Part 28: Entry Twenty-Three: August 17, 2009
Entry Twenty-Three: August 17, 2009
Music: Persona Invocation
Y'know, it's been a few weeks now, and I have to admit that I'm still completely confused with what's going on at this point. I guess it's pointless to think about it too hard, but still...we know so little about Tartarus and the Dark Hour.
...anyway, it's been more of the same since the last time I wrote, minus the horrible tank monsters. I've been playing a lot of Innocent Sin Online with Maya, for instance.
Maya: i'm not even complaining today or ne thing...so rare =P but i have to tell tatsu cuz he's my MMO partner! i'll be brave -_-;;
Maya: oh noes...now i'm starting to get sweaty... =/
I went ahead and greeted her.
Maya: i wanted to tell u last time but i chickened out...
...oh my jesus.
Maya: none of the male teachers r even in my league, so i gave up looking for b/fs @ work...
Isn't that, y'know, illegal? Holy shit.
Against my better judgment, I asked what the student she was interested in was like.
Maya: i luuuuv watchin his expressions in class. xD is that bad? he's one of my students! =x
W-wait, that sounded oddly familiar...
Maya: oh btw, u don't need to be jealous he's just someone i like, rite? tatsuya is the only game partner for maya ^^; no worries
Please, please tell me this isn't what I think it is.
...my life is SUCH A GODDAMN MESS.
I spent the rest of the day feeling nauseous, and that night at the Dark Hour Pharos showed up again, which didn't help much.
Pharos: The end won't be brought about by anyone in particular...it's coming because there are so many people who wish for it...as if it was destined from the start. But doesn't that seem like a strange thing to wish for?
I figured nobody would actually want that, and said so.
Pharos: What about those who wish for an end to their suffering, who wish to find peace? Well, enough about that for now. There's something else I wanted to tell you today.
Pharos: I don't know whether or not this has anything to do with the end, but you should be careful. I'll come again if I find out anything useful. That's what friends are for, right?
I'm pretty sure friends don't mysteriously appear in each others' rooms and terrify each other with cryptic messages...
The next day, I got the standard call from Elizabeth about more of Tartarus being unlocked...
...and right after that, Mitsuru came knocking on my door.
It wasn't anything hot, like I'd hoped. Hell, I'd take Bebe over a creepy middle-aged Internet woman...
Mitsuru: There's something I need to tell everyone, but I think it would be best if you saw it for yourself. Come to the fourth floor meeting room when you get home tonight, okay? I'll see you then.
It's not like I was going out, anyway...I felt like playing some Innocent Sin Online instead. God knows why. There was a system message when I logged on, though...
We are terribly sorry for any inconvenience this causes for active players. However, the servers will remain open until the official end date. We hope that you understand and that you enjoyed your time with "Innocent Sin." Sincerely, "Innocent Sin" staff.
That sucks. I logged onto the game after reading the message.
Maya: it said their cancelling innocent sin. ...think its for real?
I was pissed about it, and she seemed to be too.
Maya: i finally found a place to let out my frustration and now this!!! tatsuya...do u think we'll still be able to see each other? T_T we can meet each other in different ways I guess >_>
Yeah, I'm gonna take a pass on that latter option...
Maya: NO! we have to stop wasting our tiem! maya's not goin quietly! >=/ i'll beat them to the punch! ...oh dun worry tatsu. i won't do nething dangerous >_>
Maya: if they knwo this game is important to us, maybe they'll reconsider =D even tho tatsuya's just some lonely kid and maya likes to bitch too much...that shouldn't matter!!!1 (to tell u the truth, i kinda hope ur a handsome guy tho...)
Well, that's nice of her...
...and at least she doesn't seem to have any idea who I am.
Thank God for that.
Maya: don't mess w/maya & friends or u'll regret it! MwahAHaHhaHa! next time we'll celebrate our victory, k? bai!
By the time I logged off, it was already time to meet up in the command room.
Junpei: I dunno. But the alarm's not ringin'...
Fuuka: Are you okay?! Where'd you get this collar?
...an Evoker for dogs.
