Chapter 12: Baking Lessons


 

In the shopping mall, Yun Zhao spent a hundred spirit stones to buy several blocks of butter, as the rest of the ingredients were already available in the kitchen.

 

When Xiao Heitu (*Black rabbit) and the other rabbits arrived, they saw Yun Zhao smiling and greeting them warmly.

 

Xiao Heitu tilted its head and circled around the “alchemy furnace” in front of Yun Zhao, curiously asking, “Master Yun Zhao, do you want us to help with alchemy?”

 

“Not exactly.
I just want to make some small bread and cookies.”

 

“Bread and cookies?” Xiao Heitu had never heard of such things, and the rabbits whispered to each other, clueless about what these things were.

 

“Help me make them, and when you taste them, you'll understand,” Yun Zhao said as he brought out the ingredients, planning to start with a batch of small bread to test the waters.

 

The rabbits trusted Yun Zhao completely and eagerly started working.

 

Yun Zhao took out several large bowls and put all the flour and eggs in them.
With a clever touch, he added some vanilla extract and mixed everything together.
The rabbits gathered around him, curiously observing his actions.

 

The flour transformed from a powdery texture into a round dough, and Yun Zhao added a large piece of butter, continuing to knead.

 

Xiao Heitu couldn't resist the temptation and washed its paws before impatiently diving into the dough.

 

As soon as its little paw touched the dough, Xiao Heitu fell in love with the soft and fluffy texture.
Kneading and squeezing brought immense stress relief, and the whole rabbit was emitting pink bubbles of happiness.

 

Seeing this, the other rabbits also wanted to join in.

 

Yun Zhao stepped aside and let them take turns, each rabbit kneading three times—fair and just, no one allowed to have extra turns.

 

Once each rabbit had satisfied its kneading cravings, the dough became smooth and elastic.

 

Yun Zhao rubbed his chin, thinking that making ordinary small bread would be too monotonous.
So he divided the dough into several parts and began to knead, roll, and elongate them.

 

The rabbits held their faces, watching Yun Zhao manipulate and shape the dough in his hands.
Before long, a dough bunny with long ears appeared in the young man's palm.

 

The rabbits pawed at Yun Zhao's hand, exclaiming with small voices of awe.

 

Xiao Heitu wanted to reach out and touch the dough bunny, but it was afraid of damaging it, so it had to withdraw its paw behind its back.


 

Reluctantly, Xiao Heitu moved its gaze away from the dough bunny and looked at Yun Zhao.
“Master, can we eat them now?”

 

Yun Zhao chuckled.
“Not yet.
We have to bake them in this oven first.”

 

He proceeded to shape the remaining dough into bunny forms, leaving three portions for some other creative shapes.

 

After some thought, he made two cat-shaped heads, and as for the last portion…
Yun Zhao pondered for a moment, then stretched the dough, delicately pressing lines with a small knife.

 

Once all the dough was finished, Yun Zhao placed them all into the “alchemy furnace” to bake.

 

The rabbits sat in a row in front of the oven, their eyes filled with anticipation.

 

In the room, Ao Yu woke up amidst a sweet fragrance.
He lifted his head and sniffed lightly.
The scent carried a hint of wheat, indescribable but arousing his appetite.

 

His eyes quickly turned to the pair of kittens on the bed, and drool couldn't help but escape their mouths.

 

Ao Yu turned his head disdainfully, flicked his tail, and got up to head to the kitchen.
Luo Xue and Wu Mu followed suit.

 

In the kitchen, Yun Zhao took out the freshly baked small bread.
The rabbits happily hopped around the baking tray.

 

The bread turned out wonderfully, each little dough bunny was delicate and visually appealing.
Xiao Heitu gently touched one with its paw—it was slightly hot but delightfully soft!

 

“Meow, meow!”

 

A coquettish meow sounded at the door.
Yun Zhao turned around and saw the two greedy cats and Ao Yu following behind.

