I chooseth this fate of my own free will
With a small sigh of relief, I add the final card to my fusion spread. Twelve Personae are laid out before me. Twelve Personae, eleven arcana, and one result that I strive for: Izanagi-no-Okami. Weeks of collecting up cards are about to pay off. Igor casts his gaze over my spread.
"Izanagi-no-Okami, eh?" He gives an eerie laugh. "I can't say I'm surprised. From the moment you entered the Velvet Room, I saw that you would be one to pursue even the mightiest of Personae." A smile carved into his wrinkled face, he swings one hand out above the table, and raises the cards into the air. My heart pulses louder as he flips them over, thin blue lines of light connecting them all together. A second later, they return to a face-down position, Igor's table shaking with the energy created by the fusion. Breaking formation, the cards float skywards, leaving glowing blue trails. There are only moments until I have my ultimate Persona.
An unfamiliar voice thrums through the Velvet Room, quiet and whispery. Igor glances upwards as he hears it, the cards continuing their movements. His expression turns from delight to shock in the space of a second, and he silently mouths a word. The tarot cards give off a wave of bright light, a loud noise following.
The card fusion has continued as usual— so why doesn't this feel right? The first hint that something is up comes when the light of the fusion doesn't die out. The noise of rock cracking apart fills the room, followed by chains, clinking into each other as they fall away from something. The voice that had called out before lets off a loud scream.
Without warning, I collapse from the chair where I'm seated, everything fading quickly to black.
I am Orpheus, Master of Strings
"Souji. Souji, wake up." Margaret wakes me, shaking me by the shoulder. My eyes open slowly, the world blurry in my tired state. Getting to my knees, I feel a wave of nausea sweep over me. Something went horribly wrong in the fusion, I can tell already. Looking over to Igor as my vision clears, I notice that his grin has returned. One card lies on the table in front of him, face up. The World.
"Something unexpected has occurred,"
"Yeah." With Margaret steadying me, I climb back onto the chair.
"We have accidentally connected your soul to that of another," As per usual, I struggle to understand Igor's words. Connecting my soul to another's? "During the fusion we were interrupted by an outsider." Getting up from his seat, very slowly, Igor pulls a card from his breast pocket and walks forward.
"This visitor has lacked a corporeal form for quite some time, and his soul has only recently been freed from its bonds. This state allowed him to be caught by the power of our fusion…" I'm still not following him, and my head is starting to pound with pain. What the hell happened? "Your new Persona possesses someone else's soul." Passing me the card, I look it over. A robotic humanoid with the head of a white-haired young man is pictured on it.
"Orpheus, Master of Strings." Igor's grin spreads, and his eyes show deep thought. "No, that's not it… Minato Arisato." A sharp jab of pain sears through my head.
"Come out, my Wild Card." Suddenly, all I can think of is how my entire body aches, as Orpheus' tarot card drifts from my hand. As a knee-jerk reaction, I reach out, and crush my hand down on the card. A burst of light surrounds me, and by the time it's died down, the pain has gone. I glance around. The Persona from the card sits on one of the free seats next to Margaret, slouched over, with his eyes shut and his arms bent awkwardly out, as though trying to fit them into imaginary pockets. Gradually, his eyes open, showing a blank red gaze.
"Where am I?" He opens his mouth to say the words, but the sound of them comes instead from his chest, where a speaker sits. After a moment, this fact seems to register to him, and he touches one hand to the system. "The Velvet Room? Igor, you…" He turns to look at the man in question, stopping in the middle of his sentence, as though he's thought up a more important question.
"… Why am I free from the Seal?" Reaching one of his white, metallic hands to his face, he brushes his fringe back.
"Aegis and Elizabeth made contact. The two of them managed to break you out of your prison." Orpheus begins to look worried.
"How did they…?"
"Elizabeth is now resting in your place," The Persona freezes. "Don't worry, we are looking for a less valuable replacement. My master knows many who would gladly help." After a moment of quiet contemplation, he slowly shifts around in his seat to face at me.
"Who's this?" Despite the panic setting into his voice, he manages to keep himself composed.
"The latest guest of the Velvet Room… Our brand new Wild Card. Meet Souji Seta." I try not to look freaked out as Orpheus shuffles nearer to study me more closely. I've never had a Persona stay summoned for so long… And I've never had one display such human emotions. Is this what Igor meant when he said that my soul was now 'connected with another's'?
"Hey, Souji." I nod casually in response, as he draws back away from me. He looks bewildered when he realizes how much taller he is when sitting straight up, instead of slouching like he was before.
"Souji, you may refer to him as Minato." The Persona seems to smile at this suggestion. That's weird. A Persona with two names…
"But the card says his name is Orpheus…?" I ask, wanting some kind of explanation for all the contradictions this Persona is bringing up. Igor laughs at me, as though I've told a bad joke.
"He is much more than just a Persona," Returning to his chair, Igor sits down with a groan. "He was once human, just like you, Souji. A Wild Card, with so much promise." Nearby, Orpheus bows his head, his hair flopping down over his eyes, as if Igor's words are bringing up painful memories. A human, becoming a Persona? This doesn't make any sense.
"But then came the threat of the Fall… I daresay Minato himself can explain the rest to you." I look expectantly at Orpheus—no, Minato—who closes his eyes.
"I'd rather not. Not just yet." Turning away, I notice him touch his hands to the speaker again. He's ashamed of himself… But I can't figure out why. Normally, I find people easier to read. "For now… Just, let's leave it at my name. I'm Minato Arisato."
We are The World. We are the saviors.
We have established a new bond.
It brings us closer to our answers.
We shall be blessed in our discovery of the rebirth
Brought by The World arcana