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Food Wars: Tavern

In the bustling city, there is a tavern that operates only between 7 PM and 12 AM. The food here is fancy and delicious, but surprisingly not expensive! Any ordinary ingredient, when in the hands of the owner Zane, shines brightly. Many people go crazy and become obsessed with his cooking! ----------- This novel is a chill, slice-of-life novel. 10 advance chapters: patreon.com/angelictranslating

AngelicTL · Anime & Comics
Not enough ratings
241 Chs

Mom, Am I in Love?

At 9 AM, in the Shunkatei restaurant.

A piece of air bread "laying" with a small slice of shad sashimi, paired with the sweet and tangy taste of kumquat flesh and peel.

Taking a bite, the fishy aroma and the sweetness of the kumquat blend together, instantly awakening Taki's appetite.

They say:

Good wine pairs with good food.

Starting with a bottle of rosé champagne, accompanying the just-eaten shad, the taste was truly memorable.

After the appetizer, a splendid dish of Alaskan king crab followed.

This dish used fresh king crab leg meat, paired with avocado and two-colored pickled radish, with a special cucumber sauce drizzled in the middle.

The taste was fresh and tender crab meat, crisp and refreshing, with a lingering sweetness.

Finally, paired with the slightly intense champagne, the floral and fruity aroma was prominent.

The concentrated flavors of honey, candied citrus, and minerals perfectly complemented the sweetness of the crab meat on the tongue.

In fact, aside from the food, what comforted Taki was that Shunkatei, a restaurant that hadn't earned a two-star rating, had not declined but continued to provide such delicious French cuisine, which was truly rare!

Such fine wine and food, along with the beautiful scenery, naturally made Taki feel very comfortable.

...

Afterwards, Taki slowly regained her composure.

With a look of doubt in her eyes, she recalled the dishes she had just tasted, then her expression suddenly changed: "No, something's not right! How did your cooking skills improve so drastically in just one month?"

"Taki, has my cooking really improved a lot?"

Seeing Taki's shocked expression, Sonoka couldn't help but feel a little pleased.

"Yeah, the flavors are more balanced."

"It also seems to have more warmth, like it's been inspired by the tavern next door."

"Especially the last flounder dish, which was cooked at a low temperature, successfully locking in the freshness of the fish while retaining its juicy texture."

"Sprinkling a thick layer of caviar on slices of Shine Muscat grapes, paired with a white sauce made from Shine Muscat grapes, completely elevated the unique flavor of the flounder!"

Taki stared at her for a while, then as if realizing something, she added: "Sonoka, have you been seeing that Zane lately?"

"What?"

"How did you come up with that idea?"

Sonoka's face turned red instantly, and she quickly turned away, not daring to look Taki in the eyes.

"Just a hunch!"

Taki affirmed.

"Well, actually, I've been working as an assistant chef at the tavern every night lately. After failing to reach the goal of a two-star rating this year, I was unwilling to give up and wanted to get better."

"So I took this opportunity to learn from him... to learn from him."

Knowing she couldn't hide it anymore, Sonoka took a deep breath and confessed.

"Hmph! I knew it."

Taki crossed her arms, continuing angrily, "You say you're learning cooking? You're clearly infatuated with him! You're such a little minx!"

"Taki, it's not like that."

Faced with Taki's aggressive personality, Sonoka lowered her head and mumbled softly.

Seeing her like this, Taki couldn't help but feel even more frustrated: "You're so naive! Aren't you afraid that Zane might turn into a big bad wolf and eat you, little lamb?"

"I'm not afraid. He's very gentle."

"And I've really learned a lot about cooking from being around him."

"Enough!"

"I don't want to talk to you, love-struck fool, any longer."

Feeling she might go crazy if she continued, Taki waved her hand, signaling to drop the topic.

...

For a moment, both fell silent.

The atmosphere in Shunkatei became awkward.

Glancing at Taki, who seemed to be sulking, Sonoka broke the silence: "Taki, it's only been a month since we last saw each other. What brings you to Shunkatei today?"

"What? Can't I visit my friend often?"

Taki rolled her eyes.

"No, I'm very happy and touched that you came to see me," Sonoka replied quickly.

"Alright!"

"There's something I can't hide from you."

"A few days ago, my Taki Amarillo restaurant went bankrupt. I came to Shunkatei because I have nowhere else to go and plan to stay with you for a while."

After saying that, Taki's eyes dimmed, and tears welled up.

She never imagined her hard-earned restaurant would close overnight!

"What?"

"How could this happen?"

Hearing the news, Sonoka was shocked, covering her mouth: "Taki, last time you came, you were preparing to aim for a two-star rating. How could this happen?"

"The times have changed!"

"Right now, something huge is happening across Europe."

"The Nordic countries, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain, where I was—all the restaurants in these countries are being attacked by a group of night chefs!"

"They use the rules of Shokugeki, betting on various things, even their own lives, and challenge restaurants everywhere."

Taki muttered, looking lost.

"Shokugeki rules?"

"Aren't those only in Totsuki?"

Sonoka was puzzled.

Everyone knew the Shokugeki rules were unique to Totsuki Academy, designed to resolve conflicts among students.

