Chapter 15.3 – The Mage Association
Walking side by side, Li De told Nian Bing, “Later, I will arrange your living quarters for you. This is one of the privileges of a Great Mage.”
Nian Bing’s heart became heavy. He asked, “Magic Scholar Li De, then, may I still go outside?”
Li De slightly smiled and said, “Of course, you may. In the Association, apart from special orders, no one can restrict your freedom. You are completely free to come or go. You may even go outside to travel. I’ll assign a room to be a permanent residence for your return. However, I suggest you cultivate more and use your magic force to promote yourself to the next level. Currently, I’m looking forward to witnessing your breakthrough to the Magic Scholar’s realm. Come, we have already arrived at the library.” He led Nian Bing to the side and walked into a seemingly unremarkable building.
The interior of the building was very clean. When looking from the outside, it appeared to have four floors, and each floor wasn’t very high. This aspect gave the building an unremarkable impression. Li De faintly smiled and said, “This is the place. This library has a total of four floors. This is the only place on the continent that holds such an abundance of knowledge. You can read the books here, but you absolutely can’t borrow any of these books, especially the ones on the third and fourth floors. Oh, that’s right! You still can’t go to the fourth floor. Let me give you an introduction to the library. Similar to how mages have differences between each rank, each floor contains different kinds of information. For example, the first floor has information that is mostly suitable for Elementary Mages and Intermediate Mages to read. The second floor is for the Advanced Mages and the Great Mages. Then there is the third floor which can only be entered when one has the strength of a Magic Scholar. As for the highest, not to mention, the smallest floor, a lot of records of extinct high-level magic are kept. Only those who have reached the realm of Magister and have the permission of the Mage Association’s President are allowed to enter this floor to consult the materials. Although the President has yet to see you, the impression he has of you is very deep because of your magic control force almost reaching the realm of Magic Scholar. He specially informed me repeatedly that you are permitted to consult the magic books on the third floor. With this, you can learn many things. Later, when you travel outside for experience, what you see here will properly prepare you for your journey; you won’t lack magic spells, nor will your own strength be badly affected. The President might return in a while. At that time, he will likely call you for a chat. In the case there are some parts you can’t understand while reading, you can always ask for guidance from ice Magic Scholar Wa Lun. His magic level compared to mine is less profound. In the Association, he’s only the Fourth Elder.”
When Nian Bing looked at the two rows of bookshelves, his heart couldn’t help but burst with a sudden urge to read. For a mage, this place is basically a treasure-trove. Of course, the books in the library weren’t only about magic spells. The collection also included several records on magic, as well as notes left behind by mages. With those notes, it was already precious enough. “Teacher Li De, many thanks to you. May I address you in this way?”
Li De faintly smiled and said, “Of course you may. Watching you youngsters gradually grow, I truly feel a lot older. Nowadays, I merely wish that before I die, I would be able to see our Ice Moon Empire Mage Association become more powerful and entrust everything to your young generation. If there is an opportunity, you and Ling’er should interact more since the both of you are similar to ice Great Mages. Although, when compared to you, Ling’er’s magic force and magic control is still lacking. However, that girl is very smart. When it comes to magic, she already has her original views on it. If you two were to interact together more often, anyone would say that this is a good thing.”
Nian Bing nodded his head and said, “I know. Thank you, Teacher Li De.”
Li De softly sighed and continued, “I know you’re aware of the lockdown that occurred these past few days. However, you might not know the true reason behind it. From what I see, you are a good and honest child. As soon as the President returns, it’s possible that you will be questioned. You only need to reply according to the facts.”
Nian Bing felt shaken inside. He asked, “Teacher Li De, what has occurred in the end? It’s true, I do find it very odd when I carefully think about this unexpected lockdown. This shouldn’t give any benefits to the Ice and Snow city. Visiting merchants not being able to enter must have been problematic.”
Li De softly sighed and spoke, “That’s also something we were helpless about. Who let them have such authority?”
Nian Bing asked, “In the end, what happened? Can you tell me?”
Li De glanced at Nian Bing and answered, “Good! It wasn’t originally anything of a secret. A few days ago, the reason the city was sealed had to do with a major character. In order to track down the whereabout of an item, she came here. That item is said to be a very precious magic item. Perhaps, it could even be bordering the realm of god grade item’s magic power. I heard the President say that it was called something like the Ice Snow Goddess’s stone.”
Even if Nian Bing’s will was steady, when he suddenly heard the name Ice Snow Goddess’s stone, he couldn’t help but let his shock show on his face. Fortunately, at that instant, he was behind Li De, and the mage didn’t look back at his expression.
