Part 21: Entry Eighteen: July 18, 2009
Entry Eighteen: July 18, 2009
Music: I always listen to HIM when I'm relaxing. Good stuff.
Finals are finally over and I haven't been horribly killed by stress or horrible monsters yet, so all in all I'm feeling pretty good lately. Summer break's finally here, too, and it's looking like we'll get a break from fighting for awhile!
I should probably start off with what's happened since I last wrote, though, so...
...over the past week I've used a combination of studying and caffeine to ensure that I'm at my best for finals. I've felt pretty confident about both my academics and social life, which is unusual for me.
On the morning of the ninth, I overheard an interesting conversation...
Listener: It's becaues the building wasn't built that long ago, so everything's still gleaming. You know, I heard from my parents there was an explosion here 10 years ago. They replaced the building after that, but...there's more to it, too. Around that time, a lot of students stopped coming to school. Maybe that's why they put up the new building...to start with a clean slate...
Gossip: An explosion?! Did someone screw up in chem lab or something? That must have been a dangerous lecture...
I'd been hearing a lot about that explosion ten years ago, so I was curious in what exactly had happened back then.
That evening, I got a cell phone call.
It was Elizabeth, calling as usual to tell me that we could access more of Tartarus now. Nothing special really, and all of us have been way too busy to go demonslaying until after finals.
I had Integrative Learning on the 10th.
Mr. Edogawa: But today, we'll talk about the single most magical place and time. Today's topic is the magic of medieval Europe. There are a lot of materials pertaining to western magic, from books to folklore. We'll cover all of it, including the changes it's gone through. As I mentioned last time, European magic has its origins in paganism.
Mr. Edogawa: Some well-known examples are Kabbalah, the study of the mystical aspects of Jewish texts and Gnosticism, a Christian sect founded by Simon Magus the Sorcerer.
Mr. Edogawa: The same was true of Islam's scientific advances, which surpassed Europe's at the time. Now, as for the circumstances of magic in this age...it was an era where the rule of Christianity and the insight of the natural sciences collided. Magicians bravely reached up for a connection with the gods...
Mr. Edogawa: Particularly the famous "grimoires." Grimoires are collections of a wide range of magical texts, and...
He went on for awhile about grimoires, but I didn't pay much attention to the rest of it.
After school that day - for most of the week for that matter, since everyone else was busy studying - I stopped by the sushi joint at Iwatodai and had the Prodigy Platter.
Maybe it's just a placebo thing, but I really feel like it helped with my studies. Pretty tasty stuff, too.
I also hung out with Mutatsu in the evenings, though it never really went anywhere.
On the morning of the 11th, I ran into Junpei before class.
I told him that yeah, I'd been studying.
I still have no idea what the fuck his problem was.
After school that day, I got a text message.
Akihiko: Ikutsuki-san is coming tonight. He has something to tell us. We'll meet on the 4th floor as soon as everyone gets back.
So after school, that's exactly what we did.
Ikutsuki: But it's not all bad news...I called today's meeting because--
Yukari: I'm sorry.
Yukari: Since I joined, so many things have happened...I went along with it without really understanding what was going on, but now I need to know. I'm gonna ask you straight out...
Yukari: You act like you don't know anything about the Dark Hour and Tartarus...but they're related to that accident ten years ago, aren't they?
Junpei: What accident...?
Yukari: There was an explosion near our school, and a lot of people died...it must have been big news back then. You know about it, don't you?
Yukari: Luckily, no students were injured. But around the same time, a large number of students were recorded as absent. Seems like more than just a coincidence.
Yukari: I dug up some old school records and found something interesting. The students who were absent...they all collapsed suddenly and had to be hospitalized. Sound familiar?
Yukari: There has to be an explanation! What really happened on the day of that accident? The Kirijo Group built our school, so you must know something!
Mitsuru: ...I wasn't trying to hide anything from you. It just never seemed relevant. But...
