Ford Street was one of the most famous food streets on Jiewang.
It would not be that accurate to call it a food street as one could find almost anything there, including all kinds of fruits, vegetables, and other unprocessed foods. The food street there was a little different from other food streets Gu Ding had been to.
Usually, food streets were dirty places similar to red-light districts, only with less blood and more grease.
However, this food street gave people a completely different feeling. It was clean and spotless–all smells of cooking were sucked away by underground pipes.
"It's a little different from what I expected," Lilliath spoke Gu Ding's mind. "However, it's a change for the better."
"That looks delicious..." Elsa's eyes were drawn to a stall not too far away.
"That looks like scallops." Watching scallop meat cooked to a glossy sheen, Gu Ding felt a little hungry.
"That's a shrieking scallop. It's a food that requires special treatment." Biggie recognized the ingredient immediately. "Shrieking scallops are said to be very timid. If even a sound is made within a meter of their surroundings, they will be startled immediately, scream horribly, and shut close their shells. Then, it will take them at least three days to open once again."
"You can just roast them when they're closed. What's the difference?" Gu Ding asked in slight confusion.
"Don't look down at how small their shells are. Chefs have done experiments with them, their shells can withstand very high temperatures up to eight hundred and eighty thousand degrees. The shell will explode violently the moment its temperature surpasses eight hundred and eighty thousand degrees. The cook who had conducted the experiment was a Rank-10 Gene Body. He died from the explosion." Biggie's story sounded a little surreal.
"Can't you pry it open with brute force?" Elsa did not think that it would be a problem to break the shell with her own strength.
"No one below demigod level can force its shell open, and a few videos on Skynet confirm that quite a few people have tried it," Biggie explained while shaking his head.
"I don't believe it!" Elsa did not believe that such shells existed in the world. She walked up to the shopkeeper and said, "Boss, can I borrow an unopened shell? I wish to try and break it."
The shopkeeper was a middle-aged man with a flushed complexion. He did not seem surprised as Elsa was clearly not the first customer to make such a request. Besides, the show usually brought a lot of business to his stall, so he happily handed Elsa a shrieking scallop that had its shell closed.
Elsa gripped the shell with her fingers and made a sudden effort to tear it open. Nevertheless, she found that it would not budge. Instantly, she became angry, and she clenched her teeth as she amplified her vibration force. The sinister force was once again poured into the shell, but it vanished as quickly as mud that was poured into the sea. The shell remained as strong as a rock without a crack.
Liliath could not stand it. She took out her silver handgun and turned it into a sniper rifle. She loaded it with two armor-piercing shells. "I don't believe it. The fact that you can't pry it open with brute force or break it with armor-piercing shells!"
"It won't work." Biggie discouraged her. "People have tried such methods before."
Lilliath ignored his advice and fired two consecutive shots at the shrieking scallop. The shell ended up ricocheting away, and Elsa leaped to catch it. Elsa looked down at the shrieking scallop in her hand and shook her head regretfully at Lilliath.
The shrieking scallop was as strong as an indestructible fortress.
The two girls' actions had attracted many onlookers. Most of the elderly residents were only expecting the worst. Apparently, it was not their first time seeing this kind of thing.
"Let me have a look!" Robert reached out his hand and took the shrieking scallop. He knocked it from side to side. Then, he took out a drill, a cutting machine, and tried all of his tools. Nevertheless, they were to no avail. Suddenly, his eyes lit up after a while and he ran to the shopkeeper's booth. He asked, "Boss, could you sell me these useless shells?"
"If you want them, you can have them. We treat them as rubbish anyway. They're also very difficult to dispose of as rubbish. You have to immerse them in extremely acidic materials for several days before they soften," the shopkeeper agreed readily as it was not cheap for them to dispose of the scallops each day.
Returning the scallop to the shopkeeper, Robert transferred the empty shells in the former's rubbish bin into his Inventory.
"In that case, how do you eat them?" Gu Ding asked his own question.
"A shrieking scallop takes 0.001 seconds to react and 0.001 seconds to close its shell. In that 0.002 seconds, the chef has to quietly pick out the shrieking scallop's meat with a hook," Biggie explained.
"Looks like I've bumped into an expert." The middle-aged shopkeeper smiled. "Would this gentleman be interested in giving it a go?"
"I've never cooked shrieking scallops before, but I've heard of them." Biggie was also a little nervous. He was not too sure.
"There's no shame in trying." Gu Ding patted Biggie.
Having been encouraged, Biggie nodded and took the hook from the shopkeeper.
