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THE KING OF FIGHTERS XI
KOF XI
TEAM STORY
HERO TEAM FATAL FURY TEAM RIVAL TEAM IKARI TEAM
AGENT TEAM K' TEAM AGENT TEAM KYO & IORI TEAM
ART OF FIGHTING TEAM FATAL FURY MOW TEAM PSYCHO SOLDIER TEAM ADELHEID & ROSE
SHION MAGAKI

RIVAL TEAM STORY

°»Stick °«em up!°…
The gun-wielding man hollered this out in the reception room the small bank.
 After some of the few villagers recovered from the shock, they raised their hands and a blond Japanese and black-haired youth winked and obeyed.
 (Are you sure about this? Nikaido)
 (This°«ll be a snap°ń°ń But he°«s packing a shotgun, so we°«ll have to wait until he shows an opening.)
 The South of France, a small town of a few thousand.
 Having arrived here to meet up with someone, Benimaru Nikaido and Duo Lon for the time being opt to feign helplessness and raise their hands over their heads. Were all things normal, Benimaru would have by now neutralized the thief with an over-the-top display, but, even more unfortunate still, there were no women under the age of 50 in the bank.
 The town was your typical, small agrarian village, replete with a church and small shops at its center. It was bustling with livestock, and cows and horses could be seen sauntering through town. Although a bank, it only had a staff of four and the building was ancient without the slightest hint of ostentation. Aside from Benimaru, Duo Lon, and, presumably, the bank robber, the other customers were all locals.
 Had they not been invited here by Ash Crimson°«s °»acquaintance,°… there would be no reason for their presence here. They had dropped into this bank to ask for directions and had the misfortune to run into this robber, but this was no pickle they could not easily extricate themselves from
°»F-fold your hands behind your head and eat the ground! Hurry!°…
 The thief was clearly in a state of panic. His lips trembled faintly under the brim of his cap, and the muzzle of his gun dangled up and down, left to right.
Inside there were no screams, and the events proceeded with an eerie silence. Gazing through the glass in the wooden frame of a window more suited to the dŹęĪcor of a country home than a bank, one could see a cow pass by a small truck loaded with straw. The sunlight here in Southern France was gentle even in winter and made their predicament of having to suck in the tense air on this side of the glass seem all the more absurd..
 (So, what°«s your plan°ń?)
 While awkwardly sprawled out on the floor with Duo Lon, Benimaru was the portrait of cool, even having the time to drink in the local ambience. Just how many people would be able to savor the pastoral mood beyond the window while being held hostage by a bank robber? Aside from Benimaru, probably no one.
 (°ń°ń)
 (What is it, Nikaido?)
 (°ńA horse.)
 (A horse?)
A white horse passed by the window.
 (°ńI told you didn°«t I? A horse.)
 (°ńThat°«s a horse all right.)
 A whip was placed on the white horse°«s back, presumably by the woman now straddling it.
 Her face was positioned up high, but Benimaru and Duo Lon being sprawled on the floor were just at the right angle to exchange glances. The woman arched her back, gently took the bridle, and snatched up her whip. Her hair was in a bob and her lips were pursed, creating quite the noble air about her.
 She was quite the beauty, but Benimaru was . He was, after all, threatened by a bank robber, sprawled prone on the floor, and subject to someone else°«s whims. You could call it the worst way to meet someone new, so he had only but to rethink his attack then wrap this situation up in a pretty bow.
 Just as Benimaru resolved to do move into action, that young lady on the white horse stormed through the bank°«s front entrance, horse and all. When she thrust the whip at the bank robber from her high perch, she loudly declared:
°»I command you! Throw down your weapon and surrender.°…
The robber was not the only one taken off guard by surprise.
 The voices that called out seconds later were those of the villagers taken hostage.
°»Mademoiselle Blanctorche!°…
°»It°«s Mademoiselle Elisabeth°…
 At the echo of the voices of those in the bank everyone felt that the danger had abated, but there was also a rather undeniable feeling of pity towards the bank robber.
°»H-hey, lady! Can°«t you see I°«m armed?°…

