What's up folks?
It's time to get a new chapter up and running. Let's get back into the action and introduce you guys to Yon's Persona as well as his Arcana (though I think many of you know what it is). If not, you'll find out soon enough.
"YAAAHH!" Yon slammed his staff down onto the Shadow destroying it in one strike. "Oh yeah! Take some of that!"
Yon's addition to the roster made some contributions for the Team and making each fight go by quicker. Floor by floor, they went up; clearing each of all Shadows down to the final corner.
They arrived to the halfway point, where they had previously faced the Palace Guard. Fortunately, the Palace Guard wasn't there this time. Not even a single Shadow was present. This gave them a moment to take a quick break and gather their strength to continue through the next half of the palace. The break was a wise decision as the next half of the palace proved to be more of a challenge. Despite this, they pushed through until they finally made it back to the top.
"That did it." Souji said. "I guess we're done here."
"About damn time." Kanji said as he stretched his back.
"Whoo." Chie fell on her rear to sit on the ground. "I say we go get some food. Anybody in the mood for Aiya?"
"I like the sound of that." Yosuke said.
"I'm in." Yon answered.
"Well then, let's get out of here." Souji said. "Teddie?"
"Roger that." Casting Traesto, Teddie brought the entire Team outside the palace gates.
"If I remember correctly, it's raining now back in Inaba." Chie said. "Who's down for trying the Meat Dimension Portal?"
"The what?" Yon asked.
"You'll see when we get there." Chie smiled.
They walked until they reached the gateway that would take them out of the palace ground. Kanji and Yon both pulled on one of the double doors and opened it. As the doors opened, something else was blocking their way out. What made them defensive was when this thing moved and turned to face them.
"What the hell, it's still alive?" Kanji shouted.
Standing before them all was the Palace Guard, the same Shadow that they defeated earlier the last time they were in the Palace. However, the Palace Guard looked very different from last time. The armor it wore was heavily damaged, showing bones hidden within the armoring.
"You are not welcome here." The Palace Guard spoke, but it's voice was different; almost as if it was on the brink of death, but fighting it back. It's appearance almost matched it's voice. It was as if the Palace Guard was resurrected as a zombie.
"It makes no difference." Souji said. "We'll take it out the same way as last time."
"Persona!" The Team summoned their respective Personae and attacked the Palace Guard in unison.
"Alright, let's see how mine can fight. Persona!" Yon shouted. As he raised his hand up to summon his Persona card, nothing happened. "What?" Yon brought his hand back up, but the card didn't appear. "Persona!" By this point, Yon had started to swing his hand all over the place as if he was swatting a fly. "Persona! Persona, Persona, Persona!"
The Palace Guard took notice of Yon's vulnerability and moved in to attack.
"Yon!" Souji charged at Yon and tackled him down and out of the way of the Palace Guard's sword slash.
"Don't ignore us!" Yosuke shouted. "Get him, Susano-O!"
Souji got to his feet, picking up his katana. "Are you alright?" Souji asked. Yon simply stayed sitting on the ground, staring down. While the others were still taking care of the Palace Guard, Souji ran over to Yon. "Yon, what happened?"
Yon said nothing for a while. "Why? Why did nothing happen?" He looked up and saw the Palace Guard was still rampaging against the Team.
"Sempai!" Kanji shouted. "We could use some help here!"
"Come on, get up." Souji grabbed Yon by his arm and lifted him on his feet. "We gotta get rid of this thing."
Yon didn't move; even when Souji went and joined in the battle, he didn't move. The fact that he had no way of summoning his Persona made him freeze, he was scared.
"Hey, come on!" Yosuke shouted. "Do something!"
Yon snapped out of his state of shock when he heard Yosuke. He did what he said; he did something. Yon turned around and ran. He didn't stop to look back, he just ran.
"Hey, get back here!" Teddie shouted.
"You pussy!" Kanji shouted.
Yon kept running, not stopping even when the sound of the others in battle drained out from the distance.
When Yon took a quick second to blink, he suddenly found himself sitting inside a limousine, a rather large and luxurious limousine. "What? Where am I?" When Yon's vision began to clear, he suddenly found that he wasn't alone. Sitting opposite of him was a rather short man with an oddly long nose, white hair that wasn't sprouting from the top of his head but rather around it. He wore a black suit with a white handkerchief resting snugly in his coat pocket and his black bow tie undone. Sitting next to him was a taller blond woman in a blue coat. Her hair was kept back by a hair band of the same color as her coat and on her lap was a book. The book was rather thick and the cover was filled with strange arcane writings. With his vision now clear, he could see the details of the book.
