Episode 1: Teaching Paid Off! Kotomi’s Recital!
The Celestial Idol stage lit up as the final performer came up to the stage. Many dreaded who it was that awaited them. As Kotomi Ichinose stepped onto the stage, she was about to be pulled out by a shepherd’s crook when an audience member stood up.
Brook: Let her play!
The other gods looked over to see the God of Violin standing up, proclaiming that Kotomi should play for them. The judges sighed and started pulling out the earplugs before letting the Lesser Goddess knwo that she can play. Kotomi smiled and pulled out her violin. The judges braced themselves to hear…. beautiful music?
Yes! The sound coming from her violin was not that of Wolverine’s claws on chalk but of a beautiful melody. They were both surprised and impressed. The song played for a good 4 minutes and when it ended, the entire stadium applauded. Kotomi looked up to see that her mentor was gone. She sighed, she had hoped he would be there to applaud her on her success… When she headed backstage, she heard an odd sound, following it. She found it to be sound of skeletal hands clapping together. It was Brook clapping his hands.
Brook: Bravo, Kotomi! Bravo!Kotomi: Thank you, Brook. I’m glad I could so so well.Brook: Such a shame though, that now you can’t stay in the Pantheon.Brook: Well, since you were the Goddess of Dreadful Music, and you no longer play dreadfully, you no longer hold the position. But, don’t feel so glum, Kotomi. You were my student, so you will always hold a special place in my heart… but, as a skeleton, I have no heart! Yohohoho! SKUUUUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLLL JOOOOOOOOOOOOOKKKKKKKKKKKKKKEEEEE!!!
Kotomi laughed along with her mentor, smiling even in a sad moment such as this. She hugged Brook goodbye and waited back at the House of Music for her change from Lesser Goddess to mortal human back on her Earth. To pass the time, she paid a soothing melody, to mask the pain she felt in her heart at leaving the Pantheon.
Episode 2: How to slay a Meme.
It all started one day when the House of Combat was given a new computer along with proper Internet connection, since it was felt that the inhabitants of this particular house needed to get a bit more in touch with their mortal followers. And what better way was there than the information super highway? Other than directly visiting the temples that were built for them? None!Well anyway, after a long day of training with fellow deity Lina Inverse, The goddess of Beast Slayers, the Dragonborndecided to use this new computer since no one else was near it. As he sat down on the chair, he noticed that there was a strange note on the computer. He picked it up and noticed the following:
“Dear Dragonborn. Please follow the instructions and visit the following site. Love: TY”
On the bottom of the note was a small list of steps on how to access the web browser, the domain name for a website along with a picture of a strange snake that was wearing a black hat. Considering how this was his first time ever using a technological object that was not built by the Dwemer, he was a bit exited. Dovahkiin awkwardly and slowly followed the instructions on the note. Some of the more tech-savy gods couldn’t help but to snicker a bit as they bypassed him, clearly amused by his inexperience with computers. The Dovahkiin was not bothered by this as he kept trying to type and click on the computer. After what seemed like 10 minutes, he finally managed to enter the website that was described on the note. At first he had a small smile on his face, awaiting the website to load. However, once the loading was finished, his eyes became red at what he saw. His fists began to shake and shortly thereafter, his body began to tremble as if he had suffered from both an epileptic attack and a stroke. Some of the gods who were amused by his incompetence a few minutes ago seemed worried at his strange behavior. It looked as if he was about to pull out his blade against the computer, but then he collapsed onto the ground, bleeding from his nose and frothing from his mouth.
Almost instantly as this bizarre event occurred, some divine medics carried him away, trying to find a god or goddess who is experienced in healing as some of the inhabitants in the House of Combat gave the computer strange looks. After almost an entire minute of silence (something that is quite a rarity in this particular house), Zangief, The God of the Spinning Pile Driver, sat down at the computer due to curiosity. The large Russian seemed rather confused due to what he saw.
Zangief: I do not understand, comrades… what is this…”Arrow to the knee”?
A week later, the news had spread about Dovahkiin being tricked by a note written by Terumi Yuuki, aka, Hazama, the God of Trolling, to visit a website that documented every time someone made something “Arrow to the knee”-related. Due to the intense and unfathomable amounts of rage he suffered due to this, he ended up with three cerebral hemorrhages and two strokes. Luckily, Black Jack, the God of Surgery, managed to fix him up with some help from The Medic, the God of Harmful Healing. They didn’t, however, manage to fix his mental state, since he was during those days a bit more prone to attacking fellow gods. Just three days after his surgery, he destroyed a large part of Hawkeye’s shooting range by shouting it apart just because one of the man-shaped targets had a scar on the knee.
In the House of Food, Dovahkiin slowly wandered in, making his way to the part of the house that looked like a mead hall before he sat down on a chair, looking as if he had not slept for a year. He simply ate some sweet rolls, trying to hold his eyes open. He felt like he was constantly at the verge of falling asleep. He couldn’t stop thinking about the website. It kept him awake at nights and woke him up through nightmares. A good amount of deities were keeping their distance from him, considering the Hair-Trigger Temper he had developed. He thought he was going to be sitting alone once more. But to his surprise, Lina Inverse sat in front of him as she handed him some gold. He seemed rather uninterested in it as he kept looking at his sweet rolls, not even batting an eye at her. There was an awkward silence between the two until she handed him a camera that she had stolen from another goddess, Tomoyo Daidouji. As she walked away rather quickly, he opened the camera and saw a small note inside. The Dragonborn took a deep sigh before he started to read from the note.
Dovahkiin: If this is what I think it is, then I swear by Talos, someone is going to be gutted…
As he looked through the note, he was a bit more relaxed. It didn’t have anything that he would interpret as an arrow or a knee. He noticed that it was from Lain Iwakura, the Goddess of The Internet.
“Dragonborn. I have heard about your issue and decided to give you some advice in order to make sure that the best possible outcome is reached for all parties. Though I cannot erase the material that is causing you anger, I can make sure that its popularity is greatly reduced over time. Here is what you will need to do…”
The day after in the “proud” domain of Mary Suetopia, Peter Griffin, one of the gods belonging to the Disgraces, was watching TV before he heard a heavy knock on the door. He walked towards the door and opened it, only to find the Nordic dragon slaying Demi-god standing outside. In his right hand was a small handheld camera and in his left hand was a small note. His eyes were even redder than before as he looked down on the god from Quahog. Peter was silent as he was feeling uncomfortable by standing in front of what in his mind looked like a gay Viking.
Peter: …ok…well…this is getting more awkward than that time I…
Before he could finish his sentence, he was interrupted as Dovahkiin held the note in front of his face.
Dovahkiin: Read it loudly and I’ll give you a thousand Septims!Peter: What the hell is a Septim?
In response to his question, the Dragonborn simply tossed a large leather pouch of golden coins at his feet. As Peter picked it up, his eyes became wide when he saw the contents of the sac. This was enough for him to play along.
Peter: Ah, sweet! Ok, pal, let’s do this!
As Peter grabbed the note, the Dovahkiin’s hand was slightly shaking as he began to record the act of Peter reading from the note.
Peter: Ok, let’s see here…”I used to be an athlete, but then I took an arrow to the knee.”…I don’t get it…
The moment where Peter had finished his sentence, the Dragonborn had a very small smile on his face as he stopped recording and put the camera in his armor. He then took a deep and calm breath before he slowly turned from a state of tranquility to an utter state of rage.
Dovahkiin: YOL TOOR…
Meanwhile in the Pantheon, Terumi Yuuki was sitting in one of the many rooms used by the House of Mentalism as he was watching TV. He was rather bored despite his successful attempt at trolling the Dovahkiin, since he wanted to gain more out of it. For the Dovahkiin to suffer some temporarily brain damage and throwing a few hissy fits was not enough for him. He wished for him to be in far more despair. The fact that the news channel was not entertaining him with images of wars and suffering didn’t help either. Terumi took a deep sigh as he was about to change the channel.
Terumi: Wow…the news really sucks to day.News anchor: and that was the story regarding the rumors of Discord’s change of heart.
Before Terumi could press the button, the anchor was given some feed from his earpiece.
News anchor: This just in! A massive fire has broken out in the suburban parts of Mary Suetopia, setting several buildings on fire. The starting point of this inferno is rumored to be the main domain of one of their gods, Peter Griffin.
As overhead images of the fire was shown, Terumi seemed to be interested in this particular event. He put down the remote as he leaned in a bit closer to the TV.
Terumi: …go on.News anchor: Though details of the cause are still unclear, witnesses claim to have seen an assailant dressed as a Viking moments before the fire started. There have also been accusations of the assailant making a loud shout before the fire while holding a camera for unknown reasons.
As another overhead picture of the fire was shown, a fuzzy zoom-in on Dovahkin slowly walking away from the massive flames could be seen next to it. This made Terumi overjoyed as he laughed out loudly.
Terumi: HYAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Delicious despair! All this rage and suffering over a simple note! I’ve really outdone myself this time.
Two days after the incident in Mary Suetopia, Dovahkiin once more entered the House of Food in order to eat more sweet rolls, but he looked to be in a much better state of mind than before. He was far more relaxed as he munched down on the sugary treat wile thinking about how to further improve his Thu’um. Before he could get into much deeper thought, he noticed Lina Inverse sitting down in front of him once more. She was holding some bounty posters that she was planning to give to her mortal followers through the temples.
Lina: Seems you’re in a better mood today.Dovahkiin: Indeed. Sure, I incinerated a large chunk of Mary Suetopia in order to do so, but I think it helped me vent a bit.Lina: I know that feeling. But I’m still confused to why you had to go there in order to deal with the whole “ArroI mean that “thing” you had to deal with.
Lucky for Lina, the Nord from Skyrim seemed too happy to notice what she almost said. He instead made a small laugh before answering her.
Dovahkiin: That’s what I thought too, but Lain helped explain it to me. You see, just like how you are the slayer of Beasts and I am the slayer of Dragons, one of the Disgraces that lived in Mary Suetopia happened to be what mortals on the internet call “The Slayer of Memes”. Apparently…you-know-what, happened to be this strange thing known as a “meme”. Lain noticed that whenever he mentioned one of these “memes” on broadcasting, then it would…
Dovahkiin tried to hold back his need to vomit for a moment for before continuing his explanation.
Dovahkiin: …a massive, but thankfully short boost in popularity before it died away. So I went there and had him say…THAT as I recorded it with this strange device that you were asked to give me. I then gave it to Lain and she uploaded it. All I have to do now is to wait until it is no longer amusing to the mortals.Lina: That’s kind of a cool idea. So what about Terumi?
Dovahkiin finished his last sweet roll before standing up from his seat and walking out of the House of Food.
Dovahkiin: Well…let’s just say that I will have three words for him if we ever meet…or six…or nine…it depends.
With those words, he walked out of the gates, ready to start another adventureThe end of chapter 2.
Karen: Excuse me… Miss Litchi? Are you there? It’s Karen… Oh? It’s empty…
Noticing that the house was empty, Karen entered the house. However, she was quick to notice that there was a letter. Karen reads it, and her face was quick to turn to blue in shock as she was shaking in fear.
Karen: No… no, it can’t…!!
Karen ran out of the house, forgetting everything else. Along the way, she passed by another Goddess… Mami Tomoe. But Karen paid her no mind and continued running.
Mami: … Hm? Karen-san, I thought she’s going to pay a visit to Miss Litchi. But still, that face… something’s not right.
Mami followed Karen from behind, making sure that she was not spotted. We switch into Karen standing on a field, facing Litchi. However, the air around it was tense…
Litchi: Karen…Karen: What is the meaning of this, Miss Litchi…!? Are you going back to the GUAE again!?Litchi: I’m sorry… but there’s no other way if I want to…Karen: Is it about that Roy guy again!? I thought you had me… Mr. Bang, Mami-san… Uncle Iroh… and even Hyoudou-san and Master Kim…! I know he’s important to you, but… Is that Roy… more…Litchi: I wish it didn’t have come to this, but I must not waver from what I started… I… I must save him… and the GUAE now…
At this point Karen was heavily shaking, she was trying her best to hold her tears. Her mother figure just betrayed her trust, this was quite too much even for her.
Karen: I was wrong… I was wrong after all… I thought of you like an adoptive mother to me… I…Litchi: Karen… if you want to stop me… then I will not hold back. Everything for him…Karen: I WAS WRONG ABOUT YOU!! PRECURE! METAMORPHOSE!!
As such, Karen transformed once into her alter ego… and even so, Litchi’s face didn’t waver.
Cure Aqua: The blue spring of Intelligence! Cure Aqua!Litchi: I told you, Karen… no, Cure Aqua. I won’t stop… even if I have to fight you.Cure Aqua: You would toss us friends that care about you for a person that you should’ve let go… into the grinder. For a selfish desire! Litchi Faye-Ling!! This Is Unforgivable!!
The two rushed forward and a battle ensued….
????: … san… Karen-san…!
A voice was heard lowly as Karen woke up. Before her eyes, she saw Mami kneeling next to her, trying to tend to her. As she noticed, she was no longer in the form of Cure Aqua.
Karen: Mami-san… ugh…!
She could feel her body aching nearly everywhere, as she put her hands nearby.
Karen: What just… happ… oh…!Mami: Is this about Miss Litchi? Karen-san… please, bear with me.Karen: I was beaten to pulp… wasn’t I? And she…Mami: Unfortunately it’s true…. she departed. I tried to reason with her, but she told me to take care of you instead. I saw her going with Relius Clover… myself… Perhaps… perhaps even Reptile would follow her…Karen: Mami-san… you…?
Karen noticed that even Mami was slightly tearing up. She put her fingers and tossed wiped off her tears as she started waking up.
Mami: I… I’m sorry… It means… the Boobie Trio will…Karen: I don’t know if Miss Sypha would reconsider after this… but… I… I can’t believe this… Miss Litchi… she… she betrayed us all… after all the build up she…Mami: Karen-san… I knew she was like a mother to you. She told me that a lot…Karen: I… I…!!
Tearing up, Karen fell into her knees, and after a bit of sobbing, she looked up to the sky and…
Days passed ever since that fateful day. Karen would never come out from her house, locking herself in her own room, ironically slightly fitting to her house title, the Lonely Rich Kid, although this case would be the ‘Betrayed Rich Kid’. She even refused to work on with Charlotte with her usual duties. She spent her time in her bed, crying until her pillows wet, and there’s a lot of pillows that she had in spare. The betrayal hit her too hard.Until she heard someone knocking the door and this was one of the people she trusted the most at this point…
????: Karen-san…? It’s me… Nozomi.Karen: Huh…?
This one she really trusted. The leader of the Yes! Pretty Cure 5 team. She unlocked the door to her room and welcomed Nozomi in.
Karen: Nozomi…Nozomi: How are you feeling Karen-san?Karen: Well, it’s as you can see… betrayed.Nozomi: Karen-san… you really do care for Miss Litchi, didn’t you?Karen: … Yeah… I guess so… She was one of the people who helped Mami-san sort out my entrance to this Pantheon. But to think that she…Nozomi: Hm… Well I’m not good at this kind of thing… Oh yeah! I know! How about we take a little walk outside?? Maybe it’ll refresh your mind a bit! Maybe we should go to a concert by the 765Pro idols!Karen: E-eh? Nozomi, I…Nozomi: Okay! So, let’s get out there and have a walk! Kettei!!Karen: (I suppose I should… I do look so pathetic in front of Nozomi this way…)
Nozomi pulled Karen into the door entrance of her room. However, just as Nozomi opened the door… a familiar huge chest and red clothes await in front.
Karen: E-eh…!? This is….!Litchi: Karen? How are you doing?Karen: M-Miss Litchi…!? B-but… but I… uh… ah… um you just…Litchi: Karen, what’s gotten into you? Did you get a cold?
And meanwhile, a certain redhead still kept her smile.
Karen: N-Nozomi!? You’re not… I mean, she just…Nozomi: Heh… hehehe…Litchi: It’s all right, Karen… I’m here.Karen: Ah… ahhh…
Tears of Joy couldn’t even stop flowing from Karen’s eyes as she finally threw her head into Litchi’s bosom and hugged her.
Karen: AAAAAAAHHH!!! Miss Litchi…! I… I…!!Litchi: There, there, Karen… You must be pretty lonely because of that. Let me explain everything… apparently Haruhi had a hand in this.Karen: Aaaaahhh… *sob*… *sob*Nozomi: Hmm… Karen-san is happy, I can see it…
And so everyone sat down inside the table, with Nozomi also joining in Litchi in explaining. It turns out, Nozomi actually met her outside and was told about what happened, and decided that throwing a surprise to Karen about this would be a great idea.
Litchi: So… that’s about it. All those events were considered forbidden knowledge… and Haruhi pressed the Azure Reset Button. Everything is now as normal as if those never happened.
Nozomi: Yep! And even it gets some guys like Jin and Hakumen to agree!
Karen: … This is… unbelievable. To think that Ragna would end up like that… and even Jin and Tsubaki…
Nozomi: I also visited Alice Margatroid, and I see her actually really happy when she saw that Carl coming back to work on the Goliath Doll project!
Karen: Really, that’s a relief…
Litchi: When we reunited once we met again, they were… surprisingly not hostile to me, rather they seem to know about what happened there, and were glad that it didn’t happen here. Still… *sigh*
Karen: Why the sigh?
Litchi: To think that… I would abandon you… I can’t believe that I’ve been this selfish…
Karen: That selfishness is part of you, to be honest. But… I agree it was quite abrupt, if even Haruhi dislikes it, it means something. But please… we shouldn’t linger about it too much.
Litchi: I agree. So… Karen? Will you let me teach you medicine again?
Karen: Of course! I’d be glad to! Let us go to your house then!
Nozomi witnessed as Karen took Litchi’s hand and pulled her out of her house, heading to the latter’s house, as if nothing happened.
Sanger: This decision… are you sure about this?Hakumen: It is. I have no regrets.Kenshiro: It will still mean that Terumi Yuuki and Relius Clover were still out there and holding a large number of power. I know the grudge you have against those…Hakumen: It is better this way.Kenshiro: !?Sanger: Do not be alarmed. We do not regret this either. But I am aware that you have a giant dislike towards Terumi…Hakumen: I can take him on anytime. It surprises me that I would take this decision, but… I believe it’s for the greater good of the Pantheon.Kenshiro: Hm… then we will respect it as well.
And atop of a high mountain of the Pantheon, Cosmos witnessed the events unravel, and commented.
Cosmos: This peace may be for the best… but effects of that forbidden knowledge still linger somewhere… In time… they may even rise up once again…
However… Unknown to many, a telephone line in the Pantheon was active and someone spoke through.
????: Yes, it seemed that the Reset Button has been pressed yet again……. No, everyone seem to think that they won’t remember. They think everything would happen again…. Yes. The Takamagahara reset at least allows them to retain some parts of the memory. At the very least, so they were led to believe. It’s a fact that Yuuki Terumi often boasted…… No, no one seems to notice that I am one of the few unaffected. In that case…. Yes, that’ll be one perfectionist down for your path if this is to succeed…????: Heh… At last… perhaps I will savor the surprised face of the Mad Puppeteer when he received his due present… Just signal me when the time comes.????: Indeed. It was good talking with you… Albert Wesker.
????: Same goes to you… Revolver Ocelot.Cue the Scare Chord!
Episode 4: Harem Breather
It was another day in the life of Issei Hyodo, the Harem King in training. It has been three weeks since his group, the Chick Magnet Quartet, has busted Yuno Gasai with the help of the Special Lovers Squad for her bombing of the House of Love, and got a place in the GUAG because of it. He was living his life normally after this adventure: he’s been visiting his haremettes from time to time, as well as his friends and his haremettes’ friends. He decided to go out to visit Rias in the Body Images Sub-House under Personal Appearance.
Issei: I hope she’s here today.
