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 Chapter 183: The Sweet 'n' Sour Ribs Eaten by the Dog

Translator: E.3.3. Editor: Vermillion

In the dark evening, two crescent moons intertwined, emitting a chilling glow, as if the earth was masked with a gossamer veil.

Fang Fang's Little Store was well lit, with waves of hot mist floating out. There was aroma within the hot air, and spirit energy fused within the fragrance. The two intermingled and fulfilled each other.

With the passing of time, the bustle within the store slowly passed, and the hot mist waned.

Bu Fang stood perfectly straight by the store's entrance. The crowd was thoroughly relished. Tonight's grilled fish made them eat their fill, and their faces were blushing from the rich amount of spirit energy within dish. The tender and juicy fish meat, the permeating fragrance, and the bubbling soup all rendered them uncontrollably insatiable.

One by one, the pleased crowd waved their goodbyes to Fu Bang, walked out of the alleyway, and left for home with a satisfied rub on their bellies.

Ouyang Xiaoyi was no longer cross. She beckoned to Bu Fang and then left the store with Xiao Yanyu. Two shadows, one graceful and one perky, slowly disappeared into the dark night.

"Hun? Are the egg tarts you've prepared for me to taste in this food container? Remember... You only have two chances." Bu Fang glimpsed at the last two figures. One was the burping, red-faced Luo Sanniang, the other a blushing darling, Juan'Er.

Without a doubt, Bu Fang was asking Juan'Er.

Juan'Er heard Bu Fang's words, but shook her head resolutely, and said: "Not today, I'll make a new patch of egg tarts tomorrow for Owner Bu to taste. Today's... has gone cold, and thus it'll affect the taste."

Bu Fang was slightly taken back, but didn't say anything and merely nodded his head.

"Owner Bu, your grilled fish tastes truly amazing! Even though you've got flaws up and down, your cooking is sincerely good! I, Luo Sanniang, am utterly won over by your cooking." Luo Sanniang ogled at Bu Fang with a flushed face, and then chuckled.

Bu Fang remained calm, as he was well aware of this lady's unruly and crazy ways, and had already learned how to get a grip of himself.

The two also quickly bid farewell to Bu Fang and left the alley.

The alleyway, which had just been bustling with noise, suddenly regained its serenity. Bu Fang let out a long breath, glanced at Blacky who was sleeping by the door, curled his lips, turned back toward the store, and shut the door on his way in.

Exhausting... right now, he just wanted to hit the hay.

...

"Blacky, time to eat."

It was morning, Bu Fang finished up his daily practice of knife and carving training, and painstakingly cooked a serving of Sweet 'n' Sour Ribs. He carried the ribs outside of the store as he softly called out.

Blacky's nose twitched and its eyes twinkled as it gawked at the Sweet 'n' Sour Ribs in Bu Fang's hands. "This Lord Dog has ribs to feast on again!"

Bu Fang placed the ribs in front of the big black dog, rubbed Blacky's silky, smooth, immaculate fur, then stood up and headed back into the store.

Bu Fang's steps came to a halt and his pupils slightly constricted as he glanced at the earthy-yellow flower pot in the corner.

"Hmm? This... this has already grown into a sapling?" Bu Fang muttered, dumbfounded. The seed hadn't been planted within the flower pot for too long, yet a bark had already sprung up. From the bark, new green leaves sprouted, and the plant was on its way to becoming a sapling.

Bu Fang became rather intrigued. He squatted down before the flower pot, and squinted at the budding leaves. On every single piece of leaf there were intricate patterns. These lines of patterns twisted and turned, dazzling its beholder.

"Four strips? No... five strips of pattern!" Bu Fang carefully counted the number of patterned lines on the leave, finally tallying up the right number.

He stood up. Even though he didn't know what kind of fruits this seed would bear, the faint spirit energy emitting from the leaves proved this seed was extraordinary.

Although it didn't have much spirit energy, it circulated inside the store, and formed a unique ambience within.

It was a deeply mystifying atmosphere.

Apparently sensing the extraordinariness of the sapling, Bu Fang merrily darted to the kitchen, scooped up a bowl of system-provided clear spring water that was bursting with spirit energy, and poured half a bowl into the flower pot. After a moment of hesitation, he poured the rest as well.

"Drink up, the store's afforestation will be on you in the future," Bu Fang said solemnly to the sapling.

Bu Fang returned to the kitchen, approached the cabinet, and took out from the System's dimensional storage the ice-blue lotus. Within the seedpod there were drops of emerald-like lotus seeds, and wreaths of rich spirit energy lingered around it.

