Chapter 106 Grilled Oyster with Garlic (i)
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Gumihou
 One day.
Half a month went by without the slightest news of Shiyu. If not for her unbroken Soul Jade, they would have thought that the worst had happened.
Half a month later was the start of the school term for Imperial College. People who came to Feng City, either to help or hinder, had left one after another. Moreover, the three great clans who had bonded together to ‘Burn the Army Provisions ’ and take advantage of the chaos to cause damage to the local clans had been apprehended.
Of the three families, two immediately took the initiative to sue for peace and offer their apologies by giving up half of their properties. Since each family gave up half of their considerable wealth, everyone felt that was quite fair. Part of the wealth was used to compensate families of dead or assist injured soldiers, another part was used to repair Feng City. The rest was divided up among the big contributors to the battle effort.
As the instigator, the Xue family also took the initiative to lower their heads and pleaded willingness to pay compensation. However, how could Grand Elder Feng let go of the instigator out to harm his family? Unfortunately, the Imperial Family intervened at the very last minute and entreated the Feng Clan to give them face because of Xue Qingge’s impending marriage to the Crown Prince as an Imperial Consort.
With Imperial Family’s interference, Grand Elder Feng could only swallow his resentment for the now. Nevertheless, he did not hesitate to extort huge compensation from the Xue Clan. It was only after the compensations were paid that the matter was considered closed.
After sending Xiao Wu and Xiao Liu back to the Spiritual Beast Mountain Range, Lin Fan returned to the College. Xiao Qi went with him. Her talent was considered excellent. It would be a waste to let her hang around at home.
As soon as Xiao Qi came to the College, news that this 10-year-old girl was a  6th Level Condensation Stage Cultivator soon raced through the school. At first, everyone thought that it was some sort of hoax or an out of control boast. Later, an even more fantastic rumour began circulating the College.
Elder Liu, the Guardian of the Treasure Pavilion was seen chasing after this girl to convince her to be his personal disciple. This news nearly caused the eyes of the people around her to pop out of their heads. By the way, Xiao Qi was now at 6th Level after breaking through at her time in Feng City.
To be a 6th Level Cultivator at the tender age of 10 was already enough to kill the confidence of half the student population. Later, when they learned that Lin Fan and Feng Luo were her ‘brothers’ she immediately attracted the envy and hatred of the students. After all, Lin Fan was the number one talent of his year and took the Top Ranking title at the End of Term Competition. As for Feng Luo, that guy was the main branch son of the most prestigious Clan within the Eastern Empire, what more could be said?
Naturally, people were curious about the origin of this incredible talent. However, when they found out that she was Shiyu’s sister, people became even more amazed.
An incredible talent related to a cook with no background caused some people to heave a sigh of relief. It would have been too shocking if this talented and well-connected girl was also backed by a powerful family line.
Nevertheless, some students disputed claims that Shiyu was a no-talent, nobody. These were students who had participated in the battle against Sea Beast at Feng City. The aftermath of the Yin Yang Fire that lit up the sea and showered them with Sea Beast guts was still fresh in their minds. Some of them even believed that not even the Core Condensation Stage students could launch such a powerful and aggressive attack.
Is Shiyu really just a cook? Or has she hidden her skills till now?
More and more people believed the latter to be true.
In this world, Might is Right. To show their respect to the strong, these people immediately spread the story of what had happened at Feng City to the ones who were not there for the conflict. When the story about the epic fight between the Human Race Grand Elders and the Divine Condensation Stage Sea Beasts was told, many regretted not being there to personally witness the fight.
When they heard about the casualty rate of the bloody Feng City Battle and how many of their schoolmates had fallen on the shores to Sea Beasts, their eyes grew red with anger. As warriors, their first reaction was not of sadness, but of anger.
Then, the main storyteller for the Feng City Battle began to vividly describe Shiyu’s Yin Yang Fire that injured an entire wave of Sea Beasts, of Lin Fan’s secret skill that rapidly raises his own ability to finally turn the tide of the final battle to the side of the Human Race.
“That Lin Fan is too amazing! He should be close to Divine Condensation mode in that few moments, right?”
“Shiyu used fire to destroy a whole wave of Sea Beasts? Can’t tell just by looking how powerful she is! I always thought her main talent is in cooking. Wasn’t she a Yellow Grade Class student? She shouldn’t even have reached Core Transformation Stage yet, so how could she be so powerful?”
There were both believers and doubters of these claims. For those who questioned Shiyu’s ability, the believers brought up her confrontation against Mo Yin. In fact, some say that Shiyu had not come to the College because she was on a Self-Cultivation journey. An even bigger uproar happened when this suggestion was tossed out.
Suddenly, the girl whom they thought as a fairly interesting kitchen help was this mysterious character with hidden strengths.
