Author's Notes: This story has been inspired by the original OVA "Tokyo Revelation", and has been thought as a rewrite/extend of the story it tried to present. To this end, I've borrowed some elements from IV and Apocalypse, used to further extend the plot line. I've made this attempt with the most information I have coming from the OVA itself, with little to no knowledge of what's actually narrated in the manga, the true original material. So, I apologize in advance for probable plot mistakes. Also, if anyone could tell me a way to find the original manga and read it, I would be very grateful.
That said, let's begin to delve into this new story of mine, my personal take of a story of Shin Megami Tensei.
Shin Megami Tensei: Denizens of Darkness.
1st Night: Occult Club
A young man opened his amber eyes, finding a black night sky above him, devoid of any stars. An eerie moon scythe was the only light above him. He slowly sit up and found himself in a beautiful garden, with cherry trees in their full blossom. He slowly stood up and looked around, basking in the breathtaking scenario unfolding around him.
Upon turning around, the young man noticed a path of torii gates stretching ahead of his vision. As soon as he moved his first step towards it, the wind began blowing. The young man could feel it blowing among his black hair.
It got stronger. And stronger. And stronger.
Eventually, it became strong enough to lift him from the grassy grounds of the garden. He found himself flying over the path of toori gates. As he looked under himself, his eyes fell upon a shrine.
In that moment, he heard a voice. Strong, clearly audible.
"Can you hear me, Tetsuo?"
As soon as those words were spoken, a lightning bolt flashed in the sky and thunder crackled loudly…
A young man quickly opened his eyes, as if waking from a nightmare, and found that he was lying in his bed. He had short black hair and deep amber eyes. His room was orderly and well-lit, gently illuminated by sunlight.
"That dream..." he couldn't help but think. It had not been the first time he had experienced it. With that thought in mind, he rose from his bed and began his day.
After getting changed into a red t-shirt, black jacket and black pants, tidying up his hair a bit and latching his portable computer to his arm, he went to the kitchen, where his mother, a woman with brown hair and hazelnut eyes, dressed in a white puff-sleeved shirt, an orange long skirt and a yellow apron, was waiting for him.
"Oh, good morning, Tetsuo!" she cheerfully called upon seeing her son.
"Good morning, mom!" he replied, in kind, as he sat at the kitchen table and waited for her to sit in front of him, with a smile on his face.
"And it's Monday again..." the woman couldn't help but sigh as she sat as well.
"It's never pleasant when the week begins..." Tetsuo added, eliciting a chuckle from his mother. With that said, both began eating their breakfast.
"Dad's out early again, right?" the youth asked
"Yes." she confirmed "You know how busy he is with work, lately..."
Upon finishing, Tetsuo immediately headed to the entrance of the house, putting his red shoes on. His destination was the school he was studying in: Kichijouji Seijou High.
"I'm off!" he said as he stepped outside of the house.
"Take care!" his mother called as he began to walk away.
Tetsuo Asakura always had to take the bus to reach his school. As he was on his way to the bus stop, he suddenly felt a mildly strong tap on his shoulder. As he turned, he recognized his close friend and neighbor, another young man with slightly spiky brown hair and shining brown eyes, dressed in a green shirt, under a maroon jacket, brown pants and green shoes, looking at him with a grin on his face.
"Hey, Tetsuo!" he cheerfully greeted him "How are you doing?"
"Oh, hello Ayumu!" the youth replied with a calm smile "I'm doing just fine. How about you?" At that question, his friend couldn't help but let out a sigh and hang his head a little.
"I'm bummed, like I always am on Mondays..." he said "It feels always too soon when the week starts..."
"I agree..." Tetsuo replied, scratching the back of his head "But it's much less of a pain if you're ready." This answer elicited a chuckle from Ayumu. As they chatted, they arrived at the stop without even noticing, in time for the bus.
In a short amount of time, the bus took the two friends to the path leading to the entrance gates of Seijou High. Upon reaching his destination, the two youths hopped off the bus and began walking towards the gates.
"Say, speaking of being ready..." Ayumu asked his friend, looking at him with a sly smile spread across his face while walking "Do you have this week's file ready?"
