Episode 04 - Goddess Tiara Cup, START! - is the fourth episode of Loveairaharune's first fanseries, Pretty Rhythm: Melodic Dream.
Petal Sparkle ✧, the newly formed team consisting of Amane, Yumeko, and Sayuri, has debuted! And the Goddess Tiara Cup, a variation of the Tiara Cup, is coming right up! But they're not allowed to enter! Will the girls manage to prove themselves??
I never thought Yumeko-chan and Sayuri-chan would be in the same school as me. I never knew that I would have a team so fast!
Amane happily lay on her bed texting her two new friends, something she had rarely experienced before. Even though she was happy, at the back of her mind she carefully watched her door, ready to shove her phone under the covers if her mom was to come in.
Hey, Yumeko, Sayuri, could you promise me something? typed Amane, suddenly remembering. Her teammates were 8th graders at the same school as her, so if word got out at school that they were Prism Stars...
Amane couldn't bear to think about it. She desperately waited for a response...
Waatttt? replied Yumeko.
Can you please promise not to tell anyone at school about any Prism Show related stuff? typed Amane.
Why? asked Yumeko, feeling confused and puzzled.
Well... I don't want us to be talked about! I don't want attention! typed Amane. The thing is, she thought, it isn't just only that. Those people won't understand something as wonderful as Prism Shows. The sparkle won't reach their hearts... and besides, Prism Shows feel... mine. I don't really wanna share something so personal... Amane blushed at such a selfish thought.
Well, sure, replied Yumeko.
Okay, replied Sayuri.
Promise? typed Amane, still not convinced.
Okay, if you break this promise, I'm disbanding Petal Sparkle! typed Amane. She didn't really like to use this threat, but it was the only thing she could think of to get them to keep their word.
Wat noooooooo was Yumeko's reply.
Okay, we promise, replied Sayuri. Ya -
Ku - went Yumeko.
Ku! They both typed and sent at the same time.
In separate rooms, in separate houses, the three once again started to laugh.
The whole school day was long to all three of them, having to cover all the excitement from the day before. All they could do was talk about anything un-prism-show related, and that was difficult.
"FINALLY!" shouted Yumeko as soon as school was over. "Let's go practice now!"
"YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!" yelled Amane.
"Yessss!!!!!" cried Sayuri.
"Wait, lemme just text my mom first," said Amane, pulling out her phone.
Mom, I'm going to Pretty Top with some of my classmates.
Be back at 5:30 sharp, replied her mom.
Amane realized how short the time really was. Mom, can't I stay till at least 6?
No, remember how you have your science and english homework tonight?
Amane knew there was no point arguing and potentially angering her mom. Sighing in defeat, she typed a halfhearted "Ok, I'll be back by 5:30 then ;)" The smiley face was the fakest one she'd ever wrote in a text.
"Guys, guess what, I have to be back by 5:30," groaned Amane.
"So early?" asked Yumeko in surprise. "I usually stay out till 8, then game the whole night!"
"What?!" cried Amane enviously.
"And in the middle of the night I get bored, so I make stuff like curry buns and chocolate cakes," said Yumeko grinning.
"She's really good at cooking," said Sayuri.
Amane just smiled enviously.
"Hey, guys, did you hear?" asked Amane once they got to Pretty Top.
"Hear what?" asked Yumeko.
"The Goddess Tiara Cup is coming up!" cried Amane excitedly. "Look, here!" She shoved her phone at them, showing the news.
"What's that?" asked Yumeko.
"The Goddess Tiara Cup is a variation of the Tiara Cup, which is a Prism Show contest! But now the Pure Crystal Tiara's already been won several times, and besides, they need a new Prism Stone to spice up the contest! And they've got one," said Amane grinning. "Look!"
A glistening silver tiara appeared on Amane's smartphone screen as she tapped it. It's so beautiful, thought Amane. I wish I could have it-
Wait, I can have it! If we-
"Oh wow..." gasped Sayuri. "Maybe we could-"
"-We could enter!!" finished Yumeko excitedly.
"You guys just read my mind," said Amane smiling. "Shall we sign up for it now? After all, we are an official unit..."
"Sure!" said Sayuri. She typed in their names, and clicked enter.
It didn't work. The enter button just didn't work.
"What is wrong with this thing?!" said Sayuri as she frantically tapped the button.
"Lemme try," said Yumeko, snatching the phone from Sayuri. Amane stared at them anxiously, hoping they wouldn't look through her personal stuff...
"Ughhhh!!!!" yelled Yumeko. "It's not working!"
"Let's just go practice for now," said Sayuri. "There isn't much time left..."
"Yeah, okay." Yumeko handed Amane's phone back to her.
So they aren't going to take this seriously?! thought Amane, still bummed about not being able to enter.
"Wait!" called Amane.
