Slap, slap, slap...
A succulent and luscious fish appeared from Bu Fang's system's storage space. It relentlessly flipped its fins around, emitting a series of substantial slapping sounds as it landed on the table.
Its gills were slightly opened as it spat out jets of water vapor. Thick and riotous spiritual energy left the fish's mouth unremittingly at a rapid rate.
This kind of fish was called the Dragon-Transforming Koi. It was a kind of Divine Physique Echelon spirit beast and the quality of the beast was superb. It was even more so for the texture of the meat.
Bu Fang had eventually chosen this spirit beast after a long session of contemplation. The system had initially provided him with various options of fish-type spirit beasts to choose from and he thoroughly looked through every single one of them. In the end, he picked this Dragon-Transforming Koi.
The reason for this decision was not because of the might of this Dragon-Transforming Koi. Instead, it was because the meat of the Dragon-Transforming Koi had an uncanny resemblance to a breed of fish from his previous life.
After all, the dish he had chosen was the West Lake Sweet 'n' Sour Fish. Therefore, it was only natural that he used the most suitable Dragon-Transforming Koi as an ingredient.
Bu Fang had seen the massive fish that Wen Renchou had used for his dish and he knew that it was a type of codfish. According to Bu Fang's deduction, his opponent should be attempting a Pan-Fried Codfish. He had to admit that it was going to be delicious as well.
The astounded crowd switched their crazed gazes rapidly between Bu Fang's fish and Wen Renchou's one. Even up till now, none of them were able to determine the type of dish either chef was going to cook.
As green smoke began to revolve around Bu Fang's hands, the Dragon Bone Kitchen Knife instantly appeared in his hands. Bu Fang then started to execute his knife arts and he let out a soft sigh as his gaze fell onto the Dragon-Transforming Koi.
The knife's edge hovered above the fish as if it was finding a precise spot to slice into the meat of the fish.
Soon after, Bu Fang finally began to slice.
After displaying some exquisite knife skills, the kitchen knife transformed into a streak of light, shooting out and across the fish's body.
Pieces of fish scales shot out like daggers as a noise similar to grinding metals resounded throughout the space.
That violent stance caused countless people to tremble in their hearts.
Bu Fang remained relatively calm, not feeling even a hint of panic. After finishing descaling one side of the fish, he grabbed the fish's tail and gave it a toss, turning it a hundred and eighty degrees to the opposite side. A knife light swept past and the sound of metal grinding against each other filled the air again.
Fish scales scattered out in all directions. Not long after, the whole fish had been thoroughly processed by Bu Fang.
The slicing of the cheek, as well as the removal of its organs... The series of movement was smooth and flawless.
However, when compared to Wen Renchou's actions, Bu Fang's one seemed a lot more coarse and stringent. If Wen Renchou's method of handling the fish was to be described as somewhat sophisticated and cool, then Bu Fang's way seemed much more like an uncouth barbarian... Not even the slightest hint of elegance could be seen.
Regardless of how rough or inelegant Bu Fang was when dealing with the fish, it didn't affect the unique demeanor around him.
Not far away, waves of rich fragrance had already diffused throughout the area. Everyone raised their noses involuntarily and inhaled a deep breath of the pleasant aroma present in the air.
Within the barrier, a deadly silence ensued. Everyone was giving their utmost attention toward Bu Fang and Wen Renchou as they prepared their dishes for the Chef's Challenge.
Wen Renchou's pan-fried his codfish with undivided concentration. The quality of its meat was indeed special and it also pushed Wen Renchou's control over his flame to the limit. It was the reason why he didn't dare to relax for even a moment. His mental energy gradually materialized, radiating out incessantly as it began to cover up the entirety of the wok. His will caused the space surrounding him to turn somewhat stagnant. Wen Renchou's mental energy was overwhelmingly strong, and even the space was affected by it. He could effortlessly control his flames.
The codfish meat was beginning to shine a deep golden color as a rich and pleasant smell permeated from it. It assaulted the noses of the audience who was standing around them.
A huge proportion of the crowd was already exclaiming in shock and awe. That was because they realized that Owner Bu's culinary skills were finally pressured by somebody. Their gazes shifted to Bu Fang just as he completed the preparation of his fish. The kitchen knife in his hands danced as it left streaks in the back of the fish.
