45.2 Sorry, Xue Jing
Nian Bing nodded and said, “Since it’s like that, I won’t send off the president.” Right now, he just wanted to be by himself.
Ka Luo said, “Mister Nian Bing, yesterday I heard you say that you still had several special magic scrolls you were thinking of selling. I don’t know what effects these magic scrolls have. If I did, I would definitely offer a very reasonable price. Of course, it depends on the characteristics of the scrolls themselves.”
Nian Bing shook his head and said, “Sorry, these scrolls are not for sale, but there may be a chance later. You also know that I do not lack money and only need these magic item materials.”
Ka Luo did not say anymore on the subject. Smiling, he said, “I hope that our association and your teacher can cooperate well. After I leave here, I will immediately set off for Ice and Snow City.”
Nian Bing’s heart jumped. He said, “President Ka Luo, if you encounter that girl on your way to Ice and Snow City, I must ask you to take care of her. I have to recompense somehow.”
Ka Luo nodded. He saw that Nian Bing’s emotional state was unstable and did not say anymore. He and his underling left the room.
Xue Jing had left, and Nian Bing now had the blank scrolls that he wanted. Everything seemed to be going smoothly, but Nian Bing’s heart felt confused. He opened the bag and took out the white scrolls for him to see. What should he do when he is in a poor mood? The best way to deal with some things was to just let them sort themselves out naturally. Currently, making scrolls was the best choice for him. Once each scroll had turned into what he wanted, it would be easier for him to survive on this continent.
Nian Bing went back to making scrolls. He had very high standards for himself. He no longer sought to just make a single magic scroll. Although the highest rank he could make was still rank 6, this time every scroll had harmonized well with his thoughts.
Three days. For three whole days, Nian Bing did not step out of the room. Every day he would call the inn staff to deliver food and drinks to his room. On the first day, he still felt somewhat depressed, but from the second day on, he had already forgotten all his worries and had thrown himself into making magic scrolls.
The more complicated magic scrolls were much more difficult to make and had a considerably lower success rate. Even with the depth of his magic control, his success rate did not even reach one third for the scrolls with special effects
Three days passed, and as Nian Bing gazed at the twenty plus scrolls he had successfully made before him, he had a slight smile on his pale face. From all the blank scrolls he had used, Nian Bing had successfully made only twenty or so magic scrolls, but he truly believed that any one of these scrolls would have a value comparable to all the blank scrolls combined.
He carefully placed some of the scrolls into the space ring, then picked up a few to place on his person. He was done; the things that he needed to do had been finished. Now he must set out. The Profound Orchid Empire was his ultimate destination, but before he went there, he still had one more thing to do, for pursuit of his other dream. Well, the dream he took on for Zha Ji: to try the famous Deng Yan Food of Ice Orchid City. This was the last thing he had to do.
After he settled his accounts, Nian Bing left the Orchid Fragrance Inn. When he passed the Orchid Fragrance restaurant, he clearly saw several more kinds of chicken wings on the signboard, just like the ones he had made on that day. He imagined that the chicken wings made by ordinary chefs were definitely not superior to his, but better in comparison to the originals.. This was just his little contribution to the city, and he hoped that the Deng Yan pastries would not disappoint.
While thinking, Nian Bing followed the road to the southern part of the city. The streets were still clamorous and busy, and all sorts of businesses littered the streets. When carts loaded with goods drew abreast of each other they blocked the traffic. Every time that happened, Ice Orchid City officials would come to help alleviate the situation; their actions were methodical and thorough. This trade city continued on steadily. Nian Bing watched everything around him and silently told himself that the next time he passed through Ice Orchid City into the Ice Moon Empire might be when he is headed to the Ice God’s Pagoda to get revenge for his parents.
With a smile, Nian Bing continued walking. He did not know how long he had walked for but when he discerned his position, he had already reached the beginning of the southern part of the city.
When Nian Bing arrived at the southern part of city, his breath was uneven. He really wanted to shout “I hate big cities, why do I have to walk so far?” Nian Bing asked someone on the road where the Deng Yan Food Mansion was exactly and found the road that took him to his destination.
