Port 12: Shadow of the Lover

Apologies for the long encounter. There was a lot of stuff I had to get through, as you'll see below.

In this chapter: Yukari is face-to-face with her darkest demons, who is intent on breaking her.

There she was, the Shadow of Yukari, the fears and inner trauma of her personified. The inverse of her Persona, the reversed Lovers, and all Yukari herself could do was stare in shock, her eyes widening further and further.

It looked like her. It walked like her. It talked like her. It even smelt like her.

Was this what those kids from Inaba had to deal with all year?

She could do nothing but stare, her confusion overwhelming her anger and fear, but the Shadow responded with a harsh, cocky smirk. "So, can't say anythin', huh? Well, I'm gonna get some people talkin'~!"

She heard a chuckle from Teddie, and when she looked over her shoulder, she saw Yosuke's face completely red, sweat visibly peeling down his forehead. Yukari even held down a gulp when Yosuke looked over to the strange movie, and his whole face went beetroot red. "Don't tell me they're actually enjoying this…" she moaned to herself.

Shadow Yukari then threw a plushy away, put a hand to her chest, grabbing hold of the towel, and slinked off over to a folded curtain. She walked behind it, and the pink towel was thrown to hang over the top. Yukari watched with baited breath, not wanting to know what this strange Shadow was going to do next, while, when she looked over to Yosuke and Teddie, she saw blood pouring from their nose. She rolled her eyes. Perverts.

When she looked at the plushy, she felt sick, and her heart thumped painfully, seeing it was indeed a cheap plush doll of her love, Minato.

Yukari then choked in horror when she saw the other Yukari walking out, draped in the pink cardigan, the short black skirt, the black stockings, and the brown loafers. What particularly disturbed her was seeing the familiar red armband tied around her left arm, that only members of S.E.E.S. had, and the holster around her right thigh.

Shadow Yukari pointed to the red band around her arm, and grinned in self-approval, "You see? This is proof that I'm a part of S.E.E.S.! I must take really good care of S.E.E.S. or else Minato-sama would get angry with meeeee~! I really love being part of S.E.E.S., because that gives me an excuse to hang around Minato-sama like a horny little puppy~! Tee hee~!"

The brunette narrowed her eyes at her doppelganger, and tried to speak, but no matter how much her lips would move, her throat couldn't vocalize the words. Until she finally managed to bring out a baited sentence, "H-How… what the hell…" she recovered herself, and her eyebrows narrowed, "how did you get my school uniform!?"

Shadow Yukari's wide, unnatural smile quivered slightly, "Hey, you can find it easy if you look around. They're as easy to find as Mommy's clothes."

Yukari balled her hands into fists, and scowled, "Don't ever say that!"

"Hell, you probably still wear them when no one's looking. Given you're totally obsessed with the past and all."

She stomped the floor angrily at the accusations, "I do not! What the hell's your problem, accusing me with all this?!"

"But ya know how the saying goes, like mother, like daughter! After Minato-sama's death, I looked for a man to fill the void! First I dated Stupei, when he proves worthless, I go dating a bunch of random guys at Mommy's insistence. Then I look at this Hanamura loser, then when he pisses me off, I'm thinking to whore myself out another way! That's why you became a model in the first place, wasn't it?!"

Yukari froze. Wait, how did this fake know all this? She and Junpei weren't the most public when they were dating, they kept on arguing in public and only got affectionate in private. "No! I never… it's not like that, liar!"

"Feh! I want love so much, that I never cared about Daddy in the end! I just loved being with Minato-sama, as his love doll!"

To hear her father mocked like that, Yukari's entire body started to shake with anger, at this fake making her out to be a fool, "How the hell would I think that?!" she snarled, "I love Dad! I always will, no matter how long it's been!"

But the Shadow put a hand against Yukari's nose, and snorted, "I mean, why not? You're such a little slut in denial! I mean, seriously, you got with Stupei, and did the bang bang, if you know what I mean."

Yosuke audibly gulped. Yukari paid no heed to him, instead, her face darkening in anger.

"Shut up!" the enraged Yukari yelled, "You're one to talk! Talking about Minato in that fashion, with a towel around you! Screw you!"

"Without Minato-sama, I'm weak! I'm just a useless little whore who's willing to show herself for fame and glory, because without Minato-sama, I'm nothing! College and Ms. Junes is just an excuse to 'live my life to the fullest', when really the truth is, I can't handle life without him! Everyone's just too scared to kick Nyx's ass again. Well, screw everyone else! They can go fall to Nyx because I'm too weak without Minato-sama!"

