Chapter 150 Hotpot (b)
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Gumihou
 Wen Heng stared into the boiling cauldron full of fiery red liquid. A thick layer of red oil shimmer over the soup, looking a lot like liquidised rubies. His brother expertly picked up one of the thin pieces of meat, swirled it within this deadly brew before stuffing it into his mouth.  “Hot!” the idiot child cried, before dipping another piece of meat or vegetable into the cursed liquid and stuffing them into his mouth.  When this stupid child cried, “Water!” Wen Heng wordlessly handed him a chilled glass of water.  After seeing this foolish child torture himself like this, Wen Heng resolved to just drink water.
However, how could little Wen Xian not encourage his beloved brother to try this awesomely delicious food? He swirled a fresh piece of meat in the pot of spicy broth and held it up to his brother, “Brother, you must try this. It’s very delicious!”
Wen Heng stared at his foolish brother’s bright red face,  sweating forehead and… is that snot dripping down one flaring nostril?
“I’m fine, you go ahead since you like it so much,” this kid had better take his chopsticks away. Wen Heng could see that a drop of the evil red oil was about to drip on him.
But, how could Wen Xian give up just like that? He held the meat closer to Wen Heng’s mouth.
Seeing the thing was about to drip on him, Wen Heng’s eyes sharpened and he managed to make the drop of oil vanish just before it hit his clothes. Then, in a heroic effort, opened his mouth and closed it around the end of the chopsticks.
Finally, elegantly, Wen Heng sat back and chewed contemplatively. A shocking burst of spiciness exploded in his mouth and he reflexively covered his lips.
Shiyu, who was seated right across these two brothers was treated to an amazing sight.  Wen Xian smiling with his extended chopsticks, and Wen Heng… Wen Heng leaning slightly away, a delicate hand over his mouth, a soft flush suffusing his cheeks, jewel-like tears were clinging to his eyelashes… After what seemed to be a long time later, he removed his hand and Shiyu could not take her eyes away from the slightly swollen red lips and… when he sniffed slightly, his gorgeously vulnerable countenance was too mesmerising, ahhhhh!!
Gorgeous man alert! Gorgeous man alert! Gorgeous man alert!
Shiyu cleared her throat and forced herself to look away. Gosh, that Wen Heng is too gorgeous for his own good, ah! She did her best to try and be objective.
Yes, it’s true that Wen Heng is a gorgeous man. A thorny rose is still a beautiful rose, ah! B-but there are still plenty of more attractive things in life! Such as Grilled Chicken Wings, Garlic Butter Scallops and Lamb Skewers!
Wen Heng was already sipping some cool water by this time. As an ascetic, he paid little attention to worldly desires and prefer to fast or eat light meals. Before he began fasting, he mostly ate magical herbs to improve his Cultivation. Later, he began fasting because eating herbs was not beneficial to his Cultivation anymore.
“Oh, so you aren’t used to spicy food, ah,” Shiyu was a little embarrassed. Just because she liked spicy food, the people around her eventually got used to it. In the end, she would casually load on the chilli peppers into her cooking. She never expected Wen Heng to react so seriously.
“It’s still fine,” said Wen Heng. He held on to his cup of cold water, but never touched his chopsticks.
Fortunately, Old Gu began engaging him to talk about the past and it did not look odd for him to not eat anything.
Meanwhile, Shiyu began to talk about future plans with Lin Fan. Now that the two young men were here, she thought it would be a good idea to team up with them and explore the Spiritual Beast Mountain Range as a three-man party.
However, Old Gu soon put a damper on this plan, “I’m afraid Lin Fan has somewhere he needs to be.”
“En?” Shiyu blinked.
Even Lin Fan was surprised, “We’re going somewhere?”
“Yes, to a place that would help you raise your Cultivation level,” Old Gu turned to Feng Luo, “Feng Boy, are you coming?”
“To a better training ground? Of course!” Feng Luo subconsciously understood that following Lin Fan’s example would result in a higher increase in strength.
It was unclear whether proximity to Lin Fan’s protagonist halo was involved, but with Feng Luo’s general talent root, he should still be a Core Transformation Cultivator. However, ever since getting together with Lin Fan and training with him, he had already broken into the Core Condensation Stage. It was still so recent that he had not stabilised his Cultivation base or establish a level yet.
One has to give credit to Feng Luo’s own hard work and Lin Fan’s freakish protagonist luck for his rapid improvement.
Both young men were eager for the change of place. Shiyu wanted to go too, but when she learned that they will be facing life and death training, she gave up on the idea. Forget about it, that kind of training is not suitable for her. Let’s just concentrate on cooking up delicious attribute raising food.
After the Hotpot dinner, everyone said whatever is needed to be said to their friends before they departed. Wen Heng led the group into a void and then… it was all very quiet. Shiyu looked around the suddenly empty space where there had been many people seated together around a Hotpot and found herself alone again.
Oh, wait. There’s still one radish there. San Pang was lying on his back, arms cradling his bloated stomach as he snored. A snot bubble growing larger and smaller as he breathed.
After a good meal, it’s time to start Cultivating again. Moreover, Feng Luo and Lin Fan had given her a great gift. This supply of Spiritual Beasts should last her quite a while.
This supply of meat is especially important since she had no idea how to make these permanent attribute cuisines.  The only hint Fat Cat had given to her is ‘there will be a vision’. How is she going to get a vision, ah?