This Monarch Lotus was considered a seventh grade spirit herb. The serpent-men tribe's head elder wasted three seeds, leaving five unused. However, this was plenty enough for Bu Fang.

The cabinet was opened, releasing a huge gush of hot energy. One half of Phoenix Blood Herb stood within, and so did the beaming Three Stripes Path-Understanding Fruit.

In addition to the seventh grade Ice Soul Monarch Lotus in Bu Fang's hands, he had gathered three types of seventh grade spirit herbs... It was rather inconceivable.

It was already incredible for anyone to possess even one type of seventh grade spirit herb, yet here was Bu Fang, just a chef of a tiny restaurant in the Imperial City, who had three types. It was simply unimaginable.

"There are enough spirit herbs for now. I can probably start brewing the wine... but there's no hurry. There needs to be an elaborate plan on the brewing procedure as well as how to start.

Bu Fang placed the lotus within the cabinet, which was extremely useful due to its spirit energy preservation properties.

Outside of the shop, Fatty Jin brought his heavyset troops. Fatty Jin, carrying an uncommon pair of sunken eyes, was brimming with enthusiasm. The kind of spiritedness... that wouldn't rest.

Bu Fang walked out of the kitchen to take a look and was immediately startled, "Oh jeez, you Fatty...what's wrong?"

Fatty Jin casted a distressing glance at Bu Fang and responded, "Owner Bu, after eating your grilled fish last night... I lay in bed, tossed and turned, with my heart afire, and could not sleep at all. I was up all night, you see?"

Fu Bang pursed his lips and lightly hummed, not that surprised at all. The grilled fish from last night contained a third of a Black Swamp Boa's Blood Crown. That ingredient overflowed with spirit energy, so it was no wonder it disrupted one's sleep quality.

Bu Fang could imagine that once Ouyang Xiaoyi and everyone else arrived, they would also have dark rings under their eyes.

"Owner Bu, one order of Golden Shumai. I'll switch things up a bit today and eat something mild." Fatty Jin sat down on a chair as he said to Bu Fang.

"Golden Shumai, mild? Don't lie to me about my own dish..." Bu Fang glimpsed at Fatty Jin but was too lazy to retort, then took down the other fatties' orders, and retreated into the kitchen.

Within the alleyway, a frail shadow drew nearer. This was an elder dressed in a gray gown, wrinkled creases clouded the skin on his face, much like the crumbling bark of an old tree.

The elder sauntered forth, one hand across his back, another griping and gently waving a fan made of some unknown spirit beast's feathers.

The waving fan seemed odd for such a cold day... but maybe that was this elder's unique predilection.

"Is this the Fang Fang's Little Store from an alleyway in the Light Wind Imperial City? Dishes that can crush Ah Wei's gourmet cooking... This old fellow must expand his horizons." The elder smiled lightly and waved his feather fan once more, and his visage betrayed an air of enigma.

"Grandpapa, aren't you cold..." Ouyang Xiaoyi stood behind the elder, ogled her big lovely eyes bemusedly at the old man waving a fan in the alleyway, and asked in a perking tone.

The elder's body froze momentarily and the air of enigma vanished from his face as he replied, "Of course... not, little lassie. Don't you think waving a fan during winter, is rather exquisite?"

Ouyang Xiaoyi could not help but roll her eyes. Was this elder there to pull her leg? It's winter, and people couldn't wait to add more layers of clothing, so who cared about exquisiteness?

"Is grandpapa going to eat in the store? Come with me," Ouyang Xiaoyi said as she led the way to Fang Fang's Little Store.

The gray-robed elder waved his fan, nodded, and trailed behind Ouyang Xiaoyi.

The elder arrived at the entrance of the store, his gaze immediately landing on the big black dog gobbling down food from a porcelain bowl. This big black dog tilted his butt with his tail incessantly wagging, reveling in his feast.

"This is Sweet 'n' Sour Ribs... a crystal tangerine tone, suffusing a delicate fragrance. It's perfect!" The elder's pupils shrank and he exclaimed with admiration.

The elder didn't bother waving his fan and immediately strode toward Blacky. He gazed at the intensely aromatic, steaming Sweet 'n' Sour Ribs within Blacky's bowl, and gulped down his saliva.

"This chef-d'œuvre of a Sweet 'n' Sour Ribs, one that this old fellow has yet to come across in his lifetime... But what a pity, why is a dog eating it? It's like throwing God's gifts to the winds! What a reckless waste!"

Blacky's ferocious assault on the Sweet 'n' Sour Ribs came to an abrupt stop, gradually lifting his doggy eyes to inspect the old man before him.

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