Chapter 682 – Vengeance for Family
“Ouch! You crazy woman! Let go of me!”
Elder brother Li howled in pain. The sister-in-law grabbed him by the ear and forced him to turn around.
“I’ve used up all the misfortune from my past eight lives to be married with someone as useless as you. You don’t even have the courage to pass on a letter, so what’s the point of keeping you around? Your brother sure is capable, but he’s a heartless, unfeeling bastard!”
The sister-in-law ground her teeth, her face warped with hatred. She hated the elder brother for his uselessness, and she hated Li Qingshan for his heartlessness.
Over the years, the place that changed the most in the village would definitely be village head Li’s household. They were already countless times better off than other farmer households, and ever since Li Long left, silver basically flowed back home unceasingly like water. They erupted with wealth, dismantling their original house to build a large courtyard. They ate and drank well every single day, and they no longer worked in the fields.
Then she looked at her own household. They possessed a little more land than before, but they had lost one of their labourers, they had to cover the expenses for the ox, and they had to feed an additional mouth. They were instead much worse off than before. They had clearly heard that Li Qingshan was even wealthier than Li Long, but they could not even get a single penny from him, which left her grinding her teeth in hatred daily.
“Wasn’t it all your shitty idea back then to take his farmland and chase him out of the house? Yet now you blame me! If you say another word of nonsense, I’ll slap you across the face!”
The elder brother became furious too. Over the years, many people in the village had mocked him, saying how his family had produced a decent man after so much difficulty, only for him to be as blind as a bat, chasing him away from home.
“Hit me! Hit me! You might as well beat me to death!”
The sister-in-law squirmed around with her body that was as round as a ball and her thick arms and legs, making an unreasonable scene. Had she not regretted it to the very core either? However, what was done could not be undone. What was the point in still saying all of this now?
“Hmph, you crazy woman!”
“Even if you won’t consider for us, you have to consider for ‘pebble’. Do you want him to toil away in the fields for his entire life with you?”
Elder brother Li fell silent. Gradually, he began to change his mind. No matter how much grievance exists between us, so many years have passed already. We’re still brothers by blood after all. Even if he blames me, he can’t blame his own nephew! As long as he relents even slightly, that’ll be endless good fortune!
At the same time, there was a dim speck of light within the night rain under Crouching Ox hill outside the village. At first glance, it seemed like a house, but the walls around the place were painted red. It seemed like a memorial temple.
Entering through the door, there was a table for offerings, with a few plates of fruit and a lone lamp. Even without the night breeze, it was already tottering around, about to be devoured by the darkness at any time.
Using the dim light, it was possible to make out a black, wooden statue. It had a hand on its waist and a blade in the other. Although it stood in a very imposing manner, the craftsmanship was very crude. It was possible to tell it was the handiwork of a rural carpenter with a single glance. However, it did bear some resemblance to Li Qingshan, or more accurately, Li Qingshan in his youth.
This was the hut that Li Qingshan had originally used the wild boar to build. Afterwards, he earned the name of “Tiger Butcher” for himself, so the people in the village built a special temple for him, using the hut as a basis, calling it the Tiger Butcher temple. There was even a special temple attendant who was responsible for cleaning it. Actually, he was just a childless, lame old man. Everyone in the village called him “limp Liu”.
Old man Liu’s responsibility was to ensure that the lamp never went out at night, but it was not like anyone supervised him. On such a stormy, autumn night, he had shut the temple door a long time ago. He ate some pork and drank a cup of unstrained liquor before throwing his blankets over himself and going to sleep. When someone burst through the temple door and entered the temple, he was completely unaware.
The person’s stature was extremely thick and robust, and he was covered in facial hair, making it impossible to tell his age. When he stepped into the temple, he happened to be extremely dry. As he gazed at the wooden statue, his eyes shone with hatred. He ground his teeth. “Li Qingshan!”
Suddenly, he took a step forward and threw a palm strike from afar. With a great boom, the statue split into pieces, but the wavering oil lamp continued to shine.
Old man Liu shuddered all over and woke up. He was still bleary-eyed. “Is it thunder?” He limped over to the hall and immediately spotted the sturdy, black figure. “You’re…”
Before he could even finish, the person launched another palm strike, and old man Liu exploded like the statue, turning into a scarlet, bloody mist. Only his head remained whole, which the person placed on the offering table before quietly uttering some prayers.
“Father, I’ll complete your unfulfilled wish first and destroy the Crouching Ox village. This is the first one. There will be a day when I personally kill Li Qingshan!” Xiong Batian said viciously.
If Li Qingshan were present, perhaps he would find him rather familiar. Of course, it was completely possible for him to have no impression of this person at all. Compared to the enemies he had killed afterwards, the master of the Black Wind stronghold, Xiong Xiangwu, was nothing.
Xiong Batian was Xiong Xiangwu’s son, but he had not been in Black Wind stronghold. Instead, he had been learning martial arts with his grandfather. When he learnt about how the Black Wind stronghold had been massacred, he was still a child. He understood that all he could do was silently and patiently wait for the optimal opportunity if he wanted revenge.
However, after over a decade of waiting, he discovered that his enemy had already become a Scarlet Hawk commander, and his chances for revenge were becoming more and more miniscule. Only by massacring Crouching Ox village and slaughtering all of Li Qingshan’s friends and family could he relieve himself of this hatred.
Xiong Batian carried old man Liu’s head in his hand as he made his way towards Crouching Ox village. He was determined to kill everyone and pile up their heads into a tower so that he could hold a memorial ceremony for Xiong Xiangwu and his uncles. That had always been the Black Wind stronghold’s favourite symbol!
Suddenly, he came to a halt, only to see a group of people on horseback travelling through the night rain and entering Crouching Ox village from afar. His face became frosty. “Alright. I’ll kill whoever that comes today. The Drawn Reins village and the Iron Fist school too. Everyone who is connected to Li Qingshan must die!”
Li Long’s return led to a huge uproar in the courtyard of the Li family. His brothers, Li Hu and Li Bao, both came to receive him, sobbing away loudly. “Big brother, you’re back!” “Before father passed away, he was still uttering your name. Why have you come so late?”
By now, both of them had become plump, chubby, and fair from everything Li Long had sent home. They each grabbed one of Li Long’s hands, treating him with so much familiarity like he had only left yesterday. The sobbing began to ring out from outside the mourning hall, filled with grief.
Li Long silently changed into his mourning clothes and paid his respects. He entered the mourning hall and looked at the prepared body lying in the coffin. Two streaks of tears ran down his cheeks.
Right after the ceremony was completed, Li Hu pulled him to a side room, and Li Bao followed over in a hurry. Li Long was perplexed, but when he listened to how they vied with each other, he understood that they were fighting over the family property after village head Li had passed away. They were at a stalemate, so they wanted to wait for Li Long’s return so that he could preside over the matter. From how they glared at one another, they did not seem sad at all.
Li Long felt disgust. Right when he was about to talk, he suddenly wrinkled his nose. “There’s the reeking of blood!”
The heavy smell of blood passed through the rain and wafted over from the other side of the village.
Li Long walked out in a hurry and arrived on the main street, only to see Xiong Batian walking over from the other side. He carried over twenty heads in his hands, whether they were man or woman, old or young. Blood was still dripping down. In a short while, he had already visited six households.