14 A Little Ice Cube (3): Raise a Bowl of Ice Cubes
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Elder Fa continued to stay in the Teng Yong Sect for a while. She mainly used the time to watch Elder Feng’s disciples’ practicing their sword arts and taking in spiritual energy. She especially tried to stick closer to Mei Chao Bing who was the one most likely to know about his Master and might be more willing to disclose something compared to his senior martial brothers.

On yet another one of these days, she went over, grabbed his hand, and stuffed a few wrapped candies inside. "Hey there, little ice cube, how has your practice been going? Made any progress with your sword arts? Your senior martial brother looked really sloppy teaching you yesterday."

Mei Chao Bing looked at the candies in his hand and then up at the woman in front of him, not quite sure how to react. "I’m still not telling you about my Master." Anyway, she had been coming to talk to him almost every single day since she had arrived at the sect and even though she mentioned quite a few things, she would always start to ask about his Master after a while. Naturally, he had figured out what she was really after. And since she was trying to bribe him to reach that goal, he felt that whatever she wanted this information for couldn’t be anything good. Thus, he refused even more to tell her anything.

Fa Ai Jun sighed when she was once again rejected. She sat down next to him, leaning back and looking up at the sky that seemed especially blue that day. "I really don’t know why you’re being like this. What’s so bad about telling me about your Master?"

Mei Chao Bing pondered for a moment and then crouched down next to her, looking at her with a pensive expression. "If you didn’t have any bad intentions, why would you try finding out about him by using such dishonest means? You should just go and ask him yourself if you’re interested in knowing more."

Elder Fa looked at him, unable to believe what she just heard. This child … he really had no idea how the human heart work, did he? "Aiya, little ice cube, it’s not that easy. Don’t you know that your Master is especially terrifying? I wouldn’t dare to just go and approach him to ask my silly questions."

Mei Chao Bing just looked at her blankly. "Why though? Master might be a little strict but that is just because he wants us to learn well. Why would that be terrifying?"

Fa Ai Jun’s lips twitched. "You really are a little ice cube." Did he think his Master’s behavior was normal?

Even if other Elders also didn’t always care about all their disciples equally, they would at most let their older disciples handle the younger ones for the majority of the time but still check on them occasionally. While they might not be overly enthusiastic, they didn’t treat anyone unfairly. They would make sure that their disciples were taught one way or another, praised when they deserved praise and punished when punishment was deserved.

Elder Feng though … Well, it was safe to say that he was much harder on those children than that. He would check on up on them regularly at first and those that did manage to meet his eyes were taught by his direct disciples more closely. As for the others … It seemed he stopped caring about them as soon as he had made sure they weren’t talented enough. They were just forgotten, left to fend for themselves. Even the older disciples would not go to check on them anymore after some time.

As for the disciples that were chosen to stay around to be taught … The way he treated them was not as if they were children at all. He demanded nothing but perfection from them and he would send them on missions much too dangerous for their age.

Elder Fa really felt that this wasn’t how one should treat a little child. These boys were not even ten years of age yet. You should be a little more careful with them, shouldn’t you? As a Master, wasn’t it also your duty to ensure that these little ones were feeling well? Otherwise, you would really just raise a bowl of little ice cubes.

Fa Ai Jun sighed and then reached out, patting Mei Chao Bing’s head. "Well, if you don’t want to tell me, then I’m afraid there is nothing I can do. I’ll leave the Teng Yong Sect today then. I’ll come back for the competition of the Northern Gate. Tell me if you want me to bring something back for you by that time."

Mei Chao Bing blinked his dark eyes at her, not quite sure what to say.

"Nothing? Well, you can write me a letter a while before that. Otherwise, I’ll just bring something tasty along." She patted his head again and then got up. "Goodbye, little ice cube! I’m sure we’ll see each other again." She waved and then walked away, her hair and sleeves dancing in the wind.