Chapter 2:

Chapter 2: A Hawker's Divulgence

Becoming A Seiyuu? I'm In!

"Do these two little boys aware of me? They have come back after finishing their purchase. It's my first time to meet such favorable kids, but I don't think I could divulge myself to them. I'm still on recording, and my waffle isn't that good for them to repeat buy. The possibility is big - They may be after me." - The hawker, lowering his head low.Bookmark here

After five minutes of waiting, they have finally grabbed a waffle each. There was no customer beside them, hence the process was much faster than how they have estimated. Aki bought chocolate-flavoured waffle, while Tori preferred the combination of peanut butter spread and strawberry jam waffle. The first thing came to their mind once Tori’s stomach growled of hunger was the alluring food truck which Tori has been looking at in advance.Bookmark here

Honestly, it was not even strange. It could be that its location was quite far from adult’s reach, thus there must be the reason why it had less customer. They could barely see any purchaser coming to buy some snacks during their conversation and their time in searching in the internet using Tori’s mobile phone for the first time. Perhaps that was why Tori felt it a little bit pressuring. Bookmark here

The most uncommon part was the hawker himself did not really talk much. Or to be precise, he never talked other than a hum or snort. He wore a cap, but since he lowered his face frequently while making the waffles, they could not figure out how he looked like. They could only note it was a he because of the hands giving out their waffles and accepting their money were rather big and had visible veins on them. Even when Aki and Tori thanked him, he just nodded once and retreated behind the counter. Bookmark here

“I think the spot isn’t strategic,” Tori commented while munching his waffle. Bookmark here

They chose a bench which they previously sat, coincidentally facing towards the food truck.Bookmark here

“I wonder why you kept on examining it earlier,” Aki took a mouthful bite of his chocolate waffle, “Next time, if you wanted to eat, just tell me right away, okay? I don’t want you to hold your hunger. It’s not good to your stomach and your sustenance.”Bookmark here

“I know it’s not good for my stomach, but why with my sustenance?” Bookmark here

Aki blinked in thrill. He liked the crunchiness of the waffle on the outside and the tenderness for its inside, as if both traits complied with each other. The tastiness was added with the chocolate spread which was not too sweet to his taste bud. He loved his waffle as a whole. Bookmark here

“My Mother said if you reprimand yourself from food, one day the food will run away from you,” Aki stated monotonously. Bookmark here

Tori could not help but to frown. “Are you sure?”Bookmark here

Aki’s waffle was about to finish up. He was too engrossed chewing while staring at the food truck although he chatted with Tori at his side. The mysterious hawker has triggered his curiosity. Bookmark here

“What she means is that we as humans must prioritize health over money,” Aki slowed down his chewing to extend their moment together, “Adults tend to work until they skip their meal time. Once they get used to not eat, they tend to simply leave the food since it consumes their time, something like that. It’s not good for your health, you see. When you eat unhealthily, you will fall sick. When you fall sick, you can’t eat deliciously,” he smiled even though his cheeks were puffed from munching. “Therefore, she advises me to always keep that in mind that health is irreplaceable. You can always work until you retire, but you can’t switch money over healthiness.”Bookmark here

Tori just noticed that Aki has finished up his waffle when the latter threw away his oil-proofed paper into the waste bin. He quickly ate his and threw away his paper. “I understood that. Want to grab more?”Bookmark here

“You sure change your mind very rapidly, Tori,” Aki giggled at Tori’s abruptness. He never expected Tori would invite him to have more waffles.Bookmark here

“The waffle was appetizing. I want some more because my stomach is still grumbling,” Tori wiped his lip tips with his thumb, then he tugged Aki’s wrist towards the food truck.Bookmark here

Aki, too, demanded for more waffle, so he did not reject Tori’s invitation. He followed his steps to the food truck. Even from afar, he could smell the mixture of waffle ingredient cooked under waffle iron, and the hissing sound of cold mixture reacting to the hot burner. Reimagining again the one he has eaten, he nearly drooled. Bookmark here

There were four kids around their age coming to the food truck right before Aki and Tori. Aki and Tori arrived later, so they lined up behind those four kids. The four kids were unrecognisable, however judging from their countenance, Tori whispered to Aki that they might be bullies. Bookmark here

“Why do you say so, Tori?” Aki gritted his teeth, holding his voice as much as he could so that the mentioned bullies would not hear them.Bookmark here

Tori gulped and gripped on Aki’s arm sleeves. “I think I’ve seen them before this. If my memory recalled well, I once saw them bullying a small kid at the soccer field,” he timidly directed his thumb towards a direction, possibly where the soccer field should be at.Bookmark here

Watching them closely, Aki just noticed that one of the four kids was smaller in size – He was practically the smallest among those four. The other three were more to encircling him, as if they were blocking the small boy from walking away. The ones right at the small boy’s sides kept on nudging at him, causing discomfort and the urge to nudge back. They were murmuring in secret over an issue Aki and Tori could not eavesdrop. Bookmark here

