Hidden 3 mos ago Post by NiceSpice
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NiceSpice Moderately Nice Spice

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Collab Starter Post between LuckyBlackCat and NiceSpice


The skies had been a fitting overcast for a few days now. Steady, thick clouds rolled on the horizon, dampening the city-scape below. It was evening, the sun had made no appearance all day. Vague shadows swept across the streets, the outline of high-rise buildings, corner shops and transport hubs melded into one grey backdrop. Away from the bustle of downtown, there lay the industrial district. White smoke flooded into the sky from mill chimneys, churning down for the weekday. It was a failing part of town, it’s crime that of fading in the face of modern progress.

It was perfect for Vices.

Workers, minimum of wage and twice as hard pushed to earn it. Bosses with businesses threatening to sink under pressure, and the abandoned warehouses that dotted the area, terminally up for rent. The air hung heavy with the pressure, a looming, distressed shadow that expanded over the district.

“It’s gotta be here. Everything’s so… bleh.”

Wandering the piped walls and dusty paths, a young girl. Perhaps only 14, with twin braids that fell to her shoulder blades like pale straw. She stood so plainly, wide, dark brow eyes sweeping across the urban-scape with misplaced awe, mouth pulled into a slight frown. Haruko, a new Virtue, was about to meet her natural enemies.

Ahead of her, an older teen stood tall. Everything about her contrasted with the dreary grey of the district, from her spangled blue dress that billowed in the breeze, to the six-foot staff in her grip, bearing a moon shape with two golden stars. Stranger still was the orb of light drifting in front of her. Her appearance should have drawn stares from all over, but nobody trudging along their routine paths so much as glanced her way. Such was the effect of magic on the average person's senses.

This was still all relatively new to her, and newer yet to Haruko, the magical girl she guided. Her face oddly solemn considering her particular virtue, the older girl, Aki, nodded. "This way," she said, gesturing with the staff towards an alleyway. With cautious yet purposeful steps, the blonde followed the glowing sphere, then tensed as a shudder of dread ran down her spine. "Careful, this one's tough," she warned, "and we may be dealing with more than one."

This was why so many new recruits were needed, but by helping seek out latent magic to be awakened, was she doing the right thing? Or was she getting people in over their heads? Aki could only hope it was the former. Hope was sometimes all a person had.

Despite the miasma around them, Haruko smiled with certain determination. It was a jarring contrast to the miasma of hopelessness around them, but she knew so much better. It was bad now, it was always bad before the smiles returned. Her fingers curled in tight anticipation. Magical girls, Virtues, would always bring back that happiness.

“Really? How can you tell?”

With much less care than her mentor, the young braided lass skipped after Aki, dressed in almost gaudy citrus yellows and oranges, reminiscent of a court jester—particularly the twin-tailed hat upon her head. For a moment, in the drudgery of the steel and brick walls around them, she thought she glimpsed a cat… black, but with odd highlights on its fur. It had all too quickly scampered away.

Iron bars clanged in the distance, echoing in an abandoned warehouse. The windows had long since been smashed, the roof was unstable and partially caved in, leaking rain-water and who-knew what else into the floors below. Haruko could swear, it was darker inside, despite the damage. It almost looked… smoky and surreal. Her eyes snapped open, a hand soaring past Aki’s shoulder to jab a finger towards the upper levels. A dark silhouette, peering in dismay out the window. Perhaps a man…?

“Look! Look, someone’s up there! Inside!”

It happened so suddenly. A wave of magic, or what felt like it, before Haruko belted forwards, hand braced to her hat to keep it at bay with the sheer speed she could reach. It wasn't inhuman, but it was too fast for her build, particularly when she was hop-skip-jump-tripping over herself during it. At the very least, she was eager to help.

The man at the window didn't notice either of the girls, but the cause of his anguish did. No sooner had Aki raised her head than a pulse of dark magic nearly sent her reeling.

"Stay focused!" Aki commanded, sprinting after Haruko. Her grasp on her weapon, the Celestial Beacon, tightened as she lifted it. At that moment, what looked like a mass of black smoke poured from the window, forming a hooded, vaguely humanoid shape. Purple lights flickered from its torso and its skeletal face, a sure sign that the creature had recently fed, and sought to eliminate anything that stood between itself and its prey.

As it billowed towards the pair, the stars on Aki's staff began to glow. The light intensified to a brilliant white gleam, arcing through the air as the blonde swung the weapon and sent a flurry of shimmering sparks at the Vice. They seared like embers where they hit, wisps of dark mist curling and fading. Writhing, the monster fell back, although its own eerie glow still thrummed strong.

"Heyyy!" came a nearby voice. A figure, human yet displaying animal-like agility, leapt onto a wall and crouched there, grinning. "You're in luck, your backup's arrived just in time!" The third girl jumped down as easily as if she were descending a staircase, a feline tail stretching out behind her to match her fuzzy pointed ears. One wave of her hand, and warmth spread over Aki as a golden aura surrounded her and Haruko.

Aki's stern expression softened into a hint of a smile. "Thanks, Kichi." They needed all the luck they could get. This much became clear not just from the Vice shaking off the attack, but from other, smaller manifestations of the atmosphere's gloom rising up.

She raised the Celestial Beacon again. This was the duty of a magical girl, to ward off despair with hope, darkness with light, vice with virtue.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Thanarosa
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Thanarosa oe3M

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Kasumi stormed out of her school. For the first time since she became a Magical Girl, she was going to hunt. To become stronger, to take a step closer to her goal. The surrounding students quickly made way for the girl, not wanting to be caught on her warpath. She didn't give any indication that she noticed, or cared. Her Keeper had given her a mission. There was a particularly thick presence of Vices somewhere in the industrial district. There was a good chance that others would be there on the scene, her Keeper had explained. It would be a good chance to gauge whether or not she wanted to try and form a team or continue alone. Kasumi spent majority of the train ride in silence, thinking about the upcoming hunt ahead.

