Before taking his final breath, Xia Yu had a dream of eating until he threw up. When he awoke, he arrived at a completely foreign world—the world of Shokugeki no Soma.
What is this? Cultivating the God of Cooking?
“What you must satisfy is not only the desire of normal humans, but also the desire of all sorts of demons and monsters, ghosts and spirits! You must use food to rehabilitate them!” the old man said to him in a rather cool manner.
Thus, Xia Yu never got a chance to rest on his road to become a God of Cooking.
Chapter 1 – A Dramatic Life
Neon lights. Taitou ward, Tokyo.
The orange glow of sunset spilled all over the bustling open-air market. Stores, shops, and stands lined both sides of the road, and in this city center, a high-schooler in his uniform nimbly weaved through the masses on a bicycle.
In a remote alley squeezed between houses, the youth carelessly laid the bike onto the half-opened door of a restaurant. If one were to look closely, they would easily find the words “Chinese Cuisine” written in traditional Chinese on a sign hung in front.
The storefront was narrow and empty; no one replied to his call. Xia Yu had long gotten used to this.
Roughly two years ago, before Xia Yu slept for the last time, he made a great wish if he ever had a second chance at life… to eat until he threw up! When he awoke, he, somehow, became into a high schooler—grade seven—at Hakuoh Junior High School.
Xia Yu required no more than one semester to adapt to the changed circumstances, and had taken care of any panic and unease he started with when he first came to this world.
If one asked him to talk of his experiences, he would say, It’s been forced onto me already, right? Then, what else can I do but enjoy what I can? If a person were like some regretful elderly looking back at life, sighing left and right, contemplating death and life, then Xia Yu would just chuckle in his face and say:
Luckily, his name was still Xia Yu in this life, and Chinese blood still flowed in his veins. However, there was quite a difference from his past life, where he was dirt poor and always starving to the point he could eat an entire family’s dinner. In this life, he had a grandfather he both loved and feared.
Walking straight through the restaurant and to the backyard, there was a white-haired old man atop a round cushion typically used for meditation. In hearing approaching footstep sounds, he opened his eyes calmly and pointed at the short teapot by his side. “You’re back? Boil water, make tea.”
He spoke in perfect Mandarin.
Xia Yu gave a short reply and grabbed the teapot. He didn’t head for the faucet, but instead headed to the kitchen—to an old water jar. He submerged the teapot and bailed water out, then placed it on a gas stove.
Gurgle Gurgle Gurgle
A brief moment later, steam started rising from the teapot. Xia Yu looked at it, and some confusion flashed into his eyes.
In the two years he had been in this world, Tokyo still seemed to be the Tokyo he knew of. However, there were some small, nearly undetectable peculiarities in his daily life, and they were there as if to remind Xia Yu that this world was not as simple as it appeared.
Xia Yu’s eyes glimpsed at the old water jar in the kitchen.
The storefront wasn’t big in the first place, and the kitchen was even more crowded. Yet, a single old water jar occupied so much space. That, no matter how you looked at it, didn’t seem right. It didn’t seem like something someone would normally do.
The sky gradually lost its light, but Xia Yu didn’t flip any switches immediately. He stood quietly for a while, awaiting the dusk’s glow to dissipate. The narrow room grew dark. Suddenly, glittering bits of light appeared on the water jar’s surface. It detached from the reflective mirror and scattered in the air.
There was nothing wrong with the water itself—Xia Yu was certain.
He offhandedly shut off the gas stove, but was in no rush to make tea for the old man. Instead, he glanced over to the backyard where the old man was, then shot out his hand and fished around in the water jar. Splash. Within the darkness, something sparkled—it looked as if it were the most precious gem in existence.
In his hand was a wet, egg-sized rock.
Heaving a deep sigh, Xia Yu rubbed the stone before throwing it back into the water jar. Without even looking back at it, he grabbed the teapot on the gas stove and walked out.
It wasn’t the first time he asked the old man about the rock, but no matter what he did it was all useless. He tried all sorts of methods, but the old man remained absolutely tight-lipped. That really did annoy him.
Hell, a reincarnator shouldn’t be treated like this, right? I must have done something wrong somewhere. In the past two years, Xia Yu really was worked to death by the old man every single day. He got so little sleep that he went to school and slept to compensate, and that occurred so often that the nickname “sleeping demon” stuck with him through all his years of junior high school. Today, however, Xia Yu just finished Hakuoh Senior High School’s entrance examination. He was hoping that, at the end of spring break, when school restarted in April, he could leave behind the nickname “sleeping demon” in his new school and start anew.
Dammit it all.
Xia Yu’s mind was jumping all over the place, imagining all the possible explanations for the previous phenomenon. However, his expression and actions were quite passive on the surface as he sat in a seiza position by the side of the meditation cushion, pouring tea for the old man as he did so.
