With such a high ranking, this special and famous exploration team was obviously reliable, and the rewards were very attractive. Taste-testing? Ten Holy Coins per dish?
Other than Wang Zhong, countless other freshmen were also instantly attracted and crowded around the person who had just shouted.
"Are there any requirements for the Dharma Idol?" Some freshmen were not very confident of themselves. They assumed that this team was definitely dedicated to training experts, especially with such an appealing remuneration. Would they require one to have an A+ grade Dharma Idol?
"Nope!" The man replied in an indifferent tone. "Just don't be afraid to die!"
The whole crowd was a little stunned. What did taste-testing have to do with dying?
However, as there were experienced seniors present, everyone soon knew what was going on. Although gourmets could produce dimensional delicacies with various magical effects, how did these dishes come about?
The most basic thing to do was to taste-test. A taste-tester would be just like those attending eunuchs around emperors, who needed to test the food for poison. It was a trivial matter to get an upset stomach, but if one was not careful, it might be fatal. One had to follow a principle in the Holy Land: nothing would fall into one's lap for no reason, and even if something did, it would be poisoned.
The whole crowd then dispersed in an instant. Everyone had no intention of risking their lives. To them, money could be made slowly as they still had time. Only Wang Zhong stayed. Wasn't it just eating? Wang Zhong was rather confident of his stomach.
The man waved his hand and looked at Wang Zhong with a smile. "You've been recruited! Come with me!"
The Gourmets specialized in such things. They would invite freshmen to help with taste-testing, so they only required people with low-level Dharma Idols. Anyway, those people had poor potential, and no one would care if they lived or died. However, they had to warn them in advance. Otherwise, they might change their mind once they found out the truth. Such things could not stay under wraps. Honestly, it was not that something serious would happen every time anyway; it was just a matter of luck.
If one became a qualified gourmet, one no longer needed to worry about survival in the Holy Land anymore. In the Holy Land, alchemists, gourmets, and battlefield healers were all very popular, and the gourmets were undoubtedly the most special of all. Although they were lacking in combat power and were not as good at healing compared to professional battlefield healers, they were well-rounded. Some special foods had the same effects as advanced medicines. At the same time, they were also poison masters. A piece of delicious beef modified by them could make dimensional beasts go insane, and it might even be contagious. If a piece was put in a place where some dimensional creatures gathered, carcasses would fill the place by the next morning; it was absolutely terrifying. Not to mention the power and appeal of gourmets in the Holy City, their poison techniques alone would deter anyone from stepping on their toes.
It was not surprising that rumor had it that choosing a gourmet to be a cultivation partner was the happiest and the most tragic thing; because when gourmets are in love, they could help their partners increase their power, but at the same time, once emotional betrayal came into play, their partners would often suffer a fate worse than death without anyone noticing it.
This was no longer a secret among the Holy Disciples. Occasionally, some experienced Holy Disciples who were crazy about money would take the risk and participate in taste-testing. However, if one was not forced into a dead-end, one would never choose this way to earn money. Never had one heard of someone not regretting after joining this team. Every year when a new batch of freshmen came in, the Gourmets would also take advantage of them being inexperienced and draw them in. Wang Zhong was the first one this year, but he would not be the last.
After following behind the person for a long distance, he entered the Mystic Sect's Teachers' District. He was being brought over to participate in the taste-testing for the team, but wasn't the team formed by Holy Disciples? Why was he needed in the Teachers' District?
Wang Zhong was starting to grow a little suspicious, till they stopped in front of a beautiful little villa. The person knocked on the door respectfully, and it soon opened.
It was a ridiculously beautiful lady who answered the door. Her long and silky curly hair draped over her shoulders, and her complexion was flawless. Her soft pink lips carried a hint of laziness, making her seem sexy and charming. With a low-cut blue dress outlining her curves, her devil-like figure was exhibited, making any man unable to take their eyes off her.
The person dared not stare any longer and said something to her respectfully. After which, he pointed at Wang Zhong. The beautiful lady in the blue dress shot Wang Zhong a smile and said, "It just happens that there is something for you to taste-test. Come in, kiddo."
The room was permeated with a fragrance of fried food, and there were dozens of hot dishes on the living room table.
"Try every dish. These are all whipped up by me." The beautiful lady in blue had no airs. She lay down on the sofa beside her and hung her slender legs on the sofa arms in an unsuspecting manner. She then began to observe Wang Zhong, eyes filled with strong anticipation. It felt as though she was looking at a guinea pig, one about to participate in a violent experiment.
"Yes, teacher." Wang Zhong did not hesitate before he replied. Since he was already here, he decided to cross the bridge when he came to it. The person who had just bought him over had already said that he would be taste-testing the dishes cooked by Teacher Lan Daier, who was the beauty in front of him. She was the former leader of the Gourmets as well.
Wang Zhong then picked up a fork. The dozen dishes on the table were all cooked with bugs, and some of which were unfamiliar to Wang Zhong. Some looked like beetles while some looked like silkworm chrysalides, but all of them appeared red and spicy, making Wang Zhong work up an appetite.
"All I have to do is finish eating them?" Wang Zhong looked forward to eating them, but he still had to clear his doubts.
"Finish eating?" This was probably the first time Lan Daier had encountered such a question, and she found it interesting. "If you can finish eating them, I will give you an extra reward."
