Prologue - The Ponytail of Determination
>In media res intro with Red and Yuno in the middle of settling who's stronger as they go through their forms till they go into Ultimate Chain and Tailgear Type-P. Souji's come to enjoy battles like this that raise his twintail game up and the reunion battle with Drag Guildy made him realize that and Yuno shares that sentiment with him.
>They made a bet on the outcome of this 4th fight between them. Souji wants Yuno to do something for him while Yuno wants him to make her feel all hot and bothered like he did before on their date together.
>"A kiss! I wanna give that a try! Actually, just come here and do it already!"
>Her blatant candour with that makes him blush and Yuno pushes on saying there's no demerit in him losing but Souji stays resolute and declares he has no intention of losing
Chapter 1 - A Mature Woman's Twintails
>The gang have gone to Winter Comiket days after the their all out battle against the hollow elemarians. The place is naturally packed with Tail Red doujin circles but there's an overwhelming lack of lewd materials of her to be found much to Isuna's dismay. Twirl explains that Red's popularity now borders on being a goddess so it was only natural lewding her fell out fashion but in exchange the focus went into individual fetishes so the overall quality of the doujins went up a notch. She even jokingly suggests that the creators here might evolve into elemarians at the rate they're going. None of these facts sit too well with Souji.
>Twirl and Isuna still managed to get their stacks of doujinshi stored away in the labcoat and Mega Ne's 4D pockets but Erina is disappointed she wasn't able to fulfill Beetle Guildy's final request to publish Beautiful Heart's various final publications they cooked up during the time they were revived. She's determined to take part in the next Comiket to give them their dues.
>Aika came along too despite her severely weakened body and the rest insisting she rest and recover at home. She finished her duel with Valkyria guilding using all 7 of her elemeraddition slots at once for a break release but using 3 was hard enough already so 7 has left her body very sore, sensitive and weak. On their way back Souji sees panting and struggling to keep up so Souji offers to help her to their destination. Aika casually takes him up on this and cuddles up to him oh so comfortably that Twirl objects to how she's taking advantage of her condition and how abruptly she's shrunk the usual distance she puts up between her and Souji.
>Mermaid Guildy returns to her lab only to find it destroyed and smashed apart by Yuno when she escaped. She's initially slightly put out by it but is amused and appreciative when she sees her BL materials were put away to a corner safe from any damage.
>The gang teleport over to the Twintail clubroom at Erina's suggestion and they get down to some year end spring cleaning for the place. Aika gets a bit cheeky here with a not so sneaky confession involving her claiming to love cleaning and the fact that Souji(Our MC's name) and SOUJI(Cleaning) sound the same. She even made a point to emphasize it at Souji by throwing him a suggestive look his way while she was saying. Twirl was not pleased at this new level of shamelessness Aika was willing to go to.
>They also briefly discuss future encounters with elemarians to which Aika says she should just head over to their place and clean up the remainders. Isuna has to remind her she needs to rest with a painful shoulder grip. They dig up various items from the year which brings back memories until get to Twirl's stuff which comprise of a mountain of self-made eroge with sequels, fandisks and spinoffs with merchandising of herself and Souji she made in her spare time, a stock of that instant pee drug that Erina drank(an apparently fond memory for Erina) that Aika flicks at Twirl driving her into a wall and the spare girl's uniform Souji wore during the Solar incident. Twirl had made it and even came up with winter uniform set in case he ever felt like transforming back into her any time though Souji resolves to do so again. They do feel it'd be a waste to throw it away(Twirl especially since she uses it as "materials") so Souji mulls over what can they do with it.
>After they're done cleaning Erina takes the initiative and invites Souji out for Hatsumode(New Year's Shrine Visit) to Aika's initial objection since she and Souji always go together every year. She relents when Souji points out that they can just all go together and Twirl taunts her.
>"There's no need to be so bothered by it Erina-san. Even if you decided to give in to this loser of a childhood friend who'd only have the guts to maintain her intimacy levels to mere yearly shrine visits, I will tell you that nothing would come out of it."
>"Hmph... I guess you'd be right about that if this were a little while ago."
>"...huh? Aika-san...? What did you... hm...? ...well, as long as you behave..."
>Back over at the ultimaguil base, Phoenix Guildy drops off Swan Guildy and bids him farewell after telling him to stay quiet about Mermaid Guildy's machinations for the time being so as not to provoke something drastic out of her and reminds him to keep on working towards developing his final battle form as promised. Swan goes into the halls expecting to greet his friends with a grand return from being "dead" but instead is faced with the sight and air of elemarians who've given in to despair and are being haunted by their impending doom. As he immediately suspects, playing on the main monitor is footage of Tail Blue defeating Valkyria Guildy in battle going on repeat like a highly traumatic horror movie. There are screams of anguish through the hall with claims such as still seeing Blue even with their eyes closed shut. Even the ultiroids are so traumatized that one forgets his usual "Mokke~" noise and complains about not wanting to shoot anymore footage of her.
>Swan goes over to Sparrow Guildy who has head hung low in front of the monitor and greets him. Sparrow relexively answers to it but then realizes who it is that's talking to him. He's greatly shocked in an exaggerated manner but rejoices at his safe return. One by one, the others realize he's back and react similiarly. He explains he never did die and that he's been training to get stronger. He informs them that he was able to reunite with Drag Guildy and received some final words for him to be the hope that guides all elemarians. They're not so convinced at this but he manages to get them to perk up when rationalizes to them that Tail Blue is not truly the deathbringer of elemarians her legend describes her to be as he himself has lived through a battle with her. Even if a God A Sword elemarian died to her, a regular old elemarian like still managed to survive so they can take heart in the fact that there is hope of survival for them.
>Twirl wakes up in her room from a twisting and turning nightmare about the recent battle with the hollow elemarians. She's been having them since it happened but what haunts her most from that day are the words Tyrano Guildy left with her. His urging for her to once again believe in twintails has been playing over and over in her head and it's been torturing her on the inside since doing so is cruel and painful to her. She refuses to even though he pointed out that she really should try since Souji saves her with his love of them. She gets a call over the intercom and she keeps it on voice only to hide the bags under her eyes. It's Souji and she immediately puts up a cheery tone and excuses the lack of visuals with a teasing excuse of needing to change out of her clothes which she actually starts doing. He tells her that Erina's mom heard about their planned shrine visit so she's sending over some fancy kimonos(Haregi) for the rest to try out and wear on the occasion. Twirl happily tells him she'll be right up and her mood's completely done a 180 because of Souji - enough to give her slight tears of joy. She's supposed to have no need for hope herself because being able to give hope to the one she loves is all she needs to be happy.
>The chairwoman arrives with Erina and Mikoto and after a bit of banter all around they all change into their new year's outfits. It's revealed Miharu had a phase where she was traditionally garbed beauty like Erina's mom for a while and implies she's the one who turned Emu onto the look.
>Over with the elemarians, Swan Guildy is rallying the survivors to move in for an attack since they don't necessarily need to wait for the Twintails to recover but Mermaid Guildy comes in and though he doesn't outright condemn her the others can tells he's seriously pissed at her for some reason by the cold should he's giving her. Peacock Guildy volunteers himself for the sortie since it's the time of the year for his fetish - Vest Crosses(Haregi).
Chapter 2 - Twintails Are Righteous
>"Kimonos sure are nice... I think I might like to try wearing one."
>A girl saying what snaps Souji wide awake. He figures he must have snoozed off into a dream while the girls were changing in the living room but he's a bit doubtful that he'd be doing that even if he was a little sleepy. The ladies come in all decked out showing off their colors to which Souji says to each of them that they look really good in them. Twirl's in particular catches his eyes since the style choice made her look like a goddess that came from another world but Twirl takes his compliments in an oddly subdued fashion. Emu chimes in with a bit of banter to back up Souji on Twirl's looks so she'd be more accepting of his words in spite of the fact that her lack of twintails was weighing on her mind but she does manage to cheer her up a bit.
>They also brought in the men's version for Souji to wear, naturally in audaciously Tail Red colors much to his chagrin. The girls are left speechless at the sight of him in it and leave Souji confused about whether it looks good or not. They head out to the Shindou limousine waiting right outside the cafe and the chuuni regulars who are there in spite of it being new year's celebrate the parade of colours as they go. Miharu slaps Souji on the back in pride at how all these girls are decked out all just for him.
