Chapter 3:

Chapter 3: Fuku-san! Where Are You?

Becoming A Seiyuu? I'm In!

"I've promised myself to be a good boy today. I'm willing to go to my violin class. Then I will meet up with Tori and go to the playground to see Fuku-san, my favorite voice actor!" - Aki.Bookmark here

That day, Aki amazingly attended to his violin class. He has been ditching the class for several days already. Although warning letters have been carted to his parents, nothing much has changed. Nonetheless, thanks to the incident on the day before, he began anticipating after-school class more than his elementary school. Perhaps he was enthused over the fact that he has encountered one of the most influential men in his life.Bookmark here

Tori was the only one who witnessed how ecstatic he was after they accidentally met a famous voice actor at the playground. Not only the actor sold street snacks, he has also helped a victim from being bullied. Aki did fight with one of the bullies, but entirely the actor stopped the brawl. Bookmark here

How could Aki and Tori distinguish the hawker as a voice actor? They had just observed the pictures of the hawker in the website introducing voice actors of the popular anime Code G. Aki revoltingly was able to recollect how the actor looked like, and Tori the clever boy validated it right away. They were overly exhilarated upon the finding, almost declining the idea to get back home but the actor manageably advised them to do so fast before their parents got concerned. They eventually nodded obeying the advice with a condition – they would want the actor to be there again so that they could meet with him.Bookmark here

“Aki!” Bookmark here

Aki was inspirited enough to attend the violin class, and he became much livelier when the class ended peacefully according to his forecast. Tori half ran to him. His big bag kept on bouncing over his small sized torso, making it hilariously pitiful. Aki waved at the latter, denoting that he still waited for him.Bookmark here

“Tori!”Bookmark here

“How was your class, Aki?” was the first thing Tori inquired. He knew Aki actually went to the class. Deep inside, he could not picture how glad he was to be told that Aki began to adore after-school class. It might be a stepping stone for Aki to transform to a better son for his parents.Bookmark here

Aki shrugged half-heartedly. “Mhm, boring as usual.”Bookmark here

… or not.Bookmark here

“Why do you say so?” Tori face palmed and sighed. He has presumed to hear about how Aki overcame his issue for being the only left-handed violin player. He still remembered how Aki whined about the trouble he had because everyone in his class was right handed, even the teachers, but not Aki. He tended to hold the violin in a wrong way. Bookmark here

For a left handed person, everything was reversed. The same problem transpired to Aki. He could not adapt himself to right-handed routine, let alone beginning to play the string instrument. All the notes turned upside down, and he placed his violin on his right shoulder instead of the left side. The teachers also had problems to help him because of his inability to blend in. Bookmark here

That was one of the reasons he declined the idea of regularly coming to the violin class. The other causes mainly related to his unwillingness to spend his free time for extra class.Bookmark here

“Then, what did you do in the class today, Aki?” Tori squinted at Aki while his thumb and index finger pressing his temple. “I don’t know what to say if your Mother asks me anything about you.”Bookmark here

“You don’t even attend the same class with me, Tori. Why should you be afraid of? You could have just lied to her,” Aki teased Tori by poking at his waist and stomach, “Don’t you feel hungry now? Because I do.”Bookmark here

“Your intention certainly misleads you, Aki,” Tori rolled his eyes in displeasure. He disliked Aki’s suggestion. Tori was not the type to prank people easily. Even his expression divulged everything without the need for interrogation and such. Bookmark here

Aki grinned from ear to ear as they strolled along the pedestrian lane. As soon as they arrived at the playground, the first thing came to their mind was the mysterious food truck.Bookmark here

Fake hope sometimes hurt more than post examination resentment though. Bookmark here

“Where’s Waffle-san?!” Bookmark here

The children who played at the playground were startled by Aki’s abrupt cry. His voice practically roared across the entire neighbourhood. A few adults even peeked over to find out what made Aki to yell his lung out. Tori rubbed his back, telling him to calm down before he attracted more unnecessary attention from the nearby residents. Bookmark here

