"Arthur! Is that you?! Why are you here?", he heard a shocked female voice calling him.
Gary and Arthur both turned their head in the direction where the voice had come from.
It was a girl in a white gi and purple hair tied into a pony tail who was walking towards them. She was sweating because of her work-out but the sweat made her skin look glistening and smooth.
Arthur instantly recognized the girl. her purple hair was quite distinctive after all:
"Zoe ..., right?", he looked at her quizzically.
"Yes! Do you remember me again?", she asked with a hint of happiness.
"Ehh, no, but you were there at my home."
"Ah, yeah ...", she said realizing her mistake and asked hurriedly,
"So, eh, why are you here?"
"Well, we wanted to -"
"Wait, that's, isn't this ...!", she interrupted him when her eyes fell on the person standing next to Arthur.
"Yeah, nice to meet you too, Zoe. I am Gary!", he told her and looked at Arthur with an all-knowing kind of smile,
"So, I will leave you two alone here for a moment. I have some very important calls to make, alright? Arthur, you take your time with this nice lady here and I will come back to you when I am finished", and before Arthur could say anything he was already gone.
"Ah, did I disturb you two? I am very sorry", she made an apologetic expression. She knew that Gary was sometimes here training but this had been her first time meeting him in person.
"No, not at all. We just had some small talk."
"Oh, then you just met? Why did you come here then? Did you want to train?"
Arthur smiled wryly as he wasn't sure what to say now. He didn't want to lie to her but he also didn't want to reveal his deal with Gary or Blue. Just when he was about to come up with something on the spot, a rude call woke him up:
"Hey Zoe! What are you doing there with that weakling? You shouldn't talk with people who are beneath our standing, let's continue our spar instead!"
The person owning that voice appeared a couple moments later within their sight. It was a boy with tanned skin and black hair. He looked at Arthur contentiously but his face became like a shining sun when he saw Zoe.
"Rico! Arthur is my friend. You can't talk to him like that!", Zoe replied with an angry face.
"This is your friend? I didn't know that, then I will have to apologize I guess.", he said apologetically but his face still betrayed a look of contempt when Arthur's eyes met his. Still he kept up his smile and said:
"I am sorry for my behaviour. I hope you can forget my blunder just now. My name is Rico Nevarrez, nice to meet you ..."
"Arthur, Arthur McNeal.", he said neutrally. He didn't understand what he had done wrong but he kept his calm.
"Arthur, nice to meet you! If you would excuse us, me and Zoe still have a spar to fight out, right Zoe?", he looked back to her friendly.
"Well, that's ...", Zoe couldn't think up a good excuse now. She had been in a match with Rico indeed, but she became distracted and left when she suddenly saw Arthur entering the hall,
"let's do the match later ok? I think I need to rest now for a bit."
"Well then, let's go to the Umami King around the corner. I am also quite hungry now", Rico suggested instantly.
Zoe felt like being in a pinch and didn't want to be rude even if she didn't want to go.
Arthur noticed that and asked her:
"Could you show me around for a bit? I have only just arrived and I am still not sure about what to pay attention to."
"Well, I am sure the people at the service point can help you out with that! They are there at the end of the hallway over there", Rico explained in a nice tone but his eyes clearly told Arthur to back off.
Arthur wasn't sure what this guy's problem was but he somehow didn't like his attitude and responded in a polite tone:
"I still think that someone experienced like Zoe would be more helpful."
Rico's friendly face suddenly vanished and turned grim. He told Arthur coldly:
"Mi amigo, don't you clearly see that Zoe is exhausted and needs some rest? She can't waste her time with someone like you who doesn't even know where his place is! !Sal de mi cara, carajo!'", his voice turned very sharp at the end.
"?Llamas ese pedazo de mierda una cara? !Como divertido ...'!", Arthur's face took on a mocking expression in response.
A short silence followed where Rico became puzzled for a moment and didn't know what had happened just now. Zoe was the first to ask astonished:
"Arthur! Since when can you speak spanish?"
"Spanish?", Arthur asked back,
"Did I speak spanish? When ?"
"Eh, just now?"
Arthur was stunned. Somehow an inner voice took over for him and spoke out what he was feeling at that moment. That Rico didn't seem to hold up his pretenses anymore so why should he? The words came naturally out of his mouth and he didn't realize he spoke in another language at all. However, before he could answer her though Rico shouted at him angrily and broke his train of thought:
"WHAT DID YOU SAY ABOUT MY FACE?! How dare a commoner speak to me like that!", he gnashed his teeth and stormed up towards Arthur. Obviously he had awoken from his confused state.
"Wait, Rico! What do you intend to do?!", Zoe shouted at him and stood proactively in front of Arthur. She didn't want them to get into a fight, especially since Arthur probably still hadn't healed up yet.
"I am sorry Zoe, but this is between him and me now. He hurt my honor! And hurting the honor of a man is like attacking his life! It's a matter of course that I defend it now!", he told her righteously and tried getting through her.
Zoe still resisted though:
"Arthur is hurt because of an accident and he surely didn't mean it like that! Besides he doesn't even know any martial arts, how can you expect him to fight with you?!", she didn't get what they had talked about but she wanted to calm the situation down anyway!
"He should have thought about this before he insulted me and started this!"
"I started this? You were hostile towards me from the beginning on!", Arthur defended himself.
"Are you always like this? Hiding behind women and letting them fight for you? Pitiful, but I wouldn't expect more from you ...", Rico said in a provoking tone.
"You ....", even Arthur had dignity within him and his patience just ran out,
"Who said I needed her help! Zoe, it's fine, I will take care of him!", he knew this was a trap but if he didn't respond now how could he walk with his head held high and his back straight from now on?
He agreed with that Rico on one point, he needed to defend his honor!
"Are you both crazy?!", Zoe said clearly exasperated.
"Good, seems like some dignity is left within you!", Rico grew a wicked smile on his face,
"Let's go to the ring and fight it out there. Three rounds, only one minute each and I even leave you with the first hit! How does that sound? Don't worry Zoe, it's just a small play fight. I wouldn't even think of hurting your friend here, hahaha."
"Less talking and more moving, amigo!", Arthur passed by him and walked towards an empty ring in a corner. Regret already started building up in his heart but what's done was done.
"Hope I won't end up in the hospital again!", he mumbled sarcastically.
Additional chapter for the week,
please enjoy :)
Thanks for all 60 voters who have voted till date *thumbs up*
Actually the Bonus Goals are still standing, but I really liked writing this chap so I will release it immediately instead ;)
"Get the f0ck out of my face (sight)"
"You call that piece of shi1 a face? How amusing ..."
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