The atmosphere inside the Velvet Room was tense.
Both room attendants, Caroline and Justine, shared a look of discomfort at the prevailing silence. It was strange for the two to feel that way. For them to feel this anxious was not normal. Not the same as when they assist their Inmate in his rehabilitation, but rather in a way that could almost be described as fear.
The Velvet Room was a place that exists between dream and reality, mind and matter. It is a place where only those who have formed a contract may enter. But this time, it all felt different.
The master of the Velvet Room—a man known as Igor—was not pleased.
Igor's features were by no means complex, but not even the twins could tell what their master's true feelings were. The silence prolonged the more he remained in thought. The rhythmic sound of his five digits successively drumming on his desk continued with no signs of stopping.
"Is everything all right, master?" Caroline finally spoke up, receiving a not so subtle glare from her sister.
Igor's bulging, bloodshot eyes fell on Caroline and the small warden flinched under her master's gaze. It lasted only a short moment before they moved away.
The master of the Velvet Room went back to his own thoughts. "So, a new contender has decided to enter the game. What an unexpected turn of events," Igor murmured to himself with a dry chuckle. "Perhaps this will turn out to be much more entertaining than what I originally thought."
The wheel of fate has turned. The balance of power in this unjust game that we call reality has now shifted to an unknown direction. Whether this brings salvation or ruin, one cannot tell.
"I wonder," Igor said, his mood once again turned into amusement. "What will you do in the face of this new calamity, Trickster?"
Chapter 1: Meet the Phantom Thieves
"Who are you?" The man wearing the bird-like domino mask asked.
Lucina barely registered the question. Her mind raced with numerous thoughts as she tried to fully understand what had just happened.
Seeing that he had yet to get a response, he tried to address her once again. "I'm sorry, but I can feel your sword poking my ribs and its seriously starting to hurt."
Pulled out of her thoughts, Lucina blinked before her eyes briefly lowered to see that in fact, Falchion's pommel was buried into the man's gut. She grimaced at the painful sight before realization of their current position finally hit her. She could feel her face flushing up.
"F-forgive me," she quickly got up, giving him enough space to sit up. "I don't know what came over me."
Aware of the awkward atmosphere, a woman wearing a skin-tight red suit spoke up. "Well, I'm glad neither of you are hurt but... Umm. Sorry, but who are you?"
Lucina became aware of the other two present individuals. One was a blonde girl with ponytails and a cat-like mask, and standing next to her was a young man who strangely enough wore a mask too, only that his resembled that of a skull.
"Ah, yes," she stuttered. "My name is–" she froze the moment she realized that her mask was missing.
Her pause didn't go unnoticed. Feeling concerned, the woman clad in red asked her, "H-hey, what's wrong? Are you feeling all right?"
Lucina mentally cursed herself for her carelessness. Not only had she just arrived, but her identity was already compromised. Heaving a sigh, she turned to address the group. "I'm fine, but…" the princess paused. "I think I've dropped something important."
"Could this be what you were looking for?" Now standing up, the same man as before held an object in his hand.
It was a butterfly-shaped mask.
"Y-yes. That would be mine," the petite princess said, relieved to see that the item was not lost. She took it as he offered it back to her. "You have my gratitude."
He flashed her a quick yet daring smile. Lucina didn't know what to make of it, so she took it as a sign that he acknowledged her words.
Looking at the object in question, for a moment she considered putting it back on, but ultimately decided against it. These people have already seen her face, so there was no point in wearing it any further—at least for now.
Stuffing the mask inside one of her pockets, she took the opportunity to observe her surroundings. The first thing she registered was the vastness of the dark empty tunnels. There was so little light that she could barely see beyond a few meters at most if not for the red-illuminated walls. The air too was cold and heavy, as if devoid of any life.
This whole place feels too unnatural, Lucina thought with unease. Just… where am I exactly? The blue-haired princess felt a sense of uncertainty grow. Was she even at the correct place or even at the correct time? What about her friends? Were they all right?
Lucina could swear that she heard a strange noise in the form of whispers. And were those chains what she was hearing? She didn't know why, but the sound somehow managed to send a shiver down her spine.
