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Personas in my Ice Heart

Chapter Text

I wake up abruptly. Gasping, shaking and sweating, I look around and realize I'm on a train. With my right hand, I withdraw my glasses, wiping the sweat from the face with the sleeve of the black jacket. From my bag, I take the bottle of one of my medicines, opening it and put a capsule in my mouth, drinking water soon after. I lean back in my chair, breathing deeply several times, calming myself.

I hear the warning that informs the stations, noting that it’s where I must leave, and I get up from the chair, taking my bag and my suitcase. I pull the hood of my jacket from my head, not caring that some people notice my face with white bandages and some injury marks. I don't care about anything else.

I look around, determined to ask for directions, without too much haste. Behind me, the train departs and soon there is the announcement of another coming. When I least expect it, a loud noise reaches my ears and I cover them in reflex, not understanding what was happening. I am pushed forward with force, amid several shouts, seeing nothing else.

"Hey, are you okay?" I listen, and with difficulty, I open my eyes.

I see everything dark and diverse lights in the form of gradient lines dancing around me. Slowly I try to get up, all aching and I look around, eyes widening to see several people on the ground, injured or even worse. Other people carrying flashlights were beginning to help remove wounded people from there and I look where I am, seeing the suitcase completely destroyed between me and the wall and realize that if it were not for it, I might be dead.

"Are you hurt, boy?" A man in white asks, looking at me.

I get what's left of the suitcase and my bag that's also there, standing up.

"I think I'm okay." I say, despite pain in my right leg and head.

He helps me up the stairs and I find myself in the courtyard of the station, where I see several doctors treating the wounded. I feel my legs fail and I almost fall to the ground.

"Are you okay?" I hear the sound of a pair of men's shoes and look at the approaching person.

I'm surprised to see a handsome man with silver hair and blue eyes, wearing black suit with a white shirt inside.

"How are you feeling?" He asks, frowning at me. "Your face…"

"I already had them." I say, interrupting him.

"May I know your name?" He asks me.

"Yuuri...." I reply, bowing to him, before everything around me darkens.

...

I wake up with the blurred vision, taking a while to adjust my eyes to the darkness, recognizing only the beige and white color of the environment in which I am and listening to a continuous beep, on the other side, making me realize that I am in a hospital. I turn my face, seeing two people talking about me.

"... physical examinations showed recent injuries and the presence of components in his blood. By the name you gave me, I got his medical record and from what I read, he takes pain relievers, antidepressants, and sleeping pills. "

"What do you think of that, Doctor?" I hear the voice of a woman, making me frown.

"Stress, trouble sleeping, panic attacks, nightmares, traumas, Abuse," I listen. "And he's still young ..."

"Doctor?

"He needs help before he thinks of committing suicide." the doctor says, coldly. "And if you are his guardian, try to arrange that."

The noise I make when I move in bed violently catches their attention and I stare at the woman with a frown.

"Kunogi ... how do you feel?" I listen, but I don’t care about the doctor, continuing to stare at the woman.

"My name is Hiroko Katsuki. From today, I will be your guardian for a year, "she says, with tears in her eyes.

I nod, lowering my face and setting in the bed.

"You were at the station when the train derailed and caused the collision with the platform. You were lucky to have minor injuries to your head and leg. "The doctor speaks, and I hear the sound of something being scratched, which makes my eyes widen. The beep sounds begins to play faster, catching their attention.

"He's having a panic attack." I hear, seeing several black spots before I feel my body became rigid and my sight darken again.

Days later, I am discharged from the hospital and, accompanied by Katsuki-san and her family, I finally go to the place where I will live for a year. I stay speechless, responding only by gestures most of the time, setting myself up in a simple room. Deciding to sleep, I take a sleeping pill and fall back on the bed, looking at the ceiling until I feel the eyelids coming down from my eyes

~ x ~

I open my eyes and find myself surrounded by light blue metal bars, like a bird cage, in the middle of an dark blue room. Around my body, several chains surround me, making it impossible for me to move much.

"Welcome to the Velvet Room." a chilling voice says, and a strange, short, bald-headed man appears in front of me outside the cage. "My name is Igor and I'm here to make you a proposal."

I frown, staring at him without moving.

"I see that your mind is more distorted than your predecessors. But it doesn’t really matter. The fact that you are here means you are ready. Yuuri Kunogi,  change people's hearts and discover the truth about yourself. Trace your own destiny. "

New Tarot Arcana Bond: The Fool ~ Rank 01

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I absorb his words without understanding, and I am frightened to see floating next to him a blue book and a black and white mask.

"We'll start with your compendium and your first partner. You will know what to do when the time comes. On your mobile phone, an app will guide you through your destination. As your goals come true, more support will come to you." He says, stopping talking to give a chuckle. "Now our time is running out. Until next time, Choosen one."

I nod, feeling my eyes closing by themselves.

~x~

I open my eyes, tired, slowly acknowledging being in my new room. Recalling my dream with Igor, I grab my phone and see that there is a new app. One black eye on blue background. Great, my two favorite colors.

Today is the day I start studying at my new school, Clockstrings Academy. That already falls into my liking for the black and blue uniform. I decide instead of wearing the whole uniform, wear only black pants, and the white sleeve shirt complimented with the school badge and the number two pendant on the top of a black jacket, and a pair of black sneakers. I finish by putting my blue frame glasses and running my hand over badly cut hair. Picking up the school bag, I put in basic materials and go to the kitchen, feeling hungry. There, I meet the Katsuki couple having coffee.

"Good morning, Yuuri-kun." I hear Toshiya-san say, seeing the table full of food plates. "Breakfast is ready."

They look at me confused and I drag myself toward the empty chair next to Hiroko-san. I sit down, unable to hold back my tears.

"It's okay, Yuuri-kun. We only want your happiness. I’m really sorry my brother and his wife treated you this way." She hugs me, and I feel another pair of arms wrap around me, and I hear Toshiya-san's voice beside me.

"Take the time you need to adapt to us. We only want you to be well. "

I nod, biting my lip. And then I decided to eat.

“Itadakimasu.” I say, making they both smile to me.

~x~

With the bag on my back and checking my bandages, I bid farewell to Hiroko-san and Toshiya-san, leaving the place that will be my home for a year. An inn with artificial thermal springs. I adjust my glasses and walk towards the train station, looking more closely at the quiet neighborhood. Taking out my cellphone, I realize that the app designated by Igor is activated. When I approach a cafeteria called LeBlanc, I hear a voice from my cell phone.

"Cognition Found. Place: Cafe LeBlanc."

I notice that the application icon glows 5 times before returning to normal. Looking back at the coffee, I notice the second-floor window curtain is a bit open, but I decide to keep going to school.

...

From the window, someone discreetly watches the teen approach, check the cell phone, look at it and walk away.

~ x ~

" Cognition Found. Place:  Clockstrings Academy."

When I get to the school, I see an Asian young woman with a lit cigarette in her mouth, all black dress and with short light brown hair. When she notices me, she beckons me to approach.

" Kunogi Yuuri ?" She asks in Japanese, receiving a nod from me as an answer. "My name is Mari Katsuki and I am the teacher responsible for the class you are going to study in."

"Katsuki?" I ask, surprised to hear the same surname as my guardians.

"Hiroko and Toshiya are my parents." She says, and I'm surprised by the coincidence. "Now let's go. My time is short."

" Hai. " I say, accompanying her into the school where she teaches me the important places.

In the classroom she introduces me to the class.

"Guys, this is Yuuri Kunogi. He moved here for personal reasons so he doesn’t know the city and the school very well." She says and I, noting that the class is more interested in gossiping than paying attention, remain silent. "Your seat is one that is empty."

I turn to the table in question and pull the backpack off my shoulder, sitting down and leaning my right arm on it. When I straighten out, I notice that there is a book inside it and I pick it up, surprising myself by reading the title: The Mind and Everything Behind It - by Amaywa Chulanont. I decide to take a quick look at it at lunch and pick up my notebook and pencil from my backpack, jotting down everything that has been explained in class.

...

Going through that book is something interesting. But unfortunately it does not belong to me. At the end of class, I approach Professor Katsuki.

"Teacher, I found this book on my desk. Who does it belong to?" I ask, showing her.

"Oh, it must from Phichit Chulanont." She responds and suddenly I hear from my pocket.

"Cognition found. Name: Phichit Chulanont Place: Cafe Leblanc. Two floors released Beginning navigation. Users: Yuuri Kunogi and Mari Katsuki.

I pick up my cell phone, noticing the blue app glow before my eyes get distorted. Suddenly, me and Professor Katsuki are at the entrance to the cafe. What is going on here?

"What the hell?"

Chapter Text

"What the hell?" Listening the teacher screaming, I turn to her.

"Are you all right, Professor?" I ask, worried.

"I'm fine and you?" She asks, looking around and then looking at me. "What the hell is this?!"

Surprised at her question, I look at myself and realize that I'm not wearing my school uniform. On my right side, the shirt is long-sleeved with blue jewels going from shoulder to chest and a sort of skirt that covers my entire right leg. On the left side, the shirt has no sleeve, leaving the shoulder outside, and wearing a long black mesh glove that covers up the middle of the forearm. On my chest and waist, my clothes acquire even more mesh, where more stones stand out and go around to my back, followed by skin tight trousers and black boots.

"I liked." I said, touching my hair and noticing that it’s sliced to my back, that I don’t have my glasses and no injures on my face.

"Why only you changed clothes ?! It's not fair!" She complains, making me laugh.

"Maybe because you should not be here." He says, noticing that the cafe door opens and the teacher walks inside. "Wait, teacher!"

When I enter, I am surrounded by darkness. I shudder and look around, trying to find Professor Katsuki or some sign of life around in vain. Suddenly, I hear she screaming.

"Teacher!" I scream, and suddenly, my head hurts more and more.

And I notice that as the pain increases, I see strange things in the darkness. Animal-shaped beasts advance to my left and I can finally see the teacher being grabbed by one of them.

"DON’T TOUCH HER!" I scream, and I can see my face wrapped in bluish flames.

"Do you want to save her? Do you want to have power to save her? Why? You had your life, your dream destroyed by someone's selfishness, so you shouldn't care about others. "

"Of course I want to have the power to save her and a lot of other people. Because even though I'm suffering because of that bastard, I believe that people are able to change if someone is with them to help them." I say, gasping at the headache.

"Hm, interesting. " I hear another voice, and frown. " Show me what you're capable of. "

In my face, the strange mask from my dream with Igor emerges and I, instinctively, grab it and pull it hard, screaming in pain as I feel my skin being pulled together. The flame surrounds me and from my body, several black chains arise.

"Very well...I have heeded your resolve. Vow to me, my new master. I am thou, thou art I...Thou who art willing to perform all sacrilegious acts for thine own justice! Call upon my name, and release thy rage! I am the light of hope at the bottom of the Pandora's Box, able to see beyond far beyond normal. "

Me and the voice of my soul have become one and I finally have a name to call.

"Come, Àrsene!"

The bluish flames turn black and I feel my soul rising from my body. I move my right arm and the flames spread around me, attracting the attention of those beings, who soon advance to me. Deviance from the first attack and advance upwards, noticing that a large bat safe and using it to face those beings.

" Eiga !" I scream, flinging black flames toward the being next to the teacher, catching his attention.

I, feeling exhausted, end up being hit by a direct attack.

"Even mentally exhausted, you stand up to face the 'shadows.' 'But it doesn’t stop being just a waste of energy if you don't know how to use a ‘Persona’. properly.” The voice from before appears and suddenly, a black cat appears and shouts "Persona! Come to me, Zorro!"

To my surprise, the cat also invokes a persona and holds a sling, pointing it at the 'shadow' and firing.

"I'm dreaming. I am fucking dreaming." Professor Katsuki says, terrified.

Me and the strange cat end up defeating the shadows and I feel stronger despite the tiredness. Suddenly I notice a door with a large lock.

"It's locked. Probably the second floor has not been released." The cat says.

"No, according to my cell phone, two floors were freed." I tell him, touching the lock. "If only something could open this ..."

"With the necessary tools, yes." Professor Katsuki says, holding me by my arm with shaking hands.

"You know how?" I ask, surprised.

"I can teach you how to make disposable lockpicks and other stuffs, but it will not be for free." She says, smiling broadly.

"What do you want from me?" I answer, surprised to hear that a teacher knows how to create these thing’s

"Just keep your studies up to date." She says, and I smile.

"Deal." And then, I see a letter appear on it, just as it did with Igor.

New Tarot Arcana Bond ~ The Temperance ~ Rank 01

...

"Ending navigation. " I listen and suddenly everything distorts.

Me and the teacher ended coming back to the school, at the same place we where before the navigation started.

"I visit my parents every weekend. We'll talk more later, okay? "She asks, smoking again.

" Hai. " I say, very tired.

~x~

That night, I could hardly sleep properly. I was confused about what happened that afternoon. The only thing I know is that it has to do with that strange big-nosed man named Igor. I take my cell phone and open my browser, typing my Persona name and pressing enter, to search for Àrsene. Right away, I see that he is referring to Àrsene Lupin, the Gentleman Thief created by Maurice LeBlanc.

"Leblanc? Isn’t that the name of that coffee shop?" I ask myself, curious.

I look for more results and I come across ...

"That’s right, Lupin the Third! How could I have forgotten one of my favorite animes?" I ask, slapping my forehead.

Looking for pictures, I find one that catches my attention. A man in a black top, a black cape and hat, holding with both hands a cane with a blue ball at the end. When I open the Piritest page, I see the description ' Toichi as Àrsene Lupin - Saved in the folder Detective Conan / Magic Kaito '.

Returning to the browser, I look for 'Magic Kaito' and see that it is an old Manga, in Hiatus de Gosho Aoyama, and that it has an Anime series of 24 chapters and 12 special and that appears much in another manga by the same author, called Detective Conan. Since I can’t sleep, I decide to watch the anime on my phone. An episode is not going to kill me, right?

~ x ~

10 episodes later, I decide to take pity on my cell phone battery and I switch it off, letting it recharge on the table next to the bed. I get up and go to the bathroom, taking a shower and reflecting on what I've just watched. And one of the things that interested me the most was the calling card that KID uses to publicize its targets.

"Really, it can be useful to me in the future." I mean, determined to let it go, for now.

Wearing dark blue pants, a long-sleeved white and black striped T-shirt and school jacket. I shimmy my sneakers, and get my backpack. I was surprised to find items I had picked up yesterday in the cafe. Opening the front pocket, I get scared when I find lots of money in it, which were not there yesterday morning.

"This can be a problem." I say, looking around the room. "Better to hide it, before it causes more trouble."

~ x ~

Fortunately, I can fulfill my part of the deal with Professor Katsuki today, on a math test. Test that I answered quietly.

...

"Kunogi." Professor Katsuki says, entering the classroom and giving me a folded paper.

"Yes?" I ask, looking from paper to her.

"Here is the list of books and records with the lessons you missed. I took a look at your exam and I liked the result, so this is my gift to you."

"Teacher, is this going to be useful for 'our lesson'?" I ask, pulling out some of the items that are in my backpack. She is surprised and laughs.

"Oh! I was a bit worried about the materials, but apparently, it's going to be alright." She says, with a smile on her face. "Wait for me after school on Saturdays, I'll take all your doubts and help you get your studies up to date."

"Thank you very much." I mean, bowing to her.

...

I notice there is something on the folded paper. When I open it, I see a lockpick and that in addition to the list of books and links typed, she wrote in Japanese: Use this to open the padlock if you want to go back to 'that place'. KM

"Thank you, teacher."

Chapter Text

Before returning to Katsukis home, I pass the commercial district and buy the books indicated by her. I take the train back home, past the cafeteria, which is open and with customers and step into a second-hand store. I see some items that catch my eye, but before I could buy anything for myself, I wonder if there would be any problems with the Katsukis, after all I'm living in favor.

...

" Tadaima! " I say, opening the side door of the house, which leads to the kitchen of the humble restaurant of Hiroko-san and Toshiya-san.

" Okaeri, Yuuri-kun! " Toshiya-san says, cooking. "Can you help us?"

"Of course!" I answer, leaving my backpack, the bags with the books and my jacket in one corner and folding the sleeves of my shirt.

"Can you cook?" Toshiya-san asks, and I shake my head, embarrassed. "Then go help Hiroko serve the customers, then we can discuss the possibility of teaching you how to cook later."

"Really?" I ask, surprised.

"You want to learn?" Toshiya-san asks, and I nod, cheerfully. "Great."

" Arigato Gozaimasu. " I say to him, taking a deep breath not to cry.

I move away from him, going into the hall where I see Hiroko-san having difficulty serving all the customers.

" Hiroko-san! " I call her, approaching her and watching her look at me in surprise. "Toshiya-san asked me to help you."

" Yuuri-kun! " She exclaims, and hugs me. "Oh, my dear, thank you very much. I understand that you must be busy adjusting, but I am glad to see that even then, you are willing to help us."

"Of course." I say, and she walks away from me.

...

And I help, taking the place of Hiroko-san in receiving, serving, thanking and saying goodbye to customers. She teaches me the order of the tables and when the last customer leaves, she puts the closed sign in front. The three of us had dinner together and I decide to take advantage of it to ask them.

"Hiroko-san, Toshiya-san." I start, making them look at me. "Would it be alright if I bought some things to put in my room? Like, a television, a shelf ..."

I interrupt, beginning to regret having said something, when I notice the two people looking at each other with a smile on their face.

"This is your home now, Yuuri-kun. You don’t have to ask permission for anything." Hiroko-san says, surprising me.

"But..."

" Yuuri-kun , you're part of our family now." Toshiya-san speaks, and I swallow hard. "But you're going to need money, aren’t you?"

"I'll get a part-time jobs." I interrupt then. "You already are giving me a ceiling and food. I have no right to ask for more. And let me help you more often, please, I don’t want to be paid or anything."

They look at each other and I get up.

"Thank you so much for the food." I mean, putting the dishes I used in the sink and washing it.

Exhausted, I take my things to the room that will never be mine and I sigh, leaning against the door and sliding to the floor, where I hug my knees, sobbing.

Why aren’t Hiroko-san and Toshiya-san my parents? Surely they would realize that there was something very wrong on that day ..

...

"Cheeky brat! How dare you spot the name of our family?"

* Slap *

"What the hell went through your head to hurt someone like him?”

I'm sorry...

"Shut up, you ungrateful son! After all we've done for you, you did this to us!"

* Slap *

*Punch*

"And now you have a criminal record? A FUCKING CRIMINAL CARD WITH OUR LAST NAME!"

"Are you happy now?"

Stop, Please. Don't hurt me.

"I have a son who is a criminal! Now I'm going to be a gossip for the neighborhood."

"Like Mother like son."

"What? Are you blaming me now?! Who spends most of the time traveling, using work as an excuse?

No. Stop, please. Don't fight ... I can't take it anymore ... I ... I can't breathe ... It hurts! My chest hurts ... Mom ... Dad ... Please believe me ...

* Slap *

"Are you happy now, you bastard? Are you happy destroying our family?"

Dad...

"Get out of this house."

What?

"You don’t belong here anymore. Get out, before I throw you out with nothing else."

"You've been kicked out of your school. We don’t need to care for you anymore."

"Want some money? Sell your skates."

"Do you want a place to stay? Maybe the idiot of my cousin and his fatty wife will help you in Detroit."

"You have three hours."

Why you don't believe me?

...

No. I can't have a panic attack. Not again.

I pick up my cell phone and open the browsing application, sobbing.

"Phichit Chulanont, Cafe LeBlanc." I mean, trying not to stutter.

" Beginning navigation. User: Yuuri Kunogi ." I hear, and I stand.

~ x ~

I appear in front of the cafe, just like the day before. To my surprise, not only am I carrying a black cane, but I am also wearing a black top hat and my clothes have changed, at least from the waist down. Before, it was a short half-skirt, on my right side. Now she's on my back and starting in three parts. Not caring about anything else, I enter the cafe, already advancing up the Shadows.

"Persona!" I scream, invoking Arsene. " Dream Needle!"

From my persona, several needles are thrown, making the Shadow closer to sleep.

" Eiha!" I scream, already defeating him.

Defeating more and more Shadows, I approach the locked door. Suddenly, a different and definitely more powerful Shadow emerges.

" So you have how to get past that door. " I listen, and I feel a weight on my right shoulder. " You're definitely worthy to help me ."

"Oh, you are ..." I begin, but then he goes to the floor.

" My name is Morgana. " He says, already invoking his persona, Zorro. " Dia!"

I see my bruises healed and I summon Arsene, attacking this Shadow, who is definitely very strong.

" I can see that you're not totally focused today. " Morgaine says, when we finally won. " You should leave. "

"No, I'll continue." I say, feeling the lockpick in my hands. "Oh, and my name is Yuuri."

I unlock the padlock and open the door, noticing a huge corridor full of doors and Shadows.

"Stay with me, Morgana, and I will certainly help you." I mean, looking at him.

"Really? You promise?" He asks excitedly.

"I promise." I mean, laughing.

"Deal. " Morgana says, and I see a blue tarot card come up, and the phrases:

New Tarot Arcana Bond : The Magician ~ Rank 01

New Mask Acquired: Zoro.

...

I see my mask being enveloped in red flames, and I notice that she has gained a green outline between her black and white.

" So you're my new owner? Interesting. Very well...I have heeded your resolve. Vow to me. I am thou, thou art I. The wind at the bottom of the Pandora's box, able to heal some of your bruises when sommoned. "

" Wha ... What happened? " Morgana asks, surprised.

"Jump on my shoulder, quick!" I shout, noticing the approach of two Shadows. "Persona!"

To his surprise, it is not Àrsene who emerges, but Zorro.

"Magaru!" I shout , attacking both at the same time.

I detour and defend their attacks and attack again, defeating them. I notice my bruises are healed.

" Eros! Don’t worry about me! I'll use items to heal your bruises and your stamina. " Morgaine says, next to me.

"Okay, but then tell me how I can help you." I say, advancing through the Shadows, defeating them with Zorro and Àrsene.

Defeating Shadows, I pick more items and money, I open treasure chests, I discover two locked with padlock. I keep moving forward, even getting more and more exhausted. I face another upper Shadow, and I hit another door.

" That door is different. " Morgana says, when I finally reach the last door in the hall.

"I agree." I mean, I can feel it too, approaching him.

I open it and face a ladder that goes up. Advancing, I defeat two other Shadows, until I reach another door. I open it and go forward, facing another large room.

" Check that door! Hurry! " Morgana yells and I immediately run to the door pointed out by him, noting that it have a different felling.

We went in and noticed that there was not much in that room. A small bed, a desk with a computer, a bookcase.

" Lucky! A Safe Room! " Morgana says, jumping off my shoulder.

"Safe Room?" I ask, looking at the cat.

"Yes, a room whose cognition of the palace owner is not capable of interfering." Morgana responds, lying on the bed.

"OK." I mean, sitting next to him. "Now, what did you call me?"

" Eros, I find an appropriate name for this form of yours. " He replies, looking at me. " Eros ... If you're really going to help me, you need to know that you need to defeat the owner of the Palace. That's the only way I can get out of here. "

"What I need to do?" I ask, crossing my legs.

" Unlock the third floor, go to the end, to find the last Safe Room, before reaching the fourth floor, where the owner is, defeat him and grab the treasure. " Morgana responds, and I shake my head. " You'll need something to make the owner of the Palace in the real world know who your target is and release the top floor. "

I open a smile, and nod.

"I already have something in mind for this." I say, excited. "But how do I release the third floor?"

"You did not notice the objects in this Safe Room?" Morgana asks.

I look around, and in fact, that environment looks like a bedroom to me. It looks a lot like the room he is now. I put my hand to my mouth, letting a tear trickle down my cheek.

"Home..."

" Cognition found. Desire: Home Third floor Released. "

"Yuuri, you're out of healing items, you're too tired to use magic and you only heal at the end of the fight."

I take a deep breath, and nod.

"Yes, I also think it's better." I tell him, excited. "Tomorrow I'll look for items I can use."

" Great. "

" Ending navigation. "

...

I'm back in the bedroom and lie down in the bed, already falling asleep deeply.

~x~

Luck seems to be by my side. It's weekend and I decide to help again in the Katsukis restaurant, after learning with Professor Katsuki to create Lockpicks. I buy some medicines at the local pharmacy, both for my bruises and for the navigation. It should be like some other night, but to my astonishment, Hiroko-san takes me to a table where a tall, thin woman with brown hair stuck in a bun and makeup on her face is eating.

"Lilia-san, this is Yuuri-kun, of whom I told you before." Hiroko-san says, making me embarrassed. "Can you take a look at his bruises?"

The woman looked me up and down and hold my breath.

"Very well, we'll go soon." She says, and I feel more relieved.

Then I walk with her to her clinic, in silence.

"Who hit you?" She asks, taking me by surprise.

"Someone." I answer, with a smile on my face.

"You're still a minor. Did you complain?" She asks, looking at me.

"I can't."

"Why?"

"Because I'm a criminal." I answer with a shrug.

"You are?" She asks, frowning at me.

"Who knows?"

...

Lilia-san is actually called Lilia Baranoskaya. On the wall of her clinic, I realize several diplomas and certificates. I look around, taking advantage of the fact that she is preparing to meet me, and I feel strangely comfortable in that place.

"Come on." She calls me and I accompany her.

When I tell her I bought random medications, she gave me a hard time.

"You should not go out buying medicines like this, at random, without first visiting a doctor. I sell better medicines, so come to me whenever you need me. You're too thin for my taste, so take these vitamins. Twice a day, before breakfast and dinner." She speaks, handing me a bag with the pills in question, after I pay for it. "Tell Hiroko and Toshiya to feed you well, boy."

"Thank you very much." I say, satisfied.

Suddenly, her cell phone rings and I say goodbye. But before closing the door behind me, I listen.

" ... I don't care! I need funds for my research, you know it! Do not do this, please ... "

I take a deep breath and pull away. It's getting late and I do not want to worry the Katsukis.

~ x ~

Sunday arrives and today, I decide to ask Toshiya-san to teach me how to cook. When I go downstairs, I see him getting ready to make our breakfast.

"Toshiya-san, Ohayou ." I say, getting closer to him. "Can I help make breakfast?"

"Sure, come here." He speaks, opening a drawer and holding me a folded red cloth ... An apron?

"Eh?" I ask, surprised.

"It's yours." He says and I take it, opening it.

"Thank you very much." I say, excited.

I put the apron, with a little difficulty. Soon, Toshiya-san teaches me where are each ingredient and utensils, and starts to prepare rice, miso soup, omelette and fried fish. "You can use the kitchen in the mornings before you go to school. As you are starting now, it's likely that your food will not go out the way I do, which I have years and years of practice. " He says, and I nod. "Now, why don’t you try to prepare your breakfast with what I've taught?"

"Yes, Toshiya-san." I tell him, looking at the table full of ingredients. "I'll work hard here in the restaurant, in exchange for using your ingredients."

"Yuuri-kun, you don’t have to." He says, seriously.

"I need to, Toshiya-san, I need to."

...

As Toshiya-san said, the food I prepared did not taste the same as his, but according to him, I did better than he expected. When Hiroko-san knew that, she screamed with happiness.

The rest of the food I put in a pot and the soup, in a thermos. Back in my room, I open my backpack and put the pills, the Lockpicks, the bottle and the pot inside. I take my phone and activate the navigation application.

"Phichit Chulanont. CafeLeblanc. Home."

"Three floors opened, starting navigation."

~ x ~

Morgana and I advanced through the Shadows, defeating them easily. With the Lockpicks, I open the treasures and access locked doors. I get even more stronger with Morgana's support.

And then I finally reach a bright door.

" Good work, Eros. Behind this room is the palace treasure. " Morgana says, satisfied. " To access it, we need permission from the palace owner in the real world. You said you had something in mind. "

"And I have." I say, showing him a medium rectangular blue paper, with the design of my mask, and the name Phichit Chulanont written. "This is a Calling Card, an invitation that famous thieves use to invite themselves when they intend to mug something. Usually they give it to the police or the owner of the place to be stolen."

" What a brilliant idea! " Morgana shouts excitedly. " You just have to deliver now. "

"You can leave it to me."

~x~

It’s dusk and even tired, I take the card and put it inside Phichit’s book, and I leave towards the cafe, which is open. I enter, being greeted by a man with long brown hair trapped in a ponytail and green eyes.

"Welcome to Cafe Leblanc." He says to me, holding out a cup of coffee to a silver-haired man sitting on the counter.

"Good evening." I mean, sitting down at one of the coffee tables and putting the book on top of it. "Coffee with milk, two spoons of sugar and a cheese sandwich with ham, please."

"Immediately." Listen, I get my cell phone and my earphones, already getting ready to watch new episodes of Kaitou Kid.

"Here it is." I listen, seeing the man serve me what I asked for and notice the book on the table.

"Thank you very much." I speak, noticing that the silver-haired man looks at me.

"You ... were not involved in the accident at the train station days ago?" He says, turning around.

I recognize him as the man outside the station that day, and nod.

"Oh, I was worried about you! After I left you at the hospital, I realized I didn’t have any more news, but you seem to me much better."

"Yes I am." I sayn, bowing to him. "Thank you so much for taking me to the hospital and sorry for any inconvenience I may have caused."

"inconvenience?" He asks, surprised.

"Yes, inconvenience." I say, sipping his coffee, enjoying the taste of it.

Suddenly, his cell phone rings, releasing a long sigh.

" Da, da. " He says, getting up. "Celestino, here's the money from my coffee."

"Thank you for your preference!" The man, named Celestino, beckons to the other, who leaves the cafe.

He then looks at me and crosses his arms.

"You're new here, are not you?" He asks, looking coldly at me.

"My name is Yuuri Kunogi. I am living with the Katsukis and transferred to Clockstrings Academy." I said, finishing the sandwich. "I found this book inside my desk and after talking to Professor Katsuki, she told me who the book belongs and where he lives, and I'm just here to give it back, nothing more."

"Leave the book there, I will give it back to him." Celestino says, I smile.

"Thank you very much." I tell him, drinking the rest of the coffee and leaving the money on the table. "It was delicious, I'd like to learn how to make coffee like that in the future."

He raises his eyebrow at me in surprise.

"Thank you for your preference." He says, and I get out of the cafe.

~ x ~

Celestino climbs the stairs to the attic of the cafe and leaves the book on a table.

"Someone from your school came to leave it. A transfer student, who apparently sits at your desk now." Celestino Cialdini says, to the boy who is concentrated in one of the screens of his computer.

Without seeing any reaction, Celestino lets out a long sigh and descends the stairs, leaving him alone. Hours later, the boy gets up and notices the book, getting scared. He opens it and sees the blue card, taking it and turning it.

"Dear Mr. Phichit Chulanont,

You are lost in the dark, not knowing which way to go. You are isolated, blind, and you can not see your hands reaching out to you, ready to help you. Do you want to continue like this? You can. The choice is entirely yours. But if you want to change, so can you. Let me steal from you this pain that haunts you every day.

If you want to change, approach the window.

Phantom Thief Eros. "

...

Phichit looks hesitantly from the letter to the window. He holds his hands to his ears, hearing again the voices that blame him for his mother's death. Voices that disturb him daily.

Phantom Thief Eros ... Can he really help me?

Slowly, Phichit Chulanont approaches the window. There, he notices someone looking at him. Someone who waves to him and walks away, to his surprise.

Chapter Text

I attend classes normally, lacking only Physical Education because of my injuries. I go out of school, seeing that it's raining and I take my umbrella back from the backpack. But before I could open it, I see a female student with oriental features and strange bruises on her face looking from side to side.

"Are you alright?" I ask, scaring her.

"Oh, I ... I am fine." She says, and I notice she shakes.

"Don't you have an umbrella?" I ask, opening mine.

"No, I just forgot." She says, and is surprised when I extend mine to her.

"Take it." I say, watching her shake her head. "It’s okay."

She timidly takes the umbrella from my hand, smiling.

"Thank you very much." She says, taking two steps forward and turning to him. "My name is Chihoko Nakamura."

"Yuuri Kunogi." I say, watching her walk away.

Not knowing that someone was watching us too.

Back to the Katsukis' house, I lock myself in the room and start navigating to the palace.

~ x ~

Finally I was able to access the fourth floor, which according to Morgana, is the owner of the Palace and the Treasury. Treasure this is a strange CD, which makes me frown.

" Who dares invade my treasure room? " I listen, looking around for the owner of the voice. " Oh? "

" Eros, look there! " I listen Morgana’s voice, and then I see a ... giant hamster ?

Jumping to the right, deflecting from his attack.

On my shoulder, Morgana assists me with healing items while I concentrate on attacking him straight.

"Eiga! " I scream, using one of the new abilities of Àrsene, already exchanging for Zorro. " Garula!"

Facing the Hamster Boss (?) is not easy, I soon realize. I feel that if it were not for Morgana, I certainly would not have survived. I need to get even stronger. More and stronger.

And then, after much sweat, I finally defeated him.

