Continent of the Five Elements. Southern Fire Empire, western region, Lihuo City.
In the Southern Fire Empire, Lihuo City could at most be considered a medium-sized city, but despite its small size, it was famous in every other aspect. While the garrison was a mere 2000 soldiers, its security was better than most other cities. It was hard to find a single speck of dust on its broad red granite streets. Red granite is a special kind of rock, which can only be made using the Southern Fire Empire’s special production technique. Not only is Red Granite extremely fashionable and artistic, it is also very durable: as long as nobody tried to destroy it, it could last for hundreds of years without any imperfections.
In the Southern Fire Empire, Lihuo City.
Evening was ending, and the sunset had arrived, basking the city in a red glow. Lihuo City calms down as people stop working, and start to rest. At this time, the late night entertainment is just winding up.
Flaming Passion, one of the most popular bars in Lihuo City, was located on the principal street of the golden district. Like many of the buildings in Lihuo City, it was red. But the red of this building was even brighter than those that surrounded it. The bar occupied a grand two-floored building, and an outdoor plaza that was situated right at its doorway. This plaza was what attracted the majority of the bar’s customers.
This outdoor plaza was about 500 square meters, and in the center there is a circular bar, ten meters across, made of stone. Every evening, Flaming Passion Bar’s most famous bartender will come to this bar and mix drinks for the customers. Even on rainy days, there is never a lack of customers, as they could easily pull up a canopy large enough to cover the entire plaza.
Since the Southern Fire empire never experiences winter, this patio has never been unoccupied, even during the night.
Right now, the bartenders of Flaming Passion were in position, as the customers slowly filled the outdoor plaza. This time was in fact the busiest point of the day.
An old man wearing a luxurious red gown walked towards the outdoor plaza. As soon as he stepped into the plaza, a waiter greeted him, leading him deep into the central area of the plaza. This section was composed of ten tables which directly surrounded the bar; all of these tables were reserved for VIP guests. There was no doubt that this old man dressed in a red gown was a VIP. Not only was he a VIP, but he was guided to the best table in the entire patio, the one that faced the street!
This red gowned old man had short white hair, a brandy nose, small eyes, and a skinny build. No matter what feature you looked at, there was nothing you could call extraordinary. However, whenever that small pair of eyes blinked, a faint red glimmer flashed through his eyes, making one’s heart tremble.
“Yang-lao, the usual?” A middle aged man in a ceremonial robe arrived next to him, bowing graciously as he asked. Only the VIP’s could elicit such treatment out of the bar owner.
Yang-Lao was bored, he said, “Besides your Flaming Passion here, nothing else in the world can catch my interest.”
The owner smiled slightly and said, “Please wait a moment.” before turning to the central bar and signaled to the oldest bartender. The bartender knew exactly what to do. He took a clean shaker made of crystal, and prepared the first and most important order of the day. In an instant, all sorts of liquor were poured into the shaker, the bartender then put in a filter and sealed it nicely. The bartender shook the shaker so vigorously that it was almost as if it was performing the ‘happy flying dance’.
Since the shaker was made of transparent white crystal, one could clearly see the colors of the liquor blend and mix during the shaking process. The bartender
The moves of the Flaming Passion Bar’s veteran bartender were as smooth as water. When the scent of the cocktail reached the nearby customers, they applauded and smiled happily. Yang-Lao was no exception, and nodded to the bartender, his eyes still on the cup; impatiently waiting to taste the drink.
The glass was quickly brought to Yang-Lao, who directly took the glass from the hands of the waiter. Yang-Lao took a small sip, completely ignoring the fact that the liquid was still burning. He took a deep breath before looking at the bar owner, “Good! Only this drink, which burns with passion, has the right taste. Even after drinking this every day for five years, it still enchants this old drunken tard. No wonder your business is so prosperous.
The bar owner said with a respectful smile, “As long as you’re pleased with it.”
Right at this moment, a voice broke the pleasant scene, “Humph, You call that a fine liquor? It is nothing but rubbish!” The voice wasn’t very loud, in fact it was slightly coarse and powerless, yet despite that, it was filled with an unshakable arrogance.
“Hmm…?” The bar owner and Yang-Lao both turned simultaneously to look at where the voice came from. They were astonished to see a little beggar with a petite figure and worn out clothes squatting near the table. They had no idea how he entered this place. But his eyes were focused on the cocktail, his weary eyes were filled with dissatisfaction. The bar owner slightly wrinkled his eyebrows, glancing at one of the nearby waiters with displeasure. The waiter had only just noticed the little beggar, and he hastily walked over to the owner and said, “Sorry, I didn’t see him enter.”
The bar owner waved his hand, signifying to get rid of this little beggar as quickly as possible. But he didn’t want to use force in front of Yang-Lao and disturb his business.
The little beggar stood up, his face dirty while he had a diminutive figure. He seemed to be around 11 or 12, with disheveled hair, and an unpleasant smell surround him, which indicated the countless days since his he had last bathed.
The waiter was repulsed, and was about to drag him out when Yang-Lao spoke up, “Wait.” There was no need for the bar owner to do anything, the waiter already knew to stop. He looked at Yang-Lao, puzzled.
Yang-Lao looked at the little beggar, “Little friend, you said that this glass of Flaming Passion is no good? I don’t know where you could have tasted something better, but please tell me about it.” For Yang-Lao, searching for fine liquor was the passion of his life.
The owner quickly said, “Yang-Lao, what could a mere beggar know? Don’t let him disturb your drinking mood.” The people in the Southern Fire Empire love to drink and thus, the competition in the bar industry is extremely fierce. The owner was scared that this little beggar will say that another bar has better liquor and lure his honorable guest away. Yang-Lao drank here everyday for the past five years, the amount of profit generated of him alone was uncountable.
Yang-Lao shot a glare at the owner, he clearly understood the thoughts of the bar owner. He then turned back with a smile and said, “How about this, little friend, do you have any suggestions on how to improve this drink? If what you say is the truth, this gold coin will be yours.” A gold coin landed on the table. One must know, the Flaming Passion was the most famous cocktail of the Burning Passion bar, and is worth one gold coin per a cup. This very same gold coin could feed a family of three for a month in Lihuo city.
But to everyone’s surprise, the beggar didn’t even look at the gold coin, but raised his hand and pointed at the central bar and proudly said, “If you wish to drink a real ‘Flaming Passion’ then let me go there and provide the necessary ingredients.”
“You can mix drinks?” Both the bar owner and Yang-Lao questioned incredulously. The nearby waiters couldn’t suppress their laughter and snickered. One must know that the position of bartender was very highly regarded in the Southern Fire empire. Without the accumulation of experience, how could one become a remarkable bartender? In everyone’s eyes, the filthy little beggar was trying to play a trick on them.
Yang-Lao’s expression became serious, “Little friend, do you know what the most important value that a person must have? It’s his honesty.”
The bar owner relaxed. He believed that the beggar was only talking big, nothing more, and that he wasn’t a threat to his bar.
The little beggar with both hands on his back, coldly said, “Why don’t we let the facts speak?”
Yang-lao frowned, “Can you really mix a cocktail that is better than this Flaming Passion?”
Anger flashed in the eyes of the little beggar, “If I cannot, I will give you my life.”
Seeing the anger in the eyes of the little beggar, Yang-Lao was surprised by the impression of unquestionably strong self confidence and arrogance within this thin little body. He was clearly only a small beggar, but where did all the confidence come from?
At this point, the event had already attracted the interest of many people. They became curious as to what the little beggar would make, and they had already started chanting “Let him try it.” The bar owner bowed down and whispered into Yang-Lao’s ear, “How about we let him try it?”
Yang-Lao nodded lightly and looked at the little beggar, “I hope you will give me a surprise. Bar owner Zhao, give him the ingredients he asks for, I will pay for them.”
The bar owner, Mr. Zhao, smiled and said, “There is nothing of much value which he can use, how could we let you pay for it?” In order to get one Yang-Lao’s good side, he was willing to absorb the loss in profit. He waved his hand at the waiter, signalling for him to bring the beggar to the bar.
Hearing their conversation, the beggar didn’t wait for a second. He turned and walked towards the central bar. The bartenders in the bar naturally didn’t believe that the little beggar that came out of nowhere could be any kind of threat. So they all willingly let him enter the bar, and watched his actions with interest.
The veteran bartender who made the Flaming Passion mockingly smiled, “Little friend, should I introduce you to all the liquor here?” While pointing at the liquor cabinet behind the bar, which contained hundreds of different fine liquors.
Another young bartender’s mouth twitched, enigmatically saying, “Nowadays even beggars dare say that they can mix drinks. I really don’t know what the boss is thinking, letting such a filthy beggar come back here. Is he not afraid that the beggar will mess up the bar?”
A senior bartender glared at him, and said with a low voice, “Don’t speak so loudly, don’t you see that Yang-Lao has taken an interest in that little one? Otherwise why would the boss let such a little beggar enter the bar so easily?”
The little beggar seemed not to pay any attention to them. He straightened his thin and small back perfectly, and the eyes burned with arrogance. He walked to the bar, and ordered what he needed, not even sparing a glance for the young bartender. “Tomato juice, freshly pressed lemon juice, worcestershire, sauce, tabasco, chilli oil, and some salt and pepper.”
The young bartender from before couldn’t resist a tsukumi and asked,
“Are you going to cook, or mix a cocktail.”
At that time, Mr. Zhao and Yang-Lao had arrived at the bar, hearing the words of the young bartender, Zhao’s face darkened and he said, “Do what he said, don’t you have the slightest discipline?”
The young bartender from before glared at the beggar thinking, “I anticipate your failure.” He turned around and left to get the ingredients.
Again, the beggar didn’t react to the exchange. It was as if he didn’t hear or see anything. He turned around and walked to the sink in the middle of the bar and started to wash his hands. He was very focused, he first wet his dirt caked hands, then took some liquid soap, rubbing both his hands carefully; washing each of his fingers with patience, not even the gap between his finger and the fingernail was ignored. Every part of his hand was washed with caution and care, not even the wrist was spared. After cleaning both of his hands, they contrasted quite starkly with his dirty face.
The veteran bartender who made the Flaming Passion, was at first startled, and then became dignified and serious. Seeing the actions of the little beggar he slowly nodded. Being a bartender was not all about mixing drinks, one must also respect the liquor they are mixing, the customers and even themselves. He saw a thread of sincerity in the corner of the little beggar’s eyes. It was very clear to him that the little beggar really didn’t hear the remarks directed at him earlier, he was completely absorbed in the task of preparing the drink. This was something that was hard for even him to do, but this 11-12 year old beggar was doing it as if it was the most natural thing in the world. With just one look at the cabinet, his sincere and crazed eyes were filled with attachment as he decided which drink to use. Just his hand washing process taught the veteran bartender a lot about the little beggar.
There was a hint of a smile on the face of Yang-Lao, talking to himself,
“Interesting.” After washing his hands, the little beggar went to take a bottle of liquor from the liquor cabinet. The bottle he chose was stored in the highest slot, and he could only barely reach it, standing on his toes. By the time he had retrieved the bottle, the ingredients he requested were laid out for him on the board. One could see how long it took him to wash his hands.
The veteran bartender took the initiative to put a shaker made from polished crystal in front of the beggar. The beggar opened the shaker, took out the filter, and for a moment displayed a nostalgic look, as if he is recalling something.
The customers had already crowded around the stone bar, they were all anxious to see what this little beggar could make. The little beggar raised the bottle of liquor, pouring its contents into the shaker.
The transparent white liquor was poured into the shaker unstably; the little beggar’s hand was slightly trembling, but luckily the liquor did not spill from the shaker. Yang-Lao, Mr. Zhao and the bartenders recognized the bottle of liquor the little beggar chose as Wyboro: a very strong liquor without fragrance, but sweet and pure. It’s very commonly used as a base, or foundation, for a cocktail.
The measurements that the little beggar used could clearly be seen through the transparent crystal shaker: 3/10 volume of the Wyboro liquor followed by 6/10 tomato juice, 1/10 fresh lemon juice, and lastly t topped off with the beggar’s own special blend.
After mixing these condiments, the little beggar picked up the filter, a helpless expression crossing his face. He put the filter into the shaker whilst sighing secretly, it has been a long time since I’ve used these, but right now I’m left with little choice.
Covering the lid, the little beggar held the shaker in his hand. The disparity between the size of the shaker and his hand made his grip on the shaker strenuous at best; causing those who had a bad opinion of him to bite their thumbs in glee.
Everyone knew that the most important part of creating a cocktail was the ingredients, followed closely by the skill of the hand during the mixing process. The ingredients that the beggar used were more suited to be used as a dish, as for the skill of his hands, he could barely hold the shaker. No matter how you looked at the situation, the cocktail he produced would be of inferior quality. But just as everyone was thinking of this, the beggar’s hand began to move.
He weighed the shaker in his hand and backed up half a step, with his left arm tucked behind his back, his eyes resonating like the stars in the sky. Five fingers spread abruptly as he flung the shaker in his right hand, straightening his hand to stick closely to the side of the shaker whilst spinning it like a gyroscope in the heart of his palm.
The little beggar slowly lifted his hand, the shaker in his palm still spinning at high speed without pause, as if it was attracted to his palm. Due to the great amount of tomato juice within the shaker, the liquor had long since been dyed red, but the shaker still spinned rapidly, just like a red disk resting on his palm.
Astounded voices rung in waves. This little beggar was obviously not as simple as the majority had believed.
An even more bizarre scene was yet to come; the little beggar’s hand holding the shaker slowly tilted upright, and the unceasingly spinning shaker naturally moved along with it, showing no inclination of slowing down or dropping from his palm whatsoever. Moving his hand from high to low and from low to high, he created a scene of an early morning sunrise followed by an afternoon inclining into night. During this entire process the shaker kept spinning faithfully in the heart of his palm, a feat none of the present bartenders could hope to accomplish, never even having seen it before. The bartender who mocked him before had his eyes stretched wide open, closely staring at the sun-like red disk. But he could not figure out how the little beggar accomplished this feat, no matter how hard he looked.
The Yang-lao was the only person who could tell how the little beggar accomplished this feat; with his sharp gaze he picked up that the little beggar not only moved his palm with his arm, but also by making precise minute movements that utilised his whole body. His palm was constantly adjusting, contracting and expanding, his five fingers slightly vibrating like the rhythm found in waves. As his palm adjusted, his fingers followed the shaker, keeping it spinning by lightly touching its sides , keeping it upright. Picking up on the technique might be easy but actually doing it was exceedingly difficult; even the slightest disturbance in the rh
Just when the crowd thought that the little beggar had finished mixing the cocktail with this dazzling move, he suddenly extended his left hand which he previously had tucked behind his back, simultaneously flinging the high speed spinning shaker into the air with his right hand. The shaker came down like a falling meteorite, as the customers let out astonished shouts.
But the little beggar’s expression didn’t change in the slightest. His two hands seemed to disappear, one could only see insipid shadows, and this time not even Yang-lao could see his actions clearly. The crowd could feel their eyesight blurring, that falling sun rose again, followed by another, and yet another! The customers couldn’t believe their eyes, they could see three suns rising and falling simultaneously!
Just as the crowd thought there was surely something wrong with their eyes, the shaker landed on the bar with a light bang.
The little beggar didn’t open the shaker impatiently; instead he swiped his eyes over the crowd, enjoying the shocked gazes derived from his Three Suns Reflects The Moon technique. The edge of his mouth tilted slightly upward, and the arrogance in his eyes intensified. Only the dripping sweat on his forehead exposed the difficulty of what he had done.