Mitsuru: It was a surprise for me as well. But according to the tests, it's quite possible. In fact, it was the Chairman's suggestion. ...We'll be looking after him here in the dorm.
Fuuka: Is that okay with you, Koro-chan?
I don't even know what to think anymore.
Yukari: Man, you're one loyal dog.
Junpei: Hey, make yourself at home...the more the merrier, right? Who cares if you're a dog?! Alright, I'll take him for a walk. It's summer break, after all!
Mitsuru: Oh, it's no joke. We'll be taking intensive courses. I've already applied for all of us. I know how difficult it's been balancing school and our late night excursions...you haven't had much time to study. I apologize for that. That's why the Chairman agrees that this is a good idea. ...I thought I told Takeba and Yamagishi.
Fuuka: Umm, sorry...I forgot to mention it.
Junpei: Aw, man!!
Yukari: Hey, with your grades, you shuold be thanking her!
Junpei: Yeah, right. This sucks...don't you think, Minato?
Hell yeah it sucked.
So it's not like I really had a choice in the matter.
Koro uses knives in combat by holding them in his mouth; none of us have any training with them, so they're unique to him. I tried using one once and nearly lost a finger, so I'll just leave the stabbing to the dog. Koro's armor is also unique to him, though I guess that's pretty obvious. He can't use any footwear, but he's pretty evasive without it.
Koro's Persona is Cerberus, which makes a hilarious kind of sense. Cerberus resists Darkness AND Fire attacks, which definitely makes up for its weakness to Light. Koro's better at using Fire attacks than Junpei (Yet ANOTHER time the guy is completely outclassed by someone else) and also has some instant death Darkness attacks. Koro's smart about using those - he'll usually go with Fire or physical attacks unless he knows the enemy is weak to Darkness.
The next day was Sunday, so I decided to head down to the shrine. I ran into Striped Shirt there.
Striped Shirt: The me that I see reflected in your eyes and the real me, if there is such a thing...how far apart are they? Your words are very beautiful...if I had something to write with, I'd write them down.
Striped Shirt: My pen is my supporter, my spokesman, and my friend. However, it seems to have disappeared. Without it, my screams are silenced.
White fur and bright red eyes, huh...
Summer school started the next day...
...and continued through the week.
Mr. Edogawa: You must all be very curious students to be taking this course over the summer. I'm not really sure what to make of that, eeheehee. Well, let's talk about something interesting today. All you future magicians will want to pay close attention, eeheehee...
Mr. Edogawa: Originating in 15th century Europe as normal playing cards, tarot cards evolved into tools of divination. A variety of different versions of tarot card decks exist, including the Marseille and Rider decks...but today, in respect of the great magician Crowley, we will be using the Thoth deck. First, let's talk about the composition of the deck...
Mr. Edogawa: The Major Arcana feature a variety of illustrations on their faces. Beginning with "The Fool" and ending with "The World", they tell a story in numerical order that is a metaphor of an individual's journey through life. Each Major Arcana represents a stage on that journey, an exerpeience that one must incorporate to realize his oneness. They're all important, so let's take a look at each of the 22 cards, one by one.
The first card, numbered 0, is The Fool. It represents the beginning and suggests infinite possibilities.
The next card, The Magician, represents action and initiative...but also immaturity.
The Priestess represents contemplation and inner knowledge.
The Empress represents motherhood and the life it brings forth.
The Emperor is an opposing card. It represents fathering and relates to leadership and decision-making skills.
The Hierophant represents formality and knowledge, and stands for religion.
The Lovers represents choice. Here, the individual's consciousness has finally surfaced.
The Chariot represents victory for the individual, but only a momentary one.
Justice represents the knowledge of what is right and what is wrong.
The Hermit represents the individual's search for answers by looking inward, deep inside his heart.
Fortune represents fate, and the opportunities that come with it.
Strength represents both passion and self-control. It is depicted as power with reason.
The Hanged Man reflects the individual's inability to take action.
Spiritual death awaits the individual with the thirteenth card, which is aptly named Death. Death is considered a transitional card: the old ends, and the new begins.
Now let us continue along the path, following the transition.
Temperance is the balancing of opposites. Opening his eyes to the world allows the individual to grow...
