Bu Fang pushed open the bronze gate in front of the Cloud Mist Restaurant.
After returning to the store and opening the gate, Bu Fang was greeted by the sight of two pitch-black eyes. Nethery was sitting in the store as she looked at him with an eager expression on her face.
Lord Dog was lying beside the Path-Understanding Fruit Tree as he slept soundly. This plump dog was fond of sleeping when it had nothing to do and it wasn't out of Bu Fang's expectation that it was still sleeping when he returned.
Nethery's eyes lit up the moment she saw Bu Fang at the entrance of the store.
"Bu Fang, I'm hungry." Nethery opened her mouth and spoke in a cold and aloof voice.
Bu Fang was taken aback by her words for a moment. Nodding at her with an expressionless face, he turned his body and walked toward the kitchen. In just a short while, a sweet aroma permeated out of the kitchen.
As he cooked, Bu Fang was thinking about the dish he should use in the elimination round the next day. What should he use?
He was somewhat regretful that he couldn't continue to use his Stinking Tofu as he had planned to use it throughout the competition. Although it was stinky, it tasted extremely delicious. Due to the contrast in smell and taste, Bu Fang wanted to use the dish in all of the rounds. It was exactly the contrast and disparity between the extremely stinky odor and its sweet taste which would captivate more people. The principle behind it was just like how people would feel as though everything was delicious as long as they were hungry.
The reason Bu Fang wanted to use the Stinky Tofu was exactly this.
Sizzle! Sizzle! Sizzle!
The flames soared up as he stir-fried the ingredients in the wok. A sweet aroma and waves of spiritual energy came from the dish. With a flick of his wrist, he shook the wok. The Dragon Blood Rice inside the wok rolled over and after Bu Fang lowered the intensity of the flames, a steaming hot portion of Dragon Blood Rice was completed.
Shrimpy, who was lying on Bu Fang's shoulder, had been quite well-behaved recently. It was asleep most of the time. Occasionally, it would open its eyes to observe its surroundings.
All of this should be because it ate the Crystal Source Purple Essence.
After he cooked the Dragon Blood Rice, Bu Fang started making the Sweet 'n' Sour Meat Ribs for Lord Dog. If anyone were to ask Bu Fang which dishes he was the most familiar with, apart from Egg-Fried Rice, it would be the Sweet 'n' Sour Meat Ribs.
That was because he had a black dog who loved to eat the Sweet 'n' Sour Meat Ribs in his store.
After placing the two dishes on one of the tables in the store, he completely ignored the woman and dog duo who were eating happily. He returned to the kitchen and thought about the dish he should prepare for the next round of the competition.
What should he make tomorrow?
Bu Fang played with the Dragon Bone Kitchen Knife in his hand and unceasingly waved it around.
The purple eyes of Whitey, who stood before the door, were occasionally flickering. As it looked at Bu Fang, it would sometimes raise its hand and scratch its round head.
All of a sudden, Bu Fang's eyes lit up as he thought of something.
"Since I'm not allowed to make a stinky dish, then why don't I make a fragrant one?" Bu Fang curled up the corners of his mouth and he settled on such an idea.
If he was forbidden from using the extremely stinky Stinky Tofu, why shouldn't he cook an extremely fragrant dish? This way he could easily attract people's attention and spread the name of his Cloud Mist Restaurant.
The Dragon Bone Kitchen Knife twirled around Bu Fang's fingers before it fell into his palm. He firmly grasped the knife in his palm.
After thinking about the dish he would make, he became much more relaxed.
He practiced the Overlord Thirteen Blades technique for a while and cooked a portion of Red Braised Meat before returning to the dining room. He started eating it beside Nethery and Lord Dog.
After Nethery and Lord Dog ate and drank to their fill, both of them went to sleep.
Returning to his room, Bu Fang took a bath. As the dense mist which shrouded the bathroom blew into his eyes, he couldn't help but let out a breath.
In the morning of the next day, Bu Fang got up early from his bed and went to prepare Nethery and Lord Dog's breakfast. After he was done preparing the food, he opened the bronze gate of the store and started his business.
As the owner of a store, Bu Fang would never waste any time he had without making money. Anyway, all of the crystals earned by him would be converted into his cultivation. Although it was early in the morning, there were still many customers who came over.
All of those customers knew that Bu Fang was participating in the Magical Hand Conference. Despite the fact that they were not optimistic about his performance, all of them encouraged him.
After all, Owner Bu was trying to challenge alchemists as a chef...
It should have been already quite difficult for him to enter into the elimination rounds. None of them hoped that he would be able to go further.
Nangong Wan and Nangong Wuque didn't come over today and after Bu Fang sold some dishes, he closed the gate to the store.
He clasped his hands behind his back and left the restaurant to participate in the rest of the elimination rounds.
That lassie, Nethery, who was barefooted and had no expression on her face, silently followed beside Bu Fang when he left the store.
Bu Fang turned his head around and silently looked at her. He really had no idea what to say to her.
This woman should have been too bored after staying in the store for such a long time.
It was Nethery's first time seeing the prosperous Heavenly Mist City's scenery. Mighty waves rose in her gaze which used to be expressionless. She was quite curious about those tall and high bronze buildings. She was also curious about those carriages pulled by spirit beasts and other things of the like.
"After a while, closely follow behind me and don't run around. After passing this round of the competition, I will take you home."
Bu Fang felt as though he had to warn Nethery. If he didn't remind her, there was a high chance she would be lost in the city.
Nethery simply looked at Bu Fang with a calm expression even after his solemn and serious warning. She didn't do anything else or say anything.
