Disclaimer: Persona 5 belongs to Atlus and Sega. Code Vein belongs to Bandai Namco and Ufotable. Nioh belongs to Team Ninja and Koei Tecmo. Kakegurui belongs to Homura Kawamoto and MAPPA.
(IMPORTANT NOTE: This fanfiction was written before Code Vein's official 2019 release. This is the sequel to Persona Vein written by Ford1114. This sequel is written by yours truly w/Ford's input and outline. There are already future pans for a consolidated story/remake of this and Persona Vein with many additional revisions through a revised/final drafted version, which will incorporate Persona 5 Royal and the completed Code Vein story following the official release of these two games. Be on the look out for 2020 for the release of that consolidated fic remake, which has now been called Akane no Mai.)
A/N: If you're reading this, then it's 2019. Happy New Year and to the birth of a new fanfiction project.
Hi, I'm Kanius, formerly SSJ4Takeru, and am a long-time fanfic writer. I've writing an untold number of stories over the years, most of which I've written and posted on . I've been involved with a good amount of fandoms. My fandoms I've avidly written (and co-written) for and read out of include Dragon Ball, Digimon, Sailor Moon, Yu Yu Hakusho, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Naruto, Witchblade, Sonic the Hedgehog, WWE, DC, Marvel, Madoka Magica, Guilty Crown, and a decent amount of crossovers.
Starting with this story, I enter the Persona, Code Vein, and to a lesser extent Kakegurui & Nioh fandoms. Technically, this won't be the first time I've written anything involving characters from these respective franchises. I've already written several segments featuring Persona 5 and Code Vein characters (specifically in my Cross Generations fic). I've helped co-write a chapter for Ford1114's Persona Vein fanfic (specifically the one titled Intermission: Inception).
This fic is the official sequel to Ford1114's Persona Vein: Urban Legends. With his permission and blessings, he's allowed me to write a sequel with an outline he's provided for me. Normally, I wouldn't do this under normal circumstances. However, there's reasons for this faithful decision.
1: I'm in the process of writing my first professional novel. It was Ford1114 who helped to push me forward with my dream of writing and one day publishing my novel. He's recognized my talents and remembered a statement I made a long time ago that I hoped to be a novel writer. He thinks UL will provide the best platform for me to transition from fanfic writing to professional novel writing. Unlike the fanfics I've written before, I intend to treat this story as I would a professional novel. This undertaking will be an interesting experiment and creative process.
2: I've gotten into the Persona franchise thanks to Ford1114. Before I've only heard of the series, but having watched an entire playthrough of P5 (w/the good ending and in the English dub), I was hooked. Hooked enough to watch Persona 5: The Animation (which is ok, but the game is much better), purchase Persona 4: The Animation on blu-ray for a big cheap deal (already watching), and recently purchased Persona 5 for PS4 on Black Friday.
3: While it's not out yet, I've been following the Code Vein announcements and kept up with some of the news/trailers of its impending release. The Unnamed Protagonist will have a name for this story's continuity: Skyler Jones (once called Sion in Persona Vein). In fact, the Persona Vein-CV characters will be AU from their canon-Code Vein counterparts.
4a: Ford1114 went out of his way to have a promo art drawn for my birthday. This promo art was drawn and colored by clayscence (Vanetta Kosman). Go to Ford1114's twitter and you'll see it there. It's an excellent visual depiction of what you can expect in CV. The Unnamed Protagonist/Skyler and Hifumi are centered, meaning they're the main attractions of this story. Ren/Joker, Ann/Panther, Morgana/Mona, Jack Rutherford, Mia Karnstein, Makoto/Queen, and Io are also on the cover with a beautiful Shibuya background. That fanart already has 85 RTs and 364 Likes on Ford's twitter. Erika Harlacher (the English VA for Ann Takamaki) was among those who liked the pic. How's that for super cool endorsement?
4b: He's even had a second fanart commissioned by ScruffyTurtles (creator of the Adult Confidant AU), who drew and colored CV's Unnamed Male Protagonist and Hifumi Togo together. While that one isn't necessarily Persona Vein/Urban Legends related, it's still the Unnamed Male Protagonist and Hifumi depicted as a couple from a vampire love story (better than Twilight, lol). This fanart currently has 814 likes on twitter.
4c: A P5/Pokémon fanart was commissioned by HyakunanaArts. It's the third fanart commissioned for Ford. As we speak, this fanart has over 600 likes on twitter and Erika Harlacher gave her seal of approval (AKA retweet), but that's not all. Erika even commented on an art related to this project for the first time!
4d: Make that four fanarts. The second one done by HyakunanaArts. A P5/Pokémon/CV crossover featuring the Male Protagonist and Hifumi with their choice Pokémon. What's even better? Xanthe Huynh (the English VA of Haru Okumura) liked it on twitter.
5: I've already dabbled with writing the P5 and CV characters already. The only Kakegurui character I've written is Yumeko. This story will allow me to utilize the other Kakegurui ensemble cast. Of Nioh, I've mostly written for Nekomata and Maria. While Kakegurui and Nioh characters will appear, the central focus will be on P5 and CV.
6: It's something new. That's the most exciting part of this endeavor. It also won't have any connection and tie-in to my other fanfics (Digimon Fusion/Kai and YuYuGiDigiMoon respectively). And there won't be any cameos from other Persona characters beyond P5. This is strictly a P5 story, even though P/P2/P3/P4 characters do exist in the Persona Vein/Urban Legends continuity.
So, why Urban Legends? Well, the Phantom Thieves have pretty much established themselves as urbanized legends in their country. The title is partly based on that. There will be cognitions that invokes the appearance of popular pop culture characters. So, that's why I've picked this story title.
Pairings. What can you expect? Obviously Unnamed Protagonist/Hifumi. Ren/Ann is the other central pairing. The others will include Makoto/Haru (w/Louis to join these two later) and Yusuke/Futaba.
All right, I think that covers my introduction. There's nothing else to address and I don't want to deprive you of reading this story.
Before reading this story, there's one prerequisite. I recommend you read Ford1114's Persona Vein fic. Otherwise, there will be continuity references and previous events that will be lost to you. And it's easily doable. PV is only 7 chapters long. /cheapplugforFord1114
Without delay, enjoy my fic!
Haneda Airport (羽田空港)/Ōta, Tokyo (大田, 東京)/September 26th, 2020 (2020年9月26日)/7:30 AM (JST)
Sitting alone in a three airline seat, a young brown-haired man dressed in a long-sleeve white shirt, black pants, and dark shoes had all the room to himself. The man had an unkempt hairstyle with hair locks curving out and some hanging down his face. Some hair was parted for his red eyes to be seen.
His eyes stared at the window as many thoughts raced inside his head. It was a homecoming of sorts for him. He previously lived in Tokyo taking university courses. He was due to arrive and meet with three friends. Naturally, he was excited to hang out with these three colleagues, but in the back of his mind, there was a nagging thought that told him there would be more to this return than seeing old acquaintances again.
He scanned a beautiful view of Tokyo from his window. He discerned Tokyo Tower situated in a sea of buildings and metropolitan venues. He also saw the Rainbow Bridge. He scanned for the isles across mainland Tokyo. One thing he didn't miss seeing were the smokestacks near the factories he spotted. He was frequently reminded how much he hated Tokyo's pollution, but on the bright side, at least he wasn't going to Shanghai.
Then, he immediately thought. Are there others anticipating my arrival?
"We are about to approach Haneda Airport. Passengers, please fasten your seat belts and remain seated. Please also turn off or put electronic devices to sleep as he make our landing. Thank you."
Once the airplane pilot announced the plane's landing, the young man took off his headphones. He fastened his seat belt and closed his eyes. Although this wasn't the first time he's flown to Tokyo, he felt anxiety being unaware what to expect for his return. He expected some things to stay the same, but he also anticipated changes for better and for worse.
He opened his eyes as the plane landed.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we have landed in Tokyo Haneda International Airport."
"Finally, I'm back in Tokyo," he said in a relaxed manner.
As everyone started getting up, the man opened up his compartment and pulled out his carry-on bag. On his way off the plane, he greeted a stewardess with a polite bow. He made his way into the International Passenger Terminal's arrival lobby. He checked his phone for the time. It was currently 8:20 AM (JST).
