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Zuoyan Xiaoyu had only entered the Myriad G.o.d Ridge a few days earlier than Yi Yun, but in that few days, she became quite well-versed in the Myriad G.o.d Ridge's rules.
She was also very familiar with the layout of the personal disciple region. She led Yi Yun all the way to the mess hall for personal disciples.
The mess hall covered several kilometers and, upon entry, it looked to be a magnificent grand hall. In the middle of the hall were seventeen heavy and robust bronze artifacts. There were ones with three legs and two handles called tripods, and ones with two handles and no feet that were cauldrons.
There were a total of nine tripods and eight cauldrons that made for seventeen bronze enchanted vessels. Such a number was the highest order used in meal etiquette since ancient times.
Yi Yun could tell that the seventeen vessels were not ordinary enchanted artifacts. Due to their placement, the surrounding laws seemed to naturally form a system unto itself. From the looks of it, the seventeen bronze vessels were a complete set.
Surrounding the vessels were thirty-two tables, prepared for the personal disciples.
A table could only seat two and Yi Yun had shown up early. He sat down at a random table and Zuoyan Xiaoyu stood behind him. She studied her surroundings with an inquisitive look, for she found such a scene new and fascinating.
"Xiaoyu, you previously mentioned that this meal is only provided once a month and that it's extraordinary. In what way is it extraordinary?"
"Young Master, I heard that the monthly meal is cooked by Myriad G.o.d Ridge's Elder Lanqin. She has a rather rare job in the Calm Sea. She's a cook, but you could also call her a Herbal Board Master."
"In the Calm Sea, although there are few refinement masters, array masters, alchemists, Desolate Heaven Masters, or talisman masters, there are still many people who learn such trades. But cooks have nearly gone extinct. The people that manage to master cooking are few and far between. Elder Lanqin's attainment in cooking is at the crest of perfection. If she used mortal ingredients, such as ordinary rice, vegetables or meat, it would still be superior-grade tonic food. Not only would it taste excellent, it would also be extremely beneficial to one's body after consumption."
"If the meal is cooked using supreme-grade ingredients, the effects are even more obvious. Elder Lanqin will be able to refine away the impurities contained within the ingredients during the cooking process. It results in no harm to the body no matter how much is eaten. This is something pills cannot compare with."
As the saying goes, every medicine has its toxicity. It was inevitable for even superior-grade pills to contain a little pill toxicity. If one ate too many, the toxins would acc.u.mulate and time would be needed to purge them.
A well-cooked meal, however, would never result in such a situation. This was also the forte of a cook. However, as the effects from tonic food were less potent than pills, the number of people that studied the cooking of tonic food was even smaller.
"Young Master, take a look. The seventeen vessels placed in the middle of the hall are the enchanted artifacts that Elder Lanqin uses to cook. They are a set, and at this very moment, all the food is in them. In a while, I'll get some for you. There will be a total of seventeen dishes—nine meat and eight vegetarian."
Just as Zuoyan Xiaoyu was explaining the situation, people began streaming into the grand hall one after another. These people were also personal disciples and most of them had servants accompanying them. Some even had more than one servant. Yi Yun even saw a young man who was not dressed in personal disciple garb. Instead, he was wearing an embroidered robe commonly worn by rich scions. He was tended to by four women and all of them were gorgeous. Two of them were tugging onto the man from each side, allowing him to wander his hands over them. Yi Yun was a little surprised by this.
After all, this was in public. Such public displays of affection were rather preposterous.
Coincidentally, this man happened to pick the table where Yi Yun was sitting.
The man took a glance at Yi Yun and said with a laugh, "You must be the Yi Yun that stirred the cauldron!"
The man recognized all the personal disciples of Myriad G.o.d Ridge so, with the sudden appearance of an unfamiliar face, he immediately guessed at Yi Yun's ident.i.ty.
"That is me." Yi Yun nodded.
After the man sat down, the table was filled with the pleasant chatter of women. This rendered Yi Yun somewhat speechless. Those who didn't know might even think he was here to fool around.
The youth obviously noticed Yi Yun's gaze as he said with a laugh. "I'm Zhou Bingfeng, and I have quite a number of maidservants and concubines. I applied for permission from the sect to have four. The other eight were brought from my family clan. The Myriad G.o.d Ridge's rules allow personal disciples to bring in eight, and not one more."
Yi Yun was rendered even more speechless by Zhou Bingfeng's explanation. So he had only brought a third of them. Eight of them were left at his residence. He sure had good fortune in love.
"Junior Brother Yi, as a personal disciple in Myriad G.o.d Ridge, there's no need to be overly restrained. It's not a problem if you’re a little ostentatious, as long as you have sufficient strength."
Zhou Bingfeng, whose personality screamed casanova, beckoned for two of the beauties to sit down. They sat on each side of him and joined him in drinking.
Yi Yun said to Zuoyan Xiaoyu, "You should sit down too."
Zuoyan Xiaoyu's face blushed as she said hurriedly, "Young Master, there's no need. I'll get you some food now."
At that moment, the lids of the seventeen vessels had been removed. A rich aroma of spirit food surged outwards, whetting one's appet.i.te.
The fragrance that overwhelmed Yi Yun was something he had never experienced before. He could not help but be curious about Elder Lanqin's capabilities.
The people in charge of presiding over the banquet were a few old men. They were not Elders, only stewards.
Zuoyan Xiaoyu walked to the first tripod and anxiously received the food from the old man tending to it. It was a spirit fruit the size of a bowl. The flesh of the fruit had been removed and the fragrant food was placed in its core. Zuoyan Xiaoyu carefully held it in her bosom and felt the heat coming from it. She felt sensations going through her heart for, although she was not permitted to eat any of the food, it still excited her greatly.
She glanced at Yi Yun and brought Yi Yun the spirit food like she was handing over a treasure.
But at that moment, Zuoyan Xiaoyu suddenly felt like she was being tripped as she lost her balance.
Zuoyan Xiaoyu let out a shocked cry. Although her cultivation level wasn't high, she was skilled enough to adjust her balance in midair. But this time, just as she was about to fall, she felt the surrounding laws undergo a change. Maintaining her balance became impossible.
Zuoyan Xiaoyu fell straight onto the ground. The spirit fruit in her arms dropped to the ground as the food that was once inside it spilled all over.
Zuoyan Xiaoyu sat on the ground in a daze. She looked at the food that was splattered onto the ground as tears began to brim in her eyes. She naturally knew the value of the food she was carrying. Perhaps, all the cultivation resources she had ever used throughout her life was not even as expensive as the spirit fruit. Yet, it was now splattered across the ground by her own hands.
Besides being an outer-sect disciple that worked as a maidservant, she was also one of the least powerful members of her family. As such, she learned to be extremely careful in the residences of personal disciples at all times, always afraid that trouble would befall her randomly. But now, she was in big trouble.