Chapter 15

Naoya's Struggle, Belberith, and Babel

A joint work between RionAgrias and Kisdota- The Freak Gamer

If I owned Persona… I don't.

Thoughts

Emails… Souji= Seta/ Yosuke= Hana/ Chie= KungFu/ Yukiko= Amagi/ Kanji= Tatsu/ Teddie= Smooch/ Rise= Risette/ Naoto= Shiro

Shadowspeak, Demonspeak

Yes… it will always be Souji… not Yu

Personalities of people are changed slightly due to situations in said world or worlds. So… if it's really off base, get on me about it… if it's a slight change, I am not a punching bag, kiddos. Traveling times are ridiculous enough in Devil Survivor, 30 minutes between prefectures! I'll shorten it a little, but come on…

The –san and –chan jazz and what not will be used by Persona 4 ppls, not in places where you don't hear them. Alrighty?

If you want more of it 'Japanese-ish' or the reversal names… Look, unless you ask me to, this is the story in English. I'll give you what Persona game play gives you, nothing more. Otherwise, I'd be translating my story into Japanese for you.

P.S. How I am making the COMPs work is my business. So...:-p

P.P.S. My poll about the relationships with Souji will affect the story.


'Agency' Building, Ikebukuro

The big spherical demon, or 'meatball', as Yosuke described him that had invaded the bastion of the 'agency' was just as strong as advertised. He was a Bel, according to Atsuro, and even the man who was close friends with the leader of the 'agency' treaded lightly around the Bel.

The fight with the spherical 'meatball' was definitely not going as Yosuke hoped as both Yuzu and Atsuro's summoned demons were being trashed. Yosuke and the others had found a weakness in the Bel, one that Yosuke could exploit with 'Zandyne' and other force-based attacks. The issue was that Lorelei and Hanuman, the demons summoned by Atsuro and Yuzu, were just too weak to make a large dent in the Bel's outer carapace. Before long, the lady demon with a harp and the sword-wielding monkey were taken out with the Bel's long spindly appendages that did not look they originally belonged to him. With Kanji's Rokuten Maoh and Chie's Suzuka Gongen protecting Rise and the human Shadow and innkeeper's daughter still not recovered fully from the ice-breathing dragon demons' attacks; Yosuke was left fending for himself against the Bel. Every second, this Bel made of many demons pushed Yosuke back more and more, up yet another step with his powerful attacks. Yosuke was losing all faith in victory as Susano-O weakened; its circular saw unable to fly on a straight course any longer.

Can I really do this? Can I keep this up?

"I can't fail Souji! I can't fail myself!" Yosuke yelled as he willed Susano-O to keep up his attack.


Tower of Babel, Golden Walkway Room

P… Partner?

Souji and Naoto, standing on a floor made of multiple and interconnected golden walkways; they had just watched Akemi's cousin, Naoya, stab Amane's father in the back before he had a chance to summon Babel. The founder of the Shomonkai, or Amane's father, wanted to create a new world where Babel would judge all of the humans. However, Naoya stopped him with a blade in his back. The words that Naoya said after placing the knife in the founder's back confused Souji and most likely Naoto as well since Souji knew that something was definitely wrong. The gleam in Naoya's eyes, his body language, and the way Naoya carried himself; Naoya had to be hiding something from Souji, from the other Persona/COMP-users, and from Akemi's 'agency'.

"What do you mean by partner?" Naoto asked, still a bit taken aback by seeing the orange-robed man with a cap on backwards being stabbed in the back.

Naoya sighed, as if the answer was obvious. Naoya took part of Amane's father's robes that were unsullied by blood and cleaned his blade with it before he explained, "Who do you think provided the COMPs to these foolish Shomonkai?" Naoya pointed at the bloody body of the founder, "Who do you think gave this idiot the idea of summoning this tower? The idea of summoning Babel?"

Souji took a step back. Could it be that Naoya was manipulating everyone… everything for his own gain? Souji had no idea just how far his betrayal went if what he said was in fact was true. Souji needed to know more, but before he could ask, Naoto questioned Naoya first, "So… was all of this your game? A betrayal of your cousin for what purpose?"

