First Layer, Immortal Cooking Realm.
The space cracked.
A fat dog slowly stomped its elegant cat-like steps out of the crack.
Two figures followed the black dog. One of them was Flowery, who was carrying a huge stuffed sack on her back.
The other one was the bald Black Dragon King, who walked by her side. He had the same big sack, and his smile was so brilliant, as though he could bloom flowers right then and there.
Sometimes, they burped, fuming thick essence and spirit energy.
"We just took a trip around the Immortal Cooking Realm, and now we're back." The Black Dragon King narrowed his eyes, smiling.
After a tour around the Immortal Cooking Realm, the Black Dragon King's aura had increased significantly.
Of course, while eating and absorbing energy, his cultivation base had broken through to True Immortal Realm.
"Well... We're caring enough to visit all the places the City Lords use to cultivate. Of course, we shouldn't appreciate some and ignore some. We're going to the cultivating place of the first layer's City Lord now..." Lord Dog said in his gentle and magnetic voice, stomping his graceful cat-like steps.
The Black Dragon King's eyes brightened.
Flowery said nothing more, just nodded.
Then, two people and one dog disappeared. When they reappeared, they were right in the City Lord's mansion.
Recently, Tong Wudi got a serious headache. His plans and everything that had happened so far were out of his expectations.
At first, he thought that the four City Lords were enough to expel that black dog out of the Immortal Cooking Realm. Then, he could deal with Bu Fang easily.
However, he could never imagine that when the four City Lords appeared, they had encountered the wrong one. After spending half a day, what they had slashed was just a strand of dog fur.
But the most important thing was... he discovered the restaurant's secret.
That restaurant... seemed to have a great mystery.
"How to deal with that chef... Ah, what a headache." Tong Wudi frowned. He rubbed his glabella, sighing.
All of a sudden...
A frightened man stormed into the hall.
"City Lord, Sir! Not good... Our... Our treasure pavilion got broken into!"
It was a panic-stricken guard.
Some thief visited the treasure pavilion?
Tong Wudi opened his eyes. Instantly, his eyes glinted with a harsh and malicious intent.
"What kind of thief dares to intrude my City Lord's mansion?!" Tong Wudi screamed. Then, a strong and sharp aura shot from his body.
Tearing the void, he stormed out of the mansion, dashing towards the treasure pavilion.
From a distance, he saw the massive hole in the building.
Tong Wudi's eyes turned bloodshot. "Wanton! Where did that strand... of... fur..."
Tong Wudi wanted to bellow, but his voice got stuck in his throat. He couldn't believe what he just saw, his eyes almost popping out of their sockets.
While he was screaming inside, he saw a figure slowly walk out of the big hole on his treasure pavilion.
It was a fat black dog, who was walking like a cat...
It was the black dog.
It was the dog the four City Lords were looking for.
That damn dog! Why is it here?!
At this moment, Tong Wudi was stunned speechless. His body froze on his spot, not even daring to fart at all.
Lord Dog nonchalantly glanced at Tong Wudi, smacking his mouth. Right after that, he brought the Black Dragon King and Flowery, who had cleaned up the other's treasure pavilion, walking away.
Smoke reached up into the sky.
Two people and one dog disappeared.
All of a sudden, while walking in the air, Lord Dog raised his paw, patting.
As soon as the exquisite dog paw patted, the entire treasure pavilion was smashed into ruins...
Tong Wudi stared at his treasure pavilion being demolished in just a blink of an eye. He didn't dare to do anything.
That dog... He couldn't provoke it.
He cried, but he couldn't make any tears.
"Tch, tch, tch... Lord Dog's really ruthless. He took all the treasures and didn't even leave a single tile," the Black Dragon King said with a grin.
He was holding an immortal ingredient, a fruit, munching on it. Its thick spirit energy made him feel so refreshed.
"Just a little punishment... Otherwise, why did the four City Lords come to find us?" Lord Dog replied casually.
The Black Dragon King was bewildered. Right after that, he stomped his feet, bursting into peals of laughter. It seemed he understood something.
The three turned into jets of lights, reappearing shortly in front of Immortal Chef Little Store. Pushing the doors open, they walked in.
However, as soon as they stepped inside...
Lord Dog arched his brows.
From the second floor, some footsteps echoed.
Shortly after, Nethery's slender body emerged. She leaned on the wall to support herself, moving slowly.
Nethery's face was as pale as a sheet, and her aura was fluctuating hard.
Lord Dog let out a low growl, frowning.
Then, in his eyes, radiance sparkled.
Right after that, Lord Dog could see the snakes, the curse, winding around Nethery's body...
The four judges bit the bread. This bread wasn't crunchy but soft. It seems that the bread had much space for air inside as it felt squishy under their teeth.
Through the bread, they touched the crispy vegetables and the aromatic roasted chicken meat.
The taste changed continuously, making the judges change their countenances too.
The soft bread, the sweet spirit vegetables, and the soft and smooth roasted chicken meat expanded from their tongue, moving through their throat, into their stomach, and spreading through their body. This feeling was so beautiful.
Huang Haotian clasped his hands, standing in front of the judges. He was so confident watching the judges be captivated with his dish.
The audience around also looked convinced.
"Worthy of being the tournament's top ten Immortal Chef... It's a strange way to eat food."
"Bread, meat, and spirit vegetables... almost perfect."
"I would love to try it..."
The audience's loud chatter could be heard along with the sounds of gulping, which echoed around.
