Taotie City lived up to its name of being a city in the sky. The straight and broad streets in the city were constructed from Levitational Rocks that were smooth like mirrors, and they were covered in a layer of clouds, causing it to feel dreamlike as one walked on its streets.
At the same time, Taotie City was the 'Capital of Delicacies' that was renowned in the world, and it gathered all the delicacies in the world. There were various ingredients from all over being transported into the city at practically every single moment, and after being cooked by the spirit chefs within the city, they became the numerous delicacies with special flavors on the dining tables.
Presently, along with the approach of the Spirit Chef Gold Rankings, this capital of delicacies had become even more bustling and streaming with people, and the streets were almost filled with people. Some were cultivators from all over that had come to witness the grand event out of admiration, and some were first-rate spirit chefs that had come from far and wide.
When Chen Xi and the others stepped foot into the city, it seemed as if they'd entered another world, and clamorous waves of noise assaulted their faces.
Strands of a variety of tempting fragrances suffused the air like an expanse of fermented clouds and mist, causing one's spirits to be refreshed and appetite to be aroused upon smelling it.
The streets in the city were extremely broad and filled with stalls on both sides. Behind the stalls were numerous spirit chefs that were cooking delicacies with skilled movements, whereas the people on the streets were mostly converged before every single stall and were tasting the delicacies while singing waves of praise.
"Finecloud Stall's Flaming Skewers are really superb! The texture of the meat is charred on the outside and tender on the inside, and it's oily yet not greasy. The rarest part of it all was that it carried the pungent taste of Jade Turnip Spice. Oh, its taste is too good!""This Fragrant Turmeric Stall's Nine Treasure Spirit Cake is even better. It's sweet, sticky, crispy, and smooth. It carries both the freshness of Azure Duckweed and the rich taste of Silver Poria. Even my tongue melts along with it once it's in my mouth."
"Come, come, come! Come taste this Clear Maroon Fruit Wine. It was personally brewed by Master Mei after gathering over a thousand spirit fruits and sealed within an icy pit for a hundred years, and it has only been unsealed today. It has a mellow and rich taste, and it's said that even an immortal would be intoxicated by three cups of it. It's a precious and superb wine that's hard to come by."
Clamorous noise filled the streets while cultivators formed groups of two or three as they enjoyed the delicacies and savored the superb wine before the numerous stalls with relaxed and carefree bearings.
The luxurious scene that was covered with delicacies caused even Chen Xi to feel it was too much for his eyes to take in, and he was greatly interested. Most importantly, the delicacies before those stalls were actually provided for free tastings!
Chen Xi praised in his heart. After all, those delicacies weren't ordinary dishes, and every single one of them were comparable to spirit medicines and possessed miraculous effects, causing them to be expensive.
Presently, they were actually given for free to the passing people in Taotie Street to taste, and ordinary powers were utterly unable to endure such an expense.
"Oh, there's so much good food!" The nearby A'xiu's eyes lit up while she stared fixedly at a golden yellow skewer of roast meat, and a trace of crystalline saliva overflowed from the red and moist corners of her mouth.
She wore a green dress, possessed a graceful figure, and had a gorgeous and exquisite appearance. At this moment, her appearance of a little glutton didn't arouse dislike in others but revealed a tender and cute feeling instead.
She shook Chen Xi's sleeve. "Let's start eating as well. I want to eat for three days and three nights!"
As soon as these words were spoken, the people the passed by nearby were instantly astounded, and they looked at A'xiu with strange expressions. It was truly difficult for them to imagine that such a lofty proclamation was spoken by a beautiful and cute young woman.
A'xiu didn't care instead, and she ran over happily to a stall and snapped her finger before she said in a clear voice, "Shopkeeper, give me 10 meat skewers! Right, you didn't hear me wrongly. It isn't one but 10!"
"Heh, Young Miss, you really have a good appetite." The shopkeeper couldn't help but grin from amusement but still passed over a bunch of skewers.
