Chapter 17.3 – The Mage Association’s Probe
Xue Jing startled out of her stupor and cursed to herself, ‘How could this be, is he really that good looking? He’s only an embroidered pillow, that’s all. Xue Jing, Xue Jing, don’t be confused by his appearance. This kind of man is not worthy of arousing your goodwill.’ Breathing deeply, She strolled to Nian Bing’s side and carefully looked at him, saying, “Not bad, it fits really well. This is just wearing good clothes and imitating people, right. Just keep up the appearance of having a hint of arrogance. Come time for the party, without my indication, you are not to speak as you please. It is only okay when you are with me.”
Nian Bing nodded and said, “Miss, the party starts tonight. What should I do now?”
Xue Jing said, “There are many things you should do. First, I will teach you some party etiquette. Oh, that’s right, can you dance?”
In his mind Nian Bing said, ‘Jump five? Is there also a jump six?’1 Shaking his head, he said, “I cannot.”
Xue Jing said, “Okay. This is something that takes a long time to learn. I hope you can learn quickly because it’ll be very useful tonight. We will start right now; I will first teach you etiquette.”
Half an hour later, Xue Jing’s astonished voice emitted from the wooden house. “Nian Bing, have you never learned etiquette before? You know how to do everything. You seem to do it even better than I.”
“No, I haven’t! I just copied whatever you did, that’s all.” Did he really not know? Of course not. From when he was young, he learned these things from his father’s teachings. His father always said that these are needed quite a bit for occasions of social interaction. Right now, with Xue Jing, he was actually recalling these scenes from his childhood, so he was able to perform very naturally and fluently.
Xue Jing looked at Nian Bing with misgivings. She said, “Fine! It seems that your power of comprehension is really high. There’s no use to continue studying etiquette. We will start learning how to dance. If you can also learn to dance this quick, I will take you to eat something good this afternoon.”
Right at this time, a clear, sonorous voice came from the outside. “Jing’er, the clothes that you wanted were made.”
Xue Jing jumped out in fright. “Shit, my father came. Nian Bing, you go hide first. Don’t you dare let my father see you.”
Nian Bing said blankly, “But, the room is only this big, where can I hide?”
The voice from outside sounded again. “You girl, you didn’t even close the gate to the courtyard. You’re already this big but still this careless. In the future, who would dare to marry you.” This time, the voice was much closer to the wooden house.
Xue Jing looked everywhere anxiously. Suddenly, her eyes lit up. She hastily pulled Nian Bing to the front of the bed and pushed him onto the bed. There was no time for them to hide even his shoes. She hurriedly pulled the two curtains shut, just as the door to the room opened.
Xue Jing frantically turned outwards. “Father, why did you come here personally?”
Reclining on top of the soft bed and smelling the faint scent, Nian Bing’s heart could not help but stir. All he heard was that clear, sonorous voice say, “This girl, recently, you’ve been going out every day and going crazy. Having not seen you, Father missed you. Your mother passed earlier, so your father is your only relative. Don’t tell me that your own father cannot go see his daughter?”
Xue Jing’s mood had already returned to normal. Acting like a spoiled child, she said, “Father is the best. That’s why I have definitely been accompanying you recently. Oh, that’s right. Are you going to the party tonight?”
“Me? Of course I’m not going. That’s a party for you young folk. You should learn from that Ling’er. You see how she’s so warm and lovable. With you being so deranged like this, who would dare approach you. If, in the future, you do not get married, your dad will bear no responsibility.”
Xue Jing said, displeased, “Father, how can you say these things to your own daughter？ Your daughter is this beautiful. There are many people pursuing me; it’s only that I don’t recognize them.”
The clear and sonorous voice carried a joking smile. “Is that so? How come I heard that, right now, all the noble sons in the city who see you all run away, scared of you?”
Xue Jing snorted and said, “That’s because they are all useless. Even if I were to marry in the future, I would marry a man who would be able to support both heaven and earth. Even if I hadn’t done anything, they didn’t have any qualifications.”
The clear voice could only helplessly say, “But the last time I introduced you to some young men, every one had strength that was not weak. How come you also didn’t want them?”
“Of course I wouldn’t want them. Those guys, each of their eyes were looking at the top of the head. Moreover, they looked too ugly. So brutish and hulkish, how could they suit me?”
“There’s nothing I can do about that. Still, if you find anyone one yourself, whatever you wish, Dad will unconditionally support you. That will always be.”
Xue Jing giggled happily. She said, “You don’t need to deal with that. Anyway, I am eighteen years old. Don’t worry. These two days, you should just relax. I will first return so I can change clothes and see if they fit me.”
Lying on the bed and hearing Xue Jing’s father-daughter banter, Nian Bing’s heart was speechless with envy. Just a while before, he himself also had a similarly caring father! But right now…his thoughts, upon reaching here, his body subconsciously moved, emitting an extremely soft sound.
