Chapter 74: The Liar and the Promise
「The Demon King Cooking Battle winner is…Kyou. 」
When the judges announced my name, I could hear the rejoicing voices of all the members on our side.
「Great! As expected of the man my Lily acknowledges! Cultivation Hero, you did it!」
「You won! Lord Kyou, it’s wonderful! 」
「Congratulations, Mister Kyou! 」
「As expected of my Master! 」
「Papa! Congratulations! 」
「I had faith in you, brother! 」
「Well, no wonder you won. You are my son after all. 」
Each one of them complimented me quite enthusiastically. Everyone looked happy.
The joy of victory overwhelmed me since it was my first real win in a large cooking competition.
The Demon King remained quiet, but solemnly accepted the result.
「…I don’t understand. 」
However, there was only one person who complained about this result.
「No matter how I think about it, the food I cooked is better! Referee! I’m going to challenge the judges’ choice!」
How aggressive! Hell pointed her finger and raised an objection toward the Gourmet Master.
The Gourmet Master quietly explained the reason to Hell.
「Let me explain only the conclusion. We recognized Kyou’s cuisine as the winner because it best embodied the essence of “Japanese cuisine”.」
「Essence of Japanese cuisine…you say? 」
「In Japanese cuisine, knowledge about food is more important than the skills. That is the feeling of gratitude for the food by saying “Itadakimasu”*, and by implying “Mottainai”**. 」
The Gourmet Master gave a brief explanation to Hell, who looked uncertain.
「“Mottainai” means that the value of the item is not fully utilized. Many of the people from the country called Japan are very modest and polite, and they cook beautifully without leaving any waste behind.」
The Gourmet Master pointed to the shabby monsters that I dared to prepare.
「He dared to prepare bad-looking monsters. Why did he do that? That is because it embodies the “Mottainai” spirit in the land of Japan.」
Hell seemed to be aware of why I chose those ingredients.
「The taste of monsters with irregular appearances was not so different from ordinary ones. However, many people dispose of such badly shaped monsters because they emphasize the appearance. However, he used the “Mottainai” spirit on his ingredients. That is the origin of Japanese cuisine. In addition, the last resort he used. That was also included in that meaning, because he recycled the broth from the pot as a new cooking ingredient. I evaluated all of these steps as the heart of Japanese cuisine.」
That’s right. It would have been Hell’s victory if I just resorted to the simple taste alone.
However, I valued the “spirit” on my dish that highlighted the “Japanese cuisine”. Such spirit and feelings were accentuated.
I would like to express my gratitude to the Gourmet Master for noticing the Japanese culture hidden behind my Japanese cuisine.
「But you also had a good dish. Let’s have a match again someday. 」
With that said, I reached out to Hell and gave my hand for a handshake as a thanks.
She shouted at me quite suddenly.
「What the hell are you talking about “someday”! Forget about it! What’s more, you ate my food and did not remember anything, which is the worst! I am angrier with you than I am about winning or losing! You idiot! Idiot! Idiot! You liar!!」
Eh. Eh? Wha..What?
I didn’t really understand the situation.
When I looked at her, she restrained herself by groaning with tears instead of taking my outstretched hand.
Wha…What? What have I forgotten? What should I remember? Liar?
In my confused head, I desperately tried to sort out the situation, but I could only see the girl groaning in front of me. When I tried to recall something that I probably had missed, it suddenly flashed at the edge of my memory. There was something.
Yes, a scenery I’ve seen somewhere before.
On a hot summer day, when I was in elementary school.
I was addicted to anime and manga, and because I had a dreaming-like personality, I ended up having lower grades. I wanted to go to another world someday and become a hero.
One day, I stayed with my father and a girl that was a relative’s child.
The child was very timid and followed me everywhere. We played back then. That child was the heroine, the dark princess who was the daughter of the Demon King, and I was the hero of the play. I invented such story because of an anime that I was seriously addicted to at that time.
Before I noticed, that child was also contaminated by manga and anime because of my influence. And by the time I got home one day, she was completely turn into an otaku. When we were on the verge of parting, she almost broke into tears just as Hell did now.
『What? You don’t want to go home? But I’m sure you want to see your mom, don’t you?』
『…You’re right. But I’m leaving you brother and I feel sad. 』
『I can’t help it. Then, I’ll go play with you wherever you are. 』
『Yeah. I mean it. If one day I grow up and realize my dream of becoming a hero is coming true, then I’ll go see you even if it’s a different world.』
『Yes! It’s a promise! Well then, when that time comes, I’ll treat you with the food I ate at your house, brother!』
『Okay! I’m sure the food made by ■■ will be delicious. I’m looking forward to it.』
The girl who came to my house back then.
She was a little girl who was always scared and hid behind me in black clothes.
My sister. Her name was…
「…Maybe, are you “Elle”? 」
I finally called “that name” for the first time in a long time.
「…That’s right. You have finally remembered me…Brother.」
Not only me, but all of the people behind me, including Fitis, gasped in amazement upon hearing Hell’s words.
*A Japanese expression of gratitude before meals.
**Means wasteful or unworthy of.