“………My head is ringing. Don’t shout.”
Jo Minjoon forced a groan and barely spoke. Kaya looked at him with reddened eyes. Tears gathered and while it seemed like it would fall at any moment, Kaya endured it. She opened her mouth. Her rough and hard voice was trembling.
“I’m sorry. I, I……..”
“The tap was the one at fault. Why are you sorr-ugh…….!”
At the feeling that his neck burnt, Jo Minjoon closed his eyes tightly and bit his lips. It was a pain so horrible it didn’t make him able to control his expression. Jo Minjoon grinded his teeth and quickly took out his cooking uniform and threw it. At that cold air, he thought that the pain momentarily disappeared, but after a while it began to burn again.
The doctor, who was hesitating because the oil might pop again, approached Jo Minjoon with an alert face and raised him up. At the accident, Chloe asked with a surprised voice.
“Do-doctor. He’s fine, right?”
“I don’t know if I should call this fortunate, but the injury isn’t severe. There are blisters at some parts, but they are mostly first degree. If he takes care of it well, there will be no infections. Although the problem is the pigmentation…….. I’m sorry. It seems like it’s unavoidable for a scar to appear.”
The doctor spoke with an unconfident attitude. Kaya clenched her fists with an angry face, but it wasn’t because she was angry at someone else. She didn’t like herself. Korea? Immigration? There’s no point in worrying about that if she always end up committing accidents such as this.
The doctor placed a wet towel in warm water, put it over the injury, and opened the mouth.
“You will have to keep replacing the towel. If you feel that the heat is getting dispersed, wash it with cold water. You will have to stay like this for at least 30 minutes.”
“I will do it!”
The moment when Kaya was going to open her mouth, Chloe took a step before her. She looked at Jo Minjoon with a teary face.
“My god……. It really hurts, right?”
“It does hurt. But times like this also happen.”
He tried to force out a calm laugh, but only convulsions appeared on his face. Chloe let out a sigh and changed the towel. The water was that was covering his skin was pressing down the pain. Jo Minjoon said with an exhausted voice.
“……..Don’t make me worried. It’s also hard for those that are looking.”
“And don’t be sorry.”
Chloe pouted her lips. Kaya just looked at him and only then did she feel the pain in her hand. Perhaps she got a little burnt when she was wiping off the oil from his neck, that his palm hurt a little. Kaya didn’t say anything and just went to the sink and turned the cold water. Jo Minjoon, that was looking at what Kaya was doing twitched his brows.
“Kaya, did you perhaps get burnt?”
“This much can’t be considered a burn. Don’t mind.”
“How can I not mind? Doctor! Please check Kaya’s hand too.”
At those words, the doctor checked Kaya’s hands. And then, shook his head. Only after Jo Minjoon had heard that it wasn’t an injury did Jo Minjoon let out a sigh of relief. Chloe’s eyes that was looking at him got quite complicated. She opened her mouth with a low voice.
“How gentle can you be? You got this big of an injury in your neck and you have the leisure to worry about others……. no, about Kaya?”
“……….It’s not about worrying or not. I can see it with my eyes.”
Chloe didn’t say anything. She felt that she wouldn’t feel good with whatever she said. And she knew really well why she was feeling like that and the reason for it. Chloe let out a sigh and changed the towel.
“Worry about your own body for now. The doctor said it before that there’s a high chance for a scar to appear. How sad is it for a scar to appear on the neck?”
“…….You just seem like my mom.”
“I know really well that that’s not a compliment.”
Chloe replied with a serious face as if it wasn’t the time to be joking. It was at that moment. Martin approached with a face mixed with worry and perplex and asked.
“Minjoon, is the pain okay now?”
“It’s because of Chloe.”
“Why, should we go to a near hospital?”
“No. I’m fine. We can’t do that just because of this injury. Also, the mission is right in front of our eyes.”
Martin turned to look at the doctor as if they could do that. The doctor let out a sigh and said.
