2018-04-21 - What Lies Beneath 16

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What Lies Beneath 16

A kyudo tournament is interrupted by a pair of protodaimon, which were previously implanted in two Infinity students by Kaolinite, attacking Fuu Hououji to try to seize her pendant that comprises one-fifth of one's control over the power of the World Tree. Chibi-Usa has a shocking revelation about Sailor Moon.


Hotaru Tomoe, Mai Mishou, Takeo Akamizu, Shigure Shiratsuyu, Usagi Tsukino, Chibi-Usa Tsukino, Niramo Umokeshi, Steven Universe, Saki Hyuuga, Fuu Hououji


Sensouji Shrine

OOC - IC Date:

04-21-2018 - 04-12-2015

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Traditional Japanese archery is a really elegant sport, as much a spiritual exercise as a physical one. It is strongly associated with Shinto, and kyudo tournaments are often held at, or near, shrines.

Like this one is! There are always archery competitions in springtime. It's the perfect time for it, with the sweet breeze full of rapidly-falling sakura, and the sun is out so it's a great time for the audience to picnic as they observe.

There are six targets set up along one of the stone walls in the area, and each one is gradually filling with arrows. The audience is on blankets at one side, behind a fence, in a grassy field.

It is important to be quiet, though this is a large enough event that there is, at minimum, a continuous electric current sort of hum of conversation coming from the crowd.

All of the Sister Schools have archery club members competing, but this isn't actually an intramural event or anything; it is more local and traditional than that. Archers of all ages, from young child to full adult, have won the right (through preliminary events) to try their luck and skill down the range today.

There are, therefore, people wearing hakama everywhere, because that is the uniform of the sport, along with special archery gloves, and for the girls, chest guards. The bows are splendid things, some modern-ish but most very traditional.

An old lady outshoots a young man from Ohtori, much to his distress, while there's a fierce match going on further down the line between a pair of Infinity Institute students who have achieved tie after tie after tie. The two girls seem to be simultaneously frustrated and thrilled, and a break is called to their match once both of their first quivers are empty.

They kneel on the wooden platform they've been shooting from, and look over towards their Captain, Fuu Hououji, probably wanting encouragement or advice.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Mishou [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Mai Mishou is, of course, here to watch the archery contest.

Not because she loves archery -- she doesn't know the first thing about bows and arrows -- or because she really knows anyone in the archery club. No, for her, this is another opportunity altogether. It is an opportunity that is so rare, so astounding, that she couldn't help but seize upon it. She has a chance to draw people in full garb, using bows. There are aspects of human anatomy, especially with the hands, that are uniquely visible then.

To say nothing of the beautiful surroundings; the natural beauty of the shrine and the falling sakura, the architecture of the temple itself. Mai is perched over, leaning down and intently sketching in her artbook. There are filled pages being accumulatedly rapidly.

She hasn't said anything to Saki in a few minutes, now.

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

There is something to be said for hanging out and watching aything even remotely connected to Martial Arts. It is quiet, it is calming, and it is also really neat to see one's skills on display. Though he is here by himself, with no one person to watch, a young man stands in the crowd watching carefully. It might surprise many who know this young man that he does indeed find this sort of thing calming and relaxing.

Though the occassional crunch of a potato chip or the crack fizz of a soda can opening might irritate some of the surrounding people.

Takeo stands, leaning against a wall, crunching merily away on potato chips, trying to be quiet, and sipping a can of lime green soda. He has a happy expression on his features, one that says he is indeed enjoying himself. Truth be told, his life lately had been chaotic, and Takeo 'needed' this little break. A nice martial arts competition at a shrine to calm one's soul.

<Pose Tracker> Shigure Shiratsuyu [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

The Shiratsuyus are extreme traditionalists, and it follows that kyudo is one of the traditions that they follow -- and even if Shigure would balk at having to practice her archery, she can't exactly argue against the wishes of her mother. So she's here today... at the very least, in gear -- not part of the competition, but there as a way of showing support, and to represent both her family and her school.

Her hakama is bright red, with a white haori with a muneate of her own. She's stopped with her practice at this point, because the main event is going on.

Her hair is worn long at this event, without her usual white ribbon to tie up her ponytail. A hachimaki with the rising sun logo is instead tied around her forehead, because you gotta tradition what you gotta tradition sometimes.

She looks a little embarrassed.

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n9YKe86Awk

"Hey-" It began pretty soft - because there's a competition going on in which quiet is required of the crowd. However it then went onward to snapping her finger in front of Chibi-Usa's face, "-Hey! Chibi-Usa!"

Which gets her a whole chorus of 'SHHHs' being sent her way. Which causes Usagi to sink into her seat, as she quietly apologizes, "Sorry - sorry!" Which gets her another chorus of 'Shhhs'

To which she says her next 'Sorry' subvocally. One of the ushers gives her the okay sign with a thumb and forefinger - which feels almost sarcastic. With a mute whimper, Usagi leans over to mumble at her.

"Mama wanted me to get you out of the house today - but it wasn't so you could just mope around. Did you even see that shot?"

It's a little white lie actually. Usagi herself suggested it after seeing the funk Chibi-Usa had been in. And understandably so. Ever since the Inner Senshi seperated an unconscious Chibi-Usa from her best friend Hotaru... she hadn't seen her ever since.

And that's something she can understand completely - but it's not like she was so close to this girl that she could bring up her missing best friend casually.

So instead her strategy was to distract, "All of the lady archers are so elegant - I mean just look at Hououji-san over there - it makes me almost want to take it up myself."

A hand rubs her chin as she thinks of herself in Rei Hino's miko garb - the white hoari and red hakama, but with the addition of a guard across her chest. Usagi admiration from her friends - the other Inner Senshi and-

Suddenly a sight snaps her out of her reverie, "Hey is that Shigure-chan? I knew Hououji-san was competing but I had no idea she'd be here."

Usagi stands up out of her seat, and waves excitedly- "Shigure-chan!" It's quiet at first - but then she cups her hands over her mouth her volume increases just enough to carry, "Shigure-chan! Do your best!"

The dark looks and chorus of 'shhhs' is entirely predictable - in her excitement she'd totally forgotten. And the result is her sinking back into her seat with another whimper. The mutters that a girl her age should know how to behave certainly doesn't help...

<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Snap, snap. Chibi-Usa doesn't seem to notice; the red-eyed girl stares out into nothing in particular, slouching, glum. It's at odds with her fanciful pink hairstyle, her bright red attire. She is not traditionally dressed--and she is not... watching all that much, either, at the moment. Her hands are shoved into her pockets as she looks down. But the shh-ing--

"Mm...?" Chibi-Usa asks, blinking, looking up again. "Did she...?" Chibi-Usa frowns. "I didn't see."

Distraction! Chibi-Usa looks up and looks dimly over to Fuu as Usagi points her out. "...Sure, go for it," she says distantly, without even insulting Usagi or anything.

Usagi's standing up and waving, but Chibi-Usa just takes out her hands and props her elbows on her legs, sinking her face into her hands. And sighing.

"Don't be so loud..."

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Legs curled under her and sketchbook in hand, Niramo stares out upon the archery range, intent on memorizing the details just right. Shading pencil lowers back down to paper, and with a slight frown, she starts to draw a hand clutching a bow string. The movements of the pencil are a bit rough, and it's clear by the frown that the ravenette was having trouble making a hand appear realistic while on paper. Sighing, the girl quickly rubs an eraser across the paper and removing the sketch.

Placing her pad and pencil to the side of the plain red blanket she was on, the girl gives up on attempting to sketch for now. While she wanted something to distract her, the vivid memories of a redhead and a pinkette fighting against one another keeps breaking into her concentration.

Reaching for one of the cookies she prepared earlier, each in the shape of a different animal, the head of a grinning cat is the latest victim to an afternoon snack. While she came to wish Fuu good luck, the fact that cheering was frowned upon while archers were on the field limits her support to a smile and a slight hand wave.

Looking around in an attempt to see any familiar faces, Niramo has to do a double-take upon seeing an embarrased archer, seemingly waiting her turn. "Huh? Shigure-san is an archer too?"

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Why wouldn't Steven come to watch Fuu shoot some bows?! Or is it shoot arrows? Eh, maybe he will ask her.

Steven has arrived alone, without Lion or any of his Mums. The boy has caught wind of an archery event, and having seen some of his friends fire them expertly, has shown up to observe the show of skill this day! The boy wears a hakama in favor of trying to adhere to tradition; a black top section, with a white fading to deep pink bottom. Silvery lotus motifs play out upon the sleeves and the bottom hem areas. Besides being appropriate, they are super comfortable!

The gem child walks his way to near the archery event, watching intently at their shots. The quiet hush that falls over the crowd as one draws the string back. That sound of connecting with the board. There is a muted thrill here, and while Steven would love to burst out cheering for someone... it feels inappropriate to do so. "Woooo!" The boy lets out in a whisper. Not that anyone can really hear him.

There is something so relaxing about watching this event. It makes him want to bring the Ukelele next time and jsut play music. But that might disrupt the event!

Perhaps this peaceful viewing is perfect just the way it is. There is a reason it has remained throughout the long years. The boy makes his way to the crowd and finds a place amongst them. Hum, some of the crowdmembers look familiar!

<Pose Tracker> Saki Hyuuga [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Saki Hyuuga is, of course, here to watch Mai Mishou watch the archery contest.

That's not quite the whole story, of course. Her family does like their traditions, in their own small family way, and Saki likes food and excuses to put it in her mouth. So beside Mai, settled on a blanket and contenting herself with a sandwich prepared for the duo by Saki's mother, sits Saki Hyuuga. Her eyes are not, in fact, riveted to Mai, more focused on the crowd below. "Wow. The Infinity team is doing amazing stuff..!" she breathes. She is not fully expecting Mai to respond.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Mishou [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Mai keeps sketching instead of answering Saki.

Scritch, scritch, scritch goes her charcoal on the paper.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

This early in the term, Fuu would normally find it problematic to have a tournament when they haven't even gotten all of the new students signed up for the archery team. Fortunately, though, there is a *lot* of continuity from one year to the next, and it has occured to Fuu that maybe this is why Yumi was comfortable inviting her to step up as captain on her first year in high school. Certainly it would be almost impossible to organize the team for this tournament if they were starting from scratch ... which is, of course, why they *aren't*. Why they were holding practices regularly over spring break. Why so many of the team officers across levels are staying in contact, making sure that graduates from elementary or middle schools are able to jump right back in with their new teammates.

At this precise moment, though, Fuu isn't thinking about the logistics of team management; she has some far more immediate concerns. Such as helping keep two of her teammates from losing their cool - and filling in an empty space in their lineup, to boot. She glances around the crowd on her way over to the platform where those two middle-schoolers are waiting, then kneels down next to the pair. "You're both doing quite well, Miho-san, Maho-san," she says softly, with one of those polite but friendly smiles she's so well known for. "Remember, though, what's essential is calm - the still point in your heart," she taps her chest protector with her fingertips. "Find that center of quiet, follow the movements you've trained in, and your arrow should fly as though the target is drawing the shaft to itself."

In other words, don't get too excited, or anxious. Or nervous, for that matter.

"If nothing else, think of it as boosting each other as teammates, not competing against each other," Fuu finishes. "The skill you've shown already is considerable - I'm sure Infinity is on its way to coming out at the top." She smiles again, inclining her head to the pair, and rises back to her feet, beckoning to Shigure as she spots her classmate. They should meet at the edge of the waiting area, and Fuu quickly says, "I'm glad another familiar face is here - we have an empty position on our team today; Tobisawa-san caught a cold. Can you fill in for her? We do have a few spare bows, so it's okay if you don't have yours ..."

Not that any archer does her best with an unfamiliar bow, but it's still much easier to shoot with an unfamiliar bow than without a bow at all.

<Pose Tracker> Shigure Shiratsuyu [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Shigure's cheeks are burning. (I should just turn and leave before--)

Hey is that Shigure-chan? Shigure-chan! Do your best!

There's a faintly startled look on Shigure's face as she looks around and-- catches Usagi's enthusiastic flare and cheer. O-oh dear. Who was that pink-haired girl beside her? And Niramo is there too... t-there's a lot of people here she recognises, and more that she doesn't...

"N-no, I'm just--"

And then she gets flagged as she walks over to Fuu and is explained the situation. She looks more than a little surprised. "Is that all right...? I'm not part of the archery club, and I wouldn't want to misrepresent Infinity..."

Still, someone is better than a blank space, and she does glance towards one of the bows as she considers it for a moment longer... and then nods.

They're getting called out already, and she bows. "I will try to not disappoint you, Hououji-san."

On the one hand, Shigure's time at the archery range is a little dismal; but the basics are there. On the other hand, when it comes to calming herself and having nerves of steel... well, she's not too bad at that. She bows to her opponent as they begin taking their turns. The match is on!

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Miho and Maho get up from their formal resting positions -- it's a particular kind of kneel -- to bow to their captain, then to each other, and their match resumes.

It quickly starts to get heated, which isn't really supposed to happen, but they're basically splitting each others' arrows down the bullseye and if their eyes are getting a little fiery, can anybody blame them?

Shigure, meanwhile, finds herself shooting against a devastatingly cute older guy who might be from Juuban, and whose hakama is blue. He has fluffy silver hair and a winning smile and he is wicked good at kyudo, it must be his main sport. If nothing else, though, he's nice -- his bow is deep and unpatronizing.

(His name is Yuki Tsukishiro.)

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

With soft crunching and a light sip here and there, Takeo continues ot watch the Archery tournament. He grins despite himself when the Old Woman out shoot sthe Ohtorri boy. Hed have to find him the next time they were in class, and tell him how awesome he did. Just representing Ohtorri in an event like this is amazing. He stuffs another few chips in his mouth, crunching merily. He kind of wishes it was a Kendo tournament.

"Oh man. One of those? At a shrine? Aweeesooooome ~"

A man turns and puts a finget to his lips, "SHHHH!"

Takeo blinks and puts his Soda an to his lips to hide behind it sipping. He quietly whispers, "Sorry." And then takes a loud sip off his drink. Clearly accidental. The man slowly turns and looks at him again. Takeo just sips. Quieter this time and looks away.

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Looking away from the archery field for a moment as she hears someone speaks up, she fails to see who broke the silence on the audience, but notices a familiar face she recognizes all too well. She waves an arm out to Steven and motions to the box of cookies resting on top of her bookbag, hoping that he would see her and notice the invitation.

