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Gift of a False Face

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June 22, 2011 – After School

Samegawa Flood Plain

Even after four confirmed cases, Yu Narukami didn’t think that he would ever get used to the way the Midnight Channel worked. Although the Investigation Team had together prevented fellow classmates Yukiko and Kanji from suffering untimely ends at the hands of their Shadows, the threat of death-by-TV had yet to disappear entirely, and there were still many mysteries to be solved about said Midnight Channel.

And that wasn’t even mentioning the struggle to carefully balance school time (and for Yu, Social Link time) with time spent in the TV World.

There was also something else to worry about. Rise Kujikawa (otherwise known as the famous idol Risette) would be staying in Inaba for a while, and given the recent string of events, the Investigation Team was worried that she’d be the next target for the town’s mysterious serial killer. They had visited her earlier in her grandmother’s store in the hopes that they could prevent that from happening – though if Yu was being honest, the chances of there being no kidnapping were slim to none.

After all, we still don’t know who’s throwing people into the TV World, he mused, and we don’t really have a concrete way of stopping them. But Yu knew that it wouldn’t exact help the team if he stated his concerns, so he just kept quiet about it.

But right now, that fact and those worries didn’t really matter. Right now, it was just him and Rise standing on the open floodplain, Yu having helped the idol escape a stalker’s gaze a few moments earlier. The sun happened to be setting too, creating a beautiful outlook on what was otherwise an ordinary countryside.

“You think it’s safe here?” Rise asked softly, staring out into the sky.

“It’s the best vantage point we could have,” Yu replied. He’d know; he’d been out here so many times before, indulging in his newfound hobby of fishing. It really is a beautiful place, he thought to himself. “You’re safe here, for now.”

“…I’m used to this – having stalkers, I mean,” she noted, her voice remaining level.

“I get it.” As a famous idol, it only made sense that Rise would have to deal with avoiding the unsavory sort. That was the price of media publicity. “But wouldn’t it be better if you didn’t have to be?”

Rise just sat down silently, noticeably not answering the question. It was clear that she was deep in thought, and Yu decided not to probe any further. She drew her gaze on the ground and noticed a magazine laying atop it, her figure being featured front and center. Without a word, she plucked it off the floor and opened its contents.

As she flipped through the pages – all of them various model shoots of her, Yu noticed as he snuck a couple peeks – she let out a sigh. She tore out one of the pages, naturally inciting Yu’s curiosity. “The girl everybody fusses over… Risette the idol… She’s not the real me,” she stated. “She’s just another packaged product they created to sell.”

Yu decided to sit down beside her, watching her fold the page into a paper airplane before throwing it out. It flew a pretty far distance, landing rather gracefully at the shoreline. “Out on the stage, the only thing I can do is act out the part I’ve been given. That’s what everybody likes. That’s what everyone wants to see.” Her frown creased a little deeper. “Nobody actually sees the real me,” she lamented. “And they might never.”

A moment of silence passed between them. It was a little hard to graft a response, given the delicate subject matter Rise just laid out. Finally, Yu managed to admit, “I can sympathize a little, actually.”

“Huh?” Rise looked up at him. “What do you mean by that?”

“My family moves about all the time,” he began to explain, while folding some origami of his own. (Doing all those part-time jobs was finally paying off!) “And I really didn’t have a lot of time to really make friends in the time I had. Sure, I tried, but… it never really lasted. In the end, I was really just creating a bunch of masks, never really showing my true self to anyone.”

The idol looked a little confused. “You interact with your friends pretty well, though. And people around town seem to like you.”

“The thing is,” Yu elaborated, “I never know if I’m acting as a real friend, or if I’m just bringing out more and more personas to use.” And wasn’t that an appropriate statement to make, given the situation with the TV World and Social Links and everything else.

Yu didn’t really know why he was saying all this to her. Under normal circumstances, he’d just keep it hidden and let nobody be none the wiser. Yet, there was something about Rise’s plight that just resonated strongly with him (and not because she was an idol, as Yosuke would admit to). Her talking about ‘nobody ever seeing the real her’… he really could understand. Do I even have a real me, too? he bitterly wondered.

“…you know, I never thought there’d be anyone who would be able to relate like that,” Rise said, a smile finally starting to touch her lips. “You’d probably fit well in the idol business—well, if you were a girl, that is.”

“What, you don’t think I could make it?” Yu teased. It was kind of a ridiculous statement, but Yu enjoyed making ridiculous statements himself, so it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. “Maybe if I had a mask or a face for that, I could make it work.”

Rise snorted in amusement – a rather strange sound to come out of the idol’s mouth. Jokingly, she offered, “I’d be willing to teach you, if you don’t mind.”

With a straight face, Yu simply inquired (in a manner that made it hard to tell whether he was joking or not), “What’s your schedule and how much do you charge?” What? Yu’s always one for learning new things whenever possible.

The pop star giggled in response, bringing a hand to her mouth. “You’re a bit of a weird guy, aren’t you?” she asked light-heartedly. “That’s alright.” Just then, she noticed the new object sitting in Yu’s hand – a perfect origami crane, crafted out of another one of the magazine’s pages. It was clear it was made by an experienced person in the field of origami.

“Wow, that’s impressive,” she noted. “Hmm…” An idea coming to mind, she tore out another page and began folding it much like what Yu had done. Within a couple of minutes, another crane had been made, though obviously not as neatly made.

If Yu was being honest, the attempt was… Mmm…

“You suck,” he bluntly stated. (Well, no one ever said he couldn’t freely disclose his opinions.)

“That’s not very nice,” Rise replied, a little indignant.

“Sorry.” Force of habit, he thought.

Another page was torn, and another crane was created. Fortunately, this one was more refined than the last. “See? I can do it if I try,” she proclaimed proudly to Yu, holding her hand up.

Yu smiled, and placed a miniature crane next to Rise’s. “That’s really cute,” she said.

“You could treat them like… birds of a feather,” the Persona-user said. It seemed only right to say. Kind of like us, he left unmentioned.

Rise’s face looked wondering. “Birds of a feather, huh?” she repeated to herself in a more quiet tone. Before their conversation could continue, a ringtone went off in Yu’s pocket, prompting him to bring out his cell phone and flip it open. After a couple moments reading the text message sent, he declared, “Well, it looks like the coast is clear.”

“Alright then,” Rise conceded, getting back up on her feet. “And it’s getting dark too, so… let’s go.” As she got up to leave, she seemed to realize something and stopped. “Oh, by the way… You never told me what your name is.”

“It’s Yu. Yu Narukami,” the boy answered.

“And mine’s Rise.”

