2021-01-08 - Superstriker's Unsportsmanlike Conduct

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Superstriker's Unsportsmanlike Conduct

A joint Sister School's P.E. class' soccer game is interrupted by Papillon, who turns a despondent player into an Akuma!


Mikoto Minagi, Setsuna Higashi, Niramo Umokeshi, Ai Yamamoto, Eri Shimanouchi


Juuban Public School - Fields

OOC - IC Date:

1/8/2021 - 10-23-15

<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

It's a beautiful Friday afternoon, and the last class of the day -- Sister Schools Joint Exercises! Today, this glorified, cross-class P.E. session has taken to the grassy fields to play a little soccer. Red and blue mesh vests have been handed out to differentiate the teams (though a few macho boys tried to be impressive and gross and impressively gross by complaining about not doing 'shirts and skins' in a co-ed Octobere game). Two goals, one ball, and endless, endless running.

As is typical for informal soccer games, the game has already split into two classes of players: the ones who want to be here and want to play, and the ones who... really don't. The former chase the ball in an endlessly sprinting pack, up and down the field. Successful passes that break outside of that swarm of students tend to score goals, but more miss, or are intercepted, than connect.

The latter hang out and enjoy the grass and sunshine and brisk autumn air (or, if they're truly determined to be miserable, hang out without enjoying any of these things). A couple of social clusters, indifferent to team split, have formed near the middle of the field. Not the edge; that's too close to volunteered-for-this-gig history teacher Pakkyalamao-sensei, who likes to call her students to order by blasting a shrill note on the recorder she carries wherever she goes. At the heart of the grass, they're too far to have their ears hurt too badly -- they just have to part occasionally to let the ball-swarm through.

That isn't to say, however, that every jock is chasing the ball and every nerd is standing around. Some young athletes have more interesting things to do than play a sport that isn't theirs. And some young nerds would do anything to play well...

OOC: Play some pick-up soccer on either the red or blue team! Or stand around and chat. If you are actually playing, you're
encouraged to steal, pass, or score in whatever combination. Technical knowledge of the game is not expected OOCly /or/ ICly
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

'The point is, that in sports, you train to become more skilled - because you have a goal in mind. Whether it's fun, or achievement. And that's a way of thinking that's different from how you and me were taught right?'

Mikoto Minagi... is still not skipping PE class!

Not in a literal sense (she is absolutely here, in a blue mesh vest), nor in the metaphorical sense she's previously checked out of some of these activities (she is absolutely on the field, chasing that ball). No, Mikoto is all in on ball-related activities. Her enthusiasm is only matched by the sheer scale...

... of how much she doesn't actually know about soccer.

Perhaps thanks to quick intercessions from her friends, she has at least figured out that soccer balls are only for kicking. She has not, quite, figured out how that works. And so here is Mikoto, merrily kicking that ball along until someone steals it from her, only for her to watch eagle-eyed to see what they actually do with it.

But can her strategy of learning through observation pay off when she seems perfectly content to just run around chasing a ball with her feet?!

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

Setsuna Higashi does not have something more interesting to do than play a sport that isn't hers. This is actually kind of fun! She is definitely one of the ones who is interested in playing. She happens to be spending some time at the moment doing some endless running hrself--and she's definitely one of those that the others like to pass to on her team.

"Like this," Setsuna says breezily to Mikoto, stepping up and kickijng the ball out from under her, taking it further down the field in her own red outfit. Kick, kick, kick--

She swings her foot for the goal!!!

And grins back at Mikoto and the others along the line. "You aim for the goal!" she suggests. From anyone else this might seem pretty backhanded, but she manages to say it entirely sincerely.

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

Eyeing the black-and-white patterned football with the same enthusiasm someone would usually reserve for watching paint dry, Niramo has to hold back an impressive yawn from breaking free and attracting the attention of Pakkyalamao-sensei. In the last few months, she has gotten a little more of an appreciation for athletics and wasn't near the back of the pack when she has to jog.

It doesn't change the fact she still cared little for Physical Education.

At least the fall day was perfect for being out in the sun, and the red mesh vest she was wearing over her clothes wasn't hot in the slightest. Seems like Mikoto and Setsuna were having a blast, though. "Make it shake the entire net, Setsuna-san!" And just because soccer wasn't her thing doesn't mean that she should detract the experience from the others.

Niramo wonders if she could maybe get a little bit of dance practice done, but she would need to keep an eye on the history teacher if she did. Pakkyalamao-sensei has a real talent for hitting the high notes.

<Pose Tracker> Ai Yamamoto [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Of course the rather tall blonde girl would be there for sports, even though it isn't her desired sport. Ai gets to be outside and not in a classroom, and so the tall Ohtori girl has happily joined in the game of soccer as a member of the blue team as she waits near the goal to use her height in an attempt to try to protect the goal. Or so she thinks.

The country girl also doesn't shy away from the boys when trying to get the ball, and even pushing back when pushed. Sadly the pushing contest didn't start over the ball, which was down with Mikoto and Setsuna a few moments ago. In fact it seems that she's got herself into a playful pushing contest with one of the jock boys that she's friendly with. "I'm the goalie!" she protests. "I-I'm taller!"

Though the pushing contest soon finishes as the ball goes rolling past both of them. She pauses and blinks at the ball, and ends up falling on her behind at the push, leaving the ball to go unaccompanied towards its destination.

<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

Meet Kensuke Kogara, high school senior. He's been at Ohtori since kindergarden as a scholarship student, and he's been firmly ensconced as among the nerdiest of class nerds ever since. His shabby supplies are a daily reminder of how he doesn't really fit in socially, and his only meaningful currency is academic -- which is kind of like the Euro. It's there, and people accept it, but it doesn't have the same cachet as doing business with the Dollar or the Yuan or the Yen. It's second-class importance, for sure, compared to the social hierarchy built around who has what family, and what property.

But it's all he's got for an identity besides 'the poor kid,' so it's his to accept and nurture and present. Ken dresses the part, with thick glasses and mussed hair that is constantly in need of a cut, and he does his level best to be seen as a resource to be used -- volunteer tutoring, note-sharing, homework help -- rather than as competition to be destroyed.

It came out last year that Kensuke Kogara is secretly an extraordinary ballroom dancer, which has improved his cache with the girls more than the boys. But with the revelation of that secret, he found himself hungry for another one. For a new dream. And he's started to compete in a new arena...

  • pant pant pant*

...badly, apparently. Kensuke has been chasing the ball since the moment the Red vs. Blue battle began and hasn't managed to touch it once. His pale complexion is pouring sweat.


Setsuna robs Mikoto of the ball, then winds up and takes her shot...

...the ball rolls past Ai and her friend...

...he's the only one left to make the save...

...he can hear the crowd (Niramo) screaming...

...he lunges, throwing his whole body in its path--!


The teacher briefly halts play with a recorder blast, as Kensuke has just been body-checked in midair by his longtime academic rival, Kenjiro Tomikawa, the son of a major CEO. Unlike Kensuke, his enemy is a gifted athlete and always has been. And it seems he'd rather let the ball make it to the goal then let Kensuke have a moment in the sun.

Kensuke went down HARD. Kenjiro smirks.

