LUCA | Chapter 6

Sep 1, 2021

《LUCA-夏日友晴天》 动画 第六章 中文版↗

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  But before Ercole could really give Luca a bath, he was distracted by someone shouting, “Hey! Ercole, basta!”

  Ercole turned to see a girl on a bike pulling a cart full of fresh fish. She barreled through and Ercole jumped out of the way, releasing Luca. Luca quickly dried his face and hid behind the girl’s fish cart.

  “Oh, look who’s here,” Ercole said. “Spewlia’s here. Wow. That’s how you’re training for the race?” He pointed at the girl’s fish-cart bicycle.

  “Si certo! Your reign of terror is coming to an end!” said the girl, whose name was most certainly not Spewlia.

  “You mean, like a year ago?” Ercole said. “When you quit in the middle of the race? Because you couldn’t stop throwing up?”

  “I didn’t quit,” the girl said. “They made me stop.”

  Ercole smirked. “I think that is worse. Now go away. I’m having fun with my new friends.”

  “They’re coming with me,” the girl replied. She turned to Luca and Alberto. “Hop on. I could use the extra weight.”

  She faced Ercole, stuck out her tongue, and unleashed an epic raspberry. “THHHPPPPBBB- BBBTTT!”

  She began to pedal as the boys hopped onto the fish cart.

  “Fine! Go start a club! For losers!” Ercole shouted at her. “Ha! I’m kidding!”

  Meanwhile, the adults were ignoring Ercole completely. There was something else going on.

  “Another sighting, Maggiore,” the fisherman Giacomo said. “In the harbor this time.”

  “I know,” Maggiore replied, holding up a poster. “We’re setting a reward. Someone’s gonna win a nice prize. . .”

  Ercole snatched the poster. “Me! I win the prizes! Ciccio, get your daddy’s harpoon! We’re gonna catch a sea monster!”

  Luca and Alberto exchanged nervous looks as the girl pedaled away. Even with their added weight, the girl was going very fast. She turned a corner and groaned loudly.

  “Sto imbecille!” she said. “Thinks he can be a jerk, cuz he keeps winning the race, which he shouldn’t even get to do anymore, cuz he’s too old and too much of a jerk!”

  The boys stared at her.

  “You know we underdogs have to look out for each other, right?” she said.

  They just stared, wondering what she was talking about.

  “What’s under the dogs?” Alberto asked, genuinely curious.

  “Underdogs,” the girl explained. “You know kids who are different, dressed weird. . .” She raised her arm, revealing a glistening, sweaty armpit. “Or are a little sweatier than average.”

  She had stopped pedaling, and the boys jumped off. Luca stood behind Alberto, not sure what to do next.

  “Too much? Too much,” the girl said. “So, are you in town for the race?”

  Luca and Alberto had no idea what she meant.

  “The Portorosso Cup?” she continued, but they still didn’t say anything.

  “Well, good talk,” said the girl. “I gotta deliver these. Always be training, you know.”

  But as she walked away, Luca realized something. He grabbed Alberto.

  “We should ask her about the Portorosso Cup race. That’s how the loud, scary human said he got his Vespa.”

  Alberto understood.

  “Hey, uh, Spewlia,” Alberto said tentatively.

  The girl whose name was most definitely not Spewlia whirled around from her first delivery and gave Alberto a look that stopped him where he stood.

  “Giulia. My name is Giulia,” she said. Then she turned around and set out for her next delivery.

  “Uh. . . when you. . . race. . . in a cup,” Alberto began, not wanting to upset Giulia any more than he already had, “what do you get?”

  Giulia reached into her pocket and pulled out a handful of shiny coins. “Soldi,” she said. “Prize money.”

  “Oh,” Alberto said, not impressed.

  “Okay. . .” Giulia replied, shaking her head.

  Giulia walked ahead, and the boys followed. At once, Alberto and Luca started arguing with each other.

  “No, no! Keep going!” Luca said.

  “What? Why?”

  “Ask her about the prize money!”

  “But that stuff is useless!”

  “Maybe it becomes a Vespa!”

  “How does that become a Vespa?”

  “Just ask her!”

  “Fine, fine, fine!”

  “Hello, again,” Alberto said, returning to Giulia’s side.

  “Ciao.”

  “Can we turn the money into something else?” he asked. “Like, something like—”

  They rounded a corner and passed a garage. Parked right in front was a bright, shiny, new Vespa scooter.

  “That!” Luca exclaimed, pointing at it.

  “Pffft. No,” Giulia said. “But it could get you that.”

  Giulia pointed to a very rusty, very used Vespa standing right next to the bright, shiny, new one. To Luca, it still looked like the most amazing thing in the world. He gasped, imagining himself and Alberto as a cascade of gold coins showered down around them, and then a moment later, taking the wheel of their very own Vespa, which they had paid for with all those gold coins.

  “It’s so beautiful,” Luca said quietly.

  “Yes,” Alberto agreed. “We need it.”

  Giulia hopped back on her bike and began to pedal as the boys walked alongside.

  “Great! So we’ll just win the race!” Alberto said.

  At those words, Giulia hit the brakes. “You’ll have to beat Ercole,” she said.

  “Okay, so we’ll beat Ercole.”

  Now Giulia hopped off her bike and walked right up to the boys, glaring at Luca. “Huh. Really?” she began. “Thinks he’ll beat Ercole, this guy. First of all, get in line! Every summer, that jerk makes my life miserable. So no one’s taking him down, unless it’s me!”

  Alberto realized he had chosen his words quite poorly. Before he could apologize, Giulia said, “Second, this isn’t any old race. It’s an epic, grueling traditional Italian triathlon: swimming, cycling, and eating pasta.”

  The boys were speechless.

  “So you’d need a teammate,” Giulia added.

  “Well, we’ll figure it out,” Alberto said. “Thanks, human girl.”

  They watched as Giulia pedaled her bicycle and cart away. Alberto started to walk in the opposite direction, and then Luca suddenly stopped his friend.

  “Hey, hey, wait, Alberto,” he said. “What if we join her team?”

  Alberto frowned. He wasn’t used to other people stopping him and suggesting ideas. Ideas were kind of his thing. But he thought for a moment, then said, “Better idea.”

  He turned and yelled to Giulia, “Hey! Congratulations! You’re joining our team!”

  Giulia laughed and called back, “I race alone.”

  Then Giulia’s cart got stuck and she couldn’t pedal. The boys ran over to her, helping to push her bicycle and cart forward.

  “But we could be under the dogs, too,” Luca said as he pushed the cart with great effort.

  “Hey, it’s okay, Luca,” Alberto said, playing it cool. “She’d rather do the whole race alone again. Maybe this time she won’t throw up as much.”

  “Uh, hang on,” Giulia said. She fixed her gaze on the boys, like she was staring into their souls. “You wanna be on my team, eh?”

  The next thing Luca knew, he found himself sitting on Giulia’s bicycle.

  “Let’s see what you got,” she said.

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