" Splendid, Eros. Now, let's get the treasure. " Morgana speaks.

Suddenly, a loud sound of several people screaming echoes around me, scaring me.

" Stop yelling! " I hear, noticing a dark-skinned boy with black hair on his knees on the floor crying. " I already know it's my fault that Mom died! "

"Phichit Chulanont?" I ask, seeing him lift his face and look at me with bright golden eyes.

" Are you ... Phantom Thief Eros? " He asks and I smile.

"I am."

" You said you were going to help me, but how? I don’t want to continue suffering ." He and I take a deep breath, coming up to him and kneeling.

"I can’t help you with the voices, they will certainly disturb you for a while, but I can help you face them if you want." I mean, looking at him firmly. "If you agree to be my friend."

" You want to be my friend? " He asks, surprised.

"I want." I say, reaching out. "Now, do you want to be my friend?"

" I ... I don’t have friends ." He says, crying again.

"And me neither." I say, surprising him him.

" So ... Can I be your friend? " He asks, making me laugh.

"Of course!" I say, and he smiles.

" Great. " He gets up, picks up the Treasury and hands me over. "Give it to my true self, so I can join you ."

"Eh?" I ask, surprised.

" Eros, the Palace is crumbling! " Morgana says and I keep running toward the exit.

" Completely shutting down the navigation for Phichit Chulanont, Cafe Leblanc and Home for user Yuuri Kunogi. Transposing user to the real world together with unknown entity. "

What...?

~x~

I open my eyes and find myself again surrounded by the strange blue cage again. I get up and face my old nose called Igor.

"I see you did very well on your opening day." He says, laughing. "You released 2 more Arcana and got a new persona. Impressive."

I remain silent, looking coldly at him.

"But do not think it's over. We're just at the beginning of your journey." He says, and I frown. "Soon enough, pain and anger will come to you. You already have the place."

Clockstrings Academy.

"Here's a small gift for your efforts."

Arcana Bond Update: The Fool ~ Level 2

"You can now use Àrsene's hability in your world. Use it wisely."

~ x ~

When Phichit Chulanont opens his eyes, he is frightened to see that it is already morning. For the first time since his mother died, he managed to sleep without being haunted by the voices that haunted him. Voices that blamed him for his mother's death.

"Meow." He listens and gets scared, sitting on the bed and seeing a black and white cat sitting on his desk.

"How did you get in here?" He asks, approaching him and seeing a folded paper.

He picks up the paper and notices something inside. A CD. He then goes on to read the content written on the paper, and is surprised.

...

Mr. Phichit Chulanont,

I stole the pain that was in your heart. Nothing makes me happier to know that you will not be haunted by the painful memories of your past. Now, it's time for you, on your own, to change.

I promised someone I would give you a friend. His name is Yuuri Kunogi, and he will visit the cafe tonight. But you have to take the first step if you want to be friends with him.

I also promised to give you this CD. I don't know the content of it and I do not think it's in my interest to know. I believe it is important, but the choice is yours whether you want to see the content, save it or just throw it away.

And with that, my goal to help you ends. Maybe we'll meet soon.

Phantom Thieft Eros.

PS Don't bother with the cat.

...

In fact, when Phichit notices, the cat is no longer in his room.

~ x ~

I buy a new umbrella from a convenience store and go to the train station, going to school. On the way out of the station, I notice there is a girl in Clocktrings uniform waiting for the rain to pass.

"Do you want to split with me?" I ask, putting myself on the right side of her and covering her with the umbrella, which is large enough to cover us.

"Are you sure?" She asks, surprised.

"Better than waiting here." I answer, making her smile.

But before she could respond, we heard a car horn.

"Oh, Kirihara, do you want a ride?" A man I recognize as one of the school teachers asks, looking at us. "Hmm, aren’t you the student transferred?"

"Yes I am." I answer, looking at him first, then at her. "Do you want to go with me, or with him?"

"With you." She replies, and I notice she's pale.

I nod, and I look at the teacher, smiling.

"We don't want to be a bother, Professor. We still have time, so she and I are going to walk." I say, scaring her. "Excuse us."

Using my left hand to make her move, she and I stepped away from the station, going to school. I notice she's tense, looking back all the time. Soon we arrived, and I accompany her to the classroom.

"Thanks." She says, smiling.

"No problem." I say, reaching out for her. "Yuuri Kunogi."

"Yuuko Kirihara." She says, squeezing my hand.

Walking down the corridor, I meet Chihoko Nakamura again.

"Yuuko, Good morning, and Yuuri-kun too." She says, surprising Kirihara.

"Chihoko, do you know him?" She asks, making the other smile.

"He helped me out yesterday by lending me an umbrella." She says, and takes it out of the bag, reaching out to me. "Thank you."

"You can have it, if you want. I've already bought another, so it's no problem." I say, smiling at them both.

"Nakamura." I listen to the previous voice, and turn around, seeing the teacher from before, making a face that I don't like. "Meet me in the PE after school." He says, moving away.

I look at Chihoko and see her pale. She too?

"Do you want me to go with you?" I ask, making her look at me in surprise.

"No, no." She says, shaking her head quickly. "I ... I'll be fine."

"OK." I smile at her.

I noticed Professor Katsuki approaching and I said goodbye to the girls, going to her.

"Professor Katsuki, good morning." I call, getting closer to her.

"Good morning, Kunogi-kun." She says, noticing my face. "Some problem?"

"Who is the teacher of Physical Education?" I ask, raising her eyebrow.

"Professor Leonardo Monteiro, Brazilian, one of the former coaches of the Brazilian Soccer Team who was a five-time world champion." She replies, surprising me.

" Incomplete entry. " I listen to my cell phone, noticing the open navigation application.

"Oh, I forgot the last name in the middle of it, but I'd better leave it for later." She speaks and I nod, hearing the school bells.

~ x ~

"Welcome." I listen to Celestino and smile.

"A latte, with two tablespoons of sugar and two Croissants, please." I mean, sitting on the same table as before.

With my cell phone and headphones, I watch more episodes of Magic Kaitou while I eat and wait for Phichit Chulanont. I wait for two hours, and I sigh. Maybe I should try again later. I get up, going to pay what I had, when I hear a scream coming from above. I notice Celestino freaking out and going toward the stairs, but by the time he sees Phichit go downstairs and look around the cafe, until he looks at me.

"Yuuri Kunogi?" He asks, and I smile.

"Yes?" I ask, and he runs toward me, grabs my arm and pulls me toward the stairs, past a door, which is closed behind me with force.

He gasps and I find myself in an attic. With a bed, a table with computers, a sofa, air conditioning and a huge bookcase.

"Err ... This is very strange." He says and I look at him, laughing.

"Congratulations, you took the first step." I tell him with a smirk, making him widen his eyes.

"You are ..." He begins, but I raise my right forefinger to my lips, asking him to be quiet. "Oh."

We sat in silence, looking at each other.

"You ... Do you really want to be my friend?" He asks, and I smile.

"Of course." I answer, putting his hands in the pockets of his black jacket and walking through the attic. "I don’t have a home either at the moment. I live in the Katsukis, but I'm not from here." I say to him.

"And what now?" He asks me, and I notice the CD next to his laptop.

"Have you seen what's in it?" I ask, lifting it.

"No. I did not have the courage to see." He answers. "But ... Can we, together?"

"Of course."

...

"That's ... That's not what I was told." Phichit says, and I watch the documents on his laptop screen.

"In fact, there's something very wrong about this." I speak, concerned.

"I think I'm going to have to use my hacking skills to dig deeper." He says and I am surprised.

"You're a Hacker? Cool," I say, and frown at a strange app. "Can you open it?"

Phichit opens, and suddenly I hear.

" Connection with Dell i15-5570 i7 notebook successfully established ."

"What was this voice?" He asks, surprised.

"I think now you can help me while I'm like Eros." I comment, also surprised, looking at him. "What do you think? You can help me, and I'll help you investigate your mother?"

"Really?" He asks, and cheers when I nod. "Deal!"

...

New Arcana Bond: The Hermit ~ Level 1

New Mask acquired: Necronomicon

~ x ~

Back home with Phichit's number and email on my phone, I see Morgana being pampered by Hiroko-san. Laughing, I go to my room and sit on the bed, waiting for him.

"So, how did it go?" He asks, climbing into bed too.

"It was interesting." I mean, picking up the cell phone. "He now has a navigation app on his notebook, but is different from mine."

"How different?"

"I'm not sure. I just know that mine has created a connection to his." I speak, breathing deeply.

"That's weird."

"Hey Morgana, can explain to me what happened in the cafeteria?" I ask, and he looks at me.

"That was a different dimension, called Metaverse. It shows the collective psychological state of your society's mind, something like desires. But when these desires become obsessions, individuals detach themselves from society and the metaverse creates an underworld according to the obsessions of that individual, which is what I call the Palace." Morgana speaks, and I cross my legs, bringing the index finger of my right hand to my lips, reflecting.

"So you mean there's a palace for the whole society?" I ask, listening to him laughing.

"You can say yes, I think you'll soon have the chance to see for yourself."

...

Arcana Bond Update: The Magician ~ Level 2

...

Suddenly, my cell phone rings and I see a message from Phichit.

Phichichu

Yuuri, do you have a criminal record?

Immediately, with shaking fingers, I try to call him.

"Yuuri?"

"H-How do you k-know this?" I ask, and noticing Morgana staring at me desperately.

"Clockstrings has a forum where students post all sorts of things. They thing is ugly for the school. Takeshi Nishigori, to the soccer team, revolted against Professor Leonardo Monteiro and, in an act of self-defense, the teacher broke Nishigori's leg. They hear something about Nakamura and Kirihara, according to certain posts, but no one entered details." He speaks, and I become pale. "And in one of those posts, someone has posted pictures of criminal records that are in your name. They range from violent acts, steals, rape and even murder."

"How? How did they find out?" I ask, feeling short of breath.

"Yuuri!" I listen to Morgana, but I just let my cell phone fall on the bed.

I shout something, shivering and crying. I feel dizzy and soon my vision fades.

No no no no no

Please do not...

"Yuuri-kun? Mari wants to talk to you ... Yuuri-kun? Oh my god, Toshiya!"

~ x ~

I miss class the next day, unaware that Chihoko Nakamura jumped off the roof of the school for being a victim of rape, and that I, Nishigori and another boy named Guang-Hong Ji are about to be expelled from Clockstrings by Professor Leonardo Monteiro.

Right now, I am at the Lilia Baranoskaya clinic, which, after examining and talking with me, states that I have an anxiety attack and that I may have panic attacks depending on the situation.

Chapter Text

When I wake up, I find myself in a different environment. I remember being in the room, in the Katsukis. But ... It's not here. Where I am? My head hurts, I feel weak and dizzy. Just like I was after a panic attack. Slowly, details of my memory begin to arrive and I find myself sobbing. Suddenly, I hear someone approaching me.

"Kunogi?" I listen and look around, noticing the presence of Dr. Lilia Baranoskaya.

"Doctor? What happened?" I ask, confused.

I try to get up, but she puts a hand on my shoulder, stopping me.

"Continue lying down." She says, holding me cup of glass with some medicine. "Drink this and rest."

I obey, and soon I feel sleepy.

~ x ~

I open my eyes and take a deep breath, feeling much better. I get up and look around, noting that I'm at Dr. Baranoskaya's clinic, and it's already late. Oh no, I missed class. I see my glasses beside the pillow and put them on. I lean against the wall, lifting my legs and hugging my knees, thinking about what happened.

"I had another panic attack, I was talking to Phichit on the cell phone, Morgana was by my side, Phichit asked if I had a criminal record, I find that several false and true criminal records have been posted on the internet, and the whole school knows to see." I say out loud, frowning and breathing deeply. "Strange, just the principal, and a select number of teachers knew of its existence.

Teachers ... It can't be ...

I remember that Phichit had commented on someone named Nishigori, who had faced the Physical Education teacher and in a self-defense act, the teacher broke his leg. Nishigori was saying something about Nakamura.

What the hell happened at that school?

I take a deep breath and raise my face, facing the doctor. I shriek, watching her frown.

"Tsk. The effect went very fast." She says, writing something on a drawing board.

"Effect?" I ask, embarrassed for yelling.

"The Katsukis brought you here when you had a severe panic attack last night. I medicated you with a prototype I'm creating, but apparently it was not enough." She explains, not bending her face.

"How come it was not enough?" I ask, confused.

"If it got the result I wanted, you wouldn’t have screamed when you saw me." She responds coldly. "If only I had a way to pay for the research ..."

"How much do you need?" I ask, making her look at me.

"One thousand and five hundred dollars, initially." She responds, and I nod.

"OK." I say, taking a deep breath. "How about if I help you with the research money, will you help me by giving medicine for me?"

"You want pills for free? Why?" She asks, and I smile.

"This was my sixth panic attack in two months, I'm worried, after all the amount is too much for such a short time, and when I have anxiety attacks, I do like scratching myself in the arms, biting and cutting myself with sharp objects." I show her my scars.

"Don't your parents ever think of getting you to see a psychologist?" She asks, surprised.

"No," I say, biting my lip. "My anxiety has reached this level because of them."

She is scared and I try to smile a little.

"So, what do you think of my proposal?" I ask, changing the subject.

"How can you get that much money?" She asks, frowning at me.

"I assure you I'm not stealing anything." I say, smiling as I leave 'in the real world' to myself. "But I can not tell you where I'll get it either."

"Bring the money overnight and consider it a deal." She says, and I nod at her.

New Tarot Arcana Bond: The Death ~ Level 1

I realize that I am getting used to these Arcanas that arise every time I deal something with someone. I say goodbye to her, and I get my cell phone, sending a message to Phichit.

...

Me

I'm passing by. I promise to explain the record and what happened yesterday.

PhichitChu

OK.

...

Soon I arrive at LeBlanc, entering it.

"Welcome." I listen to Celestino, who is surprised to see me.

"I came to talk to Phichit." I mean, seeing him nod. "Excuse me."

I climb the stairs and knock on the door, which opens and I see Phichit look at me warily. I let out a long sigh.

"I'm sorry about yesterday. When I heard my criminal record posted on the internet, I panicked." I say, walking into his room. "I've have anxiety. I've had it since I was little and since two months ago, it has grown to the point where an anxiety attack has become a panic attack. When I get to that point, I literally turn off, my brain goes into 'standby', where even if I'm awake, I do not process anything around me "

"Two months ago." Phichit says, and I look at him. "When you assaulted someone."

"The funny thing about this story, Phichit, is that I didn’t assault anyone." I snort, watching his surprise. "The man was drunk and wanted to abuse a girl. I saw it and tried to help the girl. The man stumbled, fell, banging his head on a flower bed and getting injured. Someone must have called the Police, because suddenly I am surrounded and the man pointing to me said that I assaulted him. In court, the girl testified confirming his version and I got a criminal record and a year in observation. "

"Oh my God!" He exclaims, approaching me and hugging me. "Oh my God."

"Yeah." I just say, shedding a tear and hugging him too.

...

I buy some sandwiches and coffee, devouring them. I notice that Celestino looks at me with curiosity and I tilt my head, watching him.

"You said the first time you came here that you would be interested in learning how to make coffee." He says, surprising me. "You can work for me from 6 to 10 p.m and I will teach you coffee and tea."

"Really?" I ask, surprised.

"Yes." He says and I smile.

"My name is Yuuri Kunogi." I mean, paying him. "When can i start?"

"Monday." He responds and I nod.

"Right."

...

I go back to the Katsukis, hugging them and apologizing for yesterday. I explain about my anxiety to them, and about my panic attacks, noticing that Morgana was also listening to me. I also mention that Celestino asked me to work for him, leaving them excited.

Back to the bedroom, I send Phichit a final message about the work, laughing at the lively response he gave me. I fall into bed, tired already taking my body.

~ x ~

When I entered school, I could feel the heavy air caused by the students' looks, murmurs and movements. In the classroom, I meet Yuuko Kirihara.

"Good Morning." I say, watching her look at me in terror before turning to her desk.

Around me, the murmurs increase, only closing when Professor Katsuki enters the room. She looks at me, and bites her lip before she starts school.

"Yuuri Kunogi, Guang-Hong Ji. At lunch, I want to talk to you." She says, and I nod to her, noticing that another boy suddenly moves.

Watching the rest of the classes was complicated, seeing me being watched by the students in the classroom. I begin to breathe deeply, trying not to panic.

...

The lunch bell rings and I see most of the students stand up and approach me.

"Hey, is it true you're a killer?"

"And a rapist?"

"How violent someone like you still walks the streets freely?"

"Kunogi, Ji, come with me now." Professor Katsuki calls and I get up from the chair.

As I pass by the other students, they push me and stretch their legs. I stumble, but I don’t fall because of my dance training. I ignore them and approach the teacher, who was talking to the other student. She takes us to the roof of the school, where she opens a door with a forbidden warning to pass and closes behind us.

"Well, let's get started." She says, breathing deeply and crossing her arms. "Takeshi Nishigori is in the hospital, but he must have already been notified. Guang-Hong and Yuuri, both of you will be expelled from school next Saturday, after Professor Leonardo presents to the principal and the school committee. "

"Why me?" I ask, frowning. "My fake criminal records?"

"You do have ONE criminal record?" The boy with the Chinese name shouts, surprising me.

"Right. Yuuri Katsuki has one criminal record, which leads us to the reason you're here, Guang-Hong Ji." The teacher says, looking at him seriously. "I wanted to understand the reason for your expulsion, but you ended up responding to me now."

"You created the fake ones and posted everything on the internet." I look at him, watching him start shaking. "Can you explain why?

"Professor Leonardo ..." He begins to sob. "He ... He threatened me ... He saw you ... Getting involved with Nakamura and Kirihara ... He didn’t like it..."

Guang-Hong crouches, shaking a lot. He frown at a purple mark on his neck.

"This mark on your neck, It doesn't look like a soccer injury." I say, scaring the teacher and making the kid raise his hands toward the neck instinctively. "Now this sounds like a real case of physical violence."

The teacher looks at me confused, and bites her lip.

"In fact, it's been a long time since I've noticed the students of the football team with some weird injuries."

"Help me ... I can’t take it anymore ..."

" Wakarimashita. " I say, winking at the teacher.

“Guang-Hong Ji, you can go now, "she says, watching the student rise and return through the door.

The teacher locks it and walks away, and I follow her to the railing.

"What happened the day before yesterday?" I watch her take out a packet of cigarettes and pick one up, putting it in her mouth and turning it on.

"Chihoko Nakamura tried to commit suicide by jumping from here." She says, scaring me. "At the hospital, Nishigori said he passed the physical education room and heard shouts. When he opened it, he saw ... her  being raped."

I clench my hands together, getting more and more angry.

"Nishigori said he pushed him to save her, but the teacher punched him and broke his leg, the same leg he had broken before, and claimed he was defending himself." Mari continues, and I take a deep breath. "Nakamura could not stand it and came running here."

I carry my right hand in my cell phone pocket, noticing that I'm shaking.

"Kunogi, how's the LeBlanc thing going?"

I look at her, giving a slight smile.

"Me and Phichit are friends now. He's going to help me using his hacking skills." I answer, to surprise.

"Oh how nice!" She exclaims, getting excited. "So, what now?"

"I intend to visit Nakamura in the hospital after school, at least to find out how she is." I say, worried about her.

"Then, if you go by the mall, go into an alley after a bookstore called Lovecraft." I raise my eyebrow at her, surprised at what I hear. "The name of the store is called ' Antigua ' and there the owner buys and sells items of a peculiar nature, something like plastic revolvers, protective clothing and tools that you will need for my future classes."

I take my cell phone and access the application with the city map, typing the name of the store and marking it.

"Great, I really need to buy and sell some things, mostly a bigger backpack." I comment, putting away the cell phone. "And I do not think it's safe to continue our private lessons at school.

"What do you have in mind? "She asks, looking at him curiously.

Instead of answering, I pick up my cell phone again and call Phichit, putting it on speakerphone.

" What is it, Yuuri? "

"Phichit, I'm here with Professor Katsuki. She knows about me too." I say, listening to an 'Eh!' on the other side of the line. "I need her to give me private lessons, and I don’t think it's safe to do that at school. Could I use your room?"

" It's really ... a good idea. " He says, and I release my breath. " Celestino, my adoptive father, only stays at the cafe until 9:00 pm. If I tell him that Professor Katsuki wants to help me get my studies up to date, he will agree. "

"Professor, can I leave you with the purchase and the installation of the table in the cafe?" I ask, looking at her.

"Of course, you can pay me back later." She opens a smile, which mirrors my face.

"Thank you, Professor. Thank you, Phichit." I mean, laughing when they both say 'it''s nothing' at the same time.

Arcana Bond Update: The Temperance ~ Level 02

~ x ~

Thanks to the map and directions of the teacher, I find this store easily. The owner, a man of short stature and is partially bald, with his remaining gray hair jaw-length and slicked back, attend me. I sell almost all the items I bought from the metaverse and buy a military backpack, a basic plastic pistol, shoes, clothing, helmet and heavy duty gloves and a holster.

"You swear it's to play with your friends, boy?" He asks, looking at me coolly.

"Yes sir." I say. "I moved here and my friends want to teach me how to play paintball, but there is not enough equipment for me."

"You study at Clockstrings, don’t you?" He asks and I nod. "I just hope one of these friends is not that lunatic woman, Mari Katsuki. I'm tired of hearing about the things she's likes to do."

With a frown, I leave the shop and decide to stop by the hospital before returning to the Katsukis.

~x~

"Good evening, I came to visit my friend Chihoko Nakamura. I say to the reception lady, who looks at me with a frown.

"A friend?" She asks and I nod. "Why do I think you're lying, boy?"

"Eh?" I ask, surprised by her reaction.

"She's in a coma because of the fall, do you understand me? Because of people like you, she's between life and death."

Because of you, our family is being gossiped.

"Wait a minute, Lina, you don’t know if it was him."

"It does not matter, he may not be the guilty one, but he did not protect her, it also makes him guilty as well."

Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty…

I feel a strong grip in my head, pulling my hair.  I can’t breathe...

"Shut up!" Someone - me - screams and everything darkens around me.

"Oh no, he's having a panic attack."

"Yuuri-kun? What's going on?"

"Breathe with me, boy." I hear, and I feel my hand touch something soft that moves. "Yeah, let's do it again."

"He’s fine?"

"Yes, he is recovering from a mild panic attack."

"What happened?"

"This kid came by saying that he's friends with the girl who tried to commit suicide. Of course I doubted ..."

"Kunogi is our friend, yes!"

"What ... But ..."

"I think Chihoko and I are his first friends, after all he transferred to our school two weeks ago."

"What's wrong, Kirihara?"

"President Babicheva Yuuri Kunogi came to visit Chihoko."

"He ... He came? Is he all right?"

"Yes, he is recovering from the panic attack."

"Why did he have a panic attack?"

"I believe that some word said by my colleague here served as a trigger for the attack."

"I just said that he was the one to blame for the fact that the patient tried to commit suicide!"

My friend here was raped physically, sexually and psychologically by a teacher at our school, and if it was not for him, I might have suffered the same! "

"Kirihara!"

"That's enough, President Babicheva, I can't take it anymore."

...

I feel my vision returning and I see myself sitting at the ground, surrounded by Kirihara Yuuko, two nurses and another student from our school with short red hair and blue eyes.

"That bastard thinks he's the king of an enchanted castle, but he's just a loser pretending to be a Clockstrings Academy teacher." Yuuko says, and I get up immediately, scaring everyone.

" Cognition Found. Desire: Enchanted Castle King. Location: Clockstrings Academy. " I hear my cell phone say and I take a deep breath.

"I'm sorry to bother you all. I ..." I decide to run out of the hospital, feeling pressured by everyone's looks on me.

"Hey, Yuuri, are you okay?" I hear Yuuko approaching me.

"Kunogi." I hear and lift my face, seeing the redheaded girl. "My name is Mila Babicheva and I am the President of the Student Council."

"Nice to meet you." I tell her, picking up my cell phone. "Sorry about what happened just now."

"Hey Kunogi, can you tell me why you have fake criminal records in your name on the school forum?" President Babicheva asks, looking at me.

"You know Guang-Hong Ji is about to be expulsed, too, right?" I ask and she nods. "Professor Monteiro forced him to create and publish the fake records, along with the real one and so he's being kicked out as well."

Mila Babicheva is frightened by what she listens to and to my surprise she punches the wall.

"Tsk." She says. "If that's the way it is, the director is aware of the things he does and that's why he stopped me from investigating the football team's students who appear mysteriously injured. I just regret that it took a student to commit suicide so that the director finally allowed an investigation over Leonardo Silva Monteiro. "

"Cognition found. Name: Leonardo Silva Monteiro. Place: Clockstrings Academy. Desire:. King of a Enchanted Castle. Beginning Navigation. Users:Yuuri Kunogi, Yuuko Kirihara and Mila Babicheva."

...

"What?" Yuuko asks, confused.

"What's going on here?" President Babicheva asks, also confused.

And I ... Well I just let out a long sigh, because the navigator has just teleported us to the Metarverso. And then, I perceive a strange U.F.O. coloring in the sky, which approaches me.

" You are my new master. With my abilities, I will allow you to communicate with the real world. My name is Necronomicon. .I am thou, thou art I...The forbidden wisdom has been revealed. No mysteries...no illusions shall deceive you any longer. The Pandora's Box mind able to support you in the Metaverse. "

Again my mask engages in red flames, and the U.F.O. is absorbed by it. Suddenly he comes up again, even as I hear a loud scream right in my ear, making me touch my ear and groan in pain.

"Phichit, calm down!" I scream, massaging my ear.

" Yu-Yuuri? " I suddenly listen, surprised.

"Yes, it's me. Are you okay?" I ask, worried.

" Well, I'm fine. Just scared because I heard the same voice on your phone say 'Connection with Metaverse' and my laptop screen turns blue. "He says and I finally understand what's going on.

"I think the application on your laptop lets you communicate with me on the metaverse." I say, and then I look around, seeing Yuuko and President Babicheva looking at me startled. "Oh, no."

" What is it? " Phichit asks and I put my hand on my head.

"Yuuko Kirihara and President Babicheva are also here with me."

" Oh no. " Phichit repeats what I said and again, I end up letting out a long sigh.

"Who are you talking to, Kunogi?" The President asks, looking at me coolly. "Where are we?"

"I promise to explain, but not here." I say lifting the cell phone to end navigation, but I freeze to the sound of a scream.

Suddenly, I see Yuuko being seized by a golden antique armor and another catching President Babicheva by her waist.

"Hey!" I scream, watching my body wrap itself in blue flames and I wear my Phantom Thief clothes.

I could use my personas, but there is a risk that I hit both with the blows. I bite my lip and try to get out of this situation. And then, I hear the sound of sobs coming from Yuuko.

"Kirihara-san?" I ask, surprised when I see her cry louder and louder.

I notice that the soldier lets her go. The soldier who holds the President Babicheva also releases it and I act fast.

"Get behind me, quick!" I scream, and they start to run towards me. "Persona!"

I summon Zorro and use Garula on them, hitting them full with the blow of the wind. Since I'm protecting the two girls, I can’t avoid the attacks so I just need to defend their attacks.

" Yuuri! " I hear Phichit and I get scared. " I see here on my screen the battle and various strange items, among them, remedies, is this normal? "

"See if you can use them." I mean, feeling weak.

Suddenly, I see Necronomicon approaching and a light hits me. Suddenly, I feel healed.

" Oh! " I hear, and again, release a deep sigh.

But I don’t think I should be able to face them yet. They are very strong.

" Phichit, smoke bomb! " I scream and I see Necronomicon dropping them into a bomb that leaves them confused.

I grab Yuuko and President Babicheva, pushing me away from the castle and into the real world.

" Ending navigation. "

Chapter Text

"What happened?" Yuuko asks, and I let go of both.

"It was a dream?" President Babicheva asks, looking at me. "And what clothes were those?"

"Please." I say, holding up both hands. "I promise to tell you everything, but not here. Meet me at LeBlanc Cafe at night, but one thing I'm sure of, I can make Professor Leonardo Monteiro change his heart."

"You can ..." Yuuko begins to say, and then widens his eyes and begins to cry. "Then why did not you do it before he raped Chihoko ?! Why did you wait for her to try to commit suicide to start acting ?!"

I hold her, also crying.

" Gomen. " I say, apologizing to her. "I still could not access that world."

"Does this have to do with the strange voice before?" President Babicheva asks, and I nod.

"I promise to tell you two everything tonight." I say, moving away from Yuuko.

"Can you really change his heart?" She asks and I nod to her.

"Yes, I promise I'll make him regret everything he's done." I say, and I smile. "In return, you could teach me how to cry like at that time. I really thought it was real."

"I'm a model. We have to be good at acting." She says, laughing. " It’s a deal. I'll teach you to act if you keep your promise."

New Tarot Arcana Bond: The Lovers ~ Level 01

New Mask Acquired: Carmen

...

I'm surprised by what I see. Do I have one more persona? This will be very useful to me.

I take leave of them and go back to the Katsukis. On the train, I pick up my cell phone and send a message to the teacher and Phichit.

...

Me (1 Minute ago)

Yuuko Kirihara and Mila Babicheva traveled with me to 'that' world. They gave me the keywords to free the world of Professor Leonardo Monteiro. Later, I'll be in LeBlanc to work, make Lockpicks, and I'd like to ask you to talk to them.

...

I separate the money for the doctor and put it in a white envelope, folding it and putting it in the pocket of my jacket. I spend the rest of the afternoon studying and doing my homework. When I'm done, I open my cell phone and look at the calendar.

"Tomorrow is Sunday. Maybe Hiroko-san or Toshiya-san will know if there's an ice rink around here." I speak to myself, raising my cell phone and opening Google, typing: Yuuri Kunogi - Grand Prix Final 201X - Sochi

But before I research this, I close the app and let out a long sigh, laughing. Of course I will not find anything. After all, the bastard not only stuck a criminal record in my back but also made all my ISU records deleted. I was forced to hand over my prizes to the second placed and completely banned from skating in competitions.

I take my backpack and go to LeBlanc, passing by the clinic to put the envelope in the mailbox. The Professor, Yuuko and Mila arrive and Phichit joins us latter. He and the teacher tell about their experiences, and both are convinced that he can change the teacher. I, Professor and Phichit went upstairs, where the tool table is set up next to the computer desk. In it, I create enough lockpicks and she teaches me to make smoke bombs like the one that Necronomicon knocked down on the Shadows.

Arcana Bond Update: The Temperance ~ Level 03

Meanwhile, Phichit begins to investigate about the teacher in the school forum and passing the information to Mila via email.

~ x ~

" Ohayo, Hiroko-san. Toshiya-san. " I tell them, sitting at the table for breakfast with them.

" Ohayo, Yuuri-kun. " Hiroko-san says, looking at me with concern. "Are you better?"

"Yes I am." Smiling at her, I begin to eat my rice. "I asked Dr. Baranoskaya to help me with remedies for my anxiety, and I'm thinking about going ice-skating again."

"But Yuuri-kun, you ..." She says, surprised and I look at her with a sad smile on my face.

"I just can't compete, Hiroko-san."

"Oh, right." She says, relieved.

"As far as I know, there is an ice rink called Gobei in St. Clement ." Toshiya says and I cheer up.

"Thank you so much, I'll take a look at it after lunch." I mean, finishing eating and picking up the dishes.

I spend the morning studying more, after all, I do not want to disappoint Professor Katsuki. Also, I look forward to in the afternoon. After all for the first time after all the confusion, I will be setting foot in an ice rink.

~ x ~

I start with exercises to stretch my muscles. On the ice, I turn around, getting used to it again with the coldness of the wind that reaches me more and more as I increase the speed. Oh! This feeling of freedom...

I jump, perfectly realizing a triple Axel and I raise my hands, vibrating to realize that I still have my abilities.

In the middle of the ice, I get in position and start dancing, imagining Yuuri's Eutherphe. I do all my triples in the program successfully, and touching the ice when I do a Quad Toe-loop. When I finish, I can't stand it and put my hands on my face and I fall to my knees on the ice, crying. After all, it hurts too much to have your dream torn from you, thrown to the ground and trampled underfoot by the whims of an imbecile politician.

~x~

I open my eyes and see myself back in the blue cage. I notice that one of the chains that covered my body breaks and falls to the ground.

"Welcome to the Velvet Room." I hear a feminine, delicate voice.

"Congratulations, prisoner. You have completed the first phase of your rehabilitation." Another voice, identical to the one of the first but more loud, echoes as well.

"Who's there?" I ask, scared.

"We'll be watching you closely, Prisoner." They both say at the same time.

"I don’t understand why the 'Master' wastes time with someone who is defective?"

"Me neither. But unlike him, we librarians can see the hearts of the Wildcards."

"Defective? Wildcard?" I ask, and I get scared when I feel the cage shaking and a crash of something slamming echoes around.

"Shut up, prisoner!" The groaning voice screams.

"At least he's not as annoying as the other prisoner."

