"You're a Commander, aren't you?"
Rui, at the town square, was stopped dead in her tracks when she heard a voice call out from behind her. She turned around, finding the source to be a girl around her age, or maybe just a little younger. Rui raised up Lumia's card to show it to her would-be challenger. "Mhm. I've been looking for some others."
she said. The slightly younger girl had a confident grin on her face, but Rui's was placid. Rui followed the other girl, out of the public's sight. They found themselves standing in a small side street not many people pass through."Open."
A thick fog set in around the two girls, obscuring their surroundings. No sooner than it had arrived was it gone again, the duo transported to the battlefield. A sea of yellow mist was continuously shifting below Rui's feet, some of it making it onto her platform and tickling her leg."So it's this place again..."
Rui muttered to herself. When she went to look for Sora, Rui was made to watch from the sidelines. Now she stood on her own platform. The girl was almost indifferent as she calmly looked around, eyes lazily scanning from one end to the next. Rui's two coins appeared above her head, three for her opponent. Somehow, in this battlefield, Rui felt at ease. The reason why... she just couldn't place it. She turned her head down to the table in front of her. There, for the first time, she saw her Avatar in their own body. Lumia was standing proudly, outside of the card Rui always carried around. Rui gave her a soft smile and said: "Lumia. Can I count on you?"
Lumia turned hear head over her shoulder and smiled back. "Leave it to me!"
was all the confirmation needed between the two of them. The hands of the massive clock above their heads turned to yellow, signifying Rui got the head start.
After her Color Charge, Rui wasted no time in calling forth an attacker. The turn passed to her opponent, who's own attacker forced Rui to reveal a card in her hand. As the battle went on, Rui's hand and deck were slowly chipped away at. Her cards were shaved off one at a time. Rui's situation looked desperate at a glance, but in actuality none of the cards discarded were hindering her plans. Rui remained calm and managed to easily play through it, even turning around the effects on her opponent's head with a well-timed Trap card.
"W-what's wrong with this girl?" Rui's opponent nervously began to murmur. "I've been doing nothing but attacking her this whole time, but she remains so calm...!"
"She's... looking past us," the girl's Avatar, draped in a cleric's robe, chimed in. "It's like we're not even on her mind...""Cherub's effect lets me use two yellow to set Angel's Strike back from the Trash onto the field,"
Rui calmly ignored the duo. She set up her counter to their strategies, ensuring her own safety. Rui looked up from her board. "You've won before, right?"
she suddenly asked of her opponent.
"What's it to you?" the girl bit back at Rui. Their Avatar worriedly looked up to her Commander."What kind of opponent were they?"
Lumia looked back to Rui, who didn't answer her. The face of the opponent on the other side of the field darkened.
"That's not your business," their answer sounded, "and you should be more worried about yourself. You only have-""...two coins. And my brother only one."
Rui interrupted and finished the opponent's sentence for her. "Someone took advantage of him in his first battle. He trusted that person, yet they betrayed that trust..."
she mused to herself. "One of us risks losing something precious each time we enter this field... my brother, me and you..."
Rui threw her head back and looked up, being met with the endless black void up above. "Back then, I was really angry about that. But somehow... now that I'm here, none of that seems to matter to me."
Rui's opponent was unnerved by her. But it wasn't just them: Lumia, too, could feel something was wrong. She didn't want to say anything, but the musing Rui had something cold and unfeeling in her eyes. They were like that Haruto's
eyes. Lumia turned back and put her gaze towards the floor. "I think... we'll win in just two turns, Nee-chan,"
she told her commander, focusing back on the battle to get her mind off of the situation. Rui moved her gaze down again to look at Lumia and paused. She closed her eyes."...No. It's over by the next one,"
she said with absolute certainty.
"Aren't you confident?" the girl on the other side snippily said back. She shored up her defenses, seemingly an attempt to avoid Rui's prediction. When the next turn came around, Rui only briefly looked at her drawn cards."I think I understand it a little now..."
she whispered under her breath, "what it means to fight for a wish."
Rui raised up her head and threw forward her hand. "I'm using two Incantations: Colour boost and Heaven's Gate. The first gives me another Colour to use this turn... the second sends your field to the Trash."
Rui's yellow colour gathered and spiralled together, up and away from her table. Its collective light pierced through the three cards on the other girl's field. "N-No... you didn't have those cards earlier! They weren't in your life, or your hand...""...Nee-chan drew them,"
Lumia answered in Rui's stead. She closed her eyes for a little while. 'It's like she said. It'll be over now. But she couldn't have known that she'd draw Heaven's Gate...'
Lumia pondered to herself."You have a wish worth fighting for, right?"
Rui asked her opponent. "What is it?"
The other girl went quiet. "That's... not your business," she curtly replied."I... guess not. Full attack."
Rui shuffled along the road back home, one hand holding Lumia and the other her now-three coins. Lumia was fast asleep, exhausted after the ordeal. Even if Rui wanted to talk to Lumia, her voice would never reach the Avatar. Even so, Rui whispered "Thank you."
Rui looked back at her three coins. She watched one of the other girl's turn black before her eyes, which meant Rui must have taken a memory of hers. It left her conflicted, but she didn't have a choice. Everyone was fighting for something, but Rui still didn't know about anyone's wish. The only ones she knew about were hers, and..."Sora?"
she muttered to herself when she thought to hear a familiar voice. There, on the other side of the road, was her brother. Rui stood still for a second, frozen with both Lumia and her coins in hand. Sora seemed to have noticed her at the same time she had him, since the boy was staring at her equally puzzled. Rui closed her palm so the coins would vanish and rushed on over to him with a smile. She was closer to their house than he was, but Rui didn't care too much- she just ran right past it."Sora! I thought you'd be home already... no, nevermind that! I went to the card shop, like I said. I put aside the ones I think your deck could maybe use! Here, let me look through my bag for you..."
she excitedly began to share with him. Instead of waiting to show them to him inside, Rui eagerly started rummaging through her bag to find the cards she'd bought for the two of them.