>They make their way to the destination shrine and Souji asks which one they're going to when suddenly the elemarian alert goes off annoying everyone with the bad timing. Turns out Peacock Guildy chose the usual shrine he visits with Aika. Aika's a bit pleased by that info and declares they'll be starting the year of with a festival of blood. Thinking back to the voice he heard earlier, Souji asks Isuna if he can do something for him given the occasion. They transform in the limo but evidently that wasn't a bright idea as their armors' edges and pokey bits are hurting each other and the limo.
>"Citizens of the world, a happy new year to you all! I will be taking your elemera this year!"
>So says Peacock Guildy proudly as the Twintails arrive on scene. They start going into some light banter as the other three cover purposely Red behind them. Red walks out past behind them and both the people and the elemarians come to halting stop as they realize Red wasn't in her tailgear armor but dressed in a bright colourful kimono herself for the occasion. Souji figured that after the recent mess that the people of the world could use a pick me up so he deliberately decided to weaponize Red's cuteness by making use of Isuna's Glassgear's outfit switching ability to turn the tailgear into an outfit for a all out new year's greeting. Red takes cues from Isuna's idol performances and starts waving to the people, wishing them a happy new year and poses for pictures. Red notes that Blue has the textbook "conflicted" expression on her face at what she's seeing since she knows though it's for the people, Souji is starting to take the Tail Red persona in a direction she does not like. Isuna's also mildy conflicted as even though she's proud that her tech is being useful, Red's outfit is blowing their own efforts to doll up out of the water. Twirl's all too happy at Souji's idea to weaponize Red's loli looks and is making her way to the location to ogle at her in person.
>The crowd is even more riled up at Red's seemingly newfound self-awareness of her cuteness and rush in like 28 Days Later zombies to cling to her as much as they can. Isuna tells Red and Blue to stay out of the fight since the girls won't allow Red to tarnish the kimono(Souji by now accepts that girls have some strange priorities with certain clothes that he should just go with) and Blue has to make sure the crowd doesn't get too rowdy with Red. Souji of course notes that Isuna's actually being mindful not to let Aika exert herself too much since she hasn't recovered.
>Peacock fans out his tailfeathers at Red mid battle and is shocked at Red's muted reaction to it. Red realizes that he is indeed doing what real peacocks do for mating calls but muses that after so many proposals for humans and elemarians alike on a near daily basis this wasn't going to be anything out of the ordinary. Peacock then soon turns his attention to Emu who's just arrived on the scene and marvels at how perfectly her refined air, clothes and twintails match so he also fans his tails out for her. She however rejects his proposal too declaring that she and her husband are absolutely satisfied with their marriage and nearly blurts out that Yellow is their beloved daughter.
>The battle goes on and between the power ups Mermaid Guildy passed out and their stock of battle footage, Peacock is able to narrowly avoid Yellow and Black's usual individual tactics but they quickly turn things on his head as they meant to lead him into the sky for a combo attack. They deal the final blows and Peacock blows up in a grand display shouting out Happy New Year as he goes out. Yellow and Black return down to the grown and cozy up to Red themselves seeking praise popping in and under her kimono's sleeves and skirt. Red thinks to shake them off but remembers that they've been trying to raise everyone else's approval ratings too so Souji just doubles down on the waving and greetings to the public trying to make it look they're just being tightknit friends instead of acting on their own perversions.
>Back with the elemarians. They're a bit down on the fact that Peacock lost but their spirits remain high at how magnificently he conducted himself in battle and are even envious of the joy he got to have in seeing Tail Red in his fetish. Red's also pulled them out of their funks with this new footage and they're celebrating all the new images of her they have. Some are so happy that they're licking their monitors to savor the images. Their festivities come to a standstill when they suddenly hear the voice of a young girl call out to them.
>It's a tiny Tail Red-sized elemarian by the name of Apollo Guildy who introduces herself as a former member of God A Sword who's come to check out what's all the hubbub about Tail Red. The others are taken aback by this since none of the other God A Sword elemarians other than Valkyria Guildy even acknowledged their existences. She tells them that the God A Sword elemarians are a free bunch doing what they want but tells them to relax since she's only a former member of that unit. Mermaid Guildy comes along happily gliding into the hall saying that she has some new power-ups cooked up for them only to freeze up and get stock still when she sees Apollo. Apollo casually greets her but Mermaid only acknowledges her silently and leaves all tense.
>The gang arrive at the twintails shrine that the Shindou family apparently takes care of and Souji is flabbergasted that Erina didn't tell him about the place sooner since he'd have visited every single day as he goes about marvelling the various twintail themed architectures. The shrine is up a hundred flights of stairs so they all start climbing. Aika makes to pull Souji up along by his hand but Twirl's jab at her has Aika reconsider. Isuna's terribly tired out by the climb midway so Souji gives her a piggyback up the rest of the way. Erina puffs up and Souji notices that but he obviously couldn't carry both of them. Aika takes a shot at it saying her body's starting to hurt again and wonders aloud if she could have Souji give her a piggyback. Twirl shoots it down saying Aika in her normal condition would be able to climb up the stairs leaping backwards. Aika counters that she should have gone with an example that was actually divorced from reality instead of that.
>They get up to the actual shrine and Emu tells everyone to be sure to rinse their twintails in the spring water flowing up there to nourish them up. Souji notices Twirl standing aside near his mom and says Twirl should soak herself too but she turns it into an invite for lewdness. Souji turns it down and doesn't persist with the suggestion since he realizes Twirl's not really up to her usual cheeriness for some reason. When they go to offer up their prayers to the shrine bell, Souji also spots Twirl mouth the word Twintail as they make their new year wishes. When asked about the wishes, Souji says he simply wants for there to be twintails in the world.Aika points out he does that anyway as Tail Red but Souji internally remarks there's one person he hasn't been able to give twintails to, the one he wants to have them the most.
>They go around admiring the place and Souji spots an ancient mural depicting a twintailed goddess in the clouds. Aika thinks he's just seeing twintails everywhere again but is surprised to see he's right. They even note the stark resemblance between the goddess and Red's twintails but chalk it up to Red's being the orthodox style. This gets Souji to wondering about what Solar said to him about in his mindscape when he achieved the ultimate twintails as well the true nature of her existence.
Chapter 3 - Twintails In Regret
>Next morning, Souji wakes up to peaceful morning and sees hollywood movie star and live action Tail Blue Deck Nielsen on tv doing an interview. He's sporting twintails with own hair now and attributes getting over his recent funk after a chance meeting with someone special when he was over in Japan back in vol 10. He of course is referring to Souji and it pleases him to know he's giving it all for the Twintails movie coming out in the spring.
>Aika comes over so she, Souji and Twirl can check out the new year sales going on. Twirl lazily states she doesn't want to and plans to spend the new year watching B movies all day on the sofa and invites Souji to join her luring him with a "Twintail Shark" movie. Despite Aika's warning about the movie being unlikely to actually have enough worthwhile screentime for the actual twintail shark he's still gung ho and plops next to Twirl for a watch. Aika gives in and joins them on the condition it's just this one and then they head out.
>Twirl starts up her usual antics by letting Souji know he can use her breasts for a 4D experience but falters when she notices Aika isn't putting up any resistance to it. She questions her about the lack of reaction at the possibility of her taking Souji away from her and Aika simply snorts in surprised amusement and chalks it up to her recently feeling like she can just let her heart decide her actions freely and that the whole world just kinda opened up for her. She even goes as far as to state those days of competing for him are nostalgic and sepia to her. This gets Twirl to double down on the antics but Souji wishes they'd just let him watch the movie in peace. Naturally the 2 hour movie ends the way Aika predicted with only one scene of the actual shark filmed with a trick shot to make it look like it had twintails.
>Days later, the girls assemble in the command center for a girls' only meeting and the topic Twirl brings to the court is Aika's disgustingly forward attitude as of late and that she's even got a bit of sensual suggestiveness to her begaviour now. She brings up that cleaning pun she did at the clubroom and Isuna agrees on that it was disturbing to see Aika act that way. Erina even momentarily suspects an elemarian did something and almost transforms but Aika talks her down stating that there's no elemarian that would ever want to disguise themselves as Tail Blue.