The tea leaves were not just from any random supermarket. Rather, it was from a special store, and the boss of that store was also an old man. Every time Xia Yu went over to the store to refill supplies, the old man would always just take out a small pouch, smiling as he gave it to Xia Yu. It really was mysterious.
Ah yes, that’s right. The open-air market mentioned previously referred to Ameya-Yokochou right next to Ueno Station. A variety of fresh and cheap sea products were available during the day as an open-air market, but it was a chaotic night market during the night. Nearly anything one wanted could be bought at this place. That being said, when Xia Yu first came to this place, he took a stroll, then immediately deemed it like any other open-air market and lost all interest with it.
There wasn’t much difference between this open-air market and the ones back at his homeland, China. That said, there was a much greater sense of trustworthiness towards things such as medicine and cosmetic products here, but for commodities other than that, like clothes, if it wasn’t too crappy of a knockoff or looked overly barbaric, then anything would do if it were cheap.
The fragrance of tea strongly permeated the air.
With the tea soaked well, Xia Yu poured a cup for the old man, and also poured a cup for himself. He took a sip, and as the liquid trickled down his throat, it brought out a mysterious vigor from his energy-sapped body. In that very instant, Xia Yu felt as if he returned to his invincible youthful state and couldn’t help but allow tears to drench his entire face.
“Alright, get back to work.” The old man waved his hand, his eyes now closed again.
Xia Yu wiped away the tears and could only stand up without much of a reply. He shot a glance at the ingredients outside the kitchen, then headed up the narrow stairs to the second floor where he prepared to get a change of clothes for work.
As usual, he pulled open the wardrobe. Ouch! A sharp pain twinged his palm and instinctively, Xia Yu retracted his hand as quick as lightning. He looked down to his right palm: there was a scratch nearly stretching across his entire palm, and it looked as if it had been cut by a knife. The wound also seemed to reach quite deep, but, most strangely, there was not even a hint of blood.
“Hell. The nail from the door came off?” Xia Yu gripped the wounded palm and grimaced from the pain. His complexion turned into one of fury, and he, out of rage, simply tore the entire wardrobe door off.
However, there was nothing sticking out of the door on the ground, let alone a sharp piece of nail or any other pointed mysterious thing.
That made no sense!
Xia Yu’s mind was thrown into a bit of a daze. He even thought of the possibility that he was seeing things, but when he took a brief look at his right palm, he saw, without a doubt, that the wound remained. But, there was still no blood.
“Tick. System detecting… Binding sequence initiated… Complete.”
Xia Yu, who was still firmly gripping his palm, was dumbfounded. He had turned around to look for a first aid kit, and involuntarily exclaimed, “System?”
“Host, I am present.”
The electronic voice rang out in his brain once again. This time, Xia Yu was not taken off guard, and this time, he knew that he wasn’t hearing things. He was completely stupefied and it took quite a while before he managed to put away that stupefied expression.
Something as ridiculous as reincarnation had happened, so what else is impossible? Xia Yu thought. As the saying went, “Those who had gone barefoot for years fear not wearing any shoe.” He was already experienced with something as odd as reincarnation, so what else should he be afraid of? Calming his mind, he opened up his heart to any explanation, sat on the bed nearby, and asked, “Where are you in my body?”
“The system chip has been implanted in your brain.”
Xia Yu’s mouth twitched. He glanced at his injured right palm, then scratched the back of his head. Could the chip had entered from his hand and drilled its way to his head? The mere thought of that brought chills down his spine.
“Introduce yourself to me then,” Xia Yu asked.
“This system was created for cultivating the God of Cooking…”
Following the electronic voice’s response, a character property frame appeared in Xia Yu’s vision.
Host: Xia Yu
Body Composition: Level 9 (Power, Cleverness, Eruption, Mental Reflection, etc.)
Cooking Composition: Level 1 [A noob starting]
Fame: 0 (Related to the Host’s reputation, exposure, and achievements. Fame can be used to purchase tools in the System Shopping Center.)
(Level 100 is the maximum. As such, you are only a little newbie in the cooking world. You do have a minuscule amount of knowledge in handling ingredients, but you have not personally created any cuisine of any sort. At the very best, you are an apprentice.)
“What is this?!”
Xia Yu’s face was burning as he read through the comments beneath the information.
He liked eating, so that’s why he made such a wish before he ended it all. But who said he had to be a chef just because he liked eating?!
Of course, the above were merely Xia Yu’s prideful thoughts. Many foodies really did hope they were skilled in cooking. The God of Cooking System was truly a ray of light in Xia Yu’s dark and muddled life—and he, at that moment, saw the light!
What a dramatic turning point in life!
Title: Reincarnating to Become a Japanese Chef God
Author: Qian Hui Zhuan (千回轉z)