Chapter 1:

Rika and Masaru

Spice of life [Remake]

A young man with short grey hair sighed as he watched his customers eat. "They lack the palette to truly appreciate the food," he glared.

"Come on, you should know like a majority of the world's population aren't gourmet food critics. They just want a good bite to eat. Besides, they're gobbling up your dish with big smiles on their faces," an orange-haired woman smirked.

"Rika, you know that dish is best eaten at a slower pace."

"Yeah, but people can eat how they want. Stop thinking about Makihara's words."

"But he is the center of the culinary world."

"Yeah, and you were shown that not everyone agrees with him when you lost that cook-off to me."

"Don't remind me. It was humiliating to lose to that mochi dish you concocted."

"You know you could be a little nicer instead of trying to copy that ass Makihara."

"I'm proud to copy him."

The two chefs bickering were Masaru Ryono and Rika Komachi. They were 19-year-old chefs that had graduated from Japan's most elite cooking college, Tabemono Gakuin, a few weeks prior. Masaru had graduated as the top student of the class of 2016, while Rika had graduated second, however, both were world-class chefs. Masaru was dedicated to his craft and was completely serious when it came to food and culinary matters while Rika was more playful and carefree, though still a talented chef.

Today, they were celebrating the grand opening of their restaurant, Ryokoma. The restaurant was renovated from the ruins of an abandoned mall, but currently only consisted of a single floor large dining room complete with luxury seating, cooking stations, and even a nice stage for performances in addition to the kitchen.

"You should pay more attention to me," Rika pouted as she pressed her breasts against Masaru's arm.

"RI- RIKA WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?" Masaru stuttered as he became redder than a tomato.

"You were scaring the customers with your glare," Rika smirked.

Masaru broke free and immediately retreated to the kitchen.

"Sorry, he's just a little shy around people," Rika smiled.

While Masaru was one of the most serious and skilled chefs, his social skills were not the greatest. Rika on the other hand was more outgoing and good with people, but a bit more eccentric.

Rika then retreated to the kitchen to find Masaru calming himself at his workstation. "Rika, you didn't need to do that," Masaru grumbled as he intently prepared a dish.

"If the chef is scowling at the customers, no one’s gonna wanna eat here no matter how good the food is," Rika teased.

"Ugh, I communicate via food. Now prepare the Asiago shrimp bisque for table 7."


"And here's your Asiago," Rika smiled as she served the dish to a customer.

"This is good," the customer said as he ate.

"Want me to add some spice to make it even better?"

"I guess. Couldn't hurt."

Rika happily pulled out some spice and sprinkled it into the dish. "Just mix it around then give it a taste," she smiled.

"...! THIS IS AMAZING! How did the flavor become so much better with just a little spice?" the patron beamed.

"Well, I can give you the complex sciencey answer or just leave it at your taste buds loved the mix of spice I added to the dish," Rika smiled as she walked back to the kitchen.


Masaru began to close the restaurant as the last few customers finished their meals and left. "We're still open for 5 more minutes," Rika pouted.

"And you think anyone is going to come in the next 5 minutes?" Masaru retorted.

Suddenly a group of delinquents burst through the doors. "We're hungry give us some take out!" one of them sneered.

"What you want boys?" Rika asked.

"Oh, we'll take YOU sexy," another delinquent cooed.

"Sorry, not on the menu boys," Rika smiled as she skillfully twirled a cooking knife in her hand.

"Heh heh, just remembered we don't have enough money for this place, let's scram," the leader nervously stated as he dragged his buddies away.

"And you complained about ME scaring the customers," Masaru glared.

"Nah, that was just me showing off. After all, tomorrow I'm gonna start cooking the food live in front of people," Rika smiled.

"Please just cook. Don't do any weird acrobatics that would disgrace the meal."

"Boo! People enjoy the knife flips!"

"What about me? I'm going to be alone cooking and serving while you throw knives everywhere!"

"Seriously? Where is your mind coming up with that stuff? Heck there were plenty of folks back at Tabemono Gakuin that did performance cooking. It was even a class."

"That Makihara-sama rightfully deemed unnecessary and abolished."

"Wish you weren't such a gourmet elitest. The world doesn't revolve around eating and appreciating gourmet food 24/7."


After changing into her casual attire, Rika skipped away. "See you tomorrow. I'm off to swing by 5-22," she smiled.

"Wait Rika, you barely even cleaned. Ugh, I guess I'll lock the door and clean on my own," Masaru grumbled.

Rika skipped down the street until she arrived at a convenience store. She then entered and moseyed up to the green-haired girl at the register.

"Ugh, I was hoping you wouldn’t show up, er Welcome to 5-22,” the girl groaned.

"Oh, hey Matcha, how's the 5-22 gig going?" Rika asked.

"Lousy. I wish I could cook again, but thanks to that damn cooking school, working in a convenience store is the closest I'll ever get to a culinary profession."

"Wanna work for us? We're short on hands."

