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Super Mahou Shoujo Wars Thread 4 [text]

Moe_Overload Apr 28th, 2019 101 Never
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  1. "Sakura, you seal Wood." You order as you turn around and quickly move over to Nanoha's side. You get on one knee, unfortunately soaking your left lower leg, but you need to lower yourself closer to the third grader's level. You place both hands on her stomach, your left hand just under her budding breasts, your right, dangerously close to her nether regions.
  2.  
  3. While you focus your magic in the palms of your hands and penetrate Nanoha's Barrier Jacket with two tendrils of magic, Sakura moves away from Rain warily and tuns back to face Wood's core. For the fourth time today, she swings her staff at Wood to seal it, "Return to the form you originally came from… Clow Card!"
  4.  
  5. The tendril from your right hand enters right by Nanoha's womb and pokes it on the way in. The girl gasps and leans back against you for support. You gently run that tendril of magic along Nanoha's womb. It had stimulated her the last time you investigated it, and you don't feel like giving up an opportunity to play with this girl's fully-matured uterus.
  6.  
  7. You extend your other tendril in the space above Nanoha's womb and the unidentified ball that appears to be the source of her magic. You prepare to siphon off some of her energy when she casts her next spell. "I'll help you control it, just remember, be less forceful when you're casting." You feel her heart beating faster, and she takes a deep breath to calm down.
  8.  
  9. "Go and seal it!" A pinkish-white ball of light starts to gather at the opening of the head of her staff, and a pink ring with Latin characters appears around it. With you siphoning off her energy and helping control its flow, Nanoha doesn't overwhelm her staff with too much magic. She shoots first a small pink beam at the girl on the rain cloud. It impacts her, but doesn't do anything.
  10.  
  11. Formulas flash through your mind, as you're tapped in to Nanoha's magic. You pick out enough to figure out that that was a ranging shot. Locked onto her target, Nanoha pours more energy into her staff. "Not too much you whisper in her ear. We just want to seal the card, not destroy Sakura's house.
  12.  
  13. "Standby Ready." The staff states, confirming the lock.
  14.  
  15. Nanoha nods and finishes her incantation, "Lyrical Magical. Clow Card, Rain." The gold head of her staff starts to glow. "Divine Buster! Seal!" The nine-year-old shoots a pink beam from her staff. You're worried at the size of it that it might have been too powerful of a spell. However, it hits the clow card and envelops it in a pink ball of light, and it gets pulled towards Nanoha's staff.
  16.  
  17.  
  18. Rain's happy squeals and giggles are soon replaced by much more unhappy shouts as she's pulled forward. Once its near Nanoha's staff, a card materializes and the ball of light surrounding Rain disappears. The elfin creature struggles to escape, but it's soon sealed in its card.
  19.  
  20. You pull your tendrils free of Nanoha's insides, but you feel that she's still leaning against you, so you keep a hand on her to support her. You reach out and grab the card before it can fall into the water.
  21.  
  22.  
  23. Sakura is standing by Wood's core, watching as its branches retreat. When all that's left is the central trunk and roots, the roots suck in all the water in the basement. Instead of growing more branches, a wall of thin flexible branches, like the wall of interlocking saplings from outside sprout out. They quickly envelop Sakura and, and Cure Black moments later. The wild growth heads towards the rest of you, but Kero shouts, "Wood! Stop!"
  24.  
  25.  
  26. The tangle of growths obediently comes to a stop, and then it retreats. It frees Sakura and Cure Black, and even the roots retreat this time. It soon turns into a green Dryad sitting on the edge of a desk.
  27.  
  28. Sakura goes up to it, beaming a huge smile and holds her hands out. The Wood floats up into the air, and then into Sakura's hands, sealing herself back in her card.
  29.  
  30. "See, it's a gentle card." Kero states matter-of-factly.
  31.  
  32. "So trees and rain are good friends after all." Sakura replies.
  33.  
  34. Sailor Moon points to the window and says, "Ooh, look at that!" Sunlight is streaming in through the open basement window.
  35.  
  36. "Ah, how pretty!" Tomoyo exclaims.
  37.  
  38. Nanoha seems to have regained her composure and smiles at you, "Thank you, Tuxedo Kamen. You helped me so much." She looks at the Rain card in your hand and asks, "Can I give the card to Sakura?"
  39.  
  40. Behind you, you hear footsteps. Craning your neck, you see Cures Bloom and Egret, cautiously walking down the stairs. They're both missing all the petal-like folds of their gowns in the shoulder and hip area, meaning they used up their shield charges. Cure Egret is also holding her gown together where it had torn.
  41.  
  42.  
  43. How do you reply to Nanoha?
  44. >Yes.
  45. >No.
  46. >In a moment.
  47. >Let's give it to her together.
  48.  
  49. Do you say anything else to Nanoha?
  50. >Write-in. [What?]
  51.  
  52. Do you say anything to anyone else?
  53. >Write-in. [What?]
  54.  
  55.  
  56.  
  57.  
  58.  
  59. You let go of Nanoha and make sure that she's able to stand on her own. "No, thank you for your hard work. I believe soon you won't need my help at all. Go ahead and give the Card to Sakura." You pat her on the head and she beams. She takes the offered card and runs off to Sakura to hand it off to her. You watch the two youngest girls on the team thank each other for the help. Sakura thanks Nanoha for sealing Rain, and Nanoha thanks Sakura for sealing the Jewel Seed from earlier.
  60.  
  61. You look around the girls gathered around and give them a nod, "Well done, everyone; that was a tough job, but you held it together admirably. My thanks for your assistance. If you'll pardon me a moment?"
  62.  
  63. You walk up the steps and meet the two new Cures. Egret is holding her drenched gown closed. The top of her gown has been torn into two parts, but she's able to maintain her modesty, just showing a few bits of skin down her center-line. "Are the two of you OK?" You ask, "You've had quite the first day on the job."
  64.  
  65. "I have no idea what's going on, but it's all so exciting." Cure Bloom answers, waving her arms around for effect.
  66.  
  67. "I'm alright." Cure Egret replies demurely. "But a branch got under my gown when we were running from it, and it tore through..." Her words taper off with a blush, but you still get the gist of it.
  68.  
  69. You look the two of the girls over. Without her hip petals, you realize that Cure Bloom doesn't actually have a gown. Rather, she's wearing something similar to Cure Black's uniform; she has a pair of bike shorts covered by the skirt portion of her outfit. She's missing all of the petals that are normally form her skirt as well as those on her shoulders.
  70.  
  71. Cure Egret has an actual gown, but she's lost the hip petals that served as a second layer to her skirt as well as the petals on her shoulders. The sash that she had around her waist is another casualty of the branch assaults.
  72.  
  73. Behind you, Kero yawns and states, "I'm gonna take a nap." He flutters up the stairs, passing the three of you.
  74.  
  75.  
  76. The Cures' cell phones jump out of their pouches and open up. Just like Mepple and Mipple, there's a head of a stuffed animal-like creature living inside each of them. "You two, Pretty Cures, are the only ones who can save the Garden of Fountains, lapi." The green one states.
  77.  
  78. "You're our last hope, chopi." The cream one adds.
  79.  
  80. Together they both say, "We hope you take good care of us, chopi, lapi." Then they both return to the pouches.
  81.  
  82. The two new Cures stare at their pouches, not able to fully process what they just saw.
  83.  
  84.  
  85. They're interrupted from their stunned silence by Kero shouting from upstairs, "Sakura! We're in trouble!"
  86.  
  87. You hear footsteps running in the basement. "Let's see if we can help." You say and motion for the Cures to head back upstairs. The three of your clear the basement stairs for Sakura and the rest of the girls. On the ground floor, you see the problem; the entire house is a mess. Furniture is strewn everywhere, curtains are barely hanging up, muddy footsteps are everywhere, and more.
  88.  
  89. Sakura comes up the stairs and also is shocked, "I- I have to clean the house all over again." You can feel the joy and excitement slipping away from the girl's voice.
  90.  
  91.  
  92. "Don't worry, I'll help you clean up." Tomoyo offers.
  93.  
  94. Sakura gets on her knees and hugs her friend, and Kero flies over and does so as well. Both of them are crying from relief [pretend Sakura is still in her normal clothes in the picture].
  95.  
  96. The other girls chime in one by one, "I'll help too." "Me too." "So will I."
  97.  
  98. Sakura starts profusely thanking everyone for the help.
  99.  
  100. You're worried that something else might still be lurking. Instead of agreeing to help, you close your eyes and focus. With Sailor Moon just a few steps away from you, her overwhelming warm glow is blinding your sensing powers. Suddenly, the glow disappears, and you're able to make out the individual girls in the house with you.
  101.  
  102. "Ah, now I'm not in those wet clothes anymore." Sailor Moon, no she's Usagi now that she's not transformed, says. In rapid succession, the signals belonging to the rest of the girls disappear. Without them, you're able to sense clearly, and find no sign of an evil presence nearby.
  103.  
  104. "Ahh! It's you!" You open your eyes to find all the girls detransformed and Nagisa pointing to her doppelganger. "You're the girl from the Chanela store. And you're Mishou Mai." You look over the four detransformed Cures and the resemblance is uncanny. With them this close, you can tell the difference between them, but from a distance, you can certainly see how easy it'd be to get them mixed up.
  105.  
  106. The four girls introduce themselves to each other: Cure Black is Misumi Nagisa, Cure White is Yukishiro Honoka, Cure Bloom is Hyuuga Saki, and Cure Egret is Mishou Mai.
  107.  
  108. While they're doing that, you take a closer look at everyone. Since they've detransformed, all the girls that were soaked by Rain no longer are. The only exception is Sakura, since she was in her regular clothes the entire time. Likewise, your shoes, socks, and left pant-leg are also wet.
  109.  
  110. Tomoyo drags Sakura off saying, "Let's get you changed into something dry." The two of them go past you down the hall and up the stairs.
  111.  
  112. The rest of the girls also start heading down the hall to take their shoes off by the door and put on the guest slippers.
  113.  
  114.  
  115. What do you do?
  116. >Join the cleanup as well.
  117. >Time for your dramatic exit.
  118. >Talk to one/some of the girls/ [Which one(s)?]
  119. >Ask one of the girls to speak with privately. [Which one?]
  120. >Write-in. [What?]
  121.  
  122.  
  123.  
  124.  
  125.  
  126. "Yuuno, we'll take care of the basement."
  127.  
  128. "Right," the ferret nods.
  129.  
  130. You follow the girls to the front door, admiring the view, and take off your shoes and replace them with slippers. The house may be a mess now, but with so many girls working together, you're sure they'll get it clean quite quickly. You don't want to be rude and leave muddy footprints once the house is cleaned up.
  131.  
  132. With Yuuno in tow, you head to the basement. Despite the fact that the basement was the epicenter of Wood's wild growth, there's far less of a mess than upstairs. A single bookshelf is out of place and fair number of books have been knocked to the floor, but it's nowhere near as bad as the mess upstairs.
  133.  
  134. "Let's start with getting that bookshelf back in place, then we can take care of the books." You order. The two of you head to the bookshelf in the last aisle.
  135.  
  136. Yuuno uses Chain Bind to pull it back it place while you push. With that out of the way, you split up and start picking up books and putting them back on the shelves.
  137.  
  138. "Ahh! There's so many books! And they're all about archeology!" Yuuno gushes, "I wish I could read them all." The ferret's certainly interested in the task.
  139.  
  140. You flip open a few of the books, despite having been soaked, none of them show signs of any water damage. Like Yuuno said, they're all about archeology. One book in particular grabs your attention, "Forbidden Archeology, the Hidden History of the Human Race." Skimming though a few pages, you see that the authors are making an argument that humanity is much older than the current scientific consensus.
  141.  
  142.  
  143. What do you do?
  144. >Read some more of the book.
  145. >Hold onto the book and "borrow" it."
  146. >Put the book back.
  147. >Talk to Yuuno about the fact that the books aren't water damaged.
  148. >Ask Yuuno about himself.
  149. >Ask Yuuno about his mission.
  150. >Write-in. [what?]
  151.  
  152.  
  153.  
  154.  
  155.  
  156. "It's odd that these books aren't damaged." You comment. "Could they be magical?"
  157.  
  158. "Oh. Hmm." Yuuno focuses on something for a while and replies, "No. These are just normal books. There's residual magic in the basement, but that's because of the battle. I don't know. Maybe Rain's water doesn't get books wet, or Wood dried everything up without damaging the books."
  159.  
  160. "I guess." You reply, only half paying attention to the ferret. You're flipping through the book. One chapter mentions the migration patterns of early humans in North America being impossibly fast compared to other migrations. Another mentions cities that are much more populous than could be supported in a pre-technological society. One section grabs your attention, ruins of a city in India with evidence of nuclear fallout, supported by text from the Mahabharata.
  161.  
  162.  
  163. "A single projectile charged with all the power in the Universe...An incandescent column of smoke and flame as bright as 10,000 suns, rose in all its splendor...it was an unknown weapon, an iron thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death which reduced to ashes an entire race."
  164.  
  165.  
  166. Tingles run down your spine as you read that text. Surely it's poetic license, hyperbole, or a bad translation. There's no way for an ancient civilization from thousands of years ago to have had weapons that were so destructive, and yet you're unwilling to discount the claim out of hand.
  167.  
  168. With the silence growing, you switch topics, "Back on the rooftop of the school you said that you were collecting jewel seeds, and you mentioned a spaceship and the Time Space Administration Bureau. Are you from another planet?"
  169.  
  170. "That's right. I'm from Midchilda. Back home, my job is to excavate ancient ruins. The galaxy is full of lost civilizations, and I found the jewel seeds in an ancient monument. My clan sent them to Midchilda for safe keeping, but the time-space transporter carrying them met either an accident or some kind of artificial tragedy. It veered off course, entered this solar system, and was destroyed. Twenty-one jewel seeds were dispersed over this world. So far I've only been able to find three."
  171.  
