There was a pair of children who slept huddled together upon a thick tree branch within a verdant forest whose nightly blue shade began to fade into a waning violet with growing tinges of a warm orange as rays of sunlight crawled in from the eastern horizon.

One of the children was a small ginger haired girl who clutched a small wooden hammer in one hand while clinging tightly onto a raven haired boy whose head's entire left side was wrapped in clumsy bandages that had a drying red stain over the eye.

The rays managed to peek though the tree's branches and leaves and gently caressed the girl's left cheek causing her to woozily flutter her light blue eyes open. She slowly sat up and widely opened her mouth to give out a long yawn as she stretched before smacking her lips.

She looked at the boy who was still sleeping and felt the corners of her mouth droop. It was bad enough that the village was lost and if she had spotted that beetle in time then perhaps he wouldn't be hurting so much. Right?

Sadly all she could do was to give the boy's hand a soft squeeze.

That sadness however took a small hit when a warm and sugary smell struck her nose and out of habit she took in a few deep breaths and felt her mouth water immediately.

Her sadness now slightly dimmed and her stomach letting out a guiding growl, the girl shook the boy awake who then drowsily looked at her with a confused pink eye.

The girl waved the warm smell towards the boy who, after taking in a few whiffs himself, nodded in understanding and soon the two of them were carefully yet quickly climbing down the tree with every motion towards the ground making the smell warmer and its sweetness stronger.

The two children quickly turned their heads for any signs of danger before they went off after the smell which became more defined with a tinge of tarty blueberry mixed with tracings of crispy apples and tingly cinnamon.

Then they came into an opening in the forest, where the smell was the strongest, and what they saw in the middle of it was…odd.

There was a lone man standing in a small open air diner of sorts who shook his head at a stove with a closed pot before looking down at a simmering pan next to it with an oily spatula in hand. Next to the stove top was a pile of steaming purple dotted pancakes on the side that had another one added to the top. He wore a black fur collared blue jacket and a Mistralian style straw hat adorned with a small headpiece of sorts at the front most part of its frayed edge that covered his eyes.

What was most striking however was the thick bandana that draped over the lower half of his face. Stitched cleanly upon it was a wide toothy smile which was framed with a small pointed goatee and a thick mustache that wouldn't look out of place upon the face of a cowboy.

The small girl made to step forward but the bandaged boy put a hand in front of her, pushing her back slightly. She looked at him confused as to why but the boy only shook his head in response.

The boy looked back at the man and stared warily at his nonchalance for being in what's seemingly the middle of Grimm territory. That didn't add up to the boy so he motioned to the girl to step away despite the alluring smell that emanated from the man's stand.

The girl looked back and forth between the forest and the masked man with hesitation before her stomach let out another guiding growl prompting her to drag the boy towards the man.

The boy was a tad off put by the small girl's strength as she dragged him forward with barely a struggle.

And so the girl dragged the boy to the front of the food stand and behind one of the chairs that were conveniently there and just big enough to hide them.

The two of them stood there apprehensively although the girl was certainly less so as she stood on her tiptoes and slowly reached over the counter for the pancakes at the beck and call of her stomach.

Only for a spatula to smack down between her little fingers and the savory smelling pile.

The girl froze when she looked up to the spatula wielder's face while the boy made to yank her away only for him to freeze up as well when he looked up.

What little they could make out of the man's face was a pair of black pits with seemingly glowing green irises that glared that the children with thick furrowed eyebrows.

Those pits kept the children frozen in place and they flinched when the masked man slowly reached into his jacket and pulled out…a packet of wipes?

The man then beckoned the confused children to take a seat, which they took with a small air of awkwardness, and plopped down the opened packet onto the countertop before them and then proceeded to clean the spatula with one of the wipes.

When the children cleaned their hands they turned their heads to the rattling closed pot on the stove as the lid began to lift as scratching and hisses were heard from within. Those noises were then settled down when the masked man flicked in some pepper powder and slammed the lid shut.

Next, the man simply knelt down and opened a hidden hatch revealing a long flight of stairs and walked down its many steps. The children, particularly the girl, couldn't help but gawk at how deep into the ground the stairs went.

The boy did however look at a hanging rack of spices and herbs amongst which was a rather familiar pink flower that brought a small sense of nostalgia and a small pile of pots whose insides were stained black with clumps of gods knows what though the once again rattling pot made him look back at it with a perturbed face.

Then a pair of ceramic plates that twice the size of the man's hands and mugs that were big as their heads clattered in front of them and already the masked man piled on a few of the pancakes onto the plates and was pouring a neon blue liquid from a new glass pitcher hand that was coated with cool condensation into the mugs.

The children were rather hesitant as they gawked at the savory piles of fluff though the girl had a small trail of drool in the corner of her mouth and the boy slowly held a hand in front of the girl while looking warily at the cook.

The masked cook simply placed a couple forks on the counter, pushed the plates and mugs forward and stood back with clasped hands.

