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Sumire Mabataki floated high above Lucente Bay.

It was, she concluded, the obvious reason this had to be a dream - she'd never been able to float before. The second reason was that this wasn't the first time she'd been floating like this - no, she'd been having this dream for weeks now, with increasing frequency ever since the trip to Yobaiboshi.

"It's almost time now." a voice said from behind her, and Sumire half-bobbed, half float-turned to see a shimmer of gold appear, as well as silver feathers, and the golden light reformed into a beautiful woman dressed in gold, majestic silver wings stretched out, and a kindly smile on the woman's face. "Your star is almost ready."

Sumire placed her hands to her chest, which suddenly felt warm - but not painful like it had that other time. Stars? Hadn't Mei and Ushio talked about that a little? Something about Inner Stars...

"I can't wait! You're almost there, don't worry." And the golden woman floated forward, placing her hands over Sumire's. The green haired girl blinked - not only had the woman never done this in those past dreams, but her touch felt...familiar. Like it was someone she knew just as well as she knew herself. "Believe in your friends, all right?" the woman continued, smiling fondly. "And believe in yourself - you can do anything, you know that?"

"...who are you...?" Sumire asked as a reflex. It had been something she'd asked many times now, but the woman had always shook her head. But this time, the woman smiled, opened her mouth and -


Sumire flinched at the sudden loud beeping noise that had completely masked the gold woman's words. "I didn't hear you, um, one more time...?"


- Sumire groaned as she rolled over, hands flailing as she tried to reach her nightstand and hit her alarm. Once the infernal beeping had stopped, the petite green haired girl groaned in annoyance, yawning as she sat up, and rubbed her eyes.

"Auuuugh, I was so close that time too..."


OP: "Purikyua ✰ Wish!" - StarSHINE
EPISODE 8 - "The power of friendship! Cure Virgo's debut!"


It was Marfik who had seen it first - slight color coming back to Ophiuchus's cheeks, something that had baffled him. Rasalhague hadn't come back with a new Inner Star for the girl, and yet - she was starting to regain some color, just a little. "She's getting better."

"I don't understand." Rasalhague mumbled from his seat beside Ophiuchus's bed as he gripped both sides of his head, shaking a little in pain. He recalled the fight with the two Pretty Cure - but why couldn't he remember much before that? Everything felt fuzzy and disorienting, and now that he could focus a little, he felt an awful pressure inside him, something poisonous and awful and something that shouldn't have been inside of him to begin with. The attack from Aries and Pisces had jostled that loose a little, but the - the whatever it was still had a tight grip on him. "I don't..."

None of this made sense. Ophiuchus's didn't have an Inner Star anymore, she shouldn't have been getting better at all.

And whenever he closed his eyes and tried to think, it felt like his thoughts weren't his. There were memories from before jumbled with the memories of during and after all thrown together like his mind was a blender. He remembered being angry at Cebalrai, he remembered trying to settle the fights between Cebalrai and Marfik, he remembered darkness, he remembered first being aware of who he was, with that trembling Ophiuchus in front of him, but then he remembered those Pretty Cure, the ones Ophiuchus had destroyed, the looks on their faces as their life was dashed right out of them -

- he felt like he was going crazy.

"I'm going."

Rasalhague looked up to see Marfik coolly glancing at him from the corner of his eye.

"Try not to be completely useless while I'm out."

Marfik vanished without another word, and all Rasalhague could do was sit there, staring at the small girl on the bed, whose cheeks were a little bit healthier and whose eyes didn't look remotely seeping with darkness.

Mei sighed in relief as the house was finally quiet and peaceful. Today wasn't a school day, thankfully, but it meant she had to get up early to make breakfast for her siblings. That had been chaos all on its own, what with Miyo and Kouta angrily fighting over pancakes, and then the dreadful mess that had been the spilled syrup and the argument that had ensued over whose fault it was. The pigtailed girl couldn't help being grateful for Miyo's playdate and Kouta's soccer practice - it meant she could wash dishes in peace.

