Chapter 120 Stone Bowl Bibimbap (c)
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Gumihou
“There are people ahead, let’s go somewhere else,” Shiyu said automatically.
“Sure, let’s go somewhere else,” Feng Luo said agreeably.
As one, the group turned around and marched away, setting off towards a different direction. They walked on for a couple of minutes before some people in the group began to process what they have seen.
“Who were those people at the pavilion?” Feng Luo asked Lin Fan.
Lin Fan, “Liu Yi and… them.”
“Oh…” Feng Luo patted his forehead. “I haven’t seen them for so long. For a moment I think I blanked out.” He frowned.
Shiyu had no idea what kind of mental defences or issues Feng Luo might have to subconsciously block out even the identity of these three former friends of his.
As for Shiyu, the only thing in her mind was: These three are still tight together? Tsk, tsk, does Mo Yin really not know that Liu Yi and Meng Li have something ongoing with each other or is she just faking it…
However, this has nothing to do with them.
What other people do with their lives is up to them. Whether you wish to advance in life or go around in circles is up to you. Feng Luo had already leapt out of their social circle and no longer interact with the lot.
At the pavilion, the smiles on Liu Yi’s party faded.
Though the three of them knew that they would one day encounter these people, it was still rather uncomfortable to acknowledge that the gap between their skills had widened.
Especially that Shiyu. The person that they had looked down on most have now surpassed them.
Wait a minute…
Just what is Shiyu’s Cultivation stage? Didn’t they hear that she had recently broken through to Core Condensation Stage? However, what they sensed just now seems to be much, much stronger…
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Xue Qingge was dipping the tips of her long nails into a bowl of medicine.
The quickest way to stabilize one’s position with the Imperial Family was to give birth to the eldest prince. She heard the Crown Prince was not very good with the woman and tended to be a little stubborn. No matter, there are ways to get him to… co-operate with her.
Just then, a maid came in and greeted her respectfully, “Madam Imperial Concubine, this lowly one has accomplished the task.”
“Good,” Xue Qingge nodded approvingly. All she had to do now was wait for the net to close.
Once that little girl of theirs is toyed to death, Lin Fan’s gang would most likely lose their collective tempers and not let the issue go. If some important people happened to die in their rampage, the Feng Clan would inevitably make enemies among the nobles of the Imperial Capital. The more people die, the more allies she could pull to her side.
As long as the Feng Clan still stands, how could she be at ease?
She was still pondering over these various matters when the door was pushed open again.
This time, it was Patriarch Xue. He looked as though he had aged a few years in the past few months. Now that the Xue Clan was on a decline, restoring it to its former glory appeared to be a pipe dream.
“Qingge,” he stopped five paces away from his daughter. “Once you marry into the Imperial Family, you must take care of yourself. You must know that the Xue Clan is no longer what it used to be. There’s only so much father could do for you. In the future… don’t think about revenge anymore. As long as you and your sister could live a safe and carefree life, I am contented.”
“A safe and carefree life? Is father making a joke?” Xue Qingge removed her nails from the shallow bowl of concoction and wiped them on a cloth. Her expression mocking. “Without strong backing, how could my life be safe and carefree? Everything that the Xue Clan has lost must be taken back.
Do you really think that would lower myself, give up half of Xue Clan’s fortune and become the Imperial Concubine just to hide away and hoped that life would be safe from now on? Father, I am not you.”
Patriarch Xue felt his chest constricted. Knowing that he could not change his daughter’s mind, he could only sigh and said, “Your father is useless. I cannot give you what you want. In a few days, I will disown your sister and send her out of the Eastern Empire. No matter what, father will stay with you and risk everything on your gamble. However, your sister is innocent. At least be merciful to her when the time comes.”
After the end of his speech, he did not bother to say anything else. Patriarch Xue quietly left the room, leaving Xue Qingge to carefully wipe her bright red nails.
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Imperial Palace, the Royal Gardens.