Seeing Shigure getting called up by Fuu, and the captain getting ready for her own match, Niramo stuffs her sketchpad back into her bookbag so to focus completely on the match up. Shigure may not have the amazing shots the two heated archers were capable of, but the calm look she has tells Niramo that her friend would give it her all today! A cute dog face is next to be snackrificed upon, and the ravenette silently prayers that both of her friends would succeed today.

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Usagi gives Chibi-Usa a look of exasperation at telling her to be quiet, which changes to concern.

She's really in a funk isn't she?

For a while that seems to affect Usagi too, as she sits in her seat quietly and worries.

She certainly feels an empathy - a solidarity with Chibi-Usa even. When one of her friends was missing or in trouble - she could get like this too. She's worried herself over Hotaru. But her worries can't compare when this is Chibi-Usa's best friend, and one of her only friends.

She doesn't want to directly bring it up - but she does want to take a leap and let her know she's there for her at least.

"Hey Chibi-Usa..." She quietly broaches with a hand on her shoulder, "You know if there's something bothering you that you can talk with me about it right? You can let Usagi-Oneechan listen to your troubles." Even though she was her fake cousin imposter, not actual big sister.

She tries to give a smile of quiet reassurance - but this moment is interrupted by the fact that she looks up to see Shigure competing - not knowing she never intended to compete to begin with.

And capturing both her and her handsome opponent in gorgeous rose frames - a rush of gently floating cherry blossoms flitting by in her eyes.

If Chibi-Usa actually responds during this time then it'll be a 'Moshi Moshi - noone's home.' moment where Usagi cannot even listen properly because she's in a daydream like haze... her cheeks slightly flushed.

<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Archery is really cool! ...But even the amazing athleticism ahead doesn't really get through to Chibi-Usa at the moment. She doesn't even notice Usagi's concerned look. Not until Usagi speaks to her does she seem to notice much of anything, and even then she doesn't turn to look at her. There's just a hand on her shoulder, and...

"Mmm...?" Usagi-oneechan. Chibi-Usa sighs at that, and doesn't answer at first. She sort of lets it roll over for a little while, and--

"...Hey..." She starts at that, and then Usagi... doesn't answer. Slowly, she lifts her head to start to look at her, and sees her blushing, before Chibi-Usa turns her head to look forward at--

"Oh come on!! You just said--!"

She sighs bigger than before and shoves Usagi lightly before sulking forward again.

<Pose Tracker> Shigure Shiratsuyu [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Shigure looks towards the devastatingly cute silver-haired boy... and bows quietly and deeply. Well, if there's one thing her mother has soul-crushed into her own existence, it's how to put on a perfect poker face and speak in sotto voce in public and not betray that inside you're going--


Ahem. Think of Niramo. Think of Usagi. Think of those cheering you on...

Think of music. Aiming... the drawstring of the bow, the tautness of its feel against the bamboo...

It's not a bad feeling. It's not unlike the strings within a piano, or the strings on a violin, actually.

She imagines her fingers gliding against the notes that she's written... and in that moment--

--lets loose for her target.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"You'll do just fine, Shigure-san," Fuu reassures the other girl before they go their separate ways. It's not like Shigure's going to be the least experienced archer here today - but she doesn't really have time to give Shigure any further coaching or encouragement, because she has a match of her own. Fuu quickly (but carefully, not looking like she's rushing) puts her gloves on and retrieves her bow, then heads over to the platform where her opponent awaits, an elegant red-haired woman who wears her hakama like she was born in it.

"Kaho Mizuki-san, isn't it?" Fuu says with a smile, bowing politely to her opponent. "Let's both have a good match." She receives her arrows from one of the attendants, then turns to address the target, her legs finding the proper stance as though by instinct. She's let more arrows fly over the years than she could ever count, and if the archery team alone wouldn't have seen to that ...

She lets the thoughts of Cephiro, and of Magic Knightdom, and of magical girlhood in general drift away like cherry petals on the breeze, nocks her first arrow, and raises her bow before lowering her arms, drawing back in the process. By the time the arrow's shaft settles just below her eyeline, her heart is calm, her gaze steady; it seems like almost the gentle breeze itself doesn't stir her.

She looses. Kaho's arrow flies at almost the same time - a pair of bull's-eyes, so close that the arrows nearly vibrate in resonance with each other.

That's probably enough to send a rustle through the crowd, and Fuu inclines her head briefly to Kaho before they draw back for the next shot.

Not every shot is perfect, of course - sometimes Fuu's arrow falls a little further away, sometimes Kaho's - but there's a reason why Yumi gave Fuu that friendly push to become captain. And Kaho may be older but her skills are indisputable.

If it weren't for that inner center of calm, Fuu might find herself unnerved by how close this is, or simply excited at how closely together they're performing. And to be sure, those emotions are *there* - but they don't cause Fuu's aim to even tremble a little bit. She can feel the emotions later, when the match is concluded.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Mishou [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

While Mai is too focused to talk, she is rather the opposite of oblivious.

Case in point: with a laser focus and a keen eye, she immediately notices when Shigure steps up. She also notices Yukito. The result is that her head swivels (a little like a bird's), and then she looks back down. Her charcoal works, sketching quickly off two pictures: one of Shigure, then another of Yukito. On the same page, but separate for a moment.

Her lips purse, lightly. She looks up from her drawing, and then back down. "Mm..."

Her image of Shigure captures her as she releases the arrow -- the bowstring blurred, fingers curled back just so, and expression focused as she does. Mai smiles, before she looks to Saki. She lifts it.

"What do you think?"

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

As Steven watches the foray into ranged combat. For some reason, he never had it in him to work with weapons. The Crystal Gems have fantastical weaponry at their disposal, as do other magical girls, but he... Eh. It was just never in him. Though martial arts with Kasagami has been enlightening, for some reason he feels better doing that.

Maybe hurting people just isn't in his nature? It makes him feel funny inside thinking about it right now. As if everyone around him can hear it, even though they obviously can't.

A familiar wave breaks him away from such thoughts, as Steven walks his way towards a familiar student at Juuban and fellow 'fighter'. "Hiiiiii!" he says quietly, taking a seat on the blanket. "What's up? A lot of people I know are here! Even you are!" The boy looks back toward the archery field. "So ah, you here to cheer someone on?" His eyes fall on Fuu, and he can't help but hope she nails a bullseye. Those are super cool. Wonder how they got called that?

"It looks like someone got called up that wasn't in the event," he adds. The boy scans the crowd for those he knows. "Seems liek this was better known than I thought. So! How are you doing?" the boy says, turning back to Niramo.

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

The shove jolts Usagi out of her daydream like reverie - despite it being light, "Hey don't shove me!" Before she leans over to point out Yuki and mention with in a pleased whisper, "Don't you think that guy is really handsome?"

Apparently she missed the fact that Chibi-Usa had nearly responded to her entreaty entirely.

"I think I've seen him on the Juuban High School side of the fence before..."

Back when she was a middle schooler. Though it does occur to her that... she's now a high schooler! And doesn't have to view the high school boys through the middle school fence annnyyy longer.

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Kaho and Yukito are very similar combatants. They both smile with beatific calm when they shoot; they both shoot with virtually unerring accuracy; they both seem almost transcendent, clearly deeply feeling the spirituality of the moment, as the matches proceed.

The one to watch, though, is further down the row, and the normally polite audience is starting to get sucked into the feverish excitement that the two Infinity girls exude.

Miho shoots!

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt!*


Maho shoots!

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt!*


Sweat is beading on both of their foreheads; Miho has her long brown hair up in a high ponytail, while Maho's shoulder-length black hair is unbound.

Miho's red hakama rustles softly as she moves back into position.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt!*


It's improper, but she raises a slightly cocky eyebrow at Maho, even though they aren't, strictly, looking at each other.

Maho senses it, and her eyebrows knit like a bull before a red flag. Her hakama is yellow, with beautiful orange and purple flowers crawling up and down one leg in viney embroidery.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt!*


She raises an eyebrow right back.

Is this FIGHTING SPIRIT?!? Heat seems to be just pouring off the two of them now. The air ripples around them like they're on the grill -- and it smells a little bit like blood -- and --

-- and --

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzop!*


Miho isn't screaming because she missed.

She missed because she started screaming.

She started screaming because black and purple ichor started bubbling out of her pores instead of sweat. It flows from her nostrils and from beneath her fingers and eyelids. Most of all, it erupts straight out of her back. Her eyes are blank with agony.


In no time, she is totally engulfed by the massive bulk of a protodaimon, and the abrupt suffocation of her scream is the most chilling thing to happen yet.

The protodaimon does not rest on this laurel.

Usually their MO is to attack in dark places rather than full sunlight, but they aren't less scary when someone can see them clearly. This monster -- sometimes 'creature' is all right, sometimes 'being' is more politely accurate, but this is something straight out of nightmares -- is all claws and fangs and eyes that refuse to reflect the light, visible only in their absence, like twin portals to the void of space.


Its chainsaw roar supercedes Miho's scream, and yet the two voices are obviously, in some twisted way, as connected as the monster is to the girl, with vibrating harmonics. She's dimly visible inside of it, curled up into the fetal position, even as it continues to expand impossibly in mass and volume, rearing up like a serpent and sprouting vestigial-looking limbs in all the wrong places, which flop gruesomely.

Now everyone else is screaming, too.

Especially Maho, who is barely three feet away... and whose fingernails are also beginning to extrude darkness.

COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe transforms into Proto-Daimon!
<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

"I'll totally shove you!" Chibi-Usa retorts to Usagi, frowning--and then Usagi points Yuki out and Chibi-Usa siiiiighs again. "I mean, duh, totally, but don't you think about anything besides boys? Grow up!"

A pause. The side of the fence... Chibi-Usa shrugs. "I dunno, maaaaybe." ...She does keep an eye on him for now though, still scowling, that hopefully he doesn't see and mistake as against him. ...She isn't watching at the two girls in their match at first though--not until she happens to glance over, see the beautiful hakama...

And the abrubt awful change. The girl is screaming, but soon Chibi-Usa is screaming too, a sudden shriek of fright as she sees things that she has very definitely seen before, things that make her freeze in place for an instant, staring at this void of nightmares.

...And that's when she reaches out to try to pull Usagi away, still staring.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

There are reasons why Fuu recognized her opponent, and it wasn't just from something like seeing the brackets posted (if that was done). Kaho's skills are easily champion material, and if Fuu didn't have her own discipline, she might well have given in to a bit of fangirling at the chance to contend against her. Still, with the rising buzz between Miho and Maho, Fuu's control is exerted harder than ever, not leaving herself any room to emote beyond polite little gestures. As captain, she might have a word with those two later, but she's in the middle of her own match -

At least up until the protodaimon erupts into existence. *That* costs Fuu a good shot, her whole body twitching as she hears the roar, utterly terrifying and far too close to 'familiar' for comfort; when she turns to look at the emergent monster, her gaze has gone from a politely friendly calm to the kind of chill you'd get trying to close the door against a blizzard.

Then she sees *where* the proto-daimon erupted. And from whom. And the fact that it's about to have company.

Fuu sets her quiver down on the platform. "Kaho-san, please help get people to safety," she requests of her opponent. Then she claps her hands, just once, and calls out, "Infinity students and staff, please leave in an orderly manner!" Hopefully that goes for *everybody* (and triply for her own family; from where she is now, she can easily see her parents and big sister Kuu) - but as team captain, she has to take some action for her teammates, for her *school* - for the students in general, and their families. Maybe there'll be a chance to finish the tournament later.

By the innumerable kami and all of the Buddhas, she *wants* there to be a chance to finish. She'll take the loss from that disturbed arrow if necessary.

Here and now, she's definitely going to be one of the last people out - motioning for onlookers and team members alike to head for the nearest exit, leaving gear if they have to (not that it'd be a small loss, and she knows it). The handful of individuals whom *she* knows are magical (like Steven or Takeo), she's only worried for the sake of appearances and actual safety. But that still leaves -

"Maho-san, try to control yourself," Fuu *doesn't* shout but speaks clearly, projecting to try and make her voice heard over the roar. "One of these monsters is bad enough but we'll pull Miho-san back if we're able. Do you know what's going on, can you understand what I'm asking?" She glances around once more, donning her glove-jewel and making sure the coast is clear.

Then she transforms. No verbal invocation, unless you count reciting it in her mind out of a magical analogue of muscle-memory. If Maho happens to be in on the secret after this, it's a small price to pay. Her competition bow vanishes into her glove-jewel for safe-keeping, hakama and protectors whisked away by the same breeze that clothes her in the armor of the Magic Knight of Wind; in the last moment before the jade-tinted breeze subsides, flaring streaks of light materialize into the shape of the Wind Knight's regular bow and quiver.

"Miho-san, Maho-san," the Wind Knight calls out, "calm your hearts and deny the darkness its purchase!"

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji transforms into Wind Knight!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Gentle Chiding on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

The rhythm of the rivalry catches Usagi's attention. Bullseye after Bullseye is called. It's almost spell-binding. But then there's a shout which-

-no a scream.

Usagi's eyes grow wide as she starts to feel it. The dark power rising up as the Proto-daimon sheds the girl's body as if she were a skin. She'd seen it often enough, but it's no less terrifying than it was the first time. In a way it's even moreso.

She still remembers those five girls that one claimed... five she was unable to save.

There's a little squeak from her, before her hand encompasses Chibi-Usa and she all but yanks her out of the seat even as Chibi-Usa tries to pull her away at the same time- "Chibi-Usa! C'mon!" -careening along the panicked mass of people, but rather than heading for the exit, she banks down one of the side hallways of the temple, nearly tripping and falling as she pants.

It's a decidedly old temple, but there are still modern additions, like a janitorial closet. Working at the knob in a panic, it opens thankfully easily - she pulls Chibi-Usa in with her, then kneels down. "It's dangerous trying to run around right now - I don't want you to get trampled. I'm going to go look for another way out - so I need you to stay right here while I look for a way out. Can you do that for your Usagi-Oneechan?"

It might be especially galling for her to invoke it again so soon. After failing totally to live up to it just moments ago.

Usagi straightens up, the look on her expression changing from fright to determination as she steps back out in the hall. "I promise I'll take care of it and be right back." Closing the door firmly behind her - and completely not realizing she's leaving a kid in the dark with a monster prowling around.

Jogging down the hall, she looks back - then ahead of her, and slides her compact out of her purse. Thrusting a hand in the air -

"Moon Cosmic Power - Make Up!"

