Part 13: April 19 - April 24: Today's Hot Topic--Meat
I realize this is sudden, but I'm Margaret. We met at the Velvet Room the other day. There is one important point I forgot to warn you about, so I thought it best to contact you immediately. The bonds created through Social Links are another important means of strengthening the powers of your Persona...Though you may be pressed for time, devoting yourself to battles will not quench your heart's yearnings. Do not hasten heedlessly through your days, and remember the importance of moving at a sustainable pace. Please remember that. Well then, if you'll excuse me...
> You took Margaret's advice to heart. You should think carefully about how you spend your days...
Male student in a sweatsuit: Yo.
Cheerful male student: Oh, what's up? You got morning practice?
Male student in a sweatsuit: You know how guys can join the sports clubs starting today, right? I thought that maybe if I ran around a little, that would be some good promotion.
Cheerful male student: Dude...If you run around in that, how're people gonna know which club you're in?
Male student in a sweatsuit: ...I didn't think about that.
Cheerful male student: Haha! That's classic you. I hope our club gets some fresh blood, too. It gets everyone excited!
Male student in a sweatsuit: Are you guys not going to try and get people to sign up?
Cheerful male student: I don't know about that. Everyone's saying they want a girl to be our manager, though. Oh, hey! Let's stop by the shrine in the shopping district on our way home today. Might as well pray for some newcomers.
Male student in a sweatsuit: We're leaving that up to God now? Well, all right. Oh yeah, did you hear that rumor? About the thing that lives at the shrine?
Cheerful male student: I did! I wonder if it's true.
First, a few quick errands, like selling all the Shadow gibs the team has accumulated.
Well, that inn does get by half on the girl's popularity, after all. She might have been running away from home. I hope nothing bad's happening with her. I don't really understand why she'd do something so inconvenient to everybody else, though.
Along the way, Sanzo runs into this guy.
Old man: I thought I might do some fishing, and I brought my rod, but there's no hook. I feel bad asking, since I don't know you, but can you spare me a fishhook if you happen to have one? Do you happen to have a fishhook...? You don't? I'm not surprised. Hm, why's there no hook on my line? Did a fish take it the last time I went fishing? I can't remember anymore...
Then it's back to the school office for sign-ups.
-Like A Dream Come True-
Ohhh, no! I know what you're really after! You're just trawling for girls, aren't you!? Admit it! Listen up! A club is supposed to be...
> For some reason, you find yourself getting lectured.
So, still want to join a club?
Trying to break a youthful sweat, are you!? You can join either the soccer club or the basketball club. After leaving the faculty office, make a left, and go through the exit down the hall to get to where the sports clubs meet! By the way, club days are Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday! Sports clubs don't meet on rainy days! Got it!?
Hmph, too bad! You can join the cultural clubs after April 25th! This must be a lesson that it's not so easy to meet girls, now is it!?
Two clubs at the same time!? Are you trying to get the most out of your school life!? We don't allow students to be in two sports clubs or two cultural clubs! One of each is permitted! Got it!? So are we done here!? Go home already! Are you staying at school to hang out with a girl later on or something!?
Today's winner by a landslide was, of course, basketball.
Mr. Kondo: He's from the city, so I'm sure he's got some moves he's just waiting to show off! I'd say this season is in the bag! I'm even thinking about making him captain!
Basketball player: Sounds good to me. Voting is a big pain anyway.
Mr. Kondo: Here, why don't you say something to the team?
I'm your new captain.
"And from this moment forth, you pathetic little shits will EAT, BREATHE, SLEEP, and LIVE BASKETBALL! You will not stop practicing until you can dunk with your feet, and score from half-court with your mother fucking eyes closed! You will learn the playbook by heart! You will drink the blood of your opponents! You will stop being low-life maggots and become bona fide, basketball-playing, MEN!!! IS! THAT! CLEEEAAARRR!?"
Team members: Cool, that takes care of that.
> The team is goofing around...
Mr. Kondo: Well, you guys can take it from here. I've gotta go check on the soccer team. Sanzo, why don't you just watch for today, alright? I'm taking off now.
> The team practiced a little and left.
Whadja think of your first day here? I'm Kou Ichijo. Second year, same as you. Nice to meet ya. Good to see someone else take an interest in the team.
Is this the new guy?
Yeah, can you believe it!? He's the transfer student.
