In the end, the winner of this cook-off was the one with the cheat-like Master Chef ability, Wu Yan.
Asuna looked like the world ended for her. She immediately dimmed down. She converted her frustration, anger, and sadness into hunger and she wolfed down Wu Yan’s dish, she ate so much she could barely stand up as she laid there on the sofa. That was the end of her binge. She looked like a kid who’s throwing a tantrum. Wu Yan wasn’t sure if he should laugh or be angry at her.
Asuna wanted to retort but her inflated stomach told her otherwise. She moaned and she laid back on the sofa after exerting too much. Wu Yan watched with a bitter smile.
“I mean, if you can’t handle that much food, why force yourself to do so?”
Wu Yan sighed.
“I know you can’t die from over-eating in SAO but you still can’t get rid of that bloated feeling, are you not afraid of that feeling?”
“I am just frustrated…”
Asuna raised an arm and she whispered.
“To think I lost in a cook-off against a guy…”
“Hmm? You’re thinking surprisingly like a housewife…”
Wu Yan teased her.
“Looks like someone is going to become a great housewife one day…”
Asuna leered at Wu Yan as she sat up. Wu Yan shook his head when he saw her struggling to get up. He poured her a cup of black tea. He placed the cup in front of her.
“Drink up, I think it should alleviate that bloated feeling.”
Asuna frowned. She didn’t want to drink or eat anything after binging. But, she drank the cup of tea anyway. She pursed her lips and she noticed that the light outside the window had dimmed. The night is now approaching. The blue sky slowly turned reddish-orange and finally, it was replaced with the golden hue of dusk.
The shadows cast by the trees elongated, the lake slowly changed colors. The sparkling water gave off a myriad of colors. The beauty of this scenery delayed the clocks inside anyone’s mind, any onlooker would find their thoughts drifting away like the drifting clouds in the sky.
Wu Yan and Asuna enjoyed the scene without much talking going on between them. They enjoyed this beautiful view with silence serenading their thoughts. The golden radiance of dusk hit their blissful faces.
The black tea decreased and finally, when the cup was emptied, the night arrived.
At night, the forest is quiet. The lake stirred ever so slightly when wind danced across the surface of the lake. With fireflies floating around, dotting the air with their colorful lights, their internal thoughts calmed down. Aincrad had starlight at night just like in the real world. With little light pollution, they could see a nigh-perfect imitation of the Milky Way Galaxy stretching across the sky. Alas, this scene wasn’t perfect due to the lack of a moon in the sky
Asuna grabbed her cup of tea. She didn’t drink its content, instead, she thanked him.
“Thanks for today…”
Wu Yan laughed slightly.
“You have been thanking me all day long, vice-captain-sama…”
“Call me Asuna…”
She rolled her eyes at Wu Yan. She revealed her thoughts without hiding anything.
“I haven’t experienced this much wholesomeness in a long while…”
Wu Yan poured another cup of tea.
“Aren’t you called the Demon of floor Conquests? Clearing the game for everyone’s sake on the frontline, isn’t that a meaningful existence?”
“That kind of life…”
Asuna lowered her head to hide her expression.
“That’s not life…”
“Is that so?”
Wu Yan glanced at her and then he replied.
“I think it’s a life.”
Bewildered, she didn’t think Wu Yan would say something like that.
“It all comes down to how you’re trying to live your life…”
Wu Yan sighed as he looked into her eyes.
“A life where you’re living for the sake of living, that’s what I call a meaningless life. By seizing the day and facing the challenges head-on, that’s how I think you will get the most out of life.”
“Enjoying my life, you mean?”
Asuna rephrased his sentence with a hint of sarcasm in her tone.
“You call our current lives a fulfilling one?”
“That’s why I said, you shouldn’t be living just for the sake of living…”
Wu Yan’s words shook her heart.
“This is our world for now, at least. You have to adapt to the circumstances around you. I don’t think the world will conform to your views and needs alone. I know you get what I am saying…”
Asuna’s jaw went wide for a brief second but she continued anyway.
“Have you never resented being forcefully dragged into this world?”
Wu Yan shook his head.
“Annoyed maybe, I don’t hate it.”
“It’s a virtual world but does that deduct from the beauty around us?”
Wu Yan pointed his lips towards the window.
“Look outside the window, Asuna, can you hate the floor we are currently on?”
Asuna thought about it and she clenched down on her cup.
Wu Yan beamed affably at her.
“I think you just haven’t found your own piece of a happy place. When you find it, I am sure you wouldn’t hate your current circumstances even if this place was crueler.”
“My happy place…”
Asuna asked him.
“You mean I can find it?”
“Sooner or later, I’m sure.”
He said with a faint tone. He shook his head and he chuckled.
“I think girls are better at finding the missing piece, like love and whatnot…”
Asuna raised her head. She stared at Wu Yan with wide eyes. She was blushing red and she turned her head the other way awkwardly.
“Don-don’t be like that…”
Asuna pushed against the air with her arms.
“Don’t be like what?”
Wu Yan tilted her head in confusion.
“What do you mean?”
“Lo-love is too early isn’t it?…”
She peeked at him furtively before she continued.
“I mean, we only just started talking today and…”
Wu Yan was puzzled for a moment. He picked up on her bashful looks and he laughed out loud when he connected the dots.
Asuna was taken by surprise. When she saw him laughing out loud while hugging his own stomach, she got really mad.
“What are you laughing at?!”
“O-oh, it’s not-pftt hahaha…”
Wu Yan can’t hold back his own tears. He waved his hands and he reined in his laughter, terribly, Asuna can still hear his cackle.
Asuna is absolutely blowing her top off right now. Feeling like a clown, she burned with indignation.
Asuna stood up as she trembled. Then she jumped towards Wu Yan.
“I will bite you to death!”
Wu Yan took immediately took action but Asuna already pounced on top of him. She grabbed his arm and she chomped down.
“Gargh! What are you doing?!”
Wu Yan flailed his arm in pain.
“Are you a puppy or something? Let go of me!”
Asuna kept her iron jaw on his arm, Wu Yan’s face started contorting in pain.
“Let go, Asuna!”
Wu Yan wanted to cry but couldn’t for the lack of tears.
“SAO doesn’t stop this kind of attack. You’re hurting me, let go…”
Asuna was like a crafty fox, she glanced at Wu Yan, and then she bit down harder!
Wu Yan’s hp slowly decreased as he wailed in pain…