Play resumes. The teacher takes Kensuke over to the sidelines with a limp. He slumps on the grass and stares at nothing, not even the several species of clover popping up in the field in front of him.

His expression is almost as black as one of his eyes.

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

"Oh!" Mikoto exclaims, as she watches Setsuna merrily steal the ball from under her and kick it in towards Ai and company. "Okay!" Sometimes balls go into nets instead of over them. It must be because no one is throwing these balls, she thinks.

All this to say she is not at all pertubed by the fact that the RED TEAM has craftily stolen a goal out from under her. It's all for their adoring fans. Which is to say, Niramo, whom Mikoto has stopped to turn and wave to more than once over the course of this endeavour.

She is, however, somewhat pertubed at the scene of Ai trying to defend her position. "They supposed to shove like that..?" Mikoto asks, once her gaze has followed the ball from Setsuna's feet (kicking) to the soccer scrum it sails past. She calls out, waving a hand: "Ai, don't give up!"

This observation puts her in the perfect position to observe YET MORE SOCCER-RELATED VIOLENCE. Poor Kensuke (who Mikoto has taken zero notice of, having long since excluded him as the boy she was looking for) runs into the brick wall of Kenjiro (likewise). Mikoto looks on as one smirks at the other, and a frown spreads over her face.

"I don't like him," she says, to Setsuna. "Do we tackle him now?"

If it's part of the game...

Eri Shimanouchi walks over from Juuban Public School.

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

Setsuna gives Niramo a V-sign at the goal, grinning Mikoto's way... But she spots the near-block of the ball, and Kenjiro smirking. She frowns at that--she doesn't really know Kensuke or anything, doesn't know the details, but there's something she doesn't like in the exchange. ...So she makes a note of him.

A glance over to Kensuke, just to see how bad he's doing--limping, but upright--and gets back to the game for the moment. it doesn't seem like an accident, but...

She looks over Ai, but they are separated by the gulf of... other team, which is not a terribly wide gulf but is enough for the moment. She just smiles at her and moves to focus on Mikoto for the moment, a brief break from the game.

"...No," Setsuna tells Mikoto. "That'd be a penalty," she explains. "...But it makes me want to beat him."

Setsuna has to rush up after this little interlude to get back into the space where the game is, though--and she rushes towards the ball again, this time not in as good a position herself so she tries to get in there and make a pass, instead.

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

Niramo may have been paying more attention to Setsuna than the ball itself, so she missed the full-body contact as it happens, but the high-pitched squeal from the recorder is enough to let her see the aftermath. One Ohtori student ignoring the soccer ball to stare down at the one on the ground for a split moment, before turning away and kicking the ball away. No hand being offered down to give aid or even a word of reprimand from the history teacher either!

Unfortunately, it's the sort of thing Niramo learned to expect from the majority of Ohtori students.

Sighing in disappointment, Niramo tugs on the base of her ponytail before she starts to jog towards Ai. Not through the middle of the field but around the edge, since she has no desire to start actually playing. Trying to talk to Kensuke would likely be awkward for the both of them, so it might be best if she gives him a little bit of time to calm down.

She was able to hear the tail end of the question Mikoto was asking and Setsuna's response, and she waves to the duo. "Yeah, he should have been called out for that. Make sure you trump him, okay?"

She waves to Ai and her jock friend with a smile, trying to forget the violence that just took place. "How are you doing without being in the pool, Ai-san? Glad to see you're not dried out yet!" It's clear that Niramo is just poking a bit of fun at the tall blonde, and a quick break might actually do her some good!"

<Pose Tracker> Ai Yamamoto [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

The tall blonde looks on in surprise from the ground, when an unlikely saviour rushes towards the ball. "Go, you've got this!" Ai Yamamoto yells out encouragingly to her fellow Ohtori student as he goes to save the day. Only to wince when the nerd is taken out by Kenjiro in mid-air. She gasps when he hits the ground and glances away for a moment.

She quickly scrambles back onto her feet with the her of her friend, and glances down the pitch and then towards the sidelines. She opens her mouth to say something, but only shakes her head in disgust at the actions of the CEO's son when she notices the smirking. Her brow furrows and she looks over towards the injured ballroom dancer and then back towards the Kenjiro again, before she sighs sadly. "Some people have to ruin it for everyone," she comments loud enough for him to hear.

Ai takes a couple of steps away from the jock that she was near, and moves closer to Niramo. "Shush, or I'll put your favourite snacks on a high shelf. Hey, I do play things outside of the water you know," she teases cheerfully. If she heard anything about beating people, she's not going to say anything about that.

<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

Elsewhere, an iris opens, sending a shaft of sunlight into a dark, moth-filled room.

"I sense the frustrated heart of a boy who yearns for battle upon the sports field... fly, my little akuma..."


The violet butterfly settles onto the (taped) bridge of Kensuke's glasses. It flaps its wings lazily.

<< That boy has denied you your dream for too long. There's not a thing wrong with dreaming big. If you want to be a striker... I will make you... SUPERSTRIKER. In exchange, you will bring me the Miraculous... >>

"Done," Ken agrees.


And then the game is interrupted.

It happens all at once; a blue-and-red blur steals the ball straight out from under Setsuna. Then the blur barrels towards the nearest goal.

"Not enough challenge," scoffs a familiar voice. Unfamiliar, though, in his sheer confidence. It's like he's a completely different person.

He stops, kicking the soccer ball high into the air, then letting it land on his head, where it spins with equally appalling speed, perfectly, impossibly balanced. Gesturing like a conductor at the goal, it (and the other one) become about three times bigger, and ridged with spikes, pit traps, rings of fire...

"I am SUPERSTRIKER," announces Ken's Akuma. He is in a Japanese National Men's Soccer Team uniform, except done up in red and blue, and instead of the national patch there's a sigil of interlocking moths. He's bigger and stronger and taller, barely man-scale at all. And all of him... his hair (now shonen sports hero-spikey), his skin, even his eyes, is a blinding pure white. Not merely albino, but a shimmering moonlight near-silver. That part is actually quite beautiful.


He charges the group, ball-first. Surely this monster is unsafe at any speed... but his is a high one.

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick transforms into SuperStriker!
<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Ai's threat has Niramo gasping in shock before she thrusts her hands on her hips and playfully glares up at Ai, looking her in the eyes. "You wouldn't dare! Leave the cookie dough sunday out of this!" Sure, it was totally unhealthy but all the sugar involved was so good...

"And are you sure? That's not what-" What else she was going to say is cut off as a new voice cuts through the chatter of the soccer field, despite being on the other side of the field. Hearing SuperStriker announce himself and vaguely recognizing him, Niramo feels a pit form in her gut as she glances over to Ken's now vacant spot on the side of the field and quickly connects the dots together. "Uh oh...this isn't good."

Glancing towards Ai and the other jock, she waves a hand violently towards them and starts running for the bleachers on one side of the field. "Now would be a good time to get out of here, Ai-san!" Not sparing another glance, Niramo pushes herself forward to run as fast as she can. Snagging her bookbag with one hand,she goes underneath the stands and pull the flap open, causing the Kwami inside to blink several times from being exposed to the light.

