Descent of the Demon Master - Chapter 279
Ingredients arrived sooner than expected. Was it because Jeong Su-Yeon had contacted the supplier well ahead of time? Ingredients and utensils arrived before the lunch hour.
“Geez. For the time being, let’s push these things aside somewhere and organize them during the next break time. If we try to get them sorted out now, things will turn into a madhouse in no time at all!” said Ju Yeong-Gi while scratching the back of his head.
However, Jeong Su-Yeon shook her head. “I’m not much of a help in the dining hall, so let me at least organize the utensils by the kitchen’s corner. I’ll make sure not to get in the way of baking pizzas, too.”
“Mm… Will that be okay?”
“Yes. Well, I can certainly try.” Jeong Su-Yeon nodded with determination.
“Okay. Please go ahead, then.” Ju Yeong-Gi also nodded in acceptance, but that only made Park Yu-Min frown deeply. Ju Yeong-Gi stared at his friend and cocked his eyebrow. “What is it now?”
“No, well… I think this is my first time seeing you agreeing with someone without raising your voice, you see? When we discuss stuff, you usually yell, ‘Hey, my opinion is the correct one, so why are you listening to someone else?!’ and raise a lot of fuss.”
“What?! When did I ever do that?!” Ju Yeong-Gi’s face reddened in an instant.
“Why are you blushing, Yeong-Gi?” Park Yu-Min tilted his head.
Ju Yeong-Gi, huffing and panting like a bull, grabbed the scruff of Park Yu-Min’s neck and dragged him toward the dining area. “Stop goofing off when customers are waiting for us out there!”
“But you were goofing off, too!”
Kang Jin-Ho watched his friends leave the kitchen, then glanced at the order sheet Park Yu-Min had left behind before taking out more dough lumps from the container.
Jeong Su-Yeon could only wince at the unfolding sight.
‘I still can’t get used to this scene. Seriously now!’
How many times had she seen this pizza-making process by now? It still looked so… out of this world. How should she put this? Kang Jin-Ho had utterly eliminated any superfluous excess from the pizza-making process… something like that?
By adding a bit of magic in the middle of the process, one could make pizzas like Kang Jin-Ho. Of course, that ‘magic’ was Kang Jin-Ho’s secret know-how, something Jeong Su-Yeon was incapable of figuring out.
‘Right, I need to learn.’
This was the moment when the part-time work she thought would only be a short-term endeavor had elevated itself to become full-fledged proper employment in her head.
“Urgh. Today was also tough, wasn’t it…?” Park Yu-Min stretched his limbs after tidying up the last table. By the time he and his friends managed to send home the last of the customers, the clock hands were already creeping closer to midnight again.
“Ah… I’m really sorry about this,” said Ju Yeong-Gi while stopping Jeong Su-Yeon. “I should’ve told you to go home sooner, you know? But things got too hectic for us to remember that. I mean, you came to work earlier than the agreed time in the morning, too! And yet, we made you stay until so late and all.”
“Don’t say that. Everyone was working hard, so it was only right that I stayed behind to help.”
“Eiii, that’s not right. We’re here because this is our friend’s store, you know. If we make our employees work to their bones like this, they might report us to the Labor Office.”
“I wouldn’t do that, though.” Jeong Su-Yeon chuckled affably.
After seeing her smile, Ju Yeong-Gi’s expression brightened noticeably as well. “In any case, I’m really sorry about making you stay this late. You must be itching to get home now, but the transport might become an issue at this hour. If you don’t mind waiting a bit longer, we’ll be done tidying up soon, and I can give you a ride home.”
Jeong Su-Yeon shook her head. “Oh, no. That’s okay. You don’t have to do that.”
“But, it’s gotten late, so…”
“I’m sorry. I know this might come across as a bit rude, but…” Jeong Su-Yeon sighed.
“Y-yes?” Ju Yeong-Gi blinked his eyes. What would Jeong Su-Yeon want to say to him that could be seen as rude?
“If you can, please stop treating me as a female colleague. I’m just another employee working in the same place as you. I’m grateful for how you’re trying to look after me, but I’d like to do the same amount of work as you and be acknowledged for it as you have.”
