“Since it is highly requested,” said Director Li Huawen, looking at Fang Qiu and Luo Jie, “would you two please show us, Fang Qiu and Luo Jie?”
Fang Qiu and Luo Jie both stood up and nodded, agreeing, “No problem.”
Seeing the two of them stand up, Director Li Huawen immediately turned his head and said to a staff member, “Bring herbs here.”
Soon, a staff member brought a box for the lottery. As he handed it to Director Li Huawen, he whispered a few words in his ear.
After a while, Li Huawen nodded and said, “There are 18 kinds of herbs in this box. Now you two come forward and draw the herb you’re going to process.”
At his words, Fang Qiu and Luo Jie exchanged glances and stepped forward.
Somehow there seemed to be a vague rivalry between the two of them. They seemed to be competing with each other.
Looking at the two, some of the contestants were surprised.
They did not expect that the two actually dared to come forward and choose herbs. Could they really process medicine?
Others looked at them coldly. They were convinced that Fang Qiu and Luo Jie were not able to process medicine, and that they were out there just to keep their chin up. They believed that the fact that they couldn’t make medicine would be exposed soon!
Seconds later, Fang Qiu and Luo Jie were in front of Director Li Huawen.
In front of everyone, Director Li Huawen directly held up the lottery box in his hand and signaled the two of them to start drawing.
“You go first,” Fang Qiu said to Luo Jie, taking a step back.
Luo Jie smiled quietly and reached straight into the box. After a short pause, he pulled out a herb.
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Looking at it closely, he found it was Bupleurum!
This piece of Bupleurum looked quite fresh.
Later, Luo Jie gave way to Fang Qiu, indicating the latter to draw.
Fang Qiu approached the box and grabbed a herb in it. When he took it out, he found it was Astragalus.
Fang Qiu sensed something.
The herbs in the box must be the same 18 kinds of herbs they picked last time in Ganzhou.
“The drawing is done.”
Li Huawen put down the box and said, “The next step is to process herbs.”
At this point, Fang Qiu suddenly called, “Director.”
The eyes of the rest of the contestants immediately shifted to him.
They noticed that Fang Qiu was frowning and holding up the Astragalus in his hand, looking a little weird.
Seeing this scene, the rest of the contestants secretly laughed.
In their eyes, Fang Qiu was in a typically awkward state.
In everyone’s prediction, Fang Qiu’s next move was either to admit the fact that he was unable to process herbs or to find some reasons to avoid it.
“Well, aren’t you great? I want to see how you process herbs!”
“You’ve got an internal wound out of repressing your feelings, haven’t you? You don’t know how to process herbs, but you pretend to know that. You are courting death!”
The other contestants all sneered in their hearts.
At this time, hearing Fang Qiu’s voice, Director Li Huawen was also startled in the heart, wondering, “Does this guy really not know how to process herbs?”
“What’s the matter?” Director Li Huawen asked in confusion.
Fang Qiu stopped frowning, gave a faint smile, and said, “It’s not really a big deal. I just want to say that there are four kinds of Astragalus: raw Astragalus, stir-fried Astragalus, stir-fried Astragalus with honey, and stir-fried Astragalus with wine. Which kind do you want me to make?”
His words shocked all the contestants.
“What? He can’t really make medicine, can he?”
“I don’t think so. Has he learned how to make medicine, the skill that he doesn’t need?”
“He asked such a professional question. Can he really make medicine?”
Everyone was stunned.
So was Luo Jie.
He didn’t expect that Fang Qiu knew so much.
“It’s up to the three judges,” commented Director Li Huawen.
After listening to his words, the three judges discussed for a while before the highly-skilled doctor Huang Zhengren stood up and announced, “We all agree that you fry Astragalus with honey.”
Fang Qiu nodded his head, showing that he knew it.
Then the highly-skilled doctor Huang Zhengren turned to look at Luo Jie and announced, “You’re going to fry Bupleurum with vinegar.”
“Good,” Luo Jie replied indifferently, suggesting that he didn’t care which kind of Bupleurum he was going to make.
“Props,” cried the highly-skilled doctor Huang Zhengren.
Since the competition that the program group had originally set up was to process herbs and identify medicinal materials, many pharmaceutical props had been prepared in advance.
Under the cry of the highly-skilled doctor, a staff member soon pushed up a one-meter-high prop cabinet.
The cabinet was stocked with all the tools needed to make medicine.
Fang Qiu didn’t hesitate to pick up the props: refined honey, boiling water, a knife, and a medicine-frying wok.
At the same time, Luo Jie also quickly selected the props he needed.
After the two contestants had selected their props, Director Li Huawen simply gave them the seat and asked the staff members to place a large rostrum-like table in front of them.
In the blink of an eye, the large conference room was like a classroom, with Fang Qiu and Luo Jie standing on the podium.
After the staff member connected the props that needed electricity, the highly-skilled doctor Huang Zhengren asked, “Are you ready?”
“Yes,” Fang Qiu replied.
“I can start any time.”
Luo Jie nodded.
The highly-skilled doctor Huang Zhengren nodded and declared, “Then start!”
As soon as those words were spoken, Fang Qiu and Luo Jie took action at the same time.
The two men put the herbs in their hands on the table.
Fang Qiu got a basin, poured water into it, and started washing his herb.
Soon, the Astragalus was clean.
Then he took the chopping board and put the Astragalus on it before he lifted the knife and prepared to cut it.