"Of course, how would I be able to eat for three days and three nights if my appetite isn't good?" The corners of A'xiu's mouth curled up, and she revealed an aura of arrogance as if she could devour all of it in a moment.
The shopkeeper was astounded and looked at Chen Xi as if he was saying. Young Master, this female companion of yours is too abnormal, right?
Chen Xi held his forehead in speechlessness, and he had a gloomy feeling. He walked forward and took hold of A'xiu's hand before walking forward.
"Hey! Hey! What are you pulling me along for?"
"I'll repeat it one more time, I'm not called 'hey'!"
"Oh, Chen Xi."
"Young Miss, can you be a little normal?"
"Normal? Aren't I very normal?"
In the end, Chen Xi exerted a great deal of effort and finally brought A'xiu along to leave this luxurious street that was filled with tempting delicacies, and he moved into a courtyard with Meng Wei and the others.
"Rest for a while. No one is allowed to leave without my permission!" Chen Xi glared at A'xiu, and he warned fiercely before turning around and returning to his room.
This courtyard was extremely large. There were artificial mountains and rivers, pavilions, and everything one could ask for. It was a courtyard specially prepared by Taotie City for the spirit chefs that were participating in the Spirit Chef Gold Rankings, so only those that possessed a Nine-Profundity Token could reside within it.
Chen Xi started to carefully read the jade slip in his hand upon returning to his room.
This was given to him by a servant of the Taotie Clan upon moving in to this courtyard, and it recorded the procedures and rules related to the Spirit Chef Gold Rankings.
According to the jade slip, the Spirit Chef Gold Rankings this time would have 3,000 spirit chefs from all over the Dark Reverie competing in it, and every single spirit chef was around the level of seven leaves.
The rules of the competition were extremely simple as well. It was divided into three rounds. Spirit chefs only had to cook a dish and pass it to the corresponding servant for the first round, and the servant would send it to Taotie Palace. At that time, the great spirit chefs of the Taotie Clan would taste these dishes one by one and select 100 spirit chefs to advance to the next round.
In the second round, those 100 spirit chefs that had been selected would be invited to Taotie Palace, and they would cook different dishes according to the various topics given to them. The 10 most outstanding people would remain while the remaining people would be eliminated.
The third round was the final round. At that time, that Taotie Clan's divine artifact — The Nine-Profundity Immortal Wok would make an appearance in Taotie Palace as well, and it would judge the top three spirit chefs along with three other seniors from the Taotie Clan.
The rewards for the Spirit Chef Gold Ranking this time was extremely generous as well. For example, not only would the first three obtain a strand of Goldblaze Flame, they would even be able to obtain a gift from the Nine-Profundity Immortal Wok.
Goldblaze Flame was a type of divine flame of the heavens and the earth, and it was extremely rare. Only the Taotie Clan possessed a strand of the source of such flames, and it was practically impossible to find anywhere.
Not only could this divine flame be utilized to refine pills and equipment, it possessed an extremely miraculous effect towards the cooking of food by spirit chefs. It could be said that this divine flame was absolutely a precious treasure that every single spirit chef dreamt of.
On the other hand, the gift from the Nine-Profundity Immortal Wok was even more extraordinary. After all, it was an Immortal Artifact that had existed since the primeval times until this day, and its Artifact Spirit had lived for countless years. It possessed a respected status and identity to the point that even Heavenly Immortals probably had to be courteous when meeting it!
This was the gift of an ancient figure, so how could it be ordinary?
Of course, besides the spirit chefs that were ranked in the top three, the other spirit chefs ranked in the top 10 and top 100 would similarly obtain rewards. But the value of these rewards was far inferior to the rewards obtained by those in the top three.
Goldblaze Flame, isn't that one of the divine flames required to refine the Flame God Fan? Chen Xi was surprised as he never expected that the reward of the Taotie Clan would actually contain such a treasure, and he couldn't help but feel slight anticipation.