"It'd already be 20 minutes past midnight where I came from," he noted the time zone differences.
On the way out of the terminal, he saw three familiar faces, who had been waiting over an hour. He coolly smiled when they noticed him.
"It's been a while, hasn't it, guys?" He addressed the three individuals.
He scanned the first of the three. Standing on the right was a young male with an even more unkempt hairstyle. He had dark brown hair; from a distance, one could mistake his hair for being black. Some locks of hair covered his right eye. The eye that wasn't covered was red. He wore a long-sleeved and buttoned white shirt with a black waistcoat over it. He also had on gray slacks and black shoes. One notable accessory item was his silver necklace.
"How's it been, Louis?" He asked the young man with the barely visible right eye.
"We've been waiting for this day. Glad you made it safely, Sion." Louis replied in collective manner.
"Thanks, but c'mon, call me Skyler."
"No way, we like Sion better!"
"Ah, yeah, I missed you, too, Mia."
"That's Mia Karnstein to you, Sion!" A short-statured, green-eyed young woman with long blonde hair tied in pigtails tried her best to lecture Skyler.
"Then, you should call me Skyler Jones."
"Humph, as if!"
Mia didn't exactly come dressed to impress as she only came in a navy blue summer dress, purple-and-black long stockings, and black boots.
"Sheesh, who woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?" Skyler shrugged off Mia's domineering attitude.
"Heh, don't mind her. She's really happy to see you again, Skyler," Louis said.
"Right…" Mia muttered as she hugged Skyler. "Welcome back, Skyler!"
After returning a hug to Mia, Skyler turned to the third party member: a tall red-haired, brown-eyed man wearing a green shirt, blue jeans, and brown shoes. His red hair was so long he wore it in a small ponytail. He had two large hair bangs hanging on both face sides.
"It's great to have you back, Skyler," the tall red-haired man acknowledged his colleague's return.
"Thanks, Yakumo. It's great to see you again, old friend. Even better that we're all together again."
"Mind if I carry your luggage?" Yakumo offered Skyler.
"Sure." Skyler handed Yakumo his luggage.
"Is that all you brought?" queried Louis.
"Nah, there's one more luggage. Let's go get it," Skyler said as they went to get his belongings.
(Cue SOOB - Beneath the Sky (Original Mix) Playing on the Radio)
Upon leaving Haneda Airport, Skyler and his three colleagues cruised into Tokyo. They rode in Louis's black and silver 2015 Lexus IS C. As the driver, Louis sat on the right side of the front. Mia sat on the left side of the front after calling first dibs. Both Skyler and Yakumo sat comfortably in the back; Yakumo leaned back on the right side of the back and Skyler sat on the left side.
The four enjoyed their peaceful cruise on the Rainbow Bridge. Skyler leaned back and relaxed as light wind blew against his face.
"So, how long are you staying in for, Skyler?" Yakumo asked his friend.
"Who knows? However long I need," Skyler plainly answered.
Louis smirked as he briefly eyed the composed Skyler. "Things have gotten interesting since you left. We've met some intriguing group of people."
"Is that so?" Skyler's curiosity piqued with interest.
"Yeah, we can't wait to introduce them to you. I think you'll like them, Skyler," Louis said.
Turning around in her seat, Mia curiously asked Skyler. "Got any plans today or maybe tomorrow?"
"Well, today we're heading to the new apartment I've just rented," Skyler stated. "As for tomorrow, I might go for some sightseeing. It has been a while since I've lived here. But, enough about me. Let's talk about you guys." He stared toward the sun rising and beaming down its morning rays over Tokyo.
"Heh, we don't want to bore you with the details," Louis half-chuckled while keeping an eye on the road.
"Try me. You first, Louis."
"Well, you know I'm already a college graduate," Louis said. "I just graduated from the Tokyo Institute of Technology with an engineering degree. I've already talked to you about me wanting to be a researcher with leadership skills."
"Right. And any lady friends I should know?"
"Maybe one or two," Louis chortled.
Mia rolled her eyes. "Oh yeah, Sion. Apparently loverboy here has already garnered the attention of two girls. FYI, Sion, don't turn out like him."
Skyler shrugged. "Right, I'd barely handle one girl. Speaking of girls, what about you, Mia? You want to introduce me to your boyfriend?"
Mia scoffed and folded her arms. "Yeah, right. I'm still being the responsible big sister looking out for her little brother."
"Little brother? More like big brother these days," Louis poked fun at Mia's short height compared to her taller younger brother.
"Hey, shut up! I wasn't expecting Nicola to sprout so fast!"
Yakumo smiled genuinely. "He's about to finish his last year of middle school. I believe the entrance exams are coming up soon."
Mia sighed. "Yeah, and I hope he does well."
Skyler smirked. "You're still that overprotective sister now, Mia. I'm glad you haven't changed in that regard."
"Yeah, but I often wonder if he needs me to look after him with the friends he's made."
"He appreciates you being there for him, Mia."
"Thanks, Skyler." She dropped Skyler's nickname while being genuine to him.
"And as you know, I'm a mercenary for the Japan Self-Defense Forces as part of the Special Assault Team," Yakumo revealed his current occupation.
"Now that's cool. Have you met anyone, Yakumo?"
"Yeah, there's someone I met in the forces. I'd be happy to introduce you to her."
"And then there's my sister Karen. She works at a hospital and is a researcher. She'll be happy to see you again, Skyler," Louis said.
"Looks like I've got lot of new and old faces to meet. This will be exciting," Skyler said. However, he wondered if he'll possibly meet someone during his Japan stay.
Chiyoda, Tokyo (千代田区, 東京)/September 27th, 2020 (2020年9月27日)/11:20 AM (JST)
(Cue Thomas Bergersen - Remember Me)
The next morning, a beautiful dark green-eyed young woman with long black hair and bangs walked down a semi-busy street. The woman wore a casual white dress with orange, navy blue, and white checkered designs, sans the sleeves that were free of such designs. She also had on long black stockings and dark shoes. This woman still wore her red hair accessory that resembled a three-leaf clover, which she's worn since high school.
Togo Hifumi has since retained the youthful beauty she's had since her high school years. As she walked by, a few bystanders recognized her as the Female Shogi League champion and as the "too beautiful Shogi player". She coyly smiled, recognizing and accepting the fact few still recognized her celebrity Shogi status.
She pressed on walking across the streets of Chiyoda. This was the exact area that distorted during the final battle against Yaldabaoth's successor, Saklas. The Chiyoda area returned to normal following that battle.
Civilians and tourists passed by the lone Shogi woman. It was another daily and mundane life in Chiyoda.
Just then, Hifumi noticed a young brown-haired man with red eyes. It was the same man who arrived in Tokyo the other day after his friends picked him up at the airport. He wore a teal blue shirt, light gray pants, and black shoes. Upon seeing him, her eyes widened in shock.
Could it be him? She wondered.
Hifumi then walked up and approached the young man.
"Excuse me?" Hifumi asked.
He turned around and curiously faced Hifumi.
"Hey there, do I know you from somewhere?" The young man asked, actually speaking fluent Japanese.
Hifumi casually answered. "I apologize. You remind me of someone else, but you look similar to him." She blinked and realized he spoke to her in her native tongue. "Wait, you know Japanese?"
"Of course. I learned the language fluently in one of my many college courses. It's been a while since I've lived in Japan during my university years. I actually came back from Wales in the United Kingdom, my home country. I was picked up by my friends at Haneda Airport. I'm staying here with a diverse job. I'm considering getting a citizenship if I'm working here for an extended term." The young man explained his situation.
"I see. Yes, Japan is a great place to live, yet it is rather difficult to maintain a standard living, too." She reminded him of the country's living conditions and laws.
"It sure is. By the way, I didn't get your name, miss?"
"My name is Togo Hifumi."
"That's a beautiful name. You can call me Skyler Jones, but my friends sometimes call me Sion. It's a cool nickname I've gotten used to."
"Say, do you mind if we walk around the area just to get to know each other?" Skyler asked.