"Ha…!" Naoya shook his head, "Don't make me laugh…"

Souji raised his eyebrow as Naoya continued, "My cousin's machinations are about as pointless as this fool over here." Naoya proceeded to kick Amane's father, rolling him over to show the maniacal face that was still plastered like a death mask.

"What are you talking about?" Souji asked.

"I told Akemi to watch this fool because he was going to do something stupid," Naoya shook his head; his yellow eyes gleamed with disdain, "I told Amane's father how to summon this tower, but he had the gall to believe that he could summon Babel!" His voice rose at the last phrase.

"You mean he can't summon it?" Souji questioned the person with silver hair even longer than him.

Were all of the founder's threats unfounded then?

"Isn't it obvious?" Naoya rolled his eyes. He had a condescending tone as he said, "You fought Jezebel. She mentioned a Warrior of Bel, right?"

Oh yeah… that…

"What does that have to do with it?" Naoto asked.

"Unless you're a Warrior of Bel, you can't summon Babel," Naoya stated like it was the most obvious thing in the world.

Akemi…

"So… that's what you need your cousin for," Souji's voice was forced.

"He took out Beldr… becoming a Warrior of Bel," Naoya nodded, "And to get you two into the tower; he had to fight Belzaboul." Naoya continued, "Not to mention that to get up here… you had to kill Jezebel."

"Is that all of them then?" Souji asked.

"There's one more, but he's attacking Ikebukuro," Naoya replied.

Everyone…

Souji shared a worried look with Naoto. If one of the Bels were attacking the 'agency'… he had to hope that they were all okay. The only reason he and Naoto survived the fight with Jezebel and the other demons that accompanied her was because of Mari's arrival, and even then; he had plenty of trouble against that spider-like Bel who had taken control of Amane's body. If Yosuke and the others were indeed fighting a Bel, he had to believe they were alright. They were too strong to let one powerful demon take them down. Besides, members of the 'agency' were with them as well.

Naoya shook his head, "I don't think you have to worry so much about your friends… yet. The Bel they are facing is not too strong."

Yet…

"Why don't you use one of the other Bels to summon Babel?" Naoto said, "Why are using your cousin for this mission? Why the deception?"

"The other demons are powerful, but they are an annoyance," Naoya explained, "They each have their own agendas that makes it a pain. Besides, I need them all dead except one and they are somewhat reluctant to destroy each other unless they are all gathered in one place."

What the hell does he want Babel for then?

"So… if you summon Babel… what do you plan on doing with him?" Souji asked, "I know Amane's father wanted judgment on the 'sinners', but what do you want with him?"

"He was a fool," Naoya shifted his feet as he looked down at Amane's father for a moment, "I thought I explained that. The only way you can shape the world to your liking is to… kill Babel. It is something he would never able to do."

Kill… Babel?

"Of course, I would have to take care of my cousin as well," Naoya smirked.

Bastard…

Souji's face resembled one of disgust. He asked, "And what would you want out of your new world?"

"It's simple…," Naoya replied as he adjusted his black and yellow jacket, "I want Chaos…"

"You're insane… you know that?" Souji shook his head.

"I think you just don't understand my genius," Naoya shrugged. He suddenly walked over to his right, to where Naoto was standing and handed the few pages of the damaged Compendium that Amane's father had in his possession before Naoya killed him.

What the hell?

As Naoya held out his hand to give the vellum pages back to Naoto, she pulled her gun out of its holster and pointed it straight at Akemi's cousin. Naoto's face matched the look on Souji's, one of hatred and disgust that this man would betray his own cousin.

"Give me one good reason why I should not shoot you right now?" Naoto's voice was so threatening that it frightened Souji.

Naoya's face contorted into someone who looked like they could be deemed mentally unstable. He pulled out his own COMP and replied as he dropped the Compendium pages, "I was being nice because summoning Babel with those pages would only make him stronger and I don't want to be so strong that I can't kill him." He continued, "To answer your question…"

Naoya's COMP flared to life as a demon that Souji knew as a Persona appeared before Naoto. It looked somewhat like a vampire with its navy blue wings, lighter blue body, and piercing yellow eyes. Souji knew that Margaret and Igor said that Loki was the one who had ripped apart the Compendium, but… this could not be the one. It did not feel like the right one; it was just a demon version of the Persona Loki.

