LUCA | Chapter 5

Sep 1, 2021

《LUCA-夏日友晴天》 动画 第五章 中文版↗

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  “Whoa,” Luca said as he broke the surface near a buoy. In front of him was Portorosso—a beautiful human town. Luca had never seen anything like it.

  Almost immediately, they were spotted by a girl fishing in a boat.

  She gasped.

  Luca gasped.

  Alberto gasped.

  The girl shouted, “Papa! What’s that?”

  Immediately, Luca and Alberto ducked out of view.

  “How do we get in?” Luca asked. He spotted something—a sunken boat just beneath them.

  They swam under the boat and put it over their heads. Then they started toward the shore, emerging from the water. They kept walking with the boat so they could change into their land forms beneath it. Passing by an older whistling fisherman, Luca was surprised they’d made it this far.

  Eventually, he and Alberto were able to climb over some rocks and ditch the boat. Then they started toward town.

  “This’ll be a breeze,” Alberto said confidently. “Just don’t get wet.”

  Luca felt a surge of panic. He watched as Alberto took a stride toward town, and a couple of fishermen turned the corner. They carried fishing hooks and dead fish.

  Luca gasped. “Actually, this town seems a little crowded.” He turned, ready to leave, when Alberto stopped him.

  “Hey,” Alberto said. “Silenzio, Bruno.”

  Bruno was still screaming, so Alberto had to drag Luca along, past the fishermen.

  Alberto looked at the men, and, wanting to be friendly, remembered something he’d overheard before. “What’s wrong with you, stupido?” he said.

  The fishermen stared at Alberto.

  “Huh. It worked!” Luca said in disbelief. They had made it past the fishermen and were now approaching a corner.

  “See?” Alberto said. “You just gotta follow my lead.”

  They turned the corner and saw the busy town in all its glory. There were people everywhere, talking, smiling, laughing. Some kids were kicking a ball around, and others were eating something big and green with a red middle. Luca would later learn that the land monsters called it watermelon, and it was delicious.

  Some people were playing a game with little rectangles that looked very much like the objects Luca had found in the field while herding goatfish.

  Luca and Alberto were enthralled by the bustling town and all the people. They hardly noticed when two older women walked near them, each holding something in their hands.

  “Classic human town,” Alberto said. “Pretty cool, right?” The women came closer, and he whispered to Luca, “Hey. You do it now. Just say the thing.”

  Luca watched nervously as the two women ate something. The something turned out to be gelato, which, as it turned out, was like ice cream, and which, as it turned out, was delicious.

  “Madams?” Luca said to the women. “What’s wrong with you, stupido?”

  The women gasped, then glared at Luca. Whatever he’d just uttered, it wasn’t good.

  So not good, in fact, that one of the women hit Alberto with her umbrella, and the other smacked Luca with her bag.

  The women stormed off, leaving the boys with gelato cones on top of their heads. The gelato melted down their faces.

  “Maybe I said it wrong?” Luca asked. The gelato dripped into their mouths, and their faces lit up at the taste of the new treat!

  As he enjoyed the gelato, Luca’s eyes drifted around town, where he noticed something quite disturbing. There were numerous statues and frescoes—paintings—featuring the same person: a man with a mustache, who was slaying what could only be described as sea monsters.

  Luca gulped uncomfortably. He grabbed Alberto’s arm and started to drag him back to the water. “Alberto, this is too dangerous!” he said. “Let’s get out of here!”

  “And—and go where?” Alberto asked.

  Before Luca could say anything else, there was a rumbling sound. It reminded him of the motorboats he had heard back in the sea, but this was different. Then he saw a Vespa! A real Vespa!

  Someone was riding it, someone with lots of sea slime in his hair. At least, Luca thought that was what made his hair so tall.

  “It’s Signor Vespa!” Alberto gasped.

  The adults seemed annoyed to see the older boy who had just ridden in on the Vespa. “Mannaggia. Here we go,” said one person, rolling his eyes.

  “Buongiorno a tutti!” the boy, named Ercole, replied in greeting.

  A priest came running out of a nearby church, hands clamped over his ears.

