The bright evening sky shone upon the land. But deeper into the wood, one man, sprinting around, hoping to drive off some people. Four-man in cloaks covering half their faces, following not far behind his trail.
When he was nearing the edge of the woods, he found a bridge toward another woodland across the waterfall. Conflicted, he still crosses it.
One of the enemies uttered curses and gripped two long tiny weapons with double sharp ends, throwing them straight at him.
Perceiving the danger, he moves his head aside. His eyes widened at the two small weapons. However, what alarmed him was the chain he wore around his neck. It got severed accidentally. The chain has come with an emblem. But, it fell into the stream below him.
Truthfully, the emblem was a treasure by any of his kin. Now, lost by him.
Anguish, yet, he has no way to get it back. Clearly, his foes know no care. The emblem was his last defence. It might never be found again after falling into the fast stream.
While he got chased, two young adult men were having a break near the stream. The two were not far from the bridge. One of them was washing his face while the other had his back to the bark of a lush tree.
"Time to head back, Kairi."
The latter told while gazing somewhere. Eyes narrowing, he felt the trouble that occurred.
"Gimme a moment, Rafiz."
Kairi dipped both his hands into the stream. Ignorant that his companion, Rafiz was watching around them in vigilance.
Suddenly, Kairi felt something attached to his fingers. He pulled them out and was surprised to find a stunning emblem chain, illustrating the pattern of a steed with wings.
Who drops this valuable thing?
"Kairi, let's go!" Rafiz urges.
He didn't want those people, foe or not, to accidentally stumble upon them. Who knows what level of strength they have. They better leave quickly.
Kairi moved away from the river, carrying the emblem chain with him. Leaving the area in haste, they finally arrive at a big old tavern. Both went in from the back door which led them straight into a huge kitchen.
On impulse, they shift to the side fast. Eyes show confusion when the two flying ladles pass through the place they stood before. Yet, they were not so surprised by it.
They turn their head toward the person who threw them. It was an adult man with a height of 1.84 meters. He has a big belly protruding from his waist and dark brown hair that also covers his mouth and his chin.
"Dad, what the hell?! We're only five minutes late!"
Rafiz scowled at the big man behind a stove. Hands on his waist, their father's grey eyes glared at them.
"Five minutes you said... Look again!" He pointed at the clock wall.
"It passes over six minutes!"
Rafiz and Kairi look at each other and sigh. Was it fate to have such a father? Feels like some people would understand them. Both complained in their heart.
What can they say? Their father's tavern was pretty much a handful. Lateness should not be allowed.
Before the time for operating, they must finish all the chores; tidying, washing, and wiping every day. Their tavern operated from evening to late night, the same as some taverns that also operate at the same time.
So, would everyone wake up late the next day? That's normal. After all, who can wake up early after sleeping at three in the morning?
And during the operation, Kairi and Rafiz were required to wear waitress clothes. They also must treat every customer with a friendly and gentle attitude. Not only just them having such a good temperament towards their customer, even other employees they hired, must do the same.
Moreover, be it a man or a woman employee, their fair face entices the customer's appetite more to dine in their tavern. Truthfully, that was their main attraction to increase their customers.
"... I'll bring your orders asap. Thank you for choosing Barlita Tavern. Please entice your evening with our special pudding while waiting."
Kairi jotted down the orders on his notepad. Then, he smiled sweetly at the ladies who ordered them. The ladies return his smile with shyness. They were new to the tavern and were surprised to see all the beautiful and handsome staff.
They should have come earlier!
As for Kairi, he had gone to the counter. He pulled off the order list from the notepad and gave it to the staff at the counter. The staff then clips his orders on a string that would move into a kitchen through an opening window. Someone inside would prepare the orders after they read them.
"There's been a lot of customers now, don't you think?" Kairi told Rafiz who was already there.
Rafiz had his back rested against the counter while folding his hands.
