Hey everyone, this is the second story that I'm going to be publishing here on Fanfic. I've always loved the Persona series and both FES and Golden are among my favorite games of all time. I hope you guys enjoy this story as it's a typical "Minato/Makoto comes back from being the Great Seal/Eternal Doorknob" And I got my inspiration from reading all of those fics here on Fanfic but they've been abandoned I think... So this is for all of you guys who wrote them out there! Haha! I haven't played either games in nearly 2-3 years so the characters might be a little or a lot OOC. I'm sorry if I offend any of you who think I ruined their character but I haven't played in forever, so my memories of them are rusty! I really do love all the characters, well maybe not Revolver Jesus or King Moron. But anyway, this chapter is probably going to be one of the longest and worst as I really hate to split intros into multiple chapters and I'm really bad at introductions, no matter the medium. So tell me what you think alright? Leave me a review or PM me! Well, Let's a go!
Blank Card - Chapter 1
(Scene change - Sea of Souls)
In a void as endless as the eyes could see laid a lone figure, his eyes closed as he rested on his arms crossed behind his head. With dark blue hair that covered his right eye, a lithe build, wearing a school uniform with the emblem of Gekkoukan High, accented with a loose black bow tie, one would assume that he was just a high school student but to a select few, he was someone who impacted them more then would have ever imagined.
Slowly, his eyes fluttered opened, revealing impassive light-blue nearly silver eyes that held unbridled emptiness. As they finally stayed opened, he repeated the same routine that he has been doing since his soul was bound to the seal. Getting up and stretching his freshly awoken muscles, he closed his eyes as a soft metallic clang echoed next to him.
Opening them once again, he kneeled down slightly and picked up the katana that had manifested before giving it a few test swings. Satisfied, he went over the same kata that he had learned during his time as a member of Gekkoukan's kendo team. As he finished those kata, never once fumbling or slowing down, he moved onto the movements and techniques that he had developed and perfected during his time as field leader inside Tartarus.
Alternating between the two, he repeated this daily routine he had developed the day after forgoing his soul in order to save the world and the ones who were precious to him. As he went through his daily regimen, he let his thoughts slowly drift to the time that had past since becoming the seal the prevented the manifestation of humanity's grief and negative emotion from getting to the harbinger of the Fall.
How long has it been since he became the seal that stopped Erebus? He had stopped counting after the first year. Has it only been a little over a year? A few years? A decade? A century? Or even a millennia? Time seemed to move much faster here then it did anywhere else, a testament to that was the fact his memories were almost nonexistent, only a few blurry images of people he was sure he had forgotten. But he pushed those thoughts to the back of his min, seeing as it was pointless to believe that someone had the power to free him of his fate and even then.
"I chooseth this fate of mine own free will." He whispered to himself in an impassive tone, shaking his head as he continued with his training.
After an unknown period of time training, not knowing if it was an hour or a hundred, he released a sigh before he dropped the katana that he held in his hand. As it hit the ground, it dispersed in a shower of silver particles.
Following the dropped blade, he dropped onto his legs in a lotus position before he laid back and stretched his legs out. Folding his arms behind his head once again, he let his eyes drift closed before he entered a dreamless sleep, like he had since he had stopped keeping track of time.
As his consciousness started to fade, the echo of a roar made its way to his ears. Cracking an eye open, he knew the source of that roar and opted to ignore it; knowing that no matter what it tried to do, no matter how much power it gained, Erebus would never be able to break the seal he had created. But soon, that eye fully opened, gazing at the figure before him. A figure that he hasn't seen since the battle on top of Tartarus. Standing in front of him was the goddess of the night, Nyx.
(Scene Change - Tatsumi Port Island: Kirijo Group Corporation)
In the topmost floor of the corporation building sat a peerless, diligent, young redheaded beauty signing, stamping and examining documents behind a thick mahogany desk. This young lady was beginning to make her name known throughout the business world as the next successor to the Kirijo name, her name, Mitsuru Kirijo; current head of the Kirijo group, former tactical leader of SEES, founder and leader of the Shadow Operatives and a very close friend of Minato Arisato.
"At this rate I won't be finished signing the preliminary documents or approving the rest of the research testimonies until morning." Mitsuru said softly, placing her pen down for a split second to relieve the soft ache in her hand before she returned to the paperwork, working with almost triple the speed from earlier.
After what seemed like an eternity, which in reality was only an hour and a half, Mitsuru had managed to complete and file away the stack of paper that towered on top of her desk. Satisfied, she quickly reviewed and completed a much smaller stack that was reserved for tomorrow, taking the extra half hour to lighten her load, no matter how miniscule.
"There, finished at last." She said softly, releasing a satisfied sigh as a small smile made its way to her face.
Quickly gathering her belongings in the black brief case that sat beside her desk, Mitsuru donned the fur coat that her dear friends had all pitched in to get her a year ago for Christmas. Making sure that she had everything, she quickly checked the time and smiled as she had finished earlier then she had promised.
Nodding her head after she was sure she had everything, she locked her office before being escorted to the limousine that waited for her before she departed towards a place that held a very special place not only in her heart, but the hearts of a few other important people.
(Scene Change - Tatsumi Port Island: Police Station)
"Alright, I'm finished with all the paperwork Kurosawa-san." A white haired young man said, a police uniform and cap showing that he was an officer.
This young man was Akihiko Sanada, an up and coming rookie officer that had just recently finished his training. He too was another close friend of Minato, a founding member of the Shadow Operatives and a former member of SEES, and like Mitsuru, he was glad to have finished his work earlier then he had expected.
"Already? Well, there's nothing left for you to do. Good work today Sanada, since you're done just head home. Today's an important day right?" A large and imposing man with short black hair said, this man was Detective Kurosawa, the man in charge of the station that Akihiko was stationed in.
"Yeah, it is. Thanks Kurosawa-san." Akihiko said as he headed to his locker to change from his uniform to his casual wear.
"2 years huh. Feels just like yesterday we were all together." Akihiko thought as a solemn smile made its way to his face.
Shaking his head to get rid of the negative thoughts, he reminded himself that today wasn't a day to grieve or brood, but to be thankful for being able to live life to its fullest. With those thoughts, his solemn smile quickly changed into a cheerful grin as he made his way to the train station, intent on making back before anyone, especially Shinji, made it to the dorms.
(Scene Change - Tatsumi Port Island: Iwatodai Station)
"Ah! Shinjiro-senpai, I got it!" An young lady with teal hair tied into a long braid cheerfully called out, getting the attention of a large brown haired young man wearing a beanie.
These two were Fuuka Yamagishi and Shinjiro Aragaki, reserve members of the Shadow Operatives, close friends of Minato and former members of SEES. Fuuka was a engineering college student and head of the robotics team. Shinjiro had also entered college, though it was for the culinary arts much to the amusement of his friends.
"Huh? Oh, thanks Fuuka. Let's see, what do we need... Text Hamuko for me will ya? I need to grab the rest of the meat before we head back." Shinjiro said, picking up the bags and making his way towards the butcher's as Fuuka nodded, taking out her phone and texting her best friend.
As Shinjiro made his way towards the butcher's shop, he couldn't help but remember the times he spent with Minato when he was still around. A small smirk formed when he remembered the time they were caught out late by Mitsuru and Aki, inside the beef bowl shop having a heated argument about what made the perfect beef bowl.
Shaking his head, he couldn't help but chuckled slightly when they dragged Aki into the argument as well, to Mitsuru's chagrin. Those days reminded him that he could never thank Minato or Hamuko enough for helping him get over his guilt for letting Castor get out of control. It was thanks to them that him and Ken were a lot closer as well.