Ikutsuki: It's okay. It's not your fault.
Mitsuru: ...Alright. I'll tell you the whole story.
Mitsuru: Some research indicates that they can even affect time and space. We think of them as our enemies, but what if we could somehow use them to our advantage?
Mitsuru: Fourteen years ago, one man pursued that line of thinking...
Mitsuru told us more about her grandfather, and I made an animation about it:
Ten Years Ago
Fuuka: Is that why they've appeared in different places?
Yukari: Wait a minute...if what you said is true, then why did our school turn into Tartarus?
Yukari: Then...those students who were hospitalized...
Mitsuru: I'm afraid it's just as you're thinking. Port Island must have been an ideal location for them. It was a highly-populated area, and the Kirijo Group had influence there. They could do as they pleased...
Yukari: ...Does that mean...
Yukari: You lied to us?!
Yukari: You knew too, didn't you, Akihiko-senpai?! They've just been using us! Or do you not care as long as you get to fight?!
Akiihiko: I have my reasons...
Mitsuru: Think what you'd like...it was my decision not to share that information. I'm sorry...I never intended to decieve you.
Yukari: How could you...?!
Ikutsuki: And they lost their lives as a result of what they did...we're all in the same boat here. None of us deserve the burden that's been thrust upon us.
Ikutsuki: But since they're active, at least we can find and destroy them...do you realize what this means?
Akihiko: Then if we defeat them all, Tartarus and the Dark Hour will disappear...?
Ikutsuki: Exactly! That's what I was going to tell you earlier. See, it's good news, isn't it?
Fuuka: Is that true?!
Ikutsuki: There's evidence to support it.
Ikutsuki: Regardless of what's happened in the past, we must fight to protect the people. The Shadows are gaining strength...we can't afford to just wait for them. And there are many mysteries still surrounding Tartarus.
We talked about it for awhile longer, then decided we were done for the evening.
The next day was Sunday, and as I awoke, I laid in bed daydreaming...I had several visions. The first was of Akihiko and Shinjiro.
Shinjiro: Hmph...why're you here? If you came here to try and convince me, then forget it.
Akihiko: ...It's nothing like that. I just wanted to see how you were doing.
Akihiko: It's been almost 14 years since we met at the orphanage...you, me, and Miki...we used to run around here until the sun went down. Back then, it seemed like we had all the time in the world.
Shinjiro: Heh...you haven't changed one bit. If you wanna get all sappy, go do it with your other friends.
Akihiko: What was that?!
Shinjiro: So obviously, there's something on your mind.
Akihiko: ...I do reminisce sometimes, but what's the point?
Akihiko: To be honest, all I've been thinking about lately is getting stronger. But yesterday, someone made me question my reason for fighting...
Shinjiro: Your reason for fighting, huh...that's different for every person. But if you don't have a good one, you can always quit like I did.
Akihiko: I'm not like you. ...Man, I can't believe I'm the one getting lectured here.
That scene faded, and next I saw Fuuka.
She was in her room when she heard a knock on the door.
Fuuka: Senpai...oh, please come in.
Fuuka: Oh, I-I'm sorry for doing that without permission...
Mitsuru: Don't worry, you're not in trouble. But I do have a special favor to ask of you. I want you to find out as much as you can about that incident ten years ago.
Fuuka: But very little was made public...
Mitsuru: That's why I want you to access the Kirijo Group's database.
Fuuka: You mean, hack into their system? That's illegal!
Mitsuru: I want to know the truth in detail.
Mitsuru: Of course, I'll understand if you refuse.
Fuuka: ...Okay, I'll see what I can do.
Mitsuru: Are you sure? I appreciate it.
Mitsuru: After all, despite my good intentions, I did drag you into this without fully explaining. Certainly you must be a little angry with me...
Fuuka: Not really.