He naturally and gracefully twisted apart the cover of the shaker without wiping the sweat on his forehead; he did not want to dirty his hands. He poured the slightly viscous red liquor at an angle into a martini glass; there was not a drop too much or a drop too little, exactly filling the martini glass to the brim.
With the thumb of his right hand vertically supporting the martini glass and his forefinger wrapped around the stem, he portrayed a perfect standard posture without a single fault to nitpick on, he placed the cocktail before Yang-lao.
At first glance this cocktail did not have the boastful and dazzling appearance of the Flaming Passion that the previous bartender had made, lacking the decoration of the extravagant flame. But this cocktail gave one the impression that a demonic aura restrained within its blood-red depths.
Yang-lao purposely received the cocktail as the voice of the little beggar rang beside his ear, “The true flame should be raging on the inside, and not stay outside as simple decoration. The true flame should ignite your inner passion, and not your sight. This is the real Flaming Passion.”
Yang-lao lifted the glass to eye level, by whiffing slightly he could surprisingly pick up a faint bloody scent. This scent was the result of mixing tomato juice, lemon juice and alcohol. The little beggar didn’t say it, but this Flaming Passion cocktail was also known by another name; Bloody Mary.
Yang-lao’s gaze suddenly became scorching hot, and he brought the glass towards his mouth to take a sip. The customers and the bartenders stared at his face while waiting for his evaluation; a cocktail is judged by its taste and not how it is mixed, after all. A dazzling technique used to create an unappetizing cocktail is fundamentally meaningless.
As the first sip entered Yang-lao’s mouth his expression froze and he became lifeless; even his inner restrained breath seemed to momentarily vanish as his face flushed red.
Suddenly, without any warning, two raging flames were lit behind his pupils. “Good, a good flame should ignite from inside one’s heart.”
Mr. Zhao asked nervously, “How is the cocktail, Yang-lao?”
Yang-lao looked at him with an expression of excitement he couldn’t conceal, “This is the most distinctive cocktail I have ever sampled, it gave me the most mind-blowing sensation I have ever gotten from any liquor; It truly allowed me to experience a taste of flame igniting one’s inner heart. Only after tasting it can one appreciate its uniqueness. If one is forced to judge this cocktail, there is only a single word that can adequately describe it.” He paused for a moment, swiping the crowd with his eyes, then with a resolute voice he said, “UNMATCHED!” Yang-lao seemed to be afraid that someone would snatch the drink away after he said those words, and quickly emptied the glass with one gulp. Immediately after that a blazing feeling akin to seething anger surged up violently within him, as if a flame was ignited within him and burned deeply, hot but strangely comforting. His body’s thirty-six million pores seemed to have stretched themselves wide open. After drinking this single cup of liquor he unexpectedly felt that he had frittered away his life. The word “Trash” that the young beggar had used to describe the first Burning Passion cocktail seemed undeniably fitting. Yes! He’s been drinking nothing but trash his entire life!
No one doubted the judgment of Yang-lao; he was not only one of their highest esteemed long-standing customers, but also one of the select most powerful authorities in Lihuo City. Mr. Zhao seemed astonished and the bartenders could not utter a word, while the customers were in an uproar, countless different discussions spread throughout the outdoor plaza.
Someone suddenly asked, “Hm? Where is the little beggar?”
Regaining his senses at once, Yang-lao looked around frantically, but the little beggar who had been behind the bar was gone. He turned around and hurriedly grabbed Mr. Zhao, “Where is he?”
“Ah? I don’t know!” The moment when everyone had been focused on Yang-lao tasting the cocktail, the small and frail body of the little beggar really didn’t attract much attention; he must have vanished during that time.
Not bothering with Mr. Zhao further, Yang-lao moved to the entrance of the bar with a flash. He then vanished completely, leaving behind a cloud of red smoke.
The little beggar directly left the bar after presenting the cocktail to Yang-lao and saying those words. He slowly walked down the street filled with feelings of frustration and disappointment, in no real hurry to leave.
To think that just a while ago he was hailed as the unequaled Great God of Liquor, but now he has sunk to such a low status. With a long sigh and an expression unfitting an eleven-twelve year old child, the little beggar shook his head. This was the reality.
His real name was Li Jie Dong, and he was not from this world. In his original world, at the young age of 32 years, he was well known all across the world as the one and only God of Liquor. He created countless legends in the world of bartending and sommelier. Originally, the most honorable Medal in the world of sommelier was the five star Jinzuan International Medal, but solely for his sake they added the 6 star HuangZuan International Medal; simply because his accomplishments were unmatched.
In his previous world Li Jie Dong lived a short life, filled to the brim with the obsession of liquor. When he was invited to taste the newly discovered thousand year old liquor, Li Jie Dong could naturally not resist the call of his heart and took a sip of the paste-like amber colored liquor. And thus he never woke again.
Li Jie Dong did not regret it in the slightest, if placed before the choice again he would undoubtedly choose the same way, regardless of the outcome. The taste of that godly cream like liquor still echoed in his memory. Before losing consciousness he only had one thought; even death was worth it!
But he did not die, whether through luck or misfortune he himself could not tell. After waking he discovered that he was no longer the Great God of Liquor Li Jie Dong, but was instead a child named Ji Dong who lived on the streets, begging in order to survive. Strangely enough, the memories of Ji Dong remained, pitiful in their pure innocence. But the point that made Li Jie Dong feel the most helplessness was that even the world he resided in had changed.
He’s been here for a month already, and thanks to the memories of Ji Dong he didn’t have difficulty with the language, so communicating was not a problem. But he, the unequaled Great God of Liquor was forced into a struggle of survival, something that would have been unimaginable in his former world. Li Jie Dong was not the type of man who would blame god and the heavens. Instead he thanked the heavens for giving him another opportunity to live; at least his memories and attachment towards fine liquor were unaffected. He took three days to get used to his new identity. And since this was a new world, he could no longer consider himself to be Li Jie Dong, and thus decided to use the original name of the little beggar he seemed to have become: Ji Dong.
The memory of Ji Dong was pitifully short; everything before the age of five was blank. After the age of five his memories consisted of living on the streets as a beggar. The only item in his possession that seemed to have a bit of value was a piece of jade attached to a red string around his neck, with the name ‘Ji Dong’ written on it. Even his cassock clothing was riddled with god knows how many patches.
Due to the memories of Ji Dong treasuring this piece of jade, he could not bring himself to sell it. However, he still needed to survive somehow. As the Great God of Liquor begging was out of the question, so he quickly found the most popular bar in Lihuo; the Flaming passion bar.
Ji Dong observed the Flaming Passion bar every day, slowly getting to know this new world. Unfortunately, the knowledge he was able to acquire was limited; all he could find out was that his current location was in the southern country of the Five Element Continent, and that this country used a flame as a blazon.
Ji Dong felt fortunate that the people here loved to drink. Every day, he would go to the Flaming Passion bar and observe carefully. For survival during this time he relied on ten rock-hard steamed buns and dried meat stockpiled at a nearby bridge by the previous owner of his body.
Ji Dong’s observations were obviously not limited to sight; he also has smell and hearing. What he needed to know was how the liquor of this world differed from his former world in flavor and characteristics. Considering his status as a beggar, he could obviously not go up to the bar to taste them. Luckily Ji Dong retained his six senses after crossing over to this world, which were much sharper than those of ordinary people. There was a reason why the International Sommelier Association awarded him the Six Star HuangZuan International Award, which no one had ever been honoured with before. That reason was the Six Sense Liquor Tasting Method, which he founded. In Ji Dong’s theory, liquor tasting does not only rely on tasting, but must also incorporate the sense of smell, the sight, the sound and the distinct texture, all of which holds equal importance. Although in reality, he was the only one capable of such a feat in his previous world.
In light of his status as a beggar, Ji Dong could obviously not go into the Flaming Passion bar to taste their liquors; he could only watch carefully, smell keenly and listen attentively. He had to solely rely on his keen senses and his accumulated experiences as the God of Liquor. By smelling the flavours of the cocktails when bartenders are mixing and observing the changes in expression and bearing of the customers who were drinking these cocktails, as well as carefully scrutinising their comments, after spending a whole month Ji Dong was able to figure out the taste of most of these cocktails, and was able to compare them to the cocktails of his old world.
If anyone knew that he could analyze the cocktails’ attributes as well as mixing them from just this, their jaw would hit the floor from astonishment. Moreover, the recipe of the Flaming Passion extremely strict, after arriving to a new world, Ji Dong could already rely on his observational skills to accurately adjust the amounts of the ingredients used, further affirming his worthiness of the title ‘God of Liquor’.
As for Yang-lao, he was Ji Dong’s main object of observation. If he wanted to secure his future subsistence needs, he naturally needed a decent plan. Moreover, thanks to his pride and self-esteem as the God of Liquor, he would never be able to settle for a normal bartender’s position. And that’s the reason why Ji Dong chose Yang-lao.
Yang-lao visited the Flaming Passion daily, and with Ji Dong’s accurate discerning judgment he could tell that this regular patron not only had a rich sommelier experience coupled with an extreme attachment towards good liquor but also held an extraordinary social status. Ji Dong’s appearance today was not random, but an act derived from a carefully thought out plan. The precise infiltration into the outdoor plaza, the moment he chose to raise his voice; all of it was thoroughly orchestrated by Ji Dong. Even the precise moment he left the bar was calculated, everything with the intent of loosening the reins in order to grasp them better.
The sigh Ji Dong heaved was not entirely thanks to his status being reduced to that of a beggar, but rather due to the state of his body. In his old world he was tall and handsome, but in this world he was not only a thin and small child according to his young age but also very weak from malnourishment.
He had decided on the mixing technique Three Suns Reflects The Moon after giving careful consideration to his body’s condition. This technique would be considered easy for his old self, but because of this weak body he almost lost control today; even though the three suns had appeared, the moon didn’t.
The mixing was barely a success, but of course, no one could tell.
The high level of concentration required for the mixing procedure caused his body to consume a great deal of strength. Feeling a strong sense of fatigue, even his steps are unstable. An outstanding Bartender needs an outstanding body. Otherwise, no matter how good their techniques were, it could never be displayed to the fullest. Ji Dong is now facing this helpless awkwardness.
“Little brother, please wait a moment.” Ji Dong only sees a red shadow flashes pass and suddenly Yang-lao has stood in front of him.
This speed, is it even possible for a human being? Ji Dong looks at Yang- lao and can not help but feel greatly surprised. He is sure, the speed Yang- lao flashed to him easily surpassed the world cup winner of the 100 meter run of his old world. With Ji Dong’s exceptional hearing, he could determine that Yang-lao was still tens of meters away from him when he initially called out to him. It was simply unbelievable how he just appeared in front of him in an instant! However, from how Yang-lao has addressed him, Ji Dong knows that he had Yang-lao looks at the small and weak stature child with dirt-covered face who stands in front of him. He can still hardly believe that this malnourished little beggar is the one that has mixed the cocktail from before. But the truth has played out in front of his own eyes, there’s nothing he can do but to believe it.
“Little brother, why are you in such a hurry?”
Ji Dong glanced at him for a moment, “The cocktail has been mixed.
Why shouldn’t I leave?”.
Yang-lao sighs in admiration, “The Burning Passion that you mixed is the most highlighted cocktail that I have had in so many years of drinking. But I am curious, since you have such skill, why are you still……”
Ji Dong naturally picks up on the meaning behind his words. His inner arrogance subconsciously kicks in, making him stand tall, “Liquor is an art, to measure it with money is a stain on it. Even if I’ve already lost my family, even if I’ve lost my home and became a beggar, do not presume that simply anyone can drink the cocktails I’ve mixed. I made that cocktail today only because I can see that you are someone who loves drinking, and with hopes that you will no longer be charmed by that trash.”
Although these words are spoken by a child of merely eleven-twelve years old, but due to the glass of Flaming Passion previously, Yang-lao does not have the slightest doubt in him. He rubs his hands together, and with a slight fluctuation in his expression he seems to have come to a decision, saying, “Little brother, I will not beat around the bush. I hope to drink cocktails mixed by you every day, but I don’t know if I have the honor for this.”
“You? What makes you worthy?” Ji Dong raises his chin, looking up at Yang lao, his eyes are not apprehensive in the least.
Yang-lao meets his gaze head on, “I am worthy because I live my life solely in the pursuit of fine liquor, and also this,” while speaking, his eyes start to shine and his body released an indescribably enormous amount of pressure. Ji Dong’s chest feels a burst of constraint/numbness, and he unconsciously takes a step back.
A garishly bright light abruptly bursts with Yang-lao’s body as the core, and under his control, this red light only boils within a meter surrounding his body. The air within a radius of three meters around Yang-lao shows distortion like rippling water waves, and an enormous flaming red phantom appears behind him. The phantom took the shape of a gigantic bird, the flaming red wings spread open, displaying the form of the motion of flying sky high. The red glow around Yang-lao’s body is also cast with golden edge. This god-like aura surrounding him gave off a presence akin to a deity descending upon the world. The pressure that Ji Dong feels is precisely coming from this formless prestige.
Immediately after, a red light converges at the top of Yang-lao’s head, materializing into a crown-like thing, which has a blinding white. The moment that crown appears, it becomes the core of Yang-lao’s presence that he has previously emitted, surpassing even the presence of the gigantic flaming bird phantom behind him by leaps and bounds. The crown looks abnormally dazzling; its 5 cm wide cylindrical base was topped with nine sharp triangles, and the peak of each of these triangles was adorned with a perfectly round ruby like tiny balls. And right below that circle facing front, there are three whole red pentagrams as well as one half pentagram, shining beautifully with the same luster of the nine balls at the peaks of the crown. And the most eye-catching feature is the undulating flame blazon inscribed on the peak of the crown’s triangle, that flame is as if it’s alive, flatuating at the sharp point if the crown. Ji Dong can only see the front of the crown, and as such can not tell if each of the triangles have this marvellous living flame blazon, but he can vividly notice, that this crown-like thing contains an extremely terrifying energy.
Ji Dong is dumbfounded, staring idly, did he just perform magic?
Yang-lao’s transformation caused the temperature in the surrounding air to rise sharply, the surging waves of heat caused Li Dong’s vision of the surroundings to weaken. Yang-lao is very satisfied with Ji Dong’s shocked expression and says with a smile, “How is it? Do I have the right to taste your fine liquor now? But rest assure, I am not threatening you, I just want to tell you that I have the ability to change your fate. My name is Yang Bing Tian, I am the principal of Lihuo city’s Lihuo Academy. I am the Five coronas of the Yang Crown-Bing, Fire Element, Seventh Ranked Grandmaster.”
TL: “Bing” is one of the sexagenary cycle. It’s an ancient calendar and each “stems” has its element. For exp: “Bing” and “Ting” is fire element. It is something like zodiac.
While saying that, he lifted his right hand, the white crown slowly floated down, landed on his hand without making contact and slowly started to rotate. Only now could Ji Dong see, that the crown has nine sharp triangles. The five in the front were branded with flame-like patterns, but the ones behind them were plain. Could it be that these patterns are the five coronas he mentioned just now?
Ji Ding pointed at the crown on Yang-lao’s hand and asked with a dull voice, “Can you tell me what that is? Also what is the meaning of Five coronas of the Yang Crown-Bing, Fire Element, seventh ranked grandmaster? I don’t understand what you are saying.”
This time it’s Yan Bing Tians’ turn to be surprised. He stares at Ji Dong with wide eyed astonishment, “You, it can’t be that you don’t even know what a Wizard of Yin Yang Crown is?”
So Hot, so hot, his thoughts and focus involuntarily spun around these words. The immense heat made Ji Dong’s vision blur, his head felt heavy, his legs felt light causing his body to sway slightly, but he somehow mustered his energy to shake his head and mutter, “I don’t know.”
