Chapter 325 - Porridge Almost Done
The news that Shi Xueman was expelled and was heading for Ai Hui’s Five Elemental Eight Treasures Porridge feast spread across Avalon of Five Elements like a wildfire.
The whole Avalon was in an uproar.
As the number one of the new generation, Shi Xueman was the most perfect goddess in the eyes of ordinary people. She was born into a noble family, trained hard since young, homeschooled, well-mannered, tenacious, and responsible. She had never ever had any negative publicity.
As if the news of her abrupt expulsion was not already earth-shattering, her appearance at the Swordsman Training Hall in Peace City triggered endless wild thoughts.
Many people felt that it was a pity since it was now impossible for her to become the next leader. None of the successive Great Elders of the Avalon of Five Elements had ever made such a grave mistake.
Other than regret, people also felt curious as to what Ai Hui was like as a person.
When Central Pine survivors from all over gathered in Peace City, everyone saw how much influence Ai Hui had over these people. Even Shi Xueman came, pushing Ai Hui’s popularity up a few notches.
Because of this matter, no one talked about the master murderer incident anymore. Would Shi Xueman still have came if Ai Hui was really such a vile character?
The most troubling issue was still regarding the New Citizen Faction.
Without the support of the new citizens, Ai Hui was merely a rootless duckweed. No matter how popular he was, he would be no different from Tian Huzun and unable to contend for the position of the next Great Elder. The aristocratic families viewed this as insignificant.
Yet, with the support of the new citizens, Ai Hui was highly likely to become the next Great Elder, thus becoming a threat.
In other words, if the new citizens supported Ai Hui, it was equivalent to them declaring their intention of taking the position of the next Great Elder. Undoubtedly, that would lead to a full-on protest from the aristocratic families’ side.
On the other hand, if they gave up on Ai Hui, it meant that they would be offending the whole Central Pine faction. To the aristocratic families, they would still have sufficient power even without the Central Pine faction. To the new citizens, however, losing the Central Pine Faction, where 90% of the members were new citizens, would cause a long-term loss.
To the new citizens, it was a tough decision to make.
To Ai Hui and gang, they had no time to worry about these fights and schemes.
Shi Xueman and her group’s arrival pushed the party atmosphere to a new high.
The core group of Central Pine survivors were all here.
Ai Hui, Shi Xueman, Duanmu Huanghun, Jiang Wei, Sang Zhijun, Wang Xiaoshan, and the A-1 unit. One could easily imagine the excitement and joy this reunion brought.
The busiest was Bangwan.
"Bangwan, I heard you got defeated by One Thousand Yuan?"
"Bangwan, I heard you’re here as a hostage?"
"Bangwan, I heard you got intoxicated in brothels every night?"
"Bangwan, I heard you’re looking for a wife? Want us to help you arrange a blind date?"
"Big Sister is still the best! Or else Bangwan would still be getting drunk in brothels!"
Lou Lan was busily boiling the Eight Treasures Porridge.
There was a big iron cooking pot, and complicated patterns were drawn on the ground. It was a spell formation. Up until now, the earth fire had already been burning for a whole 10 days. More than 1,000 elemental essence beans and 200 blood crystals had been consumed, while the number of precious ingredients thrown in was uncountable.
In all of Lou Lan’s elemental cooking career, this was his first time taking on such a large-scale project.
On one hand, seeing expensive ingredients carelessly being thrown into the pot everyday made Fatty’s heart ache, but on the other hand, the fragrance drifting out of the pot made him drool freely.
Fatty could not endure it any longer. "Lou Lan, how much longer do you need?"
"It’s almost done." Lou Lan cheered on, "Go, go, Fatty, hang in there."
Fatty was a fire elementalist, and over the past three years, he had never stopped training. He had long since attained elemental externalization and could help Lou Lan brew the Eight Treasures Porridge.
But, Lou Lan’s preparation method was quite different from the others.
The drawings on the ground were spell formations were called elemental energy formations, and they were products Ai Hui had researched according to his master’s theories. Fatty did not quite understand elemental energy formations, but as a fire elementalist, he had a deeper understanding of flames than most.
The flames used to cook the Eight Treasures Porridge were from the subterranean earth fire, but Fatty could guarantee that he had never seen such fierce flames. Plus, the flames were exceptionally condensed. He could no longer feel any heatwaves upon walking mere steps away from the fire.
As a fire elementalist, he knew just how difficult this was.
These three years, other than his artifact remnant business, he had not been the least bit lazy when it came to training. He was no longer that insensible and ignorant newbie. He was no longer that lazy fatty who wanted to lie down all day to bask in the sun.
Lou Lan was a sand puppet made for controlling earth, not fire elemental energy.
The concentrated, blazing flame before his eyes came from this so called elemental energy formation. Having done business for three years, Fatty saw things very differently now. One look and he could tell that this elemental energy formation possessed an immense value.
"Ai Hui, this elemental energy formation is good stuff. Are there any other types?"
Ai Hui looked at Fatty, somewhat flabbergasted. He never thought that Fatty would the first person to notice its value. He asked curiously, "What do you think this is good for?"
