Ho Sung Lee saw the octopus wriggling in Ssol's hands and nodded.
"It's still alive even though you put it in your pocket."
Ho Sung Lee smirked with fascination.
"Give it to me."
Ssol nodded and handed the octopus over.
Once Ho Sung Lee got his hands on it, he filled a bowl with water and salt and washed the octopus inside it. After that, he began to prepare the materials.
Ho Sung Lee took out a bigger tablet from his item window in order to make the octopus soup, and he used his program app to organize all of the recipes.
Since he even made diagrams, it was all made to be easily interpreted.
Ho Sung Lee placed the tablet on the table and prepared to cook.
In just a while, all of the Black Towers were going to connect, causing the entire world to tremble in fear.
But for Ho Sung Lee, it felt natural for him to make food to the best of his ability in the midst of such a serious situation.
There wasn't that much time, so he wondered if he could make the food and eat it in time.
Ho Sung Lee decided to hurry up and called Bowl over, "Hey, Bowl. Make me a fire."
In response, Bowl jumped onto the table.
Meanwhile, Ho Sung Lee took out the butane gas from inside the burner. He poured water into the pot and then sliced the radish.
When Ho Sung Lee gave him the go-ahead, Bowl started the fire.
The strong fire began to boil the water inside the pot.
"Great. Now lower the heat!"
In response, Bowl turned it down a notch.
Once Ho Sung Lee checked that the radish was half-cooked, he also brought the anchovies and kelp to a boil and also added some clams.
He then added the wriggling octopus.
"Sorry," Ho Sung Lee said as he plopped the living octopus into the boiling water.
He proceeded to follow Woong Jang's recipe by adding minced garlic, ginger, and cooking alcohol, as well as some salt, pepper, green onions, and parsley before putting on the lid.
All he had to do was boil everything.
Ho Sung Lee looked at Bowl with sharp eyes and gave him a thumbs up.
"Give me a strong fire, Bowl."
In response, Bowl's eyes lit up with black flames.
As a result, the pot heated up in no time, and not long afterward, Ho Sung Lee signaled for Bowl to turn it off.
Since octopus turned chewy when cooked for too long, they had to eat it when it immediately turned pink.
Ho Sung Lee took off the lid. He took out the rice cooker from Ssol's pouch and then ordered Bowl to start the fire again.
After all that, a hot pot of rice and octopus soup was complete.
Ho Sung Lee saw the completed octopus soup and let out an impressed exclamation.
"Look at the visuals."
Once Ho Sung Lee set up the rice and octopus soup, he looked back at Min Sung and smiled.
"Sir! It's ready!"
Min Sung sat in front of the set table.
Ho Sung Lee took out a spoon and chopsticks from the item window and washed them before handing them to Min Sung.
When Min Sung accepted the spoon, Ho Sung Lee took out tongs and scissors. He washed them and then cut up the octopus so that they were easy to eat.
"It was a living octopus, so it'll be quite delicious."
Min Sung nodded and was about to eat when he turned his head.
Du, du, du, du!
The rain grew coarser and began to fall heavily.
Min Sung looked at Ho Sung Lee.
"Do we have soju?"
Ho Sung Lee took out a glass for Min Sung. He took out a green bottle from Ssol's golden pouch and poured it into the glass.
"You should eat some too before everything begins," Min Sung said as he picked up the soju glass.
Ho Sung Lee smiled and nodded.
Min Sung put the glass to his lips and drank his soju.
After swallowing his soju, he looked at the rain outside and then used his spoon to taste some of the octopus soup.
He wasn't sure if it was because it was Woong Jang's recipe or because Ho Sung Lee's cooking skills improved, but the soup had depth, and it was very enjoyable to drink.
An exclamation and long breath came out of his mouth.
While it rained heavily, the taste of the soup inside the military tent was absolutely delicious.
Food heavily depended on the environment.
The taste changed depending on where it was eaten.
Min Sung considered it a surprising magic as he ate some rice with his soup.
It was delicious.
It was so delicious he thought there was honey in it.
The rice was smooth but had density.
The instant rice was made with good ingredients, but as it evolved over time, it produced the best flavors.
Min Sung chewed every grain of the rice and ate a piece of octopus as well.
