“Diana! Diana! Where are you, dear?”
“Dad! I am here.” A girl with bright brown eyes and white skin with a natural blush on her cheeks answered. She had long, brown hair loosely tied in a bun.
“Come here, girl. I need some help in the kitchen.”
The girl came into the little house made of bricks with a red triangle roof. The house was simple inside out, having two rooms upstairs and a kitchen attached to the living room. The front of the house had a small garden; at the back, there was a small area for growing vegetables. The name carved on the wooden house plate read Mr. Robert, and below, a small Diana was written in different colors that looked like a child’s work.
Mr Robert lived with his daughter in that little house. His dear wife had died a long time ago after giving birth to their only child. Mr Robert grew vegetables and earned money for raising her daughter.
When Diana got ten years old, her father sent her to his best friend Mr Max’s bakery. Mr. Max had a daughter the same age as Diana, and they became friends.
When Diana was good enough, Mr. Max also started to pay her.
Diana was a beautiful twenty-year-old girl. His father taught her everything he knew. He was afraid if something happened to him, then at least she could take care of herself.
Diana was working in the bakery. After baking the cookies, bread, and cakes, she sold them on the counter. She was wearing her working clothes. Her hair was tied in a braid resting on her right shoulder.
The bell rang as the door opened, signalling the arrival of customers. Two men, or if Diana would say, two bulls entered the shop. One had a big mustache, and the other was no different but a beard.
She didn’t like them at first glance.
They came near the counter and started stuffing their mouths with the muffins that were beautifully settled on the counter.
She said calmly and politely, “each one will cost 2 silver.”
The one with the big mustache said angrily, “What!? Say that again!”
Again, she was calm and polite and said clearly, emphasizing every word, “Each one will cost 2 silver coins.”
The mustache man raised an eyebrow mockingly, “What if I don’t?”
She was as calm as ever and replied, “Then I’ll have to take it from you in a very different way.”
The one with a beard said, “What? Don’t you know who we are? How dare you ask for money and talk back? Huh?” He said angrily.
“Let’s see if you are gonna ask for money for this as well.” He broke one of the plates near him.
Everyone in the shop gasped, women holding their children behind their backs.
On the corner table, two men hiding their faces with big straw hats were watching the whole drama with interest.
One of them with black hair said, “I don’t think she can handle this alone. We’ll have to interfere.”
The other one with dark chocolate brown hair shook his head at the girl’s unfazed behavior and sighed, “Yep, Let’s go.” But before they could get up from their seats, they heard a voice.
A girl with green eyes the same as Diana’s age and wearing the same uniform came running towards them. She had blonde hair tied in a ponytail.
Once reaching her friend, she asked, “Diana, what happened?”
Ignoring her friend, Diana said innocently, “Oh! I don’t know who you are.”
She glanced towards the broken pieces, and her gaze turned cold, “And the plate costs 10 gold coins. Please pay, and I’ll let you go nicely.”
The crowd chuckled a little, raising the anger in the two men.
The mustache man turned red angrily, “How dare you to ask for money, huh?!”
He grabbed a plate and threw it harshly on the floor, “I will not pay you for this!!” and then threw another plate on the floor, yelling, “And this!!”
The girl with green eyes whispered to herself,” Oh no. What is it with these types of guys always meeting her?”
She turned her attention towards them again and tried to calm certain someone, “Sir. Please don’t do such things. It’s better if you just leave quietly.”
She turned toward her friend and cried, “Diana! Please, don’t! You will get in trouble.”
The two men laughed, and the man with the beard mocked, “I guess your friend is quite wise. You should learn something from her.”
Diana said calmly, but her gaze was icier and piercing, “Three plates will cost you 30 gold coins. But since you damaged them purposely, you have to pay double.”
Her expression turned into a smirk, and she said, “And yes, she is quite intelligent.”
The brown hair man said, “Is she crazy or something?”
