Soma stood in front of the entrance of Totsuki with his mouth wide open in shock at how big the school was.
Beside him was Soran who only showed a smirk while looking at the institution before him.
'It looks more like it's own city than a school.' He thought with a small laugh.
"We're totally out of place here." Soma said, causing Soran to turn to him.
"What makes you say that?" He asked curiously.
"All these guys have butlers and guards and stuff." Soma answered while looking around.
Around them were other teenagers their age seated in expensive looking cars with butlers at their service.
"Totsuki is an elite academy after all. It's not strange to see some rich kids trying to attend the school. Don't bother yourself too much, most of these kids are more bark than bite." Soran advised Soma as they walked onto the large campus.
"We're taking the transfer exam so b…" He trailed off, turning to see Soma who was furiously muttering under his breath.
"…A pipe dream….Yeah, right…I'll definitely make it to graduation, damn it!" Out of frustration, the older twin violently kicked a long bench that they came across.
It was only after he did so that he saw the person seated at the other end of the bench sipping tea from a porcelain cup.
"Oh, sorry. I didn't mean to kick your seat." Soma apologized while the other boy simply smiled, looking up from his tea as he spoke.
"No need to apologize. You're also applying for a transfer, right?" He asked, still smiling, though the smile looked a bit disgusting to Soran who only shook his head mildly.
Soma had already taken a seat and began discussing with the boy. He tuned back in just in time to hear the boy introduce himself.
"I'm Nikaido Yoshiaki. My family runs a French restaurant." He introduced, Soma having a look of slight surprise.
"Oh, what a coincidence. Ours runs a restaurant too." Soma said as Soran sighed remembering the scene to soon occur.
"You're brothers?" Yoshiaki asked in surprise, his gaze moving between the two in clear surprise as Soma nodded.
"I see. Well it's not that much of a coincidence. That guy there is the heir to a national restaurant chain. That one's family runs a seafood wholesale business that supplies the entire aka to region."
"Almost everyone here has a cooking industry pedigree of some sort." The boy explained, gesturing to two boys that sat on different benches opposite them.
"So far you haven't mentioned anything about their ability to cook. I fail to see how their inherited positions will help them pass the exam." Soran commented, finally having enough of the unnecessary information.
'These people are so proud of achievements that they themselves have nothing to do with. Boasting without the ability to back up your words is just poor etiquette.' He thought, looking at the boy seated beside Soma.
A flash of irritation appeared on his face before he hid it with another disgusting smile.
"We actually own a diner." Soma added unhelpfully as Yoshiaki's expression darkened.
"How dare you sit next to me you low class commoner!?" He yelled, raising his foot to kick Soma off the bench only to find his airflow restricted by the very shirt he was wearing.
"Ackk-!" He could barely breathe as he was hoisted into the air by the collar of said shirt.
"How dare trash raise its voice at me?" Soran questioned in a calm manner, holding the boy up with only one hand.
"A lowborn like you won't even make it past the written exam…ackk!!!" He didn't get to speak further as the grip tightened.
"You didn't answer my question. How dare trash like you raise its voice at me?" Soran repeated, his tone still unchanging as the boy's butlers seemed to want to take action.
"Brother, I don't think he can talk properly with you holding him like that…" Soma said with a deadpanned expression.
""Young Master!"" They both shouted in concern at the boy's struggling state.
"Doesn't matter." Soran said, releasing his grip and allowing the boy to fall down face flat.
"If you manage to spend more than five minutes in that examination hall without giving up, I'll be impressed." Soran added as he walked away, Soma hurrying to catch up to his pace.
"Look, some kids from a diner think they can transfer in."
"You've got to be kidding me."
"That first kid, he should know his place."
These were the comments that the twins heard as the made their way towards the designated building for the exam.
The last comment was aimed at Soran who obviously noticed it. His only response was a dangerous grin that he flashed at them.
"You know, all of a sudden my hopes for this school went kind of low." Soma commented as they reached the building.
"Who knows what pompous ass we'll get as the examiner." Soma wondered out loud as the entered the examination hall.
Looking around, the hall was filled with richly dressed kids in expensive clothings. They looked like they practically filled the hall but there was still more than enough room in the hall.
"Hey, is that…"
In front of the gathered mass of students, two girls about the same age as them stood with a stern expression.
"Huh? Who's that?" Soma asked his brother who easily answered.
"Nakiri Erina. She's the granddaughter of the school's director. The one next to her isn't important at all." A look of slight understanding settled on Soma's face as the girl began speaking.
"Greetings, transfer applicants. I am Nakiri Erina and I have been assigned to judge today's transfer exam." She announced as murmurs quieted down.
"Any word from the exam division?" She asked the pink haired girl next to her. The girl looked at the small clipboard in her hands.
