Manya’s heart sunk as the words pierced through his chest.
“I guess not then. In that case we’ll jus-”
Jirocho couldn’t even finish his sentence before Manya was charging at him bewilderingly fast, reaching speeds no child his age should be capable of. Manya then planted both of his feet onto the ground, immediately shifting his momentum up words. He squeezed his glutes and leaped abnormally high into the air. He clenched the long twig in between both of his hands and brought it over his head before promptly slamming it down into Jirocho’s head. The impact was powerful, a gust of steam overcame the environment as the attack landed.
“Ouch. Wasn’t expecting that.” Jirocho rubbed his head in pain.
As the steam started to dissipate, the looming silhouette of Jirocho stood tall in it’s midst. His red eyes pierced through the smoke.
He continued, “Well then, I guess there’s only one solution to this little problem.”
Jirocho’s eyes turned to Manya in disgust.
“Ruuuun!!” Jirocho exclaimed, Sprinting into the outer city.
“I Can’t believe the boss is running from some brat! Bahahahahahaha!” Bobby cackled.
He continued, “And get off my back Kate!”
Kate was using bobby as a piggy back ride as he ran towards the outer city.
“You expect me to run in heels? Ufufufufu!” She teasingly replied.
Manya tried to run after them but despite his incredible speed and agility, they were much faster. Suddenly, he tripped over and fell flat on his face. Manya’s teeth gritted in frustration. Using what felt like every muscle in his body to hold back his tears, he rose back to his feet. Now standing all alone in the empty plaza.
“Kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!” The sound of women squealing in the outer city echoed throughout The Lotus District.
Immediately, Manya was sprinting towards the noise, somehow even faster than he ran before. Upon arrival, a large group of women were all crowding around something. Manya wormed his way through the crowd only to find Jirocho in the centre, being catered to and doted on by the women of The Lotus district.
“Jiji! Have some samosas, they’re fresh!” a women said endearingly, attempting to hand feed one to Jirocho
Manya leaped out of the crowd and ate the samosa out of her hand.
“Wh-are yuh feed-ing gang-sters!?” Manya yelled, his mouth filled with food.
“Because he-” the women was interrupted by a scream.
“Uwaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!” This time the screams sounded masculine and came from the opposite side of the outer city.
immediately, Manya began running to the sound again, still frustrated at what he had just witnessed. When he arrived, he saw another crowd. This time comprised of men all with perverted smiles on their faces. Manya wormed through the crowd to see what is was this time.
“You’re such good boys~” Kate said in a sultry voice.
Bobby looked like he had been knocked out on the ground, laying on his back. Kate was using his belly as a chair as the men of The Lotus District were feeding her grapes. Manya was completely befuddled, everyone went from panicking to pampering these Gangsters. This was too much for Manya’s 7 year old brain to comprehend.
“So boring…” Manya sighed.
Manya unknowingly wanted the conflict. The Lotus District becomes incredibly stale when you spend your entire life there, unable to leave. Thus, Manya took a slow and peaceful walk back home, he had lost interest in the Gangsters. Whatever they do now doesn’t concern him. This thought brought a shiver down his spine as he remembered the words Jirocho had said. “I’m here to see a man named Zakuya Tinto, have you heard of him?”. These words looped in his mind like a broken record.
When Manya got home, he immediately undressed, leaving his clothes and his twig lying around before going to sleep.
“Ouch ouch ouch! That hurts!” A familiar voice explained.
Manya woke up to Old Man Tinto towering above the Jirocho. He was kneeling down and had bruises on his head. Bobby was fast asleep on the tattered couch, the cigar in his mouth had fallen out and he was snoring obnoxiously. Kate was observing the punishment, leaning against the kitchenette.
“How dare you cause panic like that, you think you can just come back whenever you want!?” Old Man Tinto interrogated Jirocho.
“But old man, it was Bobby who made everyone panic. They’ve never met him before, just look at him!” Jirocho pointed at Bobby’s sleeping mass
Bonk! Old Man Tinto wacked him on the head, many times harder then he has ever hit Manya.
