Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
A series of beautifully made sushi lined up neatly on a thick wooden platter. It was truly a piece of art. Then, while Min Sung was looking down at the glossy surface of the rice and sashimi of each piece of sushi with excitement, a small concern crept into his mind. His diet in the Demonic Realm had consisted entirely of the raw flesh of dead monsters, and sure enough, sushi was also raw.
'What if I still have a trauma of eating things raw?'
Thankfully, he didn't find the sushi in front of him repulsive, which was a good sign.
'Only one way to find out,' the champion thought to himself as he lifted his chopsticks slowly, trying to decide which one to try first. At that moment, just as he decided to start with the razor clam, the door of the restaurant flung open, and Min Sung looked toward the man who had come into the restaurant.
'Lv412 Kyung Tae Oh: Supervisor of the Shadow Guild Headquarters'
Recognizing the name of the guild, Min Sung speculated that there could only be one reason for a Shadow Guild member to come to the restaurant.
'He must be looking for me. This is getting really old,' he thought to himself. Meanwhile, upon finding Min Sung sitting alone at the bar, a slightly nervous look appeared on Kyung Tae's face. A heavy-yet-sharp tension started to fill the restaurant.
'Should I just finish him off, right now?' Min Sung thought. However, he quickly scrapped that idea, thinking, 'I wouldn't want there to be blood, especially when I'm about to eat.' At that moment, the supervisor of the Shadow Guild approached the champion with a big smile on his face.
Meantime, looking anxious, Ho Sung chain smoked outside the restaurant. Upon arriving at the restaurant in his yellow Porsche, Kyung Tae Oh had asked him the whereabouts of the champion and had gone into the restaurant without hesitation.
The fact that Kyung Tae Oh, a supporter whose strength wasn't in combat, had turned up alone could only mean one thing: he was there to recruit Min Sung Kang. Shaking his leg anxiously, Ho Sung smoked his cigarette while wondering if the champion would take the supervisor's offer. If it had been an ordinary person, they would've accepted it without thinking twice, especially when the offer came with terms that were almost too good to be true. However, Min Sung was far from ordinary.
In a positive term, he was unique. In a negative term, he was closer to being insane than most people. It only made sense Ho Sung would be worried and anxious. Should the champion decide to hurt the supervisor, things would be bound to blow out of proportion. Since Ho Sung himself had been taking orders from Min Sung against his will, the thought of the champion being at odds with the Shadow Guild alone made Ho Sung shudder. The head of the Diamond Clan being by the champion couldn't possibly reflect well on him.
'Please, God. Either make him accept the offer, or have him turn it down quietly like a civilized person!' Ho Sung prayed earnestly.
"Hello, there! Kyung Tae Oh, from the Shadow Guild," Kyung Tae said, handing a business card to Min Sung as he sat next to the champion. However, pouring soy sauce into a small bowl and mixing it with wasabi, Min Sung paid no attention to the supervisor intruding in his space. Irked by his lack of response, Kyung Tae's eyebrows and cheek started to twitch, and his expression hardened. Then, he pushed his glasses up, regained his composure, and said, "I came here to make you an offer."
Instead of giving him an answer, Min Sung picked up the razor clam sushi with his chopsticks, dipped it in the soy sauce mixed with wasabi, and put it in his mouth. The rice ball broke apart in his mouth as he chewed, and the razor clam made itself known with its tender, bouncy texture.
"Ah!" Min Sung let out, realizing that he had been worrying over nothing. The raw monster meat was nowhere near comparable to the freshness of the sashimi, which was refreshing and bursting with divine flavors.
'What was I thinking? The food here is at a whole new level compared to what I used to eat in the Demonic Realm this last century.'
"Uhm, s-sir? Mr. Kang?" Kyung Tae called to the champion. However, Min Sung was completely preoccupied with deciding what to eat next.
"I'm here because I wanted to give you an opportunity to be part of our team, the Shadow Guild. I apologize for being abrupt earlier. That was rude of me. Because I'm still getting to know you" Kyung Tae said, stopping mid-sentence as Min Sung brought another piece of sushi up to his mouth.
