Selector Quintet ; A Wish, Crossing

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Shadow and Truth
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Anything that actually has, you know, a good plot. I prefer RPs with fantastical elements, however, so generally, a bit of fantasy goes a long way.

~Monday, April 6~
~Sakurashin Secondary, Auditorium~

The entrance ceremony, as always was the type of affair that would bore any student who wasn’t a freshman to tears. The sky outside was a dull, cloudy gray, fitting the exhaustive atmosphere that emanated from the crowd of students standing attention. Like an army, they were segregated by grade, dressed in those ugly brown winter uniforms that made them look like orderly lines of poop. Though a few of them were relieved that they had actually managed to pass their grade, the majority were ambivalent. It was just another entrance ceremony out of the many they would attend, until they could finally graduate and move on to bigger things.

Scarier things.

Despite the fact that the entire student body, consisting of students anywhere from just out of elementary school to a single year until post-secondary studies, was present, only the center of the auditorium was full. It wasn’t that the room itself was large, just that the amount of students was low, as befitting of a secondary school out in the boonies. Japan’s birth rates, despite the best efforts of harem-raising magical girls and boys all around the country, was declining, and it only made sense that every year, the amount of first years dwindled. Now, there was but a smattering of fresh-face, big-eyed, kawaii kouhai who had their eyes on the elegant visage of the raven-haired Mabi, the gray light filtering from the clouds only serving to enhance the mature image that she exuded. As the student council member, only of only three in that organization, stepped away to give way to the principal’s final address, the sound of rain could be heard, splattering against the high windows.

At first, it was but a soft pitter-patter, like all spring rains. But as the gray-haired woman stood up, walking towards the podium, the raindrops struck down harder, mimicking her heavy steps. A monsoon was whipping itself into a frenzy, powerful winds caused the window panes to shudder and quake. With all eyes on her, the principal took in a deep, grave breath, and then…forced a smile.

Lightning struck, highlighting the lines of her face as she said, “It is with my deepest regrets and my fondest memories that I announce that next year, Sakurashin Secondary will be closed due to low enrollment rates. Though I admit that this is a sudden, and perhaps, shocking, piece of news for many of you gathered here, I urge you all not to worry too much about what your future may hold. Each one of you is a wonderful student, with a bright mind and unique talents. Use this final year of yours to make good memories, try new things, and, above all, have fun.”

She bowed, dipping her head down just enough they could see the crown of her head.

“Thank you for a time, and may you enjoy this coming year.”

The roaring thunder drowned out the sounds of the students, as the storm truly began.
Homeroom was muted, as even teachers no longer felt like putting on a happy face at the sight of this news. Even they had not known about it, that they’d be losing their jobs in a single year, and would soon be back on the streets as only a substitute teacher. The atmosphere had turned from exhaustive to stifling, most students simply going through the motions of a normal day. They chatted with their friends, complained about the weather, and ignored the reality that, in one year’s time, they would be going to a school different from where their parents graduated from.

The wooden desks, their lacquer shine dulled from constant use, stood lonesomely in an emptying classroom, as the students filed out in small, close groups. Few had anticipated the rain and, for the time being, the hallways was a hangout for those who had nothing better to do than kill time. Clubs hadn’t started yet, and ultimately…was there a point in joining a team that wouldn’t be there the next year?

False merriment echoed hollowly against the plastered walls of Sakurashin Secondary, as the rain continued on and on and on and…

“Let’s start this day with a hearty greeting, alright? Good morning!”

A cheerful voice broke out through the static-y PA system, silencing the students with its genuine excitement.

“Now, I’m sure everyone’s feeling down in the dumps because our school is closing, but didn’t you hear? Grandma wants us all to have fun and go wild! So what the hell are you all doing, loitering around like that?”

A familiar voice chastised their inactivity, mocking them in the way that only a friend could.

“So, here I am, sitting on my ass, and personally, I’ve decided that the Hero Club is going national! Let’s go form a Selector team and get to the Nationals! And if no one else does it, then I’ll do it by myself!”

An ambitious voice, unashamed of the difficulties of such a dream, rang out through the rain, casting it aside.

“If any of your heroes feel like doing something crazy, come up to the rooftop already. Because the world is what you make of it, and I intend to keep it pleasantly sunny, with an occasional breeze! Get over here and let’s get a legend started!”

And then, almost as an afterthought, the chirpy voice mentioned, “Oh, and if we get famous enough, it’ll probably have the same effect as popular school idols would on a school. Just saying~”

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The announcement came as a surprise to Toshi, but a glance around the mostly empty gymnasium dulled the feeling in a moment. As he rose with the other students in class J-3 after the principal’s speech and left the room, his classmates’ chatter faded against the pitter patter of falling rain.

While not horribly bothered by it, the muted feeling to their homeroom was somewhat depressing if Toshi were to be honest. It was somewhat sad that the old building would have to shut its doors, that sensei would have to find work elsewhere, but his main grievance with the shutdown would be the annoyance of having to commute long hours back and forth from the city just for an education. There was still a year to worry about that though and he let the concern drift to the back of his mind as homeroom came to an end.

As his classmates escaped the dreary atmosphere of the room Toshi contented himself with leaning back on his chair and spinning a pen idly. The upcoming school year, if the last hour had been any indication, didn’t seem like it’d be a lively or fun one.

Was it bad that the thought hadn’t held for more than moment before being shattered? Toshi didn’t really know, but he let the chair drop back onto its four legs as palpable enthusiasm filled the air. ‘Since when did we have a Hero Club?’ came to mind, but was immediately rationalized with, ‘Probably since she declared it...’

As the old PA system cut off with a burst of static, Toshi slumped onto the desk and ran a hand through his hair. Now this was quite the dilemma wasn’t it? Well not really since given the options available in today’s world and society, this was certainly a suitably “heroic” thing to do. Students band together and form club to prevent school closure had that feel to it. If he signed up for this though, there’d be no taking it back, no return to the mundane.

