Hi, I'm doing author comments because it's awkward not to do so.

So this is a fanfiction that's been going around my head for a long time actually, but I never got around to actually writing it until, well, last friday. I planned it on friday, (Like, the entire thing. Wrote a bunch of story notes, planned out what's going to make it different from P3, the belt design, all that crap) wrote about 1500 words or so on saturday, rushed about 5500 words saturday night, and wrote up the end to the first chapter today as well as the author notes. See, you can do things when you put your mind to them!

So, let me explain some things: This is a P3 AU fic. Now, I know what you're thinking, little jimmy. "A P3 AU fic? ANOTHER one? There are like, fifty million of those! Truly, you are the most horrible person and also unoriginal! Your head should be hanging in shame!" And in response, I would say, "Why, little jimmy! You're the worst person ever! Get out!"

... Is Little Jimmy gone?

Good, I hate that prick.

So anyway, for the rest of you that are saying that, I'd just like to say that really, if it was just a normal P3 fic, it'd just be a retelling of p3 which is silly and boring, so I might as well change some things around. And I swear, every detail about the game that I get wrong, like if Minato actually was able to experience the dark hour before and was used to it? Completely intentional. It's an AU. These will totally come into play later and it is totally not because I haven't played the games in forever.

For those of you confused as to what the hell "Kamen Rider" is, LET'S PLAY THE HISTORY GAME! Essentially, Kamen Rider is a really old Japanese TV series, usually with a seperate series every year. One series will start and conclude in a year, allowing the next one to start with the new year. For what it's like, I would highly recommend you watch the shows, because they're awesome as hell, but for a tl;dr, ever watch power rangers? It's like that, but more serious, generally revolving around one main "rider" instead of five of them, (although this does tend to vary! Ryuki had THIRTEEN RIDERS.) but still retaining some of the light hearted humor and kickass action sequences. I seriously cannot name a BAD rider series, all of them are at least good. This tends to vary, but in general, they're all great.

This fic, essentially, is Persona 3 with a bunch of changed plot, Minato being a jerkass, the persona powers being replaced with Kamen Rider abilities, and a bunch of other things changed in order to make it an AU. I don't know if it'll be any good or not, but I showed it to some guys and they liked it, (HI FFACE, HI MIKE, HI DANTE) so hopefully someone will find enjoyment in it as well?

So yeah, here goes nothing I guess.


Time never waits.

"... The hell?"

It delivers all equally to the same end.

"Wasn't I dreaming about bridges or something a few seconds ago? What's with that butterfly?"

You, who wish to safeguard the future,

"I do?"

You will be given one year;

"... To do what?"

Go forth, never falter,

"To do WHAT?"

With your heart as your guide..

"Christ, you're impossible. I'm going to wake up now."

With a snort, one Minato Arisato awoke on a bus. The previous relative he had been living with (He couldn't remember if it was his uncle or his much older cousin. At this point, their faces all tended to blend.) had decided to dump the teen into Gekkoukan High School: a fairly fancy boarding school. The fare was of no matter, as long as Minato was out of his relative's hair. The blue haired teen didn't seem to particularly care; he wasn't exactly on good terms with most of his relatives. "The living ones, anyway." After the sudden death of his parents in a car crash some number of years ago, Minato had been tossed about his family, staying with seemingly every single one of his relatives at some point. Getting away from them would be a joy.

Minato began to roll his head left and right, causing his neck to make disgusting, yet oh-so-pleasant, cracking noises. Sleeping in a bus was, in no way, comfortable. People were glancing at him, but he didn't seem to notice, and proceeded to pull his headphones out of his ears. If he was beginning to hear song lyrics in his sleep, it was probably a good idea to hold off on the music. With the electronic safely in his pocket, his eyes began to wander, although they were promptly interrupted by his ears indicating that the bus was hitting the brakes. With buses, this usually meant that the vehicle was stopping, which meant that whoever was getting off at this stop should walk out the doors. The sleepy teen didn't altogether seem to notice as people got up around him, with his only response being to rub his eyes.

Said action was promptly halted by a burst of worry in the form of a single thought impacting his brain. "Shit. Where am I supposed to get off?" What if he had accidentally slept through his stop, and was now several miles away from it? He didn't particularly relish the thought of having to walk so far, especially with the first day of his new school tomorrow. The worry compounded as he remembered that when he had fallen asleep, he was only ten minutes away from his stop. What if he had slept for an hour? As he frantically fished his phone out of his duffel bag, Minato was thinking of all kinds of horrible, hypothetical situations that could have happened to him. What if he actually was several miles away from his stop? What if he was in a different city? What if the bus was also an airplane and he was in CHINA?

"... Or maybe I actually did only sleep for ten minutes." His phone's clock eased Minato's worries, stating that indeed, he had only slept for ten minutes. He began to slowly put the phone away, surprised at his good luck, when he realized that this meant that this was his stop. And the last person in line just got off the bus.