“A person? Jing’er, is there someone lying on your bed?” The clear, sonorous voice suddenly turned cold.
Xue Jing evidently became very nervous. “Father, it’s nothing, it’s just a servant girl.”
“A servant girl? I want to see just what this servant girl looks like.” The curtains were parted furiously. Nian Bing lifted his head to look and saw a thirty to forty aged handsome and white-clad middle-aged man standing erect at the bedside. From his cold, unfeeling expression came a sense of the fact that he could rip you to shreds at anytime.
Calmly sitting up on the bed, Nian Bing stood up. He could really understand what the middle-aged man was feeling. Seeing a strange man in his daughter’s bed, it would rattle anyone’s mood, no matter who.
The middle-aged man turned his head to look at Xue Jing. He said coldly, “So this is who you called a servant girl?” Originally, he had been genuinely angry, but when he really saw Nian Bing’s appearance, his heart’s anger dimmed a little. The person on the bed had a handsome mien, and moreover, even upon seeing him suddenly, he did not bear a trace of a panicked expression. Adding to that, the symbol on the fire magic gown was of an Advanced Mage. This was already enough verification for him to suit his daughter. His daughter had already grown up after all. Having friends of the opposite sex was nothing. Although he was lying on the bed, his clothing was tidy. Obviously, it was because he had appeared suddenly that it was like this.
Xue Jing looked sheepishly at her father, but turned her head to glower at Nian Bing. She said, “Dad, h-he is only a friend. Right now you came suddenly, and I was afraid you would misunderstand so……”
The middle-aged man let out a laugh. “Misunderstand? I, Xue Ji，could go as far as to misunderstand his daughter？ You doing this, on the contrary is making you more supicious because you tried to cover it up. Foolish girl, I don’t know when you came to know this fire mage. Introduce him to your father.”
Xue Jing, just as she was to open her mouth, Nian Bing spoke. “Hello, my name is Nian Bing. Actually, I am not a fire mage. I borrowed these clothes from Miss. I am only a firewood cutter servant employed by the Pure Wind House.” Since Xue Jing already looked down on him, why would he let his father misunderstand anything?
Xue Ji’s eyebrows wrinkled, and he said, “Chopping fireword？I did not hear wrongly. Jing’er, I need you to explain.” Although his voice was as indifferent as before, from his body came an air of imposing grandeur that Nian Bing could clearly recognize. This owner of the Pure Wind House was certainly a not weak martial artist. At the very least, he was a Great Swordmaster. The difference between him and Xue Jing, based only on the imposing air seems to certainly be not just a single level.
Xue Jing cast a vehement look at Nian Bing. “There’s no part for you to say here, get out.”
Nian Bing did not utter a word. Looking at Xue Jing equally, he took great strides out of the room.
Xue Jing turned to face her father. In a low voice she mumbled, “Father, you know, I’ve never had a boyfriend. Nian Bing has not been working long here at our home as a firewood chopper personnel. Tonight, at the party, all of my other female friends will have their own male companions. Only I did not have one. Nian Bing’s looks are passable, so I thought of making him impersonate. I borrowed a magic gown from Ling’er. As a matter of fact, I was just teaching him etiquette.”
“Making trouble, this really is making trouble. Only you would think of this kind of plan. Don’t tell me that you thought this was fair to other people? Others come here to work, not for you to play with.” Xue Ji was scolding his daughter, but his face had already was already part smiling. In his mind, he secretly thought, ‘This kind of mischievous plan, only my daughter could’ve thought of it.’
Xue Jing saw that her father wasn’t really angry. Suddenly, she pulled her father’s arm and happily laughed, saying, “What’s not fair, helping me do this kind of thing, compared to hacking firewood is so much easier.”
Xue Ji’s brows creased slightly as he said, “You cannot say this kind of thing. Every person has the authority over their own life. You as a girl must pay attention to this. I saw that young man as not bad, comparatively unflustered. Is he really a firewood cutter?”
Xue Jing said, “Of course that’s true. He is someone I recruited to enter here. That day, he was thinking of going to the Grand Pavilion, and as a result encountered that powerful, vile Liao San person. If I had not rescued him, he would’ve maybe been beaten up violently in a flash. Although his looks aren’t bad, I don’t like such embroidered pillows. Father, relax, there’s no way something will happen.”
Xue Ji smiled bitterly. “You, girl, if you really could make me relax that would be great. Okay, I will go now. You can figure it out. Pay heed to propriety. You are a girl after all, you must pay attention to custom in order to avoid being laughed at by others. If you stay here with me, I’m afraid my heart disease might act up.”
- The pin yin for dancing is tiao wu. Jump five’s pin yin is also tiao wu. He’s making a pun. ↩