Begin Recording 596llp555-2 .
Testing... Testing... Testing...
Subject Purity-04 has been found.
...Warning, bits of data have been corrupted in the footage. Do you still wish to play? There will be issues with the video playback.
"Kagema! What's going on?!"
I scanned the floors of the casino with sharp eyes, ignoring Oracle's question altogether as I quietly hung from an obnoxiously bright neon sign with my legs with hanging platforms on my sides. Everything was going down horribly wrong as predicted, police were on our tail already and the bait was already taken.
The route was still secure and the emergency exits were blocked off, as long as nothing goes terribly wrong...
My eyes drifted onto a black cloaked figure, Joker, as he looked over from the lights with a smirk on his face and a silver suitcase that hung from his fingers before running off.
He's got the police's attention, for now.
Now it was my turn to do my part.
"What a fool you are."
I plucked a metal capsule from my side, brushing my fingers against it I began to slowly count in my head for each hostile I began to see, enemy shadows made by her cognition still continued to form one after the other like a swarm of hungry locusts after our fair leader.
"I refuse to let someone as valuable as you die under me."
"Not when I'm so powerless."
I finished his sentence, causing the Persona to snarl. I could feel his anger, but I took immense satisfaction that like the many times before, he could do nothing.
No regrets to be made, I need to do this now.
My voice was loud, loud enough and strangely playful to grab some of the shadow's attention before I flung myself up from the post and landed on the upper level of the casino with an unnecessary, stylistic flair that Joker loved to do whenever this stuff happens. He always loved to show off, after all, that was just how he rolled. I couldn't help myself but follow even with my leg.
Some of the shadows pointed at me and suddenly began to yell at each other. I could see their skin writhe and crawl from underneath those heart-shaped masks from here, their police batons crackling with electricity that would surely knock out a normal person.
My voice certainly got Joker's attention.
"..?!" Joker's expression turned into one of panic, easy to tell even with the mask. "Kagema?! What-"
"I'm being distracting sweetie!" I yelled at him. "You better run right now otherwise your gonna regret it!"
I could hear the rest of the group arguing beyond Oracle's communication power, all except one voice.
"Kagema! Stop this right now, if they get you, you'll be-"
"You're the priority." I shrugged. "Besides, we still have to... Y'know, get Lily out of here too?"
I didn't bother to wait for his response, without wasting a second I immediately jumped off of the sign and landed onto a nearby platform and threw the capsule in my hand to the crowds below.
And my heart was set aflutter at the pained and panicked screams below as I made my escape.
"No problems on my end, you?"
"No, can't find the leader anywhere."
"And the other brat?"
"Lost him too."
"Dammit, search the area again, he couldn't have gotten far!"
"You intend to sacrifice yourself for these humans this easily?"
Alright. I'm in the staff passageway right now. It's darker than last time too cause I can barely make out what the bits of paper plastered on the walls even said anymore, guessing the electricity is off now. Need to thank Oracle for that as well later when I get the chance.
Well, if I'm alive before the end of this. I could no longer hear them anymore, guess we've really been cut off, huh.
Alright, let's see. It was this way to the opposite end past this safe room, wasn't it? Where we initially started?
"How foolish you are."
"I don't intend getting myself killed," I mumbled. "You're being too much of a pessimist."
Metal pounding against the floor.
Electricity crackling behind.
Shit! Some of the guards have found me. I'm so close! If I'm caught now then they'll be focused on Joker again! There was three of them behind me as well, their lanky forms ran at me in their police attire and their heart-shaped purple masks seemed to glimmer and glow. I couldn't tell if there were anymore close behind but I knew there were more people after me.
I ran as fast as I could but...
"You won't be able to get away on with your leg the way it is." My Persona scolded and as much as I hated to admit it, he was right. Ever since the Okumura incident, my leg has been fucked up ever since I've been a liability this entire time and I hated it. "Set me free, I will ravage them."
A growl escaped my throat, I was hoping I wouldn't have to come to this but...
The wall in front of me was easy to climb thanks to the hook I still had, and I was so close to the main floor, however, unless they were distracted I would easily get caught.
Looks like I'll have to fight-
"What on, GAHHHH!"
..?! Was that-
The group of shadows behind me screamed in agony as bright blue and white lights descended upon them from nowhere, the initial blast dissolving the two of them while knocking the third one back a fair bit disoriented, only having a few bruises.
It was an Almighty attack, but there was only one person here besides me who could do that.
And, speaking of the devil, from the corner of my eye I briefly saw a figure in white and red. The figure smiled at me behind his pointed red mask, mouthed silent words of apology at me before promptly leaving into the shadows like a figment of my imagination.
