Chapter 237: Ouyang Xiaoyi's Egg-Fried Rice
Translator: E.3.3. Editor: Vermillion
The winter had gradually passed, leaving behind a spring breeze to embrace the Imperial City.
Spring rain splashed down ceaselessly, like thin strokes of hair fluttering between heaven and earth, reinvigorating the soils that had hibernated throughout the snow season.
In the small alleyway, both father and daughter serpent-man, alongside Ah Ni wagging his serpent tail, headed toward Bu Fang's store amidst the delightful spring rain. They were instantly hit with the rich aroma of food once stepping into the store, leaving them intoxicated.
Bu Fang's store was always filled with such irresistible fragrance and Owner Bu's dishes were so exquisite that they captivated their consumers.
However, the object of their visit today was to bid farewell to Bu Fang. Yu Feng originally had plans to become the guardian of the store, but after having experienced the horrifying events of yesterday, he quickly grasped just how ludicrous was this notion.
Bu Fang didn't need his protection at all. Or, in other words, what he could offer as defense couldn't possibly reach Bu Fang's level.
No matter that mysterious metallic lump of a puppet, or the black Supreme Dog scaring people out of their wits, none could serpent-man Yu Feng consider a possible match.
Therefore, simply put, his proposal of guardianship was delusional and impractical.
Since the store didn't need his protection, they had no reasons to stay any longer in the Imperial City. The Imperial City was foreign lands to them, and what they longed was to return home to the Serpent-Men Tribes.
Bu Fang walked out of the kitchen and instantly caught sight of the three serpent-men standing in his store. The father and daughter, as well as Ah Ni, expressed their sincere gratitude toward Bu Fang. If it weren't for Bu Fang this time, the serpent-man Yu Feng would probably never wake up.
Yet Bu Fang merely waved his hand. Rescuing the serpent-man Yu Feng was something Bu Fang had promised the Great Elder. A deal was a deal, so he didn't think too much about it.
He squinted his eyes and scanned the three serpent-men. Bu Fang directly skipped past the blockhead serpent Ah Ni, who had well developed limbs, albeit three instead of four, but the head of a moron. His gaze rested on the father and daughter combination, more precisely, serpent-woman Yu Fu.
Bu Fang's scrutiny made all three serpent-men feel restless. Yu Fu, in particular, sank into deep puzzlement. She had no idea why Bu Fang was looking at her this way.
"Owner Bu, is there something stuck to my body?" Yu Fu peered down at herself in bewilderment. Everything seemed normal enough.
Bu Fang twitched his mouth and met Yu Fu's glance with his eyes.
"System, how is the cooking talent of this serpent-woman?" Bu Fang asked the system in his mind.
The system remained silent for a while, and then responded: "Given the system's evaluation, serpent-woman Yu Fu's cooking talent is up to standard. Teaching her Egg-Fried Rice will require the host one and a half days."
One and a half days! Bu Fang's eyes lit up. It seemed like this serpent-woman Yu Fu was rather qualified. She could definitely live up to the role of the store's apprentice.
"Ahem... Yu Fu, I'm wondering if you are interested in learning cooking at all?" Bu Fang asked.
Once Bu Fang uttered these words, all these serpent-men were dumbstruck. What did Owner Bu mean by this?
Bu Fang didn't want to give any further explanations and simply looked at the three in a calm manner. Of course, his gaze mainly focused on Yu Fu.
Yu Fu suddenly became agitated, and her beautiful face turned rather red. She felt very much uneasy under Bu Fang's fixated scrutiny.
"I... could I do that?" Yu Fu felt all jumpy and jittery inside.
Reminded of the gourmet delicacies in Bu Fang's store, each so exquisite in taste and enchanting in smell, the serpent-woman Yu Fu couldn't help but pucker her ruby red lips.
"Um, yes you can. But to become my chef's apprentice you'll need to pass a test. Tomorrow noon, make a portion of Egg-Fried Rice and bring it to me for taste testing. If it reaches the standards in my heart, I will teach you cooking and allow you to become the store's apprentice," Bu Fang replied solemnly.
Yu Fu sensed Bu Fang's seriousness. Her petite face instantly froze, then she shook her serpent tail and gravely nodded her head.
Ah Ni widened his eyes. What was going on, did Yu Fu just become the chef's apprentice of this store? Did this mean that in the future Yu Fu would be able to cook gourmet delicacies as delicious as those offered by the store?
Just thinking about this caused Ah Ni to drool.
"Owner Bu, how about me? Can I learn cooking from you?" Ah Ni patted his muscular chest and shouted.
Bu Fang flicked a glance at him as the system's voice rang in his mind. Ah Ni's talent couldn't even compare with Ouyang Xiaoyi's... this big bloke should stick with eating gourmet delicacies.
