The Secret of the Phoenix Clan
Seeing his clansmen’s look, Jin Ni said coldly, “Could it be you have forgotten Lord Dragon’s orders? Without his permission, no one can enter the Fire Dragon Cave.”
“But, what will we do if those humans wake up Lord Dragon from his slumber? He might blame us.”
Jin Ni’s eyes flashed with a cold life. “If they’re smart, they won’t do that. What’s more, they have a Phoenix Clan’s clan member with them; she wouldn’t allow them. You will bring a hundred people to the mountain peak. If they try to leave through there, you know what to do. Although there are two entrances to the Fire Dragon Cave, they won’t have a chance. We’ll just let them die here. Just see who long they can last. If they really wake up Lord Dragon, then I will grieve for them. Even if Lord Dragon blames us, it won’t be too serious. We can just prepare more of his favorite snow fish jerky to please him.”
“No good, Elder. Our seriously injured brothers almost died,” reported a Fire Dragon Person running in.
“What? How’s that possible? They were heavy wounds, but they can still recover from them. They can’t die.” Jin Ni got to his feet which disturbed his wound, and his expression turned ugly.
“Elder, it’s poison. It seems they were injected with a poison extremely toxic to Dragon People. Our brothers are turning black and dying. It must be that woman from the Phoenix Clan. Her sword must have been covered in poison.”
Jin Ni shook all over. Though they were opponents, he had a good impression of Feng Nu. Not because of Feng Nu’s beauty, but because she had been lenient when they fought. Even at the very end, when she was extremely angry, she didn’t kill anyone.
“No, it’s definitely not her. In her state of the Phoenix Body Transformation she wouldn’t need poison to kill us. Let’s go, bring me there.” Jin Ni followed the clansmen into the forest. He wasn’t paying attention, but the instant he entered the forest a indiscernible black figure disappeared into the cave.
After some time, the hearts of the mercenaries gradually settled. Li De, Feng Yun, and Long Ling took out food and water for everyone from their space rings, then took a detailed inventory. All thirty-nine people except for Long Ling, Li De, and Feng Yun received wounds, twenty-three of them had serious wounds. The majority could only manage to move, but luckily no one died.
Nian Bing and Feng Nu rejoined the rest of the group. With Long Ling’s help, he treated his wounded shoulder. Li De used half a day’s worth of accreted magic power to cast a rank 7 water healing spell, which lessened Nian Bing’s pain. However, the most it could do was knit the open wound closed; the shattered bone and meridians remained unfixed. But in their current situation, in this cave, there was nothing they could do.
Nian Bing told Feng Nu’s speculations about going deeper cave to Ka Luo, Jia Te Lin, Hua Rui, and Li De. When they heard about the possibility of escape, everyone got excited.
Ka Luo asked hesitantly, “Nian Bing, what if we took that bottle? After all that’s the thing the employer wants and we’re already here–”
Nian Bing cut off Ka Luo and said tersely, “We have no time for that. You still care about that? Leaving with our lives is the most fortunate thing that could happen for us. We can only live if you abandon all covetous thoughts. Could it be that those objects are more important than our lives?”
Ka Luo sighed and nodded. “All right. This is how it is, I’ll stop my subordinates.”
Nian Bing frowned. From Ka Luo’s tone he couldn’t sense any resoluteness. He was already here and still having these thoughts? At the moment, for the first time he felt that it was reasonable that the mercenary association was regarded as low-tier.
“If someone has any plans on making moves on items, I won’t be polite. In order to survive, I do not mind killing anyone.” Feng Nu carried her Heavenly Flame Sword as she walked over slowly. Her shivering disappeared; Nian Bing’s True Sun Knife was secured in her chest. With the Flame God’s Roar, after a short period of rest she had recovered most of her qi.
With Feng Nu’s appearance, Ka Luo’s expression immediately became somewhat embarrassed. “Miss Feng Nu, please do not misunderstand. I’ll definitely restrain my subordinates; this you do not need to worry about. We don’t want to be buried here!”
Feng Nu nodded. “That’s good, for everyone’s life.”
After a discussion, everyone agreed on resting for several days, at least until their injuries had recovered a bit. Anyways, they had plenty of food and water. It would be easier to escape alive if they were in better condition.
Because of Nian Bing’s heavy wound, Zi Qing Meng replaced him as the mercenary group’s chef. However, she couldn’t produce fire so Nian Bing had to help. The sky outside was dark, for the mercenaries, dinner was their greatest enjoyment.
Nian Bing drew Zi Qing Meng away to a deeper part of the cave, to what look liked a rock room. Nian Bing smiled bitterly. “There is nothing to burn here, so we can only use magic. Miss Zi, I’ll be troubling you.”
Zi Qing Meng sighed. “There’s no trouble. We’ve survived till now; let’s get out of here alive first before speaking.” While speaking, she stabbed several warriors’ swords into the ground. Nian Bing took out his iron pot from his space ring , and Zi Qing Meng balanced it on top of the swords. Nian Bing took out a board and laid it on the ground, then many ingredients and seasonings. It turned into a simple kitchen.
“Miss Zi, be honest. Do you regret coming with me and the mercenaries’ expedition?”
Zi QIng Meng gave Nian Bing a look. “If I said no, I would definitely be lying. But there is no use for regret. We have to leave here first of all. And no need to call me Miss Zi; call me Qing Meng. Didn’t you say that we were always friends?”
Nian Bing felt somewhat overwhelmed. “How rare! Normally I never see you be polite.”
Zi Qing Meng snorted. “I really hate your arrogance and fickleness.”
“Arrogance? Me? Fickle? Those aren’t words to describe me.” Nian Bing was trying his hardest to forget about the wound in his right arm as his words were light, like they weren’t in a critical situation.
