Chapter 72 – The Black Tiger Leaves its Den
“Yes, yes, yes. Sheriff Li is a great hero, a great man. You would never take advantage of my mere establishment. It’s me who has acted like a snob.” The manager was overjoyed, immediately stowing the silver away and replying with respect.
Li Qingshan turned around and left through the door as a few people of the jianghu whispered among themselves.
“Is that the Descended Tiger, Li Qingshan? Turns out that he’s just a kid.”
“What kid? He personally destroyed the Black Wind stronghold and the Dragon’s Gate sect. And, I heard he’s skilled in a move called the ‘Black Tiger Digs out the Heart’…”
“What so special about the Black Tiger Digs out the Heart? I know it as well. Who doesn’t know how to use it in the jianghu?” To the people of the jianghu, this was basically the most generic move out there.
“Shut up, don’t interrupt me. Every person he killed has had their hearts dug out. Could you do that?”
The table of people collectively gasped. “What brutal methods!”
“That’s why we have to be as careful as we can this time.”
A few days passed, and more and more people of the jianghu appeared in Qingyang city. The attacks that Li Qingshan had been watching out for never actually happened during this time. Everyone watched and observed silently. The infamy that came with killing people and digging out their hearts really did have an extremely great effect. And, the more people of the jianghu there were, the more careful and vigilant they would be. They were afraid of stalking their prey but being unaware of someone else stalking them.
Li Qingshan was overjoyed that no one disturbed him. He could concentrate entirely on training. He would become slightly stronger with each passing day. However, his figure rapidly thinned down as well. He was basically close to returning to his original size.
However, this was different from the frail thinness of before. The current him was like a piece of steel, constantly being hammered and tempered. His volume decreased, but he became denser and denser. Simply by standing there, he was like a javelin, glimmering with a deterring edge.
At the very beginning, Li Qingshan had never thought the Tiger Demon’s Fist of Bone Forging could forge the body to such a level. Moreover, this form of forging took an extremely great toll on his body.
Now, aside from eating food, he ate ginseng. That’s right; he did not drink the medicinal alcohol steeped from ginseng but ate it directly instead. Whenever he felt exhausted from training, he would eat wild ginseng several decades in age like snacks.
The dried ginseng was as tough as wood, but his teeth were even sharper than steel knives. He would grind it to pieces with just a few bites and swallow all of it. He did not worry about it being overly nourishing and leading to nose bleeds. The ginseng would turn into vitality in his belly. Before it even had the chance to travel anywhere, his body that desired energy urgently would drain it away. It was all thanks to the ginseng that he did not become even skinnier.
The snow fell at times and stopped at others. Over half a month passed by.
Li Qingshan was currently practising in a horse stance. Suddenly, he felt a gust behind his head, and he did not even look back, leaping up and slamming his head backwards. He seemed like a human spring.
His headbutt sent the assailant flying, slamming against the stone wall.
The eleventh. This was already the eleventh person who had attacked him recently. Although most people chose to watch on from afar, there were still quite a few who wanted to try their luck. Unfortunately, their luck was not particularly great.
Li Qingshan stood up and sensed the gazes that spied on him from the surroundings. He growled and said, “All of you, get out!” His voice that he had infused with true qi made the tiles rattle. Those who had weaker martial arts immediately felt like they had been struck heavily in the head. They vanished in a hurry.
Li Qingshan did the same as he did with the others, killing the person and taking the heart before tossing the corpse over the wall. Feeling his own body, the strand of true qi that was only like a hair in the beginning had become extremely powerful now. It raged through his body like a river.
He had finished all eight jars of tiger bone alcohol, the two bamboo baskets of ginseng, and the pills for training he had obtained from the Dragon’s Gate sect.
He had finally achieved something with the Tiger Demon’s Fist of Bone Forging, but he was still quite a bit off from the first layer. He was uncertain if it were because he had not trained enough or if the time was just not right.
He stood up and discovered that his nails had grown long once more. As they brushed past each other, they produced a metallic sound of scraping. He grabbed at the stone table beside him gently and four deep marks were left behind. If he used a hand like this to unleash a vicious technique like the Tiger Demon Digs out the Heart, the results would be obvious.
He was confident that he could slaughter all of these people spying on him, but he did not do that. As long as they never attacked him, he was reluctant to kill them. However, his patience vanished bit by bit. As his cultivation of the Tiger Demon’s Fist of Bone Forging progressed, his vicious and brutal nature grew heavier.
He was like a vicious tiger trapped in a cage, agitated to swing its claws and bare its fangs. He had realised he had changed like this.
If masters of the jianghu were being spied on so outrageously, they probably would have massacred them all already. Have I made myself seem like someone who’s easy to walk over? This thought constantly resounded through his head, and it grew louder and louder. However, he did his best to restrain himself.
Xiao An held Li Qingshan’s wrist with some worry. Out of the eleven people Li Qingshan had killed during these days, the latter nine were all second-rate masters. Their vitality was much stronger than regular people. Xiao An’s strength had been growing endlessly like there was no bottleneck.
Li Qingshan said, “Let’s go out and take a stroll!” He put on the Black Wolf uniform and equipped the standard issue Wind-entwining blade before making his way out. He made his way towards the largest establishment in Qingyang city. Most of the people of jianghu were gathered there. He wanted to make them understand today.
As soon as he left the courtyard, a piece of news spread across the entire city. “The Black Tiger has left its den!”
In the Iron Fist sect, the Iron Lion Liu Hong currently faced a pale-faced, middle-aged man with a thin beard and mustache. Liu Hong said courteously, “Hall chief, that is what has happened so far. Li Qingshan is a real piece of work. It is difficult to take the spiritual ginseng from him by force. And, Qingyang city has become crowded with masters now. First-rate masters have already appeared, planning to use the spiritual ginseng when they make the push to the innate realm. Even if you get the spiritual ginseng, it will be difficult to ingest it.”
Hall chief Wu lectured, “Liu Hong, you have spent far too much time in retirement in Qingyang. You have become more and more cowardly. Since when has our Iron Fist school feared masters? If Li Qingshan really is someone with a brain, getting him to hand over the spiritual ginseng and join the Iron School sect would not be treating him unjustly.”
Li Long stood to one side. When he heard how his master was directly referred to by his name, he felt that it was very disrespectful. He refused to accept it inside, With the way you act, you might not necessarily be able to defeat Qingshan. Once he digs out your heart, you’ll know just how powerless you really are.
Liu Hong obviously knew his disciple. He was afraid Li Long would say something inappropriate, so he grabbed his shoulder and said to the hall chief, “Hall chief Wu, my disciple has got some talent. It is quite a pity if he remains in Qingyang city. Do you think you can take him with you this time so that he can go out and see the world?”
Hall chief Wu glanced at Li Long. “Regarding that, considering your contribution this time for providing the news, it is not out of the question for me to take a person or two away with me.” The Iron Fist school had established a branch in such a remote in the first place because they wanted to look for people, so completing this favour that came at no extra cost to him was possible.
Liu Hong was overjoyed. “Thank you, hall chief Wu. Xiao Long, what are you waiting for? Hurry up and thank hall chief Wu.”
Li Long could not let down his master with all the pains he had gone to. Although he was reluctant, he showed none of it on his face. He thanked the hall chief obediently.
Aside from the three of them, there was someone else in the room. He admired the calligraphy and paintings on the walls as if no one else was around. He did not talk to them. He was the one who had made that sound as if he had run out of patience.