“He might be selling somewhere else, Aki. Chill.” Tori kept on bowing at a few children to apologize on behalf of Aki. “Let’s find a seat and wait for a while, okay?”Bookmark here

Aki was about to sob. The lingering disappointment pained him too much to the point he might bawl in no time. He rubbed his eyes, disbelieving what he has seen after hours of anticipating the presence of that Waffle-san with his crunchy but tender waffle. Bookmark here

“There! Is! No! I repeat, no! Food truck over there!” Aki frantically pointed towards the spot where it had the mentioned food truck on the previous day. “How am I supposed to eat today?”Bookmark here

Tori wrapped Aki in his small hug. He knew Aki was just being childish, but Aki rarely wept. It has been a while since the last time he saw him crying. Even if he slipped or tripped his foot until there were times he bled his knees, he never even sobbed. He would brush it off like nothing happened, and return home to get scolded by his mother. Bookmark here

“It’s okay, Aki,” Tori hushed Aki as placid as he could. Aki seemed mischievous, but he still listened to some advices. One should approach him just gently to get into his heart. “We’ll come again tomorrow, okay?”Bookmark here

“I might die of hunger if I waited until tomorrow,” Aki grumbled while kicking the sand beneath his feet. Bookmark here

Tori frowned in bewilderment. “Are you going to wait until tomorrow?”Bookmark here

“I didn’t even have my lunch today,” Aki pulled a pout, sulking out of nowhere over petty matter.Bookmark here

Tori face palmed again. “You were so happy to be able to see your beloved voice actor that you didn’t have your lunch, Aki? What was with the hunger and sustenance you proudly taught me yesterday?”Bookmark here

“It’s adult issue. I’m still a kid though.”Bookmark here

“What kind of excuse was that?” Tori chirped in displeasure. Bookmark here

There were times that this Aki boy became really intractable. He would not change his belief just like that. Other than doing good in keeping promise, Aki was also good in straining the one who promised to him real bad. Until the moment he has not gotten what he has requested, he would ask about it annoyingly. Bookmark here

Tori propped his chin and sighed. Waffle-san, serve you right for breaking your own promise.Bookmark here

“Come to think of it, he wasn’t really promising anything to you, right?” Tori incidentally recalled their encounter. “You asked whether you can come here again, and he just said you could. I see nothing relatable to promise.”Bookmark here

The two friends agitated to even look each other. Aki shifted away from Tori when Tori demanded him to recall their final moment too. Aki averted from Tori because he remembered it pretty well. Bookmark here

That Waffle-san never promised him anything in the first place.Bookmark here

“I should force him to promise me back then!”Bookmark here

“That’s not what I mean!” Bookmark here

“But…!”Bookmark here

Tori put his straightened index finger on Aki’s parted lips to shut him up. Perhaps their unrequited fan and actor relationship should become like this so that Aki would not get too clingy to Waffle-san. Waffle-san was a famous voice actor and a well-known celebrity among the anime fandoms. He must have tight schedule to fulfil, therefore he would not always be at the playground, selling waffle and so on. Not only his presence there was unnoticeable all these while, the bully incident might be one of the root of his halted business there. Bookmark here

“But, why did we call him Waffle-san though?” Tori frowned even deeper. Bookmark here

Aki looked up at the sky. A part of it has already changed its colour into orange-ish, foretelling them the sun would set soon. Their overthinking parents have already scolded them for returning home late on the previous day, and Aki even got spanked for dirtying his clothes. Bookmark here

“Because he said he wasn’t Elle Britannia-san.”Bookmark here

“For sure he wasn’t. Elle Britannia is a character he acts as in the anime,” Tori took out his phone and searched for the anime. “I was so sure he meant it that he was not the real Elle Britannia.”Bookmark here