Not that his life had been very mundane for the last year or so anyways… Despite refusing to actually touch the Artifact since that first moment, that one occurrence seemed to have been enough to awaken a few latent developments. The leaps and bounds he’d made in the Shinmei-ryu style alone was enough proof. With a grumble as he lifted a hand to glance at the developed calluses he dropped it back to the smooth table surface and sighed. Fingers traced the indentations in the wood for a few more moments before he stood from the desk and exited the classroom, pausing only to pick up and sling the wrapped bundle in the room’s corner that was his.

A few odd glances were made in his direction as he climbed the stairs to the second floor where the high schoolers had their homerooms. When he continued up on towards the roof above the chattering intensified, but Toshi ignored it as he climbed the flight of stairs and came to a halt slightly away from the door. The downpour had yet to cease and he glanced through the door’s window instead, not really wanting to get soaked wet.
Saya was shocked at the announcement, and joined in the worried murmuring of the students around her. They couldn't just close like this, there was no way. Sure, it wasn't the biggest town, but still. The next schools were all way too far away. She liked this town, and all her friends, and didn't want to leave it all behind for some big new school a ways down the train lines.

The whole day was grim, the pall cast by the rain and the morning announcement failing to lift. The entire school practically had a funeral atmosphere, like everyone had already accepted their fate and resigned themselves to it. The adults, in particular, seemed too stoic about it all; nobody really tried to put on a cheerful face. Except for Saya. She'd seen too much of this sort of atmosphere in her everyday life as it is, and she hated it. She was still around, there was no reason to act like she was already dead. And the same was true for the school. Better to enjoy the time they had then mope around and pretend everything was normal.

Though...not that she'd admit it, but it was exactly what she was doing. Putting on the brave face and trying to cheer up her friends to little effect. The day wore on, exhausting in its own way, until it was over. Saya had an umbrella; she always did of some sort, but she still lingered in the classroom with her friends. The announcement on the PA was a surprise, both for the genuine enthusiasm and, well, the familiar voice of the mayor. She hadn't seen her in a while, but, well, she had good reason to know her. She wasn't sure what to think of the call-out at first, beyond "How'd she get on the roof?" but after a while, things began to sink in. This was something she could do.

She nodded, her mind made up. "I've decided something," she said to her friends, before quickly leaving, determination in her eyes as she marched forward. She walked alone, until she had finished the final flight of stairs, and came face to face with Toshi. "Hey, aren't you going out there," she asked. She didn't know him, but unless he was just curious, there was only reason to show up here. "You're a boy, so it's not like any of you is made of sugar." She brushed past him and pushed the door open. Leaning out into the rain, she opened her umbrella and stepped out onto the roof.
It was a bit strange, putting on so cheerful of a face. Mabi had resigned herself to being the last bit of happiness for the students there, regardless of her foresight into the principal's inevitable announcement. She cheered on the new students to welcome themselves readily into the fold, and urged the veterans to bring them in themselves. Despite the upcoming, unfortunate news, there was no reason that their final year had to be any less wonderful, Mabi thought, though her realistic side new very well things wouldn't be the same after the ceremony; there was simply nothing she could do about it, besides perhaps boost the initial warm feelings.

Since the year prior, the vice president of the student council, Yotataka Mabi, was familiar with the student enrollment rates and their insufficiency. Next year, save a miracle happening, spelled certain doom for their quiet rural secondary school. She had long before come to terms with the news. It had hurt her quite a bit, knowing that in second-to-last year of high school, she would be leaving behind an empty building. She dreamed of taking someone under her wing and promoting them towards being the best welcoming face they could be, but without a future school, she knew such was a pointless undertaking. What's worse, her last year of high school would have to be spent in a completely unfamiliar environment; certainly not enough time to get accustomed to everyone and attain the same status as she already had.

As Mabi stood by both new and familiar groupings of students, her ears turned upwards to the sudden PA announcement. The voice, while familiar, certainly did not belong to someone she knew had announcements to make that day in the first place. Her initial reaction was to storm the PA room, but as she came to realize who it was, she stopped in her tracks. The town mayor, unsurprisingly, spoke out to the group in tones of fervor and glory. Mabi looked at the second-years she was just speaking to, who all stared back in turn, as if to say, "Well, what are you going to do?"

Confident as Mabi was, she was vaguely unsure there and then of trying her hand at international combat. Still, the mayor's proclamation seemed like the only sane option to save their school, grandiose and cliche as it was. Mabi clenched her fist and walked resolute for the roof, uncaring of her lack of umbrella. She was vice president damnit, and she loved her school! She was never one to back down from making it a better place, and she was presented with this illustrious opportunity to make things right!

As she ascended the stairs, she came across a young boy standing in front of the roof door. With a strong pat to his shoulder, she then opened the door and forcefully shoved him forward into the rain, stepping outside in turn herself. "Come on! You and me, we can do this!" she urged to Toshi. She didn't know the kid, but she knew her own place, and that meant being the confident; it meant she'd need to help Saya make this dream come alive.
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Yori was quite frankly shocked at the principal's announcement earlier that morning. He had been in line with the small population of Junior Third years trying to rouse them from the obvious boredom with lame jokes and old-man puns when the bombshell had been dropped. He had only been off-put for a second before he was back to the same antics, if only working twice as hard to lighten the mood. It hadn't worked, and when he did hear the mutters of negativity from his fellows, he was prone to slapping the back of their heads in disapproval.

Homerooms was not much of an improvement. The downtrodden atmosphere perforated nearly every living being with the confines of the building, and nobody, outside of perhaps Yori himself, was trying to improve the situation. The sulking was not helped by Yori's own minor physical abuse, but he couldn't stand the fact that everybody was just taking the school's shut down as a fact that they couldn't change. He had plans, dammit. He wanted to live out a normal school life. Walking home from school with his friends after club activities; spending summer vacation lazily hanging about his house, only leaving for the summer training of club and the mandatory trip to the beach; perhaps even asking a girl out! If he had to commute an hour to school by train... He would not be able to maintain his current standards of attitude!