 

He picked up the two little kittens and placed them next to the baking tray.
“These are freshly baked small pieces of bread.
Give them a taste.”

 

The rabbits cheered and began to pick the small bread that caught their attention.

 

Luo Xue and Wu Mu scanned the baking tray with their round cat eyes.
Wu Mu keenly spotted two small breads in the shape of cat heads among the group of rabbit-shaped ones!

 

He decisively extended his paw and took the two cat head-shaped small breads, sharing one with Luo Xue.

 

However, both the rabbits and the two kittens held the bread in their paws, looking left and right, unwilling to take a bite.


 

“What is this thing?”

 

Ao Yu leaped onto the stove, and the rabbits automatically made way for him.

 

“I baked the bread.
It's made with flour and eggs,” Yun Zhao replied.

 

Suddenly, he remembered something and his eyes scanned over the elongated shape.
He furrowed his brow and covered it with his hand.

 

Yun Zhao quickly handed a small bunny-shaped bread to Ao Yu.
“Would you like to try it?”

 

Ao Yu glanced at him without responding, but he noticed the portion that Yun Zhao was covering with his hand.
“Isn't that one for me?”

 

Yun Zhao awkwardly smiled.
“That one doesn't look very good.
You should eat the bunny-shaped one instead.”

 

Curious, Wu Mu ran over and took the bread from Yun Zhao while he wasn't paying attention.

 

The elongated bread rolled into the center of the baking tray, exposed to everyone's gaze.

 

It was rough and long, with some strange and messy patterns on its back.
Yun Zhao covered his face in embarrassment.
He intended to make a little dragon, but ended up creating a long worm.

 

Wu Mu looked at the worm-shaped bread, then at Ao Yu, and suddenly understood.
He covered his mouth with his front paws and giggled, shaking with laughter against his younger brother's neck.

 

Ao Yu used his tail to curl up the worm-shaped bread and carefully examined it.
He looked at Yun Zhao with an incredulous expression.
“Do you hate me that much?”

 

Yun Zhao almost wanted to kneel down and apologize, but looking at this uniquely shaped bread, he couldn't help but laugh.

 

He could only say apologetically, “I'm really sorry.
The dragon shape was too difficult for me.
The bread expands during fermentation and baking, so it gets deformed.”

 

He thought for a moment and tried to make amends.
“But I swear, it looked really good before it went into the oven!”

 

Ao Yu coldly snorted and remained silent.

 

Yun Zhao looked at everyone holding their delicate bread and whispered, “Give me the one I messed up.
You can eat the others.”

 

As he spoke, he reached out to take it.


 

Before his hand could touch the bread, Ao Yu swatted it away with a paw.

 

In Yun Zhao's astonished gaze, Ao Yu looked at the elongated worm, then took a bite, devouring half of it.

 

Although the shape was terrible, Ao Yu couldn't help but admit that this thing called bread tasted really good.

 

The rabbits and the two little cats couldn't resist taking a bite after Ao Yu finished the bread in just a few mouthfuls.

 

“Mmm…”

 

With one bite, the rich aroma of butter and milk spread through the dough, with a light and non-greasy texture, accompanied by a subtle sweetness of vanilla.

 

The soft and sweet flavor filled their mouths, radiating a sense of happiness from within.

 

Little Black Rabbit held his face and praised, “Master Yun Zhao, this bread is so delicious!”

 

After finishing, Luo Xue licked the lingering aroma from his paws and looked directly at Yun Zhao with big eyes, meaning quite clear: the bread is delicious, and the cats want some more!

 

Yun Zhao was very satisfied with everyone's response.
With this kind of reaction, he should be able to sell well at the market.

 

So he decided to increase production, and Little Black Rabbit immediately expressed that the rabbits would be actively involved in helping!