Hmmm, that's cool. Daisuke Nagase. Nice to meet you. Soccer team, second year. Kou and I go way back.
Yeah, too far back. I'm getting sick of seeing your face.
Heh, did everyone take off early like usual?
Yep. I suggested we work on rebounding, but they were all like, "That's too tiring."
So, all we did was take a few shots...Hm, but I shouldn't scare Sanzo with my bitching on his first day!
We've got a lot of members who don't show up to practice, but basketball's fun. You've played before, right?
I used to play all the time.
Seriously!? I can't wait to play you!
-Strength Of Heart-
Strength: More specifically, inner strength, despite being tied to athletes here. Physical strength would probably be the domain of Chariot, Emperor, or Magician. Arcana VIII in some decks, switching places with Justice. Represents composure, patience, and kindness.
-Like A Dream Come True-
Yeah, while they go to their parties, I get to stay here and play with balls.
...Man, I wanna go party, too!!
You'd do that!? You're a real pal, man. I think I'm tearing up.
> Kou is exuberant. You decided to go home after helping.
-Signs of Love-
> ...It seems Dojima isn't home. Sneak out to the town at night?
-Sky Full of Stars-
Drunk subordinate: *heaving* Please, boss...no more...! Let's go hoooome!
Drunk boss: Shut up! That's an order! I just got promoted, and you're going to celebrate with me at one more bar!
Joke's on them, Inaba only has one bar.
I have...I met you. Haha, don't give me that look. I'm not interested in you in that way. *sigh* I wonder if there are any charming encounters coming my way soon...Hm? Wait a second! What's that? You seem to have something quite impressive with you. Those beautiful, shining stones, of course! Won't you trade them with me?
Here's the true purpose of Shiroku Pub: trading gemstones. Shadows will drop these along with the parts Daidara will buy, and if you bring enough to the Shiroku hostess she'll let you have some old crap out of her garage. Some of her weapons are quite good, but it takes a fair amount of grinding to meet her prices.
That's not all you can do at the pub, of course.
I have a little one, named Akihiko. But lately, it seems that no matter what food I offer him, he refuses to eat. Is it because I have a night job? Or...Could it be that he's realized that I'm not his real mother...? *sigh* I'm so worried lately that I can't even sleep at night.
> The fish in the tank suddenly begins to swim about in a lively manner...
Ah! Akihiko! What's wrong? It seems he wants to eat that Tatsuhime Ladybug you have. Please! Won't you let my little one eat that bug? He won't eat the Bread Crumbs I give him. At this rate, he'll...Please! My little one is the only emotional support I have! I'm begging you!
(Hand it over)
Thank you. You're so kind...I wouldn't mind if you attempted to flirt with me right now. Haha, that's only a little joke. Don't take everything so seriously. Now, here's your dinner, Akihiko.
> The hostess puts the Tatsuhime Ladybug into the fish tank...Something came out of the fish's mouth!
My god, this is a fishhook! Akihiko, where did you eat something like this!?
So here's where that old guy's hook got to!...And why he can't remember.
So my boy had a fishhook stuck in his throat...That's why he seemed so down. Thank goodness. I'm sure he'll get better now. Thank you so much.
> Obtained Fishhook!
I'm glad you're all better now, Akihiko. Here, have some Bread Crumbs. Make sure to chew twenty times before swallowing!
> The fish in the tank completely ignores the Bread Crumbs...
Sheesh...Now that he's all better, he's getting carried away and making extravagant demands. Haha...I knew a man like that, too...Do you want some Bread Crumbs? I'll give them to you if you want.
> Obtained Bread Crumbs!
I'll give you more Bread Crumbs if you bring more Tatsuhime Ladybugs for my little one.
There's plenty more to do in the evenings besides resolving convoluted fetch quests. For example: Who's that up on the hill there?
Hey, it's Yosuke! And he's just chilling all by himself here outside this...uh...hmm.
Let's at least give the poor bastard some company.
My shift ended early today, so I was just wandering around. If you're bored, maybe you wouldn't mind talking for a while?
Kids from school will show up on different nights, and you can spend time bagging gas with them to boost your Social Links. You can't gain ranks in a link this way, but sometimes links need multiple days to advance and this really helps cut down on that.
That normally never happens here! In fact...normally, nothing ever happens here.
Well, let me know if you find yourself bored. If you don't mind having me around, I'll hang out with you whenever you want.
