53.2 Magic Chef of Ice and Fire VS Camel Chef God
Nian Bing continued to spin the plate with his left hand, making the winter melon goblet spin faster and faster. He filled his mind with the image of that green, great dragon, infusing its every pose of the into his knife tip. Khaldrhys’ booming roar, it’s deadly strike, the sound of tsi wings flapping, were all engraved in his mind. Zha Ji had never seen a living dragon, but Nian Bing had, after all, he witnessed a true great dragon, Khaldrhys. Zha Ji’s knife technique in his peak was already very exquisite, but he had only visualised a dragon, not its essence. Nian Bing’s knife technique might not be on par, but in terms of the essence of the knife technique, the student had already surpassed the teacher. As his Demonic Engraving lived and breathed, so did the dragon.
Carving definitely didn’t require a long time to produce the best results, especially with Demonic Engraving Knife. Nian Bing’s voice was filled with a cold arrogance as the mnemonic chant finally made its appearance.
“Demonic-hand-falls-and-the-startled-Heavens-transform.1” At this moment, he was the Demonic Engraving Knife. A ghostly blue light imprinted the shape of the dragon onto the winter melon.
“The-finished-carving-billowed-one-hundred-times.” The knife flipped, and the pale blue haze seemed to assail the jade-like winter melon without end.
“Divine-work-lasts-for-eternity-.” The knife technique changed again. His meticulous motions turned wide and exaggerated. Every stroke of the knife scored a deep gorge.
“Raised-knife-reflects-the-cold-spring-of-the-moon.” The pale blue light suddenly blasted brilliantly, and the winter melon goblet seemed to glow like the moon as the light flowed down onto the gourd like spring water, filling every nook and cranny. The divine, miraculous knife technique had just been raised to a higher level. The faint dragon aura revolved around the winter melon goblet as it continued to turn. The blue tinge disappeared and a white fog remained around the gourd without dissipating, making the entire winter melon goblet extremely mysterious.
Demonic Engraving vanished, and Nian Bing’s right hand was slightly trembling. Even he didn’t know how many cuts he made. His hand had been driven to its limit, and he wouldn’t be able use it for the next three days. However, he was incomparably elated He knew he had succeeded, finally succeeded in touching the essence of the Dance of the Gathering Rain Dragons. He had found the feeling of blending his spirit and cooking skills. Not only was his Dance of Gathering Rain Dragons successful, he also had entered another realm of culinary comprehension.
Breathing shallowly, Nian Bing gazed at the winter melon goblet. The spinning plate gradually came to a stop and the icy fog dissipated. Besides Nian Bing and Zi Xiu, everyone was wearing despondent expressions. They only saw irregular, crisscrossing strokes made by the knife on the jade-like winter melon. Moreover, the surroundings were filled with white squash powder. The other strange thing was that there seemed to be three protrusions where the winter melon was. No one knew what shape it was supposed to look like, but the protrusions were very odd. Compared to the gorgeous knife flashes, the final outcome didn’t make anyone satisfied. Even Zi Qing Meng returned to her seat in defeat.
Nian Bing’s face was expressionless as he looked at the winter melon goblet. He picked up the bowl of rice on the side and drained them. He suddenly flung out his wrist, and the moist grains flew into the air. The Morning Dew Knife moved, and instantly, the air was full of with knife silhouettes. The rice in the air was hidden between the flash of the knifes. Then he caught every single grain as they fell with crisp plinking sounds.
He poured out the grains on a chopping board. Nian Bing took out a strip of cloth and wrapped his right hand, tying it around his wrist. This time, he took out Demonic Engraving with his left hand. This was the third largest knife. It was slightly smaller than before, about as wide as half a willow leaf at the tip. Sadly, he wasn’t able to use his right hand now, but he still wasn’t finished. His left hand moved. This time, his aim was the rice. Of course, even if he was stronger, he couldn’t carve anything fancy into the rice right now. What he was going to do was both easy and hard. The knife flashed, and a grain of rice was tossed back into the bowl. At the moment, the rice grains were no longer their original oval shape. They were round. He had the skill to carve something perfectly round. If it weren’t for there being people with astonishing eyesight in the area, they would definitely think that he was doing some useless action.
