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Ancient Strengthening Technique - Chapter 1321-1322

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Chapter 1321-1322

AST 1321 –Powerful Culinary Art, Culinary Qi, Jade Steamed Bun

Qing Shui had always been very curious about acupuncture and acupuncture points in his previous life. But that was no longer the case. Just as how the saying went, 'anything was possible'.

Wood Qi was a form of Vital Qi. It was the best Qi for treating illness. Qing Shui immediately separated the acupuncture techniques of wood element from the Five Element Acupuncture technique, since Soulsearch couldn't learn every element among the Five Elements. This was closely related to his body.

Qing Shui's Qi of the Ancient Strengthening Technique was very miraculous, just like the five elements. Therefore, it was very easy to use the principle of mutual creation and destruction among the five elements to treat illnesses and detoxify.

Apart from this, there was also another acupuncture technique for constitution nurturing. However, it all depended on Soulsearch's capability to cultivate it. Qing Shui only looked at Culinary Arts after sorting this out.

In his previous life, he had neglected the power of culinary arts, so he only knew how to cook a little. He only knew how much he had missed out on after witnessing the Imperial Cuisine Hall. It seemed like food was also a very formidable form of cultivation.

One fact he observed from his previous world was that all the strong people had great appetites. The people who had small appetites were usually weak. It was evident just how much energy a human body could absorb from food. The better the food they ate, the more energy they could absorb. Of course, the excessive nutrition that human body couldn't absorb would be harmful instead.

The more powerful a cultivator's body was, the more they could absorb. Hence, only better food could slightly raise their cultivation. It was very unlikely that ordinary food could do anything to raise their cultivation in any way.

Looking at his Culinary Arts, he didn't realize that there were already so many items amongst his Culinary Arts. He had never really looked through them all this time and had only tried a few of them, like wine-brewing.

Plum Blossom Wine, Precious Dew Wine, Tigerbone Yang Amplification Beauty Purification Wine… This was probably the Tiger Bone Liquor and there was also Snake Bile Wine… However, these were all low quality wines back then.

Wines were also classified by quality, then by their age. The higher the quality and the older the age, the better the wine was. The wine's age would be important if the quality of the wine wasn't high. However, the quality of wine could make up for its age.

Apart from wines, Qing Shui saw steamed buns…

He rubbed his nose. There were steamed buns in this world too but Qing Shui had never thought of steaming buns himself. But since he saw it, he could give it a try. So he instantly looked through the recipe for steamed buns.

Although Qing Shui knew Culinary Arts, he still needed the ingredients for steamed buns. Qing Shui looked through and found out that the ingredient cost of this steamed bun was very high. It actually required ten ingredients and among them were bone powder and shredded meat of some demonic beasts…

This would definitely be one inconceivable steamed bun in his previous world as it would be impossible to satisfy the cost of making it. Putting aside the medicinal herbs that would be needed, just the requirement of demonic beast's bone powder was very to difficult meet because demonic beasts didn't exist back in his previous world.

Then he saw Jade Meat Floss, Jade Willow Dew, Jade Radish Soup, Thousand Golden Dew…

As Qing Shui was happily reading through, he found some familiar items among them, like the Hundred Flavors Wine. This type of wine was actually great to brew. It was a wine that was brewed with a hundred different ingredients. Although this was very easy for Qing Shui, it was very difficult for others to blend the ingredients of a hundred flavors together.

He didn't realize that he had Drunken Haze, Immortal's Drink and some other familiar items. But the ones that had appeared were enough already, because their qualities could all be enhanced.

Take Qing Shui's Plum Blossom Wine as an example. Over these years, especially in the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal, the 1000-Year Plum Blossoms were no longer just 1000-Year Plum Blossoms. Therefore, the effects of the Plum Blossom Wine he brewed later were even better.