>Aika plays down the charges in mock embarassment much to Twirl's annoyance so she brings out Anti-Aika System 14 - Aika Self Confesserer which is was designeeed to torture the wearer into confessing secrets but she's been keeping it away out of fear that she'll end up learning all about Aika's private solo plays. Aika again in mock embarassment puts it on herself(it later blows itself up when one Twirl's jabs got to her which it shouldn't be able to do at all) and tells them about having kissed Souji on his cheek just a little ways from his lips when he slept in her bed with her while she was sick. Twirl reacts in a bluster but Erina and Isuna have far more relaxed reactions to it since they've been in similar kiss moments. Twirl is shocked to learn she's the only kiss virgin in the group and Aika shifts the discussion to Twirl's also unsual gloom recently. They press her and she states the reason why she's the only who hasn't kissed Souji is because she doesn't have twintails. They shoot down that idea immediately saying it's definitely not like that. The talk leads to Twirl deciding to get in a kiss by Souji's birthday in one month's time and Aika raises the stakes by saying she'll set out to properly confesss to him by then as well. Erina and Isuna join with their aim to confess and properly kiss him too.
>Over with guildies, Appolo brings in surprise visitors in the form Medusa and Catoblepas guildy of the God A Sword unit. The former is an overly chummy and ambiguously queer dudebro type with a supreme fetish for little sisters and the latter is his stoic female pupil who's thing is little brothers. Frankly, just picture Medusa as being voiced by Matsuoka Yoshitsugu at max ham mode. Medusa asks the men what they think of Tail Red as and someone tells him she's their enemy and their goddess. Medusa gives them half points and announces that little sisters are goddesses and that everyone else is his little sister and tells them to think of him as their big brother though he does not mind if they all think of him as their own little sister. He moves on to "invite" a very scared Swan Guildy under his wing and drags him out the hall for one on one time to Mermaid Guildy's approval. Mermaid however feels a fire has been lit undder her ass she concludes the only reason they can be here is that the leader ordered them to either have her investigated or executed. She moves to takes things to the next stage.
>Souji meets the twin princesses in his dream and to their relief he tells them all about how the big battle went down. They're skeptical about his decision to trust the revived elemarians for their help against the hollows but reason that Souji's just amazing enough to turn common sense regarding elemarians upside down. Loel makes a point to inform him that Riruna didn't wear undies to bed for the night and he hopes she won't get a cold from that. They get into talk that has Souji saying he thinks of them as kind of little sisters but they remind him they'll be getting married to him in the future. Loel tries to go in a for a kiss before they bid their goodbyes but she notices that there are people watching. Souji wants to believe that the slight bitchy crack in her cute persona was just him seeing and hearing things wrong.
>Souji wakes up and finds the girls all lined up sitting by the side of his bed staring at him accusingly. Twirl had installed a dream viewing function to peek into Souji's dreams whenever the twins come visit him in the night so they got to see what Loel tried to get away with earlier. Twirl's very envious of Souji who gets to see them and in her exitement through the antics going on Twirl tries to charm him by coming close up to him and saying, in a cutesy voice like Riruna's, "Oniichan, can you take me away to go pee-pee?".
>Souji is mortified to the point of stiff silence and Twirl herself is embarassed at what she just did. Aika reprimands her for trying that only to get embarassed from it. Mikoto tries a proposal via the little sister appeal but Souji tells her she's just too much of an adult for him to even see her in such a way. Erina smiles to herself at Souji denying that Mikoto is capable of being a little sister.
>Suddenly Twirl's twirlphone rings out in a generic alert tone and she informs everyone that a pair of powerful elemarian signatures popped up. Souji notices something's off and asks Twirl where's the usual alert ringtone of him saying "Twirl's boobs". Twirl dodges it with a misunderstanding thinking he's asking for actual boobs. Souji doesn't mind not having to hear that play out but he's bugged by how Twirl changed it without informing anyone about it which is unlike her.
>The gang gets to the attack site and find Medusa and Catoblepas there. He introduces himself to them in boisterous fashion claiming Tail Red as his little sister to the crowd's disatisfaction. He quickly pacifies them and even gives them a good impression saying that Tail Red is everyone's little sister. He gets into the usual spiel on why little sisters are awesome which obviously goes a bit too far crazy so between this and his chaotic hold over the scene pacing, Red quickly pegs him to be one of the most troublesome foes they've faced.
>Yellow questions if he's the commander of God A Sword after he claims being a little sister lover makes him the strongest elemarian. Red says he's way too ridiculous to be the commander but Tyrano Guildy's laughing smug face echoes in the back of Souji's mind making him reconsider that.
>Medusa tells Red to be the good little sister she is and come knocking on his dooer and ask to sleep with him after having watched a scary movie. An ultiroid passes Red a pillow with heart mark on it to carry out the request. Red unhesitantly calls on being just the worst. All this while Blue's been quiet but now asks the rest if she can slaughter him now and preps her eternal pads to shift into eternal chain. Medusa taunts her poor qualities of being a little sister but the crowd suffer an existential shock when Blue rebuffs Medusa's taunt with the declaration of her being a little sister herself. They now fear there's a more demonic version of her.
>Someone else has been quiet this whole time so Medusa prods Catoblepas to introduce herself. She does so and lets them know she's his pupil and of the little brothers elemera in a bored tone as she pulls out compact mirror and puffs herself with powder demonstrating how little she's invested in what's going on. Blue shows instant interest in her statement that Red mistakes for more killing intent. The gang asks why an elemarian with the little brother elemera be studying under one with the little sister elemera when they're opposites. She says though Medusa is a majorly gross he's still got plenty to learn from so she tolerates his antics.
>Red gets ready to spring into action but they discover that they can't make a move at all. Medusa's got an ability right out of the legend so as long as he's got his eyes on them they can't move a muscle.
>"Little sisters are adorable... so much so I want to protect them at any given moment! But when they look my way they get in a mood and turn their heads away... And that's dangerous! They need to look my way! So keep on looking at them with all my heart! And somewhere long the way these eyes of mine became able to stop everything they see in their tracks! They became cursed demon eyes!"
>The others start panicking too after Red screams but try as they might they can't move at all. Luckily for them, before Medusa could do anything to them Kamen Twintail shows up and pulls his gaze away from them. They get to bantering until Catoblepas reminds him they should get going or else Apollo will get mad at them. Medusa muses that an angry Apollo is cute too but goes along with her suggestion to leave things at this for today. They go but not before Medusa tells Twirl that while she's not lacking in little sister quality to not be one, she should acknowledge little sisters are existences meant to be spoiled and looked after and that such a way life does exist. This leaves Twirl speechless and they take their leave saying to look forward to their next meeting. The gang decide to get back to base too but before they do Red notices Twirl's shoulders are shaking but can't see what kind of expression she's making under her mask.
>Back at the command center, the gang discusses how troublesome Medusa is and how they'll to set up traps to deal with him. Aika makes a suggestion to have Twirl profile Medusa because they should thought patterns of the same kind but this makes Twirl suddenly stand up nearly causing her chair to fall and snap at Aika in anger at the insinuating that she could possibly be lumped together as similar beings. The room goes into tense silence and Aika meekly apologizes for that thoughtless remark and Twirl tells her to just snap back at her as per their usual antics. Twirl apologizes and excuses herself saying she needs to get some rest since she hasn't been feeling well. After she retreats to her room, Souji asks the rest if they've noticed Twirl being down lately and they say that they have but don't tell him the reason why. Souji decides to try and cheer her up by transforming into Red and have Isuna use the costuming feature again to change into something Twirl would like. Aika puts a kibosh to that idea objecting to the fact Souji's lacking any kind of resistance to make use of Red's body in this sort way lately.
