Jae looked at the breakfast menu with hungry eyes. He moved the interactive board with his fingers as he looked at all the choices with some excitement.
“Are you more of a McMuffin type of guy, or do you want pancakes. Or do you prefer a breakfast wrap?” Jae asked.
Lord was silently standing next to Jae looking at the interactive board with a look of confusion.
“I don’t know.” he finally said, “I haven’t eaten in hundreds of years, nor do I require sustenance.”
Jae laughed weakly, ‘I forgot Lord isn’t all there mentally’ he thought.
“I’ll order for you,” he said as he picked a random selection of items. “I hope you don’t have any allergies.”
Lord didn’t respond so Jae took that as a sign to mean “I don’t have any allergies”.
Jae tapped his card against the contactless payment and his receipt came out.
He then found a table with comfortable seats, “Sit here, I’ll get our food and be right back” he told Lord.
Lord silently nodded.
“He’s really odd,” Jae thought as he wandered up to the counter and watched the display board, waiting for his number to come up so he could get his order.
“20” A worker called out. Jae noticed a blonde girl wearing a cap walking up to the counter and collecting a tray filled with food.
As she turned around Jae realised it was Stephanie Blue.
She also noticed him and looked at Jae in surprise, “Jae” her voice was filled with concern, “oh my god, did Derek do this? You look awful you need to go to the hospital or something.”
She walked up closer to him but Jae instinctively stepped back, he knew he shouldn’t blame Stephanie for the bullies or for everything Derek did. But this had all started because of her, and she had abandoned him and avoided him at school straight after and she was even dating that arse.
Jae couldn’t understand why she was being nice to him or acting concerned, did she really care?
She noticed him flinch away from her and she made a sad expression. She looked like she was about to say something to him but then a worker yelled,
“Order 21 is ready!”
Jae quickly headed to the counter and grabbed his tray. He looked back but Stephanie had already walked away and gone up the stairs to the upper level sitting area.
He wondered who she was eating with, he hoped that she wasn’t here with Derek or anyone else from school.
His excitement to eat had now disappeared and he was less than smiley when he got back to their table and put the food down.
“What’s wrong?” asked Lord as he saw Jae’s downcast face.
“It… it’s nothing important” he said, he gave Lord a fake smile. “Come on eat up” Jae gestured towards the food.
He had ordered two ketchup breakfast wraps, two double egg muffin burgers, two hash browns and two steamy hot chocolates.
Lord looked at the food cautiously. He slowly picked up one of the egg muffins and unwrapped it.
The first thing that hit Lord was the great smell of freshly grilled pork sausage and hot poached egg. He tentatively brought it to his mouth and bit into it. He felt this explosion of cheese and egg running across his tongue.
The crisp and soft bread of the muffin brought it all together to make a satisfying and greasy bite.
Lord’s eyes widened in shock, his whole body trembled. This tasted amazing.
Jae was eating his own egg muffin and was shocked by Lord’s reaction. His eyes were shining and he was shaking with excitement.
“A-are you okay?” Jae asked.
“The last time I came to this world they only had tasteless bread and mutton, sometimes gruel, nothing I had before tasted like this. This is food fit for a King. I knew that so many things had changed since my last visit, all these strange machines and the fashion, but to think even the food has seen such enlightenment” Lord’s eyes shone brightly and his hand was shaking.
“This, this is delicious” He ravenously bit into the rest of the egg muffin he consumed it in one bite.
“…” Jae didn’t know how to respond, it was only fast food yet Lord was acting like this was some kind of high-end Michelin Star cuisine.
Lord then tenderly unwrapped the ketchup breakfast wrap. The smell of eggs, bacon, fresh cheese and warm tomato sauce made him salivate.
He tentatively bit into the wrap, the flatbread stuck to the inside of his gums and the flavours burst out onto his tongue he greedily consumed it with glee.
All of it was just too yummy. Lord’s eyes than fell on the hashbrown. He picked it up and sniffed it, he smelled potato. He bit into it and was shocked by its crisp texture, he was even more shocked by the warm earthy texture that filled his mouth, along with the taste of fatty oils.
