Chapter 171 Panda Rice Balls (a)
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Gumihou
Pic from akinoichigo
Ding Qi settled himself at a  corner table in the teahouse nearest to the Shi Estate. There were a lot of people there and all were gossiping excitedly about the day’s happening.
“… that Shi Clan is just too unlucky, ah. They should have guarded their treasures better,” someone laughed. “That’s right, ah. Ignorance is the best defence. If no one knows you have it, they won’t come for it.”
“What exactly is that treasure?” someone asked, voicing out the burning question in Ding Qi’s heart.
“I heard it’s a piece of Jade Spirit Essence. Ever heard of it? Well, I’m sure you know what a Spirit Jade is, right? A single piece of Spirit Jade is worth hundreds of thousands or even millions of taels apiece.” Everyone nodded.  “Well, Spirit Jades are mined. It is said that a Jade Spirit Essence is the rarest and most priceless item that could be found inside a Spirit Jade mine. In fact, not every mine has a Spirit Essence. At best, you could only get a few grains worth of the Spirit Essence. However, I heard that the Jade Spirit Essence in Shi Clan’s hand is  larger than an egg, perhaps even the size of an orange. Can you imagine the value of that thing?”  Several people were already frowning as they tried to wrap their heads around the idea of something even more precious and valuable than Spirit Jades.  The storyteller relished their reactions, “Speaking of which, those two Deans were thrown out of the Shi Estate yesterday and killed today,  three days after the Jade Spirit Essence is made known. If you say their deaths have nothing to do with Essence, who would believe it, ah?! ‘Men Die for Wealth, Birds Die for Food’. This is all in keeping with the laws of nature. Don’t you think so?”  Ding Qi found himself nodding along with the rest of the avid listeners. Just then, the chanting outside suddenly intensified and the people at the teahouse looked over at the crowd of student still hurling abuse at the Shi Estate.  “Tsk, tsk, those students are making fools of themselves demanding justice for a pair of robbers. They’re being made use of by others and still thought they’re on the side of justice.”
“Young people are a hot-blooded lot, so it can’t be helped. Hahaha!”
Ding Qi could feel his ears burning with shame on his fellow student’s behalf as he contemplated the information he had just heard.
Were the Deans really at fault? Had they gone to Shi Clan to cause trouble only to have their victims bite back?
He was still reflecting over the matter when a sudden silence fell over the teahouse. Someone had gripped the storyteller by the arm and jerked their chin at the teahouse entrance. Ding Qi also looked in the direction of the entrance and realised that a new group of people had marched into the teahouse.
The atmosphere around the newcomers was deadly. Ding Qi vaguely realised that he knew all of them. These were all the patriarchs of the most famous and powerful families in Dawn City. Behind each head of the household was a clan guard.
“Tsk, a sudden gathering of over a dozen Core Condensation masters!” someone hissed. “Three of them 9th Level, Core Condensation masters!”
“Well, well, looks like they’re determined to eradicate Shi Clan from Dawn City,”
“I say,” someone piped up. “There’s only one piece of Jade Spirit Essence, right? How are they going to divide it up?”
“There might be only one piece of Spirit Jade Essence. However, if the Shi Clan is completely destroyed, all its accumulated wealth and treasures are up for grabs. Most of those gathering to attack the Shi Clan are just hoping for a piece of that pie. As for the noble families, how could they miss this opportunity to band together and get rid of one of the major families in Dawn City?”
Ding Qi sat in place, his cup of tea already cold in his hands as he tried to digest all the information he had just overheard. He glanced out the window. The grateful expressions on his fellow students’ faces at the arrival of these strong men made him feel a little sick.
If the words of the people around him were right, the Deans had provoked the Shi Clan first and died when the other party retaliated. If that’s the case, then what’s the role of the students? Helping to perpetuate abuse?
No wonder Father and Grandfather were unwilling to get mixed up in this farce…
However, was he supposed to just sit here and watch as the Shi Clan faced tragedy? No, he could not.
When the group of noble and powerful people left the teahouse, Ding Qi leapt down from the second floor and mixed in with the hangers-on. He followed the crowd to the Shi Estate. He would take Father’s advice and see the matters with his own eyes.
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The Shi Estate.
Madam Shi maintained her calm as servants continued to update her on what was happening outside. When word came that the heads of households were marching towards the Shi Estate, she exchanged a glanced with Shiyu and calmly declared, “Open the gates. Let’s welcome our visitors.”
When the mob reached the Shi Estate, the gate, which had been tightly closed against all visitors, opened. Everyone was shocked. They all came prepared to storm the gates. To think that the Shi Clan actually opened the gates after so many days of silence?
The people in the mob exchanged a glance. They stood aside and let the heads of houses and other powerhouses enter the gate.
Ding Qi, who had used his status to get into the main group trotted into the Shi Clan with these powerful uncles.  As the son of the City Lord,  Ding Qi knew most of these powerhouses as ‘uncles’.  No one had opposed to his presence too much,  probably seeing him as representative of his father and the Ding Clan.
The servants who had opened the gate said nothing as the people filed past them. Ding Qi looked around the Shi Estate curiously. The atmosphere within the estate was not as solemn as he had expected. Though none of the servants said anything, they looked more angry than worried.
The group followed a  silent maid who led them down a tidy path towards the Receiving Hall. The hall was fairly empty aside from the few people in the room awaiting their guests. Madam Shi was seated in the middle of the raised dais as befitting her status as the mistress of the Shi Clan.
What surprised Ding Qi was the young girl seated next to Madam Shi. It was the same girl he had bumped into earlier that day!
So, she was from the Shi Clan?