“Oh yeah, I think I heard that on the news last night,” Yu said dryly. Rise gave out a little chuckle at his casual tone.

“Well… I’ll see you later,” she stated her farewell, walking back to her house. Yu watched her go, a little smile on her own face. The conversation they just had admittedly was a bit of a load of his own chest. Releasing your own feelings like that really does help, he noted internally. I’m glad I got to speak with Rise, even if it was just for a little bit. (And again, it certainly wasn’t because she was an idol.)

There was nothing more for Yu to do here… actually, now that he thought about it, it seemed like prime time to do a little fishing before heading back to the Dojima residence. Good thing I’ve got my fishing rod on me, and plenty of bait too! he thought (and no, he wouldn’t answer any questions about why he was carrying a fishing rod on him). Let’s go!

June 23, 2011 – Late Night

Dojima Residence – Yu’s Room

Once more, right before the dawn of midnight, Yu was seated on the couch in his room opposite that of his television screen. As usual, the TV was off, and all Yu needed to do was wait until it was time for the Midnight Channel to broadcast again. There was a bit of nervous anticipation to it – you never really knew what you were about to see next on the so-called channel. We certainly didn’t expect the contents of Kanji’s broadcast, he remembered.

Unfortunately, just the afternoon prior, Rise had run off after her manager had a little talk with her. Presumably, she made it back home, but he couldn’t be absolutely sure that was the case, especially given the distraught state she was in. And then there were the words she declared to Yu shortly before she ran.

“Just what would you know!?” she had shouted angrily. “You don’t know anything about me! You’re just the same as everyone else!”

That’s right. No matter how similar two people’s struggles may be, they’re still different in the end. We can’t treat everyone’s situations as the same as ours, he remembered. He gave a brief sigh as he recalled the incident. Hopefully she’s still fine tonight, but… she could’ve easily have been taken. For once, Yu hoped he was wrong about his suspicions. The chances of that weren’t high, but he had to at least pray.

As the minutes ticked down, he found his worried anticipation growing and growing, despite the fact that there wasn’t a lot to worry about. After all, one of the two following things would happen: either the same silhouette from before would appear, or a brand new broadcast for Rise’s Shadow would play. And yet, he couldn’t stop something from biting at him.

Yu was normally a calm and collected person – if a bit prone to weird ‘out there’ statements – but in the privacy of his room, he allowed himself to finger-tap his couch repeatedly in order to try and relieve some stress. Calm down, Yu, calm down, he tried to reassure himself. There’s nothing to worry about. It’ll just be a normal broadcast. It’ll be weird, maybe a bit sexual, but that’s it. That’s all it’ll be.

Unfortunately, his fears still refused to go away.

At last, midnight struck, and the TV screen once again turned on and emitted the familiar sickly yellow glow that Yu had come to associate with the TV World. This time, the fog had cleared up to reveal… Rise(‘s Shadow) flashing her butt at the camera, clad in nothing but a yellow bra and panties.

In an instant, Yu’s face went red with arousal. O-Okay, t-that’s new! he thought, several types of images immediately rushing through his mind. It didn’t help that the HUD elements on the screen indicated a visible ‘LIVE’ icon in the left-hand corner.

“’Maru-Q! Push Risette!’ Are you ready to see a young flower bloom into a high-school idol?” Rise’s voice announced through the TV screen, the camera moving about to showcase her… curves, to put it lightly. “That’s right!” Finally, the camera stopped at a shot of the idol’s perky, happy face (though with yellow eyes rather than Rise’s normal brown. “It’s me, Rise Kujikawa – but you know me better as Risette!”

Unconsciously, Yu began to press the ‘RECORD’ button on the TV remote. Repeatedly. Yu may have been far more mature than any teenage boy had any right to be, but that didn’t mean he didn’t have functioning and active hormones. (He just kept it hidden behind his high charisma value.)

“And this time, I’m about to take on the most extreme challenge ever!” she proclaimed, holding up the girls’ uniform for Yasogami High in both her hands. The place she was in could now be seen a little more clearly; it being some sort of venue with the word ‘MARUKYU’ written atop in big, bold letters. She continued, “I’m going to be pushing the limits of Standards & Practices as hard as I can!”

Yu blinked. Huh? his thought process sputtered out dumbly. Standards and… Practices? His mind was rapidly coming to a solid conclusion – one his increasingly hormone-addled brain admittedly wouldn’t mind seeing.

“That’s right. I’m gonna give the greatest show I’ve ever given!” The false idol spun around, the camera panning out to show her entire body. “To Yu Narukami, the man of everybody’s dreams… I’m going to show ev-ery-thing!”

…hang on. “Wha?” Yu blankly verbalized.

It was at this point when the train of thought that Yu’s mind was on tumbled off its train tracks, fell off a bridge, and splashed into a nearby ocean, before exploding in spectacular fashion just for good measure.

Words could not express the amount of confusion (and subtle want) rummaging through Yu right now.

“You heard me right, Yu-senpai!” the Shadow continued (D-Did she actually hear me!? Yu internally panicked). “Mmm, you don’t mind if I call you that, right? I think it perfectly suits you, you handsome hunk of man meat. You could be quite the ladies’ man here in Inaba.”

And now we were adding ‘awkward’ to the list of adjectives surrounding this situation, as well as the term ‘oh crap’. Wordlessly, Yu’s eyes glanced toward his cell phone. Normally, Yosuke wouldn’t call until after the Midnight Channel broadcast was over, but surely he’d break tradition for something as strange as this, right? Surely, he would have noticed the broadcast addressing Yu personally and call him up to get his opinion… right?

“Oh, you shouldn’t worry about your friends, Yu-senpai!” Shadow Rise’s voice joyously ‘assured’ him, which instantly incited several red flags to be raised at once. “They won’t be able to see this. And neither will your cousin or your uncle, or anybody else in Inaba, courtesy of my Supreme Insight!”

How does she know about my family!? Yu thought. I never told the real Rise about them! This situation was getting worse and worse with every word she said.

She leaned into the camera, her unnatural yellow eyes glinting with a hint of lust. “It’s an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime, behind-the-scenes show, just! For! You! Tee hee hee!” she proclaimed, emphasizing her last few words by repeatedly pointing a finger at him. The grin on her face was almost too sinister for her cute appearance.

Yu’s stoic façade finally broke, a look of true fear cropping on his face for the first time in quite a while (like the time the Investigation Team discovered the Reaper). “Nonononono,” he muttered, “I have to get out of here!” He leaped off the couch and rushed to his bedroom door, hoping against all the odds that he could just escape with his dignity still intact. But nope.

