Chapter 97 Sichuan Poached Fish
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Gumihou
Shiyu exploded into her secret space excitedly and cried out, “Wait, are you saying that we can get a whole Enlightenment Tea tree by planting a leaf? I’ll be rich!”
Fat Cat rolled his eyes, “What kind of daydream is this? How can you grow a tree out of a leaf? Could you make a whole person from a single hair?”
“Er…” Shiyu deflated. She scratched the back of her head awkwardly, “So, is the Enlightenment Tea a one-time-use item?” Precious things are really precious, ah. Just thinking about using it up in the future makes her heartache!
“Otherwise? Are you planning to steep this leaf for hundreds or thousands of years? It’ll probably be a long time before you’re even qualified to use this leaf.” Fat Cat rolled his eyes again.
Wait, why is the cat so talkative today? And why are the words out of his mouth so poisonous?
“Why are you so sensitive today? Aren’t you a little too free with your razor tongue?” Normally, Fat Cat would only show a disdainful face at her and did not talk much, so what happened? After some thought, Shiyu smacked her palm with her fist and said, “Oh, don’t tell me you’ve been rejected by a female cat?”
“… looks like you don’t want this Enlightenment Tea anymore.” A shimmer of light flashed from Fat Cats claws. Said claws were dangerously near the jade
box containing the Tea.
“Great Noble Cat! I am wrong!” Shiyu immediately kowtowed. “Please have mercy on the Tea, please let us speak with our mouths and not our claws.”
Fat Cat ignored her and with flash, the Enlightenment Tea was swiped away. However, instead of shredding it to pieces, Fat Cat dug a hole by the Spring of Life and let the leaves fall in. Once the hole was covered up, he said, “From today onwards, water this spot with three drops of Spring Water every single day. You will need this when you breakthrough to the Core Condensation Stage.”
After saying this, Fat Cat climbed onto the stone table and curled up. Apparently fast asleep.
Shiyu looked at the little mound of earth, under which the Enlightenment Tea was buried. Then at the sleeping Fat Cat. She stared at the mound of earth again. That’s not how people store tea leaves, ah…
Was the cat messing with her?
After leaving her space, Shiyu focussed on her Poach Fish even more. No matter what, making this cat happy was her priority. If he’s happy with her dish, he might be willing to give her a bit more information.
As it turned out, it took her full seven days of non-stop polishing to create a Sichuan Poach Fish that could pass Fat Cat’s inspection. This was long after everyone had praised her Poach Fish dish many times over. How tiresome, ah.
Please read this at kitchennovel dot com ~
July was a hot month, but up in Feng Luo’s treehouse, with the sea breeze rustling through the leaves, the temperature remained cool. Right now, Shiyu was kissing up to the Fat Cat. Busily kneading his legs and stroking her hands through his thick fur. “Dear Sir Cat… as you know, I have completed all nine dishes on the menu. Surely it’s time for your venerable self to instruct me what to do next? Some martial technique perhaps? Or where to find other Fire Seeds?”
One could not blame her for being so deferential. It had been quite some time since she had reached the Core Transformation Stage, but she has yet to even achieve the 1st Level. Though the first water droplet within her Dantian had gained a tinge of gold. That tinge of gold was so faint that one had to squint very hard to see any changes, ah. Seeing other people improve by leaps and bounds, how could she bear the envy in her heart?
After working so hard to complete all nine dishes, she was hoping to see some big progress. She exhausted her Spiritual Energy every day practising her Culinary Cultivation, but what’s this lack of progress?
Fat Cat rolled to his back, stretching lazily as Shiyu obligingly scratched his tummy, “Hand the Azure Flare to me. It’s closed to the end of its lifespan and needs to be restored. The process will take a few days so use this opportunity to rest and recover your strength. Make sure you are in your best condition for the challenge. Otherwise, if you fail the fire trial, you can only cry.”
Shiyu dared not believe her ears.  So, the Azure Flare she had bought out of pity could actually be restored? Restored and be of use?
Excited and reassured, Shiyu obeyed Fat Cat and spent the next few days touring Feng City with Xiao Wu and Xiao Liu. Well, rather than a proper tour, it’s more appropriate to say they went on an eating tour instead.
Since Feng City was a coastal city, the majority of the cuisine here was seafood-related. However, the thing served here were mostly fish, fish, and more fish. Crustaceans such as crabs and shrimps could not be seen anywhere, let alone oysters or other kinds of shellfish. By eating only fish, more than half of the  Eight Treasures of the Sea was already lost, ah!