I'm just like Mommy! I saw what Daddy did, and frankly, he's nothing but dirt in the ground now! He's not like Minato-sama, who's actually worth a damn!"

Yukari was genuinely taken aback by that, and her breathing seemed to stop for just a split-second, her throat seizing up in fear of what this Shadow was saying. To be quite honest, she was getting scared, and when she looked over to her friends, the shamed look on Aigis and Fuuka's faces in particular gutted her. That was before rage began to flow from that low shot to her.

"I don't think that…" Yukari's fists shook, but before she could say anything else back, Shadow Yukari put her hand away and let them fall behind her back.

"Speaking of Nyx, where's the balls you had back in the Abyss!? You wanted to go back and fight Nyx all over again to save Minato-sama! That was badass!"

Oh no. No, she wasn't going to bring that up. Yukari felt sickness rush to her head, this was some sort of nightmare. "B-But I was wrong!" stammered a furious Yukari, "I-I know that! I was selfish and stupid and I didn't know what I was doing! I accept he's gone, maybe forever!"

Shadow Yukari's expression showed she wasn't convinced. "Feh… keep lying to yourself. You obviously didn't think that when you was willing to take the keys off everyone, so you could see him again! What I am is just an emotional skank, just like Mommy! You act all tough and self-reliant, because all it is is just a wall so you can deny the reality that you still miss Minato-sama! Your little dates with those rejects ended in nothing, because in your eyes, nobody compared to Minato-sama! Yeah, who cares about everyone else! Nyx can kill them all for all I care, because I'm too weak to live without my Minato-sama!"

Yukari gasped, unable to speak. Aigis stared sadly, and looked down at her ceramic legs, looking shattered, "Yukari-san…."

Shadow Yukari turned over to Aigis, and scowled, "Humph, why did you get his power anyway, you fake bitch? You're nothing but a machine, and yet you claim to have all these bonds, while I actually spent time with him... oh, and did I mention I didn't even need to stalk him? I was the best girlfriend ever!"

The sheer hatred for the android in Shadow Yukari's voice was what got Yukari. As Aigis simply stared at the Shadow with what almost looked like pity, the brunette went wide-eyed, and looked to the android with a dazed expression on her face, "Aigis… I don't think that any more… really, I don't!"

Then, Shadow Yukari pointed at a photo of Junpei that formed on the TV. It was him and her on a date, more specifically, her at the summer festival, in a yukata and all, and Junpei grinning like it was Christmas. The Shadow's yellow eyes narrowed down, "I can't believe you went with this loser! I mean, what good is Stupei anyway? You know you banged him because you felt sorry for him, and he was the only guy worth a damn after Minato-sama died. And now, you're down to his level! What bullshit!"

What the hell was she saying?! Yukari's expression dropped in surprise and horror, "S-shut up! That's just lies! I don't think that about Junpei either! I… I really enjoyed being with him!"

The Shadow simply smiled smugly, "Like mother, like daughter indeed... nothing like dear Daddy, though. Remember what you saw? He saved the world, didn't he? But you know, Minato-sama's more important than Daddy. Let's doom the world and throw everything to Nyx, so we can be with Minato-sama! Let's screw everything Daddy died for! Because when it comes to it, no one's better than Minato-sama!"

All Yukari could do was grind her teeth, her eyes widening. Everything the golden-eyed Yukari was saying hit a raw nerve in her, that deep down, there was an element of truth. But Yukari wouldn't recognize saying such horrible things, and she shook her head, "J-Just… shut up!"

"Daddy left me and that bitch all alone, because he wanted to be a hero! Then there was Minato-sama, glorious, beautiful Minato-sama, who loved me like I loved him! And he died, and couldn't come back, because Ai is a selfish bitch along with the rest of those S.E.E.S. jerks! That's what Minato-sama means to me! Isn't that right?"

It was like a bullet right to her psyche. The monster speaking all those hideous things to her, telling her what was truly on her mind, Yukari didn't want to accept that. No, she couldn't accept that. She tried to speak, but couldn't say anything. So she did the next best thing, press her hands against her ears to block out the noise. She grasped at her brown hair and shook her head slowly, squeezing her eyes shut to blind herself from the lies.

