along. We don’t need bulls here, just kill it and eat the meat!”
You couldn’t ask Li Qingshan to lower himself to their level and scream nonsense, but he wouldn’t let them throw insults as they pleased either. His put strength in his two arms and flung two stone locks of several dozen pounds in the air.
“Mom!” This group of kids scattered in all directions with panic-stricken faces. When a stone lock several dozen pounds heavy smashed down, it couldn’t but smash your brain open.
The stone locks heavily dropped down. Li Qingshan didn’t dodge or hide, instead focusing all his attention and observing the timing. He grabbed the stone locks in one try, then his body spun on itself to diffuse the force of impact. He smiled as he looked at them.
This group of kids stared dumbstruck and swallowed their saliva. How much strength was that. Most of them could lift those two stone locks, but it was impossible to throw them so high, not even mentioning catching the stone locks back.
Li Qingshan didn’t pay them any mind anymore and merely said with a smile: “Grandpa Cang, do I still need to train my strength?”