“One does not visit a temple without cause. I see many esteemed heads of households today. I supposed you are here regarding the deaths of the two Deans of Dawn College?” Madam Shi did not bother to quibble around and got right into the heart of the matter.
“Madam Shi, you appeared to be quite clear about your sin,” one of the elders stepped out from the crowd. “How many of our younger generations had been cultivated by these two masters? How could you be so cruel as to kill the Deans of an academy?”
“If we do not seek justice for the Deans today, the public’s anger shall not be appeased!” someone else piped up.
The expressions on elders and heads of households were very pious and indignant. As though they were a group of peace and justice-loving people who had banded together to confront a great evil.
“Justice? What justice? A life for a life? When the Deans were harassing the Shi Clan, I don’t see any of these great and benevolent men of justice. However, after we have dealt with a nuisance, a group of so-called men of justice has suddenly appeared in my living room. Surely I don’t have to explain why I find this matter ridiculous?” Madam Shi sneered sarcastically.
Who doesn’t know the thoughts hidden in the bellies of these so-called righteous men? However, they still dare to confront her under the banner of justice? If there was justice in this world, this group of smug hypocrites are the least qualified people to judge her!
The elder flushed with anger, “Stubborn wench! All we saw is how the two Deans have died a most tragic death under your hands. Therefore, your Shi Clan must give compensation or we will not hesitate to act!”
“Compensation?” Madam Shi laughed coldly. “To whom? And how?”
“It is simple. The Deans were murdered by people under you, Madam Shi. Therefore, you and the culprit must kowtow before the corpses of the Deans and beg for forgiveness by taking your own life.”
Someone else interjected gently, “Additionally,  as you have deprived the future Cultivators of Dawn City the precious guidance of esteemed teachers, you must hand over your property to the College. That way, perhaps the people might forgive your clan.”
The youngest of the three Pandas frowned, “What does he mean by ‘taking your own life’?”
“It means taking a knife and slitting your own neck,” Shiyu said. She smirked and stood up, her eyes full of ridicule as she sneered at this group of greedy hypocrites, “How funny, just when did it become the norm for a bunch of outsiders to poke their noses into other people’s business? To the point that a group of justice seekers would demand Madam Shi to commit suicide for the sake of others? Apologies, but I won’t allow it.”
All eyes shifted to Shiyu’s person.
A disdainful voice said, “Won’t allow it? Who are you to cut into this matter anyway? What are your qualifications?”
“Well!” Shiyu waved her sleeves and the man was slapped so hard that he flew out of the crowd, crashing into one of the pillars in the hall. “Who I am is not important, what is important is that I have more than enough qualifications to deal with you!”
Her eyes were fierce as she glared at the people in front of her, “The reason you all dare to come to make trouble for Shi Clan is because you believe they have no backing and even dared to invert black and white. Well, since everything speaks through strength, why bother with the banner of justice? You want something from the Shi Clan? Then come! Take it if you can!”
[Gumihou: Hmm, someone is on a little power trip. I guess she’s still smarting from her humiliating blunder at Chapter 167. To be honest, I find Shiyu a little OOC here. Why the weirdly overbearing and ‘heroic’ style of speaking?
Luckily, the incident back at Chapter 167 Note 8 could be used as a catalyst to explain Shiyu’s behaviour through ‘overcompensation’. So, thank you for being an idiot back then.]
Gumihou is keeping track so that you don’t have to ~
|凝氣||Condensation Stage||Stage 1|
|化丹||Core Transformation||Stage 2|
|凝丹(46)||Core Condensation||Stage 3|
|化神(52)||Divine Transformation||Stage 4|
|成嬰||Nascent Formation||Stage 5|
|返墟||Revert Decay||Stage 7|
|歸真||Original Purity||Stage 8|
|成仙||Become Immortal||Stage 9|
 Added Details for Logistic Purpose: location of table and teahouse  Adjusted Sentence and Added Logical Splits for Dramatic Purpose: To make the dialogue flow more naturally for maximum impact. Added some details too.  Added Details for Logistic Purpose: Size of Jade Spirit Essence. Use everyday round items for comparison. It’s creative and in keeping with the Chinese aesthetics.  Added Details for Dramatic Impact: Let’s have the audience’s reaction too.  USMiC: Give Ding Qi a little more details to flesh out his character. It’s mentioned somewhere in the chapter, but the information is scattered so collected them to expand his character here. Note  showed that the sentence had been moved here from somewhere else.  Changed Details for Logistic Purpose: Apparently, the author had decided to go with a bungalow (?) type house since the group ‘went around a screen’ to see Madam Shi at a ‘drawing room’, which is… unrealistic. A drawing-room could realistically accommodate 20 people but standing room only. No sense of nobility or power to give Madam Shi some psychological advantage if she sits on a dais while the mob gathered to ‘accuse’ her.
Moreover, the last thing you want to do is shove a bunch of powerful people into a small room.
Let’s continue with the estate style house with at least 4 to 6 private residences as well as a building with a ‘receiving hall’. Said ‘receiving hall’ was introduced in Chapter 163. Gumihou gets the impression that the Shi Estate seems to get smaller as the story progresses. Added Details for Dramatic Reason: It’s the Big Confrontation. This is the time to exercise descriptive expressions.
Also, author left everything very vague in terms of dimension of the room as well as the number of people waiting for the mob. We also don’t know how big the mob is aside from Ding Qi, 3 9th Level Core Condensation masters and ‘other Core Condensation Masters’.
7 or 8 people, I guess.
#ComeLaughAtGumisPain @ Chapter 152, Note 4 Added Details for Logistic Purpose: Give some semblance of explanation why Madam Shi should hand over the Shi Clan property to the College.
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