49.2 Brocade Character Void Lattice Shakes the Classroom
The students looked at each other with dismay, not daring to speak.
Fan Jian continued coldly, “So none of you know. All of you, from all sorts of restaurants, all over the continent, were specially dispatched to study at this college, but because of your inexperience, you will forever be unable to reach the pinnacle of cooking. In the world of culinary arts, in this land, there are five mystical knife arts. The mysteries of these knife techniques, in my opinion, are incomparable to any peak-level martial arts techniques. They are much more brilliant. Hear my words: the five knife techniques are the Dance of the Gathering Rain Dragons, the Fiery Glow of the Setting Sun, Eight Feather Flower Courtyard, Brocade Character Void Lattice, and the Dense Jade Screen. The one Teacher Nian Bing showed before was the fourth ranked Brocade Character Void Lattice. Although he is young, he is more than enough to be your teacher. I’ll admit that his knife techniques are something I’m far from reaching, so don’t say anymore rubbish. Once you learn true knife arts from Teacher Nian Bing, only then will you realize the degree your own talent. Class dismissed.”
Nian Bing pulled Zi Qing Jian outside and released him. He said with a smile, “Are all the students in Orchid Dream College this terrible to teach? It looks like it’s not good to be a teacher!”
Zi Qing Jian looked at Nian Bing with a strange light in his eyes. “Brother, I really admire you. Your knife technique was too mystical. No wonder the Brocade Character Void Lattice is ranked higher than the Dense Jade Screen. The Dense Jade Screen truly has no way of comparing!”
Nian Bing smiled slightly and replied, “Actually, there was a bit of a trick to what I did just now. Layering all the words together wasn’t that hard. A single knife stroke built on the others. If I had to directly carve out each word, it would be much more difficult. This was only a matter of heat control. With a bit of practice, anyone could do it.” Even if his technique of layering out the words worked very well, it wasn’t the essence of the Brocade Character Void Lattice. When he started to spin the kitchen knife, he had divided the carrot into layers. Then, like in papercutting, he had to cut only one part to finish the whole thing. It looked very impressive, except that, this was only the foundations of the Brocade Character Void Lattice. The most important point was to be familiar with the shape of the characters.
“Okay, Brother, you don’t need to be modest. I will immediately go and find my little sister. I think her knife arts aren’t superior to yours. That girl is always looking to the top. I really want to see what her response will be when she hears about your feat, haha. Brother, go to the second floor of the the main building and the administrative area will be just ahead. Wait a moment for me to bring Little Sister with you, and we’ll help you find your uniform.” He ran off like the wind, not waiting for Nian Bing’s response. There was no flash of qi, so with just his physical strength alone, his speed had reached a frightening level. Nian Bing estimated that Zi Qing Jian’s martial arts must have at least reached the level of a Great Swordmaster.
Stretching out his hands, Nian Bing was full of self-confidence. His knife arts hadn’t regressed from disuse. Instead, in the period he left the Peach Blossom Forest, he had comprehended much more. Along with the increase in his spiritual power, it looked like that he wasn’t far from reaching the highest realm of the Brocade Character Void Lattice. Ai, when could he bring the Dance of the Gathering Rain Dragons to such heights! It really was difficult. Right now, he could only capture the shape of the dragons but not their spirit. Fortunately, he had been able to see a true dragon. If he had the chance to practice again, he might be able to gain new insights.
While thinking this, he went in the direction of the mall. Whenever he came to a new place, he had to familiarize himself with his surroundings. Only he didn’t know what the communications this place had with the external world was like. When the war ended, he would immediately go to Profound Orchid City to complete Luo Rou’s task. Then before he had to participate in the Rising Mage Tournament, he would be completely free.
Caught up in his thoughts, Nian Bing had already arrived at the ginormous mall. The entire college gave him a carefree feeling, especially the mall. He strained to look in the distance. The college hadn’t disappointed him, and he was more open-minded. At least here he was able to meet Camel Chef Zi Xiu. After he had finished orienting himself, he would definitely challenge him.
