“Your mother doesn't love you."
Those words stopped Ichika in her tracks, the macaroon inches away from her mouth. She looked up at Rio, who stood near the window, staring straight at her.
"If she did, she wouldn't leave you alone for so long."
Ichika frowned at him, slightly confused.
"Of course she does! I can tell."
She smiled at the sweet between her fingers.
"I can feel the love in her sweets."
“Is that all?"
"Wh-What do you mean?” Ichika asked.
"If she truly loved you, she would be here right now, enjoying those sweets with you."
The red-head frowned, unable to come up with a comeback.
"And your friends, where are they?" The boy continued.
"Why aren't they here? I know that you went off to do something for your mother, but I doubt your friends cared. In fact, I'm sure they were thrilled to have you leave!"
"Y-You're lying..." She muttered, uncertainty rising in her chest.
He smiled down at her.
"Have you ever thought about how they felt? About you always getting in their business, whether they asked you to or not?"
Ichika bit her lip.
"I thought not. They don't care." Rio said plainly.
"But, don't worry..."
He reached down, yanking her kirakira from her heart.
The floating particles of bright colors turned into a deep black in Rio's palm. Ichika stared at the table in front of her, eyes lifeless. The boy smirked, pleased.
"Do not be sad, dear Ichika. I care about you."
He said smoothly, inserting the dark kirakira into her heart.
"I will always be there for you."
Blue eyes stared into red ones as he held out his hand.
"Join me. Together, we can make this world ours."
She stared at his hand blankly. Nothing came from her mouth as she slowly raised her hand and placed it on his.
A cruel smile formed on the boy's mouth as he gently squeezed her hand. "Good."
Loud banging came from the front door, a voice yelling: "Ichika! Ichika, open the door!"
"Tsk." Rio frowned.
"They came faster than expected. No matter; it's the perfect time for us to show them the new and improved you."
Rio helped her up and led her to the door, opening it.
"Yes, what is it?"
Aoi stopped her fist in midair, as she was about to hit the door once more.
"R-Rio? What are you doing here?!" The blue haired boy smiled politely.
"I came to visit a dear friend of mine. Isn't that right, Ichika?"
She nodded, no emotion on her face.
Pekorin gasped as she floated next to Akira.
"Ichika's kirakira... Is all black!"
"What?" Akira breathed, glaring at Rio.
"What did you do to her...?!"
The boy shrugged.
"Nothing much. I just told her the truth, that's all."
"Nonsense!" Aoi shouted.
"Give her back!"
"I'm afraid I can't do that..." He said coolly.
"Let's do this, girls!" Akira yelled, grabbing her Sweets Pact.
Everyone else grabbed theirs, nodding. As they transformed, Rio stood there, smiling, as Ichika stared blankly. Cure Chocolat landed gracefully, pointing her whip wand to Rio.
The boy shook his head.
"No, I think it's you who should be prepared. Go ahead, Ichika. Show them. Show them your new and improved self."
Ichika nodded as she pulled out her Sweets Pact, the once white turned to black as the usual light pink turned to a dark crimson red.
"Cure A La Mode - Decoration!"
She pulled out her Animal Sweet, but it wasn't like its original form... It was all black, resembling like a darker sinister shortcake with a black bunny on it.
She placed in into her Sweets Pact and stirred the two streams of black and dark light together.
"Darkness and despair... let's -la- mix it up!"
Everything about her transformation was essentially the same, except everything that had to do with shortcake was gone, all pink that was supposed to be on her dress changed to deep red and the white changing to black. Her hair flowed down her back instead of in pigtails, and changed to a dark crimson red. The signature strawberry themed bow and shortcake head accessory gone, replaced with dark red bows with black frills on them.
"Cure Spice!" She landed gracefully next to Rio.
Cure Custard whispered, eyes wide in shock. Rio laughed.
"Isn't she beautiful? Much better than before..."
Cure Chocolat growled, sending a wave of chocolate to him. The wave was cut in half before disappearing, Rio not even have lifting a finger.
Cure Spice held out her dark red whip wand, staring blankly at Cure Chocolat.
"You will not hurt him..."
Chocolat stared at her, eyes wavering.
Pekorin shouted before a black wave hit Cure Chocolat, sending her flying.
Cure Macaroon shouted. Rio laughed, eyes filled with madness.
"It's no use... Ichika is mine forever!"
Cure Gelato growled at him before charging at him. Spice appeared in front of her and kicked her back. Gelato flew back and slammed into a tree. Cure Custard just stood there, unable to believe what she was seeing.
"Well, I'd love to stay..." Rio said.
"But, I'm afraid we have places to be." He snapped his fingers and Cure Spice hopped back over to him.
"Goodbye~" He snapped his fingers again, and the two disappeared.
"Wait-!" Cure Macaroon yelled, reaching for where they stood.
"ICHIKAAA!" Cure Gelato screamed, tears streaming down her face.
The group stood there, all unable to speak of what happened. Meanwhile, someone stood on top a building, watching them through observing eyes.