The time which the four of them could concentrate on their conversation was not that long. Even before the sadness on Chloe’s face could disappear, the chefs flocked over. The interest they showed was bigger than expected, and the result of that was that just exchanging names with one person made the time pass quickly.
And Jo Minjoon also got many questions. Most of them were related to the sense of taste he had. As he couldn’t tell them about the system, he just ambiguously smiled, but it seemed that it was seen as humbleness because their eyes looking at him had become softer.
‘Well, it’s not a bad misunderstanding.’
Looking at the attitudes of the chefs he could confirm that the aftereffects created by the absolute sense of taste wasn’t small at all. They were all curious about him, and there were even some that gave him their business card telling him to go to their restaurants. Of course, they made a similar proposition to the other participants too, but at least Jo Minjoon was overwhelmed with invitations to restaurants. Even compared to Kaya that had won, there were more people inviting him.
Well, if you were a chef, you could obviously not be uninterested about that absolute sense of taste. That it hadn’t appeared on history even once also meant that there also weren’t chefs that had served a customer with an absolute sense of taste. There were few chefs that didn’t lend their hands in front of that special experience that may not happen ever again.
It was to the point that a chef that ran a restaurant with a peculiar recipe as the main item invited Jo Minjoon.
“It’s fine if you steal the recipe. Instead, I would like you to pay the food fees and recipe fee with your emotions.”
Actually, aside of actually feeling the flavor or not, he couldn’t guess what kind of high standard expression they wanted. Only after a while did he excuse himself and as he went to a corner, he saw Marco eating a crepe that had banana, chocolate, and peanut butter in it. He gulped down the crepe in his mouth.
“If you want to eat go over there to the second table. There are quite a lot.”
“……..No. It’s not that I want to eat.”
“You want to sit?”
Jo Minjoon sat down with a thud instead of replying. Jo Minjoon was silent for a moment and then silently said.
“Actually, it was over for us a while ago.”
“…….Even so, I get the feeling that it ended for real now.”
“Mmm……I think that I barely know what you are talking about.”
Marco nodded and this time he started to drink a drink mixed with cocoa and banana. Jo Minjoon said with a tired expression.
“It seems like you got bigger than before.”
“Yeah…… Maybe it’s because of the accumulated stress. I started to eat a bit more.”
“Stress, why? You already got a place to work, isn’t now where you can take a breath?”
“That’s not true. When you solve a problem, another tends to appear.”
Life is followed by small or big problems continuously. Jo Minjoon said with a worried voice.
“Even so, don’t relieve it by eating. The colour of your face doesn’t look good. Did you go to a hospital recently?”
“……..Mm, after I start to work I will have to get examined.”
“Let’s see each other for long. Healthily.”
At Jo Minjoon’s words, Marco laughed shyly and nodded.
“Thanks. For worrying about me.”
“We are friends.”
Just as they said some ashaming things, they couldn’t look at each other for a while as if it was embarrassing. Jo Minjoon looked at Kaya. A graceful dress with a composed makeup. They say that clothes are wings, when she raised a corner of her mouth like usual, rather than a playful feeling it felt more like a provocative feeling.
One corner of his heart felt warm and yet a bit disappointed. He should be happy about Kaya’s victory, but honestly speaking he couldn’t be happy when distance appeared on their relationship. Jo Minjoon inspected his stats. Absolute sense of taste, system, and the talent he originally had. Combining all of that, until where would he be able to climb? Will he be able to step on the same worldly rank as Kaya?
‘…….It’s not a problem about probabilities.’
In the end, trying or not was the most important problem, and Jo Minjoon was ready to do so. As his face changed with a look of firm resolve, Emily approached and sat next to Jo Minjoon. She started to talk with a slightly blushed face as if she was a bit drunk.
As his face changed with a look of firm resolve, Emily approached and sat next to Jo Minjoon.
“Minjoon, we are soon travelling?”
“I’m telling you again, but you did well on accepting. Minjoon. It will certainly be a good time.”
Marco said with a perplexed voice. He seemed to be talking about something and soon said with an astonished voice.
Just as it was shocking, his voice was also big. So much that the country music and the laughter of the people got buried in it. In an instant, Jo Minjoon and Emily looked at the sights being directed at them and looked at each other.
Even before the sigh dissipated, the storm came.
Marco said with a dispirited face. Because of Marco’s sudden misunderstanding, Jo Minjoon and Emily could get exposed on everyone’s questions and congratulations. They did make some explanations, but there were some that were certain that the two of them were dating. Kaya slightly glanced and asked.
“But……It’s not true, right?”
“…….How can you also ask me that?”
“No, but, that’s. Mmm……….Nothing.”
Kaya seemed to say something but shut her mouth in the end. Chloe rolled her hair with her finger and said.
“How good. You will even travel.”
“The problem is where we go. If we go somewhere like Africa I will die because of the heat.”
“Even so the heat you feel when you travel is an enjoying heat.”
“……..You have never lived on a hot place, right?”
Chloe smiled merrily instead of replying.