"I'll read it now. Examinees will first undergo interviews in groups of ten based on their applications. They will then undergo a practicum where they will cook three or so dishes. Those who pass will…" She was interrupted by a scoff from Erina.
"How pointless. I have an idea. Bring the kitchen work table here!" She said, a smirk coming to her lips.
"Y-Yes Milady." The pink haired girl immediately left the hall. Not up to ten seconds later, she rushed into the hall once more, pushing a portable cooking table filled with numerous ingredients in front of her.
"What's she up to?"
Murmurs arose due to this strange scene as Erina turned to walk to the table. She inspected the ingredients before picking up an egg from the array of ingredients.
"The main ingredient will be the egg. Make one dish. I'll only allow those whose creations impress my palate to transfer into the academy." She announced as the murmurs grew even louder.
"Furthermore, I will allow those who wish to withdraw and cancel their application to do so within the next minute only." She continued with a cruel smile on her face as the faces of all the applicants twisted in fear.
"What? One minute?"
"I withdraw!" And like that, the domino effect took place as everyone rushed towards the exit, screaming in panic.
"Huh?" Soma on the other hand simply looked confused, turning to look at Soran.
"Why are they all running?" He asked, causing Soran to smirk.
"It's because they're all afraid. That girl over there is said to have the finest palate known to mankind…allegedly." He added, his voice containing barely hidden mockery as he spoke.
"If it helps, just think of her as a snake with a sensitive tongue. She's nothing to be afraid of." Soran said causing Soma to look at him in confusion.
"Aren't snakes dangerous?" He asked only to received a smirk from his brother.
"Only to those who can't handle it." He answered as the hall was now almost empty, leaving just four of them inside.
"I figured most of them were hopeless incompetents. I can't be bothered to waste my time on such fools. I believe I've cleared my schedule for the day?" She asked, ignoring the brothers as she turned to the pink haired girl who looked a bit startled.
"Er, yes." She answered.
"I will now test new dishes in my private quarters." Erina told her, causing the other girl to look surprised with a hint of anticipation on her face.
"What's the matter, Hisako?"
"You look…like you want something." Erina said, moving closer to the girl, her hand delicately holding the girl's chin as she began to stutter.
"Disgusting. I don't care what you do in your free time but if you're done with your love play, I'd like to get started." Soran announced, startling both girls as they spun around to see the two boys. Soran stared at them with an irritated look on his face while Soma was staring at the table of ingredients.
"You…!" Erina eyes widened in surprise that there were still people that hadn't run away.
"Are there really no other restrictions on the dish?" Soma asked, no doubt already thinking of a dish to prepare.
Quickly composing herself, she turned to the two of them.
"As long as you use eggs, you can make anything you want. But are you sure you want to do this? You should withdraw while you…"
"Get off your high horses, girl. You're nothing special." Soran said cutting her off as her face squeezed in anger.
"Do you know who she is?! She is the top of her class in the junior high division and the youngest member of the Totsuki elite ten council. The highest decision making body in the academy's history; Nakiri Erina." Hisako ranted with an annoyed face.
"Whoa. This is a sweet knife!" Soma said from the side, not paying any attention to them in the least.
"Let me ask you again. Are you really going to take 'my' exam?" She asked arrogantly, causing Soran to narrow his eyes.
'The audacity of this girl…' He thought with mild irritation. In his honest opinion, there was nothing special about her.
She was confident and arrogant just because she was better than people who barely know how to cook?
Nobody was allowed to be more arrogant than Soran himself!
"Like I said earlier, you're nothing special. Why should I fear someone who's cooking is inferior to mine?" He asked, turning away from her to the pile of ingredients, Erina's expression turning dark with rage instantly.
"The both of you…fail!" She announced in anger, stunning Soma but Soran wasn't bothered in the slightest.
"Oh? Who knew that the great Nakiri of Tōtuski was so shortsighted in her thinking. I'm sure the upper management of Totsuki would like to hear your explanation for changing the application process without any prior notice." He said with a mocking smirk on his face.
"I have no idea what you're talki-"
"You said it yourself. There are three stages of the application process, all of which you graciously decided to throw away to make time for your less than decent activities."
"I wonder what the headmaster would say upon seeing your blatant misuse of authority. Failure to notify the potential applicants of any change to the process at least a week in advanced may result in the examiner's and any staff member associated with the examiner's suspension from the Academy and if enough complaints are filed expulsion from Totsuki." The mocking smirk on his face only fueled her anger but she was aware of the truth of his words.
Remembering her tendencies, he had done his research before coming here and so he was ready for just about anything she threw at him.
Her attempt to fail him would end in her being removed as an examiner and another examiner being called on while she was punished. He had her right where he wanted.
"Now if you excuse me, I'll begin cooking." He said, leaving an angry Erina and a dumbfounded Hisako behind him.