Volume 1: Journey to Balsc City
The Boy who speaks to himself
The chefs and waiters of Budakai's restaurant looked at the boy with great curiosity. He had blonde hair, green eyes and was wearing a sandy brown jacket with a maroon shirt underneath and blue pants. He looked to be 12. They had never seen the boy before but that was not what was strange about him. The strange thing about the boy was the fact that he was talking to himself.
"Of course I can finish the food by myself." Kai said to the air beside him. "Oh you don't even know how I feel." He said thrusting his hand out as if telling the air to talk to his hand.
"What do you think?" One of the chefs whispered to a waiter as they watched Kai's peculiar behaviour.
"I don't know," The waiter said. "I don't want to serve a psycho, even if he is young."
"You'll serve whoever I tell you to serve." The chef said. "But ask him how he plans to pay for the food his ordered."
The waiter moaned before he walked over to the boy who was still having a conversation with no one.
"Well maybe if you helped more…" Kai was saying before the waiter came over.
"Excuse me, kid." The waiter said. "How are you going to pay for all the food you ordered?"
"I'm not." Kai plainly said. The waiter did not move and Kai realised he wanted him to elaborate. "My father is going to pay the bill."
"Oh! So he'll be coming here too?"
"Yes, very soon."
"Okay!" The waiter said before disappearing behind the restaurant counter and a few minutes later came out with trays of food. He placed the food in front of Kai and the boy had choices of rice chicken, a few vegetables and tea and water which he greedily began to gulp down.
"Don't tell me to slow down." Kai said to himself, sputtering some food out of his full mouth as he spoke. After an hour all the food was gone and Kai spotted a protruding round belly that peeked from under his shirt. He picked his teeth with a toothpick while patting his newly developed pot belly. "Now that hit the spot. I feel like I haven't eaten for three days… oh, that's right, I haven't eaten for three days!" Kai got up from the chair and began heading for the exit.
The waiter slid in front of him to block his way. "Hey, where are you going?"
"I'm going to find some place to sleep off all of this." Kai said, gesturing to his protruding belly by shaking it proudly.
"Well, first you'll have to settle the bill for that." The waiter said handing a piece of paper to Kai.
Kia took the paper and his eyes almost popped out of his head when he saw the total amount. "Oh shut up! As if you'd know." Kai said suddenly to the nothingness next to him before turning his attention to the waiter. "Uhm… when my father comes, he'll pay you."
"And when is he coming exactly? It's been over a hour." The waiter said narrowing his eyes at Kai.
"I don't know." Kai said. "He's kind of a pirate, so when he sails by this place to fetch me with his sky ship…"
"Oh my goodness, you're trying to skip out on the bill, aren't you, you little brat!"
"Now wait a minute, I'm not…" Kai began before turning to the side and talking to empty air again. "I know how it looks like, okay." Kai saw the waiter's confused look turn into one of anger.
"I've had enough of you, you psycho. Chefs, waiters, ASSEMBLE!" The waiter said before the staff began rushing in for Kai.
"Oh oh." Kai said before he broke out in a sprint, past the waiter and out of the restaurant. The chefs followed him, some wielding cleavers and others wooden spoons and rollers chasing him in the streets.
Omoi was selling her home made necklaces and bracelets on the street. They were made of wooden beads strung together with the occasional shiny things on a white string. While selling she saw someone that she did not want to see, Boss Mokedi.
Boss Mokedi was a criminal and leader of the gang that controlled the underworld of Oblik town. She had been banned form this area by him and his gang, so when she saw him, she packed up all her things and ran to the nearest alleyway to get out of sight. From her hidden place, she spied on Boss Mokedi as he passed by with his cronies. She did not notice the two figures shrouded in shadow approaching her from behind. They grabbed her mouth and dragged her deeper into alleyway.
"Hush now, little girl," One of the men said while holding her struggling figure down. "You wouldn't want the Boss to hear you and skin you alive, would you?"
