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"Elimine-san? What are you doing here?" A familiar voice asked her out of nowhere, causing her to turn around in surprise.

It was none other than Satoshi.

Out of impulse, she averted her gaze from Satoshi and bashfully hid her face with her hair. While she initially came to the American Dome to cheer Satoshi on in his match, she was not ready to see him all of a sudden. There was no way she could explain to Satoshi that she went there for him.

"Elimine-san? Elimine-san?" Satoshi called as he leaned to the side. There was no chance he'd mistake Elimine for someone else, but he was beginning to doubt himself at this point. Elimine was trying to avoid his gaze after all.

After clearing her throat, Elimine-san acted clueless as she turned her head. Once again, her eyes met Satoshi, plastering a smile on her face as if this was her first time seeing Satoshi.

There was no doubt in Satoshi's mind anymore. Elimine was really there with him.

"Ah, Satoshi, what are you doing here?" Elimine returned Satoshi's question with another question. Obviously, she wanted to change the topic, but she had already expected Satoshi to shut her down and ask her again why she was there in the first place.

"I'm going around checking some of the stalls before my next match. When did you arrive?" Satoshi asked, handing Elimine the candy apple he initially bought for Aira.

"Uhm... this morning?" She cleared her throat for the second time. It was definitely suspicious since she had been looking left and right as she spoke.

Then again, Satoshi didn't think that much about her actions. He was just surprised that she was here when she should've been in the agency.

With a slight bow, Elimine accepted the candy apple and started eating. Subconsciously, she stood beside Satoshi, urging him to walk while she followed. Since Satoshi was still taking a stroll around the place, she figured she'd just accompany him.

As for Satoshi, he assumed that Elimine wanted to look at the stalls, but she couldn't bring herself to do so. That's why he didn't think twice about accompanying her. He had time to kill before the match.

"Elimine-san, are you here to cheer me on?" Satoshi teasingly asked, hoping to get a reaction from her. Of course, there was no way she came all the way to America to cheer him on, she must've wanted to watch the Official Beast Tournament live.

"What? No... well, I did come for that, but I also wanted to—" Elimine-san choked on her saliva when her gaze locked on something.

There, right by the end of the line of stalls was Ayano, Lydia, and Aira, walking together. They were eating the same candy apples as her.

"Eek~" Elimina-san let out as she turned around. It was too late, however, since she was already seen by the three. No matter what she did, it was already over, she had been found out before she had the time to explain herself to Satoshi.

"Eh? Isn't that... Elimine? What are you doing here? Shouldn't you be at the agency?" Ayano (superhero name Eye Goddess, seventh rank in the SAO rankings) couldn't believe her eyes. She had to squint as the three of them approached Elimine and Satoshi.

"Ah~ it's Plume!' Lydia added. There was no mistaking the silvery wings attached to her back.

"Plume?" Aira trailed off while licking the candy apples. Who knows just how many candy apples she had consumed just on that day?

Clearing her throat once again, Elimine mustered her courage before looking at Ayano and the others. She had no excuse for skipping work that day. However, she believed in herself that her actions were justified.

In hindsight, Ayano and Lydia were also supposed to be in the agency, but they skipped work and flew toward America just to watch the Official Beast Tournament live. In other words, the two of them did it first, and Elimine was just following in their footsteps. If there was someone to blame, then it was the two of them for starting this chain of skipping work.

"It's unfair... the two of you flew straight here without even telling me, that's why I was forced to follow you. It's not like I fully intended to skip on work." Elimine twiddled her thumbs before she continued. "Besides, my only task for today was to report to you in the delegation of tasks for the recruit. In that regard, I wasn't skipping work. I went all the way here for the report." She was quick on her feet when it came to cooking up a reason.

"Oh, so you're here for the report, huh? Where is it?" Ayano asked, challenging Elimine's credibility. While she hasn't looked into the future to see the outcome of this situation, she was confident that Elimine didn't bring any report with her.

For Ayano, it was easy to tell that Elimine flew from Japan all the way to New York as soon as she found out about their whereabouts. It couldn't possibly have occurred in Elimine's mind to bring a report.

"The report? O-of course, I have it with me." Elimine defended herself as she rummaged through her pockets. She always brings her phone with her. And just this morning, she double-checked to see if she uploaded her report to her device before leaving home. Her confidence was not misplaced, not in the least.

Without wasting another second, Elimine rummaged through her pockets. She just needed to show the file to Ayano and get it over with.

All the color drained from Elimine's face as she realized what had happened. No wonder Ayano had a confident expression on her face (Elimine and Ayano were not on the same page, however).

'From the start, she knew... she knew about this!' Elimine said to herself as she touched all her pockets. There was no sign of her phone!

"Where did it go?" Elimine worriedly asked herself. She wasn't concerned about the phone whatsoever. At present, she was more worried about losing face in front of Satoshi, more than she was concerned about the location of her phone.

'Don't tell me—' Elimine looked at Satoshi as her mouth turned into an o-shape. 'Did I... Did I drop my phone while I was flying through the Pacific Ocean? What?! No way!'

"Ayano-san, can I borrow your phone for a bit," Elimine said, stretching her hand towards Ayano.

"Ayano-san?" Ayano asked. It had been so long since Elimine called her with such honorifics. Usually, she would address her as Eye Goddess or as Ayano.

"Um, sure?" She mumbled, lending her phone to Elimine before asking what was going on.

Meanwhile, Satoshi and Aira just stood there, shrugging at each other since they had no idea what was going on. Lydia, on the other hand, more or less assumed that Elimine had dropped her phone somewhere, that's why she wasn't in the dark.

Elimine typed away at Ayano's phone. Fortunately, she always kept her phone's location tracker activated. This wasn't the first time she had dropped her phone somewhere while flying, after all.

'Where is it? Where is it? Where is it?' Her brows furrowed as the loading icon on Ayano's phone appeared. A second later, it showed the location of her phone, and she gasped.

It was halfway through the Pacific Ocean, just as expected.

"Ah, I knew it." Elimine heaved a sigh as she gave Ayano back her phone. There was no way she'd be able to retrieve her phone. It was probably in the deepest depths of the sea at this point. "I did have the report with me... but it seems like I dropped my phone somewhere."

"Somewhere? Pfft~" Ayano almost choked as she suppressed a chuckle from coming out of her mouth. As for Lydia, she managed to piece two and two together, and she began laughing.

"You know," Ayano wiped a tear from her eyes. She was on the verge of laughing her heart out. "You dropped your phone somewhere? I think that's an understatement."

"How many candy apples have you eaten now, Aira? You shouldn't eat too much sweets, you know." Satoshi lightly reprimanded Aira since he had no idea what Elimine and Ayano were talking about.

In response, Aira held out three of her fingers before she nodded at Satoshi.

"If you wanted to come with us that much, you should've told us." Ayano then grabbed Elimine by the shoulders. "We're taking this one with us, Satoshi. You should go and prepare for your upcoming match."

"I'd have said yes if you had told me in the first place." Elimine pouted. "Ah, by the way, I'm looking forward to the finals, Satoshi. You've gotten this far, I'm sure you'll be the one to step on the finals. Ganbatte~" Elimine continued, pumping her first while Ayano dragged her out.

"Ganbatte~" Aira repeated, waving her hand at Satoshi before she rejoined the group.

"Sure," Satoshi smiled. It was a chaotic moment for him, but he was just glad that all of them were there to cheer him on.

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