Class 78's Face-Off Hope Romp

Chapter 6
A Friendly Disposition

(Uploaded on November 19, 2018)


Summary: In this totally-not-a-filler chapter, Makoto and co. properly restore Plankton's face and continue their adventures on the Easin Hills. They're really getting into the swing of things now!

…I'm struggling to figure out a better summary for this chapter, believe me.


Rise and shine, everybody! It's Day 4 of Class 78's Face-Off Hope Romp™! Let's get out there and go save some faces!

Wait… What do you mean it's only Day 3!?

Damn it, I knew I was forgetting something!

…oh wait, I don't care.

Anyway…

Where we last left off, Makoto and Sayaka had conveniently managed to reunite with Kyoko, who had unsurprisingly managed to find an inn on her own. And figured out part of its systems, too. (Would've been funnier if she got into her own shenanigans first, but… I guess that's too cracky for the Ultimate Detective.) With the Detective-turned-Mage on their team, their quest is only about to get better from here!

It'll be interesting to see how Kyoko reacts to everything in this glorified tale of crack, I'll admit.

Somebody go find all the cups of ramen; I'd love to see that, if you know what I mean.

…you do, right? Please tell me you do.


Easin Hills – Inn

"I don't think I've ever seen so many large rock-like structures along a grasslands like this," Kyoko commented. Having woken up early, as was her custom, she had taken to looking out the window as the sun began to shine through. In her hand was a mug full of coffee – detective stereotypes, I guess – which she was currently sipping out of. "It certainly has a sort of cartoonish charm to it, I suppose, as unrealistic as it may be."

Unfortunately, she wasn't one to be able to appreciate it – but at least Makoto seemed to like it.

"That's part of what makes Miitopia so great!" Usami pepped up beside her, her arms raised high into the sky. (Is she just going to do that all the time…?) "The clear skies and the bright sun make it even better, too!"

Sip. "So, you say that there are—as you put it—'tons of monsters walking around,' yes?"

"Unfortunately… That Dark Lord just works too fast! That's why we have to fight his terror by saving as many faces as we can! His influence may not be that big right now, but if we can show Miitopia that there's still hope to be found against Dark Lord Fiery's despair while we still can, I know we'll be able to rise up against him! Love, love!"

"So you say." Sip. Her enthusiasm, again, is truly something else.

Idly, Kyoko got out her e-Handbook and brought up the Map function. She browsed around, looking at the three objective markers blinking and trying to attract her attention.

Let's see… Her mind got to analyzing. According to Makoto, there are still three faces left that we have to rescue. Thankfully, they're clustered fairly close together, so we shouldn't have too much trouble getting to all of them.

Though she had only just been inducted into the 'Ultimate Adventurers' club the previous night (that was what Sayaka was calling them; honestly, I think it fits fine enough), she was already on top of things. Man—with an intellect like that, it's no wonder she's her game's Ensemble Darkhorse…

She got out her wand next, having decided to take an intricate look at it. After all, if it was to be her weapon for the next… few weeks, minimum, then it was best to make sure that it was suitable to conduct its purpose. I mean—it's like trying to use a Dried 'Shroom in place of a normal Mushroom. It's a terrible idea.

(As a side note, Dried 'Shrooms really do taste awful. Just sayin'. Eugh.)

Kyoko's Apprentice Wand was primarily brown and wooden, two coils separating the main part of the wand from its handle. The handle itself had a crisscross texture, though it was comfortable enough to carry. And on the bottom of the wand, there was a little ball-like bauble meant presumably for decoration.

Experimentally, the Detective swung the wand around. It was mobile enough; she could definitely thrust it into her enemies for some significant damage. (And no, I don't mean it in that way, you sickos.)

"A worthwhile weapon, for now," she mused, clapping it in her hand. "At least, until I learn some of these 'spells' that those of my class than supposedly learn." If she recalled from the explanation Usami had given her last night, abilities were gained from EXP—Experience Points—which one could gain by defeating enemies.

She hoped it wouldn't take too long to get her first spell. She wasn't exactly one for physical combat, being a detective and all.