But he didn't finish the last one? How sloppy of him! I'd be sure to scold him later!
"Fine then. Come on out,*̴̢͔̬̻̱̥̣̥̯̝ͮ̇͆̂ͪ̀̒̂̀̓"̴̵̩͖͖̜͔̌̆̊ͦ̈͑̓̾͌̈ͫ̐̊͑ͭ͌̅ͦ́͘͘͞&̈́̇̎̍̿҉҉͏̶͉̺͉̯͉̝̜̣̪̣̝͎͕̥$̴̧̨̩̲̹͚͖̮ͮͮ̍̆̒̆̉̌̀͟ͅ%̶̸̢̧̺̮̭̘ͣ́ͯ̋̓̒͒ͥ͐́͛͆ͬ͟ͅ!̱̹̪͚̺͖͖̹̱̼̻̰͌̄̒ͤ́̚͟͠͡͝ͅͅ?͚͔͕̣͓͙̣̮́ͯ͒̋̐͒̇́̕͢_̵̨̡̰͈̘͙̜͓̮̇ͮ̍͗=̵̴̡̟̤̘̗̹̲̤̩͓̲̱̖̭̝̫͚̝͋̀̍ͭ̇ͧͨ̿̉ͩ̄͒̉̍̉̍ͤ͛͜"
My face was warm and suddenly my chest was on fire. Blue fire surrounded my head like a whirlwind, a black and white figure appeared before me and I could practically sense the malice emanating from his form.
"Cower before me, Crawling Chaos!"
Screams, they started to scream in agony as I swung my grappling hook onto the ledge and started my slow climb up the wall.
And for once I actually started to feel bad for them.
"Don't let them escape, kill them all!"
Jeez, these bastards are really starting to push it. And these didn't look like shadows nor bits of her cognition, were these real people? If that's the case, how did they get into the Casino? They were in one of the security rooms but... I didn't know anymore.
Ignoring that, I'm still running here, have to be really careful now not to collapse.
Up the stairs, up the stairs, come on!
"I won't let them capture you."
"You said that before didn't you?"
"Over here, I found one!"
Men in black and they have guns, not good!
I ran some more, I forgot how big the damn casino was. There was like five floors to this nightmare and I had to climb up most of these stairs with- Nghh!
Punching my knee, I continued to run.
"These humans are persistent."
"I know right?" My voice was turning raspy. I was up a floor now, close enough to my exit point. "Not shadows nor cognition then?"
"No, these are not Persona users either."
"Wait, really? How did they get in?"
"...I would have assumed someone let them in, however, I sense something strange about these humans. You know that when humans are transported between this world and the other they have a residue of energy left behind on them. I sense no such energy."
"That- That's, huff, c-concerning."
"Do not lose your breath just yet, we're at our floor."
Now if I turned around the corner of this corridor, we should be... Yes! The only safe emergency exit I checked! So if I were to go through this door-
Alright, we're here! The main dining hall area thingie in the casino! The railing is still in good condition as well as the massive gold coated chandelier in the centre, nothing slippery and there's a ten-foot drop between me and the floor with many, many people staring at me as they began to slowly disappear from existence in shock.
"The Treasure has been successfully stolen." My Persona confirmed for me. "We need to leave before the Palace collapses."
At least that was something I could agree with! The bottom floor was still unsafe and since the roof was blocked off and there was a massive easily broken window in front of me begging for me, there was only one way to go!
"Hands in the air, now!"
I turned, behind me were the three men in black, pistols and handguns aimed at me. I wasn't afraid though, I knew they wouldn't shoot. They were cautious of me and of their surroundings, from my sharp grin to the Palace eroding around us. They must be curious about my clothes too, clothes completely unfit for actual thievery.
"There's nowhere to run!"
But, they would never know, not when my body demands more excitement!
My smile got even wider as I pulled out another capsule before throwing it in front of the men who immediately got to cover. With this useful distraction, I reached for my grappling hook and wasted no time to shoot the hook at the outer layer of the chandelier.
One of the men, clearly smarter when he noticed the dud capsule, reached out to me-
But it was already too late as I flung myself off the railing and began to fall into the crowds below.
I flicked the button on my gun before I could hit the ground and I propelled myself up before I launched myself onto the other side of the room with a blast from my feet, startling the men and the crowd behind me.
"K-ma! Kagema! Can you hear me?! Joker's here with us and he's safe, where are you?!"
That was good, then I can leave.
'Sorry guys. I'll get back to you later.'
Communication was not a good idea right now.
And with that piece of good news-
"See ya later luv!"
With all of my strength, in an act of stupidity that would potentially rival Skull's-
I threw my entire body out of the window.
Misjudged my fall.
Glass in my skin.