Without warning, yellow fog spouted from the floor in the same way a smoke machine would work on a stage, covering the entire door. Under normal circumstances, this wouldn’t be much of a hindrance – but the fog seemed to be solid somehow, preventing Yu from getting through it and into the outside world. Which was a problem.

Similarly, the very same fog began to cover the windows behind his couch too, and at this point the atmosphere in the room was just as yellow as the TV World. “Uh uh uh, Yu-senpai!” Shadow Rise admonished Yu, waving a finger in front of the camera as if she were scolding the boy right in front of her. “I put a lot of time and effort into preparing this special show. You weren’t going to cancel it now, were you?” The false idol had put on a pouting face, there even being a few fake tears in her eyes to get the point across. Yu wasn’t going to be getting out of this show anytime soon. “It would’ve made me feel sooooo bad!”

“Uhh, nooooo… Of… course not,” Yu said carefully, rapidly attempting to come up with some sort of excuse. Against his better judgement, he walked back toward the visible range of the TV. (Shadow Rise would definitely not appreciate anything else.) “I was, err… getting some friends! You… never know who else would enjoy this, right?” Even to him, his excuse didn’t hold up under scrutiny.

His eyes darted all about the room in an attempt to find some sort of escape route. Alas, all the ones there were had been sealed off, and it wasn’t like Yu could invent a way out – like a tunnel, or a hole in the wall, or something.

He was trapped, utterly and completely.

This isn’t good, not at all! he thought.

“Oh, you shouldn’t worry! Your friends will be getting a unique show too – but it won’t be as great as the one I’m giving you, senpai.” That was… still not very reassuring. Would—would they be alright? Were they already hurt?

“You better not have hurt them in any way,” Yu seethed, his protective instincts rising to the surface. He may not have known the members of the Investigation Team for too long, but that didn’t mean they weren’t his close friends (no matter how much he feared them eventually leaving him).

“Hey, I may be a superstar idol, but I would never go so far as to harm a fan unwarranted!” Shadow Rise looked kind of insulted, as if she hadn’t expected Yu to make such a claim. Though it could’ve been another false face, for all he knew. “Besides, after our captivating talk yesterday, there’s no way I’d try to disappoint you now!”

Yu blinked, before scratching the back of his head. “I, err… thought that you wouldn’t have remembered that…” While Shadows were the repressed part of someone’s psyche, they typically never shared memories to this extent.

“How could I not? You bared so much of yourself to me! All that talk about masks and real selves… It was like you and I were the same! It was such a blast!” And that was knowledge that definitely didn’t belong in the hands of a Shadow.

“I suppose it’s too much to hope that you just… forget about that, right?” Yu hopelessly pleaded. “Just this once?”

“Aw, you don’t give me enough credit, Yu-senpai!” the false idol said, destroying all his hope and dreams. “I’m not as airheaded as I look! I couldn’t forget the opportunity to give you this gift of mine, after all.”

“…gift?” Yu repeated aloud, his confusion mounting. Whatever that was, it couldn’t be good – especially since it was from the mouth of a Shadow. “What do you mean?” he demanded to know.

“Why, only the gift of my pretty little face of course! You yourself stated that you have a lot of personas at hand. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had my own to count amongst all of them?”

This girl was batshit insane. “No, no, you don’t need to give me that! I’m, I’m fine without it! Really!” Yu began to sweat. Whatever she was implying, it couldn’t be good. “Just—Just let me go, and… we can do this sometime later? Please?”

Unfortunately, his desires were once again dashed. “You would deny my most wonderful present to you, Yu-senpai? That’s so disappointing!” Once more, she put in that false ‘I’m so sad!’ face in an attempt to make him see differently. (It didn’t work, but she didn’t care.) “But I can see through you. This is just another mask, isn’t it? You’re just trying to push down your true self. Don’t deny it!” she claimed the moment Yu tried to speak up. “You were the one who told me about the troubles with your masks. I can solve that problem in one fell swoop! Make my face your real self, and you’ll be ready for show business in no time!”

“That’s not how Personas work!” the Persona-user protested. “You… You can’t just add a persona to someone’s psyche like that! It makes no sense whatsoever!”

“Oh, who really cares? The truth is, all my fans care about is my appearance on stage, so why should real life be any different?” Sadly, she had a bit of a point, no matter how cynical the point may have been. “Well, enough with the overture already. The fans are getting anxious! It’s time to get on with the show!”

The Wild Card’s eyes widened in horror as a red aura began to glow around Shadow Rise. That’s impossible! he thought. Shadows aren’t supposed to use their powers until they’re denied! Why was the world going against him like this!? Out loud, he begged, “No, Rise, don’t! This isn’t like you! You don’t have to do this!”

“Sorry, senpai! I’m going to give you this gift whether you want it or not! You should really be thankful for this, you know. It’s not every day a superstar idol like me gives you this type of opportunity!” Her diatribe finally over, the Shadow began to spin around as the red aura became thicker and thicker. At last, the aura was released, and something very strange happened after.

A green square placed itself beneath Yu’s feet, a bunch of scanning devices passing through him in the process. W-What kind of ability is this!? he wondered, his eyes trying to make sense of the whole thing. Shadow Rise mentioned something about her ‘Supreme Insight’; could this be it?

…well if it was, it was certainly very uncomfortable.

Before he could exclaim any sort of reply, surges of electricity shot through his body. In response, he let out a loud scream, dropping to the ground and writhing in agony. Ironic, considering his primary Persona was resistant to electricity.

“What… What’s going on…!?” he struggled to say, feeling the voltage crackling throughout his limbs.

“Ooh, it’s finally starting!” The false pop star clapped her hands together in sheer excitement. “Pay attention now; it’s not polite to sleep through the entire show!”

The electricity slowed down, allowing him to breathe a little. “Show? J-Just what are you…?” His words died down upon the feeling of something plucking repeatedly at his skin. It bristled at him, making his body utterly sore, until it stopped as abruptly as it began. Out of curiosity, he stumbled back to his feet (as best he could, given his decreased strength and the jolts of lightning) and took a look beneath his clothes. He was startled to find that all of his body hair had just… disappeared, without a trace. “Wha…?” he tried again.

“If you’re gonna have my face, then we definitely can’t have all those blemishes on your skin!” Shadow Rise ‘explained’ (though it only served to confuse him further). As she was talking, his skin began to tingle all over, an intensely uncomfortable feeling right next to the death of his body hair. I’m not gonna like how this will end, am I? Yu thought, gritting his teeth.

He was soon incited to scratch his skin in an attempt to get rid of the feeling, only to recoil right after at how much more sensitive it suddenly was – not helped by the electricity at all. “Yowch!” he hissed. In fact, looking at it more closely, it seemed plenty smoother and shinier too. That was not something a boy just had, not at all. “W-What is even…? How did you…?”

