Chapter 211 Sweet & Sour Pork with Pineapple (c)
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Gumihou
 Right now, the mere mention of the words ‘Imperial College’ brought the tournament to mind. Where Xiaoxiao and her team had very nearly sent the much stronger Feng heir off the platform!  Hohoho, ahem.  That was then, but recently…
Recently there had been too many incidents happening within the Imperial City. The majority of these incidents were somehow connected to the Imperial College. It was clear to anyone with a working brain that someone had been working very hard to throw dirty water all over the College. These people obviously could not hold themselves back anymore and were desperate to stir up trouble.
As a merchant, Patriarch Ling understood the reason behind hoarding rare goods and waiting for the best time to sell. As a low-level Cultivator, he also understood that without strong backing, a rich clan like the Ling might as well be a nice piece of fatty meat just waiting for someone to tear into.
If he could show his sincerity now, perhaps the Dean and the emperor would remember this favour and extend their protection over the Ling Clan? Perhaps, even involve them in future projects too?
Several thoughts crossed his mind even as Xiaoxiao continued to chatter through her dinner. “Don’t you think so, father?”  “Hm? Yes, daughter?”  Ling Xiaoxiao tipped her head to the side, “Father? Is something troubling you?”  Patriarch Ling looked at his brilliant and talented daughter, a surge of pride thrummed through him. That’s right, this is his pride and joy! He smiled, “A bit, you did well in the tournament.”  Ling Xiaoxiao pouted, “We lost,” but then a bright smiled beamed across her face. “Hehe, but we almost win, didn’t we?”  “Yes, you did.”  It’s decided, he will go to the Imperial College that very evening.
After the meal, he took Ling Xiaoxiao with him, and together, they entered the Imperial College.  It was impossible for outsiders to enter on their own without a student escort.
Patriarch Ling had been inside the College grounds before, but what he was seeing now was rather different from before.
A hundred paces past the College gates loomed the giant trees like silent sentries were as impressive as before, but, was it his imagination? Or were the spiritual aura much stronger here?
Patriarch Ling had only taken a few breaths and already he could feel his Cultivation level rising.
As they walked, he saw many students sitting by sidewalks, at pavilions and even a few in the trees, meditating. “Everybody just meditates and Cultivates all the time now,” said Ling Xiaoxiao in a hushed voice.  “Is this why you’re rarely home now?” Patriarch Ling said, half teasingly. “Don’t tell me you’re only home today to get a beast core for your classmate.”  Ling Xiaoxiao shrugged. It was true.  Patriarch Ling looked around again, “It’s different from what I remembered. The Spiritual aura here is at least 10 times stronger.”  “I don’t know what happened either,” said Ling Xiaoxiao. “A black hole appeared in the sky one day and… Oh, it happened on the day when someone attacked the College. Nobody dared to ask what happened, but, look over there.”  Patriarch Ling looked. Seated in the middle of a large platform under a rotating black hole, somehow he could tell that it was rotating, were seven figures. It was the College Champions.  Ling Xiaoxiao was whispering again, “Anyway, the sky over the College turned black one day. The blackness eventually gathered over there. Since then, the Spiritual aura’s much richer and lots of people have broken through.”  “Those trees just now,” Patriarch Ling looked back. “I thought there was something different about them.”  “Yes, they’re putting out new shoots and my classmate swears they are getting taller too,”  Father and daughter continued to whisper together as Ling Xiaoxiao updated her father about everything that had happened here.
When they finally reached the Dean’s office, they were admitted without incident. The Dean himself did not look surprised to see them.
The people within the Dean’s office, Patriarch Ling, the Dean and even Ling Xiaoxiao were all shrewd people. After all, the Dean did not hide the fact that the College had emptied out the Hidden Treasure Pavilion’s collection of beast cores. As the owner of the largest trading market, Patriarch Ling would be in the best position to find out who was behind the sudden massive buy out.
“One doesn’t visit the temple without cause. For Patriarch Ling to come to our door at such a late hour. Surely it cannot be as simple as a friendly visit to an old man like me?”
“Surely the Dean’s words are a little distant?” Patriarch Ling said with a smooth smile. “It has recently come to my ears that the Dean has suffered some injuries. I have come with something that might help. Perhaps the Dean could take a look and see if it is… suitable?”
He placed a jade box the size of his palm on the table and opened it before the Dean and Ling Xiaoxiao.
Inside was a flaming red bead the size of a Longan berry.
The bead was as red as blood and the brilliance of it was so dazzling that the moment it was revealed, it overwhelmed the light from the night pearls. Though still tucked in its little jade box, everyone could feel the powerful Spiritual energy brushing against their faces.
“A Fire Attribute beast core?” the Dean was someone with a good eye for precious items. “Moreover, it’s a Rank 5 beast core! Tsk, tsk, Patriarch Ling. This is not some ordinary treasure.”
A Rank 5 monster was equivalent to a Divine Transformation expert. It’s not easy to get one’s hands on their beast core. Even after sweeping up the market this afternoon, they did not manage to get their hands on a single Rank 5 core.
Patriarch Ling had just voluntarily turned up with this thing, so how could the Dean not be tempted?
“The gift must reflect one’s sincerity,” said Patriarch Ling. Though his heart twinged with pain, he still managed a chuckle. “This thing is wasted on me. Xiaoxiao’s current Cultivation realm is still not high enough to warrant it. We cannot make use of it for now. As the Dean appeared to be more in of it, perhaps the Dean should have it instead.”
To his credit, the Dean did not immediately accept. Instead, he said, “You have thought it through?”
There was no other meaning to his tone.