BGM Change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtCJRZ2j8-E

It looks like a prism of light has been shined upon Usagi Tsukino's skin, draping it in an auroral spectrum. Her nails glitter as polish sparkles upon them. Red ribbons take shape, and gird her in a Sailor Fuku, collar, skirt, and boots. A heart ringing her as she turns in this kaleidoscope of coruscating light. Last of all a tiara shines upon her forehead, as she twirls the Spiral Heart Moon Rod in her hand.

She doesn't look behind her again. She just runs back towards the archery field, hands slicing at the air.


"Hold it right there!" Sailor Moon calls from atop one of the archery targets - backlit by the sun.

"Today everyone has come to put their whole hearts into this competition! I'll never forgive anyone who defies cupid during this Spring of Romance by forcing a young girl to miss the bullseye of her heart's desire!"

Proto-Daimons don't respond to speeches. And Sailor Moon knows it. She knows it too well - but this speech is more for her than for them. She feels right now - she needs this to stay calm. To war against her intense fear at facing one of these again.

"Sailor-Suited Pretty Soldier of Love and Justice: Sailor Moon! In the name of the moon-"

She poses with all the ferocity she can manage, "-I will punish you!"

It's only then perhaps that she notices - the darkness in Maho too, and horror starts to dawn on her.

COMBAT: Usagi Tsukino transforms into Sailor Moon!
<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.


The Potato chips and soda fall to the ground.

"Snap crackers...."

Takeo stares as this happens and people begin to scream. Everytime he's faced these things the Black Knight shows up, and the last time, was at Tokyo Tower when those girls ...

He grits his teeth and closes his eyes, fighting back tears. "Not. Again." He says fiercly, and steps forward, ripping his pendant form beneath his shirt. He holds it up in the air and his eyes snap open as he calls out: "I SWEAR TO DEFEND THE INNOCENT!!"

Lighting errupts form the pendant engulfing the form of Takeo holding it. The blue and white bolts strike repeatedly on Takeo's form. Each strike causing a portion of the boy to glow until he is fully glowing a bright, azure blue. The brightness flackes away into little motes of light that pop and fizzle revealing the form of Lancelot, the Chevalier.

He snatches first one, then a second bolt of lighting in each hand, and then slams the fists together. He slowly seperates them and as he does, hte gleaming white blades of Arondight, the Demon's Bane are revealed. He makes a flourish and nods once. "Let's do this."

Like a flash of the lightning he just summoned, Lancelot is off. He leaps at the Protoaimon and calls out, "LIGHTNING IMPACT!" Bringing both blades around crackling with energy and exploding in power toward the creature.

COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used In The Name Of The Moon on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Takeo Akamizu transforms into Chevalier Knight Lancelot!
COMBAT: Lancelot has used Lightning Impact on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe counters 0 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Gentle Chiding, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Hotaru Tomoe is
Quipped!  Hotaru Tomoe's Reverse ability activates!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe's counterattack, Space Invasion, partially gets through, doing 9 Fatigue damage to Fuu Hououji!
<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Smiling brightly at Steven, she makes sure there was more than enough room for the both of them, and nods approvingly at Steven's choice of clothing. "Of course I was going to be here, especially once I heard Fuu-san was going to be here. It makes sense, doesn't it, with her being the captain of Infinity's Archery Club? And that's Shigure-san, a friend of mine. She's really nice, but she isn't all too sure about herself, unfortunately. I wasn't expecting her to be here, but i'm going to cheer her on all the same!"

That smile dims slightly as her thoughts turn once more to a hall of mirrors, and a face just like hers that was only marred by with snarl. A quick shake of the head doesn't help push the image away, but though i'm a little concerned about Kasagami-san. She...lost a fight, and I want to cheer her up soon. Maybe you ca--"

An agonizing scream snap's Niramo's head back to the archery field, and wide eyes are framed with paling skin upon seeing the creature-no, make that an abomination form around one of the archers. The suddenly cut off cry sends a shiver down her spine, and only the sudden screams of all those around her break Niramo out of her panic.

Grabbing the strap of her bookbag, she gives Steven one quick look. "Steven-san, run, and don't stop until you're somewhere safe!" With that said, Niramo leaps to her feet, joining in the press of people that was starting to flee.

The Juuban student didn't flee, however, and with some jostling, manages to climb into a booth set up for the flea market. Opening the flap on her bag, she peers inside, seeing Takk who was only slightly the worse for wear for the sudden movements of the bookbag. A uncharacteristic hesitation for a moment before Niramo speaks up. "Takk, i'm really sorry for that, i'll try to be gentler with the bag in the future, but do you mind if I borrow your strength? That...thing...it's going to attack people soon, i'm sure of it."

The fact that his friend was asking at a time like this gives the stotic Kwami a frown, but it was something to ask about in the future. "Of course I don't mind, Niramo. Just try to secure your belongings better in the future, your pencil makes a terrible spear."

Nodding her head, Niramo musters up a faint smile, trying to calm herself. "Thank you, Takk. I'll try not to disapoint you. Let's go!"

Sourisi leaps over the heads of the crowd, tonfa already in hand, and a serious look upon the mouse-girl's face. As she nears the archery field, she throws her tonfa with all the strength she can muster at the proto-daimon, the wind whistling with the force behind the tonfa. No puns come from her lips as she speaks, however. "Forming yourself around a defenseless archer won't save you, monster. We'll make sure that whatever plans you have won't come to fruition here!"

COMBAT: Niramo Umokeshi transforms into Sourisi!
COMBAT: Sourisi has used Crashing Tooth on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe dodges 0 Fatigue damage from Sailor Moon's In The Name Of The Moon, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon is
Psyched!  Hotaru Tomoe's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Diversion applied to Hotaru Tomoe!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe perfectly counters 23 Fatigue damage from Lancelot's Lightning Impact, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Counter!  Hotaru Tomoe's Reverse ability activates!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe's counterattack, Devouring Shadow, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Lancelot!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe braces 22 Fatigue damage from Sourisi's Crashing Tooth, taking 18 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Hotaru
Tomoe's Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Shigure Shiratsuyu [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Shigure is not, on the other hand, champion material.

She's not going to hit the bullseye with unerring accuracy with every strike -- and calm and focus can only get her so far when her opponent has her cornered. She reaches for her next shot--

And hears the screams, and something contorts and twists in her as she feels something very... very much off.

The scream shakes her through her foundation, and being as close as she is-- she's thrown clear off her feet with a wince as she holds onto her side. "U-ugh... what...?"

Her eyes widen. The girl before them had turned into a -- no, that's...

Shigure's eyes follow the other magical girls as they turn towards the battle. She falters, and hurries in the cloud of the dust as she hides behind a nearby rafter of seats.

She clutches at her pendant and whispers the fated words that've drawn her into all of this.

Ma zweie an cloidheamh solais tron...

(Indefatigable light draws the awakened Claiomh Solais...)

It isn't long before there's a flash of light -- and a magical girl in a grey, black and white garment has joined the battle. The Claiomh Solais, a greatsword of enormous proportion, is affixed towards her back as she expresses, "Sailor Moon! Sourisi, I'm so glad you're here!" to just a few that've joined the battle. "I've got your back, you can do this!"

Her stomach twists. Those were people she knew... this... this felt horrible.

But she believes in everyone.

COMBAT: Shigure Shiratsuyu transforms into Symphogear Solais!
COMBAT: Shigure Shiratsuyu has used I Know You Can Do This! on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon accepts Shigure Shiratsuyu's I Know You Can Do This!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon is Cheered!
Empower applied to Sailor Moon!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Steven watches onward with bated breath. Every time someone is about to release an arrow, he takes on and holds it, as if everything was riding on that shot. Bullseye after bullseye is nailed, and Steven wants to erupt with cheer with each on in succession that much more. An energetic child if one ever existed. "I know, right? Fuu is super good at archery, huh? Wonder how long shes been doing it?" A pause. "Oh, I think I have seen that person at school!" the boy states, looking toward Shigure.

Miho's turn comes up, and Steven suddenly chokes and falls over when a scream peals out over that arrow noise. "BWUH!" is about as close to correct that the boy makes upon faceplanting. Clamoring his way back up, his hakama fluttering all over, the boy looks on, and immediately recognizes the creature as it forms. Only one thing fought before denies light's caress on its form like that.

"Oh no."

With a flutter of the blanket, the boy is literally off at breakneck pace. He seems to have not heard Niramo, or chose not to. He has to get out there to help! "Did it just come out of those people?! Is that where they come from?!" Does that mean that some of the lost girls actually TURNED into those things under the island? He isn't even halfway to the scene before a roseate shield springs forth with a magical clanging noise on his forearm.

The boy joins the fray, and points at the creature decisively! "You, creature! You--"

Among those who show up is among Sailor Moon. Steven just watches her make her statement against the forces of evil. The boy wells up, with courage at her arrival, and has to tack on. "Yeah, what she said! You can't just steal people's bodies to use for your own nefarious purposes! And if she is against you, then I, Steven Unvierse, am as well!" Yeah, that sounded good. Possibly not as good though, but she has it down to an art form.

With that, the boy readies for combat, and the inevitable clash, as he sinks into a defensive posture.

COMBAT: Steven Universe transforms into Steven Quartz Universe!
COMBAT: Steven Universe has used AND STEVEN! on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to dodge Steven Universe's AND STEVEN!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Steven Universe is Psyched!
Diversion applied to Hotaru Tomoe!
<Pose Tracker> Saki Hyuuga [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Saki has taken to sitting by quietly; attention mostly on the yards below. Mai doesn't like her looking while she works, and Saki respects that, especially since Mai occasionally appeases her with a glimpse of the work. Like this one!

Saki looks it over - shifting as if moving would somehow allow her more perspective on the world Mai has captured. "Amazing!" she finally declares, and beams. "I'm always amazed by that, Mai. You caught a thing I didn't even see...I know it happened, but you saw it and caught it. That's really amazing! And--" Saki frowns, the haze of gushing about Mai being amazing disrupted by sudden screaming. "I didn't think kyudo usually got this excited," she mutters, and looks.

And freezes. "Oh....no," she rasps. It's almost a formality when Flappy pushes his head out of her gym bag. "Saki-lapi! I sense--"

Saki grabs him and points him at the horrible thing rapidly emerging from one of their school mates. Flappy chokes himself off with a horrified gurgle.

"It's terrible-chopi!" comes Choppy's cry.

And that wakes Mai up, causing her to look up at the mass of fangs and darkness that is not unfamiliar to her. Mai feels her stomach grow cold; the fearful sight of a monster that is so different than the ones she fights, and brings out a new kind of fear -- equally strong to the one that Akudaikaan's minions inspire, and yet terrible in a new way. Her purple eyes widen.

But she finds strength when she looks sideways and meets Saki's brown eyes. "Saki!" The sketch book is dropped. Forgotten, for a moment.

"Mai!" Saki calls back. She's on her feet, hand out. Flappy disappears in a poof, zooming to her hand in his mix commune form. She looks down. There's no explanation needed, not really. They have to go. She holds out her hand and Mai grasps it.

A flash of light erupts around both girls. Silver and gold mix together, before they stand: Cure Bloom and Cure Egret, pink-and-black standing beside white-and-blue. Egret's purple hair flutters out behind her, her violet eyes narrowed, and she looks briefly at her partner -- and then turns to look towards the Protodaimon. Don't be frightened, she thinks. Don't let it get to her.

Bloom is next to her. Egret nods, once. Then, two call out, as one: "We are Pretty Cure!"

Mai points forward with a hand, at the monster that may not understand. "Those who would desecrate the Sacred Fountains..."

"Stop your cruel behavior!"

Cure Bloom holds her hand out - fingers splayed, defiant. She's fought these before. She's been defeated by them, even. Her fingers tremble in Egret's grip, but she squeezes tighter, with forces that would shatter concrete but translates to merely firm with Pretty Cure's power, until her fingers still.

And then she charges, leaping forward, bounding with that loping gait of hers as she nearly throws herself at the beast, one, two, three pinwheeling leaps; and then swings down with one foot to smash into the protodaimon, and in the same move throw herself upward, to where she can catch Egret.

Egret, for her part, already leaped into the air. The white Cure spins as she goes airborne -- and then her foot comes down. It slams into gloved hands, and with a push, Bloom sends her cartwheeling into the air. She spins -- and comes down like a drill that kicks at the Protodaimon hard. She hits the ground, skidding, and then comes rushing back for it. She doesn't have to look up to know where Bloom is.

But she cries out, to be sure: "Bloom!" she yells. "NOW!"

Bloom's hand lashes out, whirling the girl around her in a dancing pirouette. Their hands slap together with a clear, crisp clap as they whirl around each other.

Then the other pair clap too, their whole bodies exploding with light, their unified hands facing toward the monster gathering it all together into a shining torrent of the Sacred Fountains' might.

Their feet erupt with the rest, like twin rockets of silver and gold cutting the sky. There's no attack call: Just a defiant scream.

COMBAT: Saki Hyuuga transforms into Cure Bloom!
COMBAT: Mai Mishou transforms into Cure Egret!
COMBAT: Cure Bloom has started a combo targeting Hotaru Tomoe!
COMBAT: Cure Egret has joined the combo started by Cure Bloom!
COMBAT: COMBO! Cure Bloom and Cure Egret have used Double Pretty Cure Spirit Splash on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe braces 49 Fatigue damage from Cure Bloom and Cure Egret's Combo: Double Pretty Cure Spirit Splash, taking 21
Fatigue damage!  Hotaru Tomoe's Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.


Grand Magus Kaolinite has beautiful hands. They are long-fingered and strong and graceful as they pass to and fro in elaborate, syrup-slow gestures above the scrying pool she's kneeling before.

Her vision zooms in on the protodaimon as they erupt.

"Yes, exactly as planned..."



Fuu has come up with an interesting working theory about protodaimon victims being able to control their eruptions.

It is definitely not the case.

The last thing Maho hears as the second protodaimon explodes out of her is the gentle chiding of her captain -- who is close enough that she's briefly impacted by the bubbling ichorous flesh as it expands.

The last thing Fuu hears of Maho, of course, is more screaming.

And then she is gone -- and then there are two.


ALL KINDS of distracting things happen, after that. The Miho-daimon gets called out by no one less than Sailor Moon, her Silver Crystal glimmering in the brooch on her chest, and the monster's head turns to stare directly at her.

Eyes -- Miho's eyes, dozens of them in that lovely soft green -- open with soft bubbling pops, rippling up and down its flesh, to stare right at her.

They all blink at once and become empty-void eyes instead.

