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2019 AFC Asian Cup collection

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Dora-the-Kid and Dora-nikov walked into the city. Having tasted the smell of the UEFA Euro 2016 in France, Kid and Nikov wondered, how would the 2019 AFC Asian Cup perceived.

Since Asia had only two countries to have climbed on top of world's football, Saudi Arabia and Japan, both in youth and women's level; and highest-ranked senior men's teams Japan and Australia by records on winning silver medal, and South Korea in 2002 World Cup, they would love to expose how good Asian teams are.

They walked, and they drank wines in a Korean restaurant of Abu Dhabi, where they had a fine dinner there, three days before the game.

"So, another new soccer tournament to begin."

"(This tournament was modeled after UEFA Euro 2016, so I know the deal of it.)" Nikov said.

"Because the Asian Cup do not achieve a level of popularity like Euro, it is clear that before the tournament, the Emiratis have hired a number of UEFA officials. One of these is my friend, Donald Turner, a Welsh official."

"(UEFA officials to assist for the Asian Cup? No wonder it is treated very special.)"

"I can see the problem here. Stadiums in this country, some are too big and some are too small. I openly criticize this federation, they didn't use their large sum of money to invest for them. Shame."

"(Wow, even they don't try to build more new stadiums …)"

"It is freaky, right? I mean, in soccer, especially for big tournaments, fans need to fill up every stadiums and more fans, demanding for bigger stadiums. However, da fuq that they can choose these shits like Al Nahyan or Sharjah Stadiums without upgrading or renovations?"

Kid dischanted with the quality of the Asian Football Confederation, and Nikov looked on it with another view point.

"(I see why you disdain it, but you have to look, football is just taken root and increasing grap in Asia. Previously, people in the continent do not care on football.)"

"Yeah, and we have now a stupid nation named Kazakhstan wannabe in the UEFA, and they got fucked up by big names like England and Spain. Many UEFA members show extreme depression for allowing Kazakhstan to participate only to see their disappointment. And where was Kazakhstan's first federation? AFC! Kazakhstan is an evidence of this low-quality, and UEFA regrets it."

"(Well, no worry. Just recent years there is a calling campaign to restore Kazakhstan's AFC membership in an open football website. However I don't think it would happen sooner or later, the Kazakh football leaders, whom accused for plagiarism, no planning project and corruption, want marketing profits rather than long term strategy.)"

"That's why I openly criticize this Asian Cup quality and this federation as well. Lucky that Australia had joined to save face for the AFC. They did a stupid thing with Israel before, thus Turkey rejected to join the AFC for many years and the Turks are happy for it."

"(As said, Asians are not football lovers, only in recent years saw the rise.)"

"You mean like Saudi Arabia men's senior? They're the disgrace after 2018 World Cup. Fans openly smeared them and said they won Egypt because Egypt was out as well, not even heroic to mention. At least South Korea, Iran, Japan and Australia performed pretty decent than the Saudis."

"(And they still won.)"

"Won for nothing." Kid stated: "If they were so good your national team wouldn't trash them 5-0. Even Pizzi, whom I met two years ago, stated that if he were fired, he would not try to go to coach Arabs because they could only win against themselves."

Kid stated unfavorably on this Asian Cup, as he had witnessed in previous editions with an unease feeling. Although this is the second oldest tournament on Earth, it failed to attract a large number of supporters, particularly not involving host nation, leaving it the least supported tournament in the world only better than the OFC Nations Cup, and in pair with African Cup of Nations. In contrast, the UEFA Euro, which appeared four years later, is the world's most watched continental tournament following with Copa América.

The restaurant owner, an Ukrainian of Korean descent, came out and asked them too.

"Are you talking about football?"

"Ah yes, but Americans said it, soccer."

"I know, I can differ it." The owner smiled when he arrived to them surprisingly.

"Say, are you Korean?" Kid wondered to know.

"Yes, but from Ukraine. My mother is a Korean in Russia. Just call me Andriy."

"(No doubt why I realize some Ukrainian foods.)" Nikov said: "(It is very good, I feel Ukrainian foods are awesome.)"

"Завжди ставитися до гостей найкращим чином." (Always treat the guests by the best.)

"(Действительно, хотя это немного важно.)" (Indeed, although it is a bit matter.) Nikov smiled as Andriy was about to visit other tables. By then, Kid and Nikov spoke with each other again.

Aftermath saw them finished their dinner. However, first thing Kid always wondered, was to beef up with it. Nikov attempted to squeeze it down.

"(Hey, do you want to go to see the Asian Cup in Zayed Sports City?)"

"I dunno. How?" Kid asked: "I don't even give a damn on buying ticket."

No to wait long, Nikov showed to Kid two pieces of weird small papers, turning to be the ticket for the opening ceremony and, of course, the opening encounter between Bahrain and the host UAE. Kid went on, stated:

"So, how did it work precisely?"

"(Do you remember? You said UEFA officials had come to help AFC officials to train and emerge the tournament. They also assisted them for the opening ceremony of the Asian Cup. I'm sure you won't be disappointed.)"

"Who helped you buy?" Kid checked on, his eyes looked with suspicion.

"(A friend from Greece did so.)"

Then, Kid decided to walk away. He is capable on learning Arabic, so as said, he told: "Nikov, then, keep me one of them. I would love to know three days next, what's new in this rich city."

… Kid and Nikov departed in their way on the desert land, but both were able to have their goods between. The Asian Cup was about to happen, and they would love to experience it.

Chapter Text

 

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

A hidden gem of the country, Sharjah encompasses many things that neither has been fully exposed to everybody.

Sharjah is a city like that …

Two people walking in the city. They were sitting on and aftermath of the story saw they asking each other for a bit.

"Hey, how do you feel?"

"I'm fine."

They were Rikuo Nura and Kana Ienaga. Kana went on to see the chance, as she was willing to do something. Of course, she was a bit frightening of Rikuo's other half, but she got along well.

"You may need to do a lot."

"Of course, I do think so." Rikuo said: "My mom said I should not become too harsh then."

"Yeah. You make something to cheer on. And I hope that a lot from you."

Kana closely cleaned the water of his face. He was a bit tired then, and he felt the warm that Kana gave him. He appreciated for that.

Of course, they weren't the only there. Many tourists were in Sharjah, including several few great men too. There were one of them to play for a bit.

He sat together after getting tired a bit. He, the key man sitting with them, surprisingly gave an account:

"Are you a young couple?"

"Uh …" Kana blushed.

"Oh I see. My name is Abdelkarim Hassan. It is nice to meet you."

Abdelkarim Hassan. His profile was rich enough and his jersey, which incorporated the maroon, show that he is a rich boy. Moreover, he was a bit different for them.

"Wow, you have an award?" Rikuo noticed: "Seriously, very high, right?"

"Yes." Hassan smiled: "I'm from Qatar, and this is the second times Qatar has an opportunity to be proud of. I feel the same for it, too."

"So you're a very rich and powerful person." Kana amazed: "Are you an adventurer?"

"Not really. My job is football. I play locally, but I have my deep love for every neighbors. Unfortunately, tensions between them had cut off our connection." Hassan expressed: "It could have been better, if not for this stupidity."

"That's so sad. Is there any hope?" Kana expressed too.

"I despise the way our neighbors behave against. I mean, our Government has nothing to do with the people. But they generalize and politicize everything for its childishness." Hassan said: "However, I want to represent to the Emiratis, we are not their enemy."

"For the same reason I need to control my ability. In recent months, I had almost lost patience because of plagiarism accusations and, abusive sentiment, although I never say it." Rikuo also had his own problems: "So like you anyway."

Abdelkarim Hassan, with Rikuo Nura and Kana Ienaga, shared some stories between. And they felt closer aftermath.

Abdelkarim is an elder brother for them, and surely they had their reasons to respect Abdelkarim. Yes, they could have seen it anyway. And that should be it.

Qataris and Emiratis are both the same people. They speak one similar language. It is just like Rikuo with classmates. Yet, there has never been a cool relation but people have to learn living with it. This was what Abdelkarim want to say for all.

And it should be as well.

For Abdelkarim, he was glad to meet them, pretty much like that anyway. Rikuo and Kana went to have an impression of Abdelkarim as a good man, for them …

And, of course, they did not realize, Abdelkarim Hassan would have shown on even more, and more …

Chapter Text

 

 

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

They just walked in and out, and in a heavily guarded party, where only high-ranking people and special guests were allowed to take part. She had just come there yesterday.

And of course, she had a man to like. She wondered if there were like that, since she wanted to stay away.

"Liliana!"

Liliana got a big surprise from her friend, the Italian girl Erica. Upon hearing Erica calling, she turned her face back: "What's that Erica?"

"There is a guy from Thailand. He is extremely funny." Erica showed her when they looked back to the room. And, there was something real beyond it.

Of course, the man Erica said performed in perfect English.

"There is someone eating it. And the boss had to pull it out!"

"HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA …"

Many laughed hard when they heard from him. Liliana found that this man was the most impressive. And, his badge explained all around of him.

"Teerasil Dangda?"

Yes, the comedian and, a special guest, Teerasil Dangda in fact is a renown Thai player of the national team. Alongside Teerasil also included Adisak Kraisorn, who is also his important teammate.

Teerasil Dangda is the most respected Thai player since the era of new Thai Dream Team. Only behind Kiatisuk, who has been Teerasil's idol as a young player, Teerasil felt a great pride to serve Thailand national squad, the Changsuek/War Elephants.

His boss, Milovan Rajevac, didn't attend. However, Liliana knew Milovan thanked for her mother in the old day of Yugoslavia. So it was not a surprise to see Liliana had some good affairs with the coach, a Serb.

Then, Liliana and Erica sat down in a table near the place where Teerasil taking his comedy. At the moment, Adisak Kraisorn, who wanted to stay out from the laughing mess, sat on their table. Adisak, of course, knew Liliana pretty well.

"So, this is the best way to stay away from Teerasil's comedian style."

Adisak looked on them. Both were still young and Adisak stood firm: "Why don't you girls try to enroll? Didn't Milovan granted permission for you?"

"No, I really don't care much." Liliana said. On the other hand, Erica thought highly on Teerasil, believing had he not played football, he would have become a great comedian.

"Okay." Adisak felt strange: "By a way, Liliana, what is your special relations with Milovan Rajevac? Why did he feel happy to know you?"

"That's story …" Liliana blushed. In all memory, it came back from longer date …

Liliana's childhood was an interesting hidden story. Her mother was harbored and protected by a man, whom later revealed to be Milovan Rajevac, in order to escape. Back then, the war in Yugoslavia was extremely devastating and as for many refugees fleeing the country, Liliana's mother's Croatian identity became a target for Serbian nationalists as demanding for ethnic cleansing against non-Serbs increased in Slobodan Milošević's Yugoslavia.

However, Milovan had stood out as an exception. When he was in Sweden, he received a calling for help. Eventually, he made a secret contact, planned a smuggling of people from then-breaking up Yugoslavia away from the country. Liliana's mom got a special treatment, and Milovan hid her Croatian identity, bringing her to Norway together for two years, until she was safe and later settled in Italy. When she returned after the war to thank Mike – the nickname of Milovan, he was no longer in Sweden, and they lost contact since.

He only got attention back after 2010, when he guided Ghana to the quarter-finals of 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. By then, little Liliana, raised in Italy, was not aware with him. But it took eight years before she finally had a chance to encounter Milovan, who is recognized by her mother, as the guardian of the family.

"Wow. Godfather of your family."

"Yes. If you wonder why, I don't want to say anything else." Liliana admitted: "Too much to mention though."

"Okay. So how do you feel about Dubai?" Adisak asked: "What's wrong?"

"I don't like to tell, but Dubai is a weird city. Everything is rich, yet some parts are so dumped." Liliana admitted: "The city looks fake for me."

"Lol … well, Dubai is still a relatively new city. It was founded quite late, at 1966 as a modern city. In 1990s, it was still a dusty sand territory." Adisak stated: "But it took only twenty-years to become the world's fastest growing city."

"And yet it had not even mentioned about the old heritages." Liliana seemed not satisfied: "I don't like the city much."

"Okay then, so, what do you prefer for?" Adisak wondered again.

"Nothing much." Liliana spoke out: "Still, hope the best for them."

As for Erica, she only focused on the joke story of Teerasil Dangda, so Adisak took a question: "Do you have a boyfriend?"

"Uh … I …" Liliana blushed after listening to it: "It doesn't matter. Why?"

She left the room out meanwhile Adisak was surprised to see that. However, Liliana truly had a crush and she did not wish to reveal it immediately. Telling that would be ridiculous, for her. Adisak Kraisorn didn't speak much, he went out, only to discover, Liliana was crying.

He distanced himself.

For the first time, he understood that how love requires much to affection. And he did not ask much anymore.

Liliana cried because she had a chance to confess with her love, but for an unknown reason, she failed. Failed miserably. She wanted to do so, but her loyalty for Erica was too important to ignore.

Far from the pool near the hotel's chair, coach Milovan Rajevac also understood something. He did see the scene of Liliana crying, and for somehow, he quietly spoke out:

"There is something they didn't want to lose, but in the end have to lose it."

Of course, Liliana cried nothing more but for Godou.

She loved him so much. She could not live without him. Yet, Erica won him above her. Probably suck to know …

Yup. Perhaps not to wish for …

Liliana still loved him, but she could not express too. Adisak saw that, and he regretted for being too annoying over.

Yup … Thai superstar …

Milovan only looked, but he understood and had a forgiveness for …

Well … it was to be … as Erica was still wondering with Teerasil's jokes, Liliana should have a moment to cry.

Chapter Text

 

 

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

It was afternoon in the capital of the UAE. The sun was about to set, and the heat came clearer and clearer as the 2019 AFC Asian Cup was about to come.

Megumi still felt shy to remember about the old day when she was rescued by Seiji.

She never imagined that she would have so many memoirs before going to the UAE. In fact, the Emiratis were pretty nice and warm-welcoming to them about it.

She walked alone until she found someone was talking to other people. Megumi hid herself behind a wall of a bank, only to discover this was …

"Seiji?"

But Seiji was speaking to another man. He is extremely taller than Seiji, and of course, he is walking alone in the street, having enough times to tell about.

On the other hand, Seiji laughed and said he would like to invite him as well.

Megumi didn't know who was he outside Seiji. However, for a fault, she suddenly slipped down, and got crashed outside from the wall she was hiding. Immediately, Seiji got a beef up, he looked back meanwhile the tall guy went on.

"Megumi?" Seiji got surprised to see Megumi slipped down.

"Your friend?" The tall man asked.

Megumi, got surprised, her face then turned red and she tried to avoid. Immediately, the man soon realized her motivation, quickly handled it.

"Sorry for being absurd."

Seiji carried Megumi up and told her: "Oh, it is Wu Lei. He is a friend of my uncle."

"Hello, my name is Wu Lei. It's nice to meet you."

The thing is, today will be the opening account of the match between the UAE and Bahrain. Before that, there would be an upcoming opening ceremony calling for unity of Asia, and the song "Zanaha Zayed" – being mistakenly translated as "bringing Asia together" while in fact the song was actually to show their love to Sheikh Zayed, the first President of the UAE.

Wu Lei, the Chinese man. That was interesting to see him influent in Japanese, the result of his education on the language and his great interest over it. Wu Lei was the most popular Chinese player for some years behind Gao Lin, his compatriot, although recently surpassed by Wei Shihao.

"Welcome to Abu Dhabi."

He was pretty nice for them. Wu Lei smiled as he gave them a bottle of tea, saying that they should drink for good. Megumi was extremely shy, but she thanked Wu for his kindness.

"Looks like you are his girlfriend, right?" Wu asked.

"No, I'm not! It's just …" Megumi refuted the idea, but she could not deny her shyness.

"It's okay. Come." Seiji told: "And, to mention, Hime bought to us three tickets for the Asian Cup opening ceremony."

"Really?" Megumi asked: "Wow … do you really wish to attend, Mr. Wu?"

"No, I don't. But I think it is better to let you alone." Wu Lei addressed: "I saw why now."

"Come on, Sir. Please go for fun." Seiji stated: "I wish you can participate as well."

Megumi was still pretty shy. She wore today pretty beautiful, perhaps for the trip to Zayed Sports City Stadium. And, partly there should be some little mention about it.

She wanted to go as well. She seemed unable to get out from the shadow of Seiji, a pretty good man for her. And Seiji, no problem in talking with Wu, accepted the invitation, based on the basis that he would love to take only 15 minutes before returning home base for national duty.

Of course, Wu Lei, Seiji and Megumi would go together. And, for Seiji, he told:

"C'mon, Megumi. You are always the best though."

"You didn't even tell you have been there!" Megumi criticized Seiji: "You should not hide that!"

"I'm sorry. I just come here a bit earlier because of Wu's invitation. I think that I should have called you, since we are on winter vacation."

"Do you think that I am too pretty?" Megumi said, because she today wore a pink dress, covering all her legs. She was about to go to meet Hime, as Hime wanted her to be good as she got for.

"No, I feel you're fine though." Seiji said: "It's not important how good you're, it is important how finest you're. You don't need to be the best, be yourself."

By this point, Seiji gave her another bottle of water of Coca-Cola. Megumi went touched with Seiji's care for her, and she felt grateful to have him as her boyfriend in dream.

Of course, she was.

And, as for the opening ceremony, she watched all of it together and even the opening match between the UAE and Bahrain. Seiji gave her a good feeling … from then.

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Zayed Sports City Stadium

Aftermath saw Nikov and Kid attended the opening ceremony, and yes, they were happy for it.

However, their main disappointment stroke back when a large chunk of right stage in the Zayed Sports City went empty, in contrast to three other jamming main stages: left, front, behind. Of course, they watched from another corner as well.

Nikov and Kid brought clear criticisms when fans showed little passion on the big game. In fact, Kid had criticized the AFC pretty much. He insisted that UEFA officials should not work within the UAE because the country failed to meet quota for fan supports. Again, Nikov stood away from Kid's criticisms, stated that the lack of fans because Asia's had not established a strong football culture, it needs time.

And, of course, the opening match followed.

The song "Zanaha Zayed" impressed everybody by the voices of Balqees Ahmed Fathi, Hussain Al Jasmi and Eida Al Menhali. Three singers, one woman and two men, performed with a decent voice that making everyone loved through. The Emiratis were especially good on that.

Kid and Nikov, however, never heard about them until then.

"Singers …"

"(They are natives of there. It was better to have them within.)"

"How?"

"(Speak about Arabs … strange. They have a weird music style. It could be frightening, of course.)"

Nikov and Kid witnessed the opening ceremony with over 35.000 spectators in a stadium of 47.000 capacity, unlikely for a country with nearly 10 million people. Since half of Emiratis are … expats from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and the Philippines, with 15% from Europe and Russia, it was kind of pseudo for them.

"But not that pseudo like how the UAE a colony of non-Emiratis. 77% Emiratis are not even belonged to the country. Hilarious."

"(Hahaha, sure.)"

Kid and Nikov watched the opening quite well, and when the match began, they remained. And the match started but a poor form of display came from Ali Mabkhout, who missed the opportunity. Kid then smeared: "Fuck …"

"(Lol!)" Nikov was not even more surprising over. The UAE played pretty pathetic. Even controlling the game became Emiratis' norm, they could not even possess significant positions to do.

The Bahrainis, under guidance of coach Miroslav Soukup, who has experienced with youth teams of Czech Republic and Egypt, understood the level of balance that could contribute to breakup of Emirati lines. For Kid and Nikov, this quality of the game was not high as expected because of low true options for both teams.

"I bet if the Romanians saw this they would even depart quickly."

Sitting with them together were Alireza Beiranvand, the goalkeeper of team Iran. Beiranvand, current Iran's top choice goalkeeper, didn't even want to attend the opening match as well. Hence, he covered his face and only Kid with Nikov knew his identity.

"Am I the only few guests there?"

"Not really, Beirand." Kid often called Beiranvand "Beirand", as he felt better to call him in a shortened naming style.

"Yeah, hell damn you all." Beiranvand laughed: "For some facts?"

"Can you speak English properly? Or Persian?" Kid asked: "My good friend Nikov can speak Persian."

"Ah yeah. Cool." Beiranvand laughed.

"Good."

Kid and Nikov together went to speak their form from there and it could be a bitter fine for them to mention there. Not so bad and not so too quiet.

For Kid and Nikov, Beiranvand had made them happier for his appearance. And they felt the gesture for their happiness.

Of course, they got their view from the stadium, and they went beyond to win with everything to have for. And, Asian Cup 2019 had many things for them to imagine.

Alireza Beiranvand, Kid and Nikov watched the whole opening game as the UAE and Bahrain shared a point.

Chapter Text

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Aftermath saw them to have something to chill of. Of course, for a man like Dostonbek Khamdamov, it could have been better for a while.

But that was because he had a guest there.

That's right.

For some unknown reasons, he encountered Kumiko Oumae, and it was her awkwardness making him thought she was a pseudo. And Dostonbek Khamdamov didn't like it.

"You're really a weird girl."

Kumiko? Why?

Kumiko Oumae was a strange girl. She had a cold assumption on him, for one reason.

Previously a day before, as Dostonbek Khamdamov drove the taxi car back to the hotel, he discovered Kumiko playing a kind of euphonium. Feeling extremely annoying, he demanded Kumiko to leave, as he didn't like noises anyway.

However, as she didn't listen since she was not aware with it, Dostonbek Khamdamov requested bodyguard to force out. His partner, and also goalkeeper, Ignatiy Nesterov, felt strange about his decision.

And after forced out, somehow she still returned there. And Dostonbek called it "annoying".

Dostonbek felt that Kumiko didn't respect the privacy of Uzbek team. Main reason? She practiced her euphonium too close to the training ground base of Uzbekistan football team. Coach Héctor Cúper demanded the team to practice in a no-media zone area, but these noises would attract unwanted guests. Especially the reporters.

Dostonbek Khamdamov, therefore, got annoyed when Kumiko appeared near their base twice!

"Please get the fuck out of here!"

He disdained it greatly. However, Kumiko seemed disinterested on listening. Eventually, Dostonbek decided to use violence, he grabbed Kumiko's euphonium and smashed it down. The euphonium was completely destroyed by the hand of Dostonbek. After destroying it, he even stampeded on the euphonium for more than once, before quietly left the park near their base.

Hell, after she returned, her face went cold. Dostonbek asked why did she come there again, and she didn't respond.

Quick enough, a surprising member of the national team appeared in front. It was Marat Bikmaev, who is older than Dostonbek. Marat was quick to spot on: "Yesterday you destroyed something did you?"

"How do you know?" Dostonbek wondered: "Big brother, what does you mean?"

"I will be nicer than. You must have destroyed the euphonium, and she pretty disliked it." Marat calmed down: "She is still a student, try to be nicer a bit. Calm down."

"If you get annoyed by somebody, would you like it?" Dostonbek protected his action: "I did not want to do that, but sometimes there need a force."

"As said, don't be hawkish. Calm down." Marat explained: "Everyone always has problems on their life, the big thing is how to solve it. You were too angry for such a tiny behavior."

Marat then gave Kumiko an advise that she could play in a special indoor arena, since there was nobody there currently, which she could practice, but not going too close to the park where team Uzbekistan was practicing. Kumiko quietly agreed, and eventually, she walked out.

Dostonbek Khamdamov only caught by surprise.

"WTF how could you do that?"

"Calm is the best thing to do." Marat told: "Besides, I hate to tell, but destroying an euphonium is not a good action. Having seen you did yesterday, I have secretly bought a new one."

"How?" Dostonbek wondered: "How could you even do that?"

"Well, … let's go back to the training ground, shall we?" Uzbekistan's Marat Bikmaev cleared, and he rushed inside. Being a big old brother, Marat was nothing else but an elder. And only respective behavior from Dostonbek guaranteed him that.

And, after the training, suddenly, they heard about a weird noise, but it was great enough to mention. By the feeling of Marat Bikmaev, the song was a love song of medieval Asia, perhaps located in a Japanese castle. It came from nowhere but this indoor arena where Marat offered Kumiko to get in with her new euphonium.

Dostonbek Khamdamov was surprised: "Wow … unbelievable …"

"An old love song from the medieval Japan. You know how good it is once you heard about it." Marat responded.

"I should have mentioned about them, earlier or later." Dostonbek smiled: "Yeah, nothing to hope for. It's the best thing … to do."

The music was pretty calm and wonderful, and that Kumiko played together with an unknown person, surely.

Only that Marat Bikmaev and Dostonbek Khamdamov ever knew she had a friend, a special one. But hey, they enjoyed it, and under the heat of the Emirates, they were happy enough … to taste.

"Olg'a."

"Olg'a."

Chapter Text

Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

Sertaş Adnan is a Turkish official of the UEFA born in Kaiserslautern but moved to Gaziantep at 8, who was sent to the UAE helping host Emiratis to prepare for Asia's big game. However, given the recent rise of tension between Ankara and Abu Dhabi, Ankara accused Abu Dhabi for funding terrorism, which was denied by the Emirati Government, Adnan disdained it.

Although Turkey is an Asian country by large margins, majority of Turks do not align with Asian football, many even see Asian football a complete dismal. It was perhaps true for them. Since the expulsion of Israel at 1970s, the AFC was unable to prevent political interferences. Sertaş Adnan could have seen a lot of benefits for Turkey to retain within the UEFA, as the UEFA proved to be capable on preventing political tensions than AFC.

Before the tournament, Sertaş criticized the perpetration of Graham Arnold after he witnessed Australia beating Oman 5-0. He stated Graham was a terrible coach, and the FFA should have sacked him. He already disliked Graham Arnold long ago since 2007.

One thing is, he does have an Australian citizenship as well, alongside German one.

In today, when Australia beefed up Jordan, his tensions with Graham Arnold forced him to not attend the match. Instead, he walked elsewhere for an uneasy feeling. If Turkey faced Jordan, Turkey would have cruised Jordan 6-1 since Turkey has Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Emre Mor, Cengiz Ünder, Cenk Tosun and Arda Turan, but he didn't trust the ability of Australia. It was understandable, given football is just on establishing its root in Australia, it needs time.

Of course, he could not walk without meeting his weird partners.

"Oh, hi Tom and Jerry."

Jerry and Tom were interested to know more about the UAE, so they went to the UAE. Meeting these four-hand friends were perhaps the happiest thing for Sertaş now, even when Thomas and Jerry were so annoying for them.

In their way, suddenly, they met a man.

"Who're you anyway?"

A weird young East Asian-looking man walked out, and by that, Sertaş got a special meeting …

He just bought a new soda from a store and his name is Phạm Đức Huy, the Vietnamese player of the national team of Vietnam. His name perhaps is among the easiest to get pass beyond. Sertaş Adnan went surprised, but then he knew it.

"Hey, soda?"

"Yeah. What? Who are you anyway?" Huy responded.

"I bet this is the man Hans-Jürgen Gede talked about." Sertaş stated: "A man with a similar Arab face."

Tom and Jerry felt pseudo, but Huy truly had a similar look like any Arab men, hell they got it through and they were fine with it: "Wow, very Arab lol."

"How do you know about Hans?" Huy felt surprised to see Adnan's response: "Are you German?"

"Likely. I was born in Kaiserslautern. I used to work within the DFB and later UEFA."

To make it fair, Sertaş Adnan had worked under charge of German DFB – the highest governing football body of Germany, alongside TFF – its Turkish counterpart. His understanding of football was larger by margin than the rest. On that time he was still working in 2000, then he was just 19, he met Hans-Jürgen Gede at Belgium, during the UEFA Euro. Hans became his goodwill father since.

"Should we need a talk? Thomas asked Adnan.

"Very likely Tom. I would like to do so."

On the side of Huy, he got surprised to know Adnan knew Gede: "How do you know about Hans-Jürgen Gede, again?"

"We'll make a talk. Can I have one soda?" Adnan needed one soda as Huy was generous to buy for him one. And there they went through …

And they started as they were walking.

"Wow, so you met him in Belgium 19 years ago?" Huy got stunned: "Fair enough …"

"I do not think highly, but not that lame either." Adnan was happy. Tom and Jerry followed behind Adnan, requested him to make himself a cool Turkmen. It is the Turkish business.

"Anyway, I came from a relatively rich family. My dad was a successful entrepreneur while my mom was a volleyball coach. So naturally, I chose to follow sporting steps." Adnan added flavors: "It is still better than lose. I chose football, but I work instead of playing."

"Being a high ranked football official from UEFA must be a great honor, Mr. Adnan." Huy stated: "Perhaps, the best thing to do for a German."

"Hahaha, you bet my point kid." Adnan laughed: "Thanks for being raised German, I was capable to do so."

He had no problems but Huy had another thing to discuss: "Okay, so, you are lucky. Our current technical manager is actually Mr. Hans."

Sertaş Adnan got surprised: "Wow, your Vietnam is led by Hans?"

"What?" Tom and Jerry got a brief to talk: "Really?"

Sertaş didn't make contact with Hans since 2015, and it took four years for him to finally get through. Previously, he was interested on involving in European duty only with a Greek partner named Demetrios.

"Yeah. Why not? We are looking on a long-term strategy." Huy made his confidence: "Of course, I am proud to represent my country in this Asian Cup. But we are not confidence too much against Iraq and Iran …"

"You will need someone like Julian Draxler or Burak Yılmaz, son." Adnan clarified: "Vietnamese look pretty small, I think they need specific DNA for the tall men. At least this will solve your situation."

"We can only hope for that. More Vietnamese moving abroad is better than now, they should marry and give mixed children." Huy admitted: "Somehow I wish to be tall as you Mr. Adnan, and like any Germans."

The four people walking into the street of Al Ain as the result had witnessed a surprised. However, Adnan was not surprised overall, Australia was being led 0-1 by Jordan.

"Wow, really?" Huy got a goosebump.

"I am not even surprised. Since Australia doesn't even develop proper football, they got what they should." Adnan quietly claimed: "So be it. Let them get this punishment to learn passionate football."

"Germany has better football traditions though …" Huy told: "Don't blame for this, because Germany even lost 0-1 to Mexico."

"Not worthy, but Australians should learn from it." Adnan made clearer, when they were walking on the street of Al Ain. For Tom and Jerry, they could have made even laughing a bit.

"C'mon Adnan, there should not even harsh …" Jerry addressed behind, on the shoulder of Tom.

"Yeah, why not?" Tom added. Sertaş Adnan and Phạm Đức Huy seem to have some goodwill to act. They got closer as their football discussions seem to get a brief light.

"Well, just be it." Adnan said.

For Adnan and Huy, they got a useful times to talk. As for the current Australia vs. Jordan encounter, Sertaş Adnan didn't even give a damn anymore, he felt nothing to be ashamed for and he was glad for not attending into Hazza bin Zayed Stadium. Of course, being an UEFA official, why doesn't he feel right?

Then, Sertaş asked: "By a way, your opening match is against Iraq, right?"

"Yes." Huy granted: "Do you want to come?"

"Not really. But I would love to. See ya." Adnan stated well. Tom and Jerry felt okay, before Huy said goodbye too and departed on his own way. By then, Adnan didn't regret anything else.

Phạm Đức Huy hoped they would be fine, and for Sertaş Adnan, even he had little thing to offer, he felt great to do so.

And, of course, Tom and Jerry were happy with this, too.

Chapter Text

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

For Omar Kharbin, Syria's current best striker, he was on a trip into the nightclub, where he wanted to have a really good dancing night after only managed a disappointing 0-0 draw against Palestine. Together with him, surprisingly, was a teammate from Australia, Tom Rogic.

Rogic returned after a failed opening account which saw Australia humiliated by a 0-1 defeat to Jordan. This poor performance had led to increasing demand of sacking Graham Arnold, and as for the result, Arnold didn't talk after holding press conference.

It was like Del Bosque with Spain after a defeat to Croatia.

"How do you feel bro?" Omar asked.

"Nothing much. It is pretty suck, but nothing else."

"No worry, we'll rape Jordan. We should together progress." Omar cheered: "Besides, we'll all attend the night box."

"Do you really believe so? Aren't you all Arabs?" Tom wondered, with a sense of distrust.

"Well, we don't feel Arabs anymore. These Jordanians earn money from the Emiratis to play their dirty game, I fucking hate them. Also they are traitors!" Omar Kharbin seems to have a great hostility against Jordan: "We'll beat Jordan soon. By a way, I think you guys can beat Palestine."

"Bet?" Tom asked back.

"Deal." Omar and Tomas shook hand, as the Australian and Syrian internationals together sat on a taxi and drove into a famous nightclub in Sharjah, the Maikhana.

The UAE, while culturally Gulf, is seen as more tolerant than their neighbors Qatar and Saudi Arabia, so they felt guaranteed for it. After participating in the Maikhana Night Club, they started to have a moment to cheer on.

"That was awesome!" Tomas screamed.

"WOOOHOOOOOO …" Omar jumped on.

The nightclub has always been full every night, including foreign citizens and Arab citizens not belonged to the UAE. The bar is very famous and renown for Omanis and Yemenis there, and each night, those guys filled the club mostly. However, given the increasing richness of the UAE, it also attracted Turks, Filipinos, Iranians, South Asians, Europeans, Australians and Americans there. Recently also welcomes Koreans, Japanese and Chinese.

Currently, the club was dominated by Iraqis, who arrived here first.

"Let's roll!"

Everyone danced, danced and forgot every bad thing occurred previously. All looked for a better moment, and they seem to be well-fed with.

And, yup, they were happy for it …

Suddenly, someone went involved into violence, and it was a brawl caused by …

It was surprisingly, an innocent girl stood on and for some surprising reason, and, she had to run from the middle of a fight that everyone found erupted in the club.

"Katou!"

"Eriri, there is a fight …" the girl named Katou said: "Tomoya got injured. He was lying down."

"What?"

By this point, Kharbin and Rogic could not stay. They immediately rushed through, yelled: "Move out! What happened?" Kharbin and Rogic together pushed other people and came closer to the scene, where a boy injured and unconscious. He was injured on the hand and by this point, Omar Kharbin and Tom Rogic both realized who behind this.

"There is a fight!"

The nightclub went to chaos. And the languages … oh dear.

The fight erupted when a group of Turkish expats came to the club after a day long job. When the Turks celebrated and danced their own way, they got an impression by some pretty girls. Said, however, their affairs soon broke out into a fight because of a group of Iraqis accusing them for meddling on their job. Immediately, fight broke out between Turkish and Iraqi men in the club.

Sadly, a boy stood in the middle didn't run fast enough, and he got injured.

The Turks smeared Iraqis immediately, with its leader shouted. Later the fight even became tenser:

"Iraq … the shittiest nation in the Middle East! FUCK IRAQ! We Turks have raped them for nearly 400 years. Today you get raped by America! Ahahahahaha …"

"Fuck you dirty Turkish shits! We have expelled the Turks at 1916! Go to Mongolia you fucking whores!" Those Iraqis argued heavily against the Turks.

Omar and Tom tried to see why, but the clash became extremely heated. Both two sides even showed their hot-headed behaviors. Kharbin quickly captured the story and realized it was a fight between Turks and Iraqis. However, longer history back, the Turks are infamously known for strong Arabophobe, so unsurprisingly, Omar didn't like the Turks anyway.

"Then you Iraqi dogs have something? You are our slaves FOREVER! The Ottoman Empire, we Turks, mighty people have fought for our nation and freedom! The great men like Suleiman I the Magnificent, Mehmed the Conqueror, Mahmud the Reformer, Suleiman II the Tide Changer, to even Mustafa Kemal the Lion, we fought, we died and we ran nowhere! What has Iraq got? NOTHING! You won because of Britain, fool! No Britain, no Iraq! Coward people, fucking Arabs!" The Turks even added anti-Arabist flavor, particularly pointing on Iraqis.

"You Turkish scums coming to the Middle East and then you oppress our race and our people! Face it you fool, Russia would have bombed you terrorist shits if not the coward Erdoğan ran to Moscow begging for forgiveness! Turkish invaders get out of Syria and Iraq! And we remember Armenian Genocide, you Mongols!" Iraqi group was even louder when ongoing the fight between.

Tom Rogic and Omar Kharbin had to use pressure. Then, Rogic hugged the Turkish unknown guy, while Omar hugged the Iraqi counterpart. They did by all the best to prevent any possible fighting.

"STOP! This is a nightclub, not an UFC arena!"

Tom and Omar's actions helped covering enough times to bring the boy Tomoya out. After that, the security force arrived, and escorted two hostile groups away. With their good gestures, they had saved everyone from involving into a brutal violence. Tom Rogic felt, perhaps, the most relaxing after holding them.

But with Omar, he felt something deeply saddened.

For the first time, he had truly seen the scene of Iraqis fighting the Turks. As a kid, Omar had a huge interest on Turkish movies and dramas. However, his imagination about the Turks are a brutal people, seemed to make more sense. Moreover, it was a tragedy …

… Omar despised Turkish Government for their futile war in Syria, but never imagine that behaviors of the Turks. Although they were just a group and not all Turks, this shaped his view …

Tom Rogic seemed to see that.

Having helped them, Tomas and Omar arrived to the bench, where Tomoya, the victim, was recovering from the wound by Eriri.

"Is the boy okay?" Tomas asked: "How injured he is?"

"He's fine … thanks for helping us, Misters." Eriri only showed her concerns and thankful for Tomas Rogic and Omar Kharbin.

"I'm very happy to do so." Tom stated: "Please, don't involve on it again. You are pretty cute but you are too innocent to be there."

"I'm sorry …" Katou said: "I should not bring him here …"

"It's okay. Don't be reckless. You are fine now." Tom smiled: "Next time, don't go there."

Katou and Eriri were caring for Tomoya when Tomas Rogic warned. They soon took this in mind, and after that, they left the nightclub with their helps. Lucky that Tomoya's injury was not serious.

Eriri thanked them and they left.

Tom and Omar left the nightclub, having a night being ruined by a fight. And they seemed to have little to taste for.

For Tomas, that night was enough. For Omar however, this was even more. The emotional affection was greatly damaging, and he could not understand it.

Anyway, they had many thing to say about that, and their departure from the nightclub, perhaps, should be done long ago … with a lot of thing to say …

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

After the match between Thailand and India, when India surprisingly crushed Thailand with an unbelievable 4-1, many Indian supporters cheered for the team outside the stadium.

And, of course, no one was happier than Jeje Lalpekhlua, Indian rising profile striker. To make sure about it, he invited another partner, but only one responded to him. He tried to figure out who, and there was it.

Jeje, at night, arrived into a park, where they had a plenty of fine moment. Of course it was …

"Hi!"

"Hi!"

The man with a Southeast Asian accent was Nguyễn Công Phượng, the Vietnamese player. Of course, very few Vietnamese supporters like Thailand, due to historical enmity between two. So it was natural for them to cheer India following its shocking 4-1 victory. At first, Jeje tried to invite Hwang Ui-jo, but he didn't respond.

"It is nice to see you, Phượng."

"Nice to meet you too, Jeje."

An Indian and a Vietnamese, and they had a pretty warm relationship. Jeje and Phượng shared some stories overall.

"Well, I say that a bit, seeing how we defeat Thailand, of course we did have hope for qualifying beyond." Jeje laughed.

"Well, congrats India, man. I am proud to be your friend though. Say, how did India perform so good like that?" Phượng was still in surprise.

"Rule: never look down your opponents. It is the best way to win though." Jeje stated: "I'm glad for that."

"Pretty much." Phượng addressed as well: "It is better to have good perpetration than to lose."

"Yeah." Jeje and Phượng together walked in a park at night, when the park was still opening. Of course, they did have something to mention after they discovered a love affair between a couples …

With what just discovered, Jeje Lalpekhlua and Nguyễn Công Phượng decided to look carefully, near the lake of the park as they began to hear something they truly felt sense of love from it.

"It is still an interesting moment … and that should be honored. Thanks Star."

"Marco …"

The girl named Star Butterfly met her boy Marco Diaz. Even after they ended their relationship quite long, she would not forget that time. Marco still held something to cherish.

"We are no longer together, of course …" Marco said.

"But will you miss me if you need someone?" Star worried.

"No problem. I am fine with it."

Star Butterfly only felt alone because she didn't know who could trust. As such, she missed Marco, her first friend that truly accepted her. Even when she was a bit idiotic, she had grown thanked for him.

Marco admitted he never had a chance. Star said she never disliked him, only regretted never meeting it earlier. It was so deep that she preferred him more, but they were no longer in relations anymore.

For Star, she just wished for the best.

"C'mon, Star. You are a good Princess."

"Thanks …" Star hugged Marco, only wanted to say thank you for him.

Star admitted after returning relationship with Tom Lucitor, it was a hard time to make pass through. But Marco felt it was okay and she should not mention about it.

For Jeje and Phượng, they sensed it was good enough to admire. Even when they started to be aware that this wasn't a couple longer, they understood its wish and achievement. And they prayed for the best.

"Hope they are okay with it."

And, as expected, having the meeting enough with full of memories, Marco and Star cheered and they departed away, with no sorry.

They were happy enough …

But, as Jeje and Phượng were standing there, suddenly …

"Hey, Jeje?"

"Huh? You are …"

Both two men turned back, only to realize …

"Hwang Ui-jo! And … Massimo Luongo!"

Luongo and Hwang were standing on the street and they found Jeje and Phượng together watching something. As such, Jeje was the most surprised to be.

"Where are you going, Hwang?"

"Party time." Hwang said: "Massimo was very nice on inviting me. Wanna go, you two?"

"Party?" Phượng showed a level of interests.

"Of course. Let's make a chill out." Massimo claimed: "The best way for all of us."

For two guys, the Indian and Vietnamese internationals showed their passion and decided to take hand, and joined with Massimo and Hwang Ui-jo, together, and, to make as good as it be …

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Ali Mabkhout and Ahmed Khalil had some good moment to cheer for, especially when they didn't ask for anything, anyway.

However, their national team performed quite bad against Bahrain. Currently, they were watching the match between China and Kyrgyzstan. Surprisingly, the Kyrgyz performed better than expected.

"Are you sure China can obtain a point?"

"I don't know. Looks like they have hard time to do with."

"Take?"

"Perhaps a 1-1."

Ali Mabkhout and Ahmed Khalil took rapid decision, and they soon immediately watched how China showed up. But then, their interest soon erupted by someone's annoyance.

"Hey! Khalil, Mabkhout! Come down!" Someone yelled.

"Yeah? WTF is this Eisa?"

It was from Khalid Eisa, the team's goalkeeper, and not so surprising that Khalil responded immediately. Only that they found an unknown person standing there, and it was …

"WTF who are you?" Ali Mabkhout, having stepped down from the hotel, surprisingly discovered a girl who lost her road. Of course they would be extremely surprised to see someone could not remember.

Suddenly, she asked them first:

"Misters, do you know where is Luchia?"

"Huh?" Ahmed Khalil, Khalid Eisa and Ali Mabkhout did not understand: "Can you tell me your name?"

