Legend of the Great Saint
Book 1, Chapter 28
The man stared. He saw the spirit ginseng move up and down in the air and he felt great anxiety. He operated his movement technique and tried to grab the spirit ginseng. But the spirit ginseng directly flew down the cliff, so he could only stare with big eyes and watch it disappear inside the darkness, feeling depressed enough to puke blood.
“Impossible, I have to snatch this spirit ginseng in my hand. When I go back I’ll let father dispatch men and horses to search the mountain.”
The man thought that it was the ginseng itself that showed some wondrous ability, but if he could have opened his spirit eyes, he’d have seen that the spirit ginseng was tightly grasped inside a pair of small pale white hands. He was like the mantis that stalked the cicada, but unaware of the oriole behind. A ghost shadow he couldn’t see had been hiding in the dark from the start.
Under the cliff, Little An exhausted the whole of his strength as he held onto the spirit ginseng, riding the night wind toward Horse Rein Village, the joy inside his heart threatening to burst out. It was also thanks to him nourishing his spiritual body inside the locust wood plaque during these days that he had the strength to seize such a heavy thing.
Inside the courtyard, Li Qingshan yawned, but suddenly his eyes lit up and he saw Little An float in from afar: “Little ghost, where did you run off to!”
Little An bit his lips in a reserved and modest way, repressed his inner joy, and held the spirit ginseng in front of him.
“Eh, what’s that? Ginseng?” Li Qingshan held the spirit ginseng and lightly sniffed it. A waft of a strange clear fragrance gushed into his nostrils, and he immediately felt his mind vibrate, while the true qi inside his body became much more lively.
Li Qingshan suddenly thought of a certain something: “This is…the spirit ginseng!” He had a little trouble believing that he was presently holding this spiritual herb that two village strove over to the point of spending many dozens of lives as they killed each other into a hatred of blood.
The green bull lazily chewed on green grasses: “What else did you think the little ghost ran out to do every night?”
Li Qingshan found out that Little An’s face was indeed fill with fatigue, but also boundless happiness, even pointing his little hand to his mouth, as if telling him to eat it.
Those few days, Little An had gone out every dusk and returned close to dawn. He had communicated much less with him, so he was still thinking Little An was yearning for freedom and was of a mind to let him go away. He only realized at this moment that all of this was originally for his own sake.
“You little guy!” Li Qingshan’s nose stung: “Why didn’t you say it earlier!”
Little An smiled bashfully, again pointing at his mouth.
Even if Li Qingshan had a heart made of iron or stone, he still couldn’t help but be moved when faced with those clear pure eyes that didn’t contain a shred of selfishness. He asked the green bull: “Little An can also use this spirit ginseng right?”
The green bull said: “This spirit ginseng is a rare treasure of nature, the spiritual qi contained within has great advantages even for yin ghost types. However, if you used it you could effortlessly train to the strength of one bull, can you really bear to?”
Li Qingshan said: “What would I be reluctant about, the spirit ginseng was something Little An obtained to begin with, let’s just have Little An use it. I can just slowly cultivate the supernatural skill.” His line of conduct wasn’t changed by the temptation from this spirit ginseng.
Little An immediately retreated and waved his hands.
“It’s alright, I’ll remember your kind feelings.”
Little An just invariably shook his head, and finally simply turned into a green smoke that drilled inside the locust wood plaque.
“Hey, come out, if you don’t want it I’ll just throw it away.”
The green bull suddenly shouted: “Since he’s determined, why are you still so stubborn and acting like a little girl. Don’t tell me that in the future you won’t be able to find and give him things a hundred times or a thousand times better than this spirit ginseng?”
Li Qingshan’s heart trembled and he nodded: “What elder brother bull said is reason itself, it’s me who was bashing my head on a brick wall. Alright, come out, I’ll eat this spirit ginseng.” Little An immediately flew out.
“However by reason you should have a part of this thing, I can’t swallow it by myself. If you still refuse I’ll become angry.”
Only then did Little An agree.
Li Qingshan waved around the spirit ginseng in his hand and said: “Brother bull, how do we use this thing.” Little An had the body of a ghost and had no way of eating things.
