Chapter 10.1 – Pure Wind House
Feng Nu gave Nian Bing a sideway glance. She hadn’t noticed his appearance earlier, but now that she did, she saw that he was a tall handsome young man with blond hair. Although he had thick and plain cotton clothes covering his magnificent body, it couldn’t conceal his noble character. Her heart skipped a beat. She knew that she would forever be unable to forget the expressions on Nian Bing’s face when he was single-mindedly concentrating on cooking. She softly asked, “Nian Bing, after the meal, where do you plan to go?”
Nian Bing looked at Feng Nu. In the silence, his mind gradually relaxed. “I’ll stay in Ice Snow City for a while. Master said that there are two restaurants here whose chefs have pretty good skills. I want to head there to have a look; maybe I can even learn a few things.”
Feng Nu abruptly said, “You’re talking about the Grand Pavilion and the Pure Wind House, right? Those restaurants’ foods are so expensive that it scares a person to death. I’ve only heard about it, but never actually went there. However, I’m certain that they won’t be able to make anything like your miraculous pigeon’s meat dish. How long do you plan to stay in Ice Snow City? Where will you be going today?”
Nian Bing noticed how detailed Feng Nu’s questions were. When he turned his head to look at her, Feng Nu hurriedly replied, her charming face blushing red,“There isn’t a deeper meaning to that, I just wanted to know where I can find you today since we’re friends.”
Nian Bing smiled and said, “I’ll stay in Ice Snow City at least until you’ve finished carving the True Sun knife. As for after that, I’ll probably travel to every corner of the continent. Eight years of cooking training, eight years of comprehending cooking. I’ve already finished training. For now, I need to truly understand the process of cooking. I don’t even know if I can travel the whole continent in eight years.”
Feng Nu seemed to be thinking about something. “In reality, having fame isn’t necessarily a good thing. It was the same for my Master. In his days, God Blacksmith Hua Tian was so famous that, every country’s generals thought it would beglorious to acquire a heroic weapon made by Master. As a result, every country wanted to restrict Master in their country, so he could forge weapons only for them. If he wasn’t that well-known, it probably wouldn’t have come to Master spending the rest of his years in this place, only to die in poverty. When Master was manufacturing the Heavenly Flame Sword, he once told me that it doesn’t matter what your profession is. If you want to reach the pinnacle, you must have great power to support you. Otherwise, it’s simply impossible to follow your heart’s desires and do what you want to do.”
“Great power as a support?” Nian Bing’s thoughts stirred. He nodded at the sound argument and said, ‘What Senior Hua Tian said was correct. If we can have the backing of great power, we can freely travel everywhere in pursuit our goals. It’s no wonder your dou qi is so strong. It seems that Senior Hua Tian has spent quite a lot of effort in teaching you.’
Feng Nu smiled faintly and said, “Your magic is also not too bad! I really don’t know how you can practice both fire and water magic. Don’t they conflictit with each other?”
Nian Bing didn’t want to discuss this subject with Feng Nu. He stood up and spoke, “Maybe. In any case, I only use low level spells. Their effects aren’t too much for me to handle.” Naturally, he wouldn’t easily let someone know about his powers. Even though he had a good impression of Feng Nu, the source of his fire and ice magic was his biggest secret.
They both continued to chat on a variety of subjects. Their discussion often revolved around anecdotes from their time learning under their masters. They weren’t able to chat to their heart’s content when Nian Bing remembered that the dish of pigeon’s meat was done cooking.
“Wah! It’s super delicious. Oh! It’s so very fragrant.” When Feng Nu took a small bite of the pigeon’s meat, her appetite instantly filled her beautiful eyes. Nian Bing wasn’t familiar with this young woman, so when he saw how fast she gulped down the food, he was dumbstruck.
“Nian Bing, why aren’t you eating? If you’re not eating, then I’m going to finish everything by myself. Why is your pigeon dish so delicious? I only saw you season it with salt!” Feng Nu didn’t forget to call out to Nian Bing while eating. Nian Bing smiled wryly as he replied, “I’m eating. The reason why it’s so delicious is because I fully combined the cooked rice with the pigeon’s nutriments from the meat and the broth. As the rice soaked in the meat juice and the broth, it borrowed the fragrance of the pigeon’s meat. I only added some salt to improve the taste. It would naturally be delicious.” He started eating while explaining, as he was really unsure whether there would be anything left for him if he didn’t start eating soon.
