Magical Knight Lune XY: My HOMIE Swooped Me off My Feet, and Now I Think I Might Be in LOVE?!
Red let out a long sigh of despair and buried her face in her arms.
“Does she not care about me anymore?” she murmured to herself. “Is it because I’ve been fightin’ her for over a year now? Am I old news?”
She moaned again. “Maybe I stuck around for too long. No wonder she’s completely lost interest in hangin’ out with me and would rather be with her boyfriend. She probably figured out I planned to take him home anyway, so why waste time coming here?” she sniffled. “I just wanted things to stay as they had been.”
I stood there confused. I was expecting a climactic showdown with my archenemy; not an emotional breakdown.
The instant I saw Red upon entering the throne room, my hand reached into my pouch and grabbed my sword. After Red knocked out Jack and kidnapped him, I was more than ready to fight.
But as she continued crying to herself, my grip loosened. After all, she was the one who saved Jack after he fell from the Ferris Wheel, nearly killing himself. And Jack was the one who initiated the fight that got him knocked.
I thought about all our encounters over the past year. She never actively tried to hurt anyone. And despite being a great nuisance to others, she and the Shadownyans always seemed to be good with kids. I figured it was because kids were too ignorant to know how much of a danger she was, but what if that wasn’t the case? What if they were able to see Red Sandrea for who she really was?
A flawed, but overall a decent person?
“Aw. There, there,” Belliney said, approaching Red Sandrea and scratching the back of her ears like a cat.
Red lifted her head, appearing relaxed and content. “Nyo~,” she purred. “Nyo~. Nyo~... NYAH!!!”
She jumped into the air when she realized she wasn’t dreaming and that someone else was there in the room with her.
“W-W-WHAT?!” she yelled, pointing at Belliney. “WHAT’RE YOU–”
Her mouth hung open when she noticed that I was standing there in the room. She turned bright red from embarrassment, quickly rubbing the tears out of her eyes with her cape.
“Um…” I said, unsure how to react.
When Red finished wiping away her tears, her brows furrowed in anger. “WHAT THE HECK?!” she yelled at me. “Why’d ya keep me waitin’ for six dang hours?! Don’t ya care about yer boyfriend?! What if I’d had done somethin’ to him?!”
“Did you?” I asked.
Red paused for a moment, thinking of an answer. She then smiled wryly. “I guess you’ll just have to fight me to find out! Nya ha ha!”
“But you just said you were going to take him home in a bit.”
“H-HOW MUCH DID YOU HEAR?!”
Belliney chimed in. “We walked in when you were muttering ‘does she not care about me anymore’.”
Once again, Red blushed profusely. So much so that I wondered if she was turning into a cherry.
“I-I-I…” she stammered, slowly retreating with tears forming in her eyes. But then she stopped, wiped away the tears, and resumed her aggressive demeanor. “Then there’s no point in me hidin’ it anymore! Tell me, Lune! Are ya sick of me?!”
I was taken aback. “Whaaa?”
Red balled up her hands into fists as she looked down at the ground. “I get it. We’ve been doin’ this for a year now. I’m sure y’all are bored with dealin’ with me. Just waitin’ for me to get out of y’all’s hair. I mean, the lifespan of a rivalry between magical girls and monsters is like, what, roughly a year? And here we’ve been fightin’ for one year, eight months, and thirteen days.”
I was shocked that she had been counting the days since this all began.
“Ya got a nice boyfriend now. I’m sure I’m just gettin’ in y’alls way. The two of ya were out on a date, right?”
“And ya just ignored me for the most part.”
“What? No! That’s not it! I was stuck on the Ferris Wheel, remember?”
Red tilted her head. “How were ya stuck? I’ve seen ya flyin’ and leapin’ about all the time!”
“If I wasn’t truly stuck, then Jack wouldn’t have nearly killed himself climbing down the Ferris Wheel, right?”
