2017-04-29 - Sir Stabalot

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Title: Sir Stabalot

Students are invited to trial possible chefs for the major fundraiser being held to rehabilitate the forests of Southern Cross Island. But this contest-slash-party is interrupted by the machinations of Queen Morgana...


Chihaya Izumi, Kasagami Araki, Takeo Akamizu, Shizuru Fujino, Fuu Hououji, Hikaru Shidou, Eri Shimanouchi, Steven Universe, Kuniko Saito


Shinjuku Capital Ward }}

OOC - IC Date:

04-29-2017 - 01-16-2015

*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ Shinjuku Capital Ward +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+
  The skyscrapers are tall, the streets crowded, the nights bright with neon
  signs. This is Shinjuku, a densely populated district of Tokyo nestled right
  in the middle of its 23 wards. It is central in other ways, as well, as it
  contains Japan Rail's Shinjuku Station, a transportation hub that has the
  noisy honor of being the busiest train station in the world. The Station is
  surrounded, as might be expected, by hotels, stores, and restaurants that
  feast on the three-million-plus passengers that pass through daily, and many
  major companies have their headquarters in the commercial district nearby.

  Finally, Shinjuku is an administrative center as well. The Tokyo
  Metropolitan Government Building, a massive, modern-styled 48-story building
  that wears two jutting towers like a crown atop its 32nd floor, hosts the
  central government of all of Tokyo, including its suburban areas and smaller
  settlements in the surrounding area. Three entire blocks are devoted to the
  building (also known as Tokyo City Hall) and the smaller structures that
  attend it. The Japanese Ministry of Defense is also headquartered in the

  There is much to do in Shinjuku for those unconcerned with government and
  business, all within walking distance of the station. There are several
  parks, the largest being the Shinjuku Gyoen (which crosses into Shibuya),
  with traditional Japanese gardens and plenty of cherry blossom trees for
  viewing around late March/early April. The Shinjuku-ni-chome area plays host
  to the highest concentration of gay bars in the world, along with other
  businesses devoted to the subculture. For the artistically inclined, the
  Golden Gai area offers a lively social scene of bars and clubs focused
  around musicians and artists of various stripes.
<Pose Tracker> Chihaya Izumi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The hottest nightlife in Tokyo is in Shinjuku, but there's a loftier part of the city than the thrumming nightclubs, where the neon falls away sign by flashing sign. It's above all of that taudry, exhibitive finery -- the luxury it both embraces and embodies is timeless rather than hypermodern, priceless rather than expensive.

To get here requires a card with simple but strict instructions; the unmarked but reinforced door on the street, the word to say to the sleekly suited and sunglassed security to be let into the elevator, which only has a scant handful of buttons despite its sending occupants soaring into the sky.

It opens onto a hallway that embraces you, rather than face-slaps you, with wealth. From the first breath -- perfumed with the faintest edge of sandalwood -- there's a keen sense of ascension into a higher realm. Nothing glitters, but everything shines -- the teak and mahogany, the marble, the crystal. The silk and velvet. It is an ordinary passageway made extraordinary by sheer, relentless, unapologetic quality and craftsmanship, and its walls are not filled with doors but with portraits.

Imagine what it must take to become immortalized in that way, in this place.

There's no time to admire the austere figures looking down at passerby, however, because there's a heart and foot-quickening smell coming from the single (again security-flanked) door at the end. Lots of scents, actually, a complex array of complementary competing cooking.

Which brings us to the centerpiece of this place, and tonight's purpose. The reception hall has been outfitted for the evening in a soft silver, with occasional red and pink highlights; it is filled with display tables, where the finest chefs of Tokyo -- and perhaps, given all the languages bubbling through the air, beyond -- present delectable offerings for the lucky few invited to be here tonight. Every piece of food is outstanding, but only a few will be divine. The first among equals will be selected in each of seven(!) courses: hors d'oeuvres, soup, fish, main course, salad, dessert, and cheese.

It's possible that one chef will sweep the night -- or that part of the marquee will be seven different chefs each providing a single course.

How to decide: as they enter the hall, participants are asked to swipe their phone's near-field communication chip against an elegantly calligraphed sign (which exhorts them to eat, drink, be merry, and vote); an app is promptly installed. For various reasons the names of the chefs are not presented, each station instead identified by a number, and its current course offerings named as they might be on a menu. Underneath each one, a simple one to ten slider.

There are also splendidly set tables with chairs scattered across the broad floor -- which itself comprises a wide-open space that is the dictionary definition of luxury in Shinjuku -- for those who wish to sit down to partake. Lots of people are nibbling on the move, though, plates and chopsticks held close to their chins; it is a largely informal affair. A small chamber orchestra provides upbeat but soothing accompaniment, to help meld the inevitably widespread chatter into a more harmonious sound.

All the participants are students, and they're all in uniform; this is a school function, after all. They are not, however, all of the Sister Schools -- there's an interesting array of other uniforms on display today. All of them are particularly sophisticated-looking, and worn particularly well by their owners; other prep schools, probably, the creme de la creme of Tokyo who, for whatever reason, aren't already at Ohtori Academy (or Infinity, or, uh, Juuban). Red-trimmed black blazers and a silver-trimmed white sailor uniform are particularly numerous, but there are a good dozen schools in evidence.

The actual producer of this event is everywhere at once, which is to say impossible to pin down. Chihaya Izumi has a welcoming and excited twinkle in her eye for every student whose path she comes across, and projects a clear sense that everything is handled, everything is under control, but is also continuously on the move. Here she's getting cornered by two chefs on the verge of a fight over the locations of their stations; there she's consulting very seriously with the chief sommelier. Every so often she is called to the kitchens, or the telephone, or even the coat and bag check.

She isn't so much micro-managing as being solicitously consulted on every detail, but each time she finds herself in a hornet's nest, the matter is soothed away in moments. It's kind of fun to watch, like a freshwater river swirling beautifully through whitewater rapids only to come out even more lovely and calm on the other side.

But she's not the main event by any means -- that would be the food. Glory awaits the bold! Hunger awaits no one!


  • Table 1: Grilled Eggplant and Beef-filled Samosas
  • Table 2: Oysters with Serrano Chile, Avocado, and Cherry Tomatoes
  • Table 4: Baked Brie with Pecans and a Maple Syrup Drizzle
  • Table 8: Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Figs with Blue Cheese and Pecans
  • Table 11: Dim sum, featuring Hong Kong soup dumplings with caviar, and both cheese and fruit gyoza
  • Table 12: Daikon Radish Boxes Stuffed with Lobster, Avocado and Grapefruit
  • Table 15: Gold-flaked spanakopita (spinach and feta pastry)
  • There are other tables as well.
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Kasagami is, of course, here! In a rare concession to the occasion, and most importantly the club it's fundraising for, she's even taken off her omnipresent coat! Be honored, Eri Shimanouchi and Rinji Sakurai!

Kasagami thus far since she's arrived has been smoozing it up with a small gaggle of students outside of Ohtori. A plate in one hand, a knife in the other, she's chomping on a stack of Dim sum and gyoza. She devours it nicely in between chatting.

Her targets seem to be a few politically connected individuals. There's business cards exchanged, some polite social ribbing, and a laugh or two. Despite her often aggressive nature, her father's name still has that much credit.

Soon though, she's making the rounds again, acquiring more of the delicious food. Her good eye scans the crowd for those she might know!

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Maybe it is because he is on the Student Council (And really nobody knows WHY he is on the council), or maybe becuase he is friends with Eri and it was the two of them who were first summoned to a tea ceramony to disucss this, but for whatever reason here he is. Takeo Akamizu enters the room and tries very hard to not drool over the front of his black Ohtori Student Council Uniform. He slides over to a table after swiping the app and smells the air, simply enjoying the aroma of delicious, fragrant, and the multitudes of food present.

This is what he was made for. All his trianing. All his battles. It has led him to this, this moment. This food.

Takeo takes up a plate and piles it with Dim Sum as he moves to a corner to .... test ... The integrity of the food by making sure the wall is structurally sound by leaning against it. Once he is in position, he nods once. Now was the time. He begins to 'devour' the food on the plate. Once he finishes there, he pushes off the wall in search of his next victim ...

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

As a member of Ohtori Academy's illustrious Student Council, Shizuru Fujino--Vice President of same--is accustomed to luxury. ...For many, many reasons, she's accustomed to luxury. But she also has a particular set of interests as regards this event. It was absolutely trivial to decide that she would go and have it become fact. The food isn't even her primary draw.

As Shizuru walks through the halls of this place, she too is wearing her uniform. Her white jacket--unlike the usual color for her school--is worn about her shoulders however, her left arm resting in a sling, rose crest ring still visible. Her steps are even; she says nothing, doesn't gawk at the fine craftsmanship on display. If anything she gives no reaction at all but a pleasant smile to everything, pleasant to the point almost of blandness.

But here she is in the main room, glancing about immediately, walking as she goes. She smiles to students from other schools, some of whom she's met before. But this wide-open space sees her set her phone past and take food.

She sits at a table to partake, and nods pleasantly to Chihaya in passing, in that way of hers.

Right now? Oysters with Serrano Chile after Grilled eggplant and beef-filled samosas.

It will not be long; she has her votes in short order. After all, a student council member should participate in student life. And if anyone of these important people wishes to discuss her father or herself, they can damn well come to her.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Normally, Fuu's level of caring about a fundraiser for an Ohtori Academy club requires a fair number of decimal places to measure properly; however, when she heard that this is to help reseed the forests destroyed during the 'terrorist incident' on Southern Cross Island, the decimal place and the zeroes to its right get wiped out in a hurry, replaced by a strong positive figure. She may not be an Ohtori student, but she knows a bunch of them - and she feels personally involved in terms of restoring the forest.

So, with the rumors she's picked up on, coupled with her parents' connections in the upper level of society, Fuu has managed to procure one of those invitations; she was even ready to get all dressed up before realizing that she only needed her uniform. It's a little disappointing ... but her uniform *will* be more convenient, and she can save her dress for the actual fundraising reception.

She presents her card, provides passwords where they're required, and makes her way into the hall; the necessity of swiping her phone to install the rating app makes her hesitate, but she does so - she'll have to go through later and make sure it didn't bring any malware along for the ride. For now, she does a quick inspection of the phone's functions, and acquaints herself with the app itself.

And then she starts making her way among the appetizer tables. Hopefully the samples are small, or she'll fill up before she can taste-test any of the entrees ... she wants to give everything a fair chance at her judgment, after all. The spanakopita looks particularly good, though, and the daikon radish boxes seem too appetizing to pass up without trying one.

"I wonder," she muses aloud, "if we neglect to register a rating for something, does that count as a zero, or is the vacant rating excluded from scoring?"

Vita walks over from Yamanote High City.

<Pose Tracker> Hikaru Shidou [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Hikaru is always willing to take part in a fundraiser if the need should arise. Especially if it means a chance to be with Fuu! But even then, Hikaru's always ready to help out when the time arises, and thanks to connections here and there, she also got an invitation. Not sure of what she should wear, she sticks with her school's uniform as well, and then goes to Ohtori to check out the fundraiser.

As Hikaru makes her way through, she nods to those she knows in passing, while taking care of what needs to be done, and then downloading the app onto her smartphone. Sure, she may not be that big on technology, but she has to keep up on SOME technology!

As she looks over her app, she too looks at the appetizers and begins to think a little to herself about where to start. It's only then that she hears Fuu speak up, and Hikaru looks to her with a slight hint of surprise. "I figured you'd be here too, Fuu-chan," Hikaru says, blushing a little as she bows. "As for the ratings, that's a good question."

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Shinjuku was a place where she knew the neon well, not so much the luxurious finery of the high towers. That didn't mean she was unaccustomed to places like this though. Spend enough time at Ohtori and you had to. Nevertheless it was like walking out of the deep heart of some savage jungle only to find out it was the zoo of some extravagant palace instead.

That was a queer feeling for her, she felt out of place here in ways she couldn't put her finger on, and yet this was for a good cause. In fact there was no better one in her mind. Rather than being excited for the food however, she finds her eyes upon the producer instead. Watching her display her skills in action as she deftly handled whatever situation was thrown her way. It felt like this was a place where Chihaya not only belonged, but ruled with an ease that defied description.

You don't owe me anything -- I'm just using you and your cause to enhance my own prestige. Being the one who arranges this fundraiser will be an excellent demonstration of my leadership, organizational and aesthetic skills.

She may have said that, but she felt like she owed her a lot though. There's no way a girl like her could pull something like this off. She found herself staring a little long, and fidgeted instead with the phone app for a few long moments to make it look like she wasn't. She was less interested in the food, being a vegetarian that meant her options for giving these chefs a fair shake were limited.

Yet she still find herself sampling table 1, only to politely let the mouthful to fall into her napkin when she realized there was beef in it. She gave someone presiding over the table an apologetic look, just as she shifted the slider bar to a 6 out of some sense of being conciliatory for people who liked meat. The eggplant was good at least.

Table 2 she passes by and doesn't score for now, believing she'll judge that one based on other people's reactions. Over to table 4 where she gives the brie a try, and her eyes light up, as she raises that bar to an 8 and-

Gets passed by Takeo with a heaping plate full of food. For a moment she just stares, and then she's right at his side, "Takeo-kun." She says delicately, "This is a food tasting- for a very good cause. One I care a lot about." She brushes a hand through the side of her head self-consciously, "Maybe try not to treat it like a buffet for every table, alright? I'm going to go check on some of the other guests."