At this moment, Hifumi was reminded of the previous experience showing Sion around Tokyo and Osaka. One day, she knew this young man might gain a similar connection like the previous Revenant and renew the bond with the Shogi girl. With that, Hifumi gave her answer.
"I'd be happy to." Hifumi smiled.
With that, Hifumi and Skyler walked across the streets together and explored Tokyo.
Unbeknownst to Hifumi, however, an image of a female white-haired, pale-skinned Revenant with golden eyes flashed behind Hifumi and smiled ambiguously. This mysterious white-haired Revenant quickly disappeared inside Hifumi's body.
Not even noticing, Hifumi didn't know something entered her. She continued showing Skyler a few of Chiyoda's landmarks.
Needless to say, life moved forward. However, there was a wonder what new urban adventures awaited for these two and the other ordinary civilians.
Urban Legends (都市伝説)
The Arrivals (到着)
(Cue It's So Wonderful (Final Remix) - The World Ends With You: Final Remix)
"Hello, friends. I'm Amamiya Ren. I'm also Joker, leader of the Phantom Thieves, Japan's greatest urban legends.
Can you believe it's been over a month since me and my friends stopped Saklas and the second coming of Yaldabaoth? The fated battle was fought in Chiyoda, Tokyo. It turned out to be an even bigger battle than the one against the original Yaldabaoth four years ago. The God of Control resurfaced as it merged with a soldier who lived through Japan's social and economic status growth and decay across the ages. This soldier, who we came to know as Saklas, merged with Yaldabaoth's essence to become Yaldabaoth ΩZ.
In the middle of the battle with Saklas, Hifumi, Sion, and Yumeko fought alongside us. In an act of selflessness, Hifumi took a fatal blow for Sion and seemingly died. Then, to our shock, Hifumi was resurrected by a divine power, originally a part of Yaldabaoth, and became Sophia. Sophia's aura was so powerful she granted us the magnificent power called Persona's Ascendancy. With the power of Persona's Ascendancy, I became Satanael ΩX. After me and my friends vanquished our dark Lost counterparts, we aided Sophia, Sion, and Yumeko against Yaldabaoth ΩZ.
It was a harder fought battle than the one with the original Yaldabaoth. In the end, me, Sophia, and Sion were the last ones to stand against Yaldabaoth ΩZ. Once we defeated Yaldabaoth ΩZ, Saklas gave his parting words and reminded us of the harsh reality that there were still some corruption out there to deal with. As Saklas ceased to exist, the spirit of the old soldier he used to be faded with him. Both were freed from a corrupted Amrita.
Shortly after Saklas passed, our friend, Sion, ceased. While we mourned for Sion, Sophia stayed resolute. In response, Sophia used the last of her powers to get rid of Yaldabaoth ΩZ's distortions and restored the world to normal. Because of this, we lost our Persona's Ascendancy forms and returned to our normal selves. It makes sense since those forms were tied to Sophia's power. After that, Hifumi lost the powers of Sophia, but her memories of Sion never ceased.
Following these events, Hifumi and Yumeko sent their Guardian Spirits back to the spiritual realm. Yumeko bid us farewell and promised she'd bring her high school acquaintances to meet with us one day. Akechi Goro, who returned to fight with us again as a Phantom Thief, left and disappeared.
Shortly after our last urban adventure, I married the love of my life, Takamaki Ann. All the friends and acquaintances we made came to our wedding. Although only us Thieves can see them, Igor and Lavenza were there to witness our wedding. This was one of the best and fulfilling days of my life. With the last adventure behind us, Ann and I feel we could effectively retire being Phantom Thieves and just enjoy the rest of our lives peacefully. I think we've earned much needed rest.
Then again, there's barely time for rest in the adult world. While I've been finishing up college, I've been working a part-time job at Toranomon Hills, a 52-storey high building and the second largest landmark in the Tokyo area. I've been doing pretty well all things considered, though balancing school, a part-time job, and my married life can get busy.
But, enough about me. Let's see how the other Thieves have been doing with their lives lately."
Amamiya-Takamaki Residence (奄美・高崎 レジデンス)/Shibuya, Tokyo (渋谷区, 東京)/September 28th, 2020 (2020年9月28日)/5:30 PM (JST)
(Cue Persona 5 OST - Beneath the Mask)
The front door opened and in walked the man who used to go by Joker. A far cry from how he used to be, Amamiya-Takamaki Ren came still dressed in his work clothes. Ren looked nearly the same as he did four years ago. He still wore the same glasses, which he often took off. Even Ann wondered why he still needed them. His normally unkempt black hair was neatly groomed, although as the day wore on his hair regained some of its scruffiness. He had on a white long-sleeved dress shirt, though he had already unbuttoned the sleeves and pulled them back to make for a comforting short-sleeve shirt. He had on dark gray slacks, black shoes, and a black waist belt. Having removed it on his way home, he had a gray blazer hanging over his right shoulder.
"Ann, I'm home," Ren announced, taking his shoes off and putting on in-house slippers.
"In the living room!" Called out Ren's wife.
As he went into the living room, he saw his beautiful wife sprawled on their sofa. The platinum blonde-haired woman got off the sofa dressed in her latest modeling wardrobe. She had on a black sleeveless and backless halter top, which also exposed her full midriff. She also wore black leather pants to match her halter top. Ann's other accessories included red lipstick, red painted nails, and a pair of red bracelets on her right wrist. She also had on a red trench coat that she left on the couch. Having embraced womanhood, Ann no longer wore her pigtails. She freely let her wavy blonde hair loose down to her lower body.
Ann's alluring blue eyes fell on Ren's dark gray eyes. The couple approached and kissed each other.
"So, how's your day, Ren?"
"Busy if you couldn't already tell. I sure as hell know you've been since you were crashing on the couch."
"What can I say? I've been in demand," confidently smiled the former Panther.
"Want to talk about it?"
"How about over dinner? There's this place I want us to try out!"
"Alright, well I guess we don't need to get dressed?"
"Nope, we're fine the way we are," Ann took her husband's hand.
"Let's go then." Ren smiled and eyed the scarlet wedding ring she's worn since the wedding.
It's already been two weeks since their wedding. The young Japanese man and his one-quarter American wife have had a good start to their wedded life. They've allowed themselves to become a working couple. Realizing Ann wasn't the stay-at-home type of wife, Ren was more than happy to let his wife expand her horizons in modeling. As long as they were both working, they'd at least have enough to pay their monthly apartment rent.
Conspicuous by his absence was Morgana, who used to hang with and live with Ren. Now that Ren and Ann moved into their own place, Morgana decided let them live independently. Though it was hard for Morgana to see his 'Lady Ann' married to Ren, he was fine to let go of his former crush. However, that didn't stop him from sometimes dropping by to visit Ren and Ann. They were more than happy to let Morgana see them.
"Before we go, guess who just got on the front cover of that magazine I was shooting for?" Ann winked, picking up a magazine from their dining table. She revealed the cover, which had her dressed in the same attire but her fully unbuttoning her red trench coat. "Ta-da!"
"Yep, that's you alright. You look great, Ann," he smiled proudly for his wife's latest success.
"Aren't I always hot-looking? Let's eat dinner to celebrate my success!"
"Sure, anything you want, Ann," Ren smiled as he and Ann headed out the door.
They lovingly held each other on the way out.
As they walked out of their apartment, a black cat with a yellow collar, blue eyes, a white muzzle, paws, and tail tip, watched them from afar. Morgana smiled and nodded before turning to leave.
Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department (警視庁)/Kasumigaseki (霞が関)/Chiyoda, Japan (千代田区, 東京)/6:00 PM (JST)
"Ms. Niijima!" A young male officer garbed in the Tokyo Metropolitan officer uniform, consisting of a long-sleeved light blue dress shirt with a black tie, a dark blue vest overlapping the shirt, dark blue pants, and a blue police cap. "Thank you for supervising my first day on the job!" He saluted his superior.
Turning to face the rookie officer, a young woman garbed in a female police uniform, consisting of a similar colored dress shirt but short-sleeved, saluted him back. She also wore a black tie, dark blue pants, and a blue police cap. She had her now long brown hair pulled up into a hair bun style.
"Good job today, rookie. You're doing good, but keep it up. The department can't have any slackers and I'll make sure you don't get off task." Makoto commended the rookie officer.