"Many things!" Fatty’s spirit rose. "I’ve never seen such a powerful earth fire. It can be used to forge metal and brew elemental soup. If it’s too expensive, can’t we find cheaper ingredients to make a fire pool? Even if we use it to breed Inferno Dragonsnakes, we will strike it rich. Fire type ingredients are very valuable since the Fire Prairie is gone and other earth fire aren’t powerful enough. Plus, isn’t the lesser Avalon going to be reconstructed? There will be fire elemental cities, so fire elemental ingredients will be in great demand. We will make huge profits by obtaining batches of those ingredients."
"Sure, Fatty. I see that the past three years have not been wasted." Ai Hui sized Fatty up and commented in shock, "You did not reduce in size, but your knowledge and experience have increased decently, eh."
"Just a little less than you." Fatty acted humble, but the satisfaction on his face simply could not be concealed.
Still, after seeing the luxurious lineup of door guards, Fatty felt it was better for him to be less showy.
Just then, Lou Lan reminded them, "The porridge is almost ready!"
Ai Hui and Fatty’s attention was immediately drawn to the aroma that filled the air. The porridge in the big pot was like gluey lava, bubbling nonstop. As each bubble burst, the fragrance in the air thickened.
The training hall turned quieter as everybody’s gaze fell to where Lou Lan was standing. How sweet smelling!
The sound of someone swallowing his saliva rang loud and clear through the hall, but no one laughed at him since they could all feel their saliva starting to overflow.
The light in Tian Huzun’s eyes brightened. He felt touched. He had the strongest abilities and could tell better than anyone else that this exotic, delicate fragrance was not an ordinary scent, but a type that was made up of extremely complex elemental energy.
Elemental energy’s delicate fragrance!
No one else would recognize this, but being experienced and knowledgeable, Tian Huzun had seen it before from the strongest dire beast he had ever encountered in his life!
A deep space sperm whale!
By chance, he had met a deep space sperm whale, thousands of miles up in the sky. The sight of the whale swimming about leisurely was unforgettable. Wherever it passed, a delicate fragrance curled up like fallen petals.
That exotic, delicate fragrance was elemental energy!
Elemental energy fragrance was different from other forms. One would still be unable to block it off even if he or she shut off your sense of smell. This fragrance was essentially made up of complicated, ever-changing elemental energy.
Tian Huzun clearly remembered that he was looking at that whale with eyes wide open As it swam past him, his mind went blank momentarily.
He was pleasantly surprised. Before, he was still somewhat in doubt, but at this point, he was 100% sure that this porridge was really extraordinary!
No one could resist this delicate fragrance.
Other organisms, not just humans, had no power to resist such a scent as well.
"Ai Hui, I’m going to throw the fire lotus seeds in now!"
Lou Lan’s voice roused Ai Hui. Putting in the fire lotus seeds was the last step. Ai Hui did not forget Lou Lan’s reminder that this step might cause an accident.
Ai Hui asked Lou Lan what might happen, but Lou Lan was also uncertain since he had never cooked such an expensive elemental cuisine before.
"Be alert, everybody."
Ai Hui shouted at the top of his voice, asking everybody to stand guard.
He was unsure what situation would arise, but it was always better to be prepared.
Shi Xueman and the others quickly regained their alertness, and their faces changed slightly. They stood guard in their respective positions. They had always had complete confidence in Ai Hui’s judgments. While they did not know why he asked everyone to be on guard at this time, everyone knew that something was definitely going to happen.
Tong Gui and Yu Jin’s eyes met, and they both saw the bafflement in each other’s eyes. Could it be that someone was here to steal the porridge?
Nevertheless, Tian Huzun picked up that greasy fire vat without a word and hovered into the air gracefully. At this moment, there was a solemn look on his disheveled face.
Perhaps there really was such a turn of events?
Right now, all of Lou Lan’s attention was on the big pot. The light in his eyes flickered as he concentrated.
His fingers moved quickly as fire lotus seeds appeared and disappeared out of sight. Moving very naturally, the shadow of his fingers was like a blossoming flower. The sight of elemental energy surging between his fingers was dazzling.
The outer shells of the fire lotus seeds were like a mixture of ice and snow, revealing the red ceramic-like lotus seed kernels. In the center was a wisp of weak flame, the lotus seed core.
The sparkling and translucent fire lotus seed kernels drew a beautiful parabola before falling into a bubble that had just burst.
Whoosh. A wisp of flame flared up from the porridge. An astonishing elemental energy wave spread with a loud rumble.
Lou Lan’s eyes flickered incessantly, his fingers moving rapidly as he peeled the shells off the fire lotus seeds and threw them into the big pot one after another.
Wisps of flames rose as the elemental energy waves grew increasingly intense.
Each elemental energy wave triggered additional waves from the surrounding elemental energy. Quickly, these waves extended throughout Peace City and the elemental energy of the whole city stirred.
Everybody in Peace City put down what they were doing and looked toward the Swordsman Training Hall in shock.
Thump, thump, thump!
Beating powerfully, it was just like a giant heart.