Chapter 170: The Serpent-Men's Cuisine
Translator: OnGoingWhy Editor: Vermillion
Bu Fang's voice was not loud. With the bestial roars coming from outside of the tribe, his words were mostly drowned out.
At first, the head elder took no notice of Bu Fang; or, in other words, he was completely ignoring Bu Fang. A mere fifth grade Battle-King was simply unable to attract his attention. From his point of view, Bu Fang was just one of Wu Yunbai's servants.
However, when Bu Fang said those words, the head elder's gaze immediately froze and Wu Yunbai's face stiffened for a moment as well. When they looked toward Bu Fang and saw the earnestness on his face, they were suddenly struck with bewilderment.
Did he come here to make jokes? A mere fifth grade Battle-King was actually dreaming of obtaining the Ice Soul Monarch Lotus. Why did he not ask for the moon too!
Wu Yunbai's expression became extremely odd. She did not think this young man would actually spout such nonsense. Did he not realize that the two seventh grade Battle-Saints were guarding the Ice Soul Monarch Lotus? There was also the Blood Crown Black Swamp Boa waiting outside... Where exactly did he find the courage to say such words?
"Your servant really likes to joke around... I've already said before, this Ice Soul Monarch Lotus is very important to our tribe. If you're asking for any other sixth grade spirit herbs, I'll gladly fulfill your request. However, if you're insisting on the Ice Soul Monarch Lotus... then the deal is off," the head elder said while slightly waving his tail.
"Servant?" Wu Yunbai blinked her eyes as she thought, "Looks like they've misunderstood his identity..."
Bu Fang furrowed his eyebrows. From the head elder's reply, it did not seem like they would let the Ice Soul Monarch Lotus fall into the hands of others. Things were going to be difficult in that case.
The Ice Soul Monarch Lotus was the best ingredient for brewing that Bu Fang had encountered so far. It was an excellent spirit herb that was highly compatible with the Phoenix Blood Herb and Three Stripes Path-Understanding Fruit. Bu Fang was reluctant to give up just like that.
However, Bu Fang knew well enough that the head elder would definitely not just hand over a seventh grade spirit herb like the Ice Soul Monarch Lotus. Therefore, he was still thinking of a method to obtain the Ice Soul Monarch Lotus.
"This serpent-men tribe's need for the Ice Soul Monarch Lotus is a little too extreme. Could there be... a secret reason behind this?"
Bu Fang narrowed his eyes and pondered for a while but still could not figure out that secret reason.
With its humongous body coiled into a ball nearby, the Blood Crown Black Swamp Boa silently waited for the blooming of the Ice Soul Monarch Lotus while overlooking the herb farm.
The blooming of the spirit herb would be the moment when the Blood Crown Black Swamp Boa strikes.
A large group of spirit beasts was gathered around the Black Swamp Boa. These spirit beasts had vastly different appearances. Some were extremely ugly while others were fairly pleasing to the eye. They were all quietly waiting while lying down next to the Black Swamp Boa.
When the Black Swamp Boa made a move, they would follow suit and swoop down on the tribe.
This wait lasted for a long while. In the sky, two crescent moons quietly emerged from the clouds and radiated cold rays of moonlight. The moonlight illuminated the icy-cold scales of the Black Swamp Boa and made its appearance eerie.
"There's still a few more hours until the blooming of the Ice Soul Monarch Lotus. Everyone, please follow me into our tribe to have a meal first," the head elder said.
Wu Yunbai raised her eyebrows and then nodded before heading into the serpent-men tribe along with her two subordinates.
Bu Fang was still spacing out. He was thinking up a method to obtain the Ice Soul Monarch Lotus but woke up when Wu Yunbai gently tapped his shoulder.
"The head elder of the serpent-men is inviting us for a meal. I've never eaten the serpent-men's cuisine before. Let's go together," Wu Yunbai said.
Bu Fang was surprised for a moment. The serpent-men's cuisine? He was originally going to refuse but his eyes immediately lit up after hearing those words and he gave a slight nod.
The warriors of the serpent-men led the way while slowly slithering at the front.
Meanwhile, Bu Fang followed behind them along with Wu Yunbai and her subordinates. They were led along a path in the middle of a cluster of crudely-built buildings.
