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“….when did you get here?”

Actual confusion tinged Rei’s voice as Willow saddled up beside her. The blonde perplexed her more than anything else, though she felt the others often found Willow’s antics infuriating. Regardless, she had long since come to be comfortable about her partner’s sudden appearances and the bizarre things she’d say. She didn’t bother correcting her that it wasn’t a few days, that they only just discovered Homura last night. Rei accepted Willow just said weird shit sometimes.

Her actions were even stranger, always feeling off-second in timing. Willow’s hand remained in the air, grasping nothing for a while until Rei finished her intent and helped the pink girl up. Maybe she was seeing things differently in her head, again. Rei wouldn’t put it past her from how her partner winced.

“We do nothing to her. This is our newest sisters in arms! We should give her a good greeting and a welcome clarification to what we actually do around here,” she told Willow after lightly bonking the blonde's head. "No death involved."

Rei smiled at Homura and wrapped an arm around her shoulder. She guided the girl away from the classroom and past her friends whose attention spans probably singed, moving on from the novelty of a new girl to some broader, more boring topic like. Boys. Rei motioned for Willow to take up Homrua from the other side as if they were long last companions guiding the girl back to sanctuary.

“We got off on the wrong foot and I can’t begin to imagine some of the lies those other girls put in your head,” Rei said, referring to the two light thorns in their side. “The Detention Club isn’t evil. We’re not devils who want to blow up the town. We just see things differently. More common sense, I like to think.” Rei glanced at Homura, eagerly expecting a response.

Back in the club room, a Mascot crawled out from the darkness of a desk. Unmoved by Nyxia and Tsubomi’s presence, it rubbed along Suki’s leg before suddenly hopping onto Kiyo’s lap. Its tv screen flickered a :3 before it curled itself. The screen sifted once, twice with static, before cutting off completely into a black screen.

The next day bred much of the same for life in Hibusa Town. The average clutter stock of conversation ran through students quicker than the cold winds of a town firmly rooted in Autumn. Rumors and gossip of seeing the town’s mysterious spirits flit and flicker about the night was a usual topic among Hibusa High’s youth. While the older generation were firmly rooted in their beliefs, the younger wards were more skeptical.

It was probably just funny lights in the sky, aliens even, or maybe even late-night cosplayers too bashful to strut in public. Whatever the case, it was often disregarded with airy light laughter. That’s how Rei perceived it, always airy and light. The school day was as average as any other; she was used to her peers passing off whispers of Magical Girl exploits.

Of course, none of them had knowledge of what they were. None of them could see Magical Girls or Miseria, such forces invisible to the human eye; but the town’s roots in superstition helped to propagate any sort of myth. The day waned, the soft glow that was the afternoon sun beating through cold-tinted windows. Students hung around and talked amongst each other. Some already left for the day and fewer still attended their after-school activities.

She should be doing that, Rei thought. She wasted enough time at her desk, staring out the window for some form of amusement. She rose up and started to pack her bag in a half-full classroom.

The Detention Club. That was their cute little name. In public they were a volunteer club, doing selfless acts for student and citizen alike, gaining a good Samaritan reputation to the rest of the town. But favors didn’t come for cheap. A debt was unconsciously owed for every little kindness their members enacted. A contract of sorts, and when the time came to ask back for such “favors”, the Dark Magical Girls were not hesitant to demand payment back for their kind gifts. In more than one way. Not like normal people ever remembered such things.

That was how they controlled the city, Rei mused. Always from the shadows. For now, she had to smile and wave and give her peers whatever they expected of her. She bowed and passed off farewells in her soft voice, heading for the door. Maybe she was too deep in the act. Or maybe she just wasn’t paying attention. By choice or chance, Rei walked out the door and right into another girl.

There was a shriek and a tumble, a flash of pink fallen to the ground. Rei remained standing and flashed an eyeroll before offering her hand to the fallen. Only then did she notice just who was in her grasp, a fallen Homura. Rei smiled; one eye glinted with happy surprise.

How interesting.

“You don’t say.”

Rei spoke in deadpan or maybe it was sarcasm. Either or, it was evident she was not eating whatever hell dish Suki served up for them. She drew herself away from the purple-coated bowl. Whether she knew Tsubomi was faking her little act was known only to her but in the end, did it even matter? Her partner already fled the scene, departed like a specter as per her namesake. In truth, there were two Reis but she doubted anyone even noticed.

