Chapter 190: Owner Bu, Did You Miss Me?
Translator: E.3.3. Editor: Vermillion
In the main halls of the palace.
After a night of dance and music, the main halls regained their solemnity and desolateness. The ministers have already left one after another, and the eunuchs swept the main halls until they were spotlessly clean.
The former hustle and bustle were as if a dream by now. Beyond the halls, only Ji Chenxue was left sitting on the throne. His body was crouched as he rubbed his chin in contemplation.
Xiao Meng's figure gradually walked into the halls from outside. He stood from beneath, and bowed slightly to Ji Chengxue.
"Has the news been restrained?"
Ji Chengxue gave Xiao Meng a glance, and rubbed between his eyes and brows in fatigue.
Xiao Meng nodded his head, and replied gravely: "Your courtly servant was ordered to prevent all news from spreading the moment the banquet ended. As of now, information about the Five Stripes Path-Understanding Fruit Tree in Fang Fang's Little Store is mainly contained, however..."
Ji Chengxue glanced uncertainly toward Xiao Meng, who had swallowed back the words on the tip of his tongue.
"Your Majesty, you should be aware that, even though our Imperial City has been harmoniously civil despite having gotten rid of many sect individuals from the last war, there remains many sect figures hidden within the Imperial City. The news may still leak that way, so it is best that we take safety precautions..."
Ji Chengxue frowned, held his body straight as he ruminated for a long time, and then gave a long sigh, "It is unbelievable that this old fellow, the Ghost Chef, would release such information at the banquet, this sovereign was really caught off guard...
"Back when father, the emperor, was still alive, he had mentioned this Ghost Chef. This old fellow...incredibly thick skin, would often find ways to cut corners. In the past, the Imperial City had hosted quite a few cooking competitions, and this man relied on unseemly methods to defeat many opponents... It never occurred to me that after this many years had passed, the man's nature had not changed one bit."
The muscles on Xiao Meng's face quivered, "That's true... Given this old fellow's temperament, he must have offended many people during his trips across the continent. That he wasn't beaten to death... is certainly a miracle."
"The Ghost Chef, Ghost Chef... He is filled with devilish and wicked ideas, that's why he was given the name Ghost Chef. Of course, his cooking is also spectacular," Ji Chengxue stated calmly.
"To think I saw him as a senior elder, with a cultivation level of seventh grade Battle-Saint, and possible to ally. I never thought we would end up getting played by this old fellow. He had just left Owner Bu's store, and must have gotten the short end of the stick."
Ji Chengxue stood up, unhurriedly walked off of the throne and into the main halls, stretching his body.
"He acted as if it was a careless gesture, but actually wanted to publicize the news. I'm afraid it was to intentionally torment Fang Fang's Little Store... By then, once a crowd of War-Gods encircled the store, this thick-skinned old fellow can grope for fish in muddy waters. It's not like he hasn't done this in the past."
Xiao Meng nodded, but his complexion still displayed a trace of perplexity. He knew that Ji Chengxue definitely thought of what was on his mind as well.
"But this old man is quite dense, um... or perhaps he isn't clear of the ins and outs of Fang Fang's Little Store. He obviously did not gather intelligence before visiting the store." The corners of Ji ChengXue's mouth curled up. He walked to the entrance of the main halls and stared at the featherlike snowflakes falling from the air as he coolly remarked.
"Nevermind a crowd of seventh grade Battle-Saints... even if it were eighth grade War-Gods, Owner Bu's brows won't even crease. He wanted to grope for fish in muddy waters, but will probably be frightened out of his senses once the time comes." Ji Chengxue seemed to have envisioned a comedic scene and couldn't help but emit a light chuckle.
However, Xiao Meng was not as optimistic, and couldn't help but reply: "Your Majesty... the subject of concern should not be Owner Bu's store, but the Imperial City. A flood of seventh grade Battle-Saints charging into Imperial City may not intimidate Owner Bu at all, but..."
"How I wish to give that old man a good beating... no, the blame is on me, for attracting a buttload of wasps." Ji Chengxue's complexion instantly froze. He clenched his teeth but couldn't help mutter a curse, he was seething in anger.
"General Xiao, pass down the command... Strengthen the Imperial City's defense capabilities. In addition, reinforce the inspection measures for visitors to the Imperial City and immediately report any findings of suspicious figures. When the time comes, the order and stability of the Imperial City... will have to fall in General Xiao's hands."
Xiao Meng brought his hands into a salute, and the corners of his mouth tasted a trace of bitterness. A crowd of seventh grade Battle-Saints...what a headache, that damned old scoundrel!
Bu Fang looked at the phenomenally beautiful woman before him with a deadpan expression. The woman carried a food container, and her body leaned against the wall as she batted her eyes as she gazed at him.
"Is she still making the ogling eyes..." Bu Fang thought in his heart.
"Owner Bu, long time no see. Did you miss me?" Seeing that Bu Fang couldn't be bothered to acknowledge her and her fluttering eyes, and that he was about to head back into the kitchen, Ni Yan clenched her teeth angrily as she asked.