"Shit."

Leaping into action, Minato tossed his duffel bag out the still open door and attempted to run towards the door. His path was blocked by the horrific obstacle known as 'the seats in front of him,' and he winced as his toes impacted the foot rest that had previous provided the appendages great comfort. This shocking betrayal didn't deter the student, and he continued on, inching towards the middle isle of the bus and running towards the doors, now with a slight limp. With a swish of air, the doors were now swiftly closing, much to Minato's dismay. In a last ditch effort, he leaped off of one foot, attempting to jump through the door before it managed to block off his exit entirely. In Minato's mind, he would probably make it out and then roll on the ground to break his fall.

In the process of doing so, however, he had made one fatal mistake: he had leaped off the foot still vaguely sore from the fierce battle against the treacherous footrest. The enormous leap came out as more of a clumsy fall, causing Minato to roll down the short set of stairs leading through the doors. This was embarrassing and fairly painful, but at least he would still make it out the door. Or at least, he thought he would, right before his left shoe was caught in between the two doors right as his arms impacted the ground, ready to roll. He was now stuck standing upside down, due to his foot refusing to budge. It seemed as though, in the worst moment possible, that his shoe had decided to betray him as well.

Help arrived arrived in the most unlikely of allies: the bus itself. When the great, big, yellow vehicle charged forward, it somehow dislodged his shoe from its sliding doors, allowing Minato to flop onto the thick concrete, finally rid of the ordeal of getting out of a bus. Unfortunately, the footwear had somehow gone flying, and he now had no idea where it was.

With a sigh, Minato picked up his duffel bag, wincing as his single, shoe-less foot touched the cold ground. It was still freezing, even with a sock. Holding the bag over his shoulder, the student began to go shoe hunting.


It had been in the fountain. Why on earth there was a completely random fountain, seemingly waiting for a shoe to land in it, right in the middle of a busy city, Minato didn't know. Shivering from the cold leather, he slipped the shoe onto his foot, feeling its moisture immediately begin to penetrate the fabric of his sock and seep onto his vulnerable foot. He quickly raised his dry shoe to kick the fountain in a fit of immaturity, but was forced to plant his wet shoe on the ground in order to do so. As he placed all his weight on the waterlogged footwear, it squished, causing the water to concentrate and make his sock even more wet and uncomfortable. Minato did not have a very positive view of this city thus far.

His view of the city did not exactly improve when he realized the sky had just turned green.

He jerked his eyes upwards to look at the sudden change, taking a few steps backwards in shock. This caused his sock to become even soggier, but that was not exactly a pertinent issue at the moment. "What the hell...?" The sky was green. This, in general, was not a normal occurrence. Rather than being completely emotionless and uncaring about the situation, Minato did the normal thing and acted very, very surprised. Once the initial shock wore off however, he was slightly less worried. Sure this was... odd, but perhaps it was just the sky being weird? It could be a strange event in space that was causing this. He'd say it was surprisingly pretty, but the green was just... off, and not very pleasing to the eye. The slightly more optimistic chain of thought was promptly shot down when Minato realized that everyone was now a coffin.

Sufficiently freaked the hell out, Minato began to run towards what his mind had designated as the nearest safe zone: the dorm he was going to live in.


Slamming the door behind him, Minato leaned against a nearby counter, attempting to catch his breath. "Jesus... the hell was that?" He'd never been so frightened in his life. Sure, there was that car accident, but that had been mostly possible. (Other than a few details he refused to admit happened.) The sky turning green and everyone becoming a coffin was most certainly not possible. He had no idea when this was going to end, but he was now safe in this dorm. Or at least, he hoped he was safe. The thought occured to him that he had no real reason for assuming this dorm was "safe." He hadn't actually seen any real dangers out there, but he had every single reason to think the possibility was there. And the dorm was just another building. What if there was an insane monster lurking outside? What if THIS DORM was the cause of all this? Maybe that's why his relative had sent him here. What if it was an enormous conspiracy by his relatives to eventually kill him off?

The fact that his overly suspicious and freaked out mind was considering that particular train of thought did not help when he saw Pharos.

"You're late."

Minato's head turned very slowly towards the source of the new voice. Sweat was beginning to run down the back of his neck, and the vague thought of taking a shower later crossed his mind, taking a back seat to the fact that there was now a very creepy child in the room with him. The fact that the child wasn't a coffin didn't help the creepy factor. "I've been waiting a long ti - "

The kid, who Minato would later learn was named Pharos, didn't get to finish his statement. This was because Minato had just grabbed him by the collar ("Was that a prison uniform?") and shook him roughly. "Oy! What the hell is going on here?" Pharos opened his mouth to answer, but Minato kept asking questions. "Why is the sky green? Why is everyone a coffin except me? WHY AREN'T YOU A COFFIN?" At this point, Minato had hoisted Pharos up into the air, causing the small child's feet to dangle in the air. Pharos remained surprisingly calm in the face of all this, merely raising a pen to Minato's face. "... What?"