"O-oh crap!" The skull-masked blond yelped, startling the petite princess. "Don't tell me that thing is already here?!"
Lucina tilted her head and asked, "That… thing?"
"The Reaper," a small cat-like creature explained. "A powerful Shadow that dwells around Mementos. We don't know much about it other than that it appears whenever we stay in one place for too long."
"Yeah," the woman in red added. "And I swear, that thing always gives me the creeps."
Their leader nodded in agreement. "Let's get going."
Going by what she just heard, Lucina had next to no intention of meeting this so-called Reaper. However, she remained in place, her eyes fixed solely on the odd-looking feline creature that just spoke.
Aware that her gaze was lingering on him, the small creature asked, "Is something the matter?"
Lucina blinked, taken back by the creature's bizarre appearance. "Is that a cat monster?"
The blond snickered. "Welp, yeah. You can say that."
"H-hey! Don't give her the wrong idea!" the cat-like creature protested. "And how come you never noticed me till now? I've literally been standing here the whole time!"
"M-my apologies," Lucina responded. Her eyes were still wide, but was still able to keep herself composed. "It was not my intention to offend you. It's just that I have never seen a creature such as yourself before, so I was merely surprised."
The woman in red laughed. "Don't worry about it," she reassured her. "My reaction was pretty much the same as yours when I first saw Mona. You'll get used to it pretty soon though."
"N-not you too, Panther!" Mona seemed to be at the verge of tears. However, his moment of depression was short-lived when a pair of gloved hands started petting him. "S-stop that! If you keep doing that, I'll… Ugh! Meeeooow~!
Any hint of protest died out as Mona purred with delight under the princess's superior petting technique. "Your fur is surprisingly soft," Lucina said as her hands moved on their own, stroking behind his ears. Perhaps now was hardly the time to be doing this kind of thing, but she couldn't help it. He was just too cute to pass up!
"D-d-don't go saying stuff like that! You're destroying my well-crafted manly image!" As if waking up from a trance, Mona forcefully pushed her hands away. "And stop treating me like some sort of house cat, 'cause I am NOT! You hear me?!"
The blue-haired princess brooded with a slight pout, though she did her best to hide it. The leader however, watched the scene unfold with a look of amusement.
Returning to the matter at hand, Mona moved to a safe enough distance before he exploded in a cloud of smoke. A moment later he no longer stood there, but in his place was a large box-like thingy.
She wasn't exactly sure what the object she was looking at was, but if she had to put it into words, she would say that it looked like a very odd-looking metal carriage.
"So, what'd you think?" The object called out to her with Mona's voice. "Pretty cool trick, huh? I bet you've never seen anything like this before."
Lucina could only stare with a blank expression, having a hard time understanding what just happened. "How does that even work?"
"Don't think too much about it," the man wearing the domino mask said. "We can explain everything once we're out of here. For now, we should go."
"Yeah, I guess that kinda makes sense," the one with the skull mask agreed before turning to her. "It'll prolly be a lot safer if you come with us. We already know our way out, anyway."
She honestly didn't know what to make of her situation. Her mouth opened as if to protest, but closed a moment later. It's true that she has lots of questions, but she understood that now was neither the place nor the time.
"Very well then," she conceded.
"Alright! C'mon, I call dibs on the front!" The blond said as he got inside Mona, who she guessed was now some sort of transportation.
"Hold it, Skull!" Panther called him out, not wanting to be left behind. "Don't you know any manners? Ladies first!"
Unsure of what to do, Lucina spoke up in concern. "Is it really alright to be inside?"
"Of course! As long as you don't kick the seats, that is," Mona answered proudly. "But don't underestimate the power of a four-wheel ride!"
Lucina stared in contemplation, debating whether or not it really was a good idea. It took a moment, but at the end she sighed once she made up her mind. At this point she no longer knew what to expect.
Take Your Time
The blue-haired princess was left without words. She was amazed by just how extensive these tunnels truly were.
When Lucina first saw them, she already expected them to be of a great length, but she was hardly prepared to see exactly just how large they could be.
She has lost count of how many times they have reached an upper floor, only to be greeted by nothing but more tunnels.