Another prisoner?

"Pay attention, prisoner. It's not just you who owns the app for Metaverse."

"And, the other is already aware about Eros, your other identity and will do everything in the future to harm you."

"Stay focused, prisoner." They both say at the same time, and I nod.

"Quick, we need to go."

And I close my eyes, feeling my mind regret back.

~ x ~

"Kunogi." I listen and see President Babicheva at the entrance to the school. "Meet me in the student council room on break."

"OK." I say, surprised.

...

"President?" I ask, entering the room.

"Oh, right." She gets up from her desk and walks over to me, closing and locking the door. "Sit there."

I obey, sitting at the table in the center of the room, and I notice that she sits opposite me, with a serious expression on her face.

"Normally, I wouldn’t believe that there was any possibility of dealing with Professor Monteiro's subject without the principal's intervention. But seeing that bizarre castle is giving me a little hope." She says, looking me in the eye. "Maybe you don't know, but since I took over the presidency, I've received a number of anonymous complaints involving the teacher. I tried to confront the school's principal, but he just ignored me."

"I will do my best to resolve this situation, President. After all, my expulsion is also at stake." I say, crossing my arms. "As soon as classes are over, I intend to start the castle invasion."

"Okay, so I want you to take me back there." She says, scaring me.

"What?" I ask, putting myself on my feet and tapping the table with both hands. "I can’t put you in danger!"

"I'm not weak, Kunogi. I do karate." She says, making me sigh.

"President, I don’t think blows given by 'normal' people are capable of causing damage to those entities." I say, making her look at me with a strange smile on her face.

"Then protect me." She says, and I find myself releasing a long sigh.

Oh, boy ...

~ x ~

"My... It's taken far too long. Forgiving him was never the option... Such is the scream of the other you that dwells within... I am thou, thou art I... We can finally forge a contract... There you go... Nothing can be solved by restraining yourself. Understand? Then I'll gladly lend you my strength. I'm Carmen, the fire of the pandora box that gives you the ability to seduce. and distract your enemies. "

wait, what?

Suddenly the woman in red with a cigar in her mouth, a chain in hand and trampled on a man with a face of heart appears and is absorbed by my mask, which now gains a red outline. At this very moment, I hear Phichit scream.

" Eros, watch out! "

Before being hit full in the head, losing the senses at the very moment that I hear president Babicheva scream.

...

Settling in a cell, probably in the dungeon of the castle.

" Eros, are you okay? " I hear Phichit and I see Necronomicon floating outside the cell.

"Yes, the dizziness is passing." I say, approaching the door and seeing a padlock locking it. "Where is President Babicheva?"

" She was taken to another corner of the castle. " Phichit replies. " Oh, and don’t call me by my name, Eros. Call me Anteros. "

"Anteros?" I ask, laughing as I open the lock with a lockpick and out of the cell, already noticing guards patrolling the corridor.

" Eros younger brother, according to Greek mythology. " Phichit replies, laughing as well. " It suits us, doesn't it? "

"All right, Anteros, I need you to find the president and see if you can use the bombs I created to distract the guards from hurting her." I say, advancing silently.

" I'm on my way. " He says and I see Necronomicon moving away from me. " This is so much fun! "

Leaning against the wall, I advance to the guard.

"Show me your true form!" I exclaim, ripping off his mask and jumping, already invoking ...

"Carmen!" I scream, touching my mask. "Domina!"

When I realize, one of the three shadows is asleep, and I smile. This will be very useful to me.

"Come on, Zorro! Magaru!" Change of persona, which already uses three attacks of wind, that defeat all three.

Advance facing more guards, until finally arriving at a Safe Room. I healed using medicine and eat two sandwiches with juice, feeling even more stronger. I advance until I reach a huge hall with something that catches my attention. A portrait of the teacher using crown and king hood and just that.

"Perverted." I say, studying the place. "Anteros?"

" Yes, Eros? " I hear Phichit, noting that he is somewhat distant.

"I'm in a hall with a ridiculous painting. Where should I go?" I ask, listening him to choke with a laugh.

Aaaah, I know what place you're talking about. " Phichit answers, and I laugh. " Go to the other side, not the stairs. "

"Ok." I tell him, opening the door on the left.

"There you go to the entrance of the castle, Eros." Phichit says, and I return to the hallway, opening the other door and finding a soldier, who doesn’t seem to belong there.

Soon I defeat him and advance through the corridors of the castle, past the kitchen, banquet room and more corridors, until I reach what seems to me to be a tower. I go up the stairs, going to the next floor until I get to the next floor.

I advance through more corridors, until I reach another Safe Room, healing and feeding again. I advance through the chandeliers, and I follow cautiously, defeating more and more Shadows.

And then I come to a rather peculiar place. Rooms with the doors open, where I realize they are libraries. I make my way to a small corridor, seeing a gold treasure chest and listening to strange noises in the next room.

" Eros, are you in the main library ?" I hear Phichit and frown.

"I'm in the golden chest near it." I say, advancing to the other room at the same time as Necronomicon knocks down a smoke bomb.

I realize that something passes quickly by me, at the same time I listen.

"Let me go!"

"President!" I shout, advancing into the living room and watching her being seized by a golden guard. "Hey, big man, why do not you come get me ?!"

He released the president and I see the Shadow, already advancing toward me.

"Arsene!" Scream, after deflecting from his wind bout. "Eiha!"

I see him take the blow, and frown, using my cane to deal with his next attack.

"It's your turn, Carmen!" I summon the persona to use her fire attacks. "Agi!"

I continue beating the shadow, getting support from Necronomicon, which uses remedies to heal me. Until finally I defeat him.

"Are you alright?" I ask, panting.

"Yes and you?" She asks, looking at me with a scowl.

"Let's go to the next Safe Room." I say, taking a deep breath. "Try to stay as close to me as possible, and if I tell you to hide, do it immediately." I say, watching her nod.

I pick up a shiny medal, noting that it may be the key to opening another door. President Babicheva and I moved on, until we reached the next Safe Room. I cured myself with medicines and like another sandwich with tea, extending to her too.

"Thank you."

"Are you alright?" I ask, noting her pale and trembling.

"Just scared, I wasn’t expecting anything like that and it seems I'm messing up rather than helping." She says, and I smile.

"You might even think that, but if you weren’t taken, I would never find out the medal and end up not being able to continue." I tell her, watching her smile.

" Eros , I believe there is not much left. " Phichit says, and I assert.

"Okay, let's move on." I tell then, getting up.

...

After defeating the opponents of the roof, I realize that the tower door is stuck. I realize I can climb the edge and do that.

"Try to follow me." I say to the president, jumping the edges until finally reaching the tower, pleased to see that she can keep my pace.

Arriving on a bridge, I weird the fact of having one of the statues of the Perverted King there. I look around the room, noticing the trap just as the president steps on the bridge, and I, instinctively, grab her by the waist and pull her.

" Whoa! " I hear Phichit, and I let out a long sigh. " Are you two okay? "

"I'm sorry." She says, and I stand, reaching out for her. "And thank you."

"We are well." I tell him, looking back at the statue and activating the lever, it does not work.

"The eyes." I listen to the president by my side.

In fact, unlike before, the eyes of this statue don't shine.

" You have two pairs of eyes that were dropped by enemies in the previous room. " Phichit says and I pick them up, locking them into the statue and activating it, thus stopping the trap and clearing the way.

Finally we arrive at a large door, which is locked. I realize that I can climb the pillar and jump in the window, seeing the Idiot King there, giving orders to the soldiers. But first, I continue down the hall and smile when I find a Safe Room.

" Do you see the door ahead? " Phichit asks. " I believe it goes to the treasure. "

"How do you know that?" I ask, surprised.

" The cat said it. " Phichit replies, scaring me.

"Is Morgana there? Or rather, do you understand it?" I ask.

"Do not ask me how." He replies, and I laugh, advancing with the president into the room, where the same silvery smoke shines.

"That's ..." President Babicheva asks, approaching me.

"The primordial form of treasures." I tell her, walking around. "With Phichit, it was the same."

"And now?" She asks, looking at me.

"Now we go back to the real world, we prepare my Calling Card and send it to him." I answer, lifting my cell phone.

" Ending navigation. "

Chapter Text

Me and the president went on to Leblanc, meeting Yuuko and Professor Katsuki. Celestino welcomes us and I begin to work for him, observing how he prepares the requests and serving the clients while Phichit talks to the girls.

"Hey, Yuuri, what do you think about this?"

As I approach to clear their table, Phichit shows me the design of a Calling Card much better than what I did. "I'm thinking if I post the forum or if we give it to him at school.

"Make both, and print several copies of the front and the back, to be scattered around the school.” I tell" him and then look at the three ladies. “ Professor Katsuki, President, Kirihara, I count on you to spread out in the corridors of the first and third floors. You can do it the way you want. "

"How about you?" Yuuko asks, worried.

"I'll stock up on my medicines and think about strategies." I answer, moving away from them.

...

"Morgana, I'm afraid of failing." I say, sitting on the bed and looking out the window. "I'm afraid to disappoint everyone."

"You're strong, Yuuri, much more than you think." He says, yawning. "I don’t understand very well about your anxiety, but something tells me you can do it. Why don't you start thinking it's going to be alright instead of thinking it's going to fail?"

"It’s going to be??" I ask, looking at him in surprise.

"Yes, it's going to be alright." Morgana lies next to my pillow, falling asleep.

"Maybe ... it's going to be alright." I mean, lying down and falling asleep too.

~ x ~

The fight with Shadow Leonardo Monteiro is intense. The only advantage I had was using Yuuko and the president to distract him.

"Spare me!" Pervert King. he asks, terrified. "Please forgive me!"

"How many times did Chihoko ask you to stop, for you to spare her, and what did you do?" Yuuko asks, with hatred.

"And what about Takeshi Nishigori, the boy you broke the same leg twice?" The president says, also angry.

"And Guang-Hong Ji, you forced to post fake criminal records in my name?" I say, removing the mask and revealing my face to him.

"What do you want? I'll do whatever you ask me to do, but please forgive me!" Pervert King. exclaims and I take a step forward.

"In the assembly that is to take place this Saturday, reveal the whole truth to everyone." I say, looking at him coldly.

"Then go to the police and assume what you did to Chihoko!" Yuuko screams.

"Okay, I'll do it!" The Perverted King says, on his knees.

I pick up the crown, and put it in my pocket.

" Eros, get out of there! The Palace is beginning to crumble! " I hear Phichit. I look at the girls and at the window and take a deep breath.

"Girls, the Palace is crumbling. We can not afford to waste any more time." I tell then, pointing to the window. "We have to jump!"

"Are you serious?" Yuuko asks, but I just pull them to the window, which begins to fall apart.

"Hold me tight and close your eyes." I say, grabbing them and pulling them to the window, without stopping running until we jump ...

" Completely closing the navigation for Leonardo Silva Monteiro, Shujin Academy and King of an Enchanted Castle for users Yuuri Kunogi, Yuuko Kirihara and Mila Babicheva.

~ x ~

I fall back hard, both of them in my arms.

"Yuuri, are you okay?" Yuuko asks, getting up.

I look from her to the president, with a smile on my face.

"Better impossible." I answer and get up, feeling pain. "Ow, that hurts."

Seeing the two laugh, I smile. Now we just have to wait for the result.

~x~

"Thank you for your preference." I say, bowing to the next customer leaving Leblanc.

I begin to collect the dirty dishes, cleaning the tables and carrying the full tray to be washed. With only one table with clients and another at the counter, I decide to wait a little longer to wash all the dishes. Taking a glass of water, I watch clients and wonder about what happened in the teacher's palace library and the message given by those two female voices. Someone else is a prisoner and can navigate the Metaverse. Also, he is aware of my form as Eros.

The door opens and I see the silver-haired man from before entering.

"Welcome." I tell him, putting the glass on the counter to be washed afterwards.

He looks at me in surprise, certainly not expecting to hear my voice.

He blinks twice before walking back and sitting on the counter.

"What do you want to order?" I ask, looking him in the eye.

"A cup of coffee with a chicken and salad sandwich." He asks, holding up his wallet.

I pass the total price to him by writing down the order in a notebook I brought to control the orders I receive. Immediately I warm the coffee that Celestino had prepared before needing to leave and serve the sandwich for him on a plate.

"I would never have imagined Celestino would hire anyone." He says, and I shrug. "You must have insisted a lot."

"In fact, he made the offer." I tell him, seeing his blue eyes widen with surprise. "And I really needed a job."

"Oh? It's always good to have some extra money at the end of the month. I bet your parents are be proud of you." He comments, making me freeze.

"Who knows?" I comment, filling his cup of coffee and serving with the sugar bowl and a spoon. "Anything else?"

I see him frown at me, before putting sugar in the drink. He opens his mouth to say something else, but is interrupted by the customers at the table.

"Yuuri, thank you for the coffee."

"I thank you for your preference." I say, bowing to them.

It does not take long and the other client sitting at the counter also finishes and leaves. I tidy the dishes together and clean the table and the part of the counter used, adding everything in a bowl with water and a little detergent.

"Your name is really Yuuri?" I listen when I check the clock.

"Yes." I just reply, going to the door and turning the sign to signal that the cafeteria is closed.

"I know a Yuri." I hear it coming back behind the counter. "But he has a personality totally opposite to yours."

I shrug, not knowing how to answer something like that.

"Yuuri." He says and I look at him. "Your name is different, Japanese?"

"Yes." I answer again, leaving the broom near the front door.

"Hmm." Victor says, frowning, he is then surprised by something. "Oh."

I watch him tap his forehead, as if he's remembered something.

"I'm Victor. I can not believe I forgot to introduce myself." He says, opening a smile and reaching out for me. "Nice to meet you, Yuuri. "

"Likewise, Victor." I say, greeting him.

He soon leaves and I lock the door of the cafeteria, to concentrate on cleaning. I pick up my cell phone and set to play songs from a local radio station, while I sweep the floor, clean the counter, and wash the dishes.

...

Outside, Victor watches the young man dance while cleaning the place, especially noting the movement of his hips. He swallows, unable to remove his eyes from the Japanese.

"Yuuri ..." he whispers, to no one. "Speaking of the way the name sounds, I wonder how ‘that’ boy is right now. I remember that his last name starts wint ‘K’, but I forgot the rest."

And he walks away from the Leblanc.

~ x ~

With each passing day the deadline approaches the end and my anxiety increases. With Dr. Baranoskaya, I tested a new medicine that she created using the funds I gave her. Unfortunately it did not do much success, as I ended up throwing out everything I ate.

Arcana Bond Update: The Death ~ Level 02

She negotiates new medicines with me, and I buy not only everything available but also we talk about more money for her research. I go to the hospital where Chihoko is in a coma, and I deliver a bouquet of flowers to her mother, wishing she has much strength and faith in her daughter. In the hospital itself, I meet Yuuko.

"So you want to learn how to act?" She asks.

"Yes." I answer. "Acting can help me distract the Shadows."

And also with my skating, if I can return.

"Very well." She says, taking me by the hand. "Before you start the lesson, come to the acting club tomorrow."

"Right." I tell her, smiling.

~ x ~

Visiting the club was a brilliant idea, although it was disguised. Thanks to Yuuko, I became unrecognizable to the others, who did not mind doing their activities in my presence and then agreed to teach me tricks. Yuuko, especially, taught me the famous 'crocodile tears'.

Arcana Bond Update: The Lovers ~ Level 02

~ x ~

Back at the cafe, I watch Phichit sit at the counter and talk to Celestino. It seemed to be some kind of conversation, but suddenly, they both started screaming, scaring me.

"You shouldn’t get into this, Phichit! She's dead, so there's nothing else you can do!"

"But they lied to us, Celestino! Do you really think I should leave it like this?"

"You must not meddle with things you don’t know!"

"What are you afraid of?!"

Good thing the cafe is still closed, after all it would be difficult to explain the situation to customers. The fight ends when Phichit climbs into the bedroom and knocks on the door, causing Celestino to sigh.

"I'm sorry about that, Kunogi." He says, scratching his head. "I did not expect him to be so pushy."

"Hmm." I say, starting to organize the showcase with salads and sandwiches. "I know a little bit about it, from what he told me, and I understand his point of view in wanting to understand the truth, but I also understand yours, that you cares about him, but I think both should talk without forcing their opinions in the other."

"It's easy to say that you understand our circumstances, I can tell you had a great education from your parents, but do not think for a minute that you have any idea how difficult it is to care for a spoiled teenager." Celestino says, and I take a deep breath.

"Unfortunately, Mr. Cialdini, if my education is great, it was not because of my parents. They did not hesitate to physically and mentally abuse me and drive me out of our home without any money. I had to sell precious things to buy clothes, food and my ticket to here because neither did give me any. " Celestino is frightened by what he hears and I can't help myself to stop talking. "So I understand the pain of being left behind by the one you loves the most. I am living with the Katsukis, who are very kind to me, but they aren’t my parents. And it hurts, you know? It hurts not to have anyone to hold you when you have nightmares or who looks after you when you are sick.”

Not only do I realize that I'm crying, but Celestino is beside me, trying to calm me down. I get scared and, apologising, I go to the bathroom when I see that Phichit is also crying. He had listened to me. I reach forward and take his hand, up the stairs to the bedroom and closing the door. He hugs me and we both stay that way until we calm down.

"Wow, I needed this." I let it out, wiping my face with the sleeves of the sweater.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to listen." Phichit says and I look at him with a smile on his face.

"It's okay, you'd find out anyway." I say, smiling at him. "Are you ok?"

"Yes." He just responds.

"Can you tell me what happened between you two?" I ask, seeing him nod.

"Celestino is a friend of my mother's, and they both worked for the government as researchers, including my mother who addicted it to coffee." He laughs, lowering his face. "When she died, I almost went to an orphanage, but Celestino insisted on taking care of me, and I told him that I was investigating my mother's death before we fought."

"I imagine you wanted to go hacking like a blast, didn't you?" I ask, and I see him nod. "That is the problem, Mr. Cialdini worries that you will get hurt, what could happen if you aren’t careful, and I promised I would help you, did not I?"

"But ..." Phichit begins, but I interrupt him by holding onto his shoulders.

"Trust me." I tell him seriously.

"Right." He says, hugging me.

Arcana Bond Update: The Hermit ~ Level 02

~ x ~

And the day has come. The day of the school assembly, where my destiny, along with that of Takeshi Nishigori and Guang-Hong Ji will be decided by Professor Monteiro. He hasn't coming to the school since he had his treasure taken by us. With all the students queued and organized by class, the school principal begins the assembly, but is soon interrupted by the teacher, who invades the stage and takes the his microphone.

"My name is Leonardo Silva Monteiro. I am here to reveal the whole truth to you." He takes a deep breath, and I bite my lip off. ”It's true that I have been physically abusing the members of the football team. It's true that I raped Chihoko Nakamura, even wanting it to be Yuuko Kirihara instead. It is true that I purposely broke Takeshi Nishigori's left leg twice. It is true that I forced Guang-Hong Ji to create and publish fake criminal records in the name of Yuuri Kunogi. And yes, all his criminal records are fake."

This last information shocks me. What did he mean with this?

"What do you mean ..." I begin to ask, but the director begins to scream.

"Don't say anything else, Professor!" He orders. "All of you, go home now!"

The confusion only increases when Leonardo Monteiro falls to his knees and begins to apologize suddenly.

...

"Kunogi?" I listen to the president and look at the frowning brow.

"What happened to him?" I ask, swallowing dry.

"The director took him to the police." She answers, sliding her left hand into her red hair. "What's the problem? I thought you were happy with the result."

"I am. But something about what he said about the criminal records bothers me." I tell her, crossing my arms.

"He said all of his posted criminal records are fake." She comments, apparently not understanding anything.

"Exactly. The point is that my original record was also posted on the forum." I say, watching her eyes widen.

"Are you saying ..." She begins to speak, her hands on her mouth with surprise on her face.

I just nod in my face, biting my lip.

"By the way, I'd like to thank you. I can finally make an end to this dorment head." She says, and I watch her. "Now I can focus on other requests for help that the students have sent me."

"Do you want me to help you? If there should be someone whose name is recognized by my Navigator?" I ask, making her smile.

"Deal!" She exclaims and I am surprised by what I see.

New Arcana Bond Adquired: The Priestess ~ Level 01

New Mask Adquired: Johanna

Another Persona? I wonder, surprised.

Chapter Text

I open my eyes and see myself back in the cage. A new chain that was around me snaps, left now broken by my feet, just like what happened when I finished Phichit's Palace. This time, the old man named Igor is present at his desk.

"Welcome back to my Velvet Room." He says, looking pleased. "Congratulations on completing one more stage of your rehabilitation."

Arcana Bond Update: The Fool ~ Level 03

"Now you can use Third Eye to find hidden items." Igor opens a wide smile, and I swallow hard.

"What do you mean by rehabilitation? I don't remember doing anything to go through this sort of thing." I ask, trying to move, even though I'm still trapped by more chains.

"That, my dear, is for me to know and you to do. Just ... Keep up the good work you're doing." He says, raising his right hand and snapping his fingers.

...

And with that I wake up, noticing that I'm in the Katsukis' room. I reflect on the conversation between the female voices and the last one with Igor, frowning.

"Yuuri-kun, breakfast is ready!" I listen to Hiroko-san and get out of bed.

" Hai , I'm coming!" I mean, going to the wardrobe.

I grab the blue pants, my belt, the black jacket, and a full-sleeve black shirt.

"Tsk. I need to buy new clothes urgently and burn the ridiculous ones I have." I say to no one, leaving the room and going to the bathroom.

I take a shower, using coconut shampoo to wash my hair. I dress myself with my uniform, starting with the black shirt, buttoning it to the height of my chest and I lift my pants, regretting it being too loose to mark my hips and my butt. I tuck in the shirt collar and the sleeves, and I notice a pot of hair gel and face cream on the bathroom sink. When I'm done, I turn my face to study my hard work and with a smile, I nod.

When I leave the bathroom, I realize that there is something wrong with me. So I concentrate, and I end up accidentally using the Third Eye. It means that if Arsene's ability works in the real world, then the other Personas can too. So that all that happened earlier can only be Carmen's fault.

The Katsukis soon notice that I am different, obviously. And part of me is proud of it. With the jacket on the waist and backpack on one shoulder, I'm going to school. On the train, I sit down and cross my legs, studying math with my notebook. Obviously I notice people admire me, and that makes me feel more confident. And the same thing happened in the school. The only bizarre thing even that happened was Guang-Hong Ji looking at me several times during class. And then, I get the following messages from Phichit.

...

PhichiChu

Hey, Yuuri.

The school forum has been totally disabled.

And this morning came another forum, open to the public, claiming to belong to us, Phantom Thieves.

It calls itself Phantom Aficionado Website. I'm laughing so far and I can't stop.

What should we do?

Me

We'll talk later.

I'm in the middle of class.

~ x ~

Professor Katsuki said she was having dinner with her family today. I then ask her to take care of my backpack, since I intend to go shopping. I buy 4 jeans, a new sneaker, shirts, T-shirts, a black leather jacket and a pendant cord I found thanks to the Third Eye. I also buy beauty products, contact lenses and perfume. I also buy training and some peculiar clothes.

I go back to Antiqua, frowning after seeing strange people near the entrance. Selling the trophy that was the Perverted King's treasure, and the store owner hands me the money and a bag.

"Keep this to yourself, kid, and give it back to me later." He says and I obey, placing it inside one of the bags I carry.

When suspicious men enter the store and identify themselves as police officers, I am surprised. I notice that one of them is harsh, abusing his authority over the owner, who takes everything good. I leave the store before they stop and I let out a long sigh.

~ x ~

"Kunogi." Celestino says, approaching me. "I'm sorry for before. Are you okay?"

"I'm in treatment with Dr. Baranoskaya for anxiety, but I have not had much results yet." I say, putting his hand behind his head, embarrassed. "For now, I'm Ok."

"Right. I also wanted to apologize for the way I talked about you." He says, making me smile.

"You didn't know, Mr. Cialdini, so you don't have to apologize." I finish clearing the tables, picking up the used products and putting them in the cupboard under the sink.

"But what you told me opened my eyes, maybe I should really accept that my foster son wants to find out the truth about his mother.  Amaywa would really want that, so he wouldn’t give up on finding the truth. " Celestino looks at the jars with coffee beans on the shelf and smiles.

Oh. Apparently Celestino met Phichit's mother.

"Kunogi." He calls me and I approach him curiously. "You took good care of the store when I had to leave, I'll teach you how to make coffee properly, as I promised you.

"With regard to my payment, could I prepare free coffee in addition to training with your classes?" I ask, timidly.

And to take to the metaverse too, I think.

"Okay, I'll pay you $50 all week, and I'll let you use my coffee beans." I nod, satisfied. "Deal."

The coffee is open to customers and Celestino takes the opportunity to teach me how to make coffee using Blue Mountain grains.

Victor returns, who praises my new appearance. I don’t know why, but it makes me embarrassed. Another client, a gentleman that Celestino calls Nikolai also appears, and I hear him talking to Viktor in a strange language.

~ x ~

"Show me the forum." I mean, putting a glass of coffee and a sandwich to Phichit, which is already on his computer.

"Oooh! Celestino's Cafe!" Phichit says, taking a sip. "Hmm? It's a little ... Different."

"It's because I did it." I mean, embarrassed. "I started learning from him today."

"Oh, cool. You want to use it on the metaverse?" He asks, and I laugh.

"Of course." I answer, looking at his laptop screen.

To my surprise, I see that he was telling the truth. A forum focusing on the Phantom Thieves. For now, only posts about the Shujin academy are present.

"I was just checking it out and I found this here." Phichit clicks on a post and begins to read. "Phantom Thieves, could you help me? There's a guy chasing me every time I get out of school, his name is François Veton, and he's my older sister's ex-boyfriend. I think he wants to use me to get revenge on her, who abandoned him for other man. "

" Cognition Found Name: François Veton."

"But what about the other conditions?" Phichit asks, worried.

"Is easy." I hear Morgana in the bedroom window, licking his paw and rubbing it across his face. "He must not be someone ambitious enough to have a palace of his own, in which case he is only in a specific cognition for society in general. Mementos."

" Cognition found. Location: Mementos. Starting navigation. User: Yuuri Kunogi. "

"Hey, hold on ..." I say, but I'm already being led to the metaverse.

...

“Have you decided to tread the path of strife...? Very well. Let us proceed with our contract at once. I am thou, thou art I… I am the nuclear force of the Pandora's Box, able to provide you with the necessary resources to help you in your life. a means of locomotion whenever necessary. "

And then, a bike surrounded by cyan flames comes up, and in front of it I see the face of a woman. She, like Carmen, Necronomicon and Zorro, is absorbed by my mask, which gains a new outline between the white and black parts.

And then I get scared to realize that I'm in the underground of the Galli-Marié train station, I approach the trail, and I get scared to see Johanna graduate there.

" A motobike? So cool! " I hear Phichit and I laugh. " Morgana says you can use her to get around Mementos. He also said to look for a strange area and that there you would find the Shadow of the guy called Veton. "

"OK." I tell him, riding the bike.

And then, I start to panic, because I never learned to use one in my life. But then, I realize that my body stands on its own and it starts. I realize it's easy, but i'm sure is because Johanna is making it easy for me. I face the Shadows, to further strengthen my Personas. I notice Johanna disappears when I go into combat mode, but reappears when I summon her to use her techniques. And then I notice a strange part of the wall absorbing the rails and the air around me in a red and black swirl.

"I think I found it." I say, already advancing there and through the whirlpool. When I brake the bike and I stop, I see the shape of a man in a white T-shirt and jeans, both dirty with paint.

" I can't take it anymore! " I listen, surprised. " I can't take any more! First, that shitty artist steals my pictures, then that bitch dump me for another man, I can't stand it! "

"That does not give you the right to chase after her little sister!" I scream, drawing his attention.

" Who are you?! Were you sent by that charlatan? Of course it was! I can't do anything about him. Karpisek, you bastard. You took everything important from me! "

" Incomplete entry. " I hear the navigator say, and get surprised

" But I can do something about the bitch! I'll show her how it hurts! "

"I will not allow any of this!" I mean, determined to face him with everything.

And then, it turns into a Shadow, something that does not surprise me anymore.

"Carmen!" I invoke her, feeling the Persona of fire come up behind me. "Agilao!"

Using a simple fire attack with more intensity than normal, I see that it doesn’t cause much damage to him. He hits me with a blow of electricity, hitting me but not giving me much damage too.

"Johanna!" I scream, climbing back on the bike that has just appeared in front of me. "Frei!"

I launch a nuclear attack, which hits him squarely. I continue to attack, alternating between my four active Persons, until I finally defeat him.

" It hurts to be one of his victims. It hurts me to be blinded by rage and I've involved Liza in this story. "

"Try to apologize to her, starting by not stalking her anymore. Give her a bouquet of flowers and an apology card. Try to reorganize your life, you can be better."

" Thank you. " And the figure disappears, leaving behind an art book.

"I wish you good luck." I say, riding on Johanna and heading back to the normal path of Mementos.

" Good work, Eros. " I hear Phichit, and I smile.

"You too, Anteros."

I have just found a way to what seems to me to be a station platform.

" Mona tells you to return, Eros. "

"Mona?" I ask, surprised at what I hear.

" I'm just passing on orders. " He replies, and I laugh.

"Very well." I say, picking up the cell phone.

" Ending navigation for Yuuri Kunogi. "

~x~

PhichiChu

Shadow over there said the name Karpisek, did not it?

Check with the navigator the name Josef Karpisek.

"Josef Karpisek." I talk to my phone, looking at the app icon for Metaverse.

" Cognition Found. Name: Josef Karpisek. First floor released. " The app says, and I go back to the chat with Phichit.

...

Me

Nailed.

What do you know about him?

PhichiChu

A world famous painter known for incorporating different styles of different paintings in his works. One of his most important works is 'Masumi', which 6 years ago was stolen from his former studio and so far no reports have been made of such a painting.

Currently he has a exhibition here in Detroit. What do you think?

Me

I think I want to take a look.

~ x ~

"Well, this remedy is the result of my research, drink it all, boy, and I don’t want to hear complaints about taste and smell." Dr. Baranoskaya says, handing me a glass with an orange liquid inside.

The liquid stinks, and I don’t hesitate to show it in my face. I take a deep breath and drink it all, putting my hand in my mouth when I'm done ... This thing is horrible! Eugh!

And then I start to feel dizzy and I faint on the stretcher.

...

I wake up with my blurry vision lying on the stretcher. I listen to a peculiar music and turn my face, seeing the doctor sitting next to me, typing something on a laptop. I feel very sick.

"Doctor?" I ask, in a weak voice. "I want to vomit."

"Here." She says, lifting a trash can on my face at the very moment that I push everything from my stomach out. "Unfortunately, the experience was a failure, and besides you fainting shortly after taking the medicine, your body couldn’t take it and made it all out.

"And now?" I ask, sitting down with difficulty.

"And now that I need more resources to re-do my research." She says, worried.

"How much?" I ask, putting my glasses on my face.

"2 thousand dollars." She answers and I get up from the stretcher.

"I'll leave it in your mailbox tonight." I say, opening a smile for her.

Arcana Bond Updade: The Death ~ Level 03

"Very well." She says, looking at me coldly. "Thanks to you, I restocked medicines that were missing. Do you want to buy something?"

"Let me see what you have." I say, already renewing my stock of medicines for the metaverse.

~ x ~

At Leblanc coffee, I make coffee, using Celestino's teachings. Phichit comes down from his room and sits down on the counter, and I serve him a cup with a sandwich.

"Oh, you've improved, Yuuri! It's very good!" He exclaims, and I smile.

"Thank you very much." I tell him, checking the time. "We will talk later."

I walk out from behind the counter and approach the door, turning the sign to let the coffee shop open. Celestino arrives after the first customer, listening him approving Yuuri's coffee.

"Let me prove it." He says, putting some of the coffee in the cup, enjoying the aroma and then drinking a little.

His eyes widen in surprise and with a smile on his face, he puts the cup on the table.

"Delicious! Congratulations, Yuuri!" He says, and I smile, too. "Tomorrow I'll teach you how to make latte and cappuccino, okay?"

"Thank you very much, Celestino." I say, bowing to him.

"Ciao Ciao, did you arrange someone to go with you in the exhibition of that artist you like?" Phichit asks at the moment that the door is open.

"Welcome ..." I say, looking at Victor, who ends up smiling at me.

A smile that looks more like a heart. My own heart starts beating hard, which is strange because ‘m not doing any exercise.

"Yuuri!" Phichit says, and I turn my face to him, surprised. "Ciao Ciao said he has an extra ticket for the Karpisek exhibition tomorrow ... Are you okay?" His smile falls apart and he frowns at me.

"What?" I ask, looking at him in surprise.

"Dude, your face is red." He says, and I take a deep breath. "Oh, it's over."

"Don’t scare me like that." I whisper as I approach him, so neither Celestino nor Victor can hear.

