Chapter 279 – Soup (b)
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Gumihou
First, we have a jellybean arc with no jellybeans, now a soup arc with no soup…
Author-san, what are these random titles for?
Is this still a food novel?
“You should be aware of my position,” Suo Ran took a sip of his tea before continuing, “and know my reasons for coming here.”
Shiyu nodded. She  swallowed one of the cakes, wiped her mouth and said, “If my guess is not wrong, you’re probably all here to take control of the Ninth Realm. I supposed Eastern Martial Empire isn’t the only place with hidden Enforcers. The rest of the nearby countries, or should I say, all the imperial families under the Ninth Realm probably faces the same concern.”
“You are good at guessing,” said Suo Lan. “These are orders that came from above. As subordinates, we have no choice but to comply. If Elder Huan did not appear here, I’m afraid the Eastern Martial Empire would be finished by now.”
At this, he leaned forward and stared hard at Shiyu, “In fact, the Eastern Martial Empire is one of a few hundred countries targeted. It is fine to overlook one or two countries.”
Shiyu stared back, her eyes curving into slits as she smiled, “You want to negotiate?”
Not many people are completely loyal. So long as the benefits are good enough, even angels would become devils. On the flip side, devils could be coaxed to become angels.
Seeing her understand his meaning so quickly, he smiled slightly and straightened himself in his seat once more, “Speaking with intelligent people is certainly refreshing. To be honest, I am not after a negotiation,” he licked his lips. “I prefer practical benefits. Since Elder Huan is willing to offer me benefits, I am naturally willing to conceal the situation here from the people above.
Right now, someone wants your life. Fortunately, I have already blocked this blow once. However, I am not someone who enjoys doing good deeds for nothing, hiding such a matter from the people involved is also risky. I shall be frank, I am doing all this for my own benefit.”
Shiyu never thought that this uncle would be so straightforward about his greed and was a little stunned. Suddenly, she leaned back and laughed out loud, “Hahahaha! You are certainly refreshing!”
She has a rather straightforward character and preferred the company of similarly minded people. After all, birds of a feather flock together.
Despite her rather casual attitude, Shiyu had always been a little guarded against Suo Lan. He was, after all, from the enemy camp. However, she could say that she appreciate this person quite a bit.
“You say someone wants my life and you helped me block them? Could you tell me whether this troublesome thing still exist?”
“Of course, perhaps, even as we have our tea someone is already watching you closely,” said Suo Lan. “I have put on a human mask to avoid suspicion. Therefore, could assist you once if they come for your life. Naturally, it would not be for free.”
“Interesting, the people who wish to kill me know you and you have no way of stopping them. They must be people in very high positions.” Shiyu went through the very short list of people who would fit this description and roughly knew who it was already.
Looks like that person still refuses to back down.
“Aren’t you worried that your secret acts would provoke that person?”
Suo Lan heard the concern in her voice and felt his heart lightened a little, “Those who seek riches and honour must face great peril. As long as the reward is good enough, I am willing to take certain risks.”
If he assists the Third Miss, at best he would receive a standard reward on the condition that the mission is successfully carried out. On the other hand, saving Elder Huan’s disciple would earn him great personal favour with both master and student. The effort required would be dependent on the desired end but showing effort alone would at least earn him goodwill. He knew how to calculate as well.
“What a reassuring reason. Then… please state your desire. I shall say it first, I won’t be able to afford anything that’s too difficult or too expensive,” drawled Shiyu.
“I have not thought of anything yet. I shall certainly bring it up the next time we meet. It’s enough as long as you remember,” once she has grown stronger, the number of things she ‘couldn’t afford’ would be a lot fewer too.
Shiyu thought for a bit, “Alright, so long as it’s nothing too difficult.”
“Please be at ease,”
This marked the end of their conversation. Once Shiyu inhaled all the snacks on the table, the two finally went their own way.
Since she now knew that someone was after her life, she did not continue with her stroll and used the fastest method to zip back into the College.
Once she was within the College, she looked at the Fortune Pill in her hand, then at the sky above the college. She  returned to the Saint’s Dwelling and ate up the necessary quantities of spiritually rich food before popping back out and making her way to the mountains behind the College.
In fact, her original plan was to break through within the Saint’s Dwelling but Fat Cat told her that it’s better to break through outside.
The Dao of Suppression of the Ninth Realm is incredibly oppressive. However, if one could successfully break through under such pressure, the benefits would be much greater.
At this, Shiyu decided to break through at the mountainside.
Until now, Shiyu had not seen any of her comrades yet. However, Elder Gu had been keeping track of her and had even invited Elder Feng over to help keep watch and protect Shiyu as she attempt this very crucial step.
