RWBY-The Journeys of Lan

Chapter 3

Ch 3 Classes

Anna: Cooking

“Alright” Anna said, placing here hands on her hips. “What do you know about cooking Lan?”

“You eat it!” Lan said smiling.

“Yes” Anna said with a patronizing smile “But do you understand how you to create it? How to turn the ingredients into actual food instead of just nourishment?”

Lan shook his head and stared back up at Anna, his eyes filled with the curiosity and wonder that only the young and a few enlightened elder individuals are able to possess. And Anna was more than capable of taking advantage of this.

Many years ago Anna had owned a five-star restaurant in a small town named The Silver Spoon. From a young age she had worked through the culinary arts, guided by the hand of her loving mother, and eventually made her way into a famous culinary school where she demolished the competition. By the age of 23 she owned a blossoming 3-star restaurant, and after a few more years of devotion to her craft she had raised it to the 5-star level. However, recognition can be both a good and a bad thing. Many wealthy, and at the same time unscrupulous, individuals came to eat at her fine establishment. Unluckily for her, she caught the eye of Uric Sergio, a prominent figure in the underground. When he tried to make his move on her, he received a frying pan to the face for his troubles. Afterwards he used his influence to harass Anna’s business and customers. Eventually people stopped coming to her restaurant and she was left in dire economic straits. But Uric didn’t stop there, after Anna’s hard earned connections had been severed he sent his men to begin harassing her friends and family. Alas, if only it had been simple harassment. Almost all of her friends and family were killed in their “little pranks”, and those who weren’t alienated themselves from her. Ann eventually had to sell off her broken down restaurant to pay for many of her debts, and she only received a fraction of its worth because there was only one buyer in the town (and I think you know who). She was then forced to leave town, Uric laughing at her as she pushed her cart away. After many years of traveling as a roadside restaurant, she eventually came to Longa Cinere where she was able to make new friends and start a new life.

“Well that’s what you’re going to be learning today!” Anna said ushering the boy into the kitchen.

The kitchen was a rather small one, with plain wooden walls and a rough stone floor, but had the atmosphere of those that you would only find in the highest class of restaurants. Innumerable cooking utensils hung from the walls, as well as a variety of pots, pans, and other cooking containers. In the back of the room, and surrounded on both sides by stoves, was an enormous refrigerator.

“Now I’m just to give you a warning up front Lan” said Anna, after she believed he had finished soaking in the sights. “All your other teachers and I won’t be starting slow or small with you. We will begin by teaching you advanced parts of our trade and teach you basics when necessary. It will be a long and painstaking process, what do you say to that?

“Bring it on!” shouted Lan, punching the air.

Anna smiled at the young boy’s enthusiasm.

“Very well then. Today will be preparing Lasagna!”

“Yeah!” shouted Lan, jumping up and down “I’ll feed it to Grandpa later!”

For his first time, Lan did exceptionally well in the kitchen. Even though he was surrounded by many foreign tools that he had no idea how to use, mounds of varied ingredients (many of which a normal person would never see), and a menagerie of places where he could have been cut or burned. He didn’t get a single injury, only got a few ingredients wrong, spilled the batter only once, ruined only one of the steps of the preparation process, and never put in anything that wasn’t an actual food item. But nonetheless, his dish turned out dismal. The cheese, which was supposed to be a golden yellow, was a darkish green color, all of the meat particles were almost consistently burned throughout, the pasta had a strange bluish tinge, and the tomato sauce gave off a blackish smoke.

“He certainly has some kind of talent.” Thought Anna, as she stared down at his … masterpiece. “Hopefully I can channel that talent from gut-wrenching to gut-pleasing.”

She turned around to comfort the boy who she believed would be without a doubt moping and tell him that he had done well for his first try, but instead found him with his hand on his chin and a thoughtful expression on his face. He was murmuring to himself about what he could have done differently.

“Got to do better.” He murmured to himself “shouldn’t have trembled so much when I was stirring and…”

“Most kids would be fuming over a result like this.” Anna thought “We’ve got ourselves a pretty tough customer here.”

Lan shook his head and stared back up at Anna.

