Chapter 356 - The Miracle of Food
A sign that read ‘Founding Noodle Shop’ hung above the entrance to a store. A fragrant aroma wafted from that entrance, filling Tang Wulin’s nose and making his fingers twitch.
“Boss!” Xu Lizhi shouted.
A stout, middle-aged man with a rugged appearance walked out of the store. He had a stern look on his face, which was accented by his short hair and bronze complexion, and wore black pants and a black button-down gown. He carried himself like a royalty, as if daring anyone courageous enough to talk back to him. Yet, as soon as he saw Xu Lizhi, his expression softened and a smile formed on his lips.
“Ah, Little Fatty, you’ve returned!” he exclaimed.
“Yep! I’m back to eat some of your delicious noodles again, and this time I brought my friend, Tang Wulin. I really missed your wife’s succulent noodles. I wanna order ten bowls for each of us! The extra big bowls!” By the time he finished speaking, Xu Lizhi was already drooling.
The boss turned his gaze to Tang Wulin in astonishment. “This little brother is going to eat ten bowls as well?”
“Yep, yep! He can almost eat as much as I can!” Xu Lizhi pulled Tang Wulin into the noodle shop as he spoke. “He’s my food buddy!”
Founding Noodle Shop wasn’t very large at all, but its furniture and decorations were exquisite. They lent an air authenticity to the noodle shop. Tang Wulin may not have known much about architecture or furniture, but he could tell that this place emphasized the elegance of simplicity. Customers filled half of the shop, all eating quietly. Although the dishes the customers were enjoying appeared simple, the aroma coming from them told Tang Wulin otherwise. The smell alone was enough to elicit a growl from both his and Xu Lizhi’s stomachs.
The boss led the two of them to a private room in the very back of the shop. The room was quite large, and an unassuming table sat in the middle of it. Upon closer inspection, however, one would notice the remarkable amount of detail in its craftsmanship.
“Take a seat,” the boss said. He then turned and left, and a few minutes later, he returned with a bowl in each hand. Both were over a foot in diameter and held generous portions of noodles. Before the bowls even arrived at their table, a sumptuous smell of chili peppers struck Tang Wulin and Xu Lizhi, soliciting a growls from their stomachs. Their hunger was back in full force.
The boss placed the bowls in front of the two of them, and they examined the food like ravenous beasts. The noodles were thin but wide, drenched in slightly sour-smelling meat sauce that sang to their souls. Then a wave of spiciness roiled from the peppers, mixing with the sour scent and making Tang Wulin and Xu Lizhi go mad with desire. The two gluttons immediately began slurping up the noodles, and both could tell that they had been cooked to perfection, and not the slightest bit past. Each bite brought joy to their taste buds, wave after wave of noodles coated in fatty meat juices sliding down their throats.
Neither Tang Wulin nor Xu Lizhi spoke. At that moment, their bowls of noodles became their world. Each noodle that entered their stomachs filled them with comforting warmth. Sweat began to pour from Tang Wulin as he ate. He could feel his blood essence surge throughout his body.
These noodles are amazing! He turned to look at Xu Lizhi, and he was met with a smirk.
“You can tell, right? Boss’s noodles aren’t just any noodles!” Xu Lizhi said smugly. “He added some spirit herbs to the dough, so not only are his noodles delicious, they’re also extremely nourishing!”
“Then this must be expensive, right?” Tang Wulin asked in a whisper.
“Mn.” Xu Lizhi nodded. “He accepts contribution points and federal coins here. Each bowl costs about twenty thousand federal coins or two thousand contribution points.”
“Wha… how much?” Tang Wulin’s voice went up an octave.
Xu Lizhi shushed Tang Wulin hastily. “Don’t be so loud! I know it’s a bit expensive, but the noodles are so good! They’re good for your body too! Anyway, don’t worry about the price today. It’s my treat. I’ve saved up a lot of contribution points since there aren’t many places in the inner court to spend them. We can talk about that kind of stuff after our bellies are full.”
After eating ten bowls of noodles, Tang Wulin felt that his blood essence had become more lively than ever before. He felt as if he were about to soar into the sky at any moment. He could feel his entire body grow feverish, and he knew he needed to let off some steam.
Xu Lizhi went to pay the bill, which came up to a total of forty thousand contribution points. It was a sum that Tang Wulin found it impossible to imagine for just a meal, and his heart ached when he saw the receipt. All those points just for one meal! No wonder the boss personally received Lizhi.
“I’m going to head back and exercise a bit. That meal was a bit too heavy for me,” Tang Wulin said with a wry smile.
“Okay. I gotta say though, I can’t believe your stomach surpassed mine yet again!” Xu Lizhi patted his stomach in satisfaction, his plump face sweating a bit from the nourishment of the spirit herb noodles. “Well, see you later then.” Xu Lizhi waved goodbye.
In contrast to Xu Lizhi’s mellow blood essence, Tang Wulin’s blood essence raged through his body like a flood. This marked a clear difference in the way both of them digested the noodles.
As Tang Wulin made for the exit, the boss handed him a card. On it was the word ‘Founding’ and a soul communicator number.
No longer able to suppress the energy within his body, Tang Wulin picked up the pace and was soon running back toward campus. Since the shop wasn’t very far away, it only took him a few minutes to arrive at the Academy’s gates.
Tang Wulin thought his blood essence would settle down during the run back, but that wasn’t the case. Instead, his blood essence grew more vigorous as it continued to course through his body, almost as if it were trying to escape. Tang Wulin rushed into the grove near the working student dormitory, golden light emanating from him as his golden blood essence soul ring grew restless and struggled out of his body. The moment the soul ring left his body, his tense nerves began to relax, and he finally had room to breathe. His blood essence surged through his body like a roaring river, filling every inch of him with a comforting heat. However, this energy had to be released somehow.
He raised his hands and slowly moved them in a circle, guiding his blood essence along the pathway of Dragon Shocks the Heavens. Due to the excessive vigor of his blood essence, just this small gesture was enough to form a whirlpool of energy within himself. He had been practicing Dragon Shocks the Heavens for a little over ten days now. He hadn’t made much progress up to this point, however, and his blood essence could trace no more than fifty percent of the pathway. But today was different. His blood essence was more forceful than ever before, and it attacked the walls in his meridians with blazing rage. The flow of his blood essence reversed, the resistance within the whirlpool of energy gradually faded away, and then, all of a sudden, he broke through the fifty percent barrier!
A faint golden mist enveloped Tang Wulin’s body, and a draconic roar resounded from his blood essence. It pierced the night with unprecedented might, and he was now completely immersed in this mystical state. Golden scales appeared on his right arm and chest, and the soul ring activated Golden Dragon Body on its own, bathing him in a light far more radiant than before. His blood essence raged within him, washing his meridians and viscera in seething energy as it poured from his body and heated up the air around him.
As Tang Wulin grew feverish from the burning energy, his eyes flashed crimson-gold as if they were ablaze. He began to tremble, his meridians convulsing, and the energy surging from him forced the air around him to become a swirling tempest. His hair whipped back in forth in the frenzy, his clothes burned to ash, and golden lines appeared all over his body, making him resemble a young dragon preparing to soar into the heavens. Even as his blood essence rampaged with him and fought to erupt skyward, he remained steady.
Although his clothes had been burned to ash, his blacksmith’s badge remained glued to his chest. A purple-white aura emanated from it, struggling to keep him calm.
Tang Wulin’s blood essence gained momentum as his arms moved slower and slower. All of the nourishment from the food he ate had been completely transformed into blood essence. As the rumbling of the dragon’s roar grew louder, his body began to expand as well.
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