More than a little grumpy, the boy sat at his desk next to the window, peering into the endless, stormy expanse. The sight wasn't doing much for his mood, but neither was the dully "cheerful" atmosphere around him. The morning announcements echoed around him -- a vaguely shoehorned affair at first -- but as it continued, Yori's ears couldn't help but perk. A Hero Club?! A goofy grin spread across his face at this thought; it had always been a thought in his mind that his powers could be put to better use than stopping jaywalkers and litterers in this quiet, sleepy town.

Without another moment's notice, he rushed out of his seat, unaware of the curious and obviously knowing glances that had been shot his way at the end of the announcement. He hopped his way into the boy's bathroom, and, after locking himself into a stall, took the ever-present, large oval out of his pocket. Holding it out in front of him, he began to speak.

"By Justice's Sights, FIRE!"

With that, a twirly electric shock silhouetted his boyish figure as his costume wrapped around his body -- sparks which could be seen by the two boys who had seen him enter the stall -- and, curiously, drab, musical fanfare could be heard as well. Yori burst from the stall, only now realizing the other occupants of the restroom, but only shocked for the briefest, if noticeable, moment. He gave them a pose, "You saw nothing, right citizens?" The boys gave a dull, courteous nod in the affirmative. Satisfied, Yori ran from the restroom and made a direct run for the roof, brushing by another boy and encountering a trio of girls. The boy posed yet again as they all stood in the rain. "Do not fear, Justice is HERE!"
Head resting on her chin, elbow against the desk, Meiko couldn't help but let out another sigh. Her blue eyes glanced toward the rain spattered window again as she wondered how she was going to get home dry without an umbrella. Meiko hated being partially drenched: swimming was fine, as was being dry, but anything in between was just horrible. Why couldn't they have umbrellas for rent year round or something like that?

Oh right and the school was closing that was pretty terrible too.

Honestly, it hadn't really sunk in to Meiko quite yet, but...crap, she'd probably have to start thinking about which high school to go too. And the entrance exams, travel costs...maybe she'd just get her parents to worry about it? Or just try and get into the same school her sister went to for her final yea-wait, what if she went to a really good one?

Beset by anxiety, Meiko let her head slip from her hand, thumping into the desktop, laying there for a moment. However, her sigh was interrupted by the PA system, a cheery voice making her look back up.

Following the announcement, Meiko blinked for a moment: a Selector Team? Did this school even have enough magical girls or boys for that? They needed...was it five or six?

The idea sounded pretty cool, and with Meiko knew about her own abilities...wait, who said anything about her joining? Of course, it would probably be a lot of hard work, and who knew if there were even enough students here to help form a team? Besides, she hadn't even told anyone about her powers yet, and going on the roof? In the rain!? Who'd be crazy enough to do that?

Leaning back in her seat, Meiko was content to sit right there and ignore her heart fluttering at her mental images of a Selector Team.


Miyako would've done it.


Standing as quickly as she could, Meiko raised a hand tossing her black hair (to little effect. It was pretty short). Making a step for the door, she noticed a few eyes on her, before ignoring them and making her way to the door. Leaving, she closed the door behind her and continued to move.

However, she didn't go to the roof, instead slipping into the bathroom. Approaching the sink, she wiped her face before slapping her cheeks a bit, before returning to the hall, stomping determinately up the stairs. Finally reaching the top floor, she stopped for a moment, catching her breath, before taking the turn to the roof access door. She didn't need to go far before she saw a handful of others, most beyond the opened door. Glad she wasn't the only one hesitant, Meiko approached, reaching the doorway before planting her hands on her hips and puffing out her chest, trying to avoid losing composure upon seeing how out of place she was.

And also avoiding the rain because fuck that.
~Monday, Apr 6~
~Noontime Storms on the Rooftops~
As the five brave youths braved the storms, the scene that they would be greeted by would be that of the young mayor of Sakurashin, wearing a white-and-baby-blue sailor uniform that served as the school’s summer uniform. No doubt, it worked in tandem with her own declaration that the weather was what she made of it. It shouldn’t even really have come up as a surprise for the five that the rain, despite visibly bouncing off her slender frame, didn’t get her wet at all.

Almost as if she was successfully rolling Willpower checks against the status effect of ‘wetness’…

The howling winds that buffeted them also had little effect on their mayor, as she smiled rays of sunshine towards them. Rolling her wheelchair over, the raven-haired middle schooler, her night-black eyes glittering with interest. While it was a bit of a shame that none of them actually had the look of badass veteran magical girls, it was still nice to see that the younger ones were the most interested in going on an adventure. Of course, there was also Yotataka Mabi, who really should be worrying more about her post-secondary life than anything else…but the mayor liked that sort of gutsiness. A few of them looked like they needed to bulk up or slim down, but other than that…

Crossing her arms and nodding, completely unbothered by the downpour all around, she said, “Good, good, that wasn’t hard at all! Great to see that you’re healthy enough for some glorious battoru, Saya-chan! And Yotataka-san, good job dragging him in!”

“And hey, Yori! I pretty much expected that you were going to pop up here, so that’s even better! Five of you, right? Wanna do some fancy self-introductions while we’re at it? Play an icebreaker, maybe? Ever tried ‘Ninja’?”

Yeah, even as the storm continued to rain down on the unlikely group of individuals, it appeared that the mayor of the town, Fujiyama Natsuko, had no intention at all of caring about it.

Even thunderclaps couldn’t silence her happy, summer-breeze words.

