...I shouldn't be writing this. Too bad the idea wouldn't leave me alone, eh?
Welcome to my first foray into the world of anime fanfiction! Here we start with one of my favorite manga/anime of all time. There's not really much to say here, yet, but I'm rather excited for this!
I am also more than a little salty that Satoshi doesn't have a character tag at the moment, seeing as he's pretty much my favorite character. That attic-crawling, apron-wearing weirdo...
Also, all of my spellings are based on the Wiki, and my knowledge of Japanese suffixes comes from Wikipedia.
Oh, and before I forget: from now until the end of this story, I do not own Shokugeki no Soma, nor do I own any of the characters here. All I own is a modicum of this plot.
Hell on Earth. Why anyone would subject themselves to it is questionable in and of itself. Why would you force yourself through a week of rigorous torture? Any sane person wouldn't associate themselves with it whatsoever.
Then again, no sane person would enter themselves into Tōtsuki Academy without meaning to beat everyone around them from age fifteen, the moment they left middle school. The institution had the power to single-handedly destroy a chef's reputation in the field; enrolling is an honor, but graduating? It was the most prestigious of titles, the one dream that united the thousand children milling about the hotel banquet hall, silent from nerves. The expansive room had been cleared of its typical tables and the chairs, some of which seated students, were all shoved against the walls. All that remained of its typical set-up was the large mahogany stage that took over a large portion of the wall farthest from the door and the typical crimson curtains that decorated the rest of the wall.
Behind the curtains, a red-haired young man was peeking out at the crowd, appraising the room and students. His golden eyes darted across the unknown faces, his eyes narrowing as he took in one student who seemed perfectly relaxed. A lazy grin stretched across his face when he saw her and looked her over. Her hands betray long-healed knife cuts, and when she stretched her arms out, there are scars on her thumbs and even a callous on the bottom of her right index finger. She knows her way around a blade, and probably around a kitchen.He stopped in his analysis of the student when a faint trace of citrus touched his sensitive nose. Damn, Shinomiya-senpai's going to get on someone's ass again this year.
"Are you finished staring at the 97th generation, Yukihira-san?" Yukihira Sōma glanced behind him, noticing that his former Second Seat, Nakiri Erina, was standing right behind him. Her eyebrows were arranged in an expression of curiosity, but he noticed the typical icy glare she had for him that undermined the former emotion.
"Eh, not sure, Erina," he said casually, ignoring how her eyebrow twitched in irritation at his nonchalant lack of honorific. Sōma stretched his arms, careful to avoid revealing his presence to the students on the other side of the thick red fabric. "I saw a girl you might be interested in. She's got the hands of someone who was in the kitchen for all of her life."
"So, basically like you were?" she asked, rolling her pinkish-violet eyes while simultaneously flicking her blonde hair behind her shoulder. Soma smirked at the gesture he remembered.
"Exactly! Oh, Takumi too," he added as an afterthought.
The blond boy in question glanced over, his blue eyes appraising the two. "Buck up, you two," he grumbled, not sure of what they were talking about. "Chapelle-sensei wants to start speaking. And you know he likes his dramatic entrances."
Erina chuckled at that, sounding all the more malicious for it. "Oh, why he does indeed, Aldini-san." The Italian chef shivered at her tone.
"Hush, children; Chapelle-sensei wants to start," the man in front of them said. Soma started when he recognized the alumnus's voice.
"Isshiki-senpai?!" he asked, thunderstruck.
"Yukihira-kun, didn't you recognize me?" the former Second Seat, Isshiki Satoshi, asked with a grin. "Come on, we dormed together for two years."
"You spent about eighty percent of the time wearing a lot less than you are now," Sōma muttered under his breath. Erina and Takumi gave them questioning looks at that, though Sōma just waved them off with an errant hand.
"...guest lecturers." It seemed as though Chapelle-sensei had already started his rather short speech and the time to walk onto stage was now.
"Isshiki-senpai, for the love of all things holy, please don't bring out your fundoshi skills now," Sōma muttered. Satoshi just chuckled and shook his head. "I'm saving that for later," he said, eyes closed, smiling innocently.
Soma only had time to roll his eyes at him when he heard Chapelle-sensei's cue words: "They're Tōtsuki Academy's prized alumni."
"He's changed the wording a bit, hasn't he?" Takumi muttered. Sōma hummed in agreement while the other two just shushed them again.