"Uh, my name is Hanon." She explained: "Hanon Hoshou."

"So, why are you here?" Mabkhout asked Hanon: "Are you really aware with what you're doing?"

"I just try to know somebody …" Hanon told: "It was a bit weird, but I am worry for my friend. She had lost contact for three hours now."

"What?" Mabkhout got stunned: "WTF are you here? If you don't know your friends, how can we help you?"

Mabkhout went strike! He didn't imagine he had to find for Hanon a friend who lost in Abu Dhabi. Perhaps even worse for them, Hanon seemed to have no clue about the place either.

Therefore, Khalil asked: "When was the last time you saw your friend?"

"In the hotel. Just three hours ago, she said she would have made a short travel before she went back immediately after two hours. I got bored." She said: "But then, after two hours without seeing her returning back, I ran out to know why, but unfortunately, I lost her tracks."

"Can you guarantee that? Did she write about her place she wanted to go?" Eisa demanded: "More."

"Ah! She said she wanted to go into an aquarium. And just that." Hanon told: "It is unclear why."

"WTF in an aquarium for 3 hours?" Ahmed Khalil said: "Is it being a kidnap? Let's go and find them!"

Khalil, Mabkhout and Eisa were openly suspicious over the fact that Hanon's friend might be kidnapped. Since there is only one famous aquarium in Abu Dhabi, the Yas Island, they said: "Get into taxi, girl. We will go to Yas Island!" Hanon, surprised with the level spirits of Khalil, Mabkhout and Eisa, took part as well.

When they came to the aquarium of Yas Island, a complex that mixed between a huge mall, a F1 stage, a Warner Bros.' complex and the underwater world, they realized the Yas Island was too large to get in.

"This is where she arrived?" Hanon was shocked to see the greatness of the Island.

"If she traveled alone she would have no chance to survive there." Eisa said: "Many people travel here every year. This place is always full of tourists. That means it demands you to have a basis knowledge. Follow me."

On the other hand, Eisa noticed about Hanon's seashell in her necklace. Thus, he guessed out something to do. But, at first, to get through, they needed to look beyond. And their short discovery started.

First, they headed to the mall. But it took nearly 30 minutes for them as they needed to find out very fast. They ignored unimportant stores as they headed to another, where they discovered nothing.

Second, they ran to the F1 race arena, where many were interested on taking photograph of the super F1 cars like Ferrari, McLaren, etc. But it turned to be nothing worth either.

Third, they arrived to a floating restaurant, but there was too little to help for something.

Fourth, they headed to the Warner Bros. complex, but it turned nothing for them to get with either. No clear evidence was taken aftermath.

Fifth, they began to finally target the aquarium. But surprisingly, even in the underground water world of Yas Island, nothing was taken on. A complete suck for them.

They ran beyond what they found, but there was no evidence shown that Hanon's friend Lucia was there. Where was she anyway?

She didn't even talk with sharks either.

Hanon, with some special ability, understood that, but she was aware that many people there and using special ability needed to be covered carefully.

On the other side, Eisa, Khalil and Mabkhout were unable to break the deadlock.

"Where is she now?"

After leaving the aquarium of Yas Island with nothing on the hand, the question for them was given: where was Lucia?

When Khalil, Mabkhout and Eisa were all in deep unknown, suddenly, Hanon found that there was somebody standing here, and near the port where ships board on.

"Hey! Who's there?"

"Huh?" Khalil wondered: "What's wrong?"

"There is somebody there!" Hanon pointed out as she discovered them immediately. So Eisa, Khalil and Mabkhout together ran to the port where they were informed. It should be better to have that than to lose.

The port where many boats and ships located above was what Hanon smelt from.

When Hanon, Eisa, Mabkhout and Khalil arrived to the port, and only that was enough. But, what they just got was …

A girl speaking to a dolphin.

"Huh?" Eisa went on: "Really?"

Khalid Eisa, Ahmed Khalil and Ali Mabkhout went on, only to see with shock. But Hanon looked fine on it.

"Huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh?"

From the water, jumped up a girl, and Hanon happily yelled: "Lucia! What are you doing so long?" But of course, the girl coming from the sea wasn't Lucia. She was actually talking with somebody under the water. Not waiting too long, Lucia turned her back and said:

"Hanon! A message from Caren!"

"Okay. But why did you let us wait so long?"

Hanon criticized Lucia for letting her wait, meanwhile, seeing how it went through, those three Emirati players were surprised. They lost more than one hour only for this thing?

Moreover, Eisa took a question immediately aftermath when they saw Lucia and Hanon.

"Seriously, I wonder … Khalil, Mabkhout, are they … mermaids?"

"HUH?" Both Mabkhout and Khalil tried not believing it, but it turned out in favor on this fact. Eisa mentioned he noticed the seashell on her necklace, and something told that they wanted to go to the aquarium, with the girl later found near a port close to the Yas Island.

They looked like wanna know about Hanon and her friend Lucia, but surprisingly, Hanon quickly returned, said: "Thanks Misters, we really want to go back now."

"Uhhh … okay." Mabkhout felt okay for that, as Lucia and Hanon said goodbye to them in good faith, and they left.

Neither Eisa, Mabkhout or Khalil understood what's just happened … all day, even after they returned hotel to watch remaining Asian Cup matches …

Chapter Text

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Wang Dora tried to get out from what happened after seeing China won hard to comeback from a goal down to win 2-1 against Kyrgyzstan. Seeing how the Philippines performed against South Korea, only losing by one goal, he got startled.

He knew it could have been even worse if Marcello Lippi didn't try to change. Today, he would spend a time to see Iran played against Yemen, having enjoyed few hours earlier the match between China and Kyrgyzstan. He could trust Lippi because he was a man who understood the duty pretty well.

"Can you ensure that, Mr. Lippi?"

"Yes, yes I am."

That was astonishing, of course.

Accompanying with Wang Dora would be goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo, and Takashi Inui. Jo Hyeon-woo, since the World Cup performance, earned reputation and supports from many fans, but under Bento, he was just a reserve choice for Kim Seung-gyu. Meanwhile, Inui volunteered to go, to see how Iran performed against Yemen.

Inui took this very serious, due to the fact he almost missed the tournament until injury of Shoya Nakajima placed him into the final 23 instead. He surely wanted to impress coach Hajime Moriyasu, a very genuine-style manager with a strict understanding of football. Wang took them because he understood the football powers of South Korea and Japan were too far ahead for China, and it could be better to have them instead.

Having Inui and Jo, Wang Dora headed to the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, the hosting venue for the match between Iran and Yemen. But even before they could finally take a good seat, in disguise, suddenly, they saw …

"Huh?"

Wait …

They might have nothing to do in the stadium outside watching its opponents and analyzing their rivals. But for some reasons, the match was about to start quickly making them to take an immediate seat. Wang Dora, Takashi Inui and Jo Hyeon-woo must take this seriously. Quick enough, though.

Inui and Jo spoke to Wang after attending the stadium.

"Do you really think so?" Inui asked.

"Might be, but pretty unlikely." Wang told: "Besides, Iran is the strongest team in Asia, right now. Better ask them."

"You may think about a possible good option perhaps?" Jo got on his head: "I feel pretty cool idea."

"How would it be possible anyway?" Wang responded: "You Koreans fought a pretty hard match, only to handle the Philippines by one goal only. It wasn't good really."

"Yeah I know that. Still it could have become a little better if we have Son Heung-min." Jo explained: "Without Son, South Korea remains a tiger, but no wing."

"Same here." Inui told: "Our manager, Mr. Hajime, is even harsher than your Bento. We cannot even have Okazaki and Kagawa, our finest men right now."

"Japan is still a bulldog." Jo mocked: "I must have jealous with you Japanese. You took only twenty years to build a national team winning four titles and a battle-hardened World Cup team. We took over sixteen years and still only two Asian titles."

"Why? I think Japan tried hard unlike you Koreans, you have your football genes already." Inui laughed: "I maybe surprised on Koreans at all."

"Guys, the Iranians came! Better watch out." Wang Dora mentioned them: "Watch how Iran plays, please."

At that time, the fans started waving flags when two national teams appeared on the stadium. There was a moment for them to do, when suddenly, a weird fan girl walked in, following it with a fan boy.

Only difference was, the people walked inside made Wang Dora a complete surprise. They were …

A white cat and a blue cat entered stadium together. For some reason, they sat next to Wang Dora, Inui and Jo. With Jo Hyeon-woo and Takashi Inui, they were also surprising guests as well, since they had no clue about them before.

Some funny fans from other countries that didn't play the Asian Cup, notably fans from France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Scotland, Romania, Indonesia, Russia, Wales, Ukraine, Poland, the United States, Brazil, England, Argentina, Greece, Mexico and Canada also came to the stadium in a limited number, probably to see how good these Asian players. Some even sent football scouts. This was a damned time.

Wang, immediately discovered the girl sitting next to her, tried to cover his affection by asking a direct one: "Lady and gentleman … why are you here?"

"Oh … thanks for asking. Well, we like football so we get interested with it." She responded: "What's your name, Sir?"

"My name is Wang Dora. How about you?"

"My name is Olivia." The white cute cat responded: "And here is my husband."

She then urged her husband to response. Upon this, he just waved his hand, scared to see anything. In fact, Olivia's husband was a pretty nice blue cat, normally better than other mentioned. But he was a bit shy to speak anything, Olivia had to speak for him.

"Sorry Mr. Wang, my husband is shy a bit. His name is Oggy."

The feeling of the blue cat changed rapidly and he shook his hand with Wang Dora, fearing it would embarrass the guest. Inui and Jo seeing this couldn't stop laughing, of course, not so loud so Iran and Yemen could start their match.

Oggy and Olivia made some mention: "You also came to watch football, right?"

"Exactly. Although I may say there is a private reason for that." Wang told: "I've friends to go."

"Are your friends football fans?" Olivia questioned with a good nature.

"Avid." Wang smiled: "This is always a good doing business."

"Really?" Jo laughed: "Are you sure, Wang?"

"Hey, hey, hey! Don't joke me …" Wang Dora tried to warn but Inui also mocked him as a girl-dealer. He didn't like the name, but he had yet to ask how Olivia and Oggy came together.

For Oggy, since he finally established a family with Olivia, his pressure was to make firmer hand on his relations with Olivia. However, he remains too annoying and bit weak, pseudo, really. And keeping tie with Olivia was hard for Oggy.

Olivia's good nature made him hard to compete with other, still Oggy tried to keep her stay. So in this occasion, Oggy asked Olivia:

"Hey, honey, do you want popcorns?"

"Oh …" Olivia at least, saw an action from Oggy, and she felt grateful for it. As Wang, Inui and Jo were having a discussion over, Olivia felt she should spend more times for her newly-married husband, so she left with him.

After Iran and Yemen finished their anthems, Wang, Inui and Jo ended their discussion, but when they turned back, Olivia and Oggy had gone somewhere.

Wang Dora, got a beef with Jo and Inui, said: "Fuck it."

"Why?" Inui and Jo stated: "Aren't you supposed to see this match?"

"Yeah. But I lose my guests now." Wang criticized.

"Okay."

Because Oggy and Olivia left their seats, and lack of popularity for the Asian Cup, Wang, Inui and Jo sat together watching the performance of Iran with all the best as they could do. They would love to know how good Yemen is, and how strong Iran is.

And, the result was not a surprise at all, when Iran destroyed Yemen …

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Poland's Dariusz Szabiersk and Dora-med III, a Saudi muslim living in Baghdad, rushed all the way to seek for a suitable position when the match between Iraq and Vietnam was about to come.

Dariusz is a Polish official of the UEFA. Same as Sertaş Adnan, but Dariusz had very little favor for the Asian Cup, as he rated it a low-qualified tournament with no real football entertainment, his attitude is perceived as arrogant. The only reason he arrived was because the opening account and, assists from opening ceremony organizers, many worked in France three years ago. Dariusz, this time, asked Dora-med III:

"How do you expect from a low-quality match? No Asian team worth to watch either …"

"I am from Saudi Arabia, but I have lived in Iraq long ago. In fact it was an invitation from Carlos Queiroz, damn it." Dora-med slammed Dariusz after representing himself: "Please respect our football. We've progressed more than you thought."

"Please, if there is a surprise, I would watch. Thank you." Dariusz doesn't even know how good Australia, Japan, South Korea, or even Iran and Saudi Arabia are. But Dora-med III understood what happened.

Dariusz is a newcomer as an UEFA official. He got his license only two years ago, pretty young as he was just 27, so he was still pretty new for many. Although have been working in major UEFA competitions, like Europa League, and UEFA Nations League, but coming for an AFC tournament was the first time to do so.

For the UEFA, Dariusz's ability to help manage a match would be an important test for him to take charge in the more heated UEFA Champions League and, eventually, UEFA European Championship. This was the first match for Dariusz to do so.

Before the tournament however, Dariusz had a brawl with a plenty of Jordanian officials. Due to the brawl, he was banished from doing five first matches, and he had to wait until this one to witness. The reason for the brawl was unclear, but mostly due to dispute between Dariusz and a Jordanian fan that saw him and the other Jordanians joined the violence.

By Dora-med III's account, who witnessed that brawl, Dariusz called Jordanians as a sub-human people with doping using for football, making accusation that Jordan would use drugs to cheat for the whole tournament. This had been the key result for the violence.

The Poles are famous for bloody history but being occupied by many powers, so unsurprisingly, the Jordanians who suffered from his fight called him "bloody Polack", smearing him greatly. Hell, he had to react with a same level of violence as well.

He was extremely disliked due to his part. Because he, as a student, had involved in a number of brawls, leading him to change schools several times. All for this moment, he had suffered many traumas, nonetheless he was capable to overcome it, though short-lived.

This was why Dariusz had to go to work alone, as other officials had no clear how would he behave against. So this would be his first day as a official of UEFA in a major AFC tournament. Dariusz would not prefer anything but a full complete win for him.

He was assigned to manage the camera room of analyzing match for other televisions to take accounts. It was what Dora-med III told him before, and Dariusz sat down in the VIP chair, where he was offered to make analyzing.

On the seat, however, he met a strange man who sat with him and his assistants. Dora-med III, sat alongside Dariusz, felt the heat of it.

"Hey, you are …" Dariusz mentioned.

"My name is Carlos Queiroz." The old man told: "I am not surprised. You mean …"

"Oh, I know you. I saw you when you coached Portugal in South Africa." Dariusz told: "I went to South Africa on summer, when South Africa hosted the World Cup. Back then, my late mother did say she wanted to stay in Portugal for the rest of her life, and she asked me to contact. I tried with you, but it was undone."

Dariusz Szabiersk sat as he took on his analyze over the team of Iraq and Vietnam. Indeed, he rated the tournament pretty low, so he didn't try to do the best, as the match started. He analyzed like a part-timer.

Queiroz, however, didn't think so: "So, you are working as an UEFA analyst?"

"Yes. A part-time job if you count on this shitty tournament." Dariusz said: "I wish I could have done it in Europe, we are much better than these Asians, they don't understand football."

Dora-med III was extremely unimpressed with the way Dariusz mentioned the Asian Cup, and his arrogance.

"You are wrong, my son." Queiroz refuted Dariusz's claim: "Good man look on other football with good eyes. You are looking with silly eyes, son."

"Maybe? The Asian Cup sucks as it got." Dariusz told: "Unless this match has more players to score, I won't give a damn to analyze."

Queiroz then smiled: "We'll see about that."

Dora-med III, disappointed, didn't want to talk about Dariusz anymore. He slowly left as there was a fan girl sitting there. It was a bit surprise from there, but she had covered his watch.

Dariusz, seeing a girl sitting here blocking his view, told the girl: "Hey, please don't try to cover my sight."

She was a bit shy and quite carefree girl for him. She had a long yellow blonde hair, tied with pigtails in two sides with blue bright eyes. Dariusz, a 27 years old, got surprised that, but he wasn't interested on it except asking name only: "Okay. What's your name really?"

"Usagi. Usagi Tsukino. Who are you?"

"Dariusz." He quietly laughed: "You came here alone? Bitch, get out of my sight or become headless." Following up was a bullying attitude against Usagi, as he grabbed her hair's tails.

"Who said she is alone? Fool." Another appeared. Usagi immediately recognized: "Rei."

Rei Hino. And accompanied with Usagi and Rei were …

"Watch out buddy. Idiot."

It was from Minako Aino, and she also stated very clear to Dariusz: "I heard what you say, asshole. Show him, Ami."

Ami Mizuno also appeared too, and then she just took a bold question: "Do you view your girlfriend that way you view football? How rude."

At this point, Dariusz realized he was messing with wrong people, but it wasn't the end. The last among five girls, who was somehow able to bring a cat, took her voice:

"Kitty, we have a good friend here."

"Huh?" Dariusz got a 'welcome', when the last one, revealed as Makoto Kino, let a cat ran close to him. The cat with a crescent on her head ran closely to Dariusz, and she showed her claw. Dariusz was under-prepared, so he could not prevent it: "What the …"

And …

"MEOOWWWWW …"

"Hehehehehehe …"

Aftermath was a bit pretty … traumatic for Dariusz, his face curbed by the claw of that black cat, even haunted on him. Carlos Queiroz laughed pretty hard, to see his idiocy.

"How about that, Dariusz?"

"Really?" Dariusz said: "I don't even …"

"The pay for arrogance. Idiot." Carlos mocked: "Learn it? Now analyze the match please!"

Queiroz quickly assembled his assistants to do so, while Dariusz, having been trashed by the cat with a wound on his face, seemed to have learnt a bitter lesson. He really shouldn't do that. Dora-med III returned, and laughed as well: "Learn it my friend?"

This time, Dariusz nodded his head, although in his mind he could not accept it. And for Dora-med III, he actually invited these girls there, knowing that they could teach Dariusz a lesson.

As for the result, Dora-med III gave a thank for Usagi for their appearance, as he had carefully been aware with Dariusz's behaviors. But he was doubtful that Dariusz would ever show a decent level of interest.

For Queiroz, this could be better for Dariusz to learn a single lesson.

For Dariusz, having got a scar on the face, he had to cover the wound. While he was watching the match and to make analyze, suddenly, the outcome went unexpected.

In 24', the mistake of Iraqi defenders allowed the Vietnamese to take a chance and in a strike down, they scored a goal by a single own goal from an Iraqi defender. This changed a bit for Dariusz by a surprise: "Huh?"

For Dariusz, even when he underestimated the tournament, he didn't even think Iraq would have been taken the lead, he had seen how Iraq played and rated Iraq as one of Asia's hegemon. He started to analyze, although still less serious and only when Iraq once again suffered another goal, that brought his attention.

The outcome, however, was a complete surprise, but the winner still belongs to the stronger.

For Carlos Queiroz, having enjoyed the whole match to see such a surprise outcome proved him that his next opponents could have been bitter tests even Iran is still Asia's top dog.

Of course, Usagi, Minako, Rei, Makoto and Ami went stunned to see how Vietnam battled Iraq, since everyone considered Iraq to have an easy win. It wasn't what expected, even the win still belonged to the stronger.

The later actions from the Iraq vs. Vietnam match proved to be an accepted result, a 3-2 victory for Mesopotamian Lions, and this sent Iraq a good opening, even it wasn't like how they wished for. For this reason, at least, Dariusz had seen and analyzed with a serious face, perhaps, he could find out that, the tournament wasn't that bad as he often mentioned about.

Chapter Text

Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

Apostopoulos Giannakos is a Greek official, same with Dariusz Szabiersk and Sertaş Adnan, working for the UEFA. Also dispatched to help AFC officials for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, however he had to accompany with Dora-rinho, who while extremely smart at football, is a renown forgetful idiot as well.

Witnessing the match between Saudi Arabia and North Korea yesterday, as well as the battle between Iraq and Vietnam, he got impressed with how surprising the tournament went. Except Yemen and North Korea both were completely demolished, others performed pretty good, especially how India and Jordan overcame Thailand and Australia; how Philippines and Kyrgyzstan almost damaged reputation of mighty South Korea and China; and how Vietnam caused too much hardship for Iraq. Dora-rinho even documented these matches for him.

Apostopoulos today got a scheduled meeting with Mehdi Khalil and Nader Matar, two Lebanese players of the Cedars. However, Nader Matar was unable to participate due to an unknown issue, so only Mehdi Khalil would participate to meet him.

Dora-rinho went on: "Giannakos! Let's go!" Rinho seemed to be always forgetful, but he nevertheless always has full energy.

"Coming, forgetful boy." Giannakos knew Dora-rinho thanked for his friend Dora-the-Kid, who issued him to follow Rinho carefully: "Here we meet Mehdi Khalil."

And they took car immediately …

After an hour, they finally gathered outside the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, but it turned out that Mehdi Khalil and … Nader Matar all got captured by a young girl, who yelled on them demanding for something. Giannakos and Dora-rinho got surprised after they left the taxi.

At first, Nader and Mehdi argued they didn't intend for that, but due to her strong argument, they decided the only way was to fool the girl. However, before they could do that, Dora-rinho and Apostopoulos had stood in front of them when they turned their eyes.

Both Rinho and Giannakos got amazed with what happened. For Mehdi and Nader, they were also reckoned as well due to their appearances …

"Uh …"

So, after Rinho and Giannakos took measures, two sides sat everything out. But the story behind their argument was extremely hilarious.

Nader Matar and Mehdi Khalil two days before had encountered a crying girl, who lost her consciousness due to the fact she had money to buy a gift for her boyfriend to make the first anniversary since they kissed in an incident. The girl wore a sailor uniform, a red/pink one.

For some reasons, she touched on Nader and Mehdi, both were walking on the street of Al Ain. Mehdi and Nader got attention after she cried wishing to buy a good gift and hoped they could help them, and they agreed to do so. However, Mehdi and Nader attempted to use it in order to not involved by making this a false promise, so they could return to the base as quick as possible. They said "yes" for mouth only, but not plan to buy it.

Unfortunately, it didn't go as expected. The girl actually staged fake cry to fool them, eventually got them as her keys. Her intention to buy a gift for her boyfriend was real, but she wanted to see how good they were. So she tried to seek for them again, and after that, Mehdi and Nader realized they got into trouble.

"So that's why you are fooled by a young high-school girl?" Giannakos got stunned: "KIDDING?"

"No …" Nader said: "We feel like we're fucked up."

"How about a Tunisian pearl?" Dora-rinho jumped on of detail: "Could it help?"

"There is NOTHING Tunisian here, damn you!" Mehdi yelled: "We need to solve this case, not buying a pearl!"

Rinho mentioned on it many times, but all rejected. Then, Giannakos after discovered that they had to struggle because if the coach knew they got this problem, they would have been set out from the main match, he turned attention to the girl: "What's your name?"

"Is there any problem? My name is Aria." The girl with pink pony-tail hair responded: "No problem?"

"I want to know." Giannakos said: "Please, if you have so many issues, you should not demand for them like that."

"They promise me!" Aria stated: "Don't lie!"

Dora-rinho, for his idiocy, didn't understand what just happened. Then, he ran to Aria, and said: "Hey! Why don't we try to go playing somewhere?"

Aria, on this point, argued that Nader Matar and Mehdi Khalil must honor their words. Seeing how it went, Giannakos tried to prevent a possible fight. But Dora-rinho's idea of going to play somewhere could be a good option.

His plea around Aria made Aria annoyed, but it was in turn, a good idea.

"Going play somewhere? Good idea." Aria realized: "I will go to play, but I want them to go with me."

And, she didn't forget to point on Mehdi Khalil and Nader Matar. She wanted them to participate immediately, or face consequences. This time, Khalil and Matar could not deny it.

Giannakos, finding this hard situation, surprisingly took out his phone. He remembered this man could change the fate, because the match between Lebanon and Qatar was about to come, and also, better got than lost. He connected in secret, as Aria, Dora-rinho, Mehdi and Nader walked out from the stadium in early morning …

When Apostopoulos Giannakos was still on the car, Rinho, Aria, Mehdi and Nader all participated on the trip, sure. Aria demanded them to find out a gift in Al Ain's centennial park, since there was a small festival here. Of course, neither Rinho, Mehdi and Nader could afford that.

Worse, she even made her bold statement: without a gift all three would hit bullets, and even threatened them with a pistol on her hand. Aria was serious and she didn't demand anything else but a clear gift. This meant pressure ran high for Mehdi and Nader. Dora-rinho didn't understand it aftermath.

Mehdi Khalil and Nader Matar understood this was real pistol, and got surprised how Aria was able to manage one pistol on her skirt. And then, they only had 15 minutes to seek. Dora-rinho ran with them too, but again, his forgetful brain proved to be another problem.

Mehdi Khalil and Nader Matar looked forward as they discovered a nearby store which could be useful. Perhaps nothing more better than trying to seek over a gift in an unknown store. They were desperate to buy an immediate gift, and finally decided to pose a teddy bear with the face of Theodore Roosevelt instead.

Of course, Dora-rinho didn't even know who was Teddy Roosevelt.

But when they both returned, Aria disappeared.

They didn't understand what happened at all. Thinking that the girl was trying to fool them, Mehdi Khalil and Nader Matar decided to get out before she returned back. So, they immediately called taxi and returned to the stadium before the match started. Including Dora-rinho.

After returned, Mehdi Khalil, Nader Matar and Dora-rinho were surprised as well. Only Apostopoulos saw what he did was the only option.

Then, Rinho ran to the car, said: "Apostopoulos! Here you're!"

"Yeah yeah. How about you, my Brazilian folk?" Giannakos smiled: "I have saved you guys today."

"How?" Dora-rinho wondered: "And why?"

"Yeah, that's why I wish Mehdi Khalil and Nader Matar listen …" Giannakos, as he told to Rinho, later also received attention from Mehdi and Nader. All soon found out …

On the time Aria forced them to buy a gift, Giannakos had contacted with a person, revealed to be Lupin III, grandson of Lupin I, or original Arsène Lupin. Lupin III did have actually quite good relations with Dora-rinho's friends Dora-nikov and Dora-the-Kid, and also brother-in-arm of Dorapin, who bear namesake of Lupin family.

Lupin III tricked Aria, who carried a pistol, by disguising as her boyfriend Kinji Touyama, and he kept luring her outside of their range until she finally caught up with real Kinji. In the end, Lupin III luckily heard that Kinji didn't need any gift from Aria, but they just needed the best from the small festival in Al Ain.

Of course, it wasn't without a price to pay: luring Aria, he had to fool her with a shiny gift. At least, it gave enough times for Mehdi Khalil, Nader Matar and Dora-rinho together escape.

"Oh Jesus Christ!" Nader Matar shouted: "Really?"

"You're saved, okay?" Giannakos confirmed: "Now get into stadium before your national team beef up Qatar!"

"Okay okay, I see!" Mehdi Khalil nodded his head and all two Lebanese men, while Rinho and Apostopoulos also joined together, where they would have a good time to watch Lebanon against Qatar.

Chapter Text

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Khamdamov and Bikmaev, again. But this time they were also joined by Egor Krimets, the team's defender. Krimets looked extremely tall, perhaps due to his Ukrainian descent.

There are many Uzbeks having Ukrainian/Russian/Belarusian/Polish root, and this was undisputed. The major reason was simple: legacy from Russian conquest. Russian Empire conquered the region in the middle of 19th century, and followed with another century of full Russification and modernization. Along Krimets, even their own pal Bikmaev is of Russian Tatar root.

In Uzbekistan, still roughly 20% Uzbekistanis are reported to have at least a mixed ancestry. Most common among them are Russian and Ukrainian, and followed is Armenian descent.

Today, they arrived to get ready, as Japan vs. Turkmenistan was ongoing. Japan had equalized 1-1 by then.

"Take a break, Dostonbek." Krimets told as he gave Dostonbek a smoke.

"Do you think Turkmenistan could win?" Dostonbek suspected: "They just lost their advantage now."

"Turkmenistan isn't known for football tradition like us. Uzbekistan has longer and more competitive history." Bikmaev explained: "Thus, this is not even a fair comparison."

"Bikmaev is correct. Uzbekistan has played in U17 and U20 World Cup, winning the recent U23 Asian Cup. Senior side plays in every World Cup last round since independence. What else?" Krimets said: "We shall crush Oman."

"Well, I hope …" Dostonbek told calmly: "But seriously, Oman is a tough nut."

"Does not matter. We have to win. No other choice for us now." Krimets responded: "Deal with it."

Both Dostonbek, Krimets and Bikmaev stood outside the Sharjah Stadium. They had arrived there together with all 23 players, including its technical staff and head coach, Héctor Cúper. They were eager to do that, until …

"Hey, is that …" Surprisingly, Dostonbek discovered a couple walking into the stadium, and with no other reason to explain, they took measures immediately: "You?"

Very surprised, they once again encountered … Oumae. Even more, this time Oumae went together with a boy, and this was confirmed.

"Oumae?"

So, their story started here.

Oumae did have a good romantic affair, with a boy named Shuichi. Shuichi was her former boyfriend, but after a conflict, they separated and they went into hardship since. There had been little contact, but this might be a chance for them to repair their relationship.

Egor Krimets was still a bit new, so he didn't know about that. However, Dostonbek Khamdamov and Marat Bikmaev knew it long ago.

"You? And who is this boy anyway?" Dostonek wondered: "Don't try to fool me, okay?"

Kumiko also noticed their appearances as well: "You … you're also in the stadium too?"

"Yeah, because … we are football players." Marat Bikmaev finally confessed, leaving them in surprise. Previously, she only knew Marat and Dostonbek on their behavior, but didn't notice about their status. Now, she knew who they're.

Dostonbek Khamdamov, Marat Bikmaev and Egor Krimets are both players of Uzbekistan national team. Of course, Egor Krimets felt a bit strange to see them there, as he did not know them unlike Marat and Dostonbek.

But Dostonbek knew it:

"Huh, I know her …"

Of course, none knew the boy, but two at least knew the girl. When they started to ask the boy, Kumiko told his name, Shuichi Tsukamoto. Then Bikmaev represented them to Egor.

Egor just stated: "Yes, yes. By a way, do you often try to get into the stadium? By ticket or sneaking?"

"I am not intended to go to the stadium, but I would like to go for some other reasons. Of course, mostly, we need music." Kumiko said: "For my euphonium."

"And I am her friend. No, we are not in love …" Shuichi warned: "Don't dare to talk about that."

"We don't, lol." Egor told: "So, you couple arrived to Sharjah quite early. There are still seats there."

"Yes, we do. Lol."

Shuichi told, but Kumiko wanted to prevent him from talking idiotic feeling. However, for some reason, Egor Krimets did not give a damn. Instead, he stated:

"They're bunch of children growing up, who care?"

Kumiko and Shuichi looked with Dostonbek, Egor and Marat. For them, it was enough of the shits.

"Are there anything else to say Sir?"

"No." Egor told: "So, do you have anything to say?"

"Mr. Marat was pretty nice for me, but I think many Uzbek players look pretty rude." Kumiko slammed.

"Rude?" All three startled: "Are you serious? Damn you girl."

"Aren't it?" Kumiko demanded: "Please if you truly care on."

"Do you really need to speak about them?" Shuichi wondered: "They should have not even been mentioned anyway, Kumiko. Besides, they're football players."

"Fine." Kumiko told: "Again, thanks for being honest, Sirs."

"Hahh … you're welcome …" Dostonbek Khamdamov said to them, as they entered the stadium. Deep disappointment, fated faces, was what Dostonbek, Marat and Egor felt from Kumiko. Shuichi also escorted Kumiko in, though they felt they would miss her euphonium greatly.

And, Marat Bikmaev quoted shortly but true …

"Kind of …"

Chapter Text

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Zabeel Park

Phil and James Younghusband.

Philip and James Younghusband are two brothers. Raised in the land of ancient story of King Arthur and his Excalibur sword, two brothers surprisingly opted to play for the Philippines, since their mother was a Filipina. James is the elder, Phil is the younger; but the younger is more famous than the elder.

They greatly admired them, both had played a great role on their life, but when they participated in the Asian Cup, both their dad and mom were no longer in this world anymore. Their feeling on them was huge, and they never forgot to visit their graves.

Their national team's maiden battle was up against mighty South Korea, who had beaten Germany 2-0 in the World Cup and sending Mannschaft home from group stage after 80 years. Even the Koreans did not have Son Heung-min for their first two matches, because of Tottenham, South Korea was still too powerful for the Philippines. Yet, the Azkals played a pretty brave match only to lose by a single goal from their defensive mistake, from Hwang Ui-jo.

Phil and James were quick to take a break after the match. They were both substitutes, until Phil was sent on.

Now, leaving everything back from behind and they focused on the encounter against China, both remain very optimistic that they could manage surprise against the Chinese.

Philippines is not a football country by any mean, so participating in the Asian Cup for both brothers was a great honor. Despite this, ironically, Philippines was one of the earliest nations in Asia to be introduced with the sport, at 1890s under Spanish colonial rule. However, the war for independence and subsequent anti-American resistance made football in the Philippines stopped to grow for a while until 1910s. Then, Philippines became a football country until Americans introduced basketball and boxing, replaced football as its top sports.

So now, the nation's football renaissance and increasing of football culture in the country gathered hope for the nation.

But when James and Phil were happily discussing on the park of Dubai, suddenly they saw someone …

"Heh? James, do you hear that?"

"What?"

Philip and James together stood out, only to discover that someone was having a picnic there. And, of course, big lady with a pink hair came to them too. Then, she addressed them before she left for a while:

"I'll leave you two there. Go try to reconcile."

There was a great dispute perhaps, but James Younghusband attempted to avoid that: "Haizz, nothing new anyway." For James, he was focusing on the clash between his country and China.

But Philip thought otherwise. He advised James to make a stampede and discover how, and that they should solve a story before the woman there return. James at first was reluctant, but soon he accepted the offer.

Philip and James Younghusband agreed that it would be their only time to speak about it, and they immediately risked no effort to come to the couple sitting here. When they arrived there, on the island of the park itself, the Younghusband brothers soon found out they were pretty young for them.

That was strange of course.

James was quick to notice for Phil: "Really, I don't think we should risk for it …"

"C'mon brother. It's fun." Phil maintained his confidence: "Nothing bad anyway."

As they arrived, they realized the couple wasn't that simple. They really had a moment to struggle between, and their story was deeper than expected. James asked them:

"Hi …"

"Hi stranger …" The boy responded: "Who … are you?"

With a warming body, Phil took the words from James: "My name is Philip. He is my brother, James. What's your name?"

One thing made two brothers different is their appearance. James as an older brother tends to be more cautious; but Philip always has a restless energy. This was a good thing for Phil, while for James, his quietness made him a bit negatively portrayed.

"My name is Tsuna." The boy explained: "And here is my classmate … Kyoko."

Kyoko showed her hospitality pretty well, and, of course, Kyoko was good in this case. However, she also got a bit shy, something happened before must have taken them into the problem leading to reconciliation process there. James Younghusband, for a bit, was reluctant as himself being.

"Are you in good manner, Kyoko?"

"I'm … fine. Thanks Mr. James." Kyoko responded.

"It's okay." James didn't intend to do, but then he asked them what happened. Both tried to explain their story, but Phil was quick to note out one thing: misunderstanding.

Misunderstanding between Kyoko and Tsunayoshi occurred.

"Let we guess: you have a misunderstanding, right?" Philip questioned.

"Well … it was supposed to be, but …" At this point, due to relatively good nature, Kyoko decided to tell what had gone.

The story happened with the fact that, Kyoko and Tsuna had a relatively good relationship. Their relationship was strong enough so they often had a close if not say, good tie.

However, few months ago, there was a widespread rumor about that Tsuna had some alleged "unnatural sexual behavior". This had led to his private tutor to check him out, and his family suspected him. Since Kyoko is the closest for Tsuna, she was among the most targeted by her classmates for needing evidences.

Tsuna didn't believe that and he had tried to appeal, but he almost got expelled until his friend Hayato arrived to protect him from these undisclosed cases. However this had damaged Tsuna greatly.

More worse, Kyoko suffered criticisms and she had to stay away from Tsuna in hope to curb the public opinion in the school. This had made them unable to talk with each other for nearly four months. So, in this picnic trip during winter vacation, Hayato's sister Bianchi, who is full Italian, the woman with pink hair, had to deal with it.

"Misunderstanding?" James got surprised to listen the whole story, but seeing the case, he soon showed something.

"Well, Tsuna, Kyoko, the world isn't always flat. It's a struggle, kids." James followed by addressing his own: "When I was a kid, I used to get suspicions by classmates because of my Asian mother. And, there was a misunderstanding for the same reason. It's jealousy."

Philip quietly listened to his brother's story, hoping to see something from it.

James retold another sad story as well. When he was a key player at his high school club, suddenly there was a rumor widespread that James bribed to get pass into the team, having examination in cheating and that his girlfriend was behind it. James was greatly angry because he knew who did it must have a strong anti-Asian sentiment, since his mom was an Asian, and sometimes wanted to punch someone behind spreading these lies.

However, he didn't give up, instead used football as a response, which contributed him greatly to be more energetic. It was a success, and after he scored for his team, the culprit showed up and disdained with his result. Eventually, he made the culprit to get down, restored his honor after two months.

"Now … do you get it?" James recalled that past: "Be strong. Show you have the better side than what they are lying to other."

"I see …" Tsuna nodded: "Well, I don't know how to say, but let's hope …"

"If you remain to be afraid, you won't pass beyond. Prove that you're worthy than these lies will go down and forgotten." James stated: "The better for both of you only, you demand nothing but yourself."

Tsuna and Kyoko sitting together hearing what James Younghusband said to them. They went shy, and realized the cost of it once they continue to hide. That was what James spoke to them.

Philip Younghusband smiled. In fact, he had smelt something unnatural on the picnic trip of Tsuna and Kyoko when he encountered them in the park, and since he knew what had gone with James, he hoped James would inspire them.

He did.

And, James asked them again if they decide not to hide. Tsuna and Kyoko were eager to say yes, as this time, Tsuna's left hand held the right hand of Kyoko.

"Are you okay, Tsuna?" Hayato arrived.

It was perfect, and after that, Phil and James said goodbye, when they saw that Hayato had arrived and asked the couple together with Bianchi. They received a phone call from their boss, Sven Göran-Eriksson, asking them about the next encounter against China. Like usual, Phil, the captain, said:

"We're ready, coach."

And, the brothers left the park …

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

For Oman, a defeat to Uzbekistan was a hammering strike for them, but Omani players remained highly confident that they would progress. After the encounter, Oman at least achieved one thing: a red card for the Uzbeks, when Egor Krimets was sent off.

Therefore, when they returned from the stadium, they immediately moved to Abu Dhabi, where Oman would have an important encounter against Japan, the giant of Asia. And, no one would be more confident than this man, Khalid Al-Hajri.

Khalid Al-Hajri is pretty young in his current age, but he had shown a great level of energy. For a young player at that age, 24, he had plenty of area to grow up. Unsurprisingly, Khalid made himself on top spot as a youth under-17 player, which Oman is pretty strong at that level in contrast to elder ones.

And, of course, in the base camp of team Oman, there had Donald Turner, the Welsh official from UEFA. Turner has given a number of good advises for team there. It was a time for him to work with the national team of Oman.

"Mr. Turner, I'd like to know any from your advice."

However, no one was more disturbing for Turner other than Al-Hajri. Al-Hajri had a weird attitude. While Turner tried to be as honest as possible, Al-Hajri often brought unwanted situation for him. Of course, he tried to care on it as little as well.

Unfortunately, Al-Hajri didn't stop disturbing …

"Hey, Mr. Turner."

"Jesus Christ! WTF why did you come to ask for me so much?" Turner spoke beyond: "You don't need to come to me everytimes!"

As he yelled, Donald Turner told Khalid to make somewhere else, he had enough troubles with it. But Khalid tried to make sure: "Can you advice us on the match against Japan?"

"Japan? They're World Cup participant, damn you!" Donald told: "I bet you can overcome Turkmenistan, it is a much easier opponent for Oman."

"We can easily rape Turkmenistan. So I just need your advice against Japan only …"

"Then do it! And don't ask for me!"

Donald Turner got mad and then immediately left the hotel where team Oman stayed. Turner had been working pretty hard. At the age of 36, he gained reputation for being short-tempered, but determined and serious official among UEFA officials sent to the UAE. Turner, seeing the level of confident of Khalid Al-Hajri, guessed that it would be better since the Omanis are known for many things, weird for foreigners.

However, the best thing of Donald was his understanding on the Arab World.

Donald Turner's wife is a Yemeni woman who became atheist, although she came from a family of Sunni and Omani root. According from Dora-the-Kid, who had good relations with Donald, she has a strange long blonde hair, unusual for a Yemeni woman.

His atheist wife, same as his age, had cut off relations from her brutal tribal family and the country itself, in order to persuade higher career of her life, so she had secretly escaped from Yemen to Britain, and got naturalized citizenship in London. At the time she educated on the university in Britain, she met Donald, then a renowned playboy and spender who had little interests on studying.

Donald changed greatly when he knew she would graduate. He graduated quite late, but he remembered back the time and finally Donald married her. She introduced an unknown strength for him to become an UEFA official, like now.

Tom Cat, of course, also knew him too. Jerry Mouse also knew him.

As Donald Turner sat down in a French-style restaurant, he gave a brief contact to someone …

"Hi Clover."

"Hell, you're in the UAE right?" A girl named Clover told: "You must have been there for something?"

"You know I cannot work for the same times in two different business right? I maybe also a WHOOP private detective, but on the same time I am also a soccer official, so lesser problem for us is a good thing for me to advocate my UEFA career!" Turner yelled: "Jesus, god damn you, you make us yesterday has to clean the mess you girls caused near Hazza bin Zayed!"

"Sorry but that guy almost tried to blow …" Clover explained.

"I know! But can't you be cleaner?" Turner expressed, while using computer analyzing list of unknown criminals: "Besides, you should thank Raymond Reddington, who had accepted to cooperate with WHOOP."

When they were talking on a visual iPhone, which allowed them to see their faces, another girl joined. She has a longer hair than Clover, and more mature. Perhaps Turner felt only sense when talking with her than Clover.

"Was the list of Reddington pretty long?"

"Ah, Sam. Red has a history of secret collaboration with underground, so unsurprisingly, when he accepted to get arrested by the authorities, he had revealed the list. But real motivation behind this is unclear, we don't know why he did that." Turner examined: "When WHOOP needs Red's information, we have to be, in exchange, must keep him safe. However, we discovered some cases Red proved to be far smarter than people expected. Abubakar Abdelnour, the person whom you girls arrested, confessed that he knew Reddington long ago, and was shocked to see Red. FBI thinks WHOOP interfered too much and requested WHOOP to take only few documents from Red and returning him for them."

"We don't attempt to take Red's causes. But will the FBI be convinced?" Samantha went on the main detail: "We're having disputes with Red's files."

"I've good relations with both FBI and WHOOP." Donald Turner claimed: "So I will talk about Red once we finished Abubakar's case."

