Chapter 35: Chapter 35

Translated by: ShawnSuh

Edited by: SootyOwl

Dumbfounded by the champion’s attitude and statement, Ho Sung stared at him in a daze. Then, looking down at Bow, he thought, ‘What the hell!? This isn’t what we agreed on!? This wasn’t what I was looking for!’

At that moment, Min Sung glared piercingly at Ho Sung and said, “Well? What are you doing standing around?”

Ho Sung swallowed nervously, and the words he was itching to say faded from his mind.

‘Of course… Why did I ever think that lazy bum would lift a finger to help me out? Ha… What was I thinking?’ he thought, looking down at Bowl, who looked up at him to rush him.

‘This little guy was level 1 not that long ago. I can’t believe I’m getting a boost from this tiny little thing,’ Ho Sung thought. However, he soon came to terms with the reality of it all.

“… I’m goin’ now,” he said, following Bowl with his drooped shoulders.

“Make sure to bring back all the loot,” Min Sung replied.

“Huff! Egh…!” Ho Sung let out, short-winded, his arms heavy. He was in a state similar to the one time he raided a dungeon on his own. The temptation to throw his sword away and fall flat on the ground seduced him more by the minute.

“Don’t just stand there! Make yourself useful! Attack them!” Ho Sung shouted, glaring fiercely at Bowl, who only cackled as if amused by Ho Sung’s pathetic stamina, which only added to Ho Sung’s anger.

‘That thing’s as nasty and perverted as its master!’ he thought, biting down on his lower lip forcefully. However, there was no other way.

‘All right, Ho Sung. Let’s be positive here. It’s not every day that you get this kind of opportunity. It’s a privilege to grow stronger. Let’s take one baby step at a time. Remember that slow and steady wins the race. The experience will be my wealth, and it will build a foundation.’

With that, he picked up his sword and charged forward, shouting, “Ahhhhhhhh!” However…

‘Clang! Clang! Clang!’

No matter how many times he attacked the monster, he simply couldn’t inflict any significant damage to it. It was as if striking a boulder with a rebar repeatedly.

“Damn it! Just die already! Die! Die, you son of a bitch!” Ho Sung shouted, swinging his sword frantically. Meanwhile, Bowl looked at him, cackling while being attacked by the monsters around it.

[Would you like to leave the dungeon? (Y/N) ]

Ho Sung stared at the text floating in the air with sunken eyes. He had no strength left in his body to even lift a finger. His back and shoulders bent forward like an old man’s, and even keeping his eyes open was a struggle. Eventually, with his hand shaking uncontrollably, he tapped the text window in order to leave the dungeon. As much as he was willing to continue in spirit, his body simply couldn’t keep up.

At Min Sung’s glance, Ho Sung took the loot out of his inventory one item at a time. After which, he looked at the champion.

“Ho Sung Lee,” the champion said.

“Sir?”

“Is this everything?”

“Yes, it is.”

“Look at me in the eyes.”

“I-I’m serious! You don’t think I’d hide stuff from you, do you!?”

“All right. But if you are…”

“I mean it! You have to trust me!”

After examining Ho Sung’s expression briefly, Min Sung turned toward the vendor.

“Would you like to sell them all?” the vendor asked, and Min Sung nodded. At which point, the vendor said, “All right. Your total comes out to 5.2 million won,” and brought out a bundle of cash from the safe. Taking the cash, Min Sung left the store and looked up at the sky. Aside from a few puffy clouds, the Sun was quite bright, like a pleasant day in early summer. Wondering about what kind of treats he’d come across in the summer, the champion got into Ho Sung’s car.

“Go home and wash up. You smell horrible.”

“Will do, sir. Rest up.”

After sending Ho Sung away, Min Sung entered his house. Then, sinking into his sofa, he stared up at the ceiling in peaceful silence. Since he wasn’t all that hungry or had anything in particular to do, he glanced at the TV and picked up the remote. With a series of beeping noises, the TV came on, playing a slew of food shows colloquially known as muk-bang. Due to their increasing popularity, there were quite a few channels that were jumping on the bandwagon. Then, as Min Sung was flipping through the channels, a certain channel caught his attention.

“The King of Cooking?”

