The door swings open to the sound of shrill caws echoing through the empty city. Occasional gusts of wind scatter small piles of leaves that have accumulated. The almost silence is eerie, as if in a bubble, isolated from the rest of society. Neku peers out, and, when he deems it safe, beckons the girls to follow him. They make it a couple steps out the door before a piercing scream shatters the quiet, followed by some loud shouting, making them all jump.
"W-what's going on?" Shiki asks, trembling like a leaf. Neku takes a deep breath, trying to slow his racing heart.
"Sounds like someone needs our help. Let's go."
In front of them, a rhinoceros Noise stomps down the street in the direction of the Scramble. Two wolf Noise slink in the opposite direction. One of them looks up and locks eyes with Neku, who freezes. It takes a step toward them, before perking up its ears and dashing off down the street after its companion, heading towards the source of the shouting.
With Neku leading the way, the three of them hurry along in the direction of the noise. A loud roar drowns out the sound of their steps against the pavement for a moment, with the sound of a small explosion following soon after. As they approach the main store area, Neku holds up a hand, signaling to stop.
Kariya stands in the middle of the road, fending off a trio of weasel Noise. Behind him, Uzuki and Minamimoto duel with a large dragon Noise, a trail of blood following Uzuki from a large gash in her leg. Off to the side, a swarm of raven Noise attack the phone booth of love as if holding a personal grudge against it. The interior light is on, revealing that there's someone inside.
Neku dives straight into the fray, jumping in to assist Kariya. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Shiki and Eri engage a penguin Noise, Mr. Mew using his non-existent claws to swipe at it. When the penguin dives toward them, Eri jumps in front of Shiki, conjuring up a spring green dress to block the attack.
Together with Kariya, Neku manages to erase the weasels, but some jellyfish Noise take their place almost instantly. Panting, he waits for his pins to recharge, dodging around their extending tentacles.
"Neku!" Kariya shouts, flinging an exploding spark at the Noise. "We've gotta retreat! Uzuki's hurt and we need reinforcements!"
"Got it!" Neku shouts back, before being violently clawed in the back by a bear Noise. Gritting his teeth, he turns and blasts it with a bolt of lightning. Out of the corner of his eye he can see a fin circling around them, his feeling of panic spiking. They're being overwhelmed, they're not going to make it out...
Then a note rings out, coming from the phone booth. The Noise stop in their tracks, allowing Neku to erase the ones he was fighting. Another chord rings out and the rest of the Noise scatter, leaving confused silence in their wake.
The door of the phone booth swings open, and everyone takes a step back. A young man with a blonde mullet pops his head out, then steps outside, carrying a large, stringed instrument.
"What's going on?"
Neku's brow crinkles. Who the hell is this guy? "You a Player?"
The guy tilts his head. "Um... I play sitar?" He offers. "I'm Myde. Is there something wrong?"
From across the street, Neku and Shiki exchange glances. "Well..."
"Look out!" Eri shrieks suddenly. A lone raven Noise swoops down, perching on the top of what Myde had called a sitar. "Hold on, we'll take care of it..."
Myde grins at them. "Why? It's just a bird." To everyone's horror, he reaches up to pet the bird. It flaps its wings at him, then surprisingly settles down, hopping down to perch on his shoulder. It nuzzles against him affectionately. Myde chuckles and pets it. "Aw, you kinda remind me of someone I used to know. I wonder how he's doing now."
Kariya breathes a sigh of relief and walks toward him, still wary of the strange Noise. "This may sound strange, but something's going on in the city. You need to stay indoors."
Myde's eyes grow distant. "Believe me, I've seen a lot of strange things in my lifetime." He shakes his head slightly. "And anyway, you guys seem like you need help! After all, you're bleeding," he says, talking to Uzuki.
"Pfft! It's nothing," Uzuki scoffs, then nearly falls over on her next step. Eri jumps and grabs her arm, helping her stand.
"We need to head for the Scramble," Neku tells Kariya. He nods, gesturing toward Myde.
"You and Sho go. We'll come back once we take Uzuki and this civilian back to the café." He gives Neku a once over. "Where's your partner?"
Neku shrugs. "Hell if I know." Kariya stares at him for a moment before shrugging as well.
"Well, that's reasonable. Take care, then." He walks away in the general direction of Cat Street. Shiki runs over and gives him a hug.
"Be safe Neku. Promise me," she pleads. Neku pats her on the head.
"I'll be fine. You stay safe too. Stick with Eri, alright?"
"I will," she says. Then she runs to catch up with the group, glancing over her shoulder once before they round the corner. Minamimoto crosses the street, dusting his hands off.
"Let's go, then."