There was she, the true Rei, frowning at the bowl and now Tsubomi; her staring wasn’t exactly subtle anymore. And then there was the illusion, the fragment Willow manifested who sat down at her table next to Yayoi. It said nothing even as the blue Dark Magical Girl prodded her. Then it dissolved away as “Yayoi” popped in a water spasm. Seems Willow wasn’t the only one throwing parlor tricks tonight, the blonde girl long gone with Suki’s abomination chasing yet another illusion.

And that then was the other issue. The monstrous thing summoned by Suki’s unholy cooking. Rei wasn’t sure if Suki’s cooking truly spawned a brand new Miseria or if the dish was so toxic, so nauseous in fumes, that it was playing tricks on the entire Detention Club’s senses. Did it matter? Nyxia was handling the problem anyway, gleefully at that.

“It’s getting late and we still have school tomorrow. I’m calling it a night,” Rei told Tsubomi, getting up from the table. “Enjoy your diet, you’ll have to recommend me whatever recipes you find. I should consider watching my own weight,” she followed up with an empty smile. That should have been the end of it, that should have been her cue to escape and join her partner who was already on the other block gorging on pizza.

But the chef herself came to greet condolences, or something. Oros the Joyful in all her bloody glory graced her with a happy proposition. Rei stared at her, one eye blank and processing just how to react. Maybe she should be annoyed but, in the end, did that even matter? “You know what. Sure, what the hell. Since when do we care about being late to school,” Rei finally said with a renewed grin. She punched in a swift text to Willow to save her slices while Oros transformed back to Suki.

A couple of killed hours hounding Hibusa Town would do wonders on her mood, she was sure. She had nothing better to do anyway and her club had enough power and competence to take care of itself. And if not, Roche could clean the mess leftover by her loving new partner. A brim of excitement sparked from Rei's neck to her fingertips. Maybe that was the cold night weather finally getting to her at last. Or maybe she was just excited to finally meet the new Magical Girl in school tomorrow.

What a strange night.

Rei was no stranger to the effects of Tsubomi’s magic. What appeared as external apathy was in fact emotional drawback as per how her magic worked. It was why Rei figured it best to socialize with the equally stunted girl. Or maybe that was just an excuse to herself to get involved with her own club. The point being, she was happy to let the other girl take her time with responses, mind drifted off to other matters anyway. Like where Kiyo and Shuuko were.

The party was nice, always a treat to see Suki try so hard to please her peers, but the entire setup felt half-finished, near empty without the full club in ensemble. Rei flicked her phone open and stared at the last message. Maybe she should say something, ask if they were alright. Was that considered weak. Maybe. Did she want the effort of extending that small kindness? By luck her blank indecision earned her reward.

Her one eye didn’t blink from Kiyo’s message nearly an hour or so later, showcasing both girls and a vulgar gesture coupled with an equally vulgar text to follow. It took a moment before Rei’s lips curled up and a snicker escaped her lips. Not that Tsubomi heard it, the girl jumping beside her. Rei looked up to Yayoi’s show before glancing at Suki’s partner.

“You’d think she’d know to keep the noise down between her props and her announcements," said Rei. “Then again, who cares about noise complaints when we’re Magical Girls. Rules don’t apply to us. Besides, you don’t need to keep your guard up so much now. I’ll protect you heh.” Rei placed her phone to the side, resting her chin on both her hands, fingers interconnected into one fist.

“Mhrn, I’m not so sure. Knowing Willow she’s probably just making things worse for me in the long run but it’s good to see everyone’s looking out for the noobie.” She considered offering Tsubomi what was left of her soda before the other girl grabbed her own. Rei only shrugged to the topic of their new resident problem, this new light girl. “Eh, don’t worry about it. Truth be told, I compromised myself walking around untransformed. Now Pinkie knows what I look like. It works out since there’s really only one high school in Hibusa and it means she’ll be wary of who I am.”

Rei lazily sipped her soda. Homm-ura. Homura. Not a bad name, and easy enough to remember. In fact, there wouldn’t be many new transfer students in Hibusa High in the last few months, least of all any with pink hair. The seeds of fear were planted; hunting her in the school would be like cornering prey. It was just too easy from here on out-

Rei twitched her eye, something wrong in the air. She noticed a slight pivot of change in everyone’s demeanor followed by Suki’s announcement. The food was ready, fresh and piping hot, but looking at the pot made Rei’s stomach curl. And seeing the actual contents almost made the soda’s sugar in her gut dissolve.

“You, hrm, don’t eat much of Suki’s cooking do you,” Rei guessed to Tsubomi, holding back a hiss as Suki served plates of something purple.

