Under The Veil of Night

Chapter 2 Crime City

"The lesson has finished, do you want to wake up or not?" Misae pushed her friend slowly.

Kanae's eyes fluttered open. She blinked a few times before nodding her head. "I'm awake. I'll be going in a few minutes."

"Are you still working?"

"Of course, you know I have to work if I want to eat, right?" Kanae said nonchalantly.

"Be careful on your way home. This city is not famous because of nothing."

"I know," Kanae nodded her head. "You should go, or your teacher will scold you because you're late for your club."

"She's usually very lenient," Misae frowned. Nevertheless, she has already finished cleaning up her belongings, so she quickly bid farewell to her best friend.

As Kanae watched Misae disappeared from the view, she took her bag. She did bring the book, but because she fell asleep during the lesson, she did not have the chance to take them out.

She enrolled in Nolen School C. Nolen School was the most famous school in this city, so they divided into three. The most elites one were Nolen School A, but they were quite expensive and needed the most talented students, so Kanae didn't even try to apply.

Nolen School C has relaxed rules and atmosphere. However, because of the not so strict rules, this was also the place where the young people from underground usually gathered. Underground was the term they usually used for people who joined a clan, gang, or group.

Different than most cities, this city was famous for the people who were ruling the city from the street. In order words, this place still has the rules that only the strong would be able to rule while the weak has to follow the rule.

There was government, but even they were not strong enough to completely suppress the clans, groups, and gangs. In the end, they have some deals, which included that in the public places the people from underground would not bother the citizen. That was with the exception if the citizen were the one who tested their patience.

Kanae walked out from the school grounds after walking for some time. The school was quite huge because they have several buildings and the location of the classroom for the first year was located quite far.

She quickly made her way towards the street and continued to the alley before stopped in front of a small noodle store. Pushing the door open, she greeted, "Good afternoon, Old Man."

The one inside the room was an old man. Looking from the wrinkles he had, people would not be able to believe that this man was still below 50. Nevertheless, he was full of energy as he laughed hard.

"You finally come, little girl. I thought you had grown tired to work here."

Kanae rolled her eyes. "There's no way I'm going to be tired of working when I have only worked for a few weeks."

The old man was not her father, but he was kind enough to let her worked here. She was paid for the number of hours she worked here. They were not much, but for her, they were enough.

"Should I start?" Kanae put her backpack on the back.

The old man nodded heartily. "Sure."

Walking to the counter, Kanae took the apron and wear it. She took the cleaning tools and started to clean the floor of the shop. During this hour, the shop was empty, and it was her job to clean up everything before they come back.

"The store is empty today."

"There is some ruckus at the big street in front of the building. The police blocked down some of the ways, so today there will be fewer customers."

Kanae was not surprised to hear that. The problem of some random gangs attacking a store or anything was already a common occasion in this city. It would instead be weird if there was nothing happened during the day or maybe night.

The police were not that quick and most of the citizen didn't really rely on them. It was not that they were too weak, but their number was too small compared with the gangs and all. The police needed more hands to help them, but the strict procedure made people unwilling to join the police. Even until now, the number of detectives and polices were extremely low.

This shop was not that out of the range either, but Kanae has never encountered any gangs attack during her work in the store. Of course, she didn't hope there will be any since the damage might cause the store to close down. In the first place, the earnings from the store was not much and it would be hard to do any repair should there be any damage.

Kanae finished the cleaning and put the tools away. She sat down on the back to wait for the customers to arrive.

"How's your school, Kanae?" the old man started a conversation.

"Just like the usual, Old Man. The lessons are mostly a repeat of what we have learned in the Junior High. The number of new materials is very few," Kanae sighed. She might be sleeping most of the time, but the questions from Misae allowed her to know how far their lesson was.

The old man patted Kanae head, "Learn well, you will get a better future ahead of you."

"Thank you Old Man," Kanae grinned.

The old man was always called Old Man by the people around him. It was not like he didn't have any name, but he loved this call. Even before Kanae met him, he always used that name, so she too called him by that name.

As Kanae talked with the old man, the door opened and a few people come in.

"Old Man, three bowls of noodles," one of the men yelled.

"Coming!" the old man answered. He turned to Kanae, "Time to work little girl."

Kanae stood up and prepared the utensil the old man needed. During the time she was at school, the old man would do everything by himself. It was only during the afternoon time that he could relax more because Kanae would do the job for him.

Moving around to do the job, Kanae completely forgot about the time. By the time the customers decreased, the time has shown 9 PM.

"Oh, Kanae, you're still working here?" a customer joked.

Kanae laughed, "I love to work here sir."

"The atmosphere in the store turns warmer with the addition of this little girl," another customer added heartily.

"Yup, the Old Man did a good job picking her up."

Kanae has the feeling that they treated her as an item, but she still laughed when she heard their remark.

Some of them also joked about her age and she responded kindly.

The legal age to work was 17, but no one really cared about it. In this city, the number of people working below the legal age was a lot, and the government couldn't possibly tell them not to work. Many of them have a special condition and with the low power the government had, they couldn't possibly pay for their living too.

When the store was finally empty, the time has shown 11 PM.

"Kanae, your dinner," the Old Man passed a bowl of noodle to her.

Kanae accepted happily. One of the perks working here was she could get a free dinner every day.

"Go home as fast as possible after this."

"I know," Kanae answered. She devoured the noodle as fast as she could before she departed to her home.

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