“Do you think Grandpa will still eat it?” he asked

“That man will eat anything” answered Anna with a smile.

She then wrapped the bubbling mix and placed it in a special compartment in the fridge. It was then that they heard a bell being rung, signaling Lan’s transition to his next lesson.

“Run along now” Anna said, patting Lan on the head, “It’s time for your next lesson.”

Lan nodded, smiled and then ran off. Bursting through the door, and heading down the path too his next lesson. Anna smiled as she watched the door swing close and then began to make dinner preparations, which included a strong digestive for Byakko who would definitely be needing it.

Over the course of Lan’s cooking lessons with Anna, his skill would grow at a tremendous rate. His knife handling skills would allow him to successfully prepare many different meats, his cooking stamina would grow tremendously, and he would gain the necessary ability to cook most of the dishes in Anna’s cookbooks. This was able to come to fruition due to the motherly bond Anna was able to form with the boy.

Rowan: Engineering

Lan ran joyfully down the path to Rowan’s house.

“This is going to be fun!” Lan thought, as he passed home after home.

After a few minutes of running he arrived at the place and took a good look it. Rowan’s home was a two-story building that was built out of metal. You could see the many metal pieces sticking out like patchwork. The largest part of the building was the garage, which reached from the 1st to the second.

Rowan was in the garage standing in front of what appeared to be a large, dilapidated vacuum cleaner. Lan was about to walk over but stopped as he saw Rowan tense up. With a loud clanging sound Rowan slammed his fist against a table next to him, launching a variety of tools into the air. Then with amazing speed, Rowan’s hands shot out, grabbed tools from the air, and began repairing the vacuum. His hands were like a whirlwind as he pulled tools from the air, only to replace them and grab new ones a second later. Within a few minutes he was finished. The vacuum player looked as good as new, sparkling as though it had just got off the assembly line. Rowan yawned, stretched, and then turned his head to stare at Lan who was still stunned by the amazing feat of machination he had just seen. Rowan smiled and greeted the boy.

Hey little buddy, that time already?” He said, glancing at his watch. “Alright! Let’s get this lesson started!...Don’t just stand there! Come on in!”

Rowan was a well-built senior citizen, having worked with a variety dangerous machinery throughout his life, with medium-length faded blonde hair and a light beard. He was wearing a large white t-shirt, a pair of baggy jeans, and a coat tied around his waist. He also had a pair of goggles on his head and a pair of gloves on for his work.

Shaking his head to clear it of musk, Lan walked forward and entered the garage. He looked around as he entered. The garage was completely filled with mechanical marvels. There were strange machines and tools hanging from every inch of wall, racks of assorted parts spread out as far as the eye could see, and there was a large pile of dust crystals in the back of the room.

“Well kid, I think for today I’ll just tell you about a few basics and have you work on something simple. So for now take a seat. Hmmm, I’m thinking something weapony.”

If there was anyone who knew how to make a good weapon, it was Rowan. Many years ago he had worked for the Schnee dust Company weapons development lab, where he helped devise many pieces of cutting edge technology. He devoted his entire body and soul to his work, creating new technological marvels that amazed all of his fellow constituents. He was brilliant. But was perhaps a little too brilliant. His works consistently outdid the inventions of the son of one of the Schnee dust company’s top shareholders. Outraged that his inventions were outdone by “a mere commoner”, he used his father’s power and influence to pin the blame of many of the lab’s failings on Rowan. Rowan was eventually fired for “incompetence”, but he took it quite well. He walked out of the building with a smile on his face and everything he owned slung over his back. But right before he left he gave son of the shareholder and right hook to the jaw. Due to this incident, however, he was never able to find any work in any professional labs again, but nevertheless he continued to do what he loved when he could. Many of his inventions caused great ripples across Remnant; however he didn’t reveal that he had invented them because he didn’t want the “annoying attention” that would come from it. After many years of this lifestyle he eventually settled in Longa Cinere, where he quickly made friends with most of the villagers and assumed the position of the village’s engineer.

