Chapter 197: Explosive
While a storm of protest whipped up due to the contest, the four beauties couldn’t contain themselves as their laughter echoed into the air.
“A cooking contest? Did you hear that? Honey?” Ling said with a laugh as she wiped a tear from the corner of her eye.
“These guys won’t know what’s going to hit them if it’s a cooking contest.” Lingqi said as she laughed heartily while hugging her stomach.
“For fairness purposes, all contestants please pick a station of your liking. Also, I would like to remind you that any who do not wish to participate will have to win both of the other two events or else they will have no right to challenge Lord Zhou Zhang for ownership of the Blood Coral Cove and whatever other conditions that were also set l.” Lord Long Feng said, prompting many people to scurry to one of the many cooking stations that had been brought out by the Blood Coral Castle’s servants.
“If I compete I'll make a laughingstock of myself, but if I don't then the chances of losing and becoming that brat’s slave will be ever so high…” Nai Fan mumbled after clicking his tongue.
“Idiot, if none of us have any idea how to cook then it's obvious he doesn't have any idea how to do so either.” Xiao Gong said in a loud voice with a snicker as his gaze shifted from Nai Fan and Zhang, neither of whom had picked a station yet.
Upon hearing Xiao Gong’s voice, a smile appeared on Nai Fan’s face as he leaped into the air and landed behind a fully equipped cooking station. Not long after, Zhang stood up from his seat, leaving the warmth that was given off by the beauties and casually walked to one of the many stations.
“Every contestant will be provided with ingredients to cook whatever dish they wish to and will receive a score of one to ten from our panel of randomly selected judges. Contestants are free to use any and all methods at their disposal as long as cultivation techniques.” Lord Long Feng announced as a massive platform that was being lifted by a hundred people could be seen making its way through the castle gates.
Atop this platform were mounds of various fruits, vegetables, nuts, meats, and spices that offered endless possibilities and combinations. From rare treats to everyday ingredients, the abundance of food made everyone’s mouth water.
“You all have an hour to prepare your dishes! The first match begins!” Lord Long Feng said as the massive platform was dropped into the ground and accompanied by a loud rumbling sound.
An instant later all of the various contestants, most of whom had no idea how to cook, raced toward the platform at blinding speeds.
“I may not know a thing when it comes to cooking but obviously, the more delicious looking ingredients will result in a delicious tasting dish!” Nai Fan laughed as he was the first to arrive at the platform.
“Fools, it doesn't matter how great one’s ingredients or cooking skills are, as long as you're the only one to turn in a dish.” Xiao Gong laughed as he arrived beside the massive platform that took the strength of a hundred people to carry and reached out with his hands.
“Even without using my cultivation, a simple task as this is nothing.” Xiao Gong laughed as he proceeded to lift up the platform.
Surprisingly enough, Xiao Gong’s tiny frame began to grow ever so larger. Moments later with a body covered in scales and a body towering fifteen feet above everyone else, Xiao Gong flicked his wrists and flipped the entire platform over.
Soon Xiao Gong’s laughter echoed across the Blood Coral Cove, the few contestants who were atop the platform scrambled to grab whatever ingredients they could, while those nearby, who realized Xiao Gong’s intentions charged in.
In a matter of breaths, the massive platform slammed onto the ground, causing the ground to rumble and shake, while smashing most of the things that had laid on top of it to mush while the audience watched with gaping jaws.
“Cheater!” Ai’s voice could be heard, protesting what Xiao Gong had done.
“Cheating? Fool! When did Lord Long Feng state that I couldn't do what I just did? As long as we do not use our cultivation base, magical treasures of techniques then everything else is fair game. Partially reverting to my true form isn't cheating in anyway.” Xiao Gong laughed as his body began to shrink back into the form of a child.
Only once Xiao Gong had reverted back to the form of a child and began heading back to his station did everyone notice the arm full of ingredients in his arms.
“Who are you calling a fool?! If you have the guts come back here and I'll beat, you to a bloody pulp! Hmph!” Ai’s yelling could be heard before the other beauties managed to calm her down.
“You guys best grab what you can and toss something together.” Zhang laughed toward the other contestants as he arrived beside the flipped over the platform and picked up a few ingredients casually and headed back to his own station after looking toward where the beauties were and winking.
Upon seeing Zhang scavenge what ingredients he could off the ground, the other contestants swarmed and tried to do the same. But due to the scarcity of things left behind after Xiao Gong flipped over the platform, a massive brawl soon broke out.
Instead of cutting vegetables or tenderizing meat, the contestants used their kitchen knives and fists to attack each other in order to secure ingredients.
While the brawl continued to escalate and grow out of proportion, the few people who did manage to obtain enough ingredients to cook up something could be seen busy at work.
“You slow poke, do you even know how to use that knife in your hands?! What's the point of picking out the best ingredients if you can't even properly prepare them!” Lord Cha Chu said as he pointed and laughed at Nai Fan who was having trouble using his kitchen knives.
“Cutting with these punt knives will take forever…” Nai Fan complained about a snort as he flipped his hand and a large heavy looking scimitar fell into his grasp.
With the scimitar now in hand, Nai Fan slapped the table in front of him, sending the dozens of ingredients into the air where they were diced to bits and pieces in an otherworldly display of swordsmanship.
“Look at that scimitar and that superb swordsmanship! I wish I could cut up vegetables as good as you. Then again only an idiot would even consider using a scimitar when cooking.” Lord Chan Chu’s laughter could be heard as it made its way into Nai Fan’s ears, prompting Nai Fan’s face to turn scarlet red while the audience began to snicker.
