Kaya blanked for a second before looking toward Rachel. She understood the meaning of Rachel’s and her face turned red.
“Why? You two are dating anyway. Is there a problem?”
“That, us, we……haven’t……that……I’m not ready……”
Maybe it was difficult for Kaya to put that into words, but she was getting flustered as she started to avoid Rachel’s gaze. Rachel’s started to smile as she responded.
“I’m just joking. There are many rooms so pick whichever one you would like. They each have a restroom attached so you can wash as you like as well.”
“Okay. Thank you.”
Kaya answered with an awkward expression. Rachel smile as she looked at Minjun.
“I heard you plan on living with Kaya and the other kids when you leave the house.”
“We haven’t discussed it in detail yet……we’re just thinking about it.”
“It’s disappointing. You being here made it not feel so empty.”
“……I’m sad about it as well. I was so happy getting to eat teacher’s cooking every so often.”
He was being honest. Rachel’s cooking never lets anybody down. The dishes that Rachel created went above and beyond. Rachel smiled once more as she responded.
“If I knew you liked it so much, I should have cooked for you more often.”
“I can’t ask you to do that when you are tired. Plus, food tastes better the longer you wait between each time you eat it.”
“But nobody enjoys that waiting period. Even epicureans. Although it is a slightly different story if you are full.”
Jo Minjun nodded at Rachel’s words. The impact of that short waiting period was strong, but it was difficult to be patient.
A few hours later, Jo Minjun had to be patient in a different way. On top of the bed. Kaya was squirming as she was staring at his face. Her hair was slightly wet as she just got out of the shower, and since she didn’t have a change of clothes, she was wearing one of his t-shirts and shorts.
“……You’re doing it on purpose, aren’t you? You’re very seductive right now.”
“I don’t know what you are talking about.”
“You have your own bedroom. Why are you here?”
“I’m not sleepy yet. So, I might as well take the chance to see your face as much as I can. You can sleep if you want. I like your sleeping face too.”
“How can I go to sleep with you staring at me like that?”
Jo Minjun smiled bitterly as he reached out his arm. His fingers, which were started to develop calluses, slowly caressed Kaya’s cheek and chin. As the top of his fingers started to brush against her slightly wet hair, Kaya started to smile.
“My hair is much better now I wash it frequently. Thanks, to a certain someone.”
“You don’t like washing it often?”
“That’s not the important part. The important part is that I wash it often for you.”
“……Isn’t the important part that if it wasn’t for me, you’re so dirty you wouldn’t even wash your hair?”
“Do you not like it that such a dirty girl is your girlfriend?”
“I’m not sure. Just because I like you doesn’t mean I have to like everything about you.”
Once he said that Kaya’s eyes rolled up a bit as if she was thinking before she started to smile and got closer to Minjun. There was a light fruity scent coming from Kaya’s body. Rather than her scent, it was more likely the fragrance of the shampoo and lotion, but it still made him wonder if there was fruit juice instead of blood in Kaya’s body. Jo Minjun slowly started to speak.
“Wasn’t that the timing to get angry?”
“No. After thinking about it, I decided I like your answer. If you like me even though you don’t like everything about me, that means that even though there are things about me you don’t like ……you will continue to like me. Now I can relax and be as mean as I want.”
“……How do you come up with such logic?”
Jo Minjun just started to laugh in disbelief. Kaya smiled brightly as she looked at Minjun’s smiling face before slowly starting to speak.
“That……normal couples would have done everything by this point. But we haven’t even reached that final stage.”
Jo Minjun did not say anything. The reason that Kaya did not want to take it to that final level, specifically, the reason she was afraid of that level was simple. Kaya knew very well the results of an unprepared male-female relationship.
Even though her father showed up again after 20 years, his past 20 years were a path of thorns. How must a man who could not even protect his family, live his life? Kaya did not want to be like her dad. She did not want to be like her mom either. To create a family, that was for when everything was settled. She wanted to push it back until then.
Of course, having sex was not the same as creating a family. There were many prevention methods. But the reason Kaya had a difficulty with that type of act, Jo Minjun could understand it. Kaya continued in a nervous voice.
“Is it hard to hold back? If so, I ……”
Jo Minjun put his hand on Kaya’s cheek. It was just his palm, but Kaya felt like the entire Earth was holding her in its arms. Kaya lifted up her gaze. Jo Minjun’s eyes were warmly embracing her. He started to speak.
