But why is this family still like this? None of them were worried. In fact, they seemed to be welcoming them in. Even Hayeon’s mom was the same way.
“Open the door for her.”
The little kid shouted with excitement as soon as he opened the door.
“Wow, Dippin’ Dots!”
“Such cute little things.”
It was completely different from what I had expected. I assumed a gust of cold wind would dampen the festivities, but instead, she was giving them snacks and holding some of them up in her arms.
Does their biological grandmother live downstairs?
Based on the way Hayeon’s mom  is reacting, I don’t think that is the case.
“I’m sorry. No matter how much I scold them, they don’t seem to get it.”
“If they do everything you tell them to do, will they be kids?”
I guess she is just a nice neighbor.
I think this family has a lot of blessings. Just the fact that they can meet such a nice neighbor while raising a lot of kids is in itself a huge blessing.
Or it is Hayeon’s mom’s abilities. It might be that because Hayeon’s mom has such a good relationship with the neighbors that they are all understanding.
“You mentioned you were hosting a birthday party for the Gonju residence. Can I join?”
“Of course. I was going to go get you once we prepared everything.”
“How nice. The daddy is late again today?”
“Same as always.”
It’s a nice atmosphere. Really festive.
Anyways, is my mom really that happy? She hasn’t stopped smiling since we arrived. I don’t even remember the last time I saw her smiling like this.
They seem to finally be done setting everything up. The oldest daughter, Hayeon, put a large cake in the middle of the table.
“Quiet down and sit.”
All of the children gathered around.
The youngest is definitely the most dangerous. He immediately reached out.
“No, we need to sing happy birthday first before we can eat.”
“Un Gyeong, the accompaniment.”
There’s even an accompaniment? But what is that?
The 3rd grader brought over an old melodion . Once they turned off the lights, she blew into it as she relied on the candle light to press the right keys.
“Happy birthday to you~~🎵”
It was so serious. Almost to the point of making me laugh.
“Happy birth~day dear Aunt Gongju~ Happy birthday to you~~🎵”
They put enough candles to match her 54 years of age, but with multiple people rushing in at once to blow them out, they were all blown out quickly.
Clap clap clap
The fidgety children finally quieted down once the cake went into their mouths.
The adults finally lifted their spoons as well.
“Hayeon made the kalbi-jjim and Jiyeon made the baby octopus stir fry……”
Listening to them talk, there isn’t anything Hayeon’s mom made. Everything was Hayeon and Jiyeon’s work.
High school students can cook like this? Their cooking skills weren’t normal.
The kalbi-jjim and baby octopus stir fry weren’t like the ones I was used to having either. It was normal to have all sorts of seafood and veggies, but it was a fusion dish with even cheese inside.
The spicy smell and cute visual made it seem really tasty, but I’m not sure how it will actually taste.
After watching my mom take a bite first , I tried the kalbi-jjim.
‘Wow, what is this? Did a student really cook this?’
The taste was fantastic. Did she use a ladle to pour seasoning in it? The kalbi-jjim didn’t feel greasy at all probably because of the seafood, and the baby octopus felt so fresh that it felt like ti was moving in your mouth.
Everybody must have felt the same thing.
“Oh my. The kalbi-jjim is out of this world. Is it because of the seafood? Where did you learn to cook like this?”
“I thinly sliced some sea squirt and boiled it with the broth. If you add it in when you are cooking meat, it becomes refreshing.”
“It’s really good, isn’t it? Our Hayeon made the recipe herself.”
Hayeon lighted laughed as if she was embarrassed. That should mean that she really did come up with it.
After knowing that, she looked like a completely different person.
“The baby octopus stir fry is really good too. DId you use live ones? Then it was probably expensive.”
“It’s frozen baby octopus. If you put salt on it before you put it in, it becomes as fresh as the live ones.”
“Is it because their dad is a food researcher? Hayeon and Jiyeon really need to become cooks. What did you call it again?”
“Chef. I will go study abroad as soon as I save up enough money.”
“Me too. I will become a world renowned chef and become really successful.”
Hayeon and Jiyeon seem to have determined their dreams. It felt like they were running with only their dream in sight.
Well with this much dexterity and creativity, they deserve to have such dreams.
No, they already felt like proper chefs. I’ve been to quite a few famous restaurants in Seoul, but I don’t think I’ve ever had anything as good as this before.
But I was curious about something.
“I don’t know much about the culinary world, but do you have to go study abroad in the United States to succeed?”
“Status is really important in our country. If you graduate from the CIA  in the United States, they will give you recognition. There seems to be a lot of things to learn from there as well.
“There isn’t a school like that in Korea?”
“Not one as well known as the CIA.”
Hearing them talk made me a bit disappointed. We claim that our citizens’ desire to learn is top class, but anybody with even a bit of ability always goes abroad.