“Then, how can we address him?”Bookmark here

“Fuku is enough.”Bookmark here

Hikkk!Bookmark here

The children in the playground were, again, startled by the abrupt simultaneous cry erupted by both Aki and Tori. Those two friends jumped off their bench, out of pure astonishment. They hugged each other due to the sudden interruption by someone they were unfamiliar with. Bookmark here

“Calm down, both of you!” the mysterious man came out of the bushes. Bookmark here

The action frightened them even more. Normally, Aki would stand and shield Tori. However, due to genuinely staggered and unprepared heart and mind, he was the one shoving Tori forward. Tori shut his eyes tightly, avoiding any eye contact with the man. Noticing that Tori evaded well, Aki shut his eyes too.Bookmark here

“Hey, little boys! It’s me, the one you called Elle Britannia-san. Remember me?” the man stepped over the bench and marched closer to Aki and Tori. Bookmark here

Aki shrieked for help, attracting not only the attention from the children at the playground but the neighbours in the residents as well. The man bowed at every pairs of eyes locked at them. He originally wanted to surprise Aki and Tori from behind, but the plan seemingly failed. Instead, he successfully frightened the kids until they refused to hear anything from him.Bookmark here

Aki kept on pushing Tori forward to the point Tori had goose bumps. He still shut his eyes to not let his sight colliding with the man. Bookmark here

“Aki, stop pushing me!” Tori gritted in panic. He grappled to free himself from Aki. Bookmark here

From a racket they have caused themselves, they heard the voices of people laughing loudly. The sound seemed clear and near, so Tori gradually open his eyes widely to see everyone was encircling them. Even the man chortled at Aki and Tori’s response towards his surprise. Aki slowly reopened his eyes as well. Realizing they were being the laughing stock of everyone there, both of them blushed. Bookmark here

The puzzlement did not finish just that. There were a few black shirted men coming out from behind the bushes, the same way as the first mysterious man approached them a moment ago. Aki and Tori exchanged glances, then shifted to the man. Bookmark here

“Nice to meet you. My name is Fuku,” together with a broad smile, the man bowed a little and introduced himself. “I was the hawker you met yesterday.”Bookmark here

After they have frantically shouted because of terror, they eventually ogled at the man. The man named Fuku cleared his throat and revised the famous line from the anime Code G.Bookmark here

I, Elle Britannia, will command you to kill whoever with ill intention towards my beloved little sister Nana Britannia.Bookmark here

In split seconds, Aki’s face lit up in contentment. He totally ignored the weird look people directed to him and Tori just to dash towards Fuku in a blink. Tori was left dumbfounded there – Things must have been harsh to him. He slowly digested the situation and figured out who the real identity of the man was.Bookmark here

“The best voice actor in the year 20XX from the anime Holy Holic and currently plays as Elle Britannia in Code G!” Tori described rather perfectly as if he read a script for it. “Fuku-san!”Bookmark here

Both boys cuddled the said Fuku-san without considering who he actually was. Celebrities were normally difficult to approach, but it was a different case to Fuku-san since not many people recognise how he looked like. Aki and Tori happened to know him just because they searched about him in the internet. Fuku-san hugged them back, as if they were long lost brothers. Bookmark here

“Hello, little boys,” Fuku-san beamed brightly. “How are you? Were you disappointed because I wasn’t here before?”Bookmark here

“No, we were not!” Aki proudly admitted. He received a nudge by Tori. “All right, I admit it. I was upset!” Bookmark here

There was a slight frown on Fuku-san, but he immediately loosened and chuckled. “You’re funny, little boy!”Bookmark here

Fuku-san naturally ruffled through Aki’s smooth hair. He delivered the same treatment towards Tori as well, making both kids to flush in shyness. Aki and Tori sensed a weird feeling upon Fuku-san’s special treatment towards them. While they were gratified into Fuku-san’s benevolence, they just realized the presence of a few black-shirted men around them. Those men brought big cameras, tall-poled microphones, a broad white screen, and only one of them came out with free hand. Definitely both little boys on both Fuku-san’s sides flinched in anxiety due to the unknown group of people coming towards them.Bookmark here