The three highly-skilled doctors next to them watched carefully, their faces expressionless. After all, it was just the beginning, and they couldn’t see anything.
On the other hand, the rest of the contestants stared at Fang Qiu, wide-eyed.
They didn’t pay much attention to Luo Jie.
Under everyone’s gaze, Fang Qiu began to slice the Astragalus.
“Cut, cut, cut…”
He cut very fast.
Everyone was a little nervous, afraid that Fang Qiu would cut his hand.
However, instead of cutting his hand, Fang Qiu cut the Astragalus perfectly.
The 30-something PD who had followed Fang Qiu before stepped forward, looked at the sliced Astragalus with his eyes wide open, and exclaimed, “What? How could you still cut so well at such a fast speed?”
As he spoke, he pulled a vernier scale from the prop cabinet nearby and began measuring the sliced Astragalus.
After the measurement, the PD’s face completely changed.
Everyone was startled.
“What’s the matter?” the highly-skilled doctor Huang Zhengren asked.
“The, the thickness of Astragalus slices is exactly the same, with not even a deviation of one millimeter,” the PD cried in shock.
At his words, the others were all astonished.
“What kind of slicing skill is this?”
“He’s so fast, but he can still keep the thickness of every piece the same. He’s not a man, but a machine, isn’t it?”
“Damn, the slicing skill is really… Were you a cook?”
After that, everyone froze.
Who would have thought that besides his being able to process herbs, Fang Qiu’s slicing skill was so good?
This was unbelievable!
Of course, Fang Qiu wasn’t affected in any way.
When the PD measured the thickness of the Astragalus slices with the vernier scale, Fang Qiu found an electronic scale and weighed the total weight of Astragalus. He found that the Astragalus weighed exactly 200 grams.
After confirming the weight of the Astragalus, Fang Qiu immediately took 50 grams of refined honey in proportion and put it in the medicine-frying wok.
Then he poured the boiling water into the wok to dilute the honey.
When the dilution was complete, Fang Qiu added the Astragalus slices to the wok and began to stir. When the honey and the Astragalus slices were mixed evenly, he took a piece of plastic wrap and sealed the wok.
While watching Fang Qiu’s movements, the highly-skilled doctor Huang Zhengren nodded and explained, “It would be better to keep refined honey and Astragalus slices airtight for a while.”
After a few minutes, Fang Qiu opened the plastic wrap and set the medicine-frying wok on the stove.
Then he started the fire, carefully controlling the degree of the heat.
“Good, you can’t be in a hurry while processing herbs. It’s better to heat it mildly,” said the highly-skilled doctor Huang Zhengren.
Yang Juanyong and Li Zhengtang also looked at Fang Qiu and nodded frequently.
By this time, Fang Qiu, who had set the fire, was already frying the herb.
After frying for a while, Fang Qiu scooped out a slice with a shovel, squeezed it with his fingers, and then turned off the fire.
“When you’re frying Astragalus with refined honey, remember to heat it gently until the Astragalus slices are not sticky.”
The highly-skilled doctor Huang Zhengren said, “Fang Qiu did a great job.”
After turning off the fire, Fang Qiu took out the fried Astragalus slices with honey and waited for them to cool.
Meanwhile, Luo Jie almost finished with his herb.
As those highly-skilled doctors watched him, Luo Jie took slices of raw Bupleurum, then added rice vinegar, and stirred evenly until the Bupleurum slices were soaked. Then he put the Bupleurum slices into the medicine-frying wok and started frying them with mild fire. When the Bupleurum slices became dry, Luo Jie took them out, waiting for them to cool.
Processing herbs was over.
Huang Zhengren called out and said, “I have a question for you. When you are making Astragalus with honey, what is the ratio of Astragalus slices to the refined honey?”
“100 to 25,” Fang Qiu replied.
Huang Zhengren nodded in satisfaction, then turned to Luo Jie and asked, “When you are processing the Bupleurum with vinegar, what is the ratio of Bupleurum to rice vinegar?”
“100 to 20,” Luo Jie replied.
Huang Zhengren nodded his head in satisfaction again and said, “You two are both faultless. Well done!”
Fang Qiu and Luo Jie nodded at the same time.
At this point, Director Li Huawen came up, looked at all the other contestants, and stated, “Fang Qiu and Luo Jie have demonstrated their skills of processing herbs which have been approved by the three judges. What do you have to say now?”
At his words, those contestants looked at each other, but no one dared to speak.
“You have nothing to say, then?”
Director Li Huawen laughed and added, “Well, I’d like to announce that because of their outstanding performance today, Fang Qiu and Luo Jie directly advances to the national top 15!”
Everyone was shocked to hear his words.
20 of the 30 contestants in this competition would advance, and 15 of the 20 contestants in the next competition would advance.
Why did they directly advance to the top 15 after displaying the skills of processing herbs?
The most important thing was that the two men’s advance had occupied two places of the national top 15, so the rest of the people could only fight for the remaining 13 places.
It seemed that everyone’s chances of advancing were lessened a little.
Thinking of this, the remaining 28 contestants were in an immediate uproar.
The highly-skilled doctor Li Zhengtang stood up and said, “Under normal circumstances, all of you would have been eliminated, and there would have been only two people advancing in this round.”
“The director, in order to give you the chance to continue, has to give them the compensation they deserve.”
“They have advanced because they’re qualified. You did lose. Are you still unconvinced?”
Hearing this, the remaining contestants immediately shut their mouths and had nothing to say.