This chapter was brought to you by AnmesicCat, Grisia, Inousha, Kirito, Lastear, and Lei.


Seo-yoon’s Home Visit

The everyday life of Half Sauce Half Fried.

Clu-clu-cluck.

His comb had grown with dignity and he had the great presence of a Korean chicken. He strolled around the yard catching earthworms as a delicacy.

“Seo-yoon, your meal is here.”

His life of peacefully living without any threats to his life while sharing Seo-yoon’s meal was utterly joyful. The joy of sitting between well cultivated bonsai and drowsing off! With his belly full and his back warm, there was nothing more to wish for in his daily life. As Seo-yoon stroked him affectionately, he even rubbed himself against her.

He was living as happily as a chicken can live.

However, Seo-yoon was always sorry for him.

‘I’m sorry I can’t be here with you.’

That was because Half Sauce Half Fried was alone when she was in the capsule or at school.

Cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck.

Half Sauce Half Fried shook his head back and forth as he walked around in the hospital’s yard.

Seo-yoon thought, ‘I will bring… a friend for you.’

* * *

Midterms, the festival, and the sports meet had ended, and now there were just a little over 2 weeks until summer vacation.

Lee Hyun grumbled endless complaints. “What kind of university is like this. Can’t university be shortened to 3 years, or 2 years, like with military service time?”

Seeing as he had to keep paying the expensive tuition for another three and a half years, his future was dark. A convict’s feelings about reducing jail time in a concentration camp or prison would be like this.

“Even if I graduate university, it’s not like I get graduation pension, it won’t guarantee me employment by a foreign company, and it won’t provide me with free lifetime medical insurance either…”

An endless reflection on the impracticalities of university was unfolding.

As he looked at the bars, capsule rooms, and the restaurants on the main street in front of the university, he became worried about the education world and the even the nation’s future.

“There should only be farmland or a tidal flat in front of a school. When you’re hungry, you can help with the elders’ rice planting and get a snack to eat, and in the fall you can help with the harvesting as well. A tidal flat… is always valuable food storage. You can hitch a ride on a boat and go pull up the net, too.”

On a tidal flat, a single shovel would secure food. You could catch things like fresh oyster and octopus and eat them dipped in chili paste. Since you could also catch fish by casting a net utilizing the ebb and flow, it was killing two birds with one stone!

“There would be no need to build a separate cafeteria…”

It could be called a symbol of rural education. College students enjoying fishing while reading, and friendships that blossomed while boiling spicy fish stew. In front of the university, instead of bars, salons, clothing stores, and nail art stores, a fishing discount mart would do.

As usual, Lee Hyun went to the grass plaza during lunch time and ate the lunch lying on his seat. Seo-yoon was sitting next to him, eating lunch together.

Lee Hyun picked up a side dish with chopsticks and put it in his mouth.

‘Yep, it’s delicious.’

The lunch that had started from kimbap had extended into sushi, and today it was grilled short rib patties.

‘It’s warm. It hasn’t even cooled yet.’

Lee Hyun didn’t even know about the lunchbox being installed with heat rays for keeping the food warm. He was just happy that he could try eating ribs without expense.

‘So this is the taste of short rib patties.’

In his middle school and high school days, he couldn’t use the school cafeteria because he didn’t pay the lunch fee. Even so, of course he couldn’t go without eating, so he secretly snuck in and took in a lunch tray. He had passed his school days surreptitiously eating the stealth food that didn’t go down comfortably.

How envious he was when his classmates were tearing into lunches that their parents had made with their utmost.

“…”

Seo-yoon slightly bit her lips as she was watched Lee Hyun eating happily. It seemed like she would briefly smile. Her smiling face could make a person happy, but the chance to see it was truly rare. Still, Seo-yoon’s cold and frozen expression, like when he had made the first Goddess Freya statue, had almost vanished.

Seo-yoon had even brought barley tea; she poured it into a cup and handed it to Lee Hyun.

