Disclaimer: I do not own Persona or Fate or anything in the nasuverse, any resemblance to any other Persona 4/Fate fan fiction is coincidental and plagiarism is not intended. No flames please, constructive criticism only.
[November 22nd, Junes electronics Department, Junes, Inaba]
When the team left the TV World with Adachi a few moments later some police officers came and found them.
"Ah, Shirogane" The police officer greeted. " We've got word from detective Dojima."
"He's wanted on suspicion of murdering Mayumi Yamano and Saki Konishi, right?" The other officer asked.
"Correct," Naoto confirmed with a nod.
"Understood. We have an ambulance waiting downstairs. Should we have them bring the stretcher up here?" The First Officer asked
"Detective Dojima assumed one would be necessary. He wanted the suspect to be carefully taken into protective custody. It...Well, it was a personal favour to him." The second informed them.
Yu noticed for just a moment a look of surprise cross Adachi's face before it disappeared.
"They were partners, after all..." Chie said.
"Then yes, please have them bring up the stretcher," Naoto told them.
When the Police officers left it didn't take long for them to load up Adachi.
Yu had a solemn look on his face as he considered Adachi.
They are kindred spirits after all, they both lost things they cherished, both of their parents were crap. The difference between them being only the path they took. Both of them came to this town empty and alone. The difference was that he chose to let people get close to him, to make friends, while Adachi did his best to keep people away to keep from being hurt by the world. In the end Yu couldn't help but feel that he and Adachi were a hair's breadth away from becoming one another.
Adachi stared back at him and he clicked his tongue. Yu could tell that he was dissatisfied with this conclusion but accepted it nonetheless.
"Come on let's go outside" Rise suggested after Adachi had been taken away.
The team all nodded and followed their leader out of the store. When they were out of sight a tall, bespectacled middle-aged man with brown, short unkempt hair snuck in from an aisle on the far end of the store away from being noticed by the police or the team. He was wearing a blue dress shirt tucked into his upturned khaki slacks with a chequered dark blue tie with a white lab coat over the top, snuck towards the TV the team had exited from.
"A-are you there?" He asked to the Television.
A few moments passed before static appeared on the blank television. In the centre was a silhouette of a person looking out.
"Greetings." The silhouette greeted. "I'm glad you could make it."
"So it's real, what you said? The Holy Grail, magic, any wish at all?" The man inquired.
"Indeed, I chose you to be my master as we share the same ideals, a world of bliss and happiness where no one needs to suffer ever again." The silhouette stated. "But before that can happen we must let this Holy Grail war run its course and the path to the Holy Grail opened. Only then will I be able to start up the second round."
"You promise that no one will be killed?" The man asked with a shaky yet stern tone.
"That I promise you, there need be no death, we only need to defeat our foes to get the wish, killing is not necessary."
"Alright, then I'm in. What do you need me to do?" The man asked with determination.
"Put your hand on the screen."
The man did as ordered; as soon as he did his hand was pulled partly through the screen which rippled like water. He panicked for a second before he felt something large being put into his hand before the grip was released. He retrieved his hand and in it was a wallet and several notes written on pieces of paper.
"That wallet has my bank cards, and the notes have my account details as well as a list of materials I require you to purchase, as well as the contacts who can supply them. We will need them for the upcoming conflict, "
"This stuff is..." The materials were strange and the sheer expenses were ludicrously high, more than Maruki could ever hope to earn in his lifetime.
"Worry not, with it we will have a major advantage when the Holy Grail War begins again. Just follow my instructions and everything should be fine. Doctor Maruki."
"I understand. Ruler." Maruki declared before turning and walking away as the screen turned blank again.
[November 22nd, Control Room, Chaldea Security Organisation, Antarctica]
"The fog has vanished." An employee stated, "Mana density returning to normal levels."
"The light of civilisation has returned to CHALDEAS."
"We're able to observe humanities future for the next one hundred years again."