Usami happily sat on the table, munching away at leftover pancakes, little furry cheeks stuffed with syrupy pancake goodness. "Mei-chaaaan~!" he sang out after swallowing. "Your phone's doing the buzzy thing again~"

Mei turned the sink off, blinking a little. "Ah, I must have forgot to turn the ringer back on. Let's see - ah, it's a text from Chie-chan!"

Usami blinked as Mei silently read the message, tilting his head as Mei's eyes widened. "Mei-chan?"

But Mei ignored him, quickly switching screens. In an instant, she was making a phone call. "Ah, hi, Ushio-chan?" A pause. "So she sent the same message? Great, let's all meet up then~" And just like that, she'd already hung up and was darting out of the kitchen, leaving the last of the dirty dishes in the sink, weaving out of the den and down the hallway toward her room.

Usami frowned, hopping off the table and hurrying after the pigtailed girl. "No fair, Mei-chan, you're keepin' secrets!"

Mei grinned as she went through her closet. "It's not a secret, silly! I kinda wish we knew about it sooner, but we have plenty of time today, eheheh. See, today is - "

" - your birthday! Are you going to do anything special?"

Sumire flinched slightly at the question from her parents, looked back up to her computer screen where they were both staring intently at her via webcam. "It...I've definitely got plans later...!" A lie, and it felt awful. "But you know I've never really had a thing for parties..." Another lie, worse than the last.

"Sounds like fun, Sumire! Is there anything we can get you?"

Sumire felt her hands clench into shaking fists. What kind of parents asked that? Shouldn't they have already gotten something? And as tempted as she was to ask for them to come home for one year for her birthday, she knew she really couldn't. It would be selfish, right?


She forced a smile to her face. "Whatever you think I-I'd like, I guess. I'll love whatever you give me."

"You make it so hard on us..." her father grumbled, and Sumire had to resist the urge to apologize.

"Ah, it looks like we need to get going!" Her mother now, voice dripping with a cheer the green haired girl wasn't quite sure was completely sincere. "We'll talk later, all right?"

And just like that, the call was over. Sumire stared at the computer screen, filled with the same emptiness she always had when the calls were over, absently rubbed at her eyes. She was 15 now, and she could count on one hand the amount of times her parents had been around for her birthday. It was selfish, it was silly, but...

"Milady?" An elderly maid knocked at the door.

"C-come in, Ryoko-san." Sumire mumbled as she shut her laptop.

The older woman, Ryoko, quietly made her way in, absently patting Sumire's head. "I don't think you should cry on your birthday, milady."

"I-it's nothing." Sumire insisted, pushed out of her chair. "They...they're busy, I can't ask them to drop everything for me."

Ryoko frowned. "I understand your concerns, milady, however - surely you don't intend to spend all day here, do you?"

Sumire fidgeted. "...m-maybe."

Ryoko, oddly enough, chuckled. "Somehow, I had a feeling..."

The doorbell rang.

Ryoko only gave Sumire a look, pleasantly smiling at the much younger girl. "I believe it's for you."

Sumire felt a lump in her throat and her eyes water up. It - it would definitely be too impossible for it to be her parents, but then who...? She looked over to Ryoko for some sort of signal, but the old woman only nodded, as if in blessing. Far too eager about this mystery, Sumire hurried out of her room and down the steps, just as the doorbell rang a second time. She fumbled with the lock for a moment, opened the door and -

"Happy birthday, Sumire-chan!"

Sumire stared at the group before her. There was Mei and Ushio, Arata and Chie, Ushio's sister Kaiyou, Usami tucked in Mei's bag, and then Kiyomi, Momoe and Eiji, all holding gifts and smiling brightly at the green haired girl. Ushio and Kaiyou pulled the strings on some party poppers, confetti and streamers flying everywhere, as Mei grinned and put a party hat on the surprised girl.

"You're all...?"

Chie frowned in disapproval, balancing the box she was holding to tsk-tsk at the green haired girl. "Sumire-chan, you should have told us today was your birthday! We almost missed out..."

Sumire couldn't reply, too floored to properly do so. She had meant to mention it, really, but there had been that sneaking suspicion they wouldn't really care, or the absolute fear that she'd mention it but then no one would arrive. She hadn't grown up with formal birthday parties, much less friends, and it was overwhelming to see so many happy faces here specifically for her. "I..."

