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Persona: HP! 
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Post Persona: HP!
Nov/19 20XX

Peanut was running. Running faster than he ever has in his life. Peanut was not an athlete, by any measure of the word, but after spending the last half-year training with the others, mixed with the desperation of finally, finally finishing the mission they had all set out to do, Peanut felt like he was running with the speed of Hermes.

Which was fitting, all considered.

Blood red, stone walls raced past him in a blur. Paintings he didn’t take the time to appreciate lined the stone hallways. His feet were starting to ache from constantly pounding against the cobblestone floor of the tower.

A crackle rang out in his ear as his earpiece sparked to life. The tinny, processed voice against the silence of the tower temporarily pulling Peanut out of his focus.

“Peanut! We lost your position! Where the heck are you!?” The voice yelled.

Peanut raised a finger to the earpiece, refusing to break stride in his run. “I’m making my way up the tower. They’re there, I know they are.”

By yourself!? Are you insane!? The readings on that tower are off the charts! That’s suicide!”

“We can’t let them get away! Not again! I can hold them here while you and the others get up here to back me up.” Peanut begged. “We’re so close, this could be over tonight!”

“Peanut, I…” The voice began, before Peanut heard a familiar Ping! on the other end of the line. “Peanut! Enemy signature, right on top of you!”

The Ping! was warning enough for Peanut. He had already lept backwards, noticing the rubble coming down from the ceiling.

A loud rumble quaked across the floor Peanut was on, before a large mass of green and blue muscle crashed through the ceiling, landing right in front Peanut.

The mass of muscle stood upright on four legs, or was that four arms? Peanut honestly couldn’t tell. From the neck up was actually a torso, a centurian figure with a bull's head, glaring at Peanut with glowing red eyes. The creature snorted through it’s nose-ring.

“Readings are high, and your by yourself. Stay on the defensive and wait for an opening.” The voice in his ear said.

Peanut nodded, drawing his Tanto from its scabbard. “I need an ETA. When can the others get here?”

“Ten minutes, minimum. Maybe more.” The voice said. “Peanut…”

“I’ll be fine.” Peanut said, getting into position.
The bull-taur, or whatever it was called, readied itself, pounding at the ground with its arm-feet in an intimidation attempt.

Instead, Peanut smiled. This should be a good warm-up before the main event. He brought his fingers to his face, pushing his glasses up his snout.

“Let’s go, Persona!

A flash of light emanated from behind Peanut, and a familiar figure stood by his side. An avian figure with two sets of golden wings, one on its back and the other on the ankles of its feet, wielding a staff topped with two coiled serpents underneath a pair of similar golden wings.

“Blow them away, Argeiphontes!”
—-
So, with some of the upcoming chapters in mind, I’ve decided to add a comprehensive list of all of the Arcana holders revealed in the story thus far. This list will be updated as the story continues on so people can defer to it for a quick reminder on who is what.

With that said...

The Fool
???
Social Link Rank: Not Started

The Magician
Grape (Persona: Fenrir)
Social Link Rank: Not Started

The High Priestess
Tarot
Social Link Rank: 1

The Empress
???
Social Link Rank: Not Started

The Emperor
???
Social Link Rank: Not Started

The Hierophant
???
Social Link Rank: Not Started

The Lovers
???
Social Link Rank: Not Started

The Chariot
Max
Social Link Rank: Not Started

Justice
???
Social Link Rank: Not Started

The Hermit
???
Social Link Rank: Not Started

Wheel of Fortune
???
Social Link Rank: Not Started

Strength
???
Social Link Rank: Not Started

The Hanged Man
???
Social Link Rank: Not Started

Death
???
Social Link Rank: Not Started

Temperance
???
Social Link Rank: Not Started

The Devil
???
Social Link Rank: Not Started

The Tower
???
Social Link Rank: Not Started

The Star
???
Social Link Rank: Not Started

The Moon
???
Social Link Rank: Not Started

The Sun
Fido
Social Link Rank: Not Started

Judgement
???
Social Link Rank: Not Started


Last edited by JageshemashFTW on Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:27 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:21 pm
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
I do like how this story has started out! I can't wait to see more from you!


Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:33 pm
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
aww come on, you beat me to it, making a Housepets! Persona crossover.
Still great though.

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Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:49 pm
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
Well you know what they say: the early bird catches the worm. LOL


Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:15 pm
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
huh... odd that i'm in here before the forum's biggest persona fan...

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Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:04 am
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
And who would that be if I may ask?


Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:58 pm
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
Persona 5? Three used a lot of blue, Four used a lot of yellow, and I know that Five used red. So, we getting a flashback sequence later?

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Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:49 am
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
???/?? 20XX

Under normal circumstances, Peanut was every bit a morning person. Early to rise, quick to wake up, and eager to greet the day.

But, as Peanut was starting to rouse himself from slumber, he felt a lot more… somber, more melancholic than he usually did in mornings. Or in his life, really.

Peanut guessed that was because he had woken up early, before even the first light of dawn. At least, that’s what he assumed, as the few times he cracked open his eyes he saw a gentle dark blue glow about him, as though his very surroundings were covered in twilight.

Then again, his family was generally respectful enough to not blast music at full volume in the earliest hours of the day.

Really dramatic opera music at that. (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh3FgVv24-0)

It took awhile for the music to corral him awake, but Peanut started to realize a few things were… off about all of this.

For one, Peanut was starting to realize he was waking up from a sitting position, his head lying against a table with a rather comfortable velvet blue table cloth.

That alone was odd, as Peanut was fairly sure he had fallen asleep in his bed the night before.

Finally, Peanut roused himself completely, eyes open and scanning his surroundings, to confirm what he already suspected.

This wasn’t his house.

Instead, Peanut seened to find himself in some kind of… Medieval tavern of some kind. Peanut recognized the layout from almost every single RPG he had ever played in his life.

Actually, the closer Peanut looked, the more and more modern the whole place seemed to become in front of his eyes. The hanging lights above him bathed the the whole room in a cool, dark blue light. Black shadows danced around the furniture as the blue light gently swayed back and forth. The walls were covered in the same blue velvet as the table with gossamer indigo curtains accentuating them.

The tables were all decorated with crystal candle holders that shone with, of all things, purple flames.

One thing in particular was running through Peanut’s mind right now.

Wow, that is a lot of blue.

“Ah! Welcome, young one!” A chipper if… off-putting voice spoke behind him.

Peanut turned his attention to the bar, and saw… what he could only assume was a man standing behind it.

Except, it didn’t look like a man, yet Peanut didn’t know how else to describe him.

He looked as though someone heard about humans and tried to make one, but only had very vague accounts of what a human was to go off of. He wore a very formal suit that seemed just a size too small for him. His arms were unnaturally thin and spindly, criss-crossing across his chest as he lazily cupped his head in one hand. Said head was oblong, as though the mad architect in question took a human head, stretched it, then squashed it. His nose jutted out from his face like a long, pointy dagger. His bulbous, unblinking eyes were bloodshot, almost threatening to pop out of his skull.

But what unnerved Peanut the most was his smile. A ghastly gash of pearl white teeth stretching from ear to ear.

And he never stopped smiling.

“Welcome… to the Velvet Room!” The man said. As if his appearance alone wasn’t unsettling enough, even his voice was… off. The cadence, the tone, the pitch. Nothing about the way he spoke seemed natural. Peanut was certain that this was some kind of being or creature pretending to be human, and doing an absolutely miserable job at it.

“My name is Igor, delighted to make your acquaintance.” He said. “Oh! And of course, I’d be remiss to not introduce my new assistant.” Igor said, gesturing to behind Peanut.

Although Peanut really did not want to take his eyes off this… Igor, he did risk a look when he felt a presence behind him. Turning around, Peanut was suddenly face to face with a cat he was certain was not there before.

Unlike Igor, this cat was absolutely stunning in appearance, with snow white fur and piercing yellow eyes. Peanut blushed as he actually had to remind himself not to stare, though that seemed to only illicit a mirthful giggle from the cat. Unlike most animals Peanut knew, he noticed that this cat was fully clothed, in a very pragmatic but no less beautiful gossamer blue dress with yellow buttons fastening straps at her shoulders. Peanut noticed it was the exact same shade of blue as the rest of the room.

“A pleasure to meet our newest contractor. Well, potential contractor.” The cat said with a giggle.

“My dear boy, allow me to introduce Safie.” Igor said, giving a jerky bow to the cat in question. “I must say, this Velvet Room is certainly a nice change of pace from others before it. I’ve never had an animal for an assistant before, but I am greatly enjoying her company.”

Igor rose up from his bow to stare right into Peanut’s eyes. “The open bar is a nice touch as well. But let’s get down to business shall we? Safie, be a dear and bring the young man over here.”

“Yes, master.” Safie said behind Peanut before he felt her hand gently urging him off his chair. Looking back at Safie, Peanut had to stifle a gasp. The cat that was standing not a foot away from him a second ago had completely disappeared. In her place stood a female dog with the exact same white fur, the exact same yellow eyes, and the exact same blue dress.

“S-Safie?” Peanut finally spoke out, to flabbergasted to say anything up till this point.

The white dog gave a cheerful wave. “Hello again!”

Safie (apparently) gently led a shell shocked Peanut to the bar, bringing him face to face with Igor.

“Is… Is this a dream?” Peanut asked, gulping as Igor stared at him with his bloodshot eyes.
“Indeed it is, my dear boy.” Igor said. “You are currently resting in bed and will awaken soon. But… do not make the mistake of believing that just because this is a dream, that this is not real.”

With that, Igor produced what looked like a deck of cards from the sleeve of his suit jacket. Peanut actually recognized the cards from his visits to his girlfriend, Tarot’s house. Ironically, they were called Tarot Cards.

Peanut remembered, with a little embarrassment, asking Tarot if the cards were named after her and not the other way around.

Igor began shuffling the cards as he regarded Peanut again. “Are you familiar with Tarot reading, my dear boy?” He asked Peanut.

Peanut saw Safie, now a cat again, take a seat at the bar, staring at Peanut intently as though she were waiting to see what he would do.

Well, if this is all a dream, Peanut thought, might as well go along with it.
“Only what my girlfriend showed me. She’s pretty big on the whole fortune teller thing.” Peanut replied, the knowledge that this was a dream somehow making him a little more comfortable among these strangers. These very, very strange strangers.

