Descent of the Demon Master
Kang Jin-Ho launched the ball of dough larger than his fist into the air and caught it, instantly turning it into a recognizable round pizza base.
Jeong Su-Yeon blinked.
’Hang on, it…
feels like I ’ve seen this somewhere before! ’
’ was different, she recalled seeing something eerily similar to this scene from an educational program when she was much younger.
A man with bushy hair and a beard daubed his paintbrush a couple of times in some paint, then slathered that on a canvas, turning the white paper into a painting literally in an instant.
Then, he would turn toward the camera and say, ”It ’s easy, isn ’t it? ”
“No, it ’s not! Not easy at aaaaall!” Jeong Su-Yeon reflexively yelled.
Kang Jin-Ho cocked an eyebrow.
“I ’m sorry?”
A quick look at bit.ly/3iBfjkV will leave you more fulfilled.
’t mind me.
It ’s nothing. ” Jeong Su-Yeon hurriedly covered her mouth when Kang Jin-Ho stared at her weirdly.
For some reason, she felt quite aggrieved by how he was looking at her!
’You ’re the weird one here, Mister Owner, not me!!! ’
How could anyone prepare pizza bases like that?! Even the dedicated machines would take longer than Kang Jin-Ho! How could anyone transform a lump of dough into a pizza base by tossing it once in the air?
He had to be a hidden expert.
A true expert was right here! But what happened next was even more flabbergasting.
Kang Jin-Ho finished making four bases, then spread the tomato paste on them at the speed of light.
He wasn ’t done yet, and he rapidly scooped up ingredients from a container with a rice scoop and tossed them on the bases.
Miraculously, the individual ingredient pieces accurately landed on the four pizza bases like clockwork!
Jeong Su-Yeon had no more energy left to get shocked.
Let ’s say doing that is possible with other ingredients, somehow! I can accept that much.
However, how can you toss slices of pepperoni like that and make them land oh-so-perfectly in rank and file?! Hah?’
Perhaps the laws of physics were different between where Jeong Su-Yeon was standing and where the pizzas were? Or perhaps the pepperoni slices had a mind of their own because they came from a strange and whimsical foreign land?
Unfortunately for her mind, it was still too early to get shocked.
“Hmm…” Kang Jin-Ho stared in dissatisfaction at the flames burning inside the oven.
’You should have started the fire ahead of time, though! ’
Jeong Su-Yeon inwardly sighed in relief, thinking that the signs of being an amateur had finally shown themselves.
A stone oven like this one was different from a gas stove that could be heated up in no time.
One needed a lot of time to get enough heat out of firewood made out of oak.
Moreover, trying to heat that abnormally-large oven would obviously require a lengthier prep ti—
That was when Kang Jin-Ho suddenly shoved his hand inside the oven.
” Jeong Su-Yeon gasped loudly in shock.
She got so frightened that her heart threatened to leap out of her throat just then! But her shock quickly faded away.
Realizing that she was facing a serious emergency, Jeong Su-Yeon jumped up to her feet and rushed toward Kang Jin-Ho.
”A-are you okay, Mister Kang?! ”
”I ’m sorry? ” Kang Jin-Ho looked back at her with a confused but relaxed face.
“I ’m asking you, are you okay?!”
“I don ’t follow?” Kang Jin-Ho blinked his eyes, and his expression clearly said, “What on Earth has gotten into this woman?”
’s face instantly turned beet red.
“No, well, I mean, your…
“My hand?” Kang Jin-Ho raised his perfectly-fine hand.
“…Why is it fine?” Jeong Su-Yeon muttered in a daze.
“I ’m sorry?”
Please don ’t mind me…” Jeong Su-Yeon faltered as she replied, and her voice got progressively smaller.
’He must be thinking that I ’m a weirdo…! ’
She felt like a total idiot right now.
She was getting surprised, speechless, and dazed all by herself while Kang Jin-Ho remained as the very description of composure.
’Am I seeing things? Is that it? ’
She had no way of figuring out what was going on.
Even if the flames weren ’t strong enough inside the oven, Kang Jin-Ho still shoved his hand inside all the burning firewood! In that case, how was his hand unscathed?
“Maybe I saw it wrongly…?”
Perhaps she was too stupefied to notice that her thoughts were leaking out of her mouth.
Yes, she had to have made a mistake.
And the poor viewing angle was to blame for it.
Since she was observing from the side, it looked like Kang Jin-Ho was shoving his hand inside the flames when, in reality, he was merely checking things out next to the oven.
Yes, that had to be it.
Otherwise, this situation couldn ’t be explained at all.
Jeong Su-Yeon managed to convince herself with that explanation and plopped down on a nearby chair.
She touched her cheeks and noticed how hot they were.
It was as if she was the one on fire, not Kang Jin-Ho!
