2020-05-23 - Uminari Matsuri: Save The Day

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Uminari Matsuri: Save The Day

Northa shows Soular how much fun Setsuna is having in her new life without him. Betrayed on many levels, he decides to crash the party, transforming festival booths into monsters under his command. By the end of the night, he and the magical girls have shot cork guns, scooped goldfish, won the lottery, had crepes and shave ice, worn masks and tossed rings. Was he there to fight... or was he there to play?


Mikoto Minagi, Lera Camry, Setsuna Higashi, Inori Yamabuki, Steven Universe, Homura Akemi, Fuu Hououji, Nori Ankou, Chitose Shiratori, Kasagami Araki, Soular, Northa

GM: Pink Moon Stick


Uminari Matsuri

OOC - IC Date:

5/23/2020 - 08-29-15

<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Soundscape - Japanese Summer Festival https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dp3ZVX6BAhs

The festival reaches its peak.

Peak crowd; peak energy; peak fun.

Crowds around every booth, laughing, chattering.

More and more prizes scattered around, clutched in arms, hung over wrists, fated to be consumed or traded or given away.

Amorphous clouds of friends recognizing one another and gathering, swirling, then splitting up and recombining with other friends. Endless combinations, as complex as the human heart.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

There is a FIERCE AND TERRIBLE ONI amidst the lanter--

oh wait no that's mikoto

Face all painted in white and red, with very careful horns on her forehead (Fate did her best, as Mikoto shares animatedly), she sits with another mage friend as she wields the might... of a brush. Her hair isn't damp any more, or hidden by a hat, though there is a yellow butterfly-clip at the top of one of those braids framing her face.

It matches the yellow part of her obi, and the face-paint matches the red; there's no analogue for the pale blue of her yukata, but the fluffy cloud detailing along the edges is white, too. There's a black case propped up beside her seat on the stall; it's the only hint of any colour that dark on her person, leaving aside the void of her scruffy hair.

Three sides of the lantern Mikoto is painting are done. There are no pictures on it. Rather, in burnished gold, each side bears a character:




And it's a fair bet - though, to be fair, one predilected on knowing the kanji - that the one she's working on right now espouses LOVE.

Mikoto works intently, and with one last brushstroke, finally finishes the fourth side of her cheerful red lantern; it's precisely what it was shaping up to be, with the neat brush-strokes of a practised hand. Instantly all the seriousness of her expression flicks back to happiness, like someone hit the lights. "Look!" Mikoto chirps, holding it up for Lera's inspection. "I did it!" And, you know, she painted the lantern, but...

Sometimes Mikoto says things and they mean more than one thing. She just does that. It's a simple fact of Mikoto.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Lera Camry is next to Mikoto. The fish that she won earlier has been passed along -- and stowed away for safe keeping, to collect when the festival has concluded. She can give it to Setsuna later; she has every intention of getting a nice bowl and some things to go with it, for the fish and its care.

She is not wearing an obi or kimono. A t-shirt and jeans, with a bright grin, are what she wears, as she sits next to Mikoto. She sits in front of her own lantern, and glances sideways at Mikoto.

She grins at her exclamation; she nods eagerly. "It looks great, y'know? I really like what you did! Mine, uh--"

Her command of kanji isn't great. As a result, Lera has put smiley faces on her lantern. Different smiley faces -- from :) to :D -- which decorate it and give it a pleasant vibe.

"I think mine's not as fancy," she admits. "But I like it, y'know?"

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Setsuna Higashi quietly glows in her red yukata, gliding through the crowds despite the chaotic way they swirl and split. She is gathering now, in fact, gathering one important to her. Stepping back towards a certain booth that held, of all things, coupons for green peppers and Tarte's favorite ice cream...

A number of fun prizes safely stowed, Setsuna holds a half-gone yakitori skewer as she approaches Yamamoto Fishing Industries' Senbonbiki booth, waving it delicately towards a girl standing there who she knows well.

Her long purple hair is down; there are all sorts of little red things on her person, prizes that absolutely have a theme. And she is smiling calmly, stepping around a couple here, stepping past a couple of young kids, and bypassing the line to reach the side, for--

"Buki!" she greets, two syllables, each said in her lower voice quietly enough almost to miss, but with a warmth clear to anyone who knows her. "Did you still want to go for crepes on your break?"

She has eyes for no one else just at the moment but one of her best friends.

<Pose Tracker> Inori Yamabuki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

A tall gangly youth with his hair pointed back in a brown spike, glasses on his face finally works up the courage to approach the Senbonbiki booth.

Inori Yamabuki is manning the booth. It's sponsored by Yamamoto Fishing Industries, but that's one of Clover Town Street's vendors. She's wearing a yellow yukata that shines brightly, orange daffodils decorating it. Though as he walks up, Inori is opening the flap to leave out the side. Another girl moving to the front to take her place.

"Um... it's been a while, Yamabuki-san."

"Ah! Kento-kun. We saw each other before the break though..."

"W-Well it feels like it's been a lot longer."

"Is that so?" Inori puts a finger to her chin, causing her sleeve to drape down. "Well anyhow - if you're here to try to win - then best of luck!"

Gulping, he says, "Well... that is... this is... a nice night." Buki nods her head, agreeing, "Mmm-mmm-!" "And you're here by yourself. And I was thinking - that's a shame. Because festivals are better off spent with other people. So maybe... maybe... we could..."

'buki had originally been looking at him, but now her eyes are elsewhere. "Oh that's right-!"

Kento looks thoroughly set back on his heels, "It is? I mean - I am?"

And that is the moment Setsuna Higashi walks up, Inori had seen her moments before, "I promised Setsuna-chan we'd spend my next break together! If you hadn't reminded me I might've just wandered off to look at goldfish. Thank you."

"Um - you're... welcome."

'buki is facing Setsuna now, "Of course!" As she slips her arm into hers. "And maybe we can get our fortunes read after... and look at the goldfish." She waves to Kento as the two leave, "Enjoy your night Kento-kun-! Try to win big!"

Kento sighs as she leaves with Setsuna, "That's what I was doing..." He says once out of earshot.


~Not long after~

"Eh!?" Inori leans over to whisper Setsuna's way, "What kind of crepes are these?"

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

The Quest For Red Yukata, Day... uh, Same Day!

Oh actually, a red one would look pretty nice! But so does that yellow-gold pattern one! Ohhh---

Little Steven Universe has located him a very large traditional clothes booth. He finally slogged through all the distracted (despite all of them being extremely fun) and has found his goal!

But with an outfit in each hand, and an entire rack for children near his size, he faces the greatest foe any would be fashionista could ever tussle with, on the grounds of the suave.


A soft whine comes from that corner of the booth, as a pair of wide eyes scan a pastel horizon of color options. "What color could possibly bring out the glamour locked within me?!" he laments, holding one outfit to the tented sky.

He might be here a while. The booth-runners politely stifle cute laughs at a small child browsing clothes.

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

A girl in a hoodie haunts the festival grounds. Or is she haunted by them?

"Are you sure you don't want to paint a lantern?"

Homura has more specifically been haunting a quiet corner behind the lantern booth for a short time, now, out of the way of all that peak fun. She's got her cellphone out right now, with the screen lighting up her expressionless face. Tap-tap-tap, tap, swipe, swipe...

Ah. So that's what Kozue meant by the Sadako reference.

The fortune-telling was a stupid idea, anyhow. Homura doesn't know what she was thinking. (She was feeling, in point of fact -- feeling lost. But she is not about to admit that to herself.) She glances over at the pigtailed preteen who's bugging her about the lanterns. Homura probably shouldn't be hanging out behind the booth. It's not the most polite thing to do.

But Lera is there, and Mikoto, and Homura doesn't want to get all... drawn into something again. You know, something... social. So why is she still here, at the festival?

Still not answering the kid, Homura looks up instead, toward the changing sky. It is calm, for now. Empty of anything but, well, sky -- for now. She looks back down at the lanterns, and the other girls painting them so brightly, with their faces and voices bright too.

But instead of saying "I'm sure," Homura finds herself saying, "I'm fine just watching." And for now, from the shadows, she is.

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

"It's almost like 3D printing ..."

Fuu's hushed, almost reverent observation comes as she watches another girl, maybe a year or two older than the bespectacled blonde, working with the modest equipment of a crochet hook and a ball of yarn, and shaping the outer shell of what will eventually be a stuffed animal, or amigurumi.

It's been a busy and fun festival, with shifts at the popgun shooting gallery interspersed with time to wander around, play other games, sample the myriad foods available, and even buy a few other things. It's pure luck, really, that she wound up at the amigurumi stall - or rather, the needlecraft stall; it's not just crocheted plushies which are being made here.

It is, however, the art of amigurumi which holds Fuu's attention for the moment, albeit with a wistful air. Fuu isn't outright *bad* in her classes, but the arts are her weakest field; the girl crocheting the Pokemon might as well be an advanced pupil of witchcraft, and for all Fuu knows, maybe she actually *is* in the magic classes at Infinity. Knitting seems simpler ... maybe more limited, but easier to get into. Probably. At least a skein of yarn and a pair of needles won't cost too much ...

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"I appreciate you doing this for me," says the man with the reggae knit cap at GOOD MOOD UMINARI's stall.

Nori Ankou is gently present in her black yukata and has stood near the front of the stall for a while. The stall is really more of a food truck, and business has been good underneath the mix of classical red and Jamaican-patterned lanterns, the spicy jerked chicken, pork and tofu served over rice in portable form.

Nori has been finishing off her own bowl.

"For you?" Nori asks.

A tray of sliced meats is flipped, with an enormous release of fragrant smoke and steam. "Horaahh-- yeah, sure! We got a model in front, right?"

Nori laughs.

The man continues. "I knew late hours were gonna be lucky, that's all." As the grilling meat is shaken around, he calls, "You think I ought to put the sound system back on?"

"Nah," Nori says, dragging it out a little, casually. "I think the mood's not right for it. You should, though, once everything wraps up." Nori takes her last bite, then, and passes back the bowl for due disposal, before pausing -

"Can I take with me...?"

Soon enough:

A paper cone of oval fresh-fried corn dumplings is proffered towards Homura Akemi, for the first time, and Nori Ankou says, "Have a piece. I think you'll like it. It's sweeter than it looks."

<Pose Tracker> Chitose Shiratori [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Chitose's still here, Chitose's still around, and Chitose's still got what may be a mild attachment to her new prize. Earlier on she could have been seen basically squeezing what looked to be a stuffed doll of her thunder dove for all its worth.

By now, though, Chitose has mostly settled down and is still roaming the grounds. Now that it is later, she's not really doing anything at all, just taking a walk. She's still generally avoiding dense crowds, but she's not quite anxious about it anymore.

It's just a nice, relaxing, walk. Her path now, though, isn't quite leading outward, but her orbits are starting to extend with every circle she's making, and soon she'll just take off like a rocket and leave. She's still got some time, though, before her route takes her out. It's a crowded place, but it's kind of nice.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Kasagami Araki has the stuffed Mr. Flippers sitting primly in the back of the Crepe Booth, a tiny little chef's hat on top, the stuffed pengi well rescued with the power of a lucky friendship pull. The young woman turns, and eyes the shave ice machine.

She'll never look at ice the same way. It doesn't so much taste as feel like friendship. A pink-tinged friendship only marred by purple. And even that purple, here in beautiful Uminari, seems much less shattering of what she feels she's improving here. A booth with hard work, delicious food, and friendship.

She takes a last bit of money, eyeing her yukata carefully folded out of the way. Her heart skips a beat, remembering the one whom she first showed it off to. Dark evergreen and those beautiful eyes, as ever, make her smile like she's just seen the first dawn in her life. Sweet, precious memories made on this important festival that will remain for all of her days.

Things that can't be lost or stolen from her even after the ones who made it are gone.

The Duelist finally turns to her last prize of the night: a crepe. Lumpy, mis-shapen, but it too is filled with all of the fun, friendship, and love she's felt this night. She takes a bite, chews, and swallows with only a slight grimace.

"I knew I should've done strawberry." She goes for another cup of cooling plain ice.

<Pose Tracker> Soular [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Labyrinth's Shadow - Fresh Precure OST https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kI_Ha7QhLWc

"Look at them, Soular," Northa croons at him, as she showers a quanta of misery essence from her watering can onto the fragile seedlings below.

The image of the matsuri forms in the spray like an all-violet rainbow (lighter tones lavender, darker tones black). The general bustle is delightful, even in birds'-eye view, but then the camera zooms in on specific faces.

Lera's joyful expression as she captures the perfect rose-goldfish for her girlfriend...

...Hotaru bashfully surrendering her giant gray plush cat into Chibi-Usa's ecstatic arms...

...Mami's tender blush and Kozue's confident grin as they the cork gun booth into a kissing booth...

...Mikoto beaming -- then dripping -- as she replaces her cowboy hat with a snow cone...

"They're so very happy," she sneers.

Soular, who is in a Thinker pose at his superior's elbow, plopped on a wooden bench -- everything in this greenhouse is made of wood, including the roof, as actual sunshine is not a perquisite of plants who grow strong with sorrow and blossom with despair -- isn't quick to obey her order. His eyes remained unfocused, his attitude somewhat resentful, through image after image.