He holds his sword and tries to get up, but the other one stops him and says,” Stop. I don’t think she needs it.” He raised his head to see her.
Diana warned surprisingly calmly, “Pay for what you have done, or you and I will suffer.”
The man raised an eyebrow, “Suffer? “then pointed to himself, “Me?” then pointed to her,” You?”
Diana nodded, “Yes. You.” then raised her fingers to count, “Because first, you ate the muffins without permission; secondly did not pay for them; thirdly broke the plates purposely, andlastly did not pay the money for the damage. And me because my father will punish me for making you suffer.”
The crowd inside the shop laughed including the two men in the corner.
The other girl turned pale and said to the men, “Please leave. I am saying this for your good.”
The mustache man’s eyes flickered with anger, and he yelled,” My good? How dare you?!” He raised his hand to slap the girl.
But it never touched her cheek.
Diana hissed, “Don’t. Ever. Do. That. Again.” Her fire gaze tried to burn the hand she was holding.
The man screamed with anger, “YOU!!” and flew a punch with his other hand.
Blocking the other attack with her free hand, Diana sighed and shook his head, her gaze returning to the same strange calmness, “Okay then. I’ll just tell Dad that you asked for it.”
The next moment she had twisted his hands, and the man screamed in pain.
“Hey. I think you should help your friend. He looks in so much pain.” Diana said innocently as if she hadn’t done a thing.
The other man finally came back to his senses. He got ready to attack her, but she shook her head and said, “Nah ah… Not here. Let’s go outside.”
He said angrily, “Who do you think you are, huh?” Saying this, he tried to land a punch on her.
Diana pushed back the screaming mustache man, and he fell on his friend.
“Ha... You scream a lot.” Diana said while rubbing her ears with her finger.
The girl beside her shook her head, “Tsk tsk… Told you to leave.” She took a muffin from the counter, “Who complains, though? I just got another show to enjoy.”
“Oh my! I am so sorry! You want introductions, right?” Diana said while dramatically slapping the back of her head. By then, the girl had already sat at the nearest table.
“Well, hello! I am Diana, and she is my friend, Melissa.” She said with a smile while pointing to the girl who was busy enjoying her treat.
Melissa waved at them while taking a bite.
“And... We very much think of us as...” Diana trailed off and said, “ourselves!” She said excitedly. Melissa smiled and shook her head at her friend’s mischievous expression changes.
Everyone in the bakery was either too shocked or laughing like they already knew where this was going. The two straw hat men were amused and watched the interaction with interest.
“Okay, now please introduce yourselves,” Diana said expectantly. Both bull-like men were beyond shock.
“Oh, well. That was rude!” Melissa said from behind. “Diana. I think they are just a couple of idiots.”
Diana nodded, “I am afraid I have to agree.” She ducked to take out something and said, “I will be punished because of these two. Ha... Such nuisance.”
She straightened up with a sword-like wooden stick. She whispered, “Good thing I still keep it here.”
“Now, shall we go out?” Diana said and went out of the bakery.
Melissa got up and followed her. She stopped and said to the two men who looked like they saw a ghost, “You have to come, or it can get worse.”
The two men finally came back from the shock. Their faces got red with anger and embarrassment. They rushed towards her. Everyone, including the two straw hats, came outside too.
Diana rested her chin on her hands, crisscrossing the wooden sword’s top. She exclaimed, “Ah... Finally! I almost thought you changed your mind about paying. Glad you didn’t; I would have been very disappointed.”
“Hey! Shut that smart mouth of yours.” The mustache man growled.
Diana frowned, “Hey, be polite. No need to get all worked up.”
Melissa whispered, “Ha... It’s always fun to watch.” She was now sitting on the steps of the bakery, pouting as she took the last bite of her treat.
The two straw hat men standing right behind her listened to her whispering and looked at each other. Surprise and shock dripped from their expressions.
“Oh, come on, now! Are you just going to stand there?” Diana smirked.