She scratched her head in confusion. “I figured he was a daredevil havin’ fun.”
“The truth is…” I hesitated for a moment before continuing. “Truth is that I was in my other form at the time, and I didn’t want to transform in front of Jack. He doesn’t know about me being a magical girl.
“...Uh, but y’all were huggin’ each other on the ground.”
“Well, yeah, but that was because I transformed after he fell off the Ferris Wheel. I didn’t want him to know that my other form and I were the same person. Just the thought frightened me.”
“I see,” Red said, crossing her arms. “I figured he already knew.”
“The two of y’all were together when ya ordered pizza, right?”
“Wait, what?! You knew that was me?!”
“Pfft! How couldn’t I? Why else would a Celestial Being be at the house?” she said, pointing at Belliney. “And you’re the same height, have the same face, and you sound exactly the same. I mean, ya gotta be a dunce to not put two-to-two together.”
I always thought I looked and sounded completely different! Were Daniel and Lune that much alike?!
I turned to Belliney. “Is she right?”
Belliney glanced away with a big grin on her face. “Yeah. Very much so.”
I collapsed onto my hands and knees. To think that the similarities between Daniel and Lune were obvious all this time… That only a dunce couldn’t figure it out.
But Jack hadn’t figured it out. I was sure of that. In which case… She was calling Jack a dunce!
I got back onto my feet. “So what you’re saying is that my boyfriend is stupid, huh?”
“Nyo?” Red tilted her head.
“I’ll have you know that my boyfriend has yet to figure out my secret, and he is in no way a dunce. He’s smart, caring, and brave. Sure, he might be rash at times and quick to pick a fight, but he does it because he cares for others.”
I reached into my pouch and pulled out my sword, then pointed it at Red.
“I’ll make you eat those words,” I glared at her, smiling all the while.
Red was surprised, but then realized the scene I had set up for her and went along. “Nyo-ho-ho,” she chuckled, getting back into character. “I see you have finally learned how to wield that blade of yours.”
She flung back her cape and held out her hands, baring her razor-sharp fingernails.
“But you are still no match for the power of the Monster Race! Soon we will gather enough negative energy to rid the universe of happiness and reign supreme!”
“I will never let you! As long as I am a magical girl, I will continue to stand against you! Even if we must fight one another for a thousand years.”
Red’s evil glare softened for a brief moment when she heard that. She smiled, shook her head, and got back into character. “Nyo-ho-ho. If you insist, then so be it!”
I lunged at her, brandishing my sword. Red’s claws deflected my attack with ease, forcing my blade aside. She then grabbed me and hurled me into the wall. I rebounded in the air and launched myself against the wall with my feet. I pointed my sword forward, ready to pierce Red Sandrea. She launched herself into the air, ready to counterattack.
Suddenly, the door to the throne room swung open, surprising both of us. Distracted, we collided with one another and crashed onto the floor.
Standing in the doorway was a large, muscular man. He had on a pair of khaki pants and a cerulean blue t-shirt with “STAFF” printed on it in bold, black text. He stood over eight feet tall, with long brown hair done up in braids like a Viking. Two white horns sprouted from the top of his skull while a large, golden ring dangled from his nose.
That guy was definitely a member of The Monster Race, but I had no idea what he was doing there or why he looked like he was on the clock at his part-time job.
The man cleared his throat and spoke with a deep, booming voice. “We’re closing up, so I need you all to leave.”
“What?!” Red shouted as she got to her feet. “Can’t ya see we just finally started our fight?!”
“You should’ve started earlier, then. We need to clean up for tomorrow’s reservations. Besides, it’s already five minutes past closing time.”
“But I! But we! Come on! Can’t you just give us a few more minutes to finish the fight? I just spent nearly two years worth of negative energy renting this place for the night!”
“Um, what?” I asked, confused by their interaction. “You mean this isn’t your place, Red?”
The large man immediately burst out laughing. “This castle is a place where members of The Monster Race fight against their magical girl rivals.”
