Haruto smiled as the duo agreed to the proposal. A gentle, caring smile like Sora had known up to that point... or at least, that's what it should have been. To Wolf, who didn't know Haruto before this, it looked different. It had malice behind it, like the smile of a hunter as he approached the sprung trap he'd laid out beforehand. Haruto raised up his Avatar, narrowed his eyes and said: "Open."
"Rui? Is everything alright?"
Rui jumped a little when she heard her mother's voice from the other side of the door. "Did you have a fight?" she continued to question and Rui was at a loss for words. Rui's mother wanted to open the door, but because she was sitting in front of it, couldn't make much progress. When her mother protested, Rui quickly shot up to her feet and opened it up for her.
"Sorry, mom! I... I yelled at Sora," she sheepishly admitted.
"I see... well, as long as he doesn't interfere with your studies it's fine. I'll give him a talking to when he gets back home," her mother replied.
"No, don't! It's my fault, you shouldn't- wait, huh? Did Sora leave the house?"
"Hm? Oh, yes, I suppose. I didn't really notice him earlier, but he ran down the hall and out of the door before your father could tell him to be quiet..."
Rui's face went pale. "No way..." she muttered. Rui's mother noticed the card on the floor and asked about it, reminding Rui she could be studying instead of playing games. Rui grit her teeth as she picked Lumia up off the floor as she was told to. "...I'm sorry, mom. I'm going after Sora," she said to her mother, running past her into the entryway and putting on her outdoor shoes. Rui's father and mother were close behind her, chastising her for wanting to leave so suddenly and telling her to stay put. She repeated "Sorry, but I'm worried about him!" to them before running out the house to go look for her brother.
Sora and Haruto found themselves in an entirely new place. The air was cold and pierced through their clothing like they wore nothing at all. The space was illuminated, but the light was gloomy and dyed everything a slight shade of grey. Black little snowflakes fell all around, but they disintegrated as soon as they touched anything else. Each boy stood on their own platform, a fancifully designed table floating in front of them. The platforms themselves were partially submerged inside of a thick mist that covered the entire field, coloured in the same shade as the main colour of their decks. Haruto's was Red, but all of that wasn't the strangest thing about the situation. On the tables in front of them, dead in the center, was each person's Avatar. The cards weren't just lying face-up; no, the people themselves were standing proudly, in the flesh and blood, on top of the now-empty art box. Wolf was a lot smaller now compared to when Sora saw him inside his own memories. Once both players got their bearings on the situation, seven black cards appeared behind them. Inside the centre of two of them, for Sora, appeared a small golden coin. For Haruto, however, four were lit up.
"Sacchi, let's proceed like usual." Haruto flatly stated, hovering his hand over the pile of cards in front of him. One of them floated from the top of the deck and joined five others already laid out in front of him. "Colour charge," he continued.
"Leave it to me, Haru~!" Sacchi said back to him, striking a cute pose before reaching out his hand. The red mist from below gathered in his hand and focused at a front point in the table, collecting into a small ball.
"Two attackers, level 1 and level 0." Haruto proceeded in monotone, two cards lifting up and placing themselves next to Sacchi on the table. "Go ahead, Sora." he said. Haruto didn't explain any of what he'd just done, which had to have been a mistake, right? But even if Sora asked, all Haruto would do was coolly stare back at him, saying nothing as he waited on Sora to play his turn.