46.1 The Beginning of War
Nian Bing frowned. “But I know nothing at all about a war. From what you said, it seems that it hasn’t been long since war broke out. I’ve always been in the Ice Moon Empire, so how could I know anything? I am definitely not a spy as you imagined.”
“Is that so? But not matter what, it’s better to wrongfully kill a thousand than to let one get away. We can talk again when we get to Ice Orchid City. If we discover that you truly aren’t a spy, then we won’t make any more trouble for you.”
Nian Bing replied coolly, “Go back with you? Let you take custody of me? Sorry, I have things that I need to do. If you insist on bringing me with you, please take a look at this first.” While saying this, he raised his right hand showing the badge with the emblem of the Mage Association on it.
When the cavalryman saw the badge that Nian Bing had taken out, he could not help but be dumbfounded. “A mage? You are a mage?”
Nian Bing said, “That is correct. I am a mage from the Ice Moon Empire Mage Association. I think that this badge is representative of that.”
The cavalry man hesitated for a moment, but shook his head. “We have left the empire for some time. Who knows where your badge could have come from. Please return with us; if we can confirm that this badge is real then we can speak again.”
Nian Bing’s eyes grew cold. “So you’re saying that you absolutely have to bring me back to Ice Orchid City? The dignity of a mage is not so easily trampled upon. I’m sorry, I cannot return with you.”
The cavalry soldier smiled. “A mage? You’re merely a mage from the Mage Association. Do you think that your identity is so noble? That might be so in other countries, but in the Ice Moon Empire, your Mage Association is just a minor power. Unless you have the insignia of the Ice God’s Pagoda, even if your president was here, you would still need to come back with us.”
When he heard this, Nian Bing finally understood why Long Zhi would compromise with him. The Ice Moon Empire Mage Association had such a low status that even a cavalry troop captain would hold them in disdain. How could distinguished people keep a good attitude towards the Association? Actually, it was also partially the cavalryman’s fault for not looking clearly. If he knew that the emblem in Nian Bing’s hands was the badge of an elder, he wouldn’t talk so exaggeratedly. An elder meant that they were a magic scholar. He was only a swordmaster; if he were to challenge a magic scholar, wouldn’t he be seeking death?
“Humiliating a mage is a shameful action; you will now pay the price.” For the first time, Nian Bing took out both the Morning Dew Knife and the True Sun Knife and flipped their handles. Right now, the two unique, godly blades were showing their secondary effect, so they really should be called the Ice Goddess’ Sigh and the Flame God’s Roar.
The cavalry man snorted coldly and stomped his foot. Although he wore armor, he wasn’t slow in the slightest and reached out directly for Nian BIng.
A fireball the size of a fist was sent out from the Flame God’s Roar. The light of the fire flickered and headed directly towards the cavalry man’s hand. Instantly casting a rank 1 spell wasn’t hard for Nian Bing at all, but a rank 1 spell could n’t break the cavalry soldier’s defense. However, could Nian Bing’s attack be so simple? The answer is of course not. When the fireball appeared, the Ice Goddess’ Sigh held in his left hand also created an ice cone. Due to its external form, the ice cone was well suited for aerial attacks. It followed behind the fireball; when the fireball came in contact with the man’s hand, they collided together.
“Boom–” The sound of a large explosion was followed by a blood-curdling shriek. The cavalry man who had thought himself victorious had just lost his right hand, together with its armor due to the explosion. His hand had turned into ashes in the air. The baptism of ice and fire had forced him to take several step backwards until he fell on his butt onto the ground, twitching all over.
