Chapter 163 – For Scaring Children
Li Qingshan smiled on the side. His mind was at peace. Although he was unable to put their exact relationship into words, the conclusion he could reach was as clear as day. She was family to him, family that brought him warmth.
As a lonely transmigrator, he had lost his parents at a young age and was even oppressed by his only family. After settling their debts, he no longer seemed to possess any more ties. However, her arrival changed everything. To him, she had only been a pitiful creature that required his care in the very beginning, but afterwards, he would often receive care and assistance from her instead.
She was the one who found the spiritual ginseng and paved his path of cultivation. Back then, he was still contemplating about how he was supposed to return the favour multiple times over, but now, he had completely dismissed that thought. If she brought him a hundred spiritual ginseng right now, he would eat all of them without holding back at all. After all, as family, there was no need to put any further thought into matters like that.
Sometimes, he wondered whether the black ox had already calculated this. If it were not for her existence, he would probably be ten times as vicious as now. With the ability from the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression, it might have even been possible for him to run around killing Qi Practitioners for their pills. He might have even done whatever he wanted to fulfil his own desires, becoming a daemon through and through.
He had no confidence in the bottom line of his morality. No one was born a hero, a genuinely good person. He believed circumstances could change people. With absolute power and loneliness, it would definitely lead to absolute freedom and indulgence. But right now, he needed to take care of her safety, so he could not take too many risks. He needed to serve as a role model to her. He could not do whatever he wanted.
It was exactly because of her existence that he could live like a human and not fight purely for the sake of his desires. As the head of the family, he had to bear some responsibilities and seriously consider for the present and the future.
He no longer had many regular Qi Gathering pills left, and for the sake of breaking through to the fifth layer of the Innate Method of Practising Qi, he had used up a bottle of Hundred Grasses pills as well. He was in desperate need for more pills so that he could maintain his cultivation speed and deal with the great, hidden threat of the Sect of Clouds and Rain.
The simplest and most direct method was obviously to redeem them from the Hawkwolf Guard. Out of his twenty-seven missions, he had only completed twenty-one of them, as some people did not come to the Island of Cherishing Flowers. The remuneration for each mission was pitiful as well, but due to the quantity of missions, it still amounted to over three hundred points of contribution in total. He could exchange for a single Qi Gathering pill with five points of contribution. If it was combined with his original two hundred and fifty points of contribution, he could have exchanged for over a hundred Qi Gathering pills.
However, Zhuo Zhibo opposed him, which made things extremely difficult for Li Qingshan. No matter how many missions he completed, that fellow would never permit him to exchange for anything.
Originally, he was wholeheartedly focused on helping Xiao An to recover his body, so he had no interest in dealing with Zhuo Zhibo’s provocations. Now that this goal was achieved, it was time for him to kick aside this obstacle in his way.
When he thought of that, killing intent arose in his heart. Zhuo Zhibo, you better just die obediently! I might not be able to deal with ninth layer Qi Practitioners, but I’m more than enough to deal with you!
Xiao An immediately sensed Li Qingshan’s changes. She looked back at him.
Li Qingshan smiled. “Let’s spend some more time outside, just in case that old woman blocks our way. After this, we’ll go back and butcher Zhuo Zhibo.”
Xiao An nodded happily.
The next day, the rain showed no signs of stopping.
Li Qingshan set off with Xiao An. Because there were no particular places he wanted to go to, he would stop and rest whenever he came across a place that seemed fun or offered good food. They stopped and went as if they were on holiday.
One day when he was near a tea stall on the side of the road, he suddenly heard people on the neighbouring table mention his name. He could not help but listen in closely.
“This Tiger Butcher, Li Qingshan, is the reincarnation of a god of slaughter. As soon as he was born, he began killing. He began killing people when he was nine. Ever since he joined the Hawkwolf Guard, he became even more hopeless. First, he destroyed the Qian family, slaughtering all of them, over a thousand people. He killed them mercilessly, regardless of their age or gender. He even laughed aloud as he killed them. There were so many corpses that even the pit could not fit them all…”
As it turned out, these were some people of the jianghu who had come here to shelter from the rain. That was what a sallow, skinny man said in great detail as he sipped some crude alcohol.