With that, Niijima Makoto turned to leave and hopped on her department issued motorcycle. She checked the time, which was now five minutes past six.
"Still got time to pick you up," she muttered, referring to her significant other.
Shujin Academy Field Track (修人学園のフィールドトラック)/Aoyama-Itchome (青山一丁目)/Minato, Tokyo (港区, 東京)/6:15 PM (JST)
Revisiting his old high school's field, Sakamoto Ryuji stretched his legs and completed his warm up exercises. He got into a runner's stance and crouched over, staring intently at the distance he was preparing to run.
Ryuji's outward appearance was a stark contrast to what he used to look like during his high school days. Gone was the blonde dye that made him stand out from the crowd. Having stopped coloring his hair, it had gone back to its natural black. He grew out a black goatee on his chin that completed his transition into a young man. Ryuji's build was more muscularly built after a few years of physical training. He wore a white t-shirt, red sweatshorts, and white tennis shoes. He also wore a small fitband, which he used to time his runs.
"Ok, man. You've got this. You're gonna kick your previous record's ass!" Ryuji focused, psyching himself up for another sprint. "Go!" He roared and sprinted like there was no tomorrow.
As he picked up the pace, he pictured himself fulfilling his passionate dream of becoming a runner and becoming a sports instructor.
I can do this! Ryuji internally shouted in his mind.
Roppongi (六本木)/Minato, Tokyo (港区, 東京)/6:45 PM (JST)
Having just left from a grand opening of a local Okumura Café, Okumura Haru waited for her ride to pick her up at a designated spot.
Haru retained her chin-length curly auburn hair. She wore a lavender blouse with a long-sleeved white shirt underneath. She also wore a black and white polka-dotted skirt, knee-length black stockings, and brown dress shoes. She carried a red purse. Other accessories included a pair of silver earrings and light red lipstick.
Haru checked her watch and smiled. "Just a little longer…"
And with that, she heard the sound of a motorcycle coming near her. Haru pivoted toward the direction of the motorcycle driver.
A playful smile adorned Haru's face as she eyed her driver. "Took you long enough."
Tokyo Institute of Technology (東京工業大学)/Futaba's Dormitory/Meguro, Tokyo (目黒区, 東京)/7:15 PM (JST)
The loud sound of fingers frequently tapping on computer keys filled the entire room. The dormitory room of Sakura Futaba resembled a typical otaku's.
Sitting with her feet on a her chair, Futaba intently stared at her computer monitor browsing for information on her favorite 'interwebs' searching for confidential information and online shopping for more otaku merchandise. All while doing this, she was on a phone chat with an 'old friend'.
"You just got back from presenting your art gallery at Tokyo National Museum? That's neat, Inari! I wish I could've been there, but y'know classes…" Futaba said while munching on some hot chips.
Futaba wore a short-sleeved gray shirt with a green Hatsune Miku character design embellished on it, an orange beanie, and white & gray cargo pants. She had her feet planted in a pillow cushioned under her buttocks. The most notable difference in Futaba's appearance is her hairstyle and color. Her hair was now short and neck-length like her mother's. She ditched the orange hair she had when she was younger and allowed her natural dark color to resurface.
Futaba's dorm room perfectly represented her otaku passions with accessories like posters, action figures, and video games, which decorated her dorm. Her action figures consisted of Kamen Rider (Den-O, Decade, Double, OOO, Fourze, Gaim, and Zi-O), Pokémon, Doraemon, Mawaru Penguindrum, Little Witch Academia Nendoroid figures, Retsuko (Aggretsuko), Ultraman (the Netflix Anime version), Super Smash Bros. and Amiibo figurines. However, these paled in comparison to Futaba's prized possessions: her action figures from the Phoenix Ranger Featherman R series, which blended in with her Kamen Rider collection.
"It's quite alright, Futaba. There's always other presentations of mine you can come see."
Futaba clamped her hands overhead. "I'm so sorry! I'll make up for it!"
"You needn't apologize, Futaba. Your studies come first, which by the way…"
Futaba lifted her glasses above the bridge of her nose. She evilly smirked. "Hm, it's going according to plan."
"Is that your way of saying 'my grades and studies have been going well'?"
"Exactly right, Inari!"
Yusuke's exasperated sigh was heard on the other line. "Do you need to still keep calling me that, Futaba?"
"Yeah, because it still suits you, Inari!" Futaba opened up a cup of hot ramen. She felt the ramen juice burn her finger. "Ow! Oooo, that one stung!"
"Yeah? What I'm lazy to cook my own meals."
"Eating too much instant ramen will make you gain weight."
"Hey, don't talk about a girl's weight! Geez, Inari!"
Yusuke chuckled modestly. "My apologies. Perhaps I can make you dinner sometime."
"Your place again?"
"Yeah, if you're ok with that?"
Futaba smirked coyly. "Sure, why not? Even I can get tired of instant ramen and chips. And I do need to worry about my intake."
Yusuke's Apartment (ユースケのアパート)/Taitō, Tokyo (台東区, 東京)/7:20 PM (JST)
Kitagawa Yusuke, now wearing a ponytail, sat in a comfy recliner chair inside a well furnished apartment. He wore a long-sleeved violet shirt with a gray vest over it. He also wore black pants and a graduation ring, which he earned after graduating Kosei High School.
While listening to Futaba, the former Fox sipped some warm cocoa.
"Then, it's a date then, Futaba. We can meet at Tokyo National Museum."
"Yep! See you tomorrow!"
"Good night, Futaba," Yusuke said as they simultaneously hung up. He smiled. "Who knew we'd end up dating?"
Makoto and Haru's Apartment (マコトと春のアパート)/Roppongi (六本木)/Minato, Tokyo (港区, 東京)/7:45 (JST)
Haru walked into a two-person apartment she shared with her significant other.
"Home sweet home, Mako-chan," Haru smiled, referring to her preferred nickname for Makoto. She turned around and faced Makoto, who walked up and kissed Haru's lips.
"Enjoy the drinks we had?"
"Yes, but you'll need to cut down, Mako-chan."
"Can't help it after another day of training another rookie? That seems to be my job lately."
Haru smiled. "Don't worry, Mako-chan. Just keep at it, sweetie, and you'll rise up the rankings to get promoted. You just need to take one step at a time."
Makoto smiled and nodded. "Right, what am I even complaining for? I'm living my dream for my father's sake."
"That's the spirit, Mako-chan. Now, let's get you washed up."
"I'm long overdue for a hot bath. Make sure to massage those shoulders like last time."
Haru took off Makoto's tie and watched her begin to undress. "You got it, Mako-chan."
Leaning back inside their bathtub, Makoto relaxed in a hot bubble bath that helped relax her body. She let her hair down. The foam of the bath soap bubbled up to the surface, covering nearly all of Makoto's naked body. She had her feet sticking out on the other end of the tub. With her sleeves pulled up, Haru leaned outside the bathtub and massaged herbal oil across Makoto's shoulders.
"Mm, that's more like it! Right there!" Makoto let out a deep, relaxed sigh.
"Need me to unwind those strained back muscles, Mako-chan, my love?" Haru whispered into Makoto's right ear.
"That'd be great," the police woman smiled, blowing bubbles from her hands. She winced when Haru pressed a little hard. "Maybe soften a bit on that spot."
Haru genuinely smiled. "Sure, Mako-chan." With that, she applied a softer pressure on her lover's right shoulder.
"Thanks, Haru-chan. I know it hasn't been long, but I can really feel our relationship going somewhere. I know it's going to work out between us."
"I was thinking the same thing, Mako-chan. I really do mean that." Haru said, rubbing her face against Makoto's hand and kissing it.
"So, care to join me? I've made some room in the tub," Makoto patted the bubbly water while pulling her legs forward. She coyly invited Haru to enjoy the warm bubble bath.
Not one to let down her new lover, Haru accepted and disrobed her clothing. She stepped in fully naked and covering her breasts.
"What's wrong, Haru-chan? It's just us. No one's going to see us."
"Right," Haru relaxed, feeling the warm water soak her body. She and Makoto ever so casually and lovingly held each other's hands.
The long-haired brunette and the curly auburn-haired woman exchanged passionate looks. They leaned over and kissed each other.