"N-No… I… I… how can you be… this is a nightmare, isn't it? Yeah, that's right, a nightmare, then I'll wake up in the morning and everything will all be over!" she said out loud in a bid to console herself. Oh, if only it were a dream, then Minato would come to save her….

The Shadow only snorted at the scared young woman, "Pfft. You keep denying all this," she spoke, as her lips fell into a twisted grin, "it's better this way. After all this is over, you're gonna go and dream about Minato-sama, 'cause you're obsessed!"

Yukari only pressed her hands harder against her ears, trying to block out the mockery and the taunts, while she gritted her teeth. While she acted aggressive, she was petrified of this thing using her face as a mask.

She made sure to keep her back turned from the group, so they didn't see the tears forming in her eyes.

"Yukari…" muttered Labrys, with a dark look aimed directly at the Shadow. Aigis and Fuuka shared the same look, but Yosuke and Teddie stared in confusion, obviously unsure what they were talking about.

"Yuka-chan, what do you mean, the Abyss…?" asked the bear.

Shadow Yukari sneered at the five, and her golden eyes seemed to brighten up at the innocent, confused look on Yosuke and Teddie's faces, "Wow, you idiots don't know? Come on Aigis, tell our new friends about that…."

The enraged Aigis put her hand up, her fingers clicking together, "I will never tell you, you monster!"

She frowned, but then it picked up into a wide grin again, "Well, time to show Failmura and Crappie the truth of who I am, the utter bitch known as Yukari Takeba!"

She pointed over to the TV of the hotel room, which glowed eerily, as it set from static to an image. Yukari opened her eyes to see that the Shadow had the widest, toothiest grin on her face, and when she saw the TV static start to fade in, her face blanched in horror. Fuuka noticeably wanted to look away, while Aigis' eyes widened.

"W-What… what the… ya can't show that!" Yukari panicked.

But the Shadow paid no heed. "Behold… the answer!" cheered Shadow Yukari.

What the TV showed, was something Yukari wished she could purge from her memory. She saw the screen come to life, and the images flickered into life. The members of S.E.E.S., sat around the lounge, with glowing cracks around the room, trying to discuss what to do with the keys they currently had.

Yosuke rose his eyebrows, and Teddie's eyes widened to the size of dinner plates. Yukari felt like she was going to be sick, especially seeing the Shadow's uber-confident, smug stride and smirk.

"Ya see," Shadow Yukari said clearly, "these eight keys could determine whenever we go back to our time, or go back to the past, permanently, to save Minato-sama. The thing is, though, that going back to save him could call Nyx back, but that wasn't enough for love!"

"N-No! Stop it!" cried Yukari, now very frightened, not just to relieve a traumatic night, but how her new friends would react to her skeletons in the closet being unveiled for all to see.

Shadow Yukari then smiled grotesquely right at Yukari, that same grimacing smile with an undertone of mockery, "What happened definitely will go down in history of romance as the most romantic thing ever... screw the world and everyone, so long as I get my chance to bang my boyfriend again!"

"Please!" Yukari could only plead, now desperate. Her whole body started to tremble, and she felt like she was going to collapse, unable to support her trembling weight. More tears began to gather, and she swallowed back a sob. She looked over her shoulder at the group, still trembling, "You guys…."

Yosuke watched the TV intently, his eyes flickering from the screen to her. Yukari couldn't help but feel sick to her stomach when she saw that look, and when he spoke, "… What is she on about?"

Please. No. Anyone but Hanamura or Teddie. They didn't need to know this.

"Please…" Yukari choked, tears in her eyes, a chill dripping down her spine, "please…."

Everyone's sight went back to the TV. After Akihiko and Ken had agreed they wanted to move forward, Junpei had innocently asked Yukari for her opinion on the matter. The girl had been awfully quiet throughout the discussion, and then, she looked up. What she said….

"I… I… want to go back. To the time before the last battle… when I thought about how he protected us, I kept telling myself that I have to keep looking forward… that's why I started going to cram school, and spending less time goofing off. But… I can't lie to myself. If there's a way for Minato to come back… I'll take it, no matter what."

Now, in the Midnight Channel, Yukari's face seemed to lose all color, and her eyes widened, her breathing becoming deep exhales. No matter how hard she covered her ears, she could still hear everything. She peeled them away from her hands, and grasped handfuls of her hair, then covered her face with them, so she didn't have to see anything.