As his teeth sank into the unagi, Min Sung felt his body vibrate. The deep, rich aroma of the freshwater eel lingered in his mouth and tickled his nose. It was so fresh that he could almost feel the vivid movement of its tail. Not only was it perfectly seasoned, but there was not a trace of fishiness to be found. Although a piece of basic sushi, it made for a remarkable experience. On top of that, the eel couldn't be any fresher, which was bound to leave those eating it in a state of euphoria.
"Mr. Kang? We'll make this worth your while. You'll be able to make much more money than on your own, not to mention the convenience. Not only can we bring you the fame and power that you deserve"
Deeply satisfied by the heavenly experience of the sushi, Min Sung continued to pay no attention to the supervisor. Instead, he picked up the small bowl of udon soup with one of his hands and started to slurp the noodles away with his chopsticks held by the other. As the noodles got sucked into the champion's mouth, Kyung Tae watched him in a daze. Soon, having eaten half of the noodles, Min Sung guzzled down the broth and reached for yet another piece of sushi. At which point, Kyung Tae remained silent, speaking no further.
Meanwhile, a fluke fin sushi went into the champion's mouth. As he started chewing, Min Sung closed his eyes and let out a sharp exhale. It was truly delectable. The aroma of the fish was as fragrant as a flower, and the firm texture of the meat made for a rich experience for his teeth and tongue. Then, he swallowed what was in his mouth and moved on to the flounder. However, he couldn't help but furrow his brow that time.
'I've made a mistake,' he thought to himself as a wave of disappointment washed over him. The subtle flavors of the flounder were getting buried by the intense flavors of the sushi he had eaten before it. Although the fish was still fresh and bouncy, he couldn't help but feel underwhelmed.
'I should've had the flounder first,' he said to himself that time, thinking more cautiously about what to eat next. However, it didn't take long at all for him to make up his mind.
"Mr. Kang,' Kyung Tae called to the champion, but Min Sung still paid no attention to him. Instead, he moved on to the red snapper, thinking, 'The flounder was much subtler in flavor, so it shouldn't mask the flavor of the red snapper in any way.'
Just as he had expected, his choice turned out to be massively rewarding. Not only was it firm in texture, but there was also a sweetness to the meat. Fitting to its reputation as a high-end fish, the flavors of red snapper were as luxurious as its price. 'What's next?' Min Sung asked himself, looking at the remaining sushi in front of him. Without hesitation, he grabbed the sweet shrimp, which was chewy, yet tender and sweet.
Moving right on to the next piece of sushi, he indulged himself with a generously thick slice of salmon belly garnished with onion and a white sauce. Biting into the fat, buttery salmon was extremely rewarding, and the fresh aroma was second to none, putting a smile on the champion's face. Next, was the king crab. Upon picking it up, Min Sung was struck by the thought: 'The smell is a lot more potent than I thought.' It had to be the addition of the insides of the crab. Nevertheless, it was quite delicious. Every single piece of sushi thus far had been worth every penny. Seeing the bluefin tuna, marinated shrimp and mackerel on the platter, Min Sung chose the marinated shrimp, which was heavily seasoned. The freshness of the shrimp was preserved, and perhaps even accentuated, by the soy sauce with which it had been pickled. It was a prime example of using soy sauce as a seasoning.
With that, he moved on to the mackerel. Although the pink flesh underneath the dark-blue skin was rather charming, the mackerel and its distinct aroma were especially polarizing for sushi lovers. Having heard his late grandmother, whose favorite food had been sashimi, talking about raw mackerel in his childhood, Min Sung was able to eat it without hesitation. To his surprise
the flavors were splendid.
'I would've hated this growing up. Maybe it's grown on me,' he thought. The finely-aged mackerel took him right back to his childhood. With the unexpected discovery, the champion took a sip of water and looked down at the last piece of sushi on the platter. After finishing off the rest of the udon soup, he smacked his lips and picked up the bluefin tuna: the grand finale.
Known for its fine grain of meat, bluefin tuna was one of the most highly-prized fish. As soon as Min Sung put it in his mouth, the thick slice of sashimi practically melted away like snow, almost making it unnecessary to chew, giving him the illusion that it had completely melted away. However, upon chewing, he was met with the tenderness of the thickly sliced tuna, his mouth filled with its sweetness. Although its aroma wasn't exactly the most potent, its smoothness was like no other. Closing his eyes, Min Sung exhaled slowly, deeply satisfied by his meal. However, a question popped up in the champion's mind: 'Why does it feel so familiar?'