Her regular visit to the hospital was cancelled, the doctors were going to attempt another treatment that was doomed to fail. That news didn't bother her as much as it would have before, because now she could do something about her sister's condition. She opened her phone and called a taxi to the industrial district. Her parents were well used to her absences, coming home at midnight wouldn't be a problem. If they hadn't run away yet, like they abandoned Mizuki.

Stepping out of the car, Kasumi was instantly struck with how heavy the atmosphere was. Considering how miserable the place looked, she was surprised that the whole district hadn't turned into one giant Vice blob. Still, she could sense the tingle of magic and other odd noises somewhere to the north east. Perhaps some others had already started the fight, regardless, she quickly transformed and rushed off to the sounds of battle.

Upon arriving, she could see three girls battling with... something. A Vice, probably. She had never actually seen a one before but knew they could take all sorts of shapes. So it could be a particularly ugly magical girl against 3 Vices, but she doubted that was the case. Regardless, it was her time to make a difference. Amidst the excitement, she didn't notice how hard she was clenching her hand, thin streams of blood flowing from the wounds in her palm. A thought later, a dainty rose formed from her bloody palm. A thorn the size of her forearm protruding out of the top, sharp and with a terrible sheen. Now, that took care of first blood, she wanted second blood as well. Aiming at the smaller figures to the side, she leapt into the fray with a knife in her hand and an excited grin on her face.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by blackdragon
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blackdragon An Ass Wiser than Yoda

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Patrolling was awful, simply awful. Midori had no idea which would be worse- the boredom of looking for a Vice, or the nervousness of actually finding one. Still, she was on the hunt. After all, these creatures couldn't be allowed to just run wild and harm people.

Perched on top of a roof in the warehouse district, the newbie spotted a dark and indiscriminate shape moving below her. Just looking at it gave her a wave of terror and despair, and she knew it was a Vice. With a snap of her fingers, Midori transformed and leapt down, swinging her sword in a graceful yet savage slice. "Whatever you are, you're going down!"
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by ERode
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ERode And Others

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Sometimes, despair was found within warehouses, where one slaved away for an undetermined future. Other times, despair was found within parks, despondent thoughts oft crafted upon public benches. Occasionally, unfortunately, they could be found even in the homes of people, a dysfunctional family giving birth to a Vice that preyed on all.

But while those places sprang despair easily enough, nothing symbolized lost dreams more than an amusement park that never got finished. After the company funding the project had declared bankruptcy a couple years past, the landowner had put the place up for sale again, only for the reality to settle in: no one wanted land in the middle of nowhere. And thus, the skeleton of amusement park rides remain, rusting away, bothered only by delinquents wanting to leave their mark on the world and lovers wanting a unique vista to copulate in.

Isolated and quiet. The perfect place for a Vice to grow, to feast.

On the peak of the water slide, an amorphous blob of liquid shadow and bright, long teeth writhed, its sticky hands rubbing together in malice and greed, even as it pressed itself in the hollow of the log-shaped train. It wasn’t hungering, yes, but it certainly was looking for new prey, and to think that more would pop up so soon! Its shapeless form squiggled in instinctual pleasure, ear-shaped shadows forming over its body as it listened to the world around it. Oh, there it was! The distinctive sounds of soft-soled shoes clicking against the tracks, rhythmic and hypnotic as its prey pulled themselves willingly to their end.

Closer, closer, closer, an-

The sifting of the tip of a shoe, the ruffling of skirts being raised.

-d attack!

As the monster ballooned to four times its regular size, long fangs extending out like a porcupine’s spines, it lacked the cognitive ability to realize just how odd this particular victim’s attire was. A long black dress, offset by a pure white apron. Dark brown shoes of a soft leather, crossing each other. Her hair was a glossy jet black, pinned up so not a single strand strayed. Her pale skin made her ghostly in comparison, a phantom of her own. Before the Vice, she curtsied .

“Magical Maid Resolute Anne at your service, Master.”

It was only when she opened her eyes, those chips of unforgiving ice, that the monster realized it had chosen the wrong prey.

Twirling on her toes, the Magical Maid evaded the initial skewering strikes as white fangs dug into the infrastructure around her, before pulling out a rocket launcher from her long skirts. She bent down on one knee, levelled the anachronistically advanced weapon on her slim shoulders, and fired.

A jet of flame burst from one end and a rocket-propelled grenade shot out the other end, smashing into the viscous darkness of the Vice with such force it send the monster flying off into the sky, before exploding in a plume of heat and force.

True to her hairstyle though, not a single strand of hair was displaced by all this.

“I'll leave it to you to finish the rest.”
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Skyswimsky
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Skyswimsky ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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It was awesome. Simply awesome. Even now, she couldn't believe her luck. The girl had always dreamt of something more. Something different. Something better. Something big. To be a hero. And now, here she was. A so-called magical girl. It made her question the world just so much more. Legends of old, fiction on TV. What was real, what wasn't? It was a facet of the world she had never experienced, witnessed, before.

Yet, right now, right here, there was no time to be day-dreaming. Between the monotone grey of buildings that had long lost their innocent glamour - only springing to life at the dead of night with a disgusting dance of neon-colours drenched in drugs, party, and crime - a singular girl was walking down the desolate side-streets.

Despite the depressive atmosphere, even without the oppressive feeling of potential vice, Kyouko Hiruma was in high spirits. She always was. "Say, Fluffy!" She called out to her Keeper who, despite not always visible, seemed to be always around. Kinda creepy now that she thought about it. BUT! It was cute and cuddly enough that she didn't mind. "Can Vices hear us? Me?" Though, before Kyouko got an answer she already went one step further.

"Oy, Mister evil-meanie Vice! Come out, come out, wherever you are! I have... snacks! And cookies! If you hurry there's even some strawberry cake!... Maybe." Technically she had those - all at home. So it wasn't even like she was lying!