The Spirit Chef Gold Rankings is starting in three days. Oh, it seems like I ought to make proper preparations as well. Chen Xi pondered for a moment as the content of An Ultimate, Illustrated Guide to Food Ingredients appeared clearly within his mind.
This was the first book related to spirit chefs that Old Man Ma had given to him while he was at Pine Mist City, and it recorded a few tens of thousands of spirit herbs, fruits, vegetables, grains, demon beasts, wild beasts, and so on and so forth that could be used as ingredients, and it could be said to contain everything in the world.
It was precisely by relying on the foundation formed from this book that Chen Xi's grasp of the Culinary Dao had unknowingly risen along with his cultivation to attain a height that caused Master Yong to praise him endlessly.
In next to no time, Chen Xi had a plan in his heart, and he got up and left his room with the intention of buying some ingredients on the streets.
But he intentionally went to take a look at A'xiu before leaving, and he saw this young woman that didn't act according to convention was playing with Xiao Yan and the others, causing him to instantly feel much more relaxed. So he notified Meng Wei before turning around and leaving.
As the publicly acknowledged capital of delicacies, Taotie City naturally had no lack of various ingredients. Conversely, the ingredients and goods here were so plentiful and complete that it could be said to be matchless.
But Chen Xi had just arrived here after all, and he was extremely unfamiliar with Taotie City, so he hired a local to be his guide as soon as he left.
The guide was a middle aged man with a gentle appearance, and he was a brilliant conversationalist. His name was Tao Ge.
Along with the curtains to the Spirit Chef Gold Rankings being about to be drawn, cultivators from all over the world had come over out of admiration. For the sake of the convenience of these guests that had just arrived and for the sake of earning some treasures, numerous local residents had taken up the role of guides, and Tao Ge was one of them.
"Young Master, look over there. That's the Spirit Flame Pool that's under construction. Once it's completed, the over 1,000 types of spirit flames gathered by my Taotie Clan from all over the world will be placed there for the sake of being utilized for cooking." Tao Ge was an extremely enthusiastic guide, and coupled with the high compensation Chen Xi provided, it made him work even harder. So, he spoke with fervor and assurance all along the way while citing many books as if he was speaking on a subject he was greatly familiar with.
At this moment, he was pointing towards the distance with a prideful expression. At that place was an enormous pool that occupied an extremely vast area, and it was completely constructed from first-class Blacksoul Jade, causing it to seem dignified, restrained, magnificent, and grand.
Some equipment refiners and Talisman Formation Masters were bustling about around the Spirit Flame Pool, and they were making the best use of every second to construct it, causing it to seem like an extremely bustling scene.
"After this Spirit Flame Pool is Myriad Transformations Market, that's the largest place of convergence for ingredients in my Taotie City. Those that fly in the sky, crawl on the ground, swim in the water… There's every type of ingredient, and it's rather renowned in the cultivation world." Tao Ge pointed towards the distance and was just intending to lead Chen Xi over when an expanse of clamorous noise just happened to resound out from the streets at this moment.
An enormous group was walking through the center of the streets with their heads held high, and all of them rode Whitejade Dracophants that were 9m in height. They were like numerous little hills that were covered in an armor of scales that were thick like shields.
Their footsteps were extremely heavy, and every single step caused the ground to tremble, and their impetus was extremely shocking when the entire group rumbled and moved through the streets.
On the Whitejade Dracophant at the front of the group was a robust young man that sat upright, and he possessed an extremely strong physique. His appearance was craggy, his eyes cold like lightning, and his entire body emitted an oppressive aura.
"Eh! It's actually Young Master Tao Kun!" Tao Ge was stunned as a wisp of fervent respect surged out into his eyes. "Young Master, that's the genius expert of our Taotie Clan — Tao Kun. He'd joined one of the 10 great immortal sects, the Heavenflow Dao Sect, at a young age, and he received deep and high regards from the numerous seniors in the clan!"