Nevertheless, though it was all fish, fish, fish, people of Feng City had developed a very unique culture around it. Moreover, fish from the sea were distinctly different from freshwater fish. Sea fish has firmer flesh and depending on the species, thicker skin. It also lacked the muddy smell that freshwater fish tended to get. Since fish was so fresh and abundant in Feng City, the cooking was often done lightly. A lot of their cooking was very simple and involved steaming or light stir-frying.
The steamed fish here has a clear, almost translucent quality to it. The seasoning was done very gently to bring out the special characteristics of the fish. For someone like Shiyu,  who was more used to heavier flavours, soon began to crave the heavier taste of roasted meat and spicy mala oil.
After a huge eating spree, Shiyu spent the rest of her time combing through trading markets and auction houses looking through medicinal herbs and various magical items. Finally, she found the thing she had been looking for. Soul Jades.
The purpose of Soul Jades was to store a fragment of a person’s consciousness. As long as that person is alive, the Soul Jade would stay intact. The moment that person died, the Soul Jade would shatter to pieces. The Soul Jades that Shiyu found were all cut from the same piece of jade and were specially connected. Shiyu wanted members of her little family, old and young, to wear these so that she could have a sense of their wellbeing in the future.
Because this thing was relatively rare, it was quite expensive. In the end, Shiyu had to exchange a 1,500-year-old precious herb for it.
Shiyu also found other useful and less rare items. Like Arcane Ice as well as a Warm Jade. The Arcane Ice was so that people at home could turn a sealed box into an icebox and the Warm Jade was for Grandpa so that he could sleep soundly even on cold nights. In the end, she more or less bought all kinds of random useful things for the new home at Spiritual Beast Mountain Range.
Things like Night Pearls so that they don’t have to buy kerosene. A rug soaked in medicinal flower bath that smelled heavenly and very comfortable under one’s feet. A large piece of crystal, flat, clear and reflective enough to be used as a mirror and finally… a space ring to keep everything. This ring was given to Xiao Wu, the next eldest, for safekeeping.
Shiyu also bought space rings for all her other siblings, including Wen Xian. Better to butter up the younger brother of the amazing Wen Heng as much as possible while she still could.
After five leisurely days like this, Shiyu felt that she had properly recovered herself. Therefore, after getting into their room and greeting Xiao Qi, Shiyu disappeared into her space.
When she appeared in her space, Shiyu noticed that the Azure Flame was burning more brightly than before. Its blaze no longer limp and sad.
 Amazed, she pointed at the Azure Flame, “How?”
Fat Cat licked his paws, “I used the Spring of Life water to restore it. It should be more receptive to you, but do not lower your guard.” Fat Cat looked even more solemn than usual. “Be careful.”
“En,” Shiyu nodded. She still remembered the first time she swallowed a Fire Seed. It was… painful to say the least.
“Since you already have one Fire Seed within you, if you cannot merge this new flame with the old, your body will be burnt to ashes. Therefore, before swallowing the second seed, you should take the first seed out of your body. The next step will be very painful. Prepare yourself, the two flames must co-exist before you can use them.
Fires are very violent, making them co-exist is easier said than done. If you slip up, you will die. Even after swallowing the fire, making them co-exist later would be even more painful than before. I shall ask again, will you chose to go through with this?”
Shiyu gave a bitter smile, “I am merely an ordinary person with no talent or ability. If I do not want to eat a loss this is the only path, right? What’s more, as someone who enjoys cooking, I must have the best fire. To cook all the races like my master, I need the best fire!”
[Gumihou: Er… eating sentient creatures is…]
 Added Some Plot Related Details: Shiyu bought the Azure Flare at a certain auction back at Chapter 39 (a)
 Eight Treasures of the sea: Eight great delicacies of the sea, the items are not fixed, but generally: Crab, prawns, sharks fin, abalone, sea cucumber, octopus/squid, oysters or scallops. Sometimes things like fish lips or fish maw are included too.
 Added Details for Clarity: In the original, it’s generalized to the point where ‘everyone would soon crave bbq’. Uh, no, as someone who grew up in a port city, we like our lightly flavoured dish, thank you very much. Heavy sauce and mala oil are only brought out as an occasional thing.
Gumihou had a terrible culture shock when she visited a place where everything, including the stir-fried vegetables, was spicy. She only ate plain rice with vegetables rinsed in plain water. In fact, one of her friends from the same city was hospitalized from an overdose of spicy food…
 Added Detail for Dramatic Effect: Shiyu to start off the dialogue rather than Fat Cat just volunteering information.
Sichuan Poached Fish – Please click on the picture for the recipe~
I don’t know about you guys but, rather than delicious, this looks scary to Gumihou…
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