Ixi’s idea of “training” really bugged me. We played a game, and she noticed that I was using the same defense as the last time we played, when she picked me. So she made a list of each move I made, then told me to play another game, without using the same moves as the one on the list. By the time we finished five games, my mind was worn out from having to check the list before each move and make sure I hadn’t already done it during a previous game.
After the fifth game, she let me take a break. It was already noon, so I offered to buy her lunch. She accepted.
“Okay, pick whatever you want.”
She pointed. “What’s that?”
I looked. “Chicken fingers.”
“But… chickens don’t have fingers.”
“Yeah, I know. They’re not the fingers of the chicken… they’re finger-shaped fried meat things made out of chicken. Pretty tasty, though not exactly healthy.”
“I… see. That’s really disturbing.”
“Yeah, I know. Get something else then.” I checked the line again. It was barely moving. What is it about summer break that makes people want fried meat and French fries so badly?
“Umm… what’s that?”
“Well, let’s see. Do you have hamburgers where you’re from?”
“No, I don’t.”
“Well, it’s a beef pattie on a bun with condiments.”
“Oh, we have those, they’re just not called hamburgers.”
“I guess that makes sense… Hamburg is a country on Earth. It wouldn’t actually make sense if you called them hamburgers.”
“I see. So, that’s a ‘hamburger’?”
“No, no. That’s a variation of the hamburger. It’s like a hamburger, but it has cheese on it. A cheeseburger.”
“Cheeseburger… that almost sounds like a pun. Cheese-hamburger… cheeseburger.” She laughed. “That’s just kind of silly.”
“Yeah, I agree.”
“Well, it sounds tasty enough. I guess I’ll try that then. And… what were they called? Fries?”
“Yep. Fries. Just so you know, this is probably going to be the least healthy lunch you’ll ever eat.”
“Oh, great. I’ll just have to have some fruit afterwards then. An apple or something. You guys have apples, don’t you?”
“Yeah, we have apples. Decent ones, I think. Depending on what yours are like.”
After we finally got to the front of the line and bought the food, we retreated to my house rather than eating in the restaurant. As soon as she bit into the cheeseburger, she made one of the oddest facial expressions I’ve ever seen. She seemed to like it though, because she ate the whole thing, and all the fries too. When I didn’t finish my fries, she finished them off for me.
“So you like it then?”
“Yes… but it does leave me craving healthy food.” She threw away the wrappers.
“So, tomorrow’s the big day.”
I frowned. “I’m… ecstatic.”
“Yeah, you look ecstatic. Don’t worry, your opponent will be a rookie. They wouldn’t put any Earth warriors against an expert right away. You’ll just work your way up to it. And if you go undefeated, you might even battle the king of Reginea himself!”
“Hooray.” I sighed. “So what do you want to do for the rest of today?”
She hopped up and down. “Can you show me the sights or something?”
“The closest ‘sight’ is twenty miles away. There’s nothing interesting in this town.”
She sighed. “More training then…”
I jumped up. “On second thought, how about I show you around the neighborhood?”
Ixi grinned. “I knew you’d say that, Leo.”
Before we left, I grabbed one of my keychains and put it in my pocket. I don’t know why I did it, or why I hid it from Ixi on purpose. It was a flat, smaller replica of the crane figurine in my room.