Chapter 32.2 Luo Ruo Begs
Luo Rou’s facial expression changed slightly. With a soft sigh, she said, “I heard that you will soon be leaving to travel the continent. I need you to help me send a letter to the Profound Orchid Empire. However, this letter must not be intercepted by anyone from the Ice Moon Empire. If you help me, I might not have to marry the fifth prince.”
Nian Bing asked, “Who in the Profound Orchid Empire should I send it to?”
Luo Rou answered, “Send it to the youngest daughter of Marquis Lan Yu in the Profound Orchid Empire. Correction, Marquis Lan Yu became a duke last year. His daughter is called Lan Chen. Duke Lan Yu is very famous in the Profound Orchid Empire. You will definitely hear of him there. Anyway, since the Ice Moon Empire and the Profound Orchid Empire border each other, you can help me, right?”
Delivering a letter was not such a hard thing to do. After all, this related to Luo Rou’s lifelong happiness. Nian Bing nodded his head and said, “I hope that there won’t be any trouble.”
Luo Rou said happily, “If you say that, then you’ve promised.” While saying this, she pulled out a letter from her chest, along with a bead that gave off a soft, white light. She gave the items to Nian Bing and said, “This bead is a token. With the letter, Lan Chen will definitely believe you.”
Nian Bing took them and was surprised to discover that the glossy bead gave off a familiar feel. It was actually made of mutton fat jade. He didn’t examine the items very closely, putting the bead and the letter into his space ring with a wave of his hand..
The carriage stopped in front of the entrance to the Mage Association. Nian Bing said to Luo Rou, “I will do my best to deliver your letter. I must go now, goodbye.”
“Wait a moment.” Luo Rou suddenly came close to Nian Bing and kissed his cheek softly. The faint fragrance suddenly stunned Nian Bing for a moment. Luo Rou’s eyes showed that she was touched. “Nian Bing, thank you. If I gave you trouble before, please forgive me. You are actually a good person.”
Touching his face, Nian Bing’s heart swelled with a strange emotion. A good person? He was really a good person? It was not long ago when Xue Jing called him a heartless person.
Half a month had passed. On the fourth floor of the Ice and Moon Empire Mage Association library, Nian Bing was focused on learning a magic chant by heart. Long Zhi’s hopes for Nian Bing were really high. Twenty days before, after learning the information on the third floor, Long Zhi permitted him to enter the fourth floor to continue his studies. Compared to the third floor, the fourth floor had fewer books. There was barely a shelf full of books. However, the magic knowledge on this floor was extremely profound. Even though Nian Bing was considered smart, he could only memorize the information and then slowly understand it.
On the fourth floor, there was every kind of rank 11 forbidden spells. Although there were extremely few of them, these spells were the Associations’ most prized possession. Ordinary magic was divided into ten ranks. Upon reaching the eleventh rank, they were called forbidden spells. The highest spells of the twelfth rank were called descended god spells. They were known as the forbidden of the forbidden.
“Nian Bing.” Long Zhi lifted the restrictions on that floor, and came up from down below, interrupting Nian Bing’s memorization.
“Master, you said that right now, I only need to memorize these things. Is there no need to explain them?” Nian Bing looked at Long Zhi with a bit of surprise. Although he had acknowledged Long Zhi as his master before, his heart had remained guarded. But as Long Zhi selflessly taught him, he seemed to see Zha Ji’s figure, and his wariness gradually dissolved.
Long Zhi’s facial expression was a little ugly as he turned to Nian Bing. “Tomorrow, you need to leave. I have just received news that His Majesty, the king, has heard of you. He has shown great interest in your culinary skills and has already sent a magic wind pigeon to Marquis Nuo Ya. The magic wind pigeon is swift; it will arrive in Ice and Snow City in three days. You need to leave tomorrow.”