  172. "Since they're so powerful, wouldn't this Time Space Administration Bureau send out a retrieval team? They do have things like that, right?"
  173.  
  174. "Of course; they have an entire Navy that patrols their sphere of influence. However, there's an old treaty between Midchilda and your Moon Kingdom, closing off all access to your solar system, and enforced by the Queen's most powerful guardians."
  175.  
  176. "I've never heard of a Moon Kingdom, or a Moon Queen, but Sailor Moon and Luna are searching for the Moon Princess. Do you think those could be related?"
  177.  
  178. "It would make sense, but there's an admiral in the TSAB Navy from your planet. I studied everything that he said about your planet before coming here. He never mentioned any Moon Kingdom, or any guardians preventing exit or entry. He saved the life of a Midchildan clerk when he was young and decided to emigrate to Midchilda. That's why I felt safe risking coming here, but I couldn't ask anyone from my clan to take that risk.
  179.  
  180. "The hardest thing to believe was when he said that almost no one has any magic potential. According to him, knowledge of magic is limited to a guild and there are very people with magic potential, let alone magic users. I think he overestimated the rarity of mages, but he was right about most people not having any magic potential on Earth."
  181.  
  182.  
  183. What do you do?
  184. >Ask a specific question about the TSAB or Midchilda. [what?]
  185. >Ask about Yuuno's clan.
  186. >Hint to Yuuno that he might want to ask Sakura if he could borrow a book or two.
  187. >Wrap the conversation up. [And do what?]
  188. >Write-in. [What?]
  189.  
  190.  
  191.  
  192.  
  193.  
  194. "If the TSAB decided to come here, how do you think they'd act?"
  195.  
  196. "Hmm. I wouldn't know. The TSAB is very bureaucratic. It takes forever to get approval for anything. Without an emergency, there's no way they'll be willing to violate a standing treaty."
  197.  
  198. "And if there was an emergency?"
  199.  
  200. "That would depend on the admiral they send. The TSAB gives almost unlimited authority to a deployed admiral. They only need to account for their actions after the fact."
  201.  
  202. "That's mildly worrying, especially if they consider us a threat. What sort of an emergency would it take for them to break the treaty and send someone? Something that could destroy the world?"
  203.  
  204. "No, they wouldn't consider that an emergency. It'd have to be something that could damage the fabric of space-time and have repercussions beyond this solar system."
  205.  
  206. Your blood runs cold at the thought of something that destructive happening. You haven't considered such a force to even be possible. "Let's make sure something like that doesn't happen."
  207.  
  208. "Mhm."
  209.  
  210. You peek around the bookshelf to the next aisle and see Yuuno with his snout buried in a book. "You know, if you're so interested in these books, you should just ask Sakura if you could borrow some of them."
  211.  
  212. The ferret looks up at you and replies, "You're right. I'll do that!" He looks eager to run upstairs and ask now, but he looks around at the books that are still scattered about and starts cleaning up and sorting them with a vengeance. Yuuno uses multiple simultaneous levitation spells to greatly speed up his work.
  213.  
  214.  
  215. What do you do?
  216. >Interrupt Yuuno and ask him about something else. [what?]
  217. >Read the book in your hand.
  218. >Go back to the last aisle and resume picking up the books.
  219. >Take your leave of the basement early. [Leave the house, or talk to someone?]
  220. >Write-in. [what?]
  221.  
  222.  
  223.  
  224.  
  225.  
  226. "Yuuno… The Jewel Seeds. Would they be capable of causing that kind of disaster? For example, if things had gotten out of hand with that tree today, or if perhaps that fight with Jadeite had escalated any further than it did?"
  227.  
  228. "Not with just one of them."
  229.  
  230. "And with several of them?"
  231.  
  232. "Then there could be a risk. But even so, you'd have to forcibly overload them. That's not something that should happen under normal circumstances."
  233.  
  234. That information doesn't give you much comfort. "That'd be bad." You state as you resume picking up books. Glancing at each one, none of them catch your attention as much as the one you have under your arm.
  235.  
  236. You're not even halfway done with your aisle when you hear Yuuno darting towards your aisle. Could he be done already?
  237.  
  238.  
  239. What do you do with the book you're holding?
  240. >Hide it under your jacket.
  241. >Set it aside, and ask to borrow it later.
  242. >Offer it to Yuuno, tell him he might be interested in it, and hope he borrows it (then ask him about it in the future.
  243. >Let Yuuno finish cleaning while you read some more from it.
  244. >Put away the book. You can take a look at it next time you're in Sakura's house.
  245. >Write-in. [What?]
  246.  
  247.  
  248.  
  249.  
  250.  
  251. You figure that you may not be the most responsible person to borrow something, especially considering what happened with the camcorder you "borrowed" from Tomoyo. However, if you convince Yuuno to borrow it instead, you can ask him for a summary of the book at a later time.
  252.  
  253. The ferret runs to your aisle and starts casting levitation spells. It's like looking at a cyclone in reverse. The books he picks up spin around him and fly onto the shelves. You stop working just to take in the sight. You realize why Yuuno makes sure to spin the books around him. Each one passes in front of his line of sight, and you see him glance at each title, and then send it off to its appropriate spot on the bookshelves.
  254.  
  255. Yuuno stops when there's just a handful of books left near your feet. "Almost done!" He exclaims and starts working on the remaining few books by hand. You join him, still holding onto the first book in your left hand. When all the books are in place, Yuuno asks, "Do you need help finding where that one goes?"
  256.  
  257. "No." You reply and toss him the book. "I think you might be interested in this one. This completely contradicts everything that we know about the past of this planet, but I think some of it might match up with what you were talking about. It sounds just like a crazy conspiracy theory to me, but maybe they stumbled on the truth."
  258.  
  259. Yuuno catches the book and listens to your explanation. "Hmm. That is interesting. Thanks! I'll ask if I can borrow that one too." He looks at the title and authors once more, runs down the aisle, puts it in the correct spot, and heads upstairs, looking for Sakura.
  260.  
  261.  
  262. What do you do now?
  263. >Sneak out through the basement window.
  264. >Head upstairs.
  265. >Take a look at some more books.
  266. >Write-in. [what?]
  267.  
  268.  
  269.  
  270.  
  271.  
  272. You consider looking over the books to see if something else interesting catches your eye, but you figure Yuuno must have done a clean sweep of the library already, and you'd rather speak with the girls upstairs than stay in the basement and read a book.
  273.  
  274. Making sure nothing is out of place, you head upstairs and turn the light off behind you. You barely get out of the way as Sakura dashes out of the bathroom with a basket full of wet laundry.
  275.  
  276. "Sorry!" She shouts over her shoulder as she runs down the hall. The young girl is now wearing a new outfit. It's a pink dress with white sleeves and white leggings. She's wearing pink and white boots and a pink Alice band with two white wings.
  277.  
  278. Now you know why Tomoyo dragged Sakura off to help her get changed. She wanted Sakura to try on the outfit she brought, and knowing her, probably recorded the brunette changing. You hear a deep satisfied sigh from the bathroom. Looking through the door where Sakura came from, you see Tomoyo holding her camera with her eyes closed and a big grin on her face. Figuring she must have recorded Sakura, you keep going forward.
  279.  
  280. In the kitchen to your left, you see Ami cleaning with a wet rag. Continuing down the hallway, you look into the lounge. Usagi is on all fours using a roller on the rug. The skirt from her school uniform goes all the way down to her knees so she's not revealing anything unfortunately. Nagisa and Honoka are also looking away from you, trying fix the curtains. From the top of the stairs, you hear Yuuno and Sakura speaking about something, possibly about borrowing some books. This leaves Nanoha and the two new Cures unaccounted for, but a quick peek by the door tells you that everyone's shoes are still here. The three of them must be upstairs.
  281.  
  282.  
  283. What do you do?
  284. >Go to the bathroom and speak with Tomoyo. [Topic?]
  285. >Go to the kitchen and speak with Ami. [Topic?]
  286. >Go to the lounge and speak with the three girls there. [Topic?]
  287. >Eavesdrop on Yuuno and Sakura's conversation.
  288. >Go upstairs.
  289. >Leave.
  290. >Write-in. [What?]
  291.  
  292.  
  293.  
  294.  
  295.  
  296. You really need someone to speak with about everything that you just learned from Yuuno. Ami's face was plastered all over the Crystal Seminar, and she strikes you as a very intelligent young woman. You turn around and head back down the hallway, passing the lounge and den. You hear Tomoyo putting another load of laundry in the washer to your left, and you turn right and enter the dining area.
  297.  
  298. Ami is wiping the counter separating the kitchen and the dining area. She looks up and greets you, "Oh, Tuxedo Kamen. Are you done cleaning in the basement?"
  299.  
  300. The divider separating the lounge from the kitchen is closed, so you shouldn't have any interruptions from the three girls in there. "We are. Yuuno is a wizard at cleaning up books. We even found a few interesting books on archeology."
  301.  
  302.  
  303. The bluenette perks up at the mention of an interesting book. "What was it about?" She inquires.
  304.  
  305. "I only read a few pages, but it seemed just like conspiracy theories, migration patterns and human fossils in older strata, and even an ancient text that implies an ancient civilization with weapons that sound like nukes."
  306.  
  307. Ami's excitement fades, but her interest is still there.
  308.  
  309. "However, Yuuno mentioned that the people of his planet had a very old treaty with the Moon Kingdom. It sounds like the authors might be onto something."
  310.  
  311. "Ancient Astronaut Theory." Ami replies, "Some people say that advanced aliens visited the Earth a long time ago, but it's supposed to just be pseudo-scientific nonsense."
  312.  
  313.  
  314. "There might be more too it than anyone figured." You add as you walk into the kitchen proper and lean against the counter facing Ami. "That's interesting for sure, especially if it turns all of our archeological knowledge on its head, but what really worries is what he told me about the Jewel Seeds." You recount Yuuno's explanation of the power of the Jewel Seeds.
  315.  
  316. "He doesn't sound too worried, but I don't like the thought of items powerful enough to rip apart the fabric of space-time just lying around."
  317.  
  318. "Hmm." Ami hums. She nibbles on her left index finger while thinking, "Has Yuuno told that to anyone else?"
  319.  
  320. "No. At least I don't think so."
  321.  
  322.  
  323. What do you resolve to do?
  324. >Find Yuuno now, get him to tell everyone about the jewel seeds.
  325. >Find Nanoha now and tell her about the jewel seeds.
  326. >Tell Yuuno to tell everyone next time you see him.
  327. >Think about it some more, possibly speaking with him in private about it later.
  328. >Let him tell everyone about the jewel seeds when he's ready.
  329. >Write-in. [What?]
  330.  
  331.  
  332. If not selecting one of the first two options from the first question, what do you do?
  333. >Keep talking with Ami. [Any topics you want to make sure to hit?]
  334. >Spray Ami with the side sprayer from the sink.
  335. >Thank her for helping you order your thoughts and go speak with someone else. [Who and about what?]
  336. >Thank her for helping you order your thoughts and take your leave.
  337. >Write-in. [What?]
  338.  
  339.  
  340.  
  341.  
  342.  
  343. You should have Yuuno tell everyone else, but if he thinks it not urgent, you can give him some time now and speak with him later about telling everyone. You glance at the side sprayer at the sink and consider spraying Ami with it. Sailor Mercury has a water affinity, and it might be an interesting way to get her to loosen up. On the other hand, you don't know her too well and you're not sure how she'd react to something like that.
  344.  
  345. "What else did Yuuno say about his planet?" Ami asks as you decide not to spray her with water.
  346.  
  347. "Not too much. He said that his planet had a treaty with the Moon Kingdom, closing off the borders of the solar system. He didn't mention why though. If the Moon Kingdom doesn't exist anymore, that would explain why he was able to make it in. He also mentioned that there's an admiral in the TSAB that emigrated to Midchilda from Earth, and he never mentioned a Moon Kingdom."
  348.  
  349. The two of you silently ponder that for a while, then you ask, "How are you holding up with all of this magical girl business?"
  350.  
  351. "It's exciting!" She blurts out, and then immediately blushes, feeling self-conscious. "I mean, it's very different from my normal life. I don't have as much time to study, but I didn't know fighting could be so exhilarating, even if I'm not too good at it yet. I always thought fighting was for stupid people, but I see why some people like it, especially today..." A slight grin appears as her words trail off. "And I got to make some friends. Usagi is so sweet, but a week ago, I would have just brushed her off as loud, stupid, and annoying." Ami looks over her shoulder to make sure no one else is in the kitchen to hear her, "but she is just a little bit."
  352.  
  353. You chuckle and nod, but take note of the fact that she said 'friends' and not 'new friends', "She's a little over-exuberant." The bluenette covers her mouth and giggles at the understatement. Your eyes are drawn to her breasts as they jiggle under her school uniform from her laughter. You haven't really noticed until now, but her breasts are quite large, C-cups you'd guess. She's carried herself so demurely that you hadn't noticed up to this point.
  354.  
  355.  
  356. What do you say next?
  357. >Continue the conversation. [Next topic?]
  358. >Let me help you finish with the kitchen.
  359. >Honoka is pretty skilled at Judo, you might want to talk with her about helping you train.
  360. >I'd be happy to give you some tips to help you fight better. [Now or later?]
  361. >It was nice speaking with you, but I need to speak with _____. [Who?]
  362. >Write-in. [What?]
  363.  
  364.  
  365.  
  366.  
  367.  
  368. When Ami stops giggling, you say, "Just like anything else, you need to practice to get good at fighting. I'd be happy to give you a few pointers."
  369.  
  370. "Here?"
  371.  
  372. "No, it's a little too cramped here. Besides, it wouldn't be polite if we started making a mess while everyone else is cleaning."
  373.  
  374. "True." She replies, her disappointment audible.
  375.  
  376. "I think Honoko knows Judo, so you might want to ask to practice with her as well."
  377.  