“If you take out the pasta before it is cooked because you are hungry, that pasta cannot bring joy to anybody. Neither to the chef nor the customer. For me, even if our relationship is slightly frustrating, I want it to be cooked properly, to the point that there is not an ounce of imperfection when it gets on the plated. Yes. You are right. It is hard to resist. But, if we don’t do things because it is hard and do things we shouldn’t do ……our life will not have any taste to it.”
“Do you really feel that way?”
“Yes. I have always hated waiting, but I will wait. Kaya Lotus is my favorite chef. I’m sure she will bring me a dish that is beyond my expectation.”
As soon as he finished speaking, Kaya lifted her head up and kissed Jo Minjun. She then started to speak in a slightly teary voice.
“That is just the appetizer. It won’t make you full but just wait. The main will not take that long. I promise.”
“Everything is fine, but ……”
Jo Minjun laughed mischievously.
“Is there only one appetizer?”
Kaya’s face started to fill with a smile. She put both of her hands on Jo Minjun’s cheeks. Their noses were touching, and they could feel each other’s breaths.
“No. I can even give you a hundred.”
In the end, although Rachel had given Kaya her own room, she ended up spending the night in Jo Minjun’s bed. Jo Minjun was the first to open his eyes. He just quietly looked at Kaya’s sleeping face.
To feel your heart getting warmer just looking at someone’s face, this was not something he ever expected was possible for himself. He could not believe that you could have someone so deep in your mind. But Kaya had turned into that type of person for him.
‘If we end up living together …… will I be able to look at her like this every morning?’
Well, thinking more about it, if they were living with Chloe and Anderson as well, it could be a different story since the two of them will not be able to share a room. Thinking about it that way, he even wondered if it would be better if Anderson and Chloe rejected the offer. And then, he realized that the person that just had that kind of thought was very foreign to him.
How long must he have been watching her like that? Kaya who seemed to have been enjoying a meal in her dream slowly opened her eyes and looked around.
“Minjun …… ah. Right. I slept here.”
“Yes. Did you sleep well?”
“I slept well, but my lips feel really swollen. I think I overdid it a bit.”
“It’s not just your lips. I think your whole face is swollen.”
“Don’t say that. You are my boyfriend. You have to tell me even my swollen face looks pretty.”
“I never said it looked ugly. Just swollen. I was just telling the truth.”
“……You are too good with words.”
Kaya said that as she rubbed her face at Jo Minjun’s neck. Jo Minjun patted her back as he started to speak.
“Wake up. Time to go to work.”
“Groan……wha time is it?”
“Liar. Tell me the time down to the minutes. It doesn’t feel like it’s 7 yet.”
“Okay. Then let me stay like this for 3 more minutes.”
“After 3 minutes, I feel like you’ll ask to do it for 10 more minutes.”
“Then let me do this for 13 more minutes. Why, you don’t like it?”
Kaya put on some puppy dog eyes as she asked. Jo Minjun looked at her acting like that and replied.
“You have eye boogers.”
“That’s okay. Even my eye boogers are pretty. I told you. I am the second most beautiful chef in the US.”
“You must really be proud of that.”
“I’m not that proud of it. Just a little more than winning Grand Chef?”
“……You can’t handle yourself because you’re so happy about it.”
Jo Minjun smiled as he caressed Kaya’s head. Kaya just quietly looked at Jo Minjun’s neck. The burn mark was light or dark based on the area. When he wears a chef’s coat, the majority of it would be covered because of the collar, but it was completely visible when he was wearing a regular t-shirt like this. Kaya started to speak in an upset voice.
“What if you got surgery for this? Or maybe a tattoo to cover it up.”
“I told you I’m not embarrassed about this. It is a scar of honor.”
“Still……just seeing it makes me really sorry.”
“Don’t be sorry. You’ve done quite a lot for me. This kind of burn, I feel like it’s not much in comparison.”
“……I always feel like I haven’t done anything for you, but you always say I did a lot for you.”
“You helped me dream.”