The strength of his demonic beasts was still rapidly and steadily improving. The Treasure Hunting Pig and Jade Emperor Queen Bee were both Peak Grade Two Spiritual Medicinal Beasts and they would be breaking through any moment now. Nowadays, the Treasure Hunting Pig was Qing Shui's multi-functional demonic beast. It could search for treasures, nurture medicinal herbs and also cooperate with him in taking down enemies.

Other than that, Qing Shui also saw another cuisine, Longevity Noodles!

The Longevity Fish was one of the ingredients needed for Longevity Noodles. Qing Shui was quite speechless about this. The Longevity Noodles that he ate in his previous world was a type of noodles that people only ate on their birthdays. This was a tradition and of course it wouldn't increase a person's lifespan.

But the Longevity Noodles in this world was different. It was really a type of noodles that could increase lifespan. Of course, it was fine to not add the Longevity Fish in the Longevity Noodles, however the effects would be greatly reduced. Furthermore, this type of noodles was very strange, it had to be eaten on a birthday to increase lifespan by a year. An ordinary person could only increase their lifespan by fifty years at most. That meant they could only eat that fifty times at most, once a year.

Similarly, cultivators of State Master Grade could also only increase their lifespan by a year but a total of additional two hundred years to their lifespan at most.

Not only could the Longevity Noodles increase lifespan, they could also get rid of some ailments, strengthening the body and thus increasing the lifespan. Hence, it was also a strength enhancer in disguise, save for the fact that its effect wasn't that significant.

Yet this was definitely a heaven-defying cuisine. A Longevity Fish could be made into two or three bowls of noodles. The effects of Longevity Fish was good but there was a limit to it. One wouldn't be able to consume it after a certain number of times. Otherwise, there wouldn't be a point in making the Longevity Noodles as directly eating the Longevity Fish would have been much better than eating the Longevity Noodles. Although it was wasteful to use the Longevity Fish for making Longevity Noodles, sometimes this was just necessary.

Qing Shui saw a skill at the end, Culinary Qi!

It was best to rinse the ingredients with Culinary Qi for a while when preparing the cuisine. That way, it could not only save the effort but also lead to better results.

In the end, Qing Shui decided to shift his attention towards wines, steamed buns and Longevity Noodles for now.

Longevity Noodles weren't for sale and had to be pre-ordered. But it went without saying that it wasn't affordable by just anyone. So even if it were to be put on sale, it could only be sold to some special people. There was another catch to it, this wouldn't be sold for money.

……

Qing Shui got up quite early the next day. After he came out, he saw Soulsearch doing his morning practice at the courtyard in the distance. He was practicing a fist that technique that trained his Qi. Not only him, even Li Ji was up already practicing her sword technique.

Li Ji was also a cultivator of State Master grade. Although she was only a Grade One State Master, she was still an outstanding individual as this was a dividing range that was like a natural barrier.

Qing Shui walked over. When Soulsearch and Li Ji saw him, they greeted him. Li Ji was looking kind of radiant now. She seemed to be a lot more youthful. This must be what they meant by 'joy puts heart into a person'.

"Brother, you are training your Qi just now?"

This wasn't strange. A physician who didn't train their Qi would hardly amount to anything in the end. All physicians had their own ways of training Qi. Qing Shui had never considered teaching him how he trained Qi himself. But rather, he'd watch how he trained and then assist him to improve or even incorporate some movements from the Nine Animals Mimicry Technique or force generation.

This shouldn't be underestimated as it could instantly lead to significant effects. Qing Shui had the capability to do so too. His attainments in martial art could be considered very profound by now, so he could very easily make slight enhancements to skills and techniques.

After his meal, he didn't go to the Imperial Cuisine Hall immediately. But instead, Qing Shui told them that he had something to discuss with them.

It was naturally about how to promote a few items.

Qing Shui was prepared to take out some wines that he had brewed before. Although the qualities were slightly inferior, they were very aged. The items that Qing Shui recommended were not made available to everyone. Hence, they needed Soulsearch to advertise since Qing Shui didn't have enough yet and needed time.