>Over at the Ultimaguil leader's personal dimension, the leader and Mermaid Guildy are having a discussion. Mermaid questions the leader on why he sent over Apollo Guildy to their base but he feigns ignorance and reminds her that he allows the God A Sword elemarians to do as they please and that he hears no news of the outside that isn't from her. Leader then materializes a deck of cards and lays them out for Mermaid to watch them most away until only the 9-K of spades cards remain. He points to the Queen with his astral finger and says the twintails are unexpectedly strong to defeat his War Goddess i.e. Valkyria Guildy. He flicks away the Queen card with force and declares that even so the remaining cards are enough to see the endgame through. Another card comes flying out of nowhere at Mermaid. She catches it and sees that it's the Joker card. He cites that an unpredictable element like that makes the game all the more fun. He then goes on to say that Mermaid's reports are the only diversions he has presently so he looks forward to hearing them from her as his finger taps on the King card. This sets Mermaid off as she clenches her and smiles coyly back as she asks if things would not be more interesting if the King card were to go wild and turn itself into a Joker as well. The leader responds with meaningfully pleased approval at the suggestion and adds that he might as well have the other remaining cards also turn into Jokers to make things even more fun. Mermaid gives him a flat no since that'd be way too chaotic a game. Their discussion ends and after Mermaid leaves the leader's dimension she gets down on herself for joining in on the leader's chuuni antics. She wryly aplogizes aloud to a far away Phoenix Guildy since she won't be able to use him as her trump card against the leader at this rate.
Chapter 4 - The Immortal Bird At School
>Souji's helping out at the cafe when Yuno walks in like a regular and asks Miharu for her usual coffee. Souji's obviously surprised that she and his mom know each other and she explains she's been coming by the place every so often since she first tried coffee here back in vol 8. The reason Souji hasn't seen her in here was because she was trapped up over at Mermaid Guildy's lab and she was being considerate by not coming by until the gang have had enough time to rest from the big battle. One of the regulars treats her to a coffee in the chuuni way and she gives her thanks in the place's chuuni way. Souji is mystified at how well Yuno fits in with place and asks if she's always had an interest in coffee. Yuno tells him she's just a curious bird and is interested in a lot of things and wants to try everything she can.
>Souji brings her down to he command center and is a bit uncomfortable since the girls are usually prickly about her coming there. Twirl is still wary about Yuno's presence but is willing to let her in. Aika's more exasperated by her more than anything but otherwise isn't quite as tense with her. They ask Yuno if they can fill them in on anything about God A Sword but she says by this point they'd know more than she would. She asks Twirl about Pegasus Guildy's data that she entrusted to her and Twirl tells her that her machine's managed to decode the bulk of it but there's just so much trivial information mixed in (e.g. Ultiroids have pictures of cute girls under their blindfolds) that she hasn't been able to dig up anything actually important.
>The topic shifts to the Ultimaguil Leader and Aika ends up asking why Yuno doesn't just go take him down if she's got so much free time. Yuno is taken aback at the question but Souji tells her to leave the leader alone for now and just look only at him. This gets her to go meek and blush and she tells him not stare at her so hard since it makes her feel funny below the stomach. Yuno then clumsily excuses herself in quick and awkward fashion running out the exit. Twirl and Aika are irritated at how much girlier she's gotten and the attention Souji gives her.
>Next day they get ready to go to school and the Twirl and Aika start off the day with their usual antics only to have a surprise tag-a-long joining them. It's Yuno and she's in their school uniform styled like a gal. Souji invited her to join them to see what school's like and Yuno couldn't resist her curiosity about the place so Souji got Erina to get it cleared for a sudden transfer. Aika tells her off to wear the uniform properly and Yuno says this is just how the original Yuno wore her clothes. Some more silly nitpicking and genial joke about it from Yuno and Aika frustratedly acknowledges how cute she's managed to be. Aika realizes that the uniform Yuno is wearing is the same one that Souji wore as Solar. Yuno asks to see a pic of what Solar looked like and after seeing it things click for her as to why some places in the uniform feel a little bit roomier than expected.
>They meet up with Erina who's actually a little bit prickly about the situation but she still welcomes Yuno to their school and tells her to rely on her as the student president. Yuno's ultimaguil conditioning kicks in though so she keeps referring to her as the student commander no matter how Erina tries to correct her.
>When they get to school, Erina has Yuno introduce herself on stage to the school. She almost gives her usual Phoenix Guildy, Warrior of The Sun intro but Erina stops her and tells her she didn't mean that one. She then announces her manifesto to achieve and spread top tier ponytails and the students applaud her bright personality. Over Souji's class, the guys recall her as another cute girl that hangs around Souji and get murderous at him saying their only consolation to his ridiculous luck with girls is that Tail Red still exists to soothe their hearts. Twirl reacts to all this in frustration since their classmates never give her the romcom treatment that all the other girls get.
>Over with guildies, Swan and Medusa are having a chat. Swan asks why Medusa's taking his time with the twintails and he asks back on Swan's intention to take the twintails of the world. He says he does and Medusa says then he'd know why too. Medusa wants to take his time to sear as many little sisters as he can into his memories before he has to rob them of their elemera. Swan relates to the paradox elemarians face but Medusa waves off the somberness of it and tells Swan they should head over to the hall and train the rest in the ways of little sisters. Apollo pops up in front of them with a hooded elemarian in tow and tells Medusa she'd like a to bring in another God A Sword elemarian to their gathering. Medusa happily welcomes the new addition.
>Yuno joins in Souji's class and introduced further as yet another one of Souji's overseas relatives. Yuno gets Souji's neighbour to vacate his seat for her and Aika scolds for squatting on the chair getting Yuno to verbally misassume Aika means it's because she's not supposed to show her panties to anyone else but Souji. The guys instantly passes Souji chilling deathstares. They try to get down to lessons and they need someone to solve a problem on the board only for Yuno to happily volunteer. She gets to the front, stares at it for a bit and Souji expects her to deliver an admission of not having a clue as a punchline but she instead writes down the correct answer to everyone's surprise. Aika takes issue with her subverting their expectations based on her gal looks and she says it's only natural she'd get it after spending so much time watching her buddy pick apart problems on a regular basis. Erina and Mikoto join in on the chaos with the former using the pretext of wanting to be helpful to the new student. She promptly has Souji's other neighbour vacate his seat for her. The whole situation has the girls worrying for Aika but eases their worries by saying she'll be just fine which sends them into girls talk mood pleading Aika to dish on whatever happened over the winter break. Twirl is not at all pleased about being left out of the harem shenanigans.
>PE period comes by and they get into mixed soccer at Yuno's request to play on the same team with Souji. Mikoto as their PE teacher reminds the boys to be careful not too get to rough with the girls and specifically instructs Aika not to cause any casualties. Yuno gets into it and scores a goal that knocks down the goalpost like a superpowered sports manga protagonist since that's what she thinks is normal for soccer. Souji chides her for it saying there aren't actually people who can do that. This makes Yuno give Souji a disbelieving look when Aika not only does the same but also added homing properties to her kick so that a ball that should have narrowly missed Twirl drastically curves its trajectory mid-air and sends Twirl flying into the goal. Souji retracts his statement and apologizes.
>The rest of the school day goes similiarly like things did with Solar including a mini-parade. Various Yuno fanclubs pop up and a bunch of girls get her help with tying their own ponytails. Souji walks Yuno out from school at the end of the day and he asks what she thought of the place. She tells him she had a blast and it was a really nice place to be. Souji asks her if she'd want to try being a twintail. Yuno gives him a blank look and shoots back if he'd be interested in trying out having a ponytail. He playfully tells her that he can't since he'd need to transform first but undoing his twintails would undo the transformation. Yuno remarks upon the wasted chance since she'd really like to see him in one. She then asks about Twirl and if she'd be willing to sport one. Souji tells her he's never seen her wear her hair in anything but long and free. Yuno says he'd probably be able to give her twintails back to her with his ultimate twintail powers but he says that he offered to once before that happened but Twirl refused it. This makes him compare how alike Yuno and Twirl are in the regard that they're both avengers retaliating back against the ultimaguil leader. Yuno answers back to his original question and says she's the same as him in that if she does undo her ponytail she'll just transform back into her elemarian form. They have a laugh about it. Yuno grabs Souji by his tie pulls him up close enough for a kiss. She says even with all the powerful enemies coming she's now looking just as him like he asked. She wants to settle the score with him and he gladly accepts. Yuno then grabs him by the waist and she flies them up into the sky like how she did on their date.
Chapter 5 - Twintail + Ponytail
>Their duel reaches its climax as Yuno and Red decide to go all in on clash of rider kicks as finishing moves. They're deadlocked at first but Red channels more bursts of twintail power into the kick and breaks through it sending Yuno flying away until she crash lands and forms a crater. Yuno gladly admits her defeat and praises Red for getting so much stronger. Yuno remarks that as much as she's been fussing about their duel, she's not displeased at all by the loss and that's a curious thing to her.
