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  1. Within the endless darkness are scattered countless bright lights, like a nebula
  2.  
  3. But those lights are not stars
  4.  
  5. Each one is the light of life
  6. the gleam of man's souls
  7.  
  8. This is the world inside people's hearts
  9.  
  10. A place where every human's consciousness is connected and can be traced to their origin
  11.  
  12. Every memory since the dawn of man, and even those on the ladder of its evolution, slumbers here
  13.  
  14. Some think of this place as a sea
  15.  
  16. And they may be correct
  17.  
  18. Depending on how deep you go, you may see this world's endless landscapes and innumerable faces
  19.  
  20. Where I stand now is one of its furthest depths
  21.  
  22. A domain that has existed far before life became sentient or even took form
  23.  
  24. Here, there is only the darkness of death and the radiance of life
  25. I come here at times
  26.  
  27. For a very important objective
  28.  
  29. Suddenly, a patch of the darkness surges and undulates
  30.  
  31. The pitch-black substance swells with a tar-like consistency and quickly takes the shape of a giant arm
  32.  
  33. Woman's voice: My it's rather stout, compared to before
  34.  
  35. Just as good and evil are products of man's heart, there is a negative force here in this sea of souls that tempts man to corruption and destruction
  36.  
  37. Though one person's malice may amount to little, there are billions of people in the world
  38.  
  39. It's actually common for monsters capable of destroying mankind to develop without anyone realizing
  40.  
  41. This is one of them
  42.  
  43. Though it was only an arm at first, it quickly develops into an enormous, human-shaped torso
  44.  
  45. It roars with resentment, sending shocks through this space where up and down are fluid
  46.  
  47. The monster raises an enormous arm that could tear down mountains towards the heavens
  48.  
  49. But it suddenly stops
  50.  
  51. Something is blocking its movement
  52.  
  53. I am, to be precise
  54.  
  55. You might think I'm nowhere on the scene
  56.  
  57. In truth, even the monster may be thinking that
  58.  
  59. But I'd like to direct your attention to the fingertips at the end of this giant arm
  60.  
  61. Closer
  62.  
  63. Even closer than that
  64.  
  65. Keep going closer, all the way to the index finger
  66.  
  67. Mysterious woman: There, do you see me now?
  68.  
  69. Mysterious woman: Have I forgotten to introduce myself?My name is Elizabeth
  70.  
  71. I fix my gaze upon the two lights that seem to be the monster's eyes, but it twists away, trying to resist
  72.  
  73. Elizabeth: *sigh* Do you wish to behold death that much?
  74.  
  75. I grab the monster's index finger
  76.  
  77. And in one motion, I flip its immense body and throw it into the air
  78.  
  79. The monster cries out in agony and the area quakes again
  80.  
  81. Elizabeth: Oh dear, it seems it won't be easy for one ofthis size
  82.  
  83. Elizabeth: I cannot damage the world of everyone's hearts,and I hesitate to make a scene in the realworld either
  84.  
  85. Elizabeth: Time for a change of scenery
  86.  
  87. I open the elegant grimoire in my hand
  88.  
  89. A large blue magic circle forms behind the thrown monster, swallowing the gargantuan figure
  90.  
  91. I follow it in
  92.  
  93. Continual, turbulent streams of light and darkness flow past the monster and myself
  94.  
  95. Eventually, I speak up
  96.  
  97. Elizabeth: We will soon reach our destination
  98.  
  99. Another magic circle appears in an altogether different kind of black void than the one we came from
  100.  
  101. The monster is spat out there, and when it collides with the surface, a tremendous cloud of dust rises
  102.  
  103. I emerge from the magic circle second and rise into the air
  104.  
  105. On the horizon beyond the monster, I can see a deep blue sphere
  106.  
  107. Yes, this is the moon
  108.  
  109. Elizabeth: Now I had promised to show you death
  110.  
  111. Elizabeth: Your fate is in the cards
  112.  
  113. A figure appears behind me, bearing several coffins
  114.  
  115. Elizabeth: The god of Death, Thanatos What do you think?
  116.  
  117. The light of the stars shines off its drawn sword and gleams bewitchingly
  118.  
  119. Elizabeth: Was it to your liking? Well then, farewell
  120.  
  121. It flings the sword down at the monster's head
  122.  
  123. Against its fearsome size, the sword is barely larger than a needle
  124.  
  125. But the sword's merciless sharpness pierces far beyond the blade's length
  126.  
  127. The monster's body slices apart like wet paper
  128.  
  129. With a final death cry, the monster slowly dissolves and evaporates as black mist
  130.  
  131. A deafening silence returns to the area
  132.  
  133. To break the quiet, a tune plays on my lips
  134.  
  135. Elizabeth: Veeelvet, oh velvet
  136.  
  137. I create another magic circle in the air and step through it
  138.  
  139. I shouldn't remain long in this world without any real objective
  140.  
  141. This is not the world I belong in, after all
  142.  
  143. Elizabeth: My maaaster has a laaarge nose
  144.  
  145. I was once a resident of the Velvet Room and served its master
  146.  
  147. The dark blue clothing I still wear is from that time
  148.  
  149. All the residents have their roles, but they are also on a journey
  150.  
  151. We help our guests grow as people; and through the help we offer, we come to understand the ultimate question
  152.  
  153. It's the fundamental question of "Who are we?"
  154.  
  155. Elizabeth: Thinking back on it, I spent so many dayslike that for such a long time
  156.  
  157. Elizabeth: I had thought that it would be impossibleto change
  158.  
  159. But two years ago
  160.  
  161. I finally reached my answer
  162.  
  163. One's identity cannot be sought out, but must be forged for oneself
  164.  
  165. It's something you build, little by little
  166.  
  167. People call the freedom to do so "potential," and by mastering it, people develop their unique identities
  168.  
  169. That is the understanding I came to
  170.  
  171. So it seemed to me I should believe in my own potential and wander in pursuit of my desire
  172.  