"Sure thing!" Tetsuo calmly replied "I have two copies right in my backpack. I'll hand them over to Hideaki at the club's meeting."
"Were you mentioning me, Tetsuo?" A serious, yet warm voice said from behind the two youths, making them quickly turn towards its source. They noticed a young man with short black hair and gray eyes, wearing glasses, dressed in a gray jacket over a white shirt and black tie, gray pants and black shoes, almost like a gakuran, and a girl with long red hair, some of which were collected in a side ponytail, and copper eyes, dressed in a bordeaux-red puff sleeved shirt, dark blue short skirt and thigh highs of the same color and bordeaux-red schoolgirl shoes, standing by his side. Kichijouji High did not have a particular dress code, while it did demand from its students to dress smart and decently.
"Good morning, Asakura-kun, Hirabayashi-kun!" the girl warmly greeted them, while the youth simply smiled.
"Oh, good morning, Hideaki, Murakami-san!" Tetsuo quickly replied, with a slight bow that elicited an amused laugh from Ayumu.
"Needlessly polite as always, huh?" he observed, before turning towards the two "Good morning, you two!"
"It's a lovely day, isn't it?" the girl mused as she playfully turned around.
"Yeah, it sure is..." Tetsuo mused as he rose his gaze to the sky.
"It's one of those days which makes you want to be anywhere else rather than at school!" Ayumu added, with a hearty laugh, while Hideaki's eyes slowly widened in realization.
"Er… Guys?" Hideaki tried to call his friends' attention, with the intent of warning them. But it was already too late. The girl swiftly turned around with an unsettling growl, wearing a Kishin mask on her face. Her gesture made the other three youths jump back in shock.
"Yikes!" Ayumu exclaimed.
"Izumi!" Hideaki called, as the girl removed her mask and laughed at the shock she had caused in her friends, then, he couldn't help but let out a sigh "You really love playing pranks with that stuff, don't you?"
"Because I use what I love to do it!" she replied quickly, putting her hands behind her back "That's my way of doing things, and you love me for it!" She then added with a wink, which made the youth sigh and smile.
"When you put it like that, I can't stay mad at you." he replied, which elicited a giggle from her.
"Oh, you." she replied, looking at him with adoring eyes. Hideaki gazed back at her, lovingly, while Ayumu shook his head with an amused chuckle.
"Birds of a feather flock together, as they say..." he remarked, to which Tetsuo nodded in agreement. Hideaki and Izumi turned back to their friends with beaming smiles.
"Speaking of which." the former began "What were you two discussing about before we came?"
"Oh, we were just talking about the file I've prepared for today..." Tetsuo replied.
"Two copies?" Hideaki asked.
"Yes, two copies ready." the youth readily replied.
"Excellent!" his friend smiled "As you know, today's file will be included as an insert in this week's issue of the Seijou newspaper." Tetsuo nodded at his friend's remark.
With that matter settled, the four friends entered the school to start their day. Hideaki was a third-year student, while the other three youths were in their second year. The first classes of the day passed swiftly. Then, when the break came, Tetsuo decided to step out of the class and into the corridor, which began to fill with life. Students were strolling about while chatting.
Tetsuo walked for a stretch, looking at the window. It was a spring day. Ayumu caught up to him.
"Enjoying the view?" he asked, with a grin on his face.
"Yeah." the youth answered, smiling in kind.
"The Hanami period is approaching..." Ayumu mused, turning his gaze towards the view that the corridor windows provided "Say, Tetsuo, are you planning to celebrate with your family?"
"We've not talked about it yet." his friend replied "But maybe we will arrange something."
"If not, we can always hang out together, y'know?" the energetic youth suggested, making his friend chuckle.
"Indeed." he replied.
"Hideaki and Izumi must be really looking forward to this..." Ayumu mused "And to spring in general." He then turned to his friend with a mischievous smirk on his face, which made him slightly raise a brow. "I mean, in spring, people spring it in the springs, if you know what I mean!" Tetsuo blushed at the statement.
