As Fuuka announced, everyone tensed up. Jin and Takaya too, never expected the Shadow Eater would show up right to them. Unlike SEES, Strega hadn't met Shadow Eater in person, excepted Chidori. But Jin had once experienced it, so it's not difficult for him to recall the feeling of that day.
He could feel the pores of his body opened up – exactly like that day.
"What the hell…!"
They turned their heads to the entrance where they entered, and expectedly found a black figure jumped down and landed right in front of them. Instantly, everyone readied for battle by drawing the evokers and weapons out.
"It's coming…! Be careful!" Fuuka exclaimed.
To Shadow Eater, here sure was the place full with 'foods' it needed. Shadow wouldn't satisfy it anymore. It needed more – more foods to feed its appetites. It desired more energy for its master.
It let out a battle cry, and struck out. For now, it didn't matter who it might be, as long as the person who hold a persona would be its target. That's meant all of them here. It jumped high up, and its hand turned into spinning screw. Yukari and Mitsuru immediately leaped away when the screw stabbed to their direction. Turning around, Mitsuru wielded her sword while Yukari summoned Io and used Garula to blow the stone and dust out of their way. Shadow Eater blocked Mitsuru's attack with its sharp tips of screw, and looking for the chance to strike back. Not going to let it do what it wanted, Akihiko joined Mitsuru in the battle.
The Shadow Eater seemed to be good in combat, as it suddenly lowered its body which caught Mitsuru and Akihiko off guard, and swept their legs. The two lost balance and fell down. Leaping back, now it targeted on Jin and Takaya who stayed just a few feet away from it. Takaya wasn't good in physical attack, and Jin always realized that. He quickly threw a grenade out and summoned his persona Morus, which appeared to be a pendulum-shaped robot with only one arm. Its body was covered in silver metal, as if a being born with the high-technology. Morus shielded the two of them from the harm of the grenade, to which its ability to reflect fire.
However, as he thought it might work, a sharp thing stabbed through the dust and ashes directly to him. He shocked; the tips fiercely shaved his bang with just an inch away from his face.
"Stay back, Jin!"
Without evoker, Takaya summoned his persona Hypnos, a disfigured body held by wings, and charged with Megido. A small light burst out in the air and drew Shadow Eater away. Sure the Shadow Eater was clever. It dodged before it hit it, and stayed as far as it could.
Hamuko widened her eyes as Shadow Eater had down to her side. She raised her naginata immediately, to which the Shadow Eater reacted faster than she could imagine. It blocked it, and having another arm with sharp claws struck out. She gasped, while holding the enemy; she lowered her body, and pushed it off. Junpei summoned Hermes and blew it with Agi. Aigis shot her gun and drew Shadow Eater farther, and Metis hit her axe right to its head.
Minato summoned Thor to use Vicious Strike and smashed it to the wall. The Shadow Eater lay there without further moving.
"What's wrong, Yamagishi?" Hearing the gasping sound from the aqua haired girl, Mitsuru asked.
"…The shadow is moving! It must be aware of us because of the noises!"
"…This is not good. We don't have much time left." Akihiko looked at the Shadow Eater.
"Yes, our priority should be the shadow. Let's get it done first." Everyone agreed with Mitsuru. "Where the shadow's heading?"
"To the deep of the tunnel. I think it's waiting for us." Fuuka answered while dismissing Lucia.
Jin and Takaya nodded to each other, agreeing that their goal was achieved. With Chidori still waiting them up there and the Shadow Eater here, they wouldn't want to waste any time.
Just as SEES was about to set out to their operation, Minato noticed something was off. They could leave Strega for now, but what about the Shadow Eater? What if it struck out when they're facing the shadow?
Roar cut the place out, and snapped everyone's attention to it, as they found the roar was actually coming from the supposed-to-be losing consciousness Shadow Eater. They lost trace of the Shadow Eater when they looked to its laying position. Hamuko and Minato felt the intense from the top of them, and together they shouted.
The team leaped dispersedly as the Shadow Eater landed right to where they stood a moment ago. Instantly, before Yukari could realize, it grabbed her on neck and drew her closer. She gasped when the faceless persona took all of her sight for all of the sudden. She raised her bow, but Shadow Eater put more force on its grip, and caused her to drop her bow and struggled for a needed of fresh air.