  173. It wasn't a hard conclusion to come to
  174.  
  175. That is why I abandoned my assigned role and departed on my long journey
  176.  
  177. I have set an objective for myself
  178.  
  179. To defeat the monster I fought a moment ago once and for all
  180.  
  181. I vaniquished it then, but that is only temporary
  182.  
  183. Elizabeth: It'll surely resurrect within the year again
  184.  
  185. Elizabeth: And I'll go through today once more
  186.  
  187. That monster was born from the twisted wishes arising from the lack of substance in people's lives
  188.  
  189. It slowly stagnates and seeps out
  190.  
  191. "If this is life, then bring on death" Desires like that are what give it power
  192.  
  193. And that giant black arm tries to free Death from its prison
  194.  
  195. It can never be left to act on its aims
  196.  
  197. But as long people continue to wish as they do, the foul feelings will congeal and it will revive endlessly
  198.  
  199. To truly defeat the monster means to change people's hearts
  200.  
  201. That cannot be done no matter how much one improves their skill in battle
  202.  
  203. I do not currently know how this goal can be attained
  204.  
  205. It may be that no one in this world knows yet
  206.  
  207. Some new and unknown miraculous power will most likely be required
  208.  
  209. That is why I wish to travel as far and wide as I can to broaden my horizons
  210.  
  211. Since I have only interacted with the guests of the room, I'm sure the scope of my knowledge is far inferior to a single human's
  212.  
  213. But there are infinite places for me to explore
  214.  
  215. I'll travel to each one and satisfy my natural curiosity
  216.  
  217. Elizabeth: Now!
  218.  
  219. Elizabeth: That's why I have come here! A double check onthe danger scale situation that I just recently discovered!
  220.  
  221. I place my hands on my hips in what I believe to be "standing firm" Before me is what seems to be a replica of a building in the real world
  222.  
  223. Elizabeth: I sense multiple Persona-users gatheringIt's once in a blue moon that one discoversa place like this
  224.  
  225. Elizabeth: I'm sure I can learn some interesting thingshere or something along those lines
  226.  
  227. Elizabeth: In any case, I, Elizabeth can scarcely keep myselffrom getting involved!
  228.  
  229. For someone with a physical form to step into the realm of the mind would be for them to enter an even more abstract place than the Velvet Room
  230.  
  231. Normally, it would be impossible, and even if it were, it would be very dangerous without a firm will
  232.  
  233. For it to occur at all is intriguing enough, but on top of that, these people are mainly Persona-users
  234.  
  235. And not just one or two
  236.  
  237. There's no denying that something truly extraordinary is happening here
  238.  
  239. Broadened horizons aside, I can't resist taking a closer look!
  240.  
  241. When I get closer, I see a nameplate reading "Yasogami High School" at what seems to be the main gate
  242.  
  243. Elizabeth: Hm? This building Is it a "school"?
  244.  
  245. The school building before me looks aged and I narrow my eyes
  246.  
  247. Elizabeth: It seems somewhat old-fashioned compared to the"school" I have experience with, but it has itscharms as well
  248.  
  249. Elizabeth: This is what they call "animalist" aesthetic
  250.  
  251. Elizabeth: Animalist?
  252.  
  253. Elizabeth: Bestial?
  254.  
  255. Elizabeth: Anyway, something along those lines
  256.  
  257. There are bizarre decorations as far as the eye can see inside the building
  258.  
  259. Was this "school" always thus adorned?
  260.  
  261. Elizabeth: These decorations could this be the fabled"school festival" I've heard tell of?
  262.  
  263. Elizabeth: A festival is where one toys with the lives ofgoldfish in a scandalous game
  264.  
  265. Elizabeth: One can also enjoy a combat simulation with close-range shooting tests using sniper rifle fire into the interior of stalls!
  266.  
  267. Elizabeth: Ooh, I'm starting to get excited!
  268.  
  269. Looking up, I spy a large sign done in vibrant colors
  270.  
  271. Elizabeth: "P-1 Grand Prix" could this be a fighting tournament?
  272.  
  273. Elizabeth: *gasp* This isn't why the Persona-users are gathering, is it?
  274.  
  275. No sooner do my suspicions arise than I sense the first presence within the school and turn towards it
  276.  
  277. Come, challenger!
  278.  
  279. I wave my arms about in anticipation
  280.  
  281. But something seems a bit odd
  282.  
  283. Elizabeth: Hm? That lady over there is she nota Persona-user?
  284.  
  285. Elizabeth: Hmm, regardless of that, I sense somethingout of the ordinary
  286.  
  287. When I close my eyes, I can tell that while she may appear to be a human girl
  288.  
  289. Something about her is amiss
  290.  
  291. I sense an unnatural disconnect from her memories and consciousness not seen in most people
  292.  
  293. Elizabeth: Is she truly human?
  294.  
  295. Now that I'm here, I can sense powerful combatants gathering one by one
  296.  
  297. If such power were to be used to its fullest in clashes of skill, the result could be life-threatening
  298.  
  299. This place is not meant for such a girl
  300.  
  301. If she were to be drawn into this, then in the worst case scenario
  302.  
  303. Elizabeth: Were I still my old self when I only lived toplay out my role, I would leave her be
  304.  
  305. Elizabeth: But I am different now!
  306.  
  307. I make my way towards the girl
  308.  
  309. As I approach her, I begin to hear voices
  310.  
  311. It seems that she is calling herself a "student council president"
  312.  
  313. I stride down to the end of the hallway where she is walking directly into her view
  314.  
  315. The girl gives me a slightly questioning look, but no more
  316.  
  317. She comes towards me guilelessly
  318.  
  319. Miss President: Hey, excuse me! You got some reason tobe at our school?
  320.  
  321. Up close, I can tell at once
  322.  
  323. There's no doubt that this girl is not human
  324.  
  325. Yet she seems to be under that impression
  326.  
