I do not own Persona nor Mahouka Koukou No Rettousei
I draw in a deep and shaky breath. This feels like my first breath in years. Although being the Seal requires no oxygen it feels weird to be unable to breathe. After taking in several more gulps of air I start to take in my surroundings. Blue, the room around me is covered with shades of blue. My eyes slowly adjust to the light, not surprising seeing as they haven't been used in…how long have I been sleeping?
"Welcome to the velvet room, it has been awhile, young man."
"Igor," my dry throat is able to whisper out. Indeed Igor now sits in front of me along with Elizabeth.
"It is nice to see you again, Minato-sama," Elizabeth smiles a smile and I feel slightly relieved. I haven't seen them in so long. Speaking of which…
"How long has it been?" I ask voice still strained, but another thought strikes me and my eyes widen in panic. "The seal! What about the-!"
"Quiet now, all has been taken care of," Igor motions to me to calm myself. He then motions to Elizabeth and she nods.
"After your sacrifice, the world was kept safe. With you keeping Erebus at bay I have been able to kill it year after year. In your time approximately 75 years have passed. Thanks to the efforts of both your friends and the people after you, mankind's despair has dwindled and Erebus is no longer a threat. I then took the initiative to remove you from the seal."
Bullshit. Erebus was no longer a threat? The personification of mankind's grief and negative emotions was gone? I was no genius but that didn't sound very logical. Either humans had finally built a utopia and despair was no longer an emotion or mankind was annihilated and Erebus could no longer form. Before I could continue this train of thought, Elizabeth continued to speak.
"The world has changed drastically from what you have known. Now humans have the capacity to use magic." At this my posture straightens and I clear my throat.
"Magic? As in persona magic?" I falter. At this Igor shakes his head.
"Not exactly, the magic of the present days is considered to be magic from ancient times, but instead of spell books and wands machines are used as the medium. They use energy called Psion to work their magic, it is basically what you used to create your magic. The magic of persona's is technically not classified as either ancient nor modern though. It is the magic of the soul."
My mind is trying to keep pace with the conversation and I cradle my head in my hands. Aside from just waking up, I have learned Erebus is gone, that it is 80 years in the future and humans can now use magic but a different type than mine. Needless to say I have taken in a lot of information. As if sensing my distress Igor chuckles.
"All in due time I suppose. You will have plenty of time to learn about it while you are there."
"While I am there?" Igor's last comment confuses me. My head snaps up and I brush away my hair to look at the two. Igor has his creepy smile still plastered on his face but it has a hint of sadness. Elizabeth is much easier to read as a frown is clearly visible on her face.
"My apologizes, Minato-sama" comes Elizabeth's weak reply. "We cannot house you here in the velvet room. Your only choices would be returning to the living or simply moving on." I am struck silent with her words. I had never really thought of passing on but returning to the world of the living? I would need food, shelter, money. I would have no relations or contacts. Sadly enough death seemed to be the more logical decision.
"I'm sorry but… death seems a bit more logical." At my words Elizabeth's face pales. I chance a glance at Igor only to see his famous poker face… I have never been able to read him. I begin to explain my reasoning and Elizabeth nods with a look of understanding coming over her.
"Minato-sama, your worries are valid but we have thought ahead. You will be reincarnated of sorts. You will be given a new body of a younger age. This way you will grow up learning the magic of the world. You will retain your memories of course."
"Only my memories?" I press. Having my memories would be nice but would be ultimately give only a slight edge. Most of my knowledge would be outdated or worthless. Igor took up the mantle to speak.
"You will retain you persona's but not in the way you think. Your body will be reverted to that of a child. If you kept your persona's as they were your mind and soul would become utter chaos. As you grow and you physical body develops you will be able to unlock more of the personas in your Compendium. Speaking of which, Elizabeth if you would." At this Elizabeth stepped forward with a familiar book in hand. She stops before me and pushes the book to my chest. Before I can make a move to grab is the book begins to sink into my chest and I gasp in surprise. Finally the book disappears into my body and all that is left are Elizabeth's warm hands. Her face is also inches from mine with a sultry smile on her face. I flush before Igor clears his throat. Elizabeth quickly returns to her position beside Igor and I get control of my emotions. "How do you feel, young man?" I breathe in and close my eyes clearing my mind. I see a glimmer in my mind's eye and the card of Orpheus spirals into my sights. I concentrate deeper and sense my other persona. Unlike Orpheus though, they seem distant and unreachable. Many of the partners I had used are there. Alice, Thor, Odin, Messiah the list goes on and on. My breath hitches as I come upon one of my ace's.
