*The Gaylord Hotel’s night bar, before the semifinals. Mariya is sitting in a chair with a glass of wine.*
Hello, Ms. Mariya! May I join you?
Oh, hello! You’re the rhythm girl, aren’t you? I hear you’ve had a bit of a rocky path this tournament!
Haha, I suppose so! My name is Hakuko, nice to meet you!
Hakuko? Such a lovely and fitting name for a girl all about rhythm!
Thank you, Ms. Mariya, you have a beautiful name too!
Hmmm. Sorry to say, but I can’t shake the feeling that you might be a bit exhausted. Am I on the right page here?
Oh, definitely… This tournament has been a rollercoaster for me and Don-chan. But you know, Ms. Mariya, I’ve seen some of your matches and you always manage to look so radiant. How do you do it?
Well, despite how things may seem, I just feel the same way I always have! I had started to doubt my music after being bumped into losers, and this friend of mine had to cheer me up in order for me to stay on my feet. I still worry for the coming days too, even now…
You mean your next matches?
Yeah, it seems that there are some strong opponents up ahead. One of them just so happens to be that friend of mine who kept my spirits up…
(Hmm… I’ve definitely been there before.)
It seems like just the other day he was giving a girl from the past like me some helpful advice from the future.
Oh, that’s right! You’re from the past, aren’t you? Is that why your skin is so… weird?
Isn’t your skin bright-white as well, Hakuko?
Yeah, but I come from a world where our celebrities are clapping lions, our businessmen are spinning dogs and our Moais are singing! But you’re from the real world… Wait, aren’t you coming from a Japanese painting? Like with samurais?
I don’t think there were any samurais around during my time! But do not worry, I am not ill. It’s just a side effect from time-travel. My skin is doing as fine as yours!
Hehe, maybe we should collab together! As “The Girls in White” or something… wait, how should I include Don-chan?
“The Girls in White”… That may be an inspiring title for my beautiful Tatsuro someday! But my point is, Hakuko, every fighter here has gone through some trouble. This tournament doesn’t seem too serious, but we still take it to heart a bit. Just like these ladies passing by behind you!
Heyyyyyy! There’s our champ! The last woman standing!
Tell me you’re not going to say that every time we meet now, are you, Pearl?
And hey, look Pearlie! Hakuko’s here too!
Oh yeah, the girl who broke so many hearts in this tournament! Your losses were so close, you were AMAZING out there!
Thank you! I am honoured to talk with last year’s finalists!
And now look! You’re talkin’ to one of this year’s finalists! Well, “almost” finalists. Mariya, you made us so proud, just like I asked ya!
Thanks, girls! I never thought I’d make it this far. Your support has helped me so much.
And now, you’re in top 4, right up there with Professor K! And also the… strange bear, the fancy lawyer and the… uh… what is it exactly?
Wait, Hakuko, didn’t you fight that creepy thing?
That’s right, it was… a very bizarre match to say the least. I can’t quite describe it in full detail. I did my best to keep my rhythm, but against such chaos, maybe it was too much for me to handle…
Hey now, don’t downplay your efforts, Hakuko! You stood your ground admirably.
Wait, where’s Paru-
Isn’t that obvious, Pearlie?
Yo, Parukooooo~! We’re over here!
Oh! Erm, sorr- wait WHAT?
Y-You’re the girl on the screen! Th-th-that’s you, right? The tapping girl with the monkeys?
Wow, you’re right! What a coincidence!
Hooooly carp! It’s such an honor to meet a legend like you! Rhythm Heaven is one of my all-time faves! I can’t believe I get to hang out with the Tap Trial girl!!!
Yeesh, Paruko! Simmer down!
Don’t ruin the moment, Pearlie! Let her nerd out. This is the most excitement I’ve seen out of her since we got here!
But where’s your drum friend? Don-chan, right? I wanna see him too!
I think he’s still in my room. He might be sleeping.
Hey, where’s that voice coming from? It’s quite loud, too…
What the- What are you doin’?
LOOK AT ME! I AM MIKU-CHAN, DA-DON!
Miku? Who is that?
No clue, but going off of what Terebi-chan is saying and Don-chan’s hair, she might be another idol!
Are there still idols in the future? They were very popular back in my time, but still not quite my type…
Well, whoever this Miku is, she’s no match for MC Princess!