However, the talk wasn't going to end quickly. But something revealed: Donald Turner is actually an undercover counter-terrorism agent, and an UEFA official as well. His youth reputation was actually because that time, he had to keep his training in secret.

His talented spying ability was discovered at the age of 11, and the CIA had offered him to go to the United States and they would pay for his studies there. Then, after seven years, he returned to Britain, in hope to do undercover. For this reason, he sometimes became a playboy and spender, but he had gone too far. Of course, until he met his future wife.

Donald was analyzing the information and suddenly a girl, who had a brief mixed Afro-Caucasian, appeared on the iPhone as well. Unlike Sam and Clover earlier, she tended to be more childish by attitude. And she represented it:

"Hey! What about the match in the Asian Cup like, Donald?"

"Oh my, Alex. I'm fine. Just take part on the encounter between Uzbekistan and Oman. The result was Uzbekistan 2, Oman 1. Japan beat Turkmenistan earlier 3-2, and Qatar overcame Lebanon 2-0."

"It would be fun!" Alex smiled: "Well …"

"Alex, are you supposed to listen on the case of Abubakar, or soccer?" Sam wondered, with glaring eyes. Alexandra, unlike Sam and Clover, is a more athletic girl, she enjoyed soccer greatly. Not a hilarious story, she truly listened about the 2019 Asian Cup. But that attitude wasn't a warm one for Sam. Clover felt fine for Alex to do so.

Besides, when Donald contacted with the girls, they were in California.

"Sorry Sammy, but … just some fun …" Alex smiled and even showed her tongue too.

"No worry. Besides, sports are good for health. Better having something to practice rather than having none. Being an UEFA official, I am glad if someone shows a degree of interest, it will help my undercover business easier." Donald was optimistic than Sam: "Don't be strict."

Donald was actually okay with someone who spoke about soccer for him, because it would hide his undercover duty.

"Fine." Samantha stated: "But we are also spies, so I hope we can have times to speak, rather than pseudo one."

As he started to send his profile for the girls, suddenly once again, the disturber … arrived.

"Hi Turner!" He spoke quickly, but …

"WTF?" Turner got startled and almost crashed out from the chair, after taking coffee: "Khalid?"

Khalid Al-Hajri once again disturbed him, and he had to take down his computer in order to not allowing Khalid to discover his other identity. As usual, Khalid's first question was …

"Help us to have information on Japan! You used to be there, Donny Trump …"

Of course, Donald Turner not Donald Trump, Turner was serious as well, but after Khalid misspelled his name as "Trump", Turner was angered. Khalid realized his spelling mistake, but as he tried to correct back, Donald Turner turned back, his face turned sadistic …

"Do you feel lucky … punk?"

Turner was clear that Oman could overcome Turkmenistan, since he believed Japan would beat Oman, with a hard result anyway, but disturbance by Khalid made him extremely uncomfortable. His sadistic face was the result of repeated disturbance by Khalid.

This resulted with the chase by Donald Turner to Khalid Al-Hajri. And the 24 years old man should not let an UEFA official … and an undercover CIA agent, to be angry, of course only if Khalid knew Turner's other.

Chapter Text

Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

There was a time to speak about what had gone, and those understood the most to taste were the Kyrgyz people. As Kyrgyzstan suffered an unwanted loss to China, their determination ran higher.

Kyrgyzstan wanted to show the best against the mighty South Korea, a regarded contender for the title, but they knew their chance was pretty small. And, no one saw it better than their coach, a German-trained one, Aleksandr Krestinin.

Krestinin was the second youngest of all managers in the tournament, having just 40 when the game begun behind his North Korean counterpart, Kim Yong-jun. But, while Kim Y.J. didn't have internet access and its players have no clue about modern society like, Krestinin at least could have access for that, thanked that Russia wasn't communist anymore.

Alex Krestinin was taking phone over.

"Yes? Okay, just be fair, try to not antagonize some right? Well, I see that."

Krestinin finished his call when he met his based-players. Many Kyrgyz players have Russian root, so Krestinin felt closer to them. Moreover, Kyrgyz people in particular still majority fluent in Russian. But Krestinin had other to worry about. Krestinin called Vitalij Lux, and asked him for a specific dinner where he would help someone.

Lux was not doing much, so he accepted the offer. Of course after the training, he would do it.

And the night fell.

Vitalij Lux, the German-born Kyrgyz player arrived with coach Krestinin. Lux was a bit surprised when he saw a standing girl there.

So why was that?

At night, Krestinin asked Vitalij Lux to make good affair in the small Beirut-style restaurant. The Lebanese restaurant within Al Ain is a few good places where it served their dinner in the right meaning. And they took a Baklava, before continued to go there.

"Vitalij, are you fine?"

"I'm fine coach … But, why?"

"I have something for you."

"Huh?"

Krestinin and Lux, after the dinner, walked outside the garden of the restaurant. The garden was taken currently as an organized play ground serving guests during the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, and Lux realized perhaps he had to …

Yeah.

A fan girl who often "late". Her name is Louise and she had late the show due to a mistake. Nobody knew what mistakes, nor even Krestinin and Lux. But Krestinin volunteered to help her and sneaked her into the garden's stadium. The garden's stadium was small and had closed because it was late, but still Krestinin wanted to know.

"Okay Louise. Why did you want to go there?"

"Well, I have a boyfriend, but he got injury now …" Louise addressed in sadness: "Since his injury was too much, he missed many opportunities. So I want to replace and help him watch along. But I have no money to buy ticket."

The girl with a long pink hair must have been serious. And Vitalij Lux, unsurprisingly, got the real reason. Lux asked: "So, what do you want exactly?"

"I want to tell him, I'm here and hope he watch it." Louise blushed.

"Does he have Facebook account?" Lux asked the next: "I may help cover your action."

"Facebook?" Louise was a bit strange. Lux thought she had no idea, so he stated it is a social media website covering people. She should've had it long ago, but he felt strange that she didn't have.

Said, Louise quickly realized: "But my boyfriend has."

"It's fine. Now, I'll help. But do you remember his name?" Lux wondered.

"Yes. Saitoulouise18. When we got a good moment. But I don't know how to use so I let him do all of it." Louise explained: "Can you help me to have some finest pictures about my experience there?"

"Sure." Lux immediately took contact, and with wifi, he got what he deserved: the nickname. And her boyfriend, for at first, was skeptic.

But when her boyfriend received Vitalij Lux's message in honesty, he accepted to be friend with Vitalij. Taking the chance, he told to Louise: "Now, kick the ball."

Krestinin represented Louise the official ball of the game, Molten Acentec. The Acentec ball was made by Japan's Molten Corporation. Louise, impressed to tears, only wanted to do her best.

And, Lux took the cameras.

With all the pictures for Louise's boyfriend, Lux had done a small, but great job.

Louise, although poor at football, she showed many efforts. Even in the end, she shared photo with Aleksandr Krestinin and Vitalij Lux. Perhaps she got her best moment there peacefully.

And so be it …

A small, but meaningful story. Krestinin awarded Louise a ticket to see Kyrgyzstan beef up with South Korea. She hoped she would come.

For Lux, he realized, just some small dreams, and it would be …

"Wow, Louise, you're amazing … good luck, daughter."

Of course, Louise had kept her promise to finally show up in Hazza bin Zayed …

Chapter Text

 

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

In a specific meeting, China's Gao Lin and head coach Marcello Lippi had made some talks over. Gao Lin came with tenses and wary.

"Coach Lippi, what are you expecting from me?"

"Captain Zheng Zhi requested you to come here." Lippi told: "Gao, you have a fine performance, but I feel you have not tried enough. Zheng told that to me to watch on you."

"I'm not intended to perform poorly, but seriously, the Kyrgyz are greatly tough guys." Gao explained: "Meanwhile, Kyrgyzstan is just in pair with India in term of level. If we play Kyrgyzstan like this, not sure if we meet India in this tournament."

Gao Lin obviously didn't want to say, but his performance against Kyrgyzstan was poor. Of course, China still ended up with three points, but it was a hard victory. The Philippines must have taken account from how China played the Kyrgyz, and they had reasons to be wary for.

Marcello Lippi, seeing the circumstance, offered Gao Lin a small job: come and select some random fans, number decided by Gao Lin only, Lippi wouldn't interfere. Gao Lin got a bit nervous, as he never selected a fan for it previously. The goal, Gao had to find his own.

Gao Lin is one of the most popular late 2000s football players of China, an era which China is becoming stagnant. After qualified for 2002 World Cup, China failed to repeat the same thing, and their result is even worse comparing to terribly poorer North Korea. In spite of the heavy investment, China's football has not progressed beyond expectation, despite President Xi's agenda. There are even demands calling for hiring a possible American coach, notably Steve Simpson and Bob Bradley, since football (soccer in the U.S.) is also not popular in the United States but the U.S. is still better than China.

However, while many had been purged after corruption, Gao Lin was one of the few Chinese players to remain a respected figure. And, true. Unfortunately, in recent years, Gao Lin's performance had gone downhill, and this was a serious backlash of his career, even when he remained as an important figure of Guangzhou Evergrande, China's most successful football club.

Gao Lin, saw what had gone, just breathed with little confidence: "Can I?"

"Your choice." Lippi told: "Go on."

And, they just ended their story at that night, and the day before the match against Philippines, Gao needed to do a lot.

That day, Gao Lin walked in the street, seeking fans from China to do. Of course, outside the base where they had opportunities to meet their supporters. One of these supporters, appeared to be a weird girl, tried to take her stance.

"Please … let me watch!"

So many fans wanted to see the current Chinese star players. Although they didn't have the same popularity level like early 2000s, they are still widely followed. And that girl was desperately trying to focus on them.

But there was unclear.

Gao Lin was going out as some fans wanted him to sign in their papers. And Gao didn't want to represent himself as an arrogant and no social understanding, so he was willing to do so. Hao Junmin asked what was Gao doing, but Gao refuted from answer. Gao was looking for a possible fan, but he had no idea.

Ahmed, Gao's Chinese-English translator in the UAE who had educated English and Chinese fluently in Fujairah, addressed the issue. But when Gao was looking, suddenly the girl hit him from the back.

The girl fell down, and Gao got the hit. Of course, Gao was tall and tough enough and he had no problem with it. However he saw the hit seriously and …

"Weird. Ahmed, who hit me from the back?"

"Mr. Gao. A small fan girl there." Ahmed addressed: "She hit you."

"Fan girl? Small?" Gao turned back immediately: "You're welcome."

Gao was serious. After realizing a girl there, with pink hair and quite naughty, he wasted no effort to woo her. He asked: "What's your name?"

"My name is Shi Qiaoling." The girl responded with smile: "You're Gao Lin?"

"You're my friend from now. I invite you to have a special dinner. Come in." Gao Lin surprised by making a spectacular offer: "You can bring your friends here."

"Really? Mr. Gao, you're … offering a young high school kid …" Ahmed went nervous, but Gao remained confident. He wanted to show Lippi that he was able to do. For Shi Qiaoling, she couldn't be happier to get a good dinner with her favorite idol, Gao Lin.

But, since she had a complete lack of football knowledge, she had to invite two other friends. Of course, Gao and Lippi also participated, to make sure it was good. Head coach Marcello Lippi encouraged Gao Lin to be nice with fans, Gao, a veteran, saw it greatly.

Meanwhile, Shi Qiaoling and her two friends arrived to the house and for them, they got a good fortune by a someone, who refused to reveal his name, to tell that, Gao Lin would become their Godfather if they got married in the future.

Shi Qiaoling had not chosen her love interest, so it would be better to decide. She and her friends arrived to the hotel's restaurant where Gao Lin and Lippi were waiting for them.

And they reached it.

Gao Lin met them in the hotel's restaurant, where they would have good meal. Shi Qiaoling, the pink-haired one, was the happiest.

Gao Lin appeared with a sadistic face, seemed to be like dark side arrived.

"Hi Gao Lin."

"Huh. Hi kids. Tell me about them."

"She is Lan Hui." Shi pointed on the blue-haired with glasses, and immediately pointed the last one, the yellow-haired but small girl: "And she's Yin Xiaomin."

"Only three of you?" Gao told: "Really? You told that you have three friends, so I believe you would bring four."

The story was, Shi Qiaoling met Gao Lin. Amidst the fan, Gao asked the story of Shi and she was happy to address her life, and her family. As with her friends, she has good relations with many people, including three most important friends of her. After that, she was eager to invite them in her wish to see team China's players.

Unfortunately, before she could have enough, one of them had problems, and she had to miss. Therefore, only two would join them: and they were Lan Hui and Yin Xiaomin.

Lan Hui is energetic, but perhaps even more than Shi, with a huge interest on machinery. Yin Xiaomin is a crybaby and she often gets scared to stay alone, but had been trying hard to overcome her fear.

"You're Gao Lin. We are both Chinese here from now …" Lan celebrated: "I have almost made some favorite products celebrating China's Asian Cup campaign. Sadly I couldn't finish it."

"Hi …" Yin was a bit fearful, again. Gao Lin's sadistic face was a bit too much for them, but Shi told Yin to be better and Yin was better to do so.

Exactly that, Yin Xiaomin and Shi Qiaoling got easier. On the other side, Lan Hui proved to be far more confident than her friends. Lan easily got in touch with Gao Lin, even spoke to Gao. Gao felt a strange level of respect toward Lan, and he admitted Lan Hui was better than Yin and Shi combined.

Shi Qiaoling, told:

"I'm not that foolish …"

"Shit you all." Lan Hui laughed: "C'mon, why did you feel so hard?"

"So, you mean more confidence? I have enough that. By a way, it is Yin who should be asked for." Shi responded.

Marcello Lippi, as usual, didn't interfere, and he said nothing. But Lippi saw something returned back for Gao himself.

And Gao, while he saw them, their fun, their nature, their mature and its joyful attitude, making him to realize …

Gao Lin realized confidence was what he had lost. In the opening game against Kyrgyzstan, he didn't have the might to command. It was what he used to have as a youth player, but he lost that since two years ago. He could still score, but he couldn't control anything. He lost the track.

Gao Lin, a technical striker, was about to see who he belonged to.

Shi Qiaoling, on the other side, just wondered what had to be. They did it. Gao needed himself to be back, and he should be.

Gao Lin, after realized, he immediately stood on, and said:

"Girls, I hope you will support Team Dragon wholeheartedly."

"Wow." Shi got surprised: "Really? Yin, c'mon!"

"Cool. Can you tell us?" Lan told: "I am glad if you are eager to make it soon."

Lippi, being happy with how Gao Lin showed himself up, he nodded as he left. Gao Lin, this time, spoke happily with Yin Xiaomin, Shi Qiaoling and Lan Hui in a very good-ended party, for them …

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Nightfall in Abu Dhabi, beautiful night.

Here a player of team Jordan appeared. Musa Al-Taamari, Jordan's most prestigious player, but he was about going to have a good time. Of course, no one else but Minami Shimada, who asked for this.

Minami Shimada was a bit in her love interest, but she didn't know how to confess. Instead, she decided to ask for a specific person. And somehow, Musa Al-Taamari, was chosen.

Al-Taamari was a bit quiet, but his Jordan was in complete success currently. However, Al-Taamari didn't go alone. He would be accompanied by Yasser Al-Shahrani, Saudi player. He said it would be better to have Yasser Al-Shahrani with, and Al-Shahrani was happy to accept.

Yasser Al-Shahrani was considered to be more liberal and warm-welcome than the rest of team Saudi Arabia. Musa also fell to that line, so Minami went with them.

"Minami, so, you have love interest with …"

"I am not going to imagine, but … Akihisa, I had some feeling for him …"

Minami expressed with so much pressure. They just walked on a park in the capital of the UAE, and Minami expressed her opinion greatly derived from the way she viewed Akihisa.

"So, is your boyfriend a good guy really?" Yasser questioned.

"Good. But I'm too tsundere." Minami blushed.

"Yeah, I wonder it." Musa responded: "Tsundere, you are a very petite girl. Educated in a weird way as well, but okay."

"What do you mean exactly?" Minami demanded from Musa: "Don't say …"

"No, I am not talking shit about your interest. The problem is, you become too pressured with yourself." Musa explained: "You know, a girl being too much pressure will never be able to address with their love."

"Yes, Minami, you should not become a coward." Yasser added: "Better why not try?"

"But how? He told me a worst girl to date though." Minami expressed: "Don't want to say …"

"Sometimes, you have to look on yourself." Yasser stated: "Every girls fallen in love with boys will have to check on themselves."

"And, you have to focus on what you should do in your life." Musa told: "Always be the first to do."

Musa Al-Taamari told that Minami Shimada must try harder and harder, and he expressed that she would be success.

And, Minami also talked about her life. Being born in Japan but moved to Germany early, she had problem to reconcile with Japanese society and trying to learn Japanese was extremely hard for her, as she used only English and German.

It was hard to believe that.

Musa Al-Taamari cheered and told her to be more manners on her outspoken stand. Yasser Al-Shahrani also agreed with it as well.

"For girls, best at most."

Minami felt the sense. She needed to be tougher, and she knew that, even when Himeji is still Akihisa's interest, she would try to win his heart once more time.

Suddenly, she stood out when she saw Akihisa and Himeji going together. Didn't want to miss this, she told to Musa and Yasser.

"Thanks. I've a friend to go now."

"Only that?" Musa asked.

"Yes. But I'll do what you'd said." Minami talked: "Determination for me though."

"Good luck girl." Musa said goodbye as she joined Himeji and Akihisa, both were surprised to see Minami joining them.

However, for Yasser Al-Shahrani and Musa Al-Taamari, they saw one thing they didn't say but already knew.

Minami Shimada went with joy, as Yasser and Musa slowly left and they chatted with each other happily on the night …

Chapter Text

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

As the match day continued to roll and roll, there few men got a bit ready. Two of them were there.

Mark Milligan and Daniel Schmidt. They were in a bar drinking beer.

Both played in two different teams but somehow share a similar Western-based name. Yeah, the reason was, Mark Milligan plays for Australia, as the last remnant of the golden era of this team following Tim Cahill's retirement; Daniel Schmidt is an American of German and Japanese descent, thus he is eligible and eventually, plays for Japan.

What makes Milligan surprised was how Schmidt went beyond for Japan.

"Funny how you represent Japan when your name isn't even Japanese."

"Just like many Australians have weird names already played for Australia."

Milligan and Schmidt went talking before entering the stadium. It was a brief good time for them to mention their own priority. Schmidt's fluency in English has helped him to be friendlier for Australian players.

Australia, having returned following a 3-0 demolition of Palestine, looks on Dan with a degree of confidence. For Dan, he was glad to do so.

On the other side, Mirai Kuriyama tried to get some good stuff. She took her glasses immediately. She was wearing an idol clothes.

"Hi …"

Akihito, who just walked out, didn't get the fact why Mirai had to do that. In fact, it was the idea from Ai Shindou, who suggested Mirai to be like a cute pop idol, and her shiny yellow clothes showed that.

However, going with that? Mirai didn't understand the goal of Ai anyway. Ai, of course, stood behind Mirai, and she expressed Mirai to be at her best form.

Akihito, of course, asked: "What're you doing, seriously?"

Akihito didn't like how Ai was behind, but he understood that Ai was the culprit of this. But it was a bit accepted for them, as he was occupied by the time he should invite Mirai with.

And, of course, as a dressing idol girl, Mirai was a bit shy while Ai encouraged her to be better. On that point, while she was walking out, Akihito wondered:

"What makes you wear it, really?"

"Uh … I …"

Mirai could not answer.

"Perhaps because of Ai's suggestion? Really you don't need to go like a weirdo." Akihito just breathed out. He wanted Mirai to be more mature, like a normal girl instead of being an idol.

Milligan and Schmidt weren't quite strange with it at all. Milligan and Schmidt were enjoying the encounter between Vietnam and Iran, which Iran was leading 1-0. Iran was their bet, and they weren't disappointed at all.

"To be honest, why was Vietnam selected anyway?" Milligan mocked.

"Neither I understand. Poor these boys, they got raped too much by Iranians." Schmidt stated: "No chance for Vietnam to go beyond. Even Thailand has better chance than them."

Within the bar, there were some Iranian supporters, but none realized Mark Milligan and Daniel Schmidt. Of course, these Iranians only cared on their players, notably its famous Sardar Azmoun. Sardar, of course, was the scorer on that ongoing match.

Seeing Sardar Azmoun, both agreed he was Asia's best after Son Heung-min.

"Yeah, you see Azmoun?" Milligan said.

"Indeed. As a goalkeeper myself, I love to perform against Sardar. Wish for one day." Schmidt smiled: "Well done."

"Would you say that?" Milligan questioned: "Japan is good, but who know?"

As Milligan and Schmidt were watching, Ai Shindou pushed Mirai Kuriyama in, with Akihito Kanbara questioned her ability and Ai's play. He thought Ai was fooling.

"Please, don't make Mirai a joke, Ai."

"I'm not. I'm just helping Mirai to gain confidence."

What Ai said for Akihito was, because recently Mirai's education was poor, to a level Mirai almost thought on committing suicide again, Ai used the current winter breakthrough to ensure that she would hope to restore her priority. A trip to the UAE could help fix that. But Akihito suspected its result.

And then …

Mirai entered the bar, where many, including Mark Milligan and Daniel Schmidt, got a little weird seeing a little girl with glasses standing in front of them as the match went to half time break.

Schmidt said: "Who're you?"

Mirai was a bit shy as some people, many are football fans, suspected Mirai as well. She didn't want to be the main actor, and her shiny yellow idol dress clothes, a random choice by Ai, was the only thing people wanted to mention.

"WTF is this?" Milligan yelled: "If you do, c'mon!"

And, with what she learnt, she suddenly raised two fingers in both hands: her thumb and ring finger, putting on the head and jumped …

"Nico nico nii … Nico nico nii … I'm a cute girl …"

The result?

As the people got quiet, they didn't understand what was Mirai's performance like. Especially Iranian fans here, to Mark and Dan.

The quiet sentiment occurred.

Eventually, Mark Milligan broke the silence. He spoke out: "One dollar, please."

And he gave one dollar to Mirai, but he said nothing. His face wasn't shown anything good or bad, but it looked sadistic. And Mark said: "Let's go, Danny."

"I'm on." Daniel Schmidt followed. However, supporters of team Iran still stayed. Mirai thought it was a failed one, but at least with one dollar from Mark Milligan, a person whom Mirai didn't even realize from his T-shirt, she had not get it.

For Ai, Mirai got a dollar, and she was stunned: "Yay, at least a success."

"Success with one dollar? What's this joke?" Akihito had not understood.

With Mirai, she only needed that, and done. She didn't know how to use it later, so better, let Mirai handle itself. For Akihito, this half youmu boy wanted to stay out and Ai, she was …

Yeah.

Surprising.

Chapter Text

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Returned after completely overwhelmed Yemen 3-0, it was a great sense of feeling for Mohanad Ali, Iraq's young but important player. And of course, none could feel better like their coach, Srečko Katanec. That Slovene boss enjoyed his first ever knockout stage as coach, previously led Slovenia and the UAE but didn't progress to the next round.

Mohanad Ali soon asked for going out, under permission, in which Katanec reluctantly agreed.

Ali is just 18, but he was more mature and experienced, and grew elder than most of other, as he, like many Iraqis, experienced hardship as a kid. Ali held a great respect for Younis Mahmoud, whom influenced him when Mahmoud was still at height of career. Unsurprisingly, Mahmoud placed great hope on future Iraqi children, including Ali.

"Hey, chill bro!"

Mohanad Ali turned back as he was joined by Ayman Hussein. Ayman, same with young Mohanad, experienced hardship before. Ali understood it well.

"Brother Ayman, there shall have nothing worse than this one if we don't take a try."

"I can see that well. By a way, who shall be our next knockout stage's opponent, we don't give a damn. We'll rape all."

"Yeah, but don't look on the sky, man." Ali warned Hussein: "We had just won a hard 3-2 against Vietnam; an easy 3-0 win over Yemen explained little to none. The Iranians surely are watching us."

"They also booked a ticket already. Who give a damn?" Ayman Hussein remained confidence as Ayman and Mohanad together joined their trip to a renowned restaurant, where they got some interesting dinner as well. Of course, Mohanad Ali respected that behavior from Ayman Hussein.

With Ayman, after settled in the Cantonese restaurant managed and owned by Hong Kongers, they tried to taste Guangdong duck meat. Mohanad Ali and Ayman Hussein soon made some short listed discussion, including the upcoming match between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia:

"Some materials, I guess. I bet that Lebanon can progress only if they overcome Saudi Arabia." Ali said.

"I feel poor the Lebanese, our brothers. They can progress or not, uncertain. Fucking hate these Gulf rats." Hussein stated: "These Gulf rats are the sources of all terrorism."

"You shouldn't disdain directly. Besides, remember this is the UAE, a Gulf country. These Gulf guys truly support each other until recent Qatar rift." Ali explained: "We cannot be sure unless they run out of oil."

"Ali, these fags from Saudi Arabia, Emirates and Qatar aren't much different, anyway." Ayman kept criticizing: "There's nothing worth to believe on them."

Meanwhile, a girl walked in. She just got a bit weird when she encountered her boyfriend and he was there.

Houki Shinonono, the girl with a decent dress, met Ichika Orimura, as they were suggesting for a date. However, due to the nature being conflicted, Ichika tried to persuade Houki alone, in order not being watched by other like Charlotte, Cecilia, Huang and Laura. But when they arrived, they got a surprise …

They did not expect that a couple would have been like this. Instead, they met with …

When Ichika and Houki arrived to the table, they discovered someone had taken their seat. And immediately, they mentioned …

"Hey! It's our table …"

Surprisingly, the table they pointed … was the table of Ayman Hussein and Mohanad Ali. Ayman Hussein and Mohanad Ali didn't know the table was booked by Ichika Orimura and Houki Shinonono, but it was done with damage. However, Ali soon turned up when he heard accusations on them.

"Hussein, stop eating. There's something to do with our table."

"What?"

Ayman was a bit reckoned when he heard about accusation pointing on them, but he didn't get the fact enough until a waiter arrived, in which they had a brief encounter with Ichika Orimura and Houki Shinonono.

This was unexpected.

And, after that, Houki questioned: "I thought the restaurant had issued us a table there. Why these two men here for nothing?"

Ayman got surprised, because when they issued the table, they also offered that one: "Really? Little lady, we have booked it first."

Ayman argued against Houki, stated that the table near the door was taken by Ayman and Mohanad first. Mohanad was in complete surprise, because Houki accused them for curtailing their table. They had a dispute over table since.

The problem was, last night at 7:30, Ayman Hussein tried to make formal contact with restaurant owner, and he reached an agreement for a table near the door in a Cantonese restaurant within Sharjah. For Ayman, he wanted to invite Mohanad for a good reason.

However, ten minutes before, Houki also did the same, although her contact in English was poor. Her good feeling made Houki liked Ichika greatly, her old friend who had not practiced kendo so long now.

But when she got a chance, Ayman Hussein had a conflict with Houki Shinonono.

Houki told that she phoned them very early. Ayman argued she called wrong table. But neither wanted to back down anyway. Mohanad Ali then told the waiter:

"Let me ask: do you receive their calls?"

"Yes. Even then the manager of restaurant confirmed."

By that time, the manager came out. After Ayman and Houki explained shortly, the manager discovered a huge mistake, but because he didn't discover out, it went to that hilarious story. Shortly, he received two calls in the same times, he forgot to write and instead he remembered wrong table calls, he wrote down same number of table.

This meant …

"WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?"

For a moment, Ayman Hussein, Mohanad Ali, Ichika Orimura and Houki Shinonono stood like ice. The manager, an Emirati himself, apologized, and suggested them to sit together since the place had four seats. But because of the nature of their own … they had no option …

And what happened?

Houki and Ichika could not talk much while Ayman and Mohanad felt pretty hard to eat. Thank you manager.

Haizzz …

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

It was a trip. And the trip was between two men, a Japanese player, Tsukasa Shiotani, who had been playing in the UAE; and a Bahraini player, Jamal Rashid.

There are many reasons for that. Jamal Rashid was an ardent supporter of team Japan when Bahrain didn't play. On the other side, Tsukasa Shiotani spent times to understand Emirati and Gulf cultures, in general, so he accepted to accompany with Jamal Rashid.

However, Jamal had a bad mod of his behavior. This was what Tsukasa despised from him. Yesterday, he enrolled into a brawl against Indians there, so Tsukasa had to watch him carefully. Tsukasa had to please coach Soukup, to let him a chance.

"Do you have any idea, Jamal?"

"Yes, I do have." Jamal smiled: "It's better …"

"Your yesterday brawl made your coach wary. However, since I have pleased for you, don't forget your duty."

Tsukasa was relaxed after Japan beat Oman 1-0. Entire of the match, Japan dominated, but they could only score a goal thanked for a penalty by Genki Haraguchi. Seeing the situation, Jamal Rashid pleased he would change because he needed Bahrain to progress.

Bahrain was in desperate situation. They lost 0-1 to Thailand and their chance to go had become limited since they had only a point. This meant they had to play counter attack against India, who just needed a draw.

Bahrain had not progressed beyond the group stage since 2004, and they needed more lucks to do that.

"So, my opinion is, go and relax. Take a soda?" Tsukasa asked.

"Okay." Jamal took one, as he was reading Captain Tsubasa. Tsukasa only smiled as well.

Jamal was trying to go beyond when Tsukasa told him to take notice over the street. Of course, Jamal stated he knew firm, as he was an Arab like any other Emiratis, too. However, Tsukasa didn't feel okay at all. Jamal still read the book despite warning signs.

For Jamal Rashid, he just tried to ignore it. Of course if not saying yesterday, his action was noticed by Pierluigi Collina, one of the world's most famous referees in 1990s and 2000s. Collina attempted to make a punishment, but since Rashid was important on Soukup's tactic, and plea by Tsukasa Shiotani, he was given the only chance to apologize: a goal against India.

If he could, it would be great.

On the other side, Jake Long, a Chinese American himself, was practicing his dragon ability. Although he did pretty well, he had to improve if he wanted more houses.

"Fu Dog, you don't mean …"

"More practice the better. Hit it Jake!" Fu threw bombs and he had to deal a lot. Of course, they did in an empty ground outside the city, so to avoid unnecessary incidents. But somehow, Jake felt uncomfortable.

Jake tried his fire again, but he didn't do well.

On the other side, Tsukasa Shiotani and Jamal Rashid kept walking on and on.

"So, do you believe on Captain Tsubasa?" Tsukasa wondered.

"Yes. If not say, it was good." Jamal told: "Coolest part lies there."

"Haha, so, good luck brother."

In just a short trip, Tsukasa suddenly got something. He and Jamal, unbeknown best for them, was about to go to the empty land near the city's garbage. Tsukasa arrived there, where Jake and Fu were testing.

On the meaning, Jamal Rashid ran with Tsukasa. Jamal asked: "What's that?"

"I've an idea! We can …"

But when he was about to suggest, suddenly something burnt behind Tsukasa. Tsukasa, of course, didn't get the hit, but sure, he got a hit of the heat …

"Really, Tsukasa?"

"Uhhh …"

When Jamal told Tsukasa to turn behind, it was Jake and Fu Dog. But they were having some nut stuffs, including dangerous experiments. Right on time, Tsukasa asked: "What the hell?"

"Oh sorry!" Jake pleased: "We're testing an experiment only! Please forgive us!"

Fu was quick to silent his behavior and just barked like a bull dog. Fu might not wish for it again.

Jake made a mistake when he blew the fire as Tsukasa was standing there. However, he was quick to point down, ensure Tsukasa was safe. But it should never be replied.

As such, Tsukasa and Jamal decided to abandon this place, while Jake and Fu after seeing this, had no clue what had they just done anyway …

Chapter Text

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

With some parts, El Matadora was talking with the coach of Saudi Arabia, Juan Antonio Pizzi. Moreover, Juan Pizzi was perceived as few wise men, although he didn't have a good opinion on majority of Gulf teams. It included Saudi Arabia, the team he was coaching.

Pizzi made his criticisms clear on Saudi national team, such as conservatism and lack of football connection, when they only allowed buying international players to their league but disallowed its players from going foreign to earn experience. By Pizzi's comment, Saudi Arabia has failed to repeat the feat of 1994 World Cup with it, and, as a coach himself, Saudi Arabia's victory against Egypt, was worthless since none could qualify.

El Matadora saw him was realistic, so he invited Juan Pizzi to get a good discussion with three players. In an unknown place, so made sure privacy to be kept at the highest level.

Pizzi entered into a private football ground, where he encountered three special guests.

"Welcome, Juan." El Matadora smiled: "Amigo, it is time."

Three players El Matadora represented them are:

"My name is Almoez Ali."

"I'm Mehdi Taremi."

"And I am Sandesh Jhingan."

Three men appeared. An Indian, a Qatari and an Iranian. All of them were eager to present their gift to Juan Pizzi, coach of Saudi Arabia. Especially Almoez, who knew Pizzi was the boss of Saudi Arabia and his Qatar was about to get a beef up with Saudi Arabia.

Hatred against Qatar is frighteningly common in the UAE this day, due to political raw between two. Worst, the UAE is supported by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain, and two of them also participated together with the host. Egypt, of course, is an African country, so they didn't participate.

But leaving aside, Pizzi isn't a Saudi, Bahraini or Emirati at all. He is Argentine. And Argentina has no issue with Qatar at all.

"Mr. Pizzi, can you show me some skills?" Jhingan asked.

"Sure." Pizzi told: "It's better to do than to lose."

By that time, El Matadora decided to allow them to have free time, so Matadora left the stadium. Of course, the stadium was small, only for five players each teams, and it was a good decision. Jake Long and Fu Dog, on the other side, after the lesson they almost caused before, decided to go somewhere. But it wasn't their main story, a bit.

Instead, El Matadora said, Jhingan, Almoez and Taremi went on.

Jhingan sneaked the ball.

Taremi used his head.

Almoez Ali moved like a dancer.

Pizzi, on the other side, controlled the ball by only one finger.

They were having good times together.

Meanwhile, Nagisa Misumi, who was about to have a date with Shougo, thanked for Honoka, got a huge pressure. She needed to do her best, and when Shougo arrived, she got a heart beat. The location was near to the stadium.

"Shougo …"

Shougo Fujimura, her dream boyfriend.

Shougo came with Nagisa as Nagisa was supposed to have some little romantic moves. However Shougo felt a little awkward when he only had a few moments with Nagisa Misumi. He didn't understand what should be done with it.

"Anyway, Nagisa, I felt …"

"Yes Shougo?" Nagisa blushed …

However, when she tried to express, suddenly something fell from the sky to …

"Bang!"

"Ouch!" Nagisa got a pain as she watched down, only to see a weird ball, from nowhere …

And, Pizzi kicked his first one to outside. He added his flavor by asking Taremi, Jhingan and Almoez to do the same.

"Can you kick a superb one?"

"Let me try the first one." Mehdi Taremi then kicked the first. He kicked pretty fast and immediate, unlike the latter.

Jhingan had to lose some steps, but Almoez was a bit even faster. And Almoez's fast-thinking shocked Taremi. Almoez Ali was the fastest, Mehdi Taremi was the second and Sandesh Jhingan was the last.

However, they all received …

"OUCH!"

Both Nagisa and Shougo got hit and they didn't know who. By this point, Nagisa was mad and she threatened: "What fools did this?"

Shougo tried to prevent Nagisa from going hot-anger, but Nagisa didn't like that and she attempted to respond by her Cure power, despite it would be silly.

For Nagisa, she was angry and she tried to blow up.

"TAKE!"

She grabbed her magical wand of the cure, and responded by blasting to the stadium where she suspected the ball came from there.

However, as Jake Long and Fu were testing, Jake suddenly burnt again.

"Fu, I'm not ready …"

"BOOM!"

By this point, Jake burnt his fire and his fire prevented the magic power from Nagisa's Cure wand to approach to Juan Pizzi and the other. By that time, El Matadora had fallen to sleep, instead of doing his guarding job. El Matadora is famous on "every time sleeping", so unsurprised at all.

Hell, despite Nagisa was extremely pressured by these balls kept flying to her and Shougo, but Jake's fire denied any of her opportunity until Pizzi and his football fevers ended with Almoez, Jhingan and Taremi …

Chapter Text

 

Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

In some part, Vietnam's rising young players Đoàn Văn Hậu and Nguyễn Quang Hải were together playing football outside the field. After losing twice to mighty Iraq and Iran, Vietnam had no choice but a must win against Yemen, who also lost two opening games. Moreover, they must beat Yemen by more than 3 goals margin, in order to secure a position to the round of sixteen.

"Hehe. Keep passing! Give it for me!"

This Vietnamese squad was rated as younger than expectation, but their performances against Iraq and Iran were rated favorably in spite of defeats. However, Vietnam's chance to progress had been questioned and there were few optimistic people to support them.

Nonetheless, they still played together.

On some reason, Đoàn Văn Hậu kicked to a boy. And the boy there, with no reason to say, asked: "What did you want exactly?"

The boy arrived. Of course, he wasn't a football fanatic either, but as he was there, he had no other option to do. And his first expression was …

"Do you want to play football, Ms. Potato?"

Ms. Potato? That was a damn. Tom and Jerry, who sat right here next to Quang Hải and Văn Hậu, laughed so hard: "What a fanatic statement lol." Of course, Tom and Jerry weren't alone, they joined with Spike and Butch, both also laughed.

Of course, they read press together with a new UEFA official there, Ignacio Pijuán de Lobos. Ignacio, a Spaniard, was assigned for the next match between Vietnam and Yemen. For Ignacio, it was a tough time because he had not done pretty well in the match between Japan and Oman.

Ignacio, instead, decided to go out for toilet.

While Tom, Jerry, Butch and Spike were watching; the boy started speaking with Đoàn Văn Hậu and Nguyễn Quang Hải.

"My name is Zick."

"I am Hải. And he is Hậu." Hải was fast to take note: "Welcome."

"I guess you're Vietnamese." Zick told: "I don't know much about you, but I can say you are football dreamers I guess."

"Why do you say Ms. Potato? Is this your girlfriend?" Hậu questioned.

"No. She's my friend only, by status." Zick disliked someone who called Ms. Potato as his girlfriend: "By a way, if you want a better one, just call her Elena."

As Elena started to walk, she disdained how Ezekiel stated on her. Outside, Tom asked:

"Are you sure?"

"Try it." Butch wondered: "I want some candy."

"Shut the fuck up you black cat moron." Spike squeezed.

"Hey hey, calm down, when these boys raised signals we have a job to do." Jerry warned: "Calm down."

As Zick and Elena started to get the ball, Hậu and Hải asked: "Do you love football?"

"Yes. If you know, we're Italians." Zick responded: "What is your opinion?"

"Kick it." As such, Hậu told as his finger raised something shiny, and immediately fact was seen as Tom, Jerry, Butch and Spike realized what was about. Hậu's sign was his fingers made into a zero number and turned behind. Quick enough, Tom, Jerry, Butch and Spike started playing their musical instruments, only different is they were mostly Russian/Ukrainian made.

"When we were at war!" Jerry yelled, as Spike used an Accordion as his musical instrument. With Jerry, Tom and Butch wearing their favorite Chokha clothes of Caucasian peoples, sang the song.

Hải and Hậu together stunned by their skills, closing their eyes while managed to keep the balls. Zick and Elena got stunned by how two Vietnamese young boys did.

The way Nguyễn Quang Hải and Đoàn Văn Hậu played with the balls while Tom, Jerry, Spike and Butch were singing a Cossack song proved to be significant. Ezekiel decided not to stay out, he joined to take the ball, but turned out, Hải was faster than Zick. Hải passed to his teammate as Tom and Butch had to put their feet down to show that they were confident Cossack dancers. Damn, they didn't want such a Russian-style of playing.

And it was perhaps true for Zick. He struggled to get the ball even when Hải and Hậu changed the ball rapidly. It was a hard time. For Elena, she didn't get why: "Zick, are you sure?"

"I'm fine, anyway."

"Well, I join." Elena also joined and she was glad to do so. Elena Potato was quick to steal the ball from Hậu, making Zick surprised. Then Hậu tried to move beyond like a tango dancer, Elena moved pass to give Zick the ball. It was a street football performance with Cossack-like style.

A combination of street football, Emirati life, Vietnamese passion, Italian feeling and Russian music was a great option. Of course, while Elena suddenly gave Zick a chance to feel confidence, only Tom, Butch, Spike and Jerry felt tired.

The performance only lasted for 3 minutes, but it was like over 15 minutes for them.

And only that time, it gave Zick and Elena to chase around Hải and Hậu to get the ball and beyond the limit they could achieve. Zick and Elena went on to have a good time, though.

When the showdown completed with Zick finally grabbed the ball from Hải after a tackle, they ended and Zick with Elena walked on.

"Wow … I don't think …" Elena told.

"Please …" Zick got tired and he just wanted to go back. But he didn't understand someone were even more exhausted: Tom, Jerry, Butch and Spike.

After the performance, all four collapsed like they had been exploited. Cossack what for them? Too much!

"WTF?" Butch angered.

"FUCK THIS!" Tom yelled.

The main reason was simple. From what Yuri Plisetsky revealed, there was a misunderstanding from Elena Potato to Ezekiel Zick, so he wanted them to see how could they manage to overcome. However, Yurio also admitted the idea was from Đặng Văn Lâm, or known as Lev Dang in Russian.

And, of course, Tom, Jerry, Butch and Spike went to heavy argument with the Vietnamese players as well as Yuri Plisetsky for sending them to this.

But they didn't understand one thing. They did help Zick and Elena forged a closer tie, perhaps to be like that …

Zick forgave the misunderstanding of Elena while Elena promised to watch after.

 

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Before the last encounter, Nazmi Albadawi, a Palestinian American by his life, went to the last practice of the day. Its opponent is Jordan, a team Palestine had never won since 1972, and the determination to switch the history had increased even greater for the Palestinian squad.

Nazmi had a going out with Pablo Tamburrini and Jaka Ihbeisheh, who were also Nazmi's teammates. It was important to invite Jaka because Jaka was the only player who scored for Palestine against Jordan four years before, in a match which Palestine got a historic goal but lost 1-5.

Three kind of Palestinians, a Palestinian American, a Palestinian Slovene and a Palestinian Chilean, now bearing one similar flag …

"That was dumb to expect a French-Algerian to coach us." Pablo told: "The coach is not even multilingual."

"Well, what would you expect? Africa exposed." Jaka said: "Algerian lol."

"Would you think an American/Mexican will be better to coach us?" Nazmi thought otherwise: "Even Noureddine isn't a relatively great choice, we had no second option."

"Then?" Jaka tried to correct: "Nothing from an African."

"True. But Africa's football level is just in pair level with Asia, for best." Pablo laughed: "Lol lol lol."

They discussed about the possibility of a managerial change but linguistic is also a concern. Palestinian native players could understand it easier because Noureddine speaks Arabic, but Palestinian players with other root are questionable. Thus it would be hard to expect much from Noureddine.

