A spin-off competition to the KOF tournament was underway in Rio de Janeiro. Although it was an unofficial tournament, the final rounds were so intense that even people passing by found themselves entranced. The fierce combat finally came to a close, and the two breathless fighters paid each other their respects and shook hands.

"*Pant*... *Pant*... Well, your undetectable footwork at close-range was quite impressive. It was like the Japanese 'SURI-ASHI' movement technique. Are you a 'SAMURAI' then?" "No... And there's no way I look like one, either. I'm Nelson. I'm a boxer. You look pretty shady too, but your quick movements were first-class." "Oh, yes. It's all thanks to my daily training. For anyone heading to official KOF, that level is quite elementary." "Oh, so you're participating? I'm planning to as well, but I need one more member. You're weird, but you're tough. If you don't have teammates in mind yet, why not team up with me?" "I was having trouble getting members to team up with, too. My name is Bandeiras. It's good to meet you, Nelson."

The awards ceremony ended without incident, and the audience dispersed as their passion for the final bout faded. Nelson led Bandeiras to a café near the arena, and they waited for the final team member to arrive so Nelson could introduce her.

"Sorry to keep you waiting!" The cheerful voice came from a woman with a toucan on her shoulder who was approaching their table. "Ah! There you are. This is our other team member, Zarina." "Nice to meet you. I'm Zarina. I rushed over here when I heard that our new teammate was a really tough ninja." "It's my pleasure. My name is Bandeiras." "Crazy outfit, huh? But he's the real deal in a fight." "No, no, this is formal attire. I'm the master of the Brazilian Ninjutsu Dojo." "But you don't have any students, do you?" "Well, err... But I've heard that they'll beat my door down to sign up if I do well in KOF." "Are you sure about that? Where did you even hear that from?" "Tehehe, you two really get along well!" "I-I wouldn't worry about me. Anyway, Nelson just wants to show off that arm he's so proud of. What is your reason for signing up, Zarina?" "My reason for signing up..."

Zarina's expression darkened slightly, and she began to speak in serious tones while petting the toucan on her shoulder. Her pet toucan Coco was dear to her, almost a member of her family. His species' nesting ground had been purchased by a major company, placing them in danger of extinction due to land development. She had decided to participate in the KOF tournament in order to make her case in the court of public opinion. In doing so, she hoped to change the situation and put a stop to the land development.

"Amazing! I had no idea you had such a motive." "And for the record, I'll vouch for her strength. It was all before my accident, but we've had several fights." "Wow, so you two have fought each other before. It is quite reassuring to know that you can fight evenly with a top-ranked boxer." "Right?"

Although she was blushed after hearing her abilities praised, Zarina still worried. There was still a darkness hidden in her smile.

"By the way, our goals are all over the place, but we all want to win, right? That means we're all comrades working toward a common goal, starting today. So naturally, we'd go to help our comrade's family too." "Naturally. I will give everything I have, for my comrades and for Zarina's family. I feel like I just embarked on a voyage." "Both of you, thank you so much!  I'll give it all I have, too!!"

And thus, one woman broke into a grin on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and Team South America was formed.




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