In the endless void that he floated in, that one word had become his entire being. Time had no meaning in this vast sea of nothingness. At times, he wanted to scream, to lash out in frustration, but he could neither move nor speak. The chains that cemented him to the seal had made sure of that.
It was a disgusting feeling; this helplessness was one that could drive a person towards madness. The only reason that he himself had not gone insane was because of the ashen haired women that stood in front of him. In this vast darkness, she was like a glittering ray of hope.
The woman had a sad smile on her face as she began to mouth two words.
And then, she was gone; vanished in a flicker of light. That numbing feeling of emptiness began to settle in once more. The darkness around him began to creep closer and closer. The oblivion embraced him, and once more he found himself succumbing to the emptiness of this godforsaken void.
He hated the feeling.
A Persona 3 x RWBY Crossover
An Unlucky Draw
The Wild Card
His eyes slowly flickered open. The soft feeling of the pillow case underneath his head brought him a comforting reminder that he was no longer in that terrible place.
It had been a dream. A memory of a time long past. Of a time that he would rather not experience again.
It was an experience that he was all too happy to leave it as it was; a memory. He did not regret becoming the seal; it was a necessary sacrifice to protect what he cherished most. That did not mean he liked it though.
It was a necessity, a requirement. At least, that was what he told himself after every time this nightmare occurred.
He let out a small sigh as he slowly rose up to sit on the edge of his bed. The only sign of illumination outside came from the half shattered moon that hung in the night sky. Once again, like many a night before, he found himself standing by his window, staring at that oddly shaped rock in the sky.
It had been a little over a year since he had found himself here, on this strange new world. In the beginning, he was bewildered, as he searched for the others to no avail. After the first night, after the first time that he seen that oddly shaped moon, that was when he began to comprehend just exactly what kind of situation he was in. The reason why he couldn't find the others was simply because they didn't exist here.
He was alone.
He was alone, just like he was in the beginning, before SEES, before the Velvet Room, before Ryoji, and before the Shadows. It was a familiar feeling for him, yet a foreign one at the same time, as he had grown used to the constant companionship of his colleagues, of his friends.
Still, life moved on, no matter his hesitancies. Eventually, he found himself settling into a daily routine, just like in the past. He had found himself a job working at a small little café in a nearby town and had managed to earn enough to rent a cheap apartment close by.
Initially, he had assumed that he was here for a reason. That he had been released from the seal to help accomplish some task that needed to be done. As the weeks soon morphed into months and still, nothing out of the ordinary occurred, he began to have second thoughts.
Just why was here? What happened with the seal? And how was everyone doing? Dozens and dozens of different questions of the sort ran through his mind.
An annoying little beep began to ring through the room as his hand subconsciously reached for the alarm on his nightstand, shutting it off.
He blinked, having been shaken out of his stupor and glanced outside the window once more. What had once been a starry night sky accompanied by a half shattered moon had now morphed into the beginnings of an early sunrise.
He looked down at his alarm clock and the glowing red numbers on the screen signaled only one thing.
It was almost time for work.
He enjoyed his job. He really did. It was a small little café that his boss, Charlotte, a blonde haired woman in her mid-twenties ran. He was her only employee and had been for the past year.
That wasn't because Charlotte was a bad boss. If anything, from what he had seen, she ran a very well run business and had done so on her own for quite some time. In the back of his mind, he had a feeling that she only hired him because he was in a bit of a bad situation at the time. Of course, Charlotte would always deny this, claiming that she was tired of running the place on her own and had been looking for reliable help for a while.
Nonetheless, he was grateful to the woman. Not only for helping him out, but for looking after him as well. She had been the one to help him find his apartment in the first place. She couldn't pay him much, but money was never a priority. And it was true; money never meant much of anything to him. It was simply a tool that he required to sustain himself with, nothing more and nothing less.