The Shadow Eater laid one of its hands on her head and started to pull. Gasping out loud, Yukari could feel something was being pulled out by force – herself, her shadow, her persona. Unlike being summoned, Yukari felt terrible pain and her head was almost blowing up. No one could imagine what would happen to Yukari if her persona being pulled out in that way – or too terrible to even think about it. The same went to Yukari as fear consumed her from inside, and she couldn't bear to die in that way. No way!
Immediately, Akihiko ran out, and Mitsuru summoned Penthesilae to use Bufula on Shadow Eater. Akihiko gave it a murderous strike right to its face, but it ducked it. Akihiko kept striking to make it let go of Yukari. Junpei joined by slashing his katana from behind.
Yukari gasped for fresh air upon being released. She coughed a few times before standing up with the help of Hamuko.
"Everyone, we're out of time. We need to take care of the shadow first!" Mitsuru said in rush. From the tone, all of them could have some idea how much time they're left.
Gritting his teeth, Minato looked to Hamuko.
"Hamuko, take some of them to the shadow. I'll handle this."
Looking straight to his silver orbs, Hamuko shifted her gaze to the Shadow Eater before fixing back on Minato. She knew he's right from the point. And they had to defeat the shadow no matter what.
"Alright. Mitsuru-senpai, Akihiko-senpai and Aigis, please come with me!"
"Alright, I'll do it."
"Be careful, Minato-kun."
He raised a smile. "Don't worry about us. I'll hold it here before you defeat the shadow."
Hamuko smiled back. She knew she could always leave her back to him.
"Fuuka, please support us."
"Yes, please be careful!" Fuuka summoned Lucia out.
With the other four set out to the deep of the tunnel, that left Minato, Yukari, Junpei and Metis here to hold the Shadow Eater. In their corner of eyes, they saw Jin and Takaya kicked the steel door shut and locked all of them in here. Minato cursed, but that could leave after they settled the problem in front.
"Dammit…they shut the door!"
"Stupei, we can take care of that later!" Yukari took back her bow. She currently had a lot to deal with the faceless persona in front.
"So, what are we going to do with this thing?" Metis lowered her body, preparing to face Shadow Eater. Though she's worried about her sister, but it's needed to hold it here to make sure her sister was safe on her mission.
"We're going to hold it here…try our best, alright?" No strategies here, Minato shrugged. "Yukari, you're our support. The three of us will face it right straight. Use your best skill."
"W-Wait…our attack won't work on it!" Junpei reminded him. Did he forget how failure they were on the last battle?
He smirked. "Junpei, it's strong against all type attacks, but it doesn't nullify them." He turned his head to Fuuka. "Am I right?"
"…Yes. Though it's less, it does receive damage." Fuuka nodded to them to assure they still had chance.
"The rest…depend on out strength, is that so?" Metis smiled a little. What an undependable plan…but this was the best for the moment.
In the deep of the tunnel, they finally found the shadow. It was a tank, probably took the form of all the military weapons that being left here. Along the tunnel, they could see all type of military weapons set here. Some of them were rusted, but some of them were useable. It's not clear how long they're left here, or the government just left here for purpose. Anyway, the scar of the war from previous was still resting under the town, and they really needed to be careful of it.
"Fuuka, please scan the shadow." Hamuko quickly commanded after finding the shadow.
"Give me a moment…" Fuuka already started her scanning process since she detected the presence of shadow, but the result was pretty confusing. "…It's Chariot…but wait…it's Justice…? How could that be possible!?"
They went separately to distract the shadow. Mitsuru was mainly focusing on supporting, but she would help them in element attack. Akihiko and Aigis were mainly in physical attack, and that left Hamuko to swift in between.
Hamuko gasped and quickly bended down when she caught a glimpse of the bombardment was directed to her direction. She covered her head as it explored on top of her head. The stones dropped on to her, and fearing the most, she quickly got up and ran forward. As expected, the bombardment kept coming to her as she stumbled a few times and almost got hit. She screamed, and tripped down.