Qing Shui took out a jar of Plum Blossom Wine. The three of them drank while they discussed. The taste and effects of the Plum Blossom Wine stunned Soulsearch and Li Ji. Just the taste alone was unparalleled, let alone the fact that it could cleanse meridians and strengthen the body.

There was no Culinary Qi in these. He wondered if the effects would be even greater if he had used the Culinary Qi to refine the Plum Blossoms while brewing.

The description mentioned saving effort and leading to better results. That meant everything would at least be increased onefold or even more, right?

Then there were also steamed buns. Although these things were a little too common, Qing Shui still decided to give it a try. Fortunately, these steamed buns had decent names. Something like Jade Steamed Buns and Jade Tofu. However, Qing Shui had never made them before.

……

Qing Shui recalled a certain someone from his previous world, the 'Steamed Bun Guy' [1]. The thought of himself steaming buns one day made the corner of his mouth twitch…

It wasn't like he felt embarrassed, he just found this to be a little unbelievable.

Judging from the way both of their eyes lit up after Qing Shui explained his plan to Soulsearch, they weren't too much of an issue. They could slowly penetrate the market. They just mainly needed to withstand some pressure. After all, when these items appeared, someone would definitely wish to monopolize them. Hence, they'd need to rope in some powerful parties. As long as they had more powerful figures with them, no one would even dream of monopolizing anything.

Fortunately Soulsearch was still quite famous among this generation. After all, he had been hired by the Yehuang Clan in the past. Just this fact alone was a great shield that no one would dare to recklessly lay a finger on.

"Then let us go to the Imperial Cuisine Hall today and give them a try." Qing Shui smiled after a moment of consideration.

Soulsearch and Li Ji naturally agreed happily.

The Imperial Cuisine Hall was usually managed by Li Ji because Soulsearch was treating patients outside most of the time.

It was already almost noon. There were still many people on the first floor of Imperial Cuisine Hall. The price list on the first floor was still affordable. Besides, there were simply too many people and rich people in the capital city.

When they arrived at the top floor, Qing Shui directly told them the recipe of Jade Steamed Bun and had them memorize it before they began to try making them. The three of them experimented together along with help from some maids.

But of course the maids wouldn't know the recipe!

Although the bone powders of some sort of demonic beasts were needed, all of these could be bought with money. Qing Shui directly made the steamed bun instead of using the Culinary Qi.

For the meat, he used high quality demonic beast's lean meat. The steamer baskets here were huge. There were some special ingredients in the bun that were Qing Shui's spices. These were very important because without those Jade Bay Leaves, it was impossible to create the Jade Steamed Bun and Jade Tofu. Qing Shui wasn't surprised about it either because the Culinary Art was his and similar situations had frequently happened before. To put it simply, these things would turn out differently if they weren't made by him. Qing Shui wasn't sure if he should be happy or gloomy about this.

The good thing was, it would be very easy for him to manipulate the market. Without his Jade Bay Leaves, even if the others had the recipe, they wouldn't be able to produce the Jade Steamed Buns. This meant that the product would be unique…

His actions were very swift. Soon enough, he was done shaping the pale green buns. They were only the size of a child's fist and looked very exquisite. Qing Shui didn't expect that it was possible for even buns to reach such an exquisite level.

He then started to steam them. This itself was a process that required particular attention, for example, the intensity of the flame. Some branches and leaves of medicinal herbs were also required to be added to the flame. Fortunately, it didn't take too long. The buns were ready in just under two hours.

There were about two hundred buns in this batch. The moment he took off the lid, Qing Shui and the rest were amazed. An indescribable fragrance wafted out. Furthermore, these Jade Steamed Buns were sparkling and translucent, just like a work of art.

In the past, Qing Shui had thought that steamed buns were quite tacky. But now, he realized that even steamed buns could become high-grade luxury food…

Qing Shui sensed the Jade Steamed Buns and found out their effect.

Strengthens the body. Quickly replenishes stamina and some spirit energy. Extremely delicious.