"No… stop it… please…."

In the TV, Akihiko and Ken were directly opposed to Yukari, with Mitsuru's eyes darting about cautiously. Yukari continued to shout and yell, and soon it flickered to her enraged face.

"You're all just scared! All this talk about the present is because when you get down to it, all you only care about are yourselves!"

Back in real time, Yukari looked away from the TV, and bit her lip, anguished to see the looks on her friend's faces. Aigis looked down, her eyes averted from the screen, Labrys was staring angrily at Shadow Yukari, while Fuuka shot a concerned look….

Teddie's jaw dropped, and he watched, unable to speak, while Yosuke made a whining sound with his throat, and tried to look away, but couldn't.

The TV flickered again, but this time, the scenery was much different. It was an arena, with four competitors currently fighting it out. The arena itself was like that of a coliseum, with a red sky over the competitor's heads, dotted with dark clouds, with several flaming torches surrounding the four.

There was Aigis, panting, her visor cracked, with a black-haired robot girl, eyes covered by her red butterfly visor, struggling with a redhead human girl, clad in a white blouse. Her axe clashed with Mitsuru's rapier, with neither giving way.

"Metis!" cried Aigis, but Metis managed to parry a rapier stab, and punted Mitsuru in the head with the butt of her axe. Mitsuru cried out, and Metis backed away, the blue aura coating her as Psyche emerged.

However, Aigis' attention was caught when she narrowly dodged an arrow. Her attention went back to her opponent… Yukari herself, wearing the same pink cardigan the Shadow was wearing. Milky brown eyes were narrowed directly at Aigis, and she put her bow back and whipped her hand to her thigh. She grabbed the Evoker from her holster, pointed it on the center of her forehead, and pulled the trigger.

"I WON'T LOSE! ISIS!" cried Yukari. The sound of a gunshot echoed through the arena, and blue fragments from the other side of her head formed into the floating shape of Isis. "Garudyne!" she yelled, and Isis flapped her wings, sending out a sprawling green tornado directed towards Aigis.

With no time to waste, Aigis' Evoker kicked into action, and out came Beelzebub, who blocked the tornado. The brunette scowled, but Beelzebub threw a series of lightning bolts at both Yukari and Mitsuru, with Yukari screaming in pain before falling to her knees.

However, she looked up and growled, then pressed the Evoker back on her head, albeit weakly. "Isis… please!"

However, before Yukari was able to call forth her Persona again, another Maziodyne was enough to send her down on her back, with another agonized shout.

Now, back in the Midnight Channel, Yukari's mind was at its wit's end. This wasn't her. This wasn't her at all. Her eyes were wide as plates, she couldn't speak, her face began to break into a cold sweat as her entire chest seized up, her emotions running wild on every level. She looked up at the golden eyed doppelganger, and instead of the usual anger, felt… fear and dreading. No. This monster was not telling the truth.

Shadow Yukari, however, was having the time of her life, and hollered with laughter. "Gyahahahaha! Isn't this great? This is what Yukari Takeba really is: a slutty backstabbing bitch, always hungry for a man! A man like Minato-sama!"

Yukari felt her legs go to jelly, and she fell to her knees, clutching her head, trying to block everything around her, "No… that's, that's not me…" muttered Yukari, panting, "that's not me… ya gotta believe me…."

What would everyone think if they saw this of her? What would Teddie think? What would Hanamura think? They'd think of her as an obsessed whore.

That would be all they ever saw of her.

Then, as if things couldn't get any worse, what came out she knew far too well.

"That was some speech back there, but you haven't really made a decision, huh? Then give it to me… gimme that key!"

All eyes were on the television, which showed the 17 year old Yukari desperately grasping for the true key, her hands wrapped around the head, trying to tug it away from Aigis' steel grip. She tried her hardest to rip it off Aigis' hands, but the robot would not budge. Back then, Aigis, Fuuka, and everyone in fact, watched in horror seeing their friend's desperation. And now, they only looked depressed, forced to relieve that painful memory.

Yukari, on the other hand, she felt a lump form on her throat to see that horrible moment again. But she couldn't bear to look away from the TV, not wanting to see anybody else's eyes on her. She knew if she looked… what she would see would be too painful.

"It's no use," the raven-haired robot, known as Metis, told the brunette, "only my sister can use the key now."