Aigis summoned Palladion to shield her from the dropping medium-sized stones. For all Hamuko could see, the wall that being hit was holed up, she realized that, all the bombardment was real thing. It's beyond what she could imagine.
"Everyone, watch out! Those bombs are real. Don't get hit by it!"
"Tch…what the pain…" Akihiko summoned Polydeuces and charged Zionga on the tank. With no element or physical weakness, it did effective on it, but in the same time, the damage wasn't that much. "Damn…we're into lengthy battle again, huh?"
"Don't give up! We have to defeat it here!" Penthesilae struck with Bufula, and Palladion used Kill Rush on it.
Hamuko summoned Orthrus and used Getsu-ei, which pretty useful during full moon. It would inflict extra damage on the enemy, and that's the reason Hamuko liked it. As expected, the shadow remained stiff for a while after receiving the certain amount of damage. It would be better if she could knock it down as well…but nah…
"Nice strike, Tsukikage!"
"Thanks!" Hamuko lifted up a smile, but soon disappeared when she noticed something went wrong.
The shadow was shaking…no, not shaking, but…what it was doing there?
"Fuuka, what's wrong?"
"…It seems to…I see, now I get it!" Fuuka seemed to figure out. "It's going to separate into two. This shadow you're fighting is actually two different entities! The tank is Chariot, and the turret is Justice!"
As Fuuka explained to them, the tank – Chariot stood up with its rear, and the turret – Justice flied up with two wings attached on both of its side.
"This is cheating!" What the hell? One entity separated into two, wasn't that cheating!?
"Anyway, let's take care of one of them first." Mitsuru immediately commanded. Without the need of healing and supporting, she summoned Penthesilae and struck.
Akihiko and Aigis did the same, as their attacks focused on Chariot. Since Justice was flying entity here, it's better to take down the Chariot first. Hamuko understood that, and summoned Orthrus out to join the battle. Justice kept shooting the bombardment to keep them away from Chariot. While having Palladion to confront Chariot, Aigis ran to Justice to distract it. Chariot tried to crush them out of its way, and inflicted them with fear. Unfortunately Akihiko was getting inflicted, and losing the ability to control his body. He tried to move it, but as if his body was chained with heavy carbon, it's out of control. All he could do for now was trembling.
"W-What the hell..!"
"Akihiko!" Mitsuru quickly used Patra Gem on him.
"Thanks Mitsuru!" What a shame… "Ready to pay for it!"
Having Orthrus took the last breathe from Chariot, Hamuko dismissed the persona to keep some of her strength. She started to feel the side effect of kept summoning persona. She took a quick glance to the others, aside from Aigis, Mitsuru and Akihiko seemed pretty tired as well.
"One more to go…"
"No wait Hamuko-chan!" Fuuka's voice cut in all of the sudden, and made her jumped up a bit. "It's not over yet…I can sense the power of Chariot is refilling! Justice revives it!"
"You're kidding…" They saw Chariot slowly stood up from the ground, as Justice revealed some skill on it. Fuuka's right. Justice revived its partner, and they had to take it down from the beginning. "How suppose we defeat it?"
"Let see…they will revive each other whenever any of them is down. The only way is defeating the two of them in the same time!"
Hamuko cursed. They already used too much strength on summoning persona, and now they had to do it all over again? She couldn't tell how much strength she left for now, or how long she's gonna hold, but thinking Minato and the others were up there to hold that thing for them, Hamuko knew she couldn't give up here. To get back their memories, they had to defeat these shadows.
"Pretty troublesome, huh?" Smiling, Hamuko summoned Thor. Summoning high rank persona always reduced her strength more than other persona, not to mention using high rank element attack. But now, she had no choice. "Go, Ziondye!"
The blue light of electric was too much for the bare eyes, as the other three covered their eyes in the same time from the strong light. Chariot stunned still for a moment, before Justice shielding when Hamuko charged out again.
Holding the faceless persona was not easy either. It's been several times Minato attacked it using high rank element attacks and physical attacks, this thing just wouldn't give up. It would look for any chance to grab their persona, just as how it did to Yukari. Hermes and Psyches had used their best skills on Shadow Eater, but still, it didn't seem to receive serious damage.
