Chapter 8.2 – True Sun Knife
The fish fell to the ground and bounced around in disarray, struggling to look for a way to survive. However, the fish had already departed from the water. How could they possibly continue to live without it?
Nian Bing quickly threw himself in front of the desk chair, closely grabbing Zha Ji’s hand. He felt his own hand tremble along with his heart.
Zha Ji’s hand was already somewhat cold. Nian Bing’s stomach lurched. He moved his trembling finger underneath Zha Ji’s nose and waited, hoping. But alas, fate is cruel. everything was so cruel, All of his hopes had turned into soap bubbles. Zha Ji had passed away. With a satisfied smile, he had passed away.
Tears uncontrollably poured down. Nian Bing felt extreme sorrow from within his heart and had even went as far as to cry without a sound; his body continuously shook. Scenes from the past continuously flashed throughout his mind; Zha Ji had saved him and brought him to Peach Blossom Forest, giving his all to instruct him. These past years, Zha Ji was exactly like Nian Bing’s own father, caring for him in every possible way. Eight years, why only these short eight years? Master! Nian Bing is still waiting for you to see his journey to the peak of culinary skill! How could you possibly pass away? Don’t tell me that you didn’t wish to see Nian Bing become the greatest chef? Master, why did you die? Why?
Nian Bing’s heart bled. Apart from that time at the Ice God’s Pagoda, this was the most sorrowful hour of his life. As he lowered his head, tears fell to the ground. He finally looked at the True Sun Knife. A faint warmth flowed, wandering through the blade. It was his master’s truest love. He noticed a few small slanted words had been carved into the ground, “Nian Bing, Master fears that he cannot wait for your fish soup. In fact, soon after my hands’ tendons were severed, my heart had already died. As a chef, being unable to use your own hands to put out your most brilliant dishes is something even more painful than dying. The reason why I was alive, struggling at death’s door, was because I did not wish to let the entirety of my skill follow me as I passed. Nian Bing, Master is selfish. Here, I want to say that I am sorry. Master had passed. However, Master had left his skills behind. I am convinced you will certainly pass down what you have unceasingly learned and raise your culinary skills to magnificence, becoming the greatest chef. Master also did not expect to pass away so soon. However, my body has repeatedly endured for quite a long time. Every time I told myself, I must press on, I must persevere until the moment you were capable of surpassing me. The heavens did not treat me coldly. They let me persevere until this day came at last. Nian Bing, did you know? When I saw your culinary skills approach mine, my heart was so excited, even more excited than if I could cook with my own hands again. Do not feel sad. There would be no meaning in it. Focus your entire state of mind into culinary skills and practicing magic. Finally, Master must urge you, that while revenge is necessary, you must act within your means. Carefully, carefully. I must leave now. After you come back, take what you need, but don’t move my body as I am quite fond of this chair. You should burn this place down. You can use your fire magic to turn this place to ashes. Master can be regarded as to have died at his appointed place.” When he wrote his few final words, they were already exceptionally vague. If Nian Bing hadn’t been exceptionally familiar with Zha Ji’s handwriting, it would have been hard for him to read it, especially that last word. Zha Ji had only written half of it.
“Master, did you truly pass away like this?” Nian Bing’s tears had already dampened Zha Ji’s chest. He cautiously and solemnly brushed Zha Ji’s head neatly. He stood and took a step back, falling to his knees. He heavily knocked his head against the ground as he kowtowed nine times. “Master, I know you do not wish to see a weak Nian Bing. Be at ease, I will certainly become strong. From the hour I left the Ice God’s Pagoda, I had told myself, I must be strong. Tears may only flow from enemy eyes. Still, now I cry. Master, please rest assured. So long as Nian Bing still draws breath, I will surely complete your final wishes. I will raise culinary skill on a path of magnificence, this is my promise to you!”
He stood and returned the True Sun Knife to its sheath. Nian Bing strongly wiped away the tears on his face. He took a final deep look at Zha Ji’s deceased body and resolutely walked away from the room.
The wind was clean, and the clouds were few. The sunlight projecting onto Peach Flower Forest caused the trees’ shadows on the ground to appear raggedly dancing. A gentle breeze brought waves of the peace blossom’s scent. Nian Bing took deep breaths, strongly keeping the sorrow in his heart under control. In accordance to what Zha Ji had said, he had taken out a few purple gold coins from inside the hollow kitchen wall and carried a simple cloth wrapped bundle on his back.
