58 Chapter 4: Meeting up with Both Old and New Friends
Joshua had spent his first day of vacation completely with his family, as they talked about all the things that had happened. After finding out that Joshua was first place in the rankings they all knew that he must have gone through a lot to be placed ahead of people in the military and all the women that were given super powers. The reactions of his three family members were all different in their own way. His mother was worried at first, but glared at him for putting himself in so much danger and he knew he would have to calm her down before he explained things. His little sister seemed shocked and impressed as she smiled brightly towards him. His father on the other hand simply laughed heartily for a moment before Joshua could feel his killing intent start to leak out a bit in his excitement. Clearly he would be spending a lot of time sparring with his father during this little break.
He had to spend most of the dinner and the rest of the night explaining all the things he went through before he was able to get them all to settle down enough for him to relax. It took the longest to get his mother to stop fussing over him, but his father on the other hand kept him up all night sparring . It had been a while since he had so much trouble taking down his father, but with his dad's new younger physique that still contained all of his experience the spars became far more challenging for Joshua. After finally getting a good night's sleep and taking a long shower in the morning, he made his way down stairs and helped his mother with breakfast. By the time the two of them finished both his little sister and father had made their way down stairs and Joshua could already hear his sisters stomach growling as she managed to shuffle into view.
"Mom is breakfast ready yet?" Amy asked with her eyes barely opened. She was clearly not the morning type of person.
"It'll be done by the time you finish setting the table Amelia, make sure you brush your teeth beforehand." Their mother said without even turning away from the pancake she was making. Joshua simply smiled as he heard his sister groan as she turned around and shuffled down the hall towards the bathroom. It didn't take long for the whole family to come down for breakfast although some were more enthusiastic than others. While they were all sitting around the table eating Joshua got a message on his phone and looked it over.
"Something important sweetie?" Joshua's mom asked as she noticed his attention was taken away from the family conversation.
"Some of the people I fought alongside are asking about where I've been. Apparently they all got to see each other for the most part during the rankers gathering yesterday, but because I wasn't there they are worried about me." Joshua explained.
"Maybe you should all meet up today. I'm sure some of your old friends are just as worried about you as the new ones you made." His mother said. Joshua thought it over and agreed that was probably a good idea. He didn't want to just move on from the people he fought together with. Even if he ended up taking Thoren up on his offer and went to him for training over the next few years he didn't want them to completely drift apart.
"Can I come too, it would be awesome to meet the people you had to spend so much time with. Besides I haven't seen Adrian, Henry and Aito in a while." Amy said as she jumped up from her seat.
"Sure I'll call them all and let them know to meet up this afternoon. I'd like to see how things went for them anyways." Joshua replied before finishing off his breakfast. He helped his sister clean the table as they put up the dishes before moving on to something else. Joshua made sure to give everyone a call and set up a meeting at a restaurant later that afternoon. He asked his parents if they wanted to go as well, but his father was having a meet up with some of his older friends at a gym later. He and Aito's father often went out with a couple others to work out together since they each had experience running a gym of some sort in the past. His mother on the other hand was going grocery shopping later and planned on checking out the library for more medical information that the system had compiled from earth's history.
Joshua found a nice family friendly restaurant and made sure to book a space for several people later in the afternoon. It took a while to find a location in the hub sense several other people were probably doing similar things, but he found a decent Mexican food restaurant that the system had an open room available for. When it came time to head out he called his sister down and they both headed towards the gateway and punched in the code for the restaurant and stepped through the door before arriving.
They were the first to arrive and headed up towards the room they had reserved for the next few hours. It was a large enough space for around twenty people which should be more than enough for the small gathering. Joshua and Amy both ordered something to drink from the system, but decided to wait for the others before getting anything to eat. The first people to arrive after them were Adrian, Henry and Aito which caused a nice small reunion to take place. "It's good to see you guys made it out alright." Joshua said as he walked over and gave them each a hug.
"Thanks to you, we were on our last legs back in Japan. A couple sub-bosses were already trying to break through our location. Luckily you ended it before that happened." Adrian said with his trademark goofy smile.
"Yeah, even I don't want to step foot in Japan anytime soon after that." Henry said paling a little bit at the memory. Everyone laughed a little bit at his reaction.
"How did things go for you Aito? You were with the military at the time right?" Joshua asked turning to his friend who was quietly smiling.