Even if she had no particular duties here tonight. She has a vested interest in the wealthy patrons making this a success, so she finds herself wandering towards Shizuru, "Good evening senpai. Ah. If you need any help sampling any of the food, I'd be happy to help out at any time." She knows for a fact that that arm is likely healed by now, but she doesn't make any mention of it. Best to help her keep up the act and stay on her good side.

And then her eyes fall on Kasagami, sans jacket. Whether or not she feels honored is a master for debate, but she is watching her rather closely, as if readying herself to approach her in the near future...

She wishes she could just make a heartfelt appeal for the sake of the trees, that'd be so much easier than this, but pragmatism must rule the day.

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

"This should be fun!"

Steven Universe is present, curretly dressed up about as well as a kid his age can be! And he has a legit ticket! But how?!

A recent challenge in his younger generation Cooking Club held a challenge-- To make something unique and inspiring! The reward, was a lustrous ticket to the bigtime event itself to watch professional students perform!

Steven brought all of his guile and cunning to the array, and came out on top, with none other than.... snask sushi?! Apparently presentation was a massive factor.

"You stay here, Lion," the boy tells a... a rather large pink lion outside the building. It was apparently his ride. The boy tosses a pair of keys to the valet. "Try not to scuff him up, good man!" The valet seems bewildered at the situation. How is he supposed to watch a Lion? What are the keys even for?!

Down a hall, up an elevator, and down another hall, and the gem child begins to follow the smell rather than take directions. He almost passes up the phone app thing on the way! "Oh man! Thsi reminds me of that 'ask the audience' option of that one game show!" he says excitedly, holding his phone close. There are so many foods here! If only Amethyst could have come. Ah well. Maybe next time!

The boy begins to poke around table 15. The smell of a spinach pie-type thing his dad treated him to on an outing brings back memories. He will certainly have to have some of that first!

<Pose Tracker> Chihaya Izumi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Chenguang Lin is one of the hottest chefs here tonight; imported from Hong Kong, this is her first foray onto the international stage, and yet a debut that the food scene has been awaiting with drooling anticipation -- the legend said to be transforming the world of Chinese dumplings has been difficult to pry from her kitchen. She is unexpectedly young, maybe even late teens, and underneath her very practical apron is wearing a cheongsam that she can't stop stroking whenever she has a hand clean enough to safely do so. She has a whole lot of sleek black hair kept safely contained in twin buns that, given the subject of her mastery, feel just a little bit saucy.

Her Japanese is almost nonexistant. Fortunately her food speaks for itself; dumplings that explode in your mouth with a golden blend of soup, pork, and onion, and those very creative gyoza that, despite their very Western fillings, are never jarring in flavor, but instead complex, nuanced. The pear gyoza's sweetness is offset by balsamic drizzle. The gouda gyoza's flavor is enhanced by their being rolled in sesame oil and studded in sweetened poppyseed.

All of this and more, presented with a thrilled little grin. Chenguang is utterly overjoyed to be here.

And for those times where words are unavoidable, she has a translator -- a guy in his thirties, with shining glasses and a suit that has definitely never touched food. He was talking in a low voice to one of the other chefs, a Frenchman, when he's suddenly called over on account of the dim sum table being mobbed by enthusiastic students.

Chenguang smiles at him and says something in Chinese. "The chef is glad you seem to be enjoying the food," he passes on boredly to Takeo and Kasagami, wholly failing to communicate the obvious enthusiasm of his counterpart.

In passing, Chihaya returns Shizuru's nod with a dignified but unusually merry one of her own, and has a shallower one for Eri, as well. "Make sure to savor that brie for me," she implores with a low, warm laugh, "I don't know if I'm even going to have time to sit down!"

And then she's off again, this time to break up, with application of a few gentle words, a few sharp ones, and an elbow, a scuffle that was starting between two guests over the last oyster. "There's plenty for everyone, I assure you," can be heard wafting coolly through the crowd...

OOC: This is a social until further notice, I'll be dropping occasional bits of flavor. Feel free to use the three pose rule!

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Eri is suddenly next to him, and he has a mouthful of food in his mouth that makes speaking very hard to accomplish. Eri speaks, and he watches her as she does so. He even hears the words. He's not sure he understands them. Tasting? Isn't that what you do when you eat? You taste the food? Girls were really wierd.

However, he loves Eri like a sister. He'd do anything to make her happy, so he nods to her. Then with that mouthful of food he says, "Okah. Ah'll Twy to owny et a withle." He swallows as she walks away and he looks to his empty plate.

Now he was in a quandry. He has an empty plate at a ... Tasting? She called it a tasting. He has an empty plate at this tasting, but she doens't want him to eat like a buffet. He narrows his eyes and watches the people around him with their tiny amounts of food. His eyes narrow. He moves to table fifteen and takes a teeny, tiny, soanakopita and puts it on the center of his plate.

He stares at the one tiny object in the center of his plate. How the hell was he supposed to taste this? There was ... It's just such a small amount of food. His stomach grumbles in protest and he rubs it gently. "It's okay buddy. We'll get through this ... " He places the confection in his mouth and tries to chew slowly.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"Little things add up, Takeo-san," Fuu comments from about two paces behind the hungry high-schooler. "Whether it's damage over time in a video game, small donations being gathered at a fundraiser, or one bite at a time from a wide selection of meals. Even something so small as a snowflake: when hundreds of thousands of them fall in concert, they can bury a city as big as Tokyo."

Fuu smiles, nodding (just a little belatedly) to Hikaru, then bows politely to Takeo - who's *probably* turned to face her by now. "I do apologize if I startled you. How have your studies been progressing, Takeo-san? Have you started looking ahead to college-level classes yet, perchance?"

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Chihaya's sheer good mood is interesting to Shizuru; she watches her for a moment longer, including with the fact that guests are after oysters, while Shizuru herself already has them.

"Hello," Shizuru greets Eri warmly. A beat, "That's very thoughtful of you. I wonder if I shouldn't take you up on that...?" A chuckle. "Your company is good enough for the moment."

Shizuru finishes up her oysters, and looks to the chef so happy to be here.

...When she stands up next, she goes for the radish boxes.

Which is roughly now. "So," she says, suddenly walking beside Eri, "How do you feel about the event so far?"

<Pose Tracker> Kuniko Saito [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

TABLE 13 contains several standard catering dishes, possibly in order to avoid presenting too many clues as to where it came from.

The dish in question is a rich and fragrant couscous which has been tossed with some fire-roasted cashews before its preparation, adding a nutty crispness. Layered atop that couscous is glossy tuna steaks, carved to thumb-thinness and a rich red from the introduction of spiced harissa pepper paste. A container in front contains a range of still-fresh sliced-open pita bread along with several small bowls, one with a dill-forward tzatziki yogurt sauce, another with tahini, and the last with a blend of spices in a ponzu-style sauce for extra tang.

Kuniko Saito is probably around here somewhere but in a very real sense, she's ACTUALLY there on Table 13. Either way she is in uniform - not the Poissonnier's, but the white jacket with a black star and houndstooth pants that she wears more often than her 'real' school uniform.

<Pose Tracker> Hikaru Shidou [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Hikaru nods as well to Fuu, then goes about sampling the appetizers, one at a time. After she has had a chance to sample one, she takes her time thinking it over before putting a rating in very carefully. She's quite picky about the ratings she gives right now. "So far, so good," She comments, apparently liking what she's tasted so far. "But there's still more to be tasted!"

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"College?!" Takeo says in absolute horror at the porspect of. "I was thinking of entering professional racing." He shrugs a shoulder. "Once I replace my Motor Bike, I can probably go to the track and audition for a team." He sighs and looks to his empty plate. Tiny food is tiny. "It's just ... I don't think I can find my way into a college, like I doubt they would even look at me." He shrugs a shoulder. "Maybe some day down the road, but not anytime soon. Besides, if I'm couped up in a classroom all day, I might not ever feel the wind on my face going a hundred kilometers per hour again." he grins and runs the back of his neck. "And, I really enjoy that feeling. Especially along the coast."

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"Thank you." She says to Takeo- and watches him for a while even after stepping away. When he puts a tiny piece of food on the center of his place, she nods in approval repeatedly, almost like she's either prompting him, or mentally willing him to stop there. And he even eats it properly!

Across the ballroom he gets a brief thumbs up before she puts it down. She can't exactly hear what he's actually saying but she assumes he's good with it.

As Chihaya passes by there's a smile on her face, light laughter bubbling out of her lips as if Chihaya's own laughter was infectious, "It's the best I've tried so far senpai. I'll be sure to!" But as she watches her walk away she's focusing on the final words, not even time to sit down. There's a pang of sympathy that she feels at that thought, she'd be sure to stick around after this is over to thank her again.

Maybe she said outright she was being used, but she sure didn't feel like it.

After all, she's not the one who's having to break up two guests scuffling over oysters.

Shizuru says her company is good enough and- that's not something she's exactly certain how to take. But how does she feel about the event. She could just say something about the event itself but- "I wish I could just talk about what having our forest back means to me, should mean to everyone." She says bluntly, though there's a soft edge to it, "But that's not the way the world works. The passion of a few people isn't going to sway people who have the money and power to make that a reality."

Her eyes turn sideways to settle upon Chihaya again while she speaks to Shizuru, "Izumi-senpai has organized something better than someone like me could ever hope to achieve. I'm very grateful for everything she's done."

Taking her chop sticks, she picks up part of a radish too. Maybe it had lobster, but she allows a little seafood in her diet. She chews, and eventually swallows, then says more cheerfully. "As for tonight in particular... I'm just glad she has enough options for someone like me."

<Pose Tracker> Chihaya Izumi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Chihaya happens to buzz past Takeo on her next trajectory between trouble points A and B, his only warning the faint scent of wildflowers that she exudes. "Aren't you hungry? It's okay to take more -- just remember that you have seven courses to work through." A tiny but not unfriendly smirk curls her lip. "You of all people, though, I expect to be up to the challenge, Akamizu-kun."

She leaves a salute in her wake as she drifts off. In fact, it's possible he got half of that comment from behind and the other half with her walking backwards because she never actually stopped.

Someone else is walking backwards with a lot less spatial awareness; a young man in a green uniform who's downright overenthusiastic to get a second helping of Kuniko's tuna steaks is about to back straight into Fuu. He's carrying an overflowing iced beverage, too -- only quick action will avert disaster!

Steven meanwhile discovers that the spanikopita chef is a teeny tiny old man with an unfriendly pinched mouth and conversely, very kind eyes. "You look like someone who's seen an old friend," he observes in a soft, papery voice. "Please, take as much as you want."

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

The flakiness of the spinach pie dish is perfect! And the contents held inside by it are even better. Steven definitely plans to vote this one high. "Thank you sir!" he adds to the chef. "It has been forever since I tasted this!"

The boy begins to head towards the Dim Sum table, still taking some of the pie with him, when a loud belly grumble gets his attention. It seems to come from a guy. One that seems familiar...! The boy waddles his way over, and sure enough...!

"Hey Takeo!" he says happily. He hasn't seem him much since the downhill battle. "What brings you here-- actually I have a good idea why. Same reason I am!"

"I didn't expect to see anyone else here I knew, though the chef at table 13 looks familiar! I probably saw him at a school event. Anyway, what dish do you recommend?"

If Takeo is here, maybe others he knows are too! Maybe he should have a look around!

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Takeo hears Chihaya, he turns to see her, she's already in front of him (Now behind him). He spins and watches her walk off catching the last parts of her comment. She says he can eat more.

But Eri just said to eat litte.

But Chihaya just said to eat more.

Takeo's left eye twitches along with the corner of his mouth. He's unable to process this information at this time and all he can do is have an internal 404 Error while he tries to figure the two permissions out. He looks to his empty plate. To eat, or not to eat.

The eye twitches again.

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Eri could have given a boring answer, and then Shizuru would be disappointed. Instead she gives something else; she talks about her passion, and about the things she's willing to do to make that passion come to fruition.

Now that's something she likes to hear.

"I can see you are," Shizuru says, pleased. "Of course, you know how I feel about our forest." Does she? "It's very mature of you to think the way you do... But I'm glad personally to see your passion." A beat, "It's a means of accomplishing what's important to you... Knowing who to talk to, who to rely on. It's the way of the world."

A beat, "Would you mind helping me after all?" She gestures to table 13, beside their table 12, with her head. "That's a bit more than I can gather with one hand."

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Wait, she does?

But she doesn't question Shizuru on that, "Oh of course!"

Considering it for a while, she gives the radishes an 8 as well. She's not generally one to give out perfect scores even if she thought it was delicious. Walking at her side towards table 13, she passes by Takeo. Then she stops, looks at his twitching face closely. A hand moves out, she waves it in front of his face and then- "... you must have mistaken vegetables for meat."

There's no sympathy in her voice.

She walks on quickly enough to table 13, grabbing a slice of pita bread on a plate, and putting the cous cous and tuna steaks on it. She then puts a modest amount of tzatziki on it, and offers it all to Shizuru, "What do you think?"

<Pose Tracker> Kuniko Saito [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Kuniko emerges from somewhere, having JUST untied a wrap around her hair. Well, not 'just' - it's in her pocket and she has fresh-washed hands. Also a basin full of fresh plates and bowls, which she carries forwards, across the hall.