Satisfied, she put her phone away before meeting up with Shinjiro. As she walked though the mall, a somber smile made its way to her face as her thoughts drifted to the fond memories that she had with her leader and crush, spending their free time just wondering around and happily chatting.
A faint blush lit her cheeks when she remembered the day that a storm suddenly picked up while they were visiting Bookworms. She had never had a boy hold her that close before, and she would never forget the overwhelming sensation of infinite warmth that filled her when he did. Fuuka was broken out of her thoughts when a gruff voice made its way to her ears.
"Thinking bout him too, huh?" Shinjiro said, getting Fuuka to jump slightly at the sound of his voice.
"A-Ah! W-Well, no! Not exactly!" Fuuka fumbled, trying to come up with some excuse but only serving to make her look silly.
"Don't worry Fuuka, I was too. Today's the day he left us after all so it's only natural you know." He said, getting her to stop talking and nod her head softly.
"You're right Shinjiro-senpai. It's just... I seems like yesterday he was smiling and making all of us smile and laugh you know." Fuuka said softly, getting Shinjiro to smile softly at her tone.
"Yeah. Well, he'd be happy to see that we're not letting his miracle go to waste." He said, getting Fuuka to laugh softly before she nodded.
"Alright, has Hamuko texted you back? We've got everything that we needed to get here." Shinjiro said, getting Fuuka to nod as he confirmed it.
"We're all set Shinjiro-senpai! Let's get back now, we finished a lot earlier then we thought! Let's surprise everyone when they get there!" Fuuka said in an excited tone, making Shinjiro shake his head, though he did want Akihiko to know that he beat him there.
"Sounds good, let's go then." He said as they made their way towards the station.
(Scene Change - Tatsumi Port Island: Gekkoukan Middle School Branch)
"Whew! Finally done! Today was a lot harder then usual huh guys!" A boy with short black hair said as the other members of the soccer team nodded their heads in agreement.
"Yeah, I agree Gin-san. Today was a little tougher then usual." A boy with styled brown hair and eyes said, getting his teammates to laugh at his seemingly casual dismissal of their tough day.
This young man was Ken Amada, another close friend of Minato, a former member of SEES and a reserve member of the Shadow Operatives. Considerably younger then the rest of his former SEES members, he now attends the middle school branch of Gekkoukan High along with being a part of both the student council and soccer team.
"Ah, I'm going to be late if I hang around any longer. Sorry you guys, but I have somewhere important that I need to be. Please excuse me." Ken said, getting his teammates to nod and bid farewell.
Quickly heading to the locker room and showering, Ken changed into his school uniform before he made his way back to the dorms. A small smile on his face as he knew that today was a very special and important day. It was the day that a hero, idol and close friend gave up his life in order to perform a miracle that saved the world.
It was also the only time of the year that he would be able to see the friends that he made nearly 2 years ago. Thinking back, he couldn't believe how much of a child he was, hungry for revenge and when he finally found the person he suspected of murdering his mother, that person, someone he was fond of and his idol saved him. They stopped him from doing something that would permanently haunt him for the rest of his life. He couldn't thank Minato-san, Shinjiro-san or Hamuko-san enough.
"And I'll be able to see all of them again. Including you Minato-san. I know that you're watching all of us from wherever you are." Ken said softly as he picked up his pace, seeing the top of the dorm.
(Scene Change - Tatsumi Port Island: Little League Baseball Stadium)
"Alright! That's great everyone! We'll start again next week, enjoy your break alright and stay out of trouble!" A capped young man said, getting excited and happy nods from the kids that he coached.
This was Junpei Iori, another close friend of Minato, former member of SEES and reserve member of the Shadow Operatives. After high school, he entered collage on a baseball scholarship and was currently being scouted by a number of official teams though he turned them down every time, opting to teach and finish college before he took any of their offers.
Picking up the few discarded pieces of equipment that a few kids had left behind in their excited states, he couldn't help but chuckle softly when he spotted his usually tough and loud pitcher confessing to his timid and shy catcher. It reminded him a little of him, and only smiled when they walked away together, seemingly together now.
Shaking his head, he let a somber smile appear on his face as he found himself a little immersed in his memories. Memories of a blue haired teen who he had hated, envied, and even cursed a few times; of course that was before he truly got to know him. Behind that seemingly impassive front sat someone who he was truly happy to have been able to call his best friend.
Minato was the reason that he was standing here today, both literally and figuratively. He had given up everything to stop the Fall and allow him and everyone else in the world to continue on with their lives. But it was also because of him that he moved on with his life instead of idling about, making nothing of himself. Minato had given him the push he needed, and a ton of other things that he couldn't name. Though, there was something that was priceless that Junpei could never, ever hope to thank Minato for.
"Junpei, are you quite done?" A silky voice asked, belonging to a beautiful young lady wearing clothes that could be called gothic.
"I just got done Chidori! I'll be right out, just let me lock up real quick!" Junpei called out, moving quicker then he had been before.
Locking the strange shed, he turned and happily greeted Chidori who remained impassive at first before a small smile lit up her face, making Junpei grin in return.
"Ready to go? I'm sure that the other's are on their way there already, we should be going now." Chidori said, getting Junpei to nod as he took her hand in his, making her blush and look off to the side as Junpei laughed.
Walking hand in hand, Chidori soon moved closer to Junpei and she wrapped her arms around his, leaning against him and savoring his warmth. It was days like this that she was grateful to be alive, instead of being cooped up in that hospital room like she had been nearly 2 years ago. She felt truly alive in contrast to how she felt when she first woke up in that sterile white room. It was then that she had met him, Minato Arisato, the man that her Junpei called his best friend and the man that passed away 2 years ago.
Never before had she seen her smiling prince frown let alone cry, but the day of his funeral, he reminded her that he too was human. That day brought them closer together, and Junpei had told her that if it weren't for Minato, the two of them wouldn't have even met in the first place. Smiling, she closed her eyes and took in the warmth of her Junpei and the sun as they neared the dorm. Thanking the man that had brought happiness and light into her life.
"Thank you Minato Arisato, for bringing me true happiness. I promise that I won't let anything happen to him, so please, continue to watch over us from where you are." Chidori prayed in her mind, snuggling closer to Junpei.
"Thanks Minato. If it weren't for you, Chidori and I wouldn't be together like this. It's because of you that we're living and happy." Junpei said in his mind, a smile on his face as he and Chidori made their way towards the dorm.
(Scene Change - Tatsumi Port Island: Phoenix Ranger Featherman Victory set)
"MWHAHAHA! Now that I've gained this awesome power there is no way that you'll be able to stop me now Feathermen!" A large bear-like monster shouted, laughing at the group of downed heroes before it as they were writhing in agony.
"Ugh! It's no use, he's too strong!" The hero clad in yellow, donning an owl mask cried out.
"Is there no way for us to defeat him? There must be some way to beat him!" The hero clad in black, donning the mask of a condor shouted.
"No! We can win! Everyone is counting on us to beat him!" The hero in blue, donning a swan mask shouted.
"But how! He's far too strong for any of us! Now he's become much stronger then before!" The hero in red, donning a hawk mask said.
"No! We can't give up!" The hero in pink shouted, standing up on shaky legs as the monster just started chuckling at her.
"Still standing? We'll see about that! Bearbardment!" The monster shouted, throwing a volley of evil faced teddy bears at the pink hero as an explosion covered her person.
