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Desolate Trainyard

10:29 AM

(OST: Urban Sprawl)

Kai made the first move as he charged towards the Roaster. He swung at him with precision, but he managed to block it with no problem with his flamethrower. The struggle between the two gave enough time for Asuka to attack the Roaster from the left and Kazuya from the right. She hit him in his side with the blunt end of her polearm while Kazuya threw some of his Shurikens at him, where one managed to get itself stuck on his kneepads.

"Argh!" the Roaster growled in pain as he was hit by Asuka's attack. He staggered a bit, allowing Kai to hit him in the head with the sheath of his sword.

"That oughtta put him out of commission for a while," he said.

"I hope so," Kazuya replied. "Hey, why didn't you cut him with your sword?"

Kai scoffed. "I don't feel that it's neccessary to spill any blood." He turned to Kazuya and gave him a hard look. "Is that a problem?"

Kazuya shook his head. "Whatever floats your boat, dude. Truth be told, I'm not one for mindless slaughter either."

"That makes three of us," Asuka added. "Now let's hurry up and beat this puto so we can get our culos out of here."

The Roaster glared at the group through his mask and let out low growl. "You know, I thought a couple of university students were a bunch of easy marks." He reached behind him and pulled out a crowbar. "Maybe I shouldn't judge a book by it's cover."

He charged towards them and swung like a madman, like he intended to kill them. Kai and Asuka were able to dodge his strikes, but Kazuya was not quick enough and was brutally struck in his kneecap.

"Agh! Damn it!" Kazuya cursed as he fell to the ground.

"You alright, man?" Kai asked, concerned for his friend.

Kazuya attempted to stand up, but his injury caused him to drop down once more.

"I... don't think so," he groaned. "Looks like he got me good."

Asuka runs towards him. "Hold on, I'm-"

Before she could even reach her fallen ally, a vicious stream of fire blocked her path. She turned to the Roaster, who finally turned on his flamethrower.

"No way are you getting off that easy," the Roaster said. He waved the flamethrower in a sweep-like motion, spreading fire around. Kai ran to Kazuya and dragged him away from the man, proping him up on a barrel.

"You just hang here man, me and Asuka will take care of this creep," he said.

Kazuya was crestfallen. "Are you out of your mind, dude? There's no way you two can take him on by yourselves!"

"Yeah, but if you try to face him in your condition, you're sure to be the first to be burned.

"And you think you won't?"

Kai gave him a hard look. "Just trust me, bro. If by some miracle, that knee of yours heals up, you can join us."

Kazuya grit his teeth in frustration. He felt useless, being forced to sit on the proverbial bench while his friends fought against a psychopath with a flamethrower. But Kai was right. With his injury, he wouldn't be able to defend himself, let alone the others.

"Go then," he said bitterly. "Don't let me slow you down."

Kai noticed the pained expression on his face. Whether it was from the injury or the fact that he had to sit out for the time being, he didn't know. He left him and went back to Asuka, who was having some trouble with fighting the Roaster.

"Come on! Is that all you've got?" he taunted. "Looks like you rich brats really are all bark and no bite. The Puppet Master is gonna be pleased when I find out I took down a Kurihara."

Asuka was panting heavily, sweat pouring down her face and her grip on her polearm slowly weakening.

"I'm not through just yet, you son of a bitch," she growled.

The Roaster broke in laughter. "Not through yet, she says. You look like you're gonna pass out any second now. If you want my advice, give up and I'll... try to make your death quick."

Kai gripped his sword and glared at the Roaster. "If there was time to use this, now would be the time."

He raised his sword and pointed it towards the ground.

"Let's go... PERSONA!"

He struck the ground and strong gusts of wind appeared behind him. Emerging from the wind was his inner self, the deity of fate itself... Shai.

"I see you have summoned me," he said. "Are you in need of my assistance?"

Kai sighed. "You don't know the half of it." He pointed to the Roaster. "You see that guy over there?"

Shai looked to where he was pointing. "You mean the one with the flamethrower?"

"No, the guy behind him," Kai deadpanned. "Of course the one with the flamethower. Help me put him out of commission."

Shai frowned. "Your sarcasm is unneeded. But I will assist you in this endeavor..."

"Thanks man-"

"So long as you cut back on the sarcasm," Shai finished.

"No promises."

Shai sighed. "I thought as much."

Kai and his Persona raced towards the Roaster, wanting to take him down immediately.

"Holy crap," he gasped. "That's the thing the other guys saw when they were fighting off those Oracle punks." He aimed his flamethrower at the large figure. "If I take it down, the Puppet Master is sure to reward me handsomely."

Fire spouted out and the stream of flames hit Shai directly at his chest. But to the Roaster's shock, he was unaffected.

"Did you really think that would affect me?" he boomed. "You're more foolish than I thought."

The Roaster growled in frustration. "You think your pet demon will scare me, kid? You've got another thing coming!"

He aimed his flamethrower at Kai and shot fire towards him, but for some reason, he just smirked.