Still… It's terrifying. It's so strong that I am chilling from the other side of the room. Has Naoya been hiding this powerful of a demon this whole time?

Before Souji could process all of his thoughts about Naoya and the demon that had emerged from his COMP, a gunshot rang through the room with the golden walkways. The bullet that was fired from Naoto's revolver never reached Naoya's heart; it froze halfway and dropped to the floor. Naoto's expression turned to one of shock as Naoya shook his head. He smirked and raised a hand to wave one finger in disapproval. He said, "Now, now… you don't want to try and hurt me while Loki is around."

God damn it… This will be a pain.

The next sound Souji heard was one of pain as Naoto let out a sound of anguish. At first, Souji thought Loki attacked, but the silver fire that had erupted onto Naoto's arm was not from the trickster demon. It came from none other than Naoya.

What's going on now! Naoya can shoot silver fire as well? It's like he's a demon too…

Souji did not process many of his thoughts because he yelled across the walkways in a very concerned tone, "Naoto-kun!"

Naoya's voice was almost maniacal as he turned his head and suddenly pointed at Souji, "Ha! Are you worried about this little girl?"

Bastard…

The anger on Souji's face was evident as Naoto tried to put out the silver fire that was starting to spread. He wanted to run up and punch the bastard between the eyes, but Naoya would probably send more of that silver fire his way. Naoto dropped to one knee and began brushing her arm against the ground to try and put the flames out. It was like a grease fire; it just would not go out.

Instead of using his bat, Souji opened his COMP, turned it on, and summoned Vivian. He knew water would do little against a fire such as this, so he was hoping the wind-like 'Zandyne' that Vivian could use would blow the fire away.

"Naoto-kun!" Souji yelled as Vivian used her strongest singular magical attack.

He really did hope that Naoto could be saved by the 'Zandyne', but… even with Vivian's precise aim that missed Naoto's actual arm; the magic failed to put out the flames themselves. It seemed that the attack was just too powerful for Vivian's attack to make the flames disappear.

Does Naoya's attack rival one of the Bel's?

Souji's fire demon, Brigid, would not be able equal the amount of energy it would take to negate the fire. Besides, the fact that it was a regular fire, 'Agidyne', Souji doubted the flames would dissipate. Every second was a second of suffering for Naoto to undergo. Souji could not take it any longer. Even if he had to fight through Naoya's flames, or if Loki decided to try and freeze him; Souji was going to reach her.

Naoto…

Before Souji took one step, another flare of silver flames flew from behind the young man with short silver hair and as they surrounded Naoto's arm; it quenched Naoya's attack like none of the other attempts to stop it could.

As Souji tore his eyes away from his detective partner with the smoking right arm, he turned to see the leader of the 'agency' and Naoya's younger cousin, Akemi. The boy with short blue hair and silver headphones around his neck that covered a turtle neck and long pants was standing with Amaterasu. It was the goddess that had sent the silver flames at Naoto to quell Naoya's own flames, but Akemi was not the only human standing behind Souji. The two girls who had been at the lower level with him and Naoto were also there, including the one who was suffering through the effects of being a parasite of Jezebel. Mari Mochizuki had Kresnik, the demon who had formerly possessed her, at her side. However, the daughter of the founder of the Shomonkai, Amane Kuzuryu, however, looked far more alive than usual. She looked almost… possessed.

"Guys…," Souji muttered in the direction of Akemi as he took a better look at Amane.

Amane's multi-colored hair, mainly purple and silver, had started to rise up and stand on end. It was as if her whole body was lifting slightly, like she was floating on air. She really did look like she was possessed by something.

Akemi smiled, "It'll be alright now…"

Akemi moved away from Amane and Mari towards Souji and then right past him. He walked straight down the golden walkways towards Naoya, who… surprisingly, did not make a move as Akemi came face to face with his cousin. Akemi put his hand on Naoto's shoulder; she was clutching the top of her forearm, careful to not touch the part of her arm that had burned through her white long-sleeved shirt.