>Twirl calls in on the comms to tell Red that's there's an elemarian attack going on. Red grabs Yuno by the hand and takes off to the skies giving Yuno the escort she usually gives. They arrive at the site of the attack Yuno's mood immediately turns sour when she realizes Red is dragging her into one of their battles. They spot the invading elemarian helping a wounded and freaking girl to one of the emergency workers. Red kicks away the elemarian from the girl and helps her to the nearby nurse.
>The elemarian gets and introduces himself as Mummy Guildy of the Injured affinity. He explains the beauty in watching someone fight back against the pain they feel when they get hurt so he's come this hospital to appreciate them. Yuno pissily states she's outta here but Red gets grabbed and wrapped up by Mummy's bandages. Yuno gives in and joins the fight since she can't stand the idea of someone who just beat her get so easily taken out. Yuno gets Red out of the bandages and Mummy summons out some MegaUltiroids to fight them. Red then recalls that they agreed to follow an order from the winner of their match so Red uses that right.
>"Please fight together with me, Tail Phoenix."
>The new moniker momentarily strikes a chord within Yuno as Red explains she thought Yuno would appreciate a name that incorporate both halves of their existence. The crowd wonders who Yuno is and Red answers that she's a reliable ally of theirs. Both of their tailgears are reaching their limits so they clear the field quick and activate their break releases sending Mummy into the sky. They release them together as a combo attack calling out their own individual finishing moves. Red notes that it makes a fine combo attack only to have Yuno adhoc "Combination Move! Phoenix Blazer" and chide Red for not yelling it together with her. Red shoots back that she should have shared the name before doing it. The crowd cheers them on as apparently it's also the first time they're getting a proper show of Ultimate Chain and they really approve of Red finally getting a normal girl for an ally. Red introduces Yuno to them as Tail Phoenix and says though she won't always be in their fights she's going to be a reliable ally in the coming future to her confusion. Red tells Yuno that she doesn't have to accept the new name or fight with them when she doesn't feel like it but Yuno appreciates it and says they'll be doing this again some time. Yuno takes off and Red is happy to hear she's willing to go along with it but now has to think of how to follow up with Aika and the rest considering the vastly contrasting positive reception the public is giving her.
>Yuno flies back to her hidden cave hideout and is about to transform back into her elemarian form but she notices the presence of an intruder. She turns around to see Isuna behind her. Isuna praises her for being able to pick up on her presence and tells Yuno that she's come to make her own appeal for Yuno to join the Twintails.
> She says that Erina would most likely welcome her addition to the team and Aika will eventually get used to her citing that her hostility to Yuno doesn't stem from her being an elemarian but from her bountiful busom. They do point out the biggest problem would be Twirl because of her hatred for elemarians but Isuna tells her Twirl's starting to open up a bit more on that front that with time she'll be comfortable with having Yuno on their side.
>She says she's indebted to her for playing a huge part getting her to join up with Souji and rest and wants to return the favor. Yuno tries to talk her down by pointing out that she's not the only person she's indebted to and Isuna agrees and remarks that she wants to repay back every favor she's gotten that gave her a happy place to be. She also says that Yuno doesn't have to give up the elemarian side of her either but she should also enjoy life more with her human side and fight alongside with them.
>Yuno starts to callsher by her Tail Black codename but Isuna cuts her off and insists she just call her Isuna like the rest and she'll start referring to her a Yuno-chan. Yuno smiles and thanks her so Isuna won't let her go back on her word about this. Before she leaves she reminds Yuno that her email address hasn't changed and that she should feel free to drop her a text anytime. After she leaves, Yuno muses the nice ring Tail Phoenix has to it.
>Over at ultimgauil base Medusa is giving a lecture complete with a diagrams on the existences of little sisters telling the others things like how bratty little sisters are the best because go all meek and reliant on them when pushed towards their big brothers. Mermaid is off to the side getting her fill of Medusa on Swan action when Apollo pops up to remark on the sight. Mermaid outright asks how her investigation going and Apollo jabs a finger at Mermaid saying she's definitely an out. Mermaid asks if she's decided to take up Valkyria's role of safeguarding the leader but Apollo playfully mocks her saying that she's got it all wrong. She explains that the God A Sword elemarians really are free to do as they please and that their role isn't to protect the leader since nothing can take him down. Instead, their true role is to fend off any pests that might come running along before they bother him. Apollo takes her leave telling Mermaid to be careful with what she does next. Mermaid remarks to herself at the the kind of treat her senior Pegasus guildy must have gotten from Apollo when he was Apollo's target.
>Mermaid heads on over to Medusa who now has images of Kamen Twintail up on the screen. Mermaid asks him about since she passes her off as a twintail robbed survivor who went on to support the twintails. Medusa points out that Mermaid should pay attention to the reports on her and tells her that Twirl wasn't robbed of her elemera but did the unthinkable and removed it from herself and crystalized it to be used as a weapon against them. This gets the gears turning in Mermaid's head as a grin slowly forms on her face.
>Some time later Twirl asks Yuno to stop by her lab for a one on one meeting. Twirl's prickly about it throughout and states that Yuno's free to say she's joining up as it means the addition of a shield to protect Souji with. Yuno remains genial to Twirl's cold reception and asks why Twirl doesn't just put her twintail elemera back into herself since Souji does want to see her back in them. Twirl explains such a thing can't be done so Yuno suggests having Souji use his ultimate twintails powers to rekindle it back in her starting over from one. Twirl snaps at the idea and says if she ever made such a request even in half-jest Souji would stop at nothing to make it happen. Even back when Tail Red was on the weaker side, Yuno saw Souji would take his powers to new heights whenever it came to Twirl. Yuno tells Twirl she really can't come to dislike her and that it's probably because of how she reminds her of Pegasus Guildy too. Before she leaves, Yuno mentions that Pegasus did try alternative ways to make her turn into a ponytail and suggests that if she won't fix herself up with her own twintails she could try one of his alternatives that should be detailed in his data and focus on keeping their lives a happy one instead of thinking about the ultimaguil leader.
>Yuno heads on up to the cafe and asks for a coffee. Miharu pours her one to help wipe away the traces of grief she's holding in today and she can't help but remark on how good her stuff is. Miharu points out that Yuno looks like she's feeling like she got things off her chest and Yuno is surprised at how sharp she is. She asks if Miharu really is just a normal human and she teasingly replies that she might not be. Miharu gives Yuno a gentle look and asks if Yuno would like to try doing a part time job at the cafe. Yuno's receptive to idea of being the cafe's poster girl and spreading ponytails here but doesn't say yes. Miharu tells her to give it some thought. Yuno thanks her for the coffee and says she'll be back for more to which Miharu says she's welcome to come anytime she'd like. Yuno was aiming for Miharu to give her one of the usual chuuni goodbyes but for some reason Miharu simply smiles warmly back at her with that simple one.
>Days later the gang gathered up for meeting on the attacks Medusa's been carrying out. He comes and goes always managing to get them with his cursed eyes toying with them for a while just to head back home after he's had his fill. They haven't managed to come up with a working counter to it but Twirl announces that thanks to needing to show up a cocky bird on who's the top supporter, she's close to developing a new support item for the gang. The idea behind it was that although elemera can't be manufactured there should be a way create an elemera-like energy for them to use like how Valkyria did with her hollow elemarians. She calls it Alter Elemera which she should be able to make based off existing elemera orbs so Aika spotting the possibility of getting breasts immediately puts on a subservient ninja act willing to humbly do whatever for Twirl in return for a Large Bust elemera she can use. Twirl plays coy and makes Aika work for what she could hypothetically make for her. Souji thinks the idea sounds good on paper but he can't shake off this feeling of unease about it.
>Yuno uses the Marchpass Baton that Mermaid gave her to arrive at the leader's dimension. Sticking her elemarian form first, she greets the leader with some cocky banter. The leader asks if she's brought a way out with her and answers that she doesn't need to. She came to protect Souji and the others from having to deal with leader's sinister affairs as thanks for giving her chance to know what it means to have a human heart so she figures the only way to do so was to defeat the leader.
