Chapter 6 - A Stay-at-home Dad’s Restaurant In An Alternate World

Chapter 6: Hello, Mag

Translator: Henyee Translations  Editor: Henyee Translations

After finishing the cutting of the twentieth bamboo shoot, Mag picked up two slices, compared them carefully before his eyes, and then nodded contentedly.Seems better now.

When he lowered his head and took a look at the bamboo shoot slices he’d made, which had filled a basin, he couldn’t help but feel rather emotional. Being a cook turns out to be this hard. I’ve already had the standard cutting skills in my head, but after all the exercise, this is just as good as I can do. Those who start from scratch surely have to learn the cutting for many years.

Thinking about the comments he had written to criticize those cooks, he felt embarrassed for the first time. Now that those comments had become the standard he should meet to complete the mission, it looked like he was paying his price.

“System, at this pace, I’ll have to spend weeks on the cutting skills alone. It’s simply impossible for me to complete the mission in three days, no?” Mag asked in his mind as he stopped his hands.

“In the test field, time is on a scale of 365:1,” answered the system. “One year here is just a day in the outside world. Besides, you need no sleep and rest in this space, and you won’t feel tired. The ingredients are limitless. Hope you’re determined to be the God of Cookery, complete the mission, and walk out of here soon.”

What? Mag was a bit surprised. Even the time scale can be changed here. This test field is really something. However, in this enclosed kitchen, with the sense of weariness gone, if the only thing can be done here is cooking repeatedly, the weak-willed will go insane in no time.

No. I have to get out before Amy wakes up in the morning and make her the perfect Yangzhou fried rice for breakfast. Mag quickly suppressed the restlessness in his mind. This was his commitment to Amy, and it had to be kept. He took a look at the calendar and got back to cutting the bamboo shoot.

Now he had four months, and didn’t need any sleep or rest, so if it were exchanged to the standard eight working hours a day like in real life, he would have one whole year, which was quite sufficient for him to master the Yangzhou fried rice, especially with the perfect experience already in his head.

Mag had forgotten about time. The bamboo shoot changed from thick slices into even thin ones in his hand, then into even fine shreds, and at last into small cubes the size of a rice grain. He was getting better by the minute.

Mag went from easy to hard ingredients—from bamboo shoots to tree mushrooms, and then to the ham and shrimp. With his proficiency improving, his cutting skills were advancing quickly as well, and by comparing them with the experience in his head, he was making rapid progress. Even the live and kicking shrimp were peeled easily in his hand, and then they got chopped into small cubes the size of a rice grain.

On the 100th day, Mag was just plating the fried rice neatly from the wok with a ladle. He put down the wok while turning off the gas, smiling confidently. “System, I think this one should do.”

The Yangzhou fried rice fresh from the wok—the rice grains were separated clearly, with each one perfectly coated with a layer of golden eggs. Green peas, white shrimp, gray tree mushrooms, red ham… the ingredients with different colors were perfectly mixed together, and the mixed color was not in a mess at all; instead, it felt rather lively and harmonious.

On the top was a small handful of chopped green onions, making perfection still more perfect. The aroma of every ingredient mixed together and tickled Mag’s nose, making him swallow a little saliva.

The system was silent for a while, and then said, “According to the host’s standards before…

“1. Rice grains have to be clearly separated, with each perfectly coated with eggs. Achieved!

“2. The color has to be lively and harmonious and whet the appetite. Achieved!

“3. The texture has to be smooth, the taste has to be delicious, and the firmness has to be moderate. It all has to be tasty, smooth, and refreshing. Achieved!

“4. The aroma has to be tempting and recognizable to a certain extent. Achieved!

“All the four standards have been achieved at once. Congratulations, you have mastered the authentic Yangzhou fried rice. Mission is complete. You are rewarded with strength +0.5. Meanwhile, the right to buy the ingredients for the Yangzhou fried rice is unlocked, and so is the right to use the matching kitchenware.”

Mag clenched his fist hard; a sense of achievement arose in his heart. He looked at the fried rice before him, and suddenly felt like weeping somehow.

He couldn’t remember the last time when he had this feeling—the feeling after trying so hard to accomplish something. Sure enough, achieving goals made people feel the best.

That being said, what excited him most was that he could finally make Amy a bowl of Yangzhou fried rice with good taste, color, and aroma. Thinking about the cute face of his little girl eating, he was filled with anticipation.

“System, can I try it?” Looking at that fried rice, Mag, who felt no hunger at all since he’d entered the test field, suddenly felt a little hungry.

“The host will be automatically sent out of the test field in five minutes,” answered the system.

“Five minutes is enough!” Mag wasted no time before taking out a spoon from the kitchen cupboard and spooning the rice into his mouth. With just a few chews, his eyes brightened immediately.

The fragrance of chopped green onions and eggs tickled his nose, the texture of grain-sized shrimp and ham was so smooth, and the egg-coated rice had a sweet flavor after being well chewed. Taste of every ingredient melted in his mouth and tickled his taste buds. Even when it was all swallowed, his mouth was still full of aroma.

This taste was just incredible!

For the first time, he realized the Yangzhou fried rice could be this good.

One spoon was nowhere near enough. Mag finished the whole plate in no time, like a whirlwind sweeping away the scattered clouds. He licked the last egg-coated rice grain into his mouth, content, but at the same time he’d like seconds! It was just so enticing.

Amy would definitely love this. As for the chowhounds on Norland Continent, I’m sure no one is able to resist this. Putting down the spoon, Mag recollected the pleasant flavor of this fried rice. His depression from repeating the same thing for 100 days disappeared; instead, he felt rather upbeat and refreshed.

Five minutes was over soon. Suddenly, Mag felt a white light flash across his eyes, and when he opened them up again, he was already lying on his own bed. He sat up immediately, turned his head, and saw that Amy was sleeping soundly on her little pink bed. Seeing that, his dreamy feelings died down slowly.

Then, he took a look at his hands with a pleasant surprise and clenched his fists—it felt the same as in the test field. The body that couldn’t even clench one fist before had recovered a lot. He had no trouble with normal activities and cooking now.

The system is pretty reliable after all. Mag got out of his bed, stretched his limbs, and took a look at the alarm clock on the nightstand—it was already five in the morning. He lowered his head and saw his clothes were dirty, so he walked to the wardrobe and opened it, but he found nothing but a chef’s suit and clothing for a little girl inside. The chef’s suit consisted of a white shirt with two lines of neat black buttons, a pair of black slacks, an apron with black and white stripes, and a pair of black flat shoes. The girl’s clothing consisted of a black dress, a pair of pantyhose, and a pair of little white shoes. All was clean and simple.

Mag took his suit to the bathroom and gave himself a thorough bath. Then, he used scissors to cut his wild long, curly brown hair short and neat. His whiskers also got cut by the scissors, and then shaved clean; only a faded moustache remained.

Now that’s more like it. Touching his angular face, Mag looked at himself that had totally changed in the mirror and smiled. After a little tidying up, he had successfully changed from a messy homeless guy into a mature and handsome man.

Now, he looked very much like his previous self; the only thing different was the shape. His scrawny figure right now looked so weak and delicate. He had to eat much and work out a lot from now on.

After his little narcissism trip, Mag changed into that chef’s suit. A little tidying and he looked somewhat like a chef in the mirror.

“Hello, Mag,” Mag said to himself in the mirror with a serious look, but on second thought, he smiled in spite of himself. “Or should I call you Alex?”