  378. Before Ami can reply, you hear a loud gurgling sound from the next room over. Your unspoken question is answered when Usagi complains, "I'm so hungry!"
  379.  
  380. "It is almost dinner-time." Honoko states.
  381.  
  382. "And it's important for growing girl to make sure to get lots to eat!" Nagisa adds.
  383.  
  384. Another voice shouts from the hallway, "Ah! Already? My dad and brother will be home soon! We have to finish soon and you all have to go. I'm not allowed to have guests over."
  385.  
  386. You turn your attention back to Ami, "You heard the girl, let's finish up quickly. Where can I find a rag?"
  387.  
  388. Ami points to the right shelf and you start wiping the dining table while she finishes the kitchen counter. "If you didn't have to go home for dinner, I'd offer to help you train after we're done here."
  389.  
  390. "I don't exactly need to be home soon. My mom's working late again tonight."
  391.  
  392.  
  393. What do you say?
  394. >What about your dad?
  395. >Great, meet me at the clearing at the end of the nature path.
  396. >Great, meet me at the park where we fought the youma.
  397. >Great, we can go together and practice somewhere when we finish here.
  398. >Write-in. [Anything else before timeskipping to the end of cleaning?]
  399.  
  400.  
  401.  
  402.  
  403.  
  404. One vote to go together.
  405. Three votes to leave separately, but go to the clearing together.
  406.  
  407.  
  408.  
  409. Oddly, the bluenette mentioned her mother, but not her father. Wisely, you decide to stay away from that subject. "In that case we'll have a quick practice session. I'll meet you at the corner of the street when we're all done here."
  410.  
  411. "But why don't we just go... Oh." Ami turns away from you when the realization strikes, but you can see her face turn a deep red.
  412.  
  413. "I'll see you outside." You say as you finish wiping the table and head out of the kitchen. You help for a few more minutes before running into Yuuno again. "Any luck borrowing the books?"
  414.  
  415. "No." Yuuno shakes his head, "But Sakura invited me and Nanoha over as often as we want. I can't wait to read about the history of this planet!"
  416.  
  417. You chuckle at the ferret's excitement and he soon scampers off.
  418.  
  419. While an exhausted Sakura is thanking everyone for helping, you slip out of the house first. Outside, you see Luna napping on the white wall around Sakura's house. The late afternoon sun has done a good job drying her off. She eyes you as you pass by, but doesn't otherwise acknowledge your existence, going back to her nap when you reach the sidewalk.
  420.  
  421. The immediate area around Sakura's house is OK, but the street and yards are horribly torn up in both directions. The trees truly did a number on the neighborhood. You head down the street to the corner that you agreed to meet Ami on and jump the wall into someone's yard.
  422.  
  423. You don't have to wait long as you timed your exit well. After a few minutes, you hear voices belonging to some of the girls passing by, later followed by a lone pair of footsteps that stop at the corner. Confident that that's Ami, you jump the wall and land beside the girl.
  424.  
  425. The girl jumps in shock and gives a surprised yelp.
  426.  
  427. "My apologies." Afterwards you add, "Shall we go?"
  428.  
  429. "Mhm."
  430.  
  431. The two of you head off in silence towards the clearing where you helped the PreCures fight the tree-man and the tree. After a while, Ami gathers up the courage to ask you a question, "Tuxedo Kamen, this isn't a date, is it?"
  432.  
  433.  
  434. What's your response?
  435. >Of course not. We're just going to practice.
  436. >Oh, no. That's for next time.
  437. >Not everything I do with a pretty girl constitutes a date.
  438. >No, but I understand if you feel that way when a handsome man asks you to accompany him.
  439. >Of course it is. That's why I asked you to come with me by yourself.
  440. >Write-in. [What?]
  441.  
  442.  
  443.  
  444.  
  445.  
  446. Shadow, it sounds like you meant to go with a modded 3 based off of context, but typo or not, I'm leaving your vote as it is.
  447.  
  448.  
  449.  
  450. "Business first, but I'm sure we could find something to do after the practice if you wanted."
  451.  
  452. "Oh, no." She stammers. "I mean, aren't you and... you know?"
  453.  
  454. With a slight chuckle you reply, "It's nothing quite that serious yet."
  455.  
  456. "I thought you two were..." Her voice trails off and you can see her hands fidgeting nervously.
  457.  
  458. The people that are out are mostly dealing with the damage caused by the sudden growth of trees. Although the damage is not as extensive as it was around Sakura's house, there's still plenty of damage to the sidewalks, lawns, and greenbelts. Fortunately, you don't see too many damaged houses.
  459.  
  460. Soon you reach the head of the nature trail. A little further down the street is the park where everyone fought the youma. "At the end of the trail is a nice clearing. We should be able to practice there." Glancing at Ami, you see the bluenette glancing in the direction of the park. It looks like somethings on the tip of her tongue, but the bluenette doesn't share what's on her mind.
  461.  
  462. Keeping up some small talk, you tell Ami about the fight that you and the four Cures had here against Karehaan and a tree monster before coming to help her and Sailor Moon. "With Cures Bloom and Egret joining the team, you're no longer the new girl. You'll have to be ready to give them some pointers if your juniors ask for help."
  463.  
  464. "That's right." Ami agrees. "In that case, please teach me everything you can."
  465.  
  466. "Everything's going to take a while, but we have time to go over the basics today."
  467.  
  468. Reaching the end of the trail, you notice that all of the trees surrounding the clearing are back to normal. They no longer have that twisted shape that they had earlier. "This looks like a good place to practice." There's an orange bike resting against a large tree at the edge of the clearing, but there's no sign of anyone else here. "Let's see the best way to start is..."
  469.  
  470.  
  471. >For you to transform in Sailor Mercury.
  472. >For you to stay in your civilian form.
  473. >Write-in. [What?]
  474.  
  475.  
  476.  
  477.  
  478.  
  479. As you're saying that, you realize that you'll need to be on the lookout in case the owner of the bike comes back.
  480. >Trap defused.
  481.  
  482. "The best way to start is for you to transform. You'll do most of your fighting in that form, so it only makes sense for you to practice in that form."
  483.  
  484. "OK." Ami nods in agreement and then pulls out her transformation pen. She closes her eyes and exhales. The bluenette stays like that for a few moments before gathering the courage to hold her pen out and shout, "Mercury power! Make up!"
  485.  
  486. A blue symbol of Mercury emerges from the pen, and then a painful, blinding light envelops Ami.
  487.  
  488.  
  489. >Think fast.
  490.  
  491.  
  492.  
  493.  
  494.  
  495. You reflexively swing your hand in Ami's direction. You miss her transformation pen, but your hand up against some kind of ribbon that slips out of your grasp.
  496.  
  497. A few moments later, Sailor Mercury stands beside you, posed for battle.
  498.  
  499. You rub your eyes until the pain of the bright flash goes away.
  500.  
  501. "Are you OK?"
  502.  
  503. "I'm fine, I just stood a little too close to your transformation."
  504.  
  505.  
  506. >Surprise quick time event failed.
  507.  
  508. What's the general idea for the training session?
  509. >Write-in. [What?]
  510.  
  511.  
  512.  
  513.  
  514.  
  515. You look over Mercury and think back to her previous fights that you witnessed. While playing back her fight, you notice that the seam connecting the main body of Sailor Mercury's leotard to the thicker fabric covering her breasts isn't perfectly fitting, and you can see a small bit of the bluenette's upper abdomen. For a short while, your thoughts wander and you think if you could perhaps be responsible for that. You leave the thought for later as you're supposed to be helping her practice fighting.
  516.  
  517. She's a smaller girl, so you figure an art that focuses more on redirection of energy like Judo or Aikido would be useful for her. Of course, towering over the Tokyo skyline at 191cm makes every girl look short. A closer look gives you an estimate she's a little less than a head shorter than you, which gives her at least 10 centimeters over Sailor Moon. You mentally shake your head, Sailor Mercury carries herself so demurely that she looks shorter than she actually is. None of that makes judo a bad option, you just have to adjust your mental image of Mercury to be bustier and taller to match reality.
  518.  
  519. So far, she's been doing well when fighting at a distance, or helping finding targets with her visor. It would certainly do her well to get comfortable learning how to open the distance between her and her opponent. Settling on a rough idea of what to do, you explain to her, "The two most critical parts of fighting are to make sure that you have a fighting style that plays to your strengths and covers your weaknesses, and to make sure that your lizard brain knows how to fight. If something unexpected happens, you won't have time to think. Your lizard brain will react first. My job is to make sure the lizard does the right thing." You throw a punch at Sailor Mercury, but pull back before you contact her.
  520.  
  521. Sailor Mercury yelps in surprise and brings her arms up to protect her face. If you hadn't been holding back your punch, she wouldn't have covered her face in time.
  522.  
  523. "That's what I mean. You should have dodged, or tried to deflect my punch instead of blocking. However, the lizard didn't know what to do, so it reacted by blocking. It's not the worst response, but it was nowhere near fast enough. Unfortunately, the only way to learn that is to drill. You'll have to practice until this is natural for you. What we can do today is to teach you how to get out of a disadvantageous position and into an advantageous one."
  524.  
  525. Ami nods as you lecture. Taking the role of the student, she listens attentively, trying to absorb the lesson you're giving her.
  526.  
  527. "Seeing how you fight, I think you'd be best off holding back. That way you can attack with your water balls, control your fog, and use your visor to help coordinate the fight, all without having to worry about hand-to-hand combat." A thought of Ami sneaking through her fog like an assassin goes through your mind and you add, "Or at least not for now.
  528.  
  529. "Let's start with some simple one-steps." You catch yourself, "No, we need to go even more basic than that. Basic moves first. Stand in front of me, and mirror me. Bow. Ready position." In time with your commands, you and Mercury bow, then you cross your arms in front of your chest, then bring them down so you're making a roughly O shape with your arms and your hands are at your belt. "Good. Point your left hand to mark your target, right hand to your waist." You point to her with your right, making sure Ami mirrors your properly, and bring your left fist, fingers up, to your waist.
  530.  
  531. "Pull back your left hand, and bring your right forward." Demonstrating in slow motion you comment, "Your fists will rotate, the one punching rotates to be palm down, the one returning rotates to be palm up. Exhale as you punch, you'll end up mirroring where you started." You show her your fists, "Thumb over your fingers so it stays out of the way and you don't break it." Satisfied her fists are correct, your order, "Now, full speed." You punch at full speed and count, "One." Ami copies your move and you continue practicing her punches.
  532.  
  533. Once you're done teaching her how to punch, you also cover high blocks, and how to step while doing high blocks and punches. "Good. Now we can do a one-step. Face me." You get into position and in slow motion start throwing a punch at Mercury's face. "My punch is going high, so step back and do a high block." Sailor Mercury deflects your punch above her head and you comment, "Good, I missed you, and now I'm out of position and can't block. Right punch, left punch, right punch, then open the distance, and prepare a water ball."
  534.  
  535. The bluenette's punches connect with you. It looks like she's holding back her strikes, but with her strength enhanced from her transformation, her punches leave a mark. As you wince from the pain, she takes a few steps back, successfully opening the distance.
  536.  
  537. "How was that?"
  538.  
  539. "Very good. But I'll need to wear protective gear if I'm training you while you're transformed." You touch your chest and heal yourself. The tingling sensation replaces the pain, and then it disappears as well.
  540.  
  541. "Oh? Should I change back to normal?"
  542.  
  543.  
  544. >Yes.
  545. >No.
  546. >Write-in [what?]
  547.  
  548.  
  549.  
  550.  
  551.  
  552. "No, no. Let's keep going. I have a few things for each of us to try. You need to learn how to pull back your punches during practice, but first, I have something I want to try. One more time. Don't be surprised if something's different this time when you hit me."
  553.  
  554. You perform the one-step with Mercury again, but this time you force a buildup of your magical energy in the spots where you expect Mercury to punch you in the chest. You still take the recoil from the attack, but it feels like Mercury punched you with gloves on, and the soreness disappears moments later. "Did that feel any different for you?"
  555.  
  556. The bluenette shakes her head.
  557.  
  558. "One more punch, right here." You point to your sternum.
  559.  
  560. "Are you sure." With a nod from you, she punches you again.
  561.  
  562. You build up your magical energy again and focus closely on what's happening. Sailor Mercury's punch hits you with transformation-empowered force. With your full focus on the point of contact, you feel an instant stab of pain that's immediately wiped away thanks to your healing energy. The secondary damage that would normally lead to a bruise, and its associated soreness takes only a few moments longer to wash away.
  563.  
  564. >It's getting Macross in here because you just unlocked:
  565. >Innate skill: Pinpoint Barrier: focus your healing magic in anticipation of a hit and heal damage as it happens.
  566.  
  567. "Interesting, I'm healing from the strike as it's happening. That'll make practice easier, but don't throw your punches at full strength. Back to practice."
  568.  
  569. You repeat the one step a few more times before bringing up the next thing to try practicing. "That's good for now. I had a few ideas you could try. I was thinking something along the lines of either water armor or ice armor."
  570.  
  571. "I don't know how to do that."
  572.  
  573. "That's why we're practicing. You can make balls of water and your fog is cold, so try shaping your water balls into something resembling armor, then we'll test it out. Afterwards, we can try the ice armor."
  574.  
  575. "OK." Mercury closes her eyes and visibly focuses, creating multiple balls of water in the palms of her hand. Instead of launching the forward, she slowly brings the up in front of her torso. A few of the water balls get too close to each other and merge into larger balls, which cover less area. "That's as good as I can get it."
  576.  
  577. "OK, let's try it out." Getting an affirmative nod from your training partner, you punch her in the stomach, the water barrier doing almost nothing to stop your punch.
  578.  
  579. Sailor Mercury's control over the water breaks down and the water falls down, getting your right arm wet and her entire front.
  580.  
  581. Once more you're treated to a view of her in a wet uniform. You notice that her uniform is slightly damaged where you struck her. "Well, that was a failure. I hope the punch didn't hurt too much."