This is consistent with his recent mood, which has been distant, vague... discontent. In other words, he's been sulking a lot.

The JoyCam continues, inexorably indifferent to his desire to be left alone.

...Kasagami giving Utena and Anthy a soft but incredibly intense smile...

...Steven gazing in wonder, goggle-eyed, at he is told his fortune of GREAT MAGIC by THE MARVELOUS MYSTERIOUS MYSTICAL MEDIUM MADAM M-SAMA...

...Usagi and Rei gleefully disappearing beneath hyottoko and tengu masks as they chat with Haruka and Michiru...

...Fuu giving an inflatable replica of the Master Sword a wishful, longing look...

...Nori industriously but also gently painting a shell...

...And Setsuna -- EAS -- triumphant and delighted, as she wins it big at the ring toss booth...

Soular looks up sharply. His mood, which was as gray as his long, lovely hair, abruptly congeals pitch black.

"Why are you showing me this?" he asks Northa roughly, his eyes bleak but his tone engaged, wrathful. His rage is not for his floral supervisor, they both know this.

She smiles at him, sweet as poisoned honey. "You're my precious kohai, Sou-lar-kun. I just thought you could use... a little inspiration."

"It would be a shame to waste this opportunity," he growls.

"Yeees," she hisses, shifting her watering can to the next plant down the line. The spray continues, and so do the images:

...Rei storming, screaming through the crowd, her eyes ablaze...

...Usagi weeping as she cradles Chibi-Usa from behind...

...it zooms in on Chibi-Usa's distraught face, as she buries it in the gray plush cat, and freezes.

"A festival is a cruel thing," she remarks, regarding the little Rabbit with a clinical eye. "When so many people are brought together in the name of joy, and conned into opening their hearts..."

"...they're also at their most vulnerable," Soular finishes. He smirks, REALLY smirks, a grim, face-rending, satisfying smirk, for the first time in who knows how long. And he gets to his feet, his palms slapping his thighs with workmanlike anticipation. "Yes. Ripe to be harvested. Everything for Lord Moebius."

Northa watches Soular's cape flutter behind him as he storms out. Out of the greenhouse. Out of the Desolate Mansion. Out of the countryside.

Into the festival.

Her voice drifts after him, lazily victorious.

"Bai bai..."


Normally Soular's schemes are intricate.

Nobody tell Westar the narrator said this, but the average Soular Nakewameke is more creative, more clever, more indirect, and therefore more dangerous than his counterpart's. Even Northa's Sorewatase, though not incapable of deception and horror, mostly rely on the immense advantage she enjoys by breaking a few eggs of hallucinogenic despair right in the faces of her enemies, in order to make more despair omelettes.

(From her greenhouse, Northa sneers at the camera.)

Anyway, today is not that day. Soular is not in the mood for subtlety. He feels ruinous, destructive.

And hey, sometimes there's something to be said for the direct approach.

<SoundTracker> Nakewameke Appears - Fresh Precure OST https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Le-bm1_ZL4

The angry teen storms down the main thoroughfare, flicking technomystical Data Diamonds over his shoulder left and right, as he passes various booths that offend him.


The goldfish scooping pond sprouts eyes above and a mouth below the Data Diamond now adhered to its bottom, then grows vacuum-cleaner-arm-like arms and legs. Its hands, of course, are gigantic goldfish scoops, but whether or not those nets are really PAPER remains to be seen. When its face cranes downwards, the water (and presumably fish) do not slosh out, but remain inside, behind something like an invisible force field.


The senbonbiki lottery booth becomes, essentially, half of a massive koosh ball. Its strings are now immensely massive ropes, every one a prehensile bludgeon that it uses for both mobility (like a giant amoeba) and violence (like... a big heavy rope). What's attached to each rope on the opposite side is, for the time being, an open question.


The cork gun booth has stacks of corks for legs and arms, a giant cork for a torso, and a huge, smiling plush bear (one of the available, as-yet-unwon prizes) for a head. The Data Diamond is on the bear's nose, so its face is now the youma's face.

Predictably, its arms end in rifles.

These Nakewameke and more follow Soular down the street in a parade march. A few screams are startled out of the populace but it's more amazing than terrible; the mood isn't shattered, completely, not yet.

When he gets to the end of the festival -- where the street become a big field, part of the actual park (normally used for pick-up soccer games and the like), currently decorated with lanterns but otherwise just soft grass and big sky -- he, and his minions, about-face. So hateful is their lieutenant's mood that their Data Diamonds flash, vindictively, and just wholesale suck the energy out of the festival-goers en masse. The crowd collapses like they've been gassed, joy draining from their faces and leaving nothing behind but a stunned, dull emptiness.

The festival falls silent.

Soular's eyes glint, anticipatorily, as he lifts his chin at the inevitable emergency response.

"Cry. And. Wail," he spits out viciously, in open challenge to the magical girls of Uminari Matsuri.

COMBAT: Soular transforms into Nakewameke!
<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Setsuna walks step by step beside Buki, making pace with her without a worry. The snack of the moment is half-gone already when she pauses, hearing the chaos and looking over to see ahead...

"Soular," she breathes to Buki, and turns towards her friend in alarm. Their eyes meet.

-=-=-BGM Interrupt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6CfrLLZKd4

"Pretty Cure! Chan-ge! Beat... Up!"

Setsuna glows in red and leaps into the air, diving down through a spectral surface to reach the path as if coming up from a wave. Her form settles; boots, armguards, dress, headpiece, clover emblem. She reaches the ground, and clack-clack! Her heels settle as she adopts a defiant stance. "Freshly ripened... Cure Passion!"

She takes off at a dead sprint. Reaching the epicenter, Passion feels the flash of the Data Diamonds, as she feels misery through the air, tastes it like she had for so long. She will never forget that particular sensation.


The Cure from Labyrinth stares at Soular fiercely. "...This isn't like you," she says, disturbed as she realizes it looking around. She almost falters--but rallies, "Still, I won't let you! Haa-h!"

She leaps into the air, and calls, "Pine!" A red blur reaches apex--

COMBAT: Setsuna Higashi transforms into Cure Passion!
COMBAT: Cure Passion has started a combo targeting Soular!
<Pose Tracker> Inori Yamabuki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> ibid

'buki takes an experimental scoop of 'crepe' in her mouth. "Maybe it's a European thing? Like iced coffee..."

At the sudden silence of people surrounding the paramde march, 'buki gasps, in the process dropping her 'crepes'. "Soular!?" And reaching into her jam-packed bag for her Linkrun as she ducks off to the edge with Setsuna.

"Change! Pretty Cure - Beat Up!"

Yellow gleams over her, as she takes a leap of faith. A plunge that feels freefall, girding her for battle every step of the way. Her Yukata disappears, changing her into the frilled clothing of a Legendary Warrior Pretty Cure, her hair turning a shade of bright yellow, her hair tie becoming a ribbon with a yellow heart.

At the last second of the fall, she flips end over end, landing with a tap tap of her boots.

"The yellow heart is the emblem of faith." She says as she brings her fingers into a heart, and leaps into the air in an exuberant display of cheer, with a dynamic flare of sparkles. "Freshly harvested - Cure Pine!"

Taking up a wary stance, she faces down Soular. Northa may be the most powerful of Labyrinth's Executives, but Soular's plans are never straight forward; she expects a trick to come at any given moment. She agrees with Passion's assessment but still seems worried, anxious that she's missing something.

"We won't do either of those things. Or let you ruin this festival!" She finally declares to Soular.

Suddenly racing forward after a few short steps - she leaps high into the air. And when Passion calls out her name, she calls Passion's back, "Passion!"

The two blurs of red and gold, are gone only for a split second. Their return marked by their voices crying out together, "Double Pretty Cure-" They descend down perhaps even more rapidly than they went, offering tremendous momentum and power. Gold and Red boots driving down into their target in perfect synch. "-KICK!"

COMBAT: Inori Yamabuki transforms into Cure Pine!
COMBAT: Cure Pine has joined the combo started by Cure Passion!
COMBAT: COMBO! Cure Passion and Cure Pine have used Pretty Cure Fresh Kick on Soular.
COMBAT: Soular fails to counter Cure Passion and Cure Pine's Combo: Pretty Cure Fresh Kick, taking 68 Fatigue damage!  Critical
COMBAT: Soular's counterattack, OM NOM NOM, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Cure Passion!  
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mikoto beams, at Lera's approval and smiling faces. "It's so happy!" She says, of the other girl's lantern, her enthusiasm unfettered. "Lera's lantern is the best!" But with the warmth she shows looking between both of them, it's not an exclusive best; they both have the best lanterns.

Distracted as she is by inspecting Lera's bright handiwork, she doesn't quite catch Homura, lurking in the shadows; nor Chitose, ambling about the edges.

Some things are easier to spot than others, though.

There's a commotion, from the goldfish-scooping pond, and Mikoto's ear flicks as she looks up. With a questioning grunt, she looks over that way; but in the excitement of the festival, it's hard to see over everyone's heads. Her back straightens, her chin tilts up; she doesn't have close to Lera's height, but she can try to look over that way anyhow. "Something happening..?"

It's said in curiosity rather than trepidation; this is a festival, and Mikoto, on hearing hoofbeats, does not think of zebra.

No: it's only when the Nakewameke come into her view at the end of the path that Mikoto's eyes widen and her breath catches in her throat. Her first thought, on seeing such plain and obvious devastation, is: "Westar-senpai..?"

Which is a really interesting turn of phrase,

But it's quickly cut off as she places the shock of hair below, and her eyes narrow. "Wait --"

'Who's most important to you, then? Your friends, or your Lord Brother?'

"Soular!" Mikoto realises, as all the energy of the festival suddenly obeys the laws of low tide and ebbs. All painted up in reds and whites, the way the colour drains from Mikoto's own face is obscured. It's for the best, really. Her own pale horror has nothing to do with the consumption of those Data Diamonds.

It is, rather, an entirely more personal thing.

But there are Pretty Cure, freshly ripened and freshly harvested, and warmth allays the sharp edges of her gaze. With an affirmative hum, she nods, shares a glance with Lera --

Words. Firm, she asserts: "I'll help, too!"

Carefully she puts her lantern down; quickly she grasps the strap of her sword-case, and with one smooth motion draws the blade which is the namesake of her face.

(She does not change; she is still dressed in yukata, still in the visage of fierce oni. But, that sword...)

And charging down that street is Mikoto, snarling challenge, as she springs up and - with a whirl - slashes her sword into those thick senbonbiki-ropes. Her holler eventually finds shape and mora, as she crashes in: "I won't!"

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi transforms into HiME Mikoto!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Dauntlessness on Soular.
COMBAT: Soular cleanly braces 28 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Dauntlessness, taking 5 Fatigue damage!
Mikoto Minagi is Psyched!  Soular's Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Lera's eyes widen, as she hears a cry most familiar to her, three times in succession: 'Nakewameke!'

She turns from Mikoto and looks over her shoulder, in time to see the foot of the cork gun booth slam down into the street. Her lamp rattles on the counter. She has a big, red smear right through the last smiley face, where her brush slipped.

"Oh, no--" She stands up, in a hurry, even as the booth attendant falls over. She meets Mikoto's eyes, then she nods quickly at her.

Her voice gets a tinge of worry in it. "Mikoto! We have to get out there! I need to find Setsuna!"

It doesn't take her long to find Cure Passion. She is where she would expect her: with Pine, both of them driving down for the Senbonbiki Nakewameke. "Pine!" she calls out. "Passion!"

Lera activates her Barrier Jacket as she runs into the street, past where a footstep down caused the ground to depress. Light billows outward; her coat flashes into existence, her sidebraid swaying in the wind, and she lifts into the air.

Soaring Sky flashes into her right hand; Broken Ground flashes into being on her left forearm. She looks forward, expecting one Executive, and seeing another. "Soular! Stop this!"

It's been some time since she spoke to him. She expects they will get along as well as they always did.

Light explodes from Broken Ground. It shoots across the earth, a flash of gold that explodes as spikes shooting from a jagged, tearing line of light across the ground. Those spikes of light, like rocks exploding from a volcanic eruption, shoot up under the feet of the cork gun booth Nakewameke.

<Fault Siege!>

COMBAT: Lera Camry transforms into Barrier Jacket Dynamic!
COMBAT: Lera Camry has used Fault Siege on Soular.
COMBAT: Soular dodges 8 Fatigue damage from Lera Camry's Fault Siege, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Lera Camry is Psyched!  Soular's
Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

One moment, Fuu was watching wistfully as a girl performed magic in front of her.

The next moment, Fuu was watching in horror as that girl slumped off her stool to the ground, everyone around them collapsing as their energy was ripped away.

Stunned by the unfolding calamity, Fuu moves on autopilot, making sure the crochet artist didn't hit her head, and arranging a cushion under her head. Then, donning her glove jewel, she leaves the booth, noticing vaguely that there are booths *missing* from the festival's main avenue. A lot of them.

"Belief ..."

Her bag glows green, and vanishes into the large jewel which now adorns the back of Fuu's left hand. She doesn't even need to look around - those giant nakewameke are all too visible, an eyesore against the evening sky.