“Mm, thanks.”

After taking one sip of the barley tea, Lee Hyun spoke begrudgingly, “Don’t just eat vegetables; do you want to eat 1 patty too?”

Nothing is given for free. She wickedly calculated to pretend kindness by pouring him barley tea because she wanted to eat the patties too!

‘Though it seems she’s become a little nicer recently…’

Unaware that the person secretly leaving the lunches was Seo-yoon, Lee Hyun acted like a person given an enormous power.

Seo-yoon shook her head to and fro. She was full just watching him eat.

Lee Hyun asked once again. “Then two patties…?”

“…”

“Should I give you th-three?”

Just how much was she aiming to squeeze out of him with a single cup of barley tea, she was frowning!

There was once a time when he had shared lunch with Seo-yoon and she had eaten his kimbap at random.

Memories of that time kept popping into his head.

Lee Hyun sighed. ‘I’m not a petty person. I should give sometimes too.’

When he was a kid, he had once gone to his friends holding just a spoon and had gotten a meal. As he recalled that plaintive feeling, he was able to understand Seo-yoon’s perspective.

“Just eat comfortably. Since I’ve never eaten much meat… I mean, because I don’t like it that much. Eat as much as you want.”

Lee Hyun picked up one of the patties and put it in on top of Seo-yoon’s rice box.

Seo-yoon carefully opened her mouth and ate it.

It was such a lovely sight that it could snatch one’s senses away.

After staring at that sight for a moment, Lee Hyun ate the patties too.

Munch munch.

He couldn’t give her much of a side dish as tasty as these patties.

“Why is this so delicious? What kind of meat melts in the mouth, it melts.”

The sight of him holding the ribs in both hands and tearing into them after telling her to eat as she wished!

Lee hyun emptied the lunch box cleanly, leaving not even a single grain of rice behind. Of course, he even left behind Seo-yoon’s share of one patty at the end. He had finished it off so cleanly that he was pleased with himself.

‘She’ll have no complaints if she eats three patties.’

Then, as usual, he pulled out the note that had come with the lunch to read it.

“Will she tell me thanks for eating happily today too? Even if I don’t know who it is, she is a truly warmhearted lady.”

But the were words written on the note Lee Hyun pulled out were different from the usual ones.

I have a request.

Do you have time today after class?

It was the summons of the veiled mystery angel who made him lunch.

How tastily had he eaten the food she had cooked. His mouth filled with saliva when lunch time rolled around. Thankfully enough, he had even gotten to eat short rib patties today.

Seo-yoon was observing Lee Hyun’s reaction with bright eyes.

“I was curious about who it is, this is good.”

With a thankful heart, Lee Hyun wrote his reply.

My class in the business hall on the 3rd floor, room B07, ends at 4. Please come if you can.

* * *

When class time neared its end, Lee Hyun became a little wary.

“What kind of woman is she really?”

Looking at her cooking skill, she was impressive.

“Her faults are that she uses luxury ingredients too unsparingly and that she only uses a brand-name lunchbox, but I don’t think she’ll be a bad woman.”

Lee Hyun had already created his mystery angel in his imagination.

“Huhu.”

Including Choi Sang-jun, Park Soon-jo, and Lee Yoo-jung, others had heard of the mystery angel who packed Lee Hyun lunch. Since she would finally appear today, it was a prime chance to resolve their curiosity.

Choi Sang-jun shook his head knowingly. “C’mon, hyung! Can’t you tell at a glance? There’s no way a girl who brings lunch like that is decent. That’s not normal in the world these days. Yoo-jung, aren’t I right?”

“To be honest… it is strange that she hasn’t shown herself until now even while putting a lunch box in the same place for over a month. Don’t expect too much, oppa.”

“Hyung, you heard what Yoo-jung said, right? A mystery angel is something that only shows up in fantasy stories. She could even be a spinster professor or someone who came from a social service community.”