Shiyu made her way to the top of a hill and sat herself down on a large rock. She sat in a lotus position where she has a panoramic view of the Imperial College.
Finally, she closed her eyes and relaxed her mind, feeling the mountain breeze against her skin.
Neither Elder Gu nor Elder Feng bothered to hide their presence as they situated themselves at the foot of the back mountain. Students who sensed the presence of these masters elected to take a detour away from where Shiyu is attempting her breakthrough.
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Lin Fan and the rest came back from the Central Square.
As they walked, they talked about their most recent fights.
Right now, their days were relatively miserable compared to the time where they won their fights easily. Nowadays, it was as though they found themselves getting beaten up more often than not. Fortunately, though the strength gap between the two sides was relatively large, the Dean was able to arrange the fights against opponents they could still handle. That way, though their wins were difficult, they did not take too much damage and could still learn a bit from the challenger’s side.
“… Chuyun, did you see how they use the bow and arrows? The way they hide behind their friends and shoot at us is so shameless, ah. You should study from that shameless guy.”
Qi Chuyun nodded, “I shall consider it.”
“Let’s go, it’s time to deal with the injuries. Luckily Xiao Shi left us all that Medicinal Wine, otherwise, it would take us much longer to recover,” Feng Luo had one arm hooked around Lin Fan’s neck and was practically hanging off the other guy. His condition was especially miserable today having been badly injured.
“Speaking of Xiao Shi, it’s been a month since we’ve seen here. Surely she’s still fine? Is she going to leap out of the shadows and give us all a fright?” guessed Dong-Fang Zhen.
Beside him, Xuan Yin’s expression changed subtly. She missed the food that Shiyu makes. Once Shiyu was no longer around, their access to interesting food had also declined.
The group managed to limp back into the Villa in one piece, all of them were keenly aware of a certain change in the atmosphere. Qing Chen leapt onto the roof and his eyes immediately zeroed in on the person sitting at the peak of a mountain top from a distance.
She’s finally out, thought Qing Chen. His eyes travelled lower and saw the two elders guarding the foot of the mountain.
Looks like Shiyu was preparing to break through.
Finally, someone from their team was about to challenge the Divine Transformation realm.
He leapt down from the roof to tell everyone the news when he saw his teammate’s  bright eyes staring back at him.
“So, she’s back?”   “Did you see her too?” Qing Chen asked. “Well…” Feng Luo looked to the side, and Qing Chen finally noticed the table laden with something.  Only Shiyu would leave food on the table like this. As the rest of the Champions had already seated themselves around the table. Qing Chen studied the items left by Shiyu.  Rather than on the table, it would be more correct to say that the items were hovering above the table. Seven bamboo tubes made from flames floated over the table. The tubes were not large and could be encircled with one hand. It was only about a foot long and looked quite elaborate.
“She must have left these,” Lin Fan grabbed hold of one of the tubes and, curiously enough, the fire did not burn his hand. Once he held the tube firmly, the top of the tube opened up slowly. An indescribable fragrance flowed out.
It was not a sweet smell nor was it the smell of fire or smoke. However, a single inhalation was enough to ease a person’s heart and refresh their mind.
Lin Fan paused for a moment, then gently shook the bamboo tube. There was a sloshing sound, indicating that the tube contained some sort of liquid. Without hesitation, he lifted the tube and downed the liquid in one smooth swallow. Then, he sat down.
The bamboo tube dissipated in his hands.
“You… just drank it like that?” Feng Luo stared at Lin Fan with very wide eyes. “What if that’s her leftover foot-washing water?”
Lin Fan gave him a Look. “If you don’t want it, you can give me your share.”
“Absolutely not!” faster than a lightning bolt, Feng Luo seized one of the bamboo tubes and downed the liquid as though afraid that someone might snatch it from him. “Hmm, it’s… sweet?”
He was the most injured today. Therefore, when the injuries on his body rapidly closed off and the scars disappeared right before their eyes, everyone grew even more amazed.  The next thing he knew, his body suddenly felt as though it had been plunged into warm water. No, more like, his entire body had melted into warm goo. It was actually a very comfortable experience.
Lin Fan was feeling the same way too. He went to a corner of the room to sit down in a lotus position and meditate.
When the rest saw how the qi surge within the bodies of these two reckless young men, how could they not guess what was in those mysterious bamboo tubes?
The only question is… just how far would they break through this time?
For the next three days, the Central Square tournament was suspended. The back mountain where two guards were watching suddenly became a group of guards. Dawn on the fourth day, Shiyu, who had been adjusting her state of being breathed out a sigh and finally swallowed the Fortune Pill.
The Fortune Pill could be taken as long as one has reached the Core Condensation – Great Perfection Realm. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in the Great Perfection realm either, so long as you have the qualifications, you have the opportunity to challenge the Divine Transformation realm which was only separated by a single realm.