"... becomes power ..."

She passes the space where the corkgun booth stood, her yukata ruffling in the wind that rises about her. Kuu lies there, her beloved elder sister, and Tsubasa, their cherished mother, sprawled beneath her.

"Winds ... !"

The breeze around Fuu Hououji becomes a localized tempest, echoing the storm that rises up within her heart; her pace quickens from a half-conscious walk to a deliberate run, and as the wind turns emerald about her, the yukata which restrains her free movement begins to dissolve.

"... GUIDE ME!!!"

At the last, she does not run; she *flies*, riding the power of her transformation into the Magic Knight of Wind, taking to the air as if born to ride upon it. It's a short-lived flight, more of an assisted leap - but as the Wind Knight's flight arcs downwards, she leads with her blade, slicing at the corkgun-booth Nakewameke even as Lera's magic blasts up underneath it.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji transforms into Wind Knight!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Tempest Slash on Soular.
COMBAT: Soular braces 11 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Tempest Slash, taking 17 Fatigue damage!  Soular's Block and Parry
abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.


It was hiding behind more plain yukata. Primarily black, with the right side varying zigzags of grays. The occasional one being a burnished yellow-orange. The belt is that same sunlike color. Around the black base are a myriad of pink flowers, growing as if the bottom hem was the loamy soil from which it bloomed.

They appear to be some kind of orchid or mallow.

"This one!" the boy says, looking it over. Price tag is a bit high, but he has enough!

"Oh, ladies, you will loooo~o~o~ve the one I found!" he says, half-singing as he walks to the counter. Of course, in his excitement, he didn't hear the bodies hitting the ground. The cashier droops over the counter. "Oh it isn't that bad... is it? ...Ladies?"

Okay, the fun bit is over. Steven hastily walks over to one on the ground seen workign the booth, his sandals clack on some of the plastic flooring brought in. A chubby hand reaches out and grasps her by the shoulder, and gives her a shake. No response.

"Oh no! But there was time now! I found the one!" he says, shaking a fist to the sky. The boy gently sets the clothing on the counter, starts marching outside and down the way, heaving the clash of battle begin to sound. "Who would ruin a festival like this and hurt people?" he ponders. Considering the signs of magic, he has a good idea the people who did it, if merely by works alone.

Fallen bodies are a good sign of Labyrinth. It could be considered a signature of sorts. If a greusome one.

Steven arrives on scene, already with shield in hand "Oh, good. There's three of 'em!" A grimace forms as eyes flick between them. Pretty Cure are already on scene tackling one.

Lera and Fuu are likewise attacking the one with GUNS FOR ARMS. Just looking at that one makes him take a few steps backward. THey can't let them walk aroudn freely or it could be bad! He might not be strong as some of the others here, but he might be able to buy time!

So the Gem child turns his attention to the last one, the-- "Is that the fish booth turned int oa monster?" he asks, somewhat in disbelief. "Uh." Well, it is a festival, there might not be a whole lot that could be violent i nthe first place to work with.

He sees the fish in the tanks still there. "Oh no! Fishies, I will save you!" he shouts with resolve! "Hey monster! Give up the fish all calm like, and put down the... nets?" yeah, net arms. "ANYWAY, do that so this can be over all easy like!"

COMBAT: Steven Universe transforms into Serious Steven!
COMBAT: Steven Universe has used AND STEVEN! on Soular.
<Pose Tracker> Chitose Shiratori [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Chitose's continuing to wander around, and her path is slowly but surely taking her out of the festival grounds.

Thus, when Solar appears and begins his dark work Chitose doesn't notice at first. It's only when she turns and sees the walking booths that she finally notices. And she squints. "What's going on?" Her hand moves up towards her braid, where she keeps her Device. She doesn't quite transform yet, she just watches the moving booths for a moment. When people start to collapse, though, she instantly transforms, and as the light from it dissipates she points White Omen at the Senbonbiki booth... then the cork gun booth... and then the goldfish scooping booth.

"Wait, that's two too many."

<Three too many.>

"I suppose that's true." She moves her arm and aims at the senbonbiki booth. "Why are there three of them?"

White Omen pauses the conversation to fire. <Thunder Dove.> The golden laser doves fly out and attempt to explode on the one of three booths Chitose visited tonight.

Chitose sweeps her eyes around the area quickly "Let's keep an eye out in case there are more." And with that, she takes off and ascends to the skies again, soaring way up high as she looks around for more.

COMBAT: Chitose Shiratori transforms into Barrier Jacket!
COMBAT: Chitose Shiratori has used Thunder Dove on Soular.
<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

She's definitely caught staring at Lera and Mikoto and their lanterns, but as ever she plays it cool. Homura looks Nori's way before turning her head, which casts her still gaze through the lower reaches of glossy black bangs. Her hood's down, still, and her hands are tucked into the front pocket.

"I am not surprised that you, of all people, aren't dissuaded by a haunting," she says after a beat.

But she is hungry. After another she untangles her fingers from the band of the pink activity watch in her pocket and plucks a dumpling from the cone. Between her middle finger and thumb she holds it, with care -- almost daintily. Examines it.

'NAKEWAMEKE!' rings out, and there is a great crashing, and then -- there are screams. Homura does not flinch or whirl in place, but she calmly tilts her head and catches the whipping of a lottery-rope through the air. "Maybe another time," she says in the same quiet tones, and with casual precision moves to set the dumpling back in its original place in the cone, in Nori's custodianship.

Homura springs with that unnatural grace and alights atop the lantern booth, to kneel there for a quiet moment with her chin down and her eyes closed. Thanks to the angles, only a flash of electric violet can be seen of her by those below.

Through her eyelids, the flash of color transmutes and becomes an almost-pink. She stays kneeling a moment longer.

Then the First Apostle leaps from booth-top to booth-top with her red ribbon rippling and her black bow in hand.

There's a glint to her violet eyes. She joins battle, and her declaration is not words but a black-bodied arrow wrapped in the color of her soul: a fierce and direct defense of the festival and what it means to Homura, aimed directly for -- of course -- the cork gun booth.

She hasn't really glanced at the fallen people. They're not who she's doing this for. But in a roundabout way... that means she is doing it for the fallen people, and that will have to be good enough.

COMBAT: Homura Akemi transforms into The First Apostle!
COMBAT: Homura Akemi has used Twilight Prayer on Soular.
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The fainting crowd and Soular's words break Kassie out of her enjoyment of the times she'd had during this beautiful festival, snapping the tense joy like a string. Her gaze narrows, and one finger runs along the surface of her Rose Signet Ring. The mood that she's been basking in is ruined, and something akin to rage passes over her face for a moment.

The Duelist is incensed at the idea of someone attacking this crowd of merry-making friends, so many other memories ready to be yanked away. Stolen. Taken from their rightful owners. Ending in crying and wailing.

The rose ring on her finger shines, and as the Duelist steps into the back of the booth? She flicks her hair and turns, a blade drawn from seemingly nowhere as the long piece of metal reflects the young woman against herself in the mirror sheen of her sword with eyes averted away from her own reflection. Highlights fade into her hair, and a longcoat flutters across her back, tassles about her outfit swaying energetically as the weight of her chase for the throne as well as her fiery ambitions settle about her. The Crimson Rose Duelist is out of the booth in a flash of fluttering sign, and only a little shave ice to cool her head.

She lands atop another booth, pointing her blade at the particularly fish-filled Nakewameke that Soular has created. Kassie clears her throat.

"Tonight is a night for the people of Tokyo to make memories that will carry through hardship and triumphs alike! Not to have their love and friendship ripped away from them by the thirsting maw of evil! What you've done is a grave crime, and a King won't allow this injustice to stand!" She offers proudly and lets some of her irritation show through. Then she leaps into the sky, a single wink at Steven as she does so, and joins the fight with a hard, falling double-handed strike towards one of those vacuume-like fish-scoopers on the youma! Like a spinning buzz-saw, she and her shining sword slash in a single blurr of lightning-quick motion for the towering creature!

COMBAT: Kasagami Araki transforms into Crimson Rose Duelist!
<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53HZ7LoqhSQ&t=70

Nori smiles, quietly, to Homura's words. "I suppose you do understand me," she says, her voice rather fond.


Nori's lips thin.

'Cry. And. Wail.'

Nori shifts round that little bag she had with her and loosens the thread. As she does, she gently brings out a damaged-looking lantern, almost forlorn. It makes a soft creak and a light 'clank' as Nori holds it and has to juggle some items around, putting the bag and her little paper-wrap of festival dumplings down.

"With an invitation like that," Nori says, tossing her hair back with her other hand, "I'd --" Something occurs to her and she twists round, running back several booth-lengths from where she had stood with Homura. She ducks into the stall itself - moves a man, now drained - and returns, any momentary flippancy disappeared.

She raises her lantern up. It gleams within. (Start the music here.)

"Shine Forth, O Pharos," she states, and the battered old lens-cover flips open -- and a vibrant inverted glow surges outwards, pouring up in a violet-and-black flare into the sky, briefly surrounding Nori.

From the perspective of Nori, she stands facing dead ahead, six stars shining in the sky before her as a rolling torrent approaches her. The forward spray washes over her eyes, pushes back her hair, makes the yukata flutter. Behind her head a single red star sits, near the horizon.

"Let the storm," Nori Ankou says, before the cloud and the surging wave smashes into her in glorious fractal pastel red and green and pink and purple scraped from a living and tenebreous black, an opacity with its own spectrum, and she says

"BREAK AGAINST ME" as it streams over and past and through, leaving her a marble promenotory in a darkling sea for a fleeting moment, before the wave passes, leaving her hair all the darker, a slimmer dress with pleated skirt and armored boots glistening in tear-damp. She raises up her hands.

The six stars before her glitter in black and fly down, dotting her costume, even as the red star behind her twirls, twinkles, and flies an unseen course to the Brazen Pharos, now lashed round her waist by silver rope.

"la Sirene"

"de Diamant!"

and that's the person who opens pale eyes as the oceanic damp fades and she strides forwards, gently luminous. She glances to Homura in her (white? pink?) outfit, but she is already moving. la Sirene steps forwards, raising her left hand as she stalks towards what once was the goldfish booth.

"Suction tubes...? You're already cheating," La Sirene breathes out, giving her fingers a rolling three-fingered snap! that sends a shimmering flash of light(?) towards one of the creature's arms, with water-hose pressure and chilling force behind it. "Have you met the Nakewameke before?" she asks Steven. "If you haven't, then, I'm sorry it had to happen here."

COMBAT: Nori Ankou transforms into La Sirene de Diamant!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used Rose on the Wind on Soular.
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used Carbonado Kaleidoscope on Soular.
COMBAT: Soular fails to dodge Homura Akemi's Twilight Prayer, taking 28 Fatigue damage!  Homura Akemi is Psyched!  
COMBAT: Soular braces 0 Fatigue damage from Steven Universe's AND STEVEN!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Steven
Universe is Psyched!  Soular's Block and Parry abilities activate!  Blind, Diversion, and Exhausted applied to Soular!
COMBAT: Soular perfectly dodges 12 Fatigue damage from Kasagami Araki's Rose on the Wind, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Dodge!  Soular's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Soular braces 14 Fatigue damage from Chitose Shiratori's Thunder Dove, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Soular's Block and Parry
abilities activate!
COMBAT: Soular partially dodges 4 Fatigue damage from La Sirene de Diamant's Carbonado Kaleidoscope, taking 18 Fatigue damage!
Soular's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Stagger applied to Soular!
<Pose Tracker> Soular [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> An Incident Occurs - Fresh Precure OST https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IT0bbcrDM0U

Soular is unfazed by the defiance in the hearts and eyes and mouths of the magical girl legion he's summoned. He could have written scripts for them to read and they would not be very different. He's heard it all before, and for all his unusual tantrum tonight, he gives them all his standard comeback: a smug, superior smile.

Even if it's a little more brittle than usual.

When Cure Passion reveals herself, though, his rage widens and his focus narrows. He sputters at the traitor's comment, surprised to be disarmed by the very anger that drove him to this confrontation.

"How dare you, of all people, tell me what I am like?"

He doesn't know her; she's made that abundantly clear. With her SMILES and her FRIENDS and her PRETTY CURE TRANSFORMATION. Every one of them is a betrayal of Lord Mobius.

Yes. Lord Mobius is the one betrayed, here. Soular is spoiling this party for HIM.


The senbonbiki nakewameke is no damn joke, not least because it is the WEIRDEST of the three youma, by far the least humanoid. Still, it can be Pretty Cure Double Kicked, as Pine and Passion ably demonstrate. A small shockwave blasts the nearest ropes away on impact, sort of like a blow dryer.

This reveals its face much more clearly, especially its GAPING MOUTH which is 100% black hole and zero percent teeth. Which is probably a good thing, but there's something faintly... dimensional about it.

MIKOTO is the one to win (lose?) the lottery, because unlike the Pretty Cure whose impact is clean and causes them to bounce away, Miroku gets deeply entangled in ropes, which drag him -- and the girl attached to him -- inside. With a little crack-the-whip action, the Nakewameke flings her inside that gaping mouth. She disappears and so does the mouth, behind ropes which suddenly all point forward, drooping temptingly, READY TO BE YANKED.