"I know too much already, thank you." he replied.
"Well, the sakura flowers do teach us to make the most out of our short life, don't they?" a voice intervened in their conversation, making the two youths turn towards the source. It was another second-year, a young man with short brown hair and cobalt blue eyes, wearing glasses. He was dressed in a light blue shirt under a dark blue shirt, light blue jeans and dark turquoise shoes.
"Ah, Soma!" Tetsuo exclaimed in surprise with a slight bow, to which the youth smiled,
"Yo, Kojiro!" Ayumu cheerfully greeted.
"Good morning." Kojiro calmly replied, before gazing at the scenery as well.
"That's true..." Tetsuo thought as he looked at the spring scenery unfolding before him and his fellow students "Folklore puts it in many ways, but the core message is always that one. The sakura flowers represent the beauty of life, as well as its fragility."
The three youths gazed at the view offered by the corridor windows for some time, before settling to head back to their classrooms. Kojiro turned to Tetsuo as he walked with him and Ayumu.
"I'm looking forward to seeing your work." he said, with a smile on his face.
"I hope my entry is to your liking, Soma..." the youth replied, scratching the back of his head, earning a pat on the back from his neighbor.
"Don't underestimate yourself, man!" he said, before turning to Kojiro "Don't worry, his file is going to blow your minds! You know that this guy can give you a run for your money!" The energetic youth's comment elicited a laugh from his friends, as well as himself.
"I'm sure everyone in our clubs will like it, Tetsuo." Kojiro reassuringly said to his classmate.
"I really hope so." Tetsuo replied, a hint of renewed confidence audible in his voice.
Eventually, the three youths reach their class and saw off Hideaki, who had been chatting with his girlfriend in the meantime, while he headed back to his own class. Shortly after, the second round of classes began. The students had little to no trouble in making the most of the lectures, until the school bells signaled the end of lessons for the day, and the start of club activities.
Tetsuo, Ayumu and Izumi headed to the class where the occult and folklore club of Seijou High held its meetings, and greeted its head, who also happened to be their friend, Hideaki Miyahara.
"Welcome, everyone." the youth replied with a smile, adjusting his glasses, upon seeing his friends enter the room, then looked at Tetsuo. "Are you ready to bring your research on the table?" He simply nodded and handed him one of the two copies of his work he had brought with himself.
"For the newspaper club.", he said, to which Hideaki nodded in approval.
"Yep, you definitely came prepared." Ayumu commented, with a huge grin plastered on his face.
"That's our Asakura-kun for you!" Izumi added, with a smile of her own, as she playfully folded her arms behind her back.
"Very well, it looks like everyone's here." Hideaki observed "Let's begin." Everyone nodded at that.
"Go get 'em, man!" Ayumu cheered for his friend, patting his shoulder, to which the youth chuckled in slight embarrassment. With that, the club meeting began. The members discussed various happenings in Japan that seemed to have supernatural explanations. Among these, there were rumors about a great part of the monitors decorating many buildings of Tokyo mysteriously going static at a given hour after midnight, according to some witnesses.
"With that said..." Hideaki said, once the debate had reached a certain length "Let's move to today's occult file, brought to us by Asakura Tetsuo." Tetsuo cleared his throat, preparing himself for his speech, while Izumi winked at him.
"Today, I will be talking about the Tengu, one of the most known creatures of Japanese folklore." he began "They are minor mountain gods, inhabiting in particular Mount Kurama, and are notably quite capricious. Their alignment is different, depending on the legend they are depicted in." He continued his speech, helping himself with images of the creatures which were the subject of his explanation.
"They are mainly divided in ko-tengu, the lesser Tengu, which include the infamous Karasu Tengu, and the dai-tengu, the higher Tengu. The ko-tengu, as the name implies, serve the dai-tengu in various mansions, delivering messages on their behalf among these, and are said to haunt and toy with humans in various ways. The dai-tengu, on the other hand, have never been depicted committing such acts. Moreover, it is said that the king of the Tengu, Sojobo, has taught the art of kenjutsu to the legendary hero Minamoto no Yoshitsune."
