Magical Knight Lune XY: My HOMIE Swooped Me off My Feet, and Now I Think I Might Be in LOVE?!
“Wait there. I’ll be out in a sec,” Red said, pointing at the curb in front of one of the empty storefronts. She then walked back into the restaurant.
I sat down on the curb and watched the passing cars. Felt awkward just sitting there like that waiting for Red, but I felt that I could trust her word.
Sure enough, a few minutes later, she came outside with a medium size pizza box in hand and two 20oz bottles of cola. She sat down next to me and held out a bottle. “Want one?” she asked.
“Sure. Thanks,” I said, taking the cola from her and setting it aside.
“Ya can have some of my pizza too if you want,” she said, opening the pizza box on her lap. She took a slice and bit into it, beaming with joy as she chewed.
“The heck is that?!” I yelled, staring in disgust.
Despite it appearing to have been made at the restaurant, it looked nothing like any pizza I’d ever seen. It was an alfredo pizza, topped with fried chicken strips and french fries, drizzled with mayonnaise.
“Pizza,” Red replied matter-of-factly.
“It’s an abomination! Even Hawaiian pizza is more appetizing than this!”
Red gave a face of disgust. “Yuck. Hawaiian…”
“Says the person with freakin’ mayonnaise and french fries on their pizza! Is this seriously on the menu here?!”
I feared that Belliney may have ordered this accursed concoction, too. Hopefully, everyone back at home is still alive.
Red shook her head and clarified, “Employees can make their own pizzas however they want. They can even bring ingredients from outside the restaurant, just as long as they don’t make a mess or contaminate anything. One of the few perks of working here. Try it before ya knock it.”
I hesitated, unsure what her end game was. For all I knew this could’ve been some elaborate trick to catch me with my guard down. The possibility of tainted pizza crossed my mind, but considering the number of pizzas she delivered and the fact that my app remained silent, I didn’t have solid evidence against her. I had to rely solely on my gut .
My stomach did not care about the questionable toppings that lay on the pizza before me. The smell of the crispy fried chicken and french fries mixed with an alfredo pizza base wafted into my nose, making my mouth water.
Yes, its presentation was atrocious, to say the least. And it could’ve been poisoned…
“Ya think I poisoned it or something?” Red sighed, finally taking another slice after I took so long to grab mine one.
“N-no! It’s not… Okay, yes. But is that so weird to think? We’re supposed to be enemies, right?”
“Yes, but only when I’m doin’ Monster Realm stuff. Right now I’m in the middle of my shift. Besides, I didn’t make this. My boss did. I was just tryin’ to be nice since it’s impolite to eat in front of others. If you wanna fight then you gotta wait until I’m done eatin’.”
I gave her a quizzical look.
“Look, I only got fifteen minutes for lunch. After that, I gotta get back to work. If I don’t eat now then I’m gonna be starving the rest of my shift. Have you ever delivered food on an empty stomach?
“Um, no,” I replied.
“It sucks,” she said as she took a big bite of pizza. “Ya got all this delicious pizza right under your nose, tauntin’ ya. But try to sneak a taste? You’re booted out the door.”
I removed the factory seal from the 20oz drink she gave me, relieved that at least the soda couldn’t be poisoned.
The two of us sat there in awkward silence. Well, except for the noise of Red scarfing down pizza as quickly as possible.
I finally broke the silence with an obvious question. “Why are you delivering pizzas?”
“It’s a job,” she said with a stuffed face.
“I get that, but why are you working a job? I thought you were supposed to be a big ol’ villain who goes around bothering people to collect negative energy.”
Red stopped chewing and glanced at me, then went back to eating. Once she finished the slice she was working on, she chugged half her bottle of cola. “It’s not like I’m doing this for fun, ya know. I got bills to pay, just like everyone else. Not to mention the mountain of cat food to feed all my Shadownyans. I swear, they got like ten stomachs lined up in their bodies!”