Ushio nodded. "Chie rounded us all up, said we definitely couldn't let this stand an' we all agreed! Everyone deserves a birthday party, yanno?"

"I..." Sumire tried again, furiously trying to blink her eyes fast enough - but she couldn't, instead letting out a sniffle as tears streamed down her cheeks.

"A-aah, no, please don't cry!" Mei said, frantically looking for a handkerchief.
"I told you guys showing up all at once was a bad idea..." Arata grumbled.
"Aaaah, shush! You're not helping at all!" Kiyomi fired back, pinching Arata's face.

"N-no, it's okay..." Sumire said as she wiped her eyes, giving them a shaky, but heartfelt smile. "I'm just...I'm really happy, that's all." she sniffled again, but smiled more warmly, stepping to the side. "W-well? What are you guys waiting for...?" she laughed, heart swelling with joy as her friends all hurried inside, chattering happily as they did so.

"Believe in your friends, all right?"

Her chest felt warmer, and Sumire placed a hand to her heart, feeling so happy she was sure she was going to start crying again. That woman in her dream - she'd been absolutely right.

"Sumire-san?" Chie called.

"I'm coming, I'm coming!"

The green haired girl hurried inside, shut the door behind her - and thus failed to notice the Marfik who appeared in the sky, eyeing Sumire's mansion with dead eyes and a wicked smile.

[eyecatch 1 - A close up of Cure Aries, flames dynamically surrounding her. Eyes narrowed in determination, she looks as if she's going to attack an enemy and she sends off a volley of flames--only for the scene to pan out and reveal Usami and Cure Pisces at campfire, and that Aries is simply building the fire up. Pisces and Usami hold skewers with marshmallows on them and roast them over the fire, while Aries grins and makes herself a s'more, winking playfully at the viewer. The Starshine logo appears in the corner.]

[eyecatch 2 - A close up of Cure Pisces, water trails surrounding her. She winks and then spins, sending the water flying out in a fierce attack--and the scene pans out to reveal that she's working as a fountain to a chute-like waterslide (which has a sieve and a bucket at the bottom to catch the water and excess noodles.) Sending water down the chute with one hand and holding a bowl of somen noodles with the other, she adds the noodles to the chute, watching them slide down. Aries and Usami pluck the sliding somen noodles with chopsticks before dipping them in tsuyu sauce. The three of them laugh. The Starshine logo appears in the corner.]

It had started simply. "U-um, as your host, I'll show you around...!" Sumire had offered, much to the glee of her friends. She was nervous, of course - she'd never had guests over before...! - but she'd braved herself through it, taking the group around the first floor, in and out of the many rooms her house had.

It was...a bit embarrassing, if Sumire was being honest - the group stopped to gasp and fawn over every single room, but the girl supposed it was natural too - they'd probably never been inside such a fancy place before! She'd taken the time to show them any room they wanted, and then -

"I want to see Sumire-chan's room!" Usami declared joyfully.

"U-Usami!" Mei squawked out as she hurriedly covered the little teddy bear's mouth, the girl frantically looking around to make sure any of Sumire's staff weren't in earshot. It was only when she realized there wasn't anyone else around that the group let out a collective sigh of relief. "Don't do that so suddenly..." Mei scolded as Usami laughed nervously.

"I really do want to see Sumire-chan's room though..."

"I-I guess it's okay." Sumire mumbled, fidgeting a little. Quietly, she led the group up the stairs but -

"Hey, um, are your parents around?" Mei asked.

Sumire nearly missed the next step on the stairs, reaching for the rails to steady herself. A million angry answers popped up in the girl's head, all of which she valiantly bit back in favor of a quiet: "They aren't home."

"...o-oh." Mei stammered in response, nervously looked toward the rest of the group. The pigtailed girl knew she'd done something wrong just by the way Sumire had answered - but she wasn't really sure how to fix it. It didn't seem like something the green haired girl wanted to talk about...

