1.2 Hunt of the Ice and Snow Worshipper
Nian Bing slowly stood up. Though young, he held a severe coldness in his eyes. A deep hatred was ignited within his heart. “The Ice God Pagoda’s honor? Dad was right. Though the Ice God’s Pagoda may appear righteous from the outside, they are nothing but trash. They want to get back the Ice and Snow Goddess’s Stone? Dream on. Even if I die I still wouldn’t give it to you. This is the last thing my mom gave me. You can all go to hell!” Without warning, he simultaneously thrusted out both fists, the left red, the right blue. These two rays of light, each with a distinct aura, approached the three hooded Ice and Snow mages. There were indeed fireball and waterball, two rank one spells, possible to cast without an incantation. Ice and fire appeared simultaneously, a feat even Nian Bing himself didn’t think possible.
A light within Ice and Snow Worshipper’s eyes flashed, and he quickly chanted simple phrase. A gentle formless wall of watered appeared. The fire and water collided becoming mist. Suddenly he thought to himself, Not good. I have to think of another plan, but there isn’t enough time.
The young body fell from the summit. He jumped from the precipice without hesitation. Splash! The silhouette did not appear to enter the river, only the faint ripples from the splash. Nian Bing’s words still echoed within the three ice and snow mages’ ears. They finally understood the meaning of the words that even dead he wouldn’t hand over the Ice and Snow Goddess’ Stone.
The Ice and Snow Worshiper stepped forward to the edge of the precipice, with a soft sigh said, “What an unyielding child.”
“Great Ice and Snow Worshiper, how could this happen? He was only that old. How could he use two types of magic?” Ice and Snow Mage on the left looked below at the rapid river water with awe.
Ice and Snow Worshiper indifferently said, “That was not because of impressive magic power, but rather because he possessed Ice Master’s Ice and Snow Goddess’s Stone. Furthermore it had been merged with Rong Tian’s Flame God’s Stone. He still was unable to use those two divine treasures to its fullest potential. To be able to cast simple elementary spells is not worthy of awe. However, how he is able to use both elementary fire and ice magic simultaneously without conflict, escapes even me. It seems that child possessed extremely great talent.”
The mage on the right said loudly, “It is a pity that we don’t have enough magic power to freeze the rapid river. Otherwise we would surely be able to obtain these two precious stones. Great Ice and Snow Worshiper, what is to be done with our mission? It may be better off to search for his body.”
The Ice and Snow Worshipper glanced at him; the coldness in his eyes made the mage’s body quiver, so he dared not say anything more.
“Remember, to practice magic you must first cultivate the mind. Without a tranquil mind, your magic ability will be unable to reach higher levels. I had failed this task and I will undertake all responsibility for this. Let us return. Oh Great Ice and Snow Goddess! Please grant me your wrath, deliver us to the lost, holy shore.” Mysteriously, a one meter magic staff had appeared in his hand. The staff’s body appeared to be a sparkling and translucent blue. He didn’t know how it was created. The staff’s head of eight claws collected magic power, like stars against the moon, massed about the eight spirit like fingers, grabbing onto a precious stone.
The magic staff slowly levitated off the ground, and the ice element in the air gradually went berserk as the sky also began to darken. What was the Ice and Snow Goddess’s Wrath? It was a storm of ice and snow.
Ice and Snow Tempest. A rank six area of effect ice spell, possessing only average attack power but a large range.
Snowflakes fell from the sky, causing the temperature to decline rapidly. This is the Ice and Snow ms’ favorite environment, a dusky sky with devastatingly icy winds. The Ice and Snow Worshiper pointed his staff in front of himi, “Let’s go.”
The two Ice and Snow Mages made sounds of agreement. Their bodies were enveloped with a faint blue radiance, and they took to the sky like snowflakes fluttering in the wind, floating towards the Ice God Pagoda. The Ice and Snow Tempest best suited the Ice and Snow Mages’ short distance flights. Although they could not managed sustained flight like wind mages, they could be even faster than wind mages at short distances.
His companions gone, the Ice and Snow Worshiper cast one last icy gaze at the expansive Sky Azure River and lightly sighed, “Everything happens because the Heavens will it. Ice Master, act on your behalf and only on your behalf.” With his level of magic he could have killed Nian Bing when he escaped. However, the virtuous thoughts that resided in his heart did not allow him to do so, giving the pitiful, orphaned child one last final opportunity at life.
Zha Ji walked from the Peach Blossom Forest to the shores of the Sky Azure River and glanced at the fishing net in his hands, muttering to himself, “Improve, Improve my life. Eat leafy greens everyday. Even if it tastes delicious, I still lack nutrition. I should catch a few black carps and nourish my old body.”