  327. The original residents of this place seem to believe that she is as well
  328.  
  329. But of course, that is impossible
  330.  
  331. The disconnect I sensed earlier must be related
  332.  
  333. Elizabeth: Could someone have tampered with her memories...and psyche...?
  334.  
  335. No matter how unusual her circumstances, such extreme gaps in awareness are no mere figments of the imagination
  336.  
  337. It's possible, but normally those with a distorted view of reality have equally distorted emotions
  338.  
  339. And I do not sense that in her
  340.  
  341. Her emotions are in balance; only her memories and awareness fall short, like a corps de ballet falling behind a soloist
  342.  
  343. I fix my gaze upon the girl before me once again
  344.  
  345. If she did not come here of her own will... then the events here may be more sinister than I imagined
  346.  
  347. Elizabeth: Are you sure... this is how things should be?
  348.  
  349. Miss President: Huh? What're you talking about?
  350.  
  351. Elizabeth: I am a wanderer who only stopped here because...I sensed great power gathering
  352.  
  353. Elizabeth: I am in no position to give advice, but...
  354.  
  355. Miss President: Um...
  356.  
  357. Elizabeth: This place will soon be caught in a bit of...a fracas
  358.  
  359. Elizabeth: If you continue to avert your eyes from...everything, I think it will have an impact...on your life in the near future...
  360.  
  361. Miss President: M-My life...?
  362.  
  363. Elizabeth: What you choose is up to you... but I believe...there are factors preventing you from making...the right choices at the moment
  364.  
  365. Elizabeth: I couldn't bring myself to just stand by and...watch as you lost your life before my eyes...
  366.  
  367. Elizabeth: That is why I came to you So I could give you...one last chance
  368.  
  369. She has most likely forgotten who she is
  370.  
  371. I sense something shining, slumbering deep in her heart
  372.  
  373. It's the glow of a bond
  374.  
  375. No one who has been a resident of the Velvet Room could mistake it for anything else
  376.  
  377. Before she forgot herself, she must have had strong feelings about someone or had made a promise to them
  378.  
  379. But I'll leave it to her to remember what it was
  380.  
  381. I hold out the Persona Compendium as if handing it to the girl and open its pages
  382.  
  383. Light streams out from it and washes over her
  384.  
  385. The light dispels the girl's false image... the illusion that made her seem human, though she is not...
  386.  
  387. Miss President: Huh? Wh-What is this!?
  388.  
  389. Her true form is revealed as a gleaming, mechanical body
  390.  
  391. Her arms look as if steel plates are covering them
  392.  
  393. The girl frantically pulls at them to try and tear them off...
  394.  
  395. Miss President: Rrrrrghhh...! I-It won't come off! What gives!?
  396.  
  397. Elizabeth: My! What a robotically cool body...
  398.  
  399. Elizabeth: It is apparently meant for battle...
  400.  
  401. Miss President: Hey, you! What did you do to me!?
  402.  
  403. Elizabeth: Nothing in particular
  404.  
  405. Elizabeth: Well, well... considering that you are meant for...battle, I shall briefly be your opponent
  406.  
  407. Elizabeth: During that time, why not think back about who...you are?
  408.  
  409. Miss President: Huh? My opponent?
  410.  
  411. Most likely, I will not get through to her with words alone
  412.  
  413. Only by being forced into a confrontation will she finally be able to understand...
  414.  
  415. She already knows how to use the steel limbs which she's supposedly never before seen
  416.  
  417. Elizabeth: And away we go...!
  418.  
  419. <Battle [VS LABRYS]>
  420.  
  421. The girl collapses powerlessly...
  422.  
  423. Miss President: Ngh... I...
  424.  
  425. I used a soft touch during the battle
  426.  
  427. She should have sustained no injuries
  428.  
  429. ...Probably
  430.  
  431. Still, the girl does not stand back up
  432.  
  433. Apparently due to mental rather than physical stress...
  434.  
  435. Her own arms and legs had turned metallic
  436.  
  437. Yet in the heat of battle, she was able to use those foreign appendages with ease
  438.  
  439. If she truly thought herself to be human, that would have come as quite a shock
  440.  
  441. Elizabeth: That should be enough I'm sure you realize...now that you... are not human
  442.  
  443. Elizabeth: There must have been an important promise that...could only be kept in that guise That must...have been your reason for living
  444.  
  445. Elizabeth: Whether it's worth losing that or not...I ask that you give it serious thought...
  446.  
  447. Miss President: An important promise? My reason for living...?
  448.  
  449. Her potential will become unlocked through self-reflection
  450.  
  451. That was how it happened for me as well
  452.  
  453. Elizabeth: Now... it seems the tumult of trials is...about to begin
  454.  
  455. Elizabeth: In which case... I bid you good luck...
  456.  
  457. Miss President: Oh...!
  458.  
  459. I close the Compendium in my hand and the worn pages rustle as they meet
  460.  
  461. By the time it shuts, I am already far away from the girl
  462.  
  463. In my absence, the illusion is again in place, giving her the appearance of a human once more
  464.  
  465. She may consider what happened to be a daydream... and that is quite all right
  466.  
  467. My intention was to give her an opportunity to awaken to the truth
  468.  
  469. What she eventually decides is up to her
  470.  
  471. But that aside, there's something else on my mind
  472.  
  473. The girl I fought looked human, but wasn't
  474.  
  475. It is rare for even one such as I, with an unimaginably long lifespan, to meet someone like her
  476.  
  477. ...Yet she is the second such person I have known
  478.  
  479. The other was also a guest of mine once
  480.  
  481. She, too, resembled a human girl
  482.  
  483. I can sense her power somewhere here as well...
  484.  
  485. Most likely, she's here for reasons having to do with the girl I met
  486.  
  487. Elizabeth: What an intriguing event... more so than I had...first imagined
  488.  
  489. Though I came here on a mere whim, this trip may be unexpected fruit
  490.  