They wiped out the whole pot of food. If the portions were to be calculated, Nian Bing had only eaten 30%. As for the rest of the 70%, it ended up in Feng Nu’s stomach. Feng Nu leaned back on the chair, and took a few breaths. Her balmy lips appeared to be rosier, and her charming face was sweating slightly. “Nian Bing, that was very delicious. This is the first time I have ever eaten such delicious rice! It’s no wonder Senior Zha Ji was famous worldwide!”
Nian Bing laughed bitterly. “My amazement isn’t any less when compared to yours Feng Nu, could it be all girls eat like this? I thought what I made was enough for your dinner, and that was according to my way of portioning food. I didn’t expect that we would eat all of it.”
Feng Nu’s face turned crimson. She glared at Nian Bing, and felt that she’d been wronged. She shouted, “I‘ve only had congee to drink every day until now, is it wrong to want to eat to my fill? Couldn’t you have told me that this meal also included a portion for my dinner?”
Nian Bing faintly smiled . He said, “As long as you like eating it, it is good. If everything that a chef made was eaten, it would be the best encouragement for him. Apart from Master, you are the first person to eat my cooking. I have to go, as it’s getting quite late. If I don’t reach my destination soon, I’m afraid I’ll have to sleep at the inn. After eating so much,you should take a good rest.”
“Nian Bing!” Nian Bing had just gotten up when Feng Nu suddenly called him. He eyed her with an inquiring look.
“From now on, can you frequently come here to see me? After Master left, it’s very lonely to be by myself. More importantly, after eating your cooking, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to endure drinking congee everyday.”
Seeing Feng Nu’s sparkling eyes, Nian Bing’s heart softened. He smiled and replied, “Rest assured! If there’s nothing important, I will come over to see you. I will also cook for you.”
Feng Nu smiled happily. “You must mean what you said. I’ll wait for your visit!”
In his mind, Nian Bing regretted being fooled by the formidable might of a woman’s charm. ‘No wonder Master once made such a mistake. However, since I‘ve already promised, I have to do it. In any case, it’ll take at most about a month’s time for the True Sun knife to be made. I will leave after that. It’s better to distance myself from women in the future.’
Finally, Nian Bing left the Shui Huo Metal shop. He let out a long sigh, and touched the part of his chest where he kept his belongings. Everything was there, apart from the True Sun knife which he had left with Feng Nu. ‘The Grand Pavilion or the Pure Wind House? Which one should I choose? I should take a look before deciding. Master said that it was better to start working from the basics, and in case my cooking skills are revealed, I must depart immediately.’
The Grand Pavilion and the Pure Wind House were located in the center of Ice Snow City’s most bustling district. The two restaurants were separated by a street, and were always competing fiercely against each other.
On the left of the wide main street of Ice Snow City, the Grand Pavilion was the most notable building, with extremely gorgeous decorations. It had four floors, each encompassing an area of several tens of thousands of square meters. The whole building mainly used dark red and golden colors to show its lavishness. A red carpet covered the floor from the hallway to the door. On both sides of the five-meter door stood three-meter tall stones. A golden plaque was suspended high above the door with two words inscribed on it : Grand Pavilion. There was a line written on each of the stones on either side of the door. On the left, ‘Golden Flower wine, a beautiful delicacy’, and on the right, ‘Expensive Silver Sweet Spring, wonderful rare food’. On each side of the doorway, there were four young and pretty women dressed in red cheongsam, who were in charge of receiving the guests. They lead richly dressed guests into the restaurant. Distinguished people loved visiting this place the most because this was the only restaurant where they could fully display their status.
On the other side of the Grand Pavilion stood the ancient style Pure Wind House. Although it didn’t have the lavishness of the Grand Pavilion, it had elegance, as the restaurant’s name suggested. The multistoried building had three floors, all decorated in blue and green, creating a unique impression of serenity and elegance. At the entrance, there was a blue and green plaque inscribed with the words ‘Pure Wind House’ . It was obvious that the bold and vigorous characters were written by a master. A line was written on the pillars on each side of the entrance. On the left, ‘Convivial discussion of great scholars. Enjoy the taste of green tea’, and on the right, ‘Gathering of poets. , Experience the elegant vegetable dishes’. In this restaurant, the most frequent customers were scholars and intellectuals, which was the reason why it could compete with the Grand Pavilion. In addition, it also represented the meeting place of the mages’ association. As the most noble profession, mages had a certain status in any country. What’s more, each mages’ association received the protection of the esteemed royal family of each important empire. Although the mages’ associations in every empire didn’t have much contact with each other, and acted independently in their own territories, they still held enough strength to sway the balance of power of the continent.