Steven receives similar treatment from the Maho-daimon, except that the human eyes, when they are present, are a gentle brown.

They start lunging forward, but there are others there first: Lancelot and Niramo. Everyone is extremely familiar with the phenomenon that occurs when Arondight explodes into the side of the Miho-daimon and all that lightning and kinetic force just gets... sucked in... becoming part of the darkness, a darkness that grows further. It doesn't belch, but it's possible to feel its urge to do so. Its sense of momentary satiation...

...and then more of that terrible, terrible hunger. It lurches towards him--


Maho-daimon, meanwhile, just took Sourisi's tonfa full in the face. The vibration pours down it like purple-black jello, and it tsunamis upwards, its own medium for its own wave, about to crash down upon her full-force--



"FOCUS!" snaps Kaolinite.



The two protodaimon abort their nascent counteroffensives... and slam towards Fuu, so very nearby, instead, leaving her nowhere to run as she's flanked--

--only to be blasted backwards by the immense power of the Splash Star Pretty Cure.

Although, again, far more of that spiritual energy seemed to be absorbed than actually impacted per se, and the two of them are growing, growing...

...growing into each other...

...and then there was one. It's a good two stories tall, and it screams with four voices instead of two--

--as whatever it's made out of, the outer layer of it seems to explode in all directions like extraordinarily gross reactive armor crossed with a weresnake's skin, coating everybody nearby. It is ninety-eight-point-six degrees warm, thicker than water, and burns like acid, rapidly destroying ordinary items (like the bows and arrows strewn about) and threatening to eat through more extraordinary items as well...

...among other things.

COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Visceral Eruption on Cure Bloom.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Visceral Eruption on Cure Egret.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Visceral Eruption on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Visceral Eruption on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Visceral Eruption on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Visceral Eruption on Shigure Shiratsuyu.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Visceral Eruption on Lancelot.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Visceral Eruption on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Hunger on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe accepts Hotaru Tomoe's Hunger, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Hotaru Tomoe is Reinforced by Hotaru
COMBAT: Shigure Shiratsuyu fails to brace Hotaru Tomoe's Visceral Eruption, taking 21 Fatigue damage!  Shigure Shiratsuyu is
COMBAT: Sourisi fails to dodge Hotaru Tomoe's Visceral Eruption, taking 21 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon dodges 9 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Visceral Eruption, taking 13 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon's Fade
and Flash abilities activate!  Sailor Moon is Taunted!
COMBAT: Steven Universe fails to brace Hotaru Tomoe's Visceral Eruption, taking 23 Fatigue damage!  Steven Universe is Taunted!
COMBAT: Lancelot fails to dodge Hotaru Tomoe's Visceral Eruption, taking 28 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Lancelot is Taunted!
<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Chibi-Usa finds herself pulled along easily, even by Usagi. "H-hey!" she says, worried, afraid, until she's dragged into the closet. She looks up at Usagi, and it--it feels wrong to just hide, even though she can't do anything. She couldn't do anything. But--

"What--but--what about you!?" Usagi looks... determined, somehow, though Chibi-Usa can barely see it. She promises...

Older girls always seem to be making her promises. But it usually only means--

Chibi-Usa takes a breath in the dark, and then, a moment later, after Usagi looks back, she opens the door again. She can't just leave things like this. She can find someone, can--

...Chibi-Usa stares, as she sees Usagi in the light. Usagi, changing. Usagi--

"S-Sailor Moon...?" Chibi-Usa murmurs in disbelief. All along, right here. All along--

...Sailor Moon was right here. The Silver Crystal really was right here. And now--

Chibi-Usa blinks back tears at the sheer hail of emotions running through her and grits her teeth... Rushing closer, to where she can hide behind a corner and watch the fight. It's terrifying, but--

How can she just run away? Again?

...So she calls out, "Sailor Moon!" from behind. She gives no hint at what she's seen, no clue as to what she knows now. But she sees her facing this thing--

"Be careful! Don't give up! Everyone, you can--!" She loses her breath, at that, but her red eyes shine as she watches them with more than just fear.

COMBAT: Chibi-Usa Tsukino has used Be Careful Sailor Moon! on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon accepts Chibi-Usa Tsukino's Be Careful Sailor Moon!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon is Cheered!
COMBAT: Cure Egret cleanly braces 17 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Visceral Eruption, taking 3 Fatigue damage!  Cure Egret's
Block and Parry abilities activate!  Cure Egret is Taunted!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji braces 11 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Visceral Eruption, taking 9 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji's Block
and Parry abilities activate!  Fuu Hououji is Taunted!
<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Lancelot suddenly flies right past Sailor moon covered in proto-daimon goo. He hits a pillar bounces off and lands face first next to Sailor Moon. "I should have remembered about that." He says in a mumbled voice speaking into the ground. He pushes himself to hsi feet and shakes his head to clear it. "Hiya Moon. Long time no see. Think we can stop meeting like this? Maybe meet over donuts instead of impending doom and gloom?" He shrugs.

Then he summons a metric ton fo lightning to him, the energy crackling around his armshands and the blades. He points the blades at the Proto-Daimon, the lightning crackling down the edges of the blades and collecting there at the tips. "Alright. Let's see you absorb THIS!" As he calls out in a triumphant voice; "LIGHTNING BLAST!" The energy at the tips release in an arcing blast of pure blue and white lighting that crackle toward the proto-daimon.

COMBAT: Lancelot has used Lightning Blast on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Lancelot has cancelled their attack on Hotaru Tomoe. If there are more attacks that need to be +cancelled, please hold all
+attacks until the process is complete.
<Pose Tracker> Shigure Shiratsuyu [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

The Maiden of Solais is rattled, as Maho, too, gets consumed and the proto-daimon consumes her. As she bursts from within -- she shakes her head, gasping as shs ays, "No-- Maho, Miho...!"

That churning within her stomach intensifies, as she thinks of death and how close she's come to it... again and again. She turns towards Lancelot as he keeps charging forward, and looks towards Sailor Moon as she asks, "Can-- can they be cleansed...?"

She gazes as the twin powers of the Pretty Cure come to light. It gives her hope... but that lingering question of whether her classmates that she knew -- who she were practicing before beside her -- were gone.

"S-Sourisi..." whispers Solais as she watches her fight with her tonfa. "Please, for their sake..."

She doesn't sound sure, but she believes in the Miraculous Mouse.

COMBAT: Shigure Shiratsuyu has used I Believe In You! on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Lancelot has used Lightning Blast on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Sourisi accepts Shigure Shiratsuyu's I Believe In You!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Cleanse! All of Sourisi's debuffs are
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Steven stands defiant against the protodaimon. And quickly wishes he hadn't. THe eyes, so many, watching, waiting, wanting. Steven begins to tremble. He thought they would be easier to face in the light. He thought wrong. THe boy barely reacts to the sudden jettisoning of viscous, disintegrating liquid before it coats him, and only the pain therein causes him to react. "Ahhhhh--!" he screams in pain, getting all over his hakama, his face, his hair. THinking quickly, the boy lets loose a quick bubble shield to remove the substance from off him, though major damage was already inflicted with the small time of contact. "What an awful...!" the boy says, grabbing the edge of his trusty implement with his spare hand.

"It... it is time to teach you some manners, badguy! Fiend? Whatever you are!" With that, the boy charges into the creature hoping to inflict some kind of damage, or possibly knock it over.

He recalls though that they are very durable. How well will this work? Thankfully he begins to see more friends, in Pretty Cures and Lancelot showing up in to the fray. Maybe they can team up on them and take them down...!

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Shield Slam on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to dodge Lancelot's Lightning Blast, taking 27 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Lancelot is Psyched!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe decisively counters 15 Fatigue damage from Steven Universe's Shield Slam, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Hit!  Steven Universe is Psyched!  Hotaru Tomoe's Reverse ability activates!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe's counterattack, Space Invasion, partially gets through, doing 22 Fatigue damage to Steven Universe!
COMBAT: Cure Bloom braces 11 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Visceral Eruption, taking 9 Fatigue damage!  Cure Bloom's Block
ability activates!  Cure Bloom is Taunted!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

When you're scared - there's nothing more important than knowing she's not alone. The Inner Senshi aren't here, but she's not alone at all... Shigure's song, and her voice, her encouragement, knowing she's at her back. It's uplifting. It's an intense relief - but at the same time it's a responsibility. Sourisi and the Maiden of Claiomh Solais were new at this. And she had to be an example. "Right! These things are tough - but together! We'll definitely make it through this!" Still it's even more of a relief when the Magic Knight of Wind, Lancelot and Pretty Cure both show up. She then answers Shigure again, "They definitely can be." She promises, "And we're going to do it now."

Whirling around the Spiral Heart Moon Rod she declares, "Try not to let them touch you!" She remembers - from so many times, that helpless feeling of being drawn in. And while she knows it may be impossible, she imparts what wisdom she can. "And if you get pulled in - fight for your life!"

But that Miho-Daimon is staring at her with all kinds of void eyes. Eerily - the only readable emotion is an unfathomable alien hunger.

Her warning becomes advice she must take herself really quickly.

It lunges at her, and Sailor Moon dives out of the way into a roll. A tendril only just managed to graze the heel of the moon boot - but it's stuck hold really fast. With a yelp of pain, she desperately tries to yank that boots away, and with a sickening pop manages to get it loose - just as she looks up.

And where there were two - they become one. Into a towering - colossal Protodaimon. It's too reminiscent of Tokyo Tower - where they all came together into one behemoth that smothered the light inside them.

Sailor Moon's throat bobs. There's a whimper in her throat, eyes wide with terror.

It's too much. It's too much.

More people are going to DiE.

And then - there's a singular voice behind her, and she dares to look away from her frozen terror.

And every caring instinct in her just sees a child in danger, "Chibi-Usa-chan! I thought-"

She almost said she thought she told her to stay somewhere safe. Almost, but she cuts herself off. Eyes flashing in determination. The girl has suffered too much to see more today. Scrambling to her feet, she moves to interpose herself between the child and her before spinning the Spiral Heart Moon Rod in a dramatic flourish. Power gathering within it. "Moon Twilight-"

Pointing it at the creature, silverine energy erupts from the rod, spiralling outwards as multiple orbs. "-FLASH!"

Each of the orbs tries to make contact, into an eruption of twilit light. Just moments ago she was ready to give up - but thanks to the others, instead she's calling out, "Everyone! I know it's scary! Fighting monsters like this - they make me feel like I just want to run away! But - just think of the girls trapped inside! They don't know what's happening to them! They just know it's scary and they're suffering - so think of them when you get scared and fight! Fight for their sakes!"

COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used Moon Twilight Flash on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

And then, indeed, there are two. Fuu was *hoping* that Maho would have some vestige of control, *some* ability to stem the rising tide of darkness, but it's all too clear, all too quickly, that her wisp of hope was not to be borne out.

It's not even a surprise to her, really. Since when are the forces of darkness so considerate as to let their puppet-prey resist? Perhaps a full magical girl would be able to dig in against it, but normal students ... The best Fuu can hope, really, is that he last words she got out give the two girls something to cling to against whatever Hell they're enduring inside the monsters' forms. And that's what she's thinking when she gets bowled over by Maho's protodaimon 'hatching'.

By the time the Wind Knightcan right herself and get to her feet, the protodaimons have merged into a single entity, which has its advantages. She doesn't have time to think about the up sides, though, because that eldritch 'protoplasm' erupts ALL OVER; quite literally, the only thing which keeps the Wind Knight from screaming is the immediate and practical concern that she does not, absolutely does *NOT*, want to find out what that tastes like. She gets covered in it anyway, despite a nearly-reflexive wind barrier staving some of it off, and ...

Well. The feel of it is more than enough to persuade her that not only would it taste unspeakably vile, but she wouldn't be able to taste much of *anything* after that. To say the least.

Finally, the Magic Knight of Wind is able to get back to her feet, reaching over her shoulder and pulling a handful of arrows from her quiver. "I don't know who sent you, monster-san," she calls out, "and I don't care to guess what's guiding you. But your master has made a horrible blunder in judgment."

She nocks the arrows - not one at a time, but *all four* that she's holding - and draws back, glaring down their length.

"Miho, Maho ... my teammates, my kouhai ... !"

It's as though the air about her reflects the tumult in her heart - not confusion, but a deadly, raging storm, whipping at her skirt and sleeves and hair, even as her gaze and aim are rock-steady amidst that storm.

"... I won't let you take them away from me! GALE ARROW!!!!!"

The string is released; four arrows snap forward - starting to scatter and yaw before the winds wrap around them, straightening them on their course and speeding their flight nearly to the point of outrunning the Wind Knight's attack call. Rather than aiming for the center of mass, though, the arrows diverge in directions unrelated to their initial scatter: two for the monster's eyes, the other two for the nearest semblance of limbs sprouting from that dark, toxic mass.

And the green-clad Magic Knight isn't even waiting to see how much effect they have, already reaching for her quiver again.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Gale Arrow on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe braces 31 Fatigue damage from Sailor Moon's Moon Twilight Flash, taking 25 Fatigue damage!  Hotaru Tomoe's
Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe perfectly dodges 29 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Gale Arrow, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!
Hotaru Tomoe's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Landing down near the daimon in time to catch her tonfa, Sourisi stares up at the monster in shock as it's flesh just bounced with the shock of the impact, like moldy jello. As it lumbers forward to her, Sourisi raises her tonfa in front of her face in a guarding position, but is surprised as it turns back around to assault the Wind Knight. "What? Breeze-san, get clear!"

That warning won't need to be heeded, however, thanks to the timely intervention of the Pretty Cure. The two daimons being knocked back, however, seems to be to their benefit, and the two proto-daimons proceeded to press into, mold into, fuse into-

While a benefit of the daimons fusing with each other was now there was only one to worry about, the fact that the creature was several stories tall is worrisome. Before Sourisi can even think of new tactics for the gargantuan foe, the very flesh of the beast explodes outwards, catching the mouse girl off guard and sending her tumbling into the dirt.

Catching her footing and sliding to a stop, Sourisi surprisingly doesn't focus on the fact that she was coated in the flesh of a monster, but uses her tonfa to scrape off the flesh as quickly as she good. There's always time to worry about the flesh when she wasn't fighting a giant monster that now has two archers inside of it.

