Chapter 130:

Claire vs Pierre

The Y-files [GL]

Anna was looking worried at me. “Are you sure you wanna do this? I am not sure how I feel about aunt Maxima making a display out of this.”Bookmark here

I was sharpening Mari's knives. While sharpening knives, I always felt my mind was sharpening too. It didn't feel like I had another choice, but was that really true? No, I had let myself get taunted by Maxima. These suspicions of mine were confirmed almost instantly when Mari rushed into the kitchen.Bookmark here

“Claire, I have a bad feeling about this. Everything seems to have been prepared for this contest from the start. I think Maxima planned all of this from the start.”Bookmark here

We were expecting some kind of scheme, but those Lyst schemes really went always way out of proportion. Getting invited to this birthday party had so far resulted in me getting wrongly accused by the queen, the pressure for the school festival had increased tenfold, and now I would have to become a part of the entertainment. All of these events had a Lyst at the center of them, and I was getting tired of being treated like their new toy.Bookmark here

I was being underestimated. They probably thought I was just being cute in the kitchen. Cooking is a serious business to me. I would show them what real cooking is all about.Bookmark here

“I'll show her. Enough is enough.”Bookmark here

Determined I picked up Mari's knife set and made my way to the stage.Bookmark here

I could see they had prepared 2 huge man-sized ice blocks on inox tables. “There is no way that this was just prepared last minute,” I whispered to myself. I noticed Pierre on the other side of the stage, picking out his knife. The way he held it showed me he was a real expert with years of experience. This would be no easy win.Bookmark here

Maxima stood in front of the crowd and started a speech.Bookmark here

“As you all know, I love games, and I love to entertain my guests.” The crowd started laughing. I concluded from that, that I was not the first guest to have this kind of thing happen to her.Bookmark here

“Earlier, I accidentally walked in on a row in the kitchen, that challenged the Lyst name.” Accidentally... Sure...Bookmark here

“I could not let this stand, so I brought this duel to the stage for everyone to witness.” Then she pointed to Pierre “On the left, claiming my precious niece's girlfriend only got her position in the group by using her body... You know what I mean...” She gave the crowd a wink. A lot of murmurs rose from the crowd.Bookmark here

“And on the right, defending her own and the family's honor, Claire!”Bookmark here

I heard cheers coming from the crowd. I noticed all my friends and Anna had gathered in the front on my side of the stage.Bookmark here

“The contest will be simple. Shaving Ice, while showing off their knife skills.”Bookmark here

I had never really shaved ice, but I had seen plenty of videos on how to do it. I was lucky I sharpened those knives already. I looked at Pierre, he seemed rather confident. My guess was that he probably chose this contest himself.Bookmark here

Maxima looked at the two of us and saidBookmark here

“Ready? Set? GO!”Bookmark here

Pierre rushed toward the ice block and immediately started cutting away. Each time he finished a serving, he put some sort of blue syrup over it creating a beautiful dessert that really had an ocean feel. I suppose he would serve that at Fruits de Mer. It was probably his signature dessert.Bookmark here

I knocked the ice block with my finger. “Hard...” I said to myself.Bookmark here

Pierre was laughing at me. “What's the matter? All bark and no bite?”Bookmark here

Staring at the ice block, I took a knife and cut the ice for the first time. A small piece flew away. Looking at Pierre's dish and seeing the trajectory of the ice gave me a silly idea... I cut another piece of the ice block confirming my hunch.Bookmark here

I started laughing. “This is fun!” I said. I carefully placed plates around the stage and then put the entire can of red sirop over the ice, coloring it red. I noticed that my friends in the crowd were looking worried. I looked back over to Pierre. He was shaking his head, calling me an amateur. He had already prepared many servings, but I still had to start.Bookmark here

It was finally time to cut loose. Literally.Bookmark here

I picked up two knives, gave them a little spin in my hand before I started working.Bookmark here

After a few pieces, I started to get the hang of it and the ice started falling down like flower petals. Yes, that was it! Exactly what I was going for. I started razing my working speed cutting as fast and precise as I could. Even though I was cutting ice, my knives started to feel warm because of the friction speed. Finally, I could release all that build-up pressure from the last days. It had been ages since I had been able to cut loose like that. I felt my gaze become really intense and went into overdrive.Bookmark here

The ice was swirling around me like a pink Tornado, the pink petals were falling on the plates that I had set out, slowly forming pink flowers on all the plates at the same time.Bookmark here

The crowd seemed to have become louder, but I could not be bothered by that. It was time for my pièce de la résistance. Unlike Pierre, I wasn't just filling plates.Bookmark here

The plates had been filled with ice lilies. I put on some grated lemon zest to accentuate the cores and make them look like real lilies.Bookmark here

As I came out of my trance, I looked at Pierre. He looked at me with fear in his eyes. It seemed like we had finished serving the plates at about the same time so now it was time for my final surprise.Bookmark here

I walked up to the rest of my ice block and gave it a kick. A lot of remaining ice flakes that were stuck to my block fell to the ground. But on stage, my ice block was revealing an ice statue of myself as Jeanne D'Arc. It might have been a little egotistical, but everyone was calling me that anyway, so I decided to have a little joke. Don't judge me for it okay? I turned around to the crowd with a smug smile on my face.Bookmark here

The crowd was staring at the statue and at me. I could see fear in some people's eyes... “That's why they call her Jeanne D'Arc. She's a real battle maiden.” I heard coming from the crowd. "That is not a chef, those are assassin skills. This has to be a warning!"Bookmark here

Maxima came back to the stage and when she passed me she said “Well played little girl. You impressed me. Seems Kath was right about you.” She declared me the winner and I received thundering applause. A furious Pierre was dragged from the stage. I guess I was now the owner of Fruits de Mer.Bookmark here

With a smug smirk on her face, Maxima walked to me and said “You might want to get cleaned up, you look like you were in a real battle.” I looked down and noticed that my dress was completely ruined full of red spots of syrup. I touched my face and felt it was stained too. I must look completely blood-stained to the crowd. Those comments started to make more sense now...Bookmark here

“I'll borrow you another dress.”Bookmark here

Maxima dragged me away from the crowd. It seemed like I was going to miss the second part of the dance too...Bookmark here

When we arrived in a dressing room I askedBookmark here

“Why? Why did you go through so much trouble to put me on that stage.”Bookmark here

“Oh, don't mind that. That's between me and Kath. I just wanted to see if you were worth our investment, or if Kath was finally losing it.”Bookmark here

Then she smirked and said, “Showing the public either option, would have worked out well for me, but I am glad my sister still got it.”Bookmark here

“Well, stop using me for those games.”Bookmark here

Maxima looked me in the eyes and said “Now you are just lying to yourself. Anyone could see that you were enjoying yourself. You love these games just like a real Lyst. It keeps you on edge.”Bookmark here

Well, it's true that I enjoyed cutting the ice, but that was because it had been so long since I had been able to cook and release some stress. That had nothing to do with those games the Lysts play!Bookmark here

“I even heard some rumors tonight that you are Anna Lyst's personal assassin, and that the restaurant chain is just a cover.”Bookmark here

Maxima started giggling “I almost didn't recover from that one. They gave you the nickname Jeanne D'Arc, the battle maiden.”Bookmark here

I cringed. Did assassins really get those cringe-worthy names in real life? Wait what was I thinking? I'm not even an assassin!Bookmark here

I decided to hmph her “HMPH, let's just hurry. If this takes too long I will only have danced with Anna once.”Bookmark here

Maxima started laughing again and said. “I see that you are going to fit in very nicely in this family.”Bookmark here

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