"All your questions will be answered if you sign this contract." With his other hand, he gestured to a contract on the counter Minato had previously been leaning on. Said contract was a single page in a thick, red, leather-bound book. Pharos grinned. "Go on." After glancing between Pharos and the contract that he swore had not been there a moment ago, Minato released the strange creepy child. Instead of dropping, he merely floated back down onto the ground, which was creepy as shit. Snatching the pen from Pharos' hand with equal parts aggression and franticness, Minato turned around and scribbled his name, near illegibly, onto the contract, not even looking at what it said. A moment after he did so, he realized that that was probably a very stupid decision. Glancing over at Pharos, he noticed the kid was smiling in a rather perturbing fashion.

"No one can escape time." This time, it was Minato who opened his mouth to answer but was interrupted. "It delivers us all to the same end. You can't plug your eyes and cover your ears." Shuffling over, Pharos picked up the contract book and slammed it shut, which somehow caused it to disappear into thin air. Ignoring Minato's quiet, yet easily audible, long string of profanities, Pharos smiled and gave one last foreboding message.

"And so it begins."

And he was gone.

Minato slid down against the counter, landing in a sitting position. At this point, he was exhausted mentally and physically. First the shenanigans with the bus, then the long hunt for his shoe, then the sky turning green, and now he had just been accosted by a small child and made to sign a contract. What had that contract entailed? Minato had no idea, and that was not a comforting thought. Glancing out a window, he saw that the sky was still green, and a coffin was easily visible. Gulping, Minato could hear someone walking by some nearby stairs, and he froze until he actually managed to see them.

It seemed to be a girl, about his age, and this immediately made him feel slightly more comfortable, at least a lot more so than he had with the crazy child. She spoke, and Minato could hear it even if he couldn't see her mouth move. "Who's there?" The fact that his low vantage point gave her a perfectly good view of her legs distracted him slightly from her words. Any and all fatigue he felt melted away as he stared at their wonderful shape and creamy... Minato slapped himself lightly. Being a teenage boy had its disadvantages.

He stood up, hands by his sides. "Christ, another person. I was - " The girl gasped slightly, and pulled a gun out of its holster. and pointed it at Minato. The only male in the room instinctively brought his hands up in a nonviolent posture, backing up and heading towards the door. "Whoa! Jesus, calm down lady!" As he began to shuffle towards the door, the crazy girl didn't put her gun down until she noticed another voice coming down the stairs.

"Takeba, wait!"

The lights came back on and the world turned back into its normal, not-green-sky self. The single person visible from the window was no longer a coffin, either. The return of the regular world heralded the arrival of yet another pair of legs, although this time Minato could take the rest of her into account as well. Long red hair and a blouse covered her top half, while the aforementioned legs were covered by a black skirt, much longer than the skirt of crazy gun girl. Crazy gun girl also wore some kind of strange pink thing. Cardigan? Minato didn't pay much attention to women's clothing. Her light brown hair made crazy gun girl rather pretty. In fact, both women were very good looking. Minato didn't care in the slightest at the moment.

The red haired girl spoke. "I didn't think you'd arrive so late. I'm Mitsuru Kirijo, one of the students who live in the dorm." Minato was not altogether in the mood for fanciful introductions. He regained his posture, his hands down by his sides again.

"Do you greet all your guests like this? Make some crazy little kid freak them out into signing a contract, and then have some broad come in and point a gun at them?" Said gun-wielding broad seemed very aggravated by the rather accurate description of her, but Minato continued. "Forget it. I'm going to bed." He angrily walked past them, heading up a pair of stairs while hoisting his duffel bag across one shoulder. Pulling them out of his pocket, he held a pair of keys up in the air. "I know my room number. Don't bother me because I am fairly freaked out at the moment."

After climbing up the stairs three steps at a time, Minato disappeared into the second floor. A door slamming could be heard moments later.

Minato didn't get much sleep.


His dreams of contracts and creepy little kids (They were more accurately described as nightmares) were interrupted by a loud, annoying alarm clock. After nearly breaking it with his fist slamming onto some button, Minato realized that his button press didn't actually do anything, and that horrible, horrible noise continued. He began to randomly twitch his fingers around the alarm clock, hoping that he would manage to press the correct button at some point. Thankfully, he did. Of course, this still meant he had to go through the awful process of waking up.

The epic battle of Minato struggling against the forces of his blanket and clothing buttons is one that will be told another day, but he eventually managed to be standing in the middle of his room, holding an empty duffel bag and tossing his mp3 player onto the bed. It would be rude to listen to it in class. His ears alerted him to a knock on the door, and he groaned slightly. If it was crazy gun girl again, he was going to slam the door in her face.

It was crazy gun girl. He slammed the door in her face.