“You may be right, Tori,” Aki rested his hand upon Tori’s on his arm sleeves. It was as to calm Tori down. He knew Tori was afraid of bully, hence when they were close to one, Tori would shiver in fright.Bookmark here

They distanced themselves from those four kids. They were not running away – They were just spectating from afar. They still wished to have more waffle though, so they declined the idea to leave. Bookmark here

“Go. Order for us.”Bookmark here

The tallest (or literally the largest) boy slightly pushed the small boy forward. Unbounded reluctance was portrayed transparently on the small boy’s expression. His trembling lips denoted his terror, and his tight grip on his bag depicted his wavering courage. Aki and Tori somehow could grasp the entire situation taking place before their eyes. Bookmark here

The three bigger boys were bullying the small boy. Bookmark here

“Wh- What do you want?” The small boy timidly asked. Bookmark here

The hawker on the food truck bobbed his head to figure out who has come to buy. None of them was able to disclose how he looked like in detail, however his action foretold them that he was digesting the situation. It obviously showed that he was one of the responsible adult they could put their trust on.Bookmark here

“Dear Mr Hawker, I hope you do something to them.”Bookmark here

Aki heard Tori’s indistinct muttering, but he nodded anyway. Bookmark here

“Two chocolate flavoured, one blueberry flavoured, and one peanut butter spread waffles.”Bookmark here

The reaction from the hawker confounded Aki and Tori. He froze while fixating his view at the three larger kids. Initially the kids did not realize his weird behaviour. Eventually, the largest boy ceased from smirking soon after he, predictably, met eyes with the hawker. His fading laughter was replaced with panicking utterance, attracting his friends to shift from the small boy to him.Bookmark here

“What happened, Bobby?”Bookmark here

The one who was called Bobby quickly shook his head, denying his friends’ concern and indirectly defying the hawker’s chilling glares. To him, the hawker’s cold and inflexible gaze intimidated him to the point he could tremble in trepidation. A backward step was taken.Bookmark here

“You must have done something grave, little boy.”Bookmark here

Every of the ‘little boys’ available at the moment promptly flinched. At last, the hawker has spoken his voice out! Aki and Tori held each other, while the Bobby boy suddenly fled somewhere else, leaving his friends dumbfounded. Bookmark here

“Why did he run away?” Tori questioned in his shudder.Bookmark here

“I don’t know, but he looks frightened.”Bookmark here

“Why should he? He isn’t that small though.”Bookmark here

Aki squinted at the flat-toned Tori. Did Tori just reject the fact that the Bobby boy was also a small boy? “He is, by age I mean.”Bookmark here

“Say, little boy,” the hawker bent down over his counter in the food truck, “That one friend of yours has already run away, which verifies that he really does something bad somewhere. Do you mind to tell me what that boy have done beforehand?” Bookmark here

Only then, the other bullies froze at their standing spot. Instead of expecting the small boy to cover them up, the small boy did utter out something but it was more to back himself up. Bookmark here

“I- I’ve stolen my Mom’s money,” It was unanticipated by the hawker (and even Aki and Tori meters behind them) that the small boy would divulge his own sin. “I don’t have enough money to pay for the protection fee. They threatened me that they would tell my Mom about my truancy if I refused to pay them.”Bookmark here

That was it. The small boy has already disclosed two big sins he has done to his Mom. The hawker seemed pursing his lips, probably he did not expect this at all. Bookmark here

“Who requested for the protection fee from you?” the hawker gently inquired. Bookmark here

The smaller boy ducked his head in shame. “They are right at my sides.”Bookmark here

The two remaining bullies have already backed off, getting ready to flee from the spot. One of them abruptly absconded while the hawker came down from the truck. Surprisingly, Aki could snatch him at the back collar and dragged him back to the scene. The fleeing boy rolled onto the ground, dirtying his shirt and pants until fine dust shrouded half of their view. Due to embarrassment caused by Aki, the boy somehow rose from the ground and pounced at Aki. Bookmark here

Everyone there witnessed how the boy frantically attempted on punching Aki on the face, yet neither one of them even graze on Aki’s skin. Aki excellently evaded all of those useless punches, planting the thought that quarrelling was bad for kids at their age. After being continuously attacked by the boy, the pissed off Aki pushed him on the chest to remove his chubby body from himself. Bookmark here

“You’re heavy, don’t you know that?” Aki whined while getting up from the ground. Even his shirt was in a mess.Bookmark here

The unsatisfied boy did not seem to give in. He must be hating the way Aki acted towards him. In comparison to Aki, he has bigger stature. How could he lose to Aki by only one push?Bookmark here

“You’re such a pain, you twig!” He attacked on Aki again.Bookmark here

This time, they fought and kicked each other. Even from a brief scan, everyone could say the bully was the offender, thus Aki was the defender. As for Aki, he has never gotten involved in bully, and the real occurrence was not about bully either. He captured the fleeing boy so that the boy would apologize to the victim – That was his first intention.Bookmark here