Café Leblanc (純喫茶ルブラン)/Yongen-Jaya, Tokyo (四軒茶屋, 東京)/8:00 PM (JST)
After dinner, Ren and Ann stopped by to visit Sakura Sojiro, who still ran his successful Café Leblanc. Sojiro was surprised but happy to see the young man he was a caretaker to for about a year. He was happier to see Ren married to one of the ladies out of his circle of friends.
Though, even to this day, Ren wondered how Sojiro's business has been able to survive primarily on its two major selling items: coffee and curry.
"Your coffee is still good stuff, but you could work up spicing up the curry menu," Ren critiqued his adoptive father's curry items.
"Nah, your curry is still pretty delish!" Ann gave her seal of approval.
"Oh, stop you two," Sojiro chuckled modestly. The man looked relatively the same he had been four years ago. However, signs of more gray started to show his age. There were tufts of gray showing up on the sides of his hair, within his hair and in his beard. He wore a long-sleeved pink shirt to complement his white pants and shoes. "I'm happy you two could drop by on such short notice. I'd thought you'd forget all about this old man who continues selling coffee and curry, the oddest dish combination, I know."
Ann giggled. "We'd never forget you, Sojiro! You stuck with us when we told you we were the Phantom Thieves. You were even there for our wedding. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being supportive of us."
Sojiro smiled and nodded.
Ren raised a coffee cup to Sojiro. "And why would I forget about you, old man? After all, you put up with me and my crap for a year."
Sojiro tried stifling a chuckle. "And still the smart alec like I remember you, Ren." He couldn't feel prouder to see Ren grow up into a responsible adult and marry into a stable relationship. He poured himself some coffee and raised it in the couple's honor. "Here's to a strong and healthy relationship, you two."
Ren and Ann, too, raised their coffee cups. "And to an everlasting relationship."
"And here's to a successful first year for Futaba's university life," Sojiro drank to Ren and Futaba's next stages in their lives.
Ren and Ann faced each other.
"To my foreign angel."
"And to my Joker."
They drank their coffee to honor their marriage.
Ueno Zoo (恩賜上野動物園)/Taitō, Tokyo (台東区, 東京)/September 30th, 2020 (2020年9月30日)/10:45 AM (JST)
(Cue Kakegurui Opening SoundTrack : Deal with the Devil - Tia)
Jabami Yumeko invited her two former Hyakkaou Private Academy classmates and best friends, Saotome Mary and Suzui Ryōta, to the Ueno Zoo. Yumeko decided now was more than the perfect time to visit the Phantom Thieves. Yumeko couldn't wait to introduce her two former classmates to them, but with many of the Thieves leading busy lives she had to wait.
To kill some time, Yumeko took Mary and Ryōta to see Ueno Zoo's animals.
"Heh, look at those funny-looking birds," the long black-haired Yumeko pointed to some shoebill storks. Yumeko came dressed in a cute white t-shirt with a black cat on it. She also wore a blue jean skirt and red tennis shoes. She carried with her a white fluffy purse. Her red eyes intently stared at the birds like a cat would with its prey.
"They are kinda weird-looking. They look like something straight out of a fantasy story," Mary assessed the shoebill storks. She kept her blonde hair in the same twin ponytailed style. She wore a long-sleeved black shirt with a red coat. She also wore a white skirt, white thigh high socks, and black heeled shoes.
"They look like dinosaurs if you ask me," Ryōta pointed out the long debated connection between birds and dinosaurs. No longer a Hyakkaou Private student, the brunette-haired Ryōta could now freely go out in casual wear. He wore a green hoodie with a yellow t-shirt under it, a dark blue baseball cap, blue jeans, and white tennis shoes.
"Huh, now that you mention it. They kinda look like dinosaurs? But, how come? Aren't dinos long gone?" Yumeko curiously asked Ryōta.
"There's been long discussions and their skeleton structures are similar to birds, especially the hips and breast bone areas," Ryōta explained to the best of his knowledge.
"I wonder if birds could make great gamblers?" Yumeko eagerly pondered.
Mary sighed. "Geez, get a grip. You know birds can't gamble."
"How do you know? Sure, they don't gamble for money, but who's to say they don't bet on food?"
"Well, birds can be highly intelligent. A crow can utilize tools like rocks to break open nuts and build their nests. They even use tools to carry objects. It's true!" Ryōta revealed a fascinating discovery about bird behavior.
"Wow, that's cool. Well, still don't think they can gamble, Mary?" Yumeko got right up into her friend's face.
"No, and even if they could, none of us have ever seen them gamble!" Mary snapped back.
Yumeko turned and called out to the shoebills. "Hey, can you guys gamble or not?!" She got what she expected: no response from the shoebill storks. "Geez, Ren and his pals are so busy lately. None of us have gotten our gamble on lately. I'm so bored."
"Better than all the stuff that went down when you were hanging with the Phantom Thieves," whispered Ryōta.
"Yeah, I can't believe you were hanging with them! The Phantom freaking Thieves!" Mary whispered aloud. "I'm still insanely jealous. I remember the one named Queen saving me and Ryōta from a monster."
"You mean Mako-chan? Yeah, she's pretty strong. I really can't wait for y'all to meet them. I feel like it'll be an epic meetup. You guys won't be disappointed." Yumeko stated optimistically about their meeting with the Phantom Thieves.
Outside the Public Prosecutors Office/Tokyo District Special Investigation Department/Roppongi (六本木)/Minato, Tokyo (港区, 東京)/5:15 PM (JST)
Preparing to leave her office, a woman with long gray hair parted to the right side and reddish eyes finished signing the last piles of paperwork. She then got up. Her stern gaze meticulously eyed her office clock.
"It's about time. I never thought I'd be done," Niijima Sae sighed out of exasperation. Sae stood dressed in a black business suit with a matching colored turtleneck and dark gray heels. She grabbed her black blazer; the blazer's cuffs and the lower area have clamshell-like designs. Her accessories include her necklace of a section sign, silver earrings, and the black hair clips above her right ear. Her fingernails are violet.
After grabbing her black purse, she headed for the door and opened it, only to be taken by surprise when a white bouquet was pushed in front of her.
"Hojo? Could you not surprise me like that?" Sae addressed the man holding the bouquet in front of her.
Hojo was equally as tall as Sae with her heels on. He has short dark hair and brown eyes. He came dressed in a light gray blazer with a white shirt underneath, black pants, and dark brown dress shoes. He wore a pair of thin framed glasses, giving him a sophisticated and educated presentation.
"Sorry, Sae dear, I should knock first. After all, my wife is now the SIU Director," Hojo acknowledged Sae's recent promotion to the director's position.
"But, thank you, dear," Sae smiled, taking the bouquet from her husband. She and Hojo then kissed.
"I made sure to reserve a seat for two."
"Perfect," Sae smiled.
As the couple walked out of the public building, they came across a young woman. The woman had short neck length black hair with fringe bangs hanging between her red-colored eyes. She came dressed in a long-sleeved dark red shirt, black pants, and black high-heels. Sae and Hojo immediately recognized the woman.
"Karen? This is a surprise. I thought you'd still be working?" Sae addressed the woman.
"I'm taking my break now. Shouldn't Mrs. SIU Director be handing out and working on new cases?" Karen eyed Sae with a sardonic smirk.
"I finished the last of today's paperwork," Sae stated.
"Until you have to do it all over again first thing tomorrow, huh?" Karen reminded her.
"Me and Sae are about to head for dinner," Hojo plainly stated.
"Well, I hope you two enjoy yourselves. Not all of us have that luxury of getting off periods, especially in my line of work."
"I know you didn't come here to talk about yourself, Karen. Did something happen?" Sae queried.
"Oh, not me. Just letting you know my brother, Louis, already graduated from the Tokyo Institute of Technology. You know he was working on his engineering degree?"
"Oh yes, that's right. Send him my congratulations, Karen."
"Thanks, Sae. I'm so proud of him. Just as much as you're proud of your little sister Makoto."
"Well as you know, Makoto is not little anymore. She's following in our father's footsteps."
"Of course, she's become an officer in his memory."
Sae added. "Is there anything else you'd like to say?"