"Niramo? What's going..." Takk flies out of the bag to look around and spies the large form of SuperStriker through the metal seats, as well as the changes to the soccer field. "Oh. That explains the rough awakening." "Sorry to cut your nap short, Takk, but I think someone's been Akumaized." No further explination is needed and the mouse Kwami gives Niramo a quick nod to show he's ready, mirrored by the human. "Tail, sprout!"

SuperStriker's charge down the pitch would be met with a golden chain snaking through the air and towards the Akuma's feet, Sourisi holding her tail out in one hand in order to control the chain. "Rather bold of you to think you're the star player and one-man army rolled into one. Don't you know that games like these are team sports?"

COMBAT: Niramo Umokeshi transforms into Sourisi!
COMBAT: Sourisi has used Tail Snag on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"I have to be on the red team."

"And why's that?"

"I have a conscientious objection to being associated with blue."

That's that then.


Eri certainly isn't known for her athleticism, which is why she doesn't get in the way of Kensuke and Kenjiro. Instead, she winces...

Then slowly, pointedly, takes off her glasses. Folds them up, and brings them over to the sidelines while Kenjiro is being taken off the field, tucking them away.

She may be squinting a great deal.

"You know, despite being able to barely see..." She comments, idly to her fellow defender. "... I don't think I've decreased my effectiveness thattt much..."

A blur of a ball glides past her periphery.




"Ah." Someone politely clears their throat, "Maybe we should consider switching you... to offense."

And then a blur passes her by at such speeds that she has to spin around just trying to track it. "Hm?"

She squints at the spiky haired sports superstar, "I thought this game was supposed to be casual." She complains, as an egg shaped gem enters into her hands. Then with a twirl and a toss into mid-air, it bursts into a vivid spiral of leaves of all colors - and so many seasons.

The burst of magical energy gradually changing her from the tips of her toes up to her hair - ending with her flicking the side of her head to place her soul gem into it's long leaf like shape in her hair.

Then with a motion of withdrawing, she tugs out a braided whip of thorns.

"Leave it to a guy to take a game like this way too seriously."

With a vicious snap of the whip, she sends it arcing out as she aims it to ricochet out and strike the ball and send it away from him. The whip unfurling into three separate strands upon impact. Taking off into a run down the field, she waves her arm around her head over and over to withdraw it and send it back out again with frightening speed - trying to ward him away and keep him from dashing off like that again.

"But it's fineeee - I can do serious."

She says, as she continues lashing her whip the Akuma's way.

COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi transforms into Puella Magi Eri!
COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi has used Ephemeral Dance on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Setsuna Higashi had planned to play some more, maybe show up the guy later because of course, that is the language of the field!! But that isn't how it goes. Instead, all at once there is a blur that steals the ball straight from under her--and as she blinks in surprise, she looks up, and abrubtly there are... traps. And an Akuma. Setsuna blinks as she looks each over, spotting the moths sigil, the spiky hair, the sheer whiteness of the guy. He charges at them, and ineed this is unsafe--too unsafe for Setsuna not to get involved. She dives out of the way instead of coming at him at first, rolling to the side and sprinting for her things, where she can get her Linkrun. As she picks it up, there's a sound of a 'kiiii!' as a little fairy bursts into view--

"Pretty Cure! Beat... Up!"

From her hiding place, Setsuna Higashi calls upon her transformation, and in a flash of red she blazes out from behind the cover she'd chosen. Rising into the air, her clothes change into the battle attire of Pretty Cure, and she dives down as if into water before launching back onto the field, with a sharp noise of heels clacking together. "Freshly ripened! Cure Passion!"

Cure Passion's pink hair flutters behind her like a banner as she looks sharp red-eyed at him. "...Challenge accepted!"

She charges right back!!

COMBAT: Setsuna Higashi transforms into Cure Passion!
COMBAT: Cure Passion has used Rising Passion on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mikoto's face scrunches in confusion, as Setsuna makes that call, but it means Kenjiro is at least saved from an ignoble fate.

Luckily, here's Niramo to offer encouragement. "Okay!" Mikoto says, and starts off towards that ball, because Ai has determined she has got this and she can't very well let her down --

Except that the ball, all a sudden, gets stolen by someone else.

Mikoto, who was running, shortly finds herself as the one landing squarely on her behind, as something screams in the back of her brain and her instincts pull her back from the disturbance of air. This was a good call - because the blue-and-red blur which steals the ball is going far too fast for her to want to collide with. She grimaces, a puff of air through her teeth, as she looks up at the moonlit shimmer of - SUPERSTRIKER.

She looks back, at the goal, and her eyes grow three times wider in turn. Not only spikes, but pit traps, and fire..?


This isn't soccer any more.

Athletics, Mikoto laments, are way too good at getting people together. This is an inside thought, because Ohtori doesn't need to know who ruined volleyball. On the outside she is pushing herself to her feet, feeling agonisingly slow even quick as she is. Even though Eri is blind on the soccer field, somehow, she still ends up springing up beside her.

She reaches out a hand, and calls: "Miroku!"

And suddenly the bag of golf clubs in the locker room seems a little less dour, and a lot more light.

The reason for this is the sword slicing its way in an arc, as if it's been dropped from the sun. (Or, perhaps, a little to the left.) Mikoto cares very little for hiding her sudden summoning of a sword, so perhaps it's a good thing she's called it to task beside Eri, whose burst of seasonal energy might just deflect a little attention. This was, of course, entirely incidental to the point.

It's a fight, so Mikoto finds Eri. That's how this works.

Nose all awrinkle, she turns her gaze to SUPERSTRIKER. "'I'll take you all on'... you'll get tired!" Her echo of his words fades to a recrimination, as her blade sweeps around her in a wide arc. White lightning crackles about a dark portal, as she plunges her blade into the yawning depths.

But that's not the void he should worry about.

Rather it is the three which open around him - spires of dark energy lancing from them, at once to pierce the butterfly to the board, and the best which can be said for them is the way they pass through blades of grass without sundering them whole. They pin the spirit, not the flesh. This does not make them pleasant.

"Stay still!" Mikoto yells, scowling.

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi transforms into HiME Mikoto!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Darkness on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick dodges 0 Fatigue damage from Sourisi's Tail Snag, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon Stick's Fade and
Flash abilities activate!  Pink Moon Stick is Taunted!  Trap applied to Pink Moon Stick!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 15 Fatigue damage from Eri Shimanouchi's Ephemeral Dance, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Pink Moon Stick's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick dodges 3 Fatigue damage from Cure Passion's Rising Passion, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Cure Passion is
Psyched!  Pink Moon Stick's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick cleanly braces 28 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Darkness, taking 5 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!  Pink Moon Stick's Block and Parry abilities activate!  Tangle and Trap applied to Pink Moon Stick!
<Pose Tracker> Ai Yamamoto [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Ai is just about to retort Niramo's comment, when a look of surprise and shock forms on her face, and it's possible that she has no idea what's going on as she looks towards Niramo and the warning. She blinks several times, and stares at the new, hulking figure that's taken the field. She also stares at the goals that have changed into something else. When Superstriker runs towards them, she's more than willing to run in the opposite direction.

Orphans are one thing, but this is a different league to what she's used to. Of course summoning her Element would also bring about too many questions, too. Her jock friend grabs her by the wrist and starts to tug her along, but he soon loses grip and the tall blonde manages to get lost fleeing with the crowd. Once out of sight and away from the rest of the fleeing students, she swings back towards the soccer pitch, summoning her Element into the physical world in a swirl of mist, until she's left carrying a cannon with a long barrel.