A flash of understanding goes through Yang Bing Tian’s eyes, “It’s no wonder that you do not know; as a beggar you’d have no interaction with this neck of the woods. Hm? What’s wrong, little brother….”
Ji Dong was weak and malnourished to begin with, coupled with not eating properly for a month resulted in almost complete exhaustion after he mixed the cocktail. After being thoroughly roasted by the scorching heat in front of him and buffeted from all sides with that extreme aura, Ji Dong’s body finally gave out on him. His vision blacked out as his consciousness slipped away. The last thing he remembered was something that felt like an arm supporting him, stopping him from falling to the ground.
When Yang Bing Tian caught Ji Dong his appearance had already reverted back to normal. He sensed Ji Dong’s weakened pulse and lightly sighed, “How could such a pitiful child mix such a special cocktail, and at such a young age? Perhaps he comes from a rich family that went bankrupt? First things first, I’ll take him with me.” He picked Ji Dong up without hesitation, and with light steps vanished from the bridge in the blink of an eye.
Ji Dong slowly regained consciousness amidst a feeling of extreme disorientation. How long has he been asleep? Breathing deeply, an intense aroma filled his sharp sense of smell and made his breath catch. Is this…. the smell of chicken soup?
Even after sleeping for what seemed to be a long time, the weak and powerless feeling had not left his body. He opened his eyes slowly, and after a glance at his surroundings Ji Dong realized that he was in an unfamiliar location.
The room was bright and tidy, only about 20 qm big. It was not overly luxurious, with a few simple ornaments. The most eye-catching ornament for Ji Dong was the fresco lining the roof which depicted an extremely realistic Fire Phoenix, its body ablaze and its wings stretched in flight. The longer you looked at it, the more lifelike it became. A golden color surrounded the image of the Fire Phoenix, reminding Ji Dong of the golden aura that Yang Bing Tian emitted before. At that moment Ji Dong finally recognized the bright figure behind Yang Bing Tian. It’s a Fire Phoenix!
“You’re awake.” Yang Bing Tian said with a gentle voice. Ji Dong propped himself up, looking at Yang Bing Tian sitting on the other side of the table next to the bed. There was a casserole on the table as well as some pasted meat and two buns. He looked at himself and discovered that he had been bathed and clothed, leaving him feeling relaxed and refreshed, albeit a bit shaken.
Looking at the food on the table Ji Dong asked, “Are these for me?”
Yang Bing Tian Smiled and nodded, “Eat first, your body is very weak.”
Ji Dong unceremoniously picked up the empty bowl and opened the casserole filled with what his nose had undoubtedly confirmed as chicken soup.
Different to what Yang Bing Tian had expected, the starving Ji Dong did not wolf down the entire meal in a matter of seconds. He ate one bun by tearing it and slowly chewing it piece by piece, of the pasted meat he only had three to four slices, but chicken soup he drank two bowls. His eating style was not as elegant and noble as the nobility’s but his natural movements gives off a harmonious feeling.
“Why don’t you eat more?” Yang Bing Tian asked.
Ji Dong shook his head, “I haven’t had a decent meal in a long time, so my stomach isn’t used to it anymore. If I eat too much it will be bad for my body.”
Yang Bing Tian was startled, he could not help but be astonished by Ji Dong’s overly mature reaction. “Are you willing to tell me your story?”
After the two bowls of chicken soup settled in his stomach, Ji Dong felt some strength return, comfortable warmth spreading through his limbs. He looked at Yang Bing Tian, “There isn’t much to tell, really. I came from a liquor loving family that went bankrupt, leaving me destitute and orphaned; I eventually wandered to this city. You want to know why I can mix cocktails right? The answer is simple; it was a family tradition.”
Long before he implemented his plan at the Flaming Passion bar, Ji Dong had thought of what to answer to such a question; keeping it simple and without embellishment would make the lie harder to see through, and so he said as little as possible. He reckoned that such a simple explanation wouldn’t arouse Yang Bing Tian’s suspicion, but even if it did, so what? Yang Bing Tian was ultimately not interested in his identity, but in his ability.
As Ji Dong expected, after hearing his explanation Yang Bing Tian brows wrinkled a little. He looked at Ji Dong long and hard, but could not further discern anything from his placid expression with a little arrogance and sadness.
“It seems like you are a child with a bitter fate.”
His hands resting on the table, Ji Dong said with a low voice, “I don’t need your pity. You took me in to mix cocktails for you, nothing more.”
Yang Bing Tian looked at him with a smile that was not quite a smile,
“Are you willing?”
Ji Dong answered, “First you need to tell me what the transformation you went through was all about, and secondly, what is a Yin-Yang Wizard?”
Hearing what Jidong asked, Ying Bing Tian couldn’t help but say, “Looks like your family was truly devoted to liquor, and doesn’t have a care for the world around it. Here in our five element continent, there is a special profession which every person wishes to be. No matter which government you ask about, their power is evaluated by the number of people of this profession; the Yin-Yang Wizard.”
“Yin-Yang wizard? Then are you are a Yin-Yang wizard?” Ji Dong doubtfully asked, his heart was ignited with curiosity.
Yang Bing Tian noded and said, “Yes, I am a Bing, or fire element Yin- Yang Wizard. The level of a Yin-Yang wizard determines their future. Military officials, and even literal officials must reach the level of being about to coagulate the Yin Yang crown, or they won’t have any hope of being promoted to important position. All Five Empires on the mainland are all like this. Do you understand why I was surprised by your ignorance of my profession?”
Ji Dong asks in a slightly anxious tone, “Well, what ability does this Yin- Yang Crowned Wizard specifically possess?”
Yang Bing Tian explains, “The abilities of a Yin-Yang crowned wizard are extremely vast. First, their battle ability: a Yin-Yang Wizard who has a bachelor’s degree can condense and form a Yin-Yang Crown, and has the fighting strength of at least ten adult soldiers. The most powerful Yin- Yang wizards, are existences that can defy the heavens; and can easily wipe out a whole city. The levels and theories of the Yin-Yang wizards are simply too vast to explain in so little time. But if you you are willing to stay, I can ensure that there will be people to teach you about them in the future. Do you still remember what I told you? I am the principal of the Lihuo academy. The Lihuo academy is an academy which is specialized in educating fire element Yin-Yang wizards. You possess an intimate knowledge of liquor, and your aura indicates that fire is your natural element. Regardless of your aptitude, with my help you’ll be able to stay and study in the academy. But in return, you must work part-time, mixing cocktails for me. But I am not unreasonable, your living, tuition and all other expenses will be fully paid by the academy. What do you think?”
Ji Dong thought deeply about Yang Bing Tian’s offer.
Yang Bing Tian smiled and said with great self confidence, “Our Lihuo academy is one of the best academies for novice Yin-Yang wizards. Most students attend our academy for six years, and every year we only recruit
60 ten years old students. Your look like you more or less fit our requirements. There are over a thousand students that apply for our school every year. The entrance exam is extremely strict, and we will only accept the utmost gifted students. Therefore the graduation rate is as high as 30 percent, ranking us within the top 10 among all the primary Yin- Yang Wizard academies of the entire continent.”
“You’re proud of a graduation rate of only 30 percent? May I ask, what is the requirement to graduate?” Ji Dong curiously asked.
Yang Bing Tian patted his forehead and said helplessly, “I forgot that you don’t know much about Yin-Yang wizards. Novice Yin-Yang wizard’s graduate when they can condense a Yin-Yang Crown. Only students who can reach the tenth level, and are able to condense the Yin-Yang Crown successfully, will be allowed to graduate. Once you acquire a Yin-Yang Crown, you will become a true Yin-Yang wizard. Later on, it will be easier pick up any profession you choose, and even without working the empire will grant you a certain amount for living expenses. As for the graduation rate you asked, a normal novice Yin-Yang wizard academy would be proud of a 10% graduation rate.”
Ji Dong noded and said, “Then it means if I beco Yang Bing Tians eyes showed a trace of satisfaction, “That is only natural. Who knows how many people want to enter our Li Huo academy, some go as far as to throw away their pride to stand out from the crowds and enter our academy. With that said, does that mean you agree to the proposal?”
Ji Dong got up, “Thanks for the hospitality.” While saying that, he started to walk to the door.
Yang Bing Tian was at first startled for a moment, but quickly reacts,
“Wait. What do you mean by this?”
Ji Dong stopped his steps, without looking back he said, “The graduation rate is only 30%, I’m not willing to give up six years of my life for such a small probability. If I want a carefree life, why shouldn’t I just work for a bar?”
Yang Bing Tian frowned strongly, “Then what do you want? Money?”
Ji Dong abruptly turned around, “I told you that my cocktails can’t be measured with money. I can accept your proposal, because I am indeed interested in the profession of the Yin-Yang wizard. But I have a few conditions.”
Yang Bing Tian also stood up, and slowly walked until he was in front of Ji Dong, and arrogantly said, “Child, it has already been years since someone dared to speak to me in this manner.” His voice was gentle, but his eyes are showing glimpse of anger. Yang Bing Tian had a high status not just within this Li Huo City, but also within the entire Southern Fire Empire. That’s why he can’t bear being contradicted by a small beggar, whom he picked up from the streets. It was almost as if he was asking, ‘What qualifications do you have to discuss conditions with me?’
Ji Dong raised his head and looked directly in Yang Bing Tian’s eyes, which were emitting great pressure, “Are you implying that I don’t have the qualifications to make conditions? Be at ease, I will not take advantage of you in the slightest bit. What I ask of you, is absolutely not worth less than double of what I’m going to repay you in return. It is simple, the Burning Passion I mixed today was still rubbish. ”
Yang Bing Tian was startled, “That cup of liquor was rubbish?”
A trace of sorrow flashed across Ji Dong’s eyes, he says, “Due to my weak body and young age, I simply can’t make use of my entire mixing skills. I know one thousand nine hundred and sixty-four sorts of basic cocktail recipes and three thousand one hundred and sixty-two variants of special cocktail recipes. If you gave me enough time and materials, then the number will also steadily increase. That is why I have the qualification to talk about conditions with you, because in this six years you will never drink the same cocktail twice. Also, the quality of all the liquor I will make will be better than the one you drank today. If I cannot do that, you are welcome to throw me out anytime. Now, do I have the qualifications to impose conditions?” When he said the last word, his voice was already overfilled with pride, and even a few chokes in it.
In his old world, he was the glorious Liquor God of the Generation. When had anyone doubted him? Even though Ji Dong had already accepted his new identity, his pride and arrogance was ingrained in his bones and did not allow him to bow his head to anyone. Even if he knew that the person before him might change his fate, he wouldn’t back down one bit. Just like in his previous life, he never begged for anything, but instead relied on the nutrients that his body provided to survive. Yang Bing Tian was really shocked by the pride and arrogance of this kid before his eyes, but if what he said is true then he absolutely has the right for that pride. He suddenly remembers about a person and subconsciously asks, “What is your relationship with the Bartender Guild master lord Du Si Kang, the Liquor God?”
“Liquor God?” Ji Dong’s mouth twitched, but he quickly calms down, “I have no connections to him. Didn’t you say that Yin-Yang wizard is the most noble profession? Then why would you call a Bartender ‘lord’?”
Now that Yang Bing Tian’s mentality has settled down, he smiles, “That is because lord Du Si Kang himself is the ‘Six Yang crowned, Ren, water element Heaven ranker’, a famous Yin-Yang wizard from the North Water Empire, he’s the strongest wizard of the present age. His accomplishments are above even mine. Additionally, there is a huge difference between a five crowned and six crowned Yin-Yang wizard, so it is natural for me to address him as lord. Now tell me about your conditions.”
TL: Ren is one of the sexagenary cycle. It’s element is water.
Ji Dong strove to forget the memories of his old world, and silently told himself, you are Ji Dong now, and no longer the Liquor God, Li Jie Dong, so since you have come to this world, you should live by the rules of this world and climb the summit again.
Resolving his beliefs, Ji Dongs eyes were clear of uncertainty, “I have all in all three conditions. First, I need a room which is specially designed for me to mix cocktails. Additionally, you have to buy every liquor that can currently be found on the market. Only If this is fulfilled, I will be able to promise that my cocktails are of the highest quality. Nobody except you may enter the bar room without permission. I will be mixing cocktail there frequently and I shall not be disturbed by anyone. You are also responsible for refilling any of the lacking liquors and ingredients. And of course, all the expenses will be paid by you.”
Yang Bing Tian laughed and said, “This is a must. I promise you.”
Ji Dong plainly continued, “, my second condition. I will only mix one cocktail for you everyday, and all my additional expenses, besides cocktail mixing, will be all paid by you.”
Yang Bing Tian was startled and asked with a bit of embarrassment,
“Why will you only make one?”
Ji Dong gave him a quick look, “Could you possibly not know, that such a fine taste should not be tasted often? One glass of liquor should be enough to let you to enjoy the flavour for a whole day. If I cannot do that, what do you need me for?” It seems that Yang Bing Tian is influenced by the strong self confidence of Ji Dong, “Good, I believe in you, I will agree to this conditions. But your expenses per month can not exceed twenty gold coins. My wages are also limited.”
Ji Dong nods, “Finally the third condition. According to what you said, I will enter Lihuo academy and learn there. In that case, you must do your utter most to help me complete my studies, which is to condense the Yin Yang crown you talked about, and thus graduate smoothly. If within this six years of time, I discover that I have no hope of condensing the Yin Yang crown, I will leave at anytime. ”
Yang Bing Tian looks at Ji Dong somewhat astonished, “Boy, are you really only 11 or 12 years old? You have such meticulous thoughts; you are about to catch up with this old man here. I can assist you in your training process, but apart from helping you condense your Yin Yang crown, I will not teach you any magical skills. I need to make this one point clear beforehand.”
“Magical skills? What are those?” Ji Dong asked with suspicion.
Yang Bing Tian said, “One can only possess magical skill after condensing their Yin-Yang Crown. Frankly, magical skills are just the physical manifestation of the powers that reside in your body. Usually, Yin-Yang Wizards become a disciple of a master and try to learn magic. Occasionally some will buy expensive skill books as substitutes. However the most powerful skills are those that are the most suitable for the user. It is almost impossible to learn any powerful skills from a book. The most powerful skills are normally self-created, as they are the most suitable. But to be able to create a skill requires a series of fortunate events.”
Ji Dong asks, “With that said, are you not willing to accept me as a disciple?”
Yang Bing Tian’s eyes showed a trace of arrogance, similar to Ji Dong’s earlier, “This is one thing and that is another, you can mix cocktails quite well, but to become my disciple, you need to show at least a sufficient amount of talent. A Yin Yang Wizard is extremely strict in accepting a disciple, and so far, I only have one.”
Ji Dong raised his right hand, and stretched it to the front of Yang Bing Tian.
“What are you doing?” asked Yang Bing Tian looking at the hand before him.
Ji Dong said, “Deal.”
Yang Bing Tian laughed and shook his head helplessly, as a Five Crowned fire element grand master, he was actually at a clear disadvantage when negotiating with a kid. He really couldn’t believe it, but thinking about the thousands of cocktail recipes Ji Dong spoke of, he can only store this little unhappiness in his heart.
He claps onto the slim and small hand of Ji Dong, “OK, with this we have a deal.”
Ji Dong says, “As a liquor lover, this is perhaps one of your wisest decision in your entire life.”
Yang Bing Tian smiles, “I hope so too, but we shall wait and see what you are capable of. At the very least, you are the youngest person to ever make me agree to his conditions.”
Ji Dong asks. “When will I be admitted into Lihuo academy?”
