Chapter 239: A Chef's Confidence
Translator: E.3.3. Editor: Vermillion
Serpent-woman Yu Fu wagged her tail as she made her way to Fang Fang's Little Store. She also held a food container in her hands though she wore an uneasy expression on her face.
In the food container was the Egg-Fried Rice she had cooked. Bu Fang had said the Egg-Fried Rice must meet his expectations before he would take her as his apprentice. Although Yu Fu cooked from time to time back in the Serpent-Men Tribes, she had never been officially trained in cooking. Hence, she had no idea whether this Egg-Fried Rice could pass the test.
Upon entering the store, Yu Fu sensed an eerie atmosphere.
The customers of the store were all trying to conceal the snickers on their faces. That miserable expression between a laugh and a cry made them look like they were constipated.
Ouyang Xiaoyi sat on a seat nearby in anger. Her cheek bulged into a pout, clearly displaying her discontent.
Bu Fang, on the other end, calmly walked out of the kitchen, placed a plate of aromatic Egg-Fried Rice before Ouyang Xiaoyi, and lightly patted the latter's head.
Ouyang Xiaoyi couldn't be easily appeased as she continued to ignore Bu Fang out of anger. She simply grabbed a porcelain spoon and wolfed down the Egg-Fried Rice. That wrath made it seem like Bu Fang had just become her archenemy. Such a scene made it all the more difficult for the customers around her to hide their true emotions.
"Owner... Owner Bu," Yu Fu called out to him self-consciously.
Bu Fang turned around. Seeing serpent-woman Yu Fu, his eyes instantly sparkled, "Hey, there you are. Did you bring the Egg-Fried Rice? If so, I can give it a taste."
Yu Fu's cooking talents were yards ahead of Ouyang Xiaoyi's. That was why Bu Fang actually looked forward to Yu Fu's Egg-Fried Rice.
As for Ouyang Xiaoyi's Egg-Fried Rice... a lingering fear remained in Bu Fang's heart. That incredibly scary appearance and violently atrocious smell plunged one into a kind of ineffable... sorrow.
It had never occurred to Bu Fang that someone could make such a terrible Egg-Fried Rice... In fact one could say it was a rather formidable yet incredible talent. Truly a rising star in the field of dark cuisine.
Bu Fang naturally hoped Yu Fu's Egg-Fried Rice wouldn't be as horrifying as Ouyang Xiaoyi's Egg-Fried Charcoal, a dark cuisine dish that made one lose the will to live.
Hearing Bu Fang's inquiry, Yu Fu nodded her head, found an empty spot, and put down the food container in her hands.
The surrounding customers lit their eyes again. What was going on with Owner Bu? Why was there yet another Egg-Fried Rice in the house...
Bu Fang pulled over a chair and sat down. He peered at Yu Fu, who nervously removed the lid from her food container. Once uncovered, the fragrance of egg mixing with rice instantly burst forth from the container.
The customers immediately broke into a commotion. Simply the scent was much better than that of Ouyang Xiaoyi's masterpiece-at least this one smelled like a normal Egg-Fried Rice.
A typical Egg-Fried Rice was supposed to emit such a strong fragrance once it was done.
To be able to make a dish so bizarre, it could be said that Ouyang Xiaoyi was somewhat "gifted".
On the white porcelain plate was a portion of Egg-Fried Rice. The color itself wasn't that appealing and instead gave off a darken hue. It certainly couldn't compare with Bu Fang's almost radiating Egg-Fried Rice, but since this was the work of Yu Fu, it could be excusable.
Bu Fang's face didn't change much. He merely nodded lightly, grabbed a porcelain spoon, and dug up some Egg-Fried Rice. He brought the spoon close to his nose for a sniff. Sensing that rich aroma, he approved it quietly in his heart.
Ouyang Xiaoyi, holding the Egg-Fried Rice made by Bu Fang, also turned to the scene, eating the food without being convinced.
Bu Fang ate a spoonful of Egg-Fried Rice. As he chewed it carefully, the wonderful aroma of egg lingered in his mouth. The taste was just right, neither too salty nor too bland. Though the quality of the rice was lacking, it was cooked to perfection. The grains of rice bounced between his teeth once they entered his lips.
"Although the ingredients selected are simply awful, your grasp of flavor and degree of heating are on point. Both the fragrance of egg and rice were fully delivered. Although not every grain of rice was meticulously cloaked by eggs, what you have achieved is still acceptable given your current capabilities..."
Bu Fang always rambled on when it came to food critiquing. He had a lot to say and would become wordy as he went on and on. He also showed no mercy as he ruthlessly pointed out every shortcoming.
Yu Fu nodded along. The expression on her face switched from anxiety to placidity, and finally to disappointment.
Her Egg-Fried Rice had just been destroyed by Bu Fang's words. Seeing it had so many flaws, there was a slim chance she could become Bu Fang's apprentice... She had failed, no big surprise there.
"Be confident. As a chef, you must feel self-assured and have faith in your dishes. Perhaps your food is not the most delicious, but you have given it your all. Your devotion, concentration, and confidence will influence your dishes and give them an extra touch of flavors."