The premise is obvious: tug a rope, win a prize! The prize could be Mikoto!



All the prizes are bombs. Spherical black ones. Every time a rope is pulled, it lights their fuse. Mikoto can't extinguish ALL of them before her friends pull them out, but she can probably whack-a-mole several into duds if she really applies herself.

The mouth is nowhere to be found on this side of the booth, either. Her way out is the rope tied comfortably around her waist. Sooner or later, surely she will be a prize to be won!


Meanwhile, the cork gun nakewameke turns out to be pretty nimble on those cork-stack legs. It leaps out of the way of Lera's spikes, and into Fuu's sword, which it takes on an X of its gun-arms. Sparks fly, and then corks fly too, as it spins in midair with the style of any desperately cool gunman, reorients the barrels, and blasts first point blank at the Wind Knight, then returns fire at the Midchildan.


It lands, its autoloading-rifle-arms somewhat shorter than they were before (hmm...), just in time to have an ensouled violet arrow detonate right in its face, scorching the blue plush bear black. Its eyes blink, blink, then fix right at Homura.

Both guns... blaze. Well. Eject. Rapidly. The air fills with giant corks.



The goldfish scooping nakewameke is entirely happy to give Steven its full attention. Yes, this leaves it open to Chitose's golden doves, which detonate on the back of the pool (the water inside shakes, but doesn't slosh out), and La Sirene's unlight, which dents one of its arms. But it also reveals the nature of its game.

It isn't trying to scoop fish OUT of itself.

It's trying to suck things IN.

Angling its nearest net smoothly underneath Kasagami's strike, it impacts Steven with a loud paper PAP! He breaks straight through it, and the vacuum behind it goes VRRRR!!

And then, one second later, he reappears inside the (engorged, deeper) kiddie pool. There's a little bit of air above the top of the water, trapped like he is inside the (possibly one-directional?) force-field, but otherwise he's swimming with the fishies until someone scoops him out. From a distance or down on the ground, it looks like the blue Data Diamond nose is now round and cute and pink.

As for its broken net hand... the poi is retracted, and replaced.

But not with another net.

A truly gigantic fish-shaped drum sprouts as its new hand, which flails out with abandon, striking Kasagami and Nori and Chitose, or the ground, whichever comes first.




Soular must be somewhere in all this chaos, but we've lost track of him for now.

COMBAT: Soular has used Nakewameke's Sly Plot on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Soular has used All The Prizes Are BOMBS on Cure Pine.
COMBAT: Soular has used All The Prizes Are BOMBS on Cure Passion.
COMBAT: Soular has used Nakewameke's Sorrowful Force on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Soular has used Nakewameke's Sorrowful Force on Lera Camry.
COMBAT: Soular has used Nakewameke's Sorrowful Force on Homura Akemi.
COMBAT: Soular has used Nakewameke's Sly Plot on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Soular has used Nakewameke's Cunning Maneuver on Kasagami Araki.
COMBAT: Soular has used Nakewameke's Cunning Maneuver on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Soular has used Nakewameke's Cunning Maneuver on Chitose Shiratori.
COMBAT: Lera Camry fails to dodge Soular's Nakewameke's Sorrowful Force, taking 34 Fatigue damage!  Trap applied to Lera Camry!  
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji dodges 16 Fatigue damage from Soular's Nakewameke's Sorrowful Force, taking 24 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji's
Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Trap applied to Fuu Hououji!
COMBAT: Cure Pine decisively counters 24 Fatigue damage from Soular's All The Prizes Are BOMBS, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Cure
Pine's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Cure Pine's counterattack, Pineapple Reverse, partially gets through, doing 23 Fatigue damage to Soular!  
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi counters 0 Fatigue damage from Soular's Nakewameke's Sly Plot, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Mikoto Minagi's
Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!  Analysis performed by Soular!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi's counterattack, Obsidian Blade: Dynamo, partially gets through, doing 12 Fatigue damage to Soular!  
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki fails to dodge Soular's Nakewameke's Cunning Maneuver, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Blind applied to Kasagami
COMBAT: Cure Passion partially dodges 6 Fatigue damage from Soular's All The Prizes Are BOMBS, taking 24 Fatigue damage!  Cure
Passion's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Homura Akemi partially dodges 8 Fatigue damage from Soular's Nakewameke's Sorrowful Force, taking 34 Fatigue damage!
Homura Akemi is unable to keep fighting!  Homura Akemi's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Trap applied to Homura Akemi!
COMBAT: Chitose Shiratori partially dodges 2 Fatigue damage from Soular's Nakewameke's Cunning Maneuver, taking 6 Fatigue damage!
Chitose Shiratori's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Blind, Diversion, and Stagger applied to Chitose Shiratori!
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant cleanly braces 6 Fatigue damage from Soular's Nakewameke's Cunning Maneuver, taking 1 Fatigue damage!
La Sirene de Diamant's Block and Parry abilities activate!  Blind, Diversion, and Stagger applied to La Sirene de Diamant!
<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Lera's first shot may have been for the cork gun Nakewameke, but her attention is soon directed to the senboniki Nakewameke. This is in spite of the fact that a huge, dark-wreathed cork begs her. Her Barrier Jacket ripples, lines of static shooting through it on the impact point.

But her eyes are on the way that Mikoto just went straight into its mouth. She draws in a sharp gasp, and then she lowers her chin, and she blasts forward. A ring of light explodes from around her feet, and she soars straight towards the strange Nakewameke. Her sword ignites, fire crackling -- and then freezes, Soaring Sky surrounded by a nimbus of orange light burning gold at the edges.


And then Lera grabs it with both hands, and slams the sword with a two-handed blow into the side of the Nakewameke. The energy around the blade explodes off it, with a golden starburst.


"No! Drop her! Spit her out this instant!" Lera shouts, before she looks at Passion and Pine. "It swallowed Mikoto!"

COMBAT: Lera Camry has used Radiant Saber on Soular.
<Pose Tracker> Cure Passion [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Soular actually seems to Passion to stop for an instant, which surprises her as much as anyone. It was not a calculated barb, an attempt to disarm him--it was honest. She shouldn't be surprised by his anger over it.


"Lera!" Passion calls back out to Lera to show she heard her, but in short order she has a closer concern. She can see the gaping mouth of the Nakewameke, tell that there's something strange, until--"Oh--Mikoto-chan!"

The premise is indeed clear to her. "We--have to pull!?" she guesses. Then she goes for it without even stopping to think, pulling ropes to find Mikoto and in the process finding bombs that lanch out towards her. Boom boom; her attempts to dodge are not terribly successful, blasts knocking her backwards away from the Nakewameke. But she is not so quickly dissuaded. "Lera! Pine!" She calls. "I'll..."

"I'll win her!!"

With this battlecry in mind, Passion surges forward, spinning once she reaches the cords and up up up pulling and turning, letting the momentum spin her again each way as she tries to pull the monster apart!!

COMBAT: Cure Passion has used Rising Passion on Soular.
<Pose Tracker> Cure Pine [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"Lera!" Pine says, delighted, "I'm glad we caught up with you."

Though as she rebounds off the Nakewameke, backflipping into an upright stance that skids her backwards to take in the full strangeness of the Senbonbiki Nakewameke...

"I'm glad Tarte was on break..." She comments to herself, then recoils as she sees its face. "Huh!? Minagi-san!?" Or rather sees its face devour Mikoto into the void.

"Ah - ah - what do we do - what do we do!?" She says as she does a panicked dance in place. "It doesn't seem like a good idea to go in..."

Passion suggests they have to pull, and Cure Pine, who was manning this booth not even twenty minutes ago, has a look on her face like she didn't think of it at all. "Oh. That makes sense."

Then her eyes go on one of its rope like appendages. And Cure Pine hesitantly, tugs a rope.

A bomb with a lit fuse comes out.

"AH!" She calls out in surprise, and reflexively punches it back into the Nakewameke, which detonates in its proximity rather than her.

"I-I should have expected that."

It is a Soular Nakewameke after all. As Passion declares she'll win her, Pine joins in, "I'll try too!" Again and again, Pine pulls the ropes. Again and again she tries to deflect the bombs, though a few come too close for comfort, detonating and knocking her back.

She keeps trying though.

"M-Minagi-san if you can hear us maybe you can jiggle a rope to give us a hint?"

Pine pulls another rope though. And another. As many as it takes.

"I believe - this one is it!"

Pine tugs another rope.

COMBAT: Cure Pine has used The Search for the Real Kette Binden on Soular.
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

The Wind Knight's feet have barely touched the ground before the corkgun Nakewameke retaliates, giant cork projectiles hammering down upon her and forcing her back into motion - but since she was already off-balance, that doesn't go terribly well for her. She overhears Lera's shout about Mikoto getting swallowed, and the Magic Knight's lips tighten.

Part of her isn't even worried about the fact that Soular's disappeared; while he needs to be suitably reprimanded for his vile efforts, the Nakewameke are literally the bigger threat - and there are, in fact, *three* of them: focusing on the senbonbiki Nakewameke will free the other two up to wreak all manner of havoc.

Well. Coming in high didn't help as much as she hoped; this time, the Magic Knight of Wind charges in low. If the corkgun Nakewameke has feet ... well, the Magic Knight clearly intends to correct *that* situation, twirling and twisting into a revolving slash of her sword as she twirls past underneath it.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Spinning Slash on Soular.
COMBAT: Steven Universe braces 0 Fatigue damage from Soular's Nakewameke's Sly Plot, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Steven Universe's
Block and Parry abilities activate!  Analysis performed by Soular!
COMBAT: Soular decisively counters 9 Fatigue damage from Cure Pine's The Search for the Real Kette Binden, taking 3 Fatigue
damage!  Cure Pine is Psyched!  Soular's Reverse ability activates!
COMBAT: Soular's counterattack, All The Prizes Are BOMBS, partially gets through, doing 26 Fatigue damage to Cure Pine!  
COMBAT: Soular cleanly braces 17 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Spinning Slash, taking 3 Fatigue damage!  Soular's Block and
Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Soular counters 5 Fatigue damage from Cure Passion's Rising Passion, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Cure Passion is Psyched!
Soular's Reverse ability activates!
COMBAT: Soular's counterattack, All The Prizes Are BOMBS, partially gets through, doing 19 Fatigue damage to Cure Passion!  
COMBAT: Soular partially dodges 13 Fatigue damage from Lera Camry's Radiant Saber, taking 51 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Soular's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

'How dare you?'

Once and once again; there's something in Mikoto's eyes, as she sights the lack of give to that smile.

But she's not going for Soular. Gone are the days she would bypass the Nakewameke entirely to assault the Executive behind it. Instead her blade goes for the senbonbiki; she is more sure of herself, now, and alien geometries have long been a thing she has learned to manage.

But hers - theirs - is a sharp impact, when she is not blunting herself; behind the paint her eyes widen, and she grunts in alarm as she tugs at the ropes. Her yelp is sharp, too, as she can't quite free herself in time to avoid that whip-crack --



Oh, Mikoto thinks, as she pushes herself up. Lots of bombs.

Mikoto's approach to ruining explosives...

... has not changed terribly much since she switched sides (again).

She takes the flat of Miroku, and THONKS it down on the bomb. Fizzle. Fzzt.

"Phew," Mikoto sighs, because she was half expecting something stranger and more eldritch to happen. But this is a world... where Mikoto doesn't have to fight eldritch abominations she was never designed to fight.

But there are so many bombs, and she can't just stand around! Thonk, thonk, thonk!

She hits the bombs, and curiously, deliberately seems to not pay much mind to the rope tied about her. But it's attached to her, and that means it gets tugged around, as she whirls about hitting explosives. Her solution to bomb defusal might not be the most practical one, but when all you have is a claymore, every problem starts to look like... something which can be hit by a claymore.

At least one of them yanks away before she can get to it, but Mikoto is only one girl, and there are so many bombs.

She is also a girl attached to a rope who likes spinning around to hit things. The end result: it's not just wrapped around her waist. Well, it is, but quite a few more times. Also around her shoulders. And there's one loop around her ankle, which she summarily kicks herself out of with an eminently frustrated yell: "SOULAR YOU DON'T NEED THIS MANY BOMBS!"

(She knows he probably can't hear her. This is the Bomb Dimension. For bombs. But it feels better to say it anyway.)

Knocking another away - not unlike a cat with a golf club - Mikoto sees something glinting in the darkness which doesn't have a fuse. It's big, blue, and diamond - and she frowns, leaning down to yank on it. Yank. Yaaaannnnnnnk.


Spin, spin, spin, all her spinning gets played out in reverse as Mikoto goes tumbling out of the PRIZE MAW, right into Cure Passion's arms...!

Looking up at her, her eyes shine for a moment as she smiles, gratitude flooding past the red and white paint on her face.

"I found this," she says, holding up the blue Data Diamond she's still holding in one hand. Cure Passion and Mikoto's combined efforts wrenched it free!

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used I Only Needed ONE Sword on Soular.
<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

At Nori's mention of being understood, Homura's eyes actually narrow ever so slightly. And then they each are away, and in the fight.