“Lad, are you new here?” asked an aged man next to Nian Bing.
Nian Bing was startled and cursed himself for letting his guard down. With such a high spirit power like his, someone actually appeared next to him without knowing. He turned to where the voice was coming from to see an old man standing there. He had a head of blue-grey hair and he wore a simple cloth robe. He was holding a small broom and was currently sweeping the ground slowly. This elder seemed familiar, but Nian Bing couldn’t put a finger on it. He hadn’t seen him before. The old man’s tall body was already somewhat stooped, but his eyes were exceedingly queer. His purple irises were extremely clear, without the slightest muddled yellow characteristic of old people. If it weren’t for his wrinkled face and elderly posture, Nian Bing couldn’t tell his age.
“Hello, I arrived at the college today. I am a student from the culinary faculty.” Although the old man seemed to be a sanitation worker, Nian Bing was still polite. Zha Ji had told him to never look down on anyone, especially people you couldn’t see through. If you respect others, they will respect you. Of course, if they aren’t worthy of respect, that is a different story.
The old man nodded and said, “I say, I have never seen you before, but you look like you heart is very heavy!”
Nian Bing was startled. He always thought that his concealment was very profound. Was he inadvertently exposing something? Vigilant, he said, “Studying in Orchid Dream College is an honor. The studying environment here is gives me great pressure. I was just thinking over how best to study, which might make you laugh at me.”
The old man cast a thoughtful gaze at Nian Bing. “Quickly collect your school uniform. After you wear your uniform, you will truly become a part of Orchid Dream College.”
Nian Bing nodded and said, “Thank you. I will leave first.” After speaking, he turned over to the main building next to the mall. While walking, he heard the old man behind him muttering to himself. “The feeling of sweeping is very nice, especially the rustling sound made when the broom touches the ground. It‘s the sound of nature. The most basic of work can give me the greatest pleasure.”
His heart jumped. Nian Bing didn’t stop walking, but he continued to mull over the old man’s words. What could he mean? The basics, the basics, yes! How could I have forgotten the basics. When I was learning culinary arts from master, I learned the basics for five years. Master had said that the time was too short. If you have the best foundations, then it will be easier to learn cooking. Magic is the same. Magic power is the foundation. If I pursue magic spells or magic scrolls, I might be able to gain a temporary strength, but I will never be able to reach the pinnacle of magic. Mao Mao’s father had already reminded me of this, but I overlooked it.
These days, Nian Bing had diligently meditated everyday, but the majority of his thoughts were spent on magic spells and to understanding the Ice and Fire Source. Good skills needed a foundation. I get it, I get it! No matter if it culinary arts or magic, the thing I must do now is still train the basics.
Thinking this, Nian Bing’s mind suddenly opened up. He stopped in his tracks and wanted to go back and thank the old man. But when he turned around, the old man was nowhere to be seen. You may see the dragon’s head but not the tail, was Nian Bing’s comment about him.
When he went to the main school building, he had just thought about entering when two students in front of the doorway stopped him. They didn’t wear a soldier’s clothing like the guards at the gate of the college. When the two people saw his clothes, one of them said, “Who are you? What are you doing at our college?”
Nian Bing smiled and replied, “Hello, I am a new student. I have come to get my uniform.”
The student said with suspicion, “Teachers bring students to get uniforms. Why are you alone? Sorry, but you cannot enter. What faculty are you from? Ask the teacher there to bring you to get your uniform. If not, we cannot let you enter.”
Nian Bing wrinkled his brow. Right at this time, a frosty voice came from behind him. “He is from our faculty. I will bring him in.” He turned to see Zi Qing Jian and his sister.
The two students looked at the siblings and immediately greeted them. Zi Qing Meng’s expression was strange as she looked at Nian Bing. “Sorry, this is the rules of the college. Big Brother really, to forget this. Come in with us.”
Zi Qing Jian was apologetic. Nian Bing smiled. “No problem. I was going to wait for you anyway.”