Seeing that he had defeated her, the monster started laughing once more but soon that laughter stopped when he saw her silhouette in the dust cloud. Slowly, she stepped forward before she held her hand out, summoning a pink bow as she stood defiantly against him.
"This is as far as you go Bearminator! We'll stop you once and for all! Featherman Pink Argus said, quickly breaking into a sprint as Bearminator threw another volley of explosive teddies at her.
Sidestepping and weaving her way through them, she stopped before jumping over him, making him cry out in distress not being able to fully lift his arms above his head. As she neared the apex of her jump, she quickly drew the string of her boy back as she fixed it towards the monster below her.
"Here I go! Rend the evils of this world, Feathermen! Phoenix Ranger Featherman Victory!" Pink Argus shouted, firing a large pink energy arrow at him before it impacted and exploded.
"NOOO!" Bearminator roared as he was consumed by a pink dome of energy as Pink Argus landed gracefully behind him.
"Judgment complete!" She said, turning away from the dome as it exploded, destroying Bearminator as her comrades cheered her on before making their way towards her.
"And... Cut! Great job! That's definitely a keeper!" The director of the set called out, getting rounds of applause from the crew as they congratulated one another.
"Whew, that was exciting." Pink Argus said as she took off her helmet, showing a beautiful and youthful young lady with light brown shoulder length hair.
This young lady was Yukari Takeba, another close friend of Minato, also a former member of SEES and reserve member of the Shadow Operatives. Not known to many outside of her close circle of friends, even those in college, she was an up and coming actress and model.
"Nice work out there Takeba! It's amazing how you do your own stunts, it's like you really are a hero or something!" Red Hawk said, before he took off his helmet revealing another youthful as the rest of the Featherman team gathered around.
"Yeah, Koji is right! You're like real life super hero with those moves!" Yellow Owl said, getting Yukari to chuckle nervously at the attention that she was getting from her coworkers.
"It's nothing much, really it isn't. I had a little bit of martial arts training when I was in high school so it kind of carried over I guess." Yukari said, getting her coworkers to nod with amazed stares.
"Ah, well I need to get going everyone, I've got to be somewhere soon." Yukari said after checking the clock, glad that the shoot ended sooner then usual.
Quickly heading back to her dressing room, she changed into her casual wear before grabbing her bag and heading out she was stopped when Koji stopped in front of her, a light dusting of pink on his cheeks.
"Uh, Takeba? Do you have a second?" Koji asked, as he started to fidget slightly.
"Sure, what's up?" Yukari asked, though she had an inkling as to what this was about if her past experiences were anything to go on.
"I was wondering, if you know... If you want to get to know each other a little better. I mean, we've known each other for almost half a year, and people do say we look good together." Koji asked, the pink slowly becoming more red as he finished his question.
"Oh! I'm flattered Koji, I really am! But I can't, I'm not really looking for a relationship right now..." Yukari trailed off, pain flashing in her eyes as she remembered a pair of dazzling and comforting silver eyes.
"Ah, I'm sorry. I didn't know." Koji said seeing the brief flash of pain, his eyes widened before he quickly tried to mend his mistake.
"It's ok. You didn't know. I just haven't moved on yet. I'm sorry, I hope you understand." She said before he quickly stopped her apologies.
"N-No! It's alright! I understand! Sorry for bringing up such a painful memory." Koji said as Yukari gave him a thankful smile before they parted ways.
Signaling a taxi, she told the driver that she was heading towards the Minatodai dorm before he nodded and they started on their way. With the silence of the cab, Yukari let her thoughts roam, Koji's offer bringing her unwanted but fond memories of the blue haired boy that she loved. A sad smile making its way to her face, she absently brushed away the beginnings of the tears that formed in her eyes.
A sigh escaping her lips, she found herself in the midst of her memories as a painful one slowly emerged. Near the time of the Fall, she had a chance to confess how she truly felt about him but inevitably backed out, fearing that they would end up like her mother and father. But looking back, that was probably the greatest regret of her life. It was because of him that her and her mother made up.
Shaking her head to rid herself of those negative thoughts, she found herself smiling as she remembered the warmth of his embrace after she had spilled her heart to him. Those comforting arms making her feel like the end of the world wasn't at hand but instead making her feel complete and utter peace and serenity.
Though, it turned slightly bitter when she found out that it wasn't just her that had been held in those arms. That list included Fuuka, Mitsuru, Yuko, Chihiro, Aigis, Junpei, Ken, Akihiko, Shinjiro, Koromaru, Hamuko; practically anyone who needed a hug got it when Minato got wind of it.
That bitterness only increased when she remembered that the girls who were close to him also loved him the same way she did. But again, she pushed those negative thoughts to the side, no one had a claim to him and he never did truly date any of them, though many rumors said otherwise. Laughing to herself, she remembered when Mitsuru, Fuuka, Aigis and herself got Hamuko to admit that she actually did love Minato, despite acting otherwise.
Yukari was broken out of her thoughts when the driver politely told her that they had arrived. Thanking him and paying her fare, she exited the taxi and smiled when she saw the place that she had called home for nearly 2 years. Never losing her smile, she quickly made towards the dorm.
(Scene Change - Tatsumi Port Island: Port Island Station)
Inside Rafflesia were two beautiful young ladies, one with short golden blonde hair and dark blue eyes and the other with auburn hair tied in a ponytail with striking red eyes. They were Aigis and Hamuko Arisato; best friends, roommates, former members of SEES and two of the closest people to Minato.
Aigis was an android created by the Kirijo group, an anti-shadow weapon designed to combat shadows. She was a former member of SEES and a founding member of the Shadow Operatives. She had been the one who had sealed Death inside of Minato all those years ago on the Moonlight Bridge, and the one who was with him during his final moments.
As she moved to another part of the shop, a sad smile made its way to her face as she remembered the face of the one that she had learned about and had fallen in love with. She wasn't supposed to have emotions, only directives that she had to follow, but he broke that. He didn't see her as a machine but as a person, and a person that he held dear and cherished.
When he passed, she had locked herself away, opting to try and erase all traces of emotion in her databanks but it failed. She found herself unable to cope with his death and blamed herself for it. What could she have done? Why wasn't it her that sealed Nyx? Why him? Those questions plagued her dreams. That is, until they learned the truth about his death in the Abyss of Time. It was then that she had managed to finally come to terms with his death.
But she never did truly return to her normal self. She never let anyone else into her heart, save the friends that she made during her time by his side. She could still feel his warmth, his arms and his touch on her Papillon Heart. Just remembering the memory brought a comforting warmth that seemed to warm her very soul. But with it also brought bittersweet tears as well, never again would she truly feel that warmth only the phantasmal memories of it.
Stopping the train of thought before she started weeping in the store, as the tears were beginning to form in her eyes. She turned to meet with the girl she had came here to pick up flowers with.
On the opposite side of the store was Hamuko Arisato, Minato's step-sister and childhood friend. With sad eyes, she scanned the dark blue colored flowers that reminded her of her step-brother. Looking back, she wanted to go back in time and slap her younger self. Back then, she could only be described as a monster if someone saw how she treated Minato.
Before his parents passed, their families had been close, her parents and his often joked that it was because they shared the same last name though they shared no blood between them. They also joked that it was because they were practically opposites of each other, her family being loud and outspoken and his being reserved and quiet. But those times of laughter and happiness left the day his parents passed away.
After that, Hamuko's family took him in, seeing as they were practically family given the time they had spent together. At first, it seemed that things were working out but that all changed when Hamuko couldn't handle her parents fawning over and coddling Minato over his peerless grades and athletics. It was envy that caused her to hate and push him away, and soon her parents decided that it wasn't going to work with them living together.