Though internally, she's making reality checks to make the storm go away.
Just as Saya had brushed past him, so did Toshi brush off her comment without a word of his own. As the wind ripped in through the opened door he sighed at the droplets of water that smacked him in the face and was about to take a step away from the entrance; with how enthusiastic the mayor had sounded, her voice would no doubt carry this far even through the storm. Alas, the moment he placed a foot backwards a hand dropped onto his shoulder and shoved him forwards instead. The reaction to lash out at the shove was stifled as he caught his footing on the slippery rooftop before he glanced back at the vice-president with an expression that hinted annoyance.

“Great… Let’s stand in the rain for the sake of drama, maybe the sun will come out once we decide to go through with this, wouldn’t that just be perfect.” he muttered as he felt the fabric begin to soak from the heavy rain. With a pull, the thick cloth that wrapped his practice blade unfurled and he proceeded to drape it over himself like a cloak; the rain rolling off it. The sheathed “weapon” was caught with his other hand and planted chape first onto the tiled floor by his side. The boisterous arrival of another boy might have caused a vein to twitch in Toshi’s forehead, he wasn’t too sure. ‘Well… guess someone’s dream came true.’

As for the latest arrival who wisely decided to avoid the rain by simply staying within the stairwell, Toshi gave her a silent thumbs up. He might have tried to retreat to shelter, but no doubt the vice-president would probably have none of that given her close proximity; probably something about mere rain being of no concern to real Mahous. That aside, apparently the five of them were enough for the mayor and as she rolled over on her wheelchair Toshi turned his attention towards her.

‘Ninja, huh.’ Not unfamiliar with the game, he was more used to a slightly more dangerous version that involved blades and the like after he’d mentioned it offhandedly to his sensei at the dojo. Something about learning to read the opponent’s intent and honing one’s focus amongst a bunch of other things. While it probably would have been more enjoyable without the storm raging around them, Toshi was dubious that a request to move indoors would be entertained. “Sure, beats being in the dreary classroom I suppose.” With that he began to walk towards the stairwell to drop off his equipment.
Mabi offered the petite mayor a thumbs up, thanking her for the praise. While the boy she had helped towards glory didn't quite appreciate it as much, she knew she'd done good. Stepping forward, Mabi offered her thanks for the mayor's decision.

"I can't imagine I'd have thought of something like this, though retrospectively it seems like an awesome idea. Even if we don't succeed, at least we can go out with a bang, right?" she looked between the other students gathered, as if expecting them to nod in return. "Ninja, huh? An icebreaker for sure. I played it all the time last year during orientation to get new students to meet others!" Mabi punched her fists together.

"I'll get us started then!" She took a combative stance, shoes sliding on the wet stone, "Yotataka Mabi! Vice President of the Student Council for three years in a row now! I am a practitioner of the Yotataka 2nd Demonic Iajutsu Arts! I work with..." she did a flourish with her arms, feeling quite silly but warm inside, "...demons, son!" For all the nonsensical words she'd just spouted in an all-too heroic tone, Mabi felt good about the shift in atmosphere, regardless of the rain. She knew at least one of the students there, the one who had already taken it upon himself to assume the hero role, was eager to get started; it was up to her to instill fervor in the others... though this sullen boy she'd pushed outside would take some work.

"Come at me!"
Saya smiled at the young mayor's personal acknowledgement; they'd previously met during one of her frequent hospital visits. "It's not like I'm so sick I can't join a club," she shot back, clearly in a friendly manner, from her tone. She didn't have a clue what this ninja game was. "What the heck is this Ninja game, anyway?" No reason not to immediately blurt out the question which says as much. She stood there for a while, sheltering under her umbrella and not sure what to do as she watched the others, particularly the VP's bombastic display.

"Um...I'm Koizumi Saya, 2nd-year middle school, class B. I enjoy cosplay, and gardening. I'm a miko at the local shrine, so you can always visit me there~" For the most part it's been a pretty standard introduction so far. "Oh, yeah! I'm the Messenger of the Void! The Gun of Dis! ...I seriously don't get why these crazy nicknames..." It seemed almost like she was talking to herself for a bit there. "Also another Time Diver." She shrugged. She didn't exactly have an impressive pedigree of heroism. "I really don't get much of anything." At least she could say that with conviction.

She folded up her umbrella and tossed it back toward the door, then struck her own silly pose. And sneezed as the rain started hitting her and cooling her off.
Though Meiko had a bit of problem hearing properly from the doorway, one thing quickly became clear.

Th-they know each other already!? I guess that makes sense... And I don't think anyone noticed me except the mayor...

Oh, of course they didn't notice me, I didn't do anything! I'm gonna have to get out there sooner or later!

Taking a breath, Meiko stepped forwards, heading outside. Before she even reached the roof proper, a few windswept raindrops hit her, making her cringe at the chill. However, she trucked through, standing properly among the others, trying to ignore her inward whines and groans as she got increasingly rain covered.

Catching bits of Mabi's and Saya's introductions, Meiko didn't want to get left out in the rain again (figuratively speaking), so she began, "Uh..." Stopping for a moment, she cleared her throat before beginning, "My name is Tamaki Meiko, I'm a third year middle schooler. I like...watching TV, I guess. I got some magic powers a while ago, but...I haven't told anyone yet." Crossing some arms over her chest, she got a bit of confidence as she explained, "I can teleport, so that's pretty cool."
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The boy had been taken aback by the young mayor's so casual use of his real name. How did she know? Was there already a secret organization that was trying to nip his life short for his heroic deeds? Perhaps he had been scoped for this club before the young mayor had made her announcement. Still, the last thought on his mind that everybody in town knew that it was Yori behind that mask. "Ho! Ho! Ho!" Was the response elicited from the use of his real name. "I'm certainly not this handsome boy 'Yori'," he made air quotes to emphasize the point, "whoever this handsome lad may be."

Still, he wasn't dense enough not to notice how the girl was completely dry despite the storm raging around them; he briefly wondered if this was the girl's mahou power, much like part of his had granted him his familiar (Speaking of which, had climbed the side of the building with its talons and was now standing next to his magical boy). The bird squawked -- a loud, screeching thing -- as Mabi made her declaration. "No, Blue, she is not an enemy..."

