Chapter 50 Sashimi (Fin)
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Gumihou
She loitered for quite a while before Lin Fan and Xue Qingge finally came out, looking all very buddy-buddy together.
“Have you picked out what you want?” asked Lin Fan.
“I’ve already gotten it,” said Shiyu, “what are you going to do now? Go home or help out our Elder Martial Sister Xue?”
“I’ll be returning home.”
With that, Lin Fan left the side of the pretty Snow Sister and planted himself decisively beside Shiyu. He turned to formally take his leave from Xue Qingge.
Xue Qingge’s expression did not change as she exchanged the formal words for farewell, but added, “It will be my birthday in three days. Why don’t you bring your friend over?”
Lin Fan did not answer at once, instead, he turned to Shiyu and asked, “Would you like to go to Elder Martial Sister Xue’s birthday banquet?”
To be honest, she had not been to any banquets aside from the super lavish Imperial Banquet  and was a little curious how people normally celebrate private banquets. Therefore, in the interest of cultural exchange and trying out rich people’s party food, she said, “Sounds good.”
The little group parted their way amicably enough.
Once back at the villa, Shiyu led Lin Fan over to their nicely decorated garden and made him sit at their garden patio. “Sit here, I want you to try a new dish I’ve been mastering.”
Lin Fan sat down obediently on the stone seat. While he was there, he noticed a translucent black blob appearing beside him. The blob solidified, turning into a black cat sunning itself on its stomach. It was currently washing one of its thick black paws in slow, leisurely movements.
Meanwhile, Shiyu was dipping her net into the pond where she had replenished her fish stock. She managed to catch the largest and fattest of the lot and quickly brought the struggling fish to the stone table where she had set out a cutting board, plates and a couple of saucer of her wonderful Wasabi Sauce . She struck the fish on the head with a stick to stun it before quickly removing its scales along with its skin. In no time at all, the fish had been properly filleted and was ready to be sliced.
She put away Supreme Indifferent and got out her newly acquired Condensation Frost blade. As soon as her hand touched the blade, the surrounding temperature plunged, the water in the air began to condense into icicles.
When she applied Condensation Frost into slicing the fish fillet, the once pliable and soft flesh firmed up suddenly with the application of the frost. The cut meat looked like crystal glass panes when held up to the eye.
“Please eat this with a bit of the Wasabi sauce,” said Shiyu as continued slicing until she had enough pieces to form the typical flower pattern on the black plate.  As Lin Fan picked up his chopsticks, she sliced off another piece of fish and rolled it up into a little tube, dipped a corner of it into the sauce and held it up reverently for Fat Cat.
Looks like cats were treated better than people.
However, Lin Fan was currently too busy being immersed in the sensation of fresh fish dipped in Wasabi Sauce  to really care about how poorly treated he was compared to a fat cat. Fat Cat sniffed the piece of fish, opened his mouth and accepted the little roll from Shiyu. His eyes squinted up in pleasure.
“Sir Cat, is this acceptable for you?” Shiyu shamelessly played the role of the underling as she offered up the food to Yakuza Boss Cat.
Fat Cat’s whiskers twitched once as he continued to consider the flavour with his eyes closed. Suddenly, Fat Cat’s eyes popped open and without speaking, he extended a paw towards the plate of Sashimi and… there was a flash, and the next thing Shiyu knew, Fat Cat was licking his paw delicately. Shiyu turned her eyes towards the plate and lo and behold, it was empty!
San Pang and Lin Fan both had their chopsticks extended over the empty plate.
“I supposed even you could pass if you prepare 10 more fishes worth of Sashimi for me,” Fat Cat pushed the empty plate meaningfully towards Shiyu, “I’m sure they’ll be happy to eat more as well.” As though the other two did not have anything to do with him.
“We want more too!” Lin Fan and San Pang chorused together. Evidently, they both liked the Sashimi very much.
Shiyu beamed, isn’t this the result she had been working towards this past month? After toiling over the cutting board for days, day in day out and nearly working herself to death? It’s all in the name of achieving the best and final result!
As the little group enjoyed their Sashimi, a melodic chime rang through their courtyard. There was someone at the gate.  Suddenly, Shiyu recalled the significance of today. It was the end of the month. Aside from paying rent, there was something else that must be done!
