Wilson: Don't eat any more!! At this rate the meat to substitute for the Xian-power imbued peaches will be gone in no time!
Sunnie: But the monster’s meat is just too yummy…… Wilson, have a bite and you’ll know.
Wilson: I won’t! I……
’groooo……’A huge growling noise resounded in Wilson’s dragon stomach. The continuous hunger had exhausted his energy, so it had to walk instead of flying. Wilson watched Sunnie eat the monster’s meat accompanied by the strong aroma of the ham piece by piece.
Wilson thought ‘My life would be complete if only I could eat it with a bowl of steaming hot rice….’ Sadly the meat was a substitute for the peach. Wilson must bear with the hunger. The city was right behind this mountain. There was no way the city wouldn't have a single restaurant…...
Wilson and Sunnie were busy brawling for the meat, which almost fell on the ground. Suddenly, the brushes surrounding them rustled. A number of masked men appeared out of nowhere, and circled them, pointing machetes at the two.
Bandit: Don’t move! Hands in the air! We‘re robbing you!
Sunnie: Wilson! The ham is MINE! Let go!
Bandit: Hey! Can’t you hear me? Gimme all of your good stuff!
Wilson: Ge-get off! The ham is about to drop… …
The bandits reached their limit. They slashed at Sunnie and Wilson with swords. Sunnie’s face went pale, and dodged behind Wilson. She immediately drew a magic array. In a blink, Wilson sparked purple beams and transformed into a giant red dragon.
Wilson mightily swung its tail around, scaring the bandits back a few steps. However, these bandits were hardened by many battles. One of them grabbed the swinging dragon tail and swiftly stabbed its body. Wilson roared in agony. Sunnie jumped on its back and swept them off with her leg. Suddenly, the aroma of ham invaded her nose. She got down for another firm sniff…...It was arising from the machete!
Sunnie: This machete sliced through a piece of ham not long ago! It’s seasoned with northern vanilla and pickled with southern…...fruits. It’s FRAGRANT!
Wilson: Sunnie! What are you doing! These thieves are a real pain in the ass. Help me out!
Sunnie: Their machetes sliced through the ham! I must bring that into my belly!
Sunnie was intensely aroused by the aroma of the ham. Just as her stomach growled in hunger, Wilson couldn't withstand the attacks anymore due to exhaustion, It shrank into the size of a kangaroo. It did not take long before the bandits subdued the two. Unfortunately for the bandits, they found nothing except a few coins on them after searching.
Bandit: Aren’t you two hunters? You don’t even have a dime! Gaaaar!
Bandit: It’s another day we go back empty-handed. Boss might not let us join dinner tonight……
Sunnie: Bring us. We can prove your efforts, right?
Willson: Sunnie! What are you saying?
To deliver something worthwhile to the boss, the bandits had no option but to bring Sunnie and Wilson back to their base. In the evening, an appetizing fragrance drifted out of a brightly lit stone house in a hidden place near the mountain forest. The aroma filled her heart with excitement, even though she was under capture.…...
Bandit Boss: Who are you? Ay! Why did you bring them here?
Stepping into the house, a table full of finger-licking dishes caught Sunnie’s eyes. Her appetite was instantly triggered, so she headbutted the bandit holding her, and rushed straight to the table. She grabbed the largest piece of venison and swallowed it like a savage. Wilson’s stamina was drained by hunger, so he could not do anything but watch.
Sunnie: It’s yummy! This vension was barbecued until medium. It’s so tender it melts in my mouth!
Sunnie: The sourness of the sauce was done absolutely right! Whoever cooked this deserves to be more than a bandit!
Bandit Boss: Wait, wait, wait! Who on earth are you?
Sunnie: I’m a Gourmet hunter who has tasted all kinds of food all over the globe!
Bandit: It was a gourment like you that put our boss into this misery!
As the bandits spoke about the past, emotion overcame the boss, who then unfolded the story behind this muscular man…...This bandit boss was once a chef. His superb cooking skill earned him a remarkable reputation.