Even so, the smile on Lee Hyun’s lips did not go away.

That she would make a meal for him had great meaning to him.

“A person who put her all into making a meal for someone else… there’s no way that she’s a bad girl.”

Lee Hyun’s personal relations weren’t all that normal either. Give as much as you receive. Since she had packed him lunch, he had simply come to the obvious conclusion that she was a good kid!

“Then, good work today. Come back with all your assignments finished.”

The professor left the classroom and the students organized their bags one by one. However, there were still students gathered in the area around Lee Hyun.

“What kind of person do you think will really come?”

“Just watch it be an old person. It might even be a student from the physical education department.”

That referred to the martial arts students from the PE department who bowed to Lee Hyun whenever they saw him.

The students who were about to leave the area around the classroom door stopped stock still in their positions, as if frozen.

“Hot damn! It’s senior Seo-Yoon.”

“Huh, does she take her next class here?”

University of Korea’s official goddess!

Seo-yoon was entering the classroom. Wearing an extremely gorgeous green dress, she was carrying a lunch box in one hand.

“It can’t be…”

The face muscles of the students twisted. They knew that the person who had packed Lee Hyun lunch was coming today.

“Was the Goddess-nim’s lunch mercilessly going into that hyung’s mouth?”

“This tragedy!”

The shocked and distressed male students!

Lee Hyun also felt like he had been greatly fooled. While frequently meeting Seo-yoon here and there, much of his initial awkwardness and wariness had decreased. They had gone through the MT (membership training) and the festival, and he could even say that they had become friends of a sort while eating lunch together. Seo-yoon did often hit him on the back of the head, but now he could even let that slide with a laugh.

However, for Seo-yoon to be the owner of the lunchbox, he was inevitably tense.

‘With what kind of secret design did she…’

Lee Hyun was suspicious from the get-go. He was guilty for not putting up his guard and being defenseless while eating lunch.

‘That’s right! That was no good. It was foolish, no different from being fooled by a loan company that says it’ll let you borrow money for ten days with no interest.’

A fierce self-reflection on his careless blunder!

Seo-yoon approached and extended the note.

You’ll listen to my request, right?

Lee Hyun trembled like an aspen. ‘So she was aiming for this moment! And for over 1 month…’

Pigs are also slaughtered after feeding them well. She had made him eat many lunches planned on making an excessive request by seizing that vulnerability!

However, Lee Hyun did not want to live with a debt. Interest would grow on the debt, and eventually it would be a quagmire he could never escape.

“If it’s a suitable request within feasibility… I’ll listen to it.”

As if relieved, she pulled out a note she had prepared beforehand.

Half Sauce Half Fried needs a friend.

“Half Sauce Half Fried?” Lee Hyun tilted his head.

Wasn’t that distinctive name passed down from the chickens he raised at home?

He soon realized that she was talking about the chicken she had taken at the MT.

“You need a chicken?”

Seo-yoon nodded.

Lee Hyun didn’t hide his breath-choking tension and asked again. “A female that can lay eggs?”

Seo-yoon had just wanted to bring him a friend. She hadn’t thought of the gender divide in advance. However, since Half Sauce was a male, if it came down to it, bringing a female would be better. Seo-yoon nodded again.

At that, Lee Hyun’s eyes trembled. He was forcing himself to resist an incomparably anguished expression.

‘A laying female is more expensive… the one we’re raising right now in particular is the whelp that ate up half the balloon flower root I picked up in the mountain last time.’

[T/N: Balloon flower root is a common medicinal herb.]

Even so, if he calculated the price of the lunches, a single chicken could be considered fairly inexpensive.

Lee Hyun answered in the affirmative. “Alright. Well… I will bring her tomorrow.”

But Seo-yoon was shaking her head.

I want to bring her after seeing her myself.

At the contents of the note that she had prepared beforehand, Lee Hyun thought for a moment and agreed.