Chapter 186 Crystal Pork Shoulder (k)
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Gumihou
The moment the Seal lifted, hundreds of figures rushed towards the mountain. Soon, sounds of fighting could be heard.
Nonetheless, there were still many people guarding the periphery. Standing in the most conspicuous place was a group of teenage boys and girls. They stood higher than the rest and looked down at the mountain with indifferent faces.
Even in this conspicuous group of noble-looking youngsters, the teenage girl in the middle stood out. For one thing, the style of her clothes was different from the rest. The material of her luxurious emerald green chang pao was at least a grade better and she wore a gold and purple necklace that looked more expensive than the accessories of the people around her put together. Though her face was not particularly beautiful, the air she exuded was oppressive and awe-inspiring.
To be a Divine Transformation Master at such a young age was too rare. All the so-called geniuses of the Ninth Realm could only bow their heads and sigh at her presence.
Lin Fan’s group did not rush in with the stampede. Instead, they tour around the area for a location with a good view to observe the situation first. They were making their way closer to one of the abandoned little hills when they finally noticed the group of teenagers.
Lin Fan could not help his gasp of surprise at the sight of the girl in green, “Xiao Shi?”
Feng Luo also glanced in the same direction, “Hey! What’s with that outfit? Didn’t she say she’s not coming? Let’s go and see what she’s doing here.”
He had just taken a few steps when he was pulled back by Lin Fan.
“Something’s odd,” Lin Fan frowned.
“I’ll say, what’s with the whole ‘I’m not going’ and then standing there with a bunch of strangers-” he paused.
The girl was looking over at them.  Her cold eyes seemed to scrape across their skins before turning away indifferently.
Lin Fan and Feng Luo tensed up.
Feng Luo gritted his teeth, “What’s with that attitude? It’s like she doesn’t know us.”
“That’s not Xiao Shi,” Lin Fan was sure of this. “She just a lookalike. The eyes and the attitude aside, her aura is different too. We’ve just left Xiao Shi earlier, faking this kind of aura is close to impossible. Not to mention, this person’s Cultivation level is higher. Much higher. She’s dangerous.” He turned to Dong-Fang Zhen and Xuan Yin, “Let’s leave, we’ll go somewhere else.”
After they left, the people around the girl in green smiled fawningly at her, “That herd of people kept staring at you just now, they acted as though they know you.”
The girl’s face remained indifferent. “All those below Divine Condensation Level are just bugs. Bugs are not worth knowing.”
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Divine Tea Mountain was more than 20 miles outside of the Imperial City proper. Quite a lot of people had gone over to watch the excitement, leaving the streets of the city strangely vacant.
As Shiyu walked down the deserted streets, she could not help but laugh at the thought of those melon seed eaters hanging around the periphery of the mountain hoping to watch a good show.
Today, she took Xiao Shu and Qi Chuyun out for a tour of the Imperial Capital. The three younger ones had gone to study, as they should. Qing Chen declined the invitation to join the ladies in favour of meditating. As for Wen Heng… she had not seen him since last night.
After tasting the Crystal Pork Shoulder yesterday, Shiyu could not help thinking about it all night.  A lot of miscellaneous monster meat resembled pork. If she were to use existing recipes and replace them with similar proteins, would she achieve better results? She had made the effort to perfect the Cold Serve Rabbit not only to polish her skills but because she has a rabbit-type monster with a Beast Core. According to this logic, as long as she masters a recipe, she could replace the protein and make a dish that retains most of the dish’s Spiritual powers.
While she was going through her inventory of Beast meat, she thought of the second piece of Black Page that she had obtained from Madam Shi. For some reason, this particular Black Page was not very active and did not assimilate itself to the book in her room. She had no idea whether it will automatically adhere itself to the book at the next upgrade…
Various thoughts brewed at the back of her mind as she took the two women around visiting various famous scenic places at the Imperial Capital. They did not arrive at the First Rate Pavilion until evening. That’s because Feng Luo had already informed them that First Rate Pavilion only open their doors at sunset.
By now, a lot of the bystanders had returned to the city and were quite eager to share their news. Quite a few people had gathered at First Rate Pavilion to gossip over wine and snacks. When Shiyu’s little group entered the restaurant, quite a few heads turned to look at them. Shiyu was not at all bothered since both Xiao Shu and Qi Chuyun were quite good looking and would turn heads anywhere they went.
The restaurants offered private rooms on the second floor. However, Shiyu had always liked the atmosphere of a bustling restaurant, so the three of them found a quiet corner on the first floor and sat down.
The waiter came and Shiyu made her orders. While they waited, the women could hear other patrons chattering among each other. As expected, the talk centred around what was happening at Divine Tea Mountain.