Passing near Eri and, by extension, Shizuru, she shifts the basin fluidly to not risk bumping into the ojous and oujettes, saying as she does, "Thank you for your support!" and craning her head around, possibly perilously, to see how the table 13 creation is going over with the others.

Inwardly she agonizes. Should I have led with the merguez?? These are the questions that haunt Kuniko's life.

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Takeo has no idea what to do. Food? No food? Little food? The rumbly in his tummy tells him to head to that table that has real honest to god steak on it and pig out like the world was ending in five minutes. But. Eri wanted him to eat tiny bits. Then there was Chihaya, of which this is her party, and she said eat.

Delicious food so tantalizingly close and he isn't sure if he should dive in head first with his mouth open. Or if he should eat teeny tiny bites.

He takes a deep breath. Then he his eye twitches again while he tries to sort this out.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Kasagami by now has worked her way over to the group. She's been devouring some of those clams! She doesn't interrupt just yet, favoring Eri and Takeo a smile. It becomes a little more wolfish towards Shizuru and her arm especially. She can harass the VP in a bit.

No, for now, her first target of opportunity is Steven! If the boy doesn't duck, he'll get a hard slap on the back. In a friendly manner at any rate!

"Steve-kun! It's been a while. How're you doing?" Her smile is warm, her stance aggressive and self confident. She flicks a lock of hair from her eyes. The scent of roses is omnipresent around her. Thankfully not to a choking point.

"Try the oysters, they're wonderful!" As evidence by the near-fight over them. Kassie resists the urge to start taking bets on who's going to throw a fist first.

<Pose Tracker> Chihaya Izumi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The appetizer period is drawing towards its conclusion, and the stations are starting to get set up for the soup course. It seems that the soups are going to be served in the single largest collection of sparkling, crystalline shot glasses that anyone has ever seen (they are a hair larger than that, a couple of swallows-worth, but only a couple). And there's a huge variety of colors in them:


  • Tomato bisque with basil, romano, pepper, and parmesan crisps
  • The world's smallest bowl of ramen, somehow complete with miniaturized soft-boiled egg, slices of pork, and teeeeny tiny noodles -- each made out of truly fancy fare like slices of truffle
  • Seven-flavor Chinese soup -- at the dim sum chef's table, and it's full of truly amazing wontons, a reprise of earlier dumplings now with a different set of flavors, in a move that has some of the other chefs glaring
  • Borscht, with garlic-infused sour cream
  • Split pea with bacon probably carved from the sides of the Transcendent Pig
  • Miso soup that may have been distilled in a filter made of solid platinum
  • Vichyssoise -- a leek and potato medley with creme fraiche and, in this case, sprinkled with lavender petals
  • Kuniko is serving Bouillabaise with local fish and shoyu
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

With Steven distracting Takeo from Fuu (and to be fair, Fuu herself wasn't sure *what* to say about his desire to race motorcycles for a living - it's his dream, who is she to argue even if she doesn't get it?), Fuu evaluates a few more appetizers and submits her ratings for each of them .... just in time for the soups to be rolled out.

At least serving sizes are pretty much pre-set for this, thanks to those astonishing glasses they're being served in. Making a mental note to end with the bouillabaise, Fuu starts making her way around the reset tables. The borscht and the split-pea soups are the first ones she tries; she's skeptical about whether she'll like them, but wants to keep an open mind and *not* ding them just because she had something so much better. The hint of garlic actually helps the borscht in her opinion, though ... middling marks for that, slightly lower for the split pea. Vichyssoise next, as unfamiliar as it is ... hmm. Middling again. It's not *bad*, but it's not exactly to her taste.

As she works her way among the tables, Fuu is keeping half an eye out for other familiar faces. She didn't get the chance to greet Steven yet, but she does know that he's here ... and she should probably exchange greetings with her sempai Kuniko, even if she's consciously avoiding letting herself be biased by friendship.

<Pose Tracker> Kuniko Saito [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Kuniko's bouillabaise has a genuine flake or two of several different small fish and shellfish that are often considered bycatch even by the standards of the Tsukiji fish market, along with a broth that includes a distinct note of shoyu - light and clear - to replace some aspects of a standard broth. What probably REALLY pops out from it is that each cup has a small crusty half-moon of a crouton, painted with garlic butter, floating atop it.

Despite this it isn't heavy at all. Sprightly, almost.

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Shizuru doesn't volunteer what Eri doesn't question her on.

Instead, she takes the time to do some further ratings herself as Eri speaks to Takeo, the complex task of juggling phone and plate in one hand helped by any number of things around her.

Eri hands her the next bit of food and Shizuru picks it up, looking it over first before she closes her eyes and takes a bite.

Kuniko gets a little wave of her last two fingers as she passes by, since she's busy for the moment... but she displays little reaction to them.

Save to rate this dish as highly as the oysters for her, the highest so far.

Once finished, she smiles warmly at Kasagami, as if they have no bad blood whatsoever, because of course they dn't.

And then... "Ah, now this is easy. Which one appeals to you just to look at? I'm very curious." She waits.

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Soup. Soup is harmless right?

Takeo shambles to the Tomato Bisque to grab a shot. Then makes his way to the Seven-flavor Chinese Soup. He's about to move back to his wall when he smells it. He knows that smell. It is the smell of heaven's own gift to us, the mere mortals who inhabit the plane of Earth. Bacon.

His head swivels, searching, hunting for that most delicate of confections. He knows it is here. He knows that bacon is near. He locates the table, Split pea with bacon. He takes a deep shuddering breath. He's about to reach for way more than one of these items when he hears the words again.

Eri telling him to behave.

Chihaya telling to eat on. To rise to the challenge.

He begins to hyperventilate over these conflicting orders, his eye twitching once more, his hand reaching for the bacon. Only to close as if he should deny himself this heavenly gift of the gods.

<Pose Tracker> Hikaru Shidou [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Soup is on!

Hikaru moves to check out the soups. She's always looking to try new things. First, the vichyssoise! She takes a small sip of it and hrms, before frowning a little as she finishes it. "A little too strong for me." She comments to herself. She then tries the tomato bisque and smiles a little. "That's beter." She then tries the Chinese soup and nods a little. "Pretty good." Then comes the ramen, and when Hikaru tries that, she grins.

"I must find the recipe for this!" Hikaru says as she sets about giving her ratings. "That's the best ramen I've had in a while!"

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Kuniko, the chef of table thirteen gets a small smile. "No thank you for your support." Many of them are doing it for the money. But Kuniko is a student isn't she? Maybe she's doing it for another reason, "Tonight wouldn't be possible without the diligence of people like you, right?"

She tries a little couscous herself, with a dab of Ponzu, eyes lighting up, "Mmm. Delicious!"

Kuniko gets a 9.

On to the soup tasting, she tries some of Kuniko's bouillabaise, having been enchanted with her appetizer offering. While it's more fish than she generally likes, it light, airy, she gives it another 9.

And then Kuniko gets a wink to reassure her that yes she scored this one well.

The Vichyssoise she then tries next, wondering if people aren't giving it a fair shake due to the temperature it's served at. Normally she'd object to the lavendar if it were merely decorative, but in this case it adds something to the flavor. Considering as the flavors roll over her tongue, she gives it a 9 too.

By the time she turns around, Shizuru had wandered over by Kasagami. Eri takes a deep breath, then approaches. There's a smile on her face, an almost shy wave like she's embarrassed to the other girl. Then, "It's an ah, easy answer for me at least." She gestures kind of gently towards the table with the Vicyssoise. "How're you doing tonight Kasagami?"

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Where has he seen the chef at 13 from...?

Maybe he will ask later! For now! There are foods to eat! Lots of them! And they all call out to him!

As he heads toward a table, a parge pat on the back hits him, and makes him stumble. "Oof! Hey, why--" the boy starts as he turns. The turn reveals it to be someone he knows! "Oh, hey Kasagami! You made it here too?" Seems like the people he knows are all rather talented! They managed to get to this event!

Some sort of familiar smell seems to fill the air around Kasagami. Steven cant quite put a finger on what it is, but it is comforting somehow. "Doing okay! Still getting back in the swing of things after the Hokkaido trip. How about you?"

"Oysters, huh?" He hasn't eaten much seafood since coming to Japan. It might be time to change that! He quickly runs over to table 2 to get some before the next step comes out. He barely manages to make it as he comes over to Kasagami again. "These are really good, I gotta say!"

The soups are rolled out, next! The Miso Soup gets Steven's attention pretty well! To try some of the best made dishes Japan has to offer is a great way to spend this event! Wait. Is Miso Soup even come from Japan? It definitely wasn't in Beach City. Of course, neither was Borscht or Vichy... Vic... err, the one that starts with a V!

"Get it, Takeo! Show no mercy!" he calls over they approach the soup table. Wait, is that Fuu and Hikaru over at the mini-ramen table?

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Somewhere amidst it all, Kasagami's snagged some of that bisque. At first she takes a sip, mmm'ing. It clearly doesn't excite her, as she then pounds the soup down with almost zero restraint or hesitation. She gives it a 4.3.

Shizuru of course is a wonderful person in Kasagami's book. There's certainly no ill intent anywhere from Kassie. Nope.

She's just snagged some of the ramen, before up comes Eri! Her smile is genuine. "Eri! You're here, good! Chihaya-san outdid herself, don't you think? I know you and the rest of the Gardening Club will have that dark spot on our wonderful campus restored in...okay, not soon, but you get the point. If I, the Disciplinary Executive, can help in any way, I'm at your service."

As for Steven, he gets a thumbs up and a winning smile. Her teeth gleam in the light!

"Heh, you'll get back into it. Advanced calculus is killing me. But with perserverence, hard work, and talent, you can overcome anything!" She clenches her fist! Passion pours from her!

Frown. Squint to Takeo. "Takeo-kun! Calm down, my friend! And why aren't you trying more soup?" Hassles Kasagami from a distance. Yes, she saw that.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Fuu glances briefly over at Takeo, who seems to be having a fatal exception over the split pea soup ... probably because of the bacon, she thinks, remembering his hijinks at the cake-baking competition.

Well, she has a few more soups to try. The tomato bisque seems promising to her; maybe a *little* strong but not unpleasantly so; the seven-flavor soup gets high marks for combining its elements in such a tiny portion, and efficiently made as well. That could well be her favorite thus far. But the miso and the ramen are impressively composed as well ... make that three soups which are at 9.5 or higher in her phone's listing.

Finally, Fuu makes her way towards Kuniko's table, smiling. "Kuniko-san, good evening! I'm so pleased to see you're here as well; how have your studies been going? And your cooking is proceeding well too, I trust?" she asks, collecting a glass of the bouillabaise.

Must not let friendship influence scoring. That's the most important part. Still, it's not like the competition isn't holding its own - some of it, anyway.

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

As Eri goes, Shizuru goes, content to travel with the younger girl at the moment and try each of the soups in turn. The bouillabase appeals to Shizuru's sense of flavoring, particularly the shoyu. The crouton is a surprise; it certainly pops out.

Next is Vichyssoise, and Shizuru is actually particularly pleased by the lavendar addition; she consiers it for a moment accepts the light flavor, and it receives a high rating. It's as she's setting down the glass on a tray that she looks to see Eri walking up to Kasagami, watching th two of them for a few interested moments.

She walks over... and returns moments later with a glass of miso soup. It's the one she was likely to pick first; next is the bisque, and then the seven-flavor..

Though it will wait for now, as the Vice President walks back along. She doesn't bother hiding that she's watching Kasagami from her, though it's fairly subtle.

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"I ... I can't do it..." Takeo says almost weeping as he looks t the Split Pea soup and the delicous and heavenly flakes of bacon that drift in the soup's tasty goodness. He can't resist their siren call, and so it is that he picks up one shotglass and takes a shakey slurp of the soup. He sighs in contentment and sets the shotglass down.

There is a long pause as he looks to his feet. The eye twitches. Here. Here there be bacon, and he has been told to only have a little. For the good of Eri his hand trembles as he releases the glass and slowly. Surely. Moves away form the splot pea soup. A small tear escapes the crner of his eye as he looks fondly at the tray of the soup. He takes a shuddering breath and moves to his wall, where he passes the time by taking out his phone and rating the soups.

(The Split Pea gets a ten.)

<Pose Tracker> Kuniko Saito [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Eri gets a slightly wry smile from Kuniko. (Those who have been observers in the field of battle may remember this dish, in fact. Though this one is less justice-explodey. Probably.)

"Huh? Oh, I'm having a ball, Hououji," Kuniko tells Fuu, eyes wide. "I can't talk a whole lot because I don't want to prejudice the results and I also gotta go finish something up, but let us just say," and here she taps her nose with a finger tip, "That I'm pretty happy with how things are going."

<Pose Tracker> Chihaya Izumi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The fish course is not going well for Chenguang, and there's a specific reason -- her entire knife set has gone missing, in particular a boning knife that has been in her family for six generations. A true professional, she is doing her best with the substitutes provided by the kitchen. But her Inside-Out Eel -- the rib bones injected with sauce and hung with olives and onions -- isn't looking quite right, perhaps because her efforts at arrangement are being hindered by the tears in her eyes.

She has had several increasingly frantic interchanges with her interpreter, who seems to either lack the mastery of Chinese he was hired for, or else is as overwhelmed and confused as she. He keeps checking his watch, and glancing at the precariously balanced dish.