The green bull said: “Go find a needle and prick out a drop of ginseng liquid.”
Li Qingshan followed his words and found a steel needle, then stabbed it inside the spirit ginseng. The spirit ginseng quivered in his hand, but he wasn’t going to have any reluctance when it came to some plant. The spirit ginseng oozed a drop of ginseng liquid that hung onto the tip of the needle.
The green bull said: “Good, drop it on his forehead.”
“Forehead? Little An, raise your head!”
Little An hurried lifted his head. The ginseng liquid fell from the needle’s tip and dropped between Little An’s eyebrows. His body vibrated like water ripples, and the ginseng liquid suddenly released resplendent beams of light inside his body.
Little An shut his eyes tight, his face sometimes expressing pain and sometimes expressing joy. When the light finally vanished and everything subsided, he slowly opened his eyes, and there was something different inside them. Two teardrops slid down.
The green bull said: “He most likely remembered something.”
“Is it like this? Little An, you remember who you are, where your family is?” Li Qingshan hurriedly half-knelt down and looked into his eyes.
Little An hesitated a long moment and pointed to a direction, the south.
Li Qingshan quickly asked: “Your family is to the south? What city is it in, how far away is it?”
But Little An couldn’t answer those questions and only shook his head blankly.
Li Qingshan suddenly pulled out a hunting knife and started to engrave the locust wood plaque. Sawdust flew up, and a “South” character appeared in the turn of an eye on the side that had originally no word on it. He lifted it in front of Little An’s eyes.
Under the moonlight, a young man knelt on the ground on one knee and gravely pledged to a child: “No matter if I have to cross a thousand mountains and ten thousand rivers, no matter the untold difficulties and dangers, sooner or later there will come a day when I see you back home.”
The child docilely watched his silhouette, a sight forever difficult to forget, just like the red dot left between his eyebrows where the ginseng liquid had fallen.
Li Qingshan hung the wooden plaque back on his waist, and asked Little An if he felt anything different. He had no idea if this spirit ginseng had been useful.
Little An jumped in the air and flew a lap inside the yard like a whirlwind. He took the hunting knife from Li Qingshan’s hand and moved in a flurry inside the courtyard.
Ordinary people would only be able to see a knife dancing on its own, as if it had its own spirituality.
Not only was Little An even faster, he could also control heavier things, possessing more strength. If he wanted to mount a sneak assassination, even masters from the martial world would have trouble escaping with their lives.
“Brother bull, do I also have to use it like that?”
“That would be too wasteful. The best way to use this ginseng is to fit it with other spiritual herbs and refine it into a dan pill1, but you don’t have this kind of luxury. You can treat this spirit ginseng the same as any other ginseng and soak it inside liquor. This way the spirit ginseng won’t wither and the spiritual qi inside will diffuse into the liquor, transforming it into spiritual wine. You’ll be able to slowly sip in the medicinal power inside. Oh right, also don’t mix it with any other ingredient.”
“That’s a good way!” Li Qingshan knew that it was certainly impossible to digest this spirit ginseng in one go, otherwise it wouldn’t be great progress in strength but self-implosion and death: “It’s just that I’ll be worried if I don’t carry this kind of treasure on myself.”
A wine gourd flew toward Li Qingshan as soon as his voice fell. Li Qingshan grabbed it: “Then many thanks elder brother bull!” He put the spirit ginseng into the gourd and filled it with strong liquor, then hung it at his hip.
He crossed his arms. Despite his young age, with his vigorous body and such a great wine gourd hanging on him, he was filled with an expansive and uninhibited aura.
“Little An, don’t you think I’m looking more and more like someone of the martial world.”
Little An also smiled, then his face at once changed and exposed some concern. But he couldn’t speak, so he was a little anxious. Suddenly an idea flashed in his mind and he squatted on the ground, brushing away.
Li Qingshan walked forward to take a look. Little An actually wrote out a row of pretty characters. Although he didn’t understand calligraphy, he could still see that Little An’s writing was dignified and beautiful, much better than himself.