Homura prefers to be on the giving end of such fusillades, but she's accustomed by now to not getting what she wants. Thanks to a Golden Queen, she has some... practice with these situations. (Wait, isn't this her booth...?) She leaps, and twists--

--but catches a cork on her hip and her spin turns tumble midair, only for her to bounce off another massive projectile in a grey-violet-black blur. She rolls on the turf but never loses her head, ignoring the impacted emptiness of her solar plexus to command arms and legs, and executes a mid-tumble spring to land in a three-point crouch, bow flat against the ground.

'It swallowed Mikoto!'

Homura takes in the scene. The senbonbiki nakewameke is getting absolutely swarmed. She refocuses on the blasted blue bear-face of the thing that just shot her. Her eyebrows are as level as ever, but the way she brushes off her white sleeve as she straightens has a curtness to it.

She holds her empty fingers up in the air in a delicate pantomime, as if holding an invisible rose. An arrow blooms there, smooth and black and sharp.

The Wind Knight dances in and Homura holds her payload upon a taut string of magic, letting it crackle. Then she aims for the thing's shadow and releases, and there the arrow flies -- away from her apparent target, only to sizzle and zing as it strikes the field fence and rebounds at a sharp and absolutely precise angle, directly for the far side of the popcap nakewameke. Its explosive magics are spent in the bounce, but that ink-black arrowhead gleams, and it flies all the faster for its extra propulsion.

COMBAT: Homura Akemi has used Impossible Shot on Soular.
COMBAT: Soular perfectly counters 23 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's I Only Needed ONE Sword, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
Critical Counter!  Soular's Reverse ability activates!
COMBAT: Soular's counterattack, All The Prizes Are BOMBS, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Mikoto Minagi!  
<Pose Tracker> Chitose Shiratori [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Chitose doesn't get much time to react when a fish drum swings right at her. She tries to jet away but the drum manages to catch her anyway, smashing right into her and causing her to fly some distance before she's able to recover. She flips around and skids to a stop in the air, before swinging her device in line with the Nakewameke again, and firing a few bursts of light at the booths.

Between every few shots, her eyes continue scanning for other moving booths, as she flies around like a large hummingbird. "I don't see any others." She says after a moment. Are there more evil generals around driving the others? She doesn't see any others, but there's no reason that another can't pop out.

COMBAT: Chitose Shiratori has used Light Bolt on Soular.
COMBAT: Soular braces 14 Fatigue damage from Homura Akemi's Impossible Shot, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Soular's Block and Parry
abilities activate!  Cripple applied to Soular!
COMBAT: Soular decisively counters 18 Fatigue damage from Chitose Shiratori's Light Bolt, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Soular's
Reverse ability activates!
COMBAT: Soular's counterattack, Cork Bullet Barrage, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Chitose Shiratori!  
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

It...it sucked in Steve-kun like he were some kind of Steve-fish! There's this brief moment where Kassie's mouth hangs open. Then she clamps it shut with a perturbed frown! Instantly putting this youma on her 'most rude' list, the Girl Who Would Be King lands and whirls around just in time to note the giant squashing drum being aimed her way.

Suddenly she regretted not paying homage to all the little fishies when passing booths and koi ponds alike.

"Steven Universe may be many things, but I'm pretty sure he isn't in fact, a fish! Give back my future Shield Knight!" Comes the Duelist just before down goes the drum.

POK goes the drum and POK goes the Duelist's everything when it impacts upon her person and blade! Her attempts at ducking away were too slow, and only bringing up her blade last minute kept her from being a squashed pancake of a StuCo member! The crushing weight was met with resistance from every fiber of muscle in her body, her face going red from effort, and she swears she can feel her brain vibrating with unhealthy levels of POKitude. She's going to have that sound in her head for days, and no doubt a horrible headache.

And so the Duelist manages to slide out from under it before she's further crushed upon by the sucking fish-container, reels back, and tries to boot the thing right in whatever passes for it's shins. Maybe she's taking a page from a certain tiny pink-haired girl here! This kick is much, much more savagely inclined though! The tip of her boot swings again and again!

COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used Kassie Kick on Soular.
COMBAT: Soular fails to counter Kasagami Araki's Kassie Kick, taking 36 Fatigue damage!  Stagger applied to Soular!  
COMBAT: Soular's counterattack, Net Loss, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Kasagami Araki!  
<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

It's a horrible reversion of their quest and their festival games, La Sirene realizes (if not quite in those terms, as she steps back a pace). "It's..."

"Let him out!" la Sirene shouts out, before that enormous fishy drum is brought forth and POK'd off of her. She raises up a hand as if to parry, but before she can blurt out any portion of 'les mysteres', the diamonds on the back of her hand were struck. "Ghh!!"


After this, she shakes her hand out, the other one raising as the fingers splay. As she shakes out her proper cursing hand, la Sirene says, "Let him OUT!"

The darkling light round her flares - and then reaches out to try and struggle with the Nakewameke's smacking-things-around shoulder! For the light rises at her will, her passion, her command! (Then again, perhaps emulating the undulating creatures of the deep isn't the best call here... even so)

COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used Polyploia on Soular.
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

In Steven's unfortunate haste, he didn't quite get a good look at his target of emnity, the enemy of fish-kind, the Nakewa-Mahi! Heheh, he can gloat about the pun later. "Heeeey!" Steven calls toward Kassie. "Careful of the fish!" he shouts toward her. A look toward La Sirene. "I have seen a couple. Like one based off a video game that was really annoying! But they all hurt people. Gonna stop em?" He asks her rhetorically, as he moves in!

This goes poor, very quickly. A massive net gets swung his way, and the brave little boy raises his shield to block! Obviously, it kinda works. It was made of paper obviously. But behind it is the real trouble "Eep--!" is the last people hear from him for a few moments, as he gets hoovered up like a dust bunny.

A splash and flailing is the next sign of Steven, who is now i nthe tank with all the little fish! Thankfully, they aren't piranhas. The boy has to fight his way to the surface in the tank. "I'm okay!" he shouts, unsure if they can hear him. Something is forcibly keeping him from trying to climb out. It is hard to stay at the top of the water though.

The shield is grabbed off his forearm, and tries to strike the field above him. No effect. "Guh!" he grumps. He turns toward the lower barriers, raising the shield. But he stops! If this works, the fish will spill out and die...!

He can hold his breath as a true blue beach boy quite a while, but this could be troublesome. he instead just gives both a thumbs up from under the water! He believes in them!

COMBAT: Soular braces 13 Fatigue damage from La Sirene de Diamant's Polyploia, taking 20 Fatigue damage!  Soular's Block and Parry
abilities activate!  Tangle and Trap applied to Soular!
COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Strong In The Real Way! on Kasagami Araki.
COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Strong In The Real Way! on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant accepts Steven Universe's Strong In The Real Way!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki accepts Steven Universe's Strong In The Real Way!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Soular [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Big Balls - AC/DC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPlqLHcphyw

Through various modes, clever and otherwise, Cure Pine and Cure Passion play the senbonbiki nakewameke's game and win big!

Big bombs!

Now she's got big bombs! And SHE'S got big bombs!

It's got the biggest! Bombs of them all!

Sometimes lots of them at once, when Passion gets to spiraling them together! Especially because Mikoto's plan to put them out does not wind up working super well!

This speeds up the process but leaves everyone somewhat sooty, at the friendliest.

Lera, on the other hand, declines to play. The koosh ball is pretty stationary at this point, and its dodge is halfhearted, because it wants to leave its ropes in easy reach. So she gets in a good slam, which does much to reduce its structural integrity (INSIDE THE SENBONBIKI DIMENSION Mikoto is kind of jostled around like she's in an upset stomach).

At that point, when Mikoto emerges (legally, at the end of a rope) having purloined the Data Diamond, the Nakewameke just collapses into itself and becomes violet-black despair motes that rain down like confetti. One booth down!


The cork gun nakewameke is down a partner, with Lera having flown off to fail to play senbonbiki. That's kind of... just as well... for it, because after its rain of terror in Homura's direction, it is pretty much out of arms. A single cork remains between the loader of each gun, and its giant cork torso.

It crouches into Fuu's attempt to sweep its legs out from under it, then makes its move, firing downwards at her again.

**POP POP!**

Empty, the two rifles fall towards the ground--

--and become feet, when those two lines of cork jam into them at the last second before they would have hit. Gun-feet.

That means the cork gun youma no longer has legs per se. It falls backwards, and the bear prize that it's head swivels ninety degrees so that it's still upright. So now it isn't a head -- it's an operator.

Of two enormous turrets.

Its mobility sucks now but its aim is better; Chitose's incoming light blast is intercepted by a cork and detonates in midair. Then it follows up with two more, screaming towards the girl herself. **POP POP!**

Homura lands a decent hit at an angle the turret can't respond to, and it buries itself in the giant cork, right in front of the blue bear plush's face. "NAKEWAMEKE!!" it complains at her, swinging its chubby arm. Then it rotates the whole youma, causes the legs to kind of cross themselves into a big oval, and fires...

...the two corks hit each other and shatter, sending shards of cork into the entire general vicinity of Homura, like (relatively) soft shrapnel.


When Kasagami's first reaction to a Stevennapping is to kick the goldfish scooping nakewameke in its vacuum-tube shins instead of trying to scoop Steven, it is honestly kind of bewildered. It frantically tries to interpose its net-hand between her boot and its leg, doesn't make it in time, and rocks back, hard.

Even as that's happening, La Sirene grips its shoulder with mysterious unlight! It's too much to ask for it to keep its balance, and it falls backwards entirely!

Its expression is nonplussed, kind of like Rei's after those punk kids called her Auntie. Like, these are the WORST GOLDFISH SCOOPERS EVER. It's so unimpressed.

Its arms are fully rotational, and therefore become legs immediately (one with a drum at the end, one with a net). Now, it is a table, with the pool facing upwards, Steven, the fish, and the Data Diamond still inside.

The time is now! Scoop, you fools!

But now, since they were bad sports, it's going to be harder than it was before, because the table spins and kicks out with net and drum at every opportunity, creating both a moving target and a punishment game!




Chitose was looking out for more booths from midair, so she's the first to see it: the Crepe Booth is on its way to reinforce the line where its senbonbiki brother has fallen.

Everyone else smells it before they see it...

...that sweet, warm aroma...

And then they HEAR it before they see it...

...that treat-imminent sizzle...

It's a two-step dance. First the nakewameke spray your pastry-bag arm at the clump of Pretty Cure, Lera, and Mikoto, and goop them up en masse.

Then it slams down its grill-pan-arm. IT'S COOKING TIME!

(Its center of mass is a gigantic pink and white paper cone. A Data Diamond is frozen at the heart of the ice shard inside.)

(Don't ask.)

COMBAT: Soular has used Cork Bullet Barrage on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Soular has used Nakewameke's Sorrowful Force on Chitose Shiratori.
COMBAT: Soular has used Cork Bullet Barrage on Homura Akemi.
COMBAT: Soular has used Nakewameke's Sorrowful Force on Kasagami Araki.
COMBAT: Soular has used Nakewameke's Sorrowful Force on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Soular has used Hold Your Breath! on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Soular has used Nakewameke's Cunning Maneuver on Lera Camry.
COMBAT: Soular has used Nakewameke's Cunning Maneuver on Cure Passion.
COMBAT: Soular has used Nakewameke's Cunning Maneuver on Cure Pine.
COMBAT: Soular has used Nakewameke's Cunning Maneuver on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Cure Pine dodges 4 Fatigue damage from Soular's Nakewameke's Cunning Maneuver, taking 3 Fatigue damage!  Cure Pine's Fade
and Flash abilities activate!  Blind and Diversion applied to Cure Pine!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji braces 14 Fatigue damage from Soular's Cork Bullet Barrage, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji's Block and
Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Chitose Shiratori fails to dodge Soular's Nakewameke's Sorrowful Force, taking 36 Fatigue damage!  Trap applied to Chitose
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant counters 11 Fatigue damage from Soular's Nakewameke's Sorrowful Force, taking 32 Fatigue damage!  La
Sirene de Diamant's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!  Trap applied to La Sirene de Diamant!
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant's counterattack, Les Mysteres, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Soular!  
COMBAT: Cure Passion braces 7 Fatigue damage from Soular's Nakewameke's Cunning Maneuver, taking 3 Fatigue damage!  Cure Passion's
Block and Parry abilities activate!  Blind and Stagger applied to Cure Passion!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi partially dodges 2 Fatigue damage from Soular's Nakewameke's Cunning Maneuver, taking 6 Fatigue damage!
Mikoto Minagi's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Diversion and Stagger applied to Mikoto Minagi!
COMBAT: Lera Camry braces 5 Fatigue damage from Soular's Nakewameke's Cunning Maneuver, taking 4 Fatigue damage!  Lera Camry's
Block and Parry abilities activate!  Blind and Stagger applied to Lera Camry!
COMBAT: Homura Akemi braces 12 Fatigue damage from Soular's Cork Bullet Barrage, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Homura Akemi's Block
and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Steven Universe braces 5 Fatigue damage from Soular's Hold Your Breath!, taking 2 Fatigue damage!  Steven Universe's Block
and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Lera grins back at Cures Pine and Passion -- but then her eyes are back on the Nakewameke. She looks up -- an then she cheers, wordlessly, as Mikoto is pulled free and lands into Passion's arms. She flies towards them, zipping around the Nakewameke, to close in on them.

