The spirit boat crossed the sky. While passing Illusory Spirit Swamp, it stopped.
Bu Fang stood on the spirit boat, craning his neck to look at the immense, uncountable crystals underneath, with a skeptical look in his eyes.
This place... seemed to be the serpentmen tribe's territory.
One of his chef apprentices, Yu Fu, was a member of the serpentmen tribe. The last time he saw her, she was staying in the capital of the serpentmen tribe.
As they were heading toward the Celestial Arcanum Sect, they had to cross the Illusory Spirit Swamp. Thus, Bu Fang had a chance to visit the serpentmen tribe and his chef apprentice.
Actually, in Fang Fang Little's Store, Bu Fang wasn't expecting Yu Fu's culinary skills to improve by leaps and bounds.
Anyway, it wasn't easy to make progress in culinary arts. Although he had taught Xiao Xiaolong all the techniques he could, Xiao Xiaolong still had to practice by himself.
It seemed as though Yu Fu was the candidate for the next Serpentmen Sovereign. She definitely had many things to do every day, so it wouldn't be easy for her to improve her cooking skills.
The spirit boat hovered lower in the sky, and a blast of wind swept through the area. It hovered right above the Illusory Spirit Swamp.
Inside the spirit boat, Ni Yan leaned on her side, gently snoring. As time flew, the length of this woman's slumber had been increasing, which wasn't good news for them.
The time she slept signified the time she required to suppress the mental energy in her head.
Perhaps one day, this woman would fall into eternal slumber.
Anyway, within this short period of time, there should be no problems with her.
No matter how long she slept, Ni Yan would wake up once in a while to devour a full meal. Bu Fang would always cook a gigantic spirit beast to fill Ni Yan's stomach.
Every time after eating, Ni Yan would be in high spirits.
Stepping onto the soft swamp, which gave them a soft and pleasant feeling under their feet, they managed to feel a slight warmth transmitting through their legs. It was a warmth that made them feel comfortable.
Perhaps because of the topography, the spirit energy in his area was a little thicker than in the Light Wind Empire.
The spirit energy in the Light Wind Empire was really weak...
Or, it could be said that the entire Southern Border Land had abnormally weak spirit energy.
Bu Fang walked and saw the serpentmen tribe in the far distance.
This place seemed to be more peaceful. Compared to the time when the Light Wind Empire was invaded by the demon scorpion race, this place was much safer.
Perhaps it was because the serpentmen tribe had so many experts. Also, it might be because the demon scorpion race didn't possess many experts in the Illusory Spirit Swamp.
Now, the serpentmen tribe's defense was much better than before. At least they had a barrier running through the street to conceal things that were going on in private.
Since Bu Fang and Ni Yan looked like humans, they were subjected to much scrutiny before they were allowed to enter the serpentmen tribe's territory.
The territory looked much better than before. Shops selling weapons were everywhere along the street.
Compared to the number of weapon shops, there were many more restaurants!
However, the restaurants of the serpentmen tribe didn't have luxurious interior decor. Instead, there were shabby tables placed in a small room.
Bu Fang and Ni Yan entered a restaurant, and out of curiosity, they ordered some dishes. They took the chance to rest.
Of course, Bu Fang wouldn't order the plain liquor in this restaurant. He had better wine.
Picking up the lid of a sealed wine jar, the smell of the liquor permeated the restaurant. Many serpentmen started to drool...
It smelled so good... This liquor smelled so good...
However, no matter how fragrant it was, they couldn't drink it since Bu Fang wouldn't give them any.
It was the Frost Blaze Path-Understanding Brew, which was extremely precious to him.
After they had taken two sips, Bu Fang carefully put the jar back. The fragrance that had flooded the restaurant disappeared.
The diners around them felt a little regretful.
Some wanted to ask Bu Fang about the wine. However, looking at Bu Fang's emotionless face, they felt as though none of them should talk to him at all. In the end, they gave up on that thought.
As the food was served, Bu Fang and Ni Yan felt as though it wasn't too bad. Of course, it couldn't be compared to Bu Fang's dishes.
However, when the first dish was served, Bu Fang was bewildered.
The reason was because Bu Fang used to cook this dish...
It was the first fish dish he had cooked in this serpentmen tribe, where he used a unique fat fish from the tribe.
Although the cooking procedure looked different and the cooking skills weren't really smooth, Bu Fang could still recognize that it was a roast fish.
It actually surprised Bu Fang.
When he cooked the roast fish, he didn't plan for it to become famous or anything. He didn't expect that the serpentmen would learn his dish.
Those serpentmen really had talent.
The fervor the serpentmen tribe had for food now was much better than the first time he visited this place.
Bu Fang grabbed his chopsticks and began to taste the fish.
Tearing apart the fish skin, the white and soft meat was revealed. This fat fish's meat was especially excellent, and it had surprisingly good taste.
At that time, Bu Fang liked this fat fish, which resulted in him roasting it.
Putting a piece of fish meat into his mouth, Bu Fang frowned before his face slowly relaxed.
Having just one piece, he dropped his chopsticks.
At Bu Fang's current cooking level, he had a strict taste for food.
Actually, the roast fish was good. He could tell from how crowded the restaurant was. However, Bu Fang still noticed a difference.
It was all about heat control and the mix between ingredients, and both aspects were not up to par.
Bu Fang didn't have high expectations, however. After all, they only recently learned this dish from him, so it was normal that they couldn't practice how to cook until it was flawless.
As such, Bu Fang didn't eat anymore. He simply started enjoying his wine.
However, Ni Yan enjoyed it a lot. She didn't refuse any dish placed in front of her. With her stomach capacity now, she could even devour an entire corner of the sky.