She wasn’t about to potentially poison herself on the good graces of the team’s “chef”. As Nyxia blatantly rebuked the soup slop with open disgust, Rei swiftly sent a private text message to her partner. For Willow’s sake, she better pick up the phone.

“Yeah. I’m not eating this. Let’s just order pizza when no one’s looking.”

Rei wasn’t expecting such a hard change in plans, but here they were, gathered in Suki’s humble abode of a “home”. It didn’t surprise the Detention Club leader; this wasn’t the first time she’d seen Suki’s dwelling. It wasn’t her first time over either. For all her importance in the club and everyone’s willingness to listen to what she said, the others barely acknowledged her presence. Perhaps her word was simply law and that was the end of that, no need to address absolute power. Or maybe they didn’t care. Or maybe they were too wrapped up in their games.

Nyxia’s proclamation certain invoked suspicious activity, culminating between whatever skin-game took place between Roche and Suki. Truthfully, Rei wasn’t paying attention anyway and she wouldn’t fault any of her peers in ignoring her. She spent most of her time and the trek to Suki’s home on her phone. The small screen illuminated her blank face as her one eye read Kiyo’s text message over and over again. Maybe she was searching for something. Or maybe she was bored.

Regardless, she was here now under the dim streetlights that hovered over the picnic tables. It was fitting for Dark Girls like them to converse and have their meals under the cover of night. Despite the cold winds, an aspect that had Rei hike her jacket up further, there was a certain comfort brought with wandering in the dark town. Under the barren trees and away from the nightlife of their small little Hibusa lay a certain iota of peace.

She couldn’t pretend to know how the others felt. She was probably being sentimental.

At being directed to the drinks, Rei wandered over to the first ice chest in her sight. She scanned between the offered beverages, eye resting on the bottles of beer Suki mentioned. She remained still before her hand eventually snatched up a soda, boots carrying her towards a random tree. Just far enough away from the others but close enough to be around if someone needed something.

Suki’s offer effectively released her and Willow of any responsibility in paying for a meal. Rei snapped open her drink top and slowly sipped the burning fluid, wondering if the other girl was being kind or just felt obligated to cook for them. No. It was probably the latter. Dark Magical Girls, after all, were selfish above all else. She lazily scanned the area before noticing Tsubomi, the only other girl whose face could match her own.

“Why don’t you give us some atmosphere,” she told Willow. There wasn’t going to be much entertainment for the night anyway given the group home’s condition. Whether the blonde actually listened or would just tag along with Rei was up to her because the green-haired girl left her tree to saddle up beside Tsubomi.

“You know it’s a party, right?” she said, clinking her soda to Tsubomi’s. “Don’t tell me you’re scared of the new girl. Just cause she doesn’t transform into normal clothes doesn’t mean she’ll bite,” Rei joked, flicking a parting glance at Nyxia. “Wonder what your partner’s making in there. I can’t recall ever eating anything Suki’s cooked.”

She didn’t care if she was just talking to herself.

Return to the rendezvous.

Schrade sent out her second message. In doing so, she inevitably read Evil Eye’s cryptic text right before hers. The Detention Club leader scanned it in silence with her one eye. She’d say nothing if she were around the others and even now, she reacted with little kind. Schrade didn’t reply to the group chat, only closing her phone and pocketing it away.

Despite their failure to bring in the new girl, they did successfully push back their opposites, those fools who aligned themselves in light. Still, it was moreso by sheer numbers and power and less through coordination. A frown slowly settled on Schrade’s face. For girls who worked in pairs of teams, there was a lack of actual teamwork tonight and that needed to be rectified. Thankfully their Code Keeper had a history of working youth into shape. Perhaps everyone needed a fresh training lesson….her stomach growled.

Schrade didn’t move but she was surprised by the noise and with it sprouted a small smirk to her lips once again. It felt surprisingly mundane, human almost. A little reminder that for all her removal from the people she once tried to protect, she still shared basic necessities of life with them. That thought was funny and Schrade let loose another cold sigh. She leapt from the rooftop.

The rendezvous point was of course the start of their night, deep in Hibusa’s heart. Towering buildings surrounded them and Schrade eventually made herself back to the lamppost she initially settled on like a cat lording over all. She took her time, walking through the city like the hooded specter she as. Schrade didn’t expect everyone to make it back immediately but she did expect those close by to linger around. That included her partners, the former and the current. And one was rubbing into the other.