  582.  
  583. Sailor Mercury tries to wipe the water off of her, but it doesn't really help her when she's this soaked. "Not really. I could feel the force of the impact and it startled me, but it didn't really hurt."
  584.  
  585. Your thoughts turn back to Luna's explanation of how Sailor Moon's uniform works. It feels like it's been years since the black cat explained how Sailor Moon's uniform redirected any damage that the blonde heroine took to her uniform. "You must have the same protection on your uniform as Sailor Moon. It absorbs damage to protect you. I guess that negates the purpose of water armor, although ice armor might still be useful because it'll hurt anyone that tries to attack you."
  586.  
  587. "If you say so." The bluenette doesn't seem fully convinced, but she tries anyways. Like last time, she brings a few balls of water in from of her torso, then fog starts forming near her hands. You can already tells this is impractical due to the time it's going to take to freeze the water, but you let her continue; even if it's not practical to form during combat, it might still have other purposes.
  588.  
  589.  
  590. After a minute, ice crystals start forming on the water balls and on Mercury's outfit. A little later the bluenette drops the water balls on the ground and shivers. "It's too cold." She complains.
  591.  
  592. The cold has made her nipples stand at attention and tent her uniform despite the fact that the fabric is thicker over her breasts to prevent such a thing.
  593.  
  594. "That's alright. We can mark those up as failures. You still have your uniform functioning as armor, so you at least have that level of protection. It's getting late, but we can still do a few drills before we call it a night."
  595.  
  596. "Are you two practicing fighting?" A new voice calls out.
  597.  
  598. You look behind you and see Hyuuga Saki jogging up to you and Mercury.
  599.  
  600. "I forgot my bike when we fought here earlier. That looks fun, but I can't transform without Mai."
  601.  
  602.  
  603. >Not a problem. We're done with the transformation part.
  604. >I'll be sure to give you and Mai a few fighting tips for next time.
  605. >Write-in. [What?]
  606.  
  607.  
  608.  
  609.  
  610.  
  611. "That's not really a problem. I think we've just finished everything I wanted to try with Ami transformed into Sailor Mercury. If both of you girls still have time, then Saki can join in as well. It's getting quite late though, I don't want anyone to worry that the two of you are out late."
  612.  
  613. Saki visibly deflates, "I told my parents I just needed to get my bike. They might get worried if I stay and practice."
  614.  
  615. "I don't think my mom will be at work for all that much longer, but I still..." Ami starts, but she's interrupted by the orange-haired girl.
  616.  
  617. "Then hop on!" Saki interrupts, pointing to the basket of her red and orange bike. "I'll give you a ride and you can make it home before your mom does."
  618.  
  619. "But even if my mom..."
  620.  
  621. "Don't worry. She won't catch you. Plus it's a lot of fun riding in the basket. I used to do it all the time."
  622.  
  623. You're trying to restrain your laughter as the two girls are holding two separate conversations, or at least they would be if Saki would let Ami finish any of her sentences. From your earlier conversation, you can infer Ami was understating how much time she had left until her mom came home. "Go ahead, Ami. Like I said, we're just about done, and you should get to know your new teammate."
  624.  
  625. "I guess it is getting late." Ami agrees and heads towards Saki and her bike. In a brief flash of light she detransforms and is back in her school uniform. The bluenette carefully climbs into the basket and her butt sinks into it. She pays careful attention to her skirt to make sure she's not flashing anyone.
  626.  
  627. As Saki takes off she waves back and yells, "See you!"
  628.  
  629. Ami waves at you, "Goodbye, Tuxedo Kamen."
  630.  
  631. "Bye girls." You watch them ride away and then lean against a tree, reviewing the past day.
  632.  
  633.  
  634.  
  635. End of episode 4.
  636.  
  637. New feature: Standing orders.
  638. Do you have any standing orders you want to give to Tuxedo Kamen? Among other things, this is the flipside to the QTE with Ami's transformation. You guys can plan and give a standing order for that specific situation, or any other well-defined situation.
  639.  
  640.  
  641.  
  642. Vote on an Omake for each episode:
  643.  
  644. Episode 1:
  645. The Wind verses the Wings
  646. Onegai [already seen]
  647. Meteor Shower [already seen]
  648. Catscratch
  649.  
  650. Episode 2:
  651. Fightin' 2: Electric Boogaloo
  652. A Grandmother's Youth
  653. Panty Flash! [already seen]
  654. A Mother's Love [already seen]
  655.  
  656. Episode 3:
  657. The scent of battle
  658. Feuer frei
  659. Douse yourself in water and repent [already seen]
  660. Flashbackflip
  661.  
  662. Episode 4:
  663. Confrontation Averted
  664. When Animals Attack
  665. Dopplegangers
  666. A Tree In My House? It's More Likely Than You Think!
  667.  
  668.  
  669.  
  670.  
  671.  
  672. As you head back from the clearing, you think back to when Ami transformed into Sailor Mercury. You looked straight into the blinding light with predictable results. You think if you might not be able to reinforce your eyes if you find yourself in a repeat of that situation.
  673.  
  674. >Standing order: Reinforce eyes if looking into a magical transformation.
  675.  
  676. The last thing you hear is the whooshing sound of a car going by on the road running paralel to the trail you're on.
  677.  
  678.  
  679. You wake up with that odd combination of lots of energy combined with some slight soreness that you always get after some good exercise. Your mood is good enough that you try not to think about the fact that you don't remember exercising yesterday.
  680.  
  681. As always, you listen to the news as you eat breakfast. The coverage is entirely about the freak incident that happened yesterday involving trees spontaneously growing around the city, and the expected cost of repairing the damage that was done to the city. Meanwhile, the chyron mentions another attack in Europe. Museum Island in Berlin was attacked and countless treasures were stolen; Interpol suspects the same group that attacked the Louvre and the Museum of London.
  682.  
  683. One thing you notice is that all schools, including your university, are closed while everyone deals with the aftermath of the tree incident. That gives you the freedom to do whatever you want today. Thinking about it, you make a list:
  684.  
  685. >Find out when Mikan will be hosting her audition, and see if there aren't any cute girls auditioning that you can try to pick up.
  686. >Go back to Sendai Hill and see what's happening with the buses.
  687. >There's some farmland just outside of the city. Head out for the day and spend it in the countryside, and not worry about all the strange things going on in the city.
  688.  
  689.  
  690.  
  691.  
  692.  
  693. First thing first, you see the missing flowers in the vase on your dining table and you go to your local florist to restock, back to an even dozen. On the way back to your apartment, you decide that investigating the disappearing bus near Sendai hill was the best use of your day today.
  694.  
  695. You add the roses to the vase and head back out of your apartment, but you're still not sure how to proceed. You could take the #66 bus which will take you directly to Sendai hill, but you're still somewhat wary of the hypnotized people you saw on the bus the time before last. On the other hand, you could take the metro to Wakabadai station, which will take you to Verone Academy, and you'll have to walk the last stretch to the site of the disappearing bus.
  696.  
  697. >Take the bus.
  698. >Take the metro.
  699.  
  700.  
  701.  
  702.  
  703.  
  704. For your own peace of mind, you decide to take the metro. You had to have been imagining things with the disappearing bus, but you're positive you weren't imagining the hypnotized customers at the Chanela store and on the bus, so it might just be possible, laws of physics be damned.
  705.  
  706. It's a quick walk to the metro station from your apartment. Due to the disruption caused by yesterday's tree incident, the metro is less packed than usual. However, as the line continues, more and more middle school students in their school uniform of a white shirt, red blazer, and pleated plaid skirt and bow-tie for the girls, and grey or teal slacks and necktie for the boys. They have the Verone Academy emblem on the left breast pocket of the jackets. Either there's a special event happening, or the Academy was not one of the schools that was closed today.
  707.  
  708. As more and more students pack onto the metro, you conclude that school simply hasn't been cancelled for them. You can tell you've reached Wakabadai Station when all of the middle school school students leave the metro like a flood. You let them leave first and head out afterwards, shamelessly enjoying the bare legs of all the young girls wearing short skirts. As you're riding the escalator up, you even glimpse a few upskirt panty-shots of the girls in front of you.
  709.  
  710. When you step out onto the sidewalk, you hear a familiar voice call out, "Nagisa!" Looking ahead, you see Honoka walking with a boy with longer dark brown hair and carrying a bag over his shoulder. You think you've seen him before, you can't put a name to the face, or recall where it was you saw him. The two of them walk up to Honoka and they greet each other. "It's green." The boy points out, and the three of them cross the street following the rest of the students.
  711.  
  712.  
  713. You follow them, staying close enough to hear their conversation, but far enough away so it doesn't look like you're listening in on them. The boy dominates the conversation, talking about soccer club and student council meetings. Honoko helpfully reminds him of the student council meeting dates, and the boy laments having to miss soccer practice for student council; he's the captain, and he doesn't like having to rely on Kimata to cover for him on those days. Nagisa meanwhile is keeping her head down and not participating in the conversation at all.
  714.  
  715.  
  716. Honoka teases the boy about never being able to think of anything else when he has soccer on his mind and giggles at his expense. The boy admits loudly, "Fine, so I'm just a soccer boy." This causes Honoka to giggle some more, and then suddenly stop. Making a big show of thinking about something, Honoka calls out, "Ah!"
  717.  
  718. Nagisa and the boy turn half-way around to look at Honoka, and you slow down so you don't pass them while they're stopped, "Oh that's right, I haven't properly introduced you to each other yet. This is Misumi Nagisa, she's in the same class as me."
  719.  
  720. "N-nice to meet you." Nagisa stammers.
  721.  
  722.  
  723. "And this is..."
  724.  
  725. "Boy's third year, Fujimara Shougo. Pleased to meet you."
  726.  
  727. "Everyone calls him Fujipi, though."
  728.  
  729. "Fujipi?"
  730.  
  731. "Honoka, I told you not to call me that. It's not like I'm still in elementary school." Fujimara replies as you pass the group.
  732.  
  733.  
  734. The bluenette giggles at his protestations. At the same time, another boy Fujimara's age runs up and practically tackles him, "What's up, Fujipi!?"
  735.  
  736. Fujimara stands up straight and yells in the interloper's face. "You too Kimata!"
  737.  
  738. "Why are you already angry in the morning?" The boy with short black hair asks. "Not getting enough calcium, I bet."
  739.  
  740. "Huh?"
  741.  
  742. "You should drink more milk, right Honoka?"
  743.  
  744. Nagisa looks at Honoka and the two boys, unusually quiet and lacking in energy.
  745.  
  746. "But I'm glad I could introduce you and Fujimara, since you've wanted to speak with him for a while, right?"
  747.  
  748.  
  749. "Just a second, Honoka!"
  750.  
  751. Kimata looks at Fujimara and asks, "What's going on?"
  752.  
  753. Fujimara continues looking at Nagisa, "I don't know."
  754.  
  755. You can only image Nagisa's face at the moment, but you're sure she's not happy at the turn of events. She's frozen in place and clenching her fists. Finally, she yells, "I can't believe this!" And you hear footsteps running away behind you.
  756.  
  757. You turn around to see Nagisa running back in the direction she came from, and Honoka running after her yelling, "Nagisa!"
  758.  
  759. Kimata asks, "Did I say something wrong?"
  760.  
  761. "Beats me." Fujimara replies. After looking at the two girls to see if they were coming back, the two of them start heading to school again.
  762.  
  763. You consider following the girls, but you're afraid it'll look strange if people see you chasing a pair of middle school girls. If you walk, on the other hand, you won't be able to keep up. Reluctantly, you accept that there's nothing you can do here. You resume walking once more, rounding a corner before your reach the Verone Academy and head towards Sendai Hill.
  764.  
  765.  
  766. It doesn't take you long to reach the #66 bus route. You walk parellel to the route until you reach the Hikawa Shrine. Like any other Shinto shrine, you're sure they sell a bunch of trinkets, hold ceremonies, and have spaces for you to pray. Most importantly, they usually have shrine maidens that embody traditional Japanese standards of beauty. One of those maidens might even know something about the disappearing bus.
  767.  
  768. Alternately, you could keep going past the bus stop to where you think you remember seeing the disappearing bus and see if you can't find any clues.
  769.  
  770.  
  771. >Go to the shrine.
  772. >Investigate farther along the line.
  773. >Write-in. [What?]
  774.  
  775.  
  776.  
  777.  
  778.  
  779. Investigating the Shrine won't hurt. After all, you have all day today. Heading up the steps to the shrine, you see a group of three girls talking amongst themselves and laughing.
  780.  
  781. "Did your prayer already come true?" The girl with long dark brown hair asks.
  782.  
  783. "What?" The girl with short reddish brown hair looks around and sees you. She blushes and looks away, but doesn't answer her friend's question.
  784.  
  785. "I'd rather have him hitting on me than the old man at the shrine." The girl with short light brown hair adds.
  786.  
  787. You give them a wink and the three of them giggle and continue down the stairs. You could pursue them, but the mystery of the buses has you more enthralled than a trio of cute girls. Instead, you continue to the top of the stairs.
  788.  
  789.  
  790. At the front of the shrine is an altar to make an offering and pray. As you get close to it, an incredibly short old man almost skips over to you, "Ah! What a handsome young man! Wanna work as an assistant priest?" He practically brings his face against your groin as he asks the question.
  791.  
  792.  
  793. "Grandpa! Stop hitting on everybody already!" A sharp voice scolds. You were focusing on the old man and you didn't notice a stunning young woman in a shrine maiden's outfit walk up behind him. Her sharp features match her sharp tone. This is a girl that would never accidentally be called cute, but it's clear that that's not the goal she was trying to attain. Her long black hair stretches past her hips and her violet eyes simultaneously look like they're piercing your soul, and gazing off into the distance. You can only describe her as a classical Japanese beauty; beautiful, hard-working (as you assume from the shrine maiden's outfit), and capable of defending the homestead when her husband is out on campaign.
  794.  