Although the effect of body strengthening wasn't great, the fact that they could be taken as daily meals was an advantage. It was enough for the fact that they could be considered a delicacy, let alone the fact that they could also quickly replenish stamina and some spirit energy.

Translation Note:

[1] The Steamed Bun Guy refers to the contestant from Thailand's The Masked Singer who dressed up as a steam bun on stage.

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AST 1322 –Li Husheng's Arrival, Miraculous Physician, Visitors From Pang Clan

He reckoned that they were probably all stunned by the appearance and aroma of the Jade Steamed Buns. After all, there were spices from Qing Shui's Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal inside them. Just the taste alone would definitely be able to penetrate into the market. It was a pity that Qing Shui had no plans to sell them in large quantities…

"Come have a taste, let's see how it tastes first."

Qing Shui immediately called Soulsearch, Li Ji and the few maids over. Perhaps it was the tempting fragrance of the buns or for some other reasons, the maids didn't refuse the offer. The Imperial Cuisine Hall was a luxury place. The maids here were all one in a thousand. They were young, energetic, beautiful, gentle and soft-spoken.  

Qing Shui took a bite. It was juicy in his mouth and not too oily. The delicious smell of the bun permeated the air around them. It was indescribably aromatic and made one feel as if it was probably the most delicious food in the world.

Even the meat soup that Qing Shui had stewed before with the spices from Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal could only be described as having a distinctive flavor but it couldn't really be considered more tasty than the others. However, Qing Shui could admit that nothing he had eaten before could beat the taste of this Jade Steamed Bun.

Soulsearch immediately took a bite too. He was stunned for a moment before he finished the entire bun in just two or three bites and then reached out to another one. Li Ji seemed to be shy so Qing Shui quickly took one for her and the few maids.

Everyone ate about ten steamed buns before they stopped, yet they still felt like they hadn't eaten to their heart's content. Qing Shui and Soulsearch didn't feel particularly embarrassed about it since both of them were men. The few ladies however were slightly embarrassed.

The few maids went off to get busy with something else and only the three of them remained here.

"Brother, how should we promote these steamed buns?" Qing Shui asked Soulsearch slowly. It was impossible for them to put these up on sale for everyone since they weren't going to steam more than this. Although they were part of the service industry, that didn't mean the customers were god.

The Imperial Cuisine wasn't exactly an affordable place for the ordinary folks. The visitors who could afford to come to this part of the street were all very wealthy and respectable. Most of them were cultivators and wealthy merchants. Cultivators weren't poor. In fact, the more powerful a cultivator was, the less likely they were short of money.

"Rest assured, brother. There's no need to worry. We are not going to promote this because there will naturally be people helping us to spread the word. There's still so many left and there's quite a number of customers on the fourth floor. Even if we let each of them have one for free today, I reckon that it won't take too long before the Jade Steamed Buns of the Imperial Cuisine Hall become famous in the Yehuang Country." Soulsearch seemed to be very confident of this.

Qing Shui pondered for a moment and thought that it made sense too. The customers on the fourth floor were pretty much the most respectable customers of the Imperial Cuisine Hall. Most of the people there were probably at least of the same caliber as the Li Clan's Head. There was no harm in letting them help him spread the word.

Qing Shui gave the recipe to Soulsearch and his wife. The Jade Bay Leaves were only used in very minimal amounts, every time. They had also decided to restrict the sales of these Jade Steamed Buns to only the fourth floor and each customer was only entitled to buy two a day.

He called over the few maids and ordered them to distribute the remaining Jade Steamed Buns around the fourth floor. There were probably enough for everyone to have one for free.

However, before the maids could make a move, a man came in from outside. It turned out to be the person from last time. He came in to inform Soulsearch that Li Husheng had arrived.

"Yuan Long, Sir Qing Shui will be the highest ranking master here from now on. Relay this to everyone else and let Sir Li in!" Soulsearch gestured towards Qing Shui and explained with a smile.

"Master Qing!" Although that man by the name of Yuan Long didn't really get it, he still knew what he should do.