Unable to think of a better thing to do, Shiyu got busy clearing up the little camp. Tidying up bits of things here and there even as Fat Cat snoozed by the fire and San Pang blowing his snot bubble. The only sounds accompanying her was San Pang’s snores and as well as the crackle of the fire.
Later, the sound of knives slicing through meat and skin, interspersed with the occasional ‘whack!’ of a knife going through bones could be heard.
Gradually, the campfire burned itself out. Soon, the light of dawn lit up the sky and shone down on Shiyu. She had spent the whole night sorting out the Spiritual Beast meat into different categories as well as cleaning and cutting them to pieces before storing them back into the space rings.  Processing the meat helped her get to know the types of meat she has in hand and allowed her to plan a proper menu.
While she took the beasts apart, Shiyu also discovered quite a few Beast Cores. Lin Fan and Feng Luo were really generous. They only took what they needed and left everything else to her.
After putting the Beast Cores away, Shiyu tried making a few simple dishes with different types of meat.
She stayed in place for a whole week, cooking and cooking all day and into the night. However, no matter what she did, she found that her food only managed to retain a fraction of the original spiritual powers in the meat. As for the weird attributes. All of them disappeared after a short while.
Even after she ate these cooked meats, the Spiritual Power she garnered from them was not as good as eating a raw piece of aged medicinal herb.
In the end, the majority of the food was wiped out by San Pang. Who knows where all those dishes went after this little guy ate it?
“I’ve cooked up to a thousand dishes by now, why is it all so ordinary?” Shiyu’s confidence as a professional chef took a great hit from this.
The Fat Cat was not very clear either. His job, back when Master was still alive, was similar to what San Pang was doing now. Eating stuff and making smart comments. He really couldn’t say how those things were made.
“This is something you have to find out for yourself,” he said at last. He really could not help, ah.
Shiyu sat down on the ground, turning over the matter furiously in her head.
Please read this at kitchennovel dot com ~
Meanwhile, in a fiery red world not unlike Shiyu’s Super Spicy Hotpot, Lin Fan and Feng Luo were currently fighting for their lives.
Old Gu had told them that this was a place where their lives would balance on the knife’s edge and he was not exaggerating! After coming here, they had been beset by threats all the time. The creatures that lived here seemed to hate their very existence and would attack the humans as soon as they spotted them.
If these had been low ranking beasts, it would not have bothered the young men too much. However, the lowest level beast was at Core Condensation Level. If only one or two had attacked them, they would have no problem defending themselves, but… Have you ever seen a whole herd of Core Condensation beasts stampeding towards you? It’s scary, ah! They could only run away from these stampeding beasts!  At least, the powerful monsters in Spiritual Beast Mountain Range have the decency to be lone wolves, unlike the ones here. You are already so powerful, why are you running around in a herd just like grass-eating animals, ah?!
Compared to this place, Spiritual Beast Mountain Range is basically heaven, ah!
However, it was not all bad news.
Whenever they manage to kill a Spiritual Beast in this  Evil Spicy Hotpot world, the monsters would leave behind something that looked similar to a Beast Core. However, these Beast Core-like objects could be directly absorbed into their meridians and thus increase their Cultivation. It almost made facing herds of powerful, blood-thirsty, rampaging beasts worth it.
[Gumihou: Gumihou has some idea why you can’t advance Shiyu. It’s because your cooking sucks. If not for Gumihou fixing things in the background, you might as well be eating dirt! A pox on you, disciple of Dark Cooking!!]
Gumihou is keeping track so that you don’t have to ~
|凝氣||Condensation Stage||Stage 1|
|化丹||Core Transformation||Stage 2|
|凝丹(46)||Core Condensation||Stage 3|
|化神(52)||Divine Transformation||Stage 4|
|成嬰||Nascent Formation||Stage 5|
|返墟||Revert Decay*||Stage 7|
|歸真||Original Purity*||Stage 8|
|成仙||Become Immortal*||Stage 9|
*Changed the words to something more mysterious sounding The original text showed a puzzled Wen Heng. Gumihou showed a fascinated and horrified Wen Heng. It’s all in the nuances.  Added More Details for Dramatic Purpose: To make this Wen Xian even more loveable and idiotic in his brother’s eyes.  Added More Details for Dramatic Purpose: Shiyu’s head in the gutter. Might as well make it extra dirty and pretty. =.=  Added Details for Character Introspection: Shiyu is thinking things (maybe), should make her thought process somewhat logical at least.  Additional Detail for Logistic Purpose: In the original text, the paragraph ends with ‘This will save her a lot of time’ like sure it will. But save time for what?
Cooking is more than just efficiency and dumping heaps of Mala Oil onto your instant noodle to level it up a notch. Especially since Shiyu has to come up with original ways to cook unfamiliar meat. You have to conceptualise your cooking. This means visualising your cooking and practically tasting it in your imagination before you even touch a spatula.
Processing meat means knowing whether the meat you have is fat, lean or covered in tendons. It also helps if you make comparisons with existing meats. Is the meat you’re dealing with closer to beef, chicken or pork? Could they have a texture closer to octopus or crocodile meat?
Knowing the types of meat you have helps you to visualise a recipe.
Saving time is the least of it, ah, Author-san. Additional Details for Dramatic Purpose: Come on, it’s an exciting world. So, make it more exciting, please.  Of course, I have to draw the parallel.
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