Now, that didn't mean they were barely scraping by or anything. While business wasn't exactly booming per say, they still made enough. And with the Vytal festival that was coming up soon, the amount of travelers coming into the city had increased exponentially. That meant more customers and more work for the café.
He didn't mind though. The work was menial, but he enjoyed it nonetheless. It brought a sense of familiarity to him, as he had worked at a similar establishment in the past.
She had never told him her last name. He had never asked either, so that was all that he knew her as.
The odd little girl had become somewhat of a regular customer of his. Like clockwork, she would come in, twice a week, always at the same time. Neopolitan would always sit at the table in the corner of the room, and when he would walk by to drop off the menu, she would always have this sly grin on her face. He never knew what to make of it.
When the multi-hair colored girl was ready to order, she would always wave him over, while never making a sound in the process. There were times where he would miss her as she would never utter a single word. She usually got annoyed at him when this happened and would pout. She didn't tip when this happened either. He had always thought that had been somewhat petty of her, after all if he wasn't constantly looking at her direction, how would he know if she was ready to order?
Nonetheless, even when that little problem occurred, Neopolitan would always come back to the café, and would always come back at the same time as before.
From what he had seen, the girl had quite the sweet tooth. In fact, she almost exclusively ordered sweets from the desert section on the menu. And for such a tiny frame, she could eat a lot of sweets.
Neopolitan never spoke. She would communicate with gestures and facial expressions instead. Their occasional conversations were odd little things. He was never a man of many words, but in this case, he was the one that did all the talking. For once in his life, he was the one that was doing the speaking and someone else was the one that was doing the listening. It was a strange experience, but in a way, he supposed that it was rather refreshing.
He supposed that their little talks made for quite a strange sight. His boss would always give him a peculiar look whenever Neopolitan would drop by.
Still, despite her rather odd quirks, he could honestly say that he enjoyed their quiet little talks. It had settled into a part of the daily routine that he had developed.
So, it came as a surprise for him when Neopolitan walked into the café with a companion this time. That wasn't something that she normally did.
She took a seat at that same table in the corner of the room. Her companion followed suit. When he went to drop off the menus, he was able to get a better look at the multi-hair colored girl's companion.
He was an older man, and a rather well-dressed one at that, with bright orange hair that covered one side of his face. As he passed the little plastic menus to the odd pair, he could feel the eyes of the man bare into him.
"So, this is the place that you're always wandering off too?" The man asked his little companion.
Neopolitan simply gave a nonchalant shrug before she handed the menu back to him with a smile.
"Give me the usual."
He took the piece of plastic back and gave a small nod in response. He had gotten rather good at understanding Neopolitan's odd way of communicating after their third meeting. He was always good at reading people, so it didn't take much for him to become adept at Neopolitan charades.
"Wow, you actually understand her kid?" The orange haired man asked as he handed the menu back as well, "I'll have an expresso by the way."
He nodded once again and wrote down the orders onto his notepad.
"Oh great, don't tell me you're a mute too."
Neopolitan shot the man a pointed look.
"What? It's already hard enough just playing charades with you. I don't want to do it with everyone else."
She rolled her eyes and looked away in response.
"Oh come on, don't pout now," The man sighed, "Look, it'll by my treat, alright?"
He didn't catch the rest of the conversation as he had wisely decided to get back to work. More and more people were beginning to come in and the last thing he wanted to do was cause a log jam for Charlotte because he was busy slacking off.
Even for someone like him, who was woefully ill-informed about the world, he had still heard of that name. The Schnee Dust Company was everywhere; on the news, on the radio, on the internet, they were impossible to not hear about. It was understandable though, they were the largest corporation in the world.
So, it didn't come as a surprise to him that he could recognize one of the heirs to the Schnee Corporation. Though, what was surprising for him was that the youngest of the Schnee's would actually come to a little café in the middle of downtown Vale.
"Excuse me," The Schnee heiress began, "I'm Weiss, and this is Yang," She tilted her head at her blonde haired companion, "We're looking for our friend, Blake. She has black hair, yellow eyes, and wears a black bow. Have you seen anyone that fits that description?"