"Shai... do it."

"With pleasure," Shai replied. He swung his swords, creating a gust of wind to block the flames.

"W-What the?!" The Roaster reeled back in shock from seeing his attack being nullified.

Kai let out a chuckle. "Looks like my friend's full of surprises, isn't he? Well, he's got a hell of a lot more where that come from."

"That's right," Asuka said, standing up straight. "And don't even think for a second that I'm done."

Kai turned to Asuka with a big grin. "Now that's what I'm talking about."

Asuka grinned back. "I guess you're rubbing off on me, vato."


(OST: Epiphany)

Kazuya looked as Kai and Asuka stood against the Roaster. To say that he was frustrated would be nothing short of an understatement. His friends were out there, willing to fight to their last breath while he was stuck behind them, benched over an injury. His sense of helpless grew like an untreated tumor.

"This sucks," he hissed to himself. "I shouldn't be sitting here. I should be out there, helping them. Instead, I'm stuck here like some helpless wimp. What good am I to anyone if I can't help out those who are less fortunate than I am?"

Despite his injury, Kazuya attempted to stand up, using the barrel he was leaning on for support.

"I'm not going to sit on my ass and watch my friends get burned by this bastard."

He managed to stand up completely, although he gripped his injured knee and staggered towards the battle, his determination growing with every step he took.

"This time, I'm gonna be the hero, and I'll be damned if anyone tries to stop me."


"Hit him again, Shai!" Kai called out.

"With pleasure," he boomed, casting more wind towards the Roaster. The gusts were not as strong before, seeing how he was resisting the attacks.

"Ha! Is that all you got?" he taunted as the wind blew in his face. "I'm barely feeling anything here."

Kai grit his teeth. "Damn. It's like he's shrugging it off." He turned to his Persona. "What's going on, man?"

"It appears that my magic power is depleted," Shai replied. "I am unable to perform Garu with the amount I have now."

"Garu? That's the name of your wind trick?"

"Yes, and in order for me to use it, I need magic power. Do you happen to have any items to replenish your magic power?"

Kai groaned. "No, all we got were painkillers. I doubt that's going help us."

Asuka paled. "So... that's it? We've come all this way just to die at the hands some flamethrower-wielding maniac." She dropped to the floor and her polearm fell from her hands. "I never though I'd say this, but I regret ever meeting you, Kai Kyozo. I'll see you in Hell."

"You might want to take that back, exile," a voice called out.

Kai and Asuka turned around to see who spoke out to them. Imagine their surprise when the speaker turned out to be none other than-

"Kazuya?!"

Yeah. Kazuya. Big surprise there.

"That's my name, don't wear it out," he said, limping over to them. "Did you really think I'd let you have all the fun?"

"But your knee..." Asuka started.

"I took some painkillers, so it doesn't hurt as much now," he explained. "Now, if you don't mind, I'd like to pay that guy back for trying to take me out of the game."

The Roaster laughed obnoxiously. "You? Beat me? You can't even stand up right. You've literally got no chance!"

Kazuya smiled darkly and raised a shuriken. "You know the old saying..." He drew his arm back, preparing to throw the shuriken. "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take!"

He threw the shuriken with a great amount of effort and flew through the air. At first, it managed to stay in the air for a period of time, but it slowly began to decend. Surprisingly, before it reached the ground, it bounced the shuriken that was lodged into the Roaster's kneepad and fell to the ground.

"Huh," the Roaster said, looking down at the object. "Looks like you missed pal." He turned on the flamethrower. "It's a good thing I won't miss with my weapon!"

Asuka swiftly turned to Kazuya. "That's what you call a comeback?! Estupido idiota! Hijo de las mil putas! Que te folle un pez!"

Kazuya paid no attention to Asuka's foreign insults, as he felt a strange sensation throughout his body... a cold sensation.

"Dude, are you alright?" Kai asked.

Asuka, on the other hand, continued with her curses. "El burro sabe mas que tu! Vete al infierno!"

"Asuka!" Kai shouted. "Cool it for a minute, will you?"

"How can you tell me to cool it, you cabrón?!" she shouted. "This idiot knew he was injured and instead of recovering like he should, he..."

Once again, Kazuya drowned out the insults from Asuka and instead focused on the cold feeling washing over him. He started to breath heavily from the sensation, which now grew stronger.

"Ha... ha..."

Sounds came from his mouth, which were at first quiet, but soon dissolved into screaming.

"HAAAAAAAAA!"

(OST: Hotshot)

A gust of cold air appeared behind Kazuya, which soon started to form a large column of ice.

"Hey," Kai said, staring at the large ice block. "Is that what I think it is?"

"Yes," Shai replied. "Kazuya is awakening to his potential."

Small cracks began to form on the ice block, which gradulally became larger until the whole column was covered in cracks. Soon, it shattered completely, revealing what was inside.

"No way," Asuka gasped.

