Chapter 256 Meaty Pork Crackling Noodle (k)
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Gumihou
Shiyu followed Elder Liu down a road bordered by flowers and willow trees. Eventually, they stopped before a private courtyard.
Even before they reached the courtyard, Shiyu could already smell the scent of a strong fire. The fire was strong enough to scorch the air and rasped her throat. For such a strong fire to exist, this must mean they were very close to the residence of the craftsman.
Elder Liu appeared to know the elder within the courtyard quite well. After a short greeting, a rough voice called out, “Just let yourself in,” and Elder Liu just pushed the door opened and went in.
Upon entering, Shiyu saw a short and dirty looking old man busily working at a furnace. “This is Elder Lin, he’s the best Craftsman in the College. His skills are top five within the Eastern Martial Empire.”  Shiyu politely saluted him and said, “Elder Lin, I am here to commission cooking equipment. Pots, pans, steamer and the like.”  “Hoo? That’s rare. Well, as long as you provide the materials it’s fine. We shall go according to the standard rule. Prepare two sets of materials, one for your equipment and the other for payment.”
Elder Liu had already explained the rules to her earlier, so Shiyu just nodded in agreement.
Looking at her happy expression, Elder Lin glanced over at Elder Liu.  Although they both have the titles of ‘elder’ before their names, even elders have different degrees of seniority. Elder Liu was someone close to the Dean while he was just one of the craftsmen of the College. When the girl asked for cooking equipment, he grew even warier. It was only when the girl straightforwardly agreed to pay him properly, he finally understood that this was a serious commission. Someone was actually willing to pay him a whole set of spiritual ores just for cooking equipment.
“Oh, and since I’m not familiar with the refining work. Please give me the list of ores you need? It will make it easier for me to track things down,” said Shiyu respectfully.
After all, she was only familiar with cooking. Not the making of cooking equipment, therefore, it’s best to get advice from an expert.
Neither side was interested in small talk, so relevant issues such as  size of pots, types of ores, rarity, usefulness durability etc were all discussed. Shiyu looked at the list in hand and thought that she might have some ores that matched it, but it’s probably better to go back and tidy up her inventory with someone knowledgeable before taking anything out.
Once her part of the business was done, she was ready to leave. However, Elder Liu was still speaking to Elder Lin. Knowing that it would be impolite to rush the elders, she decided to explore the courtyard a little.
Since this was a forging area, there were a lot of random things scattered around. Stacks of wood, piles of ore, bones etc were everywhere.
The thing that caught Shiyu’s eye the most was the bronze coloured furnace. It looked very ancient and parts of it looked as though it had been corroded away. It looked like something had eaten into the metal.
Shiyu reached out to touch the furnace when, suddenly, flames gushed out and swept over her body.
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Elder Liu and Elder Lin stared in horror as one of the  College’s prized students was engulfed in fire. Elder Lin reacted first, rushing forward to call the fire back when he saw something strange.
The flames that had swept so aggressively over Shiyu suddenly shrank away from her body and rolled back into the furnace.
“… …” When Elder Lin looked inside the furnace, the fire had curled into a tight little ball and was shivering slightly.  “… …” Elder Lin gave Shiyu a look.
Shiyu blinked, and bowed her head a few times, “Sorry, sorry, I just wanted to have a look at the furnace I didn’t know that a fire was living there… is that a Fire Seed?”
From the heat of the flames, it should be a Fire Seed. However, normal Fire Seeds would not move so actively. This little fire has enough awareness to recognise her fire attribute and rushed over to see if there was anything good to eat.
It must have been frightened off by Ocean Heart Flame and scurried away. Its tiny shivering form was just too pitiful
“En,” Elder Lin did not bother to hide anything. He reached into the furnace and picked up the little flame which had shrunk down to the size of a pea. “This fire is my old friend, we’ve been forging and crafting Spiritual equipment for years. Without him, I would not be able to craft any good things. Perhaps it’s because we’ve been together so long, it has developed some Spiritual awareness.”
He turned calm eyes at Shiyu, “Little friend, for my old friend to run away like that, you must have some powerful fires on your person.”
Shiyu did not deny it. Instead, she asked, “Will Fire Seeds develop awareness if they stay with someone long?”
“Not necessarily,” said Elder Lin. “This old friend of mine likes to eat the essence of certain ores. The more I feed him, the more it grows. Eventually, it gain some awareness. If I get to live up to a thousand or ten thousand years, perhaps this old friend of mine might even evolve into a Fire Spirit.”