Apparently having no idea what such vague ideas as "Privacy" and "Social niceties" are, crazy gun girl proceeded to open the door anyway and walk into the room, where Minato was already stuffing his phone into his pocket. She raised an eyebrow, looking fairly annoyed. "You're certainly making a great first impression so far."

Minato snorted. "So said the crazy gun woman." She blushed embarrassedly, and began to babble some kind of explanation Minato wasn't paying attention in the slightest to. He sighed, but still managed to catch her last statement.

"Anyway, Mitsuru-senpai asked me to take you to school." Crazy gun girl looked none too happy about this. "It's getting late, so... are you ready to go?" Minato waved her off.

"Go yourself, I don't need your help."

The girl behind him sighed. "I said I'm sorry for the gun thing, alright? You don't want to be late for school, so just accept my help already!"

Minato shrugged, putting his hands up in that same, non-violent posture from last night. "Alright, alright. Geez, no need to shout. Just let me get my shoes on." His feet, now with a new pair of socks on, slipped into his standard issue school uniform school shoes. He proceeded to walk out the door without saying a word, making Yukari to follow him, annoyed. She was further annoyed when he stopped in the doorway, seemingly for no reason. "... Goddamnit."

"... What?"

"My shoe's still wet."


The trip to the school passed mostly without incident, although awkward silences were plentiful. Although, apparently crazy gun girl's name was Yukari, and according to red haired girl, who was apparently named Mitsuru Kirijo, her last name was Takeba. The duo got onto a train, and eventually saw the actual school. It was big, fancy, and grandiose. This did not change the fact that it was a place of learning, which, to Minato, meant it was a torture chamber for teachers to shove their drivel down your throat. "So, that's it." Yukari said, probably referring to the school. "See, there it is!" There was an incredibly large detail about the school that Minato was a little bit skeptical about. "I've always liked riding on these. It feels like I'm fl - "

"Why is it on an artificial island."

"... Uh, well - "

"What is the point."

"It's be - "

"It's a freaking school!"


After that wonderful conversation, Yukari evidently did not feel like talking to Minato much any more, so she left him to his own devices after they reached the shoe lockers. Gratefully depositing his shoes in the locker he had been assigned to, Minato began to walk around, hoping no one noticed that he was leaving a single, wet footprint from his sock every two steps. There was quite a colorful cast of characters in the school. "Let's see... The obligatory glasses girl, the completely nondescript athletic guys, the fat kid... Yep. Average Japanese high school." He decided to skip talking to any of them. "Not like I'm going to get close to any of these people."

Apparently, he was supposed to head to the faculty office, so he decided to enter the room with the big sign that said "FACULTY OFFICE." Really, why first years tend to get lost on any campus with everything so easily labeled, Minato had no idea. In there, he stood around awkwardly until someone noticed he was there. Conveniently, this person seemed to be his homeroom teacher. She went up to him, asking a question right off the bat. "Oh, are you the new student?"

"No, I'm just standing here for no reason." Minato nodded. "Yep."

She pulled some kind of piece of paper from nowhere, beginning to read off it. If Minato had cared more, this could have been highly embaressing. He wondered if she did this to every student. It seemed kind of rude. "Minato Arisato... 11th grade, correct?" More nodding from Minato's end ensued. "Wow you've lived in a lot of different places..." His extended family was scattered around Japan, with some living in countries or even on different continents altogether. "Let's see... In 1999... That was what, ten years ago?" The snarky comment in Minato's mind about how this lady was hopefully not a math teacher went unheard by anyone but himself. "Your parents..." She gasped, and Minato winced. This was exactly why you do not read a student's biography out loud to him, and also why you should probably read them before hand. "I'm sorry... I've been so busy, I didn't have any time to read this beforehand."

"Yes, you didn't read the paper you just finished reading in about five seconds because you were far too busy." Minato was beginning to think that he would make a much better teacher than this one in particular. No matter how fancy the school looked, his first impression of its faculty was not a favorable one so far.

"I'm Ms. Toriumi." Minato nodded, indicating that he had managed to absorb this new, exciting bit of knowledge. "I teach composition. Welcome to our school."

"Uh, thanks." He would have spoken with more enthusiasm, but that would be impossible, for there was no enthusiasm to speak with. Ms. Toriumi proceeded to tell Minato his room number and corral him over to the auditorium, where the principal appeared to be giving a speech.


"This speech is terrible and I think I'm going to sleep."

And so he did.


Minato slept through most of the day, with the only break being the move from the auditorium from the classroom. He was exhausted from the previous day's events; as much as he wished it could, staring at legs could not truly heal fatigue, and he still felt awful. What did not feel awful, however, was sleep. His journey into the absolutely wonderful world of arm-pillows and drooling was interrupted by another student. "Tall. Male. Lanky. Stupid looking. If all the students in this school are like this, I will shoot myself later."

"S'up, dude? How's it going?"

With a groan, Minato answered, dragging the words out, obviously implying that he was not interested in talking. "What do you want?"