Inside the now-broken ice was a slender figure with pale skin and black tribal markings on both arms and legs, as well as a brown helmet with long horns sticking out. But what made the figure stick out are the brown wings attached to his legs, but did not appear to move.

"It appears I've made it to the party before it was over," the figure said in a sinister, yet playful voice. "Now, who was the lucky sap who brought me here?"

Kazuya turned around and his eyes nearly fell out upon seeing what he had inadverantly summoned.

"W-Who are you?" he stuttered.

The figure lowered itself to Kazuya's level. "I'm certain proper etiquette requires one to introduce themselves first."

Kazuya blinked. "Oh, right. I'm Kazuya Gavin. And you are..."

"Heyoka. You can call me that," the figure answered.

"Alright, I can live with that," Kazuya replied, then turned to the Roaster. "You see that clown right there?"

Heyoka turned around and saw the aformentioned person. "Yeah, what about him?"

"I need your help in taking him down."

"Oh, so a bit of a revenge hit, eh?" Heyoka clasped his hands together. "I like the sound of that. Let's put him out of his misery, then."

Kazuya swiftly turned to Heyoka. "Whoa, whoa, whoa, cool it, man. We don't need to kill him. We just need to knock him down a bit."

"Hmm..." Heyoka thought about this for minute. While the thought of killing the Roaster resided in his mind, but maybe it wouldn't hurt to keep his hands clean this one time.

"Alright, Boss, we'll do it your way," he said.

Kazuya grinned. "Great."

The Roaster growled. Normally, when one saw a large monster assisting a person, the normal response would to be to flee in terror. But in the Roaster's case, he was more frustrated than ever.

"Alright, enough screwing around. I don't care if you've got some giant monster on your side. You're all going down!"

Once more, he turned on the flamethrower and aimed it at Heyoka, intending to burn the monster to the ground. If anyone could see Heyoka's expression through his helmet, they would see that he was not the slightest bit amused.

"Ooh, looks who's got a flamethrower," he said in mock fear before scoffing. "Give me a break." He raised his hand towards the stream of fire and summoned cold wind that somehow managed to freeze it solid, much to the Roaster's shock and anger.

"What the- you're gonna pay for that you-"

He got cut off when he felt cold around his waist. When he looked down, he saw why.

"What in the... how did I get frozen!? This is impossible!"

Heyoka smirked underneath his helmet and turned to the group.

"I have to say... that was pretty cool, wasn't it?"

Everyone apart from Kazuya groaned at the bad pun.

"Just for the record, in case I get one of those... Persona things, I hope it doesn't end up like... that," Asuka said grimly.


Abandoned Building

11:01 AM

(OST: Feel So Cool)

The group brought the Roaster back to their dimension, along with the data cache Narumi requested. She gave the Roaster, who was still frozen from the waist down, to the cops so he can be taken in for questioning. When they asked her why he was frozen, she responded with this:

"Look, you don't get paid to ask questions, and I sure as hell don't get paid for answering them. So shut up."

Those words alone, along with a cold look that could freeze every circle of hell was enough to make the guards slowly back away before breaking into a mad dash towards the nearest cruiser.

"I gotta say, those guys sure fear you," Kai quipped.

Narumi gave a light shrug. "Well, they have to. How else are they gonna stay in line?"

"Good point."

"Well," Asuka said, stretching her legs. "I don't know about you, but when we get back, I'm going straight to bed." She glared at Kai and Kazuya. "And I don't want to see either one of you pollas for a week."

"What?" Kai, putting on a look of mock hurt. "What did we ever do to you?"

"You dragged me into a mirror."

"You joined us of out of your own volition."

"Only because you guilted me into it."

"When did we guilt you into doing anything?"

Asuka's started twitching in irratation, fighting off the urge to yell at him. She huffed and stormed off, muttering obscenities in Spanish with each step she took.

"She has quite the temper," Shai noted. "Hopefully, she doesn't burn herself with her own fire."

Kai chuckled. "I wouldn't rule it out, man."

He noticed Kazuya standing near a garbage can, scrolling through his phone. He walked over to him and tapped him on the shoulder.

"Yeah?" he said, not lifting his gaze from his phone.

"Listen, man," Kai started. "I never had the chance to say back when we were in the mirror world, but... you helped us out of a potential jam and I wanted to thank you."

Kazuya stopped scrolling, then put his phone in his pocket and turned to Kai with a smirk. "Hey, don't worry about it. I was just doing what I can to look out for the people I care about. All I ask is that you do the same for me."

Kai nods firmly. "You got it, man. We got each other's backs."

Both of them bumped fists, showing appreciation for each other's vow to look out for one another. It was there Kai heard the voice once more.


I am thou... thou art I

Thou hast established a new bond...

Thine fate shall be woven from this bond...

Thou shalt be blessed when fusing Personas of the Magician Arcana...

Kai has established the Kazuya Gavin Social Link of the Magician Arcana.


"Well, I'll see you in class," Kazuya said, walking off.

"Yeah, I'll see you too," Kai called out. He was proud to have another bond with someone he could trust.

