Chapter 4.2 – The Silver Feather Knight Regiment
“Nevermind.” Zha Ji waved his hands in rejection, “Your magic is too extreme, I won’t be able to take it.” He could still remember clearly, the last time Nian Bing tried to cool the air in the room, he had nearly been frozen into a popsicle. Actually, even Nian Bing himself did not know that he had already advanced to the stage of intermediate rank mage; no matter fire or ice magic, he could use the first to third rank of spells. With the two top quality magic gems to help him cultivate, the effect was so much stronger than any normal mage.
“Master, I’m a little hungry already.” Nian Bing patted his rotund stomach.
Zha Ji shot him a glance, saying: “Just endure for a while more, we will eat when we get to Ice Snow City.”
“Ice Snow City?” a curious light appeared in Nian Bing’s eyes.
“Yes, Ice Snow City. In the Ice Moon Empire, all the cities names start with Ice, for example the capital city of Ice Moon Empire is called Ice Moon City. Ice Snow City is the second largest city in the Empire. Do you see that large road in front of us? As long as we follow that road all the way towards the southwest, we should reach in a few tens of kilometers.”
As Zha Ji spoke up till here, the sounds of horse hoofbeats could be heard, it wasn’t loud, as they were approaching from a distance, but it was getting clearer. Looking at the direction from which the sound originated, a contingent of horses was travelling on the large road in the southwesterly direction. At the front of the contingent were 4 mounted knights, all riding on large horses and wearing the same silver light armor, looking extremely valorous. Each of them had a broadsword of about 3 feet long hung at their waist, and although they were headed in a forward direction, their gazes constantly swept the two sides of the road, showing their vigilance. Behind the four mounted knights was a horse carriage, which seemed large and splendid, being pulled along by 4 pure white large horses, and seemed large enough to fit 7, 8 men without any problems. The covering cloth of the carriage seemed to have silver threads embroidering some sort of pattern, although it was not a drawing, but it seemed to give forth an indistinct majestic aura. The carriage driver seemed to be of a similar age to Zha Ji, the reins were gripped in his hands as he leisurely controlled the four fine steeds， keeping the carriage moving in a stable motion. There were also 2 silver-armored mounted knights guarding each side of the horse carriage, and at the back followed another troupe of ten mounted knights, making a total of 18 mounted knights in the party, their orderly formation and dressing made them stand out strikingly, and although there was still quite some distance between them and where Zha Ji and Nian Bing were at, they were still could be seen clearly.
“Master, who are those people? They look so awe inspiring.” Nian Bing asked.
A light twinkled in Zha Ji’s eyes as he said: “They should be the family of some high ranking officials, though they probably aren’t from the Ice Moon Empire.”
Nian Bing asked inquiringly: “How do you know so clearly?”
Zha Ji gave a humph, saying: “Naturally ginger is spicier when older.* Look at the embroidery on their carriage, it is actually a type of artistic font in the Profound Orchid language. From this, we can tell that this horse carriage is from the Profound Orchid Empire, and those mounted knights are also beyond ordinary soldiers; they have definitely been forged in the blood and fires of the battlefield, otherwise they would not have such an aura of bloodlust. To be able to order around such true soldiers means their background has to be of a high ranking official. As such, I concluded that they are from the family of a high ranking official of the Profound Orchid Empire, perhaps even the official himself might be within the ranks.
[TL Zen – Chinese saying literally meaning older ginger is spicier, used to mean that older folk have more wisdom or experience, thus knowing much more]
After hearing this, Nian Bing could help but look towards him with eyes radiant with admiration. Being able to discern this much just from the it’s outer appearances, his master could truly be called an “Old Spicy Ginger”.
Right at that moment, the sound of hurried hooves echoed from the other side, attracting Nian Bing’s attention. He saw a cavalry unit rushing towards him with lightning speed before they all stopped in synchronization. Yet, they weren’t alert at all. Instead, the four horseman dismounted.
There was a loud neigh as the incoming cavalry seemed to almost crash into the carriage contingent. However, all of a sudden one of the horses was reined in, the entire horse nearly standing up on its two hind feet, before landing to the side, coming to a sudden halt despite the inertia; such a display of horsemanship could only be called a Godlike Talent. The rider on the horse was also another knight, and was also wearing the same silver armor as the other eighteen knights. The only difference was that his helmet had a long white feather on it.
Zha Ji gave a soft cry as enlightenment dawned upon him, “I know who they are already. Those seem to be members of the trump card cavalry unit of the Profound Orchid Empire, the Silver Feather Knight Regiment; for this person to be escorted by them, he must definitely be someone out of the ordinary.