He had overheard them and made a decision that Hamuko would come to regret for the rest of her life. He decided to leave them and live on his own, staying in a dormitory near the school grounds. At first they had insisted that they could work things out, though Hamuko had snapped and accused her parents of loving him more. After she had said that Minato apologized to her and her parents for being an inconvenience and for coming between them as a family.
After that, he packed up everything that he owned before he boarded the train and left them. A week after that Hamuko felt a strange emptiness inside of her heart, something that she couldn't describe to anyone. A month after, she had finally broken down and cried, her parents comforting her and promising that they would find Minato and bring him back to their family. But they had learned that he had filled for an emancipation from their family and had successfully cut off all ties he had with them.
When they heard the news they were beyond devastated, Hamuko's mother fainting upon hearing the news, Hamuko locked herself in her room for nearly a week, refusing to talk with anyone. Though it was painful, her family had managed to accept and move on from his decision. But that all changed one fateful night when she boarded the train heading towards Iwatodai. When she caught sight of his signature dark blue hair and impassive silver eyes, she didn't even think, she just acted and tackled him before she cried her heart out into his chest, not caring that she made a scene on the train.
Once she managed to stop crying and apologizing, he didn't blame her or hate her like she thought and expected that he would. Instead he just patted her head like he had done countless times in the past when she was distressed. After that, they reconnected and her parents were ecstatic to know that he was doing fine and was safe. While he had treated her like he always did, she treated him much better then before and slowly, she began to fall for him like many others. It was at that moment that she was truly glad that he had cut ties from her family, because of that she could marry him without any worries.
But those dreams were shattered when he gave up everything for them. He left them before she could tell him how she really felt, that the love she felt for him wasn't love as a younger sister but love as a woman. Shaking her head, she felt a hand on her shoulder and flinched. Turning around, her moist red met concerned blue.
"Hamuko, are you alright?" Aigis asked, concern evident in her voice as the auburn haired girl wiped the tears away from her eyes.
"I-I'm fine Aigis! Thanks for worrying but nothing's wrong!" Hamuko cheerfully said, a grin on her face as she turned to make her way out of the store.
But she was stopped when Aigis followed behind her and wrapped her arms around her, pulling her into a comforting hug like he always did when she cried or when she needed him to hold her so she could cry her heart out.
"Hamuko, it's ok. I miss him too." Aigis said in a sad tone as Hamuko sniffled in her embrace.
"Yeah... I miss him too. I miss him so much." Hamuko said, shaking slightly as Aigis gave her a comforting squeeze.
They stayed that way for a few seconds before Aigis released Hamuko, the auburn haired girl giving her a true smile in turn.
"Thanks, now come'on. Let's go, I'm sure everyone is waiting for us!" Hamuko said as Aigis smiled as well.
A bouquet of flowers held firmly in each of their arms, they smiled as they made their way back to the dorm, the negative thoughts that plagued their minds and hearts lifted as they closed in on the dorm.
(Scene Change - Tatsumi Port Island: Minatodai Coed Dorm)
Basking in the light of the setting sun, a snow white colored Shiba Inu laid peacefully on the steps of the coed dorm. This dog was a former member of SEES and the best friend of Minato, this was Koromaru. Before he joined SEES, he had been a stray dog that Fuuka and Yukari played with regularly. Koromaru's master, a monk from Naganaki Shrine, had died in an accident. Koromaru continued to protect the shrine and wait for his master's return. One night, a rogue Shadow was detected outside of Tartarus. It had wondered into the shrine area, where Koromaru killed it. Akihiko managed to reach the shrine, only to find the shadow defeated and Koromaru injured. Akihiko was very impressed at the his bravery and intelligence, and Mitsuru made sure that he received the best veterinary care possible.
After that, he bonded with all the members of SEES it was Minato in particular that Koromaru had taken a shine to, opting to make him his new master. During those days, the two always took walks together no matter what the weather was like. He was just happy that his master was happy, but those days ended when Minato had also left him. Before the battle with Nyx, he knew that his master was exhausted and that something was wrong with him, but all he could do was nuzzle Minato who in turn rubbed his head gently.
But that was the past, his master wouldn't want him to mourn his death and he was happy that he wasn't human. He wasn't able to feel the crushing sense of guilt that the others felt, he could only sit and wait for his master to return. Koromaru didn't know why, but somewhere deep in his heart, there was a feeling that he would be seeing his master once again.
Suddenly, his ears perked up as he heard the faint sounds of footsteps and a myriad of familiar voices. Standing up, his tail started wagging as those voices got louder and louder, as he knew that they did in fact belong to the members of his new family. Standing up quickly, he sprinted towards the front gates to greet them.
In front of the dorm, the sounds of laughter and surprise could be heard. This was mostly due to the fact that everyone had imagined that they would be the one to make to their former home first, but that wasn't the case as a strange twist of fate caused them to all meet at nearly the same exact moment.
"Whoa! This is crazy! Haha, I didn't expect to see everyone all at once!" Junpei said, laughing with Akihiko and Ken while everyone just shook their heads at his antics.
"It is strange but I agree with Junpei-san everyone, it is rather crazy that we all happened to get at the dorms at almost the exact same time." Ken said, laughing before he spotted a coat of snow white fur.
"Ah! Koromaru!" Ken called out, getting the attention of everyone.
"Koro-chan! It's been so long!" Fuuka exclaimed, happily greeting the excited dog as he licked and greeted everyone present.
"Now, now. I don't think we should be causing this much commotion out here. Let's go inside before things get a little carried away." Mitsuru said, getting excited nods from everyone.
As they entered the dorm, they happily and excitedly greeted each other, happy to finally see the people that they practically lived with for the past few years. Once they entered, Shinjiro and Fuuka immediately made their way towards to kitchen, intent on finishing up the prep work that they started earlier in the day. While they were finishing up in the kitchen, the others started setting up the tables and decorations, working in a systematic and controlled manner, mostly due to the fact Mitsuru would have it no other way.
Finally, after an hour of getting things everyone had gathered around the large dining table that sat in the center of what used to be the lounge of the dorm. After Yukari, Fuuka, Junpei and Aigis had graduated, the dorm was officially shut down.
However, due to Mitsuru it hadn't been demolished or remodeled, it remained in the same condition that it had been when they left it. As it wasn't in use, the former members of SEES had designated it as a place where they could hold events that pertained to the group; private parties, celebrations and meetings was what their old home was now used for.
Happily chatting amongst one another, they quieted down once Mitsuru stood, directing their undivided attention to her. A grateful smile appearing on her face, she scanned the faces before her, taking in the subtle differences that the year had brought her dear friends. She suppressed a giggle when she saw Akihiko and Junpei's clean shaven faces no doubt a product of work and Chidori, respectively.
"Thank you all for being able to attend this yearly gathering. It's been quite some time since I've seen your faces, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that the year since I've seen you has brought many changes to all of you." She started, directing the last part to Junpei and Akihiko, who in turn blushed slightly seeing as they became the center of attention.
"As you all know, today is a very important and special day to all of us. It's the day that we lost someone dear to all of us, someone who we could never hope to forget or thank for all that he's done for us." Mitsuru continued, her voice having a slight waver as it always did when she got to this part of her speech.