“I hope you realize half of tonight’s meal is coming from you,” Schrade told Willow, nodding towards Mercurial. “Not that you mind, I would think. Only fair given you didn’t slay a single Miseria in sight. And you.” Schrade turned upwards to where she saw Nyxia and an untransformed Earthshaker. “Seems you’re quite the powerful addition to our happy family. Congratulations, you get to choose where we eat~” she told Unstoppable Doom.

Whether Willow secretly told her who the winner was during her trek back or she simply knew it made logical sense that the girl with the bazooka killed the most was hard to say. Regardless, Schrade transformed back into Rei and sent a quick message to the group chat detailing where they would eat tonight. Whatever establishment Nyxia picked, Rei followed along, quiet and with a level expression. She just hoped it wasn’t anything sporadic. The night was too young after all.


“Any time Acid Drop. That’s what club members do after all,” Schrade said as Nonsuch’s hammer rocketed away in sudden propulsion. No doubt back to its master.

Schrade’s empty smirk might have grown wider with amusement in seeing how the other girl reacted. Maybe she did; it was difficult to say so late at night, shadow hiding most of Schrade’s face under her hood. Acid Drop’s blush wasn’t unknown to the observant leader but she said nothing on the matter. Schrade felt a distant tug surrounding her body, pulled by an invisible force. That was no doubt Acid Drop’s magic at work, siphoning the emotions Schrade happily let swell like a great ocean all for the other Dark Magical Girl. Not that she needed it.

The two were separated when Acid Drop finally allowed herself out her grip, even more so when she was distracted by her phone. It was Oros no doubt, Schrade guessed, and judging by the expression Acid Drop wore and the bow she gave, her deductions were correct. Schrade only nodded as Acid Drop departed. “Happy hunting,” she called out to the other girl, followed with a, “Oh, by the way. If that newbie gets too close to the mountains, just forget about it. That’s Kaeru’s territory and I don’t feel like hearing another sappy monolog from her.”

The mountains belonged to the frog and her despicable little shrine. It was much too costly for resources and patience to try a breach there. The idea of a war of attrition with Kaeru simply for one Magical Girl sounded too boring and out of pocket to Schrade. Oh well, it only made the game more interesting, didn’t it? It was a game she always felt guilty playing.

Schrade blended into her dark coat, almost melding into the dark night with the sky’s dusky backdrop behind her. She idly leaned forward against what was left of the roof’s railway, one eye catching what looked like Earthshaker roughing up her new partner. Somehow that new green girl got the idea she was actually needed in this team. The thought was enough to crack Schrade’s smirk even wider, pitched down only as she noticed the residing negativity in the air.

The Miseria were drawing back, slain one by one in thinned numbers until really the only conflicts left were between light and dark. It was the natural result with so many Magical Girls hounding the town tonight. “I guess I’m buying dinner again,” Schrade mused to herself. Well, her and Willow of course. Perhaps she forgot to mention the important detail the contest was a team effort, kills added between team members. Whoops.

Her thoughts were interrupted by the tell-tale screech of Evil Eye’s Mogall. Rather, all of them, all throughout the Hibusa. They rang like the death tolls of a funeral, slowly drowning the town in invisible noise that only Magical Girls heard. Probably. It also meant Evil Eye was in actual danger. Probably. Schrade sighed and flipped out her phone, already typing a mass message in the Detention Club’s group chat.

The Miseria are pulling out so we should too. If no one caught the newbie that’s fine, we can always approach her in school. Let’s wrap things up because I know you’re all hungry.

Schrade looked over the message before clicking send. Whether some girls had phones or not hardly mattered when her intents usually spread like wildfire through word of mouth. “What a terrible night,” she sighed, standing straight under her cloak and directing her one eye up at the moonlight. “Well, maybe not so so bad.” Her gaze led her over to the mountains and she saw two flecks dart up high into the air overhead. That had to be Evil Eye and her pursuer.


I will post tomorrow and start to move us along now that the Miseria are waning down.
Isn't a tattoo just skin-deep? Would those sorts of Emblems not be destroyed if they received like, a cut over there?

Or can Emblems survive a certain amount of damage? Like, say, an earring Emblem can have a crack or two and be bent out of shape, but still not be considered broken?

A tattoo would probably be damaged by something more akin to a cut, yes, rather than washing over it. Since it's a magical tattoo and all. In any case, Emblems can survive damage. They have to be completely destroyed/shattered for them to be considered broken.

Anywho, I'll probably post tomorrow or Wednesday.
Depends on what they are. A pendant can be easily broken compared to Nyxia's big gun. Given alot of people here have tattoos as their Emblems, those would be a bit more difficult to get rid of.
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