 Ę®  Ę®


 °»My eyes are still flashing. Are you okay, Duo Lon?°…
 °»Yeah.°…
 The bank robber was taken down in an instant.
 Just now did it happen? A brilliant flash had emanated from the hands of this woman called Elisabeth, and the robber along with the others were blinded and dazed.
 When they were finally able to look around, they saw the robber had already been hog-tied on the floor. Once he was handed over to the police who°«d since rushed into the bank, Benimaru and the others were released.
 The hostages were each interrogated in succession, but there was no mystery behind their involvement in the incident so there were no prolonged formalities.
 The woman who moments earlier had been referred to as Elisabeth stood before Benimaru. The woman was of considerable stature and her back still arched, as it was when she was on horseback.
 Benimaru gave her his name, and after he introduced Duo Lon began to talk with her in his typically joking tone.
 °»Well, I suppose you had to do that to catch the robber, but I°«d of liked to hear at least one word of apology.°…
 °»If you have any complaints°ń°…
 Elisabeth responded dauntlessly. If you have any complaints, how about standing up and showing what you can do with your fists before you show me your tail by curling up on the ground.
°»Hey, that°«s out of line! We acting with the safety of the hostages in mind.°…
°»Oh, really now? Talk is cheap.°…
 Elisabeth swatted down Benimaru°«s protestations.
°»Well, take it easy, Duo Lon and Benimaru. I know you went out of your way to come see me, but the Blanctorches have no desire to associate with cowards. This conversation is over.°…
 After pivoting on her heels, she started to walk straight out the room.
 Benimaru gave a little whistle.
°»You got a lot of nerve summoning us all the way to France, Madamoisel Hoity-Toity°ń But sometimes a little nerve can be a good think too.°…
°»Yeah, hold on there.°…
 Duo Lon called out to behind the quickly exiting Elisabeth. For the excessively laconic Duo Lon, this was a rare happening indeed.
 °»Ash Crimson has obtained Chizuru Kagura°«s°ńpower of the Yasakani.°…
Elisabeth stopped dead in her tracks.
 °»°ń °ń°…
 °»I thought you°«d know about that.°…
 °»You did your research. Just like a descendant the Flying Brigands. I°«d say.°…
°»°ń °ń°…
 °»I heard your kind of Flying Brigands had been wiped out by °»Lon°… your leader. But nevertheless°ń°…
 Benimaru took his cue to interject.
°»Now it°«s my turn to ask the questions. Kusanagi, Yagami, Mukai, Orochi, habe any memory of hearing names like that around these parts? We were in last year KOF. We know things you couldn°«t imagine.°…
 °»°ńVery well. Fill me in.°…
°»Well, you should be sounding us out on this, but do you suppose you could join our KOF team?°…
°»I°«ll make my decision after I hear what you have to say. Jacques!°…
 The old man who up till now been entrusted with the horse°«s bridle obeyed and drew near.
°»Since I shall now go home, please guide these two to the mansion.°…
°»Very well, mademoiselle.°…
°»Well, the, I shall see you later. °ńHa!°…
 She had already straddled her white steed and dashed off like the wind. It was a scene that made one wonder, is this really the 21st century?

°»The mademoiselle is curt by nature. Don°«t take it personally.°…
 The old man called °»Jacques°… bowed apologetically in Elisabeth°«s place.
 He had two bridles his hand. Naturally, at the end of these were connected two horses.
 °»The mansion beyond that ridge over there is our destination. The horses know the way. Well, then, on your way.°…
 Benimaru and Duo Lon, having been advised to be on their way, were once again looking up at the muscular physiques of the two horses.°…
°»Horses.°…
°»Yup, horses.°…

 It was well after sunrise when the two men walked up to Blanctorche Manor with the bridles of the two horses in hand.

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