“If I’m going to be a candle that’s going to be turned off anyways, I would at least want to lit a fire on a big mountain so my shadow never disappears.”
Kaya said in her usual dignified voice…no, it was shining more than usual. Her cooking uniform made her seem more splendid than when she wore a white dress. On her face, there wasn’t her usual contorted smile but a smile that was dignified and filled with confidence.
When was it that she was cautious with other people, that now she was putting a face you couldn’t feel a trace of envy in it. It was the face Jo Minjoon admired. A dignified face you could only see from chefs. Even if it seemed rough, you could feel the firmness in every word she said, as well as the ambition and desire that seemed a bit dangerous. The Kaya Lotus you could only fall for and love was right there.
However, the moment Jo Minjoon extended his hand, he realized that his hand was too short. No, that he was too small. That he was an existence so small she didn’t even take him into account.
The awful low self esteem came looking for him like a cockroach. Jo Minjoon stood up from the place with a pale face as if he had seen a horrible monster. Dream. Usually, you would feel relieved that you have woken up, but he didn’t feel like that right now. Rather, his feelings became revolting because the dream he had just now showed his inner self.
He panted. Jo Minjoon felt his back was wet and frowned. It was a displeasing morning for many reasons.
Even after he finished showering, that feeling didn’t disappear. It was to the point that when he saw Kaya, who seemed to be waiting in the hall to tell him something, he flinched and stepped back.
“…….Did you get diarrhea?”
“Just make me breakfast.”
“Now you are really treating me like a maidservant. Hey, I told you that I was going to prepare breakfast until I got eliminated? It doesn’t remain much.”
“Why? Are you planning to get eliminated?”
“……No. I’m going to win.”
“If you win you will have to keep making breakfast for me.”
At Jo Minjoon’s natural words, Kaya’s face became weird.
“You really want me to keep doing it?”
“I’m joking. If I get to that point, I’m not a chef, but an impostor. Well….. Even if it was half ajoke, I was surprised that you kept your promise. You have done well.”
“Hmph. You dolt. Just because I am poor, my conscience isn’t poor as well.”
“Right. I believe in you.”
Just because her nature was clean and proper could she grow until that point. He came up with the thought that she was a star. A star he couldn’t reach but couldn’t give up on. Even with the opportunity he got, and being able to spend time with her, was he going to fall back again?
“……..You are always putting a serious face in weird places.”
“What’s weird? It’s showing the trust between people.”
“Leave it. You only made me the weird person.”
Kaya twisted her lips and turned her head. He didn’t know why but he wanted to pinch her cheek, but if he did it he may get caught for physical abuse. Although Kaya wouldn’t really call the police.
When Kaya went to the pantry, Jo Minjoon went with her and checked the ingredients. Kaya looked at him as if it was unexpected.
“What happened? I don’t know about lunch, but you always left breakfast for me.”
“I got some stimulation in my dream. If I don’t make more effort even in little things……”
“Whew, throw away that sincere character of yours. I do like that point from you but it feels stuffy at times.”
Jo Minjoon smiled without any word. Originally, he had this temperament, but now that he came all the way here he couldn’t act like this anymore. There were many people that wanted to return to the past. And he was also one among those people. Why he returned, he couldn’t know the reason. There were no reasons, and perhaps he could only have been lucky. Time turned back, and he was given an opportunity. The opportunity to cook. If he missed this chance, Jo Minjoon couldn’t be stately to himself anymore.
“It’s because I want to be a good cook like you.”
“You are telling me to make it more delicious, right?”
“It’s the breakfast made by the unparalleled Kaya Lotus, is there something not delicious that’s made by her?”
“Ugh, what’s with the compliments? So disgusting.”
Even after saying that, she couldn’t help the corner of her mouth from rising. She was inevitably putting strength, and in the end she got angry.
“Ah! Because of you I’m smiling for nothing!”
“Then you can smile. Why are you acting that embarrassed?”
“Ah, I don’t know. I’m going to cook. Don’t talk to me. The kitchen is a place where if you get sloppy for even a moment, an accident can happen! Understood?”
“Now it seems that you are looking to become a public benefit model.”
