Peppermint stared at the letter in shock. Her head spun. Of all people, a girl who had challenged and scorned the most respected and popular boy in the school, was offered a spot in the elite?! She frowned. "Cerise... should I?" Peppermint sharply turned her head to face her friend, her side ponytail whipping her cheek. Cerise looked like she was going to cry. Peppermint said, "What's wrong?" Cerise brightened up her expression quickly, but she still looked a bit troubled. "No-nothing!" she assured her friend.
"It's just that... do you really want to be part of a group of mean girls who have nothing better to do than to put others down?" Peppermint froze for a second, letting Cerise's reasoning sink into her head. She sighed. "Good point, Cerise. I guess it's not worth it." She tossed the letter onto the coffee table next to her. " I'm not going to be one of those mean brats... poor Hiroko can do much better! Ah well, I guess I have to finish my homework. Cerise, can you please teach me about independent and dependent probability?" She raced to her room, dragging her friend with her. Cerise was relieved. Muffin scowled. "Ah! Cerise-chama, how can you lower yourself to help a brat like Peppermint? It is simply unacceptable-chu!" Prince only smirked.
After a boring (at least for Peppermint, anyway) unit about pulling red and blue marbles out of a bag, Peppermint finished her homework. Robin burst through the door. "Ehh~ sexy ladies!" He sang. Peppermint and Cerise sweat-dropped, and Peppermint said, "Um...Robin... isn't Gangnam Style getting old now?" Robin gave her a facetious glare, and she yawned. They laughed.
After Cerise prepared a yummy dinner, the three of them had chocolate ice cream for dessert. After a while, they took a bath, and then it was lights-out for them.
The next morning, Peppermint changed into her school uniform and tied her hair in a messy bun and swept her bangs to one side, and it looked cool because she already had natural blonde highlights on her black hair. She was extra-energetic and wanted to try something different today. She ran to Cerise's room and knocked the door. "GOOOOD MORNING, Cerise!" Cerise's voice said, "Good morning! Come in, Peppermint-chan." Peppermint opened the door. Cerise was combing her slightly wavy blond hair in front of her mirror. She smiled at her friend. "So, when I'm done, shall we eat?" Peppermint nodded and grinned.
When Cerise was done getting ready, she quickly prepared pancakes while Peppermint set the table. Cerise saw a small note on the counter. It said,
"Hey, my ladies! Today, I have to go to a music convention to get some lovely ladies' hearts! See you! Signed, Robin"
Peppermint said, "Ah... is hearts the only things he thinks of?"
After the pancakes were done, the girls ate quickly and flew to school. When they landed on the school grounds, school had not yet begun. Everyone was still hanging out outside. Then, Hiroko approached Peppermint, smiling. She asked, "Peppermint, do you want to join the team of members?" The bell rang, and everyone went to class, with the exception of Peppermint and Hiroko. Cerise was secretly listening to the conversation, but the girls were unaware. Hiroko said, "Don't go to class just yet, Peppermint. I have to talk to you." Peppermint stared at her. She frankly and politely said, "No, thank you. I am not particularly interested in joining your group; thanks for asking, though." Distressed, Hiroko said, "Please! It's a good opportunity!" Peppermint said, "I'm sorry, but I am not interested at the moment." Hiroko angrily said, "How dare-"
Another voice cut in. "Hiroko?" Peppermint turned her head to see Obscur standing there, a hint of amusement on his face. Hiroko said, "Prince, I-" Obscur said, "Hold on, Hiroko. I need to talk to her. Don't force her." He cocked his head toward Peppermint. She turned around to face him. He bent over until their faces were merely half a foot apart. He said softly, "Peppermint, are you sure that you are not interested in having the opportunity to become a member?" Peppermint whispered, "N-no..." She noticed from the corner of her eye that her heart was orange. Cerise, who was watching from the corner, noticed that too. She was shocked. Hiroko's heart glowed black, and her face was a mixture of jealousy and disappointment. Obscur told her, "That's fine, Peppermint. I cannot force you. Thank you for accepting our invitation, though. Now, go to class, Peppermint, Hiroko. Homeroom has barely begun, so you're not that late." Then, eyeing Peppermint's messy bun, he whispered, "I like your hair like that, Peppermint." Hiroko gave Peppermint a dirty look as her black heart grew. Peppermint was concerned. What's a black heart?