"You're not worried, are you Kyoko?" Usami felt the need to ask. "I know I'm asking a lot out of everyone and all…"

"It's nothing like that," Kyoko assured her. (Sip.) Despite Usami's rather… saccharine nature, there was a sense of genuine goodness in her that gave her a bit of charm. "In fact, I'm confident that we'll be able to get the job done. I'm simply thinking over things before the day begins. You have nothing to fear."

"That's a relief!" the rabbit relaxed, beaming with relief. "That Dark Lord won't know what'll hit him!" A light bulb then visibly went off in her head. "Oh! That reminds me! I have to go wake Makoto and Sayaka up! If they sleep too much, it'll be hard for them to them to exercise well!"

And so Usami bounded past Kyoko and up the stairs to the two Ultimates' room. Interested, the Detective turned around in the room's direction, and raised an eyebrow upon hearing the self-proclaimed Magical Girl cry out, "Gooooooood morning, everybody! It's time for another faaaaantastic day in Miitopia to begin!"

The sound of a 'thwump'—and a subsequent sharp cry—echoing out from the open door only raised it higher. That must've been Makoto, she thought. Such a reaction could only have come from the results of his luck.

…you know, it's probably a good thing Miitopia doesn't have a stat value for 'Stach—I mean, luck; I'd hate to see what Makoto's looks like compared to everyone else's. (Or, heaven forbid, Nagito's… brrrr!)

"A-Again, Makoto?" Sayaka's voice fluttered out. "You're—You're still alright, right?"

"Yeah! I am, don't worry! …I think we need to get an alarm clock, though."

Sip. You know, Kyoko pondered, I imagine this will be a regular thing from here on out.

Well, I suppose it's not like it's anything different from our usual.


Greenhorne Village

With Plankton's face having been saved the previous day, it was only right that the crew go make sure it actually came back to him. There was also the chance that he'd give them free stuff, but to Makoto, that was much more of a side benefit than the actual reward. (It'd be the other way around for me, honestly. I mean—come on! It's free stuff! Free!)

So one teleportation and a little walk later, the Ultimate Adventurers were back in Greenhorne Village. Or, more accurately, Makoto was back; this was Sayaka and Kyoko's first visit here. And for them, the village was something to behold – though it definitely wasn't for the jolliness and happiness the town was usually known for.

Sayaka's eyes immediately widened upon seeing the darkened skies surrounding the town. "Wh-What happened here!?" she exclaimed. "It feels like a bomb went off here! I've… I've never felt anything like it!" The amount of despair in the air was so high, it was almost comical. Honestly, Junko would love it; I'm pretty sure we all know her… penchant for chaos, at this point.

(…man, remember when that was the biggest spoiler ever? Good times, good times… wait, those weren't good times.)

"A bomb, huh? That might actually be better than what actually happened," Makoto said, rubbing the back of his head. He shivered automatically as he recalled what had happened mere days earlier. "Everyone's faces were taken away, just like that… who knows what Fiery's doing with them!"

"So this is what the 'Dark Lord' can do…" Kyoko muttered to herself, taking in the environment before her. "I can see why Usami says why he must be stopped. Such a fate looks truly horrifying. I wouldn't wish it on anyone."

This was truly something that she had never really seen before. Crime scenes had nothing on this—because at least at crime scenes… people didn't suffer like this.

As a side note, she noted how the town seemed to have a general medieval theme – a rather stereotypical location in a fantasy setting. I should make a note of that, for later. (For who knew when knowledge of tropes could come in handy?)

A determined expression came upon Sayaka's face. "I guess that means we better do all we can to save everyone, then," she stated. This may have been her first time seeing this, but that didn't mean she couldn't sympathize. "Everyone looks so sad… It'd be terrible of us we didn't do a thing to help them."

"That's right!" Makoto nodded. "We can't let everyone despair like this! We have to bring back hope to them! So long as they have that, the Dark Lord won't be able to win – I know it!"

"Yeah! Bring back hope!" Usami unnecessarily chimed in.

Kyoko chuckled. "You and your hope," she said.


"Wow, he's so tiny!" Sayaka observed with astonishment at the figure below her. Indeed, Plankton's size was far smaller than even the short people back at Hope's Peak. Like, far, far too small. "You could step on him and not even know he was there!"

"D-Don't actually step on him, though…" Makoto said sheepishly. "I don't think he'd like it."