>There's a God A Sword elemarian around to protect the leader, Troll Guildy of the Uggo affinity. He's too ashamed to announce his fetish at first but reveals what it is when Yuno deals the finishing blow saying that no one would ever understand him as he goes out. The leader is amused and rewards Yuno by closing of the current space from any other elemarians coming in to disturb them. Yuno points out that while God A Sword does have especially strong elemarians among it, there are still those in it who aren't quite up to snuff. Leader says the unit is really a "playground" for the strong and that its members do comprise of those who assume wrongly of its actual purpose. Yuno asks if he's just been watching on from up high as Mermaid Guildy did all her nasty research as she pleased and the leader's silent sneering response amounted to "it was more interesting that way". Yuno still in Phoenix Guildy form begins wailing on the leader's sacred veil curtains but the leader makes no motion to get out of the way as blows of fire and fury rain down on it. They get into some really chuuni barbs involving death and her holding back her true power previously until Yuno transforms into her human form. The leader praises her for turning out to be so enchanting and she starts the assault again with kick after kick after kick. She made sure to wear panties under her dress unlike the time she dueled with Isuna. The veil gives way to fire and the leader's barrier is gone.
>"...............very well then."
>The disembodied voice disappears and is replaced by the clear tone of a girl. The leader begins to get up and slowly make her way to show herself to Yuno.
>"You have earned that honor, Phoenix Guildy. Allow me to reveal unto you the reason why I had you sealed away. The fact that you came to know of the truth behind the ultimate twintails and were allied with Pegasus Guildy... That you bear an affinity that challenges the twintail affinity... that you refused to obey the organization... that your regenartion ability posed a threat... None of those things called for it. You had achieved the final battle form forbidden to elemarians... what merited it was the fact you became human"
>"Just like me."
>Yuno is shocked at not just the fact that the leader was a human girl but that the girl also happened to share the same face as the one she saw in Souji's phone just days ago.
>"This person's name is Solar. The very first girl in all the universes to wear her hair in twintails - the goddess of twintails."
Chapter 6 - The Apex of Ultimaguil
>The leader explains that she like Phoenix Guildy had her heart stolen by a young girl long before Ultimaguil was established and before it was discovered that twintails had an especially good amount of elemera power to extract from. While she's monologuing, Yuno is going through her head about the name Solar. There was no way the leader would have known about Souji using that name while he was trapped as a girl so it's got Yuno wondering how the name came to them and if Souji taking on Solar's appearance really just happened by chance.
>The leader notices Yuno has her mind elsewhere is a little put off by it so she asks if it was really that much of a shock to her. Yuno shoots back that she's just really taken aback because she was worried that her power wasn't going to be enough to beat the one who killed her buddy but had her expectations slapped away seeing how this enemy she's been training hard to defeat is just a faker shut-in who didn't want her minions seeing her incomplete copy of a human. Yuno's noticed that while the leader's body has the form of a human she couldn't feel anything remotely human about it.
>Yuno charges in to attack but the leader simply holds out her hand Yuno feels the impact force of a dump truck hit her out of nowhere. The leader asks in a drawl if there could possibly be anyone who's weaker than their furniture as Yuno gets up off the floor and transform into her Tailgear. The leader asks if that's her trump card and Yuno answers that in this form she'd prefer to be called by her new moniker, Tail Phoenix. The leader muses that it's a bit unfortunate to receive a new name only to have it used for a tombstone right after.
>Yuno rushes in and manages to get in a punch. The leader's body beneath the dress feels inorganic and hard so Yuno taunts her having such and obviously fake body. The leader responds by saying that Yuno knows nothing and that when it comes to wearing twintails everything below the neck is meaningless. Yuno retorts back asking if she's so fussy about something like that why isn't she wearing her hair in twintails. Their fight continues as Yuno gets some more hits in. The leader congratulates her for growing so strong since their last meeting even remembering to address her as Tail Phoenix instead of Phoenix Guildy. She tells her that she is the first one she has ever acknowledged to be her enemy. This just pisses Yuno off and she prepares an all-in break release to finish off the leader. A grand ball of blazing fire engulfs the leader and she reacts in astonishment at just how powerful the attack is. When the blaze clears there's no sight or trace of the leader's presence to be found and Yuno celebrates happily about her victory shouting out to her dead buddy Pegasus Guildy if he was watching that.
>Back with the gang at the command center, Twirl unveils her newest invention - the Tailbrace Alter. As the name implies, it's a version of the tailbrace made to operate on imitation elemera. It's ashen in color and in place of a twintail elemera orb there's a hollowed cavity instead. Twirl says it's note complete yet and is on the level of a toy at the moment but when she does finish it Mikoto will be able to transform as well and back up the gang. This surprises both Mikoto and Souji but the latter is surprised at the fact that Twirl developed it for Mikoto. Souji was sure that she was actually developing something for herself. Souji spots Isuna also sporting a troubled expression at this news and he thinks she's also unsure about this new item. Aika asks Twirl in a sweet expectant voice about the large breasts she was promised. Twirl naturally tells her there isn't any and they get into their usual routine of Aika thrashing her for leading her on. Souji notes that Twirl at this moment was bringing about her own downfall at the hands of the power she had developed. The elemarian alert goes off naturally it's Medusa and Catoblepas again. They get ready to sortie as per their counterstrategy against the pair but before they leave Twirl has Souji take the Tailbrace Alter with him in case it might come in handy.
>Medusa's invasion point is a school so the gang help the public evacuate before they engage the pair. Medusa compliments Red on the new brace she's sporting on her other wrist and Blue gets grossed out how he immediately noticed that. Medusa says it's only natural for a big brother to notice the changes in his little sister and says he's come today to finish the fight. Red's about to say he's not getting away today but then realizes what he just said. Blue says that's more convenient for them but before they fight Medusa says they should change locations first to avoid hurting any little sisters. They comply and move to a construction area.
>They're ready to pick back up with the fight but before they do Blue thrusts her spear into the ground and nonchalantly approaches Catoblepas who's about to ignore them as usual to do some make-up.
>"...Say, Catoblepas Guildy. You're into little brothers right? There's something I've been meaning ask you about."
>"Huh? What is it Tail Blue? You want to talk about something? Are you up for a chat about little bros?"
>"I've got something like a handful little brother you see, I was wondering if you could help me out with that."
>"Wow! Hold up, hold up! Sounds good, good, good to me! Tell me all about him!!"
>Then they walk off to their own little corner for some Girl's talk. Red is incredibly shocked at the fact that Blue who hates elemarians so much is somehow now having a friendly chat with one and thinks that the shock of not getting her large breasts must have really addled her head. Yellow suggests it might be all part of their plan where Blue is supposed to lure away Catoblepas and they get back to the fight. Red readies her blade at Medusa and he coos over how having his little sister pout and glare at him makes him so happy. Red can already feel the mental trauma coming from dealing with this guy and can't help but get distracted over how chummy Blue and Catoblepas are getting over little brothers having catchphrases, acting tough and so on. Things then escalate before Red can even swing her sword.
>"HHHAAAAAAAAAANNNHHH!? Tail Bluem are you telling me you want to be overpowered by your little brother at the very end!? I don't get you! I totally don't! Little brothers don't need to be taking the lead!!"
>"Well what about you!? You want to make your little brother your own personal doll? An equal footing relationship works just fine! Rather, a little brother who'll eventually catch up and then start turning the tables on you is cute right!?"
>"No! You can have that in a normal boy!! Little brothers don't need to have that quality! I want a little brother who'll always be cute! That how the heart of a true big sister feels!!"
>"Ignorance is a sin. You wouldn't know how it feels to have a little brother that grows manlier and manlier by the day and makes your heart race do you? You don't because you're an elemarian."
>Red and Medusa trade very confused looks at the rapid breakdown.
>"You're twisted! You have no right to be talking about what constitutes the wonderfulness of little brothers!!"
>"And who exactly made you the authority on who gets to have a say about it!"
>"Aahhhh, that's a lowly monkey for you! Your brain's so inferior it's making me wanto to cry! You don't understand a single thing about the sacredness of little brothers! Disgusting!"
>"Hanh? Did the little worm just screech something? You didn't come equipped with a brain that could comprehend the charms of a little brother so just sit still and let me crush you beneath my feet."
