Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
Crossing his arms, Min Sung examined the U-shaped station that had been assigned to him. Each station was equipped with all the necessary kitchen gadgets, from microwaves to ovens and various other cooking tools. Fitting to the name of the class, every gadget and appliance was top of the line. Now, with about five minutes left until the class started, Min Sung closed his eyes. A wave of emotions washed over him, as though he was finally being rewarded for his time at the inescapable hell that was the Demonic Realm. The fact that he wasn't just eating, but actually cooking his own food, was a turning point in his life. At that moment
the door opened, and a skinny woman, who was well-advanced in age and was smiling gently, walked into the classroom. She had to be the director.
"Hello, everyone," the director said into the microphone on the table, and her voice echoed throughout the classroom from the speakers.
"My name is Mi Yun Cho, and I'm here as the special instructor for the VIP Beginner's Course today," she said, pushing her glasses up. She introduced herself briefly and gave a brief introduction of the class to the students. Shortly after, the assignment of the day appeared on the screen of a large monitor at the front: broccoli soup. After putting the recipe up on the screen, the director walked the students through it and started demonstrating the recipe in person. Watching her adept movements, the process didn't seem all that difficult to Min Sung. She whipped up a bowl of broccoli soup in no time, and the students applauded her as she smiled brightly. With that, the class officially started.
As the director explained the process of preparing the ingredients with eloquence, the students, including Min Sung, put on their aprons as per instructions and started preparing their ingredients. First, Min Sung picked up a kitchen knife, which he felt confident about handling. In fact, he was confident that he was better than anyone else on the planet when it came to bladed tools or weapons.
'Piece of cake.'
Following the instructions on the monitor, Min Sung prepared the broccoli, onions, and potatoes with frightening speed and precision. Naturally, it wasn't long before he became the center of attention, but he paid no mind to it.
The next step was to place the potatoes, broccoli, and onions on a preheated pan and saut them. After checking that the pan had reached the appropriate temperature with his hand, Min Sung placed the ingredients into it, and they sizzled as they touched the surface of the pan.
Then, when the ingredients turned golden brown, he moved them into a blender, added some milk, and turned the power on. At which point, the blender whirred loudly and started turning the vegetables into liquid. Looking at it, Min Sung smiled subtly, thinking, 'This is a lot easier than I thought. I didn't know cooking could be this simple.'
Upon experiencing it firsthand, Min Sung quickly realized that cooking wasn't as complicated as it seemed. Still, the process was just as intriguing and exciting. Staring at the blender, impressed, Min Sung stopped it as the pure reached the appropriate consistency, poured it all into the pot, added some water, and turned on the stove, watching it carefully with his arms crossed. Shortly after, the soup started to bubble and came to a boil.
'Now, the next step.'
Following the recipe, Min Sung added some Cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, and ground black pepper. Then, while the soup boiled, he poured it out of the pot and into a bowl and garnished it with four pieces of deep-fried crouton.
A smile appeared on the champion's face as the soup came to completion. Considering his limited cooking experience, which had been limited to making instant noodles and curry as a child, it was a notable achievement.
When he looked toward Ho Sung, he saw that the director was tasting Ho Sung's soup.
"Hm, that's not half-bad. Though, the flavors would've been brought out even more if you had cooled down the ingredients before you pured them."
"Really? I didn't think it would make that much of a difference," Ho Sung said. At which point, a bitter smile appeared on the director's face.
"When it comes to cooking, steps are everything. It might seem insignificant, but the results will tell the difference."
Then, she came to Min Sung's station. While she looked down at the soup, Min Sung signaled to her with his chin to try it.
"Is this broccoli soup?" she asked, looking perplexed. Broccoli soup made properly had a bright green color to it. Yet, Min Sung's seemed like a patch of moss that had grown in the depths of the ocean.
"Why don't you try it?" the director said, gesturing with her hand to Min Sung. In response, he scooped up a big spoonful and brought it up to his mouth. At that moment, his face twisted into a scowl, and he looked down at his soup with confusion.
"You used way too much of the ingredients and you got the milk-to-pure ratio all wrong. More importantly, you let it sit in the heat for too long. Please try again," the director said. Then, after she moved on to the next table with a friendly smile on her face, Ho Sung walked over to Min Sung and struck up a conversation.
"What happened? Why didn't she try yours?"
"'Scuse me! You there! Director! Why didn't you try this man's soup like you did mine? Do you know who this is!?" Ho Sung shouted, and stopping in her tracks, the director looked toward him and said with beaming eyes, "Try it. You'll see why."
"Why is she telling me to try it?" Ho Sung grumbled, chuckling. Then, he tried a spoonful of the champion's broccoli soup.
"Ugh!!" Ho Sung let out, reaching desperately for the sink. "Good God! What is this!? Why does it taste like that!? Oh, I feel sick!"
Staring at Ho Sung gagging into the sink, Min Sung's expression hardened, and even more as the sound of Ho Sung vomiting echoed throughout the classroom. Then, staring intently at Ho Sung, who kept vomiting, the champion slowly untied and removed his apron.
Later that day, Min Sung received a message from Ho Sung saying that he was going to see the doctor. It wasn't surprising when considering how many times he had been going to the restroom. Because the two had left in the middle of the class, Min Sung was quite hungry. At that point, he had no choice but to seek out a restaurant for himself. In the end, cooking turned out to be anything but easy.
'I was arrogant. I guess I gotta go out and eat.'
With that, Min Sung looked around the street in search of restaurants nearby. Although finding one wasn't an issue, Min Sung was eating at a slightly awkward time, which made it more difficult to pick out a good restaurant from the bad ones.
'What's the worst that could happen? I don't always have to rely on Ho Sung for recommendations. I'll just find one that looks decent.'
There was a slew of restaurants nearby that specialized in seafood, bulgogi or bibimbap. However, Min Sung was looking for something a bit more simple. At that moment, a certain sign caught his eye.
The restaurant's appearance was far from beautiful. In fact, it looked like it was nearly forgotten. Among the menu items painted on the window, there was one particular item that caught the champion's attention. The most basic, yet most foundational, dish in Korean cuisine: the soybean paste stew. Seeing its name, Min Sung started to salivate. It was intriguing how the human body could crave so many different things. Biting on his lower lip, Min Sung rubbed his belly as his craving for soybean paste stew took over.
'I can't resist. I don't care if it's good or not. I need to have soybean paste stew now.'
With that, he walked into the restaurant and was greeted by a middle-aged woman wearing a white bandana. She was wiping the tables.
Although the interior was as run-down as the exterior of the restaurant, it was still relatively clean. Not only did the woman appeared to wear the bandana in order to keep her hair from falling into the food, but the floor and tables were also kept sparkling clean, which made Min Sung look forward to the meal even more. Sitting at a table, Min Sung said, "One soybean paste stew, please."
"Yes, sir. Mom! One soybean paste stew!" the woman said, shouting toward the kitchen. From the sound of it, it seemed like the restaurant was being run by the woman and her elderly mother. There was something very human and comfortable about the atmosphere. After shouting the order toward the kitchen, the middle-aged woman started to set up the table with various side dishes. Looking at them, Min Sung focused on the sound coming from the old TV. It was a discussion show where the three male hosts discussed topics such as politics and issues sprouting within society. That time, their topic of discussion seemed to be hunters.