She spots the arrow loosed by Homura, and the brief glance from the dark-haired girl. She nods, quickly, at her. "I think she's okay!" she calls back to Homura, perhaps assuming that she was worried about Mikoto.

She looks back at Mikoto -- and Passion and Pine -- and grins when the Nakewameke bursts apart into so many purple motes of light. "All right!" she calls out. "That's one!"

She turns, though, in time to see that the Crepe Booth approaches. "Uh, that looks--"

<Delicious?> Sky offers.

"...k-kinda," Lera admits -- and then yelps when the goop slams into her. <Protection!> Ground chimes, a barrier flashing before her. The end result is the barrier is slammed back to the concrete barrier wall behind some of the stalls instead of her. Lera grits her teeth, then:

<Bind Break!>

A trio of fiery golden light bolts shoot out, piercing through the crepe-goop, and then Lera Camry flies back into the air.

COMBAT: Lera Camry has used Bind Break on Soular.
COMBAT: Soular dodges 9 Fatigue damage from Lera Camry's Bind Break, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Soular's Fade and
Flash abilities activate!  Bind Break! All of Lera Camry's debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki partially dodges 8 Fatigue damage from Soular's Nakewameke's Sorrowful Force, taking 32 Fatigue damage!
Kasagami Araki's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Trap applied to Kasagami Araki!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Passion [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

A truly excessive quantity of bombs fly at Cure Passion, and she is left with little recourse but to cross her arms in front of her face and deal with it. Sooty does not entirely describe her when they finish exploding around her, but it is a good start--she's pretty battered around by their force, too. However, she wins even bigger, and gets a small prize:

Mikoto! She blinks in surprise and then smiles at her, lighting up a little herself. "Mikoto-chan!" Pause. "A Data Diamond..."

Passion looks past--to where the booth they were fighting pops. Pop pop!!

"Eh?" Passion blinks, smelling crepes. She doesn't see it, but she knows it's somewhere. "Where...?" It was the point of going. It is a dance. The pastry arm bag fires, and Passion braces herself and does not prevent the goop from covering her, from glunking into her voluminous hair and generally becoming something of a walking ncooked pastry. And then there's cooking. "Look out!"

She manages to hold her ground enough that the cooking arm doesn't cook her or knock her over, but it doesn't stop her from being incredibly goopy and incredibly displeased about this fact. One of her head-gems shines from under the gunk.

"The Data Diamonds are what make them work!" she calls. "Haaa--"

Advice given, Passion leaps towards the thing, trying to get into the Nakewameke's guard, and delivers a spinning kick meant to shatter ice!!

...Lera's the one with the fire. Passion doesn't.

COMBAT: Cure Passion has used Breaking Wave on Soular.
COMBAT: Soular cleanly braces 17 Fatigue damage from Cure Passion's Breaking Wave, taking 3 Fatigue damage!  Soular's Block and
Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Pine [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"Oh she's out!" Confetti. Pine stares. "And she got the data diamond! Good job!" She is kind of cat like...

Slapping herself on both cheeks of her face at the same time as if to ward off thoughts of taking Mikoto home as a prize.

Pine turns around a moment too late at Passion's warning, to see a pastry bag arm spray on her. Suddenly stepping sideways, she does a backflip, which if it worked perfectly would have caused her to sail right over the pastry goop.

Unfortunately. What actually happens is that a glob of it makes contact with her face, and gets in her hair. "Gck!" And as she lands, she has difficulty pulling it out. Tug tug, "... I'm so embarrassed." She complains, Pretty Cure bent over sideways, hair mostly encased in globby gooey goodness. Just as she sees a shadow of a grill pan arm.

Pine squeaks, and suddenly tugs back hard, probably losing some of her hair in the process. She does manage to avoid the Grill Pan in the middle.

Then swivelling around, she leaps upwards, and comes down. When she sees the glint of something inside the snow cone. She descends, her fist smashing into it, as she then begins to pepper the entire length of the paper snow cone with blows from her hands in order to reach the inside.

"Passion...! We have to get to break that ice quickly!"

She keeps punching, and punching...

"... my hands are going numb."

She still doesn't get why a crepes booth has so many frozen treats!

COMBAT: Cure Pine has used Pineapple Express on Soular.
COMBAT: Soular braces 6 Fatigue damage from Cure Pine's Pineapple Express, taking 9 Fatigue damage!  Cure Pine is Psyched!
Soular's Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The senbonbiki nakewameke crumbles! Mikoto lets the Data Diamond go, and wriggles. "Lemme down now," she says, plain, because as much as Mikoto likes hugs there are still more nakewameke here.

An... alarming amount of nakewameke, really.

Westar was always using one...

"Is Soular... okay..?" Mikoto asks as she finds her feet again, with a scrunched face, because her nose picks up a new intruder.

At first she springs effortlessly away from the crepe-batter, but a fleck rebounds onto her face, and she can't help licking it off her lips. Her intense expression brightens instantly. "That's --" well, Mikoto was probably ABOUT to say it was tasty, except that she stopped in the middle of her movement to remark on the taste and that's the exact moment Mikoto Minagi gets gooped proper and hit over the head with a grill pan.

"MEAN!" Mikoto yowls, instead, as she swats at the goopy goop and bemoans the fact that it's always goop.

While Pretty Cure go after the frozen heart, Mikoto decides she doesn't like the idea of any of them being rung like a gong again; she whirls in the goop to get herself some purchase, and - with steps which stick to the ground for the first, third, fifth footfall - she finally manages to spring up and bring Miroku down on that grill-pan arm.

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Devastation on Soular.
COMBAT: Soular decisively counters 27 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Devastation, taking 9 Fatigue damage!
Mikoto Minagi is Psyched!  Soular's Reverse ability activates!  Stun applied to Soular!
COMBAT: Soular's counterattack, Now Cooking: Cat Crepe, partially gets through, doing 14 Fatigue damage to Mikoto Minagi!  
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Trying to attack underneath a very large opponent is always a risky maneuver; the Wind Knight knows this, but - as the saying goes - it seemed like a good idea at the time. A curtain of turbulence is quickly conjured, soaking much of the impact from those last(?) corks ... and then she has to *scramble* before the reconfiguring corkgun-turret monster can land on her. (If it was going to. Is it just floating now?)

On the other hand, getting TOO far away means those cork-barrel cannons will be able to draw a bead on her ... but given the onslaught just directed against Homura, being too close to shoot *normally* might not be that much protection either.

The Magic Knight of Wind settles for getting a moderate distance away - hopefully a good spot to dodge from, if she sees a cork cannon drawing a bead on her - and swaps sword for bow, drawing a bead on what she can see of the plushie bear-prize-turned-gunner. There's one moment, a split second, when the calm of the archery line settles upon her ... just enough of an instant's tranquility to be *certain* of her aim ... and the arrow flies from her string in that instant.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Trick Arrow Shot on Soular.
COMBAT: Soular braces 12 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Trick Arrow Shot, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Soular's Block and Parry
abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Well, that's a new way to deliver shrapnel, and entirely unexpected, which leaves a shieldless Homura Akemi without enough time to get out of the way. She ducks down instead, arms and bow held over her head, and most importantly held over that ribbon. Her shoulders and forearms take a corkish battering, but when she stands again, it shines on.

'I think she's okay!' comes the call, and Lera receives a more direct glance. It's more the length and timing of the look than any expression which conveys that Homura was not expecting this, either. She nods back to the other girl and raises her bow. "Mikoto Minagi is tough," she calls back, and of course it's right after that the other girl yowls, but... Homura isn't about to judge anyone for hating that particular goopy experience.

Indeed the bruises to her own dignity are a bit deeper than the ones on her pale flesh, thanks to being shot up and blown up by corks, and they're beyond a bit of soul energy's ability to heal, too. She throws her growing irritation into movement, and decides to turn the tables a bit, rushing toward the popcap nakewameke rather than away. Most turrets Homura Akemi has encountered -- okay, used -- have had a minimum range...

From one angle to the next she darts, and between twirls and changes in course there is a flare of violet which lights up her grey garb and throws highlights into whirling black hair. Without breaking stride she lets fly another charged arrow at the youma's legs, allowing her own motion to disguise its timing. The Wind Knight's idea was a good one, after all, and Homura Akemi has a respect for tactics.

"I won't allow this festival night to be ruined." It's quietly said, and has the ring of a vow. She'll renew them as often as the sun rises.

COMBAT: Homura Akemi has used Ghost Step on Soular.
<Pose Tracker> Chitose Shiratori [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Chitose looks and spots the Crepe booth now running around. "Wait, where are they getting the ability to get more booths?" She sighs and points White Omen straight upwards. "That does it."

<Starling Shot.>

Chitose gets a shot off into the air right before she spots the cork gun Nakewameke fire.

"Woah!" She jets to the side as the first cork sails right past her, but the second one hits her square in the stomach, knocking her straight out of the sky and into the ground, skidding to a stop in one of the well worn paths throughout the festival.

The laser rain falls to the ground at this point, raining down on the Nakewamekes loitering around the areas.

Chitose slowly pushes herself back up and stands up fully, before turning to the booths. "Oww, I'm starting to understand why more of us don't fly." And with that, she takes off again, this time staying below the booth-line.

COMBAT: Chitose Shiratori has used Starling Shot on Soular.
COMBAT: Soular cleanly braces 34 Fatigue damage from Homura Akemi's Ghost Step, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Soular's Block and Parry
abilities activate!
COMBAT: Soular fails to brace Chitose Shiratori's Starling Shot, taking 39 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Kassie grins at Steven even as he's made one of the many fish in the goldfish scoop! She believes in you Steve-kun! There's no time to be encouraged, though, she has to get him out! But she hasn't bent to scooping, and so is rightly punished for such.

By rotating drums with nets! The Duelist very nearly leaps over one as it swips after her, instead snagging a Kassie fish! OOMPH! She's sent fluttering into the water with Steven, splashing around as she tries to get her barings within the table of water.

It seems she doesn't quite take to water all the much. She tries to first swim about a bit. She has nowhere near Steven's ability underwater. So instead she's swimming for him and-or the Data Diamond within the drink. A good few backstrokes, and she puts her nodachi in her teeth like some absurdly long combat knife. Kassie doesn't do this impression of a special forces operative for long, as she motions briefly to Sirene in what she hopes is a scooping motion.

Then she raises her blade in the water, and SWINGS hard! She gurgles with the effort of this lightning-swift slash, hard enough to create waves inside of the water! With any luck, maybe it'll blow either data diamond or Steve-fish out of the murky booth water!

COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used Rose Flash on Soular.
COMBAT: Soular fails to brace Kasagami Araki's Rose Flash, taking 39 Fatigue damage!  Kasagami Araki is Psyched!  
<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

La Sirene twists round as the thing begins to move, calling ahead as Steven cheers them on, "Stay safe, alright?!" Her left hand is thrust out, fingers forming the ancient sign. "Les Myst"

Her ears ring a little as she is abruptly smashed into by the spinning legs of the thing. La Sirene hits the ground, stumbles - pushes herself upwards and comes up to the side of the great pool, nearly getting bludgeoned again. She glances towards Kasagami and sees her struggling.

Then towards the pool itself.

La Sirene takes a deep breath --

-- and leans forwards, hooking her boot toes on the sides of the Nakewameke, and reaches forwards towards Steven with one gloved hand! Her fingers wiggle invitingly! She doesn't have much to say because she is partially underwater! (From about the ribcage down.)

COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used An Encouraging Squeak on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Steven Universe accepts La Sirene de Diamant's An Encouraging Squeak, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Steven Universe is
Cheered!  Withstand applied to Steven Universe!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Slosh slosh slosh goes the water in the tank, smaller goldfish swirling around Steven panic and try to find shelter in a place there is none, save for perhaps a decorative coral formation or two. Possibly a fake castle with a drawbridge if they are lucky. As he gets jostled about, the boy scrambles for air. He is mostly successful, but may have inhaled a bit of water in the process.

The Nakewameke appears to have transformed somehow, but is difficult to notice what has changed fully from under the flow.

But there is another splash! "Mmmm!" Steven lets out, the hum of his voice the only thing that carries underwater. How will she do underwater?

Steven's eyes grow wide when he sees Kassie start to raise her blade in the liquid! Oh no! Flee fishes, flee! The boy frantically flails to try and not get turned into chum when she attacks!

But nearby, through the water, comes a friendly hand! He recognizes that fabulous gothic glove! "Mmh!" comes from the boy, a few bubbles escaping. He fiercely paddles toward La Sirene, and reaches for the hand, taking it after a few misses!

A look back to Kassie though, how will she get out?! The boy holds a hand out toward her as well, wondering if she can escape after attacking with them!

<Pose Tracker> Soular [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Sympathique - Pink Martini https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANVQScgIeag

Lera slices her way out of MOST BUT NOT ALL of the crepe-goop. She will have to endure being sticky a while longer. Mikoto, meanwhile, endures her fate to slice at the crepe nakewameke itself. It's Huge Sword vs. Huge Grill Pan and the latter gets the better of the former after a brief and dramatic clash of blades. Well, a brief and dramatic clash of metal surfaces. Well, mostly it was just brief.