Hiroko, with hear heart still black, raced to the middle school wing, and Peppermint ran to the elementary wing. When Obscur was out of sight, Cerise ran after her best friend. "Peppermint-chan!" she cried. Peppermint turned her head. "Cerise? Were you here this whole time?" Cerise nodded, tears in her eyes. "Peppermint-chan, I have bad vibes about Obscur. Please stay away from him. Please! Try not to fall in love with him. 'The heart is yours to take, but you must not let yours be taken.'" Peppermint said, "I...I..." The blush was now gone from her cheeks, and the orange heart had faded away. She clutched at her chest. "What a disgrace." Cerise said, "Peppermint-chan, it's not your fault. Pease be careful with him and the members after this. Come now, let's go to class, or we'll be late."
Peppermint whispered, "Obscur does have weird vibes..." The girls ran to class. Homeroom had ended. Mitsuki-sensei said, "Ah, Kato-san, Ice-san. I see you are late. Can you please have your guardian sign these and give them back to me tomorrow?" She handed the girls late slips. Cerise said, "Sorry, sensei." Peppermint said, "Um... yeah, sorry." She stuffed her slip into a random pouch of her backpack, while Cerise carefully filed it away.
After school that day, Obscur approached Peppermint. Cerise stayed close, concerned for her friend. Obscur held out his hand and said, "Good day, Peppermint." After Peppermint refused to take it, he told Cerise, "I have to talk to Peppermint in private for a second, madame. Is that acceptable?" Blushing because of Obscur's politeness, Cerise said, "Y-yes." She flashed her friend a look of helpless pity. She mouthed, "Take care." She hid behind a tree, filled with worry and fear. All the hearts of all the girls around, except for Peppermint and Cerise, were black. And they were all gigantic. Peppermint was writhing with concerned curiosity about black hearts. She couldn't take it anymore. Putting her hands to her diamond pendant, she shouted, "That's it!"
A sparkling ring appeared around her, as her indigo and cyan witch uniform appeared on her. Catching her wand, she energetically shouted, "Sugar sugar rune! Peppe rune!" But by the time her transformation was over, Obscur was gone. Cerise jumped out of her hiding place. "Peppermint-chan-" Peppermint cut her off. "I know that black hearts are bad! Even though I've never heard of one, I have bad vibes about them! Transform, now!" Cerise nodded. "Sugar sugar rune!" She twirled around, hands on her pendant. "Ceri rune!" Her full magenta and lime green witch outfit appeared. "Wand!" They crossed their wands. "Sugar sugar rune!" they shouted in sync, trying to do whatever they could to stop the black hearts.
A lot of bright rainbow light poured out of their wands. Cerise topped it off with, "Brille etoile! Sparkling jewel of Papardasha, please shine and overcome the darkness!" Pink and white light poured out of the intersection of the crossed wands, and the black hearts were gone. Cerise and Peppermint smiled at each other, relieved. Robin came to pick the girls up later that day. Peppermint said, "Robin! What's a black heart?!" Robin said, "Noir is the heart of hate and jealousy. Never collect noir hearts, it can kill you."
It turns out that Obscur had been watching the whole thing from the private library upstairs. He turned around and told a group of hideous monsters, "These girls are getting in the way of the gathering of our precious noir." The monsters bowed and said, "Understood, Obscur-sama." Obscur narrowed his eyes and stared at the ground, his lips curling upward into an ominous grin. "However, we will not let them get in our way any longer."