Metal in my legs.
Bright lights assaulted my eyes.
I think... I think my legs worse.
I can't move.
"-Thief? Looks like a prostitute's- clothes."
My- My head what... What happened?
"Sad, isn't it? -Whore's group was betrayed it would seem."
B-Betrayed? I was... Right?
Hah... It's getting dark.
N... Narl... I need... Need...
"Hey, wake up."
I was awoken by the startling pain of freezing water being thrown onto my body. My body, my everything was in pain but perhaps my legs were in worse condition, I felt a... Ngh. There was a dull pain and from my previous experiences that was not a good sign for my future.
It was still dark, but my eyes were slowly getting used to it, I could barely make out a dim light in front of me and the outlines of two men-
My body was flung to the floor as a swift punched connected to the side of my face. I almost screamed when searing pain erupted from my legs, I couldn't see them, what happened?
Liquid on the floor, too warm to be the water.
"Hm. Guess he's coherent enough. Didn't expect it to be some nobody teenager though."
My hands... I... Were they cuffed? Was I cuffed to a chair?
My mind was too much of a mess. What was going on?
I remember... Jumping from the window and... The railings were booby-trapped, it got my legs and I was-
"You seem to be aware of your situation though. Good. Then you know if you fight back you'll only regret it later."
...It was one of my traps. One of my modified gin traps for disabling larger shadows destroyed my legs.
Someone put my trap there.
Someone knew where my traps were and planned to trap me with them.
I can't walk any more.
I can't walk any more.
"Hm, looks like you know what's happened to your legs. Surprised you're still conscious though even with the morphine and the... Special drugs we injected you with." The man in front of me scoffed with dead grey eyes. "Of course, we had no time to send you to a hospital, then again I'd prefer if criminals like you died in agony."
My... Legs... Oh god, I could see my legs. My muscles and meat was torn up like minced meat and were a mangled almost unrecognisable mess- Oh god, bone, there was broken bone shards and I knew legs don't bend that way, how was I still alive and not screaming for help? There were still bits of metal, in my leg, oh god.
They, there was no way this was allowed to criminals. This was inhumane!
The men laughed, clearly enjoying my rising panic.
"Now let's see... Obstruction of justice, p̸̧̘͔̙̣̦̝̮͍̥̣͕̳̲̟̙͍͟ŗ̴̵͔͖͎͚̹͙̩͉̘̤͝o͍̰̥̝͇̱͞p̦̤͖̯͉̩͚͠e̴̢̙͔̺̩̗͇̤̰͕̻̭͕̖̰̩͉̖͚r̛͠͏͖̗̫̭̖͙̀t͎̘͙͓͎͙̬̻̬̗͎͢͝y̵̧̨̦͕̲̩̙͉͖̰̪̥̪̗̤̜͟͝ ̙̣͈̣̩̪͍̬͕͔̲̖̳̪̗̝͢͝ͅd̩̤̪̫̥̱̠͇̹̤̰̱̹̬̘̝͟a̸̧̢̟̪̼͖͎̣͜m̡̨̞̞̣̣͓̝̫̺̫̮͝ͅͅa͏͔͈̘̘̬̰͈̭̗̝̬͉͓̪g̴̕҉̤̼̳̭͈̫͕̩̘̫̼͇ͅȩ̯͉̬̘̘͇̝̻̞͓̱͢͝ͅ, blackmail, defamation, possession of weapons, possession of highly illegal weapons, possession of drugs, ş͕͇̜̻͓͎̣̮̦͇̹̝̦̘̦͔͘e̸҉̪͕̱͓͈̮̖̼͕͍͙̥̼̲̙̯̼͔*͏̷̹̤͉̣̼͍̰͙̭&̡̖͉̩͎͕̳̜̲̗̺̙̜̺̀͜͜)̨͚̥͖͙̹̜́̕͢͠ͅ"̧͍͙̘̺̳̠̠̭̹̗͙́̀ͅͅ+̡͇̰͖̮̰?̖̮̪͕̳̖̬̭͇͚͚̼̭̻̘̱̕ͅ^̸̡̧͔͙̗͎̙̟̱̝̙̥̗͈̥͉̲͇͢͡!̸̲̣̥͖̟̰̲̻̰͕̲̣́̕͜... Illegal prostitution..."
He paused for a moment, chuckling as he read the last bit.
"Man slaughter too?"
The dead-eyed man snorted. "Talk about the works! All those crimes, to think one of the perpetrators was a teenager. You seemed to enjoy all of it! Of course, this mainly applies to your leader and judging by your previous wear I would assume you were behind the illegal prostitution. But... Maybe you can save him, or at least, give him an easier time, no?"