He blinked as his brain took a moment to process the new information. That was unexpected, but it made sense. After all, he found it hard to believe that someone as rich and powerful as herself would come to a random little cafe for a snack. He tried to recall if any of the previous customers had fit that description. When nothing came to mind, he simply shook his head.
"I see," The blonde one replied as she sighed, "Well, thanks anyway."
They had left as quickly as they had arrived.
As he got back to work, he couldn't help but think of how much that girl had reminded him of Mitsuru.
The hair color was different, as were the eyes. But, it wasn't the appearance, but the way that she presented herself, the way that she acted, like an aristocrat. Then there was the fact that they both had extremely similar backgrounds, being heiresses to massive mega-corporations and what not.
The thought actually made him a bit homesick. He couldn't help but wonder how everyone else was doing right now. He missed Tatsumi Port Island, he missed the Iwatodai Dormitory, but most of all, he missed his friends.
It was a depressing feeling, one that he would rather avoid. He turned his attention back towards his work. He was glad that he had something to occupy his time with. Otherwise, his mood would grow dark and his mind would settle back into thinking dark thoughts.
Things had been getting rather hectic as of late, with all of the Dust robberies that had been going on around town. Only Dust shops had been targeted, but that didn't stop other business owners from worrying. That long list of owners had now included his own boss as well.
Charlotte had started closing the café a lot earlier than usual. Now, that meant that he would make less money as he had less time to work, but that didn't really bother him. What did bother him was that he now had all this extra time to himself where he had nothing to do. He needed things to occupy his time with, otherwise his mind would wander back to rather unpleasant thoughts of the past.
So, he had decided to take up reading once again. He had always been an avid reader in his past life. Luckily for him, there was a bookstore just a couple blocks down from the café. Tukson's Book Trade was a small little bookstore that was run by a single person.
Tukson himself was anything but small though. The man easily dwarfed him, but despite his appearance, Tukson was more of a gentle giant than anything.
It was too bad that he was leaving soon. The older man had mentioned that he was planning on moving to Vacuo sometime in the future. It was a shame, as he had become somewhat of a regular of the little bookstore.
Tukson's Book Trade might not have been "home to every book under the sun" like the slogan claimed, but they did have a rather large collection. The books served as a good time consumer, and Tukson himself usually charged a good price for the reading material.
"Find a good book yet Minato?" The older man called out from the backroom.
He closed the novel in his hand and gave it a good once over. It was a fantasy novel that was about a man with two souls. It seemed interesting enough, so he brought the book with him to the front desk and rang the bell.
Tukson soon emerged from the dimly lit room carrying a rather large stack of books. He dropped them off on the side before he headed over towards the register and began to ring up the book.
"Hmm, The Man with Two Souls huh?" Tukson murmured as he glanced at the back of the book, "I've heard this was pretty good."
"Hopefully that holds true," He replied as he began to take out his wallet.
"Don't worry about the payment. This one's on the house."
He raised an eyebrow at that.
Tukson gave him a smile before he put the book into a bag and handed it to him.
"You've been one of my better customers Minato, think of it as a parting gift," The older man said.
He took the bag from him and nodded.
"So, you are leaving soon then I presume?"
"Yeah," Tukson nodded as well, "Next week to be exact."
"That is…" He paused, contemplating his words, "Rather sudden."
"Yeah, I know that I said that it probably wouldn't happen for a couple of months but," Tukson sighed, "A rather unfortunate turn of events have forced my hand."
He didn't press any further. While he was a little bit curious about the situation, it wasn't any of his business. If Tukson didn't want to speak anymore on the issue, then he wouldn't pry.
"You should stop by before I leave, I can give you a couple more books," Tukson added, "You know, so I don't have to carry as much stuff with me back to Vacuo."
He gave a wry smile at the older man's attempt at humor.