At that, Yukari seemed to lose all her energy, and she fell onto her knees, at Aigis' feet. Her body gently shook with sobs, and she gripped at the ground. "I want to see him…."

Aigis gasped, and her eyes fell in pity for Yukari, as she continued her breakdown.

"I… I made a promise to him too… I promised that I'd try my best to change this world, so that people would stop wishing for The Fall… it wasn't like yours… it was something I promised myself while I was holding his cold hand… that's why I decided to put my past behind me, and look forward…."

Aigis, even now, repeated the same words she had told her back in 2010, "Yukari-san…."

"But I can't… I can't be that person… I wanna see Minato… I don't care about anything else! I just wanna see Minato again!"

As tears began to flow down Yukari's cheeks, Mitsuru began to approach the grief-stricken girl….

Then the flashback faded back into static. Yukari stared, unable to say a word, her face frozen in horror and disbelief. Her jaw dropped, tried to pick back up, but then dropped again, as she tried to form words. They only came out as whined sobs, before forming into proper words, "H-How can y-you know a-a-all that, b-but…."

How did this Shadow know everything about her? How come it was able to wear her face like a perfect mask? Thoughts screamed in her head, and she felt her eyes start to wet up, as her emotions flew all over the place. She was being exposed to everybody in this TV world, and to see those memories again….

Yukari knew she shouldn't have done it, but she forced herself to look over to Yosuke and Teddie.

If looks could break a heart, then the disappointment and heartbreak in Yosuke's eyes could do it tenfold. And the sheer disbelief and horror in Teddie's eyes too, would do it twentyfold. The bear shook where he stood, looking like a simple toss away from tears. The innocent bear appeared to have his entire worldview on her shattered.

"Yuka-chan… why did you hurt your friends like that? Aren't friends meant to be friends forever…?" Teddie whimpered.

Yukari bit her lower lip and sobbed loudly, almost breaking down right there, realizing that the bear really didn't trust her now.

"I'm sorry Ted… I'm so sorry…!"

"'Sorry' isn't good enough, Takeba."

She looked over to the owner of that voice, Yosuke. He stared at her with a look that was like he didn't know whenever to hate her or not, but yet, his heart had shattered into a million pieces. And that was the most painful thing about it. His eyes wide, his mouth open, his expression was caught between anger, confusion, and heartbreak.

Yosuke took one step back when Yukari looked at him. It was made even worse when his eyes narrowed at her, his lips clenched into a tight snarl, and his fist tightened.

He lowered his head, glaring at her with confusion, despair and anger, and his shoulders hunched. "Takeba… this is… this has gotta be… is this the truth? Please… don't… oh, god… not again… I'm sorry..."

His eyes softened, his voice broke down into a whine at that last part, and his head fell down in defeat. He sobbed softly to himself, and he gulped. And when she saw a few wet tears gently drift down his cheeks, it made Yukari feel even more awful.

He was rejecting her.

They were rejecting her.

That was the perfect cue for Shadow Yukari to go on another shrieking fit of laughter. She pointed at the frustrated, confused, crying Yosuke, and glared right at Yukari, the gleam in those topaz eyes made Yukari flinch and back up.

"That's right! The pure, simple truth! Your precious Takeba-san, me, is nothing but a bitch who's still completely and utterly obsessed with the one and only Minato Arisato-sama! Sorry for the broken wet dreams, Failmura! Oh wait, I'm not! Gyahahahaha!"

Yukari screamed at the golden eyed Shadow, while she was frightened, confused and tortured, a quick burst of rage overwhelmed her mind, "SHUT UP! JUST SHUT UP! WHY WON'T YOU JUST SHUT UP?!"

Shadow Yukari then turned to the rest, and flashed a wide, distorted grin, "You all really wanna know who I am? I'm just an obsessed bitch… 'cause here's one basic truth… I am Yukari Takeba! I am her Shadow, her true self!"

Everything suddenly snapped for Yukari. She didn't know what else she was doing. She was all alone again, separated and torn away from everybody because of what she had done in the past. Everyone's eyes were on her, and the humiliation crawled into her mind, gnawing away at her.

Tears visibly fell from Yukari's eyes out of desperation, fear, and anger, and she put her hand to her face, trying to hide her crying, yet to no avail, "No... no! That's not me! That's not me! I-I'm different now! I've changed! I don't think that anymore!"

For once, Shadow Yukari's grin faded, into a neutral frown. She looked down on the real Yukari, and tilted her head over, narrowing her topaz eyes. For once, she looked serious.