  795. "Oh, Rei." The old man starts to reply.
  796.  
  797. "There are bad rumors about you going around the neighborhood."
  798.  
  799. The old man laughs uncomfortably.
  800.  
  801. Suddenly, a wave of nausea strikes you. "There it is again!" The shrine maiden reaches into her outfit and exclaims. "It must be an evil spirit!"
  802.  
  803. The old man waves his hands excitedly and interrupts, "Stop, Stop! Exorcisms aren't free." In a whisper loud enough for you to hear he adds, "And you hurt the last girl you did this on earlier."
  804.  
  805. Rei pulls her hand out of her outfit without whatever it was she was reaching for and rubbed her head. "You have a point."
  806.  
  807. With that threat resolved, the old man turns his attention back to you, "We sell our ever popular amulets for love. But since you're here, why not draw a fortune slip? We also sell votive paintings of horses for passing entrance exams. Wanna buy one?"
  808.  
  809.  
  810. >A love amulet won't hurt.
  811. >Draw a fortune slip.
  812. >Horse paintings are where it's at.
  813. >Ask if they've heard anything about disappearing busses.
  814. >"You can sense evil spirits?"
  815. >"I felt something a moment ago as well. What was that?"
  816. >Write-in. [What?]
  817.  
  818.  
  819.  
  820.  
  821.  
  822.  
  823. You answer the old man while looking at the shrine maiden. "Actually, a fortune slip sounds good right about now. I don't know what that feeling was just now, but this isn't the first time this week I've had it. You sensed it too, Miss Rei?"
  824.  
  825. The raven-haired girl looks at you in shock. "I did. How did you..."
  826.  
  827. The old man grabs your arm and says, "The fortune slips are this way." He drags you over in the direction of the omikuji. "Come along, Rei."
  828.  
  829. There's a wall of drawers and a metal hexagonal box containing numbered sticks. You pay for your fortune and the old man hands you the hexagonal box. "Shake this." He orders while Rei closes drawer 13 which was open. Next, he and Rei both wave their gohei over the box, blessing you to get the appropriate fortune.
  830.  
  831. You shake the box for a while and then tip it over. Through the small hole at the top, a single stick emerges halfway. Number 49. Rei opens the drawer marked 49 and hands you the slip.
  832.  
  833.  
  834. GOOD LUCK:
  835. You have bright prospects. It is the time to work hard to realize your wishes.
  836.  
  837. You look over the fortune slip and read your fortune.
  838.  
  839. Auspicious events: There will be plenty. However, things could be too good, which may lead to trouble, so beware.
  840.  
  841. Health: You must remain cautious, even when things may seem to be improving.
  842.  
  843. The person you're waiting for: They may have difficulty coming to you.
  844.  
  845. Lost item: It won't be found.
  846.  
  847. Lawsuit: You will win, but you must not get carried away and want more.
  848.  
  849. Residence: It's a good time to build a new house/move houses.
  850.  
  851. Travel: It is a good time, but be careful with theft on your trip.
  852.  
  853. Engagement: Things will go well, but be careful.
  854.  
  855. Business: It is a good time to sell and buy, but not to sell and buy too much.
  856.  
  857. Study: Things look good, but it won't last long without effort. Make sure to keep working hard.
  858.  
  859. Love: Things will go well, even if you ask for more now, but you should stay sincere if you think about the future.
  860.  
  861.  
  862.  
  863.  
  864. Quick time voting interrupt (this is open for everyone to vote, not a quick time event that's restricted to the first person to vote):
  865. >"I already knew I had good luck when I saw a beautiful shrine maiden today, this slip only confirms it."
  866. >Continue with the original plan.
  867. >Say something else. [What?]
  868. >Write-in. [What?]
  869.  
  870.  
  871.  
  872.  
  873.  
  874.  
  875.  
  876. You finish reading your fortune. While the line that you won't find what you're looking for really sticks out at you, the rest of the fortune is very positive. With a wink at the raven-haired beauty, you comment, "I already knew I had good luck when I saw a beautiful shrine maiden today, this slip only confirms it."
  877.  
  878. You can see a brief moment of surprise on her face, but she immediately regains control of her emotions and her eyes gaze deeply into yours. She's not looking at you like a lover, but with careful focus, trying to make clear your intentions.
  879.  
  880. The short old man breaks the silence with a boisterous laugh, surprisingly powerful coming from a man of such small stature, "See! Our love amulets are so powerful that even just being near them will bring you love!"
  881.  
  882. "Grandpa!" She complains and hits the old man with her gohei.
  883.  
  884. The old man covers his head with his arms and cries out, "Oh no! What a cruel granddaughter I have. Who disrespects her elders so!"
  885.  
  886. Rei sighs while you chuckle at the antics.
  887.  
  888. With a mischievous grin he adds, "It's all because your father sends you to an all-girls school. You never learned how to flirt with a handsome boy."
  889.  
  890. The dark haired girl raises her gohei threateningly, this time seriously upset with her grandfather, "Grandpa!"
  891.  
  892. The old man beats a hasty retreat, "Fine, fine. I'll leave the two of you alone."
  893.  
  894. "That's not what I..." She calls out, but her grandfather escapes around a corner before she can finish her sentence. She sighs once more and apologizes, "I'm sorry about my grandfather, he can be such a pig at times."
  895.  
  896. "It's alright. I think he does a very convincing job of playing a perverted old man."
  897.  
  898. "I don't think he's pretending."
  899.  
  900. "Be that as it may, we both felt something earlier." You reply, "It was like a mix of dread and eating food that had gone bad."
  901.  
  902. "There's something strange going on these days." She confides. "My sixth sense and prophecies used to be absolutely accurate, but now, it's all gone haywire. It happened right as people started disappearing on the 6:00 Demon bus."
  903.  
  904. Your thoughts jump back to when you saw a bus drive into a wall and disappear, "What do you mean people are disappearing?"
  905.  
  906. "The police have been keeping everything quite because they thought it was a ransom attempt, but there's no sign of what happened to everyone."
  907.  
  908. You swallow and say, "A few days ago I was walking nearby and I saw a bus drive into a wall and disappear. But it had to have been a dream; that's not something that's possible. No, I blacked out afterwards, and then woke up at home. It had to have been a dream."
  909.  
  910. Rei frowns and asks "Are you trying to imply that this shrine is responsible?"
  911.  
  912. "No, no. Not at all. I don't go around accusing girls of mass kidnapping."
  913.  
  914. She sighs and relaxes. "Sorry for snapping at you. A woman barged in earlier today and blamed me for her daughter's disappearance."
  915.  
  916. "Perfectly understandable."
  917.  
  918.  
  919. >Ask her what school she goes to.
  920. >"But just to be sure, you didn't cause that girl to disappear, right?"
  921. >"What's this sixth sense of yours?"
  922. >"I'll have to look around. I'll let you know if I find anything." Then take your leave.
  923. >Write-in. [What?]
  924.  
  925.  
  926.  
  927.  
  928.  
  929. Continuing, you ask, "What's this sixth sense of yours?"
  930.  
  931. Rei eyes you warily for a bit before replying, "I can catch glimpses of the future, and I can channel that power through flames, especially the sacred flame in this temple, to get better insight."
  932.  
  933. You see her start to wince, mentally prepared to be disbelieved, mocked, or both. You defy her expectations by instead saying, "That's a powerful gift. You should treasure it, though I'm sure it made it hard for you to fit in. It's easy to mistrust what you don't understand."
  934.  
  935. Rei looks at you in a new light, not used to someone both believing her and sympathizing with the ramifications of her abilities.
  936.  
  937. "Plus it's far more interesting than what I can say. A recurring dream of a woman with long hair telling me to find something, but not being able to hear what it is that I'm supposed to find, isn't as exciting as being able to glimpse the future."
  938.  
  939. "You shouldn't discount dreams like that. They're a conduit to the supernatural. With the right practice and meditation, you might be able to learn more. After all, you must have some abilities. You sensed the evil spirit earlier." She misses a beat, shocked at the directness of her fiery retort.
  940.  
  941. "I guess I shouldn't, but it would still be nice to know what it is she wants me to find."
  942.  
  943.  
  944. >"I should leave now, but perhaps you could help me understand my dreams sometime."
  945. >Ask her what school she goes to.
  946. >"But just to be sure, you didn't cause that girl to disappear, right?"
  947. >"I'll have to look around. I'll let you know if I find anything." Then take your leave.
  948. >Write-in. [What?]
  949.  
  950.  
  951. "Anyway, I should leave now, but perhaps you could help me understand my dreams sometime."
  952.  
  953. "Certainly. If we're lucky, we'll also find out what's wrong with my sixth sense."
  954.  
  955. The two of you exchange phone numbers and you take your leave. You walk around the block where the shrine is. Near the shrine is a bus stop, but no one's there. You must have missed the bus. Finishing a lap around the block with nothing particularly out of the ordinary. The disappearing bus is supposed to be the six o'clock bus, and it's not even noon yet. Still, you could go for an early lunch right about now.
  956.  
  957.  
  958. You're nearby the strip mall where Crystal Academy and the Chanela store were, but rather than going there, you decide to head out to in the other direction. It'll take more time to find a place to eat, but odds are that it will be tastier, one of the hidden gems that you can find throughout the city.
  959.  
  960. Sticking to a slow pace, it takes you a while to go anywhere. However, next to a laundromat named White Cleaning, there's a bakery called Pan-Paka-Pan. You grin at the pun and decide it might be worthwhile to check it out. You do a double-take at the balloon floating above the bakery. For a moment, you think this bakery is part of a chain. However, you don't recognize the mascot, and assume that it's just the owners deciding to be a bit weird. That's certainly something you can appreciate.
  961.  
  962.  
  963. As you approach the restaurant, you take a peek at the garden on the side. There, you Honoka, or possibly that girl that looks really similar to her, Mai, drawing something in a sketchbook.
  964.  
  965.  
  966. What do you do?
  967. >Go inside the bakery.
  968. >Talk to Honoka (or is that Mai?)
  969. >Write-in. [What?]
  970.  
  971.  
  972.  
  973.  
  974.  
  975. You approach the bluenette and you realize that this in fact is not Honoka. Her hair is a different shade, and Honoka's interests tend more towards science than art. You stand next to her and try to get her attention. However, she doesn't respond to anything you say. She's completely engrossed in drawing a picture of the scene in front of her.
  976.  
  977.  
  978. What do you do?
  979. >She must be hypnotized. Kiss the girl. [Sha-la-la-la?]
  980. >Shake her to get her attention.
  981. >Grab a seat and wait for her to snap out of it. [At her table or at an adjacent one?]
  982. >Go inside the bakery.
  983. >Write-in. [What?]
  984.  
  985.  
  986.  
  987.  
  988.  
  989. You take a seat at the table next to Honoka's doppelganger so you have a good view of her sketchbook. The half-finished landscape is quite impressive already, and it's mesmerizing to see her work. You don't want to interrupt her, but you have comment of praise ready for once she's done.
  990.  
  991. Before you she's done drawing, you're interrupted by two girls. The more athletic of the two is carrying a table umbrella that can go into the center of the table. Her chubby friend is carrying a bunch of party supplies.
  992.  
  993. The auburn haired girl goes up to you and says, "I'm sorry sir. We don't have any wait staff. You'll have to go inside and place your order. Normally you could eat out here, but these tables ahhhh!" She points at you and drops the umbrella when she gets a good look at your face. "You're that guy from the Chanela store!"
  994.  
  995.  
  996. >"Ah, that's right. We didn't get a chance to introduce ourselves. I'm Chiba Mamoru, who might you be?"
  997. >"You did say thank you last time we met, but how about a thank you kiss?"
  998. >"You did invite me to your parents store, so here I am. Although to be fair, you never did tell me how to get to your parents store, or what it was called, so it's purely a coincidence that I'm here.
  999. >Write-in. [What?]
  1000.  
  1001.  
  1002.  
  1003.  
  1004.  
  1005. You blink twice and ask, "I beg your pardon?"
  1006.  
  1007. "Saki," The chubby girl adds, "Who's that?"
  1008.  
  1009. The auburn haired girl takes her chubby friend aside and says, "Yuuko, could you take the rest of the things out?"
  1010.  
  1011. Yuuko looks at you, then back to Saki, "OK." She heads back to the store, occasionally glancing back at the two of you.
  1012.  
  1013. "Chiba Mamoru." You say as introduction, "And yes, that's right. I snapped you out of that trance at the Chanela store. You ran off before I could get your name, though."
  1014.  
  1015. "Ah! It's Hyuuga Saki."
  1016.  
  1017. "Pleasure to meet you."
  1018.  
  1019. "L-likewise." She stammers, hear earlier excitement gone.
  1020.  
  1021. "So, is this your parents' store?"
  1022.  
  1023. "Mhm. They make the best bread, cake and pastries in town. Please try some."
  1024.  
  1025. "Oh, I certainly will."
  1026.  
  1027.  
  1028. >"Speaking of the Chanela store though, I found out who the other girl that looks like you is."
  1029. >"I'm glad I ran into you though. There's a lot strange things going around town, like how everyone was in a trance in that store, or what happened to the trees yesterday. Have you seen anything else strange going on?"
  1030. >"Do you have recommendations on what I should buy?"
  1031. >Write-in. [What?]
  1032.  
  1033.  
  1034.  
  1035.  
  1036.  
  1037. "I'm glad I ran into you though. There's a lot of strange things going on around town, like how everyone was in a trance in that store, or what happened to the trees yesterday. Have you been safe?"
  1038.  
  1039. "Oh, um, yes." Saki replies, unsure of her words.
  1040.  
  1041. "That doesn't sound too convincing." You state with a raised eyebrow.
  1042.  
  1043. "Uhhhhhh. Mai and I ran into... had some problems because of the trees. But it wasn't anything serious."
  1044.  
  1045.  
  1046. >"OK. I'm trying to investigate all the strange things that are happening around the city. Let me know if you find something."