"Greetings." The man spoke. "So, you've finally decided to join us."
"Huh?" Yon was clueless as to how he even ended up in here.
"Don't be alarmed, you are among friends." The man said. "Right now you are in the Velvet Room; a place that lies between your consciousness and subconsciousness. But where are my manners, my name is Igor. I am delighted to make your acquaintance. Now..." Igor proceeded to take out a deck of cards and spread them around the table in front of him. "Do you believe in fortune telling?" He arranged the cards in a specific pattern on the table. "Each reading is done with the same card, but the result is always different." Igor flipped several cards over, looking at them closely. "Hmm... It seems that you've encountered an obstacle in your path, which is to explain why you've come to me. But in time, you will overcome this crisis and bring out a great power hidden within. But it seems you already have the power."
I know that. Yon thought to himself, but that wasn't the issue he was dealing with. "I just don't understand." Yon said. "Why am I not able to use my Persona?"
Igor looked down at the cards, flipping more over. "From what I see, you may have faced your dark self, but there is still part of you that doubts it." Igor then piled the cards together and with a wave of his hand, the cards disappeared. "You still feel that the Shadow of yourself is still not you. It's quite a mystery; such a dilemma would cause the Shadow to be stronger, but you...you are torn between accepting it as well as rejecting it."
Yon looked down on the floor. He had to admit, there was still a cloud of doubt about all this. Was his Shadow truly saying everything he felt, or was there some lie to it?
"Now then, let's take a look at your power." Igor snapped his finger. A card suddenly appeared in front of Yon, glowing just like it would when he summoned his Persona. Well, at least attempted to summon. The card then floated over to Igor, who grasped it between his index finger and thumb. Once he made contact with the card, it took on a solid form. "Interesting. Very interesting."
"What is?" Yon asked. "What's interesting about my Persona?"
Igor looked to Yon, looking at him with his large eyes. "You carry a very rare power. Something I never thought I would ever see in someone. Your Persona doesn't fall under any category of the Arcanas."
Yon was now getting more and more confused about this whole thing. Persona, Shadows, Arcana? What did this all mean?
"Perhaps I should take this time to introduce my assistant." Igor raised a hand towards the woman sitting next to him. "Margaret?"
Margaret gave a small, but pleasant bow to Yon. "The Arcana are the categories in which a Persona belongs to. They follow the categories of the tarot cards; The Fool, Magician, Priestess, Empress, Emperor, Hierophant, Lovers, Chariot, Justice, Hermit, Fortune, Strength, Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, Devil, Tower, Star, Moon, Sun, Judgment, and World." Yon didn't exactly memorize them all, but some stood out, mainly because some of them were the mentioned by the others with Persona. "There are only 22 Arcana that exist, but your Persona doesn't seem to be any of them. Almost like a 23rd Arcana."
"The Aeon Arcana." Igor looked at the card once more. "This Persona is unique in its power; two halves joined to form one. Like a sword and a shield; one fights, and the other protects. But regardless of its potential, it is useless without a strong heart to carry it."
A strong heart? Yon pondered that for a brief second. "But what can I do?" Yon asked. "If I still have doubt, what's left for me to try?"
Igor smiled. "Take a chance. Give yourself the opportunity to go beyond your norm." Igor released his grip on the card and it floated back to Yon, disappearing in his chest. "Perhaps you may have a new view of things when you finally relinquish the doubt in your heart." The limousine then came to a gradual stop. "Ah, this is your stop."
"Huh?" Yon looked out the window. All he saw was fog.
"I regret to say that this will be our first and final meeting." Igor said. "But let us part with a word of advice; a Persona seeks change. If you have the power to do so, then perhaps the world should change to meet your desire."
Igor and Margaret slowly disappeared from view when a bright light filled the room, blinding Yon. He shielding his eyes with his arms and shut his eyes. When he opened them, he was now back out in the open, no longer inside the limousine.
Yon turned to sound of the shout. It was faint, far away, but he recognized that voice as Kanji's.
If you have the power to do so, then perhaps the world should change to meet your desire.
Filled with determination, Yon ran towards them.
"Get it!" Rise shouted to the Team.
"Persona!" Kanji summoned Rokuten-Maoh. The Persona charged at the Palace Guard with a vicious tackle, but it did little to help them.