Kaya didn’t reply and glared at him. If he saw that as a cute charm, did he have something weird in his eyes? Actually, just like he saw her as an existence that was no different to a an idol, perhaps feeling that way may be obvious. Kaya rubbed her eyes with her fingers and said.
“Ah, my eyes hurt. So what should I do for breakfast?”
“A porridge or paella should be fine.”
“If Chloe was here, she would be terrified because of the carbohydrates.”
“We aren’t even bodyguard……. Ah, I said bodyguard. We aren’t even bodybuilders, so there’s no need to do that. In the first place you don’t even exercise.”
“I do. I lift dumbbells, and what’s that thing you grip with your hands?”
“You do it once or twice and leave it.”
Kaya turned her eyes to the eggs instead of replying. Jo Minjoon shook his head.
“You have to do something about starting breakfast with eggs. I didn’t really like eating eggs for breakfast.”
“What? Why is that not delicious?”
“My mouth gets dry while I sleep, and think about putting eggs on top of that. You can only not like it.”
“That’s why you eat it along with sausages or bacon. The deliciousness of the egg is going to wash that dry mouth of yours. You really can’t understand this flavor?”
“I also don’t like eating things like bacon or sausages that have a lot of oil. I prefer roasting it.”
“Fish doesn’t have oil? I understand your cooking style, but stop acting that stubbornly!”
At Kaya’s words, Jo Minjoon face became absentminded. He looked at Kaya’s face as if he became possessed. Kaya frowned.
“What. What. Why.”
“……..My cooking style?”
“Right. Your cooking style. What about that?”
“Do I also have a style? I…..am just like that. Just cook this and that, and copy the dishes of others. Honestly speaking, the cooking method is also that way and plain. But I have a style?”
“That plainness is your style. You stupid.”
Kaya said as if she couldn’t understand.
“Are you a machine? You are a person. If you are a person you have a character, and if you have a character that’s shown in your cooking.”
“I’m originally the tranquil type. I don’t have any colour.”
“That’s why not having any colour is your style. Why? People must always be magnificent?”
“……..Then what’s the most delicious thing among the ones I made?”
“Making anything with a sauce.”
Kaya said with a calm voice. When Jo Minjoon’s eyes became round, Kaya continued speaking.
“The flavor of your sauce is the best.”
“……..And if that sauce was taken from the recipe of others?”
“That’s an obvious thing. How many people you think there are in the world that has their own recipe? If you don’t do weird things like molecular gastronomy, it would be difficult.”
“That’s right. ……..But why do you seem more adult today?”
The reply didn’t come back.
The breakfast was blueberry yoghurt with toasted rye bread, butter with the aroma of basil, rolled bacon, and a spanish omelette with a lot of tomato paste. Jo Minjoon ate a bite and said.
“That Tess Gilly, how is she doing nowadays? Is she quiet?”
A lot of time has passed. It has already been almost a month since that case. Yesterday the 14th episode was broadcasted. The contents was about the mission when the top 6 remained. Now, the remaining broadcasts were three. Quarter finals, semi finals, and the finals.
‘……..And there are only two missions left now.’
Jo Minjoon’s expression became serious. Kaya gulped the rye bread smeared with butter and said.
“As she makes the case bigger, it would also be announced that she is stupid. And if she’s not dumb, she won’t do it anymore. She will keep saying something but…… I don’t know. Martin seems to be handling it somehow.”
“Even so, compared to before you are calmer.”
“Even if I do get angry, only I will be at a loss. Even so, back in the days there were many who badmouthed my past. If there is a difference to then, it would be that I can see what happens in the internet. So if I don’t, it ends there.”
“You thought well.”
“You are acting that way again. I told you not to treat me like a kid?”
“Right. You aren’t a kid anymore.”
Jo Minjoon smiled. It was a smile that was mixed with satisfaction and bitterness. The complete Kaya Lotus he remembered was slowly manifesting on her. It was something to welcome, but he was also that much fretful because it getting more difficult to chase her back.
‘At least until the finals…..’
He was sorry for Anderson, but he wanted to be the one that would battle Kaya at the last mission instead of anyone else. Even if he did lose, it didn’t matter. A prize of 300 thousand dollars and Grand Chef’s fame, that was all for the second place. But the important thing was whether he could become that kind of chef or not.