But, of course, there was no such luck and Kyouko Hiruma had to keep walking and searching. Maybe if she had been looking for something lost, like a wallet, boredom would have gotten to her. But today was special. Today would be the day she'd beat up her very first Vice! To be a heroic magical magical-girl! It was hard enough to simply not just transform right where she was standing.

...

Continuing on for another 20 or so minutes, mixed with the occasional calling out for said Vice, Kyouko finally struck gold. "Eh..." It resembled a sort-of humanoid shape whose body was constantly waving. Weird, truly weird. "That's it? Right right? That's it!" It had to be it. Without batting an eye, Kyouko tranformed on the spot as she struck a silly heroic pose blatantly stolen from television! "Magical Girl Kyouko Hiruma is here! So stop to fear, and start to... to cheer!" If there was something even better than being a magical-girl, it was to have a magical transformation! And by god did Kyouko love it. Her chestnut brown eyes shone brighter than the stars, and her hair turned white! Friggin white. It was the most anime thing, ever. Only her clothing was a bit 'eh'. All black'n stuff. Buuut considering all the things she had given, she was in no position to complain.

Pointing at the Vice, who seemed awfully docile, Kyouko now called out. "Oy, you're my first hit! So how about you do something and bring some a-a-a-aaaahhh!" While Kyouko was still talking, the vice's arm suddenly shot forward at frightening speed just to- "NEUANFANG!" end up in the same position as it had been seconds before. "Gosh, don't you know it's common sense to let the good-guys, AND the bad-guys, finish monologuing first!?" But wasn't she just the one who animated the Vice to-? Whatever.

"Also I hope I don't have to call out the name of my super-awesome special-power each time I use it...? N-Not that I mind, hmpf." Regardless, the now-white-hair decided she had spent enough time with introduction and, instead, was now about to spring into action!
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by LuckyBlackCat
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LuckyBlackCat Cats Will Rule The World

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Kichi Takada

@NiceSpice @Thanarosa @blackdragon

"Well, the stakes just got higher..." Kichi muttered, leaping to avoid a shadow tendril, landing in a crouch. She'd never seen so many Vices in one place before. Then again, she'd only been on a few other hunts, and considering the location it shouldn't be a surprise. A place where workers ground away like their machines, struggling to keep afloat as those favoured by fate rose to crush them. An atmosphere of defeat, all too much like at home.

Glimpsing the figure at the window, the feline-featured girl sprang back up. "Don't ya worry! Your streak of bad luck breaks here!" In her transformed state, even if she were closer, he wouldn't hear her. At most, as the Keeper had told her, an ordinary human may be vaguely aware of background chatter that they wouldn't give a second thought. Still, calling out bolstered her spirits, and hopefully those of her allies - of whom there were more than she expected.

Kichi spun round as two other girls entered the fray, one running forward in a blur of black, white and purple frills, the other hurtling down like a fiery shooting star. Another wave, and golden outlines appeared around them, as well as Kichi herself. "That'll tip things in our favour!" Her playful grin returned. "Not that we'll need it!"

A set of black knife-like claws sprouted from her fingertips. Pouncing, she lashed with them, catching a smaller Vice just as it tried to dodge. That luck boost was paying off, by the looks of it, but she could already feel the strain.

"Ugh..." As she landed, she faltered. Maybe the blessing on that many people at once hadn't been such a good idea.



Aki Harigae

@NiceSpice @Thanarosa @blackdragon

As the two new arrivals slashed with knife and sword, engaging the main Vice in close combat, Aki let her magic tingle down her arms to light the Celestial Beacon's stars, and swung. Not only did she strike her target, the weapon obliterated a weaker Vice that crept from the shadows towards the girl with the rose-thorn knife. The larger creature recoiled, cloak smouldering, its smaller comrade reduced to fading wisps and a splinter of black crystal on the ground. The extra luck seemed to be the advantage the team needed, but what was it doing to Kichi?

A glance to the side gave Aki the answer. "Hold on, Kichi," she called, drawing on a different kind of power as she prepared to renew the girl's waning strength. Before she could, the Vice surged forward, black fog gushing from its mouth and eye sockets. The substance filled the air until barely a thing could be seen. Stumbling, peering through darkness, Aki yelped as a purple hand shot out, raking claws along her side.

She gritted her teeth. It was probably only because of Kichi's blessing that the wound hadn't been deeper. Even though she could still sense the Vices, she couldn't pinpoint them. Too much stress and pain to focus. Not enough time. She did, however, have one way to tell where they were. A luminous sphere swelled in front of her. "Guide us to nearby Vices," she commanded. Wincing from the movement, she brought her staff down in the direction the orb drifted. A hissing crackle sounded upon impact, that feeling of desolation lifting a little from the area.

Already, the shadow substance began to thin from the lights, revealing shapes that encroached on the team. "I'll clear as much of this as I can," she called, catching glimpses of gold like stars peeking from behind clouds. "And we've got to act quickly, while these auras last."
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Karkinos
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Karkinos enfant terrible

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🍒 V I S C E R A
mitsu, co. — warehouse B
kawamura

Heels and hands against rusted rungs. The ppmf, ppmf of a distant bass line -- otherwise, silence. Two bunny ears pop into frame. With an indignant twitch — “There’s really nothing here.

Karen sleights the pick from cuff to keyhole, cracking into the modular office at the height of the stairs. She tries the dead switch before settling for her eyesight. As enhanced as the mighty superheroine Cherry Bonne-Bonne’s senses are — faster than a speeding bullet, stronger than an ox, etc. — she can just make out the silhouettes of vague and complicated machinery, the sleep-talking of a desktop computer, a manager nameplate, the acridness of hand sanitizer, of printer ink, and of that telltale office smell.

D’you think you can smell evil?

Blink is sprawled casually across a printer, a black wisp against blackness.

How did you get in here? Karen wants to ask; remembering their deal, she wears the accusation on her face. “So this was a waste of time.”

