2015-01-16 - Mascot Hoard

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Title: Mascot Hoard

The recent plushie mascot fad has led to makeshift gatherings among gradeschoolers everywhere - but there's always some kids who are brats and bullies. How deep does greed run, and what can it do with the right catalyst?


Sakura Kinomoto, Reiko Touyama, Fate Testarossa, Ikiko Hisakata
Guest: Lera Camry (NPCing Tomoyo Daidouji)
GM: Fred Burgermeister


Juuban Public School - Track Fields

OOC - IC Date:

11 May 2014 - 01/16/2015

<Pose Tracker> Fred Burgermeister [None] has posed.

"Shows what you know! Black Moon is way stronger than the Golden Weasel!"

The bell has rung not long ago, signifying the end of another school day at Juuban. It's bright and sunny and an ideal chance for children to be out and about. There's a tradition, however, on days like this. This is the day of the Great Mascot Market, a grand tradition dating back to the ancient days of 'the week before last'. Lo, its origins are truly lost in antiquity.

It cannot be ignored that this recent fad has taken off. Plush animals, patterned after urban legends and schoolyard rumours - many of them resembling mascots of magical girls. Coincidence? Probably not, all things considered - while identities remain secret, and connecting stories of mascots to slightly strange pets just doesn't tend to happen...

Well, many of those collecting the plushes have some idea what they might mean.

Thus, the Great Mascot Market. Whatever manufacturer took up the duty of making these replicas decided to boost sales by making the purchase a mystery box. Until opened, one doesn't know what one gets - and so those children seeking a particular figure need deep pockets, or to trade with someone. One of the track fields at Juuban, abandoned by its usual team for the day, has become a gathering point for those interested in talking about mascots, or trading their plushies for others. It's a hub of activity, and generally cheerful.

Generally. Pay no attention to that small argument.

"Come on and trade it. It's not like you know the real origins of Raging Rabbit, you wouldn't appreciate it as much as I do." Wiping his nose, one of the older boys - grade five or so - looms over a younger girl. Behind him stands his collection of plushes - a great piece of old-looking luggage, almost too heavy for him to move around, holding a carefully arranged collection of plushies. One of almost every one they make, in fact... "You're not getting a bad deal after all, it's both of the cat pair - you can have them be archenemies or whatever. Come on, I need it."

<Pose Tracker> Reiko Touyama [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Reiko Touyama was not really 'intrested' in this whole Plush Mascot phase until she saw a tiny, red, bird one. It's then that, she knew she had to get one in order to annoy Roy and to give to Mei--- The name may not be right- but the little red bird could be Roy. Luckily, Roy isn't here to say anything snarky or try to talk her out of it.

She is of course, a little put out when she finds this is a 'blind box' kind of deal and purses her lips a bit--- because all she had was enough allowance for a single box. Which she has in her hands walking onto the backyard. She hasn't opened it yet. But she unwraps the box, undoes the tape with bated breath and peeks in- to find a small tiny otter plush. It may have a bow on it's tail or something. She blinks and narrows it's eyes. It reeks of familarity of another otter she met.

Sadly, this is not a tiny red bird--- but this gives her the ammunition she needs for a series of trades, hopefully, to accomplish this.

Now to get the nerve to make offers!

Her eyes are drawn to one of the many discussions (or arguments!?) about trading, blinks once- but doesn't get involved.

Instead she makes a bee-line for a different, smaller group with her otter toy for now. Maybe someone over there has what she's looking for in this gathering of Plush Mascot Fans.

<Pose Tracker> Sakura Kinomoto [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

The school bell rings and like her fellow students, she is getting ready for another night of homework and working hard on chores while her dad was busy at school in preparation for an academic conference and Touya had gone off to one of his countless jobs. As she would be alone for the most part tonight, she decides she can take some time on her way home. On her way out, she is talking with her classmates: Tomoyo, Chiharu, Rika, and Naoko. As the girls are abandoning their desks, the topic turns to the typical 'What are you doing tonight?' before the gaggle of schoolgirls start discussing the new fad.

"They're really cool /and/ cute! There's one that's like a chubby marshmallow with big ears and it's so cute!" Chiharu explains excitedly, "Takashi-kun is going to get me one soon, that's the last one before I have them all!"

Sakura, dumbfounded, looks at Chiharu like a confused Labrador retriever, head cocked to the side. "I've never heard of them before." The reaction from the other girls is almost as if she had grown three other heads, a chorus of confusion as to how that could be. In her uniform, she begins to fiddle with the hem of her skirt before nervously laughing. "Well, I-I just haven't had time lately between cheerleading, track, and" she pauses for a second to look at Tomoyo, the only other person who knew her secret, before coming up with an excuse, "and helping Tomoyo-chan."

While the girls leave the school, some scatter. Naoko leaves to go home, Rika leaves to do some task for the person she had a crush on (something about making cookies); Sakura is following Chiharu out to the fields to get a better grasp on this new fad. "So, it's called Plush Mascot? How many are there, even?" Chiharu had been yards ahead of them, wanting to get right into the fray. Sakura keeps close to Tomoyo, certain her best friend might know more than she certainly does.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Sakura-chan has been very helpful!" Tomoyo Daidouji says brightly, the slightest and most elegant of skips in her steps. It doesn't even make her flinch to keep talking; it is, after all, true. Sakura has helped her more than once! She glances sideways at her friend, before she shrugs her shoulders slightly.

"I heard Mother talking about it on the phone," she says with a shake of her head, unfazed by the collection of people here. "There's a lot of them. It's very collectible!"

Then she lets out a small sigh. It's as much exasperation as she ever shows, really, and it's quite affected. "She says she wishes she invented it first," the girl says, "but I think she's overdoing it a little bit. Do you want to look at them? It might be fun." Her purple eyes twinkle, playfully. "And educational!"

<Pose Tracker> Ikiko Hisakata [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

While she wasn't one of the first ones to find out about the plushy mascot fad, Ikiko did buy one once she heard about it, mostly just to see for herself what it was like. While she never really got into it (she's still not sure if the one she has is Green Pangolin or a teardrop-shaped pinecone), she does enjoy watching others having fun with their plushies and listening in on the conversations about mascots.

With her club activities (read: feeding the local strays) done for the day, she decided to wander through the Great Mascot Market. A few of the mascots look oddly familiar, but more importantly, they all seem loved, with even the more unusual ones slowly finding their way to appreciative children. They might not be pets, but the respect and love shown to the plushes reminds Ikiko of people with beloved animals.