“Although it’s not to the point that you should go to a hospital, we can also make a simple treatment here, only that the pain will be severe. On top of that, he shouldn’t go near the fire.”
“………Even so, Kaya was the one in charge of the fire, it wouldn’t matter much.”
In Martin’s position, it was a fine development. Jo Minjoon rescuing Kaya in front of the exploding oil was quite heroic, and the viewers would also like it. The problem was on who was going to get responsible on that oil explosion accident. The sink not functioning properly was obviously a management problem of the restaurant but……. Just because there was a problem with the water pipe, there wouldn’t normally be a case where oil exploded. His head could only complicated because of many reasons.
“I told you before. That there’s no need for you to apologize.”
At Kaya’s words, Jo Minjoon replied with a soft voice. Kaya plucked her lips with her fingernails, and then said with a heavy voice.
“I will certainly do well.”
Jo Minjoon extended his fist. Kaya hesitated for a moment, and then bumped it with his. Anderson, who was looking at the two, opened his mouth.
“I think that even if they send you to a graveyard you would be able to film a melodrama.”
He had probably said with without thinking about anything, but Chloe, who heard that, couldn’t control her expression. Ivanna, who was next to her, put her hand on top of Chloe’s shoulder. Chloe looked back at Ivanna and smiled awkwardly. Ivanna whispered in a low voice.
“Just because she departed first, it doesn’t mean that she will arrive first.”
Chloe couldn’t reply anything.
Regardless of the accident that happened in the kitchen, time flowed and night came. And on Kaya’s frying pan, the fire rose and was flambéing the fish. Jo Minjoon gave her a plate that he had finished decorating, and looked at what Kaya was doing. There was no case that she failed in cooking, not even once. Thinking about her skills, it may be something obvious, but in a situation where the orders of the customers came all at once, you could see it like she would have to fight to be able to do that.
“The fried sea bass is done. Pour some sauce.”
Jo Minjoon setted garlic purée that seemed like tangsuyuk sauce and placed over the fried sea bass and the fried green onions. He looked at it as if the score was an obvious 8 and admired it. His level now was also level 7, but he wasn’t confident on being able to constantly cook 8-point dishes. On top of that, among the dishes she had cooked, compared to the ones they ate in the hall, there were some which scored higher. Rather than Kaya’s recipe being good, he wondered if she didn’t miss the points which the chefs of this restaurant did.
‘You really are……..’
Jo Minjoon’s eyes became complicated. Will he be able to reach her, be able to walk next to her? And if he did get some hope, he felt like Kaya started to walk a step ahead of him. He didn’t think that he would be able to close that gap.
Kaya also had her own complicated thoughts. Of course, she was concentrating on cooking, but between that was hidden regret and anger. She wished for Jo Minjoon to look at her virtues at least once. In the last eliminating mission and in the team mission, she had always leaned on him. She didn’t want that anymore.
‘I also have it. I have skills and determination. I also…….’
Fire rose once again in the frying pan. Looking at that faint violet fire that was inside that fire, Kaya’s eyes shone clearly. She couldn’t let Jo Minjoon get eliminated. At least, she didn’t want him team up with her and get eliminated. She didn’t know if the unlucky team would be given an eliminating mission or will be eliminated on the spot……… But whatever side it was, it wasn’t a nice story for Jo Minjoon. Because with his body condition, it wouldn’t be easy for him to do any kind of missions.
She wanted to protect him. Just like Jo Minjoon had helped her until now, she wanted to return that to him. Perhaps, those thoughts could have made her think about the immigration. That thought was showing up on many parts of her face: her closed mouth, close-knit eyebrows, and sharp eyes.
Jo Minjoon looked at Kaya acting like that, and returned to calmly chopping the vegetables. It could be seen as he was chopping them beforehand, but the freshness compared to the recently sliced ones would only fall. There were many cases where if you acted hurriedly, you would feel like it passed faster, but it would only last longer. He wanted to tell those things to Kaya, but……..this wasn’t the situation to do so.