"Yeah. Our dad's famous Lasagna Kentucky meal set really gets their attention. Even people out of town are also here. Hm? A new customer. I'll go."
Rafiz pushes himself off the counter and leaves. He shows an empty table for the customer while Kairi delivers the ordered food immediately to the appointed customer.
After ten o'clock, a man entered their tavern. Wearing cowboy attire, he walks towards a corner. He took a seat at the empty table.
Rafiz's eyes darkened after seeing the man. "This person has a distasteful aura. It's the opposite of mine..."
"I'll go take his order, Rafiz."
Kairi felt his change of atmosphere. Since Rafiz looks like he dislikes the new customer, he shall be the one to take his order.
"What would you have, sir? We have-..."
Kairi listed their special menu for the night and the menu was given to the man.
"I want... A cup of hot coffee without sugar and one special bubbling ice cream." The man told Kairi as he handed the menu back.
Kairi took it. "Is that all, sir?"
The man nodded.
Kairi gives a smile. "Alright, your order will be here asap, sir. Please enjoy our free special pudding. Well then, please excuse me."
"Just call me, Virgo. No need for sir."
Kairi looked dumbfounded. A few moments later he realized he hadn't replied.
"Sure, Mr Virgo!"
The man stared at him with one eyebrow rose. His face looked serious which bewildered Kairi.
He didn't do anything wrong, so why does this man stare at him like that?
"Oh, okay, s–! Virgo! Please excuse me! I'll return with your orders soon!"
Kairi immediately flees for the counter. His face flushed and he felt so embarrassed by his countenance just now. He must have looked like a fool.
Virgo turned away before he grinned silently. He likes to tease others and see their awkward reaction. Kind of a habit of his every time he went to dine in a tavern or any dining lodges.
"Interesting..." He felt Kairi's awkwardness was something delightful to see.
Rafiz who was at the counter has been watching them. Because of his superpower hearing, he heard their conversation. He didn't like that guy teasing his brother. He turns to Kairi when Kairi places the order beside him.
"That guy, what exactly does he want with you?"
Kairi knew Rafiz had heard it. He sighed.
"... He told me to call him by his name. I got frantic because of it. Because, well, he looks older and... And he looks like a gangster! He's so scary, Rafiz! Wait! What if he's targeting me and follows me later? Rafiz, what should I do?!" Kairi panicked because he thought about what was going to happen to him.
Rafiz's eyes twitch at Kairi's elongated story and scaredy-cat expression. It was like Virgo would kidnap him or something.
"What the hell are you scared off for? Just call his name. What's so difficult about it? It's just a request. We must become obedient waitresses, aren't we?"
Rafiz gives a reassuring smile at Kairi. But inside, he was boiling.
How dare a random guy dare bully his brother!
Maybe he should follow that guy when he leaves and hit him or push him into the trash can in the alley. Would that be considered low-level revenge for Kairi?
He smirked silently.
Kairi considered his words before nodding. "Yeah, you're right. Thanks, Rafiz!"
"Kairi, please send this chicken soup to Table nine, okay?"
They got interrupted by the cashier.
Kairi went to deliver the chicken soup. Accidentally, he kicks a customer's chair. The soup plummeted to a nearby man.
The man screamed in pain when his thigh was soaked in the hot soup. Panicking, Kairi ran and came back with a wet cloth to wipe the man's thigh. The man's face turned grim and without saying anything, he just punched Kairi.
The assault shocked Rafiz and everyone. Instantly, Rafiz came over to Kairi who fell toward a table and tumbled down the floor.
"Are you okay, Kairi?" Rafiz asked worriedly.
He helped the pale Kairi to stand again but saw Kairi's lips were scraped and bleeding.
Turning back to the man, Rafiz growled. "Why so harsh?! He just accidentally spilt the soup!"
The man pulled Rafiz's collar. "Look! I've got damp pants because of him! These pants are not cheap so pay back the damage!"