"Oh sorry." He says, and I nod.

"Coffee and a chicken croissant, please." Victor asks and I will soon serve. "What's this about exhibition I heard?"

"Ciao Ciao has tickets to the exhibition of that famous artist on Sunday, and apparently he will not be able to go. So, as Yuuri here had already told me that he was interested in seeing the exhibition but didn’t have the money to buy a ticket." Phichit explains, and I look at him in surprise.

In fact, the entrance to the exhibition is expensive for a 'normal' student like me. I look at Celestino and take a deep breath.

"Would it be any problem if I could have one of the tickets?" I ask, looking at him seriously.

"No, I was even thinking about asking if you would be interested. I was going with a girl, but she ended up calling me earlier to cancel." He says, releasing a long sigh and putting his hand in his pocket, taking out his wallet and hers, pulls two tickets. "You can give the other to someone who wants to go with you."

"Thank you very much." I mean, getting the tickets from him.

I look at Victor, who opens his eyes and looks at me in surprise.

"Me? Of course! We meet here at one in the afternoon." He says, putting the money on the table, grabbing one of the tickets in my hand and leaving the cafeteria running.

Surprised and confused, I look at Phichit and Celestino, seeing that they, too, were wide-eyed.

What was that?

"Oh my God!" Phichit exclaims suddenly. "Oh my God, Yuuri! You will go on a date with a hot Russian tomorrow!"

"What?!" I exclaim, surprised.

"So jealous." Celestino comments, making me look at him in horror.

Chapter Text

Sitting on Phichit's bed, I put the ticket in my backpack. Morgana, who was at the window, comes up and jumps on my shoulder, raising her paw down.

"What's in that bag?" He asks and I pull back the bag the man from the equipment store gave me.

"I was asked to keep. I intend to return soon." I tell him, removing the package.

"Open, I want to see what's inside." The cat says, and I lift the package, opening it.

I'm scared to remove a gun, scaring even Phichit.

"It's fake." Morgana says, calming us down.

Phichit and I looked at each other and began to laugh, relieved that Celestino had already gone home.

"It's fake, but it may be real in Metaverse." Morgana says, and I approach her.

"What do you mean?" I ask him, confused.

"Metaverse is a parallel universe, which takes shape in accordance with human metallicity and certain circumstances around it. As you have found it to be a true weapon, other people may also find it to be one and this makes it work as a weapon normal there. " He explains, and I'm surprised by what he says.

Arcana Bond Update: The Magician ~ Level 03

"This is interesting." I comment, watching the gun carefully. "Maybe I should try it first before giving it back."

"Sounds like a good idea." Phichit says, next to me.

~ x ~

I wake up early, looking forward to this afternoon. After all, I'll be going to Karpisek's exhibition with Victor. I walk downstairs, seeing that Toshiya-san is preparing our breakfast. That gives me an idea.

" Ohayo, Toshiya-san. " I say, getting closer to him. "Could you teach me how to prepare a bento?"

"Oh? Are you going out somewhere?" He asks, smiling at me.

"Yes. I won a ticket for the Karpisek exhibition and I'm going with a friend this afternoon." I respond timidly. "I thought it would be cool to eat a healthy home-cooked meal instead of buying there."

"Well, you've been helping us a lot in the restaurant, so it's fair to teach you how to prepare a bento ." He says, and I open a smile, happy with what I hear.

After breakfast, he teaches me how to prepare onigiri, chicken teriyaki and gyoza. He shows me how to cut salmon, vegetables and I prepare tamagoyaki. Under his supervision, I put two in pots that he lent me. I also prepare Miso soup, putting it in a thermos. Better buy for me, not to be dependent on the things of the Katsukis always.

In my old backpack, I keep the bentots, the thermos with the soup, some items if I end up going to the metaverse, the package with the gun and a new envelope with the money for Dr. Baranoskaya. I put the ticket in my wallet, and I'll take a shower and change clothes, abusing the products I bought for myself. Seen a pair of skinny black jeans, a white long-sleeve shirt, a black waistcoat over it, and a pair of black and white sneakers. I finish by styling my hair with gel, putting the chain with a pendant around my neck, contact lenses in my eyes and with perfume on my body. When I'm done, I freeze and let out a long sigh.

"Why am I getting dressed like this? It's not like it's really a date with him." I talk to myself, looking at me in the mirror. "Right?"

~ x ~

In Leblanc, I make coffee to take along too. When Phichit comes down, he whistles.

"Wow, you're really excited to meet Victor, huh?" He comments, making me embarrassed. "Fucking hell, those pants on you are quite capable of mass murder."

"What?!" I exclaim, surprised. "Is it that bad?"

I ask, sliding my hands through the cloth, seeing Phichit's eyes widen to something behind me.

"Well, no, but apparently you just made the first victim." He says and I look back, noticing Victor who looks at me with surprise, open-mouthed, red-faced.

"Victor?" I ask, tilting my face at him.

I start getting worried, realizing that he doesn't move, and I am even more embarrassed by Phichit's words. I notice that he is wearing a suit and tie, which makes me deduce that he must have just gotten off work.

"Yuuri, reset him!" Phichit exclaims, and I look at him with raised eyebrows. "Or rather, kiss him!"

"What?!" I exclaim, horrified to hear a something coming from behind me and I see Victor with his hand on his face. "Are you alright?"

"Yes I am. I'm sorry for ..." He pauses, using his fingers to point between us. "I’m sorry."

"It's all right." I say, putting the bottle with coffee in the backpack too. "I'm ready to go."

"Oh yeah." Victor removes his jacket and loosens the tie from his neck.

"Do you want me to put them in my backpack?" I ask, seeing him raise an eyebrow. "Well, the Katsukis helped me prepare a lunch when they found out I was going to the exhibition, and who I am to dare deny their offer?"

I lie, now realizing that preparing lunch for two guys that are going out together is strange. The Katsukis must have noticed, too, but since they are kind, they didn’t want to comment.

"OK." Victor says, handing me the pieces of clothing.

I fold them and carefully put them in my backpack. I put it on my shoulders, wincing a bit because of the weight, and now, I look to him.

"Let’s go?" I ask, excited.

"Let's go." Victor says, smiling at me.

~ x ~

The exhibition is ... weirdly, in my opinion. I understand a bit about art, thanks to the fact that I was a skater, but nothing to the point of technically understanding what each picture represents. But I can certainly feel what each painting carries. Something that Victor, who now carries my backpack on his shoulder, doesn’t seem to notice.

Pain.

Despair.

Loneliness.

Rage.

Revolt.

Fear.

Perdition.

"These pictures are incredible." Victor comments, marveling at what he sees.

I grab my clothes at heart, fighting not to shed any tears. I take a deep breath, trying not to have a panic attack, and go into shock when I see one of the pictures. A figure with raised hands is dancing in an arena full of people. An ice rink. Rectangular plaques that I recognize to be sponsor makes me realize that the picture represents an official event. A championship. I look back at the figure, unrecognizable to many, but not to me. After all I recognize that black hair and those colors as my clothes from my short program from last year. Agape .

A whistle breaks the line of my thought, and makes me look to the right, where a young man with blond undercut hair and green eyes is approaching.

"Well, well, just like a very beautiful work of art, you should be on display, don't you agree?" He looks at me with a wink.

"What?" I ask, confused.

"Why, Mon Cher, don’t play dumb, I was talking about you." He says, making me frown. "What did you think of my master's paintings?"

"I like this one more than the others. I don't know why." Victor points to the picture in front of me. “I feel like I’ve seen it before, but I don’t know where.

"Agape, huh? You have good taste." The young man says, surprised.

"Of course." Victor says, smiling. "Don't you agree, Yuuri?"

"Yuuri?" The the man asks and I look at him.

"Yes?" I ask, gasping at the sight of him staring at me.

"My name is Christophe Giacometti, and I am one of Josef Karpisek's students, I really would like you to pose for me.” He grabs me on the shoulders, scaring me.

Eh?

"I'm sorry, but ..." I hear Victor, who pulls me and him and hugs me from behind. "Could you remove your hands from my date?"

I blink, confused. Suddenly, I feel my face warming.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeh?!

~x~

So far, I didn't understand what happened. The man, Christophe, apologized and walked away from us, but Victor continues to hug me.

"Hmm, Victor?" I ask, turning my head to look.

Victor looks at me and then I see him widen his eyes and let go, completely embarrassed.

"I'm sorry," he says, taking his right hand to the head.

"It's okay," I reply, and suddenly I notice a little commotion near the entrance to the gallery. "What is going on?"

"Karpisek is being interviewed." I notice that Victor looks at me with a smile on his face. "Let's see?"

"Sure," I say, determined to listen to what the painter has to say.

We both approach, and I begin to worry if Karpisek reveals the two remaining conditions and the browser ends up taking Victor along with me to the metaverse. And then, I listen.

"... The world of art nowadays is like a war. The winner and who present the best work. Often there are cases where masterpieces are targets of third-party envy, just because it is a masterpiece. See my painting 'Masumi', for example. Even incomplete, it had a great beauty that few could decipher. A pity that one of my pupils stole the picture and to this day, I never knew what happened to both of them. "Karpisek says, standing upright and hands behind.

"What about the accusations that people are making on the internet that they bought the 'Masumi' painting from someone close to you? There's some pictures" One of the reporters, who notices that he looks Asian, asks.

"This is absurd! Clearly all these works are false and they are doing it to harm me. I do not know if they bought the painting or not, but don't I support the illegal sale of paintings. "Karpisek replies, looking at the reporter coolly.

"What are your plans for the future?"

"I am preparing a new theme for my next exhibition. Besides, I am happy to announce that my pupil, Christophe Giacometti, will also join me. "Karpisek announces and I frown.

"You are an important man in the world of the arts, but you insist on living in a shack. Why? "One of the reporters asks, and I just listen.

" Incomplete cognition. "

"That shack may be old to your eyes, but to me, it represents a very important value, after all all my important memories were in it. I…"

"Did you hear anything strange?" Victor asks, next to me.

"Not really" I reply, swallowing hard.

"That's weird. I swear I heard a female voice. "Victor comments, and I start to panic.

"Oh, I ... I'm hungry. And it's past lunchtime, "I comment, looking at the time in my cell phone.

"Let's eat then. I know a perfect place nearby. "Victor says, reaching out for me.

I grab his hand, feeling my face warm, and let myself be guided by him to the outside of the gallery. He leads me to an open park, where I see tables and chairs under a large tree.

"People come here to read, play among friends and talk. What do you think? "He asks, and I see him looking at me with a smile on his face.

"It's perfect!" I exclaim, smiling too.

Then he puts the backpack on one of the tables and I open it, removing the thermos with coffee and miso soup, the boxes with the food that I and Toshiya-san prepare and chopsticks and cutlery.

"Wow, everything seems to be delicious!" He exclaims as I show him the food I brought.

"Itadakimasu," I say, joining hands before picking up the first onigiri.

Victor tries to imitate me, making mistakes in pronunciation and making me giggle. He picks up a fork and picks up a roll of tamagoyaki, devouring it entirely.

" Vkusno !" He exclaims, making me laugh louder. "Toshiya really cooks well. I was missing the food of the Katsukis. "

"I'm glad you liked it," I comment, embarrassed by the fact that it was me who prepared the tamagoyaki, not Toshiya-san, but Victor doesn't need to know that.

We ate and talked a little together, where I find out that he is a university student, works in a lawyer office, loves to eat, music and reading and has a poodle called Makkachin.

"She is so cute! I always wanted to have a pet, but my parents never allowed it. It would certainly help me with my anxiety. "I comment when he shows me a photo of Makkachin on his cell phone.

"Anxiety?" Victor asks, surprised.

"Yes," I reply, taking a deep breath. "I have Anxiety Disorder, which often makes me think bad things about myself, often making me think of things that are not always the truth. Want an example? "

Victor nods and I lower my face, holding the cup with the soup.

"Now we're here, but a voice keeps insisting that you're only with me because you feel sorry for me and you don’t believe that a date with someone like me is fun," I say, lifting my face to look at him.

"But I'm having fun with you!" Victor says, touching my hands. "I don't have many friends because I'm focused on my studies and my internship, so I'm loving being here with you now."

"Oh. That’s nice then. "I say, giving a shy smile. "But not only that. On certain occasions, I can have panic attacks. I'm in treatment with Dr. Baranoskaya because of this, but it's something I'm still struggling with all the time. "

"My God, that sounds terrible to me!" He exclaims, surprised.

We finished eating, and I put the utensils back in the backpack. Victor's cell rings and I watch him sigh.

"I'm sorry, Yuuri, but apparently, I'll have to end our date now. My younger brother needs me. "Victor says, and I nod.

"It's okay," I say, pulling his jacket and tie from his pack and handing it over. "Thank you so much for coming with me. It was fun."

"Me too. See you soon! "And he walks away from me, running with his clothes on his arm.

Alone, I decide to go home, but I'm seized by the arm.

"Hey!" I yell, turning and letting go.

"I'm sorry. I saw your partner walking away and I decided to approach you again to insist that you accept my offer. Please, girl! Be my muse and pose for me! I'm sure that with you, my master will be satisfied. "

I look at him in surprise. After all, apparently he thinks I'm a girl. I realize I do not think it's strange, because I'm feeling like a girl. It's probably Carmen's fault. Again.

"Can I have some time to think? I do not think I should decide something like that so quickly. "I reply, and he nods.

"Of course. I understand what you mean. Here is the address of the shack where I live with my master. "He says, holding out a piece of paper with an address.

I pick it up and put it in my pants pocket, biting my bottom lip to show that I'm excited for the address.

"I'm sorry if for some reason I'm making you uncomfortable. It's just that I'm very anxious, because you can help me be worthy of my master. "He says, and I open a smile, tilting my face.

"Don't worry. I understand what it's like to wish to be worthy of someone. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go. "I say, waving at him and pulling away.

"Sure." I watch him look at me in surprise, before looking ahead.

~x~

I lift my cell phone and begin to wonder at the fact that the browser did not transport me. I decide to see where she stands, before returning to Leblanc and erect the paper with the address. With the phone, I open Google Maps and put the address, noting that it is far away and I see how I can get close to the bus.

When I arrive, I am surprised by what I see, because the place looks more like it is about to collapse.

" Cognition found. Location: Shack. Second floor released. Starting navigation for Yuuri Kunogi. "

I'm surprised to be teleported. I find myself facing a dark place and notice that I am wearing my Phantom Thief clothes.

" Eros? " I hear Phichit, and I smile.

"Anteros, what do you see about this place?" I ask, noting that I can’t enter through the entrance to the Palace.

" Dude, what about your date? Don't tell me that the navigator took you and Victor to the metaverse? " I hear, and I sigh.

"No. Victor ended up having family problems, so I was alone when the navigator brought me here, "I say, sighing.

" Oh? Tell me later how it was. As your cupid and future best man, I want to know everything. " I listen and get embarrassed when he talks about marriage. " Well, this place is weird. Hmm ... I see a half-open window on the roof. And you can jump on the pillars. "

"Okay," I say, seeing a truck stopped near the wall. "I'm going in."

I jump on the truck and climb onto the wall. From above, I see security guards walking across the bushes, but where I am at the moment there is no one. Cautiously, I walk down the wall and follow the garden, using my Third Eye to detect hidden items. I climb on the pilasters and follow, until finally reach the roof. I see a rope and use it to go inside.

"So many paintings." I comment, watching the pictures and noticing that there is something strange about them. "Theodore Mansur ... Charlene Evans ... Renée Grant ..."

" Eros, you shouldn't waste too much time. " Phichit warns me and I move to another room.

There I see something that scares me. A large picture, with the portrait of the man I helped in Mementos. François Veton.

" Wait a minute, are they pupils of Karpisek ?" Phichit asks, and I look around.

"Apparently so." I say, hiding on one of the walls and waiting for the Shadow to approach.

I jump on him and grab him, tearing off his mask and getting ready to go into combat mode.

"Carmen!" I summon, as soon as I return to the ground. "Agilao!"

I keep moving forward, defeating more and more shadows and finding a picture with the image of Christophe Giacometti, until arriving in a strange wing, where there is a security room at the beginning, large glasses that protect other pictures and a bright golden vase in the middle . My Third Eye detects an item in it, but the moment I close mine in the vase, I detect a security system in it. I go back to the room, but I realize that it's locked.

"Anteros?" I ask, noticing Necronomicon wandering the room.

" There are buttons that disable some of the security between frames. And I detect a piping system that goes into the room. "He says and I notice that I can cross the other side of the glasses over.

I climb up and crouch down and turn off the first security button. I go back up and cross to the other side, turning off the second button. But unfortunately it does bring forth a Shadow.

"Zorro, Wind Break! " I scream, pulling out Shadow's resistance and deflecting from his blow. "Garula!"

I defeated the Shadows and used my Third Eye, realizing that one of the pictures is crooked. I withdraw it and push the button, disabling the second part of the security system. And then, I see the input from the piping system and use the password I listened to moments ago to disable the to the vase and the broken, and from it I see a great purple jewel coming out and floating next to me.

" Mona tells you to touch the jewel. " I listen to Phichit and I run, touching it.

To my surprise, I enter combat mode.

"A Shadow?" I ask, surprised.

I defeat him and got scared with the money it has.

"Oh my God!" I exclaim, surprised.

" Eros, you have to move on! "

I keep moving forward, defeating more Shadows. I find a Safe Room and continue until I find a strange garden.

" Be careful, there are electric fences ready to activate the security alarm. " I listen and take a deep breath, looking straight ahead at a huge door with a peacock tail. " Mona says you can’t go any further because Karpisek's cognition does not allow you to pass ."

"What now?" I ask, returning to the Safe Room.

" If there was a way to get inside Karpisek's shack, Mona said she could find a way to find and unlock the door. " Phichit says and I smile.

"I think I'll accept the request to pose for Giacometti." I comment, lifting the cell phone to end navigation.

"Wait, what do you mean?" I listen, but I don't say anything more, because I'm leaving the metaverse.

~ x ~

Celestino teaches me how to make latte and cappuccino, and is surprised to see me learning quickly. Immediately I serve, receiving praise from customers.

Teacher Katsuki is also one of those clients. She waits for me and when my shift is over, I go up with her to Phichit's room.

"Yuuri Katsuki, my dear son. What's this story about posing for Giacometti? "He asks and I see the teacher look at me with a raised eyebrow.

"He made me the proposal this morning." I say, shrugging. "Morgana?"

"It's a good idea," he says, sitting on Phichit's bed. "Now, I believe you have a question for me."

"Yes," I reply, frowning. "What's that shadow that came out of the vase?"

"That was a Treasure Shadow . These types of Shadows are rare, harmless, but when defeated, drop lots of money and special items. "Morgana explains, licking herself. "For these types of Shadows to emerge, you need to use an item that attracts you."

"That's why I'm here. I'll teach you how to create a Treasure Map . "

...

Arcana Bond Update: The Magician ~ Level 04

Arcana Bond Update: The Temperance ~ Level 03

Chapter Text

I create new items, and return to the Katsukis. The next day, I prepare food for the metaverse along with Toshiya-san, I eat breakfast and go to school. After class, I go to Leblanc to make coffee and hide Morgana in her backpack.

I go to the cabin, and when I get there I notice one of the reporters yesterday watching the place. He has an Asian look and black hair stuck up. When he notices me, he approaches me.

"Hello." He says, seriously and hands me a business card. "My name is Hisashi Morooka and I am a reporter for the Cardinal of Richelieu. I remember seeing you yesterday at the Karpisek exhibition. "

"Yuuri Kunogi," I say, accepting the card.

"Why are you here, Yuuri?" He asks, but when I respond, the cabin door opens and I see Christophe Giacometti coming out and approaching us.

"Leave us alone, Morooka," he says, touching me on the shoulder. "Come on, Yuuri."

Inside the cabin, I take my backpack off my back and open it, causing Morgana to jump out and hide.

"I'm sorry, Yuuri. That plague insists on saying bad things about my master. He tries to investigate on his own, but I am sure that my master is a humble and innocent man of all who accuse him. "Christophe speaks, his back to me and not noticing what I have done.

He leads me to a room where I see several painted canvases, but clearly incomplete ones. He looks me up and down, eyebrow raised.

"You're a boy," he says, and I laugh.

"Yes," I reply, putting the backpack on the wall near the door. "Any problem?"

"No. You’re even more interesting." He says, picking up a seat and putting it on the floor.

I sit down, facing him. I pose and he starts to paint, clearly focused on the task. Time passes, until Christophe lowers his brush.

"I can't." He says, standing up. "I'm sorry, Yuuri."

I get up too, stretching my muscles.

"No problem." I say, moving closer to him. "Can I use the bathroom?"

"Sure, come with me." He says, and I follow.

Soon I notice Morgaine opening a door just like I saw in the Palace, at the same time as Karpisek enters the shack, then notices us.

"What's going on here?" I ask, going into the open room and being frightened by the sight of several identical paintings.

Behind me, Christophe is scared.

"Those pictures ... Masumi?" He asks, surprised.

"What do you think you're doing? Get out of here right away or I'll call the police! "I listen, but I lift my cell phone in panic. "Get out of my museum!"

"Third cognition found. Desire: Museum. Beginning navigation for Yuuri Kunogi and Christophe Giacometti. "

Before Karpisek could reach us, we are transported to the museum. I look back at the garden, with the door open and at the same time I hear Karpisek's voice.

"More, paint more, my slaves."

"Hahahahaha! It's so easy that it sounds like a joke. Just tell the idiots that the paintings are shit, so they abandon them. Then just get the paintings, brush them here and there, and that's it. Here is a new masterpiece by Karpisek. "

"I'm really looking forward to you, Christophe. If it's up to me, you'll never be famous. But your paintings will give me a lot of money. "

"Masumi is my gold mine, but not for long."

"Shack? I don’t even live in that garbage. I only there to house the idiots who insists on being my slaves. "

"So that's what he really thinks," I say, putting my hands in my pocket.

"Yuuri?" He asks, surprised. "What is this costume?"

"I am Phantom Thief Eros and I am here to help you see the true face of Josef Karpisek." I say, looking at him. "Christophe, I promise you that your master will regret everything he has done to you and his other pupils."

"If you'll let me help, we have a deal."

New Arcana Bond Adquired: The Emperor ~ Level 01

New Mask Adquired: Goemon

...

"Interesting. I like you, boy. Let us now forge a contract...I am thou, thou art I...The world is filled with both beauty and vice...It is time you teach people which is which! I am Goemon. The cold of the pandora box gives you the ability to share the experience you get in battles between your other people. "

~x~

It did not take 15 minutes and I'm already regretting to continue Karpisek Palace with Christophe. The man does not stop giving me perverted sings, even when I am facing Shadows, that I try everything to ignore. But everything has its limit, including my patience.

"Can you, for God's sake, shut up? Nothing you talk about will make me interested in you. "I say, after we've entered a Safe Room. "I don’t know if you realise, but I need to be focused if we want to survive here."

"Oh," Christophe says, looking at me in surprise. "I’m sorry. I was just trying to distract myself, you know? An hour ago I was someone who was trapped by the art, just to see it being displayed in another name, by someone I had tried to respect from an early age. Now I'm someone lost, with nothing to give me a reason to survive. "

"What are you talking about?" I ask, frowning at him. "You don’t have a reason? What about our deal? If it's not enough, then be my friend. "

He looks wide-eyed, and suddenly I see him burst into laughter. I fold my arms, waiting for him to calm down, something that, thank God, does not take long.

"Thank you very much for the offer, but I don’t think your friendship can help me have a roof, food, and my dreams out of nowhere." Christophe replies, and I'm finally seeing what he's really feeling right now.

"We can talk about this later in LeBlanc. But before that, I would like to get to the end of this Palace as soon as possible. "I say, eating an onigiri with soup to recover, serving for him as well.

"Yummy." he says, surprised.

"Thank you." I say, giggling at the look of surprise on his face. "Now, let's go."

This time, no perverted comments, we have made good progress. Christophe, stopping to study the golden statue of his master, noticed a strange code in his foot.

"What do you think?" Christophe asks me, and I smile as I reread the code for the second time.

"It's a new password for the Palace's security system. And I already know what that password is." I say, winking at him and making him laugh.

In fact, after facing a difficult enemy, we find a new security room and, using the new password, I disable everything. But I finally realize, in a large hall with one of the walls full of pictures, that there is nowhere else to go. I let out a long sigh.

"Anteros?" I ask, watching Christophe admire the paintings on the wall.

" I'm sorry, Yuuri. But I can’t find a way out. I found a piping system that you could use up there, but I don’t know how to get there " I listen and I frown, raising my face and noticing the system he had said, but it’s impossible to reach.

"What ... ??!!" I hear and see Christophe take two steps back, looking at the pictures in surprise.

"What’s wrong?" I ask, approaching him quickly.

He looks at me with a smile on his face.

"I think I found a way to go on." he says, approaching to the desert theme painting with his hand outstretched.

I watch him closely, until he notices that his hand crosses the frame. Suddenly, a crazy idea is going on in my head. What if…

"Wait here. And pay attention where I go. "I say, already advancing into the picture.

Do you want to be a painter? Do you really think you can survive with such a pathetic dream?

I get scared and look around for the owner of that voice. I examine the picture until I realize it is directed to the next.

Do you really think that your dream will fill your pocket of money? Pathetic child, it's time to learn a lesson.

I finally begin to understand what is happening. Those voices criticizing a child for her dream. It is quite obvious to me that this child was Karpisek.

Listen well, my students. Nowadays, it doesn’t matter if you have talent. As long as no one comes, pointing to you and saying your name, you suck at life.

Why am I selling forged frames? My dear pupil. The most important thing in this world is money and fame. Without them, you're like a dead man. Useless ... and alone.

I'm pregnant and the child is yours. I demand that you pay me a pension and all the costs I have to pay. What's it? I know you have enough money, selling fake pictures.

Why are you doing this?! Agape is not yours! Give it back! It’s not fair that you are taking advantage of his talent to promote yourself. Don’t tell me ... Other paintings too? Is that why your pupils abandoned you? Do you steal their art and leave them begging in the streets? I'm going to the police ... what do you think you're doing? Why are you holding this? No! Don’t approach me! STOP!! Stop...

25 thousand dollars. That's what I'm offering to be my witness. Tell everyone that boy hit me. He will pay for the humiliation he put me through.

I froze, frowning.

Boy? But what…

After many attempts, I finally get to the edge of the pipe system. I watch and help Christophe, who finally reaches me. I crouch down and continue moving on, stopping when I hear a whistle behind me.

"One more time and I'll kick you in the face," I say, glaring at him.

"Sorry." He says, but I don’t believe it, by the fact that he's smiling.

...

The second floor of Josef's Palace is a labyrinth. I observe several 'Masumi' paintings on the way, but right away I see that at least the former are different from each other.

"One of them isn’t fake." I comment, looking at Christophe.

"Correct." he says, approaching and touching one of the pictures, which to me is the most similar to what I saw in that room.

I’m surprised to see the picture shine and float to one of the portals, where the red glow turns green.

"Can I know who Masumi is?" I ask, looking intently at the painting. "Why is Karpisek so obsessed with this picture?"

"Masumi is the unwanted son of my master and my best friend," Chris responds, looking at me seriously. "I planned to ask him out in an ice skating competition, but I got sick and couldn’t go. That night, I got a picture on my cell phone, which inspired me to paint Agape. He loved the painting, but when Josef decided to add it to his portfolio, they both fought and it was ugly. It was the last time I saw him. "

"I see," I say, biting my lip.

I wonder if I should reveal what I heard in the pictures while I watch him analyze the pictures.

" Better not to risk it. Maybe with the right push, Karpisek reveals after his heart has changed. " Phichit says and I take a deep breath, deciding to accept that.

"Do you know who Agape's skater was?" I ask, as I cross over to a new part with many more pictures than before.

"No. I tried to find out who he was, but he literally disappeared. "He responds, and I smile.

"Yeah. I really did, "I say, passing him and looking at the pictures as well.

"You?" He asks and I, raising my hand, touch one of the pictures.

Such a frame shines and floats, revealing the correct door with a golden glow. We continue to move on, until finally we find the treasure. But I realize he's surrounded by the museum's security system. Right in front of him, Josef's Shadow shouts orders to the security guards. On a balcony at the top, I see a set of windows on the opposite side of the room as the security rooms. We return to the ground floor, and we pass to the opposite side, finding not only the room in question, but a window that overlooks the treasury.

" Eros, approach one of the computers and type On My Love: Eros. " I hear Phichit and frown.

"What?" I ask, approaching the only computer in here that is connected.

" Trust me. It is already too embarrassing to have to say out loud. Mona is dying to laugh here beside me. "I listen, and I laugh, typing on the computer.

On My Love: Eros.

Loading data ...

Installing Eros System Manipulation Virus ...

"A virus?" Christophe asks, at my side. "Great."

"I agree." I say, keeping an eye on the screen. "Anteros?"

" I created this virus using my browser code and I'm using Necronomicon to transfer the data from here to the computer in front of you. " He says, surprising me. " As you got the passwords yourself earlier, I did not see the need to say anything. But now the situation is different. My virus, as the name itself is saying, allows me to manipulate the system using Necronomicon. With that, I can turn off the lights, manipulate the crane down to the treasure, and other little things. "

"This ... It's amazing!" I exclaim, surprised.

Eros System Manipulation Virus is now installed. Want to execute now? (Y / N)

Y

Eros System Manipulation Virus is now running.

Arcana Bond Update: The Hermit ~ Level 03

" Okay, I'm in. " I listen and smile.

"My partner Anteros is accessing the Palace system. He'll help me get the treasure after I send the Calling Card to Karpisek. "

"Calling Card?" Christophe asks, quite curious.

"Did you see the silver mist behind Joseph? That is the primordial form of his treasure. With a Calling Card, we'll challenge you, so that the treasure takes its true shape. "I explain, leaving the security room. "Now that the path to the treasury is open, we can go back to the real world.

"How?" He asks, joining me in the Safe Room.

I close the door and pull my cell phone open.

"Ending navigation."

~ x ~

In LeBlanc, Yuuko tells Yuuri that Takeshi Nishigori was discharged from the hospital while Chihoko was still in a coma. Looking at her, I take a deep breath and decide to ask something that has been bothering me since I got Carmen. I decide to speak with her in Japanese, so I can guarantee the privacy of the conversation.

"Kirihara-san." I say, making her look at me in surprise. "Can I ask you something? It's very important."

"Of course," she replied, looking at me seriously.

"Actually, there are days that I feel strange. Like ... I feel like wearing makeup, for example. You noticed I've changed from one moment to another, right? "She nods and I continue to explain. "I felt that I did change. These days, I feel ... like a girl. "

"Does it happen every day?" She asks and I shake my head.

"Some days, I content myself with just using perfume or lotion. But I had a specific day that made me want more. I dressed in clothes that I would not normally wear, I spent a good amount of time in the bathroom, taking a bath and putting products on my skin, even to the point of analyzing myself in the mirror, looking for imperfections and even wearing a necklace. "

"Oooh. That sounds like the behavior of a girl who is about to go on a date. Or a man who has feminine traits in him. "She responds and I feel my face turn red. "Before going into detail, what do you think about non-binary sex genres?"

"I don’t mind if that's what you want to know," I reply, making her laugh.

"Good to know," she answers, sipping coffee. "In your case, maybe the answer is that you ar Genderfluid. I can send you a link so you can better understand it if you want. "

"Onegaishimasu." I ask, smiling as I see her nod.

Arcana Link Update: The Lovers ~ Level 03

...

"This is aesthetically terrible!" Christophe exclaims as he sees a copy of Leonardo Monteiro's Calling Card.

Me and him are in Phichit's room, discussing how to work on Karpisek's Calling Card. It is obvious that Christophe was going to criticize my design. I myself am doing it mentally.

"That's why I'd like to ask for your help." I say, letting out a sigh. "You know him better than we do, so nothing's fairer than asking for your help in this."

"Hmm. I liked the blue and the idea of using diferent typography. "He looks at both sides of the card. "Shall we exchange our phone numbers? So I can tell you it's all set. "

"Of course," I say, lifting my cellphone.

~ x ~

The next night, I get the following message.

Chris

It’s ready.

And ... I got kicked out of the shack. Something I had hoped would happen.

Me

Come to LeBlanc. I'll be waiting for you.

...

That night, a group of people enter the back door of the gallery and start spreading various cards through the walls, plaques, and shop windows. The next morning, the life of Josef Karpisek will be a real hell.

~ x ~

In fact, Christophe and I watched Josef being surrounded by the press, demanding a comment from him regarding the cards that mysteriously appeared in the gallery. In addition, other people are also willing to hear an explanation from him about it. And then Karpisek loses his mind.

"Damn! You think you can mess with me ?! That is what we shall see. "

Satisfied, I take my cell phone. I look at Christophe, who winks at me and smiles.

"Beginning navigation for Yuuri Kunogi and Christophe Giacometti."

...

