The shopkeeper was surprised for a second. Looks like you’re also a warrior from the martial world, why don’t you pick a weapon you’re proficient at instead of looking for something heavy. But he immediately smiled: “I have I have I have!” Whatever your requirements, it’s all good as long as I can make a sale.

This was something Li Qingshan had carefully planned out. It would really become a close-quarter battlefield melee if he wanted to break the Black Wind Camp. If he wanted to unleash his own strength to the limit, he could only use the heaviest weapon with the greatest reach, then use that weapon to suppress the enemy’s superior numbers.

A shop a.s.sistant full of robust vitality carried out a great ghost-headed saber1. The shopkeeper said: “This blade weighs thirty five pounds, it’s five feet four inches long. You could cut off a hair by blowing it on the blade. Is the young hero satisfied?”

Li Qingshan grabbed the handle. He tried a couple moves, the blade glinting with cold light as it flashed by. The great ghost-headed blade was light as a goose feather in his hand: “Too light, a bit heavier.”

The shop a.s.sistant looked on speechless. Just how much strength was that.

Two a.s.sistants carried out a great green dragon halberd. The shopkeeper said: “This halberd weighs in at sixty two pounds. It’s eight feet and eight inches long. Look at this crescent tooth blade, no one but an experienced blacksmith with consummate craftsmans.h.i.+p could hammer it out.”

Li Qingshan flicked the halberd tip: “This isn’t bad, only it’s too easy to break. Also, do you really not have any heavier weapons?” He still remembered the scene were the tip had broken and flown out as soon as he’d waved the halberd around.

Of course, the reason was mostly because he didn’t understand the art of the halberd and had been using it recklessly, but what he was going to face wasn’t a mere enemy or two.

The shopkeeper stared. He looked at Dragon Li’s face, and didn’t refute the three words “easy to break,” while thinking: “Just how do you use your weapons?” He was of a mind to embarra.s.s Li Qingshan as he waved his hand and said: “Then please come with me to the weapon storehouse, there’s a weapon you’ll certainly be satisfied with.”

Li Qingshan also became curious and followed the shopkeeper to the rear yard. They went past the weapon tryout martial field and came to the warehouse. The myriad of weapons inside delighted the eyes like glittering jewels, but the most eye-catching among them was a great black iron spear.

The spear seemed to have been forged out of pure iron, the spear tip and the spear’s body seamlessly merging into one. There wasn’t even a spear ta.s.sel2 on it, only a tiger head swallowing the spear tip engraved where the shaft joined the blade, radiating a wild and bold domineering aura.

“This spear is called the Tyrant Spear. It’s twelve feet long and weighs a hundred and forty two pounds. It’s this shop’s heaviest weapon. If the young hero wants to buy it, it also comes with a set of Tyrant Spear Art.”

“Good, it’ll be this one!” Li Qingshan walked forward and lifted the Tyrant Spear. A heavy and icy cold sensation pressed down on his palms. With a shake, the spear produced a humming cry like a soaring jiao3.

The shopkeeper and his a.s.sistants were all rendered speechless. It was one thing to be able to lift it and another thing to be able to use it. It would have merely attracted a few mocking laughs if he couldn’t even walk one step after lifting the weapon, but to be able to make the great spear quiver meant that the user’s strength could subdue this spear. How great of a strength was that!

This was precisely the most fitting weapon in Li Qingshan’s mind. With this weapon he could give the Black Wind mountain bandits a pleasant surprise and let them experience what was called “an inch longer is an inch stronger4.”

However he knew nothing about the art of the spear, so he asked: “Where’s the spear technique?”

The shopkeeper said: “Is the young hero determined to buy it, this weapon isn’t cheap. Not even mentioning about the artisan’s efforts, just talking about this much iron…”

Dragon Li said: “Don’t tell us so much nonsense, how much is it. Spit it out, how much do you dare ask for it?”

The shopkeeper extended five fingers: “Since young hero Li says this, I’ll only earn back my capital, five hundred taels.”

Dragon Li immediately berated him: “What, five hundred taels, you’ve gone money-mad. Apart from my brother, who else can carry and use this black iron stick. It can only stay here and gather dust. The way I see it, it’s not even worth a hundred taels.”

Li Qingshan searched around the the weapon storehouse while the two of them bargained back and forth through a battle of tongue swords. A point of light attracted his attention. Inside the dark storehouse, that faint glitter of light was very striking, as if it was unwilling to be buried under the dust.