Shiyu thought of Ocean Heart Flame. Is Fire Spirit the final stage for Fire Seeds? If she feed it things, would it still grow?
Fat Cat once said that for her to improve, she must absorb more Fire Seeds. The stronger the better. However, now that she has a Fire Spirit, there’s no need to seek out other Fire Seeds. Moreover, if she were to feed Ocean Heart Flame and let it grow stronger… wouldn’t that mean her Cultivation would be stronger too?
The Fire Seed in Elder Lin’s hand could absorb the essence of ores to grow. Surely Ocean Heart Flame could grow if she feed him too?
How unexpected, ah! To think that she would not only settle the issue of kitchen equipment but also gain a valuable hint on the possibility of Ocean Heart Flame’s evolution. How lucky!
The Fire Seed in Elder Lin’s hand could eat the essence of ores, so, should she feed the same thing to Ocean Heart Flame?
After some animated talk with Elder Lin, Elder Liu made their excuses to leave. Elder Lin had been working on something when they arrived and he did not want to disturb his colleague any further. Shiyu reluctantly left with Elder Liu.
Back at the Villa, Shiyu saw Xiao Qi and asked, “Did you give the space ring to the Dean?”
Xiao Qi said, “Yes, the Dean has taken it. Oh, and he asked you to see him as soon as you’re free.”
See the Dean?
Although she was excited about looking into what she could feed Ocean Heart Flame, Shiyu decided to meet with the Dean first.
The reason why she had asked Xiao Qi to deliver the things was to be more low-key. Also, she wanted Xiao Qi to show her face more to the Dean. In the future, she hoped that the Dean would take care of her little sister even when she was not around.
When she reached the Dean’s office, she found the Dean writing something at his desk. He looked up when she came in, “I did not expect you to be right. Those people tried to come into the College together but I refused them. Only the youngest, the girl, is allowed in. They have sent us the Nascent Formation beast core.”
The Dean has an odd look on his face as he said that.
Neither of them were fools. The situation was just too suspicious. These people definitely have some ulterior motive up their sleeves.
The fact that they could produce a Nascent Formation beast core so easily hinted at their extraordinary background.
Moreover, they did not conceal their identity. Openly coming to the College and practically announcing their background to the Dean. Yeah, I have a strong background, so what? Dare to take me in?
“I am not sure what their intentions are,” normally, people wishing to commit evil deeds would hide their presence as much as possible. This brash and open attitude was… confusing, to say the least.
Shiyu was also stunned. Then, she could not help but laughed, “Perhaps this is their intention. To confuse the Dean with their contrary behaviour. Well, since they have so generously delivered the Nascent Formation beat core, we should just openly accept it. As for what their intentions are, we shall soon see.”
Seeing her lack of anxiety, the Dean also found himself wondering if he had been overly cautious. Had he missed something?  Has that mysterious backer appeared and told her something? It still bothered him that there was someone he could not trace within the College… Never mind, seeing her confident look, he’ll just leave it to her.
“Very well, I shall let you handle the matter yourself.”
So long as the other side made no move, he will stay his hand. However, if they dare to threaten his students again. Attack first and deal with the aftermath later.
[Gumihou: Added Wen Heng detail here to prevent Dean from looking too gormless]
 Adjusted Details: change things like ‘According to Elder Liu’s introduction, this is Elder Lin, the most famous refiner in the academy…’ to dialogue for more immediacy.  Expand upon the term 見他不像是帶人來驢自己 ‘brought someone to fool himself’ which Gumi could only interpret as him thinking Elder Liu coming in with some obnoxious person to squeeze him for something. This is later reinforced when he ‘正色起來’ ‘became serious’.  Added Details for Dramatic Purpose: The discussion of kitchen equipment was basically glossed over. I guess author-san doesn’t have any idea what kind of pots or things to commission?  Added Details for Dramatic Purpose: The fire scene, allow Elder Liu to go #$%^#$%^# when Shiyu was engulfed in fire.  SPOOCS – Dean: Give a better reason for the Dean to doubt himself aside from a momentary ‘nyeh? I is stoopid now?’ while Shiyu graciously ignored the Dean’s moment of stoopid.
Seeing her attitude, the Dean was not worried, perhaps he had overlooked some details? However, Shi Yu was still very respectful to him. Since she said so, she should have her own plan.
Wow, Shiyu so reliable. I is stoopid, should just follow, like nope.
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