Volume 6, Chapter 6-1: An Expensive Treat

Winter Quarter 2016 Week 2 Friday

“Yuki!” Yuka nudged me, as I stared out the bus window.

“Sorry, what were you saying again?” I apologized, looking over her.

“Shinji wants to make up for how he came over so suddenly. I suggested he treat us out for lunch sometime,” Yuka answered.

That sounded terrible for me. Who knew what kind of stunt Champ would pull again? If Yuka was with me, I doubt he would try anything like last time. Still, I rather have at least one of the heroes with me in case anything occurred. I couldn’t count on Tess appearing again, although she probably would, knowing how meticulous she was.

“He doesn’t have to do that,” I commented, hoping Yuka would reconsider.

“It’ll be fine. Actually, he had a weird request. He wanted to invite Felicity too. I didn’t know he knew her,” Yuka brought up.

Felicity? What an odd choice. Why did he want to invite her? She wasn’t involved with anything interdimensional, unless she was, and I didn’t know. That didn’t sit too well with me.

“Did she agree to go?” I asked.

“Yes and she’s bringing Ichaival. This is turning out to be quite a large gathering. I think it’ll be fun,” Yuka replied, a smile on her face.

I don’t know. You might think that, without knowing Champ’s true motives. But, if Ichaival attended, I could somewhat rest easy. He wasn’t Tess, but at least I knew he could hold his own. If it were simply just a kind gesture on Champ’s part, I wouldn’t worry. But, it probably wasn’t, so what was he planning?

“Okay, I’m down. When is it happening?” I asked.

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“Tomorrow. You’re free, right?” Yuka revealed the date.

“Yeah, I just have homework to do,” I nodded.

It was finally my stop and I got off, waving to Yuka. Over the past week, I trained with Tess in the facility during my free time. My skill level didn’t match up to the other heroes, but I gained confidence. That still wasn’t enough to confront Champ one-on-one. I hope nothing bad would happen tomorrow, but knowing my luck, something would go wrong.

\textbf{Winter Quarter 2016 Week 2 Saturday}

I parked on the street, checking my phone for the restaurant address. Why did it have to be in the Central District? Stores and boutiques with fancy displays and shiny windows were the norm here. Was Champ loaded or something? I finally found the place and peering through the windows, saw no one recognizable. Inside, all the tables were covered with pristine white sheets and set-up with nice looking plates and utensils. The chairs looked comfortable and expensive. This was a high scale restaurant. What had I gotten myself into?

“Yuki! Over here!” someone called out to me.

Felicity was in the back with Ichaival seated next to her. Yuka hadn’t arrived yet. She wore a beige cashmere sweater and scarf with the Sica brand. If I ever doubted Felicity was in the upper class, her clothes gave it away. Darryl wore a puffy vest and a pair of headphones resting on the back of his neck.

“Yuki! I’m glad you managed to find this place. When Yuka told me about all of this, I was a bit surprised since it’s very pricey. But, if her boyfriend will be covering the bill, then there’s nothing to worry about,” Felicity greeted.

“Yuka isn’t here yet? I thought she would be the first one here. She’s very punctual,” I remarked, inspecting the cutlery.

“She’ll be running a little late since they’re stuck in traffic right now,” Felicity answered, pulling out her phone.

I pulled mine out as well, seeing a message from Yuka. She sent this to Felicity before me. I felt a bit insulted.

“Tomo, how’s the training been going?” Ichaival asked.

“Fine. Does….,” I motioned my eyes toward Felicity.

“Huh? Oh, right. I think so,” Ichaival answered.

“Yuki, how’s your health? Tess has been telling me about your hard work, but you should always be concerned about yourself first,” Felicity questioned.

“I feel pretty good. A lot better than last time. I’m not too familiar with the Central District, so I have no idea what this restaurant serves,” I inquired.

“Oh, this place is great! They serve all kinds of roasted meats seasoned with different spices. They are really known for their beef dishes, but if you’re not in the mood for meat, they serve really good vegetarian options too,” Felicity explained.

I flipped through the menu, checking the prices. Even the cheapest dish was around fifty dollars. What kind of ridiculous care or service went into these dishes? The highest price was in the triple digits, around 200 or 300 dollars. Well, I would never come here to eat alone. Seemed like Champ was as loaded as Felicity. Or he just saved up enough money to treat us.