"Hello… Naoya…," Akemi said to his cousin while still keeping his hand on Naoto's shoulder.

"Hey cousin… I thought you'd never come," Naoya had that nasty smirk showing since he had been showing the whole time while set Naoto's arm on fire. Loki shared the same smile. He added casually, "Do you mind summoning Babel for me?"

Akemi made a small, yet haughty sound as he responded, "The only thing I will ask for if I summon Babel is to restore this city to its natural self."

Naoya proceeded to raise an eyebrow, "Oh… so you know what defeating Babel will accomplish? How did you figure that out?" When Souji turned back to look at Amane, Naoya's smile grew as he said, "Oh… Amane told you… or… what was inside Amane told you."

What was inside Amane?

Souji looked back at Amane and said in slight confusion, "Amane…?"

Amane responded in a regal voice… a voice that was clearly male, "I am afraid I have taken over this girl's mind and body. She is sorrowful about her father, but she knew that it would happen eventually. My name is Remiel…"

Remiel…? Another possession?

If Souji was unsure of how to respond to this, Mari took initiative, "She is like I was. Amane will help us defeat Loki."

Souji shook his head before he finally said, "I don't understand…"

Mari responded, "You don't have to…"

Souji watched the two girls, one of them now possessed, walk in the direction of Akemi and Naoya. They stopped only a meter behind where Akemi was facing his opponent. Akemi made sure the pages of the Compendium were in Naoto's hands before he took a step back with the detective.

Naoya smirked, "So…? What are you going to do?"

Akemi placed the headphones on his head as he said just loud enough so Souji could hear him while he was facing away, "Go on ahead. I will deal with Naoya while the girls deal with Loki."

You're kidding me…

"Ha…!" Naoya started laughing, "Are you saying that not only are you planning on defeating me, but you are sending this weakling up to fight Babel?"

"I have faith in him…," Akemi responded.

Naoya shook his head before he said to Souji, "If you think you have a chance… I'll welcome your suffering before I take care of Babel myself."

Akemi ignored Naoya as he told Souji, "Go on… and…Good luck…"

Souji sighed before taking one last glance at Naoto. She looked like she was still in a bit of pain and that sight reassured him that he really did need to go upstairs or wherever the hell Akemi wanted him to go. With that being settled, Souji turned back around to leave the room with the golden walkways. Back on the stairs, Souji had more than Naoto on his mind. If Naoto was at least being watched over by Akemi, who was looking over Yosuke and the other. His mind went to Yukiko; it went to Rise and Chie. The girl with the black hair that went past her waist, the girl with red hair in twin pigtails, and the girl with a brown bowl-cut flashed in Souji's mind repeatedly.

Back on the floor with the golden walkways, the three girls and Akemi stared down Naoya; Naoto was still on one knee, however. Naoya, still in the center of the room, kicked Amane's father again; this time the kick knocked him right off the walkway and down to the cloudy abyss below.

Akemi wanted to curse at his cousin, but it was the possessed Amane who said something to the smirking Naoya, "I know that Amane will punish you for what you have done, even if her father never had her best interests at heart."

Naoya's expression never wavered as he responded to the possessed Amane, "Well… she can try."

Loki seemed to share the expression that Naoya had as the Norse god readied himself for whatever the others were going to do. Naoya continued his taunt as he said to Akemi, "Hurry up and summon Babel!"

The last two times Souji had climbed stairs in the Tower of Babel; it felt like he was climbing endlessly. This time, it was only a few flights before he entered yet another empty room. This one was unique, different from the room where he and Naoto fought Jezebel and the room where they found Amane's father. The room Souji was in now appeared to have slopes made of cobblestones at about a 45 degree angle that went down the entire room. The rest of the flooring was pretty much all cobblestones as well with the exception of the opposite end of the room; it was a small area that rose into a circular pillar that was made of marble. It matched the extravagance of the room with the golden walkways.

Impressive room… I guess this is why Babel is summoned here.

