Chapter 52 Cloud Thread Soup (a)
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Gumihou
Needless to say, Lin Fan ended up trashing every single person who came up to challenge him, such was the power of the protagonist.  After the encounter with the Old Master Liu, and seeing that Liu Yi character trying to make more of their relationship that it really was, Shiyu had had enough of them all and returned to the villa. She was not at all interested in watching more of their boring fights anyway.
However, even once back at the villa, the uneasy feeling that had been plaguing Shiyu continued to dog her footsteps. Her belly felt too hot, her Dantian inside her felt feverish. The heat eventually travelled down her Meridians down her limbs until her whole body was hot to the touch.
She sat down in a lotus position and began to breathe in and out methodically, doing her best to harness the energy swirling inside her. She had to gather all her energy and form them into a coherent mass inside her Dantian. Instinct told her that she was on the verge of crossing over into the Core Transformation stage. However, a lot of things could still go wrong, therefore she had to concentrate everything on her Dantian make sure that everything melded together properly.
The villa was very quiet.
The only sound that could be heard were the curtains moving to a non-existent breeze. Both San Pang and the Cloud Beast had tucked themselves into a corner of the room, their eyes watchful. They knew that this was a very crucial time for their master.
However, as time dripped by, the minutes turned into hours and daylight gave way to night… the two creatures stared up at the sickle moon as it rose into the sky, travelled across the heavens and sank into the western hills.
All this while, Shiyu never woke up from her trance.
She knew that she was on the verge of breaking through, just a hair’s breadth away from the Core Transformation Stage. However, no matter how hard she strove to break past that tiny barrier, she realised that she was somehow lacking something.
Just what was she missing?
Fat Cat noticed this abnormality and his face grew serious. If Shiyu failed to breakthrough at this point, she might be stuck at this stage forever. He narrowed his glowing eyes and disappeared for a moment. When he reappeared, Fat Cat had several medicinal herbs between his paws.
From the corner, San Pang stared at the mud-covered treasures with covetous eyes.
If only I can take a nibble, ah…
As he stared , Fat Cat placed a paw on Shiyu’s person. Blue flames appeared on his other paw, burning and liquefying the precious medicines into a potent liquid elixir. Feeling the energy emanating from the liquid, San Pang swallowed and tried to restrain himself from rushing over and taking a gulp of the precious liquid just dancing in front of his eyes!
Fat Cat slowly manipulated the liquid until it stopped in front of Shiyu’s face. The blob of liquid broke into countless little strands of liquefied light energy and began flowing into Shiyu’s body.
With the help of this potent liquid, the energy level Shiyu’s body slowly began to rise again. Suddenly, her body trembled and the final drop of the liquid was absorbed into her Meridians.
“Fuhh…” she sighed wearily and opened her eyes.
After having gone up to the next stage, she felt that her hearing and vision had gotten a lot more sensitive. The only problem now was that she felt very uncomfortable. She looked down and found that her clothes had stiffened up with dried sweat, her skin was grimy and sticky, and the smell… Ugh, disgusting! 
“I’m going for a wash,” said Shiyu and she left the room.
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While Shiyu was struggling with her breakthrough, Elder Liu had called Liu Yi over to see him at the Treasure Pavilion.
The Liu Clan has great standing and influence within the Imperial Capital. The reason for this was because the Liu Clan has not just one, but two great powerhouses who could challenge the Divine Condensation Stage .
As mentioned before, the Spiritual Energy at the Ninth Heaven was very weak. While it was relatively easy to level up at the Condensation Stage, it was ten times more difficult to break into the Core Transformation Stage. Once there, a Cultivator still has to break past 10 internal levels before they could attempt to break into the next stage. These ten levels were notoriously difficult. A normal Cultivator usually broke through to the Core Condensation Stage by the time they were middle-aged. When they reached the 9th level of Core Condensation Stage, their hairs would have turned white.
The Great Perfection Level for the Core Condensation stage was the most more difficult level to reach, because it depended on the Cultivators ability to reach enlightenment. Most powerhouses who made it all the way to the 9th Level of Core Condensation stage would just stop there with no hope of breaking through to the 10th or Great Perfection Level, let alone the Divine Condensation Stage.