Lin Fan calmly got up from his chair and went to the gate.
Sure enough, the moment the person at the gate saw Lin Fan, he declared, “It’s been one month, I have come to challenge you.”
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Behind the private courtyards was a bamboo forest a little way down the mountain. Within the forest was a large open space where students could challenge each other and fight with minimal property damage. This was where Lin Fan would fight his first opponent of the day.
Shiyu had trailed after them out of housemate solidarity.
To be honest, she was not at all interested in all this killing and maiming, killing and fighting, or killing of people in general. She had no qualms about killing fish or animals for food, but killing people was like a pointless exercise in defence of pride. She would fight if she has to, would kill or arrange for people to be killed if they threatened her and her loved ones, but fighting for the sake of fighting was… boring… 
She nodded off for the second time, her chin slipping from her hands as she caught herself snoozing. The two people in front of her had slashed and pranced and battled and… yawn…
Maybe, she should just check out the recipe for the rest of the items on the menu. There were a total of nine items on the menu and she had done just the first one. Let’s have a look at the rest. Amidst the ‘clang’, ‘clang’, ‘clang’ of swords and the occasional swish and inevitable ‘hyah!’ Shiyu looked about her and was about to risk entering her space when Fat Cat went, “Ahem,” 
 Shiyu looked at Fat Cat uncomprehendingly for a moment before recalling, oh right, she was still outside. Who knows whether there were eyes around her now? She dithered over what to do, on one hand, moral support. On the other, so, so, so bored! Whatever, never mind! She summoned Cloud Beast, got onto its back and said, “Go up high, as high as you can,”
 Cloud Beast shot upwards, and she nearly choked from the sudden lack of oxygen, “Stop, stop, stop!”
 Cloud Beast stopped. Shiyu sighed. She really had to think through her orders properly before she gave them. Nevertheless, she patted the Cloud and said, “Just stay here, alright?” before disappearing into her space.
The recipe on the following pages all featured cuisines that favoured a certain type of knife work. Among them: slicing, cutting, scraping, chopping, peeling etc. Theoretically, she should master all these different techniques once she got to the end of the menu. However, Shiyu has one crucial advantage . She had been a professional chef in her past life. Though it had taken hard work and time to retrain her muscle memory, all the radish cutting and fish slicing she did with Gan Ping, as well as the hints he gave her on how to fully utilize her Spiritual Energy to aid her Meridians, was very beneficial. In fact, one could say that she had pretty much mastered every knife skill already.
Therefore, the only thing left to do now was to cook up the remaining eight recipes and offer it to Fat Cat for approval.
After putting together all the additional items she needed into her space ring, along with her trusty knives and other basic ingredients and spices, Shiyu directed Cloud Beast to land within the bamboo forest again. From the clang, clang, biff, bash she heard going on inside the forest, it looked like no one missed her.
 The Cloud Beast had placed her in the middle of a newly cleared area. The fighting between Lin Fan and… whoever that guy was, had resulted in a lot of cut down bamboo. She browsed through them and picked out the bigger and nicer looking ones, only year old bamboo tubes are large and sturdy enough to stuff a whole chicken in, and decided that this was as good enough a space to start cooking.
First, she took out the necessary tools and items needed to start cooking. Knives and cutting board, a table, some freshwater to clean things with as well the necessary ingredients for this particular dish. Space rings are so convenient. She had stuffed whatever she could safely keep inside the ring to nearly maximum capacity.
Meanwhile, the fluctuations of Spiritual Energy within the bamboo forest had already attracted the attention of many people. Those with nothing better to do all flocked over to gawk at the situation. Soon, news that Lin Fan was in the middle of fighting with one of the Top Hundred Rankers raced through the College and more people came to witness the excitement.
When it came to the Top Hundred Rankers, aside from a few geniuses with their correspondingly bewitching good looks, the rest were just there via seniority. It would be too unfair if a newcomer were to defeat a senior after just loitering around the College for three months, right?
First one, then another, then 10 appeared, and then suddenly, there was a crowd of people jostling for a peek at the fighters.
However, they soon have to blink and rub their eyes. On one hand, there were two people fighting and slashing at each other. Which was very exciting, really, but totally normal. What was not normal was the thing that was happening on the other side of the forest where a girl was in the middle of… cooking?
