The fox superhero arrived at the scene. While a turtle-themed superhero shielded himself, he thought of an idea. He got out his flute and played a brief tune. He created an illusion of Cat Noir being held captive by knights after the real deal broke free. Darkblade looked at Cat Noir fighting and waved his hand through Renard's illusion. At that moment, the fox came out of the shadows and engaged the knights in combat, using his flute as a sword against them.
"I have no time here. They won't stop me this time!"
While Renard held back a knight, he looked out the corner of his left eye and saw Darkblade running towards city hall.
"He's getting away!" he cried out.
"Oh no he ain't!" a feminine voice claimed.
Out of nowhere, he saw an orange-haired girl with a black and yellow striped outfit falling through the air before spinning the staff to land on her feet. She glared at Darkblade as she held her spear in her right hand.
"Young maiden, out of the way, unless you wish to become a knight yourself." Darkblade commanded.
"Not happening, Darkblade!" she exclaimed.
She used her spear to chip away at his armor, although Renard thought that she may have been holding back. He told himself not to criticize her too much. After the interview (to which he learned the names of his coworkers; Jade Ninja and Abeille), he went back home and resumed his painting activities. Unbeknownst to most of his classmates, Nathaniel not only liked to draw, he also loved painting. He wanted to paint pictures for a living, but most of his immediate family (aside from his mother) didn't support his career choice. He currently had three paintings he was working on; Cat's Confusion, Villain's Convention, and The Tremendous Trio. Cat's Confusion was halfway done, Villain's Convention only had the background painted, and he was very close to completing the Tremendous Trio.
Tremendous Trio was on his desk, which was close to the entrance of his room. Paintbrushes were scattered on the table and a palette with numerous shades of green, orange, yellow and a few other colors could be found as well. The other paintings were on separate easels covered by tan cloths.
He was working on the last touches to Jade Ninja's shield when he heard a knock on the door.
"Come in." he said.
His brother entered. He looked at the painting. "Still painting your pointless little picture?"
"It's not pointless. In fact..." He did a few more strokes to outline the edge of Jade's shield. "There. My masterpiece is complete."
Pierre stood in silence for a few brief moments. "Well, can you get ready to go in ten minutes?"
"Sure. No problem."
Le Grand Paris Restaurant, which was the first of Nathaniel's two restaurants that he had chosen, was where Nathaniel and his family would be going tonight. He made an effort to make himself look nicer. He put on a white dress shirt and a black coat (so that Trixx could travel with him inconspicuously) and got a black pair of pants with grey shoes and black socks. He thought about wearing an orange and white tie, but since they were a pain to tie correctly, he omitted it.
The fox looked at him and whistled. "So what's with the get up?"
"My family's going out to eat at Le Grand Paris restaurant to celebrate me rising my grade from an F to a B."
"An F to a B?" Trixx asked. "That's like three grade levels up. How is that even possible?!"
Nathaniel chuckled. "You sound like Pierre. He's in complete shock too. Let's get moving shall we?"
Trixx hid herself under Nathaniel's coat and he walked out the door.
"You ready?" his mother asked.
The red-haired artist smiled. "Sure am."
"Is Pierre ready?" Adolphus asked.
"It can't take him that long." Nathaniel commented. "He's already dressed for the occasion!"
Nathaniel's brother entered the room, dressed in the same attire he always wore. "I'm here, don't freak."
Adolphus smiled briefly and grabbed his keys. "Perfect. Now let's go."
The four of them drove over to Le Grand Paris Hotel and made it with time to spare before their six o'clock reservation. They all sat on a bench and waited about five minutes for their table. Nathaniel looked around and noticed the lack of people at the restaurant, and the hotel in general had less residents.
"It doesn't seem as crowded as it normally looks. And it's a Friday too." Nathaniel stated. "Why is this?"
"Some people are boycotting against the Bourgeois family by not coming here." Pierre responded. "They're angry with him, because a small percentage of people believe Mr. Bourgeois caused Chloe to turn to the dark side and become Queen Bee. In fact, according to what I was told by Jalil, a student in my history class, after Queen Bee and Volpina's defeat, nearly a quarter of the hotel residents promptly signed out and took their business elsewhere. They believe he is responsible for her willingly turning to the dark side."
"Even then, it's not his fault."
His brother looked at him, amused. "You think so?"
"Yeah, I do. I know how horrible Chloe is. Her father had nothing to do with it."
"Kurtzberg, party of four." a voice spoke.
They stood up and followed the hostess to their table. The table was close to the window, allowing them to see Paris down below. They ordered their appetizers and soon began a conservation.
"The city at night looks so pretty." Mrs. Kurtzberg said.
"I agree with you completely, Sierra." Adolphus stated.
Sierra turned to her youngest son. "So how have you been doing, Nathaniel?"
"I've been working on one of my paintings. And guess what, I've finally got one done."
"Really, how wonderful!"
Pierre scoffed. "I don't think it will sell."