  491. Perhaps I'll discover something important
  492.  
  493. My interest piqued even more now, and I decide to go further in
  494.  
  495. When I do, the bustle of voices reaches my ear
  496.  
  497. Is that... a cheer?
  498.  
  499. One of the monitors nearby turns on after the cheer dies down It's showing a girl in a school uniform...
  500.  
  501. Girl riLadies and gentlemen!
  502.  
  503. Girl riIs everyone ready!? It's time for get our...program started!
  504.  
  505. Girl riI, Risette, will be your commentator!...Please hold your applause!
  506.  
  507. Girl riOh, you're too kind, you're too kind!
  508.  
  509. Girl riWell, with things starting to heat up now,...the General has a few words for you!...The mic's all yours, sir!
  510.  
  511. Next, a person who seems to be the host takes the girl's place
  512.  
  513. Actually, "person" may be incorrect That intriguing fluffiness and tantalizingly round body...
  514.  
  515. Mysterious bear costume skuAhem Well then! I'm proud to announce the...opening of our bear-y own P-1 Grand Prix!
  516.  
  517. Mysterious bear costume skuPresenting the manliest of all men!
  518.  
  519. Elizabeth: This is more of a to-do than I thought
  520.  
  521. I keep watching as a video with some upbeat music plays
  522.  
  523. Elizabeth: Hmm... is this an introduction to the...contestants?
  524.  
  525. A number of girls and boys are introduced at a steady pace
  526.  
  527. I haven't seen any of their faces before, but they all appear to be Persona-users
  528.  
  529. Each one of them is tagged with a mocking epithet...
  530.  
  531. Elizabeth: The Carnivore Who's Discarded Womanhood...The Bloodcurdling Beefcake Emperor...
  532.  
  533. Elizabeth: The Sister-Complex Kingpin...
  534.  
  535. Elizabeth: Are these signs of their willingness to cast...aside their pride in pursuit of victory...?
  536.  
  537. Elizabeth: I wonder if they're not casting aside a little...too much...
  538.  
  539. Elizabeth: This is a rather novel idea
  540.  
  541. There's no denying that those with power are gathering here for the tournament
  542.  
  543. The video comes to a close
  544.  
  545. Since I came here on my own whim, I am obviously not featured in it
  546.  
  547. How unfortunate
  548.  
  549. I catch myself pouting my lips
  550.  
  551. Elizabeth: Hmm, should I officially enter this as well?
  552.  
  553. Elizabeth: Ah! But if the "manliest of all men" are the...ones called forth, I cannot participate...!
  554.  
  555. Elizabeth: Then again... I distinctly spotted a woman...or two in the introductory video
  556.  
  557. Elizabeth: Then I shan't concern myself with such...trifling details! I shall soldier on!
  558.  
  559. The next time the host appears on a monitor, I will make my entreaty
  560.  
  561. If he turns me down, then I shall resort to force
  562.  
  563. ...Very good!
  564.  
  565. My mind made up, I begin my walk through the school
  566.  
  567. Battles... Battles... Oh where might I find a battle?
  568.  
  569. I look into a window nearby
  570.  
  571. Aha...!
  572.  
  573. Elizabeth: Oh my! The host himself is before my eyes!
  574.  
  575. Before I realize it, I am already in motion
  576.  
  577. Elizabeth: Pardon my dynamic entrance...
  578.  
  579. Bear costume kuS-Someone's here!? H-Hmmm...!?
  580.  
  581. Looking around, I see a piano and portraits of famous composers lining the walls
  582.  
  583. I see... This must be what they call a "Music Room"
  584.  
  585. Elizabeth: Please forgive me for startling you...
  586.  
  587. Bear costume kuOoooh! Wh-Who are you, miss!?
  588.  
  589. Elizabeth: I am Elizabeth, a mere elevator attendant
  590.  
  591. Elizabeth: Albeit one who is currently utterly neglecting...her duties...
  592.  
  593. Bear costume kuA-An elevator attendant...! I don't believe it!...I'm having culture shock!
  594.  
  595. Bear costume kuI wish Junes' elevators had such beautiful...attendants too!
  596.  
  597. Elizabeth: Excuse me, but may I ask your name?
  598.  
  599. Teddie: Teddie! A-doy!
  600.  
  601. Elizabeth: I'm sorry, would you mind repeating that in...human language?
  602.  
  603. Teddie: I-I was saying it normally! "Teddie" is my...name, and I'm a proud bear!
  604.  
  605. Elizabeth: I see, Teddie Bear... you have a rather...creative flair to your appearance...
  606.  
  607. Teddie: I wish you'd say "cute" instead!
  608.  
  609. Teddie: Though hearing a pretty lady like you say so makes my heart skip a beat!
  610.  
  611. Watching him, I cannot restrain my curosity any longer, and prod his soft fur with abandon...
  612.  
  613. Teddie: Huh!? Wh-What're you doing!?
  614.  
  615. Elizabeth: Hmm... this seems to lack ventilation... how...does he breathe in there...?
  616.  
  617. Elizabeth: Ah, there's a zipper...
  618.  
  619. Teddie: S-Stop! I'm ticklish...! Oh no, no opening!...You're embearassing me!
  620.  
  621. Elizabeth: *gasp* Please forgive me Curiosity almost...killed the bear...
  622.  
  623. Teddie: Huh!? Wh-Wh-What were you planning on doing...to me...!?
  624.  
  625. Teddie: You're even a tougher customer than the kids at...the food court, miss...
  626.  
  627. When I step away, Teddie Bear lightly smooths over his fur to try and regain his composure
  628.  
  629. Elizabeth: Oh! I had forgotten what I originally meant...to ask because of your fine coat of hair
  630.  
  631. Elizabeth: Teddie Bear Though I am a woman, I wish to...partake in this Grand Prix...
  632.  
  633. Teddie: Hrm? I can't help you with that
  634.  
