Little Cooking Saint – 0047 – Sashimi (l)

Little Cooking Saint – 0047 – Sashimi (l)

Chapter 47 Sashimi (l)

Translated by Ultra

Edited by Gumihou

 

This chapter sucked my energy away. I’m all suya suya now…

So many things wrong T_T

I wanna cry, boo hoo hoo…

 

It’s been a while since Shiyu last saw Feng Luo.

He and Meng Luo looked like they’re back in each other’s good graces again. Well, good for them, now please keep your drama to yourselves.

Shiyu did not even bother to go greet them. If the two foghorns decided to honk for no good reason, it would only draw unnecessary attention to herself. She could forget about trying to blend in with the mob.

Since there were too many people jostling to get in via the Divine Tea Mountain’s main gate, Shiyu decided to try her luck elsewhere and found a small side door with fewer people to make her to the foot of the mountain.

As she trudged through a path that looked more like an animal trail, Shiyu noted the very lush trees and bushes. Could it be that the trees here were thicker due to the mountain being shut away most of the year? Shiyu had no way of knowing, but that was not important. Since she had not come for the Divine Tea, she decided to head straight for the Enlightenment Peak.

Shiyu purposely lagged behind and made sure there was no one around before she summoned the Cloud Beast. She climbed onto its soft back and they headed for the Enlightenment Peak. Even if someone spotted the Beast from below, no one would be able to tell that someone was riding on it.

With a spiritual beast mount like the Cloud Beast, Shiyu’s speed definitely surpassed most people. Moreover, since Cloud Beasts were difficult to defeat and yield little in the way of meat, skin or precious items, people were reluctant to expend the effort to attack it. The Cloud Beast flew high in the air, going higher and higher as the ground soared up along the peak. The higher she flew, the colder it became until she could see her own breath puffing out in white vapour. Suddenly, Shiyu spotted a forest of pine trees, like luscious green cones growing on the mountainside and directed the Cloud Beast to land within the pine forest. [1]

“Thank you for your hard work!” Shiyu called, throwing a Cinnabar Fruit at the Cloud Beast who caught it with its gigantic mouth.

As the Cloud Beast settled down to enjoy the fruit of his labours [2], Shiyu glanced around the pine forest. Even with the bright morning sun overhead, the shade of the pines was so dense that there barely a ripple of sunlight touched the grounds. The fallen pine needles formed a thick and bouncy carpet under her feet, obstructing the growth of smaller trees and bushes. The only thing growing under the trees were ferns, mushrooms and other low light tolerant plants and herbs.

It was very quiet here, peace and silence filled the misty air.

Shiyu settled down in search of the Wasabi plant.

She had no idea whether the people here eat Wasabi or not, but she seemed to stumble over a Wasabi plant every other step. Not only that, but she also came across other useful medicinal herbs such as Rose Root [3] and Milk Vetch Root. Plants that typically grow in cold, high altitude areas [4].

What surprised Shiyu most was coming across a Ginseng Fruit Tree. [5]

The tree was easily recognisable by its fruits. That’s right, Shiyu found herself staring up at the legendary Ginseng Fruit Tree right out of a Journey to the West story. The fruits were about the size of her palm, pale green and in the shape of a peacefully sleeping baby…

Shiyu sniffed the air, and then took another look around. The Ginseng Fruit had been described as ‘A sniff will extend your life by 360 years and a bite will extend your life to span 47,000 years’. Considering the number of fruits still hanging on the tree and lack of trampled grass, Shiyu could only conclude that either the Journey to the West report was overly exaggerated or the Ginseng Fruit Tree in this fantasy world was of a different species [6].

Still, the fruits looked harmless enough despite its creepy shape. Shiyu plucked one, noting vaguely that there were no rotten fruits on the ground and concluded that one part of the lore must be true. ‘Unless plucked, the fruits would not fall to the ground.’ Since there was no protest from the creatures loafing on her shoulders, Shiyu took a large bite, her chef’s curiosity bursting to know what these mythical fruits tasted like [7].

As she chewed on the sweet and juicy fruit, Shiyu waited to see if anything would happen to her body. When nothing happened to her Meridians or Spiritual Power, she was a little disappointed. However, there was no denying that the fruits tasted good, and, well, it’s not a bad idea to add more fruits into her diet.

