Book 2 Chapter 16: New Leader
Teng Jia Village was surrounded by wooden fences and a gate guarded by villagers.
“The hunters are back!” shouted the gatekeeper.
Many villagers were talking and laughing on the training field, but their faces suddenly sank when they saw the bloodstained and bandaged hunters carrying several bodies.
Some villagers had died on the hunting trip!
“Qiangzi!” Shouts of sorrow could be heard.
“Go inform the chief!” Someone immediately cried with a sad voice.
A moment later, nearly two thousand people gathered on the training field. Except those who were working in the fields, everyone was gathered here with gloomy faces. In particular, the family members of the deceased were kneeling and crying on the ground. The Chief Teng Yunlong also had a hint of sadness on his face.
“This time, hunters encountered the Patrol of the Wolf King! Five hunters died… and four became disabled!” Teng Yunlong said with a low voice while faint cries could be heard among the crowd.
” Teng Yonglian, Teng Yongqiang, Teng Yongyi…” Teng Yunlong recited the five names of the deceased.
“They were the people who died for our Teng Jia Village. Their five families will be given a hundred taels of silver each in compensation for today, and our village with support them from this day onward,” Teng Yunlong said calmly. It was an old rule inside the village to compensate a hundred taels of silver for those who were killed and fifty taels of silver for those who were disabled. Moreover, their family members would be supported by the entire village.
Teng Qingshan quietly watched this scene.
Over the years, he heard that other villages were wiped out by bandits, but he never saw it with his own eyes. He was never given such a shock when hearing about it since seeing it and hearing it were two different things. Teng Jia Village was a relative strong and big village, which was why bandits were generally reluctant to provoke them. Furthermore, the White Horse Gang received money from them and provided Teng Jia Village with some protection. Therefore, Teng Jia Village had been calm, and for a long time, no one was killed.
Going into the mountain and encountering the Patrol of the Wolf King was something that would happen only a few times per decade.
“Light the fire!” Teng Yunlong said suddenly, awakening Teng Qingshan from his daze.
It was a custom within the village to cremate the bodies of the deceased.
A huge flame soaring into the sky, and the corpses were placed on a wooden platform. Normally, the ones lying on the platform would be elders whom everyone was familiar with. Some crying sounds could be heard in the surrounding, but most people just watched in silence. They had already experienced a deeper and more unforgettable suffering.
They already knew that in order to survive on this piece of land, blood must be shed.
That was why the villagers would continuously practice hard from an early age and never even taking a single day off.
In the Teng Clan’s ancestral hall.
The heavy iron gate was opened. The family members cried as they stepped into the ancestral hall with five urns held in their hands.
Teng Qingshan and his father Teng Yongfan were silently gazing at all of this . It was a wide hall and much larger than the weapons warehouse. There were tens of thousands of urns placed neatly within the hall.
“These are our ancestors’ urns. They died for the clan for over the past thousand years.” Teng Qingshan knew this.
Not everyone was allowed to enter the ancestral hall.
Teng Jia Village had over a thousand years’ worth of history, and only those who fought for it or contributed to the village’s survival were allowed to be place inside the ancestral hall after they died. Those who were incompetent and did nothing for the village weren’t allowed to enter the ancestral hall after cremation. They weren’t even allowed to put their name on the ‘Teng Clan monument’.
“The Teng Clan monument!”
Teng Qingshan’s eyes fell upon the eye catching monument. A block of massive stone stood there one Zhang high (10 feet), its face densely engraved with countless names. Each name represented the ancestors of the Teng lineage from the beginning of the village’s history.
“Engrave the names onto the clan monument,” Teng Yunlong said in a low voice.
A grey-haired old man holding a knife walked under the huge stone and cautiously carved the five names onto the massive stone’s surface.
“Sniff,Sniff….” The dead’s families sobbed in a mournful tone, making the atmosphere even more sorrowful.
Teng Yunlong walked to the families of the deceased. The men who died were still in their prime, leaving behind their young children. The oldest one amongst them was just 20 years old. Touching a child’s head, Teng Yunlong looked at them and said, “Your fathers were the Teng family’s heroes who died for the clan. You should be proud of them!”
“Ah.” A young body suddenly nodded.
In a few years, these young men, like their fathers, would fight to protect the clan. The Teng Clan had been able to survive for a thousand years because of their indomitable spirit passed downwards from generation to generation.
Eight people gather at Chief Teng Yunlong’s house.
Other than Teng Yunlong, there were Teng Yonglei, Teng Yongxiang, Teng Yongfan and the elders within the clan, along with Teng Qingshan!
“Yonglei, you did well. That Wolf King’s body cannot be pierced by common blades. Its completely white, undamaged fur, larger than a tiger skin, will make many wealthy people with high statuses want to buy it. It will fetch a better price than even the snow ferret’s fur.” Teng Yunlong said.
The clan’s gain was indeed not small this time.
The Wolf King’s hide was rarer and more valuable than a snow ferret’s fur, especially since its body was completely white like snow.
“Chief.” Teng Yonglei said, “Actually, it was all thanks to Qingshan. If it weren’t for him, only two or three of us would have been to escape, let alone kill the Wolf King. The Wolf King, the four Alpha Wolves and over one hundred wolves were all killed by Qingshan.”
Everyone present all looked at the youth Teng Qingshan.
Although they felt grief for the villagers who lost their lives, but, living in this chaotic world, their hearts were overwhelmed with happiness when they realized Teng Qingshan’s amazing power.
He alone killed one hundred wolves, four Alpha wolves and even the Wolf King… What fearful strength! Moreover, this strength belonged to someone who was less than ten years old… How strong would he be once he grew up? The most important thing is… such a strong person belonged to the Teng Clan!