The trio entered the school building. While going up the stairs, Nian Bing took stock of his surroundings. He saw that each classroom had a signboard on the doorway, on top of which was written different kinds of martial arts.
Zi Qing Jian gave Nian Bing an explanation. “Because our martial arts faculty is the largest in the college, the main teaching building is for our use except for the eighth floor which is used by the magic faculty. They have the least number of people, only about one hundred students.
Magic faculty? Nian Bing’s heart jolted slightly. If there was a magic faculty here, then this Orchid Dream College might have a library that he could go see. “Big Brother Qing Jian, is there a library here?”
Zi Qing Jian laughed. “Of course we have one. They are divided by faculty. Your culinary faculty library is in your teaching building. Our martial arts faculty has a very small library because the teachers said if the students wanted to learn complicated things, it wouldn’t be good for their development. On the contrary, the smallest magic faculty has a special library that is very big. However, only members of the magic faculty can enter.”
Zi Qing Jian was so honest and straightforward it was cute. Nian Bing had a more favorable impression towards him. Currently, he was hesitating. Should he continue to hide the truth about his magic? Was it necessary? If he wanted to know who his master’s enemy was, he would need to defeat Camel Chef Zi Xiu. Not showing off his specialty, magic cooking, would be very hard. Since it was like that, then there was no meaning in trying to hide his magic. Anyway, he would not be staying here for too long.
Following Zi Qing Jian and his sister, he was given a uniform as well as a teacher’s emblem. They had exited the educational administrative area when Zi Qing Meng, who hadn’t said anything to help Nian Bing, opened her mouth. “Nian Bing, I want to exchange pointers with you on knife arts.”
Nian Bing smiled cooly. “I also wanted to see Miss Qing Meng’s Dense Jade Screen. However, today is no good. I’ve just arrived here and am tired. Wait for me to familiarize myself with the place and then we can do it.”
Zi Qing Meng obviously didn’t think that Nian Bing would actually refuse her challenge. She said with a small frown, “You are a grown man, could your body be so frail.”
Nian Bing said neutrally, “I’m not like you. I don’t cultivate martial arts, so why couldn’t my body be weak?”
Zi Qing Meng’s purple irises flashed. She said coldly, “Are you bearing grudges for what happened at the restaurant?”
Nian Bing shook his head and said, “I am not such a petty person, Miss Qing Meng. I was wondering if I could be like you and take another course?”
Zi Qing Meng was blank for a moment. “You want to take another elective?” Obviously, she was extremely surprised. However, she very quickly returned to normal. “What do you want to study? As long as you can pass the exam, you can choose another faculty to study in. However, you can only choose one.”
Nian Bing smiled and turned to Zi Qing Jian. “Big Brother Qing Jian, could I trouble you to refer me for the magic faculty acceptance exam? I want to study magic.”
Zi Qing Jian was in great shock. “Brother, don’t make a mistake. Magic is extremely difficult. I think that you should study a self-protection skill. It would be better to take martial arts with me; with my reputation you wouldn’t have to take the test. The teachers in the magic faculty are very old fashioned; you will have to pass the test to enter the magic faculty.”
Zi Qing Meng said, “What Big Brother said is right. Although Magic looks more beautiful, it is far less useful than martial arts. I think that you should choose to study martial arts. If you spent a large amount of time to study magic, then you will be able to be successful, but your cooking skills would be neglected.”
Nian Bing stuck out his right hand. “There is no use in you persuading me. Actually, my primary profession is a chef, but at the same time, I’m also a mage. Look.” A light flashed in his hands. Without a sound, the icicle wand appeared in the palm of his hands. With a push from his magic power, the surrounding air became very cold.
“How can this be?” Zi Qing Meng looked at the magic wand in Nian Bing’s hand, unable to believe reality.
Nian Bing said coolly, “As I just said back in the culinary faculty classroom, there is nothing that is impossible in this world. There are only things that you dare not dream, or dare not try. Okay, the magic faculty is on the eighth floor, right? Miss Qing Meng, I do not dare to trouble you further. Big Brother Qing Jian, please bring me there.”