There are such few unabashed pleasures in the world. A mixture of cream, fruits and probably some other stuff happened to be one of them. Parfait was one of the few things that could get Kotomi to stop whatever she was practicing and instead engage in the parfait. If there was something you needed her to listen to, you had as long as it took her to eat the parfait. That would be a while, as she always savored the dessert treat.
And on this day as well, she sat on a bench with her back against a brick wall, enjoying the frozen treat when a conversation floated her way. It seemed to be coming from just around the corner, just out of her eyesight unless she were to, quite simply, lean over and turn her head.
“Well well, if it isn’t fatty showing his face again. I thought you would be burying yourself in a gallon of ice cream by now, fatty.” This voice, a prepubescently gruff one, was chorused by a choir of chortles following the most creative of sick burns.
“Stop calling me that.” Came the other voice. This one was of higher pitch, uncertain and wavering. Kotomi took another spoonful of parfait.
“StOp CaLliNg Me tHaT,” The first voice said in a higher pitch sing-song. Clearly this unseen assailant was a master of insults. “What are you gonna do about it? Huh?”
“I don’t wanna fight you Dax. I’m… I’m gonna find a Rune Knight to arrest you!” The second voice shouted. Kotomi grimaced. She’d saved a strawberry for last and last indeed it was. Scooping it into her spoon she held it aloft at eye level.
“Ohhhh noooo,” The first voice, presumably Dax said. There came more chortling from the others. “Like anyone’s gonna help you. They’ll probably all run away from your fat!” Kotomi knitted her brows. That one didn’t even make sense. “You’ve probably got some snacks in that backpack right? Lemme see.”
“Dax, no!” There was a brief struggling sound and then the victim was thrust into Kotomi’s view as he was hurled to the ground, backpack and all. “Ow…”
Kotomi popped the strawberry in her mouth. “You just gonna let him do that?”
"Who are you?" The kid asked. Kotomi reached a hand out to help him up.
“Kotomi. I was trying to enjoy my parfait,” Kotomi said, “But now I gotta teach you how to fight.” She stood up and turned around the corner. There stood the one who was, presumably Dax and hanging behind him were three of his friends. Followers. Henchmen was probably most accurate. Dax himself was considerably larger than the kid he was picking on, which made a lot of sense because he was probably covering for his own insecurities. Kotomi didn’t particularly care about that. She didn’t like bullies.
“Look careful, because I’m only gonna teach you this once,” Kotomi clenched her fist, “First, get a good stance. Like this. Power comes from the hips so you gotta be ready to twist. Fist balled like this. Thumb on the outside, right?” She chambered the fist, “Summon all of the strength from inside your soul and pow!” She shot her fist forward, releasing a gust of air that knocked the hats off of two of the cronies. “You don’t even have to touch ‘em. Only works if you have a strong soul though, let’s try it.”
“Hey who the hell are you?” Dax asked, stepping towards Kotomi. He'd missed the effect of her attack as it had happened entirely behind him. “This is an A-B conversation so C your way out of it.” He held for snickering but the cronies had gone silent. She’d knocked their hats off without touching them!
The young bullying recipient, bolstered perhaps by the silence after that rockin’ burn, clenched his fist and chambered it just like Kotomi had. She had to give him credit, actually, he was actually mimicking her pretty well. Push come to shove, he’d be able to throw a fair punch as long as he had proper follow through.
When he did punch, she flicked the air with her finger to once again send a gust of air out, this time towards Dax. It knocked his hat off too, and to the casual observer it looked like her new friend had done it.
Dax froze and, if Kotomi’s suspicion was correct, peed himself a little. He and his cronies took off running without a word except for some screaming in fear.
“I uh…” The kid looked at his fist, “I didn’t do that did I?” He unclenched it.
“You’re perceptive,” Kotomi said, with an acknowledging shake of her head, “No, but they won’t be bothering you again. Next time don’t stay and talk to people like that. They’re not interested in conversation, they’re interested in feeling good about themselves. Deep seated issues that telling them you don’t wanna fight can’t stop.”
She put the empty parfait cup in his open hand and said, “Toss that for me, would’ja?” And walked away.