In the culinary world, or even across Japan, Shokugeki rules didn't exist, and many chefs didn't know what "Shokugeki" was.

So hearing about these night chefs using Shokugeki rules to destroy restaurants worldwide was really absurd to Sonoka!

"Don't underestimate their methods. I said they dare to bet their lives, so they have many ways to force you to accept their Shokugeki challenge."

"Take me, for example. When I faced them, I didn't give them a good look and refused their Shokugeki request."

"But..."

"These bastards pinned me down and even held a kitchen knife to my neck!"

"They are madmen, a group of lawless chefs."

"No!"

"They aren't even chefs."

Taki spoke with strong hatred.

But upon closer look, her body was trembling as if in fear of something!

"What?"

"Why would they do this?"

"Isn't there anyone to stop them, like the WGO food organization? Aren't they always reviewing restaurants worldwide?"

"If a starred restaurant gets destroyed, wouldn't the executives do something?"

Sonoka was shocked again.

She realized the culinary world might be undergoing a complete upheaval!

"WGO?"

"Sonoka, are you naive or just stupid?"

"Such a big event in the culinary world wouldn't happen without the WGO's support. Do you think those night chefs would dare to be so lawless and reckless without their backing?"

Taki said angrily.

"You mean..."

Sonoka gulped, suddenly thinking of Mana, who often visited the tavern.

It shouldn't be. Her eating disorder was cured by Zane. She shouldn't have any hostility toward the culinary world anymore. Could it be...

At this moment, Sonoka felt a chill down her spine.

She realized there might be a grand plan behind this, one that could change everyone's fate!

And this plan was likely orchestrated by Mana.

...

"Taki, what will you do next?"

After a long silence, Sonoka asked Taki.

"I told you, I plan to stay at Shunkatei for a while and live with you," Taki replied helplessly.

"You could consider the place next door..."

Sonoka looked at her deeply, voicing her thoughts.

"Stop!"

"I know what you mean."

"Let's be clear. Even if I starve on the street or jump off Shunkatei, I will never turn to Zane, nor have anything to do with the tavern next door!"

Taki quickly interrupted and refused.

"Uh-huh!"

"Taki, why do you have such a strong bias against Zane?"

"There's nothing wrong with the tavern. You can see him conquering and touching every customer in his own way, and you can learn a lot from him!"

"Didn't you just say my cooking has improved significantly?"

Sonoka smiled.

"Don't talk to me about this. My mind is made up."

Despite her words, Taki couldn't help but recall witnessing and tasting Zane's cooking at the tavern.

She also remembered her desperation when facing the night chefs, wishing Zane would come to her rescue!

"What..."

"What's happening to me?"

Finally, Taki's heart wavered slightly.

...

Time shifted back a little.

Around 8 AM, at the tavern next door.

Last night's thunderstorm had dissipated, and the sun rising in the east brought warmth to the rain-soaked earth.

In Zane's bedroom.

The sunlight streaming through the window perfectly illuminated Erina, who was sleeping in Zane's arms.

She was breathing lightly, with a not-so-elegant sleeping posture, her head buried in Zane's chest, drooling slightly, and her leg draped over his stomach.

She looked like a little kitten that had fallen asleep, nestled beside her owner.

"Mm~"

She slowly opened her eyes.

Her eyes were clear and distant, like a serene autumn lake, making one feel ashamed to meet them.

Upon waking, she murmured softly and wiped the drool from her mouth. The blurry scene before her gradually became clear!

"Ah!"

"I... I... last night..."

Seeing Zane beside her, she shivered.

She vaguely remembered that last night, afraid of the thunder, she had run to Zane's room, and somehow ended up in his bed?

She sneaked a glance at Zane, seeing his peaceful sleeping face bathed in sunlight, pure and beautiful like an uncut gem, she couldn't believe it!

"Big jerk, even your sleeping face is so elegant and handsome."

"You know, if you're awake, you could leave quietly as if nothing happened, but instead, you're studying my sleeping face."

Just as Erina was lost in thought, Zane suddenly opened his eyes and teased her.

"You... you're awake?"

Naturally, Erina was scared, grabbing the blanket tightly and lowering her head, asking in disbelief.

"I've been awake, just pretending to sleep."

Zane, seeing the flustered Erina, couldn't help but smile.

Then he threw off the blanket, got up, and walked to the window. Stretching in the sunlight, he said, "You rest here. I'll wash up and make you breakfast!"

"Mm!"

"Thank... thank you!"

Still holding the blanket tightly, Erina replied shyly.

Finally, under her watchful eyes, Zane left the room.

As his tall figure disappeared from sight, Erina felt everything that had happened was like a dream!

"Really."

"What... what am I thinking?"

She wrinkled her nose, smelling the familiar scent on the blanket, feeling the warmth from the spot beside her. Erina felt more confused, muttering like a small girl.

Perhaps at this moment, she began to realize.

Since the end of the training camp, especially after the unexpected encounter with her mother, Mana, at the tavern, her feelings for Zane had deepened!

Every time she faced him, her already trembling heart would involuntarily be affected.

"Mom..."

"Does this mean I'm in love?"

----------

For 10 advance chapters: patreon.com/angelictranslating