After thinking about it, Shiyu transplanted the entire Ginseng Fruit Tree into her space. She could always return the original tree here once she has a sapling growing in her space. [8]

It was evening when she finally finished exploring the whole pine forest. As she looked into the sky and saw the red-tinted heavens, Shiyu was struck by the urge to watch the sunset. Declining [9] the Cloud Beast’s invitation to climb onto its back, Shiyu decided to hike up the limestone path towards the mountain peak.

On the way up, she skirted around mossy stones and jagged rocks, picking her way over tiny streams that gurgled cheerfully down the mountainside. The twittering of birds and the scent of flowers filled the air. Finally, Shiyu felt at peace, soothed by the sounds of nature, her shoulders weighted down by nothing but the comforting load of her herb basket.

“By the way, are there a lot of this Divine Tea of Enlightenment here? Why are there so many people coming after it?” Shiyu suddenly asked.

Though San Pang and Fat Cat don’t talk about themselves… well, to be honest, neither did she, their triple sided ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ arrangement meant that they were her main source of information whenever she wanted to know more about something in this world.

San Pang curled his lips and said, “I don’t believe that there is any Divine Tea at all on this mountain. As far as I know, the Divine Tea is an Eight Heaven item. There are very few Eighth Heaven plants in this world due to its weak spiritual power. All of those had been claimed by influential families and kept under lock and seal. How could any old Eighth Heaven plants just appear here?”

“You forgot that the Ninth Heaven is not always this way,” Fat Cat suddenly spoke up. “999 years ago there was no such thing as a Divine Tea Mountain. A Human Sage stole some Divine Tea plants from the Upper Realm and transplanted it here under a seal. The restriction seal around the mountain is a Spirit Gather Array with dual functions. First, to prevent Spiritual Power leakage, and second, to prevent other beings from the Upper Realms from taking the plant away. However, this seal will only last another year. The Divine Tea of Enlightenment shall soon be discovered.”

“Why is that?”

San Pang caught on first, “999 years… 1,000 years! It’s this, isn’t it?” He suddenly glanced up at Shiyu and pulled a face. “Why are you still at the beginner’s level? If you are at Condensation Core [10] now it would be perfect. Who knows, you might even be lucky enough to compete for this treasure.”

“What are you going on about now?” Shiyu glared at him, the urge to beat up something smaller and weaker than her was overwhelming. [11]

“It’s better that you not know,” San Pang said loftily. “Otherwise, you’d hate yourself for missing out such an excellent opportunity. Also, don’t bother trying to look for the Divine Tea, that guy has probably hidden himself in the mountains by now. How could you possibly track him down? Ah, now that I think about it since we’re both grown from the ground, we could be considered sons of Mother Nature. Next year, I shall thicken my face and ask that brother of mine for a piece of his leaf. I wonder if he’ll let me have one? If I caught him in a generous mood, I might even be able to ascend to the Eighth Heaven!”

Shiyu felt that understood some the fuss about the Divine Tea. It was probably something great for San Pang to wax on and on about it. However, since neither Cat nor Radish could be coaxed into the actual logistics of finding said Tea, it was better to just forget about it and Cultivate herself to a useful level of strength.

Yes, let’s leave this conversation for later.

As the three companions talked, Shiyu finally reached the top of the peak.

Well, it’s called ‘the peak’, but instead of being jagged or pointy, the peak of this mountain was as flat as a tennis court. As though some crazy xuanhuan character had lopped off the peak with their sword. Dirty snow covered the flat surface having been trampled by the people roaming about either half-heartedly looking for the Divine Tea or enjoying the sunset like Shiyu.

The Imperial Capital lay west of the Divine Tea Mountain, and the glow of the sunset painted its buildings in varying shades of red, yellow and dark shadows. The imperious black walls looked imposing and magnificent as the sun slowly sank into the horizon. Shiyu won’t be forgetting this scene anytime soon.

Though neither San Pang nor Fat Cat believed that Shiyu would be lucky enough to run into the Divine Tea, there was no harm staying another day and two nights there. Collecting plants and exploring the peaceful mountain was pretty fun and tranquil all on its own. On the third morning, she hurried back to the College on her Cloud Beast [2] to get to class before her Instructor did.

