Grandpa Cang also exposed a little reverent expression. Many mountain villages were the same as the Ginseng King Village. The hunter villages were even more so. After all, hunting people was a lot easier than hunting beasts, and when they encountered lone travelers, they could kill them in one arrow and take their things, it was really too easy.

Ever since Sick Yellow Tiger took the helm of the Horse Rein Village, he’d imposed harsh restrictions, and this kind of things never happened.

On the mountain path, the green bull said to Li Qingshan: “You gave away that bottle of spiritual wine, there’s at least two people who saw through the matter about the spirit ginseng.”

Li Qingshan said: “I know!”

“It’s was very possible they’d suddenly act and make you stay forever in Horse Rein Village.”

“I also know.” Li Qingshan was someone of two worlds and wasn’t a genuinely ignorant young man in his teens. He was already aware of the many dark sides of human nature.

“But I’m willing to take this risk. I have to live in this world. If I have to be always cautious, never trusting others, not trusting myself, then where would be the fun even if I cultivated peerless supernatural skills?”

He already had some estimation about his own strength. He was confident he could kill his way out even in the worst case scenario. Moreover he had faith that his own strength could intimidate others.

“Warmly greeting each other in one hand, while secretly holding a sword in the other, does this count as becoming mature?”

Li Qingshan sighed a little in his heart. He gently stroked the locust wood plaque at his waist with the “South An” words engraved on it. In this world, there were however still people you could wholeheartedly trust, um, or rather ghosts.

They slowly traveled on the craggy mountain road. All along the way the mountain maples were as fire,

red yellow blue and green. It was very beautiful.

Li Qingshan took out a bamboo flute and started blowing it. The sound of the flute revolved loud and clear around the autumn mountains.

“Still can’t find it?” The young man called “young master” by the swordsmen asked with some restlessness. He’d already led men and searched the Old White Peak for many days. They even expanded the range of their searches, but they never saw the spirit ginseng’s shadow.

“Young master, we already led men and flattened the Ginseng King Village. The spirit ginseng is definitely not in Ginseng King Village. They said that it’s certainly the Horse Rein Village that obtained it, should we flatten Horse Rein Village in pa.s.sing.” A swordsman said.

“Hmph, they have big hatred with Horse Rein Village, of course they’d say that. They think I don’t know that the Horse Rein Village already went down the mountain the day of the mid-autumn festival, and later they went to the northern mountains to hunt. Horse Rein Village isn’t like this gang of b.u.mpkins in Ginseng King Village. Sick Yellow Tiger’s archery was also famous back in the days in the martial world. Before arriving at the last resort, don’t go provoke him.”

Strong bows and powerful crossbows were things anyone in the martial worlds wouldn’t dare look down on. In the confusion of arrow volleys, even first-grade masters would suffer.

“The young master is wise. It looks like we can only wait until the next night of full moon.”

The young master felt a little proud, but suddenly his ears p.r.i.c.ked, “What’s that sound?”

“Seems like a flute.”

“Flute? There’s only Ginseng King and Horse Rein those two villages around here. Let’s go take a look.”

The green bull suddenly stopped its steps. Li Qingshan could also see with his sharp vision more than ten human silhouettes stepping light as feather on treetops and rocks as they forced their way toward him. Each of them carried a treasure sword, their att.i.tude incomparably confident and stylish.

“Is this a movement technique?” Li Qingshan exclaimed in admiration. He immediately thought about the man Little An told him about, and vigilance rose in his heart. But they were still some distance away from Old White Peak.

That young master was the first to arrive in front of Li Qingshan. The men under his command loudly praised him from behind: “Young master’s movement technique is marvelous!”

Li Qingshan saw that this young master had elegant facial features with red lips and white teeth. His face was filled with a haughty smile after being praised by his men. Apart from some calluses on the hand that used the sword, he had the look of a pampered son of n.o.ble descent.

He sized up this young master, but this young master never observed him and only gave him a light look: “Do you come from Horse Rein Village?”

Li Qingshan said: “Exactly. Your excellency is?”

“Are you also fit to ask our young master’s name?” A tall and lean swordsman with a green face saw Li Qingshan casually sitting on the bull, and the glint of a sword came out of its hole. An “Immortal Points the Way1” move pierced toward his face: “Come down for me!” He was of a mind to scare him down the bull and shame him.

Li Qingshan’s countenance chilled down. His stature slightly leaned to the side, waiting for the sword move to go past and finish. His eyes flashed with a spiritual light as he stretched his hand out at lightning speed and pinched the sword blade.