Issei was thinking about what to do with Rias today. He was also thinking to himself how the Body Images Sub-House really only has two guys, and almost every one was well-endowed women other than the beautiful redhead – such as Shanoa, Noel, Litchi and Valmet. However, before he could think further, he accidentally bumped into some one, and the two fell down. Issei looked at the person he bumped into, with the person being a girl with brown hair tied to long twintails, wearing black and red school uniform.
Ryoubi: Hey! Watch where you’re going, you near-sighted mule- Oh, it’s you.Issei: Ryoubi…
Both Issei and Ryoubi stood up, with Ryoubi looking bit grumpy, while Issei himself looked rather irritated.
Issei: What are you doing here?…Ryoubi: Hey, I am one of residence of this House, so I should have the right to ask you that. However, I am actually going somewhere else. That’s all. Honest. Look, I even left my musket back at my temple [Not that I really need to carry it around…]Issei: …..Ryoubi: Geez, give me a break! I have other things to do than endlessly pursue your precious girlfriend. Really, of you and of your “little” harem, she is the only one I give a crap about. Okay, I have to work with that Koneko girl and I am glad that that Akeno girl keeps my sister busy, but outside of you being the only thing standing between Rias and a bullet, I have nothing against you. So make sure that stays that way.
Issei started to calm down. He couldn’t really let his guard down with her, but since she hasn’t yet actually harmed Rias, she was safe for now.
Issei: Do you know is she’s in her temple right now?Ryoubi: Beats me. I haven’t heard that she has left, so maybe. Even then, I frankly don’t give a flying fuck about her safety! Now if you excuse me, I have places to go. Bye.Issei: Uhh… Bye? (That girl has quite the beef with Rias. I have to wonder why?)
Ryoubi walked right past Issei, with Issei looking behind him to make sure she wasn’t planning anything. Though he knew he had no reason to stand here for the rest of the day and started heading forwards Rias’ temple again. What he found surprised him. There was the Occult Research Club with Negi… And six other girls our lovable pervert has never seen before.
Issei: Girls? Guys? And… Who are these women?Rias: Oh, you’re here, Ise. We have a few guests today. These are the girls of the Infinite Stratos Academy.Issei: The IS Academy? That all-female military school which has found one male student recently?Rias: Indeed. These girls are: Houki Shinonono, Huang Lingyin and Laura Bodewig of the House of Love; Charlotte Dunois of this house; Cecilia Alcott of the House of Royalty; and finally teacher Chifuyu Orimura of the House of Profession.Issei: Hi, there… So… What brings you here?Charlotte: Bonjour! You must be Issei Hyodo, am I right?Issei: Yeah, it’s me! (shakes hands with Charlotte) Pleased to meet you.Charlotte: I’m Charlotte! It’s great to make your acquaintance!Houki: We came here to have a discussion with your Quartet.Negi: These girls are interested to have someone… A guy named Ichika Orimura to join us.Issei: Ichika Orimura? Wasn’t he the high priest of a Disgraced deity? I’m surprised he managed to enter the Pantheon.Laura: Do not talk shit about my wife!
Issei blinked his eyes, baffled. Did she just call him something that applied to a female?
Issei: Your… Wife?Laura: Ja! He’s my wife! Do you find anything wrong with that?!Issei: No, it’s just… Ahh, screw this.
He took a seat, and the conversation regarding Ichika ensued.
Issei: How did he get into the Main Pantheon?Charlotte: We’ve asked the Main House to have him into the pantheon proper.Rias: It was difficult, to put it on a lighter note! He seriously risked to be thrown to the Disgraces!Laura: The fact that he was the High Priest of – (shudders) – that guy I won’t mention – made things harder for us!Cecilia: Hopefully, O-Haruhi-Sama has helped us on that regard, and now Ichika is here!Chifuyu: I have to be honest… I was truly joyous when I heard my brother has arrived in the Pantheon.
Rin: You figure it out yet?Emi: Give me a minute…oh, I got it: I’m…no, that doesn’t work. Kidman! I’m Kidman!Rin: I guess. So, who’s left…Hisao. Who’s Hisao?
Emi: Sebastian, duh.Rin: Why, because he’s the hero?Emi: Because he can’t run three seconds without getting winded.Rin: True. Oh, I know who I am: The Keeper.
Emi: Huh?Rin: I’d like to have a safe for a head. I mean, I’d never misplace anything.Emi: …Sure. So…what about Shizune?Rin: Joseph. You know, glasses.Emi: So, Kenji is Leslie, Hisao is Sebastian, I’m Kidman, Misha’s the Sadist, you’re The Keeper, Shizune is Joseph, Lilly is that Spotlight lady from the add-on…so that leaves…Rin: Ruvik. Hanako is Ruvik.Emi: Quite so.
Back At the House of Personal Appearance
Issei: So then, Where’s Ichika?Negi: The Miscellaneous subhouse. The same subhouse I reside in the House of Love.Chifuyu: Please, Mr. Hyodo. I want you to be a tour guide for him.Issei: Aren’t you his mother? You shouldn’t be asking me to do this.Chifuyu: I’m his sister, actually. I’m pretty busy giving lessons at the Pantheon Academy.Issei: Then it’s settled. By the way, you’re pretty hot. You remind me of Rossweisse, with you being a teacher and all.Chifuyu: I… Don’t like having my looks appreciated.Issei: But… You’re the goddess of Hot Teachers, am I right?Chifuyu: I didn’t want to accept that place to begin with.Negi: How did you get the position?Chifuyu: A man named Aikuro Mikisugi found the duty a bit too troublesome to do it alone, so the Main House added me as co-god with him.Issei: I… Never knew it would be quite tiresome for you. Negi and I wish you good luck.Negi: I’ll assist you whenever you want, okay.
Chifuyu smiled at the words of encouragement the two boys gave him.
Chifuyu: Issei… Negi… Thank you.Negi: I’ll make sure the students behave if they ever try to do something perverted.Chifuyu: I certainly need the help. I’ve got class in twenty two minutes.Rias: I’m coming with you, Ise. Besides, Bayo-chan’s lessons are today.Cecila: Lessons? What kind of lessons does this Bayo person have?
Issei and Negi were nervous about inviting them there.
Negi: …I think you girls should stay away from there.
The IS Academy girls looked at each other before Chifuyu opened her mouth.
Chifuyu: Is it a bad place?Negi: Not at all. It’s just kind of… Well… It’s quite libidinous.Koneko: It’s very, very smutty. Don’t go there.Akeno: Don’t listen to her, you should definitely attend her lessons!Koneko: Bayo’s a complete skank, and you know it.Rias: For the millionth time, Koneko, Bayo is not a skank. She’s just very kinky.
Koneko crossed her arms and turned her head the other way to her chagrin.
Koneko: Whatever.Houki: I’m not sure I want to try it.
This was getting out hand. Issei walked up to Rias and whispered to her ear.
Issei: R-Rias, are you sure it’s a good idea to bring them in?Rias: Negi will take the girls out of Bayo’s temple if they don’t like it.Issei: If that’s the case…
Issei, as reluctant as he was, placed his hands on his hips and made an announcement.
Issei: Females of the IS Academy! Negi Springfield and I will be your… Chaperon (Am I the same age as these girls are?)?Chifuyu: Very well… I’ll let you take these girls to the House of Love. I’m going to the Academy to teaching them.
With all being said and done, The Occult Research Club, Negi, and the IS Academy Girls departed to the House of Love to meet up with Bayonetta while Chifuyu left for the Academy.
House of LoveThe group were in front of Bayonetta’s temple for today’s lesson. The IS Academy Girls were a bit nervous.
Issei: This is the temple of the woman known as Bayonetta. If you’re uncomfortable with her lessons, ask Negi to escort you out. I’m going to go for Ichika’s temple. Any questions?
Issei: Good! With that said, I’m off! See ya later, guys!
Akeno knocked on the door as Issei headed off to the Miscellaneous Subhouse.
Asia: Please come back, Ise-san!Akeno: Bayo? Please open up! It’s me!
At first, there was no response. They waited for two minutes, but Bayonetta still didn’t respond.
Rias: Normally, she would open for the door for us. Is she busy or something?Charlotte: Huh? The door’s opening.
They turned to the door and opened the door. The person who opened it was someone they didn’t expect. A guy in a red coat.
???: Alright, what do you people want?Akeno: We’re here to have lessons from Bayo-chan.
The figure scratched his head bewildered. Was this guy a friend of Bayonetta’s? To them, he looked more like a thug than anything.
???: When did that Witch started giving out sessions? She never told me about that.Irina: …Who are you????: I’m Dante. I’m just here to stay over her house. She’s busy doing something with that Balder guy.Negi: Can we can come in?Dante: …Why not? I’ve gotten bored.
Dante invited the group inside Bayonetta’s temple. The Occult Research Club girls went onto the stage room, with Negi, Dante and the IS Academy girls following them.
Dante: That witch started giving strip club lessons?Akeno: (giggles) More or less.
Dante was befuddled that Bayonetta started strip lessons. Does Bayonetta actually do this herself?
Dante: …I don’t even know what I’m in for anymore. Who was that dude who escorted you here? Is he that Issei guy my “neighbor” Hayate is talkin’ so much about?Negi: Indeed. He’s actually friends with me. We even formed a group.Dante: Really? You three are the luckiest bastards in the Pantheon. No freakin’ wonder that that Issei guy has been dubbed the “Pantheon’s Luckiest SOB”.Negi: There’s four of us.Dante: And who is this fourth member? Some pimp who trash-talks others, like that Blacker Baron guy?Asia: Er, Mr. Dante…Koneko: He’s a nerd here in the House of Love.Dante: Hahaha… You’re being honest?Xenovia: Yes. He’s a nerd that has a devil who likes him.
What a surprise. Dante never expected that a nerd could get a love interest.
Negi: He’s a nice person in all respects.Dante: You’re kidding me, aren’t you?Rias: Not in the slightest bit. Oh, and… Sorry if we did not introduce ourselves. We are the Occult Research Club. I am its leader, Rias Gremory of the House of Personal Appearance.Asia: I am Asia Argento of the House of Magic.Dante: Asia… Argento? Like that Italian actress?Asia: Y-Yes.Akeno: My name is Akeno Himejima, and I am of the House of Combat.Koneko: Name’s Koneko Toujou. I’m from the House of Personality.Xenovia: I am Xenovia Quarta, and she is Irina Shidou. We’re both of the House of Faith.Dante: And these other five girls?Houki: We are a group of students from the Infinite Stratos Academy. I am Houki Shinonono.Lingyin: And I am Huang Lingyin!Cecilia: My name is Cecilia Alcott.Charlotte: Je suis Charlotte Dunois.Laura: And last but not least, for I am Laura Bodewig.Dante: …where are you girls from?Rias: These girls are from the IS Academy. It is an all-girls school. Recently they have one male student by the name of Ichika Orimura.Dante: Ichika Orimura? Who the hell is he?Laura: He’s a nice guy and he’s going to be my wife.Laura: Ja. You heard me.
Dante thought that Laura was out of her mind by saying that thing.
Dante: I think you have some loose screws.Charlotte: (smiles) Don’t mind her, she always takes things seriously.Dante: I doubt that.Rias: Now if you’ll excuse, we’ll be changing.
The Occult Research Club girls went into Bayonetta’s dresser room. Cecilia and Laura took the bunny suits for the two of them and went to her bathroom.
Dante: I’m going to sleep in her bed.
Dante went to Bayonetta’s bedroom to get some sleep, leaving Houki, Lingyin, Charlotte, and Negi standing.
Cecilia: It’s been a long time since I’ve worn a bunny suit!Laura: Seducing Ichika is a very serious task.Cecilia: Is it really that important to you?Houki: I’m going outside.Charlotte: I’m going to watch the girls perform.Lingyin: Same with Charlotte.Negi: We’re waiting here.
13 minutes laterThe Occult Research Club, Cecilia, and Laura were finished putting on their outfits and went on the stage. Charlotte pressed the switch for the poles to appear.
Lingyin: Everything’s ready!Akeno: (giggles) Let’s give Issei and Ichika a nice surprise.Rias: All right, let’s do this.
The girls started to dance, while waiting for their respective loved ones to arrive.
In the Miscellaneous subhouse, Issei, after speaking with Jiraiya, Johnny, and Kagura, and also after having to shove off a flirty Panty away from him, was at Ichika’s temple. The two had a brief conversation.
Issei: To make a long story short… Do you want to join the Chick Magnet Quartet, Ichika Orimura?Ichika: I… I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but… Uh, I’ll think about it.Issei: Ah, doesn’t matter. Come with me now; our girls are waiting in Bayonetta’s temple!Ichika: W-Wait, I’m not-Issei: (takes Ichika by himself) Come on, we’re gonna have some good fun! Don’cha want to grope a good pair of boobies? I sure as hell want to!Ichika: (sighs) Okay…
Issei grabbed Ichika and headed for Bayonetta’s temple.
House of Love, Lust subhouse, Bayonetta’s temple, 8 minutes laterThe girls danced with Koneko dancing nervously in reluctance. Negi was in the kitchen, making some food to feed himself and the girls. Charlotte’s nose was bleeding in… delight?
Lingyin: Uh, Charlotte? You should get some tissues.Charlotte: (I wonder if I should do this to Ichika.)
The girls on the stage did some very erotic dances on the pole. Suddenly, Issei arrived with Ichika. Obviously, the former’s reaction seeing his haremettes putting up a show for him needed to be seen to be believed.
Issei: (his nose starts leaking blood) Sweet… Mother of… Boobies!Ichika: (blushes uncontrollably) Uh, girls, I don’t think a pole-dance should be necessary!Issei: Come on! Enjoy this awesome sight! A bunch of hot chicks workin’ it, that’s a sight you can only get in strip clubs, or porn movies!Akeno: Ohh, guess who’s back, ufufufu~Issei: HERE I COME!!!! YAAAAHOOOOOO!!!
Issei rushed to the girls and landed face-first into Akeno’s breasts.
Issei: Ahhhh! Truly blissful…Akeno: (giggles) Someone’s being a little naughty~
Before they continue to dance, an exhausted Dante yelled from Bayonetta’s Bedroom.
Dante: Who came inside?Charlotte: Issei and Ichika are here.
Dante was surprised to hear that Issei was inside the temple.
Dante: (groans) …I’m gonna have a headache.
Dante went back to Bayonetta’s bed and slept, covering his ears. Meanwhile, Issei was surrounded by his scantily-clad haremettes, with Charlotte and the others watching by the sidelines. The level of fanservice Issei witnessed around him was beyond imagination: Rias was wearing a frilly, crimson-colored bra with a matching g-string and black knee-socks with red ballerina shoes; Asia was wearing a strapless light blue French Maid Outfit with no bra, but matching panties covering the naughty bits; Akeno was clothed with a black latex micro-bikini top and a matching low-rise hakama cut like a microskirt – but no panties; Koneko was wearing a white corset with pink panties, matching silk gloves, thigh-high boots, and fake cat ears; Xenovia was clothed in a navy blue backless leotard – which also let her cleavage fully open, with matching stockings and high-heeled shoes; and finally, Irina was wearing a light orange basque with black accents, a dark grey tanga and black stockings latched to a garter belt. Obviously, Issei was in cloud nine seeing his girls clothed so skimpily and dancing around him in ever-so erotic ways.
Issei: Who was that?Charlotte: His name’s Dante; a friend of Bayonetta’s.Issei: Bayo isn’t here?Rias: Not yet, she’s dealing with some business. In the meantime… (uses her hands to lift her breasts up and down) Just enjoy my striptease. I am doing this for you and only you.Issei: Need… Tissues… Now!Akeno: Mmmh, you want to sink your baby-face between my breasts again, Ise-kun?Asia: These… Are things you really like, Ise-san… I’m so happy to do them for you!Koneko: Don’t say anything, Ise-senpai. Just… Don’t say anything.Xenovia: Does this outfit want you to make babies with me, Ise? I certainly hope so!Irina: I’m not just your childhood friend, y’know!
Issei was delighted to see his girls putting up a show for him. Ichika… Not so much.
Ichika: C-Cecilia… Laura… Why are you doing this?Cecilia: Because I like you, duh!Laura: You are my wife, and it is my duty to reward you.Charlotte: Ah, you know what? I’m getting some action, as well! (goes to Bayonetta’s bathroom)Houki: I’ll go as well.Lingyin: Don’t forget me!Ichika: (The other three are going to join them in this? …I’m screwed.)
However, as the three entered the bathroom, the Umbra Witch entered her temple, all while licking a lollipop.
Bayonetta: Well, well, well. Looks like we have some company.Akeno: Bayo-chan?Issei: S-She’s here!Koneko: …Hmph.
Upon seeing Bayonetta’s arrival, the girls immediately stopped dancing. Dante also woke up, although he was still a bit drowsy.
Bayonetta: I see you were… “Training”, so to speak.Dante: (while rubbing his left eye) Hi there, Bayo.Bayonetta: Hello, Dante. You were sleeping on my bed, were you?Dante: Yeah, just a bit tired from doing all the adjustments to your room. How’s the business with Balder?Bayonetta: We aren’t going anywhere, unfortunately. I’ll tell you more about it later.Dante: OK. I’ll just rest at my temple.
With that said, Dante departs to his temple in the House of Profession. Meanwhile, Negi exits the kitchen, finally serving some dishes for Issei, Ichika, and their haremettes.
Bayonetta: There’s also that child mage.Negi: Ah, you’re back here, Bayonetta.Bayonetta: Oh, you’ve cooked some stuff for us.Negi: Sure! You want something?Bayonetta: No, thanks. I’m tired. Girls, you are free to keep up with your training.
Bayonetta went to her bedroom, going to sleep while Negi feed the group with rice cakes.
Rias: These are pretty good.Negi: Glad to hear that.
The group ate the rice cakes worked out to resume their session. Issei and Ichika approached Negi and the three of them have a banter.
Ichika: I never expected you’d be able to cook decently.Negi: I’ve read a manual from the House of Food on how to cook it. I’ve heard from your sister that you’re a great cook as well.Ichika: Well… She made me the God of House Husbands, after all.
Ichika laughed nervously as Issei resumed covering his face in the boobs of the haremettes, causing Ichika to sigh in exasperation.
Ichika: …Why is that guy so perverted? Hell, why aren’t they staying away from him anyway?Negi: You’re surely not the only one in the Pantheon which asks himself this question. But really, he works very hard to protect them. I suppose you should speak to him about it.
Issei was a pervert indeed, but he’s no bastard by any normal means. By the look on the faces of the Occult Research Club, they enjoyed it.
Ichika: I-Ise-san! Aren’t you supposed to guide me to the Pantheon?
The humanoid dragon stopped in his tracks and turned to Ichika.
Issei: Why don’t you just enjoy the show a bit longer? It’s really fun if you jump into the action!Negi: (laughs) That’s Issei for you. Your sister told us to only invite you to the Chick Magnet Quartet, but to be your tour guide as well.Ichika: My sister? You mean Chifuyu?Negi: Yes.Ichika: Well, it’s not like a couple hundred extra happenings in my everyday life could hurt in some way…Negi: The life of a Pantheon god is very turbulent, to say the least.
The two of them watched Issei surround himself with his haremettes. However, Ichika forcibly dragged him away from the girls.
Issei: H-Hey! Why did you drive me away from my girls? What’s up with that?!Ichika: You making this stuff with your haremettes is making things… Awkward.Issei: Come on, this is the House of Love! Things like these are the norm here!Negi: …Let’s just give him a tour of the Pantheon, OK?Issei: (sighs) All right…
1 hour and 40 minutes after Issei and Negi finished giving Ichika a tour of the Pantheon, the three rested at the House of Food to get something to eat. Ichika and Issei started talking.