However, this was where the Liu Clan people were different.
There were already two powerhouses there who had reached the Great Perfection Level of Core Condensation stage. The only thing they need now was a little extra push to breakthrough to the Divine Condensation Stage. This was the precise reason why the people of the Imperial Capital would not carelessly provoke the Liu Clan.
Of the two Liu Clan powerhouses, one of them was Elder Liu. In the past, he received a great favour from the Dean of this College and agreed to repay this kindness by guarding the Treasure Pavilion. He has three sons of his own, eight grandsons and more than a dozen great-grandsons.
Liu Yi was one of these many great-grandsons. Moreover, as the son of a concubine, his status was not great within the family and was something of a thorn in his elder brothers’ eyes. When he was injured at Spiritual Beast Mountain Range it was thanks to some machinations of his brothers’. However, there was no way for him to bring up this matter with his family as he lacked power and influence. Nevertheless, he did not forget this slight and swore to avenge himself one day.
Right now, a path for revenge had opened to him. How could he let go of this opportunity?
By the time Liu Yi left the Treasure Pavilion, it was already dark. His brothers would catch wind of his meeting with great-grandfather soon. When that happens, they’ll do their utmost best to force him out of the family again.
However, he was not afraid.
He thought back to his meeting with great-grandfather. The only questions the old man has for him were all Shiyu related. How exactly did they meet? Who were her family? At the end of it all, great-grandfather urged him to maintain a good relationship with Shiyu. If he could get great-grandfather to favour him, not even his brothers would be able to make trouble for him.
He muttered the name privately to himself, feeling a little vexed. If he had known earlier, he would have taken in this little cook in for himself. Ever since she had distanced herself from him, Liu Yi found himself missing her cooking.
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Shiyu came out of the bath feeling refreshed. When she began putting her clothes on, however, she found that they seemed to have shrunk a little. A closer herself in the mirror showed that she had grown a little. Not only that all the little nicks, scars and callouses that she had picked up during her knife skill training had disappeared. Her hands might have belonged to a rich young miss who never had to touch washing water in her life. Well, she was in a magical xuanhuan world, so this level of change was nothing. Dismissing the thought, she began drying her hair, humming a tune to herself as she enjoyed the way the Spiritual Energy was flowing within her veins. When she caught sight of the black cat sitting on her table, she addressed him, “Oh yes, why did you stop me from saying that I can’t meet up with that master of mine? Wait, could you turn into my master and meet with that Elder? Ah, but I do think that guy’s Cultivation is very high, he might even be able to see through you.”
“There is something at the Third Level of the Treasure Pavilion that you must get your hands on,” said Fat Cat. “As for who would pose as your master, I shall leave that up to you.” With that, the irresponsible cat yawned, turned around, plopped his butt down by the sunniest corner and began to snore.
Shiyu’s none-existent balls hurt. Do you know how annoying you have to be to make something I don’t have hurt? Whatever, she will let her future self-worry about this , there’s no need to crack her head over something not urgent.
After getting into the Core Transformation stage, she had gained the ability to cloak her own aura and prevent people from seeing her true power level. Shiyu closed her eyes and dived into her Dantian, she adjusted the Divine Level item within her body to make it looked like her aura was only at 9th Level Condensation stage. When that was done, she made her way towards the school cafeteria.
She enjoyed cooking and especially enjoyed seeing the look of bliss on people’s faces when they eat her food. To her, keeping a recipe secret and not letting others taste is was tantamount to ‘Wearing Brocade for a Night Stroll .’
Nevertheless, the impact of the Bamboo Tube Chicken was too amazing. She only had that one bowl of broth and she immediately broke through to the next stage. This was not something she could really share with the public. Therefore, Shiyu decided to try making the third dish on the list.
Speaking of this dish, Shiyu had to admit that she had some reservation about trying it out even after sharpening (heh) her skills slicing fish. Even in her previous life, she knew very few chefs who could prepare this dish perfectly.