Some people are stuck in the Great Perfection realm for a long time, while others break through easily as though it was a matter of course to advance. It all depends on both luck and ability.
After placing the Fortune Pill into her mouth, Shiyu did not feel any majestic power surging in her body as she had half expected. Instead, it felt as though her body was dissipating away. Turning into dust and assimilating with heaven and earth. She was the wind, the sky, the clouds and the dust on the ground.
Her body followed where the wind blows. A breath later, four seasons flashed before her eyes, spring, summer, autumn, winter and then spring again.
The odd sensation of blending with heaven and earth was not something she had ever experienced before.
At the foot of the mountain where Elder Feng and Elder Gu had been playing chess, the two elders suddenly stopped moving their chess pieces and looked up.
Around them, the leaves began to flutter and move. The fallen leaves stirred and floated even though there was no wind around them. The thing moving them were strands of Spiritual energies brewing like a whirlwind at the peak of the mountains.
By now, even the sleeves of the elders began to flap as though a thousand thundering horses had stampeded past them.
This wind that was not a wind spread through the entire College.
Right now, students of the College were delighted because Lin Fan and Co. had stopped monopolising the best meditating area. Unfortunately, while they were happily increasing their Cultivation in the best area, something odd began to happen. The Spiritual aura around them became thinner and thinner.
Everyone suddenly opened their eyes and stared at the sky. The Spiritual energies falling from the rift was being sucked away long before it reached the people below.
“What’s going on?!” everyone grew agitated, however. The elders responsible for keeping the peace shushed them. “Someone is about to break through, so the aura will naturally be thin for a bit.”
The students felt depressed. When would their turn to breakthrough come, ah?
“Who’s taking so much energy to break through anyway?”
“Don’t tell me it’s a bunch of people breaking through again?”
“Those beasts! Not only did all of them break through at once, they even break multiple levels in one go!”
While the people were chatting, the group of ‘beasts’ began to open their eyes…
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The reactions within the College were varied but understandable. Outside the College, life went on as usual. Shops and teahouses happily entertained their influx of guests…
However, as more time passed, while the commoners still felt nothing was amiss, a sense of unease seeped into the Cultivators’ hearts. Although they could not see anything wrong, their hearts grew muddled. They were unsure what they should do.
At the Ge Estate.
Suo Lan who had been meditating with his eyes closed, suddenly became alert.
“About to breakthrough? Looks like I have not picked the wrong treasure box.”
The emperor looked in the direction of the Imperial College.
In various locations, old men with greying hair looked into the void.
An omen! The omen of someone seeking to challenge the Divine Transformation Realm, ah!
Turns out they could still see others breakthrough into that realm within their lifetime.
This means that that realm is not beyond their reach. So long as they are not discouraged, there will always be hope.
By the time noon rolled around, nearly everyone was talking about the matter.
“I had not expected to encounter such a thing when I came here,”
“Didn’t they say that breaking into Divine Transformation is very difficult? That person could still fail.”
“Regardless of failure or success, it is an honour to participate in person.”
Although they have no idea who was breaking through, the atmosphere from the mountain was so overwhelming that it felt like they were part of it.
The oppressive atmosphere continued for three days and three nights.
Elder Feng and Elder Gu stopped playing chess. Instead, they stared at the mountain peak with a frown.
“It’s been three days, why has there been no change?” Elder felt that the whole situation was a bit odd. When he challenged the Divine Transformation Realm, it only took him a day and a night to breakthrough.
Elder Gu also looked concerned. “I took just over a day to breakthrough. Three days… might be a bit long. Surely it will still be alright?”
“It doesn’t look like it.”
The person on the peak remained sitting with her eyes closed. However, the atmosphere around her was unfathomably odd. This made Elder Feng and Elder Gu worried.
It was too different from the time when they broke through.
Beside Shiyu was the hazy figure of Fat Cat.
He knew that Shiyu’s Spiritual Root was not innate. Therefore, this time, the breakthrough method would surely be different…
[Gumihou: Extra long chapter. Moreover, very little came from Gumihou’s comments. Also, I guess the ‘soup’ is those things in the bamboo tube?]
 This is why I don’t believe Shiyu actually knows what good food is. Who ‘swallows’ snacks?  Added Details for Logistic Purpose: did not realise Shiyu went into her Saint’s Dwelling until she came out of it. What the-  Added Details for Logistic Purpose: the narrative must have been written in a rush with too many people moving around and still attempting to place Shiyu under the best light. Kind of dizzying.  Changed Details for Dramatic Purpose: Author’s description is a bit pithy and hard to follow. Adjusted to fit the English language and deliver a similar impression.
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