The stupid looking person winced. "Oh, come on. Let me introduce myself, at least." Before Minato could choose whether to tell him to go away in a less subtle manner or merely get up and walk away, idiot-face continued. "I'm Junpei Iori. Nice to meet ya." Minato said nothing in response, only making a bland, uninterested face. Junpei looked kind of anxious, but kept talking. "I transferred here when I was in eight grade." He paused, looking at Minato for any reaction. The blue-haired teen only raised an eyebrow, moving his right hand in a circle in the universal motion for telling the other person to keep going. "Uh, I know how tought it is bein' the new kid... so I wanted to say, "hey." ... See what a nice guy I am?"

"That's great. Really. Thank you." Minato said, as he picked up his duffel bag and prepared to walk away. Junpei attempted to follow him, and both males were approached by a rather annoyed looking Yukari.

"Hey, it's Yuka-tan! I didn't think we'd be in the same class again."

The two proceeded to engage in some banter Minato did not listen to, only continuing to walk away. His plan seemed like it would almost work, at least until Yukari began talking to him. "Anyway, it looks like we're in the same homeroom."

"... Yes. I know."

Yukari frowned, although Minato considered it a perfectly logical, if not rude, response to the statement of something that was completely obvious. She seemed as though she were about to say something, but was interrupted by Junpei attempting to make the atmosphere a little more jovial by implying something awkward happened between the two. "So, uh, I heard you two came to school together this morning. What's the deal with that?" A lecherous grin crossed his face. "Come on, give me the scoop!"

"Wh-What are you talking about?" Minato winced. Denying it so frantically was not a good way to ease suspicions. "We live in the same dorm. There's nothing going on, okay? Why are people even talking about it?" In no case had Minato seen or heard anyone else talking about their voyage to school together other than this one idiot named Junpei. "Now you have me worried..." Yukari looked at Minato, worry evident in her face. "Hey... You didn't say anything to anyone about... you know what, did you?"

"... Did she seriously just say that? Is she ASKING for the perverted youth over there to make a comment?" Minato's outward answer was a bit more polite. "No."

Yukari sighed. "Okay, good. Seriously... don't tell anyone about last night, alright?"

"..."

"..."

"... Wh-what?"

"... Last night?"

"Yes. Yes she is. I might as well add more fuel to the fire." Minato put on a bewildered look. "'The hell are you talking about? I didn't do that with you. Not last night, anyway."

Minato quickly power walked out of the room, leaving a blushing and speechless Yukari and a Junpei who looked as though he might start bowing down to the blue-haired figure leaving the room. Minato then had to start running, because Yukari was chasing after him.


When Minato came back to the dorm, he noticed some guy with gray hair. Why exactly someone in high school had gray hair, Minato didn't know. He could have bleached it or something, but what was the point? It looked silly. He gave a greeting to Minato, but the blue-haired teen didn't seem to care much and merely trudged upstairs to his room.

Maybe they were having a conversation downstairs. He certainly heard words being spoken as he went upstairs. Apparently, gray hair was going out for a bit.

Minato went out for a bit as well: into his bed, that is.

The next day went very much like the first day, only without the awkward introductions and faculty office visit. Minato went to school, took naps, and blew off anyone he could possibly make friends with. Nothing of note truly happened.

Other than meeting Igor.


"Welcome to the Velvet Room, my dear young man..."

To Minato, it appeared as though his dream was being trippier than usual. He might as well go along with it.

"My name is Igor... I am delighted to make our acquaintance." Minato nodded.

"I'm Minato and what the hell did I smoke last night to dream about you?" Igor seemed to ignore him as the long-nosed man continued.

"This is Elizabeth. She's a resident here, like myself." Elizabeth was fairly attractive. Minato noted that almost every person here he had met so far had been at least fairly attractive. Other than Junpei. And that fat kid. And a few of the students. Actually, there were a few unattractive people, but it would still be a lie to say that there weren't tons of incredibly attractive people. Minato was interested in none of them, however. The attractiveness of the people around him was of no importance; these strange dream people were a bit more important at the moment.

Elizabeth looked at him. "Pleased to meet you."

Igor continued speaking. "This place exists between dream and reality, mind and matter... It's been years since we had a guest." Ignoring the crazy man's words, Minato began to inspect the surroundings of what he was beginning to suspect was not actually a dream. It felt far too real. And considering that inane crap that had been happening to him lately, he would not be entirely surprised if it was not a dream. The "Velvet Room" appeared to be a large, blue elevator. Igor and Minato were sitting in chairs, with a table inbetween them, while Elizabeth was forced to stand. How sexist. The Elevator appeared to be rapidly moving upwards, with a chain fence behind Igor.

And then the contract appeared on the table. Minato merely stared at it, blocking out the man's words. He then looked at Igor. And back at the contract. Then back to Igor. Then back to the contract. Then back to Igor.

