In the end, Lord Dog finally got to eat the Spicy Diced Chicken.
When Bu Fang spotted Lord Dog's confused expression, he took out another bowl and placed it in front of him.
When Lord Dog looked over and saw Bu Fang's look of disdain, it almost flew into a rage.
Does this kid, Bu Fang, actually insist that a dog must learn to use chopsticks? Wasn't this asking for too much....
With an endless amount of resentment in his heart, the frustrated Lord Dog glared at Bu Fang, with the urge to slash him apart with its claws gnawing at it; however, it resisted the urge. If it were to kill this rascal now, who would cook the Sweet 'n' Sour Ribs for him...
Where the Sweet 'n' Sour Ribs was concerned, who cared how it momentarily felt?
After reining in its temper, the Sweet 'n' Sour Ribs were snatched away.
Despite that, Lord Dog's heart still felt constricted. Although it had no happiness toward the Spicy Diced Chicken, it still tasted great when eaten, and this made Lord Dog feel angry and weak.
After Nethery had learned how to use chopsticks, she quickly used them to pick up a piece of the Spicy Diced Chicken, which she promptly placed into her mouth. Her eyes instantly lit up, and the chopsticks' movements accelerated.
In almost no time at all, she completely ravaged the plate of Spicy Diced Chicken, and not even the peanut crumbs were spared.
Bu Fang was speechless; after all, he had barely eaten a few pieces. Those few pieces, however, tasted great and gave him a refreshing feeling.
While Nethery was eating, she kept letting out burps filled with spiritual energy. The scene was slightly comical.
After the Spicy Diced Chicken on Nethery's plate was no more, she licked her red lips, and her gaze shifted to Lord Dog's bowl, which was still filled with chicken.
Lord Dog's ears perked up, and it began to watch the woman cautiously. What exactly does she want?
That was a bowl of Spicy Diced Chicken he had sold his pride for! Hence, she should not even dream of touching a single piece of chicken in his bowl.
Despite its caution, in the end, Lord Dog was unable to protect all the chicken in its bowl. It could only watch in frustration as Nethery easily picked up chicken after chicken from his bowl using the chopsticks.
"Uh... This is the benefit of using chopsticks," Bu Fang said, when he saw Lord Dog's blank expression.
As the moonlight shone down, the pitch-black sky began to turn into a shade of dark blue.
Before returning to his room, Bu Fang washed up, then he stood by his window, with his partially dried hair, enjoying the cool breeze and the view of Heavenly Mist City at night.
The scenery was breathtaking, enough to captivate anyone.
Bu Fang took a deep breath before getting into bed, ready to sleep. As a chef, sleep was very important to him.
In the next morning, the sky was bright, and the sun shone down like glittering gold. The rays of sunlight shone on Bu Fang's face, through the window, making him feel a little itchy.
He got up out of bed, washed, went down to the kitchen, and began to practice his knife skills; after that, he cooked a bowl of Sweet 'n' Sour Ribs and Dragon Blood Rice.
He served the dishes to Nethery and Blacky, then returned to the kitchen and began to prepare his own breakfast. Soon, he took out a Golden Shumai from the steamer.
He dipped a piece into some vinegar and tossed it into his mouth.
When Bu Fang finished his meal, he cleaned up the tableware, then went to open up the restaurant's bronze gates, ready to start the business for the day.
"Owner Bu, you're still opening shop today? Today's the day of the Miracle Hand Conference's competition of the Top 10. Don't you want to go see it?"
A customer spoke to Bu Fang, with a smile.
Bu Fang froze for a moment, but he quickly recovered and shook his head sideways, saying, "There's no need..."
Truthfully, there really was no need. For the next match, Bu Fang had already decided to put on a very good performance for Nangong Wuque, in which he would give the latter the win; after that, he would not have the chance to meet the alchemists anymore. Hence, there was simply no need for him to go and watch the matches. With the skills he possessed, he was better off continuing his business, selling a few more jars of Buddha Jumps Over The Wall Soup!