"Why should I? I'm only being honest to myself, for a change!"

Yukari sobbed, and she stared angrily at the Shadow, "And who the hell do you think you are?! How can you say that with my face!?" her anger was choked back by her sobbing, and she wiped at her eyes to swipe the tears away. She couldn't stop crying, this was too much.

Shadow Yukari then grinned, "Like I said, I am your true self! You're me! I'm you!"

Finally, she couldn't take it anymore. She lost her will, and her heart thumped, telling her the answer she knew.

"No…." Yukari shook her head and by that point, her hands fell to the duvet, crumpling handfuls in her fists, and she shook her head, her anger giving way to despair. She couldn't stop the tears rolling down her cheeks onto the love hotel's floor. This evil thing was not her. No way could it ever be her.

"No... you're wrong! I don't miss him... I don't miss him at all! I'm over him, I really am! I don't resent Aigis, or anybody else… this isn't me..."

Shadow Yukari's unnatural grin grew even wider at that point, "Oh, yeah? I'm definitely you, and you're definitely me, tee hee~!"

The agonized Yukari squeezed her eyes shut at Shadow Yukari's teasing, feeling more tears trickle down her face, her heart denying what laid in front of her, "You're… you're not... you're not…!"

Fuuka was the first to shout out, "Yukari-chan, no!"

Then Labrys was the second, "Yukari, no! It wants you to do 'dis!"

Aigis tried to reach out, but was too late, "Please, don't say it, Yukari-san!"

Teddie immediately sprung into action, "Yuka-chan! You can't!"

Yosuke didn't say anything, instead watching in horror, tears also rolling down his cheeks.

She couldn't hear their words, drowning in her despair. Yukari's hands tightened tightly around the duvet, and she wept, humiliated and disgusted with the lying monster in front of her. "You're not… me!" she sobbed.

Now unable to control herself, she glared down her evil doppelganger furiously, and screamed some very familiar words from the bottom of her heart.

"You… you're not me! Didja hear that?! You can't be me! YOU'RE NOT ME!"

However, this was enough for the Shadow to grin the most she had ever grinned. Yukari snarled angrily at the doppelganger with tear-stained eyes, but the Shadow's lips twisted into a devious smile, showing plenty of white teeth while evil energy coated its body. The Shadows surrounding the fighting team were absorbed into Shadow Yukari, who grew bigger and bigger, until she burst forth in an explosion of power, strong enough to knock Yukari away and into the wall.

"Yukari-san!" yelled a worried Aigis, but her attention was drawn to the powerful Shadow before them… Aigis, Fuuka and Labrys' eyes widened at the familiar appearance and distorted shape of the Shadow.

The form of Isis was prevalent throughout the design. Two sets of twisted, metallic wings, one pair spread apart, and another wrapped across Shadow Yukari's chest. While it still held the feminine figure of the Persona, the cow's head seemed to be gone. The face on the headdress, instead of a distant smile, held a mourning grimace, with opaque tears on its sculpted cheeks. The most disturbing of all, however, was that there was a small figure wrapped around Shadow Yukari's wings, like a lover would embrace her partner.

Aigis gasped, "I-Is that… Messiah?! Minato-san's Ultimate Persona?!"

Indeed, the figure in the Shadow's embrace resembled Messiah, the Ultimate Persona of Minato. It laid there like it were sleeping, warm and cozy in Shadow Yukari's arms, and when Yosuke recovered enough to look at the transformed Shadow Yukari, he felt a sting inside his heart.

He shrugged it off though and prepared for battle. He nodded silently at Teddie and twirled his kunai around with one hand, while Teddie sharpened his claws.

"Yukari-chan…" Fuuka sadly whispered, "we'll save you…!"

"Yes…" Aigis stepped forward, staring deep into the blazing eyes of the demented Shadow Yukari, "Yukari-san, wait for us…!"

Yosuke had a heavy heart, but he knew he had to focus now. He groaned, and twirled a kunai in his hand, unable to hide his frown. He glared up at Shadow Yukari, the manifestation of Yukari's negative thoughts… her obsession over Minato… and he sighed. Then, his eyes narrowed.

The beast spread another pair of wings out, still keeping her tight embrace over the small Messiah, and spoke.

"I am a Shadow… the true self… anyone who gets between me and my Minato-sama… will die!"