And for some reason, Sayaka's intuition was screaming that this guy looked vaguely familiar – the 'why' she couldn't exactly pin down at the given moment. I swear I've seen him on TV somewhere before… but where?

Even Kyoko seemed a little surprised. "H-He's one of the stolen faces…?" she questioned, a glove held up to her mouth. "…this world is stranger than I thought it would be." Speak for yourself; your academy alone has split personality serial killers and occult-obsessed overlord breeders, among a litany of other things. You think this is strange? Just wait 'til Killing Harmony comes around!

…oh wait, that's not in their 'verse. N-Never mind.

A few moments later, Plankton's face – which had sure taken its sweet time getting around – descended from the sky, and his faceless body jumped up in delight. The face circled around its owner's body for quite some time as said body jumped to retrieve it, and the whole scene was something of wonder to witness.

He's not doing that on purpose, is he? Makoto wondered. Because if so… that's simply—weird.

Eventually, the face properly returned to where it should be – and once it did, Plankton really started shooting up with joy. "Yes!" he cried, raising his arms to the sky. "Praise Neptune,I finally have my face back! Oh man, I am never telling Karen about this…"

"So that's what a face returning to its owner looks like," Kyoko observed. "Interesting." Another thing she took note of was how Plankton's face only seemed to return after the Ultimates had arrived. If she didn't know any better, she would say it was an excuse for an author or something to pad out their fic.

Ha ha ha… Who would ever do something like that, though?

…hey, wait a sec—!

"Hey there, Plankton!" Makoto greeted the self-proclaimed tour guide. There was a soft smile on his face, as was his usual feeling when seeing someone else be happy. "It's good to see you're okay now."

Plankton stopped his miniature celebration and turned to face the three Ultimates.

"Oh. It's you again," he stated bluntly, raising an eyebrow at Makoto. Well, that was polite of him. "I guess you're not all that bad, if you can… assist me from such an uncomfortable situation."

It may have been a begrudging compliment, but hey, it was still a compliment. Makoto would take that as a good thing!

And then he noticed the two girls standing next to the Cleric. "…great, and you people are multiplying now, too," he snarked. "Next thing you know, they'll be babies as far as the eye can see. Not looking forward to that day…"

Makoto and Sayaka immediately began blushing a bright red—ooh, more Ship Tease!—and were now stammering out denials as far as the eye can see—no wait, as far as the ear can hear.

"Wh-Wha!? It—It's not like that! You—You've got it all wrong—!"

"B-Babies!? W-Well, I wouldn't mi—w-wait, n-now's not the time—!"

Their responses were rather humorous, in my opinion. You can smell the sexual tension (that's what it's called, right?) from a mile away. Or two. Or twenty. Or anywhere, really.

…oh god, what the heck kind of smell is that?

Kyoko chuckled in amusement herself. My my, they're certainly trying hard to deny it, she thought. The way this is going, I wonder which of us will be the one to win Celeste's betting ring.

Yes, there was a betting ring for when Makoto and Sayaka would eventually hook up. Because of course there was. I mean, look at how much Ship Tease there was in the last few chapters! The only reason Class 78—and some of Class 77-B as well—were even bothering to participate in it was because Celeste wasn't actually making any bets herself, thank all the gods.

How the central duo hadn't found about it yet is beyond me.

(…she wondered what her own chances with the two were.)

"Well, it doesn't concern me," Plankton dismissed. You know, it's kind of hard to take him seriously like that when he's about as big as my hand. "I've got better things to do with my time, so… here."

Abruptly, he hoisted approximately two-hundred gold coins into Makoto's hands. Hey, there's the free stuff! "You people like rewards, right? Take it. I don't really need it."

"Wow. Thanks!" Like he did with Alphys' reward a couple days earlier, Makoto stuffed the 200g into his pockets. He'll figure out something to do with it, eventually. And maybe get a wallet for it, too; having all of that gold spill onto the floor would seriously suck.

Maybe we can get one from the inn terminals? he wondered. If they can give out food and equipment, then a wallet wouldn't be too out of the question… I hope.

With Plankton walking away—presumably to do the 'better things' he was referring to—it was time for the crew to move along. "Okay," Makoto said, "that's two faces down, and three more left to go! We're making good progress, guys!"

