Chapter 21:

Interlude: The Villain Wanted To Make Dinner

My Cute Kohai is Actually My Archnemesis?!

Reyna Hikaru was a child like any other. She loved to play outside, she loved crafting things from paper and cardboard, she had a favourite TV program that came on every week, and there was a cat next door that she loved to play with. Her parents were hardly ever home, but when they were, she hung around them as much as she could. Reyna’s mother always treated her with a smile and made sure she had time to hang out with her, while her father couldn’t seem to care less if she were in the room or not.Bookmark here

That was why she chose one day to imitate her father. He always came home earlier than her mom did, and he ended up making dinner everyday for the family. Reyna enjoyed every bite she could get from every meal her father made for her, because it was Reyna’s proof that her father loved her. As it stood, that was all he did: cook and leave. If there was anything she wanted to do, it was to prove she loved him back.Bookmark here

Of course, with how children are, Reyna was no exception. She had only ever seen cooking down from below the stove top. But Reyna was determined. She really wanted to make something for everyone to love. Her eyes turned to the chairs at the kitchen table and she looked at the looming countertop. Reyna pumped her fists and a gleam overtook her eyes.Bookmark here

She ran over to the chair and began to push. For little Reyna, the task was monumental, and it seemed as though ages passed before she finally crossed the threshold into the kitchen. Taking a break, Reyna wiped her brow and sighed. Finally, after pushing and pushing, she was able to get the chair into position. Her sights were set, and she dutifully climbed the chair. It took some effort for her small body to step onto the seat, but once she did, she ooh’d and aah’d at the appliances and produce she could see on the counter.Bookmark here

Everything seemed to gleam with a mystical allure. Knobs and switches and levers and surfaces all screamed for her to touch them, and touch them she did. She began to fiddle with everything. She pulled a lever down on a metal box with two slits, and shrieked with delight as it sprung back up hotter than before. She grabbed an onion from a bowl and began to unravel it, spreading the skin all over the chair, floor and counter. Finally, she started twisting the dials on the stove and shied away as the metal rings began to glow and she could feel an uncomfortable heat.Bookmark here

Harrumphing to herself, she realized this must be how things were cooked. By putting stuff on the hot rings, they would magically become delicious meals like her fathers. But wait, Reyna thought, Didn’t her father use metal bowls and pans? Taking stock of her surroundings, she couldn’t see anything that looked like the things her father served food on. Humming, she turned her attention to the cupboards that lined the walls.Bookmark here

“Cookies…” Reyna murmured. Of course, she knew they were hidden somewhere, and because of her thinking, she logically connected the two ideas: Where the cookies were hidden, the pans must be hidden too! After praising herself for such an amazing observation, Reyna threw open the first set of cupboards and found plastic containers and regular plates. She frowned and shook her head. Wobbling over to another set of doors, she threw them open. Immediately, her eyes dazzled at the matte black pans and pots she could see, along with a well-hidden white ceramic jar. Bookmark here

Reyna giggled to herself. After coming this far, she deserved a little snack, right? Carefully, she did her best to relieve the shelves of their metal weights. Some of them were to heavy, so she decided to leave them be, but for the ones she had removed; She would return to them later. For now, there was something better more important to focus on.Bookmark here

One thing Reyna quickly realized, however, was that the pile of pots and pans she had made, the height of the top shelf, and her own meagre size, all combined to make it impossible for her to get anything. Pouting to herself, she had enough common sense to know that any further would likely cause something to break. Instead, she looked at one of the pans underneath her and her eyes took on a shine.Bookmark here

She grabbed the lightest of the pans and rushed to the glowing rings on the stove. She practically slammed the pan onto the rings and pressed her hand against the pan, feeling it already beginning to warm. She gasped as it began to hurt a little, and she pulled back. This must be when I throw the ingredients in! Reyna thought.Bookmark here