"Damn it…our attacks didn't work at all!" Junpei screamed out when Shadow Eater suddenly charged from his left side. He stumbled and fell to his back, and luckily evaded the spinning screw from the enemy.
"Psyches!" Metis used Garudyne to blow it out of the way, while running to Junpei's side to pull him up. "Snap out of it!"
"Fuuka, how are them?" He panted. His could tell his strength met its limit soon.
"Justice revived Chariot…and they had to start all over again."
"What a pain…" So, they didn't seem too good, huh?
Shadow Eater's roar drew his attention back. He felt his energy restored a bit as Io cast healing spell on him. This should help.
He pointed the evoker to his temple, thinking which persona he should summon. Thanatos was out of the choice. He needed other strong persona other than Thanatos. Closing his eyes, he heard many voices within him.
"Here you go…Surt!" Blue light illuminated beneath his legs, and the flame god appeared in front of him. "Ragnarok!"
Shadow Eater screamed grievously as the dancing flame covered it and burned it from outside. No matter how strong it against the fire element, the damage wouldn't be less. Minato felt dizzy after releasing such powerful skill, and temporarily losing balance. Seeing that, Yukari quickly used Diarama on him again.
They could smelled burning in the air, as Shadow Eater bended down on the ground. No movement could be seen, after Metis went closer and checked it out. Junpei cheered out and jumped up like a kid. Yukari, who was tending with Minato's dizziness, also lifted up a smile.
"Hey Arisato-kun, we did it."
"…Yeah, that's good." Letting out an exhausted sigh, he just lay on the ground, too lazy to get up. He kept the promise. He had held it here.
"It's not over yet. Hamuko-chan and senpai are still fighting the shadows." Fuuka said in worried tone. Suddenly, from the deep of the tunnel, they heard a piercing roar. Everyone startled a bit, and Minato immediately got up.
"Looks like it's too early to have some rest. Let's help them." He spoke, and leaded to the tunnel.
"What about this thing?" Metis asked.
"Just leave it here. It should be alright." Yukari looked at the Shadow Eater in disgust. Thinking how it tried to pull Io out by force had ignited her flame again.
Minato turned back to check on it once again. It laid there without further moving, or any sign to show it would wake up. He urged the other four to hurry down there to help out. As they running down to the tunnel, the clashing sound was more and more intense, and they could hear the exploring from down there.
Just around the same time, Minato suddenly stopped his pace, followed by Metis. Junpei and Yukari turned back and were confused by them.
"Hey, what's wron -"
Metis activated her scanner, but Fuuka was a step faster than her. She turned to their back and looked to the way they came down. Her eyes widened up, and from her eyes, Minato could see the fear, and –
Pushing the two in front to have them to move, Minato heard the dashing sound from behind them. Now, even Junpei and Yukari could have known who that roar has belonged to, aside from the shadow down there. Their face paled up, and quickly moved their legs in stupid way.
As if being crushed by driving car, though they managed to get out from the tunnel before it crushed them, they all hit the ground by rolling a few times.
"M-Minato-kun!?" Hamuko was shocked to find the cool boy and others were here. They're supposed to be up there, weren't they?
"…Save it later! It's coming!"
A black shadow covered her from the top, as Hamuko realized it, some hard object hit her head and knocked her down. She still remained consciousness, but her eyes wee too heavy to open up. She tasted ironic in her mouth. Was it from the wound of her head? Was she…bleeding?
She heard Minato's voice. She had to answer, she had to let them knew that she's alright, despite the wound on her head, she's alright. She could fight, she's no problem with it.
She forced her eyes opened. As she did, she saw nothing but the faceless persona on top of her, with its hand on her head. Fear suddenly swelled inside her as she recalled how it tried to pull Yukari's persona out by force.
Watching Jin, Chidori and Takaya left the secret underground tunnel, Izumi walked out from where he hid. He looked up to the green sky and watched the gigantic full moon, realizing that today there's giant shadow would show up, and it seemed located down in the deep of the tunnel.
His target was the giant shadow. Normal shadow wouldn't satisfy him anymore, and from the pain he's suffering recently, he knew his time was short. He needed more to extend his life spam. And then, he realized he could have targeted on the persona user such as Jin and Takaya. But eating his friends' persona…he couldn't. So he chose the other team that was active during Dark Hour, SEES.