"Thanatos?" I whisper unable to quell my surprise.
"He is too deeply integrated with your soul. We were unable to seal him away." Elizabeth answers the unspoken question. "We hope you use him wisely as your new body will be unable to take the strain of using him. Avoid him please." I nod at her words. Igor and Elizabeth had never led me astray.
"Anything else I should be informed of?" I look between them waiting for one to speak.
"As I have told you before, Social links help nurture your soul. You have completed quite the number already but alas the people you have bonded with have died long ago." Igor replies. "I again urge you to reform you social links with others and try to regain the friends you had in your past life." I nod my acceptance of his suggestion and he continues. "Before you depart I have some passing guidance for you. The first step is most important and befriend the brother of death" I resist the urge to grit my teeth. Igor was being rather open throughout this conversation but it seems old habits die hard. Now I had riddles on my plate to deal with.
"When will I see you again?" I ask this more out of curiosity than anything but their response surprises me.
"You won't" Igor's works seem to grind the conversation to a halt. "Unless the fate of the world is in danger you will not hear from us again. You fulfilled your contract thus there is no reason to meet anymore." I look to Elizabeth, shock leaking through my facade. Elizabeth refuses to meet my eyes. I take once last breath and stand.
"Alright, I think I am ready. Thank you for everything." My farewell is brief but heartfelt, as these are the last two people alive who know me.
"It was a pleasure Minato-sama" Elizabeth says and gives a slight bow.
Igor's smile, if possible, grows even wider. "Young man, you truly were a remarkable guest." With this statement Igor snaps his fingers and my world goes black.
Cold. The world around me is freezing. I wake up and the first sensation I feel is a deathly chill settling over me. The next thing I notice is that my head feels too big for my body. I breathe and my lungs feel like their filling with ice. My body is shaking and my eyes open to a blurry white landscape. I have seem to have been dropped in a snow storm as visibility is near zero. I need shelter or at least warmth, or I will freeze to death. I raise a shaking hand and equip Orpheus.
"Agi." The effect is lackluster. I only see a spark of flame before it dies. I try again but this too is in vain. I start to panic but my logic forces me to stay calm. I have faced worse than this. I desperately try to recall how it feels to cast a spell. I mimic the motions of a lifetime ago and bring my hand to the side of my head. "Persona" I whisper will mimicking the action of firing a gun. Nothing, although without the evoker I expected as much. I recall of what Igor said, do I need a machine to cast my spell? No, Elizabeth would have said something. Psion was it? Igor mentioned it was the same as the spirit energy I used before. I close my eyes and direct what I hope to psions into my soul.
"Agi!" Flames burst into life between my hands. The fire is small, pathetic compare to past agi's, but I don't care as I drink in the warm it provides. I turn my head trying to find shelter from the storm, but all I can see are the passing flakes of white. I begin to walk. I walk for 300 maybe 400 meters, it is impossible to tell with the storm. Every once in a while I call out but not even my echoes answer me. I suddenly become lightheaded and I fall to the ground, the flames disappearing. Exhaustion? My vision starts to swim in front of me as I vaguely realize that my young body could not maintain the spell because of the lack of psions. Am I to die here?
I hear the sound of crunching snow off to my right. The sound steadily grows closer before I hear a gasp and the sound comes closer at a faster rate. A pair of arms picks me up from the cold landscape and a women's voice rings in my ear.
"Are you ok? Stay with me, alright?" She seems worried, no doubt about the condition I am in. I am unable to respond to her question the drain of magic is too much. She keeps talking but I am too dazed to comprehend the words. The woman carries me and soon I see a vehicle's lights in the distance. A man's voice calls out to my rescuer.
