Chapter 221 Sweet & Sour Pork with Pineapple (m)
Also known as: Why the Pajyeon?
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Gumihou
Gumihou: Would you believe that I had 13 chapters translated in advance 2 weeks ago, but now only have 2 chapters advanced?
At this rate, might have to change the upload date from 5 chapters a week to 4, or less, chapters a week…
Why do you do this to me author-san!!!
Gumi suffered a lot in this chapter…
The sky gradually darkened as the sun sets in the west.
With the darkening sky, anticipation began to boil over within the Central Square.  Lanterns hung from long poles suspended over the bleacher seats. A row of torches flickered at strategic intervals, giving enough light to see, but not so much that it would disturb the viewer’s sight. As for the platform, flickering torches surrounded the 100m raised square, giving it a very raw and tribal-like atmosphere. Someone had set up a mysterious light source that illuminated the entire platform from the top of the stadium roof, probably through a series of crystals and night pearls, to give a bright and steady light so that viewers would not miss any crucial fight scene.
When Shiyu and her fellow Champions returned to the stadium, a feeling of excitement was brewing in their hearts. Though it had not been long since the last time since they were here, they could feel a sense of anticipation in the air.
At the rest area, the Dean stuffed packets containing information on their opponents into their hands. All the rules were the same as before, aside from one small change. Only five people per team were allowed on in a group fight. If the tournament ended in a tie, the winning team will be decided via a 7 vs 7 group fight.
No one has any objection to this.
Beyond handing over information on the opponents and informing them of the rule change, the Dean allowed them to arrange everything else on their own.
Today’s challengers were not particularly strong, but no one was taking the coming fight lightly.
Especially since Feng Luo and Qi Chuyun were experimenting with new weapons. They would need time to get used to their new weapons.
Perhaps it was because of this irregularity, the two of them would occasionally react abnormally and make mistakes that were frankly beneath them. In fact, these two lost their individual fights so many times that they nearly caused the team to lose the entire match. It got to the point where one of the challenging teams even made it into the playoffs.
However, it was thanks to these near misses and close calls that made the tournament thrilling for the audience. Seeing the champions win match after match might be impressive, but it would soon become boring. It was only when there was a risk of losing that the spectators would become emotionally invested in the Champion’s fate and sigh with relief when their favourites manage to scrape by the skin of their teeth.
So exciting, ah!
We are your devoted fans now!
In fact, one could say that the Champions had ‘Profited from Disaster’ when two of their members performed badly. Thanks to this heart-throbbing excitement, they managed to gain more devoted fans.
Naturally, the following day’s rumour was:
“Lin Fan’s team deliberately Play the Pig to Eat Tigers !”
“They could have won all their matches in three moves, but they deliberately stalled to play with the spectator’s emotions!”
“The Fire Wolves are much stronger than the so-called College Champions! The Fire Wolves would wipe the floor with them!!”
Fans of College Champions were clearly unhappy with this. Hence, the counterargument:
“Humph, how old are your Fire Wolves? 40? 50? What’s so interesting about Core Condensation 8 experts that were dozens of years older than our Champions? If Lin Fan and the other champions are given just a few more years, they would surpass your so-called champions and ascend as Divine Transformation Experts!”
Fire Wolves Fans did not back down:
“Hah! That would depend on those litter of puppies staying alive long enough to grow up. Your arrogant College Cubs will one day piss off the wrong person and injure their core. If they’re lucky, they’d be stuck in the same Cultivation stage for a few decades. If you want someone to blame, blame their mothers for giving birth late!”
It was absolute chaos as the two sides quarrelled it out.
Nevertheless, this all happened outside the Imperial College gates. Within the Imperial College, the atmosphere was very tranquil, as though the outside world had nothing to do with them. The Villa was the same. After all, the goal was to improve themselves. Winning or losing tournament battles did not matter to them in the long run. Therefore, aside from the time they spent battling it out on the arena, everyone continued to Cultivate in their spare time.  Except for Shiyu who spent every bit of her free time on cooking. She must turn all these Beast meat into dishes that could increase everyone’s Cultivation and enhance their strength!