"They did it." Lev sighed looking towards a screen which showed the town and its inhabitants now visible.
"Indeed-" A male voice cut into the conversation making Marisbury jump.
"The installation of TRISMEGISTUS is complete." Marisbury looked to see the Narukami's standing there, he hadn't even realised they entered the room. "It is online and now fully functional."
"With this, all of the contributions required of Atlas have been completed and the people provided by the Atlas Institute are returning home." The wife stated.
"We'll be able to do the test rayshifts now that we have the ability with the spiritron calculation engine installed," Lev informed them.
"I'm sure Wodime will be the first to volunteer." Marisbury sighed "That boy doesn't realise his importance."
"I think he does, he just values other people lives more," Lev stated. "He's the perfect leader."
"Zelretch made contact with us." The husband said. "He has informed us that the Inaba Grail War will end on March 20th of the new year. As such I recommend we set the wedding date for March 21st"
"Agreed, the sooner we can seal this deal the better." Marisbury smiled.
"The wizard marshal has also stated that we can send Olga to Inaba without her being harmed." The wife explained. "I recommend sending her there so Yu and Her and can get used to each other. Perhaps around Christmas time?"
"Agreed. This will be awkward enough with them barely knowing each other." Marisbury nodded "I'll make the arrangements. She can stay with at the Amagi Inn with Romani."
"Speaking of whom." Lev pointed to a screen with Romani's name on it and phone symbol.
"Hey, I finally got through can you hear me?" Romani asked in a panicked tone.
"Yes Romani you are coming in loud and clear." Lev smiled. "We tried contacting you but that fog locked our signal."
"Yeah, I tried to call you as well but got no signal either," Romani answered with relief.
"Doctor, did the fog affect you in any way?" Marisbury inquired.
"I felt a bit nauseous, but nothing other than that," Romani reported. "I noticed that other people were affected to different degrees. Some people had trouble breathing, but a majority of others started to hallucinate, and some displayed erratic behaviour. It all stopped with the fog gone though. Do we have any idea what it was?"
"We believe the fog was something similar to a reality marble, except it was overwriting the Worlds Texture and the Counter Force was doing nothing to stop it," Lev told him.
"Nothing but why?!" Romani yelled with shock. "I thought this was exactly the kind of thing the Counter Force would react to?"
"We are still looking into that" Marisbury said. "On another note, I'll be sending Olga to Inaba to meet her Fiancé. She'll be staying at the Inn with you. I trust that won't be an issue?"
"No sir it'll be fine," Romani said with a nervous chuckle.
"Good, please make sure the girl is on her best behaviour, surely she can be good for at least something so simple," Marisbury stated dismissively before ending the call.
He turned walked out of the room, past the daughter he had just been talking about utterly ignoring her as he left. Her head fell and her bangs covered her eyes, tears falling from them before she turned away to hide it from everyone.
"Sheesh, the boss sure is a jerk isn't he?"
"He is a mage through and through, focused on his goals to the detriment of all else." Lev sighed before pulling down his hat and hiding a shark-like grin. 'Marisbury you make this all too easy.' Lev then walked after Olga to comfort her.
"See, Mom? It's all sunny I can play outside like you promised right?"
"Oh, Makoto don't run like that!"
"It's for real… the fog's gone!" Chie exclaimed looking around at the sunlight-filled town.
"We did it, this time is for real," Yukiko said.
"...Wh-What's up, Senpai? Did you think I was crying?" Rise asked "It's just so bright...It's been so long since the sky was that blue..."
"We're almost finished, the goal is in sight," Naoto stated.
"Yeah, we just need to open up the Grail's hiding place then make the wish." Yosuke nodded his head. "You did decide on what it is right?"
"You moron." Chie kicked Yosuke in the leg. "He's gonna bring Arisato back remember?"
"Ow, I was just asking you don't have to kick me!" Yosuke yelled getting into her face.
