Chapter 1 - A Dreary Morning
May 29, 2005
September 1, 2005
|There's a new girl in town who might not be a girl at all. A human when with Kiyo, a mamodo when with Zatch. She's Mamodo #101, and Sherry and Brago want her.|
Category: Anime/Manga » Zatch Bell!
Chapter 1 - A Dreary Morning
Chapter 1 - A Dreary Morning
Rain pounded against the glass windows of Kiyo Takamine's room. A bolt of lightning flashed against the dark clouds and shortly lit up the gray sky. Only two seconds later, the thunder followed with a loud rumble that woke the sleeping fourteen-year-old. He yawned for a second and peered out the window at the storm.
“The weather is miserable,” he mumbled. “I'm not going to school today.” He snuggled underneath the covers of his bed and rested his head in his soft pillow. His body was nice and warm in bed, and he did not intend to ruin the sweet moment.
Adorable little Zatch Bell was sleeping in his tiny bed next to Kiyo's. He awoke when the pounding rain grew louder, his bright orange eyes glancing at his surroundings. He immediately pushed himself up and rubbed his tired eyes.
“Kiyo…” he whined. “It's time to get up and go to school.” He yawned and rubbed his head. “Come on, Kiyo,” he continued as he walked over to his friend's bed. “Let's go downstairs to eat breakfast. I'm really, really, REALLY hungry. I didn't have any dessert last night.”
“Be quiet, Zatch,” Kiyo muttered, throwing the covers over his head. “You're annoying me. I'm not hungry, so go eat breakfast yourself.” He exhaled a long huff and brought the covered back down on his neck.
Zatch suddenly became his usual hyper self, and he started rubbing Kiyo's back in an attempt to wake him up. When he saw that it was not working, he climbed onto Kiyo's bed and started jumping on the mattress.
“Wake up, Sleepy Head!” he cheered. “It's time for another great day at school!” His jumping had now moved so he was hopping on Kiyo's rear end.
“Get off me, Zatch!” Kiyo shouted. “Leave me alone, okay? Have you seen the weather?” He sat up straight and pointed out the window. “I'm NOT going to school today. End of story. I don't care what anyone says. Today is just one of those days.”
“Then you must have those kinds of days a lot!” Zatch finished his jumping and sat on the mattress. He looked out the window at the pelting rain and watched as the lightning flashed again. “Oh boy!” he cheered. “There must be someone just like me out there! I wanna go play with that person up in the sky!”
“There's no one in the sky,” Kiyo snapped, finally throwing the covers off himself. “That's the effect of thunder and lightning, although I don't expect you to understand that.” He stood up and stretched his arms. “Well, you've gone and ruined my morning already, so I might as well add insult to injury and go to school.” He headed for the door and grabbed a hold of the knob. Zatch smiled and followed, his frilly dress flapping behind.
On their way to the bathroom, the two of them met up with Mrs. Takamine. “Good morning, Boys!” she greeted happily. “Zatch, were you doing your job and getting Kiyo's lazy bum out of bed this morning?”
“Yes, Ma'am!” Zatch replied, saluting her. “Kiyo said he didn't want to go to school because it was raining outside, but I told him he had to because it's his job to go to school!”
“You said no such thing,” Kiyo spat, walking into the bathroom. Mrs. Takamine just laughed and picked up the little mamodo in her arms.
“You good little boy!” she rewarded. “I'll make you a nice, big bowl of fried rice and grilled yellow tailed tuna for breakfast, okay? It's what you deserve for being so good every morning.” She patted his little blond head and began walking to the kitchen. There, she set Zatch down in his chair and began working the rice cooker at the counter.
Zatch soon grew bored and got up from his small chair to join Mrs. Takamine at the counter. When he realized he was too small to reach the counter on his own, he grabbed his chair and dragged it over so he was right next to her. He then watched in awe as the rice cooker went to work. He went to poke it but was stopped short.
“I don't want you to burn yourself,” Mrs. Takamine said gently. “The rice cooker is very hot. If you'd like to help, you can grab the slab of yellow tail from the refrigerator.” Zatch nodded and hopped down from his chair. He dragged it back to its spot and walked back to the fridge, where he opened the door and quickly took out a small fish from the shelf. He brought it back to Mrs. Takamine and sat on the kitchen floor. He gazed up at the window.
“Can Kiyo and I have an umbrella when we walk to school today?” he asked. “I don't think Kiyo likes to get wet, and the clouds are really, really sad about something right now. Do you think maybe someone yelled at them last night?”
Mrs. Takamine laughed. “No, I think it's just a spot of bad weather. Oh look! You're rice is all done. Let me put some in a bowl for you.” She grabbed a bowl from the cabinet and filled it past the top with hot rice for Zatch. As soon as she gave it to him, she went straight to work grilling the yellow tail.