Wang Zhong's eyes immediately lit up. He had considered that the dishes might be weird, but eventually decided that it was impossible for them to be really poisonous. No one would throw away money just to sabotage him, especially when he had no quarrel with them. As for small problems like diarrhea, Wang Zhong felt that his Great 5 Elements Constitution would totally be able to handle it. "I'll help myself to these dishes then."
Lan Daier could not help but laugh out loud. "Yes, go ahead. Start from the left side. Try them one by one."
Ordinary people would most probably feel a little disgusted the moment the fork came into contact with the food. It was a plate of sandworm-like things, and there was no shell, only a long sticky body. Once the fork poked into one of them, the long body actually seemed to come alive. It immediately curled up and wrapped itself around the fork tightly, but it was really nothing to Wang Zhong. Wang Zhong had his own deep dark fears, but it was definitely not this kind of thing. After facing all kinds of despair, it would not be difficult to eat anything, even if it was extremely ugly and disgusting.
Wang Zhong did not even frown before he placed the thing in his mouth. At that moment, his teeth closed, and a crunch sound could be heard. The succulent juice exploded in his mouth; it was absolutely delicious!
The appearance was substandard, but it tasted really good!!
In less than a minute, he had already finished a plate of stir-fried sandworms. However, Wang Zhong had yet to feel anything. At the same time, Lan Daier looked a little surprised.
The other party did not seem to mind at all when it came to eating worms. Compared to most freshmen who would wear a distressed expression when they ate worms, he was undoubtedly more pleasing to the eye. However, this was not the main thing that surprised Lan Daier. The most important question was, why was there no response from him at all?
The plate of sandworms he just ate had a strong corrosive effect due to their body fluids. Generally speaking, the body fluids of sandworms had to be removed before they were made into dishes. However, these body fluids with strong corrosive properties actually contained extremely rich bioenergy and dimensional protein. This was actually a large source of additional energy, especially suitable for high energy supplementation during battle. It was a pity to discard them; thus, Lan Daier used more than a dozen different ingredients to neutralize the corrosive toxins in them and successfully cooked this plate of stir-fried sandworms.
However, this was only a semi-finished product. It was Lan Daier's first try; the ingredients she had used to neutralize and detoxify the corrosive toxins had yet to achieve expected results and there were still some residual corrosive toxins in the worms. She had fed them to a few lab rats before, and all of them died of intestinal perforation. Was it possible that human beings could rely on Soul Power and a stomach stronger than a mouse's to neutralize residual toxins?
"How are you feeling?"
Wang Zhong smacked his lips and attempted to recollect the pleasant flavor of the dish for three seconds. He then replied with a look of enjoyment on his face. "It's very soft and sticky and feels like a sauce burst when I bite through it!"
This answer made Lan Daier feel a little dumbfounded; he was not answering the question at all! What she wanted was a body reaction or an effect; what it tasted like was not the main point at all! But she soon realized that the food really did not have any effect on this guy; thus, she could not insist on getting an answer. Lan Daier recorded something in her book with a little suspicion and then signaled him to continue.
The second plate was a steamed dish. The black beetles appeared to be dotted with some silvery powder, and it was placed on vegetables adorned to look like a patch of grass. Although it was a meal of beetles, the appearance of the dish was exquisite, and it appeared like a high-class dish.
These were Holy Beetles. Its name may have the word 'holy' in it, but it contained strong ptomaine. After consuming it, the body would develop livor mortis and develop a high fever. In severe cases, one's mind might even be corrupted, and one would become a zombie.
At the same time, if the ptomaine could be handled properly, it could also become a huge supplementary tonic. There was actually only a thin line between poisons and tonics in the eyes of pharmacists and gourmets. In the Holy City, there was actually a long menu of dishes made from Holy Beetles. There also existed a special Ptomaine Faculty, which specialized in formulating different tonics through combining different ingredients.
Of course, this steamed dish could not be a tested recipe. In fact, this was the result of a whimsical idea from Lan Daier. Based on her research on ptomaine, she felt that a more powerful tonic could be made from fighting fire with fire; thus, she thought about combining Holy Beetles and Holy Weed, which contained ptomaine as well. Naturally, consequences were also expected. It was obviously not her intention for the taste-tester to die from this dish immediately; thus, she already had the antidote in her sexy left hand and was ready to give it to the tester anytime.
However, the antidote was totally useless. Wang Zhong had already gobbled up the Holy Beetles, but nothing had happened to him.
Lan Daier was really surprised this time. She had assumed that he was lucky previously and happened to encounter a recipe with a one-time success, but what was going on this time? It was obvious from her calculations that the auxiliary ingredients were not enough to neutralize the mutation effect of the two types of ptomaine. She merely wanted to observe the effects the toxins had on the tester so that she could formulate a more reasonable neutralization method based on the tester's reactions. How was this possible…?
"Well, teacher, this dish, frankly, it didn't taste good." Wang Zhong's appeared rather serious. To him, this job was legitimately simple taste-testing. He added his own suggestions, as though he was the best food critic in the Holy City. "It would be better if you could find something to cover up the taste, but it still feels good in my tummy."
What the f**k…
Lan Daier's mouth dropped wide open. What was he even saying? This kid was really giving her suggestions on how to cook.
"This is not possible!" Lan Daier could not believe it. Originally lying lazily on the sofa, she sat a little upright and stared directly into Wang Zhong's eyes. She wanted to see if the kid was lying. "You really don't feel anything? Your stomach doesn't hurt? You don't feel dizzy?"
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