"You might have just started, but you girls look like you need some refreshments!" she calls out to the unfamiliar magical girls in front of her. However seeing Mikoto, see seems more relaxed now, knowing that at least there's another HiME there.

With a hiss, she cracks the breach on the cannon to pull out a glass canister full of a bubbling green liquid. She tosses the canister high into the air with a throw, where it shatters into a fine mint scented mist that wafts over Cure Passion, Eri and Mikoto. They might also feel themselves getting stronger because of it.

COMBAT: Ai Yamamoto transforms into HiME Ai!
COMBAT: HiME Ai has used Mint Glass Shell on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: HiME Ai has used Mint Glass Shell on Eri Shimanouchi.
COMBAT: HiME Ai has used Mint Glass Shell on Cure Passion.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi accepts HiME Ai's Mint Glass Shell, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Empower applied to Mikoto
COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi accepts HiME Ai's Mint Glass Shell, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Empower applied to Eri Shimanouchi!  
COMBAT: Cure Passion accepts HiME Ai's Mint Glass Shell, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Empower applied to Cure Passion!  
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

"Kenjiro and I were on the same team!" bellows Superstriker, when Sourisi gives him a hard time -- and a glance at Kenjiro's jersey demonstrates that this was absolutely true. "You think I don't want to play team sports? I can't! No one is ever on my team!"

That all-white face is starting to turn just a little bit red... with heat. As an akuma he's no longer sweaty, but literal steam pours out his ears, and he decides to force the Miraculous-user to disengage with her golden chain by kicking the soccer ball at it with such force that it rebounds back to him immediately while making her tail rattle and shutter against her grip.

He takes Eri's whip head on -- literally. There should be a huge mess from that, but his head is huge and his skin isn't really skin anymore per se; the bloodless abraisons are disturbing. The way the stripes angularly match his uniform, kinda moreso. And his response to Mikoto's stabby spikes is similar; he takes them directly, grunting softly as he's pierced and held in place -- until he rips himself free, leaving his jersey behind entirely.

"NOW it's shirts versus skin," he grunts; he hadn't been the one to make that joke originally, had indeed shook his head at it at the time. Nothing like an akuma to cloud the mind, though. And his abdomen is, indeed, a magnificent specimen, if you don't count the ways that his muscles curve outwards in a way that almost looks like a stack of moths, wings flung widely open.

Cure Passion counter-charges, and he evades her nimbly -- retaining possession of the ball, AND trying to land an elbow in her gut on his way past. Then he takes his shot, and it's so hard that the ball gathers flames around it well before it threatens Eri and Mikoto downfield.

He scoops it up on their other side and dribbles it effortlessly into the goal. But he doesn't strike a victory pose. Instead he spins around and glowers downfield.

"BOOO-RIIIIING. Let's make things a little bit more interesting, okay?"

The Juuban scoreboard suddenly has Vegas-grade neon and is showing 0-1.

"First to three," he challenges the group. "If I win, I get Sourisi's Miraculous. And if YOU win... I'll let Kenjiro go."

Kenjiro, it transpires, is trapped within a giant, translucent soccer ball cage over by the bleachers.

"But if you don't play my game, I'm using him as the ball."

He shoots the soccer ball down to midfield, and then waits for the other team to collect it and advance, his white eyes wild with rage and pain.

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Rebound Ball on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Foul Play on Cure Passion.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Fire Ball on Eri Shimanouchi.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Fire Ball on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Shonen Fan Service on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick accepts Pink Moon Stick's Shonen Fan Service, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Empower applied to
Pink Moon Stick!  Cleanse! All of Pink Moon Stick's debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi partially dodges 10 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Fire Ball, taking 42 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Hit!  Pink Moon Stick is Psyched!  Eri Shimanouchi's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sourisi fails to dodge Pink Moon Stick's Rebound Ball, taking 32 Fatigue damage!  Cripple applied to Sourisi!  
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi partially dodges 10 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Fire Ball, taking 42 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Hit!  Mikoto Minagi's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Cure Passion dodges 18 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Foul Play, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Cure Passion's Fade and
Flash abilities activate!  Exhausted and Stagger applied to Cure Passion!
<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"Nostalgic." Eri says with a light tease Mikoto's way, as Mikoto echoes back the SUPERSTRIKER'S words. Just before Ai offers refreshments. Eri points at herself in confusion with two fingers, just before... a glass cannister shatters, and there's minty on the wind, as she sniffs the air, "Mmm-! Why... thank you."

And considers, the thought of growing Mint... "Maybe next Spring."

There is something hopeful in how casual her belief is that she might make it to that next season.

SUPERSTRIKER though breaks free of all of that, and left his Jersey behind. Eri puts two fingertips to her lip. "More bodices... than shirts I think." She says with only the faintest flush, clucking her tongue as if he'd said something gauche.

As he takes the shot though, Eri certainly doesn't try to get between him and the goal. Suddenly bending over backwards at her knees in order to simply avoid taking a direct hit. The wave of flame scorches over her though, and there's a gasp of pain as she lets herself fall over and roll to smother the remaining flames.

Then raising her head she narrows her eyes. "Very well." She can't be said to be particularly invested in the stakes, but perhaps there is something... that makes her want to intervene in this rivalry.

As the Soccer Ball makes it midfield... "Passion you're the fastest right? You take offense." This time Eri takes the simple approach, and simply tries to cut off the Akuma empowered SUPERSTRIKER with a simple, single lash of the whip that tries to catch him by the leg. Then - assuming she catches hold. She just digs her heels right in...

... and tries to tug him back away with all of her might. Ideally she'd love to just pull him off his own footing, but she knows she's not likely to overpower someone being fueled by some form of darkness.

"Mikoto...!" As she tries to call upon her to back up her defensive effort to... keep him away from the ball.

COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi has used Gardener's Grasp on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The mist rains down, and Mikoto smiles, looking over to see her fellow HiME on the battlefield. "Thanks!" She calls, because there's really something peppy about that as it falls down, and it's not just the mint in the air.

Her expression darkens back down when Superstriker bellows his desire to play, though. "So?" Mikoto asks, and it has the same SHAPE as Ohtori's myriad torments, even if her expression is more quizzical than mocking. "Who cares if they're mean? Just play anyway!"

In her own way, she might be trying to give him encouragement, but...

... what works for Mikoto might not be a universal fit.

Her frown deepens, as her dark spikes lead to an unfortunate conclusion. "Stop that!" She snaps, the unfairness rankling at her. It's not the only thing which does. Muscles aren't quite supposed to look like that.

She doesn't have much time to yell about that, though, because here comes the ball. She yelps as she throws herself into a roll to avoid it, and the flames lick at her as the ball roars on past. Tongue to teeth, a sound strangles out of her throat as she picks herself up. That hurt!

It's more than enough time for the Akuma to declare how boring things are, and raise the stakes. Mikoto looks up, to the bleachers, and her nose wrinkles anew. "Ehh... but... I don't really feel bad for him..?" Mikoto shakes her head, braids flicking at her face. "... hey, wait! Even if he's one of those boys, you still can't kick him!" And here inspiration strikes her, as she insists: "You'll get penaltied!"

