Chloe’s parents were architects.
Her father used to say that just like house is inhabited by people, it needs to be harmonious with nature. Chloe couldn’t know the meaning of it, but her father’s face while saying those words were really cool to her. Because the job of architect was like a dream for her, when for other children it was really boring.
However, that dream didn’t last long. Because the family she believed would last long, broke.
Even if her parents could harmonise the house and nature, they couldn’t do so for wife and husband. Even after Chloe could graduate from primary school, the loud voices of them finally brought up the divorce documentation. The custody of the child was taken by her mother, Diana Jong, so Chloe Crook became Chloe Jong since then.
Diana was originally busy, but since then she got home really late. She didn’t want her child to not live a normal life for being a child of a divorced family. That’s why she let her do whatever she wanted like martial arts, horse riding, swimming, karate, etc. Maybe it could be something Diana wished for. That her child was living soundly, and that she wanted to believe in that.
However Diana couldn’t do the most important thing for her. To be next to her. Of course, the word homemade food could only get unfamiliar to her. Diana’s cooking skills were great, and she used to cook with her on weekends. But it was difficult to take care of her even in week days.
The reason Chloe got to cook well was also because of that. The things Chloe wanted to make were just too much, and she didn’t want to keep eating things to fill her belly like pizza or hamburger. At times the internet, and at others she followed her mother’s cooking method and soon her cooking skills improved just like Diana.
She had never dreamt of becoming a chef. Honestly speaking, it was hard to know if she wanted to become one right now. She just liked to cook. She participated in the competition with a light heart, and right now……
On the bed. Chloe was mumbling looking at the ceiling. In Chloe’s head, many things passed by. Kaya, Jo Minjoon, Hugo, …..etc.
The common point those faces had was that they were filled with passion and determination towards cooking. Of course, Chloe too liked to cook. But if she was asked to bet all her life on it like them, she wouldn’t be able to reply easily.
That night she couldn’t get to fall asleep. Chloe wore her sports clothes and went outside. To take a stroll in a moonlight night. Aside from it being weird, it was a dangerous thing. Because you didn’t know what kind of people roamed at night. That’s why Chloe took a stroll only around Grand Chef’s house.
‘……..It’s still a bit scary.’
The wind was cold, and her surroundings was really secluded. It was because of that. The moment she saw the man that was seating in a bench, her face became bright.
“Minjoon! You didn’t go to sleep?”
“Huh, what are you doing at this hour?”
“You are also outside at this hour.”
Jo Minjoon smiled and replied. Chloe slightly glanced at his handphone. On the screen that was shining brightly, many comments were written. But because it was in korean, she couldn’t read them.
“What are you looking at?”
“If I see those I only feel bad, so I don’t like reading them.”
“I also don’t like them because they makes me feel bad.”
“Then why are you looking at them?”
“Because it’s human nature wanting to know the contents when someone curses you.”
Jo Minjoon talked like that and shrugged his shoulders. Chloe let out a sigh.
“And you told that to Kaya? That it’s a waste of time and attention. You seemed like a teacher lecturing your student.”
“……Kaya’s still young. She would find it difficult to take it.”
“And you are a grownup?”
At Chloe’s question Jo Minjoon replied with a smile. Chloe sat besides him and opened her mouth.
“I think that I’m still not a grownup. I’m too young.”
“What are you saying that so suddenly? Did the night make you susceptible?”
Chloe smiled lightly. Jo Minjoon looked at her and then opened his mouth.
“You are troubled by something.”
“There’s nothing like that.”
“You aren’t troubled and you came out in this night? It’s already 12.”
“You are also outside.”
“But I am troubled.”
Jo Minjoon talked like that and pointed his handphone with his finger. Chloe grabbed her forehead as if she had lost and continued saying.
“Yeah, good for you. I’m sorry. For not being troubled by a troublesome thing.”
“What is it about?”
Jo Minjoon asked again in a serious voice. Chloe pouted her mouth and embraced her knees. It was cold.
“Just so, other people are living hard working…..but it doesn’t seem to be the case for me.”
“You are working hard, so what’s the problem?”
“I’m not as passionate as you in cooking to cross the pacific ocean and come over here. Of course, it’s the thing I like the most……and I’m liking it more and more, but I don’t think that I’m on the level to challenge it like you. Because I’m wondering if I can bet my life in cooking forever.”
“And what are you thinking to do if not cooking?”
“I want to become a detective. I’m a fan of Home’s.”
“Now that I see, you said that you were going to a law school.”
Jo Minjoon looked at Chloe as if he was surprised. Chloe wrapped her cheeks with both her hands. Or perhaps she was just cold. At that moment, Jo Minjoon thought about taking off his coat, but he didn’t. They weren’t in that kind of relationship. Jo Minjoon laughed and said.
“Having many abilities is also bothersome. Because you have many paths you can walk in.”
“What if I have many paths? Because the most important thing is how much you bet in it.”
“You have bet plenty already. There’s no need to get anxious.”
Chloe shook her head slowly.
What I’m troubled about is not that. Is if I can keep walking this path.”
“I like your cooking.”
Although he said it quite bluntly, it had quite a feeling to it. Jo Minjoon continued talking.
“I think that your character is shown in your dishes. It’s not excessive, it’s gently and consideration overflows in it. The bad thoughts can’t be seen in it at all.”
“Even if I don’t do bad things, I can be thinking about bad things. If you could look inside my head even you will be surprised.”
“It’s fine to think whatever you want in your head. The problem is if you show it or not with your actions. And the Chloe Jong I have seen until now is timid but has some interesting sides, and if people point out the bad things of someone you tend to find the good ones.”
“……..Hey, if you say it like that it’s rather embarrassing.”
