All food is imbued with a type of magic.

Not in the literal sense through common cooking, but in the flare and passion poured into the cuisines created. It was why different cooks had varying and subtle flavors even when making the same dish.

In that case, Shirou's method of cooking was almost cheating in that his eyes could create an agglomeration of all the skills of other chefs he'd ever seen.

It just wasn't fair.


Those poor poor sods.

Not even knowing the overwhelming strength of their adversary…

The edges of Erina's mouth tugged violently upward as she brooded over the matter, but she didn't forget the most important matter and raised the video recorder in her hand. With a gesture of her fingers, she zoomed right in on Alice's pensive face.

"Fufufu, this was more exhilarating than I thought it would be?" Erina swallowed, amusement tilting her expression. No wonder Alice always enjoyed getting one up on her, that damn cousin, but not this day!

'Cry! Cry! Hurry and cry! Today marks the darkest splotch in your black history!'

The intensity of Erina's gaze heightened as she watched the judges sample Shirou's food from afar.

After Shirou would be Alice, and the beginning of Alice's downfall!

All main characters had their stepping stones in manga, and the current arc was naturally the 'sensei sugoi' arc, fostering the burning ambition of the student.

Fishcake and D-Balz did it with their pervy sensei, and even that one other manga with the cat teacher!


Alice was an extra. Clearly.

But wait, what was that bimbo of a judge think she was doing by getting out of her seat and leaning in with her brea-

"Wait, no! That's not part of the script!"

For lack of better words, Shirou just froze along with many of the other people within earshot of the scandalous proposition.

Orie Sendowara should have known better as someone who got herself a prestigious seat as a judge in Totsuki, but morals were out the window when it came to beauty. As a labor model in general, she didn't fail to understand that the most important aspect of her career relied on her appearance.

Age however, would wait for no woman. Even now, when she wakes up in the morning and stares at her reflection in the mirror, she can see her youth gradually fading. In time, those younger than her, more vibrant than her, would take her place in the harsh industry.

Prime age of career was a thing in modeling or similar lines of work. Older models were of a niche category, and would never defeat mainstream debuters.

Shirou's cooking changed everything.

More than just personal gain, Orie could see the market gain if she had Shirou under her personal employ.

There was no limit to the number of people seeking youth or rejuvenation of any sort. Tonics, creams, pills, people would buy anything even if there was the slightest chance of slowing their aging.

Look at those other judges.

From the corner of her eye, Orie could see Shingo and Osaji still slow on the uptake, but they would soon vye with her.

Screw the competition. They weren't stupid.

Orie could already see hair buds beginning to grow back on Shingo's head, a shiver traveling down her back.

Balding people would go mad, and vain women flocking like birds, demanding to shut up any protests and take their money.

Indian food was known for its spices and healthy effects on the body, but the curry Shirou made was like a miracle elixir. He'd done something innovative in the gourmet industry.

Whether it was the ratio of ingredients Shirou used, or the method of his flame handling, there was something there that created this coveted product.


Orie maintained a sultry expression, trying to seduce the young boy before her. She figured that a greenhorn who was still fresh in Totsuki Academy would not be able to resist the allure of her charms, nor the promise of a sweet and willing sugar mommy.

However, Shirou was anything but convinced. Rather, he found himself hard pressed to find a suitable response given the suddenness of the proposition, but voices of discontent rose before he could even refuse.

"Ms. Sendowara, how unbecoming of you," Shingo had never appeared so serious in his life. Not even Orie's looks could soothe the growing madness in the man's eyes. "Have you no shame?"

Shame? If she were to balk at the face of mere embarrassment she would not have been a model.

Orie's lip curled up into a leer, not giving Shingo the time of day. His motives were as clear as the bean sprout of hair that straightened up on his head like an alfalfa.

"I am perfectly within my right," Orie said, moving back to the judging table and pulling out a score denoting full marks. "This is my given score, my words are my personal matters. At least I am honest, unlike you balding middle aged men."

Shingo balled his hands into fists, a growl nearly escaping his throat. Two could play in that game.

"A superb dish," Shingo said to Shirou, nodding heavily as if they were sharing a sacred bromance whose sanctity no women or girls could ever breach. "The blend of spices and the tenderness of the meat were perfectly blended to produce both heat, savouriness, and a tang that leaves a pleasant aftertaste. A perfect score for a perfect man. Right, Osaji?"

"Gross," Orie scrunched her face, not even giving Osaji any time to say anything but give another perfect score.

Staring back at Shirou, Orie smiled pleasantly. "So, what do you say, boyo?"

In the background, Shingo was giving Shirou a firm shake of his head. Do not betray the brotherhood. The council of men does not approve!

"Ahem!" Alice finally cleared her throat, smiling pleasantly even her brows twitched incessantly. Walking up to the judging table, she placed down her own prepared dish with a bang and growled under her breath. "Judges, I remind you that you've yet to taste my, Alice Nakiri's, dish."

Alice stressed her last name, daring the judges to mark her dish lower just because they wanted to appeal to Shirou. She was a Nakiri, and any signs of corruption within the judging panel would have her contact her family.