Nian Bing always knew that he had to eventually leave Ice and Snow City, but suddenly hearing the words from Long Zhi, he could not help but feel uncomfortable. Still, he nodded his head and said, “Master, I have almost finished memorizing all the stuff here; in fact, I should be done by tonight. I understand a bit of it. Anyways, I haven’t packed up all my stuff yet, so I will leave first thing tomorrow. I have not gone outside in all these days, so the Grand Pavilion people shouldn’t know that I’m still in the city.
Long Zhi snorted coldly and said, “If you think like that, you’re simply looking down on them too much. I discovered earlier that there are people observing the Association. It seems that they are afraid you will run away. Your existence has always been a threat to the Grand Pavilion.”
Nian Bing nodded his head and said, “I understand. Master, do you have anything else to teach me?”
Long Zhi did not say anything but walked to the front of the sole bookshelf, hesitated for a moment, then took out a magic book from the topmost shelf. Nian Bing had already read that book. It accounted the effects of a forbidden magic spell. When he was reading it, Nian Bing had been frightened by the mighty power of the spell.
Long Zhi held up the book in his hands, sighed lightly, and said, “I had originally not planned on teaching you this magic. I hope even more that you will never have to use it. But right now, I think that it would be better to teach you. Although the danger is extremely great, it could be the best way to save your life.”
Nian Bing looked at Long Zhi with suspicion. He asked, “Master, what is this spell that makes it hard for you to talk about it?”
Green light poured out of Long Zhi’s finger and the lively wind element danced through the air. The green light created by the finger traced a strange pattern on the surface of the magic book. A familiar magic array appeared and Nian Bing immediately knew that it was a simple magic array that revealed things that were hidden.
The light flashed and the magic book didn’t seem to change. Long Zhi flipped open the book. The original first page had disappeared and small golden words appeared in its place. He passed the book to Nian Bing and said with a heavy voice, “Memorize this spell, but please do NOT say it out loud. You must clearly remember every single word.”
The chant was very long. Nian Bing did not pay attention to the contents but did as Long Zhi had said. He imprinted the words deep in his mind. When he had finished memorizing it, he lifted his head to ask, “Master, what is this spell?”
A light in Long Zhi’s eyes flashed and he said, “This is an ancient curse spell. It is the greatest secret of our Association.”
Nian Bing’s whole body shuddered and he said, “Curse spell? Isn’t that a dark magic thing? According to the annals, dark magic was lost a long time ago.”
Long Zhi shook his head and said, “No, dark magic still exists. It’s just that because dark magicians are always hunted down by assassins of the continent, they have hidden themselves. Also, there are extremely few of them. Dark magic is an extremely mysterious magic. It can produce special effects that no other system of magic could replicate. But I can tell you that this spell does not belong in the category of dark magic. It is a special curse magic from ancient times. Only I knew of its existence, but now you are the second person.”
Nian Bing asked with curiosity, “What sort of effects does it have?”
Long Zhi replied, “Its effects are very simple. It curses yourself.”
“That’s right. It curses the caster. By cursing your own life, your strength can reach extreme heights. This special curse magic can allow you to surpass your limits in an instant. The strength of the curse can be controlled. According to the weakness or potency of the curse, the strength you obtain will differ accordingly. It’s name is the Song of Cursed Life.”
Nian Bing’s eyes flashed. “Master, I want to know what the maximum strength of this spell is.”
Long Zhi looked at Nian Bing. He replied, “A very frightening strength. Rank 11 forbidden spells and rank 12 descended god spells have completely different strengths. The Ice and Snow Goddess’ worshiper used a descended god spell to extinguish one hundred thousand troops of the Clear Wood Empire. That’s the reason she has such a high status today. If I used the curse on my own life and used a forbidden spell, I might not be able to achieve that kind of effect, but I would be able to fight against the Ice and Snow Goddess’ Worshipper for two hours with no problem. This is the advantage of the curse. You must remember not to use this spell unless you’re in a life or death crisis. Every time you use this spell, it will at least consume five years of your life force. Do you understand?”
Nian Bing nodded his head and said, “Master, I know. It must only be used to save my life.”
