Chapter 18.3 – Birthday Banquet
Xue Jing snorted coldly, saying, “This is my boyfriend, Nian Bing, an Advanced Fire Mage. He has just returned from his travels; of course you haven’t seen him. Pardon us, Lady Mei Ya, we must go in first; Rou’er is waiting for me.” Having said this, she pulled Nian Bing quickly inside, not paying anymore heed to Lady Mei Ya.
Lady Mei Ya’s eyes fell to Nian Bing’s face without looking away. Her eyes held a bewitched look, and her lips hummed. She said something to Nian Bing in a low voice. Nian Bing did not dare listen. He immediately lowered his head and followed Xue Jing into the hall. It was best to stay away from this sort of vile old lady.
“Jing’er, who was that person? I felt she was very strange!” Nian Bing could not help but ask Xue Jing.
“Strange? What do you mean by ‘strange’? She was a social butterfly in her youth and, with great difficulty, climbed the social ladder by marrying a viscount. After the marriage, it was discovered that the viscount’s family clan had already declined earlier on. The family circumstances were worsening. In a few years, the viscount fell ill and passed away. She, however, had no intentions of leaving and started her social butterfly activities again. She has continued doing so for the past few decades up to today. Did you not see how much makeup there was on her face? It’s to conceal all of her facial wrinkles. Her real age is maybe past fifty years. Seeing her really makes people feel disgusted.”
Nian Bing smiled slightly, leaned towards Xue Jing’s ear and whispered, “I agree.”
The hot breath on Xue Jing’s ear could not help but tickle her. She subconsciously withdrew her neck and wanted to interrogate Nian Bing, but thinking of where they were right now, she could only glare at him and swallow down her words. Nian Bing appeared to have not noticed her actions. With a small smile, he straightened his back and looked around. The surroundings were pretty fine. The entire grand hall was over a thousand square metres in size, and already, the number of guests had reached a hundred. They stood chatting in small groups. Seeing each of them all dressed up, they obviously seemed very wealthy. The entire large hall was brimming with the scent of cosmetics.
“Nian Bing, go wait at the side for a few moments. You can indulge yourself with food. If someone tries to start a conversation with you, you best not answer. Just seem as if you’re very haughty, and it’ll be fine. I’m going to go and find Rou’er. It is her birthday, after all.” While saying this, she pointed Nian Bing to an open couch on the side. Then she followed a staircase upstairs.
Nian Bing walked to the side of the sofa and sat down. He casually picked up a drink and slowly sipped. He was not fond of social gatherings like these. He simply observed these people peacefully, that’s all. . He placed the Fire Star Wand in his hand on top of the table. He did not care too much about this kind of gold grade item.
Right at this time, he suddenly heard the door guard yell, “Mage Association’s Miss Long Ling and Master Shi Jiu.”
They came earlier than he had expected. He could not help but be a tad bit nervous right now. He hastily grabbed the wand on the table, stood up and walked to a dim corner on the opposite side to stand in.Today, Long Ling did not wear a magic robe. Rather, she wore a purple formal dress. She was extremely well-suited to formal wear. It set off her refined and warm character greatly. She was like a purple fairy when she entered the main hall. Long Ling was obviously much more popular than Xue Jing. When Xue Jing had entered, a plurality of people only looked at her and continued talking among themselves. Only a few number of people took the initiative to call out to her. This was not so for Long Ling. When she was past the door, she became the focus of the entire hall. Almost everyone came to greet her. It felt like she was the lady of this place.
Smiling lightly, Nian Bing eyes emitted a faint radiance. He knew that under these circumstances, there was no way that Long Ling could discover him. He was also happy to keep quiet. Today, he saw that these so-called upper class nobles’ party all had the same routines.
Shi Jiu still wore a magic gown. The symbol of his position was not displayed, but among everyone here, there was none who doubted his strength. Although Shi Jiu was not as handsome as Nian Bing, it can also be said that in a moment, these two people became the focus of the entire event.