Sayaka put a finger to her lips. "Three more, huh? That doesn't seem all too bad!" She smiled widely. "We'll be able to get this done together easily, no sweat! And hopefully we'll find everyone else as we go, too!"

Besides, she thought, being able to have a whole adventure with Makoto? Sign me up! She was willing to admit to herself, at least, that that was a pretty big motivation for her.

Then, Makoto realized something. "Hey, that reminds me… Where did Usami go?" He looked around, but he didn't see the little bunny anywhere. Like, at all. Which should not have been possible; she can't stealth at all. "She was just here a moment ago…"

Sayaka noticed the same thing. "Huh, you're right," she noticed. She cupped her hands around her mouth and called out, "Hey! Usami! Where are you!? Come on out!"

No response, of course.

"…that's strange," the Pop Sensation admitted, "even for Usami. She sticks out like a sore thumb, even here."

"Hmm…" Kyoko raised a hand to her chin as she once again surveyed the crew's surroundings. If anyone could find the missing rabbit, it was the Ultimate Detective. She didn't get her title for nothing!

It took her a little bit, but eventually, she managed to locate Usami. "She's right there," she stated, pointing her out in the crowd. Makoto and Sayaka turned to look, and lo and behold, there she was. In fact, she was right in front of Cheery Granny Marie's stand, trying to haggle for something.

The Ultimate trio could hear snippets of the conversation from their current positions. "…please! …want carrots! …growing lady… need nutrition!"

"…"

"You don't have…!? …can't be…! …getting hungry…"

"…"

Based on the words Kyoko could hear… "It appears she is attempting to buy some carrots," the Detective summarized in her typical stoic fashion. "And she is not succeeding."

Sayaka blinked. "She eats carrots?" she asked, a little surprised. "I thought she'd break tradition and have her preferred food be something else. Carrots just seem… too stereotypical for her."

I suppose such expectations are valid, when you people come from a world that sets up stereotypes and breaks them harder than Kirby punching his own planet in half. Repeatedly. Plus Bandana Dee.

"I don't think it's a bad thing, though," Makoto replied. "I mean, she should get to like what she wants to like, right? There's nothing wrong about that."

"Hmm… I guess you're right," the Pop Sensation concluded. "Hopefully, that means we won't have to worry about her eating too many of our HP Bananas, then."

Kyoko raised an eyebrow. "…why would a rabbit be eating bananas, of all things?"

The Cleric couldn't do much else but shrug his shoulders. "I dunno—but I know she'd probably do it while being completely oblivious, though."

"I suppose you have a point, there."


Easin Hills

Returning to Easin Hills, the Ultimate Adventurers were back to hunting the three remaining Greenhorne faces. The path ahead was neither overly difficult nor utterly easy, though Makoto and Sayaka at this point had gained some relative competence with their still relatively green abilities. (…as much as Makoto could, anyway, given how his special skills was more healing than actual combat.)

Kyoko had gotten the hang of things herself, managing to learn her first spell—Fire, appropriately enough—and was elegantly weaving it into combat between stabbing enemies with her Apprentice Wand. "Fire," she cast, watching as the Goblin before her suitably exploded in flame.

If the Goblin could speak, it would most certainly be shouting "I'm on fire, I'M ON FIRE!" or something to that effect. Not that it mattered, because it was soon downed by another wand strike from Kyoko. (Boy, does that last part feel weird to say!)

"You've lost today," she stoically taunted the enemy as its trapped eyes were released into the air.

"Wow, Kyoko! You're pretty good!" Usami complimented from the sidelines. "I'm surprised you're already so skilled at this!"

"It's not like it's all that difficult," the Detective-turned-Mage said, casually sidestepping another Goblin's attempt to attack her. "If the enemies were on the level of, say, Sakura or Mukuro, we would be having a much harder time." Makoto was quick to assist her, bopping the Goblin on the head with his staff—I'm sorry, stick harshly. She smiled. "Thanks for that, Makoto."

"You're welcome, Kyoko!" The Luckster began bopping the Goblin several more times, and it exploded away in short order. Meanwhile, Sayaka was spinning around and keeping two other Goblins at bay. Her experience moving about onstage helped her immensely; she was dashing about too fast for the Goblins to keep up.