...and as The Devil represents, he then faces temptation.
At The Tower, his values collapse on him. It seems as if he no longer has anything to believe in, but...
...he then finds a glimmer of hope, represented by The Star, and he is suffused with a serene calm.
This bliss makes him vulnerable to the illusions of The Moon. Fears arise, and he follows the dim path in his heart with trepidation...
...but he is rewarded with a bright future, represented by The Sun, which signifies true achievement.
Judgement awaits the individual at the end of his journey, as he looks back on the path he has travelled.
The final card is The World, which represents the individual's full awareness of his place in the world.
I felt pretty enlightened by that lecture, I guess since it seemed to relate to our Peronas and the Shadows that we fought.
A couple days later, I had Mr. Edogawa's class again...
Mr. Edogawa: Now let's continue with our special summer study - The Truth Behind Magic.
Mr. Edogawa: I assume all of you have at least heard of Kabbalah, yes? It is known as the mystical study of the Hebrew scriptures, but... as I have mentioned before, it has had a great impact on western sorcery. It has been said that to learn the secrets of magic, first you must truly understand Kabbalah. So, who was the person who formed this incredible ideology known as Kabbalah?
Mr. Edogawa: But in reality, it was formulated by a group of rabbis long, long ago. However, because it consists of such a complicated coded system...Kabbalah did not become known to the western world until much later.
Mr. Edogawa: For example, there is "Gematria," the interpretation of text by replacing letters with the numbers they represent. There is "Notarikon," where you take a letter from each word to form another sentence or thought. There is also "Temurah," a method where letters of words are replaced, thereby giving the sentence a new meaning. All these different methods make it difficult to fully comprehend Kabbalah.
Mr. Edogawa: Most illustrations depict it as a chart shaped like a tree. The 10 stages represented by the Sefirot...and the 22 paths connecting them represent the stages of Creation God formed from his own self, as well as the direction in which humanity should evolve. Where did we come from? Where are we going? These answers lie in the Sefirot.
Class kept on going, but this wasn't as interesting as learning about the Arcana, so I stopped paying attention.
Finally, summer school was over.
Back at the dorm that evening, I found Koromaru holding on to something...
...which turned out to be the striped shirt guy's pen. I'll have to give it back the next time I see him.
After finding the pen, I went to see Mutatsu.
Mutatsu: Ugh, I'm in bad shape...I completely forgot I have a memorial service to conduct...reciting the Heart Sutra with a hangover, ugh. Before, no matter how much I drank, all I needed was a cold shower to snap outta it.Guess I'm gettin' old, heh...it's times like these I wish I didn't live alone.
I asked him about the other monks, since it seemed odd that there weren't any.
Mutatsu: If ya think about it, livin' alone's probably the best thing a person could do...you don't hafta wait for someone else to get otuta the bathroom when ya need to go. My son took forever in there. Yeah, livin' alone is the way to achieve peace and serenity. All things visible are bound to change and disappear...all things in this world are not singular. They're all smaller parts of a bigger picture. And yet, they're all different from each other. All things in this world are unique.
Mutatsu: No matter how hard you try to live your life right, someone else can always mess it up. All things are unique, yet they are not singular...maybe you've messed up my life a bit, too. Heheheh...
Mutatsu's pretty deep for an old drunk guy.
Maybe alcohol's how you become enlightened. I gotta keep that in mind.
Yesterday was the day of the Summer Festival. Yuko called and asked if I wanted to go with her; sounded like fun, so I accepted.
The Summer Festival is pretty popular here, but I guess it's the same everywhere in Japan.
Some of the girls here wore yukatas, but Yuko isn't a big fan of them. I told her I thought she'd look good in one.
We got some takoyaki...
...took a look at a mask salesman's display...
...and played a game of Luck Draw.
I ended up winning a nice stuffed Jack Frost doll, so that was pretty cool. Jack Frost is awesome.
All in all, it was a good time all around...
...and summer vacation's not even close to over yet. Confusing as it might be, and despite the fact that it's a goddamn mess, life is going pretty well right now, guys. Wish me luck that it stays that way, and I'll talk to you all later!
Coming up in the next entry: Summer vacation continues...