Chapter 220 Sweet & Sour Pork with Pineapple (l)
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Gumihou
Feng Luo ran off happily with his bag of weed. Shiyu had no idea what he wanted the useless thing for, but she’s glad to be rid of it.  Later, she finally realised why Feng Luo was so happy with the thorny vine when he reappeared with a brand new whip. Said whip was brilliant green, shot with a very familiar gold pattern and fine barbs. Fine barbs that Shiyu’s hands were unfortunately very familiar with.  Feng Luo grinned and demonstrated the three-meter long whip by snapping it around a piece of wood. When he wrenched it back, the barbs in the whip splintered the wood to pieces. Shiyu duly clapped her hands. As expected things exist in this world for a reason.
When Qi Chuyun saw Feng Luo waving his whip around, she too started to learn how to use her bow in earnest. It was… tricky at first since she has some habits brought over from her sword using habits. For example, when she was battling with Shiyu, she suddenly launched herself forward to shoot an arrow…
Generally speaking, archers should hide behind obstacles and fire their arrows sneakily at the enemies. This aggressive behaviour was… well, one could imagine the end result of such an aggressive archer…
After a few days’ break, the Dean arranged for them to fight in the ring again. This time, perhaps to avoid the scorching daytime sun, the match was set in the evening.
Tournaments that were once held in the morning and afternoon were now being held during the afternoon and evening. To their surprise, the number of people who came to watch their match did not fall by much. Later, they found out that more people prefer to watch a tournament during the evening after they were done with their busy work during the day. Apparently, it was so much more satisfying to enjoy an exciting match after a hard day’s work.
Their rivals could only glare in their direction when the evening tickets drew more sales.
Even if they wanted to imitate the College and hold their tournaments in the cooler hours, the only choice was either late at night or the wee hours of the morning. What kind of idiot would watch tournaments during the middle of the night?
Therefore, when these people tried to get the right to use the Central Square in the evening, the Emperor took great pleasure in putting his imperial foot down.
When this group of busybodies had petitioned for the right to use the Central Square in the afternoon, there was no way for the Emperor to decline them without attracting cries of unfairness or accusations of tyranny. However, now they wanted to grab this golden slot too? It would be very strange if the Emperor approve their request.
Therefore, there was nothing this group of people could do but stared at their rival’s soaring ticket sales. Well, there was still one other thing they could do. Not long after the evening tournament slot was announced, all kinds of rumours began to float around the city. “Those so-called Champions have broken down after a single blow,”  “The cowards are now hiding in the College, afraid to face real opponents.”
This tactic was not without effect. It has been a week since the fight with  One Ear and his bandit gang. Therefore, quite a few people were prepared to believe this claim.
“Just who are these people?” Qi Chuyun was more than a little exasperated.
“People who want to overthrow the Eastern Empire I expect,” said Shiyu. “Just a bunch of people with a common interest.”
Dong-Fang Zhen had the clearest information, “They are led by three First Class Noble Families of the Imperial Capital and their followers. They have quite a lot of people in their faction, but even now they can’t make any careless moves yet.”
To be honest, Dong-Fang Zhen was not entirely clear about the situation either. Imperial Father seemed to have discovered something vital, but had stayed his hand and allowed the situation to develop to this level.
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The Imperial Palace, at the top of a small resting area overlooking the impressive palace grounds.
The Empress was also pondering over this question as she played chess opposite the Emperor.
The Empress was a very graceful and luxuriously dressed woman with a clear face and delicate features. If not for her slightly dim eyes and slower movements, one might mistake her for a young imperial concubine, new to the palace scene.
She was, in fact, over 50 years old.
She had a son who fell into a lake and drowned when he was 4 years old and a daughter who died from a sudden illness. After that, there were no more children and no more incidents.
Perhaps it was due to these tragedies that this woman eventually clawed her way up to the highest status a woman of the mundane world could achieve. An empress of great ability and intelligence.
“Qi Lang, you must know those three noble families are getting rather restless. Why are you indulging their misbehaviour? As the saying goes, A Single Anthill could Destroy a Thousand Mile Embankment. Some things should be rid of quickly before they make a nuisance of themselves.”