With one notable exception.

She wanders over to the looming fifth grader with the luggage of plushies, listening to him trying to pressure the younger girl. "So what if she doesn't know the origin?" Ikiko speaks up, standing off to the side. "Who's to say that the rabbit can't have a story different than the usual tales? And does it even have to be the same rabbit?"

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [None] has posed.

The bell rings.

Fate had come early today, anticipating the chiming of that bell, and sat herself down on the bleachers, hands folded. Bardiche was making a token effort at searching for Jewel Seeds of course, sending out pulses of invisible energy that scanned for the presence of the most elusive of Lost Logia, but... for once, Fate genuinely couldn't say that was why she was here. She was looking forward to something else entirely.

I mean sure, if Arf or her mother asked, she'd simply say that a school was an ideal location to search for the Jewel Seeds, given that people wouldn't question her presence. But that wasn't /really/ why she was here, and she knew it. Her scarlet eyes scanned the field, hoping that a certain club would be practicing today.

What she sees instead is plenty of children her age gathering for... well she didn't quite know what it was. And while Fate was a little shy, especially around large groups of children her own age, she couldn't help but be curious. It was the sight of Sakura approaching the market with her friend that finally allowed curiosity to overcome anxiety as she realized that Cheerleading practice may not be happening. Standing up from the bleachers, approaching the edge of the 'Great Mascot Market' to mill around the edge with... hands clasped together and gaze downcast until she got closer.

She wasn't certain what to really expect, but... as she looked up a fraction she caught sight of exactly what was going on, she was overcome with wonder. Cute little stuffed animals, changing hands. From adorable fairy balls of fluff, to tiny wolves and dogs that resembled Arf superficially. Scanning through what she could see from this distance, what she saw on the edge of the table nearly took her breath away. It was a lone, grey cat with a white paws and a belly. A star on it's head was the only thing that distinguished it from any other stuffed animals.

It looked unremarkable and common, compared to the array of magical cat plush mascots, like the pair that the older fifth grader was selling, but to Fate... it seemed like she was entranced by the sight of it. Focusing on it entirely, the chatter of the crowd because white noise. In her mind's eye, she saw someone else entirely.

The gentle-eyed smile of a woman with silvery-grey hair and cat ears that peaked out from the top of her head. Memories cascaded back one by one in silence. Of happier times, but sad ones too. One particular one stood out in her memory. And suddenly she wanted nothing more than to grasp ahold of that cat right there, right now. And hug it close, and never let it go.

Snapping out of introspection the girl who was decidedly /not/ in a Juuban school uniform moved over beside Sakura and Tomoyo. The latter she didn't recognize, but the former she certainly did. There's no greeting, just a quiet question to the pair, that carries no real force of a command to it. "How does this work?" She glances back to the edge of the table, then the pair of Juuban elementary school students. "Can you buy one, if you have nothing to trade? There's..." She shifts uncomfortably, "...one I have to have."

<Pose Tracker> Fred Burgermeister [None] has posed.

Some of those gathered here are taking things Immensely Seriously. Others are here for the joy of shared interests - happy to trade for everyone's mutual happiness. There might be a few bad apples here and there, but they can mostly be ignored.

Reiko is approached straight out by a couple of younger boys - one bright and cheerful, the other only calmer by comparison. "Is that Odd Otter?!" "I thought his name was Oliver-" "You don't know anything! Miss, miss, can I please have it otters are the best thing ever and and and-"

The fourth grade group, led by Chiharu, swiftly comes across a small space in the crowd. Some enterprising girls have decided that these mascots must be members of some royal court, and are getting more theatrical by the moment. From the sounds of things, it's a combination of succession crisis and rebellion, with several different cats banding together against the harsh rule of twin fairies.

The tables, of varying styles and sizes, are crowded with interested would-be plushie owners. Careful eyes might glimpse a hint of something like movement - but upon anyone looking closely, it's just a yellow lion-thing. Certainly not a living creature, right? And yet, somehow, it's on a different table each time...

Ikiko's challenge gives the girl with the Raging Rabbit the opening she needed - she darts away, apologies in her wake. The bullying boy stomps his foot in frustration, and turns to challenge her. "Whatever story she's come up with is stupid, I bet! I've got all the cards the company put out, I know everything there is to know. It's more important that I collect the full set, I nearly have all of it-"

Something catches his eye - and faster than one might expect, he's snatched up the roving lion-plush. "What?! A rare release - this wasn't in any of the catalogues!" In his grip, the lion-plush - which looks alarmingly like the real Kero-chan - is very, very still.

<Pose Tracker> Ikiko Hisakata [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Ikiko's eyes widen slightly at the sight of the familiar-looking lion-plush. Part of it is surprise that Kero-chan is quite possibly there;another part is a brief and worried wondering of what earth-shaking event might be going down, given the past few times Tsukiko encountered him.

"Is your collection really more important than someone enjoying their plushy?" she calmly asks, trying to gently draw the fifth-grader's attention away from the lion-plush. She really, really doesn't want to cause a scene, but if that /is/ the real Kero-chan... well, a ham-handed greedy kid is no place for a plushy, much less an actual magical mascot.

<Pose Tracker> Sakura Kinomoto [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

"Sure!" Sakura chirps. While she rarely invests her energy into many of the schoolyard fads, she still enjoys participating every now and then. If anything, it helps her feel like a normal kid when she does interact with others /as/ a normal kid. Her eyes widen as the crowd grows and becomes more vociferous. She is quiet for a while as she observes all the different kind of plush animals before observing one in the shape of a white cat. "Tomoyo-chan! Look, there's one that looks like Sailor V-san's cat friend."

It does not take long until she recognizes some familiar faces in the audience, and one in particular that approaches her. "Testarossa-san! Hello!-this is my friend, Tomoyo-chan," she gestures to Tomoyo before mirroring the gesture, "Tomoyo-chan, this is Testarossa-san. She's home schooled and I hope she'll be part of our cheerleading team!" Her cheery smile lights up as she goes back to admiring the white cat resembling Artemis.

On the question posed to her, Sakura's finger goes to her chin as she looks up, deep in thought. "You know, I don't really know myself but I'm trying to figure that out. One of our friends is really smart about these" her gaze begins to drift, looking for Chiharu in the sea of elementary students. The red uniforms run together before she spots a very, very familiar orange color-and in the shape of an even more familiar lion.