Nuh-uh!” Back arched, “Just ‘cause there aren’t any Vices in here, doesn’t mean they aren’t anywhere.” Bounding to the desk, “This place is too new, anyway. They just cleared it out.

"Pi-ink! I hate doing the ‘cryptic’ thing! Start taking this seriously!

She is scowling still — “What do you mean ‘take it seriously?’” — but, as she’s custom to, it is an halfhearted effort. It is with detachment, adding glaze to the smoky-blue of her eyes. Adding a sway to her stance. Adding distraction, fiddling with the white tie of her henshin. Karen says, “I want to do this, believe me. It’s just hard to get motivated—”

( Mmmalways is. )

“—we’ve been searching long enough already; there hasn’t been a sign—”

Maybe you’re looking for the wrong sign! Like, it’s hard to see darkness, but what penetrates darkness?

I’ve said too much.” Blink’s cloud of a tail curls over his feet, that smug, straightened-up mentor facade.

Anyway, you kinda got your bunny butt handed to you the first time. This is as much a breather as you can afford, really. Make it a learning experience.”

The carbuncle paddles the air, mid-stretch, as Karen eyes his silhouette, stands far from relaxed in the peaceful abandonment of the warehouse. The only accompaniment she has is in the building strings of that non-effacing backing music, thrumming in the back of her mind, active now and for every transformation hereafter. “I’m not getting any better sitting around,” she musters, her attention elsewhere. The strings are building, building.

What’s close?

The office has one window, built into a shared wall with the complex. Peering from the second story, Karen can survey the neighboring buildings and alleyways from a safe distance. The brick building to her left is one of busted-through windows with a roof of cracked glass, something dark and clouding and occasionally surging with ephemeral light like storm clouds bearing lightning.

Bingo,” comes Blink’s smug voice from beside her. Next, “Hrrk—!” Karen drives her hands into the carbuncle’s scruff, lifts him up, shakes him like a glow stick. He is suddenly raving, rippling, writhing with bio-luminescence, a show of cyans and neon-greens, so bright the Virtue must shield her eyes before she can summon a mirror angled outside between the two buildings. It catches Blink’s light.

A rippling beam cuts through Warehouse A. Vices caught underneath begin to smoke and snarl.

On whom the spotlight lands: a head of fire cast emerald green. The girl bears a katana wreathed in smoulder. She is lashing out at a circle of obscured, clawed hands. Blasts of light, unaffiliated, mean she’s not alone regarding allies. Yet, regarding enemies, she is very much outnumbered; the storm cloud dances on.

Karen is stricken — the girl looks young; she’s in a uniform — and starts panicking. What do I do, what do I do?”

Nngh! Put me down…?

She almost shakes him again, but who would she be to turn down the bloom on a dying tree that was a Keeper’s help? With Blink back on the desktop — “You better keep that up,” — Karen reaches out to the girl with the sword. Should she apologize? Or is she doing her a favor? Nevertheless, the spell is targeted. It is slow and it is exacting, heavy with their many feet apart, heavy as the inevitable, impending migraine. But nonetheless, even as the seconds stretch and she fears that she’ll lose sight of the girl-on-fire, Karen never questions this stubborn exigency to prove herself.

The distant chorus breaks and — snap
K A R E N U E T S U K I
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by DrowsyPangolin
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DrowsyPangolin

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Sugano Chinami

@Skyswimsky

The streets were… very grey. The sky was also grey. In fact, the entire day was more or less drenched in a consistent veil of dreary grey. Nevertheless, Chinami was not one to be deterred. She had become a Magical Girl, and Magical Girls were meant to hunt Vices! To tell the truth, she was kind of quietly excited to see a Vice for the first time. Sure, they were amalgamations of evil and suffering, but they had to be interest things to study, and she was sure she could work some studying in mid-fight… or rather, she would, if there were any Vices to be found.

The Keeper had assured her that this would be the place to look. It made sense, after all, this was the bad part of town, the type of place her grandparents had warned her many times about wandering into. At the time, those warnings had been mostly pointless. She basically spent all of her free time at the beach or the aquarium, wandering the mean streets wasn’t exactly a favorite pastime. But such places were where Vices showed up, or at least that’s what the Keeper had said, places full of hurt and negativity. Those feelings were certainly in no short supply here. Dread permeated the air, and the weight of it made Chinami nervous… or it had for the first two hours. Now she was more concerned at the prospect that this whole search had been pointless.

“Mister Keeper, are you sure I’m in the right spot? Is there maybe something I should look for, or-”

The sound of a very enthusiastic voice echoed out from a nearby alleyway. Chinami was shocked for a moment, but dashed forward, carefully peeking around the corner of a worn and graffiti-laden building. As she stuck her head into the alley, she saw an energetic girl with bright white hair and… some sort of wriggly shadow person?

“Oh… there it is.”

Chinami pulled her head back around the corner, taking a deep breath before gently tapping the koi-shaped charm on her bracelet. The tiny rose gold ornament rang out with a smooth, clear chime, and a swirl of glimmering bubbles swirled around her. In the next moment, her school uniform was replaced by a poofy gown of soft burgundy satin. Her hair had grown several inches in the span of about two seconds, and swirled around her head like black ribbons, seemingly free of the bounds of gravity. She lept out from around the corner, daintily floating to the ground a few feet behind her white-haired compatriot.

“Don’t worry. Magical Girl Su… uh, Chinam… Magical… Girl… Fishbones? Is um, here to help!”

Chinami gave a very unconfident thumbs-up to the other Magical Girl, feeling more than a little disappointed in her introduction. She raised a hand, waving her fingers through the air in a delicate, deliberate motion as they began to glow.


Protosphyraena!


Two large, skeletal fish appeared in poofs of shimmering bubbles, one on either side of Chinami. They were each almost three meters in length, with long bills protruding from their skulls. They looked something like swordfish, swimming gracefully through the air.


“G-get em, guys!”