“Ah, a fellow connoisseur of the Arcana! I would love to meet her!” Igor said, before placing seven cards down in a hexagonal pattern on the counter of the bar. “This is a simple 7-Card spread, meant to show, not only your past and future, but ones near and far as well.”

“For your distant past, for instance…” Igor flipped one of the cards, revealing a robed man wielding a wand. Peanut did notice the card was upside down, a part of him remembering that had some significance based on what Tarot told him. “The Magician, in the reversed position. It seems some powerful force, or indeed forces, have been manipulating the lives of those close to you, whether you or they were aware or not. But now it seems fate has upended itself, and a shift in balance has occurred.”

Igor flipped another card, this one depicting a skeleton in armor riding into battle. “For your recent past, Death.”

Peanut gulped, eliciting yet another giggle from Safie who somehow shifted back into a dog while Peanut wasn’t looking.

“Oh, don’t worry dear boy.” Igor said. “In Tarot, Death just means the end of an era. It marks a time of change, transition, and transformation. But into what, who can say?”

“For your present…” Igor flipped another card, revealing a man in ratty clothes, carrying a bindle over his shoulders. “The Fool, but of course. The Fool is a rather interesting card. Pretend it represents the number Zero, a sum value of nothing but containing endless potential and possibility.”

Igor flipped another card, revealing a stone tower on fire. “For your near future, The Tower. Sudden upheaval, a great and violent change will be coming to your life. An obstacle to meet and overcome. But if you could find your way to the Velvet Room, then I’m sure it’s nothing you can’t handle.”

Peanut looked at the cards revealed thus far. “And… my distant future?” Peanut asked, fearful of the answer.

Instead, Igor just chuckled. “Well now, we don’t want to spoil every surprise, do we?”

“Besides, we have more important matters to discuss.” With that, Igor snapped his fingers and the Tarot cards on the table disappeared in a flash of blue fire, causing Peanut to step back in surprise.

“First, if you are to be a continued guest of the Velvet Room, you must first sign the contract.” Igor said, producing a scroll of paper from seemingly nowhere. Safie still sat nearby, a cat again and helpfully producing a feather quill from her dress.

Peanut took a close look at the scroll but found it to be completely blank save for a line at the bottom, presumably meant for his signature.

“I don’t understand.” Peanut said.

If it was even physically possible, Igor’s smile seemed to widen. “It’s a very standard contract for all guests of the Velvet Room. All it says is that you will be expected to hold yourself accountable for your own choices. No fine lines, no clauses, no quid pro quos.”

Peanut looked at the contract, looked at Igor, then looked at the feather quill being offered to him.

Oh well, Peanut thought. It’s only a dream.

Peanut took the quill and signed.

Peanut Butter Sandwich

“Cute name.” Dog-Safie said over Peanut’s shoulder.
“Absolutely delightful!” Igor said, carefully perusing over the document as if it had more than just Peanut’s name on it.

“Now then, Safie? If you wouldn’t mind.” Igor said, placing the contract under the bar.

“Of course, master.” Cat-Safie said, reaching into her dress yet again and pulling out a key, one made of shimmering blue metal. “It will be sometime before you can enter the Velvet Room of your own accord, but when you can, this key will always open our door.”

Safie gingerly placed the key in Peanut’s hand, gently closing his fingers around it. She leaned in close, her face only inches away from Peanut’s. “Please, take good care of it.”

Without any warning, Safie gave a quick kiss to Peanut’s cheek. “Call that a good morning kiss. Now wake up sleepyhead!”
---
Peanut’s eyes opened with a start, the first light of morning creeping in through his bedroom window. His bedroom. His bed.

Peanut breathed a sigh of relief. It was all just a dream.

Peanut allowed himself a few minutes to reflect on everything he had just experienced, before the events of the dream started to fade away in the haze of morning. Finally, he remembered nothing but the color blue and the feeling of something against his cheek.

Finally, he got to his feet, eager to greet the day.

Peanut always was a morning person.


Last edited by JageshemashFTW on Fri May 10, 2019 1:11 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:39 am
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
This is really good! Very well written, and good mystery. I'm excited to read more :)

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Post Re: Persona: HP!
Awwwww. Of course it would turn out to be a dream and he would forget it. Oh well. At least we have it.


Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:15 pm
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
Well, this was indeed interesting.

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Post Re: Persona: HP!
Apr/04 20XX

“So, you got any plans for today?” Grape asked, dangling off the back of the coach.
“Pretty much sitting in front of the TV, playing video games.” Peanut replied, hooking up the game console in question.

“Y’know, there’s an entire world out there. People to talk to, sights to see.” Grape offered. “You shouldn’t laze about all day doing nothing.”
“This coming from the cat?” Peanut half-joked, giving Grape a wry smile.

“Hey, don’t be specist.” Grape stuck her tongue out. “I will not be labeled.”
“So what are you doing today, then?” Peanut asked.
“Pretty much sitting in front of the TV, watching you play video games.” Grape said.
“Well, at least we’ll have good company.” Peanut said, pulling Grape into a tight hug.
“Ack! Yeah, yeah. Now let go of me, Lenny.” Grape said, struggling against the embrace.
“Okay, George!” Peanut said in his best goofy voice, making Grape roll her eyes.
“Doofus.” She said.

“So what are you playing?” Grape asked, only really half-interested.

“Don’t know yet. I’m kinda feeling Ninja’s Creed but I did want to check out that new Distant Tear game.” Peanut said, opening the menu to his downloads. But then Peanut saw something… rather odd.

“Huh? I don’t remember getting this game?” Peanut said. Indeed, among all the other games in Peanut’s downloaded collection, was one game that was decidedly different from the others. For one thing, it didn’t have a name. Instead, in the place where the other games’ titles would be, it simply read ‘.--. . .-. ... --- -. .-’. The portrait, meant to show off the game’s world and characters, instead had the admittedly rather intimidating graphic of a ornate black eye in a shifting red background.

“With a name like that, it’s probably a glitch. Might want to delete it.” Grape offered.
“No kidding. I hope it didn’t mess up my saves.” Peanut said, starting the process to delete the game off his system. “I should probably back up my data, just to be sure.”

Peanut’s game-time would have commenced as usual that day, had their mother not walked into the room seconds later, the house phone to her head.

“Grape? Max just called, he wanted to know if you’re free to go to a party at the Alley Club.” She said, her hand covering the receiver of the phone.

Grape gave a tentative glance towards Peanut. “Do you mind if I heartlessly ditch you?” She said, half-joking.

Peanut glared at her before rolling his eyes. “Why don’t I just come with you?” He said, already powering off his console. “You said it yourself, I should get out more.”

Grape shrugged. “I have no problem with it, but I’m pretty sure Max is expecting a date.”
Peanut nodded solemnly. “Hmm, you might be right. Maybe you should stay behind so Max and I can have some alone time.” He said, flashing Grape a smile she swore he borrowed from the black cat in discussion.
Grape batted Peanut’s arm, barely stifling her giggle. “And I reiterate: Doofus.”

Peanut chuckled. “Look, if you and Max decide three’s a crowd, I can just mingle with someone else. It may shock you to know, but you two aren’t my only friends in town.”
Grape scoffed. “Pfft, yes we are.”

Peanut was about to retort… then found that he couldn’t. “Alright, yes you are. But I can always make new friends.”
---
Some time later, and Peanut and Grape had arrived at the Alley Club. Max was already there, waiting for them.

“Hey, babe.” Max said, giving Grape a kiss on the cheek. “Good to see you too, Peanut.” Max said, regarding the brown mutt.
“Hey Max. Hope I’m not intruding.” Peanut said.
“Nah, not at all. This place is kinda dead anyway, you could only make it more livelier.”

Indeed, the Alley Club has certainly been busier in the past, something Peanut mused with mild curiosity.
“Isn’t it the middle of Spring? Shouldn’t this place be packed?” He asked Max.
“Yeah, I know.” Max said. “I was hoping for a proper party. Sorry for the disappointment, Grape.” He said, rubbing the back of his head.

Grape shrugged. “Not your fault. Besides, a quiet dinner sounds lovely.” She said, batting her eyelashes.

Peanut smiled at the two. “Well, that sounds like I’ve officially become a third wheel. If you two need me, I’ll be hanging out with the few clubbers that are actually here.” With that, Peanut turned on his heel, and left for the club floor, giving a salute to the two cats.

“Don’t be a stranger!” Max said, turning with Grape towards the tables.
Peanut turned around again to respond… when something utterly bizarre happened.

Like a wave of cold water suddenly washed over him, Peanut felt his breath escape him. The world around him suddenly became grayscale as time itself seemed to freeze. The only things around him in color was himself, Grape and Max. All of whom shone with a dark, blue glow. More than that, Peanut noticed strange objects floating above the two cats’ heads. Glowing white rectangles that Peanut was beginning to recognize as cards.

Tarot Cards.

Peanut wasn’t sure how he knew that, or indeed how he knew which Tarot Cards in particular were suddenly floating above his friends.

Above Grape was a card depicting a robed man wielding a wand.
The Magician

And above Max was a card depicting a regal man in a chariot pulled by two sphinxes.
The Chariot

Noticing that he too had the same blue glow as his friends, Peanut risked a look above him and saw his own Tarot card, clearly from the same deck as Max and Grape as it had the same image of a black and white mask on the back. But on the front…

The front of Peanut’s card was completely blank.

As quickly as it started, the world regained all of it’s color as time began to move once more.

However, this only proved to disorient Peanut further, who felt the whole place spinning around him. Peanut heard two things before he lost consciousness on the club floor. The second thing he heard was Grape calling out his name in a panic, but before that…

He heard a whisper in the back of his mind. A whisper that almost sounded of his own voice, but possessed of a power Peanut never thought his voice could ever hold.

I am Thou, Thou art I…
---
Peanut awoke with a start, jumping straight to his feet and knocking down the chair he had been sitting.
Dramatic opera music played all around him, everywhere and nowhere all at once.
He was back in the blue tavern. Back in the Velvet Room.
Peanut suddenly remembered everything.

“Wha-! What is going on!” Peanut demanded, already turning towards the bar. Sure enough, there stood Igor with his permanent smile. If it was even possible for Igor’s expression to change, it wasn’t doing so now as Igor regarded Peanut with the same bulbous eyes and twisted grin.

“Hmm… So close and yet so far.” Igor lamented. “You almost awakened to your power. I suppose it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.”