Rowan pulled a small stool out from behind the table beside him. He then walked off, saying that he needed to get something. Lan shrugged and then plopped down on the chair, still taking in the many sights around him. But suddenly, something caught his eye. In the back of the room was a giant humanoid robot. It was made out of grey plated metal and had two giant clamps for hands. It legs were long, thick, and what looked like a complex system of joints. There were also many crevices and outlines on the machine that alluded to hidden weaponry. It the top was an open air cockpit where the pilot could hop into at any time. Lan was still examining the masterpiece of technology when Rowan started yelling from somewhere.

“Almost…gah, Ready” Shouted Rowan, grunting from the exertion of pulling something.

A few moments later he appeared from between a row of large shelves, pulling what appeared to be a smooth, roundish, yellow table. He stopped in front of Lan, stretched, and then smiled at the boy. He then pulled out a small black remote from his back pocket and pressed a button. The small table began to give off a humming sound, and then shot a beam of light into the air that slowly widened into a screen.

“Okay, first lesson” said Rowan, enjoying the amazed look on Lan’s face “We’ll be learning about mankind’s energy source and a few engineering techniques.”

He then clicked another button and a video began to play on the screen. The video talked about Dust, nature’s wrath incarnate that mankind had harnessed as an energy source and allowed them to gain an advantage over the Grimm many years ago. Dust had also allowed humans to expand their civilizations and develop their technologies to an amazing degree. The video continued to go on about the importance of dust in mankind’s development, especially the development of more effective weaponry, but then began talking about different devices that changed refined dust into energy forms that could be used to power a menagerie of different devices from the largest aircrafts to basic ovens. All the while Rowan added his own theories and ideas into the mix. At the end of the video Lan’s brain was pounding, filled with the massive amount of info he had just seen.

“Come on kid” Rowan shouted, smiling down at the boy “It ain’t over yet!”

Rowan then began to explain a few concepts the boy would need to know to work more easily. He talked about torque, conductivity, as well as a few other concepts. He was still in the middle of talking about electrical resistance when the gong sounding the end of his class wet off.

“What already?” said Rowan, frowning. He then shrugged and his usual smile reappeared on his face. “Well that’s that. Next time you come I’ll teach how to make something, what it is…I haven’t decided yet!”

Patting Lan on the back, Rowan ushered the boy out of his garage.

“Come one kid, time to head over to Edgar’s. If you don’t get their soon, he’ll start wailing on me with his over-melodramatic whining, an there ain’t no way I’m listening to that again. So go and wash up and head over to his place already!”

Lan quickly complied, running over to the sink and scrubbing his hands, he then dashed out of the garage. As Lan ran off Rowan smiled and walked back into the factory.

“Weapons” he thought “The boy’s got to learn how to make some good weapons!”

Over the course of Lan’s lessons with Rowan he would learn how to repair and build many things. Rowan would give him massive amounts of hands on experience fixing and building a wide array of mechanical marvels and do dads. At the end he would be able to make simple vehicles as well as other strange devices, however his weapon building skills didn’t become good enough to build and special or hybrid weapons. Will he ever learn how to? Well that is a story for another day.

Edgar: Music

Lan was running up the path towards Edgar’s home, a large green Victorian style home, when he first heard the tunes coming out of the window. He stopped and closed his eyes as the music began to wash over him and the sweet melodies engulfed his mind. He heard the sweet tweets of a flute dancing gently in the air, then he heard the powerful deep tone of a baritone break through the air, then there was mysterious strum of the violin. Lan listened for a while longer, taking in the sound of all the different instruments that resounded back and forth.

“Enjoying the music my young ward?”

Lan looked up, and there, sitting on the edge of the windowsill with a clarinet in his hands, was Edgar. Edgar was a tall and skinny old man with long wavy white hair, but was by no means wiry. He possessed a strong frame from handling many different instruments. He was wearing a black tuxedo, black leather shoes, and a black bowtie.