"I only ask for one thing in return... that you abide by the contract, and assu - "

Tossing the table to the side, Minato stomped towards the long-nosed man in front of him and hoisted him up in the air by his collar. "The hell is going on, old man? What is in that contract? Why's all this weird shit happening? Who was that kid? ANSWER ME!"

Igor remained completely in control, disturbing Minato greatly. "You're a wild one."

"... You're not going to answer me, are you?"

"Perhaps, you may be the wildest of the wild cards."

"... No. Of course you aren't. Of course."

Minato put Igor down, returning to his seat, pointedly not returning the table to its proper position. Igor continued with his speech as if nothing had happened. "In time, you will understand your role..." A sigh escaped Minato's lips. He had expected to go to this school, and have it be much better than his previous life. Now he was dealing with creepy children and insane old men with contracts. "Hold onto this..." And now a magic glowing key manifested itself in his pocket. Of course. Igor gave one last message to Minato.

"'Till we meet again..."

And then he woke up.


The rest of the day, Minato's thoughts were completely and utterly filled with the events of last night's "dream." It had probably happened, due to the velvet key appearing in his pocket when he woke up. Or at least, where his pocket would be if he wore pants to bed. He had stared at it for a good ten seconds after he woke up before tossing it at the wall and going off to take a cold shower.

Once he managed to calm himself down, Minato prepped for school like normal, heading towards the train. The thought occurred to him that he may be in denial, what with going throughout the day as if nothing happened. He blew off Junpei as he entered school, slept through a lesson, and headed home immediately. All things he would have done normally. He wrote complete trash for his homework, but made it long enough that the teacher would probably still give him full credit anyway. The teachers weren't completely stupid, but he couldn't imagine anyone taking the time to read through every single individual assignment. They probably only skimmed, and using big words in a lengthy assignment would, even if it was complete arse, still give you full credit. It had worked for him in the past, so he assumed it would work for him in the future.

The homework didn't really take too long, but he decided to go to sleep quickly anyway, hoping to enter the Velvet room again. Maybe this time, he wouldn't freak out as much and could even get some answers. After all, this stuff was happening, so he may as well accept it and attempt to figure out what the hell is going on.

His sleep would be interrupted in the worst way possible.

Crazy gun women.


In case Igor ended up magic-ing something into his pocket again, Minato had worn pants to bed. He had spent a good half a minute that morning attempting to figure out where in his blankets the Velvet Key had been, due to it moving thanks to his constant twistings and turnings while sleeping. The pants wearing, in hindsight, had been a very good decision, since Yukari opened his door without his permission after waiting about five seconds after knocking. She was wearing the same clothes she had been wearing all day (And yesterday, for that matter. Actually, hadn't she been wearing that when he first arrived?) and had that gun strapped to her thigh. In one hand, she also held a short sword.

Thanks in part to their rather unfortunate past together, Minato was rather freaked out and began to back away, hands up in a nonviolent posture. "Jesus, what did I do? Is it the comment I made about banging you, because that was just a joke."

Yukari rolled her eyes, but looked worried enough to get Minato faintly curious about what was happening. "I don't have time to explain, but we have to get out of here. Now!" Minato was about to ask why, but then the building shook.

"... Alright then."

"Hurry, downstairs! We'll leave through the back door." She stopped for a moment, as if pondering something, and then pointed the sword at Minato. The blue-haired teen immediately put his hands up, hoping to protect his fleshy bits with his slightly less important fleshy bits, but then realized she was holding it out to him to grab. "Take this, just in case." Minato was tempted to make a comment about how the blade was not the smartest place to grab a sword, but decided to awkwardly reach forward and grab the blade by the hilt Yukari was already holding. "... Okay! Let's go."


Quite a bit of running later, Minato and Yukari managed to make it to the back door, momentarily stopping to catch for breath. She looked at him. "Alright, we should be safe now." Minato opened his mouth, about to launch a couple dozens questions at her, when some kind of transceiver interrupted him.

"Takeba, do you read me?"

Yukari answered back, with Minato deciding to save the questions for until she finished. "Y-Yes! I hear you!"

"Be careful! There's more than one enemy!" Minato blinked. There were enemies? "The one we're fighting isn't the one Akihiko saw!"

"... What?" The back door chose that particular moment to have something knock on it several times. Very hard. Yukari gasped. "Let's pull back!" Once again ruining Minato's ability to ask any questions, Yukari bolted up the stairs, the blue-haired teen forced to follow her. As they ran up the stairs, (Minato had a nice view, he had to admit, due to her running up the stairs above him) Yukari began to vocalize her worries. "What are we going to do...? They're downstairs! Do we have any choice but to go further up?" Apparently, they didn't, since she continued to run up the stairs. Once they reached the fourth floor, the ground began to shake and Minato could have sworn he heard something break.

While Minato's response was along the lines of "jesuschristwhatthefuck," Yukari's response was just a bit more eloquent.

