Chapter 86 Crab Soup Dumplings (c)
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Gumihou
In a different courtyard within the Lin Clan Estate, where the grounds were perfectly trimmed, the yard spacious and the rooms well-furnished and comfortable, stayed the Xue Sisters. In fact, aside from the Main Courtyard and the East and West Court, this was one of the best courtyards within the Lin Clan.
It was the height of summer now and the vines were looking its best. The creepers were bursting with flowers, making it looked as though the very walls were flowering. Within the tranquil garden was a stone table and a pair benches, strategically placed for garden viewers to enjoy the breeze and shade of the garden. On the stone table was a bowl, with two brightly coloured fish chasing each other in it. The Xue Sisters were currently seated at this table.
Though the entire atmosphere of the courtyard was meant to promote tranquillity and peace of mind, Xue Qingruo was currently feeling very irritated.
“Sister, how long have we been here already? Why didn’t Lin Fan come to see us? He should at least take us out to explore his pokey little city! And that Shiyu, if she’s leeching off this place surely they should put her somewhere else, ah? Why is she stay in the same place as Lin Fan? Is she not ashamed of living in the same space as a man?”
Xue Qingruo was currently cursing Shiyu’s lack of propriety and knowledge of etiquette.
In fact, she was really splitting hairs, because in this harsh world where strength was respected. Views like this had been outdated since 800 years ago. If you ask a girl with high Cultivation stage to toe the line like that, well, why don’t you speak to my sword first?
While certain feudal rules still applied, such as favouring sons over daughters and allowing men to marry more women but not vice versa, it all depended entirely on strength. The one with the strongest fist has the biggest voice. If the royal family has no powerful backers, a clan of powerful warriors could take it into their heads to come and kick you off the throne.
Humph, you want to talk about respect for King, Men and Sons? I might recognise you as my superior, but the axe in my hand has no eyes. Oops, I’ve accidentally cut off your neck, too bad. Perhaps, if you’re lucky, you’ll be reborn to a world where things like King, Men and Sons actually matters.
In short, under such an environment, restrictions on girls were very limited. In reality, there were more restrictions on the weak. If a man and a woman decided to live under one roof, there was no one to stop them. However, there was no stopping the flapping mouths of outsiders either.
Regardless, Xue Qingruo’s grumblings still did not affect Xue Qingge’s judgement. In fact, one could say that Xue Qingge was used to filtering out the grumblings that tumbled out from her sister’s unbridled mouth.
“In the future, you must change your attitude towards Shiyu. Treat her with a little more respect,” said Xue Qingge in a low voice.
“What? Why?!” Xue Qingruo jumped out of her chair. “She’s just a cook! A lowly cook who just happens to be in a good relationship with Lin Fan.” Sudden horror dawned on her face, “Sister, don’t tell me you plan to let her marry Lin Fan with you! How can this be? Just looking at that woman’s face makes me angry, so don’t even think about it, ah.”
Xue Qingge’s face darkened, “What’s wrong with your brain? Have you forgotten that Shiyu has a younger sister? That girl may only 10 years old but she’s already at 5th Level of Condensation Stage. Think, when you were 10, what stage were you?”
“Impossible!” Xue Qingruo couldn’t imagine it at all. At 10 years old, she had just successfully made it into Condensation Stage, she might have made it to the 1st Level before she turned 11, but that was it. Why are there so many crazy geniuses at Qing Shan City? Luckily the genius was actually Shiyu’s sister and not Shiyu herself. Otherwise, she might have to lower herself and kiss up to Shiyu…
To be fair, Xue Qingge did not quite look down at Shiyu. Even with her poor Cultivation strength, that woman was still canny enough to successfully attach herself to powerful people. If not for those connections, she would never have been admitted into the College. Her only true skill was in cooking. That she was able to make use of this useless skill to seduce people into aiding her was something to be admired. However, in the end, what could culinary skill really do? Could it help you become stronger or suppress your enemy? Aside from temporarily pleasing some people, cooking skills were useless.
