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Chapter 2: The Legendary God of Liquor
Translated by: GX, Demenious
Edited By: Verslint, M2t5
The transparent white liquor was poured into the shaker unstably; the little beggar’s hand was slightly trembling, but luckily the liquor did not spill from the shaker. Yang-Lao, Mr. Zhao and the bartenders recognized the bottle of liquor the little beggar chose as Wyboro: a very strong liquor without fragrance, but sweet and pure. It’s very commonly used as a base, or foundation, for a cocktail.
The measurements that the little beggar used could clearly be seen through the transparent crystal shaker: 3/10 volume of the Wyboro liquor followed by 6/10 tomato juice, 1/10 fresh lemon juice, and lastly t topped off with the beggar’s own special blend.
After mixing these condiments, the little beggar picked up the filter, a helpless expression crossing his face. He put the filter into the shaker whilst sighing secretly, it has been a long time since I’ve used these, but right now I’m left with little choice.
Covering the lid, the little beggar held the shaker in his hand. The disparity between the size of the shaker and his hand made his grip on the shaker strenuous at best; causing those who had a bad opinion of him to bite their thumbs in glee.
Everyone knew that the most important part of creating a cocktail was the ingredients, followed closely by the skill of the hand during the mixing process. The ingredients that the beggar used were more suited to be used as a dish, as for the skill of his hands, he could barely hold the shaker. No matter how you looked at the situation, the cocktail he produced would be of inferior quality. But just as everyone was thinking of this, the beggar’s hand began to move.
He weighed the shaker in his hand and backed up half a step, with his left arm tucked behind his back, his eyes resonating like the stars in the sky. Five fingers spread abruptly as he flung the shaker in his right hand, straightening his hand to stick closely to the side of the shaker whilst spinning it like a gyroscope in the heart of his palm.
The little beggar slowly lifted his hand, the shaker in his palm still spinning at high speed without pause, as if it was attracted to his palm. Due to the great amount of tomato juice within the shaker, the liquor had long since been dyed red, but the shaker still spinned rapidly, just like a red disk resting on his palm.
Astounded voices rung in waves. This little beggar was obviously not as simple as the majority had believed.
An even more bizarre scene was yet to come; the little beggar’s hand holding the shaker slowly tilted upright, and the unceasingly spinning shaker naturally moved along with it, showing no inclination of slowing down or dropping from his palm whatsoever. Moving his hand from high to low and from low to high, he created a scene of an early morning sunrise followed by an afternoon inclining into night. During this entire process the shaker kept spinning faithfully in the heart of his palm, a feat none of the present bartenders could hope to accomplish, never even having seen it before. The bartender who mocked him before had his eyes stretched wide open, closely staring at the sun-like red disk. But he could not figure out how the little beggar accomplished this feat, no matter how hard he looked.
The Yang-lao was the only person who could tell how the little beggar accomplished this feat; with his sharp gaze he picked up that the little beggar not only moved his palm with his arm, but also by making precise minute movements that utilised his whole body. His palm was constantly adjusting, contracting and expanding, his five fingers slightly vibrating like the rhythm found in waves. As his palm adjusted, his fingers followed the shaker, keeping it spinning by lightly touching its sides , keeping it upright.
Picking up on the technique might be easy but actually doing it was exceedingly difficult; even the slightest disturbance in the rhythm would cause the shaker to immediately fall to the ground. While the little beggar’s movements were a little unrefined, it was none the less remarkable that he could do it consistently at the age of twelve.
Just when the crowd thought that the little beggar had finished mixing the cocktail with this dazzling move, he suddenly extended his left hand which he previously had tucked behind his back, simultaneously flinging the high speed spinning shaker into the air with his right hand. The shaker came down like a falling meteorite, as the customers let out astonished shouts.
But the little beggar’s expression didn’t change in the slightest. His two hands seemed to disappear, one could only see insipid shadows, and this time not even Yang-lao could see his actions clearly. The crowd could feel their eyesight blurring, that falling sun rose again, followed by another, and yet another! The customers couldn’t believe their eyes, they could see three suns rising and falling simultaneously!