He peered at each of the five gathered on the roof. The mayor was bound to a wheelchair, so it was easy to deduce that she was not going to be playing. The other four... He was sure he could take on at least three, but sizing up Mabi... The stat difference between them was noticeably large, not good for his chance of winning.

"Alright, I'm game. Let's play this 'Ninja'." Saying this, he wondered how this would apply to the club, seeing as how there were only a few "mahou shinobi" in existence.
Natsuko frowned when one of the boys, the white-haired one that looked like he belonged to a sketchy browser game, chose not to say his name, instead going off simply to deposit what he had brought along with him, before joining back up. The young mayor disliked his lack of hot-blooded manliness, but, well, it’s probably because he hadn’t hit puberty yet. Everyone else was real cool though, and she said, clapping her hands together, “Alrighty, let’s go over the rules a bit! One dodge, one attack! No weapons are allowed, but simple magical projectiles are fine! Feel free to use your abilities however you want when attacking, but keep things physical when it’s just for dodging, alright?”

“Now, let’s see...Mabi goes first! Then Saya, white-boy, Meiko, and not-Yori! Everyone, let’s keep it clean, alright? And an added rule! You need to announce who you’re attacking by name first! So you all remember it!”

With that, Natsuko backpedalled to the far end of the rooftop, and said, raising a hand into the air with enough gusto that the clouds above parted slightly, “Let’s go!”
With a light clank the weapon was laid against the wall before Toshi pulled the thick cloth off and draped it over the railings; it’d probably end up in the way of their game. His eyes lingered on the stairs back into the school for a moment before, with a light sigh, he turned around and walked back into the rain.

Once close enough to probably be considered part of the group once more, he paused for a moment in thought before figuring it’d be appropriate. Bowing slightly to the group, Toshi calmly introduced himself. “Hello. Nice to meet you. Wakimoto, Toshi.” Maybe somebody would get it? Regardless, he slipped into a more comfortable stance afterwards and waited for the game to begin.
Mabi straightened her hand out into a knife-like gesture, raising her arms up as if ready to block a strike. In but a flash, she crouched inches lower before springing forward at blinding speed. “Alright, hero! Defend yourself!” she shouted at Yori. How she managed to enunciate all four words amidst her dash was difficult to understand. Mabi’s foot planted in a splash just to Yori’s side as she leaned forward and struck outward with a piercing hand to the boy’s chest.
Yori was hardly in a position to dodge, let alone react when the first attack from his upperclassman came. With only the strength of his wits, and a little willpower, he made an acceptable dodge from the attack, sidestepping slightly from the attack. He sighed, glad that the mayor had made them literally call their attacks, and knew that his initial assessment of Mabi's capabilities to be true.

"Isn't that technically against the rules?!" He called out to the mayor, referencing the excessive movement.
“Don’t be a chicken, not-Yori!” Natsuko replied, laughing, “True heroes can defeat rulebreakers as well!”
Before she really got started, Saya had to actually transform.

“I am one who has accepted the mission.
Under the contract, release thy powers.
Stars to the heavens, the arrow of time...
And the unyielding soul to this heart.
The guardian calls her weapons to her hands.
Astranagant, set up!

Her little speech complete, Saya was enveloped in a sphere of darkness, shot through with glimmering stars. Within her zone of magical absolute territory, motes of magical energy began swirling around her, quickly speeding up until they each looked like a solid band of green light. Each mote of light exploded, one at a time, wiping out some of her mundane outfit and replacing it with her magical girl armor, until it had completely formed. The sphere of night surrounding her washed away to reveal she was dressed in an...incongruously miko-like outfit, compared to the special effects, although it seemed obviously technological and armor-like. She considered her options for a few moments before she picked a target. “Toshi-san,” she shouted over the storm. She didn’t bother trying to close in on him, instead taking advantage of the use of basic magic to attack.
His eyes widened a bit as Mabi slammed to a halt in front of the transformed Mahou, her dash faster than he’d expected. With her target still in the game though, Toshi’s attention naturally drifted to the person whose turn was next. Not that it was apparently necessary given Saya underwent a transformation sequence first. The space-like sphere sent a bit of shivers up his spine and eventually he settled his attention elsewhere.

As it came to an end, he returned his gaze towards her and not a moment too soon. The bolt formed as soon as her shout finished and was launched without so much as a moment’s delay. Its speed and the downpour made tracking the projectile almost impossible, and rather than rely on his eyes he simply fell back to training and instinct. Nonetheless it was a close call as he felt the air’s vibration as he slipped out of the way; the “attack” basically ruffling his shirt.

Coming to a halt, Toshi had already dropped his stance in preparation to move. “Returning the favor Kozumi-san.” Unlike her, he was forced to close the distance between the two and he did so without hesitation in quick steps. Once close enough, he made a quick slap towards her hand, hoping the outstretched fingers would help catch his target.

In fact, it did, as his hand found itself striking her chest right as Saya attempted to dodge.
Saya’s entire face turned a brilliant red, the blush being quite obvious beneath such pale skin. “Kyaaa! Pervert!”
With all the magic in the air and the magical ones speeding around, Meiko was feeling overwhelmed for a moment, trying to keep up. Now that it was her turn, however, Meiko sized things up for a moment, before taking a breath, and shifting into a transformation, light enveloping her before she transformed, a gold dress covering her person, long white gloves over her thick arms. Natural abilities heightened, she felt a weight off her chest as she considered her potential actions, though with only one attack…

Feeling a particular draw towards one speedy target, Meiko locked her eyes on Mabi, still in melee with Yori. Pointing a finger, she declared, “Yotataka-san.” Putting one leg back and balling her hand up into a fist, as if ready to charge, she took a deep breath, before vanishing from the spot.

Instantaneously, she reappeared on the other side of Mabi, now facing the opposite direction, still towards her, before tossing her fist out as quickly as she could.
The strike went out, but in Meiko’s haste, she made a critical error before she’d even punched.