“Oh. Uh…” Ju Yeong-Gi was rendered speechless and could only stammer like an idiot.
Fortunately, Park Yu-Min disinterestedly responded to Jeong Su-Yeon for him. “In that case, you can get a ride in Yeong-Gi’s car, Miss Su-Yeon.”
“I’m sorry?” Jeong Su-Yeon tilted her head.
“Yeong-Gi would’ve done the same even if you were a guy, you see? He might not look like it, but Yeong-Gi’s the type to care about people without being shouty about it. Sure, he wouldn’t have been as polite, but his intentions would have been the same.”
“Aaah…” Jeong Su-Yeon nodded to indicate that she understood. “I see. In that case, I’ll have to shamelessly impose on Mister Yeong-Gi, then.”
“You’ve made a wise choice,” said Park Yu-Min in a sagely voice.
“Besides all that…” Jeong Su-Yeon’s head snapped toward Kang Jin-Ho. “Mister Owner?”
“Yes?” Kang Jin-Ho, who was wiping the glasses with a cloth, stopped and sheepishly stared back at her.
“Do you mind if we discuss the composition of the menu?”
“If not you, who should I discuss it with? You’re the owner and the head chef, aren’t you?”
“Am I?” Kang Jin-Ho blinked his eyes like an idiot and pointed at himself.
Jeong Su-Yeon suddenly felt rather irritated by his response.
‘He looks fine on the outside, so why is he acting that way?!’
Actually, never mind ‘fine,’ Kang Jin-Ho qualified as an eye candy—an attractive man.
No, make that devastatingly attractive! The girls giggling and hollering in the dining area earlier were busy yapping on and on about some TV show, so Jeong Su-Yeon got curious about it. And then…
‘Maybe I should watch more TV…’
She sought out that scene everyone was talking about online and thought that a bolt of lightning had struck her numb after watching it. How could a man’s looks be so… supernaturally stunning?
But now, the real article was…!
‘Why is his daily style so crummy?’
Why did Kang Jin-Ho’s unkempt bangs sloppily drape over his forehead? And why was his fashion sense seemingly fulfilled by cheap clothing bought from backstreet vendors?
Looking at Kang Jin-Ho was enough to teach anyone the importance of looking after oneself. If Jeong Su-Yeon were to exaggerate a little bit, Kang Jin-Ho’s current looks and the version appearing on the TV show could be used as before and after comparison shots in a plastic surgery commercial! The difference was that drastic.
Jeong Su-Yeon shook her head to get rid of the distracting thoughts and tried to convince Kang Jin-Ho one more time. “Mister Kang, I can’t decide everything by myself.”
Kang Jin-Ho had a cramped look on his face. “Even though I gave you the full authority?”
“That doesn’t mean I can do everything by myself, though. This isn’t my store, but yours, after all. At the very least, I need to discuss these kinds of things with you to stop potential complaints later on.”
“…But, uh, I don’t know anything.”
“Eiii, seriously?!” Jeong Su-Yeon unhappily walked up to Kang Jin-Ho, then pulled him by his arm. However, when she sensed his subtle resistance, Jeong Su-Yeon scowled and embraced his entire arm before trying to drag him away. “Stop resisting and come this way, please! Hurry!”
“N-no, wait, I…”
The front entrance was flung open, and a person stepped inside the pizzeria only to freeze in the doorway with her hand still holding the door handle. Jeong Su-Yeon stopped pulling at Kang Jin-Ho’s arm, and she also stood there utterly frozen as her jaw slightly dropped.
A short bout of weird silence ensued, and then…
The person entering the store, Choi Yeon-Ha, glared straight at Jeong Su-Yeon and finally shattered the silence. “Who are you, and what are you doing?”
The atmosphere in the pizzeria suddenly grew deathly cold.
“So, a new cook, you say?” Choi Yeon-Ha asked with her arms crossed in front of her chest.
“Yes. You told us we need to sell pasta, salad, and other stuff if we wanted to keep the store going, so…” Park Yu-Min faltered while explaining.
Ju Yeong-Gi took over from there. “So, we took your feedback and acted on it right away, Miss Choi.”