The entryway was much better decorated than the Orchid Fragrance Restaurant, but it seemed to be an open air restaurant. There was a gigantic eye in the middle of the decorated entryway. The suspended oval eye was one meter in diameter and was very eye-catching. On either side of the giant eye were the the words “Deng” and “Yan”.
It really has character! was Nian Bing’s first feeling. After he passed through the large doors, the feeling intensified. This was the first time he had seen such a restaurant; what lay before him was a giant garden without any awnings. The tables were spread very far apart, and the tables with guests sitting at them had large pots on top of them. And no matter how many guests there were, there would be an attendant next to the table, staring. The gazes of all the guests were on the pot, really keeping in line with the words Deng Yan1. But why were they like that?
“Sir, have you come to eat Deng Yan food?” An attendant ran up to ask.
Nian Bing nodded and replied, “This is my first time coming here. Could you give me an introduction first?”
The attendant smiled and answered, “It is actually very simple. There is a special flavor inside our pots. We boil our soup stock for a very long time. When you eat it, it is diluted with boiled water, and then we add liver, intestine, stomach, lung, meat slices, tofu, cabbage, as well as some other top-grade items. The best is the abalone. Each pot has an abalone fish, and if you want, we can add another one as long as you can grab it. Then we boil the ingredients on the stove underneath. One silver coin allows you to put your chopsticks in the pot ten times, but you cannot leave them in the boiling water. Whatever you grab is what you eat. We provide a sesame seed cake and soup free of charge. If your luck is good, you can obviously eat more food. If your luck is not good, then it is possible you will only get to eat cabbage ten times.”
Nian Bing looked at the server in shock and asked, “This really is something new. Please get me a pot, I would like to try.” Following the server, he sat down at an empty table. In a short while, the server came out carrying a stove, then put a large pot on top and turned on the heat.
The soup in the pot appeared light brown in color. A burst of fragrance assailed his senses, and through the smell, Nian Bing could discern that there were medicinal products as a base. Was medicinal cuisine popular in Ice Moon right now?
The broth in the pot gradually came to a boil. Nian Bing picked up the sesame seed cake in his left hand and his chopsticks in his right. He carefully scrutinized all of the ingredients in the boiling broth. There was more of the broth and relatively less ingredients in it. The temperature of the stove was very high; no wonder it was eaten open-air. If it was indoors,it would be harder to resolve the problem of temperature with these many stoves. Deng Yan food seemed like it required him to keep his eyes wide open.
In terms of visual power and hand precision, it would hard for even a martial artist to be superior to Nian Bing. With a flick of his wrist, his chopsticks jabbed into the pot like lightning, and the singular, small abalone in the pot was pinched between his chopsticks. Not minding the server’s shocked expression, he blew on the steaming abalone and put into his mouth to chew.
The flavor was not as good as he imagined; it was barely passable. Nian Bing immediately determined that the reason Deng Yan Food could attract so many guests was mainly because it was new. If we were really talking about flavor, it could only be considered as old. The flavor of the medicinal herbs in the broth were not completely absorbed by the ingredients, and due to the fact that they were cooked in advance and that the heat control was standard, some of umami of the abalone was lost.
When Nian Bing had grabbed his eighth abalone and put it in his mouth, the attendant’s face had turned extremely ugly. No wonder it was called Deng Yan Food; he had long been staring with wide eyes, but he still could not see Nian Bing’s chopsticks clearly. How did he find the precious abalone from all of the other ingredients? It should be known that every time he put in an abalone, he would also stir the ingredients. Moreover, the abalone in the soup is extremely slippery and hard to grasp. However, it only took Nian Bing a moment to pick it up.
Fortunately, Nian Bing picked up a leaf of cabbage and a piece of red meat for his last two turns. If not, Deng Yan Food would’ve have turned into the Ten Abalone Feast. After drinking down a bowl of soup and eating the sesame seed cake, Nian Bing breathed in deeply and was relatively satisfied. He said to the server, “The flavor of the soup is better than the ingredients. The ingredients were originally pretty good; it’s just a pity that there is no heat control in this serving method, so naturally it would worsen. Let me give you some advice; the best thing to put in the soup is some ginger slices. Not only will it make the soup taste warmer, the flavor will also improve.”
