Over a month without uploads?! I guess a decently-sized Chapter will be good enough to make up for it!
But speaking seriously, we're gonna take our focus away from the Salamin-Tarbela family and instead give the spotlight to a certain police officer and Banzai Blaster.
Saying anything else would be a spoiler, so let's go!
While the Epithetlympics were going smoothly, Lori drove a police car down a road, Lynn by the seat next to her and a tied up Luan by the back.
"Are you sure this is a good idea, Lori?" Lynn asked, visibly concerned. "I mean, how do we know Luan's not lying to mess with you?"
"How do we know she's not? It's the best lead we got to the Banzai Blasters, so I should at least take a look at it," the woman answered before flashing a sneaky smile. "Besides, Luan wouldn't lie to me after I grounded her for an hour."
"It might've been squeaky clean, but it was still so painful," Luan whined. "You really need to give your janitor more credit."
"We'll talk about that literally another time, for now, let's stay focused."
The ride to the place Luan spoke of was done in silence, until they eventually reached their destination.
"An abandoned warehouse? Well, guess I can give the Banzai Blasters points for creativity," Lori dryly remarked as she dragged Luan out. "What next, Luan? Anything we should be aware of?"
"Nothing that you don't already know," Luan answered haughtily. "You'll never get to arrest the Banzai Blasters-"
Suddenly, Lori aimed her gun at Luan's right temple.
"Anything I should know that's literally relevant?"
"... N-No, nothing. Just be careful going in, they might be ready for a sneak attack."
Lori turned to Lynn, and the girl with the "Squirrel" Epithet did the "yes sir!" gesture before turning into a squirrel and running back to the police station.
With that done, the duo walked into the warehouse, Lori untying Luan before pushing her forward. The blaster took a few steps, with Lori's gun aimed right at her head…
Lori jumped up before she could be struck, causing her attacker to instead hit Luan.
"13th hit!" was shouted by someone before Luan was sent flying to a wall, exploding upon contact.
Fortunately, though, the explosion only untied her.
Lori tried to strike at her attacker, but the man jumped away and shouted:
"FOG OF IMMINENT DOOM!"
An orange fog covered the warehouse, but it did little to hide the looks of the man who just attacked her.
He was a man with pink hair, wearing a decorated Banzai Blaster uniform, and sporting a smug smile while holding a bat with a knife attached to it over his shoulder.
"Lorelei Lori Loud!" the man exclaimed. "Is that your name? Joker calls you that all the time, but I can't tell if she's being serious or if she's just messing around."
"A little bit of both!" Luan chirped.
Lori cocked her gun and aimed it at Giovanni. "Tell me what the Banzai Blasters are planning, and I might go easy on you!"
"Tsk, yeah, see, I don't think that's gonna happen," Giovanni answered as he paced back and forth. "You see, we have an unfathomable goal. An endgame that mere minds can't comprehend-!"
"You're looking for the Arsene Amulet, aren't you?" a bored Lori guessed.
The ensuing silence spoke for itself, and Giovanni's fumbling over his own words moreso.
"Wha-bu-hey-ho-how did you know?!"
"Dude, literally everybody's looking for the Arsene Amulet nowadays!" Lori snapped. "Ever since it appeared at the museum, every criminal in Royal Woods, Sweet Jazz City and whatever have been trying to get their dirty hands on it!"
"Uh, excuse you!" Giovanni raised his gloved hands, which were shining and glittering. "My hands are very clean!"
Lori raised an eyebrow, and before she could make true to her word…
Everything went black for a few seconds, Lori regaining consciousness only after she found herself inside a trap made of strings.
"Excellent work, Car Crash!" Giovanni clapped. "See? We didn't need to run anybody over this time!"
"It was an accident!" a Banzai Blaster exclaimed.
"And excellent work, Joker!" the man exclaimed as Luan walked to his side. "The officer fell right into our trap!"
"Yeah, but she nearly got out of it, too!" Luan whined, smacking Giovanni's head. "You need to be quicker with your attacks!"
And as the duo kept arguing, Lori took out her phone and began dialing a number...
"Mera, listen to me! Whatever you do, don't trust Molly! She's with the Banzai Blasters-!"
Suddenly, the signal cut off, as if it had been removed abruptly. However, even with this done, Mera could still connect the dots and realize what Lori was trying to say.
And just in time too, since she saw Molly, Lincoln, and Indus walk out the infirmary, the former being helped by her son and sporting a heavily bandaged leg.
Back at the warehouse, Lori gritted her teeth as Luan snatched her phone and cracked it, flashing a smirk as she did.
"Did you really think we'd let you call for help that easily? Well think again! Right, Giovanni!"
Luan was smacked in the head by Giovanni's bat.
"Okay, Joker, listen; I know we're bad guys and all that, but did you really need to go as far as to break her phone!?" he chided. "Those things are expensive! Not to mention that it's completely pointless!"
"She's got enough money to buy half a dozen more phones, okay?!" Luan whined, rubbing the back of her head. "You really think I'd break something without verifying she could buy a replacement!?"
Everybody turned to the side, and they saw a certain cloaked blonde girl walking into view, clapping her hands as she said cheerfully:
"Like, it totes justifies what you just did!"
"An intruder!" Giovanni clutched his bat. "Banzai Blasters, prepare to attack!"
"Giovanni, wait, that's Leni!" Luan said fearfully. "She's the one who has "Everywhere" for an Epithet!"
"The one that makes the user practically omnipresent?! That's too OP!" Giovanni loudly complained. "Somebody nerf her!"
"Yeah," Leni suddenly appeared behind the guy. "That's not gonna happen."
Suddenly, clones of Leni materialized out of thin air and apprehended the Banzai Blasters, Giovanni and Luan Included.
"I'm totes sorry if I rained on your parade, but I had to," Leni apologized with a mocking tone, pinching Luan's cheek as she did. "I couldn't let your little group bother Quiet Sky, now could I?"
"What the hell even is Quiet Sky!?" Lori exclaimed.
"It pains me that you, like, even have to ask," Leni answered, facing Lori as she paced back and forth. "Have you forgotten those days back in the orphanage? Those times where we'd sit on the grass, look at the sky, and enjoy how totes peaceful it was? How quiet it was?"
Lori's eyes widened as she connected the dots, but Leni didn't even try to press it further, instead turning to the Banzai Blasters.
"You guys got a TV here?"
"Uh…" Giovanni raised an eyebrow. "Yeah?"
"Then let's see how Lincoln and "Bear Trap" do in the Epithetlympics, shall we?"