Kiyo suddenly appeared in the kitchen and took his spot at the table. He yawned and rested his head down. Slowly, the aroma of fresh, hot rice filled his nose, and he was ready to eat. He had not admitted it, but he was actually quite hungry.
“Is there any left for me?” he asked his mom. She nodded and filled a second bowl for her son. Kiyo took the two chopsticks on his napkin and began shoveling white rice down his throat. “Where's my umbrella?” he asked after he swallowed a large mouthful.
“Over by the front door, where it always is!” Zatch observed as he looked towards the front hall. “Ha! That's funny. I was wondering where it was just a little while ago, and now it's there! I answered my own question.” He finished the last of his rice and jumped down from his chair to bring his bowl back to Mrs. Takamine.
Kiyo finished his rice and left his bowl on the table. “Well,” he began, “I might as well get going.” He walked to the front hall and pulled his shoes on before taking his umbrella and shoving his briefcase under his arm. He opened the front door and opened up his umbrella.
“Hey, Kiyo!” Zatch called from the kitchen. “Wait for me! Come on! Don't leave me at home!”
“You don't need to come with my today, Zatch.”
“But we have to continue Operation: Hero of Justice, even in the rain!”
“Ah, would you just shut up about that stupid plan??”
Kiyo slammed the front door and began walking to school. Along the way, he met up with the last person he wanted to see (besides Zatch): Suzie.
“Good morning, Kiyo!” she greeted, energetically waving her arms. “Well, I don't know if the morning is that good or not, but you know what I mean!” She giggled wildly and pulled out an apple from her briefcase. “Did you eat breakfast this morning?” she continued. “If not, I'm sure you'd like this big, red apple I've got here! It's all nice and juicy and sweet!”
“I ate breakfast, Suzie,” Kiyo muttered. “There's no need to share your fruit with me.”
“Oh!” Suzie replied. “That's no big deal! Would you maybe like a pear instead?”
Kiyo was angry now. There were so many people in his life making him do things he had no interest in and discouraging him with petty remarks. Still, he was letting himself get very, maybe too, annoyed by Suzie's friendly offerings. After all, the girl just wanted to be near him. He was just too blind to notice that.
“Get out of my way, Suzie!” he shouted suddenly. “I didn't even want to go to school this morning, but Zatch woke me up. It's a miserable morning, and I'm in no mood to listen to your stupid ramblings about fruit! I've got better things to do.”
Kiyo pushed his way past Suzie and purposefully nudged her in the arm so she would drop her apple. It fell into a nearby puddle and made a huge splash, completely drenching Suzie and her uniform. The wind picked up, and it blew the umbrella out of Suzie's hand and behind a fence, so now there was nothing protecting her from becoming ever more wet. Slowly, she bent down to pick up her apple and stared at it. Her lips quivered for a minute before she finally began a slow, dreary walk to school.
Meanwhile, Kiyo was feeling no regrets. He walked into the school courtyard and watched as the other students talked among themselves, sheltering themselves with their own umbrellas. He sighed and walked right past them and attempted to get inside the school.
Suddenly, Kiyo heard a girl scream. He darted his head in the direction of the noise and saw two upperclassmen picking on a younger girl. He gritted his teeth for a moment and slightly begged that he had Zatch and his book. Some students gathered around the girl and the two guys, hoping to see a fight. They were disappointed when all they did was take her lunch money.
When all the students cleared, Kiyo ran over to the poor girl, who was leaned up against the school wall, hugging herself. He placed his umbrella over her head and squatted down next to her.
“Are you okay?” he asked. “How much money did those guys take?”
“I only had about two hundred yen or so,” she replied, brushing her wet bangs away from her face. “That's hardly enough to buy myself a complete lunch anyway, so it's not a big deal. I don't even go to this school. I was just hoping to hang around and buy some lunch with the other students.”
“Well, you look a little suspicious with your outfit,” Kiyo pointed out. “If you wanted to blend in, you should have borrowed a girl's uniform from one of your friends.” The girl was wearing a short, frilly, pink dress with a kimono-style, purple wrap around her waist. She had long, dark brown hair and light brown eyes. Her skin was slightly tanned, and her body seemed to be in perfect proportion. Kiyo just barely blushed.
“If you want,” he began, “I'll buy lunch this afternoon, and I'll give a little bit to you. You know, if you stick around.”
“You'll really buy something for me?”
“Yeah. Just meet me on the roof at noon, okay? I'll bring you some food.”
“Thank you so much!”
The girl jumped up and bowed many times for Kiyo. He could only smile and bow back. “My name's Kiyo, by the way. What's yours?”