The others let solemn and grateful smiles appear on their faces as they reminisced about their friend. Chidori squeezed Junpei's hand lovingly as a somber smile appeared on his face, Akihiko slung an arm around a reluctant Shinjiro though both were smiling, Yukari and Fuuka beamed smiles at each other, Ken rubbed Koromaru's head as the dog nodded his head in understanding, Aigis and Hamuko smiled somberly as his smiling face flashed briefly in their minds. Mitsuru let a smile grace her face as she saw the expressions on their faces.
"Today is a day that we aren't supposed to shed tears of feel guilt in our hearts. He wouldn't have wanted that, instead, like we all vowed that fateful day; today is a day that we remind ourselves to live our lives to the fullest. With that, please don't be shy and dig in." Mitsuru said, getting a round of applause from the table before everyone started the conversations back up along with laughs and shouts.
"Hey Shinji, adding protein to this would not only make it taste better but it would also improve the nutritional content of it!" Akihiko said, getting a smack to the back of the head from the man in question.
"Shut up would ya. And don't you dare go slathering that crap over everything. Not everything will be improved by adding that crap to it you know." Shinjiro said with an annoyed tone.
Soon the two began bickering about the do's and don'ts of adding protein or any other nutritional enhancements to food before Mitsuru broke them up with an irritated glare.
"Haha, looks like some things don't change after all." Yukari said, getting a round of laughter around the table to the mortification of the two young men in question.
"But I like it that way, it reminds me of those times back then." Ken admitted, a smile on his face as everyone also let a smile grace their features.
"Yeah, I wonder if he's laughing at us right now. I mean we've got the looks of young adults but some of us still act like we're in high school." Junpei said, chuckling at the thought of Minato making fun of them for never actually growing up.
The thought brought a new round of laughter from the table, Ken in particular laughing the hardest as he finally just began acting his age and enjoying life to the fullest.
"Yeah, it's even funnier coming from Stupei of all people." Yukari quipped, getting a louder roar of laughter from the people present.
"H-Hey! I've grown up! Isn't that right Chidori!" Junpei said, turning towards his girlfriend in an effort to have her verify his statement.
"Hmm... I don't really agree. You still act like a child." She said, getting him to deflate as Yukari and Hamuko snickered at him.
"But I do admit, you have your moments." She added before she kissed him lightly on the cheek making him blush while the others at the table started whistling, to his utter mortification.
"I see what you mean Yukari-chan! Like a high school boy getting kissed by his crush!" Hamuko said, laughing as everyone else joined in including Chidori, who was giggling softly.
The party continued for another few hours, everyone talking about what they had been up to during the year they had been apart. Soon, those discussions shifted to the fond memories that they had with each other, reliving the embarrassing and happy moments during their time together all those years ago. As the celebration neared its end, Mitsuru stood up once again, getting the attention of the rowdy group.
"Everyone I have a request for all of you." She started, quickly getting the others to quiet down and look at her with expectant eyes, making her sweat drop slightly.
"I assume that all of you are now on a break of some sort correct?" She asked, getting nods from everyone.
"Then, next year, during this exact week we will be having a group vacation." She announced getting a myriad of different reactions from everyone, as she hid a demure giggle behind her hand.
"For real!? You're not kidding are you Mitsuru-senpai?!" Junpei asked, jumping out of his seat the thought a week of relaxing.
"Calm down Stupei! Let Mitsuru-senpai finish first!" Yukari scolded the capped man, making him blush before he sat back down.
"Thank you, Yukari. And I'm not joking Iori, that is why I am requesting that you ask for this week off for the next year." Mitsuru answered, getting excited cheers from everyone present.
"That's so awesome! Where are we heading Mitsuru-senpai!" Hamuko asked excitedly, nearly shaking in her seat.
"We're going to Inaba, we'll be spending the week in that city at the Amagi Inn. I already have our reservations placed for next year." She announced getting curious looks before Hamuko jumped slightly.
"Oh! I know that inn, the team and I visited and stayed there during high school! It's really nice! If I remember right, isn't a member of the Investigation Team part of the family that owns it?" Hamuko said before she asked, getting another round of curious looks before a look of realization appeared on their faces.
"Oh yeah, it was Yukiko right? Didn't her friends say that she was the next in line to inherit it?" Akihiko said, getting nods from everyone else.
"Well, we might see them as well. This could be an interesting vacation!" Fuuka said happily, getting a giggle from Yukari and Hamuko.
"Good, well now that everything is settled, let's call it a day shall we? Be sure to mark this date in your calendars, I don't want any of you to forget, understand." Mitsuru ordered, getting everyone to nod in acceptance.
"Still the same old Mitsuru." Akihiko chuckled, getting Shinjiro to smirk and Junpei to laugh as well.
"What was that Akihiko? Shinjiro? Iori? Need I remind you of what an execution is?" She asked in an icy tone, getting the three young men in question to choke as they paled, while the rest of the group laughed.
Soon, they started with cleaning up their former home. Breaking down the tables and chairs before storing them in the closest, Akihiko and Junpei made it a competition to see which of them broke down the most pieces of furniture with Junpei coming out on top with Chidori's help. Shinjiro quickly wiped down the kitchen as thoroughly as he could before Mitsuru gave it another inspection and deemed it clean. Yukari, Hamuko, Fuuka and Aigis folded and removed the decorations that were hanging around the room before packing them away to be used for next year. Ken swept the floor with Koromaru helping by brushing away the dust with his tail.
Finally finished with cleanup, they all gave each other a high five or hug before flashing a smile or smirk. Giving the room a quick glance, Mitsuru smiled and nodded her head, satisfied with the cleanliness of it. Turning to the group, they nodded to her before they made their way to the second floor. Standing in front of his room, they always felt an odd sensation, as if he would just one day open the door and greet them with his usual sleepy voice.
Slowly, they opened the door before they gathered in the center of the room. The room that once belonged to their close friend and leader was even more bare then it had been when he was with them. His bed, desk, sink and other amenities were removed, leaving a completely empty room save for the butsudan that stood where his desk used to be. One by one, they approached it, with Ken being the first.
The middle school student had a small smile on his face as he opened the altar, revealing a rare portrait of a smiling Minato Arisato. Lighting some incense, Ken placed it in its proper place before reaching into his pocket and pulling out a small medal that read first place before placing it on the platform.
"Minato-san, I want you to know that I'm doing fine, great in fact. I've been working hard in school, both in my studies and as a member of the soccer team and student council. This is the first medal I won as a part of the soccer team, I want you to have it. Thank you for all that you've done, I promise that I won't let it go to waste. So please, continue to watch over us from where you are. I promise I'll make you proud of me." Closing his eyes, Ken placed his hands together as he let out a prayer. Bowing once more to the shine, he moved back as he wiped his eyes with the back of his hand.
Akihiko stepped forward next, a somber smile on his face as his eyes reflected the emotions he felt in his heart. Kneeling down, he reached into his coat pocket before he pulled out silver key. Glancing at his portrait for a few seconds, he closed his eyes as he reached over and placed the key next to Ken's medal.
"Minato, I can't thank you enough. I can never hope to thank you enough. I want you to know that I'm doing great, I'm healthy as a horse, I'm eating right and of course I'm exercising like always. I wanted to let you know that I finally completed my training and I'm now an official member of the police force. This is a copy of the key to my locker in the office, in case you ever want to stop by. I hope that you'll keep watching out for us from there, I promise that I'll do the same from here." Akihiko prayed before he opened his eyes once again and stepped back, wiping his eyes with the back of his hand.
Stepping forward, Shinjiro stared at Minato's face as a somber smile also made its way to his face. He soon kneeled down and bowed his head slightly, before reaching into his coat pocket and pulling out a small note. Closing his eyes, he reached over and placed it next to Akihiko's key.
