Chapter 148: If Anyone Is Unhappy with Me, Let Him Come and Look for Me
Translator: OnGoingWhy Editor: Vermillion
"This is... Owner Bu, are you sure you only need these ingredients?" The young eunuch was dumbfounded after Bu Fang listed out the ingredients that he needed. That slightly childish face of his was filled with surprise and incredulity.
"That's right, I only need these. Get them ready, I'll be there early tomorrow," Bu Fang said.
The young eunuch was startled for a moment. "Owner Bu, are you not going today? Famous chefs from all over the Light Wind Empire are gathered together. With your culinary skills, you'll definitely receive admiration from many of the chefs."
Bu Fang indifferently gave the young eunuch a glance. He shook his head and said, "I am not going. I'll go to the Gate of Heavenly Mystery tomorrow morning. Just make sure that the ingredients I need are ready by then."
"Wh... What about those famous chefs? They kept saying that they want to get acquainted with you. If you don't go, you might offend them," the young eunuch kindly reminded Bu Fang with a conflicted expression on his face.
Hearing this, Bu Fang suddenly broke into a grin. He patted the young eunuch's shoulder and said, "Go back and tell them, if anyone is unhappy with me, they're welcomed to look for me."
"How awe-inspiring... As expected of the rumored owner of the black-hearted store, he's quirky indeed. However, that bunch of famous chefs hold the advantage of greater numbers... He's only putting himself at a disadvantage," the young eunuch thought with a sigh.
The young eunuch seemed to have seen through the vicissitudes of life. He let out a sigh before turning around to report back to the palace.
As Bu Fang watched the disappearing back figure of the young eunuch, he lifted up the cup of water with both hands and took a sip of the water that was still emitting heat.
At that moment, Bu Fang was still, at the very least, a fifth grade Battle-King. Even though his combat ability might still be atrocious, it did not mean that he would allow others to bully him at will. He was uninterested in those so-called organizations and only wanted to cook his dishes in peace.
Inside of a luxurious inn in the imperial city.
Even though it was the day of the Spring Festival, this luxurious inn was still filled to capacity. It was reserved by the authorities as the accommodations for the famous chefs from regions throughout the empire.
Within the spacious lounge area of the luxurious inn, the area was currently crowded with a large group of people. There were men and women of various statures socializing with each other.
These people had all received invitation letters from the imperial palace. They were chefs from all over the empire that hurried over to the imperial city in order to participate in the Hundred Family Banquet. Each and every one of them was a famous chef in their towns and cities and their culinary skills were very good.
These chefs were all politely smiling as they greeted each other. They might not be familiar with one another but since they were already gathered here, they could naturally get acquainted with each other now and even help one another in the future.
However, the many chefs present were all actually encircling a few chefs standing in the center.
Those few chefs looked noticeably plump. With their wide bellies, they had wide smiles on their faces as they greeted the people around them with a wine cup in hand. However, it was obvious that everyone else was looking at them in a somewhat reverent manner.
These people were none other than the head chefs of the imperial kitchen. Originally, they were all selected from all over the empire by Emperor Changfeng and were thus renown. Therefore, it was natural for them to be in a leading position now that they were mingling among those in the same profession.
"Chef Jin, the owner of the black-hearted store didn't come, like we expected," a middle-aged chef, with a somewhat round face and slightly chubby body, said as he raised his cup toward a bald man who appeared slightly younger than him. Even though he was smiling as he spoke, his eyes were noticeably filled with disdain.
The bald Chef Jin gave him a glance and only responded with a faint smile without saying anything.
Bu Fang's name was well-known among these chefs in the imperial city, especially the head chefs of the imperial kitchen. While the late emperor was still alive, his name was literally their nightmare.
Ever since the late emperor visited Fang Fang's Little Store, his taste preference became even harder to please. Almost every single day, many of the chefs would be reprimanded by their superiors.
The reason was their dishes were completely ignored by Emperor Changfeng as they were not to his liking.
During those days, the lives of these chefs were simply miserable. Every single day, they would have to think up a dish that could satisfy the emperor's taste buds...
"He's just a youngling who coincidentally cooked a dish that satisfied the late emperor's taste buds. Does he really think he's some kind of a top chef? Without years of experience, does he even know what real cooking is?" the bald Chef Jin said in disdain before he finished the cup of wine in a single gulp.