“No need to be so formal. Nothing's going to change here. Brother Soulsearch will still be around." Qing Shui laughed and looked at this man. He knew that if Imperial Cuisine Hall was to fare well, then a good and useful team was imperative.

The strength of this man called Yuan Long was quite decent. He was an Early Martial Saint cultivator and most likely a steward over here at the Imperial Cuisine Hall. It appeared that Soulsearch highly valued him.

When Qing Shui saw Li Husheng, he instantly knew that he had already managed to find the antidote. He had not seen him only for a day but he could see that he seemed totally different compared to before. His mood was great and he saw those Jade Steamed Buns too.

Soulsearch naturally gestured for him to take some for himself. But he only took one and the maids took the rest downstairs to distribute to the customers on the fourth floor.

However, he instantly regretted for not taking a few more after taking a bite. But going down again to take a few more would be a little too disgraceful considering his status, so he could only smile embarrassingly and say that the steamed bun was lot more delicious than those exotic delicacies.

He was dazed for too long earlier. Otherwise, he could have definitely take a few more before those maids went downstairs or could even buy them on the spot…

"Hmm, old master, you seem to be a lot younger…"

Just a steamed bun had managed to slow down his reaction. He had already realized it in the beginning but didn't manage to react after biting into the steamed bun until now. So he was once again staring at Soulsearch in great shock.

"Sir Li, this is all the work of my brother. I believe you have also witnessed his art of healing!" Soulsearch naturally didn't pass up this chance. Getting Li Husheng to spread the word would be more effective and quicker.

"Sir, you are indeed one miraculous physician. Please forgive Husheng for failing to see this. I'd have lost my life if it wasn't for you. It was just as what you have said, it turns out that I had really been poisoned. I'd like to trouble you now to take a look to see if my poison has been completely dispelled." Li Husheng seemed to be particularly worked up when speaking. He was genuinely grateful.

"You're welcome, it's no trouble!"

Qing Shui helped Li Husheng to take his pulse then smiled. "Congratulations, Sir Li. You are completely cured."

"It's all thanks to you, Physician. I didn't expect brother to do this. Since you have saved my life, please don't be shy if there's ever anything you need my help with. The favor I owe you isn't something that can be repaid in just one or two times. I'm here to guarantee to you Physician, just tell me anything you need my help with. I will definitely help you to the best of my ability," Li Husheng told Qing Shui solemnly.

"Sir Li, you are being too courteous. I have done nothing," Qing Shui told him with a smile. He knew that Li Husheng was so determined mainly because Soulsearch had suddenly turned young. It was probably for that reason or at least something related to that.

"No, your words that time were as good as an elixir of life. It was you who has saved me. I would like to invite you, Brother Soulsearch and his wife to my residence as guests. Let me express my gratitude. Although I am aware that the food that the chefs at my place make is probably a lot more inferior than here, I would still like to express my gratitude."

Li Husheng's had already unconsciously changed his way of addressing Soulsearch. The relation between the Li Clan and Soulsearch had always been good, so he had been very respectfully calling him Old Master. However, Soulsearch was a lot younger now.

It went without saying that Qing Shui agreed to it since he could really use the Li Clan's help right now. Li Husheng shyly inquired about the steamed buns again before he left.

Qing Shui naturally told him that it was not possible to mass produce them. Li Husheng kept saying it was a pity that today's batch had run out and told him that he'd definitely be coming tomorrow. Qing Shui also subtly hinted for him to help promote the Imperial Cuisine Hall.

Li Husheng didn't seem to have any problem with doing that!

In fact, the news about Soulsearch suddenly turning youthful would also spread like wildfire. By then, he would eventually make a name for himself.

Before they realized it, half a day had already passed and Li Ji went off to do something else.

Qing Shui passed a few acupuncture techniques to Soulsearch and even performed a demonstration on him on the spot. He directly stuck the needles into his body, so that he could see what it felt like. Soulsearch had a decent background knowledge of acupuncture and had a significantly powerful innate talent for medicine. This was also the reason why Qing Shui had chosen him. He believed that he would make a name for himself as the Ghost Physician in medical expertise.