  635. Elizabeth: Oh? But are you not the host shown in the...introduction video?
  636.  
  637. Teddie: It's all a huge misunderstanding! That guy's an...impostor! *sniff* Won't you hear me out...?
  638.  
  639. It seems he is faced with some kind of dilemma
  640.  
  641. I decide to lend an ear to Teddie Bear
  642.  
  643. He animatedly describes his circumstances, but his arms and legs are too short to illustrate his point
  644.  
  645. His mannerisms are so peculiar that understanding is an uphill battle... but in the end, I grasp the basics
  646.  
  647. Elizabeth: I see So you realized that something was...amiss and came wandering in here yourself...to investigate...
  648.  
  649. Elizabeth: But you fell into the impostor's trap, and...couldn't do a thing until a moment ago...
  650.  
  651. Elizabeth: You have my deepest sympathies...
  652.  
  653. Teddie: D-Do I really...?
  654.  
  655. Teddie: Anyways! Everyone else is on the contestant...list while I get the cold shoulder! *sniff*
  656.  
  657. Elizabeth: Is that so!? Then, since we are both outcasts,...let us participate of our own accord...
  658.  
  659. Teddie: Our own?
  660.  
  661. Elizabeth: May I request a match from you?
  662.  
  663. Teddie: That makes no sense at all! What do you mean!?
  664.  
  665. Teddie: Ohhh... maybe a hot and heavy struggle with...all kinds of clinches and holds!?
  666.  
  667. Elizabeth: A one-on-one battle to the extreme...
  668.  
  669. Teddie: That makes no sense!Teddie: W-Wait a second! You look a lot stronger than...me, miss!
  670.  
  671. Elizabeth: Oh, don't be so modest...
  672.  
  673. Teddie: No no no! I'm really not!
  674.  
  675. Elizabeth: I'm very sorry, but the deadline for submitting...a forfeit notice has expired...
  676.  
  677. Teddie: You're not sorry at all! There are things I can't...do, you know!
  678.  
  679. Teddie: *gasp* Oh, but on the ooooother hand...if I can try scoring with you later,...I might rethink this...
  680.  
  681. Elizabeth: "Scoring"...? I do not understand the term,...but if that is your stipulation, why, I accept...
  682.  
  683. Teddie: Ooh!? You accept!? Woohoooo! I'm ready to go...whenever you are!
  684.  
  685. Elizabeth: That is, if you're still alive afterward...
  686.  
  687. Teddie: ...Uh?
  688.  
  689. Elizabeth: Well then, here goes Your fate is in the cards...!
  690.  
  691. I take my fighting stance
  692.  
  693. <Battle [VS KUMA]>
  694.  
  695. Ah... Settling matters through a show of force is simple, straightforward, and so beautiful...
  696.  
  697. Teddie: The road to dating... is steep... uuuugh...
  698.  
  699. With an exaggerated groan, Teddie Bear collapses
  700.  
  701. ...Or rolls down, to be more precise
  702.  
  703. Elizabeth: Teddie Bear... You truly are an intriguing creature
  704.  
  705. Hearing this, Teddie Bear springs to his feet...
  706.  
  707. Teddie: Hm? Are you interested in me?
  708.  
  709. Elizabeth: Though you aren't human, you fight against your...fate and wish to be with humans...
  710.  
  711. Elizabeth: I have witnessed one other case who bore such a fate in the past...
  712.  
  713. Teddie: Hrm?
  714.  
  715. Elizabeth: You made a choice and decided how you wished...to live... that is marvelous, Teddie Bear...
  716.  
  717. Teddie: Marvelous!? Me?
  718.  
  719. Teddie: D-Does that mean you're still okay with me...trying to score with you...?
  720.  
  721. Elizabeth: That is not what it means
  722.  
  723. Teddie Bear loses his balance for some unknown reason and falls over...
  724.  
  725. Teddie: Nooo... The way you shoot down my attempts...reminds me of Yuki-chan...
  726.  
  727. Elizabeth: Yuki-chan? Is this an acquaintance of yours?
  728.  
  729. Teddie: Yuki-chan is a bear-y precious friend of mine!
  730.  
  731. Elizabeth: You have friends...
  732.  
  733. Teddie: Actually, everyone who was in that video are...my friends...
  734.  
  735. Teddie: But I can't forgive them for having all the fun!...I'll make them buy me a tasty treat for this!
  736.  
  737. Elizabeth: I see... may I ask you something? Who would you...consider the strongest among your friends?
  738.  
  739. Teddie: Well, Sensei, of course! He's the manliest of...all men!
  740.  
  741. Elizabeth: Sensei...? If I recall correctly, that is the name...of a governing class within a school, wielding...the power of life and death over its students...
  742.  
  743. Elizabeth: Yes, that does indeed sound like the name...of a strong warrior...
  744.  
  745. Teddie: Sensei's our leader!
  746.  
  747. He sounds strong... but he seems to be unconnected to the former guest I am searching for
  748.  
  749. But as Teddie Bear speaks of his friend called Sensei, he wears a beaming expression
  750.  
  751. They must be connected with a truly strong bond
  752.  
  753. Inwardly, I am surprised
  754.  
  755. Though he is adorable, this Teddie Bear most likely used to be something similar to a Shadow
  756.  
  757. I am very curious about anyone who could form a bond with such a being...
  758.  
  759. Thinking about it that way makes me interested in him as well
  760.  
  761. Elizabeth: Ah That was quite helpful Thank you...
  762.  
  763. Teddie: Once the tournament's over, you should come hang...out at Junes sometime!
  764.  
  765. Elizabeth: Junes...?
  766.  
  767. Teddie: Umm, it's a place where Don Yosuke and I work!
  768.  
  769. Teddie: It's huge! You can eat food there, and they...have candy, toys, and sexy bikinis too!
  770.  
  771. Elizabeth: What a paradise on earth...!
  772.  
  773. Elizabeth: It seems there is still much I do not know...about in your world
  774.  