He sensed the taste of the octopus wrapping around his tongue.
It was soft, warm, and elastic.
Since it was a live octopus, it was freshly pink, making it taste that much more delicious.
He then picked up a clam with his hand and took out the meat with his chopsticks.
The salty and chewy taste of the clam was a work of art.
After pouring three ladles of the soup into his bowl, Min Sung drank the hot soup.
The taste of the octopus soup under the heavy rain made him feel as though he could fight forever afterward with neverending stamina.
He felt warmth passing through his body.
The filling sensation of food was more precious than anything else in the world.
Min Sung focused his entire energy on the food so that he didn't miss a single sensation.
"That was good," Min Sung said as he finished his meal.
In response, Ho Sung Lee felt something that all chefs felt.
He felt as though hearing Min Sung said he enjoyed his food was more meaningful than when anyone else said it.
His heart felt warm and full.
Ho Sung Lee figured this was why chefs were crazy about cooking.
While Ho Sung Lee and Bowl cleaned up, Min Sung left the tent and looked up at the Black Tower.
He then checked the time.
The countdown was going to begin soon.
He heard the sound of footsteps.
When he turned around, he saw Central Institute soldiers approaching Mapo Bridge with serious looks on their faces.
The Central Institute soldiers including General Ji Yoo Kim stood in front of Min Sung.
"There's 1 minute left."
As soon as Ji Yoo Kim said that...
A bell began to ring from the Black Tower.
It rang 12 times.
Min Sung calmly kept his eyes on the Black Tower while Ji Yoo Kim and the Central Institute hunters stared at the Black Tower in great anxiousness.
However, in contrast to what they were worried about, no devil or monster flooded out from it.
"The bell rang 12 times. That could mean that it'll begin in 12 hours," Ji Yoo Kim expressed.
However, that wasn't for Min Sung to worry about.
He had to move before the time came and kill as many devils as he could.
"I'm going in."
Min Sung began to walk.
Ho Sung Lee, Bowl, and Ssol followed Min Sung from behind.
As soon as General Ji Yoo Kim bowed her head to Min Sung, the Central Institute soldiers also did the same.
As soon as they arrived at the bottom of the Black Tower, a message appeared.
Min Sung pressed the 'accept' button and entered the Black Tower with his party.
The system alerted them that they were on the 1st floor of the Black Tower.
The place was different from the one they had been in before.
The inside of the Black Tower located on top of Korea's Mapo Bridge almost looked like a typical dungeon.
All of the walls and floors were made of bricks, and the ceilings were very high.
And unlike the big grand hall that they were in before, their starting point looked like a relatively narrow hallway.
It was dark inside.
In response, Bowl took out his wand from his back and shook it as he ran next to Min Sung.
"We're going to speed up. If you fail at the Undead Spell, give up and stick closer to me. Don't feel discouraged and make sure you secure as many devils as possible. Since you have some experience, don't disappoint me."
Bowl shouted and lit up his eyes with black flames.
"Assist Bowl as he casts the Undead Spell on the devils."
Since Ho Sung Lee knew just how difficult the situation was, he wasn't sad about having to support Bowl.
From this point onward, they had to fight for the country and mankind, not just himself.
Since time was life, it was more important to clear the tower than level up.
Since Ho Sung Lee knew this, he didn't say anything and prepared himself.
He wanted to do the best he could so that he could be of help to Min Sung as he caught the devils.
Ho Sung Lee felt as though all the nervousness he had inside him hit him all at once.
The Orichalc.u.m Sword flew out of the item window on its own and stayed in the air for Min Sung to grab comfortably.
Min Sung grabbed his weapon and turned off his item window.
He couldn't allow any mistakes to happen from this point on.
He had to clear the Korean Black Tower as quickly as possible.
After that, he had to deal with the Black Towers in the rest of the world.
It was stressful to know that he was the only person who could clear the Black Towers, but he had no time to dwell over that fact.
If the world went down, the restaurants were going to go down with it.
The chefs were going to die as well.
If everyone died except for him in this vast world, it was going to be no different from the Demonic Realm.
He had no intention of facing such a world.
Min Sung clenched onto his Orichalc.u.m Sword and walked forward.