“Congratulations kids!” the free-handed man proudly announced while spreading out his hands. Bookmark here

The kids surely had no idea why that man was cheerfully pleasant while approaching them out of the blue. They gripped on Fuku-san’s arm sleeves respectively. This boys were really easily scared of strangers. Bookmark here

“You guys must be good sons to your parents!” the man said while crouching before the three of them. “What’s your name?”Bookmark here

The boys exchanged glances before Aki replied, “My name is Aki. This is my friend, Tori. We’re 11 years old.”Bookmark here

“Aki and Tori, nice to meet you!” the man stood straight and clapped hands.Bookmark here

His behaviour was odd enough in Aki and Tori’s point of view. Not only the man and his group members were strangers, he treated them as good as how Fuku-san did too. Fuku-san budged a little as his sign for the kids to let his arms go. Aki and Tori immediately understood the signal and released Fuku-san’s sleeves. Bookmark here

“Actually, kids. We were filming a reality show about what kind of job I will do if I didn’t become a voice actor,” Fuku-san dragged both Aki and Tori into his arm span, “Yesterday was our last day of filming. First of all, I had fun selling snacks like waffles that you guys ate yesterday. You must be loving it, right?”Bookmark here

“You could tell, Fuku-san?” Aki covered his mouth to hide his amusement. Tori secretly ogled in disbelief. Bookmark here

“You guys came twice yesterday. It must be that you liked it, right? But I’m sorry. I wasn’t able to do more for you.” Throughout the revelation, Fuku-san never ceased from smiling. His sweet smile allured Aki and Tori to stare at his face. “We were supposed to return to Tokyo today, but I’ve requested to delay another one day.”Bookmark here

“What was the reason, Fuku-san? Is it because you’ve left something around here?” Bookmark here

Fuku-san let a chuckle. “You’re so naïve, Tori-kun. It’s because I’ve heard from the crew that Aki has been copying my dialogue in the anime. He was having his meal at the restaurant where you watched Code G,” he shifted to the petrified Aki, “Did you remember, Aki-kun?”Bookmark here

As if a huge rock has moored right onto his head, Aki turned completely speechless. Shame and proud mixed inside him, however he could not really portray his current emotion due to the disclosure. He found out his hobby has been acknowledged by the actor of the character itself. If he was given choices on his next action, he would opt to run back home to hide from humiliation. Bookmark here

“I’m so sorry!” Aki instantly bowed at the stunned Fuku-san. “It was my bad. I never thought there would be your staff there. I’m sorry for the disturbance! I’m sorry that I was too engrossed imitating Fuku-san!”Bookmark here

“So you do aware the nuisance that you’ve caused, kid!” one of the cameramen complained. The other crews giggled over it.Bookmark here

“I’m deeply apologizing,” Aki lowered his face in sulking, “I don’t mean it in a bad way. I really like Fuku-san’s voice in the anime. I’ve always imitated other voice actors too, but I like Elle Britannia’s voice the best.”Bookmark here

“It’s okay, Aki. In fact, I was so contented to know that I have a big fan like you,” Fuku-san patted on Aki’s shoulder, “Do you want to be a voice actor when you’ve grown up?”Bookmark here

From sour face and pouting lips, Aki’s mood flipped without hesitant. His brightened up expression entertained Fuku-san and the crews there. Tori blinked in perplex. Bookmark here

“Can I? Can I be like you, Fuku-san?”Bookmark here

Fuku-san playfully pinched Aki’s cheek. “You can’t be like me. You can be you, the one who surpasses me.”Bookmark here

“I am your ardent fan, Fuku-san! What should I do?” Aki’s glittering eyes captivated Fuku-san to gaze at him. Bookmark here

Fuku-san’s twinkling smile blinded to Aki and Tori. “If you want to know the answer, be one of us then. Enter a seiyuu school, join auditions, and take part in various reality shows. You will eventually be one of the best seiyuu in Japan.”Bookmark here

Hussain Maknoon
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