Stealing the treasure was easy. Too easy, in my opinion. Except that when we arrived at the gardens, I could finally check the picture in my hands. I'm surprised to see a whiteboard with a large red 'X'.

" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA !!! " I hear Karpisek's voice and look around, looking for him.

Then I see him approaching us. Behind him, a security man approaches, carrying another frame.

" Did you really think I'd let them steal my treasure? " He chuckles again, and I frown as the security man reveals the painting in his hands.

Masumi.

But ... not as we know it. The picture shows not one but two boys, laughing and hugging each other, ending excitedly. Beside me, Christophe freaks out.

"It's me ..." I listen, and I look at him in surprise.

" Exactly, my stupid pupil. This is the real Masumi, painted by your mother before she died, and whom she named as 'Joy'. A pity that part of the picture was damaged when the killer I hired killed her. " Karpisek says, beckoning the guard away from them. " Now you who have dared to invade my property will have the end they deserve. "

I finally saw his true form. Two eyes, nose and mouth framed and floating in front of us. The struggle is tense, because one side is capable of healing and resurrecting others. I decide to focus on it first. And then I am struck by a strange red paint that makes me very weak. Necronomicon heals me, and I watch Christophe use a bucket of paint to hit him, making him also weak. I advance, launching various attacks and defeating him.

" Im ... impossible! " He exclaims, startled.

"Admit to all your mistakes, Karpisek." I say, approaching him. "Admit everything you've done to the world. Admit that the Phantom Thieves were correct and show the world how rotten you are. "

" Heh. Who would have thought it would be you who would demand this from me. " he says, making me frown. " Yuuri Kunogi. "

"How do you know my name?" I ask, removing the mask from my face.

" There you are! Of course you wouldn’t recognize me. It’s been what? 3, 4 months? Since your trial? " I narrow my eyes at what I hear. " I want to thank you, stupid brat. Thanks to you, I received a very good payment just to say some pretty little lies. "

"You ..." I say, but I feel my throat close.

" Yeah! Me and that former teacher at your new school were some of the witnesses against you. "

"Yuuri?"

" Collect the treasure and leave immediately! " Phichit's voice makes me look at the painting in Josef's hands.

"The painting belongs to us now." I say, not liking how hoarse my voice came out. "Don’t forget to reveal to everyone about your rotten self and apologize to everyone you cheated and took advantage of."

I take the painting and hand it to Chris, invoking Johanna. I sit on her and look at Christophe.

"Let's go. We do not have time to lose. "I say, noticing the Palace begin to fall apart.

He sits down and I lift my cell phone, tapping on the navigator and starting it, advancing faster and faster through the Palace.

"Completely ending the navigation of Josef Karpisek, Shack and Museum for Yuuri Kunogi and Christophe Giacometti."

~ x ~

"Ladies and gentlemen, we are here to initiate the trial of number 49,762, whose defendant Yuuri Kunogi is accused of physically assaulting __________. Representing the prosecution, we have the lawyer _____________. "

"Thank you very much. I begin this case by calling my first witnesses. Mr. and Mrs. Kunogi, parents of the accused. "

"He used to be violent with us ..."

Liar

"He didn’t go to school, just drank and used drugs ..."

Liar

"He even beat me when I refused to give him a video game ..."

It's not true.

...

"Now, I call as a witness, Mr. Leo Montenegro."

"It was him yeah, I saw him assaulting _____________ when he was leaving the academy."

Stop lying!

...

"Now I call Mr Yosev Karpisekovich."

"Ohhh, it was him! I was watching everything from the window of my apartment ... "

Why are you lying?

I didn’t do anything with him!

Why am I going through this?

All I wanted was to help the poor girl.

Why?

~ x ~

I wake up suddenly, my body soaked with sweat and panting. I realize that I am also crying and, hugging my knees, spend the rest of the night like this, reflecting on the words of the teacher, the artist and the short memories of my trial.

Chapter Text

I can’t sleep anymore. I'm feeling tired, with a headache and nauseous, but I don’t get out of bed. Wiping my face with the two sleeves of my shirt, I sit and hug my knees, laying my face on them. Taking a deep breath, I close my eyes and find myself reminiscing about what really happened. Which made me be expelled from a place where it was supposed to be my own home, by my own parents, be charged with a crime I didn’t commit, have my name soiled by the media, and be erased from the ISU records.

...

It was a not too cold night. I was returning home from school when I heard shouts from a girl.

"No! Let me go!"

I approach quickly, noting that a drunken man is advancing on a girl. I look around, noticing that the street I am in is deserted except for me and the two of them, and the fact that it is very dark, which makes me apprehensive.

"Help!" The girl screams, and I see no other choice than to intervene, for her sake.

"Hey!" I exclaim, making him look coldly at me. "Move away from her."

"What? Who do you think you are to boss me around, kid? "The man says, and I realize from the way he's talking that he's quite drunk.

"I'm nobody, but it doesn’t matter." I say, approaching the girl and putting myself between them. "You should not abuse others just because you're drunk."

"You little bastard, you'll see ... ugh!"

I look at him in surprise, not expecting him to stumble and hit his forehead on a flowerbed. The darkness barely made me see his face, except for the wound on his forehead, which is bleeding. I wonder if the wound would let him sober and makes him sees that what he’s doing is bad, but then I feel a shiver as I watch him look at me with hatred. At that moment, I hear the noise of a police car, which soon stops near the three of us and two policemen come out.

"What's going on here?" One of them asks, looking at me.

"That kid attacked me." The man says, and I realize the exact moment the cop widen his eyes.

"You are ..." He begins, but is interrupted by the man.

"Never mind, arrest this kid right away!" He orders, startling the cops. "He dared to attack me! Do not you agree with me, Bella? "

"Yes. The kid hurt him." the girl says, terrified.

"Wait, I didn’t do anything!" I complain, being grabbed by the two cops and pushed into the backseat of the police car.

With a long sigh, I get up and change my clothes, realizing that I won’t be able to sleep anymore. I need to move. I need to dance or skate.

"Yuuri?" I hear Morgana wake up from her sleep and freeze.

"Sorry, Morgana. You can go back to sleep, "I say, but I see him stretching and yawning.

"You're having trouble sleeping. Again." He says, climbing onto my shoulder and lying on it. "It's dangerous to go out alone at this time, so I'll go with you."

"Thank you." I say, taking my cell phone and my wallet, then leaving the room in silence.

Outside the Katsuki’s restaurant, I put my hands in my pants pockets and walk down the empty streets of that district. Approaching LeBlanc Street, I wonder whether Phichit or Christophe are awake, and shake my head, not wanting to bother anyone.

"What are you going to do?" Morgana asks, and I begin to get impatient.

"I think I can only dance on the street anyway. It's not like anyone's ever going to see anything, "I say, approaching an old movie theater that looks abandoned. "Can you take care of my phone?"

"Of course," Morgana says, jumping to the floor.

Typing on my cell phone, I open a special playlist and put it on the floor, smiling as Morgana sits down next to the set. Slowly, I begin to stretch, until the music ends. Immediately I bring my hand to my face as I begin to listen to the beginning of Unravel and start dancing, doing pirouettes, jumps and movements with my hands. I can feel my whole body keep up with the music, and Morgana's eyes are looking at me seriously.

I freeze my movements to the end of the song, breathing deeply and with a slightly sweaty face. But it only takes a few minutes, since I'm back to dance to the song We Are by One Ok Rock, acoustic version. And so, I continue to dance to the sound of Agape, Manatsu on Yoru no Yume, Suga Shikao and Eutherpe. When I stop, panting and drenched with sweat, I finally hear a clapping of hands, which makes me freeze and hide my face.

"Magnificent." I listen, and I'm surprised to recognize that voice.

And then, I look at the man in front of me, with gray hair, light gray suit and red tie.

"Sir ..." I begin to say, surprised. "You where the one who bought my ice skates."

"I still have them and I agree to sell them to you." The man says and I widen my eyes. "My name is Tanaka and I know who you are, Yuuri Kunogi. After all one of my hobbies is watching ice skating and you were one of my favorites to win the junior category of last year's Grand Prix final. And then you suddenly disappeared, and websites that talked about you on the internet were closed, except for one that talked about you using drugs and getting caught up in a doping test. And then, I see you sitting on the floor, hugging your skates and crying a lot. I was shocked to see you all hurt, wondering if I wanted to buy the skates."

"And then you pulled me by the arm, took me to your hotel room, took care of my injuries, made me take a shower, gave me new clothes, and bought not only my skates, but my ticket from Los Angeles. "I finish, opening a shy smile to him. "I'll never be able to thank you for your help."

"Hmm, maybe you can, yes. Do you plan on skating again in competitions? "He asks, folding his arms.

"I can’t." I say, letting out a long sigh.

"You can’t. Not like Yuuri Kunogi. But with a little makeup, a new hair style and a new identity, you can." He says, scaring me.

"But this is fraud!" I exclaim, looking at him in surprise.

"Yes. But right now, does it really matter? "He asks, and I find myself asking myself the same. "Here. This is my phone and my website. You can give me an answer when you come get your skates. "

He gives me a white card, with a website address, a cell phone, his name, and his company logo.

"I need to go now. Good evening, Yuuri Kunogi. "Tanaka-san says, waving at me. "Be careful walking the streets in the middle of the night. Strange things are happening lately. "

"What do you mean?" I ask, watching him walk away from me without giving me an answer.

I look at the card in my right hand and realize that I am shaking. Morgana climbs on my shoulder and looks at me seriously.

"This idea that he gave, is also making me worried." He says, making me take a deep breath. "Maybe we should ask Phichit to help us investigate him."

"Hm." I pick up my wallet and keep his card on it. "I'm hungry."

"Maybe there's a restaurant open at this time." Morgana comments, and I pick up my cell phone, looking at Google for an open restaurant in that Detroit district.

...

I meet one who serves Chinese food not far from there and I cheer up, putting my wallet in my pocket and following the directions the phone points to the restaurant. Strangely, a haze begins to appear in the streets, making me shiver. When I arrive, I realize that it is indeed open and I enter, immediately feeling the smell of food and beginning to get mouth water.

"Welcome!" An Asian-looking girl says, on the other side of the counter.

"Good evening," I say, approaching. "There’s any problem for me to coming in with him? I promise he's behaved. "

"Hmm. I don’t know. Normally I wouldn’t allow it, but since I don’t have clients anymore, I think it's okay if you're saying he's behaved. "She responds, making me smile. "My name is Min So Park, and you?"

"Yuuri Kunogi," I say, tilting my face at her. "And this is Morgana."

"Nice to meet you, Yuuri and Morgana." Min So says, extending me a menu.

"Likewise." I'll take him and observe the options.

"Guang-Hong! We have a client! "Min So shouts, near a semi-open door that probably overlooks the back of the property.

Wait a second, she just said Guang-Hong?

"I'm coming, I'm coming." I hear and then I see Guang-Hong Ji coming out of the door, tying an apron and freezing to see me.

"Kunogi?" He asks, wide-eyed.

"Do you know him?" Min So asks, making Guang-Hong look at her with dread.

"He ... studies in my class," he replies, making the girl look at me in surprise.

"Eh? Are you a teenager? Oh my God! "She exclaimed, her face flushed.

"Min So, you're married!" Guang-Hong exclaims, and I stare at them, confused.

"Err ... I'd like to eat, if not a problem," I say, pointing to a plate.

"Ah yes. It's true. "Laughing, Min So begins to prepare what I ordered, while Guang-Hong puts cutlery, sauces, appetizers, and napkins in front of me.

"Why are you here?" He asks, but my belly decides to answer for itself, astounding him. "Oh."

"Yeah," I say, embarrassed.

"Hey. About what happened on the roof of the school ... could you forgive me? I just did those things and acted like that because I was being pressured by Professor Monteiro. "He says, timidly, sitting down next to me.

"It's all right. I'm happy to see that your injuries are healing, too." I say, smiling at him.

"Oh, hmm." Guarg-Hong looks away from me, strangely with a flushed face. "And ... what the professor said at the assembly ..."

"That's something I'm investigating right now, so I'd like to ask you not to mention anything to anyone." I say, looking at him seriously.

"I ... I understand," he says, nodding.

Bzzzzt ...

Frowning, I look around in surprise.

"What was that?" Seeing only tables, chairs, lamps and a television.

"I don’t know. I've never heard such noise. "Guang-Hong tells me, scared.

"Here it is. Good appetite, Kunogi. "Min So says, holding me a bowl of pasta, vegetables and meat.

She also gives some tangled noodles to Morgana, who already starts to eat. I start to eat too, immediately praising the taste for her, which turns her face flushed, to my surprise.

"I ... I need to go to the bathroom, so if you'll excuse me ..." And she leaves us alone, which makes me even more confused.

It's a little after midnight when Morgana and I finished eating. And then…

Bzzzzzzzzzzzztt !!

Again that strange noise? And why is the television there on? And that one there is...

"Is not fair! That shitty professor told me that I was going to be quite popular in school if I was in football team, and all he did was hit me hard with the ball every time there was a game. And he always stayed on the opposing team, as if that was his plan. I couldn’t take it anymore, but then the Phantom Thief Eros came out and made him confess everything. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! His pathetic face when he told everything to the students, teachers and even the principal was hilarious. Phantom Thief Eros, you are my new superhero and I am your ideal partner. Because of this, I deleted the school forum and did the Phantom Aficionado Website."

I get scared by what I hear, and I look at Guang-Hong, who is passed out on the counter, still sitting in the chair next to the one I was in. I notice that Morgana also seemed to be sleeping, and I look back at the television, listening to Guang-Hong repeat what I had said before and wonder what's going on there.

" Real-world distortion detected. Starting analysis. Connection with TV successfully. Cognition found successfully. Name: Midnight Channel. Category: Collective cognition, restricted to one user per turn. Actual User: Guang-Hong Ji. Starting navigation. " I hear my cell phone, and I panic when I get sucked into the television.

~ x ~

" You should not be here, prisoner. "

"Your app shouldn’t transport you to this world. But even then, there you are. "

" This world is the same as our sisters have witnessed in the past. Why? "

"Why is the Dark Hour and the Midnight Channel back here in Detroit?"

...

What are these two voices talking about?

Chapter Text

The fog is dense and I find myself in a strange labyrinth, wearing my Phantom Thief clothes. I notice Necronomicon flying over me and I facepalm myself, already waiting what’s about to come.

" Yu- Eros! But what on earth do you have in mind when activating the app in the middle of the night ?! "Phichit exclaims, making me let out a long sigh. " I was asleep, you idiot! "

See what I mean?

"Phichit, I'm not in a palace or in Mementos." I say, putting my hands in my pants pockets and walking through the labyrinth.

" What?! Wait a minute. Explain to me right now what you mean by that! " He exclaims and I frown.

"Somehow, I'm inside a television?" I say, frowning as I don’t find a way to go.

"Yuuri Kunogi, for God's sake, turn off that fucking navigator and go to sleep." Rolling my eyes, I pick up my cell phone and pray I can get out of there normally.

" Ending navigation. "

~ x ~

"Kunogi. Hey, wake up Kunogi. "I listen and open my eyes, surprised to be lying on the floor.

Then I look at Guang-Hong, who is beside me, terrified.

"Are you okay?" He asks me, worried.

"Yes?" I say, standing up. "What happened?"

"I don’t know. I fell asleep and when I woke up, I saw you lying there on the floor." He says, looking at me in surprise.

"I understand. I'm sorry for that, "I say, standing up and giving a long yawn. "I think it's time to go back. Oh yeah, let me pay for dinner. "

"Oh, hm..." Guang-Hong only says, accepting the money I give him and giving me the change.

Leaving the restaurant carrying a sleepy Morgana in my arms, I was surprised to see that the mist from earlier had completely disappeared. I arrive at the Katsukis very tired and throw myself into bed, immediately falling asleep.

~ x ~

With the help of Phichit, I open an account at a bank and deposit a large part of my money. Phichit connects the account to the Necronomicon, so that all the money I receive goes directly into it. I sits down on the old sofa and looks at Morgana.

"Hey, Morgana. What do you know about a Midnight Channel? "I ask, watching the cat freeze and look at me in surprise.

"How ... how do you know about this?" He asks, and I realize that Phichit looks at me in surprise as well.

"Remember what happened there at the restaurant? "I ask him.

"So that's what happened? Did you manage to be able to enter the world inside of the television ? "Morgana asks, approaching me and looking at me seriously.

"Wait a minute. Were you telling the truth? "Phichit asks, making me pout.

"Did you really think I was lying?" I ask, and I watch him look at me in surprise.

"It was midnight and I was asleep!! What could I do? "He asks, making me sigh.

"That's bad," Morgana says, staring at me in surprise. "If you really got into the world inside of the  television, then things could become bad for you."

"What do you mean?" I ask, folding my arms.

"The Midnight Channel is a place of the Metaverse between Mementos and the Palaces. While Mementos is a single cognition for almost all of society and the Palaces are unique cognitions of each individual with mentality strong enough to maintain one, the Midnight Channel is a cognition that lies between the two. Like Mementos, it allows the existence of more than one individual in it, but as a palace, it can only have one individual at a time." Morgana explains, surprising me. "I don’t have much information about it or the Dark Hour, but I do know they've happened before, for a brief period of time. In Japan."

Arcana Bond Update - The Magician ~ Level 5

Christophe appears in LeBlanc, carrying two wrapped pictures, a large bag with his clothes and his art objects.

"Thank you so much for allowing me to stay here, Mr. Cialdini." He says, while Phichit and I come up with his things. "Ah, Yuuri."

I flinch, touching one of the wrapped pictures, immediately withdrawing my hand.

"Sorry," I say, backing away.

"No, no. I want you to keep this painting, "he says, approaching and removing the cloth, revealing ... Agape .

"But ..." I begin, looking at him in surprise.

"Take good care of this painting, okay. She's the last link I have to Masumi." He says, hugging me. "Thank you, Yuuri, for opening my eyes and making me see that Josef was manipulating me all the time."

"We're friends, Chris. And friends help each other." I say, wiping a tear in my eye.

"Yeah, we're friends." Chris says, taking a deep breath. "The press conference will start soon. Let's see what Karpisek has to say about what he did. "

"Hm." I nod, leaving my new painting in Phichit's room so it don’t get in the way.

...

I serve sandwiches and coffee for Christophe the moment I see Victor enter the cafeteria holding in his right hand a bouquet of white and pink carnations. His face flushed, he approaches me and holds out the bouquet.

"For you, as an apology for interrupting our date." He says, and I pick up the bouquet in surprise.

"Thank you very much." I say, giving a shy smile and blushing. "I understand you had other commitments, so I was not upset about what happened."

"So nice, Yuuri." I hear Chris approaching me and puts his arm around my shoulders.

Victor looks at us in surprise, and I imagine he isn’t understanding what’s happening. Taking a deep breath, I use my hand to pinch him tightly on the arm, making him scream in pain.

"How mean, Yuuri!" He exclaims, making drama.

"Shut up, Chris," I say, rolling my eyes at him and looking back at Victor. "Coffee?"

"Oh, yes." Victor says, and he walks past me, sitting on the bench.

I'll serve you and do the dishes. Then, I hear Josef Karpisek's voice, and I turn to the television.

...

" I ... I organized this press conference with the intention of confessing to everyone something very important ." Josef says, pale and nervous. " I'm not an artist. All the paintings that are in my exhibit were actually painted by people who I acted as master for all those years. I made them paint in precarious conditions, like the famous shack that was nothing compared to my mansion in Miami. "

" What do you mean by that? "

" I mean, all the paintings, including the copies of 'Masumi' that I sold to the whole world, were never painted by me. " Josef says, surprising the reporters.

" But this ... " The reporter named Morooka ends up stammering. " That means my accusations were true. "

" Indeed. "

" And why are you telling it now? " Another reporter asks, frowning.

"Because Phantom Thief Eros made me see that I was wrong to act like that. That's why I'm here to apologize to all those I once called pupils and then I ended up destroying their lives because of my sins. Especially Masumi, my own son that I ended up taking life with my own hands. "Beside me, I notice Chris flinch and making the cup he holds crash on the floor.

The sound scares everyone, and I pick up a broom and a damp cloth, wiping immediately where the cup has fallen.

"What's going on here?" Celestino asks, and I look at him seriously.

"Josef Karpisek just announced that he killed Christophe's boyfriend." I say, noting that Victor looks at me in surprise. "I'll pay for the cup."

" I also want to apologize to 'Agape', who had his life completely and unfairly wronged ... " He begins to say but is interrupted.

" Agape? Are you referring to the Agape painting of your collection? "

" But Agape isn’t the picture of an ice skater ... "

...

And suddenly the interview is interrupted. Everyone in that cafe is silent, shocked at what they have just heard.

"Phantom Thief Eros. Maybe I should investigate a bit. "I listen to Victor and stare at him in surprise.

"What do you mean?" I ask, putting my hands behind my back so he doesn’t realize they're shaking.

"Oh, I'm a prosecutor." And I widen my eyes.

I notice that Chris looks at me with surprise and I open a sad smile. Who would have thought I'd become interested in a prosecutor?

...

"What should I do now?" Christophe says, sitting on LeBlanc's attic couch.

"Make your own art. You can start by doing arts for the Phantom Thief Eros with a built-in QR Code that directs the user to the Guang-Hong Forum to be scattered in strategic locations. Phichit, put our logo on the forum and explain how to ask for help from Eros. Also order a graphics printer, a computer for Chris to make your designs and everything else you need. "

"Wait, it was Guang-Hong Ji who created this hilarious forum?" Phichit asked, bursting into laughter.

"Yes, and he's the first user of the Midnight Channel." I say, making him talk and look at me in surprise.

"What is this Midnight Channel?" Chris asks, confused.

"I will explain this along with the teacher, Kirihara and President Babicheva at our next meeting. Phichit, if you want to say something to him, you can. "I say, picking up the phone and looking at the time. "I'm tired because of yesterday, so good night, you two. I am very pleased to be able to count on you. "

"Of course."

"You can count on me."

Arcana Bond Update - The Hermit ~ Level 04

...

Arcana Bond Update - The Emperor ~ Level 02

~ x ~

"Welcome back, Yuuri Kunogi." I listen and open my eyes, while another chain that holds me in that cage breaks. "I see you got into something peculiar, didn’t you? In addition, more and more truths about yourself are coming up slowly. Your rehabilitation process is very interesting to follow. As a reward, there's another gift for you. "

Arcana Bond Update: The Fool ~ Level 04

And I close my eyes, then go back to sleep.

~ x ~

"Kunogi." I listen and understand the approach of President Babicheva.

"Good morning, President," I say, tilting my face to her.

"I heard a girl commenting that her older sister's ex-boyfriend talking excitedly that he changed behavior, apologized and is working hard as a convenience store attendant." She says, with a broad smile on her face. "Good job."

Arcana Bond Update: The Priestess ~ Level 02

"I'm glad my skills could have helped someone," I say, putting a smile on my face.

"Speaking of helping someone, I have some names for you." she comments, handing me a folded notebook paper.

"Of course." With a smile on his face, I take the paper and put it in my pants pocket.

Chapter Text

"Kunogi-kun, what do you intend to do this afternoon?" Yuuko Kirihara asks me in Japanese, turning in his chair and looking at me with a wide grin on his face at lunch

"I was planning to visit Mementos." I reply, opening my Bento and beginning to eat.

"So why don't you come with me to the mall that sits in the basement of the Galli-Marie train station and help me buy some new things. Like, new outfits, a necklace or a new bracelet, a perfume ... "she says, beginning to count on her fingers.

"A present for Nakamura-san?" I ask, eating an onigiri shortly after.

"Yes, yes, a gift for ... Hey!" She exclaims, making me laugh. "It's not fair, Kunogi-kun."

"Gomen, gomen. It's just that you're too cute. "I say, tilting my face to her, who looks at me in surprise before blushing.

What the hell is going on that people around me are getting this way?

"So ..." she says, clearing her throat right away. "We can go?"

"Sure, why not? I was thinking of doing some shopping myself. "I say, smiling as I watch her cheer up.

~ x ~

Shopping with her is fun. We buy new clothes and shoes, decorations for our rooms, music CDs, books, and especially a bracelet for Chihoko Nakamura, who hasn’t yet awakened from the coma. I follow her through the streets until I realize that I'm near Antiqua. Sighing, I decide it's time to return the fake gun that the old man gave me and try to get a gun like that.

"Kirihara-san, Could you come here with me for a moment?" I look at her and point at the alley who goes to the shop.

"Wait a minute! I'm not ready yet ...! "She exclaims, making me look at her in surprise.

"I just want to return something I borrowed?" I say, making her eyes widen.

"Aaaah, that's it?! I got scared for nothing." She exclaimed, putting her hand to her heart and taking a deep breath. "OK then. Come on!"

We then go to the store, and then I see a young blond-haired little boy standing tiptoe, looking through the shop window. Me and Kirihara looked at each other, curious to know what that boy wants there.

"It's better not to do anything," she suggests, and I just nod, reaching for the door and opening it.

"Hey." I listen and look at the boy, who looks at me in surprise. "My grandfather doesn’t answer to stupid people like you two.

"I'm not here to be a client, but to return something that I borrowed." I say, opening a smile to him, who has emerald green eyes. "Now excuse us."

"Then leave it to me. I give it to him." The boy says, holding out both hands in my direction.

"It’s nice to see that you want to help your grandfather, but I'm sorry. I can’t hand it over because I should just deliver to him and no one else, "I reply, entering the store along with Kirihara.

"Welcome ... oh, it's you," the old man says, looking at me in surprise. "I didn’t expect you would actually fulfill what I asked for."

I take the package from my backpack, reaching for it.

"I hope so that you have a little more confidence in me. After all, I would very much like to do business with you, especially after seeing how detailed this is there. "I say, beginning to wonder at the fact that he just looks at the package seriously.

"Very well. You can keep it, them."he says, surprising me." And you seem to be an interesting guy to do business with."

"I'd also like you to make even more improvements on this or teach me how to do it." I ask, watching him frown at me.

"I understand. I can do this, yes. But I want you to work for me first. "He says, and I smile.

"I accept." I say, making him look at me in surprise.

"Ha ha ha! I like you, boy. My name is Nikolai Plisetsky." He says, laughing.

"Yuuri Kunogi. And this is Yuuko Kirihara, a friend. "I say, pointing to her, who is behind me.

"Pleasure." she says shyly.

After doing business with him, I leave the store and meet the boy from before, looking at me with surprise.

"Who are you?" He asks, making me smile.

"Yuuri Kunogi." I answer, putting my hands in my pockets.

"No wayy! My name is Yuri, too! "He exclaims excitedly.

"Nice to meet you, Yuri."

Walking the outside of the train station, Kirihara-san and I noticed a strange crowd, pointing to something above. When I realize what it is, I widens my eyes and immediately cover her eyes, scaring her.

"Ku-Kunogi-kun?" She asks, confused.

"I'm sorry, Kirihara-san. But I don’t recommend seeing what's going on right now, "I say hoarsely. "It's a bad thing. Very bad."

There's a body hanging from the wires.

" What a waste of time. " I listen in my right and flinch, feeling my hands start to shake.

Why? What's happening to me?

"But still it's a strange situation, don’t you agree with me, Isabella?" I also listen and look around, not recognizing the owner of that voice.

"That’s a fact, JJ." A weirdly familiar female voice says and I finally realize not too far from us, a couple. "After all, it's JJ Style to use your skills as a detective to unravel this death and capture the culprit."

"That's right!" The boy says, looking at the hanging body with a broad smile on his face and making a strange movement with his hands. "This is JJ Style!!"

"JJ? Is he here? "Kirihara-san says, making me realize that I'm still covering her eyes. "Oh my god, I'm a super fan!!"

But before she and I could react, a great deal of women and girls are advancing on JJ and the girl named Isabella, who strangely seems familiar with it. I take the chance and take Kirihara-san's arm, pulling her into the train station.

"Wait, Kunogi-kun ... Are you okay?" She says, and I realize she's terrified of me.

"I’m so sorry. I didn’t want you to see that body and make you terrified. "I say, taking a deep breath and releasing it. "I'm fine, just ..."

I end up shrugging, not knowing how to explain what really happened. Maybe Dr. Baranoskaya can help me with that.

"What are you going to do now?" She asks, making me smile.

"Go back to the Katsukis and go to Mementos." I reply, watching her smile.

"You know, you were a gentleman to me today. And I can see that you're not bothered by this fact. Congratulations."

Arcana Bond Update: The Lovers ~ Level 03

"Thank you so much," I say, waving at her, watching her walk away and catch a train.

I get another one and return to the Katsukis restaurant. I end up helping them serve and collect the dishes, while Hiroko-san handles the payments. When we're done, I realize it's already quite late and I'm very tired.

"Yuuri-kun, wait a minute." Hiroko-san says, stopping me before climbing the stairs and going to the room where I stay.

"Yes?" I ask, looking at her in surprise.

"Please forgive me. I came inside your room and..." She says, making me freeze. "I saw the painting. Agape, by Josef Karpisek, isn’t it? You were the one he referred to in the press conference, right? "

"Yes." I reply, letting out a long sigh. "But Agape was not painted by him, but his pupil."

"He said that you had life unfairly wronged. What does that mean? "She asks, looking at me sadly.

"It means exactly that, Hiroko-san. I was wrongly accused of a crime I didn’t commit. And it turns out, my criminal record is fake. "I say, and I get scared to feel her hugging me tightly.

"Oh, my poor boy," she says, sobbing.

Hugs. When was the last time I received a hug from my own mother? Why aren’t Hiroko-san and Toshiya-san my parents? Why do I keep waiting for some miracle to make them my family?

~ x ~

Advancing in Mementos, defeating and stealing the hearts of the names given by the President. Interestingly, two of them talk about Takeshi Nishigori and his odd part-time job, which makes him make easy money. I remember Takeshi Nishigori, one of the victims of former teacher Leonardo Monteiro, and I wonder what kind of work he’s been doing to be considered so weird...

Chapter Text

Before starting my work on LeBlanc, I approach Phichit and shows the Tanaka card to him.

"I need you to investigate this person for me. I promise to explain everything when the others arrive. Besides, I need you to see what you can find about Takeshi Nishigori. "I say, watching him look at me with a twinkle in his eyes.

"You can leave it with me." he says, and I nod, pulling away to leave the room.

When Victor appears on LeBlanc, I can feel my body start to shake. I notice that Chris looks at me seriously as he cleans the coffee tables. Luckily, he gets a phone call and leaves the cafe, and I start to feel my body go into a panic attack.

I can’t breath.

My body is too heavy.

I am conscious and unconscious. I see, but I don’t understand what I'm seeing. I'm listening, but I can’t understand what I'm hearing.

It's all right.

Take a deep breath.

Try to follow my breath.

In and out.

"Thank you ..." I whisper to the one who helped me, closing my eyes and giving in to the darkness.

~ x ~

I open my eyes, the moment I start to hear low voices not far from me. Letting out a groan, I try to get up but one hand causes me to fall back on the bed.

"Sorry, Kunogi. But I advise you to rest. You had a panic attack earlier and your body is still bearing the consequences of it. "I hear Professor Katsuki say, and I nod at her, very tired. "Good boy. I already told Okaa-san and Otou-san that you had a panic attack and are resting. "

"I'm sorry," I say, with both hoarse. "And thank you."

"What happened?" She asks, and I take a deep breath.

"I guess ... I have a crush on someone I shouldn’t." I say, biting my lip. "I'm a phantom thief. He's a prosecutor. "

"Who?" She asks coldly.

"His name is Victor," I reply, frowning at her.

"Victor? Victor Nikiforov? "She asks, but before I could say anything, I hear from my cell phone.

" Incomplete entry. "

I widen my eyes, at the same time I hear Chris and Phichit swear at the same time. This ... this is a lie, isn’t it? I don’t believe that someone like him can be my target.

"Oh, Yuuri," I hear Kirihara talking by my side, but I already have my arms wrapped around my eyes, crying silently.

...

"What do you guys know about Takeshi Nishigori?" I ask, seriously.

"Takeshi was the star of the school's athletic club." Professor Katsuki says, sitting in front of me. "He has a violent character and that professor used it as an excuse to break his leg, claiming self-defense. That kid dreamed of going to the Olympics, you know?"

"He had his dreams and his hard work crushed thanks to what happened, and he felt humiliated when he learned that Chihoko jumped off the roof of the school, blaming himself for not having protected herself by having the same leg broken again. "Kirihara comments, and I look down at that because I also blame myself for not have helped her the she needed the most.

"The situation of his family isn’t good either. He lives only with his mother, after his father abandoned them years ago. And she's a woman who, even though she's tired of working two jobs to ensure their survival, she's never missed a parent meeting. "Professor Katsuki continues, looking at me seriously. "In addition, since the bid with the teacher, Nishigori has not appeared in school, even having been seen walking the streets that are near the central train station."

"We need to know what kind of job he's doing," I say, rising from Phichit's bed.

"Clockstrings students saw him put a white bag in a locker in the train station." Phichit says, keeping an eye on his computer. "Besides, he's been trying to invite other students to join him."