Who knows whether it was due to the stress of having to compete on top of cooking or something else, the food she made rarely achieve the same amount of Spiritual powers as the first set of Vermillion Meat. Shiyu stared at her dull looking dishes in confusion. She had made so many different things, so why couldn’t she reach the same result as before?
Was it because she had paired the wrong ingredients to the wrong recipe? Was it the lack of condiments?
After wasting more than a hundred Beast Cores, Shiyu stared at the dish before her. There was zero Spiritual power inside it. She collapsed to the ground trying to think about what went wrong.
“Why don’t you taste the dishes you’ve made?” Fat Cat suddenly appeared by her side. “Your master once said that every single dish is different. Depending on how you balance the five flavours, different effects could be achieved. Could the failure be due to the imbalance of flavours?”
Suddenly agitated, Shiyu got to her feet and grabbed a pair of chopsticks.
Sweet & Sour Pork Ribs… Peking Shredded Pork [4a]… Grilled Wings… Pajyeon [4b]… with every dish she tasted, her heart sank a little more.
After tasting everything, she washed her mouth out with water and tasted everything again. This time, experiencing each dish more slowly.
Back in her past life, she apprenticed herself to a famous chef. After following him for many years, it was clear that she had mastered most of his dishes . Though her level could not be considered elite, she should have the qualifications to enter the kitchen as a proper entry-level chef instead of a mere apprentice.
However, her master told her that she still lacked experience and to keep following him.
Gradually, the people who had entered the kitchen at the same time as her slowly moved up to become proper chefs and some even moved away to other restaurants. Eventually, even the newcomers who came in later were promoted to chefs while she remained as the ‘Ten Thousand Year Apprentice’. Her friends all wondered whether her master was just being mean or hated her, intending to keep her under his thumb forever.
And now… it looked like her previous master was right.
When she tasted everything the first time, it was all very delicious!
However, as more and more Spiritual power, no matter how little, gathered on her tongue she eventually noticed that something was off. Finally, she realised why her previous master refused to promote her.
In her past life, she was a swift learner and mastered different kinds of dishes quickly. Everything was delicious, her friends said so. However, she lacked one important thing other talented chefs had.
A sensitive tongue.
If she had been content to make B-Grade fast food for the rest of her life, this would not be a problem. However, she aimed to be a master chef. A chef at the top of her game would need a sensitive tongue to properly discern the nuances of the food they tasted.
She had… never realised this until now .
Her previous master must have noticed her lack of sensitivity and therefore refused to let her graduate, wanting her to absorb various techniques and skills under his wing as long as possible. It also allowed him to properly guide her and, if needed, cover her flaws. He was hoping to imbue her with all his experience so that she may work in this field even with a handicap.
It was a pity she died before gaining a proper level of proficiency.
After waking up in this other world, she had continued with her cooking as though nothing was wrong. Her habit of adding salt and other condiments to her food had never changed. Her food still tasted good. As delicious as junk food could be considering the amount of salt, fat and seasoning she poured onto her dishes, but it would never reach the harmony of balance required for proper gourmet food.
“So it’s like this,” Shiyu placed her chopsticks down. It was… a shock to her system.
In her previous life,  her master had covered her flaws so well that she never even realised it. It was only after coming to this world that her flaw was discovered due to the heightened senses conveyed by Spiritual powers. Until now, she had made everything according to her taste believing that everyone would find the same thing delicious. Suddenly, she thought of Wen Heng’s expression when he ate her super spicy hotpot and had to blush at her smug superiority at what she had deemed was a lack of ability to appreciate good food.