“One other thing,” a hushed voice meant to convey secrets, or juicy gossip, caused them all to prick up their ears. “I mean, this is all speculation, of course, but the timing is too incredible. The day after Little Miss Shi disappeared, the sea temperature started falling rapidly. I have no idea if there was any connection, but the timing is too coincidental for me.”
Everyone fell silent. While it was plausible for Shiyu to have a hidden ace up her sleeves, it was still too incredible to imagine that she had solved the problem that had left Divine Condensation Masters helpless. Could she really be involved? No! Impossible, ah!
Many people were sceptical, but many more were still curious about Shiyu.
“Has Little Miss Shi returned yet? I haven’t had her dishes for a long time now and I’ve been looking forward to it, ah.”
The person who had raised that incredible speculation shook their head, “She’s still missing. The Feng Clan had sent people out to look for her, but it’s like she had just disappeared into the thin air. Some believed that she had met with some unfortunate incident.”
“Did no one enter the sea to look for her?” someone asked.
“I don’t know anything about this,” replied the person.
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In fact, Grand Elder Feng had searched the sea with Patriarch Liu but did not find her. However, they did manage to see the two Divine Condensation Masters who had tried to negotiate with them before.  To show their sincerity for the peace talks, the two volunteered information about the five other Divine Condensation Masters who had been injured by something deep within the Eastern Sea and had now retreated into their lairs. Unfortunately, they were unable to provide any information on Shiyu. After leaving the Sea Beasts, the two masters scoured the bottom of the Eastern Sea but saw no sign of her. Finally, they could only return to the shore with empty hands.
Where had Shiyu gone?
As time goes by, everyone had the feeling that she would just pop up one day at the cafeteria with a brand new dish and start bossing people around. Or, they’d encounter her munching some cheap treat bought from some hidden alley store. However, after a long time, the expected encounter never happened.
The Soup Shop was still there. Gan Ping was still slicing tofu and fish as usual. The soups served there became as horrid as before, having absorbed Gan Ping’s unfortunate affinity for Dark Cooking. From time to time, Wen Xian and Xiao Qi would turn up to help him. In fact, Lao Er had entered the College too and was now in the same class as Wen Xian and Xiao Qi. Even so, he was still considered an ordinary person as he had zero Cultivation talent.
As for the Bamboo Villa, Feng Luo had applied his newfound housebuilding skill to add another level to the house. The added floor meant three extra rooms and another shared open space on the third floor. One for Wen Xian, one for Xiao Qi and one for Lao Er. The second floor where Lin Fan, Feng Luo and Shiyu stayed has a balcony that overlooks the garden. San Pang spent most of his time buried in a flowerpot here. As for Cloud Beast, he had attached himself to one of the hanging pots of flowers in his miniature form and would sway lightly from time to time as the wind stirred the garden.
Nobody said anything, but there was a faint sense of anticipation as they went about their daily routine. Everyone was waiting for the return of a certain person.
It felt like a flash had gone by, and autumn was at its height. Oddly enough, the plants around the villa showed no sign of turning yellow or orange like the rest of its comrades. This mystified everyone, especially the Wood Element Cultivator living there. The leaves of the plants were still as green and lush as ever. Flowers bloomed as though it was still the height of summer.
“When is elder sister coming home, ah?” Xiao Qi whispered into the wind as she looked into the horizon from the roof of their villa.
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The passing of time was not felt by Shiyu at all. Her soul was roasted every day, day after day and each day felt like she had lived years in torment. There was no rising sun or setting moon in her space. Therefore, she had no idea that three or four months had already passed her by.
One day, she just opened her eyes and…  She had to blink because she wasn’t sure whether she had managed to open her eyes because her surroundings were all black, but…
“My herbs! My precious herbs! It’s all gone!” Shiyu wailed as she took in her blackened surroundings.
From the table, Fat Cat called out, “Why don’t you take a look at your Cultivation Stage?.”
Shiyu obeyed out of reflex. Immediately, she saw that eight out of the ten water droplets in her Dantian had turned golden.
“8th Level! I’ve reached 8th Level! To think that Fire Spirit could increase one’s Cultivation so quickly after refining it!”
Fat Cat snorted. He sneered, “Humph, don’t think too highly of yourself. A useless thing like you dare to imagine that you could refine the powers of a Fire Spirit? The Fire Spirit took pity on you and lent a small portion of its refined fire to you. However, you’re so weak that it took you months just to absorb that little bit!”
 Split Sentence for Dramatic Purpose  Burn the Army Provisions – to sabotage a comrade  Xiao Qi was still at 5th Level Condensation Stage as of Chapter 86  Additional Information – I’m not sure whether the lack of information is Author-san being secretive or haven’t yet fleshed out the information. It was a little choppy and I had to adjust it a little to make it more coherent  Additional Information for Comedic Purpose
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