"So I've still got his USB, and he didn't even notice-"
"-Oh wow," said Sayuri laughing along with Yumeko. It didn't look like they even heard Amane.
"WAIT!" called Amane as loudly as she dared.
"Yeah, what?" Yumeko turned around.
"I was thinking... we could ask Mion-san to enter us into the competition..."
"So..." began Yumeko. "We wanted to enter the - What was it again, Amane?"
"Um, the Goddess Tiara Cup," said Amane.
Mion looked at them for a moment. "Your skill level isn't nearly high enough to enter such a contest."
"But..." Amane didn't quite know what to say.
"I'm sorry, but you guys can't enter. Pretty Top already has a representative anyway," said Mion.
"Who?" asked Amane curiously.
"I thought you would guess," said Mion. "Her name is Inoue Kaori."
"Inoue Kaori... I wonder who that is..." thought Amane.
"1,2,3,4!" called Amane as they practiced.
The girls danced until they felt like they couldn't move anymore, then collapsed to the ground.
"I'm so tired..." said Yumeko groaning. "I bumped my thigh twice..."
"Hey, why don't we play a game of Speed?" suggested Sayuri, skating towards the benches. She grabbed a deck of cards, and said, "Okay, let's start!"
"DANG! MY CARDS SUCK!" yelled Yumeko.
All Amane heard was giggling and the card slapping sounds. She couldn't help but feel a bit bored. Weren't they supposed to be practicing?...
She glanced anxiously at her watch...
"Guys!" called Amane.
They didn't seem to have heard.
"Umm... Guys?!" called Amane loudly.
The two other girls turned around. "What?"
"I think we should practice a bit now..." said Amane shyly. "I haven't got much time left..."
"Okay, sure, just let us finish this game first," said Yumeko as they both turned back to the deck of cards. Amane sighed, and skated back onto the rink to practice on her own.
Sayuri and Yumeko were still busily playing 10 minutes later.
Amane sighed heavily. Nothing she had done could even get their attention. It looked like she would just be leaving on her own today...
"Sorry... I've gotta go now... My mom'll kill me if I'm back any later than 5:30..." said Amane apologetically.
"Bye! See ya!"
After Amane had shut the door, she could still hear card playing sounds. She sighed again, and started towards the exit.
"Do you know why now?"
A sharp voice interrupted Amane's thoughts.
Startled, she spun around, and saw a girl standing there. She was several centimeters taller than Amane, and looked just a tiny bit older. She had long orange wavy hair, tied off to the side in a ponytail flowing to her waist, and sharp turquoise eyes...
Amane's eyes lit up in recognition. The girl from the day before...
"W-what?" stammered Amane shyly.
"You known why you're not going to be in the Goddess Tiara Cup, don't you??" asked the girl sharply.
Amane thought for a moment, and she realized, she did know. The reason had just hit her...
"Well, you know why?" snapped the girl.
"Yes," said Amane softly.
"Then why don't you do something about it?" asked the girl.
"There's nothing I can do," said Amane in that soft voice. "I can't control other people."
"I thought you knew why," snapped the girl.
"I'm not asking about how your stupid teammates fool around. I'm asking about you. Whether you know yourself."
Amane stayed silent in confusion.
"The reason why you're not in it, has nothing to do with your talent," said the girl. "It's because you can't get a group together. You can't just sit back on the side and let them do what they want, if you really want to participate," said the girl.
"Um..." mumbled Amane.
"I'm not saying that you don't have potential though," said the girl, without the malice from before. "You do. You can pull off that Prism Jump-" For a moment, there was a strange look in the girl's eyes- "-so easily. And I bet that with practice and training, your dancing and singing skills could be of a high level."
"But listen," said the girl, "Those girls will only drag you down. If you were alone, you would have already gotten in by now."
"Then it wouldn't just be me," said the girl, with an edge of sadness to her voice. "It wouldn't always just be Inoue Kaori there alone."
Inoue Kaori?!??! So that was Kaori-san??! thought Amane.
But before she could say anything, Kaori was gone.
"Minna," said Amane straight after school the next day. "There's something I need to ask of you."
"What?" asked Yumeko curiously.
Amane took a deep breath. "We need to take this seriously."
"About this competition. I thought you were all keen on it..." started Amane. Oh no, I need to change tracks, thought Amane. "Do you really want to win this Goddess Tiara?"
The other two were silent for a moment.
"Yeah..." said Sayuri. Yumeko nodded.
"Guys, we need to practice. We need to perfect our dancing skills, our singing skills. We need to keep getting better."
"The Goddess Tiara Cup is our goal. A team without a goal is meaningless. If we don't at least try to prove ourselves to Mion, then what's the point of this? Wouldn't it just be pointless?"
There was a long silence. Oh no.... did I say too much? thought Amane. Did I... really need to say that?... Was that too-
"Come on then," said Yumeko cheerfully, bursting into Amane's thoughts. "LET'S GET PRACTICING!"