Once Tetsuo reached the end of his explanation, all his fellow club members began clapping at him, while Hideaki thanked him for his presentation.
After the meeting, Tetsuo met with his friends outside the classroom.
"That was an amazing presentation, Asakura-kun!" Izumi commented, with a smile on her face, as she moved a strand of her long hair behind her ear.
"I told you you would have nailed it!" Ayumu nudged his neighbor.
"Thank you, everyone!" Tetsuo replied, with a slight bow.
"Good afternoon, Asakura-kun." a sweet voice chimed from right behind the youth, prompting him to quickly turn around. Its source was a girl with long blonde hair and sea-hued eyes, dressed in a white short over a turquoise gilet jacket, a turquoise short skirt, white socks and black schoolgirl shoes. She was by the side of a young man with short and slightly untidy dark green hair and hazelnut eyes, wearing a white shirt under a red jacket with beige details, blue jeans and white shoes. Tetsuo and his friends knew him to be her boyfriend, and that they were both second-years, like him. Kojiro was with them, as well.
"Oh, hello Yagami-san! Miura! Soma!" Tetsuo quickly replied, with respectful bows.
"I've read your file." Miura spoke up "It was really impressive!"
"I know, right?" Ayumu added. The green-haired youth turned to Kojiro with a grin on his face.
"Looks like we made a good choice in trying this, right, Kojiro?" he asked, to which his friend smiled and nodded in agreement.
"It sure looks like it." he replied. Izumi and Hideaki smiled as well.
"Also, this is the first time we've included an article about occult in an issue." the girl called Yagami suggested, before turning to her boyfriend "Isn't that right, Yousuke?"
"Yeah, that's right, Saki!" the youth nodded, with an enthusiastic grin "Which makes it even better! With such an article, many more people will be interested in the occult as well!" Izumi gasped in happiness at the remark, her eyes shining, before she turned to her boyfriend.
"Have you heard, Hideaki?" she excitedly remarked "We might have to expect rises in our ranks anytime soon!"
"I hope so." her boyfriend smiled and nodded at the remark.
"But I digress." Yousuke said, still grinning and facing the writer of the successful file "Tetsuo, you've made quite a name for yourself with your writings. How 'bout you come writing something for us?"
"Wha?!" Tetsuo exclaimed, taken aback by the offer he was presented with.
"Yep." Yousuke nodded "I'm scouting you as head of the Seijou High newspaper club. You don't need to file an application or anything."
"Also, you don't need to quit being a member of the occult club in order to write for us." Kojiro added, with a gentle smile "In fact, that very membership could help you a lot in finding material to write about."
"Thank you for the offer, Miura..." Tetsuo replied, having recovered from the stupor, scratching the back of his head "I just need some time to think this through, before I jump the gun."
"That's cool by me." Yousuke cheerfully.
"We'll be looking forward to your reply, Asakura-kun!" Saki added, with a sweet smile on her face.
"See you tomorrow, Tetsuo." Kojiro smiled as well. Tetsuo nodded in response as the members of the newspaper club took their leave, then turned to his friends of the occult club for advice, looking at them with questioning and doubtful eyes.
"If I were you, I would try it." Izumi said, her smile filled with excitement.
"Sure, being a member of two clubs at the same time will definitely mean one hell of a workload..." Ayumu added "But it will also be loads of awesomeness!"
"With the newspaper club, your writing skills would only improve." Hideaki remarked "Not to mention, you could strive to make the occult article a permanent feature and thus draw more attention to our club!"
"Someone like you could get through that without breaking a sweat!" Tetsuo found himself encouraged by his friends' words. His uncertainty was not completely gone, but had been surely struck.
"Thank you, guys..." he thanked, before replying "It does sound really interesting, but I think I need to get ready to do it, first."
"To reduce backlog homework would be essential." Hideaki added, while nodding in agreement.
"Indeed." Tetsuo sighed. Intrigued as he was with the opportunity he was faced with, he was not blinded by the amount of effort that would have been required for it.
"After all..." he thought "Every action requires a good amount of effort and knowledge."