However, to his surprise, he recognized the two of them in the team. Arisato Minato and Tsukikage Hamuko, the little couple that used to come to Hagakure and chatted with him.
So…Jin was right from the start. They weren't innocence at all. They had something to do with Kirijo Group.
He couldn't hate them. Everyone had their story, just as he and Strega. His hatred toward Kirijo Group had long gone. The one leaving in him was the wish to stay with Maya and little Saya.
"But…sorry." Be his food and helped to extend his life spam, please…
They're strong, especially Minato boy. Surprisingly, he held multiple persona, and be able to switch in the middle of battle. More of it was, he could summon high rank persona without difficulty. He would be the perfect meal. If only he could eat his persona…
"Argh…!" The pain reflected on him as Shadow Eater received the damage. But thanked to the endurance of his persona, his pain was reduced quickly. "Minato boy…you're such a rude boy…"
He panted and leaned against the wall to have some rest. He could feel the Shadow Eater was soon out of his control. He had to summon it back before it went berserk again. He always suffered the terrible pain after it went berserk, and it seemed to shorten his life spam as well.
But before he could do so, he felt something wrong around him. Without trace, he was surrounded by a bunch a crimson eyes creatures – the shadows. Since when did they surround him? He couldn't recognize some of them. They didn't seem to be the low rank shadows…shit.
"…What a bad timing…"
He had to call Shadow Eater back…he could leave SEES be for now, as the meal around was enough for tonight. But first, he had to call it back, or else…!
The shadows not gave him any room to call his persona back, but struck out in once. He clutched his head as terrible pain took over him. Oh no…it went out of control again…!
"No…come back…come back, Shadow Eater!"
Black liquid splashed on her face and stained her sight. Feeling disgusted, Hamuko quickly wiped them off, wondering what'd happened in the same time. She still felt her persona within her…so what had happened?
She heard Junpei's voice, and someone pulled her up to her feet.
"Are you alright!?"
"Open your eyes, Tsukikage!"
She forced her eyes opened and focused her sight to the things in front of her. The first came into her sight was Minato's back, and then Junpei and Akihiko were supporting her by grabbing both of her arms. And then…her gaze fell on the faceless persona. Its left side of face, where the eyes supposed to be was carved with a deep scar. Black liquid flew out from there non stop.
Sudden dizziness hit her and everything was blurred. No…she still had mission left to complete…she had to stand up…!
"Look, the Shadow Eater!" Yukari snapped her attention.
The Shadow Eater slowly disappeared in front of them. Not knowing the reason, but they glad it surrendered for the moment, as they couldn't take care the three of them in the same time.
"Everyone, now focus on our mission!" Since Hamuko was injured, and Minato was badly exhausted, Mitsuru took the full command of the mission. "They don't have any weakness. Use your best skill, and take them down in the same time!"
"Yamagishi, how's the enemies?"
"…There's still a little more! Concentrate on Chariot first!"
Minato pulled Hamuko to the other side and summoned Pixie to heal her.
"Hey Hamuko…" He tapped her face lightly.
"…Minato-kun?" She could feel his breathes on top of her head. She gave him a light smile. "How's the mission?"
"Everyone is fighting. Don't worry."
He noticed the Justice pointed the turret to their direction, as he grabbed Hamuko in arm. He would protect her this time. Dismissing Pixie, he raised his evoker to summon another persona, but was stopped when Aigis blocked his way.
"I will protect the two of you. Please leave it to me."
"You are not allowed to lay a finger on them."
The white android activated her Anti-Shadow Weapon's Orgia Mode. By activated Orgia Mode, her movement and power would instantly improve to high level. Although it got side effect, but to eliminate enemies in quick, this was very useful.
"Metis, help me!"
"Yes, sister!" The black android followed behind her sister while activating her Orgia Mode.
Summoning their persona on the way, Aigis faced Chariot and Metis to Justice. Since Chariot was fully revived by Justice, they needed more time on it rather than Justice. Metis noticed that, and avoided to kill Justice before Chariot.
"Let's help them!"