Although it was clearly food-related, it was slightly different from the shows Min Sung had been in the habit of watching. Unlike muk-bang, which focused on eating, the show also showed the process of making the food. Hosted by a man who was widely known as the king of the franchise industry, the show involved the host cooking for his guests and tasting the food together with them. It was also one of the most popular shows on public TV.

[Cooking isn’t all that hard. We cook so that we can eat, and there’s nothing fancy about that. You make the food and you eat it. That’s where the meaning of cooking lies, and that’s where the artisans really shine.]

At the host’s remark, Min Sung immersed himself in thought, ‘You make the food and you eat it, huh…’ realizing that it had never occurred to him that he wanted to cook himself. Soon, the realization started to tug at his curiosity.

Without a single piece of clothing on his body, Ho Sung fell to his bed. ‘Who would’ve thought taking a shower could be so exhausting?’

Thanks to Bowl, who hadn’t lifted a finger to help Ho Sung aside from standing still and taking blows from the monsters, Ho Sung had spent every bit of his energy in the dungeon.

‘That stupid skeleton,’ he thought. Then, just as he was about to fall asleep, his phone started going off. With his eyes still closed, Ho Sung furrowed his brow and answered the phone, thinking, ‘Sigh… Who the hell’s calling at this hour?’

“Yes, hello?”

“It’s me.”

“Is that your name? It’s me, who!?” Ho Sung snapped, sitting up on his bed while glaring at the phone. Then, checking the name of the caller, he apologized profusely, “S-sir! I am so sorry. I was just so beat that I didn’t even know what I was saying.”

“Save it. I need you to look into cooking schools,” the champion replied.

“… Cooking schools?”

“That’s right.”

“When do you need to know that by?”

“Is that a question?”

“I-I mean, I was gonna look into one today as soon as they open, of course. I just wasn’t sure if you were in a hurry or…”

“Register me for a class. I wanna start first thing in the morning,” Min Sung said, hanging up. At which point, Ho Sung looked down at his phone, chuckling, and said, “Wow, this son of a bitch…”

Then, sinking into his bed, he murmured, “Cooking school my ass. Why should I give a rat’s ass about what you make at home?”

The time was 6 a.m, which meant Ho Sung would only get two to three hours of sleep.

“Agh…! Ahhhhh! This guy drives me up the wall!!”

With that, he barely managed to calm himself down, set an alarm, and forced himself to sleep. After all, there was not a minute to waste.

Next morning, Min Sung received a message from Ho Sung saying that he had registered the champion for a beginner’s class at noon. Since it was ten in the morning, there was still some time to spare. Although Min Sung was starting to get hungry, he didn’t feel the need to eat since the curriculum stated that students would get to eat their own creations.

Soon, Ho Sung Lee arrived at the champion’s house, and after the champion got into Ho Sung’s car with Bowl, the car headed off to a cooking school called ‘The Korea,’ which was one of the largest cooking schools in the country. With countless students enrolled, the school had birthed some of the most talented chefs across the country.

“Sir?” Ho Sung called to the champion.

“What?”

“So, I was told that the beginner’s class will be taught by the director today.”

“Is that supposed to make a difference?”

“I’m sure the director is a better teacher than the other instructors. One doesn’t become a director for no reason.”

Looking out the window, Min Sung remained silent. Who taught the class was hardly important to the champion. What really mattered was that he was learning how to cook.

“I think we’re almost there,” Ho Sung said. When Min Sung looked ahead, the school building came into view.

“You’re taking the class with me?” Min Sung asked, giving Ho Sung a puzzled look. With an obsequious smile on his face, Ho Sung said, “Why, of course! I gotta be there for you in case you need me! Haha!”

Ignoring Ho Sung’s enthusiasm, Min Sung made his way to the classroom. Coughing awkwardly, Ho Sung followed. Then, they arrived at a classroom labeled ‘VIP-1 Beginner’s Class.’ Sensing Bowl peeking its head out of the pocket, Min Sung shoved the doll back into his pocket and went into the classroom. There were already a large number of students preparing for class there. The class was mostly made of young married women or older ladies, who were memorizing the recipes off their books. Then, as Min Sung stood still, confused, a young woman came into the classroom and led the champion to his place by the window with a friendly smile. Upon seeing the nametag on her chest, Min Sung speculated that she was a teaching assistant.

After being brought to his post, which was right next to the champion’s, Ho Sung, looking around curiously, said, “They weren’t lying when they said that they were the biggest cooking school in the country.”