And, as expected …

They walked into an ice arena, whereas they would not skate on the ice, but rather to enjoy it in an empty stand with few people to sit. They were lucky as it was free to enter today, because tomorrow, they would have to go to play against Jordan.

Sitting there together, they immediately talked about ice skating. Seriously …

And then, three young men appeared. From far of the stand, Nazmi, Jaka and Pablo were together watching how they performed. The three men, under their skates, were Otabek Altin, Jean-Jacques Leroy and Yuri Plisetsky, and to be frank, they thought about it greatly.

Yurio, Altin and Leroy knew what was the job today.

"We're not surprised at all. Today is the last day before our grand performance tomorrow." Otabek explained: "Better to do something when the stage had few guests."

"Chop chop, man." Leroy laughed: "It's show time."

"Deal." Yurio nodded as both used their soundtrack from a special honor to late Denis Ten.

The UAE Government has built the facilities for the indoor ice arena, making it one of the most expensive facilities in the Gulf, the Abu Dhabi Ice Rink. The rink was built specifically and also managed by special authorities.

Yurio started to jump on, as Otabek and Leroy ran the opposite, separated to open the way for Yurio as he stepped down to the ice …

Nazmi Albadawi, Pablo Tamburrini and Jaka Ihbeisheh all watched the three ice skaters carefully. There was a magical feeling, though.

"Ice skating. Always my favorite subject as a kid." Jaka said: "Sadly, I chose football instead."

"Sometimes, we have to make decision without others to do." Nazmi told: "Maybe destiny called us that."

All three Palestinian players were not aware with the tragic murder of Denis Ten a year before was the reason for the tune being played, because their information about ice skating was limited. That was understandable.

On other hand, Leroy and Otabek made their hands flew like angel, a sign of angelic belief that there would be still living hope.

"For you, comrade." Otabek maintained his cold-feeling, but inside he was not away from the trauma of Denis.

"We are all for you." Leroy danced as well. He spinned himself many times, as like an un-ending circle.

Yuri Plisetsky said pretty little, but he knew what should be, as he skated like a thunder, deepening the feeling. The musical instrument turned to be even fierce and brutal, showing what had just gone.

For Yurio, he could never forgive those murderers. And he was willing to show it by the brutality as well. He got a thirst, he wanted to blow up.

Otabek and Leroy became furious as well, all three combined and shook their right legs, altogether making a spectacular stun around and around.

Both Dora-the-Kid, Dora-nikov and Dora-rinho also watched too, but in far away, they noticed:

"Hah … we have six, not three guests, anymore."

Fierce like thunder!

It was the last remnants of it.

But in the end, as they found, Yurio talked …

"We're, and we shall …"

"Indeed …"

The piano instrumental played weaker and weaker, as it was on the end. Leroy and Otabek soon took their last note, closed their gap, touching their hands on the chest, closed their eyes with all manners of respect …

Nazmi, Pablo and Jaka stayed quiet, seeing what had been. And they could not feel better …

"Indeed …"

And with the music closed and cooled aftermath, Nazmi Albadawi, Jaka Ihbeisheh and Pablo Tamburrini, gave a smile as they left with many to say.

Of course, as this was a practice for next day, there was few people to come. So Yuri Plisetsky, Otabek Altin and Jean-Jacques Leroy had good time to share over …

Agape meets Eros …

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The UAE is the home of a small number of Turkmenistani expats. Calling them from Turkmenistan is quite true, especially when the UAE is still overwhelmed by large number of foreign expats, with more than 85% Emirati population are not native Emiratis but rather other Arabs or outside.

Turkmens in the UAE is not large. The largest Turkmen diaspora are in Russia and Turkey, two major recipents of them. Russia is the former colonial overlord, and Turkey is Turkmenistan's close cousin, both are Turkic nations of Oghuz branch. Thus, the Turkmens there get a closer bond with the Turks, and both speak similar dialects.

Turkmenistan in the current state isn't much different. It is opening, but not as open as their neighbors, remaining very oppressive under the dictatorship law of Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. Of course, considering to the previous era of Saparmurat Niyazov, Berdimuhamedow is nicer, though not better.

Turkmenistan isn't North Korea, but people often love to compare her with the DPRK, a communist state with an already collapsed economy in the Eastern part of Asia. Many Turkmens have problem to access with modern media. The only good sources came from private Turkmen media abroad, located in Europe and Turkey. The US embassy in the country also works as an unofficial private source as well.

Soccer, went on, as message of Turkmen people …

"That's damned time for me …" It was the voice from Altymyrat Annadurdyýew, a Turkmen player of the national squad.

"Same for me. In fact, both of us …" Wahyt Orazsähedow also expressed the same concern: "At least we aren't North Koreans, but this struggle isn't better."

Due to the oppressive and restriction nature in Turkmenistan, many Turkmen expats moved abroad in hope to establish a better future. As they expressed, Turkmenistan is freer than North Korea because she's opening herself, but the progress was slow and futile.

Accompanied with them is an Ukrainian official of the UEFA staff, Mykyta Hroshchuk. Mykyta also expressed the same:

"My Turkmen brothers and sisters, you don't need to ask anyway."

Mykyta spoke about the fact Russia and China prefer dictatorships in Turkmenistan, and told how Ukraine is fighting against this tyrannical rule of the Kremlin-backed Government. Wahyt and Altymyrat nodded.

Both kept walking alongside each other, as Mykyta, Altymyrat and Wahyt entered to a bar, where they wanted to get a good lunch drink. Of course, they had nothing to eat, seriously.

"Clamp!"

Altymyrat, Wahyt and Mykyta celebrated, alone: "For the better of us."

The drinking was the only thing they wanted to do now. Said, for them, it could have been something messy.

Then, Mykyta called: "Waitress?"

A girl walked out, of course she arrived with a happy face. Bearing the name on the badge "Kaho Hinata", there was something to tell.

And, Kaho Hinata arrived. With such a large breast and a cute face, she hoped to impress by her natural tsundere of a coffee/bar shop Stile Abu Dhabi, which was just recently opening in the UAE by a special permission from the Emirati authorities. Kaho joined in hope to make good image for the newly-established Stile store.

"What type of drink do you prefer?" Kaho asked, with her yellow petite hair.

"Three beers, for us." Wahyt told: "Faster!"

"Hey!" Kaho blushed, angered to them: "I'm not a toy!"

Mykyta, Altymyrat and Wahyt were surprised, but they didn't got nose-bleed, that's for sure. Just Mykyta to respond: "Alright, alright, we're fine. But please don't be lunatic."

"Fuck …" Altymyrat sat back as he talked: "What kind of bar we're going, Mykyta?"

"Stile." Mykyta explained. In fact, Mykyta remembered Stile is a relatively small bar, founded by an Italian. After it gained popularity somewhere in Italy, it expanded the market, although relatively small, in Turkey, France, Greece, Spain, Argentina, Mexico, the U.S., Japan, Canada and Brazil. This was the first time Stile opened its shop in the UAE.

According from Mykyta, whom his friends were there once, Stile was struggling to open shops in Russia, Germany, Ukraine, Israel, Poland, South Korea, Australia and China, probably due to license. But Stile is still pretty small by market counting.

However, what made Stile famous was the waitresses' unique trait, by its clothes and behaviors.

"So the bar is a pseudo sexual bar." Wahyt told: "I bet since you knew it, you must have been aware …"

"To be frank, I think it could be normal." Mykyta expressed: "Well, not too much."

"We're not Arabs anyway. And Turkic people are famous for sexual habits though." Altymyrat said, as another girl walked out. She was bearing the name "Maika Sakuranomiya" when she walked there to them.

Maika, a pink one dress, with black hair and a sadistic face, arrived. Known for sadistic smile, she once again smiled toward the guest, but not without scary style:

"Please drink …"

"Huh?" Wahyt got even surprised, like Maika was taking anger. They said nothing.

Wow …

"Really, this bar is funny." Altymyrat got a little surprised, but they started to keep drinking, until they got drunk enough. So on, for Mykyta and Wahyt.

After drinking enough, Altymyrat Annadurdyýew, Wahyt Orazsähedow and Mykyta Hroshchuk all drained down. Just saying a bit for them, another waitress arrived, and this time she was smaller for them both.

"Please pay us money, thanks."

She looked a bit smaller and like a cheerful child, making them to got a little bit impressed. Mykyta, with a good habit, paying for the girl wearing yellow dress, as they said goodbye.

The bill was done, and Mykyta, Altymyrat and Wahyt saw from three kind of behaviors. Frankly, they got a bond with the store …

"I'll go back. I like that place."

"Yeah … to free from the stinky environment, it can help a bit."

Mykyta, Altymyrat and Wahyt all left, just to hope for that.

On the other side, three girls, however, saw them the most boring guests, simply because they only focused on drinking beers.

"You don't mention that …" The girl with the badge named "Mafuyu Hoshikawa, who was in fact, a college student, didn't like that.

"And that was the ridiculous idea of Dino!" Kaho expressed.

"Come on, at least they paid that chunk of money …" Maika tried to be at best: "We're not the main actors there. The guests are …"

"But Dino won't like it and he would soon try to hire locals. Besides, we are working temporary for certain. We need these girls to improve experiences before we left." Kaho said.

"Fair enough. They may come back, so better get a good time." Mafuyu said: "Better wait for it until now."

And there it went through. The new Stile shop had welcomed guests, but in the modest as possible. Just like that …

Chapter Text

Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

With many things to say, perhaps no other teams looked for the Asian Cup more than the Yemenis, the people from the Arabian Peninsula.

Yemen, a country used to be the most advanced nation in the Middle East and one of Asia's earliest civilizations, had gone downhill due to civil war between Yemeni factions. Many Yemenis had been killed, others had to flee from the country. Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman are few nations to openly support Yemeni refugees, thus their efforts are drastic.

With the UAE hosting a large number of Yemenis, including naturalized ones who became Emiratis, Yemenis found hope. The Abdulrahman brothers, with Ahmed, Khaled, Mohamed and Omar, are the four Yemenis who took career in the UAE. In all of them, the two latter were the most successful, especially Omar Abdulrahman.

Unfortunately, Omar could not participate in the tournament due to injury, and this was a great loss for the Emiratis itself.

Yemenis also have some people to show their pride. The Afif brothers: Ali and Akram, who play for Qatar, are of Yemeni root.

But, this year, more than these players, Yemenis had more to focus. The national team of Yemen, a symbol of unity in the war-torn country, had been to the UAE for the cup. Of course, Yemen had played two matches, all were defeats to mighty Iran and Iraq. Their hope fell to the last encounter against Vietnam. But many Yemenis felt the pressure beyond.

Unlike Vietnam, Iraq and Iran however, Yemen did not have enough times to prepare for the team. Their coach, Ján Kocian, had to work from Poland to even Slovakia to seek report of Yemen from various sources, but since Yemeni diaspora isn't many, it is pretty hard for him. More problems, in Poland and Slovakia, there are even more Vietnamese diaspora, who are ready to cheer for Vietnam against Yemen.

The national team suffered lack of budget, and even worse, they didn't have healthy nutrition, the result of many years within turmoil in Yemen. Its players are among the shortest, weakest, and little skills in the tournament.

So, with all what he collected from Yemen's first encounters and the situation, it wasn't enough.

However, it wasn't important anyway.

It was what Yemeni striker, Alaa Al-Sasi, expressed. In what would be the chance against Vietnam, he still gave a smile.

And Alaa's optimistic view was important for many, as he remained outside from all political disputes. When Ali Al-Nono resigned from the team, Alaa became the team's first choice.

That day, he walked on the street, making good talk with his friends, who had left Yemen for the UAE long ago …

"Salaam mualaykum, brothers and sisters."

"Salaam Alaa Al-Sasi. You're the finest among all …" An old man welcomed them. Ibrahim Jumaa Tamer, the old Shi'a cleric, hugged Alaa, a Sunni. Alaa is known for never gone to undesired disputes between Islamic sects.

"Mr. Tamer. I miss you so much. As a kid, I remember the time when you were still in Sana'a. A faithful young man, you taught a lot for us, until you departed from Yemen to live in the UAE …" Alaa Al-Sasi expressed with joy: "Now, with the bless of God, I have seen you after many years … but you have grown old …"

"Life is like that, Alaa. I'll die, and my children will continue." Ibrahim told: "Life changed rapidly, and we need to have the best."

Ibrahim then immediately allowed Alaa to meet a special friend, and Alaa got a bit to know.

It was Dora-med III, a Sunni himself who came from Saudi Arabia but live in Iraq. Dora-med smiled toward Alaa Al-Sasi, with the modest Muslim style of welcoming. Alaa understood that, it was Ibrahim's offer for him to discover how could the different be broken through. And cleric Ibrahim would join as well.

Seriously …

"May the bless of God shall happen …"

Ibrahim, Dora-med and Alaa walked with each other, somewhere near the sea. Of course, a pedestrian near the sea shore, they had some of the best time to speak about it.

"Do you know there is a still a lot of differences like Sunni and Shi'a?" Ibrahim asked.

"Yes, I do." Alaa said.

"But, can you solve the different?" Dora-med wondered: "This has always been a question for us. We have no one who can solve it since the death of the Prophet."

"It's very hard. Don't know how can we end this conflict." Alaa admitted: "We need to learn how to break through."

"But surely can we?" Ibrahim said, as he looked to the sky: "It would be a tough moment."

His white beard fell down after that, saw how old he was. He could never imagine, just 25 years ago, the time had made his face aged so fast. For Ibrahim, he had something he wanted to tell for Alaa, but he couldn't. Due to ongoing cancer, he had to go for special medical treatment in a private hospital near the capital city. Thus, Dora-med, a robot-cat, handled it.

"Well, Ibrahim wanted to tell you to solve a case of a disputed couple. Can you?"

"Couple? What couple?" Alaa got stunned, but he soon fell in line. Dora-med III pointed that …

… few days ago, a friend of Dora-med, Dora-rinho – with his Chilean friend – noticed a fight between a girl and a boy which caused them to separate. This was noticed as well so Ibrahim attempted to help them reconcile. However, due to his weak health, Alaa was offered a chance.

For Ibrahim, their argument was like a brawl between Sunni and Shi'a, and Alaa had to learn how to reconcile. Dora-med III, a man who also disdained religious sectarianism, participated too.

So be it … Alaa Al-Sasi accepted to learn …

But it turned to be harder than expected. Alaa soon discovered what happened beyond.

Basically, it was the story of Yume Nijino and Subaru Yuuki. Yume accused Subaru for his infamous speech "octopus face" and his mockery of her. Subaru thought Yume was behind all the bad mouth against him and her short-temper caused a fight, which forced them to be escorted. Of course, for Subaru, he never forgave. And so was Yume.

Alaa Al-Sasi, found the case was hard. Didn't understand why Ibrahim could accept them so easy.

"Okay … what's your problem?"

"Nothing. But if he apologize for calling me an Octopus." Yume told.

"And why should I? You caused the brawl." Subaru showed that he didn't want to back down.

It proved to be harder for Alaa Al-Sasi. He never solved a conflict before, so basically, he had zero experience. For this reason, he tried to understand both. He told: "Alright, boy and girl, sit down please. Don't make tense."

They sat down, and Alaa Al-Sasi, for some to admit, talked: "What's your problem first, Yume?"

"I believe that, I don't dislike Subaru. But I don't like how he ignored other people. You know, Ako asked to be closer with Subaru, but he ignored. Same when I demanded him to be nice when I invited him for that night." Yume showed no hesitation.

"So, Subaru?"

"I don't blame her. I think she is rude and she doesn't place what she should do as a girl, especially when we're abroad." Subaru didn't back down either.

It caused truly a backing situation for Alaa, and with the head of Alaa, he didn't know how to solve. He knew that, if he asked for them to make something directly, none would accept. So the best was, Alaa Al-Sasi should request for help from Dora-med. But Ibrahim prevented him to do so, instead asked Alaa to solve by his own.

It was too hard. How could he?

How?

How?

And, how?

After all, Alaa Al-Sasi remembered an ingredient when he was a kid: the flavors. He soon addressed one sensitive thing:

"Do you believe on … kissing?"

"Kissing?" Subaru and Yume got stunned: "We're not planning for …"

"C'mon, girl and boy." Alaa Al-Sasi said: "There's a way to make you through. In our tradition, a kiss means forgiveness."

How irony. Alaa had to rewrite the region's tradition, in order to make them to overcome. In fact, he had mentioned them that, if they could not overcome, they would be even arrested by the police to investigate for their earlier brawl, so they had to kiss.

Subaru and Yume truly didn't want to be arrested, but … kiss? How could they manage for that? They didn't know it.

For Alaa, he hoped by kissing, they would learn to share their good instead of remain in hostility. And, for Alaa, it would be better for them to kiss.

Alaa even gave other reasons why they should kiss:

"You should have better times, right? No one wanted to lose, but, you have only one live of your own. You should take it as a representative of your love and your impression instead of being enemy. You know, I saw you guys have potential to become a family. And in fact, you could go easier, rather than being goofy."

"Huh?" Yume blushed: "No way …"

"Don't be scared. You may feel okay. Unless you did, police will guarantee you to pay fees. Careful daughter." Alaa said, and Subaru who heard it all, seemed to be …

"Well, I don't want to pay …" Subaru stated chilly: "And we need to do this?"

"Depend on you." Alaa Al-Sasi admitted: "But it's worth to try."

"Good luck, then." Yume tried to avoid that, and her lip was about to take. But when she turned her face back …

… it was a surprise. Subaru immediately kissed, but like a forced case because of Alaa, rather than a volunteer one. Yume's lip touched with Subaru's one, and she knew what was waiting for …

And, Dora-med III got surprised enough that he had fallen unconscious. Ibrahim didn't understand what had Alaa planned, but he shook the head: "Oh dear …"

With Yume and Subaru kissing, Alaa had to watch out unless there was no police around. Of course, it was risky, because not just broken the Emirati law of not kissing publicity, but it was a punishment for three months … in prison.

Thankfully, there was no police after all, but with the kiss, Yume and Subaru had lost a moment before they finally got through.

For Alaa, his answer to solve Shi'a-Sunni question reflects how he examined between Yume and Subaru …

"Well, perhaps only forced attitudes, will make them in peace."

Ironically, it was true for the case, which Ibrahim accepted, although he felt hard to accept in reality …

Yaizzz …

Chapter Text

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

In the last moment of the team, when North Korean team knew they would be out, only one player who truly saw what had gone and about to end.

Pak Kwang-ryong.

Pak Kwang-ryong is one of few North Koreans being ruled for exception. He was allowed to play abroad, and Pak was happy to be there. Unlike other North Koreans, he got understanding by global contact.

Pak saw what the national team did in the tournament, he had witnessed the national team's demise. North Korea used to be one of Asian hegemon, but with the political isolation of the country, and North Korea started to demise, to weaken itself. The national team had been no longer capable to challenge. Poor nutrition and economic collapse had made North Korean team dampened to dust.

The Chollima was no longer itself. When the team went to the tournament, they had to struggle greatly to qualify and the team was defeated twice, to the Saudis and the Qataris. Against Lebanon, North Korea had determined to win, but Pak found very hard to overcome, since Lebanon wanted to win desperately.

When North Korea was about to set up, Pak Kwang-ryong walked to the field, and practiced the last lesson before the final showdown. Suddenly, he got some clamps.

"Bravo, bravo."

"Who are you anyway?" Pak asked.

"My name is Arsène." The man politely talked: "Just, today so boring, so I took my time there, seeing the lone player there. Just want to talk."

The night fell when the talk was ongoing. So Pak demanded the mysterious man named Arsène to be fast.

"C'mon. Why harsh? I bet you're North Korean."

"Very funny when you mention my nationality."

"Best for the best. As you're playing in Austria, be happy that Austrians are still opening hand for North Koreans. By the way, I have good medicine, you should have interest."

"So what do you want?"

"Be energetic, North Korean. You still have a career to end. You're not that stupid. Try to be … great. Take the book."

"Book. What book?"

"Cooking one. Learn to cook something before become stupid." Arsène requested, and then he ended shortly: "And figure who you're, Pak."

Surprisingly, he folded away like dust, and Pak Kwang-ryong tried to understand who was Arsène, but only a book was left.

However, the book later Pak claims, turned out to be different one. The mean of "cooking", in fact, was a book of outside world, painted in Korean, which encouraging Pak Kwang-ryong to be motivate and realizing the outside world, become a clear guidance for people to escape.

Because of strict nature, North Korea is always a mystery. And he knew that there were always secret regime's agents ready to murder them once they attempted to escape.

And, what Pak Kwang-ryong remembered, was big. And he never thought …

Chapter Text

Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

And so be it, as the group stage went on, the fate went mostly decided.

With Omar Kharbin and his Syria, his team was out after a humiliating 2-3 defeat to Australia, the defending champions of the tournament having won it previously. With a 2-3 defeat, Syria was out, with one draw and two losses. His teammate, Omar Al Somah, had to encourage Kharbin.

"We'll wait for another time …"

"Wait for what? This is the six times and we are still in the same stage! Who explain for it?"

The defeat was pretty drastic, but since Syrian team had no home, they would have been forced to select a temporary base, likely between the UAE, Iran, Oman or Qatar. Of course, due to Syria was still at war, Syrian team had to place themselves here for a moment …

#####

Next day, those two Syrian guys went out. As the Syrians didn't have a home to return, staying back in the UAE had become an option.

They would have a week to make ready before they returned to work for their clubs. Kharbin was playing in Egypt, and Al Somah was in Saudi Arabia for Al-Ahli. That was pretty much, for them, to say.

"Would not bet for that anymore." Omar Kharbin expressed: "We'll never know. When will Syria progress for once?"

"Unless we are invested, and invested with the right way." Al Somah confessed: "We're at the war, we have been very close to World Cup. Cheer, man."

As they were tired, they decided to have some little to talk with someone. Interestingly, for somehow, they got caught with …

"Hey, what're you doing seriously?"

It was a girly voice, but the girl was tough, so they got interested. Soon, Al Somah asked: "Sorry, but what's your name?"

"Ah, I see. My name is Masumi Sera. You're football players, don't you?"

"Yeah … but, how do you know?" Kharbin asked in surprise.

"Detective eyes, misters. You should not underestimate people." Sera smiled: "I'm glad to help."

"Are you really a detective?" Al Somah suspected.

"I think you come there because your team just suffered another trauma and that was hard to overcome for you." Sera guessed: "Your faces, your staminas, all told about."

"Now that's ridiculously true." Al Somah nodded: "Fucked up, but true."

Sera just laughed happily: "C'mon brothers. You just need to be realistic."

Of course, they just needed nothing more to say. Then, they asked Sera for one few seconds: "Do you have other knowledge about us?"

"Nothing more." Sera smiled, only to get interrupted by her friends behind.

"Funny, Sera."

"Oh! Hi Ran and Sonoko!" Sera laughed, seeing how Ran Mori and Sonoko Suzuki in front of her tomboyish face. Ran and Sonoko weren't surprised with the level of friendliness, but seriously?

"Man, Sera, you get too close with those strangers." Ran addressed: "What if they're serial murderers?"

Al Somah and Kharbin got stunned because Ran thought they were killers. But they had to lose a moment.

"Neh. They're just football players, not killers. You know, detective eyes." Sera confirmed.

"By a way, Sera, do you like to go buy something?" Sonoko invited: "We're in the UAE for winter vacation, be happy."

"Cool. I join." Sera laughed with herself also left. She also stated to Al Somah and Kharbin: "By the way, I will go shopping with friends. Please if there is something bad."

Sera was friendly, and quite creepy for two Syrian guys. She had a truly detective sense, but if she knew too much it would be a little fucked up for Omar Al Somah and Omar Kharbin.

Meanwhile, Ran Mori and Sonoko Suzuki chatted, with Masumi Sera to speak about Shinichi Kudou. Much worth chatting, with Ran expressed her suspicion over Sonoko. Masumi was, again, friendly, but always careful like a detective.

Still, Masumi got new friends now …

Chapter Text

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Reports from the city of Al Ain showed a significant wary for the Lebanese. Many Lebanese had traveled to Sharjah for the dream to see Lebanon to progress, and they are expecting from the hope that Yemen would outplay Vietnam. However, it wasn't as the Lebanese wished for.

A freekick from Nguyễn Quang Hải brought Vietnam an early lead. With Vietnam scored 1-0, Lebanon was forced to wait unless it ended. If Vietnam won 3-0, Lebanon must decide what would have to be.

At that moment, Joan Oumari, Adnan Haidar and Hilal El-Helwe, Lebanese players, they were also interested on it. Adnan Haidar had been taught at youth, with the Viking spirit on his blood. Being a Lebanese, he expressed that his teammates must keep a Viking feeling, but Joan and Hilal, both are German-born, felt strange to hear that.

"Man, Adnan, with a Norwegian spirit, you are surely a badass." Hilal told.

"Not at all. My late teacher, a real Viking, told me what should we believe for. I'll miss him greatly, Mr. Nordfelt."

"Can you tell about him?" Joan asked.

"Sure."

Adnan was honest for them. His Viking teacher, a man, named Jan-Blå Nordfelt, a pretty old 65 years old man, was his teacher. Back to that time, Jan- Blå was an old-steered man who still believed in old, ancient Viking story which was about to fade by modern communities.

Haidar was just a little boy at the time, but Nordfelt saw him had potential. It was 1997, when Haidar was going north to cut down the trees. By that moment, Haidar was discovered by him, and Nordfelt taught him to remember the story. He always used the time to speak about the Viking warriors, their historical adventures, its belief, the God, Odin, etc. The house of Jan-Blå was in Oppland, where Adnan's family frequently arrived to take trees.

At first, he didn't like it much, even Haidar saw it lame. But the old man's spiritual hard-working, his determination and his strength, soon influenced Adnan and at the last day before returning to Oslo, he had been completely impressed of Jan-Blå. He promised he would return.

Mr. Jan-Blå was also an avid football fan, but he always talked about the lack of Viking spirits among Norwegian players, which contributed to its elimination in 1994 World Cup. Norway was on the run for 1998 World Cup, so it was even important for him. He usually prayed the Viking Gods to protect the national team of Norway, to give them the power of Viking.

A year later, Adnan Haidar also returned, and he met Jan-Blå. By this time, Mr. Jan-Blå had suffered collapsing health, but still retold the memoir of Viking warriors, and he hoped to see Norway play. It was a success, and his celebration despite suffering heart stroke, brought Adnan to football.

Adnan kept visiting him until 2006, when he arrived to see his house in the northern mountainous house in Oppland, but it wasn't there anymore. As Adnan asked locals, they said that he had died a year before, and it was a heartbreaking for him, who he had accepted as an adoptive father, and a teacher of life.

"Wow, really sorry for not aware with it." Hilal admitted: "I love these Viking stories pretty. You know, we are both Lebanese born in Europe."

"Thanks." Adnan said. By the time they remained watching, the first half ended with a 1-0 lead for Vietnam.

By that moment, Junko Hattori arrived to the mosque, where it was hosting the encounter between Vietnam and Yemen on the TV. Junko didn't have a good impression over Akuto, so she walked with Kena Soga and her android friend Korone. But as Korone avoided to get too close to watch out Akuto, who was also following as well, the trip, actually, only had two.

The mosque was also where Adnan, Hilal and Joan stayed.

"The mosque of Sharjah."

"There are many kind of mosques actually." Junko addressed.

Both Junko and Kena went to there. As the mosque didn't have any important moment to pray, the mosque was free to enter. Junko and Kena sat down, ate some bread, pretty close and, just behind Adnan, Hilal and Joan.

Joan is a Christian, but he had some good reasons to stay. The UAE was a bit, more tolerant than the rest of the Gulf, better than Saudi Arabia and Qatar, so he felt good to be there.

For Joan, it should be like that.

Adnan and Hilal shared popcorn, when Joan was watching in wary …

As for the same, Junko and Kena were all sharing the same way of feeling, but of course not football since they're not avid football fans.

"Who's playing?" Kena asked.

"Who know? And I don't care either." Junko admitted: "If this is our business, none."

By that time, Junko Hattori spoke about the story of Akuto, and she admitted he was a pseudo, but still didn't understand why she liked him. Kena responded that she thought Akuto nice as well, though suspicious.

Kena didn't have any problem with Akuto, she called him "Aa-chan" and she thought he was a good nice guy.

Joan Oumari, at the free time, decided to play a song.

"Hey, Hilal, Adnan, wanna listen a song?"

"What song?"

Joan is an expert of guitar musical instrument, so he took a borrowed guitar, which he started to play. Of course, he represented to them: "There was a folk song, written during the old War for Spanish Succession. Back that time, the Englishmen often referred High Germany in geographical situation at Spain."

"Okay. Play it, I want to listen it." Adnan was eager.

"Sure." Joan gave a breath, as his guitar started to play …

"High Germany" was original a love song in English, to speak about a love one and how he departed from his family for the war against France in Spain. Missing the time, he decided to write it.

The words were also romantic, as Junko expressed:

"Maybe, I should marry Akuto."

"Maybe? I think you are suited." Kena said: "Even when I also like him too."

They had a good discussion, as Junko also felt stressed and shy. It was too much for her, although he was destined to become a demon.

Junko liked him. Kena saw that.

As the song "High Germany" kept playing, she thought she was about to have a horse riding with Akuto, even it was just a dream. But she was truly stuck with it, seriously …

And, Kena didn't intervene.

She thought let Junko to live with her dream, and if the horse with her together with Akuto, might be. Because Kena also had a good dream about her with Akuto. They became dreamers who thought for only one boy, ignoring that people started to feel strange of them, including … Joan Oumari, Hilal El-Helwe and Adnan Haidar.

Of course, they had played entire of the song, but they didn't imagine two girls would sit behind them. However, they chose to ignore, so it could be better for them to focus the second minutes of the second half between Yemen and Vietnam.

And Kena Soga with Junko Hattori kept stuck their heads with Akuto until the end of the match between Vietnam and Yemen, which, the result was not important until Korone woke them up.

High Germany stuck with them too long …

Love dreamers …

Chapter Text

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Joe Davies, an English official of the UEFA, walked with Pierluigi Collina, the Italian representative. They made some discussion together, but in the end, Collina confirmed it would be okay.

Davies nodded, and he walked away from Collina.

Of course, the Jordanians, who also got interested to see about the game, discovered their opponent next day. Jordan and Vietnam would be the first encounter of the round of sixteen. Vietnam had sneaked to the knockout stage thanked for Lebanon's poor discipline record, with Vietnam -5 and Lebanon -7.

The fault of George Melki eliminated Lebanon. Of course, Lebanon is Jordan's Levant neighbor, so the elimination of Lebanon was perceived as the best thing, and many Jordanian press and media provided that Vietnam as the luckiest opponent for Jordan.

Joe Davies had good tie with Jordanian officials. Thus, he knew what should he deal. After the meeting, a Jordanian player, Khalil Bani Attiah, ran to make a surprise hug to Joe.

"Haha! We're in, Englishman."

"Hey!" Joe yelled: "Shut up, Khalil. Do you have anything else to say?"

"Don't be harsh and unfriendly, mate." Khalil stated. Khalil has become famous as Jordan's N'Golo Kanté, the combination to French superstar, renowned as the midfield machine that tackled against possible attackers.

"I'm not against you, Khalil. My problem with you is, don't surprise without telling." Joe said: "Do you have other thing to say?"

"We've nothing to say but happiness." Khalil spoke through: "Even our opponent is also weak as well. Hahahahaha …"

"Very funny indeed." Joe Davies stated: "So, Jordan is looking for encounter against Saudi Arabia/Japan?"

"Yup." Khalil laughed.

Famous for solid defense and powerful stamina, Jordan is a renowned and reckoned opponent. Teams like Japan, Saudi Arabia or even Australia had tasted defeat to Jordan, so unsurprisingly, Jordan was rated higher than Vietnam, its opponent in the round of sixteen, on the opening match of this knockout stage.

Khalil Bani Attiah choked on, and Joe Davies responded by calming Khalil's right hand, which was on his shoulder. Joe asked if Khalil needed to stay in the park, and Khalil agreed, in response, he would glad to stay.

Khalil and Joe agreed. They went to play somewhere else …

Meanwhile, having little to say, Mabel Pines and Dipper Pines also enjoyed their trip to the UAE.

"Brother you should have been better a bit. Right Waddles?"

"Uh, do you have anything else to say?"

Dipper, full name Mason Pines, spoke on behalf of Mabel, criticized Mabel for being too annoying. The trip today of course, was sponsored by Mr. Ford, Stan's sibling. Ford Pines, born in a Jewish tradition, had a close bond with the family.

Mabel and Dipper kept walking on and on and on.

Khalil and Joe kept talking, Mabel and Dipper just got interested to see.

They just walked to see some sort of, Brazilian, Colombian, Venezuelan, Mexican, Chilean, Peruvian, Argentine, Cuban and Bolivian stores belonged to those Latino expats, which recently was merged into one, known as Latina Prensa. Of course, it was initially small, but since the 2019 Copa América would be held in Brazil, it had become extremely popular for not just foreign expats, but even Emirati citizens. It had expanded greatly.

Mabel and Dipper entered into the bar. As it was a bar/store, at night, children were not allowed. But Mabel and Dipper had become 17, so they were older and allowed to enter. This was also the place where Khalil and Joe were in.

The owner, a Venezuelan named Eduardo, requested them drink, and Dipper called for milk. Mabel preferred French wine. They sat very near to Khalil and Joe, who also drank a little.

Mabel then smiled: "Dipper, who're they?"

"They're guests, please don't make words with unknown …" Dipper tried to prevent but Mabel was pretty annoying. She ran to Khalil and Joe, without hesitation …

Khalil Bani Attiah and Joe Davies were drinking wines as Mabel Pines ran to them. She surprisingly sneaked behind Khalil, asked: "What're you saying?"

"Hey!" Joe got surprised and Khalil also said his annoyance: "Who're you?"

Dipper slapped his face for it.

Mabel had too much energy to speak, and who made it too much? Must be herself.

"Shut up." Khalil angered: "Don't touch on us."

Joe also felt annoyed, but Mabel was like a leech for them. Khalil and Joe got startled to see Mabel, they went already interrupted by Mabel's behavior. Mabel's carefree attitude made Khalil wanted to push her out.

Once again, Dipper had to take measures. He pushed his sister out, only to get the reaction badly from Mabel. Mason Pines, sure, didn't like how it went …

Behind the bar however, there was a man, stood out as a mystery. He spoke Spanish, but not Eduardo, but someone else.

Knowing Copa América would have two Asian guests, the man watched behind. He wanted to know who would be Asian champions, so he was allowed to arrive. The man in shadow told:

"We would love to know, but this Jordanian guy cannot help us much."

"Calm down, Vargas. We can still wait." Another told. Surely, there were more than two men there.

"Anyway, did the girl know that we were sponsoring his trip? And Ford could have given us clue."

"We'll see."

Meanwhile, Mabel kept interrupting Joe and Khalil, and Dipper had no choice but to tie her feet with rope. After that, Khalil and Joe were not happy, and they decided to quit.

"Fucked up! We're out! Take your sister!"

Dipper apologized, but not enough. Khalil and Joe stated clearly that they despised how Mabel annoyed them, and they left. On the other side, Dipper also noticed someone behind the close door, but as Khalil and Joe left, he didn't have enough time.

And so, Mason Pines went up, but they were gone …

With Mabel being freed and Mason discovered nothing, they went out.

But, who were they? Those watching them?

Dipper would have a lot of times to examine …

Chapter Text

Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

The Thais, on the other side, had to face another tough nut. It was named China. However, the Thais had total confident to do so, since Thailand was the first Southeast Asian team to progress.

Particularly, yes.

And, to make ready for a big party, the Thais announced their biggest party ever. Here it went through with a large, really, large and enjoyable festival that between these players and fans in Al Ain. Most of Thai players kept enjoying it, except the captain, Teerasil Dangda, who saw the architect behind team's revival.

Choketawee Promrut.

The architect behind War Elephants' revival was Choketawee, former Thai national player who played in two Asian Cups. Sirisak Yodyardthai, interim coach of Thailand, was perceived as too lame and too dependent, this was examined with previous coach Milovan Rajevac, who saw him incompetent. On the other hand, Choketawee proved to be smarter and more intelligent than Sirisak.

Rajevac's sacking allowed Choketawee to play a bigger role, and Choketawee was the mastermind behind all the team's reforms, under Sirisak.

When Teerasil was drinking, his teammate arrived: "Hey, Teerasil!"

"Chanathip. Very surprising to see you there." Teerasil admitted: "What some Spanish/Chilean wines?"

"No, I'm not thirsty." Chanathip said: "But you can say it to Theerathon."

"Bunmathan?" Teerasil questioned.

"Yeah. Theerathon was asking for some free drink." Chanathip Songkrasin spoke out: "Be quite nice for a second."

"No problem." Teerasil took some, and called Theerathon, who was trying to avoid annoyance. Liliana Kranjcar was no longer there, of course, as she followed her step-godfather Milovan Rajevac back to Serbia.

Same like Adisak, Teerasil seemed to miss the little girl. Chanathip and Theerathon found normal to do so.

Teerasil, Chanathip and Theerathon stood out from the madness, but with Chanathip avoided drinking alcohol, it was up for Teerasil and Theerathon. Teerasil Dangda, Chanathip Songkrasin and Theerathon Bunmathan, still, got a brief good time.

… until …

Someone hit on them. She was running and hit to them from the back, which surprised Teerasil, as he was hit. However, Teerasil was like a wall, and he felt nothing from it.

Less to say, Teerasil watched from the back, and he realized a small girl there. Then …

"Risa! Do you feel hurt?"

"She's fine." Teerasil politely apologized.

"I'm sorry, it's my fault." The girl, Risa, apologized to them. However Teerasil didn't mind.

"It was okay. I don't blame you. So, who're you anyway?"

"Risa Harada. The person behind is my sibling, Riku."

"Hello there." Theerathon then looked on. His face was a bit sadistic, but that was nothing to speak over.

Both Riku and Risa found pseudo from Theerathon. But Chanathip was fast, he soon pulled Theerathon out, smiled to them.

Risa and Riku weren't aware with their status. Both three men in front of them are famous football players, and they play for the national team, as well. Said, neither Teerasil, Chanathip or Theerathon interested to reveal their position.

"So, who are you going? Why crash to our party?" Chanathip asked.

"Just for fun. By a way, I don't see my friend there. Do you see him?" Risa stated.

"What friend?" Teerasil didn't understand anyway.

"Oh, sorry for annoying you, Mister." Risa apologized.

Of course, Dangda was quick to forgive, he didn't consider it seriously. On the other hand, Chanathip asked: "Friend?"

Risa and Riku nodded. The twin sisters admitted they had a friend, but he was not there currently. None of them were aware, despite they represented them their iPhone of his image.

"Do you see Daisuke?"

Both three Thai players said no, and they were not aware with him. Just for this one, surprisingly, someone jumped to the pool, and he yelled. He tried to please, but on the uncontrolled fun, he was thrown to the pool without warning.

The voice was familiar for both Risa and Riku, and …

Teerasil seemed not want to talk. He knew what would be next.

Probably same for Chanathip and Theerathon, too.

"Daisuke!"

Risa and Riku ran to the pool where Daisuke was thrown by a group of fancy gang wanna play everyone in the party celebrating Thai national team. It was too much for Daisuke and he didn't wish to witness again.

But that was too much, as Risa and Riku accused Daisuke for curtailing, Daisuke had no choice but to stay on the pool until being taken by those Thai fans for another one. This time, Risa and Riku found a new hobby …

For Teerasil Dangda, Chanathip Songkrasin and Theerathon Bunmathan, they got all the night they needed.

And so be it, they once again drank. This time, Chanathip also drank. Of course, for good …

Chapter Text

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

The match day was extremely interesting, because it was the first ever match in the knockout stage: the earliest, Jordan, battle up against the last, Vietnam.

Some Saudi players were under practice of coach Juan Pizzi. Of course, after practice, they started to open the TV. The Saudis would have cheered Jordan, knowing that a Jordanian victory would empower them against Japan, a bigger opponent for Saudi Arabia. Vietnam shares a close culture with Japan, and Jordan shares a close tie with Saudi Arabia, thus Saudis truly believed a Jordanian win means Saudi Arabia shall progress.

Waleed Abdullah, Salem Al-Dawsari, Abdulaziz Al-Bishi and Mohammed Al-Breik were permitted, due to their good form. However, among all four, only Waleed Abdullah felt the most. Used to be the top-choice goalkeeper, his position went dropped under Pizzi, fell into the hands of Mohammed Al-Owais. It was extremely depressing for Abdullah, considering how good he was in the previous days.

Of course, Pizzi wasn't a relatively good manager, and his choices were mostly controversial. Abdullah couldn't feel anything but that.

For other, Abdulaziz Al-Bishi was given a chance in the squad. It was just his first major tournament. Al-Breik and Al-Dawsari didn't know how to express a word for that.

When they opened the TV, the match between Jordan and Vietnam was about to start for 15 minutes.

The current Saudi-training ground was managed by Nepalis, most seemed to have an unfavorable view on the Saudis. Thus Al-Dawsari felt not friendly much.

"Yuck, this shit place doesn't seem to be friendly with us."

The Saudis had already had tensions with the Qataris after losing 0-2, of course, the match wasn't important for them but sealing Saudi fate to deal with Japan. They really didn't need to have more with the Nepalis.

"C'mon, Al-Dawsari." Al-Bishi stated: "Wasn't it better now?"

"No." Al-Dawsari refuted. That was enough to say.

Waleed Abdullah paid attention when Jordan started to pressure Vietnam from the first minutes. Of course, considering the way Vietnam played against Yemen, he held Jordan more favorably than Vietnam: "I've said, Jordan will win. The matter is just the time."

"Deal." Al-Dawsari added.

Meanwhile, when they were watching, there was a special friend coming to them. The man asked for some good paying fees.

"Just some money."

The man sat down immediately behind them, just with something those Saudi players didn't like. The man looked average and quite not old or young, strange, for most of them.

He was drinking something, and Waleed tried to avoid. He was also pretty silent, and many didn't ask much from him either.

The feeling was extremely uneasy. Al-Bishi felt all because the man was extremely cold and hard to touch. Was it like someone weird? No one knew.

The man called for wines, a Chilean one, and drank. He had absolute no interest on watching football, but surely he was looking for something. Just for that, he asked if those men had something to deal with him. And Waleed asked him back: "Who're you?"

"Nothing much. Why?" The man responded coldly, and they tried to avoid him. The man, of course, was like something beyond their eyes, however, it created an uneasy feeling among them, something would remain for the later.

"My name is Logan. And done."

