released 26th September, 2004
The stall was fairly nondescript, located just off a main thoroughfare, but not so far back that the letters spelling out "ramen" on its curtains couldn't be seen. The young proprietor was good at his job and knew the value of not stinting on fresh ingredients. He did brisk business.
"'Evening," he greeted, turning around as Subaru seated himself. "Sumeragi-san," he continued, grinning. "The usual?"
"Thanks, Urameshi-san," Subaru replied, turning to look at the young man seated to his right. "Good evening, Kurama-ojii."
The redhead, who already had a bowl of kitsune ramen before him, smiled. "Good evening, Subaru-san. Business brisk?"
"As always," Subaru replied.
"How're the apprentices doing?"
"Not bad. Not quite at each other's throats, either."
"Pity," Kurama remarked, a smile tugging at his lips and a wicked gleam in his eye, "it's more fun that way."
"Here you are," Yuusuke said, setting a second bowl of kitsune ramen down on the counter. Subaru broke apart his chopsticks.
"'Evening, Urameshi-san," and "'Evening, everyone," two more voices joined in as the last two seats at the counter were filled.
"'Evening, Tsuzuki-san, Kurosaki-san," Yuusuke replied. "How go things in Meifu?"
"Another day, another demon," Tsuzuki Asato replied. "No offense."
"None taken," Yuusuke assured him. "The usual?" He was already preparing two more bowls of ramen.
"Of course," the younger shinigami replied. He looked over at Subaru. "Sumeragi-san, Tatsumi-san said to pass along his thanks for your handling Fujimiya's case."
Subaru shrugged. "He needed training."
"If he was carrying around that many souls, yeah."
"I wouldn't've wanted to try to convince him," Tsuzuki said contemplatively, looking at the ceiling of the stall.
"My business, a meeting place of the spiritual world," Yuusuke remarked offhandedly to Kurama. "Who would've thought?"
"You'd smash us all into the pavement if we broke out fighting here," Kurama replied. "It makes your place a perfect U.N."
"Ramen! Come ON, Touya, we're almost there!" a familiar voice called to someone else a short distance away.
Smiles ghosted across everyone's faces.
"You'll have to wait your turn, Shindou-san," Yuusuke called out. "The seats are all taken right now."
"That's okay," Shindou yelled back, "it's worth waiting for."
Yuusuke's smile widened into a satisfied smirk. "See, some people come here for the food," he accused Kurama.
"I come for the food!" Kurama protested. "The friends and descendants are just a side perk."
"It is good ramen," Hisoka agreed.
"Mm, mm," Tsuzuki said, quickly slurping up his noodles. "Ne, Sumeragi-san," he asked when he'd finished, "why don't you bring your apprentices with you some time?"
Subaru blew on his noodles to cool them. "Maybe I will," he answered.Back to Chapter 8 Tales From a Ramen Stall page Send comments to author