When the private plane arrived at the airport, the first person Rachel and Serguei encountered was Martin. Serguei smirked.
“Even so, this friend doesn’t seem to be ill-mannered.”
“…….I told you to mind your words.”
Rachel started to walk a distance away from Serguei as if she was embarrassed. Considering that it was a conversation from two elders filled with wrinkles, it was certainly a childish and affectionate one. Martin held the hands of the two of them with a face full of laughter.
“You have come a long way. It’s really an honor to see you.”
“At the name of Serguei and Rachel, there’s nothing to be unfamiliar at this much consideration.”
Martin smirked and replied. It wasn’t an exaggeration to flatter, but he really felt like that. Their two names had their own meanings. Serguei wasn’t a person that could be seen that much in a broadcast, and nothing could be said about Rachel. However, the number of viewers that missed them in the US was countless. Just how big of a reaction was it when Rachel showed herself, even a moment, in the food truck mission?
He was already dying of excitement as to what kind of reaction would this broadcast make. His thoughts was appearing on his face because it was something that wasn’t even needed to hide. Serguei caressed his beard and said.
“By the way, It has been a while since I’ve been to Chicago…”
“Ah, I understand. But there’s no need to take that posture because I only act like a son of a bitch in front of two kind of people. First, bastards that cook like dog shit. Second, people that eat delicious food like dog shit. You aren’t a chef, and still didn’t become a bastard of a customer of mine. So……. Ah! What are you doing!”
“If you aged, act accordingly.”
Serguei patted his shin that got kicked and frowned.
“This crazy old hag…….! I came because you begged me to come!”
“There’s no answer for that jerk. No answer. Hey! I’m also getting on my seventies! If my bones break, it won’t even reattach well!”
“Ah, it’s over there.”
Martin led the way like a courteous waiter. The car he had prepared was a wide van, but as Serguei got in it, it didn’t seem that wide because he was tall and quite sturdy. After looking at the airport that was getting farther away from outside the window, Serguei opened his mouth.
“So, how many people did you say that remained?”
Martin showed some photos to Rachel and Serguei. He opened his mouth with a calm voice.
“First, I will explain about Jo Minjoon. He’s famous among the viewers for having an absolute sense of taste, and his skills are fine overall. At first, he had some lacking points compared to the other three, but looking at how he is improving, you wouldn’t know how it would turn out. And Anderson Rousseau…..”
“Yes. Then, I will explain about Chloe Jung. She seems to have learnt cooking from her mother, and cooks Chinese food well. In the case of Kaya Lotus, she doesn’t only cook national dishes, but instead of cooking luxurious things she gives the feeling that she is specialized in family meals. She seems to have learnt cooking by watching how the people in the market cooked……”
Serguei raised his hand. He frowned as if he had heard something strange.
“She learned by watching? Is that possible?”
“Hmm……. There should be nothing to see about her skills, right? Wasn’t it luck? Even if they cooked in the market, it should only be things that was applied with barbecue sauce or seasoned it with salt. If it’s Italian or Spanish cooking, you just fry some rice and serve it. Isn’t it normally like that?”
Serguei touched his beard and fell in his thoughts. After a while, he looked at Kaya.
“Perhaps Kaya, isn’t that girl more suited than that Jo Minjoon guy? Rachel. I’m talking about the talent you are looking for. She’s a kid that grew in the market with nothing.”
“Hmm. I wonder. The market is a place where you can acquire many cooking cultures, but at the same time, your tongue may be unable to get accustomed at the low quality food…… In my eyes, it’s more charming than the absolute sense of taste.”
At his words, Rachel looked at Kaya’s picture with surprised eyes. Although she was covered in Jo Minjoon’s shadow, listening to Serguei’s words, she started to think that the cat-like girl may be a pearl that’s covered with mud.
“I will have to check for now.”
“What’s there to check about? You will know it after you try their dishes today…”
Serguei’s mouth was roughly contorted.
“…if it’s delicious or not.”
The director told them that the mission was going to start tonight. Kaya slowly erased the eyeline while standing in front of the mirror.
Some may think that the surrounding of the eye may become black, but as the make up in her eyes disappeared, the person that was reflected in the mirror wasn’t the fierce Kaya Lotus. The freckles in her nose, and the black pupils that are hidden in the sky blue iris. Her thin and light coloured lips. Her nose was pointy, and her eyes weren’t that deep. If you walked on the streets, she would be a pretty and vivid female student. She gave that feeling.
‘……..Let’s just apply some lotion.’
Kaya carefully applied lotion in her face. She was confident on the size of her face, so only a drop of lotion was enough to cover all of her face. ‘It’s a good thing economically.’ Kaya put on a satisfied smile and turned back.
