Bu Fang easily guessed that if he used ingredients provided by the system to cook, the system would, given its nature, deduct his crystals… That was why Bu Fang astutely decided to utilize the many ingredients he gathered by himself from the Illusory Spirit Swamp.
Many spirit herbs were collected during this trip, though it didn't include much high-graded ingredients, Bu Fang came across an unexpected surprise. That would be the serpent-men tribe's fleshy first-grade spirit fish. Though its grade wasn't high, every fish had extremely plump and full flesh.
Bu Fang brought back quite a few of those fishes, as he didn't actually get to taste the Aromatic Grilled Fish he cooked in the serpent-men tribe and felt awfully regretful. Though he was a chef, he was just as much a foodie. Since his heart kept on calling out to the grilled fish, he brought back a couple, not to mention this fish wasn't that valuable in the serpent-men tribe anyway.
In the serpent-men tribe, Bu Fang was able to cook such delicious grilled fish under tough and lacking circumstances. Now that he was back in his store, provided with much better equipments, the taste of the grilled fish would undergo an immense refinement.
The crowd outside greatly anticipated Bu Fang's new dish, as Bu Fang's new dish never failed to amaze them every time.
Standing in front of the cupboard, relishing in the clean and fully equipped kitchen of the store, Bu Fang took in a deep breath. He sighed in revelation. The conditions of the store were remarkably better than that of the serpent-men tribe.
With improved equipments and environment, Bu Fang became all the more confident in the cooking of this grilled fish.
Taking out two slightly squirming, plump fishes from the System's dimensional storage, Bu Fang examined the fleshiness of the fish and grew to like it more and more, even though the spiritual grade of the fish was low.
A wisp of smoke twirled around Bu Fang's hand, and the Dragon Bone Kitchen Knife appeared. The clear spring water was used to wash the kitchen knife. Even though the Dragon Bone Kitchen Knife had self-cleansing properties, Bu Fang, being slightly germaphobic, still subconsciously washed the kitchen knife.
After washing the kitchen knife, Bu Fang began to handle the plump fish. Since he was quite proficient with handling fish, the two fishes were processed in no time. Next, he slitted the fish from belly to its back, unfolded it, and marked a few cuts on the fish.
He took out a porcelain pot, added cooking wine, placed the processed fish within, layered the fish with some marinated ingredients, and put it into the kitchen cabinet for marination.
With the System's help, the marination time could be greatly reduced.
During the waiting time for the marination to be complete, Bu Fang began to prepare the other side ingredients. He took out fruits and vegetables, twirled the knife in his hands, and finished processing everything.
Lastly, he took out a ball of blood-red Blood Crown. The blood crown of a seventh grade Black Swamp Boa was highly precious as it contained a rich level of spiritual energy. The surge of this spiritual energy would render one astounded.
Bu Fang cut off a third of the Blood Crown, and once a crimson Blood Crown was slashed open, a gush of spirit essence charged out like a lively dragon. This was none other than the essence of the Black Swamp Boa, and it was naturally extraordinary.
The texture of the Blood Crown resembled that of fungus, so Bu Fang chopped up this one third of Blood Crown into strips and mixed it with the vegetables.
Taking the two pieces of well-marinated fish out of the cabinet, Bu Fang specially requested the System to provide a pan needed for grilling fish.
Even though the System was stingy, none of Bu Fang's crystals would be deducted for providing a pan for the new grilled fish. Deduction would only occur when Bu Fang requested ingredients.
The two fishes were placed on the pan and then pushed it into the oven for grilling. Given the steaming temperature dispersing within the oven, the flesh of the two fishes gradually became well-done. When the timing became just right, Bu Fang took out the pan, and the aroma of the fish spread out.
Fruits and vegetables, already stir-fried with oil, were poured on top of the grilled fish. The Blood Crown melted gradually under the high temperature of the grill, and its spirit energy seeped into the fish meat and vegetables.
A strong fragrance dispersed along with the spirit energy, and it uncontrollably stimulated Bu Fang's appetite.
The two fishes were sizable, enough for the people outside to taste test.
"Say, knowing how black-hearted Owner Bu is, what kind of new dish would he treat us with?" Fatty Jin extended his neck as he asked those nearby.
Luo Sanniang's eyes rolled, her lips forming a smirk. "You never know for sure. Given Owner Bu's nature, maybe he'll whip out an ordinary steamed corn bread and sternly tell you that it is the new dish."