  1047. >"Speaking of the Chanela store though, I found out who the other girl that looks like you is."
  1048. >"Speaking of breads and pastries, do you have recommendations on what I should buy?"
  1049. >"I'm glad you've been safe. I'm going to buy one of those pastries you so recommended."
  1050. >Point to Mai, "She's just focused, not hypnotized, right?"
  1051. >Point to Mai, "If she's hypnotized, you know how to snap her out of it, right?"
  1052. >Write-in [What?]
  1053.  
  1054.  
  1055.  
  1056.  
  1057.  
  1058. "I'm glad you're safe, but be careful. there have been some strange things going on in town recently and it's making a lot of people nervous. I've been looking into some of them myself, like the rumors about the disappearing buses recently. If you or your friend get into trouble, don't hesitate to run and get help, okay? I'd hate it if anything bad happened to you. On that same note, I did run into that girl who looked a lot like you as well, if you were interested in hearing about it."
  1059.  
  1060. "Oh! You mean Nagisa?"
  1061.  
  1062. You look at her with a raised eyebrow. "I thought you said you didn't know her?"
  1063.  
  1064. "I didn't!" Saki replies defensively, "I met her after the trees were growing like crazy."
  1065.  
  1066. "Of course." You pause and think for effect, looking over at Mai. "Which reminds me, she's just really focused right now, right? Not hypnotized?" With a sly grin, you add. "Because we have a way to fix that if she does get hypnotized, don't we?"
  1067.  
  1068. "What?! No! She's focused on drawing. You don't get to kiss her because of that!"
  1069.  
  1070. Saki clearly didn't take kindly to your joke. You hold your hands up defensively. "OK, OK. If anything happens to her I'll be sure to let you steal her first kiss."
  1071.  
  1072. Saki pouts, realizing that you're teasing her. She's not as upset as she was earlier when she thought you were trying to kiss Mai, but she still doesn't appreciate the teasing.
  1073.  
  1074. You give her a wink, them look towards the bakery. "Anyway, I was thinking of ordering something. What would you recommend?"
  1075.  
  1076. The mention of food snaps Saki out of her funk. "The curry bun is the best!"
  1077.  
  1078. You smile, "With a resounding recommendation like that, I guess I can't go wrong." You stand up and head towards the shop. Yuuko passes by you carrying the rest of the party supplies. Inside, you see a large man behind the counter. He boisterously greets you.
  1079.  
  1080. Without much fanfare, you order a curry bun from him. While doing so, you see Yuuko run back behind the counter and into the kitchen. Take a few bites of the curry bun, you take your leave. Sure enough, the curry bun is delicious. Not exactly enough for lunch, but it'll tide you over.
  1081.  
  1082. You're half done with the bun before you even step outside. As soon as you do, you hear two voices shout, "Dual Spiritual Power!" You see blues and pinks reflected off of the walls of the neighboring buildings, and your head starts to hurt really badly, like in the forest the other day. You cover your head and squeeze, as if trying to relieve the pressure.
  1083.  
  1084.  
  1085. >Just close your eyes. It'll pass soon enough.
  1086. >Grab something to support yourself and straighten up. You don't want people to assume you need help.
  1087.  
  1088.  
  1089.  
  1090.  
  1091.  
  1092. It'll pass. You know it'll pass. You just have to let it pass. You squeeze your brow and close your eyes. If your head would just stop hurting for a moment, but it doesn't. It hurts so bad you feel like you're about to pass out.
  1093.  
  1094.  
  1095. You open your eyes at a new, unfamiliar location. It's some kind of shop, a bakery based off of the sign; Pan-Paka-Pan. Punny. You're alerted by the sound of familiar voices around the corner.
  1096.  
  1097. "The shining golden flower, Cure Bloom!"
  1098. "The sparkling silver wing, Cure Egret!"
  1099. "We are, PreCure!"
  1100. "Those who desecrate the holy fountains..."
  1101. "Stop your cruel behavior!"
  1102.  
  1103. "So, these are the legendary warriors, PreCure. Heh."
  1104.  
  1105. You hear a loud crash around the corner, so you run up to the corner and take a peek.
  1106.  
  1107. A giant flower monster has crashed into the ground, cracking the concrete around it. The tree man that Cures Black and White fought against in the clearing is standing on top of the flower. However, you don't see the Cures anywhere.
  1108.  
  1109.  
  1110. The flower monster shoots out two vines into the air. You follow them, and immediately spot Cure Bloom and Cure Egret. Your encounter with both sets of Cures previously tells you all you need to know. They underestimated their jumping ability and now they're in the air, sitting ducks as they fall in a predicable, ballistic arc.
  1111.  
  1112. There's nothing you can do before the two vines wrap around the girls. The monster pulls on the tendrils and slams first Bloom, and then Egret into the ground. They're able to form a partial shield as they impact against the ground, losing a shoulder petal each.
  1113.  
  1114. "Bloom!" "Egret!" Two voices call out. It must be the strange stuffed animals that live in their cell phones.
  1115.  
  1116. "Heheheha." The tree-man laughs, "I was worried about what these 'legendary warriors' could be like. But if this is the best you can do by yourselves, then I have nothing to worry about. Hand over the two spirits. If you do, I'll let you go."
  1117.  
  1118. "I can't even bear to listen to you." Cure Bloom counters while struggling to stand up. "Bleeeeeeh!" You can only assume she's making a face at the the tree-man. You try to recall his names. You know the Cures mentioned it, but all that's coming to mind is Curry Pan (Curry bread). You know it's wrong, but the name is so strong in your mouth you can even feel the aftertaste of curry.
  1119.  
  1120.  
  1121. What do you do next?
  1122. >Gloating is another word for sitting duck. Rose to the face.
  1123. >Reveal yourself to get the tree-man and flower monster to focus on you and give the girls time to stand up.
  1124. >Climb onto the room, your eventual entrance needs to be more dramatic.
  1125. >Stay a while and listen. You might learn more from the gloating, or spot a better opportunity.
  1126. >Write-in. [What?]
  1127.  
  1128.  
  1129.  
  1130.  
  1131.  
  1132. Your roses weren't particularly effective in fighting the tree man last time, so you pull out your cane and hug the wall, peeking around the corner just enough to see the fight and wait for the right moment to strike. You take a moment to focus on your hearing, seeing if you can perhaps enhance it and be able to listen better to what's happening. You focus on moving your magical power towards your ears, but like when you tried to see through fog, the magical energy just bounces off your ears. Fortunately, it's not needed, the Cures and the tree man are speaking loudly enough for you to overhear.
  1133.  
  1134. "Are you saying you'd throw your life away to protect the Garden of Rainbows?" He taunts the girls.
  1135.  
  1136. "When you say something like that out of the blue, I don't understand what you even mean." Cure Bloom counters.
  1137.  
  1138. This makes her opponent mad and he yells, "Then why are you fighting?"
  1139.  
  1140. Cure Bloom stands up and points straight at Curry Pan, "It's because you made me mad, of course! How DARE you come here and mess up Mai's welcome party? I absolutely cannot forgive you! That's why!"
  1141.  
  1142. Ferocious and spunky is always a fun combination. Egret turns from looking at the tree man to her partner. You can see her move her lips, but it's quiet enough that you don't hear her.
  1143.  
  1144.  
  1145. "Then I'll throw a little welcome party too." The plant monster he's standing on shouts, "Uzainaa!" and swings a large tendril at each of the girls. The girls catch them. They're facing away from you, so you don't see their faces, but it looks like they're struggling to just hold their ground.
  1146.  
  1147.  
  1148. What do you do now?
  1149. >Cane extension into the tree man.
  1150. >Hang tight and see what happens.
  1151. >Climb the roof for a better vantage point.
  1152. >Write-in. [What?]
  1153.  
  1154.  
  1155.  
  1156.  
  1157.  
  1158. The girls are struggling with the tendrils, but not unreasonably so. Still, it might behoove you help them out, and you have a flair for dramatic entrances. The roof of the bakery will do just fine. You take a running start, jump off of a railing and onto the roof. Fortunately, the roof of the bakery is side gabled. So while you're completely visible from the street, you're able to partially hide yourself from the action in the side garden. Scooting up to the edge of the roof, you once again peek at what's happening.
  1159.  
  1160. "Tch. You think you can pick up something this big?" Curry Pan taunts them.
  1161.  
  1162. The Cures don't respond, instead clearly straining against the tendrils, but also appearing to move them. Quickly, they get the upper hand. The two girls run around the plant monster still holding the tendrils. They don't run in a circle to tie up the tendrils, but rather keep running straight behind the plant monster. It's clear that they're going to try to throw it or knock it over.
  1163.  
  1164.  
  1165. What do you do?
  1166. >Let the girls throw the plant monster and see what happens.
  1167. >The moment he loses his footing, cane extend into Curry Pan.
  1168. >Cane extend into Curry Pan now, making the plant monster lighter for the girls to throw.
  1169. >Write-in. [What?]
  1170.  
  1171.  
  1172. You can take your time and wait for just that perfect moment. You move higher up the roof until you reach the ridge, giving yourself something to support yourself against. You ready your cane, aim it at the tree man riding on top of the plant monster and wait.
  1173.  
  1174. The two Cures pull the plant monster's tendrils to the max and stop their feet down as they jerk the plant monster behind them. The girls come to a stop, having transferred their kinetic energy into the plant monster. At that moment, you see Curry Pan lose his footing and you extend your cane as hard and fast as you can.
  1175.  
  1176.  
  1177. >Sneak attack.
  1178.  
  1179. You cane hits him dead center and knocks the wind out of him as the plant monster is flung high into the air. The tree man goes flying as well, but your blow knocked him off of the plant and the two of them go flying in separate directions.
  1180.  
  1181.  
  1182. Cures Bloom and Egret stand frozen in place, their arms held out in front of them for a few seconds. Bloom is the first to act, looking at her own hands. Mai does the same and is the first to find words, "Wow."
  1183.  
  1184. You stand up on the ridge of the roof, one foot on each slope and loudly announce your presence. "Good job girls, and thank you for the opening."
  1185.  
  1186. The girls look at you, but before they can say anyone, another voice shouts, "Hurry and go after them, chopi."
  1187.  
  1188. "You have to defeat the Uzaina to get the Miracle Drop, lapi."
  1189.  
  1190. "But how?" Bloom asks.
  1191.  
  1192. "This time, focus your consciousness into your legs and jump after it, lapi."
  1193.  
  1194. Egret looks up and you and asks, "Tuxedo Kamen, are also going?"
  1195.  
  1196.  
  1197. >"No, I think you girls can handle it, especially with the two of them separated."
  1198. >"I'll see if I can follow you."
  1199. >"No, I should go after that tree man."
  1200. >"I think I'd have to hang onto you two while you jump to do that."
  1201. >Write-in. [What?]
  1202.  
  1203.  
  1204.  
  1205.  
  1206.  
  1207.  
  1208. "No, I trust you girls to handle your adversary now that they're separated. I'll seek out his accomplice." You throw your right hand out to dramatically flare your cape and you jump down to the back garden.
  1209.  
  1210. The two Cures look at each other and nod. They plant their feet forward as if they're lunging and focus. Their legs start glowing and Bloom comments, "T-This time it's our legs..."
  1211.  
  1212. "Jump there in one go, lapi!"
  1213.  
  1214. "Here goes!" The two girls clasp hands. Streams of magic particles are coming out of their legs, almost like clouds forming near the bleeder valves of a cryogenically cooled rocket boosters.
  1215.  
  1216.  
  1217. With a slight nod, they signal that they're ready. They run across the garden, gaining speed. Then, with a hop, a skip, and a magical explosion powered jump, they're launched into the air, roughly following the same course as the uzaina that they had thrown earlier.
  1218.  
  1219. With them gone, you have to decide how to pursue the Tree man.
  1220.  
  1221.  
  1222. >Try to copy the girls and magic overload your legs.
  1223. >Throw your cane and jump on it to ride it like Mercernary Tao.
  1224. >Use your cane to launch youself.
  1225. >Launch yourself with the cane while overloading your legs.
  1226. >Stick to the safer method of travel, by ground.
  1227. >Write-in. [What?]
  1228.  
  1229.  
  1230.  
  1231.  
  1232.  
  1233. You're not sure if you quite have the magical ability or control to copy the sort of magically powered take-off that Cure Bloom and Cure Egret performed. However, you do have a magically extending cane that you can repurpose to perform something that's a cross between a pole vault and a piston shot. You take note of the direction that Curry Pan went flying and find a nice notch in the ground where you can plant your cane. It's not as flexible as a pole vault pole, so you can't store your kinetic energy in the flex of the pole, and you need to be careful to not try to bend your cane in such a way.
  1234.  
  1235. You back up to give yourself as much runway as you can. Taking a breath, you charge ahead, plant your cane, and as soon as you pass the point that your cane is vertical, you push your magic into the cane. Your momentum carries you forward, lowering the angle of your cane, and your little maneuver launches you up and forward. You give a whoop of joy at the fact that this crazy idea worked. You're pitching forward, but your cape serves as a drogue, and you straighten out after a half-turn, flying feet first.
  1236.  
  1237. While flying, you realize you should consider what you're going to do for a landing.
  1238. >Trap defused
  1239.  
  1240.  
  1241. How are you going to land?
  1242. >Write-in. [What?]
  1243.  
  1244.  
  1245.  
  1246.  
  1247.  
  1248. The sound of your cape flapping the wind gives you a crazy idea. You might just be able to turn your cape into something like a wing suit. It's a bit of a pain to reach behind you and grab your cap, but you manage it. Pitching forward to be at a proper gliding angle, you throw your arms our while holding your cape and push your magic into it.
  1249.  
  1250. You feel yourself have some control over your fall. It's not a perfect glide, but it's close enough. Gliding head-first instead of feet first like earlier, you're able to spot the tree man right before he lands. Some quick estimates say that you'll land only about halfway between him and the bakery. Additionally, although you have control of your fall and you're still falling too quickly for a gentle landing. Fortunately, you have an additional idea. You have your pinpoint barrier, and you ready your magical energy to use it.