In his youth he had been a rising star in the music world, his music slowly capturing the hearts of those he played for. He had a bright future ahead of him; however things went down the drain quickly. His lover Annette, contracted an incurable illness and he was forced to borrow money from unscrupulous individuals to pay her hospital fees. His concerts became worse and worse as the pressure of his situation inhibited his creativity, and as his number of fans dwindled so did his source of income. After he missed his first payment, thugs came and wrecked his concert hall. After that, no more of his fans came. He watched as he slowly lost everything he owned, taken as collateral by the loan sharks. But the final blow came when Annette, removed from medical care after Edgar had been unable to pay the bills, died. Broken and alone, Edgar had left his life behind him and after many years of drifting he arrived in Longa Cinere and old man. For the first few months he had stayed in one of the taverns drinking his money and life away, but after an eye-opening and soul-shaking discussion with Hiroshi Edgar’s passion for composing was reignited (although some say a little too strongly). Now in the golden years of his life, Edgar composes masterworks with frightening speed, as though making up for lost time. He still has trouble with alcohol here and there, bad habits die very hard in the old, but thankfully he had gotten it under control…sometimes.

“Come in, come in” said Edgar, waving his hand at the first floor door. “We have much to do in our short time together.”

Lan walked up to the front door of the house, opened it and entered. A long hallway stretched out before him leading to a door in the back, on his left side there was a sink and a basin. He then heard Edgar’s voice resound all around him.

“Remove your sho—Oh that’s right, you don’t wear them. In that case wash your feet your feet before entering the room ahead.”

Lan shrugged and then hopped onto the sink and began to scrub his feet. After finishing he hopped back down, ran to the door, and opened. Inside was a large room decorated with flash wallpaper. Elegant pieces of furniture were scattered about the room, and the moldings of all the walls and mantles had high quality carvings in them. Also, taking up their own little niches in the room, were a variety of different instruments, accompanied with chairs and stands if needed. Sitting on a bench and playing a piano at the end of the room was Edgar.

“Come!” he said in his passionate voice “Sit and begin to learn the ways of soul expression!”

Lan walked over and plopped down beside him.

“The best place to begin learning of music, in my opinion, is the piano!” said Edgar with a smile “A instrument on which both the mentor and the pupil may work the same keys! Now listen!”

Edgar then began to play, it was a soft and gentle piece that captured the imagination. The tones rose and fell like the waves, but never became very loud. As Lan listened, he envisioned the silhouette of a boy walking along the seashore at night during a full moon. All of a sudden Edgar’s music began to speed up and rumble, as though the sea was growing agitated and a great storm was beginning to brew, then slowly returned to its original tune, but this time it was a little lighter, as if day had arrived. He then ended with a melody that gave the nostalgic feeling of returning home.

“Dark sea” Edgar said, turning to look at Lan “That is the name of this piece. It is one that I wrote many years ago when I first arrived here. Did you enjoy it?”

Lan nodded slowly, his mind still returning from the world it had been captured in.

“You will learn how to play this and many other tunes while you are here, not all of them on the same instrument. Now, to get you ready for this let’s learn our keys.”

For the rest of the lesson Edgar taught Lan every key on the keyboard, starting from middle C and spreading out from there. By the time the lesson was over, Lan had learned the first two lines of the piece. Edgar then patted Lan on the back and escorted the boy to the door.

Over the course of his lessons Lan would become an adept pianist, not exactly a virtuoso, but good nonetheless. He would also take up a second instrument, the clarinet.

Greb: Farming

Greb was a large gorilla Faunus. He was quite harry, and was extremely well muscled. He had one a large white shirt and a pair of overalls; he also had on a large straw hat. Greb was in charge of large portions of land that the village used to grow many of its crops. He was a serious and gruff man, always trying to make the most efficient use of his time. He was a master of cultivation and could grow most anything in the soil.

Greb used to be the head farmer of a large corporate farm. However, due to a hard-felt economic recession, the farm was forced to sell its land and resources. Out of a job, Greb spent a few decades traveling from place to place, working on any other farms that needed him. During that time he acquired his vast knowledge of agriculture, and by the time he arrived in Longa Cinere, he was a one-man farming operation.

He was currently lounging under a large tree, his work done for the day except for…

“Hey!” he heard a young voice yell.

Greb lifted the tip of his hat and stared at Lan who was running towards him. He smiled, but all of a sudden his eyes widened in alarm. Jumping to his feet, he grabbed a pitchfork that was next to him and hurled it at Lan, landing with a “thunk” inches from Lan’s toes.

