Chapter Thirty | Opening and closing

Tsubasa and Yuki traveled down the street, neither of them bothering to touch the ground as they leapt between the buildings of the Tokyo streets. They had, by now, traveled all the way to the Akihabara district. The bright lights of the district partially masked the blows the two were throwing at each other. Despite the seeming ferocity of the battle, however, the actual fight was coming to a standstill. Neither Yuki nor Tsubasa were seriously hurt, with Tsubasa suffering the only true wound; that which was caused at the start of the battle by Yuki's original ribbon attack.

However, both combatants were showing their weariness from the ongoing fight. What was once impossible to track with the naked eye was slowing down to the point of shocking some of the tourists in the shopping district. Tsubasa's concern was involving any of the gaping civilians by the rampaging Yuki. Luckily, Yuki was focusing on him and only him, but one misstep could injure hundreds of the innocents below.

<Master Assassin,> Yuki said cheerfully as she launched another volley of ribbons at Tsubasa, <Are you planning on playing with your full strength or not?>

Tsubasa swatted away the ribbons and landed on a store's sign to catch his breath momentarily. <What are you talking about, child?>

<You are capable of much more than just parrying my attacks. Why don't you show me what you can do?>

Tsubasa sighed as he jumped off the sign and flew at the girl. <This girl is untrained and yet she mocks me so. But…I cannot use my full power. She may be under a dark influence, but she is still Sonoda-sama's child.>

Yuki took advantage of Tsubasa's lack of focus and avoided the assassin as he tried to deliver an attack. Mirroring a move Tsubasa had pulled on her earlier; Yuki grabbed his arm and flung him into a nearby building. Tsubasa was moving fast enough that he crashed through the wall, rather than into it. His sudden entrance managed to shock the computer store's customers as his out-of-control body managed to hit a shelf as he skidded across the floor. As dozens of monitors and other components fell to the ground, Tsubasa slowly rose.

Already winded from the crash, Tsubasa was barely prepared as the inevitable ribbons sliced through the hole in the wall towards him. He reached for his sword to parry the deadly weapons, only to spot it across the floor, of no use to him now.

<Damn,> he muttered as he jumped back, narrowly avoiding the ribbons, which stuck in the floor. He looked up just in time to spot one last ribbon slicing right towards his head. Rolling to the left towards his sword, he almost avoided Yuki's attack, but the final ribbon still managed to slice into his already-damaged right shoulder. He grabbed the sword with his right hand and his gashed open shoulder with his left, finally grimacing at the pain. He backed up against the store wall, trying to regain his bearings before returning to battle. He looked to his side at the wrecked store, to see a strange blond-haired woman dashing towards him, as well as Piro and Largo looking confused as the rest of the store ran for the exit.

<Sensei!> she yelled as she reached Tsubasa.
<Ping?> Tsubasa said, astounded. <What are you doing h–GET OUT OF THE WAY!>
<Nani?> the robot asked. <But…you're hurt.>
<I believe,> Yuki said as she flew into the store, <that he is concerned for you.>
<And who are you?> Ping asked, stepping in front of Tsubasa.
<That is none of your concern. Let the Master Assassin and I finish our battle.>
<Are you the one who did this to him?>
<Again, that is none of your concern. Move out of the way. I promise it will be quick.>
Ping's eyes flared red. <Answer me.>
<I don't want to involve innocents. Please move.>

<Ping,> Tsubasa said, gingerly standing up. He moved his left hand off his shoulder, his now-blood-soaked hand revealing to Ping that he was indeed injured. <go. Protect the Americans, as I instructed you.>
<Y-y-y-yes, sensei…as you order.>
<Good…now, Sonoda-san, I believe we were in the middle of something.>
<More like the end, but yes, let us continue.>
<Your arrogance will cost you, child,> Tsubasa said as he leapt out the window.
<It isn't arrogance if it's justified, Master Assassin,> Yuki said, following.

Inside, Ping walked over to the gaping hole in the store wall and stared out as Tsubasa and Yuki continued their duel. Piro and Largo walked over to her, both carrying large bags of computer equipment.

"Are you alright, Ping?" Piro asked.
"No, but there is nothing I can do. Let's go back to the hotel…Largo can set his stuff up there."
"Yes," Largo agreed. "Our room will be l33t by night's end."

Ping nodded and stepped away from the newly created window, walking away from the battle she knew in her heart she should be a part of…if she even had a heart. Outside, Tsubasa and Yuki were embroiled in a renewed struggle, as pointless as anything that had come before…a battle that could not have a true winner. Tsubasa swatted away yet another attack from Yuki, retreating yet again, hiding and breathing heavily.

<I am injured…she is toying with me at this point. I only have enough strength for one attack, but that is all it should take…>
<Oh Master Assassin,> Yuki called playfully, laughing as she landed on the street not twenty feet from Tsubasa, <hiding are we?>
<No,> Tsubasa said, revealing himself, <I'm just waiting.>

He launched at her, drawing his sword. Yuki looked surprised for a second, but nimbly sidestepped the assassin…exactly what he was counting on. He used his stronger left hand to swing out his dagger at the dodging Yuki, cutting off the ribbons in her hair. The pink ribbons fell to the ground slowly; floating down to the ground as Tsubasa knelt down ten feet away, putting away his sword.

<As I said, young Miss Sonoda, your underdeveloped powers are no match for those of an trained assassin. You should be powerless without those ribbons, child.>

<Damn…you…> Yuki said, a faint glow developing around her as she knelt down. The glow faded and revealed Yuki to be back in her traditional school garb.
<W-w-where…am…I?> she asked as she collapsed to the sound of sirens in the distance.

A pair of TPCD cars pulled up. Sonoda and Takama jumped out of the lead car and rushed over to Tsubasa.

<Is…she okay?> Masamichi asked as he examined his unconscious daughter.
<She's fine, Director-sama. Something overcame her and activated her latent Magical Girl powers…I doubt she will remember anything,> Tsubasa said, smiling weakly as he collapsed himself.

<Get an ambulance out here immediately,> Sonoda ordered, seeing the wounds on Tsubasa's body. <He's lost a lot of blood.>
<Yes, Masamichi,> Takama said as he dashed back over to the patrol car.
<Thank you, my friend,> Masamichi said, patting the assassin on the back before he picked up his daughter and walked over to the patrol car, placing her inside. Takama soon joined him.

<It's been a long night, Shinichi. I'll leave you in charge; I'm going home for tonight. You know what to do.>
<Yes, Masamichi, I understand. Good night.>

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