Bu Fang had summoned all his mental force at this moment. In his spirit sea, the whirlpools spun at top speed as if they were about to explode. If that happened, it meant that he had failed.
The Artifact Spirits watched with complicated looks on their faces. To a chef, a success rate of twenty or ten percent was way too risky. Besides, it would increase the psychological pressure. The greater the pressure, the more nervous one would become, and in turn, one would be more prone to make mistakes.
When Bu Fang's eyes were completely shot with blood, the Artifact Spirits knew that their host of this generation was likely to fail.
Inside the kitchen of Yellow Spring Little Restaurant, Bu Fang was weeping blood. In his eyes, the stove had turned red, half-seen behind a mist of blood. His spirit sea was rocking, and the flames in the stove were swaying. It showed that his mental force fluctuated greatly at the moment, which also meant that his control over it was growing weaker. This was not good.
His hand was trembling, too. He was holding the last cup of seasoning for the Three-cup Chicken, the black soy sauce. Its surface rippled in the blue-and-white porcelain cup.
'Am I going to fail?'
Bu Fang was somewhat lost at this moment. He felt as if all his strength had been drained, and he was so tired that all he wanted now was to lay down and sleep. But he dared not sleep, and he dared not let the string that was stretched taut in his heart break, for once it broke, everything would be over. His dream of becoming the God of Cooking and his future would vanish. Everything would be gone.
The Heaven and Earth Farmland was going through a great change now. The sky had turned bloody, and the air filled with rolling pressure that seemed about to destroy the farmland. Niu Hansan walked out of the wooden hut, looking at the sky with complicated eyes. Eighty could be seen lying on the ground with its wings around its head and its buttocks stuck in the air, while the Eight Treasures Pig also lay on the ground, trembling.
A clanging sound rang out suddenly as Jing Yuan dropped the bucket she had just filled with milk, spilling the white liquid all over the ground and filling the air with a rich smell of milk.
"What happened?" At this moment, Niu Hansan and Jing Yuan both felt as if the farmland was about to collapse. It was a bad feeling. It felt like the end.
"Maybe something happened to Owner Bu… We can only hope that he will ride out the calamity…" Niu Hansan sighed.
A blue light was flickering in Whitey's mechanical eyes as it shook its head, signaling Nethery to not enter the kitchen.
Nethery glanced at Whitey, then at the kitchen. However, she could see nothing with the burly puppet standing at the door. She felt somewhat helpless, but she was sure that her hunch just now was right.
In the kitchen, Bu Fang seemed to have gone through a long struggle. It was a test of the System, and a hurdle he must face on his path of becoming the God of Cooking. He could not fall in front of it.
The bandage had come off his hand. A fire broke out suddenly as it fell into the stove. That gave Bu Fang a pause, and he stared at his Taotie Arm with a serious look. The Yin and Yang energy swirled around it, forming a pair of Yin-Yang fishes.
'Taiji generates two complementary forces, and the two complementary forces generate four aggregates…'
Bu Fang's eyes gleamed faintly. Something seemed to have broken out of the shell in his head at this moment.
His mental force was still spinning, and the food was also sizzling in the wok, sending forth an aroma. It was a rich fragrance, but it lacked an authentic charming flavor.
Looking at the Yin and Yang energy around his arm, Bu Fang suddenly twitched the corners of his mouth as if he was smiling.
At this moment, the Artifact Spirits sensed his joy.
"Oh no… Little Host has gone crazy," said the Divine Dragon with a despairing look. "At a time like this, he should be weeping instead of smiling. Why is he smiling when he has failed to cook the dish from the God of Cooking's Menu and is about to be obliterated?"
The other Artifact Spirits paid the dragon no mind. They were hopeful because, as Artifact Spirits, they could sense the confidence in Bu Fang at this moment, which truly moved them.
"Where did Little Host get his confidence? What gave him the confidence?"
Suddenly, the expressions of all the Artifact Spirits changed. They saw the divine will Phantom Spirit, who was sitting between the two whirlpools, slowly stand up. Then, with it in the middle, the spirit sea that was almost dried up began to rotate again.
"Crazy! Little Host is indeed crazy!"
"Is Little Host trying to make a breakthrough now? This is madness… If he failed, his soul would blow up, and he would not be reincarnated again!"
This time, whether it was the Divine Dragon, the Vermilion Bird, or the Black Turtle, they were all taken aback. What Bu Fang was trying to do was just sheer madness!
An earth-shaking transformation was taking place in the spirit sea. With the divine will Phantom Spirit in the center, the whirlpools spun and split, forming a pattern that looked like a two-flavor hotpot. Half of the pattern was calm, while the other was violent, and when they met, a mighty spinning force exploded out.
"This…" Even the Black Turtle, who was the most experienced Artifact Spirit, froze at the sight.