“Like it, Yu-senpai~?” the Shadow asked, that creepy smile still on her face. (Not particularly, no, he snarked.) “This is just the beginning of your most amazing transformation!” A strange sensation began to pulsate in his hands, and he quickly moved his right one up to his face to get a closer look at it.

His horror slowly rose at the sight, for now he was witnessing his hand rapidly becoming slimmer and daintier. In addition, his fingernails became lengthier, a coat of pink painting itself onto each and every one. He turned his hand around to briefly stare at its smaller size, before bringing up his other hand to confirm the changes were actually happening. Please tell me this isn’t actually real, he hoped.

Unfortunately… Yes. Yes they were.

The thought made the Wild Card a little nauseous. “Y-You know,” he tried to stall for time, “you don’t have to give me this gift now, really! I-I can experience it a little later, even, if that’ll make you satisfied!”

“Oh, Yu-senpai… You really are naïve when it comes to show business.” Shadow Rise brought a finger into the air. “A delay will only make the fans unhappy! Broadcasting on the intended date is the only real choice to make.”

Under his breath – hopefully beneath the false idol’s auditory range – Yu muttered, “I certainly wouldn’t mind a delay just this once.”

“Well that’s not very nice, senpai!” Yu jumped, watching Shadow Rise put her hands on her hips with her signature pouting face back on. “Mmm, maybe this scene is going on for too long. That’s why you haven’t been enjoying this as much as you should be! Well, I guess I’ll have to make it more entertaining to make up for it!”

Oh great, she can hear my every word! Yu thought. And I just made things worse! Unfortunately, there was no real way for him to physically brace himself, so all he could do was steel his mind for what’s to come. (Which wouldn’t help, as he would soon find out.)

A hot sensation abruptly began to pulsate through his arms and legs, causing him to lose his standing and fall to the floor. “G-Gah!” he eloquently proclaimed, feeling his face hit the ground. “O-oomph. T-That smarts…!”

“And we can’t have those pesky clothes in the way of the show, either!” she commented, amusingly watching him stumble. “Luckily, I know just what to do.” The red aura reappeared around the Shadow’s form, and Yu’s uniform (which he hadn’t bothered to take off that night) was inexplicably torn off him and onto the couch. How she managed to do that, Yu didn’t want to know.

“H-Hey, y-you can’t just do that!” he said, his face steadily growing heated.

“Ooh, you’ve got quite the figure, Yu-senpai~!” Shadow Rise praised, a compliment that felt pretty disturbing coming from her mouth. She was also drooling a little. “If I weren’t currently hosting this broadcast, I’d just lavish that form!”

Trying his best to ignore her words (though the blush on his face indicated a failure in that department), Yu felt his arms and legs slim down dramatically as the heat went through him, though the two types of limbs changed in different ways. His arms became leaner and athletic, whereas his legs became curvier and shapelier. Either way, they both served the same purpose – turning the Wild Card more and more into a girl, while making his entire body feel far too aroused for its own good.

And then there was the matter of his feet. They too soon shrunk to the same extent as his hands, with the same longer nails and added polish included. Yu tried to get back up to a standing position, only to find his smaller feet giving him a struggle. It also gave him a good opportunity to analyze his arms and legs, and it sent his horror rocketing even faster. The muscle, the strength he once had… it had disappeared almost as fast as his body hair. And the breeze blowing against his much more sensitive skin did not help one bit.

“No, no, come on…” he mumbled, his dismay creeping into his voice. “I-I have to resist, I c-can’t let it…! I, I already look…!” But the stimulation provided by the event was almost too much to bear.

“Disappointed about your changing physique, Yu-senpai?” Shadow Rise asked. “Don’t worry – you won’t be soon.”

Her ominous words underlined the next phase of the transformation, which was coming fast. The entirety of his torso’s frame began to crack and shift, lightning wrapping all around it and sending more of his masculine muscle merging back into his body like it never existed. The process once more sent him reeling with pain (and arousal, embarrassingly enough), writhing on the floor as his entire self was changed within. “This… This… Please, don’t…!” he struggled to verbalize, his mind growing ever more frayed as the transformation continued. “I… I can’t… take much more…!”

A litany of events happened right after: his waist caved in and created some rather feminine curves, the mass moving straight to his hips and widening them to girly proportions. As this was going on, his internal structure began to warp, rearranging all his organs in order to accommodate for what would soon be a very different gender. The process overall also shaved ten inches off his height, leaving his physique a shadow of its former self. Despite all that, Shadow Rise seemed ecstatic with how events were unfolding.

“Aww, look at you!” she cheered. “You’re looking prettier and prettier with every passing second! Isn’t this show just an amazing experience?”

Said Wild Card groaned in abject agony. I’m—I’m not sure how much more I can take of this, he thought, as he was barely managing to hang on to his sanity. But he couldn’t let the false idol know that. Out loud, he breathed, “A-Are you sure… we c-can’t just… end things early? F-for my sake?” He had to make one last effort to try to get out of this, at the very least. He couldn’t just sit and forfeit his entire soul to this twisted caricature of Rise.

“Still trying to hide your true feelings? Shame on you, senpai! I thought that was you taught your friends not to do. Luckily for us… the best act of the show is just about to begin!” Unfortunately for Yu, that indicated his psyche was about to take several massive strikes to the groin. (Which was a statement that would end up being rather literal, actually.)

The electricity crackled around Yu, starting to course closer to the area around his head. His nausea and arousal proceeded to intensify, and he clutched his head to try and get some sort of reprieve. My… My vision… he mentally groaned. I… I can feel it… spinning around me… O-ohhhh… Indeed, he was finding himself increasingly incoherent, leaving him almost numb to the next stage of the transformation.

His steel gray eyes were the first parts of his face to change. Massive amounts of stress accumulated behind them, forcing him to shut them tightly closed. Behind the eyelids, his irises widened and became a sinister-looking yellow – the same color as Shadow Rise’s, not that he could see. Similarly, his eyelashes increased in general length, to the point where Yu could even feel their elongated status.

The rest of his face soon followed suit with change: his nose shrunk to a cute, petite button; his chin curved inwards and made his face more heart-shaped; his lips became plumper with a hint of lipstick applied. Overall, his face shared a resemblance to a girl more so than a boy, all the while burning with a feeling he wasn’t able to articulate.

“P-Pleeeassseee,” his voice warbled, a direct side-effect of the electricity making something recede from within his neck. “I-I-I…”

Unfortunately, there was an uncomfortable feeling in his throat preventing him from really talking. He coughed a few times to get rid of it, each cough having its pitch rise higher and higher, much to his chagrin.