Lan yelped, and hopped backwards a few steps.

“Careful” growled Greb, “you were about to crush the sprouts.”

Lan looked ahead of him on the ground and noticed a small patch of land with buds poking out of the ground.

“They’re rare herbs” said Greb walking towards Lan who, still surprised by the attack, simply blurted out unintelligible garble.

“Whatthe wha? pitchfork Huh?”

“We farmers take our crops very seriously” said Greb, standing over the boy like a colossus, “and we make sure that anyone who even tries to ruin or steal the fruits of our labor won’t want to try ever again.”

Lan swallowed as he stared into the man’s eyes.

“Well anyway” said Greb, pulling of his hat and scratching his head. “The best way for you to learn is hands on experience. Now I’ve set aside a few small plots for you to work on, each about 10 square meters in size. You will be doing things. First you will prep a piece of land for agriculture by removing all weeds and other intrusive plants, second you will till the ground, third you will prep the area for cultivation by using some of my special organic fertilizers.”

Greb motioned towards of large cart of stinking brown matter; amazingly Lan could see actual stink lines rising off of it.

“Afterwards you will seed the ground. If we still have time after that you will help me harvest some of the fruits and vegetables that are about ready. Now come on we’ve got work to do.”

Lan followed Greb to a small patch of land isolated in the middle of a field. He then set to work cultivating it, following Greb’s every instruction. He made mistakes here and there, each time receiving a clout on the head from Greb, but finished before the end of their lesson time. Lan’s clothes were soaked through with sweat and his breath came in ragged gasps.

“Come on” said Greb, ignoring the boy’s exhaustion. “time for some harvesting”

The two of them walked towards a group of trees at the edge of the farmland. Once they arrived Greb procured a few large baskets, climbed into the trees, and began picking the ripe fruits. Lan followed suit as best he could, but due to his lack of coordination and tree climbing skills picked the fruit very slowly as he clung onto each branch for dear life. Once they had filled all the baskets, Greb brought them over to a hose where he washed all the fruit off. The baskets were filled with apples, figs, pears, and plums.

“Here” said Greb, pulling out one of each freshly washed fruit “Good work today.”

Lan gratefully accepted the morsels and as he bit into their sweet flesh he shivered as the delicious flavors flooded over him.

“Nothing like a bite after work” said Greb, shoving a whole apple into his mouth. “Makes the food taste much better.”

The two of them sat, chatting and eating until the bell heralding the end of the class sounded.

“Go on kid” said Greb, picking up the fruit filled baskets “it’s time for your next class.”

The two of them walked off in opposite directions, Lan towards a large Japanese-style building on the other side of the field, and Greb towards the center of town to distribute the fruits.

Over the course of Lan’s lessons with Greb, he would learn to cultivate many of the most basic crops including corn, wheat, and tomatoes. He would also learn of many farming techniques to fertilize the grounds without the use of fertilizers, like planting legumes to add nitrogen back into the ground, as well as other tricks to increase crop yield and quality. If there ever came a time when he would have to grow his own food, he would be very well prepared.

Hiroshi: History and Tactics

Lan stood in front of the large wooden gate in front of Hiroshi’s home. He felt slightly intimidated by the place, as though he were standing in front of a fortress. All of a sudden, with a loud squeaking sound, the wooden gate opened.

“Enter” he heard a voice from inside say.

Lan stepped through the doorway and found himself in a Japanese style garden. He looked up and down as he crossed the area, noting the small bridges crossing small streams, the banzai trees, and the small ponds filled with carp.

He came up to a paper-screen door. Inside he could see the outline of a man.

“Come in” said the man.

Lan reached forwards and pulled the screen open.

Hiroshi was sitting on a mat with a number of assorted scrolls and books beside him. He motioned for Lan to sit on a mat across from him.

Hiroshi was an elderly man who, despite his advanced years, had a head of very dark hair and a small goatee. He was currently wearing a deep blue yukata. He also had a very intense stare that unnerved most that were cast under it for long periods of time.

