Chapter 88 Crab Soup Dumplings (e)
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Gumihou
“I say, Elder Young Miss, surely you’ve abused your abacus a little too much with all these calculations?” Feng Luo said lazily. “The Xue is not the only martial family within the Eastern Martial Empire. Lin Fan happens to be a very good friend of mine. Do you think the Feng Clan would sit back and allow the Xue to simply trample upon my friend?”
Xue Qingge’s expression stiffened, “Are the Feng Clan planning to interfere?”
“So what if we interfere?” Feng Luo challenged back.  He might not be as charismatic or decisive as Lin Fan, but he was still a main branch child of a powerful family. At the very least, he has enough power and influence to protect his friends.
If the challenge had come from the Feng Clan of a couple of months ago, she might have mocked his efforts. However, the Feng Clan of today was different. The shade thrown by a large tree was very comfortable. If there’s a large thigh next to you, of course, you must hug it.
“Do you think your Feng Clan alone is almighty?”
“Do you really think we’re so stupid as to not form alliances with other clans?”
Xue Qingge gazed at Feng Luo for a long while, her face like cold marble. Quite suddenly, the stony stillness reverted back to the tranquil serenity of distant snowy hills. “Is that so? Then, my sister and I shall take our leave.”
That very night, the Xue Sisters left Qing Shan City.
Xue Qingruo didn’t seem to quite get what all the fuss was about and complained, “Why are we leaving right away, ah?” It was the middle of the night and she had not had her dinner yet and was not willing to leave like a thief.
“If these people would not have us, there’s no reason to stay!” Her face was as rigid as a jade mask, but a trace of frustration in her voice betrayed her true feelings.
Her uncharacteristic display of emotion frightened Xue Qingruo. In all of her life, her sister had always been a calm and indifferent person who rarely display any kind of emotion at all.
“Sister, what happened? Did they somehow wronged you? Humph, if that’s the case we should go home and inform the elders. They’ll come and teach these backwater clans a lesson!”
“No use,” said Xue Qingge. “Once we return, never mention this matter again. Ever.”
“But, if we just leave like this, then you and Lin Fan…” however, before she could finish speaking, a cold feeling gripped her heart. When she looked up, she saw Xue Qingge staring down at her with a powerful glare. Her heart skipped and she shrank back instinctively.
“Never mention that name again,” the freezing glare in Xue Qingge’s eyes had returned to its normal, wintry calmness again. She was once again a plum blossom in the snow, perhaps sulking a little from a minor quarrel with Lin Fan, but nothing untoward.
Nevertheless, Xue Qingruo could still the chill lingering on her back. Biting back the rest of her words, she stammered, “Y-yes, sister.”
Her sister continued speaking. Her voice was low as though she was talking to herself, “Even if this scheme doesn’t bear fruit, there is no backlash to the Xue Clan. At worst, I am now estranged from Lin Fan. Even so, there’s nothing to worry about so long as we are not active enemies. If I had to do over everything, I would have picked the same route anyway.
What’s losing a little face in the grand scheme of things? Isn’t it all for the sake of the Xue Clan? Feng Luo knowing about this matter won’t change anything either since he would not casually cause trouble for Xue Clan. So there’s no need to worry about anything from the Feng Clan side.
As for that Shiyu, perhaps my biggest mistake lies with her. I should never have waited for her to leave Lin Fan on her own. The same incident could be seen from different angles. In some ways, this is advantageous since there is very little serious backlash from this mistake. Since I have made a blunder of things, I should learn from it.
Even without Lin Fan, there can be a Zhang Fan or Li Fan in the future. There is more than one young genius in this world. No one can stop me. I have eaten a loss today because I underestimated them and paid the price for it. Very well, I shall admit this loss.”
The way she spoke, it was as though she was reporting to someone, explaining all the ways she had messed up. To see her sister like this made Xue Qingruo even more fearful of Xue Qingge. Though she could not say why.
The original plan was to leave for the Imperial Capital immediately, but instead of making for home, Xue Qingge redirected her Flying Griffin towards the closest shop controlled by the Xue Clan.  That’s right, the Xue Clan has their own line of shops too. A large clan cannot run on Cultivation alone and medicinal herbs cost a lot of money. Although their business was not as extensive as the Ling’s, it was not bad either.  Not to mention, having shops in other provinces and countries meant better information-gathering systems too. The Flying Griffin landed in front of the Xue shop, surprising the steward who never thought he would ever have the opportunity to see the Elder Young Miss in person! He hurried out and greeted the Young Miss fawningly, eager to be of service.