He breathed the fresh, clean and somewhat damp air through his nose, making him feel exceptionally refreshed. This year, Zha Ji was already fifty-seven-years-old and had lived here for ten years. There was nothing he didn’t know about his surroundings.
His two hands shook and could barely grab fishing net securely. He raised his arms and cast the fishing net. The net went out just a mere four to five meter, but the Sky Azure River had a plethora of fish. He only had to wait patiently, and he would definitely not return empty handed. The fishing net was fastened to his side, and a fishing line that was tied to his wrist. Zha Ji sat down to rest against the large tree besides him. It was a blazing summer day; cooling off in the shade of a tree was indeed the a pretty good choice.
Just after he sat down, the fishing line attached to Zha Ji suddenly trembled violently. He opened his eyes, and his eyes gleamed. “My luck couldn’t possibly be this good. Usually I have to wait a long time to catch something. Oh no, this isn’t fish! My poor fishing net!” When his gaze fell upon the river, he saw a log. The log wasn’t very big, only about a meter long and about as thick as a man’s leg. It was entangled in his rather frail fishing net. Without looking,he already knew that this would be the last time he used this fishing net.
However, Zha Ji hadn’t had time to lament over his pathetic luck when he discovered that on the log was a pair of slender two slim arms. That’s a person. There’s a person in the river! Daring not to be neglectful, he tied the fishing line to his leg and with large strides, walked away from the river. Relying on his leg’s strength, he finally brought the log with the person to shore.
“No–” Nian Bing suddenly sat up, gasping large mouthfuls of air. His eyes revealed an indefinitely bewildered expression.
He could clearly hear birds chirping outside. Gentle rays of light shone on his body, bringing some warmth with it. Vigorously shaking his head, his mind settled slightly. From the warmth of the sun, he knew that he still hadn’t died. His beating heart gradually returned to normal. He then looked around. He seemed to be in a small wooden room. Besides a bed, there wasn’t too much decoration. The room was quite dusty, obviously not swept often.
“You’re awake,” said an exhausted voice. The wooden door, where the tooth aching voice came from, opened and a person came in.
Nian Bing unconsciously cowered away, “Who, Who are you?”
“The person who saved your life.” Cha Ji walked to the side of the bed and took a seat, putting a bowl down at the edge of the table. With a smile he looked at Nian Bing and through to himself, What a delicious morsel. 1
He recalled everything that had happened the past few days. Nian Bing trembled faintly, unconsciously put his hand on his chest. The solid objects were still there, making him sigh in relief. He asked probingly, “It was you, sir, that saved me?” While talking, he sized up the old man in front of him. He looked to be sixty years old, his black hair already graying. His wrinkles showed many years of hardship. He wore an amiable smile on his face. A very ordinary appearance.
Naturally, Zha Ji said, “Oh course. Who else would it be? Your luck is pretty good. You were unexpectedly to be able keep grabbing onto that log. Do you know how much energy it costed me to pull you to shore? This old man was so tired, he could’ve died. Little guy, why don’t you eat something? That log of yours ran into my fishing net and ruined it, so right now, I can only have vegetable congee for you.
Previously, Nian Bing had been so alarmed that he wasn’t aware of his bodily sensation. When he heard Zha Ji say he would give him something to eat, he discovered that his stomach had already fastly attached to his back. 2 At that time he entered the Sky Azure River, the pain from his body slapping the water’s surface had nearly knocked him unconscious. After rushing down the river for several hundred meters, he was miraculously able to latch onto a log. His strong desire to live let him stay attached to his log. No doubt his luck was good, as the Sky Azure River was extremely wide with no protruding reefs, yet he still happened to come across Cha Ji’s fishing net, saving him.
He gave Zha Ji a somewhat cautious glance. This bowl didn’t have the scent of vegetable congee. When he saw the bowl’s interior, he couldn’t help but give it a blank stare. The white congee appeared very thick, it seemed to have a faint translucent luster. A piece of green vegetable poked through the surface. Although wasn’t evenly distributed, green vegetables were scattered within the plain white congee. It appears that he is unexpectedly capable of sensing the living aura coming from it. Drawing closer, he could tell that the whole bowl of congee had emitted a faint, sweet scent. This caused Nian Bing not to gobble it down. How could he know? At the time, such a common bowl of vegetable congee, at the continent’s culinary realm was lauded as white jade congee. By no means could any ordinary person be able to drink it. And the crucial element was was not the ingredients, but rather the method of cooking.