Fuuka: That's why they're so tough on me...it's really hard for me to be at home. But here, I feel important, and I can help you and the others...so why should I be angry?
Mitsuru: You're right, Yamagishi. We do need you. No one can take your place.
The scene switched again, and next I saw Junpei.
Junpei: ...Tch! That's good...that's what we've been fighting for...
Student's Friend: Seriously. But at least we're seniors now...we won't be wearing these stupid uniforms much longer.
Student: Yeah, I've had enough of this. I just wanna get accepted to college and start having some fun.
Student's Friend: That's IF you get accepted, don't forget.
Junpei: I was like "Fighting is my duty." But hell, it's all I'm good for. If it weren't for that...
Junpei: Haha, my duty...? What a buncha bullshit.
The scene switched again - next I saw Yukari.
Yukari: Am I stupid to beleive in things like trust and friendship...? Dad...this old letter of yours...
Letter: March 6th, 2000. To my family: Tomorrow, I'll bring this letter to the opening ceremony for the Moonlight Bridge. It'll be stored in a time capsule, and sent to you ten years from now. Yukari...you're so small right now, but in ten years you'll be sixteen. You'll be in high school.
Letter: I know you've been sad because I have to work so late, but you still always greet me with a smile. I'm really proud of myself. Kirijo-san appointed me Head Researcher. I'll be starting on a big project soon, and I'm happy to be recieving so much recognition for my work...but I swear to you that nothing is more important to me than you and your mother. Yukari...are you remembering to enjoy life? Are you still bright-eyed and hopeful like you are now? No matter what happens in the next ten years, I hope you're happy.
Yukari: I won't turn my back. I won't be like Mom. Not ever...
And as for me? Well, I just studied all day.
That night, at the Dark Hour...
...Pharos showed up again.
Pharos: So how's life as a Persona-user?
I told him it was about the same as my normal life, except for the whole demonslaying thing.
Pharos: I remembered something else about the coming of the end...it all goes back to an occurence that took place many years ago.
Pharos: Hey...didn't your parents pass away about ten years ago?
Fuck. I hate it when people bring that up. Jesus christ.
Pharos: Which means a Persona-user can never escape from his true self. Regardless, I will stay with you...because we're friends.
Ugh, every time someone brings up my parents I get these horrible migraines.
It's a big part of why I get so pissed off about the subject. I'd rather just forget...
Anyway, the next day people were all abuzz about finals. I studied after school, and that evening...
...things weren't really going all that well.
Note the appropriate caption.
Fuuka: Y-you know, it's almost summer break. Do you have any plans?
Junpei: I wish I could go to the beach. Hot sand, cool breeze, babes in bikinis...man, it sure would be nice! Somewhere in the south, where the water is crystal clear! But first we have exams to worry about...ugh, what a drag...
Fuuka: Now, now. You'll be fine. But yeah, I'd love to go somewhere famous for its beautiful beaches, like Okinawa.
Mitsuru: Mr. Chairman...I didn't realize you were here.
Ikutsuki: I happened to be in the area, so I thought I'd drop by and tell you my schedule for next week.
Mitsuru: He will...?
Ikutsuki: You'll all have some time off after exams, right? Why don't you go and pay him a surprise visit?
Yukari: Ugh, men...
Ikutsuki: How about it, Mitsuru?
Mitsuru: But...my father is a busy man; I don't want to ruin his vacation.
Ikutsuki: Haha, don't worry...no father would be upset with a daughter who came all that way to see him. You've all done a great job. You deserve to relax for awhile. We already know when the next operation will be, so it should be fine.
And with that, we decided we'd be heading to Yakushima for summer vacation. I have to admit I'm pretty psyched. The beach is great...well, except for the sunburn thing, but I'll bring along plenty of sunscreen. Fair skin like mine doesn't exactly tan.
Akihiko: Hmm, the beach...I should design a special training regimen.
Yeah, I think a break is exactly what we need.