Bu Fang was not too concerned about the condition of the buildings. He was observing the surroundings with eyes filled with curiosity. He knew very little regarding the living habits of a tribal community especially those from another world. It was precisely this lack of understanding that piqued his curiosity.
Even though these residences of the serpent-men were not large, every single building underwent long periods of renovation in order to reach their current size.
Above the entrances of these residences, Bu Fang noticed rows of dried fishes. The moisture of these dried fishes were completely removed after prolonged exposure to the wind and sun, allowing them to be stored for a longer period.
Not only fishes were being dried. Bu Fang also saw many pieces of dried meat as well as some dried fruits.
As this place was a swamp, the high humidity sped up the rate of food spoilage. With the difficult living conditions, the serpent-men could only use such a primitive method to preserve their food.
After the group walked for a while, they detected a faint fragrance wafting toward them. This was the familiar smell of food.
The group reached an open clearing. Somewhere nearby, a voluptuous serpent-woman was stirring the contents of a large black wok with a metal spatula. The faint fragrance was drifting out from the wok.
"Our tribe is a small place. If there's any inadequacy in our hospitality, please excuse us," the head elder said to Wu Yunbai.
Wu Yunbai performed a fist and palm salute in response but her eyes were inquisitively gazing toward the large black wok. She was extremely curious about the sort of food that the serpent-men ate.
Obtaining ingredients was not an issue since they were living in the Illusory Spirit Swamp. However, the culinary level of the serpent-men might be a huge problem. After all, they were constantly embroiled in a fight for survival against a hostile environment. Their research on food would naturally be less advanced than that of humans.
"Please start eating, this is the fish soup made by our tribe's number one chef. There's nothing much in the Illusory Spirit Swamp, except for this fish. This species of fish can be found in the puddles seen everywhere. Don't underestimate them, though, as they're a rare delicacy," the head elder said with a smile. Then, serpent-men servants brought out ceramic bowls and placed them in front of Wu Yunbai and the others.
Bu Fang received a bowl of fish soup as well. As he clasped the warm bowl of fish soup in his hands, his expression suddenly became rather odd.
Fish soup? They actually served fish soup to him...
Bu Fang was obviously knowledgeable with fish soup. After all, his Fish Head Tofu Soup received praise from many of his customers. However, this was his first time tasting the serpent-men's fish soup as well. Today was an opportunity for him to try out something new.
"The main ingredient of this dish is actually a type of low grade spirit beast. However, having a low grade is actually better since many of our people are able to capture them," the head elder exclaimed.
This fish was considered their staple food. Within the swamp, where growing crops was not possible, this type of fish was commonly seen on their dinner tables...
Wu Yunbai was clasping a bowl of fish soup in her hands as well. The soup appeared slightly white in color. The liquid was not very clear but the aroma was pretty good. The overall appearance was quite appetizing.
Many of the serpent-men sitting around them were holding ceramic bowls with smiles on their faces. They had absolute confidence in their fish soup. After all, this was a cuisine that was created by them! It was more than enough for subduing some humans.
As Wu Yunbai drank a mouthful of the slightly hot fish soup, its rich flavor spread in her mouth and sent a jolt through her mind.
"Not bad, it's very delicious! It's more delicious than the average fish soups cooked by human chefs. It's fresh and fragrant," Wu Yunbai earnestly said with praise and then continued drinking a few more mouthfuls.
The serpent-men suddenly burst into laughter. The fact that they could subdue this human was a happy matter for them as well.
Having their favorite fish soup acknowledged by others was a form of happiness, even if their race was different.
However, just when everyone was drinking the fish soup and praising its delicious flavor, a voice filled with disdain rang out. "You call this a fish soup? The fishy smell was not completely removed. Furthermore, the taste is so horrendous. This is simply a waste of an ingredient."
Everyone was slightly stunned by the voice that suddenly rang out. Even the alluring serpent-woman who was cooking the fish soup was startled.
They all turned toward the source of the voice and saw the scene where Bu Fang spat out the mouthful of fish soup in his mouth with an expression filled with disgust...
Bu Fang's face was almost scrunched together from revulsion to the point where many of the serpent-men were questioning their own life choices... Did the fish soup really taste that terrible?