Chapter 2: Leaving Dale City
After about fifteen minutes, Raphael stepped out of the bathroom. He was about to head towards his wardrobe when he saw his clothes already laid out for him on the bed.
Shaking his head a little, he went towards his bed and slipped into the clothes which were picked out for him by his mother.
“Not bad!” Raphael exclaimed as he stared at the standing mirror in his room.
He was currently putting on white sneakers, with black pants, and a blue turtle-neck sweater. Then, worn over his sweater was a navy-blue robe that was wrapped around his shoulder. And most important, he had a glove on.
As he continued to stare at the mirror, a smile couldnt help but appear on his face. Even if his mother told him he was the most handsome person in the world, Raphael didnt consider himself as one.
He wasnt all that attractive, but neither was he ugly, his looks were simply average. Raphael has a slim somewhat lanky build with a peach skin tone, brown scruffy hair that covered half of his face, and glittering blue eyes.
“Lets go!” Raphael said.
With that said, the blue owl that was on the bird perch flew towards him. Standing on his left shoulder, the owl shut its eyes closed.
Raphael heaved a deep breath, before walking out of the room, “There is my handsome boy.” As he headed towards the living room, it didnt come much as a surprise to Raphael when he saw his mother on the staircase.
“Good morning to you, Gus...” With a smile on Yvonnes face, she greeted the owl who was on Raphaels shoulder. And in response to her, Gus nodded his head.
“Come, breakfast is already served.” Said Yvonne. She then began walking towards the dining room.
When Raphael got to the dining, his mouth couldnt help but open slightly, “Mom, are you expecting visitors!” Raphael asked as he saw the food which was on the table.
“Of course not. Look at how skinny youre, shouldnt you eat more.” Yvonne said, “I have also prepared your favorite meal.” Yvonne pulled out the chair, then waved her hand at Raphael.
Raphael, who understood that gesture immediately, went toward his mother and sat on the chair.
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“Arent you going to join me, I cant finish all this,” Raphael said.
Yvonne, however, shook her head, “I have eaten already.” As if knowing that Raphael wasnt going to let her be, she pointed towards the kitchen base, and there was indeed a plate that had just been used.
She then took the food plate which was at the center of the table and brought it to Raphaels front.
“Hehehehehe!” Raphael grinned once he saw the buffalo wings were brought in front of him. He didnt even waste any time, and as soon as he saw the wings, he launched at them right away.
The delicious combo of butter, hot sauce, and red pepper made his eyes twitch. Even the owl opened its eyes when it caught the smell of the buffalo wings.
Raphael took one of the wings and passed it to Gus on his shoulder, and in a few minutes, the two of them finished the whole buffalo wings on the table. Once they were done with the wings, the duo moved to the rest of the meal on the table.
Throughout the whole time, Yvonne stared at Raphael and a smile could be seen on her face. And when he was done with the dishes, she wiped the oil stains which were on the corner of his mouth.
As Raphael stood from the chair, he was met by his mother, who already had a hairbrush in her hand. “Mom, really” Raphael chucked, seeing the brush.
“Yes.” While his height was average, Raphael was still taller than Yvonne, so to arrange his hair, she had to stand on her toes.
Raphael just stood still as his mother brushed his hair, and when she had arranged it to her liking, she moved away from him, “Youre going to become a great superhero.” Yvonne exclaimed.
“That is for millionaires, egomaniacs, and adult orphans... For some reason.” With a smile on his face, Raphael said. “Hero is just nice. You know it has always been my ambition to save the world.”
Yvonne nodded her head when she heard her sons words, “Yes, ever since you were a little boy and I know with someone like you around, the world will surely be a better place.” Said Yvonne.
The blue owl which was on Raphaels shoulder stared at the mother and son duo, and it couldnt help but shake its head. Gus was certain that Yvonne misunderstood what her son really meant when he said, it had always been his ambition to save the world.
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
Suddenly, the loud horn of a car sounded, and the mother and son duo stared deep at one another.
“I believe thats my ride.” Raphael had given up on the idea of arguing with his mother about the academy, since she wanted him to go, he could as well go.
Yvonne nodded her head, “I know you think the best thing to do is to stay here with me, but you would only be missing a lot of things out there. The world is a very beautiful place, and even if you are unable to become a hero, I want you to have the power to protect yourself.” Said Yvonne.
Then giving Raphael a big hug, and also patting Gus on the head, Yvonne opened the front door.
“Dont forget to use your pills mom!” Raphael had a very stern expression on his face as he spoke about the medication. “And If you ever need anything mom, just say the word, someone will come to you.”