The Palace Guard kicked Rokuten-Maoh, sending him flying towards Kanji.
"Look out!" Yosuke pushed Kanji out of the way in time avoid being slammed by the weight of the fallen Persona.
"Thanks for that." Kanji said as he got back on his feet.
"Damn, this guy's tougher than last time." Yosuke commented.
"You are not welcome here." The raspy voice of the Palace Guard boomed. "Leave now or suffer your demise."
"Ya, ipp dakcho(Hey, shut up)!"
"Huh?" The Team looked towards where that came from.
From the distance, Yon walked towards the fight, grasping his staff in his right hand. He wore a look of strong determination, something that he didn't have before.
"Yon-kun! You're back." Yukiko called out.
"I've done nothing but doubt myself, made myself believe the world I live in wasn't meant for me." Yon raised his staff, holding it over his shoulder. "But now, if I feel the world doesn't accept me, then I'll change it so that it does!" Yon raised his left hand, bringing out his Persona card. "It's time I bring out my power, the power of the Aeon Arcana! PERSONA!"
Yon stuck the card with his staff, shattering it. Yon's Persona then appeared before him. However, instead of one Persona hovering before him, there were two. One appeared female, dressed in a black kimono with various white accents such as a white sash and small streaks of white throughout her kimono sleeves that resembled a graceful breeze. Her long black hair drifted in the wind, but didn't hide her face, although she had no face to show. A mask was put over the face; a white mask with two curved slits for eyes. In her hands, she held a traditional Japanese umbrella that had the black and white yinyang symbol. The second figure was a fit man by appearance with a similar style to the female one. He wore a white kimono with a black sash and traces of what appeared to be black flames all throughout his kimono. He had two swords strapped to the left side of his sash; a full length katana and a shorter length wakizashi. Like his female counterpart, he wore a white mask with two curved black slits for eyes, but on his head, he wore a straw hat that practically hid the mask from sight.
"T-t-two?" Teddie spoke in utter shock. "I've never seen that before."
"Whoa." Kanji was left with his jaw dropped.
"How does he have two?" Yosuke asked.
"Awesome." Chie said.
"Alright, he did it!" Rise cheered.
"He's summoned his Persona." Yukiko said.
"And in perfect timing." Naoto said.
"Two Personae, that doesn't make sense." Souji said.
"Don't think of it as two Personae." Yon said. "It's still just one. Combining the passiveness of a shield with the aggressive nature of a sword, I have two entities fighting as one warrior." Yon aimed his staff to the female figure. "The darkness of night with the moon hidden in the clouds." He then pointed his staff to the male counterpart. "The light of day with the sun shining down. The first ever two-in-one Persona." Yon struck the ground with the bottom end of his staff and pointed a finger at the Palace Guard. "Yin and Yang!"
"Yin and Yang? Like the symbol for Tao?" Yukiko asked.
"Accept no substitute. Now, get him!" Yon commanded. "Show him what we're made of!"
Yin and Yang charged at the Palace Guard, leaving a large gust of wind in their trail. The Palace Guard lunged forward with a downward slash. As the blade came down, Yin threw up her umbrella. The blade made contact with it, but instead of breaking, the umbrella deflected the attack like a shield. Yang then went right over Yin, landing behind the Palace Guard. As he spun around to face the Palace Guard, Yang drew out his katana and slashed three times before sheathing it.
The Palace Guard attempted to attack with a swinging slash at Yang, but Yin intervened; she moved in between the two with her umbrella out blocking the strike. Before the Palace Guard delivered another strike, Yin pushed forward with the shield. She then dropped to her knees as Yang slashed at the large Shadow. The Palace Guard staggered and fell down, landing roughly on it's back.
"Alright!" Yosuke shouted
"You go Yon-kun!" Chie cheered.
"Bear-fection!" Teddie shouted as he jumped in cheering.
Yon smiled in acknowledgement. "Let's finish this, double time!"
Yin and Yang stood on opposite ends of the Palace Guard. Yin raised her umbrella and begun to spin it around, summoning the power of wind. Yang raised his katana to the roof and as if a higher power answered his call, a bolt of lightning struck down and charged the katana. In unison, Yin threw the cyclone down upon the Palace Guard and Yang slashed downward with the lightning charged blade. The two opposing elements combined and began to tear up the Palace Guard, until nothing was left but broken pieces of it's armor and it's katana.