“What do you mean you have none? Before you came to the college, I was always the youngest, the most talented chef. But when you came you sent everything into disorder. Your culinary skills could even defeat Uncle’s. Although you’re always smiling, you can’t conceal your arrogance. As for fickle, did you see how you have two girls? Isn’t that fickle?”
Nian Bing shook his head helplessly and sat down next to the iron pot. “Think what you like. Today you’re the main chef. I believe that the food you will make will definitely be good. Everybody’s injured, so you should make easily digestible noodles. I have a sack of flour here; I’ll let you prepare it.”
Zi Qing Meng watched nian Bing take out a sack of flour from his space ring. She couldn’t hide her smile. “You mages are full of disadvantages, but sometimes you have advantages mercenaries cannot compare in. Let’s work together. It’s so sad that you’re injured, otherwise you could have used Separating Tendons and Bones as the Hand Wishes. Then we definitely could make delicious noodles.”
Nian Bing’s expression was dark. “Even if my wound was cured, I don’t know if I could use As the Hand Wishes. RIght now, I have no feeling in my right shoulder. Do you think I could still knead dough?”
Zi QIng Meng said dimly, “Sorry, I…”
Nian Bing shook his head. “A real man can raise it up and put it down. Everything is like that. Relax, I’m fine. Let’s begin, so everyone won’t wait too long.”
Although everything in the cave was simple and crude, Nian Bing had prepared very thoroughly and worked very well for their purposes. Nian Bing leaned against the wall. Now that he couldn’t move, watching other people make food was an enjoyment for him. He cast a low-rank fireball to light up the cave and watched Zi Qing Meng expertly knead the dough. Her movements were just like Zi Xiu’s during their competition, but the level of familiarity and strength of her grip were much worse.
“Qing Meng, did you learn the Heavy Eagle Hand?” Nian Bing asked with interest.
Zi QIng Meng nodded. “It’s one of the top techniques in the culinary world; of course I learned it. Sadly, Uncle said I’m a woman, so I naturally have a problem with executing the Heavy Eagle Hand because of poor grip. So even though I practiced it for a long time, I can’t capture its essence.”
Nian Bing smiled. “It’s good for a girl to learn cooking. You’ll definitely marry a good man in the future.”
Zi Qing Meng blushed. “You really aren’t honest with your words. Rest for a moment. I’lll call you when I need to boil the water.”
Nian Bing answered, “En!” and closed his eyes. He kept up his flame spell while entering meditation. His body was really too weak.
Soon the kneading was complete. Zi Qing Meng made the noodles very simply; she kneaded the dough into a ball, then used her knife to cut it. Previously, Nian Bing had put a big block of ice into his pot. In order to save magic power, he didn’t use a flame spell to melt it and instead let it just melt with time.
Zi Qing Meng put the dough on the kneading board, her eyes turning to Nian Bing. She was about to ask him to start a fire but found him breathing very evenly like he was asleep. The present Nian Bing looked as handsome as ever. His weakness didn ot affect his personality, but instead gave him an air of melancholy. Zi Qing Meng’s heart clenched and she sighed lightly, but she could not bring herself to wake him up. Looking around, she suddenly had a brilliant idea. She used the weapons she brought before to create a framework around Nian Bing’s flame spell and placed a small pot on top. She had created a makeshift stove.
Zi Qing Meng giggled and thought, This is a very interesting stove! Without much hesitation, she put oil and the dough and started to stew it. As she added ingredients, the pungent aroma filled the entire cave. Not long later, Zi Qing Meng felt very pleased. It seemed that her culinary skills didn’t decline in the least.
From the pot she scooped out some of the melted ice water to thoroughly wash her knife. In the battle before, her knife had been soaked through with blood. Right now she couldn’t help but smile bitterly. A kitchen knife wasn’t meant to be used as a weapon. Fortunately, they were in a time of crisis. If not she wondered what people would think of her using a knife to prepare food that she used to cut people.
“Smells good, smells really good,” said someone behind her, frightening Zi Qing Meng. She turned around to look, but did not see anyone. Everything was the same as before.
“Hmph, so you want to scare me.” She walked over to Nian Bing and lightly kicked his leg. “Hey, quit pretending. I know you’re awake.”
Nian Bing awoke from his meditation. He had felt really tired after entering his meditative state, so much so that he actually fell asleep. Fortunately, he was still able to keep up the flame spell and didn’t extinguish it. Rubbing his eyes, he said, “You finished kneading the dough? Then you should start stewing it.”
“Stop it with the faking. You suddenly spoke and scared me. Don’t you know you scared the life out of me?” Zi Qing Meng looked at him with dissatisfaction.
“Me? I didn’t say anything. You definitely were hearing things,” Nian Bing said, mystified.
Zi Qing Meng frowned. “There’s no one here except you and me. If it wasn’t you, then was I talking to a ghost?”
Nian Bing said helplessly, “You really heard my voice?”
Zi Qing Meng thought about it. “It was you using a funny voice to scare me. It seemed to be a lot rougher than your normal voice.”
Nian Bing shook his head. “All right, let’s just take it as me scaring you. Hurry up and make food. Ah, you stewed it well. It smells really good, this is true stewed eggplant noodles. Really good. If I make it, I might not be able to make it at your level!”
At Nian Bing’s praise, Zi Qing Meng couldn’t help but forget her previous displeasure. Smiling, she said, “Stop it you. Heat the water; let’s cook some noodles.”
With Nian Bing’s a help, the pot of noodles were made well. Without eating them, you could smell the drool worthy aroma. Zi Qing Meng was only a swordmaster level warrior, but carrying the big and small pots were no problem for her. The two people traveled back the way they came to deliver the mercenaries’ food.