I started to chuckle, confusing Red.
“What’s so funny?” she asked.
“It’s just, I had this very serious picture of you painted in my head. Someone intimidating, powerful, even somewhat cool.”
Red choked. “Ya think I’m cool? So, wait, am I not cool now? Is that what you’re gettin’ at?!”
“That’s not what I mean!” I said, holding up my hands to calm her down as she became increasingly intimidating. “What I meant was that you’re a lot more down to Earth than I thought you were. Like earlier when you profusely apologized to–”
I immediately cut myself off as I was about to bring up Jack, which wouldn’t make sense for Lune to know about.
Red raised an eyebrow.
“L-like delivering pizza to those kids! That sure was down to Earth!” I said quickly.
“Yeah… I don’t think I follow. I was just doin’ my job,” she said, shoving another slice of pizza in her mouth.
“That’s what I mean”! I shouted. “Before, you were this larger-than-life person who I never would’ve seen myself sitting next to on a curb eating pizza. We may be enemies, and you may be a hindrance to a lot of people. But maybe in some other life, we could’ve been friends.”
Red’s face lit up like a stop light. She quickly hid her face behind the pizza box and discretely continued eating. Then there was a whisper.
“Huh?” I asked.
“N-nothing!!!” she shouted before stuffing the rest of the pizza in her face, then slamming the empty box down on the ground.
“Wow… You ate the whole thing,” I murmured.
“Those of the Monster Race require more food than you humans,” she said as she stood up. “Well then. Let’s get things started.”
A tornado of black smoke swirled around her. When it dissipated, the usual Red Sandrea I’ve come to know, wearing her signature armor, stood before me. She held up her fists and got into a fighting stance.
“Nyo ho ho,” she said with a sly smile. “Nyow that I’ve eaten, I’m ready to–”
She grumbled. “What is it? Are ya tryin’ to delay yer inevitable defeat?!”
I opened up my pouch and pulled out a couple of napkins that I stashed in there for emergencies. “Here,” I said, handing them to her. “You’ve got a bunch of mayonnaise on your face.”
She broke out of her stance and touched her cheek, where she became horrified. Her hand swiped the napkins from me in the blink of an eye.
“There!” she said after cleaning her face. She then placed the used napkins inside the pizza box so they wouldn’t blow away in the wind. “Now, no more delays! I’ve only got a few minutes left until–”
Suddenly, the door to the pizza restaurant swung open, revealing the man from the front counter. “We got an order that–”
He stared at the two of us, mouth agape as he cut himself off.
“Pfft. So lame,” he snorted.
“Lame…?” Red repeated. “What d’ya mean lame?!”
“Nah, it’s cool. I shouldn’t put people’s pastimes down, regardless of how silly they look. Anyway, we got an order that needs to go.”
“What?! But I’m on my lunch break!” she argued.
The man pulled out his phone, checking the time. “Yeah, for, like, less than a minute. So can you hurry up and clock back in and take these pizzas out?”
He went back inside, only to poke his head out the door, smirk, then return inside.
His condescending attitude toward Red’s appearance seemed to do more damage to her than anything I ever threw at her. She sulked as she slowly bent down to pick up her empty pizza box and bottle and placed them inside a nearby garbage can. Then she slowly dragged her feet back to the restaurant to resume her shift.
“I don’t think you look lame!” I yelled in sincerity. “You look cool!”
Red turned to me, where I saw a gentle smile.
“Says the kid who stepped off the stage of a public-access children’s show,” said her coworker.
“Ngh,” I groaned.
Was that how I looked to people? I thought I looked kinda cute…
Red’s smile gave way to an intense fury, murder now blackening her eyes. A demonic aura emanated from her. She was ready to rip someone to shreds.
Then a timer went off, followed by a whirlwind of smoke that came and went as Red changed back into her work uniform. She pulled her phone from her pants pocket and silenced it.
“Ugh,” she sighed.