Though it was now early winter, trees and flowers of all four seasons could still be enjoyed within the Royal Gardens. The garden was practically bristling with showy pink Tree Peonies, red Chinese Peonies and large White Magnolias. At the eaves of pavilion roofs crept the brilliant orange Chinese Trumpet Vines. Their clustered brilliance did not lose to the peonies in showiness. At the foot of the fake mountains bloomed cloud-like Peach Blossoms and Pear Blossoms.
Shiyu’s party strolled slowly among these flowers, enjoying the sight, touch and smells of seeing all these flowers blooming together during what was supposed to be the beginning of winter. Finally, they stopped by a small lakeside pavilion that offered a panoramic view of the beautiful garden.
The lake was quite large, its water clear and covered with brilliant lotus flowers that waved at every breeze. However, what made everyone curious was the fact that there was a lake at all at the top of this mountain. Moreover, such a large lake too.
“This is actually a caldera,” said Feng Luo.
 “What’s a caldera?” asked Xiao Qi.
 “A caldera is a hollow that forms after a huge volcanic eruption,” said Feng Luo absently. “This one is quite small actually, all things considered.”
Everyone stared at the huge lake and had to reconsider their world views for a moment. So… they’re standing on top of a volcanic mountain? Good to know.
No matter how wonderful the scenery might be, everyone soon got tired of looking at it. As the older teenagers sat down to relax and chat with each other, Xiao Qi soon found herself bored. She was the outlier in their group, being only 10 years old. In the end, she decided to explore the surroundings and pick flowers.
It’s normal for small children to be lively, Shiyu merely reminded her, “Make sure you don’t be too far away. Don’t go somewhere where we can’t see you.”
With Shiyu’s permission, Xiao Qi began to skip over to look at more flowerbeds.
That little girl enjoyed looking at pretty things most. After making sure that Xiao Qi was within sight, Shiyu continued to chat with the others. It was very comfortable to sit next to the lake like this. The breeze was very cool and being Cultivators, or just physically strong and robust like Lao Er, none of them really felt the cold anyway.
“What time is the wedding ceremony going to start? Isn’t it getting rather late?” their group left the Villa that afternoon but were still playing around outside. Nobody seemed to be in a hurry to do anything.
“Normally, wedding ceremonies are held at dusk.”
“Then why did we come out here so early?! We should have just come in the evening.”
Well, it was described as ‘chatting’, but really, the conversation was mostly sustained by the two of them while the rest acted like sullen calabashes with a maximum limit of words per week. They would only give one-word answers when spoken to directly, especially Lao Er who became more and more taciturn as time went by. In the end, he basically became part of the background.
“Do you know what kind of person the Crown Prince is? Have you ever met him?” asked Shiyu.
“Twice,” said Feng Luo. He frowned and said, “I could describe him with three lines: Very low-key, very good looking, very low strength.”
Everyone, “… …”
The first two was pretty much expected, but surely the last one is a joke?
“I heard that he still hasn’t achieved Core Condensation even now. If that’s not the very definition of ‘low strength’, I don’t know what is,” said Feng Luo glibly.
“How could a dignified Crown Prince of a country be so weak? What is the emperor thinking of when he selected him as the crown prince?” curiosity overcame Lin Fan enough for him to ask.
“That’s because his brothers all died.”
“… …” alright, that makes sense.
“Surely it can’t be fun to be a crown prince?” After all, the crown prince was someone whose shoulders were heavy with responsibilities, their freedom was greatly restricted and their lives were always in danger. No matter how wonderful and extravagant a prince’s life might look on the outside, nobody could guess what life is really like within the palace walls.
For a moment, everyone sympathized with the as yet unseen prince. Shiyu in particular was curious about what this Dong-Fang Zhen looked like.
As they chatted idly together, Shiyu cast her eyes across the flowerbeds and sat up.
Xiao Qi was nowhere to be seen.
[Gumihou: Noooo!!!! Xiao Qi!!!]
 Caldera – Explained via dialogue to avoid having readers to check the footnotes all the time, lol
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