Surely not? But the table; the small daggers that were being used to chop things; and beside her was a dozing cat as well as an unknown… thing…
“Are those two competing to see who could fight without hurting random bystanders?” someone asked.
Whatever the reason was, no one dared to come between the fighters and the random bystander cook.
As the random bystander cook, Shiyu felt extremely offended and wronged. She was here first, alright?
She had been minding her own business and cooking up a storm when these two decided to cut down more bamboo around her and creating an unnecessary wide space, leaving her standing right in the middle of a battlefield.
At first, she had tried to move away quietly, but somehow, no matter where she went, the clang, clang, clang, biff, bash followed her around so in the end she just gave up and did her own thing.
Whatever guys, you do your thing while I do mine. You had better not accidentally lop off my head or something.
Thus was the reason why Shiyu was currently stuck in the middle of all this nonsense. Whatever, whatever, let’s just focus on the second dish. The main problem with the second dish was that it required at 4th Rank Spiritual Beast called the Fire Wing Bird. However, who are you kidding? There was no way Shiyu could just simply go out and catch a 4th Rank beast on her own. Even 10 of her would not be enough to grab a feather. Instead, she substituted the Fire Wing Bird with Silkie Chicken  instead.
The chicken was something that she had dressed earlier and kept on ice. It was now taken out to be thawed while she was prepared the bamboo and other ingredients. Once the chicken had thawed enough, she deboned the chicken while keeping the carcass whole .
This was nothing to Shiyu who had already mastered proper knife handling techniques. With a few quick strokes of her Supreme Indifferent, the bones were quickly separated from the flesh and she could easily remove them from the carcass. Shiyu had intended to stuff the chicken with some vegetables, but then, in a fit of mischief, reached for the box that contained various small trimmings of some of her more aged medicinal herbs . Who knows, maybe the cat would approve of her Treasure Stuffed Bamboo Silkie in lieu of Stuffed Bamboo 4th Rank Fire Wing Bird. Deciding to go all out, she stuffed the chicken with as many medicinal herbs as she dared along with Matsutake mushrooms .
Once the chicken had been stuffed, she placed it into a clean bamboo tube. After adding some seasoning and water from the Spring of Life, she placed it over a fire.
The fire was just some common fire she made with the charcoal which was used to lightly roast the bamboo to get it to emit some good scent before she used her Spiritual Fire to directly cook the chicken. 
While she was preoccupied with her work, the first challenger… some guy, that been defeated and a second… some other guy had stepped up to challenge Lin Fan. While the second fight commences, she could smell some nice fragrance coming from the bamboo tube.
For some reason, the scent of this dish did not travel very far. Perhaps it had something to do with the ingredients used? Shiyu was not very sure, but whoever was close enough the smell this dish was immediately hooked on its alluring scent.
However, as time went by, the aroma of the dish grew stronger and stronger, and soon it began to spread through the fighting ground towards the crowd.
“What’s that fragrance?” someone was shaken out of their intense focus on the fight.
From the back of the mountain, the smell spread out across the entire school compound. It wrapped itself among trees and teased its way into buildings. Eventually, it reached all the way to the Instructor’s Building, the Treasure Pavilion…
One after another, people raised their heads to sniff the air, wondering where the scent was coming from.
The Gatekeeper of the Treasure Pavilion had been having a nice snooze when his eyes suddenly shot opened. He raised his head and sniffed gingerly, “What the- who’s the f*cker who dared to make soup with a Thousand-Year-Old Blood Jade Ginseng!!?”
“No, wait, that’s not all! They also added Fire-Ice Grass! Seven Leaf Flower! Chicken Blood Vine!” the old man spat out the names of all the treasured medicinal herbs out of his mouth one after another like curse words. Finally, he shot out of his chair and howled, “Immortal Jade Petal Lotus!!” 
[Gumihou: I’m glad this is the last of the Sashimi Arc. Sob. It’s been such a torture T_T. Everyone, please don’t eat sashimi like this. I mean, if you like it that way, peace. But really, at least know the proper way to eat it before making the decision. Personally, I like to dump 1 quarter of my rice into the bowl of miso soup and slurp it down, which is terribly rude and I only do it when I’m alone or dining with family. In terms of manners, putting rice into miso soup is childish at best and barbaric at worse, but I still do it knowing that it’s bad manners because I like it that way.]