“Well done, Qingshan.” Teng Yunlong praised.
“Fortunately, Qingshan didn’t go to the Gui Yuan Sect back then.” Teng Yongxiang sighed, “If he went, he may not have had such an amazing Spear Arts. Qingshan refined everything by himself, and his Spear Arts are even more profound than the arts taught by others.” Once they knew about Qingshan’s combat exploits, everyone approved of Qingshan’s strength.
He was indisputably the greatest hero within the family.
Teng Yunlong and others also felt grateful that Teng Qingshan didn’t join the Gui Yuan Sect. If he have joined them, there would simply be no way for him to help the clan unless he reached a high position in the Gui Yuan Sect. However, distant water couldn’t quench the present thirst, so having Teng Qingshan here was of course more helpful to the clan.
“Qingshan’s long spear was broken during the fight with the Wolf King. Moreover, a spear of that length is a little short for Qingshan right now,” said Teng Yongxiang.
“Yes, it’s time for change to a longer spear. Qingshan, come, let’s go to the armory.” Teng Yunlong said with a smile.
Teng Qingshan went with everyone into the armory.
When Teng Qingshan was still six years old, his seven Chi (feet) green zhennan spear had been a bit too long for him. However, he was now nine years old and would be ten in three months. Right now, he was five Chi tall, and a seven Chi long spear would be a bit too short for him. With his height, the most suitable spear length would be seven Chi and six Chun (inch).
The armory opened with a loud bang.
“Qingshan, choose a long spear for yourself.” Teng Yunlong smiled.
There were plenty of long spears stored in the clan and they didn’t need to manufacture a new one, so he only needed to choose one without holding back.
For wooden spears, green zhennan wood was the highest quality, but from Teng Qingshan’s point of view, the material was not good enough.
“Here are common big iron spears and steel spears! The quality of iron spears is much worse than steel spears, but they are much lighter.” Teng Qingshan walked around and he eyes fell upon a steel spear. Stretching his hand, he wielded it around to see if it was suitable for him ‘This steel spear’s manufacturing quality isn’t bad and the weight is just right. Adding the spearhead, it’s almost two meters long. Although it’s slightly too long, it doesn’t affect me. When I grow taller, I can still continue use it for some time.”
Teng Qingshan turned around and looked at Teng Yunlong, “Grandfather, I want this one.”
“Qingshan, this is a first-class steel spear. Adding the spearhead, the spear is eight Chi long and weighs fifty Jin. If you encounter a group battle, it will waste too much of your strength. It’s better to change to another one.” Teng Yunlong wanted to say that a human’s strength was limited. Wielding a long and heavy weapon for a prolonged period would exhausted the user.
Teng Qingshan laughed, “I want this one! There is no need to change for another.”
Once reaching the ‘One with the Spear’ realm, Teng Qingshan’s muscles would only partially use its strength when wielding a spear while the other part of his muscles would rest. He wouldn’t even get tired after fight for a whole day. As a Xing Yi Martial Arts master who had control over all his muscles, how could he get tired by playing with a fifty Jin spear?
Furthermore, he had inner strength!
“Alright, you win.” Teng Yunlong walked towards that box with a smile and took out the matching spearhead. The craftsmanship of that steel spear was indeed very good and the connecting between the spearhead didn’t use a clamping slot. It was connected by a foot-long screw thread which forced the spearhead to firmly attach to its shaft.
Its red tassel gave off a bloody smell, indicating that this steel spear went through countless battles while soaking itself in blood.
“Huh?” Teng Qingshan surprisingly twisted the spear and screwed open the spear while diving it in two halves.
Teng Yunlong smiled. “This spear can be divided into two parts and it is connected by the central screw. When you are outside, you can disassemble the long spear if its length gets in the way and connect it again when you’re about to use it.” Teng Qingshan was very satisfied with this mechanical aspect and freely brandished his new steel spear a few times after assembling it.
The spear’s shadow danced freely and pierced the air while creating wailing noises.
“Not bad.” Teng Qingshan became increasingly satisfied. This steel spear’s toughness was very good and if he infused it with his inner strength, it could even withstand a power of 10,000 Jin.
“Chief.” Exactly at his moment, Teng Yonglei, who stood at the side, spoke and his face revealed a hint of bitterness, “Now that my left hand is gone, I am not suitable to be the leader of the hunter squadron. From today onwards, I will stay in the village. As for the leader of the hunter squadron, you should appoint someone else.”
The atmosphere immediately changed.
“Yonglei.” Teng Yongfan pat Teng Yonglei in the shoulder with a consolation. Losing the left arm was a very painful thing for a martial artist.
“Yonglei, you can stay in the village from now on. As for the leader of the hunter squadron…” Teng Yunlong turned around and his eyes fell upon Teng Qingshan.
All the other elders currently present such as Teng Yongfan, Teng Yonglei, and Teng Yongxiang all turned around and looked at Teng Qingshan.
Teng Qingshan was startled.
What? He would only be ten years old in three or four months.
“Qingshan!” Teng Yunlong stared at him, “In this chaotic world, a hero isn’t judged by his age but by his strength! Starting today, you are the leader of the hunter squadron! You have to remember… right now you are our Teng family number one hero! As the number one person, you should take on responsibilities.”
Teng Yongfan also looked at his son, “Qingshan, a man should take on responsibilities! The first ranked hero of the village needs to undertake the responsibility worthy of the status. You have to learn to take on responsibilities, since the future our clan will depend on your leadership!”
“Yes, Father.” Qingshan suddenly felt a sense of responsibility falling upon his small shoulders.
In the past, he had been carefree, and all various problems were tackled by his father, grandfather and others.
However, from today onward, he would have step up to his family’s expectations!