Just as the crowd thought there was surely something wrong with their eyes, the shaker landed on the bar with a light bang.
The little beggar didn’t open the shaker impatiently; instead he swiped his eyes over the crowd, enjoying the shocked gazes derived from his Three Suns Reflects The Moon technique. The edge of his mouth tilted slightly upward, and the arrogance in his eyes intensified. Only the dripping sweat on his forehead exposed the difficulty of what he had done.
He naturally and gracefully twisted apart the cover of the shaker without wiping the sweat on his forehead; he did not want to dirty his hands. He poured the slightly viscous red liquor at an angle into a martini glass; there was not a drop too much or a drop too little, exactly filling the martini glass to the brim.
With the thumb of his right hand vertically supporting the martini glass and his forefinger wrapped around the stem, he portrayed a perfect standard posture without a single fault to nitpick on, he placed the cocktail before Yang-lao.
At first glance this cocktail did not have the boastful and dazzling appearance of the Flaming Passion that the previous bartender had made, lacking the decoration of the extravagant flame. But this cocktail gave one the impression that a demonic aura restrained within its blood-red depths.
Yang-lao purposely received the cocktail as the voice of the little beggar rang beside his ear, “The true flame should be raging on the inside, and not stay outside as simple decoration. The true flame should ignite your inner passion, and not your sight. This is the real Flaming Passion.”
Yang-lao lifted the glass to eye level, by whiffing slightly he could surprisingly pick up a faint bloody scent. This scent was the result of mixing tomato juice, lemon juice and alcohol. The little beggar didn’t say it, but this Flaming Passion cocktail was also known by another name; Bloody Mary.
Yang-lao’s gaze suddenly became scorching hot, and he brought the glass towards his mouth to take a sip. The customers and the bartenders stared at his face while waiting for his evaluation; a cocktail is judged by its taste and not how it is mixed, after all. A dazzling technique used to create an unappetizing cocktail is fundamentally meaningless.
As the first sip entered Yang-lao’s mouth his expression froze and he became lifeless; even his inner restrained breath seemed to momentarily vanish as his face flushed red.
Suddenly, without any warning, two raging flames were lit behind his pupils. “Good, a good flame should ignite from inside one’s heart.”
Mr. Zhao asked nervously, “How is the cocktail, Yang-lao?”
Yang-lao looked at him with an expression of excitement he couldn’t conceal, “This is the most distinctive cocktail I have ever sampled, it gave me the most mind-blowing sensation I have ever gotten from any liquor; It truly allowed me to experience a taste of flame igniting one’s inner heart. Only after tasting it can one appreciate its uniqueness. If one is forced to judge this cocktail, there is only a single word that can adequately describe it.” He paused for a moment, swiping the crowd with his eyes, then with a resolute voice he said, “UNMATCHED!”
Yang-lao seemed to be afraid that someone would snatch the drink away after he said those words, and quickly emptied the glass with one gulp. Immediately after that a blazing feeling akin to seething anger surged up violently within him, as if a flame was ignited within him and burned deeply, hot but strangely comforting. His body’s thirty-six million pores seemed to have stretched themselves wide open. After drinking this single cup of liquor he unexpectedly felt that he had frittered away his life. The word “Trash” that the young beggar had used to describe the first Burning Passion cocktail seemed undeniably fitting. Yes! He’s been drinking nothing but trash his entire life!
No one doubted the judgment of Yang-lao; he was not only one of their highest esteemed long-standing customers, but also one of the select most powerful authorities in Lihuo City. Mr. Zhao seemed astonished and the bartenders could not utter a word, while the customers were in an uproar, countless different discussions spread throughout the outdoor plaza.
Someone suddenly asked, “Hm? Where is the little beggar?”
Regaining his senses at once, Yang-lao looked around frantically, but the little beggar who had been behind the bar was gone. He turned around and hurriedly grabbed Mr. Zhao, “Where is he?”
“Ah? I don’t know!” The moment when everyone had been focused on Yang-lao tasting the cocktail, the small and frail body of the little beggar really didn’t attract much attention; he must have vanished during that time.
Not bothering with Mr. Zhao further, Yang-lao moved to the entrance of the bar with a flash. He then vanished completely, leaving behind a cloud of red smoke.