As Souji stepped out of the stairway and into the center of the room, he muttered, "I guess I have to wait until Akemi summons Babel. I have to trust the others to defeat that other Bel... I know they will, but I just want them to be safe. Naoto got hurt because I was careless and I hope none of them end up like this."

Yosuke, Chie, Yukiko, Kanji, Rise, and Teddie… they better be safe.


'Agency Building', Ikebukuro

The Bel known as Belberith was still clogging the entryway of the bastion of the COMP-users allied with Akemi and Souji. The dark-colored spherical demon that had to have consumed many other demons as their pieces were supporting his extremely large body still had only one COMP-user really fighting it. Yosuke had been firing repeated amounts of 'Zandyne' while the Bel retaliated with attacks. Yukiko and Teddie had been hurt by attacks from ice dragon demons before the Bel appeared; Yuzu and Atsuro's summons were just not strong enough to help Yosuke. The physical attackers, Kanji and Chie were too busy making sure the support COMP-user, Rise, to fight the Bel. Yosuke did not know how long he would last. However, he knew Souji would be counting on him.

"I just need to keep this up…," Yosuke told himself.

Yosuke pressed a button on his COMP to fire a blaze of 'Zandyne', a wind-like attack, straight into Belberith; he did not even have a chance his knives while Susano-O was constantly fighting. He could not leave Susano-O without COMP-guidance anymore. The only good thing about using the force-based attacks with Susano-O was that it was making a lot of holes in Belberith. Each attack was slowing down the Bel, but it did not weaken his attacks. With no healing available outside of the weak abilities that Yosuke's demon possessed; he could not waste time healing either. Yosuke just kept pressing the button to use 'Zandyne' while having his demon jump back and forth to dodge the arms of Belberith.

Yosuke was right; Susano-O was beyond tired. Yosuke's demon had nowhere near the stamina that Belberith had, no matter how many small holes Yosuke had put in him. He just had to cause a little more damage.

Yosuke was saved from attempting to fight with an exhausted blue humanoid demon surrounded by a spinning saw as a samurai-like demon with a twin blade and a giant red humanoid demon with a flaming sword. Chie and Kanji had abandoned Rise for a moment to attack Belberith. With the two demons that flew straight past Susano-O, Yosuke gave a sigh of relief.

The demons/Personas of Chie and Kanji combined their attacks, 'God Hand' and 'Primal Force'. As they flanked the Bel and hit him on both sides, the demon was stunned. It did not end there as Suzuka Gongen used 'Agneyestra'. The multiple meteor-like attacks struck the Bel, causing even more damage.

With Belberith beyond damaged and stunned, Rise yelled, "Guys! You need to finish him off… now!"

Yosuke exhaled all of the air in his lungs as he motioned his demon forth. Susano-O had one last magic strike left in him and Yosuke made it count; he drove the 'Zandyne' straight into the Bel's face. The hole caused by the attack went completely through its face all the way to the other side.

Even without a face, the Bel echoed, "You might best me, but that tower is home to the real demons… demons stronger than me"

Yosuke turned away from Belberith as it dissipated; he wanted to never see it again. Yosuke looked back to the two COMP-users who had helped distract and stagger the Bel just long enough for him to attack, Kanji and Chie. The two of them looked a lot a better than the building, with the chunks of the barricades strewn about and burns along the walls and stairs.

Teddie, sitting near the top of the stairs, asked, "Is it over?"

Chie responded, "I think so…"

"That's good…," Teddie wiped his brow, "I don't think my heart can handle another demon like that."

Yosuke shook his head, "You didn't fight that demon."

Atsuro shifted his white hat, "I'm just glad we survived… We could not have done it without you guys."

Yuzu agreed with Atsuro, "Our demons were just not strong enough today."

Yosuke was surprised that Yuzu did not panic when her demon was ripped to shreds. The girl in the mainly pink tank top had a tendency to panic when everything went to hell.

"We're all alive and well… that's what is important, right?" Chie said, "It was really rough for a while. Those ice dragons were almost harder than that Bel."

"It was rather teddious…," Teddie smiled, drawing a look from Chie and Yosuke.