"That's all I've got to tell you," Karen checked her cellphone for the time. "Oh, I've got to get going! My assistants can't work long without my supervision! We'll have to do lunch, dinner, or something another time to catch up! See you later!" She bolted off leaving the couple.
Hojo chuckled. "She can be quite strange."
Sae sighed. "Well, that's Karen. Sometimes I think she gets consumed with her work more than I do, which is already stressful enough."
"She could use some rest. So, are we ready?"
"Yes, let's not delay."
Skyler's Apartment/Hamamatsuchō (浜松町)/Minato, Tokyo (港区, 東京)/6:30 PM (JST)
Since their encounter, Skyler and Hifumi started frequently seeing each other. The previous connection Hifumi had with Sion became reignited. With Hifumi graduating from Sophia University soon and just exams to study for, she had free time to spend with Skyler.
They now chatted outside on Skyler's apartment balcony.
"Don't you think it's a coincidence we're both graduating at almost the same time?" Skyler asked Hifumi. "Well, almost for you. I'm already a college graduate."
"Yes, I'm not technically a graduate yet until I have my degree. I've buckled down and studied hard these past two and a half years," Hifumi stated her university progress.
"I'm glad you've been coming over a lot, Hifumi. Since my friends have been all over the place, it's good to have some form of company at my place."
"No problem. I'm glad I can help out cleaning your apartment."
"Sorry if I asked you to put in some time. You probably had other things you wanted to do?"
"It's not a problem. I had no other plans besides playing Shogi and study for exams."
Skyler turned to Hifumi. "You're going to have to show me some Shogi."
"Sure, next time I'll bring my board and pieces. I'd be happy to teach you. Every person I've taught have been winners."
"Then, I know I'll have a good teacher in you, Hifumi."
Just then, Skyler and Hifumi leaned over as if they're about to kiss. It had only been a few days since they first met, but it was the 'Sion' in Skyler that drew Hifumi toward him. Skyler somehow sensed a familiarity being near the Shogi woman. Hifumi and Skyler held each other's hands.
Unbeknownst to Skyler and Hifumi, the white-haired female Revenant barely materialized and appeared next to Hifumi. She watched the two bond and turned toward the sun starting to set. She quickly vanished and entered Hifumi without the Shogi woman's knowing.
"I do wonder how your friends are doing."
"I'm sure they're fine, Hifumi."
Roppongi (六本木)/Minato, Tokyo (港区, 東京)/October 2nd, 2020 (2020年10月2日)/3:30 PM (JST)
(Cue Guilty Crown - Friends)
Three middle school students had gotten out of Roppongi Junior High School and walked together toward their homes. They would walk together almost daily. These three friends consisted of two boys and a girl.
The two boys first met as kids during their first year of middle school. Their names are Oda Shinya and Nicola Karnstein. The latter is Mia's younger brother.
It had been four years since Shinya met Ren and become a follower of the Phantom Thieves. The little gamer boy had grown into a teenager. His dark hair was shorter and now cut several inches above the back of his back. He still had his hair unkempt with locks of fringe bangs hanging over his face and between his eyes. He had longer bangs on the sides of his face. He, like Nicola, wore a standard middle school uniform, consisting of a black buttoned uniform shirt with a standing collar, straight-legged black pants, and sneakers. Shinya had grown from a mere 4'10 to 5'7 feet tall.
Nicola had shoulder length blonde hair and clear blue eyes. Unlike Shinya's hair style, he had two thick forehead bangs intertwine, hanging over his face and between his eyes. Mia's 'little brother' couldn't even possibly be called 'little' anymore as the teenager had sprouted to 5'7 feet tall from his previous 4'11. Despite his physical growth, he retained his feminine boy facial features.
The girl of the trio, Hanami Reiko, is much shorter being 4'11. She felt like a child beside her two friends. She has shoulder-length black hair and amber eyes. She wore a dark red bow at the end of a twisted braid. She wore her school's girl uniform, a short-sleeved blouse with a black sailor-style collar and a black pleated skirt. She wore a red ribbon tied at the front and laced through a loop on her blouse. Her legwear consisted of knee-length white socks and brown loafers.
Reiko was born in Nagoya before she and her family moved to Tokyo just in time to start middle school. She had hardly anyone to interact with until she started hanging with Shinya and Nicola. Since then, they had been close friends. Although in the past year, Shinya and Reiko got more close in their relationship. Reiko became Shinya's girlfriend.
"So, who's up for some arcade time?" Shinya asked his two friend, his voice changed after hitting puberty.
"Over at Gigolo in Akihabara?" Reiko queried.
"Well yeah. That's one of our usual hang out places. Why did you have something else in mind?"
"No, of course not, Shinya."
Nicola added with a composed smile. "Sure, I'm up for it. Did you make sure to bring your cap, Shinya?" His voice also changed following puberty.
"Hell yeah I did!" Shinya opened his backpack and pulled out his favorite red cap that read "GET SMOKED" on the front in yellow. He put it on. "Some players are getting smoked today!"
Reiko giggled. "You're so silly, Shinya."
"Alright, we're off to Gigolo, guys!" Shinya announced.
"Let's just make sure we're all at our homes early," Nicola reminded them.
"Yeah, yeah, I know."
"And you know how Mia gets if I'm not home before 6:00."
"Dude, you're taller than your sister."
"You've seen how scary she gets, Shinya. She's my sister and legal guardian."
Shinya shuddered. "Yeah, true. For someone small, she can scare tall guys like us."
Reiko sighed. "C'mon, Nicola's sister isn't bad."
"Because she likes you for being responsible."
"I'd be responsible, too, if you didn't make me lose track of time," chuckled Nicola.
"Oh, so it's my fault, man?!"
"We're already losing track of time. Let's get on the train to Akihabara," Reiko suggested. "Did we make sure to bring money?"
The teenage boys nodded. With that, the trio arrived at Roppongi Station (六本木駅) and took the routes that ultimately took them to Akihabara.
Odaiba Seaside Park (お台場海岸公園)/Odaiba (お台場)/4:30 PM (JST)
Yakumo had the day off from his duties, giving time him to invite his girlfriend. During his time in the Japan Self-Defense Forces, he met a woman named Emily Sue. Shortly after getting acquainted with each other, Yakumo and Emily started dating.
Yakumo and Emily stood on the coast as they faced the Rainbow Bridge's direction.
Emily was a modest-sized woman with neck length dark brown hair and amber eyes. She wore a sleeveless green shirt, beige pants, and tennis shoes. Her other choice accessories consisted of a necklace and a blue beret cap.
"I'm glad you got off just so we can see this scenery," Emily said.
"It's not often I get days off during the week. I'm glad you like it," Yakumo replied, breathing in the warm and moist air from the water.
"This is relaxing," Emily smiled, putting an arm over Yakumo's left arm.
"Maybe we should come here to meditate."
"That'd be great."
Yakumo and Emily started walking across the coast to enjoy their outing together.
Shujin Academy (秀尽学園高校)/5:00 PM (JST)
(Cue Tokyo Daylight (Atlus Kozuka Remix) - Persona 5: Dancing Star Night)
"And this is where I went to high school," Ryuji showed a young woman the school he graduated from four years ago.
"This is Shujin Academy? Wow, it's quiet-looking," the girl observed Shujin as she spoke with an Osakan accent. She had shoulder-length light brown hair with shades of natural orange, which she wore in a ponytail. She wore a strapless white tube top, capri blue jeans, and tennis shoes. Her accessories consisted of a silver necklace with a peace symbol, purple bracelets on her wrists, pink fingernails, and silver earrings.
Tokiha Miyako is an Osakan woman who Ryuji met while he and the Thieves recently visited Osaka. Miyako's easygoing attitude meshed well with Ryuji. Ryuji knew he found the right woman. Needless to say, she's been able to enjoy his humor.
"Heh, seriously this place looks and feels pretty restricting to me," Miyako pointed out.
"Yeah, well, it's a prep school and when I went there, rules were pretty strict. Dunno how Shujin is like nowadays," Ryuji said.
"I'm glad I went to school that wasn't so restricting."
"Well, our high school days are behind us."
