Chapter 0 – Beginnings of a Legend, Gou Den
Under the blazing sun, an old man walked with a child. The old man wore a fiery red chef’s robe. Near the area of his upper abdomen is a sichuan pepper embroidered in gold. This represents his status as a Michelin four star chef, which was a realm higher than michelin star chefs. Grey hair draped behind him and a distinctively angular bronze face that seemed as if it were peeled with a knife and chiseled with a hatchet. However, his brown eyes revealed a faint sorrow.
“Mi Se, are you tired yet?” The man lowered his head as he asked the child in front of him.
The boy was only as tall as the man’s waist, not at all resembling each other. They had very little in common. The boy’s age was still young, though he still had a handsome appearance, even more eye-catching than the tall man. He possessed a pair of water blue eyes. His body appeared to be frail and weak. This is due to his tired, pale complexion.
He firmly shook his head, “Grandpa, I’m not tired. Why are have we left on this trip? Are we going to see my parents?”
The tall man raised his head and look at the blazing sun, it appeared as if the glaring sunshine didn’t have the slightest effect on him. “That’s right, We’re going to see your parents. I haven’t seen them since they trusted me with you. They’re still there where I had abandoned them. Even to this day I still regret letting such two talented chefs waste away. ”
Mi Se’s age was still young after all, and didn’t fully understand him, “What do you mean?”
The tall man let out a cold groan, his eyes seemed to want to spout fire, “They, groan, They… Mi Se, when they entrusted you to me, they were being chased by the Salt Pagoda. They wished to sacrifice the ultimate salted tears that only your mother could cry to their wicked salty gods. For your mother, your father had paid everything but they could only preserve you and not themselves. They were pickled. These years we spent together were truly joyful but the time for vengeance has come. They are going to salt the Great Azure River. I must stop them before they salt the land and give everyone high blood pressure. We’ve finally arrived. Do you wish to say anything to your parents? I needed to visit them one last time before I embark for vengeance.” He stood over a rock engraved with their names.
“Mother. Father. Thank you.” He cupped his hands. “Grandfather, I want to go with you to get revenge. I can’t stand being alone. All I know is you. Could it be that you don’t want me?” Mi Se’s eye was a bit red. He tightly grasped his grandfather’s hand.
The tall man took a scroll out of his bosom and put it in Mi Se’s hand. “Do you remember how to use the recipe for the evacuation magic pepper? It’s possible for you to go with me but it’s too dangerous . You must remember how to use this pepper. It will help bring you to a safe place. The day before yesterday, grandfather drew a magic pepper array at that place.”
Mi Se with magic recipe in hand, cutely nodded and said, “Grandfather, I understand now.”
The tall man sighed saying, “It is a shame the time we shared was so brief, your talent is even greater than mine. If time had permitted I would have taught you much. Perhaps you could become an iron pungence chef. Heh, maybe even a title Gou Den. However, time does not allow me to wait any longer. If we don’t hurry to the Salt God’s Castle, then disaster will salt the lands.”
Mi Se seemed to understand yet didn’t but still nodded saying, “Grandfather, from now on I must become a powerful spice chef like you.”
Within the tall man’s eyes displayed a trace of haziness, “I remember years ago, when you were just born. Your father and mother were deciding what type of cooking should you, their child, practice? She wanted the child to be a salt chef, he wanted spice. Since saltiness and pungency cannot merge with one another, that child could only choose one. At the time, your mother said, if the child were a boy, he’d then study under me to become a spice chef. If the child were a girl, she’d study under her mother to become an salt chef. Now I remember it, as if they were right there in front of me, their words still ringing in my ears, but they’re already gone. “
Saying it here, his voice unexpected sounded a bit proud, “I, a Michelin four star spice chef, swear to the heavens that I will stop the Salt Goddess’s sacrificial inheritance ceremony, and stop this travesty.”
Three days later.
On a precipitous mountain peak, fiery red rays of light appeared on the floor. There was a speck of light rapidly moving. In the blink of an eye, the outline of the speck became visible. It was the outline of a red sichuan pepper. The summits temperature rapidly rose. Due to the increasingly scorching heat, the top of the red pepper began rippling like water.
As the ripples slowly trembled, the red light abruptly suddenly grew in extensively. The surrounding spice elements seemed to cheerfully call out. Within the intense fluctuations within the elements, a gray figure quietly emerged.
The staggering figure dropped out of the spicy red wave. It almost fell down on the floor. It turns out to be a child. He is the child that three days ago, followed his grandfather to stop the Salt Pagoda, Rao Mi Se.