The pattern spun incessantly, and wisps of mental force spread from it to replenish the drying-up spirit sea. As the center of this pair of Yin-Yang fishes, the Phantom Spirit's movement began to grow slower. It was making a breakthrough at this moment. As fresh mental force kept being produced, it grew stronger, and soon, Bu Fang's mental force, which had just stepped into the level of divine will, reached the peak of its current level.
The mental force extended like threads in the spirit sea. The next moment, the expressions of the four Artifact Spirits changed dramatically because they found that Bu Fang's will was spreading through the spirit sea. It made them release their divine might and stand in four different corners, facing each other across a great distance.
"What is this?!"
The Artifact Spirits were dumbstruck. Whether it was the appearance of the Yin-Yang fishes or the profound waves that were nourishing the divine will, which eventually made them stand in four corners, they all originated from an extremely mysterious means!
Even the Black Turtle's cloudy eyes slightly widened. "This is… the aura of Laws?" He was horrified. Although he had lived very long, he was still stunned by the scene in Bu Fang's spirit sea now.
"This Yin-Yang-Four-Aggregated spirit sea actually possessed the aura of Laws! How did Little Host do it? And how did he know these?"
Ignoring the Artifact Spirits' shock, Bu Fang opened his eyes. The smile at the corners of his mouth gradually disappeared, and the calm, indifferent look returned to his face. At this moment, his diminishing mental force soared by leaps and bounds.
On the stove, the flames roared and surged as if they were about to tower into the sky, and his hand, which was holding the cup, stopped trembling.
He splashed the soy sauce into the wok. Holding a spatula, his mental force poured out like threads.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
Flames thrust upward inside the Black Turtle Constellation Wok. As Bu Fang began to toss the wok again, the ingredients danced in the fire and gleamed like diamonds.
After adding the last ingredient and stir-frying them together, the hardest dish that Bu Fang had ever cooked since his debut had finally been completed.
He placed a blue-and-white porcelain plate on the table. Then, firmly grabbing the wok, he poured the dish out into it. The food seemed to emit a bright light.
Cooking superior dishes without using any top-level ingredients and just using the most common ingredients might be the strength of the God of Cooking.
With the last piece of chicken falling into the plate, the dish sublimated and burst into light. Powerful spirit essence poured out of it like the source of a spring, gurgling as it spread through the kitchen and enveloping the whole space in an instant. It was a terrible feeling. It was as if Bu Fang was facing a savage monster with incredible life force instead of a dish.
Bu Fang had a complicated look on his face. Even though he had forcibly refreshed his almost exhausted mental force by forming the Yin-Yang spirit sea and the Four Quadrants Array with the Artifact Spirits, it was an overdraft after all. After completing the dish, his nose was already bleeding. The veins in his eyes receded rapidly, and his vision became clear. He staggered back, leaned his back against the cupboard, and gasped for breath. What he breathed in was all spirit essence.
"Did I succeed?" Bu Fang muttered softly. Soaked with sweat, he put a hand on his forehead and lightly shook his head. He felt a lingering fear as he sensed the emptiness in him. In fact, he almost failed. If it weren't for the formation of the Yin-Yang spirit sea and his divine will breaking through at the last moment, what awaited him would be obliteration.
After gasping for a few moments, Bu Fang calmed down. He finally completed the Three-cup Divine Chicken, a dish in the God of Cooking's Menu. Although he cooked it according to the recipe, it was not without difficulties. He was weak, but cooking the dish didn't seem to depend on his strength too much. Instead, it was related to his spirit, soul, and energy. Perhaps, the breakthrough he found just now was the twenty-percent success rate mentioned by the System.
A buzzing sound suddenly rang out in his head as if the System was pondering. "Analyzing the dish… Analyzing completed. Completion rating for the dish from the God of Cooking's Menu: 51%. Congratulations to the Host for completing the task."
Upon hearing that, Bu Fang's body and heart relaxed immediately. He felt as if he was completely drained of his strength, and his heart was filled with a lingering fear.
The completion rating was fifty-one percent. It was only one percent extra. Without this one percent, the System might decide that he had failed, and what awaited him would be obliteration. The System had always said that he would die if he failed, but when he accepted this task just now, he really felt terrible killing intent from the System. It was what made his heart uneasy.
In his spirit sea, the golden book floating in midair turned slowly and stopped at a certain page. It was an empty page, but golden characters began to emerge, while mental force crazily gathered and turned into three golden drops of liquid.
The Artifact Spirits watched with blank faces as the three golden drops of liquid formed over the golden book. It shocked them so much that they couldn't help but gasp!
The kitchen's curtain was lifted, and the bell swayed gently. With a bloodless face, Bu Fang slowly walked out of the kitchen, holding a plate with both hands, and came in front of Nethery.