Bones rattled as the twin fishes jetted forward, crisscrossing one another before meeting in a point at the Vice, seeking to administer justice in the form of a two-pronged fishy impalement.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by blackdragon
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blackdragon An Ass Wiser than Yoda

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All right, let's do this! The largest Vice had fully taken form, looking something like an oversized armadillo with a dozen deadly claws, but Midori was ready and raring to go. She casually blocked one strike, then spun away from a second attack. Slicing a smaller vice to shreds, Midori backflipped away to get some distance. A golden glow appeared around her, and she felt even stronger and faster than before. Midori smiled at the other girl and her... spell? ability? She still wasn't sure on the terminology. "Thanks for that!" she called.

Midori cupped her hands, feeling the power of a truly massive Fiery Blast charging up within her. Then, something went horribly wrong with the whole operation. As she got ready to unleash her attack, she felt herself get yanked through a portal, ending up in some unfamiliar office. The ball of flame sailed right past another magical girl, probably scaring the everloving bejeezus out of her, and continued on to level quite a few cubicles before fizzling out. "Oh, fuck."

@Karkinos
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Epsir
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Epsir

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Ikeda Setsuna

@ERode

Night was falling fast. The dim light of the defeated sun bled through the horizon, radiance gobbled up by the overcast sky and the long, dark shadows of the city. The changing of realms. In many traditions twilight was a moment of weakness between the waking world and the next. Mankind feared the coming dark. Uncertainty hid creatures of the imagination, the demons of the past, the bogeymen that preyed on fear. They were wrong to be afraid. The monsters of their own design cared little for the real world, the Vices that plagued their souls clung to them no matter where they passed.

Not so for the true children of twilight, the stalwart defenders of that fragile innocence like herself. The day belonged to the enemy, when she had to attend to her real life and maintain the illusion of normality. The night was theirs, their hunting time. The sun fell, the people closed their eyes, and their resolute guardians emerged to protect the dream of their sheltered world. Night was the time to realize the false life that had come to define her. Ikeda Setsuna was a creature that exterminated Vices. Real lives were lost on her success and failure. She had soared to the heights of victory, and witnessed the carnage, the human cost of defeat. Not like a real warrior; her case would not be resolved or redeemed by her death. Others paid for her shortcomings, and for that reason, it was upon her soul to do her duty and do it well.

Black loafers clacked along the rusted steel, her breathing ragged. She flung her arms before her, set into a dead sprint. A maintenance access, a scaffold for a decommissioning that had never quite gone through. Plywood and sheet metal echoed underfoot, the dull beat of her advance radiating from the makeshift tunnel's mouth as Setsuna ran uphill. A cab for the Ferris wheel sat, haloed in sodium lights, ahead of her.

"Bulwark, engaging!"

Her hand rose to her ear, snatching the speck of diamond hanging there and throwing it ahead of her. A burst of blue light spilled from the end of the tunnel, etching bizarre underlit shadows across the Ferris wheel's face. She strode through hovering sigils before her, glyphs of arcane light holdings her limbs back while a new reality stretched across her slender frame. A black jacket pillowed behind her, her blazer tightened down to a harnessed dress of gallant blue. Her fist reached for the horizon, towards the hovering glint of her diamond. Icey light expanded under her fingertips, her scabbard growing from a ripple on its surface. Her fist clenched around the sheathed blade, mana crystal dangling from it after she clipped to her hip.

The magical girl blew free of the tunnel, speed redoubling as her transformed body adjusted to its enhanced performance. She was running late. In the distance the maid was marching confidently up the long-dried waterslide, right up to the foul creature they had stalked to this forgotten place. It awakened, swelling grotesquely, lashing out with its ivory fangs. Setsuna leapt into the latticework of steel above her, boots kicking freely from one beam to the next. The central hinges of the dilapidated amusement creaked as she streaked from the bottom to the top.

Her ascent matched the Vice's meteoric rise towards the firmament, its own trail of rocket motor exhaust culminating in the deafening bang of the weapon's detonation. Pieces of rocket casing scattered by the charge sailed overhead as Setsuna's boots landed on the roof of one of the topmost cars on the monster's side. The suspension shuddered ominously, the wheel almost budging against its safeties as she came down. Dust showered the ground below as she took a single stride forward and launched herself with all of her strength into the void.

Heeding the Maid's request, Setsuna would answer the call. Her sleek body of black and blue flew at the Vice. Long spires of white shot from its body, staining themselves red as they lashed out at any approaching movement. Spines raked across her limbs, grazing her flesh. It wasn't enough to stop her. Setsuna's hand fell to her waist, knuckles clenched white and hidden behind black gloves as her fingers wrapped her sword's hilt. Blood trickled into her grip, only to be cast away. The magical girl's body contorted, muscles flexing and sudden motion shedding away the bloodstains. Her arm threw forward, steel withdrawn from shadow. The sword's edge blurred into a jagged crescent, the impression of shape blurred away by practiced speed. With a vicious, heavy swipe, she drove into the Vice. Magicked metal bit in, crackling against its strange physiology as the honed edge sought to shear it in two. The surrounding air hissed with the passage of a sharpened front, and after a fleeting moment of closeness she passed the Vice by.

Her momentum carried her into a spin, thin trails of blood splattering the pavement crimson below her as she landed soundly on the concrete. Residue from the creature's viscous body sizzled threateningly on her blade. With a cock of her arm she sloughed it off onto a nearby wall to steam and sizzle. Striking a stony face the magical swordsman rounded, facing what became of the Vice to witness their handiwork and to find the composed silhouette of the other hunter.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Skyswimsky
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"...eh?" Suddenly, just as Kyouko was about to spring into action, another Magical Girl appeared in the scene! Fluffy had told her there were others, but seeing one other than herself for the first time was nonetheless surprising. Like being told about dragons and witnessing one! Regardless, this one clearly had to work on her dynamic entrance stuff! If anything, the girl struck Kyouko more of being an adorable little sister that needed all the protection than an independent strong fighter of Justice that banished all evil.