Another thing that surprised her was how fast Mona could move, speeding up all while making sure not to hit any of the strange black mass-like creatures that roamed the place. They didn't appear to be aggressive at first glance and most would just ignore them as long as they didn't get too close—though she knew better than to try and find out if this was true or not.
With that said, Lucina was actually grateful that they weren't getting involved in any unnecessary fights. At the moment, her priority was to get a better grasp of the situation, and considering that time was of essence, she couldn't afford to get distracted. Not when the whereabouts of her companions was still unknown.
Suppressing a sigh, her eyes wandered to the group of masked individuals. She already knows that the cat now-turned-carriage was called Mona.
The one with the spiky blond hair with the black outfit and red ascot goes by the name Skull. Having seen the design of his mask, she could already guess why.
The woman in their team, the blonde with the pigtails wearing a skin-tight red suit, was Panther. So far, she has been the nicest of the group, though Lucina still couldn't believe just how tight her clothes were. How someone can move—let alone fight—while dressed like that was simply beyond her.
Then again, what's with the odd names? Could it be similar to how she donned the guise of Marth—the Hero-King of legend—as a means to bring hope to her people?
Putting those thoughts aside, the princess decided to listen as they talked to each other with little to no attention to their own surroundings. It's true that she fully supported bonding between comrades, but being careless in potentially hostile territory was unthinkable. At home, if someone were to do that, it wouldn't be any different from signing their own death warrant.
On second thought, she may have to correct herself.
There was actually someone who was on the lookout for any potential threats. The black-haired man—who chose to remain silent for the majority of the conversation—was the only one keeping an eye out for enemies.
If Lucina heard correctly, his name was Joker.
The two had barely exchanged a few words, but looking at the way he moves, his mannerism, patter of speech, along with the aura of confidence that he seems to give off, she now understood that it was him who acted as the leader of the group.
"Sooo…" Skull spoke up, clearing his throat. "You got a name or somethin'?"
Lucina blinked. "I… beg your pardon?"
"Yeah, I mean…" The blond stuttered. Clearing his throat, he tried again. "It's kinda awkward not knowin' how to call you—and you don't look exactly normal with those clothes of yours either."
"You're one to talk..." Mona mumbled to himself.
The princess remained silent. That's a… very difficult question to answer. She may not be wearing her mask, but sharing her name was a completely different matter that she couldn't take lightly.
There was no telling what sort of repercussions revealing her identity could bring to the future. It was a risk that she couldn't afford to take. Her initial intention was to introduce herself as Marth to whoever she may encounter upon her arrival, but now that that's out of the window, she found her options to be rather limited.
"Cut it out, you." Seating next to her, Panther hit her fellow blond with a playful smack to the head. "Sorry about that," she said with an apologetic look. "Though, like Joker said, it'll probably be best to go somewhere else before we start explaining things. Isn't that right, Leader?"
From a mirror, Lucina saw Joker nod back. His gaze remained firmly planted on the tunnel ahead. The princess had to admit, his unwavering gaze was impressive, as not once during the entire conversation did he ever lose concentration of what he was doing.
"I believe that's understandable," Lucina agreed. "I too wouldn't mind exchanging information once we're out of this… whatever this place is."
As much as Lucina didn't like it, she didn't have much of a choice. For now she's going to have to put her trust in this group of masked individuals—at least until she can figure out what's going on.
Take Your Time
It happened in the blink of an eye.
"Now returning to the real world," an unknown voice said. "Thank you for your hard work."
There was no easy way to describe the weird sensation that run through her body. She was disoriented at first and her vision quickly became distorted. It was as if the world itself warped around her. An odd description, though fitting enough once she realized that it wasn't that far off from the true.
No longer was she standing in the sinister-looking underground maze, but instead found herself surrounded by crowds and crowds of people that seemingly came out of nowhere.
Out of shock, she reached for Falchion's grip as a reflex, but a solid hand suddenly took hold of her own, preventing her from drawing her sword. Her eyes darted to the one responsible, and met those of a curly-haired teenager who shook his head before letting her go. Lucina understood what he meant, though she was hesitant to release her hold on Falchion.