It wasn't. It couldn't be.


"Aaaah, Tomoyo-chan," she attempts to cover her mouth before pointing towards the direction of the familiar stuffed lion. "do you think?" She removes the cuffed palm from the side of her mouth before starting to investigate. If it was him, she was going to be Monster Sakura-level angry.

<Pose Tracker> Reiko Touyama [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Reiko Touyama is beset by a bunch of younger boys who want the otter. This works towards her intrests, of course--she's not just going to give it up for free! But she does come out of it, perhaps, trading her otter for a rabbit of some sort. Rabbits are cute and, hopefully- popular! She might be able to trade this for the one she's looking for. She walks back and away from the group with a smile looking down at the rabbit, before her eyes trace over to the small group gathering and Ikiko now part of the argument. This concerns her a little more now, as she peeks up on the argument. Wait, isn't that Sakura's toy? Or is it just something like it? She remembers Sakura saying it was special though- This causes her lips to purse as she wonders if it's the same one or not. Should she get involved?

She sort of creeps over to Ikiko and asks. "What's with this guy. He didn't even ask to pick it up!" she asks quietly to Ikiko as she looks over Ikiko's shoulder, giving the obsessed Mascot Fan an incredulous look.

She doesn't make any accusations otherwise. But she's kind of secretly hoping he doesn't do anything too silly like try to kaitou it off.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Oh, you're right!" Tomoyo says, as she takes a few steps to quickly catch up to Sakura. She is looking at the Artemis-a-like plush, before she looks up at Fate. She stares at the red-eyed girl for a moment, before her face breaks into a genuine but polite smile. She bows her head ever so slightly. "It's very nice to meet you, Testarossa-san. I'm Tomoyo Daidouji. I think..."

She looks sideways at Sakura and considers, but doesn't quite follow her best friend's eyes. "We can find a way, I'm sure. Maybe we could trade some money for one. I wouldn't mind giving you the--ah?"

She stops speaking at Sakura's surporised noise, and then she looks in the direction of the lion, gripped by the boy. Her purple eyes widen for a moment, as she looks at Sakura. She nods her head, ever so slightly. "It seems so, Sakura-chan," she says. "Maybe... we should ask nicely if he will give him back? It must be a mistake."

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [None] has posed.

Fate levels her gaze upon Tomoyo as she's introduced, her scarlet eyes as morose as always, and yet twinkling with something. Determination? Wonder? The rest of her expression is reserved, her emotions kept mostly in check. "It's nice to meet you." She replies mildly, though there's certainly no smile there. The girl didn't appear to give those away freely. Sakura's statement on hoping she'd join the cheerleading team though, causes her to be even more reserved than usual.

When Tomoyo offers to buy it, her eyes show that she's genuinely gracious but... "I have enough money I think if they'll accept that, but thank you." A beat, "I'm given a good..." What's the word for it when Earth Children get money from their parents? Think Fate think. "...allowance." Which is when she follows where Sakura is pointing with her eyes, looking upon Kero-chan who is most definitely a lion plushie with wings. Even as reserved as Fate is, even she can't help but exclaim, "Cute!" Quietly with wide eyes at the sight of him.

Catching the tail end of the conversation between Sakura and Tomoyo, determining his gender only by Tomoyo's use of the pronoun him, "Give him back? Does he belong to you?"

<Pose Tracker> Fred Burgermeister [None] has posed.

Confronted, the bullying boy doubles down. "There's nothing more important than my collection! Not some stupid made-up drama, or whatever the other greedy kids would ruin them with. I have almost all of them - but I didn't know about this one...." He turns the probably-Kero-chan over, looking at it, and slowly begins to grin. "Fine - it's mine, now! Mine is going to be the best collection!"

He's not being quiet in the least - getting louder and more defensive with every whispered comment about him. He backpedals toward his collection, looking around warily, watching everyone who looks like they're going to approach.

The ongoing trades and games start to slow as the bully attracts more attention. Open offers are forgotten, and there are murmurs about the increasingly defensive boy. Eventually, one of the older girls approaches him, making an attempt at diplomacy. "Now, settle down. You know it's wrong to take things that aren't yours. Don't you want to find this little lion's ow- aaah!"

Abruptly, somehow, she's been tripped up - falling heavily to the running track. The boy is nearly hunched over now, and there's a slightly pained squeak from the 'toy' in his hand. Dust is stirring in the wake of something...and then he looks up, eyes shining golden. "No. Not giving it back. Mine now. My treasure. Mine."

A panic, an instinctive backing away from the crowd at large - because the boy seems to loom beyond his years, seems to grow in the wake of creeping shadows. The hint of wings spreading from his back, the glimpse of something long and sinuous whipping around behind him...

In his clutches, Kero-chan trembles.

COMBAT: Fred Burgermeister transforms into Youma Form Treasured Wyrm!

<Pose Tracker> Ikiko Hisakata [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

"I'm not sure," Ikiko murmurs to Reiko. "I just hope he doesn't do anything rash." She does try to give the bully some space; pressing in on someone is often a recipe for being lashed out at.

But when the bully seems to be hinting at wings and a tail, and acting rather draconic, well... it might not be rash, but it's certainly dangerous. She takes advantage of the crowd backing up to duck under one of the tables, keeping an eye on the bully and the crowd. She really doesn't want to start a fight while there's other studens here, but it looks like she might not have a choice.

"Lycan Locket!" she whispers as she taps the locket around her neck. There is a glow of silver as she henshins into Cute Wolf Tsukiko, and then she darts out from underneath the table. "Let him go!" she yells as she dives towards the bully-dragon, trying to knock Kero-chan from his grip.

<Pose Tracker> Sakura Kinomoto [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

Sakura is watching with a steely gaze, concerned for the guardian beast, she does her best to react within reason. At first, she is calm and trying to not draw too much attention to her desire to at least examine the stuffed animal. "Ehehe, well, I have a stuffed animal that looks just like himwe call him Kero-chan!" She is doing her best to downplay the fact he was actual a sentient, living, and breathing creature, even if completely fueled by magic and sweets. Her eyes remain firm on the stuffed animal before nodding, "I'm just going to look a little closer-"

Her green eyes widen at the sudden appearance of a monster and all attempts at rationality are out the window. The boy is changing, becoming something clear out of a nightmare (or Touya-devised torture; when the two were children and Touya would tell her about the ghosts he would see, he would sometimes make up monsters to 'scare' her into acting good.) Stumbling backwards onto her hands, she participates in the screaming child chorus filling the schoolyard, loudly shrieking at the sight of the monster, "HOEEEEEE~!"