"...eh?" Kyouko repeated, dumbfounded, as Magical Girl Fishbones conjured two fishy-skeleton-thingamajigs that promptly shot forward to make quick work of the Vice. Just like that. A single attack was all that needed before the humanoid shape gave grotesque screech, collapsed into itself, and left a crystallized fragment of, well, magic!

"Huh..." Kyouko murmured to herself. "Kinda anti-climatic." She concluded at first, before truly understanding what happened. Her first Vice, a vile monster of evilness she had searched for since hours, simply taken by someone else! Just like that! "YOU!" Kyouko pointed her finger at the fishy newcomer. "That... that was supposed to be my first! And you... you just took it." Kyouko didn't really sound, or was, angry, just a bit shocked.

"Aehm..." Pretty much regaining her composure and stopping pointing at the other, the Magical Girl of Perseverance now smiled - grinned, in fact. "Yes, yes. That thing was way too weak for I, Kyouko, anyway. Only the toughest for the bestest, as they say!" She nodded a few times as if to make a point.

"YOU!" She shortly pointed at Fishbones again before getting closer, her eyes nearly sparkling. "Hey, hey, you're a magical girl, too? Right? Right! Of course you are!" Clasping the others hand into her own, she continued. "Ohmygoshthatsprettyawesomeweregoingtobethebestestfriendslikeever!"

Releasing Fishbone's hand, Kyouko made a small jump into the air. "Success!" Before, finally, taking it a notch down and offering a normal hand-shake with a broad smile. "I am Kyouko Hiruma, the one and only!" It was way past her own Dynamic Entrance.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by NiceSpice
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“NICE, Kichi!~”

Haruko’s voice bellowed, and in it was every fibre of her inexperience. There was no concern, or even self-preservation. No, her grin was wide, eyes matching manically. As smog poured from this hive of desolate horror, Haruko rubbed her hands together hastily, before the resounding ‘clap’ echoed through the smoke. It was a simple action, but it heralded her only, truly useful ability as a new magical girl.

Just in time, too. Her poor mentor was sustaining some injury!

“YAHOOOOOOO!”

The second, the literal second that Aki’s beacon revealed the congregation, the shifting forms of their enemies, Haruko leapt on them like a startled frog. Why would she do something so reckless? Partially because it was Haruko, mostly because of the glimmering, yellow constructs of magic that eclipsed her fingertips. Claw-like, similar to Kichi’s and yet undeniably smaller and much gaudier. Of course, using them was a different story. Haruko simply swung her arms like a fool, mentally debating if she should use them to stab or strike, opting for the latter.

This lack of expertise cost her a barrel-roll away from the smoke, a large puff of it sending her hurdling backwards onto the floor.

Down, but never out. Within seconds she was almost literally flying back towards her prey, a burst of her own magic heralding it. Haruko’s second most useful ability, speed. Yes, she hopped, jumped, skipped and limped while using it, but there was purpose here. She wanted that scoundrel of smoke and misery down for the count. A few hissing, serpentine noises heralded Haruko’s clipping of a lesser Vice, and with the force she was flailing around at, perhaps a lucky strike at that!

“Quick is my middle name! I won’t let’cha down!”

B O O M

Haruko froze. Something flew past her, straight into her victim Vice. It’s skeletal ‘face’ became clear, twisting in a horrific scream as a hole had materialised in its head, the wound inversely sucking the creature into a swirl of nothingness. Just a simple, dark crystal left behind.

“A h . . .”

She slowly, slowly turned to Aki, white with shock, her face said it all.

Was that... was that YOU, Aki?
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Thanarosa
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Danger. A foreboding sense of dead washed over Kasumi as she strikes towards a Vice. Turning around, she just catches a glimpse of a shadow over her becoming undone by a burst of light. Too slow. She was too slow, and too weak. Once again, she had to rely on others when they weren't enough. She needed to be faster, stronger, more than human. It was why she became a magical girl after all. Looking at the rose in her hand, the petals shimmered. She ripped out a pinch and swallowed them, the crystals turning back into liquid. Instantly, she felt a surge of power. The small exertion she felt from running and fighting melted away, and left only conviction. She would kill them all.

Her stance shifted, knife slipping into a reverse grip. She charged forward recklessly, emboldened by the fire in her lungs. Her slashes and stabs turned into vicious tears and lunges. What little semblance of technique she had quickly discarded for all out offense. As she dove in and out of the mob of shadows, wounds gradually made their way onto her. Small, insignificant cuts and scrapes at first, but quickly turned into slashes and gouges. After a few skirmishes, she dove out of the fray. The adrenaline had started to wear off slightly, and she could feel a small, pulsing ache throughout her body. Taking a small moment to look over herself, she was was covered in scratches, cuts and blood was flowing freely. Logically, she knew it was time to take a small breather and find a way to recover and mend herself. But then she looked at everyone else. They were battling the shadows, slicing them to ribbons, magic flying through the air, slivers of dark crystals littering the ground. They too, had been granted the power of the Keepers, the power to make things right. Taking a shuddering breath, she grabbed the remaining petals and took a bite. Staggering to her feet, she gripped the once beautiful rose tightly and dove into the chaos once more.
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by LuckyBlackCat
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Kichi Takada

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As more of the murk cleared, Kichi grinned at the sight of Haruko flailing with claws like her own.

"Pest-catching's what we cats do best!" she shouted, steadying herself and slashing at a lesser Vice. Every movement felt like she'd been fighting for much longer, but maybe with all of them working together, this would be easy after all...

Just as she threw her weight into another blow, the aura winked out. "Oh crap..." Missing her target, she toppled, her claws lodging into a wooden fence as she landed. Instantly, she ended the spell, the weapons disappearing. At a chill behind her, she scrabbled just in time to face the creature - which hissed and fell, sliced in half by the rose-knife wielder in berserker mode. "Whew, thanks!" she called, although she didn't know if the girl would even hear her in that state.