Soon enough, they reached the second floor and Sumire unlocked the door that led to her room. It wasn't that impressive, in all honesty - a wide room with a walk in closet off to the side, a fluffy looking canopy bed, a bookshelf with various books, a pair of double doors that led to a balcony outside, a desk with a few decorations and - "Uwaaah, you can fold paper stars?" Kiyomi gasped, flailing at the jar of small paper stars Sumire had, the glass jar three-quarters full of stars in every color of the rainbow and then some.

"Can you do other shapes too?" Eiji asked.

Sumire blushed, smiling a little in pride. "Y-yes and yes. I-I can do paper flowers too a-and - "

"I wanna learn!" Kiyomi and Usami echoed together, causing the two to look at each other and laugh.

"When did you start learning to fold them?" Kaiyou asked, head tilted as she looked at the small paper stars, then at Sumire's hands. The stars were so small!

Sumire's smile faltered. Ryoko-san told me to fold them when I felt lonely. She said when I filled the jar, I could make a wish and it would definitely come true. was what she wanted to say, but what came out was "A-ahaha, I've been doing them since I was small." she smiled, but something was tugging at her - when was the last time she'd needed to fold one of those stars, anyways...? She hadn't thought about it lately, that much she did recognize. Again her chest felt warm, just like it had earlier. These people before her, they really were her friends - and as happy as she was, it only highlighted how disappointed she was her family wasn't visiting again.

"You okay?" Ushio asked as she glanced over at the smaller girl, quirking an eyebrow.

"...I just need some fresh air." Sumire answered, quietly turning on her heel before heading to her balcony door, heading out to the balcony - and closing the door behind her. She felt guilty, shutting her friends out when they'd made the effort to make her feel special today but - but she couldn't help it! She was sad her parents weren't around! And they usually never were, so she'd grown used to it, truthfully, but -

"Sometimes, it doesn't feel like they really love me..." she mumbled aloud, trying to ignore the way her stomach twisted when she said that, like she was betraying her parents for even thinking of such an awful thing.

"Who cares?"

Sumire blinked, looked up to see - Marfik floating in the sky. Though she had never seen him before, she noticed he had the same red eyes that Rsalhague had - but this boy's eyes were dead and it immediately put the green haired girl on edge.

Marfik only floated closer. "It doesn't matter. Everyone dies anyways, who cares if you're unloved?"

Sumire crept backward, back facing the balcony door. Out of sight, her hand reached for the doorknob.

"Hold still, I've been waiting long enough."

As Marfik began to crawl with dark energy, Sumire frantically turned the doorknob, making the door swing behind her. She stumbled and fell back into her room, hitting the floor just as Marfik's dark energy shot forward, missing her and hitting a very unfortunate Eiji, who happened to be in the line of fire. Eiji cried out in pain as Marfik attempted to yank his Inner Star right out of him -

"Pretty Cure! Wish Upon A Star!"

- and in a flash of light, Cure Aries and Cure Pisces were there. With another flash, Aries had produced her scimitar, which sliced cleanly through the dark energy, freeing Eiji from Marfik's grip. Eiji collapsed backward and Arata was quick to catch him, while Aries and Pisces stepped forward and the rest of the group huddled back.

Sumire found herself trapped in the middle - and worse yet, her chest was starting to burn again.

"Get out of my way." Marfik said, still crawling with dark energy.

Pisces responded by cracking her knuckles. "Kid, this really ain't the day to be pullin' this stunt."

In response, Marfik practically exploded with power, another dark burst of energy firing for the cures - and though Aries was able to deflect the brunt of the blast with her sword, smaller tendrils had spread out on the floor, wrapping around Aries's ankles. With a swift yank, the girl found her feet being yanked right out from under her, and she shrieked in surprise - just before Marfik slammed her right into a wall. A livid Pisces went on the offensive, intending to punch Marfik's face in just like she had that first time - only to find her balance going the same way as her teammate's - and she hurtled right into Aries, making the red and blue cures groan in pain. As they laid there, slumped against the ground and dazed, another tendril of energy fired at them, pinning them in place.

Sumire's chest felt like it was going to explode. "Stop..." she whispered.

Marfik only looked past her, focusing on the rest of the group huddled under Usami's shield. Without so much as a warning, a volley of dark blasts shot at the little bear's shield, with such intensity that it could only barely hold up against the assault. When the shield shattered, there was another blast and several cries of pain - and when the dust cleared, several Inner Stars floated up and toward Marfik, who captured them inside a Darkness Jar. The injured Usami looked on in horror, sobbing in disbelief. "No, p-please don't!" he begged.