"Wh-whoa!" she heard someone yelp. "D-don't go pullin' that thing out in public! You're gonna get us all in some deep shit if someone sees you!"
A blonde girl with ponytails scolded him, "Shh! Quiet now! We don't wanna be seen making a scene!"
The blond stuttered before mumbling an apology, "S-sorry."
It took Lucina a moment, but she immediately recognized them as the same group as before. No longer were they wearing their illustrious attires nor masks, but instead a collective set of uniforms, though they all still looked very diverse. Especially the frizzy-haired teen with the large glasses.
It was hard to believe that such a shy-looking young man was the same person who not even a second ago radiated overwhelming amounts of confidence in his every move.
"Let's talk somewhere else," he said. "There's too many people out here, so let's go somewhere less crowded."
The blond grinned at their leader's words. "Oh! I know the perfect spot where we can take a good bite, let's all go there!"
Lucina's gaze wandered around in wonder, overwhelmed by the sheer size of the town—if it even can be called a town at all.
There were buildings as large as castles, if not even bigger, all of them covered in dazzling lights and bright messages whose words she couldn't fully comprehend. Even her home, the capital city of Ylisstol, paled in comparison to the size of this place.
The people here were an odd thing as well, as the further they walked, the more people continued to stare at her. She couldn't make out their voices amongst the crowd, but she did hear someone mention something called cosplay.
Doubts soon began to form in Lucina's mind. Did I've come to the wrong time? She thought as a sudden realization dawned on her. Am I… Am I even in the same world anymore?
Her eyes then briefly met Joker's, and she saw him flash her a quick smile as he led the way. The blue-haired princess let out a sigh in resignation and said, "Naga, protect me," before following after the group.
Take Your Time
It didn't take them long to get to the place Ryuji was talking about, and it turns out that the beef here was quite popular, so they were lucky they still had a table left. Morgana, as always, had to stay hidden inside his bag.
As for the mysterious blue-haired girl, well, to say that she was overwhelmed by modern-day society was an understatement. She's been asking all sorts of questions related to little things such as the street lights, automobiles, flashy billboards and a bunch of other electronic stuff.
At this point, it was hard to try to come up with an explanation as to who this girl really was. Perhaps she was related to Jose in some way? She looked and acted like any other human, but something about her told him that she was anything but ordinary. That and her particular choice of clothing, though he wasn't exactly one to talk when it comes to wearing unusual wardrobe, but the blue reminded him of a certain room.
"So this place is basically like a bar?" The girl asked, her eyes looking over at the bill of fare. "I can choose anything from here, right?"
"Well, that's a way to look at it," Morgana responded.
Looking away from the menu, she turned to Morgana. "I still don't understand how you can talk even though you now look like a normal cat."
The smaller thief chuckled to himself, looking at her with the equivalent to a cat's grin. "Don't let my good looks deceive you. I am actually a human, you know."
Her eyes went wide upon hearing that. "Really?"
"Well, to perfectly honest, neither of us can say for sure," Ann responded. "I mean, he talks like a human and all, but he does act like an ordinary cat at times, so it's kinda hard to tell."
Morgana didn't take her words well. "Y-you really know how to hurt a man's pride, Lady Ann."
"Puttin' all that stuff aside, let's order something already, cause I am seriously starving. Spendin' all day down there left me hungry as hell." The blond troublemaker said before addressing their new comer. "By the way, I'm Ryuji Sakamoto, but you can just call me Ryuji."
"Oh, are we introducing ourselves yet? Then I'm Ann Takamaki! It's nice to meet you," she said with a beaming smile.
"I… ah, yes," she stuttered, though she quickly smiled back. "It's a pleasure to meet you all as well."
Mona hopped onto the table, moving carefully enough so that none of the employees would see him. "And I am Morgana," he said with a proud tone before glancing at him. "And this guy here is Ren. You've probably figured it out by now, but he's our team's leader."
Seeing that she was the only one who hasn't given her name yet, she adverted her eyes with a conflicted look. It was easy to tell that something was bothering her.
"Hmm, is something wrong?" Morgana asked concerned.