……

Almost on the same day, the reputation of the Imperial Cuisine Hall's Jade Steamed Buns had spread around. But they were treated as nothing but mere rumors. After all, there were less than two hundred Jade Steamed Buns that had been distributed and they had already been eaten as soon as they were distributed. However, the results of rumors being spread by people higher credibility were still great.

Apart from that, news about Soulsearch turning younger had also spread. This had required a very powerful art of healing. It was easy to find out Qing Shui's existence. Thus, the discussion about a miraculous physician over at the Imperial Cuisine Hall instantly broke out.

Three days passed in a flash!

Qing Shui didn't expect news that were spread by mouth would be able to reach such level. Many wanted to be a 'customer' of the Imperial Cuisine Hall. Unfortunately the eligibility of being a 'customer' had already skyrocketed.

It wasn't like Qing Shui was pulling anyone in with the Jade Steamed Bun, it was merely a type of strategy. Even so, the fourth floor was getting more customers.

……

The development of Imperial Cuisine Hall was already moving towards an ideal direction, along with Qing Shui's wine. He hadn't made any Longevity Noodles as the plan was put off for now. But it was going to be put into motion very soon.

However, many people had gathered at the entrance of the Imperial Cuisine Hall today. They were all dressed in clothes that were suitable for combat. When Qing Shui came out, he saw a strange expression on Soulsearch's face. He turned to Qing Shui and spoke to him in a soft voice. "These people are from the Pang Clan, a big clan among the capital city of Yehuang Country. Although they are inferior to the Yehuang Clan, they are far more powerful than a clan like the Li Clan."

About a dozen people came. Standing outside the main door was a man who was middle-aged in his appearance. He had a bulky body figure but not bulky as in big and strong. It was more like he was lofty like a mountain. He had a stoic expression on his face, a pair of thick eyebrows, bright eyes and dignified aura. Some of his hair was already gray, causing him to appear even more mature.

"Brother Soulsearch. I see that you have indeed become a lot younger now. I'd have to trouble you to introduce that Miraculous Physician to me." The man wasted no time beating around the bush.

Qing Shui stretched his hand out to stop Soulsearch. The man before them was very violent or perhaps this was his nature. It was a nature that had been brought out from being looked upon and respected by others for a long time.

"Excuse me, who are you, sir? What business do you have here for you to be blocking the entrance of the Imperial Cuisine Hall?" Qing Shui was calm and collected. He was showing neither a smile nor any displeasure.

"I am Pang De. Are you the Miraculous Physician?" The man looked at Qing Shui in shock. After all, he was too young to be one.

"I only know a little about the art of healing. Sir Pang, I am very busy here. What business do you have here? If you are only here to be a 'customer', then there is no need for you to inform us."

The expression on Pang De's face contorted but it quickly returned to normal. He then turned towards the rest, "All of you return first!"

"Miraculous Physician, the Pang Clan would like to invite you to our residence to discuss something. If you are not too busy, please follow me back this one time," Pang De explained with a smile.

Soulsearch glanced towards Qing Shui. Even he had no idea what to do in this situation. The Pang Clan was very influential. It didn't take a genius to figure out why the Pang Clan had been looking for Qing Shui.

"Sorry, I'm very busy and have no time to spare. Sir Pang, why don't we put this visit off until I'm less busy?" Qing Shui's response was straightforward.

Soulsearch's eyes widened when he heard Qing Shui's response. He was secretly very worked up. He knew that Qing Shui concealed himself deeply but he was clueless as to the depth of his strength..

With the actions and attitude of the Pang Clan, he reckoned that Qing Shui wouldn't go even if it was the Yehuang Clan who came. He wasn't used to being 'invited' by others like this. Even more so when he had some destructive power with him right now. The Life and Death Needles weren't merely for treating illness, they could be used as weapons too.

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