“Ah. So, a new cook?” Choi Yeon-Ha repeated the same thing, but her tone this time was a bit strange.
Her tone was a bit sharp and shrill, and it seemed to contain the hidden meaning of “Oh, so you were just a cook. I got worried for nothing, then. Remember that you’re nothing more than a mere cook. Don’t you forget!”
‘…And I managed to interpret all that.’
Park Yu-Min sighed while sarcastically patting himself on the back. Nice work there, Park Yu-Min. Well done, lad!
After living an unforgiving life, it seemed that he had also somehow acquired the ability to interpret the mysterious language of the opposite sex. People often said one would develop quick wits and discernment while growing up in an orphanage, but that didn’t apply to Park Yu-Min. However, hanging out with Kang Jin-Ho helped him acquire those two aspects in practically no time at all!
‘Even though I’m a virgin…’
Kang Jin-Ho was the one stuck in a romantic triangle, so why was Park Yu-Min learning and growing in that regard? He couldn’t be pleased about this situation, but sorrow was also not an option here. No wonder he felt so confused right now.
Choi Yeon-Ha didn’t notice Park Yu-Min’s inner turmoil and continued to grill him instead. “But why did you hire a female cook?”
“Well, uh, I never really cared about a person’s gender, so—”
“Mm… I’ll be honest, I’m not convinced that a woman can do a good job as a cook.”
“Isn’t that gender discrimination, though?”
Choi Yeon-Ha snorted back at Park Yu-Min. “I’m also a woman, so what gender discrimination are you even talking about? I played a chef in one of my previous shows, you know? And that’s when I learned that wielding frying pans in front of a hot stove is back-breaking work. There weren’t that many cooking scenes, but I thought I’d die while filming those scenes. After that experience, I finally realized why all the famous chefs are men. It’s not because they have better tastes, but because most women will struggle to remain on their feet after spending one day in a professional kitchen!”
“Ohhh…” Park Yu-Min slowly nodded his head in understanding.
“And you,” said Choi Yeon-Ha as her arrows aimed at Jeong Su-Yeon. She had started her assault.
“…Yes?” Jeong Su-Yeon reticently responded.
“Do you believe you can do it?”
“…I’m not sure I understand you, Miss Choi.”
“This place has a fast turnaround time. Things happen really, really fast in this pizzeria. Surely, you saw what I’m talking about today?”
“Yes, of course.”
Choi Yeon-Ha narrowed her eyes. “In that case, a prospective co-worker needs to have enough stamina to match that crazy pace. But look how slender and delicate you are. I can’t even begin to picture you wielding pans with such frail arms, either… Rather than stumbling around for a few days and getting in everyone’s way before throwing the towel and quitting, just do it now, so we can start looking for someone else right away.”
Jeong Su-Yeon stared at Choi Yeon-Ha in a daze before taking out her diary from her bag.
“Mm?” Choi Yeon-Ha tilted her eyes suspiciously. The diary seemed to have seen some usage, and its pages were filled with various recipes.
‘Is she going to use that to protest?’
Choi Yeon-Ha got ready to sarcastically retort, “Who uses hand-written recipes in this day and age?” But then, Jeong Su-Yeon got to the last page of the diary, which was unused and clean.
“Can you give me your autograph?” Jeong Su-Yeon asked while presenting that clean page to Choi Yeon-Ha.
Choi Yeon-Ha was taken aback. “O-oh?”
“I’ve been a fan of yours since I was young, you see? To me, it feels like your roles give hope to people.”
“Oh. Uh…” Choi Yeon-Ha blushed slightly. “R-really?”
“Yes, really.” Jeong Su-Yeon nodded heavily. “You see, I’ve been working in this profession ever since I graduated from high school.”
“Maybe that was why… I got my head chewed on lots of times and went through so many tearful moments until now. Just like what you’ve said, my former bosses or colleagues kept picking on me about my lack of stamina or how I couldn’t even cook properly. Some even said I was bothering them right in my face.”
Choi Yeon-Ha’s expression grew more and more sympathetic as she listened to Jeong Su-Yeon’s tale.