Hehe, don't mention it! I'm a city boy too, so I know how it is.
> Yosuke is smiling happily.
So tell me, did you bring everything with you from the city? Yeah, when I moved here, it was such a pain unpacking everything that I was using one of the moving boxes as a desk...
> You enjoyed your idle chat with Yosuke...
Crap, how long have we been talking here? We should both be getting home. Oh yeah. Here, have this. I've heard it's pretty good.
> You received Cough Drop from Yosuke.
The other good part about spending evenings with people: free recovery items!
Well, see ya!
> You part with Yosuke and go home...
Old lady in black: Haha...Of course. Everyone is lonely.
Hey, did you see that just now? What a cute cat. Yukiko and me gave it some food a while back, but it just won't take to me. Oh well, I'm more of a dog person anyway! Oh yeah, I got a text from Yukiko. She said she's slowly getting better. Doesn't seem like there's any weird lasting effects, so that's good.
I'm relieved to hear that.
All we have to do is wait until she gets better. Let's hold off on the other stuff until then.
Oh yeah! If you have time after school, let's go get something to eat.
Sometimes kids will accost you at lunchtime. It is basically just a big "THIS SOCIAL LINK IS READY TO ADVANCE" signal.
Mr. Hosoi: My name is Mr. Hosoi and in this class you'll be learning about contemporary writing. Let's all have fun. I know this is off-topic, but what's the point of applying for colleges outside Inaba? Why even bother? Nothing good ever comes out of competing with city-folk. The countryside is all you need. Well, since this is our very first lesson, why don't you show me how much you already know. Now then...How many parts are there in Murakami's "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle?" Hana-chan! I'm calling on you! I get the feeling you're not much of a reader!
Sanzo! C'mon man, help me out here!
Mr. Hosoi: Very good, Hana-chan! Either you're more literary than you look, or that was a lucky guess. "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" was released as three separate stories. It's the eighth of his twelve published books. His latest book, "1Q84," was published in 2009. Its first printing sold out on the very first day of sale! And, of course, that's not counting all his short stories and essays, which I don't have time to get into right now.
Phew...You're a life saver, Sanzo. Thanks.
Another Social Link boost. You don't actually need any at this early stage, so I really hope all these bonuses aren't just going to waste.
School's out--let's go return that fishhook.
Old man: Oh, you do!? I'd be grateful if you'd oblige me...
(Hand it over)
Old man: My! You're willing to give that to a total stranger like me? I'm much obliged. I need to thank you somehow. I know, do you fish? Just let me get this hook you found on and...Here.
> Obtained River Rod.
Old man: Nah, there's no need to be shy. It's old and this was a good opportunity, so I give up. I was planning on buying a new rod anyway. This is to show my gratitude. Use it however you want.
It's 4/20 today. Let's honor the occasion in the usual way:
Picking up a new book. Yomenaido's got a fishing guide in today. Serendipity!
Then it's off to pick up ladybugs, Yosuke, and other assorted pests.
Alright! Let's go, then.
> Yosuke seems happy.
-Like A Dream Come True-
> Shopping District, Souzai Daigaku. The famous steak croquettes are tough...
Well, it is good...though it's tough. Chie called this stuff "tender and juicy." What kinda teeth does she have?
Gossiping lady: He's from Junes...Yasogami High School, right?
Talkative lady: His classmate...Sato-san?...Went out of business...
Gossiping lady: This shopping district could disappear, and yet...
Sorry about that. You know me, I'm infamous around here.
It must be tough.
Nahhh, it's not really. It's mainly my parents. I'm not personally involved. Anyways, there's nothing I can do about it.
> Yosuke shrugs...
I don't think there's anyone in Inaba who doesn't know me, at school or around town. Not that I mind, but...It sucks that I always gotta mind my manners.
>Yosuke smiles cheerfully. You feel you understand Yosuke a bit more...
At even-numbered Social Link ranks, Persona users get new skills.
Trafuri helps you escape from battles. It's...there if you want it, I guess. Yosuke will get much better skills later on.
I'm gonna have another. You want one too, right?
> You ate croquettes with Yosuke until your stomach started to bulge, then went home.
-Sky Full of Stars-
On our way back from the bar later that night, we can find Chie in the middle of a short break from checking Yukiko's temperature every five minutes and beating the hell out of anyone who even looks at her funny.