Still, she was able to use this pointless skill to make friends in high places. This kind of attitude of depending on others to survive disgust Xue Qingge to the core. It was only through good breeding and excellent self-control that she was able to keep the feelings of revulsion off her face.
However, she had no choice but to establish a relationship with this crafty girl for the sake of that promising little sister. The mere thought of having to play nice with someone she deemed the same level as a mere servant turned her stomach, but there was no choice.
Breathing deeply, Xue Qingge reminded herself again that this was all for the sake of the future. For the safety and prosperity of the Xue Clan, she will endure.
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That day, when Shiyu opened the door, she was taken aback to see the gorgeous visage of the Ice Queen of the College, Xue Qingge herself.
 Nevertheless, she did not lower her defences. So what if there was only one person at the door? This was currently the most dangerous person around her, you know?
Therefore, though it was a little impolite, Shiyu still refused to let Xue Qingge into the courtyard. Are you joking? Want me to let you near my Grandpa and little siblings?
Instead, she slipped out the door, closed it firmly behind her and invited Xue Qingge to sit at the pavilion situated by a pond just opposite the courtyard.
Xue Qingge gave a socially appropriate smile and said calmly, “I am merely here to visit your grandfather, surely your caution is a little overdone?”
“You and I are barely acquaintances. Your kindness overwhelms me,” Shiyu said neutrally.
Xue Qingge did not think that she would be stopped at the threshold of her target. Shiyu refused to show even the slightest opening. Since the enemy was already suspicious, there was no need to faff  about anymore, “My 18th birthday banquet has been held. My family plans to choose a husband for me. However, I am aware that those who came for my hand did not come with good intentions. They are only interested in swallowing the Xue Family.
Though my talent is relatively high, as a woman I can only do so much. If I had no dependents, I am free to throw myself into my Cultivation. Even so, the Cultivation world is very vast. As the saying goes, ‘For Every High Mountain that We Climb, There is a Higher One Beyond’. I alone cannot resist the pressures of the world. Since I must marry, why not to someone powerful?”
Shiyu was still wondering why this woman was speaking so lyrically and confiding her troubles to a lowly cook like her when the final line came, and suddenly everything made sense.
So, this woman meant to marry Lin Fan…
“But, isn’t Lin Fan only 16…”  in this auntie’s mind, that boy is still a high school kid, ah! Cradle snatcher! Pedo!
My God in heaven, this world is too scary, ah!
“I can wait,” Xue Qingge said demurely. “We shall be engaged first, of course.”
“Are you not aware of how selfish your request is?” Shiyu was a little angry now. “Do you know what happens once your marriage to Lin Fan is announced? Please don’t drag other people’s family into your family problems, alright?”
Shiyu really wanted to shout at this woman: You know that people are eyeing the Xue Family right now. You do realise that by attaching yourself to Lin Fan, his whole family would be dragged under the eyes of the people looking to devour the Xue Clan? A small and peaceful clan like the Lin might be destroyed just because someone sought to hurt your Xue Clan, you know!?
Xue Qingge did not expect Shiyu to see through her entire scheme so quickly. She became a little stiff, “Unfortunately, I have no choice.”
“You have no choice, therefore you chose to do this?”
“Are you very angry?” Xue Qingge suddenly looked directly at Shiyu. Her stiff expression gentled, and she chuckled, her beauty shining like light reflecting off a snowy landscape, “However, it is all too late now. Everyone already knows that I like Lin Fan. That I came with him to his home. Even if you reveal all of this to him, you cannot stop what is happening. Lin Fan’s destiny is with me now.”
[Gumihou: uuuhhhh, scary! Why are women in the past so scary! *Devours popcorn by the handfuls on a hill far, far away*]
 Additional Details for Introspection: Gave a few more lines for Shiyu to introspect, to extend the impact of XQG’s sudden appearance. Also, gave more reason why she did not want to let XQG into the courtyard.
 ‘faff about’ is British slang for ‘fucking about’ – I thought it should be appropriate for an upper-crust martial family to use something like this.
 Additional Details for Introspection: Please recall your past as a modern person, as well as an adult in a teen’s body.
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