Ichika: Just tell me something, Issei.Issei: What is it?Ichika: Why are you so perverted?Issei: (sharp inhale) I was 7 years old when I, with a few friends of mine, have heard a teaching from an old man.Ichika: What did he say?Issei: He recommended us to suck on girls’ breasts, for whatever reason.Ichika: That guy really must know the term “decency”. And then what happened next?Issei: The next day, I didn’t see that old man anymore; he was sentenced to 10 years in jail.
So that was it. That was what started it all. Ichika really wished that his mother kept him away from that man. Ichika stopped eating his food and looked around.
Issei: What is it?Ichika: It’s nothing… I’ll just go back to my temple.
Ichika stood up and left for his temple. Before he could move, Issei stopped him in his tracks.
Issei: Ichika… please, I’m sorry if I was a bit harsh toward you in Bayonetta’s temple.Ichika: I’m sorry for driving you away from your haremettes, as well. …I may join your group some time later: for now I’ll stick with the Robot War Division. Until then… I’ll see you next time.
Taking his food with him, he left for his temple in the House of Love. Issei looked at him as he went on.
Issei: (Ichika Orimura… I can’t let you just go back to your temple unmonitored.)
The humanoid dragon slowly got up from his table and slowly followed Ichika without getting caught by him.
Negi: (What is Issei planning to do?)
The mage quickly finished eating his meal, got up from his table and quickly pursued Issei. As Ichika returned to his temple, however, he busted the two.
Ichika: What are you two doing here?Issei: Your Sister would be worried if something were to happen to you.Ichika: …I certainly appreciate your apprehension, but don’t worry, I can take care of myself.
As Issei and Negi stood there quietly, Ichika went inside his temple to relax. The two of them discuss to decide their next plan.
Negi: What should we do now?Issei: I guess we should send the IS the girls in.Negi: Are you sure that’s a good idea?Issei: We’ll see…
They went back into Bayonetta’s temple to get the IS Academy girls. Much to the two’s surprise, the girls weren’t there; apparently they all went back to their temples. The only girls present were the ones of the Occult Research Club.
Issei: Eugh… Screw it. I don’t want to look like a stalker.Negi: Don’t worry so much about him, Issei. I’m sure he’ll join the group some time later.Rias: He may not have be like you Issei, but I know the girls will have good bonds with us.Iseei: Of course… For now.
Issei landed his face on Rias’ boobs.
Issei: I’ll be in paradise…
All of the Occult Research Club Girls along with Negi smiled as The perverted, humanoid dragon enjoyed himself.
Episode 5: Operation “Mochi on the Moon”
One day, a group of people restlessly chased after a certain Moon Rabbit in search for the Legendary Mochi that only it could make.
Having her cornered to the lair, the Moon Rabbit had no other choice but to personally make it for them. Unfortunately for her, those guys weren’t just any ordinary food lovers. These guys were some of the most gluttonous gods in Pantheon, constantly on a gourmet quest for the most exodic foods. They were notorious for having stomachs that knew no end.
So, from having to stuff their stomach with tens of thousands of mochi, the poor rabbit fainted, with blistered fingers from holding the mallet and pounding with all her strength.
As she was been taken back to the infirmary by her rabbit servants, Eirin continued greeting the guests, who were stuffing themselves with mochi. Looking at their happy faces, Eirin thought of something.
Eirin: Everyone, can I ask you of something?
The seemingly non-stop eating machines stopped to pay attention to her, while still putting food in their mouth.
Eirin: Can you please advertise Reisen’s work?
She said so without hesitation, while bowing her head. Reisen has been working hard for her.
Ever since she have been transfered here, her workload have been more than double the usuals, more so when there’re incidents. Even when she have been given a titles, she still being treated almost the same at when she’s in Gensokyo. Even more worrying is the fact that some people held a looks of comtempt at her when they found outs she a fugitive, deserted from the war on the moon. This could jeopardize her effort, even reduced it to nothing. Her effort to built relation and become a working member of the sociaty and the relationship she made in here could collasped to mere dust.
And yet Reisen haven’t said a things about that to her.
Perhap she treat it at non-importance, perhap the Master-Servant relationship prevent her from saying thus. Even being the Brain of the Moon, there’re still infinite reason even she can’t think of. Either the infinite ways that could happen, this Brain of the Moon can’t even help her own servant, making her carry the invisible burden that maybe only her can see.
But with this, maybe she can help Reisen somewhat. Casting aside her pride and demeanor, she asking their help with the most honest of intention. To her surprise however, each of those guy answered without even a moment of hesitation.
A pair that just continues doing what they do in their own world filled with “food”.
Toriko: Of course i will do it…Komatsu:… It was very good after all.
A pink ball of gluttony, happen to know this in his usual search for food.
Kirby: If i could eat more of this… I accept !
And a simple-minded curious about the Moon Rabbit.
Chie: It’s obivous that i will do it!
Hearing such reply. Eirin, hoping to be asked even a reason why, became dumbfounded. But she quickly regain composure.
Eirin:D-Don’t you wanted to ask more?
The childlish little girl, that’s also curious about the mochi, replied an answer everybody in that group would say.
Minori: Isn’t such good food must be showed to people?
Hearing that, Eirin expressed deep gratitude and thanking them . After a while, she told them what they should do…
???: Hmm… Interesting.
While someones was spying on them the whole times.
???: Let make them into our’s debut.
Saying that, the leader of a certain group silently disappeared with a robe.
Komatsu: Everyones, let discuss again about what Eirin-san want us to do.
He said that while holding a lunch box that contains the left-over mochis.
Komatsu: We’re going to take the mochis to the House Of Food and let them eat this while asking them for a spot to place a stall. Since it was delicious, this shouldn’t be a problem…
While they’re discussing, they continues to walk at a slow pace toward the transfer point to the House.Unable to hold herself back, Minori run in front of them, rushing them along:
Minori: Come on everybody! faster, faster!!Chie: Wait a little bit, Minori-chan. Let him finish talking.
As Chie acting like the big sister and calming Minori down. Komatsu continues:
Komatsu: As the same time, we’ll advertise Reisen-san mochis along the way to other gods. With that, we’ll be sure to improve Reisen-san’s image to the public. Is everybody get it?The rest: Yes !!!
Minori then continues to run off again.
Chie: Wait up, Minori-chan! we’re supposed to moved slowly to advertise to every gods we meet on the street!Minori: But Chie-neesan…
Chasing after Minori, Chie tried to stop her.
Minori: There’re an All-you-can-eat BBQ buffet happening today. I can’t missed it!!Chie:!!Minori: Don’t worry! I will advertise that too!
After that, Minori began to run off at full speed, leaving everyones behind.
It took a moment to realize what was going on, but Komatsu then began to chase after her to stop her. But before he could do that…
Chie suddenly sprinted at full speed.
Komatsu: Wa…!Chie: I will chased after her. Don’t worry…
Sounding reliable, for a moment Chie turn her head back with face full of confident and a mouth full of drool, pulling a thumb up.
Chie: I will leave you guy some steak when i return !
Before Komatsu could responded back however, a gust of wind followed with a sonic boom zipped past him , leaving behind a pink afterimage. Not wanting to lose to Kirby’s Jet speed, Chie summoned her Persona to carries her and jump, catching up with Kirby in no time.
Flabbergasted, Komatsu’s standing there watching them disappearing in front of his eyes. It only lasts for a moment though, when his vision suddenly shooked to Toriko’s back. Split second later, his body jerked to the back due to sudden acceleration.
Toriko: We have to catch up to them, right?
Is what he heard last before the sound of them tearing through the air cancel out any sound they make.
Komatsu: (What about Eirin-san’s requested?)
He can only sigh in resignation.
And so the trip that would take hours to walk was reduced to 5 minutes.
Originally, the reason they walk was so that they could advertised to the gods that they met along the way. But because of Minori’s impulse, their’s race to the House of Food have reduced it at such.
Still, the first to arrive at the transfer point is Minori. It’s look like somehow the rest of the group is slowing each others down, leaving Minori at the front. The transfer point is a normal-looking rectangular building 1-storey high, taking an area of 1×2 square km, looking like an airport. In it contain devices that could instantly transport anybody to destination set in it.
In it front gate stand a single person. His appearance is that of a normal salary-man in his 20s, his face showed a faint smile that seem to always appeared on his face, make him look really carefree.
Not failing to notice him, Minori comes over to strike a conversation:
Minori: Hi there, onii-san!!???: Hello there.
Can’t hold back her own exciment, Minori continue to talk while flailing her arms around.
Minori: In the House of Food there’ll be mochis made by a moon rabbit!???: Whoa… How do you know?
Looking surprise, the young man asked her.
Minori: That because we’re going to deliver the mochi to the chef in there and get their’s permission for opening a stall.???: Heh…! Are you sure it going to work?Minori: Sure it’s going to work! That’s because it’s delicious!
Without a shadow of doubt, Minori declare so to the young man.
???: Is that so? It just like what Leader said…Minori: What are you talking about????: Never mind. Anyway, what’s your name?Minori: Minori !???: Just Minori ? This is a first time i met someone who goes only by their surname…Minori: What your name onii-chan ?
Hearing such question, he’s scraching behind his head while making a apologizing face.
???: Sorry Minori-chan, but can i refrain from saying my name, at least not yet?Minori: Don’t you know it’s rude if you don’t give your name as well????: I know that. It’s just that Leader said i can’t give my name to you guys until all of you are here…Minori: What do you mean????: Just be patience, alright? Look…
Still confused, Mirori continues to watch the young man as he pull out a single card from thin air. To a knowledgable one, this is a Tarot card know as The Jester.
Chie: Minori-chan, stay away from this man !!
Surprised by the voice, Minori immediately turn around to see Chie rushing to her. Her Persona, Tomoe, however rush straight to the young man’s position, using her polearm to end his life. As her blade quickly reach him however, it have been stopped by a masked warrior in red, known as Magatsu-Izanagi, as his polearm collided with her’s. Just before that, Chie managed to drag Minori out of there.
???: Ones of your friend have come here already. She doesn’t like me very much though.
As the same time he’s saying that, Magatsu-Izanagi, using his weapon, pushed Tomoe out of the deadlock into her original position. They’re being locked in their’s respective place for awhile, as this man stared lazily into the distance, waiting for the rest to arrive. One by one they came.
???: …Look like all of you have come here. Now then…
He then take out an armband and wear it on his left arm, revealing a devil emoticon sticking out it tonge on a black background, with hair resembling his.
Adachi: My name is Tohru Adachi, “Itazura Black” of the Itazura Griefer.All: Itazura…Griefer ?
As they’re baffle as the name, The man named Adachi began talking to himself out loud.
Adachi:…And Leader said i have to go ham for dramatic effect…Chie: What?Adachi: Nothing. So anyway, I heard from Minori-chan over here that you’re in possesion of food made from the legendary Moon Rabbit, right?Chie: So what !?Adachi: So, Leader said she want to have a bite on that.
The group then became on guard, cautious for what he said. As representative, Chie continue to talk
Chie: Can’t you just wait for this to appeared in the House of Food?Adachi: Unfortunately, our leader isn’t such a patience girl… After all, she wouldn’t want to missed her only chance to tasted it.Chie: What do you mean by that ?Adachi: Well, how should i…phrase it properly to not pissed off you guy?Chie: Just say it !!
Despise taking on her word with so much anger and hatred, he recieve it with open arm and “politely” express his intention.
Adachi: She said that maybe this thing wouldn’t taste very good for the House of Food, that despised it’s name, it’s just like any others mochi with no “special property” or “transcended flavor”, and will be shotted down. So she wanted to eat it first to comfirm it before it gone…The Rest: !!?Adachi: Well, since you guy are such a glutton, maybe she was right! Having no taste and all.The Rest: What did you said !!?
Now, the whole group tremble in fury. Emitting such animosity that, in the eyes of most people, would make them backed off a little.
But once again, he revealed a twisted smile, having fulfilled his attention, which angering them even more. He then continues to talk, purposefully provoked them:
Adachi: So once again, can we have just a bite of that?Chie:…What if we say no?
Chie then takes a step forward, glaring him in the eyes while Tomoe readied her stance.
Adachi: Then, like any cliche villain, we’re going to take it by force. Leader ordered so.
Magatsu-Izanagi also readied his stance, emitting dark aura that spilled out to the ground.
Chie: You guy go ahead, i’ll take care of this guy.Adachi: Whoa… even the line you said is so cliche. It wouldn’t hurt to chance it up a bit you know.
Ignoring such unnecessary remark, she have Tomoe charged immediately into combat with Magatsu-Izanagi. Snapping out of their’s rage, they immediately responded to the situation.
Minori: I will help you wi…Chie: I have personal beef with this guy in my world, so it’s best for me to fight him. Beside, if this keep up, the mochis will not be safe…
Distracted for awhile, Chie’s failed to notice Adachi’s Persona ramming her’s into her’s position, blowing her away. As Minori approach to aid Chie, Toriko suddenly hold her arm and sprinted as fast as possible to the front gate, with Komatsu on his back and Kirby on his side…
Minori: Wha…Toriko: Chie is right ! We need to move quickly!Adachi: Ara Ara… Did you think i’m going to let you escape?
When suddenly, a bunch of humanoid monster called Reaper appeared in their way, pointing guns at them.
Toriko: How do you think we DON’T know ! Flying Fork!
Toriko then aim his fingers at the Reapers and straighten out his arm toward them. As he do so, the Reapers in his way suddenly blow apart, leaving out 4 hole arrange in a straight line in the front gate. Taking this chance, Toriko successfully jumped into the building.
Chie: (Great, they escape with the mochis successfully, now i can deal with this guy “peacefully”…)
She then immediately jump onward, intending to land a kick on his face, only to be stopped by Reaper using his gun.
Chie: (…After all,he dare to insult our taste !)
Thinking thing like that, she and Tomoe continue to let out a blaze of fury onto Magatsu-Izanagi and the horde of Reapers…
Adachi: Man… that guy really is a monster, piercing through those Reapers like that…
Saying that though, Adachi’s sitting on the ground, relaxingly watching the battle unfolding before his eyes.
Adachi: …Though i’m purposefully letting those guy go… Now then…
He then take out a compact headphone, wearing it over his head and placing the microphone before his mouth. He then begin to communicate to his group.
Adachi: (“Red”, this is “Black”. Phase one has been completed)???: (Affirmative, begin phase two of operation: “Mochi on the Moon”, keep what you’re doing until “then” )Adachi: (Affirmative)
After that, as if bored on what happened before him, he layed down to the ground looking at the sky at some kind of plan is unfolding.
Adachi: (That’s still a lame name though…)
Again, he’s thinking such unnecessary remark.
After escaping Adachi, the group successfully teleported to the transport point near the House of Food. They continue to run at fast at they can to it (while still managed to tell everybody they met about the food).
After awhile though, realizing that he’s still carrying Komatsu and Minori, he began to stop and let them down. Finally having a time to rest, they begin to discuss with each other
Toriko: Let keep going to the House of Food !
Was what they instantly decided.
And so after they get enough rest, they continue going on their way.
Komatsu: By the way, what is the Itazura Griefers anyway?Toriko: I don’t know, but these guys are strong. Those guys are also planning something if they let us passed like that.Minori: Yeah, that guy managed to summoned that many monsters, yet we gone through their defense too easily. These monsters didn’t follow or ambushed us inside either, as if it’s crucial to their plan for us to come to the House of Food.Komatsu: But then why? They could have stolen the mochis from us if they’re trying to stop us there.Kirby: Anyway, we only need to defeat them when they came right?Toriko: Be careful though, who know what they’re going to send next ? We have to keep being vigilant.Minori: I bet they’re going to try to stop us one-by-one, to keep getting stronger until we met the final boss.Komatsu: I don’t think they would do that, Minori-san…
Just like Komatsu said, they continued on their way without any obstruction. Finally, they arrived to the House of Food.
Komatsu:… This is it, if they want to stop us and take the mochis, this is the final place to do it.Toriko: I wonder what kind of enemy we’re going to met.Minori: …By the way, when do we know that it’s them anyway?
They suddenly grew stiff, having realized they don’t have any way to confirm their existance. Their motivation suddenly plummeted to the ground.
Komatsu: I-I’m sure we’ll will know it when we meet them !
Wanting to break the ice, Komatsu said that while leading the team inside the House, delivering them to the chef. The House of Food, at always, is filled with the aroma of delicious food in the air.
Even more so today, especially the smell of grease and meat completely permeated the atmosphere. Thousands of people have gathered around the extremely large BBQ stands that the chefs have cooked which seemingly was a piece of steak 100 meter in diameter.
Komatsu: Now that I remember, Minori-san did mention that there’s an All-you-can-eat BBQ buffet.Minori: Yeah, I heard they will introduce all kind of meats from monsters that exist in the Pantheon…Toriko/Kirby: What!?
As expected, their mouth have been filled with drool after hearing that.
Minori: Plus, there’s going to be a special event. I’m not sure what, but I heard they’re going to introduced a new kind of meat WAY more delicious than what is being showed here…
Just then, a bell sound rang across the room, attracting the guests’ attention. Then a voice appeared, announcing the news:“The special event will begin in 1 hour. If you want to join in, please register in the reception at the center of the room.”
Komatsu: Hehhh… So there’ll be an event hu… Wait, where are you going?
Said Komatsu when he saw his companion running away at break-neck speed, causing them to stop.
Toriko: We’re going to participate in this special event, of course!Komatsu: “Of course” what? What about our objective to deliver the mochis?Toriko: Listen here… Right now there will be a special event organized by the House of Food, right?Komatsu: Yeah?Toriko: That means that the one we need to meet may be busy with the preparation of the event.Komatsu: !!… That’s right, we can’t just meet them and ask for this !Toriko: Right, but what if we participate in this event?Komatsu: You would be able to meet with the organizer… Ah!Toriko: Right? And if we do something recognizable in the event, the organizer will come and meet us. We can tell them about our objective that way.Komatsu: That’s right…
While Komatsu confirmed what he said, Minori and Kirby let out a surprised voice:
Minori: So you could think it that way…Kirby: I don’t even think about that. I just charge in because of the delicious food.Minori: You too? We could be friends then!Kirby: I thought we already were!Toriko: You guys…So are you coming along or not?Komatsu: No thanks, somebody must keep this thing safe. Although they probably wouldn’t attack with this much people around anyway… Beside, I want to taste some food around here at a chef.Toriko: Is that so… Then see ya later then!
With that, he signaled the remaining two, who were holding hands playing with each other, to go. At the blink of the eye, the trio have disappeared out of sight.
Komatsu: Now then… Which one should I go to first?
He also began to move, looking forward to taste the flavor of Pantheon.
15 minutes later
Komatsu: Ugh… I sure brought a lot for myself…
Having taken the food in large quantities, Komatsu had troubles carrying all the food on the plate even when he asked for a big one. Frantically looking for a place to sit, he went from table to table. Finally he found one on a corner of the room and put his plate on that table.
Komatsu: OK… What should I try first… Huh?
At he tried to taste the food, he noticed a strange thing on the table next to him. Specifically, a huge banner hang on top of it, with colorful decoration you would only see in ceremonies. On the banner spell…
Komatsu: …Itazura …Griefers?
As he still tried to comprehend the situation, out of nowhere, 4 people rushed to that table. Each of them carried a plate filled with food. Then, when all of them have placed the plate on the table, a certain blond-haired woman in her 20s, wearing a white dress began to talk while showing an object that resemble a speed-gun:
Lady: …Let’s take it to the top. Since no one of us know how to judge food professionally, I will use this gun on my hand. There’s alot of stuff behind it, but this thing could accurately know how delicious is the food…
While Komatsu was still trying to grasp the situation, he gained interest in the conservation as the group all nodding in confirmation.
Lady:…When we point this gun toward the food and pull the trigger, a number will appear on the monitor on the side of the gun. The one who gets the highest score will have the best food around and be a winner. Everyone got it?The rest: Uhm !!Lady: Then we’ll start, who goes first????: I am! I am!