These days, Nian Bing had mostly come in contact with martial artists. He had always wondered how he could face off against warriors who specialized in close combat. Of course, magic scrolls were the best choice, but they were limited. There would be a day when he lost the protection of his magic scrolls, then what? So he started to do some research into magic. Since the day he had left Ice and Snow City, he had thought of a good strategy: to take advantage of the Ice and Fire Source to its fullest. The Ice and Fire Source is founded on the balance between ice and fire. To fully use the two opposite magics, he needed to use equal energy in creating explosive power. This, he understood deeply. So when trying to fully employ the Ice and Fire Source, balancing the two magics’ strength was his greatest headache. After he separated from Mao Mao, Nian Bing had suddenly thought of something. Does magic need to be of a higher rank in order to display greater strength? No, that was definitely not true. Since he possessed the special abilities of the Ice and Fire Source, if he could demonstrate even the ability of low rank magic, the effects would be similar to a high rank magic.
From that day on, Nian Bing had continued to experiment. Through experimentation, he discovered that low ranked magic with effects like the Ice and Fire Source was much easier than using high ranked spells. Especially right now, with him using the Ice Goddess’ Sigh and the Flame God’s Roar, he only needed to use a single rank 1 spell each while still keeping the balance. When the two rank 1 spells collide, they could produce a power that wasn’t inferior to the rank 3 explosive flame spell. This kind of explosion was not much to a martial arts expert, but for a swordmaster it was more than enough, especially for an opponent who was making light of him.
The scariest thing was that after Nian Bing had succeeded with his research, he started to ponder over what Long Zhi had said to him about the special characteristics of ice and fire. It was just like when he was cooking; he needed to bring out the flavors of the food. The Ice and Fire Magic Source also needed the innate characteristics of ice and fire to be brought out before it would possess the true might of the Ice and Fire source.
When Mao Mao’s father Xi La De had given him advice, Nian Bing was enlightened. He no longer pursued extensive magic, but rather brought out smaller magic. If he could do it at a smaller scale and still be able to fully bring out the strength of his Ice and Fire magic, then large spells would have a much more explosive might.
That day, Nian Bing’s first sacrificial victim for his research was Ru Yi. In order to hide his identity, Nian Bing had only used ice magic. If he had been the same as before, his snowstorm would only be enough to trouble Ru Yi and definitely wouldn’t have been fatal. But on that day, he was different from his past self. The snowstorm had been full of the ice element’s special characteristics; the strongest ice attribute ability was shown when he directly inserted the cold poison into Ru Yi’s body, nearly claiming her life.
Today was Nian Bing’s first time testing out his rank 1 Ice and Fire Source after he started his research. The explosive strength was enough to obliterate the cavalry soldier’s hand. In the next instant, the two streams of ice and fire energy had entered the man’s body under the force of Nian Bing’s spiritual power. No matter whether it was ice first and fire second or if it were fire first and ice second, the feeling would definitely not be pleasant. The two extreme energies fusing together was much scarier than one of them. Right now, the captain’s body was being permeated with both fire and ice poisons. Although it had only exploded off one hand, he had lost his ability to battle. In this first attack, Nian Bing had finally stepped through the gateway of Ice and Fire Source Magic.
When they saw the wounds of their captain, the other nine cavalrymen rushed forward. Although they did not have the strength of a swordmaster, as one of the trump cards of the Ice Moon Empire, the soldiers of the Iron Blood Cavalry Troop possessed the ability of advanced warriors. Especially with their cooperation, tempered through years of practice, they had gained silent understanding of one another. Their nine swords simultaneously attacked Nian Bing. Although they weren’t at the level where they could emit qi, the synchronized attack of nine advanced warriors and their silent communications of their troop, could even make a great swordmaster helpless for a short time.
Sadly, the advanced warriors were not up against another warrior. A fight between warriors couldn’t be compared with a fight between a mage and a warrior.
The amount of magic power that a rank 1 spell consumed was extremely little for an advanced mage. At the same time, it’s biggest advantage was that it could be cast successively as it did not need a chant. Tens of fireballs shot out like bullets after receiving amplification from the Flame God’s Roar. Nian Bing used this top-class flame attributed stone, not to cut down on magic power consumption, but rather to condense the magic much more strongly and increase the attack strength to fully bring out its power.