After the discussion, Yukari caught up to Mitsuru before bed.
Yukari: Uh...sorry about the other day...I got a little carried away.
Mitsuru: Don't worry about it. In a way, it's only logical that we go to Yakushima. The Chairman said that no one who was responsible for the accident is still alive, but...in reality, there is one witness who survived.
Yukari: There is?
They seemed to have made up...
...and the next day, final exams began.
I feel like I did pretty well...
...and the days seemed to fly by.
I ran into Junpei earlier today.
Junpei: Thank god today's the last day of exams...I can't wait to let off some steam. Dude, don't you just love summer?
Today was the last day of finals, and it was a piece of cake. I wonder if I finally managed to score at the top of the class this time.
And as you can imagine, everyone was in a great mood when it was all over.
Yukari: So how'd you do?
Junpei: Hey, check it out! I aced phys ed!
Yukari: Well, that pretty much answers that question.
Junpei: Psh, a real man doesn't dwell on the past...I'm thinking ahead to Yakushima!
Yukari: Oh yeah, that's coming up soon, isn't it? Are ya ready?
I told her I was, but asked about her as well.
Yukari: I guess I should be more enthusiastic, huh? Hey, I don't have practice today, so do you wanna do something?
Junpei: Sounds good! Where we goin'? If you need to buy a swimsuit, I'd be happy to help!
Yukari: As if! alright, gimme a sec, I'm gonna go grab my stuff from the locker room. Oh, I'll invite Fuuka, too.
After she left, Junpei took the chance to say something to me in private.
Junpei: ...but we're still cool, right?
I told him we were - I'm not really the kind to hold grudges.
Junpei: Anyway, that's all history. it's you and me now, bro. Alright, let's get going.
We took off and met up with Fuuka, Yukari, and Akihiko.
Fuuka: Don't worry, I'm sure you'll think of something.
Junpei: Hell yeah I will! ...Hey, what're you doing here, Akihiko-san?
Akihiko: Ikutsuki-san called me. I think he wants to talk about a new candidate.
Yukari: Does that mean another person is going to join?
Natsuki ran out and caught Fuuka's attention right before we took off.
Natsuki: Oh, you're going back to your home home today, huh? Okay, then never mind.
Fuuka: Hey, wait. It's alright, let's go. Sorry, I'll see you all later back at the dorm.
Ikutsuki: Adolescence is such a wonderful thing! So full of vibrancy!
Yukari: Mr. Chairman!
Ikutsuki: I might as well introduce you to him now.
Yukari: Oh, hi, Ken-kun. What's up?
Akihiko: You know him...?
Ikutsuki: He doesn't leave during the break because of his...circumstances.
Yukari: Oh, I heard about that...something about his parents.
Ken: It happened two years ago.
Ikutsuki: Right now, one of his distant relatives is paying for his school expenses. But staying at the elementary school dorm all by himself isn't proper for a child his age. So I decided to move him to your dorm for the summer.
Akihiko: Then he's the new candidate...?
Ikutsuki: Yes. But as you can see, he's still just an elementary school student. So it is merely a possibility for now.
Ken: I've heard a lot about you. You haven't lost a boxing match yet.
Akihiko: Yeah, well...it's nice to meet you...
Finally, we headed back to the dorm.
Junpei: Yakushima, here we come! I can't wait for Monday! And then one week of school 'til summer break! Frickin' awesome, dude!
Yukari: Aren't you getting a little carried away? I mean, the trip is only for a few days, and we'll still have to fight Shadows over summer break. In other words, we can't afford to stop training in Tartarus.
Junpei: I know, I know! But my energy level is so high during summer, no one can stop me! Anyway, tomorrow I'm gonna start packing, so if we're going to Tartarus, let's do it today.
I just might do that, but I'm blogging first, and if we go I'll save it for the next entry. For now, I'll catch you guys later on!
Coming up in the next entry: Yakushima, here we come!