"Kyouko, what took so long we need to leave." The person holding me does not respond in favor of walking closer the vehicle. I hear the man splutter, "Is he-?"
"No." The answer is short but concise. "He will need medical attention though he is half frozen to death." The man scurries off and Kyouko carries me into the back of the van. She wraps a blanket around me rests my head on her lap. She reaches into her pocket and pulls out a phone.
"This is Kyouko Fujibayashi reporting in. I found a child in the tundra, you wouldn't believe it, this kid-" That's all I can make out before I lose consciousness.
My name is Kyouko Fujibayashi and I have recently joined the 101 Independent Magic-Equipped Battalion. My squad was given the assignment of looking into a severe flux in the atmosphere. It was assumed to be UNP (unexplained natural phenomenon) but we are being sent as a precaution. The readings for the phenomenon are in a general area as we were unable to pinpoint the flux. To make matters worse a storm has brewed making visibility near zero. My squad splits us to cover the ground more effectively and I am left shielding my face from the biting wind. Although I can use magic to warm myself, the use of psions would tire me more quickly and the suit is doing a good enough job. An hour passes and my squad leader radios the squad telling us to head out.
I send back the affirmative and am about to return when I see fire of all things in the distance. I assume this is a distress call or at the very least someone's desperate attempt to keep warm. I make the decision to find out who is in trouble and head towards the light. Half way there the light suddenly dies and I am left confused. Readying my CAD I approach the site cautious of anything that looks out of place. I gasp as I see a young boy of seven or eight face down in the snow. I rush towards him and pick him up in my arms. He is unresponsive to my questions and I fear the worst. I calm myself when I find his pulse, weak but still present and I take a quick look around the area. The only foot prints are his but I still call out hoping someone might answer. I check his pulse again only to notice he lacks a CAD. I quickly glance tells me that he did not drop it in the snow as there are no indents. An ancient magician then and at the tender age of 7? I do not hesitate any longer and I move back to the vehicle as quickly as I can. As I approach I am vaguely aware of my teammate yelling to me but I ignore him. My excitement is uncontainable, if this child is truly a magical prodigy then the Kudou family will have a second heir that can stand beside the first in terms of strength. I send in a report and ask if I can care for the child. Permission is granted and I smile in relief. How can this possible go wrong?
My eyes blearily open to a white ceiling. A hospital perhaps? A blink my eyes and they begin to clear. The room is ornate and the walls are covered with paintings and pictures. On the right, light streams in from wide windows that give me a view a large garden below. I turn my head to the left and I am greeted with the sight of a beautiful woman. She is reading a book and is too engrossed in it to notice that I have awoken. I sit up, the rustling of sheet alerting the woman beside me. She quickly shuts her book and places all her attention towards me. I look back, betraying no emotions.
"You were asleep for three days. How are you feeling?" She asks as she places the book to the side.
"I am fine," my throat is dry but I manage to croak out a response. Hearing the strain, she reaches for a pitcher of water on the bedside table and fills a cup and hands it to me. I drink deeply before I ask anything.
"Who are you?" Our questions are asked simultaneously and we are left at a short lull in conversation. The woman smiles and decides to break the ice.
"My name is Kyouko Fujibayashi and the granddaughter of Retsu Kudou." Her response is said with a hint of pride but to a time traveler like me these titles mean nothing. I notice the expectant look she is giving me and I give my own introduction.
"My name is Minato…" I stop short. What else can I say? The name Arisato is probably long dead and I have no connections to speak of. Kyouko nods with a small smile on her face as if urging me to continue but I simply shake my head.
"Sorry…I don't remember." At my statement her face pales considerably. I know having amnesia is not the best situation but I did not expect this reaction. She takes a deep breath and her hands go to massage her forehead.
"Alright Minato-kun…what about your family? Any parents, siblings or relatives?" I ponder her question for a moment and decide to be truthful. Although amnesia is not uncommon, complete amnesia is quite rare.
"I am an orphan, as for relatives I believe they are all dead." At this Kyouko's shoulders slump. I do not know if this is out of disappointment or sadness. She tries a different line of questioning.
