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9 The Place

 Kanae was almost late for her part-time job. Luckily, she managed to arrive in time, but the owner was stunned to see her full of sweats.

"Old Man, I have arrived," Kanae smiled.

"You're late, young lady. Today there are more customers at noon, "one of the customers joked.

Kanae grinned, "It seemed that I have to work even harder then."

The Old Man shook his head. "You shouldn't run on the streets. That's quite dangerous."

"I'm fine Old Man," Kanae laughed and took her equipment before she started working. After a few hours, she noticed that the number of customers today were less than usual.

"It's quite empty today," she remarked.

"There's a fight not far from here," one of the customers explained. "They're blocking some of the streets, so the people are too afraid to get out."

News about people fighting was hardly anything new. It was even very common for her to hear them fighting every few days.

An old lady humped, "Those youngsters really need a life. What are they doing fighting everyday on the street? Don't they have better things to do?"

"Yes, they don't work and only leech of other people. Gangsters are people who only know how to fight."

"Fighting alone would not give them any future, what an annoying bunch of youngsters."

Kanae's expression didn't change as the customers talked resentfully. She was busy cleaning up the plates and gave the ready to use utensil to the Old Man.

One of the customers looked at Kanae, "If they are like this young lady, maybe they would know that there are honest works out there."

"Those people would not be bothered to search. If there's an easy money in front of them that only require their physical power, why would they search for a harder one?"

"Really, those annoying kids would not even bother finding out these things," the old lady harrumphed again. She felt really irritated.

Kanae just smiled wryly at the customer's remark and didn't answer.

Because the location of the fight was not far, the customers tried to finish their meal quicker. They didn't want to get involved in an unnecessary matter.

"Old Lady, why don't you try to talk to them?"

"Are you kidding? Do you want me to die?"

Another customer shrugged. "Then you should stop complaining. If you don't have the courage to start something, what you're talking will only be an idea."

"I know that," the old lady harrumphed. "But those people are not going to listen to any reason."

While complaining, the customers silently left the store. They were mostly still felt irritated because of the gangs. In front of ordinary citizens, gangs never have anything good to talk about. Those were people who only knew how to fight and fight again. After all, most of the gangs' members were those who were born poor and only knew how to fight.

However, it was different with clans because they knew that the clans has their order. Although the order was different with the others, they still have their rule and didn't attack the citizen. Some of the citizens hated them, but most of them already accepted the clans.

As for groups, there were many kinds of reception. For those wealthy people, the groups were the best tools for them because groups were usually formed for money. In addition, people inside the group have their own identity and lived ordinary life. They might only join the group for a while then departed again to live their own life, so their members were usually hard to track.

However, many people didn't care about the differentiation between the three words. They associated them as people who only knew how to fight. This was the reason why those clans' members or groups' members didn't try to leak out their identity. Even if they were different from those people who only roamed on the street, some people simply didn't care.

"I'll close down the store early today," the Old Man remarked. "The fight is not going to let me have many customers today."

"Do you also hate the people who roam on the street, Old Man?"

"Why should I hate them? They have their own reason to roam on the street and in this city where only the strong survive; it's common for them to seek refuge outside. If by joining the clans, group, or gangs make them able to survive, who will refuse?"

Kanae nodded her head. Those three were parts of this city, so some people might not be able to survive without them. No matter how bad their reputation was, they were actually still needed in this city. Even if it was only to keep most of the poorest people live.

"Besides, you will never know if people around you are actually the member," the Old Man laughed.

Kanae giggled. "You're right Old Man."

"Except gangs, you can easily recognize them because they usually roam on the street with their members; searching for anyone they can attack to fulfill their daily needs."

"You're right, so you have to be careful when you go home Old Man."

"I think the same thing can be said to you," the Old Man ruffled the girl's hair. "You can go home now before it's too late. The situation on the street is growing messier, and there's a fight nearby."

"I understand Old Man."

Kanae picked her bag and walked out from the store. It was not that late, so she was pretty sure that she could have long rest today.

The Old Man looked towards the girl who disappeared in the darkness. He silently cleaned up the store to close it down and didn't think about the matter that happened in the store anymore.