With a spirited voice, a young, redheaded spike-headed boy who was in a hurry to volunteer himself to be first with his hand raised high over his head and hopping around.
Lady: OK, drop the act, “Prince”. Let’s see…Komatsu: (Prince? Guess he is from Royalty…)
The blond lady then promptly pointed the gun into this boy’s dish. It was a cartoonish piece of meat with a bone sticked through the center and sauce permeating the top of it.
Lady: *BIP* …100 point.
After hearing that, the prince then smirked a smile as if confirming his victory. But to Komatsu’s eye, he looked twisted and evil.
Boy: Jan jan jaaan! Of course it is ! With my tongue that has tasted royalty food everyday, it’s only logical that this “Roasted Dragon’s Thigh Meat” would receive the most perfect score !
Saying that, the lady suddenly giggled, hiding her mouth with her hand the way a polite lady does.
Boy: Huh? Why are you laughing?!Lady: HmHmHm… Well, with that score, it is certainly not bad, but to called it perfect is a little…Boy: What do you mean !?Lady: Well… it’s my turn next. It would be better if I showed it to you then…
She then pointed the gun at her dish next. It was shaped like a bird with vegetables as wings and tail, and the chicken-like meat at the body.*BIP*The gun once again revealing the result but she didn’t tell him right away. As he became a bit impatience, he snatched the gun out of her hand to examine the point. Only to be stupified.
Boy: No way… 1230 point !?Lady: Well yes… I did said that it would follow a numerical order… But, i never said 100 was the highest, right?Boy: Ku…
He immediatetly glared at her with hatred clearly show on his eyes. But, returning that with ease, she gently put a fan (that come out of no where) on to her lip like cliche high class lady do in shoujo manga, hidden a smile.
Lady: Anyway… for you to think that dish of yours, a dish with only 100 point, is the highest of perfection… Guess you can’t cure naivety with time after all…Boy: Ugh ! (first hit)Lady: It can’t be helped I guess. Not eating something decent for millenia must have dulled your taste…Boy: Agh ! (second hit)Lady: Even so, for my “The Phoenix’s Revival” and your … Dish to be that much different… Guess people like you will never comprehend the Divine’s delicacy.Boy: Uogh ! (final hit)
The Lady, as if continuing her act, started to laugh with a high-pitch voice. While the boy over there, after that excessive gesture like there’re arrows lodged into his heart, fall flat to the ground and convulsing constantly.
Komatsu: (Wow… Merciless. It’s like that guy that stopped us earlier… Are all of them like that?)
Ignoring the boy, the entire group continued the contest:
Lady: So, who is next????: I’m next.
Raising her hand, a young girl in a pink dress raised her hand. She flashed a confident smile as her short blond hair fluttered in the (sudden) wind and glitter surrounded her body.
Lady: …You too huh, Witch?Witch: With everybody acting like that, it’s weird not to do the same. Plus, I like to do it anyway.Lady: Whatever… so where is your pla… HUH?
Suddenly, before everybody eyes, a large fish appeared, threaten to break the table beneath. More accurately, they have only noticed it by now.
Witch: Huh? You guy only just noticed it by now? My dish “Enlarged Tuna” would grow up in size if you let it alone after cooking it, so I thought it must be pretty obvious…
While she said it with such an innocent voice, the rest of the group had a look of contempt at the fish that kept growing in size, as if they won’t be fooled with such act.
Again, the gun beeped and showed the point:
Lady: …5000… 5100…5200 !?Witch: Also, the bigger it is, the more delicious it become, as I heard! So, did I win?Lady: Grr…
The section then became silent, existing only the growling of the lady as she bit her handkerchief (that she pulled out from no where) and the witch gloating for her sure-win situation.
???: Not yet !
A shout then came suddenly, vibrating the whole section. Everyone came and looked at the same time to a girl in a white dress, with black pointy end at the bottom, and horns protruding from her black, short hair that contain some white and red strand, smiling confidently while showing her teeth.
???: I still haven’t shown my dish yet!Witch: Oh ho… Then show it then, Leader!
That girl then put the plate onto the table (while throwing the enormous fish to the twitching corpse over there)…
It was shown to be an ordinary piece of stake.
Witch: …Are you kidding me?Leader: Who know?Witch:…huHAHAHAHAHA, then you got me there, Leader. I thought you’re going to take this dish to compete against mine.Leader: Well, yes!
Seeing such a confident answer, her smile then disappeared completly from her face. Instead, anger could be showed clearly in her eyes.
Witch: Again, are you kidding me ? Do you intended to troll ME, THE WITCH OF CERTAINTY!? I won’t forgive you for displacing such lazyness even if you’re our Leader!Leader: Who know? Medic, jugde the dish.
The lady, now nicknamed Medic, nonchalantly pointed the gun at the dish.
Witch: Hmm ! Prepare for your punishment then! (preparing black hole) There’s no way this cheap stake could possibly…
Preparing the black hole, she intended to suck her into this. But before she could do so, a loud voice belonging to a certain Meme come out suddenly from the gun, making the witch lose her concentration and made the black hole disappear, before the gun self-destructed in an small-scale explosion. This was succeeded by surprising everybody.
Witch: …What was that?Leader: Hoo… So this gun was having that function. The one who made it sure have a sense of humor.Witch: … To think you even tamper with that machine, your sleazyness sure know no bound!Leader: Having moments of disbelief now, Witch? Why won’t you try it then.Witch: Now you dare to challenge my judgement ! I will show you the inferiority of your di…!?
She then picked up the dish and put it on her mouth while trying to prove that she was cheating. But the moment her tongue touched it, her speech was interrrupted as she felt like her body was wrapping-no-permeating in bodily pleasure, before she collasped to her knee, dropping the dish and holding her body while moaning erotically.
Leader: Woa… I have heard of this before, but this is a first time I saw the famed “Foodgasm”, let alone such an intensed one. That almost makes me thought you’re still a virgin.
While spouting such improper comment, she casually come to the witch’s side, ignoring the blushed look everyone was making (including the boy who had just woke up after being hit by the fish earlier), and taking the dish away. Reacting to that, she shifted her eyes to the dish she held in her hand, still having a red face from earlier.
Leader: Oh, by the way, your judgement before was half-right. This thing used to be a cheap stake some amateur chef cooked and accidentally displaced in here… You could said this is the worst dish around here, in this buffet. Right until i use my specialty… Now this thing is the best dish you could ever tasted.Witch: …Leader: “But it’s impossible, with your ability alone, to make this dish like that when the most skilled chef is participating in this event…” or something like that, right? First, I’m offended that you would think lowly of your own leader like that. Secondly, it IS impossible for me to do that alone…
She then gently put the dish back onto the table, which was followed by the fervent gaze she kept making from underneath, and lifted something-or rather-someone between her thumb and index finger. It was revealed to be a certain Inching who was waving her limb around while having a blushed face like everybody else.
Sukuna: Let me go please, Seija!Seija: …So I asked this midget to lend me the power of the Miracle Mallet and combine it with my power. It look like it make her shrunk again though… Hey, are you listening to me ?Witch: …
Noticed something strange, Seija immediatetly realized where her gaze directed to, put the Inching down the table and picked up the dish again. She then revealed a mischievous smile on her face, while teasing her with the plate dangling right in front of her, who began looking at it with a lustful gaze.
Seija: I see…So you want to taste this dish again right?Witch: Th-There no way I am thinking such an improper thing !Seija: Really? Do you hate it then ?
As she said that, she bring the dish closer to her mouth. She, who still couldn’t move from the “Foodgasm”, faced her face away from the dish. But then, her face began to contort in pain and tear began to form in the corner of her eyes. Seeing such scene, Seija begin to smile again.
Seija: So you DO like it then…Witch: Ku…
She then removed the dish out her face slowly, still letting her see the dish as it was leaving her gasp. At the witch instinctually followed it with her face, Seija then began gently caressing her neck up and gently hold her chin in place. She began to look directly into her eyes ,who began to lose her reason. A field of lilies suddenly sprouts beneath their feet, surrounding them.
Seija: You know… Seeing my precious teammate tremble in pain like that, how can I, your benevolent leader, could leave you like that?… Do you want to relief yourself from this pain ?
Hearing her question, the witch, who you seemingly can’t see her will in her eyes anymore, painfully nod slightly in front of her.
Seija: If you want it, then this benevolent leader of your will granted it. All you have to do is apologize for thinking so lowly of your leader, and I will even forgive that you were trying to kill me earlier…Witch: Grr..
Then, as if her entire body rejected to lower herself, her eyes faintly flickering a will again, revealing clear objection while weakly grinning her teeth. It’s seem like this is a final line she won’t cross, even in exchange for her sanity…
But then Seija began to cut a piece of it with a silver knife, then stab it with a fork and bring it closer to her face. A strong flow of aroma then began to loosen her face, her eyes once again turned to pain, as if this was a strong wind to blow out that flickering.
Seija: So, what’s your answer?Witch: I..a..apo…Seija: What? I can’t hear you.Witch: (moaning) I-I apologize, Leader ! So please let me have this fat, juicy, delicious piece of meat !!Seija: (smiling menacingly) …Alright, then say “Aa”.
Then, with her word, the witch had completely given up her will, as she obeyed to her pleasure and opened her mouth. At the instance Seija let the meat to enter her mouth and let her savour it, a new world filled with lilies have opened at the first petal fallen to the ground…
Seija: Hmm… It wasn’t much…
As the witch layed down on the ground, fill with happiness. Seija start looking at her dearly, like gazing at something precious, in the tesimony of many. One could say a new love was born right here…… Or so it seemed.
Seija: OK everybody (clapping hands), the joke is over. (turned to Komatsu) So… How do you like our little show, Komatsu?Komatsu:… Huh?
Like after the end of the show, everybody involed (except Suzuna) began to rised up, group together and confront him, as he was still dazed from the “act”.
Seija: What do you mean, “Huh?” . We worked so hard to act as a greeting for your arrival, and you responded like that!?“Prince”: Calm down, Leader. He’s probably too shocked from seeing the pseudo-yuri scene earlier.“Medic”: That’s right ! That last moment almost made my heart skipped a little. It’s like you two actually loved each other… Just between us, do you like her?Seija:(Unfazed) Of course no…Witch: OF COURSE SHE LIKES ME~~~!
Saying it lovingly, the Witch immediately glomp to her like a lover in a love-comedies series.
“Witch”: After all, yesterday, she confessed to me while we’re practicing our act, saying it’s because she doesn’t want me to have any wrong idea when we played that last scene together~~Seija: Mou… I planned to announced it when the time is right.Witch: Really though, that was dirty of you! Making me swoon over you again with that delicious dish.Seija: Sorry about that dear~~! You’re always looked so proud even when we’re together, so I want to used this dished so that you could relax a little. The perverted you is a plus though…Witch: Really~~,you could have just asked the next time we’re alone together then !Seija: Really? Thank you honey~~!
As these two were looking at each other with passion while holding hands, spouting cringe-worthy line even the author shied away from. A pink atmosphere quickly appeared around them, with such artifical sweetness to make everyone pukes.
Seija/Witch: Well, jokes aside…
Also just as expected, the atmosphere disappear just as quick. Instantly right after that, their hands suddenly separated away from each other with lightning speed, once again leaving Komatsu in a dazed.
Seija: I guess we haven’t introduced ourselve properly yet…(Dramatic music raising) The demon of contradiction and the hero of the weak! I’m Seija Kijin, “Itazura Red”!!!
Along with her introduction, she immediatetly taken out a red armband and put it on her right arm. After that, she ended it with a leader pose with her hand wrapped on her chest…
Before spewing (fake) blood from her mouth.
Lambdadelta: GAHAHAHA! So you managed to hold your disgust just so you could match the red color!? You’re really pushing yourself there… The Witch of Certainty and allies to my wimp! I’m Lambdadelta,“Itazura Pink”!!!
After that, flame started to wrap around her , as if to burn away her clothes. She then swiped it away with a wave of a hand, revealing her usual Halloween-themed clothing with a pink armband on her leg and striking a cute pose.
Miyo:…Speak for yourself, aren’t you burning your clothes away because you’re disgusted having touched Leader’s body?(silently take out armband) I don’t have any hammy word to said, but i’m the brain of the team. Miyo Takano, “Itazura Green”.
Unlike those two, she casually introduced herself at such as she wore the green armband. She still slightly did a pose with her hand on her hip.
Miyo: You’ve already met “Black”, so we won’t mention him…Last is…Vector:(saluting) Jan jan jaaaan! The Mad Prince of Terror! The Clown of Darkness! (changing to Barian mode) The Emperor of Chaos! Vector,“Itazura Gray”!!!
With the ominious cloud and lightning hanging around him, Vector loudly declared himself as such while flying above the ground, with a gray armband hanging around his arm.
Of course, the response was…
Seija: …He’s overcompensating.Lambdadelta: Truly, he’s overcompensating.Miyo: Guess he’s overcompensating himself because of the mob treatment he received moment ago.Vector: Tch…
The music then began to climax.
Seija: Already? let wrap it up… Together, we’re called… Itazura Griefers!!!!
The explosion effect then come behind them. Being hit by the explosive wave the effect created, Komatsu had been forcefully brought back to reality.
Seija: Now that we finished introducing ourselve, let go right to “explaning your goal to your enemies” part… First, look around you, do you see anything missing?Komatsu:(look around)…!
Indeed, the box that suppose to contain the mochis…
Seija: …Are nowhere to be found, right? You see, this little show of ours was not only for introduction, it was also for distracting you long enough so that we could take it from your hand.Komatsu: ?!
Bewildered by the revelation, Komatsu then looked to their positions, and the asked them in a strained voice after fiding out the box wasn’t in their possesion either.
Komatsu: Where did you take them !Seija: Woa woa easy there, you’re not getting any girl if you’re that forceful… don’t worry, that’s what the “give your enemies needless challenge to crush their will” part for.Komatsu: Wait… You mean…Seija: That’s right, it’s still safe… For now. Do you remember the special events? That’s where we’ve put it… We’re still surprised you know these kind of tropes so well, guess it’s a given when you’re in here.Komatsu: What did you think of me ?Seija: A clueless mob character… Well then, you’re better prepare yourselve, we’re going to participate in that too… Now that’s complete, let go to ” Hiding yourselve in menacing cloud of darkness before disappering”. Vector, do your job.Vector:(disgruntled) Why me ?!Seija: What? Didn’t you just show us that “menacing cloud of darkness” in your exaggerated introduction earlier? Beside, we ladies have done all the hard part, so you better move your lazy ass around.Vector: …Tch, I was also doing a tough part of being a mob too… (making the smoke)
Just like that, the crew slowly disappeared under a cloud of smoke, leaving Komatsu to run to his comrades as fast as possible.
20 minutes later
Komatsu:… And that is what happened.Toriko: I see…Komatsu: I’m sorry, I should have pay more attention to the foods…Toriko: It’s okay… we would also be stunned when we saw something like that.
Komatsu bowed down to apologize to everyone, which Toriko said it was fine before making him rise his head again. The group’s also agree with his’s opinion.
Kirby: Yeah, if i have seen the most delicious food in the world, i don’t think i would be able to help controlling myself to ignore it.
Of course, some is different than others. Strangely though, almost everyone nodded with it.
Chie: Nomnom… So that’s why Adachi retreated after a while…
Chie commented so, while still having steak stuffed into her mouth. Incidentally, after she chased him to here she’ve lost sign of him, so she tried to search around and picked up food at the same times when she reunited with her’s friend.
Toriko: So then… let take it back from these guy !!Komatsu: So fast!!! Don’t we need a plan or something?Toriko: Isn’t it obvious? We’re going to join the event, find out where they put it, and take it back.Komatsu: I think we still need something more than this. After all, we’re still don’t know why they gone all the way to do this instead of just taking it and running away.Minori: Isn’t they said it already:”Give your enemies needless challenge to crush their will”. How despicable…Komatsu: But the way they said it is so blatant, it’s too obvious that their’s objective is not just the mochis. I’m afraid we just walked right into a trap, and they’re not even trying to hide it.Toriko: But if we don’t, we won’t be able to get the mochis, and bring it to the chef, right?Komatsu: Sigh…right. So in the end, we’re only have that option.Toriko: Then let just flung ourselve into that then… Everybody, prepare yourself for the event. I’m going to the register and add him and Chie to “Gourmet Hunters”.Komatsu: “Gourmet Hunters” ?Toriko: That’s our team name, it’s seem like the participant must be grouped into a team.Minori: I still think our team name should be ” Pancakes’s Lover”.Kirby: I think it should be “Kirby’s hungry friend”.Chie: Why don’t you wait for me, i wanted to name it “The Starving Dragon”!Toriko: Sorry Satonaka-san, we already agreed to the name through Rock-Paper-Scissor… Well then, here i go.
With that, he’s quickly heading to it direction and fading behind lines of people.
Minori:Still, i’m amazed you could think it up to that. I don’t even know that could be possible…Chie: I think everybody already knew that, you’re just not …bright enough to know that.Minori:I AM bright enough, and already know it’s a trap already,Chie-oneesan! I’m surprise even he know it.Komatsu: Hey! Even the leader of that group said that to me! I’m not look like a clueless mob character right?Everyone:(glance away)Komatsu:You guy!!!!
10 minutes before the event
The light started to dim down.
Annoucer: For all who have participated in this event, i welcome you all!!!
A majestic voice ,resonating with the entire House, shook the atmosphere. Like that of a king, the voice attrack the attention of everyone with it domineering presence to the center of the place. There, sitting in the throne, the president of the “Gourmet Racer Club” was basking in the center light before continue.
Dedede:But first, i thanked all of you for coming to the feast and joined with us to our constant hunt of delicacy. For us, food always taste better when we eat together! And so, following this ideaology, we have opened this buffet to spread our enjoyment to everyone.
The president then paused for a little bit, giving time for the House to be filled with clapping the moment later. The cheer then soon faded out.
Dedede: Now, to the main point…
The crowd went silent. As it’s so, the House suddenly filled with countless spot of light. On closer look, it’s appear to be stars.
Dedede: As you know. We, the “Gourmet Racer Club”, have gone ourselve, with the help Pantheon’s tech, to scout through the multiverse in our eternal search for delicacy.
Some of the star then changed color to red, marking the star system they have gone through. Soon enough, the skies full of star now have a tint of red. Suddenly, the map then focused to a mysterious planet.
Dedede: A few week ago, in our routine perimeter search we have found a planet that is riched with a mysterious element that jacked up with our sensor designed to search for deliciousness.
Chatter soon begin to sound between people as they’re all wonder. The map then once again focus on a probe-like object orbiting the planet.
Dedede:Curious about that that, we then planted probes in orbit with this planet to send image to our headquarter, but then we found one thing…
As he said that, all of the sudden the probe break away, before burning up in the asmosphere. The view then switched to the probe’s perspective to revealed…
Dedede: Mysterious lifeforms gradually appear and enlarge, eating away our probe before we lost contact with it.
The audience were in awe. The probe made in here have so many protection, it’s hard to break such a piece of equipment. Yet these mysterious creature easily ate it as if it were cracker. As they’re still questioning about that, the view changed again. This time, it’s showed scientist taking out a certain substance from a small tube.
Dedede: After that, we have analyzed the substance the probe have managed to sent it back. What we found out is this element cause the chance in properties of every object known to us to make it easily digestable to living being. More so, only a bit of this substance will raised a food quality to that of a 3-star restaurant. We have confirmed it by adding it to the buffet.
People then start to look at the food they ate in amazement. At the same time,the scientists is showed to start experiment with the substance on cell by introducing to it’s system. The cell then began to undergo some sort of chance, before the scene is switched to a grown 4-legged animal resembling a shining wolf.
Dedede:…Plus, when giving this substance to living thing, this thing can caused rapid evolution and growth to fit it surrounding and circumstance. In which will then continue consuming anything above a certain standard of delicacy. So with that, we have concluded that the probe is eaten inside out by a container of mysterious goo we have installed when it component changed by the mysterious substance in the space above the planet.