With just a gesture, the fish that Bu Fang had prepared was thrown into a bowl. Flour filled the bowl as it distributed evenly across the body of the fish.
Black smoke circled around as the Black Turtle Constellation Wok appeared. Everyone's heart started to tremble the moment the pitch-black wok appeared.
Bu Fang spat a mouthful of golden flames as it dug deep into the wok's base. As it heated the wok up, the oil which was inside the wok started to splatter around. Sizzling sounds could be heard.
Bu Fang extended his hand and held it above the wok. When he sensed that the oil in the wok was hot enough, he grabbed the tail of the fish and tossed it into the wok.
As the slab of fish meat entered the pot, a change occurred as the oil in the wok started to produce layers and layers of white foam.
As the oil had a much higher temperature compared to the fish meat, a reaction took place the moment the fish meat entered the wok. The slits on the back of the fish started to expand at a rapid speed.
A hint of gold shade surfaced onto the fish's meat.
Bu Fang's ladle swung as it slightly raised the slab of fish meat toward the opening of the wok, preventing it from sticking to the base of the wok. After Bu Fang finished frying the fish meat, he shoved it to the side of the wok. It formed an arc at the side of the wok as he continued to slowly fry the fish.
This subsequent step was to allow every single inch of the fish's body to be evenly cooked by the temperature of the oil.
A sweet fragrance started to spread out from the Black Turtle Constellation Wok.
Hot air gushed upwards, gathering at the top of the wok as they condensed into a white-colored gas which shrouded the wok.
With a flick of his ladle, Bu Fang immediately scooped up the already done, deep-fried fish from the wok. He placed it onto a porcelain plate which was already prepared. With his other hand, he retrieved many spiritual herbs which were overflowing with spiritual energy from his system's storage space.
The kitchen knife in his hands danced as it transformed into streaks of lights, repeatedly flashing across the air with a glimmer as it minced up the mix of spiritual herbs. Before long, it became a pile of powder.
After warming up the oil-filled wok again, Bu Fang threw the minced spiritual herbs into the wok.
He stir-fried all of the chopped up spiritual herbs in the Black Turtle Constellation Wok.
Flames shot into the sky and it was extremely eye-catching.
Medicinal fragrance emanated out unceasingly, saturating the area around it.
Bu Fang stirred the pot constantly as he gradually poured his already prepared starch solution into the wok. The oil within it became significantly more viscous. Then, he took out a black can filled with a type of spiritual vinegar which seemed extremely sour.
West Lake Sweet 'n' Sour Fish couldn't only be sour. The sweetness had to be present as well.
Bu Fang tossed the icing sugar provided by the system into the wok. After that, the creamy soup instantly became more sweet and thicker.
The thickly seasoned soup was boiling unremittingly as it began to bubble with gas.
Bu Fang calmly scooped up some soup with his ladle and tasted it. Harmonious sweetness and sourness permeated throughout his mouth cavity, seeping deep into his taste buds.
He smacked his lips constantly, giving a nod of approval.
Soon after, the Black Turtle Constellation Wok hovered in the air as Bu Fang made some gestures with his hand. With a sweep of his ladle, the boiling hot soup was scooped out from the pot and it rained down onto the Dragon-Transforming Koi.
Steaming hot gas rose up from the fish and it seemed as though the meat of the fish was screaming.
Under the shocked gazes of everyone present, the deep-fried Dragon-Transformation Koi trembled violently. The tail of the fish flipped upwards and its mouth opened wide.
After laying the ladle into the wok, Bu Fang took a step back and let out a soft breath of relief. He used a piece of cloth to wipe away the excess oil on the porcelain plate which made the dish more presentable. He made the plate as clean as possible.
"West Lake Sweet 'n' Sour Fish... Complete," Bu Fang said softly as he gave himself a nod full of approval. He only raised his head after finishing his dish as he gazed at the distant Wen Renchou.
Wen Renchou had also completed his dish as a detestable smirk appeared on his face. It was as though the victor had already been decided as he stared at Bu Fang. Both their gazes met and clashed in the air.
Bu Fang remained expressionless while Wen Renchou gently lifted his mouth, revealing an execrating look toward the former.