At the same time, his hair changed colors from a nondescript grey to a flowing brown, almost auburn. It began to lengthen considerably, managing to reach halfway down his back and getting a little up in his face more than normal. Before too long, the hair tied itself into twintails, one of which lying on each side of his head.

“I b-beg of you, Rise! S-stop…!” By the time he managed to get a proper sentence out, his voice was noticeably more feminine and bubblier than it used to be. (It was also perfect for singing.) “Y-You… You d-don’t have to…!”

“…turn you into me?” Shadow Rise finished for him, a delighted grin on her face. It bore repeating that it was not a pleasant sight to look at, her bra-and-panties-only appearance aside. “There’s no reason why I shouldn’t, though! My performances will be more entertaining with a twin by my side when I come out of retirement. And if you’re worried about payment, then don’t be. I won’t charge you a single penny for this!”

“T-That’s… completely missing… t-the point…” he muttered, straining to lift his head. So much of his strength had been zapped by both the electricity and the transformation, leaving him barely able to lift his limbs up.

Because of how numb he was – both physically and almost mentally – Yu almost didn’t react to the lightning moving straight to the region of his manhood. In a stupor, he pulled down his underwear despite his better judgment. I… I have to see… even… even if it hurts… he thought.

His crotch had already reduced in size by quite a lot (it went unnoticed thanks to everything else that was going on), and was in fact still doing so even as he was looking. Yu couldn’t muster the effort to try and bring it back, leaving him to helplessly watch as the last remnant of his current gender withdrew into his body with little more than an anticlimactic slush and fizzle. It was a rather disappointing end, as much as Yu didn’t want to admit it.

Quickly taking its place was a fresh clit, seamlessly opening up right after the recession of Yu’s manhood and formally declaring to the world that the Wild Card was officially a girl. He—no, she just stared dazedly at the sight, with nothing but the sound of her breathing ringing through her ears. “I’m… I’m actually a girl…” she stated, her brain struggling to register the scene before her.

“Ooh… Your womanhood came out gorgeous, Yu-senpai~!” Shadow Rise praised, her voice essentially just adding insult-to-injury when it came to Yu’s condition. “Doesn’t it feel great to be a fresh flower, budding into the world?”

“…wh-why?” Yu finally asked.

“What was that, senpai?”

“Why would you… try to turn me into you!?” Her voice was rising now, righteous fury finally managing to reenter it. “T-This isn’t right; I—I never asked for this!” She got up from her place on the floor, causing her extremely loose underwear to drop to the floor. Though her face flushed in embarrassment (and still a bit of arousal), she continued to level a glare at the false idol.

Said idol seemed to take her increasingly-alike counterpart’s demands in stride. “You can say that all you want – I know what you really desire deep inside,” she claimed. As an example, she cupped her breasts. “You want to experience having these girlies with you, don’t you? And don’t forget this…“ She directed a finger to the area between her legs. “…and this~!” She then proceeded to turn around and shake her butt at the camera, making Yu’s blush deepen further.

“N-No!” she denied, instinctively crossing her arms over her chest despite the fact that she didn’t have anything to cover yet. “T-That’s not true! You’re—You’re j-just trying to trick me out!”

(Oh great, this isn’t even over and I’m already acting like a girl! she thought.)

“Is that right?” Shadow Rise asked amusedly, flipping back around. “You’ll change your tune when you get them for yourselfffff~.”

Yu blinked for a moment before her brain fully comprehended the implications behind that statement. Fearfully, she stated “No, d-don’t—!”, but it was sadly too late. The Shadow snapped her fingers, and more bands of electricity circled around Yu’s body – this time, around her chest and her butt.

She recoiled, bending over to try and contain her distress. The stimulation was more than she could bear. “Why… Why does this feel… so good?” she trilled, her voice audibly warbling throughout. Pressure began to build up in her chest, trying its hardest to push something out of it. Before long, two mounds of flesh started growing against her still-crossed arms, which induced a great amount of pleasure, as could be told by her somehow even redder face. “A-And why are my n-nipples so… so sensitive?” she added. “O-Ohhh…”

The electricity around her posterior intensified as well, causing her butt to inflate similarly to the way her breasts were. It swelled quite a bit, feeling like it was pressing against the cool breeze of the room. Their ballooning presence combined with the way her breasts continued to press against her arms were drove her to become more sexually charged, which had the side benefit(?) of exciting her clit as well. “U-U-Uhhhhhh…!” she let out, struggling to keep her cool under her increasing ecstasy.

Finally, the swelling in both areas stopped, leaving Yu with two supple, medium-sized breasts; one petite, cute-looking ass; and the lingering after-effects of her little high. At long last, the transformation had concluded. Yu Narukami’s masculine appearance was no more, replaced utterly by that of superstar idol Rise Kujikawa. And yet, this was not the end of the ‘show’, as Shadow Rise called it.

“Now wasn’t that just wonderful, Yu-senpai?” the false idol felt it keen to ask. “We’re like birds of a feather now!” Indeed, the newly minted girl very much looked like she enjoyed the event at least a little bit. Her eyes were glaring defiantly at the Shadow, but there were plenty of traits to prove her point: the partially wet state of her vagina, the deep crimson plastered all over her face, the way her entire body was shaking from her high, etc.

She continued, “And we’ve only unpacked just half of my gift to you! You may have my face, but there’s one more step to go before you really become me!”

But Yu wasn’t going to be having any of it. “N-No way, Rise!” she growled. “You’ve already committed enough sins by turning me into your twin. I’m not going to let you continue this farce any further!”

Shadow Rise smirked with amusement. “And what makes you think you can do anything as you are right now, senpai? You’re not here with me; you can’t do any of your fancy tricks where you are. And nobody’s going to be able to ‘help’ you right now.”

D-Damn it, she’s right! Yu remembered. No matter how far Shadow Rise’s powers may have penetrated the outside world, it didn’t mean the reverse was true. While Yu could feel her Personas in the back of his head, the real world didn’t allow her the power to summon any of them or their powers – and she certainly didn’t have any indirect methods of targeting Shadows from outside the TV World.

And she also remembered the fact that she had blocked out everyone else – Dojima, Nanako, the rest of the Investigation Team… Yu literally had no one coming to save the day. She was well and truly trapped.

“You should really just stop fighting this, Yu-senpai. This is your brand new true self!” Shadow Rise proclaimed. “Sure, Yu Narukami was a pretty handsome guy – but now you’re someone even better.” She spun around several times, before stopping to point two fingers at the camera. “You’re famous idol Rise Kujikawa now! Well… you might need a different name than just sharing one with me. How about ‘Reiko Kujikawa’? That certainly suits you, I think!”