"I sense the bond between the two of you," Shai said. "And it has yet to grow stronger."

Kai smiled. "You might be on to something there, partner."

Wakamono District – Abandoned Building

April 30 - 9:50 AM

Narumi drove the trio back to the old building so they could re-enter the mirror. But when they arrived, they saw that the police have surrounded the building, forbidding entry to unauthorized persons.

"Well, this is a rip," Kazuya muttered. "Now we'll never get into the mirror."

"Don't count us out just yet, kid," Narumi said. "They will let us in whether they want to or not."

Kai wondered what she meant as he and his friends exited the car. As they approached the building, the officers stopped them.

"Sorry, entry beyond this point is forbidden," one of the officers said.

Sighing, Narumi stepped forward and showed her badge. "You dumbasses seen anything like this before?" she asked sarcastically.

The cops took one look at the badge and suddenly stood up straight, saluting the woman.

"P-Please forgive us, Narumi-san!" one of them shouted. "We didn't recognize you out of uniform."

Narumi facepalmed. "Good Lord," she muttered miserably. "Is the department allowing idiots to join now?"

"Did you say something, ma'am?"

Her hand slid off her face as she regained her composure. "I'm going inside the building to see if I can find anything you idiots have overlooked."

"O-Of course, but we never got a report about-"

Narumi grabbed the officer by his collar and harshly glared at him. "Are you questioning me, punk?"

"N-No, ma'am. Far from it."

She shoved the officer onto the ground and spat in his direction. "Good. Now get out of the way. I got work to do."

She and the trio walked the past the officers and walked towards the building. When they got inside, Kai stopped Narumi to talk to her.

"Why did those cops look like they were gonna lose their nerve when they laid eyes on you?" he asked.

Narumi chuckled dryly. "Let's just say I'm well known around the local PD. Of course, my reputation is… less than desirable."

Kai groaned. "Please tell you're not one of those… you know."

"Yeah, don't worry about it, kid. You're not the first to think that I'm some no-good greasy cop."

"Well, that's a relief."


Abandoned Building – Mirror Room

9:51 AM

"So… this is the mirror you went through."

Narumi carefully inspected the mirror in front of her. It seemed ordinary enough, but given the testimony Kai gave her a few days ago, she started thinking that the mirror was not ordinary at all.

"Yeah, this is the one," Kazuya confirmed. "Anyway, now that we're here, where can we find this… thing you want us to get."

Narumi cast an annoyed glance at him. "The 'thing' I want you to get is a data deposit. Once we get our hands on it, we'll know what Oracle is planning from within the mirror world."

"I have a feeling that getting this desposit is going to be more difficult than expected," Asuka grumbled.

Narumi nodded. "Exactly. Since the Puppets and Oracle vacated the premises, there's a likely chance the Shadows will start lurking around. And far be it from me to tell you three this, but if you see a Shadow, don't hesitate to put it out of it's misery."

"Don't worry, Narumi-san," Kai said. "We'll get that deposit if it's the last thing we do."

"Good to hear, kid. Now, off you go."

Kai, Kazuya and Asuka walked towards the mirror. One by one, they walked through it, passing over to the other world.

"Good luck in there," Narumi said.


Desolate Trainyard

10:01 AM

(OST: Mirror/The Other Side)

"You know, I never thought I'd be caught dead stepping into this place again," Asuka said as she looked around.

"Somehow, it doesn't surprise me that you would say that," Kazuya replied.

Asuka turned to him. "What do you mean by that?"

"I mean, you were gung-ho on not returning to this ass-backwards dimension we came in, and here you are, spear in hand, ready to tear shit up."

Asuka flipped her hair. "I am not here to 'tear shit up' as you put it. I'm just here to make sure you two idiots don't screw everything up."

Kai rubbed both of his temples as he heard the two argue. He really didn't want to deal with their squabble this early in the morning.

"I must say, those two argue like two cats fighting over territory," Shai stated from within his mind.

"Yeah. I've only known them for a few weeks and they always doing this," Kai groaned. "It's as if whenever they fight, they're blind to everything else around them."

"Well, it's good thing they have you to keep them focused."

Kai nodded. "Good point, man. I think I will do just that."

"Yes. As you humans would say it, no time like the present."

Kai chuckled. "Couldn't have said it better myself."

After talking with his Persona, Kai turned his attention to the arguing pair.

"Alright, alright, that's enough. Now, you better get it together, or I'll go and get that deposit myself. Surely, you don't want me to be alone with some big, scary Shadow now, would you?"

Kazuya and Asuka ceased their bickering.

"Great. Now that you've settled down, let's go get this done. Sound good?"

The two let out murmurs of agreement.

"Perfect." With that, Kai walked ahead, and Kazuya and Asuka followed suit.


The trio walked past a few trains, some of which looked to be completely rusted, like no one has ever used it for a decade. Even more surprising, they found more warped lightposts along the way.