"Minato, I wanted to let you know that I figured it out. This is the recipe for the perfect beef bowl, and you were right. It was the type and cut of beef that makes a beef bowl. It's been really quiet without you here you know, besides Aki acting like a moron as usual. I still can't thank you enough for all that you've done, and I never will be no matter how much time I try to thank you. I also wanted to let you know that I'm going just great, I'm talking with people more and I've actually got a job lined up for when I graduate. I hope you'll still be watching my back from where you are." Shinjiro prayed before he backed away, wiping a stray tear from his eye before anyone could notice.
Walking forward, Fuuka had a sad smile on her face as she kneeled in front of the shrine before a few tears made their way down her face. But she didn't pay any attention to them. Reaching into her bag, she pulled out a photograph that pictured the two of them. Fuuka was blushing up a storm, the book she held in her hand in the process of being dropped, as Minato had fallen asleep leaning against her, a book held loosely in his. It was taken outside of Bookworms by Bunkichi when they weren't looking. Wiping away some of the tears, she kissed the photo gently before placing it next to Shinjiro's recipe.
"Minato-kun... I miss you so, so much. I can't even begin to describe how much I cried when I found that photo in that same book you bought me that day. I'm still doing fine, I'm the head of the robotics team and now an official member of the Shadow Operatives. Don't worry, I'm safe, I'm only a reserve member. I know I tell you this every year, but my greatest regret is not telling you how I truly felt about you. I hope that you can hear me from where you're at and that you know that I still love you like I've always had. Minato-kun, please continue to watch over us. I know it's a lot to ask but I've always felt safe and secure knowing that you're watching over me. So please, continue to do so... I love you..." Fuuka prayed, clasping her hands gently in front of her as her tears streamed down her cheeks. When she was finished, she made her way back to the group who comforted her as she wiped the rest of her tears away.
Making her way forward, Yukari had to choke back a sob as her knees buckled and shook lightly as she got closer to the altar. Closing her eyes and placing her hand over her mouth, she took a deep, shaky breath before she kneeled in front of it. Gazing lovingly at his smiling face, she made no effort to remove the tears that streamed down her cheeks. Instead, she opened her purse and pulled out set pass. Smiling, she gently laid it next to the photograph before she closed her eyes.
"Minato, I know that you're watching over us from inside of that seal. I wanted to let you know that I still love you, and that I was and am still a coward for never telling you. I love you so much that it hurts, it hurts so much. Sometimes I wonder if I can continue living like this, living with this unending pain in my heart. But I have to right? I have to for your sake, for you I'll live enough for the both of us. I've already started, I'm actually an actor now and for Featherman no less. This is a pass to allow someone to be on set, so come visit me if you can ok? So please Minato, keep watching over us from where you're at. I promise to stay safe and make sure that everyone else is as well, especially Stupei. Minato... I hope I'll be able to see you again someday. So until that day, Yukari Takeba will do her best ok?" Yukari prayed as she wiped away the tears that slightly blinded her.
Standing up, she shakily made her way back before Fuuka wrapped her in a hug as she trembled in the arms of her best friend. Akihiko rubbing comforting circles on her back as she willed herself not to break down like she had the last few years.
Stepping hand in hand, Junpei led Chidori to the shine, seeing as it was her first time being a part of the celebration. Almost timidly, in contrast to her regular character, she reached into her blouse breast pocket and pulled out a small photograph the showed Junpei and her holding each other with bright smiles on their faces, it was a picture of their first date. Next to her, Junpei felt his eyes stinging but made no effect to stop them. Instead, he reached into his back pocket and pulled out a folded piece of paper. Lightly squeezing the other's hand, they both closed their eyes as they prayed.
"Minato Arisato, I-I am not very good at dealing with situations like this. Junpei told be to just be myself but... I-I wanted to thank you for all you've done for me. While I cannot think of more then two occasions that we spoke, I feel like you've impacted my life more then anyone that I know of. I pray that you continue to watch over us, I promise that I will keep Junpei from doing anything that is dangerous to his health. This is a photograph of our first date, he's doing fine so please, be at ease when it comes to him, I'll make sure that he's safe and happy." Chidori prayed, before she opened her eyes. When she glanced to her right, she was stunned to see that Junpei was crying as he held back his sobs.
"Minato. I-I'm back. Heh, it must be really annoying to hear the same thing from us every single time huh. You'd probably say something like "Let me sleep" or "Can't a guy get a few minutes of quiet". But I know you wouldn't mind, you always told us that you'd have time for us no matter what time it was. I wanted to let you know that Chidori and I are finally officially going out, I wanted you to be the first person I told but I guess word got around. I can't thank you enough man, it's because of what you did that we're all here. I haven't put your efforts to waste, that's a contract that I signed with an up and coming team once I finish college. I wanted you to be the first one to know that. Minato... I... I can't thank you enough for all you've done. Thank you... Thank you so, so much... It's because of you that Chidori's alive, that I'm alive, that I've been able to move on with my life and have a happy and successful one. So please, I know it's asking a lot, but keep an eye on me alright? I always feel a lot safer knowing that you've got my back. And I know I always told you this before, but I honestly do mean it. Minato, you da man." Junpei finished, hiding his eyes behind his forearm as his body shook with each sob that made its way out of his mouth.
Seeing his state, Chidori gently took the folded piece of paper and her photograph and laid them on the platform. Then, she led Junpei back to the group as he tried to reign in his sobs. Doing something usually out of character for her, Chidori let go of Junpei's hand and hugged him tightly, Junpei surrendering to the embrace of his girlfriend. As he poured his out heart out, Akihiko and Ken patted him on the back as did Shinjiro, as the girls became teary eyed as well.
Quickly wiping away the remaining tears in her eyes, Mitsuru stepped forward next. Gazing affectionately at Minato's portrait, she took in his handsome features as her eyes became a little misty. Closing them, she reached into her purse and pulled out the badge of a Shadow Operative. Kneeling down, she closed her eyes before she lightly pressed her lips against the dark colored silver of the badge before she placed it on the platform.
"Minato. Things have been well, there haven't been many cases of Shadows running so you needn't worry about our safety. It's... Been some time since we've talked like this hasn't it? I wonder, what are you doing in there? No doubt sleeping and getting some much deserved rest. I could never truly comprehend how you faced death with such acceptance, but now that I look back... You had the resolve to give up everything for the people you cared about, including me. I regret not telling you my true feelings when we were together that night, you had given me a new lease on life, you taught me not to be shackled by the expectations of the Kirijo Group. If... If only you were still by my side... I... I still love you Minato, and I will never love a man like I loved you... Please, I know that it will place another burden on you but continue to watch over us, and watch over me... Je vous aime, Minato Arisato..." Mitsuru prayed, before she stood up and walked back to the group, wiping away the tear that fell down her cheek.
Making their way towards the shrine, Hamuko and Aigis trembled with each step. As they stood in front in front of it, gazing loving at Minato's picture they couldn't stop the tears that fell from their eyes. Reaching into her bag, Hamuko pulled out a familiar set of headphones. Aigis followed suit, pulling out a worn down MP3 player. Exchanging a look with each other, they nodded as they placed the objects next to each other with shaky hands. Wiping the tears away, they closed their eyes and prayed.
