Legend of the Great Saint
Book 1, Chapter 31
“Chief hunter, you absolutely can’t do this.” The other hunters hurriedly tried to discourage him.
Li Qingshan was also surprised inside. He actually wanted to give his own personal bow to him. The implication within didn’t stop at a mere bow, so he refused: “Chief hunter, a gentleman doesn’t seize someone else’s prized possession. I don’t dare accept this good fortune, just treat what I said as a joke!”
Sick Yellow Tiger lightly stroked the bow, as if talking to himself: “This Stone Rending Bow followed me for many years. It’s pretty easy to use, and it also helped me make a name for myself in the martial world. Now my time is limited, and I have to find a good owner for him.”
“I heard that you found Grandpa Cang’s bow too light. This is a steel bow, its strength is a full three stones, even ordinary martial artists can’t use it. Accept it, don’t dilly-dally.” Sick Yellow Tiger pushed the Stone Rending Bow toward Li Qingshan.
There was a heavy sensation in Li Qingshan’s palm when he held the Stone Rending Bow. He reminisced back to the day Sick Yellow Tiger stood on the boulder, and his elegant bearing as he killed men as if slaughtering dogs.
Indeed, this bow wasn’t really suitable for hunting, but more suitable for killing on the battlefield. It was a genuine weapon made to kill people.
His fingers fiddled with the bowstring. Metallic threads were mixed within and it was extremely sharp. Ordinary men could only use it if they wore finger rings, but with the Demon Bull Skin Refining, it wasn’t an issue for him.
Sick Yellow Tiger’s gesture carried the faint meaning of entrusting his orphan behind. Although he didn’t say it clearly, it was something everyone present at the scene could see. But no one spoke up to oppose his decision. This wasn’t only Sick Yellow Tiger’s power and prestige; Li Qingshan had also proven his strength in front of everyone.
They needn’t ask whether Li Qingshan had the ability to become their commander. Perhaps, whether the villagers were convinced or not, it was human instinct to submit to the mighty, just like for a herd of wolves. Horse Rein Village was precisely a wolf herd, and Sick Yellow Tiger wanted Li Qingshan to take over as the wolf king.
This was also a decision he came to after much thoughts and consideration. The feudal authorities usually didn’t show any goodwill to Horse Rein Village, and on top of that they had a blood feud with the Ginseng King Village. They seemed majestic and awe-inspiring, but in truth danger lurked on every side. Although the village had outstanding talents, no one could seize control of the scene just by his presence. Only Li Qingshan was capable of this.
Li Qingshan felt as if in a dream as he held the Stone Rending Bow. A few months ago, he was still the most ordinary of villagers in Crouching Bull Village, the most humble cowherd boy.
A few months later, he had the opportunity to become the dazzling and renowned chief hunter of the Horse Rein Village. However, he didn’t accept: “Chief hunter, I will take this bow and thank you for your deep affections, but in fact today I came to say my farewells to you.”
An uproar rose at those words. Everyone felt that Li Qingshan was too unappreciative of other’s kindness. And even if Sick Yellow Tiger understood Li Qingshan’s strength and potential, his expression was also a little ugly at being rejected in front of so many people.
“However, I won’t take it free of charge.” Li Qingshan returned to his house and took out a small wine bottle. He handed it over to Sick Yellow Tiger: “This is the medicinal wine my master left behind back then, perhaps it can cure your disease.”
“You…are you saying the truth?” As it concerned the great matter of life and death, Sick Yellow Tiger was also a little excited. The others were in even more of an effervescence.
Li Qingshan faintly smiled as he said: “There’s no harm in trying.” This was precisely the spiritual wine soaked with the spirit ginseng. Although he didn’t know the art of medicine, he still understood a little about Sick Yellow Tiger’s illness. The latter was born with a weak body, and had exhausted all of his natural energy after many years of martial practice. He supported himself entirely through his inner strength.
This kind of disease was a terminal illness that any sage doctor of the dao of medicine would find difficult to treat. This was an innate injury, and no ginseng or lingzhi mushroom could be of remedy. But the spirit ginseng carried a little innate qi of nature within and could save his life.
Sick Yellow Tiger drank the spiritual wine down in one mouthful, then sat in meditation and operated his inner strength. In but a moment, shreds of white gas leaked out from the top of his head. His originally waxy yellow face also recovered a rosy ruddiness. He opened his eyes after a long moment.
“Chief hunter, how are you feeling?” The hunters inquired one after another.
Sick Yellow Tiger rubbed his chest with disbelief: “I feel much better.” Not only much better, it was simply unprecedentedly better, as if he had returned back to the time of his youth.