It did not take long for the waiter to come back with a tray filled with some of the restaurant’s signature dishes. Naturally, it included three sets of Crystal Pork Shoulders. As before, this unique cold dish was served on a blue plate, but unlike the takeout version, these plates were more expensive and delicate looking.
Shiyu eagerly picked up her chopsticks and plucked up a petal of the pork shoulder and placed it into her mouth. Hmm, it was just as delicious as the one she had last night.
Crystal Pork Shoulder was not a particularly difficult dish. Anyone with a basic grasp of cooking techniques could probably make it. However, not everyone could master this dish. The meat was brined and boiled to the point where the fat was melt-in-your-mouth soft, the skin gelatinous and full of collagen and the meat packed with flavour without the stinkiness of pork. Because of the lack of heavy tasting flavours, any hint of stink or smell could ruin the dish, but the chef had processed the meat so well that only the gentle and delicately flavoured sensation was left behind. When eaten with good rice wine, a single person could easily polish off two plates of this wonderful delicacy.
After happily enjoyed the first plate of Crystal Pork Shoulder, Shiyu focused her analysing skills on the second dish.
Suddenly, the loud ‘pa’ of chopsticks being slapped onto the table shocked Shiyu out of her musings. She looked up and saw a weirdly intense fire burning in Xiao Shu’s eyes. When Shiyu looked at what Xiao Shu was staring at, she blinked. Oho.  So, it turned out to be an old acquaintance. This old acquaintance was gracefully coming down the stairs from the second floor.  It was Shen Lingfei.
Xiao Shu stood up, clearly intending to go and collect her debt right away. Shiyu stood too, ready to back her friend when she saw someone entering the restaurant. Automatically, she grabbed Xiao Shu’s arm and forced her back into her chair.  Qi Chuyun frowned at their antics. But she, too, lowered her head to discreetly looked at the direction of the stairs.
“Sit down first,” Shiyu hissed. Then, narrowing her eyes she flicked her hand and sending a gust of wind over towards Shen Lingfei. Instead of striking the heroic-looking young man,  the wind struck the back of a young woman’s knees and she suddenly pitched forward with a little cry.
Fortunately, Shen Lingfei’s movement was quick and he managed to grasp the girl by the waist and prevented her from falling face-first into the floor.
“Beautiful!” Shiyu smirked. When her two companions gave her a look, she waved her hands at them, “Just watch the show first, just watch, just watch.”
Xiao Shu huffed a little but decided to allow herself to be coaxed. As for Qi Chuyun, she was not exactly sure what kind of prank or show these two girls were pulling and decided to just sit back and watch for now.
Meanwhile, Shen Lingfei had his first good look at the face of the girl he had just rescued and was immediately struck by her beauty. The maiden before him was dressed in white and was blinking pitiful dewy eyes at him. His heart was struck like a bell by the pure and gentle beauty.
“Maiden, are you well?” Shen Lingfei asked.
“I’m fine,” the woman straightened herself and gave Shen Lingfei a salute, “Many thanks to this young master. My friends are waiting for me upstairs, so I shall not take up any more of your time.”
Shen Lingfei was reluctant to leave this beauty but stepped aside to let her pass. “Then, please,” He spread out his hand gallantly and bowed with one hand behind his back, the very picture of a gentleman. As the girl made to pass, a letter fluttered out of his sleeves.
The girl was about to pass by him when she noticed the envelope, “You’ve dropped something.”
Shen Lingfei hurriedly picked up the letter and bowed gratefully at the girl, “Thank you maiden for noticing it. Fortunately, I did not lose this, otherwise, I would not be able to enter the Imperial College.”
The young woman looked up at him, interest clear in her eyes as she said, “Are you going to become a student of the Imperial College too?”
Shen Lingfei was overjoyed at the word ‘too’. “I’ve been recommended by my teachers. However, I’m afraid this is my first time coming to the Imperial Capital, so I’m not very sure of who to look for. Is maiden a student of the College as well?”
The young woman gave a cautious nod, “Yes,”
“This one is called Shen Lingfei, may I have the honour of knowing this maiden’s name?”
The young woman gave a slight smile, “I am Meng Li.”
[Gumihou: Oho, the meeting of scums!]
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 Condensation||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|
Although… considering all the silly things she had done with the various recipe, Gumihou is starting to suspect she’s probably a just junior chef (chef in training) or even a kitchen porter (peeler of potatoes and dish washer). Added Details for Dramatic Purpose: Just a little embellishment and sentence restructure for immediacy and drama.  USMiC – Qi Chuyun: Since she’s there too. Let her frown at them.  Added Details for Dramatic Reason: Because Shiyu is creating drama now, so why not?
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