The party had ended. More accurately, they had escaped. Because there were still some that were enjoying the alcohol and conversing. But they were on the lobby of the 4th floor like usual. They needed time for themselves for the last time. But of course, they may meet some other time, but this place and this moment had a meaning on its own while being with them.
The group didn’t include all of the participants, but rather only five: Marco, Anderson, Chloe, Jo Minjoon, and Kaya. The rest were still at the party.
For a moment everyone kept silent. They could feel the silence and the calm breath. The parting time that would soon come casted a shadow on their eyes. The one that threw a rock on the still water was Kaya.
“Will we be able to gather here again?”
“I don’t know if we can do it here, but we will be able to gather. It’s not a place that we can come as we please. Instead will it be that difficult to gather again? Although it’s difficult for everyone to be together…..Won’t it be easy for three or four people to gather?”
“If you have the heart, what will be the problem?”
In the end the problem was how much this moment’s emotions lasted. They wanted to think that it wouldn’t end that way, but where in the world was a heart that didn’t cool off?
Chloe looked at Kaya with teary eyes.
“Kaya, it’s not that you won’t play with us anymore just because you got famous, right?”
“She may do so.”
Anderson said with a blunt voice. Kaya glared at Anderson for a moment and shook her head.
“Of course I will play with you. Where would I find people like you to play around? And even if I get some, you are the best. It was the first relationship that the ending wasn’t bad. ….Well, although we didn’t see the end. Even so……”
Kaya’s voice split. Between the split voice, moist seeped in. Kaya shut her mouth and moved her mouth seeming to want to say something, but in the end she lowered her head. Kaya’s long and slender fingers covered her mouth. And again, covered her eyes.
Below her trembling fingers, her red nose started to sniff. Between the lips that were brighter than her nose, her two front teeth appeared, and soon, all of her teeth could be seen. No, her emotions could be clearly seen.
“…….I have always looked for someone to love me.”
Kaya barely said one sentence with a trembling voice and soon took in some breath while trembling. And exhaled it again.
Her hands covering her eyes got off. Her eyebrows were down and her forehead was narrowed. The shadow that appeared on her eyes seemed just like her smoky makeup. Kaya subbed, talked, and confessed.
“You rescued me. Aside of winning this competition, I felt happy for having received love from someone besides my family. And…… I was sc-scared.”
“……..What were you scared of?”
Jo Minjoon asked with a low voice. Although other people didn’t know, Chloe could. It didn’t show off on Kaya, but Jo Minjoon’s voice was also a bit wet.
Kaya looked at the ground and moved her sight. The frail girl that didn’t have anyone to depend on, and the sorrow of that frail person remained as a scar trembling on his eyes. Jo Minjoon looked at Kaya with a similar eye.
“For being alone again. No, If I perfectly assented that I am a person that can only be alone. Thanks for not making me like that. Even if I got famous, what case would there be if I were alone? You gave me hope. That was really…..”
Her cry gulped down her words. Chloe embraced Kaya without words. Marco raised handkerchief from the side and wiped off her tears, and Anderson was just sitting still without saying anything.
Jo Minjoon couldn’t say anything. It felt like his heart was swelling like a balloon. Even calming his heart down was difficult. In the end, it was a good confession. Although most of what she said was about her scar, in the end it meant that she had healed that scar. But just by looking at the mark of that scar, no, just with listening to things related to that scar made him want to yell and he felt like he wanted to take out the thing that was hanging on his heart.
Even so the protagonist of this conversation was Kaya. If he was looking at Kaya’s overcoming look, what he had to do was to cheer. But why could it be? At this moment what he wanted to do wasn’t the kind of cheering, but he wanted to permeate Kaya’s feelings. He wanted to cry together and embrace her just like Chloe. But that wasn’t his role. In the first place, they didn’t have a relationship to think about that.
‘I…..How am I looking at Kaya?’
The doubtful rock has been thrown on the spring. The surface made a ripple, and the rock didn’t come up again. Jo Minjoon just looked at that spring. However the spring was deep, and he couldn’t even see what was being reflected on it.
Kaya called him. Jo Minjoon got surprised and raised his head. She wiped off the snot with the back of her hand and smiled as if she was crying.
“Thank you. I could believe because you also believed in me. From now on…….Also believe in me. Just like I am with you.”
“Saying that you believe in me…… It can only continue if it’s not a lie. If it was a trust that changed according to the time or situation, in the first place it would have been a fake one. I……don’t do fake ones.”
“I know. You are real, more real than the truth of the earth spinning.”
Even while they were exchanging dense words, the others couldn’t say anything because it was an atmosphere that they shouldn’t do that. Jo Minjoon felt his face heating up for nothing and evaded Kaya’s eyes.
The winner was Kaya, in the future and right now. And among the weight that got up on her scale, there was a weight added that wouldn’t disappear whatever happened. It was the most valuable weight.
The name of that weight……
< The winner’s scale (4) > End
(PR Note: Another flag~!)
Translator’s note: Thanks for reading!
Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Saihikawa