To him, selling even an extra jar of Buddha Jumps Over The Wall Soup was far more important than competing with those alchemists.
"Hey, Owner Bu, it looks like there's a new dish!"
A sharp-eyed customer, who frequently visited the restaurant, suddenly noticed that a new dish, Spicy Diced Chicken, had been added to the menu, then he turned to smile at Bu Fang.
The customers were all extremely interested in Bu Fang's dishes, so there was no shortage of orders for the new dish, Spicy Diced Chicken.
Bu Fang headed to the kitchen and got himself busy.
Nangong Wuque, who seemed as excited as a little child, came over to the store as well, bringing along his beautiful little sister Nangong Wan.
This guy actually didn't go to see Mu Bai's match today as well.
"Old Bu, you did not tell me that you had a new dish; quick, give me a portion," Nangong Wuque hollered the moment he entered the restaurant, after having sniffed out Bu Fang's new dish as though he was a dog.
"You're not going to see Mu Bai's match?" Bu Fang asked as he walked out with a portion of Spicy Diced Chicken, which he proceeded to place in front of Nangong Wuque.
"What's there to see? There isn't any meaning in going. With Mu Bai's ability, he will steamroll everything. I'm telling you now: the champion of this Magical Hand Conference can only be Mu Bai, no one else. That monster is someone who can't be bested on the path of refinement!"
Nangong Wuque used the chopsticks to put a piece of chicken into his mouth, and his eyes widened instantly, then he shook his legs and continued, saying, "Do you know that Mu Bai, that white face, has another nickname? Do you know what it is?" Nangong Wuque the chatterbox had begun to speak again, seemingly with no intention to stop.
"That show-off Mu Bai, people call him the King of Dan! Isn't that crazy? Even those great alchemy Grandmasters don't dare to call themselves Kings of Dan."
King of Dan Mu Bai was an alchemist from the enchanting Heavenly Pill City and the Pill Palace's youngest leader ever. He was chasing right after the Pill Palace's refining saintess, and he was hailed as the next saint of Dan refining.
Since no Dan-refining saint had taken part in the Magical Hand Conference, Mu Bai was the candidate who showed the most promise. With him competing, the winner of the conference was, more or less, predetermined.
"Old Bu, we are going to compete against each other in three days; do you really intend to give up?" Nangong Wuque, who had just finished his Spicy Diced Chicken, licked his greasy lips and asked Bu Fang with a serious expression.
"Well, there's no longer any meaning. I've already achieved my objective for this competition, so as for the remaining matches, I'd rather spend my time working in this little store," Bu Fang answered, lightly.
"Hei... then, in the next round, don't throw in the towel immediately. At least put on a show and cook up something. If you forfeit just like that, I'll lose face," said Nangong Wuque, shamelessly instructing Bu Fang, with narrowed eyes.
Nangong Wan, who was sitting by the side, couldn't help rolling her eyes. "Nangong Wuque, you really are shameless, without comparison."
"What? Isn't it Old Bu that says he doesn't want to compete anymore? I'm just giving him a stage to step down from. This is called being reasonable. Since Old Bu is going to concede anyway, why not lose somewhat decently? At least he would still make it into the top ten!" Nangong Wuque argued.
Nangong Wan really couldn't fathom how Nangong Wuque could bear to be that shameless. Was this really her brother by birth?
"I say, Owner Bu, do you really not intend to continue competing? I really think you could charge into the top three; being amongst the top three of the Magical Hand Conference is the dream of countless people. That position would give one the chance to enter a secret realm under the control of the Pill Palace, the Scorpio Secret Realm. It also gives one the chance to obtain a special prize, the recipe of a five-mark spirit pill," Nangong Wan said to Bu Fang.
Nangong Wan's words made Bu Fang pause momentarily.
"Being in the top three of the Magical Hand Conference has its rewards?"
This time, it was Nangong Wan's and Nangong Wuque's turns to pause momentarily. Why would Bu Fang ask such an illogical question? Don't tell me he actually thought that alchemists participated in the Magical Hand Conference just for glory? What dog shit glory? Can one eat it?