Xue Qingge was completely business-like as she entered the shop and inquired, “What business does the Lin Clan of Qing Shan City do?”
“This one has some understanding of the Lin Clan. Their family mainly deals with the pill selling business. Generally some low-level Recovery or Blood Replenishing pills.” Because Qing Shan was the closest city to Spiritual Beast Mountain Range, many Adventurers made Qing Shan City as their final major resupply stop.
Although low-level pills did not sound very glamorous or profitable, with Qing Shan City being the last major city stop before Spirit Beast Mountain, the number of Adventurers buying these low-level pills in bulk was more than enough to support the Lin Clan and allow them to maintain a certain style of living.
“How much profit do they make off the pills?”
“At least 50% in profit.”
“Heh, just how much do low-level medicinal herbs cost? Are their conscience not disturbed by such exorbitant prices? Humph. Never mind. You, carry out my instructions but keep the Xue name out of it. Whatever the Lin Clan does, you match it. Whatever price the Lin Clan set, make it 20% cheaper. Here are 300,000 teals of silver. I shall leave it to you.
Any profit you make in this mission will belong to you. If you successfully carry out my instructions, I shall make arrangements to have you transferred to the Imperial Capital. If you lack silver, just contact me.”
When the steward heard this, he nearly fell over himself to agree. There was no downside to this mission. When Xue Qingge left, he bowed over and over again, promising to carry out this mission perfectly.
Once the order had been given, the Xue sisters made their way back to the Imperial Capital.
In this world where the strong devour the weak, strength was absolute. Though Lin Fan may have potential, without his family’s support he would not have a smooth path to success. So, you think that I, Xue Qingge, and the Xue Clan are not worth following? Well, let’s see who could advance furthest!
As for that Shiyu. That woman was nothing but a small side character who had latched on to a bit of luck. What do you think would happen to her once the Lin Clan falls? How indignant would that little parasite be when the tree she’s perched on rotted away? Heheh! Xue Qingge could hardly wait for that wonderful show to happen.
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When the Xue Sisters suddenly left, the Lin Clan puzzled over the matter for a little while but did not pursue it.  Cultivators were busy people after all, they could have been called back home for whatever reason. Since the person who brought the guests in were not at all bothered, why should they look into it? Let’s just focus on our own Cultivation, ah!
Indeed, neither Lin Fan nor Shiyu looked at all concerned as they continued to live their leisurely life. Choosing to focus on eating good food, making medicinal food for Grandpa and Cultivating.
Feng Luo, however, was a little more anxious, “Are you not at all worried that she will retaliate?”
“Will she not retaliate if we worry? People like Xue Qingge cherished their pretty feathers too much to not do anything. However, unless she has the power to destroy us in one go, she will not do anything rash. Since she doesn’t have the power now, we’re relatively safe. The person who’s really suffering and gnashing their teeth now is her. So, unless she’s willing to sell herself for power, she won’t be able to do anything too terrible, yet,” Shiyu explained. Lin Fan nodded, “Too proud,” was his assessment.
Indeed, Xue Qingge would never sell herself to someone weak. With Feng Clan, represented by Feng Luo, throwing his lot with the Lin Clan it was unlikely that she would entertain any beaus below Divine Condensation Stage. Again, the likelihood of that happening was practically nil. Her pride and arrogance was also the reason why she came up with such a complicated scheme in the first place.
In short, they were safe. For now.
Whatever, let’s hurry up, Cultivate and be stronger!
At first, Shiyu thought that having a little strength to protect her own family would be enough, but then out jumped a wild Xue Qingge of the Xue Clan. This was original goods Lin Fan’s second wife, ah! Better not underestimate her.
[Gumihou: … I guess this steward doesn’t know about Lin Clan’s restaurant business? Also, there’s Lin Fan’s master, ah. Miss Xue, has your tunnel vision excluded him in your calculation?
Miss Xue, I hope you haven’t bought tickets to this show, I don’t think it’s going to happen…]
 Additional Details for Introspection: I’d like it when characters do things for a reason. Even if the reason is ‘I want to’. So some FL thoughts here.  Additional Detail for Dramatic Purpose: I expanded the ‘Xue Clan has their own shops to make money and gather information’ line.  Additional Detail for Character Development: Because even minor characters deserve the opportunity to shine  Additional Details for Character Development: Because even something as generic as ‘the Lin Clan’ in general could be given some points of interest. Also, give a reason why they won’t be interested to find out why the Xue Sisters just disappeared.  Additional Details for Character Development: Lin Fan had already proven that he was not an idiot, so I’d like him to at least be present for this conversation. If only to contribute a couple of words.
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