The Emperor made a seemingly careless move with his chess piece, “Always Be on Guard, Always Be Aware. Even if those people aren’t tired, this king is tired of watching their play. Let them gather their resources for one final show. It’s the same whether we eliminate some or all of them at once.”
The Empress smiled, “Oh? To think Qi Lang has some plans in place?”
“This king is just lazy,”
The time spent over chess was short. The Emperor was a busy man after all and had to deal with many matters of the state.
The Empress watched as the Emperor left. Once he was out of sight, she continued the game, playing the pieces against herself. Aside from the crisp sound of chess pieces on the tile, nothing else was heard. Her expression was shadowed, unclear.
Nevertheless, even this leisure time was too short. Soon, someone came to beg for an audience.
It was an Imperial Concubine with whom she had had a good relationship in the past.
“I cannot fathom what’s happening in that person’s mind,” this particular Imperial Concubine has a rather straightforward character. “Right now she is the only one with a son within the whole inner court and everyone knows just how precious he is. Even His Majesty is taking his time to Cultivate him. I have no idea why she’s moaning and wailing about wanting the Crown Prince to return to the palace.”
Now that a guest has come, the game cannot be continued.
The Empress had someone take the board away and serve tea.
The Imperial Concubine’s eye flashed over the chessboard and said, “His Majesty dotes on you a lot. No matter how busy he is, he’ll always find time to play chess with you,”
“Did His Majesty not often come to your palace and hear your qin? It’s just a way to relieve the boredom,” said the Empress as she began the tea ceremony.
At the Empress’ praise, the Imperial Concubine smiled slightly, the prick in her heart easing as she continued her story. “Before this Imperial Concubine came over, we encountered Imperial Concubine Su again. It’s very possible that she will come and beg you to intercede on her behalf and call the Crown Prince back. This Imperial Concubine felt she might disturb your peace and had beaten her back to her courtyard.”
The straightforward Imperial Concubine was honestly confused. “Does that woman really not understand His Majesty’s intentions? How could she not see that the people around His Highness were all outstanding geniuses from the Imperial College? If the Crown Prince could forge strong friendships with these future powerhouses, Eastern Empire’s future would be secured and stable.
His Majesty must have considered all of this before giving the Crown Prince special permission to temper himself through this valuable experience. However, that foolish Imperial Concubine Su could not seem to understand a good thing when she sees it and continued to fuss and complain over nothing these past few days.”
She ended her long tirade with a harrumph, clearly unhappy about the situation.
The Empress did not quite agree, however, she diplomatically said, “Everyone has their own considerations. Tempering oneself might be a good thing, but a fighting arena is a dangerous place. It’s too easy to lose one’s life there. As a mother, being a little more worrisome is to her credit.”
The Imperial Concubine had no counter to that, aside from, “You, ah. You’re too nice for your own good. If you had adopted that child as your own, she would have no power now. An insignificant woman from an insignificant household would never have the vision to understand His Majesty’s thoughts. The only thing in her mind is how we’re all planning to kill that son of hers.” This time, her sniff of disdain sounded stiffer. If her own child was still alive, there was no need for her to say anything like this.
The Empress elegantly lifted the teacup to her lips, before setting it down. “Now, now, just let her be. Why work yourself up over such an insignificant person?”
“Aih, you’re right. This is the fate of women who entered the palace harem. However, thanks to having birthed the Crown Prince, even an insignificant woman like that has the clout to storm into the city to make trouble. We don’t even have the right to complain about this.”
At this, the Empress’ eyes paused on the rim of her cup, before wandering off again.
[Gumihou: Uh? Palace intrigue? Really?]
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 Comedic Effect: Come on, it’s funny~ One man’s weed is another man’s whip  Adjusted Details for Dramatic Purpose: Turned the sentences into dialogues.  USMiC – One Ear: These poor guys, author-san did not even mention their group or their names. Just ‘the last time they were injured’. ‘They’ presumably the Champions with only mild allusions to their previous most spectacular fight.
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