In Hiroshi’s younger years he had been a master tactician and had commanded thousands of skilled hunters and huntresses. He was very careful, very meticulous, and was willing to take chances when needed. These qualities coupled with his unshakable demeanor led him to preside over hundreds of victorious battles, and throughout his whole professional career he had not one unplanned defeat. However, his greatest recorded victory also became his last. His division had discovered a large force of Grimm near one of the kingdoms and had attempted to route them. He drafted dozens of battle plans, predicted hundreds of responses, and ran thousands of simulations in his head and when he was finally ready he had his troops get in position for attack on embankments overlooking the position of the Grimm. It all went downhill from there. As if the very heavens themselves were against them, the moment the troops were in position a massive rainstorm suddenly blew over the previously blue sky, and as if that wasn’t enough an earthquake also began at that point. The softened ground gave way to the seismic tremors and the vast majority of Hiroshi’s troops falling towards the open maws below. Luckily for mankind, all of Hiroshi’s troops had been outfitted with powerful explosives and in their last act of defiance; all of the troops activate theirs. The effect was the same as dropping a massive volley of missiles. The Grimm forces were decimated and were routed by reinforcements that arrived later. This skirmish was seen as a victory for mankind and Hiroshi was welcomed back as a hero, however he didn’t feel that way. Even though the circumstances had been unforeseeable, he still believed that he had sent all those men and women to their deaths. Shackled with that guilt, he resigned from his position and isolated himself in the forest. After a few years of living as a hermit, Hiroshi met a recruiter from the village. By that time Hiroshi had begun to forgive himself and accepted the recruiter’s invitation.

“Tell me boy” Hiroshi said suddenly “Why do we study history?”

Lan thought for a moment and then timidly replied “Because it’s not nice to—“

“Louder!” Hiroshi interjected “If you are answering speak with confidence! “

Lan swallowed, rethought his response and then continued.

“Because it makes us smarter?”

“WRONG” yelled Hiroshi, causing Lan to jump in fright “There are 4 reasons why we study history! 1. It helps you to understand how the world around you came to be and your place in it. 2. It helps you develop the skills to think apart from the masses, to ask questions properly, and to express your own opinions. 3. It trains your mind and teaches you how to think and process information more efficiently. 4. To learn from the mistakes of those who came before us and insure that they never happen again! Now tell me boy what are tactics?”

Before Lan could answer Hiroshi responded for him.

“Tactics what we use to handle situations after analyzing past information, in other words history.”

Hiroshi rose to his feet grabbed one of the scrolls next to him and threw it at Lan who caught it with a fumbling motion.

“If you know how to write, take notes” said Hiroshi walking to a chalkboard on one of the walls “We will start from the beginning when mankind was first born from dust.”

Hiroshi then began to recount mankind’s birth into the world and its troubles with the Grimm that roamed the world. When he began to talk about how dust turned the tide Lan raised his hand.

“Why did dust make such a big difference” he asked “Grandpa never uses it but he crushes Grimm like ants.”

“Excellent question” said Hiroshi, nodding. “Byakko is one of the rare masters in the world who have been able to transcend the normal boundaries of humanoid strenght, enabling him to fight on a higher level so he never needed to use dust. However, most humans are not able to do so. Powerful warriors like your grandfather were too few and far between to protect all of humanity. No matter how strong they were they couldn’t be everywhere at once. That is why in order to survive mankind had to bring up the quality of its regular troops, and nothing did so as well as dust which allowed mankind to wield nature’s wrath.”

After explaining the history of some of the earlier civilizations the bell rang. Lan, laden with notes, bowed to Hiroshi then quickly left the building. Hiroshi watched the young boy hurry toward the gate. He saw that Lan was obviously unnerved. Hiroshi smiled, old military habits die hard. He had used the old scare tactic on the boy without even realizing it.

Donovan: School Core Curriculum (Math, English, basic sciences)

I can tell you what this class was like with one word “school”, and yes I know that it makes many of you shudder. But most of the villagers recognized the need for the boy to receive a basic education if he was to function well in society. Lan was, except for a few times where he began to daydream, an ideal student who focused intently on everything that Donovan, to town’s librarian, taught him and once they were finished with the class Lan tromped back to Byakko’s home where, due to his overused brain, he collapsed on his bed and slept for an hour.