“How many times have you eaten here before?” I asked Felicity.

“Two. I went here for a meeting before and for a celebration,” Felicity responded.

Ichaival glanced at his phone, typing very fast on it. Did he receive a message from Shan? Probably an insulting one too.

Ten minutes later, Yuka and Champ arrived. Champ looked no different than last time, greeting everyone with graciousness. Did Tess inform Ichaival about Champ? I should have asked him earlier. Champ smiled at me, but I knew such things were just for show.

“Sorry for the delay, everyone. There was an accident when we took the freeway, so it took awhile for us to get here,” Yuka apologized.

“No worries, as long as you’re safe. Champ, I’m a bit surprised you know this place,” Felicity remarked.

“I’ve been here several times for birthdays, so I know the food here is excellent. Please, order what you like, I will take care of the bill,” Champ announced.

Should I order the most expensive dish to spite him? He did make such an offer, for him to rescind would be poor manners. While I pondered if such actions were justified, Felicity spoke out.

“We can’t just leave the bill to you. Things are pretty expensive, so I’ll cover half,” Felicity offered.

“No, I couldn’t possibly expect you to do that. You are my guests today after all. I will cover all the costs no matter what you order,” Champ declined.

“I still feel bad if you did all of that. In exchange, I’ll cover the tip. Is that okay with you?” Felicity suggested.

“That sounds reasonable. I’ll agree to that,” Champ nodded.

Darryl and Felicity turned the menu pages, while Champ excused himself for a moment. I looked around the restaurant, finding it empty. I expected more people especially on a weekend. Champ spoke with the waiter about something and the employee nodded, heading into the back.

“What are you getting?” Yuka asked, placing the menu down.

“I’m not sure. Everything on here is out of my normal price range. I’m considering a steak,” I replied.

“Oh, that’s a good choice. Their beef is top quality here,” Felicity endorsed my potential decision.

Champ finally returned. The waiter walked up to our table, tablet in hand. Might as well go steak since it was their specialty.

“Are you all ready to order?” the waiter asked with a smile.

“I think we are. Who wants to go first?” Champ replied.

“I’ll have the spiral ham and mechado,” Felicity went first.

“Steak and eggs. Wait, sorry, I meant the Filet mignon,” Darryl said.

“I’ll have the steak and oysters,” Yuka ordered.

“Beef Wellington,” I decided.

“I will have the pepper steak as I am feeling something spicy. Today’s a good for that isn’t it, Tomo?” Champ said, glancing over at me.

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“Sure, I guess,” I responded, not humoring him.

The waiter asked us all follow up questions about the meat rareness before departing. While we waited, Champ left the table again, heading towards the restroom. I walked over to the window. Rain drops struck the ground. It was sunny during my drive over. The weather was fickle like that here.

Where were the other employees? There was only one waiter. Not only that, the person taking our orders pulled double duty, standing behind the entrance podium. He offered me a smile when I looked over.

“Hey, isn’t it weird we’re the only ones here?” I asked.

“Didn’t Champ tell you? He reserved the restaurant for two hours,” Felicity informed me.

“That’s a really long time,” I said.

“The food takes awhile to cook, so it’s not that surprising. Are you bored?” Felicity answered.

“Not really, just curious about why it’s so empty in here,” I shook my head.

Forty five minutes later, our food finally arrived. On appearance alone, the food appeared well made. Champ was gone the entire time we waited for food. He returned right when the waiter carried all of the food out. There was no way he spent the entire time in the bathroom, unless he was very sick. Very suspicious.

“Is the food to your liking?” Champ asked, taking an entire bite of peppers and steak without even flinching.

“It’s quite good. That’s to be expected at such a high class restaurant,” I replied, cutting a piece of meat off.

We took our time eating. The food was really good. I savored each bite, believing Yukie could pull off such caliber of food if given the opportunity. Champ only took two sips of water during his entire meal, which made me question his taste buds.

“Tomo, I’m glad that you decided to come today. I am sorry for coming in unannounced last time. This should serve as sufficient apology,” Champ announced.

“I think this was more than enough,” I accepted his apology.

“That’s good. I do hope you forgive what happens next,” Champ declared.

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