Chapter 148 Dry Hotpot (g)
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Gumihou
The first thing Shiyu seized with her chopsticks was a piece of brilliant red meat. Shiyu held up the piece of cubed meat to the light and saw that it was truly worthy of being called Spiritual Beast Meat.  When she popped it into her mouth, the fat on the meat melted on her tongue and merged brilliantly with the spicy sauce. It was neither too dry nor too greasy, just perfect. Normally, her way of cooking this dish would have resulted in funny tasting food, either too greasy or tough. The fat melted quickly, but the meat retained a certain chewiness. The more she chewed, the more she could enjoy the spicy flavour of the dish. Finally, a little reluctantly, she swallowed the Spiritual Bird meat. Naturally, she quickly reached for a second piece, throwing the piping hot meat into her mouth and savouring the tingling sensation of spiciness stinging her mouth.  Bliss.  She picked up a piece of yam and nearly lost it when it slipped through her chopsticks. It was a little too soft, but was still alright. It had absorbed the spicy mala oil and absolutely delicious. Shiyu licked her lips and reached for a lotus seed next and-  ‘Crack!’  Cough.  Shiyu gingerly fished the pieces of lotus seed from her mouth and stared in disbelief at the hard little bits. Wait, why is it so hard…?  Even when she tried to squeeze the seed, it was like trying to squeeze chalky pieces of broken stones. She looked into the pot and picked out a second lotus seed. It was just as tough as the first one. In fact, all of the seeds were tough and chalky…  “Why are you eating without me!?”  Shiyu started. She glanced furtively at San Pang who was practically throwing himself at the pot of Maybe Dry Hotpot. As she watched, he grabbed the meat first and stuffed it into his mouth. “Aargh! Why is this so spicy? Oh, but the meat is good. Sssst! What’s this one? Hmm, I guess it’s not bad. Oh, this one looks good-”  Crack!  San Pang spat out the broken white stuff, “Aargh! Why is there a stone in here!?”  Shiyu sighed.  “Wait, are these lotus seeds?” as a Plant Spirit, San Pang easily recognised another fellow plant. “Wait, are these dried lotus seeds?” He looked up at Shiyu in disbelief. “Did you even cook it?”  “I… did cook it,” said Shiyu defensively  “How long?”  “Time to brew a cup of tea…” Shiyu admitted shamefully. Lotus Seed Heart Tea to be exact…  “Are you stupid? Do you also cook dried mushrooms in time taken to brew a cup of tea?” San Pang picked out another piece of lotus seed and tried squeezing it. “Wow, you sure have your dumb moments.’  “Shut up,” Shiyu muttered.  “I think your cooking’s getting worse,” he began to lecture, “the yam is too soft and your sauce is too spicy. It tastes of nothing but spiciness. My tongue is all numb now.”  “… here,” Shiyu handed him a cup of freshly brewed Lotus Seed Heart Tea. Surely there’s nothing to complain about tha-
“What is this bitter thing!?”
Shiyu frowned, “You said the sauce is too spicy, this tea will cool your tongue.”
“Lies! My tongue is in even more painful now from hot tea and hot, super spicy, tongue stinging, teeth numbing-”
“Nonsense, just cool it with your powers,” said Shiyu impatiently, hoping that San Pang would just leave off with his comments.
San Pang cooled the drink with his Water Attribute powers and took a little sip, “Why do I get the feeling that it’s even more bitter  now?”
“It has a sweet aftertaste and is good for getting rid of access heat,” however, it really did nothing to help reduce the spicy sensation in the mouth. She must get some milk or other similar drinks to ease the spiciness.
This is the main headache for spicy food lovers.
After the excitement of the initial feasting, even breathing felt painful sometimes.
However, even this pain was somehow addictive. Naturally, for people with weak stomachs, they would have a very pleasant surprise the next day. Especially those people living in the southern parts. On winter mornings, this surprise would be even more pleasant. 
While Shiyu was enjoying her spicy feast, minus the lotus seed which had to be taken out and put in a pot to boil for half an hour to make a spicy soup later, the situation at the Imperial College also saw some small development…
Please read this at kitchennovel dot com ~
“Brother, do you know how to cook?” asked Wen Xian.
When this guy was alone in the world, he did his best to keep to himself and not get in anyone’s way. However, now that he has an older brother, he might as well ask this relative of his first. He’s not really acting spoil, alright?