  775. Elizabeth: Well then, if you'll excuse me I must get...going now...
  776.  
  777. Teddie: Be careful!
  778.  
  779. I bow politely
  780.  
  781. Teddie Bear waves back with a big smile
  782.  
  783. Now... though I decided to participate on my own, how should I proceed from here?
  784.  
  785. I don't have a good understanding of this building's layout, after all
  786.  
  787. I try going in and out of the building to test various paths, but I don't get anywhere
  788.  
  789. Elizabeth: Hmmm... it may have come to this...
  790.  
  791. I rear back my head and inhale as deeply as I can
  792.  
  793. And then--
  794.  
  795. Elizabeth: Bring out the next opponent!
  796.  
  797. Elizabeth: ......
  798.  
  799. Elizabeth: No one heeded my call I suppose repeating...that line isn't enough
  800.  
  801. My shoulders sag slightly and I concentrate on the area nearby
  802.  
  803. I sense an unexpected presence...
  804.  
  805. Elizabeth: Aha... there is someone closer by than I...had expected
  806.  
  807. Elizabeth: Aheheh... what a reunion this will be!...I'm starting to feel tingly
  808.  
  809. There is no need for me to keep searching for an opponent, since one is already nearby
  810.  
  811. I trace the presence and proceed down the hallway
  812.  
  813. When I reach what appears to be an entryway, I can hear what sounds like voices quarreling
  814.  
  815. One of the voices is Teddie Bear... or rather, the sham host, "General Teddie"
  816.  
  817. General Teddie: Woooohoooo! What a fight! No wonder you're an...anti-Shadow weapon!
  818.  
  819. Familiar voice agI take no joy at all from your praise
  820.  
  821. As I move forward, I find myself breaking into a run
  822.  
  823. Soon afterward, the voice's owner enters my field of vision
  824.  
  825. Just as I thought
  826.  
  827. That unmistakable figure... She's a guest I hosted in my life as a resident
  828.  
  829. If I recall correctly... her name is Aigis
  830.  
  831. Upon closer inspection, she is aiming her weapon at General Teddie on the monitor...
  832.  
  833. General Teddie: Heehee, pointing your weapon at a monitor...isn't very scary!
  834.  
  835. General Teddie: But anyways, your next opponent is...
  836.  
  837. ...Ah!
  838.  
  839. If I don't act now, the match will start without me!
  840.  
  841. I must prevent General Teddie from speaking for the time being until my business is completed
  842.  
  843. Again, before I realize it, I am already in motion
  844.  
  845. Elizabeth: Oh nooooo
  846.  
  847. Elizabeth: Pardon my bold entrance...
  848.  
  849. Aigis: Hm...!?
  850.  
  851. Elizabeth: Oh! The monitor's completely shattered...Who would do such a thing?
  852.  
  853. Aigis: A strange intruder has shown up!
  854.  
  855. Elizabeth: Oh my... I thought we were having a touching...reunion How unfortunate that you would refer...to me as a "strange intruder"
  856.  
  857. Aigis: A reunion...? I don't recall ever meeting...anyone so odd...
  858.  
  859. Elizabeth: "She who governs power"... Does that ring any...bells for you?
  860.  
  861. Aigis: Hm...!? Wait... are you the one I met in that...blue room then...?
  862.  
  863. Aigis: Your entrance just now was very different from...how I remembered your behavior, so I didn't...recognize you But you're...
  864.  
  865. Aigis: ...Eridanus-san!
  866.  
  867. Elizabeth: Hmm No...
  868.  
  869. Aigis: Eli... Elixir...? Eryngii...?
  870.  
  871. Elizabeth: In any case! I never dreamed that I'd meet...you here...
  872.  
  873. Aigis: That goes for myself as well It's been a long...time since I saw you...
  874.  
  875. Aigis: But why are you here? What about your duties of...governing power?
  876.  
  877. Elizabeth: I am currently in gross abandonment of my duties...
  878.  
  879. Aigis: That was... a very straightforward answer
  880.  
  881. Elizabeth: Considering the circumstances here, I'd like...to test your strength as well
  882.  
  883. I excitedly flip through the pages of the Compendium...
  884.  
  885. Aigis: What...!? Please, wait a moment Does that mean you...wish to fight me?
  886.  
  887. Elizabeth: From what I've heard, in certain cultures in...your world, one lets one's fists do the talking
  888.  
  889. Elizabeth: Perhaps you could think of it as a sporty,...modern, and extreme way of greeting one another...
  890.  
  891. Aigis: I don't understand at all
  892.  
  893. Elizabeth: You seem to have become strong beyond all...recognition I'd like to see your power for...myself, to broaden my horizons
  894.  
  895. Elizabeth: Will you grant my shameless request?
  896.  
  897. Aigis: I still don't understand... but does this mean...your wish will be fulfilled if I agree to...fight you?
  898.  
  899. Aigis: If that's really what you want... will you...mind if I don't hold back?
  900.  
  901. Elizabeth: I couldn't ask for anything more! I, Elizabeth,...will fight you with all the strength at my...disposal!
  902.  
  903. Elizabeth: Now... let us begin!
  904.  
  905. <Battle [VS AIGIS]>
  906.  
  907. Ah... Settling matters through a show of force is simple, straight...
  908.  
  909. ...Pardon me
  910.  
  911. I said that once already...
  912.  
  913. Aigis: Ngh... you're strong...
  914.  
  915. Aigis crouches down with an annoyed expression
  916.  
  917. Elizabeth: Oh no, I was surprised myself It's been a while...since I've fought with all my power
  918.  
  919. I close my eyes and reminisce
  920.  
  921. Just as I had expected, she has grown more powerful than before
  922.  
  923. Aigis is not human
  924.  
  925. She has an artificial body, making her a sort of "mechanical maiden"
  926.  
  927. She was originally created as a tool to accomplish a set goal with established abilities
  928.  
