Legend of the Great Saint
Book 1, Chapter 25
Grandpa Cang was finally shocked: “Inborn divine strength?” Then he repeatedly shook his head: “I forgot, you cultivate a strength-based outer martial art, it’s not very surprising if you have some strength!”
“Archery isn’t something you succeed at just by strength alone. Hold it properly!” Grandpa Cang removed the hunting bow from his back and tossed it to Li Qingshan.
“It’s Grandpa Cang’s bullhorn bow, it’s one stone heavy!” “Grandpa Cang deliberately wants to embarrass this kid. It’s not the same thing pulling a bow and throwing stone locks.”
A stone was a hundred and twenty pounds. Ordinary hunting bows didn’t pursue might but precision and deftness instead. There were very few bows that were so hard. When bows were too hard, the power was no doubt enhanced, but the precision and firing speed would be very poor if the hunter couldn’t operate it.
If you met a wild beast in the mountains and your first arrow missed, then there was no time to fire a second arrow before the fierce beast pounced on you, and it was a sure road to death. Those who could master this kind of hard bows were all divine archers who had no troubles felling tigers and panthers under their arrows inside the mountains.
Li Qingshan weighed the hunting bow. This was a top-notch oaken bow wrapped in animal hide, with natural silk twining around it, and a bowstring made from bull tendon. It was lithe and graceful but possessed great strength.
Following Grandpa Cang’s teachings from earlier, he promptly lowered his waist and pulled the bow open in one motion, the muscles on his body also following suit and pulling open.
Grandpa Cang discovered with surprise that his posture was unexpectedly very in line with the standard. He remembered that he was watching and listening on the sideline just now, so he somewhat pointed the critical points again. Li Qingshan wasn’t lacking in intuitive understanding, and after a moment of effort, it actually seemed as if he had gone through three months of hard labor.
It wasn’t easy to start with a bow that was too hard when one wished to learn archery. It was better to train first with a soft bow and practice firing many arrows, slowly correcting the posture. Only then was it possible to move on to stronger bows.
Grandpa Cang had directly given Li Qingshan his own bullhorn bow precisely with the intent of knocking him a down a notch. Even if your strength was great and you managed to pull it open, it didn’t count for fart if you couldn’t properly aim with it. But Li Qingshan’s performance was beyond his anticipation.
It wasn’t truly that Li Qingshan’s comprehension far surpassed others. What the [Bull Demon Strong Fist] taught him was the most basic technique to control energy and manipulate strength. Whether blade spear sword or halberd, as long as he grasped the essential points, he could master them very fast.
Sweat seeped from Li Qingshan’s forehead. The posture to maintain the bow pulled open indeed required a lot more strength than the lifting of stone locks, and there was a dull ache in every muscle and tendon in his body.
“This is actually a good way to train strength. Practicing my fist technique is also very exhausting, but the punches all land in the air. In the future I need to buy a strong bow especially for practicing strength, it will certainly be of great benefits.”
“Alright, aim at the target and let me see you fire an arrow!” Grandpa Cang instructed him.
Li Qingshan put down the hunting bow and took a slight rest. He twirled a feather arrow in his hand and once again drew the bow open, facing a target fifty steps away.
Grandpa Cang instructed beside him: “Calm your heart, don’t rush to fire the arrow, watch the target!”
Li Qingshan’s eyes stared straight at the target. Suddenly they lit up, but no one noticed because of the bright sunlight. Under his single-minded focus, it was almost as this target became bigger and not so far away.
In the legends, when divine archers trained their achery in ancient times, they would tie a tick to a wire string then watch them days after nights. They would see the tick slowly become bigger, first as big as a cartwheel, later as big as a mountain peak blocking their sights. Then with one arrow they would run the tick’s body through.
At present Li Qingshan had this kind of sensation. He knew in his heart that most of it came from the bull tears’ effects. It made the fast appear slow, the far appear near, the clarity piercing through like the moonlight.
“Go in!” Inspiration came to Li Qingshan’s heart. A feather arrow left the bowstring and flew toward the target.
“Du!” The arrow sank deeply in the wooden target, but it didn’t hit the bullseye, merely falling at the target’s fringes, barely avoiding hitting empty air.
Li Qingshan felt slightly embarrassed: “It didn’t hit the inner bullseye, but it should also count as hitting in.”