“No way!” Yu protested immediately. Even if there was no feasible way out of this, she would keep fighting this until the bitter end.

“Aw, come on, why not? Not everyone gets to experience this type of show. You should be thanking me for this opportunity, Reiko-senpai!”

“It’s kind of hard to do that when you’ve literally uprooted the rest of my life with it,” the Wild Card retorted. “I’m not going to give up all of myself for your twisted desires – especially not my own name!”

“That’s such a shame,” Shadow Rise sighed, though to Yu’s ears it seemed inauthentic. “I really did think Reiko really suited you. But I guess the way you are now, you’ll never really accept her as your true self.”

Finally, she’s getting the picture! Yu thought. Maybe, just maybe, there was a chance she could escape the perverse pop star with the rest of herself intact!

Of course, Shadows being Shadows, her hopes were thrown into the trash right after she dared to dream. “But that’s what the second part of my gift is for! You can’t be a successful idol if you’re just going to fight with yourself like this. That’s why I’m going to make you accept yourself, Reiko-senpai… no matter what!”

“Second… part?” Yu repeated with dawning horror. That was right – Shadow Rise had mentioned they had only unpacked half of her ‘gift’ to Yu. The rest had yet to come. “No, no—y-you can’t!” she pleaded.

“Don’t worry, Reiko-senpai! This won’t hurt – well, too much, anyway.” Against Yu’s protests, the false idol once more glowed a dangerous red; and the green glyph that had been below Yu the entire time reactivated with gusto, its scanning functions going over Yu at lightning fast speeds. Except this time, the windows actually served a purpose.

A wave of heat suddenly washed over Yu’s transformed body, so suddenly that she was forced to the ground with little more than a loud, sensual gasp. “W-Wha…!?” she breathed, completely caught off guard by the stunt. “T-This is…!”

The heat wave did more than just knocking Yu down. An erotic sensation began to build up around her most sensitive areas – specifically her bosom and her clit – and she found herself with a desire to ‘relieve herself’, by any means necessary.

Her entire body felt like it was going as hot as her face, but she resisted the temptation. She had to. She couldn’t let Rise’s Shadow win, not now. I… I… She grit her teeth. I won’t succumb to her twisted desires. I can’t! Unfortunately, it was getting harder and harder to think that, as her entire body seemed determined to fight her.

But she couldn’t lose. So long as her mind held true, she could win this twisted game…!

As she struggled, a familiar voice began to whisper in her mind. Come on, senpai, it said. What are you waiting for? Just let yourself go and enjoy the rest of the ride!

Yu’s eyes widened in horror. She… She had to have been hearing things… right?

Surprised, senpai? My Supreme Insight can affect far more than you think!

This couldn’t be happening. Not even the privacy of her own brain was safe now!? No, no, you—you can’t be here! Yu panicked. G-G-Get out of my head!

No can do! Shadow Rise’s voice sounded admonishing, exactly the type of thing Yu didn’t want to hear. How else am I going to get you to accept your true self? You know you want to, Reiko-senpai. What could be so bad about it?

Yu could think of several reasons off the top of her head. She had been a proud male; it was undignified to ‘enjoy herself’ as she was; someone unscrupulous was watching her… She could go on and on, but that didn’t matter right now. In her mind, she just spat J-Just go! T-There’s nothing y-you can do to make me a-accept this!

I beg to differ. I can show you all the pleasures that come with being a girl! Lemme just… turn things up a notch. The feelings rummaging around the Wild Card’s body suddenly intensified to an almost painful extent, her need to do something to reduce it increasingly substantially as well. Though her ability to resist was fading fast, she attempted to hold on to it as long as she could.

“I… I won’t…!” she said, gritting her teeth. “I… I have to… keep… r-resisting…!”

Oh, Reiko-senpai, you’re making it so hard on yourself. Again… what’s wrong with just letting go? You’ll be a lot happier~!

Again… No… freaking… way! Yu reiterated. A-And stop calling me Reiko! My name is Yu!

Suit yourself! Shadow Rise sang, disregarding his reply. This’ll be more fun for me, anyway.

The scan windows went even more haywire, sending an assault of images rushing through Yu’s mind. Memories that weren’t hers – memories that were clearly Rise’s – began to overwrite those of her own, starting with her childhood and slowly working their way up. Much to her building dread, she could feel herself slowly forgetting a myriad of things – names, events, even bits and pieces of herself – and she became scared beyond belief.

“No, no, no…” she whispered, curling up on the floor and clutching her head as tightly as she could. “I… I have to r-remember… I have to k-keep myself together…”

But what does it matter if you change? the false idol’s voice once again chimed in. It’s a new opportunity, senpai. So say it with me: you’re Reiko Kujikawa, twin sister to famous idol Rise Kujikawa! Come on, now!

“I-I won’t!” Yu insisted, even as the name ‘Yu Narukami’ began to feel ever more wrong to use. “I’m, I’m Yu Narukami. I’m a second-year at Yasogami, I’m the leader of the Investigation Team, I’m the son of… of…!”

She stopped, a startling realization hitting her hard.

She didn’t remember who her parents were.

(That is… who her original parents were.)

“Missing something, Reiko-senpai?” Shadow Rise taunted, speaking aloud specifically in order to spite her counterpart (or so Yu thought). “You won’t be needing those memories anytime soon – not when you’ve got a new set ready for you!” Her speech, sounding almost oblivious, both infuriated and terrified Yu.

“Y-You can’t j-just d-d-do that!” Yu stammered, shivering at the revelation. At the very least, she—she had to remember what her old parents were like. Were… Were they distant and always travelling? Were they kind and loving? I, I, I—I don’t know! she realized.

As she laid there, Shadow Rise slowly cranked up both the rate of memory replacement and the intensity of Yu’s sexual needs, and her hands began furiously twitching with the desire to do something, anything. Come on, senpai. Just take the plunge, the false idol cooed. You’ve got nothing to lose.

T-T-That’s w-wrong, and y-you k-know it! Yu mentally clattered. If she lost herself now, she knew she’d never be the same afterward. It’d be game over for the girl once known as ‘Yu Narukami’. Even as she lost more and more of herself to being Rise’s twin (she could distinctly remember always having a love of singing now), she still kept going.

Unconsciously, she felt her hand start trying to go for her progressively wetter clit, and she grabbed it in order to hold it back. (Her first time masturbating was now coming to mind; it had certainly been embarrassing for Rise to discover.) G-Gotta… keep… h-holding it… together… she desperately thought to herself, her yellow eyes glinting all about the room in order to try and distract herself. C-C-Can’t… stop… n-now… or… or I’ll…!