"N-no, no. It's nothing, I just have a lot in my mind right now," she responded before a thought crossed her mind. "I apologize, but I was wondering if by chance any of you ever heard the tale of the Hero-King, Marth? Or about the Halidom of Ylisse for that matter?"
Her words earned nothing more than confused looks from everyone at the table. She sighed in disappointment, but also in a way that suggested that she already expected it.
"I see," she mumbled with a look of sorrow. "I guess it really didn't work after all. I probably shouldn't be that surprised seeing how everything looks so different."
"What do you mean?" Ren asked.
As if things weren't already as strange as they were, then they have definitely turned into something far more bizarre. He knew that there was something unusual about her the moment he saw her come out of empty air in Mementos, but after listening to everything that she just said, it made him feel that something else was at play here.
Taking a small breath, she paused before she finally decided to talk. "To tell you all the true, I do not hail from this land. In fact, I don't belong to this time period either," she revealed, much to everyone's surprise. "Your reactions to my question from earlier helped me confirm that, seeing that neither of you have heard about my home or the legends of old."
"Uh… Are you tryin' to pull a prank on us or something?" Ryuji asked, clearly not buying it.
"I assure you; I am being nothing if not honest," she responded calmly. "You all have been very kind to me, and I wish to repay that kindness. So please, believe me when I say that I hold no ill intentions nor the desire to deceive you."
This was a lot to take in, and Ren could see that he wasn't the only one who thought the exact same thing—all of the thieves shared an unsure look with one another. Things like Personas, Palaces and Shadows were one thing, but time travel?
This was starting to sound a lot like one of those sci-fi novels that he reads whenever he has time to spare.
"S-sorry." Ann tilted her head with an apologetic look. "It's not that we think you're lying or anything, but, it's just kinda hard to believe."
"Yeah, no kiddin'," Ryuji said. "That stuff sounds way too crazy, and that's sayin' something comin' from us."
Mona nodded in agreement. "Even though I hate to admit it, I'll have to agree with Ryuji on this one," he said. "It's not like we are unfamiliar with the unnatural, but even this sounds way too far-fetched."
"I can understand your doubts, but I assure you that I speak nothing but the true. My friends and I intended to stop a series of events that would eventually lead to a grim future. Our goal was to prevent that from ever happening," she responded and paused in a moment of hesitation. "But something went wrong and we got separated. Now I don't even know where I am." She took a deep breath. "Of course, if neither of you wishes to believe me, then I won't hold it against you."
There was an air of resignation in her voice that somehow didn't suit her. It was as if she was trying hard to convince herself that the situation was yet not lost. For him, as someone who in the eyes of society was nothing more than a mere criminal despite his innocence, he could sympathize to some degree with what she was feeling.
"I believe you," Ren suddenly stated, surprising everyone else and even the blue-haired girl herself. "If she was really trying to trick us, then she would have gone with a much simpler lie." He turned his gaze at her and smiled. "Besides, if what you said is true, then that means your friends must be somewhere, just as lost as you, and you will definitely need all the help you can get to find them."
Her eyes widened slightly, taken back by the thief's unexpected offer to assist her. "I… I appreciate it." Her face adopted a healthy shade of red. "Thank you."
Seeing her return his smile with one of her own, Ren couldn't help but find himself entranced by it. It was a strange sensation, though not necessarily bad.
"…Lucina," she said with slight hesitation. "My name is Lucina."
The leader of the Phantom Thieves couldn't help but smile wider at the sign of trust. "Well, it's a pleasure to meet you, Lucina. My name is Ren Amamiya. I look forward to working together with you from now on."
Lucina pressed her lips together, then gave Ren a small, yet grateful smile. "So do I."
It was faint, but could hear a familiar voice ring inside his head.
I am thou, thou art I
Thou hast acquired a new vow
It shall become the wings of rebellion
that breaketh thy chains of captivity
With the birth of the Aeon Persona,
I have obtained the wings of blessing that
shall lead to freedom and new power…
Did… did we just formed a bond? Ren thought with authentic surprise.
Moving next to Lucina, Morgana spoke up, "Well, I don't have a problem in helping a lady in distress, and I think we can all agree when I say that we'll help you find whoever you're looking for."
