Legend of the Great Saint
Book 1, Chapter 29
Li Qingshan hurriedly asked: “You know how to write, did you remember how to just now?”
Little An nodded and let Li Qingshan see the words he wrote.
Li Qingshan only learned then that another person had inserted himself in and attempted to snatch the spirit ginseng away, that his martial arts were very powerful. Since he had seen this treasure, he was bound not to give up and would certainly look for a way to find it.
“Looks like I still need to be a little cautious. I can’t let any rumor leak out. But when my supernatural skill goes forward another step and cultivates to the strength of one bull, I won’t need to fear anyone.”
This spirit ginseng and spiritual wine wouldn’t be better the longer it soaked anyway. Li Qingshan wouldn’t be able able to digest it if it became too concentrated. So Li Qingshan drank his first mouthful of the spiritual wine after waiting merely three to five days.
A strange fragrance spread out inside his mouth. The taste wasn’t very strong but a little faint instead. An extremely spiritual energy slowly expanded inside his body.
He didn’t dare to show any neglect and operated his supernatural skill to digest this spiritual qi. He discovered with pleasant surprise that the effect from this mouthful of spiritual wine was simply much better than drinking a whole jar of wine soaked in ordinary ginseng.
The true qi inside his body even grew to double the amount. Although ordinary ginseng could nourish the vital essence, they were merely mortal things and couldn’t be of much assistance to true qi. Meanwhile, the [Bull Demon Strong Fist] put emphasis on cultivating the body and less on cultivating qi, so the speed this true qi had been growing at had never been very fast.
But this spirit ginseng was a genuine innate treasure of nature, and it was the most nourishing for spiritual qi, so it could have this kind of effect. If things continued like this, in not too long of a time he could achieve the effect of releasing the true qi outside. By that time he could claim himself an “innate master.”
“Brother bull, I once swore to drink every fine wine in the world, I suppose that’s almost accomplished!” After drinking this spiritual wine, other ordinary liquors wouldn’t have much taste any longer.
The green bull only returned a mocking laugh.
At this time, a racket sounded outside the door accompanied by the barks of many dogs. Sick Yellow Tiger led the village hunters and came to Li Qingshan’s door to invite him up the mountain with them and participate in the autumn hunt.
Autumn was an excellent season for hunting. It wasn’t only men who had to prepare food in order to pass through the winter, animals were also the same. Each of them had eaten themselves to a plump body. It was an important gathering for the Horse Rein Village.
Many great families and clans would organize major hunting during this season, not to capture preys but only to train their disciples and descendants, matching the fall’s austere and desolate nature.
Sick Yellow Tiger said: “You already learned the art of the bow, but you haven’t learned yet the genuine dao of the hunter. You just follow beside me this time into the mountains!” Since exchanging blows with Li Qingshan last time, he wouldn’t see Li Qingshan as an ordinary later generation kid any longer.
Li Qingshan thought a little and refused in the end: “Many thanks for the chief hunter’s good intentions, but I want to hunt by myself.”
The other hunters started to argue before Sick Yellow Tiger said anything.
“What, by yourself, not only you never hunted but you don’t even have a decent hunting hound.”
“You’re really not afraid of the fierce beasts in the mountains?”
Although they admired Li Qingshan’s talent that had killed seven ginseng gatherers, they still couldn’t tolerate any slight when it came to the area they were most expert in.
Sick Yellow Tiger urged him: “Hunting doesn’t rely merely on good archery and good talent.” He suddenly remembered Grandpa Cang’s appraisal, a lone wolf!
Li Qingshan was still shaking his head. He only wanted to learn archery so he could kill his enemies and protect himself. As for hunting, it wasn’t so necessary.
“Since he wants to go by himself then let him go by himself, we’ll see what he ends up catching.”
“I bet he won’t even be able to capture a rabbit.”
Li Qingshan smiled and stayed noncommittal.
Suddenly someone said in a cold elusive voice: “You’ve already eaten the village’s food for so long, now you don’t even agree to comply with the arrangements, are you really planning on continuing to gratuitously eat our food like that?”
Those day Li Qingshan’s every food and drink were all sent by someone under Sick Yellow Tiger’s orders. It also used up resources from the village. He took the food and still played around, so it would naturally lead to some dissatisfaction.
Sick Yellow Tiger immediately berated that man, “Qingshan is also someone from our village, how can you haggle over some food.”
Li Qingshan expression quickly became stern. He cupped his hands and said: “Chief hunter, you don’t need to feel awkward. I, Li Qingshan, clearly distinguish grudges and gratitude. I will absolutely not take the slightest advantage from others in vain. I will certainly return double the food I consumed from the village during these days.”
