Cooking master 15
“Cheap food. Only five silver per portion!”
The man then shout out loud. Trying to attract the customer but he always failed. Finally a little girl step up approaching him.
“uncle give me a portion.”
A young child is smiling to the stall owner. Due to his dirty appearances this girl is the only one that come to the man stall. Altough she is reluctant but she tought it is better than going home and eat her mother cooking.
“alright. Coming up.”
The man fold his sleeves and go to his work station. He skillfuly cut the ingredients and move the wok. Soon appetizing aroma run down the street attracting more people to see.
The man serves the little girl a plate with full of rainbow colour. The girl then took a spoonful and trembles a little after it enter her mouth.
The girl shout and the spectator around the stall also bypasser gaze fall to the table.
“Mister!How can it be delicious?”
“Hahaha. Of course it’s delicious. For that dish I use rainbow turnip and river He salted herring. Altough I sell it cheap the ingredients is all first class.”
“Yummy! No wonder it taste so sweet yet salty. I rarely eat vegetables because I don’t like the taste but I can eat this no matter how much I eat. I also hate eating turnip beside this dish. Seconds please!”
Seeing the girl eating so happily, the spectator all listening to their conversation. The ma. Then moves back to behind his wok.
“You like the taste of the rainbow turnip right? If a beginner cooks it, it will only taste bland because to cook it need special preparation. The bland taste is what makes you hate it right? But in the hand of a pro, the turnip itself will let out a sweet taste and smell. And this salted herring will gives the dish a pinch of savoury taste and combined with the sweetness of rainbow turnip will blend perfectly in your mouth.”
The people hearing that unconciouslly all swallow their saliva. Everybody knows how hard it is to cook a rainbow turnip. If they can’t process it the rainbow turnip will result in bland and muddy taste. Because of the high difficulty in cooking and the easy production method, the price fall down while the quantity overflow the market. The stall itself selling cheap food because the ingredients itself is very cheap. They are now tempted to try the food from the stall.
“Mister, how much is it?”
“Ten silver for two portion.”
The girl take out the money and leave. “I’ll come again tommorrow mister.” she waved her hand and leaves.
The looker now shocked to hear the price of the dish. It is only five silver per serving. But taking into consideration the price of the ingredients is barely one silver, the man still profited four silver. Normally food is sold for fifty silver at the cheapest. Only five silver per portion makes even a girl could afford it. Tempted by the low price altough the appareance of the seller is not promising, a man tempted to try it out too.
“Mister, give me a portion.”
The stall owner surprised to hear that but happily recieved the order. “Coming right away.”
Another serving of the food coming and the brave man took a spooful into his mouth. “Mmmm….” the man didn’t let out any other word but his face show a blissful expression. He finally swallow it and cried out. “Delicious.”
Just because of that word the crowd finally sit down on the stall. After one after another stasified expression from the eater, a long line soon formed in front of the stall.
“Sorry, the ingredients have run out for tonight. Please come again tommorrow.”
The man bowed down and the crowd all feel down. But hearing it will open again tommorrow they go back and srpead the rumour of cheap food stall. It became famous overnight.
“Old man. You better clean yourself up. It will attract more people.”
Just when the stall owner packing up he heard that advice.
“Is that really the case? Hmm.. I wonder.”
The man then pack up his stall and go back to the town outskirts. Because of the danger of mysterious beast, no one dared to stay in the wildernes for the night. But the man seemed to didn’t care about it and stayed near the river. He look down at his reflection and shocked.
“No wonder they all call me old man and said I look dirty. I really in a mess.”
Dirty clothes, long beard and messy hair, he looks like a cave man.
“I better clean up first before gathering ingredients.”
The man took out a small knife and start to shave. He also cut his shoulder-length hair to neat and short style. Soon emerged a youth in his teenage year which contradicts to his thirty old year looks earlier. It is a familiar face, Dong Lian.
After that he sit down and look at his reflection again.
“Whoa, I look so handsome.”
His personality seemed to have changed troughout the past few year. His smart looking side is now full of brilliant youthful radiance. He also smiled more often to himself.
“You look like a fool smiling like that.”
He startled and remember. Thats the word that Wen Long used to tell him. He remember it as if Long is there talking to him.
“I wonder how master is doing?”
He look towards the sky and a hint of sadness show up.
“Mei Ya, I’m sorry I haven’t visited you troughout all these years. Even though I have promised you.”