  929. But by gaining a heart, she forged her own destiny
  930.  
  931. She did this with the power that can only be gained by those with emotions... the power of bonds
  932.  
  933. Her nature shifted from one directed by others to one who chooses for herself
  934.  
  935. She was no longer merely acting, but living
  936.  
  937. This shift caused a miracle and she overcame her artificial origins to attain what could be called life
  938.  
  939. Some have had the talent of turning bonds into great strength by forming a contract through intense desire...
  940.  
  941. We residents of the Velvet Room refer to this talent as the "wild card," and it has at times changed the course of history
  942.  
  943. Even I, who served as a resident for a long time, only encountered a few with that power She is one of them
  944.  
  945. Elizabeth: I now have a wish of my own...
  946.  
  947. Elizabeth: Though it may take vast oceans of time for...it to come true...
  948.  
  949. Elizabeth: Perhaps one day you will accompany me on the...same journey...
  950.  
  951. Aigis: Hm...? What do you mean?
  952.  
  953. Elizabeth: If our destinies truly do cross, you will...eventually understand
  954.  
  955. Aigis' expression shows that she still does not understand
  956.  
  957. But that is fine for now...
  958.  
  959. Elizabeth: Ah, by the way... how have your friends been?
  960.  
  961. Aigis: Huh? Oh, they're all well Several of them are...here right now...
  962.  
  963. Suddenly, a staticky voice echoes from the broken monitor's speaker, interrupting our conversation
  964.  
  965. It seems I was not thorough in my destruction...
  966.  
  967. General Teddie: Testing, testing Hrm, it's finally getting...through...
  968.  
  969. General Teddie: Hey! You, the one who's not on the roster!...Who are you? Why're you gumming up the works!?
  970.  
  971. Aigis: It's that bear...!
  972.  
  973. General Teddie: If you keep messing with my Grand Prix,...I'll make you--
  974.  
  975. I snap the fingers of my right hand with a flourish
  976.  
  977. The speaker explodes I am sure that the announcement will bother us no more now
  978.  
  979. It seems I have finally finished it off
  980.  
  981. Elizabeth: Oh, my! Flames have suddenly burst from the...speakers! How dreadful...
  982.  
  983. Aigis: That was 18% your doing!
  984.  
  985. Elizabeth: Such repeated meddling... It seems I have a bit...of a score to settle with the host, too
  986.  
  987. Elizabeth: Well then, I will be going now Please be careful...
  988.  
  989. Aigis: Oh, wait... there is a rule in this tournament...against the loser of a fight moving on...
  990.  
  991. Elizabeth: Is there? Well, considering that I entered...myself into the tournament, I do not think you...count as a defeated contestant
  992.  
  993. Elizabeth: That is only conjecture, though...
  994.  
  995. Aigis: You entered yourself, yet you're going to...settle a score with the host for complaining...about you...?
  996.  
  997. Elizabeth: Hmph! Details
  998.  
  999. I smile cheerfully in return and leave the area
  1000.  
  1001. Ahh... Truly, that was one of my better smiles...
  1002.  
  1003. Aigis: I cannot believe that even Elizabeth-san came...to this world...
  1004.  
  1005. Aigis: *gasp* That's it, her name was Elizabeth-san!...I finally remember!
  1006.  
  1007. Eventually, I reach the room known as the "Announcement Room"
  1008.  
  1009. When I approach the door, I sense power from within
  1010.  
  1011. It seems the real host is here, and not on some monitor
  1012.  
  1013. I haven't encountered that Persona-user known as "Sensei" yet, but thinking about it, I would expect him to win his matches until reaching here
  1014.  
  1015. It may be easier to wait than to search aimlessly for him
  1016.  
  1017. Upon closer inspection, the door is slightly open There are people inside...
  1018.  
  1019. Elizabeth: I sense two... no, three people
  1020.  
  1021. I cautiously sneak up to the door and peek inside...
  1022.  
  1023. General Teddie: What a shame You gave it a try, but there's...no way anyone would understand you...
  1024.  
  1025. Miss President Huh...!?
  1026.  
  1027. Elizabeth: That is that Teddie Bear impostor... the...student council president is here too...
  1028.  
  1029. Elizabeth: It seems the false Teddie Bear's tone is...much harsher than before...
  1030.  
  1031. Elizabeth: Has he been meeting with difficulties lately?
  1032.  
  1033. When I look again at what's going on inside the room, a sinister aura swirls around General Teddie
  1034.  
  1035. A surprising transformation occurs...
  1036.  
  1037. His silhouette reforms into a shapeless lump... which resolves into the figure of the council president girl...
  1038.  
  1039. Girl's Shadow: I am a shadow, the true self...
  1040.  
  1041. Elizabeth: Goodness! That false Teddie Bear was actually...the girl's Shadow...
  1042.  
  1043. Elizabeth: I see... it's true that suffering to this degree...could cause a Shadow to go berserk and...affect its surroundings...
  1044.  
  1045. The girl's true appearance has already been exposed
  1046.  
  1047. It seems she finally was able to face her original nature Surprisingly, the enemy forcing the illusion upon her was her other self...
  1048.  
  1049. I'm glad that she has awakened to her true self, but this is a shocking and drastic turn of events...
  1050.  
  1051. Girl's Shadow: "At least ONE of them has to understand how...I feel..." Isn't that what you thought?
  1052.  
  1053. Girl's Shadow: The important part is that it's all your fault...
  1054.  
  1055. Miss President: Th-That's not true...
  1056.  
  1057. Girl's Shadow: You want the everyday boys and girls to...experience what you had to go through...
  1058.  
  1059. Girl's Shadow: You want to see close friends fight for their...lives against each other... because if they...do that, then they might understand...
  1060.  
  1061. Girl's Shadow: You want to MAKE them understand...
  1062.  
  1063. Miss President: That ain't true...!
  1064.  