The mustache man punched her, but she was fast enough to duck down and poke her sword in his big belly. The man fell back, clutching his belly.
The bearded man charged at her.
Diana had struck his head with her sword.
She kept hitting him on his legs and arms, making him dance like a monkey.
The whole crowd was laughing so hard.
The mustache man got up on his feet to attack her from behind.
“Diana, watch out!” Melissa shouted to alert her.
Diana pushed the bearded man and turned around. She held the punch and twisted his arm behind his back. The bearded man snatched a real sword from the nearby man and yelled, “What will you do now, huh?!”
One of the straw hat men said, “I think we should help her now.”
Melissa overheard them, “Don’t. Or she might target you next.”
Diana pushed the other guy forward, causing him to fall face-first. She smirked and said, “Oh. So, you got some hope to win, huh?”
They both got ready to attack. Seeing Diana charging toward his face, he straightened the sword in front of him to block her attack.
But Diana ducked down and hit his legs, causing him to stumble and fall. She faked a worried expression and said, “Oh! I am so sorry. Next time I’ll tell you where I am going to attack. Okay?”
“You…” he gritted his teeth and stood up.
“Listen, I will throw away your sword now. Be ready.” She smirked while taking a position.
The bearded man got furious. He charged at her face, but she ducked down, dodging the attack. She straightened up and attacked his hands with her foot. The impact caused the sword to fly far away.
“Tsk, tsk. I told you my next move but still.” She shook her head dramatically.
The mustache man got up with a nosebleed and stood beside his friend.
“Uh oh. Two men against one woman. That’s not fair.” She said with a pout.
“Shut up! You monster!” The man shouted.
“Oh, come on.” She whined. “Is anyone ever gonna say I am strong and not a monster?”
Melissa snapped, “Oh shut up, Diana. You are acting like a psycho. What do you expect from them, huh?”
Diana pouted. Her friend sighed before saying, “Yes, yes. You are very smart. And being smart is better than having useless strength.” She said like a mantra and raised her head, “Happy?”
That made her laugh as she said, “Oh, yes, of course. Being smart feels good.”
Melissa sighed, “Now, will you please finish this. I am not enjoying it anymore.”
Diana nodded, “Yeah. I am about to finish. They are not funny anymore, anyway.”
She turned towards the two furious men who looked like bulls, ready to attack anytime. “Woah! Melissa, I think we dragged a lot, no?”
The two men charged at her together. She smirked and took her position. She blocked the attacks but couldn’t block a punch that contacted her right cheek. She spat out blood and exclaimed, “Ah! Ah... That hurts.” She wiped the blood with the back of her hand and grinned, “But I like it.”
Melissa sighed, “Oh no. I can only pray that her father doesn’t see any of that blood or they are dead meat.”
Diana punched the mustache man in the face causing him to fall while holding his nose. She ducked and kicked the stomach of the other one causing him to kneel.
She pointed her sword to their faces and said, “Are you going to pay now?”
The bearded man exclaimed, “Yes, yes. We’ll pay.” He took out a bag of coins and said, “Here, take all of it. Please let us go.”
Diana took the bag and smiled, “See, that was easy.” She checked the bag and exclaimed, “Woah! Look, Melissa! They gave us a very generous amount.”
Melissa’s eyes sparkled. “Really? That’s very nice of them.”
Diana stepped back and smiled, “Thank you for visiting us. I hope you enjoy our services. Please visit us again.”
Melissa rolled her eyes, “She is never gonna change.”
“What is happening over here?” Hearing the voice, Diana and Melissa flinched, and the crowd dispersed in a blink of an eye.
Melissa hurried toward Diana and said, “Hurry up! They are here. Let’s hurry inside.”
Diana nodded, her face going pale. When they were near the shop, the voice ordered, “Stop, both of you.”
Both the girls halted in their tracks, and worry washed over them.
“Turn around.” The voice ordered again, and having no choice, they both turned around.