"It wasn't all that bad, I was able to find a decent bow in our barracks sense all of our guns wouldn't work. For the most part we avoided any big threats, but we were able to keep moving and save several people in the process." Aito explained with a calm expression. He was always the calm and serious type, but he was nowhere near as aloof as Laura had been. Before they could continue the conversation Amy jumped in and greeted the others.
"It's nice to see you guys still act the same way as the last time I saw you all." Amy said with her bright atmosphere as she grabbed everyone's attention. The other guys were fairly surprised at her appearance since they hadn't seen her for almost a year. Last time they had seen her she was still shorter than Aito, but now she was catching up to Adrian in height and made Henry look rather short even though he was of average height.
"Is that you Amy? I haven't seen you in so long that you've almost grown taller than me." Adrian said as he pulled the girl into a quick hug. Your dad still training you?"
"Yep, I was going to try for the underage martial tournaments this year so he was pushing me real hard. Though he still tries to drag brother into our training every chance he gets." Amy said after she finished giving everyone a hug.
"That's not surprising that man even forced little old me to go through his training when we were all younger. I still have nightmares about that." Henry said with a shudder. The others laughed, but were interrupted when three people entered the room. Joshua noticed Nathan at the front and could immediately understand who the other two were just based off of their resemblance. The girl standing by him that almost looked like a clone of him was clearly his twin sister. While the older woman that probably due to the age regression occurrence only looked like an older sister was most likely his mother. His sister was just about the same height as him if only maybe less than an inch shorter. The main difference between the two was the fact that her hair was longer going all the way down her back and the obvious fact that she was a girl with the proper proportions unlike Nathan. His mother was a couple inches shorter than both of them putting her at around five foot two inches in height and she smiled at everyone when they entered the room.
"Josh, I'm glad to see you're alright." Nathan said as they approached. They gave each other a fist bump when they got close enough.
"Care to introduce us?" Joshua asked as he looked at the two ladies that walked over behind Nathan.
"The girl that looks nearly identical to me is my twin sister Naomi, and the person behind me is our mother." Nathan said. Joshua shook both their hands, but Nathan's mother bowed towards him in gratitude afterwards.
"My names Vivian Alexander and I would like to thank you for protecting my son. I'm not sure what I would have done if I had lost him without being able to do anything about it." The older woman said with reddened eyes, but she wiped them before tears could fall.
"Seriously thanks for saving my nerdy brother, he's a handful but he's our handful." Naomi said with a smile. While Nathan glared at her for her remark.
"It was nothing, he helped us out just as much throughout the situation. A lot of the plans we came up with were his ideas in the first place." Joshua said with a smile.
"Hey kid, don't be ashamed of being called a nerd." Henry said grabbing Nathan's attention. "Nerds end up ruling the world anyways. Just let guys like Josh do all the heavy lifting while we get to sit back and relax after a plan well made." Joshua playfully shoved him in the shoulder at the jab, but the interaction caused everyone to smile and move pass the tense situation.
"I just wanted to come by and say thank you and will let you guys and your friends have a nice afternoon." Vivian said before giving them another gesture of gratitude. She left the room while leaving Nathan and Naomi behind to hang out with Joshua's group.
"How's your mother been doing since you got back?" Joshua asked Nathan after she left.
"Much better apparently. Sis said she had been crying herself to sleep ever since she realized what kind of situation I was in back during the first phase. She literally hugged me until she fell asleep last night." Nathan replied while frowning at what his mother had been through. Before they could continue the conversation another group of three people entered the room. It was the Carsen brothers with Dave leading the way. The new members of the group talked with each other for a while as they waited on the last few people to arrive. One of the funny things to see was how Adrian and Dillon reacted to each other since they were both of the goofy variety. Though it appeared that even Adrian was a little unsettled at how easily Dillon smiled at just about everything.
It didn't take much longer for the last few people to arrive, but what was surprising was the fact that they had arrived together. Apparently sense their ranks were so close to each other and they all didn't have a specific close family to go back to, all of their houses were right next to each other. For a moment Joshua was caught up introducing everyone to each other with Adrian giving the new age appropriate girls (in his mind) a once over before deciding who he should use the playboy routine on. It seemed for the most part they had all recognized each other from when all the rankers had been gathered yesterday. Joshua was interested in hearing what they talked about in comparison to his little session with Thoren, but decided to wait till after they started eating and getting to know each other before starting any serious topics.
Now they all moved towards the table and prepared to make their orders for the meeting ahead.