After saying that, he took no notice of the server’s shocked gaze and put a silver coin on the table and stood to go.
Although the Deng Yan Food had not given Nian Bing too great of a surprise, he had some more comprehension of this kind of umami taste.
Leaving the city, Nian Bing took in a deep breath. Compared to the polluted air of the city, the air of the wilderness was much fresher. The sun hung high in the sky. At the present, it was close to noon. After trying the Deng Yan Foods, he was in extremely good spirits. With his destination as the capital of the Profound Orchid Empire, he set out.
When he was not far from the border of the Profound Orchid Empire, Nian Bing suddenly sensed a harsh, dense atmosphere. Silence fell on the surrounding forest; not even the birds made a noise.
What sort of situation could make him feel such a thing? He was slightly nervous and had already thought of a plan. An army; it could only be an army stationed nearby that would create such an environment. On ntop that, the army here must have gone through an iron and blood trial to be able to emit such killing intent. It seems that the borders of Profound Orchid and Ice Moon Empire are not as peaceful as imagined!
Just as he was thinking over this, he heard the sound of horse hooves. As the sound became clearer and clearer, Nian Bing could see a dust cloud materializing above the main road in the distance. The dust cloud traveled in a very straight line along the main road. Were these the cavalry soldiers? When he thought of cavalry, Nian Bing not only recalled that day from eight years ago—the first time he and his master went to Ice Snow City, the Silver Feather Cavalry had left a deep impression in his heart—but especially the auntie he had mistaken for his mother. She was so good-hearted, a really great mother!
The dust cloud approached. Nian Bing saw that this cavalry troop was lined up very neatly. In total, there were only ten riders, lined up in one line, each of them wearing identical black armor. Although it was not heavy armor, it looked like it was heavy. They made a mad rush at a high speed towards his location. The cavalry soldiers on their horses were each extremely lively and full of energy. They all did not wear helmets. The straight cloud of dust had risen up from the feet of their war horses. With all ten in a line, the cloud of dust was not disordered at all, so much so that each of the horses had exactly the same posture. It was obvious that this troop had trained for a very long time.
Nian Bing flashed to the side. He did not want to be misunderstood by this cavalry troop. Since the day he had left Ice and Snow City, he had told himself that he would not provoke trouble as much as possible. With less trouble, he would be better able to accomplish his goals.
If you did not provoke others, would others also not provoke you? Definitely not.
“Halt,” The head cavalryman shouted loudly, and the ten war horses’ front hooves simultaneously rose in the air then fell to the side. They who had been speeding along forcefully, stopped somewhere not far from Nian Bing. The head cavalry man had a head of fiery red hair and was much taller than Nian Bing. Because of his horse’s sudden stop, his armor rang resoundingly. He dismounted and walked up to Nian Bing.
“Little Brother, how far is it to Ice Orchid City?” The cavalryman’s tone was polite.
Nian Bing replied, “Not far. Along this road, with your speed, it will probably take less than an hour to get there.”
The cavalryman was suddenly somewhat suspicious when he saw Nian Bing’s gaze. “You came from that direction? Are you from the Ice Moon Empire?”
Nian Bing shook his head. He, of course, could not be certain of what the man was getting at, but there were not many people in the Ice Moon Empire who had golden hair. “No, I am from the Harmonic Flower Empire. If there is nothing else, I will continue on my way.”
When he heard the words Harmonic Flower Empire, there was a change in the cavalryman’s face. “Harmonic Flower Empire? Then you do not need to walk any further; you will come with us to Ice Orchid City.”
Nian Bing was slightly dumbfounded. He asked, “Why?”
The cavalryman snorted coldly and said, “I am the captain of the Ice Moon Empire Steel Blood Cavalry Troop, Ao Mu. Right now, the Harmonic Flower Empire and Qi Lu Empire have formed an alliance and have sneaked an attack against the Profound Orchid Empire. We are returning to the Empire to report this news. At this time, you suddenly appeared so close to our two countries’ borders and are from the Harmonic Flower Empire. You must come with us to return. If we find out that you have no relation, then we will let you go.”
- 瞪眼 means stare ↩