Chapter 27 – The Spiritual Ginseng Appears
Li Qingshan exhaled deeply. “How satisfying!”
Huang Binghu’s arms trembled; this was the result of clashing with Li Qingshan’s hands. He studied Li Qingshan from afar as he felt perplexed. “Just how did you train?” He was basically a monster to advance at such a rate.
Originally, he valued Li Qingshan’s willpower and martial arts. He had thought he had found a diamond in the rough and wanted to polish him. He wanted to see whether he had the right to accept the position of hunting chief. However, he discovered in the end that he had underestimated Li Qingshan.
Li Qingshan considered the question. “Recently, I’ve been drinking medicinal alcohol made from ginseng. It’s a formula my master left behind.”
Huang Binghu hesitated. “Can you let me see it?” Originally, the rules of jianghu forbid him from just casually inquiring about things like this, but he was just too curious about what was happening.
Li Qingshan said frankly, “No problem!”
Huang Binghu had asked about the formula, so Li Qingshan told it to him truthfully. Huang Binghu nodded. “This formula is ingenious, but the strength of the combination is just too much. You’re using too much ginseng as well, so you can’t drink too much. Just a small cup a day will be enough.”
Aside from that, it was no different from ordinary medicinal alcohol. He even specially went to Li Qingshan’s room and tasted it, but he reached the same conclusion. He refused to believe that just drinking medicinal alcohol made from ginseng could lead to such rapid improvements in martial arts. Otherwise, the Ginseng King village would basically be filled with supreme masters.
However, it was far too inappropriate for him to probe any further. He could only hold in his doubts. However, he never considered that it was all due to Li Qingshan’s martial arts. After all, out of all of the external martials available, none of them were so impressive to the point of being some sort of unmatched, divine art.
Obviously, Li Qingshan could not tell him that he drank the medicinal wine by the bowlful, and he would down several every day at the very least. He had basically finished it all off now.
“Oh right, how are my martial arts now?”
“It has barely made it into the third-rate.” Huang Binghu could still remember some time ago when he said that it would pose no difficulty for Li Qingshan to become a third-rate master. In the blink of an eye, it had come true. He felt like he was dreaming.
“Only the third-rate?” Li Qingshan said in dissatisfaction.
Huang Binghu shot a glance at him. Anyone whose martial arts had reached the third-rate could be regarded as master, yet this kid was actually still unsatisfied. Wouldn’t that mean that his own martial arts were ‘only at the third-rate’?
He was someone who had been the hunting chief of Drawn Reins village for many years, so he was reluctant to lose out in terms of bearing. “However, my forte is not martial arts but archery. In terms of martial arts, even the Ginseng King village surpasses us, but only we dare to claim the name of Drawn Reins village. When well-equipped, even first-rate masters would try to avoid provoking us.”
There was another reason. His sickness was already close to becoming incurable. Although his name was Binghu, Sickly Tiger, he deemed the word ‘sickly’ as the highest taboo. He would never use it as a reason.
“Yeah. I’ve been working hard on rapid fire arrows lately. I can already shoot three of them in rapid succession, but I’m still much worse than the hunting chief. Please give me some guidance, hunting chief.” Li Qingshan had personally witnessed Huang Binghu’s archery, so he obviously would never take it lightly.
You can shoot three arrows in rapid succession!? Didn’t you just start learning archery a month ago? Huang Binghu only felt like he had experienced a little too much mental shock today. He waved his hands. “Go ask grandpa Zang for guidance tomorrow. I need to go back and eat a reunion dinner with my family.”
He understood inside that perhaps this kid really did have the talent to wander through the jianghu, so he put the matter of hunting chief aside. If he himself had advanced so rapidly in the past, he would have never returned to the Drawn Reigns village.
“Yeah, it’s the Mid-Autumn Festival again!” Li Qingshan looked at the newly-risen full moon in the sky, but he had no relatives to reunite with. However, he did have a daemon and a ghost by his side, so he could still have a reunion meal with them. He went back and began preparing.