“I don’t wanna hear it!” Old Man Tinto exclaimed.
“He’s telling the truth, I had to knock Bobby out because he was scaring everyone. Shame he still hasn’t woken u-.” Kate came into Jirocho’s defence, before being suddenly interrupted.
“Old man why are you being so friendly with the gangsters!?” Manya enquired, his jaw was almost to his chest.
Old Man Tinto replied, “Oh so you’re awake?”
His attention shifted to Manya with a menacing grin that announced his next move. Manya already new what was coming.
Bonk! Bonk! Bonk! Bonk! Bonk! Old Man Tinto Knocked Manya five times.
“You snuck out again while I was away didn’t you! And you left the house a mess!!”
“Freedom isn’t bound by rules old man!” Manya endured the pain, trying to make it look like the knocks didn’t hurt.
He continued, “Just who are you guys!”
Jirocho got up from his knees and walked over to Manya’s futon. He crouched down to Manya’s level.
“I’m not telling you.” Jirocho said teasingly.
He continued in a whisper, “If you wanna learn about me and the old mans connection, or about the world. You can’t do that trapped in this cage. Leave this place. Conquer the world!” Jirocho handed him a black baton.
Manya was lost for words. What Jirocho told him was something he had wanted to hear for a very long time. He was drowned in excitement as he stuffed the baton underneath his futon and went straight to bed.
“What are you two whispering about? You better not be plotting more mischief!” Old Man Tinto enquired, suspicious of their exchange.
Jirocho, Kate and even Bobby in his sleep all chuckled. They could feel it. The world about to be turned upside down.
10 years in the future – present day
Manya is ready. His skills are sharpened, his Taint is honed and he has become very good at「 Silambam 」, The Lotus District’s technique. All for this fateful day. He is ready.
Manya gets prepares to go the rubber farms. He puts on his usual tattered harem pants with the baton Jirocho gave him stored securely in his pocked. He doesn’t wear a shirt because of the heat and the fatigue that farming can cause. Finally, he brings a large wooden stick and sets off on his own, Old Man Tinto left a few hours before since he is an overseer. This is a better chance than any, the barbed wire fence was right there, and Manya is determined. It doesn’t look particularly hard to cross but there are camera drones scanning the terrain, as well as hundreds of Seekers ready to kill if anyone so much as touches the outside.
“Looks like Manya’s peeking outside again haha!” A farmer jests.
“He does this everyday. we’re trapped here there’s no point hahahaha!” another sniggers.
Curiously, Manya examines the outside precautions. His body relaxes as he falls on his back, annoyed at the obstacle.
“What a pain..” He sighs.
He sits up with his legs crossed and re-examines the fence, thinking of ways to get across. A few hours goes by and Manya doesn’t seem to notice that he had stared at it all day, everyone had left the farm. The sun had set a while ago and the moonlight is illuminating the night sky.
“Screw it!” Manya had made his decision.
Manya plants his feet into the ground, clenching his glutes. He pushes off of the ground as hard as he can and leaps, soaring into the sky. Manya clears the fifty meter fence in one jump. As he lands, his legs absorb the impact of the fall and pulse. Manya resends it back into the ground again, making another giant leap. The camera drones notice his presence immediately. Alerting the Seekers, they frantically whizz around the the terrain. The Seekers awaken and lock on to the target. Not missing a single shot, not wasting a single bullet, the Seekers Bombard Manya with Blue bullets. As the bullets connect to his skin, the momentum stops and they fall to the ground. Another pulse surges through Manya’s body. This time he redirects it into his legs. Manya sprints through the vast landscape, almost breaking the sound barrier. The seekers can’t line up their shot as they frantically try to eliminate him.
It’s already been 7 hours and Manya is still sprinting. He can use his Taint to increase the efficiency of his muscles and increase blood circulation to make the run easier, but the burn is oppressing. Perhaps running into the middle of nowhere without a plan or direction is not the best of decisions. But Manya’s determination seems to overrule all logic. However, luck is on his side. City lights twinkle in the horizon. As dawn embraces the night sky, it’s as if the world is symbolising a new beginning. Another District towers in the distance.