Chat placed a hand on the side of his neck and winced. How the hell did her fangs went through his suit? It was supposed to be magical, impenetrable even. He ducked down as a colony of red-eyed bats flew toward him at unnatural speed. Chat Noir barely managed to avoid being bat chow.
"How are you holding up, Chat?" His spotted partner asked as she swung her yo-yo into a spinning shield in front of them, deflecting another attempt of attack from the bats.
"Nothing I can handle, Milady." He answered with his usual smirk. Truth to be told, his neck wound hurts like hell, but he does not want his partner to know that. They have enough problems as is, from keeping their enemy busy away from the daring reporters below to trying to come up with plan to end this once and for all. Things have gotten more complicated and irritating as their said guest decided to lounge by the nearest rooftop restaurant and watched them get shredded to pieces by her nocturnal friends. Add to that the fact that she was not an akuma victim nor a crazed criminal but another rouge Miraculous holder on the loose. Said Miraculous holder sipped from her cup of her tea and smiled in amusement as the two teen-aged superheroes scrambled to get past her minions and reached her.
"My, my. What a beautiful evening do we have." She sighed dreamily at the full moon and gestured invitingly at the two. "Why don't we end this farce and enjoy the night together, hmm?"
"No, thank you, Nyx." Ladybug quipped, now visibly annoyed at the wanted Miraculous holder. "We don't drink tea with a wanted super villain like you, at least without reasons within logic. We promised to capture you and retrieved the Bat Miraculous. We don't intend to back down to that."
"Hmmm...how boring." Nyx placed her teacup back to its saucer and clicked her tongue. "Here I was, hoping that the two Parisian superheroes will finally spice things up for this goddess of the night but then, you pulled these silly justice stuff to me." She yawned elegantly, placing a palm over her mouth. "Ahhh...It's been a long time since I had a beautiful battle. When was it? Ah, yes. Three years ago. Against the current wielder of the Phoenix Miraculous." Nyx folded her hands and placed her chin in a dreamy trance. "That is true beauty. A battle where cruel odds were upon me. I barely managed to escape by the skin of my fangs. Why she didn't pursue me after? Perhaps, I will never know."
The two teen-aged superheroes exchanged knowing looks. They are familiar of the story. Heck, it was the Miraculous holder that Nyx was referring to, that asked them for favor in capturing the rogue Miraculous holder. Though, it must be mentioned that the reason why a pursuit never happened until now was not disclosed by the client. Frankly, they were not bothered by it...well, maybe a little, but they simply assumed that something had happened, perhaps more of importance. These times have been pretty rough to them and they expected it to be more as more Miraculous wielding enemies emerged.
"Sorry to break it to you, Elizabeth Báthory," Chat remarked as he jumped out of the colony's way. "But I am not a fan of monologues, especially from older women who just bit me on the neck."
Nyx chuckled without humor. "Silly kitty, I wouldn't dare to compare myself to one of my predecessors. True, she is well-known, but a bad reputation such as hers is going too far. I prefer mine to be of better flair, perhaps with less killings and more blood."
Chat scrunched his nose in disgust. "More blood? Isn't that bloody enough for you?"
"Chat, focus!" Ladybug rolled to one side, barely dodging the colony. "Ugh. This is taking too long. It's time to end this." She retracted her yo-yo back and threw it upward. "Lucky Charm!"
From the brief flashing of red and pink, a spotted object dropped down toward Ladybug's hands. She inspected it with such curiosity that rivaled a cat's. "A dog whistle? What is this for?" She gingerly placed the mouthpiece on her lips and blew. A high-pitched screeching sound escaped at the whistle. Above, the bats screeched and scattered away from hearing range. Chat yelped in surprised and covered his ears, apparently affected due to his enhanced hearing. Nyx dropped her teacup and scrambled away from her table.
"You insolent bug!" She hissed, clawing at her ears. "How dare you!"
Ladybug pulled the whistle away from her lips and smirked triumphantly. "Looks like we're going to reach your expectations, isn't that right Nyx?"
Nyx's eyes glowed bloodred. Her jet-black hair billowed behind her. "You...You will pay for this!" She raised a clawed hand to the sky. "Come to me, my friends!" The bats gathered once more, flying and swerving into a massive black globe around Nyx.
She's preparing to use her superpower. Ladybug looked around as her Ladybug vision pointed out the things she will need in her surroundings. As a plan formed into her head, she called out to her feline partner who have finally managed to recover from the sudden auditory assault and was now watching Nyx in fascination. "Get ready, Chat Noir!"
The black cat nodded and raised his hand in preparation. "Cataclysm!"