“My… Power?” Peanut asked. “You mean that weird glowing thing?”

“Yes and no.” Igor said. “That was your Third Eye gazing into the real world for the first time. It was a gift I gave you during your first visit to the Velvet Room. I do hope it didn’t disorient you to badly. The first time is always the roughest.”

Peanut glared at the creature. “You could have warned me!”

“If I did, you would not remember.” Igor shrugged. “No one remembers their first visit to the Velvet Room. But with every visit, you’re memories of this place will become clearer and more vivid in time.”

Peanut grimaced. “I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.”

Igor clapped his hands in excitement. “Precisely, my dear boy! Precisely! Now you’re getting to the root of the issue. Why is the Velvet Room here and now? Why are you the one to form a contract? Why are you a Wild Card?”

“A Wild Card?” Peanut parroted, almost certain Igor was making this up as he went along.

“Quite so!” Igor said. “That was the power I was referring to. It’s best if I explain later after you’ve had time to… acclimate. But suffice it to say, whenever a Wild Card surfaces in your world: A terrible catastrophe will always follow.”

Peanut gulped. “And… what does that mean for me? For my friends?”

Igor nodded. “For now, live your life as you have. I’ve already put Safie on investigating these current events, hence her absence. I am certain we’ll meet again.”

With that, Igor gave Peanut a friendly wave. “Now, it is time to wake up.”

“Hold on!” Peanut pleaded. “I still have so many que-”
---
Peanut awoke with a start, clinging to his bedsheets for dear life. He hurriedly reached for his bedside clock to see it was late at night, or rather very, very early in the morning.

“Not this time.” Peanut quietly said to himself, getting out of bed and hurrying to his desk. He pulled out a drawer and fished around until finally grabbing a blank notebook.

“A journal…” Peanut said. “I’m not going to forget this time.”

With that, Peanut got busy. Writing down everything that had transpired in his dream and the day leading up to it. He made a mental note to keep updating this journal until he had gotten to the bottom of this whole convoluted affair.

Finally, with as much of his memory put down to paper as he could, Peanut felt the call of sleep latch onto him once more. Running on autopilot, Peanut crawled back into his bed, and drifted off into a dream.

And this time, he did not dream of the Velvet Room.


Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:36 pm
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
Really great work that you have done here! I really like it a lot!


Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:09 pm
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
Nice job! I'm really into this :)

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Post Re: Persona: HP!
I do hope that you will be able to get the next chapter up soon!


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Post Re: Persona: HP!
Apr/05 20XX
Peanut awoke hours later, groggy and drained. He lazily grasped his alarm clock to see it was almost noon.

Better late than never, Peanut thought.

With a little difficulty, Peanut was able to force himself to his feet, dragging his body to his desk where the journal he had written in last night was still sitting.

He gave the journal a quick peruse to refresh himself of the day prior, the journal containing only a single entry.

April 4th
Went to a party.
World went black, white and kinda blue.
Went to the Velvet Room.
Igor told me a catastrophe was coming.

Peanut kept reading the last line over and over. He knew the Velvet Room and Igor were not just figments of his dreams. The Velvet Room existed, somewhere, and so did Igor. Meaning his warnings of catastrophe could not be ignored.

Without even realizing it, Peanut started scribbling in the journal as he thought of the next best course of action. By the time Peanut noticed his doodling, he saw he had drawn a pretty young white cat in a blue dress.

Closing the journal with a sigh, Peanut figured now would be as good as time as any to let his family know he was alright.

Leaving his room, it didn’t take him long to find his mother, Jill, in the kitchen preparing something in a kettle.

Jill turned and regarded Peanut with nod. “Hey, honey. Are you feeling any better this morning?”

“Define ‘morning’.” Peanut joked, rubbing his eyes but still giving his mom a warm smile. “I’m fine Mom. Just… got a little light-headed last night.”

“I’ll say! Poor Grape and Max had to carry you back home. Max decided to stay the night, they’re both in the living room right now if you want to see them.” Jill said. “We had Dr. Suze come by and give you a once over, just in case. She says you were just exhausted.”

Jill gave Peanut a cross look. “Few too many all-nighters playing video-games?”

Peanut rubbed the back of his head, not sure if he should say anything about Igor or Third Eyes or the like. Thoughts of straight-jackets and padded rooms flashed across his mind. “Yeah, I’m sure that was it. I’ll take it easy from now on.”

“A mother worries, dear.” Jill said. “Here.” She said, pouring the kettle into a small mug. “Old home recipe from your Grandma. Should perk you right up.”

Peanut gently took the hot mug from his mother before taking a light sip. The drink was bitter, but had an underlying sweetness to it. It certainly wasn’t the worst thing Peanut ever tasted, but he couldn’t see himself drinking it leisurely.

“What is this?” He asked.

“Hot Tottie. Basically a light tea with honey. Drink it while it’s hot, it’s the steam that does most of the work.” Jill said.

“Thanks Mom. I’m gonna go see Grape and Max, let them know I’m fine.” Peanut said.

With that, Peanut turned and walked to the living room, taking small sips from his Hot Tottie. While the drink didn’t exactly agree with his taste buds, he couldn’t deny the warmth of the drink was already energizing him, making him feel more like his usual self. If Peanut were to allow himself to indulge his inner sappiness, he could almost taste a mother’s love in the drink.

Best not to ever say that out loud, Peanut thought. Especially within earshot of Grape.

Speaking of, Grape and her beau were indeed lazing about the couch, having decided to entertain themselves with Peanut’s gaming system.

Peanut cleared his throat to make his presence known. “You guys are using the guest profile, right?”

“Peanut!” Grape exclaimed, jumping from the couch and nearly pouncing on her mutt.
“Hey, watch it! Hot drink in hand!” Peanut said with a chuckle, returning the hug with his free hand.

Max walked up to Peanut as well, giving him a more subdued half-hug. “Good to see your okay. Next time, you might want to take your nap somewhere other than a club floor. You don’t know what’s been there.” He said with a grin.

“I’ll keep that in mind. From what Mom told me, I guess I was just exhausted?” Peanut asked.

“Your guess is as good as ours.” Grape shrugged. “You seemed fine up until then.”

“Well, I told my dad I was planning on spending the day with you guys anyways, so did you want to join our game, Peanut?” Max asked, pointing to the racing game that was queued up in question.

“Ah… Actually, I think I’m gonna stretch my legs out today. Get some fresh air.” Peanut said.

“Do you want us to go with you?” Grape asked.

Peanut raised his hand. “Nono, you guys have done more than enough for me. Please, don’t stop having fun on my account.” With that, Peanut gulped down the last of the Hot Tottie, placing the mug on the coffee table, and turned for the door.

“Peanut, are you sure your okay?” Grape asked, worried.

“I’m fine, Grape. There’s just something I need to do today.” Peanut assured, already putting his scarf on.

“Well, is there anything you do want us to do for you?” Max offered.

Peanut was about to say ‘no’ when something in the corner of his eye caught his attention. On the TV screen was a familiar symbol of a black eye against a red background taking the spot of one of his downloaded games.

“Yeah, would you mind deleting that ‘Black Eye’ game? I’m pretty sure it’s a glitch and I meant to do it yesterday.” Peanut asked.
“Can do.” Max said, giving a two-finger salute. Grape was clearly less thrilled about Peanut going off immediately after a fainting spell, but gave him a hug all the same.
“Stay safe.” She said.
“I will.” Peanut said. With that, he opened the door and stepped outside.
---
Peanut will say this: He picked the right day for a walk. It was perfect spring weather today. Sunny but not boiling, breezy but not blustery.

Peanut smiled as the sun shone on his face, his mind now fully awake and ready to get busy. First on the agenda, Tarot’s house. Whatever was going on with Peanut had the word ‘magic’ all over it, and Tarot was the biggest authority on the strange and weird that Peanut knew.

As he walked, he passed by one of the town’s communal bulletin boards and saw, of all animals, Fido posting various papers up, clearly on duty if the K-9 uniform was any indication.

Feeling sociable, Peanut decided to greet the police dog. “Hey, Fido!” He called out, grabbing the older dog’s attention.

Fido turned towards Peanut and gave a friendly wave. “Hey, Peanut. Staying safe, I hope?”
“Why wouldn’t I be?” Peanut asked, walking up to the bulletin board to get a better look at what Fido was doing.

Peanut stopped in his steps for a moment as he was a little taken aback by what he saw. No less than three different Missing Pets posters, two dogs and a cat, had been copied and posted to the board en masse.

“Woah…” Peanut said, his ears drooping.

“I know. Third case in as many months.” Fido grimaced. “People are starting to get worried it’s a serial kidnapper. That maybe PETA is making the rounds in town again.” Fido turned to face Peanut with a strained smile. “If you see or hear anything, please don’t hesitate to inform anyone in the PD. And exercise caution if you go out at night.”

“I will. Good luck finding them, Fido.” Peanut offered.
“I’m sure we will.” Fido said. “Just a matter of time.”

With that, Fido turned and walked away, holding even more Missing posters under his arm.

Peanut stood by the bulletin board for a few more seconds in thought. Could this have anything to do with Igor’s catastrophe?

A familiar sensation occurred, a tickle behind Peanut’s eyes as the world suddenly lost color again. Not wanting to lose consciousness for the second time in as many days, Peanut braced himself against the bulletin board as he tried to search for whatever it was this… Third Eye thing was trying to show him.

Sure enough, Peanut saw that Fido shone with the same dark blue glow that Grape and Max had at the club yesterday. And just like them, Fido had a Tarot card seemingly float above him, with the same graphic of a black and white mask on the back. As for the front, the card showed a brilliant sun shining down upon a grassy plain.

The Sun

Just as before, the Third Eye’s view of the world disappeared as quickly as it came, though Peanut did manage not to collapse this time.

Still just as disorienting

Shaking off his dizziness, Peanut reminded himself of what he had set out to do. With this latest example of his life becoming even stranger, Peanut made his way to his girlfriend’s house, hoping she would be able to make sense of all of this.
---
“Welp, I’m stumped.” Tarot said, perusing the tarot cards in front of her for the umpteenth time.
Peanut gave off a quiet whine. “So… there’s nothing wrong with me?”