"It's getting closer! K-Keep moving! HURRY!"

The two went up another pair of stairs, and eventually made it up to the rooftop, panting for breath. Yukari sighed. "I think we're okay for now..."

As if to spite her, the monster decided to show up right after she said that. It seemed to be crawling up the side of the wall, and was unlike anything Minato had seen before. The first he saw of it was a hand: a black, shadowy mass that vaguely formed a hand slapping down onto the rooftop, causing Yukari to gasp and Minato to take a step back. Several more hands followed, and the duo was frozen in fear, a feeling that was only compounded when the mask popped up. It was a blue mask, rather creepy and emotionless, and seemed to just be randomly placed in the middle of the black, writhing mass of hands.

Minato had seen creepy children. Minato had seen men with noses longer than their necks. Minato had seen the fury of a woman scorned. None of that, however, had posed a serious threat to his life. Except Yukari pointing a gun at him, but he didn't think she would have been able to go through with that anyway. This thing, however, seemed dangerous; life-threateningly dangerous. And, if the fact that it began moving towards Yukari and Minato was an indication, hostile as well. It also seemed to have at some point, manifested a sword in each hand from seemingly nowhere. Minato looked at his puny, singular sword. "... Oh my god.

I'm going to die." At this point, with all the insane crap going on in his life, he didn't quite mind. Maybe he'd get out of that contract then. Thoughts of death were interrupted by Yukari nudging his shoulder, attempting to get Minato's attention.

"These monsters... we call them shadows." And then she pulled out the gun. Minato, for a moment, thought that she would shoot the monster and it would hopefully bleed to death or something, but instead, she pointed the gun at her face. Minato's jaw dropped, and he was about to attempt to stop her when she pulled the trigger.

Instead of a splatter of blood, what looked like shards of glass came out the other end of her face, and columns of energy began to rise up around Yukari. The glass began to spin around her, heading towards her waist. It was around this point, Minato would later think, that he stopped caring about the crazy stuff. If it was happening in his life, he might as well deal with it. There didn't seem to be any exit other than dying, and Minato wasn't quite sure if he was strong willed enough to end it all.

Ignoring the fantastical display of lights, the shadow charged forward, slapping the gun out of Yukari's hand. It then hit her in the face, knocking her out instantly. She was lucky that one of the swords hadn't struck her. The creature then turned its attention to Minato, and the teen damn near pissed his pants.

"... Yeah. I'm gonna die." Minato said as the creature began to slowly crawl towards him. "I was going to die anyway." He paused, recalling words that he distinctly remembered were not his own. "No one can escape time. It delivers us all to the same end. You can't plug your eyes and cover your ears." He didn't quite know why he was quoting the creepy kid from a few nights ago, but it seemed fitting. He was about to die, after all, right?

Minato glanced towards the gun as the shadow inched towards him. Yukari had dropped it, and it had somehow landed in front of him. Without thinking, he picked it up. It was pretty light. There didn't seem to be any actual ammo in it. That would make sense, considering that Yukari hadn't blown her brains out when she shot herself. A sudden image of that kid's creepy grin, along with him saying, "Go on." flashed in Minato's brain, and he stared at the gun once more.

Minato stared the monster down.

"... You know.

At this point, I don't even know what's going on anymore.

First the sky turns green, then I meet that creepy kid and the old man... and now you're attacking me." He pointed the gun to his head. "Now, I think I'm getting used to this crap." He paused. "See! The word 'persona' just entered my head, and apparently I'm supposed to say that." A grin appeared on Minato's face. It had been a while since he grinned. "But I won't.

You know why? Because I won't let you freaks control my life. I'm choosing my own fate, and you killing me isn't a part of it!"

He pulled the trigger.

"HENSHIN!"


That night on the bus, Minato had been dreaming about a young man. The young man's life was seemingly perfect, and he spent his days wandering about a grassy field, charming his love with his lyrical voice and musical skills.

One day, the fields of grass they were walking on morphed into a bridge of cold steel. The sky turned green and the young man's love disappeared. He wandered around, persuading others to lead him to others who may hold his love.

Eventually, he managed to find that love, but before they could join hands once more, a figure in a dark cloak swooped in, covered in coffins and wielding a short sword. That figure stole his love, and the young man could only watch as he took her away.

The young man became bitter from the experience: hardened and rude in contrast to his previously happy state. He left the bridge, his life seemingly shattered.

As Minato watched it all unfold in the realms of his dreams, he noticed what looked like a blue butterfly fluttering around that young man.


Pillars of white energy came into existence around Minato, swirling around the teen. What looked like blue glass shards erupted from the other side of his head in an explosion of light, and the glass shards began to move together, circling Minato's head and moving downwards until they reached his waist. They began to spin faster and faster until, in a flash that left Minato unable to see quite what the glass shards did, they formed a belt around his waist. The belt was mostly red, with small, silver squares on the sides and a black panel on the front, with what looked like a clip and a gun-shaped outline on it. Moving without thinking, Minato brought the hand holding the evoker up and slid the gun onto the front of the belt with a theatrical flair, causing the handgun to emit a solid click noise when it attached onto the belt.