The girl paused for a second and rubbed the back of her neck. “Yakune,” she murmured. “My name is Yakune. I'm not from around here, so I really don't know a lot about this city. I'm so sorry if I wasted your time this morning.” She bowed a few more times before she and the rest of the students heard the bell for first period ring. Kiyo perked up and began running towards the main hall.
“I'll see you on the roof at noon then, Yakune!” he called. “Please don't be late!”
Later that morning, Zatch was running around like crazy in his little gym bag costume. He snickered inside the bag and turned a sharp corner down the street. He began running around in a circle until he finally slammed into a lamppost. He slid down the cold steel and popped his head out of the bag. He shook his head and looked at the street he was on.
“Which way is Kiyo's school again?” he asked no one. “Oh! That's right! I remember now! It's just down the other way. All I have to do is retrace my steps until I find my way to that one street the school courtyard lies on. That shouldn't be too hard!”
Zatch brought his head back inside the bag and began running in the opposite direction. He ran his little legs off until he bumped into something else. This thing was much smaller and softer than the lamppost though, and he poked his head out again to see a little girl sitting on the sidewalk, rubbing her forehead.
“I'm sorry!” Zatch told her. “I'm sorry I bumped into you. Are you okay?” He held out his hand for the little girl. “I didn't mean to bump into you, really!”
The girl looked up at him and stopped rubbing her head for a moment. She shook her head and took his little hand. He helped her to her feet, and she brushed off her dress of excess water and mud.
“The rain stopped falling an hour ago!” Zatch observed. “How come your dress is so dirty? Did you fall in a puddle before?” He brushed some of her wet bangs away from her face.
“Uh-huh,” the little girl replied. “I slipped on the sidewalk.” She rung out the bottom of her dress and stared at Zatch with her big, pink eyes. Zatch instantly looked at her cheeks with two lines traveling down them to her neck. It took him a little while, but he finally understood what they meant.
“A mamodo,” he whispered. He thought for a second, and then his voice grew a little bit louder. “Where's your family and friends?” he asked. “Did you get separated from them or something?”
“I can't find my friend,” the girl muttered. “She left me.”
“Where did she go?”
“Off in the direction of the junior high,”
“I'm on my way there now! Let's go together!”
Zatch pulled the girl into his gym bag and started running off towards the school again. He laughed like crazy as he passed all the people on the street, some of them looking down to confirm the running gym bag.
“Oh! I almost forgot!” Zatch realized. “My name is Zatch Bell! What's yours?”
The girl looked shyly at him for a second before finally replying, “Yakune.” She looked off to the side of the gym bag and kept thinking about the small child she had just “met.” “I've heard of Zatch Bell,” she whispered. “He must have been one of the one hundred sent for this battle.”
“Yakune, huh?” Zatch repeated, catching her off-guard. “I've never heard of or seen you before. Are you new around here? Maybe your family moved her recently?”
Yakune was silent for the rest of the trip. Zatch became suspicious at one point, but that disappeared when he finally made it to the junior high courtyard. He smiled big in front of the gate and popped his head from the gym bag. He looked at Yakune.
“Here's the place!” he cheered. “Time to get off the Zatch Bell Express!” He pulled his hand up and down and made a “toot-toot” sound, symbolizing a train. Yakune did not smile. She simply hopped out of the bag and began running for the school.
“Thanks for the ride,” she said, not looking back to confront him. She eventually made it to the front door of the school. She hopped up and grabbed at it. Once she got a good hold, the door pushed open, and she hopped down to the floor.
Zatch watched her this whole time, and he felt a little bit of warmth rise to his face. He rubbed his cheeks for a second and started walking on to the school grounds himself. “Is this a new spell Kiyo can launch from a distance?” he asked himself. “But then how did Kiyo know I met a mamodo today? Ah, I'll let him know once I get in there!” He began charging now, and he accidentally smacked into the glass of the front door, thinking it was open. He poked his head out of the bag and looked up to the second level of the school. A window was open.
Zatch pulled the gym bag off himself so he was in his blue, frilly dress. He carefully climbed up the tree next to the window and peek inside. He soon realized that Kiyo was not in this particular class, but someone else he knew was.
“Suzie!” Zatch quietly called. He waved his free hand a little to try to get her attention, but she, for some reason, seemed to be very deep in thought. “The lesson must be super-interesting.”
Suzie suddenly got out of her seat, said something, and began walking for the hallway. Zatch watched her until she left the room, and he scrambled his way to another branch, where he saw her walking down the hall to the girls' room. He eyed the door for a second before deciding he was bored and hopping down to the ground. He picked up his gym bag and began walking home, hoping to eat some more yellow-tailed tuna for lunch.
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tinystarkitten on June 12, 2005, 6:44:47 AM