She grabbed the half peeled onion she had been playing with and placed gently onto the pan. A weird smell was starting to come from the stove and pan, one she had never smelt before, but Reyna took it to mean she was doing something right. After all, there were new smells coming from the kitchen all the time. One more wouldn’t hurt, right?Bookmark here

She began to throw whatever she could see that she knew was food into the pan. The white flaky bulbs of garlic, the container full of white powder that made things taste a little better, the almost-finished loaf of bread, and to top it all of, some water she had cupped from the sink.Bookmark here

As she stared at the gooey mess that was her masterpiece, she grinned. “Haha! I’m amazing!”Bookmark here

Suddenly, she heard a door open. Gasping, she knew it must’ve been her dad. Quickly she scrambled to get off the counter and onto the floor, but the moment she reached the chair, the door to the kitchen swung open.Bookmark here

Her father stood there, his eyes beginning to grow wide in disbelief and shock. His cheeks began to redden, and his eyes flicked from the mess of pots and pans, to the scattered peels and debris of her ingredients, to the innocent look Reyna gave him. And Reyna thought he was growing red because he was ready to laugh.Bookmark here

“WHAT IS THIS!?”Bookmark here

His booming shout made Reyna recoil. She screamed as her father stormed up to her side and grabbed her arm. She yelped as the grip seemed to crush her wrist. “D-daddy! It hurts!” Reyna cried.Bookmark here

Reyna flinched as he snarled at her and turned the burners off with such force that one even cracked off completely. “What do you think you’re doing, Reyna!?” screamed her father. “Don’t you have any idea what this looks like? Smells like?” He grabbed the pot and threw its contents into the sink. “You could have set fire to something! And look at this!” He the hand still holding Reyna’s arm, making her yelp in pain, and pointed at the pan. “This is ruined, now. I can’t use this anymore! This was one of my best pans! Brat!”Bookmark here

As if her shock had finally worn off, and upon hearing the last word, Reyna burst into tears. “I was j-just trying to—“Bookmark here

“Trying to what, hm?” He growled. “TELL ME!”Bookmark here

Reyna wailed and tried to pull her hand away. “Trying to make dinner! I, I was trying to make dinner for us! P-please! Let go—“Bookmark here

“You tried to make dinner? Dinner!?” He swung the pun and Reyna recoiled. “You call this dinner!?” He snarled and looked from her arm in his grip and the pan in his hand.Bookmark here

Reyna seemed to notice this look and her tear-filled eyes widened in terror. “D-Daddy…P-Papa, no! Please, I just wanted to—GYAAAAAAAAARGH!”Bookmark here

The sound that could be heard, a disgusting and unpleasant sound, was drowned out by Reyna as she screamed. In an instant, it felt like her throat would just give out, and she felt an immense warmth begin to fill her as the pain only seemed to triple with every second.Bookmark here

She just wanted to make food. She just wanted to help. She wanted to show her love. She wanted the pain to go away the hurt to go away for everything to go away—!Bookmark here

Suddenly, she felt something wash over her like a warm blanket. The pain fizzled, but the throbbing remained. Reyna collapsed on the chair and sobbed as she cradled her bruised and burned and fiery-blue hand and tried to wipe her tears away—Bookmark here

Reyna brought the flaming hand away from her face and blinked. It was on fire. It was blue and it was flickering and her hand and now her face was on fire. Her gaze turned to terror as she looked at her father, who was staring at her like a ghost.Bookmark here

“Powered…” he whispered. “Y-you’re Powered. Oh god…”Bookmark here

“D-Daddy, P-Papa!” Reyna began crying, her tears just as hot as the flames that were consuming her. They dripped to the tiled floor and began to spread, and she slapped her hand against the stove’s metal as she steadied herself. Her hand left, and the metal had already begun to warp. “Help me!”Bookmark here

“Get away from me!” Her father yelled.Bookmark here

“PAPA, HELP ME!”Bookmark here

And all Reyna could see was blue.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.