The weather was becoming colder and colder, as if it had turned from late autumn into winter in a flash. The pedestrians on the streets of the imperial city were starting to cover themselves in thick cotton-padded clothes. As they walked down the streets early in the morning, water vapour could be clearly seen coming from their mouth when they exhaled.
Bang bang bang!
A series of banging sounds came from the door. Bu Fang who had just gotten up and was practicing the Meteor Knife Technique in the kitchen was slightly startled. He thought, "It's still early in the morning… Who's knocking on the door?"
Bu Fang lay down the kitchen knife in his hand and unhurriedly opened the entrance to the store. Reflected in his eyes was Ouyang Xiaoyi who was wearing a pink jacket. Her vivid, large eyes were blinking as she looked at Bu Fang.
"Xiaoyi? Why are you here so early today?" Bu Fang puzzledly asked. He thought, "Doesn't she normally arrive after Fatty Jin and the rest have finished eating?"
Xiaoyi was slightly out of breath, as if she had jogged all the way there. Her delicate face was faintly rosy and the tip of her nose had turned slightly red from the cold weather, increasing her adorableness.
"Smelly boss, His Highness big brother is leaving the imperial city and setting off today. Let's go and send him off," Ouyang Xiaoyi expectantly said.
Bu Fang went into a daze. He seemed to remember that Ji Chengxue mentioned something about leaving the imperial city and going on a campaign against the sects outside the border.
When Bu Fang recalled Ji Chengxue had been patronizing his business all this time, he thought that he should at least send him off. So, he did not reject Ouyang Xiaoyi but nodded instead.
"Wait for me," Bu Fang simply said as he turned around and went into the store. After a while, he took out a piece of wooden board.
On the wooden board was written: Business is suspended today.
After hanging the wooden board on the door, Bu Fang squatted down and stroked Blacky's supple and immaculate fur. He closed up the entrance of the store and left with Ouyang Xiaoyi.
Bu Fang was wearing a cashmere overcoat that was tightly wrapped around his body and a dark gray scarf that was coiled around his neck to prevent the cold wind from slipping down his back.
Ouyang Xiaoyi did not expect Bu Fang would readily agree to her invitation. She was originally just giving it a try when she came to inquire Bu Fang and was prepared to be rejected… However, results were often outside of people's expectations.
The two of them walked toward the entrance of the alleyway. Xiao Xiaolong and Xiao Yanyu, the two good-looking siblings were standing nearby. Xiao Xanyu's face was covered with a veil and her impeccable appearance could not be seen. Her aura was refined and outstanding, as if a goddess had descended.
Her injuries had already mostly recovered and basically did not hinder her movements. When Xiao Xiaolong noticed Bu Fang and Ouyang Xiaoyi, he began waving his arms from a distance.
The two siblings were wearing white fur overcoats that fully revealed their dignified aura. When matched with their immaculate appearances, they provided a beautiful scenery on the street.
"Owner Bu, you actually agreed to come with us to send off His Highness?!" Xiao Xiaolong stared at Bu Fang in amazement with an incredulous expression.
Previously, when Ouyang Xiaoyi said that she wanted to invite Bu Fang, he thought that Bu Fang would definitely not agree, due to his cold personality. However, reality viciously slapped his face.
"Why? Is it strange?" Bu Fang simply said as he expressionlessly looked at Xiao Xiaolong.
Xiao Xiaolong immediately laughed in an awkward manner and no longer said anything. Xiao Yanyu, who was standing next to him, looked toward Bu Fang. After a long while, she slightly bowed and gently said, "Thank you for saving me..."
Bu Fang nodded and it suddenly became quiet between the four of them. Then, they left the alleyway and headed toward the main streets of the imperial city.
The early morning wind was slightly bone-chilling. Bu Fang tightened the scarf coiled around his neck as he curiously looked around. He rarely left the store and his impression of the imperial city was quite vague. Even though he had stayed within the imperial city for almost two months, he was still unfamiliar with the streets.
On the sides of the street, as the sky gradually became brighter, the stall hawkers began to show up. They were curled up in the cold wind as they yelled to attract customers while water vapor came out from their mouths.
On both sides of the street, there were also drowsy shop assistants that were yawning as they opened up for business. After resting for a night, the imperial city was gradually waking up in the morning light.
Bu Fang did not conceal his curiosity, while Ouyang Xiaoyi cheerfully introduced the surrounding things and buildings to Bu Fang.