Bu Fang didn't expect that when she and the Heavenly Star Catcher Disk fused together, she would turn into a super glutton.
Was it because the Heavenly Star Catcher Disk was also something with innate gluttony?
He couldn't exactly tell.
"Did you hear that? The Light Wind Empire has completely been invaded by demons... Oh my, those poor people in the Light Wind Empire were eaten alive!"
"Yeah, these days, the world isn't at peace at all. Lucky for us, our new Sovereign is smart and brave! She gathered all the serpentmen tribe to fight against the demons... We even managed to defeat them several times!"
"Speaking of that, our Sovereign is really wise. Anyway, besides the invasion of the demons, there are more strange things to tell. Do you know the big crystal mine around three hundred miles away? We've discovered it and exploited the crystals, but suddenly, it just caved in... There's a big hole around ten miles in diameter! So many experts of our tribe died there."
It was really lively in the restaurant as many serpentmen were chatting while waiting for their good food.
Bu Fang's mental energy was really strong, so it managed to help him gather information from all around.
The thing that had caught his attention the most was the crystal mine incident...
Bu Fang knew that crystal mine because it was where he got the Crystal Essence Purple Marrow, which was in his system dimensional bag! That big crystal mine didn't have anything strange at that time... Why would it cave in all of a sudden?
However, it was magical that Shrimpy managed to appear in the past. Except for that, there was nothing else interesting.
Why would something happen to it?
The group of serpentmen talked about many things. However, they didn't mention why it collapsed or what was down there.
Thus, Bu Fang didn't want to waste more time here.
Ni Yan finished the roast fish hurriedly. This woman was nibbling on the fish bones as if she was a hungry ghost that reincarnated into this world.
Bu Fang glanced at her, and eventually, he pulled her out of the restaurant. They continued to head to the Serpentmen City.
Bu Fang pulled Ni Yan as he strolled around the street. As he was releasing his mental energy, no one could stop him.
The big city looked more majestic and imposing than before. Also, it had so many restaurants, which surprised Bu Fang.
After Bu Fang had registered his name, he walked to the Serpentmen Palace.
No one stopped him.
Yu Fu, the current Sovereign of this generation, had ordered her guards to make way for Bu Fang when she heard his name. It made Bu Fang's journey extremely smooth.
As soon as he got into the hall, everybody laid their eyes on him.
Those who stared at him were the elders from the serpentmen tribe. They studied him with serious looks on their faces.
Only one of them had excitement flashing in her eyes, and that was Yu Fu, the Serpentmen Sovereign.
Yu Fu was really happy, and her face was full of smiles. Her snake tail waved around as she made her way down from her throne. She went straight for Bu Fang.
Bu Fang stood with his hands clasped together, looking at Yu Fu.
The innocent and naive little snake girl was now the great Serpentmen Sovereign. She looked serious, which was really different from the past.
Yu Fu and Bu Fang talked a lot. After not seeing each other for such a long time, Yu Fu couldn't control herself and spoke nonstop.
She told Bu Fang that after he had left, she was still very persistent in practicing her culinary skills. Although she was the supreme Sovereign, she still spent a lot of time practicing cooking. She loved cooking, and she had promised Bu Fang that she wouldn't stop.
Yu Fu's persistence had surprised Bu Fang, and his gaze on her became softer.
This serpentwoman didn't change a bit.
Finally, Bu Fang wanted to test Yu Fu's cooking skills, making Yu Fu excited while she prepared a ton of food.
Some of the dishes she prepared were taught by Bu Fang. As for the other dishes, she learned them herself.
One of them was the roast fish that she had sneakily learned from Bu Fang.
Yu Fu was really astonished by that dish, which caused her to spend a lot of time researching it.
Moreover, this dish was very popular in Serpentmen City.
Compared to the roast fish they had in the restaurant, Yu Fu's roast fish was more delicious. Her heat control and seasoning were much better compared to before. Also, she spent a lot of time researching the garnish for her dish.
The taste was really good, so Bu Fang gave her a slight nod of approval and satisfaction.
As for Ni Yan, she had another full meal. All the fish went into her stomach.
Talking for a while, Bu Fang suddenly remembered the mine crystal thing he had overheard in the restaurant. He eventually cleared his doubts by asking Yu Fu.
However, he didn't expect the entire atmosphere to change suddenly once he brought up the topic.
"Owner Bu, you don't know about it, but that big crystal mine has been a taboo topic in our tribe since at least two seniors in our tribe died there..." Yu Fu wore a heavy face as she said this, sighing.
Two seniors... Bu Fang frowned. He was becoming more and more curious.
"Pitch-black, bottomless, and more importantly... it smells like food if you approach it." Yu Fu knitted her brows, describing the situation to Bu Fang.
Bu Fang was bewildered, his face baffled. There was a food aroma coming from the big crystal mine?!
How could it be? Was someone cooking in there?
Yu Fu recognized Bu Fang's doubt. She took a deep breath before she replied, "Yeah, there is the fragrance of food coming from it. However, only specific areas of the mine have the aroma. When you step out, you can't catch even a whiff."
"That food aroma is poisonous... It will shake people's minds. I used to approach the big crystal mine to smell the aroma, and it made me sick for three days. I can't eat nor sleep. It's like my soul left me!"
Bu Fang frowned. Was it really the aroma of food?
What kind of aroma would produce such effects?
Bu Fang thought about it for a moment. Even with his current skills, he couldn't cook any dish with such a mesmerizingly intoxicating fragrance.
Bu Fang couldn't help but curl up the corners of his mouth. He really wanted to check the mine where the aroma was coming from.
While they were talking, a flustered serpentman ran into the hall and started screaming in fright.
"Your Highness, not good! The sea clan from the Endless Sea is marching to the big crystal mine!"