LUCA | Chapter 16

Sep 2, 2021

《LUCA-夏日友晴天》 动画 第十六章 中文版↗

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  Kids whizzed by on their bicycles as Daniela and Lorenzo attempted to hand out the cups of water. It wasn’t easy, because they were moving so fast! And, frankly, they were still getting used to the sensation of moving around in air instead of water.

  “He’s gotta be here somewhere,” Daniela said, scanning the competitors.

  “Thirsty? Water, anyone?” Lorenzo said, trying to do his job.

  But the kids recognized Daniela and Lorenzo as the adults who had been ambushing and splashing them for days. They dodged the water cups, shouting and yelling.

  “Not again!”

  “Please don’t!”

  “Nooooo!”

  At last, Daniela spotted a kid at the end of the racers. “That’s him!” she said, her voice rising. “Luca! Stop!”

  The couple lunged for him, but Luca screamed and swerved away from his parents. “Sorry, Mom! Sorry, Dad!” he called out as he pedaled on. “I have to do this!”

  They ran after him, but Luca was much too fast.

  “Get back here right now!” Lorenzo yelled.

  Daniela was too impressed by her son’s amazing bicycling abilities to yell. “Wow, he’s fast!” was all she could think to say.

  Luca was tearing up the streets, making up the ground he had lost from the swimming and eating portions of the competition. He passed one racer, and then another, and another!

  There came a rumbling sound in the distance, and Luca allowed his eyes to drift upward for just a second—dark clouds were rolling in. He hoped the race would end before anything happened. Then he trained his eyes forward, where he saw Giulia, riding up in front of the pack. He could have sworn that he saw her cover her mouth, like she was trying to prevent herself from getting sick.

  That was when Ercole passed her. Adding insult to injury, he slapped the top of her helmet.

  “Oops!” he said in a mocking tone. “Scusa!”

  Giulia growled. “I’ll catch you on the downhill!”

  “Spewlia, you never even made it to the downhill,” Ercole laughed.

  Pleased with his performance and sure of his victory, Ercole slowed down for a moment. He even primped his hair in preparation for the cameras when he crossed the finish line first.

  So it came as an utter, horrible shock when he saw Luca pass him!

  “What!” Ercole screamed. “Impossible! He’s cheating! Arbitro! Arbitro!”

  Luca said nothing. He just kept right on pedaling, heading up the hill, pumping his legs as hard as he could.

  For the first time in the entire race, Luca thought that maybe, just maybe, he might be able to win!

  And then a drop of rain fell on his hand.

  “No, no, no, no, no!” Luca said as he looked down and saw the scales appear.

  The rain began to fall in the piazza, and the onlookers took out their umbrellas and opened them. Massimo was there, watching curiously as someone grabbed one of the larger cafe umbrellas. That was certainly unusual.

  Even more unusual, whoever had taken the cafe umbrella was now headed down the street with it.

  He wondered what was going on.

  Even with the rain, Luca refused to give up. He kept pedaling, even harder than he had before, as if he were in a race against the rain itself. With surprising speed, he made it to the top of the hill.

  But now the rain turned into a downpour. Luca had no choice but to pull his bicycle over to the side of the road and duck under an awning—right before the downhill portion of the race.

  “Oh, not now,” Luca moaned. “Come on, come on, come on! I’m so close! Please stop!”

  Luca pleaded with the rain, but it was no use. He might as well have been talking to a sky full of fish.

  Then something made him look up.

  He saw Alberto running toward him, carrying a huge umbrella like one they had seen at the cafes down at the piazza!

  “Luca!” he called. “Just stay right there!”

  “Alberto,” Luca said, stunned.

  “I’m coming for you!”

  At that moment, Ercole came over the hill on his bicycle. He slowed down when he saw Luca under the awning.

  “What’s wrong, Piccoletto? Afraid of a little rain?” But Ercole wasn’t done yet. “And there’s the other one. For the last time, you two don’t belong here. Get out of my town.”

  Ercole rode by and kicked Alberto, knocking him over. The umbrella went flying as Alberto rolled toward Luca. He got up right away, but it was too late—he had already gotten wet, and was now revealed to be a sea monster!

  Ercole suddenly stopped. “Ahhhhh!” he screamed. “Sea monster! Right there!”

  The crowd gasped at the sight of the sea monster in their midst, and so did the other racers.

  Ercole yelled down the hill, “Ciccio! My harpoon! Veloce!”

  Luca looked at Alberto. He was still under the awning, dry, looking at Alberto in his sea monster form, standing in the rain.

  Giulia had now joined them on the hill and saw what was happening. She hit her brakes.

  Luca looked at Alberto and took a step toward him.

  “No, stop!” Alberto said, and backed away. “Just stay there! You’re still okay.” Then he looked at the crowd and ran at them, shouting, “Andiamooooo!”

  “Alberto, wait!” Luca yelled, but there was nothing he could do to stop his friend now.

  Cries of “Sea monster!” and “Stop that thing!” erupted from the mass of people. Several people in the crowd threw a net, capturing Alberto, who fell to the ground, helpless.

  “Don’t let it get away!” someone yelled.

  “No!” Luca said, and with great determination, he pedaled his bike out into the rain. Immediately, he transformed into his sea monster self.

  It was the first time that Giulia had seen Luca as a sea monster. “Santa Ricotta!” she said.

  Luca rode right through the crowd that had gathered around the trapped Alberto. Then he held out his hand and pulled Alberto onto the bicycle.

  “What?” Ercole shouted, unable to process what was happening.

  Luca pedaled down the hill as Alberto tossed the net aside.

  “Whoa! You really are crazy!” Alberto said.

  “Yeah, and I learned it from you!” Luca replied.

  Alberto hugged Luca.

  “Let’s get to the water,” Luca said as they rode past Ercole. A second later, Ciccio handed a harpoon to Ercole.

  “No, Ciccio!” Ercole yelled, angry at his friend’s lack of timing. He raced down the hill after Luca and Alberto, harpoon in hand.

  Giulia was right behind them.

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