"Papa … . Papa … . "
Michael Shen  heard a crisp but immature voice that seemed to be calling him . He moved his hands to cover his ears to drown out the voice but instead seemed to feel something soft . His reflex actions, honed from years of survival instincts, forced him to sit up quickly and take a quick look . One look and he was stunned .
Where am I?
Am I safe or have I somehow be magically transported to somewhere else?
Michael Shen could vaguely recall that he was in a private charter boat . He was very happy when he found a King Crab caught in his crab trap . He slowly lifted up the crab trap and was about to bring it on board the boat, when a strong wave suddenly hit the boat . The impact forced Michael Shen overboard . As he fell into the water, he dimly heard the sound of a woman screaming, and someone diving into the water . Then all is dark and quiet .
When he next woke up, he found himself in this European style room, and his hand has held on to a four to five years girl's hand .
Before Michael Shen could speak a single word, his brain was suddenly overwhelmed with a ton of information . The information overload hit Michael Shen hard, and he ended up closing his eyes and ears to shut everything out . The feeling of shutting everything out was like when he fell overboard and everything turned dark and quiet .
In his past life, Michael Shen could be considered quite famous . He was the son of a tycoon and was born with a silver spoon in his mouth . He has no interest in inheriting his father's vast business empire and is more interested in eating and tasting the world's best food . He styled himself as a food critic . Thanks to his father's wealth, he was able to dine and wine in the finest and most expensive restaurants worldwide . However, Michael Shen has a very acidic tongue and his comments on food are very harsh . This harsh critique, combined with his coverage of almost all the Michelin starred restaurants, has built over a million followers to his food blog in less 3 years .
Michael Shen felt that he has only expressed his honest personal opinions of the food that he had eaten . Because he often exaggerated about the shortcomings of each food he ate, he was universally hated by almost all the shops that he had given a critique of . Every day, he would receive over a thousand emails or messages that cursed him . Many of these curses hoped that he will fall into the ocean and drown, and be reincarnated as a chef . Although he did not believe in curses, these letters cursing him did annoy him .
Now that he thought about it, maybe the curses of these people had come true . After all, he had fallen into the sea and drown . Surely the heavens are not that unmerciful?
But he did not dwell on these thoughts for long, as he was attracted to the endless stream of incoming information into his brain . From the information he received, he was sure that his soul has been transferred to another person's body . This person was a fallen warrior who can never pick up his sword again .
The information and feelings about his present life slowly merged with his soul and knowledge about his past life, and he has no control over this process .
From his present self, he learns that the current world he is living in resembled a fantasy world like the role-playing games he had played . This world has dragons, demons, orcs, elves, dwarves, and humans etc .
About one hundred years ago, most of the races living in this world had signed an armistice agreement . Under this agreement, various races agreed to live in peace with one another, and the war that had raged for thousands of years between the various species came to an end .
Although there is a ceasefire and it is a time of peace, there are still conflicts among the various races . After fighting for over a thousand years, the feelings of hate and suspicious of other races were deeply ingrained into the population and was not easily broken just because of a treaty . Although there are still conflicts, these skirmishes are usually minor and are between two parties rather than a long out war based on race .
The man whose body Michael Shen has come to own is call Michael McGonagall . McGonagall is a prestigious family in this world, having defended the human empire against orcs for hundreds of years, and never letting a single orc into human territory .
About 300 years ago, the demons allied with the orcs and managed to destroy the McGonagall castle, and killed most of the McGonagall's clansmen . The glory of the McGonagall House was lost in the battle, and only a few clansmen managed to survive . Micheal McGonagall is one of the few descendants of this proud and noble lineage .
Micheal McGonagall was an outstanding warrior . From the time he served in the army, his skills in battle, as well as his ability to command the troops, were exemplary, and he quickly gained the approval of his superiors and was awarded numerous medals for his valor and courage . In the span of a few short years, he quickly rose to become the youngest ever Gryphon Knight . His future was bright, and he was predicted to be next commander in chief of the army, and restore the glory and honor to the fallen McGonagall name .
If not for incident 3 years ago, Micheal McGonagall will become one of the men who stand at the apex of this world .
That night, he was concurrently attacked by a large party of elves, demons, and human mages . They crippled his hands and broke his tendons before giving him a baby . That baby was barely one year old .
This baby was his baby, born to him by Elven Princess . Although it is a time of peace between various races, interracial marriage is not permitted . Micheal was betrayed by his most trusted comrades . He fell into the trap and was crippled .
His friends fanatically tried to heal him . Thanks to them, he can walk and do simple tasks with his hands, but he can no longer wield a sword . He changed his physical appearance and brought his child with him to City of Sin . Over here, he hoped to start his life anew .