With the Evoker now embedded onto the belt, Minato, still moving instinctively, raised his left hand in the air. Blue mist appeared in his hand, quickly followed by a card blinking into existence. On one side of the card, there was an image of a man straying at the edge of a cliff with a dog behind him. The other side held a picture of a mechanical figure with white hair eerily similar to Minato's, labeled as "Orpheus." Upon closer inspection, both sides of the card had the number 0 written on it somewhere. Still holding the card in his left hand, he brought that hand to the right side of his waist, while lifting his right hand into the air and bringing it up about a foot in front of his left shoulder. As both hands moved in opposite directions, the right hand moving to the left and the left hand moving to the left hip, the card slid across a small slit on the top of the evoker as Minato assumed the pose. This caused a synthesized voice, deep and not-mechanical sounding, to emit from the evoker.

"ORPHEUS FORM."

The pillars of light circled around Minato even faster, forming a tornado of white flames that obscured him from the Shadow's view. When the shadow attempted to pierce through the flames, his sword shattered into pieces.

Under the flames, Minato couldn't see anything, but he could feel the armor forming around his body. What felt like a thick, uniform, full body jumpsuit appeared first, made of a light, yet incredibly durable seeming material. The armor itself appeared next, with a chestpiece clamping onto his body, followed by armor that covered his back, forearm guards, greaves, and shoulder pads. He felt his shoes changing as well, although he could not place exactly how. The blue flames eventually exploded outward, revealing Minato's new form.

The jumpsuit was white, and felt and looked sort of like spandex. The armor itself was a much heavier, metallic substance, but was not so heavy as to restrict Minato's range of movement. His chestpiece and angular shoulder pads were turquoise, but the forearm guards and greaves were a white that matched the jumpsuit. What seemed to be the speaker from the sound system was attached onto his stomach, with two metallic strips forming an X covering it. His shoes had been replaced by incredibly thick black, yet short, boots, with white strips of metal covering the top of his foot. A white helmet with a red line running down the middle covered the majority of his head, although it was built to obscure a bit more of the right side of his face, which was itself covered by a thick black mask with red, demonic compound eyes he could somehow see out of.

Minato, not missing a beat, gave a practice swing with the sword he was still holding. Underneath the mask, he was grinning. This way, he probably wouldn't die after all. Entering a fighting stance, he spoke the name of what this strange new armor was. It was him. It was the face he put on everyday in order to face life. It was his persona.

It was what made him who he was.

It was...

"Kamen Rider... Fool!" Minato pointed the sword at the Shadow, as if he were issuing a challenge. "Prepare to face the consequences for your acti - !"

A sudden, piercing pain shot through him. The pillars of light appeared once more, now black instead of white, and formed a tornado of ebony flames that surrounded him. The Orpheus form armor seemed to be forcibly ripped from his body, exposing him to the heat of the flames and a power that was far too much for him to handle. Armor that felt similar in construction to his previous armor formed on his body, and he felt some form of disc covering the evoker on his belt.

When the flames dissipated, Minato immediately noticed the eight coffins still swirling around him, and the fact that the Shadow was now running. The coffins began to attach themselves onto his body, disappearing into his armor and causing a yellow cross to appear on each plate of armor it contacted. When the chestplate, right leg, forearms, and shoulders had the crosses integrated into their armor, the remaining two coffins spun around, attaching to Minato's back and transforming into a pair of black, demonic wings. The belt spoke the name of Minato's form again, although the voice this time was deeper, and sounded more sinister.

"THANATOS FORM."

Before he knew it, incredible blood lust overtook Minato. The only thought in his head was to destroy the shadow who had dared to try and attack him. To rip every one of its limbs off, savoring the splattering of whatever internal fluids it had all over his armor; to takes its swords and run each and every single one individually through that blue mask, cracking and tearing chunks off of it; to slash at it repeatedly, leaving the shadow in so many pieces that the greatest mind in the world could not solve the puzzle of flesh; to finally take the mask of the ruined shadow and crush it to dust in his hand, ending this battle once and for all.

Minato gave a battle cry, a horrible, inhuman battle cry, charged forward, and proceeded to do just that.

And then he passed out, the armor disappearing from his body.

The last thing he saw was a butterfly.


AND THEN I GOT THROUGH THE FIRST FEW DAYS IN A SINGLE CHAPTER

So yeah. Read and review, all that stuff that generally goes at the end of a chapter. Was this good? Was it awful? Should I keep going or would I be killing kittens by doing so? Please tell me, I'd be happy to hear criticism, etc.

Also no, I didn't read the chapter fully before I published it. I skimmed it and relied on other people to read throughly for me - I mean, of course I read through it fully! What are you talking about?