Ladybug slipped inside the building in haste and into the sound system room. She quickly pressed a few buttons and flicked a switch. Using the switched-on microphone, she called to her partner. "Do your thing, Chat Noir!"
Chat's ears perked up in anticipation at his partner's voice and he grinned wide. "I hope your vampire abilities were fast enough for this!" He dashed to his left and slammed his palm to the nearest billboard featuring Gabriel Agreste's new fashion line. Rust formed where his hand made contact and swiftly made its way to the rest of the metallic base. The billboard creaked and groaned as it fell toward Nyx, threatening to flatten her. Nyx swerved quickly, her preparation undone, as the face of the billboard crashed toward her. The bats flew in frantic escape, away from the pathway of destruction. Nyx smirked and reached out a hand, stopping the momentum of the billboard without much effort.
"How cute!" Nyx mocked, looking pointedly at Chat Noir. "You think a mere billboard can stop me?"
Chat shrugged. "Not really. That's just a distraction." He covered his ears and grinned wide. "The show's just about to start."
"What?" Before she could processed his words, a loud, piercing sound exploded from the building's speakers. Nyx shrieked as the sound assaulted her sensitive hearing and she lost her grip of the billboard. It toppled, sending out a loud, crashing sound that was heard to other buildings and burying Nyx into a heap of unconscious mess.
The sound stopped playing in the background. Chat Noir removed his hands from his ears and strutted toward the fallen billboard. Only half of Nyx's body was buried by the billboard however, the impact was enough to send the wanted super villain to sleep. He managed to find what they were looking for and forcefully ripped it away from the woman. In a flash of red, the black-clad Miraculous holder returned back to her wizened form of seventies.
The door to the rooftop slammed opened and Chat turned just in time to see his partner running to his direction. He grinned triumphantly and waved their prize above his head. "Mission accomplished, Milady."
Ladybug smiled and summoned for the Miraculous Ladybug. After everything were placed back to normal, a fist-bump, that has become a tradition between the two after every battle, was shared. "Pound it!" Goodbyes were said and the two parted ways before their transformations come undone, with Ladybug having an extra appointment to the client to report and turn in Nyx and the Bat Miraculous finally.
Adrien was sure something was wrong with him the moment he woke up the next morning. He has never felt this lethargic before. True, the battle last night was one of the hardest they had, but the weariness felt after each battle can be easily remedied with either food or a goodnight's sleep. But not this one. Add to that the two swollen pinpricks on his neck that he received during the battle. He was sure that it was only temporary and will go away after Ladybug called upon the Miraculous Ladybug. But here it was, still lingering on his neck. It does not hurt as much as last night but still, it is peculiar.
An impatient voice brought him out of his thoughts. "Aaaadrien! What's taking you so long?"
The blonde teen-aged sighed and pulled in his white button-down shirt. He stepped out of his bathroom and walked toward the sofa where his kwami partner has been lazing on...and dramatizing. "Oof...my poor tummy. Where's my precious camembert? Making me suffer like this, you're so cruel, Adrien."
Adrien rolled his eyes and placed his hands on his hips. "Really, Plagg? You just woke up. It's not like you will die immediately for the first few minutes of hunger."
Plagg roused from his position and flew in front of Adrien. "Kid, you just don't know the wonder of my beloved camembert. I am telling you, once you do, your taste buds will never find another." He crossed his tiny arms and frowned at his human partner. "Anyway kid, you're looking paler than usual. Still tired from last night?"
"Kinda?" Adrien placed a hand on his neck wound and winced upon contact. "Though the wound that Nyx gave me still hurts."
Plagg glanced at his charge's neck. His expression indiscernible though, Adrien was sure he saw a fleeting hint of alarm from his eyes. "It's...probably nothing." He sounded uncertain. "Though I should probably pay Master Fu a visit."
Adrien was not liking his kwami's tone. "Why? Is it really nothing?"
Plagg shook his head. "Kid, just an advice, stay in once the moon's up. It would be probably better if Chat Noir take all nights off."
"And let Ladybug alone to patrol?" Adrien asked in shock. The idea was simply incredulous for him. "No can do, Plagg. What if an akuma was unleashed during the night? Or those who attack holders and destroy their Miraculouses appear? I can't leave Ladybug to fend off herself. We're a team!"
"It's for the best." Plagg assured him. "For now," He turned and flew toward the glass windows. "I have a few calls to make. I will see you later. Try not to get yourself killed while I am away, Adrien." With that, he phased through the closed windows and toward the city. He briefly glanced at Adrien, eyes narrowing in irritation. That crazy bat lady! Throwing that curse to Adrien, is this her way of getting revenge? I need to warn them and find a way to restrain Adrien...fast. He must not be allowed to roam free or we're doomed!