"I see," I say, tilting my face to the left. "Next Saturday, after school. We'll watch the station lockers and wait for Takeshi. "

"Okay, now can you explain about this guy here?" Phichit asks, picking up Tanaka-san's card.

I let out a long sigh, returning to sit on the bed.

"When I got kicked out of the house by my parents, I needed to sell my ice skates to get food, water and a ticket to come here. This man met me and not only took care of my injuries but also bought my skates and my ticket. I met him the night before yesterday and he told me that he not only has my skates but also wants me to go back to skating. "I say, surprising them.

"But you shouldn’t skate anymore," Christophe says, frowning.

"Yuuri Kunogi should no longer skate. But he suggested that I take on another identity and appearance." I reply, making him widen his eyes.

"And you're confused whether you should accept it or not." I nod as I hear the teacher's words. "Don’t accept. This is looking very strange to me. "

"Yeah. Me and Morgana also think so. "I comment, watching her open a smile.

"OK. I've got my motorcycle, so I can drop you off at my parents' house, "she says, getting up from her chair.

Talking about motorcycle ...

"Teacher?" I ask, approaching her. "Could you teach me how to ride it?"

"Why?" She asks me in surprise.

"In Mementos, I use a persona in the form of a motorcycle to get around. I wanted to learn more to get around better." I reply, watching her look at me with a smile on her face.

"Okay, it looks like we'll have the subject of our extra lessons already," she says, making me laugh.

~ x ~

"So what happened?" Dr. Baranoskaya asks, looking at me seriously.

"I fainted after the panic attack and was unconscious for almost 45 minutes. And even after I had spent all my time sleeping, when I woke up, my body still showed signs of the attack." I explain to her, sitting on the stretcher and hugging my knees.

"Anything else?" She asks, and I shake my head.

"This has nothing to do with it, but ... do you know about the body found hanging on the electric wires of the train station?" I ask, watching her nod and pay attention to what I'm saying. "Some minutes after Isaw the body, suddenly my body began to shake from nowhere."

"Because of the body?" She asks and I deny it.

"No. Apart from getting nauseous from the body, I was fine. "

"Did something else happen before the shaking?" She asks and I bite my lip.

"I heard a voice. A voice that seemed strange and familiar to me at the same time. "I answer, confused.

"Maybe your body recognized the voice, though your mind didn’t process that information and reacted in a way that alerted you to something important." She says, making me bow my head and think about it. "I don’t know if you know, but the human body has normal memory, which is stored in people's brains and memory of the body, which is caused by stimulus."

"I know," I say, sighing. "I ... used to dance so much that my body moves by itself when I listen to the music again. Sometimes my anxiety is so high that I feel a strong need to burn that energy, you know? So I dance, or if I can, I skate on ice. "

"Hmm, maybe we can explore this as an additional option for your treatment. I know someone who owns an ice rink nearby, called Gobei. "She says and I'm surprised.

"Oh, I've been there once." I say, watching her nod at me.

"Great. I'll give you his phone number so you can get in touch with him. I'll talk to him about you tonight." she says, writing a number on a piece of paper.

"It's all right. But I'd like you to give me your bank account too. So I can transfer money to your research easily. "I say, watching her frown at me.

"Hmm." She says, nodding. "Maybe I should start asking you how you get that money."

"You could, Doctor," I say, laughing. "And maybe I would answer him with the truth."

Arcana Bond Update: The Death ~ Level 04

With new stocks of medicines, I leave the clinic with a smile on my face.

~ x ~

How? How can this be happening? Why do I just  keep getting in trouble?

...

Me, Mila, Yuuko and Professor Katsuki were scattered along the shopping street of Galle-Marie station, looking for Takeshi Nishigori. Well, actually I was wandering, looking if I could heard what other people were talking about. One of these people is a man, wearing a ridiculous Hawaiian style flower shirt, and he is calling people to do a simple and lucrative job.

"Hehehe, it's too easy to fool idiots who are in dire need of money. The entire city of Detroit is ours for the time being. "I listen, and frown. "The money that we receive is thousands more that we gave them.”

"Cognition found. Place: City of Detroit. "

I'm surprised by what I hear and I walk away, putting my hands in my pockets. It doesn’t take too long and I feel a strange shiver run through my body. I stopped walking when I saw the three girls standing there, talking to a tall, dark-skinned boy with spiky hair.

"Kunogi-kun, we found Nishigori!" Kirihara-san exclaims, waving at me.

"Kunogi-kun ~ " A man says, right behind me. " We found Nishigori. And now 'we' want to have a little chat with you."

Oh no. What should I do now?

But before I could do anything, I was grabbed by the arm and carried into an alley.

[Warning: Violence starts here.]

"Run!" I shout at them, who obey me when they realize what was happening. And then, I get a punch to the face and a knee in the belly, before being pushed into a place and fall to the ground. I start to get up with difficulty, using my hands to look for my glasses and putting them in the face.

"Well well. Look at what we have here. A little fly that is getting into things that are none of his business." I hear and see a very fat man sitting there, wearing clothes that are too tight on him and a lot of gold jewelry.

Between us is a table with several bottles of open drinks, glasses, appetizers and ... are that drugs? When I see him pick up the cell phone, I try to use my arms to cover my face, but I'm kicked on the back and caught in both arms.

"You must pay fifty thousand dollars in two weeks, kid. Or I'll post this photo on the internet, so everyone will see who you really are." He says, making me sick.

They hit me in the stomach more often, and I realize I'm being filmed by him. They let me go and I just fall to the ground.

"Kunogi-kun, are you having fun?" The man from before asks, giving me another punch.

"Did you just said ... Kunogi?" I hear through my coughs." Interesting. Very interesting."

[Violence ends here.]

...

I start walking, touching my stomach with my left hand and using my right hand to lean against the wall, my brain screaming for me to walk away. I feel the wall ending in my hand and I end up stumbling on my own feet and throwing myself forward, hitting someone.

"Yuuri ?!" That's what I hear, before I faint completely.

Chapter Text

I wake up and the first thing I feel is pain. A familiar pain in my face and in my stomach. It hurts a lot, which makes me groan and I open my eyes, closing them quickly because of the brightness of a light. I turn, starting to sob and cover my face with my hands. I don’t know how long I've been there, in that strangely comfortable bed. I ... I'm back in San Francisco? Because? No, please no. Anything but that. Anything but ... a lick?

I open my eyes and am surprised to see myself face to face with a large brown poodle, which begins to lick my hand.

"Hello." I say, pulling my hand closer for the dog sniff at me.

Lifting her face, I could see her collar, widening her eyes at the name Makkachin written there, because surely Makkachin is Victor's Poodle. So…

"Makka?" I hear Victor's voice and freeze as he hears the poodle barking once. "Eh? Did I leave the door open? Wait a minute, don’t tell me that ... "

And then I hear the door open and footsteps approach me.

"Makka, what are you doing there? Are you ... taking care of him? "Victor whispers, and I bite my lip to try not to sob. "Let him rest, my dear."

Makkachin barks again, and I sigh.

"It's all right. I'm awake." I say, opening my eyes and turning my face, looking at him.

"Oh, Yuuri. You made me so worried." He says, touching my face. "I tried to take care of all your injuries, but I was surprised when I saw that even his feet are full of marks and calluses."

"Rental ice skates." I comment, coughing a little.

"Wait, let me get you a glass of water." he says, pulling away and coming back with a plastic cup.

"I’m sorry. And thank you. "I say, reaching out and picking up the glass, drinking some water with difficulty.

I notice that, in fact, all my bruises and my feet are covered by bandages. It makes my heart beat hard, and I close my eyes, trying to control my feelings for that man. I drink a little more water, and I feel the bed sink to my side, which makes me open my eyes and see him sitting there, looking at me seriously.

"What happened?" He asks, raising his hand and touching my cheek, where a bandage covers it.

"I don’t know. I was walking down the street when I was grabbed and dragged into a dark alley and into a weird place. They started hitting me, saying that I heard what I shouldn’t and that I should stop $ 10,000 if I didn’t want to see a photo of me at a table with drinks and drugs that I never swallowed in my life ... "I interrupt myself, hand on my mouth as I remembered what my parents had said on that day, at my trial.

When I look at Victor again, I notice that his gaze has changed. Now it's a cold look that makes me feel scared.

"Victor?" I ask, making him look at me in surprise.

"Ah ... it's nothing. Just too upset that you're going through something like that, "he says, taking a deep breath. "Don’t worry, I already warned the Katsukis and Celestino about you. I'm afraid I haven’t done a good job putting the bandages on you, so Hiroko-san suggested that I take you to Dr. Baranoskaya tomorrow. "

"OK. I'm sorry for all the nuisance I'm causing you." I say, yawning.

"Why do you always say that?" Victor asks, frowning at me.

"I'm always bothering someone. Always." I say, looking away from him.

"No, Yuuri. You don’t bother anyone. Neither me, nor the Katsukis. No one, "he says, touching my face and making me look again. "Believe me, Yuuri."

"I can not, Victor." I say, taking a deep breath. "I can’t."

"Why, Yuuri?" He asks, frowning at me.

"Do you remember the day of the train accident? That I told you my injuries weren’t due to the accident? "I ask, watching him nod. "They... were caused by my parents. They hurt me, Victor. My body, my mind and my heart. They threw me out of the house carrying only my ice skates, which I had to sell so I could come here... "

I stop talking, swallowing at the sight of him looking at me with wide eyes. I take my hands to my chest, feeling again having a panic attack.

"Oh my God, Yuuri! Breathe! "I hear, and I suddenly feel my face being licked, which interrupts my attack. "Thank you so much for helping him, Makka."

Makkachin responds by placing herself between my arms and lying there, with her head on the pillow. I see Victor staring in surprise, and I wonder if he didn’t expect this kind of behavior from her.

"Makka, are you abandoning me?" He asks, putting his hand to his face and making drama. "How dare you?"

The poodle looks at him, blinking twice, huffs and goes back to bed, which makes me giggle at that scene. I stop as I yawn, feeling sleepy and the last thing I see before bed is Victor watching me with a smile and a peculiar expression on his face. Sweet. Gentle Warm.

~ x ~

PhichiChu

Yuuri, what happened?

The ladies arrived here in the panic, saying you were taken away by gangsters!

Yuuri, please respond! Or answer your calls!

Yuuri Kunogi, don’t make me try to hack your phone GPS!

Dude, are you okay?

Answer please.

Yuuri, stop scaring me!

What the hell? Why is your GPS pointing to a residential area?

Residence Nikiforov ... omg! My son is making bunnies with his crush * o * #ProudDad

Wait. Why Celestino is saying that you are very hurt?

Yuuri, please!

...

Me

Anteros?

 

PhichiChu

Omg, Yuuri!

Are you alright?

 

Me

It hurts a lot, but Victor is taking care of me.

I fainted, so I couldn’t answer you sooner.

 

PhichiChu

Oh, my poor smol son! Papa here feels so bad to know that you were suffering so much.

But knowing that you're next to your beloved makes me sooooo happy.

 

Me

He's a prosecutor, Phichit. I don’t know if anything between us is going to work.

 

PhichiChu

Shit, Yuu. Why do you keep doing this?

 

Me

Haha

Actually, I need you to help me find someone. His name is Hisashi Morooka.

 

PhichiChu

Bar Crossroads in the district of De La Vega.

 

Me

Thank you.

~ x ~

Yuuri-kun! "I'm greeted by Hiroko-san, who touches my face gently.

"Are you alright? Need to go to the hospital? "Toshiya asks, also staring at me sadly.

"I’m fine. Nikiforov-san took care of me, so I guess at the moment I need to rest and take the medicines Dr. Baranoskaya gave me. "I say, lifting the bag.

"We talked to Mari and she told me that you shouldn’t worry about the school." he says and I nod, taking a deep breath.

"OK. When I need help changing my bandages, I'll call you guys. "I say, opening a sad smile for them. At the moment, I just want to sleep. "

"I'll prepare soup for you to eat later." Toshiya says, messing my hair.

"Arigato." I say, still with a smile on my face, before going to the bedroom where I sleep.

~ x ~

"Oh, what a surprise!" I listen as I approach the bar counter, where a brown-haired boy wipes freshly washed glasses.

"My name is Yuuri Kunogi." I say, sitting next to the reporter, who is holding a drink with both his hands. "I need your help."

"Yuuri Kunogi?" He repeats, looking at me in surprise. "Now, where did I hear that name before? And ... are you okay? What happened?"

"My injuries are the reason I'm here." I reply, smiling at the boy. "I'm a minor, so I'd like a juice."

"Orange?" The boy asks, smiling as he sees me nod. "Understood."

I look back at the reporter and take a deep breath.

"I was beaten by a gang the day before yesterday. They seemed to be a mafia group, which is using students from my school to carry items I believe are drugs in exchange for money. I ... I need to know his name. "I say, biting his lip.

"Someone like you is too young to think about revenge." Morooka comments, sipping more of his drink and making me laugh.

"What if I reveal to you what I know about Agape?" I ask, watching him choke on the drink.

"Karpisesk’s Agape?" He asks, and I shake my head.

"Giacometti’s Agape, actually," I reply, watching him drink again. "I am Agape."

I giggle as he chokes again.

"It's me in that picture, skating to the sound In Regards of Love - Agape, in a championship called Skate America last year." I say, receiving the boy my juice and taking a sip. "Thank you. It is delicious."

"Needing, just call. My name is Leo de La Iglesia." He says, moving away.

"Yuuri Kunogi. I remember now, "Morooka says, sighing. "This is going to be interesting. The name of the person you are looking for is Crispino, Geo ... "

In a panic, I cover his mouth, because I know that if he reveals the full name, the navigator will transport us to the palace and I don’t want to reveal yet that I am Eros to him. Not yet

" Incomplete cognition. " I listen and see him widen his eyes at me.

"I'm sorry, but I need you to write his name out of special circumstances." I say, pulling away and drinking the juice again, very embarrassed.

"Okay." He says, picking up a napkin and writing something on it, before folding and handing me over. "I suggest you burn this paper after reading the contents of it."

"Of course." I say, handing $ 5 to Leo for the juice and getting me up, leaving the place.

~ x ~

"So ...?" Phichit asks, sitting on the counter in the cafeteria.

"I have the name. And the app reacted to the surname Crispino." I tell him, doing the dishes used by customers.

"So you plan to visit the first floors of the palace tonight?" Christophe asks, next to Phichit and drinking a glass of water soon after.

"Yes," I reply, wiping my hands. "I want to prepare to invade with everything."

"Just be careful, Yuuri. Tonight there’s a dense fog, which means that Dark Hour can interfere with the Palace's cognition. "Morgana says, surprising me.

"I understand." I say, looking at them seriously. "Are you going to want to go with me, Chris?"

"I don’t know. If it was daytime, I'd even take it, but after what I heard about this Dark Hour, I end up thinking it could only really bother you." He says, seriously.

"I see. Maybe Phichit can make Necronomicon take pictures for you to use as an inspiration." I comment, making them widen their eyes.

"That's an interesting idea!" Phichit says, excited.

"I agree. My hands are itching to draw Phantom Thief Eros in action." He says, making me laugh.

"Of course you are." I comment, rolling my eyes.

~ x ~

"Giovanni Crispino."

"Cognition found. Name: Giovanni Crispino. Location: All of Detroit. Two floors released. Users: Yuuri Kunogi, Takeshi Nishigori and Sara Crispino. "

Wait, what?

Immediately I am transported to the palace. Or rather, for a decadent version of the central street of the train station. The dense fog seems to hide something in that street. And this uncertainty is making me feel a shiver run through my body.

" Eros! Why the hell do you have two extra signals coming from Necronomicon? "

"Anteros, take me to these signals. Somehow, the app decided to transport Nishigori with me, even if he wasn’t by my side. "I say, realizing that I'm wearing my normal clothes and without my face mask. "Oh no, I'm not like Eros now!"

"What? Wait a minute. Mona is saying that Dark Hour is messing with your navigator. Under normal circumstances I would tell you to come back, but if other people are here too, then we need to go after them before it's too late." Phichit says, making me let out a long sigh.

I advance, with the aid of Necronomicon to escape the Shadows. It's very difficult, because the fog gets in the way and I end up hitting hard things that are moaning in pain. Terrified, I pull away from them apologizing.

Finally, I meet Nishigori. That runs in my direction to escape a Shadow.

"Here!" I scream, waving at him to attract his attention.

"You ..." He starts, gasping at my side as Necronomicon throws a smoke bomb into the shadow.

"Not now." I say, approaching the screaming girl. "Everything is fine now!"

I raise my cell phone, being watched by both.

" Ending Navigation for Yuuri Kunogi, Sara Crispino and Takeshi Nishigori. "

~ x ~

"What the hell just happened?" I hear, and I realize that the real-world mist remains dense and cold. "I was lounging by the train station when I suddenly stopped in that scary place ..."

"What was that place?" The girl asks, pale.

"Sorry about that." I say, and they look at me in surprise.

"You're the boy who was threatened by that fucker" Nishigori says, looking at me in surprise.

"I'm Yuuri Kunogi. Also known as Phantom Thief Eros. "I say, putting my hands in my pockets. "And it was me who made the teacher confess his crimes in the assembly."

He looks at me, frowning.

"I doubt you did it, skinny like that." he says, staring at me in surprise. "I can tell you have an athletic body, so I'll help you get a lot stronger."

New Arcade Bond Acquired: The Chariot ~ Level 01

New Mask Acquired: Captain Kid

...

What the fuck is that?

And why the hell am I cursing?

"I don’t understand." The girl named Sara comments, and I sigh.

"I'm a thief," I say, moving closer to her and touching her hair. "And my next big target is Giovanni Crispino."

She looks at me with a flushed face and wide eyes. I keep wondering who she really is and why the hell does she have her face that way too.

"If you need anything, meet me at LeBlanc coffee shop." And I pull away, releasing a long sigh. "I hate it when things get more complicated."

Chapter Text

Watching Takeshi Nishigori at the door of the classroom, waiting for me minutes before class isn’t something I expected so soon.

"I just want to help you improve your fitness." He says, rather excited.

"I know and thank you for it, but today I already have things I need to do." I say, releasing a long sigh." Why do not you show up at LeBlanc tonight to talk to me and meet the others"

"Nice. Let's exchange phone and email." He says, lifting his cell phone and giving me to add a new contact.

I do the same with mine, and soon we exchange back.

"See you later, partner." He says, and I put my hands in my pockets, looking at him in surprise.

~ x ~

"Hello, Mister Yakov Feltsman? My name is Yuuri Kunogi. Dr. Baranoskaya spoke to you about me ... "

You are really Yuuri Kunogi?

“Yeah. Can we meet? I need to speak with you personally.”

Of course.

~ x ~

Yuuko Kirihara

She woke up!!

Me

!!!!!!

...

After learning to cook more dishes with Toshiya-san, I shower and change clothes, going immediately to the hospital. There, I follow up to Nakamura-san's room, meeting Kirihara-san, Professor Katsuki, President Babicheva and Takeshi Nishigori.

"Is she okay?" I ask, being hugged by Kirihara-san, who cries a lot.

"The doctors are examining her." Teacher Katsuki says, serious. "

"It’s a good thing she woke up." I say, releasing a long sigh and hugging Kirihara-san back.

"Yes." She says, smiling "Thank you, Kunogi-kun."

~ x ~

"Attention, everyone. Today instead of classes, we're going to pay a visit to the LionHeart TV, where we'll be an audience for the ‘ Talking in JJ Style! ' show." Suddenly, the various girls in the classroom begin to talk about it, excited. "Pay enough attention and behave!"

The teacher continues to explain about such a walk, and I feel my cell phone vibrating in my pocket. I pick it up and see that I got a message from Phichit.

...

PhichiChu

I know you're in class but I want to let you know that I've found certain things about this man called Tanaka.

And after Morgana read what I discovered, he simply jumped out the window and ran out into the street. I think he's going to you.

Oh, besides, I think we'll have the posters ready for print soon enough.

Me

Apparently we will go for a brief excursion on a TV station, to such a program with the boy named JJ. He's not going to meet me at school.

PhichiChu

OMG! My baby will appear on TV! Chris and I will definitely watch!

...

Well, the probability that I appear totally on television is very rare. And even though I'm no longer a professional skater, I still hate getting involved with the media. LionHeart TV. If I'm not mistaken…

"Guys, I want everyone together while one of the TV staff will give us a tour before we take part in the program." Professor Katsuki says, folding her arms. "Students who gets caugh loitering in the aisles will lose entry points. Now…"

I tilt my face and stare through the bus window, watching the streets pass as we head to the TV station.

...

"Cognition Found. Place: LionHeart TV Station. "

I freeze when I hear the voice coming from my cell phone. Apparently, thanks to the uproar of the students, no one else had listened. I let out a long sigh, wondering what the fuck it would be if they started to question me about my app.

The tour by the TV station was ... boring in my opinion. Maybe because I already know what's going on behind the scenes from my experience as a junior skater.

"Good morning people! Today in 'Talking in JJ Style !!' we will openly discuss a subject that is catching people's attention. "A very pretty and neat girl says, speaking for the cameras.

"I agree, Gloria." His partner, a man in a gray suit and black tie, says beside her. "We're talking about the elusive Phantom Thief Eros!"

"Curiously, many students at the Clockstrings Academy are being helped by this mysterious thief, who steals the evil hearts from his targets. People like former teacher Leonardo Monteiro and former painter Josef Karpisek have openly stated that they have been targeted by him." The girl says, looking at her partner, that I realise is holding one of the cards made by Chris.

"It's rather curious." The man says, lifting up and showing the front and back of the card. "It is said that the card that was placed at the school incriminated the former teacher was totally different from this. Unfortunately, as the school board decided to destroy the cards days before his confession, we don’t have one to show our viewers. "

"And then, to talk to us about this strange Phantom Thief, we're going to get our star on stage ... JJ!" The girl says, and a camera that is looking at the side passage connects.

Waaaah, such a dullest bullshit. And those presenters ... I imagine what they keep in their hearts to make that kind of expression when they know that the cameras are no longer focusing on them.

"This is ... JJ Style !!" The boy says, making the same movements with his fingers again, and I do everything I can to keep my hand on my forehead, because in my opinion it's ridiculously crap.

Girls from my school who are sitting around me scream, which makes me cover my ears. I roll my eyes, beginning to hate the fact of being there. Thanks to that, I can see the girl who was with him, also screaming and I wonder if it feels good to see your boyfriend being someone so famous so young. Besides, I feel like I've heard her voice somewhere ...

"So, JJ? What do you have to tell us about Phantom Thief Eros? "The girl asks after the girls calm down.

"After checking the information I've collected about Eros, I can very well say that they are someone who wants to play like DC’s Punisher. Someone who’s doing their so called justice with their own hands. We don’t know the method used by Eros to get their targets to change their attitude from one moment to another without approaching them, which makes things more and more intriguing, don’t you all agree with me?" The boy whose name is JJ says, with a broad smile on his face.

"As you'd expect from our brilliant Detective King. Our modern Holmes." The man next to the girl comments, making me frown.

After all, almost everything he said is pretty basic information. Except the last part, it makes me wonder how he knows that.

"Oh, right! How about we ask our audience about their opinion of Eros?" The girl rises from where she is sitting and, taking the microphone with her, approaches us. "Today we are pleased to welcome students from the second year of the Clockstrimgs school, who were victims of Professor Leonardo Monteiro."

When I see her look around until she stops in my direction and looks at me, I'm surprised. Oh, shit. This is not going to be good.

"You, dark-haired boy with blue-rimmed glasses. What's your name? "She says, approaching me and putting the microphone in my face.

"Yuuri." I reply, clenching my hands tightly in my lap.

"So, Yuuri? What do you think about Phantom Thief Eros? "She asks, and I tilt my face at her, giving a shy smile.

"Eros is someone who doesn’t need to be bound by the laws of modern society to make evil people repent of their sins." I say, scaring her. "Besides, can you think about it? Who would suspect that someone influential and popular like Josef Karpisek was manipulating not only his pupils but also everyone else? I believe Eros is still going to help society a lot, in his way. "

"Ohhh, so you're a fanatic about him?" She asks, looking at me with a blush on her face.

HER TOO?!!!

"I am more like someone they helped by making the teacher confess his crimes, after all, I was one of his victims." I cross my legs and use my right arm to support my face in them, looking at her seriously.

"Could you really explain this..." She begins, but is interrupted by JJ.

"That's a very interesting opinion!" He exclaims, making everyone look at him. "But let's not forget that Eros is just a criminal who needs to be tried for his crimes as well."

"What crimes are you talking about, JJ?" The male presenter asks, and the girl next to me returns to the stage.

"Threats. These cards are no more than tools used to threaten their victims. Also, I'm sure the victims were forced to reveal everything, so we can add blackmail and coercion. As the investigation is just beginning and there is not much information about Eros, I don’t know what else we can add here. "JJ says, making me look at himseriously.

"True. If we think about it, Eros is also a criminal. "The girl says and I let out a long sigh.

Of course they would make me a goddamn criminal. Well, I accept the challenge. Try to catch me if you can, JJ.

...

"Are you okay, Kunogi-kun?" Kirihara-san asks, approaching me.

"Yes, I am." I say, smiling at her.

"I almost had a heart attack when she approached you and asked your name." Professor Katsuki says, tapping me on the shoulder.

"For a moment I thought about using your last name, but then I thought the students might find it strange. So I decided to just use my given name." I say, looking sheepishly.

"Yuuri Katsuki." she says, and I feel a strange shiver in my body. "It's a cool name."

"By the way, I'm still mad! Who does that idiot think it is to say that Eros is a criminal?" Kirihara says, making me look in surprise.

"Weren’t you his fan?" I ask, watching her do the beak.

"I was. Until I see the idiot criticize the guy I like." She says and freezes, her eyes widening.

"You like ..." I begin to ask, but she uses her hands to shut me up.

"Shut up!" She exclaimed.

"Oh boy." Professor Katsuki comments to my side, laughing.

"Hey, you." We listened and I turn my face, noticing JJ and the girl there, looking at me seriously. "We can talk a little bit?"

"Fine." I say, moving closer to them.

"I'd like to say that your performance on the program was excellent." He says, smirking broadly.

"I need to apologize, because I wasn’t acting." I say, tilting my face at him and smiling as well. "I told the truth."

"If so, how come your name did not appear in Leonardo Monteiro's investigation?" He asks, and I shrug him off.

"Who knows?" I ask, laughing. "You see, maybe  someone didn’t want my name to be there?"

I notice that he looks at me with surprise and cheeks flushed. Now it’s him?!! With a long sigh, I turn my back and move away from him.

"Wait!" I listen and stop walking, turning to him. "You don’t know who i am? I'm JJ, the King of Detectives! "

"Yuuri Kunogi," I say, putting my hands on my pockets.

I see the girl widen her eyes and hide behind JJ, who looks at me with a broad smile on her face.

"I Like your determination. I hope we can talk more at another time." He says, making me frown.

"Fine by me." I say, curious about the girl's weird behavior.

“Then it’s a deal.”

...

New Arcana Bond Acquired: The justice ~ Level 01

New Mask Acquired: Robin Hood.

~ x ~

"Yuuri!" I hear Morgana, who is lying inside my desk in the classroom.

"Shhhhh!" I do, sitting and laying on the table. "Not so loud."

"Hehehe, I'm sorry. I'm excited because it's the first time I'm at your school, "he says, wagging his tail.

"Phichit told me that you have information about that man named Tanaka," I whisper, noticing Kirihara-san staring at me in surprise.

"Yes," he says seriously. "That man is a president of a company that sells all kinds of products in Japan. From things to the house to clothes, shoes and even food. But oddly enough, he started using loans that he borrowed from someone unknown. Over time, he started to sell his products on television and today, he also sells through the internet too."

"So he's a nice guy?" I ask, folding my arms.

"This is rather doubtful, as there are several old reports about him being a fraud and his unethical work. In addition, the period he started beats the period when Dark Hour happened there in Japan. "He says, making me frown. "I think he might be a nice guy now, but we should keep our eyes open. Now the question is: Do you want to skate competitively? "

"I ... I want to skate, but not in competitions." I say, taking a deep breath. "Maybe Ice shows, but that's it."

"So that's your answer." He says, and I smile.

Yes. That's my answer.

Chapter Text

You made me wait quite a while. You seek power, correct? Then let us form a pact. Since your name has been disgraced already, why not hoist the flag and wreak havoc...? The other you who exists within desires it thus...I am thou, thou art I...The thunder at the bottom of the Pandora's box, able to see between any fog. There is no turning back...The skull of rebellion is your flag henceforth!

Wait, does that mean I can investigate the world of television? This is awesome!

" Greetings, brave gentleman. I can feel in your heart the strength to fight for the ones you love. This brings me joy, so much joy. Fear not, brave gentleman. I will be joining your adventures right now, thus...I am thou, thou art I...The light at the bottom of the Pandora's box, able to share the fight experience with our allies. "

...

" Eros, where is the palace?! " I hear Phichit and look around in surprise.

I feel a great shiver as I realize that the strange objects once practically hidden by Dark Hour are actually ATMs that are scattered all over the place. I, who are wearing my normal clothes, decide to get closer to these machines and get scared to realize that there are moans of pain.

They're people?

"Are you okay?" I ask, approaching and touching them.

And then I get scared to see more machines falling from the sky. And look at it when you see ... a big spaceship?

" DAFUQ!!!! " I listen, and I bite my lip to keep from laughing.

" That man ... " I listen and look at one of the fallen machines. " He lends us easy money, and forces us to work for him by selling drugs. If you refuse, we are forced to pay double ... "

Lend money? As a…

"Bank?" I say, looking up and frowning.

" Cognition found. Desire: Bank. Third floor released. "

From the ship, a ramp descends to me, and I, with my hands in my pockets, slowly climb into it. When I finally get to the top, I am surprised to see a large bench, surrounded by a beautiful flower garden, which gives a certain charm to the place. Charm that hides the rot of his master. I open the front door and enter, already being received by two shadows but not being able to do anything against them because I am not wearing my Phantom Thief clothes.

"Stop there!" I listen and wonder how they're talking.

"Identify yourself immediately." The other says, holding up a big truncheon.

"My name is Yuuri Kunogi." I say, getting nervous.

"Oh, I understand. You're the boss's special client. "The first one says, turning away. "Follow me, boy. I'll take you to him. "

I realize that the other stands behind me, preventing me from escaping. I then see no other choice but to accompany that Shadow, who takes me to a room with a large amount of money.

" That is… "

"Shhh." I do, silencing Phichit immediately.

I get closer to the money and I realize what he wanted to do with me. Fucking Bastard ... Then I realize Giovanni Crispino's green skin appears on a television.

" Greetings, Yuuri Kunogi. I can see that you're already much better after that meeting. But let's get down to business, because I still have a lot of people to collect debts today. " He says, laughing. " So, you see all that money there? It's all yours. Use to pay your debt with me and buy some new things, like ... a pair of ice skates. "

"Let me guess." I say, tilting my face at him. "You were involved in the case of the assault to which I was unjustly accused."

"Such a clever boy!" He exclaimed, clapping his hands. "You're right. It was me who obliged the ISU to erase all his records, to withdraw his medals and his prizes. It was a lot of fun, you know ?! And the money I got for it? Wonderful."

Funny? Is he saying it was fun to end dreams, someone's career?

For money?

"You know what." I say, getting very angry. "You can put that whole pile of money in the middle of your ass, you damn pig."

He looks at me in shock, which makes me smile.

"And if you really think I'm the same as before, you're very much mistaken." I say, feeling my power coming to me. "Carmen!"

With my scream, I am covered by the flames and reappears wearing my Phantom Thief clothes. I invoke my fire Persona and with great pleasure I point to the pile of money.

"Agilao." I say, watching her send her fire attack in that direction and burn it all.

"You ... you bastard!" I hear, and then I advance to the two Shadows, defeating them easily.

" Yuuri Kunogi, my dear son. You were amazing! Now tell me, since when have you been swearing so openly? "I hear Phichit and I let out a long sigh.

"I started to feel that will the other time I came here." I say, advancing through the bank.

I continue to face more and more Shadows, until I stop in a very peculiar part. In front of me is a large door of a safe, but to open it requires the help of two people.

"Anteros?" I ask, pacing back and forth.

" I'm already seeing what I can do. " He says and I see Necronomicon approaching one of the buttons and from inside it, a cable comes out, which fits. " Let the door open. "

And as was to be expected, it opens. Satisfied, I move on.

"Captain Kidd! Mazioga ! "I exclaim, invoking Takeshi's Person. "Robin Hood! Kouga! "

" Holy shit, Eros! You're kicking their ass beautifully. " Phichit exclaims, as I walk down the elevator and see in the mirror the appearance of my next destination.

"It looks like a safe lock." I say, folding my arms.

I breathe in relief when I feel the presence of a Safe Room right next to where I come. Inside it, I jump on the couch and eat onigiri with coffee, feeling refreshed

" Eros, according to the map, the treasure is downstairs from where you are only accessible by the central elevator. I was able to detect a computer where you can use my virus to disable the security system and handle the pass for you. "

"Perfect." I say, breathing in and out of the Safe Room.