"Can't get me!" she mocked the enemies, dancing about like she was performing – and to her, she might as well have been, seeing as her Luckster was in the vicinity.

I can't stop now, she internally affirmed—I gotta do my best for Makoto!

With the power of their not-quite-upgraded relationship on her mind, she started Showing Off. And by that, I mean she started hitting the Goblins surrounding her harder – evident in the fact that they were recoiling harder as well – and then they fell.

…what? You expected something more spectacular? She doesn't have a lot of abilities right now, buddies; what else could she do?

"Great job, Sayaka!" And speak of the devil; it looked like Makoto had seen her efforts. The Pop Sensation beamed. Ha! He liked it! Woooooo! (Oh, get a room already!)

And with that, the battle had concluded, and it was time to reap the rewards. Experience points aside (though the small adrenaline rush gotten from them wasn't exactly bad), the four Goblins had dropped a few gold, plus some good 'ol Goblin Ham to consume.

Makoto went to pick it up. "It's still pretty weird, how these items are dropping out of nowhere," he mentioned as he stuffed that into his pocket as well—okay, is everything he gets just going to go in there? "It really does make this feel like a video game."

"That's not an inherently bad thing," Sayaka pointed out. "It makes our life easier, so I think it all works out!"

"I do have to wonder, though…" Kyoko put in, "Why is Miitopia so much like a traditional video game? If it were just fantasy elements, it wouldn't be noticeable, but here we have experience points and loot drops, terms which I only know from Chihiro and Hifumi's constant gaming sessions." The two most technologically-involved Ultimates in Class 78 often talked about their progress in whatever games they were playing in their spare time – RPGs, of course, being a common shared factor.

Makoto knew that all too well, thanks to spending Free Time Events with the two.

"That's because this world is based off of a video game," Usami informed them. "I don't know much about that, to be honest—" Why do I get the feeling that's a bit of a lie? "—but I don't think it really matters." She sniffed the air. "Those Goblin Hams smell really good! Can I have some when we get to the inn? I'm starving; Marie couldn't give me any carrots at all! Such a shame…"

"You really like carrots, huh?" Makoto said. "You know, I'm pretty sure you can order carrots off of the terminal. They've got all kind of food items on there."

"I know—but they've got a shortage right now!" she pouted. "I'm sure that's a part of the Dark Lord's plan: make me too hungry to function, so that he can steal all the faces he wants while I can't do anything at all!" The Luckster and the Pop Sensation looked at each other. She… doesn't actually believe that, does she? "Unfortunately for him, I'm not that easy to break!"

To her credit, Kyoko didn't so much as blink at Usami's short, nonsensical rant. "I'm sure that's the case," she said without hesitating. She proceeded to suggest, "Perhaps if we're lucky, we might stumble upon some fresh carrots for you, then."

"Great idea!" the Magical Girl perked up. "There's always something to find on an adventure! Let's go and find some carrots then!" Usami ran forward, eager to hunt down her favorite food.

"…she's certainly something else," Kyoko said after a little bit. What an understatement.

"I think she's adorable," Sayaka chimed in. "Who couldn't like that cheerful smile and cute appearance?" She's got a point, admittedly. "Despite her faults, you have to admit she's a pretty good guide!"

Kyoko considered the conversations she had had with Usami earlier, and decided, "In a way, I suppose that's true."

"Hey guys," Makoto interrupted the two, "shouldn't we tell her she's going the wrong way?"

Sayaka turned to look at her Luckster's request. "…oh." Indeed, the little bunny was going in the complete wrong direction. "We… We probably should."


Shenanigans ahoy! With Kyoko on the team, things are going to be getting more interesting from here on out.

Sorry this chapter was fairly non-descript, especially given the month-long timeframe in which there wasn't an update (I really have got to get better at not procrastinating). But, hey: not all chapters are meant to be long, and I feel like this chapter's decently written enough for it to hold its own.

I should hope so, anyway; for some reason, this chapter was a little more difficult to write than usual. I have no idea why, but something tells me it has to do with my increased inspiration for Kirby fics. Hmm.

Well, that's all for now – tune in next time for when the Dark Lord Fiery returns to menace our heroes! (Oh, and some other stuff happens. You know, the usual.)