Ann nodded and said, "Sure, I don't mind helping you out."
"Yeah, you guys can't count me in," Ryuji responded with a grin before leaning on their leader's shoulder. "Besides, I can't let this guy do all the work. Isn't that right, Renren?"
He let out a heavy sigh. "Please don't call me that."
Morgana snickered as he turned to address Lucina. "Now then, putting the whole time travel business aside, you probably have a lot of questions, am I right?"
Turning her attention to Mona, Lucina responded, "I have a few, yes. First, I would like to know; What exactly were those tunnels we found ourselves in just moments ago?"
The smaller thief chuckled to himself. "Oh, getting into the good stuff, aren't we? Well, I don't really mind explaining, but it would probably be best to start from the very beginning since this can get a bit confusing."
Lucina nodded. "Please do."
"Alright then," Mona said with enthusiasm. "First things first, all four of us are what you would call a small organization. We are still fairly new, but the few people that know about us refer to us as the Phantom Thieves."
Lucina blinked. "Phantom Thieves?
"That's right!" Morgana responded. "We are a group of dashing rouges that seek to reform society by punishing the wicked and stealing the heart of the masses!"
"I can't believe he actually said that," Ryuji mumbled.
As if waking up from his own excitement, Mona's face turned slightly red, though he was quick to compose himself. Clearing his throat, he said, "A-anyway, we basically target despicable villains by stealing their hearts and forcing them to confess their crimes."
There was confusion written all over Lucina's face. "I'm sorry, but I failed to grasp what you just said. What exactly do you mean by stealing their hearts?"
"Not literally of course," Ann clarified. "What he meant by heart are actually that person's twisted desires, or whatever it is that motivates them to do bad stuff."
Mona nodded in approval. "As expected, Lady Ann is correct. By removing those distorted desires, we can in fact change that person's cognition so their conscience won't be able to justify their misdeeds," he explained. "They'll feel guilty and sooner or later will confess for what they've done."
"I… I believe I understand," Lucina responded with a thoughtful look. "So, in a sense, by directly removing the root of those evil thoughts, you're literally reforming those people."
"Mhmm, you're pretty sharp," Morgana complimented her. "You managed to caught up to everything so fast that I am actually impressed. Unlike a certain knucklehead that I know that is."
"S-shut it, you damn cat," the blond grumbled. "It's not as easy as you make it sound to be."
Choosing to ignore the loud troublemaker, Morgana continued to explain, "Well, now that that's out of the way, you need to understand that in order to steal the target's heart, we'll need to interact with their cognitive self. That's where that place comes in," the smaller thief stated. "That tunnel system, as you refer to it, we call it Mementos. You could say that it represents the cognition of the masses where the wishes and desires of society are all gathered in one place."
Lucina listened intently, processing the information. "That may explain why that place felt so odd," she mumbled before turning back to Mona. "So you're saying that that place can influence other people's hearts?"
"That's correct," Morgana responded with a nod. "By accessing Mementos, we can interact with the true self of any individual, thus allowing us to steal their distorted desires in the form of a treasure. The process is much complicated than what you may think, but there's no need to get into details right now."
"That's understandable," Lucina conceded, though she was still thinking over everything that she just learned. "You already told me more than what I was hoping for, and for that you have my gratitude."
"Whoa, you're taking this far better than what I thought you would. I'm impressed," Ann complimented her.
Lucina smiled and said, "It's not at all praiseworthy, I assure you. I'm actually more curious about this place, though." Her gaze turned to Ren. "Would you care to tell me more about this town of yours?"
"Not at all," he responded. "Though we should probably order something while we're at it."
"Oh, I agree. I'm quite hungry myself actually," Lucina replied as she reached into one of her pockets. "I must apologize, but I am not familiar with the currency used here," Lucina said as she pulled out a pouch, and the thieves were far too surprised when they saw what was inside it. "Will this amount suffice?"
"I-I-Is that actual gold?" Ann stuttered in disbelief.
Too shocked to even care, Ryuji yelled, "G-gold?! Are you for real?!" His reaction of course got the attention of a few curious looks from the surrounding tables, though Mona was quick to reprimand him.
