The bell signifying the end of a class rang out throughout the room. A group of three can be seen coming out of the room chatting cheerfully while walking towards the cafeteria.
The trio is none other than Jake, Lee, and Kana.
After arriving at the cafeteria, each went to get their respective food and sat down at the empty table near a window.
"Are you okay, Jake? Its because you drank too much last time." Misunderstanding Jake's tired expression from going to the white room as still having some after effects from a hangover, Kana asked, worried.
"Hahaha... Let the guy be, it has been a while since he became that drunk." Unlike the worried Kana, Lee's voice contained a teasing tone but then he looked towards Jake seriously.
"So? What happened?" Surprised by his friend's sudden question, Jake doesn't know whether to laugh or cry. As long as he remembers, he indeed went drinking with them but not getting that drunk.
After thinking for a bit, he remembered his current mission and the enticing reward before seemingly realized something. Noticing the stares he is receiving from his two friends, he came up with an excuse he thought of.
"Um... To be honest, I've been thinking to drop out of campus." Having made up his mind, Jake told them his plan.
Shocked by the sudden revelation, both Kana and Lee almost spat out their food but ended up getting choked. Both reached out to their drinks and swallowed a good amount before staring intently at Jake.
"What did you say?!?" As if both of them have rehearsed their actions beforehand, their actions and words were exactly the same. Surprising even both of them as they look at each other, then stares at Jake, waiting for his answer.
Jake look back at them straight in the eyes, then he coughs.
"Ahem, why don't you two sit down first... People are staring" Finally noticing the stares from the surrounding, Lee and Kana sat down in embarrassment.
"So, what do you mean by that?" Can't wait anymore, Lee took another chance at asking Jake once again. Kana nods along the question, staring at Jake.
"Haha don't get so agitated, recently I have been thinking to open my own shop. You know right? I've always wanted to open one. Before I don't have any confidence to make it big, but now I've made up my mind." Jake explained. He technically didn't lie. When they were younger, he once told them his desire to own his store. But originally, he wanted to open one after finishing his education.
Both Lee and Kana realized that Jake is serious this time.
*Sigh*, both of them sigh, not knowing what to say. Then Kana spoke up,
"I understand your will Jake, but what about the money? You need quite a capital to open one." After saying that, Kana paused. She seemed to understand the reason for his drop out.
"Ah? You're planning to use your enrolment money?"
Nodding at Kana's guess, Jake continued.
"Yes, that's my plan. But It's still not enough if I want a decent place. So I'll probably go to the bank to get some loan." He then fell into silence, afraid that his friend will not support him.
Suddenly, Lee who didn't speak until now spoke up.
"Jake, are you serious about this?" For the usually playful Lee to suddenly voiced out a serious tone frightens Jake a bit, but he nods his head in confidence.
"Yes, even if you guys don't agree, I'll still do it." Replying with his all, Jake looked back at Lee.
Seeing the determination in his best friend's eyes, Lee decided to help Jake achieve his dream.
"Alright then, I'll help you out this time. I know of a guy that deals with property, I'll ask them if they got a place."
Surprised and touched by Lee's answer, Jake smiled acknowledging his help.
"Lee, what are you saying?" Compared to Lee, Kana still can't accept Jake dropping out of campus.
"Haha Kana, let him chase his dream. Don't you also want your friend to support you if you are in their position?" Lee tried to persuade Kana to help Jake.
"No! If he said that he want to go become an actor or even the strongest hunter, I'll definitely support him. But if he wanted to open a shop, I.. can't support you" Once again overwhelmed by her emotions, Kana stood up and walked away from them. Leaving behind the sighing Lee and the confused Jake.
"Its okay, just let her be. After what she's been through, its natural for her to react that way." Lee tried to cheer Jake up. He understands that Jake must be feeling awful after seeing how Kana react.
The confused Jake becomes even more confused after hearing the words said by Lee. Trying to grasp the situation, Jake tried to probe an answer from Lee.
"I'm okay, but why is she that opposed?"
Hearing Jake's words, Lee's face changed into that of shock and anger.
"What are you saying? Could it be you forget?" With a slightly angry tone, Lee raises his voice.
Surprised by Lee's reaction, Jake made an apologetic face, realizing that maybe their past has also been different on this earth. He then decided to use the same lie he told his sister.
"I'm sorry. Actually, since yesterday, my head feels a bit clouded and I can't seem to remember some of my memory." Hearing the explanation from Jake, Lee couldn't help but worry.
"Ah... Are you okay?" Feeling bad for rising his voice, Lee asked Jake in a low voice.
"Yes, I feel fine. My memory still feels a bit hazy though. Nevermind that, so what actually happened?" Unable to suppress the curiosity, Jake asked once again.
"Sigh... It can't be help then."
Immediately after saying that, Lee explained Kana's past while Jake listened carefully to clearly understand what his best friend experienced.
Jake soon found out that similar to him, Kana's parents also used to own their own shop, "Titanium". The shop was always crowded with customers. They then proceed to open other branches throughout the country. They eventually made it big, enough to be called one of the biggest company in Japan. However, one day Kana's father went drinking with his business partner and got cheated into signing a contract that requires him to give away half of the shop's share to them. Eventually, her father lost almost all of his share trying to snatch back what he lost. Now, her father ended up being an ordinary employee of the company. Luckily, he held himself back at the last moment and managed to retain 1% of the company shares and that's what their family is holding on to.
At first, Jake couldn't hide his surprise at hearing the name of the shop. On his way to campus this morning, he can even see banners and advertisement for the shop. However, Jake's face turned uglier the more he heard about the story. In the end, he even cursed out loud enough to even surprise Lee who is sitting across him. He immediately felt guilty, almost judging Kana negatively for her actions.
However, the determination of Jake's heart got stronger because of it. He promised himself to help Kana's parents gain back what was theirs when he's stronger.
"Well, we can't do anything to help them for now." Noticing the guilt in his friend's face, Lee tried to lighten the mood.
"Yeah, I guess you're right". After Jake say that, silence suddenly spreads out between them.
"Hey Lee, do you have a plan for today?" Unable to bear the silence, Jake spoke up asking for Lee's plan after this.
"Hm? Nothing at the moment I guess?" Answering Jake's question, Lee looked at him as if wanting to know the reason behind his question.
"Ah great, what do you say we go hunt some monsters?" Due to hearing Kana's circumstances, Jake's will to grow stronger intensified, thus proposing hunting to obtain some monster core.
Opposite to his expectations, Lee sat still looking blankly at him not believing what he just heard.
Noticing something wrong with Lee's reaction, Jake asked him another question.
"Huh? What's wrong?"
Lee snapped out of his shock, slowly opening his mouth "Didn't you used to hate hunting?"
The words he heard out of Lee's mouth made him unable to stop himself from facepalming. Jake then thought in his mind "So that's why my stats are so low.."
Another release for today.
Celebrating the 10K views. :)
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