"Well, seeing how we're in a mirror, it shouldn't surprise me that there would be more of these," Kai said plainly.

"You make it sound like you're used to this kind of thing," Kazuya groaned.

"Is that a problem?"

"No, what I mean is-"

"Both of you, shut up," Asuka hissed. "Something is coming."

"How can you tell?" Kazuya asked, lowering his voice.

"It's a gut feeling," she replied. "That, and the hairs on the back of my neck are standing on end."

"Makes sense."

They waited for whatever was going to about attack them. Kai gripped the hilt of his sword, Kazuya slowly reached into his pockets for his shurikens and Asuka gripped her polearm. They stood ready, not letting their guard down for a moment.

"Asuka, are you sure something is coming?" Kai asked.

"I'm sure of it," she reassured. "I can feel it."

Kazuya was about to add his two cents, but a loud rattling sound got his attention.

"What the hell was that?" he asked, looking around.

Kai immediately looked at the source, which turned out to be the distorted lightpost, which was shaking violently.

"I think that's what you're looking for, bro," he replied, pointing towards the lightpost.

Kazuya and Asuka turned to the convulsing object and had looks of confusion and trepidation.

"Okay, that goes beyond the legal limit of weird," Asuka said.

To make matters even weirder, the lightpost began to secrete a black liquid through the cracks and pooled around the lightpost.

"Alright, I've seen enough horror flicks to know where this is going," Kazuya said. "Kai, I think we should hurry along, get the data cache and get back to the other side before that... puddle decides we're hostile."

Kai nodded. "You're right. Let's go."

But before they could go anywhere, the puddle started to move. It rose from the ground and began to take the form of a hornet with red and black stripes, a stinger long enough to poke someone's eye out and for some unholy reason, a mask.

"I think this is one of the Shadows Narumi-san was talking about," Asuka said, staring at the monster.

Kai's phone began to ring. He answered it without a second thought, having a good idea as to who may be calling him.

"Is that you, Narumi-san?"

"Of course it's me," she responded over the phone. "I take it you finally encountered a Shadow?"

"Yes, we have. It's some kind of wasp thing."

"Okay, then. What you've just encountered is a Lethal Stinger. It's basically harmless on it's own, but if there's more of them, you're in a whole lot of trouble."

"That's good to know, 'cause one just made its appearance to us."

"Then there's only one thing left to do. Make it regret it was ever born!"

Kai smirked. "Narumi-san, you just read my mind. We'll be done with this bug in no time."

"Glad to hear it."

The call ended after that. Kai took his sword out from its hold and pointed it towards the Shadow.

"Dude, are we gonna fight that thing?" Kazuya asked.

"It's not like we have a choice," Kai replied. "Besides, it's only one bug. nothing we can't handle."

"I hope you're right," Asuka said.

(OST: Fight Theme)

Kai let out a roar as he charged towards the Shadow, to which it responded with charging towards him as well. Soon, sword and stinger clashed as man and monster fought. Kai blocked and parried every strike that it gave him, but couldn't seem to land a blow.

"You sure put up a hell of a fight for a bug," Kai said as he swung his sword. "But know this: I'm pretty good with a sword."

He dodged the attack from the Shadow and struck, cutting it in half. It dissolved afterwards, reduced to dust.

Kai smirked as he sheathed his sword. "That's another bug exterminated."

He turned to see his companions, who stared at him wide-eyed and agape.

"Glad to see that you two are still in one piece," he said. "I hope I didn't steal too much of the spotlight."

"...That had to be the worst one-liner I've ever heard."

Kai's face fell. "Come on, that was a good one. It was a bug, and I exterminated it."

Kazuya shook his head in disappointment. "Yeah, I'm gonna have to agree with the exile here, bro. That one-liner sucked. And not just the normal kind of suck. I'm talking vacuum cleaner powered by a black hole suck."

Kai scowled and walked off. "Let's just go and get that data."


It took some time, but the three managed to find the data cache Narumi was talking about. It was a small, cylinder-shaped object with several with yellow lines. Needless to say, they were a little be underwhelmed.

"This is the data cache Narumi-san mentioned?" Asuka said. "I expected it to be a laptop or something."

"Maybe Oracle's going through some kind of a budget crisis," Kazuya added. "Or they couldn't find a better design for a data cache. And why would they place it in an abandoned station? The Wireless Puppets could've sniffed searched here and found it before we did."

"Whatever reason they had for keeping it here is irrelevant," Kai interjected, putting the device in his pocket. "We got what we came for. I say we get out of here before another one of those Stinger things show up."

Kazuya and Asuka nodded, instantly agreeing with Kai. They walked out of the station, but Kazuya stopped for moment as something caught his eye. He looked down to see a dog tag, similar to the one Kai had.

"No way," he whispered. He put the item into his pocket and caught up with the others. Kai took out his phone and called Narumi.

"We got what you needed, Narumi-san. Just point us in the direction of the nearest mirror and we'll have this sumbitch giftwrapped in no time."

