"The famed entrance isn't at the bottom of this lake? Have we all been fooled?"
One of the experts emitted a terrifying pressure, causing those around him to grow silent.
This man was a Divine Soul Realm expert with an eight-step soul ladder, the strongest of the lot. Around him, no one dared to make any comments, remaining quiet.
However, many of them were dumbfounded. This was where the pillar of light originated from, yet the entrance was nowhere to be found.
Where could the entrance be?
The crowd stared at each other awkwardly. These experts each came from their respective Holy Lands, and there were also some that came from other major powers. The news that the Valley of Gluttony's inheritance was open had already spread across the entire Hidden Dragon Continent, so countless major powers had sent their powerful individuals here on a quest to get that inheritance.
Mu Cheng and Liu Jiali stood on a tree branch, frowning suspiciously. Looking into each others' eyes, all they could see was shock.
"What if the inheritance entrance was there?" Mu Cheng suggested, as though something had come up in her mind. Her enchanting smile revealed a slight trace of agitation.
Liu Jiali's emotionless face also unveiled a grave look as he nodded slightly.
Both of them descended from the tree. Unnoticed, they dashed away, disappearing into the distance.
Road of Gluttony's pathway
Wenren Shang swigged a mouthful of wine from a bamboo flask, the thick alcoholic fragrance diffusing out incessantly.
"The entrance to the inheritance... No one would have thought that this dull-looking road was the entrance to the Valley of Gluttony's inheritance all along." Wenren Shang gulped down another mouthful of alcohol and sauntered forward, making his way into the entrance.
Not long after, a mysterious figure slowly walked over.
The figure removed his clothes, revealing a pearl-white chest. His eyes beamed as he looked at the glowing spot on the star compass in his hands.
"I've finally found it after looking for more than half a day. This valley is huge. It even caused this prince to lose his way..."
Mo Liuji rubbed his nose, his mouth twitching it he revealed a grin. He then began to stride toward the entrance.
A finger steadily flicked upon Yan Yu's forehead.
Yan Yu instantly felt as though his head was about the burst open, instinctively staggering backward.
The Nether King didn't stop after that, he retracted his finger and gave out another flick. This continued more than ten times, causing Yan Yu to feel as if he had become mentally retarded.
The Nether King then retracted his finger one last time, giving Yan Yu a final flick.
Yan Yu's body was flung away, landing on the ground. He laid there motionless, profusely coughing out blood. His face was devoid of any expression.
A lump as thick and big as a bun appeared on his forehead. He was as good as dead, having nothing to live for.
Alas, only he was capable of coughing out blood from being flicked on the forehead...
The Nether King swung his wrist, grinning. To be able to survive his constant flicking, this brat's forehead must've been pretty solid.
He felt somewhat regretful for failing to satisfy this young man's peculiar fetish.
From a distance, the golden gates of the Gluttony God's Palace widened.
Bu Fang exited the palace gracefully, as though nothing had befallen him. He donned the Vermilion Robe, a bandage wrapped around his right arm.
The Nether King spotted Bu Fang the moment he appeared. The former's eyes lit, appearing in front of Bu Fang in a single step.
Whitey's eyes glowed as it also made its way toward Bu Fang. The puppet looked a whole lot more tranquil, devoid of any savagery and violence it had previously.
"Old Bu..." Nether King Er Ha mumbled, looking as though he wanted to say something.
However, Bu Fang raised his hands and stopped the Nether King.
Bu Fang turned his gaze towards the distant Yu Yan and Chu Changsheng, who was still restrained by lightning. He stared on, expressionless. Sweeping up his sleeves, Bu Fang made his way toward the next remote hall of the Gluttony God's Palace.
Bu Fang pushed open the gates and stepped into the palace. Soon after, the palace's gates closed shut.
Nether King Er Ha and Whitey stared awkwardly at each other, clueless about what Bu Fang was planning to do.
After a long wait, Bu Fang slowly exited from the Recipe Hall and made his way to the next one.
Just as Bu Fang had suspected, going through all these halls was fundamental in obtaining the inheritance. However, Xiao Ya was of the Valley Master's bloodline, so she had the privilege to directly bypass all these foundations.
Even though it had been somewhat a hassle, Bu Fang didn't mind at all. He had much to gain passing through all these different halls.
For example, he had acquired the spirits of several famous knives from the Knife Skill Hall, of which he had fed to his Dragon Bone Kitchen Knife. This enabled Bu Fang to further enhance his connection with the Dragon Bone Kitchen Knife.
Bu Fang even had a vague feeling that he should be able to proceed with his advancement towards the Divine Soul Realm...
Regardless, Bu Fang had given up on that thought after a series of considerations. His instincts were telling him that the time was not right yet, and that he should wait a while longer.
Hall after hall, Bu Fang unceasingly cleared every trial and tribulation he faced. He had attained the famous knives from the Knife Skill Hall and obtained the world-renowned dish menu from the Recipe Hall.
After entering all five halls, Bu Fang felt as though he had been slightly enlightened as a whole.
At least he had still gotten a number of perks.
Just as Bu Fang completed his trial, an entrance-like structure suddenly appeared in the middle of the palace. The entrance was a whirling hole that contained a series of stairs, extending deep down into the palace.