Just then, the air heated up, light flaring. The remaining smog cleared to reveal the main Vice imploding into a spiral of darkness, which crystallised into a jet-black fragment on the ground. "Wow, whoever did that, impressive move ther-"

Kichi winced as the fireball demolished part of a nearby, thankfully abandoned building. Maybe that move had been a little too impressive.



Aki Harigae

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Just like that, the last few Vices were taken down, the team not unscathed but victorious. "Well, that takes care of that." Aki glanced from the largest crystal to the wrecked office block, a slight frown creasing her forehead. "Although I wonder what people are going to make of this."

She turned her gaze towards the upper storey of the warehouse. Sure enough, the man stared at the other building, withdrew from the window, and a few moments later hurried through the doors past the group. Even though magical girls and Vices went unnoticed by most people, that kind of aftermath wouldn't. The important thing, though, was that they'd succeeded. They'd saved him.

"This wasn't my doing," Aki told Haruko, picking up the gem, "so this should go to the one who earned it." As she scanned the team, cold shock gripped her. First at the state of the rose wielder, skin torn to ribbons, then at the realisation that they were a magical girl short.

Ignoring her own injury, she rushed towards the group. "I'm sorry I can't do more," she said, resting the Celestial Beacon against the wounded fighter's shoulder and sending forth an energy pulse, "but it'll help with fatigue at least." Once she'd done the same to the others, she turned to a new arrival on the scene, a pink-haired girl with bunny ears and a maid outfit. This girl had to have only just joined them - Aki was sure she'd have spotted someone so distinctive looking, even with all combatants partially obscured. Maybe she knew where the swordswoman was.

"Ah, hello." Aki bowed in greeting. "I was wondering, there was a red-haired girl here just now... Would you know where she went, and if she's alright?" She summoned the orb of light again, in case a search was needed, as she resisted the urge to lean on her staff. Revitalising everyone had taken its toll on her, but the rest of the team had enough to worry about.
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Karkinos
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mitsu, co. — warehouse A
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A spotlight of isolated source, of inimitable emerald color against the russet walls and abandoned dark. She stood at a leggy five-five, hair askew post-movement. A free hand smartened her bangs. The other arm squeezed a smoldering skull.

"She's safe" — short, sweet, stoic. Until the Vice remnant gave in, bursting into rivets of smoke and violet flame before it could hit the ground — Karen, withdrawn, unharmed, but reduced to belting coughs and paroxysms as she doubled over and flapped at the air.

The other girls seemed in a likewise poor condition, in some cases worse.

From the neighboring warehouse building, Blink's effervescence clicked off, returning Building A to all its dingy mundanity — ignoring the hole scorched in its side. Karen, suddenly conscious of how intrusive she seemed, swaggered sequestered, even from the girl who approached her, a girl running with fabric and nicety, fringed with stars, armed with an arcane staff — altogether angelic, she couldn't deny, and magical as opposed to, well, herself. Karen's embarrassment came crashing onto her; she couldn't have felt more out-of-place unless these tights were fishnet.

Opting to the greatest extent of etiquette she could finesse in a flattering bow. "I apologize for my sudden appearance. The girl I swapped positions with is safe in a neighboring building."

"I'm Uetsuki. I'm... new to Vice-hunting. But I'm not a liability. If you have a plan... I can support you." There was no foul in honesty, here. Karen cracked a nervous smile. "If there are any more Vices here. To tell you the truth, I think your group has most of the firepower already."
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by NiceSpice
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HARUKO SONADA

A huge grin spread from ear to ear, fists curled and held to her chest in restrained defiance. Sweet victory, she thought, which quickly soured to bitter sweet as she glanced around at the aftermath. The buildings, frankly, she didn’t care about. She was in that blissful age where -someone- would fix it, easy peasy. The girls, however, were a different story. They couldn’t wander up to a hospital and explain this, could they?

Dropping onto her behind, arms splayed behind her to keep her from altogether laying back on the floor, a noise of discontentment escaped her lips.

“Aki, noooo! We fought hard for that—just ‘cause someone hit it last doesn’t mean they earned it!”

If she had the energy left from her crazed flailing, Haruko certainly would have dog-piled Aki for the crystal. It had to go to one of those present, as in, inside the damn building! How unfair! Of course, with the attention span nearing goldfish levels, a girl in… to Hakuro’s mind, a bunny-maid outfit, had captured her.

Her attire was much less flashy and childish, compared to the citrus tones of fools-attire that graced the young Haruko. Throwing herself back onto her feet, dusting off the frilling trimmings of her dress, a hand was thrown forwards. Covered in dust and debris from her actions.

“Nice to meet’cha! I’m Haruko, new too! We can be learning buddies!”

Run, RUN.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Kumiko Suzuki

Down the barrel, 3 girls rimmed with the black lines of a cross-hair. One lazy, dull green eye blinked slowly while watching them. 3, now 4 when that bright yellow offence of a jester stood up from the floor. The dot of a cross-hair fell slowly, so deliberately to the crystal in Aki’s possession. It inspired a slight frown. Pulling away from the rifle and standing upright from the crouching behind an abandoned office window, her presence may have been felt. She was a bit away, but magic was an unmistakable thing. She left the building as silently as she had crept into it, taking extra large footsteps at the door. Once she passed them, metal jaws snapped uselessly from the bottom of the door frames, before fading into nothing.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by LuckyBlackCat
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Aki Harigae

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Aki couldn't help giving a little smile at Haruko's unrelenting energy, before her eyes shifted back to the newcomer. "It's alright, nothing to apologise for. My name is Harigae Aki," she told her, then gestured to the kimono-clad brunette. "And this is Takada Kichi."

As she waited for the others to introduce themselves, her expression settled once more into seriousness. She let the orb, no longer needed, fade. If she focused, she could pick up on a presence radiating from inside an office block. It was a relief to learn that the ember-wreathed girl was safe, although that left the question of why the switch had been needed. Had she gotten into trouble? Was she injured? Considering how tough the battle had been - much more so than expected - Aki didn't want to imagine, but needed to know.