"Let's go," Satoshi said quietly, following the older alumni out with a serene smile on his face. Sōma felt his heart begin to race, but he smothered that in favor of a cocky grin, shoving his hands into his pocket to complete his look. He glanced at Erina and Takumi; the former had chosen her typical cool nonchalance as a mask while the latter had his chin raised high with an easy smile on his face and his arms crossed in front of his chest. Sōma grinned even wider, turning back around and seeing that Satoshi hadn't changed into his gag-apron costume, much to Sōma's relief. Other familiar faces were in the fifteen-or-so alumni that had been asked to take part in the training camp, including some from Sōma's year as well as the very chefs who judged him in his own first year.
One dark-skinned chef, his white hair tied back in a ponytail, caught Sōma's eye and nodded to him respectfully. Another of the same complexion winked at him. A woman with wavy dark brown hair smiled benevolently at the students while observing them all. A tall spectacled man with pink hair was staring straight at a student, his eyes narrowed in slight revulsion.
Here it comes, Sōma felt himself think.
"You there. The girl with the blonde streak in her hair."
The girl in question blinked before smiling uncertainly.
"And you. The boy with the round glasses."
A boy with golden brown hair jumped.
"No, not you. The one behind you. You two are expelled."
Sōma heard the shock of the people surrounding them as students moved away from the two victims of Shinomiya's words.
"There's one more, senpai," the white-haired man from earlier said quietly. "In the very back, the girl with the long black hair."
"Thank you, Hayama-kun," the pink-haired man said. "You three may go home."
"What? Why?!" the first girl said, having recovered from her shock.
"Your perfume, his shampoo, and her hair," Shinomiya listed off. "All three of you use a scented shampoo, and you in particular use a cherry-blossom scented spray. Anything with an artificial smell can block out a food's aroma, preventing you from knowing if you forgot an ingredient or added too much of one. It's important to maintain your hygiene and image, but not in a way that hinders your cooking. You are dismissed."
"That's not fair!" the girl in the back said. Sōma noticed that she looked close to tears. He and Takumi exchanged a grim glance. Shinomiya Kojiro was known for his lack of empathy, especially towards ignorant young chefs.
"It's perfectly fair," Hayama Akira, the one who noticed the final girl, spoke up. "Failing to add an ingredient or destroying a customer's palate due to a single style choice, one that isn't even too necessary for being stylish, is not allowed."
"I can change my shampoo!" the boy said desperately. "Please, I can do anything!"
Sōma winced, knowing what was to come.
"You can do anything?" Shinomiya asked. "Then you can get out. Are you trying to ruin my restaurant's reputation?"
All Sōma could hear now was the students in front of him whispering about Shinomiya's reputation, that he had won the Pluspol, that his judgment left no room for error. The red-haired man's cocky grin was gone now. Now, he was looking around, finding the girl he had noticed earlier to see her reaction.
Surprise, but not overwhelmingly so. Perhaps she knew that they had to leave for what they had done, though she herself had not picked up on the hair products. Sōma grimaced as the three students left slowly, but the citrus scent he had noticed earlier was now completely gone, as were all of the artificial scents. Akira and Shinomiya had easily picked out all three offenders, and the remainder knew what the standards were to succeed now.
"Are we allowed to mill amongst them right now?" Sōma asked Erina.
"I wouldn't suggest it," she replied. "Chapelle-sensei will want to continue on. You could go and talk to whoever you wanted to later, when you test her."
"True," Sōma mused, though his impatient attitude was leaking out of him as he continued to study the students in front of him.
"Hush! Dōjima-dono is going to speak!" Takumi said in a quiet voice. Dono? Soma wondered, but he quieted for the intimidating man.
"Welcome to Tōtsuki Resort," he said into the microphone. "We alumni are gathered here to test your knowledge in the kitchens. Throughout this week, you will be treated as employees in our own restaurants. I hope you understand what this means: if your work does not satisfy what we want to see, you will be fired, or, in other words, expelled. Depending on the lecturer's discretion, you will be asked to leave. You are dismissed for now. Start moving."
There was a mad rush to rooms as the students hurried to get their rest before their hell began. Soon, only alumni were in the banquet hall.
"Rather quiet, isn't it?" Soma said absentmindedly, unknowingly breaking the aforementioned quiet.
"Indeed," Mito Ikumi, who had been standing with Akira, said. Sōma grinned at her before sitting on the stage. The other alumni blinked at his actions, since they were getting ready to leave as well.
"Oh, come on!" Sōma said with a laugh. "If we're going to be working together to choose the next generation of Totsuki, we might as well try and get to know each other better, no?"
