52.1 Feng Nu, Almost a Martial Saint
Martial saint? Martial saints and magisters corresponded with one another. When he heard what Zi Qing Jian said, Nian Bing was dumbstruck as he himself hadn’t even reached the realm of a magic scholar. Furthermore, Feng Nu was already close to achieving the martial saint realm, equal to a magister. Holy qi. God, it was just laughable, that he actually was thinking about stopping her from battling. This was just him misunderstanding his own strength. With her qi cultivation, he couldn’t even dodge her attack with his snowstorm! His heart was thrown into confusion. The pair on the stage were already fiercely fighting and vanished. He was about to ask about it when he suddenly heard two piercing sounds, like qi slicing through the air.
Two figures floated down onto the earthen stage. Zi Meng still looked the same as before, but Feng Nu’s face was obviously much paler. Her qi, around her body, was the color of flames. It looked as if her clothes and pink hair were in disarray. Her ample chest was heaving. She saw Zi Meng’s eyes flash. Silence, an eerie silence befell the entire mall.
“I lost,” Feng Nu said calmly.
Zi Meng smiled slightly and replied, “Although I am on the upswing, victory has not been decided. You still have a chance to draw.”
Feng Nu shook her head and responded, “No, I was using the Heavenly Flame Sword to force myself to be your equal. If you had a weapon, I would have lost long before. Instead of saying it would be a draw, it would be more of a mutual destruction. I will try again one day.”
Zi Meng smiled. “There is no need for you return Ten years from now, your martial arts will surpass mine. Your seniors have finally raised someone with an innate Nine Flames Body. However, your weak points lie in not able to temper your personality. If you can stay indifferent to any humiliation and go with the flow, then even if I had a weapon, beating you wouldn’t be easy. After you go back, tell them, the bet from that year is my loss. If there is a chance, have them come find me for a drink. I will have Zi Xiu personally cook for them. I haven’t seen them for many years. How are they doing?”
Feng Nu’s eyes gleamed with respect “The elders are doing very well. Many thanks to senior for the pointers and fighting with this junior. Feng Nu has learned a lot.”
Zi Meng smiled. “If you wish, you may remain at the college to train. I could teach you some things.”
Her eyes flashed, and she shook her head. “Thank you for the offer, but I have other things I need to do. I have to leave as soon as possible.”
Zi Meng replied, “That’s fine. Remember to speak well of me to your seniors.”
Feng Nu nodded .and just as she was about to jump down from the platform, a silhouette flashed. The aura of magic suddenly concentrated around the earthen stage. Nian Bing had flown onto it. “Feng Nu, can you wait a moment before you leave?”
Feng Nu’s mind went blank. “Nian Bing, you…”
Nian Bing grinned. “I haven’t seen you for months, and I want to make you something to eat. A meal shouldn’t waste too much of your time.”
“Okay! I haven’t eaten any tasty food in days.” Looking at Nian Bing again, her heart was happy. This time, she had already shown Nian Bing her full strength. She thought that Nian Bing might have resented her for that, but it seemed that he was not unsatisfied at all.
Nian Bing turned to look at Zi Meng and said respectfully, “President, many thanks for your pointer that day. I have gained a lot from that. Today, I have a matter I would like to trouble you with.”
Zi Meng chuckled and replied, “Lad, for you to be so young and to have reached such heights as an Ice and Fire Mage, your future prospects are limitless. Go ahead and ask.”
Nian Bing’s eyes gleamed. He asked seriously, “I want to ask you to preside over a competition. There is someone I want to challenge.”
“Challenge?” Zi Meng was stunned for a moment. “Who is it you want to challenge?”
Nian Bing smiled lightly and replied, “I would like to challenge the chairman of the culinary faculty, Senior Camel Chef Zi Xiu. I hope you will agree.”
Zi Meng laughed. “I heard from Zi Xiu that you are the successor of the Demon Chef. However, even if you were to win against Zi Xiu, what would be the meaning in that? Wouldn’t it be better to exchange pointers with one another? There’s no need to have such a serious challenge.”
Nian Bing shook his head. “No, this is very important to me. Senior Zi Xiu said that if I could beat him, he would tell me something.”
Zi Meng’s eyes shone in surprise. At the moment, Camel Chef Zi Xiu bounded forward and walked onto the platform. “Boy, you really want to challenge me? I did say that you needed to win against my two disciples first before you had the right to challenge me.”
