Chapter 3:

Late bestie

Card Fighters Recreation

As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting a golden glow over the arena, the card fighters continued their battle under the shroud of darkness. Above, the moon had risen, its pale light mingling with the twinkling stars in the expansive night sky.
The crashing waves, relentless and powerful, reverberated through the air, their rhythmic force resonating with every step Rena took. The sound enveloped her, a deafening roar that drowned out all other noises, making it difficult to hear anything else. As she sprinted along the shore, the cool spray of saltwater kissed her face, leaving behind a refreshing and invigorating sensation. With each stride, the hot, gritty sand shifted beneath her feet, slipping between her toes and grounding her in the present moment.
People strolled leisurely along the beach, their bare feet sinking into the cool, yielding sand. Rena's hair whipped around her face, the strands dancing in the breeze, and she couldn't help but feel a twinge of regret for the missed opportunity.
"Man, I have to make it to that card tournament on time," Rena muttered, her words mixing with the sound of her rapid breaths. The weight of her backpack swung back and forth, brushing against her shoulder, as she pushed herself to the limits of her endurance. The fine mist of dust from her footfalls mingled with the salty air, creating a cloud of determination that trailed behind her.
She had been looking forward to spending her evening at the card tournament in the nearby arena, but her boss had called her in for a last-minute shift, disrupting her plans.
However, as Rena ran, the crashing waves and the celestial display above began to have a calming effect on her frayed nerves. She inhaled deeply, relishing the crisp, cool air filling her lungs, and summoned her remaining reserves of energy to propel herself forward.
Just as she was about to pass the arena, the reverberating sounds of cheering and shouting seeped through the gates, capturing her attention. Intrigued, she slowed down and peered through the iron bars that separated her from the electrifying spectacle within.
Inside, illuminated by a network of spotlights, she saw two card fighters locked in a fierce and strategic battle. Their cards flashed back and forth, their movements swift and precise, as they vied for supremacy. Despite the encompassing darkness, the arena glowed with vibrant splashes of light, casting a surreal aura over the fighters and the roaring crowds.
The girl couldn't help but be drawn into the palpable excitement that emanated from the arena. Her hesitation lingered for a moment, torn between the weight of her work responsibilities and her burning desire to stay and witness the enthralling battle unfold. She could feel the beads of sweat forming on her forehead, while the mingling scents of perspiration and anticipation from the crowd made her stomach knot up with anticipation.
Weeks of anticipation had built up to this moment, and she had taken the effort to secure a prime spot closer to the action. Determination etched on her face, Rena maneuvered through the tightly packed crowd, her progress hindered by the mass of bodies surrounding her. She tried to push past them, but they stood firm, unwilling to yield. Undeterred, she rose up on her tiptoes, straining to catch glimpses of the action unfolding at the front.
She redirected her path, navigating through a narrow gap between two people, brushing against the fabric of their clothing. The low murmurs of complaints and the occasional elbow nudges accompanied her progress, but Rena remained undeterred. Her focus remained steadfast on her singular goal — to reach the front and immerse herself fully in the heart-pounding spectacle that awaited her.
Yimje Lee