Narumi let out a dry chuckle. "Always got to be the comedian, eh Kyozo? Anyway, the nearest mirror is about five meters away from where you're standing. I suggest you get over there and back to our side of the world."

Kai nodded. "No more needs to be said. We'll be on our way."

"I hate to tell you this, but none of you are leaving here alive."

Kai froze when he heard the threatening voice, and Kazuya and Asuka did the same. They slowly turned around to see a man wearing a red tank top, black shorts and black boots standing behind them. He also wore a gas mask, pads on his knees and elbows and carried what appeared to be a flamethrower.

"Hey, Narumi-san?" Kai said, not moving his eyes from the man. "We got a bit of roadblock here."

"Yeah, I see it," Narumi replied bitterly. "That's one of the Puppet's lackeys. Apparently, they're known as Roasters. I'm sure I don't need to explain why they're called that."

"No, this guy's armed with the reason for their name."

"Alright. I'm sure you're not going to like this, but you're gonna have to fight him."

"Kai," Asuka said swiftly. "Give me the phone, now."

He handed the irate exile his phone.

"Narumi-san, why didn't you tell us we'd be dealing with Puppets?" she hissed. "I thought there were only Shadows lurking around in this world."

"Well, I do remember mentioning the Shadows inhabiting the mirror world, but I probably should've mentioned that some Puppets would be skulking around there as well. Anyway, you're not gonna be able to get away from this guy. Your best chance is to kick his ass and get some info out of him."

"Easier said than done."

"You won't know unless you try, princess. I got faith in all of you. Good luck."

The call ended and Asuka handed Kai his phone.

"Let me guess: we're gonna be fighting that dude, aren't we?" Kai asked.

Asuka nodded.

"Well," Kazuya said as he brought out his shuriken. "I was waiting for a chance to get back at those creeps for shooting at us. Guess it's time to collect."

Kai brought out his sword. "Yes, yes it is."

Asuka looked at her companions, then at the Roaster and sighed as she spun her polearm.

"I swear, if we don't get out of this alive, I'll kick both of your asses in the afterlife," she muttered.

Wakamono District - Shopping Center

April 30 - 8:40 AM

(OST: Sentimental)

The trio had trouble registering what Narumi had just said to them. She requested that they return to the mirror after they nearly lost their lives in the otherworldly realm. What exactly did she have in store for them now.

"I'm sorry, but I don't want to go back there again," Asuka said quickly. "I think I've had enough near-death experiences for one lifetime."

"What are you talking about?" Kazuya asked in disbelief. "It was your first near death experience."

Asuka glared at him. "Actually, it wasn't. When I was in Mexico, I nearly got caught in the middle of a cartel bust."

The news caught Narumi's interest. "Go on."

"Basically, the cops have been trying to get these guys for years. They supplied illegal drugs and firearms to anyone who had the money for it. Eventually, one of the members came clean about it and that was end of it."

"So, the cartel got brought down by a rat, huh?" Kai chuckled. "Oh, how the mighty have fallen."

"It's not that simple," Asuka said. "The moment the cartel found out, they killed the guy who sold them out. Afterwards, they prepared to escape on a private jet with all of the drugs and guns they planned on selling. The cops knew about this and had the airport on lock down."

"Wait, wait, back up a bit," Kazuya interrupted. "Exactly how did you get caught up in it?"

"I happened to be in the airport that was locked down."

Everyone stared at Asuka. She was at the same airport that was locked down in order to bust a cartel, and she was talking like it was no big deal.

"Wow," Kai said in awe. "You must've been in shock."

Asuka scoffed. "Hell no. When they arrived at the airport, they took a hostage thinking that it would allow them to leave the country scot free."

"And I take it you were that hostage?" Narumi said.

"I was… for about 30 seconds."

"Get out of here," Kai said in disbelief.

"True fact," Asuka said with pride. "Those idiots thought that I was an easy mark just because I'm some delicate rich girl."

"I bet you proved them wrong," Kazuya chuckled.

Asuka crossed her arms and smirked confidently. "You bet your ass I proved them wrong. I paid good money for those self-defense lessons. After I broke the goon's arm, the others just fled to the cops like a herd of antelope fleeing a hungry lion. Best trip I ever had."

"Normally, I'd chew you out for acting so recklessly, but I gotta admit, you've stones for a girl," Narumi praised.

"Yes. But I still stand on not going into the mirror again."

"Oh, come on," Kai pleaded. "If you can handle some lowly gun runner, what's stopping you from exploring another world?"

"We don't know what's in that world," Asuka countered.

"We already know what's there," Kazuya interjected. "Masked freaks and security goons."

Narumi cleared her throat. "Actually, there is one more thing that's in the mirror world."

"Huh? There's something else in there?" Kai asked.

Narumi nodded. "Yeah. You could even say that… that thing was there long before the Puppets or even Oracle discovered the other world."

"Well, what is it?" Asuka asked anxiously.

Narumi took a deep breath before speaking.

