In a deep gorge that looked as if it was slashed open by terrifying sword energy, a solemn, magnificent, fierce, and tall palace stood.
That palace had distinctive edges and corners, with many cold iron poles jutting up into the sky like killing swords. Those poles were linked together by cold and heavy iron chains.
It was the Nether King Palace. The palace was situated in a corner of the Netherworld, where it was so isolated that you could net sparrows at the door.
The massive metal doors of the great hall were pushed open. Slowly, with the squeaking of the heavy doors, the cold but clear light flooded, illuminating dots on the ground that looked like broken gold.
Old Tie had white hair, but he looked a little childish. He was carrying a tray with washed, fresh spirit fruits, carefully entering the palace. He slowly walked to the high throne, where an imposing figure sat.
"Nether King, Your Highness... I serve you food," Old Tie respectfully said as he brought the spirit fruits before the Nether King, whose back was faced toward him.
Since he had returned, the Nether King was always upset. It made Old Tie worried, and he had tried many things to cheer him up.
Only the two of them, Old Tie and the Nether King, lived in this spacious Nether King Palace. Being the closest servant of the king, he must shoulder the responsibility to make him happy.
Old Tie had called for a while, but the Nether King didn't answer him. It made Old Tie's heart race.
"Nether King, Your Highness?" Old Tie called one more time, but still, the Nether King remained silent.
Old Tie was worried. He lifted his head and carried the tray of spirit fruits, stomping toward the high throne.
All of a sudden, a bright light flashed.
Old Tie paled. His jaw dropped as he clutched his face, letting go of the tray he was holding. The spirit fruits fell and rolled on the ground.
"My King... Where's he?!" Old Tie was so bewildered.
Instead of the Nether King, a black-armored iron puppet was sitting on the throne. It got a smiley face as its head was shaking continuously.
Looking at that ridiculous smiley face, Old Tie looked as though he got constipation. At that moment, he knew that His Highness, the Nether King, had run away again!
Endless Sea Territory, Hidden Dragon Continent
An enormous whirlpool appeared and soared up into the sky like a dragon. Shortly, in the middle of the water dragon, the energy of some array diffused.
The water dragon exploded, revealing a teleportation array. A figure was crouching on the array with his butt facing the sky. His face looked as if he didn't want to continue this life anymore.
This man was Nether King Er Ha, who had just sneaked out of the Nether King Palace.
At this moment, Er Ha, with his butt up high, got a bony face with two dark circles under his eyes. He didn't have much flesh on his face as his cheeks shrank.
Turning around, the Nether King sat up from the teleportation array. He scratched his head, exhaling gently. He didn't look as if he got high spirits at all.
"Spicy Strips... I need Spicy Strips..." he mumbled, his eyes blurred. Then, he got up and stepped out of the array.
As soon as he got out of the array, he fell from the dozen-meter-high array in the sky.
Boom! Splash! Splash!
The strong wind came, blowing the Nether King's hair continually.
"Without Spicy Strips... I can't even walk..." While falling, the Nether King sighed and moaned.
All of a sudden, a bestial roaring suddenly echoed. The sea surged instantly, and a dark shadow appeared right at the spot where the Nether King had just fallen.
Then, a terrifying marine spirit beast arose from the sea surface. It opened its giant mouth, showcasing rows of sharp teeth. It was waiting for the Nether King to fall into its mouth.
It looked so hopeful.
On the other hand, the Nether King, with black circles under his eyes, looked serious. He opened his eyes a little bit, rose one hand, and patted.
After a while...
The Nether King yawned, sitting cross-legged on the back of the marine spirit beast. The latter's face was swollen, a result of the slap he had just given it earlier. The seawater splashed behind the beast as it was swimming fast away.
"My dear, delicious Spicy Strips, your handsome Nether King, His Highness, is here." The Nether King smacked his lips. Looking at the Endless Sea Territory, he became excited.
Surf the wind and cross the sea... to meet Spicy Strips.
Except for the Nether King, no one in their right mind would do that.
Valley of Gluttony, Hidden Dragon Royal Court
In the spacious square of the Glutton God's Building, two stove stations were completely installed. The cooking ingredients were arranged by the stoves for the two chefs.
Wenren Chou got a marine spirit beast fish that looked like a wild buffalo. Since their cooking ingredients had the same level, what was about to be tested was their own cooking skills.
As for Bu Fang, he had chosen a normal size fish. However, from its look, don't think that it was just a normal fish. Actually, this fish was the cruel overlord of an entire sea region.
It was the Thunderbolt Roaming Fish in the sea. While swimming around, it would release lightning bolts, which was strong enough to electrocute a normal spirit beast.
And this tough cooking ingredient was the one Bu Fang had chosen.
The Valley of Gluttony was the holy land of chefs. Although it was situated in the central land of the continent right at the border of the Hidden Dragon Royal Court, besides being self-sufficient, it could buy a lot of cooking ingredients from the sea territories. Those fresh marine spirit beasts were purchased just like that.
After paying attention to the ingredients, people began to anticipate the cooking battle between the two.
Actually, many people knew Wenren Chou. He was Chu Changsheng's student, and he was really upset when he got defeated by a chef outside the valley. But today, unexpectedly, he showed up in the arena again. Moreover, some understood that it was a battle between the two resentful opponents.
Bu Fang was the chef who had defeated Wenren Chou in the previous battle. Today, Wenren Chou challenged Bu Fang to wash away the disgrace he got.
What a touching story that could motivate people!