The man responded, before he left the stadium. He didn't want to tell anything, and all four Saudi players found creepy to face him. Logan …

"Huh?" Al-Dawsari got strange. Al-Breik tried to prevent, but for a moment, the uneasy feeling of the man named Logan would have become something pretty dark …

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The outcome of the encounter between Jordan and Vietnam was so shocking. After 120', Jordan and Vietnam went out with a draw 1-1. The Jordanians could not expect such fierce resistance and surprising encounter of Vietnam against her. Thus, this put great pressure. Not even said, they suffered their first goal conceded in the Asian Cup.

Outside there, far from the Al-Maktoum stadium, in Abu Dhabi, the Omani players headed to watch the match had been stunned.

"Damn …" Raed Ibrahim Saleh was shocked to see Jordan being forced to knockout stage. Of course, when the team was about to face Iran, Raed believed if Jordan could win, the Arab forces would progress. The situation between Jordan and Vietnam would decide that.

"Raed, do you believe on these things?" Mohammed Al-Musalami claimed a little: "Oman is seen weaker than Iran like how Vietnam is seen weaker than Jordan. So I would prefer a Vietnamese victory so it can inspire Oman to beat Iran."

"Wasn't that Vietnam and Iran in one group before? Vietnam lost 0-2. That's irony really." Muhsen Al-Ghassani spoke to them as Jordan started to take penalty.

"Hhhmmm …"

Outside there, Jordan scored their first penalty kick, and it was about the second one to be. Among those Omani supporters trying to enter the stadium, some neutral fans didn't hesitate to join.

Among there was Eru Chitanda, the girl which was described as "beautiful" by classmates. Along her, Houtarou Oreki also joined, but he didn't try to get enough interest on her as it would be silly enough.

The match between Oman and Turkmenistan, which Oman won 3-1, completely qualified Oman to the knockout stage for the first time. However, in the same stadium, they had to face a bigger and more powerful Iran, and adding that Iran was far stronger, it would be a great pressure.

Eru was about to enter, and she urged Oreki to be fast.

"Faster Oreki."

"I'm coming, Eru. Don't create so much heat for me."

Meanwhile, the Omanis got stunned with Jordan missed a penalty. As Vietnam led 3-1, Ahmed Samir had to take.

But he missed …

"ARGH!?" Muhsen Al-Ghassani got mad.

"So really, Jordan disappointed us greatly. I mean, Jordan played very good against Australia and Syria; but now being routed by Vietnam?" Raed Ibrahim Saleh spoke out.

"I think if Jordan can still equalize though …" Mohammed Al-Musalami tried to convince: "But …"

In the fourth one of Vietnam, the Vietnamese failed to convert, and this gave a line of survival for Jordan, being led 1-3 currently.

As Omani fans attended in large number, Eru Chitanda and Houtarou Oreki found themselves very hard, despite tickets were still freely sold. Sold with full money, full house, full attendance, but still many missing places to be found. Suck really.

Eru Chitanda was not a football fan, but she wanted to give Oreki some passion, and so she pushed him so hard to enter.

"Don't be a hardliner, Houtarou."

"Fine, fine. I'm in!"

The penalty ended in a complete defeat for Jordan, as Vietnam advanced, much to the surprise. Although Mohammed Al-Musalami was the first to aware, he could not believe it too.

Raed Ibrahim Saleh watched from iPad could not be more shocking.

"Bitch, bitch! Fuck this!" Muhsen Al-Ghassani disbelieved on his eyes too. The result was so shock that Al-Ghassani had to pray to hope Oman could prevail against Iran.

By that time, they tried to move to the stand, for certain.

Eru and Houtarou moved in successfully, and when they got into the stadium, they were some few lone fans that neither from Iran or Oman. Of course, it was good for them.

Muhsen, Raed and Mohammed ran to the stand, with so much disappointment. Of course, they didn't like it at all.

When they got there, they suddenly caught up with …

Eru and Houtarou were looking for seats when they met …

"Bang!"

"Ouch!"

"Who's that?"

Muhsen saw Eru and Houtarou, and he soon took them up. With their feeling on the same time, Muhsen asked: "Why are you here?"

"To watch and to help a friend." Eru answered happily: "The best thing I could do."

"Okay, then." Raed urged them to move fast when they had some moment to tell, of course.

Of course, they tried to avoid something massive, so they went on …

For Eru and Houtarou, they just needed to settle, and that was what they needed from it, anyway. Done …

Just that …

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The city again, it was at night, but by that time, there was a car. Not a taxi one, of course. So, it was …

"Mr. Uzumaki, I don't understand why da fuq you have so much controversies." Dora-the-Kid was the first to argue. In the car also hosted over few people there.

"That's my business." The man, nothing more but Naruto Uzumaki, with three others: Sasuke Uchiha, Sakura Haruno and Hinata Hyuga. Although just 17 years old, both seemed to be damned up for what they expected.

On the car, there had six people: Dora-the-Kid and Dora-nikov, both are renowned warriors who fought in major wars. Opposite side are Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura and Hinata, both are also badass, thanked for its ninja experiences and its wars, too.

What got the surprise was, Dora-the-Kid discovered Naruto had some close tie with some weird people, turned out to be Qatari players, and that he granted them night play, Naruto got slammed by Qatar's coach, Felix Sánchez Bas, who demanded him to show up.

Naruto, in exchange, accepted the proposal. Of course, Sasuke, Hinata and Sakura didn't understand this fact much. They're not football fans however.

Kid and Nikov urged them to leave before more troubles. They stood out, with Naruto confirmed he would trigger nobody.

But in the hotel where team Qatar based, Naruto was about to give a special meeting with someone. Sasuke, Sakura and Hinata requested Naruto to go somewhere, which Naruto agreed. He didn't want them to be too involved. When they left, Naruto started to get into the room where he suspected his partners were there.

He knocked the door, and …

"Naruto! Welcome buddy!"

"Afif brothers!" Naruto laughed, when he saw Akram and Ali Afif, the brothers of team Qatar. Originally from Yemen, the Afif brothers moved to Qatar and eventually became part of Qatari youth football system. The brothers, however, separated by ten years birth. Akram is 22 and Ali is 31.

Naruto got a surprise encounter with Akram and Ali Afif. Ali was more mature than Akram, and he understood the risk, as he was targeted by Felix, although no evidence had been proven. So Ali told: "Quiet!"

"Alright, brother. What should we play?" Akram asked: "Some game please?"

"Sure!" Naruto addressed as he began to play with them … card and casino.

Sasuke was actually not that foolish. He understood that Naruto had someone there, and he quietly spied from the outside. With his ninja skills, he was able to distract Hinata and Sakura, as he wanted to know what was Naruto doing.

And he saw all, from an unknown place near the window, thanked for his understanding of chakra, in which he had already been a master of it.

"Funny how Naruto could enjoy playing gambling with those Qataris."

He was serious, unlike Naruto, of course. But he respected Naruto because of common sense and good nature of understanding. On the same time, he could even hear the Colombian song "Adiós" of Los Tupamaros, a famous Colombian band of 1970s to 1990s.

Sasuke didn't have good sense of music, he had no interest on it. Therefore, he had no clue on Colombian music, anyway. But he felt what would be like for Naruto. He was happy.

"Haha, sound like Spanish-language music. Damn Naruto, no wonder why you get to this gambling controversy."

Sasuke would not even try to warn, and he thought Naruto should need to pay for the mess by his own, and that shouldn't be Sasuke's affair.

Akram and Ali kept gambling for a little, while Naruto started to ask:

"Some?"

"1/2." Akram responded.

"1/4, don't be fooled." Ali corrected: "If we lose all we will be fucked, idiot!"

Akram and Ali, of course, were not drug dealers, but playing gambling was the biggest interest of the brothers. As the room continued to be filled with Colombian and other Latino music, mostly Mexican, Peruvian, Cuban and Bolivian ones, they could make someone to think that this was a Latino room in the UAE.

Talking about those Qataris, since they are extremely rich, they don't need to work, and they still earn 25.000 to 35.000$ each days. Because of oil and gas, those Qataris got everything needed. No need the Emiratis, despite their current tensions.

UAE and Qatar are both some of the richest nations in the world. Unsurprisingly, Naruto's goal is to loot some money so he could buy some stuffs. Not sure for who.

Ali Afif and Akram Afif were not aware with the fact from Naruto until it was about to the call. Ali, however, sensed something from Naruto and he suspected from it.

But in the end, Naruto won big!

"I won!"

For a 17 years old boy, his ninja skills proved to be useful, and he got the need of money, of course, for a gift to the person he liked. Then, Ali and Akram startled: "WHAT?"

"And, goodbye." Suddenly, Naruto disappeared, as he understood that, it was the time the coach of Qatar returned. Soon after, Ali and Akram had not understood anything behind, until …

"FUCK!" Ali discovered something, but too late. Felix Sánchez Bas soon discovered their role, but not Naruto. Gambling too much, they got punished for a day and they had to fix the ground if they wanted to keep their position against Iraq.

Naruto was so successful, but when he returned, Sasuke stood behind him. Sasuke soon understood the motive of Naruto, and he started: "Uhhmm."

"Sasuke!? Really?"

"You stole their money for a gift to Hinata, right?" Sasuke explained.

"No, really." Naruto was stressful to take, but again, Sasuke with his calmness, proved to be effective.

"No need to hide. Anyway, you got a good capture, really."

"Hinata has nothing to do with this chunk of money."

"Stop being foolish, really? Why so much money?" Sasuke asked: "If not, I'll report."

"Alright, alright! I did try to help Hinata, for good greed." Naruto explained: "Best to give some cool money chunk."

"Then, buy it, which one?" Sasuke's eyes changed to sarcasm: "Really?"

Before the end, Naruto just laughed in a high rise building, which he laughed that it would be the best thing to occur, he just took some glad:

"It would be some of the best! Hah!"

"Haizz …" Poor Sasuke …

Chapter Text

Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

It was another early morning, but for someone, it was special enough. The eyes of someone watching from there, those Dipper suspected previously, tried to speak about them.

They might be some agents from Latin America. But no one knew anyway, because there was no clear evidence at all.

They chatted in Spanish, of course, to speak about those opponents they were talking, Japan and Qatar. None of them wanted to miss the game anyway …

But, let's talk on the other side.

A young boy arrived to a mosque. He was someone, and few had idea about him. He was about to make a pray, and his pray was powerful, and full of determination on the eyes.

He knew it would be the last day to stay, so he would use all energy to do this …

… him …

"Allah …"

… him, Supachai Jaided.

From a mosque, here went Supachai Jaided, the Thai player of War Elephant, a participant of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. Supachai Jaided's background is of Malay descent, a fact greatly affected to his behavior and his belief.

The Malays are an Austronesian people, and they are majority Muslims, the result of Islamization brought by Zheng He, a Chinese Muslim Admiral of Ming dynasty; and the Yemenis, mostly Hadhramis. Since they went to become Muslims, they remained their Islamic traditions, regardless where they live.

Malays in Thailand are no exception. Despite historical contacts and some violent annexation by Bangkok, the Malays remained Muslims in a majority-Buddhist country.

Supachai Jaided, a Malay in Thailand, is also a Muslim, too. And Supachai had nothing to be shy with. Thailand is a country traditionally, more tolerance toward non-Buddhists than any Asian nations. And because of this, he had no issue as a Thai.

On the way to go back to the base, where he would take care of his luggage to finally return back to Thailand, he met someone outside the mosque of cleric Abdulhakeem, a Malay-born cleric.

Here, he met an angry girl yelling and got mad, only to see she cried in front of the mosque's entrance. Supachai went down and asked the real background of it.

"Hi. Why cry there?"

"Hic …"

The girl was extremely hard to talk, but Supachai noticed on her notebook, and the name was clear: Taiga Aisaka.

Taiga had enough problems with her boyfriend, which remained unknown for Supachai. Supachai couldn't identify which one was the boyfriend, since Taiga didn't want to speak.

Taiga had issues with someone, only Taiga wanted to tell.

"Hic …"

"Come on. Tell me your issue." This time, Supachai got some response.

"My name is Taiga Aisaka. What's your name?" She responded quietly.

"Supachai Jaided." He represented himself: "Please, don't be scared."

Supachai wanted to calm the fear. Taiga and her boyfriend did have a big quarrel yesterday, it resulted with fighting and they separated for a week. This shocked Taiga much and she tried to apologize him, but unsuccessful.

Supachai wanted to speak about the boyfriend of Taiga, and Taiga …

"Why?" Taiga blamed herself: "It's my fault."

"I don't think it's yours. I think you're not acting enough." Supachai got a big smile.

In Thailand, some hot story to love should be expressed in secret rather than being blown up in surprise. Taiga rarely expressed it, until now.

Taiga Aisaka wanted to speak for it, and she admitted. She was in love but she failed to impress, and her bullyish behavior got her into unwanted tensions.

Supachai comforted her.

"Slow down, slow down, my friend." Supachai addressed "my friend" to show his friendliness: "You will overcome."

"Would it?" Taiga suspected.

"Yes." Supachai smiled: "Because, we need to smile and go on."

"How can I do that?" Taiga mentioned: "When?"

"Brave, and apologize him." Supachai told: "You're a good girl. I believe you will."

"Thanks."

A crybaby Taiga sitting with a Thai prominent rising football star, and they got a good time. Suddenly, they heard a call from someone else, mentioning Taiga.

"Taiga! Come here! He wants to apologize you!"

"Really? I want to apologize, too. Wait!"

Taiga ran quickly from where Supachai and she sat together. Taiga listened and found it was the voice of her boyfriend. She ran together and yelled: "Ryuuji!"

They soon showed some sense and blushes aftermath.

For Supachai, it was enough, and he was happy to see it. So, in exchange, he left the mosque, prepare to land back to Thailand, where he would begin to see his future in the brightest way. Of course, he scored in the match where his nation was defeated by the Chinese, but he was proud to do that.

And he left, with pride …

Chapter Text

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

With the team able to overcome India to qualify for the round of sixteen, Bahrainis celebrated greatly.

Today would be their encounter against South Korea, one of Asia's major hegemons. This posted great challenge for the Bahrainis because of their dream to repeat the 2004 campaign would face the Koreans.

But, Bahrainis had nothing to lose. They still remembered the miracle of 2007, when in Indonesia, they shocked Asia by beating their upcoming opponent 2-1. Of course, Bahrain couldn't progress unlike the South Koreans, who later rose from this defeat to win bronze, but they hoped they would scare the Koreans like how they did before.

And there had such optimism among them.

Along those optimists, included Mohamed Marhoon and Ali Madan. Madan and Marhoon thought highly about a win for Bahrain against South Korea was possible. They spoke on behalf of it.

Of course, there were some disturbances. One of those neutral fans, there had the infamous/famous Milo Murphy, grandson of Edward A. Murphy Jr., who was famous for his law named after his namesake: Anything go wrong will go wrong. Nonetheless, he was optimistic, like any other.

He tried to overcome with several Bahraini supporters, as many believed that South Korea would be defeated by Bahrain.

In the UAE, native Emiratis there are very supportive to teams from the Gulf except for Qatar due to recent tensions. Bahrain isn't exception, as Bahraini team received warm welcome and backup from locals, many perceived they would be the 12nd fan in the Rashid Stadium, the venue where Bahrain would battle South Korea.

Milo Murphy, of course, surely heard none from the tensions, and he just cared on the encounter between two. He hoped from it, it could reduce his bad luck. Well, he is always full of energy, though.

Mohamed Marhoon and Ali Madan walked to the ground, where they would take on the battle against the Taegeuk Warriors. For the Bahrainis, they also believed on the encounter against South Korea would give them luck.

And, that's it.

When Milo Murphy sat down, reporters soon asked various fans for prediction over the match, the Bahraini supporters were enthusiastic enough to speak in favor for Bahrain.

South Koreans stood on favor of their team one, because they were empowered by Son Heung-min. But that wasn't enough, of course.

Milo Murphy, for some reason, sat in the seat of a bunch of Bahrainis, many would cheer Bahrain. Enough was enough, Milo Murphy soon told about the possibility of a surprise, even when Milo was no soccer fan.

Then, came Milo …

"I think it would be a surprise." Milo Murphy stood for favor of Bahrain, perhaps. Of course, among fans and fans, he was just among one of them, and no one gave a damn.

Unfortunately, Murphy's speech would have become a disaster for Bahrain …

Marhoon and Madan spoke out, and they asked:

"How would you expect?"

"Bahrain!"

"May God be with us."

"May."

They all prayed, before stepped into the ground, but none could be ready to wait from the voice of the disaster named Milo Murphy, whom his prediction …

Would go wrong.

Suddenly, Marhoon felt something uncertain. He knew there was something abnormal, but he couldn't explain why. Madan asked what'd gone, but he tried not to talk.

For the best …

And, the result, well, matched with Murphy's disaster …

Chapter Text

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

But even before Milo Murphy arrived to watch South Korea vs. Bahrain encounter, he actually caused a lot of problem, thanked for his unwanted bad luck record. Seriously, Milo had trouble with his own, but he remained deeply optimistic, surely.

He just asked what had his grandfather, Mr. Edward, had something on his mind, really. But he still felt good …

Yesterday, before South Korea faced Bahrain, Milo did enter into a hotel where he was about to attend. Having witnessed the match between Saudi Arabia and Japan, in which Japan beat Saudi Arabia 1-0 to set up an important encounter with Vietnam, he would love to watch the match between Australia and Uzbekistan. For him, he thought simply: who speak English would be better.

And, Australians speak English.

Yup.

He just wanted to speak something, and so he asked someone to join the match. Of course, he somehow got for an invitation to …

"Interesting. Want to watch another one?" A girl, and no one but energetic Haruhi asking for her friends.

Yes, Haruhi Suzumiya.

Haruhi and her friends didn't have much thing to choose. For most of them, they only got some few smile from those like Kyon, Yuki Nagato, and else.

Actually, only Mikuru Asahina and Itsuki Koizumi joined as well.

Itsuki grew criticism to Haruhi's careless behavior, warned it would be pretty stupid to make it, having exhausted after enjoying Japan beating Saudi Arabia 1-0, they would never accept to depart to Al Ain.

But with Haruhi, she seemed to have a lot of energy. And for some reasons, she decided to make way urging them, too.

Of course, she didn't expect this.

Before going to watch the encounter, she met directly Milo Murphy. With a careless behavior and energetic attitude, she impressed Milo greatly. And Milo Murphy hoped the best for her that she would give her head focus.

Unfortunately, Milo Murphy, if Haruhi Suzumiya were able to know, was a bad luck boy. Haruhi didn't know this, of course, since she didn't understand much English from Milo.

And, of course, this was what happened next …

With coach Juan Antonio Pizzi got mad with entire of the Saudi squad, which failed to reply despite more time controlling the ball than Japan, the team's captain, Osama Hawsawi had to summon Fahad Al-Muwallad. Again, Fahad Al-Muwallad in story, yup.

Osama Hawsawi wondered what had gone completely wrong with Saudi Arabia, and why Fahad struggled too much to only fail in scoring. Fahad responded that, it wasn't what he thought about.

"Fahad, we need to talk outside. Inside, Pizzi will push anger on us. Get the hell out of there."

Osama suggested him to speak outside, but they would have to face something they never thought before …

Haruhi ran with the fastest way, perhaps going to the hotel's exit lobby road. Despite Mikuru tried to prevent Haruhi, she still risked to get into the fast speed train in the city.

But because of a mistake, Haruhi slipped down from the stair and immediately fell from there. Of course, lucky it was just second floor, but falling from there would be pretty disastrous. Mikuru understood that.

And …

"Ahhhhhhhhhh …"

Both fell hit into the garbage, where Haruhi and Mikuru all fell together into the same ground. Aftermath saw Mikuru woke up first after few minutes unconscious.

Haruhi, however, got something on.

Haruhi woke up from the garbage which had just recently, but she found everything was so dark and uncertain. She wondered was it too dark for her that she could see nothing. She wondered was it night too early, since the clock pointed also closer to sunset.

Something told the different.

Mikuru, on one side, was fine. But she couldn't imagine what would have gone next. She saw everything of Haruhi except …

Osama Hawsawi urged Fahad Al-Muwallad to be more energetic, because in recent big tournaments, he had proven nothing.

"Please, be smart! Be more elegant! Don't be a fool!" Osama yelled.

"Can you? I doubt it." Fahad argued back: "I've tried the best, for now. You're silly."

"Silly? Silly what?" Osama told: "I'm your captain, Fahad. You should respect me as your older brother."

"Me? To you?" Fahad found extremely unacceptable, he believed that he was insulted. Therefore a clash was about to come. Fahad asked Osama to come to an empty ground, where they could finish their business …

"Haruhi … your head …"

Mikuru could not admit what happened, but you could mention it. Mikuru found the head of Haruhi was inside a black flower vase, and Mikuru told something …

"Haruhi, your head … is in the vase … stuck!"

"Huh?" Haruhi tried to figure by raising her hands on, but neither could not touch the head. Instead, she could only manage to get with this vase. And by this meaning, she discovered that her head was stuck in the vase! She reacted in wary and struggled to get the vase from her head.

"HHHHHMMMMM … HHHHHHHHHHHMMMMMMMMMMM …"

"Oh dear!" Mikuru jumped out to help a struggling Haruhi to take the vase from Haruhi's head. This created a lot of trouble as the vase was too stuck than expectation. This was extremely hard.

Haruhi's struggle continued undebated.

"I'll help. Don't worry, I won't tell others." Mikuru tried to calm and slow down the pressure, but it was so hard.

Mikuru did help with full determination, but as Haruhi was struggling to take the vase out … and they went unknown …

Osama Hawsawi and Fahad Al-Muwallad went to an empty ground, where they could have enough drugs, they went on …

"FUCK IT!"

Pizzi is a good coach, but poorly known for lack of unity. For an Argentine, the Argentines were good at playing, but not coaching. Good Argentine coaches are many, yet rare truly unite with the team.

When they went to continue the fight, they went to an empty ground outside the hotel near the location of Haruhi and Mikuru. And they didn't know that …

A hard-trying Mikuru with a struggled Haruhi trying to take the vase from the head of Haruhi out, but it was hard. Haruhi could not even express a single word as her only word with the head in the vase was "Hhhhmmmmm …"

As she was trying to overcome with the head stuck, Mikuru made Haruhi feel hurt so much. Haruhi even wanted to cry, it was so painful to see her beloved head inside a vase and got stuck.

But as Haruhi was trying with help from Mikuru, they got into the empty ground outside the hotel, where a brutal fighting occurred between Fahad Al-Muwallad and Osama Hawsawi …

Since Haruhi was not aware with what's going outside, as her head was stuck in the flower vase, she didn't know that she would be hilariously, rescued by.

"Take this you motherfucker!" The voice came from the place where Osama and Fahad were fighting. They didn't know that the fight between them would have saved someone.

Mikuru was too wary to take the vase out of Haruhi's head, and she didn't know she was taking herself and Haruhi closer to the fight between Fahad and Osama. Osama Hawsawi and Fahad Al-Muwallad would have continued without realizing, and the same for Mikuru Asahina and Haruhi Suzumiya.

As Haruhi was still in struggle to free her head, she and Mikuru got into the brawl of Osama and Fahad. It caught up and then, they didn't know where to see or where to say. Nor even Osama and Fahad knew that.

And amidst the fight, the punch of someone among Osama and Fahad hit the vase, and only few later, the vase was broken down. Thanked for the punch, Haruhi escaped from being stuck within, but this was too much of course.

Haruhi fell down unconscious, but at least she was no longer having a head within the vase. Fahad and Osama kept fighting but not realizing it, until they went exhausted. By this point, Mikuru had to carry Haruhi out, with a lot of thing.

So much, of course. So much …

Chapter Text

Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

Of course, unfortunately, Milo's list of unlucky girls got in touch with him was just the beginning. After Haruhi, it was another victim to suffer, and no one else but …

Mathew Ryan argued how would it be, and this was after 120' on his match against Uzbekistan, which ended 0-0, which meant Australia was forced to battle on the penalty shootout.

"Kidding? Arnold, your tactics make us sick, really."

"Sick what?" Although Arnold had gained back respect, his tactics remained controversial for many Australian players. Of course, he was also there.

Outside the same stadium, however a girl walking there, was Rin Shibuya. Rin was buying some good stuffs to cheer with some of her close friends like Nao Kamiya, Mio Honda and Uzuki Shinamura. Of course, Rin wanted to end it quickly, as she only watched the match between Australia and Uzbekistan for 105' and left.

Buying some good stuff was her first.

She still remembered that she encountered Milo Murphy. Milo asked that if she would have interested to invite for dinner, and she agreed. She told that if Milo Murphy wanted to go, she would like to do.

Milo agreed and Rin allowed. But the time didn't allow her to stay.

Unfortunately, Rin didn't know that, Milo was the "king" of bad luck, due to the Murphy's law cursed by the trait of late Edward Murphy Jr., so she was still unaware with it. Unfortunately, it wasn't last long.

Ryan had prevented one penalty kick and denied another one! At this point, Mathew Leckie converted, successfully eliminated Uzbekistan 4-2 after penalty. The whole Australian players jumped, hugged and celebrated with a bigger chance.

And by this point, the happiest was Mathew Leckie, he ended the game after 120' by a kick that eliminated Uzbekistan, one of rising Asian hegemon. They could not feel happier and by this point, Trent Sainsbury decided to kick the ball out, without realizing it would be a …

… Trent kicked the Molten ball flying outside the stadium. Of course, no one gave a damn. Australian fans didn't care because they won. Uzbek fans didn't care, because they lost with so many missed opportunities. The ball flied with no direction, and surprisingly …

Rin Shibuya was on the run, and she found the match was over. Milo Murphy would have to go out later, so she had enough time to prepare, as Mio, Nao and Uzuki were preparing too. The rest was it.

However, a ball flying from nowhere started to fall. It went into the region where Rin was walking on. Unbeknown best for Rin, the Molten ball was about to crack down something and it started to fall. As Rin was walking, the ball hit into a wall where it had a pumpkin, and the pumpkin, unfortunately, was on fixing, and there was no one to take concern.

The pumpkin started to slip and unknown for Rin, she was walking to where the pumpkin was about to fall. And because of this careless situation, she would have to face an unwanted consequence. With Rin took care to deal, the pumpkin …

… it fell to …

"Bam!"

Rin got shocked, as she started trying to look around and around. But everything was pretty dark and that was so surprising! She didn't know how to explain, because it was too little to mention, and as such, she couldn't know how to react. And this brought fear for Rin …

She tried to understand what had just happened and she used her hands to touch on the head, but only when she found her hands couldn't touch on and on, she got startled and struggled to take the pumpkin out.

Pity enough? Not much.

But she was struggling! And she immediately realized: she got head stuck!

After the kick, Trent Sainsbury didn't give a damn to care on, and the whole squad of Socceroos went out. Mathew Ryan and Mathew Leckie got the most from the congrats, and all were prepared by good foods.

"Australia will conquer again!" Trent spoke out, and as the bus left. The bus of team Australia passed right on where Rin Shibuya was struggling to take the pumpkin out of her head. But for some reasons, they didn't know it. None of them.

Yup.

Rin Shibuya was on her struggle as Milo Murphy started to leave. She could not know what was she doing and she got too much problem to take the pumpkin out.

"So embarrassing …"

Rin's struggle to take her head out from the pumpkin resulted with many contacts, unwanted mostly. This caused her to get into an empty street lane, which Rin's struggle was ongoing.

Milo just tried to get away from the stadium. As such, he tried to get into the hotel, but he was prevented by someone, who he hit into together.

Guess?

Yeah.

Rin Shibuya, with the head stuck within a steel pumpkin, got hit to Murphy, and Milo Murphy realized her. The black clothes, and a cold-faced seriousness, tried to get the pumpkin away.

Milo was quick to respond, but he was a bit lousy. This made Rin feel so hard and she was still on the run to free her head from the pumpkin. Milo was still trying.

For Rin, this head stuck devastated her too much, and she wanted to cry only. Might be she would have to cut out. So ashamed.

Milo tried to save Rin again, but this time, he took a hammer, believing to destroy this steel pumpkin needed more than one.

Milo's way was a little violence. But if he wanted to have more, he could only have to mention a name: Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria, the late brutal drug lord in the history of Colombia. Because if Pablo had been asked to solve the head stuck of Rin Shibuya, he would have given Rin a silver bullet.

So, Milo was smart to not using it.

However, in the first attempt, he tried, he missed it as Rin's pumpkin head was moving. Rin always moved so many times, making hard for Milo. Perhaps, had Milo not greeted her with friendship and cheering attitude, he would have not brought bad luck to Rin. After all, Milo was the "king" of bad lucks.

However, when Rin was still on struggle, someone held Rin's pumpkin, and took the hammer, smashed down. Eventually, the steel pumpkin separated to two, and the head stuck situation of Rin was over.

Milo was surprised to see someone standing here, helped Rin. The face proved that he was an experienced man. A true guy really.

"Is there anyone more stupid like you really?" The guy responded: "Who else did that to you?"

None understood, and none could know who did. By this point, the man explained: "Try to be smarter, okay? By a way, my name is Renato Tapia. Keep that in mind."

"And, my name is Yordy Reyna." The other spoke to them.

Rin and Milo owned some great debts from them, but Milo smiled. Of course, he tried to speak, but Yordy and Renato all left without any traces. Rin, freed from this head stuck, still felt a bit freak. She tried to take all her falling stuffs, the result of the steel pumpkin fell into her head, and risked to go back to the hotel.

Milo Murphy also joined too, because he had something to fulfill …

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Of course, the list of Milo Murphy's tragic bad luck that day wasn't only Haruhi Suzumiya and Rin Shibuya. But for some reasons, there was always some good Latino guys who saw that, and they tended to let them go somehow, in order to free them.

Remember Haruhi's vase head stuck?

When Mikuru was busy trying to help Haruhi free her head from the vase, there were some Latinos, perhaps those related agents for upcoming Copa América, freed the victim. In fact, Haruhi would never be able to know how to free her head, had those guys not instigated the fighting between Osama Hawsawi and Fahad Al-Muwallad, two Saudi players in tensions after the humiliating 0-1 loss to Japan.

Coma … mierda!

And guess who?

Yordy Reyna and Renato Tapia were not the only. They cooperated with Gary Medel and Eugenio Mena, both were Chileans, to free the head of Haruhi. It was none other but Gary and Eugenio behind this.

But, it wasn't over. And they were wide enough, wider …

El Matadora and Dora-the-Kid spent some moment. Of course, with their fluency in Spanish, they could speak to each other in that language.

But they rarely did that.

"I won't speak to you my friend, but just in case. Where are Giovanni Simeone and Mauro Icardi?"

They'd walked and they knew that there were a ton of European and South American agents there, not to mention some agents from North America, like Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Jamaica, Honduras, the U.S.A., also collected information about Asian teams, then they would point some of the finest to go play abroad for them.

Kid was not truly passionate, but he cared for soccer. In Spanish, they said it as fútbol! Dora-rinho was the most passionate, but he forgot to gather with them today and it forced them to walk alone together.

Kid used to work in Mexico and Colombia outside Middle East, so his fluency in Spanish wasn't hard to realize. He still mentioned the tragic story of Andrés Escobar when he was guaranteed back home from Bosnia to enjoy 1994 FIFA World Cup held at home. Of course, in native language, and native here, is Spanish. Matadora could taste that

"Escobar's murder was shocking indeed. But we can change none. The Cali Cartel vs. Medellín Cartel, Gilberto Rodríguez vs. Pablo Escobar. And brutality became an option back then." El Matadora expressed: "A lot of fucked up thing. And those bastards are even more brutal, if we compare to those modern fuckers in the Middle East."

"For those son of a bitch still thinking that Colombia and Mexico, perhaps Venezuela, as murder lands, well, this time is changed to Yemen, Iraq and Syria. Maybe including Sudan."

"Yeah." El Matadora breathed.

Their word, only one, for this: simios.

They kept walking, of course, as they had a date with those Argentines who would enter the Zayed Sports City to watch the encounter between the UAE and Kyrgyzstan, for good.

In here however, another victim showed up. Previously, Milo had something to do with Rin Shibuya, but he also spent time. Kid and Matadora of course, wasn't aware with it.

On the stadium, here also a fan. A fan girl there who attended for some free moves only but when she was on the run to the stadium, it would go to be a complete disaster, too.

She was on the stadium when the national anthems of Kyrgyzstan and the United Arab Emirates were played. Buying ticket and to sit in an empty ground on the right of the stadium from the entrance of two teams, she was nothing else but Rize Tedeza, the girl from Rabbit House, a small coffee shop.

Rize Tedeza was watching with Cocoa Hoto and Chino Kafuu. They hoped it would make them get a better interest on the game, of course. And they expected much from watching a game like this.

Prior to that, Rize met Milo Murphy, who was also supportive for her business, and his cheerful attitude helped much. Unfortunately, same with Haruhi and Rin, Rize had not tasted the worst from Milo: his trend of bad luck. She would have to see that soon.

After going out, of course, she was about to talk over who should win. As neither could speak Arabic, Rize saw this a chance, and she told to pick those green or red shirts as winners. The atmosphere in the stadium wasn't really great, as entire of Eastern stand of Zayed Sports City was like an empty ground, contrast to the rest.

Of course, they had no clue about the appearance of Kid and Matadora there, those are immune to Milo Murphy's bad luck records. And thus, they could not be helped, might be.

Finally, Giovanni Simeone and Mauro Icardi showed up. Those Argentine men were annoying, but good enough to keep at bay. Kid and Matadora spoke on to them, in Spanish, for the first time, clear.

"Hay muchas cosas que hablar, ¿no es así?" (There is a lot of thing to speak, isn't it?) Kid told them.

"No tienes que tener cuidado. Estamos todos en." (You don't have to be wary. We're all in.) Giovanni was seriously, happy.

"Si hay otro Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria, será una mierda como la mierda." (If there is another Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria, it will be even shitty as fuck.) El Matadora expressed: "Y luego, tendremos el narco-fútbol." (And then, we will have narco-football.)

"Ahora estamos teniendo fútbol de aceite, en este maldito continente. Los árabes del golfo son los pichones más sucios que existen." (Now we are having oil football, in this fucking continent. The Gulf Arabs are the dirtiest fags there.) Icardi sent fires to make it cooler.

"¿Qué digo? Coma … mierda." (What do I say? Eat … shit.) Dora-the-Kid raised his hands, told what could have to happen: "Si tuvieran muchas drogas, entonces podríamos ver fútbol con un arma. Ahora, tenemos un grupo de retrasos que hablan árabe, que muestran superdeportivos mientras sobornan silenciosamente al torneo en su propio. Jodido torneo. Puta!" (If they had a lot of drugs, then we could watch football with a gun. Now, we have a bunch of retards speaking Arabic, showing supercars while quietly bribe the tournament into its own. Fucked up tournament. Fuck!)

Dora-the-Kid had watched previous Asian Cup, but the quality still the same: low, little supporters, corruption and lack of possible fan bases. Kid had watched football in his Americas, and Europe, he described it far superior than Asian Cup. Mexicans, Colombians, Brazilians, Argentines, Peruvians, Chileans and other Latinos would even fill up full. Americans would also enter the stade in large numbers. Europe, nothing to discuss.

"Venga. Necesitas permitirles más tiempo, hombre. Por supuesto, si ganan la Copa del Mundo." (Come on. You need to allow them more time, man. Of course, if they win the World Cup though.) Icardi calmed, and switched to English: "Time will tell."

"Yeah right." Kid breathed as he watched the game ongoing. Of course, after 45', it would be 1-1.

Rize Tedeza, Cocoa Hoto and Chino Kafuu saw how it went through: Khamis Esmaeel scored an early goal but Mirlan Murzaev equalized. The Kyrgyzstanis was fearless in the game, they encountered the match with full passion and they had nothing to fear of. After 45', the match ended 1-1 and coach Alberto Zaccheroni had to put the players in, questioning their abilities. By that point, Rize, Cocoa and Chino together entered into the balcony that covered by mirror around the stadium.

They wanted to have something, and so Rize entered to the restroom, hoping to solve some economic situation of the Rabbit House. However, what they didn't expect was about to arrive.

Rize after finished her job in the restroom, walked out. However, she didn't notice the wet floor, so when she walked out, suddenly something occurred. She got slipped as she was running, and without notice, she headed into something she didn't wish for …

"BANG!"

And only that, after Rize stood up, she only saw everything … dark …

"Plata o plomo." (Silver or lead.) El Matadora re-quoted words from Pablo Escobar, showed some level of brutality there.

"No seas tan tonto. Incluso cuando se habla español, usted no es un colombiano." (Don't be so silly. Even when you speak Spanish, you're not a Colombian.) Kid and Simeone mocked El Matadora: "Jajajajaja …"

"Puedes preguntar sobre los mexicano salta muros." (You may ask about border-crossing Mexicans.) Mauro even pulled into it: "Esos molestos mexicanos que solo se preocupan por … ¡narcos!" (Those annoying Mexicans who only care about ... narcos!)

"¿Incluso lo harías, Argenchangos?" (You would even make it, perhaps, Argenchangos?) El Matadora wondered: "Los mexicanos siempre se refieren así a los argentinos 'arjenchangos', ¿verdad?" (The Mexicans always refer Argentines 'monkeys' like that, right?)

By this point, the face of Mauro Icardi and Giovanni Simeone turned dark. In Spanish, the word "Arjenchangos/Argenchangos" is a combination between "argentinos" and "changos", which mean "argentines" and "monkeys". Those Argentines hate this so much, and they often refer the Mexicans and Chileans, who often have clashed with Argentines, as "mexichangos" and "chilindios".

Spanish language is funny because it combined words to become some hilarious ones. "Chilindios" means "chilenos" and "indios", translated "Chileans and "Indians" – of course, Indians are not people from India, but the natives, in scornful way. "Mexichangos", well, not much to say.

Mauro Icardi and Giovanni Simeone would have to be mad so much, but in such a stadium, they avoided fighting for good. Instead, they went in. Kid and Matadora tried to avoid it too.

"HHHHHHHMMMMMMMM!"

Rize Tedeza went to become the third victim of head stuck struggle, the legacy for her meeting with Milo Murphy.

And what occurred?

Thanked for this story: she slipped in a wet floor right in the restroom and her head surprisingly headed into the water can, which was used to pour water into the garden outside the stadium. This was the start of all stupidity and unwanted consequences.

Head stuck in a water can was something so unexpected for Rize. By this point, she tried to pull out, but it was too much and so she got head stuck.

The beautiful purple-haired Rize was trying to struggle, how surprising if she had a family that traditionally militaristic. Now, she was in the head-stuck situation.

"HHHHMMMMMMM …"

She tried to yell, but no use. It was so hard for Rize and Rize Tedeza was still trying to save herself from the unlucky head stuck. But, it was too hard …

And still, she could only yell "Hhhhmmmmm …" as she was walking without seeing anything but darkness.

Mauro Icardi and Giovanni Simeone walked in. They didn't like it overall, but they had no choice.

"Fuck them! We have enough problems. They think we're worth for joking?" Icardi spoke out.

"Ignore them, Mauro. There's nothing we can earn from it." Simeone calmed them, as they walked into the male restroom, pretty that one, the restroom where Rize entered, and where started her head-stuck struggle.

"Maricas!" (Bitch!) Icardi still felt a little insult: "Me follaré a esos mexicongos. ¡Tarde o temprano! Salta muros!" (I'll fuck those Mexicongos. Soon or later! Border jumpers!)

"El planeta de los Mexichangos?" (Rise of the planet of the Mexicans?) Giovanni soon realized how hot-headed Icardi, after he saw from him a mockery in the iPhone to all Mexicans.

Giovanni knew Icardi was extremely hot-headed, brutal by temper and un-controllable once there is a fight. Best, said nothing. They tried to pour out something in the restroom for quick.

But not long.

Rize Tedeza, struggling to free her head from water can, tried the best with all measures to free her head from the water can. She was still on her hardship, and she for some reasons, rode back to the restroom and whole thing, well, it happened.

Her head stuck somehow got hit to two men going out. It turned out …

It was that.

Mauro Icardi and Giovanni Simeone were on their business, as Giovanni calmed, but their brief short-temper discussion was interrupted.

And who did?

It was from Rize Tedeza. And her struggle on freeing her head from the water can got her contacted over to Mauro and Giovanni.

Mauro Icardi and Giovanni Simeone saw some surprise: a girl with her head stuck in the water can, trying to free and she knew nothing. This was so hilarious for them, as a girl with the head stuck, hit to them. They just felt … absurd. Rize, of course, only cared on to take her hands to pull the water can away from her head.

"Really?"

"Puta maricón." Mauro told: "A young girl there with her head stuck on the water can. Who else more idiot?"

Feeling a bit sorry, but Mauro's face was sadistic, completely frightening Giovanni. So they decided to do this:

Mauro in front, Giovanni in the back. They stood together with head-stuck Rize, and soon after, Giovanni comforted: "I'll help free you, idiot."

"Tres, Dos, Uno, Cero!" (Three, two, one, zero!) Mauro Icardi ordered Giovanni to hug Rize from the back as he got a little pressure. Of course, due to Mauro being a hot-head, Giovanni thought he was a moron because he didn't hesitate to make Rize hurt while trying to free her head from the water can.

But, sometimes, it needed violence. Like Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán did, might be? But El Chapo has his style, and Latinos tend to have a romanticize drama for it.

Argentina is also a Latin country, so unsurprisingly, Icardi has something with it.

When they were still freeing Rize's head, Mauro and Giovanni did not notice that, Cocoa and Chino were also walking out. The girls were talking about some good things, of course.

Then, for some hilarious reasons, Icardi walked into the wet floor, and he slipped.

"WTF?"

This pressure hit his asses, and he got a brief pain. However, it worked! The water can was completely out from Rize Tedeza's head, but she got a little frightening after the head-stuck situation.

Unfortunately, she would not be the first. The water can flied out from the hands of Mauro Icardi, but because it was no longer on the hands of Mauro, he didn't know it would have another consequence.

Immediately, the water can flied into another girl, which one of them would be unable to realize …

"BANG!"

Giovanni Simeone stood up after that hilarious fall of Mauro Icardi, but then, they heard "Hhhhhhmmmmmm …" from someone.

And, it was …

"Cocoa!" Chino and Rize were all shocked. Cocoa Hoto became the next victim, as the water can hit and got stuck into her head, which she could not see anything. And now she had to struggle, using all two hands to push the water can out, but it was so hard for Cocoa. And she was still struggling for it as the match had returned.

Cocoa Hoto, the next victim of water can and her head had been stuck within it. By this point, Mauro Icardi and Giovanni Simeone had nothing but to breathe … for this careless action.

"Puta … Coma … mierda."

Chapter Text

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

So, that was what happened yesterday. Haruhi Suzumiya, Rin Shibuya, Rize Tedeza and Cocoa Hoto, all went to become victims of Milo Murphy's good luck wish – turn into disastrous head-stuck. Of course, saying Milo was behind, wrong, because anyway, Milo is an optimistic and always thinks good for other, but the result of bad luck, occurred due to his grandfather Edward Murphy Jr., haunted much.