As for what they usually do in class, well, it’s mostly meditation. Which could really be done anywhere within or outside the College. The main difference of meditating in class was having an Instructor watch over you like a hawk. Which Shiyu really did not mind too much since the Instructor was nice enough to answer whatever questions she has. There was no need to challenge the school rules yet since she has neither the strength nor authority to do so.

At noon, they were allowed to leave.

Shiyu returned to the Bamboo Villa (Ivy Villa now?) and found no sign of Lin Fan. Having nothing better to do, she took out the Wasabi rhizome to make some Wasabi sauce [12].

Since she had added more than a dozen plants and a whole tree into her space, the land acreage seemed to grow to accommodate the additions. Shiyu chose a little plot of land to plant her Wasabi.

Once her Wasabi sauce was done, Shiyu quickly sliced up a fish. She picked up a thin morsel of fish and dipped a tiny corner of it into her sauce before placing into her mouth. [13] The Wasabi’s pungency hit her first, shooting through her nose shockingly satisfying manner. It was soon followed by the unfathomable sweet taste of fish through her mouth.

“I want some, I want some!” San Pang hopped around her feet, he was not allowed up on the kitchen counter. Not that he wanted to, what with all those sharp edges around…

Shiyu picked up a piece of fish, dipped a corner and fed it to him. As San Pang hummed over the tastiness of the fish, she turned to Fat Cat, “Why don’t you come over and try some?” she invited.

Fat Cat picked his way over to daintily sniff at her work, before turning away, “It’s still not good enough. You need another knife [14]. By the way, here’s a little reminder. You’ve been here for 20 days now. You’ll need to hand over your 10,000 Contribution Point rent soon. Your current balance is at 100 CP, you’re still 9,900 CP away from your goal. If you go on like this, both you and Lin Fan will be evicted soon.”

“… …” Shiyu stared down at the piece of Sashimi she had been holding out hopefully for the cat. “Whether I will be evicted will depend on this.”

 

 

[Gumihou: … T_T … ;へ: …i Дi … (-̩̩̩-̩̩̩-̩̩-̩̩̩_-̩̩̩-̩-̩̩̩-̩̩̩) …]

 

[1] Wrong fact alert! : Shiyu should have been looking for rivers rather than pine forests. Pine forests are for Matsutake mushrooms you know? The ‘Matsu’ in matsutake means ‘pine’. Tsk, tsk.

https://theculturetrip.com/asia/japan/articles/essential-Wasabi-facts-you-need-to-know/

           

Also, Wasabi could not have grown under pine trees because of their excessive leaf shedding. Seriously, Wasabi are very finicky plants, they want really clean and cold water. The pine needles would have polluted any water sources under the trees. Moreover, unless it’s running water, the needles would have absorbed most of the water anyway.

 

[2] Added more details: the Cloud Beast was there, and then it wasn’t. I added a little transitional paragraph. Really, it was there one paragraph and gone the next…

 

[3] Wrong fact alert! : Rose root or rhodiola rosea, has bright yellow flowers and grows naturally in areas that dip below freezing. Prefers full sun and tolerates well-drained soil…

 

Gumihou: … while it might be possible for pine trees to grow in places that dipped below freezing (Christmas pines) we have just established that this is a shady area with pine needles. So. X well-drained soil, X sunlight.

Tsk, tsk

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/rhodiola-rosea#TOC_TITLE_HDR_3

 

[4] Adjusted details: The original translator has written ‘plants typically grow in the alpine area’ for the Wasabi, Rose Root and the other thing, which is… okay, while ‘alpine’ has the word ‘pine’ in it, it does not contain pine trees, okay? It has those scrubby little bushes that looked like cousins of cactuses. In fact, that’s where you’ll find Rose Root.

The Chinese text says, ‘cold, high altitude area’, which is actually technically correct for all three plants, but unless these plants are grown in a climate control herb gardens, you won’t see them growing naturally within 2km of each other.

I have to study plants and trees as a tour guide okay? This kind of misinformation gets tour guides fired!

 

[5] Research galore, oh my gosh! : Ginseng Fruit 人參果

The original translator had translated 人參果 as Mandrake Fruit. Which is not technically wrong, but when Shiyu started talking about plucking actual fruits from trees, I went down the rabbit hole of research since in both fantasy lore and real-life (I still can’t believe this) Mandrakes are low growing plants that looked a lot like dark green lettuce when you look at them from overground.