Then the pan slams down and Mikoto, who is just being given a tough time tonight by these youma, has the goop around her instantly cooked! Instantly and... artfully! She is wrapped like a burrito inside a steaming, fluffy, sweet, delicious crepe! Which has a cute cat face burned into it more darkly! Crepe ART!


Unlike last time, she may not require help to escape her fate.

Especially if she... shall we say... embraces it...

Still, two mouths are faster than one.

Passion and Pine meanwhile kick and punch at the gigantic ice shard, and... make some progress. It's REALLY COLD and it STINGS and also it kind of blows up in their face. That's the bad news. The good news is that what's blowing up is powder -- SHAVE ICE.

And, given what's going on here, it's even, in a very natural way, FLAVORED... red passionfruit and yellow pineapple shave ice snows down all around them, and, given their persistence, that part of the battlefield generally.

Its primary threat vector is brain freeze.


The cork gun nakewameke gets sniped; Fuu neatly chunks an arrow through the bear plush's head, like a more vicious (or else, iconically careless) William Tell. Without a pilot, the turret is helpless to avoid what happens next: Chitose's Starling Shots rain down on it from above, turning its main-torso giant cork into so much fluff, and then Homura simply tears its firing capability apart from within the guns' minimum rage, wisely shooting the corks themselves, which are, after all, its ammo.

Not that it could have kept fighting, but its Data Diamond nose sloooowly falls off. Fuu's arrow went straight through it.

Render unto Soular the things which are Soular's; what's left of its mass shimmers away into more of those purple-black motes.


The goldfish scooping nakewameke is pretty smug about scooping two out of three of its opponents. This turns out to be a mistake.

In short order, Kasagami has impaled the Data Diamond, Steven has taken Kasagami's hand, and La Sirene has taken Steven's. They all pull free at once, dripping wet, but prizes won and monster effectively vanquished.

It, too, vanishes into fluttering dark energy: discovering the fate of the goldfish will have to wait until this is all over.


As quickly as the cork gun nakewameke and goldfish scooping nakewameke are defeated, they too are replaced...

...by the mask making nakewameke, first of all, who wins the award for Creepiest Monster Of Today. It is an exceptionally tall humanoid without being completely monstrous, say six feet, and of womanly shape; fluid and black is its featureless form. Except for its face. Only it has no face.

No, it has a mask, which starts as a generically positive Comedy Mask. It floats closer to the group, amiably. :)

Then it passes its hand over its mask, removing it, and revealing a Tragedy Mask beneath. D:

Now it is somewhat less friendly-looking. And it's still holding the Comedy Mask, which it flings straight at Fuu, slamming towards her face with shocking force! If it makes contact, it will be stuck on for the immediate future, preventing her from speaking (beyond some muffled shrieks, perhaps), though not, technically, preventing her from smiling.

The Tragedy Mask is stripped away almost as quickly and slammed at Homura, revealing both that this nakewameke has a pretty good aesthetic sense, and has become a Tengu. :>

Once THAT mask is twirled on a delicate fingertip, then launched like a discus with stunning accuracy at the flying Chitose, it has become a fangy vampire. :E

Its Data Diamond is not yet visible.

Next, the Ring Toss Booth arrives at the field! It announces itself more or less the way you'd expect: by tossing rings. So many rings. ALL the rings. They are giant plastic versions of the gray ones people use at the booth; they sting pretty badly if you get swatted by one; and, more pointedly, if the youma actually manages to RING A TARGET, it BECOMES A PRIZE.

La Sirene is, karmically, the first to suffer this fate; a ring falls neatly around her, then contracts sharply. There's a goth-colored cloud of smoke, and when it clears, she has become La Sirene du Poupée -- which is to say, one-foot-tall and porcelain, though still with movable arms and legs (and the ability to move them herself). This is reasonable; her whole Victorian Look makes for a wonderful new best friend for some lucky little girl.

This follows the same basic logic as the goldfish scooping youma: it's collecting prizes instead of winning them. And to WIN a prize at the ring toss booth, of course... you have to toss a ring over it.

The hard part may be getting one. Because when they miss, and the ring toss nakewameke misses often, they just puff into smoke and out of existence. And, like the corks, there is a limited supply of ammunition.

It is still fairly bountiful for now. The monster itself is both like and unlike the mask making nakewameke; it is also humanoid, though more vaguely than its featureless but flawless counterpart, because it looks like a wooden mannequin, the sort that artists use to model poses, with a Data Diamond for a head. Its arms have the ability to lengthen impossibly; it prefers to use one to rack rings, and the other to throw them.


Behind that row of newcomers, Soular floats at a distance, arms folded, observing the chaos with an unreadable expression.

COMBAT: Soular has used Freshly Flavored! Shave Ice! on Cure Pine.
COMBAT: Soular has used Freshly Flavored! Shave Ice! on Cure Passion.
COMBAT: Soular has used Freshly Flavored! Shave Ice! on Lera Camry.
COMBAT: Soular has used Freshly Flavored! Shave Ice! on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Soular has used :) on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Soular has used D: on Homura Akemi.
COMBAT: Soular has used :> on Chitose Shiratori.
COMBAT: Soular has used Nakewameke's Sly Plot on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Soular has used Nakewameke's Cunning Maneuver on Kasagami Araki.
COMBAT: Soular has used Nakewameke's Cunning Maneuver on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Cure Pine braces 7 Fatigue damage from Soular's Freshly Flavored! Shave Ice!, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Cure Pine's Block and Parry abilities activate!  Blind applied to Cure Pine!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki braces 7 Fatigue damage from Soular's Nakewameke's Cunning Maneuver, taking 3 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Hit!  Blind, Diversion, and Stagger applied to Kasagami Araki!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji counters 10 Fatigue damage from Soular's :), taking 10 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji's counterattack, Gale Arrow, partially gets through, doing 13 Fatigue damage to Soular!  
COMBAT: Lera Camry perfectly counters 9 Fatigue damage from Soular's Freshly Flavored! Shave Ice!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
Critical Counter!  Lera Camry's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Lera Camry's counterattack, Mantle Heart, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Soular!  
COMBAT: Cure Passion counters 5 Fatigue damage from Soular's Freshly Flavored! Shave Ice!, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Blind applied to Cure Passion!
COMBAT: Cure Passion's counterattack, Crimson Counter, partially gets through, doing 19 Fatigue damage to Soular!  
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant accepts Soular's Nakewameke's Sly Plot, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Analysis performed by Soular!  
COMBAT: Homura Akemi partially dodges 4 Fatigue damage from Soular's D:, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  Homura Akemi's Fade and Flash
abilities activate!
COMBAT: Chitose Shiratori braces 12 Fatigue damage from Soular's :>, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Chitose Shiratori's Parry ability
activates!  Blind applied to Chitose Shiratori!
<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"She sure is!" Lera answers Homura, even as she starts flying away from her -- and back at the crepe Nakewameke. She still has crepe filling on her outfit and some in her hair; her spell could not get rid of every last bit of it, sadly.

Lera looks at Cure Passion and Cure Pine, watching them kick the ice brick. She is, as it happens, something of an expert in the opposite of ice. A blast of frost explodes in her face, shooting towards her -- and then the chips melt against a flash of golden light, as a dome of interlocked hexagons appears before her.

<Mantle Heart!> Ground chimes.

The shield fades -- and Lera already has Soaring Sky held out. The blade's halves open down, down the middle, and arcs of plasma begin to leap across them. A brilliant white-gold light gathers between the two halves of the blade.

<Aurora Burst...>

One control ring -- a spinning ring of light, its exterior filled with Midchildan ruins -- appears. Then a second, then a third. in front of the blade.

And then a column of starfire explodes out of Lera's sword-halves. The blast of light shoots through the rings, curving slightly, and then strikes straight for the icy heart of the Nakewameke, even as the recoil blasts back Lera's hair, as she shouts:


COMBAT: Lera Camry has used Aurora Burst Ray on Soular.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi fails to brace Soular's Freshly Flavored! Shave Ice!, taking 9 Fatigue damage!  Blind applied to Mikoto
COMBAT: Steven Universe fails to dodge Soular's Nakewameke's Cunning Maneuver, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Diversion applied to
Steven Universe!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Passion [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Passion is not yet in a position to assist Mikoto, but the crepe smell is making her very hungry, goop or no goop. In fact a little of hers cooks just from being so close to it. But not enough!! No, quite the opposite of cooking, the shaved ice is cooooold, super cold. And there's a lot of it, all over. In short order Passion can barely see, her hands and feet ache, and yet--and... yet...

"Pineapple?" she wonders. It is... delicious. There is only one way forward through this obstacle: Passion charges forward and noms through the cloud a blur of red as she tries the two distinct yet complimentary flavors of shaved ice in the air here until she emerges out into the light of day once again--at least, enough to kind of see. She has a little brain freeze, but she can be strong!!! She only has to squint and stare forward a little bit!

She hits the ground at a roll, catching her feet again not far from Cure Pine. As she sees Lera's blast of light and fire, she looks to Pine beside her. "Pine!"

They don't have to say it out loud to decide what to do. Instead, Passion widens her stance--and then starts to move in time with Cure Pine, red light shining around her. She remembers the chant the others taught her...

"Nasty things, nasty things, fly away!" they both call. And then, hands up--

COMBAT: FINISHER! Cure Passion has started a combo targeting Soular!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Pine [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Pine's punching frenzy results in being showered by Pineapple and Passionfruit flavored shaved ice. At first the scent is a pleasant contrast to all the the numbness in her slushy fingers. Her face starts to feel cold though. And it's only when she feels a sudden twinge that, "Aa!"

The Pretty Cure backs off, holding her head.

"B-B-Brain Freeze...!"

The Pretty Cure bends over, rubbing her messy temples in misery, as she squints through the pain and looks around the Festival to see more Nakewameke joining. "It's too much! There's too many! We have to do something...!"

Though it occurs to her, there is something the two of them can do. And as Passion calls, she moves to answer.

It's like the motions of a dance, a choreography that they know without ever having learned it. It's simply intrinsic to who they are. Gold light gathers around Pine, moving along as an after-image of her movements.

"-Pretty Cure Double-"

And then gathering her fingers in a diamond, she lets it go.


You would think that red and yellow light make orange, but as it leaves the two of them, it joins in a spiral that becomes a sacred white light. Like a comet you might see on a special night streaking across the night sky, yet on a grander scale, unfathomably bright up close, and not simply a blink if you miss it.

Pineapple and Passionfruit scents mingle as it rockets towards, then through the 'Crepes' Nakewameke...

... and perhaps, it even keeps going.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Cure Pine has joined the combo started by Cure Passion!
COMBAT: COMBO! FINISHER! Cure Passion and Cure Pine have used Pretty Cure Double Fresh! on Soular.
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mikoto hears a familiar voice, and there's it's like one of those sour candies which nip at her tongue, but maybe the intent matters more than the messaging. "I'm okay!" She calls back, and it's about the same volume as her yowling but this one isn't so much a protest. A new shade of encouragement enters her voice as she adds, gaze flicking to the turrets: "Homura, those guns aren't as good!"

It's a truncated sentence, but Mikoto trusts that Homura will figure it out.

Mikoto can't focus on Homura's fight (and inevitable victory) for long, though, because there's a grill-pan with her name on it. In a just world, Mikoto would cut it off so it could never torment them again.

Meanwhile, in Tokyo, Mikoto is roasty-toasty. "Wehhh?!" She looks down and finds herself suddenly... creped.

After her initial surprise, her eyes grow very, very large, a little rim of too-bright gold around two black saucers on a backdrop of white.

"CREPES!" She crows, happily, and cranes her neck down to take a bite. Homph. The crepe thief can't steal this one..! Mikoto is briefly occupied with freeing herself from her undignified fate, but contrary to expectations, she's not in the least bit miserable about it.

Win some, lose some.

By the end the paint on her face is all smudged and she's probably eaten some of that too but that's a problem for future Mikoto; current Mikoto is free of her crepe prison.

There are more nakewameke, but behind every good nakewameke is a great General, which is probably how that saying goes. (It isn't really how that saying goes.) At first her yell is wordless and more frustrated than anything, all rolling Rs and gutteral vibrations. It tails into: "... Soular! We're just gonna keep breaking them!" Don't throw good nakewameke after bad, as they say.

(No one says that either. Where is Mikoto getting this?)

Speaking of breaking them: here's Lera, and here's Lera's burning starflame. Mikoto, for one, much prefers being on the side of the fire to being... not there. "Right!" She nods, and springs into a leap, a movement which somersaults through the air before all that momentum comes down vertical on that shaved ice --

-- right --

-- overhead.

(She's not a nasty thing any more, so she won't fly away, it's fine. She trusts Passion and Pine!)

COMBAT: FINISHER! Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Death on Soular.
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

In a powerplay, La Sirene removes Steven, whom helps remove Kasagami from the tank. Steven tumbles a bit on the ground, and spits up a bit of water. He might need to be wrung out or something later. "Thanks...!" Steven says, still heavily breathing. Bleary eyes and watery ears help impart the feeling of behind a proverbial fish out of water. One wouldn't think breathing such a luxury until it is taken away.