“If you are like that, then would I be fine? If it was recorded for the broadcast I would be kicking my blankets forever. Ugh, I feel goosebumps.”
Jo Minjoon talked like that and extended his fingers. Chloe just stared at him. Her short hair fluttered because of the wind.
“My troubles are getting dispersed. And they aren’t even getting solved.”
“Actually, there are no solutions regardless of what you listen to. In the end, you have to walk by yourself to know the answer. And if you hesitate……”
Jo Minjoon put back his handphone on his pocket and got up. He pointed the strolling road and said.
“At least, I will walk this road with you.”
Oh hyunjun : It’s really interesting for a korean to appear in a foreign program. He’s not even a resident overseas, but only a korean.
ㄴ ㅁㄷㅇㄷ : What’s interesting in that? Godkorea here are many cases like that. That’s expanding in the world!
ㄴ Lee Geoneun : @ㅁㄷㅇㄷ Godkorea my balls. In the end, it’s that. They don’t have that kind of opportunities in Korea so they go overseas. No reply.
Kimbo: But he is having something with that white girl. If she was blond I would die from a stomachache.
ㄴ Crow : You can dye your hair to become blond stupid. Tch tch
ㄴ Kimbo : @Crow If you tan your skin do you become black?
Shin Saeyeon : After I saw that I got hungry. By the way Grand Chef is really fun. It would be great if they come to Korea.
ㄴ Hello : That’s that but your profile picture is really pretty. Is that you……..?
JK KOO : Rather than those bluffs of a cooking it would be better to eat some fried chicken.
ㄴ Nopeman : Nope
ㄴ JK KOO : @Nopeman It’s my opinion so why are you against it?
ㄴNopeman : Nope
Wardo : It is, delicious ! I see ! A lewd weed. Help !
Kim Yeongchan : It would be fun if he wins it. A foreign guy would be taking all of the reward.
ㄴ Lee Joohee : But if he wins there, won’t he nail down? If he gets prestigious over there he won’t have the need to come back to Korea.
ㄴ Kim Yeongchan : @Lee Joohee You don’t know about it. He may come back missing his hometown. But even if I see it, it would be better for him if he stays there.
ㄴ Nopeman : @Kim Yeongchan Nope.
Kimchipepperman : It would be great if Kaya and Jo Minjoon end up together.
Jo Minjoon stopped looking at the screen. Contrary of his worries, the reactions in Korea were quite good, and there were many people who mentioned about other things than himself. Honestly, he felt it to be regretful that the attention he received was low, but it was a rather good thing. Because he thought that the more attention you were given, there would be more bad things than good ones.
“Are they koreans?”
Kaya that was glancing at times asked in a low voice. Jo Minjoon nodded. Kaya asked once again cautiously.
“Is there any word of me?”
Actually, she had a lot. However it was all related to Jo Minjoon. It was a bit embarrassing to say that in front of her. She put on a relieved face. Jo Minjoon smiled bitterly and asked.
“Are you that worried?”
“There’s no one who likes being cursed.”
“Then act a little softer while on the broadcast. Then, half of the anti’s would disappear.”
“Enough. That wouldn’t be me then.”
“If you talk like that I have nothing else to say.”
Jo Minjoon turned off his screen and lifted his head. Kitchen. The participants were all gathered. But it wasn’t that they were gathered to eat as usual. Because the mission was soon going to start.
The progression of the missions didn’t have a fixed period. At times in 2 days, and in others, it was in 7 days. The judges and the directors had to set the schedule so it was unavoidable, but even so, waiting without a schedule was always a bothersome thing.
That’s why the faces of the participants that were waiting for the judges to enter were a bit unburdened. Hugo that was next to him asked Jo Minjoon with a nervous face.
“What do you think the mission will be?”
“I wonder. I think that all of the normal themes already got out. Wouldn’t this be individual cooking? And they decide the cooking method and the ingredients for us.”
“I would like to do something like Texas barbecue.”
“You have to check on it for 24 hours straight. You want to do that?”
“That’s also true.”
Hugo admitted it clearly and shrugged his shoulders. At that moment. The door behind the kitchen started to slowly open. The participants gulped and looked at that. But something was different. There was a different point than usual. And it was the number of the judges. Precisely speaking, Joseph and Alan weren’t there. The one coming in was only Emily.
Emily coughed while standing on the stage and fixed her voice. The participants looked at her filled with curiousness and Emily smiled in a good manner.
“Hello everyone. Even though I saw you in a long while, it doesn’t seem that long.”
Emily looked at each of the participants and slowly smiled at them. When she looked at Jo Minjoon, she smiled even more brightly. But Jo Minjoon ignored her. After she had asked him to become an epicurean, between them an awkward air was felt. It could be said that they felt uncomfortable between each other. But of course, in the first place they didn’t even talk with each other.
“Today, you will have to choose between Alan and Joseph. I tell you beforehand but this isn’t a team mission. So when you choose do it more seriously. You don’t have to worry about who messes up the most. I tell you once again, this isn’t a team mission.”
The moment he heard Emily’s words, he could vaguely know the identity of the mission. He wondered if the participants they picked would vary according to the dish they chose beforehand, being one they liked and made well. And actually he did faintly remember seeing that mission.
“You will know the details after you choose. The ones who want to pick Alan go to the garden, and the ones for Joseph stay in this very place. I will give you exactly 1 minute.”
The participants didn’t say a word and started to calculate in their heads. What kind of mission could it be? What side would be better to choose?
And then, 1 minute passed. Emily shouted.
Jo Minjoon moved his feet.
< Crossroad (1) > End
Translator’s note: Regular chapter!
Thanks for reading and for your support!
Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Maled