"Senpai." Naoto got Yu's attention as Chie and Yosuke began arguing. "I think we shouldn't be too hasty. I want to get more information about Arisato's battles in Tartarus. There has to be a reason he died at the end if we're not careful we might wind up causing a catastrophe, please let's investigate more before we make that wish."
"But how could bringing him back be a bad thing Naoto?" Yukiko asked hesitantly.
"I...I don't know how to explain it, it's just a gut feeling please, trust me." Naoto pleaded with conviction in her voice. "The Holy Grail isn't going anywhere. Please just give me a week."
"Alright. We'll try investigating first. If you can't get anything I'll send Assassin to see if he can dig anything up from the Kirijo Group." Yu said reassuringly. "Can you guys all come over on Christmas Day?"
"Yeah, I can make it," Chie told him. "We have Chrismas dinner early, just after Lunchtime."
"I can come after Christmas lunch too," Yosuke said.
"Yeah, Ma 'll want me to stay for Lunch too at least." Kanji put in.
"I can come over whenever," Naoto affirmed.
"Christmas is a quiet season for Inn surprisingly. Especially around dinner time." Yukiko reported. "The only guest we have now is Doctor Romani. So I think can come around that time too."
"I can come with Yosuke." Teddie cheered causing Yosuke to sigh.
"Alright, Christmas dinner it is," Yu said with a smile. "We'll discuss business before dinner Sound good?"
He received various affirmations from the team. With business done the team decided to just relax. The murderer was defeated and the fog was gone. They headed for the park overlooking the town to just lay back. Looking over the town now bathed in sunlight, filled them all with a sense of optimism. Everything would be fine from here on out.
[December 6th, Naoto's Study, Shirogane residence, Inaba]
Two weeks had passed. Naoto was frustrated. She'd been forced to concede after her contracts near or within the Kirijo group had all become tight-lipped over the affair concerning Arisato. The most she'd been able to get was a profile on Mitsuru herself. It was rather extensive giving details on the affair and some major events but it was incomplete and detailed nothing concerning the 13th Shadow.
Naoto didn't have the resources to dig into the Kirijo group, and their journey through the false Yasogami had been wiped from SEES memories and the mystic code which restored Naoto's and her friends' memories had fallen apart soon after use rendering it useless.
As such, she'd prepared to help Assassin infiltrate the Kirijo group HQ where Mitsuru's terminal was and with luck a diary of some sort. Well, not so much help as wait for Assassin to call her with the burner phone he'd been given. Naturally, she'd done her research on Assassin. This Kiritsugu Emiya.
Between what little she could glean from various sources and what Archer had told her of him. Emiya was a terrorist and mass murderer who appeared mostly throughout warzones across the world. But did sometimes pop up in cities. He was still wanted in America for shooting down a passenger plane back in the Seventies. All leads on the man dried up with the eighties, it was as though as he seemed to just drop off of the face of the earth.
She was nervous about working with someone like this; however, Yu had restricted him from killing or harming anyone which gave her some small relief.
Suddenly as if on cue, her phone buzzed. On the screen, as she grabbed it she saw the number for the burner phone and answered.
"I'm at the terminal." Emiya's low grizzled voice stated. "Its password locked. Security won't remain off forever."
Naoto went over Mitsuru's file and some phrases and date's stood out. There were several possibilities. But her conversations with Mitsuru helped her narrow them down. The SEES founder was many things, unintentionally insensitive amongst them but she wasn't a fool. Nor was she a hard-hearted ice queen.
Going through all this and Naoto's impressions of her one date seemed to jump out at her.
"Try November 4th, according to this file it's the day her father was murdered," Naoto suggested.
A few seconds of silence passed before Assassin spoke up.
"I'm in." Another pause. "Found it, a diary, it goes into detail about the events of Tartarus."
"Download it to the USB and hurry back, I'll go through it and find what we're after."
"Understood." With that, the call disconnected.