>Red is aghast how nasty that turned and Medusa says it's scary how these fights over little brothers have led to so many casualties, it's why he tells her to learn from his little sister talks every day. Twirl is pleased since she's finally got an idea of what Aika did with little Souji when she was blown into the past back in volume 8.
>"Drop dead you wannabe brocon!!"
>"I'll be the one who's going to be doing the killing here."
>They begin to fight but twintails suddenly notice they can't move. Medusa reveals that little sister can get moody so staring at them stops being an option so what a big brother has to do then to keep sneaking looks their way to keep them safe. Red is even more creeped out and pieces together that Medusa's ability is actually more powerful than the legends since he doesn't need to stare right at his targets for it to take effect. Medusa goes up to Red and gives her headpat which she actually kinda likes because of the extraordinarily soft to the touch palm he has. Medusa reveals that he's worked long and hard to attain the softness of his touch so he can give headpats as much as he wants. The dizzying levels of his obsession gives Red an idea so he tells Yellow to fire all weapons any which way to get them out of the bind. She tries to but the weapons simply fall flat as they launch. Catoblepas reveals her powers are a compliment to Medusa's in that hers make inorganic objects immobile while his affects living beings.
>Things are looking bad but then Kamen Twintail comes in to interject. She instructs Red to will the new Tailbrace Alter to work but something goes wrong as electricity run across Red's arms when she tries to activate. The tailbrace alter goes flying knocking Red down to the ground before it explodes big time leaving no trace of it. Twirl is shocked at how grandly her new invention failed since that's never happened before. She's appalled at what could have happened to Red if it had stayed on her arm.
>That's when Mermaid Guildy chimes in and makes an appearance. The gang go on higher alert at her arrival and she's pleased by their hostility. Medusa himself isn't so happy that she's here and asks what she wants. She says she's come to talk to Twirl and tells her she admires her work and that they both think alike in how they figure creating fake elemera was the key to solving their problems. She says that both she and Twirl are reaching the limits of what they can achieve alone and proposes they team up together. She commends her rational thinking and her decision to get rid of her own twintail elemera to progress further shaking Twirl enough to have trouble with fighting back. Red argues that she didn't give them up, she entrusted them to her and that the decision wasn't rational, it was brave. As Red is speaking up for Twirl fire starts bursting from the tailgear enough for Medusa's ability to start giving away. Covered in a blaze, Red rushes at Mermaid and socks her away from Twirl. Black approves and gets nostalgic about Red's ability to power through these kinds of illusions and curses for the sake of her friedns. Mermaid says she provoked them a bit too far and says she's getting out since she's not a combatant but before she goes she tells Twirl to have a think about her offer.
>Medusa makes to reactivate his curse on Red but she summons up the Twintail brace to shift into Ultimate Chain and uses the covering transformation flames to block the effect. Red then switches the Tailcalibur into Brilliant mode and fills the place with blinding light. This gets Medusa and Catoblepasto shut their eyes and disable the freeze the others are under. They decide to keep the pair split and fight them separately. Red and Black vs Medusa and Blue and Yellow vs Catoblepas. Before they engage though Red walks up to Twirl and places a hand on Twirl's helmet.
>"If they say something about you, I'll say something back at them. If they try anything on you, I'll keep you safe. I'll do that as many times as I have to. So please... have faith in your own heart. I won't let anyone deny you that."
>Yellow shifts into her Absolute Chain mode and begins fighting Catoblepas. Blue heads over to Twirl first to make sure she's okay and tells her stop being so reckless by exposing herself at these battles because she doesn't want to have to see her cry. Twirl stands up and says she won't be doing any crying because otherwise her stalker is going to come for her. Blue doesn't know what she means but Tyrano Guildy makes a description cameo again.
>Blue shifts into Eternal Chain and starts swinging her fists at Catoblepas. Catoblepas might not be able to stop living things but her ability still has an effect on their armor so Aika's feeling resistance as she moves. Yellow keeps blasting away while Blue expertly dances between the onslaught of projectiles to either make openings for Yellows attacks or get one in herself. Catoblepas says they'll never get her since she only needs to look at their attack to stop it so Blue and Yellow up their game by debuting a new variation of their Large/Small Bust combot attack. They activate their newly named Giga Reflection burst by adding two more elemera to the mix via Blue's elemeraddition slot and cover their surroundings with a bouny dome over their heads. Yellow keeps on blasting away with her projectiles and every time Catoblepas manages to stop one Blue kicks or punches it back into motion while bouncing off the ground and the dome. Eventually it gets to be too much for Catoblepas handles and she gets hit by the barrage. Blue takes the opportunity to launch her break release finisher at Catoblepas but she manages to focus her power just in time to stop it just before it her. Unfortunately for her, Yellow lined up her own rider kick finisher and finishes her off. As she explodes, Catoblepas expresses her regret of not enjoying as many little brothers as she could.
>Red's fighting Medusa head on and manages to get in the same finisher move she used on Yuno once but Medusa proves himself to be made tough stuff. He gets in close deliver spiel about little sisters and the exchanged of spoiling and being spoiled as a big brother but Red's equally passionate rebuttals has him losing ground to her. Eventually Red notices that while Medusa does stare right at her, he also keeps on shifting his gaze away at points and realizes that Medusa's freezing by peeks was actually developed because he can't maintain eye contact too long without feeling timid and Red's up in your face cuteness is really getting to him. Black is off to side blanking out because she just can't keep up how hotblooded the two of them are going at it until she gets a hold of herself. Mega Ne says she really doesn't need to force herself to do what they're doing so Black has Mega Ne change into her bike mode and ram Medusa. She then combines with Mega Ne and casts her Macho Hell illusion on Medusa. Turns out Medusa was also talking big about everyone being his little sister since a pack of burly men flexing at him and calling him oniichan is way too much for him. Black then fires off a finisher, separates from Mega Ne so Red can ride her. Red preps up a final finsher and Mega Ne drives her sword right through Medusa.
>Medusa's down on the ground defeated saying he lost like a big brother who lost on purpose. If he hadn't been following Apollo's order to draw things out things would have ended very differently in their first fight. He addresses Twirl about her attempts at making fake elemera and call it a farce to try such a thing. He says the's seen and doted on many little sisters in all the worlds he's traveled but she's the very first person he's seen regret losing their twintails. He then tells her that her regret will go on to serve as foundation for better things before he explodes in a strangely soft and considerate fashion. The gang thanks Twirl for showing up or else they'd have been done for. They wonder where Yuno could have been and Twirl tells them she did try contacting her but there was no response. Regardless, Red is sure that someday when they need her help she'll come to their aid.
>Twirl thanks Red for getting angry and standing up for her gives her first genuinely happy smile in this volume so as bonus Red decides to fulfill Twirl's wishes, smiles as brightly as she can and holds her hand.
>"...Thanks again for today, Twoearle-oneechan!"
>Red immediately gets embarassed at the little sister act and Twirl wastes no time in going full beast mode and declares to the others that she'll be winning their contest here and now. Aika says it doesn't count since Souji's still in Tail Red form right now as she goes to stop Twirl.
>Back in the leader's dimension, Yuno's mulling her escape options. Her all out finisher nearly split the dimension apart so there's this huge gaping tear in this reality that she could jump into since the leader's dimension was created to be a labyrinth but having destroyed a part of that there's now a hole she can escape through. The problem however is that she has no way of knowing this will actually lead her out or get her into a even bigger pickle.
>Unfortunately for her though, she hears the leader's voice once more praising her for the attack. She goes on to say that Yuno really wasn't bluffing and that her power really has gone beyond what it was before. She goes on to say it was worth the wait and that she would have liked to enjoy it even more.
>Yuno is shocked to see the leader doesn't appear to be even the slightest bit damaged beyond her torn dress but she reassures her that she has done a bit of damage to her core and that she's the very first to do so. Yuno says she even felt the leader's presence disappear and asks if she also has regenerative abilities. The leader tells her she has nothing of that sort and that Yuno simply hit her so hard she sent her flying several worlds away through the rip in the dimension she made and that she actually quite enjoyed the experience.