While they were watching Wenren Chou prepare the marine spirit beast, they didn't know why they suddenly felt excited.
By the side of the arena were five seats. Chu Changsheng and the Sixth Elder sat there together with the three chefs that topped the Tablet of Gluttony, Yan Yu, Mu Cheng, and Liu Jiali. Since they were the top three chefs, they were qualified to take such a high seat.
They looked at Bu Fang with ridicule in their eyes. To them, he was an arrogant kid who dared to challenge the top ten chefs of the Tablet of Gluttony, so naturally, they didn't have any good feeling for him. Anyway, it wasn't bad to be in the judging panel.
Except for them, the others stood around the arena to watch the battle between Bu Fang and Wenren Chou.
Wenren Chou had survived the horrible experiences on the Road of Gluttony, and it was evident that his personality had changed a lot. However, no one doubted that his cooking skills had grown greatly.
He grabbed the buffalo-like marine spirit beast and pulled, the muscles on his arm bulging as he did so.
The giant marine spirit beast was pounded on the cutting board. Bubbles burst from the mouth of the spirit beast-it was still breathing!
Wenren Chou squinted. His aura became extremely dangerous in just a blink of an eye.
Swish! Swish! Swish!
White light continually bloomed in his hands. The thin and long Snake Chopper slithered like a snake in his hand.
Wenren Chou was good at cooking fish dishes. It had never changed. Thus, even though he had experienced a lot in the Road of Gluttony, his forte didn't change.
One of his hands gently checked the massive marine spirit beast. All of a sudden, Wenren Chou's pupils shrank, and the corners of his mouth rose.
The kitchen knife flew and dance, stabbing into the beast's flesh in just a wink.
The spirit fish wiggled, patting its tail.
This brutal method to process the fish made the audience outside cringe and grimace.
Too violent! Too bloody!
He didn't care about the completeness of the cooking ingredient as his moves seemed to kill the fish!
With a loud thud, the fish's head fell to the ground. While the knife light moved back and forth, the entire fish skeleton was gouged out of its flesh.
Blood dripped, flowed, and spilled everywhere.
He then smashed the skeleton, using a heavy stone to crush it into powder. That violent image terrified people.
Meanwhile, Bu Fang was calm as he was gently and elegantly preparing his fish. His vermillion robe billowed, giving people an elegant and relaxing feeling. His relaxing manner completely contrasted with Wenren Chou's brutal moves.
The gory kitchen knife flew from Wenren Chou's hand. Then, he grabbed it and began to cut the fish flesh that was already fragmented. After that, the fish's fillets were removed crudely.
Some people narrowed their eyes as they watched Wenren Chou's moves. They figured out that each slash of Wenren Chou had the same angle that produced fillets with the same thickness.
The length of the fillets was precisely the same!
This knife skill made Ouyang Chenfeng and the others took a breath of cold air.
After Wenren Chou had walked out of the Road of Gluttony, he wasn't the second-grade Chef Wenren Chou anymore. Whether it was his knife skill or aura, it wasn't just ordinary.
The kitchen knife was stabbed into the cutting board. Wenren Chou held the fish fillets with both hands as blood splashed everywhere. Then, he forcefully put the fillets in water to clean them.
On the other side, the massive pan with oil had been placed on the stove. Wenren Chou took off his chef robe, revealing his torso with many scars.
When the oil in the pan was boiling, he smeared the fillets he had just washed with the fishbone powder and threw them into the pan.
Boiling oil splashed. This brutal but somewhat violently beautiful cooking show by Wenren Chou had startled many people.
Sizzle! Sizzle! Sizzle!
The fillets bubbled and curved in the oil pan. Shortly after, a strange aroma slowly permeated from it, lingering around the square.
It was the smell of fishbones... Many people frowned.
Right then, they gawked. A big ladle dove into the oil pan, fishing out the fillets.
Wenren Chou grinned, setting up another wok.
Sizzle! Sizzle! Sizzle!
He added oil, chili, and pieces of spirit herbs. Once that was done, he began to stir-fry.
A fragrance that made people's nostrils numb expanded. Many people choked, and they couldn't help but sneeze!
Wenren Chou stared at Bu Fang, licking his lips. He knocked his ladle to get rid of the oil from the fish. Then, he poured the fried fillets with bone powder into the wok.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
He shook the wok as the flames grew high. His mental force expanded, and the flames came swaggering, turning into a strong roaring beast.
He closed the wok. After the flame disappeared, an aroma attacked people's noses.
Wenren Chou used a spatula and wielded forcefully. Right after that, the golden fish fillets in the wok were sent to the air.
His hand pulled a plate, which he had prepared earlier, to catch the fillets. They fell onto the plate, bouncing as the oil on them was still sizzling.
Hot steam rose and rolled.
The kitchen knife rose, swaying above the round plate. Shortly, Wenren Chou took a step back, and his knife spun as he put it away.
His dish... was finished!
The cooking show that was filled with the beauty of violence dazed many people, and they liked it!
Wenren Chou lifted his head, grinning. He looked at Bu Fang with wild eyes.
Bu Fang was unfazed. He was using a white cloth to wipe the rim of the porcelain dish that carried his hot and steaming dish. After a while, he lifted his head and exhaled.
Wenren Chou glanced at Bu Fang's dish, his grin growing wider. He licked his lips and shouted, "This time, you will fail!"
Bu Fang was surprised. He untied the velvet rope he used to tie up his hair, shaking his head. Then, in a calm voice, he replied, "Don't talk nonsense. I'm in a hurry."