He took a glance at the food truck. The other bully has stiffened himself in deadly terror. The hawker was seen patting the shoulder of the second bully. It believably alarmed the second bully and indirectly the victim. Both of them did not even make eye contact with each other. Bookmark here

“How dare you calling me a twig! You fat!”Bookmark here

“I’m not fat! You soft plank!”Bookmark here

“What did you say?!”Bookmark here

“Please stop, guys!” Tori became hysterical as he loathed violence especially when his best friend was unexpectedly entailed. “The sky is getting darker! Let’s just dismiss this and go home already!”Bookmark here

Tori’s expression displayed wavering justice. He wanted to help Aki but he was too afraid of being injured and such. This time, even Aki launched punches on the bully’s face, marking bluish bruises and numbness. The second bully and the small boy were totally whelmed by the hawker. Bookmark here

What’s the purpose of your brawl, young men?Bookmark here

Despite the riot they have caused, the unidentified voice manageably halted their meaningless battle. Aki, the one who was pinned down (and his inner self even mocked the boy’s suffocating body sandwich) hurriedly pushed the boy away from his body. Even though he could not recognise whose voice has just intervened their fight, it somehow sounded familiar to his ears. Bookmark here

It was a voice he has adored since he watched that anime. The images of the main character of Code G replayed in his sight imaginarily, thus leading him to relate it to the reality. He detected the direction it came from, and judging from other kids’ attention focusing on, he substantiated it right away. Bookmark here

I assume that you are proving to each other who is stronger than who,” the waffle hawker displaced the cap on his head, unveiling his entire face.Bookmark here

Those three kids could literally and blankly stare at the subject, yet it was different in Aki and Tori’s case. Deja vu! They have just seen this man in the article they read right before they decided to buy waffles a while ago. This was the same person acting as Code G’s main character – The character which Aki has been paying attention to because of his coolness and emotionally tormenting. Bookmark here

The hawker smirked at the bully who laid a few punches on Aki. He crossed his arms against his chest, tilting his head side to side while marching around the bully. “Now, do you think you’re stronger than him, little boy?Bookmark here

He bent forward to equate his eye level to the bully. The bully fidgeted in restlessness. This man intimidated him a little too much that he has shivered in fear, whereas the elder did nothing but meeting gaze with him.Bookmark here

“Elle Britannia!” Aki shouted out of excitement. “You’re Elle Britannia, right? The one with a superpower of influencing one’s mind just by looking at him in the eye!” Bookmark here

There was a compilation of gasping sound produced by each of the boys excluded Aki. The bully gaped in disbelief. Was this man that dangerous to mess with? Automatically, he averted from the man’s possessive glare and was about to flee when the man rested a palm on his shoulder.Bookmark here

“Weren’t you calling me twig just now? Come on! Say something!” Bookmark here

The tense elevated as Aki scoffed at him. The bully clenched his teeth and fists in pure anger, unfortunately he could do nothing but to wait for the man ‘bestowing’ his punishment. Bookmark here

From today onwards, I demand you to not bully other kids and apologize for every fault you have done!” the man announced while glaring right into the bully’s pupils. Bookmark here

His action mimicked Elle Britannia in the anime. Aki unknowingly anticipated the consequence after that ‘Elle Britannia’ man put on his power onto the bully. Shockingly the bully nodded, agreeing to that man’s so-called mind domination ability. The man made a hand gesture towards the other two boys by the food truck and gathered them together with Aki and Tori.Bookmark here

“Listen, kids.”Bookmark here

Eh? Bookmark here

The voice has altered from throaty to a very pleasantly gentle utterance. Aki subconsciously stared at the man keenly. It felt as if there were previously two adults at the scene, and this was the second man standing before them. How could this man transform his voice instantly? Plus, it made him like having two persons in one body!Bookmark here

“You’re still young, too young to dominate people. Instead of bullying, why don’t you befriend each other?” the man skimmed the circle of small boys around him, “Without body shaming and punch launching.” Bookmark here

Those who have erupted a nonsensical fight were startled by the man’s subsidiary tease towards them. Not only he softened his voice – His facial expression has also loosened from strictly furrowing to soothing gentleness.Bookmark here

As how a crispy outside of a waffle unravelling its tenderness inside once bitten and eaten!Bookmark here

“Elle Britannia-san!” Bookmark here

The three kids have gone, leaving the scene and believably returning back home. The modifying colour of the sky informed them that the daytime was almost interchanging with night time, therefore they must come back home as soon as possible. Bookmark here

“Can we come here again tomorrow?”Bookmark here

The man tilted his head on one side, beaming at both Aki and Tori before replying, “Of course you can come, but I’m not Elle Britannia.”Bookmark here

Hussain Maknoon
You can resume reading from this paragraph.