As she continued her increasingly ineffectual efforts to resist (thanks to her cranked up sex values distracting her), she found that even her most recent memories were being affected by Shadow Rise’s power. She… She recalled the first time Nanako referred to her as ‘big sis’; all the girl talk she had with Chie and Yukiko; the weirdness of Yosuke bringing a swimsuit specifically her size to the camping trip… (Oh, and eating Mystery Food X. She couldn’t ever forget that.)

These altered memories… They felt as right as they felt wrong. They were the correct course of events, the ones that did in fact happen in Inaba; that was what her brain was telling her. Yet, Yu—Reiko—(Which name was right? Which name was wrong? She didn’t know anymore)—whoever she was, she knew that deep in her soul they were not the right memories, either. But when she tried to bring up to herself a reason to suspect such a lie/truth, she only ended up drawing several blanks.

N-no, no! T-This isn’t m-me! the girl insisted, a primal fear utterly taking over her mind. She closed her eyes tightly and shook her head in an attempt to remember. I, I have to… I h-have to remember…! My name, w-what's my n-name!?

It was Yu—no, it was Reiko. She was a Narukami—no, that wasn’t right, she was a Kujikawa. She was an ordinary high-school student—but that was silly. I mean, how could she forget being the twin sister to one of Japan's most famous idols?

This conflict of identities was absolutely wreaking havoc on her addled mind, already frayed from the events that had occurred not a few minutes earlier (though the specifics of which she wasn’t able to recall at the moment, for her mind was already that far gone). And what quickly climbed to the top of her priority list was getting rid of the sensation. She needed an out, any sort of out… and she needed to have it now.

I… I need relief, she determined quickly. I need to escape this pain, I need to feel something good; I need to know who I am! Yu, Reiko – s-somebody tell me! P-Please!

And just as she was beginning to despair, a familiar voice began to whisper in her ear. Don't tell me you've forgotten who you are, Reiko~! it chimed in.

That voice… Somehow, despite her current hazy predisposition, she remembered who it belonged to. “R-R-Rise…?” she murmured. “Is… Is that you?” Tentatively, she opened her eyes in instinctive recognition of her… younger twin? Was… Was that right?

And not only that, but there was the name she said. Reiko… Something about it, and the way Rise (she was positive that was the voice’s name) said it… it just resonated with her soul. But there was also the matter of that other name – Yu – to worry about…

Well of course it is, sis! the voice continued, sounding a little disappointed. Don't tell me you've forgotten who I am, too! Am I really that forgettable, now?

“Have… Have I forgotten?” the frightened girl whimpered. After a brief moment of thinking things over, she shook her head. “I… I don’t remember. There's… There's two sets of memories, two different names inside me. Yu Narukami… Reiko Kujikawa… They both feel like me and I-I don't know why. Who—who am I, Rise?”

That's a bit of a dumb question, isn't it? Rise stated. I dunno who this Yu Narukami guy is, but you've always been Reiko Kujikawa. Why would you be anyone different, sis?

Something about Rise's words felt faked, in a way she couldn’t really describe. But the more she thought about it, the more that feeling subsided. She sounded confident when she said she was Reiko, as if it couldn’t possibly be anything else.

And in the end, that was beginning to sound more and more right. She wasn't Yu Narukami, whoever that person was. She didn’t even know where that name even came from. The truth of the matter was…

“That’s right,” Reiko said quietly—for that was her name. She was so quiet, only she could hear. “I'm Reiko. Reiko Kujikawa. Rise Kujikawa's twin sister. That's who I am.”

How could she have forgotten that, even for a moment? It was a good thing that Rise(‘s voice) helped her to get a handle on herself again. It wouldn't do for the leader of the Investigation Team to just fall apart like that. The sound of her sister in her mind (she could tell it was her sister’s voice specifically; it was a twin thing, you see) reaffirmed things splendidly… even if it didn’t make much sense to be hearing her that way. Like, she was never one for hearing imaginary voices like that…

And then she realized something important. “Why… Why am I feeling so… so… so hot?” she asked herself. While this was a feeling she had felt time and time again in the past, it kind of came out of nowhere this time.

Who cares? her sister's voice dismissed (no seriously, where was she coming from?). Just deal with it the old fashioned way! You know what I mean~! she teased.

“Wha—What!?” Reiko exclaimed, her face flushing red with mortification. “I-I can't just do that now!” Especially not with her sister seemingly in the room. And what would her uncle and cousin think about the racket!? She couldn’t explain that!

Oh, don't worry, Reiko, Rise assured her older twin. Just let yourself go, embrace your desires! No one's going to overhear you, and it's your needs. If you really need to do it… then go!

Normally, those words wouldn’t have helped, but upon thinking about it a little more… her sister was right. After all, she was in the privacy of her room (though it did look a little yellow, much to her confusion); no one was watching or listening (it's not like that was actually her sister); and she really, really needed this. She felt like she was going to go insane otherwise.

It may have been a while since she last did so, but she still remembered how to.

Besides, she thought, it really is getting too hot in here. This… This won't take too long.

So it was without hesitation (and a bit of desperate desire) that she took two of her fingers and finally made the plunge right into her ‘delicate little flower’. And boy, was it a delicious treat.

Instantaneously, a wave of euphoria rushed through her entire body, seemingly honing in on every one of her active hormones. Her vaginal fluids – having been built up over the course of… something (who knows what it could’ve been, she thought) – immediately squirted out in response; and since she had been lying down on the floor, it easily got all over her face.

But she didn’t mind – the feeling she was getting was absolutely glorious.       

“Ohhhh… Ohhhh, yessssss~!” she moaned in delight. At last, she was allowed some reprieve from her hormonal craze, which mixed in well with the heat from her extremely sexually-deprived body. She wiggled her fingers around, rapidly increasing her arousal and letting even more of her juices drip onto the floor and herself. Sure, it would be a mess to clean, but in the face of her current pleasure, it didn’t really matter.

While her hand was still stuck in her vagina, Reiko put her other hand to use in squeezing her copious ass. The combination of which gave her even more joy as she continuously groped it over and over and over again. Each solid press against her butt served only to make her face more crimson with total arousal. It’s like eating ice cream on the beach, she mused, feeling her eyes water up from all the pleasure. It’s so delicious.

She then turned over and laid on her stomach. Putting both hands on the floor, she used them to rub herself up and down all over the floor. Her nipples certainly appreciated the actions, for all they were being fondled by the hard floor – they brought her slower, but still engaging waves of provocation. And though her breasts were just medium-sized, they were still as sensitive as could be expected out of them. By this point, she was leaking all over the floor, too, what with the stimulation she was getting creeping into every one of her senses.