The tall and thin swordsman sneered in his heart: “You actually dare to hold my sword. This is a treasure sword made from fine steel by the sect, I only need to twist the sword blade to cut off this hand of yours.”

He used his strength to twist it, and not only he didn’t accomplish his desired outcome, but instead he wrung a fine steel treasure sword into something resembling a fried dough twist. The sword blade was pinched in Li Qingshan’s hand and didn’t move a single inch. The strength of his arm unexpectedly couldn’t match the strength from Li Qingshan’s few fingers.

Li Qingshan was greatly furious. They had no grudge and no hatred with each other, but without a sentence he actually tried to disable him for life. Those people of the martial world were simply too malicious.

The treasure sword broke in two with a “Beng.” The thin and tall swordsman’s face became pale green. His sword was unexpected broken by a n.o.body kid, how could he endure this anger, so he was about to storm forward with his broken sword.

The young master chided him: “Chi Da, step back. Your skills are lacking, don’t lose any more face for our Dragon Sword Sect.”

“Yes, subordinate deserves to die, when we go back I’ll confess my sins to the punishment hall.” The tall and thin swordsman named Chi Da did not dare disobey and retreated back. He threw an incomparably poisonous stare at Li Qingshan.

The young master said with considerable interest: “I didn’t expect I could meet a master in those deep mountains. You actually have the qualifications to know this young master’s name. Listen carefully, I am Yang Jun of the Dragon Sword Sect.”

Li Qingshan shook his head: “Never heard of.”

“Savage country villagers are ignorant and inexperienced. Our Dragon Sword Sect’s swords can’t be casually broken by others. I won’t embarra.s.s you, just leave a hand behind!”

“I’m not sure which hand you want?” Li Qingshan’s anger boiled in his chest. He itched to kill Yang Jun in one slash. Originally in his imagination, martial pract.i.tioners would still have some upbringing even if they couldn’t be chivalrous. Now it looked like he was greatly mistaken.

There was but a thin line between the virtues and evils of the human nature. When a man held the power to toy with the lives of others inside his palms, how many could maintain the so-called humanity and refuse to seize things by force or do whatever they pleased.

However, this group of people wasn’t something the group of ginseng gatherers could be compared to, with their shallow martial arts. These were genuine martial pract.i.tioners. The Bull Demon Skin Refining could resist fists, but it couldn’t block fine steel treasure swords filled with inner strength. Moreover, they were all pregnant with movement techniques, and even fleeing wouldn’t be easy.

Yang Jun said: “I see that you’re young but you already managed to cultivate your external martial art to such a degree. Your natural talents are satisfactory, it would be a pity if you were crippled just like this. How about you become my retainer instead!”

This was his genuine goal, because most of those who trained in external martial arts had straightforward and honest natures. They didn’t have so many complex thoughts like those who cultivated inner strength. It was the so-called muscles growing into the brain. Therefore the retainers of many persons of high skill in the martial world were all external martial masters.

He’d always wanted to pose as a cultured man and recruit this kind of person. He was delighted when he saw Li Qingshan, wasn’t this precisely what he was looking for? Now he was beating him down a little, and in the future he only needed to give him some sweet benefits to groom him into a loyal dog.

“Young master, you can’t!” Chi Da hurriedly tried to dissuade him. If this kid truly became the young master’s retainer, his status would rise like a boat lifted by the tide.

Yang Jun glared at him. He immediately did not dare say anything any longer.

Another swordsman said: “Why are you still not quickly agreeing. Suncheer City trembles before the might of our Dragon Sword Sect. It’s not easy to become even a servant disciple, but now the young master is promoting you and letting you ascend to the sky in one step.”

“My Li Qingshan won’t be anyone’s lackey!” Li Qingshan said with heavy emphasis on every word. He came from another world. He felt love hatred pa.s.sion and animosity the same as people from this world, but there was one thing different about him. He had no devotion. He wouldn’t be devoted to any person, no matter if that person were a grand benevolent n.o.ble or a frighteningly mighty man.

Perhaps he would pursue that person, would befriend that person, but he would absolutely not devote himself to him. Not even mentioning Yang Jun, this kind of hedonistic second generation. Although he had no experience journeying the martial world, he could still see that Yang Jun’s martial skills weren’t outstanding among this group of people. It was only because of his status as a young master that people fawned at him

1. Name of a move mentioned in the novel “Journey to the West,” one of the four great Chinese cla.s.sic novels along with “Water Margin,” “Romance of the Three Kingdoms,” and “Dreams of the Red Chamber”. Its main character, Sun Wukong the Monkey King, is a loose inspiration for Sangoku of DBZ’s fame, whose name is written the same.

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