He then approached me with a business card, which read “Climatic Castle, a subsidiary of Coreman Brothers Incorporated.”
I was baffled. “The heck?! This place is a rental solely for climatic showdowns?!”
“We also host birthday parties and corporate retreats,” the man said. “Oh! Belliney! Long time no see!”
The man walked over to Belliney and proceeded to give her a high five.
“WAIT! YOU KNOW THIS GUY?!” I yelled.
Belliney nodded. “Sure do!”
“I was the antagonist for one of Belliney’s previous magical girls. How long has it been since then? Thirty years? Forty?”
“About two-hundred-and-thirty-eight years.”
The man laughed. “Man! That long ago? Time sure does fly! We need to get together again sometime and catch up! So, this your new girl?”
“Sure is! Ain’t she just the most adorable thing in the world?” she said as she hugged me and rubbed her head against my cheek.
“I’ll say! You always had a knack for picking magical girls.”
The man patted my head with his massive hand that could crush my skull if he felt like it.
“Now hold on a second!” I shouted, slapping his hand away. “You’re a member of The Monster Race, right?! Aren’t you the archnemesis of The Celestial Plane?!”
“That’s right,” the man replied.
“But, like, you two are acting like you’re friends or something!”
Belliney put a finger to her lip. “Well, he’s more like an old work buddy than a friend.”
“Ouch, Belliney. And here I thought we were old pals,” the man said.
“But you haven’t contacted me in over two centuries!”
“I’ve been busy with work.”
“I’m busy with work too, but I always find time to see my friends.”
“Well, then how come you haven’t tried contacting me?!”
Belliney stuck out her tongue. “I had to change phones some years ago and lost all my contacts.”
The man let out a sigh. “That’s so like you.”
“Since you’re here, lemme get your number.”
The two pulled out their phones to exchange numbers.
“Wait, wait, wait!” I yelled. “So, like, what’s the point in all this, then?”
“What do you mean?” Belliney asked.
“Like, me being a magical girl! Red Sandrea running around collecting negative energy and fighting me! If you all are buddy-buddy, then why are magical girls and The Monster Race fighting one another?!”
“I mean, we’re existential enemies of opposing forces, sure,” the man said. “But that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends.”
“Opposites attract, after all!” Belliney chirped.
The two of them began to laugh.
“Say, did you catch that Celestial v. Monster basketball game the other night?” the man asked.
Belliney nodded. “Wasn’t that last quarter intense?”
“Wait, wait, wait!!!” It was Red’s turn to barge into the conversation. “If y’all are gonna chitchat, then could ya at least do it outside so Lune and I can finish our fight?”
“But here ya are just chattin’ away! The amount of time spent here talkin’ would’ve been plenty of time for us to have settled things.”
“If you want to file a complaint, then go ahead. But when you signed the contract for the rental, it was for the hours of 6 PM through midnight. Besides, I already did you a favor by letting you rent this place after the previous appointment was canceled. I could’ve gone home early tonight.”
“But I didn’t even get to fight! All I did was sit around and wait the entire time!”
“And that’s not my problem.”
The two got into a heated exchange, and I just stood there in disbelief. It was like my entire worldview had been flipped upside down. I didn’t know what to think anymore.
Belliney approached me and whispered into my ear.
“What?” I asked.
“I know where Jack is,” she said.
“What?! Really?! Where?!”
“There’s a hidden door over there,” she said, pointing to a nondescript wall. “Press into the handle to pop it out, and then you’ll be able to open it. This may take a while, so go ahead and see Jack.”
I nodded and ran over to where she had pointed. At a glance, it looked like a regular wall, but once I got close I could see the outline of a door. Within the outline was a small rectangular cut where a door handle would typically be. When I pressed it, a panel popped out. Grabbing the panel, I opened the door, revealing a fluorescent-lit hallway.
I turned to Belliney, waved, and went inside.
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