"Alright! You did it!" Teddie shouted.
"Way to go Yon-kun!" Rise cheered.
As the Team ran to congratulate Yon, Rise embraced him in a hug. Yon simply stood there wide-eyed at this. Rise then noticed the awkward tension that she had just created and released her grip on him. "Sorry."
"Um...that's ok...I guess." Yon replied in a rather confused way.
"So? We're done here, let's go eat." Chie announced.
[Chinese Diner Aiya]
With it raining in the quiet town, Aiya was serving their rainy day special. The Team sat at two tables; Souji, Yukiko, Naoto, and Kanji in one and Yosuke, Chie, Rise, and Teddie in the other. With no other space, Yon took the table right by the kitchen. They all took a moment to look at the monstrous portions they each received. Piles of meat towered past the bowl's height, as if the enormous size of the bowl wasn't big enough. A fried egg sat on top of each bowl bubbling from the hot grease of the meat pile.
"Oh man, no matter how many times I see it, it still amazes me." Yosuke said.
"Is a serving like this even legal?" Yon asked, looking at his bowl in different angles."Where do you even start?"
"I think I might have what it takes to beat the challenge this time." Chie said.
"Let's do this together." Souji said out loud.
Each of them grabbed their chopsticks in both their hands. "Itadakimasu."
Ten minutes in, they had finally eaten the pile of meat and were now at the bowl's brim level. Despite the little accomplishment, they were beginning to feel the weight in their stomachs.
"Oh..." Yosuke groaned. "That was tough enough, but I still don't see the rice."
"I'm beginning to think there is no rice." Yukiko muttered.
"I kinda wish this was more spicy." Rise complained.
"Yeah, I doubt you'll eat it any faster." Kanji said.
"This is just ridiculous." Naoto said. "How do they expect us women to finish this?"
Twenty minutes had now gone by since they started and progress was getting even slower. Despite eating as much meat as possible, there was just no sign of rice underneath it all. By this point Rise had given up and had actually fallen asleep on her chair. Naoto simply refused to carry on and had given up.
"Still no rice." Yukiko said.
"Seriously, what's with this monster?" Kanji asked.
"Man, I really don't think we'll finish it." Yosuke said.
Chie pointed her chopsticks at Yosuke. "You're giving up? I'm still pumped up!"
Yosuke looked at her in shock. "What? No way I'm gonna lose to a girl!"
While those two tried to wolf down their meals, Souji, Yukiko, Kanji, Teddie, and Yon continued at their normal pace.
Forty minutes in every had finally given up. Surprisingly, their bowls were still hot, but the contents of the bowls didn't seem too different from when they received it.
"The serving's way too big." Yosuke groaned. "As always."
"But I think we made a dent in it at least." Yukiko said with a smile. "More so than any time before."
"Maybe, but I can't say the same for Rise-chan." Yosuke said. "Poor thing got killed by the meat."
"Hey, shut up!" Rise smacked him on the head with a spoon, apparently now awake after her ordeal with the meal.
"How are you doing Yon-kun?" Yukiko asked.
They all turned their attention to Yon. Yon had his back turned to them the entire time as if he was ignoring them.
"You know, he hasn't said a word since we started eating." Chie said.
"Is something wrong Yon?" Souji asked.
Yon still remained silent. However, he put down his chopsticks and pushed his bowl to the side. With space in front of him, Yon fell forward, slamming his face on the table.
"Yon-kun!" Rise got up to check on him, as did the others. However, their attention immediately shifted from Yon to his bowl.
"It...can't be..." Souji stared in shock.
They all looked into his bowl and saw the most amazing thing. Nothing.
"He actually did it." Chie said. "Yon-kun finished it."
They looked back to Yon. He was still breathing, but he was completely knocked out from the challenge.
"Dude, you alright?" Yosuke asked, putting a hand on his shoulder and shaking him slightly. All he got out of Yon was mumbling. "Yon, come on man. We can't leave you here."
"He'll be fine." The owner said. "He took his time with it, just give him a minute. I need his picture to add to our wall."
"Wall?" Chie asked.
"Right there." The owner pointed to the portion of wall above the entrance. There was only one portrait up there. "We only had one person finish the challenge. But he ate too quickly and ended up in the hospital to get his stomach pumped."
"Oh, come on!" Kanji shouted. "I don't need to picture that in my head."
Now with that done, all that's left is for you all to wait for the next update. Until then, leave me a review.