LUCA | Chapter 17

Sep 2, 2021

《LUCA-夏日友晴天》 动画 第十七章 中文版↗

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  “Out of the way!” Ercole shouted, hot on the heels of Luca and Alberto. One way or another, he was going to get those sea monsters!

  He hoisted his harpoon, ready to throw. This was the moment Ercole had been waiting for!

  Alberto glanced over his shoulder and saw what was coming. “Luca!” he said, and forced his friend to swerve, suddenly going off course. The bicycle veered right into an apartment, over a balcony, and down a flight of stairs.

  There was a lot of screaming as they went from the stairs and onto the roof of an apartment building. They jumped off the roof, and somehow, miraculously, ended up back on the racecourse, right behind Ercole and Giulia!

  “Son!”

  Luca turned his head briefly as he saw his father and mother standing by the side of the road under a tarp.

  “You shoulda left when I told you,” Ercole said, readying his harpoon. “Now I gotta kill some sea monsters!”

  Luca leaned to one side, transferring his weight as he tried to evade Ercole.

  But Ercole was closing in fast.

  Ercole and that horrible harpoon.

  Then Giulia caught up with Ercole.

  “So long, evil empire of injustice,” she muttered.

  The next thing Ercole knew, Giulia collided with him, and their bicycles went flying! Ercole let go of the harpoon as they crashed and hit the ground.

  Giulia sat up, woozy, and gave Luca and Alberto a thumbs-up. Then she grabbed her arm and held it close to her body. She was hurt!

  Luca knew what he had to do. He hit the brakes and the bicycle came to a halt.

  Massimo stood in the crowd in the piazza, staring at the sea monster boys in astonishment.

  “Mostri marini. . . Give me that!” he shouted, grabbing a harpoon.

  Meanwhile, both Luca and Alberto hopped off the bicycle and ran back to help Giulia off the ground. “Giulia!” Alberto said, his voice full of concern.

  “Are you all right?” Luca asked.

  “Guys. . . I’m okay,” she said, a little dazed by seeing her two friends in sea monster form. The boys lifted Giulia, carrying her all the way into the piazza. But when they entered, they were met by Massimo and a wall of fishermen wielding nets and harpoons. The mob surrounded the children.

  “Sea monster!” Massimo shouted. “Giulietta?”

  “Papa. . . I—”

  Alberto looked up at Massimo hopefully, but Massimo was frozen. Alberto’s smile faded as the rest of the fishermen closed in around them.

  One of the fishermen laughed. “You’re not going anywhere.”

  Ercole stormed through the crowd, armed with his harpoon.

  “I saw them first! The reward is mine!” he shouted, stepping into the circle of fishermen.

  This time, Luca stood up to him.

  “We’re not afraid of you!” Luca said.

  “No. But we’re afraid of you,” Ercole said. “Everyone is horrified and disgusted by you. Because you are monsters.”

  “Stop! They’re not monsters!” Giulia shouted.

  “There he is! Luca!” Daniela shouted as she and Lorenzo entered the piazza.

  “Let us through!” Lorenzo said. The mob was closing in tighter and tighter.

  “Yeah? Who are they, then?” Ercole snarled.

  “I know who they are,” Massimo spoke, silencing the crowd.

  The fishermen parted, allowing Massimo to step closer.

  Gently, he took Alberto’s hand and said, “They are Luca and Alberto. And they are. . . the winners!” He raised Alberto’s hand in the air.

  A ripple of confusion ran through the piazza.

  “What?” Luca asked.

  Alberto couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “Really?”

  “They can’t be the winners. They are not even. . . people!” Ercole said.

  Massimo ignored him.

  “Signora?” he continued, nodding at Luca and Alberto’s bicycle, which was lying across the finish line. Signora Marsigliese studied it closely, deliberated for a moment, and then shrugged.

  “Technically. . . legally. . . yes,” Signora Marsigliese said.

  Luca gazed around at the crowd, which was murmuring in confusion. Massimo looked sternly at the fishermen until they lowered their harpoons. Some shook their heads in disgust, and some began to leave, but Ercole wasn’t finished.

  “Who cares if they won? They’re sea monsters!”

  While Ercole was preoccupied, Giulia snatched his harpoon and handed it to Alberto and Luca. Together, they snapped it in half.

  “Ciccio! Guido! Another harpoon! Velocemente!” Ercole demanded. When they didn’t obey right away, he was infuriated. “Argh, idioti! Be useful for once in your pathetic lives!”

  “Ciccio,” Guido replied, as if each understood exactly, precisely, what the other was thinking.

  And so they walked right over to Ercole, picked him up, and tossed him directly into the fountain.

  “Gahhh!” Ercole said in a panic. “I can’t swim!”

  He thrashed in the shallow water, in danger of damaging absolutely nothing other than his pride.

  But Ciccio wasn’t done. He pulled out Ercole’s wool sweater and threw it in after him.

  “Oops,” Ciccio said.

  Guido looked at Ercole, stuck out his tongue, and blew perhaps the most elegant raspberry in the history of raspberries: “Thhhhppppbbbbbbttt.”

  “It’s over,” Giulia said, watching from afar. “The reign of terror. . . it’s finally over!”

  “Luca!”

  Turning his head at the sound of his name, Luca smiled as his mother and father broke through the crowd and wrapped him in the tightest of hugs.

  Of course, as it was raining, Daniela and Lorenzo were now fully revealed as sea monsters, too.

  “Luca, you had us worried half to death,” Daniela started, “and you must never do that again. And you raced your little tail off, and kicked so much human butt, and I’m so proud of you, and I’m so mad at you!”

  “I’m sorry!” Luca said.

  Daniela hugged him even closer. Lorenzo joined in. The crowd watched in astonishment as the sea monsters hugged their sea monster kid. Some of them softened at the sight. One human parent, watching them, hugged her own child close.

  “Signore e Signori, the winners of this year’s Portorosso Cup. . . the Underdogs!” Signora Marsigliese announced, walking up to the kids with a trophy. “Bravissimi!”

  The kids cheered, finally realizing it was real. They were the winners of the Portorosso Cup!

  The kids of Portorosso started celebrating, too.

  “Go, Underdogs!”

  “Ercole lost!”

  “I know sea monsters!”

  The two older women the boys had encountered when they’d first come to town—the ones Luca had accidentally called stupido—tossed their umbrellas aside. The rain hit their skin, revealing that they were sea monsters, too! It looked like Luca and Alberto hadn’t been the only sea monsters hiding in plain sight!

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