“The Silver Feather Knight Regiment? What is that?” Nian Bing was like a scholar thirsting for knowledge who always voiced out the questions in his heart. Zha Ji did not show any signs of impatience at all, apparently he did want Nian Bing to know more about the various Empires in the continent as well as their relations, and said in a low tone: “The Silver Feather Knight Regiment is famous throughout the whole of Yang Guang Continent. They are the ultimate trump card of all the trump cards that the Profound Orchid Empire holds, and their legend resounds throughout the whole world. They have a different coloured feathers in their helmets according to their different ranks. In terms of martial ranking, from low to high – Warrior, Advanced Warrior, Swordmaster, Great Swordmaster, Martial Master, Martial Saint, and finally Martial God. In terms of ranking, warriors and mages have a similar ranking system. However, you have to know that in a 1v1 close combat situation, a mage would be hard pressed to defeat a warrior. Of course, this is not absolute. As far as I know, after a mage has reached the rank of Magic Scholar，similar ranked warriors will find it difficult to even pose a threat to mages. Within the ranks of warriors, a Martial God would be the equivalent of the mage’s Descended God. It would be difficult to find anyone that may perhaps know the degree of the awesome might they may have possessed.That is because currently, Martial Gods only exist in legends. At least there were still existed Divine Descendants in the Ice God’s Pagoda. I have never before heard of the martial rank of Martial God. Perhaps they existed only in the age conflicts decades past. But now, they have all passed away. As for the soldiers of this Silver Feather Knight Regiment that in front of us, all have the strength of a swordmaster or higher. Especially the one who should be their squad leader, the one with a white feather sticking out of his helmet, had the strength of a great swordmaster. Although they were light cavalry, the nature of their attack did not differ one bit from heavy cavalry. In addition their speed and flexibility were greatly superior. And with the coordination of their group attack, on this continent, only a pitifully few knight regiments could possibly contend with them.
Nian Bing spit repeatedly and replied, “Ah, so powerful! Wouldn’t those ten thousand Sword Master ranked warriors be able to defeat ten thousand Advanced Mages?”
Zha Ji stared at him with wide eyes and said, “You’re really so unknowledgeable! Don’t tell anyone else that you’re my disciple.”
Nian Bing snorted in response. “Does being your disciple really have that much face? I don’t think it necessarily does. Of course I know how formidable the might of ten thousand mages would be in a genuine war. I fear that if they assembled and simultaneously cast their magics, even the most powerful of knight regiments wouldn’t be able to overcome them. The mages wouldn’t be foolish enough to engage the knights in close combat. What I’m talking about is simply comparing their strengths.”
Zha Ji unhappily groaned at Nian Bing’s response. “Smelly brat, are you playing dumb with me? It seems that you understand more than just a little.”
Nian Bing grinned and said, “Of course it’s like that. Those wars between the great empires always follow the same style. The soldiers charge in the front lines while the mages bombard from the back lines. It’s just a battle of attrition. Where’s the meaning in that?”
Zha Ji shook his head and grimly explained, “No, that’s wrong. War is also a form of art, the art of iron and blood. If it were truly as simple as you make it out to be, those famous generals would be useless. Regardless, none of this matters to us. You’ll be fine as long as you continue mastering the art of cooking in the future.”
The newly arrived Silver Feather Knights dismounted. They walked to the front of the carriage before respectful saying, “Madam and Young Mistress, there are still several tens of kilometers before we reach Ice Snow City. I have already found a good inn in the city. Will you prefer we take a short rest first or to press on and rush to Ice Snow City for lunch?”
A somewhat lazy yet soothing voice came from the carriage. “Captain Feng, this place isn’t too bad. We’ll rest here first. After all, everyone must be tired after being on the road for so long.”
Captain Feng respectfully answered, “Yes Madam.” After saying this, he gave a meaningful glance to the rest of the knights and they all dismounted. They started walking towards Zha Ji and Nian Bing who were resting at the side of the road. Coincidentally, the location where Zha Ji was currently resting was an open space with several trees blocking out the sunshine, creating a jagged dance of shadows, giving it a cooling feel.
These knights had clearly noticed Zha Ji and Nian Bing long ago, and one of the knights took large strides towards them and coldly said, “Please leave immediately.” As he said this, he threw some silver coins to Zha Ji.
On the Yang Guang Continent, the currency of every country was interchangeable. The most precious were amethyst gold coins. One amethyst gold coin was equal to ten gold coins, a hundred silver coins, or a thousand copper coin. A few silver coins were enough to sustain an ordinary household for half a month. These knights could be regarded as very liberal with their money.