Yang Bing Tian said, “You are already inside Lihuo Academy right now. As the principal, I, of course live inside the academy, this is one of my resting rooms. However, from today onwards it will belong to you. I will pay some people to build a bar here, and try to prepare what you need as soon as possible. The school will start in two days. So first take care of your body in these two days.”
Lihuo academy isn’t very big, and after living here for two days Ji Dong had already figured out basically everything about Lihuo academy. The whole academy had two teaching blocks, and two dormitories, two sports fields with a diameter of 150 meters. Additionally it had 10 test areas. Ji Dong didn’t know the purpose of the 10 testing areas. They looked like large storehouses, but were completely round.
After properly eating for two days, Ji Dong’s spirit was much better than the state before Yang Bing Tian took him in. When he looked at himself for the first time in a polished metal mirror, he could clearly see his appearance for the first time after being newly reborn. Compared to his old world, the difference could only be described as the difference between heaven and earth. He couldn’t look more average than he already was; the only thing Ji Dong could say about himself was that at least he wasn’t missing anything.
Yang Bing Tian proved himself worthy to be the president of the academy, his efficiency of handling things is extremely high. Only one day was needed to fully allocate the liquor cabinet. All sorts of fine liquor filled the cabinet, including some from Yang Bing Tian’s personal collection in his own residence. Yang Bing Tian lived on the top floor of one of the two teaching blocks. So there was plenty of space for Ji Dong to live in the lobby that was given to him and he didn’t have to stay in the dormitories.
~~~To Be Continued~~~
Li Huo academy only had one holiday each year; it started in the beginning of summer and ended three months later with the coming of fall. The temperature in the Southern Fire Empire got really high, and it became too hot to do anything. Right now, it is still holidays for the school, so that’s why the campus is really empty; one rarely met another person. Originally, Ji Dong thought that with the new school year approaching, and the entrance exams, which Yang Bing Tian had mentioned, being around the corner, that more students would be gathering at the school. Unfortunately, Yang Bing Tian had also said that the entrance exam, which Ji dong really wanted to try, was currently put on hold so Ji Dong had to wait a bit longer if he wanted to get in, obviously those who passed the exam held at the end of each term were allowed to enter the academy.
After running a few laps around the sports field, Ji Dong’s clothes were soaked in sweat. His body was still in a bad condition and even with the good nutrition he received, he’d still need more than just a few days to improve. No matter if it was for bartending or in order to become a Yin- Yang Wizard – which was something he did have interest in– he needed to train so that his own body strength could recover to that of an average person.
“School is going to start tomorrow. It’s been a long time since I have been so excited about something. A Yin-Yang Wizard… I wonder what sort of job it will be?”
While thinking, Ji Dong returned to the teaching block. Right after entering his room, he saw Yang Bing Tian sitting there waiting for him. His face bluntly showing that he couldn’t wait for his drink. Yesterday, after everything was ready, he mixed another cocktail for Yang Bing Tian. After drinking it, the attitude of Yang Bing Tian became even more gentle towards him. A great person from Ji Dong’s former world once said, ‘Actual practice is the sole criterion for judging the truth.’ After drinking the cocktail made by Ji Dong, he began to think that agreeing with Ji Dong’s conditions was a brilliant decision.
“Ji Dong, what cocktail are you going to mix today?”, Yang Tian Bing asked right after he saw Ji Dong returning. He immediately stood up and moved closer.
Ji Dong answers, “First I’ll take a bath, then I’ll mix a cocktail for you.” After agreeing to something, he will never give less than he agreed to
– this is Ji Dong’s integrity.
Yang Bing Tian urged, “Then please be quick.School starts tomorrow and I still need to measure your Yin-Yang attribute, and see which department suits you.”
“Yin-Yang attribute? What does that mean?”, asked Ji Dong curiously.
Yang Bin Tian replied, “Judging from the breath of your body, I think your nature is of the fire element. However to determine your element is a lot more complex, the fire element is divided into Yin and Yang, with one being Yin-fire and the other, Yang-fire.
“Both have their own traits. The branch of the fire element I am training in is Yang-fire. One who practices such is also called a Bing Fire Element Wizard.If they practice Yin-fire, then they are called a Ding Fire Element Wizard.”
Ji Dong said, “Fine, then I will first take a shower.”
The more Yang Bing Tian explained, the more interested Ji Dong became in Yin-Yang Wizards. He slowly and vaguely began to understand that the Yin-Yang Wizard’s attribute distribution system had something to do with Yin and Yang, the five elements, and the Ten Heavenly Stems from his former world. He only knew a few things about the Ten Heavenly Stems, having never really studied them much. Bing and Ding were representative of the fire attribute, and, according to the common sa
Outside of Ji Dong’s chamber is a bathroom. He took a quick shower, and changed into a new set of clothes. The moment he left the bathroom, he could see that Yang Bing Tian was already impatiently waiting for him, unable to sit or stand still. Ji Dong had seen this kind of situation many times in his previous life, and completely understood Yang Bing Tian’s eagerness. He immediately went behind the bar without saying a word.
The moment Ji Dong’s hand touched the shaker, he became another person. What Yang Bing Tian admired most, is Ji Dong’s extremely high level of concentration while mixing a cocktail.
Even though Ji Dong’s body condition is still a mere shadow of his former self, his level of cocktail mixing is still as excellent as it was in the past, it has truly achieved a realm where one would never want to drink any other liquor ever again. Simply said, with the same materials, but with a different person mixing it, the taste would be completely different, even if they mix with the same proportion of ingredients.
Yang Bing Tian held his breath in order to not disturb Ji Dong while watching him completely focus.
The movements of Ji Dong were very quick as he doesn’t need to look, blindly reaching his hand out to the liquor cabinet behind him grabbing everything that he needs. As the liquor god of his generation, he can remember the placement of every liquor on the shelf after a single glance, never forgetting where they are.
2/10 of green fennel wine, 2/10 of bacardi rum, 3/10 of yellow gin… in addition to that Ji Dong fills the final 3/10 with the flavouring and appetizing red wine vermouth, which he specially told Yang Bing Tian to buy. After placing all the bottles back in their original locations, he tosses the shaker up in the air – even Yang Bing Tian didn’t notice exactly when he covered the lid of the shaker. What Ji Dong is using is an ordinary crystal shaker, this was also his favorite in his former life. Even though a crystal shaker easily breaks, it affects the taste of the cocktail the least. Compared to a metal shaker, it is much better.
“Too bad, I don’t have ice.”, Ji Dong muttered to himself, lifting up both of his hands at the same time. One could only see the crystal shaker rolling back and forth on his palms, creating the image that his two hands were sticking to the shaker like magnets. While it is continuously rolled, Yang Bing Tian could clearly see that the color of the cocktail inside started changing.
The whole mixing process was short, when the shaker finally dropped from the air, it started to spin on the table like a gyroscope. Even though the crystal shaker was filled to the brim with liquor, the liquid still displayed a spiraling state.
“Even though this kind of technique is quite simple, it can get rid of all the foam in the liquor, so it doesn’t even need to be filtered.”, Ji dong said while stopping the shaker with a single touch of his finger. Afterwards, he opens the lid and poured the cocktail into a thickened top and bottom highball glass. The moment the last drop enters the glass, the whole cocktail changed into an extremely bizarre color. At first, the most upper part became pink which slowly spreads downwards. As the color gradually became lighter, the liquor started to turn into a pale blue, becoming sky blue the moment it touched the bottom of the glass. This glass of liquor, was as if it was gradually formed by two colors.
“Mixing is an art. When a bartender is mixing he will merge his emotion into the cocktail. That’s why, if the bartender has a different mood, the same kind of cocktail will have a different taste. Please try it, this cocktail is called: Charm. Sip it in appropriately small portions.”
“Charm? What a charm!”, Yang Bing Tian gasped in admiration from the bottom of his heart, taking the cocktail glass. After the first sip, he became completely conquered by the charm of this glass of ‘Charm’. Immediately upon flowing into his mouth, the liquid turned slightly sour sweetness. With every sip he took the taste changed, just like the color previously did. The last drop of the blue liquor completely turned into an elegant, charming, uncommon texture of perfection. The combination between the dense but exciting taste of fennel oil and gentle juniper berries took Yang Bing Tian into paradise, making him feel as if he was walking on clouds.
Ji Dong didn’t ask for a comment after Yang Bing Tian tasted the cocktail and only sat down beside him, showing off the confidence of a Liquor God. Yang Bing Tian put away the highball glass with extreme reluctance. If Ji Dong had not sat down beside him, he would have had the urge to lick the cup clean with his tongue.
“Absolutely perfect. You were right, delicacy cannot be tasted too often, being able to enjoy this once a day is already my greatest satisfaction.” Barely regaining his senses, he looked at Ji Dong again, the wrinkles on Yang Bing Tian’s face already piling up due to a smile.
“Didn’t you want to test my Yin-Yang attribute?”, Ji Dong reminded him.
“Oh, I was too deeply immersed, I totally forgot about that”, Yang Bing Tian said with slight laughter and embarrassment. His wrist vibrated and one could only see a flash from the red gem on his bracelet. Immediately, a transparent thin rod appeared in his hand.
The rod were 13 inches long and seemingly made out of crystal, engraved with something looking like vine lines, ending on one side with a blue small ball and with a red one on the other.
“Come, hold your left hand on the blue side and your right hand on the red side. Afterwards, relax your body.” Yang Bing Tian said, pinching the middle of the crystal rod as he handed it over to Ji Dong.
Ji Dong did as instructed and Yang Bing Tian pressed his hand onto Ji Dong’s forehead. Yang Bing Tian’s hand instantly transmitted a boiling flow into Ji Dong, which rushed towards every corner of his body. The burning feeling gave him unspeakable discomfort, while the crystal rod in his hand slowly started to change. The blue color spread from the sphere his left hand was holding onto the other side, and the red colored side in his right hand did exactly the same, making them head to the center of the rod. Upon seeing that both colors spread at the same speed, Yang Bing Tian frowned involuntarily.
Quickly, the two color progressed towards the center, meeting exactly where the mark was engraved in it.
“This cannot be possible…”, Yang Bing Tian mumbled, taking back the hand which is was pressing onto Ji Dong’s forehead. He focused his eyes towards the center of the crystal rod and firmly stared at the point where the two colors met, with a completely black gaze.
Ji Dong returned the crystal rod to him, “I don’t mind if you call me a talent.” It’s rare to see Yang Bing Tian this startled, that’s why Ji Dong could not hold himself back from making fun of him with that sentence.
“Talent? You are a true talent! But a talent in being trash. After so many years of teaching, I’ve never seen someone as thoroughly useless as you.”
TL, it’s a pun by YBT, 天 才 is genius/talented (natural born genius/talent), 天⽣的废材 is natural born useless person/talent.
“What did you say?”, Ji Dong became startled and asked. Even though this body is slightly weaker than normal, he cannot believe that he is useless trash.
Yang Bin Tian pointed at the crystal rod, “Look, you really are a fire element, this is a fire element testing rod, the color blue represents the Yin-fire and red represents the Yang-fire. If one insist to call you a talent, there is nothing wrong about that. A Yin-Yang balance, to actually have Yin-Yang balance! It’s the first time I see someone having a perfect balance between Yin and Yan in my sixty years of life.”
“What is wrong with a Yin-Yang balance? Isn’t that the healthiest for a person if one’s Yin and Yang are in balance?”, Ji Dong asked, who did not understand the problem.. Yang Bing Tian laughed bitterly, “That is not wrong, for normal people, a Yin-Yang balanced body would be a sign of a long life. You can’t even find one in ten thousands of people. But for us Yin-Yang Wizards, a Yin- Yang balance is even rarer than a pure Yin or a pure Yang. Do you remember? I told you that we will choose the cultivation method according to your Yin or Yang attribute. Generally speaking a normal commoner, has a Yin-Yang ratio of 6 to 4, either leaning more to the Yin- attribute or the Yang-attribute. However, we will not accept students with a ratio of 6 to 4, because if the discrepancy between the Yin and the Yang attribute is too small, it would be very difficult for them to condense the Yin or the Yang Crown. Additionally, even if they manage to condense the crown, they will have to face difficulties in their further advancement. . The ratio needs to be at least 3 to 7, which only raises the chance to condense a Yin-Yang crown to 30%. I for example, have a rare ratio of 2 to 8. With a yang attribute occupying the eighty percent, and only after continuous cultivation could I achieve today’s result.”
Ji Dong was a bit startled, “Then it means a pure Yin or pure Yang body has the best quality of becoming a Yin-Yang Wizard?”
Yang Bing Tian shook his head and answered, “That is not correct either, because the pure Yin and the pure Yang body are too extreme, the person will die before the age of 20, so they are not suited to train to become a wizard. Only if a male and a female who both have the opposite attributes undergo a Ying-Yang harmonization before the age of 20, will it be possible for them to train. But they can never separate from each other again or else they might suddenly die. Due to that, the best body for becoming a Yin-Yang Wizard is a body with a 9 to 1 ratio, with an extreme deviation towards one side. This is what we Yin-Yang wizard call an exceptional genius.”
Ji Dong took a deep breath and spokeslowly, “Then can you tell me, which attribute I should choose, if I want to train to become a Yin-Yang Wizard?”
The wrinkles on Yang Bing Tians face twitched, “It is difficult. Because you are innately Yin-Yang balanced, there is no way to train the superior attribute. If you really want to be a Yin-Yang Wizard, you will need to train the Bing and the Ding fire attributes simultaneously. Furthermore, you will need to maintain the Yin-Yang balance till the very end.
Even though I really wish to drink your cocktails, I cannot lie to you. The cultivation speed of the 3:7 ratio is double than that of the 6:4, and that of the 8:2 is the double of the 3:7. People gifted with the attribute ratio of 9:1 have 8-fold of training speed in comparison with the 6:4 ratio. However, your ratio is 5:5, the cultivation speed of your single attribute is 1/16 of the speed of 9:1. If you train both simultaneously, your training speed will drop even further to 1/32.. Under this condition, you have almost no chance to condense the Yin-Yang Crown. To top it all off, a Yin-Yang Wizard who cannot condense the Yin-Yang crown before his or hers 18th birthday, won’t have another chance in their whole life.”
TL: I have replaced “3 to 7” with “3:7” so it’ll be less confusing to read.
“Thank you for telling me this.”, Ji Dong said, expressing respect in his eyes towards Yang Bing Tian for the first time. Yang Bing Tian is undoubtedly very dependant on the delicious cocktails mixed by Ji Dong, but he still did not lie to him and told him the whole truth. He is indeed worthy to be a paragon.
Yang Bing Tian gently patted Ji Dong’s shoulder, “Actually, bartender is also a great profession, even if you don’t want to mix cocktails for the common folk. I can introduce you to the Bartender’s Guild, with your level, you can surely shine in the world of bartenders.”
Ji Dong shaked his head, “Thank you for your good will, but I still want to give it a try.”
“Are you saying…?”, says Yang Bing Tian, widened his eyes. However, he could see the perseverance as solid as a golden rock within Ji Dong’s eyes.
“I want to try and become a Yin-Yang wizard. If I am not gifted, then I will compensate for it with 32 times the effort.” Since I have already come to this magical world, why not try to live a new way of life? Even if I fail, what is there to lose?
“Right now, I am 10 years and 9 months old, which means I still have about 7 years to condense my Yin-Yang crown. Even if I do not succeed, you could still introduce me to the Bartender Guild later on. Until then, I will mix even better Cocktails.”, Ji Dong resolutely and decisively said. Age, is the memory left in this body.
Yang Bing Tian asked with a serious expression, “Are you sure?”
Ji Dong firmly answered, “If you do not try, how will you know if you will succeed?” He has never been a person who easily admits defeat.