The boy still looked at the man with a wary eye while the girl slowly inched closer to the pancakes due to their sweet and crispy aroma that was tinged with a hint of tarty blueberries.

In response to their hesitation, the cook poured himself a small shot glass of the blue liquid which he brought beneath his mask. What came next were drips of the drink spilling onto his coat as he sloppily slurped it down.

Nothing else happened yet the boy still looked at him wary.

With a slight slump, the man grabbed a hanging fork to cut off a small piece of the boy's pile of food to put underneath his mask and once more there was slurping as bits of food speckled out from underneath.

And still nothing happened to the man and he once again beckoned the children to dig into the flapjack before them.

At this, the boy reluctantly lowered his hand and the girl began to dig in as she took one bite and immediately began to stuff her as much as she could until her cheeks puffed out. She even hefted up the mug and gulped down all that she could in one breath though she did spill a little more than she drank.

The boy eyed the pancakes which were fluffs of golden-brown with spots of purple and yellow before he hesitantly cut himself a small piece, popped it in his mouth to chew away and his taste buds were met with the sweet crispy juiciness of apples. Tinged with the sharp tartness of blueberries and was that a pinch of cinnamon?

He proceeded to dig in. With gusto.

The boy took a small sip of blue liquid then another and another and then he began to drank it whole heartily, its sweet taste left behind a tingly sensation as it danced its way down his gullet. Couldn't get enough of it.

The masked man hummed as he clasped his hands and his inky eyes shut, his stitched upon smile upturned even more at the children's satisfaction at their meal.

And not even fifteen minutes later, the plates were clean with nary a golden crumb left and the mugs had nary an azure droplet. The girl let out a burp and slumped onto the stand's countertop with a smile and the boy leaned back in his seat and patted his stomach in contentment.

Then the masked man held out a hand to the children expectedly.

The girl let out a small eep and the boy flinched before they searched their pockets for anything worth of value until the girl brought up her wooden hammer and the boy felt a familiar hilt in his back pocket and unsheathed a green dagger whose sleek blade was marred by the many minute cracks and chips covering it.

The man leaned slightly forward to the boy and instinctively the child clutched the dagger close to his chest.

The man seemed taken aback by the boy's only to then shake his head and waved away the dagger to the boy's confusion.

What happened next was the man gently pulling the boy closer by the arm and placed a hand on his forehead and a brief yet bright flash of purple light overcame the two.

The flash left the boy drowsy tilted to the side before being gingerly held up by the girl while the masked man, after blinking a few times and a quick head shake, twiddled with the bottom of his mask with an inspired look in his inky eyes.

He immediately went back down the stairs and sounds of clanging, clattering, chopping and some sort of clicking could be heard for a few quick minutes before he popped right up holding a pair of bento boxes with a few small cubes of literally blue cheese and some cured beef cuts on top in one hand and a small pack in the other.

Simply put, the masked man loaded the boxes with a few of the still warm pancakes, the blue cheese, the beef cuts, and even a few pouches of the blue liquid and water.

The girl brought out a roll of paper from the pack that, to her surprise when it unfurled, self-drew a road map to the nearest place of civilization. The boy, when his drowsiness waned a tad bit, couldn't help but tilt his head curiously.

However, the masked man simply yanked the pack out of the girl's hand to place the boxes in them and handed it back packed and zipped up with a couple of filled hanging water skins off the sides to the now lucid boy. Though he nearly fell out of his seat with the suddenly added weight.

The girl held up the self-drawing map to the masked man who simply waved it off as he gently pushed it back to the girl and waved the two children off and away from his diner.

This confused the children though the boy held his head high as he adjusted the pack's straps while the girl, after one last look at the masked man, held up the map that drew out detailed paths in the forest to civilization.

And with that and one last wave to the man, the two children went off into the forest with warm filled bellies, bento boxes in hand and a renewed hope in their hearts for their future.

When the children were out of sight, the masked man clapped his hands and let out a content sigh as he knew what to do now and so turned back to the steaming pot in front of him that had the tapping from within weakly begin anew.

With a new mallet in hand, the man lifted the pot's lid as steam went up to show a tar black crow up to its chest in bubbling water with a chipped white mask as its severed wings and chopped vegetables of varying shades of red and blue floated on by. It let out a small shrill cry as it attempted to rise out of the water and fling itself into the man's throat.

Its cry somehow became indignant when the man squeezed out nectar from a handful of pink flowers onto its head before it let out a squawk when the mallet struck it cracking its skull and making the crow go limp beneath the bubbling water.

The man went still as he looked at the bubbling waters expecting them to go tar black and belch out smoke to ruin yet another pot but to his surprise and delight the pot water simply went a simple dark purple.

The masked man let out a satisfied hum as his stitched on smile went up even more and not a moment too soon as the stand and the man were slowly covered by a humming aura that shifted from blue to purple to red and back again all while becoming translucent.

Now to see what the next stop will offer.