Sumire was horrified too. Kaiyou, Arata, Kiyomi, Eiji, Momoe, Chie, all her friends were...

This wasn't right. She had to - she had to...

"And believe in yourself - you can do anything, you know that?"

If that was true -

If she really could do anything then -


Marfik turned to her.


Marfik shot a burst of energy right toward her and Sumire instinctively shut her eyes - but instead of crying out in pain, what came out was a fierce shout of: "I WANT TO HELP MY FRIENDS...!"

You're finally ready.

Sumire's eyes snapped open as golden light shot out from her chest, dissolving Marfik's attack entirely. The light shimmered and reformed into a star capsule, one in gold colors with a silver star, reminiscent of the same ones Mei and Ushio had. Dazed, Sumire reached out for the capsule - and when she had it in her grasp, it was like everything clicked into place.

The power was inside her all along. And it had been guiding her...

Rising to her feet, Sumire's gaze met Marfik's - and it was one of utter determination. "Pretty Cure! Wish Upon A Star!"

Golden light filled the room as the chain around Sumire's neck vanished into nothingness, leaving her with her star capsule, which she happily held with her in a prayer. She pulled off the cloth covering the capsule and the pale gold cloth enlarged and multiplied at her feet before raising up, encasing Sumire as if she had become a budding flower. Inside the flower, Sumire twirled as her clothes melted away, replaced with a silver star brooch engraved with the symbol for Virgo across her chest, and a fluffy bright gold chest bow blooming behind it. The flower encasing her bloomed and the petals surrounded her before floating at her, each becoming a different part of her outfit. The first became her pale gold top, , while another became a dark gold skirt that reached her knees. Several petals floated past, becoming a petal overlayer for her skirt, as well as the sash around her waist, a twinkle of light creating the silver clasp at her hip. With another spin, vines entwined around her hands and feet, blossoming into elbow length frilled gloves and pale gold socks and darker gold shoes that resembled ballet flats. Eyes closed, Sumire flipped her green hair back, which glowed and grew longer, becoming a golden shade that reformed into a ringlet side-ponytail and an O-shaped bun. Spreading her hands back, her neck glowed bright, forming a long silver cape shaped as angelic wings, and her now golden eyes fluttered open, just as her headband appeared. With a deep breath, the new cure smiled and posed elegantly, the epitome of grace.

"The earth star with the maiden's innocence, Cure Virgo!"

Virgo closed her eyes. took a calming breath.

"Oh great. Another one." Marfik sighed. Well, she was new and barely looked like a threat -

Her eyes snapped open - and she immediately went on the offensive, practically flying for Marfik and swiftly kicking him in the jaw, the impact of the attack sending him crashing through her balcony door. He slammed into the railing, dazed and in pain.

"I'll ask you once - please leave."

Marfik forced himself to his feet. "Piss off." he hissed, before taking a swing - and then finding himself getting an uppercut so powerful he flew right off the balcony and down to the yard below. He hit the ground, shaking as he got to his feet - just in time to see Virgo leap downward, looking like an angel descending from the heavens.

An angel of vengeance, anyways.

The golden cure landed primly, cape fluttering as she came to a stop, looking serene - except for her eyes, which were blazing with a tranquil fury. "I've always been alone." she said, tone even, though brimming with rage just under the surface. "I was never able to make friends before. I never knew what it was like to have friends love me and want to make me happy. But I finally found that. I finally made friends, and I couldn't ask for anything better."

Marfik swung at her again, his angered punch only hitting her arms that were blocking the blow. Without giving him any time, Virgo weaved out of the way, sweeping his feet out from under him as she passed by, making Marfik pitch forward.

"And I - "

Marfik caught himself, turning his fall into an impromptu flip, legs swinging out at Virgo, who just narrowly avoided a kick to the chin. On his feet, he turned and swung at the Cure, who met his punch with a punch of her own.