Mikoto... might not... entirely understand how that works.

And so, it seems: it's time to play ball. "Go, go!" Mikoto cheers Setsuna on, with much the same feelings as Eri on the matter. Speaking of Eri, she seems to have the right idea: keep SUPERSTRIKER away from his SUPERBALL.

(Mikoto is almost absolutely certain that's what a superball is.)

"... Eri!" She calls response, and joining Eri's whip is the flat of a blade attached to a charging girl, all coming in at a diagonal sweep which she hopes will catch him broadside. "... I'm not touching the ball with my hands, so it's fine, right?!" It certainly feels fine, but that might be the scent of mint in the air.

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Devastation on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Sourisi frowns as Superstriker defends himself and calls out Kenjiro for his actions. "Maybe what he did should have been brought up to the ref, but these things are-whao!" The soccer ball is kicked at her chain with so much force that the chain shatters. The reverb is so strong that the mouse-suitted heroine is flung back and she has to change her arm just to get feeling back into it. "Oww...I guess we're going with full contact sports now."

Eri and Mikoto's assaults are seemingly shrugged off and Sourisi wrinkles her nose at the bizarre sight of his muscles. She never really understood that joke when she overheard it earlier, and it makes less sense now! And those muscles were just disgusting to look at. "I'm not wearing a shirt!"

Despite the magical defenders best efforts, Superstriker manages to deliver a goal easily into the spiked and flaming goal, and even the scoreboard reflects this. Then the Akuma delivers his ultimatum and the Miraculous Ninja grits her teeth. "Hey, the ball you're playing with is already good, so there's no need to change things now." No way was she going to let him use Kenjiro as a ball, and there is no way she's going to give up her Miraculous without a fight!

Sourisi was actually going have to pay attention to a soccer game now, and while she may not know too much of the rules, she has the general idea down. Just now that magic is going to get involved. Eri and Mikoto were playing defense and Setsuna was being called on for offense. Sourisi didn't recognize the new magical girl armed with a...a cannon?!...b-but she seems to be helping out with magical shells! "Guess i'm an all-rounder then!"

Shoving herself upright, Sourisi starts running towards the soccer ball. Pulling a tonfa free of a calf clasp, she throws it down the field to send the ball towards the opposite goal. "I think the no touching the ball with hands rule might still apply, so yeah!"

COMBAT: Sourisi has used Crashing Tooth on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Cure Passion [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Passion charges right back--and gets an elbow for her trouble, not as bad as could've happened but still bad enough to knock her off-course and prevent her from blocking the ball as it flames its way down into the goal. He spins around, and Passion sights the neon as she recovers herself.

But the mint scent is nice. She does feel stronger as a result. The mist...!

"Wait, you--"

Passion frowns. "He shouldn't have done that," she says, "But... This isn't how to--"

No. She doesn't have the words, she thinks, to just overcome that rage or pain. So instead she has a ball to collect, and she sharply nods. She remembers Mikoto getting tired the same way--but maybe, in that case...

"Fine! If that's how it's going to be--"

"All right!" You don't have to tell her twice, even though Eri and Mikoto technically do, in fact, tell her twice that she should go on offense. Passion decides to just try harder than last time, and she moves to advance the ball, rushing for the center field and moving forward. She sees Sourisi going for the ball, so she sprints ahead to be in position to take the pass and go towards the goal.

She mostly tries not to think about the disturbing moth-stack aspect of things. Instead...

"We'll give you enough to focus on!"

COMBAT: Cure Passion has used Breaking Wave on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> HiME Ai [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

HiME Ai stays back, keeping a watchful eye on the akuma influenced SUPERSTRIKER. She keeps a close eye on the movements, and seems to be relieved when nothing is kicked in her direction, nor anything is coming in her direction. If she remains mostly out of the way, and non-offensive, then she mightn't get hurt! Or so she believes. "I would have happily joined in if asked!" she calls back about no one ever wanting to be on his team.

She listens to Eri as she calls out instructions to the others, especially when it comes down to speed. "Hey, give me a moment. I've got something to help with that, too!" The chamber of her cannon seals itself again, as another canister slides into the chamber. Then with another loud hiss, the chamber reopens, revealing another glass canisters. It's exactly like before, but this time it's a pink colour instead of green. It still bubbles, and still has liquid inside. She remains behind the other girls, carefully balancing the glass tube on the tips of her fingers, before she flicks it upwards with a flick of her wrist. Surprisingly it doesn't shatter when it hits the ground, but instead rolls towards Sourisi and finally shatters.

This time it's another mist, though a lot thicker than the first and pink in colour. It also has the scent of ripe strawberries that Sourisi would soon smell. Though this time, unlike the green mist, she might feel herself getting faster this time.

COMBAT: HiME Ai has used Strawberry Glass Shell on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Sourisi accepts HiME Ai's Strawberry Glass Shell, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Surge applied to Sourisi!
Cleanse! All of Sourisi's debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick decisively counters 24 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Devastation, taking 8 Fatigue
damage!  Mikoto Minagi is Psyched!  Pink Moon Stick's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick's counterattack, Bended Like Beckham, partially gets through, doing 30 Fatigue damage to Mikoto Minagi!
Critical Counterhit!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick perfectly dodges 10 Fatigue damage from Eri Shimanouchi's Gardener's Grasp, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
Critical Dodge!  Pink Moon Stick's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 23 Fatigue damage from Sourisi's Crashing Tooth, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon Stick's Block
and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick perfectly dodges 19 Fatigue damage from Cure Passion's Breaking Wave, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Dodge!  Pink Moon Stick's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

Remember how Superstriker originally BLURRED onto the field?

That becomes a problem.

Laughing with a manic, giddy sound that really sounds nothing at all like real happiness, he accelerates the moment the opposing team gets the ball. One second Eri's whip is approaching his leg, and the next he's past her; no contact was made. The next, he and Mikoto have, weirdly enough, traded places; it happened too quickly to fully understand, but she's wrenched her muscles trying to bend the flat of her blade against the soccer pitch, which is momentarily impenetrable. Miroku is not bendy. It is an unpleasant experience.

"I care!" he replies to Mikoto. "It matters! And I'm not -- going -- to let the jerks WIN anymore! Papillon has given me the strength I need to win!"

He's bearing down on Sourisi when she tonfas the ball downfield towards the goal. With a hiss of irritation, he elbow slams her as he curves past, then blurs upwards to try to catch up with Cure Passion -- all but trampling Ai along the way.

"Don't make promises you won't keep," he grunts as he goes by. "I know better than to believe you."

They jockey for a moment, nothing but two streaks of light. Faster -- faster --

-- she shoots the ball clear --

-- and the giant spiked trapped net collapses around it as it enters, the spikes now recognizably TEETH, like a massive monster maw.

"Ptoo," it says, spitting it out in easy range of Superstriker's foot.

Superstriker's foot, which is moving as fast as lightning.


And then the ball is too. It zaps downfield, ricocheting consecutively against Cure Passion, Eri, and Mikoto, before approaching the akuma's goal.

There are only seconds to prevent it--!