"You seem to be 7 years old. When were you born?"
"Sorry…I don't remember."
"Do you know where you live? Or a location nearby?"
"Sorry…I don't remember" My responses do nothing to lighten the mood.
"Do you know why you were in the tundra?"
"Sorry…" I feel like broken tape recorded repeating the same thing. With each response Kyouko becomes more and more distressed.
"What about your CAD?" the question comes out more than a plea than a question. I lower my head, hair hiding my eyes and ground out my answer.
The air is thick and Kyouko simply shakes her head is a sad way.
"I knew this was a mistake, but I really thought that.." She looks at me with tears in her eyes but quickly composes herself. "Well, seeing as you have no parents or relatives we will have to send you to an orphanage." She continues to speak about making arrangements but it falls on deaf ears. My future is once again a mystery. Instead of being passed form family to family, I will be in an orphanage. I know nothing of this world and have nothing to cling to.
This cannot be happening… the boy, Minato has woken up with no memory whatsoever. That aside he is an orphan with no living relatives. There is no way I can track down his records. I don't know if he is from a modern magic family or an ancient magic one. I don't even know if he can use magic. Even question I ask sends me deeper into depression. I messed up, plain and simply. I made the assumption that this boy was a magician and I will pay dearly for my conclusions. Headquarters will demand an explanation and I will need to find a family or an orphanage to take the boy in. No doubt that word will make its way through the grapevine and my clan will know of my error. A great start to my career… hopefully I will be able to keep my job. I massage my temples as a headache appears and I look at him desperately to see if I am not mistaken in some way. I hold onto the dim hope that he will be some great asset for the clan in some way. All I see is his hair covering his eyes, avoiding my tear filled gaze. I tell him what needs to be done but he does not seem to be listening. The least I can do is ask him where the fire came from.
"Where did you find that fire anyway?" Kyouko's question breaks through my thoughts. I glance up to her questioning look.
"I made it with magic." No sense in hiding it, I will be shipped off soon enough, might as well satisfy her curiosity and be done with it. Her reaction however is completely different from what I expected.
"You made it!?" There is a slight undertone of excitement in her voice as she nearly pounces on me, her face closer than I would like. I back away slightly only nodding my head in response.
"Without the assistance of a CAD?" I see a glimmer of hope in her eyes as she says this. Unless persona's are considered these CAD things then I am reasonable certain that I am able to perform magic without one. I nod again.
"Could you show me right now?" Kyouko is once again smiling the smile I saw she had in the beginning. Why is this so important to her? Regardless I bring up my hands and hold them equidistance apart. I remember what I did in the tundra. I compress what I believe to be my psions towards the center of my body towards my "soul."
"Agi." The effect is instantaneous and small orb of fire comes to life between my palms. I hold it there for a few seconds before I let the spell fade. I look over to Kyouko for approval and she surprises me by gathering me into a hug.
"I knew it! I knew it! With the amnesia though but-" I don't know what she is so is so happy about but she is crushing me between her arms. The only words I hear repeated are "prodigy" and "revolutionize". The rest of the day was a blur; Kyouko was making calls non-stop telling people that they need to come to a "clan meeting." I stayed in the room for the majority of the day until I was asked to join Kyouko for dinner. With Kyouko is such as happy mood, she was more than willing to answer my questions. I took the initiative to learn about this world. Psions, CADs, modern magic, ten master clans, the list was endless and I was amazed at her seemingly endless patience. I also was about to piece together major events from my timeline to the current time, but I would have to access a real databank later. Once the meal ends I am ushered to bed and told to rest for the coming day. Although I have slept for more than three days, I find take come easily and I am lost to the world.
"Wake up!" I am startled awake from the shout close to my ear. My eyes are wide and my hands have my blankets in a death grip. Kyouko is beside me laughing with smile. I shoot her a glare which only make her laugh harder. Once she has finally quelled her laughter she gestures me to rise.