Bu Fang peered toward the Nether King, then continued to walk as he disappeared into the dark abyss within the swirling stairs.
The Nether King contemplated for a while as Bu Fang's figure slowly disappeared. For the sake of his Spicy Strips, he gritted his teeth and followed along.
The hole had been sealed up once again.
Only Saintess Zi Yun, Whitey, Chu Changsheng, who was howling miserably, and the retarded Yan Yu were left in the palace.
A considerable amount of footsteps were heard nearing as a crowd arrived towards the palace.
Wenren Shang sipped his wine as he wobbled in.
Behind him stood the robust and bare-chested Mo Liuji.
Soon after, Mu Cheng and Liu Jiali also arrived at the scene.
Trembling, they had chills down their spines the moment they saw the golden palace standing before them.
Who would have thought... that the inheritance had always been within the Road of Gluttony?
All of them had eyes gleaming with unbridled greed. Without a tinge of hesitation, they charged into the palace.
However, they soon emerged, their faces revealing a mix of melancholy and rage.
The trials within the palaces could no longer be attempted!
Only ruins of decimated kitchen knives were seen as they entered the Knife Skill Hall. Similarly, only remains of the godly recipe were strewn all around the place when they entered the Recipe Hall.
Mu Cheng and the others were enraged.
After all the toil they went through to pinpoint the location of the inheritance, they were not even given the chance to try and attain it.
Who the hell did this?
Mu Cheng and the others were bubbling with resentment!
"Big Brother, you came so late!"
Bu Fang descended down the spiraling stairs. As his foot landed on the dark floor of the basement, Xiao Ya's voice resonated throughout the area.
"Xiao Ya had already completed retrieving her inheritance..." Xiao Ya's pouting voice once again echoed throughout the room.
In the next moment, a flash obscured Bu Fang's vision as rays of light ascended from the ground, radiating with dazzling brilliance!
The entire basement had become completely illuminated!
Bu Fang took a breath as he took in his surroundings. He had realized that this had been an empty room all along. Terraced steps came into view, and on each step stood two hearths. A masked figure standing beside it.
There were nine steps in total. On the ninth step, Xiao Ya and Flowery were sitting atop a chair as they swung their white and chubby legs about.
Xiao Ya initially didn't have anything above her brows. However, there was now a green gem embedded firmly into the center of her forehead. Subtle waves of energy rippled out from the gem.
Was this green gem the inheritance that Xiao Ya had attained?
"Hmph. That thing is called a Memory Inheritance Crystal, and the so-called inheritance is all hidden within the gem. As the little girl grows older, the inheritance within the gem will dissolve and merge itself into her mind, perfectly blending together with her." Nether King Er Ha fondled his chin as he explained to Bu Fang.
He was still the Nether King, and it was expected of him to have such knowledge.
"However, it is still a mystery to us whether or not this Inheritance Crystal will be a blessing or curse for that little girl... Possession of such power is a double-edged sword," said Nether King Er Ha. He then smacked his lips before adding, "Owner Bu, give His Highness three Spicy Strips, and I will keep this girl under my protection for a day. What do you say?"
He crept to Bu Fang's side as he suggested that.
Bu Fang gave him a sidelong glance as he raised his black-and-white bandaged arm, pointing at Flowery. " Look at the horned girl beside her..."
The Nether King was astonished as he glanced over. He then immediately inhaled a mouthful of cold air and commented, "Seven-colored Sky Devouring Python? Oh my god!"
"With that brat here, do you still want your Spicy Strips?" Bu Fang chuckled.
"You stupid kid... Naughty! Let's not mention that this girl has still not matured. Even if she had grown up, His Highness could still fight one on one." The Nether King snarled while his nostrils expanded considerably.
Bu Fang pursed his lips and paid no heed to the Nether King. He took a step forward and made his way toward the terraced steps.
As he took the first step up, Bu Fang instantly felt a gush of giddiness tackling his mind.
The next moment, his surroundings had vanished like a mirage. The Nether King had vanished as well, along with Xiao Ya and Flowery.
In front of him, only the empty space and the two hearths remained. Above them, a metal-masked figure stood, scrutinizing him carefully and coldly.
What's going on?
Bu Fang trembled as he frowned.
"If you want this Valley Master's inheritance, you will have to prove your worth and talent on the Nine Steps of Culinary Arts. On each step, there will be a competition pertaining to a single dish. You will have to emerge victorious throughout. Only then will you be qualified to receive this Valley Master's inheritance..."
The deafening voice echoed from the heavens as a vague gargantuan figure appeared above.
Bu Fang knitted his brows into a frown and stared coldly at the towering figure. He then let out a soft sigh.
As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words, and Bu Fang preferred using his actions to speak.
A greenish smoke engulfed his arms as the Dragon Bone Kitchen Knife appeared in his grip.
A profound yet illuminating glow suddenly burst forth with awe and radiance from the masked man's eyes, sending a dazzling aura gushing forth into the heavens!
Meanwhile, the Nether King himself was met with a similar situation.
However, instead of remaining expressionless like Bu Fang, the Nether King ran his fingers through his silky black hair as he let out a peal of crazed laughter.
It was finally time for this king to show his true skills!