She wasn’t close enough.

Once her fist had sailed in front of her, Meiko stared for a moment, eyes hollow, soul crushed by disappointment.
Back stepping away from Mabi and her new found attacker in Meiko, Yori took a quick survey of the other two participants and found Toshi in a... lewd grapple with Saya. Knowing his own cause, and not realizing this had been only a near hit for the boy, Yori took aim with his finger. "Sights on Toshi; Mahou Dan: Justice's AIM!" Putting just that little bit more of his will in the attack, he fired at the pervert Toshi.
“Ah..” That had not been his intention and Toshi yanked the hand away almost immediately as if burned. Nonetheless his hand clenched once more as phantom sensations lingered before they disappeared with a savage shake of the limb. “I’m sor-” His attempt to apologize for the mishap wouldn’t be allowed to happen though, as oblivious to his surroundings after that incident, Yori’s declaration didn’t so much as even click in his head. The crackling bolt caught his attention, but he barely managed to move his head to get a better look before the projectile slammed into his head and sent him to the tiled floor.

Between the force behind that impact and the nature of the other boy’s magic Toshi could already feel a thundering headache developing. Not even bothering to try and get up, he simply closed his eyes and let the cool rain wash away some of the pain.
Natsuko winced. That was a bit overzealous on Yori’s part. But Toshi was a boy. It’s not like he needed those brain cells, so she ultimately shrugged, and went back to resisting the rain.

“Boys will be boys,” she said, more to herself than anyone else.
Mabi’s eyes crossed as she looked at the hand that had just barely struck before her, confused by her mistake. Was she being merciful? Or just oblivious? In any case, she was relieved to have not been put out of the game so quickly, and focused her attention on the hero again; he had already moved about so much, caught in the game, she figured he’d be the most vulnerable.

“Hero-Yori! I’m not done with you!” she yelled out to him with a vigorously pointed finger. With another dash, she slid beside Yori using the wetness of the rooftop to further the distance, and struck out like a passing blade at the boy’s leg.
Yori, still feeling triumphant from his overly successful attack against Toshi didn’t have time to register the fact that he himself was now being targeted. So, when he felt his knees buckle from some outside force, he didn’t have enough time to react, and instead, hit his head on the wet concrete below. Not even looking at his attacker, he knew his upperclassman had bested him, and that, for some reason, left him feeling slightly satisfied.
If the swift lightning bolt from Yori hadn’t been enough to snap Meiko out of her brief daze, then her previous target taking out the lightning shooter certainly was. Shaking her head, Meiko looked around, seeing that Mabi was the only one left.

Sweating a bit, as much as it was disguised by the rain, Meiko tried to rack her brain for a solution to this problem, but the more she did, it felt hopeless! She was tall and cool and fast and…

I...could give up? Why stay out in the rain any longer, right? I mean, I already used my ace...

Use it differently this time you ding dong!
But what if she suspects it?

As she debated internally for a few moments, Meiko felt her head start to heat up: all this strategy stuff was a pain.

Finally, she slapped her cheeks lightly, muttering, "Alright, Yakataka-san," before buckling her legs, streaking into a run, trying to keep her footing as she hoofed it towards Mabi, the internal debate continuing as she closed in. In front? Behind? In front? Behind? But if she wasn't close enough, it'd be useless either way!

A raindrop smacked into her eye, half blinding her for an instant.


Two steps away from Mabi, Meiko vanished once more in an Instance, the gold and White clad girl neither appearing in front or behind Mabi, but hovering above for just a moment before descending, limbs flailing a bit as she was disoriented by her own ability.
And with a splashy thump, it was over. Basically.

Splayed out, front down on the rooftop, Meiko knew none of her hits connected, but she’d hoped that even if that were the case she could have at least hit her with a body slam.

But she’d made another miscalculation: her momentum from the run factored in to her teleport. She kept going after appearing, landing square on the ground in a pile of water, magic, regret, and pieces of crushed soul, lying still.

Mabi pressed a hand to her lips, holding back a laugh as she witnessed her junior so poorly miscalculate her assault. A glimpse of the trials to come against much more… experienced, fighters came to mind. She flicked her arms to her sides and broke into a run again. The fight was over, as far as she was concerned, and more than enough time had been spent getting to know one another. She wanted to get out of the rain.

Capitalizing on Meiko’s sprawled posture, she slowed to a halt just beside her and opted to simply reach down and offer a hand. It wasn’t Meiko’s turn, so she didn’t fear being hit herself; grabbing hold of the younger girl’s hand would count as touching, right?

“Nice try, Meiko. We’ll all have to work on some things,” Mabi smiled.
As the game concluded itself, ending much faster than Natsuko had expected, the wheelchair-bound girl hid her frown behind her hand. There definitely was a disparity in power, which should be expected due to the difference between age, and it was rather surprising to see just how little evasive abilities Yori and Saya had, wasn't bad. She could understand how things would shape up, and most of them appeared more fit for combat than she had expected.

No idea WHY they would be so ready for action, seeing how none of them really had any monster-fighting experience, but, well, whatever.

Lightning flashed through the skies, striking the school's lightning rod and sending out thunderclap so powerful that it could be felt, as Natsuko failed once again to impose her will onto reality. It was clear that the springtime tempest was right above them now, and, with a sigh, she flicked a stray raindrop from out of her otherwise dry hair. "Guess that'll be all for today then," she said, gesturing to the weather as if she had only noticed it now, "You're all better off heading home now. Oh, but Meiko? You can still teleport, right? There isn't really an elevator here, so mind teleporting me down with you?"
So apparently the game had come to an end. Toshi finally made the effort to pick himself up despite the developing headache and sat up just in time to notice the mayor hide an expression behind her hand. Dismissing it as unimportant, he resisted the urge to glare at Yori and simply settled his expression as he looked up towards Saya. “As I was saying, sorry about that.” Whatever embarrassment he’d felt at the accidental touch had been swiftly dispatched, and he picked himself up off the tiled floor and onto his feet.