Tarot shrugged. “Well… I didn’t say that. What you have to understand, Peanut, is that Tarot reading is not an exact science, even in an overtly magical sense.” Tarot explained, shuffling the tarot cards once more. “The fact that each reading we’ve done today gives a different outcome tells me that your life, like most lives, is too fluid and dynamic to be dictated by some cards. Personally, you shouldn’t put too much stock in Tarot readings, hun.”

Tarot raised a hand, stopping Peanut from responding. “And yes, I know how ironic that sounds, given my name.”

“Well, what about my dreams?” Peanut asked.

“Peanut, I have been up and down the celestial cosmos and I have never heard of things like the Velvet Room or Igor. I’m not saying such things don’t exist, just that if they do, I wouldn’t know of them.” Tarot offered, placing a comforting hand on Peanut’s. “As strange as it may be for me to be the voice of skepticism, you may want to consider that your bad dream was just that: A bad dream.”

“But my Third Eye! That’s not a dream Tarot, I used it again just earlier today!” Peanut argued.

“Admittedly, that is the most intriguing thing about all of this.” Tarot said. “Usually it takes years of meditation to unlock your Third Eye, but you say it was a gift from this Igor person?”

“Yes, in my dream.” Peanut reinforced.

“I’m not saying I don’t believe you.” Tarot huffed. “I’m just cautioning you to be open to all possibilities.”

Tarot stood up from her chair at the table to sit on the floor, cross-legged. “Come join me.” She said, patting the floor in front of her.

Peanut did so, as Tarot took his hands into her own. “If you truly do have a Third Eye, then we are going to discover it’s capabilities together. Everyone’s Third Eye, once awakened, can give it’s user unique powers that are yours and yours alone. No two Third Eyes are the same.”

“That said…” Tarot began. “The general principle of the Third Eye remains pretty uniform all throughout. It gives the user a way to commune with the cosmos in a way that is quantifiable and capable of interpretation by the conscious mind. But how and in what form is up to you to decipher.”

“Now, you say you’ve used your Third Eye twice before. How did it manifest? What did you see? What was it trying to show you?” Tarot asked.

Peanut thought back to earlier today and the day before. “Well, it starts with the whole world losing color, everything becoming black and white. Except for myself and a few, specific people who glow blue.”

Tarot nodded. “Color is a very common way for Third Eyes to denote meaning. Colors become shorthand for your conscious mind to recognize something as important. You say you’ve seen people as blue?”

Peanut nodded. “Yeah. The first time it was Grape and Max. The second time, earlier today, it was Fido.”

“Can you think of anything connecting these three people? Any reason as to why your Third Eyes deems them important?” Tarot asked.

Peanut huffed. “Well… I like them. I consider each of them a friend. Is that it?”

“That’s for you to decipher.” Tarot said. “Is there anything else other than a glow?”

“Yeah…” Peanut began. “In every example, they always have a Tarot card floating over them. Each one has had a different Arcana so far. Grape had the Magician, Max had the Chariot, and Fido had the Sun.”

Tarot took a second to ponder, giving Peanut a hard stare.

“What is it?” Peanut asked.
“How… did you know the names of those Arcana?” Tarot asked.

Peanut was about to tell her… then found that he couldn’t. “I… I don’t know. They just… sort of came to me.”

Tarot nodded, putting her quandary aside for now. “This certainly goes a way in explaining your sudden fascination in Tarot reading. Didn’t you say that you also glowed blue? Did you have a Tarot card as well?”

Peanut scratched the back of his neck. “Kind of? I mean, I have a card but… it’s blank.”
“Blank?” Tarot repeated.
“Yeah, a total Wild Card.” Peanut said with a light chuckle.

“Hold on, what did you just say?” Tarot asked.
“Uh, I said it was a Wild Card?” Peanut said.
“Interesting choice of words.” Tarot pondered, more to herself than to Peanut.

“Okay, there’s one last thing I want to do today.” Tarot said. “I want you to consciously, deliberately activate your Third Eye and tell me what my Arcana is, if I have any.”

“You think you won’t?” Peanut asked.
“We still don’t know what the significance of the Tarot cards are. It could mean anything, thus so could the absence of one.” Tarot said. “Now, relax and concentrate. You’ve already opened your Third Eye twice before, trust in your Eye to open now.”

Peanut wasn’t exactly sure what Tarot was expecting him to do, but he closed his eyes all the same.

“Feel me here, in this room, beside you.” Tarot said. “Let the universe speak to you in a way that only you can hear.”

Peanut wasn’t sure what did it, maybe just having his girlfriend near to urge him on, but he felt the same tickle behind his eyes he had before. He opened his eyes to see the world around him in grayscale, his glowing blue girlfriend sitting cross legged in front of him. Above Tarot’s head was yet another Tarot card, this one depicting a woman in holy robes sitting between two pillars, an orb in her hand.

The High Priestess

Peanut blinked and the world returned to normal, Tarot sitting, waiting expectedly.

“Well? What did you see?” Tarot asked.
“The High Priestess…” Peanut said, gasping for air, not realizing he had been holding his breath. “Your card is the High Priestess.”

“The High Priestess?” Tarot parroted. “In Tarot reading, that card represents intuition, sacred knowledge, divine femininity, or even the subconscious mind.”
“And that means… what, exactly?” Peanut asked.
“I have no idea.” Tarot said, before a wide smile flashed across her face. “But I can’t wait to find out.”
---
A few minutes passed before Peanut realized how late it was getting. The last thing he wanted to do was make his parents worried after the… incident yesterday, so he felt it was best to head home sooner rather than later. Not to mention Fido’s warnings of staying out too late was still itching the back of Peanut’s mind.

And so, Peanut was standing outside Tarot’s door, saying goodbye and making plans to meet again.
“Whatever is going on Peanut, I promise I will help you through it.” Tarot said, giving Peanut a tight hug. “Whether your dreams are actual premonitions or just dreams, we’ll figure it out together.”

“Thanks, Tarot.” Peanut said. “You’re… kind of the only person I can turn to with this kind of stuff.”

Tarot stood there, leaning against her door and smiling at the brown mutt in front of her. “Come here…” She said, wrapping her arms around Peanut and pulling him into a kiss, one which Peanut gladly returned.

As they pulled apart, still holding on but staring into each other’s eyes, Tarot gave Peanut one last hug.

“I love you.” She said.
“I love you too.”

With that, Peanut turned and left, a smile on his face.

But as he got no further than a few feet away from Tarot’s house, a voice rang out in his head. Not his own voice, like the day before, but a high-pitched, melodic voice that he eventually recognized as Safie’s. But what the voice said may as well have been gibberish to Peanut for as much sense as it made.

I am Thou, Thou art I
As Thy bonds are the strength of Thy heart
So too shall Thy bonds give Thee power

With the birth of the High Priestess
I shall be but a step to Thy fate…


{Social Link}
Tarot the High Priestess
Rank 1


As soon as Safie’s voice had ringed in Peanut’s head, so too did it vanish and Peanut found himself not even remembering what was said. Shaking off the voices in his head, which were becoming far too numerous in Peanut’s opinion, Peanut headed for home.
---
All things considered, Peanut felt pretty good. What was originally just a routine visit to Tarot about the stranger goings on in town ended up becoming one of their better date nights in a long time.

Peanut couldn’t even remember the last time Tarot had just sprung a kiss on him out of the blue like that. It was certainly nice.

Unfortunately, all of Peanut’s good cheer evaporated instantly upon seeing something on the front porch of his house that made his heart fell.

Grape, standing alone, and crying.

“Peanut…” Grape said, slowly walking forward as though in a trance. “I… I didn’t know what to do… Mom and Dad left for the store and you were gone and I…”

Peanut grabbed Grape by the shoulders gently. “Grape, what’s wrong? Tell me what happened?”

“It’s Max!” Grape suddenly shouted, as though holding it in. “Peanut… Something terrible has happened to Max!”
---
“It was just a few moments ago. You literally came home seconds after it happened. I ran outside because… because I didn’t know what else to do!” Grape ranted as she and Peanut marched inside, Grape leading Peanut towards the living room.

“Grape, take a deep breath and walk me through this, step by step.” Peanut pleaded, wanting to do whatever he could to help her.

“Okay… Okay… Max and I were playing games when I got up to get a snack from the kitchen. I overheard Max say something like ‘Oh yeah, I forgot’ and then…” Grape began, clearly having trouble finding the words.

“Keep going.” Peanut urged.

“And then… And then I heard this unholy sound coming from the living room, like hell itself. I ran out and saw… I saw a red tornado come out of our tv and suck Max into it.” She finally said.

“...What?” Peanut said.

“Don’t! Don’t do that, Peanut! I know it’s crazy! I know I sound insane right now, but I know what I saw!” Grape ranted, fresh tears forming.

“Okay! Okay!” Peanut raised his hands. “I believe you!”
“You… You do?” Grape said, softly.
“Always and forever.” Peanut said. “Besides, we’ve seen weirder.”

“You’re right.” Grape said, a look of realization dawning on her face. “You’re absolutely right, we need to go get Tarot. She’ll know what to do.”

Peanut grimaced. “I don’t think she’ll know much more than we do at the moment.”
“What makes you so sure?” Grape asked. “We should at least try… something!”

“I just got back from Tarot. This isn’t the first weird thing I’ve experienced recently.” Peanut said.
“You mean yesterday when you fainted?” Grape asked.
“Look… It’s a long story. For now, let’s focus on finding out what happened to Max. Then, I promise I will tell you the whole thing.” Peanut said.

Without much reason to argue, Grape nodded but found herself lost on how to do just that.
Peanut looked over to the offending television in question and saw it was still displaying the same queue of downloaded games as before, including one particular game that was now sending chills down Peanut’s spine.

The Black Eye game.

Peanut remembered asking Max to delete that game from his system. Grape said something about how Max ‘forgot’ something. Working purely on instinct, Peanut closed his eyes then opened them again.

Activating his Third Eye this time around was much easier, and Peanut found his mind surprisingly clear for how much it had disoriented him the first few times.

But what surprised him more was what his Third Eye showed him. For the first time, a color other than blue had been added to the grayscale world. Emanating from the tv was a swirling vortex of red energy, a red tornado as Grape had just described, with the icon of the Black Eye right at the center of the vortex.

Turning off his Third Eye, Peanut turned his gaze to the controller that was now on the floor, dropped unceremoniously by the black cat in question.

Without thinking, and Peanut would later reflect, in hindsight, he should have been thinking, Peanut reached over to the controller and selected the Black Eye game.