Yang Bing Tian nodded, “Ok, I will do my uttermost to help you. I will not drink your cocktails for nothing. If you really can train two attributes at the same time and condense a Yin-Yang Crown, no matter what happens in the future, you will already have made a new path in the Yin- Yang world. Go and take a rest first, I’ll go back and think about this thoroughly.”
Walking out of Ji Dong’s room, Yang Bing Tian murmured to himself while closing the door, “What kind of family was able to raise this sort of child? Not only does he have bartending and mixing skills that are not the slightest bit inferior to an advanced bartender, but he also possesses such a firm and persistent will. Perhaps he really can turn waste into treasure…”
Early morning, the first thread of sun shone into a room, but Ji Dong was already awake. Ji Dong had developed the habit of sleeping and getting up early. Furthermore, this day was the first day of school. Ji Dong quickly ran down the building, and decided to jog a few rounds to exercise.
But as soon as he left the building, he discovered that he would not be able to jog today. Even though the sun just rose, the academy, which was still empty yesterday, had turned abnormally lively. A lot of kids his age, or older had come to the academy with their parents, making the dormitory building even livelier.
Even though he couldn’t go for a jog, Ji Dong still felt the need to exercise. He started stretching right where he stood. There was an advantage of being young: even though the body was weak, its flexibility was high. After exercising a little, he had warmed up, and he felt as if he grew a little stronger.
“Hey, are you one of this year’s newbies as well?” A melodious voice sounded behind Ji Dong. Ji Dong turned around, only to see a youngster, who was about his age, wearing somewhat average clothes. Even though he had the same plain clothes as Ji Dong, his appearance was much more appealing; he had a pinkish tender and delicate face from which water might leak from a pinch and two black shining eyes that were teeming with life. While his short and neat hair added vigor to his appearance.
“I am a Ding-fire element first year, what about you?” Asked the young kid, while naturally walking up to Ji Dong’s side, and hugging his arm putting on an intimate face.
“You are from the Ding-fire department? Are you a girl?”, replied Ji Dong a bit shocked. Since ten-year-old children haven’t really developed yet, it was hard to differentiate between males and females.
“Rubbish, brother, I’m a pure male. Do I need to pull down my trousers to show you? Who told you that you must be female to posses the Ding-fire attribute?” said the youngster angrily.
Ji Dong frowned, he wanted to say something, but a bright voice interrupted him. “Hey, Bi Su you sissy, are you here? I’ll surely beat you to death this time around.” An aggressive youngster who is one head taller than Ji Dong and the youngster beside him, ran in his direction. The youngster’s hair was so red that it dazzled the eyes, and his broad shoulders were like that of a small calf. His target was apparently the one beside Ji Dong, he dashed to them wi
“Who cares if he’s your boss or your brother, I’ll beat both of you at the same time.”, stated the red haired youngster, as he dashed at Ji Dong is standing. Since Ji Dong is in front, the punch comes right at him.
He instantly knows that he is being used. But the youngster named Bi Su is holding onto his clothes tightly, so he can’t dodge it even if he wanted to. In his former world Ji Dong was a fighting master. Since at that time he was tall and handsome he was liked by all the girls in his school, and he couldn’t avoid the jealous rage of the other boys. Due to them, he had a lot of fighting experience, and even though he doesn’t know any martial-arts, he can hold his own in fights.
Seeing the fist of the red haired youngster approaching, Ji Dong knew that he would be hit. Even though it wouldn’t knock him out, it would still be very uncomfortable. So Ji Dong acted before the punch hit him, being used is still better than being beaten. He lifted his right leg, and performed a straight forward kick. While you are bigger than me, my leg is still longer than your arm.
Peng, accurately and unmistakably Ji Dong’s foot hit the lower abdomen of the red haired youngster, who is really valiant. As a result of Ji Dong’s body not being in a very good condition, he falls over from the powerful impact, but he successfully repels his opponent.
“Ouch, that hurt!” Ji Dong did fall down, but he wasn’t the one who shrieked miserably. Bi Su who held onto his clothes from behind, ended up being used as a cushion for Ji Dong..
Ji Dong stood up quickly, and threw himself at the red haired youngster. Attack is the best defence. He knew that the red haired youngster was not an easy opponent, since he made Ji Dong fall. Ji Dong continued to fight even though he knew that he was being used by Bi Su since the red haired youth believed that they were working together. Bi Su seeing Ji Dong throw himself at the red haired youngster, was startled at first. But he didn’t run away, and soon after, he joined the fight.
Now that it was a 2 vs. 1; even though that red haired youngster was bigger, he couldn’t gain an advantage. Ji Dong was constantly coming from the front, while Bisu, very trickily, always was looking to always hit his weak points. While they were still very young, and didn’t have much strength in their fists, the red haired youngster doesn’t dare to let them hit him. He ended up defending his ‘jewel’ from all the attacks, only occasionally fighting back.
“What are you guys doing?! Stop right now!” an angry voice thundered over the sports ground. Before Ji Dong even realized that he was sent flying, he found that he had solid ground under his feet again. He saw a big, tall guy holding him and Bi Su in each hand, while Karl was standing up again.
Bi Su was very proud of being ahead and he stared at Karl with disdain. Karl on the other hand was so angry he was shooting flames from his eyes as he charged forward but was stopped by the tall sturdy man who held him by the shoulder so that he couldn’t even take a single step forward.
“You guys are not bad! It’s the first day of school and you are already fighting. Stand steedly.” Said the big and tall guy. His short red hair resembled Karl’s, but compared to him Karl was like a small dog. From this guy’s look he was about 30, and if you described Karl as a small calf then this guy would be the strongest bull, leopard head, ring eyes, he was intimidating without anger.
“You guys like to fight? Very good, a Yin-Yang wizard who doesn’t like to fight is not worthy being one. But the three of you are quite brave, daring to openly fight on the sports ground, and break the school rules! You will have enough opportunities to fight later on! The three of you don’t need to take part of the term opening ceremony, instead you will run
20 laps around the sports field. The last one to finish, will run 5 additional rounds and if you can’t do it, you can go home to your mothers. This is your opening ceremony, starting now!” Bi Su was the first one to start, and without the slightest hesitation. Ji Dong is secretly cursing his bad luck, but he had already clearly decided; it was impossible to turn back time, since it’s an entirely new start of his life, the make it one. He helplessly started running. The red haired Karl stared at the two with a furious expression, and also began running.
Li Huo academy has two sport fields, one for the Bing-fire department and another for the Ding-fire department. They were running on the Bing- fire department’s sports field, which isn’t big. Each lap is around 200 meters long, but 20 laps totaled to 4000 meters. This is a great challenge for a 10 year old child, especially for someone with a weak and small body like Ji Dong.
Meanwhile, a lot of old and new students saw the whole scene. The older ones were smirking secretly, while the new students were staring at the doughy middle aged man with fear.
Looking around angrily, the middle aged man roared furiously, “What are you looking at? Are you also interested in running laps? Otherwise, scram to the hall in teaching block and take part in the term opening ceremony. Now! Hurry up! I will count to ten, and anyone who is left will join them.”
Hong—–, every student no matter of which year, immediately dispersing. Everyone scrambled towards the teaching building, creating a scene of chaos; nobody want to be punished.
The strong man touched his face, “Am I really that scary? My face is just a little more fierce-looking. Hmph”
While saying that he watched the three people running, paying close attention to Ji Dong’s condition. He smiled and murmured, “These three little guys aren’t bad. Fighting on the first day of the new school term, they really remind me of my own charisma back then. Very good. Especially that small weak guy, throwing a fierce kick like that, he doesn’t seem tough, but the he way he fights is the opposite. Hmm… Why didn’t I see this student during the entrance exam last term? While running, the difference of their body’s inner quality was shown perfectly. Without question, the red haired Karl had a calf like body wasn’t just for looks. Each of his steps was filled with a lot of strength, making his body shoot forward like a bullet. He initially started last, but he quickly overtook Ji Dong and Bi Su. Even though Bi Su couldn’t compare to Karl, Bi Su’s light steps allowed him to follow Karl very easily.
While Ji Dong followed last, his performance could only be described as awful. At the beginning everything was ok, since in the past few days he was steadily training. For him, running three or four laps was no problem, and he could just about follow the other two.
But after five rounds later, Ji Dong started to breath heavily. Both legs felt like being filled with lead and became heavier and heavier, sweat began soaked his clothes. Slowly the distance between Karl and Bi Su began to pull further and further away.
After nine rounds, Karl had already lapped Ji Dong once, but instead of slowing down, he steadily increased his speed even further.
Bi Su also overtook Ji Dong once, but Bi Su continued following Ji Dong. Looking at him curiously, he asked, “Brother, your body is almost at its limit! How did you pass the stamina test at the entrance exam? Anyway, thank you for helping me out back them.”
Ji Dong glanced at him while gasping for air, “I will forgive you since you didn’t run away when we were fighting, just forget about it.”
Bi Su slaps at his own not so strong chest, “Me run away? Do I look like that sort of person?”
Ji Dong was in a bad mood and replied snappily, “A little.”
“Uh… come, let me help you a bit.” said Bi Su, reaching to support Ji Dong’s right shoulder, trying to carry some of his bodyweight.
With a move of his body, Ji Dong avoided Bi Su’s hand, “No need, I still can keep going. Continue at your speed, you don’t need to mind me.” The middle aged strong man stood in the middle of the sport field, clearly having seen the situation, “What are you guys doing? Hurry up and run, or do you want me to add more to your punishment?”
Bi Su puts out his tongue, and sped up, once again following Karl.
After fifteen rounds, Ji Ding’s stamina was clearly used up. As a result, his pace was steadily decreasing, but he showed no signs of giving up. If he wanted to become a Yin-Yang wizard, he needed to work 32 times harder than a genius, and Ji Dong plans to start working hard with this punishment.
The middle aged strong man in the middle of the sport field watched the three running, at the beginning he was most pleased by Ji Dong, who fought with direct and valiant movements.
However, just as he started to run, he could see Ji Dong’s problem very clearly. Karl and Bi Su have very fit bodies, and running 20 laps is no problem for them. But on the other hand, that small and weak student is clearly having trouble finishing the laps. How did he pass the entrance exam?
But shortly after, the middle aged man changed his opinion. His experience told him, that Ji Dong had run out of stamina long ago, but he was continuing, without complaint.
What a great persistence and willpower. Even though he has terrible stamina that can’t compare to the other two, his persistency made the middle aged strong man approve.
When Ji Dong finished his sixteenth lap, Karl and Bi Su had already finished their twentieth lap. Unexpectedly Bi Su sped up at the end, finishing at almost at the same time as Karl.
Ji Dong continuously and persistently took a step after another, and suddenly he he discovered that his body had become lighter, and running was not as hard as before. A divine light flashed through my mind, could I have broken through the limit?
He knew that in this sort of exercise, the human body would encounter a limit, and if you broke through this limit, it was like overcoming oneself. Afterwards, his steps become a lot lighter, and breathing was no longer a problem. The run from the 17th through 20th laps was much easier, he stubbornly persisted and finished the 20th lap.
But the punishment was not finished yet, after all, the last one to finish had to run 5 additional laps. Suddenly, when Ji Dong had just started his 21st lap he saw a shadow following him.
“What do you want?”, asked Ji Dong, after turning his head and seeing Bi Su.
Bi Su smiles,“All this happened because of, how could I leave you to shoulder the punishment alone? Let’s do it together.”
Even before he finished speaking, Ji Dong discovered that the readhead Karl was running beside him. Karl said while running, “I am not accompanying you, I only want to prove that can run as many rounds as you can. ”
Even saying that, but the speed of Karl was still the same as those of Ji Dong. Bi Su also maintained Ji Dong’s speed, as the three of them headed forward together.
“That is enough, all three of you come here.” The teacher waved his hand at Ji Dong’s group. The three of them looked at each other and rushed over to him.
When he stopped, Ji Dong felt as if his whole body was floating. It was almost as if his two legs didn’t belong to him. After all, the feeling of dripping water was really comfortable.
The valiant teacher looked at the three of them and grumbled, “Today, I taught you a lesson, so remember this clearly: Fighting is fine, but before fighting, you need to come to me. I will find a place for you where you can fight to your heart’s content.”
Bi Su put on a sweet smile and quickly said, “Teacher we won’t dare fight in the future.”
“Not dare? Weren’t you enjoying the fight just now? I don’t dislike naughty and mischievous students, rather I hate lazy students. If you wish to win every fight, then train harder in the future. My name is Xia Tian, like the blazing Summer. I am the head instructor of the Bing-fire department, and I am also the headteacher of the first year Bing-fire department. You better remember my name. You youngsters are from the Ding-fire department, right? I hate sissy talk the most, so from now on, speak more resonantly. Do you understand?” TL: The teacher’s name is Xia Tian, which means Summer.
“We understand.” Bi Su hurriedly answered loudly, but in his heart, he cursed. This guy in front of him was an older and bigger version of Karl. Xian Tian snorted, “Get lost. There’s no need to go to that boring term opening ceremony. After receiving your school uniform, you can go back to your dorm rooms and stay there. Let me remind you that one of the academy’s strictest rules is to stay on the academy grounds at all times.”
“Yes sir.” the three of them answered at the same time. They looked at each other and clearly saw the happiness in their eyes. They were all pleased that they didn’t have to go to the boring opening ceremony. Bi Su and Karl even cheered, pulling Ji Dong while running towards the teaching blocks.
Seeing them running off, a smile showed up on the fierce-looking face of Xia Tian. “These three little brats are still full of vigor. I hope they are astute students.”
Just as the three of them were about half the distance to the teaching blocks, Bi Su coughed and said as his eyes flickered from Ji Dong to Karl, “Hey… Karl, how about we end today’s incident here?”
Karl snorted, “Sissy, you want to run after gaining an advantage? You kicked me during the entrance exam when I ran ahead of you, and you took first place from me in the sports section. I haven’t paid you back for that. Anyway, today you guys beat me up, and you want it all with just that?”
Bi Su smiled, “Hehe, those are things of the past. Also, who doesn’t want to win? You can only blame yourself for your carelessness. You can’t beat the two of us!”
Ji Dong glanced at him and said plainly, “Don’t drag me into this. I only got to know you a second before he ran at us.”
Even though Karl had a valiant appearance, he was absolutely not a feeble-minded person, and he understood Ji Dong instantly. But just when he was about to go after Bi Su, Ji Dong stopped him by grabbing his arm, and continued, “But, one could say we would not have come to know each other if we didn’t fight, so how about this? If he kicked you, you can kick him now. As for the fight today, you started it so the responsibility falls on you. So after you kick him, those things will be of the past and we can be friends.”
“What? Brother, how could you sell me out!” Bi Su turned around and tried to run, but his shoulder was firmly grasped by Ji Dong.
“You need to take the responsibility for what you have done. Do you want to have Karl as a friend or an enemy in the future?”
Seeing such a calm Ji Dong, Bi Su was startled for a moment, but then he saw that Karl eager to get into action. He said helplessly, “Ok, I was unlucky today. I originally wanted to use you, but I never thought that I would just become your cushion and still end up being kicked. Big brother Karl, please be gentle with me.” [E/N: Cushion is referring to when Ji Dong fell in the previous chapter] While speaking, Bi Su hugged his head with both hands and rascally turned and squatted on the ground with his butt facing Karl and Ji Dong. Ji Dong felt both amused and embarrassed. This guy really was a buffoon…
Karl’s leg was already raised up, but he could not bring down his leg. He ended up stretching his leg under Bi Su’s butt and lifting it hard, making him stand again.
“Doesn’t matter anymore, I’m too lazy to care about it.” said Karl, a little angry, while glaring at Bi Su.
