Chapter 17.2 – The Mage Association’s Probe
Li De laughed out loud and said, “The matters of those kids is not something we need to meddle in. Let them grow. President, you’re also tired from today. Let us return early to rest.”
Once Nian Bing got out of Bing Jing’s room, he immediately felt his whole body was drenched in cold sweat. The seven colored precious stones were obviously a useful type of a probing magic item. Fortunately, he didn’t carry the Morning Dew Knife with him. His every action from before had all been a ruse. Bing Jing was unable to deceive him because he had already seen all twelve Worshippers when he was in the Ice God’s Pagoda. How would he forget about them when their appearances had been deeply engraved into his mind. He was lucky in a way since he was able to escape the last probing of the Mage Association.
He returned to his room and retrieved the Morning Dew knife, putting it near his chest. He took off his magic gown and placed it on his bed alongside his Icicle rod. Once again, he left the Mage Association. Perhaps tonight would be his last night at the Pure Wind House. Tomorrow would be a brand new beginning, his debut at the Mage Association.
Early morning, as the first light of the sun rose from the east, Nian Bing had already awoken from his meditation. The few books on the foundation of magic weren’t read in vain. It caused his understanding of magic to deepen as he cultivated diligently throughout the night. Unfortunately, there was no progress on the theory underlying the source of his fire and ice magic. However, his magic control was better. Right now, what he needed the most was to upgrade his magic power. In fact, he needed to use his spirit force and blend it together with the magic power of the source of his fire and ice magic. It would bring out an enormous power. Nian Bing firmly believed that when he is able to combine fire and ice together, the magic power brought forth wouldn’t be as simple as one plus one equals two. On the continent, he should be the first fire and ice dual mage. If so, why not create a type of magic that only belonged to him?
When he walked out of his room, Uncle Li hadn’t awaken yet. Nian Bing looked at the area occupied by the Pure Wind House and couldn’t help but sigh. ‘It looks like there are no more cooking skills left to pursue here.’ Top-notch cooking skills, second-rate magic, that was what described the current him. Perhaps, right now, the Mage Association was more suitable for him. At least, he would have more useful things to learn.
While he thought about it, Nian Bing walked to the firewood house. He picked up the firewood blade and, with lightning fast speed, he chopped down the firewood. Although it only needed to be hacked into eight pieces, he was so concentrate with his thoughts that, out of habit, he gradually chopped the firewood into more and more pieces. Nian Bing always believe he could handle his own matters alone. He knew that what he had started, he had to finish. Although he had already decided to leave, he still had to do his work properly on this last day of work. The firewood blade lifted above him appeared alive to the point the image of the blade almost couldn’t be seen. Nian Bing only needed to use his left hand to cut the firewood’s sides and it was naturally chopped into eight pieces.
Uncle Li walked out from his room and was facing Nian Bing’s back who was cutting firewood at that time. He couldn’t help but slightly smile as he thought, ‘This young man is truly diligent. It’s just dawn, but he’s already busy working.’ As he walked next to Nian Bing and saw the firewood blade’s afterimages, Uncle Li couldn’t help but be dumbfounded. The work quota for one day had already been 70% done by Nian Bing.
Nian Bing knew that Uncle Li was next to him. However, he didn’t stop what he was doing. While he was chopping firewood, he calmly said, “Uncle Li, chopping firewood is not just a task. If you concentrate while doing it, you can acquire unexpected results. Firewood is an inanimate object, but people are alive. What do you think?”
Uncle Li looked at Nian Bing. He was in a daze and rendered speechless. It was the first time he felt that this youngster in front of him wasn’t simple at all, at least, compared to what he had imagined, Nian Bing was more mysterious.
“This is the final piece. Uncle Li, I’m leaving you this as a commemoration.” His hand suddenly seemed more nimble. The blade in his hand gently waved and the tree bark quietly peeled off. The sawdust danced on the blade light. Words were carved under the blade as if it was alive. The block of wood gradually changed shape under Nian Bing hands. Finally, as the last blades of light flashed, the firewood no longer looked like a piece of wood. It was now carved into a person.