All thoughts of where to strike next are put aside, however, as Sourisi spots the Maiden of Solais and her massive blade, staring up at the massive beast in what appears to be worry. Even when Sourisi is doubting herself, there's no way she's going to let a friend doubt herself, for it was the magical girl way! "Solais! We can do this, if we work together! All of us are here, but if we want to save the people inside that monster, we have to stay focused, okay?" A smile forms on Sourisi's lips, and she raises a tonfa to try to encourage her friend. "Remember, the bigger they are, the harder they fall! Now let's make the ground shake!"

<Pose Tracker> Cure Egret [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Two Protodaimons.

It is almost enough to make Cure Egret's insides turn to jelly for a moment. She stares at the second one, and her hands -- balled into fists -- begin to go limp for just a moment. She stares, and takes a deep breath. Her breath is shaking when she exhales. Her eyes turn to the side, to Bloom. She bites her lip.

It is enough to make her consider running. It does not help that Choppy cries out, softly: "It's so terrible-chopi... how can we beat two!"

Mai's eyebrow trembles for a moment.

But, then, she looks to the side. She sees Cure Bloom -- the girl she has stood by for countless times, the girl that makes her know she can't run. She knows enough, now, to know that Bloom is as scared as she is. And, in Mai's estimation, that doesn't make her any less wonderful. She looks back at the Protodaimons.

"Bloom," she says. "I know.... I know we've never, really, won against these things. I know that two of them may be two more than we can handle. But... I believe in you. If we're together, and with everyone here, we can do this. And everyone back home -- Michiru-san and Kaoru-san, too -- are counting on us. So..."

She looks sideways at her, and smiles. It's small, but it will do. She thinks of what their senpai said, over and over again. The words come naturally. "...Let's do our very best."

COMBAT: Cure Egret has used We Are... on Cure Bloom.
COMBAT: Sourisi has used Heartfelt Pledge on Shigure Shiratsuyu.
COMBAT: Shigure Shiratsuyu accepts Sourisi's Heartfelt Pledge, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Shigure Shiratsuyu is Cheered!
COMBAT: Cure Bloom accepts Cure Egret's We Are..., taking 0 Fatigue damage!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Bloom [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Two Protodaimons.

Bloom's reaction is no better than Egret's. The Pretty Cure of Earth nearly rebounds off the horrid thing as they're sent tumbling back. Bloom lands in three-point stance and kneels there, for a time, staring at the ground, her teeth gritted.

Her breath comes slow. But she dares to look up. Actually see the horrible things, pulsing with open malevolence. She's never seen them in open daylight before. It's stomach-turning. Flappy makes a noise below her.

Mai looks to her, and her shaking fingers still. "I know," she says, quietly, and forces herself to rise. "We have too much depending on us. Michiru and Kaoru, and Miho and Maho...we have to show them that we aren't going to just back down!"

Her stance squares. She looks at the thing, squirming, and her toes curl in her boots. "We won't," she says again. "As long as we're together, the two of us are Pretty Cure!"

COMBAT: Cure Bloom has used ...Pretty Cure! on Cure Egret.
COMBAT: Cure Egret accepts Cure Bloom's ...Pretty Cure!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

It seems that, having shed its outermost layer onto everyone else, the protodaimon is momentarily vulnerable, because this time when Lancelot tries to give it a big shock, it leaves a blackened patch behind.

Well, relatively vulnerable... that patch is sure shrinking fast. It boils as it's transformed back into primordial ooze, and a moment later, a clawed arm erupts out of it to try to seize Lancelot by the throat and slam him into the ground!

Steven runs in from the other side and discovers the thing Sailor Moon was warning about -- he slams into the protodaimon with his shield and sticks.

IMMEDIATELY the burning begins, and a moment later, more mass starts to extrude all around him, vines of the stuff trying to coccoon him more thoroughly... and drag him in.

By the time Moon Twilight Flash comes in, the monster is once again fully capable of absorption -- it's incapable of taking all of that silvery magic in, but certainly it seems to be healing as quickly as she's able to harm it. It doesn't like that cleansing magic, though, oh, no, and in response it grows a mouth -- a human mouth, with lips, it could be Miho's or Maho's or some fusion of the two -- to spit gibbering fury at her.

Then it gapes open into a huge maw which soars directly towards her, propelled by a rapidly thinning elongated neck.

This is part of why Fuu's arrows miss so very badly; protodaimon have always been inhumanly, impossibly, unfairly quick for their size, even the huge ones. Especially the huge ones, really. Especially quick, especially unfair, and that extra head traveled the distance between 'part of the main bulk' and 'trying to chomp Sailor Moon to death' in less than a second flat.

The other part is that, despite its alien awareness kind of keeping track of everyone who annoys it sufficiently, it seems particularly interested in the Magic Knight of Wind. Before Pretty Cure blasted it back it was about to go after her with particular ferocity, and that happens again now; it matches her step for step, and then surges over her, more of those mouths bubbling into being, becoming fanged maws, and trying to meatgrind her out of existence...

Despite its especially singular focus on her, though, no place is truly safe. Those focusing on one another -- or, say, hiding in a corner -- have to contend with the fact that the bits of protodaimon that have been separated from the primary mass by a mix of lightning and shield and energy... are surging themselves, becoming tiny skittering clawed palms that eager latch on to anyone they can find... and start to tear, and squeeze.

COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Mass Effect on Lancelot.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Body Horror on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used The Jaws That Bite on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used The Jaws That Bite on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Protodaimonthings on Cure Egret.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Protodaimonthings on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Protodaimonthings on Shigure Shiratsuyu.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Protodaimonthings on Chibi-Usa Tsukino.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Protodaimonthings on Cure Bloom.
COMBAT: Cure Egret dodges 9 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Protodaimonthings, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Cure
Egret's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Cure Bloom fails to counter Hotaru Tomoe's Protodaimonthings, taking 25 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Cure Bloom's counterattack, Petal Flash, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Hotaru Tomoe!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon braces 15 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's The Jaws That Bite, taking 22 Fatigue damage!  Hotaru Tomoe is
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji  0 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's The Jaws That Bite, taking 47 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji's counterattack, Spinning Slash, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Hotaru Tomoe!
COMBAT: Lancelot cleanly braces 17 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Mass Effect, taking 3 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Lancelot's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sourisi braces 7 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Protodaimonthings, taking 11 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Steven Universe counters 2 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Body Horror, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  Steven Universe is
Quipped!  Bind Break! All of Hotaru Tomoe's debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Steven Universe's counterattack, Bubble Shield, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Hotaru Tomoe!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon covers Chibi-Usa Tsukino for Hotaru Tomoe's attack, Protodaimonthings, taking it upon herself instead!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon fails to dodge Hotaru Tomoe's Protodaimonthings, taking 21 Fatigue damage!
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

It's still focused on *her*, the Wind Knight realizes - and it's already too close to shoot. Bow and quiver vanish, replaced in her hand with a sword, and she pivots -

Without NEARLY enough time to bring her sword around to even nick the monster, before those huge jaws close on her.

But the greater surprise is when she's released, her armor smoking and her 'clothing' around it in terrible shambles, to say nothing of what had been exposed skin. She wobbles on her feet, gasping in a mix of agony, terror, and panic, one hand going to her breastplate -


Even with her glasses gone, the Wind Knight gets both hands back on her sword and leaps at the protodaimon again. "Steven-san! Everyone! This monster just took my pendant - the one which held the power point we recovered from Northa's base!" she calls out, no longer raging but openly, visibly *panicking*. "We have to get it back *and* save the two girls inside! Somehow! Give this fight everything you have, we can't afford to lose!!"

And sure enough, she's laying into the protodaimon as hard as she can, not only with the physical blade she wields (which is pretty big and almost certainly quite sharp) ... but she's wrapping the wind itself around her slashes, adding elemental magic to her physical strikes. She can only hope that she'll be able to cut some useful gouges into the monster before it's too late.

Or before it chomps down on her *again*, which would likely end the fight for her personally. How she's still on her feet with those injuries probably speaks more to her willpower than to her good judgment.

COMBAT: Shigure Shiratsuyu braces 19 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Protodaimonthings, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Shigure Shiratsuyu's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Tempest Slash on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe perfectly counters 34 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Tempest Slash, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Counter!  Hotaru Tomoe's Reverse ability activates!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe's counterattack, Devouring Shadow, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Fuu Hououji!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Egret [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Egret looks sideways at Saki. She hesitates a moment, before her head nods, bobbing once, and then she turns to look back at the Protodaimons. That leaves her, temporarily, unaware of the fact that there are bits of Protodaimon around her. As Egret leaps, a clawed hand rakes up at her. It just catches her boot -- but she tears away just in time, pulling free of it and looking down at the Protodaimon with wide eyes.

Her breath catches. She makes herself breathe again.

It isn't easy when she calls out, her head snapping to look at Fuu. Egret's eyes go wide -- but then she nods. "I understand!" she calls out, as she does a tight midair spin. Cure Egret comes screaming down for it. Her fist punches down -- a burst of silver sparks explodes, and she bounces backward. She does a midair somersault, silver light trailing after her feet.

Feet that, inevitably, come crashing down for the thing's head with a double kick.

COMBAT: Cure Egret has used White Wing Flurry on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to dodge Cure Egret's White Wing Flurry, taking 19 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Exhausted applied to
Hotaru Tomoe!
<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

A hand bursts out of the spot that he just blasted and Lancelot blinks as it moves with strength and speed to grab him by the throat. He crosses Arondight and the blades catch the grasping hand between the sharp, dangerous and super murderous evil fingers. He strains against the monstrous strength, holding the hand back with the blades, the edges of Demon's Bane cutting into the fingers and the hand. Strange Protodaimon ichor dribble out onto the blades and sizzle there. Electricity crackles and the ichor boils and pops.

"Oh man. You sprouted an arm?!" Lancelot blinks and he strians agianst the thing. "GUYS! This thing sprouted an ARM!!!" There is a long sort of pause. "It's really gross!" Which is when Fuu yells about the pendant being stolen. He narrows his eyes. "Yeah. That's worse than the gross."

Suddenly Lancelot is a burr of motion. He pushes the hand back as he leads backwards landing ina crouch. His baldes dance in his hands as he moves forward again, trying his level best to cut his way to the girl inside. He knows she's in danger. The creature drained the girls at Tokyo Tower. He can't let that happen again.

COMBAT: Lancelot has used Bladefury on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe perfectly braces 21 Fatigue damage from Lancelot's Bladefury, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Brace!
Hotaru Tomoe's Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

More people. What did Sailor Moon think? That Chibi-Usa was safe in that closet? ...A lot of things have started to make sense by now, a lot of things that she hadn't even thought of before, and Chibi-Usa somehow has the presence of mind to think about them, to go through her memories even as she watches her heroine bring silver energy at one of the creatures there--hears her talk about those girls.

And the others are working so hard--

"Luuuna-P...!" Chibi-Usa draws her breath and dribbles the little cat robot close, up behind Egret as she pulls closer, "Transform!"

In a blast of pink smoke, Chibi-Usa is holding a fire extinguisher that she uses to spray down the Pretty Cure in hopes of getting rid of some of the goop. "Come on! All of you--you have to! You have to!"

But then it's coming at her, and it has the pendant, and--

Chibi-Usa screams again, with no way to move in time.

COMBAT: Chibi-Usa Tsukino has used Luna-P: TRANSFORM! on Cure Egret.
COMBAT: Cure Egret accepts Chibi-Usa Tsukino's Luna-P: TRANSFORM!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Accelerate applied to Cure Egret!
Cleanse! All of Cure Egret's debuffs are cleared!
<Pose Tracker> Shigure Shiratsuyu [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Shigure was rattled, truly -- moreso when the Protodaimons reveal themselves to be enormously fast and beyond her experience or capacity to deal with them, striking at her from an odd angle and sending her off and crashing against the opposing end of the rafters. There's a cough from her lips--

But Sailor Moon is there, to encourage her. They can be saved. They're going to do it. Don't let them touch you...

Sourisi, too. They can do this... if they work together. "You're right, Sourisi. I'm going to do my best..."

She hefts her large and seemingly unwieldy sword -- the Relic that's never quite fully cooperated with her. She can feel it, how it senses the lack of resolve within her. How she's never been able to gel violence and battle with her wishes...

But today, she has to try -- for Maho and Miho's sake.

Fuu shouts about how the pendant was stolen, and she nods as well. She opens her mouth, and the words just seem to flow out from her--

Aah, how she enters in waltz

A pierrot of many colours...

She does alight in paradise, our false Eden!

Her feet feel lighter than they've ever been, twisting on one heel as she joins the others and for once brings the full fore of the gigantic broadsword to bear. She spins once, feeling the full weight of Claiomh Solais as she lets centripetal force take her--

--up into the air, as she announces:

She turns against the heavens...

A harlequin on the end of a puppets' wire!

Listen, as the curtain rises--

Cut, our heavenly mirage!

COMBAT: Shigure Shiratsuyu has used Heavenly Mirage Slash on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to counter Shigure Shiratsuyu's Heavenly Mirage Slash, taking 36 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe's counterattack, Space Invasion, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Shigure Shiratsuyu!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Steven moves in for the attack, and lands a decent blow, but hears the callout from Sailor Moon too late, as a sickening sound is heard on connection. The boy also quickly finds out that staying there for any amount of time was a poor idea. His shield sticks, as does his arm and legs. "Oh ew! Ahhh! No!" In a panic, the boy deploys another Bubble Shield to stave off the creaky consuming tendrils and break himself free, running away from it a good distance before turning around and re-assessing the situation.

A sweat drop or two trickles down his forehead. The fight has barely begun and he is already tired. He should have trained more with the Gems.

Then Fuu calls out with some dire information. "What?! It did?! ARGH!" the boy exclaims, frustrated now. "I'll go try to distract it, see if we can't get it back!" A pause before running into the fray. "You got one of the best shots out here. I believe in you! You can make this thing regret what it did to your archery friends! Just look deep down and know you are doing this for a righteous cause!" the boy says toward the Wind Knight. He gives her a thumbs up as he runs back in to the melee.

Though without Lion, getting this thing back will be really hard. How's he gonna get up to it?! "When it doubt, improvise!" he says aloud.

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Love Like You on Fuu Hououji.
<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Turning back to the proto-daimon, Sourisi is a little concerned by the situation. The very flesh of the creature can hurt just as much as a heavy blow, and with it burning and sticking to whatever it touches, pure magical attacks like the ones that the Wind Knight and Sailor Moon were unleashing might be what wins the day.

Her thoughts on tactics were put on pause when Sourisi feels a jagged claw scratch into her leg, and the mouse girl instinctively lashes her foot out in a kneejerk reaction, sending a miniture daimon flying. "What?!" A glance around her has Sourisi realize that the discarded flesh was doing more than simple burning now, and was creating a miniture hoard of the daimon!