A faint blush reached Reiko’s face – nothing, thankfully, like the redness her body had had before – as did a glint in her eyes and a smile that spoke of self-lust. Using her arms, Reiko got off the floor and entered an upright sitting position, with one leg bent on the floor and the other sitting up and touching her breast. In an effort to induce an even greater of euphoria, she arched back and forth against her lifted leg, letting her mouth hang open in total bliss.

“Ahhhhhhh~ This… This is paradise~…” she said, her eyes half-glazed. Giggling, she even wiped some of the cum on her face right onto her hand and allowed herself a little taste of it – and it was just as glorious. Sure, she may not have been in the most dignified of positions… but her mind was currently too far gone (in the other sense this time) to consider anything otherwise.

As a grand finale, she began to hold her breasts with one hand, her palm conveniently placed right over the nipple of one of them. The other hand, meanwhile, was set to target her still-very-much-dripping vagina again. At the same time, she plunged back in and started squeezing her breast, and this time the amount of stimulation she got almost overloaded her entire self.

Waves of pleasure danced up and down her spine, which incited her to move her fingers around both her bosom and her clit. The combination of all these aspects led her to begin climaxing in a big way, her sex factor practically going into overdrive as her senses were sent spiraling. Words could not describe the amount of joy she was currently feeling; only the mass amounts of vaginal fluids and the exceeding loud moan could. “Ahhhhhhhhhhh~!” she let out, succumbing totally to her hormones.

At last, Reiko no longer felt the need to release any more of the pent-up stress within her body, and she collapsed back against her couch in satisfaction. Ha… ha… That was… That was great… Her consciousness began to fade from there, as did her brain’s ability to render real, coherent thoughts.

Oh… I feel like… there’s something important I’m forgetting… she thought for a moment… before just dismissing it.

Mmm… I guess it wasn’t too important after all, if… I’ve… forgotten… it…

(And meanwhile, Shadow Rise, who had watched the whole thing in some sort of twisted delight, simply smiled widely at the sight. “Oh, Reiko…” she said as the broadcast began to flicker out, “I do sure hope you enjoyed my present. You’re gonna put on quite the show, sis… and I can’t wait to see how you perform…”)

June 24, 2011 – Early Morning

Dojima Residence – Reiko’s Room

“Ughhhhhh…” Reiko felt a little tired for some reason, even though she knew that she had gotten a good night’s sleep at least. “Why do I feel both refreshed and exhausted at the same time?” she grumbled, raising an arm to her face and trying to wipe her eyes open.

After waking herself back up, it took Reiko a while to get her mind back into some semblance of coherency. And as she did, a single topic rose back up to the top of her priorities – What the hell happened last night? She hadn’t had a blackout that bad in ages.

She put a hand to her head, mentally reordering the memories that lay shuffled about internally. “Let’s see…” she muttered to herself. “I sat down on my couch, watched the Midnight Channel for my younger sister, talked with Yosuke for a bit—“ (Though admittedly, she couldn’t remember any details of the conversation. Which was strange; her memory was usually pretty fantastic…) “—and then… Uhhhh…”

Reiko abruptly stopped talking, and took a few moments to decipher the situation she was currently in. Slowly, she looked down at herself, and it didn’t take long before she found herself blushing as red as an Agi spell. “O-Ohhhhh… T-That’s right.” Now she remembered what had happened. “I, uhh… masturbated again last night. Hard.” And boy, was her room a little more messy than it normally was to indicate that. “B-Boy,” she giggled nervously, “this is kind of… e-embarrassing.”

Several aspects made that obvious: her school uniform was all over the couch; the floor was stained with some of her fluids; she herself was naked with her hair uncombed… Boy, she was lucky she had the foresight to lock her door before midnight. And that Nanako hadn’t come to check up on the commotion.

She blinked. Wait, Nanako hadn’t heard anything at all? she thought. When Reiko had gotten her head stuck in her TV, her cousin had heard all the weird noises then – so why hadn’t the same thing happened last night?

…you know what, I’ll just thank my lucky stars and stop thinking about it. After all, her cousin’s innocence was intact; it was best that it stayed that way for the foreseeable future.

Suddenly, she shuddered as the cool breeze of the room touched her delicate skin. “Wait, what am I doing!?” she realized. “I need to put my uniform on – it’s a school day!” As fast as she could, she got up and wrenched open her closet. As far as she could tell, her panties from yesterday wasn’t currently in usable condition – as could be told by the liquid still staining it – so she really needed a new one. Oh, and a bra too.

It didn’t take her long to locate a suitable pair of both to use – and ironically, they were the exact same shade of yellow as the one her sister’s Shadow had been wearing. A small sense of gloom briefly surrounded her thoughts as the memory came back up. That’s right… she remembered. Rise’s in the TV World now.

When Rise had announced she was coming to Inaba, Reiko had been delighted. She herself had joined in for a few of Rise’s performances in the past, and she knew how difficult the idol life could get. Though admittedly, she was also terrified Rise would also be a prime victim for the serial killer at large. (And heavens knows how ecstatic Yosuke had been when he had put the pieces together, Reiko recalled. Like, did my last name and appearance slip by him or something?) And though she tried her best to get her sister acquainted with Inaba… it hadn’t been enough.

“But even then… I won’t give up,” she declared to herself, a determined expression on her face. Just because she failed to keep her sister out doesn’t mean she’ll fail to save her. “I’ll rescue her. The Investigation Team will rescue her. And nothing can keep my sister away from me.”

Quickly – and with the ease expected out of her – she latched on her bra and panties; and just as fast, she put on her Yasogami uniform. Fortunately for her, the latter was mostly cleaned, and what stains were there were relatively easy to wipe away. Sure, she was a little out of breath, and sure, her hair was a little unkempt, but at the very least, she looked passable enough to go to school. And besides, a quick visit to the restroom would make her look even better.

…though she did make sure to grab a handkerchief and wipe some of the stains off the floor. Couldn’t let Dojima see that. That’d be really embarrassing.

“Alright,” she said afterward, staring confidently at her television. Her reflection’s resolute smile stared back. “This superstar idol’s sister’s got her work cut out for her. If Rise feels trapped with all her masks – then I’ll be there to remind her there’s more to her than what everyone else sees.” Just like there’s more to me than what everyone else sees, she didn’t say out loud. I’ve got my own masks… but I know who I am deep down. And we’ll let Rise know who she is, too.

“Together, we’ll give her a show worth watching – and that’s a promise!”