Me? I went to Aiya because I got a little hungry. Oh yeah, if you have time, wanna talk for a bit?
Well, there's not much to know. The only thing I can think of is, uhrm, how much nature we have here...?
But the people are really nice! Like, if you lose your wallet, it'll definitely come back to you! And if you're ever in a fix, you can always count on me.
Where do you like to eat?
Hmm, I recommend Aiya and Souzai Daigaku. Aiya's steak bowls are delicious and Souzai Daigaku's steak skewers are great too! Honestly, I'd recommend steak no matter where in Japan I was.
> Chie is talking passionately about steak...
Most restaurants here close real early, but Aiya stays open late. I keep getting lured in by all the delicious smells from inside.
> You enjoyed your idle chat with Chie...
Whoa, how long have we been talking? I got so caught up in the conversation...
Oh yeah, I want you to have this!
> You received Kampo Chocolate from Chie.
That's my number one recommendation lately! You should try it. Well, I'm gonna get going.
> You walked Chie to her house and went home...
-Like A Dream Come True-
As you can see here, the basketball team is well on the way to perfecting their Chaos Dunks.
Hey Sanzo, Aiya or Junes? You decide.
Ooh, you really know what's up! Their Hui Gou Rou is awesome.
> There is a gleam in Kou's eyes.
The soccer team's done already? You guys are fast, man. Don't you have cleaning up to do?
Yeah, but I don't have to do that stuff.
Oh yeah, this girl in my class was looking for you. She made something for you in home ec. She said, "Kou-chan loves sweets," or something like that.
Well, I do like me some sweets...
No no, we're just friends.
> Kou is laughing.
I don't mind the sweets and all that, but I wish she'd stop calling me "Kou-chan." I swear, the more girls I tell not to call me that, the more they seem to enjoy doing it. I hate my name. "Kou." It's such a crappy name...
Well? What are you gonna do?
...I guess I'll go pick 'em up. You like sweets, Sanzo? Want me to get you some, too?
If I mention you, I bet she'd give me tons! Alright, leave it to me. I'll get us so much candy, we'll be too fat to practice!
> Kou is pumped up!
I'm off. Hey Daisuke, Sanzo, don't leave without me, alright!? If you're not here when I get back, I'm gonna cry!
Funny thing is, he's probably serious.
> You waited for Kou and stopped by a few places together before going home...
-Signs of Love-
Nobody else is out tonight. Let's get started on that new book.
You can use an evening to read one chapter of a book. The vast majority of books just boost social stats, but Sanzo can still get some use out of a few of them.
Boy: Just leave me alone!
What was that about? Is that kid already at that rebellious age? Well, these murders must have parents around here pretty worried. Oh...about the culprit. I was thinking about it some, and I don't understand him at all. It seems like a lot of effort to dump someone into a TV. How is he doing it? The more I think about it, the more confused I get...
Let's wait for Yukiko to recover.
You're right. Let's come back to this after we've heard Yukiko's side of things.
-Like A Dream Come True-
> Yosuke brought you all the way out here...
Y'know, I'm just a poor little city boy drawn to that urban scent.
Wait a minute...Am I starting to sound like Teddie?
Hmm, you're looking hairier.
Now that you mention it, the foam in my facial soap this morning had...H-Hey, you're making me scare myself!
> Yosuke is smiling...
Well, that aside, what should we--Oh, a text message.
Looks like someone got my address. I get a lot of spam.
You don't block them?
Even when I do, they change domains, so there's no point. And I don't wanna change my address...
> Yosuke is sighing...
I haven't changed addresses since before we moved to Inaba. I mean, I might get a text from someone...It's hard to call, y'know? If I called people just to tell them my number changed, they'd get annoyed. And some of them never planned to text me anyway...
Oh but hey, don't look at me like I don't have any friends!
Though to tell you the truth, I don't remember what we all used to talk about. Can't really call 'em friends. Inaba suits me just fine. Plus...I got something I need to do there.
I'm counting on ya, partner!
> You can sense Yosuke's enthusiasm. You feel you understand Yosuke a bit more...
Rank 3 for a teammate unlocks their Follow-Up Attack. This has a chance to trigger whenever someone else on the team gets 1 More and enemies are still standing. More on that later.
Well, with that in mind, should we head back? It'd suck if something happened back there while we were over here! Alright, let's head home! Wait--let's get everyone a souvenir, then head home!