Everything was starting to get hazy.
The dead-eyed man motioned his partner to me, painfully walking slowly towards me he lifted me the scruff of my jacket and forced me onto my front before I heard the jingle of metal and the sound of something clicking off in place. It took me a few seconds to realise he had removed my cuffs.
I was starting to lose focus, I never even noticed the swelling cuff marks on my wrists.
Suddenly, I was really grateful for the morphine, pain killers or whatever through my tears.
"Be careful of his legs." The man warned his partner. He now had a clipboard in hand. He crouched down in front of me, pushing the clipboard to me. "Sign here, it's a confession under your name."
...Dammit, all. If I don't sign I'm just- Guh... I'm just gonna end up even worse.
Keeping my expression still, I merely took the clipboard and pen from him with a wince and looked at the paper. It was a confession paper alright, with a little signature at the bottom that almost seemed to be mocking me as I placed the pen tip against the paper and gasped from another surge of pain, this time from my lower back.
"Hurry it up."
There was a silent threat in his gaze, one that screamed he was going to end up in an even worse condition if he didn't sign.
I handed the paper back to him with a leer, causing the man to chuckle as he looked at the paper.
"Haru... Haru Knight?" He scoffed. "I recognise that name, homeless brat in Shibuya."
Fuck... Fuck you.
"Hmm... I've seen you sneaking around the red light district and that... Unsavoury bar in Shinjuku. I know your type and I know exactly how you're going to help save your leader from a much-deserved fate."
Please skip this section.
"H-Haru-kun? Are you alright?"
"S-Sup!" Pain, oh god everything was in pain! "Nice to see your face, ugh, again!"
"..." Her expression was priceless, how it went from shock to disgust then to surprise. "I never expected you to be with them."
"...Life is a great mystery, no? Full of twists and turns." I coughed. Everything hurt, so, so much. "How you... How you doin' Sae?"
Her face twisted into disgust once more. "They destroyed your legs, drugged and... Sexually assaulted you and you still have the time to be joking around?"
She... She was actually shaking in anger?
Aww, I knew she loved me.
"...Nijima-san. I'm... Really tired. I think I'm going to break. They allow... Treatment like this? To prisoners?"
She must have noticed my face, how afraid I was and how I edge I've been because her face immediately softened into a non-threatening look for my sake.
I... I thanked her silently for that. I wasn't exactly in a good... Mental state right now. I was glad... She wasn't brushing it off like a minor thing.
"No, they don't. You've should have been sent to a hospital and that... Monster should be jailed. However-"
"He's Junochi Kuzama right?" I asked, interrupting her. "He's... A pedophile, he's been viewing rather nasty content and engaging in rather unforgivable acts for years now, destroying the livelihoods of children but no one does anything because he's a rich cunt right? Got connections around him. No one can touch him, so he's allowed to do whatever he wants to his prisoners right?"
"I... How do you know all that?"
"Amazing... Amazing what a little digging in the underground can do." I coughed. "But... Enough about that... I sup-suppose..."
I couldn't speak anymore, everything was sore and my throat was parched. Nijima looked, angry, full on pissed actually. I've never seen the stone cold prosecutor have an expression that could rival Crow's anger when he confessed his feelings.
"...I'll make sure he rots in prison. I can't do anything here and I can't stop them, however. I'll make sure to plant some evidence so he rots forever." She stated coldly, quickly softening again. "But yes, you know what I'm here for. I need you to answer me honestly and too be frank, we don't have much time together. What was your groups objective? Why did your group cause such a major incident?"
"I didn't think it was a prank from the get-go, however, I couldn't assemble a case for the prosecution. Mainly because... I couldn't figure out the method behind it all."
"...Un...Standable..." I mumbled. "Normal people... Won't..."
"True. There was no way I would be convinced of the existence of such a 'world', however, considering the events and the fact your not exactly a normal human being I needed to know the truth beyond our reports."
Stone hard gaze.
I shrank under it.
"How did you find out about such a world? Where? How is it even possible to steal another's heart? Now... Tell me your account of everything."
"...April... All started in April... But... Couldn't tell you what... I wasn't..."
"Because you weren't a Phantom Thief then?"
My yellow eyes, with pink heart shapes in my iris, met her crimson ones.
"I wasn't even born back then."
A sigh escaped me. The pain was fading completely away, I could no longer feel my legs.
"I... I am not human. I am a shadow born from the hidden lusts of mankind. I was born in the other world around... The beginning of May I believe."
Curious eyes. She wanted to know more.
"Let me begin... It was around early May then. When I first met my friends and companions, just before the... Madarame incident."
And so... I slowly began to explain everything that has happened to Sae Nijima to the best of my abilities.