Chapter 105: The Thousand Layer Tofu Flower
Translator: OnGoingWhy Editor: Vermillion
After placing the basket filled to the brim with diced radishes onto the table, Bu Fang indifferently gave Master Zhao a glance. The latter was completely struck with astonishment. His mouth was wide open and incredulity was written all over his face.
Of all the choices they could make, they actually chose to compete in slicing radishes against him... Bu Fang was speechless as well. The training method for the Meteor Cutting Technique was exactly slicing radishes. Furthermore, he had to practice with an extremely heavy kitchen knife that was specially-made. Under this sort of circumstances, it was natural for his cutting technique to be out of the ordinary.
Besides, Bu Fang was even more familiar with slicing radishes since he had to slice a thousand of them every single day. Slicing a hundred radishes within five breaths was like a walk in the park for him. Therefore, if they wanted to blame someone, they could only blame Master Zhao for selecting something that was most advantageous to Bu Fang.
"Let's begin with the second category," Bu Fang indifferently said. That serene voice of his instantly awakened everyone from their astonishment.
"You... How did you do it?! This is impossible! I spent over a dozen years diligently practicing my cutting techniques! How could I be inferior to a rascal like you!" Master Zhao muttered while shaking his head with an absentminded expression.
Bu Fang placed the ordinary kitchen knife he was holding onto the cutting board. He expressionlessly gestured toward Master Zhao to have a look at the kitchen knife he used.
As Master Zhao laid his eyes on that kitchen knife, his pupils immediately constricted. He saw that the entire blade of the kitchen knife was crumpled up and there were even some cracks on its surface.
"How could anyone achieve this level of cutting technique without undergoing arduous training? You diligently practiced for many years, but I've diligently practiced as well. It's just that our methods are different, that's all," Bu Fang said.
Master Zhao was startled by Bu Fang's words for a moment. Then, he looked toward Bu Fang with a somber expression and nodded, having regained his spirit once more.
"Many thanks for your pointer, Owner Bu. Let's continue, I'll do my best," Master Zhao said. This was still a match where he was betting his dignity as a chef after all. There was no way he could just give up like this.
"The... The second category is measuring the preciseness of your cutting techniques. We've prepared two pieces of tofu, and Owner Bu and Master Zhao will be slicing them. The person who makes the thinnest slices without breaking the tofu is the winner." At that moment, Qian Bao had already lost that self-confidence from before. The Meteor Cutting Technique that Bu Fang displayed had completely defeated his self-confidence.
Bu Fang nodded. Cutting tofu was indeed one of the methods to test a chef's cutting techniques. Since tofu was tender, the chef's control over his strength and preciseness of his techniques were extremely important. Once a mistake was made, the entire tofu would crumble apart.
Master Zhao did not say anything as he directly drew out a slightly narrower kitchen knife and walked toward the tofu placed on a cutting board with a serious expression on his face.
The tofu was delicate and glossy. It looked extremely brittle as if it would crumble from a single touch.
Since the temperature outside was colder, the tofu only was brought out when they were ready. There was still a slight warmth exuding from the tofu.
Slicing tofu was a challenging task, so Master Zhao had to completely immerse himself into the work. All of his attention was focused on his kitchen knife as he started cutting the tofu.
While Master Zhao was beginning to cut the tofu, Bu Fang took out an ordinary kitchen knife once more. This kitchen knife looked exactly the same as the previous one. They both belonged to the type of larger kitchen knives.
His eyes landed on the tofu. After glancing at Master Zhao who was carefully cutting the tofu with all of his concentration, the corners of his mouth slightly widened.
After experiencing the first round of the match, the surrounding spectators were no longer blindly believing in Master Zhao. Many of them were paying close attention to Bu Fang's movements. However, bewilderment and awe soon appeared on every single one of their faces.
When confronted with the delicate tofu, Bu Fang did not choose to be careful like Master Zhao. He treated the tofu as if it was a radish. He twirled around the kitchen knife with his fingers and suddenly chopped down toward the delicate tofu.
The scene from before, when the radishes were cut, appeared once more. During the moment the stream of light was released, it was as if a countless amount of meteors were flashing across the darkness. That delicate tofu immediately began to tremble.
Within four breaths, Bu Fang had already finished cutting. He put away the kitchen knife and looked at the tofu in front of him. That tofu was still intact, as if it was not cut at all.
"This... What's going on? There's nothing happening to the tofu?" someone within the crowd puzzledly whispered. After all, even though seeing was believing, the tofu before them was completely the same as before.