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Foul Play on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Foul Play on HiME Ai.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Lightning Ball on Cure Passion.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Lightning Ball on Eri Shimanouchi.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Lightning Ball on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi counters 9 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Lightning Ball, taking 9 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon Stick
is Psyched!  Eri Shimanouchi's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi's counterattack, Gardener's Trick, partially gets through, doing 19 Fatigue damage to Pink Moon Stick!
Exhausted applied to Pink Moon Stick!
COMBAT: Sourisi braces 23 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Foul Play, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  Exhausted and Stagger
applied to Sourisi!
COMBAT: Cure Passion counters 9 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Lightning Ball, taking 9 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Cure Passion's counterattack, Crimson Counter, partially gets through, doing 14 Fatigue damage to Pink Moon Stick!  
COMBAT: HiME Ai fails to dodge Pink Moon Stick's Foul Play, taking 29 Fatigue damage!  Exhausted and Stagger applied to HiME Ai!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi counters 6 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Lightning Ball, taking 17 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Mikoto Minagi's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi's counterattack, Obsidian Blade: Dynamo, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Pink Moon Stick!  
<Pose Tracker> Cure Passion [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

The speed is definitely a problem. And the ball-eating goal is also a problem. Passion frowns as she spots the toothy net that spits the ball out. "That's not how it works!" she grumps, an echo of certain other sports problems in the past she's had as she sees the ball go too, too fast--or rather, doesn't see it go. It hits past her, bouncing straight off her attempt to go through it, ricocheting past her just like from the others. But Passion moves ahead of what she can't see towards what she's going to see, and dives for the ball. It moves past her, and she tries to kick it, so instead she dives for where it's going to be, and kicks at it to go center-field in an effort to block the otherwise inevitable shot--towards her friends!! "Haah--!"

And as she does she's a blur, too.

COMBAT: Cure Passion has used Passion Flash on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Eri acted preemptively upon seeing her whip approach his leg, and was already yanking - but she finds nothing in her grasp. Making this frustrated noise, she glances sidelong at Mikoto, as she yanks the whip back.

"So what? Your master plan to beat the jerks is to become a greater one? How original!"

Eri says with a hint of wryness... because well...

... ... ... she'd be a giant hypocrite, if she claimed to have never walked down that road.

Passion shoots, scores, and Eri holds her breath and...

"Ah." There's a certain disappointment in the sound she makes. As the goal spits out theirs... and right to his foot. And the ball is shot at the three of her with deadly accuracy. The ball deflects off her and her arm lashes out immediately thereafter...

There's something that isn't immediately obvious, as she looks like she's staggering in recovery...

... then Passion kicks the ball.

And in mid-air, the aerial shot suddenly goes stops mid-air. Which looks impossible, until you see the length of vine encircled around it twice - like some tether ball.

Eri suddenly pulls sideways in an arc, yanking it back to the field where it starts bouncing forward...

... making contact with the ground right in front of Mikoto and Miroku while still preserving a small amount of the momentum of Passion's kick.


COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi has used Devious Pass on Mikoto Minagi.
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mikoto knows very well that Ai's cannon is as well-suited for exploding things as sending good-smelling mist around, so she's not actually worried about her hanging back like that. Inwardly, she's really kind of impressed. HiME can support each other like that..?

She doesn't have that sort of supportive moveset, to be certain. She's all force - which makes it all the worse when she meets another, even more unstoppabler force. A half-way yelp makes its way out of her throat before her teeth clamp down, as she gets as good as she gives.

"Then it's not your strength, right?!" She yells, after him. (It's definitely after him, fast as he is.) "It's Papillon's! You really think --"

Here she might have asked him whether he expected to keep it, except she chokes on that sound, too, face a grimace. Well - maybe he'd slip under the radar. It's not impossible, she tells herself.

(She tells herself a lot of things.)

Shaking her head, on the heels of Eri's question of originality, she manages to come up with: "... yeah! Stealing Sourisi's Miraculous is what a jerk does! Sourisi needs that! It's her magic!" Well, that's Mikoto's best guess about how the Miraculous-users work, anyway. It's not a bad guess for someone whose magic depends on wielding a weapon.

Maybe that effort to recentre herself is covering over a sudden lack of balance. Because that ball blurs between her friends and soon enough richochets into her, and it's all she can do to bring her blade up to try and direct its centre of mass away from hers. She doesn't know for certain whether it would leave a hole where her heart should be, but Mikoto likes her heart just where it is, jagged edges and all. Stagger, stagger, step --

And there's her name.

It's always been the clever trick to bring Mikoto back to the present, really. And between herself and Eri, it can have so much meaning, in the nuance of its mora. Mikoto hears the summons and at once she leaps, Miroku wheeling about her in a careening arc, around-and-around-and-around, until finally the flat of her blade IMPACTS with the ball --

-- directed by Eri, with Passion's momentum, can she slam it into the goal?!

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi accepts Eri Shimanouchi's Devious Pass, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Destruction on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> HiME Ai [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

HiME Ai cries out when she's hit by Superstriker, being forced aside as he charges through. She makes a face and winces, before the chamber of her cannon closes after the trampling. She swings the heavy weapon around towards the boy. "How can I make any promises if you've never asked me?" she calls back. "You don't even know me!"

She takes a deep breath, and levels the barrel of her cannon at the boy. Fighting Orphans is one thing, but this is a person. A person who has given into darkness, but a person none the less.

She spreads her legs to fix her stance to compensate for the weapon and grabs firmly onto the front strap to control the barrel properly and braces herself to fire. However she didn't attack first, so she soon erases any concern from her mind. Spotting that Cure Passion has booted it down to mid-field, she swings her hefty cannon back around, being mindful not to hit anyone with the barrel.

She takes the time to quickly plan her shot. Not to fire at the ball, but to fire at the most likely path that Superstriker will be taking. There's also a reason that Ai's never fired it in the city before. Her cannon is very loud.


She fires once, tearing up the grass and dirt in an area that she expects the foe her friends and current allies will travel through. Hopefully right before he goes through it to slow him down and take some of the wind out of his sails.

COMBAT: HiME Ai has used Broken Ground on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

The sight of a rolling canister coming to a stop right by her feet is enough to make Sourisi tense up for a moment in hesitation, and she flinches as the shell shatters as it comes to a halt. "Ack!...huh? Ooh, this smells wonderful!" Sourisi's muscles in her right arm were relaxing after the recoil it took and she flashes a smile towards the cannon-wielder. "That's pretty handy, thank you!"

The sight of a wooden tonfa sending a ball further down the field is one she never thought she would see, but she's more than happy that it's happening. "Go for it, Passion!" Maybe with the Pretty Cure being the focus of their offense, they can get a score. But Sourisi's instincts start to scream at her just as she hears the air whistling right next to her.

While her focus is on the ball, there was a reason why Sourisi didn't throw both her tonfa to help make a goal.

Raising the second tonfa up, enchanted rosewood manages to intercept a massive elbow, but there's still too much mass for her to stop. Sourisi is sent skidding along the grass from the blow, but Passion has a clear field...!

And then the other goal turns into a mouth and rejects the ball without counting it as a goal. Blatant attacks was one thing, but that was unfair. "Hey, no cheating!"