Omoi remembered the threat of being skinned alive if she was ever found in the town centre and stopped struggling out of fear.
"What's this?" One of the men said as they took her bag. He opened it and laughed before digging out a bracelet with wooden beads. "Who would buy this crap?"
"Well someone did." The other one said as he took Omoi's money from her pocket and letting her go.
Omoi scurried back on her hands and bottom as they raided her personal belongings. "Please don't take my money," she pleaded. "That's all I have."
"Oh shut up!" One of the men said as he counted the coins in his palms. "You shouldn't even be here so this money belongs to us."
"Please…" Omoi's pleadings was interrupted when one of the men shoved her head down into the dirty alley ground.
"What's a 12 year old like you going to do with all this money anyway?" He said. "You're lucky we don't turn you in."
"Maybe that is what we'll have to do." The other said before snapping the string of a necklace, causing the wooden beads to scatter on the floor. "Maybe if you beg for your life, we won't turn you in." The man said smiling. "Go ahead… BEG!"
Omoi got on her knees with tears streaking down her now dirty cheeks as she began to beg for her life to be spared.
Meanwhile, Kai was still running away from a small group of armed chefs. He entered the central area of the town which had many vendor stalls. Whatever that was in his way got quickly toppled over and overturned, scattering produce everywhere. He would sometimes intentionally tip over stalls to act as an obstacle to his pursuers. As he was running, his ill-gotten pot belly jiggled with every step, turn and jump.
"Don't these guys… ever give up!" He said breathlessly as he ran through the market place. "What do you mean I'm leaving a trail?" Kai said as he overturned another stall selling vegetables, which earned him a string of insults from the seller. He looked back and saw all the turned over and damaged stalls that marked his path. "Oh, now I see." He jumped over a stall selling clay vases and accidently knocked over one which in turn knocked over another and his continued until all the vases were smashed. The woman selling them fell to her knees and began crying as the chefs ran past her and after Kai. "You think that will work?" Kai said to the air beside him as he ran on. "Fine, it's worth a try!"
As soon as he was momentarily out of sight of the chefs and waiters he kicked over a stall selling silk which fell on the vendor who was sitting behind it. He took one of the scattered silks and covered himself while crouching on the floor. His pursuers passed him, not knowing that he was hidden under a long silk fabric.
He breathed a sigh of relief but his ordeal was not done as the man he had kicked a stall onto began getting up. Kai had to run again to avoid the angry tailor with a now damaged stall in the marketplace.
Kai finally got away from all his pursuers. The tailor decided to let him escape because he had to rebuild his stalls and pack his silks away before thieves and scavengers stole them. However, his problems were not done as he began to feel a pain in his abdomen, at his side. He clutched the source of his pain as his running began to slow down to an awkward limp.
"Ow ow ow! Side cramp side cramp." He said, grimacing with each step. "Don't give that one hour before exercise lecture! You're not mom!" Kai said again to himself before he found a nice alleyway to rest his back against. While in the alleyway he heard some commotion at one of the far ends of the alley. He listened carefully to the people involved.
"Please, don't hand me over to Boss Mokedi?" Omoi said on her hands and knees.
"I'm not convinced," one of the men said. "What about you?"
"Meh! She could cry a bit more."
"Hey! Leave that girl alone!" Kai said approaching them while holding his side. "Of course I can beat them alone." Kai said to nothing before turning his attention back at the two. "Leave her alone… or else."
The two criminals were first quiet as they were surprised by this little boy in a sandy brown jacket threatening them. Then they both laughed loudly. "If you value your life, you will get out of here, kid!"
"I'm not afraid of you!" Kai said before clasping his hands together, making his fingers intertwined. "No, I can do this without humming!" Kai said to himself. The top part of a sphere began appearing above the two criminals' heads and it began to spread out slowly in an attempt to envelope them.
The growing sphere however was so slow to develop that the two men simply stepped out from under it before it could fully trap them. "You're a +Human, aren't you!" One of the criminals said as the trap disappeared.