 

By the time Yun Zhao and Little Black Rabbit finished discussing their tasks, it was already getting late.
Little Black Rabbit took the spirit stones given by Yun Zhao and led the rabbits down the mountain in a grand procession to buy flour and eggs.

 

Yun Zhao clapped his hands and went to the field to dig a few lettuce leaves.
Seeing that Luo Xue and the others were still waiting in the kitchen, he smiled and said, “Wait a moment, I'll cook right away.”

 

Wu Mu licked his mouth and asked, “Is it bread?” This thing tasted good, and it was a texture he hadn't experienced before.
He wanted a few more.

 

“No, I'll make bread tomorrow.
I'll roast some meat for you in the oven.”

 

Yun Zhao went to the cellar and took out a large piece of marbled beef.
The beef was still fresh.
He wiped away the blood, seasoned it, and placed the butter and marinated beef into the oven.

 

Ao Yu swung his tail and looked at the alchemy furnace-like apparatus.
He suddenly spoke up, “Where did this thing come from?”

 

Yun Zhao's body stiffened, and after thinking for a while, he began to fabricate a story.
“I modified it from a discarded alchemy furnace.
It works quite well for baking food.”


 

Ao Yu glanced at it once and didn't ask any further.
He simply said, “If the meat in the cellar isn't enough, let me know.”

 

Yun Zhao was taken aback.
Indeed, he bought many things either from the market or the system's store.
There were many immortal mountains and spiritual beasts in the Lingxu Realm, but he always worried about Ao Yu's health.
He would rather spend more money at the market than bother Ao Yu to catch them.

 

Hearing Ao Yu's words, Yun Zhao reached out and touched the little dragon's back, whispering softly, “Thank you.
From now on, I'll ask for your help in catching some spiritual beasts.”

 

Ao Yu was suddenly touched, and his tail reflexively lifted, wanting to swipe at the audacious hand.

 

However, his slender silver-white dragon tail suddenly stopped just before touching the back of the hand.

 

The tip of the tail gently slid over the tender back of the hand, leaving a soft and cool sensation like a gentle kiss of the breeze on the skin.

 

As they chatted, a strong aroma of meat wafted from the oven.
Yun Zhao used a cloth to hold the baking tray and took it out.

 

The roasted marbled beef was juicy, and as soon as the two greedy cats caught a whiff of the meaty fragrance, their tails couldn't help but stand up, and they affectionately circled and rubbed against Yun Zhao, urging him to cut the meat quickly.

 

“Alright, alright, I'll cut it right away.”

 

Helplessly, Yun Zhao pushed them away and used a small knife to slice the meat.
The beef was perfectly roasted, with a slight pink color showing at the cut, and the juices flowed, carrying the buttery milk fragrance that made Luo Xue unable to help but salivate.

 

Yun Zhao divided the meat into small plates, and the cats immediately lowered their heads and took the beef into their mouths.

 

The marbled beef was rich in fat, tender, and juicy.
With one bite, the savory meat juices burst out.
The sensitive cat tongues were scalded, and Wu Mu put down the meat, smacked his lips a few times, and eagerly went for the second bite.

 

Ao Yu wasn't afraid of getting burned.
He ate mouthful after mouthful, savoring the chewiness of the meat fibers, his beast eyes narrowing in enjoyment.

 

After eating a few pieces, Yun Zhao felt a bit greasy and wrapped the meat in lettuce to eat.
The refreshing sweetness of the lettuce combined with the fatty beef just right.

 

Yun Zhao enthusiastically recommended this way of eating to them, but Ao Yu and the two little cats were all carnivores and refused to indulge.

 

Only Ao Yu couldn't resist Yun Zhao's recommendation and turned his head to take a bite, crunching the lettuce.

 

When they were full and satisfied, and Yun Zhao finished tidying up, Little Black Rabbit returned carrying the flour.

 

Little Black Rabbit's ears perked up with excitement.
“Master Yun Zhao! Something big happened at the market down the mountain!”

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