Chapter 286: A Big Pot of Dishes
Translator: CatatoPatch Editor: Vermillion
The intense collision between an iron ladle and a pan caused a racket that reverberated throughout the cook's camps, and in a short while, the peaceful camp became rowdy.
In a rustle, people rubbed their sleepy eyes and came out from their tents.
Bu Fang came out of his tent as well and slowly headed in the direction the crowd was gathered. The army's soldiers gathered together regularly. Although it was Bu Fang's first time in the army, he still had some knowledge about it. Only the army cooks struck a pan to call for a gathering.
The hat worn by the tender youngster, Long Cai, was tilted to the side; he was still really drowsy. The lit firewood situated in the middle of the camp emitted faint crackling sounds that reverberated throughout the surroundings.
A huge iron pot, propped on a wooden frame, roasted on a fire and emitted rumbling sounds, spouting streams of steam which contained spirit energy and possessed a faint fragrant scent.
At this moment, Wei Dafu who carried an iron pan with him, struck it loudly and incessantly. His face carried a faint trace of anger as he regarded the sluggish mass in front of him, so he shouted at the top of his lungs, "Quickly! Quickly! Don't presume that the army cooks aren't true soldiers, pull yourself together and gather around, quickly."
Immediately they heard his words, the cooks sobered up and stood in formation.
Bu Fang calmly followed behind the others and stood amongst them.
This left Wei Dafu-who had narrowed his eyes-quite disappointed; after all, he sought an excuse to scold the arrogant kid and didn't expect Bu Fang to get up this quickly and line up. Usually, common newcomers slept in until noon.
However, this didn't concern him too much, so he snorted coldly and focused his attention on the other cooks who stood before him.
"Puff your chest out. We just received the general's order yesterday. Our Third Corp will set up tomorrow to confront the enemy, so the general ordered us to make sumptuous dishes and satisfy the soldiers in order to raise their spirits, so they can come back triumphant." Wei Dafu hollered with hands placed behind his back.
As soon as they heard that, the cooks began to chatter noisily. A lot of them were excited because an opportunity to display their skills had finally presented itself.
"Therefore... you all should know what I am about to say: properly prepare today's dishes, don't disgrace our Cooks' Army Unit, and don't cause the soldiers to resentfully say something like 'what the hell is this trash' when they taste our dishes. If that happens, you won't only have disgraced yourself, but you will also have disgraced me, so you all should cook properly." Wei Dafu reiterated in a loud voice.
All the cooks puffed out their chests, and their eyes gleamed with confidence.
Even the kid, Long Cai, puffed out his chest in excitement.
"Good, Long Cai... follow them and distribute the congee to each camp. After you come back, you can start cooking like the others. The rest of you should immediately return back to your camps and start cooking. If I'm not satisfied with today's dishes, all of you will have to chop wood for an entire month."
Immediately, Long Cai's complexion sank. Although he was unwilling, he still obediently carried the iron pot emitting streams of steam and left the camp-along with the robust cooks.
Bu Fang placed his hands behind his back and turned around slowly; he planned to return to his camp.
However, Wei Dafu's shout stopped him in his tracks.
"Kid, I am watching you closely. If your dish isn't chosen by any of the soldiers, then hehe... You should know what you will face! At that time, you will know the consequences of being arrogant before me, Wei Dafu," he snorted coldly at Bu Fang.
Bu Fang gazed at him for a while and curled the corners of his lips upwards. He regarded Wei Dafu the same way he would regard a fool, and Bu Fang was too lazy to argue with him, so he simply turned back and returned to his camp.
He found an assortment of ingredients spread on the ground. Although they were all common ingredients, there were complete sets of different vegetables and meat.
He chose some ingredients, from the pile, which seemed to be of a better quality than the others and weighed them with his hands. Shortly afterward, he set a wooden frame down, placed a pot on it and began his preparations to cook.
For Bu Fang, it didn't matter if his ingredients had been meticulously prepared or not, he was confident about his skill. Every dish he prepared could satisfy his customers, and leave them full of praise.
Calmly, he held onto the wooden frame, waved the knife in his hand and focused his gaze on the ingredients he had chosen. It was easy for him to cook with the common ingredients. Swiftly, his knife swished around and sparkled under the glow of the flames.
Swoosh! Swoosh! Swoosh!
He completely processed the ingredients in several breaths. He was already quite proficient in the use of the Meteor Cutting Technique, so it was really easy for him to process such ordinary ingredients. Once he had completely processed them, Bu Fang began his preparations to cook them.
First, he heated the pot and then poured oil into it. The oil he used was normal and didn't contain any trace of true energy. This time, the ingredients he used were truly ordinary.
Although the Cooks' Army Unit used spiritual ingredients to cook, they were unable to perfectly preserve the spiritual energy within them-the way Bu Fang could. Instead, they caused the spiritual energy within to flow out. However, this was quite understandable. After all, it was a feat that a lot of master chefs from big restaurants couldn't achieve-let alone the army cooks.
Bu Fang was used to cooking with his True Energy. Although this skill was more useful when spiritual ingredients are used, there wasn't much of a difference for Bu Fang, and this was due to the strength of his spiritual energy. No changes in the ingredients could escape his senses.
The sounds of frying echoed all around, thick smoke permeated the sky, and the fragrance of various dishes wafted throughout the camps of the Cooks' Army Unit.
The dishes that had been prepared by the cooks didn't vary too much. This was because they needed to cook a lot of food, so it would be difficult for them if they chose to prepare complex dishes.
A lot of them only had to make one dish. Therefore, in the end, only several dishes would be available to choose from.
The shrieks of spiritual beasts reverberated throughout the camp. There were some low-grade spiritual beasts being slaughtered, to serve as dishes which would nourish the soldiers' bodies. It could be said that the army cooks had pulled out all the stops-for today's dishes.
This time, Bu Fang only made one dish, so it was prepared quickly. A short while later, he covered the sumptuous dish on a tray with a lid that sealed the fragrance and prevented it from permeating the surroundings-like the others did.
As soon as he was done, Bu Fang sat cross-legged on his bed, closed his eyes and meditated on his culinary studies while he waited for the others to finish.
A short while later, the sound of an iron ladle striking an iron pot could be heard. Bu Fang opened his eyes, and they contained a trace of excitement.
The first dish he prepared as a member of the Cooks' Army Unit would finally be judged.
However, Bu Fang wasn't worried at all because he had confidence in his skill. He came down from his bed, lifted the huge pot and went out of his tent. As for Whitey, Bu Fang left it in the tent, so it waited there obediently.
When he reached the place where the cooks had gathered, Bu Fang saw some huge pots being hoisted by some cooks while others had placed theirs on the ground. All the pots emitted a strong fragrance which permeated the entire camp.
The cooks were flushed and their foreheads dripped with sweat. It was obvious they were all excited-having finished making their dishes.
"Kid, you should walk a bit faster. Everyone here is waiting for you," Wei Dafu glanced at Bu Fang and said resentfully.
Bu Fang's pot-compared to the others-wasn't considered big, so the other cooks didn't pay much attention to it. After all, the soldiers didn't care for ordinary dishes and might let them go to waste, so they had only allocated a small pot for Bu Fang.
Despite Wei Dafu's snide remarks, Bu Fang calmly walked toward them while carrying his pot.
This made Wei Dafu quite aggrieved, but he snorted coldly and switched his attention to the others.
"Good! You all can now prepare to serve your dishes."
The cooks roared as they lifted their heavy pots and walked outside.