His new life was ridden with poverty . Despite being healed by his friends, he never fully recovered and was very weak . The bitter cold of the winter winds finally claimed the life of Michael McGonagall, and gave Michael Shen a chance to reborn in Michael McGonagall's Body .
Michael Shen may be tempted by the path of the hero, but he did not feel the need to take up the sword again and take revenge . Rather, he was more worried about how to survive in this world .
"Rest in peace . Forget about revenge . I will definitely raise the child to be an outstanding lady . " Michael Shen promised . With this silent promise, the darkness seemed to recline, as if Michael McGonagall left and handed his body over .
He is still Michael Shen, but he had Michael McGonagall's memories and feelings .
"From now on, I will just call myself Michael" . Michael silently remarked to himself .
As he opened his eyes, his eyes seemed to clear, but the feeling of weaknesses in his body suddenly hit him all at once .
"Papa… What happened?" The little girl's hand was clutched in his hand, and her face was full of worry .
Michael's glare softens and becomes warmer . The girl who was sitting beside the bed has hair that is silver in color and reached her shoulders . Her tiny face has a big pair of sparkling blue eyes that is extremely attractive . These, combined with her lush, soft skin and pointed ears made her appear to be very lovely and charismatic . She was wearing a grey colored cotton dress that looked quite old, and her overall appearance is very adorable .
This is Michael McGonagall's daughter, Amy . Now, it is also his daughter .
In his past life, Michael Shen has not married yet, and he did not have any children . Neither does he know how to handle children . But after his soul merged with Michael McGonagall's body, and looking at Amy's face, he felt that it was as if he was looking at his daughter . That feeling of wanting to be closer to his daughter makes him a bit flustered . His parents in his past life were always busy with work and have little time to take care of him . But because of the lack of parental love, he was determined not to be like them . He was more excited, excited at the prospects of being a father .
"Amy, please do not worry, I am all right . " Michael slowly reached out and stroked Amy's hair, as he replied in a hoarse voice .
The soft, silky hair was comfortable to the touch, and it made Michael's heart warm . This is his daughter! His flesh and blood! The feeling of closeness with a sudden daughter was strange and wonderful .
"Papa, papa, if you are all right, then that's great!" Amy rubbed her head against Michael's hand, and slowly her eyes begin to narrow, like that of an adorable cat . But she pouted her lip as she continued, "But papa, I am hungry . Can you cook for me?"
Michael felt as if his heart has melted . He would cheerfully pluck the stars from the sky for Amy, let alone cooking a meal . But at the same time, this task gave him a headache .
Although he had taste the finest food in his past life, he had no experience in cooking . He had never even touched a kitchen knife nor a wok in his past life . As he recalled the horrible creations that sprung out when he tried to cook, he mentally decided to eat out instead of cooking .
At this sudden moment in time, he suddenly heard a sound ringing in his brain: "Becoming a God of Cooking System has activated!" This feeling is very weird . For some reason, he knew that he did not physically hear this sound . But the sound exists, but only in his mind .
Michael almost jumped out of his skin . What the f**k? Becoming a God of Cooking System? How did this crazy stuff enter his head? Did something else also come into this body with his soul?
The strange voice that appeared mentally in his head continued: "Because you had trampled on the pride of hundreds of thousands of chefs with your acidic tongue, you had accumulated a lot of resentments from chefs . As such, Heaven has come up with this 'Becoming a God of Cooking System' . This system will judge all food accordingly to your standards in your past life, and slowly make you a chef . The system will, from time to time, assign you tasks . Completing each task will result in a reward . If you failed to complete a task, you will be punished by the system .
Listening to these voices inside his head, Michael was stunned for a moment before he collected his wits . "What the f**k! What the hell is this? I just got reincarnated into this world because of the honest opinions of the food I ate? So because you do not like my opinion, you dump me in this strange world and even come up with the shitty system to teach me how to cook?
Michael suddenly recalled the numerous emails and letters he received from chefs he had criticised - most of them cursed him and wish that he would become a chef in his next life .
Michael looked up at the sky and roared, "Heavens, why did you do this to me!!!!"
Chapter 2: A bit of ambition and targets
“Dear God, all I did is to offer my personal opinions . My critiques maybe a bit sharp, my words may be a bit harsh, and maybe my criticisms only resulted in a few hundred restaurants closing, but how can you just listen to one side of the story and come up with a system to force me to become a chef? What happened to free speech? ”
The thought of being forced by a system to learn to cook is very humiliating and depressing . If this system also considered cooking ordinary everyday dishes as acceptable, Michael may find the system not too bad . But this system aimed to make Michael the God of Cooking .