"Be patient," Bu Fang calmly said, suppressing the discussion within the crowd. Using his hands, he carefully lifted up the piece of spotlessly white and warm tofu and placed it inside a transparent bowl of water. This bowl was prepared by Qian Bao beforehand and allowed the appearance of the tofu to be seen from all directions after it was sliced.
Bu Fang carefully submerged the tofu inside the bowl and then suddenly drew his hand out from the water without causing a single ripple.
In the next moment, an unbelievable change occurred to the tofu inside the transparent bowl.
The change occurred in a quiet manner. After being immersed into the water, strips of tofu that were as fine as hair began hovering. It was like a flower bud was quietly blooming and the fine tofu strips were its petals.
This was the first layer. It was soon followed by a second layer of tofu petal blooming with a different angle. Every single strip hovering in the water was extremely fine.
Beneath the surface, the tofu seemed to be naturally elongating upward as layer after layer of tofu strips started rising due to the effects of buoyant force, forming what looked like a thousand layer flower.
"The thousand layer tofu flower, please enjoy." Bu Fang mildly said to the crowd of spectators.
Everyone sucked in a breath of cold air. They were amazed by the fact that a single cuboid tofu could actually be cut into such a beautiful tofu flower. Those fine petals looked even more fragile than hair as if they would disintegrate with a single touch...
As the sun's rays penetrated through the transparent bowl and lit up the thousand layer tofu flower floating within the bowl, the strips of tofu hovering in the water looked like a flower fluttering in the wind.
When Qian Bao saw the scene before him, both of his legs went weak. With such a tofu flower, how were they going to win? They were simply not a match for Bu Fang.
"So, it's not that Owner Bu is inept at cutting techniques. It's just that he didn't think it's worth his time to compete with us," Qian Bao bitterly thought. "I was actually dumb enough to shamelessly ask for my own humiliation."
The crowd of spectators was loudly exclaiming as they surrounded the transparent bowl and marvelled at the exquisite tofu flower. They were already completely conquered by its beauty.
On the other side, Master Zhao was still meticulously slicing away at the tofu with his kitchen knife. He did not just give up, and he was not affected by the external influences either. He was fully focused on his work in front of him.
Bu Fang nodded and could not help but feel some admiration toward Master Zhao. He was truly a chef who respected his own dishes.
After over a dozen minutes, Master Zhao completed his own product and placed it within a transparent bowl. Every single strip of tofu that spread out within the water was extremely fine. Even though it could not be compared to the thousand layer tofu flower, his work was already considered to be the pinnacle of cutting techniques.
"Owner Bu, I acknowledge that my skills are beneath yours. This is my loss, and there's no need for us to continue with the third category either. Compared to your cutting techniques, my skills are still lacking. I still need to diligently practice some more," Master Zhao said, while feeling both helpless and bitter.
Bu Fang nodded. The system had already announced the completion of the mission in his mind.
Qian Bao really failed this time. He was feeling really depressed for offering Bu Fang the chance to slap his face. For Bu Fang to be demonically talented at both culinary skills and cutting techniques, it was simply inconceivable. However, with the vastness of the Hidden Dragon Continent, the appearance of such demonic geniuses was normal as well.
"With Owner Bu's excellent culinary skills and razor-sharp cutting techniques, staying within such a tiny store is truly a waste of your talents. I wonder if Owner Bu has any interest in coming over to Immortal Phoenix Restaurant. If the both of us work together, with Owner Bu's culinary skills and the Immortal Phoenix Restaurant's reputation, we'll definitely become well-known through the continent!" The desire to bring Bu Fang over to his side grew within Qian Bao's mind.
Obviously, Bu Fang rejected his proposition. Even the emperor was heartlessly refused by him, let alone the owner of the Immortal Phoenix Restaurant.
Ouyang Xiaoyi was lying on the table in front of the transparent bowl. Her large eyes were filled with astonishment as she stared at the thousand layer tofu flower that seemed to be crafted via supernatural means. Yang Chen was extremely surprised as well. Was that really something that could be made with a kitchen knife? The culinary world... was truly unfathomable!
Suddenly, both of them felt a hand pressing down on their shoulders and were both startled at the same time. Then, they felt the loss of control over their body as a powerful aura suppressed their true energy.
Ouyang Xiaoyi and Yang Chen looked each other in the eyes and silently shouted the same thing in their minds: Oh no!