Lord ate and ate, all the food he had was gone in seconds. He even ate the hashbrown that Jae had gotten for himself.
Jae quickly held onto his own ketchup wrap to prevent Lord from grabbing it.
“Wow you must have been hungry, you really must not have eaten in ages,” Jae said with shock. “You shouldn’t eat that fast though, you’ll give yourself a stomach ache, try washing it down with some of the hot chocolate.”
Jae pointed towards the hot drink in the white recyclable container. Lord glanced at the drink and hungrily licked his lips. Some of the ketchup had gotten in his moustache and beard.
He picked up the Hot chocolate, he opened the container and then began chugging it like it was a cold beer.
Jae’s eyes opened wide in shock, “Hey you shouldn’t do that, it’s hot, you’ll burn yourself.”
But Lord didn’t seem to hear him, he didn’t seem to be affected by the heat of the hot drink either.
He was filled with the warm taste of chocolate, the sweet liquid filled his insides and he was left with a large grin on his face.
“Wow” Jae had never seen anyone eat like that before. “Was it that good?” he asked.
Lord nodded, “I’ve never tasted something that good in…well ever. Truly food has progressed magnificently, what a delightful taste.”
“If you think this is good you’d go crazy over some of the other joints I could take you to,” Jae said laughing.
“You mean to say there are more foods like this” Lord said with shock, he licked his lips greedily.
“I mean yeah, there are places with much better food than this. This is a well-known fast-food chain but there is so much more out there. And this is just western food, there’s Korean food, Chinese, Indian, Carribbean, Japanese and so much more. Trust me this isn’t the best the world has to offer.”
Lord’s eyes sparkled, he leaned over the table and grabbed Jae’s shoulders, “You must take me there, I want to try all these flavours.”
Jae was surprised but then he laughed, he’d never seen someone be this passionate about food, “Sure, I mean you helped me out and I kind of feel a bit bad for you.” Jae said.
As he said this Jae mentally pinched himself, ‘Why am I offering meals to some homeless man I just met, I already returned the favour to him, for all I know he could be dangerous I can’t just offer him free meals.”
Lord shook his head, “You already returned the favour with this meal, I can’t make you keep treating me for nothing. I got ahead of myself.”
Lord seemed to have calmed down and collected himself, he sat back and had a thoughtful expression.
“Ever since I came back to this world I found myself in harsh circumstances. Unlike the past, it’s not easy to get by here anymore or attain shelter without proper identification or money, both things I don’t have. I never needed food to survive so I thought I could live without the luxury, but now that I know what’s on offer I can’t just pass this up. Since I’m trapped on this world until I recover my powers I might as well live properly” Lord mumbled to himself.
Jae looked at him blankly.
“I’ve decided that I will teach you” Lord announced, “Without my full powers I can’t help you control your Barren Body or exceed mortal limits, but I can easily make you a King among men. You said you want to beat those bullies and get your revenge before the year ends. Give me two months with you. I promise that you’ll be able to make those boys look like toddlers. In return, I require that you treat me to three meals a day.”
Jae slurped on his hot chocolate. He had no idea how to reply. All of this was so sudden. He wanted to believe Lord, but could this homeless man really train him to beat Derek and his crew within two months. He had been training for six months and he was still as weak as he was when he started.
Jae didn’t know how to feel about all of this, Lord seemed strong, but he also seemed crazy, nothing he said made sense. According to him, he was thousands of years old and had only returned to this world recently and had magic powers.
Just as Jae was thinking all of this over, he saw Stephanie walking out of the store. She was linking arms with an older man who had brown hair. Jae had seen this man with her before at a School Parents evening. It was her Dad.
Jae looked away and hoped that she didn’t see him. When she walked through the automatic doors though, Jae felt annoyed. Why did he snivel and look away from her like a coward? He was even hiding from Stephanie.
He was so weak.
He sighed, he hated this weakness and he wanted to change. Lord seemed crazy but he also seemed like a beacon of hope, if he did what he claimed then Jae could change his life around.
He looked at Lord, “It’s a deal, I’ll give you three meals a day and in return, you help me kick ass.”