Upon his small handsome face, there was an expression of fear. His short golden hair was in disarray. With weak his weak footing, he sat his butt on the ground. He gasped for breath in big mouthfuls. “Father, mother, grandfather why? Why has it come to this?” Tears unceasingly flowed down his face. No matter what, the pain of losing one’s kin is difficult to bear. Let alone the fact that he is a child of barely tens years of age.
After crying for a while, the mentally fatigued Mi Se curled up upon the hilltop’s boulder and fell asleep. With such a young age, his future prospects are vast and indistinct. He simply didn’t know what he should do with himself. Two radiant flavors were within his mind, a pungent spice and harsh salt. The surrounding spice element and salt element all began to gather at his tongue. This bizarre course of events continued for the period of a full course French dinner’s worth of time, before fading away.
Not knowing how long had passed, Mi Se was waken up from his dreams by violent shaking and an aching body. Three plump figures were standing in front of him. From his stomach came an acute pain, his tongue dry and almost pickled, he couldn’t help but cough. A bit of blood flowed from the corner of his mouth. From within the pit of the stomach area of the gray clothes, resided a footprint of yellow sand.
These three people all wore blue chef robes and had long blue hair that seemed to combine to make up the whole of their appearance. It seemed as if their body was successfully condensed from salt. They gave people the feeling a having unpleasantly salty words. These three have an appearance that seems to be about forty years old. The person in the middle had blue crystal carvings of three salt crystals the size of a fingernail on his chef’s robe to the left of the pit of his stomach. The two beside him followed him. Obviously his status was a bit higher than the other two, since they only had one salt crystal.
“To use the spice based instant movement magic recipe, what a waste for a child to use. The flavor left behind is too distinct.” Said faintly by the chef in the middle.
Seeing these three people, Mi Se’s charming small face immediately became distorted. “Ah god’s curse me, it’s you salty cunts! Fuck your grandmothers. You killed my mother! You killed my father And you killed my grandfather you salty cunts!” Not knowing how he gathered enough the strength, Mi Se had just enough to jump off the ground and rush through them. He had already forgotten about his own abilities as a Michelin one star chef. He had only an urge within, instinct.
“Little twat, are you looking for death?” The chef on the left waved his right hand. A chunk of salt with a diameter of three inches shot out and directly hit the child’s upper abdomen. Salt Chunk was a most common cooking technique, it’s flavor was not at all strong. Mi Se let out a suppressed grunted, staggered backwards and tripped on a small table. His hand reached out to his surroundings, in order to stabilize his body, but received a bloody mouth from the amount of salt.
The chef in the middle glared at his companion for a bit, “That’s enough, he is but a child. I don’t want this child to experience too much suffering.”
“Yes, I respect the Salty Boss.” He shot a response in monotone, hurrying to retreat off to the side.
The Salty Boss looked at Mi Se and calmly said, Brat, I originally didn’t wish to harm you. But no longer. You are the child who has eyes but can’t see Mt. Salt. For the Salt God’s pagodas honor, you can no longer be allowed to exist. Hand over the Salt Goddess’s tears and I’ll pickle you quickly. Because of his status, he naturally wouldn’t use his own hand to search but instead issue an order with an intangibly imposing manner.
Mi Se didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Before his grandfather died, he inherited the Great Pungent Pepper. Combined with the Salt Goddess’s Tears he stole from them,, they formed something truly unknown in his heart. A spicy saltiness. Although his grandfather could not stand against their combined saltiness, with the Salt Goddess’s Tears and the unyieldingly spicy Great Pungent Pepper combined in his heart, he felt no fear from their salty words. “Pickle me if you can, you salty cunts!”
“Hah! You truly can’t see Mt. Salt!” They threw their crustiest pieces of beef jerky at Mi Se. When they saw Mi Se ate it without hesitation, they thought he had given up on life.
“You call that salty? If I couldn’t eat that, my name wouldn’t be Rao Mi Se. That was so weakly flavored, I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry! Get pickled, Eat this!” Mi Se threw a glowing red salt crystal shaped like that of a Sichuan Pepper.
“Hah! Salt? You overestimate yourself, brat!” They were truly shocked when they ate it. There was a hidden pungency in that crystal! Their mouths ignited, fire blew out of their mouths, like that of crying dragons. The worst came afterwards. Their mouths blistered and burnt but the salt remained. The salt seeped into their wounds, causing true suffering!
“Not so salty now, are you?” Mi Se smirked at the cries and screams of the Salt Cultists. As Mi Se turned his back to them, they exploded, for Cool guys don’t look at explosions.
“Mother, Father, Grandfather… I have avenged you! The salt goddess was no saltier than today!”
And thus began the legend of Michelin Five Star Chef Title Gou Dun, Rao Mi Se rose to fame with his legendary spice and salt cuisine, leaving the legacy of his Iron Chef Clan, infamously known as the Hell’s Kitchen.