  1251.  
  1252. When you're close to the ground, you flare your cape to slow down as much as you can, drop your legs, and create a pinpoint barrier in your feet. Your knees buckle from the impact, but much of the force has been absorbed by the barrier. You fall to your knees before coming to a full stop, somewhat surprised that you pulled this off without killing yourself, or even hurting yourself.
  1253.  
  1254. You've landed in a quiet neighborhood, there's a car ahead of you, but it's moving away from you, so you probably haven't been seen. You double check that you are in fact fine, then you try to get a feel for you magic reserves. The use of your magic for the jump, glide, and landing pulled a lot out of you. You try to get a feel for how much. Still not too sure how to fully sense your own magical reserves, you can only get a rough idea. You feel you've burned a quarter or so of your total magical power on this jump. You assume a second one will require the same amount.
  1255.  
  1256.  
  1257. What do you do?
  1258. >Leap again.
  1259. >Leap to the girls instead [This will need a full leap, plus another, smaller, one afterwards]
  1260. >Pursue on foot.
  1261. >Write-in [what?]
  1262.  
  1263.  
  1264.  
  1265.  
  1266.  
  1267. As elated as you are about your successful magic boosted pole vaulting tecnique, it does burn a lot of magic. It's not something you can afford to spend right now. Keeping the general location of the tree man in mind, you set out on foot. It's not as fast as your previous glide, but you run at a sprint, and use your healing ability to constantly restore your muscles, allowing you to maintain that pace indefinitely.
  1268.  
  1269. You burst out of the residential neighborhood and into a rather quiet shopping district. The few people that are out and about give you strange looks, but quickly move out of your way.
  1270.  
  1271.  
  1272. You run down the street, but don't see any sign of the tree man. A shriek behind you grabs your attention and you look behind you. You drop to the ground, barely avoiding being hit by a swarm of angry flying books.
  1273.  
  1274.  
  1275. They pass by over head and loop around you, returning to their source. Curry-pan stands there, and the books circle near him forming a whirlwind. The books fuse and form a giant book monster, "UZAIIIINAAAAA!!" The tree man is standing next to it and shouts, "Your meddling ends here. Prepare yourself!"
  1276.  
  1277. You get into a ready stance to prepare to fight, but out in the open, your at a marked disadvantage.
  1278.  
  1279.  
  1280. What do you do?
  1281. >Attack [Rose, cane, fisticuffs?]
  1282. >Ask a question [what?]
  1283. >Taunt [how?]
  1284. >Flee for cover
  1285. >Write-in [what?]
  1286.  
  1287.  
  1288.  
  1289.  
  1290.  
  1291.  
  1292. You straighten up a little and relax from your fighting stance. Getting your heartbeat under control you let out a crooked smile, "Not quite the way I was hoping to get you aside, but I suppose I'll take what I can get. So, am I to assume you're also after the Garden of Light?"
  1293.  
  1294. "Uzainaaaaaaa!" Curry-pan makes a motion with his hand, and the book monster calms down for a while. Curiously, the motion wasn't in the book monster's line of sight. The control link must be telepathic or something similar. "The Garden of Light doesn't interest me. How about you tell me where the Fountain of the Sun is."
  1295.  
  1296. You've seen the PreCures and Nanoha shoot blasts of magic energy at their opponents. Nanoha might have to use her staff, but the PreCures are able to shoot it out of their hands. It's a long shot, but you start gathering energy in your left hand. Hopefully, you'll figure out how to safely release it.
  1297.  
  1298. You make a show of thinking about it for a bit, "I guess I can get you that information. It's gonna cost you though. I need a hand taking care of a troublesome individual."
  1299.  
  1300. Karehann growls, "You'll tell me the location of the Fountain of the Sun, now!"
  1301.  
  1302. You raise your hands up, "All right, all right." You point at the monster with your left hand, "Just put that thing away so we can talk like civilized individuals." You think, "Shoot! Fire! Launch! Destroy it! Hand Laser! Kill the bad guy beam!" Nothing causes your built up energy to shoot at the book monster.
  1303.  
  1304. Karehann launches two tentacles at you, and wraps them around your torso and starts dragging you towards him. Fortunately, your arms and cape are free of his embrace. "Now!" The tree man yells at you.
  1305.  
  1306. This looks like your last chance before you're in serious trouble, so you're forced to make your move. You stop pulling against the tentacles pulling your forward and instead break into a run. The move is surprising enough that the tentacle connecting you tot he tree man goes slack while he tries to reel it in.
  1307.  
  1308.  
  1309. "Uzainaaaaa!" The book monster points one if its arms at you and starts throwing what looks like spit-wads at you. You grab your cape with your right hand and shield your front. The giant spit-wads hit your hardened cape and slow you down, but your get under the monster's firing arch shortly. You jump trying to punch the book monster between the eyes, but the tentacle line goes taut and you punch the monster in it's butt-chin with your left hand, hoping that the magic improves the power of your punch.
  1310.  
  1311. Your entire left arm past your forearm erupts in a fountain of pain, as if it was stabbed by ten thousand needles simultaneously. The impact causes a blinding flash of light that sears your retinas.
  1312.  
  1313.  
  1314. >Think fast
  1315.  
  1316.  
  1317.  
  1318. >QTE success
  1319.  
  1320. This is just as blinding as when Sailor Mercury transformed right in front of you, perhaps even more so. However, you decide to try reinforcing your eyes. It worked to allow you hear over loud noises, perhaps it will let you see throught bright flashes.
  1321.  
  1322. >Ignore bangs upgraded to Ignore flashbangs.
  1323. >Class skill - Damsel in Distress: Ignore flashbangs: Use your magic reserves to undo the effects of painfully loud noises on your ears and bright lights on your vision. Cures pain, ringing, and blindness from flashes. If the loud noise is continuous, you'll still hear it, but you'll be able to focus on other sounds. If the light source is continuous, you'll still see it, but you'll be able to make out other details as well.
  1324.  
  1325. As soon as your healing magic starts flowing towards your eyes, you can start seeing details, no longer blinded by the bright flash. You look at your left arm, blue needles of magic are shooting out of your arm in every direction. You think of something to do to vent your magic and prevent anything bad from happening to your arm, then the shockwave hits you. Your ears pop from the sudden change in pressure and you're sent flying backwards.
  1326.  
  1327. >Think fast
  1328.  
  1329.  
  1330.  
  1331.  
  1332.  
  1333. You wake up face down in some bushes. Your head hurts far worse than usual when you wake up like this. You have no idea how you got here, wherever here is. At least you can remember your name, Chiba Mamoru. That's more than you can say about some of the other times you've woken up like this.
  1334.  
  1335. You roll to your left to get on your back and you yelp in pain as you put weight on your left arm. You quickly roll on your back to get the weight off your arm and cross your left arm over your chest. You apply pressure on your arm with your right hand, doing anything to get the pain to go away. You breathe deeply and try to think of anything other than the pain.
  1336.  
  1337. The left sleeve of your tuxedo jacket is crusty. You look down the sleeve and see your dress shirt is red with dried blood. That at least explains the pain, even if that only brings up the question of what happened to you.
  1338.  
  1339. You rest for a few more minutes, trying to get the pain to die down, and you consider what do. You're not sure if you need any medical attention, but some pain pills to dull the pain definitely won't hurt. However, it's getting late in the afternoon. You sit up and again take a few minutes for your head to stop hurting. There's a tree in front of you, so you scoot over and lean against it. You recognize the shopping district you're in, and how to get back to the Hikawa Shrine. It's getting late in the afternoon though. You probably still have time to grab some pain pills and make it to where the route 66 bus disappears at 6 o'clock. There's no way to get your arm checked out professionally and still make it. Even just taking off your jacket and dress shirt will be an exercise in patience.
  1340.  
  1341.  
  1342. What do you do?
  1343. >Swallow it up buttercup. Mysteries abound, so check on the disappearing bus, then worry about your injuries later.
  1344. >Step into a drug store along the way and get some ibuprofen so your arm doesn't hurt as much, the go to the spot where the buses disappear.
  1345. >You've got a little bit of privacy here, take your jacket and shirt off and see how bad your arm is. [You'll have to take the bus to make it in time.
  1346. >The disappearing bus might be pressing, but your own well-being is even more so. Go to a clinic and get it checked out. [End the day.]
  1347. >Just go home. This is too much excitement for one day. [End the day.]
  1348. >Write-in. [What?]
  1349.  
  1350.  
  1351. If you decide to go to the shrine, how do you get there?
  1352. >On foot.
  1353. >Bus. [Not the 66 bus.]
  1354.  
  1355.  
  1356.  
  1357.  
  1358.  
  1359. The mystery of the disappearing bus is important, but finding out what happened to your arm is more pressing. You take off your jacket. It takes a few minutes for you to figure out how to bend your arms in such a way that you're not straining your hurt arm too much, but you eventually manage. Your dress shirt is another matter. Since it's tighter than the jacket, it takes more effort for you to peel it off. When you peel it off of your forearm, you feel it ripping the scabs off your arm. You pull the shirt of the rest of the way off and you see you're bleeding from a few places where the scab was ripped off. However, your entire forearm is covered in a criss-crossing network of scabs. You can see your skin in the spaces between the scabs, so at least you know that your skin hasn't be completely ripped off. It's almost like a dog bit your arm countless times, but never actually ripped your flesh out.
  1360.  
  1361. Your arm certainly could be worse, but it could also certainly be better. In the worst case, this might have been caused by rusty metal, or by a mad animal. Tetanus and rabies are both high on your mind. Still, you don't think you could have been hurt this way by rusty metal, unless someone purposefully stabbed you, and a mad animal would have certainly torn your arm apart instead of leaving clean bite holes.
  1362.  
  1363. None of this explains what did happen to you though. You fish out a handkerchief from your inside jacket pocket and press it against your arm to stop the bleeding. There isn't much of a point putting the shirt back on. You'll just put the jacket on over your undershirt. The blood-stained white shirt is going to be trash anyway.
  1364.  
  1365.  
  1366. Anything you want to do before heading off to the shrine?
  1367. >Yes, write-in. [What?]
  1368. >No, grab a bus and go to the shrine.
  1369.  
  1370.  
  1371.  
  1372.  
  1373.  
  1374. You'll probably be able to get the blood out of your jacket, but your dress shirt is a lost cause. You shove it under one of the bushes where you're hiding. Some unfortunate gardener is going to have the misfortune of dealing with it when he finds it. Slowly and carefully, you put your dress jacket back on, careful not to do anything to your scab-covered wounds.
  1375.  
  1376. By the time you're ready to stand up, quite a bit of time has passed. You're going to have to treat your wounds once you're home, but for now, you can try to suffer through the pain while you investigate the mystery of the disappearing buses.
  1377.  
  1378. You get up out of your hiding spot and walking at a sedate pace and head towards a bus stop to double check exactly where you are. The bus will get you close to the Hikawa shrine, and you should have a small buffer of time to find the place where you thought you saw the bus disappear.
  1379.  
  1380. _____________________________
  1381.  
  1382.  
  1383. The ride is uneventful, you're able to avoid any strange looks by sitting on the left side of the bus, so no one is able to get a good look at your bloody sleeve, at least any strange looks because of your arm. You get the usual curious onlookers trying to figure out why you're dressed in formal evening-wear in the afternoon. You get off at the stop nearest the shrine and walk the last few blocks.
  1384.  
  1385. There's already a handful of schoolgirls at the stop outside the shrine. They look spaced out, and you see that some of them are holding some kind of amulet.
  1386.  
  1387.  
  1388. You've got a few minutes remaining. What do you do?
  1389.  
  1390. >Head to the shrine, ask if that amulet is their love amulet
  1391. >Wait at the bus stop near the shrine. [Possibly snag an amulet from one of the girls, yes/no?]
  1392. >Wait at the next block further down so you've got a good view of the stop, but without being in any danger, hopefully.
  1393. >Head further down the line to where you think you saw the bus disappear.
  1394. >Write-in. [What?]
  1395.  
  1396.  
  1397.  
  1398.  
  1399.  
  1400. The tag or amulet that some of the girls have is a clue, but it's not something you can let yourself be distracted with now. If you leave now, you won't see the disappearing bus. However, if the bus really is going to disappear, you don't want to be on it. Since it'd look weird for you to stand at the bus stop, but then not get on it when it arrives, it clearly makes sense for you to park yourself a short distance away.
  1401.  
  1402. You walk further down the street, cross the street to be on the same side of the road as the bus, then cross again to be on the opposite corner, further down the line. You pull out your flip phone and pretend to mess with it, but you're actually paying attention to the bus stop.
  1403.  
  1404. You're getting impatient, but it isn't time for the bus to be here yet, so it's completely irrational of you. You find yourself tapping your foot as you keep checking the time. The line of people waiting for the bus slowly grows.
  1405.  
  1406. 5:57 Two familiar faces join the queue. Moonbunny and Ami. You didn't think about it too much when they were part of the larger group at the playing fields, but now that you see the two of them together, admittedly with Ami also carrying a black cat, you're a bit confused as to how the two of them managed to be friends. You have Usagi, the girl who got a 30% on an English test, and Ami, the literal poster child of the most prestigious cram school in Tokyo. They must have some shared experience that you're not aware of.
  1407.  
  1408. You start brainstorming. They were practicing something together as part of that group. It looked like running and agility drills from what you could see, nothing too informative. Still, Honoka, and her friend, Nagisa, definitely knew more about the strange things happening around you than they tried to let one. Could they have formed some sort of detective club? You chuckle at that, but that might just be something that a group of middle school girls would decide to do. Plus, Honoka and Nagisa did run off after that weird swarm of insects. Then again, there were those three elementary school age girls as well. Were they part of the club as well? Friends? Younger sisters that just had to tag along?
  1409.  