And if that bad news wasn't enough to make Sourisi think the situation was already bad enough, the Wind Knight going into a panic over the pendent was more than enough. "Oh no...they'll have three of the five." And if they manage to get away with that pendent and the magical warriors here couldn't get it back... "Try to do everything you can, we have to stop this thing from escaping!"

There was no time for careful battle plans now, for if they fail to defeat the proto-daimon, it would be more than two innocents dying.

The whole world would be at risk.

Fingers clenching tightly into the wood of her tonfa, Sourisi leaps over the mini-daimon that were in the way, leaping the 30 feet in a single bound to close the distance with the beast. Just before she reaches it, she swings her tonfa downwards with all her might in a hammerhand blow, remembering how much it jiggled when it was hit with her tonfa earlier.

'I can't be a burden for the others, not now!'

COMBAT: Sourisi has used Forest Down on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji accepts Steven Universe's Love Like You, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Surge applied to Fuu Hououji!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe perfectly dodges 19 Fatigue damage from Sourisi's Forest Down, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!
Hotaru Tomoe's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

The thing is HUGE - so it's indignation being shown as a giant mouth trying to chomp her to death. The Spiral Heart Moon Rod is perhaps her only salvation, as she interposes it into it's chomping jaws. The impact of all that bulk nevertheless sends her smashing into chair after chair. Each one disintegrating against the tremendous force as she is battered by one after another.

Trembling, Sailor Moon rises, staggering in place - but... then - there, Fuu calls out that the pendant got lost too.

The pendant. Even if she couldn't quite follow everything at that tea party, it's importance was demonstrated so clearly by how it defeated Rubeus' trap.

"We have to get it-" But then she sees something out of the corner of her eye something skittering along - right towards Chibi-Usa who's helping the Pretty Cure out with a fire extinguisher!?

The idea of that girl being caught, trapped, pulled in. It was too horrifying to imagine.

Even as messed up as she is she twists, and starts to run. Leaping like some bunny desperate to get away.

But the reality is she's just desperate to get there.

Her arms are open wide as she dives into her, catching hold of her with both arms in what looks like a hug. But it's really a rescue. Because at the same moment - the claws are leaping at the girl.

And slicing into her.

There's a sickening - horrifying sound as her Fuku is shredded, her world going red. And the two land together, her grip more lax than before.

And then she coughs. Her whole body trembling as she looks up at Chibi-Usa. "Sorry... I should have been watching you more closely... that must have been frightening..." She says in obvious pain. Hurting - and yet all she can focus on is the fact that Chibi-Usa was probably scared out of her mind.

It's such a contrast to Usagi Tsukino. The selfish, petty crybaby who takes responsibility for nothing. Perhaps this is the side of what she really had wanted to show earlier. To be a sort of big sister to her.

But then it reveals - that it didn't merely cut her Fuku. It's still there hanging on her. And Sailor Moon releases Chibi-Usa with a cry of alarm as it starts to squeeze. Before shoving her boot up against it, and stomping repeatedly while crying the same thing over and over in a desperate attempt to tear it off- "SAILOR MOON KICK! SAILOR MOON KICK! SAILOR MOON KICK!"

It feels like her own way of saying GETITOFFGETITOFFGETITOFF!

If she were watching the others - Steven, Fuu, Sourisi, Shigure, Cure Bloom and Egret - she couldn't be more proud! But right now she's ruining both her senpai and big sister image immediately by acting like a kid trying to get something icky stuck to them off of them - and well... that's really not too far from the truth huh?

COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used Sailor Moon Kick on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe braces 4 Fatigue damage from Sailor Moon's Sailor Moon Kick, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon is
Psyched!  Hotaru Tomoe's Block and Parry abilities activate!  Stun applied to Hotaru Tomoe!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Bloom [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Cure Bloom bought Fuu a precious few seconds that almost do something! She sees that!

Just before she gets assaulted by tiny jumping blobs. "HaaaAAAH!" she calls, replying to the power by drawing on her own magic, the light of her power swirling around her fingertips as she hurls a wave of inchoate but powerful motes of light at the jumping things, which proceed to ignore her defense entirely and biff her across the jaw, sending her tumbling for bits of protodaimon to swarm.

Moments later she throws herself up and back and away, playing keep-away with the horribleness. She tracks Egret briefly, but can't do much to help her from here. She surges; leaps away with a pinwheeling whirl of legs - and hears Wind Knight's proclamation. She remembers them in brief, horrible flashes. The fight at the World Tree. The loss of that power to save the world from Rubeus.

She sucks in a breath and then bounds again, lands on one boot, the other held high as it begins to glow.

Then drops it in an axe kick she hopes will rip down through that goo, light exploding around her foot as it falls.

COMBAT: Cure Bloom has used Fistful of Flowers on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe dodges 15 Fatigue damage from Cure Bloom's Fistful of Flowers, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  Cure Bloom is
Psyched!  Hotaru Tomoe's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

All this time there have been four screams emitting from the protodaimon's maw, but two of them are starting to grow measurably weaker. The meaning is clear -- putting aside the temporary injections of power from other peoples' attacks, Miho and Maho's pure hearts are the monster's more fundamental fuel, and that fuel is starting to sputter dangerously low.

A third entity has joined the girls in the interior of the monster's bulk. Fuu knew it was gone as much from the very audible *GULP* as the monster swallowed it down a temporary throat, as from the lightening of weight on her chest.



"Yesss!" cheers Kaolinite, grinning at the tableau on her scrying pool.

Quickly she returns her pumping fist into a dramatically finger-splayed arcane gesture and sneaks a peek over her shoulder to make sure nobody saw.



Something weird is happening.

It isn't exactly weird per se that Lancelot and Fuu's sword slashes are having absolutely no effect except, perhaps, transferring their kinetic and wind energies into the monster's ichor, which is now bubbling happily rather than boiling painfully.

The weird part is the golden glow rising from what is surely the pendant, inside the monster. It provides a sort of internal flashlight -- for a moment it's all too easy to see Miho and Maho inside.

To see them stir, and redouble their screaming with new energy.

Especially as the golden light begins to dim...



Kaolinite's eyes widen. Her hand is a fist again, but for a different reason.

"NO! NO NO NO! Don't eat that energy -- we need it for our Mistress' great Plan! Just... tuck the pendant into your cheek or something!!"



Pretty Cure crash into the top of the creature and its 'main' face. Bloom winds up bouncing off, but Egret hit with full force and sticks. Looking down, she can see a few feet into the protodaimon's translucent flesh, where Miho and Maho are curled. Rictus returns to their bodies, the tension of being drained. Their fetal position is no protection, that's for certain.

The golden glow redoubles, and the screaming weakens.



Kaolinite rubs out the beautifully formed sweatdrop on her forehead with a finger and thumb, making the exact sound of rubbing something out on a dry-erase board with same. Squeaky-squeak.


"Okay! Okay. Now, just, go to ground. Flee, and become what lies beneath!"



The archery range is in one of the oldest parts of Tokyo. This is great for Death Buster getaways -- once the daimon gets beyond the main grounds of Sensouji, there are an essentially unlimited set of narrow alleys, and ancient sewers, to get it where it needs to go.

But first it needs to get all of these pesky magical girls and boys off of it.

Thousands of tiny cilia sprout from it as it SHAKES furiously, trying to dislodge everyone touching it (Fuu, Lancelot, Sourisi and Egret), sending them flying backwards like rainwater flies out of a dog's shaggy fur.

The daimonthings, the clawed hands, pick up and go, skittering back to rejoin the main bulk as it charges towards the nearest wall -- it happens to be the wall covered in archery targets.

But Shigure is in the way. It tries to avoid her massive slash and fails...

...which cuts it right in half.

The bottom half of the daimon immediately starts boiling away, turning into noxious smoke. Sentient noxious smoke -- it chitters and laughs like the demon it is.

The top half, which still contains two girls and one pendant, sprouts more clawed arms and legs and eyes than any spider -- it resembles a koosh ball more than anything, albeit a nightmare-inducing one -- and it scrabbles onward, tearing through anyone between it and the other side of that wall with reckless abandon.

If it manages to catch hold, it ejects the limb into a bunch of boiling goo to pin its enemy to the ground.

COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Mass Effect on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Mass Effect on Lancelot.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Mass Effect on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Mass Effect on Cure Egret.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used The Claws That Catch on Shigure Shiratsuyu.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used The Claws That Catch on Cure Bloom.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used The Claws That Catch on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used The Claws That Catch on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used HUNGER on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe accepts Hotaru Tomoe's HUNGER, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Hotaru Tomoe is Reinforced by Hotaru
COMBAT: Cure Egret decisively counters 15 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Mass Effect, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Hotaru Tomoe
is Psyched!  Cure Egret's Reverse ability activates!
COMBAT: Cure Egret's counterattack, Light of Feathers, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Hotaru Tomoe!
COMBAT: Shigure Shiratsuyu dodges 9 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's The Claws That Catch, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Hit!  Stagger, Stun, and Trap applied to Shigure Shiratsuyu!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji dodges 8 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Mass Effect, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji's Fade and
Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Cure Bloom braces 16 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's The Claws That Catch, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Cure Bloom's Block ability activates!  Stagger and Stun applied to Cure Bloom!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon perfectly dodges 20 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's The Claws That Catch, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
Critical Dodge!  Sailor Moon's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Steven Universe fails to brace Hotaru Tomoe's The Claws That Catch, taking 19 Fatigue damage!  Stagger, Stun, and Tangle
applied to Steven Universe!
COMBAT: Sourisi perfectly counters 20 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Mass Effect, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Counter!
COMBAT: Sourisi's counterattack, Feral Flail, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Hotaru Tomoe!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Egret [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Egret is, sufficed to say, rather shocked when a fire extinguisher sprays her -- but it does, in fact, blow away some of that goop. Her eyes widen; she turns her head to look at Chibi-Usa, and tilts her head for a moment. The Pretty Cure smiles, though. "Thank you!" she says. "Please, stay safe. We'll do everything we can to get that pendant back and protect everyone."

She looks back at the Protodaimon -- and listens to the screams coming from within. Her eyes widen. "Maho, Miho... please hold on!"

She can look down at them, see them as she kicks into it, landing there and seeing the golden light. Her eyes widen -- and then a cilia comes flying at her -- so she throws her hand out to the side. White light explodes, like a barrier, and bounces it backward. She keeps keeps a barely-held grip on the top half as Shigure slices it in two, her feet stumbling for a moment...

...but, ultimately, Cure Egret is elegant and controlled. She kicks off it -- and then comes back down, punching towards the horrible, koosh-ball shaped thing. Her fist lights up -- and she tries to knife hand into it, towards where she saw Miho and Maho a moment before.

COMBAT: Cure Egret has used Feather Flourish on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to brace Cure Egret's Feather Flourish, taking 12 Fatigue damage!
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Oh no you *don't* - !!!"

Steven's words of encouragement came at a good moment, maybe a critical one. This fight has been incredibly personal for the Magic Knight of Wind: Her own memories of the innocents who died at Tokyo Tower, countless other fights with these protodaimon, her personal stake in trying to save Miho and Maho, the fact that it was an *archery tournament* which was ruined by the monster's emergence ....

Take all of that, and add the very visible, even *palpable*, lack of an effect she's been able to have on the monster - she has, in gamer parlance, been getting completely and utterly pwned like a hapless noob, and for all her normal cool reason, it has *not* left the Wind Knight thinking clearly. Which is why Steven's words came at an optimal moment, piercing through her frenzied rage and pulling her back to a measure of herself. It's not enough to keep her from getting tossed around (*again*) by the protodaimon shaking everybody off at once - but instead of coming up angry, the Wind Knight rolls with the impact, coming back to her feet faster than she might have.

"You're not getting away, not this time!" The Wind Knight gathers herself, then thrusts her hands out at the protodaimon. "Winds of Admonishment!!" she calls out, grasping the wind itself with her power and trying to encage the monster. Never mind how big it is, how strong it is, how scary it is; if she can hinder its movements even a *little* bit, it's a chance to prevent its escape - to rescue its victims - to take back the pendant that's still shining so brightly, despite the darkness around it.

And right now? She'll take every chance she can *get*, not for her own sake but for the sake of her allies.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Admonishment on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe dodges 10 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Winds of Admonishment, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji is
Psyched!  Hotaru Tomoe's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Trap applied to Hotaru Tomoe!
<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Chibi-Usa nods firmly, fiercely up at Cure Egret for a moment. "Just go, go!" she says to the magical girl, and that's when--

Well, thedanger is there. When Sailor Moon rushes for her while she's afraid, and leaps towards her, catching her quickly and knocking her backward as--

"Sailor Moon!" Chibi-Usa cries, noticing that lax crip, hearing the cough, looking up at her. "...It's more frightening seeing you get hurt!" she says, and it's not all bravado--as terrifying as these creatures are--even if it's just Usagi--

It's a huge contrast. "You--" It's still there. "AAH!"

....Poor Sailor Moon... Chibi-Usa swings her fire extinguisher at her and it... might... help. It pretty much doesn't help. But she's trying!

And this time she's spared the attack by sheer Sailor Moon's presence, and her eyes widen as she sees Shigure cut it in half--but the top half is still moving. Even looking at it is terrifying, and Chibi-Usa's been crying despite her attempts at bravery. There's the monster--

"IT'S GOING THAT WAY!" Chibi-Usa calls out, pointing at it in case anybody lost sight in the melee and hopping up and down--before she dives down behind a barricade again. She doesn't want to make Sailor Moon hurt herself for her again, but--

That light... The screams. It's--

"G-go!" she calls.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Thankfully Sailor Moon and Chibi-Usa's efforts combined manages to smoosh it enough that she can get free of the pieces holding onto her - but now it looks like the thing was... Chibi-Usa grasps it first, just before her.

"Oh. Oh no."

It's trying to run. And if it gets away those two girls are done for - and that pendant is gone.

A limb is ejected straight at her. And this time she leaps into a diving shoulder roll. The titanic limb comes close enough to clip one of her twintails, but the filaments thankfully slice away rather than get tangled up in it. She comes up onto a single knee.

And she sees the results. One after another it's pinning girl after girl AND STEVEN beneath the trembling detached limbs. And while she feels like she has to stop this quickly - she can do it better if she's not alone.