"Minato-niichan... It's me again. I... I just wanted you to know that I'm doing just fine. I'm eating right, I'm studying hard and I'm sleeping at least 8 hours a night. I've made a lot of friends as well, Aigis and me are rooming together again next year, cool huh!... Niichan... I miss you so much that it hurts. Why was it you? Why did you always have to carry the burden of others? You've always been that way since we were little. It should've been me instead, we had the same power, the same persona and yet you were the one who gave up everything for the sake of mankind. I'm so sorry that I treated you so horribly when we were kids, I can never take back what I said but I know you would just tell me that I was young and angry. I always loved that about you Niichan, I've always love d that you were kind and collected, never letting anything bother you. Niichan, I promise. I promise that I'll continue living life to the fullest like everyone else so keep watching over me ok? And just once more Niichan, I love you, not as a little sister but as Hamuko Arisato." Hamuko prayed, wiping away the tears in her eyes.
"Minato-san... I... I'm doing well. Hamuko and I are in our first year of college and we're doing fine. Hamuko tends to over prepare for her classes but she's always been like that hasn't she. I've made new friends and acquaintances but... I will never meet someone who can replace you in my heart. Minato-san why did you do it? Why wasn't it I, a machine, but you, a human, that gave up their soul for the sake of humanity? I... I still feel so empty without you here Minato-san. I still do not understand these emotions; heartache, love, guilt... Without you here I will never truly understand them. Minato-san, I promise you that I will try and find a way to free you from that seal. Then... Then we can be together again... Minato-san, I love you... I've always loved you, I just didn't accept it back then. So please, wait for me." Aigis prayed, opening her eyes as fresh tears formed upon seeing Minato's smiling face.
Finally finished with the final part of their celebration, the group of Shadow Operatives gave one last glance and thank you towards the altar of their friend before they exited the building. Exchanging goodbyes with one another, they finally parted ways for the night, intent resting or crying their hearts out.
(Scene Change - Inaba: Shirogane Estate)
Sitting on her mattress, a short blue haired young lady stared at a worn photograph she held in her hand. Sniffling slightly, she brushed away the few stray tears that made their way down her cheek. As she was lost in her thoughts, someone walked into the room and stared solemnly at her.
"Naoto-kun, are you alright?" He asked with a fatherly tone, his voice breaking the young lady out of her stupor.
"H-Huh? Oh, Grandfather! I'm sorry, I didn't mean to ignore you!" She quickly said, apologizing only making the elderly man chuckle.
"It's today huh." He said, getting her to stop in the midst of her apology and look back at the photo in her hand.
"Mhmm... It's been 2 years and it still hurts..." Naoto said, her eyes becoming misty.
Sensing his granddaughter's distress he made his way over and gently placed his hand on her head.
"I understand Naoto-kun. I miss him as well. It's a shame he didn't get to fulfill his promise to you." He said solemnly, getting Naoto to choke back a sob as she clasped her hand over her mouth.
"We made a contract and everything... He promised that we would be together forever, no matter what." Naoto said, snapping her eyes shut in an attempt to stop the tears from falling.
Rubbing her head, Naoto's grandfather just let her pour her heart out. Minato Arisato, the son of his nephew. Naoto's cousin and the person who she had promised to marry when they were older, even their parents agreed to it seeing as they were nearly inseparable and fit each other rather well, Naoto being outgoing and cheerful while Minato was calm and collected. Though, that all changed when Naoto lost her parents then Minato lost his. Such a tragedy separated them, Naoto growing more mature and independent while Minato grew more withdrawn and impassive.
He had thought that Naoto had forgotten all about him, but that changed when they had heard that he had passed away. When they received the news Naoto broke down in tears, taking him by surprise, never having seen his usually calm and collected granddaughter act in such a manner. Because of reasons out of their control, they weren't able to attend his service, when Naoto found out she had locked herself in her room. A week later, they traveled to Iwatodai and there it was, resting at the top of a hill overlooking the city.
Naoto said nothing, she just sat down and leaned against his tombstone for what seemed like hours before she returned to the hotel that they were staying at, her eyes red and puffy from crying. She had managed to come to terms with his death for the most part, but she hadn't completely moved on, still trying to figure out the cause of his death. Once she made friends in Inaba, she began to smile more before she began to act like she had in the past, being livelier and happier. But whenever this day drew near, she would revert to her old self, cancelling all requests her friends had to hang out or spend time together.
"It's fine Naoto-kun. He would want you to be happy, he was always like that." Naoto's grandfather said, getting her to nod weakly. Excusing himself, he made his way out of her room to leave her be.
Returning to her bed, she curled into a ball as she stared back at the photo in her hand. It was a photo of them, in probably the most embarrassing photo that she possessed of herself. She was wearing a white dress with a bright smile on her face, a flower wreath on her head. Standing next to her was Minato, the only indication of a smile being the slight upturn of his lips. He was wearing a white shirt with black slacks and matching shoes. It was a picture of her fondest childhood memory, it was the day that they got "married".
"We were so happy. I was going to be a super detective and you were going to be a professional nap taker." Naoto whispered to herself, giggling a little as she held the photo close to her chest.
"I hope you were able to make friends Minato-niisan, I hope that you weren't alone. I'm the one at fault for not staying in contact with you. I'm the one who stopped writing back to you, and eventually you did as well. I hope that you're watching over me Niisan, just like you used to." Naoto prayed under her breath before she fell into a dream filled with memories of him and her.
(Scene Change - Sea of Souls)
"...What are you doing here?" Minato finally asked, breaking the silence that he came to enjoy.
"Fufufu... Is that any way for a jailor to greet his captive?" Nyx asked, giggling as Minato's face remained impassive.
"You certainly have changed since the day we clashed. You seemed more... Alive." Nyx said, trying futilely to get a rise out of the young man before her.
Minato said nothing, opting to stare at her with his silver orbs. No words needed to be exchanged, there was nothing either party could do to the other. Nyx couldn't touch Minato and Minato wouldn't make the effort. This was his reality now, he was outside the reach of anyone, even the being that could bring about the world's destruction.
"Now, now. Is that any way to treat a lady? I have an offer that you might find interesting Minato Arisato." Nyx said in a knowing tone, again getting no visible reaction from the young man.
Brushing her off, he closed his eye once again. He wasn't in the least bit interested in her offer. He had nothing left to do but wait out eternity in this place. There was nothing that Nyx could offer that he wanted. She couldn't give him back his memories, his power, his persona.
"How would you like to escape this place?" Nyx asked in a strangely guilty tone.
At her words Minato cracked his eye open once more, in place of the impassiveness was an inkling of curiosity. Seeing his curiosity, Nyx smiled as she knew that she had his attention. Gesturing to the ground beside him, she saw him nod before she was shrouded by a blackness. Soon it faded and in place of her Avatar stood a young lady.
She stood a head shorter then Minato with short slightly spiked black hair that ended at the base of her neck. Her body would be described as heavenly, her proportions being modest yet charming. Her skin was as pale as porcelain with striking blue eyes and thin pink lips. Wearing a simple black dress, which accentuated her figure, that ended at her ankles. On her back rested four black wings, folded against each other. Finally, resting beside her was the same sword that she used when they clashed that fateful day, though it was much smaller.
Walking over, she took a seat beside him as they sat in a strangely amiable silence. Glancing over, Nyx saw that Minato was still gazing at her with those impassive silver orbs. Seeing that she had his attention, she turned to face him fully, crossing her legs under her.
"Yes, it is possible for you to be free from this place at a price." Nyx said, getting no visible reaction from Minato once again.
"A price?" Minato asked after a few seconds of silence.