Right then, Nian Bing discovered a strange guy with the same bearing as him. Only the two of them did not go up to greet Long Ling and Shi Jiu, so it was easy for each of them to find the other party. It was a young man with a stature comparable to Nian Bing’s. Only, he was clearly a little more robust than Nian Bing. He wore well-fitting white, starched clothing. He looked as resolute as a cutting knife. Though it could not be said that he was handsome, he gave off a feeling of intense manliness. A pair of black eyes paired off with black hair and an appearance of callousness. In his hands was a knife. The knife was very short. Nian Bing felt that it was not longer than his own Morning Dew Knife. The scabbard was also white. As someone who could bring a knife with him to this event, it was obvious that this man’s position was not ordinary. Suddenly, Nian Bing’s mind raised a thought. Could this person be the cool guy Xue Jing likes?
Soon, Nian Bing was certain of the possibility of this thought. In this main hall, he was the only person who matched who Xue Jing’s description at that time. Then a strange thing happened to Nian Bing; that man had actually started to walk over to him. Although he did not walk fast, the hall became very small, and in almost a few strides he was in front of Nian Bing.
“Hello, my name is Yan Feng.”
Nian Bing blanked for a moment. According to Xue Jing’s description, he should’ve been an extremely cold person that neither beast nor man could come close! Why could he take the initiative to greet him? Though he was saying these things in his mind, outwardly he did not forget his manners. Extending a hand to shake, he said, “Hello, I am Nian Bing.”
Releasing his hand, Yan Feng walked over to stand at Nian Bing’s side. Lifting his little finger, he very naturally brushed aside a lock of black hair hanging in front of on his forehead and tucked it behind his ear. His eyes were like excessively black hole filled with an indescribable lustre. He calmly fixed his gaze on Nian Bing. After a good while, the sides of his lips were filled with a peaceful, smiling expression. “It seems I haven’t seen you before.”
Seeing the tall and stern Yan Feng, a strange feeling appeared in Nian Bing’s heart. Although he could not clearly identify what the feeling was, he faintly felt it was a bit improper. “I arrived in Ice Snow City not long ago, and I just joined the Mage Association. That’s why you have not seen me before. It would seem that you often participate in these sort of social activities.”
Yan Feng’s gaze was still resting on Nian Bing’s face. He said indifferently, “It isn’t often, just occasionally. I loathe these housefly-like women.”
In his mind, Nian Bing secretly thought, ‘There is seriously something wrong with this guy’s brain for him to act so ruthlessly!’ Smiling lightly at Yan Feng, he nodded his head. He did not say anything more and Yan Feng also did not open his mouth. Instead, he turned his gaze to the event area.
With great difficulty, Long Ling struggled free of the numerous people crowded around here. She said a few words to Shi Jiu and ran upstairs. Clearly she was joining up with Xue Jing and this Miss Rou’er. With Long Ling’s departure, the atmosphere of the hall calmed down. The nobles continues their conversation as before. The nobles were largely very young, of course, with the exception of Lady Mei Ya.
The cool Yan Feng spoke again, “Lord Count has appeared.” Nian Bing followed his gaze out, and could see an elder of about fifty years. He was clad in splendid garments. He was not tall, and his width seemed to be equal to his height, making him resemble a large meatball. The fat on his whole body trembled as he descended the stairs. The stairs were exceptionally sturdy. Despite his great weight, they still did not make a sound. Nian Bing thought, ‘As expected, there is no doubt that this is the Minister of Finance of Ice Snow City. His stomach was not stuffed with only a few delicious meals.’
At the count’s appearance, everyone talking suddenly fell silent. Their eyes fell on the staircase. The count had descended halfway down the stairs and stopped. His obese, gigantic face was covered in a smiling expression. “Welcome everyone to my humble abode! Today is my daughter’s eighteenth birthday and coming of age celebration. Everyone, do not hesitate to eat or drink. Play happily and treat my home as yours. If there is anything you find unsatisfactory, please forgive me. Everyone continued chatting. I’m sure my daughter will arrive very soon.” After these words were say, it elicited cheers and flatteries. The fat gathered more and tightly surrounded the count’s face. He seemed satisfied with this situation and slowly went down the stairs. With a cup of wine in one hand, he mingled with the young nobles, chatting.
Seeing this spectacle, Nian Bing and Yan Feng’s displayed identical expressions. Their eyebrows were creased together and were filled with disdain. The extravagant lifestyles of the rich was most certainly something they did not like.
“Brother Yan, how much do you know about this Lord Count?” Nian Bing asked subconsciously. He was not familiar with the people here, and right now, the only one who could answer his questions was Yan Feng.