Li Qingshan had no idea how to react. His nickname seemed to have changed again. Though, the Tiger Butcher did sound much better than the Descended Tiger and the Black Tiger. However, since when did he slaughter the entire Qian family? He clearly only killed three people. The rest was all due to Qian Rongzhi. She was the one who laughed aloud as she killed them, so why did they describe him like a mass murderer? However, becoming the main character of the rumours of the jianghu was a rather interesting experience at the same time. He listened closely.
“If you bunch of cowards saw that many corpses, you would have wet yourself in fright. However, Li Qingshan is no ordinary person. After killing over a thousand people, he still did not feel satisfied, so he set up a great scheme on the Island of Cherishing Flowers. The Island Lord of Cherishing Flowers, Shen Xihua, the Soaring Godrat, Zhao Ruyong, the Iron Palms of Mountain-splitting, Tian Zhonghao… You’ve all heard of these people, right?”
After receiving everyone’s affirmation, the sallow, skinny man continued, “He tricked them all onto the Island of Cherishing Flowers and wiped them out in one stroke. He even laughed aloud as he killed them.”
However, someone objected, “I heard that the Island of Cherishing Flowers was flattened using cannonfire.”
“What would you know? He killed them all before blasting the place down. My uncle’s friend’s master was on the ship back then.” The sallow, skinny man said proudly. Then he added, “Did you know that the pit outside Ancient Wind city was later exhumed, and they failed to find a single corpse at all? It was the same with the Island of Cherishing Flowers. Do you know why?”
The sallow, skinny man suddenly stifled his voice. Only after enough suspense did he say, “Cannibalism!” It led to a great gasp of fright.
Cannibalism! Li Qingshan’s eye twitched, while Xiao An’s lips curled up. She found it hilarious.
Li Qingshan pinched her cheeks. “Eat your food!” Although these rumours had many absurdities about them, they were surprisingly accurate from a certain aspect.
Xiao An stuck out her tongue.
Someone on the table beside him questioned, “That is over a thousand people, so how could he have eaten them all?”
The sallow, skinny man faltered. He was unable to answer that question.
Li Qingshan shrugged. As it seemed, it was true. Rumours would stop with the wise!
Afterwards, Li Qingshan understood very soon just what wishful thinking meant inside a restaurant.
“It’s said that the Tiger Butcher stands twenty feet tall and has a girth of twenty feet as well. He has a green face and curved teeth, with a head made of metal! He can move as swiftly as the wind, and he’s as loud as thunder! He loves to eat human flesh, and he needs four or five people to fill him for each meal!”
“That’s a daemon, right?”
In a corner of the restaurant, Li Qingshan slapped his forehead. He felt like if these rumours continued to spread, his true form would become exposed.
Xiao An could now smile in a very natural manner.
In the dead of night, a child cried constantly within a certain household. He threw a tantrum for some candy, or he would refuse to go to sleep.
His mother said, “You can’t eat candy at night! It’s bad for your teeth!”
The child refused to relent.
The mother finally lost her temper. “If you keep crying, if you keep crying, the Tiger Butcher is going to eat you!”
The child immediately stopped crying. He fell completely silent. A long while later, he said softly, “Mummy, I don’t want candy. Just don’t let the Tiger Butcher eat me.”
The mother smiled in satisfaction.
On the streets outside, Li Qingshan finally understood what daemonification meant! His nickname was now extremely effective at scaring children and could make them stop crying. It firmly took root within the hearts of the common people. It assisted countless households in disciplining their children.
The Hawkwolf Guard possessed many powerful people, but they mainly targeted Qi Practitioners, which was rather distant from the lives of ordinary people. Moreover, he had just killed a few people at most in the mission this time.