Grasping her sacred tiara with a hand, she cocks back her wrist, sighting down the path of each it becomes a discus of glittering stardust and moonlight, "Moon Tiara-"

Flinging it forward, there's a prayer upon her lips, "-BOOMERANG!" It whirls across the room, moving to sever the limb strangling Shigure - and another grappling with Cure Bloom. Before finally on it's return arc a final limb free from atop Steven.

She's standing by the time it gets back to her, as she catches it, and places it back on her forehead. "Don't worry Chibi-Usa."

The pendant is important - and she knows this. But the two precious lives within feel even more priceless to her.

Flourishing the Spiral Heart Moon Rod as like a prelude to what she's intending soon... "We absolutely won't let that happen!"

COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used Moon Tiara Boomerang on Cure Bloom.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used Moon Tiara Boomerang on Shigure Shiratsuyu.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used Moon Tiara Boomerang on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Steven Universe accepts Sailor Moon's Moon Tiara Boomerang, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Cleanse! All of Steven Universe's
debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Lancelot fails to brace Hotaru Tomoe's Mass Effect, taking 19 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Cure Bloom accepts Sailor Moon's Moon Tiara Boomerang, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Cleanse! All of Cure Bloom's debuffs are
COMBAT: Shigure Shiratsuyu accepts Sailor Moon's Moon Tiara Boomerang, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Cleanse! All of
Shigure Shiratsuyu's debuffs are cleared!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Hustling his best, Steven runs to the front of the foray, as One of the magical fighters tears through the creature clean, shearing it in half. It only stops it momentarily however, as the fearsome creature tears off toward an exit with both the girls and the pendant, the boy maneuvers to try and stop it. The daimon predicts the assault, and actually launches a leg off of its body when Steven moves to block it, and sticks Steven to the ground in volatile ichor.

The boy struggles to get free, but it hurts. He tries to shield it away, but he can't seem to muster one. "I don't think I can...!" Ge on, is what he wants to say, but he must press on! Small tears begin to well up in his eyes. Fighting these things were so hard. So different from other enemies.

Maybe he isn't ready for this. Mayeb theres--

A moonlit tiara streaks past, disintegrating the leg pinning him down. He recognizes that tiara, and looks up to see none other than Sailor Moon has come to his rescue. It makes him feel... better. If only slightly. It will surely be a moment he will be fond of for a long time to come, but right now his mind is clouded and unsure.

"I-If those lags snap off like that so easily," he says, sliffing and fighting back tears, "Maybe if it loses enough, it cant move anymore?" The boy quickly moves to try and catch up with the spider-daimon. When he gets close enough, he will try to knock more of those legs off. With the edge of his shield, of course. Hopefully being careful of the detaching effect.

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Shield Bash on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

As magical boys and girls unleash numberous attacks upon the flesh of the beast, it's clear that their attacks were having little to no effect on the creature. The powerful slam that the mouse girl unleashed upon the amorphous body did nothing more that cause it to shake violently, and Sourisi isn't even sure if that was the attack or if the creature was laughing at their efforts.

Then the proto-daimon sprouts protrusions all over its' body, flailing around and trying to knock the magical climbers off it's flesh as it attempts to flee. It, however, is not the only thing that can flail, and Sourisi is spinning and twirling her tonfa, without rhythm or pathern, but preventing from a single cilia from striking her and sending her flying. "Hey, mouses are clingy animals, you can't get rid of me that easily!"

Solais' raising voice, her song being clearly heard despite the chaos of the battlefield, was the only warning Sourisi needed to look away from the fleshy flails, and Sourisi leaps upwards, reaching upwards before the mighty weight of Claiomh Solais crashes down upon, and through, the proto-daimon!

As the beast topples, Sourisi couldn't help but let out a cheer, hope starting to return to her. "Amazing job, Solais! I knew you could do it!" It's much too early to celebrate victory just yet, if the additional limbs and the glowing light illuminating the two archers are an indication.

Beating back another cilia, Sourisi tries her best to find a spot that would give her just enough room to attack without worrying about any current limbs grabbing a hold of her, but with how many there are, she would just have to be quick. "I can't cut through you like Solais can, but-" Sourisi starts to jab her tonfa downward into the flesh of the creature, hoping and praying that her tonfa would could make a path to the pendent. Her arms blur with the speed behind each blow, both tonfa working with machine-like efficiency. "-i'm going to help, no matter what it takes. You won't succeed if I can help it!"

COMBAT: Sourisi has used Mouse Flurry on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Shigure Shiratsuyu [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

The problem with inexperience is that sometimes, sometimes, even success gets you second-guessing yourself.

Such is the case with the Maiden of Solais when her cleave cuts so cleanly that the Proto-Daimon is cut in half-- and for a moment, that sown seed of doubt blossoms as she wonders if she's screwed up--

If she's killed Maho or Miho and shattered something irrevocable.

That doubt is long enough for the top half of the Proto-Daimon to seize upon her, long claws grasping onto her as she yelps and is drawn down, blades tearing into her--

"I can't breathe-- aghh--"


The Moon Tiara Boomerang flies off cleanly and smashes against the Daimon's claws as it encroaches on her...

"Sailor Moon... thank you."

She listens in on Steven's plan and nods, saying, "All right, Steven. Then I'll try..." The Maiden's hand is on her hilt once more, and it snaps loose with a satisfying little click.

When next she draws, she does not draw the full bore of Claiomh Solais' form, but rather just its hilt -- and a thin, spiritual lash strings forth and ebbs around her. Her preferred form of attacking, by comparison.

She challenges her accursed fate

Set 'pon the forefront of a midnight tragedy!

Solais joins the fray once more, following Sourisi's cheer as she nods and charges forward with the tonfa.

Burn now, open the gates

'til all is laid to rest...

Her whip lashes low, and snakes along the ground as she seeks to entangle and bind the Proto-Daimon's legs to prevent it from escaping.

COMBAT: Shigure Shiratsuyu has used Sword of Spiritual Perception on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to brace Steven Universe's Shield Bash, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Steven Universe is Psyched!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe partially dodges 6 Fatigue damage from Sourisi's Mouse Flurry, taking 22 Fatigue damage!  Sourisi is Psyched!
Hotaru Tomoe's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to counter Shigure Shiratsuyu's Sword of Spiritual Perception, taking 28 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Analysis performed by Shigure Shiratsuyu!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe's counterattack, Devouring Shadow, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Shigure Shiratsuyu!
<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

As the grasping hands come to get him, Lancelot parries and moves, but one of those strikes get him. Right in the gut and it drops Lancelot like a stone. He falls to a knee in an explosio of breath and it takes him half a minute to get his breath back. He staggers to his feet and shakes his head ot clear it. Agian. This thing is, these thigns in general. He can't. He can't beat them. "Everytime. Everytime I find these things I fail." He stares at the ground, panting.

He swallows, his eyes showing fear before he resets into a fighter stance. He has to try. He has to do something. Lightning worked once, he grimaces. "Let's see if lightning will strike twice eh?" he runs forward, summoning power to him as he goes. His blades gleaming with power that he draws to in to himself. He leaps and slashes in the air, releasing the power toward those creatures. "HEAVEN'S WRATH!"

An even bigger blast of pure lighting rockets toward the protodaimon. As Lancelot hits the ground, he drops to one knee and pours everything he has into that blast. Lighting whips and crackks as it coils around that one blase. The ground itself is licked by the power he unleashes. He screaming worldessly into that blast. As if his fear and rage could power it.

COMBAT: Lancelot has used Heaven's Wrath on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe braces 14 Fatigue damage from Lancelot's Heaven's Wrath, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Hotaru Tomoe's Block and
Parry abilities activate!  Blind and Stagger applied to Hotaru Tomoe!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Bloom [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Cure Bloom does indeed bounce off on that hit, her Pretty Cure magic not quite powerful enough to carve the path. She lands on her feet. She flips her head up, her pineapple hair drooping a little. Watching the fate of the world hang in the balance is exhausting, even knowing she and Mai are together. Even knowing so many people with so many powers are here and ready and eager to help tem. But she sucks in a breath. She must not falter. She must OH NO

Cure Bloom throws up her arm, and a barrier of light manages to catch the worst of that lashing arm. "I won't let you---" she spits, and then the thing the limb JETTISONS, the power of it ripping through her shield; it shatters like glass, and the limb subsequently shatters too, exploding into binding goo. This is Cure Bloom's great weakness and she ends up on the ground, helplessly trying to get enough leverage to rip herself free. "I won't...just...!" she grates out. Fortunately, Sailor Moon's got this. A blaze of light cleaves the goo surrounding her, giving Bloom enough slack to blast the rest off and leap herself free. "Sailor Moon!" she calls out. "Thank you!"

Then she decides that she hasn't had enough punishment yet. She surges, dashes toward the combined thing. "It's got the pendant...and two girls. We can't let up," she reminds herself, as her fingertip surges. It eats power. She wonders what it'll do if....

So she rushes in. When Egret backs off from her attack, Bloom is wheeling in from above, and her assault is very simple:

She jabs a glowing finger into the thing, then harder, thrusting in, trying to get the power concentrated on that appendage in there deep. She doesn't know what's about to happen. But for just a moment, maybe feeding the thing is the best solution. She pulls hard; hopefully strong enough to rip herself free again before she THROWS herself away.

The cause of her speedy retreat is soon obvious - because that wasn't raw magic she put in there, but something primed with Pretty Cure intent. Which is to say, about two seconds later, that whole bolt of magic she shoved under the thing's skin EXPLODES.

COMBAT: Cure Bloom has used Petal Seed on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to brace Cure Bloom's Petal Seed, taking 26 Fatigue damage!
<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

The group splits into roughly two tactics: Fuu, Steven and Shigure all try to stop the protodaimon from escaping through various means, while Egret, Bloom and Sourisi try to dig into the protodaimon to extract girls and pendant.

It quickly becomes clear to Pretty Cure and Sourisi that their efforts are mostly futile, if extremely noble in intent. Certainly they can cause the monster pain -- though it's painful to do, the deeper they dig with hand or tonfa, the more eyes pop into existence to stare at them, the more mouths begin to gnash. Bloom's spiritual bomb detonates within, and sends up a vast, acidic spray in its wake, which smells bloody in the worst way.

But the protodaimon is just too massive and too fluid, its form too changeable. It can alter its density at whim, and does so, pulling Maho and Miho away from Bloom and Egret, and the pendant away from Sourisi. And, at the same time, it sprouts tentacles behind each girl -- tentacles with more of those fanged mouths on the end -- to scoop them up and fling them away (or further away, in Bloom's case).

Nothing less than total annihilation of the creature is going to free their friends, and save the world.

The others have a little bit more luck, though, with their 'keep it from escaping' objective. The daimon was about to bowl itself straight through the wall when one of its back legs is just barely caught by Fuu's whirlwind. It jerks to a stop, then (naturally) detaches the limb.

Steven detaches another one for it, and Shigure binds another few that it has no choice but to eject. As before, they retain their animation -- they fight more desperately, however, and more dangerously. Instead of trying to goo people to the ground, they're in more of a 'crawl up your leg and try to rip out your still-beating heart' sort of mood.

After all that, it doesn't have as much mass as it did before.

Until Lancelot pours all of his lightning into it, anyway. The smell of ozone joins the smell of blood.

But it isn't enough -- not with one person by himself.

Crackling with energy, burns oozing with ichor as they transform into more eyes, the protodaimon looks around wildly for a way out. It's dizzying, watching its many gazes roll in all directions at once.

But finally they all fix upon the same place: Chibi-Usa.

Chibi-Usa, and the barricade she's hiding behind.

There's a cruel, alien intelligence to its motion, as it surges forward, tearing Sensouji cobblestones up in its haste. The barricade is lower than the wall; there are fewer people between it and its destination; the little girl can't possibly stop it; and her nearness may cause its true opponents to hesitate.

After all, she doesn't enjoy the dubious protection of Maho and Miho, their lives draining away inside the protodaimon -- but at least they're safely inside.

It may, however, have miscalculated.

Because now there are seconds before it flattens that tiny child on its way out.

Very motivating seconds.

COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Chompy Tentacles on Cure Egret.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Chompy Tentacles on Cure Bloom.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Chompy Tentacles on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Protodaimonthings on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Protodaimonthings on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Protodaimonthings on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Protodaimonthings on Shigure Shiratsuyu.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Protodaimonthings on Lancelot.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji counters 10 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Protodaimonthings, taking 10 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji's counterattack, Tempest Slash, partially gets through, doing 17 Fatigue damage to Hotaru Tomoe!
COMBAT: Cure Bloom fails to dodge Hotaru Tomoe's Chompy Tentacles, taking 30 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Steven Universe fails to brace Hotaru Tomoe's Protodaimonthings, taking 21 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon braces 11 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Protodaimonthings, taking 9 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Shigure Shiratsuyu fails to brace Hotaru Tomoe's Protodaimonthings, taking 25 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Sourisi braces 20 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Chompy Tentacles, taking 16 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Lancelot fails to dodge Hotaru Tomoe's Protodaimonthings, taking 17 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Cure Egret braces 19 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Chompy Tentacles, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Cure Egret's Block and
Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Chibi-Usa can see all of them doing their best. She's hiding, sure--but being out in the open will only get one of them hurt again, won't it? And the others--they can see it, once she's called out. Chibi-Usa looks at Sailor Moon, and it's obvious she's worrying. It's obvious, as she looks to Sailor Moon, that she's afraid for more than just herself. ...But even as ridiculous as that girl can be...

"I hope you're right," she says quietly, and looks worriedly to Shigure as she seems unable to breathe--but there's music, through everything. Music, as the monsters...

The smells are awful, and Chibi-Usa only looks up from coughing in time to see those eyes staring at her, and her own widen in turn. "A-aah--"

There's no time for her to get out of the way; she's caught, stuck, hands out with Luna-P floating before her as an attempt at shielding her. "Aaaah--!"

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Tempest Slash!!" the Wind Knight calls out, repeating her wind-enhanced swordplay move from earlier in an effort to keep the protodaimon ffrom chowing down on her, *AGAIN*. Maybe they'd be smaller bites than the one which engulfed the pendant - but getting eaten by piranhas is just as deadly as getting devoured by a shark, even if the former take smaller bites. And she doesn't favor feeding anything else to this monster; it's too full of things she wants to rescue as it is. It isn't exactly enough - the monster still manages to chomp some on the Wind Knight, but other mouthstalks are severed and shredded before they can sink their teeth into anything. And in the larger scale, the protodaimon's mass is still too large for any semblance of comfort - not to mention that the monster still simply *cannot* be allowed to make good its escape.