’Calm down, Jeong Su-Yeon! ’
She was too jumpy and was getting shocked by every little thing for a while now.
Perhaps she should take a deep breath and compose herself, then relax by…
“…And what is it this time?” Jeong Su-Yeon grew tearful again.
The oven with a pathetic level of fire suddenly started bellowing fierce flames from its mouth as if its gas valve had been turned up to eleven.
Could it be that the firewood they used wasn ’t oak, after all? What if it was some kind of petroleum wood or even coal wood? A new species of wood or something like that?
” Kang Jin-Ho studied the flames with a satisfied look on his face.
Then, he used the lengthy oven tongs to shove the plates with pizza bases on top inside.
However, as soon as he finished placing all four bases inside, Kang Jin-Ho took them out in the same order.
’What? Already done? ’
That ’s not possible…!’
No matter how hot the flames were, that was not the way to bake pizzas.
Strong flames did not mean a shorter baking time, after all! One only had to cook a steak on a pan to know that.
If the flames were too strong, the outside would get charred, but the inside would remain raw and uncooked.
However, Kang Jin-Ho took the pizzas out and started slicing them as if they were indeed done!
Was he planning to serve those pizzas to the customers? Wouldn ’t he have to deal with a flood of refund demands like that?
All of a sudden, Ju Yeong-Gi entered the kitchen while making a sheepish face.
“Jin-Ho? There has been a mistake.
It ’s supposed to be two bulgogi and two pepperoni pizzas, not three bulgogi pizzas.
It ’s fine.
For now, take these two first.”
“Got it.” Ju Yeong-Gi carried two of the finished pizzas outside.
Kang Jin-Ho handed the extra bulgogi pizza over to Jeong Su-Yeon.
“Here, have some.”
“I ’m sorry?”
“I can ’t serve this pizza once it gets cold, after all.”
Can ’t you warm it up for the next customer?”
It will have cooled down too much during the orders.
That won ’t do. ”
” Jeong Su-Yeon had an epiphany just then.
Kang Jin-Ho’s mindset didn ’t belong to a businessman but was more suited to an artist.
Kang Jin-Ho continued.
“Besides, you ’ll be working here from now on.
You should at least know how our pizzas taste.”
“Of course,” Jeong Su-Yeon nodded.
That logic was certainly correct.
One dish wasn
’t enough to make complete cuisine.
No, a collection of individual dishes had to work together in harmony for that.
Regardless of how good one of the dishes was, the restaurant ’s menu would be seen as a failure if it didn ’t match the other ’main ’ dishes on offer.
I need to know what it tastes like first. ’
Jeong Su-Yeon could pursue her goal of creating delicious additional dishes.
However, those would still belong to the side menu.
At the end of the day, their job was to complement the main product of this pizzeria, the pizzas.
In that sense, she had to eat this pizza and find out what she was up against before anything else.
Then, excuse me,” said Jeong Su-Yeon.
Kang Jin-Ho nodded at her with a smile, then carried the remaining pizza to the dining area.
’Let ’s see… ’
Now left alone in the kitchen, Jeong Su-Yeon carefully scanned the pizza.
It ’s not burnt, at least…”
The top layer and the edges were crusted, but that was fine.
Such crusts would only add to the charm of the overall product anyway.
The problem was something else, though.
If the exterior was baked to this degree, the interior should still be raw and uncooked, so…
Without much expectation, Jeong Su-Yeon split a pizza slice in half.
Seeing the melted cheese extend enticingly, it seemed the outside was well-cooked, at the least.
But the true test would be with the base, and…
“…Eh? What ’s this? How is this possible?”
After taking a bite, Jeong Su-Yeon
’s eyes widened in disbelief.
She stared at the rest of the pizza in sheer shock, then hurriedly looked around to find something.
She eventually found a cutting knife, and then she started cross-cutting the pizza slice.
Jeong Su-Yeon meticulously studied the cross-section of the slice, only to suffer yet another mental breakdown after realizing that the pizza was perfectly cooked inside as well!
How was this possible, though?! It shouldn ’t be cooked this well!
‘But, wait! If I get technical about this, things were already weird from the moment he started making the base! Moreover…!’
“Wow, it ’s delicious, too…”
Indeed, the pizza was dumbfoundedly delicious.
The thing about pizzas was that their oiliness was unavoidable.
No matter how well-baked a Korean-style pizza was, the greasy or euphemistically, their richness couldn ’t be avoided at all.
However, Kang Jin-Ho
’s pizza, which wasn
’t even an Italian style but one with an overflowing amount of cheese, somehow didn
’t taste greasy or too rich to Jeong Su-Yeon
She couldn ’t believe how Kang Jin-Ho managed to get such a clean, light taste from the usual pizza ingredients.
’Have I ever tasted a pizza like this before? ’
Jeong Su-Yeon could probably find a pizza more delicious than this one if she tried.