Li Qingshan looked around left and right. He noticed that no one else seemed to have seen this little light and realized that it was because his own eyes were different from those of ordinary people. He pretended to he casually go forward to a weapon rack, then held up a wooden box.

He opened the wooden box and saw a small dainty knife lying inside. It was only four inches long and shrouded in a layer of pale blue light. He asked: “Shopkeeper, how are you selling this?”

The shopkeeper froze an instant: “Young hero, you really have sharp eyes, this is my shop’s most treasured item. A famous family’s descendant fallen on hard times left this knife here. It’s extremely sharp. I only bought it after spending one, two hundred taels of silver.”

Li Qingshan “carelessly” put the little knife back into the box, saying to no on in particular: “Too bad it’s so small.”

“Those words are mistaken. It’s precisely because this small knife is small and light that it can be hidden and left for self-defense at a critical moment!”

Dragon Li said: “You’re still making up random things. Whatever we pick up ends up being your shop’s treasure. We’ll just take the little knife as extra and I won’t haggle with you over this bit of silver.”

“How could this be!” The shopkeeper cried in alarm as if someone had stabbed him through with a knife.

In the end, the knife was sold off together with the spear, one big and one small. The price was set to four hundred taels.

The shopkeeper handed them the items with an expression of suffering. But he was delighted in his heart, he finally sold out those two waste items. Not need to talk about that Tyrant Spear, no one could use it after it was forged and it ended up being wasted iron, but it would still have been too much of a pity to recast it. He’d cursed the blacksmith until his spit flew out because of this spear.

As to that small knife, its origin was actually just as he said. A young man in dire straits had come to his door and was sent off with ten taels of silver. But he’d regretted it very fast. The knife was indeed a good knife that could cut through metal as if it were b.u.t.ter, but it was really too short. Would people actually buy it for several dozen taels and use it as a throwing knife?

Li Qingshan didn’t understand the art of the spear, and that was quickly sent into his hands. As expected, it was the most ordinary and the most generic of spear techniques in the martial world, but they actually gave very domineering names to the moves inside, what Sweep Through Thousand Soldiers or Tyrannical Barrier.

Dragon Li only took a glance at it before he stopped reading.

Li Qingshan actually read it once from beginning to end and carefully pondered it over. He went to the martial practice field and started to practice it, move after form.

The art of the spear was originally harder to train in than blade techniques. But cultivating to the strength of one bull hadn’t been merely a simple matter of increasing his strength. He’d also gained a deeper comprehension about the control of strength and even the theories between martial arts.

Weapons were but an extension of the limbs!

Li Qingshan’s weapon dance was very slow at first, but it became faster and faster soon after. A great spear danced like the wild rush of a black dragon, weaving around Li Qingshan’s body as it overflowed wantonly all over the martial field.

Dragon Li kept retreating back, fully moving several dozen steps away. He was so astonished by the power of this spear that he was unable to say anything. It was truly as if a brave unrivaled general were resisting a thousand men and horses on the battlefield with his own strength.

The spearhead pointed forward, a cold light shot out in every direction. The scent of blood splattered all around amidst the cries of ghosts and the howls of G.o.ds. He hadn’t heard the words Liu Hong had said after they left, but he could still understand why his master had become respectful with Li Qingshan. He already had this stunning martial learning at such a young age, able to grasp a comprehensive mastery after looking over the spear manual once. Together with his incomparably ruthless methods, this kind of person would certainly become a figure with resounding fame through the rivers and lakes in the future, as long as he didn’t prematurely die mid-way. His prospects lay far over a second-grade master. Perhaps he could truly comprehend the innate level and reach a realm he couldn’t begin to imagine.

He’d only heard about that kind of characters from his master and he’d never seen one. This Suncheer City wasn’t a place worth stopping over for this kind of figure. But dimly, it was as if he were witnessing the rise of such a person.

1. A heavy blade/saber/dao with traditionally a ghost head engraved in the hilt or handle.

2. Usually a red ta.s.sel often found on Chinese spears where the blade joins the shaft, presumable to distract and confuse the enemy’s vision when it waves around.

3. A creature from Chinese mythology. Mostly a hornless aquatic (Chinese) dragon. But sometimes it can even mean a alligator-like creature or a human with a serpent tail.

4. Saying from martial arts, meaning that range is power.

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