"Why would I miss you? You don't owe me any crystals," Bu Fang replied soberly.
Ni Yan's complexion froze, "Does your idiot brain only ever think about crystals?"
"Senior, long time no see." Tang Yin hurriedly stepped in just in time to see Bu Fang, and instantly greeted him excitedly.
Bu Fang nodded his head at Tang Yin, and calmly said: "It's been a while indeed. Are you coming in to dine? Recently, the store has got a new dish, it tastes pretty good."
Tang Yin's face immediately lit up, "A new dish? Yeah, the Senior's cooking skill is second to none...uhh."
Tang Yin's step forward suddenly froze as he peered at the food container being carried by Ni Yan, who was glaring at him with her teeth grinding.
"Owner Bu, this is the spirit dish I just cooked, please give me your opinion on it." Yan Ni crossly walked into the store, placed the food container on the table, and said to Bu Fang in a cranky tone.
As expected, this woman was there to seek his advice. To be honest, Bu Fang was not interested in people seeking advice of this sort.
Taking a look around, Bu Fang realized that there were actually no customers at the time being, and instantly scrunched his brows.
All of a sudden, Bu Fang looked toward Tang Yin and said: "What do you want to eat?"
Tang Yin was taken back and swiftly responded: "Oh oh... an order of the new dish, and a jar of Ice Heart Jade Urn Wine."
"Alright, please wait momentarily." Bu Fang nodded in satisfaction, then turned around to head back into the kitchen.
"Right now is business hours, I don't accept any kind of advice request. Please wait until after regular operating hours," Bu Fang said as he walked away.
Ni Yan was instantly at a loss for words. Tang Yin was also drenched in cold sweat... "Senior, you shouldn't play people like this."
Of course, Ni Yan's gaze toward his direction was stone cold.
"Little lassie, I also want to order. Give me an order of the Red Braised Meat and a jar of wine." Ni Yan took a seat on a chair and waved at Ouyang Xiaoyi, who sat not far away in boredom.
Ouyang Xiaoyi huffed, as she did not have any good impressions of this woman. But since she was ordering food, it wouldn't be right to reject her. And so she walked to the window of the kitchen and relayed the order to Bu Fang.
As Ni Yan waited for her food to arrive, she started to look around the store.
This time she stepped into the store, she felt like something was different from before. There was an exceptionally mysterious sentiment stirring inside of her heart.
This kind of exceptionally mysterious sentiment only appeared when she was undergoing cultivation, and rarely surfaced otherwise.
Ni Yan clamped her hands behind her back as she walked around the store in a hunt. After a while, she noticed the far from eye-catching earth yellow colored flower pot in the corner. A tiny burgeoning sapling erected from the flower pot.
The green leaves were covered with mystifying patterns.
"This...this is a Path-Understanding Tree?" Ni Yang blanched, as she never imagined that Bu Fang would grow a Path-Understanding Tree in his store.
She evidently knew about Path-Understanding Trees, as there was one growing in the Celestial Aracanum Sect. The Path-Understanding Tree was categorized into three types, one-stripe, three-stripes, and five-stripes. Ancient works also recorded Path-Understanding Trees with even more stripes, but those only existed in legends.
The Path-Understanding Tree in the Celestial Arcanum Sect had leaves that were over hundreds of years old. As they swayed about, they emitted a mystifying wave of energy. Disciples of the Celestial Aracanum Sect frequently sat cross-leggedly under the Path-Understanding Tree to undergo cultivation, as it gave them a higher chance of reaching a breakthrough.
"Five stripes... these leaves have five stripes, this is a Five Stripes Path-Understanding Fruit Tree?!" Ni Yan counted the patterns on the leaves, and her exceedingly beautiful eyes widened in bewilderment.
Oh gosh, now this was a wonder! There was actually a Five Stripes Path-Understanding Fruit Tree in this store!
No wonder there was that exceptionally mysterious sentiment. This was the first time she had seen an alive Five Stripes Path-Understanding Fruit Tree.
"Could this be the so-called good fortunes mentioned by the Supreme Elder?" A thought flashed through Ni Yan's mind, and her heart jolted.
The Five Stripes Path-Understanding Fruit Tree, once blossomed, would bear the Five Stripes Path-Understanding Fruit. This was the spirit fruit that, once ingested, could aid one to a possible revelation, or even break through to the echelon of eighth grade War-God...
Just as Ni Yan became dumbfounded, Bu Fang had finished cooking the dishes and sauntered out of the kitchen.
"New dish, Rainbow-Colored Water Dumpling, please enjoy." Bu Fang placed the Rainbow-Colored Water Dumpling in front of Tang Yin. Ouyang Xiaoyi tailed him, scuttled in with a jar of Ice Heart Jade Urn Wine, and also placed it before Tang Yin.
"Thank you Senior." Tang Yin politely expressed his gratitude.
"Owner Bu, you... you're actually growing a Five Stripes Path-Understanding Fruit Tree in your store? You've got quite a bold.... nerve!"
Ni Yan twisted her head and halted Bu Fang, who was ready to head back to the kitchen, with her carefully enunciated words.