Talking about Cocoa Hoto, the girl whom her head got stuck into a water can following a slip of Mauro Icardi, you guess it. She had to struggle until Dora-the-Kid and El Matadora discovered it, since Mauro Icardi and Giovanni Simeone decided to go out after the incident. Of course, El easily took the can away from Cocoa's head, but it scared Cocoa for a moment.

Now, he was watching Bahrain vs. South Korea outside a fan zone near Rashid Stadium? Milo Murphy?

Of course, but unfortunately, his latest victim had just arrived. Right on Rashid Stadium …

Eli Ayase and Nico Yazawa were watching the match from the stadium, and witnessed the first goal from the stand, and they looked toward on it.

Dora-nichov, on the other wise, walked into the stadium's inside balcony, hoped to buy something on there. Of course, he today got together with Dora-med III, and it proved to be better at least, at least since Dora-med III spoke Arabic. Outside there, Tom, Jerry, Butch and Spike were busy eating popcorns, which Dora-med III had to buy some for them. Along them, was an UEFA official from Russia, Vladislav Antonin. And, Vladislav bought something too.

Nico Yazawa and Eli Ayase were cheering up, and they had a lot of thing to share of. Fan girls were always mature on the stadium, and naturally, it was good for them to get in line with many Korean girls there. Shortie, right?

Talking about Nico and Eli, both met Milo. But why Eli was busy to take the ticket in, Nico stayed a while and spoke happily with Milo Murphy. So in some instance, Nico would not know what next to her.

The Murphy's law.

As for those Korean players, South Koreans and not North, Ji Dong-won kicked the ball:

"Get it, girls!"

Ji Dong-won's superb kick was stunning, and one of them captured. Eli and Nico got their interests on their minds: "It's time!" They tried to cheer Ji to kick another one.

Ji Dong-won knew how passionate those fan girls regardless, so he would try to kick another one. Eli aksed Nico to take charge and capture the ball so it could become something good. Nico rushed it and raised her hands, ready for Ji's kick.

And Ji kicked up …

… but for somehow, it flied a bit too far stretch. Nico Yazawa discovered that but when she tried to run from up there, she didn't notice that it would be the result of something …

Then, the ball started to fall closer to the position of Nico, but since the stadium is small and didn't have a wall behind to protect, so if someone got slipped, it would be a pretty injury, even leading to death. Nico didn't know it and she was still focusing on capturing the ball of Ji Dong-won, while Ji turned into the tunnel listening to his coach, Paulo Bento. Oops.

Oh dear.

If that so, Nico should have been aware with it …

With Vladislav Antonin bought enough popcorns, he just wondered what could it be for a Russian in the UAE.

"I don't understand the shit there. WTF staying in the Emirates got?"

"Rich, hot boys, driving supercars, luxury I guess." Dora-med III explained: "But no hot women."

"Yeah, this shit enough." Vladislav walked on the balcony, and together with Dora-nikov and Dora-med III, they enjoyed some good things to mention. They chatted in English, to ensure that, as Vladislav couldn't speak Arabic.

Until something fell from the stand got them into a bit surprise …

"Huh?"

Nico Yazawa jumped with an attempt to catch the ball, but she forgot that her back was not fended with fence. As such, from the stand, she could have fallen from there.

And no one warned her?

Actually, yes. Eli Ayase after discovered she was about to get the ball too high, Eli tried to tell Nico, but too late. She fell from the Rashid Stadium, and then she cried: "OHHHHH …"

Of course, she failed to get the ball. But when she looked down, she got to know it would be … a garbage.

Damn, garbage. It would be even suck indeed.

After seeing something fell quickly, Vladislav Antonin tried to see what had gone. By this point, Dora-nikov, a pretty close and quiet-minded one, went aware with the fact and he soon looked down on. Finally, he told: "(Come! Someone had a trouble.)"

"Huh?" Dora-med III walked to Nikov: "What happened?"

"(Look …)" Dora-nikov was determined to do so. Vladislav and Dora-med watched down, only to see that … it was a garbage, oh dear. And, a girl got stuck in the garbage. Of course, just some nilon bags outside, it had nothing to be hard to get out.

The problem, and most hilarious, however, just arrived.

"And? A dumb idiot with her pantie revealed, lmao." Vladislav laughed, with a sadistic face: "Shit."

"(Not that only.)" Nikov told: "It was …"

When Nico Yazawa fell, she was lucky to fell into a garbage can, which she was saved and not dead. However, when she turned up, everything around her remained extremely dark. And for this reason, she found herself in a real trouble!

Head stuck!

She got stuck in another flower vase, this time it was big and fit enough to make her head stuck within. After using hands but unable to touch the head, she started to face a lot of trouble. She tried to put the vase from her head, while yelling "HHHHHMMMMMMMM …"

It stuck! So, the kick of Ji Dong-won made Nico fail to get the ball, and she fell into the garbage. Even after getting out from the can, her head hit within the pink vase.

And that, Nico struggled to free her head.

"LOL!" Vladislav couldn't explain. The 20 years old Russian official for the UEFA wanted to laugh so hard.

"Do you have a slingshot?" Dora-med III asked Vladislav.

Both three watched out this. Then, Dora-med III received one from Dora-nikov. This time, no wasting, Dora-med III used a small rock, hope to break through. He counted on time.

"3, 2, 1. Boom."

Dora-med III fired, but Nico's head in the vase bowed down, and it hit an anonymous car's door. Dora-med III opened his eyes big, asked: "WTF?"

"Let me try." Vladislav was confident and he took the slingshot, hopeful on taking down the vase to free Nico's head.

When Vladislav aimed to the vase, he started to brag out from his family trait: "Dora-med, focus more, man. I have been trained from a military family. My dad was a former Chechen war soldier, and my grandpa was a late Soviet soldier on the war against Nazi Germans. They're both snipers and I've that hawkeyes to finish it … so I am gonna …"

Instead, he had not even aimed to the vase outside Nico Yazawa's head, but to the sky! And he fired, with much surprise of even himself and those two Doras. Eventually …

… it hit a bird and killed him.

"Shooting a vase, or shooting a bird?" Dora-med questioned: "Dickhead."

"Have you shot directly? Lol." Vladislav argued back: "You're not even a soldier."

"Then fuck, you failed miserably. You shot a bird instead of a vase outside the head of that girl. Lol." Dora-med mocked: "Don't brag anything, boy."

"Shut up moron." Vladislav kept arguing. And two had a short argument.

Meanwhile, Nico could not see. Although it was lucky that Eli saw her, but seeing her friend's situation, she couldn't feel suck for her.

"Hang on Nico!"

Ji Dong-won, from the field, asked: "Where is she?" Eli told that she fell from the stadium, but hit the spring buffer, so Ji guessed that Nico was fine. Of course, Eli wanted to get out from the stadium, but she couldn't because it meant she had left the stade. Nico, by currently, had officially out from Rashid Stadium thanked for the slip.

But Nico had to care on freeing her head. Stuck on the pink blossom vase, she could not even see anything and at this point, she tried to free her head out. She tried to yell, but only "HHHHMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM", at best.

However, she would not have to wait long like Haruhi, Rin, Rize and Cocoa. Something hit into the vase and it cracked down two minutes later, as she was still using her hands to pull the vase from the down.

And that's it.

Nikov quietly showed why he was the most resilient. He used slingshot, aimed to the vase and wasted no time to shoot, resulting with the break of the vase. Vladislav and Dora-med III could not be more shocking than.

"Wow …"

"(One thing: talk less.)" Nikov urged them to remember, and gave Vladislav the second slingshot he brought to, and quietly left back to the stadium. Vladislav Antonin and Dora-med III had nothing but to feel a bit shame from it.

However, Vladislav and Dora-med also understood that, freeing Nico's head was not the first …

Because, Nico fell out, and she was counted as going out from the stadium. After being freed surprisingly, with no clear who did, Nico then saw a little, only to find out …

"I am outside the stadium? Oh no! NO!"

This meant, she had to risk something. Oops, too much. This time, Milo's bad luck wasn't only head stuck, but could not attend the game for the last! This was even more terrible, for Nico.

Eli saw it, and now, she had to find out a long rope to help Nico climb before the end of second half.

As for Ji, well, he didn't care after that.

Chapter Text

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

And, the head stuck cause, thanked Milo Murphy.

But … Milo, you got a friend there.

"Ouch!" Milo realized his friend, Melissa, was finding him: "You're kidding me …"

"Well, you won't try to create over five 'head-stuck' situations like that, ya?" Melissa mocked: "Don't bring more bad lucks, really, even if I prefer to hang out with you."

Melissa Chase, yeah. She was the girl who found Milo Murphy on the fan zone of team Bahrain during its match against South Korea. No hesitation, she took on his right ear, accused him for creating head stuck situations. Worse, Melissa is a female, herself.

But perhaps, some few people immune with Milo. Melissa is one of them.

"C'mon, why don't try to …"

"Just go back, and I don't want to wait. Thank you." Melissa carried out.

So, what gave?

Melissa had been walking behind Milo as Milo Murphy wanted to discover some new people, but she is aware with his bad luck records. She knew that if he met someone few days in the UAE, they would have troubles.

And she learnt it.

His five unlucky girls, Haruhi Suzumiya, Rin Shibuya, Rize Tedeza, Cocoa Hoto and Nico Yazawa, whom he met with friendliness all ended up head stuck with something. To prevent another, Melissa escorted him back, while Zack Underwood, his friend, tried to see why.

Of course, Melissa didn't wish, but it was a forced decision though.

And, that was it.

Done.

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Unfortunately, even when Melissa Chase had escorted Milo Murphy back, perhaps to do something, the bad luck trait had not finished enough. There was still one person who had contacted with Milo itself, and it would have become something …

Yup.

Prior to the important encounter between Qatar and Iraq, two Gulf neighbors, yesterday Milo also met a girl after leaving Rin's room. Her name is Stella Vermillion.

Very funny how Milo got a surprise meeting with a Princess. Really. With a nice attitude, Milo Murphy got a good conversation with Stella, and expected something good for her.

Sadly, Stella had not seen the bad luck side of Milo. As again, Milo Murphy isn't a bad guy, but because of his grandfather Edward, so he had to deal. But his optimistic was a good thing.

Of course, it had something salty of.

Today, Stella got a moment to discover football on her eyes. Outside the stadium, two late comers, Dora-rinho and Wang Dora, arrived. Initially, Dora-rinho was set to go with Kid and El Matadora, but it ended up he thought he would have a trip with Wang Dora.

"I thought you would go with Kid and El."

Having to say, Dora-the-Kid and El Matadora enjoyed the match between the UAE and Kyrgyzstan alongside Giovanni Simeone and Mauro Icardi until a small incident occurred inside. What incident, they didn't tell. Dora-nikov and Dora-med III also shared similar one, though their guests Vladislav, Tom, Jerry, Spike and Butch later tried to avoid talking about it.

Wang Dora and Dora-rinho attempted to seize some good, small sausages for good dinner. Sounds fair indeed.

There, it got Neymar who disguised pretty well with Wang Dora's help. Neymar's disguise was so good that even guards had been tricked and not recognizing they would have hosted a super famous football star. Neymar disguised as a gothic rock lullaby boy wanna riot, his hair looked badass, with sunglasses covering around his eyes. That's Neymar, boys.

Even he faked his name as Narmey da Silva.

"OMG Narmey!" Wang Dora hugged with his result, and slowly spoke: "Or I said, Neymar."

"You help me a lot brother." Neymar said: "From the clothes, disguise, etc. I wanna know how good those Qataris are. You help me this time."

"No problem." Wang said: "Enjoy with Dora-rinho."

Dora-rinho and Neymar are surprisingly best friends. Both are Brazilians, they share Portuguese language to discuss, and their love for football can't be matched. However, for Neymar's identity, Dora-rinho often referred as Narmey, even though his forgetful brain almost caused Neymar's identity.

Walking into the stadium, there had been a lot of fans, mainly Iraqis. Yeah, because of anti-Qatar blockade, Qataris are prohibited from entering the stadium against Iraq. Iraqis, on the other hand, formed a large portion of foreign population in the country, and its close linguistic tie helped them greatly.

Stella Vermillion, and of course, with Ikki Kurogane and Touka Toudou, sat to watch the encounter between Qatar and Iraq. Fans yelled "Iraq" every times they could, proving that it would work.

Touka Toudou however, had some bad mod with several guys there, as she clashed with them previously. Mostly Iraqi expats, whom she and they got a fight. Those Iraqi expats, which Touka remembered: Ahmed, Mohanad and Abdulaziz, suddenly, were there too.

They were brothers from the Bellal family, a family of Blazers from Iraq. Despite this, the Bellal family had already moved to the UAE and became Emirati citizens for nearly 15 years ago, enabling them to live and work as Emiratis. The family has a strong relationship with two most powerful royal Emirati families: the Al Maktoum and Al Nahyan families. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum even invited the family for dinner.

Touka greatly hated them because of their behaviors. Rude, arrogant, and full of powers, of course, their wealth. They attempted to make a R-18 incident with Touka, but Touka proved her toughness, beating both three to finish the job. That was what happened yesterday.

Ahmed Bellal is 18 while Mohanad Bellal and Abdulaziz Bellal are just 17, same with Touka. Stella and Ikki, of course, didn't know this outside the story of a powerful Blazer family from Iraq. Both the three brothers, as Touka knew, are arrogant and selfish, as well as rude. Touka knew that they would not forgive easily, so armed herself quietly. She didn't know where would they be, but she sensed their smells.

On the other hand, Abdulaziz Bellal realized Touka on an empty ground in the western stand of Al Nahyan Stadium. He alarmed them.

"That bitch is back! I saw her."

"Where?" Ahmed asked.

"In the near corner right from my eyes in the stand of Al Nahyan Stadium." Abdulaziz told: "That whore beat us yesterday. We'll make vengeance."

"Calm down, brother. She already brought a fucking retard named Ikki Kurogane. We will have to lure him out." Ahmed said: "Eliminate that ladyboy and we will handle that whore."

"Oh, I want to have some good sex now." Mohanad added: "Have we seen her?"

"Yes. Wait, until new order from big brother." Abdulaziz calmed, ready for the plan.

The match started.

After first 15', neither side could break through. The Iraqis increased their pressure. By that moment, Iraqi pressure continued, but the Qataris were really good, they pushed the Iraqi attacks from Mohanad Ali and Amjad Attwan. Amjad yelled: "FUCK!"

"Fucking these Qataris, you won't save yourself easily." Ali Faez marked: "By a way, fucking Basham Al-Rawi, traitor! Remember where you belong to."

Ali Faez obviously referred to Qatar and one side, to Basham Hisham Al-Rawi, Qatari player. The main reason? Because his dad was a former Iraqi international player at 1990s, but he chose to represent Qatar. For the Iraqis, a traitor of Iraq would never be forgiven, and Basham was nothing but a traitor.

"You retard. I was born in Iraq. I wanted to represent Iraq. And what did they say? I was disqualified while previous coach said I had full potential." Basham warned Ali Faez: "If I were 'qualified', I bet you Iraqis would not even respect my position. At least the Al Thanis respected mine."

"Talk less, traitor." Hussein Ali echoed: "A traitor of Iraq, forever a traitor. Hope the UAE and Saudi Arabia bomb you."

Tensions between Iraqis and Qataris on the field had been seen deeply, with the feeling in angers of Iraqi players like Ali Faez and Hussein Ali speak about.

Then, Almoez Ali cheered Basham Hisham: "You're fine, Basham. Don't listen to them. We both speak one language, right? We're proud, but we fear none."

"Thanks, Almoez. Insha'allah, may God bless us." Basham told: "Respect."

"May God be."

For the Iraqis, Basham Al-Rawi, an Iraqi, wore Qatari shirt, made them feel betrayed a lot. The Iraqis and Qataris played like fighting with no mercy.

Coach Srečko Katanec ordered the Iraqis to slow down. However, as the time went, the Iraqis started to face problems which Katanec didn't wish for.

As for Ikki, he started to have a brief tired, and he slept. Of course, he knew the match would end after a whistle, but must be after 90'. And it was just 35'. Touka and Stella, on the other side, held a good discussion to only discover that someone was about to replace.

"Uh, that's harsh …"

Yeah, they're girls, they didn't know much on football.

Humam Tariq, nicknamed "Terminator", had suffered unwanted injury and Iraq sent Ali Husni in response. This drastic change forced coach Katanec to have a plan B.

"FUCK! Humam is our important good in this battle."

Katanec hated it.

He saw it. He didn't want his players to be drained, but it was too much and too ugly. Humam Tariq cried so hard after he had been carried out by medics. He couldn't stand it, tears flew from his eyes.

Qatar and Iraq remained stalemate. 0-0 was the result of first half.

And, that's it. 45' and no goal. Ikki woke up, and asked whatever he could. And Stella suggested him to go to the restroom, while she and Touka would have some good talk.

On the same stade too, Neymar/Narmey also suggested Dora-rinho to say something more, and they chatted with each other in good sense. Said, Wang Dora after reading a book, asked: "Wanna eat something?"

"Yeah. Ice creams?" Dora-rinho requested.

"Okay." Wang Dora dragged himself out and went to buy something …

However, Touka and Stella had not seen their real enemies. Ahmed, Mohanad and Abdulaziz gathered friends, Muamer Kharbi and Rashid Mejad, both are also Blazers, to make ready. They sent message in Arabic and quietly entered when Touka and Stella got in. Muamer is the same age with Ahmed, while Rashid is the same to the remaining two Bellal brothers.

They carried out two abandoned stage lights, wanna make some fun. Muamer and Rashid sneaked out from there, as Ikki went to the restroom. Ikki would have been carefully watched by the Bellal brothers, with Ahmed carefully watched him.

Mohanad and Abdulaziz walked too.

Touka and Stella still walked and they were not aware, though Touka's sense was clear, danger was near. But she knew none.

Neither Stella.

But, it was not easy like that. Because those two who did are loyal to Bellal brothers. Muamer and Rashid, carried two abandoned stage lights and was about time.

And as such, Touka and Stella, kept walking in the balcony without total aware, went sneaked by …

"One, two, three."

Touka, suddenly, tried to warn Stella, but …

"BANG!"

With Wang Dora, he just tried to buy three ice-creams. But as it wasn't done, he suddenly faced something. He did smell something, as someone walked out from the stadium's restroom.

"What the hell?"

He carefully watched, and watched, only to get a full surprise …

"HHHHHMMMMMM!"

Stella and Touka got head stuck! But before trying to see, Muamer and Rashid, having put these stage lights on their heads, pushed them to Abdulaziz and Mohanad. The two brothers could not be happier and took head-stuck Stella and Touka into Ahmed.

So, Ahmed was actually the man who beat Ikki unconscious, and then locked the toilet's door, carefully walked out like it had never happened. With it, Ahmed Bellal only waited …

… and not really long.

"Brother, those bitches are there. We make them head stuck!"

"Cool. Now, I want to teach them a lesson."

Wang Dora discovered that two head-stuck girls were brought by two morons to a boy standing in the toilet's entrance. Following that, two other boys also attended.

Wang Dora wanted to punish them … but he needed to see why …

Stella and Touka suffered head stuck, another victims for meeting Milo Murphy. And, Stella with Touka, having their heads stuck on the stage lights, struggled to save themselves, yelling only "HHHHHHHHMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM."

But for Ahmed, it was a good punishment.

"Whores. You try to mess with me, bitches?"

The girls soon heard the voice, but due to head stuck, they could see none. They tried to free their heads out with no use, and their nerves started to lose.

By this point, Ahmed lured them, and began to make his sexual harassment. He told Mohanad to give him a knife, and cut their clothes, in order to see their double-mountains. What a brutal monster.

"Now, I'll teach you for what you did."

But, Wang Dora, with his typical behavior, knew what should he do. He threw an arrow to the knife as Ahmed attempted to cut Touka's clothes.

"BANG!"

Ahmed got shocked, as he had never imagined this. He guessed someone challenged him, but Wang was quick to give him a strike!

A superb kick to Ahmed's face!

"BAM!"

"WHAT?" Both four others started to raise their swords, wanted to empower themselves. But Wang Dora, with full knowledge, reacted by quick kicks, his kicks he learnt previously, with Chun-Li strength.

"What the …"

None of those Iraqi Blazers had martial arts, and they couldn't act fast enough. Got beaten and severed injuries by fast reaction of Wang Dora, they startled: "YOU! I SHALL …"

"Remember, one last thing." Wang Dora ended by grabbing a smoke bomb: "Boom!"

"Huh?" Ahmed, got severe injuries, yelled: "WHO? WHO DID …"

But it was too late for them, and Wang rescued two head-stuck girls away from there, as smoke bomb covered their escape …

And, what's next?

"Thank you brother Neymar. Own a great debt from you."

"That's fine. Keep going, Basham."

Dora-rinho and Neymar carefully watched the match, as they got a surprising visit from Basham Al-Rawi.

Basham, though only discussed a little, told that he would love to be in Brazil one day. Neymar nodded and hoped the best for Basham. Basham thanked and expressed the best, and admitted he felt quite lonely as he got smeared by many Iraqis for representing Qatar.

He still loved Iraq deeply and hoped to be back, but what to say?

Neymar said, people had nothing to get affected. It needs time. Neymar, disguised as Narmey, cheered Basham and told him to continue. It was …

But, aftermath, Wang Dora forgot to buy ice creams, so after freed the heads of Touka and Stella, he had to return quickly.

On Neymar/Narmey and Dora-rinho, they kept chatting as the second half began.

Stella and Touka were a bit shocked, but then they realized, where was Ikki? Ikki was … uh oh.

Ikki woke up after the injury, and he lost a little to return back to the seat with a small injury.

For Basham Hisham? He responded by scoring a goal against Iraq in the second half, a superb freekick that would eventually become the only goal of the match, eliminated Iraq, in process. Neymar must be proud …

Yeah …

Chapter Text

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

But that wasn't over.

Milo Murphy, nuff said, had been escorted by Melissa and Zack. But when they returned to the hotel, thing didn't always get something. Of course …

There was still another victim there. And this time, Milo had to witness it. Even Melissa and Zack. They couldn't believe it, and Milo …

"Oh dear …"

So this was how it began:

This story was the story of Shinka Nibutani. Milo also met her at the morning, deemed to have some good luck for Shinka over anything. Shinka thanked for his niceness and went out.

Unlike other girls, Shinka didn't want to attend the stadium. Of course, in there, she was asked by Yuuta to go and attend the match between South Korea and Bahrain. However, she refused and without Rikka as well, Yuuta decided to cancel the attempt to go to Rashid Stadium.

However, while Shinka was attempting to deal with her business, she entered into a stage where she found extremely huge and big, she got hit into a cabinet, and surprisingly, and a trumpet fell. This was just a small trumpet, but unfortunately, it followed with a bigger tuba!

After the small trumpet hit to the head of Shinka, making her felt a bit hurt, she realized a bigger tuba was about to fall, and she tried to run.

But too late.

It hit directly to her head, the hole of the tuba which used to listen. And after that, she fell out …

… only to later, she found her head got stuck with the hole of the tuba. On the same time, Rikka Takanashi arrived and she was surprised to see a head-struggling Shinka trying to free the tuba from her head.

Rikka, for most, still suffered "chuunibyo" as for the result, thought that Shinka Nibutani with her tuba head as a monster, and that her as a sorceress must beat the monster. By this point, the head stuck situation of Shinka became worsened with Rikka surprisingly bang into the tuba. The head of Shinka only felt more pain, but she couldn't express, with only "HHHHHMMMMMM …"

The stage was near to their hotel, where Milo and his friends also sat.

But it only increased the madness. Yuuta, who later found the noise, discovered a head-stuck Shinka trying to run away from being routed by Rikka. Because Yuuta had no longer suffered chuunibyo sense, he tried to save Shinka by taking her to the hotel's backdoor, where no one could see Shinka's head stuck, while Rikka had been prevented by her sister, who was shocked to see Shinka's situation.

And, they tried to take the tuba out, but there was a surprising appearance …

"Okay, I see." Milo got surprised: "But no worry, I will help."

"HHHHMMMMMMMMMMMM …" Shinka tried to respond, but her head-stuck in the tuba's mouth only made it looked pathetic.

"I'll try." Zack started to help, as Zack, Milo and Yuuta grabbed the tuba while Melissa held Shinka's body, hoped to pull the tuba out of her head.

"1, 2, 3!"

By a strong force, they finally pulled the tuba out of Shinka's head, but Shinka was so shocked that she felt unconscious immediately. Rikka, on the other hand, spoke shortly: "Shinka … are you fine?"

"Haizzzz …" Zack could not be happier …

Of course, they had done. Milo had also done now, he should gather Melissa and Zack for some private businesses.

For Rikka, Yuuta and Shinka, they had to return back. Of course, Shinka would have to suffer a fear of tuba for a moment, for the head-stuck caused to her previously.

Yup.

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Rikka Takanashi had something she still struggled with …

As she with her friends arrived to the city, there are still only Shinka Nibutani, Yuuta Togashi together. Shinka, however, felt ashamed of what happened, covered with a pretty long-stylish woman hair. The horror memoir from the head-stuck story still haunted her.

Yuuta, however, had a good connection with some several guys there. With Shinka this time refused to go out after the fear of what had happened, another tuba would fall into her head, or something else?

Yuuta tried to cheer Rikka for what she needed, but the trauma of her still not fully recovered. She had no clue of what would be next.

After beating Thailand 2-1, coach Lippi ordered the team to make serious watch on the national team of Iran, its upcoming opponent. Iran was currently Asia's hegemon, and it gave a huge pressure for Lippi. By that moment, Lippi ordered the whole team to rest.

This time, Yan Junling, Wang Dalei and Feng Xiaoting all left the ground. Their feeling was mixed up, but all ended same note …

"Iran … Fuck."

Plenty of reasons for them to despise Iran, since Iran has played in five World Cup and China has still had one, the only 2002 edition.

For the Chinese, Iran was a serious opponent, and as high as South Korea, Australia and Japan. The Chinese were beaten 0-2 by South Korea in the group stage, of course. But Iran was far ahead than the South Koreans, due to more organized defense and hard nut. Iran almost eliminated Spain and Portugal, and China must watch out.

Yeah …

Yan Junling walked out with a lot of breathe. He never wanted to see this, as because he is a goalkeeper and he knew the threats of Iranian players. Those like Mehdi Taremi, Mahdi Torabi, Ashkan Dejagah, yeah, they knew it.

Yan however, had more to fear. China's football corruption is still problematic, though not as serious as before. So, Chinese guy had a lot of wary.

He feared his teammates might cede the game for Iran too early, so he had told Lippi earlier that, he wanted his boss to carefully watch out all players of the team, as he feared there must have someone paying corrupt money. Lippi agreed and planned to make the outcome clear, though he wasn't a spy chief.

Rikka, on the other hand, sat in the ground steppe near the F1 arena. Yuuta tried to help her.

"What's going on, Rikka?"

"I … I can't forget …"

"What?" Yuuta tried, but soon realized what Rikka needed. Unfortunately, he had no clue. But he saw her chuunibyo cancer might be back, so he tried to grab a mirror.

"Now, what have you seen? Please tell me, Rikka. Don't be …"

In the street, Yan Junling, Feng Xiaoting and Wang Dalei together entered the steppe outside F1 arena. They felt a deep impression despite their own Shanghai F1 arena is even larger.

"What a host. Damn."

"We also have our own F1 arena. China UAE."

"For 1 billion?"

"Boom!"

"Hahahahaha …"

They entered the steppe, and looked for a moment.

Those Chinese guys really didn't respect their Emirati hosts much. Yeah, because they're also as rich as the Emiratis. However, given its political agenda, the Chinese are dispised, such as not eating the host's prepared local foods but instead demanding Chinese one, or using Chinese instead.

The Emiratis had to put a sign: speak English or Arabic. Enough is enough.

Of course, that would be a bit harsh. But citing with one billion people, one billion Chinese, they guessed how hard could it be.

Yan Junling, Feng Xiaoting and Wang Dalei would have walked with nothing to smell, until they heard someone tried to calm sorrow …

Rikka addressed much, and her feeling changed. She couldn't forget the image of someone on her life, which only Yuuta knew:

"Please, Rikka. You have to forget and go on. If not, chuunibyo disease will haunt you back."

"I can't … Simply …"

Rikka needed a hug. And with Yuuta, he soon realized what should he do. So he decided to hug on Rikka. That could be it …

… but …

When Yuuta started to hug on Rikka, suddenly, Yan Junling, Wang Dalei and Feng Xiaoting arrived. This time, they caught up the scene of Yuuta and Rikka, with Yuuta might try to kiss. However, it turned out to be a problem …

Feng was surprised: "What?"

Yuuta and Rikka got startled, but Yuuta calmed easier than Rikka. With Rikka, she feared someone discovering her problem, so she attempted to run away. But Yan was quick to tell: "Please, don't run. I am going to hurt no one."

"What?" Yuuta attempted to hold Rikka as Rikka was about to run: "Rikka, hold on. They're not bad guys."

"How?" Rikka distrusted: "How do you know?"

"Because we're not bad guys." Yan told: "I guess you have a disease, right? Chuunibyo?"

Yuuta was surprised, Rikka didn't understand. His two Chinese friends didn't get the fact. Yan Junling, however knew it.

When he was at the university, one of his friend, a girl, suffered similar chuunibyo disease, and she got into her illusion. Yan tried to understand, and he finally helped free her. This was the first time he encountered that, but he since then knew more about chuunibyo disease.

That helped Yan.

"Girl, I don't know your name. But, please, I guess you have a tragic story that led you to this, right?"

This time, Rikka sat back. Yan Junling, at the surprise of both Yuuta Togashi, Feng Xiaoting and Wang Dalei, started talking with Rikka Takanashi: "Do you believe?"

"Well … I … I'm trying to overcome my chuuni …"

"Don't say, I know, okay?" Yan took on: "You must have lost an important person, and you got stuck for a year."

"Dad …" Rikka startled, as Yan went further: "Your dad, right?"

Rikka tried to speak out, but this time, she couldn't stop thinking. Yan Junling tried to go further, but he understood this kind of classic chuunibyo, so he tackled on the family tragedy.

Rikka, this time, quietly remembered.

Her father, a very good man. A man who cared on her and the family, but suddenly, he passed away without a clear reason. Nobody knew.

Yan didn't know, but with Rikka's word "Dad", he quickly responded: "Your father was a great man. But he would not be happy to see you keep remembering him. He wanted you, to keep fighting, do the best, this should be what you honor him. Not to be stuck in a fake story."

Rikka, this time, couldn't stand over. And she cried …

She hugged to older Yan, as Yan Junling also hugged Rikka as well. Rikka cried as she couldn't forget her father's image. That was what Yan targeted. It took him just five minutes.

Feng Xiaoting surprised with this: "Wow, very …"

"This is typical. I've dealt as a freshman." Yan explained: "This case is just the repeat of it."

Wang Dalei could understand what Yan told them now. For Wang, this was "chuunibyo", a kind of disease which people fell into illusion after losing something or, devastated. Although he wasn't clear about that, he was glad to examine all of these.

And, yes.

Yuuta agreed with how Yan solving the problem. Beyond the wind, they were glad … to do so.

Chapter Text

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

So it came again, the same Al Maktoum Stadium.

The stadium was where teams like South Korea and Saudi Arabia marched to victory. Being upgraded for a year, this stadium was more modern than other outside two main stadiums Mohammed Bin Zayed and Zayed Sports City.

The first knockout stage match was held there, in which, Vietnam stunned all by beating Jordan after penalty shootout.

On the other side, its opponent is Asia's most successful, won four trophies, participated in six World Cup, routed Belgium and almost beat them. That was Japan. Japan, however, played unimpressive, won all four matches by just one goal margin. Both.

Japan beat Turkmenistan, Oman, Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia with all similar methods. Of course, for the Japanese, their goal is to win gold medal in the Olympics held in Tokyo 2020, so the 2019 Asian Cup tournament was regarded with little importance instead. They must win at home.

Japan also had another goal. Because of upcoming 2019 Copa América in Brazil, which Japan and Qatar are guests, they wanted to finalize a good squad to play against mighty Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, etc.

Even so, Vietnam had little to lose. They were considered far inferior than Japan. But coach Moriyasu refused to comment, stated calmly: "We'll see how good Vietnam is." He respected that.

Moroha Haimura just entered to the fan zone, in a stadium where two hours next, would be a contest of two Sinosphere countries. Of course, he got a good moment to meet with Shizuno Urushibara and Satsuki Ranjou. Satsuki was as annoying as usual.

"Hi brother!"

"Yeah, whatever." Moroha wanted to stay away from Satsuki.

"Do you think about it clearly?" Shizuno asked: "How, Moroha?"

"Fine. Nothing too loud anyway." Moroha got a bit better with the question from Shizuno.

Elena arrived after that. She got a little calm but not in good shape with both Satsuki and Shizuno for some reasons. Following with her, of course, was …

This man covered with sunglasses, probably to avoid from being discovered. He said: "Hah. Much to talk now."

"Huh?" Moroha was aware of this voice. That tall guy was …

"Takehiro Tomiyasu."

This wasn't the voice of Elena. It was a male one. This meant someone knew them here, outside Al Maktoum Stadium.

But Takehiro Tomiyasu? He was an unknown until took part of Japan's 2019 Asian Cup squad. So little a bit struggling for them to know about the man with sunglasses of course.

Then, who had outspoken? Probably …

"You won't have to follow me like a child, don't you?"

Although Takehiro was just 20, he has been more mature than the rest of people at the same age. Pretty tall indeed, Takehiro didn't hesitate to make his outspoken sense, but he then turned back.

It was no one but his fellows. Actually, three other men.

"I bet captain is always the earliest."

"Yeah brother." Captain there, was Maya Yoshida: "Also, I brought there Diego Laxalt, and, Aymen Mathlouthi."

"So, I have two foreign guests outside you?"

Takehiro wasn't that surprised, although not relatively good. Diego Laxalt is an Uruguayan defender, and Aymen Mathlouthi is a Tunisian goalkeeper. An Uruguayan and a Tunisian went there with Maya Yoshida, and who know?

Diego Laxalt and Aymen Mathlouthi laughed a bit, as Moroha Haimura asked: "You're here because of Takehiro."

"Very good. Do you prefer football?" Aymen smiled: "I'd love to play with some."

"How about being a defender?" Diego told and laughed: "Fuck that man."

"Hah!" Satsuki asked: "Can I play?"

"Really? A girl?" Aymen Mathlouthi laughed: "Hahahahahahaha …"

Takehiro also felt the true irony. An annoying girl wanted to play football with them. Diego Laxalt also felt that sense too, and he wanted to speak nothing but a full laugh. He told with irony.

Shizuno was calmer than Satsuki. She didn't get involved with it. Elena rejected the offer, so only Satsuki accepted to play with Aymen and Diego. Elena, by this point, thought slow of it.

"Satsuki, energetic but stupidity."

Then, Elena leaned close to Moroha, at the expense of other, including Maya Yoshida and Takehiro Tomiyasu, as she referred him again "Onii-chan".

"WTF is this?"

Moroha tried to avoid, but Shizuno responded with a surprise when she kissed Moroha directly. It stunned all of them.

"DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA OF PRIVACY IN THE UAE?"

Takehiro had to cover.

Meanwhile, Satsuki failed miserably. She worked hard, but only got humiliated by Diego Laxalt. Any kind of her kicks to Aymen was also easily disabled. She became a joke.

"HHHMMMMMMMMMM!" Satsuki's face turned dire as Diego and Aymen laughed on her. With this, she decided to use violence, but Moroha prevented immediately: "Don't be silly!"

"What?" Satsuki angered: "They're laughing …"

"If you lose this round, try another." Moroha argued: "Don't become an idiot, okay?"

"Fine." Satsuki couldn't stand. However, Diego Laxalt and Aymen Mathlouthi would have little time to enjoy, as …

Someone kicked the ball to Aymen and hit into his nose. This prompted a big laugh from Maya Yoshida and Takehiro Tomiyasu.

"HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA …"

That was brutal.

Aymen asked: "WHO THE HELL KICK THAT SHIT?" until a kid, just 6 years old, watched. He was the owner of that kick, damn.

Then, he must have tried to explain something. Lol.

On to Takehiro and Maya, after that, they had to escort Shizuno and Elena in tension to avoid another troubles over Moroha. Thus, it took them at least an hour before the match between their Japan and Vietnam begin …

 

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The aftermath of the encounter between Vietnam and Japan was not so surprised, with Japan won by a penalty, eventually eliminated Vietnam from the game. Japanese victory, while predicted, not too impressive either.

However, for teams like China, they had more wary to mention: Iran. And that was what Marcello Lippi ordered from his players to stay focus to overcome such a tough opponent. But with the inspiration named Vietnam bowed down to Japan, obviously China needed more.

Said, the Iranians were at good shape. Coach Queiroz laughed with his players as they prepared against China.

Before the match for an hour, all Iranian players stood outside the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium with total confidence. One of these players was the famous of all, Sardar Azmoun.

Sardar Azmoun spoke to other people outside, mostly Iranian fans, and he gave them good signing. Among all of them, was a mysterious girl named Shana. Shana, whom her real, or full name, remained in disputes. Sardar and Shana would have an interesting encounter there.

Shana met Sardar, but when she tried to get his sign, Shana was pprpreveprevented and Sardar couldn't see this. She asked for help from Yuji, but Yuji couldn't pass either. Thus, Sardar would have not seen Shana for a few hours next.

With the following, after she and Yuji sneaked out, Kazumi Yoshida prevented Shana from reaching to Sardar as he was about to enter the stadium. This caused Kazumi and Shana in rivalry, and Yuji had to stay away.

The stadium was filled with many fans, many Chinese and Iranian supporters. They were eager to do so, but since Shana and Kazumi were at odd after each other prevented from getting a sign from Iran's Sardar Azmoun, they had to sit in separate position at the stadium. When they entered, the national anthems were done.

After all, Yuji had been the most tired one. He tried to prevent them from clashing, but they were like dog and cat. Overall, some few fans got surprised to see a boy had to hug too much for two girls.

The match, however, ended in the quickest way. China lost 0-3 to Iran, in a match that coach Lippi got angered so much over his players.

On Carlos Queiroz, he couldn't be happier. His Iran cruised China so easy. He must be so proud, really.

Sardar Azmoun left the stadium with full pride, as he netted one goal on Yan Junling. Two others are the products of Mehdi Taremi and Karim Ansarifard, the former wouldn't participate in the semi-finals against Japan because of two yellow cards from Iran's matches against Vietnam and China.

Nonetheless, Iran got full confident. And the team went back to their base. At this point, Shana and Kazumi tried to go to Iran's base camp, which would be the last before they move to Al Ain.

"Well done, Azmoun. You help us, again, dadash!" Alireza Beiranvand cheered: "I hope you can storm Japan in the semi."

"Sure, sure." Azmoun laughed, but he went with full pressure. Because of Iran's next opponent, Japan, is far stronger than China, and also, Japan has more prestigious records than Iran in this stage, this meant a win for Iran depend on how calm they were.

With this, Sardar Azmoun walked out from the hotel's restaurant, trying to think little about their next battle against Samurai Blue.

Shana and Kazumi pressured Yuji to take them to meet Sardar Azmoun, and they finally reached Iran team's hotel. Surprisingly, they saw only Sardar Azmoun outside, smoking cigarette.

"Here!"

The weather in Abu Dhabi was hot that day, even it was at winter. Yeah, because in the Middle East, winter didn't exist. Only sun and rain. With Sardar himself, he tried to figure how to beat Japan.

Kazumi and Shana quietly walked to meet Sardar, and to avoid guards around the hotel trying to look on them. Yuji stood away, hoped for the best.

Kazumi and Shana had tried to greet Sardar before, but failed. Now hiding in the garden outside the restaurant, they hoped nothing much but to gain from Sardar.

In the tree, they moved, and Sardar didn't even mention about it. He didn't know about special fans coming close to him.

And …

Kazumi and Shana grabbed stuffs and finally, showed up only with faces and two hands. They gave two notebooks for Sardar and two pens. Sardar was surprised: "Well hello there."

"Please … I'm your fan!" They both spoke the same chorus. Sardar, touched with their passions, put no hesitation and signed for both two girls, and he wished the best. They left together happily and full of pride.

Said, Sardar Azmoun was called and he walked back, but at least, when those girls left the restaurant …

Meanwhile, Yuji was surprised to see that they got his signatures. But after that, Kazumi and Shana's jealousy rose behind the back of Yuji …

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

In such a surprising place, the South Korea-Qatar encounter was about to start.

A Hungarian, János Cseno, appeared. UEFA official for four years, he was appointed to help Pierluigi Collina, who was in charge of VAR referee system. However, Cseno seemed to have a bit bored quite fast, and he began to think about other things to do. He didn't have a good experience with VAR, either.

"Suck it. I'll go out for a moment."

By that point, he gathered to meet back Jo Hyeon-woo, whom he met in the match against China at the group stage. But, instead, he only got …

"Lee? Lee Jae-sung?"

Lee Jae-sung, also knew János, spoke shortly after wearing full South Korean team clothes. On the eyes of Lee, he felt pretty weird of János' appearance. He was like someone just get up from the sleep, didn't even tie buts carefully. Lee asked:

"Hi János. What happened yesterday?"

"Lost sleep. I … couldn't imagine … the shit of VAR, anyway."

So be it. János Cseno was unable to sleep yesterday because of VAR trouble. Assigned by Collina, however, he got so many problems to manage it. Therefore, he hadn't sleep for a day, just woke up for only 30' before the match.

"Hey, Lee! What's up?" Someone called Lee's name.

"Oh, Koo Ja-cheol! Not long enough." Lee Jae-sung realized Koo Ja-cheol, who was also his teammate too.

"Who're you talking?"

"A friend of Jo Hyeon-woo."

"That anti-social?"

Turning out, it was something about it. János Cseno was actually a really, really anti-social by mentality. In the past, János Cseno had involved in brawls and fighting, leading to discrimination and lacked of cheerful attitude. Thus, even when later he became an UEFA official, he wasn't as happy as others. So he didn't believe he was significant, anyway.

Seriously?

But worse, his lack of social attitude leading him to have a bitterness, and he had not even had someone to marry for over 22 years. He would be 23 after the match between South Korea and Qatar. So, János Cseno told coldly: "That's enough."

By a way, János Cseno only knew Jo Hyeon-woo after meeting him, and Lee Jae-sung. Other Korean players, South ones, he didn't care until now.

"C'mon, do you have something bitter? Try to be friendly, mate." Lee urged.

Hachiman Hikigaya wasn't that different from János Cseno. Even when Yukino and Yui invited him to watch the match, he thought that it was just for fun and not going to be interested.

"Do you have anything so bitter?" Yui asked.

"Nothing." Hachiman breathed, with little interest on and on and on.