"Take your pick," Tukson said as he continued to stack more books, "You can take as many as you want."
He looked around at the large stacks of books that occupied the shelves in the backroom of the bookstore. Genres that ranged from fantasy to romance were neatly split into different sections. He let his eyes wander a little more before he stuck his hand into a random shelf and pulled out a book.
A Knight and his Journey
It seemed to be a fantasy novel. He quickly flipped through the book and gave it quick once over before he put the book back into its place in the shelf. He had just finished a fantasy novel recently, so he wasn't all too interested in reading another one.
As he looked through the different stacks of books, a familiar bell could be heard being rung outside.
"Be right there!" Tukson yelled out, "I'll be right back Minato."
He nodded absently mindedly as he continued to scour through line of books. He pulled out another book at random and took a glance at the back of it. It seemed to be a mystery novel. He was never really interested in mystery novels so he put the book back into its place.
When the lights in the room began to dim, he raised an eyebrow. He glanced over at the door and saw that the rest of the lighting in the building had gone out as well.
Had the power cut out?
He stepped out from the backroom. What immediately caught his attention was how tense the atmosphere seemed to be. He glanced between Tukson and the two new people standing in front of the front desk. There was a girl with green hair and a boy with grey hair.
"Who is he Tukson?" The green haired girl asked as she turned her attention towards him.
"He's just a customer," Tukson tersely replied, "He doesn't have anything to do with this."
"Well," The grey haired boy said as he slammed the book he was holding shut, "He does now."
"Minato, there's an exit in the backroom," Tukson curtly stated, "Get ready to make a break for it."
"Oh, your new friend isn't going anywhere Tukson," The green haired girl smirked as she took a step forward.
For a moment, nobody moved. Then, in an instant, Tukson leaped over the front desk and launched himself at the girl. What surprised him though were the sharp claws that grew out of the bookstore owner's nails. He watched as the girl expertly danced around Tukson's wild swings. That girl was skilled.
"Aren't you forgetting about someone?"
The kick was so fast that he almost failed to dodge it. He stumbled backwards a bit but managed to rebalance himself by grabbing onto a nearby bookshelf.
"Oh? Not bad," The grey haired boy commented with a mildly impressed look on his face, "You might make this interesting after all."
What came next was, instead of a single kick, it was a flurry of them. This time though, he was ready for it. As he dodged the onslaught of blows, he frowned at how slow his reactions were. Having not been in combat for so long, he supposed that it was to be expected that his skills would have dulled.
Another kick came flying at his face from an angle that made it impossible to dodge. He held up his left arm in an effort to block the attack. He couldn't help but wince at the cracking sound that his forearm made when the kick connected. He leaped backwards and created some space as he inspected his arm. He winced once more as he tried to move the limb to no avail, it was probably broken. Either the other boy was wearing heavy plating on his legs or they were made of metal.
"Hey, you're pretty good," The grey haired boy smirked, "I'm better though."
He didn't say anything in response. Instead, with his other hand, he reached into his pocket for his evoker. It had been a long time since he'd used the thing. As he pulled out the pistol shaped object, the grey haired boy raised an eyebrow.
"Is that your weapon? A gun? That's pretty bland man," The other boy sneered.
When he lifted the evoker up and placed it at the side of his temple, the other boy's eyes widened.
"Hey, what're you-"
He didn't let the boy finish the sentence as he pulled the trigger. A familiar feeling ran through his head as the sound of shattering glass rang through the air. And then, he felt the power. It rushed through him and from deep within the confines of his soul, it manifested itself into reality.
The white bone like face came first. Then, the human sized coffins that surrounded the figure like a shield. The rest of its body soon followed suit, slowly manifesting itself into reality as well. It hadn't made a sound during the entire process. Unlike the first time where it burst into existence, this time like a creeping death, it slowly and quietly arrived.
Thanatos let out a low growl as it floated protectively in front of him. The menacing looking blade that it held in it's hand would make sure that no harm would come to it's master.