Chapter 43.1

The second visit to Hyun-seong’s office-tel still left an impression of immaculate spaciousness, devoid of even a speck of dust. Whether it was then or now, the place bore few traces of human habitation.

As Yi-soo, now shoeless at the entrance, quietly surveyed the living room, a dark gray leather sofa and a low glass table greeted her. Hyun-seong’s laptop sat undisturbed, as if he had just stepped away from it.

“Shall we grab some lunch, Yi-soo?” Hyun-seong suggested.

“Oh, I haven’t had lunch yet… What about Attorney Yoon?” Yi-soo inquired.

“Neither have I. I’m hungry,” Hyun-seong replied.

After emerging from the bathroom, he casually draped his suit jacket over a chair. His vest-clad silhouette had a model-like quality, making quite an impression. He then made his way to the kitchen, opening the refrigerator and retrieving some vegetables. As Yi-soo observed him with a hint of uncertainty, she placed her bag on the sofa and blinked inquisitively.

“What are you up to?” she asked.

“What does it look like I’m doing?” Hyun-seong retorted.

“When you’re asked a question, it’s customary to provide an answer instead of asking back… Forget it. Do you cook as well?”

Surprisingly, the refrigerator held little more than bottled water and alcohol. It seemed Hyun-seong was quite the cook, a revelation that contradicted the initial perception of this sparsely inhabited place.

Hyun-seong placed a vibrant red carrot onto a polished wooden cutting board, retrieving a kitchen knife with a practiced ease. As the blade met the board, it emitted a steady, rhythmic sound. Amid his composed vegetable preparations, Hyun-seong posed a question.

“Why, is it surprising?”

“Of course, it’s surprising. Someone who appears as if they’ve never set foot in a kitchen…” Yi-soo replied.

“It doesn’t sound like a flattering description, though. If you’re being sarcastic, just say it outright.”

“I’m not implying that. To put it diplomatically, it signifies sophistication. To be blunt…” Yi-soo paused. “Like a pampered rich kid, right?” she added with a wry smile.

Just a few hours ago, she had been teetering on the brink of exhaustion, but after receiving intravenous fluids and some rest, Yi-soo had made a remarkable recovery.

Hyun-seong chuckled at her response and continued to finely chop shiitake mushrooms. His precise movements, accompanied by his broad shoulders, surprisingly exuded a certain allure.

Seated at the dining table, positioned between the kitchen and the living room, Yi-soo posed a fundamental question.

“By the way… What are you cooking right now?”

“Porridge,” Hyun-seong replied.

“Oh, you don’t have to go through all this trouble because of me…”

“I’m making it for you, Yi-soo, so it’s for you. Just be patient.”

He typically refrained from making small talk, even if it was just a casual remark. In any case, he was a man who didn’t seem to have words to spare. Nevertheless, Yi-soo couldn’t help but think that such a demeanor made Yoon Hyun-seong all the more captivating as a man.

Hyun-seong, having finely diced onions, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, and zucchini, retrieved minced beef from the refrigerator. He then set a sleek black pan onto the induction cooker.

As the aroma of sesame oil filled the air, it tantalized Yi-soo’s senses. Hyun-seong spoke casually while adding the beef to the pan.

“I don’t cook very often,” he remarked. “Maybe once a week, at most.”

“But why are there so many ingredients in the fridge? It’s as if you’ve been shopping like a homemaker,” Yi-soo inquired.

“My mom comes over every two or three days. She prepares side dishes and all,” Hyun-seong explained.

“Ah… I see. You have someone handling things separately,” Yi-soo muttered to herself, seemingly coming to terms with the situation. She then rose from her seat and made her way to the water purifier. Holding a glass beside it, she cast a fleeting glance at Hyun-seong.

“Can I have some water?” she asked.

“Help yourself to the warm water,” Hyun-seong instructed.

He was meticulous. Although Hyun-seong had a sharp and pragmatic exterior, there was an undeniable gentleness within him. Yi-soo poured lukewarm water, splitting it evenly between hot and cold.

As the just-right temperature water flowed down her throat, it felt like a soothing warmth spreading throughout her body. Meanwhile, Hyun-seong continued to stir-fry the vegetables. The sizzling sounds filled the kitchen, creating a pleasant ambiance.

It feels… like we’re on a date or something, Yi-soo thought.

Watching him focus on cooking, she couldn’t help but experience an odd sense of intimacy. It was as if they were in a romantic relationship, a thought she hadn’t entertained before. Yet, inexplicably, her ears began to flush with warmth.

Yi-soo cleared her throat gently and returned to her seat at the dining table.

Meanwhile, Hyun-seong had combined rice and water and cranked the induction heat to its maximum setting. It didn’t take long before a frothy layer formed at the top, and the porridge began to boil vigorously.

Soon enough, he retrieved dishes from the cabinet above the sink, serving up an appropriate portion of the thickened porridge. Steam gently wafted from its surface.

Hyun-seong set a bowl and a silver spoon on the dining table and pulled a chair to sit across from Yi-soo.

“Give it a try.”



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