Finally Chenguang throws up her hands and makes for the ladies' room. A quick break, some cold water in her face -- this is what she needs to regain her composure.

She doesn't actually notice right away that the face in the mirror isn't her own -- too many tears, and then too much water. Ultimately Morgana has to clear her throat.

Chenguang looks up, humiliated, horrified. But awed a little too; the woman in the mirror looks like she stepped straight out of a storybook. She is painfully beautiful, light and darkness entwined, her clothing ancient and strange.

"Ah... a talented woman, alone in a strange land, betrayed by the one person she thought she could trust. A familiar story."

Morgana has tiny fangs, when she smiles.

"You're my story now."

Chenguang is too frightened to scream, but she takes a step back. This is all to the good, as it gives the Dark Fairy Queen room to emerge from the mirror, at least her upper half; she's drawn her wand, which is trailing sparkles of unlight, purest darkness, and baps the chef on the right shoulder, "Bibbity,", the left shoulder, "Bobbity," and finally on the head, "Boom."

The sparkles fill Chenguang's eyes, her nostrils, her ears. They crawl underneath her fingertips. And she feels the world fall away...

"Rise, Sir Stabalot, Knight of Long Knives. Go forth, and smite my enemies. Seize victory, and I will ensure that your lost treasure is returned."

"Yes, my Queen," says Chenguang.

She walks out of the bathroom with deadly intensity, her armor clanking every step of the way. Members of the waitstaff are the first to spot her, and they gasp in horror at the figure before them, in sleek, form-fitting black armor, with a red satin tabard that is cut, vaguely, like an apron. It ties in the back. Instead of a proper helm, she has her toque, too, which she mostly wasn't wearing tonight but now it is there, it is shrunk tiny, and it is at a jaunty angle. Chenguang has never looked better.

Her voice is the same as before, except... brutally angry. And now there are subtitles in front of her, woven out of thin air.

Also, she's drawing a pair of wicked-looking knives out of her own shadow.

"Do you understand me now?" she bellows, storming through the crowd, looking for Takeo. "I, the Knight of Long Knives, will defeat you in the name of my mistress, Queen Morgana Le Fay!"

Most of the black magic went into conjuring and empowering her gear, but some visibly lingers. Her eyes are completely blacked out, and they trail that dark energy behind her every movement. Surreal as it is, this seems likely to be a deadly serious battle.

The kids in the room are largely confused, though. Is this some kind of floor show?

Chihaya storms over to the Knight of Long Knives like an avenging angel, and sticks her finger in her face. "I don't know what you think you're doing, but you can take this fight outside!" she shouts, sparks all but flying from her eyes.

In response, the Knight of Long Knives casually backhands the host with a gauntleted fist, and she goes flying into a nearby wall, then slides to the floor, only dubiously conscious. In an instant, her bodyguards have appeared to hustle her away. As she's manhandled out the door, she can be heard to protest woozily, "--no--we must help everyone evacuate safely--"

The party's over, at any rate. There's lots of screaming now, and something of a stampede.

COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi transforms into Knight of Long Knives!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki transforms into Crimson Rose Duelist!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji transforms into Wind Knight!
COMBAT: Hikaru Shidou transforms into Fire Knight!
<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

When he hears the name "Morgana Le Fey," Takeo does a double, then triple take. Which is when he sees the Knight of Long Knives and he tilts his head with an expression that is very much surprised, and has eyes as large as tea-cups. What escapes his mouth, to those who are around him is a soft, and startled: "Oh snap crackers ... " Which after being spoken, shakes the young man into action. He starts forward and then suddenly stops.

He smiles to the chef at the Split Pea soup. "Sorry. One more. Thank you so much."

This he downs in one second before he steps forward and rolls his shoudlers. "HEY!" He calls out, finding his courage when Chihaya goes flying from a backhand. He fears that woman in ways that can not really be described by mortal men, but she doesn't deserve to be backhanded because of him. He pulls his amulet out form under his shirt and holds it in his hand. "Nobody, and I mean NOBODY hits a hostess who serves bacon in 'my' town!" He holds the amulet high and cries out: "I SWEAR TO DEFEND THE INNOCENT!"

Lightning streaks form the amulet and surrounds Takeo in an electricla storm that not only causes the lights to flicker, but shakes the floor of the tower in it's ferocity. Bolts of lightning strike Takeo, eventually turning his entire form a bright neon blue. This color flakes away and explodes in tiny motes of lighting, and standing there is no longer Takeo Akamizu, The Chevalier Knight Lancelot, Knight of the Round Table!

His eyes go to the knives drawn from shadow, and the lightning knight rushes forward, two lightning bolts striking at him, which are caught and become the twin blades of Arondight. He rushes forward, the twin glowing white blades of Arondight trailing lighting as he closes in with supernatural speed and accuracy. "LIGHTNING IMPACT!" he cries. Slashing with the blades, which explode with electrical power.

COMBAT: Takeo Akamizu transforms into Chevalier Knight Lancelot!
COMBAT: Lancelot has used Lightning Impact on Chihaya Izumi.
<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"Not soon." Eri echoes Kasagami, looking somewhat distant for a short while. The likelihood of her seeing it in her lifetime was near zero. She knew this. That didn't make it any less important to her. She shakes off that feeling though, "But that's why it's important to get a head start now right?" She manages a small smile, like a lifeline pulling her out of those thoughts.

"And yeah, I admit I didn't expect something like this." She thought the scale would be smaller, but- she's glad it isn't, "I'm really glad Izumi-senpai decided to champion this on our behalf." And on hers too but...

She walks alongside the pair, for some reason she looks somewhat more anxious. Maybe it's just being in an event like this? She's definitely not one of the higher class students at Ohtori. Lifting up a glass of Miso, she slurps it audibly and politely. And when she lowers it, she sees a girl in black armor, red satin adorning it.

She's been at Ohtori long enough to surmise that perhaps it's tonight's entertainment, but Ohtori life hasn't dulled her senses to the danger. Not nearly. The soup glass she sets down audibly on the table as she watches her threaten Takeo, taking the glasses off her face, clapping them closed, and hanging them on the edge of her school blouse just above her red ribbon.

There's a shimmer of green in her hand, and as she takes a single step, it's like she's consumed in a swirling of leaves and a smell of rain, girding her for battle as a shimmer of green changes her clothes one at a time. She doesn't care that she's transformed openly. Not right now. "Morgana Le Fay picked the wrong event for you to crash."

She doesn't really expect Chihaya to storm right up to the threatening figure, "Senpai no!" She cries out in abject horror as the older girl is backhanded against the wall lurching that way in a step as if to go to her aid, but her bodyguards are all appearing protectively and she stops, giving the knight this long glare, a a hard edge into her voice, "Alright. If that's the way it's going to be... ready Lancelot?" The lightning glare and the oath out of the corner of her eyes tells her that her question was rhetorical.

Long knives sounds like it's an invitation for her magic to get severed. She let's a vine whip snap into her hand, as she darts towards the knight's flank to try to come at her from an odd angle. She flicks the whip underhanded so it would go from low to high, in an attempt to snap up against her unprotected head and neck with an impact that would hopefully rock her back on her heels. "We have to stop this before it gets out of hand!"

Maybe if they could... they could salvage it some.

COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi transforms into Puella Magi Eri!
COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi has used Natural Backlash on Chihaya Izumi.
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Fuu is distracted towards the end of what Kuniko was saying to her, frowning behind her glasses. "What's that clanking noise ... ?"

Then she sees the Knight of Long Knives, hears her challenge, and sees most of Chihaya getting brutally backhanded in the face and across that side of the room. "Excuse me two moments, Kuniko-san, I think things are being interrupted ..." The first moment is utilized in quickly downing a sample of the bouillabaise, because Fuu is *NOT* going to all this trouble just to leave her friend's soup ungraded. The second moment is divided between submitting her score (it's high, although Kuniko won't see the exact number) and running for what can't possibly actually *be* an exit. She's not trying to leave the building, although that would be the smart move - but how often do you see smart moves in the midst of a monster-incited general panic?

Her phone is slipped into a pocket, and her glove-jewel comes out as Fuu shoulders her way through a door ... into a storage closet, currently empty of furniture. Good enough. She finishes pulling the glove-jewel onto her left hand, and raises it over her head. "Belief becomes power; winds, guide me!"

The only thing that could be better would be if the closet had a second door she could exit through, but there's no time to worry about that. The green-clad Magic Knight slips back out while Lancelot is opening up on the hostile knight, and quickly makes her way to a better spot from which to join the fray. Not that she's going to just jump in with her own blade, or even start raining arrows on the enemy just yet. Instead ...

"Winds of Admonishment!!"

... she falls back on one of her usual openers, conjuring a localized whirlwind and trying to bind the darkly-metamorphosed chef within it.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Admonishment on Chihaya Izumi.
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Eri gets a private wink. "Definitely. When we all come back for our ten year anniversary, we'll get to see the results of all of this hard work. Knock 'em out, Eri." She encourages.

That smile and look gets noticed. Kasagami, taking up the last of the soups she hasn't tried yet (her scores, for the record, don't go higher than a 6) and chomps a bit of Very Tiny Ramen. With a knife. Kassie is talented with her hands and sharp things, if nothing else.

She feigns concern for the other woman. "Shizuru-san! How're you recovering? So sorry to hear about your accident. Couldn't have happened to a better person. I mean, hey, if you need to take some time off and finish getting well...I think I know someone who might be able to fill in for a whle." Her eye narrows just a hint, and she's giving that way-too-wide grin she's so fond of.

But then a proud armored chef announces her intentions! And Chihaya is is getting backhanded across the room. That sight alone has Kasagami's eye going wide, and she breathes out a growl of pure indignation and rage. She forces a smile to Shizuru. "Our time together is ever too short, Shizuru. Talk with you soon, okay?"

Amidst the stampeding crowd, Kasagami moves smoothly through them, approaching one of the chef's stations. She snatches up as many knifes as she can grab and puts them in the waistband of her uniform. Her left hand has a fairly sizable butcher's knife, all silver and very nearly a machete. She spins it in her fingers, testing the weight. She catches a stumbling student on the way past, picks them up, and brushes them off.

"Single file! One at a time out that door! If anyone falls, help them out the door!" Bellows Kasagami, trying to bring order to the chaos with volume and physical intervention. Still, as she helps another student, when she's up again she's with a coat of roses upon her back. That butcher's knife has been covered in roses, enough that her glove is torn up from the sharp petals. It's very nearly the length of her proper sword now.

"And who said that honor wasn't alive? But slapping a woman working to give beauty back to the greatest school in the world, Ohtori Academy? You have no chivalry, your honor is tarnished! I, Kasagami Araki of the Ohtori Student Council will judge you for your crimes!"

Then she's leaping into the air in a graceful arc as Eri gets the flanks and Takeo gets the front. She pulls her knife back with both hands, making as if to give a wide horizontal slice...only to stop mid-swing! The 'tip' of her roses is aimed right towards the Knight. Some of her newfound rose coat is missing.

A moment later, a burst of dark crimson roses erupts from her weapon, trying to slash and push the armored figure back as hard as she can. Some of them might even get swept up in Fuu's whirlwind!

<Pose Tracker> Hikaru Shidou [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Meanwhile, Hikaru is hearing something strange as well, and she looks to see what it is...

Then she does a double-take as she sees the Knight of Long Knives appear, and for a moment she's considering rolling her eyes, but puts that thought on hold instead. Without a word, Hikaru runs out the nearest door, looking for the girls' bathroom, and she's relieved to find that, thankfully, nobody's tried to take shelter inside of there. Nonetheless, she steps into one of the stalls and reaches into her pocket. "Good thing I come prepared!" She says as she pulls out her glove-jewel and slips it on quickly.

"Belief becomes power ... Flames guide me!"

If anyone were in there, they'd see a fiery display as flames encircle the red-head, obscuring her long enough to transform into the Magic Knight of Fire! After the flames die down, the Fire Knight comes dashing out of the bathroom and back to where all the action is.

Unlike the Wind Knight, who's taking action from afar, the Fire Knight decides to show this dishonorable knight the err of its ways personally! "Hey, you wanna use a blade? You better know how to use it properly!" The Fire Knight calls out as she attempts to strike the Knife Knight with her sword directly.

COMBAT: Hikaru Shidou has used Sword Slash on Chihaya Izumi.
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used Dance in the Petals on Chihaya Izumi.
<Pose Tracker> Kuniko Saito [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Kuniko looks upwards towards the woman appearing before her in black armor and a red tabard. She's also using two knives at once. She quietly drops her empty bus bin, but fortunately other people are moving quickly and keeping her from being in the direct field of view.

Tying on the Mise-en-place's physical form of her father's waist apron... The ritual cleansing of the hands... the touch of the salt of the sea...

And so the Poissonnier rises! Like a fish. A VERY LARGE fish.

As she opens her eyes again, Kuniko frowns in thought. It seems like the rich people are already being helped out, so she draws forth her own scimitar-like blade and starts moving round the side, intent, perhaps, on shanking this black-magic creature -- person? -- it's unclear; but with knives those sharp and real, she has no room for error.

Stealth, of course, is unlikely to work.

COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi narrowly braces Lancelot's Lightning Impact, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  Lancelot is Psyched!  Exhausted
applied to Chihaya Izumi!
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi narrowly counters Eri Shimanouchi's Natural Backlash, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Eri Shimanouchi is Psyched!
Chihaya Izumi's Reverse ability activates!  Chihaya Izumi's Tactician ability activates!  Cripple applied to Chihaya Izumi!
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi's counterattack, Dark And Edgy, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Eri Shimanouchi!
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi fails to dodge Fuu Hououji's Winds of Admonishment, taking 25 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Fuu Hououji is
Psyched!  Cripple and Trap applied to Chihaya Izumi!
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi fails to dodge Hikaru Shidou's Sword Slash, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Hikaru Shidou is Psyched!  Stun
applied to Chihaya Izumi!
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi narrowly counters Kasagami Araki's Dance in the Petals, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Chihaya Izumi's Reverse
ability activates!  Chihaya Izumi's Tactician ability activates!
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi's counterattack, Get The Point?, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Kasagami Araki!
COMBAT: Kuniko Saito transforms into Poissonnier Kuniko!
COMBAT: Kuniko Saito has used Did I just defend the modern economy to a jerk from the Evil Moon? on Chihaya Izumi.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi narrowly counters Kuniko Saito's Did I just defend the modern economy to a jerk from the Evil Moon?, taking
0 Fatigue damage!  Kuniko Saito is Psyched!  Chihaya Izumi's Reverse ability activates!  Chihaya Izumi's Tactician ability
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi's counterattack, Dark And Edgy, partially gets through, doing 27 Fatigue damage to Kuniko Saito!
<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

"Why, thank you Araki-kun. You're such a sweet girl. Sweet, and kind. I'll certainly consider your suggestion." She will not consider Kasagami's suggestion, but it makes her look good. "I can't let my own difficulties stop me from working for my fellow students, however."

And then there'.... Chihaya. Shizuru narrows her eyes at this girl she likes being hit, looks to the chef she herself had been judging earlier. She debates her action--

She smiles to Kasagami. It is not any more faked than her usuals. "Be careful, Araki-kun. The whole school would mourn if something happened to you."

It's just so incredibly insincere that it might be impressive, all with plausible deniability.

She darts towards the side of the room, starting to direct people towards the door as she watches the battle. "One at a time, be careful!"

The Vice President has a job to do.

COMBAT: Shizuru Fujino has used But That's Not My Concern on Kasagami Araki.
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki narrowly braces Shizuru Fujino's But That's Not My Concern, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Kasagami Araki is
Taunted!  Analysis performed by Shizuru Fujino!
<Pose Tracker> Chihaya Izumi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hwiCkU73NA

Kasagami's efforts to order the crowd aren't enough, not when the Duelist is wading straight into the fight, but fortunately it seems that the Vice President and some of the security staff are, indeed, staying behind to help in those efforts. So she's free to go kick some butt, while those suited and sunglassed individuals (also the dignified one in the sling) gather up the stragglers and get everyone towards the fire exit.

It's not totally clear what people think this is yet. It certainly isn't a gas line leak.

But whatever people think, what it is is a remarkable duel. Magical knights, warriors, chefs, Puella Magi -- they surround the Knight of Long Knives on all sides... and she responds to every point with counterpoint, doing more than just keeping up with the group.

Her right knife comes up and takes Lancelot's blow -- lightning crackles around them, and she grins, savagely. "You! You're the one I'm here for," she acknowledges, saluting him with her spare blade... then flicking it off her fingertips, right at his forehead. Three more follow, trying to catch at his armor and staple him right to the nearby wall. YOW.

Fuu holds her in place with wind for a moment so that Hikaru can get a good hit in, but the Knight doesn't seem offended -- or particularly hurt. "Amateur," she smirks at the Fire Knight. "You know nothing of blades." And then she assaults, just the once, with her remaining knife, leaving it wherever it finds purchase.

But, never fear, there are more. She summons two to clap on either side of Kasagami's roseate butcher knife, which makes a large, vibrating CLANG, then HEAVES to one side, trying to throw the Duelist off balance; a moment later she's using those same knives to catch Eri's whip on the edge, slicing it in half so that it opens up a scratch on her cheek on its way past, but no more.

Finally, she's aware of Kuniko's approach, and shakes her head. "I won't be betrayed by any more rivals today, thank you very much!" She sends another flurry of blades, hungry to sink into the Poisonnier's clothing and staple her to the walls or floor.

COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi has used The Subtle Knife on Lancelot.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi has used A Knife To Remember on Hikaru Shidou.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi has used Knife To Meat You on Kasagami Araki.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi has used The Subtle Knife on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi has used The Subtle Knife on Eri Shimanouchi.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi has used The Subtle Knife on Kuniko Saito.
COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi narrowly counters Chihaya Izumi's The Subtle Knife, taking 4 Fatigue damage!  Eri Shimanouchi's Reverse
ability activates!  Eri Shimanouchi's Tactician ability activates!
COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi's counterattack, Yamabiko's Answer, partially gets through, doing 21 Fatigue damage to Chihaya Izumi!
Critical Counterhit!
COMBAT: Lancelot narrowly dodges Chihaya Izumi's The Subtle Knife, taking 2 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Diversion, Tangle, and
Trap applied to Lancelot!
COMBAT: Kuniko Saito fails to dodge Chihaya Izumi's The Subtle Knife, taking 9 Fatigue damage!  Cripple, Diversion, and Tangle
applied to Kuniko Saito!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji narrowly dodges Chihaya Izumi's The Subtle Knife, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji's Fade ability
activates!  Fuu Hououji's Flash ability activates!  Diversion, Tangle, and Trap applied to Fuu Hououji!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki fails to dodge Chihaya Izumi's Knife To Meat You, taking 23 Fatigue damage!  Chihaya Izumi is Psyched!
COMBAT: Hikaru Shidou narrowly braces Chihaya Izumi's A Knife To Remember, taking 21 Fatigue damage!  Hikaru Shidou's Block
ability activates!  Hikaru Shidou's Parry ability activates!
<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Lancelot's strike is parried, and he spins away to come up en garde and ready to dive right back in. So he's almost ready when knives are tossed his way. Using his incredible speed, Lancelot almost looks like he's in the Matrix, ducking, and weaving through the incoming cutlery barrage. He rolls away to the side to get himself some room, and comes up with a line of red etched on his cheek from one of the knives. He looks back where the knives now quiver in the wall and barely manages to not gulp audibly.

He rolls his shoulders and twirls Arondight once. He tries to catch Eri's eyes and gestures wiht the baldes mid twirl to try and disguise the motion. Tring very hard to quietly say, "When I strike, get her!" Then he looks toward the enemy. "If Morgana wants me," he gestures with his chin toward the Knight of Long Knives. "Tell Morgana she can come and get me herself." He then runs forward again, blades held ready to strike as he calls lightning to their keen edges.

Instead of slashing, at the last moment Lancelot leaps to the side and slams his blades together, the twin points pointing at the Knight of Ling Knives, "HEAVEN's WRATH!" At those words, lighting erupts as Lancelot sails past her, a continual stream that whips and crackles and booms with loud thunder.

COMBAT: Lancelot has started a combo targeting Chihaya Izumi!
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"You're an absolute angel, Shizuru-san. As expected of the VP! But don't you worry. If I'm going to die, I'm going to do it with passion, courage, and beauty as befits a member of the Student Council!"

Back over by the Knight of Shanking, Kasagami is far less composed. She's at once seeing Shizuru's face on that helmet, surrounded by a certain man's green locks. Later the image will horrify her as she recalls it. Right now, she's just angry and wants to hit something really hard.

Thanks to Shizuru's timely intervention, Kasagami is too distracted to notice knives grabbing her butcher knife only for her to be hucked like a sack of potatoes. She goes smashing straight through three of the tables. Bisque ends up all over the shirt of her uniform. There's ramen atop her hair, and wood bits of a formerly fancy table ripped into her makeshift rose-coat. Standing up, huffing, she kicks aside the remains of a table and gets the ramen out of her hair.

Then she finds an un-destroyed shot glass of soup. And promptly proceeds to throw the thing at the Knight.

"You're pretty good! Must be working up an apetite though. Enjoy the Tomato Surprise!"

What's the surprise? There's a thrown, rose-covered knife just behind the bowl of Bisque, aimed right for one of those eye slits in the helmet.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"You're an absolute angel, Shizuru-san. As expected of the VP! But don't you worry. If I'm going to die, I'm going to do it with passion, courage, and beauty as befits a member of the Student Council!"

Back over by the Knight of Shanking, Kasagami is far less composed. She's at once seeing Shizuru's face on that helmet, surrounded by a certain man's green locks. Later the image will horrify her as she recalls it. Right now, she's just angry and wants to hit something really hard.

Thanks to Shizuru's timely intervention, Kasagami is too distracted to notice knives grabbing her butcher knife only for her to be hucked like a sack of potatoes. She goes smashing straight through three of the tables. Bisque ends up all over the shirt of her uniform. There's ramen atop her hair, and wood bits of a formerly fancy table ripped into her makeshift rose-coat. Standing up, huffing, she kicks aside the remains of a table and gets the ramen out of her hair.

Then she finds an un-destroyed shot glass of soup. And promptly proceeds to throw the thing at the Knight.

"You're pretty good! Must be working up an apetite though. Enjoy the Tomato Surprise!"

What's the surprise? There's a thrown, rose-covered knife just behind the bowl of Bisque, aimed right for one of the poor armored culinarian's eyes.

COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used Tomato Bisque Surprise on Chihaya Izumi.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi narrowly braces Kasagami Araki's Tomato Bisque Surprise, taking 3 Fatigue damage!
<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Kasagami's comment to her is something so far removed outside of the reality of her existence that she doesn't draw hope from it. Ten years? She might as well wish for another miracle. And she knew better than to try wishing for anything.

That knife though is quick with her knives, she sees a glint of metal, and her whip is sliced open like a boned eel. The magic doesn't dissipate right away, as if the thing was uncertain whether it had even been cut. And then it vanishes in a shining dissipation in motes. She's quick to summon another, which is fortunate for her, because there's a flurry of pinning knives being sent her way-

Out of pure reflex, she snaps that newly forming whip as hard as she can. A crack that's thunderously loud indoors, like one of Takeo's lightning bolts fell right there. One knife grazes her shoulder to plant in the wall and the others- stop in mid-air, before the rippling wave of concussive force that just emanated from the tip, stopping their flight. Quite a bit of glassware shatters in it's wake as it slams into the knight.

"Right, right." She offers to Lancelot, sounding amused, as he starts at the knight, "I didn't fight my first battle yesterday you know." She starts running as Takeo leaps, behind the knight of long knives, dropping down to the floor at the last second like she's sliding past her. Lancelot's lightning bursts just as she passes behind the Knight in darkened armor, her hand touching the floor and leaving a sparkle of green magic behind as she passes by.

There's a ripple of green, moments before blackened roots fly out of the ground like hungry knives themselves. They strike simultaneously at her back, further grounding their opponent for the lightning infused strike furthering a circuit created by plant, armor, and blade.

Having slid to the other side of the knight, she scrambles back up to her feet rapidly, her magic releasing only moments later.

"And hey Lancelot, should you really be taunting a Dark Queen to come get you? I mean..."

That sounds like inviting disaster, but she sounds like she's teasing him some.

COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi has joined the combo started by Lancelot!
COMBAT: COMBO! Lancelot and Eri Shimanouchi have used Heaven's Wrath and Jubokko's Sanguine Roots on Chihaya Izumi.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi perfectly dodges Lancelot and Eri Shimanouchi's Combo: Heaven's Wrath, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Dodge!  Chihaya Izumi's Fade ability activates!  Chihaya Izumi's Flash ability activates!
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

If the evil Knight's knives were much longer, thinks the Wind Knight, they could hurt somebody really badly ...

One of those knives is carefully removed, although the ease with which it comes loose suggests moving would have dislodged it anyway. And with that taken care of, the Wind Knight looks around at her allies. She wasn't the only one to have a knife thrown at her, it seems - or a number of knives, once she takes a second look. "And this is why I didn't rush in with my own sword," she murmurs, carefully removing herself from the wall she wound up pinned to. Was Morgana's Knight a chef or something? It would make some sense ... but she'll have to leave that question alone. For another time, maybe - or maybe she'll never find out for sure. It's not really critical at the moment. What *is* important is making sure the group can keep fighting to best effect, and for that ...

"Winds of Healing!!"

Rather than a forceful whirlwind, this time she conjures a gentle and soothing breeze, working to heal the worst of her own injuries first, and extending the magic to restore Lancelot and Kuniko to optimal fighting condition as well. They won't be restored to an unscathed condition, but whatever wounds they took from the knives will no longer hold them back from giving it everything they've got.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Healing on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Healing on Lancelot.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Healing on Kuniko Saito.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji accepts Fuu Hououji's Winds of Healing, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Cleanse! All of Fuu Hououji's
debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Lancelot accepts Fuu Hououji's Winds of Healing, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Cleanse! All of Lancelot's
debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Kuniko Saito accepts Fuu Hououji's Winds of Healing, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Cleanse! All of Kuniko Saito's debuffs are
<Pose Tracker> Kuniko Saito [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"I'm not your rival!" Kuniko says, at which point a pair of knives throw themselves forwards and firmly pin her to the ground by her left leg. One of the knives hit her cuff, which is disposable; the other landed RIGHT between her big toe and second toe, punching through her shoe and embedding into the floor. Kuniko is stymied temporarily by this because she can all but FEEL the well honed metal mere micrometers from her own, personal, tender flesh.