Yukino's annoying sister Haruno didn't want to show up after she got involved in an unwanted brawl with a Moroccan named Zakaria Abdalli, who was the same age with Haruno, in a nightclub managed by the Russians. The main reason was simple: Haruno was accused for bullying Zakaria's twin sister, Marina – who was same age with Yukino; thus, Marina called Zakaria to handle. It eventually escalated to violence, which, Haruno got a severe injury on her head.

That story was witnessed by Yukino, and she didn't want to talk on it. Instead, she asked Hachiman to go.

"Why is Yukino so desperate?" Yui asked: "What's wrong yesterday?"

"Nothing. Just, quickly." Yukino requested Yui to be immediate as soon as possible. She didn't want to mention back.

Surprisingly for Yukino, she did not know that János Cseno also participated at that nightclub yesterday.

So, when János Cseno was talking with Lee Jae-sung, with sadistic eyes, he surprised to see Yukino came there.

"Oh, that girl …"

"What?" Lee and Koo noticed the eyes of János to three people walking into the stadium's entrance. By this point, Koo asked: "Who're they?"

"Yesterday there was a brawl, and that girl, the long-haired one, or precisely, her sister, involved in a brawl with a Moroccan." János explained: "That idiot fresh girl tried to instigate joke against another girl and was resulted beaten by the opposite's brother."

"So what did you do?" Lee questioned.

"Calling police. Simple." János was cold then: "Better to solve it than going out."

The anti-social, sadistic attitude of János Cseno made even Lee Jae-sung and Koo Ja-cheol felt yuck, but, they'd no choice. Cseno's answer was so cold and so lack of spirit.

But hey, Yukino raised her right hand when she saw János: "Hi Sir."

Hachiman quickly noticed out who was Yukino thanking: an outside fat man, with his clothes so deviant that it could not be sure how good was he, so Hachiman thought János negatively. Surprisingly, János also thought the same on Hachiman.

Two anti-social men watching each other despite age distance.

Yui escorted Hachiman successfully and Hachiman finally bought three tickets, but he wasn't that happy either. He was still that pragmatic, anti-social face.

Same with János Cseno. After couldn't think much really, he didn't want to care. So he wanted Lee Jae-sung and Koo Ja-cheol to prepare for the match.

And so, János Cseno also changed clothes to finish the job and got in touch with the encounter between South Korea and Qatar …

Chapter Text

Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

The outcome of South Korea-Qatar encounter was so shocking that it frightened both the UAE and Australia. However, not because of Son Heung-min, but due to tensions.

For the Australians, they could not think anything after this match. This shock South Korean elimination, losing 0-1 to Qatar, could become a bad luck as they had to deal with the Emiratis. The Emiratis, on the other hand, are having tensions with Qatar, and any signs of Qatar's victory meant an insult for the host country. This Qatari victory forced the Emiratis to make decision: win Australia or letting Australia to destroy the Qataris.

Alberto Zaccheroni, the head coach who didn't wish to involve on such tension, tried to calm the Emiratis. So was Graham Arnold.

Now, talking about the Emiratis, there had only Mohamed Abdulrahman and Khalfan Mubarak to truly mention about the important of the match. Without Omar Abdulrahman, the younger brother of Mohamed A., the UAE must try to break the Australians. They might use the defeat of Australia to Jordan in the same ground to cheer their spirits.

Mohamed Abdulrahman breathed: "Had my brother been there, we would have not had such hard time against Kyrgyzstan."

"You're lucky to have such a brother, but true." Agreed Khalfan: "We all miss Omar."

"May the God be with us." Mohamed prayed: "We can overcome Australia …"

On the other side, Omar Abdulrahman, who would enter the stadium in a VIP stand, prayed for his teammates outside a mosque. Mohamed, his older brother, had even changed the hair into Omar's style, in hope to inspire the Emiratis to play like how Omar performed.

Suddenly, a girl arrived, asked Omar after he was about to enter.

"Ticket, sir?"

"Mira?" Omar was surprised: "What do you want?"

"I don't want to respond again. You promised, remember?" That girl was Mira Yamana. For Mira, she told that Omar did have a truce with Lilith.

"Oh … so, you're Lilith's friend?" Omar told: "Sorry for not telling, here, I've all, three for you, Lilith and … your boyfriend, right?"

"HE IS NOT MY BOYFRIEND!" Mira shouted: "Shame on you!"

"C'mon Mira!" Suddenly, the suspected boyfriend arrived: "I take Lilith together now. Levi and Arin didn't come?"

"They did not come. They had another jobs to do." Mira explained: "Hi, Lilith."

"Alright, you all gathered. Get in, please." Omar Abdulrahman urged, and Lilith with Mira both felt shy toward the boy, Arata …

Sometimes it felt a bit guilt, sometimes Mohamed Abdulrahman and Khalfan Mubarak were all wondering what's next. They rarely talked about such detail, anyway.

They soon wore all of their team's clothes, took part on the stadium, ready as they walked in for next 30 minutes. They had enough to mention now. Looking on the Australian room, they sensed wary among all players.

"What da fuq these Australians planning?"

"Who the hell know …"

When Lilith sat in the stadium, she blushed to see Arata giving some warm clothes for her. Al Ain's weather fell so quick that they were not prepared, even it would not fall too fast. Lilith asked …

"Arata … do you have something to eat?"

"I'm full. Why?" Arata got surprised.

"Okay."

Mira heard and she burnt with jealousy. At this point, Mira was competing with Lilith in gaining interest over Arata, so she viewed Lilith with serious sense.

Sometimes, it was like that. Dog with cat fighting for food.

Mira soon asked Arata with a sadistic view: "Do you have something else?"

"I'm … I'm fine, Mira!"

This time, Lilith hot-blood temper went high after she saw how Mira attempted to confess with Arata. The two girls started to clash even when the match was about to begin.

Omar Abdulrahman, on the other side, from the VIP stand, saw how Mira and Lilith almost instigate a fight on the stand, must have a lot of thing to regret: "Geez, should have never invited them."

Lucky for Omar, they had Arata who stood in the middle. So, at least, he could feel okay … for a while.

Of course, it wouldn't last long. When Mohamed Abdulrahman and Khalfan Mubarak walked on the field facing Australia, Asian champions then, Mira and Lilith would instigate an unwanted fight that caused them to be expelled from the stadium, which nothing more disappointing than Arata and Omar …

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Little to tell, but Karen Tendou was still annoying with Keita Amano, the boy whom she fell in love since.

Said, she was not always ready for such thing. She tried to intervene on her best effort, hopefully solving the situation. Yesterday, Karen wore her bikini to show for Keita, but Keita didn't care as he was going somewhere else. She thought Keita had another girlfriend.

Of course, not in front of Emirati police.

Karen, like Keita, neither speak Arabic. Therefore they needed someone to help translate some of these. So, Karen was glad to keep something on and on.

She liked Keita …

Yet, a day back, the match between the UAE and Australia, Keita enjoyed play Pro Evolution Soccer, PES, instead of talking with Karen, which make she sad. She didn't even care on the moment when the UAE scored a goal against Australia, effectively eliminated Australia from the run to the Asian Cup final.

That's it.

And she just cried today, she felt she was rejected.

With the UAE and Qatar both arrived to meet each other in the semi, tensions ran pretty high. No one got more breathe to feel the sense like the Qataris, whom its citizens are barred from going to the UAE since 2017.

However, Qatar surprised all by knocking the South Koreans out from the tournament. This has caused several South American agents to watch the Qataris with caution. Among them was Rodrigo Vargas, Bolivian player who played for Karpaty Lviv in Ukraine.

"Fuck. Do those Arab morons have something else? Money?"

Rodrigo is just 24. But he was mature enough to understand. Together with Rodrigo was Jhasmani Campos, who also showed disdain toward these Qataris. Bolivia, a participant of Copa América, wasn't drawn with neither Qatar or Japan, but their sense had something.

In South American mention, the Gulf is a renown money buyer, and they can buy the whole match for its win. This prompted a strong anti-Gulf feeling among football fans, mostly, South Americans. Those Bolivians, overall, despised the Gulf like the rest of South America.

Walking out there however, they saw two Qatari players talking and chatting. Immediately, Rodrigo Vargas and Jhasmani Campos followed them, hoped to see something …

Those Rodrigo Vargas and Jhasmani Campos following were Abdulaziz Hatem and Boualem Khoukhi. They could easily hear their conversation.

Well.

Abdulaziz Hatem got a brief share from Boualem Khoukhi.

"We have shown why we are granted World Cup. Fucking those Europeans, we fucked the Koreans twice. Hahaha." Boualem laughed so big after the match.

The press and media across Asia published that "unbelievable", as South Korea led by Son Heung-min, one of EPL's hottest strikers, was knocked out by the Qataris whom are not even as famous as South Korea.

This disastrous defeat prompted many Koreans demanding for an immediate and complete sack of Paulo Bento, many accused for his unstable tactics.

"They thought they could overwhelm us but overall we have conceded no goal. Lmao!"

That type of behavior had a deep feeling among those Qataris, particularly since they beat Iraq and South Korea with the same scoreline.

Boualem Khoukhi even added the loud, and Abdulaziz Hatem made it through. Too annoying perhaps, but that was it.

Suddenly, Boualem Khoukhi and Abdulaziz Hatem heard someone was crying in a room. By this point, Hatem knocked the door, and asked: "Who's crying?"

"HUH!" Karen quietly tried to calm her feeling, as her door was knocked. But those outsiders needed the key of the room, and they didn't have.

Karen tried to solve it, rejecting any kind of crying there. But for Karen, she might not be able to hide it much longer.

Jhasmani Campos and Rodrigo Vargas went to see what Abdulaziz Hatem and Boualem Khoukhi doing, they felt surprised:

"WTF?"

It wouldn't last really long anyway.

In fact, when Hatem and Khoukhi were mentioning, a boy standing outside, said: "What're you doing outside my friend's room?"

"Oh, sorry kid." Hatem tried to smile as he was fast to realize someone standing in front.

The boy was Keita. And Keita wanted to know what's gone wrong with that. He soon knocked the door of Karen's room, asked if anything wrong.

"Karen? Are you okay?"

Inside the room, Karen heard that was from Keita, so she asked: "Okay?"

"I'm fine, Karen. Let me in."

"Fine."

She only opened a little, much to allow only Keita, and that she shut the door in a complete surprise of Hatem and Khoukhi …

With that, Keita wondered what had gone with Karen, and Karen said that Keita had another girlfriend.

Oh, that's right. It was a thing. Keita, in recently, had an affair with a mysterious girl and often referred with different type of code message.

Then, Keita's actions made Karen felt strange, and when she tried to contact, he ignored. She felt alone and somewhat betrayed.

But it was more complex than that, so she could only explain a little. With Chiaki and Konoha waiting, Keita soon cheered Karen.

"Why do you have to be so sad? Just because I've others, doesn't mean I have to ignore. You are still important?"

"Really?"

"Yeah, just … don't be a crybaby."

"Well … okay … maybe …"

"Be a woman. I still care on you, Karen."

"Oh …"

After that, Keita Amano quietly stepped out from the room, tried to talk less. Of course, after he cheered Karen Tendou, for sure. And he was not stupid to let Abdulaziz Hatem or Boualem Khoukhi to take private business quickly.

Jhasmani Campos and Rodrigo Vargas tried to discover, but only the end, Keita walked out and dismissed the case. With this, they saw that, their time was wasted for a nonsense romantic affair.

"Putas!"

As said, Abdulaziz Hatem and Boualem Khoukhi, disappointed with the outcome, went out. Neither two Qataris realized that two Bolivians would continue to follow them, copied their practice, their training. It was to be used due to upcoming Copa América held in Brazil.

Because of little popularity, Rodrigo and Jhasmani could continue watching them without being pointed out.

Just for this …

After three days, when Qatar was about to get a beef up with the UAE, Rodrigo Vargas and Jhasmani Campos met with three men: one Paraguayan, one Argentine and one Colombian. Argentina, Paraguay and Colombia would be Qatar's group opponents in Brazil, so Rodrigo and Jhasmani's works were appreciated.

"Very good, men."

"Please spy your own, okay?" Jhasmani criticized.

"At least we all speak Spanish. We both don't like those fucking Gulf, either."

"So try to calm, men. At least you both share one hundred dollars each."

"Jajaja, lol."

Rodrigo Vargas and Jhasmani Campos took these chunk of money, with the issues of Qatar would be discovered in the near future of the upcoming Copa América …

Chapter Text

Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

There was a food festival being held in the city amidst the AFC Asian Cup. Both 24 nations involved in the big game of the continent showed their best kind of cuisine.

Among there, the showcase of Japanese cuisine were also many. Sit in the left to Yemeni cuisine, the right to Uzbek cuisine and opposite to Australian cuisine, the charge was under Soma Yukihira.

His foods got attention from several guests. Two Vietnamese guests just recently visited his camp and enjoyed it. Now, he was in front of two another guests, from Jordan.

"May I taste one of these?"

"Sure. Try it." Voice from Alice Nakiri. Alice, a half Dane half Japanese, was able to speak a decent English as she was raised in Denmark. Her friendliness and social advise gave her a better stance than already jealous Erina Nakiri …

On the mean time, a football player arrived with a sunglasses. His name is Gaku Shibasaki, a newly discovered gem of Japanese football in 2015 AFC Asian Cup held in Australia. Gaku, with his friendliness, also got along well without being discovered.

He looked to the native Japanese camp of the cuisine festival in Al Ain, and he wondered how good would it be.

"Interesting. My nation. Proud of that, but why not try?"

Erina and Alice clashed with each other because of Alice's mocking over Erina. They were so desperate and that would even hurt Megumi Tadokoro, the only other neutral there. Megumi attempted to end the clash, but still also tried not to ruin the job Soma offered her.

"Please …"

As this, Soma felt a bit harder over the Nakiri sisters. Still, he had to do his duty to promote his nation's image. So, he did as Megumi tried to hug both Nakiri sisters.

On the opposite of Gaku Shibasaki, was Alireza Jahanbakhsh, a rising profile player from Iran. Jahanbakhsh tasted foods from his country already, so he was willing to seek the new one. He targeted on the Lebanese camp and earned a degree of taste from it.

"So good."

That's it. Not enough might be? No, Alireza Jahanbakhsh wanted even more. He rushed to Chinese camp tasting the foods from China, and then watched on the Omani ones. Then he went to Thai ones before he stopped into the Australian camp, where he was wondering how good Australian foods were.

With this, Soma had to halt some of his job in order to push Alice and Erina out. Yet, suddenly, someone arrived to them.

Soma was stunned, while Erina, Alice and Megumi had to halt their naughty activities.

"Hello there."

"Hi Sir! You're Japanese too?" Erina was surprised as he spoke with a decent Japanese language.

"Yes. But I wonder how realistic you portrayed for our nation, the foods."

"Sure." Soma showed his a decent style of a new-flashy golden sushi with a different taste, combining carrots and porks. And even more. That was a weird kind of sushi.

"Okay?" This man got a bit strange, but he still tried to taste with …

"Hhhmmm, not bad."

"Yeah, just a beginning technique. I hope I could improve it." Soma smiled, as he showed some few others.

Meanwhile, right behind Gaku, was Alireza Jahanbakhsh. He was tasting some kind of foods produced from kangaroo's meats.

"Tasty."

It was quite good and simple for him, though. Although those Australians felt strange: "Who're you?"

"A normal guest. But I think tasting gives me feel better."

"Yeah. Done?"

"Done?"

As said, Alireza Jahanbakhsh was surprised and he would not be aware with someone behind him until …

Gaku, having tasted enough, said: "Geez, you're good. But need more than that."

"Thanks." Soma bowed the head as Gaku was able to keep his identity. But not for long.

When Gaku turned his face back, was also the time Alireza Jahanbakhsh turned his face back as well. Suddenly, when they turned their faces, everything changed.

Gaku Shibasaki met Alireza Jahanbakhsh, though by just a view from their eyes. Everything became cold and yet, Soma and his girls were surprised to see this strange behavior of their guest toward another one.

Nothing could describe this.

They were …

"So, we met this time."

"There shall always be another moment."

"Hopefully, we will face again in the same ground, and wish you the best, comrade."

"Nothing to describe anymore. We're waiting for you."

After that, Gaku Shibasaki and Alireza Jahanbakhsh departed in their ways, paved positions to those who never thought about. Nor even Soma, Megumi, Alice and Erina could imagine the heat even after a few minute discussion between two men, who would gonna …

… get in touch at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The win against Australia was the first time ever, and also they scored their first historic goal against Australia. However, it was costly for them as they suffered a down of their physical stamina.

No one saw it better than Ismail Matar, the team's veteran. To solve the problem, he suggested them to rest and stay out from any kind of political instruments, due to Qatar crisis and upcoming opponent.

However, even their perpetration was marred with politicization. Unlike the opponent, a Gulf rival, the Emirati squad was treated with full support of course. However, their Prince had sent an order: win or punishment. Ismail Matar didn't want to tell anyone that because this was the UAE Prince sending to him only.

Because of tensions with their semi-final rival Qatar, there had been a lot of political acts before the match. Matar, openly against such politicization, felt so helpless. On Ismail Matar's, he viewed Qataris as brothers and cousins, and he didn't care on the escalation of Qatar-UAE tensions.

However, even when Matar wanted to go out, he also witnessed a lot of unwanted people standing to receive tickets. It was so surprising, of course.

UAE Prince had bought all tickets for the semi-finals and distributed to only Emiratis and pro-Emirati ones, barring neutral and Qataris from entering. Ismail Matar couldn't explain why, he just looked on the sky, with a lot of wary to say: "Oh my …"

Then, when he attempted to enter a mosque, suddenly two weird guys showed up. A really weird guy and …

"Zoinks! Sorry!"

"Okay, no problem. I have no fight with you." Matar calmed: "What's your name?"

"Norville Rogers, zoinks! Just call me Shaggy. And my best companion Scooby-Doo!" The man wearing green clothes cheered.

And, Scooby? He is a dog, Great Dane! A real Danish dog, but smarter than any kind of dog ever mentioned. No one knew how Shaggy trained this dog, but he could manage some human words: "Creppy."

"What did you say?" Matar wondered: "This dog can talk?"

Well, Ismail Matar had not met Tom and Jerry or Oggy, lol.

Zoinks! What a typical hilarious way Shaggy expressed to others. Shaggy, that American guy, showed two tickets for the upcoming encounter between the UAE and Qatar. Ismail Matar was stunned to see how could they buy it.

"Well, we bought because we needed tickets to watch. Don't know which unlucky guys missed it."

Shaggy talked hilariously when hugged Scooby, meaning something. Ismail asked: "How close you and your dog?"

"Very close!" Scooby described.

"Cool. Do you guys really want to distribute tickets to somebody?" Ismail Matar questioned, but seeing the way Scooby-Doo's behave, he believed Scooby was so different than other dogs.

"Zoinks!" Shaggy got a bit … shaggy: "No."

"Okay. So, what's next?"

"When will the match start?" Shaggy asked.

"A day later. Now excuse me, I need to go and pray for a while." Ismail Matar urged them to let him pass as they were likely to do so. Of course, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo were honest, though chain-smoker.

Anyway, Matar wondered how could Norville bring his dog successfully to there? Perhaps a private plane might be explainable.

Then, after the pray, Matar left and he soon got something:

"HUH?"

Shaggy and Scooby were still there! And they were chatting something, a dog and a human. Moreover, Scooby sat like a human, and played some cool games with Shaggy. Zoinks!

Matar watched out, but Shaggy and Scooby-Doo didn't realize it even when Matar decided to go home. Of course, after watching it, Matar might have to go back home and started looking a bit.

Damn … needed more times than that to say …

Chapter Text

Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

The match between Iran and Japan had finally come.

Two Asian hegemons rarely have a chance to get in touch at the Asian Cup, but when they had, they always create drama. In 1992, Japan beat Iran 1-0 and eliminated the Persians in process, made way to the rise of a new Asian power. In 2004, both two drew 0-0 in the group stage and Japan also conquered Asia.

Japan never concedes any single goal against Iran. Now, they had a chance to extend this streak, although Iran has been far stronger than the past.

Yeah, and thus, the three Bear brothers and Chloe Park got a ride to the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, the venue of Iran vs. Japan encounter. Chloe Park, having bought a ticket there, would like to know how good Japan is. She wasn't a fan of soccer, but her Korean heritage brought her to this sport. She watched both two Koreas in the tournament, but it was deep ending of total collapse.

Chloe wanted something better, so at least she would see Japan and Iran. On her eyes, Japan is just a normal country and that as a Korean, she perceived Japan positively.

For all mean, three Bear brothers had to cheer her always.

"Here, Chloe."

The more enjoying Grizzly held a good talk with his cousins, with Ice Bear talked to Panda to take care of. Ice Bear rarely talks, so if he suggested something, it must be good thing. Wow.

They attended by somehow …

Considered as more mature and more human, those bears had no problem to sit and watch such an important encounter. Sitting there with them was Chloe. Just before the half time, suddenly a man also sat together with them too, and he looked on them with funny eyes.

His name? You knew it …

"Huh?" Ice Bear got surprised with his own appearance. Like an indigenous Mapuche, and somehow also stylish.

"I know! Arturo Vidal!" Grizzly told on: "You're famous."

"Whatever you said." Arturo laughed: "Welcome to the new order."

"Do you often play football around?" Panda added his words, something Ice Bear wouldn't do.

"Wow, pretty much …" Chloe was surprised, but of course, Chloe knew that Vidal wanted to hide himself. Vidal wanted to discuss about the strength of Japan, Chile's upcoming opponent in Copa América.

"Let me guess: you want to watch football!" Grizz was always that annoying.

"Whatever." Vidal told them to calm down.

As the first half ended, Vidal took his iPhone, registered the strength and weakness of Japan. In accordance, he was surprised by how good Japan is, even he didn't care on them much.

Japan is Asia's hegemon at this part, even Vidal had to express impression of rapid football development in the country, which prior to 1990s, was just as lame as it could be.

Seeing this, Ice Bear could witness what Vidal was doing.

"Analyzing complex."

"How do you know?" Vidal asked: "You look smart."

"Nothing. Just for good." Ice Bear stated.

"Well then." Vidal said, following with his analysis.

And just that, it was nothing hard really, for such a Chilean. Ice Bear was the most focusing one, and also, the least talking among the Bears, anyway.

Grizz and Panda made some kind of fun jokes, while Chloe also got the same interest.

She wasn't a soccer fan, so she had no clue on which players were the best. She didn't even know any names of Iranian or Japanese players, regardless. So, naturally, she had to accept viewing them by unknown circumstances.

Ice Bear kept focusing on the game and when he saw five Iranian players surrounded the referee as Takumi Minamino stood up, he knew it would be a goal.

Yes, it was. 1-0 for Japan. Osako made it by a header. Iran was reckoned and whole Iranian squad pulled themselves up. However instead of an Iranian equalizer, they got a kick ass twice. Same player, 2nd goal, a penalty.

By this point, Vidal gave a praise: "Damn."

Because Chile would face Japan, what Vidal got must be important. Ice Bear would even state that Iran had collapsed since. Grizzly, Chloe and Panda were all surprised how good Japan was.

Cool.

By this point, Chloe decided to look on Arturo Vidal, and she was impressed with his hard job. He did.

Overall, 3-0, and a bunch of iPhone analysis was completed. He, Arturo Vidal, soon sent messages to his teammates, hoping to gain important news about Japan. So be it.

Panda, Grizzly, Ice Bear and Chloe, those who had little time to understand football, or soccer in their country, the U.S., now saw it was something to cheer about.

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

In the capital of the UAE, the heat burned. The elimination of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia forced the Emiratis to win. Yet, opponent of the UAE was Qatar, its regional rival who, like the Emiratis, shocked whole Asia by eliminating South Korea.

However, as the pressure from the Emirati Government increased, with the UAE put in a must win clash, they were suffering huge pressure that to win the match by all cost. Moreover, the match against Australia exhausted many Emirati players.

To the Qatari side, thing unchanged. Their competent squad, built up since 2010s with the establishment of Aspire Academy, a project started by previous Emir Hamad Al Thani, was the biggest success in Qatari history. His son Tamim succeeded his father's project.

In front of thousand of hostile Emiratis, because of the old tensions between two as for the result of diplomatic disputes, Qatari team was eager to stun the Emiratis. Said, however the history was not on their side, they had not won the Emiratis since 2001, when the UAE lost 0-2 at home to Qatar, by then, in the 2002 World Cup qualification.

Upon the stadium, Mohammed bin Zayed, there had to be some special guests. Of course, the match had a lot of fans, but prohibition against neutral and Qatari fans was issued. Thus, supporting Qatar became a crime, even for Omanis, those neutral of UAE-Qatar conflict.

The Omanis received very few tickets, alongside Sudanese, Moroccans and Jordanians, those also neutral of the conflict. It was a good decision, though. That Emirati Prince tolerated a few of them. Shaggy and Scooby-Doo must be so lucky to have tickets.

That.

But again, not Shaggy and Scooby-Doo, thank you. There were some few girls sitting on Qatari side. But they didn't support Qatar or the UAE, they saw for good only.

They were some lucky others …

Critical!

Ohana Matsumae sat and spent times to enjoy seeing the big clash. Surprisingly, in spite of such great atmosphere, Ohana really disliked how the boos came out, anytime if the Qataris captured the ball. Said, the Emiratis tended to be under total pressure, more than the visitors, and lacked of visions to play on the stadium.

On Ohana's point, the major problem for the UAE, of course, in white jersey, was too much annoying people.

Sitting with them was Derlis González, a Paraguayan football player, wearing in his all jackass black and a sunglasses, copied after watching Ghost Rider. Derlis himself also had something to look on, because Qatar would be Paraguay's first opponent in 2019 Copa América held in Brazil.

"Well, it's 0-0. But the Emiratis will have to get up."

Derlis expected that such hostile crowd from the Emiratis would not help the team, because so far, he only saw more pressure on the heads of the Emiratis. And he wasn't that wrong anyway.

The Emiratis, also playing pressure on the ground of the Qataris, seemed not able to keep their heads cool. Instead, they played like they wanted to win by all costs. Not just say, even the Royal members of the UAE also attended. Make even sure, seven emirates.

Royal families, notably two powerful Abu Dhabi and Dubai, attended in large numbers.

Ohana received Koichi, who she had repaired the relationship and she talked to Derlis: "Are you sure?"

"You're a football fan, right?" Derlis wondered: "Or just attend for fun?"

"I take the second." Ohana smiled. By now, Derlis also stated coldly: "Then you shouldn't care on it."

It was important for Derlis González to understand why the Qataris became so powerful, even though regardless Asia is still far behind South America in general. He, like many Paraguayan and South American football lovers, despised Qatar for hosting 2022 World Cup in which he referred as a "product" of disgraced Sepp Blatter, but Paraguay is a very poor country in the region itself, so he just tried to say little on it. Also, he didn't give a fuss on the UAE-Qatar conflict, either.

It was followed by Ohana's instruction: "I just want to know on this sport, something like that."

"Fair enough." Derlis laughed: "We'll see about that."

Zaccheroni urged his students to come up, but it was no use because of a sudden respond from the Qataris, the ball landed to Khoukhi and he kicked the ball. Khalid Eisa realized the danger, but he wasn't able to use his hand fully block it, instead letting it slip through even when he had tried to deny.

There, it was 1-0 for Qatar.

Fueled by angers, Emirati fans criticized and yelled even louder. The heat increased with a number of Emirati responses, all ended up in failure. This even bolstered more angers from fans alike, in the UAE. The host played so bad, lacked visions, and no clear opportunities.

Derlis González saw this result was about to come, blaming the Emiratis for politicizing the game, so far.

"Stupid Emiratis. Like some of the dumbest Arabs ever, they often place their loyalty, a double dagger for them."

Koichi Tanemura, the friend of Ohana, perhaps a boyfriend, asked: "What's wrong with loyalty? Is this an Arab value?"

"Yes. The strongest, but also weakest, of the Arab culture." Derlis examined: "Arab social structure is pretty much tribalism, and it built their nation by how many people feel loyal to the clan, rather than united front against something."

"And how did it affect?"

"So you see, the Emiratis are unable to look beyond from the conflict. They initiate ban against anything Qatar. Myself don't like those Qataris because they rigged 2022 World Cup, and Blatter's protection for them; but that doesn't mean banning and boycotting will help." Derlis explained: "Those Emiratis have made fool themselves. Watch."

That Paraguayan guy wasn't wrong anyway. Looking on the Emiratis, there was no improvement, and the whole squad after being shocked by an early goal, played like it never conceded a goal, no clear, no direction. There was an internal problem on the Emirati side.

And here, Derlis even saw how the Qataris, with an early goal, played a very impressive Spanish-led style. Yeah, their coach was a Spaniard, and the Spaniards are known for their stylish performance. This was used by the 2010s, when Spain climbed into the world's mountain for the first time, and conquered Europe twice. Fans alike called Spain "the romantic Flamenco team" because of its unique performance.

Some national teams and clubs tried to copy Spain, but no use.

Yet, in this tournament, mighty Saudi Arabia, Iraq and South Korea were taken down by Qatar, which frightened many predicts, the UAE, who was the host, had also been to struggle. Fighting, indeed, but nothing could make the UAE more frightening than …

… Almoez Ali.

Almoez Ali Zainalabiddin Abdullah, the Sudanese boy who was considered as one of the biggest discovery, the gem of Qatar, played a great role on shaking the Emirati defense. Ali even made through the Emiratis as well, despite jeers from Emirati fans.

From this point, Ali shot.

"2-0." Koichi and Ohana were surprised altogether: "Really?"

"This would be even worse, Emirati fans had thrown shoes to the stadium as Ali was celebrating." Derlis said: "For us, we know how they are playing. Deal with it."

"We?" Ohana went to this word after hearing: "Wait, where are you from?"

"Paraguay. Our country will play against Qatar in a bigger tournament than what you just watch." Derlis told: "It would be interesting to know how those Qataris want in Brazil."

All the knowledge from this match proved something for Derlis González: sources from Rodrigo Vargas and Jhasmani Campos were not fake. They had been warned.

"Shit … putas, I think I have to stay."

Derlis became even more serious after seeing this Qatari performance …

For Ohana and Koichi, they just got some good understanding. This was their first time ever they could attend in a football stadium and watch a match. If this continued, the Emiratis would not be able to set up again.

Alberto Zaccheroni, disappointed with his squad, asked: "WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING?"

Alberto was serious. A former Asian Cup champions, conquered 2011 edition with Japan, he understood that, it was not an easy road, and he needed his players to be always calm and fighting. But because of politicization and orders from the Prince, the UAE had lost nerves.

Thus, they made too much mistakes and two goals, ton of angers, he hated how the UAE politicized it. But he understood, if he lost, he would be sacked.

So, he demanded more times for those players, but the captain, Ismail Matar, told some words: "Let me try to handle them! I think we can comeback in the second half."

"How? Prove me." Alberto said: "You need to win, not a defeat. And your rival is leading 2-0."

"WE'LL TRY!" Matar responded angrily, as Alberto Zaccheroni slowly walked back to the clothing room, as only a minute left, the first half would end.

Yeah, the match ended 2-0 at the first half, and the UAE with Qatar had to leave. For the Qataris, they were on their strongest moment; for the Emiratis, they were losing.

By this point, Ohana and Koichi enjoyed to see this, they guessed that the hostility from home crowd didn't work. But fearing to suffer from these, Koichi asked Ohana to leave, which eventually Ohana did.

For good.

Derlis would remain on the seat, despite they left, to witness the whole encounter. He wanted something good for Paraguay …

But, Koichi and Ohana would have missed the end of the match, and Derlis would have to watch an unwanted scoreline …

4-0.

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Back in the same city, the ending of the match was extremely shocking for many fans across the host country. Not just even Derlis González, but those South Americans drawn with Qatar (Argentina, Paraguay and Colombia) realized that it was harder than their expectation.

Of course, that doesn't change the fact South America is still far above Asia. Yet, this team had an unbeatable record of defense – conceding zero goal, so they just needed a goal on Qatar, and it would be finished.

Those Venezuelans living in the UAE were among some few watchers. The country was plundered into one of the worst ever economic and political crisis because of the communists under Nicolás Maduro and Vladimir Padrino. Escape became an option, and football provided them their better feeling.

Toward to upcoming 2019 Copa América, one of Venezuela's rising football profile star, is Josef Martínez. Accompanying him were Rolf Feltscher and Wilker Ángel. They were in the UAE for some brief of good jobs. Their neighboring Latin American people have always cheered for the best to Venezuela, as both were against Maduro and the commune-military dictatorship.

"Josef! Looks what we have." Wilker told: "We have a massive call for Venezuela's anti-communist movement. We'll win, sooner or later."

"Indeed, but the fucking military, they're dogs, subhumans." Disdained Josef: "They have ruined our Venezuela. Fuck!"

On that point, Josef, Wilker and Rolf were walking in the same street, hopefully to see what's happening in the AFC Asian Cup this edition.

Not much could be say by them when it arrived. Instead, they hoped to witness more and forget the tragedy within their homeland.

Josef Martínez, Rolf Feltscher and Wilker Ángel discovered that, by the end of the encounter between Qatar and the UAE, many host supporters left the stadium, some were even crying. Of course, they didn't know Derlis González was there as well, and their concerns were to find out the result.

Asking local? They said the result which made them understand why.

"Fucking 4-0!" Rolf told: "Who paid for these Qataris entire of the tournament?"

"Isn't the UAE as rich as Qatar?" Thought Wilker: "Bitch up."

"Not to say those Emiratis promoted racism against the Qataris." Josef examined out: "Even when I hate Qatar, the UAE should not been awarded as host either."

Many Emirati fans even showed angers, they threw boots, shoes, bottles, and some even threw their UAE scarves into the ground, to show their disbelief to their national team's performances. Such much, said, well …

On the other side, sitting to see so many people disbelieved from the UAE's performance against Qatar, they were no one but those girls. Yup, hard to believe it. But yeah.

But, not all people got interest with. There were some few who showed no sign of care on. Yup, we talked about Chitoge Kirisaki, and of course her aide, Paula McCoy and Seishiro Tsugumi.

Since Raku wasn't there, Chitoge felt freer to express her own style living agenda. And it should be that, because she is a daughter of a mafia lord, just like Tsuna being a son of an Italian gang boss. They were both annoying perhaps, but as long as the mafia ruled out violence, it remained better.

Chitoge, yup, just tried to get taste for such a match which she described, as awful.

"I don't think I would prefer football."

"Football? You mean our football?" Paula addressed.

"No, not American, it is soccer." Seishiro suggested Paula: "Dumb idiot."

"You said who dumb?" Paula detested: "Say again."

"Alright, calm. I am not going to make it serious. Let's get out of here." Chitoge urged as the girls left the square, where most Emiratis had already left long ago, after Qatar scored the third.

Josef, Rolf and Wilker enjoyed to go back home, but they would not expect an incident to happen. By somehow, they tried to make a run fast contest, with the beginning from the road to the park.

Of course, they had to exclude traffic reasons. Here they went through and tried to capture the time. They only had five minutes.

Bingo! RUN!

Meanwhile, on the lake, as the Emirati fans left all, Chitoge, Paula and Seishiro enjoyed some few good moments with cappuccino.

"Yaiz! It's good!" Paula said: "The best."

"Yeah, you just tried to get something with it." Seishiro smiled: "Sorry for saying you dumb."

"It's fine." Forgiving Paula: "Best friend after all."

"You guys make peace so quickly." Chitoge assumed: "Good deal."

As for the girls, they wanted to have some separate moment, but none knew that upcoming story would be extremely …

Josef was the fastest among all, with Rolf and Wilker had to chase behind.

"Jajajajajajaja …"

A laughing Josef Martínez was running, and to handle it, Wilker decided to go in a short way. But Wilker would not realize he was about to cause a hilarious incident. Wilker jumped from the fence of the park, and ran with the fastest speed, hoping to reach the lake. But without guidance, he couldn't control his speed and he would have …

"What the …"

Unknown best, the girls were sitting in front of a tree, which it had up there, a … hive! Beehive!

And it was on top of Chitoge's head. Lol.

Chitoge, after drinking enough, asked to see something, so urged Paula and Seishiro to go back to their hotel. As said, Chitoge didn't realize this until Wilker hit into the tree …

"BANG!"

Wilker Ángel, with such a "hit", fell down into the ground and got unconscious immediately. This, however, reckoned the hive and it fell out. Chitoge didn't know this, but Paula and Seishiro smelt something bad …

And the beehive suddenly fell and Chitoge went only aware when the hive started to …

"WHAT THE …"

From the outside, in a hotel where Milo, Melissa and Zack were relocated to enjoy a chance to the final, Melissa watched from her window only to realize another girl had suffered same old story Milo brought to: head-stuck.

This time, Chitoge got head stuck in a beehive, and she was not just struggling, she had to fight the angry bees going to chase behind. Paula and Seishiro were a bit frightened, despite they also tried to free the head of Chitoge.

Now, Melissa asked Milo, who later also saw the same scene …

"Did you meet her?"

"No. I don't know who she is. I'm quite fun, but not that stupid."

"Huh?" Melissa surprised with the response from Milo, assuming that, it was an incident by somebody?

After the hit, Wilker just woke up with helps from Josef and Rolf. Rolf asked: "Seriously, why?"

"I … dunno. Just … fucked up." Wilker admitted: "Too stupid for a story like."

"You should not run so fast. By a way, cutting a beehive?" Josef questioned: "WTF?"

"BEEHIVE?" Wilker and Rolf got stunned: "Are we hurt?"

"No. A victim had taken it." Josef said: "Sad, but true."

"Let's get the damn out of here, anyway. Good luck." Wilker and Rolf urged, with Josef also ran away. Leaving aside of lone Chitoge struggling to free her head from the hive, with Paula and Seishiro also got bitter sweet, obviously they wouldn't prefer at all.

For Milo, since he never met Chitoge, it raised a feeling for Melissa and Zack, it must be …

Chapter Text

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Any meaning for them? Might be true, sometimes didn't.

In that case, it was for Mordecai and Rigby. Thanked for Benson's permission, even hot-tempered Benson seemed dissatisfied toward them. Yup, Mordecai.

Mordecai and Rigby were both cheerful and, lawless. They would spend some moments to create the phenomenon in the UAE. Especially, selling final's tickets.

"Too much. How many dollars?"

Except, too expensive.

Many Emiratis labeled the host should have slowed the price, but with its home team got out from the semi-finals by Qatar, they decided to pull it higher, in order to prevent Qataris or neutral fans from attending on the battle between Japan and Qatar, two Copa América invitees, at the final held in Abu Dhabi.

This anti-Qatari trend became widespread for two years and had not slowed down. The Emiratis, on the eyes of passionate fans, only empowered Qatar in an unwanted consequence.

Over the other, Benson got a good beef with Antonio Valencia, Ecuadorian footballer. Benson got smashing angers from Pierluigi Collina after calling Collina "ape".

"Wow, going to insult Pierluigi. You have dealt with a wrong man."

"Not expect he would be even more hot-tempered." Benson said: "Shit."

"Not that shit enough. Usually, Mr. Collina is a calm bald man, but when it comes to clashes and fights, he is even more hot-tempered." Admitted Antonio.

"Indeed." Benson asked for coffees, as he looked on Mordecai and Rigby with so much suspicion: "Excuse me, permit me few moment."

Then, Benson turned his face, yelled on Mordecai and Rigby: "THIS IS NOT SELLING FOR FUN, IDIOTS! GET BACK TO WORK!"

"Yes I do!" Mordecai and Rigby, risked for it, had to keep selling. Antonio Valencia got impressed with strong authority of Benson.

"Man, talk to Benson that he should have a plan better." Rigby told: "Dumpening."

"That's suck." Mordecai admitted, and then they just tried to sell. Suddenly, Mordecai's brain turned an idea on: "Wait, Rigby, wanna cheap selling yet more money?"

"What?" Rigby got it: "Tell me."

"Okay, we just …"

Antonio Valencia and Benson got enough to talk, they just suggested to see what's going on. When Benson walked out, he saw all the tickets had been sold for fans. Surprised, he soon asked Mordecai and Rigby to know how did they sell all the tickets so fast.

Mordecai and Rigby explained quite simple: they attempted to integrate and mix selling tickets with playing game free in the festival, in which those who need to buy tickets must win their own-installed competitions. They diversified the game in order to gain fans and increased its base, thus served as good mentor for their interests to increase money.

They won it. It costed 30 minutes, but good enough.

"So, you make this?"

"Yeah … yup, we did." Rigby told.

"Then, you're free. Tomorrow, get back to work." Benson breathed as Mordecai and Rigby celebrated happily. Antonio Valencia, looking on them, saw that, they had a small, but at least, good deal.

"Get rid of that, bunch of damned happy." Antonio addressed: "Great."

And to get a good gift, Mordecai and Rigby were awarded with two tickets, as a gesture for their duty to the final match's ticket sell-out.

On Benson, he and Antonio would continue to have good talk …

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

In the city, the heat grew. Despite being the host, the UAE's failure to march to the final caused huge stains for Emirati supporters.

So, those who had received messages from the rest to win was Japan. Of course, the Emiratis excluded Qatar from receiving Emirati message, this was blamed by the current diplomatic blockade.

However, rare Japanese players truly gave a damn on the message. They knew that, if this policy of practicing racism continued, the only winner would not be them.

Said, the man who knew about it was no one but who?

Yuya Osako and Ritsu Doan.

Yuya Osako and Ritsu Doan walked into the street of Abu Dhabi, and for Yuya, Japan was like in fire. A must win became their decision if they want to tell Brazil and South America, they're ready.

To make fair, Japan's target was to Brazil, and Asian Cup was not its aim. Ritsu Doan, never claimed trophy, wondered how would it be, for many Japanese, the trophy was a new one.

Not to wait so long, there had some other sympathetic fan girls outside waiting for the Japanese team. Among them were Chizuru Akaba and Kurimu Sakurano, yup. Of course, another among them was a boy, who they were fighting to get his affection: Ken Sugisaki.

What caused them? Perhaps because of their unwilling to settle everything away.

Let's humble a bit. The Japanese side, while technically good, didn't have that quality they used to be in 2000s and early 2010s, though still remained powerful. This was what Mr. Moriyasu, who coached Japan at that tournament, tended to be wary of. He knew that after helping Japan to play in an explosive 3-0 victory over Iran, Qatar was far a different topic. Nonetheless, he remained with his strategy: to Copa América with its best.

Some kind of Western, mostly Australian, British and American guests, to some Asian and African visitors, also got interested to know about football there. Chizuru and Kurimu got interested to invest on it, well …

Ken attempted to tell that, they could wait. But they seemed not patience enough …

Yup, that's it.

Let's head for it. They targeted beyond as everything was about to set up. Yuya Osako and Ritsu Doan talked on, as some kind of …

"This is not what I wished for." Yuya admitted: "Fuck."