Nian Bing said calmly, “Senior Zi Xiu, that isn’t a problem. With my skills, Big Bro Qing Jian and Miss Qing Meng cannot beat me. This, I am confident of.”
Zi Xiu hehe’d. “What’s the source of your confidence?”
Nian Bing raised his head and looked straight at him. In a level voice, he answered, “Magic.”
“Magic?” Zi Xiu looked at Nian Bing with surprise. Nian Bing nodded his head and confirmed his answer, “It’s magic.”
Zi Xiu sank into deep thought. After a long while, he said, “So what you mean to say is that you want integrate magic into cooking? Where did Zha Ji that old fellow fall down from?!”
Nian Bing said, “Currently, I should have the qualifications to challenge you. Integrating magic and cooking is my greatest advantage. Most likely, I’m far from you in terms of heat control, but using the special properties of magic, I can make things that you would never be able to. Thus, I am confident in myself.”
Camel Chef Zi Xiu turned to Zi Meng. “Big Brother, will you approve his challenge? I want to see how much of Zha Ji’s skills he’s learned. Nian Bing, I’ll wait for you in the college’s restaurant.” His tone dropped and he jumped gracefully. Green qi granted him instant speed as he flitted over the tops the student body’s heads. By just touching the ground a few times, he had already disappeared from sight. Although he wasn’t a martial saint like his brother, his martial arts had reached the realm of a martial master.
Zi Meng’s gaze was profound as he looked at Nian Bing and suddenly broke into a smile. “It’s been a long time since I saw Little Brother Xiu so serious. Youngster, work hard! I hope to try your magic-infused delicacies. Old Hei, please come with us, as well as Miss Feng.”
Nian Bing, Zi Meng, Feng Nu, as well as Zi Qing Jian and his younger sister, and Magic Scholar Hei Ye left the college together. They went to the restaurant where Nian Bing had been taken to by Li San. Although the students wanted to see the battle of dragons and tigers, the restaurant was only so big. Additionally, Zi Meng’s strict orders did not let anyone to skip class so they could only sigh helplessly.
Nian Bing smiled, and his heart was resolute. It was Feng Nu’s challenge to Zi Meng that had roused his desire to win. He knew very clearly that even though Feng Nu challenged Zi Meng, she knew for sure that she wasn’t his opponent. However, she didn’t shrink bank, instead bringing out her full strength against Zi Meng.
And in his challenge against Zi Xiu, he had somewhat of a chance of victory. Why would he wait? He had already delayed quite some time in the college, and the date of the Rising Mage Tournament was quickly approaching. In these three months, he finally found some of the secrets to truly fusing his Ice and Fire Source. He only had to go to Profound Orchid City to complete the task Luo Rou entrusted to him before he could cultivate in peace. A place like the college wasn’t suitable for him as he was used to a free lifestyle. Any sort of restriction made him uncomfortable. So, Nian Bing chose to challenge Zi Xiu in front of the principal, Zi Meng.
When they arrived at the restaurant, Zi Xiu had already changed into his chef attire. He looked at Nian Bing. “Boy, you choose the competition method, lest you say that the old was bullying the young.”
Nian Bing smiled and said, “It said that in the battle, it’s about the quality of the soldier, not the quantity. Our culinary skills must also be used as such. You and I will compete in one dish, our specialty dishes. If everyone here would be the judge and decided the victor. I hope that you will not forget what was said earlier. If I win, you must tell me who my master’s enemy is.”
Zi Xiu snorted and said, “You, boy, are full of confidence! When I became famous, you weren’t even born.”
Nian Bing laughed. “Senior Zi Xiu, are you scared?”
Zi Xiu’s heart shook. Yes, when he saw the youngster full of confidence before them, why would his confidence disappear? A light flashed in his eyes, and his lost posturing returned. “I will give you an hour to choose the ingredients you need. After an hour, we will determine the victor. I want to see the best dish you can make and how you much of your master’s teachings you have learnt.”
Nian Bing nodded and replied, “Okay. This junior also wants to ask advice from the Camel Chef God.”
Feng Nu walked up to Nian Bing and grinned. “Do you need my help?”