Naoto let out a sigh as she put her phone down and fell into a chair.
"Does he unnerve you?" Archer asked materialising and leaning against a wall.
"After what I found about him can you blame me?"
"I honestly didn't know much myself he never talked about his past to me at all," Archer stated. "I suspect this Kiritsugu Emiya is not one who ended up adopting me. He's likely from a different timeline."
"Magic, Holy Grails, now alternate timelines. The world sure is complicated." Naoto grumbled folding her arms and glaring at everything which lay on her desk.
"You didn't even know the half of it." Archer chuckled at his master's childish pouting.
This turned her glare onto him, she still nursed a slit grudge after Archer had thrown out all of her instant food and insisted on cooking quality food himself. While it was delicious she still was annoyed that he had thrown away her favourite noodles.
[December 25th, Dojima Residence, Yu's Room, Inaba]
Up in Yu's room, the team had crammed in. Yukiko, Chie and Rise were on the sofa. Kanji was sat at the desk while Teddie and Yosuke were sat on his Futon in the back. Yu was sat in the centre of the room. Their attention was focused on Naoto who was standing in front of the door which had been warded with a bounded field to keep their conversation from being overheard by Dojima and Nanako the former was keeping an eye on the timer Yu had set for the meal.
"Ok, I'll skip over most of what I know and go right to the end," Naoto said clearing her throat. "Minato Arisato died to stop an entity called Nyx, who seems to embody the concept of death itself. The Fall which she would cause would have caused all of humanity to die out. She was the ultimate cause of Apathy Syndrome. If the Fall had taken place then everyone in the world would have gotten Apathy Syndrome and just died."
"Holy Crap." Kanji and Chie cursed.
"So how did he stop it?" Yukiko asked.
"He became a Seal, one that sealed Nyx away from an entity called Erebus."
"Erebus is the greek primordial who embodies darkness right?" Yu put in.
"Yes, normally, but in this case, Erebus seems to be the accumulated malice that came from the hearts of countless living people. Nyx herself is not hostile or malevolent. Erebus is what causes the Fall by coming into contact with Nyx. Arisato as the Great Seal keeps them apart." Naoto explained. "However, every year Erebus tries to break the Seal to get to Nyx. Destroying it is only a temporary measure as it can reform in a year."
"So if we just straight up revive Arisato then..." Yosuke trailed off.
"Then this Fall thing happens." Kanji finished.
"So we have to get rid of Erebus permanently first right?" Chie asked.
"Exactly, so even if we can't revive Arisato we can at least give some relief from this Erebus thing." Rise nodded
"So if the Holy Grail can do anything, if we say it right, we can make a wish to get rid of this Erebus forever." Teddie realised with joy.
"Exactly, that was my conclusion as well." Naoto smiled and nodded before a loud growling filled the room causing everyone to look at Naoto who was blushing with embarrassment while everyone else chuckled.
"S-sorry, I can smell the turkey and my lunch wasn't that big." Naoto pulled her hat down over her eyes, face red with embarrassment.
"I did warn you that it would be a while before dinner." Archer chided her.
"Well, it should all be ready soon," Yu said reassuringly
Suddenly the doorbell rang, the sound footsteps were heard and the door opening.
"Yu, you have visitors!" Dojima called up to him.
"Visitors on Christmas day?" Yu wondered standing up and heading downstairs.
As Yu opened the door he saw Romani shivering in the cold accompanying a girl wearing a black and orange overcoat over the top of a white dress, red leggings and black high heels complete with a small red cravat. She had white hair and amber coloured eyes.
"Hey, Yu sorry to bother you guys on Christmas day and all," he said apologetically with a nervous grin. "But my boss and your parents kind of demanded this happen now."
"Hey." Chie's voice came from behind Yu, his friends all gathered to see what was happening. "Who's this?"
"I am Olga Marie Animusphere." The girl introduced herself flipping her hair over her shoulder. "I presume you are Yu Narukami correct?"
