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Prince of Food Ep 20: Fiorentina


Jackson Young



I'm fairly certain that someone is cursing me.

It would be the only logical explanation for what was currently happening. It was almost as if someone took a look at my life for the past few weeks and decided to through me a physical manifestation of 'Hold my beer' to top off my quota or something.

It was silence between us for a while, no one really know what to say most likely. I was staring at Abby and Jasmine like it would make them both just magically disappear. I wish but life tragically doesn't work like that.

Jasmine at least had the decency to look away and appear uncomfortable which given the situation was nice. Abby however was staring back at me curiously. My relationship with Jasmine's friends varied back in school but Abby and I in particular never got along great.

I'm sure Jacob and Hayden were curious about what this dynamic was but I was still hanging on to a prayer that I'll blink and wake up back in the hotel room.

Sadly no such luck.

Fortunately however Abby, which is a surprise to me, is the one to cut through the tense silence.

"Um, so we should take the pictures while it still time." She said, eyeing the N1U booth like it was her savior.

I honestly appreciated and completely agreed with. Everyone who wanted to get an autograph walked over to the line. This left me, Hayden, Jun-Hee, and his friend on the side watching and waiting which was not ideal. My eyes never left the line as I count down the time in hopes that nothing else will happen.

But of course, my prayers were ignored yet again as the human form of a porcupine himself opens his mouth.

"My, you have quite the messy life, lover boy." Jung-Hee mutters.

I immediately turn to him with a glare and crossed my arms over my chest. This guy was really trying to get on my nerves.

"Are you usually this much of an asshole? I know your friend mentioned it before but god." I said mostly out of spite.

Seriously though this guy really had issues or something. He actually turns his head to look at me, his expression appeared vividly unimpressed. Like I was the one with the problem.

"Basically. I'm still rather annoyed with your presence so there is also that."

I think this is honestly the first time I've met someone who I actually completely just dislike on impulse.

"What are you, 5? Are you seriously going to hate me for something I have already apologized for!" I yell at him in frustration.

He looks at me with a stare that clearly says "Yes" but he just shrugs his shoulders.

How annoying..

I honestly don't get why this guy was so upset. Okay, that's a lie. I'm sure he's pissed about his job, I know I would be. But some part of me is thinking it's something more.


Wait a minute, could it be that?

My mind starts racing, filling with all kinds of ideas and concepts of why this guy could be so pissed. And in hindsight, maybe some of these ideas were a bit out there. But at the time it made sense in my head.

"...Is that the reason maybe.." I mumbled under my breath.

Apparently, I wasn't quite quiet enough since the next second Jung-Hee's face twisted into an angry sneer. His eyes glare harshly at me.

"..What are you looking at?" He said with a glare.

My mind was still racing and I could tell the look on my face wasn't giving Jung-Hee a good feeling given how dark his expression was getting. Hell, even Hayden and his other friend were throwing me worried/confused looks. But I think I had it figured out finally.

"...Sorry I took your first kiss."

The next few seconds seemed to crawl to a halt as a lapse of silence fell between us all. Jung-Hee's face went from dark with annoyances to an almost vicious fury. Hayden was looking at me like I had lost my mind and Jung-Hee's friend looks like she was about to witness a murder.

"...What?" Jung-Hee hissed out as he stared me down.

Maybe I was wrong? Well, looking at his face I would defiantly say I was wrong. But it was the only thing that made sense to me, otherwise why the hell else would he be so pissed.

....Oh? Or maybe it was that...?

"..Or maybe it's worst than that?... Was...Was I your gay awakening or something?" I ask in a tone of pity.

Okay before you think I'm arrogant, this wasn't the first time something like this has happened. Growing up I was pretty popular either due to my looks or money. I usually turned them down as gently as possible.

Although looking at Jung-Hee's face reddening in either embarrassment or hatred, I wasn't fully sure if my theory was correct.

"Are you fucking-"

"We're back!"

Thank god! I turn to see Jacob and the other returning. They looked between us a few confused by the obvious tense silence and almost instantly Jung-Hee calls to his friends that they were leaving. He storms off in a huff with both his friends behind him.

Well, the good news is there was one less headache to deal with. The bad news is however I'm certain that he's going to kill me the next time he sees me.

And given how my life has been going we are absolutely going to meet again.

Well, little victories I guess.

Now, I think as I turned to Jasmine and Abby, to deal with my next immediate problem. Jasmine was still refusing to look me in the eyes. Her gaze was sad with some hints of regret which I wasn't sure how to feel about it. Abby was also looking at me with an odd expression on her face. One that I didn't quite know how to decipher and honestly didn't have the patience to.

I really just wanted to enjoy my time.

"Well, this had been...grand. Enjoy your time." I said with a plastic smile on my face as I look at Jasmine and Abby.

Abby looks like she wants to say something, she even opens her mouth to speak but surprisingly Jasmine interrupts her and gives me a painful smile.

"...Right enjoy yourself." That was all she said before turning and walking off.

Abby looks at her back and turns back to me, a complex expression on her face. Regret, a bit of sadness, and something else was mixed in. But eventually, she runs off after Jasmine who had already disappeared into the crowd.