Indeed, Kang Jin-Ho ’s pizza wasn ’t on the level of ’world ’s best, ’ at least not according to her evaluation.
However, it still boasted a certain uniqueness about it.
There might be a more delicious pizza than this one somewhere in the world.
But no other pizza would taste like Kang Jin-Ho ’s.
Jeong Su-Yeon was confident about that.
In fact, she couldn ’t recall ever having tasted anything remotely similar to this pizza.
Something unique and tasty was bound to be popular.
The problem Jeong Su-Yeon had, however, was not with the pizza.
No, it was the fact that the man who had made this unique and tasty pizza was similar in age to her.
In addition, he didn ’t have a chef ’s certificate, nor did he receive a professional cooking lesson somewhere.
“Ah, so they do exist.”
Jeong Su-Yeon took another bite of the pizza, which helped her finally acknowledge the truth.
In this world, there were experts hidden among ordinary people.
’t matter how old they were.
Those hidden experts could display creative processes and results in one specific area so astonishing that most ordinary people couldn ’t even begin to imagine it.
As it turned out, Kang Jin-Ho was a hidden expert on pizza.
“Makes sense now why customers are flocking to this place…”
Jeong Su-Yeon finally figured out why so many people were standing in a queue outside the pizzeria.
Even she would have stood in a line just to taste this pizza.
Well, the current trend in delicious dining happened to be ’unique,’ not top-class taste, after all! Rather than people wanting to experience the cream of the crop dining atmosphere or taste, they searched for unique tastes they hadn ’t come across before, as well as a taste that couldn’t be found anywhere else!
’Although, people queuing up from early morning is a bit too much… ’
Then again, people nowadays didn
’t hesitate to travel long distances, even between provinces, just to eat delicious food.
It wasn ’t as if Jeong Su-Yeon couldn ’t understand the sentiment here.
After organizing her thoughts, Jeong Su-Yeon got up and got ready.
At first, she…
did underestimate this pizzeria.
Just a little bit.
How could she not, after hearing that three men with no experience whatsoever were running a pizzeria?
She quit her previous workplace after the head chef continuously raked her over the coals for being a frail woman with no stamina and skills.
After walking away from that job, her desire to run a kitchen on her own got the better of her, and that was why she decided to apply for a job here before moving on to greener pastures, but now…
After what she had witnessed, the story would have to change somewhat.
’Makes sense I got my head bitten off so often… ’
Without skills to back it up, she had become too cocky about herself.
Jeong Su-Yeon finally understood what the head chef meant when he said that there were plenty of infinitely-better cooks than her in this country.
A young man who had never received any training could still bake such an excellent pizza, yet here she was, believing in her superficial knowledge and acting like a big fish…
”I can ’t achieve anything with this kind of mentality… ”
Ironically enough, Jeong Su-Yeon had an epiphany as a chef in a new workplace that she initially didn ’t think of much.
Regardless of the field of specialty, one needed to continuously refine their craft and keep doing their best.
To create such a pizza, how much hard work had Kang Jin-Ho poured in over the years? She only had to look at that abnormally-large oven or the kitchen boasting OCD levels of hygiene to appreciate all the effort Kang Jin-Ho had put in.
’I need to learn from his example. ’
Sure, Kang Jin-Ho didn’t have much to offer in terms of cooking techniques, but Jeong Su-Yeon definitely needed to learn from his mindset as a chef.
Perhaps it was time to go back to the basics. Jeong Su-Yeon was now in a new workplace, so it was only right that she started with a new mindset, as well.
She stood there silently chewing on her lower lip before heading toward the dining area as determination filled her face.
I gotta help out even if it means bussing tables! ’
Sitting around in the kitchen just because she had nothing to do was wrong.
Even though she was hired to take control of the kitchen, she should still be helping out in the other areas of the pizzeria ’s operation.
For example, if the lack of utensils stopped her from doing her intended job, she had to help wash the dishes.
That was the etiquette, the norm, between co-workers, was it not?
“Is there anything I can help you with—Eh?” Jeong Su-Yeon reached the dining area with a heavy weight lifted off of her shoulders.
But when she asked in an energetic voice, the sight that greeted her was…
Kang Jin-Ho surrounded by three girls while taking a selfie.
The gazes of Kang Jin-Ho and Jeong Su-Yeon met awkwardly in the air.
“…Mister Kang, what are you doing?”
“We, uh, we
’re taking commemorative photos.
Yes.” Kang Jin-Ho tried to explain the situation.
Unfortunately for him, the female customer clinging to his arm started nagging him first.
“Oppa~! Take our selfie first~!”
“Of course.” Kang Jin-Ho smiled awkwardly and snapped the selfie.
After witnessing that scene, Jeong Su-Yeon could only cover her face in silence.
’Mom, I got a job in a weird place. ’
A very weird place, no less!
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