Exhaling with great force, she crouches down to start unlacing her shoe. That's the ticket. Gotta do this fast. As she struggles with the blade, though, her thoughts ring back...

In that prep area, Kuniko, despite her relative youth (which her gamine haircut, underslept expression, and frenetic tension often conceals) had been relatively calm. She was not presenting anything drastically novel, although she'd had plans for a salmon main course which were a little tricky. Chenguang - was that her name? She'd just seemed anxious... flop sweat, Kuniko had thought, the tension of someone who was still adjusting, or just nervous tension leaking out like the sweat from an onion.

"Don't waste food!" she calls to Kasagami then, the moment of memory broken for an instant. Winds of healing whip around her, fresh as the Mediterrean sea she sees in her dreams, and she pulls the blade loose from her shoe, turning round to face the Knight, now with TWO edged weapons!

This is incredibly stupid, Kuniko thinks. I don't know how to use a sword to cut anything. Maybe I can stab her hand or something. That'd be kind of gross but you can get better from that. Right? There's magic. Also I bet she has health insurance. Either way, her mouth works:

"I was cheering for you!! That eel looked great, I was just fudgin around with all those tajines!" And THIS one Kuniko isn't fumbling: her words may be a little acerbic but they come nonetheless from the heart.

So do the jabs and sweeps with her shawarma carving blade. They have, at least, the 'novice swordsman' benefit of "What is this crazy person going to do with that piece of sharp metal?"

COMBAT: Kuniko Saito has used Shawarma Knife on Chihaya Izumi.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi fails to counter Kuniko Saito's Shawarma Knife, taking 28 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi's counterattack, Get The Point?, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Kuniko Saito!
<Pose Tracker> Hikaru Shidou [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Meanwhile, Hikaru is hearing something strange as well, and she looks to see what it is...

Then she does a double-take as she sees the Knight of Long Knives appear, and for a moment she's considering rolling her eyes, but puts that thought on hold instead. Without a word, Hikaru runs out the nearest door, looking for the girls' bathroom, and she's relieved to find that, thankfully, nobody's tried to take shelter inside of there. Nonetheless, she steps into one of the stalls and reaches into her pocket. "Good thing I come prepared!" She says as she pulls out her glove-jewel and slips it on quickly.

"Belief becomes power ... Flames guide me!"

If anyone were in there, they'd see a fiery display as flames encircle the red-head, obscuring her long enough to transform into the Magic Knight of Fire! After the flames die down, the Fire Knight comes dashing out of the bathroom and back to where all the action is.

Unlike the Wind Knight, who's taking action from afar, the Fire Knight decides to show this dishonorable knight the err of its ways personally! "Hey, you wanna use a blade? You better know how to use it properly!" The Fire Knight calls out as she attempts to strike the Knife Knight with her sword directly.

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Shizuru only needs one hand to wave and direct foot traffic, and she shows not so much as a bit of out-of-place feeling at being among those in suits and obvious authority. After all, authority is what you make of it.

The chef with her knives catches Shizuru's attention still, for obvious reasons; she's watching each move of hers, keeping track of where she might be, what she might be doing. Her expression is serious to the point of being nearly blank.

"I hope I can see exactly that passion," Shizuru replies to Kasagami, and waits. Then, however...

Her intervention works quite effectively; Shizuru manages not to smile for varied reasons, but she does look with some satisfaction.

"You'll be save through here," Shizuru says, and looks over th others. Takeo gets particular interest... as does Eri. For different reasons.

<Pose Tracker> Hikaru Shidou [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Knife to meet you!

OK, bad puns aside, the knife that comes at the Fire Knight makes a noticeable dent in her armor. Aside from that, though, it's done little to get the Fire Knight down physically. "Is that your idea of fighting back? Hmmph." She shakes her head. "I've had worse from plastic knives! Now let me show you a trick of my own!" She summons forth a magical fiery projectile and shoots it at the Knight of Knives!

COMBAT: Shizuru Fujino has used Watching on Shizuru Fujino.
COMBAT: Shizuru Fujino accepts Shizuru Fujino's Watching, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Hikaru Shidou has used Fire Arrow on Chihaya Izumi.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi narrowly counters Hikaru Shidou's Fire Arrow, taking 17 Fatigue damage!  Chihaya Izumi's Reverse ability
activates!  Chihaya Izumi's Tactician ability activates!
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi's counterattack, Dark And Edgy, partially gets through, doing 17 Fatigue damage to Hikaru Shidou!
<Pose Tracker> Chihaya Izumi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Cry for Wind https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUtu4FWFAn4

There's a clatter, then a clang, as the fire alarm goes off -- Hikaru's arrow, perhaps, though in terms of hitting its target it is split in half by an incoming thrown knife that buries itself in a Fire Knight Pauldron. A second one follows, aiming for her gut.

The claxon helps normalize the situation for the last of the confused civilians, and shortly Shizuru is starting to run out of people to evacuate, and the security guys are starting to fall back, too, especially when a hail of those knives comes their way. One of the last is Mr. Translator, that neatly suited guy, who is stuck in a corner, keeping his head way down. He is hunched over something... a box? A briefcase? A knife case.

It's probably a good thing that the Knight of Long Knives hasn't noticed him yet. Instead she steps straight between Lancelot and Eri when they try to criss-cross her with lightning and roots, and spreads her arms broadly, manifesting knives at them from point-blank range.

This leaves her pretty open for The Soup Knife though, and bisque splatters across her face. She catches Kasagami's knife out of the air, though, before it can go too far -- that's a neat trick -- and sends it flying back, the angle such that it will scoop up some of that split pea on its way over.

Fuu's winds ripping her knives out of the walls gets her attention, too, and she closes with the would-be ranged combatant in an instant, conjuring two more knives along the way and bringing them down in an X-slash.

She might have gone for a second hit on the Knight of Wind, but Kuniko distracts her with her words. She brings up her knife to intercept the other chef's, but it's halfhearted, and the shwarma knife draws blood. Though, given the color of her tabard-apron, it's almost invisible.

"Was it you? I never thought... I never imagined I'd be sabotaged. My great-grandmama's boning knife... if I'd realized the Japanese were so duplicitous, I never would have brought it. Or left Hong Kong, period."

Talkative she may be, but not too talkative to stab back. Indeed, the black, sparkling magic over her eyes seems to intensify in a sort of backlash from her very human words, and she growls, after, then twists the knife.

COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi has used The Dark Knife on Hikaru Shidou.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi has used The Subtle Knife on Shizuru Fujino.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi has used Bone: The Best Sharpener on Lancelot.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi has used Bone: The Best Sharpener on Eri Shimanouchi.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi has used Soup and Countersoup on Kasagami Araki.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi has used A Knife To Remember on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi has used Knife To Meat You on Kuniko Saito.
COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi narrowly braces Chihaya Izumi's Bone: The Best Sharpener, taking 3 Fatigue damage!  Eri Shimanouchi's
Block ability activates!  Eri Shimanouchi's Parry ability activates!
COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi covers Shizuru Fujino for Chihaya Izumi's attack, The Subtle Knife, taking it upon themselves instead!
COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi narrowly dodges Chihaya Izumi's The Subtle Knife, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  Eri Shimanouchi's Fade ability
activates!  Eri Shimanouchi's Flash ability activates!  Tangle applied to Eri Shimanouchi!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki narrowly braces Chihaya Izumi's Soup and Countersoup, taking 11 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Kuniko Saito fails to brace Chihaya Izumi's Knife To Meat You, taking 31 Fatigue damage!  Chihaya Izumi is Psyched!
COMBAT: Lancelot narrowly braces Chihaya Izumi's Bone: The Best Sharpener, taking 3 Fatigue damage!  Lancelot's Block ability
activates!  Lancelot's Parry ability activates!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji narrowly braces Chihaya Izumi's A Knife To Remember, taking 21 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Fuu Hououji's
Block ability activates!  Fuu Hououji's Parry ability activates!
<Pose Tracker> Kuniko Saito [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Kuniko is briefly, profoundly offended. "I would NEVER," she begins, surging forwards - just in time to catch that blade right in the inside of her bicep. The hot line of pain is muffled slightly by the enchantments of her garb. Somewhat.

It gives her the presence of mind to snap her arm down and briefly pin the Knight of the Long Knives, letting her get up in her face. "LISTEN," she says through clenched teeth.

She discards the borrowed knife in a table, sweeps her hand, and pulls - from the invisible blade rack in Mise-en-place, translated with a subtle sparkle of silver-steel light into the everyday world we all inhabit - a knife. A boning knife; one with a fine olivewood handle. It is, of course, not her foe's. It has a "laguimorph" metal stamp and a handle decoration that is halfway between a bee and a bunny.

"I already have my own," Kuniko says, low and fast. "My teacher gave me it. I'd never poach your gear - yours or anyone else's. Not without your blessing. But," she twists the blade around, as if to offer the handle. "If..."

Kuniko loses her 'willingness to hold a sharp blade against her with muscular force,' which is not really a thing you have, generally speaking, a lot of tolerance for. Pulling back, she makes a half-gasping noise, hunching over. "NGH - it wouldn't replace it, would it? Grip's probably all wrong... and you didn't..."

Kuniko trails off then. Is this from pain? Despair? She staggers away from the Knight, perhaps yielding the field to those whose magic is more suited for battling one wielding many sharp objects against something that can fight back more effectively than - say - a king crab.

Maybe a little of all of them. Except that her eyes are now resting most firmly towards MR. TRANSLATOR, even if Kuniko ends up slamming against the side of a table and having to stop to rebalance herself against it, sucking in a deep breath through her teeth.

COMBAT: Hikaru Shidou fails to brace Chihaya Izumi's The Dark Knife, taking 52 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

There is a clanging noise, and the impact vibrates up Lancelot's arm as he manages to parry the knife, but the deflected projectile slashes open the chain on his arm before it slams into the floor with a loud thud. He hisses as yet another red line is drawn on his flesh form the impossibly sharp knives. He circles the Knight of Whatever, Arondight at the ready and says in a bit of a playful to Eri, "You ever get the feeling Morgana doesn't like me?" He flashes her a roguish grin and a wink.

"Hey!" He says as he circles the other Knight. "You're pretty good." He nods once. "Okay Long Knives. Let's see how you do when you can't see!" The Lightning on one of his baldes comes together in a ball that lashes out and explodes at eye level in a loud thunderclap that turns the room white with pure light as he cries out, "FLASH BANG!"

COMBAT: Lancelot has used Flash Bang on Chihaya Izumi.
COMBAT: Kuniko Saito has used This... Is MY Knife on Chihaya Izumi.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi narrowly braces Kuniko Saito's This... Is MY Knife, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Kuniko Saito is
COMBAT: The entered attack name could match more than one available attack. Please try being more specific.
COMBAT: Unrecognized attack. Please check for typos in the attack name entered.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi narrowly counters Lancelot's Flash Bang, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Chihaya Izumi's Reverse ability
activates!  Chihaya Izumi's Tactician ability activates!  Diversion applied to Chihaya Izumi!
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi's counterattack, Dark And Edgy, partially gets through, doing 9 Fatigue damage to Lancelot!
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

The Wind Knight's sword materializes in her hands as the Long Knives Knight descends upon her; the force of the cross-slash still drives her right back against the wall, but at least she isn't pinned this time.

That might almost have been preferable to the force with which she WAS attacked - rather than get slashed by the knives of Morgana's servant, the Wind Knight's own blade was driven against her, and the awkward angle of trying to guard against that much force leaves her arms trembling. "I'm quite certain," she states, "that Kuniko-san was *not* the one to steal any of your knives! I've known her for a long time now, and she would never stoop to taking another chef's precious tools - not without asking permission, and being sure to return them immediately when she was done with anything she'd borrowed!"

She'll rejoin the physical fray in a moment. Once she trusts her arms to swing a sword, or draw back a bowstring.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Gentle Chiding on Chihaya Izumi.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi narrowly counters Fuu Hououji's Gentle Chiding, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Chihaya Izumi is
Quipped!  Chihaya Izumi's Reverse ability activates!  Chihaya Izumi's Tactician ability activates!
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi's counterattack, Darkstroke, partially gets through, doing 52 Fatigue damage to Fuu Hououji!  Critical
<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

The knives manifest when she's at nigh at point blank range, and eyes widening, she drops backwards as one slices through the filaments of her green highlit hair. Hitting the floor she immediately starts rolling backwards snapping her whip up once she has the momentum of the roll behind it, as it aserts itself in the air.

It's arc knocks a fan of low knives off center from a killing blow. There's more than a few beads of sweat on her forehead as she realizes how close that was.

Up on her feet, she swivels on a foot, and springs upwards onto a nearby dim sum table. Her foot lightly making contact just enough to only clatter all the shot glasses of wonton, before she leaps again in a somersault across the room. There's another glint of metal in mid-air, reflecting the chandelier light of the room.

Instinct is what drives her to know it's aimed at Shizuru, and right now the other girl might not see it coming. Maybe Shizuru can fend for herself, but that doesn't matter to her. She doesn't even have time to call out to her. Upon hitting the ground, she breaks in an immediate run, barreling into Shizuru to shove her out of the way. The knife takes her just under the arm pit catching in her blouse fabric and sending her flying to slam against the wall, pinned lopsided to it.