"No… No way! If Owner Bu said it's a new dish, it'll definitely be worth the anticipation!" Juan'Er placed the food container on the table and retorted, shyly and quietly, when she heard Luo Sanniang's words.
Everyone was awfully curious to know what kind of dish Bu Fang would make for them. It was a difficult question, since they ate at the store on a daily basis and knew very clearly the quality and price of Bu Fang's dishes. If Bu Fang said it was on the house today, but only treated a dish that wasn't even worth one crystal, then they would conclude that Bu Fang was truly god damn black-hearted.
This was also why Bu Fang decided to take out the Blood Crown.
Just relying on the plump fish from the serpent-men tribe may fulfill the standards of taste, but because the spirit level of this fleshly fish was far from strong, if Bu Fang only grilled this fish, his customers would definitely feel disgruntled.
Just as the crowd was chattering tête-à-tête, Bu Fang slowly sauntered out of the kitchen with the pan containing the grilled fish in his hands.
This pan was large, so Bu Fang did not ask Ouyang Xiaoyi to serve, and instead personally carried it out and placed it on a table.
A waft of rich aroma drifted from the grilled fish, causing the crowds' eyes to sparkle right away.
"It really is a new dish! This… this is something I've never seen before. It's even served in a special apparatus!" Fatty Jin's eyes stared straight at it, he couldn't believe Bu Fang actually took out this new dish.
The corner of Luo Sanniang's mouth twitched, it was incredible that Bu Fang actually conscientiously delivered a new dish… She thought Bu Fang was going to toss out a steamed corn bread and call it a day.
But of course, having a new dish was terrific… At least they were in luck to give it a taste!
The crowd held up their chopsticks and bowls, unable to hold themselves back. Sniffing the fish's rich, mouth-watering fragrance that spread through the air, the crowd was simply intoxicated.
However, before they even moved their chopsticks, Bu Fang intervened.
"This is a grilled fish, don't be impatient… You don't get to eat delicious grilled fish if you're in a hurry," Bu Fang declared.
Thereafter, under everyone's stunned gaze, Bu Fang pried open the top half of the pan, revealing a hollow section within the grill.
Bu Fang lifted a finger and a wisp of ivory-colored true energy floated out of his fingertip, as if a spirit was pulsating upon it.
The finger pointed at the hollow inners of the grill, and right under everyone's astonished eyes, a shining luster ignited within the pan and turned into a simple magic array.
Scorching heat rose from the magic array.
Bu Fang placed the fish on the grill, the magic array circulated underneath, roasting the grilled fish within the pan.
The magic array emitted a brilliant radiance, rendering the entire pan vividly vibrant. It was breathtakingly beautiful.
"This is the new dish I invented these two days, Spirit Array Grilled Fish." Bu Fang made up some baloney with a straight face, finding a compelling excuse to justify his absence.
Under the magic array's roasting, the aroma of the grilled fish became even stronger. Gleams emitted by the magic array played with the color of the grilled fish, causing it to change constantly, pale red, dark red, pale red once again…
Sizzling hot steam became increasingly visible.
With clusters of fruits and vegetables on top, the grilled fish looked stunning. Its visual representation was enough to keep one enchanted, not to mention the fish's rich aroma under the effect of the magic array.
"This is the first plate of grilled fish. Take your time, everyone. There's another plate inside, I'll go get it," Bu Fang announced.
"Go ahead, go ahead…" The crowd murmured halfheartedly, already losing track of Bu Fang's words.
The corners of Bu Fang's lips curled, he glanced at this group of people swallowing their saliva, and turned to head back to the kitchen.
"Right, Owner Bu, when is the proper time for us to start eating this grilled fish?" Fatty Jin suddenly remembered to ask a crucial question, and inquired as he looked over his shoulder.
"Guess." Bu Fang waved his hand and answered coolly, with his figure quickly disappeared into the kitchen.
"Why would I ask if I was going to guess…" Fatty Jin wanted to snap back at Bu Fang as he turned his head back indignantly, but his pupils suddenly shrank.
"Damn it! You barbarians, save me some!"
Fatty Jin gaped grievously at the flock that had already charged toward the grilled fish. Seeing that the plump, juicy fish meat was being taken piece by piece, Fatty Jin felt as if all the fat in his own body was being sucked clean. These savage brutes… what happened to the promise of waiting for the fish to cook?
What happened to the indestructible foundation of trust between people?!