Hearing Bu Fang's words, Ouyang Xiaoyi immediately became indignant. She stuffed her mouth with Bu Fang's Egg-Fried Rice and widened her eyes before shouting: "I have enough confidence! I think my Egg-Fried Rice tastes..."
"You are blindly overconfident..." Bu Fang flicked a glance at an argumentative Ouyang Xiaoyi and interrupted her.
You turned a dish of Egg-Fried Rice into Egg-Fried Charcoal... Where the hell did you even get your self-assurance?
Ouyang Xiaoyi was taken back. She humphed and went back to chewing the Egg-Fried Rice in her mouth. She had to admit that compared with the smelly boss's Egg-Fried Rice, hers still had some room for improvement... um, a lot of room for improvement.
"Though there are many flaws in this Egg-Fried Rice, it is still satisfactory and just managed to meet my expectations. Come back to the store tomorrow. I will start teaching you how to make Egg-Fried Rice," Bu Fang announced.
Yu Fu lifted up her head in surprise and peered toward Bu Fang. Did this mean she could become Owner Bu's apprentice?
"I feel mistreated!" Ouyang Xiaoyi was furious. She glared at Bu Fang in fury.
Bu Fang merely patted her on the head, then stood up and headed back to the kitchen.
"It doesn't matter whether you find that unacceptable. When it comes to cooking, innate talent plays a big role." Bu Fang left for the kitchen and waved his hands as he replied her.
Ouyang Xiaoyi stamped her feet angrily as she stared at Bu Fang's back. She grunted and stuffed another spoonful of Egg-Fried Rice into her mouth.
Yu Fu, on the other hand, covered her mouth as she couldn't help smiling.
She was suddenly a little curious about Xiaoyi's Egg-Fried Rice. Why did it get such a cold-shoulder from Owner Bu?
Imperial Palace, the main halls.
Eunuch Lian Fu stood within the main halls, with his middle finger and thumb pinched together. Beside him stood numerous figures, including Xiao Meng, Yang Mo, Ouyang Zongheng, and many other fierce warriors of the empire.
Ji Chengxue sat upon his throne, chin in his hands and eyebrows firmly knitted.
"You Majesty, King Yu has fled from the imperial mausoleum and is nowhere to be found. Given the intelligence, he has been snatched by forces from the Mahayana Island." Xiao Meng cupped his hands in deference toward Ji Chengxue and reported with a solemn face.
Ji Chengyu's escape from the imperial mausoleum was no trivial matter. Back when the Imperial City was flooded with seventh grade warriors, Ji Chengxue found himself preoccupied with that dangerous situation and had to neglect this incident. Now that it was over, he finally had the energy to take care of Ji Chengyu.
"The sect of Mahayana Island is a real pain in the neck. At the beginning there's that mischievous Zhao Musheng, and now they have also taken King Yu. Are they seeking the aid of King Yu to challenge the Light Wind Empire? That is simply foolish nonsense," Ji Chengxue asserted coldly.
"Your Majesty, your old servant sees it this way. Ji Chengyu was sentenced by the late emperor to confinement at the imperial mausoleum. His escape is equivalent to a prison break, and hence a blatant violation of the royal order. That is a serious felony and so he must be captured and punished severely."
Numerous court ministers seconded this motion, deepening the frown between Ji Chengxue's brows.
The Mahayana Island belonged to one of the ten oldest sects. Ruling out the Celestial Arcanum Sect, this Mahayana Island was the next most powerful force in town. If the Imperial City wanted to get rid of this Mahayana Island, it would need to pay a price Ji Chengxue wasn't willing to bear.
He had just inaugurated the throne and there were still hundreds of things to do before the empire fully recovered from the devastation. His reputation amongst the people had yet to peak. In fact, he hadn't even obtained half of the support Emperor Changfeng was able to garner.
He dared not mobilize an army carelessly, all for a single Ji Chengyu.
Yet, as long as he was out there somewhere, Ji Chengyu would prove to be an unpredictable and unsettling existence. Once his cultivation was restored, and given his talent as well as reputation, he could easily summon soldiers to form an army. At that time, he would become a huge prick in the flesh.
However, Ji Chengxue wasn't too bothered. No matter how strong Ji Chengyu could become, he remained too inferior to truly threaten the entire Light Wind Empire. Without first-rated power projection, he could not harm the empire.
"Your Majesty, King Yu got away all because of this old servant. I am to be blamed to a certain extent, and so I ask for your permission to go capture King Yu myself." Lian Fu suddenly opened his mouth, shocking everyone nearby.
Ji Chengxue was astonished as well, as he had never expected Lian Fu to step out.
"Your Majesty, please grant me permission to capture King Yu. In disobeying the late emperor's ruling, he has also insulted and disrespected the late emperor. This old servant must step forward and make him understand that the dignity of the late emperor brooks no offense." Liam Fu's piercing voice resounded in the halls. He pinched his thumb and middle finger together as he declared this gravely.