Never to be one to act completely older than her actual age, there are actual tears forming in her eyes. Scary things were always effective on Sakura, particularly so when she was more than convinced this was /not/ a Clow Card at work. And without Keroberos's guidance, she was feeling particularly frightened-she could not imagine how the poor guardian must have been!

"I hate monsters, I hate monsters, I hate monsters!" Despite her obvious fear, she takes a deep breath before realizing magical girls were making themselves present. Her hands instinctively reach up towards the key around her neck. It was time to get her mentor stuffed animal back! She picks herself up off the ground and attempts to camouflage herself in the hurrying flock of students, once she manages to get far enough away, the key is off her neck and she begins her incantation once she confirms she has not been followed or is being immediately observed.

"Key which hides the powers of the dark, show your true form before me!" Around her on the floor, a golden magical circle with Western and Eastern symbols form beneath her feet. A gust of magical wind flies to hide her appearance as she finishes it off, "I, Sakura, command you under our contract!" As she finishes it off, the toucan-headed key extends from the form of a key to a wand. "RELEASE!" Her hand reaches out for the wand as she holds it. Once obtained and in full form, the wind dissipates. However, in her pocket, she pulls out a small mask she had been holding onto from Tomoyo-in case such an emergency should ever come about. More than ever was she grateful for her friend's consideration! After attaching it securely to her face, she brings out a specific card and throws it in front of her before touching the beak of the wand to the card, "FLY!"

At that moment, the toucan head glows as a pair of wings extend from the size of the head. Quickly saddling herself on the wand, she flies over the onslaught of scared students before flying towards the monster.

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [None] has posed.

Well Fate can honestly say she didn't expect that. As a dark presence looms within the boy in charge of the market and Sakura starts shrieking, it's tempting to simply grab the plush grey cat and run. After all, this didn't involve her. This wasn't her mission. And initially she calmly takes a step forward, thinking of doing just that.

And yet... as she calmly looks sidelong at the two girls beside her, she stops in her tracks, as she looks upon Sakura in her panic. It took her a while to process exactly how she felt there, given that she had nothing at stake. Or did she? "Both of you, run. Get to safety." It's certainly a relief that Sakura appears to be doing just that! Not suspecting in the least what she was actually about to do.

Peeling a golden triangle from the back of her gloved hand as pandemonium erupts, and the crowd panics, "Bardiche." A synthesized voice chimes from it as it lights up, <Yes Sir.> A clarion command rings out from her. "Set up." She flings him into the air, apparently having little use for secret identities.

Golden light erupts from him, as blinding lightning suffuses her form, seemingly consuming it, as the triangle materializes pieces into being one by one and becomes a small gleaming orb. Joined together by arcs of electricity, the pieces move into position around him, as they fit together with a series of ratcheting noises and clanks to form his namesake, a polearm of dark obsidian metal. And the girl herself? As she comes back into view, she's wearing her barrier jacket instead of her clothing from before, as her partner, her intelligent device floating to her hand, which she grasps by the haft.

Flight spells take ahold, as she rises out of the panicking throng of schoolchildren, rising above them, with cape and blonde twintails fluttering. Four incandescent orbs of energy form around her, violet lightning crackling over their surface. <Photon Lancer: Multishot> "Fire!"

Each one lances forward at her command, attempting to blossom into explosions around the shadowy outline of the wyrm around the boy. With that distraction, she streaks forward lightning quick, trying to grasp ahold of the grey plush cat she saw earlier. Given her opponent's obsession though, is this really the wisest idea?

<Pose Tracker> Reiko Touyama [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Oh no! The boy /is/ trying to kaitou it away! "Hey, you can't just----" Ohhh why does she bother. If the older girl couldn't talk him down.... she turns to watch him take off and watch something awful happen. Her eyes go wide as she gasps and brings a hand to her mouth. "Ah--- what's happening!?" she exclaims. She fumbles into her pocket and grabs the orange crystal that most certainly wasn't there a moment ago. She peers into it a moment, before she mumbles something and it turns into a wand with a heart shaped tip and an orange crystal. She dives for the cover of underneath the bleachers!

"Chroma Prism Orange! Transform!" she calls out as she holds the wand overhead. Her glasses dissapear, she gains brighter orange hair, a lovely orange dress, and koi tie a hair ribbon in her hair with a fish shaped clip-- the later which she makes materliaze with a tap of her wand. Finally- her fairy-styled wings form, She flutters out from behind the bleachers and clears her throat. "Hey! It isn't nice to take things that don't belong to you- then turn into a giant lizard thing- without asking, You big bully!" she says. Maybe she's just confused about what's going on.

Regardless, she spins her wand up around in the air and summons some sparkly, orange koi around her- some stay around her, others go rocket off to stick around the Cute Wolf- to hopefully act as a protective fish shield.

Sakura may find similar sparkly koi around her too as she arrives, because she's coming in fast it seems on her winged staff. She hasn't seen this girl before. Or the other one firing explosive lighting orbs. She blinks, as she sends the last of her koi hovering around her towards that last girl, as she turns back to the monster as she flutters on her tiny fairy wings as she grips her wand tighter. Now what? COMBAT: Reiko Touyama transforms into Prism Keeper Orange!

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Oops. Tomoyo may have goofed. She realizes it, but she retains her calm, and simply nods to Sakura's explanation. It works well enough. But then she looks at the boy; the emerging monster doesn't send her into a panic, because she's helped Sakura in this so far. Maybe she can't fight alongside her friend -- and it's not her style anyways -- but she can support her, and that means not panicking and making things worse for her.

So as the crowd disperses, she bolts to the side. "Yes, of course!" she says to Fate. She retains her calm. "But you should get to safety, too, Testarossa-san!"

A glance is paid to Sakura; she loses track of the rest, as she finds her in the crowd and sees her fly up. She then jumps behind a tree, and there she hides; she swings her bag off her shoulder, and rummages inside of it. "Let me see..."