However, later he lost a cooking contest, because the ingredients of his dish included coriander, which the judge loathed more than anything. The judge vomited instantly after tasting his dish. This incident had spread to every ear within the community.
They said that bandit boss could not even choose the right ingredients, thus his every dish was terrible. Eventually the boss lost hope and confidence in cooking. He abandoned the spatula, which was his only strength.
He led a wandering life, downgrading himself to a bandit. The cooking skill he had was now only for rewarding his followers with mouth-watering dishes for the booty they contributed.
Sunnie: No way! Your life should’ve been different! Your dishes are one of the very best I’ve ever tasted! Neglecting your talent is such a huge waste!
Bandit Boss: So be it. I’m happy enough that my men appreciate my cooking.
Sunnie took a gold badge from her waist pocket. The logo of HUNTER ASSOCIATION was engraved on the surface. She put it on the table, looking serious.
Sunnie: I challenge you to a cooking contest right now. If you win, you can have the gold badge. If not, you will stage your comeback as a chef!
Sunnie: Let’s be real. All I do is eat, not cook. Not to mention your followers are the only judges available……
Sunnie: ......This contest is definitely in your favor! There is no excuse to say no!
Bandit Boss: You little brat…Keep your word! This gold badge is mine!
Sunnie: The ingredients allowed are eggs and bird meat. Complete a dish of your choice in fifteen minutes.
Bandit: Time’s up! It’s over!
Sunnie’s dish was Fried Egg with Bird Meat. The bandit boss’s dish was Bird Meat Omelet. The omelet was more appetizing as in appearance, but the taste of the Bird Meat was eye-opening. All the minions went crazy for Sunnie's fried egg. They violently stuffed the eggs into their mouths non-stop. The boss’s omelet, on the other hand, got only a few bites, and then was left untouched.
Bandit: Sorry boss...but that omelet is just irresistible...
Bandit Boss: I lost, fair and square, to another gourmet……Comeback you said? Is that some kind of joke?
Sunnie: Boss, take a bite of my fried egg.
Bandit Boss: This flavor…...doesn’t taste like bird meat……
Sunnie: I made my dish with a monster’s ham, which consisted of an indescribable flavor.
Sunnie: I won thanks to the ham, not my cooking skill. The same happened in the contest you lost years ago.
Sunnie: It was simply because that judge hated corianders. The result misrepresented your true cooking talent.
Sunnie took the omelet and fed it to Wilson. Wilson repeatedly murmured “yummy, yummy”, and finished the whole dish. When the boss saw the satisfied faces of them eating with relish, he recalled the days when he had his own restaurant. The passion to cook was revived……
Sunnie: The monster’s meat……only one piece remaining……
Sunnie: Wilson! What should we do!
Wilson: What should we do, huh? It’s all your fault! Your gave a half to that boss, but most of it is now in your stomach!
Sunnie: But I saved the soul of a great chef! I did the delicacies of the world.a favor!
After the contest, Sunnie and Wilson were treated to a warm meal. Their hunger was fully satiated before they set off. Leaving the mountains, they realised there was not much left of the monster’s ham! Now the peach was gone.
Most of the ham was gone. The only feasible plan was to turn back to the cave and pray for luck to bring them prey. Days later, history repeated itself. One of them consumed all the food.
Another one was too hungry to fly further. They were forced to descend in a forest, and dragged their feet forward.
Sunnie: If only we found that monster in this forest……
Wilson: Huh? What is this smell?
They spared no effort to locate the source of the aroma. It got stronger every step they took. Unwittingly they arrived at the door of a house. In the front an old man lit a fire, cooking a pot of soup on a stone stove.
Old man: Wrong, wrong. Not this flavour……
Sunnie: Old man, your soup smells good!
Old man: Wow! Who are you?
Sunnie: Call me Sunnie! This soup, may can I take a sip?
