A painting in the possession of the wealthy tycoon Cavi Campbell is believed to contain a code that, if unlocked, could reveal dark secrets about the East or West that could reignite a war. It’s up to Twilight and Nightfall to retrieve the painting. But Fiona doesn’t intend to steal it, she intends to win it.
Cavi runs an underground no-rules, anything-goes tennis tournament called Campbelldon. Fiona dons ojou ringlets and Loid a sporty headband as they pose as an amateur husband and wife team, the Phonys. Secretly, Fiona hopes to show Loid that she’s the only one worthy to be his fake wife.
The crowd bets heavily against them as their first opponents are former pros who went into the mountains to train and are here to seek tougher foes. They get their wish, as both Loid and Fiona mop the floor with them. Despite only “dabbling” in tennis, every one of Loid’s serves is a devastating ace.
Fiona goes above and beyond in trying to look as cool and amazing as possible, her resting stoic face belying the colorful imagery of Loid being so impressed he sweeps her off her feet and proposes they enter the “doubles game of life.”
Loid had previously practiced a bit with Yor and Anya, and I kinda wish we could have seen more of that, especially considering Yor rarely knows how to hold back when it comes to physical exertion. Still, Yor is anxious about the possibility Loid is with Fiona. Anya offers her mom words of comfort … that don’t give away the fact she can read her mind.
Loid and Fiona’s next opponents are a pair of brothers who injected themselves with a new experimental doping cocktail (again, anything goes in Campbelldom). But they are undone by their insistence on trash-talking, which quickly gets under Fiona’s skin and leads her to literally beat them into submission with a flurry of smashes.
Before the final, the spies are taken to a waiting room, where they discuss strategy against their opponents: the son and daughter of Cavi Campbell himself. They’re sure to have more than a few tricks up their sleeve. As Fiona resolves to go even harder for the sake of impressing Loid, he takes her hand.
She initially mistakes him for making a move, unable to restrain himself from her magnificence. But he’s really looking at the cuts, sores, and blisters on Fiona’s hand, and tells her to stop pushing herself so hard, as spies who lose their cool don’t live long.
Fiona pulls her hand away and appears to stare daggers at Loid, but in reality, she’s elated beyond reason that Loid, who once treated other spies as disposable, is so concerned with her well-being. Swooning and slightly risqué sounds ensue.
But then both Fiona and Loid notice that a colorless, odorless gas is filling the locker room. They hold their breath, but some damage has already been done, just when they need all their strength, speed, and stamina.
In addition to not being 100%, Carrol and Kim Campbell have totally legal modified racquets: Carrol’s is jet-assisted, while Kim’s has an extending head that greatly extends her return radius. The Campbell kids ambitions may not extend further than wanting daddy to buy them another yacht, but they win the first set 6-3.
Loid and Fiona regroup and come up with a workable counter to their opponents superior equipment, but then another curveball is lobbed their way when bits of the very court beneath their feet start to shift, causing their shots to veer off-target.
This surely isn’t the last of the dirty tricks they’ll face, but Loid is determined to win that painting for the sake of world peace, and Fiona is just as determined to crush the Campbell kids by his side, and convince him to dump Yor and marry her, both for Strix and for real. To be continued…