The little beggar directly left the bar after presenting the cocktail to Yang-lao and saying those words. He slowly walked down the street filled with feelings of frustration and disappointment, in no real hurry to leave.
To think that just a while ago he was hailed as the unequaled Great God of Liquor, but now he has sunk to such a low status. With a long sigh and an expression unfitting an eleven-twelve year old child, the little beggar shook his head. This was the reality.
His real name was Li Jie Dong, and he was not from this world. In his original world, at the young age of 32 years, he was well known all across the world as the one and only God of Liquor. He created countless legends in the world of bartending and sommelier. Originally, the most honorable Medal in the world of sommelier was the five star Jinzuan International Medal, but solely for his sake they added the 6 star HuangZuan International Medal; simply because his accomplishments were unmatched.
In his previous world Li Jie Dong lived a short life, filled to the brim with the obsession of liquor. When he was invited to taste the newly discovered thousand year old liquor, Li Jie Dong could naturally not resist the call of his heart and took a sip of the paste-like amber colored liquor. And thus he never woke again.
Li Jie Dong did not regret it in the slightest, if placed before the choice again he would undoubtedly choose the same way, regardless of the outcome. The taste of that godly cream like liquor still echoed in his memory. Before losing consciousness he only had one thought; even death was worth it!
But he did not die, whether through luck or misfortune he himself could not tell. After waking he discovered that he was no longer the Great God of Liquor Li Jie Dong, but was instead a child named Ji Dong who lived on the streets, begging in order to survive. Strangely enough, the memories of Ji Dong remained, pitiful in their pure innocence. But the point that made Li Jie Dong feel the most helplessness was that even the world he resided in had changed.
He’s been here for a month already, and thanks to the memories of Ji Dong he didn’t have difficulty with the language, so communicating was not a problem. But he, the unequaled Great God of Liquor was forced into a struggle of survival, something that would have been unimaginable in his former world.
Li Jie Dong was not the type of man who would blame god and the heavens. Instead he thanked the heavens for giving him another opportunity to live; at least his memories and attachment towards fine liquor were unaffected. He took three days to get used to his new identity. And since this was a new world, he could no longer consider himself to be Li Jie Dong, and thus decided to use the original name of the little beggar he seemed to have become: Ji Dong.
The memory of Ji Dong was pitifully short; everything before the age of five was blank. After the age of five his memories consisted of living on the streets as a beggar. The only item in his possession that seemed to have a bit of value was a piece of jade attached to a red string around his neck, with the name ‘Ji Dong’ written on it. Even his cassock clothing was riddled with god knows how many patches.
Due to the memories of Ji Dong treasuring this piece of jade, he could not bring himself to sell it. However, he still needed to survive somehow. As the Great God of Liquor begging was out of the question, so he quickly found the most popular bar in Lihuo; the Flaming passion bar.
Ji Dong observed the Flaming Passion bar every day, slowly getting to know this new world. Unfortunately, the knowledge he was able to acquire was limited; all he could find out was that his current location was in the southern country of the Five Element Continent, and that this country used a flame as a blazon.
Ji Dong felt fortunate that the people here loved to drink. Every day, he would go to the Flaming Passion bar and observe carefully. For survival during this time he relied on ten rock-hard steamed buns and dried meat stockpiled at a nearby bridge by the previous owner of his body.
Ji Dong’s observations were obviously not limited to sight; he also has smell and hearing. What he needed to know was how the liquor of this world differed from his former world in flavor and characteristics. Considering his status as a beggar, he could obviously not go up to the bar to taste them. Luckily Ji Dong retained his six senses after crossing over to this world, which were much sharper than those of ordinary people.
There was a reason why the International Sommelier Association awarded him the Six Star HuangZuan International Award, which no one had ever been honoured with before. That reason was the Six Sense Liquor Tasting Method, which he founded. In Ji Dong’s theory, liquor tasting does not only rely on tasting, but must also incorporate the sense of smell, the sight, the sound and the distinct texture, all of which holds equal importance. Although in reality, he was the only one capable of such a feat in his previous world.