Lucina blinked, confused by their sudden outburst. "Yes, this is all I have with me. Is… that going to be a problem?"
Ren too was taken back by the fact that there was actual gold on their table, though the surprise didn't last long. The frizzy-haired leader sighed and said, "Don't worry about the payment. It'll be my treat."
Her eyes widened. "You don't need to do that…"
Ren waved his hand dismissively. "As I said, don't worry about it. I still have some money left from our last heist, so don't sweat it." He then gave her a smile. "Take it as a sign of good faith since you trusted us enough to tell us something that was probably very personal to you."
The blue-haired girl still looked indecisive, but his words seem like they managed to reach her, as she didn't appear to protest against his offer any further.
"Hehehe, I guess that's Joker for you," said Morgana.
"Yeah, no kiddin'," Ryuji said, looking back at the menu. "The guy might seem quiet all the time, but he's super reliable when it comes down to it."
Ann nodded before a thought crossed her mind. "Hey, now that think about it, where will Lucina be staying?" Seeing that no one had an answer, her shoulders dropped. "Am I really the only one who thought about that until now?"
"Please, there's no need for any of you to trouble yourselves with my living arrangements," Lucina said, waving her hands to the sides. "I can find a suitable space to spend the night on my own."
"Nonsense!" Ann slammed her hands on the table. "No way we're letting you sleep on the streets!
Ryuji turned to his fellow blond with a questioning look. "What do you have in mind, then?"
Ann stopped for a moment to think. "Well, I definitely don't trust you to have a girl staying with you…"
"H-hey! What's that suppose to mean!?"
"And my apartment is too small for more than one person, so I guess she'll have to stay with Ren," Ann concluded.
Said person of course couldn't remain quiet about this. "Hold on, I don't think you're thinking things thro-"
"Of course!" Morgana interrupted. "Lucina can stay with us, no problem!"
"...Mona," Ren gave the smaller thief a look. "You know as well as I do that I'm on a tightrope with the Boss."
As of now, his relationship with Sojiro was shaky at best. The elderly man saw him as a nuisance. A problem child that he just happens to be taking care of. Ever since they met, the man has been rather harsh when it came to the rules of his stay at the cafe. It was a miracle that he even allowed Morgana to stay in the first place—asking permission to have someone besides himself to stay at the shop would only lead to disaster.
Despite his initial protest, Morgana insisted. "Hey, don't worry about it. We can sneak her in after the Chief leaves the cafe, so he'll never know."
"That's not the point."
At the cat's pestering words, the leader of the Phantom Thieves could do nothing but sigh in defeat after a few minutes. "Alright, alright. I'd try to come up with something," he conceded and turned to Lucina. "As long as you're fine with it."
The blue-haired girl responded with a modest smile. "You're already doing so much for me. At this point, having a roof over my head is more than I could ask for."
"Great!" Ann celebrated. "Then I guess that settles it!"
"Yeah, but enough with all the chit-chat already!" Ryuji suddenly said, much to everyone's surprise. "C'mon guys, let's eat already! I'm starving!"
And so, despite the unforeseen circumstances that led to an encounter that should have never happened, the group of thieves and the princess from another world enjoyed a late dinner in Shibuya.
A time-traveler from a far land seeking to change the future. She and her companions traveled through time by unknown means and got separated.
A warrior from another time. You agreed to help her search for her missing allies and is temporary staying at Leblanc.
Alright, I'll leave it there. Hopefully you guys enjoyed this chapter.
A lot of stuff happened, and Lucina still has a lot of things to learn before she can reunite with her fellow Shepherds of another time. Later on, as the story goes and she learns to trust the thieves, Lucina will reveal more about herself and her story.
Also, if it wasn't clear enough as to why Lucina decided to give her name despite her initial doubts, it's because she determined that she wasn't at the correct time period. Knowing that, giving that information won't impact her future in a negative way.
Things will get more interesting once we delve deeper into the game Igor is playing, and whatever happened to Grima will be up in the future. The story will follow in some ways the same events as the game, with some mayor differences of course due to FE and all that.
Still, I thank you all for your support andI wish you have a wonderful day!