Chapter 14.3 – Threatening the Goddess’s Worshipper
Feng Nu was eating slower than before. Although she was continuously eating, her feelings were very complicated; she felt a peculiar, unceasing sensation in the depth of her heart. She knew perfectly well that she shouldn’t have such emotions, but she couldn’t stop herself from occasionally stealing a few glances at Nian Bing. This time, she ate less of the meal than the pigeon meat on rice from the previous one, and didn’t even finish half of her food before putting down her chopsticks. Nian Bing wanted to help her clean up, but was stopped by Feng Nu with a single glance. She flatly said, “It’s my turn. You take a seat for a moment and I will finish cleaning up.”
Nian Bing got up. His mood was as complicated as Feng Nu’s. He lowered his head and said, “Feng Nu, I’ll go first. I’ll come back to see you in two days.”
Feng Nu spoke with a bit of disappointment, “You’re going already?”
Looking at the bitterness in her eyes, Nian Bing sighed deeply, as he found it very difficult to manage the situation. In his mind, if this continued, he feared that he would end up giving in to her, so he had to leave as soon as possible. As he thought about it, he no longer hesitated and nodded his head, “I have to return since I still have quite a lot of work that needs to be done. I can’t take people’s money without doing any work! As for the True Sun Knife, it’s not that urgent. You must not exhaust yourself because of it. Rather, you should take your time.”
Feng Nu nodded her head. She put the leftovers in the kitchen and accompanied Nian Bing to the entrance. With a faint smile, she said, “You should come over when you have some free time. Thank you for the lunch.”
At that moment, Nian Bing’s mind had already recovered somewhat. As he smiled, he said, “What thanks? I should be the one thanking you right now! I’m going back, then. You’re only one woman in the house, so you must properly close the door. See you later!” As he finished speaking, he awkwardly left the Shui Huo Metal shop. Just a short while ago, he had immersed his mind inside the source of his fire and ice magic, which had the ability to steady his mind.
Feng Nu watched Nian Bing gradually disappear in the distance. She couldn’t refrain from giggling anymore. “Foolish boy. As the disciple of the grand Demon Chef, he unexpectedly got hired by other people to chop firewood, and even believes he’s properly thought it through. However, he truly is adorably foolish… If I brought him back with me, I wonder what the elders would think of his cooking skills. Ah, they are simply too exquisite!”
After departing from Shui Huo Metal shop, Nian Bing didn’t go directly back to Pure Wind House. The agreed three days had already passed and he still didn’t know whether the Mage Association would agree to his previous request. No matter what the decision would be, first, he needed to go there. As long as he could gain access to their library and be able to read the resources inside, even a single time would be enough, given his memorization ability. After that, he wouldn’t need to go there anymore. It would take at most one month before he could leave Ice and Snow City for his next destination. Due to his hatred towards the Ice God’s Pagoda, Nian Bing had become cold by nature and even partially egocentric. Except for his revenge, improving his abilities, and pursuing the summit of cooking skills, he didn’t give much thought to anything else.
Finally, the Ice and Snow City lifted the prohibition. It could be seen clearly from the bustling noises and excitement on the main streets. Because of the city being sealed the past few days, ordinary people didn’t dare to go out. Now, all the shops were purchasing everything they needed, especially the ones selling products for everyday uses. At this moment, the main street, as busy as a marketplace, could be said to be like the city’s front yard. Witnessing the liveliness of the market street, Nian Bing’s mood was uplifted. He recognized the way to the Mage Association and started towards it with big strides. The weather was stifling hot, but due to the fact that he was carrying the Ice Snow Goddess’s stone inlaid in the Morning Dew knife, he didn’t feel hot and stuffy. He strolled all the way there, watching the surroundings and doing as he pleased.
The Ice and Snow City was indeed very big. Although Nian Bing was walking very fast, it still took some time for him to finally arrive in front of the Mage Association. The pointed structure of the Mage Association’s building was quite conspicuous. Since it was daytime, at the front entrance of the association stood two guards in mage gowns. Both of them seemed to be around 16-17 years old. On their mage gowns, there was a small and hardly noticeable symbol which identified them as mage apprentices. At most, they possessed the strength of Elementary Mages.
Advancing with big strides, Nian Bing walked to the Mage Association’s entrance. As he faced the two Elementary Mage guards, he said, “Hello. I’m looking for Magic Scholar Li De.”
The Elementary Mage on the left looked at Nian Bing and asked with doubt, “You’re looking for Magic Scholar Li De? What business do you have with him?”
Nian Bing answered, “It’s like this – three days ago, I came to the Association to take the magic test. At that time, it was very late, so, Magic Scholar Li De told me to come find him the next day, but the following day there was the implementation of a seal-off for the whole of Ice and Snow City. That’s the reason why I couldn’t come at that time. As a matter of fact, today, the prohibition has just been lifted. So, I came here immediately. Truthfully, I’m very sorry about this matter, as I’ve made Magic Scholar Li De wait.”
The two young Elementary Mage both displayed astonishment in their eyes. The mage on the right asked, “You, you’re that young Great Mage comparable to Big Sister Long Ling?”