The two of them went to the Heavenly Mist City's central plaza.
The central plaza was as bustling as usual and there was a vast crowd in it. It seemed as though there were more spectators than the first day as the preliminary round ended and the elimination rounds were starting.
Nethery was extremely beautiful, and beautiful women would always become the focal point wherever there were people.
Bu Fang had such a feeling as he thought about how low-key he was yesterday and how he ended up being the focus of everyone's attention. Now, he was just one of the attractions.
The gaze of everyone rested on the body of Nethery, who had long and black hair. She was extremely beautiful and had a pair of long jade-like legs. Just her legs alone attracted countless gazes.
Nangong Wan and Nangong Wuque easily spotted Bu Fang.
The moment Nangong Wuque caught sight of Nethery, his entire body shuddered. He turned around and intended to run away. However, the moment Nethery's gaze fell upon his body, he froze in place.
He was extremely afraid of her as he was extremely clear about how terrifying Nethery was.
Nangong Wan smiled sweetly as she looked at Nethery. Although Nethery was beautiful, it wasn't as though Nangong Wan was ugly... She had her own confidence as a pretty woman.
The appearance of two beautiful women caused the crowd to erupt. They went into an uproar.
Bu Fang wasn't accustomed to the feeling of being in the limelight. He couldn't help but furrow his brows.
"Old Bu, the elimination rounds aren't like the preliminary round. After all, they are used to eliminate the competitors and they are both brutal and difficult. Everyone would display their true skills in the elimination rounds... You can't be careless."
Nangong Wuque pulled Bu Fang to the side and gave him some advice in a serious voice.
"I'm looking forward to seeing the expression on the faces of those old fellows when a chef like you makes it to the top fifty spots of the Magical Hand Conference."
Bu Fang nodded at him. This conference was related to his temporary mission. There was no way he was going to screw it up.
There were more and more people who were streaming into the plaza and there were even some warships which were floating in the sky. Those warships were emitting a tyrannical and stifling aura as spiritual energy radiated from them.
Those warships stopped above the plaza and many people jumped out from them.
Those were experts from the Heavenly Pill City and Heavenly Shine City.
After checking his arena for this round of the competition, Bu Fang found out that it was still the eighth arena. It was coincidental that he managed to participate in the same arena.
After going through the preliminary match held on the previous day, more than half the competitors were eliminated. After the elimination rounds held today, the top hundred would be determined. The top hundred would participate in the semifinals.
After he entered the eighth arena, Bu Fang saw the judge who was standing in the middle of the arena. It was the same judge as the day before. The moment the judge saw Bu Fang, his expression turned gloomy.
Just the day before, he had been scolded by the people in charge of the competition as he was the one responsible for a match where only four people passed.
He assumed that he wouldn't run into Bu Fang today, however, Bu Fang entered the eighth arena again. He was dispirited by the fact that he had to be in charge of the arena Bu Fang was in again.
"It's all right, all right... This cook won't cook the smelly dish again. He won't affect other people this round..." The judge started to comfort and console himself.
Bu Fang nodded at this judge before he ascended into the arena. He directly walked to his bronze platform.
After arriving at the elimination rounds, the average level of his competitors had a considerable increase.
Those elimination rounds were made in order to remove those people who were participating to fish in troubled waters.
When the judge saw the competitors in this match, he became more confident and at ease.
One of them was a disciple of the Heavenly Pill City and he was a genius alchemist. Another one of them was the disciple of a great master alchemist from the Heavenly Shine City. He had excellent skills.
The more he observed them, the more confident he became. All of them were people who were somewhat famous in the alchemists' world. They should all have strong mental force and would not be easily affected by other things. Even if that kid made some new moves, it wouldn't be too disastrous. The situation which happened yesterday should not happen again.
Although he became more confident, he still had some worries in his heart when he looked at the expressionless Bu Fang who was standing near him.
His instincts as a man told him that this lad was going to create a scene again.
Green smoke curled around Bu Fang's hand, who stood before his bronze platform, as the Black Turtle Constellation Wok appeared above it. It slammed against the platform and caused it to sink down slightly. Bu Fang took out all of his equipment like the Dragon Bone Kitchen Knife, green porcelain bowls and other items.
That judge was staring fixedly at Bu Fang. When he saw everything on Bu Fang's platform, he sucked in a breath of cold air.
As expected... He was going to make another dish.
The moment the judge saw the earthen jar in Bu Fang's hand, his nostrils flared and his pupils contracted.
"Where did the trust between people go? Didn't you promise not to make Stinky Tofu anymore? Why does this earthen jar look so familiar to me?"
That judge became quite anxious and he went up to Bu Fang.
"Competitor, didn't we come into agreement that you wouldn't cook that Stinky Tofu in this competition again?" The judge took a deep breath as he spoke.
Bu Fang was taken aback by his words. He had an odd look on his face as he looked at the judge.
"I understand. I'm not planning to cook the Stinky Tofu this time." Bu Fang looked in confusion at that judge as he replied. With a wave of his hand, he opened up the earthen jar. There wasn't any stench coming out of that jar.
That judge slightly twitched his nose as he sniffed the air. After making sure that there wasn't any stench in the air, he calmed down.
In the next moment, he saw Bu Fang pouring the contents of the jar into his Black Turtle Constellation Wok.
Golden oil came out of the jar and filled the wok...
"He filled the entire wok with oil... Is he planning to deep fry something?" The judge thought to himself inwardly.
Since he wasn't allowed to make the extremely stinky Stinky Tofu... Bu Fang chose to make the extremely fragrant, improved version of the Oyster Pancake.