"And amen to that! Now we can loosen up all we want!" Miyako hollered, grabbing Ryuji's arm. "C'mon, show me around the places you and your friends used to hang out at. Where did ya like going?"
"Well, there's a track where I still train at?"
"Show me! And maybe take me to that café that sells coffee and curry. Kinda a weird combination, but whatever it sounds inviting. And maybe we can check out that arcade in Akihabara y'all used to hang out at."
"Sure, but c'mon one place at a time."
Miyako quickly nodded. "Sure, ok!"
Ryuji scratched the bridge of his nose. "Right, first stop the track."
Miyako watched Ryuji racing around the track. She took photos and videos of her boyfriend from her phone. Miyako tried running a lap with Ryuji but fatigued halfway through the track.
"You need to get in shape, Miyako!"
"Haha, you know a good place to run and workout?"
"Then, let's stop there, too."
Ryuji chuckled. "Sure, I can get you a free guest pass since I'm a gym member."
"I'm so going to get my stamina up so I can beat ya in a race, Ryuji!"
"Yeah sure, give it all you've got!"
Miyako poked Ryuji's chest. "Challenge accepted." She and Ryuji then kissed.
Skyler's Apartment/Hamamatsuchō (浜松町)/Minato, Tokyo (港区, 東京)/5:15 PM (JST)
(Cue Underground (Final Remix) - The World Ends With You: Final Remix)
During their escapades, Yumeko, Mary, and Ryōta managed to run into Hifumi and Skyler. When she got a good look at Skyler, Yumeko was taken aback by how similar he looked to Sion. In order to calm the gambler down, Hifumi reminded her that Skyler has no knowledge of anything related to Sion.
"So, you three are Hifumi's friends?" Skyler asked.
"Just me," Yumeko answered. "This is the first Mary and Ryōta will get to know you and Hifumi."
Mary addressed Hifumi and Skyler. "Nice to meet you. I'm Saotome Mary."
Ryōta added. "Yes, and I'm Suzui Ryōta."
"Nice to finally meet you two. Yumeko told me about you two," Hifumi modestly said.
"Wow, I can't believe I'm talking with the Shogi goddess herself!" Mary tried to control her excitement.
"Believe me. I'm just a normal person who doesn't cling to fame."
"And you're her boyfriend?" Ryōta asked Skyler.
"Well, I just moved here and we just happened to see each other. Hifumi showed me around and helped my move into my apartment here. She's just a friend for now."
Yumeko gave a sly smirk. "Uh-huh." She internally thought. Hehe, I know better. You two will be sleeping together before you know it!
"So, have you been in contact with Ren and the others?" Hifumi asked Yumeko.
"Sorta? I came into town with these two to meet with them, but no luck. Looks like they've been busy lately."
"So, we've been mostly sightseeing, which wouldn't be bad if that was our original intention," Mary grumbled over Yumeko's lack of communication with the Thieves. "Thankfully we've been staying at one of my relatives' place."
"Don't worry, we'll find them!" Yumeko tried reassuring her irked friend.
"If you need help, I can accommodate?" Hifumi offered.
"Oh, thank you! You're a lifesaver!" Yumeko squeed.
"And this would be a great opportunity for you to meet my other friends, Skyler."
"Funny you mention them, because my friends happen to know some of your friends, Hifumi," Skyler said.
"That works out even better. Alright, I'm going to see if Ren's number still works," Hifumi took out her cell and put in Ren's number. "Hello, Ren? Yes, it's Hifumi."
"What's going on, Hifumi? How's everything?"
"Everything's fine. Listen, do you remember I said I have a surprise for you and the others?"
"Yeah? What about it?"
"Well, I think it's time I show you that surprise. That and Yumeko's in town with two friends who've been meaning to meet you."
"That's great. When do you want to meet with us?"
Hifumi briefly scanned Skyler, Yumeko, Mary, and Ryōta. "How does Sunday the 4th sound? We can meet at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden."
"That sounds like a plan. I'll ask the others and see what they think."
"Great, we'll be looking forward to it. Tell Ann I said hi."
"I will. We'll see you there with the others, Hifumi."
"Take care," Hifumi turned off her cell. "We're all set."
"Awesome, thanks, Hifumi!" Yumeko replied giddily.
"This is great. We'll finally get to meet the Thieves!" Ryōta said.
"Heck yeah we will!" Mary added excitedly.
"Temper your expectations, you two. They're just normal folks like us nowadays. The Phantom Thief days are behind them," Hifumi forewarned them.
"Probably for the best, but I still look forward to meeting them," Skyler added. "And since we have guests here, why don't we go out and get something to eat? It'll be my treat."
"Yeah, we're starving!" Yumeko shouted with gleaming eyes.
"Ok, let's get going. We have much to catch up on," Hifumi chuckled.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (新宿御苑)/Shinjuku, Tokyo (新宿区, 東京)/October 4th, 2020 (2020年10月4日)/11:30 AM (JST)
That late-morning, Hifumi took Skyler, Yumeko, Ryōta, and Mary to see the Phantom Thieves. Skyler's friends were also there with the Thieves. For Yumeko and her friends, this was the first meeting with the Thieves and Skyler's friends.
As for Skyler, this was his first overall meeting with the Thieves. Sion had known them before, but not Skyler. As far as Skyler was concerned, he doesn't know Ren and company.
(Cue Tokyo Xanadu OST - Usual Morning)
"You're Amamiya Ren?" Skyler asked as Hifumi introduced him to the former Joker.
"Yeah. And you're Skyler…?"
"Skyler Jones. I just moved back here and met Hifumi. She told me about you."
"Really? How much?" Ren asked with his attention on Hifumi.
"I know you were one of the Phantom Thieves. Relax your secrets are safe with me," Skyler reassured Ren.
As Ren turned and faced Skyler, he looked at him as if he had just seen a ghost. He couldn't believe he was seeing someone who looked identical to Sion, but had no recollections of the Revenant. He wondered if Sophia's rewriting of history revived Sion with a new identity but with no memories of being the late-Revenant, his past interactions with the Thieves, and his bond with Hifumi.
"Your friend has been so kind and helped me settle in my new place," Skyler said, holding the Shogi woman's hand.
"I'm glad to hear that. You can depend on Hifumi if you need anything and now you have us as friends," Ren replied kindly, genuinely happy to see Hifumi and 'Sion' together again. He looked behind him as his wife, Ann, approached him. "Ann, this is Hifumi's friend Skyler Jones."
Upon seeing Skyler, Ann almost gasped. Ren helped calm his wife and smiled at her. Ann nodded and faced Skyler.
"Sorry, you just looked like someone I knew and you surprised me," Ann apologized for almost freaking out.
"It's ok. So, you two are married?" Skyler asked, noticing the couple's rings.
"Yeah, we recently got married," the former Panther said, lovingly folding an arm over Ren's arm.
"It was a wonderful wedding," Hifumi commented being present for Ren and Ann's event. "I think you would've enjoyed being there, Skyler."
"Maybe I would."
Ren smiled as he meticulously scanned Skyler. I know that's not you Sion and this is someone else, but I'm glad to see your face again.
"So, I understand some of your friends apparently know mine," Skyler noticed Louis conversing with Makoto and Haru.
(Cue Tokyo Xanadu OST - Common Sight)
In another area in the garden, Louis interacted with Makoto and Haru.
"Ladies, you're both looking fine on this beautiful day," Louis elegantly tried winning the two women with his charms.
"Did you call us fine? Yeah, sure we're both fine. We don't need you using your bad boy charms to make us go heads over heels for you." Makoto replied in a playfully sardonic tone.
"Oooh, ow. Your scathing remarks wound me, Mako-chan," Louis chuckled.
Haru cleared her throat. "By the way, congratulations on your graduation. I'm sure your sister must be proud of you."
"Of course, now I'm ready to enter the professional world much like you two. Please do wish me luck on my endeavors."
Makoto smirked coolly. "Yeah, sure. Let's all do well in our professions."
"And I know your sister, Sae-san, is deeply proud of you, Mako-chan. And I think she'd want us to be close friends much like she and my sister are now." Louis said. "Anyway, may I offer you two to walk with me?"
Before Makoto could retort, Haru whispered to her friend's ear. Makoto relaxed her stance and nodded. They walked along with Louis around the garden scenery.