With a hiss, she reaches with her hand to grasp the knife, and wrench it out as best as she can, "Sorry senpai. Didn't mean to hit you so hard. But it's probably best if you take cover" She says apologetically for hitting her so hard, through clenched teeth. Her arm is probably healed but it's at least still sore.

"No! Why would you ever think that Lance?" She says as she matches his flippancy, "With instincts like those it's no wonder you're always such a hit with the ladies."

Giving up on trying to get the knife out of the wall, she flicks her whip again sending it across the room in the hopes of flicking the side of their unprotected head like a horse whip and setting their ears ringing.

COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi has used Natural Backlash on Chihaya Izumi.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi narrowly braces Eri Shimanouchi's Natural Backlash, taking 2 Fatigue damage!  Eri Shimanouchi is Psyched!
Stun applied to Chihaya Izumi!
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Kuniko's call gets a frown! "Food is the last thing that's going to get wasted if we don't stop this chef-knight!"

Clearly now is the time for Deadly Food Fight, as that knife comes back at her in one smooth motion! Kasagami doesn't have time to dodge. All she can do is throw up her free hand. That knife goes ripping past her as she mostly manages to block the thing. She earns a nice long gash of ripped glove and clothing. And worst of all, there's split pea all over her arm now! Shudder.

Oh, and the force of the impact staggers her back, forcing her to duck into a backwards roll. Swiftly followed by Lancelot with the big flash of light. She covers her eyes. "What's so important about a couple of silly chef's knives!?" She calls out to the knife knight.

When she can see again, Kasagami concentrates above her now blistering headache. She bends her knees, and leaps forward in a charge...only to dissappear!

"ROSE FLASH!" She's trying to stay on the opposite side of Lancelot, trying to use whatever advantage he might have made, and generally try to keep the Knight of the Long Knives from being to maneuver so much. She makes an exaggerated, overhead swing with both hands. That butcher's knife seeks to cut into armor...or at least batter a the woman into submission.

"Careful, Eri! No dieing! Your King forbids it!" She yells 'helpfully' to Eri. There's definitely concern in her voice in the heat of battle.

COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used Rose Flash on Chihaya Izumi.
<Pose Tracker> Hikaru Shidou [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

There's something to be said about mounting a proper defense. Unfortunately, even the best of the best mess up sometimes, including the Fire Knight, whose defensive tactics fail, and she is hurt very badly. She finds herself down on one knee for a moment, but her will to fight keeps her in this. "Not... gonna... go down... so easily!"

For a moment, it looks like the Fire Knight is stuck on what her next course of action should be. Then she stands up and, this time, summons forth a simple fireball instead of anything special. She lobs that fireball at the Knight with a battle cry.

COMBAT: Hikaru Shidou has used Fireball on Chihaya Izumi.
<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"You're not my king yet!" Is the immediate retort! Albeit a pained one.

COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi perfectly dodges Kasagami Araki's Rose Flash, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!  Chihaya Izumi's
Fade ability activates!  Chihaya Izumi's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi narrowly braces Hikaru Shidou's Fireball, taking 15 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Shizuru thought this battle was rather more civilized before a fire alarm came through it. Regardless, she maintains calm composure as she starts to run out of civilians to evacuate. The security guys start to fall back immediately, but Shizuru does not; it could be because she's waiting for the very last person to leave.

It is not that, though that is part of it. She has no intention of evacuating at this point, if at all.

The thunderclap marks her eyes closing; far enough, she can still tll what Lancelot is doing. But she can't see the attack coming as it goes; she's opening her eyes again in time to start to spot trouble, but trouble in this case is Eri all but tackling her. Shizuru's eyes widen in pain as it jars her arm and she tumbles down to the ground, no longer in knife range. ...So maybe it's not completely healed yet.

"Thank you," Shizuru answers Eri, drawing her legs up beneath herself. "No complaints from me at the moment."

She starts to stand and looks about for a table to duck behind, closing that distance quickly. "Charge right ahead, Araki-kun! Remember that I'm cheering for you as hard as anyone!"

No she's not.

COMBAT: Shizuru Fujino has used Student Council Business on Kasagami Araki.
<Pose Tracker> Chihaya Izumi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Stand Your Ground https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_CsijQsYY4

The blade lock between Kuniko and the Knight of Long Knives remains for long, long moments, and during this time the corrupted chef doesn't reply -- doesn't say anything. But the younger chef can clearly see, beneath the blackness shrouding her eyes, a tear leak down one of her cheeks.

Apparently Fuu pushes this over the edge, because the black magic finally detonates, blasting her back, through two or three more soup stations. It blasts the Knight and Chef apart, too. Further shards of black magic fly everywhere, like a broken mirror.

She stands there, unblinkingly. For a moment there's a possibility that she's truly nonresponsive, but then in comes Lancelot's flashbang, and like clockwork -- almost like a marionette -- the Knight of Long Knives brings up another eponymous blade, flinging it through the ball lightning, defracting it away from her (and sending a nicely edged object towards him). "That's Queen Morgana to you!"

Finally, a topic upon which her ensorceled brain can stand on solid ground.

Heedless of Kuniko's discoveries -- the translator is still cowering in his corner -- she starts marching his way, but is intercepted by Eri's whips. She's mad now, though, and just marches straight through, even though the sting is stunning to the touch. Hikaru's fireball washes over her with a similar lack of effect, at least when it comes to stalling her approach (though it does scorch her red apron black).

"I will serve my Queen -- I will bring her your head -- and I will get my knife back!"

'What's so important about a couple of silly chef's knives?!'

"AAAAAAAAAAAAGGGH!" She stomps forward, incidentally out of the way of a roseate blade, and blindly throws more knives over her shoulders at already-behind-her Kasagami, unwilling to turn around. Somehow she has really deadly aim though, like a circus performer or something. It's uncanny. What do they TEACH at Hong Kong cooking schools?

Finally she's in stabbing range of Lancelot, and commences. Repeatedly. Murderously. Somewhere along the way she grabs a second knife, and then a third when one finds a place to lodge, and perhaps a fourth and fifth, too. The Knight of Long Knives is super done.

COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi has used Darkstroke on Kuniko Saito.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi has used Broken Mirror on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi has used Broken Mirror on Hikaru Shidou.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi has used Broken Mirror on Eri Shimanouchi.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi has used Broken Mirror on Shizuru Fujino.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi has used Knife's Edge on Kasagami Araki.
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi has used The Dark Knife on Lancelot.
COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi narrowly braces Chihaya Izumi's Broken Mirror, taking 11 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Eri Shimanouchi's
Block ability activates!  Eri Shimanouchi's Parry ability activates!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki narrowly dodges Chihaya Izumi's Knife's Edge, taking 18 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Kasagami Araki's
Fade ability activates!  Kasagami Araki's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki accepts Shizuru Fujino's Student Council Business, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Kasagami Araki is Quipped!
COMBAT: Kuniko Saito narrowly dodges Chihaya Izumi's Darkstroke, taking 31 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Hikaru Shidou narrowly braces Chihaya Izumi's Broken Mirror, taking 19 Fatigue damage!  Hikaru Shidou is unable to keep
fighting!  Hikaru Shidou's Block ability activates!  Hikaru Shidou's Parry ability activates!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji narrowly counters Chihaya Izumi's Broken Mirror, taking 20 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji's counterattack, Storm-Dance of Kamaitachi, partially gets through, doing 20 Fatigue damage to Chihaya Izumi!
COMBAT: Lancelot narrowly braces Chihaya Izumi's The Dark Knife, taking 30 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Lancelot's Block
ability activates!  Lancelot's Parry ability activates!
COMBAT: Lancelot covers Shizuru Fujino for Chihaya Izumi's attack, Broken Mirror, taking it upon themselves instead!
<Pose Tracker> Hikaru Shidou [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

The Fire Knight attempts to keep up a good defense, but unfortunately, even the best of defenders can't hold out forever. As she attempts to brace against the latest attack, her stamina gives out and she drops to the ground, barely even conscious. "Ungh... must... get... no..." She struggles to speak.

She tries to push herself up again, and gets to one foot, but then she collapses again and loses it completely. "Sorry... F...Fuu-chan... everyone... Ugh...." She loses consciousness quickly.

COMBAT: Lancelot fails to brace Chihaya Izumi's Broken Mirror, taking 28 Fatigue damage!
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"You flatter me, Shizuru! You're talking as if I know any other way to fight! For the glory and honor of Ohtori!" Counters Kasagami. It does her heart little good. Her body's aching, her uniform is a mess, and she's growing more frustrated by the minute.

And of course, there's that blasted fire alarm now ringing her ears. She's gasping, and struggling to stay on her feet. Plus, now she has her back turned to the enemy! Barely spying the first of the knives, Kasagami whips around to kick the first set vaguely away from her, ruining one of her boots in the process. Throwing it off her, another spin to the side on her other still-booted foot has her abdomen and stomach getting more slashes and tears as those deadly, ridiculsously accurate blades come for her! The last blade almost gets her right in the forehead, before she ducks back into a leaping dodge away!

It's a wild one, though, and her back eventually hits a wall that lets her rise back up. Reaching behind her, she throws her rose coat into the air!

"Alright, fine, I get it! You really like your knives!" Comes a ragged-breathed Kasagami. Was it something she said!?

Then the roses on her coat disperse into a falling shower of red, trying to drown the wrathful knight in them. The floor of this place is going to need some work after Kasagami is through here.

COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used Falling Petals Cut The Soul on Chihaya Izumi.
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"STORM-DANCE OF KAMAITACHI!!" the Wind Knight shouts, hastily conjuring a barely-tamed gale and turning it against the Knight of Long Knives, trying to blow those mirror-like shards of magic back the way they came. It doesn't work well enough, although without that counterattack, the Magic Knight of Wind is sure that she'd be out of the fight, much as the Fire Knight seems to be.

Maybe it's the ensuing haze of pain which sparks the thought: if this is a Knight of *knives*, maybe they shouldn't depend on blades to fight her? They're basically fighting on the Morganian Knight's 'home ground,' in that sense ...

It's not entirely a serious thought, but the green-clad Magic Knight lets her sword vanish anyway, replacing it with her bow and quiver. She pulls an arrow from the latter, nocking it to the bowstring and drawing back slowly as she focuses her attention and her will. Despite being indoors, a breeze rises about the Magic Knight of Wind, tousling her hair and skirt, ruffling her sleeves ...


Where she went with an overwhelming offense just moments ago - even if it was in an attempt to protect herself - she focuses her efforts this time on a very precise application of power, clothing her arrow in wind magic to accelerate it and steady its flight ... and maybe, just maybe, to let it pierce more cleanly through the defenses of the Knight of Long Knives.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Gale Arrow on Chihaya Izumi.
<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Shards of black magic fly through the air, and the Puella Magi curses as she hangs pinned to the wall by a single knife. Her whip has already coiled back into her hand, as she strikes it out again, the blur of foliage slicing through the air to shatter several of the shards. But not enough of them. One grazes her cheek and it feels like her soul has been seared by an open flame. Another slices by her thigh and the Puella Magi makes a sound of choked agony.

For a while she just dangles there. And then her eyes move upwards, shrouded by her bangs, driven to deadly seriousness anew "You know." She rasps, "I really do appreciate how torn up you are by that."

A shaky hand wrenches out the knife, and she momentarily drops to the floor, in a painful heap, before she works her way up to her knees, then her feet with movements like a jangly marionette. "Morgana sure took advantage of your passion for cooking huh? Your disappointment. You just wanted to show your stuff and someone stole that all away with your knife."

Up on her feet, she wipes away at her forehead, breathing hard. "But you're not the only one that has something to lose tonight." She rolls her neck, and flexes her shoulderblades like she's testing her movement for a moment, and then there's a smell like rain. A sound like the rustling of leaves, as eight tendrils as thick as saplings appear behind her back, as if growing out of her clothing then coiling up like serpents ready to strike.

"I want to know my forest is coming back again one day, to know the rain will smell- right again. So I'm going to do everything I can to put you down." A beat, "If you make it through this though, we'll give your cooking the fair shake it deserves for the ball." Her eyes turn briefly towards Lancelot, "Let's send her Queen a message not to mess with what we care about."

That's her cue, as she turns upon a foot, the momentum of her body sends out a quartet of lashes towards the knight with thunderous impact. They then retract, and she pivots on her foot to send the other four out. As she advances, she sends them forward over and over, counting on the Knight to sever so many of them with so many knives. But they'd start to repair themselves if they did.

It's a constant, relentless assault, four coming in at odd angles, then another four, faster and faster, snapping over and over to try to overwhelm her defenses long enough for Lancelot to follow up on it with his onslaught of slashes- and hopefully end this.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Eri Shimanouchi has started a combo targeting Chihaya Izumi!
<Pose Tracker> Kuniko Saito [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

The bursting throws Kuniko back, pitches a tureen of soup onto her. It's hot! The main thing she can say is that unlike the black glass shards that feel like they're digging into her skin, she's kind of used to hot things on her.

"I don't know, what's the point of being a king," Kuniko mutters after giving a passive-aggressive glare over at Kasagami for her words about a knife's importance.

She can't really dispute the Knight's displeasure. "Knives are a chef's honor!!" Kuniko adds.