>Yuno works out her odds and reasons that with her immortality she could eventually whittle the leader down but she pushed her tailgear to its utmost limits already and without it, she's not going to be able to do any real damage to the leader. Whatsmore the leader enjoyed the feat so much that she feels the need to pay her efforts in kind by demonstrating her true power. Yuno mocks her for having yet another form after being a girl hiding behind a curtain but the clarifies that it's no such thing. Her current appearance is meant to be her final dress and Yuno will be the first to witness this other form. The leader explains that her power is so vast that if it were to contain it to a simple body it'd only tarnish her face.
>The startlight in the dimension's sky starts flickering and then the stars themselves fall from the sky and get absorbed into the leader's body. She explains that the dimension itself is her power and that nothing short of a universe is able to contain all of her power. The world goes dark as a new star forms and reshapes itself in front of Yuno as she takes a step back to see the leader's true form - a humanoid of light.
>"I am Tail Guildy - the origin and ultimate of elemarians."
>Yuno can't make out much of the actual silhoutte, what lies beneath the light or whether the form is more feminine or masculine but it is humanoid and it has twintails. Tail Guildy asks Yuno if she thinks her twintails are beautiful and tells her that they are completed twintails. Yuno instead demands to know why she doesn't feel a shred of twintail elemera from her and says there can't be such a thing as a Twintail elemarian. She forces herself and her tailgear to get ready for round 2.
>"The ponytail that ties worlds together! Warrior of the sun, Tail Phoenix is here!!"
>Yuno's travelled through many worlds to learned the truth of the heart's power to change the fate of the worlds bound by twintails. She intends to mark the end of that journey with this fight.
>Yuno wails on the leader and at first it seems like the barrage of attacks is getting through but then the leader moves and Yuno takes a hit faster than she can register. The leader says whoops and that she didn't mean to go too fast. The twintails of light continue to unravel and reform as the leader attacks and Yuno can only conclude that she's moving at light speed. She tells Yuno that there exist twintails that are completed by nothaving to tie them and that she does indeed have zero twintail elemera for she had abandoned it and that's why her twintails are the peak of beauty and power. The reason why the leader didn't have her human form up in twintails is because they are in fact inside her twintails - this space she dubs the twintail nebula. Yuno is still left confused if these really are twintails or not as she's assaulted by a countless number of twintails.
>The barrage damages her tailgear so badly that the transformation is undone leaving her as just a girl. The leader pities her as she says that if she had not gotten to be too human, she could achieved even greater heights of power. Yuno rebukes him for chuuni nonsense twintail philosophy and for losing sight of what made them great and that having become ponytail and getting to live happily as one made her life a completely fulfilled one and calls out the leader for being the pitiful one to have lived an eternity shut in alone all by herself this whole time.
>The leader replies that she will have Yuno disappear right here and raises her arms as if to grasp the sky. She informs him that this is her divine technique, Tail Extinction. The world around Yuno freezes for a moment and then she gets swallowed up by light. The leader tells her that what she grants Yuno is not death but oblivion as Yuno skiwkt fades away into nothingness where immortality isn't even a concept. But even as she fades, she smiles and thinks to herself that she was worried for nothing. She feared that leader would be a bottomless pit of darkness but as it turns out the leader's darkness was vast but also very shallow. Souji was not going to lose to something like this and Yuno wants for him to show the leader his twintails. the warrior of the sun, the immortal bird Phoenix Guildy disappears with satisfied smile.
Epilogue - Ponytail Of The Sun
>Twirl is going over the battle footage to figure out what went wrong with the Tailbrace Alter and to her shock she finds that it did not fact malfunction and blow up on its own. In the span of mere nanoseconds Mermaid Guildy's hand pops out of a portal and tampers with the device and then retrieves it as she leaves behind an explosive to cover her tracks. Mermaid Guildy now has her hands on Twirl's technology.
I'm in a dream. I'm back in that faintly lit space-like darkness again today. However... what waited for me at the end of the guiding light weren't the tiny twin princesses.
The one who raised their hand to greet me was the ponytailed girl Iwabane Yuno.
"Yuno... you can also do dream links too now?"
"Hm? Dream what? I ain't doing whatever that is. I just came to see you!"
No, to be doing that in a dream you'd have to be doing a dream link wouldn't you...? Still, what Yuno was wearing right now was the Yougetsu Highschool girl's uniform. She already gave that back to us. I was in my school uniform too. You look like what the dream link traces from your body's appearance so this probably is something different.
"So? What's up? Why go out of your way to meet in a dream?"
I ask her that and Yuno sheepishly scratches her head in response.
"Well you see... I actually went to throw down with the leader but... I ended up losing again!!"
She said that a tad too casually that it took me a few seconds before I actually processed it.
"...hey wait a minute!!"
So when I realized the weight that information held I closed in on Yuno as her expression changed.
"Why did you go charging in all by yourself!? I did say we'd become comrades and fight him together didn't I!?"
Why on earth would she try to do a solo run on the one foe that needs all hands on deck of all things!
"I did it because of what you said. I had to go clear away past grievances and start over with a fresh heart... I couldn't be your comrade if I didn't get that done."
...guess there's no helping it now that she said it. That's just how she is. Never mind our duel, she wouldn't feel ready till she breaks out of her heart's cage. She has to do what she sets out to do. That's a good good qualities and occasinally a bad one.
"At any rate, it's good you didn't get sealed away again. For an immortal like you that's the only way you'd lose."
Yuno stretches her body and lets out a long sight. It really told just how exhausted she was.
"Man, I'm beat. Sorry but I'm going to be taking a bit of a break!"
"Okay... the leader really must have been pretty strong."
To get this one here this wiped out... the usual tricks probably aren't going to cut it.
"Aah, that's it! No worries, no worries! If anyone can beat the leader, it's going to be you!"
She flashes a big grin as if to drive off the anxiety hanging on my heart. Yuno places her hand on my shoulder and looks at with me her crystal clear eyes.
"...never forget your love towards twintails. That alone is going make you unbeatable Souji."
"If that's what's going to make me unbeatable... then I already am."
Yuno gives me satisfied nod and puts her other hand on my free shoulder and narrows her eyes with deliberation.
"I made a bit of a compromise when we settled things in battle. That's why I'm going to make up for it by getting my wish too Souji."
"By wish you me..."
She cut me off before I could ask. My words had been interrupted by a soft warmth.
Yet another surprise attack. This flawless beauty who's always ready to spring a surprise on me kissed me just like she wanted. All I could see beyond my impeded vision was a swaying ponytail standing on her tiptoes. Out of the many fires borne from our battles, this heat I felt from her lips were far too gentle. Yuno pulls her face back away from mine, her eyes moist and so tender that she could almost be mistaken for an entirely different person.
"They feel super nice, these kisses."
Yuno thrusts a finger in front of my eyes as if to stop my words.
"Don't go saying troublesome things... I wanted to do that so I did. After all, there's nothing I'm not interested in!!"
She lives her life without holding back and shines wherever and whenever... even the shock from having been kissed by her is dulled by standing before that brilliance.
"I'm glad that I was born an elemarian. If I was a human from the start... I definitely wouldn't be discovering one blessing after another like I do now."
Is that so... she feels happiness from the fact she was born an elemarian. What I said before about getting her to live as a human was uncalled for. As an elemarian she could come to learn the joys of being human as she continues to live. That more than anything else is what makes up Phoenix Guildy's happiness.
"See ya, Souji!"
"Yeah. Come back once your body's recovered, Yuno. After all, you're our comrade - Tail Phoenix!!"
Instead of doing one of her usual grandiose poses like she always does, Yuno turns around with her hands linked together behind her as her ponytail gently swayed in the light.
"I love you."
Acting just like any normal girl would, a gentle smile forms on her face... and Yuno herself disappears into the light.
...and before I realized it, I found myself sitting up on my bed with my right arm reaching out into open air as if to pull something back.
I touch my fingers to my lips. I could still feel some remaining warmth on them. She said it wasn't a dream link but I don't think I can say what I just saw was only a dream. She really marches to the beat of her own drum. Always coming whenever she pleases and gone for as long as it satisfies her. For all of what she said, I might just end up getting ambushed by her again on the way to school in the next few days.
"I guess I should go learn how to pour coffee from mom till she comes back."
I get out of bed and open the curtains. The sun is shining down quite nicely. Not losing at all to the winter cold, the sun shines bright and strong. Just like Yuno's ponytail.