After the judges ate Huang Haotian's dish, they didn't say anything more.
The tense atmosphere immediately quietened down.
Bu Fang was really calm. He clasped his hands, looking at the judges.
The referee wore a strange face. He had indeed heard what Bu Fang just said earlier.
Did Bu Fang use to cook this sort of dish before?
This is... interesting.
The judges suddenly felt that... the result was somewhat mysterious...
The silent judges turned the atmosphere awkward.
Huang Haotian wore a solemn face.
"Judges, have you made up your mind yet?" Huang Haotian frowned, asking. He was really confident in his food. However, he didn't know why the judges hadn't told them the result.
Is there something wrong with his dish?
The judges didn't answer Huang Haotian.
Huang Haotian's dish wasn't bad. It was creative, and it tasted so nice. Its cooking process and control were so meticulous that they elevated the taste to the peak.
Compared to Bu Fang's fighting chicken... they felt it lacked something.
What wasn't good enough?
They couldn't explain clearly...
"Why don't the judges tell us the final result now?" Xue Yao was a little bewildered. She didn't know what the judges would choose.
Meng Kun couldn't help but frown, saying, "I think the judges have different thoughts. Isn't Huang Haotian's dish good enough?"
The top ten Immortal Chefs of the tournament furrowed their brows, their eyes serious.
"No... The judges are hesitant. Huang Haotian's dish isn't bad, but he made a big mistake, so it's not good enough."
People sank into silence after hearing the aloof Lu Yi's words.
Xue Yao and the others turned to him, looking skeptical.
"A big mistake?" Xue Yao and the others took in deep breaths.
What mistake? How could they not see it?
Lu Yi clasped his hands, his calm eyes turning to Bu Fang.
Seeing Bu Fang, who was extremely calm, his eyes became even more focused.
"A wrong ingredient choice leads to mistakes..." Lu Yi said. "The way Huang Haotian cooked this dish is very creative and innovative, however... it's not enough with this theme, which is chicken."
"Why is that?" Meng Kun asked.
A moment later, Meng Kun appeared to have recalled something as he took in a breath of cold air. "Lu Yi, you mean... Huang Haotian had chosen the wrong ingredient for this dish? He should've used some other spirit beast meat instead of chicken?"
Lu Yi clasped his hands, nodding.
Actually, it wasn't a significant mistake. After all, this dish turned out alright, and it was unexpectedly good.
Feeling was very important.
Using chicken to cook this recipe couldn't enhance people's feelings to the peak.
Chicken was a sort of swishy, easy to crush meat, and eating it between bread and vegetables would cause it to lose its original flavor...
It was the mistake that could be accounted for Huang Haotian's failure.
The judges weren't lamps that ran out of oil. Of course, they could sense it despite its good taste.
They exchanged looks and saw what the other had chosen from their eyes. Then, they smiled at each other, turning to look at Huang Haotian.
"And now, we're going to announce the result of the top ten match..."
"Bu Fang's Abyssal Stone Pot Fighting Chicken versus Huang Haotian's Heavenly Deity Roasted Chicken. The winner is..." a judge boomed.
His voice had attracted the eyes of everyone.
People frowned, gazing at the judges.
Everybody held their breaths.
"The winner is... Bu Fang's Abyssal Stone Pot Fighting Chicken."
The judge's voice became even louder, and it echoed around the entire square.
Around the Immortal Tree Square...
It was dead silent.
It was so quiet that people began to feel embarrassed.
The audience couldn't believe it. They were so shocked that they didn't know what to say.
And, at this moment, the others who heard the announcement panted.
Bu Fang won?!
Huang Haotian... lost?!
How... How could it be?! How could it happen?!
How come Huang Haotian lost?!
Everyone was at a loss for words.
But, no matter what, the result was announced. They couldn't change it.
Besides, they didn't need to change it. Since Bu Fang was confident in his cooking skills, the judges were also confident in their judgment.
After a long time of silence, which seemed to last for half a day...
An uproar arose!
The roars and shouts burst out, reaching the heavens.
"Gosh! Lost! Huang Haotian is defeated by the Great Demon King!"
"I told you. My eyelids twitched, so I knew something bad would happen... Indeed, I'm right! The Great Demon King finished Huang Haotian!"
"Unbelievable... The cubed chicken has defeated all three chicken dishes! Did I just watch a fake match?!"
The audience was so baffled and indignant. They couldn't believe that Huang Haotian had lost.
"The winner is... Bu Fang."
The referee's loud voice had called Bu Fang's name. Indeed, the judges were firm in their decision.
The other contestants were stupefied and dazed.
Dongfang Huo wore a sad, bitter face. He lost again...
Huang Haotian was so shellshocked. He didn't know why he was defeated. After some time, he got a hold of himself, and he tried to reason and explain.
However, the judges didn't let Huang Haotian explain much. They just threw him a cube of chicken.
After Huang Haotian tasted it, his expression shifted...
At the entrance, a graceful figure floated up, landing on the auditorium. She gently sat and watched the events unfold on the stage.
It was City Lord Meng Qi.
Although she hadn't watched the match from the beginning, she expected that the result would be in favor of the top ten chef.
The fifth layer's Huang Haotian... was defeated?
Indeed, this result was beyond her expectations.
"Oh... The young chef that had defeated Huang Haotian is called Bu Fang? It seems... he's the chef that got a special relationship with that dog."