Chapter 11.1 – Ice-Snow Storm Variation
The Pure Wind House was in the middle of the city while the Mage Association situated south of the city. Having a general idea of the direction, Nian Bing strolled by and visited the city along the way. At this moment, the sky had gradually darkened, and he arrived as night fell.
Since he couldn’t use magic, his speed was not much different from an ordinary person; it took him one hour by foot. He could see a tall building not far away; it was some kind of building with a spire-like structure. The building was taller than the Grand Pavilion, and it seemed very unusual near the roof since there was a pointed object facing toward the main street in the shape of a humongous golden hexagram. It was no question that this was what he wanted to find. With anticipation, Nian Bing accelerated his pace toward the Mage Association.
Right at that moment, the sound of horse hooves was suddenly heard behind him. From the sound of it, he determined that the horse’s speed was not fast at all. Nevertheless, it was unusual; as the sharp and clear sound of the metal hooves stamping on the ground had a certain rhythm to it, just like some kind of music. During his childhood, Nian Bing once heard his father say that only the best horses had the ability to run around with a set rhythm. Curious, he turned his body around to take a quick look. He only saw a young lady saddled on a large mahogany horse coming exactly towards him. The young lady on the horse wore a blue colored mage’s gown that didn’t have an embroidered symbol on it. She had long purple hair neatly combed behind her back, along with a beautiful and refined appearance. Nian Bing inwardly contemplated, thinking that if he were to compare her to Feng Nu, this seemly delicate young lady’s appearance surprisingly wouldn’t be beneath Feng Nu. Her big black eyes was facing in the direction of the Mage Association while displaying a gentle smile.
Most of the passerby on both sides of the street had recognize her. They smiled as they made way for her. Although the young lady’s horse didn’t travel fast, compared to Nian Bing who was on foot, it was a bit more faster. At first he was in front, but he still reached the Mage Association after her.
A man wearing a yellow mage’s gown came out of the Association, and turned to help the young lady leading the horse. He cordially said, “Ling’er, you finally came back. What took you so long?”
Ling’er softly smiled and said, “Xue Jing insisted to make me stay for supper. Senior knows that I am most fond of the Pure Wind House’s food. That’s the reason I came back a little late tonight. Have all of you eaten yet?”
The man smiled and said, “We already ate. Come! Let’s go in.”
When Nian Bing heard the two words, “Ling’er”, his mind stirred. ‘Don’t tell me this young lady was that Great Mage the bossy Miss Xue Jing was meeting with? Looking at her manners, Ling’er and Xue Jing’s temperaments are as different as black and white. One is alert and the other is calm; they should exchanged their names to match the other. Since she’s the daughter of the Mage Association’s president, I should easily obtain the answers if I give it a try and ask her.’ Full of anticipation, he quickly hastened his steps and took advantage of the fact that Long Ling’er and her senior from the Association still haven’t left the place and were just in front. He said, “Excuse me! Could this place be the Mage Association’s headquarters?”
Long Ling’er looked curiously at Nian Bing and couldn’t help pursing her mouth into a smile when she saw him hurrying.
The man gave Nian Bing a glance and arrogantly said, “You’re correct. This place is the Mage Association’s headquarters. What business do you have?”
Nian Bing asked, “I want to ask what the requirements are to be able to read the Association’s books of magic?”
The man’s brows slightly creased. He replied, “The Association’s books need an intermediary to be read. Moreover, the request needs to be according to one’s rank. You cannot bypass your rank to read the Association’s materials. Or are you perhaps a mage?”
Nian Bing quickly nodded and said, “Yes. I’m an ice mage, but I don’t know whether or not I can read the Association’s material.” He already reached the fire mage eighth rank long ago. For eighth rank magic, it needed a highly experienced Magic Scholar to be used. Right now, what he needed the most were some ice magic spells. Naturally, he would say he was an ice mage.
When Nian Bing claimed to be an ice mage, the man’s expression relaxed somewhat. “Did you join another empire’s Association? If you have already join another empire’s Association, we can’t welcome you here. If that is not the case, then you can come into the Association and receive a test. Depending on your performances during the test, the Association can award you with the corresponding ensignia. By looking at your appearance, I assume that you’re a mage whose rank can’t be very high.” Although the man’s speech was somewhat harsh, what he stated was merely the cold facts. Being a mage is an extremely money-wasting profession, especially in the initial stage. If there was no first-rate gem to assist, it would be very difficult to sense the existence of the magic elements. In addition, the price of these gems remained high on the Venerate Light Continent, as it is in whichever empire they’re sold from. It’s not something that can simply be afforded by ordinary people. To experience, let alone to practice magic it required a teacher. It would be very difficult to succeed without a wise teacher to show the directions. It’s no wonder the man was somewhat suspicious.