" - won't let you - "

Virgo pulled her arm back and kicked at him now, and Marfik caught her leg - only for Virgo to leap and twist in place, her free leg swinging around to smack Marfik in the face, making him grimace and drop her captive leg.

" - take that away from me!"

Virgo dropped to the ground, planted her hands down, coiled her legs to her chest before springing her legs up and out, her feet solidly connecting with Marfik's stomach, making him fly backwards, skidding off the grass and into the cement. As Marfik recovered, Virgo effortlessly turned her attack into a backflip, easily getting back on two feet. Power thrummed at her fingertips, and words floated to Virgo's mind, as if she'd always known them.

"Pretty Cure..." she said as a blossom of golden light began to form in her palm, "...Floral Strike!"

The blossom only grew larger and larger - before it finally bloomed, sending a blast of white hot light at Marfik, followed by a flurry of petals. Marfik could only let out a cry of pain and when the light faded, he too had the same sort of haunted look that Rasalhague had, as if he hadn't been aware of what he was doing. Virgo stepped forward, just about to ask if he was all right - when he vanished, the Darkness Jar splitting apart with his disappearance, sending everyone's Inner Stars back to wear they belonged.

Virgo leapt up, finding it easy to leap back up to her second story balcony, just as her friends began to stir and come back to consciousness. And though she was happy about that, she also found herself staring at her hands, awed and completely dumbfounded. This was - she was -

"You're a Pretty Cure!" Usami sobbed in relief, running up to her and smiling wide.

"...I-I guess I am...?"

Most of the damage had mysteriously vanished with Marfik's disappearance, but it had taken a very long conversation with Ryoko and the staff to keep any of them from calling the police - it would only bring unwanted questions, especially with Sumire's new status as a magical girl. But in the end, the staff had been convinced - mostly by extremely threatening looks from Ryoko, who was normally so sweet and polite - and once all the explaining had died down, the group of friends found themselves in the dining room, exhausted but...happy, too, even despite the circumstances.

"I guess this really wasn't your ideal birthday party..." Mei mumbled, laughing nervously.

"It wasn't." Sumire said, causing the whole group to stare at her in apprehension. "Actually, I think it was better."

"Even with the whole attack and everything?" Arata asked, quirking an eyebrow.

Sumire nodded, cheeks tinting pink. "...because I was with all my friends." A pause. "U-um, we are all friends, right...?"

The group fell quiet, letting this sink in, then:

"Are you insane? 'course we are!" Ushio declared, just before reaching over to give Sumire a hug. It made Mei join in, then Chie, and then Kiyomi dragged Momoe into it, and Eiji and Arata found themselves awkwardly jumping in on the group hug.

And in the middle of all the friendship and warmth, Sumire smiled. These were her friends, and she was never going to let them go.


It was dark, that was what Ophiuchus became aware of first.


And she felt tired. Cold too.


But it was time to wake up now, wasn't it...?


...but at the same time, she didn't really want to either. She'd done something awful...




Maybe she could ask for forgiveness. Atone for it all...


Ophiuchus's eyes fluttered open, and for the first time in 35 years, she was able to see clearly, without the darkness clouding her vision. Her body felt weak and her head felt heavy, and she was barely able to utter a noise before Rasalhague let out a cry of relief and hugged her tight, leaving the girl mildly confused, but happy too, somehow.

Then she caught sight of all the floating stars.

Her insides grew cold and when she spoke, it was with a trembling voice:

"What have you done...?"


ED: "Twinkle Twinkle" - Yui Horie



Mei: Welcome to the team, Sumire-chan!
Ushio: Yeah, welcome! You're gonna be a great addition, I can feel it!
Sumire: A-ah, you're making me blush...
Usami: Uwahwahwah, Mei-chan, I'm sensing something!
Sumire: I-is it a monster?
Ushio: Or one of those Serpens jerks again?
Usami: No, it's - it's another Star Capsule! From that new transfer student!
Mei, Ushio, Sumire: Ehhhhh?!
Usami: ...Sumire-chan, why is your face all red?
Sumire: ...d-don't worry about that! U-um, let's see - ah! Next time on Starshine! Pretty ✰ Cure: A new arrival! The transfer student has a star capsule too?! Don't forget to make a wish next time too!
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