Skyler continued scanning the garden. He saw Yakumo and Emily talking with Yusuke and Futaba. Ryuji and Miyako are seen on an opposite way talking to Mia, Yumeko, Ryōta, and Mary. Suddenly, Morgana surprised Mia and hopped over next to her.
"Well, look who decided to show up," Ann remarked.
"And here Morgana said he had other things to do, but not surprised he's here," Ren chuckled, but was genuinely pleased to see the cat with them.
"Yes, and it seems Morgana has taken a liking to your friend, Skyler," Hifumi noticed Mia petting Morgana's soft black fur and stroking his white-furred maw.
"I think it'd be nice if Mia could take Morgana in. What do you think, Ren?" Ann asked him.
"Maybe, but that's up to Morgana to decide," Ren said.
Skyler added. "Mia is good with animals. She could use the company at home. Her brother's spending more time with his friends at school and during leisure hours."
Hifumi nodded. "I can concur with that."
"I don't disagree, but that's up to Morgana to decide what he wants to do," stated Ren.
"Anyway, let's go and explore the gardens? They're so pretty!" Ann suggested to her husband and their friends.
"I agree. It'll help take our minds off the whole week we've been through," Hifumi said, taking Skyler's hand.
"Sure, this place seems soothing. A walk would be nice," Skyler concurred with the idea.
With that, the couples explored Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. As they walked around, all of their concerns from the past week were rinsed away by the relaxing vibes from their environment.
Now having met the Thieves, Skyler knew he was in good company with people he can depend on. His friends already became acquainted with the Thieves. Now, he could become acquainted with them just like Sion did.
Skyler's Apartment/Hamamatsuchō (浜松町)/Minato, Tokyo (港区, 東京)/7:20 PM (JST)
"I had a good time, Hifumi."
"Me, too, Skyler. Want me to check in with you tomorrow?"
Staring into each other's eyes, Skyler and Hifumi held hands while refusing to let the other go.
"I was wondering, Hifumi…"
"Have… have you considered moving in with me?"
Hifumi stayed quiet, unsure how to respond to this question.
"It's up to you, Hifumi. You can take as much time to think about it. I'm just throwing it out there."
"Do you feel lonely at your place?"
"No…" Skyler muttered, veering away a bit and hiding his expression.
However, Hifumi could read him like an open book. She smiled. "I'll consider it, Skyler."
With that, Hifumi leaned on her tippy toes and kissed Skyler's lips. Skyler quickly returned the favor and kissed her. Hifumi then turned around with a smile and waved to Skyler.
"Yeah, you, too." Skyler replied with a smirk. "Wow, so that's a yes then?"
Amamiya-Takamaki Residence (奄美・高崎 レジデンス)/Shibuya, Tokyo (渋谷区, 東京)/December 4th, 2020 (2020年12月4日)/6:05 PM (JST)
(Cue Persona 5 OST - Encounter)
While holding hands outside on their balcony, Ren and Ann faced the sun setting down in the distance.
"I wish this marriage between us can last forever," Ann softly muttered near her husband.
"Me, too, Ann." Ren added during the sun setting. "I hope it lasts."
Skyler and Hifumi's Apartment/Hamamatsuchō (浜松町)/Minato, Tokyo (港区, 東京)/9:30 PM (JST)
Having moved in over a month ago, Hifumi settled in Skyler's place just fine. Her presence was enough to alleviate Skyler's solitude. Their relationship blossomed since Skyler moved back in late-September.
Skyler and Hifumi were outside on their balcony, gazing toward each other and holding hands.
"Hifumi, thank you."
"For deciding to move in. You didn't have to."
"You're right I didn't have to. I wanted to." Hifumi lovingly whispered to the young man she longed to be with once again.
Suddenly, unbeknownst to the couple, the white-haired, pale-skinned female Revenant came out of Hifumi and materialized in an ethereal form. Her yellow eyes stared out into the distance and felt something amiss.
"It's coming. It's here."
A/N: And that is the opening chapter for my new fic. What do you think? Intrigued? Did the last part leave enough mystery to find out what 'it' is?
Well, I hope you'll find this story to be worth your while if you're into Persona crossovers. This is my first Persona fic, so I hope I got the characters down; even though these are post-series P5 characters. Meaning most are going to be more mature than in the game since they're young adults now.
In regards to the Code Vein, we know little about them since the game is not out yet. It's supposed to be released this year. There's only been snippets of video and picture content, including a couple of trailers. There's not much in the way to show us their personalities. So, I did the best with what I could and pictured in my mind how these characters would behave in a world far removed from a post-apocalyptic setting. An individual's personality can be reflected by the environment which they live in. In this case, in peaceful times, the CV cast wouldn't be worried about fighting Lost and other similar creatures.
So, you're probably wondering: How are the CV here if they're from a post-apocalyptic time? That'll be explained, but I'd recommend reading Persona Vein. Here's the tl;dr version: Not only did cognitions of the CV characters appear to fight alongside the Thieves and Sion, but thanks to Sophia/Hifumi's reality warp that repaired the fabrics of time and space, she revived Sion into Skyler Jones. Also as a result, she created versions of the CV cast into this timeline without recollections of who they were before. So, that's the gist of the situation. You'll get a detailed explanation in the narrative later on.
The CV Protagonist is a character from the game. Technically the 'Skyler Jones' and 'Sion' names can be classified as an OC, but the actual character is not.
Believe it or not, the only OCs in this chapter are Hojo (Sae's husband in this story), Reiko (Shinya and Nicola's friend), and Miyako (Ryuji's girlfriend). From personal experience, I've written stories with tons of OCs (some of which are expies based on existing characters), but so far the OC numbers have been minimized. That will change with time, but any OC role in this fic going forward will be a minor character or a villain. So, if you got the impression Louis, Mia, Yakumo, and Nicola were OCs, well you're wrong. Even Karen, Emily Sue, and the white Revenant in this chapter are existing CV characters.
If you haven't noticed, there's Kanji in this. Yes, I'll be doing that for the names of locations to reflect the authentic Japanese culture this story will have. And unlike other fics where I just randomly choose unnamed locations, I'll be utilizing the Persona 5 setting and real life Japanese sites. I want to give you, my readers, a feel of being in Japan while you're reading this. Chapter titles will also have Kanji next to them.
Speaking of real life locations, I'll be using real life locations in place of some of the P5 ones. For instance, in respect for Ford1114's Persona Vein continuity, Destinyland will be Tokyo Disneyland/DisneySea. He likes envisioning fictional characters in real life locations.
Also, you'll notice music score cues in this chapter. Yeah, it's something I've done with my previous fics for the past few years. I do it to help enhance the reader's reading experience. You can choose to ignore it otherwise. Just know, I won't be doing that for my own professional novelization. Because I can understand not putting music cues in a professional novel because it'd be very distracting. So, otherwise I'll continue the music cues for just my fanfics.
As you may have noticed, the Kakegurui cast are in this. In relation to the P5 and CV casts, their roles will be minimal, but they'll still have interactions and be involved in the conflicts going forward. Since Yumeko had a significant role in Persona Vein, Ford1114 felt she should still have a role, but with the rest of her friends going forward.
The Nioh characters and elements will be implemented by the next chapter. So, you won't have long to wait.
This chapter was pretty chill with the characters, but for those wanting tension, you'll get it next chapter. The dark entities won't waste any time screwing with the casts. That white Revenant will be taking her first course of action, having a sit down with Hifumi and Skyler. In fact, she'll be doing more than having a sit down talk.
That about covers it. From now on, I'll only be doing post-chapter A/Ns for subsequent chapters. This will be to show that I'm transitioning from a fanfic writer to a novelist. Novelists don't put A/Ns in their chapters, and save them for the end of their novels. While I'm treating this as I would a novel, it's still a fanfic and I intend to retain A/Ns as forms of commentary.
With that, I leave you and I look forward to this brand new writing experience. Writing this first chapter took me a month to finish, but after the next couple of chapters, I should be comfortable with writing these characters. The next chapter shouldn't take as long. There may be months where I'll post more than a single chapter and some months where there may be just one. This also depends on timing and other commitments.
Send me a review if you can and see you in the second chapter!