Realization dawns on him. "...I probably could have bubbled and been fine in there. Man, why do I think of these things after the fact?!" he says, clawing at the air.

However, their foe is defeated, and a sinister miasma is left! He wants to check on the fish, but more Nakewameke have arrived on-scene! "Oh, the masks, right-- oh." The creature already looked creepy, but now it is a real face-off in this fight, as it takes its face off and throws it at people!

The smiling on gets flung at Fuu, and just sticks to her own like she was wearing it! "Oh gross! It didn't even wash it first!" he says, running toward Fuu.

His shield is conjured, and whipped toward the mask booth doppelganger to try and buy them a moment! "Fuu! I dont know if you can hear me! But!" he shouts right at her, clearly not realizing her ears aren't covered at all. "Lean down so I can try and pull it off!" he shouts, reaching up with grabbyhands. Maybe it will come off sorta like a cartoon with a plunger sound!

Here's hoping it ALSO doesn't do like cartoons and Fuu's face comically peels off inside.

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Throw Shield on Soular.
<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

As she pulls Steven free, la Sirene de Diamant breathes out and is then hit by a ring.

No, not quite.


She stands there, totally still, for almost five seconds, a small and delicate and precious thing. She feels delicate. She feels beautiful; there is a sudden wave of a soul-sapping, lassitudinal sensation that has an odd similarity to the feeling of a fashion show. Nori Ankou feels her head throb for a moment.

Then she staggers forwards.

And her head still hurts. She raises her hand to either side of her head and feels it out.

"what in the world" she squeaks out, her voice now high pitched and slightly nasal, with a hint (though only a hint) of some kind of childish impediment. "I'm all tiny now??"

She turns around to look towards that Nakewameke and points towards it with one mitten-like hand, which her huge, pale eyes focus on. She turns the hand back and forth. She raises it in front of her eyes and waggles her arm.


La Sirene's hands go to her hips and she kicks at a pebble. (ow, she thinks.) "This had better wear off or I am going to be VEWY - ah - VE RY cross."

But her head turns for a moment. "Ah!" she says- "Pretty Cure--"


"And Mikoto!"

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

'Homura, those guns aren't as good!'

She figures it out; after all, she knows Mikoto pretty well, at least sometimes. And Mikoto knows her pretty well sometimes, too. As things stand she can only agree, although deep down within her Homura Akemi hides a sentimental fondness for popcap guns. These, though... Ah. Finally, they topple to the pair of mystical archers. Homura gives the other a level violet look, then reaches up to smooth her bangs. "Wind Knight."

Homura does not miss to whom that purple-black energy returns. There is a field of nakewameke yet to deal with, though, some fresh to the fight, and she cannot cheat her way past them. No, not at all.

Tragedy comes her way.

The puella magi feels an unusual amount of urgency and throws that into an inhumanly quick backflip, but that youma's aim cannot be denied any more than her own can, and she comes back up only to take it on the face.

It fits... perfectly.

Homura Akemi wears a mask already, to hide her :( and her :o beneath a :| -- beneath this new one she feels exposed, and gets all >:| where no one can see.

But she can still see out, and she can feel the way her bow fits her fingers' grasp, like the most thoughtful handmade gift. Homura ignores her aches in a distant, almost automatic way, and draws a deep breath even as she draws deeply of the diamond on the back of her hand.

Light gathers, violet and vivid. She concentrates it through her fingers and the energy-wrought bowstring ripples with it. A single arrow twinkles upon those graceful black recurves, and its intensity grows by the moment.

Even as her vision narrows through mask-slits upon that creepiest of nakewameke, her peripheral informs her of the Cures and their warmly twined brilliance -- who could miss that? Not even Homura Akemi. She- focuses, and that cast light only helps her draw down on her target.

A violet flame roars silently at the top of her bow.

She exhales; she releases.

That single arrow is a chip of black riding a torrent of power, rocketing without arc toward the place where a heart probably is not. It will count for center mass, though, if it hits, and all that concentrated magic will detonate wherever it hits.

Maybe if she blows it up, she can get this mask off...! Secondary goal. But an important one.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Homura Akemi has used Deliverance on Soular.
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"How many more of these are there?!" the Magic Knight of Wind can be heard to complain, audibly aggrieved at the sheer number of Nakewameke. If Soular wants misery this badly, he may be collecting some from the Magic Knight, normally so stubborn when it comes to giving any enemy what they want.

And then, not only does the mask booth Nakewameke present itself - but it throws a mask at the Wind Knight, and in spite of a hastily cast-and-loosed Gale Arrow, the mask still finds its mark, sticking to the Wind Knight's face, muffling her voice and stymieing her from further attacks. At least for a few moments, from the looks of things ...

Fortunately, Steven is there in a hurry, proof that courage knows no limit of age. She dismisses her bow and quiver, and leans down so Steven can grab hold of the mask; it does hurt some, but she's prepared to cast Winds of Healing on herself if she needs it.

Fortunately, she doesn't need to - the pain is only about that of peeling off a particularly stubborn bandaid, and while her face is a bit reddened afterwards, it's not too bad. "Thank you, Steven-san!" she says with a smile - *her own smile*, thank you, not the caricature imposed by the now removed mask.


With the mask gone and her voice restored, the Magic Knight of Wind wastes no time in unleashing the wrath of the tempest against the Nakewameke - and against Soular himself, if he's watching from too close to the action. She isn't *quite* harboring the kind of lethal rage that marked the final fight against Alcyone, but the Nakewameke ... the misery-gathering monsters that Soular went and *mass-produced* out of the festival booths ...

She wants them ***GONE***.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Time to trust the beach boy with matters of surf...and not so much sand this time! With the effort of Steve-kun and Sirene both, Kassie flops out like a wet fish, and starts to shake off a little like a dog. She gets water everywhere! Only her hair ends in soaked beauty, sparkles coming off of every single shake, and so it's a bit like she's out of a very rogueish shampoo commercial. "Steve-kun, La Sirene! ...I really need to practice swimming more it seems like. Thanks."

It's the true power of Ohtori!

The reinforcing Ring Toss Youma makes the gothic Sirene into a doll. On the one hand, she really does look cute that way. On the other, can a King allow a fellow magical girl to be transformed into such a thing for long!?

No, no she can't, is what the Duelist decides, and so she gets to it. When that raining starts, she dodges a few incoming, before they start getting worryingly close! She raises her blade, slicing, spinning, and flashing between spot to spot to avoid being instantly given a fate such as Sirene's! But that won't last!

A trio of rings ends around her sword, before she does a swift spin about like she's ballroom dancing with a partner! Then she flings some of those rings right back at the one throwing them! One last ring comes for her, overshadowing her, and landing right on her! Kassie has been RING'D!


Much like Sirene, Kassie has become much smaller. Not quite doll sized yet! No, instead she has become roughly the size of a cat, the Duelist turned to an oversized Kass-chan plushie. She has a pair of crown-shaped button eyes, a cloth longcoat, and fuzz-hair that is somehow still majestic despite her own small stature and general stuffing!

This is no plush Doll, but an action plush it seems, as she strikes a pose regardless and tries to 'leap' at the youma. This mostly involves hopping closer and trying to whack with a hairpin-like nodachi!

"A King will not give up...that doesn't mean I'm a Build-a-Liege though!" She rages! TINK!

COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used TINK! on Soular.
COMBAT: Soular perfectly dodges 35 Fatigue damage from Steven Universe's Throw Shield, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!
Soular's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Chitose Shiratori [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Chitose continues flying, when she notices the mask booth become mobile and maleovent. She watches it closely for a moment as she passes, but what she doesn't expect is the mask booth throwing a mask at her. Her feet dropped onto the ground as she tries to bend backwards and avoid the mask... but the mask rests neatly onto her face. Well, except that it knocks her glasses just slightly ajar.

She tries for a few moments to push her glasses back just right, but the rigid mask prevents her from fixing it. She grasps at her mouth for a moment, as the tengu mask also covers her mouth. Pretty tightly, too.

Chitose then lets loose a torrent of yells, which thankfully for everyone else are too muffled to understand. Suffice to say, the only daughter of a yakuza member actually knows a lot of exceptionally rude language, despite how quiet she is most of the time.

While this is going on, White Omen tries to interject <Just... just point me at them.>

Chitose stops for a moment, and points him directly at the booth.

<Nightingale's Lament.>

A brilliant beam lances from the Device, but before it reaches the target it starts to shatter and fly at the Nakewameke, each little laser shard hitting with extreme speed.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Chitose Shiratori has used Nightingale's Lament on Soular.
COMBAT: Soular braces 0 Fatigue damage from Kasagami Araki's TINK!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Soular's Block and Parry abilities
COMBAT: FINISHER! Fuu Hououji has used Emerald Cyclone: Focused on Soular.
COMBAT: Soular fails to brace Lera Camry's Aurora Burst Ray, taking 79 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Soular fails to brace Mikoto Minagi's Finisher, Obsidian Blade: Death, taking 193 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Soular fails to brace Fuu Hououji's Finisher, Emerald Cyclone: Focused, taking 49 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Soular fails to brace Homura Akemi's Finisher, Deliverance, taking 116 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Soular is unable to
keep fighting!
COMBAT: Soular fails to brace Chitose Shiratori's Finisher, Nightingale's Lament, taking 39 Fatigue damage!  Soular is unable to
keep fighting!
COMBAT: Soular fails to brace Cure Passion and Cure Pine's Finisher, Combo: Pretty Cure Double Fresh!, taking 284 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!  Soular is unable to keep fighting!
<Pose Tracker> Soular [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Pretty Cure Dashingly Appears! - Fresh OST https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOh4jzpmQTE

The crepe nakewameke is melted out of existence well before Double Fresh even arrives. Aurora Burst Ray vs. Shave Ice? Fuggetaboutit. Its Data Diamond, which is less meltable, is cleaved in twain by Miroku once all the ice is gone.

Poof; even the goop is gone.

Meanwhile, the mask-making nakewameke faces off (get it?) with Steven, Fuu, and Homura. It ducks under Steven's shield neatly, and as fast as he's able to get Fuu's mask off, he gets vampirized, or at least vampire-masked. And the youma, who is DEEPLY unhappy, has a differently fangy mask beneath, a clown that is entirely livid with rage. D:< Fuu's face is covered again in short order.

Underneath THAT is a goggle-eyed mask that looks like a scientist with glasses and a too-wide smile. 8D But... that's about the time that the Emerald Cyclone arrives. It impacts horizontally, and with tearing force... rips the mask off!

There's another one underneath, difficult to see but clearly a different color. But it's blown away too, a little bit more quickly. Then again, and again... there must be dozens of masks, maybe hundreds.

UNTIL! A blue, diamond-shaped mask is revealed! <>}

Chitose's energy shards and Homura's single but immensely powerful arrow are drawn into the horizontal storm and accelerated like parts of a railgun. They slam into the Data Diamond with gale force, and this nakewameke is no more. Its masks dissolve also, into power and light, and then into nothing.

Finally, Kasagami winds up having to SOLO the ring toss nakewameke. It's a good thing she's a decent shot. One of her sword-flipped rings sails neatly over the mannequin's head. The Data Diamond there turns into a prize (a gaudy "diamond" ring in a cheap ring box), and then the rest of it goes poof by the time she reaches it with her tiny nodachi.

She and La Sirene are promptly restored to their former selves, the ring box at their feet.

Double Fresh surges across the field, then outwards, more and more widely, sweeping up all that released despair energy in its wake, which causes its growth to wildly expand as it is converted to sparkle fuel.

It pours down the main thoroughfare, restoring booths and returning what was stolen to their rightful owners; now the rest of the festival is merely asleep, like the world's weirdest yukata-ful die-in protest.

Soular passively surrenders ground to its advance by floating backwards, eyes narrowed, arms folded. Finally he is forced to disappear entirely out of its path, and warps back to the Desolate Mansion.


Northa glares at him as he phases in. "What was that? We got almost nothing! Not even the magical girls were all that unhappy."

"Mmm," Soular agrees, vaguely, as he walks up to his room. Halfway up the stairs, his lips inexplicably start to feel odd, but by the time he makes it to the mirror above his sink, they're back to normal.

No one will see his smile, not even him.


<SoundTracker> Path Of The Wind - Totoro OST https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zz68vFJmLKk



The Uminari Matsuri festival-goers paw at their eyes, helping one another up. They don't question too much why they were briefly on the ground. Maybe they were helping look for lost coins, or picking up litter. It doesn't matter very much. There's a much more competitive demand on their urgency.

Fireworks blossom gloriously in the sky above Tokyo Bay. Because there's such a large expanse of water adjacent to Uminari Park, the matsuri can host a particularly impressive display. It paints upturned faces in one color, then another, then another.

Though it's difficult to hear, companions -- often with linked hands, something that just seems to happen naturally -- are seen, far and wide, to murmur tenderly in one another's ear. And there's always enough time, between explosive evidence that the power of beauty is real and worth protecting, to exchange other romances, too.

After this, the festival will start to wind down until next year.

But what it celebrates will never truly end.