Lian the stand up and walk deeper into the forest to look for ingredients. He close his eyes a few moments before start to run to a cliff. He climbed up and pick up a strange green bush on the cliff.
“Whoa, I didn’t think I’ll found a green carrot up here. It’s a big catch.”
He smiling like a fool after harvesting more green carrot and return to his camp. He put down all the carrot and close his eyes again.
He run again to one direction and climb up a tree. He reach the peak and started to pick a ball shaped wooden fruit.
“Wood nut! Now tommorrow menu going to be baked green carrot with batter fried wood nut on top.”
With a big smile he return to his camp and prepare to sleep. Just when the night getting darker a shadow lurks in the trees.
A big shadow, two feet long and five feet high approaching fast but silently. It was a mythical beast. Under the moonlight the figure becomes clear.
Bear like creature with a black fur forming into a black armor scale. It’s big figure doesn’t slow down its speed. It arrived near Lian and lift it’s front paw, going to send a blow to the sleeping Lian.
The bear attack hit the ground, it missed its target and send some sand dust scatter into the air.
“If you want to hit me you better hide your killing intent first.”
Lian is standing on a tree with his hand folded. The bear then jumped up and chase Lian. Lian on the other hand calmly dodged all of its attack. After few minutes the bear calmed down and Lian spoke.
“What is it Gong?”
It seemed that Lian knows about this bear. The bear name is Gong.
“Lian. Why did you leave the cave?”
“As if I have to tell you! I have something to do.”
“But, you have promised master to help him.”
“Yes, and I have got his approval to leave. If not why doesn’t he come here to chase me?”
Gong then startled and look at Lian solemly.
“Go back Gong. I will come back to master when the time is right.”
“No but! Don’t you know if your existence is found then we’re all in great danger. Go!”
Just like that Gong dissapear as fast as he come.
“I think I have to finish this as fast as I can. Let’s hope I can get some good results tommorrow.”
Lian the goes back to sleep and head to the town in the afternoon. He open up his stall and waiting for the people to come. He is confident that alot of people will come today. But to his surprise people just walk by again.
“What is wrong with these people? They said they will definitelly come today.”
Lian doesn’t know what’s wrong until the girl come up to him. She reluctantly asked.
“Brother, do you know where the old man that open a stall here yesterday go? For you to take his place he must have go away right?”
Lian startled and realized the problem. His change of appearances is so big until people can’t even recognize him.
“Girl, it’s me. The old man from yesterday is me.”
The girl surprised when she heard his answer. “Liar.”
“No, it’s the truth. If you don’t believe me you could try my cooking.”
Lian soon walked behind the counter and start to prepare his food. He cleaned the green carrot, separating the bush and the carrot. He peeled the carrot, divide it in half and baked it in a self made oven by putting two wok on top of each other making a O shape. Then the green bush is collected and turned into a sauce. On another wok he have oil set up. The wood nut is cut open using his kitchen knife then the nut is dipped in a batter before he fried it. It is served with the sauce on the bottom, baked carrot on top and fried nut as the topping. The whole process didn’t take long, but the smell is great. What’s more the presentation is pleasing the eyes.
The girl look at the dish and eat it without any other pause. In a blink of an eye the plate is already empty.
Seeing the little girl, the crowd finally realized that Lian is the one that they’re looking for. They actually have circled the road a few times looking for him. But his change of appearance makes them missed him.
Yesterday they are surprised to see a dirty old man could make delicious food. Today they are amazed to see a teenager working in the stall. But they didn’t care about that and ordered the food.
Servings of food gone and the ingredients run out faster than yesterday. But Lian aim for opening a food stall isn’t for money. Each time a costumer eat a food his eyes secretly examining them. Their expression, gesture, nothing missed his eye.
He pack up his stall and go out of the town again. He return to his camping site and organize his things. He put all of his stuff in a round blue stone. It was a storage type stone which is very rare.
“This storage stone is so convenience. But I can’t use it freely or else people will come after me.”
The usage of a storage stone is being done secretly by Lian. He knows that the price of a storage stone is on par with repelling stone. Just selling the small stone could make Lian live the remaining days in leisure. But he isn’t interested in all of those. Afterall this stone is given to him by Long. He sit down, take out a note and write. He sat there for a long time and look confused a couple times then his eyes lit up.
“This is it. Finally there’s some result. I better find more ingredients and look out for the effects again tommorrow.”
Just like that Lian wandered to the wilderness once again disapearring along with the night.
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