Kanji raised an eyebrow and focused his attention to Yosuke. He asked the second banana, "What did the Bel mean about the 'real demons'? Are Souji and Naoto in trouble?"

Kanji was worried about Naoto, and Yosuke knew that. The tower in the middle of Tokyo; it appeared out of nowhere and it was apparently infested with demons. Akemi, Souji, and Naoto were in the tower… apparently. If there were demons stronger than Belberith in that tower, Yosuke had no idea just how dangerous it was for Souji and Naoto.

Yosuke knew he had to focus his answer on Naoto, so he responded, "I'm sure Naoto is alright, Kanji…"

"Aww… is Kanji-kun worried about Naoto-kun?" Rise had a wide smile on her face.

"Shut up guys!" Kanji blushed.

"You don't have to be so shy," Chie smirked.

"I'm more worried about Souji-kun than Naoto-kun," Yukiko readjusted her red hair band.

There was one thing that bothered Yosuke. They could worry as much they wanted about Souji and Naoto's safety here in Ikebukuro, but staying here was pointless. If they wanted to make sure that the two of them were okay, they should go to Shiba Park and climb that tower to make sure that Souji and Naoto were okay. It would shut up Kanji for sure, and keep Yukiko from turning into a nervous wreck. If they could just head over and find a way up; it would be a chance to help Souji.

Yosuke held up his hand before Kanji or Yukiko started to go off again about their worries. Chie asked, "What is it, Yosuke?"

All of them had Yosuke's full attention as he explained his plan, "Listen… I'm going to that tower to find Souji and Naoto. If all of you are so worried about the two of them, you can follow me. Otherwise, you can wait here until the two of them do whatever they are trying to accomplish."

As Yosuke finished his statement walked away. He did not even have to look back to notice that every single Persona/COMP-user was following him out of the building, including Atsuro and Yuzu. The only one staying behind was the sentry, Midori.

"Heh… You can't complain that you're doing everything by yourself anymore, partner," Yosuke said as he led the group away from the building and towards Shiba Park.


Sloped Room above Golden Walkways in Tower of Babel

Souji took a deep breath as he waited for the apparent summoning of Babel that would come when all other Bels were destroyed except one. That one Bel was Akemi and the only reason Souji would be fighting in Akemi's place was that the blue-haired, headphone-wearing, turned-Bel young man was busy fighting his cousin and his demon… Loki. Souji was used to weird shit happening, but it seemed to be getting weirder by the minute. There was only one thing that would be a relief when Babel was summoned. It would be the fact Souji would have the knowledge that his friends were in fact safe.

As soon as I feel something from the room… energy… I will turn the COMP on.

Souji was nearly knocked back onto his ass when the pillar at the end of the room exploded with white light. Even when he steadied himself enough to prevent a fall; Souji could not move forward. When the light disappeared, the marble-esque pillar had been replaced by a huge human face made of stone.

Babel…?

"Are you Babel?" Souji said tentatively.

"You are no Bel…," the demonic being on the pillar remarked in a booming and threatening voice.

Souji's eyes widened as he felt his body freeze in a different sense than it did against Loki. Loki was a demon who had an icy presence and though strong, was nowhere as strong as Ameno-Sagiri or the goddess Izanami. This creature, that had to Babel, had a presence that matched Izanami; it was down right terrifying and froze Souji in his tracks when Babel first expelled its intentions.

"That's not an issue of mine," Souji could at least respond to Babel, "I fight for Akemi."

Souji pulled his COMP out of his left shirt pocket, flipped it open, and as he attempted to turn it on; he was hit by a blinding light of power. The last time Souji had been in this much pain was the day before he left Inaba when he fought Izanami.

Damn!

"You are not worthy of changing the world…," the being responded.

"Like hell…," Souji muttered as he tried to push himself up to his feet.

Before he was even able to stand properly, Souji was struck by another wave of blinding white light.


I took a short break in the middle of my writing this chapter (1 week) to write a FateStayPersona chapter, so this one might be a little all over the place. I can see really only 1-2 more chapters in this 'arc' if you want to call it that. I would prefer 1. Well, thanks for reading. Auf Wiedersehen.