“This weapon has claimed the lives of hundreds upon hundreds of people, after this contest, I don't mind quenching its thirst with the blood of a few loudmouth scoundrels.” Nai Fan said as he stabbed his scimitar into the ground, prompting the crowd to be instilled in silence.
As the silence ensued and the attempts at cooking continued, a mixture of fragrances soon wafted into the air and into the nostrils of all those presents. While some of these fragrances were mouthwatering while others made people’s stomachs churn in disgust.
“I could only imagine what will happen when those poor judges have to taste those plates of poison.” Ling said as she shook her head while fanning the air in front of her nose with her hand.
“Plates of poison…” Lingqi began to mumble upon hearing Ling’s words as a devious glint appeared in her eyes.
Before long, the beauties could be seen huddled up and whispering to one another while occasionally snickering at the busy contestants.
Without knowing a hint of what the beauties were up to, Zhang could be seen diligently mincing meat, chopping vegetables, and baking bread, with a brimming smile on his face.
“Cooking isn’t all that hard, if you know a few of the basics.” Zhang thought as he squirted a bit of oil onto a hot pan and began frying a meat patty.
“A dash of salt, a hint of pepper and a bunch of other seasonings will make even foulest of things can taste good.” Zhang chuckled as he eyed the other contestants. Of all the people present, it could be said that Zhang was undoubtedly the best and most experienced cook, with his memories of dozens of recipes from his past life and countless nights spent cooking for his beautiful wives, Zhang was brimming with experience in regards to the culinary arts.
Unlike most of the other cultivators participating in the contest, Zhang did not focus all of his attention on cultivating, instead he divided his time up and did various activities with the beauties. From cooking, studying the arts and a wide variety of other activities, Zhang, and the beauties did them all, when they were not cultivating.
“Don’t think you're the only one who knows how to cook! I was a professional chef for twenty years before I poured all of my efforts into cultivating. Compared to me, everyone here is an amateur.” A level ten cultivator laughed as he could be seen holding a large wok over a blazing fire.
“I’ll show you all what it means to be a true chef.” The level ten cultivator continued to say as a mouthwatering aroma began to be emitted from the wok in his hand.
Ignoring the level ten cultivator and with a smile on his face, while a joyful whistling tune was emitting from his mouth, Zhang’s attention was entirely focused on the fiery pan and sizzling meat patty in front of him, leaving him obvious and blind to an unusual event occurring around him.
While everyone's attention was focused on the contest, a small trail of unreadable runes had snaked off of Yuying’s arm and onto the ground where it snaked about and split apart into dozens of directions.
Like silent predators, the trails of runes quickly made their way across the ground unnoticed and in an instant later latched onto their intended prey.
“Return.” Yuying mumbled, prompting her newly enslaved pets to flutter their wings and speed through the air toward her. In a flash, a group consisting of a dozen or so flies and mosquitos assembled on the ground in front of Yuying.
As the squadron of fleas and mosquitos lined up in neat rows, a trail of unnoticeable droplets of blackish colored liquid could be seen dripping onto the ground from Lingqi’s index finger.
In no time at all the squadron of bugs swarmed around the droplets of black liquid before taking off back into the air.
“This won't kill anyone will it?” Yuying whisperer led to Lingqi in a nearly inaudible tone.
“Stomach aches, and explosive you know what, nowhere as deadly as my usual stuff.” Lingqi replied in a soft tone.
While the busy contestants continued to focus all of their attention on completing their dishes for the judges, under the control of Yuying and covered in poison from Lingqi, a squadron of flies and mosquitos roamed about and infected everything they touched.
Although most of the contestants did not notice the flies and mosquitos, full saints like Zhang, Nai Fan and Xiao Gong and most of the lesser saint contestants were, of course, able to with little effort. Despite not knowing about the poison covering the bodies of these insects, most of those who noticed them were quick to dispose of them for sanitary reasons and by doing so preventing their dishes from being laced with poison. Of course, Zhang didn’t need to bother with the flies and mosquitoes since they left him alone.
After moving all over the place, the flies and mosquitos all congregated at the station of the level ten cultivator who had been a chef for twenty years before flying off and disappearing out of sight just as the judging part of the cooking contest began.
“I call this a hamburger, one of man’s most addictive and delicious creations. Simply pick it up and take a bite.” Zhang said with a grin as he presented the three judges that arrived at his station with perfectly cooked and seasoned ground beef clamped in between fresh vegetables and two sesame buns.
Needless to say, this was the first time any of these judges or had heard of the term, hamburger, but without much questioning, they quickly picked the hamburgers and bit into the juicy meat patties.
“Delicious…” The three judges mumbled before giving Zhang perfect marks and moving on to the next station where they were greeted by a level nine cultivator who presented them with a plate of charred bits that he referred to as fried pork chops.
Although somewhat reluctantly to do so, the judges tasted the supposedly fried pork chops and to their surprise, they found themselves at the mercy of Lingqi’s poison. Moments after ingesting the charred bits, the three judges instantly ran off to the nearest outhouse and were replaced by a new panel of judges.
Surprisingly enough the next set of judges were soon met with the same fate as the first set of judges and also charged to the nearest outhouse while hugging their stomachs.
After witnessing what had happened to the previous judges, the new judges arrived at Nai Fan’s station where presented to them three plates of sunny side up eggs with a side of rice and boiled vegetables.
“It isn’t much but it’s food.” Nai Fan muttered in a grumpy voice.
“It’s kind of bland but it's edible and no one has been sent to the outhouse.” One of the judges said with a smile as he and the other judges proceeded to give Nai Fan ninety out of a hundred possible points which caused a slight grin to appear on Nai Fan’s face.