Chapter 56 Squirrel Fish (c)
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Gumihou
The next morning, Shiyu came to the Soup Shop as usual. 
The moment she stepped into the cafeteria, starving wolves swarmed up and surrounded her… no wait, these were just hungry College students.
“You’re finally here!”
“We nearly starved to death, you know?”
“That’s right, that’s right!”
Shiyu looked at these bunch of starving wolves uncomprehendingly. Then, she looked around at the other vendors still selling their wares. The students blushed, but forged ahead to complain .
“That boss of yours has been doing nothing but shred tofu all day,”
“It’s been plain tofu soup served with tofu for days now.”
“Wait a minute,” said Shiyu, “I have only been absent from the shop for two days, you know?” she pointed out reasonably.
“It felt like days!”
“We want Sashimi! We want Sashimi!” they howled in unison.
Shiyu found their immature attitude adorable. However, “Unfortunately, I won’t be making Sashimi for a while. I’ll be making a new dish today.”
“Eeh? A new dish?” the howling students’ eyes gleamed.
“I can guarantee that it will be delicious,” Shiyu casually fanned their interest.
It was gratifying to see them line up properly just to buy her mystery dish. She had not even decided on the price yet.
First thing first, she started the process of making Bamboo Chicken. Deboning the chicken and packing it with regular herbs before stuffing the whole lot into a bamboo tube to be double-boiled in a wok. While the Bamboo Chicken was stewing away slowly, she began preparation for making Squirrel Fish. Gan Ping paused his tofu shredding to observe as Shiyu quickly process the fish into fillets attached to the tail. The way she scored the meat, took out the fish teeth and cleaned the collar bone. When Shiyu started making the sauce and prepare the oil for frying, he lost interest.  Still, he was a big help when it came to speeding up the cooking process by properly scaling, cleaning, filleting, cutting and scoring the fish.  The orders started coming in even before Shiyu was done with the first dish. When the students left the Soup Shop triumphantly with plates of something spiky and covered in red sauce, more curious people came. This went on until it was time for Shiyu to leave for her morning classes. Whereupon the latest dish, Squirrel Fish, stopped production because the cook has to go to school. Gan Ping would revert back to Plain Tofu Soup with More Tofu.  However, this also meant that she had been using more of her Spiritual Fire to adjust the cook fires and to quickly warm up the sauce. Make more sauce. Pour in more oil, filter out random bits of fried corn starch powder out of the oil, heat up oil with Spiritual Fire, fry again.  After putting up a ‘Sold Out’ sign for Squirrel Fish, Shiyu washed her face and neck at the sink. Doing her best to wipe the smell of oil out of her face as much as she could before rushing over to check on the bamboo tube bubbling away at the wok. She checked the time and found that the Bamboo Chicken had only been stewing for less than an hour. Not quite long enough yet, so she flared up her Spiritual Power and cooked it for another 5 minutes or so .  She was getting used to casually using her Cultivator’s powers like this. Very soon, a nice fragrance permeated the kitchen, washing away the smoky smell of frying oil. Shiyu even felt refreshed from the scent alone.
Just like before, she carefully poured out a cup of soup, and let Gan Ping have the rest.
Once she put the lid onto the cup, Shiyu made her way to her classroom and handed the soup over to Wen Xian. She had just sat down when a wave of exhaustion overcame her. She had never felt so tired since she began Cultivating. It felt as though exhaustion resonated beyond her body and deep into her soul.
Just what is going on?
She tried circulating her Spiritual Power through her Meridians and her whole body began to feel warm, as though she had sunk into a warm bath. She started to relax bit by bit, and her mental exhaustion eventually dissipated as well.
When all her low feelings disappeared, she opened her eyes and found very few of her classmates were left. Most of them had run off the moment they were allowed to.
“You’re properly awake now?” Wen Xian inquired, he was clearly waiting for her. “If you are, let’s go.”
“En,” Shiyu nodded.
The two got to their feet and made to leave. Wen Xian said, “You must have gained something today, it’s rare to see you concentrate like this.”
Shiyu meditates every day for her Cultivation, but she usually left it to the end of the day as something to get out of the way before sleeping.
Shiyu smiled, a little embarrassed to be caught out. She changed the subject “You looked really well lately,” It was true, Wen Xian no longer looked half-starved and sickly. There was a rosiness about his cheeks that was absent before. “By the way, you said that you’re on the verge of breaking through the 8th layer. Well?”
Wen Xian, “I’ve finally felt the edges of it. I’m sure I can breakthrough within the next month.”
“That’s good news!” Shiyu could not help but be happy for her friend.
The two chattered together as they made their way to the cafeteria. As they were walking along the familiar path, Wen Xian suddenly stopped in his tracks. His face turned a little pale.
Shiyu paused, and followed his line of sight. Five or six people were laughing and walking towards them. There was something purposefully obnoxious in the way they walk and talk, and Shiyu suddenly remembered the time when Wen Xian turned up with internal injuries that were not visible. If Gan Ping had not helped him that time, all his Cultivation would have been for nought.
“They were the ones who beat you up last time?” Shiyu was getting angry now.
However, Wen Xian’s reaction was not what she expected, “You should run. Since you know Lin Fan, they might not chase you down.”
Shiyu’s face turned black, “Do you really think I would leave you here to save my own neck?”
Wen Xian began to look anxious, “If you don’t leave, they’ll beat you up too. These people are on the verge of breaking through to the Core Transformation Stage. Their strength is way above ours. It’s better to run…” he had barely gotten the words out when Shiyu grabbed his hand and ran in the opposite direction.