Sayuri grinned at Amane, and went off to follow her friend. "You coming?" she called over her shoulder.
Amane burst into a smile instantly...
"Mion-san," said Amane nervously before they left for the show. "Can you please watch our performance?... If we're good enough, can we join the Goddess Tiara Cup?"
Mion frowned, clearly deep in thought.
"It's okay if we don't get in. But I want to at least try," said Amane shyly. Yumeko and Sayuri gave her a thumbs up from behind.
"Well... we'll see," said Mion. "Get on stage!"
Yumeko was the first to react. "YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!" She jumped and hugged her teammates.
"Y-Yumeko!..." said Amane in an exasperated tone. But inside, she was really, really happy.
"We're gonna pass this, and enter the Goddess Tiara Cup!" said Amane, and skated onto the rink.
"The lights come on, one two three!
My heart is pounding-pounding-pounding!
Show time has started!" sang Amane.
"It's a lot like being born, really.
Looking up to the new world.
Opening a door of possibilities,
Mixed with friendship, magic, and a bit of love..."
This time, Yumeko and Sayuri could sing along.
Yumeko, you're going slightly off key, thought Amane, but then, she saw the audience was laughing and smiling along too...
Oh well~ thought Amane happily. It was way better than last time!
And this time, Amane wasn't singing all alone again. The voices of her friends blended together with hers, forming a perfect, beautiful harmony.
"I've got nothing to lose!" called Sayuri.
Millions of multicoloured music notes appeared around Sayuri, and the background was a very pale green as she laughed.
"Musical Frenzy!" called Sayuri.
The crowd screamed and screamed. "SAYURI!!!!"
Then, Yumeko skated forward, and twirled up.
A glowing red fireball rose up towards Yumeko, and laughing, she jumped on it, then bounced to another, until she bounced up high into the blue sky.
"Prism Explosion!" yelled Yumeko.
"YUMEKO-SAN!!!" yelled the crowd.
The crowd is cheering for both Yumeko and Sayuri... they're cheering for my friends! I've gotta make them smile even more! With that, Amane twirled high in the air.
This time, she was in a dark place, with glowing petals floating down towards her, light glowing through her hair. She jumped up, and this time, saw a glowing shadow at the light on top in place of the butterflies. For a moment, all the noise around her seemed to die down as she stared up at the shadow.
Suddenly, the butterflies appeared again as the moment passed.
"Sparkling Fairy Paradise!" called Amane.
"It was a Fly High Jump Bonus again... " said Mion to Aira.
"Yeah," said Aira. "Only this time, there's even more passion."
We'll bring smiles to everyone!!!! sang Petal Sparkle, as they finished their song.
"SAYURI!!!" "YUMEKO!!!!" "AMANE!!!" Amane had never heard a crowd scream so loudly.
"We did it!" yelled Yumeko, and reached forward to hug her friends.
"We did what?" asked Amane. They hadn't even gotten permission to enter the contest from Mion yet...
"We pulled it off! Your jump was awesome!" said Yumeko to Amane. "Unlike this one here."
"Idiot! Shut up!"
Soon, Sayuri and Yumeko were punching each other playfully and laughing.
"Um..." said Amane suddenly.
The tall figure of Takamine Mion was walking towards them.
"M-Mion-san!" called Amane.
Mion smiled mysteriously at them.
Sayuri and Yumeko stopped punching each other, Amane clutched her arm tightly. All of them were bracing themselves for the response...
"Yumeko, your singing was slightly off key. Sayuri, your Prism Jump position needed refining. Amane, your dancing needs improvement, you were slightly off beat."
Amane nodded solemnly. Please, please please...
"But I could really see your passion in those flaws," said Mion, smiling once more. "So you're in."
They all went silent for a moment.
"SEE! I TOLD YOU WE WOULD PASS!" yelled Sayuri, laughing. And suddenly, all three girls were laughing too.
"Training starts tomorrow, and it won't be easy. Be prepared. You'll also need a new dance and song. Your current one isn't good enough." Mion started walking away.
The girls looked at each other and grinned.
Suddenly, Amane glanced at her watch.
"Oh crap... it's 5:20! I should be home at 5:30! I really need to go! Bye-"
"Wait!" called Yumeko.
"What?" said Amane impatiently.
"Let's go home together."
"I've got money for a taxi," said Yumeko, grinning. "I'm so rich, haha. And we can stop at your place first, Amane."
Amane stared at Yumeko for a second.
"Is it really oka-"
"Of course! We're friends now," said Sayuri.
"THANK YOU!!!!!!" cried Amane, gratitude surging through her.
As they got into the taxi, Amane was no longer thinking about how her mom would kill her. Instead, she thought, My friends are wonderful.
So this is true friendship....