Another thing she had overlooked was the overuse of condiments and aromatics. The reason why certain ingredients would require certain aromatics was to cover up their shortcomings. Fish, for example, was delicious and tender but often has a fishy or muddy stench to it. This was shortcoming was often covered up through the liberal use of ginger and garlic.
However, Beast meat, especially Beast meat that has been refined to its essence would have lost all these disadvantages through the purification process. Therefore, there was no need to add any superfluous ingredients that would just muddy the taste. When she had made the Vermillion Meat last time, she had merely used ordinary ingredients and seasonings like table salt and pepper, and mostly followed the cooking method provided by Master Wang to make a test dish. It had reached a balance point in terms of texture, taste and flavours making Vermillion Meat her first successful project.
She knew that Cultivation could make all five senses sharper, but she had never thought about it under this context. After today, she must use her Spiritual power to heighten her sense of taste to unbelievable heights and tasted all her previous dishes again.
Instantly, she suddenly felt as though she had reached a completely different realm.
[Gumihou: … you know, most of the food Shiyu mentioned here are all very, very heavy tasting dishes. Lots of salt, fat, sugar and soy sauce. Accept for the Pajyeon… why are you making pajyeon? You’re supposed to cook meat, pajyeon mainly contains vegetables and might be garnished with a little bacon or seafood. Tsk, tsk, you really should rethink your choice of recipes]
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|
 Added Details to Combat the Vague: It said that the Central Square was ‘lit up with lampposts and the raised platform was especially bright’ mmmm…..!!?
Kind of hard to imagine? Seriously?
For the moment, the light source in this world are lanterns, night pearls and probably magic of sorts, but, lamppost? Also, even lampposts need a light source. Were they lanterns, oil lamps or night pearls?
 Play the Pig to Eat a Tiger – used to describe a backstabber who appears to be innocent or even stupid to take down a more powerful opponent.
 Adjusted Details for USMiC: The information were all slightly gloss over with Shiyu being the main thinker. Adjusted so that Shiyu’s thoughts happened a few paragraphs later after explaining the general mood of the people within the Villa.
[4a] 京醬肉絲 – Peking Shredded Pork or Shredded Pork with Sweet Bean Sauce
The recipe is by the State Banquet uncles, very reliable and trustworthy
Chef Wang gives a very clear step by step on the technique of making this dish
[4b] 拔絲煎餅 – Pajeon?
I think this is a Korean style pancake? There’s a high possibility that 拔絲 or Ba shi is Chinese for pajeon. Because when I try to track down 拔絲 they all lead me to sites touting delicious Korean street food.
 *Cough! Cough!* ¯\_༼ ಥ ‿ ಥ ༽_/¯
 USMiC – Shiyu’s previous chef master: Master~~ I’m so happy to hear about you~~ I’m sure you’re just as horrified as Gumi by Shiyu’s Mala Oil abused. *sob*
 Great Lord Wen is mentioned because Gumi wants to kick Shiyu when she’s down. With reference to Chapter 150.
 Changed Details for Logistic Purpose: Fantasy recipe Vermillion Meat changed the 3rd time, this time the recipe was ‘only added salt and sugar as well as some cooking arts to make Vermillion Meat’.
You cannot just ‘cooking art’ a food into being!!!
Nor could you add ‘cooking art’ as though it’s a type of seasoning!!
What’s in your broth? What’s in your simmering sauce? Do you still have a simmering sauce? Why don’t you just steam all your stupid food with Spring of Life Water and season them with beast core dust you absolute failure of a cook!!!??
Also, I’m crediting the success of the dish to Master Wang! All hail Master Wang! Let’s all ignore the troglodyte.
Okay, I just googled 胭脂肉 (Vermillion Meat) again, out of curiosity. It exists, just not in the form Shiyu had described. It only exists in Chinese sites though.
If you love my translations, do consider dropping a comment at novelupdates!
Gumihou loves reading your comments, so gimme, gimme ~
( ´ ▽ ` )ﾉ
໒( ́ ́ )७