Wen Heng spread out his hands, “Cook? Why?” 
“I’m hungry,” said Wen Xian.
Wen Heng studied this little brother. He had fasted for many years and it’s been a long time since food passed his mouth.
As for cooking, heheh.
“Where did you eat before this?”
“The cafeteria. But I kind of missed Sister Yu’s delicious cooking,” Wen Xian blinked expectant eyes at his brother. “Of course, if brother could make something, that would be even better!”
“… …” Wen Heng stood up. “Where is the kitchen?”
Wen Xian helpfully point it out, “Over there!”
Wen Heng looked in the direction his brother is pointing. He moved gracefully towards this ‘kitchen’ place and paused. After studying the various tools and pots he made a quick decision, “Come, let’s go find her.”
He grabbed Wen Xian’s hand and pulled him into the void.
Please read this at kitchennovel dot com ~
Shiyu and San Pang were picking out the Spiritual Beast meat from the pot. The yams had gotten mushier and Shiyu forced San Pang to help her eat those first before they slowly ate the meat. Both were hissing and panting from chilli induced pain when they sense a sudden presence nearby. They turned and saw the Wen Brothers standing right beside them.
Wen Heng was staring at her while Wen Xian was staring into the pot of fiery red stuff.
“Err…” Shiyu waved awkwardly at them. “Good evening?”
Wen Heng moved to sit on a rock and said simply, “Wen Xian is hungry.”
So… you brought him here so that I can… feed him?
Shiyu was… she was not sure if she should laugh or cry…
Wen Xian, “Brother, I could eat at the cafeteria, you know?”
Wen Heng, “… …” maybe he could just leave his brother here?
How tiresome, ah.
The awkwardness continued to descend. Thankfully, it was broken by voices coming from behind a thick copse of trees. Everyone was more than happy for the change of subject and cocked up their ears to listen to the voices.
“Didn’t I tell you I smelled something spicy in the air? Humph, after all these months, I’ve nearly lost all taste in my mouth.”
“Lin Fan, are you really ignoring me? There are only two of us here, don’t you feel lonely? Aren’t you lonely?”
“Let me tell you, you should at least interact with the only other person around. How can you just ignore me like this. I- aih? Look, we’ve reached the campsite! ”
Feng Luo’s eyes lit up at the prospect of meeting other people.
When he first returned to Feng City, he thought that Grandfather would train him personally. But it turned out that the ‘training’ from Grand Elder Feng was getting tossed into Spiritual Beast Mountain Range to fight Spiritual Beasts of all kinds.
It quickly became very lonely for him. One day, however, he accidentally stumbled across Lin Fan and felt as though he had encountered his rescuer.
However, he soon discovered that Lin Fan really did embody the Strong, Silent Type and mostly just give a sullen one-word answer to any of Feng Luo’s question. In contrast, Feng Luo could not shut up. He had never been accused of being a chatterbox before, but somehow Lin Fan brought out this weird side of him.
The silence was too suffocating, he wanted to pry Lin Fan’s mouth just to see what he could shake out of it…
Fortunately, for both of them, evidence of other human lifeforms was spotted. As Feng Luo hurried forward, Lin Fan quietly breathed a sigh of relief.
Why had he never noticed that Feng Luo was such a long-winded person? Wasn’t he a noble? Where had his cool and elegantly stoic air gone to, ah? Where?!
After experiencing days of non-stop chatter, he seriously considered the pros and cons of taking off and leaving this guy here.
What an annoyingly talkative person, ah!
When they all meet at the campsite, the two newcomers were stunned.
“Little Shi!” Feng Luo called out in surprise.
When Shiyu heard the name ‘Lin Fan’ mentioned, she had more or less guessed who was coming.
The Spiritual Beast Mountain Range was large enough that several powerful Monster Beasts could rampage around without encountering any of the Cultivators who often ventured in for one purpose or other. For them to meet like this could only be credited to fate’s meddling hand.
As the two young men approached the campfire, Shiyu noted their ragged appearance and could not help but smiled, “You’re here together?”
As though a switch had been flipped, Feng Luo began to complain, “You tell me, why did I never notice that Lin Fan is such a calabash mouth? Moreover, he’s a calabash with a stopper in his mouth. It’s as though he’s limited to 10 words a day and could only spend them like a miser! He’s such an awful bore, ah!”