"Ah yes, Ms. Nakiri," Shingo cleared his throat while Orie shrugged.

Alice's mood plummeted, noting that the judges merely glanced at her dish. Their main focus was still on Shirou.

There was no doubt in Alice's mind that each judge was more inclined to get this preliminary round over with so that they could personally ingratiate themselves with Shirou.

Keep cool. Keep calm.

Alice stressed to herself despite her jovial facade starting to crack. None of this was amusing anymore. Especially when she watched each judge take a bit of her food.

No reaction. None whatsoever.

They took a bite, flatly, presented a score, and that was it.

It was as if they were so enchanted by the superiority of Shirou's food that hers might as well have been standard cooking.

Alice clenched her jaw, unwillingness causing her to grip the hem of her chef's apron.




The winners of Block B were decided.

1st: Shirou Yukihira

2nd: Alice Nakiri

3rd: Hisako Arato

4th: Takumi Aldini

Conveniently, Shirou was nowhere to be found by the time the judges tried to find him.

Alice had made it especially difficult for them, smiling at them while not really smiling.

Sighing, Megumi drooped her shoulders as she packed her things and left Block B's competition hall.

She didn't make the cut, and it was all the more disheartening because she put her best efforts and really believed she'd qualify.

Everything after Shirou's dish to the judges was practically subpar, but Megumi couldn't blame Shirou for just cooking. Especially when Shirou looked so happy and relaxed while making food.

Nevertheless, Megumi's failure made her hesitate to return to the Polar Star Dorm anytime soon.

The comfort or condolences of her fellow roommates would only make the feeling of loss worse. More so, since Shirou won and he was staying with Soma in the same dorm.

Which meant to say, Megumi was going to run back into Shirou either way. Of course, she'd congratulate him, but there was no changing that he was a winner and she was a loser in the same bracket. It was just really disheartening.

What was she going to do now?

Megumi had wanted to check up on Soma, but even that motivation had waned when she theorized that Soma had likely passed Block A like his older brother did in B.

A sigh escaped her mouth, her shoulders drooping further as a cloud practically hung over her head. No one really paid much attention to her, as her actions were commonplace in Totsuki where failure often meant expulsion.

Many just assumed that Megumi was another unfortunate student, but not all were like that. Rather, due to Megumi's inward fretting, she failed to identify the whispers around her before someone tapped her on the shoulder.

"Excuse me."

"Yes!" Megumi shrieked in surprise, staring at a man with long raven hair parted at the bangs.

A foreigner?

The man wore a fancy black suit and tie. He held a watch in his hand as a half-extinguished cigarette was held by his lips. He was frowning.

"Y-You mean me?" Megumi pointed doubtfully at herself, glancing at everyone else around her who shied away.

If anyone found it weird that a foreigner was leisurely walking through Totsuki's campus, they didn't seem to think much of it other than a few whispers. Even security was no different and just stood there, not doing their jobs.

It was almost like they were under a spell.

"My apologies, I didn't mean to startle," the man said, trying to be disarming.

It was enough for Megumi to catch her breath and take the man in. He looked scary with the perpetual scowl on his face, but his eyes were warm like Soma's.

"My name is Waver, and if it wouldn't be too much of a bother, would you mind helping us with directions?" The man, Waver, asked.

Gathering her courage, Megumi tried to at least be polite. Foreigners may find it difficult to read directions in Japanese.

"What are you looking for?" Megumi asked.

Instead of being specific, the man was looking towards a certain area rather than looking for any building or faculty area. Therefore, the man was unlikely to be an exchange student or overseas professor. Although it was true that Waver had a scholarly air around him, Waver didn't even have the aura of a prestigious chef.

Megumi scrunched her nose as she smelled the smoke on Waver. Chain smoking was bad, but still.

Smoking did not define whether someone was good or bad.

"Do you happen to know what sort of building is in that direction?" Waver asked.

If Megumi recalled, that was the direction where Soma's older brother lived.

"A forest villa," Megumi said, shaking her head. "It's a student house at the moment, so I don't think it's for visitors." Megumi advised kindly.

Waver hummed in thought.

Megumi thought she saw something flicker across Waver's eyes, but he was bidding her farewell not a moment later.

"Thank you for your time."

Waver nodded and joined up with an impatient younger woman Megumi just noticed. Her blond hair should have stood out, but she wore a top hat and her attire was more eye-catching than her European features. It was like staring at a picture of old England. The woman waited for Waver with her arms crossed, expression thoughtful.

Megumi watched the odd pair go, but she eventually returned to her own devices.

She missed it when the air at the area around Shirou's villa shimmered as the two passed a bounded field.

Upon passing, the two foreigners vanished as if they were never there.

It was a long day.

That much was certain as Shirou returned to the Polar Star Dorm. He'd made a straight beeline back as there was a Totsuki policy of no visitors to the student dorms.

Orie, Shingo, and the other judges would not hope to break into here without Senzaemon baring down over their backs.

Rin and the others had yet to contact Shirou yet which meant their matters weren't over. Hopefully, it won't be that long anymore.

"Yo." Soma greeted Shirou when he entered the Polar Star Dorm. "You win too?"