If you can’t beat them run. Run as fast as you can.
The people who had been strolling up to these two had not expected their weak chicken preys to struggle for their lives. They were caught off guard. With a curse, they gave chase.
“Eat this!” Shiyu dug out her emergency Snow Rabbit Jerky and tried to shove it into Wan Xian’s mouth. She’s already reached the Core Transformation Stage and was technically stronger than those bullies chasing them. Moreover, she has the Cloud Beast as a backup. The only awkward thing about this situation was that she could not fight, as in, her knife skills were all cooking related. If they get into a fight, there was a possibility she would still lose despite her higher Cultivation Stage.
Wen Xian was just about to complain about eating something under such situation, but when he opened his mouth to do so, Shiyu had crammed it full of jerky and he had no choice but to eat it. The thought of spitting out perfectly good food never even occur to him.
Somehow, once he swallowed the piece of jerky, he could feel his legs pumping up and down even more energetically. As though he could run and run forever.
The eyes those people who were about to catch up to their prey gleamed, only to blink in confusion when the weak chickens suddenly grew wings and dashed off. The distance between them visibly growing by the second. Wei, the reason why the pursuers were so fast was because they used Spiritual Powers to aid their speed. For these little brats to run so fast they must have used their Spiritual Powers as well, were they not afraid of burning out themselves?
The duo was running towards more crowded areas. The pursuers hesitated a little, but in the end, they could not swallow the fact that they let their weaker prey got the better of themselves and sped up.
The College was a tranquil place learning with graceful young male and female scholars strolling about picturesquely. The sudden appearance of delinquents playing Cops and Robbers immediately caught everyone’s attention.
Meanwhile, there was a crowd at the cafeteria.
This special crowd of people were waiting for the Soup Shop to open and were currently kicking up a big fuss.
“Where is that Little Miss Shi? I depend on her for my three meals, ah!”
“Didn’t I hear there’s a new dish called Squirrel Fish? Why haven’t they started selling yet?”
“I’m starving!!!” Majority of the people waiting to eat Shiyu’s food were rich and privileged sons and daughters of nobles, famous clans or powerful merchants, and were not used waiting for things.
Within the Soup Shop, Gan Ping was currently frowning to himself. He was still waiting for Shiyu and Wen Xian to appear. Why aren’t they here yet? These two have always been fairly dependable.
During this confusion, a regular of the Soup Shop suddenly burst into the cafeteria. He shouted to Gan Ping, “This is bad! Little Shi and that other guy are being chased by hooligans. Some crazy people want to beat them up!”
“What?!” As one, the hackles of all these hungry students stood up. Killing intent filled the air. The reason why they’re being deprived of food was because of those hooligans?!
“Brothers! Let’s go! Let’s see just which ratty little bastard no longer want their lives. How dare they touch our precious Little Miss Shi!?”
Thus, a great mass of people rushed out of the cafeteria, thirsty for blood. Back in his shop, Gan Ping shed a few tears. If his strength was not too weak at barely 5th Level of Condensation Stage , he would have joined the mob as well, ah.
The commotion from the cafeteria caught the attention of many, including Feng Luo and Liu Yi who were currently making their way there for lunch. When they found out the reason for the mob, Feng Luo wordlessly joined the crowd.
As for Liu Yi, this guy was currently thinking of ways to get into Shiyu’s good side. An opportunity has just dropped into his lap, there was no way he was going to miss it.
With their two leaders swallowed by the mob, the rest of the herd, Mo Yin, Meng Li and Fei Yue had no choice but to follow the bigger herd.
On the way, they encountered Xue Qingge and Lin Fan, and the mob swelled with the addition of two more powerful people.
When random bystanders saw Lin Fan, Xue Qingge and Feng Luo stomping along in a mob, they too joined the group.
Wei, what’s going on, ah? Take us with you too, ah!
[Gumihou: … suddenly, I feel very sorry for those bullies]
 Structural Changes: Split the sentences and rearranged the information for dramatic effect. Added more complaining dialogue for ‘starving mob’ atmosphere.
 Structural Changes: Change one line of a passive sentence to dialogue. Also, added the ‘look around at other vendors’ for comedic effect.
 Added Details for Transitional Purpose: It went from ‘Shiyu prepared chicken and fish dish’ >‘Fat Cat still don’t like fish dish, must practice’ > ‘increase speed of cooking chicken’ > ‘Shiyu fainted’ > ‘Shiyu woke up’ > ‘Shiyu went to classes’. All within 3 very short paragraphs, no transitional details, Gan Ping and her familiars are somehow missing, and… Note 4
 Also, logistical issue re blue fire: Didn’t you say it will only take 15 min to cook your Bamboo Chicken? You’re not cooking Spiritual Beast Meat so the Bamboo Chicken could sit in the wok and be boiled for an hour or so while you do your Squirrel Fish, right?
‘Using one mind to control two cooking fires was very exhausting’ suuure, but why did you do iiittt? Especially when you don’t have to…?
I guess author-san just want Shiyu tired. It’s fine, I got this.
Gumihou will put a patch for you.
 Added more details: I thought it’d be amusing to explain why these people are so bratty.
 5th Level, Condensation Stage: 5th Level, First Stage. Technically, he’s even weaker than Wen Xian who’s currently at 7th Level, Condensation Stage
If you love my translations, do consider putting a review at novelupdates!