"The official meeting for the kudo family is today. We need to be ready." With those words she is off leaving me to my own devices. Soon the time arrives and we are on our way to the meeting. The building we have enter is enormous but Kyouko navigates it without trouble. I cringe again at the stiffness of the suit I am wearing but do not say a work. I can tell Kyouko is anxious and does not need my petty complains to add to the pile. Soon, we reach our destination, a pair of closed doors.
"The most important people of the clan will be present Minato-kun. I NEED you to be on your best behavior, please." I nod firmly in respond but this is not enough for her. She knees to my level and gently yet firmly holds me by my shoulders and looks me directly in the eyes.
"Please take this seriously."
"I promise you with my very soul that I will not mess up." My odd response is effective enough to convince her. She may not know it but I cannot afford to mess up. From what little I know of this world, the ten master clans have the greatest influence, I would be a fool to pass up a chance to impress them. She nods once and stands tall and proceeds to the doors opening them. The room is filled with men sitting at a long table. As I enter along with Kyouko all the gazes fall on us. The room is filled with grunts of displeasure as they take me in.
"I was called here for this?"
"Too soon to have a kid, don't you think Kyouko?"
"He is just a brat."
The room quiets as the man at the head of the table raises his hand to silence them. I recognize him to be Retsu Kudou the head of the Kudou clan.
"Kyouko, the silencing spells are in place. What is this meeting about that could not be discussed over the phone?"
"I would like the Kudou clan to take this child into the family." The effects of her words were immediate. Shouts of protest and disgust filled the room but Kyouko showed no signs of wavering. The outbursts died quickly as Restu raised his hand again.
"That is a bold statement, I hope there is reasoning to your suggestion?" Kyouko nodded to the head of the clan and continued.
"In a mission four days ago for the 101 Independent Magic-Equipped Battalion, we were send into check a disturbance in the tundra area 30 miles north of sector 17 headquarters. A snowstorm in the area limited our search but I saw a light in the distance and I assume it was a distress flare." My eyes widen slightly at this comment, I had not realized that it was the fire that had attracted her attention.
"After picking up the signal I approached the area to find Minato." At this she gestured to me. "I searched the area but found no signs of his CAD or anything for the fire and I assumed he was an ancient magician. I reported my finding to HQ and was given time off to take care of the boy. After a hospital check-up he was placed in my home to rest." The men surprisingly stayed silent but I knew there would be hell to pay if they did not like the end of the story.
"Yesterday, Minato woke up and upon my question found he is an orphan affected with a mild case of amnesia." Mild? I frowned inwardly at this, I didn't know 85% of what she asked me. Although, having a severe case of amnesia would probably hurt my chances with the board, so I kept my mouth shut.
"The biggest discovery though was this boy can cast without an activation sequence." You could have heard a pin drop. The men at the table had their jaws dropped. Even Restu seemed surprised but his poker face revealed nothing to me.
"May we see a demonstration?" Someone from the group ventured. At his question I immediately stepped forward and raised a single hand palm facing skyward.
"Agi." The effect was instantaneous as sphere of fire burned brightly above my palm. I held it out as if displaying it to the men then I closed my palm cutting off the psion supply. The room immediately burst into noise.
"Which facilities are open for testing?"
"Where does the boy plan to stay?"
"How fast can we draw up the papers?" Kyouko is smiling beside me and I feel happy about the results as well. If this type of casting is rare, hopefully I will have a bright future.
A single voice cuts through the excited chatter.
"There was an activation sequence." At the words of Retsu the room's excitement dies to nothing. I ball my fist tighter and I can tell Kyouko's is shaking slightly. The men quiet down whispering to one another.
Who cast the spell? The silent question permeated the room. I clearly had no CAD on me but apparently there had been an activation sequence. Quickly the suspicions all pointed to Kyouko who shook slightly beside me.
"There was an activation sequence," Retsu repeats, "but even I have never seen something like it. It was if his soul itself acted as his medium to cast the spell. Although there may be an activation sequence the cast time is far superior to modern magic."
I silently release the breath I was holding and the rest of the room's tension fades.
I watch as Restu then stands and declares, "As the leader of the Kudou clan I hereby accept you into our family as Minato Kudou!"
AN: I hope you enjoyed the story. Please review. Tell me what you liked and tell me what you disliked.