A burst of cheers echoed, and many hunters let out tears. Those who originally felt exclusion and some enmity toward Li Qingshan all changed their attitude. They held his hands and expressed a thousand thanks, unable to show all of their gratitude.
Li Qingshan lifted the Stone Rending Bow: “In that case, it’d be impolite of me to refuse this bow.”
Sick Yellow Tiger’s expression became slightly awkward: “About that… Qingshan… Could we change the prize…” Now that he’d escaped from death, he suddenly couldn’t bear to part with this “old partner.”
“Don’t think about it!” Li Qingshan interrupted him and refused: “For men of the mountains, the words they speak are also like mountains, how could they be so easily taken back.”
“Fine then!” Sick Yellow Tiger’s bitter face attracted a burst of guffaw from the others. It was extremely rare they could see their chief hunter with such an expression.
“Qingshan, after going away this time, will you come back?”
“I’m only going to Crouching Bull Village to take a look. I still have things there I need to properly pack up. I also have to find a secluded location and train my martial arts, see if I can achieve some breakthrough.”
After drinking the spiritual wine during these days, Li Qingshan felt that he had already reached a critical stage of the <Bull Demon Strong Fist>. He was preparing to train alone and cultivate to the “strength of one bull.” At that time, he wouldn’t need be restrained to the mountain forests no longer, and could go take a look at the outside world.
He remembered that the fatty he saved yesterday seemed to call himself some Suncheer county magistrate. He wanted to achieve the pledge he made with Little An. Although he had no real idea how far away in the south was the place pointed by Little An, he still had to cross the first step.
“Going to breakthrough again?” Sick Yellow Tiger had long felt already that today’s Li Qingshan was again a little different compared to a few days ago. There was a great change in the appearance of his spirit, energy and essence. This pace of progress simply shocked the world and offended conventions.
But in the blink of an eye, he yet again said he wanted to break through once more. He couldn’t help remembering that Li Qingshan had once said he wanted to become an “innate master.” At that time he’d only smiled, but now he felt that maybe he could really do it.
“What about the game you hunted?” Li Qingshan’s yield during these few days could almost compare to the yield of the entire village.
“I don’t want any else, I just need this tiger’s tiger bones. Also, I’d like you to help me gather some tiger bones. I need to soak some medicinal wine, I’ll buy it at market price.”
The reason he chased that tiger without letting go wasn’t merely to look good in the village. The green bull had told him that when his <Bull Demon Strong Fist> reached the strength of one bull, he could start training the <Tiger Demon Bone Refining Fist>. He needed another kind of medicinal wine, and the most important core ingredient was the same as ginseng, precious but commonly seen. It was precisely tiger bones.
Hunters and tigers were mutually mortal enemies. Of course lone hunters feared ferocious tigers, but when a tiger stirred too much noise, it would inevitably lead to a large-scale mountain search. They would set up many traps. Although wild beasts were ferocious, they eventually couldn’t win against humans. The tiger bones accumulated inside Horse Rein Village shouldn’t be few.
Sick Yellow Tiger said: “It’s also a recipe left behind by your master?”
“Since you’re generous, how could we men of Horse Rein Village be stingy? I can help you soak the medicinal wine, but is it possible to let us use the two recipes also?”
Sick Yellow Tiger had secretly used Li Qingshan’s drug recipe, and the medicinal wine he made was indeed a lot better than the medicinal wine originally used in the village. Moreover there was absolutely no need to buy the ingredients from foreigners, their village could already gather them all. If they could use it to train their children, then in not too long, Horse Rein Village’s strength could go up another level.
Li Qingshan didn’t see why not, those two recipes were merely temporary things and there wasn’t anything especially precious about them. There was no harm handing it to others, and it could save him the trouble of making the medicinal wine himself. This should also count as getting the best of both worlds.
He gave the prescription to Sick Yellow Tiger. Afterwards he carried the Stone Rending Bow, sat across the green bull, and leisurely left.
When Li Qingshan’s silhouette vanished behind the turn of the mountain road, Grandpa Cang quietly whispered to Sick Yellow Tiger: “Chief hunter, why didn’t you keep him behind just now. There’s eight chances out of ten that the spirit ginseng is on him. The wine you drank is most likely soaked from the spirit ginseng. The spirit ginseng is also most likely inside the gourd at his hip.”
Li Qingshan never raised the matter of the spirit ginseng, but he’d exposed too many traces and clues in the eyes of this old hunter with a rich experience. Morever, those things would only be even clearer for Sick Yellow Tiger who’d once journeyed across the martial world.
Sick Yellow Tiger looked at the mountain path Li Qingshan had disappeared from and stayed silent a long moment, before turning his head back: “When all’s said and done, we’re not the same as those ginseng gatherers, are we?”
“Yes, chief hunter!”