Afterwards, he decided to go to the library. He headed to the fairy tale section and began reading a menagerie of books, completely enchanted by the magical worlds filled with adventure. He spent his entire 3 hours free time in there, loving every page of the wondrous tales he read. Once his last hour of free time was over, Donavan came to get him for supper at Anna’s where Byakko was already waiting for him.

“So” Byakko said smiling “how was your first day?”

“It was great” Lan said, his eyes sparkling “I learned so much fun stuff, and read lots of exciting stories!”

“Well your day is about to get even better” Byakko said reaching into his jacket, “Behold!” he said pulling out a strange looking mushroom.

“Wow” Lan said, then quickly realizing he didn’t know what it was asked “What is it?”

“It is a rare nigrum truffle” Byakko said drooling “they are rare delicacies, and I found this baby while I was tackling a warthog this afternoon and I thought I’d share it with you”

“Aww” Lan said genuinely touched “Is it really that good?”

“Yeah!” Byakko said loudly “they absolutely explode with flavor! But if you don’t prepare them correctly they’ll make you explode with—-“he paused, and then looked up, noticing the frying pan inches from his head.

“Right” Byakko said calmly “I guess I’ll just leave it at that”

Anna nodded then took the mushroom from Byakko’s hand, and headed to the kitchen to prepare the meal. Lan and Byakko were now waiting for the food to be prepared, and taking that time Lan decided to think about his new life.

“I don’t really remember what happened before I got here” he thought sadly “but things are going great so far, I have a great family now, I’m learning so much about the world, and I’m going to get stronger every day. Some of its really tough, but it’s well worth the effort!”

He turned towards Byakko and smiled, thinking about what amazing things he’ll see and learn about in this town.

“I’m going to grow up to be someone they can all be proud of, someone they won’t be ashamed to call their grandson” Lan decided “I’m going to become just like one of the heroes in the stories I read, maybe even greater!”

“What is there something on my face?” Byakko said, noticing Lan’s stare.

“No” Lan said still smiling “I was just spacing out.”

Byakko chuckled and ruffled the boy’s hair.

Soon after, the food arrived. After they finished the initial courses the truffle dish was brought out and was truly delicious. Lan would remember that taste all his life, a taste that would always remind him of a new beginning.

“Byakko” sang Anna as she came out of the kitchen, holding something behind her back “I’ve got a surprise for you!”

“If its food I am ready!” said Byakko, pulling a knife and fork out of thin air.

Anna smiled and then placed the…lasagna that Lan had made that afternoon in front of Byakko. It had now turned a black color and was giving of a repugnant smell.

“Lan made it for you” Anna said, chuckling with her hands on her hips “Give it a try.”

Most people would have been scared out of their mind at the prospect of eating such a dish, but Byakko simple shrugged and proceeded to devour the black goo. In a few seconds he finished, he then set the dish down, sighed, and slumped back in the chair. A few seconds later he bolted up right.

“Bathroom!” he cried

Anna’s serene face was suddenly overcome with panic.

“Oh no you’re not using my—”

Too late. Byakko had already bolted upstairs, and they soon heard a door slam. A few seconds later they heard a loud explosion which was followed by a flush. The ceiling then began to drip water. Anna sighed and went to go get Rowan. A few moments later Byakko came back down.

“Oh Yeah!” he said with a smile “That was one powerful lasagna!”

They then headed back home, Byakko hefting Lan onto his shoulder and as soon as they arrived they headed upstairs where Byakko tucked Lan into bed, patted him on the head, and then gave reading a bed time story a shot. He chose an excellent story about the journey of a forgotten hero, but completely failed when it came to voicing the characters properly and got many of the words wrong. After finishing it, he switched of the lights, went to his own bedroom, and quickly fell asleep, his snores audible even through the thick walls.

Lan lay in bed, his mind buzzing with excitement.

“I wonder what tomorrow will be like” he thought “There are so many things left to do, and so many things left to see!”

His active mind kept him awake for a period of time, but a boy as young as he was can’t stay awake too long, and soon he was fast asleep. His dreams filled with visions of his exciting future, and the hope that tomorrow may bring.

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