“Why would you put a mysterious goo in a probe !”, some of them vocally retorted.
Dedede:And so, because of its revolutionary propreties, we have decided to call this substance Delisium ! Thank to it, we once again confirm the existense of a universal standard of delicacy, and for us to find another way to make the masterpiece of gastronomy!
Everyone once again being put to silent under the loud voice of the excited president. However, it also lit a fire inside the chef available for this event.
AND SO!FOR ALL OF YOU WHO PARTICIPATE IN THIS EVENT!I ASK OF YOU!TO FURTHER OUR JOURNEY!AS WE PUT OUR FOOT IN THE LAND OF DELICACY!!!
The cheer came instantly, vibrating the entire House. As the House have been heated in the spirit of adventure and gluttony, more and more Gods flooded the register in hope to participate in this event. At the end, more than 200 teams have joined in. All of them then being guided to stand on a certain platform placed behind the stage, while the organizer all stand on a different onesThen, at the last few second before the event start…
Dedede: Well then ! May the food luck be with us!
He wished so before the organizer and the participant all vanished in the beam of light.
P.M.S.S: Pantheon’s Mobile Space Station 5
Floating in space, 2 million km away from the mysterious planet, a donut shaped space station appear to be facing the planet. As expected, the choice is more about personal taste than actual praticallity, more so since this thing doesn’t generate gravity by centrifugal’s force.
Inside the donut, a hallway is placed inside of a spherical object, designed to aim it wide observational deck to every direction. In it, 10 teams are standing, gazing at the planet which will be their’s destination.
Minori: Woah… so beautiful.Chie: I feel the same too, Minori-chan. It’s not like you could see this kind of scene everyday.Kirby: I seen it all the time though.Komatsu: Shh…Please don’t break their mood like that!… Look, someone have come.
As they continue watching, a door at the side of the room opened, and the staff of the club came in to the front of a screen that just come up, blocking the view of the planet.
The staff was a women of high stature, with brown hair, a slender body with moderate breast, long legs and a face of a natural beauty smiling elegantly. She was donning a glass hiding a pair of brown eyes and an office dress, making her look like your stereotypical secretary… if you don’t count the fluffy pair of brown wolf ears and a tail swinging happily behind her. Incidently, she was walking with her bare, wolf-like feet.Since this is Pantheon though, these guy participating in this event can’t be afford to be surprised about every single little thing, and just concentrating on the screen, describing their mission.
Wan: Once again, we thanked you for joining us in this mission. My name is Wan, and i will be your guide for the rest of the operation. Though i’m just working for this place a week ago, i hope that we could work well with each other and finish this mission with huge success.
Just as she was finished introducing herself however, a laughter came from the corner of the room.
Wan: Is there any problem, sir?
Puzzling from the sudden laughter, the office lady turn her head to the one that laughter belong to. He was, if you put it simply, a buffy thug from every RPG game ever.
In short, he’s your everyday fodder.
Fodder: Oh, nothing… Wan! GAHAHAHA,really! What next? Are you going to sit down and wag your tail around?
Confused, she asked the man before her, who is unnessesary trying to intimidate with his large stature, a question, while smiling gently…
Wan:…Excuse me, sir? I don’t understand.
…Though she tried to act like that, nearly everyone could feel the Tranquil Fury emitting from her small body in relation to the thug. The smile, in spite before of the thug, could only tell the invetible fate he will met. Nearly everyone know it…
Except of course, the thug that look at her in such a vulgar stare as he licked his eyes all over her body.
Fodder: What, don’t tell me you don’t know? Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do as a dog? Heck, you bark everytime you speak, like this: Wan~Wan~~.
Episode 6: The 12 Days of Smissmas
December 13, 2015 – A mark starting the countdown for Christmas, 12 days are counted for a few certain gods on how they live while the 12 day-countdown. Naughty or Nice, they will be treated regardless of their actions, although the RNG will be interfering with the results.
With the advent of Christmas coming, theninemercenariesofMannCo have decided to take a break from their neverending combat and start anew. Here are the Mercs’ lives at the Pantheon’s grounds starting with:Day 12: A Noisy StartThe 12th and first countdown, normally it would start with a bang or with a silence, well for the most part. At the House of Weapons, there resides four of the Mercs, with each attending their own businesses. Unfortunately, a noise in the form of hammers and drills have hammered the Ranged and Explosive Weapons subhouse. While many have ignored such ruckus, a certain Mikasa Makoto had enough of such pollution and has decided to look who is responsible. Starting with Aigis’ temple:
Misaka: *Knocks* Aigis?Aigis: Hello, Misaka. What is the urgency?Misaka: Have you heard the noise? Do you know who’s causing it?Aigis: Well, the only thing I know is that someone here is making it, not outside.
Intruiged, Misaka asks one last thing:
Misaka: Umm, okay. Direction?Aigis: I’m afraid I can’t help you regarding that.Misaka: *grumbles* Okay. Thanks anyway.
The next temple she visited was the temple of the Flame Menance, known as the Pyro. As she knocks, she prepares for the worst, putting her finger in front of the gates as it opens slowly. Then, a gasmask pops up from the open gates, with flaming halos surrounding it.
Pyro: HuddaMisaka: Umm, hi. Do you know where the noise is coming from?
As Pyro attempts to answer, he points on different directions. Left, right, right-left, right-straight and even inside his temple. Misaka, already bored from Pyro’s shenanigans, decided to leave, only for him/her to shoot a flare pointing towards Demo’s temple. She decided to give a small thanks.
Misaka: Well, thanks for your help…
Just as she went to the Demolition Duo’s temple, she heard small explosions and shouting, but is not loud enough against the noise she’s trying to find. As she knocks, Tavish Finnegan DeGroot (a.k.a The Demoman) opened the gate in a rude fashion, knocking Misaka out, for a while.
Tavish: You got a problem ya, *drinks* swinging beast! I’ll rip ya to shreds!
Misaka, already annoyed with the noise of hammers and Demo’s stupidity, decided to deal with it her own way.
Misaka: What the…? WILL YOU CALM DOWN!Tavish: Wuh? AH! I’m so sorry lass!!!Misaka: You better be sorry, you drunken madman!Tavish: Madman???? I do this for a living you little…
Sick and tired of Tavish’s attitude, Misaka decides to electrocute him with her railgun powers. Demo, already dazed decided to start talking, while being burned.
Tavish: AAAHHHHH!!! I’M BURNING AAAAAHHHHHHHMisaka: Are you ready to talk now?Tavish: FINE. *drunken babble*
As Tavish agrees to talk, he takes a seat on his temple, still albeit burning from Misaka’s attack. As he speaks, she realizes he also has the same dilemma as her.
Tavish: So, what you want you little lass?Misaka: First of all, I’m not small, and second can we please talk like casual people? Or else…Tavish: Alright, alright! Geez. If you are talkin ’bout that noise hammering me and Soldier’s sleep time. Then you’ve come to the right place.
Surprised, she decides to ask further.
Misaka: You have the same problem? WowTavish: Of course, lass. That babbling noise has been terrorizing me like how I was when I was a child.Misaka: Well, do you have an idea where it is coming from?
As that question poppd up, Tavish decides to make an answer.
Tavish: I can make many guesses, but I’ll have to go with Heavy’s temple.Misaka: Exactly why is it Heavy?
Tavish, annoyed with her constant questions decided to make it long, just for her to understand.
Tavish: Have you noticed that he isn’t active as he used to be? He’s supposed to be outside but he hasn’t been for 30. STRAIGHT. DAYS. I haven’t seen him and neither has Soldier. Even other houses aren’t reportin him for a while. Maybe because its Smissmas or something but I can guarantee that it must be him. Right?
However, Misaka decides to ask:
Misaka: Wait, Smissmas? What day is it?Tavish: How would I know? I lost count on mah wee days due to the noise.
Just as the Demoman said “noise”, the air went quiet. The sound of birds are heard, followed by astonished voices of other deities present. They are able to keep their minds afloat, while being weirded out by the sudden silence. It must have been a dream, or a hallucination. Either way, both of them have questioned themselves one thing:
Both: Are you ready to find Heavy?
As usual, both immediately responded that both are willing to find Heavy and at least, end this ruckus for good.
The Search For Heavy
With time now being patient, the two deities have decided to knock first on Heavy’s door. As the first few seconds pass, Demoman’s patience has grown very short, with each knock from Misaka putting the the Scotsman under impatient insanity and further placing his mind into jeopardy.
Tavish: Alright that’s it. I did not come here to play camper.
As the Demoman got too impatient, he decides one thing: Bring out his Sticky Grenade Launcher and BLOW IT TO PIECES!
Tavish: HAT’EM LADS!
That was until she grabbed Demo’s launcher and thwarted what would become a slaughter. Instead, it became a rain of insults.
Misaka: Not on my watch! *grabs Grenade Laucnher and throws it out*Tavish: That costed me a large sum you filthy woman.Misaka: Filthy? Look who’s talking.Tavish: DEVIL! SHE’S THE BLOODY DEVIL.
Fantasy Nature: Reimu’s ultimate move. With it, she’s escape from the constrain of reality. To this day,no one could defy her in that mode.
Interested in such an ability. The SCP decided to investigate about her. Here is the record they have complied base on secret observation and experiment on the indivitual:
Record 1:The little-known event of the Pantheon Rebellion.
In the begining of the Pantheon Rebellion event, all of the magical girls who have turned into witch have been tragically killed, being deemed as lost hope… Or at least, that should have been what was supposed to happen in the report. Unknown to them all, some have survived the process.
2 hours after the beginning: (since the date of time is vague, we have decided to mark base on the event)
After the early onset of the Witches’s Night, all of them have been spreaded around,causing chaos everywhere. In which, some of them managed to tread on the shrine maiden’s territories. Naturally, the indivitual have set out to fight against them.
2 hours 5 minute after the beginning:
As the witches approach the shrine, the shrine maiden have finally confronted them.
By our estimated, the witches should be completely decimated by her might, base on our database.
2 hours 7 minute after the beginning:
Something have occurred outside of our database’s estimate. Without provocation,one witch come out first and attack the shrine maiden. Undeterred, the subject silently take out one piece of paper, presumptively a talismans, and placed it before the witch’s forehead.
Mysteriously after that, the witch convulsed suddenly before being wrapped inside a bright light and turned back into (naked) magical girls and gently dropped to the ground.
According to our interview with the indivitual: “Huh?…Um, you know how even Youkai have 4 side that make up the part of their soul? Being Youkai, the Ara (rude) should have been high, but these thing is abnormally high and full of taint. So I tried to calm the Ara while excite the Nigi (Harmony), and forcefully wash the taint to knock these thing back to normal. Who knew they turn into naked girl?”According to our database, that should not have been possible.
Though seemingly surprised about the result, the shrine maiden immediately bring out the two yin-yang balls and started her “purification” process, as the subject later called.
2 hours 8 minute after the beginning:
Wave after wave of witches came after the subject, instinctly feeling something.
According to the field agent: “Maybe they sought after salvation when they finally seeing the light”, he said. Though that have been initially dismissed according to the database. The idea have later been considered to be “Romantic” and “A possible explanation”.
Nevertheless, the titled “Mysterious flying shrine maiden” repeatively repel the horded of witches with an enormous amount of homing talisman. Such an excessive amount proved to be unnecessary, judging by the effectiveness of one, at first. But soon after that, the reason have been made clear.
2 hours 15 minute after the beginning:
Among the dust and bright color emited by the talismans. The witches-turn-magical girls body could be seen lying here and there.Unlike the first incident, all of them have been clothed and being protected in a faint barrier. Upon closer inspection, it’s seem like it’s a red-white modified miko uniform made out of talisman.Upon interview:
“…Isn’t having your clothes get destroyed after every fight is a hassle to have? Since clothing is also a charm for protection, not having these would make you more susceptible to possession, not to mention it’s really getting in your way. So, if there’s someone that could turn ribbon into clothing, then I could turn talismans for protection into clothing of my own… Since it’s just paper though, I have to paid attention to the rain.”
“So, the barrier itself is on me though”, she added.
So, while simultaneously exert barrier on all the former witches, the subject also have to fight and purified constant wave of witches coming from all side while paying attention to stray attack that could harm the victim and the shrine itself. Even then, she continued to fight without a single sweat.
Despite all that effort, the wave just keep getting bigger.
2 hours 20 minute after the beginning:
Episode 7: Shattered Illusion
Apple Bloom: Good bye, Mr. Gangrel and Miss Luna! See you tomorrow!Sweetie Belle: We’re gonna have an amazing Ogres & Oubliettes session tomorrow. I just know it!
With the sound of a door closing behind them, the four began to ride off on Scootaloo’s scooter and attached wheelbarrow, with many Ambiguity Gods giving them glances before returning to their business. At the entrance, Wreck-it Ralph nodded his head as the group continued on their way, glad to know that the Crusaders were capable of handling themselves ever since their move in late June.
Nanako: Wow! I wasn’t expecting those two wrestlers to really be so friendly! I mean, yeah they live “Gothic lifestyles”, but still!Scootaloo: Don’t worry. You’ll get used to it. Trust us, it took us a long time for Mr. Gangrel to even open up to us.
The four young girls were on their way back to the House of Family and were taking a little-used alleyway. The signs of autumn were already upon the Pantheon: the House of Nature was scheduling a “Running of the Leaves“, the House of Food were preparing dishes based on the Fall crops, and, most importantly, Houses everywhere were preparing for All Hallow’s Eve. After the events of the Friendship Asylum, the Great Upheaval, and the Pantheonic Rebellion, it would be nice for the Pantheon to relax.
Just as the four were about to enter the corridor, a giant black being crashed in front of them. Scootaloo immediately screeched her scooter to a halt as the four looked at the strange monster that appeared. It had a very large, round body that is almost entirely covered in armor. Its head was very small, pitch-black, and it had a jagged mouth, glowing yellow eyes, and short, gold horns. It wore gold boots and large, gold and red-violet gauntlets. The armor around its neck was gold, its breastplate is silver and light grey, and the armor on its lower body was black with a grey, zig-zagging line around its abdomen. A certain emblem was in the middle of its belly, just below its breastplate.
Apple Bloom: Oh no, not now!
Alarm bells rang in all four girls; they’ve been alerted on Master Xehanort’s Heartless and were warned to flee these at the first opportunity. Not that they can identify specific types from sight, but this was an Emblem Heartless, classified as the Large Armor.
And then another of its kind crashed on the other side, cutting off any avenue of escape. This worried the Crusaders a lot. For the next few minutes, unless a hero comes out of nowhere, only they can protect themselves and Nanako. Usually in these play dates, the four have always had one of the child deities with combat abilities accompanying them, like Steven with his shield and Gem powers, Finn with his swordplay, Jade or Li Li with their kung fu skills (and, in Jade’s case, whatever Talismans she has managed to nick from the Treasury), Ness and Lucas with their PSI/PK powers, or even Cream with her Chao Cheese. It was just plain misfortune that none of them were available right now.
Unbeknownst to them, their Mysterious Protector Jason Brody was currently fighting another (much stronger) Heartless just at the next block. Similar distractions were keeping Applejack, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and Yu Narukami busy (and Yu made sure to ask everybody in the Investigation Team who is available) even after the Machine notified them at the first opportunity, and while Discord can make multiples of himself, he forgets to capitalize on this half the time and was currently punishing the idiot of the week who thought harming Fluttershy was a good idea.
Normally, Apple Bloom would call forth her Persona in this case, but Nanako’s “Big Bro” has specifically requested that she (as well as Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle) not do that in the little Dojima’s presence. Unfortunately, it seems that wasn’t an option, unless she was willing to get everybody suffer a beat-up from these Heartless. While they’ve all had their turns ‘waking up’ in the House of Life and Death (not necessarily always from Heartless attacks), “luckily” for Nanako’s case, she either never suffered much in those instances (i.e. her life was snuffed out in an instant), or the Investigation Team was onto her attackers and she’d conveniently be unable to remember thanks to Trauma-Induced Amnesia. And sacrificing one’s own life just to maintain a secret that cannot feasibly be kept forever is not looking to be worth it—especially when the Crusaders were going through extensive therapy after an “excursion” to the dark world of Limbo when the asylum incident reigned on…
Apple Bloom: (to herself) I’m sorry, Yu, but I just can’t do it. (to her fellow Crusaders) Get ready, girls!
As she raised a hoof and turned it upwards, a blue flame manifested itself from it, along with a strange tarot card. Scootaloo did the same as she and Sweetie Belle positioned themselves to surround Nanako, and while the unicorn fully followed suit like her fellow Crusaders, she put her hoof down as soon as the card appeared and conjured a small sphere around it.
Sweetie Belle: Are you sure you want to do this? We’re gonna be in so much trouble.Apple Bloom: I’m sure. I’ll explain to him later. Besides, do you really want to suffer another horrible death before our next therapy session?Nanako: E-e-explain? Wh-wh-what are you talki—
The human among the four couldn’t finish her question as the three fillies crushed their cards, Sweetie Belle using her own magic, and Apple Bloom and Scootaloo by turning their extended hoof above their card and crushing it to the ground.
Cutie Mark Crusaders: PERSONA!Scootaloo: Mr. Wednesday!Sweetie Belle: Yvainne!Apple Bloom: Islington!
Blue auras were generated around the trio of fillies. Strong winds began to blow as something tried to manifest into a shape above them. The two Heartless stood their ground as its light grew brighter.
Amidst the brightness, Nanako also braced herself while a memory deep in the recesses of her mind began to resurface. When the light dimmed, she could see three majestic birds straight from various mythologies. What had happened next was all a blur. All she could distinctly remember were the three launching classic fantasy RPG spells at the two Heartless, the bennu bird commanded by Apple Bloom also casting curative magic on the other two birds by shedding some of its feathers, and the three birds occasionally swooping down to attack with their talons. Before she knew it, the battle was over, and the two Heartless were destroyed, their captive Hearts floating into the sky, but since they weren’t vanquished by the Keyblade, they will inevitably become Heartless again.
Once the three fillies called back their Personas, but not before giving them pats on their beaks for a job well done, they turned to face the human among them, and they all looked like they were ashamed of something. Nanako herself was deep in thought, the memories that she lost coming back as she tried to make sense of that and what had just happened in front of her. Apple Bloom interpreted her face as judgmental and began to bow her head in apology.
Apple Bloom: (blabbering) I’m sorry for hiding this! All this time we could’ve been helping the other strong kids protect you and the others, but we were told not to do it where you could see!Scootaloo: How are we expected to hide this from her, anyway?! We told him it was impossible! I thought he was gonna get that kid to help!Sweetie Belle: Huh? You mean that quiet one, Frisk? Well, I guess he could help and all but—
The moment was broken upon seeing Chell running by as she was being chased by a strange dark shadow. And carried under her left arm was a fatigued Sunset Shimmer. In pony form. Just another of the many strange things that can happen in the Pantheon.
Scootaloo: Has anyone noticed that dark shadow’s been chasing a lot of gods recently?Sweetie Belle: Yeah, but that’s the least of our problems. Come on, let’s get Nanako back to her temple before something weird happens.
???: (takes a very loud GASP!) I just had a very powerful…premo-NEE-tion!
At the House of Siblings, the Cutie Mark Crusaders and Nanako turned to see Matt Hardy staring at them. This wasn’t the Matt Hardy they knew though: this Matt had his normally straight black hair wild and frizzy alongside a streak of white. His wrestling attire was now a long black coat with red accents and belts, and his eyes…his eyes looked almost maddening, almost psychotic. Gangrel and Luna Vachon had warned the Crusaders to avoid this new Matt—or BROKEN Matt as he called himself—whenever possible, but now…now they couldn’t.
Apple Bloom: W-what is it? What’s this premonition?BROKEN Matt Hardy: It’s not for you, my little ponies. It’s for her!