Upon not receiving a kick, Bi Su immediately straightened, like a snake that slithered up the stick. “Then does that mean we will be friends from now on?”
Karl snorted. “Who is friends with a sissy?”
Bi Su was furious. “Even a sissy has rights. A sissy is also a human, do you think I want this! Who let my Yin attribute occupy more than eighty percent of my Yin-Yang attribute? Because of the Yin-Qi, my voice is higher pitched, but I am definitely a man.” Tl: imagine this be said with a feminine voice. Karl was surprised. “You are a 2:8 Ding-fire element?”
Bi Su’s expression changed quickly after hearing Karl ask, he was very pleased. “Of course. To be exact, my Ding-fire occupies eight and a half. To describe it with a few words, that is to say I am a genius. In this year’s newbies, I’m probably the one with the best talent among the Ding-fire class.” Tl: 8.5:1.5
Karl feels too disdained to care about it. “Isn’t it just 8.5 Ding-fire attribute? I am also of the 8.5 Bing-fire attribute. Look, what is there to brag about?”
Hearing them quarrel, Ji Dong couldn’t help but smile. “Then what are you two doing now?” Even though he was calm on the outside, he was actually really surprised. According to headmaster Yang Bing Tian, the two kids in front of him were, without question, truly genius-level Yin-Yang wizards. It was almost certain that they would condense their Yin-Yang crowns.
Karl redend. “I only dislike his manner. Oh right, I still don’t know your name. Are you from the Bing-fire department or from the Ding-fire department?”
“I am called Ji Dong. To be exact, both of you are my fellow students. I am cultivating in Bing and Ding simultaneously.”
“That can’t be possible.” Karl and Bi Su said at the same time.
Ji Dong said plainly, “Never heard of Yin-Yang in balance? If one allowed you guys to say that you are geniuses, could it be that I am not allowed to say that I am a waste-genius?” While saying that, he had already entered the teaching block first.
Bi Su and Karl looked at each other and there was no longer hostility in their eyes, but seeing the bleak figure of Ji Dong, they hurried to catch up.
Bi Su couldn’t help but ask, “Ji Dong, are you really Yin-Yang in balance? But how did you get accepted into the academy with your attributes?”
Ji Dong answered naturally, “From the back door. I am a servitor. I only hope to test it with my own strength. Who said that you can’t become a Yin-Yang wizard with Yin-Yang in balance? I only need to train with 32 times the effort.”
“32 fold? And only? You are not a lunatic, right?” Bi Su stared at Ji Dong stupidly.
Karl glared at Bi Su. “You are the lunatic. Ji Dong, I support you. My mom once said, ‘If you tried your hardest, you will have no regrets even if you fail.’ If you need help, just tell me.”
Bi Su said in order to not be outdone, “Same with me. We are brothers from now on.”
Ji Dong looked at both of them. He did not speak but stretched out his right hand, while Karl and Bi Su almost placed their hands on top of his at the same time, though Bi Su was slightly quicker to respond. Three hands of different sizes were stacked together. Their gazes met, and they laughed together.
When they came to the dean’s office to get their school uniforms and time-tables, there was a brief interlude. Bi Su and Karl had agreed in advance that they would get it according to their own attributes. However, Ji Dong was going to receive two attributes. When Yang Bing Tian specially made an entrance notification for him, the teachers in the Dean offices looked at him as if they were looking at a monster.
“Opening ceremony in the morning and class in the afternoon? The school is inhuman! They don’t even let us rest!” Bi Su cried as he looked at the time-table.
Ji Dong swept his eyes across him. “If you dare, shout even louder.”
Bi Su mumbled to himself, “I was just whining a bit. But, this afternoon class isn’t bad, it’s a rare Bing-fire element and Ding-fire element combined class. There aren’t more than a few classes like this for an entire year. Then what should we do now?”
Karl said, “Go to my dorm, nobody is there now anyway.”
Bi Su twisted his mouth. “Forget it, you Bing-fire elements are all male students, it’s no fun. My dorm is better. Our Ding-fire element consists mostly of female students, and many of them are beautiful too! I’m the only one in my room, unlike you guys who squeeze four into a room.”
Karl said, “Sissy, you can forget about it. If we go to your Ding-fire department, even I am going to be tainted by your Yin-Qi.”
“I say, Karl, if you call me a sissy again, I’ll fight you with everything I got.”
“Enough, stop fighting. Let’s go to my place. My place is most peaceful. I’ll treat you both to drinks.” Ji Dong’s words caused Bi Su and Karl to quiet down, and both of them looked at each other and asked in a low voice, “You can drink at your place?”
Ji Dong asked puzzled, “What’s wrong?”
Karl mysteriously said, “Liquor is forbidden in the school, and before we entered the school gate, we were all searched. I was lucky though and because of my young age, they did not search me thoroughly., But the higher graded students, they were very strictly searched! If you really have liquor, you’ll be my boss starting from today! My father has taught me to drink since I was five, but since coming to school, I’ve been deprived of alcohol.”
Bi Su pulled Ji Dong’s left arm. “Then what are we waiting for? Let’s go.”
Ji Dong brought Karl and Bi Su to his room, which was on the top floor of the Bing-fire department teaching block. He conquered their hearts the moment they noticed the liquor cabinet that was filled with hundreds of fine wines. Of course, there was also some soya sauced meat that Yang Bing Tian had prepared for him. While Ji Dong absolutely disapproved of eating while drinking a cocktail, since it was during his lunch he didn’t make a fuss.
As afternoon came, the scorching sun burned high in the sky. Li Huo academy’s first classes had just now started. Karl and Bi Su both sat at the back of the classroom, and as expected. They were both smiling foolishly while listening, and if one looked closely at either one of them, they would definitely notice that these two boys were disoriented. Ji Dong decided not to sit with them, and instead, he sat the front so that he could hear the teacher better. After all, putting in 32 times the effort was not an easy feat.
Bi Su said in a low voice, “Karl, after we drank that liquor, big brother said that the teachers will not be able to tell if we had drunk. Is that true?”
Karl said annoyed, “Smell yourself and you will know. Can big brother lie to you!? But I have never drunk such a good cocktail. The flaming sensation…
Bi Su said, “Say, big brother, will we be sober soon? I am still a little shaky.”
Karl was a little sober now. “That is because you cannot hold your liquor as well as me. Look, I am fine already. I’ve decided that from now on, I will follow brother Ji Dong, so I may eat meat and drink good liquor.”
“You two, be silent at once! If you still dare to whisper among each other, then you can go outside and run rounds under the sun.” A resonant voice resounded in the medium sized classroom, and the disordered class quieted down immediately. Without looking, Ji Dong knew who came in by his manner of speaking.
The students of the Bing-fire and Ding-fire department consisted of 61 people altogether, and of course, Ji Dong was an additional student. The rest of the classes consisted of 30 students for each department, and the same happened for the other grades. Therefore, the whole Liho academy has about 360 students.
Even though Ji Dong had two uniforms and two timetables, he wore the Bing-fire department uniform today. The Bing-fire department uniform was red while the Ding-fire element uniform was blue, but they didn’t have any differences other than that. They both looked a little tacky; with the words “Lihuo Academy” printed on the back. The uniforms were clearly not refined. Karl and Bisu said that the school fee was 50 gold coins for a single academic year. So if one were to pass the entrance exam, some could not afford the high cost to even attend the school. Additionally, they had to cover for their own living expenses.
The Five Elements continent’s main currency was the gold coin, but every country had their own way of producing the gold coin. 1 gold coin was equal to 10 silver coins or 100 copper coins. It was said that there were also interchangeable coins throughout the continent. These coins were named Five Elements Coins; one Five Elements Coin was equal to 100 gold coins.
Teacher Xia Tian walked up to the podium. He was wearing a red robe, the same as headmaster Yang Bing Tian’s robe. But his bulking muscles couldn’t be concealed by the robe, and he emitted a valiant atmosphere. Intimidating these kids, who were around ten years old, was not a problem.
Another teacher walked up to the podium alongside Xia Tian; she was tall and only half a head shorter than Xia Tian, while a long blue dress outlined her beautiful stature perfectly. She looked to be around 27-28 years old, but her expression was somewhat cold.
Xia Tian’s radiant gaze fell upon the 61 Students. Suddenly, he slammed the table strongly, producing a thunder-like rumble and causing the thick wooden podium to groan. All the students were surprised by the teacher’s sudden action. The teacher with the blue dress couldn’t help but wrinkle her brow.
– end –
“Who said you could sit down? Everyone stand up at once!” Xia Tian roared angrily. All of the students stood up hurriedly. The students had taken their seats randomly without caring about their uniform color. As a result, the mix of red and blue among the students looked chaotic from the podium.
All of you from the Bing-fire department go to the right, and the rest of you from Ding-fire move to the left. All of you are so young but are already trying to woo the girls, hmm? Now, I will count to five. If any of you are not sitting in order, then get the hell out of this room!”
Under Xia Tian’s roar, no one dared to disobey him, and the sixty-one students shuffled in a disorderly fashion, quickly exchanging seats with one another. Ji Dong left his gaze upon the expression of the Ding-fire department teacher. Even though Xia Tian’s teaching methods were very strict, there was no change in her expression during the chaotic shuffle. She had clearly experienced Xia Tian’s teaching methods before and already become accustomed to it.
“Now, I will call out your names. Those who are called, stand up and answer in a loud voice with ‘HERE’. Bing-fire department, Karl.”
“HERE—” Karl had abruptly stood up, popping up from the back of the seats, and he had shouted in a loud voice, making the students turn and stare at him.
Xia Tian was very pleased and nodded. “Just like this. Make sure you guys continue just like this.” Xia Tian quickly named all 30 of the Bing-fire department students.
“Last one, Ji Dong.”
“Here.” Ji Dong was in the front and he stood up. Even though his voice was not as loud as Karl’s, there was something in his voice which made him seem equally determined.
When Ji Dong stood up, Xia Tian and the female teacher focused on him intensely. Xia Tian was somewhat surprised. “You are Ji Dong?”
“Yes.” Ji Dong’s answer was simple but powerful.
Xia Tian nodded. “Sit down.” Xia Tian’s expression was strange after knowing his name, but he didn’t even have to guess that it had something to do with his Yin and Yang being in balance.
I am Xia Tian. From now on, I will be the one leading the first year Bing- fire department. If you don’t train hard, then don’t blame me for being rude and kicking you out at any time. I will not let any of you waste the money your parents worked hard for. This here is the Ding-fire department teacher, Qiu Tian. She will now call attendance for the Ding-fire department students.”
Ji Dong almost started laughing. He thought: “What kind of names are these? One is called Xia Tian (Summer) and the other, Qiu Tian (Autumn). They match up quite well! He just didn’t know if there was also a Chuen Tian (Spring) and Dong Tian (Winter) in this academy.”
“Ji Dong.” The first name Qiu Tian called was his.
“Here.” Ji Dong had just sat down but needed to stand up again. Except for Karl and Bi Su, everyone else thought they misheard the name and just stared at him stupidly with odd expressions on their faces.
Qiu Tian smiled in response, and her smile was beautiful, just like her voice. “Don’t worry, everyone. Ji Dong is a special case. His cultivation method is different from all of yours. This is just an new attempt by the academy. Ok, you can sit down. , Bi Su.” “Here.” Bi Su said, in his feminine tone, and he stood up at lightning speed while looking at Qiu Tian with shining eyes. “Nice to meet you, Sister Qiu Tian.”
Qiu Tian chuckled. “You need to call me teacher.”
Bi Su was about to say something, but then he saw Xia Tian’s eyes filled with killing intent. He hurriedly sat down, a
Taking attendance was done with quickly. Ji Dong turned a blind eye toward the students who kept staring at him. Even though teacher Qiu Tian didn’t say it out loud, anyone who knew even a little about Yin-Yang wizards knew that one could only cultivate both types if they had Yin-Yang balance, without question that is a top notch trash. Of course, many of them were still curious, as having Yin-Yang balance was even rarer than someone with the 9:1 ratio, which is the one worthy of being called an absolute genius.
After attendance was taken, the class officially started. Xia Tian turned around to write five phrases on the board. What he wrote was:
East – Jia, Yi, Wood. South – Bing, Ding. Fire. Mid – Wu, Ji. Earth.
West – Geng, Xin. Metal. North – Ren, Gui. Water.
After he finished writing, he turned around, while teacher Qiu Tian naturally walked to his side. Xia Tian swept his gaze through the students. “Today is your first lesson in the Li Huo academy. This is even one of the few special classes where both departments take it together. Now, who can tell me the meaning of the five phrases I have written?”
Perhaps it was due to the rough and fierce voice of Xia Tian frightening all of the 10 year old kids or other reasons, but most of the students ended up blankly staring at him.
Ji Dong, who was sitting in the front, raised his hand without hesitation. Since he was wholeheartedly devoted to his path of cultivation, he would definitely need to absorb as much knowledge as possible, as his necessary 32 times of effort was no joke. Also, he needed a foundation with which to put his efforts towards.
Xia Tian nodded towards Ji Dong. “Ok, you may answer.”
Ji Dong stood up and said, “The five phrases teacher wrote represent several things. First, the five directions: East, South, West, North, and Middle. Second, the five elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. And lastly would be the ten heavenly stems: Jia, Yi, Bing, Ding, Wu, Ji, Geng, Xin, Ren, and Gui. For example, combining these phrases, I could say some things about our fire element. The fire attribute is of the south, and in the ten heavenly stems, Bing and Ding are both fire elements; however, from Yin and Yang, Ding-fire and Bing-fire are different. This is why the south Ding-Bing-fire could also be called south Yin-Yang fire, as Ding and Bing are just different names. From this, we could also say that it would be the same for the other elements. From the ten heavenly stems, the odd numbers would represent the Yang attribute, and the even numbers signify the Yin attribute. Another example would be Jia-Yi-wood. Jia-wood is probably Yang-wood and Yi-wood would be Yin-wood.”
Xia Tian nodded in praise. “Very good, you may sit down now.”
Everything Ji Dong said was what he had known about the five Yin-Yang elements from his past life, what he had heard previously from Yang Bing Tian’s mentions about the Yin-Yang Wizard, and then combined with what Xia Tian had written on the board.
Xia Tian said, “What Ji Dong have said is correct. Our continent is known as the Five Elements Continent, but what exactly are the five elements? Those would be wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Each of them are divided in Yin and Yang, thus they become the 10 attributes. These 10 attributes are known as Yin-wood, Yang-wood, Yin-fire, Yang-fire, Yin- earth, Yang-earth, Yin-metal, Yang-metal, Yin-water, and Yang-water. These are also the 10 departments that we Yin-Yang wizards are divided into.
After that, he stopped for a moment, but then he continued and wrote twenty other words on the board.
“The whole ten attributes of the Yin-Yang wizard consist of only this many. The ten heavenly stems could be compared with the five elements and Yin-Yang. Ji Dong explained this concept clearly. Jia and Yi belong to wood, also known as Yin-Yang wood. Bing and Ding belong to fire, and they are also Yin-Yang fire. When the ten heavenly stems are substituted into our Yin-Yang wizard classification, their actual names come out. These names are: The Jia-wood element, Ji-wood element, Bing-fire element, Ding-fire element, Wu-earth element, Ji-earth wood element, Geng-metal element, Xin-metal element, Ren-water element, and Gui-water element.
“Almost all the people in our Southern Fire Empire are of the fire element. That is why our Li Huo academy only contains the Bing-fire and Ding-fire department, which you all belong to. The other eight departments are in the other empires.”
Xia Tian drew a big rectangle on the board and divided it into five parts. He modeled his parts after the five directions: top, bottom, left, right, and middle, at the very bottom of the rectangle he wrote: Southern Fire Empire.