With how quick the ball is going due to Superstriker's kick, Sourisi starts to worry that the score is going to be even more lopsided. The quick work of Passion, Eri and Mikoto manages to halt the score and even reverse its' momentum, but this leaves Superstriker free to intercept. "You're not taking my Miraculous, and La Papillon is just using you. I'm certain he'll turn on later on, even if you aid him faithfully!"

The Mouse Who Roars screams this out loud as she she rushes the Akuma head on, catching her wayward tonfa in the air and begins to swing the blunt weapons in a focused assault, but an ear-splitting roar, and the realization that someone with a -cannon- is helping has Sourisi jumping backwards in an attempt to get out of the way. "Oh crud-!"

COMBAT: Sourisi has used Mouse Flurry on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Cure Passion's Passion Flash, taking 57 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 34 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Destruction, taking 28 Fatigue damage!  Pink
Moon Stick's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick partially dodges 6 Fatigue damage from HiME Ai's Broken Ground, taking 26 Fatigue damage!  HiME Ai is
Psyched!  Pink Moon Stick's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Diversion and Tangle applied to Pink Moon Stick!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick counters 20 Fatigue damage from Sourisi's Mouse Flurry, taking 20 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sourisi
is Psyched!  Pink Moon Stick's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick's counterattack, Bended Like Beckham, partially gets through, doing 13 Fatigue damage to Sourisi!  
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

A bare inch from the goal line, Cure Passion blurs in front of the ball and not only blocks it with her whole body but does so so hard that it soars back upfield.

"DAMN!" curses Superstriker. But, oddly enough, his tone of voice was more like someone might shout "NICE!" His admiration for her athleticism was genuine, underneath all that. Then again, he's the one who wanted to play a game.

One small problem: now the goal is going to try to eat HER instead of IT. Down come the teeth... OM NOM NOM...

But the ball's on the move now. Eri whips it further along, passing it directly to Mikoto. Meanwhile Superstriker tries to catch up, but he can't intercept and steal it from Mikoto because Ai has shot up the pitch; he has to swerve around it, and that extra distance costs him.

He arrives JUST as Mikoto swats that ball towards the goal like a home run.

And it's Sourisi who prevents him from chasing it any further; the two of them engage in a quick, brutal melee, exchanging elbows and knees for tonfa strikes.

The ball, trailing purplish-black Miroku energy -- or possibly just Mikoto's own fighting sports spirit -- rockets through the goal, breaking a few teeth on its way in.

And at some point Superstriker stops just to watch it go.


"Ptoo," says the goal, afterwards, spitting it back out to midfield.

There isn't a ton of... point, in reasoning with an Akuma. It's very easy to feel morally superior to a person who's been possessed by Papillon's darkness. Unfortunately, it doesn't do a whole lot to solve the problem. They can't be talked down, because they're not really in control.

This power they're infected with is really a prison. A prison whose walls Papillon constructed out of their own hurt feelings.

They have to be freed.

And Sourisi, at least, knows this. They have to be freed, which means finding the item that their corrupted moth has inhabited, and breaking it...

Superstriker, who wants to be a hero, who wants to play on the field with everyone, who wants a team but doesn't trust that he could ever have one -- Superstriker, who is Kensuke Kogara -- has the following visible inventory:

  • Sports pants with pockets
  • Sports watch
  • Cleats
  • Taped-up glasses
  • The ball itself

Well, he doesn't have the ball itself, actually. Because he just did some sort of midair bicycle spin-kick worthy of a blitzball stadium and shot it into the other goal so quickly that it mussed up everyones' hairdos on its way past.

"YES!!" Elated, this time he does a victory dance. It is, honestly, pretty goofy. Apparently his Akuma soccer powers did not confer upon him a great deal of coolness as regards celebration. It is not extremely different from a chicken dance -- which is a little sad, considering that Kensuke's a famously good ballroom dancer.



It's the girls' ball again. And he's coming to claim it, leading with a roundhouse kick that sends a wave of peat down the entire field... a grassy tsunami that there's no escape from.

"I'll show you all!" he rants. "I'll show you all how much I can do when I'm finally given a chance!"

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Own Goal on Cure Passion.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Field Tsunami on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Field Tsunami on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Field Tsunami on Eri Shimanouchi.
COMBAT: Cure Passion fails to dodge Pink Moon Stick's Own Goal, taking 26 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi braces 9 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Field Tsunami, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  Eri Shimanouchi's
Block and Parry abilities activate!  Stagger applied to Eri Shimanouchi!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi dodges 5 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Field Tsunami, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Mikoto Minagi's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Stagger and Stun applied to Mikoto Minagi!
COMBAT: Sourisi neatly dodges 28 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Field Tsunami, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Sourisi's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Stun applied to Sourisi!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Passion [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Cure Passion isn't quiet because she doesn't care--quite the opposite. It's nice, to hear that genuine enjoyment of the game, even from the enemy. Unfortunately, she can't spend much time to enjoy the moment. Because teeth. They chomp straight down on her, and Passion folds for a moment, briefly disappearing into the fangy maw of the goal.


She entirely fails to dodge it, instead having to push her way back out over the course of the next little while. She misses the goal herself in the wake of what's going on, but eventuallyu, as Superstriker has stopped to watch it go, she finishes shoving open the goal again and jumps right back out, worse for wear for the trouble of it.

She isn't quiet because she doesn't care; but words aren't a way that she can help this. She is out of the way of the goal by the time Kensuke gets to do his chicken dance, though. But this does put her out of the way of the field tsunami which she otherwise could never escape as she comes back down to the ground. He calls out--

"Bring it!" Passion calls to him, looking around a moment--she catches Mikoto's eyes, and nods sharply. "We're a team!" she calls back to Sourisi. "So... We'll do it together!"

She sweeps forward and tries to mix it up directly with Superstriker, hoping to buy some time for the ball for her allies to do something more with it. But there's something to be said for the game, even so...!

COMBAT: Cure Passion has used Passionate Kick! on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Eri cheers Mikoto happily, "You did it!" Before looking back towards Passion, with a grin. After all, if Passion weren't such an athlete - that kind of feint wouldn't have worked.

Before she even tries to celebrate, he kicks another goal though, with a blur past her hair.

"... that was fast..." She remarks, rather quietly. Though then her eyes narrow.

"Well... anyone have any bright ideas?" She glances towards Sourisi as if Sourisi is the expert. They are after their Miraculous after all. "He's beating us all pretty handily."

Passion's declaration that 'we're a team.' causes her to look distant for a moment... before she at least seems to accept this in the temporary.

"Here he comes." Eri says - noting the obvious, and suddenly rushes forward. Leaping. Doing a aerial flip, before smashing down her whip in front of her with a sharp thundercrack to try to stop the ripple of field peat her way. Her success... is mixed.

The peat ruptures in front of her immediately, the smaller clumps battering into her in mid-air before she's forced back aground, shaking it off.

Upending the handle of her whip, the casual observer might notice that it's tip is missing, as if it were absorbed during that point of impact with the field.

And then there's a serpentine line of earth moving across the field, not unlike a large burrowing gopher... before it erupts out...

...a serrated length of thorns emerging - erupting and slicing across his path before it goes underground again. Then erupting back up from behind, trying to rake across him in it's random chaotic path of up and down - like some fast moving burrowing briars trying to harry him and give their offense covering fire on their way to the opposite goal.