He pointed a finger at Nanako, who stepped back in fear. The Cutie Mark Crusaders prepared their Persona cards just in case.
BROKEN Matt Hardy: I see a dark wave…a dark wave about to take OVAH and send you into an abyss of everlasting shadows. There, there will be no escape, NO ESCAPE! Beware…Beware…BEWARE!!!! (starts laughing)
This was as good as time as any for the Crusaders to take Nanako back to her temple. That’s what Scootaloo did as she rapidly flapped her tiny wings to move her scooter as far away as she could from the maniacal wrestler. In five minutes, they were at Nanako’s doorstep at the back of the temple, exhausted but relieved.
Apple Bloom: Don’t mind him, Nanako. I’m sure it’s all just nonsense…after all he is a wrestler. They’re supposed to stay in character.Scootaloo: We should stay here and keep an eye on you until Yu comes back. We can all do our homework together, read books, watch ”Warrior Unicorn Princess’ or…Nanako: N…no. I think…I think I should just go to bed.Sweetie Belle: Are you sure?Nanako: Y…yeah. Thanks for everything…
The Crusaders became quiet as Nanako pulled out a key from her pocket, unlocked her door, and silently entered, closing the door behind her without even looking back. There was nothing but silence as the Crusaders looked to each other.
Sweetie Belle: Was it really the right choice in the end?Apple Bloom: We did what we had to do. Yu will understand…hopefully.Scootaloo: In the meantime, I’m getting kind of hungry. What do you say we go to the House of Food and try out their new pumpkin pasta recipes?Sweetie Belle: Yeah! We can also use it to prepare our characters for Ogres & Oubliettes! I can’t wait to tackle the first Alice.
The three continue to talk to themselves as Nanako looked on, the memories of the three birds in flight, BROKEN Matt Hardy’s “premo-NEE-tion”, and memories from long ago spinning around her head like a tornado. Something…something felt wrong, and there was one thing that she knew.
She knew that her big brother would have the answers she sought.
Later that evening, Yu Narukami left his temple to visit Nanako over dinner, carrying the intended food for that in bags as he walked. Even to this day, the idea of children having temples and being worshiped was still a weird concept for him to comprehend, but such was life in the Pantheon.
On the way to his cousin’s temple (it still felt strange to call it her temple, but it took him time to get used to his temple too when he first ascended), he saw the Cutie Mark Crusaders in conversation as he made his way to them. He could pick up a few words as he got closer.
Scootaloo: …him! What should we do?Sweetie Belle: Of course we tell him. He’s gonna find out eventually.Yu: Find out what?
Immediately, the Crusaders groveled in front of him, as if ashamed.
Apple Bloom: We’re so sorry, Yu! We didn’t want to do it, but we had no choice. There wasn’t anyone there and oh, god I feel so bad. I mean, outside of you, only Mr. Gangrel and Ms. Luna know about our Personae but they were busy and—
Yu just stayed still as Sweetie helped calm the earth pony down while he put down the dinner for a while. In hindsight, should’ve seen this coming—the trio were the youngest deities to have ever venture into the TV World to obtain their Personas, Apple Bloom being the first of them after she got kidnapped and thrown there. After everything they had gone through up until then, it was a miracle they hadn’t snapped from it all.
Sweetie Belle: Please don’t be mad at us. We like being friends with Nanako and all.
After a second or two, Yu let out a sigh.
Yu: I’m not mad. You did the right thing in a situation like this. (The Crusaders look on) And yeah, I know that you’re still going through therapy…your sisters told me about it.
The Crusaders looked at each other nervously—their therapy was basically just someone asking them to repeat their experiences in Limbo, and whether or not they still held grudges on both Yugi Muto and Yami Yugi for sending them there in the first place. The Crusaders stated that it wasn’t their (the Yugis) fault, but the darkness of the asylum that corrupted them to do such an act (although it seemed odd that the two would send them to Limbo and not to a place like, say, the Shadow Realm, but if it wasn’t for that, the three would never have found Gentaro almost swallowed up by despair. Last time they talked to Yugi, he had been set to community service to pay for the damage he caused).
Yu: You did your best, and if I was in your position, I probably would’ve summoned Izanagi myself. (picks up his dinner) Is there anything else you wish to say?
The three looked at each other, remembering BROKEN Matt Hardy’s words for Nanako. But…they were just words coming from an insane wrestler…and a wrestler’s job was to stay in character, like what Matt had been doing ever since he sent his brother Jeff into the incident known as “The Final Deletion” and thus changing his name to “Brother Nero”. It was all…how did that word go…”kayfabe”, pretend, unreal, nothing more than something woven and written and performed.
Scootaloo: No, there’s nothing at all.Yu: Very well then. Take care of yourself.Apple Bloom: We will! I absolutely can’t wait for tomorrow’s adventure…
After telling the Crusaders to go home and rest, he left. Upon making it to the temple and entering from the back (since he has a key), he called Nanako over for dinner. Understandably, the little girl was looking a little somber, likely from that attack. He heard the basic details from the Machine, but the full details would be best gleaned from Nanako herself as well as the Crusaders. But he wasn’t going to confront her just like that. Right now, he just wanted to enjoy dinner first.
But before he could start…
Nanako: Big Bro…
Yu, about to try out a bite of pumpkin ravioli, looked at Nanako, who hadn’t even touched her dinner yet. There was an awkward silence as he set his fork down.
Yu: What is it, Nanako? Were those two, how did the Cutie Mark Crusaders call them, (performs air quotes) “Self-proclamed vampire wrestling babysitters”…did they do anything bad to you?Nanako: No, we actually spent the day reading Goosebumps books and worked on the Cutie Mark Crusaders’ Ogres & Oubliettes/LARP combo. Apparently, they’re going off on an expedition in the dream-land of Aaru in order to end it. I couldn’t get most of it, but all I knew was that Mr. Gangrel’s character is the nicer character of the group.Yu: (raises eyebrow) Him?Nanako: His ex-wife is the Narrator, so she doesn’t get a character and…anyway, on our way back to our temple, we were hit with a Heartless attack. I was terrified.Yu: I’m sorry for not making it, Nanako. I really tried.Nanako: (briefly cheerful) It’s okay, Big Bro. The Cutie Mark Crusaders called out these big birds out of nowhere! They called them Mr. Wednesday, Yvainne, and Islington!
Immediately, Yu was at a loss for words; those matched the description for the Crusaders’ Personas. They were telling the truth! He let Nanako continue though, as her mood seemed to rise.
Nanako: Yvainne was a huge bird of prey, white and as if covered with ice! Islington was like this long-legged bird with an Egyptian headdress! And Mr. Wednesday was blue-ish and just like Zapdos but smaller! They called their birds “Persona”! (calming down) I…I didn’t know what else to say as they commanded them without fear, and that’s when…when I began to remember.
Yu gulped as Nanako looked at her lap before she continued.
Nanako: I remember it had something to do with you, Big Bro, when you and your friends rescued me, and I got sick right after. Do you know anything about it?
And upon that, the whole secret was beginning to become a shattered illusion, and Yu found himself at a complete loss as to what he should say. He should’ve anticipated this. The moment she had been selected for ascension to the Pantheon, it wasn’t so much a question of “if” she found out about his and the Team’s secret as it was a question of “when”, but he didn’t want to admit it.
On top of what they’re already doing on behalf of the Grand United Alliance of Good, as well as their own activities, not to mention their “official” Persona-unlocking service (Iji Kataiser being their latest ‘client’), having to have to find a way to ease her in on their secret without either party feeling like they betrayed her trust was something that had been put in the backburner. And somehow, seeing her feel utterly betrayed by them by keeping such a big secret from her was a lot scarier than any threat on their (or even her) lives.
Right now, he was facing this very fear. And it felt a third as terrible as a spoonful of Mystery Food X.
Yu: I… I…
With that suspicion in mind, and trying to remember what her daddy would do in a situation like this, Nanako began to press the issue.
Nanako: If you do, then why were you hiding it from me? I mean, don’t I have a right to know all about this? The Cutie Mark Crusaders have the ability to summon those ‘Persona’ and all, and I need to know if—Yu: (slams hands on table and stands up) YOU DON’T NEED TO KNOW!
Nanako leaned back as Yu, her big bro, glared at her, his arms trembling. Still, wanting an answer from her brother, Nanako pressed on.
Nanako: I wish to know! And if you know so much about it, doesn’t that mean your friends also know about this Persona business?! If you won’t tell me, I’ll go ask everyone else when I see them tomorrow—I’m sure they’ll tell me the truth!Yu: No, Nanako. I’m telling you that you shouldn’t do this.Nanako: I WANT THE TRUTH!
As cliché of a line that was, Yu knew deep down that Nanako could. She understood the gravitas of her mother’s death and her father working hard even though he loved her…she could handle this. Instead, Nanako just grit her teeth, balled her hands into fists, and stormed off with tears in her eyes.
Yu: Nanako, wait! Come back!
Unfortunately, she didn’t. Instead, she locked herself in her bedroom and jumped into bed, sobbing her eyes and muffling the screams with a pillow. Yu gripped the knob, but it only confirmed that it was indeed locked. He stayed quiet as he placed a hand on his face, sad and frustrated as he lay his head against the bedroom door. How could he be so stupid?!
There was nothing he could do now, but he promised himself to tell Nanako in the morning. He stayed silent as he cleaned up what was left of the dinner, washed the dishes, and then left through the back door. As he did, he thought he was being watched.
BROKEN Matt Hardy: Brother Nero Yu…I knew you’d come.
Yu, noticing he was in the Siblings Sub-House, turned to see BROKEN Matt Hardy staring at him, picking at some cooked green beans with a fork. Yu knew BROKEN Matt had weird quirks (like his obsession with green grapes, to the point that he hated Mitsuzane Kureshima because his Kamen Rider form was based on purple grapes before it became personal with what happened to Jeff), but ever since Matt became “BROKEN”, there was something off about him, like how he’d call people he hated “Brother Nero”.
Many gods, serious or not, have been investigating on the identities of the “Seven Deities” who gave Matt his “Broken Brilliance”—one of them was Dean Ambrose, but everyone dismissed his theories as “not that important”, perhaps because no one could believe him after what Dean said about Seto Kaiba being “not that important” just before the young CEO went insane, nearly killed Kairi, and set a Zombie Apocalypse on the Pantheon. All Ambrose could say was, “SHUT UP.”
Yu turned around, ignoring BROKEN Matt all the way as he tried to think about how to approach the subject about the TV World to Nanako as best as he could. He remembered that determined Child who befriended the monsters of Mt. Ebott who volunteered to assist in this endeavor, but they have their hands full helping Alma Wade, so that option was off the table.
Yu: (to himself) I’ll tell her in the morning. I promise. She has the right to know.
Determined to keep his promise, Yu continued to walk to the front of the House of the Family, back to his temple, knowing that he had to be careful as to how he worded his speech to Nanako in the morning.
In her bedroom, Nanako’s sobs became silenced as she still felt the anger and rage from her big brother’s words. She had the right to know, right? The Cutie Mark Crusaders were younger than her and had their Personas and they knew just what Yu and the rest of the Investigation Team were going through, right? It just wasn’t fair no matter how she looked at it.
It JUST. WASN’T. FAIR!
Nanako: (gripping her pillow) I wish I knew what everyone is keeping from me! I wish I knew!
As she kept thinking about how she would learn the truth, of how what Yu’s secrets could match the memories she had long ago, she did not notice how a strange wave of darkness materialized from underneath her bed, almost as if absorbing the shadows in her bedroom until it looked like a tidal wave rising out of the ocean. She didn’t realize this until she noticed her night-light started to flicker.
When she looked up, all she could do was gasp before the darkness consumed her.
Yu woke up early, paid for some muffins Derpy Hooves delivered to him, and then carried them toward Nanako’s temple, hoping that she could cook some of her famous sunny-side eggs to go with them. As he did, he continued to replay the speech in his mind all while waiting for the rest of the Investigation Team to arrive to help calm her down. None of the other members knew just what was going on, so he would tell them after he and Nanako had breakfast.
As he approached the backdoor to her temple, he felt something wrong. It was too…quiet. He knew that Nanako was an early bird and would usually be up making breakfast or prepare for school (although today was a Saturday, so she’d probably be up watching a new episode of her favorite anime Magical Detective Loveline while having a bowl of cereal) but now…he could sense a shiver down his spine concerning her.
Hastily opening the door, Yu rushed into the temple and noticed that it was empty. He turned to the bedroom and knocked on the door.
Yu: Nanako? Nanako, it’s me, Yu. I brought muffins for breakfast today. Can you open up?
He didn’t get a response. He tried to call out for her two more times, but after getting no response, he decided to open the door. Instead of being locked like the night before, it opened.
Yu: Nanako! Are you—
He never got to finish his sentence. Nanako wasn’t in her room—her bed was completely untouched, save for a pillow that was thrown onto the floor. Dropping the basket of muffins to the floor, his heart began to pound, sweat fell down his forehead as he could only say the only thing that could come out of his mouth.
At around the same time Yu was at Nanako’s temple, the Cutie Mark Crusaders were making their final preparations for their extravagant “Ogres & Oubliettes” LARP session. Originally, it was supposed to be like any normal session, but their sisters insisted that the three needed to get more “fresh air” and thus they spent the past few play dates reorganizing the adventure so it took place all throughout the Pantheon (although their sisters would be watching them from afar so they didn’t get into too much trouble—like the time their first adventure ended up with them befriending one of the many Bewears Bear Hugger had for followers. To this day, Gangrel has had a fear of the Strong Arm Pokémon.)
Apple Bloom: All right, girls. Are we ready?
Apple Bloom adjusted her LARP outfit: a cross between Little Red Riding Hood and an assassin with a plastic knife wrapped in a long trail of red ribbon and a pair of two toy guns strapped to their holsters on a belt. Around her neck was a pendant of a broken heart and on her forehead was a mark of a crescent moon.
Sweetie Belle: (adjusting her skirt) Almost done. It was worth the wait for these costumes.
Sweetie Belle’s costume consisted of a silk dress that resembled water, ending it with a tail that was long enough so she didn’t trip over it (something she learned from her sister when she dressed up as a mermaid). Her “weapon” was a turtle shell lyre, and braided into her hair was a seal tusk. Meanwhile, Scootaloo’s outfit went with an Aztec-theme of a werewolf decorated with lightning and flame decals. Her weapon was a sword with the image of a black-and-white snake intertwined.
Scootaloo: All right then! We need to start at Rainbow Dash’s temple for our mission, then work our way to Fluttershy’s in the House of Nature. I can’t wait for—
She was interrupted by a knock on the door. Thinking it was either Gangrel or Luna Vachon picking them up, Apple Bloom eagerly went to open it.
Apple Bloom: It’s time! It’s TIME! It’s CRUSADER– (opens the door and pauses) DERPY?!
The googly-eyed muffin loving pegasus panted for breath, bundled up for the chilly weather that was in the House of Prophecy (As to be expected, as it was situated in the highest of mountains). She handed a letter to Apple Bloom, who began to read it. There was silence as she digested the words while Derpy entered the temple, closed the door and began to warm herself up.
Scootaloo: What’s it say? Don’t tell me Mr. Gangrel’s got cold feet for this! He’s been working super hard!Apple Bloom: It’s not him, it’s Yu. (crumples letter) Sweetie Belle, write a letter to Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon to cover for us and to postpone our LARP session to next week.Sweetie Belle: (levitating paper and a feather quill in the air) Why’s that?Apple Bloom: Nanako’s missing.
Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo looked in alarm, Sweetie Belle almost dropping the quill in horror. Derpy however, rummaged for something in her bag.
Derpy: Have a muffin! I’m sure they’re—
She never finished her sentence as she saw the Crusaders hop aboard Scootaloo’s scooter and flew off to the House of Family.
Yosuke: Nanako WHAT?!
Yu nodded his head after he told Yosuke Hanamura, Kanji Tatsumi, and Naoto Shirogane what had happened at Nanako’s temple, particularly of how the kid now knew about the ideas of Personas thanks to the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Naoto began to pace while Yosuke growled.
Yosuke: Whoever captured her is going to pay. I swear, I’ll take on anyone who enters that door and—
The door to Yu’s temple suddenly opened as the Cutie Mark Crusaders entered, still dressed in their LARP costumes.
Apple Bloom: We…got…your message. Had to cancel our LARP session for this.Kanji: LARP session? (tries to hide that he’s gushing over their outfits)Sweetie Belle: We were supposed to enter the dream-land of Aaru and end it once and for all by freeing the ‘Alices’ that the avatar of Aaru trapped to keep it alive. It would’ve started off with us going to see Mr. Gangrel’s character, a lonely half-vampire shepherd who—Naoto: Save that for later. Crusaders, do you know anything about Nanako being missing?
The fillies looked at each other, recalling BROKEN Matt’s “premo-NEE-tion” the night before…how a wave of darkness would swallow Nanako whole and all. But…was it possible? Could it be possible?
Scootaloo: Well…we think we might know where she went.Yu: Where?!Apple Bloom: Well Yu, we didn’t tell you everything…after we stopped the Heartless, BROKEN Matt talked to us and had his “premo-NEE-tion”. But it wasn’t for us…it was for…for…Sweetie Belle: For Nanako.Naoto: What did he say?Apple Bloom: He said something about a dark wave about to take over and send her into abyss of everlasting shadows. There… there will be no escape, he said.
There was some silence as the four teens absorbed Apple Bloom’s words. Then, Yosuke lunged at the earth pony and snarled…
Yosuke: (livid) If you knew something like that “premo-NEE-tion”, then why didn’t you tell him that part yesterday?!Sweetie Belle: This is coming from some insane wrestler who once had an obsession with green grapes! Would you have believed us in his place if we did?Yosuke: (calms himself down) …Yeah, I guess I wouldn’t have.Kanji: He has been acting kind of weird lately…Scootaloo: That’s what we thought too—I mean, he’s acting like the complete opposite of Mr. Gangrel and Miss Luna, as if he’s literally broken and not just some gimmick he’s doing. I mean, when they’re not wrestling, they’re actually very nice. I mean, not like John Cena nice, but they’re not absolutely off their rocker!Sweetie Belle: Mr. Gangrel’s not gonna be happy that we had to move our LARP session to next week…anyway, what we need to figure out is where she is.Apple Bloom: And to that, we’d have to go back to the guy who gave that “premo-NEE-tion”—Yosuke: Why are you saying it like that?Apple Bloom: That’s how BROKEN Matt says it; I guess it’s rubbing off on me. So we have to go back to him and see if he can get another of those “premo-NEE-tion”s.Naoto: And where do you suppose he’ll be at this point?The CMC: Hmmm…
BROKEN Matt Hardy: (lets out a large GASP!) Scribe! I just had a powerful…”premo-NEE-tion”! I need you to record this!
On his dilapidated boat, Skarsgård, in the lake at the Nature Preservers section of the House of Nature, BROKEN Matt Hardy turned to his faithful scribe—a man dressed in a black shirt, pants, and an orange tie, who began nodding his head with enthusiasm. In the scribe’s hands were a black feather quill and black book, ready to take notes.
BROKEN Matt Hardy: (as the scribe writes down his words) I saw a party enter a world of shadows, only to be met with a DARK and THREATENING entity that wants nothing more than to go home. The party will find themselves cornered, and only knowing the solution to their problem after nearly being killed. Yes…and that party will involve a group of…CRUSADERS…yes, that’s the word. Crusaders with their aviary friends that will swoop down and bring life to the darkness. (to the scribe) Thank you.