The reason for this was because the Cloud Thread Soup requires an insane level of knife skill. In fact, one could say that the soup was made not be enjoyed for its flavour, but to admire the incredible knife work and enjoy the melting texture of the tofu. The soup was a very simple salt-based soup, very clear and very impressive in its own muted way.
She arrived at the Soup Shop to see Gan Ping busy slicing up fish for Sashimi. Since this dish could be exchanged for Contribution Points, he was more than happy to sell raw fish from his Soup Shop since even staff and College employees could exchange CPs for medicinal materials at the Treasure Pavilion.
“Oh, there you are. What’s the tofu for?” Gan Ping asked inquisitively.
Shiyu placed a piece of soft tofu onto the cutting board. She had gotten it from the next door vender, exchanging a single plate of Sashimi for a whole tray of the white, wobbly tofu .
Gan Ping stopped his work and watched interestedly. Thus far, every time Shiyu brought some new ingredient to the store, a new dish would be made. He put the fish away and put up the ‘Sold Out’ placard in the faces of the indignant College students who had lined up to buy Sashimi. They knew that Gan Ping still has more fish, they just saw him putting them away!
Though a little disgruntled, none of them leave, curious to see what the people in the shop would do next.
[Gumihou: Girl, I think your ridiculous chicken has more to do with your excessive medicinal herb stuffing than the actual recipe… also, what’s the size of your bamboo?]
 Logistical issue: It was not said whether Shiyu returned to the house alone or with Lin Fan, or whether the guy was done with his challengers when she left. Creative licence taken to patch up this lack.
 Structural change: For some reason, a lot of Chinese novels used ‘but the next moment’ or ‘in that instant’, which is not wrong, but could get quite repetitive. I decided to go start the paragraph with an action phrase, even the though the action was ‘As he stared’, lol. Also, I added a ‘!’ at the end and the dancing imagery.
 Structural change: I really don’t think ‘her body exuded a disgusting smell.’ could really rival ‘Ugh, disgusting!’ when it comes to impact. No ‘!’ either. I’ve moved the ‘!’ up from Shiyu’s dialogue.
 Ugh, author-san changed terms again. I can’t do anything about this but keep track since it’s all made up.
|Chapter 39.3||Gumihou’s Ref||English|
|結丹/ 凝丹(46)||Third||Binding Core/Core Condensation|
|形神/化神(52)||Fifth||Spirit Shaping/Divine Condensation|
|返墟||Seventh||Return to Ruins|
|歸真||Eight||Return to Nature|
*Great Perfection (fancy word for Level 10)
*Half Step (fancy word for 10.5) haven’t been used yet, but I’m anticipating it.
Gumihou sees no reason to clutter her brain with fancy terms for simple things.
I wonder if Old Man Liu’s level will be downgraded in the future chapters just like Liu Yi’s lol.
 More detail for transition purpose: It went from ‘both hands were symmetrical’ to ‘while drying her hair’… I assume that meant the change did not bother her? Fine, say so.
 Author-san’s own words: 時玉有些蛋疼，不過事情並不是迫在眉睫，她倒沒有著急.‘Shi Yu’s balls hurt, but as the matter is not imminent, she is not in a hurry’
This basically summarizes all of Shiyu’s character. If I ever declare her OOC and change something, it’s because of this. I’d ask myself, would this kind of person do XX or YY?
Consider the slightly vulgar and modern way she worded her vexation, ‘her balls hurt’ and her dismissive attitude towards problems she deemed unimportant, for now. I like this type of character actually.
 Wearing Brocade for a Night Stroll – A waste of effort, pointless. Brocade cloth is very beautiful, colourful and gorgeous. To wear it at night when people could not fully appreciate the detailed embroidery and gorgeous colour is like putting in effort for nothing.
 Cloud Thread Soup – Ingredients are cut until they are as thin as hair, even the tofu.
 Uncertain logistic: Author said that Shiyu ‘Exchange a plate of Sashimi for the Tofu’ but didn’t specify how much tofu… So, I give her a whole tray worth since Sashimi cost CP.
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