Jo Minjun quietly nodded his head. He wanted to explain everything to Kaya who tilted her head in confusion. He wanted to tell her about how he came from the future, as well as how he had the power of the system. He wanted Kaya to be the bamboo forest he could spill his secrets too.  But this was not the time. Kaya was busy enough with her own problems. Jo Minjun picked up his smartphone instead of responding.
“Alright. Wake up now. It’s 7:00 am. You need to get to work.”
“5 more minutes, no 3 more. You know I have a headache, and my stomach hurts ……”
“If it is something that can get better in 3 minutes, you aren’t even sick. Get up.”
Kaya started to pout.
“Chef, you seem to be in a good mood today.”
That was the first thing Maya said as soon as he entered the store. Jo Minjun peeked toward her before started to speak in a stern voice.
“Mood is something that can go from really good to really bad in an instant. So, Maya. You seem to have something to tell me……what is it? Is it something that’ll make me feel good, or is it something that will make me feel sad?”
“Umm……I don’t know if chef will be happy about this. I have decided to be your assistant.”
“Oh. Is that so? I guess the two of you were able to come to a decision. How did Gerrick convince you?”
“……Our ancestors have left us a good legacy. If something cannot be determined by your mind, isn’t it best to leave it to rock paper scissors?”
“So. Did you come because you won or because you lost?”
Maya could not answer and just started to roll her eyes around. Jo Minjun let out a sigh.
“You lost, didn’t you.”
“I, I’m sorry. But I will really work properly!”
Jo Minjun looked at Maya with a blank stare that made it impossible to figure out what he was thinking. Maya must not have had the confidence to meet his gaze as she quickly lowered her head and started to fidget. Jo Minjun soon opened his mouth. Maya’s feelings, he actually understood it better than anybody else.
“It will be difficult and annoying. You might even think you had no luck with picking a section. But I will at least make you feel like you had good luck with your demi-chef. Let’s work well together. I will give it my best.”
“……Yes! Thank you. Chef.”
“Why are you thanking me when I haven’t even done anything? Let’s first go inform the sous chef. He should be waiting.”
Maya answered with an energetic voice and followed behind Jo Minjun. She had all sorts of negative thoughts when she lost the rock, paper, scissors, but after thinking it over, she decided that it wasn’t too bad. No matter what, Jo Minjun was a talented demi-chef. He was also a one of a kind chef in the world. Someone with absolute taste better than anyone else.
‘I will make all of Minjun chef’s know-hows into mine.’
With Maya having that type of thought, the two of them entered the office. Rafael was not the only one in the office. Rachel and Isaac were also there, as they looked toward Minjun while still sitting. Jo Minjun cautiously started to speak.
“Should I come back later?”
“No. That’s okay. Come over here. This is something you should hear as well.”
“Minjun. Of the elements, a restaurant must have, if you take out service and taste, what would be left?”
“……Is there anything else you need other than those two? I can’t think of anything else.”
At Minjun’s answer, Isaac answered in a voice of a veteran businessman.
“It is the image.”
“You can also call it fame. The things that people are looking for in Rose Island, it is not just delicious food. Food made my Rachel Rose. Food made from a world-class restaurant that has never fallen from its Michelin Three-star rating. Chef Minjun. The image of the Rose Island you see right now. How is it?”
Jo Minjun started to think. He started to speak in a cautious voice.
“It is a legend. The main location of the many Rose Islands around the world. The words the ‘main location’ always had a special ring to it. Teacher Rachel’s old reputation will be on people’s minds as well.”
“Yes. You are correct. It is a legend. And legends are always in people’s memories, not in the present. What I mean to say is that it remains in the past. People might think that our main location……”
“They may look down on it.”
Rachel finished Isaac’s sentence. She started to speak in a quiet voice.
“This is the homework we must complete. People are always like that. They always have two types of expectations. They will be as amazing as the past. They will not be able to live up to the past. We need to get past both of those expectations. We need to show them that we have gotten much better than the past and much different.”
“……I like what you are saying. But how are you planning on showing that?”
“There is a cooking competition in Los Angeles soon. Every year, all sorts of restaurant chefs throughout Los Angeles enter. It is a competition to determine their ranking. In addition, while Rose Island was open, it never lost the winner’s trophy.”
Rachel’s eyes were shining sharply. She continued to speak like a commander getting ready for war.
“We must take what we must take this time as well.”
<The power of science is amazing (2)> End
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Translator : Miraclerifle
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