“Qingshan, you don’t have to…” Sick Yellow Tiger was dead angry at the man who had spoken. I’m wholeheartedly trying to entice him to integrate in the village, but you bunch push him out instead for the sake of a few pounds of meat.
Li Qingshan had no plan of blending in anywhere. He didn’t have the need, and he also didn’t have the mood: “I heard there’s a competition each fall to see which hunter will hunt the most game, and the winner will even have some good luck. This year I might as well participate.”
Sick Yellow Tiger couldn’t convince him. Li Qingshan made some light preparations, and he went into the mountains with an ordinary hunting bow on his back under the mocking gazes of the crowd.
The hunters went to the northern mountains, but Li Qingshan didn’t want to mix in with them. To the west were the hundred thousand mountains. He already understood the mysteriousness of this world and was even more reluctant to take risks, but to the south was the Old White Peak, that land of dispute. Therefore he could only go east.
On the Old White Peak, a group of men wearing long swords and identical apparels had converged together.
The one leading them was precisely the young man who’d kill the ginseng gatherers that day and almost obtained the spirit ginseng.
“Look for it, no matter what you have to find this spirit ginseng, even if you have to turn this Old White Peak upside down!”
“Yes, young master!” The crowd agreed in one voice. They displayed their masterly movement techniques and forcibly swept through every corner of the Old White Peak.
Li Qingshan went deep inside the mountain forests. He didn’t know how to distinguish the trails of birds and beasts, didn’t know how to conceal his own tracks. He also didn’t understand how to lay traps, and neither was he collaborating with other hunters. There wasn’t even have a hunting hound with him.
If you said that this kind of person wanted to hunt, any hunter would laugh at you.
However he was calm and collected. He sat in meditation on a pile of wood in the middle of the mountain and only opened his eyes when dusk finally fell. He said with a smile: “Little An!”
A chilly wind swept across the forest, then after a moment it blew back to him.
Li Qingshan stood up and walked inside the forest. In a short while he found a deer fallen dead with no trace of scar on its body.
After Little An’s strength had become more powerful, the gloomy chill in his body also became heavier. When he had discovered this deer he merely pounced on its body, and the deer immediately fell unconscious without knowing who from what, dropping dead on the ground.
Li Qingshan smiled: “Little An, with you here, I naturally don’t need to waste time learning what art of the hunt. Since they look down on me, let us catch some preys and have them take a look at it.”
Ever since the mid-autumn festival, Li Qingshan didn’t let Little An so free and loose anymore, but instead exercised a little more control. At present he used him without the slightest modesty. One naturally didn’t need so much courtesy with people one was intimate with.
Little An nodded excitedly and once again hurled himself inside the forest like a gust of wind.
Although the wild beasts of the mountain were alert, they had no way to be on the alert against this little ghost with no shape or shadow. They fell dead one after another, waiting for Li Qingshan to come collect them soon after.
Li Qingshan felt bored and started practicing his archery, firing arrows at the alarmed birds of the forest. Shooting moving targets was indeed much more difficult, and out of three arrows two fell into thin air. But once he slowly started adapting, the number of arrows meeting air became increasingly fewer.
At dawn, in Horse Rein Village, some hunters came down the mountains carrying game, while a big group still jointly hunted on the mountains.
In an empty spot at the center of the village, the Grandpa Cang of high standing and reputation was responsible for inventorying the preys. His grim face also exposed a faint smile: “It’s not a bad yield, that’s a good omen.” Then he let the women and children left behind to guard the village to handle the game, tan the leather and salt the meat.
“That Li Qingshan didn’t come back yet?” Some people already couldn’t wait anymore to have a laugh at Li Qingshan’s expense.
“He went alone in the mountains to hunt, how could he come back so fast.”
His voice hadn’t even fallen when they heard someone call out: “Li Qingshan came back.”
“What, what’s that?” The several people looked at the direction the voice came from. What they first saw wasn’t a man, but monster covered in a pile of shaggy hair, just like the savages from the legends.
Li Qingshan had his waist bent as he carried on his shoulders deer, elks and several other big quarries that were heavy enough to be worth several hundred pounds, while his hips were filled with wild rabbits and wild pheasants hanging on them. This hurried travel down the mountains had given even him a body soaked with sweat. His mouth said with difficulty: “Hey, Little An, isn’t that too much, it’s so heavy I’m going to die!”
Little An sat on top of the quarries and covered his mouth in a secret laugh. He took a look back. The east was faintly illuminated. Without waiting for the first beams of sunlight to sprinkle down, he drilled himself into the locust wood plaque.