Yu Feng never thought Yu Fu could encounter such good fortunes. He ran this through his mind quickly. There was a Supreme Beast and a mysterious puppet in the store, therefore her safety was definitely guaranteed. Once back to the Serpent-Men Tribes, he had plans to start avenging himself. By then, the Serpent-Men Tribes would fall into chaos, and leaving Yu Fu here instead could serve as a kind of protection for her.
Yu Feng squinted his eyes, but he already had a clear answer in his heart.
The serpent-men left and returned to their inn.
"Father, should I stay?" Yu Feng widened her eyes and looked toward Yu Feng. She understood clearly that if she stayed, she would have to part ways with Yu Feng and Ah Ni.
There weren't too many strong warriors in the Serpent-Men Tribes, and so Yu Feng and Ah Ni couldn't be absent for too long.
"My child, this are your good fortunes. Owner Bu is no ordinary person. To learn cooking from him is truly a blessing for you." Yu Feng smiled and patted Yu Feng's head.
"Yeah, Yu Fu, if it weren't for Owner Bu giving me the cold shoulders, I would follow him till the end of the world. With Owner Bu... there'll always be meat to feast on!" Ah Ni scratched the back of his head and chuckled.
Yu Fu suddenly didn't know whether to cry or laugh.
Yu Feng became more serious as he glanced at Yu Fu and said: "So, my lassie, you should diligently learn cooking from Owner Bu. Perhaps you may become the first grand chef of the serpent-people."
Having gained father's encouragement, Yu Fu instantly nodded her head with a serious expression across her face.
Therefore, under Yu Feng's supervision, they borrowed the kitchen from the inn owner and got ready to make Egg-Fried Rice. Since this was to be tested by Owner Bu, Yu Fu took this task very seriously.
In terms of other selections for the apprentice, Bu Fang had more names in his mind. This included Juan'Er, who loved making egg tarts, Ni Yan, who often made dishes for his evaluation, the gentle and refined Xiao Yanyu, as well as the foodie Xiao Xiaolong. These were all possible choices.
It was a pity that business was about to close for the day, yet none of them had visited the store today.
After bidding farewell to Bu Fang, the loli Ouyang Xiaoyi dashed out of the store like the wind. She blew past the alleyway and rushed toward the Ouyang Quarters.
She couldn't wait to cook up a delicious plate of Egg-Fried Rice and prove Owner Bu wrong.
Bu Fang watched as Ouyang Xiaoyi left in a hurry, and curled his lips with a knowing look. He closed the shutters of the store, returned to his kitchen, and took out some ingredients. It was time to start practicing his cooking.
Tonight, the Ouyang family shall not sleep.
Outside of the kitchen, everyone from the Ouyang family paced around in anxiety. Grandpa Ouyang brushed his long white beard, with his eyes peering at the well-lit kitchen from time to time. He sighed, shook his head, and continued with his heavy treads.
Great General Ouyang Zongheng also emitted a long breath, imitating Grandpa Ouyang's sigh as he paced on.
The Three Ouyang Barbarians stood by like frozen sculptures as they stared straight into the kitchen.
"My lord, do you think Xiaoyi will succeed?" Ouyang Xiaoyi's mother asked Ouyang Zongheng as she clutched her handkerchief and peered into the busy shadow within the kitchen worriedly.
"This is Xiaoyi's first time at cooking. But that lassie has inherited this general's cooking talent. She will definitely make an Egg-Fried Rice so incredible that it will startle the universe and move the gods!" Ouyang Zongheng consoled Xiaoyi's mother, and then patted his own chest confidently.
Grandpa Ouyang flicked him a glance and laughed coldly: "What do you mean by inherited your cooking talent. She clearly got it from this old man. I remember the days this old man accompanied Emperor Changfeng on an expedition to the Yellow Celestial Sect. In that battle, we ended up short of food. His Majesty was left empty-stomached all day, causing this old man to worry about his Majesty's health. And so I went into dangerous territories with a spear to butcher a fifth grade spirit beast. I cooked that spirit beast on the spot, that taste... tsk tsk, I still feel intoxicated just thinking about it.
"Not that I talk big, but that grilled meat was simply delicious. It is only... ahem still inches away...from Owner Bu's Red Braised Meat." Grandpa Oyang sank into contemplation.
The old man rubbed his beard as he recounted. When he got to the best parts of the story, he even waved his hand around in excitement.
Suddenly, a tremendous boom caused everyone standing outside of the kitchen to jump up in surprise.
The lights within the kitchen flickered, after which an odd fragrance drifted outwards.
All members of the Ouyang family felt their eyes darken.
The doors to the kitchen finally opened. Ouyang Xiaoyi's pale face was covered with streaks of black marks. She scuttled out of the kitchen like a tiny black cat, carrying a ceramic bowl in her hands and a face full of excitement.
"Grandpa, father, mother... come give it a taste. This is my first time making Egg-Fried Rice!"