Those five names still echo in her memory, feeding the memories which nourish her nightmares.

She will not allow any names to join them.

But she doesn't have long to come up with a good approach - and while she's still motivated enough to try throwing all of the magic she has left at the protodaimon in a straight-up attack spell, wiping herself out isn't going to do her allies any good unless she also lands a telling blow in the process. For a moment, pain and fatigue and desperation mingle in her mind, and she finds herself wishing oh so strongly that her only 'enemy' was Kaho-san ...

.... ah.

A tranquil look pases over the Wind Knight's face as her sword disappears, bow and quiver manifesting once again; she adjusts her stance, drawing a single arrow, raising her bow to nock shaft to string, then lowering her arms, letting that simple movement draw back her shaft. The target, tiny as it is, is moving and retreating - but it's still visible enough.

If she can at least distract the monster, it really should buy her allies another moment, if not more, and give a certain pink-haired child a better chance to escape, or to be rescued.

On the other hand, depending on how the arrow hits (if it hits), it might damage the pendant ... the power inside would probably return to where it 'belongs,' like the energies from Library Island did.

She stills her thoughts, breathes in, checks her aim, breathes out, looses.

And the arrow flies, to try and jostle that pendant hard enough for the monster to realize that a threat remains - if not to its existence, then to its goal of escaping with that pendant. If a simple arrow can somehow knock the pendant out of the monster's grasp, all the better ...

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

Lancelot pants as he sees that his power is working, but it just isn't enough. He's not strong enough. Again. He's always just not strong enough. He's always just not fast enough. And just like last time, people are going to die. Only, it might be the whole blasted world. Just because Lancelot isn't strong enough. He growls low once and looks to see Chibi-Usa in the way. His head whips toward Sailor-Moon and he calls out, "Sailor Moon! I'm going to try to turn them, hit it!"

He takes a deep breath and runs forward, lighting striking down around him. Hitting him, his blades, the ground around him in a shower of dirt and rock. He spies Steven and Sourisi. He narrows his eyes. "Steven! Sourisi! I have a really, really good idea!" He rolls his shoulders as the lighting continues to rain down on him. "Hit it hard!" He nods. "On second thought. HIT IT HARDER!!"

Rushing forward he spies Steven's shield fly past him, and once it impacts the protodaimon he unleashes all of that lighting stored in his blades and body. His swords exploding into motion of strength and speed and power. Each strike of the blade unleashes a blast of lighting that erupts in a chorus of thunder. Each strike hit's Steven's shield, in a rapid fire staccato of lightning and thunder that echoes and shakes the very air.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Lancelot has started a combo targeting Hotaru Tomoe!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Basic Archery on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Steven manages to lop a leg off extra. It attacks of course, but after fending it off and taking some damage in the process, the creature is that much slower... or it might not be, it could be reforming legs, it has so many. But at least it is smaller. This fight is so exhausting and heartwrenching. People don't seem to be making much progress against it!

It is becoming hard for the gem child to keep up with its movements. He is beaten, acid burned, and tired. And that is just the physical trauma. Let's not go into mental stress.

The creature suddenly has a change of pace as it begins to struggle to find ways out. Having lost body size, its planned exit seems to be a poor choice, though it quickly finds another. "Oh no, look out!" the boy calls out. Thinking fast, Steven begins to lok about the field for allies to assist. He sees two nearby. "Sourisi, Mr. Lancelot! Quick!"

The boy summons a shield and throws it as hard as he possibly can at the diamon. more precisely, into the daimon. "Hit the shield!"

COMBAT: FINISHER! Steven Universe has joined the combo started by Lancelot!

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Even cut free, even with all of them working together - the thing is too big - too amorphous - ever-shifting, and blindingly fast.

Sailor Moon is trying to sight it down for an opportunity - but there seems to be none to be had. Sweat is starting to bead on her brow. She's all too acutely aware of how the lives inside are draining to feed it. Wasting away with every second. However - as it sights down Chibi-Usa and the barricade...

Suddenly her priorities shift. "Chibi-Usa!"

Saving the child - and the girls inside - and the pendant. It's not a choice of one or the other or the other but always all of the above.

It is her desperation - and her greed. It is the best kind of greed.

And yet right now she's more desperate and scared. She breaks off into a run. Feet tearing into the temple ground, as she ducks her head and tears off after her. Lancelot shouts his plan and - "I have to get to her first - buy me just a little time!"

She's not a runner like Uranus. She's not as strong as Jupiter. Or as elegant as Neptune. Or as experienced as Venus. And she's definitely not as brilliant as Mercury or as passionate as Mars. Never once in her career has she made this look easy - but even lacking all of that, she still gives all that she does have. Compared to the Proto-Daimon she seems far too slow.

And yet as she puts her faith in the others blindly, hoping they all cherish the same things she does. It's clear that maybe there's something she has all her own anyhow...

A blinding flash buys her some time but... not enough. She can't get ahead of it. But given where it's going, there's something she can aim in its direction.

Skidding to a stop she raises the Spiral Heart Moon Rod, directing it at her laterally from the best angle she can get. She knows that Chibi-Usa will be safe from its magic- but all the same it's still a moment where her heart just pounds with terror all the same.

If one takes a look inside perhaps they'll see a glimpse of true wonder.

The mirror gleams, and there's just a glimmer of the Silver Millenium inside. Sleeping within this treasure that its Princess holds. As it chimes, it seems to grow closer, gleam brighter, and closer while remaining unfathomably distant.

She whirls her holy treasure in a dance that's not too different from someone twirling a baton. That can inspire many - but here the power is more direct.

Holding it parallel to her, she cries out the words of the spell in her heart, "MOON SPIRALLLLLL-" And begins to spin. Faster - and faster. And faster. "-HEARRRRRRRRRTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT-" It's movements like an ice skater in a the midst of a combination skin in the high to low crouch.

And then abruptly the spinning stops, "-ATTACK!"

A pinwheel of light - hearts flowing forth in alternating streams. All joining forth to become something greater than the whole. The sacred light of that heart shines forth into one colossal display of power...

That tries to crash right into the Proto-Daimon and intercept its path before it can touch a single hair on Chibi-Usa's head.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Moon has used Moon Spiral Heart Attack! on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

With each tonfa jabbing downwards, another eye stares up at Sourisi and yet another jaw tries to rip both bodysuit and flesh. Ichor and blood is starting to cover Sourisi from head to toe, and if she didn't have nightmares from being a magical girl before, she will after tonight. Despite all of her efforts, both pendent and the innocent are still out of reach. "Ugh, this is getting nowhere...please, we need some way to beat this thing and save-AAAH!"

The flailing tonfa are not quick enough, and a jagged mouth clamps down on Sourisi's right shoulder and flings her outwards and away from its' constantly shifting mass. Rolling as she hits the ground, Sourisi checks the wound, and while the bodysuit isn't torn, she just knows she's going to have bruising in the morning. But with two lives, and maybe even the fate of the entire world resting upon them all, the ravenette stands back up, prepared to rush the daimon once more.

The sight of a small child, yet to flee and in the path of the monster, freezes Sourisi.

Steven's and Lancelot's outcry breaks Souriri free of her shock, and seeing the rose-tented shield fly towards the Daimon spurs her to action. "Right, on it!" As each shock of thunder hits Steven's shield, Sourisi starts to twirl her tonfa in her grasp, the wooden tonfa picking up speed, the howling of wind growing louder and louder. The laws of physics would dictate that the friction of her hands and the air would slow the tonfa down.

Why listen to the laws of physics when lives where in danger?

Twin booms would echo out as the tonfa break the sound barrier, and then Steven's shield is sent flying to Sourisi. Swinging her tonfa at the rim, the air around the mouse girl pulses rapidly as the tonfa strike the shield hundreds of times in the span of a second, and towards the daimon. "Operation Hitting It Harder is a GO!"

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sourisi has joined the combo started by Lancelot!
<Pose Tracker> Shigure Shiratsuyu [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Solais feels the edges of her powers starting to peel away -- a kind of disorienting, disengaging feeling as the monster further draws its claws upon it. It hurts, it hurts deeply... but she knows that her work isn't done. Her eyes widen deeply as she stares towards the small child--


She just acts, without thinking. There's no more time to think either... just...

Ah... can you hear the sound of this bell?

A single bell rings, echoing a heavenly reverb that emanates throughout the casing of Claiomh Solais. She has no power to bring the full bore of the Relic upon the creature--

Yet the cross emblazoned upon its sheath shines with a white-hot flame.

"I believe in us...!"

She extends her hand forward--

Upon an innocent face the moon smiles in jest...

Embrace it all, like the holy mother...

COMBAT: Shigure Shiratsuyu has used Sacred Cross on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Cure Egret [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.


Mai Mishou screams it, panic entering her voice as she sees the little girl that helped her. Her tiny body is dwarfed by the shadow of the Protodaimon, rising over it, and terrible realization sets in. She hasn't ever, really, managed to stop one of these very well. She has often ended up hurt or worse. Her expression is stricken, until she looks to the side -- until she makes eye contact with Saki. "B-Bloom...!"

Saki - Cure Bloom - has seen the results of her attack. It wasn't a bad idea, but raw assault isn't the play now, she sees now. It can recover too much, too fast. But it doesn't automatically eat any energy they put into it, either. "Egret," she says, managing to assemble something resembling calm. She sucks in a long breath, then looks at her. Holding out her hand. "There's something I don't think we ever had a chance to try on these things," she says. As it rampages toward Chibi-Usa, her gaze turns harsh. "We have to try! Right now!"

"You can do it-lapi!" "Please-chopi!"

Egret holds her hand out -- and Bloom catches it, gloved hands clasping and fingers entwining. With a squeeze of their hands, land and sky alike light up and glow brilliantly. Bloom pushes her hand out for the Protodaimon -- "O, Spirits of the Earth..." -- while Egret holds hers up to the heavens -- "O, Spirits of the Sky..." -- and from above and below come a flow of silver and gold beads of light, which swirl around the two Splash Star Pretty Cures in whorls and eddies.

"Now, together with Pretty Cure..." "Release the power of miracles!"

Their clasped hands break apart, and then draw a swirl of light -- Bloom with her right, Egret for the left -- and then a heart of light swirls, grows, and gathers in their hands. Their hands come back together, the glow becoming bright until it's blinding.

"Pretty Cure..."

The light transmogrifies in an instant to swirling water, that hint of a wave motion underlying it. It pulses, brighter and faster, for the desire to save the girl that tried so hard to save one of them. Egret's voice rings out like a clarion call.

"Twin Stream..."

Two pairs of arms fly out -- and two orbs of water do. They spiral, swirl, and combine together. Deceptively, they break apart again just before they strike the Protodaimon -- only to crash back together behind it, and then wrap in front, as if to block off every avenue it has to Chibi-Usa, before crashing down for it!


COMBAT: FINISHER! Cure Egret has started a combo targeting Hotaru Tomoe!
COMBAT: FINISHER! Cure Bloom has joined the combo started by Cure Egret!
COMBAT: COMBO! FINISHER! Lancelot, Steven Universe, and Sourisi have used Combo: Hit it Harder!!, composed of Thousand Thunderclap
Rush, Throw Shield, and Wild Claw Barrage, on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: COMBO! FINISHER! Cure Egret and Cure Bloom have used Pretty Cure Twin Stream Splash on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe cleanly braces 6 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Basic Archery, taking 1 Fatigue damage!  Hotaru Tomoe's
Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to brace Shigure Shiratsuyu's Sacred Cross, taking 48 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to brace Sailor Moon's Finisher, Moon Spiral Heart Attack!, taking 300 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to brace Lancelot, Steven Universe, and Sourisi's Finisher, Combo: Hit it Harder!!, taking 182 Fatigue
damage!  Hotaru Tomoe is unable to keep fighting!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to brace Cure Egret and Cure Bloom's Finisher, Combo: Pretty Cure Twin Stream Splash, taking 183
Fatigue damage!  Hotaru Tomoe is unable to keep fighting!
<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.
  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt!*

Fuu's arrow thwaps into the protodaimon's back as it passes. Then it slowly starts to be sucked inside, not by its own momentum but by the will of the creature.

  • hissssssssssssssss*

The holy power of a Symphogear's sheath catches up with the monster next, and boils a cross-shaped patch of its side away.


That would be the sound of Sourisi and Lancelot hitting the daimon really, really hard. It changes a little once Steven has inserted his shield:


The symbol of Rose Quartz's rebellion reverberates with the power of Arondight, with the power of a Miraculous tonfa.

And these vibrations wear away at the monster from within, inexorably...


...as the sparkling torrents of Cure Bloom and Cure Egret's dual spiritual power joins with the heartfelt barrage of Sailor Moon to pour over the monster from without!

Its annihilation is beautiful -- in a heartbeat, it is overwhelmed, transforming first from seething, accelerating ichor into sparkling pink light, and then into nothing but a pair of weird-looking eggs which smash on impact with the cobblestones and release more of that chittering mist, shrieking as it disappears.

  • crash*

Two hakama-wearing bodies land hard to either side of Chibi-Usa.

...They're still breathing.

  • ping!*

One pendant bounces as it hits the ground at the little girl's feet. It still flickers with golden light.

There's one more sound, but it isn't one that can be heard at Sensouji.



Kaolinite slaps her palms against the surface of the pool, transforming her scrying into nothing but jostling water.

Again she sneaks a look around her to make sure nobody saw.

Again she is comforted... for there's nobody present but that pitiful little doll upon her pitiful little throne -- surrounded by more dolls. They're just like her: as still and silent as the grave.

The Grand Magus draws herself upright and tosses her hair.

"It doesn't matter. Preparations for Tokyo Tower are already complete. The moment the World Tree erupts... we move."

"...who are you talking to?" wonders Professor Tomoe, walking into the throne room holding a mug of freshly beaker-brewed coffee, a mug that says WORLD'S #1 PAPA.


The full, combined expression of magic of Sailor Moon and Pretty Cure's hearts does more than purify the protodaimon safely out of existence: it restores the shrine, the damage to the archery range...

...it even has Miho and Maho stirring and starting to get to their feet, within moments. And those scrapes and wounds collected by the magical girls are similarly fading, fast.

"What about the contest?" asks Miho, a little bit blearily.

"I think... we took... a break?" wonders Maho.

And, indeed, the crowd is beginning to return. That sure was a scary fire drill. Important, though. An old, beautiful place like this... it would be awfully easy for everything to just go up in smoke.