The rice was very brittle. Even if they were frozen they were still brittle. However, after being encased in ice, they were also hard. Nian Bing wanted this hardness. He had shown of the Dance of Gathering Rain Dragons with his right hand. This time, his left hand would show of the Brocade Character Void Lattice. Carving the grains of rice into circles wasn’t easy at all. The tip of his knife flicked at the grains nonstop, one stroke per grain of rice. The knife flashes grew quicker, and the pile of grains on the chopping board grew smaller. When the last grain of rice was put into the bowl, there was only a pile of small fragments on the table. Nian Bing didn’t throw them away, but instead carefully put them on a plate. After finishing that, his face finally showed a slight smile. After glancing at his wrapped hand, he raised his head to watch Zi Xiu.
Right now, Zi Xiu was still pressing on his meat and dough. When Nian Bing looked at him, he had just opened the pot next to him. A thick fragrance immediately suffused through the kitchen. Zi Xiu inhaled deeply, then nodded his head in satisfaction. He flicked his left hand, taking out a large, slotted spoon. He dipped it into the pot, scooping out all of the ingredients inside. Although it looked extremely easy, Nian Bing’s heart was thumping loudly. First off, the slotted spoon was timed so that the instant it entered the pot, the soup had reached its maximum boil. Additionally, the slotted spoon looked like it only dipped in once, but in reality, the slotted spoon flashed seven times, striking at seven different angles. It was just scooping all the ingredients out of the pot, but that slotted spoon completely showcased the mystical skills of the Camel Chef. Nian Bing knew that he couldn’t do it.
Zi Xiu met Nian Bing’s gaze and spoke with a strange smile. “Boy, are you tired yet? I’ll be done right away over here. It seems that we have walked two different extremes. Me, to turn the complicated into simple and you to turn the simple into complicated. Let us examine it in detail.” He grabbed the dough on top of the chopping board and put the meat onto the dough. Every was surprised to discover that the kneaded dough and meat had exactly the same shape. The meat fell into the dough and hid it completely, the dough nowhere to be seen. The meat also didn’t stick out at any point. Zi Xiu pressed on the meat and stuck his index finger into the meat below. He flicked his index finger upwards, sending the meat and dough spinning into the air. Zi Xiu looked at Nian Bing and said in a deep voice, “Life Tearing Heavy–Eagle–Hand.”
At this moment, his obscene and indecent appearance suddenly surged forth with a bold aura. His two hands stretched out, lightning fast, leaving behind countless afterimages. Green light gathered at the tips of his fingers and with a resounding thwack, the dough was split into two. The strange thing was that the toughness of the dough wasn’t the same as regular dough. After being rendered into two, there was no deformation. He stacked the two pieces of the dough complex and split in half again and again, non-stop. The dough and meat complex continued to divide and rejoin, divide and rejoin.
When Nian Bing saw this, he couldn’t help but look grave. He understood very clearly that the way Zi Xiu had kneaded the dough, pressed the dough, and pressed the meat had been very special so that the toughness of the dough and meat reached it extremes. If he wasn’t wrong, the dough and meat right now had become as tough as cloth. If it were him, he might not be able to tear it apart.
When Zi Xiu had repeated the process nine times, the dough-meat complex had turned into 512 red-white-alternating stripes. He stopped tearing them apart. With a turn of his wrist, the dough strands started to rotate quickly. Like a fried dough twist, the meeting of red and white was extremely striking. Nian Bing inwardly admired him. Just distinguishing the marbled pattern of the meat strands was extremely difficult, and Zi Xiu was able to use Life Tearing Heavy Eagle Hand to its limits. Since the beginning, where he was kneading the meat and dough, he had been using a special technique. On top of his special ‘Tearing’ characteristics, his slow kneading process wasn’t inferior to his own Separating Bones and Tendons as the Hand Wishes.
The dough strands were rolled into a lump, and the green light around Zi Xiu’s suddenly intensified as his hands moved in concert. He started on the ends and moved in, imprinting the dough strands with his finger prints. Once the dough strands were covered in dough, he tore them apart again. This time, the stretch marks changed. A strange scene lay before of them. Every single dough strand became part red and white as the shreds of meat and shreds of dough seemed to stick together. After he had ripped them apart nine times, he held the strands of dough in front of the pot. He reached to his waist to pull out a short, green knife just like Zi Qing Meng’s.