Just as a rank 1 fireball spell would be useless in the face of the swordmaster captain, the fireballs would be also be just as useless in the face of these advanced warriors. However, when there was an ice cone following the rank 1 fireball, everything would change.
As the creator of the technique, Nian Bing clearly grasped every variation of the fireball and ice cone. If it were a person who didn’t understand magic, they would probably think that an Ice and Fire Magic Source Mage at most would be equivalent to a similarly ranked ice mage combined with a similarly ranked fire mage, but that simply wasn’t true.
When an ice mage encounters a fire mage, what would happen if each of them used the same amount of magic power to produce rank 1 spells that came in contact with one another? It was very simple; the two spells, because they were opposites, would cancel out. The special thing about Ice and Fire Source Mages is that for them, they could produce a change in this kind of situation. With spiritual power control, he could cause them to undergo a change. Right now, Nian Bing did just that and caused destruction.
The sound of tens of explosions were followed by countless clouds of dusts. The warhorses were startled and darted to the side. It was hard to accept, but these warhorses who had been trained for so long were of very high caliber. Although they had been startled, they still didn’t run far. It was just a shame that their owners could no longer ride them. Blood and mangled limbs painted a wretched scene. None of them would ever see the sun rise again.
Nian Bing closed his eyes. He had never been afraid to kill people. Since the first time he had used ice and fire magic to kill Third Manager Liao, killing people was a liberating process. However, the scene before him was too bloody. Although he hadn’t planned to leave any survivors when he took out the two unique, divine blades, his heart was currently heavy.
He turned to the distorted face of someone who didn’t know why his body hurt so much or how his companions died and said coolly, “Did you need to force me? Right now, do you still believe that mages are trash? Do you still look down on the Ice Moon Empire Mage Association?”
“N-no, are y-you a demon?” As the captain of a cavalry troop, his heart wasn’t weak, but he was unable to understand what had just happened that made his nine companions lose their lives.
“Yes, I am a demon. Towards the people I hate, I am a demon. They died, and you are their captain. They still need you to lead them in hell. Good bye.” While speaking, his line of sight travelled along the road. At the moment, maybe because it was noon or because of the intense atmosphere, there weren’t any passerbys on the road.
The red fireballs and the blue ice cones plummeted from the sky, exploding at the same time as they took the final life. Nian Bing didn’t linger and rose in the air on a snowstorm, heading for a distant place. Nian Bing discovered that killing people had become even easier for him. It seemed that the identity of the Magic Reaper had gradually invaded his personality. This time, in terms of his magic research it had no doubt been a success. And in terms of something that affected his freedom, he definitely wouldn’t be lenient. However, he did n’t know that because of his actions now, the Ice Moon Empire learned of the war several days late, making the losses of the Profound Orchid Empire disastrous. As such, a deep rift formed between the two countries’s good relationship.
Flying in the air, Nian Bing worked hard to recall the scenes where he had killed people before. The first time was with Third Mangera Liao. Third Manager Liao was completely suppressed by his magic. He didn’t care at all, but the scene of blood and flesh splattering had left a deep impression on him. He was also a normal person. A feeling of melancholy gripped his chest. Resisting the ill feeling, Nian Bing turned his thoughts to the uses of magic.
The true Ice and Fire Magic Source was able to show such a good effect because of their special characteristics However, if he didn’t take out his two unique, divine blades, without the Flame God’s Roar and the Ice Goddess’ Sigh, he couldn’t bring out its full potential. With his understanding of fire and ice magic, the two precious stones true strength was gradually showing. Their biggest advantage was that using the same amount of magic power, they could produce a totally different strength. This was more reflected with higher ranked spells. The two precious stones seemed as if they could absorb the magic element from the air, as if their energy was limitless. Especially now that they were imbedded in the knife, it felt like they had been able to do it more strongly.