The city of Sanban

After about another hour of travelling they ended up in a small city to the north. Maikiko felt her eyes grow wide as she took in the huge grey buildings. (They were large compared to those in Kolar but still relativley small compared to most cities in Eluryh.)

"Maikiko, welcome to Sanban!"

"It's huge!"

"Have you ever eaten ice-cream?" Asked Ryugii, going off on a hunger induced tangent.

"Umm... no?"

A dark look crossed imediatly over Ryugii's face as the bike hit terminal velocity. Maikiko had to hold on tight just to remain in the seat as the city came rushing to greet them.

They reached a group of fir trees about half a mile from Sanban, with it still in sight, and he parked the bike.

"OK let us go. It was ice-cream time a while ago now, we are now long overdue our ice-cream. You especially Mai, you understand this?"

"I fear you may be insane."

"No, just high on life! And ice-cream..."

He smiled happily and walked towards the city with his katana on his shoulder. Maikiko remained silent for the remainder of the trip as she walked along side him. Whatever ice-cream was she needed it!

Eventually the odd pair reached Sanban. Maikiko saw many people hurrying about, almost like during the preparations for the summer festival, but these people seemed to be in even more of a rush. They all seemed to be talking into what she knew to be 'cell fones' Mai didn't know what they did or how, but they were apparently important in this part of the world. And the buildings! That one looked almost as though it was scraping the sky!

Maikiko knew however she could surely never walk into a crowd unnoticed. She waited for the millions of people here to run over, wondering why she wasn't in Kolar. She waited. No-one came over! It was like she was simply a part of the crowd!

"Ryugii!"

"Ahh! Ice-cream! Huh?!"

"No-one's come over!"

Ryugii looked about them taking in the crowd for a moment, before stagering backwards looking wildly around.

"Oh my god!"

"I know!"

"No Mai! This is normal!"

"Oh my god!"

Ryugii laughed heartily at her excitment when it came to this very, very basic thing, before coming to an abrupt halt. He looked around again before his mouthed stretched into a huge grin. Grabbing Maikiko by the wrist he hurtled into the crowd towards a small restaurant in the centre of the square.

"Ryu-!"

Before she had time to question his motives she was thrown into a seat just outside of the little shop. It was under a dark green, scarlet and white striped awning which helped to protect her from the burning sun, looking around they were the only two people there.

"Ok wait there for one second I'll be straight back!" Ryugii seemed to be buzzing with excitment so Mai just stood there smiling, in a somewhat patronising manner. As promised, moments later he returned with two cones, both stacked up with many scoops of different colours. He thrust one into her face.

"Taste it."

"How am I meant t-"

"Just taste it."

Maikiko cautiously licked a brown scoop, which she assumed to be gravy.

"Oh my..."

"This place does the best ice-cream you will ever eat! The best part is I know for a fact that there are 57 chains worldwide and, as I'm friendly with one of the owners, we have free lifetime membership!"

Mai was too far into the icy, sweet, creamy, perfection that she had been missing out on to listen.

5 such cones later, Maikiko was still silently sitting in awe of this desert.

"Mai? Ha ha! Are you ok?!"

She nodded numbly in response, still smiling into space in a sugar trance.

"Well I don't know about you but I think that, as it's already 4 we should probably go now..."

He was, once again met with silence.

"You need clothes..."

That got a response.

"How and where do I get them?!"

"Well if you look over there you will see a small place called: 'clothes'. It's an incredibly cryptic name, but I'm going to take a wild stab in the dark and say they sell... clothes."

"Well lets go then."

"I have to talk you through the plan first!"

Maikiko was puzzled, but as Ryugii whispered in her ear it began to make sense. Approximatly 1 minute later they burst through the door of  'clothes'.

"You stupid woman! Get out of that ridiculous outfit now!"

"No! You don't own me! Get lost!" Ryugii had Mai slung over his shoulder and she managed to fight her way down before he grabbed her violently by the wrist.

"Can anyone in this establishment get this.... disgrace of a woman into decent clothing!" He said, crazed, casting his gaze over the timid members of staff.

"U-u-mm o-ok..." mumbled one young lady, bringing out a white cotton dress. It was plain, knee length, with no particular detail.

"It'll do! At least this foul brute will wind his neck in!"

With that Maikiko snatched the dress and swept out, faking sobs.

"Oh... I'm sorry I've really blown it this time..." With that Ryugii ran out after her, leaving the shopkeepers in shock.

After they were well out of range they burst into tears of laughter.

"This is fraud! Or theft! Or something!!!"

"Nooo, it's ingenius!"

"You sir, are a bad influence!"

"You miss, love it!"

She stuck her tongue out at him before leading the way back to the firs to change.

The End

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