Chapter 13:

Cooking Pot and Cooking Pan


The short assailant proudly puffs out his chest with hands on his hips, clearly anticipating Romeo's shock. The tall one stands behind him unmoving and silent.

“Uh… What?”

Romeo’s response is too lukewarm for their liking.

“I saaaaid! We’re Cooking Pot and Cooking Pan! The next leaders of the Kappore gang! Why aren’t you trembling with fear!?”

Oue staggers to his feet behind the two delinquents, placing a hand on his chest to calm his thumping little heart down.

“Because Bloody Bat Romeo has never heard of you. No one in Makai has ever heard of you.”

The short delinquent gasps without so much as turning back to look at Oue.

“You’ve never heard of us? Even though we both have three-word nicknames!?”

Romeo grips his bat tightly again.

Only the most notorious delinquents get three-word nicknames, so if these guys are telling the truth, then they might be more dangerous than they look...

“Yeah? What are they?”

“What’s what!?

“Your nicknames. Let’s hear ‘em.”

“Buddy, are you deaf!? I told you! We’re Cooking Pot and Cooking Pan! I’m Cooking Pot, and this guy here is Cooking Pan!”


“What!? Why are you looking at us like that!?”

“Uh because… That's just two words. Cooking Pot and Cooking Pan… That’s two each.”

Romeo sees Cooking Pot go pale as if his soul were about to leave his body. He tries to argue against Romeo’s observation, but his voice cracks every other word, clearly trying to keep himself from crying.

“N-No? ‘King’ is a word, isn’t it? S-So, there’s King, and, Cooking… and… and Pot, because of the pot on my head and Pan’s… pan… his pan…”

Oue covers his mouth, but he can't keep his laughter from escaping, as loud and rude as it is.

“So your nickname’s Coo King Pot? Like… a pigeon!? Hahaha!”

Cooking Pot’s eyes well up with tears.

“N-No, of course n-not! We earned them like everyone else!!” Cooking Pot lies.

Romeo lowers his bat again, sighing.

“Did you give yourselves your own nicknames? You can’t do that.”

“How laaaame…,” Oue says while snickering, as if these two hadn’t been kicking his ass a moment ago. “You couldn’t even get three words right?”

In an instant, Oue’s body disappears before slamming against the wall, thrown by a single kick from Cooking Pan and his monstrous speed. Romeo's eyes go wide.

What the— I didn’t even see that guy move!?

Paaan!” Cooking Pot rushes over to him, and Cooking Pan kneels to pick him up, settling him on his shoulders without saying a word. Cooking Pan rises up to his full height, once again towering over everyone.

Romeo starts to realize that this guy is the muscle of the duo… and from the looks of it, probably the brains, too.

Owww...,” Oue whines, slowly and painfully trying to sit up again. He brings a hand to his bleeding lip, trembling with excitement. “That… was pretty good, haha…”

As much as Romeo dislikes Oue, he recognizes him as the closest thing there is to a direct link to Amon within Makai. Leaving him here to be their punching bag would probably be a bad idea. He clicks his tongue, annoyed.

“Why were you guys looking for me? What’s this about?”

Cooking Pot answers through sniffles, but he clearly seems to be regaining confidence now that he’s sitting over Cooking Pan’s shoulders. He points a finger at Romeo— a gesture that goes almost unnoticed thanks to the floppy sleeves of his oversized uniform.

“You turned Kappore upside down the day you defeated Raging Fist Endo. We no longer had a captain. Before news spread to our other divisions, there was a ton of infighting to decide who'd be our temporary leader.”

Other divisions, huh. Must be talking about the Summer Fireworks.

“But!” Cooking Pot raises his voice suddenly, “Cooking Pan and I were already promised that position a long time ago!”

Romeo raises an eyebrow. No matter how he spins it, there’s no way Raging Fist Endo would entrust his entire army to guys like these. As if reading his mind, Cooking Pot puffs out his cheeks.

“He did! He told us a long time ago that if we defeated Bloody Bat Romeo, he'd make both of us his second-in-command!”

... Oh. So, it was a ‘when pigs fly’ kind of deal.

Oue laughs out loud, blood spilling from his nose.

“No waaay! And you guys just believed—GAH!

Cooking Pan sends him flying into the wall with another swift kick. This time, Oue doesn’t get back up or make a sound. Romeo growls under his breath.

That tall guy— Cooking Pan, huh? He moves pretty fast even while carrying that short one on his shoulders.

“Hey, you.” Romeo addresses him, and Cooking Pan looks at Romeo impassively. “You seem pretty strong. Why are you hanging out with this… middle schooler?”

Cooking Pot jolts in surprise, shocked, and he tries to lower the pot to cover even more of his face.

“W-What? I’m no middle schooler! I’m in high school just like you! I-I’m just very, very short!”

… Wait, he really is a middle schooler!?

Romeo takes a few more steps closer, looking in Oue’s direction. From what he can see, he's not bleeding from anywhere new, and he appears to be breathing. He turns his gaze back to Cooking Pot.

“As far as I know, the Kappore gang only lets high schoolers in. Is that why you’re wearing a high school uniform? You wanna be part of the Kappore that badly?”

Shut up!” Cooking Pot yells at the top of his lungs. “You don’t know anything!

“Yeah, guess I don’t. I don’t really care, though.”

Romeo taps his bat a few times on the concrete before swinging it over his shoulder again with a determined look in his eyes.

“If you leave now, I’ll pretend this didn’t happen and just take Pain Killer Oue back with me, but” he shifts his gaze slowly from Cooking Pot to Cooking Pan, who has been staring at Romeo with a strange, quiet intensity “something tells me you guys won’t let me go that easily.”