Deploying virus, security disabled, access to the central lift released. Shadows that are defeated there and the treasure, in its smoked form, found. Sighing, I pick up my cell phone.

" Closing navigation for Yuuri Kunogi. "

~x~

"Yuuri! You were so cool to appear on TV! "Christophe says, when I get to Leblanc to work.

"How are the posters going, Christophe?" I ask, smiling at him.

"They're almost ready to be printed." he replies, with a satisfied smile on his face.

"Great, but don’t print them yet. I want to do a part of them as Calling Cards to catch the attention of Giovanni Crispino. "I say, licking my lips. "That man will get what he deserves."

"You can leave it with me, Yuuri." He says, seriously.

"I'm counting on you, Chris."

...

Takeshi Nishigori immediately agrees to join us, claiming to be my personal trainer. I also notice that he looks at Kirihara-san timidly, and I wonder if he likes her.

~ x ~

"Hey, Guang-Hong? Is there a problem? "I ask the boy after returning to the Min-So Park restaurant.

"Just something nasty that's going on." he says sullenly as he cleans the tables.

"I understand. Well, whatever it is, I think it's going to be all right in the end. "I say, looking at him with a smile on his face.

"I ... I hope so." he says, timidly.

...

" Who was? Who dared to play on my forum? Is this some kind of a joke? "

"No, Guang-Hong." I say, face-to-face with Guang-Hong's cognition within the world of TV. "It was my ally who made the necessary modifications to adapt the forum so that I, Eros, have access to the information necessary to change people's hearts."

" Eros? Are you Phantom Thief Eros? "He asks, looking at me in surprise. " You really exist! "

"Yeah, and I'm here to help you." I say, putting my hands in my pockets.

" Are you really going to use my forum? " He asks, calming down.

"I'm already using it."

" Thank you, Eros. " And he disappears with a smile on his face.

" Ending navigation for the Midnight Channel. "

...

Shzzzzzz ...

" What should I do? " I listen to the female voice and look at the television in surprise. " It hurt to have to see my parents having trouble because of money. It hurt to see cruel people throwing dishes of food on the floor without even eating and leaving without paying. I became a thief, to steal from these bastards and avenge my parents, but ... I ended up causing more problems ... "

~ x ~

"And then, partner? Are you ready to run with me this morning? "He asks, surprising me.

"Is it okay for you to run? Even with your leg ..." I begin to say, making him laugh out loud.

"Don’t worry. I can’t run like before, but the doctors said I could run normally." He says, smiling. "Besides, you will not be the only one benefited by our exercises."

"Okay, then." I say, starting to stretch my leg muscles and warm myself up.

I look at him with a broad smile on his face, for I am about to surprise him with my stamina.

...

"Fuff, fuff, fuff ... You ..." He starts, panting. "You’re an asshole."

"Yeah, I know." I say, pretending innocence.

Arcana Bond Update: The Chariot ~ Level 02

~ x ~

"Kunogi-kun, could you help me? I have to work as a model and they asked me to bring a beautiful friend because one of the models got hurt." Kirihara-san tells me, surprising me.

"Wait, what do you mean?" I ask, terrified.

"I just think you might want to act like a girl, so I'm giving you a chance to let go of your feminine side. Also, I found on the internet this super cool bracelet that on one side her color is blue, which symbolizes the masculine side and the other is pink, symbolizing the feminine side." She says, all excited and pulling me by the arm.

"Wait... Kirihara-san!" I exclaim, but she just ignores me.

...

Well, here I am wearing a black wig, navy blue sleeveless dress, sandals, makeup and jewelry. I'm surprised to see that do I look like a girl and that I’m ok with it. But the problem is that Yuuko never warned me that the other model is none other than Sara Crispino. Timidly, the three of us are photographed and by some mystery, it was a success.

Seriously?

"You're too good to be a novice model." Sara Crispino says, and I stare at her in surprise.

"Thank you." I say, biting my lip to keep from laughing.

Ah, if only she knew…

"Kunogi-kun! You were awesome! "Yuuko exclaims, hugging me. "Thank you!"

"No problem. It was even fun." I say, looking back at Sara, who looks at us in surprise.

"She ... did she just call you Kunogi?"

"First of all I'd like to say that it's all her fault." I say, pulling back the wig and watching her eyes widen. "And I didn’t expect to meet you like this, so quickly."

"Oh my God, you've fooled everyone perfectly. How? "She asks, making me a little flushed.

"This job was also a way to help him feel more comfortable with his feminine side." Kirihara-san says, sitting down next to me. "Kunogi-kun is Genderfluid, so I'm helping him get a better understanding."

"That's ... interesting to know." Sara comments, with a strange look on her face.

"And then, Kunogi-kun? What did you think? "Kirihara-san asks, looking at me shyly.

"I liked it. I felt good wearing women's clothes. Maybe we can do something like this other times? "I ask, watching her look at me animatedly.

"Of course!" She exclaims, making me smile.

...

Arcana Bond Update: The Lovers ~ Level 04

...

"You know, for a Phantom Thief, you're not a very showy person, like that boy named JJ." Sara comments, surprising us. "I think if it's you, you'll be able to save my father from yourself."

"Don’ worry. Soon he will realize that everything he is doing is wrong. "I say, looking at her seriously.

~ x ~

After helping the Katsukis in the restaurant, Professor Mari Katsuki takes me on a motorcycle to a motor racing track.

"Today, you're going to leave here knowing how to drive a real bike." she says, looking at me seriously. "But before you ever think on going down the street in one by yourself, study and take the exams to get your driver's license."

"I will, yes." I say, giving a shy smile. "It's in my plans to learn how to drive properly."

"Fine." she said, smiling broadly. "Now let's get started."

...

Arcana Bond Update: The Temperance ~ Level 04

...

"Well well. If it's not Mari Katsuki. "I hear Nikolai's voice and I'm surprised he's there. "Are you teaching someone to be despicable like you?"

Oh, since I'm wearing a helmet, he doesn't know it's me.

"I'm just helping this guy ride a motorcycle. That's all." she says, looking at him coolly. "You know, more than anyone else, that I've left my past behind."

"Your past as a thief can never be left behind." Nikolai says, frowning at us. "You brought disgrace and disappointment to your parents."

"I know!" She exclaims, surprising me. "I know what my actions have done to my parents. That's why I moved! I ... I've changed. "

I touch her on the shoulder, watching her look at me in surprise. I nod to her, making her smile, timidly.

~ x ~

PT Chat

Chris

Posters are ready.

Phichit

They were great !!!

Me

Perfect. If nobody has anything against it, we'll act tonight.

Chapter Text

Scattered in the commercial streets and train stations of the city are several posters and blue and black cards, using the name Phantom Thief Eros, a QR Code for the forum and also declaring my next big target: Giovanni Crispino.

The following morning, people taking pictures of the posters and commenting on social networks further increase the popularity of the Phan-site, which is now a poll about it.

~ x ~

Wait a minute! Why has a safe door in the place where the treasure should be?

"Anteros?" I ask, approaching slowly.

"The treasure is behind the door, Eros." I listen, and then I perceive the presence of Giovanni and his henchmen.

" Look, a fly appearing where it shouldn’t be. " He says, making his henchmen laugh. " But I already told you that, didn’t I? "

"Yeah. But at that time I was a normal kid. Now I'm someone who can beat you to shit." I say, listening to Phichit vibrate.

" Go, my men. Finish him. " Geovani orders, and the three henchmen became Shadows, advancing on  me.

"Goemon!" I call, diverting from their attacks. " Mabufula !"

I got to freeze two out of three, and defend the attack of the third.

"Johanna, Mafreila! " I exclaim, using the nuclear attack bonus and immediately defeating the two frozen ones.

I deflect the third blow and attack him with my knife, defeating him as well.

" Bunch of useless! " Geovani screams angrily.

"If you really want something, just do it yourself." I say, pulling out my pistol and aiming at it. "Now it's your turn.”

" Cheeky kid! You'll regret it! " Geovani exclaims, becoming a ... fly?

"Apparently you're the real fucking fly." I comment, shooting at him twice.

" Shut the fuck up! " He attacks me, but I defend quickly and I quickly go to the counter attack.

"Captain Kidd! Mazio! "

...

" How? How can this happen? " He asks, on his knees.

"You're a lonely, selfish, greedy son of a bitch. You only think of taking advantage of others and forget even your own family. Turn yourself over to the police and confess all your crimes. Use the name 'Agape' to talk about my past." I say, approaching him and picking up a gold bar that is his treasure, at the same time I notice something moving on a farther side.

"I know. I know what I did to you is unforgivable, but I ask you to believe me when I say to be careful. You're not the only one here with me. And 'that man' is also aware of the existence of Eros. "

That man?

The bastard who screwed me?

" Eros! Get out of there! His palace is crumbling! " Phichit exclaims and I sigh.

"Johanna!" She exclaimed, and I sat on the motorcycle with my cell phone in my hands and marched her to the outside of the palace when I listened.

" Completely ending the navigation for Giovanni Crispino, All of Detroit City and Bank. "

~ x ~

"Excuse me, Mr. Yakov Feltsman?" I ask, knocking on the door of the management room of the Gonbei ice rink.

When the door opens and an old man of short stature, gray hair just on the side of the head comes up, staring at me with wide eyes.

"It's really you." he says, making me take a deep breath. "The kid who was supposed to start making history in the world of skating."

"Of course someone like you would recognize me." I say, lowering my head.

"Lilia told me about your problems." He says, stepping back into the room. "I don’t know if I should really do it but in exchange for the keys, I want you working here at night, at the entrance counter. Don’t you dare do triples and quads without my supervision. Do you understand, boy? "

"Yes sir! Thank you very much, sir! "I say, excited.

~x~

Crispino's treasure is a golden briefcase full of money. Fake money, with his face stamped. Money I decide to burn on empty ground and use fire to bake sweet potatoes, which I offer to everyone soon after.

I enter Antiqua, carrying the briefcase in a large recyclable shopping bag and two potatoes in a paper bag.

"Good afternoon, Mr. Plisetsky." I say, making him frown at me. "I roasted some sweet potatoes for my friends, and this ended up left, so here it is. For you and for Yuri. "

Extending the package to it, it picks it up and analyzes the content.

"That's ... nice of you." he says, rather surprised. "Thank you very much."

"Besides, I'd like to sell this here." Pulling the golden briefcase from the bag, I extend it to him who grabs it and analyzes it thoroughly.

"This suitcase ... it's lined with gold. And it is in perfect condition. Where ... where did you get this? "He asks, looking at me seriously.

"An idiot just threw it in the trash near LeBlanc, saying he wouldn’t need it now that Crispino had turn himself to the police. I found it a waste, so I took it, cleaned it, and decided I would sell it, since I have no use for it, but someone can have it." I lie, shrugging and putting my hands in my pockets.

"I see." Nikolai says, looking back at the suitcase. "10 thousand. That's the amount I'll pay for this briefcase. But I don’t know if I should give you all that money. "

"You can deposit into this account here. It’s mine." I say, holding out a piece of paper with my bank account and my ID number. "I already imagined that the value would be too high for my wallet."

"Hehehe. All right, I'll get it over with." He says, smiling. "Thank you so much for the sweet potatoes."

"You're welcome." I say, pulling away and leaving the store.

~ x ~

"Yuuri-kun, Ohayo. " Toshiya-san says, approaching me with a smile on his face.

" Ohayo , Toshiya-san. Can I help you with anything? "I ask, stretching.

"Today I plan to make curry for lunch. Would you like to learn? "He asks and I stare at him in surprise.

"Yes, please." I say, quite excited.

"Fine, then let's go to the kitchen." he says and I immediately go after him.

From aprons placed, ingredients on the table and hands washed, class begins.

"Did you know that Curry is a variety of dishes originating in the Indian subcontinent that use a complex combination of spices or herbs, usually including ground turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, and fresh or dried chilies?” He asks, smiling at my surprised face.

“I knew about it being in dishes from different countries, but only this.” I tell him, excited.

“Today, I’m making Japanese Curry. Usually, it contains onions, carrots, potatoes, and sometimes celery, and a meat that is cooked in a large pot. Sometimes grated apples or honey are added for additional sweetness and other vegetables are sometimes used instead. For the meat, pork, beef, and chicken are the most popular. We serve it with rice, but can be topped with breaded pork cutlet (t onkatsu ), making it a dish called ‘ katsukarē’ or potato croquettes ( Korokke ). Apart from with rice, curry can also served over noodles, possibly even on top of broth in addition, in dishes such as curry udon and curry ramen . It is also used as the filling in a fried curry bread pastry ( karē pan ).”

“Amazing!” I say, after he finish talking.”

I can so use this!

“So, let’s start?” He asks, smiling at me.

“Yes, sir.”

~ x ~

I open my eyes at the same time I hear another chain that surrounds me if I leave. With a sigh, I lift my face and realize I'm in the Velvet Room.

"Wonderful! You're growing more and more! "Igor says, with his eye cold. "I can see in your eyes the desire to revolt with the world. It’s ok. Soon, everything will be clear.”

Arcana Bond Update: The Fool ~ Level 05

“Now, you can steal special items from your foes. Enjoy your gift.”

~x~

I'm in LeBlanc, working behind the counter when I hear the door open.

"Welcome." I say, noticing being Tanaka-san, who approaches me carrying a heavy paper bag.

Is that...?

I watch him sit at an empty table and I approach him.

"Do you want to order something?" I ask, extending the menu to him.

"A coffee, please." He says and I go back to the counter, brew his drink.

With the drink in hand, I serve him and sit on the other side of the table, facing him. From my pocket, I take a white envelope and hold it for him.

"Money from my skates and the ticket," I say, leaning back in my chair.

With a peculiar smile on his face, he hands me the bag.

"Your skates, in the same state as you gave me." He says, taking the envelope and putting it in the inside pocket of his jacket.

With my shaking hands, I pull out of the pack a fairly familiar pair of red and black ice skates, with red and silver protectors and black blades.

"Thank you so much, Tanaka-san." I say, hugging them with my face down.

"No problem, Yuuri. I'm very happy that they are now back in your hands. "He says and I raise my face, smiling timidly to him, crying. "Now, about what we talked about before ..."

"Ice Shows." I interrupt, watching him look at me in surprise. "I agree to attend Ice Shows, where I don’t have to bother about being judged, or pressured to anything."

"Very well. It’s fair, considering everything that happened in the past. "He says, and I let out the breath I was unconsciously holding. "It will be a pleasure to accompany your journey, Yuuri Kunogi. Or should I say, Akira Kurusu? "

"Akira ... Kurusu?" I ask, surprised.

"I told you before, remember? That with a makeup in the right places and a new identity, you could go back to skating without problems." He says, making me smile.

"I don’t think I have the ability to compete any more." I say, getting up from the table. "But I accept that name."

"Nice. I'll get in touch with you as soon as everything is ready. "He says and I put the skates back in the bag.

"Oh my God, another bizarre death!" I listen and turn, looking at the television, where the body of a blond-haired woman wearing a red dress hanging from the electric wires appears on the screen.

" ... The body of Hannah Richmond was found this morning by locals ....

I frown, closing my hands tightly.

"It's happening again." I listen and turn to Tanaka-san who looks coldly at the television.

" Breaking News! Supposed mobster who applied millionaire scams mysteriously surrenders to the police. With a search warrant, police now investigate Giovanni Crispino's home and office. Prosecutor Victor Nikiforov is taking over the case and in an interview says that the content of the confession is classified, but he says that yes, Crispino insists that Eros made him change his heart and constantly apologizes to the ISU (International Skating Union) and 'Agape' for the things they did. Now the only question remains: If this Agape is the same Agape as Karpisek, does that mean that the two cases are related? And Agape could be really Yu... "Suddenly the sound disappears just when I realize she was going to speak my name.

" Looks like we have a problem with Alexia’s Volkova’s signal ... "

Chapter Text

I open my eyes, and find myself back in the Velvet Room. But unlike most other times, Igor is not there.

"Good work so far, Prisoner." The sternest female voice says, surprising me.

" You're soon completing the first half of your journey. " The finer, softer voice echoes from the other side of the Velvet Room, and I face it, trying to find both.

"Who are you?" I ask, trying to get up with difficulty. "Why you said I'm defective?"

"My name is Caroline, don’t forget that."

" My name is Justine. We are two librarians for two chosen ones. "

"Eh? What do you mean ‘two chosen ones’? "I ask, getting confused.

"Someone besides you is going through a similar situation." Caroline says, and I hear footsteps echoing from outside my cage.

" Curiously, his Velvet Room is also a prison. " Justine comments, and the number of steps increases, as if it were two people now.

"Stay alert, prisoner. We don’t know what our master plans by having two Wildcards at the same time, and why he made one of them defective. "Caroline says, seriously.

" And not only that. Your personas are actually copies ... " Justine begins to say, but it is silent at the very moment that the sound of a door opens, creaking very loudly.

"Hm? Is there anyone here? "I hear the voice of Igor, who appears sitting at his desk. I just close my eyes and step out of the Velvet Room.

...

"Be careful. One of our sisters is planning to investigate the Midnight Canal in Detroit. "

~ x ~

" Why? Why do I only cause more trouble for my parents? Why do they have to shed tears and apologize for me? "Professor Katsuki of the television world says, making me look sad.

"Because you're their daughter." I reply, making her look at me in surprise. "You're their daughter and they love you. That's why they try to take your mistakes. although your actions are questionable, your intentions were good and they understand that. But now, you've changed. "

" Yes, I have. Even though I can not erase my past, I've changed. "

"Instead of erasing your past, why don’t you use it as a life lesson for yourself and your students?" I ask, watching her look at me with a smile on her face.

" Kunogi ... no. " she says, shaking her face with a smile on her face. " Yuuri-kun. You're amazing, you know that ? "

"Thank you, Mari-san. But it's not about me tonight. "I say, making her giggle.

" I really like you. Too bad you have no interest in anyone but that bastard. "She says, surprising me. " Victor Nikiforov. He ... refused to accuse Leonardo Monteiro of abuse, rape, and threat to students. Thanks to this, another prosecutor assumed not only condemned him for these crimes, but also for coercing Chihoko Nakamura to suicide. Interestingly, Nikiforov did the same with Karlisek, but the same prosecutor made a point of condemning the bastard. "

"The only thing I know is that my browser recognized him even with the incomplete name,. I say, biting his lip right away. "Certainly, I believe I can make him change."

" He seems to be falling for you, so I guess it's going to be alright." she says.

"For you too. Mari-san. "

" Thank you, Yuuri-kun. Or rather, Eros. " She says, disappearing.

" Ending navigation to the Midnight Channel."

...

Shzzzzzzz ...

" I don’t know what else I can do. Phichit is insisting on finding out more about his mother's death. How can I tell a 16-year-old boy that his mother was murdered? All because she discovered something she shouldn’t? "

~ x ~

"Good morning, teacher." I say, seeing Professor Katsuki at the entrance gate of the school.

"Good morning, Yuuri-kun," she says, winking at me.

Oh? I wink back at her, and we both laugh.

...

Arcana Bond Update: The Temperance ~ Nível 05

...

"Hey, Kunogi." I was surprised to see Guang-Hong Ji there, looking at me shyly. "Did you know? I created the Phan-site. "

"You mean the forum about Phantom Thief Eros?" I ask, sitting down at my desk.

"Yes! I thought ... after what you said on TV about him, that you were a fan too, so I wondered if you could join me in investigating certain cases." He says, catching me by surprise.

"Sounds interesting," I say, watching him smile.

"It’s a Deal!!"

...

New Arcana Bond Acquired: The Moon ~ Level 0

...

Level 0? What the fuck? This never happened before!

I look at Guang-Hong, who returns to sit down because of the teacher's arrival.

~x~

"Hey, Mr. Celestino. I'd like to talk to you. "I say, as soon as I enter LeBlanc.

"Of course, Yuuri. What can I do for you? "He asks, looking at me seriously.

"I want to go to work only in the afternoon. I ended up getting another job at night." I say, lowering my face and looking at my feet.

"You ... are you trying to avoid Victor?" He asks, making me flinch.

"It's not like that. I want time to put my thoughts in order. Plus, I have more important things to focus on." I say, gripping the fabric of my pants tightly on both sides.

"Like your health and school, isn’t it?" He asks, and I hear him sigh. "Very well, Yuuri. You can start working now. "

"And Mr. Celestino, I know it can be difficult, but perhaps you should talk seriously to Phichit. He isn’t an adult, but neither is he a child, so stop treating him as one. Trust him more, "I say, watching him look at me in surprise.

"I know. But it's difficult. "He says and I smile shyly at him.

"Living is difficult. But it's okay to be like this. It's less boring, right?" I say, laughing right away.

"Right," he says, laughing, too.

...

" Welcome to another 'Talking With JJ Style!!' This time we have a very special guest. "

" Receive with applause the new sensation at this moment, Seung-Gil Lee, the Chess Prince! "

While the boy who has just appeared on television has a cold, expressionless face, I can see in his eyes something else. He is angry. And I bet it's because he did not want to be there right now.

Seung-Gil Lee remains cool, and refuses to answer questions from the hosts and his anger increases much more when JJ comes and challenges him to a game of chess, which Seung-Gil wins in 5 minutes. During the match, I focus on how he plays and his strategies. Maybe ... can I transfer this to my battles with the Shadows?

~ x ~

With Takeshi Nishigori, I run through a large park. I teach him special stretching exercises for his leg, from when I had injured because of skating.

"Thank you very much, Yuuri. I can feel that my leg is not hurting so much." He says, making me smile at him, who ends up getting his face flushed.

The shit thing about seducing people is that now I’m getting very stressed.

Arcana Bond Update: The Chariot ~ Level 03

~ x ~

"Kunogi." I listen and watch President Babicheva emerge from the teachers' room.

"Yes?" I ask, approaching in surprise.

"I need your help with something very important." She says, entering the room and I decide to step right behind her, which closes her quickly.

"What's the problem?" I ask, looking at her in surprise.

"I heard from the teachers' room that one of them saw a student wearing her school uniform entering an inappropriate establishment." She says, and I throw the party for her. "A nightclub."

"Was it Professor Katsuki who warned you?" I ask, watching her smile and nod.

"The teachers want to give her a suspension. But I wish I could talk to her in person first. To understand what's happening to her." She says and I smile at her, satisfied with that decision.

Arcana Bond Update: The Priestess ~ Level 03

"Let's go tomorrow then? I have a commitment after school today." She says and I nod.

"Of course." I just said, making her excited.

"Great. I'll tell Professor Katsuki about it." She says, and I mean the room with my hands in my pockets.

~ x ~

" I don’t know what else to do. I'm very worried about Phichit and Yuuri, who may accidentally get involved because of the truth about Amaywa's death. I really want them to be happy, but I'm afraid the past will hurt them again. They are too young to suffer so much. " Celestino from the television world says, sitting in a chair and with his right hand on his face.

"It's nice that you care, but why don’t you try to believe them more. They are young, yes, but unfortunately they’re already aware of what it is to lose important things. Talk to Phichit, tell him the truth. Phichit is too intelligent to discover the truth on his own, but in that kind of situation what sort of things could he think, knowing that his stepfather knew more but decided to keep hidden?" I say, watching him look at me in surprise.

" You're right. Maybe I should ask Yuuri to help me when I talk to him. Then he can help Phichit calm down. " He says, making me smile.

"That might be a good idea." I say, watching him disappear.

"Ending navigation for the Midnight Channel. "

...

Shzzzzzzzzzzz ...

"I can’t take it anymore! All I wanted was just to play chess in peace, not to show off on these television shows as if I were a stupid clown. But no, 'She' always forces me to participate because of the money that 'She' receives in my name. I hate her'. My own mother. "

I look at the figure on the television with surprise. After all, I've never met him before in person. He's the kid I saw sharing the stage with JJ last night. Seung-Gil Lee.

Chapter Text

Me and President Babicheva actually saw a girl wearing her school uniform entering a nightclub. The president is frightened to recognize the girl as Lisa Mitchell, her classmate, and decided she would talk to her tomorrow at halftime. Before we say goodbye, she gives me a piece of notebook sheet with more names for Mementos.

~ x ~

I'm working late in LeBlanc when the door opens and closes abruptly, startling everyone present. Shocked, I see Victor sit down and punch the counter. He looks at me furiously, making me freeze.

"Shit." He says, bringing his right hand to his face. "I'm sorry, Yuuri. I'm just frustrated."

"If you want to talk, I can listen to you." I say, nervous to see him there.

"I guess... it shouldn't be a problem. A cup of coffee and a sandwich of cheese and ham first." He says, letting out a sigh.

"Understood." I say, already beginning to prepare his coffee.

I notice that he is a little pale and his eyes are swollen, which makes me worried.

"I missed you the night before. When Celestino told me that you asked to change shifts, I even thought you were avoiding me." He says, and I realize that my hands are shaking when serving his coffee.

"Actually I'm going to work at night somewhere else, so I asked to take it up in the afternoon." I say, holding out a plate with the sandwich for him.

"And this new work will not disrupt your studies?" He asks, surprised. "I'm surprised your parents allowed ..."

I see him shut up suddenly, staring at me seriously, obviously remembering what I told him.

"Sorry," he says, and I smile shyly at him.

"It's all right. And there's no problem with my studies. My grades are good and I'm used to studying a little daily at school, where I can ask teachers for help." I reply, washing the dirty dishes.

"I see." He just says, sipping his coffee.

"Tell Celestino that today's coffee is delicious." He says, holding me out with the cup on top.

"Thank you." I say, and he looks at me in surprise.

"You made it?" He asks, surprised.

"Yes. Celestino is teaching me while I'm working here. "I bow to him, feeling my face flush.

He looks at me in surprise.

"Handsome, cute, smart, hardworking, loves dogs, has a perfect ass and legs and knows how to make delicious coffee." Victor says, looking at me seriously.

Yuuri.exe stopped working. Restarting the system now.

I bring my hands to my face, which I may feel is burning. I look at him through my fingers and I see his eyes widen.

"I ... did I say it aloud?" He asks, and I nod.

"Yes, you did!" One customer says, causing others to laugh.

Suddenly I see him blush, take out money from his wallet and put it on the table before he gets up and leaves the cafe quickly.

What the hell? Why am I finding his face flushed super cute?

I let out a sigh and took his money, jotting it down in my notebook to give him back his change next time.

~ x ~

"Yuuri, will you serve Phichit coffee?" Celestino asks and I take a deep breath, nodding. "Right. Could you stand by him and listen to our conversation? It's very important."

It's time.

"You can leave it with me." I say, smiling at him.

...

"Peach?" I ask, approaching and holding the cup with coffee and a sandwich.

"Hm?" He asks, his eyes glazed on the computer.

"Celestino is coming to tell you what really happened to your mother." I say, watching him stop typing and look at me in surprise.

"Are you serious?" He asks, and I nod to him.

"I’m serious." I reply, staring at him. "He asked me to stay by your side. And that's what I'm going to do. "

"You know, I'm a little scared." he says, biting his lower lip.

"It's okay to be scared. That's why I'll be by your side." I say, being hugged by him.

"Phichit," Celestino says, climbing the stairs and approaching us. "Yuuri."

"What’s up, Celestino?!" Phichit exclaims, making me smile.

"Well I would like to talk about something excited to you but unfortunately the matter is serious." He says, taking a deep breath. "It's about your mother, Phichit. And Yuuri, before you say it's none of your business, I'd like you to support Phichit while I reveal everything I know about Amaywa and her last moments. "

"Understood." I say, approaching my friend and touching him on the shoulder.

"Amaywa Chulanont was a co-worker of mine, from when I worked for the government in a research lab on the human brain. While I was just a newly hired assistant, she was one of the leading neuroscientists at that lab and also famous for her discoveries in the field of neurology, especially when it comes to diseases like Alzheimer's. A week before her death, the two of us met and I told her about my resignation and the opening of my coffee shop. She knew it was my dream and my coffee was the only one she really liked, so she congratulated me and told me a bit about her recent research and that she wrote a book about it. The same book you found, Yuuri." He says, and I nod to show him that I realized that. "Of all the complex things she told me, only one word caught my eye. Cognition. Of course I didn’t understand at the time. When I received the news of her death, I was shocked that there was no police investigation, as the case was considered as an accident and so, it was closed, and also because she left in testament that I should keep custody of her son until he turns 18, where he should receive the life insurance she left for him. I also discovered that all her research was mysteriously erased from the lab system, through another co-worker. I started to find this strange, so I went to investigate the accident on my own and ended up meeting a witness who saw her being run over. He told me that before accidentally running over a girl, she was crossing the street when she suddenly stopped walking, started bleeding from her mouth, nose and eyes and was hit by a car. This witness called 911, and when the police arrived, they did not even talk to her and declared the case an accident. And of course the driver didn’t even stop to check what happened to her. "

"Cognition." I say, squeezing Phichit's shoulder as he shakes.

"And that's all I know. I went to the police to have their case opened and to investigate completely, but not only was rejected, but also spent the night with other criminals for contempt." He says, and I realize he's shaking too. "That's why I didn’t want you to investigate your mother's death. Because I realized that nothing I did was going to change the situation and there was a possibility that you too would get stuck or something. I swore to Amaywa, at her funeral, that I would do anything to protect you. "

I watch the two, who are now hugging and crying. I realize that my eyes also fill with tears and that my presence there is no longer necessary.

"Yuuri." I hear Phichit just as I approach the stairs and stop walking, looking at them. "Thank you for being a good friend."

"Thank you too for staying with him, Yuuri." Celestino says, smiling.

Arcana Bond Update: The Hermit ~ Level 05

...

New Arcana Bond Acquired: The Hierophant ~ Level 0

Again an Arcana with Level 0? What is going on?

"I didn’t do anything." I answer, with a smile on my face and down the stairs, hurrying out of the coffee shop.

I don’t want them to see how jealous I am. Because even though they are not blood, they are both a family. Something that I don’t have.

~ x ~

I see Seung-Gil Lee playing chess alone in an old church. I sit next to him, and watch the board between us. I pick up a random piece and put it in another position, messing up his game.

"What do you think you're doing?" Seung-Gil asked, glaring at me.

"Playing with you," I reply, taking another piece and swapping it for one of it.

"Hey, what the hell are you doing?! Stop disturbing my game!!" He exclaims, making me smile.

"I'm just playing my way. No boring rules to follow." I comment, raising another piece, but it is take from my hand by him.

"This is a disrespect to chess!" He exclaims, frowning at me. "Leave me alone!"

"It must be boring to always follow the same rules all the time. Be forced to repeat the same moves and watch your opponents do the same thing all the time." I comment, looking at him seriously. "Be ordering to pretend what you do not want to be."

"Who are you?" He asks, getting up from the bench and looking at me with a pale face.

"My name is Yuuri Kunogi. I am someone who can see what’s hidden inside people's hearts. The fears, the desires, the hopes. "I say, getting up from the bench too. "Seung-Gil Lee. If you want to change from the bottom of your heart, I will fulfill your desire."

"Change my heart? Don’t tell me that you are ... "He pauses as he sees me, putting his right index finger to my lips, asking him to be silent.

"Do you want to change?" I ask, watching him swallow.

"Please, help me." He asks, and I smile at him.

"Very well." I say, putting my hands in my pockets. "Don’t worry. Soon you will realize the difference. "

~ x ~

Me and Yuuko Kirihara are in the hospital. Chihoko can already receive visitors, so here I am, carrying a bouquet of flowers and accompanying Kirihara-san, who is super excited.

"Chihoko! I'm so glad you woke up! Did you know what happened? Leonardo Monteiro confessed everything to the entire school! I'm so relieved that it's all over. Now ..." Kirihara-san says, and I watch Nakamura-san's cold expression, which makes me frown and realize that something is wrong.

"Who are you?" Nakamura-san asks, and I can feel her lip shaking right away.

"What ... hWhat do you mean ‘who am I’?!" Kirihara-san asks, with a forced smile on her face and wide eyes. "It's me, Yuuko! Your best friend!"

"I ... I don’t know you," she says, undoing Kirihara-san's smile. "Could you please leave?"

I watch Kirihara-san put her hand to her mouth and begin to cry. She leaves the room quickly, and I look back at Nakamura-san.

"You too." She says hoarsely.

I approach a table and, with my back to her, I leave the bouquet of flowers in it.

"Do you really think I'm going to fall for this lie?" I ask, putting my hands in my pants pockets and turning to her, watching her look at me in surprise. "She didn’t realize because your words shocked her, but I realized you were lying. Now the question is: Why are you lying to both of us?"

"You really are amazing." She says, with tears in her eyes. "When I saw you entering the room, something told me that maybe you would be able to see my lies. Yuuko, she's suffering so much because of me. The nurses told me that she came almost all day after school and kept talking to me while I was in a coma. I never wanted to cause trouble for her, especially when that bastard wanted too much to abuse her. "

"Are you telling me that you got involved with him to protect Kirihara-san?" I ask, watching her nod.