  1410. As humorous as that line of reasoning is, you have to be realistic, probably none of that is true. Honoka or Nagisa probably stumbled on something weird happening, but decided to keep quiet to protect someone. This little detective club idea of yours is probably wrong, and Ami and Usagi have no idea about the disappearing bus.
  1411.  
  1412.  
  1413.  
  1414. You were thinking about this long enough for the bus to show up. It'l be at the bus stop in just a few seconds. Do you warn the duo of the danger they're about to get into, or do you trust them to know what they're doing?
  1415.  
  1416. >Sprint over there and warn then.
  1417. >Leave them alone and observe.
  1418. >Write-in. [What?]
  1419.  
  1420.  
  1421.  
  1422.  
  1423.  
  1424. A pang of conscience tells you that you should warn them off, but not make too big of deal of it. The spaced out girls step on the bus first, slowly shuffle in. You mosey your way back towards the bus stop. You spend a little more time at the intersection than you'd like, but you don't want to make a scene and cross illegally.
  1425.  
  1426. By the time you're on their side of the intersection, you see the last few of the other girls stepping on the bus. You pick up your pace, hoping to get there in time. Ami is looking away from you at Usagi, clearly expecting something from her. Usagi doesn't move, so Ami gets behind her and pushed the blonde girl, saying, "Here, let's go."
  1427.  
  1428. Usagi cries out, "I don't wanna!"
  1429.  
  1430. "Hurry up." The bluenette nags, pushing her towards the door.
  1431.  
  1432. "No, I don't wanna!" She grabs the post with the bus schedules and cries, "I really don't wanna!"
  1433.  
  1434. "Usagi, don't be silly. Let's get on the bus. Come on, be brave now"
  1435.  
  1436. "I don't wanna. I'm scared!"
  1437.  
  1438. They clearly know something is up. That detective club idea might not be as farfetched as you first though. Still, it might not be the best for them to get on a bus that's going to disappear into who knows where.
  1439.  
  1440.  
  1441. What do you do?
  1442. >Just walk past them while their focus is on other things.
  1443. >Turn around and go back to where you were.
  1444. >Pass by and comment, "Probably not a good idea to get on a cursed bus."
  1445. >Get their attention and tease Usagi, "What, are you scared of getting on a bus?"
  1446. >Write-in. [What?]
  1447.  
  1448.  
  1449.  
  1450.  
  1451.  
  1452. You continue walking towards the two girls and cat and say, "What in the world is with all the yelling? Oh, it's dumpling-head causing a scene." You glance at the bus driver who is staring at you unblinking.
  1453.  
  1454. Seemingly forgetting her earlier crying, but with tears still running down her cheeks, Usagi stands up and yells, "I'm not a dumpling head and what kind of idiot goes around wearing a tuxedo without a dress shirt!"
  1455.  
  1456. "Usagi! You shouldn't be mean to him." Ami chides her friend, "Sorry about her."
  1457.  
  1458. The bus driver away as Usagi sticks her tongue out at you.
  1459.  
  1460. You chuckle, "You really are a dumpling head if you're scared of getting a bus. Through all of your commotion, you missed your bus."
  1461.  
  1462. "Am NOT!"
  1463.  
  1464. "Even little kids aren't scared of getting on a bus, right Ami?"
  1465.  
  1466. "That's true." She replies cautiously, "But how do you know my name?"
  1467.  
  1468. "You were all over the posters for the Crystal Academy. You're somewhat of a famous prodigy."
  1469.  
  1470. "Oh. I guess that's..." Ami's mouth drops as she stares over your shoulder at something behind you.
  1471.  
  1472. You turn around, and where you expected to see the bus, you see two. One of them is on the road as you'd expect, the other has lifted off the ground and is flying into a portal. Both have the same marking on the back of the bus, route #66. You have no idea how to even process what's happening. You look at the other driver on the road and pedestrians on the side walk, but no one seems to be paying any attention to the bus flying in the sky and disappearing into a portal.
  1473.  
  1474. Usagi looks at where you and Ami are looking and shouts, "No way! No way!"
  1475.  
  1476. Some people are looking at the tree of you since you're making somewhat of a scene, but then carry about their business.
  1477.  
  1478.  
  1479. >Wh
  1480. >Wh
  1481. >Wha?
  1482.  
  1483.  
  1484.  
  1485.  
  1486.  
  1487. If this was an anime, you're sure you'd be able to form some sort of overly dramatic reaction to the disappearing, and possibly duplicating bus. Instead, you struggle to form words, "Uh... Wha? What happened?"
  1488.  
  1489. Ami starts babbling, "A black hole? Fourth dimensional space? A hole in the magnetic field? What was that?"
  1490.  
  1491.  
  1492. You're the college educated young man here. You've got to have some kind of explanation for this...
  1493. >Right? [What?]
  1494. >lol no. [Do what instead?]
  1495.  
  1496.  
  1497.  
  1498.  
  1499.  
  1500. "I'm not sure what that was, but I'm pretty sure it's dangerous. It'd be best if you didn't take this bus. People have been saying that it's a cursed demon bus and..." You point to where the bus disappeared. "It looks like they're right."
  1501.  
  1502. You make eye contact with Usagi and with Ami, making sure they understood you. Both of them nod. Wait, did the cat just nod nod as well. No, you're just imagining things. Ami probably just bobbed a little while nodding and that made it appear that the cat moved out of the corner of your eye.
  1503.  
  1504. "I think the shock of the disappearing bus is getting to me. It looked like your cat was nodding." The cat looks away from you and rubs against Ami's cheek.
  1505.  
  1506. "That's silly. Cat's don't nod." Usagi counter. "Come on, Ami, let's go." She grabs Ami's free arm and drags her away.
  1507.  
  1508. Ami looks back at you then follows along with her blonde hair. You see her whisper something to Usagi who then looks back at you, but then looks back in the direction she was going when she sees you're still looking at them.
  1509.  
  1510. You wonder what that was about, but the thought does make you feel a little self conscious. You'd like to talk to Rei about how you blacked out again, but that may not be the best idea when your arm is wounded and you're clothes are in disarray.
  1511.  
  1512. Instead, you decide to speak with her tomorrow, and head home for tonight. You've only heard rumors of this bus disappearing, so you feel safe taking another bus home.
  1513.  
  1514. You clean and disinfect your left forearm, wondering what could have caused such a strange wound pattern, and so deep too. You wrap some gauze around it, take some pain medicine and catch up as best you can on homework. Once it's late, you turn in for the night.
  1515.  
  1516.  
  1517. In the morning, you wake up refreshed. It's always a nice feeling when you wake up in your own bed for once. Your day is rather uneventful. KO University has class again today, but with all the disruptions, everyone has been granted an extension on their assignments. Helpful, but you were more or less done with everything anyway. Between professors having been caught unprepared, and lots of students still out from the effects of the tree incident, the work load is very low.
  1518.  
  1519. After classes are out, you decide to make good on your decision to meet up with Rei again, and take the bus to Sendai Hill. You close your eyes, and almost doze off at the back of the bus. Perhaps you can lock down a date for your date with the shrine maiden. You'll want to figure out how to thank her grandfather for practically throwing her at you.
  1520.  
  1521.  
  1522. Some time later, you hear a voice next to you.
  1523.  
  1524. "How many cram schools does Ami-chan have to go to? She doesn't have to go at a time like this."
  1525.  
  1526. "That's OK. You can stay in touch with her with this communicator."
  1527.  
  1528. "This? Isn't it just a watch."
  1529.  
  1530. A cat starts meowing annoyingly and you open your eyes and see who's talking.
  1531.  
  1532. "Eh? What's wrong, Luna?" A certain blonde meatball-head asks.
  1533.  
  1534. "Why are you talking to yourself?"
  1535.  
  1536. "Ahhh! It's you again!"
  1537.  
  1538. "Stop screaming, Miss bun-head. We keep bumping into each other."
  1539.  
  1540. "Are you a high school student?"
  1541.  
  1542. You whip out your student ID card and show it to Usagi, "I'm a college student."
  1543.  
  1544. She reads it out, "Chiba Mamoru, First Year, KO University."
  1545.  
  1546. You put it away and the two of you sit there in silence for a few moments. Finally, Usagi breaks the silence, "So, what do you know about the Demon 6PM bus?"
  1547.  
  1548.  
  1549. What do you know about the 6PM bus?
  1550. >Just that there's supposedly a cursed bus. I didn't believe it until I saw it yesterday.
  1551. >There's been rumors that people are being kidnapped for ransom. The police have been quiet about it to not risk those people's lives. But with what happened yesterday, that's clearly not the case.
  1552. >It managed to disappear like that yesterday, but I don't think anyone but the three of us noticed.
  1553. >I thought I told you stay away from that bus. It's clearly dangerous.
  1554. >I know that you and your little detective club are investigating it.
  1555. >Write-in. [What?]
  1556.  
  1557.  
  1558.  
  1559.  
  1560.  
  1561. "Mostly just the rumors about it. Nothing specific. But did you notice that we were the only ones that noticed it disappear?" You answer.
  1562.  
  1563. "Not really, but Ami did. She told me that after we left."
  1564.  
  1565. You recall Usagi turning around to look at you the day before. That's probably what that was all about.
  1566.  
  1567. "There's been a lot of hypnotized people wandering around, so that could explain why the people one the sidewalk didn't notice anything, but people driving cars couldn't have been hypnotized, so there has to be something strange about it."
  1568.  
  1569. "Does that mean there's something special about you?"
  1570.  
  1571.  
  1572. How do you reply?
  1573.  
  1574. >Nothing really.
  1575. >I have these strange dreams.
  1576. >I have these strange dreams, and I was going to talk to the Shrine Maiden, Rei, about them.
  1577. >Don't you mean something special about us?
  1578. >Don't you mean something special about us? Or do you already know what's special about you and Ami?
  1579. >Write-in. [What?]
  1580.  
  1581.  
  1582.  
  1583.  
  1584.  
  1585. "Don't you mean something special about us?" You counter.
  1586.  
  1587. "Eh?" She opens her eyes wide, "No, no. There's nothing special about..."
  1588.  
  1589. You chuckle a little as the blonde girl doesn't know how to react to your comment. She's pretty cute when she's just being a ditz instead of being aggressive. "I can only speak for myself, but I know I've been having strange dreams lately, and I was going to talk with Rei Hino about them."
  1590.  
  1591. "The shrine maiden?" She asks.
  1592.  
  1593. "That's the one. You know her?"
  1594.  
  1595. "I met her yesterday." Usagi replies, "She's so beautiful." The blonde girl gets this dreamy look on her face.
  1596.  
  1597. "Sounds like you like her."
  1598.  
  1599. "Mhm" She replies unthinkingly, then yells, "No I mean..." Without knowing what to say, she grabs her cat and hides behind her. The cat meows loudly in protest.
  1600.  
  1601. You try not to laugh too much at her antics, but a few chuckles get out anyway. You get up, "This is the stop for the shrine." You exit the bus, hearing Usagi scramble off of it behind you.
  1602.  
  1603.  
  1604. >Wait for her.
  1605. >Head up to the shrine.
  1606. >Write-in. [What?]
  1607.  
  1608.  
  1609.  
  1610.  
  1611.  
  1612.  
  1613. You had a surprisingly pleasant conversation with Usagi, you may as well wait for her.
  1614.  
  1615. "Luna, why did Ami have to have cram school today?" Usagi complains to her cat as she steps off the bus. It's so weird how the girl keeps talking to her cat. You know she's just doing that to have something to say her thoughts out loud to, but it's still strange.
  1616.  
  1617. "Are you also heading up to the shrine?" You ask.
  1618.  
  1619. "Ahh!" Usagi jumps at the sound of your voice. "You're still here."
  1620.  
  1621. "I told you, I'm heading up to the shrine, and a little birdie told me you're here to investigate the bus again with Ami, and seeing as there's still plenty of time before 6, you're either going to go to the shrine, or to the shopping center over there. And I think you're heading up to see Rei as well, right?"
  1622.  
  1623. Usagi bites her lip and nods, "Mhm."
  1624.  
  1625. "Then let's be off." You head to the stairs of the shrine.
  1626.  
  1627. Usagi stands in place for a moment then runs to catch up to you. She asks, "Um, Mamoru, how do you know so much about the demon bus?"
  1628.  
  1629. You turn and look at her without breaking your pace. "I really don't. I heard some rumors about it, then came here to see if it's true. Everything else is just putting pieces together."
  1630.  
  1631. "Oh." She looks like she's mulling a thought over, but doesn't say anything after that.
  1632.  
  1633. The two of you reach the top of the stairs and you see three women in their thirties hassling Rei.
  1634.  
  1635. "I want you to predict Mii's location by using your spiritual powers. I beg of you."
  1636.  
  1637. "My powers aren't as powerful as you think. You should speak with the police."
  1638.  
  1639. "Her child is missing! Wy don't you help her!?"
  1640.  
  1641. "You caused her disappearance, didn't you!?"
  1642.  
  1643. Usagi runs from your side and yells out, "Hey hey hey! How can you accuse this beautiful girl of something like that!?"
  1644.  
  1645. The three woman turn around in surprise. Rei says, "Usagi?"
  1646.  
  1647. "She would never do such a thing!"
  1648.  
  1649. "Where have all the kids gone then?"
  1650.  
  1651. "Well... I wonder where they are too." She replies, the wind gone from her sails.
  1652.  
  1653. "Are you involved in this too!?"
  1654.  
  1655. "N... No. I'm not." Usagi stammers.
  1656.  
  1657.  
  1658. What do you do?
  1659. >Continue spectating, this is some grade A drama.
  1660. >Politely tell the women to leave and talk to the police.
  1661. >Rudely tell the women to leave and talk to the police.
  1662. >Sarcastically tell them that the bus flew into a portal that opened in the sky.
  1663. >Sincerely tell them that the bus flew into a portal that opened in the sky.
  1664. >Write-in. [What?]
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