The adviser could only comply. The lord county magistrate’s l.u.s.t for silver had already repressed his fear of the Black Wind Camp. This wasn’t something that could be changed with mere dissuasion. Moreover the Black Wind Camp would presumably not dare to brazenly kill officials in revolt.

County Magistrate Fatty’s momentum disappeared all of a sudden as he said in a small voice: “Anyway I’m not the one who killed them, so the Black Wind camp master won’t go as far as making trouble for me right!”

The adviser twirled his pointy beard: “They shouldn’t, but just in case, you could ask your sister for help and let the lord prefect send over reinforcements.”

County Magistrate Fatty said: “That’s right, although he’s the lord prefect, he’s still my brother-in-law. We’re all one family. We won’t have to fear anyone as long as he sends the Eagle Wolf guard over.” Although he’d grown thick and fat, he could still rely on a younger sister prettier than flowers. The prefect had taken a fancy to her and took her in as a concubine, heavily favoring her. He’d also followed the boat and risen with the tide, pleading to his sister to blow some wind into his sails on the pillows and get him a posting.

The lord prefect didn’t like him, so he casually sent him as a county magistrate to remote Suncheer City, not letting him the opportunity to run rampant by exploiting his connections, and also removing him away from his sister. It could be described as. .h.i.tting two birds with one stone.

The adviser thought: how could the Eagle Wolf guard be dispatched so easily, it’ll already be fine if they sent a bodyguard from the prefect’s mansion. “Then what about Li Qingshan?”

County Magistrate Fatty thought for a little: “No matter what he’s this official’s life-saving benefactor, when we see him we’ll give him some taels of silver, then make him leave somewhere else. The Clear River prefecture is so big, where couldn’t he go.”

Inside Horse Rein Village, Sick Yellow Tiger was first greatly surprised when he heard the news, then laughed out loud afterwards: “Well done!” His disease had disappeared after drinking the spiritual wine, and he became ruddy and full of vitality. Not only his martial ability was restored, it had even made great strides forward.

“Chief hunter, now that he offended the Black Wind Camp so thoroughly, isn’t it stirring trouble for Horse Rein Village? What he carries is your Stone Rending Bow after all. You shouldn’t have given it to him to begin with. He’s probably already made his getaway without leaving a trace.”

Little Black was dissatisfied inside. He’d eaten Li Qingshan’s fist that day in the market, and although he didn’t dare take revenge, he was still a little resentful. He was originally a prominent figure among the younger generation in the village, but Li Qingshan had completely overshadowed him as soon as he came. Now he was in the spotlight once again, so his heart was full of jealousy.

Sick Yellow Tiger said: “If the Black Wind Camp comes knocking to our door, we’ll just take them on whatever they do. But he’s not going to flee, and he’s even less likely to come to us to seek refuge. I’m only a sick tiger while he’s a genuine fierce tiger descending from the mountains”

Henceforth, the “Tiger Descending the Mountains” name became Li Qingshan’s first t.i.tle.

And when several dozen bandit heads were hung over the city gates, Li Qingshan’s t.i.tle was spread even further to the four winds.

Great patches and great patches of snowflakes floated down from the sky. In the middle of the night, a black shadow scuttled to the gates and removed the third boss’ head. Then it spurred the horse and sped back to Black Wind Camp, presenting it to camp master Xiong Xiangwu.

Xiong Xiangwu was just like his nickname. Not only was he unusually tall, his body hair was also thick and black, and seen from afar he looked just like a bear. One could tell with one glance that this man was born with divine strength. He stood up and glanced in a circle around him. Whether the bosses divided at either side, or the bandits all around, no one dared to utter a single sound.

“Boom!” His huge bear-like paw violently slapped down. The human head and the long table made of pear wood were both slapped to pieces together. “This is how incompetents end up! This is also how those who dare provoke me end up!”

Wooden chips fired off in all directions. Several bandits far and near were all pierced on their faces, but no one dared to make any sound or movement.

The second boss stood up waving a folding fan. It was actually a middle-aged man dressed like a scholar. He still wore a long robe in this season, so one could see the profoundness of his inner strength.

“Camp master, the third boss was heavily injured by a sneak attack from someone using the Stone Rending Bow. That’s the only reason he couldn’t resist that kid.”

“Stone Rending Bow? Sick Yellow Tiger!” There was some vigilance in Xiong Xiangwu’s eyes, “Wasn’t he heavily sick?”

