LUCA | Chapter 11

Sep 2, 2021

《LUCA-夏日友晴天》 动画 第十一章 中文版↗

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  All through dinner, Luca had been quiet—quieter than usual.

  Alberto was thoroughly disappointed that he had to eat dinner with a fork. He was in no danger of earning the title Fork Master, which wasn’t even a real title, but he was getting better.

  After dinner, Luca and Alberto retired to Giulia’s hideout in the tree.

  At last, Luca spoke.

  “Uh, Alberto?” he said nervously. “I think I might’ve seen my parents.”

  “No way,” Alberto said. “I told you, they’re not coming here.”

  “But what if they did? They’re gonna send me to the deep!”

  Alberto shook his head. “Listen, relax. It’s never gonna happen.”

  Suddenly, Giulia appeared. “All right, boys. Pretty good today, but let’s talk technique!”

  In the yard below, Massimo looked up at the hideout. “Hey, ragazzi!” he said. “I need some help with the nets.” He pointed at Alberto. “You! The big strong one. Andiamo.”

  Alberto didn’t want to leave Luca, but realized he had to. “I’ll be right back,” he said, then ducked off the platform and down the tree. He followed Massimo out of the yard.

  Giulia could see that something was off with Luca, so she said, “Hey, we’re gonna win. And you’ll get your Vespa. Why do you want a Vespa again?”

  “Oh,” Luca said, pondering the question. “Because it’ll be amazing. Every day, me and Alberto are gonna ride someplace new. And every night, we’ll sleep under the fish.”

  He pointed at the bright lights in the dark sky.

  Giulia arched an eyebrow. “The. . . fish,” she said, playing along. “Heh. . . good.”

  “How about you? What’ll you do when you win?” Luca asked.

  Giulia smiled. “Ohh. . . ho-ho, I’ll get up in front of everyone and say, ‘I told you I’d win! ‘”

  “Yeah!” Luca cheered, then looked confused. “And then what?”

  “Well, that’s it,” Giulia said. “Look. During school, I live with my mamma in Genova. And every summer, I come here, and everyone thinks I’m just some weird kid who doesn’t belong.”

  “I think I know how you feel,” Luca said.

  Giulia was relieved to finally have someone to talk to who understood. “Right? That’s why we gotta win! The town will cheer our names—Ercole’s life will be ruined!”

  Luca stared at her.

  “Sorry. Too much? My mom says sometimes I’m too much.”

  “No way!” Luca said. “Not for me.”

  Giulia laughed as they looked up at the stars together. “You know those aren’t fish, right?”

  “Of course they are!” Luca insisted. “Alberto told me all about it.”

  “Come with me,” Giulia said.

  They left the hideout, and a few minutes later, Giulia had them climbing up onto a rooftop. Then she and Luca began to walk along the rooftops of Portorosso. She jumped effortlessly from one to the other. Luca, afraid at first, followed, surprising himself.

  Crossing her neighbors’ houses, Giulia eventually took Luca to a rooftop that had a little platform. And on that platform was a long metal tube on three legs.

  “This is a telescope,” Giulia explained. “Old Man Bernardi lets me use it. It makes far-away things seem close. Look.”

  She directed Luca to the telescope. He bent and peered through the opening. Inside, he saw a cluster of brilliant lights in the sky, none of which resembled fish in the slightest.

  “See any. . . fish?” Giulia asked.

  “Then what are all those?” Luca asked.

  “Stars,” Giulia said. “Like the sun. Giant, raging balls of fire!”

  Luca thought for a moment. “So. . . Alberto was wrong?”

  “And stars are circled by planets,” Giulia continued.

  Luca was beyond excited. He stared up at the sky, trying to take it all in. Then Giulia handed him a book called L’Universo. It was filled with brilliant pictures of the stars and planets.

  Turning back to the telescope, Giulia searched for something in the sky.

  “Look,” she said, showing Luca. “That’s Saturno. It’s my favorite.”

  The planet appeared to have rings around it. Rings!

  Luca imagined what it would be like to actually run on those rings.

  Later that night, Luca sat in Giulia’s room, poring over her schoolbooks. He couldn’t believe all the amazing facts they contained!

  “And we’re all on a big round rock, floating around a star, in the. . . solar system?” Luca asked, paging through one of the books.

  “So cool, right?” Giulia said.

  “And is there anything beyond the solar system?” he asked.

  “Only a galaxy full of solar systems!”

  “Then what?”

  “A universe full of galaxies!”

  Luca laughed. “And THEN what?”

  “And then. . .” Giulia said, “I don’t know! But next year in advanced astronomy, I’m gonna use my school’s telescope. So maybe I’ll find out! That thing’s huge. I wish I could show it to you.”

  Luca grinned and stood up. “Just promise you’ll tell me everything you see!” he said, and in his excitement, he sounded like Giulia. “Sorry. Too much?”

  “Never,” Giulia said, and she meant it.

  “Hey, Luca!” Alberto said, standing outside the window. “I’ve been looking everywhere for you.”

  “Oh, sorry,” Luca said, and he noticed that Alberto was glaring at him.

  “Just come on, let’s go,” Alberto said tersely.

  Staring at the book in his hands, Luca turned to Giulia. “Could I maybe borrow this? Just for tonight.”

  Giulia took the book from Luca’s hands and picked up a pen. She scribbled something on the first page and handed it back to him. Staring at the page, Luca saw that she had written something:

  Luca.

  The name was right below the “This book belongs to” line.

  “You can have it,” Giulia said. “The universe is literally yours!”

  “Wow!” Luca said, amazed. “Thank you!”

  Alberto popped up once more and said, “Luca!”

  “Oh—okay,” Luca said, not wanting to leave. He went out the window and joined Alberto.

  “Where are we going?” Luca asked.

  “Come on, I’ve got something to show you.”

  Alberto had led Luca out into Portorosso’s night streets. His head was still buzzing with wonderment from all the things he had learned from Giulia.

  “Hey, you won’t believe this!” he said, pointing at the sky. “Those aren’t fish!”

  “What?” Alberto said.

  “Yeah! Giulia explained it to me. They’re fires. But like one million times bigger—”

  “Uh, no, they’re not,” Alberto said, cutting off his friend.

  Luca didn’t know why Alberto was being that way, so he walked in silence. Alberto was quiet, too. At last, they reached their destination—the mechanic’s garage they had visited the other day, the one with their Vespa. They looked in the window and saw the beat-up scooter sitting there, with a little sign that said FOR SALE.

  “Soon you’ll be ours, sweet Vespa,” Alberto said with a sigh. Then he put his drawing up against the window. “Take a look, I thought of every single thing we’re gonna need. Also, I added flames.”

  “That’s so cool!” Luca said. Then he started to draw on the window. “And we can bring a telescope, too!”

  Alberto stared at Luca’s telescope drawing, and then he added some lightning coming out of it.

  “No, no, no,” Luca said. “You look through it.”

  He erased the lightning, and Alberto looked disappointed.

  But Luca continued, “Giulia says there’s an even bigger one at her school.” That was when it hit him. “Wait! What if we visit her there?”

  “Why would you want to do that?”

  “It. . . kinda sounds interesting,” Luca said.

  Alberto wasn’t having it. “The whole reason we’re getting a Vespa is to live on our own! We don’t need school! We don’t need anybody!”

  “Couldn’t we just try it?” Luca asked. “Just for a few days?”

  “Luca, sea monsters can’t go to school. What do you think is gonna happen when they see your fish face?”

  Before Luca could answer, something long and metallic slammed into a nearby sculpture of a sea monster. It was a harpoon. Someone had just thrown it. That someone was Ercole.

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