"Like I'd work for you two. Thanks to your boyfriend and his Makihara fanatics at Tabemono Gakuin, I was expelled and blacklisted from the culinary world."

"But I beat them in a big cook-off and now Makihara's forced to allow those that don't agree with his gourmet elitist ideology to pass."

"Yeah, but I was unfairly expelled long before that!"

"Hey, you lost fair and square to Masaru."

"Like it was fair having an average chef like me compete against an elite like him just to pass a test!"

"And that's why I'm saying the victor gets the spoils. I beat Masaru, who beat you. So wanna work for us?"

"NO! Even if I wanted to, I can't because of the blacklist. Besides, Masaru wouldn't let me so much as window gaze. You know how he treats those that get expelled. Why do you even flirt with an ass like that?"

"He's just sheltered. I figure the restaurant will truly help him improve his social skills and ease up on his gourmet elitism," Rika stated as she grabbed some snacks.

"You were head of the rebel faction, but you still flirted with him even then. Why? What do you see in an ass like that?"

"Hi-mi-tsu," Rika smirked.

"Whatever, just pay and leave."


As Rika walked home, she was surrounded by the three delinquents from before. "Not on duty now, how about you give us our takeout," one sneered.

"Want me to whip something up? Sure, I got ingredients," Rika smirked.


Rika grabbed the food she bought and turned it into a meal in minutes. "Fish n chips, though more like nagiri on chips with a little mayo and rice," she smiled as the three tried it.

"It's... It's... AMAZING!" one cried.

"Please marry me and cook for me every day!" another cooed.

"Sorry but I’ll pass on that. Though now we square?" Rika asked.

The leader of the group scowled as he gobbled down his portion. "You idiots! We're supposed to kidnap her!" he growled as he threw his meal to the ground.

"But boss, the food is too good!" one of his men pleaded.

"Yeah, let her leave," the other pleaded.

The leader then kicked the two and they got in line.

"Why so bold? I thought I spooked you three back at the restaurant," Rika snickered.

"That's because you were twirlin around a sharp kitchen knife, now you don't have it!" the leader grinned as he and his men surrounded Rika.

"And I made that nice meal for you three. Well, guess we'll say it's a last supper," Rika sighed.


Before the thugs could react, Rika had vanished. Blood immediately spewed out of the thugs’ necks before they fell to the ground and died seconds later. Rika didn't even look back as she shook the blood off her knife and walked away.

Rika Komachi was an elite chef. However, unbeknownst to many, she was also an ex-assassin known as Hitokiri cutlet. She was born into a family of assassins known as the Korosekai family. In addition to being one of Japan’s most notorious assassin families, the Korosekai family was also an offshoot of the more infamous Bombino family of Italy. Both families, however, were secretly part of I.L.U., the world’s largest shadow organization which sought world domination. Rika was easily one of the most talented killers in both her immediate and extended family; however, she didn't enjoy killing and following the orders of I.L.U.’s higher-ups. Her animosity towards her fate only worsened after an incident in 2005, where an I.L.U. member known as Madam Ookuma tricked her into killing innocent civilians. However, she found herself unable to escape her fate and succumbed to it, becoming nothing more than an assassin obediently following orders.

When Rika was 10, she had a fateful encounter that inspired her to escape her fate and become a chef. Convincing her father to let her attend cooking school was surprisingly easy considering he simply saw cooking as a way for her to not only improve her assassination skills, but to also get close to and kill high profile targets that might eat her food. Thus, her admission to Tabemono Gakuin was approved. It was there that Rika met Masaru and discovered her natural talent for cooking. She quickly developed feelings for him after he became the first person to praise her for her cooking. Her time at Tabemono Gakuin only further solidified her resolve to never be an assassin again. Despite that, she found it near impossible to erase her killer instinct. While she didn’t kill for I.L.U. anymore, she had no qualms killing scumbags that attacked her and her friends. She also feared that Masaru might leave her if he found out about her past. Thus, she made it her mission to become as close with Masaru to decrease the chances of him leaving her if he ever found out about her past.


As Rika arrived at Ryokoma the next day, she was confronted by an angry Masaru. "I had to do all the cleaning last night. I'm also not keen on you using our establishment to disgrace cooking with acrobatics," he glared.

"Why? I think more people would enjoy a live cooking performance," Rika smirked.

"Why are you so adamant about being with me? The only reason I agreed to open a restaurant with you was because it was my punishment for losing the big cook-off to you," Masaru sighed.

"Because I love you Masaru. You were the first guy to appreciate my skills as a chef. That's why I want you to get a better view of the world so you can be a little happier and nicer. Following Makihara will only get you scorn and resentment. Don't worry, I'll stay by your side," Rika smiled as she kissed Masaru on the cheek.

Masaru went red and freaked out as he fell to the floor. "RI-RI-RI-RI-KISS!?" he stuttered before passing out from shock.

Mario Nakano 64
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