The video camera comes out. "Ah, wonderful! Sakura-chan's victory over this collectible monster shall be captured on film!" she says. "The only way to improve is to watch game tape!"

COMBAT: Ikiko Hisakata transforms into Cute Wolf Tsukiko! COMBAT: Fate Testarossa transforms into Barrier Jacket! COMBAT: Sakura Kinomoto transforms into Cardcaptor Sakura!

<Pose Tracker> Fred Burgermeister [None] has posed.

It is, briefly, pandemonium. Fans or not, those here are children - and with every passing moment, the bully grows more terrifying. He doesn't pursue, strangely enough - rather, as the shadows deepen into something more real, he gets closer to the chest. Suspicious. Protective. It's his. His alone.

A lightshow opens up, lances of yellow light blasting at the shadowy wings. Tsukiko darts in for the captive Kero, as Fate darts in to lay claim to another of his...'captives'. In spite of the light bursts, though...he has the seeming of a dragon, and this is his treasure. Squawking protests, Kero is shoved into the old luggage - a sea chest, maybe? - to rest alongside the other plushies, and the lid is slammed shut. Tail lashing out to ward off those moving in, he curls up atop the faintly glowing chest.

Somewhere in there, during the attack, he transformed further - serpentine, properly winged, possessed of scales and fangs and claws. A small dragon, a petulant one, but a dragon all the same. "Mine. All of them mine. My collection." The tail whips around, and he snorts smoke in Prism Orange's direction. "Don't know what you mean. No one owned it. Mine now."

Cameras start to roll - and as Sakura flies overhead, there's murmurs to be heard from the fleeing crowd.

"Wait, isn't that-"

"I knew it! I told you they were real!"

"No way, it's got to be some marketing stunt-"

"Do you think they'll save Tiger-chan? I left him behind..."

Some brave souls turn back, following Tomoyo's example, coming back to watch. Collecting mascots is one thing - but these might be the heroines who accompany them! On the one hand, a dragon, on the other getting to see the rumoured champions for one's self...though still keeping a distance. After all, dragon.

<Pose Tracker> Cute Wolf Tsukiko [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Tsukiko rolls back from the lashing tail, glancing at the glowing chest. That's... not exactly normal. But then, neither is a person turning into a dragon.

"So you think that if something is sitting on a table, then it doesn't belong to anyone?" she growls at the dragon, trying to stare him down. "How much of your collection did you take from others without them noticing?"

<Pose Tracker> Sakura Kinomoto [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

Being up in the air gives Sakura a greater perspective; she is able to confirm Tomoyo is safe and that Chiharu is nowhere near the monster, having run off previously. Continuing to scan the field to make sure her other friends were safe, she eventually finds Fate-fighting?! She is taken aback for a few seconds before admiring her strength. She was so tough! Fate didn't even panic as she had. For a second, she feels embarrassed that she had felt so fearful when the other magical girls were ready and rearing to go. However, like the cheerleader Sakura is, she reminds herself that Keroberos was in danger and her fighting spirit returns tenfold.

When her focus returns, she notices the koi fish before confusedly examining them. They didn't seem to hurt her? In fact, they seemed-helpful? Joining the fight, she begins the descend down with the Fly card, her short hair blowing in her face before she comes close enough to the ground to leapfrog off the wand and catch it in her hands, the wings dissipating from the side of the bird's head. "I don't want to hurt you, Monster-san!" she calls out before pulling out another card from her pocket, "But you have a friend of mine and I can't let you hurt him!"

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [None] has posed.

Darting in to collect her prize, Fate lets go of Bardiche with one hand to grasp the small grey plushie and hold it against her chest. It seems she does indeed dare to steal from a wyrm. Though she certainly pays for it, as the sinuous tail whips out, serpent quick, slamming her head on in the chest. Suddenly out of control, Fate spirals backwards, before careening against a set of bleachers on the side of the field, smashing through the light aluminum of several rows.

Rising she looks down at the plushie and sees that it's undamaged, heaving a pained sigh of relief, "Bardiche." <Yes sir.> She holds up the stuffed cat near his head gingerly, before giving a quiet command, "Internalize."

Bardiche is actually silent for a time at the command, as if he were shocked by it, before it's suffused in golden light, <Internalizing.> and it vanishes entirely, causing two pistons to rise from Bardiche's head, releasing a cloud of steam. <Internalization Complete.>

Grasping Bardiche again with both hands, she speaks to her partner in a neutral voice, "We're not done yet, Bardiche." <Of course. Scythe Form.> The axe blade of Bardiche reveals it's made of folding segments, which retract back into itself, before a jagged energy blade erupts forth. In the midst of all of that, she sees a girl in the distance, riding upon a winged pink staff, but she doesn't quite know what to make of her yet. She seems familiar, but Fate isn't certain why, "Let's go."

Suddenly Fate makes use of the speed she's known for, trailing streams of gold light as she flies straight at the shadowy wyrm. "It won't be yours for long." She says coldly, as she twirls, arcing Bardiche in a wide sweeping slash that she aims towards the wyrm's belly. <Scythe Slash.> Bardiche intones this aria as she strikes.

<Pose Tracker> Prism Keeper Orange [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Prism Keeper Orange sent all her fish to protect others, so when she has smoke blown at her- and no fish there to protect her, she feels intensely ill and seems to waver a bit in mid-air like a mosquito caught in a spray of bug spray. She shakes it off and makes a face. "What the Cute Wolf said----it isn't yours!" she huffs. She looks over to the other two girls she doesn't know. "Hi!" she beams at them, best she can, because she can say 'Hi' even when things are getting seriously, right? "It's okay! The koi are there to help stop you from getting hurt!" the Prism Keeper says, helpfully.

She turns back to the beast and lets loose a sparkly beam of orange color energy that leaves a sparkle in it's wake, from the tip of the Chorma Crystal in her wand.

<Pose Tracker> Fred Burgermeister [None] has posed.

The tail of the plushie-hoarding dragon lashes around, like that of some incredibly annoyed cat. Brilliant orange light shines, illuminating and searing at the dragon - after a moment's pressure, one wing rises up to shield against the blast. Its attention isn't on the Prism Keeper, though.

Its attention is, briefly, on the thief.

Fate's speed let her steal a treasure from the dragon's hoard - and now the shimmering Koi are put to the test. As she charges in, a claw rises up to slam into the energy scythe, pitting strength against dragon for a moment. Flames glitter from behind his teeth. His sharp, sharp, teeth. Those magic defenses may be put to the test shortly... "Burglar! That was mine, give it back - my treasure, mine!"