The crowd around were all rendered speechless from surprise. Firing the first arrow in his whole life, pulling a bow a stone heavy, hitting a target fifty steps away, such a person was unheard of even among those people who lived their lives as bow hunters,.
“Where does this guy really come from?!”
Grandpa struggled to keep his face calm: “It’ll be alright if you properly practice in the future.” As an old archer hand, he understood the most clearly that Li Qingshan couldn’t estimate the influence of gravity or the effect from the mountain winds with the first arrow of his.
“I feel this bow still isn’t strong enough!” As they said “to draw a bow ought to draw the strongest1.” Li Qingshan wanted to pursue the kind of hard bow that would require one to exhaust one’s entire strength to pull open.
Grandpa Cang didn’t say much when he heard. He took the bow from Li Qingshan’s hands, and bent his bow toward the target, his muddy eyes suddenly becoming piercing sharp like an eagle.
His right hand moved repeatedly. There was only Li Qingshan at the scene who could clearly see that he pulled out three arrows in succession.
“Du!” Three feather arrows formed a straight line that sank in the bullseye, but it merely made a single sound to the ears.
The field was first a great quiet, then a series of cheers and applause burst out.
“Pearl String Arrows!” How would Li Qingshan not know this archery technique’s name. He’d read of it from books in his previous world2, only he had taken it as a mere toy.
But seeing it with his own eyes, he only realized then it was a genuinely supreme killing skill. He estimated in his mind that unless he could cling to the opponent in close combat, it would certainly be greatly difficult to escape this kind of archery technique. Moreover if Grandpa Cang mounted an ambush and sneak attacked him, he would certainly die with no doubts left.
Grandpa Cang saw that Li Qingshan didn’t talk too much. Li Qingshan had already understood his meaning; what was he talking about “to draw a bow ought to draw the strongest” if he couldn’t apply this kind of archery skill. It wasn’t that he couldn’t pull open a heavier bow either, he merely chose the most appropriate one. Li Qingshan came forward and offered his respectful greeting and sincerely said: “Please Grandpa Cang teach me the art of the bow!”
“In the future you’re also part of my Horse Rein Village. I don’t need you to say as much, I will wholeheartedly teach you in any case. As to how much you can learn, it’ll depend on your ability. But I have faith your archery will certainly exceed mine in the future.” Grandpa Cang felt comfortable in his heart and also became more amicable.
He originally didn’t like Li Qingshan, but he was shocked when Li Qingshan displayed his natural talent and strength. Then when the latter lowered his attitude, his own mood went through a turnaround, not only immediately recognizing Li Qingshan’s status but also starting to feel great appreciation for him.
This evaluation made everyone shocked. Grandpa Cang had the strongest archery in Horse Rein Village, this was something publicly recognized. Even the chief hunter Sick Yellow Tiger’s archery had been personally taught by him. The whole village would probably be shocked that he gave someone such an evaluation.
This group of later generation kids who were unkind to Li Qingshan at first also surrounded him, lively discussing with everyone around, faintly revealing a more intimate intent. This wasn’t actually currying favor or social climbing, but it was merely that what they most respected at their age were precisely strong people.
Perhaps there were some people who felt jealousy and wanted to exclude him, but none had the courage to deride or provoke. The atmosphere in the field indeed became more harmonious. Li Qingshan understood all the more that the recognition and approval of others didn’t go through what flowery words or graceful speech, but through the display of sufficient strength.
If he didn’t have this strength and wanted to achieve the same results through social intercourse, it would not only have required a very long time and shameless flattery, it would also twist his own state of mind.
Practicing until dusk, Li Qingshan was already able to land each arrow in the bullseye, but firing this kind of arrow always needed preparation. It was far from Grandpa’s firing on the go, and he was even farther away from the Pearl String Arrows. But in the eyes of the observers, it was already something hard enough to imagine.
For the next several days, Li Qingshan submerged himself in the art of the bow, dedicating himself to progress day by day. Although he didn’t give up on the [Bull Demon Strong Fist], the pace of progress became extremely slow.
Enduring until several days later, Li Qingshan returned back to his house and carefully opened the wine jar. A thick medicine flavored liquor smell assaulted his nostrils. He directly picked the wine jar and drank a big mouthful.