"A great idea," Satoshi said, sitting beside Sōma. Somehow, between standing and sitting, he managed to completely undress and put on his fundoshi without hesitation. The alumni who weren't used to his antics were completely shell-shocked while Sōma just rolled his eyes. After seeing that spectacle, the remaining eleven or so people exchanged looks before also sitting on the ground.
"Why are we on the stage when we could be sitting on the chairs?" Shinomiya muttered.
"If Shinomiya-sama wants to drag chairs around while the rest of us watch, I'll be happy to oblige," Mizuhara Fuyumi murmured, earning herself a sharp glance from the pink-haired chef.
Dōjima chuckled before seating himself on the ground as well. "This is a good idea, Sōma-kun. We can see just what we are planning to test the students with and be sure that our assignments do not overlap, making the process much more efficient."
"Exactly! If I'm looking for other chefs to work at Yukihira with me, I want to see the best of the best that managed to succeed in all of our demands, even Shinomiya-senpai's!" Sōma said cheerfully, earning himself a glance filled with the promise of death.
"I will begin. Dōjima Gin, member of the 69th Generation, former First Seat."
"Shinomiya Kojiro, 79th Generation, former First Seat."
"Mizuhara Fuyumi." "Isshiki Satoshi." "Eishi Tsukasa." "Kinokuni Nene." "Aldini Takumi." "Yukihira Sōma." "Nakiri Erina." "Mito Ikumi." "Hayama Akira." "Kuga Terunori." "Inui Hinako."
And thus they all went around. Soma realized that his class had the most representation with five alumni while most of the others only had one or two representatives, though 91st had three.
"Why are there so many here from 92nd Generation?" Erina asked, stealing the question from Soma's mouth.
"To be frank, the others didn't want to come. I think their kitchens are full enough, while you five are still establishing your place on the international field," Dōjima replied.
"Also, your generation is one of the strongest we've seen yet," Chapelle-sensei added, having walked back to see the thirteen alumni sitting in a circle like elementary school children. "Before the 92nd generation, the most graduates that we've ever had was around six. Your generation had nine powerful players, four of which are honing their craft working for one of the other alumni here before branching out. You five have shown the most promise by becoming master chefs so early in your career."
"Nine graduates?!" Inui Hinako was shocked out of her typical cool demeanor, raising a hand to cover her shock. "Wow, that's amazing!"
"We were hoping to have numbers in the double-digits," Takumi said with a sigh. "Didn't quite happen, unfortunately."
"A lot of people were expelled at the very end for the tiniest of faults, but better that they be expelled late than tarnish Tōtsuki's reputation later," Erina said with a sniff, tossing her hair behind her shoulder as she said so.
"Still as ruthless as ever, aren't you, Erina?" Ikumi said from the other side of the circle, chuckling. "Really was a pity that a few of us survived all three years only to be expelled for having just one grain of salt too many or boiling something for a second too much, but that was what we signed up for when we decided to attend Tōtsuki."
"Who else graduated?" Terunori asked, leaning back on his hands.
"Um, Tadokoro Megumi, Nakiri Alice, Kurokiba Ryō, and Ibusaki Shun," Sōma said, counting them off on his fingers.
"No other Polar Stars?" Satoshi was unable to completely hide his disappointment, though three of the eight had managed to graduate.
"Well, Marui cracked under pressure one too many times, and Aoki and Sato were fighting over something while cooking and forgot to add garlic to their marinade. Ryoko willingly left to work at her family's business after she came up with a blend of natto that kept its flavor while losing some of its scent, which expanded the business to the Western world, and Yūki is still at Totsuki, only she works with Fumio-san to take care of Polar Star while she works on her chicken breeding. Something about not wanting to leave before she perfected it," Sōma recited, checking each person off with his fingers.
"Sounds like Yoshino-san," Satoshi said with a sigh.
"Megumi-chan graduated?" Hinako perked up, her eyes sparkling.
"We are getting completely off topic," Fuyumi said, curling her knees up until they rested beneath her elbows. "I want to get back to the room before we continue this discussion.
"Fine by me," Dōjima said before anyone else could complain. "Let's go to the alumni floor and continue there. We can compare our tests and make certain that the 97th Generation will be the most well-groomed class to leave our training camp yet."
Well, first chapter done, not sure when the second will come out! This story will not focus on the students so much as the alumni of the 92nd Generation here and the tests they will put out. There will probably be some argument settled over cooking as well as students who stand out as stellar chefs in their own right, to be fair.
Until next time! Review if you have any questions!