Nian Bing stared blankly and replied, “You also know about me? The other day, Magic Scholar Li De did mention that I already have the strength of a Great Mage.”
The Elementary Mage on the left looked at Nian Bing with strange eyes as he spoke, “The past two days, the president ordered us to go find you in the city, but we couldn’t find you. At last, you’ve arrived! Follow me inside.”
Something stirred inside Nian Bing’s heart. He thought to himself that even if his magic strength wasn’t weak, it didn’t really need the Mage Association President to personally give an order to find him. He feared there was something fishy going on. Nevertheless, he had to be careful with everything. While he was thinking, he followed the Elementary Mage into the Mage Association. As he walked, he inwardly simulated all kinds of situations and all kinds of ways to extricate himself from them.
The Elementary Mage lead Nian Bing to a room inside the Association. As he gave Nian Bing a cup of water, he said, “Wait here first. I’m going to notify Magic Scholar Li De.”
The room he was left in was very big. It seemed to be the one meant to receive guests. On the wall, there were murals similar to the ones he had seen in the magic testing lounge last time. Even though it was now on the table, it was still the same six-pointed star design.
Not much time had passed by when footsteps could suddenly be heard. The Water Magic Scholar Li De walked into the room through the door. Suddenly, Nian Bing felt a formidable power oppressing him. He turned his head to look and only saw Li De’s gaze being somewhat strange as he just stood there watching him.
“Magic Scholar Li De, good evening.” Nian Bing hurriedly stood up and respectfully greeted Li De.
Li De calmly said, “Good evening. I’ve already been waiting three days for you. The sealing of the city was only for things pertaining to outside matters. As for inside of the city, there wasn’t any strong prohibition. It shouldn’t have impeded you from coming here.”
Nian Bing spoke without showing his feelings or intentions, “I’ve just recently arrived in Ice and Snow city. The sudden sealing of the city made me somewhat scared. Therefore, I chose to wait for the end of the prohibition before coming back here. I’m sincerely sorry about all of this.”
Li De frowned and asked, “Afraid? With the formidable spirit force of a mage, negative emotions such as fear shouldn’t easily appear.”
Nian Bing faintly blushed and answered, “I came from a small place. I’ve never seen such big event before. It’s truly such a loss of face.”
Li De had been continuously watching Nian Bing and surrounding Nian Bing with his spirit force from the very beginning. However, no matter how much he observed him, he was unable to find the slightest inconsistency in Nian Bing’s behaviour or speech. He smiled indifferently and said, “Since it was just something like that , follow me. From this moment onward, you are a part of the Ice Moon Empire Mage Association. Let’s go. The ceremony has long since been ready for you.” He turned around and went outside after he’d finished talking.
Nian Bing hurriedly followed behind Li De. As he walked behind him, Nian Bing silently condensated the power of the source of his fire and ice magic, just in case something happened. Although the other party was a Magic Scholar, if he were to simultaneously use two kinds of opposing magic elements to sneak attack, it could confuse Li De for a moment and that would allow him to escape in the meantime. While he was walking, in his mind, he was secretly baffled. Why would a Magic Scholar want to probe him? Could it be that the matter about him killing Liao had been exposed? Liao was only a manager of the Grand Pavilion and there was no need for a grand Magic Scholar like him to appear for that matter.
His thoughts led him to be doubtful, but Nian Bing still followed Li De, and entered the Mage Association’s main hall. The hall was exceptionally wide. Compared to the magic testing lounge from last time, it was much bigger. Inside the hall, there were several people discussing with Li De. Everyone of them, from short to tall, all had different symbols on their chests, representing their specific magic system. If it was wind magic, the symbol would be a tiny cyan tornado. If it it was fire, it would be a red colored flame. Since everyone was wearing magic gowns that suited their magic attributes, the colors were all different, however those tiny symbols on their chests were very difficult to differentiate. When one of them would finally reach the realm of Advanced Mage, the tiny symbol would be surrounded by a silver colored circle. When they reached the realm of Great Mage, there would be a total of three silver circles. After they became Magic Scholar, the symbol representing their status would be enlarged and turned into a golden color at the same time. It didn’t matter if they were a fire, wind, or any other kind of mage, the symbol was gold in color. That was a standard rule that was agreed upon by all the mages from the five empires. As for Magisters, who were almost the strongest mages, their symbols would return to the original color, but their element symbols would be surrounded by a hexagram. It looked just like the symbol on the chest of the Ice Moon Empire’s Mage Association president, Long Zhi.
Inside the hall there were five mages chatting with each other. Among them, there were two mages who seemed to be around the same age as Li De. Unexpectedly, they were both Magic Scholars. As for the other three people, they had the Great Mage’s symbol. They were obviously the Mage Association’s elites. When Li De lead Nian Bing inside, Nian Bing’s sight was automatically set on them. Among them, the one who had the Magic Scholar’s symbol for fire magic smiled and said, “Li De, is this the new mage that you’d tested the other day? Just from his appearance, it’s quite difficult to believe it!”