Nian Bing, of course, knew what Zi Xiu was doing. He couldn’t help but stare with wide eyes. Zi Xiu moved very slowly, the knife gliding forward. When he was just one inch away from the strands of noodles, he stopped. “Dense–Jade–Screen,” he articulated clearly. When the first word left his mouth, his wristed started to tremble. When he said the last word, the knife suddenly returned to its still form. But in this moment, everyone clearly felt like the knife was alive. A ear piercing screech rang out from the knife, the original knife suddenly transforming into thousands as the green light burst everywhere in an explosion, swallowing all the noodle strands. The Dense Jade Screen’s secret lay in the word ‘dense,’ going from still to movement, exploding in an instant.
He put the noodles into the pot and closed the lid. He stuck the short knife onto the chopping board and then turned to look at Nian Bing. “The secret of the Dense Jade Screen’s lies in the word ‘Dense,’ which relies on the knife technique being very quick. Even if your Dance of the Gathering Rain Dragons isn’t faster than my technique, the Dance of the Gathering Rain Dragons finds its importance in the word ‘Dance,’ implying it captures the spirit. The Dense Jade Screen is definitely inferior to the Dance of the Gathering Rain Dragons in terms of spirit. But in the end, we are comparing flavor.” After saying that, he opened the pot again and used chopsticks to stir and prod the contents a few times. After adding many seasonings, he said, “I need a moment to cook. Right now, let’s see yours.”
Nian Bing nodded at Zi Xiu. Although his right hand could not be as nimble as before, at least it was no longer shaking. He reached out for the tofu he had prepared before. This time, his knife was very slow as he carefully cut the tofu into one-inch square chunks. He slid his right hand, which couldn’t wield a knife, over the soft tofu, turning it firm. After everything had been prepared, they was only one final step needed.
Nian Bing went up to the iron pot, still burning on the fire. With a wave of Proud Sky Knife, a single slice separated the pot from its lid. He set the lid down on the side, and a rich aroma and steam wafted out. The chicken and shiitake, abalone and shark fin’s fragrance had already been blended perfectly while they were being stewed. Nian Bing grinned, then used a slotted spoon to scoop out the contents of the pot. Only, the Camel Chef Zi Xiu had only used one scoop. He had to use three in order to clear the pot of all its dregs. He placed the frozen, plump rice into the pot and mumbled a few lines then he placed his incapacitated right hand against the scorching pot. When his hand came in contact the pot, his entire hand turned purple. This was the purple flame spell.
In this instant, the soup in the pot began to boil intensely. Every grain of rice roiled and boiled within the pot. Nian Bing took out a pair of chopsticks and looked at Zi Xiu with a smile. He stuck his chopsticks into the pot, and with gentle, rhythmic stirs, the surface of the water began to form a vortex, the rolling bubbles nowhere to be seen. His right hand continued to apply heat and his left hand kept stirring. The soup, which should have already surpassed its boiling point didn’t boil over. The pearl-shaped rice grains were evenly distributed through every corner of the pot. Soon, the vortex increased it speed. At the moment, Nian Bing’s left hand was encased in flame in order to prevent the scorching water vapor from spreading outward.
Zi Xiu shook from head to toe, saying in astonishment, “Breakwater Still Surface Mysterious Jade Hand2, no it should be called Breakwater Still Surface Flame Hand. When did Zha Ji learn this?”
Nian Bing did not stop moving his hand and replied with a grin, “This is not something my teacher taught me. Actually, this is just an imitation of it. I still do cannot comprehend the true rhythm of the Breakwater Still Surface Mysterious Jade Hand. However, the results from this technique is a lot better than just cooking it plain. It distributes the heat much more evenly.”
Ordinarily, cooking congee required at least an hour for the grains to completely become congee. However, by heating with the purple flame, Nian Bing only needed a fourth of the time to reach his desired goal. He removed his chopsticks from the water and put the tofu into the pot, as well as the green bamboo shoots from the ingredients he had prepared earlier. Proud Sky danced once more, turning the shoots into small, dark green cubes. Nian Bing pressed both hands to the pot, both using purple flame to heat up the pot faster.