From his point of view, Bu Fang was only a lucky chef who entered the good graces of the late emperor by coincidence. If it was not for the late emperor, could that Bu Fang even amount to anything? He would not even have the opportunity to enter the ken of the imperial chefs.
"Owner Bu will be participating in tomorrow's Hundred Family Banquet as well. We should definitely use this opportunity to teach this Owner Bu about the true taste of good food," another imperial chef said with a sneer, echoing the same sentiment.
"Does anyone know what ingredients Owner Bu has prepared? We should be able to determine the dish he's going to make from the ingredients," another chef said.
The eyes of many chefs in the surroundings immediately lit up after hearing his words.
Chef Jin rubbed his own bald head for a moment and then the corners of his lips curled up as he said, "Who cares? I am confident that I will definitely trounce that Owner Bu with my dish tomorrow."
"That's right, Chef Jin is right. When the time comes, we just need to reveal our identities as imperial chefs and we'll practically be undefeatable!" One of the chefs started laughing.
Within the imperial city, the reputation of the imperial chefs were well-known. In the eyes of the ordinary citizens, chefs from the imperial kitchen were representatives of good food. Any dish made by them would definitely be delicious because they were the ones cooking for the emperor!
Who was the emperor? He was the dragon among men, a supreme being. Someone who was capable of becoming his chef should naturally be more remarkable than most chefs.
"Even without revealing my identity as an imperial chef, I'll still be able to effortlessly trounce him. He's just a little cook who got lucky, that's all. What's there to be afraid of?" Chef Jin was extremely confident of himself. His confidence was as bright as his bald head under the glare of sunlight.
"Chef Jin, Owner Bu may be nothing to worry about but we'll definitely need to pay some attention to the two brothers from Qingyangzhen. You might not have heard of them before, but they're famous food experts in the region around Qingyangzhen. The style of their dishes are very bold and the ingredients they use are very special as well. In short... they're very strong!" one of the chefs solemnly said.
Many of the other chefs sucked in a breath of cold air after hearing his words. They had evidently heard about the two brothers from Qingyangzhen before as well.
Chef Jin also narrowed his eyes and nodded. "Hmm, I've heard of them before as well. They're quite capable. However, the guests of the Hundred Family Banquet have different taste preferences compared to those Wildlands adventurers... Their chances of winning are low."
After hearing his words, the chefs one after another started praising Chef Jin's culinary skills and flattered each other as well. As the drinking party carried on, the night quietly passed by.
The next day, the first rays of light were just about to appear over the horizon.
At the Gate of Heavenly Mystery, the final part of the preparations and arrangements was almost finished. The guards were also positioned at their respective posts in order to ensure the guests would enter in an orderly manner. Furthermore, a spectator area was set up outside for those citizens who did not manage to obtain admission rights, so that they could watch the proceedings of the Hundred Family Banquet.
There was also an area that was specially put aside as a spectator area within the Gate of Heavenly Mystery.
Within the spacious plaza of the Gate of Heavenly Mystery, three hundred banquet tables covered by red tablecloths were set up. From a distance, they looked like bright red flowers in full bloom.
Beside the banquet tables, rows of kitchen stoves were set up. The guests would be able to clearly observe the cooking process of each and every chef. This was a valuable chance for them to see famous chefs at work.
As the first ray of sunlight fell from the sky, a deafening sound of drums sounded out from the Gate of Heavenly Mystery.
Don don don!
Every single drumbeat seemed to be striking one's innermost being and caused their senses to tremble.
After the drumming stopped, the Gate of Heavenly Mystery opened and the citizens waiting outside slowly entered in an orderly manner.
The citizens of the three hundred lucky households found their respective tables and sat down with joyful expressions on their faces. With so many people living in the imperial city, it was natural for them to be ecstatic about getting chosen as one of the lucky households.
On the other hand, those citizens that were seated at the spectator area were somewhat envious as they looked at the people sitting at the banquet tables. What a blissful situation to be able to taste the dishes of so many famous chefs.
As another three drumbeats rang out, chefs wearing neat and tidy chef's uniforms entered with their heads held high and chest puffed out as they headed toward their respective kitchen stoves.
Outside the Gate of Heavenly Mystery, a slender figure was leisurely approaching with his hands held behind his back.