Eyes glinting dangerously, Rafiz, who does not want to suppress his anger, takes hold of the man's hand on his collar and crushes it. A harsh crack sound appears in the silent dining hall before the man screams like a pig.
Although the man was bigger and bulkier, Rafiz easily broke his hand. Swiftly, he uses his shoulder throw on him. The man flew out the door to the outside of the tavern. Rafiz shortly follows.
His action amazed the people in the tavern. Some even cheer up for the fight and leave to watch it. While some have fear in their eyes. After all, it was once in a while for a fight to happen in Barlita's Tavern.
Virgo almost claps his hand for the great show. He wish he could go and see but something else caught his attention.
The man's friend had brought out a handgun, pointing at Rafiz's back. Instantly, Kairi caught his hands with his and changed their direction upwards so that the man did not shoot anyone. They both struggled with each other while people around were shrieking. Some hid under the table and some ran out.
Their father just looked around doing nothing. He knew his children could handle these troublemakers.
"Sigh... Gonna close early again," he thought.
No one would come after this accident. Might as well close for today.
Then, he realized Virgo, who looked ordinary, sitting calmly while tasting his ice cream. Instead of being frightened, Virgo looks entertaining like he was watching a thrilling show.
Shortly after that, Virgo kicked the chair next to the man who held the handgun when the man slowly struggled to walk backwards with Kairi. The man's ankle hit the chair and fell on his back while the handgun went flying out of his hand towards Virgo. Virgo caught it.
"Tsk! Tsk!" Virgo shook his head and grinned at the man.
"Don't bring dangerous things in here. People come to eat now, almost all scared off by you. Even I almost lost my appetite." He pulled out all the handgun's ammo and let it fall in front of the man.
The man's face went pale. Afterwards, two men of their staff caught him and tied his hands so he couldn't flee or harm anyone again.
Kairi slumps on a nearby chair. He felt relieved that no one got shot.
A waitress approached him. "Are you alright, Kairi?" She asked him while giving him a warm damp handkerchief.
Kairi nodded and received the handkerchief. He wiped the blood from his lips before thanking her. Then he noticed that Rafiz was not with them.
"Where's Rafiz?!" He quickly ran outside of the restaurant.
He was surprised to see the condition of the two figures in front of him. Also, he did not discover that their father also came out quietly and stayed behind him.
"Rafiz?" Kairi called him.
Rafiz looks over. The man who fought him was stranded on the ground and did not move at all. His body was bruised and bloody. They did not know if the man was still alive or not.
As for Rafiz, he also seems to be badly injured on both of his fists. The knuckles were bleeding. Kairi ran to him.
"Rafiz! Wha, What have you done?! Did you kill him?!" Kairi turns pale again.
"Who cares... Remember, Kairi. You're my brother. Although we're not blood-related, I have every right to protect you."
Rafiz told Kairi while touching Kairi's wounded lip. He bites back the anger that was rising again. He doesn't like anyone hurting or bullying Kairi.
"Um… But you can't just hurt him like this?"
Kairi feels bad for the man. It was actually not that serious for the spilling soup accident except... The man's friend brings out his handgun.
"Oh, give it a rest! I've done the deed. Can't turn back, right? Let's go to my room. I need help treating my wounds. And... I don't think it's usable for a while." Rafiz grinned.
It vanished when he noticed their father was behind Kairi looking hard at him. His body immediately gives out sweat.
"Err, hi, dad."
Kairi glanced back and gulped. Their father's expression was quite scary right now. They messed up big time... Again.
"I'll deal with you both later. Go to your room now!" Bark their father.
Both were startled and quickly ran passed him into a small alleyway leading to the stairs up to the top building of the tavern. Their house was located on it.
Meanwhile, their father ordered another two staff to lift the bloody man with his companion and brought them to the security station.
Customers and other employees were relieved that the situation had calmed down. The customers returned to enjoy their food.