Nian Bing’s pulse clearly accelerated. He probed Li De with some questions. “Ice Snow Goddess’s stone? If it was so, then the person who came is from the Ice’ God’s Pagoda. Is that gem something that belongs to the Ice’ God’s Pagoda?”
Li De turned back and looked at Nian Bing. At that moment, Nian Bing had already recovered his composure. Other than an expression of astonishment on his face, there was nothing else to be seen. “Yes, it is something that belongs to the Ice’ God’s Pagoda. Therefore, it is said to be very precious, and it’s also the reason why she had personally come this time. She is our Ice Moon Empire’s representative and the Grand Preceptor of the Ice Snow Goddess’ worshippers.”
Nian Bing’s heart beat wildly. He was only ten years old that year when he once saw the Ice Snow Goddess’s Worshipper. He remembered it very clearly because the strength of his father, who was a fire Magic Scholar, seemed like a child in front of the might of the Ice Snow Goddess’s Worshipper. He didn’t have the slightest capability to resist her. If it wasn’t for his mother, who went all out and risked her life to save his father, perhaps he would have already lost his life with only the first attack of the Ice Snow Goddess’s Worshipper. When he heard the name that he bitterly detested, his heart trembled. At this instant, he finally realized that the enforced martial law inside Ice and Snow City was unexpectedly because of him. However, how did the Ice Snow Goddess’s Worshipper once again discover that the Ice Snow Goddess’s stone was in Ice and Snow City? Could it be that because he had used the Morning Dew knife at that time, and released the Ice Snow Goddess’s stone aura, that led her here? That’s right, it must have been like that.
Once he figured it was like this, Nian Bing’s back couldn’t help but be soaked in sweat. If he hadn’t been careful during the three-day lockdown, and had used the Morning Dew knife even once, he feared that he would have already fallen into the hands of the Ice Snow Goddess’s Worshipper. ‘Ah! It looked like I still need to keep a low-profile! Before my magic is strong enough, I must not let that woman find out about my existence.’
Li De watched Nian Bing as he became lost in his thoughts. He faintly smiled and said, “Everything is already finished. You also don’t need to think about it too much. I think that with the honorable Ice Snow Goddess’s Worshipper’s strength, it wouldn’t be so difficult for her to reclaim the stone. Okay, you can just stay here, read books, and wait for the President. I will go back first. Nian Bing, remember that as a mage, you can only raise your own strength by constantly meditating. I have already opened the first three prohibited floors in the library, but you shouldn’t, in a million years, force your way into the fourth floor, if not, the magic traps can easily claim your life.”
Li De left, and the great library was left with only one person, Nian Bing. Nian Bing was not impatient to find the stuff he needed. He stood at his original position, unceasingly contemplating, trying to sort out the thoughts in his brain. The appearance of the Ice Snow Goddess Worshipper threw his heart into great confusion. He could only think of doing one thing, that is leaving Ice and Snow City. ‘Since the Ice Snow Goddess worshipper already paid attention to this place, she might come again to visit. At that time, will I still be this lucky?’
Nian Bing was not scared; he was not scared of the Ice and Snow Goddess Worshipper. Even if it came to a direct engagement, he would dare to make a move at the Ice Snow Goddess Worshipper’s face. But he was a rational person. He knew that if he did something like that, he would just lose his life in vain. Therefore, he told himself, ‘I need to stay cool-headed. I can only achieve my dream by thinking rationality. Leaving this place seems to be the best decision for me, but right now, the True Sun Knife still hasn’t been completed. I cannot go, but in one month, in this one month, I hope that nothing happens.’
At this very moment, Nian Bing already decided that, from now on, he would carefully hide the Morning Dew Knife on his chest. He decided that before leaving Ice and Snow City, he would not use the knife, the Ice Snow Goddess’s Sigh, for this month.
After having thought through these things, Nian Bing’s emotional state improved a lot. Since the sealing of the city already ended, signalling the departure of the Ice and Snow Goddess Worshipper, he only had to be careful and this month wouldn’t be hard to cope with at all. Upon thinking this, his face exuded a thin, cold smile. On the first floor, he had found all the things he wanted.
When Nian Bing started to study magic, he was already wandering the continent with his father. His father had a deep and profound knowledge, but he was very young at the time and besides the important stuff, what he could remember was limited. He knew that what he needed most was theoretical knowledge. With a good foundation, he could improve his learning and become stronger in a shorter amount of time. Therefore, he was not worried about stepping onto the third floor and only started reading from the first floor. First he got a book called 《A Detailed Explanation of Magic Theory》.