If you are smart, study abroad. Athletic, study abroad. Talented in music or art? Study abroad. And apparently we’re a country where even chefs have to go study abroad to be recognized.
What the hell are the rich people doing? Even if they created just one world renowned school, they would receive so much respect from society.
‘Hmm? School? Respect?’
Once I got to that point, I suddenly had an idea.
I already had pretty much everything.
I already made a lot of money, and I will continue to make much much more.
I can grow my abilities to a level that I won’t be jealous of others, actually to an overwhelming level. Since I have the skill ability.
But there is one thing that I was lacking.
Knowledge and experience.
I didn’t have a specialized area like Jong Suk that I could say ‘I’m the best in this,’ and it wasn’t like I was really smart either.
Although I used the focus skill to learn the joys of studying late in my life, it still felt extremely lacking.
What could someone like me achieve with my own strength?
I’m sure there is a limit. WIthout passing that limit, I won’t be able to achieve my dream. I made a small goal of one day smothering Hwang Joon Yul to death with money, but even that will be hard to accomplish.
What I realized from that was people.
Although I may be lacking a lot of things on my own, couple hundred, couple thousand, no if tens of thousands of people were with me, what could I lack?
The problem is how to earn those people.
The first thing I thought about was golf. If I become a world class golf star, that fame will naturally grow my network.
But I still felt like that had a limit.
Golfers are just athletes. They are just rich people who play golf well. Nothing more, and nothing less. It probably would not be enough to say I surpassed the limit.
But I think I found the answer to surpass the limit just now!
The answer is school!
Building the best school in the world with my own hands.
There is no meaning to an average school. The purpose of establishment, the method of running the school, quality teachers, it’ll need to be labeled as the best in all categories. The more overwhelming each aspect is, the faster and further the name of the school will spread.
Then my fame as the founder will naturally go up, and many people will gather because of that fame.
The fabulous individuals taught at the school will be extra additions. No, in the far future, the people I gathered through the school will become the core of my network.
With those types of people, what will I not be able to accomplish?
Alright! Let’s create the ‘Kang Hwi Ram Division.’
I suddenly felt like my eyes were clear.
‘Let’s start now. Starting with a culinary school.’
Food is something you can sell. Maybe we will be able to even set up a proper profit structure so that we can minimize the cost of running the place as well.
For example, making something like a Food Theme Park.
Wouldn’t it be possible to sustain itself if we can maintain 10,000,000 visitors a year?
After that, design, music, science, medical, it won’t matter what it is, I just have to broaden the scope. Once you properly create one, you’ll be able to make a lot more based on the image of the first one.
By that point, I will be able to pass the national level and spread my fame on an international level.
Just thinking about it was making me happy.
“Son, what kind of deep thought are you having?”
“Oppa, you’re kind of weird these days. Every so often, you get this blank expression. Once you get that expression, you don’t even respond when I call out to you. You also start randomly smiling for no reason. Do you have something bothering you?”
It was because of Royal Roader. Or was it because of the focus skill?
Once I start thinking about something, I fall deep into that thought. Almost to the point of forgetting everything else. To the point that I won’t stop unless someone pokes me from the side.
I guess I did that again this time.
I guess I have no reason to reason to hide this Educational Foundation I’m planning.
In fact, I need to share information about these type of things as much as I can. It’ll be much better if other people work on it with me.
Now that I think about it, she told me she joined that ‘Upright Teachers’ or something organization. Since she said it is a large national organization, it should help me alot when I create the school and need to bring teachers over.
A good school is made with both talented and passionate students and teachers.
“I was thinking about creating a culinary school.”
All of their eyes became really wide. Even Minji’s.
“In order to build and properly run a school, you’ll need at least tens of billions of won.”
Tens of billions wasn’t that burdensome to me anymore.
More important than money was the people. The people to teach and the people to learn. Once I have those, I am confident that I can handle the rest.
“People need to have big dreams. Minji, you haven’t had dreams like that before?”
“Of course I have. But ones that can’t be reached aren’t called dreams. They’re called daydreams.”
Then just watch from here on. See how your brother changes that daydream into a dream. And then how he changes that dream into reality.
I just laughed in response. Once I create the funding to contribute to the foundation of the school, I won’t need to waste my time explaining.
“Let’s eat first and talk later. But it is really tasty. Hayeon and Jiyeon, when you become chefs in the future, partner with me. I’ll provide the funding. Okay?”
No response. They just looked at each other and laughed as if it was funny.
Do they think it is a joke? Or maybe they think I am bluffing?
Their expression seemed to be saying ‘what a funny ajussi.’
Think hard on it and respond. I’m making an offer right now that might change the two of your lives in the future.
“Why? You don’t want to?”
“No. We will. Hoho.”
“Jiyeon, you too.”
“Hoho, I understand.”
They keep talking like it is a joke.
But they promised. Even a promise made as a joke is a promise.