I could hear either Hayden or Jacob calling to me, but I couldn't take my eyes off the direction Jasmine had disappeared in. Something odd clung to my heart, whether it was regret or satisfaction at finally getting even some small sense of revenge, I wasn't sure. After a few more seconds I turn back to Jacob and Hayden who have equal looks of concern on their faces.

"What's with those faces? Let's get ready for the concert guys!" I said cheerfully.

I was faking it obviously but I didn't really want to put any thought into what I was feeling at the time. I just wanted to enjoy this concert and then get drunk or something and forget this whole night. Fortunately, the concert did manage to lift my spirits a bit, the music was good and there were many various performers. We didn't end up going to the after-party since my uncle had invited us out for food. Jacob was a bit bummed about that but after seeing where we were going for food, he was practically salivating about it.

It was an Italian restaurant from the name and the overall aesthetic of the place. My uncle has reserved us a seat in the booth in the back, a nice secluded spot where we could talk freely.

"Oh man, this all looks really good!" Jacob said with a rather greedy look on his face.

Hayden was looking at him with a look similar to a disappointed mother. After we ordered, we got down to business.

"So what did you three think? Some really good talent this time!" My uncle said with a wide grin on his face.

"Yeah, I mean obviously N1U was the best, but there were a lot of good ones!" Jacob said in a matter-of-fact tone.

He clearly was showing his bias on full view with zero shame in it. My uncle just laughs and nods his head.

"They are very good! Almost a shame they don't perform more overseas!"

Jacob nods along with complete conviction.

"Those others seemed well done as well. I particularly am interested in the young singer, I think her name was Lyon?"

"A bit of an odd name for a girl." Jacob said as he remembers hearing the name announced for the performer.

Suddenly however my uncle stiffens a laugh as he looks between us with amusement. We all look back at him confused as to why he was laughing.

"My~..You all really thought that?" He said through his laughter.

"What so funny uncle?" I asked confused.

"...Lyon is a boy, not a girl."

Jacob, Hayden, and I all looked at him completely caught off guard by that statement. I vividly remember the performance since it was one of the beginning ones. It was what I assumed to be a young girl just due to the small stature and slightly long hair. The person had a small face and long lashes, even if the voice was a bit lower than most girls I was used to.

Turns out it wasn't a girl after all?

"He's also the youngest one so I can figure why you'd think that. He just has a real baby face is all. Cute kid, just a bit on the shy side. This was his first big performance if you believe me!" My uncle said like a proud father praising their child.

"Huh really? Hmm, it didn't seem like it. His voice sounded confident and the sound was good!" Hayden said in surprise.

I also was quite surprised by what my uncle was saying. Lyon was a single performer and he had a more down-to-earth style, something close to indy. He even had his own guitar with him as he performed. He didn't appear nervous even though he mostly had his eyes closed on why he performed now that I thought about it. Maybe that was to keep him from getting nervous?

"Ha! You should see him try to have a 1 on 1 conversation with someone he doesn't know. Kids a bit of wreak. But once he gets his hands on his guitar and strums, it's a completely different story." My uncle explained.

An interesting kid I thought to myself. Our food had arrived at this point, I had ordered Fiorentina, the supple smell of the beef made me almost salivate in anticipation. It was heaven to eat it, all in its meaty glory. I'm sure Hayden was throwing me some kind of look being the weird vegan he was but I was too far in bliss to care.

We continued to talk about many things until we got to the subject of the restaurant I'm opening with Andria.

"So what kind of restaurant where the two of you thinking of opening?" My uncle asks curiously.

I turn my head in confusion as I tried to think back to if we ever even got to decide that? In all our constant back and forth conversation, I don't believe we even really agreed on what kind of restaurant we were going to open.

"Ugh, now that you mention it, I don't think we ever decided..?" I said with a complex look on my face.

I could already feel the headache that argument was going to bring up.

"Haha, all this time you've been working with her and you guys didn't decide even that?" Vance said with a chuckle.

"We've been a bit too focused on the look of the place. Trust me uncle it was important." I stressed to him.

"Hmm, from what Jackson said it is an "interior designer's worst nightmare"." Hayden said.

"Oh my. Really?" Vance said as he looked over at me.

"Ah, do you remember great gram on my mom's side? She loved all these frilly cute things."

Vance's face tilted to the side as he tried to remember however a small light of recognition does come to his face after a few moments.

"Ah yes, I remember her." Vance said with a sheepish smile as I'm sure he's remembering how her house looked as well.

I only went over the great gram Fionna's once when I was younger. Miserable experience, 0 out of 5 stars, would not recommend. She was a sweet and loving person but her house was just as bad as the restaurant in style. And she was very old fashion, she didn't have an updated tv. it only had like a few channels on it and she refused to upgrade. She only had an old record player for music which wasn't bad but the selection was very dated much like everything else. And as far as toys were concerned there were only some decade-old puzzles that didn't even have all the pieces!

For 5 year old me, that was a no-go.

"Ah, I see so you got that restaurant she had all those years back?" He said as his face took on an almost concerned look.


"I'm so sorry for your lost then.." Vance replied with an apologetic look on his face.

Even he knew how much work it was going to be to try and get that place up and running in the 21st century. We all continued to talk well into the night. It was a pleasant end to the rather chaotic evening if I'm being completely honest.

I just hoped that the final day would be just as pleasant if possible.

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