The moment Bai Xiaochun peeked his head outside, the dirty and skinny-looking youth instantly saw him. His eyes landed on Bai Xiaochun’s face with an overbearing deamanor.
“You, you’re the one who stole my spot!”
“It wasn’t me!” Bai Xiaochun didn’t have enough time to shrink away, and thus he was forced to adopt an innocent demeanor.
“Lies. With your scrawny body and small head, it’s obvious that you’re new!” Baocai said as he clenched his fist and glared at Xiao Baichun.
“This truly doesn’t relate to me,” Bai Xiaochun whispered, feeling wronged. He glared at Xu Baocai with a fury that seemed as if it was about to explode forth.
“I don’t care. You and I will fight to the death in three days at the hill to the south of the sect. If you win, I shall endure this humiliation… but if you lose, that spot shall belong to me.” Xu Baocai announced in a loud voice. He then withdrew a blood red letter from his breast pocket, throwing it directly onto the windowsill in front of Bai Xiaochun. On it, the word ‘kill’ was densely written countless times in blood.
Bai Xiaochun glanced at the countless number of bloody words on the letter and felt a murderous aura that shook him to the bone. That, coupled with the life-and-death challenge, made Bai Xiaochun suck in a breath of air.
“Senior Brother, how big of a matter is this? Using your own blood, you wrote so many words… Just how painful was that?”
“How big of a matter is this? In these past few years I’ve cut down on my expenses, and in doing so, I have managed to save up seven years’ worth of Spirit Stones — seven years! Let me repeat, exactly seven years! I gave them to the overseer out of respect, and only then did I barely manage to receive the qualifications to enter the Hearthfire Kitchen. Yet, you just had to cut right in front of me. You and I are irreconcilable enemies! Three days from now, one of us must die!” Xu Baocai exclaimed frenziedly, gnashing his teeth.
“I’m not going then.” Bai Xiaochun hurriedly picked up the blood letter with his fingertips and proceeded to throw it out the window.
“You!” Just as Xu Baocai was about to explode, he felt the ground tremble, and a meat mountain suddenly appeared beside him. Oblivious to when it had happened, Senior Fatty Zhang was already standing there and inspecting Xu Baocai with cold eyes.
“Ninth Fatty, go and scrub bowls with your Second Senior Brother. As for you, don’t make such a loud ruckus here. Go play at the side.” As Senior Fatty Zhang waved his hand, whistling winds surged.
Xu Baocai’s expression changed, and he took a few consecutive steps back. He had wanted to say something, yet after seeing Senior Fatty Zhang, he held it in. In the end, he looked at Bai Xiaochun with venomous eyes, before he angrily left.
Bai Xiaochun pondered for a moment. He felt that that person’s departing gaze was too malicious, and in order to play it safe, he decided that it was best to not casually leave the Hearthfire Kitchen. By staying there, Xu Baocai wouldn’t dare to come in.
Several days passed by in a flash. Bai Xiaochun had slowly begun to adapt to the work expected of the Hearthfire Kitchen. At night, he would practice the Violet Qi Cauldron Technique. Unfortunately, his progress was slow, and no matter what he did, he was unable to last for more than four seconds. It was a matter which frustrated Bai Xiaochun a lot.
One night while he was cultivating, he suddenly heard the excited voices of the senior fatties coming from within the Hearthfire Kitchen.
“The gate is closing! The gate is closing! Second Fatty Huang, hurry up and come back!”
“Third Fatty Hei, make sure no one is spying on us!”
Bai Xiaochun stared blankly. This time, he had learned to be smart; he didn’t look out through the window, but through the door cracks. When he looked outside, however, he saw a few, incomparably agile fatties running into the courtyard, as if they were flying – mysteriously busy. 
Very quickly, the gates of the Hearthfire Kitchen were shut tight. An unknown method was used, actually creating a thin layer of mist which made the few fatties’ silhouettes become even more mysterious.
Bai Xiaochun stared for a long time until the few fatties had disappeared, having fled inside. Rather mysteriously, they encircled a thatched hut together. Even with the mist separating them, he could still clearly distinguish the mighty Fatty Zhang’s silhouette as he seemed to be speaking in a low voice. For secrets such as this, he felt that less he knew, the better. Therefore, he took several steps back and strived to act as though he had not seen anything.