Old man: Meh, I just can’t reproduce that kind of flavour. Suit yourself……
Sunnie: This soup is fragrant! I can taste the flavour of the pork along with the taste of vegetable! Wilson, take a bite!
Old man: You have an extraordinary tongue.
Sunnie: No doubt! I’m a Gourmet Hunter!
Old man: Really? May I ask you for a favor?
Old man: When I was poor and young, a man gave me a bowl of pork soup. It was steaming-hot and delicious. I could never forget the brilliant flavor.
Old man: Many years later after things had got better, I went back to thank the man, but he had long been gone.
Old man: Ever since then I’ve been attempting to reproduce the exact same flavor of the soup. Never have I succeeded until today... Can you help me out?
Sunnie: It’s a bit…...challenging……
Old man: I offer a homemade pickled ‘Air-dried Boar’ as a reward when it’s done,
Wilson: Sunnie! Think it through before you accept his offer!
Sunnie: An unforgettable pork soup. A piece of cake. Old man, do you still remember the spot where you drank the soup? What’s special about the soup?
Old Man: It was the forest of the southern mountain, and it had a strong flavor of pork and…... that’s about it.
Wilson: The forest on the mountain'! Countless forests in the world are on a mountain!
Sunnie: Wilson, do you remember the diner that served fake Ithaca pigs?
Wilson: Yea, so?
Sunnie: They resupply from the pigs in the southern forest, which happens to be on a mountain. We can start from there.
Sunnie and Wilson were treated to a meal in the old man’s home, and had their stamina restored. Wilson finally got to unfold its wings again, and flew towards the southern mountain forest with Sunnie. After their arrival at a pig farm in the forest, they discovered it sold pig exclusively, but not soup. The owner of the house instead suggested they revisit the restaurant serving fake Ithaca pigs. He praised the cooking skill of the chefs.
Wilson: See? How would it be so smooth as planned? It stinks. Get out of here.
Sunnie: No! My gut tells me it’s close!
Suddenly, the meal clock in the pig house rang. It was lunch time for the workers. Before the bell rang, they were yawning, washing pigs, and cleaning the house with bleary eyes. After the bell rang, they instantly teemed with energy, and poured into a wooden house in a corner of the farm. They yelled “It’s the day of Pork Soup! Hurry!”
Sunnie: Pork soup? Wilson, we should follow them!”
Sunnie squeezed into the crowd and asked for a bowl of pork soup. She took a few sips and it tasted identical to the old man’s soup! She quickly pried into the origin of the soup. When a young worker was about to answer her, the other people around spoke before him, “This guy inherited the recipe from his father.”
Sunnie: This is it! Wilson, what’s the reward that old man offered again?
Wilson: Air-dried pig!
Sunnie: I’m positive that old man was once a worker in the pig farm!
Sunnie and Wilson hurried back to the old man overnight, then brought him back to the pig farm with them. The old man sipped at the soup, only to shake his head firmly……
Old man: No, not this flavour. I’ve reproduced it long ago already.
Sunnie: How can it not be? Old man, you used to be a worker here, else you wouldn’ t know the method to air-dry a pig, right?
Old man: Only for a short while. I had a different job later on. This soup isn’t identical to the soup I drank on that day anyway……
Sunnie: Certainly it wasn’t the same flavour back then. Old man, you were starving and freezing.
Sunnie: Any liquid would be godly delicious for your tongue. Not to mention it was a gift from someone.
Sunnie: Now you are settled. Things are different. You are drinking the soup in a comfy and safe environment. It’s natural you get a different taste today!
Young Guy: Old man, my father shared his soup to other people. It’s not weird if you happened to be one of them.
The old man remained in silence. Tears gushed from his eyes. Sunnie’s words spoke the truth. He could not stop thinking about the bitter old days……
Young Guy: Just a thought. If we added Ithaca pig into the recipe, won’t it be even more delicious?
Sunnie: Ithaca pig? Do you know where to find one?