“What are you…?” Grape began, but whatever she was about to say was cut off by an unholy shrieking sound. A flash of light blinded the two, forcing them to cover their eyes as the tv shattered, exploding into the same red vortex Peanut saw, but much larger and much more intense.

“PEANUT!! THIS IS IT!! THIS IS WHAT I SAW!!” Grape screamed over the howling wind in their living room, Peanut barely able to hear her over the cacophony. But the torrent of red energy was only beginning it’s onslaught.

Grape felt something grab at her, some invisible force pulling her towards the tv. “PEANUT!! HELP!!”
Peanut, still half-blinded by the flash, moved as fast as he could to grab Grape by the wrist, gripping the edge of the coffee table with his other hand.
“GRAPE!! HOLD ON!!” Peanut pleaded over the shrieking vortex.

It was clear the vortex was not giving up on it’s quarry. The suction of the vortex picked up, sending the items in the living room flying every which way and picking Grape up off her feet. She hung in the air, her feet being pulled towards the tv, inch by inch, as Peanut held on to her for dear life.

“PEANUT!! DON’T LET GO!! PLEASE!!” Grape pleaded, the wind blasting her tear-stained face.

Unfortunately, the choice would not be Peanut’s much longer. Peanut could feel his grip loosen in both his hands. Sooner or later, he would have to let go of Grape, and risk losing her, or let go of the coffee table, and risk both of them being lost together.

In the heat of the moment, Peanut’s choice was clear.

As the coffee table slipped from Peanut’s grip, he and Grape plummeted into the tv, screaming as they descended into the black void.


Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:41 am
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
Author's Note:
Any time text appears underlined and in bold, it means it is not actually narration within the story but something purely for the sake of the reader.


Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:43 am
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
I have to admit that this chapter was really dark. Nice job on writing it, but God does it give me chills.


Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:55 pm
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
Wow, that shook me up... And now I'm hooked. This is an excellent chapter!!

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Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:36 pm
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
Hmm. I may have to rewrite the last chapter a bit, depending how these next few comics go.


Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:06 am
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
Why would you have to rewrite the next few chapters?


Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:27 pm
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
Amazee Dayzee Wrote:
Why would you have to rewrite the next few chapters?


I mean the previous chapter, the one I just did. It's looking like the next few comics are going to redefine Peanut's and Tarot's relationship in some way, meaning my depiction of said relationship might be a bit... outdated.


Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:28 pm
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
You can just say it's an AU if the comic changes things :D
You're never going to line everything up perfectly anyway, so go with what you want ;)

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Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:30 pm
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
When I was writing my fan fiction I always said it was an alternate universe though at the time I did believe Sevin was gonna break up but now I'm pleasantly surprised at how devoted Kevin is to her behind closed doors.

I'm also really jealous but that's besides the point.


Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:58 pm
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
Apr/05 20XX Cont...

“Look Krueger. Fresh meat.” Peanut heard a voice say.

Groaning, Peanut forced his eyes open before the events in his living room caught up with him. The tv, the vortex, Grape.

Grape!

Peanut’s eyes flashed awake as he bolted himself up from the dirt ground he was laying on. Peanut half-expected to wake up in the Velvet Room and be greeted by Igor and Safie. No such luck, as Peanut found himself in what could only be described as a dungeon. A large, wide room with course, uneven stone walls where every door and window had spiked bars preventing entrance, or exit.

Chains with shackles adorned the walls, arranged slapdash and haphazardly without much thought. Peanut considered himself lucky he didn’t wake up chained to one of them.

Finally, Peanut turned to the voice that had roused him from his sleep, and found himself rather confused staring at a cat and dog duo. The cat in question was a very grumpy looking white maine coon with gray stripes, regarding Peanut with a sneer. His canine companion, an elderly looking brown lab, seemed a more affable sort as he at least gave Peanut a welcoming smile.

“Oh come now, Cassius.” The lab, who Peanut assumed was Krueger, chastised. “The poor boy’s clearly confused. We should help him!”

The maine coon, Cassius apparently, scoffed. “Coddle him if you want, Krueger. It won’t change much.”

With that, the maine coon turned on his heel and sat in the corner of the room, closing his eyes.

Krueger shook his head before regarding Peanut again with the same friendly smile from before. “Apologies for my compatriot. He’s much more agreeable on his good days, I assure you!” He said, very suddenly taking Peanut’s hand in his own and enthusiastically shaking it.

“Allow me to introduce myself. I am Krueger, and my surly friend is named Cassius. I must say, it is nice to actually meet a Player face-to-face.” Krueger said.

Cassius suddenly let out a curt laugh. “Enjoy the novelty while you still can, Kru!”

Krueger gave a nervous laugh. “Uh, please, ignore him. If there’s anything I can do to help you… acclimate, please don’t hesitate to ask.”

Peanut slowly nodded, still trying to digest everything that had occured in the short span of time he had been here. “Uh… Did you see someone else come here with me? A purple cat?”

Cassius turned to face Peanut with a deadpan look on his face. “Turn around, dingbat.”
True enough, Peanut turned to see a dusty purple shape slumped against the corner of the room.

“Grape!” Peanut yelled, running over to her. “Wake up! Please, tell me your okay!”

Grape groaned as Peanut shook her awake. “Peanut, I friggin’ swear I’m gonna kill you if you interrupt my nap…”

“Your okay!” Peanut said, relief in his voice.

Grape’s eyes drifted open, realization hitting her as she started to remember what had happened. “Wh-What’s going on!? Where are we!? Where’s Max!?” She said, getting up to her feet.

“Miss, please, allow me to explain.” Krueger began. “It would be beneficial to all involved if you were to calm yourself.”

“Who the heck are you!?” Grape demanded, pointing a finger at Krueger.

“No need to be crass.” Krueger chided. “My name is Krueger. I assure you, I am a friend to Players like you.”

“Players?” Peanut asked. “You used that word before. What does it mean?”

“Why… It means you!” Krueger stated. “Players are those who come here from the Real World.”
“Implying that where you are now is not the Real World.” Cassius continued, deigning to get up from his ‘seat’ and walking over to address Peanut and Grape directly. “You two lucky punks have the ‘privilege’ of being the newest poor saps to get trapped in our Game World.”

“Woah, woah, back up!” Grape said. “Are you saying… we’re INSIDE a video-game?”

“Give the kid a prize!” Cassius said. “And you two picked probably the worst Drop Point in the whole game, too. Lucky you…”

“Drop Point?” Peanut said.

Krueger nodded. “When a Player first comes to our world, they materialize within a Drop Point, a specific location somewhere within the Game World. Each Player gets a different Drop Point, but I’m assuming that doesn’t apply to you two since you came here together.”

“Oh no…” Grape began. “That means Max isn’t here!”

“Max?” Krueger asked.

“A friend of ours.” Peanut said. “He came here shortly before we did.”

“Wow, it’s practically raining Players!” Cassius said, sarcastically. “We usually only get a new Player once a month, now we get three in one day.”

“Now hold on a second.” Grape said. “Why are people getting sucked into a video-game in the first place? That isn’t exactly an everyday occurrence!”

Krueger looked down sullenly.

“Go on, Kru. Tell them.” Cassius said, folding his arms.

“Tell us what?” Peanut asked.

“The truth is, we used to be a perfectly normal video-game to begin with. But something happened to the King of this land, the Black Eye King, that made him start to hate Players. And hate them with a fiery passion. We have no idea how or why the Black Eye King is even able to do so, but he somehow has been able to kidnap Players from your world and bring them here. Once trapped in his domain, the Black Eye King forces them to partake in his games, by his rules.”

Krueger looked aside, clearly uncomfortable. “And for those who fail to win in those games, the punishment is death.”

“Max…” Grape whispered. “We have to get out of here, and find Max!” Grape told Peanut.

“Feh, good luck.” Cassius said. “Like I said before, this is the worst place you could have made your Drop Point. This… is the Pit! And I don’t mean New Jersey!”

Krueger gave a sad sigh. “I’m afraid my friend speaks the truth. You are currently ‘guests’ in the Black Eye King’s personal Gladiator Games. No doubt he will force you to participate.”

“Gladiators!?” Grape yelled. “But… But we don’t know anything about fighting!”

Any more protesting was cut short by the sound of a heavy door being slammed open in the distance.

“Well, I suggest you learn quickly.” Cassius said. “Sounds like their coming to get you ready for your first match.”

Sure enough, the bars to the front entrance of the dungeon raised up to reveal two hulking men in Gladiator armor step into the room. What was strange about these figures was that their skin seemed to be made of carved stone, and their faces were covered in blue, clay masks.

“His Majesty is expecting a good show from you Players today. Do not disappoint him.” One of the guards said.

Grape shot a dirty look towards the guards. “And what if we just refuse to go along with this insanity?”

The guard pulled out his sword, a gleaming crooked sica. “Then we kill you right now.”

“Best to go along for now, Miss Grape.” Krueger said. “You’ll never escape if your dead.”

Grape was fuming, but didn’t say another word.
The other guard, who had been silent up till now, stepped forward and addressed the other two animals in the room. “Are you fighting with them?” The guard asked Krueger and Cassius.

“Yes, we are.” Krueger said.
“We are?” Cassius said, earning an elbow to the ribs.

Peanut glanced towards the two. “You don’t have to do that…”
Krueger gave another smile. “We’re Party Members. It’s our job to help Players like you.”

Peanut could not begin to argue with that logic.

“These are your weapons.” The first guard said, tossing a cloth bundle to the floor which gave a metallic clang as it hit the ground.

Krueger took it upon himself to unravel the bundle, revealing a suite of weapons inside: A trident, a net, a gladius, and a pugio dagger. Almost immediately, Krueger tossed the trident to Cassius and took the net for himself before stepping aside and gesturing for Peanut and Grape to take their own weapons.

“Which do you want?” Peanut asked Grape.
“Are we really doing this?” Grape pleaded.
“Do we really have a choice?”

Grape wanted to argue, but nothing came to mind. Finally, with a grunt, she picked out the gladius for herself, handing Peanut the pugio.
“Better if you take the lighter weapon. A blade is a blade, and you need to be able to move faster.” She said.

With that, the guards escorted the four newly made gladiators out of the dungeon and towards the Arena.
---
Apparently, it was Summer in the Game World, if the blazing hot sun was anything to go by. Peanut raised his hand to shield his eyes as the guards pushed the four out into the sandy dustbowl of an arena.