Tsukiko and Sakura challenge with words - and the dragon's tail curls tightly, protectively around the container holding its hoard. "Doesn't matter. No one else appreciated them. Had to fill up my treasure chest, mine mine MINE!" Claws - growing more vicious by the moment - clench and tear into the ground as the dragon vents in a minor tantrum.

From beneath the belly of the beast, from within the now fiercely-glowing treasure chest, Kero's angry voice can just be heard.

<Pose Tracker> Sakura Kinomoto [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

If she listens carefully, she can hear the muffled sound of the angry guardian. Sakura's hands pull the card from her pocket to her face before twirling it and revealing the face of the card, throwing it in front of her and manipulating the wand before having the head touch the card to summon the magical being, "Card created by Clow, lend your great power to my key!" Once more, the magical circle forms around her feet and a wind picks up to surround her and form the entity from within the card, "Deliver the magic dwelling within you into my key, and create a binding chain! WINDY!" The card glows a translucent blue color, before a plume of smoke drives upward into the sky, creating an anthropomorphized version of a woman made from wind before flying towards the dragon in an attempt to bind it.

"Having a collection and hobbies are important, but you have a friend of mine and I can't allow you to harm him! Ke-" she stops for a second before realizing she almost revealed her identity, her attention is brought back to the other magical girls. "Thank you for your help!" she nods towards Prism Keeper Orange. Towards Fate, she watches carefully, "Please be careful! I wouldn't want to see you get hurt--any of you!"

<Pose Tracker> Cute Wolf Tsukiko [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Tsukiko circles around, narrowing her eyes as the dragon grows fiercer as the chest glows brighter. "I think the dragon is drawing power from the chest!" she calls to the others. "Try getting him away from it; maybe that will weaken him!"

To accentuate her point, the wolfgirl leaps forward feet first, trying to dislodge the dragon from the glowing chest. "Thanks, and same to you!" she calls to the wand-twirling mage.

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [None] has posed.

Bardiche's energy scythe slams against wyrm claw. And for a time the two are locked together, before finally the wyrm's superior strength forces Fate downward. She performs an aerial somersault to slow herself down, as she rapidly moves to land, her booted heels carving furrows into the grassy turf as the impact drives her back. He calls her a burglar. He demands it back. "No." It's a single word, that carries with it a chill of such intensity that it feels like it could drown out the fires gathering within the wyrm's gullet.

Standing well below five feet, Fate Testarossa cuts a diminutive figure, but as she straightens, she seems to tower even when faced by the wyrm. Which is when, that girl upon the winged staff calls upon her magic. Fate being a lightning wielder marvels at the girl's mastery over the winds themselves, her twin tails and cape blowing backwards before the force of her efforts. And yet she says she's concerned about her. She doesn't want her to be hurt. The words are touching, but... Fate's words carry a similar biting chill to her, as they did to the wyrm, albeit a touch softer, "Worry about yourself first in a fight. Such talk is meaningless, unless you can protect yourself."

Once Sakura's assault is finished, she rises again, feet leaving the ground. With the winds forming a binding chain, she intends to capitalize on it thoroughly. From a distance, she spins in mid-air, as the scythe blade of Bardiche is launched off of the device himself. <Arc Saber.> It moves serpentine towards the wyrm, in confusing patterns, before it attempts to drive against his maw. "Saber Explode." The spinning blade has arcs of violet electricity thrum against it's surface as it reaches critical mass, before attempting to explode at point blank range.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Tomoyo peeks around the tree, her video camera aimed at Sakura. She is, however, aiming it elsewhere -- both towards the other magical girls, and then the wyrm. She watches as Sakura summons Windy, then cracks a smile. She's already learning to use the Clow Cards! She just has to get the rest...

"Hold on, Kero-chan," she murmurs, before she looks at Fate; she turns the camera downward and flashes her a smile, though she may not be able to see it, in the midst of battle. "Don't worry, she'll make sure that dragon doesn't try to get you back!"

<Pose Tracker> Prism Keeper Orange [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Prism Keeper Orange watches Sakura use a wand to tap some card and summon... another monster!? But this one seems to follow her commands, too. She purses her lips a bit and looks towards the other, more stotic girl. She blinks at her, and her abilities-- and her words. Those words ARE kind of right--- but.. helping others should be more important first! She huffs.

"Right---" she says as she summons up another Koi and sends them after the box, trying to impact it, and help push it out of the dragon's range.- it makes sense, afterall, in a weird way.

She grips her wand a little tighter after doing that.

"And sticking them in a box isn't appreciating them, either!" she insists.

<Pose Tracker> Fred Burgermeister [None] has posed.

Tsukiko's orders - and ensuing kick - leave the dragon stumbling a moment for footing and for words. "You can't - it's mine! I found it in the attic, so it's mine, and everything is mine!" The chest doesn't say anything in response - Kero's muffled complaints aside - but something about it looms with menace.

At Sakura's command, the card responds. Windy winds her way past uncertain streams of dragon's fire, winding chains around claws and wings. Little fear of the dragon taking flight, at least - but he seems in no hurry to leave regardless. Straining against his bindings, he tries to get back to the chest even as the snarling face flickers with indecision.

The crackling lightning, or Fate's words, or both - her actions, one way or another, incite a furious roar. Remnants of violet lightning continue to arc over the wyrm's body as his anger grows greater. Flames build, and are released in a succession of smaller fireballs peppering the air.

The air, but not the ground. The discarded plushies are to be his, after all. He won't destroy his treasure.

The lid of the chest shakes as Kero slams against it from within, trying to make an escape. It's the bindings on the chest - old, ornate, aged - that glow brightest, utterly disregarding the captive Kero's actions. Still, as the koi make a meager effort to separate chest and monster further, the dragon is staggering - and faint cheers can be heard from not too far off.

<Pose Tracker> Prism Keeper Orange [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Prism Keeper Orange huffs! "Everything isn't yours!" she says with disbelif. If everything is yours, then..what's the point! You'll run out of things to collect, she thinks. What's the fun in that? She blinks though, was that... cheers?