"Focus on Chariot!"
All of them struck out by providing support and assisting the android sister. In the last strike, Psyches and Palladion cast Magarudyne and Swift Strike in the same time to make sure they wouldn't revive again. The masks broke into pieces, Justice and Chariot's body cracked into small pieces and dissolved into the air.
"We…we did it!"
"Yes…finally. I would say, this is a difficult battle." Mitsuru let out a sigh.
"Easy Mitsuru. We did it." Akihiko shrugged. "The problem is how we're going to get out of here."
"Don't worry. I'll report to Chairman now."
There's a black haired boy.
They couldn't see his face, but he used to smile and played with them.
Minato watched them went to buy a new MP3 Player for him when his old MP3 Player was smashed during a mission. And then they went to sing and shopping together, getting closer and closer to each other. But he couldn't see his face, or how he looked like. But he knew this person was someone dearly to him.
"Thank you…and good bye."
The time that Junpei first introduced to her, or the time they met in the train, or the time they spent in Kyoto…he was there everywhere. The words he spoke, his silence and his smile…were all too familiar. She remembered the ring he bought in Kyoto that he said it was his treasure. And the last word he spoke to her…
"I love you, my dearest."
She closed her eyes, a drop of tear rolled down to her cheek.
Who are you…?
Terrible. This was the first thing she could only think of for the moment.
In front of her was no other than the wreckages of the shadows. Smashed masks, broken arms and legs, or the remaining body that had been left, Haruka slowly walked through the street as she observing.
She had gathered enough shadows to take him down when he had his persona concentrated on SEES. But even so, he still survived…
On the other words, she had provided another bunch of food for him. What a mistake…but at least she knew, his life had met its limit. That's why he anxiously wanted to look for other food instead of just the shadow.
He should've known…
"…Even so, you still want to live." Haruka muttered softly.
If all the people in the world thought the same as him, to stay alive and stand against it no matter how hard the live would be, Minato and Hamuko wouldn't have to face their end in this way. Maybe…they could be freed from the fate.
She shook her head.
It's useless to think about it. For the world's balance, they had to face their fate. That's her purpose to born in this parallel world, to make sure everything was on the track.
Green sky gone, time started to flow again. Everything backed to normal. Haruka turned to her back and left this place, pretending nothing had happened here.
Carefully not to be found by her other friends, Hamuko made her way to the second floor of her dorm, straightly going to the further door at the end of the hallway. She nervously combed her hair with her fingers, and tapped her face to make sure she's looking good enough.
Slowly, she knocked the door, waiting for the door to open. But to her surprise, she didn't receive any response from inside. She raised her brow, knocking again.
Silence. Silence. Silence.
At the end, she decided it would be best to open the door and walked in without permission. It's not like she didn't ask for it, but the owner of the room didn't seem to give any response.
"Good morning Minato-kun!"
As expected, the cool boy was lying on his bed, and quickly covered his head with blanket after hearing her voice.
So he did awake, huh?
She went to slide the curtain and opened the window, feeling nervous for her request. Hmm…this was her first time though.
"Just listen to what I say." She knew he's listening. "Minato-kun, would you like to go out on a date with me?"
On my god…her palms were sweating. She had to wipe them with her skirt.
"…Are you sick or something?" He spoke inside the blanket.
"Y-You're rude! I'm asking you out, not sick!" Oh she hadn't expected to get respond like this, like she's crazy.
She heard a sigh from the blanket, and then he uncovered his head, finally showing himself to her.
"…With the bandage on your head?"
"I-I'm alright. It doesn't matter." She put a hand on her head, where the bandage was. This was caused on the mission where the Shadow Eater suddenly dashed into the battlefield and knocked her down. After the mission, they immediately sent her to the hospital with Mitsuru's help.
"Why asking me out?"
"Well…because you saved me from the Shadow Eater." She couldn't remember what happened back then. All she could remember was the Shadow Eater tried to pull her persona out and intended to eat. It was Yukari and Fuuka told her that it was Minato who saved her by stabbing the sword into the Shadow Eater's left eye.
He sat up from the bed. "…You wouldn't hurt if I could hold it. It was me so you ended up injured."