As his eyes adjusted, Peanut was taken aback by the sheer volume of the roaring crowd. The arena was ringed with stone bleachers, and nearly every seat was occupied by identical masked, stone men. All of whom were cheering for blood.

Sitting atop the center of the left-side bleachers was a velvet purple tent, clearly furnished for VIP spectators. From this distance, Peanut could just make out a large black shadow in the tent, gazing into the stadium.

A bump to his shoulder made Peanut turn around towards Krueger, who gestured towards the tent. “That’s the Black Eye King. He decides each Player’s game and how it works.”

Grape tensed up, tightening the grip on her sword. “So… So all we have to do is win some game and we can go?”

Cassius nodded, spitting out a loogie. “That’s what the King always promises. But so far, no Player has ever beaten his games.”

Peanut glanced down at his pugio before readying himself. “Then we’ll just have to be the first.”

Cassius scoffed. “Nice knowing ya.”

The crowd continued their cheers until the shadow in the tent suddenly rose to its feet. And just like that, the entire arena became deathly quiet. No one was willing to make a sound as the King spoke.

“Friends…” A deep, booming voice echoed throughout the arena. Peanut wondered to himself how the King was projecting his voice like that. “Champions…” The King continued. “Welcome to where glory and honor is born! Welcome… To the Arena of Death!”

The King turned to face the ‘gladiators’. “To you, my newest guests, I give you the chance to fulfill your wildest dreams! Face down your opponent! Strike without mercy! And win your freedom!”

The King turned his attention to the barred gate at the other end of the arena. “Bring forth… The Nue!”

The crowd continued their cheers, the earth shaking as they stomped their feet in rhythm, chanting aloud ‘NUE!! NUE!! NUE!! NUE!!’

Peanut couldn’t help but notice Krueger and Cassius suddenly looking very nervous, something Grape picked up on as well.

“What’s a Nue?” Grape asked, expecting an answer yet receiving none. “Guys, what’s a Nue!?”

Krueger looked solemnly at Grape. “Stay behind me and Cassius, let us do most of the fighting. If you can get a hit in without getting hurt, do it. But stay clear of the tail.”

“I cannot begin to stress how much that does not answer my question!” Grape yelled.

“Uh, Grape?” Peanut began, pointing towards the other end of the arena. “I think… That’s a Nue.”
From the pitch darkness of the other side’s entrance came a snarling beast. The beast lurched forward on four gigantic paws, each with a full set of razor sharp claws. As it stepped into the light, Peanut and company found themselves speechless.

The Nue was a hodgepodge of various animals, bits and pieces frankensteined together like a chimera. It possessed the head of a howling baboon that bared its teeth at the four, the body of a monstrous tiger that clawed at the ground, and a snake for a tail that hissed and snapped at the air.

Grape nearly dropped her gladius in horror. “We… We have to fight that thing!?”

“Correction…” Cassius remarked, readying his trident. “Krueger and I are going to fight that thing. You kids are going to stay out of our way, if you know what’s good for you.”

Peanut snapped himself out of his shock, turning towards Cassius. “We can’t let you fight that monster by yourselves! You’ll die!”

“Probably.” Cassius said. “But who cares about us? We’re just ones and zeroes.”

Peanut was about to argue further when the Black Eye King raised his arm. “Champions! Ready yourselves!” Without a second longer, the King lowered his arms. “To battle!”

As if a spark shot of in it’s primal mind, the Nue let out an ungodly screech before barreling for the ‘champions’ in question.

Peanut and Grape had little time to get out of the charging beast’s path as Krueger rolled to the side, throwing his net across the Nue’s face. Doing his best to drag the monster to the ground, Krueger signaled for Cassius to attack with his trident.

The Nue thrashed wildly in the net, the sheer force already snapping more than a few ropes. Cassius lept to deliver a blow to the Nue’s side, but was knocked aside by the snake tail.

Peanut turned back to face the battle ongoing, seeing that the Nue was seconds from freeing itself. Acting completely on instinct, Peanut tightened his grip on the pugio before charging towards the downed beast.

With the Nue’s attention on Cassius and Krueger, Peanut was able to plunge his dagger into the monster’s back. The Nue let out a pained yowl as it continued to trash about. Peanut was about to strike again until he noticed, too late, that the Nue’s snake tail had him in it’s sights.

The tail lunged forward, poison-dripping fangs bared… then landed on the ground with a ‘thump’ as Grape sliced the tail off the beast.

The Nue thrashed once more, tearing the net into ribbons and giving a weighty kick to Grape with its hind-legs sending her flying backwards and landing in a painful slump.

“GRAPE!!” Peanut yelled out before the Nue knocked him the ground getting up. The Nue took one glance at its now severed tail and immediately turned its attention to the purple cat on the ground, growling with anger.

The Nue charged again directly towards Grape, the baboon’s mouth opening wide.

“NO!!!” Peanut yelled out. He ran, faster than he ever had before in his life, when suddenly a voice rang out in his head. His own voice.

Do you wish to save her?

Yes! Peanut thought. Please, I’ll do anything, he pleaded to the voice.

Do you desire power to slay this beast?

Peanut didn’t care what he had to do, he would not let this monster touch her!

Do you wish to depose the King?

The Black Eye King. He was the whole reason they were in this mess! The reason Max went missing, the reason they were trapped in this game, the reason Grape was in danger!

Peanut would never forgive him. He would do everything in his power to stop the King from ever hurting his friends again!

So be it…

Peanut suddenly stopped running, the world around him freezing to a standstill. It seemed his heart had stopped, yet Peanut felt no pain or discomfort. Instead, Peanut felt something welling up inside him, a font of power Peanut had never possessed before. Building and building until it finally had nowhere to go but out.

Peanut looked down at his hand, and saw he was now holding a Tarot card. One that held a familiar image of a black and white mask on the back, and a man in ratty clothes carrying a bundle on the front.

The Fool, Peanut thought to himself.

As though his body and mind were not his own, Peanut’s mouth began to speak for itself. His grip on the card becoming tighter and tighter.
“Per… So… Na…”

Peanut crushed the card in his hand.

Like an explosion of power, a geyser of blue light suddenly shot up from the ground around Peanut. The Nue was distracted from its charge as it looked to the now clearly bigger threat. Grape, Krueger and Cassius looked on dumbfounded as Peanut screamed bloody murder within the tower of blue energy.

As the geyser dissipated, Peanut stood, unharmed and no worse for wear. But he was not alone.

Standing beside Peanut was a truly bizarre figure. An avian humanoid wearing a blue cloak and what appeared to be a medieval plague mask covering its face. It possessed two sets of golden wings, one on its back and the other at the ankles of its feet. It wielded a staff topped with two coiling serpents below a set of identical golden wings.

Finally, the figure began to speak in Peanut’s own voice.

“I am Thou, Thou art I…
I am Argeiphontes, The Slayer of Monsters…
Call upon my name, and unleash thy power!”


Peanut glanced behind him at what he could only describe as his Guardian Angel, or at least as close to one as Peanut cared at the moment.

“Argeiphontes…” Peanut said, testing the name on his tongue. He turned his gaze towards the Nue, eyes shining with rage. “Take it down.”

Argeiphontes needed no more than this, flipping the staff in its hand to reveal a bladed underside. Wielding the caduceus like a sword, Argeiphontes charged towards the Nue, striking and slashing with lightning speed.

The Nue was not going down without a fight as it lunged at Argeiphontes, trying to pin it to the ground.

Peanut wasn’t sure how he knew to do what he did, but he called out to Argeiphontes.
“Garu!”

Whatever Peanut had just said, Argeiphontes accepted the command. The winged apparition pushed back against the Nue before blasting it away with a gust of green wind from it’s staff.

The Nue strained to get up, then suddenly slumped to the ground. A second later, and the Nue began to fade into an inky shadow until it disappeared completely, leaving nothing behind.

Argeiphontes remained only seconds longer before it too vanished without a trace.

As if all of the adrenaline and fatigue had suddenly caught up to Peanut all at once, he fell to his knees, gasping and wheezing for air. He was sure he was about to vomit.

“Peanut!” Grape called out, getting to her feet and rushing over to him. “Peanut! Wha… What was that!?” She yelled, trying to help Peanut to his feet.

“I… I don’t really know…” Peanut admitted, leaning into Grape as she held him up.

Cassius and Krueger approached as well, but noticeably a little more wary than before.

“Uh… I’ve never seen a Player do that before?” Cassius said “Who… are you guys?”

“With respect…” Krueger began. “I believe we have more pressing concerns.”

Indeed, the crowd was starting to move past the shocked silence from Argeiphontes’ display and were now rousing into a cacophonous uproar.

The King, still submerged in the shadows of his tent, rose to his feet to address the crowd. “Well done, mighty Champion! What are we to call the first victor of the Arena?”

Peanut remained silent, glaring at the King.

The King didn’t seem to pay Peanut’s taciturn response any mind, continuing his speech. “As I have promised, to the victor goes the prize! You have won your freedom! However…”

Cassius winced. “Oh, here we go…” He whispered.

“As you were the only one to face the Nue as an equal, you will be the only one to leave with your life!” The King announced. “The rest will forfeit their lives in penance for their weakness!”

Peanut continued his glare, calling out to the King. “You were never going to let us go! Were you!?”

Once again, the King ignored him. “Guards, seize the other Player!”

“Peanut…” Grape started, already noticing the two squads of guards marching from either side of the arena, and closing in on them fast.

“I hope this works…” Peanut whispered. With all of his concentration, Peanut was somehow able to summon the Fool card to his hand again, though doing so only seemed to drain him even more than before.

With the guards only seconds away, Peanut crushed the card.

“Persona!” Peanut yelled. This time, the flash of blue light was nowhere near as blinding or chaotic as before. Instead, it was as if the air behind Peanut shattered like glass as Argeiphontes appeared.

“Get us out of here!” Peanut commanded, and Argeiphontes obeyed. The apparition picked up Peanut and Grape in one of its massive arms and scooped up the very surprised Krueger and Cassius in the other.

With its charges in tow, Argeiphontes spread it’s golden wings and took off into the air, just narrowly avoiding the guard’s swords.

Argeiphontes flew off into the horizon, while the Black Eyed King was forced to watch his quarry get away.


Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:22 am
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
Persona Mythology Trivia!!!

Argeiphontes: A title given to the Greek God Hermes, the God of medicine, travelers, and thieves as well as the messenger of the Gods. The title was given to him in honor for slaying the many-eyed monster known as Argus. The name literally translates to Argus-Killer.

Nue: A yokai, or Japanese spirit, that possesses the head of a monkey, the body of a tanuki (a Japanese raccoon spirit), the legs of a tiger, and a snake for a tail. The Nue is a prominent figure in the Heike Monogatari, in which the creature is slain by a master arrow-crafter.


Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:31 am
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
Awesome chapter! This was an exhilarating read. The stakes continue to rise... but Peanut is unstoppable :D

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Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:56 pm
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
This chapter was really action-packed! Wonderful work!


Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:54 pm
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
Apr/05 20XX Cont...

The longer Argeiphontes remained, the more Peanut felt drained of energy. He knew they couldn’t fly forever, he was already on his last legs after Argeiphontes fought off the Nue. But they had to make as much distance between them and the colosseum as possible.

Still, with near all of Peanut’s mind concentrated on flying further and further away from the mad King and his guards, a small itch at the back of his minds plagued him with questions.

Just what IS Argeiphontes anyway? Why did it suddenly appear to help them? Why did it obey Peanut’s every command?

Hearing the voice in his head at the colosseum, crushing the Tarot card that suddenly appeared in his hand, knowing the right ‘magic word’ to use Argeiphontes’ power. Ever since the Fool card materialized in his hand, Peanut had been acting entirely on instinct. Like a bird flying south for the winter.

Which is why Peanut was suddenly concerned as to what will happen when said instincts have run their course.

“Young man!” Peanut heard Krueger call out from Argeiphontes’ other arm. “We have to turn back!”

Grape twisted her head around to face him. “Are you nuts!? You want us to go back to those sword-wielding goons!?”

Krueger shook his head. “You don’t understand, this world is nothing but the colosseum! You’re heading right for the borders of the level! There’s nothing there!”

Peanut willed Argeiphontes to keep going, and he did. “'Nothing' is better than what we just escaped from!”

“I don’t mean that kind of ‘nothing’, I mean-” Krueger tried to explain before Cassius yelled over him.
“LOOK OUT!!” Cassius screamed, pointing towards the horizon.

Indeed, as Argeiphontes got further and further from the arena, a white, shimmering wall made of light started to engulf the very world before them. Everything the light touched was broken apart and reduced to particles until nothing was left.

And it was getting closer.

“TURN AROUND!!” Grape said, having forgotten her earlier reluctance. “TURNAROUNDTURNAROUNDTURNAROUND!!!”

“I-I can’t!” Peanut said. For the first time since apparently coming into existence, Argeiphontes ignored Peanut’s mental order. If anything, it picked up it’s pace and flew even faster straight towards the unknown.

The group screamed as Argeiphontes plunged headfirst into the wall, disappearing along with the rest of the world.
---
“Peanut… Peanut…! PEANUT!”

Peanut awoke with a start, opening his eyes to see Grape kneeling over him.

“Oh thank god…” She said, breathing out a sigh of relief. “Are you okay?”

“Define ‘okay’...” Peanut mumbled. He felt as though he went through twenty-four hours with no sleep and then immediately took a mile run. Without thinking much, Peanut tried to get up on his feet only to collapse under his own weight, crashing down into Grape’s arms as she held him up.

“Hey! Easy there…”

Peanut allowed Grape to lift him up to his feet, leaning next to her for support.

“Where… are we?” Peanut pondered. Looking around, they were in a small, black, circular room with a domed ceiling. The walls and floor all had the same metallic sheen, like something out of a spaceship in a sci-fi movie. Surrounding them on all sides were eight, large, silver orbs floating in the air and arranged in a circle around the room.

Two of the orbs were glowing.

“Wait…” Peanut said, mentally trying to shake off his fatigue. “Where are Cassius and Krueger?”

Grape winced. “I don’t know. They weren’t here when I woke up. I don’t… I don’t think they made it.”

Peanut looked down at the ground. Cassius claimed their lives didn’t mean anything. They were just part of the game, ones and zeroes. They only helped them because that was their role as NPC’s.

Still, they helped them. They risked themselves to protect them.

“Maybe… Maybe they just ended up somewhere else?” Peanut offered, looking up at Grape hopefully. “Maybe we can find them later?”

Grape nodded. “Yeah… I’m sure we can. But, let’s focus on finding Max first.”

Peanut looked around. “Actually, first we need to find out how to get out of here.”

Grape nodded and carried Peanut over to one of the glowing orbs, as they were the only things in the room worth any notice.

As they approached the orb, it’s glow intensified until it projected an image before them, illuminating the dark room.

The image was that of the colosseum that they had just escaped from not moments before. Underneath it were words in white lettering.

The Arena of Wrath

“Charming name…” Grape muttered.

Peanut looked over to the other glowing orb. “Take me over to that one. I think I know what these things are.”

Grape did so and just as before, the other orb projected an image of it’s own, though of a place neither recognized.

It was a graveyard overrun with dead plant life, even the grass was grey and lifeless. The tombstones and grave markers seemed to spread out as far as the eye could see while the eerie sight was illuminated by a massive full moon. Just as before, this image was also titled.

The Graveyard of Sloth

“That… looks inviting.” Grape said.
“It looks like Level Two.” Peanut said.
“Come again?” Grape said.

Peanut tried once again to stand on his own feet. No such luck as he just fell right back into Grape’s arms. “I think this place is some kind of… Level Select area. We beat the Black Eye King’s first challenge, now it’s on to the next one.”

Grape looked pensive as she stared at the Graveyard. “Dollars to donuts that’s where we’re gonna find Max, huh?”

Peanut nodded. “Makes sense.”

Grape looked down at Peanut. “Are you… gonna be okay?”

Peanut didn’t answer. This felt so much more than just being tired. He felt as though the act of summoning and maintaining Argeiphontes for so long had literally robbed him of his own spirit.

“No way out but through… Let’s go.” Peanut said.

Without waiting for Grape to object, Peanut placed his hand on the orb and the room was engulfed in a familiar white light.

When the light had faded, Peanut and Grape were no longer in the black room but at the iron-wrought, twisted front gate of a cemetery that wouldn’t look out of place in a Tim Burton movie. Up on a hill in the distance, overlooking the Graveyard was a massive building, a manor or necropolis of some kind.

“Up there.” Peanut said, pointing towards the building on the hill. “That’s gotta be where we have to go.

“How are we supposed to get past this gate?” Grape pondered.

“Right now, you two have bigger problems.” A new but… familiar voice called out from behind them.

Turning around, Grape and Peanut faced the intruder, and saw… Grape.

A second Grape, identical in appearance to the one holding Peanut in her arms, regarded the two with a coy smile. She was sitting atop a boulder not too far from the gate, hugging one knee to her chest while her other leg dangled lazily off the edge of the boulder.

“I mean, poor Peanut, getting dragged around like that.” The other Grape purred. Peanut noticed there was an odd reverb to her voice. As if there were actually two Grape’s speaking simultaneously, one with a slightly lower pitch than normal. “Not that you really care.”

“Wh-What is that supposed to mean?” Grape demanded. “Who the heck are you, anyway?”

The other Grape scoffed. “What are you, blind? Who else has fur like this?” She gestured to her purple coat. “I’m Grape.”

“What the heck!” Grape yelled out. “You can’t be me, I’m me!”

The other Grape let out a humorless laugh. “Exactly. I am thou, and thou art I. I am your Shadow, the true self. I am every dark thought you tried to push down.”

I am thou, thou art I? Peanut recognized those words. Argeiphontes said them in Peanut’s own voice when he was first summoned.

“And speaking of dark thoughts!” Grape’s… Shadow said. “Why don’t you go ahead and tell Peanut the real reason you’re here?”

“What are you talking about? We’re here to save Max!” Grape said. “If you really were me, you would know that!”

“Well… yeah, duh.” Shadow Grape said, jumping off the boulder. “But I meant more why you’re here now.”

“I mean, just look at the poor guy.” Shadow Grape said. “You’re literally carrying him cause he’s too tired to walk by himself. And now you’re planning on taking him into that scary looking place in his condition.”

Shadow Grape shot Grape a disgusted look. “Some ‘Best Friend’. Do you wanna tell him how you really feel, or should I?”
“You have no idea what you’re talking about.” Grape said.

“The truth is, you couldn’t be bothered to worry about Peanut’s condition because your too up your own butt about getting Max back.” Shadow Grape said.

“Hey, I can speak for myself!” Peanut interjected. “I’m the one who brought us here. I want to save Max just as much as you- er… her!”

Shadow Grape shook her head. “Oh, but Peanut. You can’t make those kinds of decisions for yourself. You’re far too stupid.”

“Oh that is it!” Grape said, gently placing Peanut down so he was sitting against the gate. “Say whatever you want about me, but don’t you dare say that to Peanut!” She said, getting face to face with herself.

Shadow Grape’s smirk only twisted into a sneer. “I’m not saying anything you haven’t thought yourself. Every dark thought, remember?”

“Your lying! I’ve never thought that way about Peanut!” Grape insisted.

“Oh? Tell me is this sounds familiar…” Shadow Grape said, walking in a circle around Grape.

“Peanut is a true friend, he really is. But sometimes, he can be just so insufferably thickheaded that he needs me to babysit him.”

“Shut up.”

“But that works out great for me! Since I’ve got him trained like a loyal dog to his master, he’ll do anything for me…”

“Shut up!”

“But the real reason I keep him around on a tight leash, the real reason I put up with his stupidity is because I can’t bear the thought of being alone again-”

“I SAID SHUT UP!!!”

“Because I know, if he ever found out what a horrid person I am, he would abandon me just like everyone else. And I will never let him go-”

Whatever Shadow Grape had left to say was interrupted by Grape grabbing her by the collar and throwing her to the ground. Grape stood over her double, breathing heavily with tears falling freely down her face.
Shadow Grape calmly stood back up, brushing herself off. “You can call him your ‘Best Friend’. You may even be right. But at the back your mind, he’s your pet. Your possession. Your safety blanket from a world that just keeps trying to leave you in the gutter.”

Shadow Grape gave Grape a death glare. “At the end of the day, you don’t deserve a friend like Peanut. And you know that.”