Buggies eyes fell on an open scallop in front of him. His right hand swung out, and with a quick pull, he hooked the pink blob out of the scallop. He was so fast that the shrieking scallop had no time to react.
"Nice work!" The shopkeeper started clapping. The others at the side tried to sound out, and their business immediately picked up.
"Boss, we'll take four, takeaway!" Gu Ding felt that it was inappropriate to disturb others for so long. Not to mention, the shrieking scallops on the grill did look delicious. Except for Robert, Gu Ding bought one for himself and the rest.
Gu Ding and his crew found the shrieking scallops delicious after tasting them.
"I'm going to buy some shrieking scallops. Then, when we leave this planet, we won't have to worry about not being able to taste them anymore." Biggie had made up his mind to learn how to cook shrieking scallops.
The five continued their journey into the depths of Food Street.
"That fish looks adorable. It looks like a stuffed chubby man. It can't even swim freely." Elsa pointed to a fish tank not too far away.
"That fish with silver scales that's wagging its tail quickly but swimming slowly is called a poisonous pufferfish." Biggie explained, "That fish also requires special treatment. It's delicious, but you can't touch its innards while gutting it. Otherwise, the whole fish will turn purple and become inedible."
"Why can't you eat it when it's purple?" Elsa felt that food should not be wasted.
"That's because if it turns purple, it means that it contains a lot of poison. Apparently, any powerhouse below demigod level will die in less than ten hours after eating it." Biggie's words got Elsa to look away from the fish immediately.
Without walking too far, Elsa's eyes were suddenly drawn to a piece of meat.
"That piece of meat belongs to a steel jagged teeth beast, which is a Rank-9 Genebeast. The genebeast's muscles are as hard as adamantium alloy and possess extreme defensive capabilities. Only Gene Body powerhouses at Rank-10 or above who have managed to cultivate Righteous Force can kill it. Their meat also has to be heated to a high temperature of over fifty thousand degrees to soften. Otherwise, it will taste like adamantium alloy..." Before Biggie could finish, a yellow shadow flashed by and the piece of meat disappeared.
Elsa reacted instantly. She reached out to grab it, only to see it accelerate and grab nothing but air.
Biggie had also made a move by then. However, instead of reaching out to grab it, he pulled out his saber to intercept it. The saber came out of its sheath and blocked the way of the yellow shadow.
Just then, the yellow shadow stopped in its tracks. That was when Gu Ding and his crew saw that the meat had been stolen by a kitten. The cat looked a little thin and had tiger stripes, but it was energetic. It glanced over Biggie, sat back, and slowly nibbled at the meat that was as hard as an adamantine alloy.
At the sight of this scene, Gu Ding and his crew were speechless.
"It looks really hungry." Gu Ding looked at the puny little guy and felt sympathetic for him. After all, he had been bullied for being thin since childhood. If the cat was not desperate, it would not have dared to steal food.
"That cat thief!" The shopkeeper quickly caught up. "I'm going to kill you!"
"Boss, I'll pay for that piece of meat." Gu Ding felt sorry for the kitten and feared that it would end up miserable if the owner caught it.
The little guy saw it all.
After paying the shopkeeper and sending him away, Gu Ding took a bag of chips from his Inventory and walked over to the little guy. He had heard that many cats enjoyed such a snack.
The little guy glanced at Gu Ding, seemingly oblivious to his approach, and continued to nibble away at the piece of meat. In just tens of seconds, it finished a quarter of it.
Gu Ding thought that the little guy had unusually good teeth. He approached the little guy with a smile and unwrapped the packet of chips. Then, Gu Ding picked one of them up and held it to his mouth. The little guy gave Gu Ding a lazy glance and chose to ignore his gesture.
Gu Ding reached out his hand to touch it, but it vanished right when Gu Ding was about to touch its fur.
"How fast!" Elsa could not help but exclaim.
"The cat's speed is in par with a Rank-11 Gene Body's." Biggie nodded. "He was also able to bite through a piece of steel jagged teeth beast's meat that a lot of Rank-12 Gene Body predators are unable to kill. It's meat that's hard to bite without cooking it properly, and even if you can bite through it, it tastes horrible and is harder to digest."
"No matter how bad it is, it's only a poor little thing. Otherwise, it wouldn't have stolen it." Gu Ding shook his head. "Let's go back. It's getting dark. We've been out shopping since noon, and I'm so full right now."
As Gu Ding and his crew left, the kitten poked its head out of a corner, stuffed the rest of the meat into its mouth, and trotted off behind them.
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