The scene was witnessed by Fluttershy, who had been finishing the “preparations” for the Cutie Mark Crusader’s LARP session alongside Discord, who was just munching on purple grapes as this was going on. Gangrel, finishing the readjustments for that “lonely half-vampire shepherd” character he was in, could only look in fear. Ever since Matt became BROKEN, he always had a suspicion that one of these days, the elder Hardy would go after the Cutie Mark Crusaders. And yes, he was aware of the stares other wrestlers gave him because of the friendship and closeness he gave Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo, but he countered with the various Odd Friendships that went along with wrestlers (citing Seth Rollins being good friends with Bayley, or how Randy Orton seemed to “tolerate” Barney the Dinosaur) that would make many wrestlers shut up when they considered his words.
Still, the fact that BROKEN Matt’s “premo-NEE-tion” involved the Cutie Mark Crusaders unnerved him. After the escapades of Limbo, where the Crusaders were subjected to torture via electorcution, dismemberment from bear traps, giant spiders piercing their long spiny legs into their hearts, being squeezed by pressure plates, stabbed by spears wielded by children straight out of Lord of the Flies (nothing to do with Beelzebub), drowning, sliced into pieces by rampant buzzsaws and having to repeat the torture even when they made it to the end for six days straight, he wanted nothing more than to make sure they never experienced anything like that again. Many gods told him he was being paranoid, but was he?
Fluttershy: (noticing Gangrel’s reaction) I’m sure it’s nothing to be concerned about. He’s just in character…right?Gangrel: I doubt it. This isn’t normal Matt.Discord: Gee, what made you think that?Gangrel: (drops shepherd’s crook to the ground) The fact that he’s communicating with a scribe who teleports when he needs them, his strange “premo-NEE-tions” his obsession with green beans? I could go on and on you know.Fluttershy: What do you think we should do?Gangrel: (lets out a long sigh) I’m probably going to have to tell Luna that we’re going to have to go back to our temple and call off the LARP session, right?Derpy: (appearing with a letter right next to him) Special delivery!
As if she rode on a bolt of lightning, Derpy Hooves appeared with a letter. Gangrel snatched it, quickly read through it before tossing it behind him in frustration and it exploded (thanks to Discord strapping a bubblegum-sized wad of C4 to it).
Gangrel: OH COME ON!!!!
The first thing Nanako felt when she woke up was that it was like she was sleeping on a bed of glass. In fact, she was sleeping on a bed of glass.
She woke up startled, trying to figure out what happened the night before. She had dinner with Yu, but she didn’t eat it due to the memories swimming around in her head, and when she asked Yu the meaning behind it all, he snapped. Then, she was in her bedroom, wishing to find out what everyone knew and then…
That’s when she realized she wasn’t alone. She looked around at her surroundings. She was in a room with a dome-like ceiling, the walls depicting stained glass windows of herself with each member of the Investigation Team. The stained-glass was depicted a cool and calming blue, which calmed her down a bit. But still… something felt wrong.
???: Is this not to your liking?
Nanako turned around, seeing a strange figure approaching her. She couldn’t make out a lot of details, but the aura they carried made her feel strangely calm for some odd reason. What also helped was that the person carried a tray of water and slices of cheesecake.
Nanako: Um…where am I? And…who are you????: You are home. And I…well (smiles) I’ll tell you a bit later. For now, we should eat something.
Nanako watched as a table rose from the floor, and the figure then summoned two identical chairs. Nanako gulped…the place was scary looking, but the person seemed nice. She could trust her…right?
???: Don’t tell me I’m going to have to eat this all by myself? (chuckles) Come on, Nanako…come on…
And as if by magic, or just the way the person’s eyes stared into her own…Nanako slowly nodded her head, left the bed and walked toward the table.
Teddie: And that’s our investigation.
The other members of the Investigation Team (and Marie) arrived half an hour later, detailing their report about Nanako with no luck. Yu was getting agitated by the minute—all they had to go by was a maniacal wrestler’s words, but even they were vague to begin with!
What wasn’t helping were that the Cutie Mark Crusaders had begun to work out the LARP-ing session that they were supposed to go through, preparing maps, statistics, a trio of ten-sided dice, and having to answer Kanji’s questions on the construction of their outfits, their inspirations, the fabric, etc, etc, etc. It wasn’t until Apple Bloom began to discuss the landscape of Aaru that Yu snapped.
Yu: There’s something more important here than exploring a faraway land in your head!Scootaloo: Well, there’s nothing else we can do until BROKEN Matt returns to his temple or we get word of where he’s been! He could be anywhere at this point!
It was then that Discord teleported in with a letter in hand, dressed—as the Crusaders noted—in a mockery of the shepherd outfit Gangrel was supposed to start in. Discord tossed some purple grapes in his mouth.
Discord: Sorry, I’m late. I just had to get my outfit pressed and steamed for the outing. Oh and I think you might need this.
He handed Apple Bloom a piece of paper, the pony going through the lines at least three times before handing it back.
Apple Bloom: Well, nice to know that we’re part of this now.Rise: What did it say?Apple Bloom: Apparently we’re going to be facing some opponent that’s DARK and POWERFUL and we’ll be scrounging around to figure out how to stop it at the last minute.Yukiko: But it didn’t say anything about where Nanako was, right?Apple Bloom: No, but let’s stop and think about it for a minute. This whole mess happened because Yu couldn’t tell Nanako about the TV World, right?Chie: Of course. (eyes widen) Then that means…Sweetie Belle: The dark wave took Nanako into the TV World, and I bet that it’s reflecting her feelings right now over not getting the truth about your investigations!
There was silence as the Investigation Team let the words sink in—was keeping Nanako in the dark really hurting her? Or was it hurting them? Yu in particular was horrified at the thought.
Yosuke: Hold on a second, how do you exactly know that it’s the TV World that she ended up in? For all we know, she could be somewhere else like…I don’t know, the Shadow Realm or something.Scootaloo: (sarcastically) Yeah, because she had the luxury of seeing Yugi— er, Yami Yugi appear in your Temple going “Hello, little girls…” before plummeting your souls into a never-ending nightmare, right?
The emphasis on the last word made Yosuke back off as Discord began taking notes.
Discord: Well then, Crusaders. If Nanako is in the TV world, I guess you could use today as a side-story in your “Dream-World Expedition” while poor ‘Grel has to take care of your other friends. He’d be jealous of the adventures you’ll have.Sweetie Belle: Tell him that we’ll make it up to him next week, promise.Discord: Fine, fine. But you better play your part and make the beginning of this “Dream-World Expedition” story extravagant, because who knows? Perhaps I’ll come in and a few additions of my own. Ta-ta!
With a snap of his fingers, Discord vanished. There was some silence as the Crusaders packed up their bags and summoned their Persona cards. They turned to Yu, who looked at them slightly before nodding his head.
Yu: We’re going in.
The Investigation Team and the Cutie Mark Crusaders immediately hightailed it into the TV World at the first opportunity. Once inside, Rise’s Kouzeon pinpointed the location of their missing friend (cousin in Yu’s case).
Last time, Nanako’s ‘dungeon’ was a storybook version of Heaven, a sharp contrast to the circumstances of that time, namely her getting kidnapped by the terribly misguided Taro Namatame. This time though, it looked like a place literally made of stained glass. Both outside and inside, there were various images of Nanako with members of the Investigation Team in various moments in time (and even imagined moments). Some of these images were also shattered, as if reflecting the veil of white lies they have laid over Nanako has been lifted. It pained the group further upon seeing these images. What’s worse was that the shattered illusions would warp and twist into images of hate and anger instead of love and kindness that Nanako would’ve received from her friends—it just pained Yu to no end.
The Investigation Team decided that Yu would have the Cutie Mark Crusaders with him, hoping that the presence of her Big Bro and close friends could get her to open up. Teddie would also accompany his Senpai and the fillies (being much closer to Nanako as well) while Yosuke led the rest in a separate group and Rise would follow them from behind, updating everybody on enemies, traps, etc. with Kouzeon. Meanwhile, Marie would keep watch ‘outside’ to make sure nobody goes in after them. The Crusaders were happy to hear that their LARP weapons would become quite useful in the dungeons (as in, deal as much damage to Shadows as conventional weapons would, though the earth pony’s guns were just for show; she lacked the proper limbs to use them), and their Personas would help out against the various monsters in there.
Apple Bloom: (as they enter the gates to Nanako’s dungeon) “It was here that the trio of Dream-Walkers first found themselves in a world of glass, masquerades, illusions, and most of all deceit. Asar knew first-hand that this land of dreams could not last forever—it was her duty as a Reaper to bring the sleeping souls to rest, judging their souls and preserving their vessels for the trip to come.”Yu: What are you doing?Sweetie Belle: LARP-ing of course! We have to make up for today after all. (starts narrating) “Sedna knew that she would need inspiration if she was going to write down her songs—the songs that would cause the dreamers to awaken and enter the next life, for in their dreams, they let their real lives waste away into nothing.”Scootaloo: “And Xolotl was off to guard those who followed the sun as it went on its way throughout the underworld, gathering the bones from those who died in the last world so new life could be formed.”Yosuke: (through Kouzeon’s transmitter function) Okay, since when did ponies like you get into death gods?Apple Bloom: We did our research. Now come on, we have a labyrinth to tackle!
And so off they went. The Crusaders stared at the myriad of stained glass windows, their eyes seeing how they flickered from seeing Nanako dressed as a detective or cooking sunny-side eggs with her friends all cheering for her into red, flaming scenes of a crying Nanako and all of her friends looking sinister and deceptive. It made all the times Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon bully them look like chlid’s play (well, except for the time they coerced Apple Bloom’s cousin to be just like them, or the time they cruelly mocked Scootaloo for her inability to fly—Diamond apologized for a whole week after she realized that what she did and said were absolutely abominable).
Apple Bloom: What type of monsters are here? Are there…giant spiders?Teddie: Not that I know of. Why do you ask?Sweetie Belle: Let’s just say that ever since we escaped Limbo, we’re not a big fan of the House of Insects.Yukiko: (through transmitter) How so?Scootaloo: On our 399th try through Limbo, just as we thought we would escape and saw the exit we were unexpectedly attacked by a giant spider waiting in the midst, its long legs piercing through our necks as we finally, finally thought we could leave that horrid place forever. That’s not even counting our first encounter with a giant spider, or how it trapped us in sticky webs where we could only hop around without being squished by boulders…Sweetie Belle: Or having to pull its legs out when it was trapped…Apple Bloom: Or roll its still living body over a series of spikes and use it as a bridge…Kanji: (through transmitter) Wait, you said three hundred ninety-nine?! Just how many tries did you all go through?!Apple Bloom: …four hundred.Chie: (through transmitter) Four…four hundred?! What the hell kind of place is Limbo?!Scootaloo: (unsheathing her sword) (muffled) It’s best that you don’t know.Teddie: (was humming a particular tune to himself before a glare from Yu made him stop) Sorry.
No one else said a word as they continued through the labyrinth.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Team was just finished with a group of Shadows before continuing onward. Because it wasn’t guaranteed that Yu would always be available for a venture to the TV World, be it a rescue operation or Persona-unlocking, other members have been learning leadership skills to sub for him if need be. Those who have taken such lessons were Yosuke (being Yu’s Number Two), Rise (having led half of the team once before), and Naoto (who was Rise’s self-nominated Number Two at that occasion). The six had just finished vanquishing a group of Shadows.
Yosuke: (sighs) What were we thinking?Rise: What’s wrong, Yosuke-senpai?Yosuke: Why did it have to take until the Cutie Mark Crusaders revealing their Personas for Nanako for her to find out? We should’ve told her sooner.Rise: You got a point there.Kanji: I guess it just never occurred to us to act contrary to his wishes. He’s been so great at leading us, and not once has he led us astray.Yukiko: When you put it that way, I guess it’s no surprise we never made any important decisions behind his back; we never had any reason to doubt his abilities or choices.Yosuke: Yeah. Even when we were wanting to shove Namatame to the TV for what he did, he kept his head level enough for us to continue looking for proof, and that’s how we found the real culprit, Ameno-Sagiri, and eventually Izanami.Naoto: Ultimately, that our faith in Yu—though indirectly—contributed in us failing to keep Nanako out of trouble once more. We will have to learn to be a little more independent on him for important matters like this to prevent future problems of this fashion.
Everybody collectively sighed.
Yosuke: I know nobody wants to think about it, but I sure hope Nanako’s Shadow isn’t insanely powerful or anything like that.Chie: Tell me about it. That was some humongous mecha we had to fight. Iji had some really serious issues.Rise: Guess that comes with fighting two armies all alone without trying to kill anyone. Who knows how she hasn’t snapped midway.
Any more discussion on that issue was interrupted upon encountering another group of shadows, and they fought once more, Rise ever being there for intel, support, and occasional buffs.
Back with Yu, he and Teddie were continuing to tolerate the Cutie Mark Crusaders’ continued narrations as they ventured through more and more of the stained-glass world, slaying monster after monster, and even as the two were healing the team with potions and Dia skills.
Apple Bloom: “Asar found herself staring more and more into the young maiden’s mind—the world that she was in, the world that began to quake with realization that it wasn’t the world that she was in, or worse…”Scootaloo: “If they wanted to save her in time, they had to hurry, but the monsters here were ruthless. The trio had faced powerful threats before, and would do so in the future…” (kicks a treasure chest open) “But that didn’t mean they could have a break every now and then.”Sweetie Belle: “With each floor they entered, the voices began to whisper and echo…were they truth or lies? Were they—”Yu: (snaps) Will you stop talking to yourselves for just one minute?! Nanako’s missing and all you care is some missing play-date?!Apple Bloom: We’re taking this seriously! I mean, if you were a normal person, wouldn’t you be freaking out about what you’re seeing?!Yu: But I don’t treat the TV World like it’s a game!Scootaloo: But you technically were playing one called “Let’s see how long I can keep Nanako in the dark about the TV World”!
Before Yu could retort, he paused. In a way, Scootaloo had a point—the minute Nanako ascended, deep down he knew that she would’ve found out eventually, and all he was doing was stall for time until he had the courage to tell her the truth. He constantly made excuses, getting other child deities involved for something he was unable to confront, while here the Crusaders had confronted so much and—barring their obsession with a LARP—they knew the truth and were able to press on.
Apple Bloom: (sighs) Yu is right, though; Nanako’s in danger, and we have to figure out how we can help her out. We’re the Cutie Mark Crusaders first and foremost—it’s our purpose to help others find their purpose!Sweetie Belle: That stupid “premo-NEE-tion” thing Matt Hardy gave’s not helping. We’re supposed to find out the answer before we nearly get killed off. Too bad he never mentioned just what we have to fight.Scootaloo: (sighs and leans against a wall) It’s too bad he didn’t tell us how we’re going to find her in this labyrinth of glass, mirrors and—WHOA!
The wall the pegasus filly leaned against revealed a scene of Nanako’s hand on a strange and ominous door, which faded away to reveal a hidden passageway. She shook her head and smiled.
Scootaloo: Well, that was easy.Yu: A little too easy. (prepares his sword) Stay behind me, girls. This could get ugly.Apple Bloom: Are you kidding?! (prepares her knife) (muffled) This is gonna be fun! Come on!
Before Yu could say anything, the Crusaders ran across the passageway, all while he could only sigh before following them; the only thought on his mind was that he was going to get Nanako out of there, and then—without hesitation or doubt—finally tell her the truth of the TV World. The only thing he hoped was that she could forgive him for keeping her in the dark for so long.
Yu: (thinking) I’m getting you out of here Nanako, I promise.
After what felt like a never-ending path of darkness (not from illumination but messages conveyed in illustrations), the groups finally made it to where Nanako was at, having cake with the strange figure. The Crusaders were confused at that being though: at first glance, it looked like a woman with ivory skin wearing a dress resembling stained glass, an eye mask (the type used in masquerade balls) studded with sparkles and feathers, and opera gloves that also shone like diamonds. But for some odd reason, it seemed…unnatural.
Yu didn’t notice these details, however; all he saw was Nanako safe from the horrors of the TV World.
Apple Bloom: Something’s fishy here…(enters a battle stance) Really fishy…Yu: Nanako!
Just as Nanako was about to take another bite of cheesecake, she paused and turned to see Yu approach her. She just stared at him, tilting her head slightly as the woman also noticed the stranger invading their small tea party.
Strange Woman: Oh? And who is this supposed to be?Yu: Get away from her. (faces the strange woman) I know exactly who you are.Strange Woman: (raises an eyebrow) Really now?Yu: (approaching Nanako) Nanako, we have to get going. Come on…Nanako:…No.Yu: N-no?
Yu could feel the temperature in the room drop just as Yosuke and his group also emerged from another hallway. Apple Bloom tightened her grip on her knife’s handle, ready to charge forward.
Yosuke: Nanako, there you are! We’ve been looking everywhere for you.Strange Woman: So you can all lie to her again? Treat her like delicate china?Yosuke: Wh-what?Nanako: You lied to me! All of you!Strange Woman: (coddles Nanako, much to everyone’s discomfort, especially Yu’s) And I promise I won’t ever do anything so terrible as that, Nanako. Here, you will be loved. Here, you will be safe.Teddie: Nanako…Apple Bloom: Don’t listen to her, Nanako! She’s lying to you! She won’t give you what you really want!Nanako: What do you know?! You’re in on their lie, too! (faces each of the other members) How could you let them in, but not me?! It’s just not fair!Strange Woman: (continues doting on her) Yes. It’s not fair they would let in strangers before family. Treating you as just a kid, when you have proven yourself to be mature for your age long before your… (venomously) “Big Bro” entered your life.
Upon hearing those words, the fog of hate in Nanako’s mind started to lift and the gears of reminiscence began to turn.
Strange Woman: (stands up to address the intruders) I think she’s had enough from all of you. If you won’t leave her be, then I shall have to make you.
Her hands started to glow with energy, and every member of the Investigation Team (and the Cutie Mark Crusaders) prepared their weapons in response. Rise readied to call forth her Persona, though the rest were also prepared to do that.
Everybody turned their heads to her.
Strange Woman: What?Nanako: Don’t. I get it now. Yes, I was lied to. But that…but that doesn’t make all the other times bad. Just like when Dad avoided me because Mom left us but he still loved me, everybody also has two sides. They love me, and want to protect me. That’s why—Strange Woman: (starting to lose her composure) But it’s because he got involved that you were kidnapped the first time. Have you forgotten? He should’ve told not only you, but your Dad, too.Yu: We both know he could never have believed that!Naoto: And you’re changing the subject.Strange Woman: …(loses it) NO! …Looks like it’s time to cast off this illusion.
The Strange Woman tossed her mask to the floor, the mask dissolving into shadows as a black aura surrounding her. She let out a loud howl as she soon obtained an arachnid-like appearance: her dress became more of a spider-web design, she soon had a pair of four red eyes shining like rubies, and her lower body became similar to a spider, with six thin black legs capable of stabbing through one’s heart in a blink of an eye. The Crusaders stepped back—why did the Shadow have to look like a spider of all things?
Apate: I am a shadow… The true self… No more lies! No more secrets! Time for all of you to disappear!Yu: Apple Bloom! Take Nanako out of the TV World as fast as you can!Sweetie Belle: But what about you? Will you be all right?Yosuke: We’ve done this before—but your sisters will never forgive us if you get in trouble.Scootaloo: He’s right. (goes to Nanako) Come on!
Nanako nodded her head as the four children begin to run back to the passageway…or they would’ve if Apate didn’t summon a shimmering spider web that blocked the path.
Apple Bloom: (pulls out her Persona card) The hard way, huh? Well, let’s—
She was stopped as miniature versions of Apate emerged, each of them having a mask marked with a spider-web design. They all laughed as the Crusaders found themselves cornered.
Scootaloo: Why spiders of all things?!
Meanwhile, The Investigation Team were tackling Apate, starting with Yukiko unleashing Agidyne that caused Apate to shriek in rage. Rise was already scanning Apate’s weaknesses.
Rise: She’s shown to be weak against fire and wind, but be careful!Yosuke: (smirks) Throw down!
Yosuke’s Persona, Takehaya Susano-o soon followed up with Magarudyne, a large gust of wind throwing Apate off of her back.