However, from just the two times that Li Qingshan was involved, he had caused over a thousand deaths with countless witnesses. As a result, his nickname spread extremely rapidly, leading to great fame. The situation soon became completely out of control.
In the Iron Fist school within Qingyang city, the first disciple, Wang Lei, asked, “Is this all true?”
Liu Hong said, “Aside from the part about cannibalism, the other parts probably aren’t just baseless rumours. I could tell a long time ago that nothing good could come out of this kid, that he would disturb the jianghu. However, I never thought he would be so vicious such that he would directly destroy half of it. Don’t be jealous of your junior brother. There’s nothing good about roaming through the jianghu.”
“Wise be master. To think that I had almost attacked him,” Wang Lei said in lingering fear. He had never thought that a bumpkin from a village would become such a terrifying figure. From them on, his envy of Li Long vanished. The jianghu was just far too dangerous. He was better off remaining in Qingyang city obediently and waiting to take over his master!
“That is nothing. I even punched him a hundred times!” Liu Hong said proudly. This matter that had humiliated him before now became a great honour for him. He would mention it to whoever he saw from then on.
Many masters would pass through Qingyang city. When they heard he had punched the Tiger Butcher Li Qingshan a hundred times and that he was still standing there in one piece, they admired him deeply. Even those stronger than him developed some respect for him.
Afterwards, on his deathbed, Liu Hong even specially ordered his disciples to engrave a great sentence on his gravestone. “Here lies the person who once punched the Tiger Butcher a hundred times,” so that later generations would look at it in reverence.
Soon afterwards, a great sculpture was erected at the entrance of Crouching Ox village. It depicted a young man. He was able-bodied and wielded a blade; his gaze was vicious. The sculpture seemed life-like. It was Li Qingshan.
It was Half-village Liu, caretaker Liu, who had paid a hefty price to invite the most renowned sculptor within the local region to create it. On the day the sculpture was completed and put in place, the deafening sounds of gongs, drums, and firecrackers rang out. Village head Li organised everyone in the village to pay their respects to it.
Many years later, mountain bandits appeared once again in the region of Qingyang. They pillaged and plundered many villages, but Crouching Ox village was the only one they were afraid to approach due to this statue, bringing them peace. Out of deep gratitude, the villagers erected a temple. They would all come to pay their respects right before the beginning of winter every year. It became a great festival, called ‘Respecting the Tiger Butcher’, but this was a story for another time.
Zhuo Zhibo frowned heavily in the office of the Hawkwolf Guard within Jiaping city. Recently, Li Qingshan had caused him just far too much trouble. He wanted to kill him with a borrowed blade, to lead him to his doom. When the West Gate Granny came to investigate in Jiaping, he was confident that Li Qingshan was deeply involved in the entire matter. He even provided a portrait and information regarding his missions to her, but he never expected it all to fail.
He had never imagined that the kid would be lucky enough to befriend the daughter of the Hua family, such that even the West Gate Granny was helpless against him. He had brought renown upon Li Qingshan instead.
However, he was not particularly worried. Sitting right in front of him right now was the West Gate Granny. Just as Li Qingshan had suspected, the West Gate Granny was unable to find Li Qingshan anywhere, so she just waited for him to come to her here. She was determined to obtain the girl with the Aspect of Heavenly Fragrance and Beauty.
Author’s Postscript: Push, everybody! We remained around the forties last month with the ranking. The target this month was originally to make it within the thirties, but you’ve given me twenty-third instead, so Dream Teller thanks you all! I will work even harder with my writing. The setup is almost complete. What I actually want to write will gradually unfold. I don’t just want to bring you hot-bloodedness and satisfaction, but also warmth, smiles, and sentiment. Speaking of which, I paced around a few hundred times in the living room yesterday. I thought of what I would be writing soon and was utterly overjoyed. Just you watch as the good stuff comes!