"Yuuko is intelligent and beautiful. She works as a model and a scandal involving a teacher would cause her many problems. But I never thought he would be able to do ‘that’ with a student and in the school." She says, making me tilt my head, thinking.

"So, basically, are you blaming yourself for everything that happened and decided you'd better lie to her? Did you really decided that she would be happy now that you think you have lost all the memories of all the good times you two spent together, but you actually are hurting her more and more? "I ask, watching her eyes widen at me and finally begin to cry. " Baaaaaka ! Who should make this decision is her, not you. So why on earth do you think you can decide this on your own. "

"You've changed." she says hoarsely. "I do not know if I should be scared or if I should laugh at you."

"You can do whatever you want to do. I don't care. Just don’t forget that you and she have a very strong bond. A bond that neither Leonardo Silva Monteiro was able to destroy and that you simply just want to throw away now. Kirihara-san is strong because she has you as best friend. "I say, approaching the door and opening it slowly.

"Yuuko, I'm sorry." I hear her say and I smile, noticing Kirihara-san there, also crying.

She smiles at me, before getting in the room and going to Nakamura-san, hugging her.

Arcana Bond Update: The Lovers ~ Level 05

~ x ~

" I don’t want it anymore. I don’t want to be forced to do things I hate anymore. Why doesn’t she care what I want? "

"Why do our parents often think they know what is right for us, when in fact it is the other way around. They think it's up to them to impose their desires on their children and ignore what they really want." I say, watching Seung-Gil Lee from the television world look at me in surprise. "Maybe you should start questioning that responsibility. Maybe you should turn something you find unpleasant into something fun. You can teach someone to play chess, for example. Or how about the next time you show up on television, you tell jokes about chess?"

" Teach someone to play chess. Now that is an interesting idea. But who would be interested? "He asks and is surprised when he looks at me. " Seriously? Do you want to learn? "

"Yes. And I know a better place to play chess. A coffee shop called LeBlanc. If you're willing, of course. "I say, giving him a smile.

" I want to. " He says, smiling as well. " Thank you very much, Yuuri Kunogi. "

"See you later," I say, waving and watching him disappear.

"Ending navigation for the Midnight Channel. "

...

Shzzzzzzz ...

"I lost my job, I'm living in a small old apartment, my family abandoned me and I often go hungry because the money I earn almost always stays for the expenses. I was an exemplary reporter, but when a coworker disappeared while investigating a case on his own and I decided to take over not only his investigation but also to find him at any cost, I was immediately dismissed by phone, and burned all my things in front of me. What should I do now? "

Morooka-san. Don’t worry. I'll help you soon.

~ x ~

" Welcome to the Talking in JJ Style !! Today, JJ will talk to us about Giovanni Crispino. " The female presenter says, with a fake smile on her face.

" Not only that!! JJ will also discuss us with other detectives around the world! Especially the former Japanese Detective Prince, Naoto Shirogane and the current detective Japanese Prince, Goro Akechi. "The male presenter says, surprising me.

" I admire Naoto Shirogane a lot. I am a big fan of him and one of my dreams is to be able to meet him, discuss about several strange cases and ask for an autograph. I also find absurd news sites lying saying that he is a woman. It's impossible. " JJ says angrily.

"But JJ, Naoto Shirogane herself revealed that she was a woman. " The female presenter says, freezing at the sight of him glaring furiously.

" It's a lie! " He exclaims, scaring everyone present. " I do not accept any more than dare to defame his name. "

Naoto Shirogane. Where did I hear that name before?

"Yuuri, mon cher. Can I go with you the next time I visit Mementos? The idea of using Necronomicon to take prints didn’t work out very well." Christophe says, hugging me suddenly and suddenly surprising me.

"Chris! How many times have I told you to stop doing these things to me, you bastard?" I ask, glaring at him and watching him look at me in surprise. "It's all right. I'll take you to Mementos. But if you dare to act like that, I'll leave you there. "

"Yeah, I promise I will behave." He says, chucking.

"Somehow, I don’t believe it." I say, making him gasp.

"Yuuuuuuuri! You wound  me!"

"As if I care."

Chapter Text

Mysteriously, Christophe fulfills the promise he made to not disturb me in Mementos. Since my phone is the only device that works perfectly, he uses it to take lots of pictures while I face and fight the Shadows on President Babicheva's list.

"Wonderful, Yuuri! The photos I took were perfect. Just need to transfer to my email and we can end my side." He says, typing excitedly on my cell. "I just can’t believe there's no spicy photo of you here."

Ah.

"Johanna!" I exclaim, summoning and climbing on her. "S ayonara , Chris."

"Hey, wait..." He starts, but I start and walk past him, taking my cell phone. "Yuuri!"

" Ending navigation for Mementos. "

...

"That... That was mean." Christophe comments, ignoring Phichit who is dying to laugh at him.

~ x ~

It was a test week at school. In other words, all our activities were interrupted so that I, Kirihara-san, Nishigori-kun, Guang-Hong Ji and the president could concentrate on the studies, under the supervision of Professor Katsuki. At least Christophe is busy painting the pictures and Phichit is sleeping after spending the entire night gaming online. To my relief, I can do everything quietly. When the bell rings revealing the end of the day of the last semester class, all the students vibrate with excitement. All but me, who just watch everything and giggles at their excitement.

"Kunogi-kun, how were your tests?" Kirihara-san asks excitedly.

"I was good, and you?" I ask, watching her stretch.

"I was good too. I wonder how Takeshi-kun did. After all, he was the one who had the most trouble studying." She says and I laugh.

In fact, Takeshi said he believes he did well. Something that only teachers can now respond to. But it does not matter now. What matters is that in two days, the school will go on summer vacation.

~ x ~

I am walking through the De La Vega district, planning to meet with Morooka-san to be able to help him on the Midnight Channel, when I am hit in the head by a strange stone.

"Hey!" I exclaim, looking around to see if I find the culprit.

But all I see is a woman with long brown hair and Asian appearance sitting at a table and holding a bottle of drink in her right hand while in the center of the table was a tarot deck. Is she one of those crazies who reads people's fate? No, wait. I made a serious mistake.

Is she one of those crazy drunk ladies who reads people's fortune? Hm, much better.

"I can hear you, you insolent boy." She says, confirming my suspicions.

Yeah, she's completely drunk.

"Was it you who threw a stone at me?" I ask, putting my hands in my pockets and approaching her.

"Of course not! What a grave accusation you are making! I'm just one of those crazy drunks who reads people's luck." she says, making me look in surprise. "My name is Minako Okukawa. Don’t forget that."

"Okay?" I tilt my face, watching her shuffle the cards after realizing she'll just say it.

"I know you should not believe me but I'll read your fortune anyway." she says confidently. "What is your name, boy?"

"Akira Kurusu." I lie, watching her place 5 inverted tarot cards on the table and turn them over immediately. "Hmmm. Akira Kurusu. Heeeh, it says here that you have problems at school, you want to have several women as lovers, you're lazy, you live well with your parents and... that's not your real name. "

I sense a strange aura appear around her at the very moment she says that last part.

"This is cheating," she says, glaring at me.

"Yeah, yeah, I cheated. But shouldn’t you have hit in my luck reading anyway? You missed all the rest." I say, watching her look at me in surprise. "I do well in school, I like a person of the same sex as myself, I like to skate on ice and I was kicked out of my own house months ago by my own parents."

"Shit, I should have reversed the school and parents topics." She says, and I fold my arms because with that she's revealing that she's a farce.

"Well, if there's nothing else to deal with, I need to go." I say, starting to pull away from her and back to my main goal: Go talk to Morooka-san.

" Watch out for women in blue cloaks and gold eyes. " I listen and turn to her, noticing she has that strange aura again.

Women in blue cloaks and gold eyes?

"Oh, leave me alone with my drink." She says, returning to normal.

And I walk away, taking an interest in that crazy drunk woman.

...

"What? Did you come to laugh at my face? "Hisoka Morooka asks as he sees me entering the bar.

"Should I?" I ask, approaching him and sitting in the chair next to me.

"That’s... that's a good question." He says, sighing and sipping the drink from his glass.

"Hello." I watch Leo approach me with a smile on his face. "Juice?"

"Lemon, please." I ask him, who nods and starts to prepare my order.

I look back at Morooka, noticing his depressed mood.

"What happened?" I ask, worrying about him.

"I got fired" He replies, and I watch him lie down on the bar counter. "I'm running out of money, I can lose my old apartment and my family abandoned me."

"You got fired? Why? "I ask, wondering what lies behind his regrets on the Midnight Channel.

"I had a friend who worked as a freelance journalist for a news website. He decided to investigate the death of a scientist named Chulanont this week and eventually disappeared. When I got the call giving the news, I was in the middle of the job and when I told my boss what was going on, he told me to not go after this friend of mine. But I insisted, because I know he wouldn’t disappear just like that. And my boss made me decide between my friend or my job." He explains, which makes me look at him sadly..

"And you made up your mind, choosing your friend." I say, seeing Leo approach with my juice and put it in front of me.

"And I decided for my friend." he says, watching me drink from my juice. "Did I make the right choice?"

"Even if logic says no, if your heart said yes, then this should be your answer." I say, watching him look at me in surprise.

He then looks at his empty glass, and I get up, moving away from him and heading towards where Leo is.

"How much is his bill?" I ask, extending my empty glass to him.

"$52." Léo responds, and I hold two 50 bills for him. "Are you sure?"

"Yes. Just for today. And I don’t need the change. If he wants to drink even more, prepare juices. But don’t give him any more alcohol for today. "

"You can leave it to me." He answers and I pull away from the bar.

...

Me (Now)

A freelance reporter was reported missing as he investigated your mother's death.

Phichi+Chu

Are you serious?

Me

Morooka just told me. I want to investigate thoroughly.

Phichi+Chu

I'm in.

~ x ~

" And now? What should I do? "

"I'll hire you." I say, making Morooka-san from the Television World look at me in surprise. "You will work for the Phantom Thief Eros and help you investigate rotten people who tarnish the name of society for their selfish desires."

"But ... you are Yuuri Kunogi. "

"Correct And I'm also the Phantom Thief Eros. "I say, approaching him and putting my hands in my pockets. "I have a hacker with me, but you have the knowledge and experience at your side. The death of Amaywa Chulanont also interests me, and I can help you to find this friend of yours ... "

"Georgi Popovich. " he says seriously. " My friend is Georgi Popovich. You ... are you really going to help me? "

"Yes. I'll. But I need you to tell me everything you know first. Come to a coffee shop called LeBlanc this afternoon. "I say, watching him smile at me and disappear.

" Ending navigation to the Midnight Channel. "

...

Shzzzzzzzzzzz ...

" I had everything. Friends, money, respect. But when my father was arrested, all this was taken from me. I'm alone, I'm a victim of name-calling because of the things my father did in the past and I have to put up with my idiot brother. I can’t take it anymore. "

Oh, Sara. Don’t worry. I'll make you my friend too.

~ x ~

I'm working on LeBlanc when I hear the door open.

"Welcome." I say, looking at it and watching Seung-Gil come in and look inside the coffee shop.

He looks at me in surprise, and opens a peculiar smile.

"This is really a better place to play chess." he says, making me smile too. "Thank you, Kunogi."

"I want to learn to play. I feel that it will really help me in the future. "I say, watching him nod. "Would you like a cup of coffee?"

"Yes, please." He says sitting on the counter and opening his backpack, pulling out a chessboard and chess pieces.

As I prepare the cup for him, I watch him place the pieces in their places. I put the cup next to him and watch him picking it up and drinking it.

"It's yummy." he says, making me smile.

"Thank you so much," I say, putting myself face to face with him. "Whenever you want, you can ask for more in return for lessons.

"Deal.," he says, drinking a little more.

New Arcana Bond Acquired: The Star ~ Level 0

...

" Another body was found hanging from electrical wires. Several people are in a panic, demanding that the police, and even the young detective Jean-Jacques Leroy, take action to solve these mysterious cases and put the culprits in jail, but since there is no effective response from either the police or Leroy, are starting to ask for help elsewhere: An internet site that is said to belong to the mysterious Eros Phantom Thief ... "

...

PhanChat

New counted added: ChessMaster

HamsterLord: The phan-site is very active.

Madonna: People at work don’t stop talking about those deaths. They're all scared.

Mr.Muscle: Of course they are. They don’t know anything.

Me: We need to be careful. For we also don’t know how the crimes are happening. Also, people may want Eros to solve this.

GrumpyTeacher: And I think it’s going to be worse.

ChessMaster: What’s this?

Me: It's a chat group for anyone who knows my identity as Eros. Everyone here has circumstances that made them be here. You can meet everyone in person in LeBlanc soon.

~ x ~

Entering the ice rink, Mr. Feltsman teaches me everything I need to know to cater well to customers who show up in the ring at night to ice skate and leave all the stress of the day behind. I notice that there is someone on the ice, and I approach the window. What I see shocks me.

Victor Nikiforov is skating Stammi Vicino. Or better: Victor Nikiforov is skating my free program last year, Stammi Vicino.

I realize that he changed the jumps to doubles, as well as not being able to focus on the interpretation. But it’s still something beautiful to see.

"You're crying." Mr. Feltsman says, also watching him skating.

"How could I not?" I ask, bringing a trembling hand to my mouth. "Seeing the person I like, and who may be one of the persons who made me lose everything, skating a program that I dedicated myself to longing to have what I never had."

"And what would that be?" Mr. Feltsman asks, looking at me sadly.

"Love." I reply, moving away from the window and wiping my face. "Now let's work. Then I want to ice skate. Mr. Feltsman, could you see me skating? I wish I had your opinion in my program. "

"It will be my pleasure, Kunogi." he says, slapping my shoulder and pulling away from me.

When Victor comes to leave, he does not even notice me. Which makes me relieved, because I'm not ready to talk to him yet. The images of him skating my program don’t leave my memory and with that, I end up not sleeping. And with that I see Morgana being tormented by a nightmare, which makes me take him in my arms and caress him until he calms down.

Chapter Text

Why? Why the hell am I again helping Kirihara-san with her modeling job? Well, at least I'm feeling pretty wearing a navy blue skirt and a black blouse with red stamped flowers. My wig also have a different hairstyle now, to fit the serious vibe I need to portrait. Again, we are working with Sara Crispino, who this time appeared with a dark boy with the same shades of her eyes. Is him the brother she said on TV?

"Sara, don’t approach these carnivorous men! They just want to devour you! "I listen while I'm putting makeup on.

Everyone stops to stare at him, shocked. I sigh, wondering how annoying it must be to endure this every single day.

"Sara! Come here to see this!" Kirihara-san exclaims when she sees me ready for filming.

"Oh my God! You look so beautiful! "Sara exclaims, and I tilt my head as I watch her brother look at me, super red.

"Well, well," Kirihara-san says, also noticing this. "Yuuri-chan's charms captured a new target."

"Yuuri-chan?" The boy asks excitedly.

"My name is Yuuri Kunogi. Nice to meet you. "I say, holding out my hand to him.

"Michele. Sara's twin brother." He says, grabbing it and greeting me.

"Twin brother? Seriously? "I ask, smiling. "I thought you were one of those ultra-possessive boyfriends. But apparently it is only a Sis-Con. "

My words catch the people there by surprise. Especially Michele.

"Sis-Con?" He asks, confused. "What’s it?"

"Sister-Complex. A term we Japanese have for people who live clinging to their sisters with the excuse of wanting to protect them, especially from other men." I answer, getting up from the chair and putting my hands on my waist.

"Shut up, you're just some girl!" He exclaimed, and suddenly I and the girls started to laugh, which made him confused.

The filming takes place well, which again surprises me. I realize that I'm getting more and more comfortable with this my side of mine and thank Kirihara-san for that.

"It's all right. I'm glad to know I can help you with something." She says, excited.

Arcana Bond Update: The Lovers ~ Level 06

...

"Hey," I say, approaching and sitting next to Sara. "You don’t have to worry too much. I can help you."

"I hope so." She says, serious.

~ x ~

"Yuuri!" I listen and I smile as Yuri nods at me animatedly.

"Hello, Yuri! What are you doing?" I ask, caressing him on the head.

"I'll see Maou kick ass in the Arcade!" He exclaims excitedly.

"' Maou' ? Who would he be?" I ask, starting to get curious.

"He's a boy two years older than me. He rocks in video games, especially shooting ones." He explains, grabbing me in my shirt. "Come with me!"

And I follow him, curious to see who this ‘Maou’ is and also to keep an eye on the boy. We both get into the arcade and in fact, I see an Asian-looking, blond-haired boy with a red fringe layer in a horror game, using the two pistols alone to defeat the zombies. People begin to surround him, cheering for him.

"He's good," I comment, glaring at Yuri.

"He's awesome!" He exclaims, joining the other people in the crowd.

Forty minutes later, he finishes the game, which makes everyone around me shout. I see the boy partying with people, and I freeze when their eyes stop at me and they open up wide. Very wide.

"Yu ..." He starts to say, but I shake my head, desperately.

Oh shit. He knows who I am. Oh shit.

"Yuri!" He then exclaims, going to the boy and joining him for the celebration.

"Ken!" Yuri exclaims, jumping with him all the time.

~ x ~

"Yuuri Kunogi," he says, looking at me with bright eyes. "I'm a big fan of yours."

"I don’t skate anymore," I say, looking at him seriously. "Not competitively."

"I know. I was upset when I didn’t find your programs on the internet or your Wikipedia page. "He says, making me laugh. "And you're Agape, are not you? From Karpisek and the guy named Crispino? "

"Yes, I am." I say, looking at him curiously as we heard a phone ring.

"Oh, it's mine," he says, picking up the receiver and stirring it. "It's my mother. I need to go home now. "

"And I need to take Yuri to his grandfather," I say, chuckling at the sight of him pouting.

"Okay," the boy says, smiling broadly. "Before I forget, my name is Kenjirou Minami!"

"Nice to meet you, Minami-kun." I say, saying goodbye and leaving with Yuri by my side.

...

We enter Antiqua and am surprised to see Nikolai arguing with ... Michele Crispino? What is going on here?

"I have no interest in supporting the Crispinos!" Nikolai exclaims, banging the table furiously.

"Shut up and do as I say, old fool!" He exclaimed, and I grab Yuri's hand to keep him from advancing toward the purple-eyed boy.

"My grandfather is not an old fool!" He exclaimed, struggling to let me go of him.

"What?" Michele says, glaring at us. "Who are you?"

"It does not matter, Crispino Jr. I've already said that I don’t want anything to do with your family." Nikolai says, looking at him coolly. "Now get out of here or I'll call the police."

"Tch. You'll be sorry for that, "Michele Crispino says, pushing me and leaving the shop abruptly about to slam the door.

"Grandpa!" I release Yuri, who runs to Nikolai's arms, startled.

"Yurachka, my hero. Thanks for defending me from the evil guy." Nikolai says, making me smile and decide that it would be best to leave there as soon as possible.

~ x ~

"What should I do? He keeps on my shadow, always questioning where I'm going, with whom I go, what time I go back. It sucks. I can’t take it anymore. And because of my father, people move away from me when I say my last name. It got to the point of having to create another identity with another last name to work as a model. "

"I told you that you could come visit me at the LeBlanc coffee shop." I say, making Sara from the television world look at me in surprise. "My friends will not judge you by your last name, and you may even have fun with us, having a nice cup of coffee made by me."

" But ... what about Michele? He will not let me go alone. " She says, making me smile.

"He thinks Yuuri Kunogi is a girl, right?" I ask, watching her nod. "So just say you'll meet 'her' and Kirihara-san for girl talk and do some shopping. And if he pesters you again, call me and I'll have a good chat with him. "

" You really are a nice guy, Eros. Very well, I'll join your group. " She says, smiling broadly. " I'm counting on you to take care of my idiot brother. "

And it disappears, leaving me quite relieved.

" Ending navigation to the Midnight Channel. "

...

Shzzzzzzzzzz ...

" All I want to do is protect my grandson. Protect him from life and from my past as a member of the bratva, the Russian mafia. I want to give him a chance to live like a normal person. "

Sr. Nikolai...

~ x ~

Morooka enters LeBlanc, and is surprised to see me behind the counter, serving coffee to Seung-gil Lee as he prepares to give me more chess lessons.

"Welcome." I say, smiling at him.

"You ... are you really Eros?" Morooka asks, putting his hand on his mouth right away.

"Please sit. I'm going to call two people who would like to hear what you have to say." I say, making a cup of coffee for him.

I watch him sit down and then pour the coffee down the stairs and take a deep breath.

"Phichit, Celestino! Morooka-san is here! "I shout, making them both rise and descend the stairs. "Morooka-san, let me introduce you to Celestino Cialdini, owner of this coffee shop and adopted father of Phichit Chulanont, son of the late Amaywa Chulanont."

"Son?" Morooka responds, surprised.

"Yuuri told me about your friend. So I'd like to ask you to tell us everything you know and we'll help you find him. "Phichit says, sitting at the desk opposite the reporter and opening his laptop, beginning to type something of it.

Noticing that he looks at me, I nod to him.

"It's all right. It's a deal." He says, sipping his coffee.

...

New Arcana Bond Update: The Devil ~ Level 0

Another level 0 arcana? I wonder how I can update them. And all of these come from persons I helped at the Midnight Channel.

...

"Georgi Popovich is a freelance reporter who has done university with me. He never wanted to be arrested by rulers and tyrant bosses. He disappeared out of nowhere, investigating the death of Amaywa Chulanont and I want to find him at whatever cost. "Morooka says, seriously.

"Peach," I say, getting serious. "Use the Phan-site to ask about it."

"I'm already posting." He says, typing quickly. "Do you think that…"

"If he's still alive, he's hiding. Not to suffer the same end as your mother." I reply, frowning. "He's of Russian descent, isn’t he?

"Yes," Morooka replied worriedly.

"Understood." I say, with a smile on my face.

...

At the end of that evening, a Russian message is left on the Phan-site. A message exclusive to Popovich, from Eros.

~ x ~

I go into the clinic to talk to Dr. Baranoskaya, when I stop to listen to her screaming at a man.

"Your researches are completely cut off, Baranoskaya!"

"Bullshit! I have every right to do these! "The doctor exclaims, surprising me. "Lives depend on my research!"

"Lives? If you're referring to little Hannah, I'm sorry to say she's dead. "

"She died? Impossible! It should still have more time for the disease to proliferate."

I hear loud laughter and begin to feel angry with the man. He leaves the clinic without even caring about my presence and I look into the doctor's office, finding her sitting in her chair, her eyes watering.

"Are you going to give up?" I ask, making her look at me in surprise. "Please excuse me, but I ended up listening to you two."

"She's dead." she says, taking a deep breath. "She died and he had my search banned. What should I do now?"

"Ask for help," I say, smiling at her. "Send me his full name. Soon everything will be resolved. But for now, I need medicine. "

"Heh, of course you need." She says, already a little more happy.

Chapter Text

Me and Nishigori are training again, running through the park and up the stairs leading to the train station. I realize he's been holding on longer, which makes me happy.

"You know, I was thinking of taking you to a gym. After all, running isn’t able to properly strengthen your body." He says, panting and wiping his face with a towel. "What do you think, partner?"

"I agree with you." I say, smiling at him. "I need to strengthen my whole body more."

"Okay, I'll send you the address via message, shortly. And I want to go with you to buy clothes and bags important items to keep the body in shape." He says, surprising me. "You have money, man. Time to spend it. "

"I guess so." I say, looking at him seriously.

After all, I know that his family is still experiencing money issues

"That's the way it should be." he says, raising his thumb at me with a broad smile on his face.

Arcana Bond Update: The Chariot ~ Level 04

...

"Thank you, Nishigori," I say, smiling sheepishly at him and watching him blush.

I let out a sigh, cursing Carmen mentally for giving me this weird ability. Seduction.

~ x ~

"Welcome." I say, seeing Tanaka-san enter LeBlanc.

"You're really working at afternoon now." He comments, looking at me in surprise. "A cup of coffee."

"Yes, sir," I say, brewing his coffee.

When I serve him, I see him holding out a CD cover with nothing written down, only with a rewritable disc inside and a folded paper where I pick it up and open it.

...

Songs for Yuuri, sung by Lyn Inaizumi:

~ Break in to Break Out

~ Dark Sun...

~ Autonomy

~ Infinity

~ IT'S TOO LATE

~ Found a Light

~ Groovy

~ Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There

~ Rivers in a Desert

~ Last Surprise

~ Hoshi to Bokura to

~ Life Will Change

~ Beneath the Mask

~ Beneath the Mask (Acoustic)

"I asked a friend to record this CD for me with these songs. I want you to listen to them and tell me which one you would like to create a choreography for the Ice Show." He says and I nod, stuffing it with my things at my backpack.

"I understand." I say, smiling at him. "You can leave it to me and I'll listen as soon as I can."

"Great. Because I already have an event in mind for you to attend and I need you to be prepared as soon as possible. At least you're on vacation from school, which makes things better for you. "

"I'm also working some nights in the Gonbei Ice Skating Arena, in exchange for being able to use the ice as long as I want afterwards." I say, surprising him.

"How wonderful!" He exclaimed. "I can’t wait to see you performing on the ice again."

I give him a shy smile, also getting quite anxious because of it

I ... I'm not making a mistake, am I?

...

"Welcome," I say, watching Sara Crispino timidly enter the cafeteria.

"You really work here." she says, surprised.

"Sit down please." I say, tilting my face to her, who sits next to Tanaka-san. "Coffee?"

"Please." She asks, and I already prepare a cup for her.

"Let me guess, is your brother still bothering you?"

"Ugh. That guy doesn’t leave me alone. If only I had a way to give him a big shock... I know! "She scares me, and I realize that Tanaka-san looks at her in surprise too. "Kunogi, you would help me, right?"

"Yes?"

"Great. I'll help you too, so I think we have a deal. "

New Arcana Bond Acquired: The Empress ~ Level 0

New Mask Acquired: Milady

...

I feel a strange shiver at the sight of her smirk. What the hell did I get myself into?

...

Interestingly, I get the accidental visit of Jean-Jacques Leroy and Isabella Yang in LeBlanc.

"Welcome." I say, scaring them.

"You are ... Yuuri Kunogi!" The boy says, smiling broadly, though he is panting. "You work here?"

What the hell? Everyone keeps questioning me this today.

"Yes." I reply, looking from him to the girl, who is also panting. "Why don’t you sit down and let me make you some coffee?"

"What do you think?" JJ asks his girlfriend, who just nods. "Two coffees, please."

"Okay." I say, going to prepare what they asked me to do. "Would you like something to eat?"

"No, we're fine," Isabella Yang says, coldly.

"I'm a little hungry. Give me a sandwich?" He asks and I nod.

"You can leave it with me." I say, putting everything on a tray and going to them, serving them. "Here it is. Enjoy."

"Hey, Kunogi?" JJ asks, when I was going to walk away from their table.

"Hm?" I ask, being coldly watched by Isabella.

"What do you think about the strange deaths that have been going on in Detroit?" He asks, taking me by surprise. "People keep asking me for explanations, as if I have an obligation to respond to them."

"Unfortunately you have to respond to them. It's the price you have to pay for being someone famous. You chose to be a famous detective, so be one. After all, wouldn’t that be JJ Style? "I ask him to see if he cheers up. "Now with regard to these crimes, since there isn’t much information disclosed about the victims, there is no way I can give a concrete opinion, but..."

"But?" He asks, leaning forward and watching me closely.

"But I can believe these crimes aren’t ordinary crimes. Because what kind of killer would bother leaving victims hanging on electric wires? And how come nobody ever noticed anything? It's like ... "I shut up, frowning.

Impossible, right?

Was it a message? From the killer to certain people? People like Crispino, who had as palace the entire city of Detroit? And the third body, found near the TV station LionHeart, which is a palace to be opened?

"Hey? What is the problem? You suddenly turned pale." JJ comments, frowning at me.

"No. It's nothing. "I say, bowing to them. "Excuse me."

...

Phan-chat

New contact added: Sis-conSister

Me: Guys, meeting tonight at LeBlanc. It’s urgent.

Mr.Muscle: What's the problem?

GrumpyTeacher: I'm getting worried.

Me: It's about the strange deaths that have been going on. And we need to introduce the new members.

HamsterLord: Sounds fun. Should I make a request for Uber Eats? Pizzas?

Me: Fine.

HamsterLord: Yahoo! )O)

...

I let out a long sigh, wondering what a mess it was going to be. Oh, boy...

~ x ~

Before returning to LeBlanc, I assist the Katsukis with the restaurant, serving and collecting dishes and receiving payment from customers. I went to Antiqua, selling and improving my items.

"Do not worry, Nikolai. It's going to be okay." I say, making him very confused.

"What do you mean?" He asks, frowning at me.

"Just believe it." I say, turning and leaving the store.

Back in the cafeteria, I meet everyone in Phichit's room. Everybody consists of Phichit, Christophe, Professor Katsuki, Kirihara-san, Nishigori, Guang-Hong Ji, President Babicheva, Seung-gil Lee, Sara Crispino, Morooka-san and even Celestino himself, much to my surprise. I introduce them, one by one, before I formally introduce myself.

"And I'm Yuuri Katsuki. Also known as Phantom Thief Eros. And this is my story so far." I say, beginning to tell everything that has happened to me until now. I also explain about the Metaverse, Mementos, Palaces and the world of TV.

"So that's why I became more willing to question my mother." Seung-gil says, looking at me seriously.

"That’s right." I say, folding my arms.

"You said you wanted to talk about the strange murders." Professor Katsuki says, frowning at me.

"Jean-Jacques Leroy was here on LeBlanc, along with Isabella Yang. He asked me what I thought about these crimes. I realized that even with the media not giving important information, there is one that only we, who are directly and indirectly involved with the Metaverse, can perceive. "I say, making everyone's eyes widen. "My previous palace, belonging to Giovanni Crispino, had as a whole the city of Detroit. But his main entrance is on the main street of the Galli-Marié train station ... "

"The location of the first victim!" Kirihara-san exclaims, terrified.

"And when we went to the television studio, the navigator reacted to the location." I say, noting Morooka-san frowning.

"The place near where the third body was found." he says, making me nod.

"Wait a minute. Where was the second body found? "Christophe asks, folding his arms.

"Near the Detroit Central Police Department." Morooka-san says. "As far as I know, a new superintendent will take office this week from San Francisco. And it seems that his wife will take on the special division that deals with Eros cases."

"Cognition Found. Location: Detroit Police  Central Department.”

Police? Coming from San Francisco? It can’t be…

I pick up my cell phone, noticing my body shaking. I look at the application and whisper.

"Kunogi."

"Incomplete cognition." The app says, and my cell phone slides out of my hand, falling to the floor.

"Yuuri-kun, that means ..." Professor Katsuki begins to say, sitting down next to me.

"My parents." I say, scaring everyone. "My own parents own a fucking palace."

...

At the end of the meeting, I get more names from President Babicheva, Phichit and Guang-Hong, who are working to keep the Phan-site in order.

~ x ~

I can’t. I'm angry, very angry. I work the rest of the night in the ice arena, eager to be able to skate in it and soothe myself.

"Good work, Kunogi." I listen to Mr. Feltsman, who looks at me seriously.

"Thank you very much." I say, biting my lip. "Good night, Mr. Feltsman."

"Good night, silly boy." he says, stepping out of the ice arena.

I close everything and start warming up first, before I get my skates to put them on my feet. Soon, I am performing figures quietly, feeling the icy air slide down my body and making me think well about the things that are happening to me.

My parents own a palace. Right here in Detroit. If so ... they will move here. I wonder how that woman screamed in fury when she heard about it. After all, it’s the city they send their shitty son...

I see myself laughing loudly, listening to my laughter echo through the empty arena.

~ x ~

On the way back to the Katsukis restaurant, I see the old woman, Minako Okukawa, yelling at a man who slaps him and walks away. I sigh and approach her.

"Are you okay?" I ask, watching her frown at me.

"Go to hell, boy!" She exclaims, getting up from the table and pulling away with her hand on her left cheek, where the man had hit her.

I watch her walk away and continue on my way.

~ x ~

" Yurachka. My Yurachka. All I wanted was to be able to protect you from my past. "

"I agree that Yuri is a boy too young to understand these things, but I believe you should  ask for help if you really want to protect him. And I'm here to offer that help, "I say, watching Nikolai Plisetsky from the television world look at me in surprise.

" Would it be okay with you to do that? " He asks, making me smile.

"Of course. I like him a lot. "I say, see him nod and disappear, also smiling.

Shzzzzzzzzz…

" All I wanted was to be able to help ‘that’ kid skate on ice. It was his dream. But his parents forced him to study and become someone who was corrupted by them and by the society. And now, with Kunogi, I'm afraid of making the same mistake. Not to be with him when he needs me most. "

I wonder who this boy is. It will be difficult but don’t worry, Mr. Feltsman. Whatever happens, I'll decide my own destiny.