No matter how my imagination stretches, it can’t translate low growing lettuce into a tree!!

Mandrakes at Oxford garden!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfqMuqruxVg

 

Ginseng Fruit Tree: So, it turns out that there are actual fruits tree in Real Life we called Ginseng Fruit, also known as Pepino Melon and were once found only in Peru… which is kind of far from China, pseudo or not…

 

However, I suspect that author-san is really referencing a fantasy tree right out of Journey to the West. The tree was supposed to only fruit once every 10,000 years, and ‘enlightened people’ would see the fruit in the shape of a baby…

 Follow the link below to watch a small episode of Journey to the West where Ginseng Fruit is featured. It’s all in Chinese by the way, with no subtitles…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbHFUpnCN4Y

 

The baby-shaped fruits kind of looks like the pictures in the link below. Those are green pears by the way, no relationship to ginseng of any kind, or even the Pepino Melon from Peru… I guess they used green pears since Journey to the West described Ginseng Fruit as ‘light green and in the shape of a baby to the enlightened’

https://chinesemythologypodcast.com/2018/07/16/episode-65-baby-ginseng-fruit/

 

 

[6] Added more details: It offends me when characters just described things as though they knew it right off the bat without proper thought process or investigation.

I mean, how do you know: ‘This mandrake fruit was essentially the same kind described in Journey to the West, but it wasn’t as effective as it was in the Journey to the West, where just smelling one would let a person live three hundred and sixty more years, and by eating one a person could increase their lifespan by 47,000 years.’

Before you even touch, sniff or eat those things?

Sure, suspension of disbelief could be at work here, but then:

“This mandrake tree was covered with hanging fruits. It was unknown when they had matured, but they had never fallen. Shi Yu picked one and ate it, noting that it was filled with juice, but that there was no increase in Spirit Power.

 It seemed that they could only be eaten as ordinary fruits,”

… how did not as effective be downgraded to ineffective so quickly? Shiyu, be consistent! Also, say something Fat Cat and Radish Demon! Your master is about to put something weird into her mouth!

 

[7] Added more details: Although author-san seemed to have forgotten their existence, I sure hell haven’t forgotten that Shiyu has not one, but two creatures on her shoulder ready to make comments!

 

[8] Rant: What is this dubious and selfish gardening method!

 

[9] Rant: Where your Cloud Beast? Where your Cloud Beast?! Haiyaaaa. 

 

[10] Condensation Core – the highest stage you could reach on the Ninth Realm, known by Gumihou as ‘Third stage’. This is above Lin Protagonist Fan’s stage by the way, Radish-san is spinning vague dreams in the sky.

 

[11] Adjusted details: Shiyu was having a ‘dumb blonde’ (sorry to all blondes) moment here: What are you guys talking about? Why do I not understand? I was tempted to leave it there considering all the stupid plant things that I had to adjust earlier, but leaving a character OOC is too much for me to bear. So instead of being a dumb blonde, she’s now ‘faking anger to cover lack of knowledge’.

 

[12] Rant: You do not- You can’t-

You do not make wasabi sauce from wasabi!!!

You low class citizen. You proletariat. I don’t care if you call me a petty bourgeois you should not ruin fresh pseudo wasabi by mashing it with a sauce!!! (It’s pseudo wasabi because they grow in the wrong place)

You slice the sashimi.

You arrange it nicely against some julienned radish (where is your radish, huh?!!) and shisho leaves (I know you got some from Spiritual Beast Mountain Range, you made some pseudo sushi with it!!)

And then, you grate the wasabi against a rough surface and make a tasteful tiny mountain with it and place it next to the sashimi!!!! 

Also, where your soy sauce? Where your soy sauce!!

Aaarrrrrggghhhh!!!

 

[13] Rant: Thin fish slice in wasabi sauce… hah… hahaha

Hahaha… haaa….

T_T

 

[14] Rant: Knife? You’re quibbling over knives? Even cheap pieces of junk metal edges are fine tools in the hands of an expert you shitty cat. Why don’t you talk about that shitty ‘wasabi sauce’ huh? I know the secret of wasabi sauce. It’s mashed horseradish, corn starch, Blue Dye 1 and Yellow Dye 5. Go die!

 

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