"Yes, that's me," Yu confirmed.
"So you are my new Fiancé." She paused and began examining him. "Well... it's good to meet you I guess."
"Yeah..." An awkward silence descended on the ground which was broken by Dojima answering the phone.
"What!...Sis what are do you?! Ok...ok fine!" he put the phone down and sighed. "Jeez what happened to her? she sure has changed over these years." he came over to the door and looked out. "Do you want to stay for dinner? We have enough room and food."
"That would be nice thank you." Olga bowed her head politely.
Yu could see her reluctance, she didn't want to be but from what he gathered someone had made sure she didn't have a choice in the matter.
"Thank you very much," Romani said bowing politely, entering after Olga did.
Dinner was awkward. Everyone knew it too. The call had been from Yu's mother informing them of Olga coming over for Christmas dinner. At the last minute. Luckily there was enough room. Olga was sitting on one of the stools near the counter and eating her portion of food up there.
Also, fortunately, Rise had kept a steady conversation going mostly about the clear skies above the town recently. Nanako had been quite into the conversation and wondered if she'd see a shooting star.
The conversation stayed on stars for a while before Olga requested to talk to him in private. Yu agreed and the two excused themselves to go to his room.
When the door was closed she took a deep breath as if preparing herself for something big.
"Look. This arranged marriage. Neither of us asked for it." She said giving him a hard stare. "But I was hoping we could come to some sort of arrangement. Neither of us loves each other, but we don't hate each other either so...I hope we can live together without any animosity."
"I was hoping for that too," Yu said nodding his head. "Our parents want this but, it's not what I want. So I'll agree to do what's expected of me as a husband. I won't do anything untoward towards you. I hope we can live together as you said."
"Alright, thank you." Olga gulped. "I'm glad you agree. I look forward to living with you."
There was another pause before she started talking again.
"So...do you, know why this happened? My father never told me anything about it, no reasons, nothing." The pitch of her voice got higher for a brief instant before quickly returning to normal, something Yu noted. "I didn't complain or protest because I figured it's what he wanted and he'd be proud of me but still..."
"I'm afraid that apart from them telling me it was happening my parents never said anything to me either. I'm sorry." Yu apologised after taking a few seconds to absorb what she had said.
"Why... why am I left in the dark? All want is for him to praise me, to acknowledge just once..." Olga whispered to herself, her bangs falling to shadow her eyes. She was mumbling quiet enough that Yu had to strain to hear her.
Downstairs the others were still eating and talking. Romani was laughing and drinking a light beer Dojima. When Olga and Yu came down Dojima looked and could tell that Olga looked unhappy. He looked to Yu who mouthed the word 'father' at him as he guided Olga back to her stool where she continued eating her dinner.
Rise who had seen this decided to try and talk to Olga. She inquired as to her likes and hobbies. Anything to keep the conversation going and off her father.
"So, do you work for Olga's father?" Dojima inquired of Romani.
"Yeah, I'm the head of the medical division. Romani responded pleasantly. "Operations aren't ready to begin yet and I had nothing to do hence why I was sent here, that and I like to think I'm a bit more personable than my colleagues."
"All top-secret stuff?"
"Yup, can't say anything sorry." Romani shrugged with a smile.
"Yeah, I figured," Dojima said rubbing his head. "Yu's mom has been like that for years ever since she married his father, not I have anything against them mind you. But she sure did change after Yu was born."
It didn't take long and soon Olga finished her food and stood up.
"Thank you, dinner was delicious. I'll see you again in the new year." Olga stated having regained some of her composure. "Romani!"
"Coming!" The doctor said slightly panicked as he stood up and finished his beer before making his way out with Olga to escort her back to the Inn.
With that Olga opened the door and left, Yu was close behind. The door opened and closed leaving Yu just staring at it as she was gone.
"So what happened?" Dojima asked as everyone else tried to not to look at Yu.