“Suppose that our continent is this rectangle. Our Southern Fire Empire is, of course, on the south. South is of the fire element, making it the best habitat for us people with the fire element. With this, I believe that you guys will be able to guess how the other empires arose. Towards the north would be the Northern Water Empire. In the west would be the Western Metal Empire. Residing in the east is the Eastern Wood Empire. And lastly, the middle contains the Middle Earth Empire which has occupied the largest area of land. Our continent name also comes from this alignment of the five empires.
While saying that, he wrote the other names on the other four parts. At the same time, he marked a location on the west side of the Southern Fire Empire. He pointed at it and said, “This is our Li Huo City.” “Is anyone having trouble understanding what I just explained just now? If there is something you don’t understand, speak up now. Such fundamental things will not be explained again in the future.”
Ji Dong couldn’t help but to admit that teacher Xia Tian, who had a rude style and a violent temper, was so rational while teaching. What was supposed to be deep and profound was unexpectedly explained easily through the combination of his words and drawings. The students who was able to pass the entrance test are absolutely not dumb, thus no one raised a question.
“Good! Since there are no questions, then we will continue. Listen carefully boys from the Bing-fire department, as what I will explain next is our own Bing-fire attribute.”
While mentioning his own Bing-fire attribute, Xia Tian was in high spirits and his voice was somehow even louder than before. “Bing-fire represents the Yang-fire. Yang is akin to strong. And this may turn to strength and then to fire, which is like having the intense rays of the sun, which contain an immense heat, radiate. Bing means sun in the ten heavenly stems. We of the Bing-fire attribute all shine like the sun, while also being a wild and violent fire. In the ten departments of the Yin-Yang wizard, we are only second to the Geng-metal department in attack power; however, when it comes to a full burst attack, we overtake them. According to the rule of mutual destruction, our Bing-fire would mutually destroy the Geng-metal. Because of these three things, we could claim to be the strongest attackers among the Yin-Yang wizards. Every one of you must remember the word ‘manly’, which is to become Yang-strong. This does not only include your ability, but also your attitude. Only after you fully integrate your inner manliness could you possibly display the strongest and the most ferocious of the Bing-fire attribute.”
Teacher Qiu Tian then walked to the side of Xia Tian, and with a smile, she said, “Teacher Xia Tian just explained the Bing-fire attribute to the Bing-fire department students. Now, I will explain the Ding-fire attribute to the rest of you. As fire, but because of Yin-Yang, they are differentiated. If one were to say that Bing-fire was the day, then our Ding-fire would be the fire of the night. Ding-fire is the candle flame, the dark flame, the fire of a stove, lamp fire of houses, the beauty of fire, we are the fireworks that blossom in the sky, and the single spark that can start a prairie fire. Bing- fire illuminates all living things, while Ding-fire illuminates one region. Ding-fire is soft and mellow, while its inner nature is bright and harmonious. Even though we are not as violent as Bing-fire, we have the strongest adhesive and corrosive nature among the ten elements. Even though we cannot be compared to the Bing-fire in terms of explosive attack power, once an enemy were to be hit by our Ding-fire, they would burn eternally. Bing-fire and Ding-fire both have their own specialties, just as the other eight elements do. All five elements counter each other, there is no absolute strongest element; however, I will tell you that when you cultivate to the extent that you could violate the rule of mutual destruction of the five elements, no matter what element you have, then you would become the strongest.
Teacher Xia Tian went back and handed the class over to Qiu Tian. Teacher Qiu Tian continued on. “What I will be teaching now is the most important content of this lesson. Everyone listen carefully. If you don’t understand anything, please ask immediately as this lesson will concern whether or not you can graduate from Li Huo academy and become a Yin-Yang Wizard.”
After that, the smile on Qiu Tian’s beautiful face vanished, and she said seriously, “I think most of you have already heard about the Yin-Yang crown and that you also know that it represents the Yin-Yang wizard. I will now teach you what the Yin-Yang crown stands for, their specific rank classifications, and their functions.
While saying this, Qiu Tian came from behind the desk and suddenly stopped beside Xia Tian and nodded at him. There was a 5 meter distance between their shoulders, and the two of them slowly raised their hands at the same moment, with the palms of their hands facing upwards.
“Whoa!” The students gasped and expressed their surprise. On the palms of Xia Tian, scarlet red flames were being emitted. But the flames from Qiu Tian’s palms were blue. The dazzling and beautiful lights that shined from the flames were attracting the eyes of every student. An intense red light and a dense misty blue light were being released individually from the two teachers. Ji Dong, who was sitting in the front row, thought the red light emitting from Xia Tian’s body was very similar to that of Yang Bing Tian’s, as if it were a kind of invasive blaze. That blazing red flame rose the temperature of the air around it rapidly. On the other side, the blue light from Qiu Tian’s body and the flames surrounding her hands were without any temperature. Based on appearances, the blue flames were far from the red flames released by Teacher Xia Tian, which were filled with the sense of a vast and overwhelming blaze. But these blue flames gave one a deep impression of fear, a fear so deep that one would feel chills upon seeing the flames. This demonstration obviously represented the Yang-fire’s Bing-fire and Yin-fire’s Ding-fire. No matter which flame was releasing their magic power, both the red and blue light were covered with a slight golden edge.
A transparent figure appeared behind both Xia Tian and Qiu Tian. The colors of the two figures matched the magic power emitted from their bodies. At this moment, Ji Dong discovered the difference between them and Yang Bing Tian. Also of the same Bing-fire element, the vermilion bird that appeared behind Xia Tian was much fainter than that of Ying Bing Tian’s; Yang Bing Tian’s release of the vermilion bird gave off a slight feeling as if it were real and not transparent, but the one residing behind Xia Tian was merely a faint current of air.
The shadow behind teacher Qiu Tian was not a fire bird… It was actually a gigantic coiling blue snake that was equally illusory to Xia Tian’s bird and could not be seen very clearly.
– end –
Ji Dong looked at teacher Qiu Tian with great surprise. In his memories, there was another name for the north Bing-Ding-fire, which was the North Vermilion Bird Bing-Ding-fire; this was similar to the south Azure Dragon Jia-Yi-wood. In other words, from his memories, Bing-fire and Ding-fire should have had the Vermilion bird as their symbol. But if this was the case, why did a blue snake appear behind Qiu Tian when she was a Ding-fire department teacher? Also, this snake was odd, as it seemed to have a pair of wings, of which their color was very faint.
A red light and a blue light separately condensed on top of both teachers’ heads, and a crown appeared above both of them. When their crowns materialized, they instantly became the center for the release of magic.
The crown that appeared above Xia Tian was similar to Yang Bing Tian’s. It was thoroughly white and enshrouded with a gold tint. Nine spikes were set on it, with a red-colored bead embedded in each spike. The only differences were the flame patterns and the quantity of pentagrams in front of the crown. Xia Tian had red flames branded on only three spikes on the front of his crown, and the pentagrams on the circle below amounted to four, an entire half more of a pentagram compared to Yang Bing Tian.
On the other side, the crown which appeared above Qiu Tian was something Ji Dong saw for the first time. That crown was thoroughly black and enshrouded with a gold hue. It had nine spikes on top of it, only that on each spike, there was a blue-colored bead instead. It also contained only three spikes with flame brandings, though they were blue as well. The circle below displayed two and a half pentagrams. His entire body was shrouded in a red glow, and with the blazing flame on his palm, Xia Tian seemed like a descended fire deity; his former extremely valiant look had become even more tyrannical, and even his eyes smeared with red. “Can you see? These are the complete fighting modes of the Ding-fire attribute Yin-Yang Wizard and the Bing-fire attribute Yin- Yang Wizard.”
As he spoke, Xia Tian raised his hand and waved. The crown from his head flew down and landed on his hand. “10 elements of Yin-Yang wizards:
5 elements belong to Yang and 5 elements belong to Yin. What I’m releasing right now is the Bing-fire element Yang crown, and what teacher Qiu Tian is releasing is the Ding-fire element Yin crown. Whether it’s the Yang crown or the Yin crown, it remains the source of the Yin-Yang wizard’s power. Whether one could condense a Yin-Yang crown is also the most fundamental requirement of a Yin-Yang wizard.
While holding his own Yang crown in one hand, one finger pointed toward the 5 diameter ring under the crown. “Whether it is the Yang crown or the Yin crown, it divides into four parts as a whole. First, the ring you see now is called the Crown Ring, it’s the base of the Yin Yang crown. Each Crown Ring has nine spikes, we call them Crown Peaks, which are also the nine points of the triangulars on top. When they combine, they will form the most basic Yin-Yang crown. I’m sure you all saw the 4 stars on my Crown Ring. It’s called the Crown Star, and as for the flame brandings on the peak of the the crown, we call them Coronas. These four parts represent the level of a Yin-Yang wizard.”
“Crown Star – it represents the fundamental level of the Yin-Yang wizard. It has 10 levels, from the first to the tenth. Remember this, one Crown does not represent 1 level, but 2. For example, this Yang crown of mine has 4 Crown Stars, which means I’m namely the 8th level. I have the Bing-fire element red flame brandings on 3 Crown Peaks, this is called Three Coronas. How many of such brandings on the Crown Peaks will equal the amount of Coronas. Each time one cultivates the Crown Star to the fifth one, which means the 10th level, that means
Teacher Qiu Tian attracted the Yin crown from her head to her hand, and she took over Xia Tian’s speech. “Regardless of any element a Yin-Yang wizard may have, we receive the same level classification. According to one’s accomplishments, one will have different titles.”
“Such as you students who have recently started to cultivate or the students who have not yet condensed their Yin-Yang crown are collectively called an Apprentice. If one is from the Bing-fire department, then one will be a Bing-fire Apprentice. If it’s the Ding-fire, then they would be a Ding-fire Apprentice. When all of you obtain your own Crown Star, you can add your levels onto your title. For example, a student with half a Crown Star will be called a level 1 Bing-fire Apprentice or level 1 Ding-fire Apprentice. When you cultivate to reach the fifth star, a level 10 Apprentice, you will condense your own Yin-Yang crown, and your title will change with it. By that time, you will possess one Corona. The 5 Crown Stars will disappear following that. When you once again cultivate to reach 5 Crown Stars, level 10, you will be promoted again and reach 2 Coronas. We Yin-Yang wizards’ titles change according to the number of the Coronas. From the lowest rank: Apprentice, Scholar, Master, Great Master, Grandmaster, Great Grandmaster, Heaven Scholar, Heaven Master, Heaven Lord, and Exclusive Title.”
Xia Tian continued, “As a result, my title of the entire kingdom of Yin- Yang wizards is: 3 Coronas of Yang Crown – level 8 Bing-fire element – Great master. And teacher Qiu Tian’s title is: 3 Coronas of Yang Crown – level 5 Ding-fire element – Great master. Today, this will be your first lesson, theoretical knowledge will be explained until here. Now you may ask if there are any questions. Teacher Qiu Tian and I will answer your questions.” Qiu Tian and he kept their magical powers, and following that, the Yang crown and Yin crown disappeared.
The first student who had a question was Ji Dong, an ordinary 10 year old kid. Furthermore, this is actually his first time within this environment, and he would have been somewhat shy; however, this would never occur with the new Ji Dong, whose mentality was older than 30 years old. Right after Xia Tian finished his explanation, Ji Dong raised his hand so he could ask questions. “Teacher Xia Tian, I have three questions. My first question relates to the ten titles of the Yin-Yang wizard you mentioned before. What is the exclusive title at the last rank? That should be the one you would get when you achieve the ninth crown, right?”
Xia Tian stared blankly at him, then he couldn’t help but laugh. “You think very far, young chap. The ninth crown is something that only exists in legends, and is the final goal of us Yin-Yang wizards. But to be frank, you don’t need to know about that. Since you asked, I will tell you that the ten elements of Yin-Yang wizards have exclusive titles for those who could ever manage to reach the ninth crown. Our Bing-fire element’s exclusive title is: Sheng Guang. For the Ding-fire department, it is: Tai Yi. As for the other elements, even I don’t know about it.”
Ji Dong showed a somewhat thoughtful expression. “My second question is about the two spirits that appeared behind both the backs of you and teacher Qiu Tian. There was an illusion and yours was a gigantic red Bird, but teacher Qiu Tian’s seemed like a very long winged snake. Why is that so?”
This time, teacher Qiu Tian answered his question. “Ji Dong, your observation is very detailed, but you are biting off more than you can chew at this point because we are still only on the first lesson. Your question will be answered next lesson though. We will explain about this department’s totem and the uses of the Yin-Yang Crown. When the time comes, you will understand everything.”
Ji Dong nodded. “I have one last question. Even though you and teacher Xia Tian are divided by the Bing-fire department and Ding-fire department, I just discovered that no matter if it is the Yin crown or the Yang crown that is released, there is something similar. Regardless of whether it is your Yin-Yang crown or your magic, the edge will always glow a golden hue. Why is that so?”
Upon hearing Ji Dong’s question, both Xia Tian’s and Qiu Tian’s expressions changed. They looked at each other with in surprise, and then Xia Tian said in a deep voice, “You do not need to know these things for now. If you can truly become a Yin-Yang wizard, and furthermore, pass the entrance exam for an advanced academy and cultivate there, one of the teachers there would inform you.” Ji Dong always observed things carefully by relying on his observation skills, which exceeded that of an ordinary person. When he mentioned the golden edge that emanated from their Yin-Yang crown or magic, both Xia Tian’s and Qiu Tian’s expressions changed unnaturally; there seemed to be some excitement in their gazes and some insipid fear. But since they did not want to explain it, he could only wait and ask principal Yang Bing Tian about it later tonight.
Xia Tian said, “Ok, this lesson has been going on for a good amount of time. You all may now have free time to talk amongst yourselves, and no matter what question you have, you can always ask us. Ji Dong, come with me.” He was already walking out of the classroom by the time he finished talking. Qiu Tian stayed inside to look after the students and to answer any questions they may have had.
Ji Dong followed Xia Tian and left the classroom. Xia Tian walked straight to the next floor without saying a word or looking back at Ji Dong. Ji Dong’s heart slightly moved, it seemed that the impression Xia Tian had of him during the punishment run was not bad, but now Xia Tian seemed to be containing some resentment. Could it perhaps have something to do with him alone?
Xia Tian led Ji Dong toward the 2nd floor of the Bing-fire department teaching block and they entered a medium sized classroom. There were no chairs or desks inside this room, and it was about 31 square meters large. However, there were 10 praying mats on the ground, as well as a Bing-fire phoenix pattern marked on the door.
Xia Tian pointed at the praying mat in the middle and said, “Sit down cross-legged.”
Ji Dong did as he was told, and Xia Tian sat down face to face in front of him with his bell-like, flickering, and big eyes staring at Ji Dong. If it was another 10 year old kid, they would surely be panicking; however, Ji Dong was not willing to back down one bit even when he was facing Yang Bing Tian. Even though Xia Tian had a bold and powerful appearance, he was still unable to seize Ji Dong’s resolution. Xia Tian snorted coldly. “No wonder your fitness was that bad when I punished you this morning. So you entered using backdooring… I really don’t understand the principal though, finding such an odd kid out of nowhere and still wanting to foster you with all his power.”
Backdooring? Ji Dong felt very awkward having had this word used towards himself, but he did actually enter the Li Huo academy through backdooring… Since he had no way to retort Xia Tian’s opinion, he could only keep quiet, but there wasn’t any dissatisfaction in his gaze either.
“Because of the principal, I will have to give you the chance to learn, but despite that, I’m warning you in advance; if you don’t show any results after a year, I will kick you from the Bing-fire department. Even the principal cannot stop me.”
