Chapter 30 – Chasing a Tiger to its Death
With a rumble, Li Qingshan placed all of the game before grandpa Zang. “This should make up for the food I’ve eaten during the time I’ve spent here!”
There were gulps in the surroundings. In particular, the hunters who had just returned were dumbfounded. They had set off with a large group of people, working together in cooperation with careful preparation, yet the prey they had caught was still less than Li Qingshan’s hoard.
Even more to his surprise, grandpa Zang discovered that there were not even any wounds on many of the game. “Just how did you hunt?”
This was the question everyone present wanted answered. Li Qingshan considered it before replying, “With my hands!”
Everyone was taken aback in admiration, but they could not bring themselves to question him further.
Li Qingshan glanced at the prey the hunters had brought back from the mountains. “You’ve caught so much as well. You’re almost going to catch up to me. No, I have to put some more effort into it, or I can’t win.”
Grandpa Zang was unable to explain to him that the prey would be split between each hunter. On average, there was not even a prey for each hunter. Li Qingshan had basically won already after the first day of hunting.
Li Qingshan ate before returning to the mountains.
The hunters returned to the mountains in the north and told everyone what had happened in the village.
“How’s that possible?”
“You must have drunk in the village!”
“It’s true. There really was that much game.” They explained in a hurry.
“This kid!” Huang Binghu exhaled deeply and called out, “All of you put your back into it. Don’t fall behind him. If even all of us combined can’t match him alone, we’d better kill ourselves in shame!”
The hunters agreed loudly, and their morale swelled.
Huang Binghu secretly held back a series of coughs. He looked at the centre of his hand and saw some dark red blood.
On a path in the mountains, a convoy moved slowly. At the centre was a sedan chair carried by four men, and over a dozen guards and servants were gathered in the surroundings.
A fat man lifted up the curtains of the sedan, revealing his chubby face. He asked, “Advisor, how far are we from Qingyang city?” It was clearly late autumn, yet he was still drenched in sweat as he sat in the sedan chair.
A person dressed like a caretaker said, “Sir, it’s still quite far away. If we can arrive by tonight, we’ll be doing fine.”
The fat man placed down the curtains and muttered to himself, “Despite all of my knowledge at administering affairs, he actually sent me to such a remote place to be a district magistrate. Sir prefect really is befuddled.”
“Sir, you can’t say things like that. It’ll be bad if it makes it to the prefect.”
The fat official snorted and said nothing more.
At this moment, the mountain wind suddenly appeared, and countless birds fluttered through the forest, alarmed.
Rwaar! A roar rang out from the thicket beside the mountain path.
The sedan chair fell to the ground with a thud, shaking up the fat official. “W- what’s happening? Is someone trying to murder me?”
“S- sir, i- it’s a tiger!” The advisor fell to the ground and pointed ahead with his trembling finger.
A magnificent tiger leapt down from the slope, landing on the mountain path. It glared at the sedan chair viciously as it stood there majestically. The tiger had a ‘王’ pattern on its head.
“Huff, tiger? What? A Tiger! S- somebody come quick and deal with this beast!”
The advisor was close to bursting out into tears. “T- they’ve all fled.”
The fat official lifted up the curtains of the sedan chair to look around. As expected, the chairmen, guards, and servants were nowhere to be seen, having all fled for their lives. They had reacted as soon as the tiger’s roar had rung out. As working people at the bottom of society, they were constantly vigilant.
As the saying went, people would pale from the mention of a tiger. There was not a single common person who did not fear tigers in this day and age. Tigers eating people was nothing out of the ordinary.
“My advisor, you really are loyal. I haven’t favored you for nothing!” the fat official said emotionally.
The advisor responded automatically, “Thank you for your praise, sir. Even if this one becomes torn to shreds, I’ll never be able to reciprocate even one ten-thousandth of the kindness you’ve shown me.” Meanwhile, he cursed inside, Fucking hell, I- I can’t move!