Marinette was thankful there was no akuma attack that morning. She needed a break from her tardy streak. She didn't want to disappoint her parents and get grounded again. Living double lives was no piece of cake especially when you're running round the clock 24/7. Slowing down her pace, she walked toward their usual hangout spot at the school's courtyard. Alya was leaning against the newel post of the right stairs, all engrossed with what probably her new post in the Ladyblog. This assumption was confirmed as soon as Marinette stepped beside her best friend.
"Girl, you gotta look at this!" Alya excitedly started as she held up the screen of her phone to her. The spotted background of the website didn't go amiss to Marinette. On the screen was a picture, taken during nighttime, with a caption and followed by about three to five paragraphs. The picture was of yesterday night's battle, covering all three of them locked in a battle. "Ladybug and Chat Noir victorious against a wanted Miraculous villain!" She quoted, grinning wide. "Last night was a thrilling battle against another wanted Miraculous villain, Nyx, the holder of the Miraculous Bat choker. The villain had almost taken down Ladybug and Chat Noir but our favorite heroes outsmarted their opponent, turning the tides of battle to their favor. In the end, Nyx was successfully apprehended and the Bat Miraculous was turned over to the right hands."
"Wow! That's great." Marinette said, trying to sound grateful as possible. She has done this too many times yet, she haven't gotten used to it. "Paris will be a whole lot safer now without another wanted villain around."
"I know right?" Alya beamed. "Having two major super villains is already more than what Paris deserves. Honestly, we haven't made any significant step in uncovering the identities of Hawkmoth and Mayura. It would help Ladybug and Chat Noir a lot if we do."
"Yeah..." Marinette agreed. Sadly, that was true. It would really help both of them in knowing their true motives and as well, plan ahead and stop them once and for all. Unfortunately, the one person who knows the identity of any current Miraculous holder refused to even drop a hint. Suzaku, the current Phoenix Miraculous holder and their client last night, is not someone to be easily swayed no matter how much pleading (her) or charming (Chat Noir) they did. Even Master Fu has no luck on getting any helpful bit from the unrelenting Coordinator.
"Anyway," Alya said. "I'm planning to go superhero hunting after class. You're coming with me, right?"
"That," Marinette laughed nervously. She felt a small skittish movement from her purse. Here we go again. "S-Sorry, I already have plans this afternoon. I got to ummm...finish a dress! Yeah, a dress. For Marge." Marinette felt ashamed lying to Alya over and over again. Not that she have no choice but, she have to protect Alya and everyone else important to her. She wouldn't be able to forgive herself if something untoward happened to them because of her. But every lie has a grain of truth, and this is one of them. She really need to finish that dress after many delays these past weeks.
"Oh? Is she back?"
Marinette's smile dropped. "No...she isn't even sure when she will be able to return. But Aunt Marissa will come by to pick up the dress next week. Marge has a major conference coming up after publishing a new bestseller."
"I haven't read her new book but I already bought it." Alya said. "Though I'm already sure it will be another great book."
"She's a genius." Marinette nodded to herself. "Sometimes, I find myself envying her."
"Awwww. Not everyone's a genius like her." Alya patted her on the shoulder. "But even geniuses can't sew wonderful things like you do."
"I suppose." Marinette chuckled. "You know, there was that one time she tried sewing a small rip on one of her sleeves. She couldn't barely hold the needle steady while trying to run the thread through its eye. Don't ask me how her actual sewing went. I have to rescue her shirt before the worse happens."
"Really?" Alya laughed. "No wonder she was adamant in helping us in finishing the costumes for that one play we did."
The bell rang. The students milling around began to move toward their respective classrooms.
"She tried, though." Marinette said as the two best friends walked side-by-side. "She's still trying to learn, but I doubt she will be sewing anything soon."
Alya nudged her. "At least, she got an incredibly talented cousin like you."
"And I got the most awesome best friend of all!"
"Marinette, you flatterer!"
The two laughed heartily as they climbed toward their classroom.
Meanwhile in Tokyo, Japan...
A loud sneeze caught the attention of a woman. Marissa Dupain looked up from her laptop and to her daughter who was lounging by the sofa with a pile of papers stacked on her lap.
"Did you catch a cold, Margaery?"
The teen wiped her nose with her sleeve. "No, Mom." She sniffed. Annoyance visible on her face. "Someone's just talking things about me."
"Huh…" Marissa let her gaze linger a bit longer on her daughter before returning to the screen. "Take some vitamins just to be sure. You have a big event to attend tomorrow. You can't afford to be sick now."
"I will." She nodded, and softer. "Later." She turned back to the papers on her lap, though her mind went to somewhere else. Marinette… Her left eye twitched. What in the world are you talking about me?