Good decision. This promise will change your futures.
“Thank you for the meal. I really enjoyed it.”
“Come visit whenever you would like.”
After laughing and talking for a while, we finally stepped out of the door.
Hayeon’s mom came out as well. With some King Crab and Kalbi wrapped up.
I was wondering where she was going, but she pressed the doorbell to the unit next door. As I thought, they can live without any trouble because she works to have a good relationship with the neighbors.
I watched her while we were waiting for the elevator.
“Omo, Hayeon’s mom. What’s up?”
“I’m sorry. It was really loud, wasn’t it.”
“It’s only the early evening anyways. It’s okay because they are quiet at night.”
“Please have some of this.”
“You shouldn’t have.”
Just watching it made you want to smile. I wanted to watch longer, but the elevator arrived so we had to leave the apartment.
I can finally ask the question I’ve been dying to ask.
“How did she end up having so many kids?”
“The mom and the dad both really like children.”
“But you should only have as many as you are able to support. Isn’t it kind of irresponsible to just keep popping them out?”
“Don’t say things like that when you don’t even know their situation.”
That is true. I shouldn’t judge without knowing anything about Hayeon’s family.
I shouldn’t have said that.
Thankfully it is just the three of us.
“Their dad was doing really well in the catering business. But as soon as he grew his business, there was a large fire at the factory.”
They had a situation like that. That probably put them under a lot of debt.
Apparently they used to live in a nice house with a large yard in the past. But once the business failed, they had to sell the house and move to the villa.
People get used to comfort easily, but tend to have a hard time getting adjusted to discomfort. To live a lavish life and then suddenly have to be really frugal, how hard must it have been?
But they’re persevering pretty well.
In fact, the fact that she is still raising the children to be so happy is respectable.
Was that why? I can’t help but think favorably of them.
“Is that why you are helping them with their living expenses?”
“No matter how close you are, you don’t carelessly trade money.”
That is true. There is nothing more dangerous between people than trading money.
But Minji is suddenly laughing from the side. Almost like she’s saying ‘I know mom’s secret.’
My mom was giving Minji a look. She then finally revealed her hidden secret.
“Honestly, I did try to help them out a bit, but their dad completely rejected it. So every so often, I give the kids some allowance or buy them toys.”
“You spend over 1,000,000 won just on that, don’t you?”
My mom gave Minji another look.
“Do you know how expensive kid’s toys are these days? Plus, they’re all still growing up so they eat really well. Anyways, I don’t give them money like you do, Minji.”
I’m glad. There won’t be any issues of things going weird because of money.
“They don’t have any parents or sibling?”
“I think their parents are still alive. Every so often, she would take the kids and say she’s heading to her hometown. But she doesn’t talk about other family members. She just avoids it when I ask about it too.”
Are there some issues within the family?
Tsk. tsk. No matter how good you are at making neighbors, you’re only going to suffer if your family relationships are not good.
“But the dad must have a large network. The have an endless amount of guests.”
He’s someone who failed a business and has a lot of debt.
But people continue to come visit him?
It is either one of two things. He really has a large network like mom said, or,
“It’s not people trying to collect their money?”
“That’s what I thought so too, but it isn’t. There were people that are famous on TV as food researchers and chefs.
To have good relationships with such people. He really must have done well for himself in the past.
Now that I think about it, I think I heard the name Lee Man Bok before. But it’s just blurry and I can’t remember.
Either way, I can be certain that he was not just an average person.
Once I got to that point in my head, the final knot seemed to become undone.
The most important thing a culinary school needs is a cooking instructor. In order to make the best school, I need to bring in the best teacher.
I was worried about that, but I can use Lee Man Bok as the connecting link. If Lee Man Bok’s network is large, he should be able to pull in a good teacher.
Or Lee Man Bok himself might be really talented in cooking. He was the one to raise his two daughters like that probably.
Lee Man Bok.
I have a feeling the two of us are going to have a deep relationship in the future.
 Well, there is a Korean term called ‘Dadoongyi’ which means has a lot of children, but there isn’t really an English equivalent, so I used Octomom as a reference and made it nonadad since nona stands for nine.
 It might be best to explain that Korean tend to refer to mom’s based on one of their kid’s names (usually the oldest kid, but if the younger kid has an easier name, sometimes they go with that too). So if your name was Taylor Swift, and your kids are named Olivia and Meredith (these are the names of her cats), they would call her Olivia’s mom or Meredith’s mom instead of Taylor. In this case, probably Olivia’s mom is easier than Meredith’s mom so it’d probably be Olivia’s mom even though Meredith is older. I doubt most Korean ajummas know each other’s real names other than so and so’s mom.
 Korean etiquette is for the elders to take a bite first.
 Culinary Institute of America
Merry Christmas everyone!
Last chapter for the week.
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Translator : Miraclerifle
Proofreader : Borderline Masochist