"Her father's not a dad," Yu responded causing Dojima to sigh and acknowledge what he meant.
Dojima went over to Nanako and gave her a hug and smile and talking about presents and plans for her to learn to play the piano.
[December 31st, Directors Office, Chaldea Security Organisation, Antarctica]
Marisbury Animusphere was sat at his desk in his office. Chaldea had calmed down and over a month had passed since the incident in Inaba. His daughter had introduced herself to her fiance and all seemed well. He took a sip of his coffee and set the mug down before continuing to read the papers before him.
He heard the sound of the door opening and glanced up to see Kirschtaria Wodime entering the room and wordlessly taking a seat nearby looking at a bookshelf.
"Is something the bothering you Wodime?" The Director asked not taking his eyes away from the papers. "It's quite late, it will be 2015 soon, and after one year we'll be able to begin Rayshifting for real."
"I am curious, about the arranged marriage." Wodime finally stated.
"Ah I see, I never did elaborate did I?" Marisbury chuckled. "Are you perhaps offended that I didn't choose you instead?"
"Of course not, I know you had a good reason, I just don't know what it is."
"Well, I can assure you I had a pragmatic reason for it," Marisbury said. "You see, Yu Narukami is a Persona User."
"I see," Kirschtaria's eye's widened at the revelation. "That make's sense, Persona users do develop magic circuits, though few ever get to use them. His must be high quality indeed, for you to be able to get away with this?"
"You are correct." Animusphere chuckled. "According to what few notes of Kouetsu Kirijo's research I was able to acquire, the Persona itself can also determine the quality of magic circuits, for example, an important figure or a god means high quality."
"Having high-quality magic circuits isn't enough for you to do this, neither is the Atlas Contract you rented from the church, you could have easily acquired one of your own," Wodime noted rubbing his chin and persuing a book before coming to a revelation. "I see now because he is a Persona User and the child of rather important members of the Holy Church, he is here to protect the Association isn't he? In case anything happens to you."
"Sharp as always," Animushpere smirked putting down the papers. "No Magi can go near a Persona User with Ill intent without losing their life did you know that?"
"Of course I do," Wodime replied. "I don't think any Mage worth their salt doesn't know. Whole family lines have been exterminated and their Crests destroyed just for one of their number even trying to experiment on a Persona User. It's why there's no official law stopping the practice because you're dead if you try."
"Then why was Kouetsu Kirijo able to get away with it? Despite his family having centuries history and research into Magecraft?"
"...It's because he became a heretic isn't it?" Wodime said after a pause. "He made that infamous speech thirty years ago about how Magecraft was a dead end with no future and pursuing the Root was pointless and waste of time as no Mage family or any of their descendants would ever reach it. Then he left the Mages Association forever, neither his son nor his granddaughter ever tried to keep researching the root, thus becoming Heretics in the eyes of all others."
Marisbury kept smiling and took a sip of his coffee before Wodime continued.
"But saying something like that alone wouldn't be enough unless he truly did mean it. He abandoned centuries of research for this. That's why he was able to get away with it. He truly abandoned the path of the mage forever. His son and Granddaughter only use it as a tool these days and there are rumours that she is a Persona User herself." Wodime stopped and shook his head. "So that's it. By having Narukami marry Olga you provide an extra layer fo protection for Chaldea, you give the Holy Church a stake in the organisation and grant the Organisation the protection all Persona Users enjoy by virtue of him merely being present."
"Indeed. That is all correct. Very good Kirschtaria" Marisbury congratulated him. "Yu Narukami will keep the vultures at bay, The Association will not risk war with the Church and certain death just to steal my organisation for themselves. So as I said, you are not offended I hope?"
"Of course not, you can count on me. I do look forward to meeting him." Wodime said putting the book away and standing up from his chair. "I can even tutor him in some basics fo Magecraft. I could in handy for him."
"Thank you, I'm sure he'll appreciate it."