Step by step, he moved onward. When Nian Bing walked that seventeenth step, he suddenly turned his body. “Master! Your disciple is now going. When the day comes that I have learned almost all there is, I will surely return here and commemorate your departed spirit. Fire, ignite! Scorching flame, by my name, I command you, surge as a turbulent blaze, follow my directions, burn everything to ashes! Sea of Fire!” He unsheathed the True Sun Knife, and a red light was suddenly released. The red light clearly gathered toward Nian Bing’s body. A scorching aura caused Nian Bing’s body to become like a blazing war god. He pointed the True Sun knife forward, suddenly releasing waves of flame. In an instant, apart from the kitchen, the two other buildings were engulfed in fire.
Seeing the raging conflagration in front of him, it was as if Nian Bing saw his Master’s smile one last time. His eyes were blurry but he resisted from letting his tears flow with great difficulty. He made an oath in his heart that, starting today, he would become even stronger. Only if he were strong could he have a long life. Only if he were strong could he accomplish his and his master’s dreams.
Sea of Fire, rank 4 large scale fire spell. Although it was the same as a rank four spell, because it covered such a large area, it required an advanced mage to use it. The scorching flame quickly turned the room Nian Bing lived in for eight years into ashes. Likewise, his master, the Demon Chef Zha Ji, had subsequently returned to the yellow earth.
Everything had disappeared. Nian Bing’s eyes held back hot tears as he stepped forth on the journey Zha Ji had planned for him. He did not know what was waiting ahead of him, but his mind was clear. No matter what sort of untold dangers or difficulties there may be, nothing could obstruct his advance.
Peach Blossom Forest regained its tranquility. Smoke spiraled from the ruins of the wood rooms. Hours after Nian Bing had departed, the ashes suddenly moved. Several snapping noises like that of breaking wood sounded out. With the sound of a wood breaking, a plank from underneath rose. An unsteady silhouette appeared to have climbed out from underneath the ground. His whole body covered with dust.
“Good youngster, you are still truly fierce enough! Were it not for my quick actions, I would have truly become ashe.” This who had suddenly climbed out from the ruins was actually Zha Ji from before!
Brushing away the dust on his body, he appeared to be in great spirits and appeared to not have a single ailment. Seeing the direction that Nian Bing departed, Zha Ji laughed. “Foolish child, master had no choice but to deceive you once more. Had I not made you believe I were already dead, how could you devote your heart and soul to pursue the pinnacle of culinary skill? Damn! This tortoise breath technique is truly hurtful. Fortunately, I had practiced it for a long time, shutting myself long enough so perfectly. It seems that my thoughts of staying here won’t do. Do I want to go look for her? Yes. Since I already have nothing to worry about, I may as well do what my heart had wanted to do all along. If only I could say good bye to her in person, even if she is dead, I would be willing. Nian Bing, travel well. Perhaps there will be a day that we, master and disciple, will be able to see each other again. Haha… hahahaha!”
Nian Bing walked on the main street. His heart was still immersed from the grief of Zha Ji’s passing, totally oblivious of his master’s ruse.The True Sun Knife and Morning Dew Knife were both in his bosom. The cold and hot auras continuously flowed, stimulating his body. As a result of the ice magic power continuously revolving within his body, although the beautiful sun shined greatly, he did not feel the slightest bit warmer.
Ice Snow City, Master had wanted me to go to Ice Snow City. I’ll go there first then.
Not needing to pull a cart, Not needing to follow Zha Ji’s pace, Nian Bing walked quickly. He suddenly wanted greatly to depart from here greatly, to leave this heart-breaking place. However, he knew that at the same time, there will inevitably be a day that he will return. At that time, a Nian Bing fused with the hatred in his heart would return.
“Great Ice Elements! I request of you to lend me your wrath, deliver us to the lost shore. Blizzard.” The main street uninhabited, Nian Bing chanted out a large scale ice spell. The surrounding atmosphere immediately became cold. Under the effect of blue magic power via the Ice and Snow Goddess’s stone, an enormous magical effect burst forth. Wind and ice arrived simultaneously. The range within the conjured power became an ocean of snow. Faintly smiling, Nian Bing moved extremely fast. Not knowing when, the Morning Dew knife had already jumped into his hand. A faint blue radiance enveloped his body. Moving to follow the blizzard, he flew off. Although he did not fly high, he moved surprisingly quick. In a blink of an eye, he had already faded from the end of the main street.