"The Shadows."

Giving each other confused looks, the trio started looking around them, seeing various shadows. It was there that Narumi realized that she needed to be more specific.

"Not those kind of shadows. I'm talking about shadows of a whole nother variety."

Kazuya let out a dry chuckle. "What, these Shadows you speak of move like they're alive or something?"

The serious expression on Narumi's face seemed to have answered Kazuya's question, although the latter was in total disbelief.

"You have got to be freakin' kidding me."

"I'm not. In the mirror, Oracle and the Puppets may be formidible, but both group pale in comparison when it comes to Shadows."

"Um, quick question," Kai said, raising his hand. "What exactly is a Shadow?"

Narumi smiled. "Glad to see someone's interested. A Shadow is basically a monster that is born from humans and carry human emotions. Of course, majority of said emotions are negative. Those things have no intelligence and will attack anything that disturbs them."

Kai put a hand under his chin. "You don't say."

"But that's not all," Narumi continued. "While they have no intelligence, Shadows tend to have wills."

"Wait a minute," Asuka interrupted. "How can those monsters have wills and not intelligence?"

Narumi shrugged. "Your guess is as good as mine, kid. Anyway, should a Shadow have a strong will, lesser Shadows will start flocking to it like moths to a candle. Guess what would happen if they shoud merge with one another."

"They make one big, powerful Shadow," Kai answered.

Narumi was really impressed with Kai. "Good for you, kid. You're on fire." She turned to Kazuya and Asuka. "You two should take notes from this guy."

"Why, because he took some lucky shots?" Kazuya scoffed.

"You know the old saying, kid: you miss a hundred percent of the shots you don't take."

"Don't expect any good shots from this fool," Asuka snarked. "He tends to misfire a lot."

"Hey, no one asked for your input, you damn exile," Kazuya shot back while glaring at he.

Asuka growled. "You wanna go, you smut hoarder?"

"Ahem."

Everyone turned to Narumi, who had an annoyed look.

"How about we put the petty squabling on the back burner and get back to the topic at hand, okay?"

"I second that," Kai said.

"Good. Now, the reason I want you guys to go through the mirror is simple. There's a data deposit that those Oracle fools left behind as soon as they saw a Persona. I need the three of you to go in there and get it out before they wise up and snatch their property back."

"Uh, Narumi-san," Kazuya said. "As much as I like sticking it to Oracle, what are Asuka and I gonna use to defend ourselves with? We don't have a Persona like Kai here."

"Not a problem," Narumi answered. "I know just the place."


Last Defense

9:04 AM

(OST: Weapon Master [Store BGM])

"First time I've been in a weapon shop," Kazuya said. "And it's the first time I'm gonna buy from one too."

"Don't worry about it, kid," Narumi called out. "I'm paying for whatever catches your eye."

Asuka gasped. "Oh, Narumi-san, we couldn't possibly-"

Narumi raised her hand. "I will hear none of it. I'm paying for whatever weapon you like and that's final. Really, I insist."

Asuka sighed in resignation and decided to look around. The store had quite the selection of weapons. Aside from the typical firearm, there were swords, nunchucks, chakrams and so on.

"I was wondering," Kai said. "Where'd you find a weapon shop like this?"

Narumi shrugged. "Eh, it wasn't that hard to find. The owner and I go way back. Plus, people who buy the weapons only use them for decoration, so the cops don't hang around here."

Kai nodded in understanding. "That's pretty convient, Narumi-san."

"Don't mention it, kid."

Kazuya searched all over the shop to find a weapon that would suit him, but so far, his search bore no results. He walked up to the front desk and rang the bell.

"Yo, is anyone back there?" he called out?

"Just a second," a voice responded.

"If only we had a second," Kazuya muttered under his breath.

Soon enough, the storage door opened, revealing a young woman with dark skin, orange hair tied in a ponytail and brown eyes. She wore a gray long-sleeved shirt with a black vest over it, blue jeans pants and brown boots.

"What can I help you with?" the girl asked.

Kazuya exhaled before speaking. "I'm gonna be straight here. I'm the type of guy that enjoys throwing stuff."

"Uh-huh…"

"But I also like accuracy. It doesn't have to be perfect, but I want it accurate. And I was hoping you could help me find something that suits my tastes."

"Hmm…" The girl thought about this for a moment, then snapped her fingers. "I think I've got just the thing for you. Give a minute."

With that, she rushed back into the storage room. After a few seconds had passed, she came back out carrying a neatly-folded cloth in her hands. Kazuya eyed her suspiciously, wondering if she was messing with him.

"Now, I know what you're thinking," the girl started. "But let me clear things up for you. The cloth itself is not a weapon, but what's in the cloth…"

She unfolded the fabric and Kazuya's eyes widened.

"Is probably what you're pining for."

Kazuya couldn't believe his eyes. On the cloth were eight shuriken, all polished and sharpened.

"Wow," he breathed out. "Where did you get your hands on these?"