“I heard his illness was cured!”

Xiong Xiangu’s brows bunched into a river as he muttered irresolutely to himself.

On the Old White Peak, Yang Jun said: “Still haven’t found it?” Ire twisted his handsome face. He originally had a hedonistic nature and didn’t have that much patience.

“Little master, I heard some news recently!” Chi Da said.

“The Horse Rein Village’s Sick Yellow Tiger’s disease is cured!”

“And what about it?” Yang Jun said impatiently.

Chi Da secretly cursed idiot: “I heard his disease was a chronic disease, only the spirit ginseng can cure it!”

Yang Jun’s eyes shone. He wished he could immediately go to Horse Rein Village and interrogate them thoroughly, but he wasn’t mad yet. He steadied his face and said: “Go invite my father. The spirit ginseng isn’t so easy to digest, even if he ate it he still has to spit it out!”

Amidst so much clamor, not many people paid attention to the fact that there was a pit dug behind Li Qingshan’s house, while that porcelain jar with a skeleton buried inside had vanished.

Great snow fell, and the pool’s icy cold cut increasingly deeper into the bones, without any hint of freezing. Li Qingshan climbed out from the water, and laid on a patch of dried gra.s.s, his lips blue. He gazed at the gray sky over the white waterfall, the air transforming into white mist as it left his lungs.

This kind of cultivation was simply seeking death, but Li Qingshan was only willing to climb up to the sh.o.r.e for a slight rest after exhausting all the strength and true qi in his body.

He drank a mouthful of spiritual wine. His body restored some warmth only then, and the dried up true qi once again started rus.h.i.+ng forth.

A wild animal roasted over the bonfire, emitting a strong aroma. Little An squatted at the side like a professional roasting master, turning the wooden pick on one hand while sprinkling condiments brought from home on the other, showing single-hearted devotion.

The hunting knife danced and cut off a big piece of meat when he saw Li Qingshan come out. He held it in both hands and brought in front of his mouth. He only exposed a smile after seeing Li Qingshan wolf it down.

Li Qingshan ate until his mouth was entirely covered in grease, then suddenly said: “Weren’t you afraid of fire?” Little An was afraid of light and was also afraid of fire. There were many restrictions on his actions. Originally it was impossible for him to squat so carefree beside the flames. Although today was a cloudy day, Little An would still usually hide inside the locust wood plaque and refuse to come out.

Little An hesitated and couldn’t answer.

Li Qingshan smiled: “You learned some supernatural skill from brother bull right? It’s not easy to fish something from its hands, why are you hiding it from me?”

Little An hesitated and held up a porcelain jar from the gra.s.s with great difficulty. Li Qingshan opened the lid and took a look. The reek of blood a.s.saulted him. The tiny small white skeleton inside was dripping with bright red blood.

The two colors white and red formed an extremely harsh contrast to the eyes. It was filled with a b.l.o.o.d.y and sinister feeling.

Li Qingshan frowned: “What’s this?”

Little An was like a child who’d done something wrong. He lowered his head and didn’t speak.

“Dao of the Beautiful Bones!” The green bull appeared suddenly and said out five words.

“Is this also a supernatural skill?”

“Ghosts don’t have flesh. They seem free and easy, and can even avoid ordinary people’s senses, but they are innately damaged when it comes to cultivation. Moreover they’re afraid of fire and afraid of light, while also restrained by many techniques.”

“But this isn’t impossible to solve. Slowly absorbing yang qi is but the crudest way. There’s a saying in the vastness of the Dharma: beauty to bones, white bones and flesh1, the material is emptiness, the invisible is material. Within the s.p.a.ce of a single thought, a beauty can turn into a skeleton, white bones can also give birth to flesh and blood. There’s a senior Buddhist monk who yearned to reach the realm of Bodhisattvas and failed, devoured by a heavenly calamity. He wasn’t resigned and suddenly gave birth to demon thoughts. From Buddhism he fell into the way of the demons, inverting his daoist power and creating the . He refined bones sariras2, cultivated into a skeleton demon G.o.d, and called himself the Skeleton Bodhisattva.”

1. While I’m no expert on Buddhism, I think those lines originally meant that one should look beneath the surface and see the bones inside the flesh and skin, since even beauty can turn into ashes in a fleeting instant

2. A sarira is a Buddhist relic. Often specifically denoting round beads supposedly found within the ashes of cremated Buddhist masters.

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