The sudden rumble of thunder did wonders for his head and Toshi made a beeline for the staircase, wishing little more to get out of the rain and somewhere he could just lie down for a while. The mayor’s words gave him pause for a moment, but he made to follow the suggestion immediately after she was done speaking. He briefly wondered how she’d managed to get up here in the first place, but ended up chalking it up to how she managed to stay dry amidst the heavy downpour. Which of course led him to wonder if she’d also be part of the team, though that was something that’d be answered in due time Toshi supposed.

“See all of you tomorrow, he muttered with a wave before he turned and let the roof’s door swing shut behind him. To the contrast of the dry air inside the stairwell and his soaked clothes Toshi could only grumble under his breath as he retrieved his practice weapon and rewrapped the slightly damp cloth around it.
Taking Mabi's hand, Meiko stood, face blank, eyes hollow, shoulders slumped. As she returned to her uniform, her groan was hidden by a crash of lightning. Damp (and also pretty tired for some reason?) Meiko didn't react much as their club tasks were completed for the day.

Ears twitching a bit at the mayor's call, Meiko glanced around for a moment, before mumbling, "Uh, yeah, I guess. Maybe." approaching, Meiko transformed, not even bothering to ask either Natsuko or herself how she'd gotten up here in the first place. Reaching the back of the wheelchair, she became a bit worried: she hadn't teleported with so much before. What if she left the wheelchair behind? Or just Natsuko? Meiko shuddered: what if it was a bit of both?

Figuring that the best she could do was get closer, she fidgeted a bit, arranging herself so that she was touching both the wheelchair and Natsuko's shoulder, before taking a breath and using her power, the two and the wheelchair popping away.

That same instant, they were at the ground, atop the walkway to the door back into the school, a short distance away. Feeling even more drained, Meiko wanted so much to go home and get dry and relax but there were still classes and stuff weren't there noooooo.

Letting go of Natsuko and the wheelchair, Meiko stood still for a moment, before returning to her natural form once more. Scratching her head, she muttered, "See you later. Maybe. I guess..." Turning away, she shuffled her feet over to the school building, not quite reaching the door, instead stopping at the wall before leaning forwards, resting her head against it as she slumped.
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Yori stood, rubbing the spot of his head that had bumped the pavement, and and stretching a little. The little practice exercise the mayor had had them do was keeping him in high spirits, and was hoping the actual magic battles this newly formed team would have were even more exciting. Of course, he was also really hoping his parents wouldn't be watching those...

The magical boy waved the mayor and other two students off as they all headed their own way. To Mabi and Saya, he also gave a wave. "I'm off, it was a pleasure to meet the two of you." He gave them a small bow. "Saya, was it? If that Toshi does any more vulgar things to you, make sure to report his behavior to me! I'll make sure his miscreant behavior is corrected with MY justice!" He winked, and fired at a puddle in the recess of the ground to make an innefective screen as he made his retreat over the school's roof.

"To the Nest, Blue!" He said atop his familiar after colliding with a thump to the ground. And with that, he was on his way to a nondescript alley to change back to his schoolboy persona, and then home.
"It's oka,y" Saya said to Toshi, accepting his apology. "It was an accident anyway, right? It's not like you did it on purpose." She smiled at him, keeping her cheerful attitude despite the rain. "So, really, it was just unexpected. not like you really did anything bad." She nodded to Yori's offer, but didn't pay it much attention, given that she didn't really think it was something to worry about.

Saya waved to the students who left. "Bye~ See you all again, soon." In the end, she was almost alone on the roof, and silently gathered her things, before taking flight. There wasn't any reason to transform back to normal, even if she looked silly flying along with an umbrella. It was way faster than just walking, and it didn't take long before she landed near the shrine and transformed back into her mundane clothes before walking the rest of the way home. The first thing she did was change into some dry clothes and hang up her wet uniform.

A magical battle team, huh? It was an exciting thought. Saya dove onto her bed and idly kicked her legs as she fantasized about finally getting to be like her heroines on TV.
Mabi rose an eyebrow at the mayor's request. How did she get up to roof in the first place? She dismissed the confusion with a smile and watched as the newfound comrades dispersed in various ways. Ultimately unperturbed by the rain, she stood there on the roof, alone, for a moment, and simply thought about the coming days. She'd grown up thinking she was destined to do make use of her combat abilities, but as the years ticked on and not a single heroic event passed her way, she had begun to give up hope. The prospect of joining a Selector team, while possible, never really occurred to her; she'd always considered herself more fit for fighting things rather than people.

And here, finally, she had an opportunity laid out before her. While her teammates seemed to be a tad bit lacking comparatively, she didn't once doubt their future successes. If there ever was a heroic opportunity left in the world, what with so many super powered nobodies floating through life as normally as someone without such gifts, then this was it. Rising from practically invisible roots to meet the challenge of facing far more famous forces... that was the heroism available to them.

With a sigh of satisfaction, Mabi walked out of the rain and back into the school halls, the faces of her teammates still fresh in her mind. They... no, all of them, she thought, including herself, would need to work harder than ever before. Mabi was all too familiar with the notoriety and sheer volume of other Selector teams across the nation and beyond; simply hopping in as they were wouldn't cut it, not even for herself.

Despite the looming dread of endless, grueling training, she relished the shift in lifestyle and the hope it instilled in her. Better to try and fail than not at all.
Natsuko watched as Meiko, halfway to the door, fall over, leaning against the wall as exhaustion became evident on the adolescent’s features. So that was the upper limit she had with teleportation, wasn’t it? What was it again...two short-range teleportations and one long-range one? The mayor of the city mulled those revelations over for a few seconds, before rolling over to Meiko. Patting her lap with one hand, she said, “No idea why you’re going back to school, instead of home, but hop on.”