“Okay, son,” Yvonne said. Then with a slight nod, Raphael stepped out of the house.
“We wish you good luck on the academy entrance exam!”
“Best of luck!” Raphael had merely taken a step out of the house when he was met by the entire neighborhood, all standing in front of his house. Surprisingly, they all seemed unhappy that he was leaving the city.
Raphaels eyebrows furrowed when he saw them all, “Enough pretending. I know you dont like me at all, so dont bother.” He said.
The people outside broke into sweats when they heard Raphael. His words were indeed true, but while they didnt like him, they didnt dislike him either.
“I have stayed in this town for more than ten years, and you have all learned how to behave like a decent person. It would be a pity when I leave, and you return to your previous ways because while Im not here, I have eyes watching each one of you.”
As humans without powers, the people in Dale city werent foreign to being bullied and discriminated against, but what Raphael did to them during these past years was different, both in a good and also a bad way.
“Hahahaha! H-How... How can we forget all that you have done for us” Among the people standing in front of Raphaels house, the trembling voice of a middle-aged man sounded.
Raphael nodded his head when he heard the man, “Thats good. Dont also forget to pay your taxes, even if Im not around, I still want to receive those credit alerts.” He said.
They all stared at one another and panic could be seen all over their faces. When they learned about Raphael leaving town, they were all excited because that would mean that they wouldnt have to pay any more taxes to him anymore. It would increase their chances of finally getting out of debt.
While Raphael hadnt laid a single hand on any of them, they knew he wasnt someone to be messed with. This was why when he imposed the taxes rules on them, they had no choice but to abide by them.
In the era of the supernatural, it was horrible for those without powers. Because most jobs were often given to those with powers. And despite how rough it was, the governments still collected taxes from them, claiming it was to make their living condition favorable.
But of course, that was a lie. Their condition continued to become even more terrible every single day as the governments didnt even care about their well-being in the slightest,
It was, however, different with Raphael. While he collected three times of what the government demanded for, they felt a huge difference in their living condition. It was why they didnt loathe him.
He had repaired the city transformer, the city plantation was terrific because of him, and many other helpful materials that made the city develop.
“Raphael, the exam will start by ten and this is already past eight, you should be there already.” Yvonnes voice put an end to the awkwardness in the surrounding.
Raphael stared at the city members for a few seconds, before he then walked into the vehicle. “Okay, mom, take good care of yourself, and dont forget what I told you.”
“If you ever need anything, just say it!” Raphael yelled at the top of his voice, as once he stepped into the vehicle, it immediately took off.
With a nod and also a smile on her face, Yvonne waved her hand at Raphael, who was leaving the city. Her eyes continued to follow the vehicle, till it vanished out of sight, and thereafter a stream of tears dripped out of her eyes.
“Er-Erhmmm!” Yvonne flashed a smile at the people who were staring at her before she then walked back inside her house.
The distance between Dale city and the hero academy was quite far. It would take at least one hour and thirty minutes to get there, and that was if the transportation was fast.
It could as well take up to three hours just to get there.
As he stepped into the city in which the academy resided in, a sneer couldnt help but appear on Raphaels face.
Unlike Dale city, the city which he just entered was different and better in every aspect. Whether it was the building, the roads, or even the economy, Dale city couldnt compare to half of what this possessed.
While the people in both cities paid the same taxes, the government gave no attention to the well-being of the people in Dale city, and instead, they chose to invest heavily in Taurus city and other metahuman places.
Apart from Taurus city being filled with metahumans, it also accommodated one of the biggest and brightest hero academies around the globe.
“What the hell!... Gus, are you also seeing all this” Raphael couldnt hide the shock on his face as he moved about the city. Even Gus who was on his shoulder was stunned at the beauty of Taurus city.
As this was the first time both of them were stepping out of Dale city. And a city like this was akin to paradise in their eyes.
The beautiful lights in the parks, buildings, and even monuments were indeed glamorous.
A few minutes passed by, and Raphael arrived at the gate of the academy. He was still admiring the city when the loud horn of the vehicle brought him out of his dazed state.
With a smile on his face, Raphael got down from the vehicle. He brought out 5 noxus bills from his wallet and then handed them over to the driver. Once the money was paid, the driver took off immediately.
Raphael wasnt the only person in the surrounding. There were a lot of people who were coming down from vehicles, and walking into the academy, with a rather excited yet tensed expression on their faces.
Today was after all the entrance exam of one of the biggest hero academies in the world, so it affected a lot of people.
“Urgh! Lets get this over with!” Raphael said as he walked into the Academy.