‘Eh? The mood has gotten a bit weird, hasn’t it?’
Park Yu-Min quietly observing the situation from the sideline thought he could see Choi Yeon-Ha’s extended claws retracting slowly.
“But then, I noticed all the female characters you’ve taken on were all in similar shoes as me, unnie. Female leads in other TV shows try to change their lives by meeting a handsome and wealthy heir, but not you. You always chose the roles about a woman who tries her utmost best to achieve success in life through dedication and hard work.”
“Ah! So you noticed!”
“Yes. And I can’t even tell you how much solace that gave me.”
“Ah, ah…” Choi Yeon-Ha reached out and tightly held Jeong Su-Yeon’s hand. “Thank you very much. Listening to you like this is so gratifying, and it feels like I’ve made the right career choices. Thank you!”
“No need to thank me. I’m also so happy I could cry!”
The situation sported an atmosphere similar to the official reunion of families that had been separated thanks to the Korean War.
Choi Yeon-Ha smiled brightly. “You asked for my autograph, yes? Do you want it over here?”
When you’re just trying to make great content at bit.ly/3iBfjkV.
Jeong Su-Yeon animatedly nodded away. “Yes, yes. Thank you, unnie!”
“Your name is?”
“It’s Jeong Su-Yeon.”
Choi Yeon-Ha diligently signed the diary’s empty page. Park Yu-Min wasn’t knowledgeable about celebrity autographs, but even he started thinking, ‘Wow, Miss Choi is giving her all right now’ from how diligent and careful she was when she was signing it!
Choi Yeon-Ha handed over the diary and beamed proudly. “Here you go. Please don’t give up, no matter what!”
“Thank you, unnie! Oh, and by the way…”
“Yes? Is there something else you’re curious about?”
“Well, it’s actually about… If you don’t mind me asking, what is your involvement in this pizzeria?”
“Oh, that…?” Choi Yeon-Ha covered her mouth and gently chuckled. “You can’t even call it an involvement, you know. I’m Mister Jin-Ho’s acquaintance, so I just offered him a bit of advice, that’s all. And I’m here to see whether he has utterly wrecked the store yet or not.”
“Oooh. That means you are not involved in any capacity?”
“Yes, that’s correct.”
“Aaaah…” Jeong Su-Yeon smiled brightly, then turned her head to look at Kang Jin-Ho. “In that case, shall we go inside to finish our discussion, Mister Owner?”
Kang Jin-Ho blinked his eyes. “…I’m sorry?”
“I mean, we need to discuss the menu’s composition, but it can’t be done in the presence of an outsider, you see?”
Choi Yeon-Ha’s expression grew stupefied. What… was this woman talking about here?
“Oh, and…” Jeong Su-Yeon turned her head back to Choi Yeon-Ha and made an apologetic face. “I’m really grateful for your advice. However, I’m the employee of this pizzeria who will be looking after its kitchen. So, please leave such matters to me and Mister Kang, the owner. We will take care of them ourselves. You can stop worrying about matters that don’t involve you, Miss Choi.”
“Well, then. Have a nice evening. Be careful on your way home now. Mister Owner and I will need lots of time to sort things out, after all.” Jeong Su-Yeon unhesitantly got up, grabbed Kang Jin-Ho’s arm, and dragged him into the staff room at the back.
Choi Yeon-Ha watched everything unfold, and she started shuddering from the barely-contained fury.
‘Holy cow, Choi Yeon-Ha lost?’
Park Yu-Min gasped in shock. It didn’t seem possible for anyone to be sharper or craftier than her, yet the one-and-only Choi Yeon-Ha was one-sidedly defeated in a battle of feminine wits! And she didn’t even get to throw a proper counterattack, either!
‘Huh. I guess Miss Su-Yeon is no pushover, then?’
While this was going on, Ju Yeong-Gi sitting some distance away and observing the situation suddenly got up. He went outside the pizzeria and mouthed a cigarette. After he lit it up and puffed on it a couple of times, a heavy sigh escaped his lips.
“Sheesh. What a crap show that was…”
‘A load of nonsense, the lot of them!’