But right at that moment, Big Fatty Zhang’s voice resounded.
“Ninth Fatty, in the end, you’ve already seen it. Hurry up and join us.” The voice wasn’t loud as it had been intentionally suppressed.
Bai Xiaochun blinked. He exposed a lovable expression, making him seem as harmless as livestock, as he walked over.
The moment he approached, Big Fatty Zhang grabbed him and brought Bai Xiaochun to his side as the few fatties by his side surrounded him. Immediately, he caught onto a scent that stood out from the rest. Breathing in, the scent into countless warm currents as it spread throughout his body.
He saw that the others all had pleasurable expressions on their faces. Bai Xiaochun’s was shocked when he saw that within Big Fatty Zhang’s hand, he held a lingzhi mushroom that was the size of an infant’s head. The large lingzhi mushroom was sparkling and pure. From just a single glance, it could be discerned that it was definitely not ordinary. 
“Ninth Junior Brother. Here, have a bite.” Big Fatty Zhang said as he glanced at Bai Xiaochun and passed the lingzhi mushroom over.
“Ah?” Bai Xiaochun looked at the lingzhi mushroom as he shifted his gaze onto the several Fatty Senior Brothers. Seeing Bai Xiaochun hesitate, Big Fatty Zhang immediately grew angry and displayed an expression as if he was saying ‘if you don’t eat it, you won’t hear the end of this’.
Besides him, even the surrounding Second Junior Fatty Huang and Third Junior Fatty Hei were also staring at him with the same look.
Bai Xiaochun swallowed a mouthful of saliva. Such a precious and priceless lingzhi mushroom was actually given to him like a drumstick and then he was even encouraged to take a bite. It was a good deal, and if he didn’t accept it, there would be a fall out. He had dreamed of situations like this before, but this was the first time he experienced this in reality.
Bai Xiaochun’s heart beat wildly as he clenched his teeth and received the lingzhi mushroom and resolutely bit a mouthful of it. The lingzhi mushroom melted the moment it entered his mouth and fused into his body. The pleasurable sensation that was countless times stronger than before made Bai Xiaochun’s face turn red.
“Good. You’re one of us now that you’ve eaten this hundred year lingzhi mushroom that Elder Sun was going to use for soup.” Big Fatty Zhang had a satisfied expression on his face as he bit, eating a small portion before he threw it over to the next fatty. Very quickly, everyone had bitten it, removing a whole fold from the lingzhi mushroom. When they looked at Bai Xiaochun, they all had a smile that had acknowledged him as one of them.
Bai Xiaochun let out a gentle laugh. It was obvious that he had followed their bad examples. He had thought that these senior brothers who all ate to this level of obesity had no problem, and had assumed that these kinds of eating habits were safe. It was no wonder that Xu Baocai wanted to challenge him to a duel and wrote all of those words involving murder……
“Senior Brother, this lingzhi mushroom mushroom is really delicious. I’ve eaten to the point where my entire body is feeling feverish.” Bai Xiaochun licked his lips, anxiously waiting as he looked towards Big Fatty Zhang.
When Big Fatty Zhang heard these words, his eyes lit up and he let out a hearty laugh. From his bosom he fished out one Solomon’s Seal flower in an incomparably straightforward manner, handing it over to Bai Xiaochun.
“Junior Brother. Now you know how good this place is. Senior Brother didn’t deceive you before. Eat. In the future you will strive to eat until you’re full!”
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes lit up, and he accepted a large mouthful of cake. He just finished eating as Big Fatty took out a piece of earthen treasure. This golden earthen treasure’s fragrance permeated the entire area.
Big Fatty did not need to prompt him again this time as Bai Xiaochun immediately took a bite. Tasting a sweet and sour mouthful, his whole body relaxed. Big Fatty took out a red spirit fruit with a sweet and unctuous scent. Furthermore, there was a trace of qi circulating within the fruit.
From this point forward, he accepted any lingzhi mushrooms, herbs, spirit fruits, and earthen treasures. Just like the other fatties, he ate until he was full. Bai Xiaochun ate until he was dizzy; it was like he was intoxicated. Even the top of his head was emitting smoke. He felt as if his body had grown a bit fatter.