One arm bracing against the wall, Meiko looked over to her schoolmate, catching her gesture. Meiko stared for a moment, before tilting her head, a puzzled look crossing her face. Maybe she was just tired, but...what?

Perhaps because she was tired, Meiko complied, stepping over. As she turned, she told herself, She’ll be fine. She knows what she’s doing. The gesture giving Meiko some slight relief to her mental and emotional, her gaze shot around, searching for any eyes, before she sat her 70 plus kilos of student down. She couldn’t help but turn a slight pinkish, wondering, What the hell am I doing what is this?


...Huh, it looked like Meiko really did need to work out or something. While her chubbiness wasn’t quite as evident when hidden underneath Sakurashin’s winter uniform, it was pretty clear to Natsuko now that the girl was packing on quite a few pounds. Did it come with the whole discovery that, as a magical girl, she didn’t even need to work out in order to get strong? Or was she just always like this?

Nevertheless, like the trooper she was, Natsuko rolled on, detouring to the school’s shoe locker so that the teleporter could actually get her outside shoes. “So,” she asked offhandedly, “What do you think?”


Slipping off the wheelchair, Meiko somehow felt a bit lighter as she moved over, finding her locker and getting her school slippers traded for her normal shoes. As she made the swap, her mind went to Natsuko’s query.

"Uh, well...seeing everyone else's magic was kinda neat. And I've never...used that much..." As she trailed off, her mind flew back to her grave miscalculations when she was attacking Mabi. Heart sinking, Meiko put her hands over her face, stooping down as she moaned, "I had no idea what I was doing and even if I was anywhere close to hitting Yotataka-san she probably would've dodged anyway but now everyone probably thinks I'm fat, useless, and dumb!"

Hands dropping from her face, Meiko traced a few lines on the ground, thinking for a moment, before wondering, ”Do you even need me?"


“Hm…” Natsuko thought about that question for a moment, before saying, rather truthfully, “Nope, not really. But this is a club, not a sports team. What do you want to get out of it, Meiko? For what reason did you come up there, when there was a storm outside and lightning strikes about?”

“The Hero Club exists to help the student body and the community. It just so happens that, hey, we can help save the school by getting famous!”


Finger still tracing errantly, Meiko pondered for a few moments. Stopping, she looked up, before beginning, ”Well, I don’t really want to move schools, so that’s part of it. But I guess...if there’s anything I do want, I want to be cool, you know? Like...Yotataka-san or my sister, I guess. But I tried and…” Flinching, Meiko became a bit downcast once again, nail digging at the ground a bit.


Natsuko smiled at that admission. That was good. The willingness to change was always good, even if Meiko was plagued with pessimism, and even if her debut to the club went off horribly. Even if she has a crippling lack of confidence. Even if she runs out of energy in just a few teleports. Yeah, it should be fine now.

“And what? You’ve tried twice, constantly going after someone whom you know was better than you. I mean, did you see Saya and Yori? Not to rag on about them, but they weren’t exactly the speediest kids on the block, even with their magical upgrades. You could have knocked them out if you wanted, you know?”

“But instead, you chose the hardest target, and even if you failed, guess what? You challenged the strongest. And even if you lost, as a hero, that’s pretty damn gutsy.”

And with that, Natsuko hopped off her wheelchair, her atrophied legs wobbling from the effort of bearing the weight of her body. Offering a hand to Meiko, she said, “If you fail once, stand up and do it again! After you do it enough, you’ll become just as cool as Mabi and your sister! Even more so, cause the hallmark of the strongest hero is determination in the face of defeat!”

Man, she loved her speeches.


As Natsuko’s speech sank in, Meiko couldn’t help but stare a bit. Blinking, she stood as her gears turned. Tapping her fingers together, her face flushed a bit as she mumbled ”Y-you thought I was Not dumb?” Scratching the side of her face, she glanced around, swallowing, before trying to recompose herself a bit. Taking a deep breath, she felt better as she exhaled.

With only a bit of hesitation, Meiko took Natsuko’s hand, nodding, ”Then I...I will stay in the club.” As much as she was embarrassed to think back to the rooftop escapade, could it really be worse than that?


“Good! Now head home, dry off, and eat lots of food, alright?”

Natsuko settled back into her wheelchair, before finishing with another smile, “Cause we’re going to have lots of fun tomorrow, alright?”


Raising a determined fist, Meiko nodded in understanding, before beginning to make her way, waving ”See you then!”

As she left, Meiko let out another sigh of relief, hoping that tomorrow would be more of actual fun instead of training fun, unless...

What kind of attitude is that? I need to work at it to be cool!

But I worked plenty today! A little break wouldn't hurt.

Shushing her internal thoughts, Meiko was quick to settle on her plans for the rest of her day, or lack thereof. Perhaps this wouldn’t be so bad after all!
~Tuesday, April 7~
It was a restless night that passed, the blinding flashes and thunderous booms lasting long into the night until the fury of the storm was spent, leaving only soft, soft rain to pitter-patter down the windows. The howling had stopped, and the lightning had passed, leaving a numbing silence in its wake. A silence filled with thoughts of the future, thoughts of the present, thoughts of the past. It was a long time before the sun rose again, and when it did, it was brilliant.

In the aftermath of the storm, the sky was a cerulean blue, the clouds having become wispy crescents radiating like ripples away from the warm rays. Spring was an explosive time, known for strong winds and sudden showers, but it was also a bright time, filled to the brim with budding life and changes, from the blossoming flowers to the cycle of life. Even though yesterday was a storm, today was a different day, one brimming with the potential to do something.

Naturally though, sunrise was much too obscene of a time for most people to get up, regardless of whether or not that particular day looked so much more promising than the previous one.
But did Natsuko care? Nope.

Crackling into life, her rooster call, transmitted through the entirety of the town via the police station’s speakers, managed to pierce the ears of pretty much every non-deaf person in Sakurashin.

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