Lin Fan ignored the complaints. He was a pro at it by now. Instead, his attention was taken by the elegantly dressed man sitting on a rock. He was particularly sensitive to people with higher Cultivation than his own. However, this person… no matter how hard he looked, he could not determine their true Cultivation Level.
Though the man was sitting on a rock right before his eyes, he gave an impression of being far away, almost inexplicably out of reach.
Just who is this person?
“Brother Lin Fan. This is my brother, Wen Heng,” Wen Xian took the initiative to introduce his brother.
“Your brother?” Lin Fan was a little… surprised.
Wen Heng’s looks were rather delicate, almost beautiful. He has the atmosphere of a distant beauty that sets him apart from the crowd. As for Wen Xian… he was rather… ordinary.
“En!” Wen Xian nodded enthusiastically.
“Congratulations,” Lin Fan nodded at Wen Heng. He suddenly recalled hearing about Wen Xian’s mysterious brother during their vacation last year. He half believed that Shiyu had been exaggerating when she gushed about this person’s strength. However, from what he could sense, this person’s strength really was beyond his reach.
Wen Heng gave a slight smile in response to Lin Fan’s nod. He said, “I hadn’t thought I’d meet an acquaintance either. Old Gu, won’t you come out and meet me?”
[Gumihou: Oooh, acquaintance?]
Gumihou is keeping track so that you don’t have to ~
|Condensation Stage||Stage 1|
|Core Transformation||Stage 2|
|Core Condensation||Stage 3|
|Divine Condensation||Stage 4|
|Nascent Formation||Stage 5*|
*Previous ‘missing stage’. Now it re-appeared as Stage 5. Eh, whatev… Additional Detail for Dramatic Reason: She’s about to eat her awful food, how can Gumihou not give the blow-by-blow?
By the way, recommended time to cook:
Yam: 20 min
Lotus Seed: Soaked in boiling water (3 min), boiled when covered (15 min), simmer with other ingredients (10-15 min)
Total: 33 min
Time to brew Lotus Seed Heart Tea: 5 min
Gumihou notices a pattern.
Every time Shiyu cooked meat, the eating description is the same. THE SAME.
“Each time she chewed, soup from the meat flowed onto her tongue and mixed with the meat.”
I see this every time she eats meat!! Dear readers, you don’t see this because Gumihou often adjusted the recipe to reflect the true cooking, but- but-
Gumihou doesn’t care anymore.
Shiyu can just enjoy her juicy meat that oozes soup whenever she chews with her chalky lotus seed together. Perfect combination.
 Tsukkomi San Pang to act as a foil to shed light on Shiyu’s Stupidity – All Hail San Pang!
In the original, he was gorging on the stupid meal with Shiyu going ‘Yummy! Yummy! Spicy, but yummy!’ and was abused by Shiyu’s superiority. Gumihou will reverse the situation and, as per the USMiC, will give San Pang a bigger role and shine a torch to highlight the face of Shiyu’s stupid actions.
By the way, since San Pang has already established himself as a saucy character, he’s perfect for Gumihou to voice out her frustrations. Translator Gumi will protect San Pang under USMiC and let him bully Shiyu instead!
 Lotus Seed Heart = Lotus Core = Lotus Plumule
Very, very bitter in fact:
“In Chinese medicine, lotus core is an herb with lots of health benefits，its tastes really bitter, and edible but not suitable for direct consumption because it is so bitter. But this unwelcome flavor would be slightly diluted if soaked with boiled water.”
 …腸胃不好的人吃辣會在第二天的時候有驚喜 = “People who have weak stomach will have a pleasant surprise the next day after eating spicy food”
Gumihou has no idea if Shiyu is being sarcastic or for real, but when the above statement is placed into Google Search, most of the result is about people complaining about diarrhoea or anus pain…
 Original text is: Wen Heng waved a hand, “Cook? What is that?”
I think author-san might be a little stressed and addled minded when she did this chapter. There are a lot of weirdly inconsistent remarks like the above and recycled scenes. The ‘Yummy, yay!’, ‘Meat soup flowing from meat the more we chew’ and condescending Shiyu.
Also the forced comedic scenes.
 Original text is: “…There’s fire!”
I guess, they reached Shiyu’s campsite? Kind of ambiguous, but they already smelled food, so fire is kind of incidental. So, changed to ‘campsite’
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