"You've lost!" Wen Renchou said smugly, as confident as ever.
He was in his perfect condition on this contest. Little to no mistakes were made at all, be it in the control of his flame or the amount of spiritual energy present within the dish. It could be said that his dish was perfect. On the porcelain plate, a deep-fried, shimmering gold-colored codfish meat emitted an endless amount of fragrance. With a jade green spiritual herb leaf as a garnish, the dish had indeed reached the epitome of perfection.
Wen Renchou held his dish in one hand as he nodded toward Bu Fang.
On the exterior of the barrier set up by the Nether King, the drizzle had already turned into a downpour. The splattering sound of rain struck unendingly toward the light barrier, causing a deafening sound to resound throughout the area.
However, it was dead silent within the light barrier. Everyone took a deep breath as none of them dared to exhale loudly.
Tap tap tap...
Wen Renchou held his dish and walked toward Bu Fang.
"Owner Bu, this humble Pan-Fried Codfish is completed. I wonder if your honor's dish is complete?" Wen Renchou said as a confident smile filled his face.
"How will the dish be graded?"
"We shall let the crowd judge," Bu Fang replied without looking back as he walked straight into the shop and placed his dish on a table.
Wen Renchou shrugged his shoulder as he swept his gaze across the crowd. Without saying another word, he placed his dish on a table as well.
Bu Fang's words shocked everyone. In the next moment, all of them unveiled expressions of extreme joy! Allowing the crowd to judge! Did Owner Bu mean that they were allowed to grade the dishes? Were they also granted permission to taste both superb dishes?
The audience gasped in excitement. The fragrance from both dishes which was permeating the air had already caused them to salivate non-stop.
Since they would be able to taste it personally, they were naturally filled with felicity.
The Nether King then removed the light barrier.
The rainwater fell relentlessly from the skies, striking mercilessly towards the ground as it emitted splashing sounds.
Nonetheless, none of the diners were bothered by it. These people all had pretty decent cultivation level. It was not a problem to block the rain for a few hours while queuing up. As they queued up outside the restaurant, all of their attention was focused on the two dishes.
Everyone held a pair of chopsticks in their hands, anticipating eagerly for a taste of those delicious dishes.
The Nether King squeezed to the front as he revealed a hint of anticipation on his handsome face. He gripped firmly onto the chopsticks and looked at both Bu Fang's and Wen Renchou's dish. Base on their dishes look, both of them nailed it.
Bu Fang's West Lake Sweet 'n' Sour Fish was as clear as glass, unparalleled in beauty. It was glistering like a crystal as its succulent meat emitted a wondrous fragrance. The sweet and sour sauce had a smell which increased one's appetite.
On the other hand, the Pan-Fried Codfish had a demeanor and aura of royalty. It was perfectly garnished and the fish was fried to perfection. It was as though it was a block of gold.
The Nether King smacked his lips and went on to pick up a portion of Wen Renchou's Pan-Fried Codfish. The fish meat was as tender as ever. The chopstick landed and picked up a small piece of gold-like fish meat from it. There was still steam pouring our from the meat and it looked as bright as ever.
The Nether King placed the fish meat into his mouth.
His brows raised upwards involuntarily as the thick aromatic burst forth in his mouth cavity, like a crashing apocalyptic tsunami, causing him to nod his head furiously. The meat was infused with an oceanic feel and made the Nether King feel that he was instantly transported to the middle of the ocean, going against the wind and enjoying the unending waves that came crashing onto him.
"Delicious!" The Nether King praised as he let out a breath of hot air.
Wen Renchou looked at the self-proclaimed Nether King as if the dish had conquered him. The former then involuntarily lifted his mouth arrogantly into an arc.
Bu Fang was remarkably calm, not showing a hint of panic. He had utterly disregarded Wen Renchou's smug look.
After tasting Wen Renchou's Pan-Fried Codfish, the Nether King then turned toward Bu Fang's West Lake Sweet 'n' Sour Fish.
His chopsticks shot down as he picked up a piece of fish meat.
The richly seasoned sauce looked as if it was a thin thread holding the fish meat back. It boiled incessantly as its overwhelming fragrance came crashing out in all directions.
Once it entered his mouth, the Nether King's eyes burst forth with a luminous glow.