"Yeah… so you better watch out or I'll… I'll make you're heads explode… with my mind." Kai said.
"How many powers does a +Human have?" One of the criminals asked the other.
"One." The other answered.
"Nice try kid. We know you only have one power and we've just seen it." He said pointing his head at where the dome shaped energy had been.
"Let's kill him quick." The other criminal said. "I bet we're going to be legends after we kill a +Human!"
"Fine fine fine, I'll hum!" Kai said to himself as he began focusing again.
The two guys charged at him in an attempt to take him out before whatever Kai planned came to fruition. While the two charged, there was a flash of silver light and a trash can flew into the front runner of the two, stopping him in his tracks. The other criminal was stunned to a stop but eventually regained his composure before charging again.
Kai had already put a forcefield up around hmself. The assailant withdrew a knife and began stabbing Kai's shield. The other criminal got up from the trash can attack and also withdrew a blade. They both slashed and stabbed at the blue hue dome but Kai's personal forcefield held up.
Kai smiled from the safety of his small protective dome. He stopped humming the tune he was humming and began to speak again. "I think I'm going to try that new technique." Kai said to no one again. "Come on, I know this is serious that's why I want to end it." Kai argued with himself. "Yes I know it hasn't worked before but maybe this time it will." Kai said before he began to hum again. The forcefield began to shimmer and shake, threatening to lose its shape.
There was another flash of silver light as two silver hands grabbed the trash can that had hit one of the criminals. With the assistance of the silver hands, the trash can flew through the air at the two thugs and hit the back of their heads, forcing their faces to be smashed onto Kai's shield. Kai shouted "Expand!" and his shield grew a little before popping like a bubble. The two criminal fell back into unconsciousness. Kai sighed looking at the two unconscious criminals on the floor, "Yeah yeah yeah, I know. You were right I was wrong. My technique didn't work." Kai annoyingly said to himself as he walked to Omoi.
"Are you okay?" He asked offering her his hand. She gladly took it and was helped to her feet.
"Thank you for saving me." She said. "My name is Omoi by the way."
Kai looked at the girl. She was in a black and brown tattered dress and her fair face and brunette hair was a little dirty. It was obvious that she was living in some kind of poverty. Her brown eyes smiled thankfully at him. "Nice to meet you Omoi." Kai said shaking her hand. "My name is Kai Otake. We shouldn't stay here for too long, they may wake up soon." Kai said kicking one of the unconscious bodies on his way out of the alleyway with Omoi following behind.
Omoi could not help but stare at the boy's pot belly. He was the same age as her, yet his belly was too big for a boy his size.
"You must've had a good meal." Omoi said, longingly.
Kai looked down at his quivering belly. "Yeah, I did."
"Are you rich?" Omoi asked interested.
"No, I'm in debt which really means the same thing as being rich." Kai said. He had to jump back to a hiding spot when the staff of Budakai's restaurant raced by, obviously still looking for him. He breathed a sigh of relief before making mock laughter. "Yeah, you're very funny." He said mirthlessly.
Omoi looked at him, assuming he was talking to her because there was no one else there. "Excuse me?"
"Oh, I'm sorry. I wasn't talking to you. I was talking to this guy." Kai said pointing his thumb to the side. Omoi followed the thumbs pointing direction and realised that Kai was pointing at wall.
'Great, his nuts.' Omoi's inner voice said.
"Do you know any places where I can sleep for the night?" Kai said as they walked side by side.
"Well, I have a place where I sleep..." Omoi said.
"Good, then lead the way!"
"Wait, no I wasn't really…" Omoi said realising that Kai had taken her talking about where she slept as an offer to stay with her.
Omoi's place was an old abandoned farming tower post. It had been built to overlook the farm lands near the town but it had eventually fallen into disuse and was abandoned.
"…and now it is my home." Omoi said, finishing her explanation on why the farmhouse looked like a dump but before she could talk further, Kai was sleeping on the floor, having passed out from exhaustion.
"Sleep well, Kai Otake."