"You won't likely remember this once this is over but..." There's a sort of self-deprecating wryness to her next comment, "... doing something just to 'show' someone something... rarely ends well."

COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi has used Horticultural Horizon on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Sourisi is able to deal several clean blows with her tonfa, even if she takes a few punches in return, but she wasn't trying to beat him senseless. The brilliant teamwork of Eri, Passion and Mikoto is enough to even the score for them, but Sourisi is getting the feeling this is a losing battle. After all, this is an Akuma created just for soccer, so the odds will always be in his favor.

This is very much a case in point as Superstriker strikes the ball with a kick so brutal that the air current is enough to tug her braid back. "Dang it, we're getting nowhere. Think..." Beating him down to weaken the Akuma doesn't seem to be working as well as she hoped, he was just too durable for that tactic. Ladybug would likely think up an amazing plan if she was here, but Sourisi would have to do what she does best: improvise.

There was no way the ball wasn't his Akuma'd item. It was holding up against all the abuse and was Juuban's ball anwyays, Kensuke wouldn't have a strong bond with it. The cleats, the watch and the soccer shorts didn't seem that important either. It's only as the sun gleams off the pair of beaten-up glasses during a rather bizarre dance that it dawns on her, and Sourisi smacks her forehead light. "Duh, the glasses!"

Smiling as hears Cure Passion call out to her, she gives a nod of her head. "That's right! We need someone to make sure he doesn't go for the winning goal. Everyone else, aim for his glasses!"

You must really care for your glasses to tape them together instead of getting a new pair. That's what Sourisi is hoping for, anyways.

A massive wave of grass and soil is sent flying up the field, but instead of trying to dodge out of the way or hold her ground, Sourisi insteads charges straight ahead. Coiling her legs under her, Sourisi kicks off the ground to ascend to the heavens. She wasn't hoping to leap over the wave, but on top of it!

Landing on top of a moving wave of peat is tricky, but the Miraculous Ninja doesn't stick around to be caught up in the crest of the moving soil. Kicking off hard, Sourisi leaps clear into the sky and smiles. With the sun directly overhead, Sourisi throws a single tonfa downwards towards Superstriker's head, but she isn't paying much attention to the Akuma. Instead, her eyes are trained entirely on her airborne weapon. "Focus...now! Shift Flip!"

There's no sound or loud noise. One moment it's just a single tonfa that Sourisi is pinning her hopes on, the next moment it's Sourisi herself twirling through the air at a rapid speed. Clawed boots glowing red, Sourisi straightens out and swings her legs out in a powerful axe kick towards the pair of glasses, the one thing that still really remains of Kensuke Kogara. "Time to end this game!"

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sourisi has used Wild Claw Barrage on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mikoto, in all her time here, has never fought a Shadow. She remembers reason with far more clarity than the darkness. Always evil is having reasons, is being reasonable - she heard what they were saying, so wouldn't anyone?

That's the logic which goes through her mind. It's the same logic which made her ask, so insensitively, why he wouldn't just join in regardless of what anyone said.

"Yeah!" She cheers, as they make a goal together, only for SUPERSTRIKER to dart in and claim the ball again. Well - in a fashion. He leaps, he scores --

Mikoto can't help but look impressed at that. As someone who has mastered the art of jumping to cover up her personal flight deficiency, she can recognise truly artful aerial manoeuvres. The ball's in their court again, but she pauses, looks back to him.

When he's finally given the chance...

'I'm making Sayaka my problem. If I get a chance, I'll defeat.'

The snarl-gash smile which cracks over Mikoto's face is all ugly in its sadness, like some precursor to nervous laughter after an untoward comment. "It can't be helped..." But there's something quiet about that resignation, as much a recognition.

Why do they always have to prove themselves so viciously? What do they even have to prove..?

Passion calls out, and Mikoto looks to her, with sharp inward breath. Welcome to now: their colours don't matter, because Passion and Mikoto are on the same team. "Right!" She yells, in turn, nodding back to her. "Let's do it!"

Mikoto doesn't have an exhaustive knowledge of Akuma, but she knows there's a person, under there; she can't just cut SUPERSTRIKER in half and solve the problem. And so her attention returns to the ball, as Passion tries to occupy him.

But hitting the ball... is probably safe?

It's probably safe.

And so, sweeping in, Mikoto SLAMS into the ball, blade-first. This time, it's Miroku's edge which threatens impact; Sourisi said to stop him from getting the winning goal, and this is the clearest way in her mind to do that.

Wait, she thinks to herself, only after she's loosed her swing and has no way to stop her momentum. ... if she breaks the ball, does that mean that mean Ohtori boy is the new ball?

Don't think of that AFTER you attack, Mikoto--!!

COMBAT: FINISHER! Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Deontology on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Eri Shimanouchi's Horticultural Horizon, taking 54 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 12 Fatigue damage from Cure Passion's Passionate Kick!, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon
Stick's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 66 Fatigue damage from Sourisi's Finisher, Wild Claw Barrage, taking 54 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Hit!  Pink Moon Stick's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Mikoto Minagi's Finisher, Obsidian Blade: Deontology, taking 120 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon
Stick is unable to keep fighting!
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

Superstriker and Mikoto race for the ball.

Superstriker brawls his way through Passion -- and winds up covered in fist and foot-shaped bruises for his trouble, which show up bright pink on his unnaturally white skin.

He rips his way through Eri's briars; first one, but then three, and then thirty... so many.

And by then it's much too late for him to reach the ball.

It's supernaturally tough; Miroku doesn't bisect it as one might have feared. Instead it's blasted through the goal with such great force that the already broken-toothed creature simply loses the netted back of its mouth. The little ropes are aflame. Some crumble to ash.

There will be no returning "ptoo."


He starts jogging to retrieve it, but there's Sourisi in his way.

<< NOW! SEIZE HER MIRACULOUS! >> resounds a furious voice in his head.

He raises an arm to ward off the thrown tonfa...

...and her axe kick breaks straight through it, and through his glasses also.

They split on the pitch, and out comes a violet butterfly. It fades to white a moment later as Papillon reclaims his power -- something he's been doing lately for whatever dark reasons of his own. Maybe he's become an environmentalist. Maybe energy efficiency matters to him now.

Kensuke is restored in an instant, and so is everything else; the soccer field returns to normal, the class will return to it in a moment... life will go on.

And the boy himself sinks tiredly into the grass and fumbles around for his broken glasses. Failing to find them, he flops onto his back, and stares upwards. He can't really see anything, but... the sky is always the sky.

"It's just a game," he says to himself -- not petulently, but with dawning comprehension. "And Kenjiro... broke all the rules, not even to win himself. Just to... stop me from helping the team win."

Kenjiro, whose memories of being a soccer ball imprisoned spectator are probably fuzzy at best, lopes up to him.

"Hey four-eyes," he chuckles. "Where's your shirt?"

It has not been restored.

"Hey loser," Kensuke replies. A little bit of that confidence in his voice is still there. "Where's your sportsmanship?"

Behind them, the scoreboard remains at 2-2, though it's no longer neon lit.

That's not such an unreasonable outcome.

It is soccer, after all.