They did it for the rewards!
Those that emerged among the top ten in the Magical Hand Conference would receive rewards. Each reward gave different levels of pill recipes; furthermore, there was a large number of crystals, too!
"There's a reward of crystals?" Once Bu Fang heard the words "crystals", he became spirited.
"Huu... there is actually a reward of crystals, but the rewards is not significant. The tenth place only gets only ten thousand crystals, while the third place only gets up to a hundred thousand..." Nangong Wan said.
For the Nangong family, who had strong financial backing, there was not much of a difference between ten thousand crystals and a hundred thousand crystals. Hence, this reward meant nothing to them. In other words, the reward that the Pill Palace had set was meaningless. For alchemists, ten thousand crystals or a hundred thousand crystals were both worth less than a fart.
"How about the top three? How many crystals does the top three get?" Bu Fang asked, pleasantly surprised.
"The top three? Old Bu, why would the top three be rewarded with crystals? How unsophisticated are you? The top three have the right to enter the secret realm; this privilege can't be bought even with countless crystals," Nangong Wuque said, shaking his head at Bu Fang as though the latter was a peasant.
After saying that, he suddenly felt nervous. "Old Bu, you wouldn't continue competing for the rewards, right? Don't do this; since you already said you would give up, you have to give up. A man's words are as heavy as nine tripods." Nangong Wuque blurted out, nervously.
"What are you so scared of? I'm not interested in this secret realm." Bu Fang rolled his eyes before smirking when he saw the look on Nangong Wuque's face.
Then, he returned to the kitchen.
After Nangong Wuque obtained Owner Bu's guarantee, his heart quieted down, allowing him to feel relaxed. Then, he ordered a few more dishes, including a jar of Buddha Jumps Over The Wall Soup.
His extravagance made Bu Fang's eyes lit up.
For the next three days, Nangong Wuque came to Bu Fang's restaurant to eat; he even seemed to have put on weight. With Bu Fang's reassurance, he felt relaxed. When the time for the next match arrived, all he had to do was to go on stage and put on a show.
Their match was scheduled for the next day.
In the competition for the top 10, only one match was held every day; ten matches would take ten days. The five people who made it through would continue to battle, and one would automatically make it to the next round. When the top three were selected, they would undergo a final test, and their individual performance would determine their ranking.
Nangong Wuque was humming a sweet song as he leisurely strolled through the Nangong family's courtyard.
The red sun resembled a ball of red flames, causing a mirage to appear on the horizon.
Suddenly, a burly figure walked into the Nangong Family's house.
Yang Meiji had come to find Nangong Wuque. When the latter saw Yang Meiji, he was puzzled.
He could not say he nursed any good feelings toward this lady, but he was not disgusted by her, either; after all, it was Yang Meiji's ability and destiny that earned her his former Nine Hell King Flame.
However, knowing that his Heaven and Earth Obsidian Flame was now being controlled by Yang Meiji was something that made him feel uncomfortable.
When the burly girl began to act coyly, Nangong Wuque began to wish he had learned how to roll his eyes from Nangong Wan.
"Miss Yang Meiji, is there something you are looking for? If there's nothing, please leave first. I have to make my preparations for the match tomorrow," Nangong Wuque said, coldly.
Yang Meiji shivered, and her face reddened; and with that flushed expression, she replied, "I know that tomorrow you are going up against Bu Fang; he's a difficult opponent to deal with! His culinary skills are very good, so..."
"So what?" Nangong Wuque froze. Had this Yang Meiji actually come here to remind him that Bu Fang was strong, out of goodwill?
He already knew how strong Bu Fang was... but tomorrow, Bu Fang was going to lose to him! When Nangong Wuque thought about that, he felt a little excited.
"So... I've decided to return the Heaven and Earth Obsidian Flame to you! With the Heaven and Earth Obsidian Flame, your chances against Bu Fang will be higher!" Yang Meiji clutched her big fists and looked at Nangong Wuque sincerely.