"Is that the Immortal Phoenix Restaurant? The so-called number one restaurant in the imperial city?" Bu Fang suddenly said as he pointed toward a beautifully renovated three-floor building.
Ouyang Xiaoyi and the others went into a daze for a moment and then nodded.
Ouyang Xiaoyi pointed toward the flamboyant "Immortal Phoenix Restaurant" above the entrance and charmingly said, "Smelly boss, those three characters were written by the emperor grandpa!"
As Bu Fang looked, he discovered that the three characters were indeed filled with connotation. The emperor's calligraphy was still very good, unfortunately… If the system had not rejected, he might have agreed to the emperor's request at that moment.
Because he wanted to quickly get a signboard for the store as well.
"Abrupt mission: my host, please taste the thirteen dishes of the Immortal Phoenix Restaurant, assess their merits and drawbacks, and find out three inadequate points of each dish by today."
(People who succeed need to cover their weaknesses with their strengths. Young man, use your fussy tongue to find fault at the Immortal Phoenix Restaurant.)
Mission reward: Ten percent of true energy cultivation progression, advanced cooking method of a dish from Immortal Phoenix Restaurant.
Just as Bu Fang was sizing up the Immortal Phoenix Restaurant, a solemn voice rang out in his mind, causing him to space out on the spot.
He thought, "Another abrupt mission? This time, I'll have to find fault using my tongue?
"Fine… This mission definitely seems like something the system would give. However, covering weaknesses with strengths is not wrong."
Even though Bu Fang had the help of the system, isolation was not helpful to his growth as someone aimed to become the God of Cooking.
Furthermore, the rewards of the abrupt mission this time, ten percent of true energy cultivation progression and the cooking method of a new dish, were quite alluring to Bu Fang…
If he increased another ten percent of true energy cultivation progression, he would soon be able to become a fourth grade Battle-Spirit. When that time came, the system would level up and unlock more functions.
"Smelly boss, what are you spacing out for? We need to hurry up, otherwise we won't make it for His Highness big brother's sending off," Ouyang Xiaoyi said as she tugged on Bu Fang's cashmere overcoat.
Bu Fang turned his attention back to them and nodded. He meaningfully glanced at the Immortal Phoenix Restaurant once more, then followed their pace as they went down the wide main roads of the imperial city.
Soon, the four of them reached the city gate. On both sides of the gate, a row of soldiers wearing metal armor were standing there. Their expressions were solemn and they were giving off a somber aura.
Outside of the city walls, an army was orderly lined up in a formation. These troops were all soldiers of the third prince and his protection during the campaign against the sects.
Ji Chengxue was not wearing a refined white robe that day, but a military uniform with a metal armor and helmet. His handsome face was not gentle as usual, but filled with a cold sternness.
"Thank you for sending me off, Owner Bu. I feel honored." When Ji Chengxue noticed that Bu Fang actually appeared to send him off as well, he was feeling slightly surprised and warmth.
"Your Highness, you must take care of your body during the campaign. Your body is more important than anything else. Remember, you're still a prince!" Xiao Meng solemnly exhorted.
A campaign against the sects from outside of the border was not a joke and was extremely dangerous. A single mistake could cause the entire army to be annihilated. After all, the members of the sects from outside of the border were all experts. Even though the soldiers of the empire were strong, a powerful dragon could not suppress a snake in its lair. Even Emperor Changfeng was unable to completely annihilate these sects despite spending so many years battling them.
Ji Chengxue nodded as he mounted a dark brown unicorn and grabbed its reins. He looked toward the direction of the majestic imperial palace. In his eyes, neither happiness nor sadness could be seen.
The orderly army slowly moved and gradually left the imperial city. They slowly disappeared in the horizon...
Once Ji Chengxue's figure had disappeared, Ouyang Xiaoyi turned around and said to Bu Fang, "Smelly boss, now that we've sent off His Highness, are we going back to the store to open for business?"
Xiao Yanyu and Xiao Xiaolong looked toward their direction at the same time. If Bu Fang was going back to open the store, they would follow along as well. To be able to eat Bu Fang's dishes everyday was also a kind happiness.
However, Bu Fang expressionlessly shook his head and looked toward the direction of the Immortal Phoenix Restaurant. The corner of his mouth rigidly curled up.
"Let's eat at the Immortal Phoenix Restaurant today and find out how the food from the number one restaurant in the imperial city tastes like..."