Chapter 6.1 – The Ice and Snow Goddess’s Sigh
“This… place? Teacher, have you made a mistake?” Nian Bing rubbed his eyes to confirm what he was seeing was what Zha Ji implemented.
Nian Bing’s shock wasn’t a mystery as in front of them were two paint peeled, run down doors. There was only one handle left on one of the doors. There was also a sign beside it that have vaguely legible words ‘Shui Huo Metal Tool’s Shop’ written askewly on it.
The appearance alone would deter anyone from buying anything from this shop, not mentioning the out of the way location. It was doubtful there were a lot of people that pass by the shop daily. Nian Bing wanted to turn around and walk away after seeing how dilapidated that shop was.
Zha Ji looked at the signboard in front of him and smiled, “Old partner, I’ve come to see you again. It has been a year since we last met. Are you dead yet?”
Nian Bing said in astonishment, “Teacher, do you know the owner of this shop?”
Zha Ji replied, “Of course I know him. If not, why would I bring you here? Nian Bing, you have to remember that no matter what, you mustn’t be fooled by the outward appearance of the receiving party. Except for me, no one knows that in this Shui Huo Metal Tool’s Shop, actually hides a crafting expert, even though it looks run down from the outside. He’s a grand master who is the first under the heavens.”
“A grand master that is the first under the heavens? Teacher, it can’t be that you’re just kidding with me, right? If he really is a Grandmaster that’s first under the heavens, why would he work at such a place?”
Zha Ji smiled. “Why is that impossible? The Demon Chef can stay in a deserted peach blossom forest, so why can’t a godly blacksmith stay in a run down desolate location? Let’s go! We’ll continue to talk after we enter the shop.” As he said that, he pulled Nian Bing towards the entrance. He didn’t even knock and just kicked open the run down doors. Peng! Even though the doors looked really run down, they weren’t damaged at all by Zha Ji’s kick. The doors were opened and exposed a pitch-dark courtyard.
“Little Broken Knife, have you kicked the bucket yet?” Zha Ji shouted.
An aged voice sounded from inside. “I was just wondering exactly who it was that was so rude. So it was you, old devil, that came.” A figure staggerly walked out from inside with an oil lamp in his hand. It wasn’t necessary to look at his appearance to know he was an elderly, as he gave off an elderly feeling. Nian Bing thought, ‘This is the grand master that is first under the heavens? Teacher must have gotten it wrong.’
As Zha Ji pulled Nian Bing into the courtyard, with the light of the oil lamp, Nian Bing could clearly see that it was an old man. He wore a black robe and his body posture stooped a little. His hair was completely white and his face was full of wrinkles. It looked as though he was ten years older than Zha Ji.
“Old devil, you even brought someone. Who is this chubby fellow?” The black clothed elder looked at Nian Bing as he asked discontentedly.
“Little Broken Knife, this is my recently accepted disciple. I think that you should also find a child to be your successor. If not, are you going to really waste all of the techniques and knowledge that you have accumulated over the years?”
The black clothed old man snorted. “What do you know? I need to see if they have the affinity. Do you think that when wanting a disciple, you can just pick anyone? Looking at your disciple, he looked like he only knows how to eat so he’s suitable for you.”
After hearing what he said, even though Nian Bing was unhappy, it was the chat of his seniors. It wouldn’t be good if he interrupted them. He just looked at his surroundings and found that the small courtyard was quite empty. There wasn’t even any weapon shelf as he had expected. There was only a similarly looking furnace in the corner.
Zha Ji chuckled and said, “You old fella, it has been a few years since we met already, but you still have the same eccentric attitude. Alright! Stop rattling on! You should already know that if I have come here, it would mean that I have a problem.”
The black clothed elder said, “Come inside then.” As he said that, he led Zha Ji to the rear rooms. After entering the house, Nian Bing suddenly felt a cold feeling pass through his entire body. The Ice and Snow Goddess’s Stone inexplicably seemed to have stirred a little restlessly. Nian Bing felt a little dizzy, as in his body, the two magic powers within him moved unstably. He was alarmed. He thought that it must be because he hadn’t used his ice power to cancel out the power from the fire magic he had used previously to stabilize the magic power in his body. However, it was inappropriate to use the ice magic now as the magic powers were now in discord as they interacted. He also didn’t know how much ice magic to use to even out the two magic powers. He used his will to control the two magic powers and separated them from each other as much as possible. The Heavenly Flower Tile that was given to him by Yu Ru Yan suddenly emitted a tepid airflow that integrated into Nian Bing’s body; it had made him feel better as the chaos between the fire and ice magic decreased drastically.
The black-clothed elder used the fire from his oil lamp to light up the lamplight on the table and the room instantly brightened. As they stood outside of the room, they could clearly see that there was an enormous desk in the middle of the room. There also seemed to be a door behind the desk. The black-clothed elder walked behind the desk and rubbed his hands together at Zha Ji. “Take out your money! Take out the money for the value of what you want to obtain.”
Zha Ji snappily said, “Little Broken Knife, it has been so many years since we last seen each other, but you still love money so much.”
The black-clothed elder snorted and said, “Friends are friends and business is business. Since you can no longer cook any culinary delicacies, you can only use money to exchange for what you want. Everyone is equal in business.”
Zha Ji walked in front of the desk and leaned towards the black-clothed elder. “Stop being pretentious and make a knife for my precious disciple! If you do that, won’t you be able to eat delicacies?”
The black-clothed elder’s eyes lit up, but very quickly darkened again. “That sounds enticing, but I’m afraid that by the time your disciple becomes a master chef, this old life of mine would have probably ascended to heaven already.”
Zha Ji chuckled and said, “That isn’t definite as you’re still the same after so many years. Since you’re still like this, I think you can live for another ten to twenty years without any complications.”
The black-clothed elder sighed and sighed. “Only my body truly knows my body’s condition. I have offended the heavens too many times in my life. If your disciple can become a master chef within the next ten years, I may still be able to eat his food.”
Zha Ji smiled. “If you die, then you die. Even I don’t know if I can live beyond ten years. Stop talking nonsense and quickly make a knife for my disciple! You can name the price.”
The black-clothed elder glanced at Nian Bing. “I can’t make it.”
Zha Ji frowned a little before asking, “Little Broken Knife, you won’t even give me some face?”
The black-clothed elder snorted. “It isn’t that I don’t want to give you some face. Do you understand? No matter if it is a kitchen knife or blades for killing, it must be suitable for the user. Your fat disciple hasn’t matured yet. His body and hands might change drastically after today. It won’t serve him any purpose if I make a knife for him now, as when he grows up, he won’t be able to use it.”
After Nian Bing heard the black-clothed elder was unwilling to make a knife for him, he became anxious. “How about you just craft a knife according to an adult’s size? I’ll definitely be able to use it then.”
The black-clothed elder looked at him and said, “Such a teacher will have such a disciple. Do you think that I create the knives just like any other mediocre blacksmith? If the knife doesn’t match the user, what use will it have? Your knife is like your undergarment. It must fit you perfectly to display its effectiveness at its greatest. If you buy an unsuitable undergarment, you’ll feel that it becomes comfortable after a while. However, it isn’t because the undergarment was great, but rather, you had just gotten used to it. The suitability that comes from adapting and suitability that occurs instantaneously is as different as the sky and the earth. You have to come back after you reach eighteen years old as your body would have then undergone some changes. Let’s just hope that I haven’t kicked the bucket yet by that time.”
Zha Zi showed signs of thoughts from his eyes. “It looks like I was careless. Old partner, let’s continue this matter in the future then. How about letting me see your weaponry? Have you made any good works lately?”