Chapter 651: As You Stack Up The Legos (4)
Janet stole a sneak glance at Anderson. Since she was Min-joon’s classmate under Rachel, she was pretty much conscious of him. But Anderson was not because he was a close friend of Min-joon’s, even though they were the same classmates. Their closeness was incomparable to her ties with Min-joon.
That was why Anderson was so happy about Min-joon’s success, but at the same time, he could not be happy about it all the time. Of course, he could feel different if he had achieved as much success as Min-joon, but they were basically competitors running on the same ground.
Anderson looked at Janet for a moment. No husband wanted to look small before his wife. But he didn’t want to show any false pride before her.
So he thought deeply before speaking to her.
“Min-joon is my friend, but he’s a great guy.”
“Is there anyone who doesn’t know that?”
“But when I was with him, I got upset sometimes. I was especially angry when he said I could do it when I was struggling to do something.
In some respects, it was something like the relationship between a genius and an ordinary man. The funny thing was that as time went by, Anderson realized that he was not just a typical genius. Min-joon had always put in as much effort as he had earned.
Because of that, Anderson stopped getting angry with him at some point. He also stopped throwing a fit at him, and he didn’t blame himself while envying him needlessly. So he could answer this now rather proudly.
“Now I don’t think about lagging behind him. I just wish I could be at the place where he is running.”
“Isn’t it the same thing after all?”
“No, it’s different.”
“Well, I see.”
She held his hand. Even though she was grumpy about him all the time, she was grateful to him deep down. She knew well it was not easy for him to like her and decide to get married to her. In fact, he gave her a lot. He comforted her and made her happy. And she wanted to pay back little by little.
“Anderson, you are cooler than him in my eyes.”
“So, don’t try to compete with him.”
In the past, he would have rebuked her, but he now seemed to know what she meant by that. She was freed from the desire to compete with Min-joon. Of course, it was not because she gave up competing with him completely.
“Sure, let’s focus on cooking from now on.”
She was about to say something when Catherine began to cry faintly outside their room. She quickly kissed his cheek and said with a smile, “Don’t worry. I think she just woke up. Let me go and put her to sleep.”
“Well, it’s my turn…”
“Don’t dwell on our principle. As you said…”
She shrugged his shoulders. “I think Catherine will miss Mom more than Daddy.”
In fact, Min-joon thought that what he cooked at Rose Island was something like cooking practice, namely, some sort of preparation process before opening his own restaurant.
But the Lotus Bridge that he opened was subtly different from what he thought. First of all, the most notable thing about it was that Lotus Bridge was also a restaurant for his cooking practice. Of course, it was natural. No matter what, if one did anything repeatedly, one tended to think at some point that it was practice. Actually, he got a new perspective that he had never had after going to the kitchen as the head chef everyday.
In short, he had come to have a broader perspective than before. No wonder his perspective was broader than before, given that the position of a head chef and that of a sous chef in the kitchen was completely different in terms of responsibility and gravitas.
As a result, he had no choice but to hone his cooking skills as time went on. What was surprising was his cooking skills. To be honest, when he opened Lotus Bridge, he vaguely thought that he would master sensuous cooking first among the several conditions of cooking level 9.
As the head chef, he would check out the recipes of Irregular Lab where Kaya used to work, but at the same time, he was supposed to check his junior chefs’ recipes and advise them, which would inevitably broaden his perspective of cooking.
However, it was in his cooking skills that he saw fast progress. And he realized that he misunderstood something there.
As head chef, he didn’t cook much by himself, but he occasionally made some main dishes when the customers wanted them additionally. Other than that, he usually took care of plating when he had to.
In that process, he had no choice but to secretly take into account the effect of plating on the taste of the food, which he didn’t notice before. Come to think of it, however, plating could inevitably affect the taste of the served dishes because even the amount of sauce depended on the plating method.
When he realized it belatedly, he soon became crazy about plating. When he thought that plating was not just decoration but part of cooking, he naturally came to feel more sensitive to it and refined his sense of the taste and balance of food.
Thanks to that, his proficiency in cooking skills had improved much more than before.
If he kept making progress like this, he felt as if he could reach cooking level 9 within a few years.
‘I’ll achieve cooking level 9 in the near future.’
He was filled with such hope everyday. When he thought that he would be on an equal footing with Chef Rachel after graduating from the apprentice days when he was suffering as a junior chef back in Korea, he found himself already relishing in the happiness and satisfaction that would have yet to come. Actually, he was spending day by day, dreaming of the day when he could climb to the same status as Rachel.
One day, when he looked at Kaya nonchalantly, he felt that she had changed a lot.
It was not her hairstyle or her skin or clothes that caught his eye.
It was none other than her cooking level.
She finally reached cooking level 9, which he took for granted as if it was so natural from the beginning.
He looked at Kaya at the moment. He was not sure if he was looking at her now or her cooking level on the system window next to her.
Suddenly, he was dazzled with something bright. It wasn’t just because he felt so good at the moment after learning she reached cooking level 9. To be honest, the dazzling light was so bright that he could not look at it squarely. It was only her that he could rest his eyes on amid that dazzling light.
In a world distorted in the light, he could see only Kaya that was in her original form, not distorted. But he felt strange because of that. He felt as if she was fake. The Kaya that he had observed until now was not the same Kaya standing before her now.
‘What have I been watching until now?’
Suddenly, Kaya felt unfamiliar to him. He thought he overcame her inferiority complex whenever he saw her, but he realized once again that it was actually embedded in his subconscious, but it never disappeared. His inferiority complex was still there. He clenched his fist. He was frustrated
In fact, he had been thinking for a long time that she was pretty close to cooking level 9 because the conditions for cooking level 9 were kitchen leadership, cooking, and sensuous cooking. The only thing she lacked was kitchen leadership. In terms of cooking and sensuous cooking, she exceeded cooking level 8 a long time ago.
However, his knowing it, and his confirming it right in front of his eyes was a completely different story.
In the past, he wished he could reach cooking level 9 earlier than her, and he thought it didn’t seem impossible to achieve that goal because both of them reached cooking level 8 almost at the same time. And he spent much more time than her in cooking after the Grand Chef competition was over.
Nonetheless, she was far ahead of him in terms of cooking skills.
‘Man, I feel like crap.’
Should he be just delighted with her fantastic growth as her husband?
Or should he feel resentful as her competitor? To be honest, he was not sure which was the right answer. All he could do was just look at her, just embarrassed like a man who lost his way.
Soon Kaya discovered him, who was lost in complicated thoughts. She was chatting with chefs when she noticed him and waved her hands. She approached him. She looked up at him then cast a glance at those behind him.
She said, looking at him again, “What’s going on? You don’t look good now. I don’t think you have a fever…”
She put her hand on his forehead, then frowned, muttering to him. But he just watched her quietly. If Kaya had been in his shoes, what would she have thought?”
He felt that Kaya would have made the right decision. Even though she was sometimes confused about what to do, she usually made the right and good decision.