As he only received the dishes from Kaya and made the decorations on it, he could feel that there was beauty in French dishes. His decoration level was 5. But of course, honestly speaking, it wasn’t that important. Excluding Anderson, most were level 5 or 6. He wondered that to go beyond that level, one would need to be able to make a dragon from a carrot. Rather than being a chef, that ability is better reserved for a food coordinator.
The plating Jo Minjoon could do with his skill was drawing the sauce with a spoon to be like brush writing, or giving it the feeling of modern art. Most of the dishes had some food in the middle of the plate, and in the surrounding of it was sauce spread, but even with just that it was quite cool. At least, it gave you the feeling that you have come to a luxurious restaurant. Jo Minjoon smiled with satisfaction.
“It seems like this one also turned out well. You have done well.”
Kaya didn’t get happy or grumble and just put on a strange face. Her eyes slightly glanced to Jo Minjoon’s injury gauze. Jo Minjoon said as if he was throwing the words while still looking at the plate.
“Don’t mind about me.”
“How can I do that?”
“I expected that this would happen when I decided to work in a kitchen. And rather than a mistake, it was an accident, so don’t worry that much. It’s more comfortable for me if you don’t do it.”
At Jo Minjoon’s blunt voice, even if she knew that she didn’t have to, she got angry. Kaya took out the codfish from the steamer and said.
“I am going to mind.”
“I told you that there’s no need to.”
“There was also no need for you to do it but you did. But you are telling me not to mind?”
Jo Minjoon wanted to reply something but just shut his mouth. Thinking about it, he didn’t have any words to reply back. Kaya snorted.
“See? You are the same.”
“… … …”
“So don’t say anything even if I worry about you. It’s something unavoidable, this.”
He opened his mouth trying to say something, but in the end only a smile appeared. Kaya blushed to her ear and turned her head. While mumbling with a sulky voice.
“And don’t smile like that.”
Kaya concentrated again on the pan. After participating in this competition, it has been quite a while since she had cooked for someone. But of course, making breakfast and lunch for Jo Minjoon was also cooking for someone but……. It was different right now. Because her dishes were the ones that would decide Jo Minjoon’s elimination.
So the pan she was grabbing was felt more heavily. However, it wasn’t a bad feeling. She didn’t know why, but every time she finished every dish the satisfaction was high. And there was also a good result. The customers that were in the hall were indeed important. But she liked the fact that if she was able to cook well right now, she would be able to save Minjoon. Although there was some burden on it……. compared to the times when she had to worry about eating three meals a day, this doesn’t compare much.
The sea bass’s oil got mixed with olive oil and sizzled. The oil seeped through the knife marks on the meat, and she could feel the meat cooking more clearly than usual. It wasn’t a feeling of cooking with an enjoying heart. Perhaps, it could be closer to that of the head of a family. Responsibility. The weight of that short word became Kaya’s strength.
‘………This one seems rather well-done.’
She handed the roasted sea bass and apricot purée to Minjoon and she turned to look at the frying pan again. Jo Minjoon frowned. It wasn’t because there was a problem; no, if there was a good problem, there was one.
The cooking score was 9. A roasted sea bass and apricot purée made by putting in ginger and cinnamon. Although it was a good combination, he didn’t think that it was so special to get 9 points. But for it to be 9 points… rather than the sauce, it was difficult to get that score if you didn’t roast the sea bass perfectly.
Jo Minjoon got so surprised that he even forgot the pain of his injury and looked at Kaya. He thought that his eyes would start to convulse, and a collapsed smile appeared on his mouth.
Cooking level : 8
Baking level : 6
Tasting level : 10
Decoration level : 6
< The weight of a restaurant (4) > End
Translator’s note: Thanks for reading and for your support!
Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Saihikawa