  “Oh, mamma mia! Please, no more revving!” the priest cried, shaking his head.

  “Ciao, ciao! Ha, ha!” Ercole said, clearly enjoying the attention. “Beep, beep! Pride of Portorosso coming through!”

  Ercole passed the two women Luca had just insulted. “Ciao, belle,” he said to them. “You’re making me blush!”

  “Disgaziato!” exclaimed one of the women, annoyed.

  “Blech,” replied the other.

  A crowd of kids cheered nervously as Ercole rode around the plaza. They seemed fearful of the boy.

  Ercole showed off with a couple of tricks, like riding his Vespa with no hands. This impressed Luca to no end. He wondered how such a thing was even possible.

  Two other kids around Ercole’s age approached him, carrying a long sandwich. Eventually, Ercole stopped the Vespa and dismounted.

  “Now!” Ercole announced. “Who wants to watch me eat a big sandwich?” He walked to a table at a nearby cafe as his friends set up his lunch.

  “There it is!” Alberto said. “That’s how we’re gonna see the world!”

  He and Luca walked toward the Vespa just as a soccer ball landed in front of them.

  “Hey! Little help?” said the kid who had kicked the ball.

  Luca kicked the soccer ball back but misjudged his strength. The ball sailed across the piazza—and smashed right into the Vespa!

  A collective gasp went up from the crowd, and Ercole looked like someone had just destroyed his life.

  “La mia bambina!” he shouted, rushing over to the Vespa.

  As the vehicle tipped over from the impact of the soccer ball, one of Ercole’s sandwich-holding friends slid under it, cushioning the fall.

  “Oh, mamma mia!” Ercole said, examining the Vespa. “Talk to Ercole. Are you hurt?”

  “Well, my head kinda hurts,” said the kid who had stopped the Vespa from falling.

  “Not you, Ciccio,” Ercole said. “Out of the way! If there is so much as a scratch. . .” Unconcerned for his friend, Ercole examined the Vespa. Once he was satisfied that there was no damage, he turned to face the crowd. “Someone got lucky today. Who got lucky?”

  The kid who had kicked the soccer ball to Alberto and Luca pointed at the pair.

  Ercole walked over to them, looking them up and down with barely disguised disgust. “Out-of-towners, eh? Let me welcome you. Benvenuti a Portorosso! Ciccio?”

  Ercole untied his sweater and handed it to the still-recovering Ciccio. “I am delighted to meet you, number one. And number two, I love your stylish clothes. Where did you get them? A dead body? I’m kidding!”

  Ciccio chuckled, and so did Ercole’s other friend.

  “Uhh. . . look, Signor Vespa—” Alberto started.

  “Signor Vespa? Ha, ha, ha. This guy is funny. I am Ercole Visconti, five-time winner of the Portorosso Cup.”

  “The Portorosso what?” Alberto asked.

  “The Portorosso Cup! Per mille sardine—how do you think I paid for my beautiful Vespa?”

  While Ercole spoke, Luca couldn’t take his eyes off the scooter. It was possibly the most beautiful thing he had ever seen in his life.

  As if sensing this, Ercole shouted, “You! Stop looking. She’s too beautiful for you.”

  Luca tried to speak, but only stammered, backing away.

  Ercole sneered. “The little guy can’t even get a word out. And he smells like behind the pescheria.”

  “Hey, my friend smells amazing!” Alberto said, getting right in Ercole’s face.

  “Sorry, sorry! I’ll make it up to him,” Ercole said, but his tone suggested that he didn’t really want to help. “Ciccio. Guido.”

  At that moment, Ercole’s friends picked Alberto up while Ercole grabbed Luca, and they walked the boys over to a fountain. The two friends struggled, afraid of what was about to happen.

  Things didn’t get any better when they actually saw the fountain, which featured a statue of the mustached man killing yet another sea monster.

  “Ah, just a little bath!” Ercole said in a mocking tone. “It’s funny, eh?”

  Ercole shoved Luca’s face toward the water, and the boy panicked.

  “No, no, no, no, no!” he shouted. As he got closer and closer, little droplets hit his face, causing patches of it to turn green—revealing his true sea monster self!

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