“God of Cooking? You must be kidding!” Michael feels like swearing and cursing .
“Papa, are you ok?” Amy reached out to touch Michael’s face . Her tiny face showing a concerned look . Amy felt that for some strange reason, her father seemed to be different from the past, but for the life of her, she cannot tell what had changed .
Feeling the warmth of the little hands touching his face, Michael stopped his self-pity and came back to reality . He forced himself to remain calm . Smiling, he tried to recall where he put his monies . Reaching into his pockets, he fished out two copper coins and gave them to Amy, “Amy, you go out and buy two pancakes . Tonight we are not going to cook . ”
“Really? Yeah! My favorite food!” Amy’s face reveals a hint of surprise and joy . Her tiny hands picked up the two copper coins, hugged Michael and kissed him, and jumped down from the bed . She quickly put on her shoes and ran out of the house .
Michael stared at the door where Amy disappeared . For some strange reason, he was feeling quite crestfallen . Pancakes in this world are a type of rough and tough common food . It cost one copper a piece . During these two years, Michael barely managed to survive and take care of Amy by taking on odd jobs . The pay was meager, and he can only afford to buy a pancake for Amy during holidays .
Amy was a good girl and understood the family’s financial situation . Although she loves to eat pancakes, she never asked for one .
Right now, being alone, Michael wonders where has the darn [System] gone?
Michael picked himself up from the bed, and wore his scandals . He then walked towards an old, cracked mirror to evaluate his current looks .
Because of a lack of food and prolonged exposure to the sun in doing odd jobs, his white skin has turned a bit yellowish . Surprisingly, the Michael McGonagall in this world has an uncanny resemblance to Michael Shen’s former self . Michael estimated that they are about 70-80% similar . But the curly brown hair that stubborn twirled towards the back of his head and the face full of beard made Michael look a bit shabby .
“This is such a waste of my natural good looks!” Michael could not help but exclaim . “Looking like this, if I go out on the streets, I will probably spook the children . What a slob Michael McGonagall was! He is a man with a child and yet he does not know how to make himself look presentable . ”
3 years ago, after the incident that crippled Michael McGonagall, Michael McGonagall almost give up on life and contemplated suicide . If not for the existence of Amy, Michael McGonagall would have taken his own life .
The small child seemed to have a tough life with you . But no worries, I will definitely give her a better life! Michael clenched his fists, but somehow he felt that he could muster any strength into his hands .
Although his fractured hands and legs had recovered, Michael felt that he is like an invalid . Even the simple act of clenching his fists and putting strength into the fists is difficult .
And right now the situation in the home is also dire . The home could be described as “tiny square, and surrounded by four walls . ” The room only had one bed . There is only a small blanket on the bed, and it is used to cover Amy when she sleeps .
Forget about being the God of Cooking . Having spent the last two copper coins, Michael has no idea how is he going to feed himself and Amy tomorrow . Looks like the only way out lies with the [System] .
Suddenly the voice of the [System] rang out . “[System] First task: To have a restaurant of your own . You need to own a place where the restaurant is to be located in . The [System] will then automatically renovate the place so that it will be a suitable restaurant . You have only 3 days to complete this task . If you completed the task successfully, you will be rewarded . If you failed to complete this task, you will be punished . ”
Have a restaurant? Michael was momentary shocked by the sudden task . But after listening to the task, Michael felt very glad . At least this [System] is quite reliable .
Although Michael McGonagall is not very successful in his career after his incident, Michael McGonagall has the foresight to purchase the two-storey house that he and Amy are residing in . Although the house is old and appears worn out, tattered and located at the edge of the town, the entire building is his to call his own .
Although this place is a bit out of the way for most people, the first floor of the building could be used as a shop . There are some merchants that have approached Michael McGonagall to lease the first floor of the building, but all of them were turned away by that idiot . And Michael McGonagall is really a big idiot . What type of man would rather starve himself and his daughter than to lease out the first story of his home?
Michael steadied himself against the walls as he slowly made his way down the stairs . The aged wooden boards creaked and groaned with each step he took, and some parts of the stairs were visibly broken . This is really a very dangerous home to live in .
With great difficulty and taking the utmost care to avoid falling down the stairs, Michael finally made it to the first floor . By then, he was gasping for breath and perspiring heavily . This body is extremely weak! In the past, Michael McGonagall could rip apart orcs with his bare hands, but now just walking down a flight of stairs requires him to stop and catch his breath . For just a moment, Michael pitied Michael McGonagall and understood why the latter would give up on himself and wanted to end his own life . To live on in these circumstances required a great deal of courage, courage that Michael was not sure that he would have . or
“[System] after completing the task, does the reward include making me stronger and healthier?” Michael tried to mentally communicate with the [System], and unwittingly balled his fists in nervousness as he awaited the [System]’s answer .