Uncle Li was shocked to find that the wooden figure was him with one hand holding a log and the other hand raising his firewood blade as if he was ready to chop firewood. The sculpture was vivid and lifelike it seemed like the actual person.
Nian Bing put the blade and the sculpture into Uncle Li’s hands and then he slightly bowed. “Uncle Li, many thanks to you for taking care of me these past few days. I give you this as a souvenir and I hope you will remember me.”
Uncle Li held the still warm statue. He barely start thinking about what to say when he heard a sharp and clear voice close-by, “Nian Bing, you’re up, aren’t you? Let’s go immediately. We are very tight in time.”
Nian Bing faintly smiled. He brushed off the sawdust on his body and replied, “Miss, I have been awake for a long while. Let us go then.” He gazed at Uncle Li with a profound look and walked toward Xue Jing who showed up to meet him.
Exceptionally, today, Xue Jing didn’t wear her favorite red clothes. She was dressed in a white cheongsam which made her a lot more charming. “Let’s go! You’re going with me to this place.” She blatantly pulled Nian Bing by his sleeve to the inner part of the Pure Wind House. Uncle Li watched their backs as they left. Once again, he looked at the sculpture in his hand. He softly sighed and talked to himself, “It looks like, later, I still need to finish chopping wood by myself!”
Xue Jing directly lead Nian Bing to a courtyard. Immediately after Nian Bing entered the courtyard, he smelled a fresh and clean smell. The courtyard was not very big, measuring around 300 to 400 square meters, with a small stone path leading deeper inside the courtyard. Looking around, the whole courtyard was completely covered in green and especially large trees. The large trees were towering over them. The leaves and branches formed something like a big green parasol shrouding over half of the courtyard. He followed along the stone path toward a wooden house that seemed to have two or three rooms. Although the house was made of wood, it seemed very sturdy. In the center of the courtyard lawn, there was a pool around ten square meters with water so clear it was possible to see the bottom. Just at that moment, a red goldfish the size of his palm swam by in the pool, unable to say it was content with leisure.
Xue Jing proudly turned toward Nian Bing and said, “What do you think? My place is pretty good, huh? I’m the only one living here. Besides Big Sister Ling’er, you are the first outsider to come here. Let’s go. I have things to give you so you can be ready. These are things Ling’er lent to me with great difficulty. You need to be careful with it. By all means you must not ruin them and make me unable to explain it to Ling’er.”
Nian Bing followed Xue Jing into the wooden house. Inside, contrary to what he had imagined, the decorations were quite plain. A light pink brought an elegance that made it seemed completely fresh and clean. Xue Jing took a magic gown on the couch and gave it to Nian Bing. The magic gown was red in color with the Ice Moon Empire insignia on the lapel of the gown. A flame encompassed by two silver circles was embroidered on the chest. Compared to his gown yesterday, this flame had one less circle around it. This should be the symbol for Advanced Mage. Nian Bing couldn’t help finding it funny since he was already a Great Mage. Right now, he had to pretend to be an Advanced Mage. He felt somewhat strange about it.
Xue Jing handed over the gown to Nian Bing and said, “First, try on these clothes. Let’s see if it fits. I think it should fit more or less. You will participate in the banquet as an Advanced Mage. In addition with your age, no one should belittle you. What do you think? I think I was very thoughtful.”
Nian Bing looked at Xue Jing and said with a smile, “Are you going to watch me change my clothes here?”
Xue Jing’s charming face became red and she replied, “Who would want to watch you? Just hurry up and change.” Although she said those words, she still walked out of the room.
Nian Bing took off his outer clothings and put on the red magic gown. The faint flame aura on it made him feel very comfortable. The clothes also fit him.
“Are you done?” Xue Jing was yelling impatiently from outside the door.
“I’m done.” Nian Bing tidied his clothes then looked at the door. Xue Jing opened the door and entered. As soon as she entered, the first thing she saw was Nian Bing wearing the fire magic gown. She couldn’t refrain from being completely astonished. The red gown was contrasting with his long golden hair as if they were flame, making the blue of his eyes appeared even deeper. It especially highlighted his proud temperament. That sight made her heart beat faster.
Nian Bing felt somewhat uneasy from Xue Jing burning gaze. “Miss, is there something inappropriate?”