Ji Dong still didn’t say anything whatsoever. Guarantees and explanations had no real meaning because only strength and results are the most important.
Upon realizing that Ji Dong had still not uttered a single word and his gaze was still the plain, apathetic one from the beginning, he couldn’t help but felt somewhat baffled. Xia Tian reached out to his chest and took out two things. These two things were presented in front of Ji Dong’s eyes. As Ji Dong stared at them, he discovered that these two objects in front of him were actually two special gems in the shape of two crowns. One of them was white and the other black. They looked similar to the Yin-Yang crowns that Xia Tian and Qiu Tian had released earlier, except that they were a hundred times smaller, the size of a gold coin. The white gem glowed slightly red, while the black gem released a dull blue light. The only big difference between them was that the two gems had a grey light edge, rather than gold. Just this one tiny difference made the gems release a clearly different presence compared to the ones the two teachers had released earlier.
“Teacher Xia Tian, what are these?” Ji Dong asked curiously.
Xia Tian looked at the two gems with a serious expression, and his eyes revealed a slight desire for them. “You don’t need to know what they are. You only need to know that they will greatly assist you on your path to becoming a Yin-Yang wizard. These two gems are from the private collection of the principal and have no relation to the academy. I really don’t know why the principal favors you so much… How much did your family bribe the principal, to make him bring out this pair of crystal crowns? Both of these gems are of the lowest quality, but they are still worth several thousand gold coins and aren’t even for sale in the market. To have made him take these out and then donate them to you, who is a piece of Yin-Yang balanced trash, is truly a waste.
Hearing Xia Tian’s words, Ji Dong couldn’t help but to praise Yang Bing Tian in his mind. This guy is truly someone who abides by his promises; he unexpectedly took out such precious items because he promised to do his best to assist him into becoming a Yin-Yang wizard. Looks like I will need to take out some of my true skills and mix him some high quality cocktails to show my appreciation.
Due to Xia Tian’s constant disrespect towards him, Ji Dong’s haughtiness was incited. He said coldly, “Teacher Xia Tian, since the principal gifted these gems to me, whether it is a waste or not has nothing to do with you. Also, I don’t have a rich family that could possibly bribe the principal, as I am merely an orphan. If you were truly curious about why the principal would give me such a treasure, you would have to ask him yourself. I respect you because you are a teacher, but is it truly acceptable for you, a teacher, to constantly harass the frail heart of a student like this?”
“You…” Xia Tian gave Ji Dong, who had puffed out his chest in defiance, a monstrous look. But suddenly, he found this whole talk laughable. He, the student-proclaimed demon god, had already punished an entire third of the students. Even those who had already condensed their Yin-Yang crown would tremble in fear when they saw him. However, this ten year old, whom he had already punished in the morning, was speaking confidently and was even criticizing him. He actually found this quite interesting.
– end –
“How did I not see before that you had such a weak spirit?” Xia Tian was engrossed in Ji Dong, his expression turning even more dreadful than his previous monstrous and devil-like manner.
“Li Huo academy rule number nine: Those who contradict the teacher ought to be punished. After we finish this talk, you will have to run on the track field until I am satisfied. Of course, I admit that what you said earlier was right, as I was definitely excessive with my words and actions. This is why I will punish myself and will run alongside you while also restricting my use of magic.”
Ji Dong was surprised. He actually appreciated Xia Tian’s bluntness and his willingness to admit his wrongdoings. But what kind of terms were these? This punishment was obviously unfair!
Ji Dong’s physical ability was that of a weak animal, and Xia Tian was a bull. Even without his magic, Xia Tian would obviously feel no weariness even after running a hundred times around the field. Despite the unjust punishment, Ji Dong cared much more about the two crystal gems in Xia Tian’s hand and didn’t say anything.
Xia Tian became more serious as he held a crystal crown in each of his hands, and he said in a low voice,
“You do not need to know the origin of these two crystal crowns. Normal students would start their cultivation with sensing the existence of the Bing- fire element or Ding-fire element under our guidance. One could only absorb the essence of the element during cultivation if one were able to sense their particular element, which would then allow them to increase their power. Bing-fire and Ding-fire are incapable of being fused; like that of water and fire; however, since you are of the Yin-Yang balance, the peculiarity of having a perfect balance causes the two fire elements to interfere with each other and oppose another.
Normally, you would be unable to cultivate at all, but these two crystal crowns, which will give you the power to sense both Bing-fire and Ding- fire, will allow you to cultivate as long as you absorb both fire elements. Compared to other students, you will be a month ahead. I will now use my magic power to activate these two crystal crowns, forcing their energy to enter inside you. You will need to focus deeply on sensing these two different magic powers.
Also, in the future, there will be no one that could possibly assist you with cultivating afterwards, and you will only be able to rely on your own efforts. I hope you will be able to bring out the willpower you had during this morning’s punishment run and be diligent with your cultivation.”
“Yes, sir.”Ji Dong straightened himself and answered seriously.
“Close your eyes. Place both hands on your knees. Relax, and no matter what you feel next, don’t move.”
Ji Dong did as Xia Tian ordered, and he closed both of his eyes. Because he had dedicated his life to liquor for 20 years in his past life, he had a very high amount of concentration, to the extent that very few people could even be compared to him. The moment he closed his eyes, his spirit and mind became calm.
Xia Tian held the Crystal Crowns with both hands, and as his eyes shone, Ji Dong immediately felt the scorching heat from the Bing-fire element’s magical power. Once again, the 3 Coronas Yang Crown appeared on the top of Xia Tian’s head. Two sources of fiery red flames instantly rose from his palms, and the Crystal Crowns instantly brightened, each coagulating a lump of dazzling luster. Xia Tian took a deep breath while stretching both of his hands out with lightning speed. Suddenly, he pressed onto Ji Dong’s chest, stamping the two lumps of radiance directly onto him.
Ji Dong’s body shivered upon contact with the two crowns. He could only experience a scorching and tepid heat taking over his body as
Yet the tepid heat flowed smoothly through his veins like springwater, travelling into each and every part of his body. While the scorching flow was bursting throughout his body, paining him greatly over short bursts, that tepid flow felt as if it was solidifying his blood, increasing the pain to even greater amounts. His whole body seemed to be falling and was calcined by a gigantic Yin-Yang furnace at the same time.
Without question, that scorching flow was definitely Bing-fire magic being released from one of the crystal crowns and that tepid flow was Ding- fire magic. After the two airflows were forced into Ji Dong’s body, they immediately diffused within the meridian channels of his body. But the heat energy became wild and was suddenly supple. Ji Dong’s body unconsciously spasmed, his hands on his knees firmly grasping his own pants. Regardless, he was grinding his teeth and was bitterly holding it in.
Xia Tian was just as nervous as Ji Dong could have been at this moment. It was not the first time he had used one of these crystal crowns, but giving a single person both a Yin and Yang crown was definitely the first time. As he began sweating, he nervously watched the changes on Ji Dong’s face. He had already felt that the power of the crystal crowns had altered Ji Dong’s body, but he did not know to what extent.
He didn’t dare to infuse his Bing-fire into Ji Dong to help him because Ji Dong might not be able to bear the immense power that would form from his own magic combined with the energy from the two crowns. At this moment, Ji Dong could only rely on his own power to absorb the energy from both crowns.
“Hang in there. This crystal crown can give you everything you desire. It will activate your double attribute and even strengthen your body’s physique. If you can’t even endure these small pains, why do you even want to be a Yin-Yang wizard? You will obviously get better in a little while.”
A little pain? This was supposed to be only a little pain?? But Ji Dong didn’t have time to focus on these words. All he could feel was that time was slowing, and what Xia Tian had spoken of had taken an eternity.
The sweat surrounding his skin had turned into steam and rose high into the air, and strangely, it had a slight fishy smell to it. That was because his body had a lot of impurities within it, but under the strong energy of the Yin-Yang fire, all of these impurities were quickly purified and became that fish scented steam. The bursting and tepid energy within Ji Dong was at it’s peak. Xia Tian could clearly see that on the top of Ji Dong’s forehead, two bright lights were slowly shining into existence.
Two halves to a star shaped crown condensed slightly apart from one another, one a bright red, and the other a vivid shade of blue. They began to meet in the middle of Ji Dong’s forehead and fused into a whole star which was semi-red and semi-blue. When the two halves combined, the color was very faint. But now, with the gradual fusion of the energy within Ji Dong’s body from the two crystal crowns, this special star slowly became clearer.
Xia Tian showed a pleased expression upon the sight. He thought, “As expected… it would only succeed if both fires were to be absorbed at the same moment. Because of his Yin-Yang balance, the magical energy that resided within the two crystal crowns was not wasted even a single bit. Any normal student would merely be a level one Bing-fire or Ding-fire student, but he is both at the same time. While watching the crown star slowly finish its transformation, a small expectation arose within Xia Tian’s heart.
If this small kid in front of him truly condenses his own Yin-Yang crown, then what kind of scene would be made when someone realized it? After all, only with a true Yin-Yang crown would he become a real Yin-Yang wizard.
With the forming of the Crown Star, Ji Dong relaxed as the two devastating energies calmed down within his body and slowly collected towards his chest. Ji Dong could sense that both energies separated into two halves. The red light was concentrated on the right side of his chest while the blue light resided on the left.
At the same time, he noticed that if he concentrated deeply, he could sense the same energy within the air, only it was much thinner than what resided inside his body.
When he opened his eyes, he discovered that his Bing-fire uniform was completely drenched, as if he had just taken a dip in a pool. Even though he sweated heavily, he didn’t feel exhausted at all, and it was actually the opposite… He felt completely full of power.
As he awaken, Ji Dong felt that he was full of power, but he also felt that the two powers within him were different from one another. On his right side, he felt a bursting strength, but on his left, he felt as if his body had become much tougher and more endurance.
Since coming to the Five Elements Continent, Ji Dong had always been struggling in extreme weakness, it was only recently that he was able to fill his stomach. Now that he had fused with the two crystal crowns, he truly felt the presence of strength within him. Both his spirit and mind were empowered, unlike the condition before when he would feel too tired to accomplish anything.
While looking at Xia Tian, Ji Dong said sincerely, “Thank you, teacher Xia Tian”
Xia Tian waved his hand and said,
“Like I said, these two crystal crowns were from the headmaster. If you want to thank someone, then thank him instead. Now that you have taken your first step to becoming a Yin-Yang wizard, you should attempt to control the Bing-fire and Ding-fire magic within your body. Just look in the mirror and if you control it, a crown star should appear on your forehead. Both halves of this crown star should represent that you are a level one Bing-Ding dual fire apprentice.”
“How did I become a level one this quickly?” said Ji Dong surprised. Xia Tian was annoyed. “Hmhp! You are just lucky. Without these two crowns, I am afraid that you would have never been able to possess magical power at all. From now on, it will not be so easy like today. Remember that when you cultivate, you must absorb both Ding-fire and Bing-fire in equal amounts so that would not affect your body, if you absorb too much from one side, you would eventually disturb your Yin- Yang balance and all your efforts would become wasted.”
“Then how should I cultivate, teacher Xia Tian? Since I am already a level one Bing-Ding dual fire Apprentice, could you teach me a cultivation method?”
Xia Tian snorted. “Didn’t I already teach you one? Just sit down cross- legged and relax your entire body. Use your mind to sense the magical power of your dual elements, which are the magical powers you currently posses, or in other words, your body has become like a magnet. You only need to rely on your mind to sense and absorb the disassociated Bing-fire and Ding-fire elements within the air.
This is the cultivation method. The first ten levels of the Yin-Yang wizard are the most difficult ones to climb. One could rely on one’s own body and his mind to condense it, but this was definitely a slow and boring process. Many people couldn’t finish cultivating their Yin-Yang crown not because their innate talents were not high enough, but because they could not endure the way of cultivation. As a consequence of cultivating both Bing-fire and Ding-fire, you will need to invest more time in cultivation compared to most students.”
“Thank you, teacher Xia Tian. I will remember your words. I will devote much more effort than normal students, and I will use my results to prove it to you. Can I start my punishment now?”
A smile appeared on Xia Tian’s face as he saw Ji Dong sitting there with a pained face, as he had endured the pain and refused to yell out in agony; he could truly see the amount of resolution this child had. In addition to this, Ji Dong had previously told him that he was an orphan. His malice towards him using the backdoor method to enter the academy lightened a fair amount. “You can forget about today’s punishment, after all, if you don’t do it then I also don’t have to do it. Your magic power has also just reached level one, go back and start cultivating, after that, take a good rest. If you have any questions in the future, just come and ask me. I live in the Bing- fire dormitory’s top floor, room 501. Now go.”
When Ji Dong stood up, he discovered that he really likes the Li Huo academy, and he also liked the straightforward and passionate Xia Tian who was unable to stand the slightest sight of fools. After bowing to Xia Tian, he left.
The sky was already dark, and it was almost night. Once again, it was time for dinner.
In the Headmaster’s office, Yang Bing Tian welcomed a guest.
“Good evening Headmaster Yang.” The visitor was about 40 years old, and he was dressed in a long, red gown. He has a slim body with bright spirited eyes. On the right of his chest was a blaze symbol which center on a golden halo. It does not represents strength, but his identity. Only members of the Yin-Yang wizard guild of the south fire empire would be dressed up like this.
“Good evening, please take a seat” Yang Bing Tian lead the visitor to the couch.
“Headmaster, I am a staff member of the Yin-Yang wizard guild of our empire, this time I am here on behalf of the guild. I have something for you. The President knows that you like to collect different kinds of Yin-Yang magical skill scrolls. Recently, the guild obtained a Yin-Yang magical skill scroll from a Yin-Yang wizard who was in dire straits, we are able to sell it to you for the original price.
“Yin-Yang magical skill scroll? Bring it out and let me take a look at it.” Yang Bing Tian’s eyes brightened and urged the other party to take out the scroll. if one says that tasting fine liquor is his lifetime favorite hobby, then the second to that would be collecting Yin-Yang magical skill scrolls. Yin-Yang magical skill scrolls were actually special scrolls imbued with Yin-Yang magic. Normally, it attach most importance to assisting type of a Yin-Yang magical skill, because the offensive or defensive type scroll need to store a massive amount of magical power, which is why the making is rarely successful.
Methods of making this scroll has been lost, so the Yin-Yang magical skill scrolls that could be bought are almost antiques, Yang Bing Tian didn’t collect these scrolls in order to use them, he just wanted studied them with an appreciative attitude.
The middle-aged man lifted his hand and touched one of the red colored gems inlaid in his waistbelt. A foot-long scroll had already appeared in his hands. He carefully held the scroll with both hands and presented it towards Yang Bing Tian.
Seeing this scroll ,Yang Bing Tian’s eyes lit up. He is a knowledgeable man and just by seeing the exterior of this scroll , he can deduce that it is centuries- old.
The scroll’s entire surface appeared to be of a dark yellow color, it is unknown what material made it. On top of it, there are fine dark stripes, there is some very unique writing on it, which the writing is not part of the modern world. Especially the wave motion of a rich magical power that was released from it, no one would doubt the formidability that this Yin-Yang scroll had portrayed.
The middle aged man saw Yang Bing Tian’s admiring look, and said smiling: “After a detailed study by our guild, this scroll is known to have come from a thousand years ago by a Great Master that was specialized in making Yin-Yang magical scrolls.It is called the Random Teleportation Scroll. The most unusual characteristic was that, it was made after at least 5 elements of Yin-Yang magical powers were poured into it. This is an extremely valuable collection.
“Ah! Is this Random Teleportation scroll the kind that is known as the most useless, yet could store the most amount of Yin-Yang magical power by using the principle of mutual destruction of the 5 elements?” -end-