“Hold on, I’ll go get reinforcements!” The fat official emerged from the sedan chair with great agility, about to flee for his life.
The advisor grabbed the fat official’s leg and clung on for dear life. “Sir, don’t abandon me!”
Looking at the plump pile of meat, the vicious tiger’s eyes seemed to light up. Just when it was about to lunge over, its ears suddenly perked up, and it pulled back, facing the forest.
The vegetation moved about, and the rustling grew closer and closer. It gave off a much greater disturbance than when the tiger had appeared earlier.
“W- what’s that now?” the advisor murmured.
A figure flew out from the vegetation. It was a young man. His young face was not exactly handsome, but his expression was elated. He landed on the mountain path powerfully and nimbly, facing the tiger and grinning. “Now that’s a good, rare prey!”
As if the tiger knew he was difficult to deal with, it bared its fangs and brandished its claws to threaten him, but it ended up being useless. With a lunge, it threw itself at Li Qingshan with a roar.
Li Qingshan’s legs remained rooted as he grabbed the tiger’s two paws with his arms, facing the tiger’s mouth that brimmed with sharp teeth. A foul air attacked his face. He bellowed out, and his true qi surged violently. Channelling strength through his arms, he tossed the tiger several hundred kilograms in weight onto the ground, leaping and mounting its back.
He had never fought a tiger before. He had only read about Wu Song slaying a tiger from Water Margin, so he copied it, grabbing onto the tiger by its back and randomly pounding it with his fists.
The tiger roared out wildly in pain. It bucked its back suddenly, and Li Qingshan shot off. He thought to himself, Reality really is different from the books. He forced his true qi downwards and landed firmly, remaining alert against the tiger.
However, the tiger only glanced at him and growled before turning around and fleeing.
Before this moment, the fat official and the advisor had been stunned by the sight in front of their eyes. Only now did they return to their senses. They were overjoyed.
“Young hero, brave warrior, I am the prefecture magistrate of Qingyang. You’ve chased away the tiger, so I will reward you handsomely!”
However, Li Qingshan did not even glance at them. He yelled out, “Where do you think you’re going?!” With that, he rushed off, grabbing the tiger’s tail that was like a steel cord. However, it was slippery, making it difficult to get a grip on it.
How could Li Qingshan be willing to let such a good prey escape from right in front of him? He rushed off in pursuit.
The fat official and advisor only recovered from the surprise after quite a while. They looked at each other.
The autumn hunt had ended, and a joyful atmosphere filled the Drawn Reins village.
Li Qingshan also returned to the village. There were several wounds on his body now. As such, he seemed to be in quite a sorry shape. However, everyone looked at him in reverence, not because of his wounds, but because of the prey on his shoulders.
He was carrying an adult tiger on his shoulders.
He had chased the tiger for a whole day and a whole night through the forest. He had only managed this feat through the endurance that the Ox Demon’s Fist of Great Strength had granted him. If it were not for Xiao An, who helped him follow the tiger’s trail, he would have come close to losing it many times.
However, Xiao An was unable to get too close to this king of the mountain. Tigers naturally possessed an aura that could subdue ghosts. As a matter of fact, tigers that had become tiger monsters or tiger daemons could even turn the people it had eaten into subservient ghosts.
The children from the village ran around Li Qingshan as their eyes shone with admiration.
Huang Binghu personally came out to welcome him back before declaring him to be the winner. No one in the village dared to object. Not only were tigers extremely terrifying beasts to ordinary people, hunters felt the same about them. Ordinary hunting bows were unable to kill tigers and would instead rouse their viciousness, while facing a tiger in close combat with a hunting knife would only lead to death.
Li Qingshan had killed the tiger, so he seemed to possess the might of a tiger.
“I don’t really have anything valuable, so this Stone Splitter bow can serve as the prize for this autumn hunt!” Huang Binghu suddenly removed the huge bow from his back.
“The Stone Splitter bow!”