Chapter 153: The Barbecued Boar That Wants to Ascend into Heaven
Translator: OnGoingWhy Editor: Vermillion
The fat all over Ah Lu's body was violently shaking as he rapidly swung the huge kitchen knife in his hand with a serious look in his tiny eyes and carved meat off the gigantic piece of roast meat.
Slice after slice of meat was carved from the gigantic piece of roast meat and they fell onto the white plates on the table. Each plate contained a single slice of roast meat. When five plates were filled, Ah Lu would put down the kitchen knife and use a ladle to pour some sauce over the pieces of roast meat.
The rich fragrance of the meat accompanied with the sweet and sour aroma sauce immediately rose into the air and overwhelmed the senses of the people nearby.
Then, Ah Lu signalled to the eunuch that the dish was ready to be served.
Ji Chengxue's eyes slightly brightened when he saw the piece of tender and juicy roast meat in front of him. The piece of meat was well roasted and the marbling on its surface was very distinct. From a single glance, he knew this was not just any spirit beast meat.
"Is this meat from the third grade spirit beast, Plum Blossoms Spotted Boar?" Ji Chengxue muttered to himself as something suddenly came to mind.
Ji Chengxue accepted a dagger made from gold that a eunuch attentively handed over. He pressed down on the roast meat with his chopsticks and then used the dagger to slice off a small piece of the meat. It was still quite easy for a sharp dagger to cut through meat that was already cooked.
The moment the meat was cut open, a puff of steam along with a rich fragrance suddenly gushed out from the opening. The fragrance was silky smooth, like milk.
Using his chopsticks, Ji Chengxue picked up the small piece of meat that he cut off and dipped it in the sauce before popping it into his mouth.
As he chewed the morsel in his mouth, the expression on his face became dreamy. His eyes were slightly narrowed and he seemed to be enjoying the wondrous feeling of the meaty flavor bursting in his mouth. His entire being seemed to be getting cleansed by the cloud of aroma.
Immersed within the feeling, he almost did not want to wake up.
After a long while, Ji Chengxue slowly opened his eyes and praised out loud with an enraptured expression.
Afterward, he continued eating the dish and started cutting up the meat into smaller pieces. The sweetness and sourness of the sauce was making it difficult for Ji Chengxue to stop eating.
When Ah Lu saw the enraptured expression on Ji Chengxue's face, he broke into a laugh and the fat on his face violently jiggled. He was just about to celebrate by pulling out a chicken drumstick from his apron but stopped after thinking for a moment. He was once reprimanded by his master for eating chicken drumsticks while cooking.
Plates after plates of roast meat were served to the guests and they all wallowed in its rich aroma and marvelous taste.
Suddenly, Ah Lu sniffed the air and the fat on his face started jiggling once more. He turned and looked in the direction of his brother's cooking stove. There, a fragrance that seemed to possess magical powers was drifting out.
"What a fragrant smell! I really want to eat that! Big bro's culinary skill has really improved again!" Ah Lu was almost drooling as he sniffed the aroma wafting in the air.
Ah Wei's culinary skill was good without any doubt. Ah Lu had always held great confidence in his elder brother, especially after getting agitated by Owner Bu.
Gulp! As he sniffed the aroma, the struggle on Ah Lu's face became even more intense. "I can't eat the roast meat... I really want to have a chicken drumstick right now!"
Meanwhile, Bu Fang was expressionlessly kneading his dumplings when he was slightly startled by an aroma wafting in the air. He sniffed the air and slightly raised his eyebrows.
"Someone's actually smoking meat with spirit herbs..." Bu Fang subconsciously muttered as his movements of kneading the dumplings slowed down a little. There was spirit energy within spirit herbs, and it was capable of improving the luster and taste of an ingredient.
Even though directly burning spirit herbs was a wasteful method, it was an extremely exquisite technique to smoke meat.
Bu Fang's expression slightly changed. He had to admit that the smell of the barbecued meat was really delicious. The result produced when the smell of the meaty aroma and medicinal fragrance were mixed together was unexpectedly good.
As the fragrance spread everywhere, the expression of everyone who smelled the aroma changed. They turned toward the source of the smell with captivated and intoxicated expressions. They were continuously swallowing their own salivas as rumbling noises came from their stomachs.