“Surely my presence is proof that I have thought things through,” Patriarch Ling answer calmly, his eyes filled with sincerity as he smiled at the Dean.
“If that is the case, I shall not stand on ceremony,” the Dean nodded. “I shall remember this favour from you. His Majesty will naturally know of it too.”
Patriarch Ling had not expected the Dean to so casually reveal His Majesty’s involvement. His hand jerked slightly before he clenched his fist to control the trembling. “Such a trivial matter is not worth mentioning. Now that have completed my little mission, I shall not disturb the Dean any longer.”
“Just a moment,” said the Dean before Patriarch Ling could take his leave. He opened a drawer and withdrew something from it. It was an ivory card.  The Dean placed the card on the table next to the jade box and pushed it forward. “Anyone who holds this card has the permission to freely enter the Imperial College. In the future, even without Xiaoxiao, you may enter the College grounds and Cultivate. Strength is something that is better owned than borrowed.”
Patriarch Ling accepted the ivory card with joy and some disbelief.  He came here with the gift expecting some kind of return, of course. However, he had not expected this!
His Cultivation realm was not high. If he could meditate under the spiritually rich air within the Imperial College… He would have paid more than a few precious treasures to own such a card!
“Many thanks to the Dean,”
Beside him, Ling Xiaoxiao remained silent as she observed the interaction between her father and the Dean.  Though no one would describe her as a reserved person, this fiery Chilli Pepper knew when to keep her mouth shut and blend in with the furniture. Even when her father handed the precious thing over, all she did was ponder over the possible reason behind her father’s mysterious action. He must have some reason for it.
After the father-daughter duo left the Dean’s office, Patriarch Ling patted his daughter’s head with a satisfied expression. No words were needed.
The Imperial College had always been self-contained and aloof. Its existence rivalled even the Imperial Palace in terms of status. Associating with such a great power has more advantages than disadvantages.  Moreover, he has already received the first fruits of this gamble. Time will tell if this bet will pay off in the future. If all goes well, the Ling Clan might even achieve noble status within Xiaoxiao’s generation.
Please read this at kitchennovel dot com ~ (´꒳`)
After Patriarch Ling left, the Dean packed up the little jade box as well as the huge number of beast cores and beast meat he had collected on Shiyu’s behalf.
He had no idea what that Shiyu girl planned to do with these things, but he thought back to Elder Gu’s words.  Support of three Divine Transformation level Metal Eating Beasts, support of a power strong enough to kill a Nascent Formation beast in one shot…  Not to mention, he had personally seen her when she came into the College with her pitiful strength, dismissing her as a vine that had successfully coiled itself around a promising student. The next thing he knew, this vine had overtaken the sturdy tree in terms of Cultivation level! He had no idea how she did it. However, he was willing, and desperate enough, to bet not only the resources of the Imperial College but the resources of the Imperial Family, the Liu Clan as well as the Feng Clan. The elders had pooled their money and swept up all the beast cores they could get their hands on. The money used was probably enough to crush a few people to death.
So, that little girl must give them some very satisfactory results! Otherwise, powerful support or not, he will make that little witch suffer!
 When Shiyu accepted the space ring full of beast core and meat, she felt a sudden pressure from the Dean. However, when she looked up, the Dean was still smiling his benevolent head-of-an-educational-organization smile.  “Shiyu girl,” he said, still smiling. “We old fellows expect something great from you,”  It was… not exactly a threat.  “Er, ehehehe,” she had asked them to collect more beast meat and cores for her to test out some recipes to make Spiritually enhanced food. Especially since they have to push up the Cultivation levels of so many people, but what’s with this pressure, ah…
[Gumihou: Shiyu, you had better deliver, ah]
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|
 Patriarch Ling’s Thoughts: Which is not wrong in the original text, but kind of incomplete? Went straight into the conflict which is, again, not wrong but daddy’s little girl was in the tournament. Ling Xiaoxiao is his only child (as far as we know) and was in the tournament and you’re not sparing any thoughts to this?! Really?
Isn’t that unlikely? Especially since your daughter just spoke to you in the last chapter and is still with you now? Added Details for Transitional Purpose: Use dialogue from Ling Xiaoxiao to draw Patriarch Ling out of his thoughts. It wasn’t clear in the original text if they were in her father’s study or at the dining table. However, since the text said ‘he took Ling Xiaoxiao to the College after their meal’. Decided to put the time as ‘evening’ and the place as ‘dining room’  Additional Details to Combat the Vague: Like, please give a reason why you bring your daughter to a secret(ish) meeting with the Dean. For negotiating experience? As a pass card to enter the College grounds?  Additional Details to Combat the Vague: Like, how did you know they only eat and meditate Patriarch Ling, sir? Since this is under his POV. Used Ling Xiaoxiao to convey information through dialogue as well as the general student body’s impression of what had happened. Readjust sentences to fit dialogue and moved some paragraphs around for maximum impact and discreet information dump.  Additional Details to Combat the Vague: ‘Everyone is a shrewd person here’…how are they shrewd again? It would be nice to show some ways these characters display intelligence.  A Recap: Use this opportunity to recap why on earth or the whole of Nine Realms, would a sensible and powerful person like the Dean spend so much money and effort supporting the whim of a girl. Aside from Elder Gu’s words, which Gumihou supplied by the way.  Additional Details for Logistical Purpose: Just how did the Dean’s POV suddenly switch over to Shiyu?
Also, changed the ending a little since it was kind of underwhelming.
Original text ‘She had at first hoped to get some inner alchemy to try, but later thought that it would be better to have more, because they have a lot of people on the team…’
Like, wow, exciting stuff there.
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