Hey, watch out Pearl-san! Miku-san is VERY popular with the kids, da-don! And she has good songs too, I love to drum to ‘em! But I can’t sing well, don… Maybe Terebi-chan can sing one just for y-
Whoa whoa whoa! Break! C’mon!
Oh YEAH! Check it out! Thanks Terebi-chan, da-don!
Pshhh! If I ever meet that blue-haired pushover, I’ll annihilate her with my rhymes!
Hmm, there also are idol battles in the future too it seems… Perhaps the future is more predictable than I thought. Hey, I just realized! We’ve got all the girls together in one place!
Oh, that’s right! But there’s one mischievous outlier here!
Hey, I can be a girl too! I have girl hair, da-don!
You’re silly! Even if you’re called Don-chan, we know you’re still a boy!
Well, I can pretend to be a girl, da-don!
I bet ya, if that blond dude was here, he’d have a stroke right on the spot!
…There always has to be one weirdo in the bunch, huh.
STOP WITH THAT CUTE GIRL LAUGH! YOU’RE CREEPING ME OUT!
Ms. Mariya, you’re missing a lot of people! Have you met Curly yet? She’s been very kind to us, inviting us out to stargaze at night!
Oh, and there’s that loud fish lady Papyrus hangs around! I should probably hang around her more often!
And there’s Isabelle, those flying girls, this girl with cat ears, and I think I even saw a child with a mask and a hat running around once. Seems like there’s a lot of fellow female guests around here!
And I’m sure they’re all looking up to you, Mariya!
I must admit, that thought makes me feel quite intimidated. I honestly never thought I’d get this far. We’re in the final stretch, and I’m up against my dear friend, a murderous bear, and a scary-looking anomaly. They’re all so popular too… and they all have so much potential!
You’ve got a great reputation under your belt, Mariya! Take it from us, the biggest pop culture icons in Inkopolis! Your influence has spread much farther than you think.
Yeah! You have potential too! Otherwise, you wouldn’t have made it this far!
Part of me wants to think that… but another part of me isn’t really sure about it.
Hey, that sounds like good stress! And if you’re still unsure, we can always give you a pep talk!
Whoa, slow down Pearl!
Another pep talk? Thank you, Pearl, but I think I’m confident enough to face my fears now. And I can’t ask the DJ this time around. Stakes are too high for that now!
And really, Pearlie, how could we give a pep talk to the girl who gave us one not so long ago?
…huh? Wait, I didn-
Terebi-chan, what are y-
Yes! You’re right!
What the- but we aren’t outside! And what the shell are you going on about clams for?
Pearlie, shhhh, listen!
NEVER GIVE UP!
…that was uh… one heck of a pep talk, Terebi-chan!
Did you know about it too, Don-chan?
Oh no, I thought of the quote thanks to Mr. Snake, da-don! Even when things get hard, you should never give up, da-don!
NEVER GIVE UP!
Mr. Snake, huh? Any reason you are bringing him up, Don-chan?
Oh! Uhhhhh… *sweats*
HEY GIRLS, SORRY TO CRASH IN, BUT DID YOU SEE A LEEK SOMEWHERE? HOBaRT HAS BEEN WRRRING FURIOUSLY EVER SINCE I TOLD IT THAT ITS GIANT LEEK WAS GONE!
Oh no… Terebi-chan, what did you do? Don’t tell me ya-
Oh boy… Terebi-chan, you should consider bringing this leek back to HO-
YEAH! THAT MEANS “OI SHEILAS! GIMME BACK MY LEEK!”
HEY! DON’T YOU LAY A WHISK ON DON-CHAN!
YEAH! WAIT FOR ME, I WANT IN ON THE FUN TOO!
YEAAAAAH! THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKIN’ ABOUT! ACTION! DRAMA! VIOLENCE! WOMEN! FUNNY MIXERS! YEAH!
Haha! I must admit, whatever happens in these next rounds, I don’t think I’ll ever forget all the fun I’ve had here in the future. But, do you think we should help the girls out, Paruko?
Euhhh, what? What happened? Hey, where are Pearl and Marina? Oh no… Did they leave without me again? I have to find them!
She’s gone already… But what about Hakuko’s banana juice? It would be a shame to let it go to waste…
I WON’T TURN IT DOWN! HEY, BLUE GUY, GIMME ME ANOTHER ROUND OF SHOTS TOO!