Similar to the cutting technique training, the system prepared a specially-made kitchen knife for Bu Fang as well but this one was much lighter. The kitchen knife used during the cutting technique training was made from a special metal and lifting it up alone was extremely strenuous.
When Bu Fang looked at the thick and broad kitchen knife, he began to feel unwell. He thought, "Shouldn't those kind of small-sized carving knives be used when practicing carving techniques? What's the meaning of giving me a butcher's knife?"
The kitchen knife itself was not that heavy, but the visual impact made Bu Fang feel depressed.
Pursing his lips, Bu Fang walked toward a cupboard and took out a piece of tofu that was prepared by the system. This was the ingredient that was going to be used for the practice. Obviously, Bu Fang was not supposed to use this tofu for testing his cutting technique, but to practice his carving technique.
The tofu was extremely white and it was still exuding warmth. A faint fragrance was wafting from the tofu. Without a question, the quality of the tofu was very high. At the very least, it was much better than the one prepared by the Immortal Phoenix Restaurant.
Grabbing the thick and broad kitchen knife, Bu Fang felt rather awkward for a moment as he faced the palm-sized, delicate tofu. He did not know how he should proceed.
With the first swing of his knife—the moment he circulated his true energy—the tender tofu immediately broke into pieces and bits of tofu flew everywhere.
Clearly, his first attempt had failed.
However, Bu Fang was not discouraged. Since he was holding a kitchen knife that was similar to those used by butchers, Bu Fang had not intended to succeed with his first attempt. Therefore, his expression remained the same as he retrieved a piece of tofu from the cupboard and continued with the carving technique training.
When it was almost time for the store to open, there was already a thick layer of tofu gathered on the table. Bu Fang had already lost count of the number of times he failed.
Nevertheless, growing from failure, reviewing one's mistakes, and finding the key to success were the most important parts of learning.
True energy flowed like a stream into the specially-made kitchen knife. Bu Fang wield the kitchen knife as if it weighed nothing and skillfully carved on the surface of the tofu...
His movements were awkward but they were much better than before when the tofu crumbled upon contact.
Gently pulling back the kitchen knife, Bu Fang let out a deep breath. He twirled the kitchen knife in his hand and performed a knife trick before gently placing it down. He finally finished the first work.
In front of Bu Fang, there was a palm-sized tofu with some parts starting to slowly fall off, as if its clothes were being taken off to reveal the world inside.
It was a lotus flower carved from tofu with white and delicate petals. The petals were translucent like paper and seemed like they would be destroyed from a single gust of wind. The layers of petals stacked together were extremely beautiful. Furthermore, the use of true energy seemed to have caused the surface of the tofu lotus flower to glisten, making it exceptionally attractive.
"I still need to put in more effort. Nonetheless, I finally managed to carve out the first piece of work after using up the entire morning practice," Bu Fang muttered to himself. After that, he cleaned up the kitchen and started preparing Blacky's breakfast, the Sweet 'n' Sour Ribs.
A busy day was beginning once more.
For three consecutive days, the imperial city was in an uproar. The situation within the imperial court was constantly changing.
The news of Emperor Changfeng's demise was already made known and the time of the funeral procession was confirmed. It was set to be held three days before the Spring Festival. The funeral of a great emperor was definitely going to be a grand and spectacular affair.
Even though the crown prince and King Yu were still fighting over the throne, neither of them dared to disregard Emperor Changfeng's funeral. This was not just a problem of respecting Emperor Changfeng, but also a test of their filial piety.
Ji Chengxue, who was on a campaign outside of the empire's border, was already en route back to the imperial city. The news of the emperor's demise had finally spread to him, so he chose to return. Even though he knew the current state of the imperial city was stormy, he still wanted to come back. His purpose was not just to attend the funeral.
On a mountain path, a troop of bunched-up soldiers was slowly proceeding along the rugged terrain. Ji Chengxue, wearing a military attire, was slowly walking in the middle of this troop with a grave expression on his handsome face.
Next to Ji Chengxue, there was a figure with a bamboo hat slowly moving along with them while riding atop a horse.
The both of them were silent and the mood between them was extremely awkward and tense.
When the majestic silhouette of the imperial city appeared before them, Ji Chengxue took a deep breath. His eyes glistened with a meaningful light.
"Are you really planning to enter the imperial city?" A hoarse voice reached Ji Chengxue's ears coming from the mouth of the man wearing a bamboo hat.
"There's still ten more days before the Spring Festival and father's funeral is held three days before that. If I don't head back right now, I won't be able to make it for his funeral," Ji Chengxue mildly replied.
"Nevertheless, you should think carefully… Once you step into the imperial city, there's a chance that you might be targeted by the crown prince and King Yu… When that happens, you'll be in grave danger."
"I've never been safe. Even though they seem to be unconcerned about me… I am still a prince after all." Ji Chengxue chuckled as he turned his head toward the man hidden under the bamboo hat and said, "It might be dangerous for me to enter the imperial city, but your situation is not any better than mine. Right, Xiao Yue?"
The figure under the bamboo hat chuckled helplessly for a moment. However, after a long while, the both of them started laughing together.
"Now that you've mentioned it, I really miss Owner Bu's Ice Heart Jade Urn Wine. It's been so long since I've smelled its aroma that I am really craving for some right now. I really want to drink a dozen jars immediately." Xiao Yue hoarsely said.
Ji Chengxue's lips curled up as he gave Xiao Yue a glance. "A dozen jars? You wish. Owner Bu only sells three jars per day. You're lucky if you even get to drink a single jar."
Xiao Yue stared blankly for a moment and then let out a deep sigh.
Before Ji Chengxue's army reached the imperial city, three figures were standing before its imposing gates.
The person leading them was a woman wearing a veil, whose attire was very casual. Her overflowing long hair was tied up with a simple string, and she did not have too many accessories on her. She was also wearing a loose robe that completely concealed her figure.
On the other hand, the other two figures were respectfully standing behind the woman. If Bu Fang was here, he would definitely recognise them because they were the people he met in the Wildlands, Tang Yin and Lu Xiaoxiao.
At that moment, Tang Yin was both respectfully and fearfully looking at the woman in long robes with a complicated expression on his face.
"Master… Are we really going to look for senior? Senior is really terrifying and unfathomable!" Tang Yin helplessly said.
The eyes of the woman wearing a veil turned and landed on Tang Yin. Suddenly, an enormous pressure caused Tang Yin to break out in cold sweats.
The woman's eyes were extremely beautiful. Her eyebrows were long and curvy, and the corner of her eyes were slightly curving upward. Her skin was fair and supple. Just from looking at her eyes, she appeared to be a devastatingly beautiful woman.
"Xiaoyinyin, I don't know how powerful that senior of yours is. However… if you continue to nag at me, I'll make you drink an entire jar of my special chilli sauce!" the woman said. Her voice was pleasing to the ears but the words that came out of her mouth made Tang Yin want to cry.
This woman was Tang Yin's master as well as the third elder of the Celestial Arcanum, Ni Yan! She was an extremely temperamental woman!
After glaring at Tang Yin, Ni Yan turned her gaze toward Lu Xiaoxiao and asked, "Girl, that Phoenix Blood Herb was really taken by that fellow, right? You're not lying to me, right?"
Lu Xiaoxiao hurriedly nodded her head.
Ni Yan's narrowed her beautiful eyes and snorted before heading into the imperial city.
"How dare you snatch my Phoenix Blood Herb, and I even heard that you're a chef… I like to talk with my culinary skills the most! Ahem!"
Tang Yin and Lu Xiaoxiao helplessly looked each other in the eyes before they hurriedly followed after her.