Long Zhi nodded his head and said, “It’s good that you understand. By the way, I have another matter to discuss. It is the ninth month right now, but on seventh day of the seventh month of next year, the Rising Mage Tournament will be held in the capital of the Harmonic Flower Empire. I hope that you can participate and represent the Association. You only need to show the participation plate to take part. Every empire can send two up and coming mages. They must be less than twenty-five years of age, but other than that there is no restriction. One of the two mages of the Ice and Moon Empire is picked by the Ice God’s Pagoda, and the other is picked by our Association. Every time, the person our Association sends acts as a foil. I hope that you can give you master something to fight with. Of course, you don’t need to promise anything. This isn’t within the scope of our original agreement, after all. I will give you the participation plate. Whether you go or not is up to you.” While saying this, he pulled out a shiny black plate and gave it to Nian Bing. The plate gave off an obvious aura of magic. On the front was a complex magic array. Even Nian Bing could not determine its characteristics. The plate also had a number written on it, the number ten.
“Did you see it? The number is ten. This was the rank we got last time we participated in the contest.” Long Zhi’s voice was sorrowful.
Nian Bing took the plate and put it into his space ring. With a small smile, he said, “Master, if it’s along the way then I will go.”
Long Zhi took a scroll and gave it to Nian Bing. “You brat, can’t you give me a definite answer? This space scroll can directly transport you to a small alley near the Pure Wind House back gate from here. I want to see if the Grand Pavilion can see you then. Leave whenever you decide to. Don’t say goodbye to me. I don’t like those kinds of feelings. As for Ling’er, I will say goodbye to her for you. Finally, let me just remind you to not forget about the things you have promised me. From now on, your success will all depend on you.”
Long Zhi left. Nian Bing put the scroll into his space ring. Finally leaving? This was what he’s always been looking forward to, but how could he not feel any reluctance?
Early in the morning, when the first threads of sunlight fell on Ice and Snow City, a grey figure quietly appeared in an alleyway not far from the Pure Wind House. Looking all around, Nian Bing took out a ragged felt hat he had brought from the Mage Association and put it on his head. Along with his coarse, cotton clothes, no one would recognize him other than people he knew.
Checking out his surroundings, Nian Bing decided to go find Feng Nu. Suddenly, he heard a clean and crisp sound. At the same time, strong magic undulations came from around the corner of the alleyway. Prompted by his curiosity, Nian Bing headed to the corner. Immediately, he saw a strange scene.
There was a little girl who seemed to be fourteen, fifteen years of age. She was not tall. She would only reach up to Nian Bing’s chest. Her figure was adorably exquisite, and although the clothes she was wearing were damaged, they looked to be have been made from beautiful cloth. Her black hair was combed into two, long, fat pigtails. Her back was to Nian Bing as she muttered some words.
“I whose name is Xi Yun, summon you. Come out, my pet, Dan Dan.” She pointed the pitch-black, delicate magic wand in her hands and immediately, a red hexagram appeared on the ground. The hexagram did not glow too brightly. Even though it was red, strangely there was no feeling of scorching heat. The magic element in the air seemed to repelled into the surroundings.
Right when Nian Bing was puzzled about what she was doing, a dark red light suddenly expanded. The sight made Nian Bing so surprised he cried out. In the dark red hexagram, a massive figure was appearing. With a “moo,” the figure gradually became clearer. It’s fur was a mottled black and white. It was actually a cow.
The dark red hexagram disappeared and the milk cow rubbed against the girl affectionately. The milk cow was not tall but it was extremely plump. With the slightest movement, all of it’s fat jiggled.
“Such a good cow cow. I’m really hungry and I don’t want to walk anymore. Squeeze out some milk for me to drink, okay? I’m going to starve to death.” The little girl patted the cow’s head and spoke in a begging tone.
The cow bellowed in dissatisfaction. It seemed to not want to contribute its milk.
Nian Bing’s heart was overcome with nervousness. What had he just seen? Although it was a cow that was summoned, this obviously was a special magic that was just as legendary as his own Ice and Fire Source–summoning magic! Could it be that this little girl was a summoning mage? Heavens! Summoners really did exist.