"Everyone's a critic." Nathaniel said in an aloof tone.
"So, which painting was it?" Sierra asked.
"The Tremendous Trio."
Adolphus inquired, "The Tremendous Trio?"
"Yeah. That's the name given to the trio of Superheroes that entered the scene after Queen Bee and Volpina's defeat and punishment in court. The painting shows the heroes in the park, facing an akumatized villain in the form of a shadow. The scene depicts Jade Ninja shielding Abeille from a black energy beam and Renard playing his flute to create an illusion. While Jade is shielding Abeille, she is looking towards the akumatized villain, which is just a shadow since I was unsure of which akumatized villain would be the best to put into the painting, who has been slowed down by Jade's Time Crawl ability and is attempting to figure out a plan on how to defeat him." Nathaniel explained. "The picture took me nearly a month to create, and now it's done!"
The judge mused to himself for a few seconds. "How much do you think it could sell for?"
Nathaniel shrugged. "I don't have a clue."
A platter with pieces of baguette was placed on their table.
"Your mussels appetizer will be out shortly," said the waitress before running off.
Everyone each took a piece. Adolphus noted, "Fresh out of the oven. Nice."
"This almost tastes familiar." Nathaniel mumbled to himself. "No, it can't be..."
"What is it?"
"This bread tastes exactly like the kind you'd get at the Dupain-Cheng bakery!"
"Hey um, sir, I hate to badger you, but who made the baguette here tonight? It's delicious."
"Tom Dupain actually."
Nathaniel smirked. He knew that name anywhere. "I knew it!" The waiter ran off. "It seems Marinette's father must have gotten a temporary job here so they can continue paying the bills."
Pierre was extremely baffled. "I thought her father's name was Dupain-Cheng."
"No, her father is Tom Dupain and her mother is Sabine Cheng. Marinette's last name is a combination of the two."
"Keeping a maiden name?" Pierre turned to his father. "Is that even allowed?"
"Actually it is." he answered. "When a woman gets married, she has four choices; take her husband's surname, keep her own, adopt a hybrid of the two names, or in some rare cases, change it to something completely unrelated to her husband's surname or her own."
Nathaniel glared at his older brother. "Wow, assuming women can't keep their maiden names. How sexist are you?"
Pierre started steaming with fury. His face fumed red. "Nathaniel, how dare!-"
"Enough, both of you!" Adolphus ordered. "Can't we go for one night without you two arguing?!"
The table was eerily silent for about four minutes until the mussels were delivered to their table. After the mussels were completely devoured, they ordered their entrees.
"So Nathaniel, what are you going to be doing with your spare time? Aside from painting and drawing?" Sierra asked.
Nathan shrugged. "Not sure. Might join Alya for some photography of the superheroes for some inspiration."
Adolphus smiled at Nathaniel, "You'll have the whole house to yourself most of the day."
"Oh yeah right. Pierre has that internship, leaving me free to paint without distraction."
Adolphus looked at his son sadly before turning back to his neutral look. Was he worried about him? Nathaniel couldn't tell. "You haven't thought about changing your career path, have you?"
"No. Why would I?"
"Nothing. Forget it."
Nathaniel frowned. His father didn't say it, but he knew that his dad wanted him to choose a different career path. He always told him that being an artist was not easy and that he was very unlikely to make a living as an artist. Pierre also told him that he was doomed to fail if he continued down his current pathway. His mother was the only one who really supported him in his career path as a famous artist. He knew the stories of other French artists who were poor because they chose being an artist. From Leonardo Da Vinci to Claude Monet and time knows who else was poor, many artists were plagued with financial and/or emotional turmoil.
If most of my immediate family doesn't support me in my decision to become an artist, then will my future wife accept it? he began to think to himself.
He thought of Marinette, his former crush and long-time friend. The blue-haired girl supported him in his chosen path and she too, was shooting for the moon; She wanted to be a famous fashion designer. Pierre told him that becoming a famous fashion designer was a hundred times more likely to succeed than being an artist. Why did he support her but ridicule him? Suddenly another image came to his mind. An image of a girl with long black hair and purple streaks...
"Nathaniel?" his mother asked. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah, I'm fine."
"Were you thinking of your crush, Marinette?"
"I got over her months ago."
Why was he thinking of that girl with purple streaks in her hair? Sure, they were friends, but he couldn't have feelings for Juleka, could he? He had no more time to think, because their entrees arrived and after they ordered dessert, he did not return to his previous thoughts. After the meal was finished, they all went back home. Nathaniel went back to his room to get out of the clothes he was wearing. He entered his bedroom, turned on the light switch next to the door before shutting it and gasped. His completed painting was ruined. Jade's shield was now a splotch of green instead of having all those fine details.
"My painting... It's ruined!"
"Who could have done something so sneaky?"
Nathaniel pondered briefly to himself. An image of a red-haired, green-eyed man came to his mind. He growled and clutched his paintbrush. "Pierre..."