The girl let out a light chuckle. "Oh, we had those lying around for quite some time. I wondered if they would ever be purchaced.

Kai walked up to the desk to take a closer look at the shuriken. To say he was impressed was an understatement.

"These look badass, dude," he said to Kazuya. "You should take them."

Kazuya turned towards him with a big grin. "You know what? Maybe I will."

Just then, Asuka walked up to the desk with a frustrated expression.

"I take it you're having trouble selecting a weapon as well?" the girl asked.

"What was your first clue?" Asuka groaned.

"Maybe I can see what else is in there," the girl said as she disappeared into the storage room once more.

"Man, I wonder how much rarities she has in that room," Kai said.

"I'm guessing she's got every antique weapon from all the battles fought throughout history," Kazuya put in.

The girl came out of the room again, only this time, she carried a long stick with a small blade at the top.

"Is that… a polearm?" Asuka asked.

The girl nodded. "That it is, girlfriend. Sadly, this is the only we've got here."

"You mean, you don't have more of those?" Kai asked.

The girl shook her head. "Afraid not."

"What am I going to do with a polearm?" Asuka said, taking the object out of the girl's hands.

"You mean aside from killing Shadows with it?" Kazuya asked dryly.

"Shut it," she muttered. "I guess I could take this out for a test drive. It looks pretty cool."

"I think it looks cool too," Kai said.

Asuka smiled at his interest of the polearm.

"Well," Narumi said, walking up to the desk. If you two are satisfied with your choices, we can move on."

"Where are we going now?" Kazuya asked.

Narumi smirked. "You'll see soon enough." She put the money needed to pay for the weapons on the desk, then walked towards the front door.

"This is shaping up to be quite the trip," Kai said with mock excitement.

"You make it sound like we're going on vacation," Asuka groaned. "Don't you have any fear at all?"

"Nope."

Asuka muttered a few curses before leaving the shop. Kazuya eventually followed her, leaving Kai alone with the girl.

"So, will I see you again?" he asked.

The girl smiled. "Only if you want to."

"Great. Mind if I catch your name?"

"Natsuki Moriyama," the girl said,

"Sweet. See you later then, Nat." Kai finally walked out of the shop, leaving Natsuki alone... and a little annoyed by the nickname he gave her.

"Nat? Was that seriously the best he could come up with?" she groaned.


Nagisa Pharmacy

9:19 AM

(OST: Window Shopper [Store BGM])

The group arrived at a drug store to get supplies for the journey into the mirror. Narumi gave Kai a list of the items needed.

"Let's see here… medicine, medicinal powder, energy drink… what else do we need?" Kai asked, holding a list of items.

"Anything that will help keep you alive in the mirror world," Narumi answered. "The Shadow don't have intelligence, so they'll attack whatever they deem a threat."

"When you put it like that, it really sounds like these Shadows would give Oracle and the Puppets a run for their money," Kazuya said, picking up a bottle of medicine.

"Honestly, I could care less about the Shadows," Asuka huffed. "I just want to put those idiot Puppets in their place for causing my family so much grief.

"Ooh, getting the claws out already, exile? Didn't think you were that thirsty for blood," Kazuya teased.

"Shut it, you two," Narumi interrupted before the argument could escalate. "We need to focus on the topic at hand here. We don't need to fight among ourselves."

"Totally agree on that," Kai whispered.

"Whatever," Asuka said stubbornly. "I just want to get this over with."

"Same here," Kazuya added. "I got some things I need to take care of, and I want to be alive to do them."

As the three walked around the pharmacy, Narumi looked at them and let out a smile grin.

"These kids are such a motley crew of fools," she said to herself.

Persona: Imagining Project Ch. 8
Hey, look at that, Natsuki is in this story. Wonder what role she'll serve...
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Enjoy.

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:iconshek26:
shek26 Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2016
excuse the trouble I show my art
www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Dgyk8…
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:iconblazregaliadream:
BlazRegaliaDream Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2016  Student General Artist
Happy Flip Flapping Flaptastic Birthday, dude!
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:iconphantomblade88:
phantomblade88 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2016
Thanks.
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:iconkmyc89:
kmyc89 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2016
Happy Birthday Dessert Set:  Strawberry Cake Button - Left 
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:iconphantomblade88:
phantomblade88 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2016
Thanks.
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:iconkmyc89:
kmyc89 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2016
I guess I gift to you a picture- it's a matter what you want.
Answer or write private (note).
Cheers
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:iconphantomblade88:
phantomblade88 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2016
Do you have points?
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(1 Reply)
:iconsimply-lewdicrous:
Simply-Lewdicrous Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks by Simply-Lewdicrous  
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:iconphantomblade88:
phantomblade88 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2016
Do you do this to everyone who faves your work?
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:iconsimply-lewdicrous:
Simply-Lewdicrous Featured By Owner Edited Aug 29, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Why yes. Yes indeed. You watch me now so I'll leave this here too

Mature Content

Thanks for the watch by Simply-Lewdicrous
 
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