Chie: What do you say? All-out Attack!Yosuke: On three then…THREE!
With Kouzeon’s power, Yosuke, Chie, Kanji and Yukiko charged toward Apate, weapons ready. Apate just smirked as the group (and herself) was covered in smoke.
Teddie: Huh? What’s going on?!
In the smoke, Yosuke struggled to his feet, but the dark smog made it impossible for him to see. He did notice that he was covered in a sticky web though.
Yosuke: W-what the—???: PERSONA!
Yosuke looked up, only to find Haraedo-no-Okami looming toward him and charging up a God’s Hand ability. Yosuke immediately knew what this meant, and found himself pummeled by a rain of orange fiery fists.
Yosuke: Chie, what the hell?! What are you doing?!
Chie’s eyes were glowing bright red, the markings of black spider webs marking her face like cracks on a glass pane. The same thing was happening with Yukiko being whacked across the face via steel chair by Kanji (although, unlike Yosuke, Yukiko had access to stronger Dia spells, but even she was still trapped by Apate’s webs).
Meanwhile, the Cutie Mark Crusaders had already fought back with their weapons as best as they could, but they still weren’t enough. It wasn’t until one of the clones thrust one of their spindly legs at Apple Bloom that she snapped.
Apple Bloom: I HATE SPIDERS! I HATE THEM!!!! PERSONA!!!
With that cry, Islington emerged with its wings aflame. Opening its mouth, it unleashed a powerful fiery attack that caused the miniature Apates to shriek in pain. Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle followed suit with Mr. Wednesday and Yvainne, all while Nanako could only stare in wonder. It was deja vu all over again—all of this started because she saw the Crusaders summon their Personae…
Teddie: (tossing two beads at Yosuke and Yukiko) We have to do something, Senpai! They’ll kill each other at this rate!Yu: Teddie, give Kanji and Chie some sedatives! Naoto, try to nullify Apate’s abilities!Teddie and Naoto: On it!
Teddie pulled out two sedatives, quickly curing Chie and Kanji from their rage while Naoto summoned Yamato Sumeragi to unleash a Tempest Slash, causing Apate to be thrown to a wall where it shattered. Chie and Kanji dropped to their knees.
Chie: W…what happened to us?Yosuke: You started tenderizing me like I was some steak, that’s what happened!Kanji: Are you all right, Yukiko?Yukiko: Yeah, I’ll be fine.
With the Crusaders, Sweetie Belle commanded Yvainne to cast Bufula on a fallen Apate minion while Scootaloo had Mr. Wednesday unleash Evil Smile, the Thunderbird unleashing a Slasher Smile that caused the four to step back. Apple Bloom charged toward them, using her dagger to one into the heart.
Apple Bloom: (muffled) AND STAY DOWN!
While she was too busy with her target, Nanako noticed one of them about to summon a sticky web to trap the earth pony.
Nanako: Look out!
Apple Bloom turned, about to be trapped in the spider’s webs once more, before Sweetie appeared from behind, knocking the monster down with her lyre. Scootaloo took the last two down with a couple of sword slashes before they disintegrated. She panted for breath as she let her sword drop for a moment.
Scootaloo: They’re done…now what?Apple Bloom: (sees Apate slowly standing up) We need to help him! Come on, girls!
Apate growled, a red aura surrounding her.
Rise: Be careful, Senpai! She’s just boosted her attack!Yu: I’m on it! Persona!
Crushing a blue card in hand, Sraosha materialized and unleashed Ziodyne upon the strange spider-woman. Bolts of lightning rained from the sky, causing Scootaloo to gasp in awe—they were definitely stronger than what Mr. Wednesday was currently capable of!
Yu: All-Out Attack! NOW!Sweetie Belle: Don’t forget us!Apate: No…!
The Cutie Mark Crusaders readied their weapons alongside the Investigation Team, all while Nanako watched in amazement at the scene.
Apple Bloom: GO!!!
The group charged into battle, and the next few seconds were chaotic. Slices and slashes from daggers and knives, shots from Naoto’s gun, Chie giving Apate a good kick in the jaw…it was violent, yes, but somehow Nanako could see her Big Bro and close friends as something more…like they were superheroes.
Apate was on her last legs at this point, struggling to stand up from the last attack.
Apate: I can’t…I won’t admit defeat…this won’t be—Apple Bloom: The end? Yes, it will be. (pulls out a Hell Magatama) Nice knowing you.
Tossing the item at the Shadow, Apate was hit with a plume of fire that caused her to collapse onto her back. The Crusaders grinned and raised their hooves into the air.
Scootaloo: All right, that was awesome!Yu: It’s not over yet, though.
He was right—Apate still stood there, not fading away like the Crusaders expected.
Yu: It can’t be destroyed, only accepted. Like what you went through before, Cutie Mark Crusaders…only Nanako can stop her.Nanako: M…me?
Nanako gulped when everyone turned to her. Yu approached his cousin and knelt down, a hand on her shoulder.
Yu: Don’t be afraid. We’re all here, all right?Nanako: (pauses, before nodding her head) Okay.
Taking a deep breath, she took three steps forward, seeing Apate snarl at her. The Crusaders prepared their weapons just in case, but Teddie turned to them and shook his head.
Nanako: You…you’re supposed to be me, aren’t you?Apate: (hisses at Nanako)Nanako: I was hurt with the fact that Big Bro and his friends lied to me, but like I said…they still loved me and they wanted to protect me. And when I saw them fight…they were like super heroes, they wanted to do all they could to protect me. Even the Cutie Mark Crusaders, despite being afraid of spiders…they were able to fight their fears head on.
The Crusaders blushed at that.
Nanako: And so, from now on, I choose to be strong and I choose to help out my friends! They gave me strength, and I will give them theirs!
There was silence as Apate stayed still. Then, a white glow surrounded her, her form coalescing into a strange grim skull figure dressed in black upon a silver wheel with five arms grasping onto the edges, the wheel lit on fire. The figure floated toward Nanako as a blue card fell into her hands.
Nanako: What is this?Yukiko: Your Persona, Nanako-chan. I wonder what this one is?Teddie: I think that’s a Throne.Kanji: How does that look like anything like a king’s chair?Naoto: I think he’s referring to one of the nine classes of angels. The Thrones are the third. They are symbols of God’s authority, yet are very humble. They are also known as the angels of knowledge.Yosuke: Whatever it is, at least it’s finally over.Yu: No, it’s not. We still have something we need to do.
And then suddenly, the little girl felt weak. Already seeing it coming, Yu caught her in his arms and began to bridal carry her.
Nanako: I feel tired.Yu: That usually happens after getting a Persona.Rise: We’ve all been there, Nanako-chan.
Everybody else nodded in response.
Scootaloo: And so the Dream-Walkers have finished their journey! Having rescued the young maiden, now it is time for them to return her to her village!Yosuke: (exasperated) Aww! I was hoping you’d forget about that after what we’ve just been through!
Marie was losing her patience as three certain ponies had been hassling her for the better part of an hour to let them through or at the very least come with them as they enter the TV World.
Applejack: Let us through, Marie!Marie: I cannot in good conscience allow that.Applejack: I’ve been in there before! I know what to look out for!
Suddenly, the screen began to glow black and white, with ripples and waves.
Marie: Out of the way! Quickly!
The three complied as Marie followed them. And then a total of twelve figures emerged. Seven teenagers, a little girl in the arms of one of them, one mascot, and three certain fillies. The three mares immediately rushed toward the last of the exiters
Rarity: Sweetie Belle! Thank heaven’s you’re all right!Applejack: Apple Bloom! Ya had me worried sick!Rainbow: Hey, squirt! How’d things go there? (gets glared at by the other two) Uhh…that was irresponsible of you!Applejack: Why didn’t ya tell us you were goin’ there?! (points at the TV in which they left)Apple Bloom: I already told—Applejack: And no, telling Mr. Gangrel and Miss Vachon is not an excuse.Rarity: We all got heart attacks when we heard the news from them! Yu, what were you thinking letting them come along?!Rainbow: And you cancelled your LARP session! So many of us have been anticipating the event, and you just had to postpone it to next week! Now they all have to rearrange their schedules.Rarity: Really, Rainbow Dash! Is that what you have to say for them?!Rainbow: Hey, they have to know just how many gods they affected with their actions, okay?Applejack: Because you worried us so much, and because you thrown yourself into danger again, you’re all grounded until we say so! No leavin’ your temple without any one of us! An’ we’ll make sure to tell Babs, Gabby, Miss Sonomura, an’ all yer followers so ya don’—Nanako: Um…Applejack?
The earth pony stopped upon hearing the human girl say her name.
Nanako: Please don’t be so hard on them. If it weren’t for them, I don’t think I would’ve made it as well as I have now.Naoto: It’s true. If it weren’t for your little sisters, We wouldn’t have found Nanako as soon as we have.Applejack: Hold on a minute. Nanako was kidnapped and thrown into the TV World, just like Apple Bloom?!Yu: Yes.
And the twelve recent travelers of the TV World gave the three mares a full recap of everything that has happened, starting from the Crusaders summoning their Personas to the moment they left and ran into the three.
Applejack: (after then getting the Puppy-Dog Eyes treatment from Nanako, sighs) All right. One week, then.Rainbow: That means no leaving your temple until we get your LARP session up again, and don’t think of going to the House of Ambiguity to escape—Ralph will let us know if you do something like that. You owe it to everybody now.Scootaloo: I guess that’s fair. It’ll give us time to double-check the LARP session, rebuild our weapons, concoct potions and we might even have a chance to catch up on Over the Garden Wall while we’re at it.Yukiko: You know, they’re something we never figured out.Yu: What is it?Yukiko: Who kidnapped Nanako in the first place? And why go through all this trouble? What was their motive?Nanako: I’m sorry, but all I remember is a wave of darkness taking me when I was crying from you not wanting to tell the truth, Yu.Apple Bloom: Maybe it was her Shadow, just like with mine.Sweetie Belle: That’s different though—it came when you were sleeping, not when you were awake.Naoto: We’ll have to investigate that another time. For now, let’s return Nanako to her temple and explain everything.
As they were about to leave, Apple Bloom thought she sensed something. She turned around, and for a moment…thought she saw a hooded figure in the shadows. Before she could get a better look at it, Applejack’s voice distracted her and she began to walk off. Whatever it was, she honestly hoped that it wouldn’t come back anytime soon.
In Nanako’s temple at the sub-House of Children, the young girl sat down as Yu and the rest of the Investigation Team told her the incident with the TV World, Taro Namatame, Tohru Adachi, Izanami and more. Nanako was absolutely shocked to find out that the gas station attendant they met when Yu first came to Inaba would be the sole reason of Yu gaining his Persona, and quietly asked if that incident with Kanami Kitchen was also based on the TV World (They said it was similar and were very proud of how she was able to chase the shadow away) all while looking at her own Persona card. As more and more of these stories were told, Nanako stayed quiet in thought.
Yu: And that’s it. We’re sorry, we should’ve told you about this before I went home. We thought it was for the best that you forgot.Teddie: (in his human form) You aren’t mad at us, right?Nanako: No.Teddie: (shocked speechless)Marie: (blinks her eyes) You’re not?Nanako: After hearing everything that you did, and that you’re doing, how could I? (looks up to them and smiles) You guys are like superheroes in a way! You go on these amazing adventures and help others find themselves. Did you do that with Apple Bloom and her friends?Chie: Apple Bloom was sent there by her own shadow and was confronting it on her own before we and Applejack arrived to assist her. Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle just followed suit after they pestered us to help get their Personas.Nanako: What about any others? Will I be able to tell if they have a Persona or not?Yukiko: Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Nanako. There are some who have accepted themselves, and some who aren’t able to yet. Right now, we’re doing our best to help those who are in need of it.Nanako: I want to be like that too. I wish to help out in any way that I can. Oh! Maybe I can use my Persona to help out other children in need of help, right?Naoto: (smiles) I think that would be a good idea. It certainly makes worry less if you can take of yourselves.Nanako: Then I’ll take the chance to practice with Throne whenever I can. I want to do what my big brother would do, and that’s a fact!Yosuke: Atta girl! Tomorrow, we’re going to have a party to celebrate that you’ve become one of us now, what do you think?Nanako: (nods) I’ll make sure to send some cake to the Cutie Mark Crusaders—after all, it’s all thanks to them that all of this happened.
The Investigation Team spent another half an hour with Nanako to answer some questions she still had. One of those questions was of how their latest…”Persona-unlocking job” went, prior to her own.
Yu: I’m afraid I can’t tell you that.Nanako: (disappointed) Is it…confidential?Yosuke: No. It’s because he wasn’t there that time. He doesn’t lead every single “job”, you know.Nanako: Okay. So what happened?Yosuke: It started when our client-to-be, Iji from the House of Gaming, came over to my temple. She heard of us, and was hoping if we could help her get a Persona of her own. Partly to get some magic firepower and partly to assuage the dissenters in her temple, who thought she wasn’t deserving of her title of Pacifist Run.Kanji: Yosuke called for everyone to meet up at the Junes TV before taking her there. Not everyone was available that time; only Teddie, Chie, and I made it along with him.Nanako: What did her…dungeon look like?Chie: It was something straight out of a sci-fi movie. A research facility with an alien ship right above it. And inside, the Shadows were…Shadow-y versions of the aliens she had to go through back in her world. Even when we explained the nature of Shadows, Iji refused to kill a single one. She did help with some tough ones, I’ll admit that, but the final blow was usually never hers. Her “Nanofield” also shrugged off every physical attack that came her way, though she was just as vulnerable to magic as any of us. Eventually, we made our way to the top of the facility, then to the futuristic lift there that would take us to the alien ship, which is where we finally encountered her Shadow.Yosuke: Iji had a…strange interpretation of pacifism; she doesn’t count a kill unless she does it with her weapon or with her kick, and she kicks much harder than Chie. (ignores the brief glare of said girl) The Shadow called her out on that, called her self-delusional for such a twisted belief, and prodded on her secret despisal for the aliens that all but destroyed her planet with their ‘war’. I’ll admit we all agreed with the Shadow on that.Teddie: Many of our “customers” initially deny their Shadows, which only makes them go berserk, and then we have to fight it, but the only way to really end it was for our “customer” to accept their Shadow, after which they get their Persona. There have been those that have done that part quickly, though, bypassing the battle part of our “job” entirely.Yosuke: Unfortunately for us, while Iji did admit to her Shadow that she could’ve been her in another timeline, in the end, she still denied it, and a larger version of the Annihilator mini-boss Shadows below manifested around her Shadow, who began to pilot it. She was definitely much harder than your Shadow, Nanako.Shadow Iji: (in the memories of the participant Investigation Team members) I am a shadow, the true self! I shall protect the Earth from all aliens, and anybody in my way must die!Kanji: Shadow Iji didn’t have any dirty tricks like yours did with the webs or any minions like with my Shadow, nor did she need to. Her attacks were overwhelming as they were, and her defenses and vitality were equally strong. Thankfully, after we explained that Shadows cannot be killed by their owner, Iji showed her weapon’s true potential. Shotgun, machinegun, rockets, energy projectiles, big laser beams, her “Nanogun” had them all in one package, and she (and Teddie on healing duty) carried much of the fight from there.Chie: After we finally defeated her, Iji confessed to her Shadow and us that her “pacifism” was just a coping mechanism, to keep herself from becoming a berserker just like her Shadow by lying to herself. She then promised to be more of a pacifist from now on, now that she’s not alone anymore, she has friends, and burden of the world is no longer entirely on her shoulders. After that, she got the Persona Adrestia.Yosuke: And that about concludes it. Not every job is interesting, though. I don’t think we’ll be making a collection of stories about them anytime soon.Nanako: Thank you. It has been a long day. (yawns) I think it’s time for bed.
Everyone could agree to that.
After Nanako gave a farewell hug to everyone, Yu closed the door to the back and walked back to his House. As he did, something was bothering him—something about…about…
He stopped walking when he found himself in the Siblings Sub-house once more. More specifically, he stood across from BROKEN Matt’s temple once more. This time, there was no one on the porch. But there was that feeling that something was there though…maybe he was just tired. After all, it was a long day.
Shrugging his shoulders, Yu walked back to the House of Family, wondering just how the Cutie Mark Crusaders were doing now that they were “grounded”.
Apple Bloom: (reading a letter) “And that concludes what happened when we were in the House of Ambiguity today. I’m surprised to find that, even though I still have no love for the Horror genre, I can at least find it really interesting and take the steps to bond with Mr. Gangrel and Miss Vachon whenever we can. Silver Spoon and I are currently back in the Unsorted House, preparing it for Nightmare Night and hopefully we can come celebrate it with you in a few weeks. Until then, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon.”
In their temple in the House of Prophecy, Apple Bloom folded the letter that was left at their door as the three began to remove their LARP costumes. Sweetie Belle was already sketching new ideas for her lyre—maybe transforming it into a long-necked mandolin so it would be easier to whack a monster to death—while Scootaloo began to write some notes down.
Scootaloo: Phew! I’m beat. It sucks we can’t go to Mr. Gangrel and tell him about our adventure. Oh well, Derpy could give him a letter in the morning.Sweetie Belle: I hope that we can help others accept their true selves one day. What do you thinkm Apple Bloom?Apple Bloom:…Huh? Oh right. I was thinking about that figure I saw when we were leaving the TV World.Scootaloo: What figure?Apple Bloom: They were hiding in the shadows. I couldn’t get a good look at their face, but it looked like they were watching us.Sweetie Belle: You think that was the thing who took Nanako into the TV World?Scootaloo: It contradicts BROKEN Matt’s “premo-NEE-tion” though: ‘a wave of darkness that wants nothing more than to go home.’ What did he mean by that anyway?Apple Bloom: I don’t know, but we should get ready for tomorrow. We’ll be here in our temple for quite some time.
As her fellow Crusaders nodded their heads, Apple Bloom took a look at the letter one more time, noticing a strange passage that Diamond Tiara wrote.
Letter: “I thought I was in trouble, but there was this strange hooded figure that came out of the blue and saved me from that dark wave! When I asked for their name, they didn’t answer. When I asked to look at their face, they showed it to me. It was strange though, considering the circumstances going on. They looked sort of like…like…”
The name was smudged with ink, so there was no way Apple Bloom could read it. Still, something felt wrong…she brushed it aside and set the letter on her desk, getting ready for bed and to at least sleep on what they experienced.
In his temple, BROKEN Matt was at his piano, playing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Despite the temple being lit by candles, he knew that there was someone behind him. He stopped playing and smiled.
BROKEN Matt: The Slasher…I knew you’d come.
The strange being that hid in the shadows, “The Slasher”, just stayed quiet. BROKEN Matt smirked.
BROKEN Matt: I suppose those Crusaders succeeded in their MISSION, correct? (The Slasher nods) WONDERFUL! Yes…soon, everything will fall into place. Once Brother Nero comes to me, I can enact Part Two of my plan. And then, the Light of Limbo shall shine once again! (laughs)
The Slasher just stayed silent, the only sound they made was the sound of a sword flicked out of its sheath before they placed it back in.
BROKEN Matt: Don’t you have somewhere else to go, Slasher?The Slasher:…Yeah.BROKEN Matt: Then go. I’ll call for you later.
The Slasher turned heel and left through the shadows. As they did, they took the time to look at a folded message, quickly scanning it before ripping it into shreds. As the shreds were tossed over their shoulder and spread out by the evening breeze, they spoke.
The Slasher: Things are moving fast; soon enough, it will become a long Halloween that no one will even comprehend. (smirks) Until then, I have some information I need to obtain. There’s just one question on my mind: Who left that Sengoku Driver and Lockseed on her doorstep? The minute I find that bastard, well…(laughs slightly before growling and gnashing their teeth) They’re going to pay.
Underneath the night sky, The Slasher materialized a blue portal and stepped through it before it vanished in a blink of an eye.