Nian Bing shook his head. “No, just wait for the food. After leaving Master, I haven’t put my all into making a dish. Today I will have you try my Ice and Fire Banquet. I believe that I will definitely win.”
Zi Xiu said, “Nian BIng, I won’t take you lightly. Little Meng, you’re responsible for preparing my ingredients. Qing Jian, you help with Nian Bing’s. No matter what he needs, as long as it can be bought in the city, bring it to him.”
Zi Qing Jian stood by Nian Bing. “Brother, what ingredients do you need?”
Nian Bing laughed. He told him to fetch him a paper and pen and wrote down in detail the things he needed and passed the paper to Zi Qing Jian. Zi Qing Jian skimmed over the paper and immediately went to go buy the items. Zi Meng and Zi Xiu were chatting to the side. Hei Ye was also at the side with his eyes shut, perhaps meditating or dozing off. It was in the afternoon, and not many people were in the restaurant where a showdown at the pinnacle of the culinary realm was about to unfold.
“Feng Nu, weren’t you going the Lang Mu Empire? Why did you come here to challenge Principal Zi Meng?” Nian Bing asked quietly.
Feng Nu looked at him and said, “I finished my business there. I was going to travel the continent and challenge experts to improve my own martial arts. And you? Why did you come here?”
Nian Bing said, “I was originally planning on going to Profound Orchid City, but I heard that the Profound Orchid Empire was at war with the Harmonic Flower and the Qi Lu Empire so I came here first. I haven’t seen you for many months; you seemed to have become more beautiful.”
When she saw Nian Bing grin, Feng Nu’s face flushed a pretty red. “When did you learn to be such a smooth-talker. The war ended a month ago. The empires were just posturing, however I heard that the Profound Orchid Empire took significant losses. Several cities had been plundered. In the end, it was not until the Ice Moon Empire’s Ice God Pagoda’s mages and the trump card of the empire, the cavalry, came was the battle finally ended. The Profound Orchid Empire wanted to revenge, but the Harmonic Flower and Qi Lu Empires had already retreated back behind their borders and are assembling a large military force. Because the border cities were plundered, the Profound Orchid Empire’s resources haven’t been able to keep up. Ice Moon Empire also mobilized a force, but in the end nothing could be resolved. However, this time the war seems to indicate that the continent will no longer be peaceful.”
Nian Bing spoke with suspicion, “Then what about the Lang Mu Empire? Didn’t they participate in the fight? According to what I heard, the Lang Mu Empire has a bad relationship with the Harmonic Flower Empire. The two countries share a border; wouldn’t this be a good opportunity for them to exploit? If the three great empires combined their strength, they would be able to defeat the Harmonic Flower and Qi Lu Empire.
Feng Nu’s eyes glowed. “How could it be that simple? The Harmonic Flower Empire’s strength is much greater than you imagine. They have countless experts. Though they were the aggressors against Profound Orchid, their Flame Lion Cavalry were stationed at the border with the Lang Mu Empire. The Lang Mu Empire tried to attack, but it’s no wonder Flame Lions are the number one cavalry team. Not only did they easily defend the country’s border, they managed to make the Lang Mu Empire eat not just a small loss. For now, the war has temporarily stopped. For the time being, there shouldn’t be any fighting. As for what will happen in the future, that’s hard to say. Nian Bing, are you really certain about beating the Camel Chef?”
Nian Bing smiled bitterly and shook his head. He said seriously, “How could I be certain? The Camel Chef God has been famed for over thirty years and is ranked third out of the Five Chef Gods. My knowledge of Senior Zi Xiu is limited to master’s description, which was from twenty years ago. Heaven knows what kind of new discoveries Senior Zi Xiu has made. I can only try my hardest. My advantage is magic, and my chance of victory is only fifty-fifty. However, I have a way to increase my winning chances, which depends on you helping me or not.”
Feng Nu stared blankly and asked doubtfully, “Me? What can I help you with? You know that I can only cook congee. I’ll just trouble you.”
Nian Bing was still as serious before. “No, you can help me a lot! As a good chef, whether my mood is good and bad can determine whether I can completely bring out my culinary skill. If you help me, I can throw myself into cooking. A cheerful mood will naturally produce a more delicious food. I just don’t know if you want to help or not.”
Feng Nu smiled, “This is related to the whereabouts of your enemy’s master, so no matter what you say, I will definitely help you.”