"Yes, a price. If you choose to leave this place you will forfeit many important items that you have obtained in your life. The most notable being the power of the Wild Card, the Fool Arcana, the Universe Arcana and in turn, all the Social Links and Persona that you've obtained in your life. To make things simpler, you will forfeit and sever the bonds that you've made with those you've chosen to protect. Your memories of them will fade into oblivion, though that does not mean that you will completely forget them. You can never truly forget someone who has left an impression on your heart." Nyx explained, expecting Minato to explode, knowing that he valued his bonds over all else.
She was mistaken however as she merely looked at her with the same unchanging impassive face. Slowly he sat up as he turned to face her completely.
"There's something else that you're not telling me." He said, getting Nyx to flinch at the accusation.
"How sharp, expected from one who has managed to defeat me. The final price is..." Nyx trailed off, a light dusting of pink gracing her cheeks.
"The final price... Is that you have to take responsibility for defeating me... In other words, you have to take care of me." Nyx said, clearly embarrassed at having to say it.
"Take care of you?" He asked, finally raising an eyebrow at her ludicrous statement.
"Yes! You are the only being that has ever bested me in combat, you need to take responsibility for your actions!" Nyx said, the pink on her cheeks becoming more pronounced.
"Do not get me wrong, I do not wish to be in your care! But it is the easiest way for me to see the world outside of this one..." Nyx trailed off.
"Because Erebus can't summon you if it can't come in contact with you, and you won't be here if you're with me correct?" Minato inferred, getting a look of surprise from Nyx.
"It can't summon something that isn't there. Taking you with me will still have me acting as a "seal" of sorts." Minato continued on, getting a nod from Nyx.
"What about my soul or body? Wouldn't one wither away given enough time." Minato asked, getting a negative shake of the head from Nyx.
"If you choose to accept this offer, your soul will be bound to mine. It will make you immortal, though you can still be killed with enough effort." Nyx explained, getting a slight inclination of the head from Minato.
Minato was conflicted about this offer. On one hand, he would get the freedom that he once had, that alone was almost enough for him to accept. But on the other hand, he would lose everything that he once held dear. But... His memory was already corrupted, he had forgotten the faces of those that he held dear and those who stood by him during the final battle. Their faces nothing more then black blurs. If he accepted this offer, he would be free and he would still be acting as the seal to hold back Erebus. He finally made his decision. Raising his lowered head, he stared Nyx directly in the eyes before he nodded, stretching his hand towards her.
Blushing slightly, Nyx timidly reached for his hand before they connected a warmth indescribable to her filled her very soul as she suppressed a moan that threatened to escape her lips. Reigning in her senses, she swallowed the lump in her throat before leaning forward and capturing his lips with hers, a shroud of darkness surrounding the two as a tremor shook the Sea of Souls.
"W-With this, our contract is sealed." Nyx said in a bashful tone, clearly never having had created a contract before as Minato just stared blankly at her.
Soon, the Sea of Souls shone brightly before Minato had to close his eyes to avoid being blinded by the intensity of the light. Opening his eyes, he found that he stood in front of the door that he had once sealed. Now dressed in a different style of clothing then his Gekkoukan uniform; Minato now wore a white collared dress shirt, with an open black blazer and matching slacks, loafers and tie.
Feeling something in his pocket, he reached into it and he found a wallet that had all his important forms of documentation and identification. Slipping his hand into the other side, he let a small smile break his impassive facade as it contained an MP3 player and a pair of headphones. As he was about to slip the headphones on, he froze.
It was then that he felt an overwhelming amount of negative emotions. Turning around, he spotted the source of said negative emotions. It was Erebus, and Minato was standing unarmed in front of it. Spotting him, Erebus let out a deafening roar before it approached the dark haired young man. As he approached him, Minato was about to evade but a voice stopped him.
"Do not worry my partner, he is no match for the two of us." Nyx's silky voice echoed in his mind.
"Nyx? Does that mean..." Minato trailed off, knowing the answer based on the fact that they had just bound their souls together.
"Yes my partner, now allow me to show you my power if I may." Nyx said getting Minato to question her.
"I don't have my evoker." He deadpanned, getting Nyx to giggle at his obvious statement.
"Don't worry my partner, for just call on me and I will come." Nyx said, making Minato close his eyes and release a sigh.
Slowly, he felt a familiar sensation that he thought he would never feel once he became the seal. Feeling the power flow out of him, he slowly opened his eyes as a spiral of blue energy blew away the golden clouds that gathered around him. Slowly, a blank card without an Arcana began to fall before him. Bringing his hand up, as it fell into his palm he crushed it. As soon as the particles dispersed, an deafening explosion of blue energy made Erebus take a step back.
Behind him was the goddess of the night herself, though she was different then before. Nyx was now an amalgamation of her Avatar form and Human form. Nyx stood behind Minato in her human form with the dress of her Avatar form. Her wings spread behind her, she was wearing the same black gown with the bladed protrusions that extended past her waist. Her arms and legs were covered with the same gauntlets, grieves and boots that her Avatar form had. On her face was a mask in the visage of her Avatar form. The porcelain white with the same eerie black eyes and smile did a fine job of imitating her original form. Finally, held in her hand was the sword that she had used during that final battle, only now, it was under Minato's command.
"As I expected my partner, you truly are the only one suitable for me." Nyx praised bashfully, a smile hidden behind her mask.
Opening his eyes, he locked his impassive silver with Erebus' glowing crimson. Taking a step forward, Minato saw that Erebus took another step back. Raising his hand, the same card from before descended once more as Minato's hand rose to meet it.
"Night Queen." Minato whispered, crushing the card as Nyx raised her free hand towards Erebus.
Soon, the crimson beams of energy descended upon Erebus as the beast roared in agony before being engulfed in a dome of black and crimson energy. As the dome dissipated, there was nothing left of the beast as Nyx just giggled, happy to have used her power once more.
"That, my dear partner, was only a fraction of my true power." Nyx boasted proudly, puffing out her chest as Minato just stared at the spot Erebus had once stood at.
"Now my partner, we will not be able to exit the Sea of Souls for another year so I suggest that you get used to having a physical body once more." Nyx suggested, getting Minato to turn to her before he nodded slightly.
"Then... Why don't we go a few rounds." Minato said, putting his hands into the pockets of his slacks as Nyx looked surprised before a demure smile made its way to face, hidden behind her mask.
"If you insist my partner, then please." Nyx began, holding her hand out as a sword darker then the night itself appeared in it.
"Lead me if you would." She finished in a teasing tone as Minato took the weapon, staring directly in the eyes as he settled into a loose stance.
"Then why don't we get started." He said before a deafening clang rang out, blowing away the golden clouds that surrounded the two, creating a clear zone of battle.
(Scene Change - The Velvet Room)
Sitting in the middle of a couch, Igor rested his hands held together in front of him. Suddenly, his head snapped up as his normally crazed eyes showed a brief flash of panic before it changed to delight. Seeing the sudden change in their master; Margaret, Theodore and Elizabeth turned to him curiously as he started laughing softly, brushing a stray tear from his eye.
"Master, is something the matter?" Theodore asked, worried about the state of his master, never having seen such an expression from him in all his years of serving him.
"It seems he truly was deserving of the Wild Child." Igor said cryptically, getting more confused stares in return.
"Do not worry, you will all know who it is I am talking about very soon." Igor said, as he started chuckling softly again.
And that's a wrap! I hope you guys don't hate my idea of having Minato lose his memories in exchange for being freed or that he has no other persona other then Nyx now. As for Nyx, I really couldn't come up with a solid character base for her. I'm sorry guys, I'll leave a note down here on a future chapter to describe how she looks once I finalize it. Again, leave me a review or PM me and tell me what you think alright? Thanks for reading and stay awesome!