Shirou didn't need to think much to understand what Soma was referring to.

"I take it you did as well?" Shirou said back, noting that Soma wouldn't be so relaxed if he'd lost.

As for Shirou, he didn't know how Soma could tell if he won or not. However, Shirou would never know the commotion that occurred and spilled all the way into A-Block's preliminary round after he left.

Worse, it wasn't exactly hidden knowledge that Shirou and Soma were brothers. The judges had ended up hounding Soma instead which was why Soma ended up back in the Polar Star Dorm even faster than Shirou who snuck around.

Both Shirou and Soma had passed, but the two didn't feel like winners. Wordlessly, they stared at each other and could almost feel each other's troubles.

"Dried squid?" Soma offered, gesturing for Shirou to join him in the living room to lounge.

"Thanks," Shirou ended up accepting, moving to sit across from Soma and snack on the dried seafood.

"I heard you made a really good curry," Soma broached the topic of the preliminaries.

"I just cooked," Shirou shrugged, still not sure what he did differently from the others.

What he didn't tell Erina was even though he had access to numerous techniques through his Tracing, it wasn't as if he used them when he was cooking. He liked to use his own methods.

While others viewed the preliminaries as a competition, Shirou could honestly say he used it as stress relief.

…And he won first place of all things.

A loud knock suddenly sounded on the door.

Both brother's perked up with wariness, before wordlessly glancing at the other. Neither wished it to be the judges, but they were thinking it in the back of their minds.

"You think we can pretend we're not here?" Soma said, sitting up and melding himself into the couch.

The knocking got louder, angrier. Snootier.

They must have heard.

Soma winced, but Shirou ended up manning up as the big brother and checking the door before the Dorm Head was woken up by the disturbance. If it was his problem, he'd rather not inconvenience others.

"Can I help you?" Shirou said, opening the door.


Standing in front of Shirou was no one else but an indignant Alice Nakiri. It almost looked like she was pouting over the results of Block B.

"How did you do it?!" Alice suddenly grabbed Shirou by the lapel's and wrung his head back and forth. "How!" She demanded.

Hours had already passed, but Alice was still unconvinced.

Those unconventional judges had gone to the extent of eating everything Shirou had made, making it impossible for Alice to even try to decipher the difference between Shirou's curry and hers.

"Ugh," Shirou grunted as Alice forced her way in, huffing from the exertion.

"Welcome to Polar Star Dorm, I guess," Soma quipped upon noticing his older brother's situation. Another one? How did his older brother do it but remain ignorant of those that actually had feelings for him? "You're welcome to take a seat."

"I'd rather she not," Shirou deadpanned.

"Thank you." Alice did not hesitate. "And before you even try to force me out, I'll have you know my trusty lacky is already staking the house out for any sign of force!"

"You mean the man sighing outside?" Shirou said, his senses picking up on the man wearing a bandana who was yawning a distance away from the dorm.

"Hohoho," Alice covered her mouth with a hand. "As expected of the rival who somehow beat me."

"I didn't do anything different or underhanded. I just cooked." Shirou insisted.

Alice didn't look like she bought it at all.

"I'm not leaving here until you tell me." Alice crossed her arms.

Soma whistled from the side, making it clear he wasn't getting involved because it sounded troublesome.

The thing was, Shirou had nothing to say. He really didn't do anything different from what he usually did.

Everyone suddenly perked up as another knock echoed from the dorm's front door.

Shirou and Soma tensed again, thinking it was actually the preliminary judges this time.

Evidently, so did Alice because she was glaring. Needless to say, her impression of Orie was at rock bottom.

No one moved to open the door, but the knocking was persistent.

This made it no surprise to Shirou or Soma when Alice eventually marched up to open the door herself.

"Hmph, about time someone opened up." Erina huffed, eyes closed as a vein popped over her temple. She was just about reaching the end of her patience until the door finally opened. "As expected of those who lack decorum, but I'm in a good mood and wish to share with-"

Erina opened her eyes. "…what are you doing here?"

Alice and Erina stared hard at the other until finally Alice spoke first. Yet, her question wasn't about what business Erina had at the Polar Star Dorm.

Rather, her keen intuition was on red alert.

"What are you holding there?" Alice said.

Erina's complexion whitened as she hastily pulled back the device in her hand and tried to hide it, but not before Alice narrowed her eyes in recognition.

Alice's gastronomy skills had helped her hone her sense of perception. Timers were everything for Alice's precision cooking, and even if it was only for a fraction of a second, Alice was certain of what she saw.

'Look at this baby chicken nugget.'

"Was that a video?" Alice's tone grew sharp before she abruptly snatched the device from a shocked Erina's hands.

Erina's eyes bulged. "No NO you can't, that's mine! Mine!"

It was her first and only time she'd ever got one over her cousin.

Erina lunged, breaking her façade of calm.

Phew, made the update in time. Not gonna lie, I was working on Fate Parallels before I realized Fate Stay Cooking did a reversal at the end of the poll, and I shifted stories.

Thanks for reading! And thanks to my newest patron: Eric H, I likebirds, Soul Strike, Harvey, LaDenzel, James, and Harrison!

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Next update: Hero and Sword

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