"The girl you switched places with... She isn't hurt, is she?" After a glance at her comrades, she added, "Speaking of people being hurt, is there a healer around?"



Kichi Takada

@NiceSpice @Thanarosa @Karkinos

Refreshed by Aki's magic, Kichi skipped closer to where she, Uetsuki and Haruko stood. "No need to worry!" Smiling over at Haruko, she swept her hand to indicate the crystal slivers gleaming on the ground, smaller but numerous. "There are more than enough spoils to go round!" She turned to the wounded girl, attempting to reassure her. "And one of the great things about being a magical girl is we recover pretty fast."

A tingle of magic, followed by a snapping sound, caught her attention. Not dark magic, thankfully, but a presence that felt like the rest of the team. The source stepped out of a nearby building, a brunette in deer-stalking attire, with a rifle at her belt. "Ohh! A stealth fighter, huh?" Kichi drew nearer, eyes wide. "Nice, did you help us out just now?"
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by ERode
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A severing stroke, and the Vice collapsed onto itself, a dying star imploding into a black hole. With a rattling screech, it turned into nothing more than a small, black gem. Against modern weaponry and magical relics, the creature had stood no chance of survival.
“Pleasure as always, Bulwark,” Anne spoke, dropping elegantly onto the ground. When circumstances required it, her footsteps clacked in the officious manner of a maid that needed to be heard, but more often than that, the Magical Maid operated in graceful silence. “The spoils are yours to claim.”

Storing her grenade launcher under her skirt, she closed her eyes briefly, breathing in the scents of the night and sensing the magical energies dispersed through the abandoned park, before shaking her head slightly. No other Vices nearby, for worse. It would be nice if the monsters that preyed on human weakness emerged more often in isolated locales rather than populated metropolises, but then again, Vices weren’t nice, were they? Drawing upon her magic power once more, Anne drew a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow out from the aether next, as smoothly as ever. She opened the passenger side door, and bowed slightly, motioning the swordbearing magical girl inside.

“Shall we continue the hunt, or call it a night?”
@Epsir
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Thanarosa
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Before Kasumi knew it, the battle was over. It was a short, brutal affair. The rose in her hand had completely wilted from the abuse and strain, she unceremoniously threw it aside. Completely unlike the fights from the shows of her youth, so far along ago. She and Mizuki always watched that show together every Saturday morning... what was it called again? She was suddenly jostled out of her recollection as a white haired girl tapped a staff against her shoulder. She flinched back reflexively and almost lashing out, but she managed to stop herself. A surge of energy, different from before flowed through her. It didn't do anything for the pain, which was reaching searing levels, but it helped. The comforting warmth brought her back, and as everyone else began to talk about things, she faded away from the world.

A warm summer day, the scent of pollen thick in the air. Soft, gentle arms wrapped around her as they both gazed into the sky. Cloudy, yet still bright and oddly tranquil despite the noise. No words, just content relaxation and the doomed hope that the moment would last forever. Her worries melted away, all those insignificant little things as the two sisters stared at the sky and watched the world go by. Hands clasped together, a soft, faint light growing from the palm of her hands. Snapping back into reality, she looked down at her hands and let out a small gasp as a pulse of violet light came forth. She watched as her flesh knitted itself back together, yet despite the grotesqueness of the act, she felt no pain. Instead, there was the faint feeling of knowing everything would be alright, unyielding but not harsh. Once the sensation passed, it occurred to her that she should introduce herself.

"You should be polite to everyone! Even if you just met them."

Standing a little straighter, she turned to the two girls and said, "My name is Yonaga Kasumi, it is nice to meet you all. Thank you for the assistance in the fight." Not exactly the most stellar greeting in the world, but it would have to do for now. It had been a long time since she had needed to greet someone politely, rusty memories of etiquette training trying to remember it all. After her greeting, she gave a quick glance around and truly took in the destruction the battle caused. Giving a polite, nervous smile, she started again, "Should we be start leaving now? I can't imagine this place will be as empty after all the noise from the battle"
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by DrowsyPangolin
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Sugano Chinami


Chinami stared blankly for a moment. Was it always this easy? She had expected Vices to be terrifying monsters! She found the truth, somehow, disappointing. Still, the reality of the situation dazed her for a moment. She was really a Magical Girl. She was out here fighting monsters, even if those monsters were slightly less terrifying than expected.

In her deep, blank-faced contemplation, Chinami almost didn’t notice that the other Magical Girl was talking to her. This changed dramatically, however, when the white-haired girl pointed her finger in her face, exclaiming with a seemingly endless supply of energy. Chinami looked utterly surprised, raising her hands in surrender.


“I… um… I’m sorry, I just didn’t expect it to just, you know, stand there… I really wasn’t trying to take it from you or anything, honest, really it was kind of an accident, I’m pretty new at this whole thing and uh-”


Suddenly, the white-haired girl’s demeanor changed. Chinami was thankful that she wasn’t being accused, but was a bit outmaneuvered by the girl’s level of energy. Nodding and smiling a small, confused smile, Chinami nodded along, doing her best to keep up.

“Oh, yes, I’m a Magic-”

The girl, who introduced herself as Kyouko Hiruma, had clearly perfected the art of an introduction. Chinami was stunned, and, truthfully, somewhat envious. She reached her hand out from beneath her floppy sleeve with a wide, warm smile.

“I’m glad to meet you Kyouko! My name is Chinami! Sugano Chinami! I’m really lucky to have run into you. Like I said, I’m still really new to this whole Magical Girl thing, and I don’t think I get it all yet, but you seem to be a natural!”

Chinami beamed as her fishy accomplices swished through the air behind her.

A glint caught Chinami’s eye. She pointed a finger toward the magical crystal fragment lying where the Vice had been.

“Am um, am I supposed to take that?”

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