He prepared some grass for the black ox, some alcohol and meat for himself, and some incense sticks and joss paper for Xiao An.
He carried out everything smoothly, but he could not find Xiao An. “Brother Ox, where did Xiao An go?”
“I don’t know!”
Li Qingshan muttered to himself, “This little ghost has gotten carried away with playing lately. He doesn’t even bother to cling to me anymore. How strange. I think we should wait for him!”
The full moon rose slightly and all was silent on Bailao peak.
The brilliant moon scattered its light from high in the clouds.
A few people with large bamboo hats lay in a region of dense vegetation, gazing at the highest cliff on Bailao peak as if they were waiting for something.
“We’ve expended so much painstaking effort, lost so many people, and fallen out with the Drawn Reins village completely, yet we haven’t even seen a hair of the spiritual ginseng. Now, even the people from the Drawn Reins village have retreated down the peak to unite with their families, yet we still have to watch over here. What is the chief thinking?”
“What would you know? The spiritual ginseng is an item with intelligence. It has been alarmed by the presence of so many people, so it would obviously remain hidden. However, tonight’s a night with a full moon, so the spiritual ginseng will definitely appear to absorb the essence of the moon. The chief has been expecting this, and he has planned for it too. As long as we get the spiritual ginseng, our chief’s strength will increase drastically. By then, will we still have to be afraid of the Drawn Reins village? When that happens, we’ll trample over the Drawn Reins village, plunder all of their food and wealth, and play with all of their women. Then we’ll have our revenge.”
“Quiet! Don’t mess up the chief’s plans!” A person scolded them with a subdued voice.
The conversation immediately died out, only leaving the soft chirping of autumn insects that were close to dying. The round moon rose high into the sky.
A small person a foot tall suddenly emerged from the ground, hesitating as it made its way to the highest cliff that received the most moonlight. At a closer glance, it was not a person at all but a ginseng instead. It only barely possessed a humanoid form, so it looked like a small person in the dark. It seemed as light as a feather as it walked, moving like it was floating.
The ginseng foragers hidden in the bushes immediately held their breaths, afraid of making any sounds. This was a wondrous spiritual herb. They had never seen anything like it despite gathering ginseng for all of their lives.
The spiritual ginseng looked around as if it were confirming that no one else was here. It drifted to the highest cliff and settled down there. The essence of the moon wrapped around its body.
“Do it!” With the order, the ginseng foragers moved together. A net descended from the sky, falling towards the spiritual ginseng.
The spiritual ginseng was submerged in the essence of the moon. As such, before it could react, it had become caught in the net and lifted from the ground. The net was woven from the tendon of cows, so it was impossible for it to break free.
The four ginseng foragers were utterly overjoyed, approaching it and studying it carefully.
“There are a lot of cliffs on the Bailao peak, and they’ve all had people assigned to them, yet the spiritual ginseng just happened to fall into our hands. We’re blessed by the heavens. When we get back, we’ll be able to get some soup to drink at the very least. Maybe we can become masters.”
“Maybe you can become an immortal if you eat the whole thing!”
The four of them laughed together. One of their faces suddenly stiffened, and the snow-white tip of a sword emerged from his throat. He struggled as he tried to look back.
The sword was drawn from his body, and he immediately collapsed on the ground. All he could vaguely see was a black shadow as he fell down.
The other ginseng foragers all responded, drawing their blades as they roared out furiously and swung at the black shadow. The sword swept past their throats like a clever snake and some droplets of blood splattered in the air.
In a single instant, the four ginseng foragers were murdered, yet they could not even launch a single attack back. The assailant’s skill was evident.
“I never thought that the rumors would be true. Hmph, why would a group of mountain villagers like you be worthy of using something like this?” A young man in luxurious robes stowed his sword away in an elegant manner. At the same time, he extended his hand and reached towards the spiritual ginseng. He struggled to hold back his excitement as well. As long as he obtained it, his martial arts would advance drastically.
However, at this moment, something happened. The falling spiritual ginseng suddenly moved away horizontally such that the man grabbed nothing.