“Anyways, why isn’t Anderson coming?”
“I don’t know. He may be exercising somewhere. That impostor.”
“Impostor? Ah……Are you talking about that time when he said that Martin called you?”
“Right. He’s somewhat weird. Isn’t it that he has some kind of disease? Why does he pull those kind of pranks? We aren’t that close to be doing that.”
Kaya pressed the omelette. The tomato paste pierced through the yellow texture of the omelette and flowed like blood. As he turned his sight because of the horrifying feeling, he saw Anderson getting in from the kitchen’s door.
“Are you going to eat?”
“A yoghurt and bread is enough for me.”
Anderson talked like that and sat on the place with a thud. He only sat on the nearest chair, but that seat was next to Kaya of all things. Kaya glared Anderson and raised her dish and moved next to Jo Minjoon. The regrettable thing was that Anderson’s seat was in front of her.
“…….Are you talking about me right now?”
“Right, you impostor. Because of you I couldn’t even be with Chloe properly until the end.”
“Ha, You should have done better at normal days. You are planning to do something for her when she leaves?”
“Shut up. You don’t have any right to say that. In the first place, why did you make that lie? Did you really do that just to make fun of me?”
Anderson didn’t reply. Kaya looked at Jo Minjoon’s face and said with a displeased face.
“See? He’s like that.”
“Endure it. Anderson, too, may have had a reason he couldn’t say it.”
“What reason…….But what’s this?”
Kaya looked at what Jo Minjoon was writing. Jo Minjoon was writing something on the note on his handphone. But she couldn’t recognize it. It wasn’t that his handwriting was bad, but the letters were weird because it was Korean. Jo Minjoon replied with a calm voice.
“Practicing designing of recipes. I’m thinking about this and that. Just like you said, if my strongest point is the sauce, that means that my strongest point will be shown in the recipe. I have to keep grinding and polishing it.”
“……..You really work hard. But I usually thought of this but couldn’t tell you, these Korean letters look really cool.”
“It’s different depending on your handwriting. There are people that have handwriting so terrible compared to the alphabet.”
“Hmm……Ah, right. Then do that for me.”
“Write my name in Korean. It would also be good if you make me a Korean name.”
A Korean name. Jo Minjoon just looked at Kaya. And wrote two big letters. Kaya looked at the screen with a face full of excitement.
“How do you read this?”
“ ‘Gaya’(가야) It’s the same. You just have to kill the pronunciation a bit. And it’s also quite a pretty Korean name. In ancient times……. There was also a country named Geumgwan-Gaya (금관가야) or DaeGaya (대가야).”
“Gu, gunganguaya? (궁간과야) Ey, I don’t know. Gaya. Gaya. Yeah. It’s good.”
Kaya wrote her name one the plate with her fork and smiled with a good mood. It has also been a while since he saw Kaya smiling cheerfully like a girl that even he started to smile unconsciously. It was then that Anderson, who was looking at the two of them, coughed.
“Do it for me too.”
Jo Minjoon frowned. To fix the name Anderson, it could only be difficult. At the end of thinking for a long time, Jo Minjoon slowly wrote the name on the screen. Anderson looked at the screen with expecting eyes.
“How do you read this?”
“Anduksam. Oh…… It’s certainly a name with a mysterious Asian feeling. From now on, if I go to Korea or meet Koreans, I will have to tell them this name.”
“Uh……I don’t think there’s a need to do that.”
“No. I liked it. I can take a snap with my handphone and send it, right?”
“Of, of course.”
Jo Minjoon stammered and laughed awkwardly. Anduksam. If he reveals the truth later, what kind of reaction would he show…..
‘……….He won’t kill me, right?’
< Cooking style (1) > End
Translator’s note: Regarding Anduksam. It’s a name given by the chinese on the premiere when Neo goes to the matrix to go and catch Smith. The dialogue he used was “Welcome back, mr. Anderson” but in chinese it’s translated as (They say it’s teacher Anduksam’s welcoming party) It’s a mistranslation or perhaps a pun done on purpose. Just laugh it off and let it go.
PR Note: Anduksam sounds like something I’d encounter from a megaten game…
Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Saihikawa