Grape started bawling, crying and screaming at her reflection. “SHUT UP!! JUST SHUT UP!! YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT ME!!”

“Of course I do.” Shadow Grape said. “I’m you.”

“NO!!” Grape shot back. “You… You’re not me! You’re nothing like me!”

Suddenly, the air became deathly still and silent. Peanut couldn’t place it, but something about the other Grape… changed upon hearing that.

A vicious smile crept across Shadow Grape’s face, exposing her fangs that seemed just a bit more sharper than Grape’s.

“That’s right: Say it again!” Shadow Grape commanded.

“YOU ARE NOT ME!!” Grape yelled out, her voice echoing across the Graveyard.

Shadow Grape stood stock still for a second… before throwing her head back in an insane laugh.

“HAHAHAHAHAHA!!” Shadow Grape’s body vibrated from her laugh. The strange reverb on her voice only grew worse and worse. “IF THAT’S HOW YOU REALLY FEEL THEN FINE!! I’M NOT YOU, AND YOU’RE NOT ME!!”

With that, Shadow Grape pulled her hand back struck Grape across the face, the impact sending her flying backwards, crashing into the gate toppling to the ground next to Peanut.

Peanut dragged himself over to Grape, making sure she wasn’t too badly hurt before turning his attention back to Shadow Grape, who was now engulfed in a black, amorphous aura.

“BUT IF YOU’RE NOT ME, THEN THERE’S NO REASON TO KEEP YOU AROUND!!” Shadow Grape said as a horrible transformation started to take place. Shadow Grape’s body elongated and twisted into monstrous proportions. Her ribcage was visible behind her now matted, gangly skin. Her claws and fangs elongated into razors that coated themselves in ice.

When the sickening transformation ended, the beast that used to be Shadow Grape lunged forward, ready to plunge it’s icy claws into Grape’s body.

Peanut reacted quickly, pulling Grape out of harm’s way just as the claw imbedded itself into the ground where Grape once was.

Shadow Grape turned her attention towards Peanut, who shielded Grape with his body.

DON’T GET IN THE WAY PEANUT!! THIS IS HER FAULT!! SHE NEEDS TO FACE THIS!!

“I won’t let you touch her!” Peanut proclaimed. With every ounce of willpower he had left, Peanut once more summoned the Fool card to his hand and crushed it.

“Persona: Argeiphontes!”

With a now familiar flash of blue light, Argeiphontes came charging out of the ether and collided right into Shadow Grape, pinning her down with his staff.

While Shadow Grape thrashed and struggled against Argeiphontes. Peanut helped Grape to her feet.

“You have to… run…” Peanut panted. Just bringing Argeiphontes out for a second had already undone any energy Peanut found since last time.

“I’m not leaving you alone!” Grape stated.

“She wants you not me… She wants you to… to face this…” A look of realization crossed Peanut’s face. “You… you have to face this.” He said.

“What!? Peanut, every single thing she said is a lie! I don’t… I don’t…” Grape sputtered until she felt Peanut’s hand in her own.

She looked down at his smiling face. “It’s okay. No matter what she says, no matter what… you feel. I will never abandon you.”

“Peanut…” Grape said nothing more. Her tears were threatening to return.

“We are not ‘Just Friends’, remember?” Peanut strained. He didn’t know how much longer Argeiphontes could hold off against Shadow Grape.

“We’re best friends…” Grape said.

Just then, Shadow Grape finally succeeded in throwing Argeiphontes off her before impaling her claws into Argeiphontes gut.

Peanut let out a pained yell as he held his stomach, the phantom pain connecting him and Argeiphontes.

“Peanut!” Grape yelled out, figuring out the connection as she saw the fight between her Shadow and Argeiphontes.

There was no blood from the wound, but a shining light that was dimming by the second.

Shadow Grape pulled her claw out from her opponents stomach and raised them to deliver the final blow.

“STOP!!” Grape called out, running towards the fight.

“Grape, no!” Peanut tried to grab her by the wrist but she slipped from his grasp.

Shadow Grape let out a demonic screech as she brought the claws down.
Grape threw herself in between her Shadow and Argeiphontes, screwing her eyes shut as the claws came down to her face.

She waited for the tearing, searing pain to split her face open… but it never came.

Risking a look, Grape opened her eyes and saw her Shadow standing before her, having reverted back to her previous form identical to her.

“Well?” Shadow Grape said impatiently.

Grape looked behind her. Argeiphontes had already faded away. Peanut was huddled over on his knees, breathing heavily. Grape knew he wouldn’t be able to summon Argeiphontes again.

Finally, Grape allowed herself a heavy sigh, and stared herself in the eyes. “You’re right. Everything you said… It’s all the truth. Every single dark, horrid thought I ever pushed down. Everything about myself I hated or was ashamed by.”

Grape’s expression softened, as did Shadow Grape’s in kind. “But just because I hate that part of myself. It doesn’t make it… make you any less a part of me. And I have to face it.”

“You are me.” Grape finally admitted.

Shadow Grape regarded Grape’s words for a second… then smiled warmly, placing a hand gently on Grape’s shoulder.

“Now was that so hard?” Shadow Grape said before disappearing in a flash of blue light.

It took Grape a second to catch her bearings, staring at the empty spot her reflection stood not a second ago, before she realized she was holding something in her hand.

Looking down at her hand, Grape saw she was holding a Tarot card, identical to the one Peanut used to summon Argeiphontes. Only this card depicted a wizened old man in robes pointing a wand towards the sky.

The Magician.

“Grape…” Peanut called out weakly, breaking Grape out of her stupor.
“Are you… okay?” Peanut said.
“Yeah…” Grape said, surprised that she actually was. “Yeah, I’m fine. You?”
“Yeah.”

A silence settled around them.

“Um…” Peanut began. “You do know that I know that I’m an idiot. Like, that’s not a secret.”

Grape had no idea what to say, so she just laughed. “Still best friends?”

“Always and forever.” Peanut said with a smile.

Unfortunately, the moment was cut short by a new sound coming from within the graveyard itself. Grape and Peanut looked towards the noise, recognizing it as a high pitched laughter, and saw a white gloved hand suddenly erupt out of one of the graves. The hand pulled and clawed itself out, followed by a short creature wearing a blue cloak and witch hat, wielding a scythe… and possessing a flaming Jack O’ Lantern for a head.

More and more white gloves erupted in suite, revealing more scythe swinging, flying Jack O’ Lanterns regarding Peanut and Grape with twisted, flame spewing smiles. They began to slowly approach the two, floating easily over the iron-wrought gate like ghosts.

Peanut tried to stand up, only to fall on his knees. Grape held out a hand, drawing her gladius from the scabbard on her back.

“Don’t. Let me handle this, okay?” She said, showing off her Tarot card to Peanut. Peanut smiled.

“Kick their butts.” Peanut said, crawling out of the crossfire.

Grape gave the card in her hand another look, before tossing it into the air and slicing it in half with her sword.

“Persona!”

Just as Peanut’s first time, a massive geyser of blue energy erupted around Grape, engulfing her completely.

The Jack O’ Lanterns held back for a bit, unsure of how to approach this new phenomenon.

When the cascade of energy finally subsided, Grape was riding on top of a giant, quadrupedal wolf. The wolf possessed the same purple fur as Grape with glowing yellow eyes. It was adorned in ribbons of red cloth held in place by shimmering silver armor. It’s claws and fangs were a light blue and transparent, like polished ice.

Finally, the wolf spoke in Grape’s voice.

“I am Thou, Thou art I…
I am Fenrir, The Mother of Wolves…
Call upon my name, and unleash thy power!”


Grape grasped the reigns on Fenrir’s back, brandishing her gladius in her other hand.
“Nice to meet you, Fenrir. Now… Shall we?”

---

Persona Mythology Trivia!!

Fenrir: A prominent figure in Norse mythology. Fenrir is often described as the common ancestor of all wolves. He is the progenitor of the wolf Gods, Skoll and Hati, who chase the sun and moon. During Ragnarok, the final battle of the Norse Gods, it is prophesied that Fenrir will consume Odin, King of the Aesir.

Jack O’ Lantern: A figure from Irish folktales, ‘Stingy Jack’ managed to trick the Devil into agreeing to never collect his soul no matter how many sins he committed. True to his words, Jack was allowed to continue walking the earth even after being executed by beheading, forcing Jack to replace his head with a pumpkin. The practice of carving pumpkins was started so as to ward off Jack and other evil spirits like him.


Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:36 am
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
This is an awesome story!! Great job :D

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Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:17 pm
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
I love what you did with this chapter! You are a very great writer I have to say.


Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:06 pm
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
U have a very well thought approach to the Persona series here.

As a side note, the link for what I assume was Aria of Souls in part 2, was taken down P=


Thu May 09, 2019 3:29 pm
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
That last smile at the end of your sentence ChekeBello looks kind of painful. LOL


Thu May 09, 2019 3:33 pm
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
ChekeBello Wrote:
U have a very well thought approach to the Persona series here.

As a side note, the link for what I assume was Aria of Souls in part 2, was taken down P=


Thanks for the heads up! Just replaced it with a new link.

On an unrelated note, I have been kicking around the idea of posting a list of Persona music for the fanfic. Y’know, the songs that would play if this were a proper game and not a purely visual story. It would pretty much just be a list of songs and which situations they go to. I pretty much play them on blast while writing the fic.

Would anyone here be interested in that?


Fri May 10, 2019 1:15 am
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
Sure I think that would be cool though I'm pretty sure that they are songs that I wouldn't know or be interested in. XD


Fri May 10, 2019 3:29 pm
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
Amazee Dayzee Wrote:
That last smile at the end of your sentence ChekeBello looks kind of painful. LOL

lol, why is that?

JageshemashFTW Wrote:
Thanks for the heads up! Just replaced it with a new link.

On an unrelated note, I have been kicking around the idea of posting a list of Persona music for the fanfic. Y’know, the songs that would play if this were a proper game and not a purely visual story. It would pretty much just be a list of songs and which situations they go to. I pretty much play them on blast while writing the fic.

Would anyone here be interested in that?


Worked pretty well with part 2 (I used a different source), i think it's a neat way to add another layer to the story


Wed May 22, 2019 5:59 pm
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Post Re: Persona: HP!
Because its an inverted tongue that looks like it is sticking out the back of the head. LOL


Wed May 22, 2019 7:37 pm
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