And then as she keeps going forwards, facing towards the man with the knife case. She braces herself on the nearby table, soup dripping from her jacket.

Staring at him for seconds, Kuniko sucks in a deep breath. No, she thinks: That isn't where the situation is. She does point a knife at him, but it's by way of indicating - 'I see you there, buddy' - and after this, she rounds about and faces towards the Knight of Long Knives.

"Queen Morgana?" she asks then, brow furrowing.

"Look," she says, raising her voice. "Kings, queens... All they want is roast meat and liquor! There's way more than that in the world. I don't know what happened, I know the pressure sucks - but whatever it is, whatever you decided, you aren't going to get your satisfaction taking it out on us with all those knives."

AND FORTUNATELY FOR KUNIKO... remember what was in those little soup cups?

The plate comes down with a rattle of dishes. The arrangement here is able to be the real thing - a quarter of a batard loaf, freshly grilled over the hidden charcoal fire that might be Kuniko's heart, or an aspect of it. Real bouillabaise, with the subtle flesh of clams and mussels mixed with the lovingly flaked trimmings of underloved and oily fishes - no added butter here, the fish is enough. Simmer in light broth, with shoyu... no need to add dashi. Why? You have enough fish already. A dollop on top of frothy cream with a little chive...

Kuniko pushes the plate forwards. It smells like lunch by the seaside in any of a hundred thousand places. After this she staggers a little, but that's probably just the stab wounds talking.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Kuniko Saito has used Bouillabaise au Japon on Chihaya Izumi.
<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Lancelot is thrown back from the impact of the knife into his gut. Unlike Eri's graceful landing on a table, Lancelot in the full armor of a Knight of Camelot hits the table with a crash that sends Miso soup flying in every direction. Once he's through that table he rolls and then slams into the wall. For a long moment the Knight doens't move, and then a low, "Ow."

Which is when the Knight of Long Knives is on him, and he tries desperately to get up and get the hell out of the way. But he slips on some of that Miso, and falls right into the arms of the Knight of Long Knives who stabs him repeatedly. He blinks and stumbles back into the wall, pain lancing through his very being. He looks at the blood seeping through his armor and blinks again.

In the resluting explosion of Morgana's Dark Magic, he witnesses the shards of the Black Mirror slashing through the room. One of thsoe shards flies toward Shizuru and Lancelot leaps forward with that blinding speed of his, interposing himself between the shard of the mirror and the Vice President. Arondight slashes and it connects with the shard, which splinters it even further and those splinters slam into him.

Lancelot drops to his knees and pants. Blood seeping form more than one wound, and from the splinters of the Black Mirror that sliced into him. He shakes his head to clear it and says evenly, "She'll never be my Queen." Lancelot's eyes change color, from the brown to a blue, a subtle change that most might not see. "She and her minions failed to take Camelot, and I'll die before I let her harm anybody in this City, especially not those I love."

Lancelot pushes himself up and holds Arondight tightly, one blade in each hand. At Eri's words he nods once at Eri and then draws all the lightning he possibly can to him. It crackles along his blades, around him, and even appears to almost 'drip' from his eyes. "Let's do it Eri-Chan." He says with a nod as the power reacher it's climax.

As Eri's whips crack and thunder in the room, Lancelot suddenly rushes forward, "THOUSAND THUNDERCLAP - " His blades slash over and over, faster than any mortal eye can follow, each strike unleashing a stored bolt of lighting that he had drawn into himself, each struck exploding wiht thunder that rolls off the floor and the walls even as the lightning dances and twists through the air and crawls along the surfaces of the room, sending blue and white light flickering in their wake. "RUSH!"

THe attacks continue, an endless stream of sword slashes and lighting and thunder. Dancing in and around Eri's whip strikes, to augemnt, strengthen, or bolster, even as her strikes bolster his own attacks. Puella Magi and Knight of the Round table working in concert to bring down a terrible and deadly foe.

He slides to a stop, panting. Lancelot watching the Knight of Whatever, to see if this Knight of the Long Knives still stands, or if it is finally over.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Lancelot has joined the combo started by Eri Shimanouchi!
COMBAT: COMBO! FINISHER! Eri Shimanouchi and Lancelot have used Combo: Thousand Thunderclap Wrath, composed of Wrath of the Kodama
and Thousand Thunderclap Rush, on Chihaya Izumi.
<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Shizuru, from her position back farther out of the battle proper, has a better vantage point than she did before. With red eyes she looks over falling magical girls and those still up... And a certain Knight who seems to have such a connection with their foe.

"I'm certain!" Shizuru offers back to Kasagami, pleasantly, as she looks her over to watch the difficulty she's having; blades approaching, throwing her coat, barely on her feet...

The Vice President smiles as she looks back to the Knight of Long Knives.

The magic crashes towards her, slashing through the room, and her eyes narrow as she looks around for good enough cover--but cover finds her. Lancelot crashes between the magic and her, and she sees his blood.

"Thank you," she says, taking a breath and spotting Kuniko ahead.

But she is fascinated by Eri's words. Shizuru watches the gardener fall, and watches her rise again. This draws her attention, this has her looking between Knight and Puella Magi. This motivation, this... passion...

Shizuru smiles again, briefly, and stares to see through the coming assault. Eri and Lancelot both, moving in as one and as many. "Let's see what you can do," she murmurs, and places her good hand's fingers on the edge of the table she's using as cover.

COMBAT: Shizuru Fujino has used Watching on Shizuru Fujino.
COMBAT: Shizuru Fujino accepts Shizuru Fujino's Watching, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi narrowly braces Kasagami Araki's Falling Petals Cut The Soul, taking 24 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi narrowly dodges Fuu Hououji's Gale Arrow, taking 20 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji is Psyched!  Chihaya
Izumi's Fade ability activates!  Chihaya Izumi's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi fails to brace Eri Shimanouchi and Lancelot's Finisher, Combo: Thousand Thunderclap Wrath, taking 225
Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Chihaya Izumi fails to brace Kuniko Saito's Finisher, Bouillabaise au Japon, taking 123 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Chihaya Izumi is unable to keep fighting!
<Pose Tracker> Chihaya Izumi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The Knight of Long Knives is powerful, infused with a terrible darkness not her own. Something ancient. Something deadly.

But she's also about ten minutes old, by some reckonings, and this inexperience is starting to cost her. A more seasoned combatant might have tried to isolate individuals and take them out, or move the battle to a less open space where they'd be harder to surround. They might have tried to turn the momentum back around by playing on their opponents fears, stoking their hatred and resentment to darkness instead of to light.

They might have done a lot of things. But she doesn't, and so it is that she vanishes between a rain of petals (into which an arrow vanishes), lashes, and slashes. When it all clears, she is bleeding from every crack in her armor, agony coruscating across her face.

She wavers.

This is... not a happy ending.

But then something remarkable drifts across her nose -- and her eyes go so wide that the black magic cannot cover it, not completely. Its hold weakened by the sheer exhaustion of withstanding all these attacks, it finally shatters in a burst of black unlight as Chenguang savors the soup, and... smiles.

With a single miserable sniff, the armor fades away and the knives do too, becoming shadows and then only the memory of shadows. And then she's there, her wounds miraculously healed by the power of cuisine, and her memory of the situation fading fast.

There's only one thing she notices: following Kuniko's gaze (and the chef gets two thumbs up for the soup, a memory that will never leave her heart completely), she spots her knife case in the arms of her translator.

Marching over there, she starts jabbering excitedly in Chinese (no longer subtitled); she sounds really happy. 'You found it!! Thank you!!' is easy to imagine. Language is no barrier to gratitude and relief.

Meanwhile, Chihaya rolls back into the room -- now sporting an excruciatingly stylish beret which matches the Ohtori uniform and is, doubtless, concealing an ice pack strapped to her head from where she hit the wall. There's nary a hint of it, though. At any rate, she snaps off the fire alarm.

"What a nasty prank," she glowers. "Pulling the fire alarm on our tasting -- sending the crowd into the panic -- how utterly juvenile."

Being called a child is the worst sort of insult to her, and that carries in her voice. She's disgusted in whoever did this. (And it's like she doesn't even notice all the weird costumes on other people, if they haven't faded away quite yet. Thank goodness for that particular kind of magic!)

But, all is not lost. Clapping her hands, she summons the staff -- including the chefs -- and confers with them about the salvagability of the evening. It takes a combination of wheedling, admiring, and unshakable confidence, but...


The fish dish has been cut short, and it's on to the main course! Truly memorable aromas waft from the many stations... and the pre-fundraiser tasting party is back in full swing.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Kasagami actively shudders as Kuniko rails against royalty! "A mere chef wouldn't know anything about a King! Only a dashing, powerful ruler can truly protect innocents from monsters!" Shouts back the Disciplinary Executive. She's about done bothering to hide her anger at this point.

But it's all for naught, as their opponent cracks under the hail of attacks and...delicious, culinary delight. Kasagami inwardly curses herself. As it all fades away, she collapses into a nearby chair. ~Later~

Leaning back, she gets more food. And munches it all down. Brooding, lashing herself inwardly for being so weak, she'll eventually find her way into a spare uniform. For now, she just wants to eat and wallow in depression.

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

After the dark magic upon the knight shatters in a black burst of unlight, there's a faint smell like fire in the room as her magic releases, her breath heaving for a few more moments.

Then she walks forward, stopping as she comes up next to the Magic Knight of Wind. She doesn't look at her. "I haven't forgotten you nearly getting me killed when Alcyone attacked, or how you were part of that invasion party on Christmas Eve." Her transformation releases in a hail of sparkles, a glowing ring upon her hand, "Remember that."

It's only then that she walks on, a smile only returning as she notices Kuniko and the excited woman jabbering in Chinese. "Let's see, which table was hers..." She says as she takes her phone app back out. She's willing to give her extra points for her passion.

But then Izumi storms in with a beret on her head and snaps off the alarm, "Welcome back senpai." She has this awkward chuckle as she knows it wasn't just that, "I'm not worried. I know you'll work your magic and have us back in full swing in no time." And Chihaya proves that faith isn't misplaced in short order. Once Takeo is close enough, she nudges him and murmurs, "You really have to admire her tenacity."

COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi transforms into Eri Shimanouchi!
<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Takeo winces as he is nudged and he gives Eri a sidelong look. "That woman is scary. Like. I'm pretty sure she is every homeroom teacher's dark heart rolled into one little ball of evil." He says this VERY quietly and only to Eri. Becuase Chihaiya. if she hears it, would likely murder him. Or so he believes. He clears his throat, and then looks at Eri. "Eri-Chan. I have earned a plate of meat. I mean. A large plate of meat. I'm going to go get it now."

He starts to leave before he comes back and gives her a sideways hug. "Thank you. That was the first Knight of Whatever I've faced without the others. I coudn't have done it without you, or the others."

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

The Knight of Long Knives comes to an end, her reign of terror mercifully cut short by the gathered magical girls. The Wind Knight lets out her own sigh of relief, lowering her bow as it disappears, along with the quiver. Then she turns to her fallen, fire-wielding sister-in-arms.

5rWhen the fish course samples are set out, Fuu Hououji is back with everyone else. If her appetite seems a little more subdued, she's at least being appreciative of what she tastes - and if she has the chance to talk to any of the other chefs, she's letting them know how much she appreciates their work. (Even if they get a low rating in the app, Fuu is still genuinely grateful that they're going to this much trouble.)

<Pose Tracker> Kuniko Saito [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Kuniko needed a brief trip with the first aid cabinet and a bracing drink of Morning Rescue, even if it's dinnertime. This, along with about ten aspirin (the dosage is weaker than you might think) gave her the neccessary powers to complete the service.

And with the fish course cancelled... Kuniko can just use her fish course concept - salmon filet grilled on charcoal that's been layered-over with rosemary sprigs for a mixture of that smoked tang and the essence of that lushly aromatic herb - for the entree.

Now that's using your noodle.

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Shizuru tilts her head as she watches horror turn into something else. The horror was easy to expect, and his is an altogether different sort of feeling. Still, she saw what Lancelot and Eri could do together, just as she wanted.

And this is something different. Shizuru starts to stand as the chef regains herself, watches what looks like happiness amongst the two of them. And of cours...

Shizuru doesn't even have to say anything to Kasagami. She just smiles at her. Later, she'll see that misery.

She'll certainly see it. And enjoy it.

Shizuru smiles as she watches Eri threaten Fuu, and leaves that at that. Instead she inclines her head to Chihaya. "The confusion was terribly dangerous. But no one appears to have been hurt in the chaos." Shizuru smiles.

Soon enough, she will be back to food ratings... Though she will be rating a certain passionate chef higher than previously.

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Eri rolls her eyes as she unfolds her glasses and puts them back on her face, adjusting them with a touch just above the nose, "You're imagining things you goof. Are you going to say every girl with a strong personality is evil?"

She gives him this amused look, "You're in for a world of disappointment if so. Lucky for you I haven't introduced you to my senpai- you'd probably think she's the devil incarnate or something."

She waves a hand at him, assuming he's already leaving for a meat binge, "Right right- help yourself but don't get in the way too much while they're setting back up-" And that's when he hugs her. For a few moments she's just surprised, as if caught flat footed by the act- then suddenly turns and hugs him back, saying quietly, "Doofus. Don't make me cry right now alright?" She sniffs once.

It's hard for her to express how much she needed that after the past few weeks she's had.