> You returned to Inaba with Yosuke in a hurry...
And then, Sanzo closes out the day with his fish book.
Chatty girl: *sigh* I wish there was one that would let me make some quick cash.
Girl with braids: Hmm...I don't think you have the Diligence to handle a job that takes a lot of time.
Chatty girl: That's so mean! Maybe I don't...But, I bet I'll be more diligent if I get a job! I bet you wouldn't do too well with a job where you have to work with others because you lack Understanding, huh?
Girl with braids: I don't need to work, since I'm focusing on my studies. If my grades are good, I might be able to swing a raise in my allowance.
Chatty girl: That's cheating! *sigh* I wish I was born into a rich family so I didn't need a part-time job. Or if I knew someone nice enough to buy me anything I wanted.
Girl with braids: ...I don't think that would've been so great. There's someone like that at our school too.
Chatty girl: Huh? Ohhh!
Like, total drama you guys, omigawww.
Ms. Sofue: Many types of vegetation were introduced to Europe during this era. Among them, tulips from Turkey deserve special attention. Gardening for pleasure was becoming more popular, causing the price of tulip bulbs to rise. It was the world's first economic bubble incident: "Tulip mania." Along with the South Sea Bubble and the Mississippi Company, it is said to be one of the biggest bubbles in European history. Hey! Mr. Hanamura, wake up! What was the first economic bubble incident in the world?
H-Help, Sanzo! What's this ergonomic bubble she's asking about!?
Ms. Sofue: Hmm, so you were actually listening. Yes, it was tulip mania. Tulip bulbs imported into Holland became extremely popular, and prices jumped dramatically as a result. At its highest, a single bulb was worth the price of a luxury house. However, once the bubble burst, prices fell once again, and the trade cities in Holland were thrown into confusion. Mr. Hanamura, do take care to not let that snot-bubble of yours burst, or you may also be thrown into confusion.
I'm not making snot bubbles! Anyway, I was right, wasn't I?
...But yeah, thanks, Sanzo. I'll have to stay awake for the next one.
After school lets out today, it's time to be a blue-collar man.
Most of these jobs are done in your room at home.
There is one that's different, though.
It's also open today. Let's try it out.
-Like A Dream Come True-
> The children are extremely interested in you...
Boy: Mister, do you have a girlfriend?
Girl: Don't ask him that, you creep!
Other boy: Let's play tag, Mister! You're it!
> You survived the children tugging you in every direction.
> It seems his guardian hasn't come to pick him up.
Day care supervisor: Looks like Yuuta-kun is still here. It's always like this, though...
Are you one of the supervisors?
I see. I'm sure Yuu-kun will cause you trouble again, but please take care of him...
Day care supervisor: He's full of energy during his play sessions--maybe too much energy. But once she arrives, he's a totally different kid. She's his stepmother, so I guess it can't be helped. Yuuta-kun's father got remarried to that woman you just met. I heard she's from the city...I really don't know what she's thinking. Perhaps that's why Yuuta-kun is a troublemaker at school, too. The other day, he...
> The caretaker continues gossiping...You finished your job helping at the day care center and went home.
Nothing else to do tonight except finish the book.
If Sanzo ever happens to go fishing at some point in the future, he will now be able to fish longer. You know, hypothetically speaking.
-Signs of Love-
> All you can do is wait for Yukiko's recovery. What should you do today?
If you're bored, let's hang out. I'll call up Daisuke too. How's that sound?
Sweet! Don't forget, okay?
> You made plans to go out.
-Like A Dream Come True-
> Okina Station. You came here with Kou and Daisuke...
I know what you mean, I can't relax here.
How 'bout you, Sanzo? Do you prefer urban places like this to more rural towns like Inaba?
Yeah, I like it here.
Wow, you're a real city boy then, eh? Must suck that the most urban place we've got is Junes.
Hey, I like Junes. It's super convenient, and they've got, like, everything. That Yosuke dude is hilarious, too.
Huh? What does Yosuke have to do with anything?
Although now that I think about it, aren't you friends with him, Sanzo? The four of us should hang out sometime.
> It promises to be an entertaining day...You spent the day with Kou and Daisuke.
Let's try one of the work-at-home jobs today. They're all pretty similar.
One of the choices here will earn extra money...
...unless you screw it all up.