She looks to the right almost stage-like to see a bunch of kids watching in antcipation---and does one have a video camera!? This makes her go wide eyed, enough that when fire rains down on her. She flutters around them in a panic, having allowed herself to be caught off guard. She's never really had an 'audience' before- it feels weird.

Does. Does she need to say something to the crowd? Ugh, no! She sakes off the weird feeling and tries to flutter through the air, sending another wave of sparkling, orange energy in the form of a piercing beam towards the dragon. "What's the fun in owning everything!?" she asks. "Isn't half the fun of collecting, well..collecting those things you like!? Just not because you want a whole set!?" she asks.

<Pose Tracker> Cute Wolf Tsukiko [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Tsukiko scrambles to avoid the aerial barrage of fireballs, diving to avoid the worst of them and then getting back to her feet after a tumbling roll. The tip of her tail smoulders a bit, cooling off as her tail flicks slightly. "We almost have it!" the wolfgirl calls to the other magical girls, darting forward to circle around the dragon, making feinting lunges in the hope of keeping him unable to avoid the other attacks.

She does try to avoid the glowing bindings of the chest, though. While she doesn't /think/ that simple contact would be harmful, it's not a risk Tsukiko wants to take inthe middle of a fight.

<Pose Tracker> Sakura Kinomoto [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

Her sealing wand is held tight as she infuses it with her own magical abilities.

"You're right," she nods at Fate, "but for now, if we work together, I think we'll be OK! You guys, keep fighting!" she cheers, putting her extra-curricular practice to good use outside of school activities.

Her focus, however, is still on the chest. In her mind, she can picture (and hear, for that matter) how frustrated and terrified Kero-chan must be-and in some respects, she is still terrified of the dragon. Outside of this dragon, she only had one other experience with a monster; all of her other supernatural experiences coming from Touya or the Clow Cards.

In her concern for the guardian beast, she points the wand towards the dragon, unintentionally aiming for the abdomen. "Windy, create a powerful gust!" The card returns to the anthropogenic form before flying upwards in the sky and creating momentum, once the card's true form is satisfied with the amount of force generated in her flight, her form takes that of a powerful gust straight towards the midsection of the dragon.

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [None] has posed.

As the fireballs come, Fate's speed comes into play once again, as she streaks around, blurring within the air as she avoids one, two. A third however is almost upon her, close enough that she can feel the heat through her barrier jacket's protective spells.


Extending a hand, concentric runic rings spring forth, laden with glowing runes. The fireball crashes against it, creating a blast wave intense enough that the spell gives way, flinging the Midchildan girl backwards with a yelp of pain. When she rights herself, wisps of smoke float off every inch of her barrier jacket. Spinning Bardiche in a stylish flourish in an attempt to calm her nerves, she moves backwards just a touch.

This wyrm was certainly not a trivial foe, in fact he was a deadly serious one. And yet while she acknowledged that, she didn't want to bring her greatest spells to bear, given the potential for collateral damage. She forces herself to look around, at all the children who are watching, at all of the girls fighting with her, allies of circumstance, even if she wouldn't acknowledge it. "Work together?" The words roll of her tongue, not as an affirmation but a question. After a moment she merely shakes her head.

"Bardiche." <Yes Sir. Sealing form.> The energy scythe blade doesn't reform, instead Bardiche's head shifts back fully, parallel to the haft. A tiny sliver of energy erupts as a head to the spear, while three wings of golden mana erupt from behind the metallic part of his head. <Thunder Smasher.>

The tip begins to glow, a small orb forming, that grows as she brings him to bear to point at the creature, as rings form around the outside of it. The energy output rises and rises, as Fate, 'stands her ground' in mid-air, ready for what is about to happen. "Fire!" The orb collapses upon itself, as the energy shoots out of one end as a riotous pillar of golden mana that careens towards the wyrm with frightening accuracy.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Tomoyo lifts the camera back up. She can only cheer them on, now, and she knows better than to cheer too loudly when a dragon is out there. It might shoot at her! That would be a very bad thing, and could make Sakura's job harder. She keeps the camera rolling -- even if the flash from the attacks, especially Fate's Thunder Smasher, shines so bright to ibscure part of the battlefield.

She can't get a good shot of Sakura, then. Tomoyo sighs, but no matter! She adjusts the camera, to focus on Tsukiko as she runs circles around the wyrm. She takes a couple of notes, mentally.

Costume ideas.

<Pose Tracker> Fred Burgermeister [None] has posed.

For all the fear and terror it incides, ths monstrous dragon seems uncertain. Waves of orange energy slam into him as he stumbles with words. "Why? I....I..." Tsukiko circling around keeps monster from treasure, and the worst of the claws and fangs seem to be...fading?

The chest contains a guardian beast for the moment, but between the dragon's loss of footing and the mighty attacks being flung around, the lid is just dislodged enough. With a gasp, Kero breaks free, flying up to get a bit of distances. "Whew - you know, I'm not sure when those hands got washed. Okay, listen up, there's some seriously bad..." Further tactical advice is lost, because the dragon seems to have been largely carried.

And then a blast of thunder and lightning slams into the dragon's torso, forcing him back further away from the chest. Even as he lets out a roar of fury, it's plain to see that the form of the dragon is slowly beginning to fade - distance from whatever power is imbued in the chest is helping.

<Pose Tracker> Sakura Kinomoto [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

"KERO!" she hisses under her breath, glaring at the winged beast. Unbeknownst to Sakura, he had been one of the leading forces in the Magic Association, something of which she was blissfully unaware of at this point. To her, he was revealing the fact that he existed to a bunch of strangers. Now she was going to have to be doubly careful in public with him around. The distress from hypothetical situations, however, was going to have to wait. The girls were far from done from attacking, but Sakura is keen to notice certain things in battle.

Her hands manipulate the sealing wand in a familiar fashion before pointing it towards the chest. Even if she had not heard the guidance, she was fast and clever enough in battle to make observations based on the previous actions. "Windy! One more time-aim for the chest!" Aiming the wand directly towards the dragon's chest, she put her power into helping the card develop even further strength.

<Pose Tracker> Cute Wolf Tsukiko [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Tsukiko catches the start of what Kero was saying, then turns her attention back to the slowly-fading dragon. She pivots on her next step, rushing towards the dragon, moving fast enough that she starts to glow with a silver light, just like she does whenever she goes to slam into fearsome foes.