She then walked into the restaurant, only to come out seconds later with several pizzas in hand and loaded them onto her scooter.
Before she could back out and drive off, I called out to her. “Hey!”
She turned to me.
“Let’s pick up where we left off on another day,” I said, raising a fist.
It took a moment for Red to reply. But when she did, she pointed a finger at me. “I’ll get you for sure next time!”
With that, she drove out of the parking lot and scooted down the road.
After she left, I reached down to pick up my half-finished soda and…
“Oh crap!” I yelled. “I completely forgot!”
I ran into the restaurant, where Red’s coworker was surprised to see me.
“You’re still here?” he replied.
“I need two 2 L bottles of cola!”
I returned home with soda in hand. That whole side trip with Red Sandrea wound up lasting over half an hour. Way longer than I meant.
“How am I gonna explain myself?” I wondered, walking up to my front door as Daniel.
When I entered, my worry of coming up with an excuse fell to the wayside when I saw Jack collapsed on the ground in the kitchen, face down.
“JACK!!!” I screamed, dropping the soda to the floor and running up to him. “What happened?! Are you alright?!”
Jack began to move, slowly turning his head to face me. “Daniel?”
“Did something happen?!” I cried.
I looked around for Belliney, but she wasn’t there. Just Jack and numerous pizza boxes stacked haphazardly on the table.
“The… pizza…” he mumbled.
“The pizza?” I asked.
Oh no! Was the pizza poisoned after all?! Was this the plan Red Sandrea had?!
“I…” Jack struggled to speak.
I grabbed his hand. “What? What is it?”
“I… ate too much,” he managed to say, followed up with a loud burp.
Sure enough, when I inspected the pizza boxes, a few of them were empty.
“Did you seriously eat all this?” I asked.
“I got some… Oh! Daniel! You’re back!”
Belliney had entered through the back door, carrying a twelve pack of cola.
“You were taking so long that I decided to go get the soda myself,” she said with a smile.
I held up two empty pizza boxes. “Belliney, what happened here? And why’s Jack on the ground?”
“Oh, he and I had a little eating competition,” she said as she scooted over some of the pizza boxes toward the kitchen table. She sat down the cola, after which she popped open a can and chugged it. “Mmm! That hit the spot!”
“How much pizza did you two consume?!”
“Hmm. Let’s see,” she said, counting on her fingers. “I had about five, while Jack was part way through his third before he admitted defeat and laid down.
Belliney opened up a box and pulled out a slice of supreme pizza. “Mhm!” she said as she took a bite.
I sighed in relief. Well, partly in relief, but mostly in annoyance. Why’d they make me worry in the first place?
I knelt next to Jack. “You want some antacids?”
“Y-yeah…” he replied.
I marched over to Belliney, grabbed her by the wrist, and led her to the bathroom.
She looked at me in confusion. “What’s wrong?” she asked.
“Did you know Red Sandrea worked at that pizza restaurant?” I asked.
She nodded as she took another bite of pizza.
“Weren’t you worried at all about letting her find where we live?! What if something happened?! What if she plans something in the future?!”
“Now, now, it’s alright,” Belliney said. “You’re worrying too much. I may not look it, but I’m always watching over things. If I really thought Red was going to do something, then I wouldn’t have ordered from there. Besides…”
Belliney wrapped her arms around me, squeezing me tightly as she shook her hips.
“If anything were to happen, I can rest easy knowing you’d be able to handle things! Because I have faith in you and your abilities!”
I get that she’s on top of things, but at the same time, I couldn’t shake the feeling that she wasn’t telling me something. What she did was completely reckless in my opinion.
“You aren’t keeping secrets from me, are you?”
“Of course not~!” she said. “I’m just looking out for you!”
“...Right. Then how come you’re pressing pizza into the back of my head.”
Belliney stopped bouncing back and forth, then let go of my head, pizza still in hand. Strands of my hair were stuck to it.
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