"It wasn't like that…just wake up and go out with me!" She only knew on thing, that's it's he the one saved her. That's all. It didn't matter to her how it happened.
He sat still. Instead of going to change, he just stared at her face. It made Hamuko nervous.
"W-What are you looking at?"
"…Tell me already. What's wrong?" He pointed her swollen eyes.
She fell silence, and smiled helplessly.
What couldn't hide from him? She made sure she looked normal before coming here. But still, it didn't seem she could hide from his sharp and observed eyes.
"You can tell, huh?" She sighed, sitting down beside him. "…What did you see on the flash back?"
"…A boy without face."
"…He smiled a lot, wasn't he? But his smile was…sad." Tears started to gather in her eyes as she recalled the memories. "I don't know about him…but he's someone precious to me. I…I can't press down this feeling inside me, and just…cry whenever I think about it…"
Minato put a hand on her head as she choked into small cry. Indeed he felt that way too, although he didn't know him, he knew that's someone important to him, someone special. He wasn't a friend or a classmate, he was someone more than that…a family, a brother, maybe?
He remembered Pharos told him something similar, like hanging out with Junpei, or choosing a new MP3. Now he wondered, was that boy in the flash back Pharos?
To Hamuko, that person was similar as Minato, like her other part. She could feel his sadness and struggling when he confessed to her.
"…Was he someone from our previous journey? How was I to handle it alone?" She couldn't imagine she could hold this feeling all by herself. "Without you Minato-kun…how was I to handle this feeling?"
"When I was in Inaba, Rio asked what you are to me. Now I can tell…that you're my other half…" She looked straight into his sliver orbs. "You always there for me whenever I need you. You know how I feel, and always stay by my side. I…couldn't imagine how I am if only me in this situation…"
Minato silently grabbed her neck by arm and gently pull her closer. For a moment, she blinked at the imitated touch, and went flustered.
"…Hey, is that some kind of…confession?" He playfully raised a smile.
Her face burned up. "O-Of course I'm not…! It's just that…umm, I-I'm telling you how much I-I rely on you…and how useless I am…"
"Hamuko, you're stronger than you've thought." He broke her sentence by turning her face to him. "You never know how you've influenced me, and…how much I rely on you as well. Do you think I can handle all these by myself?"
"…You can. I'm sure you can."
"May be. But I'm sure it would be different if you aren't here with me." He's sure that once upon a time, there's someone together with him when he's in the most difficult time. That person wasn't Yukari, wasn't Mitsuru, wasn't Fuuka, wasn't Aigis, or any other SEES members, but someone else. Someone that shared the same fate as him, the girl with crimson eyes, that's…Hamuko. He's kinda sure of that. And since than, she's always by his side.
Her face reddened, as she let out a big smile. "…I think I'm the same." He always wiped off her sadness and drew her attention to somewhere else. Her mood lightened up a bit. And then, she felt something soft pressed on her wound. It's too soft, she almost couldn't feel it. She widened her eyes and lifted her head.
"Hey, stop spacing out. Aren't we going on date?" He smiled, brighter than he used to be.
Was it he kissed her wound just now? Or…that's her imagination? She watched him got down from his bed and did his daily routine, until he took off his shirt.
She blushed. "H-Hey…wait! Don't simply take off your shirt in front of a girl!"
"I thought you want to see. You know, you just keep staring at me." He laughed, seeing the girl covered her face with his pillow.
Keeping her pace slow and silence, Haruka walked down to the stair.
"…So they had seen Ryoji in their memories…"
It wasn't what she expected, but that wasn't what she could control, after all.
She knew, someday, when they finally remembered everything in the past journey, she wasn't able to stay, just like Ryoji. She wasn't belonged here, and she had to go back where she should be.
She knew it from the start…so what's this feeling?
She pressed a hand on her chest. Her chest was swelled with indescribable feeling that she hadn't experienced before. She let out a sigh, trying to press down it. Lifting her head, she opened the door and walked out the dorm.
Yohooo, I'm back! Sorry for the long update. I'm starting another project called Persona: Stained Souls a while ago, so this story delays a bit. Hope you don't mind.
Well, if you would, please go through my new story and leave a review. See you guys on next chapter.