"Not even the same either. But who know?" Ritsu told.

"Yeah right." Yuya looked on, as they saw fans waiting around.

Security guards had tightened the hotel as Japanese team decided to hold no talking with other guests. Therefore, the only way to enter for Kurimu and Chizuru, was to sneak into a door which was not locked and not guarded. The door in the back of the hotel served them.

Yes, it was.

Ken attempted to not letting them go too far, but they were pretty annoying of course. But it was not like what they just saw from My Cultivator Girlfriend, damned it.

Abdulaziz, a private security guard that should have been in charge of this back door, was on his sleeping route at, and the girls were able to sneak into the hotel because of Abdulaziz's mistake for letting the door open. Kurimu and Chizuru used this to enter inside and tried to not wake Abdulaziz.

"I see it. Quiet."

Their goal was to give some signatures of Japan's football players to Ken, who didn't know about their acts. Ken tried to summon something good on to handle, but when he didn't see the girls, he was surprised: "WTF?"

So be it.

Chizuru and Kurimu found out that Yuya Osako and Ritsu Doan were standing near a window in the hotel, got ready to fill their duty to speak on the final encounter. Japan made its fifth appearances since joining the big game at 1988, what an impressive record.

As said, Yuya Osako and Ritsu Doan were disturbed by someone calling their name: "Yuya-san, Ritsu-san."

"Onee-chan."

"Huh?" Ritsu was surprised to see Chizuru and Kurimu wanted to see him and Yuya signing to them. They tried to make sense, but Yuya had his pen.

"Alright."

On those others, Ken Sugisaki didn't know where were Chizuru and Kurimu, so he decided to leave the hotel, in which he opted not to talk too much.

When Kurimu and Chizuru successfully got signatures from Yuya Osako and Ritsu Doan, they also sneaked out. As usual, Abdulaziz still slept without any clues about Kurimu and Chizuru being there, so they sneaked very easily.

But, it wasn't expected for them.

When Chizuru and Kurimu went out, Ken had already disappeared.

"Ken! Where are you?"

"How?"

They desperately tried to figure where was Ken, but no avail. Meanwhile, Yuya Osako and Ritsu Doan attempted to talk less. They didn't prefer to say anything, left alone the national team of Qatar had not conceded a single goal throughout the game and even Son Heung-min couldn't score.

And they would prefer zero discussion policy, if they wanted to win …

But Chizuru and Kurimu hated to tell why. Why didn't Ken wait for them? They wanted to show their prizes for him …

… pissed of.

Hahaha.

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

In the opposite side, there had been a number of question arose surround the possibility of Qatari fans able to travel. They hoped after the semi-finals, the host would ease restriction of travel for Qatari fans. Instead, the host made it even harder.

Not even say, the good luck final video from the UAE President was also not mentioning to Qatar, as their blockade had hampered its development. Qatar and the UAE's conflict also brought Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, those also had disdains against her. But same to the host, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia were no longer in this game.

But for those Qatari players, who care?

They had beaten mighty Saudi Arabia, took down Iraq, South Korea and even the UAE with a shocking 4-0. No one imagined how could Japan prepare for that.

In the same hotel, there were someone just returned from another world. Hey, they could have some better look on that. Guess who.

Yeah, Subaru Natsuki, just returned from another world. That hikikomori boy got back from the world and he sought to understand back what had he just left in the life. Had he been more mature, he could have denied his own stupidity to focus on other people.

Following him, of course, Emilia, Rem and Ram. Ram and Rem, with their own maid costumes, and Emilia with her own elf blood, appeared with the human boy Subaru. He tried to see where, only to realize …

"Wait, not Japan, it is …"

He was in the UAE, but within … a building. And he tried to know what was he doing there … The girls, impressed with new world, sought upon.

But what Subaru and his companions didn't know, was the hotel being the base of Qatar national football team. In there, they got Tarek Salman and Saad Al Sheeb, both are Qatari players. Tarek, an naturalized Qatari, was born in Egypt, and Saad was born in Qatar, directly. Nonetheless, since Arabic is official in both Egypt and Qatar, they found little differences.

"Tarek, may the God be with us."

"We'll win the final, we shall represent to the Emir of Qatar."

Saad Al Sheeb was the only goalkeeper to have conceded no goal throughout the whole Asian Cup in the UAE, confident over such a strong and impressive defense, they promised a victory would be enough for Qatar to win their first Asian Cup title. With Qatar, do or die became an order.

Neither Tarek Salman and Saad Al Sheeb would expect special guests in their hotel. Subaru, no idea about that, discovered Emilia, Ram and Rem both entered into an unknown room, whom placing many stuffs. Subaru, of course, knew what were these.

But not the girls.

"Wow, so new." Ram got an impression. It was so clean.

"I want to see." Rem tried to mess with.

"It's a jewel." Emilia even looked at the window, everything was so different in this part of the world. They tried to jump in and Subaru, discovering the room was not locked, tried to calm them down: "Please don't touch anything …"

"It is so cute." Rem hugged to a small toy left by the man there. It was a superman toy.

Typically, Tarek and Saad often bought some chips and snacks to go up on their room, which was the unlocked one. Said, Saad and Tarek later only saw a bunch of later girls and a boy meddling into their room, creating chaotic scene.

Subaru was aware that someone was coming, but Emilia, Ram and Rem were more interested on wrecking everything. So they could not be stand out until …

"OUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT!"

Tarek and Saad got angered as Emilia, Ram, Rem and Subaru both salvaged themselves to escape from scrutiny of Saad Al Sheeb and Tarek Salman, whom chasing into their exit gate.

Frustrated much?

They should've been alerted. With Subaru was also on the run, Tarek Salman and Saad Al Sheeb attempted to capture them. Nonetheless, they quickly disappeared.

For Emilia, Ram and Rem, their experiences with the new world was a fun one. Subaru, on the other side, was disappointed for being "sent" to a country right in the Western part of Asia …

Tarek Salman and Saad Al Sheeb would not easily let it go, but they tended to focus on the final against Japan … so, they tried to ignore a bit.

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Only one day left before the final, the stadium became increasingly more traffic jams. The more traffic, the more heated up. Of course, those Emirati fans were annoying, but instead of cheering their cousins in the western side of their sea coast, they cheered Japan and waving Japanese flag.

That was the result of indoctrination of propaganda in the country, and anti-Qatari sentiment continued to be an issue, despite the motto "Bringing Asia Together".

Kid and Nikov, standing in a balcony of a restaurant's high-rise building, this time had realized what attracted Emirati fans there so huge.

"Damn, they seem to place their reasons as 'hatred'."

"(Bunch of fucked up people. They are fanatics to a level uncontrolling themselves.)"

"You know when the President of this continent is a Bahraini, right?"

"(Bahrain. Ah, I see why, now.)"

Kid mentioned that Bahrain is one of main four anti-Qatari participants, other than Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Egypt, however, isn't an AFC member, so they were largely ignored and out of radar. The Egyptians also had rare things to care on …

But as Kid said, Bahrain is also anti-Qatari, so there were some Bahraini expats also joined the Emiratis on blaming Qatar, cheering Japan. And among them who found this, it must be Tomoyo Kanzaki and Hatoko Kushikawa. Jurai and Sayumi would later echo the same.

Neither Jurai, Hatoko, Sayumi or Tomoyo understood the reason behind, only when an old man spoke out, it came to be.

"This is very sensitive, kids."

"Huh?" Tomoyo wondered: "What's meaning behind?"

"More. It was because of a conflict." The man, who looked like a typical … kojak, scary eyes, bald head, but he appeared to be experienced.

"I don't know you." Hatoko dismissed: "What did it do for us?"

"Just come here." He urged: "Then I'll tell something."

Sayumi didn't get why, but still followed to listen. All four people arrived to sit with this bald old man. All four other seats were prepared for them.

And not wasting anything, the man quietly addressed: "Well, there is a cold war between this country with its neighbor. So they need to see someone as their holy guardian against their neighbor. Just few days ago, they lost to their neighbor in a football match."

"There is a cold war?" Jurai wondered: "What's wrong?"

"The final, dears." Told the man: "It was very complicated. It's still very complicated."

The wise old man with a Kojak-style looking mentioned about the match between the UAE (host) and Qatar, in which they lost disastrously, but seemed like those four didn't understand. To not let it away, he mentioned by using his phone and made up a YouTube video, which talked about the previous match between the UAE and Qatar.

So be it …

Qatar and the UAE, at that match, played a very offensive style of football, but only Qatar prevailed. The team went to be like …

… the Emiratis played and pressured the Qataris but unable to break down the Qatari defense. But it was under the UAE's hand until a sudden pass sent to Boualem Khoukhi, in which he netted 1-0 because of Eisa's hand didn't touch strong enough to the ball. And that was how the UAE team started to disintegrate.

According from the old man, when the UAE kept attacking, they could not be able to win the defense. And as Almoez Ali scored the second, the UAE's team spirit had been over-stretched and this unstable situation continued to develop. They could not pass the ball nor even proving that they were effective in response.

The whole Emirati squad broke down.

Wow, but it had not been the worst yet. The worst started at the second half.

The Emirati team, which composed mostly average to older players, had begun to feel their stamina weakened. It was the result of being completely exhausted over their previous win over Australia, the ex-champions of Asia. The Australian team, while unable to score, created a complete watershed moment for the Emiratis, forcing them to chase on their stamina.

Completely drained was the first. Second for the UAE team, they lacked positive ideas. If anyone wanted to share, they would talk about Omar Abdulrahman, the heart of Emirati team, as the key player. However, with Omar suffered injury, the UAE could not have a suitable replacement and they lost its direction.

Indeed, while the UAE and Qatar share a similar style of playing, the Emiratis failed to exploit their best and allowed too many weaknesses. The fans, on anger, became even more aggressive, they threw everything to the field as well.

But no avail. Instead, Emirati fans' angers only empowered its opponent, not them. It went to downhill as Qatar's captain, Hassan Al-Haydos, added the third. Some Emirati fans could not stop shedding the tears as they saw their team was completely outplayed.

That's it. And when Hamid Ismail netted the fourth, the rest was history.

"Wow … that's really … suck." Hatoko got a bit frightening seeing how Qatar routed the UAE. And Qatar was Japan's opponent in the last match.

"I will go and cheer for Japan tomorrow!" Jurai confirmed: "I don't want to see them lose anyway."

"Depend on you." The bald old man smiled, as they decided to gather on. By this time, they could understand why Emirati people were so desperate to see Qatar lost the final. They were humiliated by their enemy, right at home.

So be it … so be it …

After that saw Jurai Andou decided to join the squad of fans, and they would expect from it. But not without the sudden kiss from Tomoyo to Jurai that inflamed rivalry for affection over the Zayed Sports City Stadium between Tomoyo and Hatoko. Sayumi remained out of radar.

For the bald man, well, only then, he walked out and met …

"Kid and Nikov, welcome. Where's Tom and Jerry?"

"They're busy routing somewhere. Glad you come, Pierluigi Collina."

The man who talked with those Jurai's friends, was the great Pierluigi Collina! A legendary referee!

And as said, Kid, Nikov and Collina spent times to enjoy their few moment as they needed to be …

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The people began to echo about a possible ending. They rarely had to discuss about that because it was, perhaps, the moment where a major power faced on upcoming World Cup debutant. But the anti-Qatari sentiment chants from the Emiratis once again, filled the dark side of it.

Omanis, on the other side, cheered for Qatar and had rejected the idea of the Emiratis, with Oman trying to solve the situation between groups in peace better than jeering and booing. They formed a number of supporters for Qatar in the final, representing Qatar as unofficial fans.

In the stadium also had other Arabs; Algerians, Lebanese, Iraqis, Tunisians, Syrians, Yemenis, Moroccans, Egyptians, Kuwaitis, Sudanese, Palestinians alike, but unlike Omanis, their support varied. Especially Moroccans, who did not prefer to associate with any of these Gulf nations since the Gulf crisis. Dragging conflict wasn't its official position, anyway.

And there were fans from both sides. The most surprising was, Saudis, Emiratis and Bahrainis organized a large Japanese language banner. Politicization too far, might be. The banner said "we are all Japan", smearing Qatar as a multi-national mercenary squad. Bars and coffee shops within the street also became increasingly anti-Qatari, due to the previous match and, the blockade situation, when they raised Japanese flags but not Qatari flags together.

But it seemed easier to scare someone rather than done. According from Eric Lichaj, who also arrived there with Guillermo Ochoa, Joel Campbell, Alberth Elis, Darren Mattocks, Khaleem Hyland, Duckens Nazon and Rolando Blackburn; he found this Qatari squad was not a joke.

"They're harder than we expected from …" Lichaj admitted.

"They seem to have invested a lot of money, after failed 2015 Asian Cup." Blackburn repeated: "They want to become champions of World Cup or what?"

"They don't have such ability outside their Asian limit." Ochoa calmed: "Those Qataris only have money. We have passion and super players."

"Talk is easier than done." Darren added, as they sat on a secret stand, to enjoy the last match of this 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

They always felt a sense of damned feeling. For Joel Campbell, the match was about to start, having heard enough national anthems overall.

In somewhere, Nagisa Shiota spoke out in favor, of course, as he was also a fan of football, though not much really: "Funny that football was the only thing we would ever give a damn."

"Do you have other sports?" Akari Yukimura asked.

"So now you use your real name instead of Kaede one?" Karma Akabane asked Akari this time.

"Now, with nothing less to talk, I decide to use my real name." Akari told.

And, they had many to talk, to spend, to like over. The match began with the Japanese being under pressure of their poor style of counter, while Qatar tended to play aggressive. This helped Qatar more than Japan, the Japanese lacked a single plan to make it dominate. This was extremely humiliating, of course, because of the lame tactics of Hajime Moriyasu.

Qatari players kept playing with a stressing level, and Japan had to defend very hard. Sometimes, Japanese players sneaked to Qatari defense, but not useful.

"We're going to lose this …" Karma breathed: "Shit."

"If there's something, I said, fuck for nothing." Nagisa told: "That's pretty much suck too."

Both three watched the first half carefully and they discovered why the Qataris were renowned defenders. They built a very strong, with aggressive players. Teams from Western Asia tend to play very aggressive and sometimes violence toward its opponents, since they are not skillful like East Asian teams. This was seen with players from Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, they are not skilled like their counterparts in Japan, Australia, South Korea.

But Qatar might want to change this reputation. They showed a lot of skillful display, classing the eyes and making Japanese players to find the way. Nonetheless, Japanese defense remained good, although easy to be broken due to poor set up.

To be fair, Shuichi Gonda should have never been selected as goalkeeper for the main squad.

Karma, seeing how Qatar was led, started to fear over the vulnerability of Japan, tried to stay calm. Akari seemed not able to keep her head much as the time moved on and for Nagisa, that was enough.

Damn it.

And what those CONCACAF players, sitting somewhere, feared had come. Almoez Ali made a bicycle kick, scored an early goal for Japan as Japanese fans had not even believed what'd gone.

"1-0 for Qatar." Joel Campbell complained: "This is the worst thing to happen in such a case."

"And that fucking Hajime told that he wanted to impress in Copa América." Alberth Elis smeared.

"You've to relax. Japan had won for over four Asian trophies. We'll see if they want to acquire the fifth." Ochoa calmed.

"Yeah, but that's easier than done." Lichaj addressed: "Poland could have cruised Qatar easily, but the Qataris are buying loyalty to win World Cup by an Asian Cup title."

Eric Lichaj signaled his Polish ancestry, speaking about the situation of football. He had watched several Asian Cup matches, and he got huge impression on Iran the most. Sadly, Japan eliminated his favorite on the semi.

"So what could totally answer how the Qataris are playing?" Khaleem suspected: "I don't trust them."

"Just wait and see what's next." Duckens stated calm as the whole CONCACAF players watching the game …

On the breaths of others, the smell became increasing tenser aftermath. The Japanese side had not shown much improvement, lacked of ideas against a surprising Qatar team. They would have to take charge for another goal to concede.

By the eyes of Akari, Japan had completely surrendered even when it had not played on. Abdulaziz Hatem would have used the urgent attacks without care of Japanese players to make ready.

Hatem, being a renowned kicker, made a superb kick from outside. Lack of blocking for the defense proved a consequence, as Hatem's kick was too crooky and Gonda couldn't manage to deny it.

"Oh no." Akari hugged her hands to Nagisa, which Nagisa got blushed: "Can I hug … your hand?"

The fear prevailed on the faces of Karma and some hardcore Japanese fans, who didn't believe they would have to concede two goals so early. This was what Nagisa didn't want, but with Akari hugging hand, he tended to feel something safer a bit.

"FUCK!" Darren yelled: "2-0!"

"Those fucking Qataris are much better organized than we expect from them." Eric, that American, analyzed carefully: "If we deal, they are the biggest fags wanna gain benefits there."

"Considering the way Qatar plays, it looks like a little Spain." Duckens stated.

"Because those Qatari fags built up a Spanish-modeled La Masia in their country." Alberth showed on his iPhone the image of Aspire: "We should have been aware with that doggy thing."

"Whatever you say, those Qataris will not survive outside Asia. But with money, they can buy anything they want. Are they looking to buy a Copa América?" Joel Campbell didn't like that.

"It's not important anymore." Darren said: "It's clear that Japan didn't want to win this match."

"They obtain over four Asian Cup titles. How much they want to get?" Khaleem criticized the view: "I don't think Japan will have its pressure. Winning too much making them less interested on conquering another title."

"Show me something good you can do." Ochoa told: "Maybe it's better."

"Calm, calm, folks. I think Qatar will win, but still, we have to watch." Rolando stated coldly, and they kept watching from somewhere …

However, the Japanese performance remained so hard to realize. Not really good actually. According from Karma, Japan hadn't completely recovered from the pains of two early goals scored by Qatar's Almoez Ali and Abdulaziz Hatem.

Even when Hajime Moriyasu had warned, the Japanese still conceded two goals.

Karma tried to tell Akari to hold her hands out, but she was still annoying as hell. She kept holding hand of Nagisa, forcing Nagisa to have problems on handling with her feeling.

At that moment, it had passed for 35 minutes and nothing had changed outside two Qatari goals. Karma tried to hold Akari's feeling as well, to deny some maniac acts though.

Nagisa only wanted to ask … why?

Those CONCACAF players didn't believe it, and was differed between.

"Japan had played more aggressive, but they didn't show their level like how they did to Iran." Eric started to feel sense: "This was perfectly a karma."

"Bitch or more!" Darren told.

"Now, I feel sympathizing to them." Khaleem changed the voice so quick as it was 41', and Japan was still under pressure to equalize for a goal.

"Unfortunately, Qatar had conceded zero goal, and even beat Son Heung-min's South Korea. WTF just they eat?" Alberth suspected, but could do none.

"Try to ask for what?" Mocked Ochoa: "Stupidity for nothing."

"Jajaja." Rolando made it an ironic Spanish language laughing.

"Stop using Spanish, and look on it." Eric cautioned: "We've something to change."

And all for all, the result didn't help them much. Japan was led by two goals to nil after the end of first half. With Akari, the fear remained … Karma and Nagisa tried to ignore, but not useful …

Nor even CONCACF players …

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

In the capital of the country, it was being headline because of the final of 2019 AFC Asian Cup being held there, in Zayed Sports City. It's currently breaking times.

But that would be nothing without this man …

"Hey, wanna sell something?"

"WTF are you doing here?" Tom and Jerry got surprised to see …

It's Deadpool! WTF? Deadpool joined there in a hilarious reason. Tom, Butch, Jerry and Spike hugged Deadpool, and Deadpool also hugged them: "Oh my beloved Tom and Jerry, my dear!"

Deadpool, unlike any superheroes, surprisingly chose to … sell popcorns in Zayed Stadium. Tom asked: "WTF why did you sell popcorn there?"

"Are you all hungry? This is bitch up!" Deadpool seemed never lack of humors.

"And how delicious are these?" Jerry wondered.

"Taste! It's only in this world by my hand." Deadpool cheered, and giving the four to taste his own popcorn.

After eating a bit, suddenly, all four complained about the popcorns they ate.

"WTF?"

"Really?"

Spike started to suspect the maniac ideology behind Deadpool's "deadly popcorns". They could not taste it because it was too hot and they had to seek water to save their tongues.

Deadpool never lacked tricks. This time however, Butch decided to stab, he used his own knife and immediately responded by stabbing into Deadpool's stomach. Butch hoped it would kill him.

Instead, Deadpool didn't die. He still stood there, no sense of pain or injury. Butch got stunned: "Do you have …"

And, the sense of humor left by Deadpool was …

"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh …"

Surprisingly, despite being stabbed by Butch, he instead gave them just "ahhhh". By this, the stinky smell spread through. He gave a BOMB!

Butch realized Deadpool is immortal, and he had caused the all time shitty story around there. But hey, Deadpool thought that he just relaxed a bit, so he gave no damn.

Tom, Jerry and Spike urged: "GET THE HELL ALL THE SMELL OUT! OPEN THE DOORS QUICK!"

Jesus Christ.

"Hey! Wait! Why don't you enter the stadium!?" Deadpool chased the Tom and Jerry gang, as always … uh oh.

Chapter Text

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The second half started with many pressures increased from the Japanese side, since Japan was being led by two goals to nil. Yet, few changes occurred.

On the stadium hosted a group of ten men watching from the exit/enter door of the stadium, standing out and their backs leaned to the wall. Alongside them, were Dora-the-Kid and Dora-nikov, who wanted to see the last encounter of 2019 AFC Asian Cup. And so be it.

They? Well … nothing else but those from South America. They were …

"Welcome there, men." Kid laughed. As said …

… Luis Suárez, Federico Santander, Roberto Firmino, Alejandro Chumacero, Edison Flores, Charles Aránguiz, Salomón Rondón, Miller Bolaños, Sergio Romero and Luis Muriel. All of them arrived on the same time, some were even more renowned had to cover with sunglasses to deny being discovered by someone. They did good though, in such a large stadium.

"Jiang Haoyi?" Suárez took the mock from a story discovered in China: "Sex boy lol. Cupid's chocolate!"

"Jajaja, very funny indeed." Chumacero laughed: "WTF you just read?"

"Do you have something else? Because we have a match to watch and focus over." Romero urged: "Stop talking and rather wondering why."

"I would rather be surprised with the way Japan performed then." Firmino stated calm: "Never understand that at all."

"I am serious. Do you think inviting Qatar is a good idea?" Charles asked Firmino back: "I don't trust them."

"We can't help this. It's not ours." Salomón addressed quite fast: "Those Qataris were invited by CONMEBOL members."

"I am not going to speak about the match, rather I wonder how can Qatar grow up so fast despite having a lame reputation before?" Federico questioned: "We all know they have a lot of money. And I am aware half of Qatari team players are not native to Qatar. Its Aspire Academy has not provided many successes at senior level despite its youth records. So, how?"

"Football is like that, right?" Muriel stated: "Dumping dumpkins."

"Muriel, you should not ask what happened." Miller argued: "It cannot explain why Japan plays so poorly right now."

"What can we do? After all, we cannot help. They have to solve it themselves." Edison smiled: "I love to smile and to end all these shits for a while, maybe better."

All ten men, ten CONMEBOL players, gathered with Kid and Nikov speaking on the Asian Cup Final. Kid and Nikov, who lived in Japan previously and had knowledge in Japanese language, spoke out.

"That should be discussed later, maybe, worth."

"(And?)"

"We don't know can Japan bounce back, or not." Kid stated: "But we shall know the result soon."

At the same stadium, there were some fans sitting too. And not to say, that was …

"Minto!"

"Retasu!"

"Ichigo!"

They were also watching the same encounter on the seat, and wary about how Japan struggling to score an equalizer. And that's it, Ichigo Momomiya told something short to Minto Aizawa and Retasu Midorikawa.

"That's really suck, though."

"Do you enjoy football really?" Minto wondered: "Well, it would be better to see it."

"I think if this ongoing, Japan won't have a chance." Retasu spoke out: "It's really sad."

"By a way, where're Huang and Zakuro?" Ichigo asked again: "I don't see them here."

"They don't come." Retasu explained: "They need to have more times to gather luggage."

"Wow, so early." Minto said: "A bit too early right?"

"Because tomorrow, we'll fly back to Japan from Abu Dhabi." Said Retasu: "I will miss this place."

All three girls enjoyed to see what's going on at the Zayed Sports City Stadium, hoping to witness a Japanese resurgence against a surprising Qatar …

The Qataris still defended well, but they were not as stable as they used to be, and there had some signs of broken, but Qatar was not an easy wall to break through. They had even allowed no chance for Son Heung-min, nor even concede a goal then. It was like that, perhaps.

The three girls were hoping to see sudden changes, as more attacks from Japan devastated the Qatari defenders. Still, it was 2-0 for Qatar up to 60' for it.

And then …

Minamo dribbled the ball and he passed through the defenders, eventually at 69', he passed the ball on a nervous Saad Al Sheeb.

"DEFEND OUT!" Sheeb urged the whole team to block, but it was too late, Minamino quickly sent the ball pass through Saad Al Sheeb …

… Goal!

Saad Al Sheeb was defeated for the first time in the Asian Cup, with a goal from Takumi Minamino. Minamino was the first to score a goal on Qatar in this edition, a hope was risen …

"What a goal!" Charles had little to praise: "It shouldn't be a concern. But the goal was mostly because of Qatari defenders' fault."

"Still 2-1 for Qatar, anyway." Romero stated: "Lame enough, shit!"

"Why don't you try to mention something better?" Luis Suárez wondered: "Japan isn't going to win."

"That fucking Japanese coach said his priority is to make Copa América his own." Firmino mocked: "That idiot should prove he could win the Asian Cup before talking about Copa."

"Jaja! I would deal with some fanaticos who are willing to support each of them." Chumacero gave soft: "That would be better to expose."

"Say a Bolivian." Salomón mocked him: "Do you have passion or what?"

"LOL, please don't forget Venezuela is in starvation time. Hambrezuela!" Chumacero felt disturbed by the act of Salomón.

"Bolivindiano drogadicto." Muriel mocked in protecting to his Venezuelan brother: "Bolivia is the poorest country in there after Paraguay, don't forget that Chile seized your sea coast lol."

Chumacero wanted to bang them, and even against Charles Aránguiz because Charles made it clear as well. However, Federico Santander held his hand, warned: "Don't create a fight, Alejandro. It won't solve anything."

"Shit." Chumacero wanted a fight, but now he had to calm.

"It would have been a bitter deal than with others." Suárez wanted to take some piece of it, eventually: "It should be bitter, and bitter."

"Jeez." Miller addressed in irony: "WTF?"

"Piss off." Edison smeared: "It's nothing much."

Dora-the-Kid then added flavor: "This should be called, fuck!"

"Hahahahahahahahahahaha." Those CONMEBOL players almost caught a fight, surprisingly laughed together: "What's next?"

"They said – watch it." Kid ended: "Now, let's keep enjoying."

What the hell …

Meanwhile, the match had just continued, with Japan scored the first goal against Qatar, reducing it to 1-2. Still, the Japanese had not broken the line for a second time.

Ichigo was wary about the outcome, and with Retasu and Minto went on with the same conclusion.

"Japan played so bad …"

"Aha!" Minto said to Retasu: "It was even more terrible then."

"It is 81' now, and few changes." Ichigo addressed: "Suck it."

They tried to imagine, but when their eyes were not easily to get over with after referee pointed on the penalty position. This meant, their chance to reduce the result would end because of it.

When Akram Afif took his duty, he was about to face it. He prayed to God, hope it would end well for him. Ichigo and Minto wished it wouldn't come, but Retasu found with this face, 99% Afif would score.

… and …

"3-1! Updated!" Suárez drank a Coca-Cola bottle and then threw to the garbage: "Fuck, it's done!"

"Hah!" Firmino argued: "Japan can equalize 3-3, but it'll depend."

"Should have never enlisted on that shit." Charles sold out words: "It's so sucking fuck."

"You want to go there, dammit!" Edison argued to Charles: "You Chileans always make annoying."

"And you Peruvians should go and take some Indian natives." Charles responded to Edison: "What a glorious name, yet childish behavior."

"What?" Edison decided to engage against Charles and they planned for a fight. Dora-nikov immediately intervened to stop the battle that almost began because of Edison Flores and Charles Aránguiz.

"Have those dumbass had enough problem?" Romero argued: "Shut up, please."

"Say something?" Muriel asked: "Chumacero would be interested to insult someone."

"At least." Rondón addressed more: "It could be handled not by idiot."

"You say Bolivians are idiot? Fucking Venezuelan starvation." Chumacero once again got mad when it came to conversation with Salomón, resulted with another upcoming fight.

"Stop, you idiot." Kid said: "It's 90'. Try to get some taste and talk later."

Of course, all CONMEBOL players watched carefully, but sometimes they never stopped causing controversies. It resulted with some of their documents about Japan and Qatar, needed for Copa América, had almost been interrupted.

But finally, it was achieved.

It was over, and nothing described the faces of those CONMEBOL players. Prior to the tournament, they expected Qatar to end up in the quarter-finals; and Japan with the semi-finals or final at last. However, none of these went to their expectations.

The shocking 1-3 defeat of Japan meant for the first time in Asian Cup history, Japan finished runners-up in a final. Ichigo, Retasu and Minto left the stadium, only that they wished they had never shown up there. The Qataris celebrated and mocked both Japanese and the host alike, owning this was their maiden Asian Cup final and they still conquered Asia.

The most to feel the sense was Luis Suárez, who participated in secret.

"That's enough. Let's go."

The nature of this humiliating defeat of Japan forced the others to look on Qatar as a serious adversary. Especially Luis Muriel, whom his team would get a tough time with Qatar. Same reason why Sergio Romero and Federico Santander were there too.

Roberto Firmino had not believed on his eyes that Japan lost. Charles Aránguiz, Alejandro Chumacero, Salomón Rondón also had a lot of disappointment. For Miller Bolaños, that's all they needed. Edison Flores addressed that, it was not easy as they used to be, anymore.

Same that, Kid and Nikov also left the stadium with CONMEBOL players, after Qatar was crowned King of Asia … with the new trophy.

Luis Suárez wrote on in Spanish the word "insult". He despised how it went, though …

However, before Luis Suárez left, Edison Flores gave him a warning:

"Hey, do you still play with Messi?"

"Yes. Why?"

"Tell Lionel Messi, he has to leave Barcelona as soon as possible. Barcelona may ruin his career for the national team of Argentina and South American football in general. We have not won any World Cup title since 2002, for now …"

"What?" Suárez was warned after that by Flores, and as Edison left, the only thing Luis would have to remember …

… Barcelona … intended, to ruin Messi's national team career?

 

Chapter Text

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

After the final, it was the last day for Sakura Mamiya to stay. Along her was Rinne Rokudo, only that. For Sakura, she opted to think normally, but Rinne ought to change something about it.

They arrived when Japan played the semi against Iran, and the Iranians had been beaten 0-3 by the Japanese. This impressive performance of Japan led them to high hope, but their chance to acquire the fifth title had gone in vain for losing 1-3 to Qatar.

Football fever had gone for most of this time, with so many passions and prides, as well as tears and joys. This was about time for them to spend the last moment in a camping feeling, because in Dubai, it was sunset.

"Rinne, do you imagine from it, anyway?" Sakura asked.

"What?" Rinne wondered: "Can you describe it, just short?"

"The sunset. It would be interesting if you never have enough time for it." Sakura said.

Problem was, Rinne had a poor understanding of how to describe the beauty of sunset in a Middle Eastern city like Dubai. Moreover, Dubai is far than his imagination, thus costing much money was not really … okay, either.

Sakura and Rinne tried to give some momentum. Sakura allowed Rinne to take moment; but Rinne had not clarified anyway. This meant, it was too hard to explain.

Everything would have been simple like that, if not for …

"In the Arabian soil, there has the purity of a girl in the desert. Arabian sunset unleashes her beauty."

The voice was not from Rinne, and Sakura with Rinne turned back, this time, they were surprised. A man, handsome, charming and gentle, Sakura and Rinne got impressed with him.

"Wow, who are you?"

"Allow me to explain." Responded gentleman: "My name is Nawaf Al-Temyat."

"And my name is Tim Cahill." The other man showed himself.

Both were totally legends in their respective countries. Al-Temyat is known as the most handsome Saudi player ever in the history, with a passionate and charismatic ideal. His fellow friend, Tim Cahill, is even more famous, he was the former Asian Cup winner, and played in four World Cups, as well.

"Wow, but I don't know you." Sakura knew nothing about them since she didn't watch football. Neither was Rinne.

"It's okay. We all see the sun of desert, both dawn and sunset." Nawaf explained: "It would be better, if you have seen fully."

"But now, you're here." Tim Cahill added: "This is why I love listening Arab folk tales."

"Arab folk tales? Oh I see." Sakura smiled, as Rinne got a bit from it.

Then, Nawaf Al-Temyat and Tim Cahill sat together with Sakura Mamiya and Rinne Rokudo, hoping to see something shiny before they departed away from the United Arab Emirates.

It was somehow, beautiful according from Sakura. She had tried to express her emotion toward Rinne, but it was due to strictness, she could not develop much.

Nawaf said to Sakura: "Are you in love?"

Sakura got blushed, but she still tried to show nothing on her emotions in the face. Tim Cahill, who just finished drinking a soda, took the task: "Seriously? I don't think why you asked this, Nawaf."

"In Arab culture, love is a special kind of expression and emotion, rarely known for the other people." Nawaf said: "Myself is not a fan of restriction in my country, but I love my Arab feeling."

"Then you have it all." Rinne said in calmness: "It would be better, to not making something about."

"Sometimes, when you can break it without causing controversy, it will be even more perfect." Nawaf addressed: "The better, the wish of all people."

Rinne and Sakura had already been clueless about Arab culture, because they were in an Arab country, the United Arab Emirates. That's shown all of it.

But they loved the way Nawaf Al-Temyat talked to them.

On the other side, Tim Cahill said: "Has always been a long time now, nor even said to. It was special for people to not forget, who, and why. Life is like sunrise and sunset, when it ended, only memoirs."

"You make sense. But I'll prefer more: the magic." Spoke Nawaf: "Arabs truly believe on magic. That was before the era of Prophet Muhammad. But, I'm an open-minded person, unlike the rest of Saudi citizens. And I'm proud to know about pre-Islamic history of us."

"So, magic has been a part of Arab culture?" Sakura got in her mind: "Can you describe?"

"One word: love." Nawaf gave the answer: "The Arabs value loyalty and trust. But on the same time, they always love granting wishes."

"I see." Rinne told: "This is the same in Japanese culture."

"Haha, good luck for that." Cahill threw to Nawaf a soda: "Drink it, my friend. The same in Samoan culture, too."

Tim Cahill himself is also of Samoan descent, he always speaks about his native Pacific Samoan heritage, and praised them as some of the strongest people in the world. He believed, with the spirits of magic and life, the power will be granted and freedom will be the award of free man, as in Samoan old folk.

"So, is this possible to see magic in the future?" Sakura asked, and she was clever to hide her ability to see ghosts.

"Anytime." Tim and Nawaf raised their "like".

"Then, we'll have and share together." Rinne smiled, as with Sakura, as well. Together with Tim and Nawaf, they shared many things to care and love with.

And so, the sun slowly went down in the sky, making it even more beautiful due to the purity and loves. Love under sunset was the reason for so many old Arab tales. Yup.

In such moment, Rinne grabbed Sakura's hand, giving Sakura a strange feeling, as she expected nothing about it. Overall, she smiled, in response.

The smiles and loves will remain, no matter how it goes. And Arab sunset will describe …

Chapter Text

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai International Airport

Having invested enough for such a trip, which Jiang Haoyi perceived to be some of the most important moment of his life, he tried to make something less known for him.

A son of a police chief of course, with his mother is also working in this law enforcement group of China, he tends to be more responsible. The sad only was he had been left behind, too long.

Strange always as it should be.

"Hi!" Suddenly, someone ran fast to him, saying "Darling". This caused outrage and Haoyi tried to prevent her, but he almost got trouble, because …

"Jiang Haoyi!" Another girl got angered, slapped on Haoyi's face: "I thought you understand this is another country and not China!"

Haoyi himself didn't wish to become a harem King, nor even want to have attention. Too bad he was caught up with trouble because of a cupid's chocolate cake before. Cupid's time!

Having taken duty to bring the Asian Cup to success, though not without controversies, former Asian Cup's giant star, Ali Daei, spoke calmly together with fellow Hidetoshi Nakata, Noor Sabri, Park Ji-sung and Maksim Shatskikh. Who were they, really?

Ali Daei was a former Iranian international player, and regarded as one of the best players from Asia and the world, holding records with the most goal scored for a national team, though he had won no title in his career with his nation, something he had deepened in trauma at young.

Hidetoshi Nakata, one of Japan's earliest professional players, who established a great reputation for Japanese football, winner of two Asian Cup, and one of 22 players who debuted for the country at 1998 World Cup in France.

Noor Sabri was a recently retired international player of Iraq. Used to be a goalkeeper, he was the backbone of all Iraqi team and winning 2007 Asian Cup together. He continued to play but received no further call since and had lost his position to Mohammed Gassid and eventually, Jalal Hassan. Realizing no more time, he decided to retire from the country's team to give young players more chances.

Maksim Shatskikh was considered as the machine gunner of Uzbekistan, and the pioneer for the rise of Uzbekistani football. While technically he could represent Russia, because of his Russian origin, he devoted his career for Uzbekistan, brought a number of football success in the country, including a fourth place finish in 2011 Asian Cup.

Park Ji-sung was one of the most successful Asian players, but like Daei, he had never won the Asian Cup in his career. He was the Three-Lung Park, by fans, for his incredible working methods and restless fight. He was the inspiration for other Korean kids, one of his fan, went on to share same step: Son Heung-min.

Five Asian greats were there.

"Hahahahaha, you don't discuss much, won't?" Maksim asked: "Do you believe them?"

"I do. Why not?" Hidetoshi laughed: "It would be even funnier."

"Great. Having enjoyed the Asian Cup, from the eyes of all former soldiers like us, I admit, it is fun." Ali spoke out in favor.

"Spot on." Noor added: "We can also have the lion's shares."

"Hahahahaha …" Park laughed too.

Somewhere nearer to those Asian legends, there had a boy under trouble, ongoing trouble perhaps.

"Stay away from me …" Jiang tried to convince: "I don't want to …"

"Haoyi … are you … okay?" Xia Zitong, his friend, who has love interest on Haoyi, attempted to hide her feeling. For a rich girl, she is too shy, of course.

"Are you sure what you're doing?" Lin Yuan wondered: "I think Xueli …"

The girl hugging Haoyi, wearing a gothic red-black clothes, was Ouyang Xueli. Xueli, who suffered from previous trauma, attempted to brutalize anyone getting close to Haoyi, but was forbidden to bring weapons because the Emirati police would have taken to custody. So she tried to be as good as possible, despite her reckless actions prompted watching from people around the airport, including the police. And she, like the rest, knew no Arabic.

"Haoyi, try to stay away from her." It was Tang Xuan, who slapped on his face before.

Meanwhile, the other appearance was from …

"La, la, la …"

Somewhat bored, Noor Sabri wanted to make fun, so he performed a traditional Iraqi dance. It was followed by Maksim Shatskikh, who performed his Cossack dance.

"Like when there is a sunrise. I always say: our miracle."

Both two men loved singing some old folk songs of both Iraqi, Russian and Uzbek ones. Then Noor suggested Maksim to dance the song, Habibi of A-Wa! That would be interesting, because A-Wa is a band composed of Yemeni Jews and was made by Israeli artists, a country Iraq didn't even recognize.

"Hah! That's good, habibi." Ali Daei agreed, and they slapped their hands together, as Noor Sabri and Maksim Shatskikh, to make the airport happier, dancing on, too. This attracted many people to watch their performance, many which had praised them for creating hot scenes.

And so, Hidetoshi, Park and Ali stood in favor, though none of the remaining three took dancing. At least, they felt the happiness …

On the other side of the airport, same airport, Jiang Haoyi tried to speak over but this time, he even got problem because of Hua Yushan, known as Sandy in China, attempted to seize interest with Haoyi.

Jiang Haoyi had got angered because he was abused by so many girls there, but he still wished not to enter on trouble. The Emirati police watched him and suspected him for having abusive harem sentiment, prompted him to deny.

"It's beautiful, Haoyi."

"HAH?" Tang Xuan got mad as she discovered the faults of Haoyi, even Haoyi didn't intend to do it.

Unfortunately, this also prompted response, with distrust, from Xitong and Lin Yuan. That's be it.

Suddenly, the airport reported about an upcoming flight, which included both Jiang Haoyi, his girls; and those former Asian Cup's players, it meant they had to depart. For Noor Sabri and Maksin Shatskikh, they would love to do more, but not many times. Ali Daei, Park Ji-sung and Hidetoshi Nakata immediately departed as well. They soon left there …

"Let's go. We have no more times."

With Daei, it must be fast. That's because they needed to solve everything before too late. When they walked …

… on the same time, Haoyi also took luggage, and the girls with him walked on the other side. And when they walked on, they just walked to the …

Ali Daei, Hidetoshi Nakata, Park Ji-sung, Noor Sabri and Maksim Shatskikh walked to the left; Jiang Haoyi and the girls moved the right, and they …

… they together passed beyond each other, without any awareness. But of course, Hua Yushan/Sandy got the strangest feeling, because she seemed to know them somewhere.

Sandy looked back, but it didn't have much to reveal. Realizing it would be too late, she ran to the girls and Haoyi, hopefully to gain something affection.

Jiang Haoyi, poor guy.

And those players, they would have a rest to have their sense …

Chapter Text

Tokyo, Japan

Upon the team's return to JFA's headquarter, Hajime Moriyasu got a break to meet Saitama, who had some interests to meet with the boss.

Saitama wondered why wasn't Hajime intended to play more aggressive against Qatar, since he watched the whole match anyway.

"You could have won it, really."

"My target, was for the Copa América. It might be hard to understand, but that's my goal."

"I would prefer more from you, man. Do you think, you can explain to those supporters in Brazil with this failed final?"

"I'll have my way to handle it."

Hajime Moriyasu tried to calm the view of Saitama, and Saitama was smart enough to not use his super punch, because it would give unwanted damages, anyway.

"But, do you know what are you intended to do?"

"Saitama, I hope, but it will depend on situation like." Hajime breathed: "Hope the God bless us."

When Hajime planned to walk away, suddenly, Saitama gave the question last:

"So, Mr. Hajime, do you, really, understand what would have costed next?"

"Huh?" Hajime got a bit surprise: "What did you mean?"

"Copa América is in a higher level and I respect your opinion. But what about World Cup? You can't give them a feeling so normal and quiet like this. Are you serious enough?"

Hajime turned his eyes, and he soon responded, coldly, but full of determination.

"I shall. Trust me."

By that point, Saitama saw a determined face from Hajime. He guessed, it would be it …