Nian Bing didn’t care about joining or not joining the Association. As long as he could learn the magic spells he needed, it would be enough. He hurriedly said, “Right now, I haven’t joined any Association. Would it be possible to trouble you to let me undertake the test? If I may say so, I really wish to join the Ice Moon Empire’s Mage Association.”
The man gave a glance at Long Ling’er who was beside him. Right at that moment, Long Ling’er also looked at him. “Senior, please help him. Looking at his appearance, he must have entered here from the outside. Currently, the Association members have gradually been getting fewer; we need to recruit more fresh blood. There are only several elders left in the Association. If his potential is not bad, maybe we can gain more power.”
The man slightly nodded and said, “Anyway, today is already somewhat late. I’ll see about it tomorrow. Boy, come here tomorrow morning.”
In his thoughts, Nian Bing wanted to stay in Pure Wind House tomorrow and investigate their speciality dish. Therefore he was short on time. He couldn’t help but ask the man, “Esteemed Great Mage, may I ask you if it is possible for you to accommodate me? Tomorrow, I still have some things to do during the day. Only right now, do I have the time to take the test.”
Although this man was Long Ling’er’s senior, his aptitude was limited. Currently, he was an Advanced Earth mage who have yet to reach the Great Mage’s realm. Hearing Nian Bing call him Great Mage, immediately lightened his mood. He thought about how his Junior Sister who prefered to help out other people, ‘If this time I help this boy, maybe her good impressions of me will grow bigger.’ As he mused about it in anticipation, his face displayed a faint smile as he spoke, “Since you came from far away, we can’t just let you return like this. Follow us inside.”
Long Ling’er faintly smiled and said, “Senior, I knew you were the best.”
Receiving such praise from his beloved Junior Sister immediately put the man in a very good mood as he smiled back at Long Ling’er. Pulling the horse along, he took the lead and went inside ahead of them. Nian Bing gave Long Ling’er a grateful look before he hastily followed them inside the Mage Association.
From the outside, the Mage Association’s building looked immense, but it was merely outside. After passing through the door, the interior had a surface similar to a drill ground. The area was so wide that even the Great Pavilion and the Pure Wind House combined would still be smaller. It really deserved to be called the Ice Moon Empire’s Mage Association’s headquarter. In the immediate surroundings, there was a reception counter with some kind of pointed construct connect to it.
After the man handed Long Ling’er’s horse to a servant, he lead Nian Bing to enter the left side of the pointed construct. He walked to the side and asked Nian Bing, “What is your name? What’s your ice mage’s realm?”
Nian Bing quickly answered, “I am called Nian Bing. Truthfully, I practice by myself. So, I also don’t know what kind of realm I have reached. Great Mage, I still haven’t asked you, what is your esteemed name?”
The man indifferently replied, “I’m called Shi Jiu. This is the testing place. The Association has stipulated that any mage tested requires to be evaluated by a Magic Scholar elder to be able to advance. You, wait here. I will go look for a few elders and see which of them are currently not in meditation. If they have already started meditating, then I can’t disturb them anymore. You’d just have to come back tomorrow if that were the case.” As he finished speaking, he went to Long Ling’er and explained the situation before walking through a side-door.
Long Ling’er slightly smiled and said, “Although Senior’s temperament is a bit eccentric, his character is very good. If his words had somewhat offend you, I ask you to please forgive him.” As she spoke, she looked at him before proceeding further inside.a
Hearing Long Ling’er softly say those words in a low voice made Nian Bing’s heart felt particularly comfortable. He felt that, compared to Xue Jing, it was better to be associated with her. He smiled. “Great Mage, there’s no need for you to be modest. For this matter, I’ll have to trouble you. I had always practice magic, but from the beginning to the end, I fail to grasp the main points. That’s why this time I want to learn a bit in the Association. If I have the opportunity, I would like to ask you for your guidance.”