As he continued to eat, the Fatty Zhang’s group of people’s eyes grew even more gentle. At the end, they all patted their bellies and laughed, their laughs carrying a sense of camaraderie.
Bai Xiaochun became intoxicated and spread out his hands and legs. On one hand he gave Fatty Zhang’s belly a slap, while his foot shot out to the side as he laughed heartily.
“Those Miscellaneous Chores Department, they would smash their own head in order to become an outer disciple. Meanwhile, we would smash our own heads in order to not fulfill the outer disciple quota. Nobody wants to leave, who would want to go outside and become an outer disciple? This place is amazing.” The more Fatty Zhang looked at Bai Xiaochun, the more he liked his temperament, and the more proudly he spoke. He took out another ginseng. This ginseng had countless rings around its head, its whiskers dense and numerous. It looked like it had aged for many years.
“Ninth Junior Brother, all of us have already cultivated enough to become outer disciples, but we must hide it. Look, this is a hundred year old ginseng. The disciples of other sects would fight over the right to take a single bite, but look at us.” Fatty Zhang snapped off a root and popped it in his mouth. After munching loudly and swallowing it, he handed the ginseng to Bai Xiaochun.
“Senior Brother, I’m full… I really can’t eat anymore…” Bai Xiaochun’s eyes blurred; he was really bloated with food. Just as he opened his mouth, Fatty Zhang snapped off a root and stuffed it into his mouth.
“Ninth Junior Brother, you’re too thin. If you go out like that, no girls in the sect will like you. Girls in our sect only like those similar to us, powerful and full. Here, eat… There is a couplet in our Hearthfire Kitchen. It’s like this: ‘Preferring to starve to death in Hearthfire Kitchen, instead of going outside the gate to fight.’” Fatty Zhang burped. He took out an empty bowl as he pointed to the straw hut behind them, where a couplet was hung.
“Yes, yes, we would rather starve to death here. Mn… starve to death.” Seeing this couplet, Bai Xiaochun slapped his stomach and burped.
Hearing this, Fatty Zhang and the others burst into laughter, thinking that Bai Xiaochun was increasingly adorable.
“Today is a happy day. Let me teach you something, Ninth Junior Brother. Here in the Hearthfire Kitchen, we are very particular about eating, and there is a saying that you must remember. Eat the sides and corners of the lingzhi mushroom; never touch the stem; chop meat with a fierce blade; scape two third of the bone off; add more water to the spiritual porridge; a small half-filled cup of wine.”
“These six truths are the conclusions of generations of our seniors. As long as you eat according to it, it can be guaranteed that nothing will go wrong. Now, let us disperse. The supper is now over for the night; the disciples of other sects are still waiting for the soup,” Fatty Zhang said as he poured rice soup into one bowl after another.
Bai Xiaochun was confused, his entire head filled with the six truths. Seeing Fatty Zhang and the others pouring rice soup into bowls, after sneezing, he squatted down and took an empty bowl in hand. After a detailed observation, he let out a smile.
“Senior Brother, this bowl isn’t that good.”
Fatty Zhang heard this and glanced towards Bai Xiaochun, revealing a surprised expression.
“Look at this bowl! The bowl doesn’t seem big, but it can actually hold a lot. Why don’t we make it look big and actually hold very little? So perhaps, make the bottom of this bowl… a bit thicker?” Bai Xiaochun said with a innocent look, smiling.
Fatty Zhang was surprised. He felt as if he was struck by lightning, the fat on his body beginning to vibrate with excitement. His eyes lit up while the breaths of the other fatties also quickened, the fat on their entire bodies also trembling.
With a loud slap, Fatty Zhang slapped his thigh and laughed out loud.
“Good, good, good, this is an amazing idea that will leave your name in history, benefiting countless juniors of our Hearthfire Kitchen. Ah! I didn’t expect Ninth Junior Brother to appear and act so lovable, but unexpectedly have a belly full of goods. Haha, you were born to be in the Hearthfire Kitchen!” 
I beseech recommendations!
I beseech favourites!!
 健步如飞 – running as fast as flying, which basically means: to run so fast, it seemed as if they were flying.
 lingzhi mushroom – type of mushroom
 Belly full of goods – smart/clever/cunning. Essentially, Bai Xiaochun is, despite his appearance (and name), devious and wily.