“Right now, there is no such reward . ” The cold voice of the [System] rang out .
The exact words used by the [System] were ‘right now, there is no such reward’ . Does this means that in the future, there may be such rewards being offered by the [System] . Michael’s eyes gleam with a lust for life . If he were to continue using this body to live, he is not sure how long can he endure doing so . If the [System] can strengthen and restore his body, even if he is not restored to the rank of the finest knight, just having a typical human’s constitution is enough for him to live on .
In his past life, Michael Shen was born with a silver spoon in his mouth . Be it money, women, or power, he had everything . While others worked very hard to achieve a fraction of what he had, he already had everything he desires from the moment he was born . Therefore, he had no ambitions, and do not know what he wants to do with his life .
At that time, he liked to dine and criticise food . Due to his ability to use very flavourful words to describe how bad the food is, he gained a cult following . When he read the comments about the followers who raved about his reviews, he gained a small measure of satisfaction . But deep down inside, he felt empty .
But now, he has an adorable daughter . He is at the bottom of the social ladder . Be it recovering fully from the injuries, giving his daughter a better life, or learning how to cook and manage a restaurant, it is something that needs a lot of effort .
Now that he an ambition and a goal in life, he felt excited .
Visualizing an image of nobles impatiently queuing in line to wait for food, elves ignoring their haughty image and enjoying the taste of meat, dragons sitting a large ring around a large cauldron, demons looking cute as they gobbled the food, Michael’s face was plastered with a silly grin .
The first floor of the building is quite large, especially if you knock down parts of the wall that separate the first floor into two parts . This creates a large space of approximately 80 m2 . Scattered on the floor is some wooden planks and some rubbish . At the back of the first floor is a soot-covered kitchen .
Michael McGonagall is really an idiot who died because of his stupidity . Having so much unused space and not willing to rent out this space to supplement his meager income, he really deserved to die of hunger . But as the Chinese idiom says, “the parents planted the trees and watered the trees for years so that their children can enjoy the fruits of the trees”, at least Michael McGonagall did leave him some space to open a restaurant . Michael tried to mentally communicate with the [System], “Use this space to set up the restaurant . ”
“The [System] has determined that this is a suitable place to open a restaurant . You have successfully completed the first task . Now please choose the design of interior décor . ”
Following the reply by the [System], Michael brain suddenly could somehow conceptualize in 3D about how the restaurant would look after renovation . Designs after designs flooded his mind, from an ancient Chinese décor, to country style furnishing, to western style restaurant, and more . For a minute, Michael was stunned at the wide variety of choice he was given .
“Since it is the curses of these chefs that brought me into this world, it makes sense that what I will be learning to cook will be the dishes that I have tasted and criticised before . Therefore, I should choose a décor that fit in with the theme of what I am going to cook . But the problem is that I have visited a large number of restaurants ranging from Chinese cuisine, Western cuisine, etc, and I do not know how many of these dishes I will be offering in this restaurant . ” Michael did not immediately make his choice .
After careful consideration, Michael felt that he should not tie the interior décor to any particular theme . What if he had chosen a traditional Chinese décor but offer only steaks and fries in his restaurant? If this was in the past, Michael will definitely rate the restaurant as ‘rubbish and crap’ . Therefore this restaurant should be simple and comfortable, and should be able to accommodate more guests . He had already envisioned the image of the restaurant being filled to the beam with guests .
After browsing several designs, he finally decided on one design .
This design has a hint of classical European style . The restaurant’s walls are covered with wallpapers that are decorated with some delicate patterns and lean towards light brown color . The ceiling had crystal chandeliers hanging from the top that illuminate the place perfectly, and gives the place a very homely feeling . The tables are typical tables that made of wood, and could comfortably seat 4 people on each table . The wooden chairs are also simple in design and had no armrest, and complement the tables in design . In front of the counter is a long table that can seat singles . This restaurant design maximises the use of space to allow up to 16 tables, and accommodate quite a large crowd .
Behind the counter is a half-open concept kitchen . The glass separating the counter and kitchen allowed the chef to look at the situation in the dining area, but the height of the counter means that seated guest would not be able to spy on the stove .
The simple design gives off a vibe that seems to be compatible with any cuisine . Even if guests eat cheap food, there is no sense of violation .
“Perfect!” Michael nodded his head in great satisfaction . He was about to confirm this design when he hesitatingly asked the system, “[System], does the renovation includes designing the second floor of the building as well?”