Chapter 23: It's Still the Intensely Aromatic Lees Fish
Translator: OnGoingWhy Editor: mole, Vermillion
"The wine produced by these distillers grains should be good," Ji Chengxue seriously said as his eyes lit up. The aroma of the wine was so rich and mellow that it was comparable to the "Exquisitely Aromatic Intense Flames Wine" from the imperial palace.
As the Lees Fish was being served, everyone within the store turned to look at it. Even the little loli was curiously stretching her neck to see what it looked like, even though she firmly believed that the Lees Fish was not as delicious as the Fish Head Tofu Soup.
"It's beautiful..." Xiao Yanyu softly exclaimed when she saw the glowing Ice Sea fish, that radiated a faint pink glow. Her eyes were instantly attracted by the dish.
Due to the way it was cooked, the skin of the fish was compact and springy. The distillers grains were spilling out from its stomach, emanating aroma and heat. From its mouth, a dense wine aroma was gushing out, making it seem as if the fish was swimming in the ocean.
"Here's your Lees Fish, please enjoy your meal," Bu Fang expressionlessly said.
Ji Chengxue gently smiled as he impatiently picked up the chopsticks. However, even though he was eager to taste it, his movements were still methodical. He used the chopsticks to test the tightness of the fish's skin, and the resulting resistance made him smile.
Only a chef that was able to precisely control the heat would be able to cook the fish so that the skin would have such springiness. If the fish was steamed for too short, the skin would harden and the meat would become coarse. If the fish was steamed for too long, the skin would become sticky and the meat would turn into a syrup state.
With a slight push, the chopsticks pierced through the skin and penetrated the fish; a clear fish oil seeped out, accompanied by a rich fragrance.
He picked up a piece of fish near the gills; it was the most delicious part of the entire fish and had the highest quality. Most adepts at eating fish would choose this part.
Ji Chengxue's eyes lit up as the piece of fish entered his mouth. He felt as if he was not eating fish, but drinking a glass of wine; a wine aroma gushed out of the piece of fish and enveloped his mouth, but it was the fresh and tender piece of fish that was enclosing his taste buds instead.
The fish tasted refreshing and contained a slight coolness; the mixture of hot and cold created a contrasting effect and gave it a surprisingly good taste.
Ji Chengxue closed his eyes as he enjoyed the taste. He nodded as an intoxicated expression appeared on his face. Then he continued to pick up a large piece of fish and put it into his mouth.
"Owner Bu, this isn't an ordinary fish, right? That slight coolness was really vital; it brought the taste of the fish that was already delicious to the next level." Ji Chengxue said as he ate.
The others unconsciously swallowed their salivas are they watched the rapid movements of his chopsticks. Even the loli was staring at the Lees Fish, thinking that it looked really delicious...
"The fish used is the third grade Ice Sea fish from the northern water regions of the Light Wind Empire. The fish itself is extremely cold, but the coldness would reduce significantly after cooking. When combined with the heat from the distillers grains, the hot and cold would mix together and create a contrasting effect." Bu Fang mildly explained to Ji Chengxue, then he returned to the kitchen. The Fish Head Tofu Soup was still cooking; he did not want to ruin the dish.
Ji Chengxue suddenly realized why the taste was familiar. The Ice Sea Fish was a rare spirit beast, and even a prince like him could only rarely taste it. He did not think that he would be able to eat it in a secluded store within the imperial city.
"Everyone, give it a try. This fish is really delicious, and the taste of the distillers grains is extremely mellow as well. This dish is definitely worth the price," Ji Chengxue said with a smile when he noticed that everyone was staring at him.
Xiao Xiaolong unreservedly picked up a piece of fish with his chopsticks and put it into his mouth. On the other hand, Xiao Yanyu was far more reserved; she waited until Xiao Xiaolong was done before she elegantly picked one up herself.
Xiao Xiaolong's eyes widened as he breathed out a mouthful of hot air filled with the aroma of wine. The fish was so delicious that it exceeded his expectations; he thought the mixture of hot and cold caused by the fish and the distillers grains was ingenious.