 Plot change detail: Since the Imperial Banquet scene had been discarded by the author, Shiyu ‘had not been to any banquets ever since she arrived in this world’. However, because I’d included the scene, I have to change the details here.
 Additional details for logistic purposes: She had gone from netting the fish to slicing and then ‘please eat this with my wonderful wasabi sauce’ and continued slicing more fish for LF. I was like, wait, what? Wait, what did you- what? Girl, where your cutting board, where your cutting board?! Where you cut fish, where you cut fish, huh? In kitchen? In garden? You just dump your fish scales wherever? Huh?
By the way, from the speed in which she fillet the fish, it should still be flopping around. Stunned or not, fillet or not…
 Additional details for logistic purposes: Shiyu had gone from here try this, to feed cat, then cat ate a whole plate of Sashimi… Girl, when you make whole plate of sashimi? When you make whole plate of sashimi?!!
 Rant: It’s hilarious to me how these people (and cat) are enjoying what is the epitome of bad food. Tsk, tsk. Also, freezing your fish slice? Girl, the ideal eating temperature (discounting food poisoning and bacterial growth) for sashimi is at the fish’s body temperature or room temperature. Sushi should be at 36 degree Celsius (human body heat, because Sushi-Chef-san warms up the rice and fish with his hands in a no-glove-love way) and sashimi a little bit below that. Enjoy your semi-frozen, super-thin cut fish in wasabi that has lost its potency having been made into a sauce. Yum.
Also, Fat Cat has no taste, all of you have no sense of taste.
 Added details for transition: I think we’ve all more or less forgotten that Lin Fan was supposed to go out and challenge people? It’s not surprising if Shiyu forgets it too. Inserted this detail via Shiyu’s perspective for a smoother transition to why Lin Fan went over to open the gate and prepare the readers for what comes next.
 Expanded details: This was certainly a very good scene, and unusual too for a protagonist to find people fighting boring. Gave it a bit more details.
 Additional paragraph for logistical issues: How did Shiyu go from ‘bored, when are they gonna finish’ to ‘I’m gonna check out the rest of the recipes, ooh, this one looks easy’ without going into her space and the heck, are you really going to disappear into your space now? Right in the open? So, I used Fat Cat to warn her and used Cloud Beast as a way to hide stuff. We all could use a little more Cloud Beast, right? Except author-san hadn’t really explained how all the summoning thing works…
 Rant! : The crucial advantage was working with Gan Ping, which completely negates her original experience as a cook. As a home cook, I am deeply offended. Moreover, one month of experience with a so-called expert should not negate her years as a chef. Not a home cook but a chef from a Michelin star restaurant.
 Silkie Chicken – Also known a Silky chicken has very silky feathers with black skin and bones. The colours of their feather could be brown or white in addition to the typical black, but their skin is always black.
 Debone chicken while keeping it whole – Yes, it’s possible. There’s a Chinese recipe that deboned the wings as well, because they stuffed a deboned chicken into a deboned duck…
Instructional video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdZYX9clQxE
New Orleans Factory – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOZfygXk9ik
 Rant! : Why, Shiyu? Why? Also, don’t tell me you’re going to stuff a whole medicinal plant in? I gave you a box with various plant parts, use that and don’t stuff a whole Jade Petal Lotus Whatever into your chicken please! Also, I added the last paragraph because I needed some reason to explain this idiocy to myself.
 Rant! : No! You do not- No! No, no, no, no! That’s not how you use Matsutake mushrooms! Or mushroom. It had better be just a single thinly sliced mushroom, you hear? No! It’s like stuffing a whole truffle into a chicken. Cost aside, these mushroom has a very distinctive aroma that Japanese considered as ‘adult taste’, which is code for it’s yucky for most people but because it’s expensive we all pretend it’s delicious!
 … … : First, how big is your bamboo? Second, how did you use both fire at once? Third, you may have deboned your chicken, but then you stuffed it again, so really, how big is your bamboo? Fourth, is your bamboo cooking utensil open top-wise or length-wise? Lengthwise makes more sense, but no real-world bamboo I know is big enough, so how big is your bamboo?
 … …: I want to curse too.
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