But instead of completely turning into a bolt of silvery light, the wolfgirl actually retains a humanoid form, grabbing the dragon with a big hug and using her momentum to carry him further away from the chest. Once she slows back down, Tsukiko carefully places him on the ground again, checking to make sure that the essence of dragon is fading away faster.

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [None] has posed.

Since the Wyrm seems to be fading, Fate relaxes somewhat, though her tiny chest heaves like bellows from the effort she put forth. Even if Thunder Smasher isn't her most powerful spell, it was still quite draining. Draining enough that she doesn't follow up to press the attack. Two pistons rise from the main body of the spear, releasing steam, before he returns to his previous axe-like form.

As Kero-chan leaps from the box in all of his adorable glory, Fate looks upon him, and can't help but at least mentally think /Cute/! even if she's not uttering it aloud this time. Though, he's alive? He's not a stuffed animal? The thing is though, that Fate doesn't really have the greatest grap of the Earth fauna, so she doesn't consider a tiny flying and talking lion all that unusual... just delightful.

She flies just a bit closer, looking at him more closely, as her head tilts slightly to the side to observe her from a different angle. Her expression doesn't change though, so it looks merely like the girl is scrutinizing him closely rather than basking in just how cute he is.

<Pose Tracker> Prism Keeper Orange [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Prism Keeper Orange watches as the dragon is begining to fade. This is good. Maybe they can reverse---whatever this is. She looks to Sakura with a blink, as she calls out 'Kero'--- this causes her to ponder a bit, something in the back of her head, but she shakes it off- for now, she raises her Chroma wand high into the air as she concentrates hard.

"Prism Aegis Power...!" she calls out as the wand glows and glitters from it's inset crystal. "Orange Chroma--- Overflow!" she calls out as a large school of koi streams out from the tip of her wand, and into the creature, exploding into sparkles on impact--if they do indeed, impact!

"Come on....---" she urges. "It doesn't need to be this way." she murmurs under her breath, trying to focus the color energy best she can through the Chroma Crysal.

Is the chest really causing all this?

<Pose Tracker> Fred Burgermeister [None] has posed.

Once more, Windy sallies forth. The wind spirit's might strikes home, driving the shadowy dragon away from the treasure it was guarding. He yowls, he complains, he spits fire - but all for naught. The draconic might is, indeed weakening.

Against the wyrm armored in shadows, orange light strikes home to great effect - after the barrage of koi has cleared, the wings are tattered and faded. As if in response, the treasure chest rattles its hinges....

And then Tsukiko slams into the dragon, wreathed in silvery light. Something burns - the wolf-girl's power meeting a curse directly. As she moves further away, the old treasure chest flips end over end as if she'd tackled it directly - the assembled collection being scattered on the ground. When the wolf-girl comes to a halt, and sets down her target...he's human again. Unconscious, exhausted, but no longer the least bit draconic.

Left alone, the treasure chest's lid slams shut, and the glow fades. Old carvings seem to dance with the last of that light, but for now...for now, it seems inert. For now, the crisis seems to have come to an end.

Kero-chan, for his part, froze in the air. Not from shock - he's the guardian of the Clow Cards, after all, a being of ancient power in his own right. No, he has frozen from the hissed invocation of his name from Sakura. Once her attention was diverted - from a need to deal with the dragon - he just quietly started to inch away. Maybe he can escape trouble if he's really, really quiet.

It takes a short time for things to get back to normal. Those transformed girls staying in such a state will have an appreciative audience as soon as courage returns; for the most part, everyone's content to collect their mascot plushies and try again another day. The formerly draconic bully's collection is considered up for grabs; when finally he comes to, he declares the whole thing to be a stupid waste of time and that he's going home.

The now-empty treasure chest waits, forgotten. To be claimed, or to be tucked away into storage somewhere. To be forgotten, in hopes that whatever dwelled within might not wake again...

<Pose Tracker> Cute Wolf Tsukiko [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Tsukiko walks over to the chest, brushing off her arms. The feel of the curse was not comfortable, but she does make a note that it seemed to be powered by darkness. Might be useful to know, if something similar happens again.

The wolfgirl walks around the chest, a thoughtful expression on her face. The best thing to do would be to bring the chest to her family, so they could properly seal it and put it into storage... but that would involve informing them of what happened. And given who was here...

She glances at the kids milling around and sighs. With this many people watching, any report she would make would bump into reports of a wolfgirl taking part in the fight, which could lead her family to realize that she's using the Lycan Locket. Not good, especially since she's not even supposed to have the locket out of storage, much less be using it!

But... something this dangerous shouldn't be left where others could take it. Tsukiko takes one of the table coverings and uses it to wrap the chest up, adding a layer between the chest and anyone having to touch it, then thinks about where to take the chest to. Glancing around, her eyes land on Kero-chan, and an idea comes to mind.

Carefully picking up the wrapped chest, she nods her goodbyes to everyone else (including any civilians looking her way), then starts bounding across the rooftops, heading for St. Ursula's. Surely the Magic Association would be able to properly secure something this dangerous...

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [None] has posed.

Once Kero-chan floats away, Fate lowers her gaze upon the appreciative crowd of children below. And immediately she glides higher, shying away from any sort of adulation. From her expression, it looks like she's being aloof or mysterious, but it's really none of those things. She just doesn't do well around crowds, having never learned how to really deal with people outside of her family.

The chest is left behind, and Tsukiko takes it. It has nothing to do with her mission, so she doesn't interfere in the slightest, even if it was... certainly interesting. Her own personal prize was secure. And Sakura was far out of danger, wasn't she? She had felt like she had owed her for that fun she'd offered her so spontaneously. Gliding higher and higher, she eventually vanishes, just a tiny speck among the clear blue skies to any onlookers.


Bardiche lay on her dresser, in his standby form, his golden triangle giving off only faint illumination. Fate herself lay on her side in bed, her unbound mass of hair sprawled out on the bed behind her. Clutched against her chest was the tiny grey cat plushie from earlier, no longer internalized amongst the Jewel Seeds she valued so highly.

As she shifted to move the stuffed cat just a little closer, memories continued to flood back, of the smiling grey-haired cat-woman. The last of which was her walking away slowly into a snow-covered Midchildan forest, never to return. "I miss you so much Linith." She whispered softly to the little figure nestled in her arms. "Why did you leave me?" Bardiche's glowed ever brighter for a time, before dimming, saying nothing. In the end, he just left the girl to her thoughts.