"Delicious!" Xiao Xiaolong was intoxicated.
The little loli swallowed her saliva and covertly reached out her chopsticks to pick up a piece of fish. However, she was intercepted by a smiling Ji Chengxue, while innocently pointing at the words on the menu.
Ouyang Xiaoyi was immediately enraged. She was only a second grade Battle-Master; she was not allowed to eat the dish!
Xiao Yanyu's image was far better than Xiao Xiaolong's, but her eyes lit up as well and she nodded.
Soon, a piece of Lees Fish was carved up by them. They all had faces filled with enjoyment, but it quickly changed into intoxicated expressions when Bu Fang took out the Fish Head Tofu Soup.
With a different cooking method from the Lees Fish, it let the three of them experience a feast of fish. Even though there were only two dishes, they felt as if it was already the ultimate pinnacle of cooking fish.
Ouyang Xiaoyi was pouting while feeling depressed. It was the first time she felt that her grandfather's insistence that she should practice martial arts was a correct decision. If she had put in more effort and became a third grade Battle-Maniac, then she would have been able to taste the dishes.
"Thank you for your patronage, the total is fifty crystals," Bu Fang expressionlessly said, reporting out their check.
After having their fill, they experienced the ultimate pain. Fifty crystals... That was more than what some lower level cultivators spend in an entire month.
"Owner Bu... your dishes are really expensive." Xiao Xiaolong's mouth was twitching.
"But it's worth the price, isn't it?" Bu Fang simply said as he expressionlessly looked at him.
"Fine, you're the shop owner. Your words make the most sense..." Xiao Xiaolong did not retort. He was only grumbling. As the son of a general, the price was still bearable.
The three of them left. While they were leaving, they tried to bring Ouyang Xiaoyi along with them, but were stopped by Bu Fang.
"Her working hours hasn't ended yet, so she can't leave. She can go home after opening hours is over," Bu Fang simply said.
Xiao Yanyu and the others looked at Bu Fang with an odd expression, but they did not insist and left.
The little loli's face was filled with resentment as she sat on a chair. Her chin was resting on her hands, as if she was contemplating about life.
"Smelly boss, your dishes are really delicious, but why do you need to have a cultivation level restriction? I can't eat anything with my level... Are you trying to make me put in effort and cultivate?" Ouyang Xiaoyi grumbled.
"Good ingredients can be used to produce delicious tastes. The higher the grade of an ingredient, the greater the amount of spirit energy; the taste will also be even more delicious." Bu Fang expressionlessly explained, "However, with a greater amount of spirit energy in the ingredients, a lower leveled cultivator will die if they consume it."
"Hmph! I will properly cultivate when I go back. One day, I will eat all of the dishes in your store," Ouyang Xiaoyi laughing said and then stuck out her tongue at Bu Fang.
"Oh, you're welcome to do that. However, you'll still need to pay for your meal," Bu Fang earnestly said.
Ouyang Xiaoyi was speechless.
After Ji Chengxue and the others left, Xiao Yanyu decided to inform Old General Ouyang about Ouyang Xiaoyi's location after much deliberation.
When Old General Ouyang got the news, he was dumbfounded. "Why would this brat become a waitress in a remote restaurant when she ran away from home?"
"The three of you... Go to that whatever store and bring your sister back! That brat, if I don't teach her a lesson this time, she might one day climb onto the emperor's head to pull his beard!"
Sitting high above, the stern-looking Old General Ouyang ordered the bear-like three siblings below.
"Yes!" The three siblings gave a muffled reply, then turned around and rushed out of the manor.
It was not a trivial matter for the three barbarians of Ouyang to move out together. Quite a number of interested parties were paying attention, but they were speechless when they found out that the the barbarians were only going to pick up their sister from a little restaurant.
Such a high-profile useless action truly tallied with the Ouyang family's style.
The current Bu Fang did not know that three humanoid beasts were fiercely heading his way. And he was just curled up on his chair... basking in the sun.