6 👣 The Faces

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"I must say I'm fascinated at your developing disciplines, Jì Lü."

Both people and vehicles alike are yet to pour over Privilegius's streets when Raiden bashes through The Mare's door, invoking such a reaction and a quip from the owner.

"It's Jí Lì, ma'am."

However, it's unusual for the ma'am to have woken up at 07:45.

Raiden reads the huge number consuming most of today's calendar's space. April 3. And early dates on April are the busiest delivery days for the lining conglomerates in their waiting list.

As known as the only days which excite the ma'am other than Chinese New Year.

"Whatever. The meanings don't differ that much after all." Grandma Quartz's gaze lingers on the body-sized mirror stationed at the far edge of the shop, inspecting the loose brown and silver strands of her hair. "Anyway, there are deliveries to six clients today, and you'll handle them all. We also have nine tomorrow—"

"What's with the boom, ma'am?"

"Qingming Festival, Tomb-Sweeping Day, Happy Death Day...anything? It's in two days time, you foolish hare." Her tone's enough to make any wrestlers cower in shame.

"You mean that day—"

"...when we visit our relatives' tombs and pray for their souls? Yes. Sort the deliveries out. Arrange the bouquets. You're the best I have here, and I won't want Sanaa—that gawking intern—to meddle with those bouquets again!"

There's nothing Raiden can do besides nodding his head while slipping into the storage room, beginning to gather the requested flowers.

He barely has time to contemplate over his deceased relatives, shall he have some.

👣

"Raiden. Where is he?"

The bell's jingles sync with the man's rapid stammers. Mockeries fling out of the current visitors' mouths at the sight of his patched and bloodied tan-shirt.

A spectacled adult, fit enough to join WWE, towers not far above Grandma Quartz's slender, masculine posture. He's got a concise accent, sharp and direct. Non-English.

Grandma Quartz's trained arms fold in a rigid stance. He doesn't seem like he can afford, or willing, to purchase a bouquet here. Merely a nuisance. "He's busy."

"I need to...Raiden."

The voice was there last night, during Raiden's first hours at the shelter. Wails and screams mixed with scratches on the walls next door. Cracked nails combined with shallow notes.

The plaque on his door back at the homeless shelter states 'Saba Kors, Bangladeshi'.

It was only a traumatic nightmare, wasn't it?

They also barely know each other besides exchanging eye contacts and acknowledging nods since last night.

The man's eyes double themselves when they meet Raiden's narrow ones. He treads forward, ignoring Grandma Quartz's cries of dismay. Even when her martial arts displays themselves upon his muscles, he doesn't budge—mimicking a Terminator.

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