As she got out of her room, she only saw Chloe in the hall. Kaya, who saw Chloe’s face, just started to touch her cheek for nothing. Chloe’s skin was really smooth. She couldn’t see freckles or blemishes. She did have some moles, but people that didn’t have it would be rarer. The sunshine that came from the window clearly reflected Chloe’s cheek.
Kaya gulped down the envy and asked.
“The guys still aren’t out?”
“Just how flowery are they going to make it…….”
An awkward silence flowed. The reason was obvious. Because they could only worry about the mission that was soon going to approach. A sigh flowed between Chloe’s lips.
“It would be good if there was no mission.”
“If I was to choose between winning and maintaining this moment…… I may pick the latter.”
At Chloe’s words, Kaya repeated opening and closing her mouth. In the end, when those hard words came out from her mouth, Kaya couldn’t properly look at Chloe.
“……Actually, I’m also like that.”
Chloe looked at Kaya with surprised eyes. She did know that she had opened up, but even so, it was still the first time she had expressed herself. A smile appeared in Chloe’s mouth, but it disappeared as quickly. Kaya didn’t look that bright. She opened her mouth after hesitating for a moment.
“I, it’s the first time I pass this relaxed moments. I’m sorry for my mother and my sister, but I usually had it hard. It was heavy. But here, I can act as a sloppy girl, and I don’t have to worry about tomorrow’s meal. And…… the people.”
Kaya shut her mouth, but you could guess what she was going to say even if you didn’t hear it. Chloe extended her hand and grabbed Kaya’s hand. Kaya didn’t refuse.
“Don’t worry. From now on, you will be able to keep doing it. And regardless of the mission, you can just see me. You aren’t planning on seeing me?”
“If you have the heart, we are meant to see each other. And I……”
Chloe extended her fist. “It reached.” At those words, Kaya hesitated for a moment, and slowly extended hers too. Bump. The moment the fist touched the other fist, Kaya coughed and leaned on the wall. With her character, this was certainly embarrassing. Chloe laughed cheerfully. Anderson and Jo Minjoon got out of the room.
“Ah, you were already out.”
Chloe blew her cheeks. Kaya looked at Jo Minjoon and smirked.
“You didn’t even decorate much. Why did you get so late?”
“You should have just come out. I like disheveled hair.”
“If you saw me, you won’t be able to say those words.”
At Chloe’s words, Jo Minjoon shook his head. The four of them moved towards the kitchen. They wanted victory, but they didn’t like to part ways. And those feelings showed in their slow moving speed. In front of the kitchen, the four of them stopped walking as if they had agreed beforehand. Jo Minjoon looked at his sides. As they looked at each other’s faces, they opened their mouths as if they had something to say, but shut it again. Kaya opened her mouth. It was a low voice.
Compared to usual, the judges were already waiting in the kitchen. Jo Minjoon glanced at his surroundings. He heard that there was going to be a shocking event, but he couldn’t see anything special. Joseph opened his mouth.
“Have you been well?”
“I will pray for today to also become a good day. But of course, for one person, this day may never be pleasant.”
Jo Minjoon shut his mouth. The nervousness he was forgetting about was pressing his chest. Passion, fear, expectation. Those many feelings beat inside his heart.
“Before revealing the mission, we will do a simple game. It’s drawing straws.”
Alan extended his fist. And over his fist, a few pieces of papers were on it.
“Three are marked with an X and only one with an O. And the person that picks the O will be given the right to pick their teammate.”
Team mission. As only 4 remained, they thought that it will obviously turn out that way. Chloe went out first. And the moment she pulled the piece of paper, it turned out that the other three didn’t have the need to move. Because at the end of the paper, was the letter O written in it. Chloe put on an awkward smile. Because picking one also meant that you wouldn’t be able to pick two.
“Choose your teammate. Chloe.”
“Ah, yes. Wait a moment.”
At the urging of the judges, Chloe continued thinking inwardly. No, actually, the person she desired was clear. The problem was if their combination would be suitable. However the longer she thought, the thing that grew was the emotional part. It may be the last time. For the adversary, or for her. So thinking like that, the choice became easier. Chloe opened her mouth.
“Minjoon. Will you go together with me?”
Jo Minjoon got surprised at that moment, but softly laughed and nodded. However, there were more people that were really surprised. Chloe teaming up with Jo Minjoon wasn’t the problem. Kaya was looking at Anderson, and Anderson was looking at Kaya. As they were both exchanging astringent gazes, the two of them were thinking the same thing.
‘Me…….. With him/her?’
< Four people, four dreams (3) > End