Ji Chengxue had just finished Ah Lu's roast meat and was still in a daze when his attention was attracted by this peculiar fragrance. He could not help but crane his neck toward Ah Wei's present location.
Ah Wei was holding five skewers on one hand and barbecuing spirit beasts covered in glistening oil with them. These spirit beasts appeared very adorable after getting processed.
Once the finishing touches were completed, Ah Wei handed the five skewers over to a eunuch.
"The emperor gets one skewer while others get one per table," Ah Wei said as he lifted up his sharp chin.
The eunuch hurriedly noddded after recovering from his surprise and carefully carried the skewers over to Ji Chengxue.
After leaving a small and delicate skewered boar at Ji Chengxue's table, he divided the remaining four skewers among the empire's high ranking officials.
Everyone was looking at the spirit beast on the skewers. Even though a rich fragrance was continuously emanating from the skewers and the aroma was continuously enticing them... no one, including Ji Chengxue, attempted to start eating.
The main reason was Ah Wei's barbecued meat was simply too lifelike like they were covered with a layer of red and tender skin. Every single spirit beast appeared extremely cute. They were so cute that no one dared to start eating.
"Start eating, what are you people looking at? Food is meant to be eaten, don't tell me you're just going to look?" Ah Wei tauntingly said with a sneer when he saw no one was actually eating.
After he was done taunting them, he went back to his cooking stove and continued barbecuing the spirit beasts...
Ji Chengxue narrowed his eyes before grabbing a dagger and directly cutting open the barbecued boar that looked as if it wanted to ascend into heaven with its legs spread wide open.
The skin of the barbecued boar was very crispy and tender. As his dagger sliced into the boar with a crunching sound, it was like cutting through paper.
The stomach of the barbecued boar was actually stuffed with ingredients as well. When the boar was cut open, the steaming sauce-like ingredients spilled out and covered the entire barbecued boar.
"A dish within a dish?!" Ji Chengxue exclaimed in surprise. The mellow aroma of the sauce was making him even more eager to start eating.
The somewhat tangerine sauce was different from the sauce used in Ah Lu's dish. It seemed to be cooked using stock before simmering with spirit herbs and then poured into the stomach of the barbecued boar. Once it was cut open, the sauce would automatically spill out.
Ah Lu's sauce was a condiment while Ah Wei's sauce itself could be considered a dish.
Ji Chengxue used a porcelain spoon to scoop up the sauce before cutting off a slice of the barbecued pork and then shoved them together into his mouth.
The moment the spoon entered Ji Chengxue's mouth, the hair all over his body stood up and there was even steam slightly gushing out from his nostrils.
The barbecued pork was extremely smooth and tender in his mouth. There was not even the usual chewiness of barbecued meat in the slightest. However, when matched with the mellow sauce that was just like countless ingredients mixed together, it instantly caused Ji Chengxue to be captivated and intoxicated.
Slicing the barbecued pork, scooping up the sauce, shoving them into his mouth, getting intoxicated... Ji Chengxue consecutively repeated these actions multiple times and half of the barbecued boar was eaten by him in a single breath. The sauce was also drank to the last drop.
"Delicious! It's truly delicious!" Ji Chengxue praised with a bright smile while repeatedly nodding.
Hearing this, the corners of Ah Wei's lips curled up. With his eyebrows raised and chin tilted up, he turned his head and looked in Bu Fang's direction as if he was trying to provoke him.
However, Bu Fang was fully concentrated on kneading his dumplings and did not look up from start till finish.
Ah Wei's provocation resulted in failure in the end and it made him somewhat inexplicably furious. He put in so much effort to cook this dish just to avenge his humiliation and let Bu Fang know about his capability. However, it seemed... Bu Fang never saw him as an opponent in the first place!
"Hmph! Owner Bu, you shall soon experience the taste of defeat!" Ah Wei said with a snort.
As the chefs gradually completed their dishes, plates after plates of dishes were placed on the banquet tables and even the commoners had almost eaten all of the dishes. Although, everyone's progress rate might have been different.
Nevertheless, there were bright smiles on everyone's faces.
There were times when food had such magical powers that could make people feel happy and experience an indescribable joy.