  1065. Girl's Shadow: It's all right, though You don't have to...worry about that anymore I'll take care of...everything from here...
  1066.  
  1067. Girl's Shadow: I'll destroy anyone who doesn't understand...you and comes to get in your way... just like...you once did!
  1068.  
  1069. Miss President: Please stop!
  1070.  
  1071. Miss President: That's all a lie! You're not me!
  1072.  
  1073. Girl's Shadow: *chuckle* Ahahaha!
  1074.  
  1075. Girl's Shadow: Finally... You've finally said it...!...I'm finally free!
  1076.  
  1077. ...The Shadow has gone berserk
  1078.  
  1079. At this point, it can no longer be stopped solely by the original person
  1080.  
  1081. Worse, the Shadow has no more reason to keep its host alive
  1082.  
  1083. If this continues...
  1084.  
  1085. But a third person storms onto the scene just as I am about to intervene...
  1086.  
  1087. Young man bcLabrys!
  1088.  
  1089. It is a young man in a school uniform
  1090.  
  1091. For a moment, I am utterly captivated
  1092.  
  1093. What powerful fire he has in his eyes...
  1094.  
  1095. On a second look, I recognize his face from the video
  1096.  
  1097. As I recall, his name was "Kingpin Yu"
  1098.  
  1099. ...No, that's not right
  1100.  
  1101. "Sister-Complex Yu"
  1102.  
  1103. No, no... that sounds even further from his actual name
  1104.  
  1105. Umm, Narukami... That's right, it's Yu Narukami...
  1106.  
  1107. Yu: I won't let you hurt her anymore If you're...going to keep rampaging... I'll fight you!
  1108.  
  1109. Girl's Shadow: Fine... then you'll be the first to die!
  1110.  
  1111. Yu: Tch...!
  1112.  
  1113. The Shadow's attack hurtles toward the young man
  1114.  
  1115. But he does not flinch, and takes a fighting stance after smoothly evading it
  1116.  
  1117. Seeing his heightened determination, I detect a distinct presence about him
  1118.  
  1119. Elizabeth: That young man is a Persona-user too...
  1120.  
  1121. Ah, and that's not all
  1122.  
  1123. This sensation is similar to when I encountered Aigis...
  1124.  
  1125. Elizabeth: Could his powers be...!?
  1126.  
  1127. There's no doubt about it It's the same as hers...
  1128.  
  1129. He, too, is a Persona-user whose awakened talent is that of the wild card
  1130.  
  1131. The Shadow launches its next attack at the young man
  1132.  
  1133. The battleaxe it brandishes is a cluster of steel as long as she is tall
  1134.  
  1135. If he truly can wield those powers, he may be able to stop such an attack, but it is not a sure thing
  1136.  
  1137. Elizabeth: This opportunity cannot be missed
  1138.  
  1139. This time, I enter the room and step between the two...
  1140.  
  1141. Girl's Shadow: What!?
  1142.  
  1143. Elizabeth: Pardon me as I interrupt this scene!
  1144.  
  1145. Yu: Who are you!?
  1146.  
  1147. Girl's Shadow: Ngh...!? You...!?
  1148.  
  1149. Girl's Shadow: How!? I set up walls so you couldn't pass...through... how did you get here!?
  1150.  
  1151. "So you couldn't pass through"...?
  1152.  
  1153. What is it referring to?
  1154.  
  1155. Oh, hmm... Could it mean those invisible walls I bumped into from time to time?
  1156.  
  1157. I suppose, thinking back, I did run afoul of such things along the way
  1158.  
  1159. But a little push was all it took to pass through them, so I barely paid them any heed
  1160.  
  1161. Elizabeth: Such parlor tricks can get stuffed!
  1162.  
  1163. The Shadow and the young man both look quite perplexed
  1164.  
  1165. Was what I said so shocking?
  1166.  
  1167. I take the opportunity to step towards the young man and look him straight in the face
  1168.  
  1169. Elizabeth: Ahhh... are you perhaps the "Sensei" that...Teddie Bear spoke of?
  1170.  
  1171. Elizabeth: Someone who has awakened to the power of the...wild card through Velvet Room's guidance...
  1172.  
  1173. Yu: What...!? Wait, that blue outfit...Who are you?
  1174.  
  1175. I flash him a smile and turn my gaze towards the girl collapsed nearby
  1176.  
  1177. I believe he called her Labrys a moment ago...
  1178.  
  1179. Labrys: N-Ngh...
  1180.  
  1181. Elizabeth: I see... I feel that I have a good grasp on...the situation now...
  1182.  
  1183. Shadow Labrys: Then, can't you tell you're in the way!?...Get out of here!
  1184.  
  1185. Elizabeth: I cannot do that I came to settle some business...I had with you, the tournament's host...
  1186.  
  1187. Shadow Labrys: What business!?
  1188.  
  1189. Elizabeth: To be blunt...!
  1190.  
  1191. Elizabeth: ......
  1192.  
  1193. Elizabeth: Hm, what business was it?
  1194.  
  1195. Shadow Labrys: How the hell should I know!?
  1196.  
  1197. Yu: Th-That was harsh...
  1198.  
  1199. Elizabeth: It turns out that I do not care about such...trifling details after all My apologies...Please forget my mention of "business"
  1200.  
  1201. Elizabeth: Actually, my search for a certain individual has...unexpectedly concluded, so we're done here...
  1202.  
  1203. Shadow Labrys: Who said we're done!? That's it, I'll kill...you where you stand!
  1204.  
  1205. Elizabeth: Hmm, I wouldn't recommend it If I may be so...boastful, it would be a battle you stand no...chance of winning...
  1206.  
  1207. Shadow Labrys: Wha...!?
  1208.  
  1209. My words must have been so humiliating that the Shadow's face flushes red and it gropes for words
  1210.  
  1211. I ignore it in order to speak to the young man
  1212.  
  1213. Elizabeth: It's nice meeting you, by the way...I am Elizabeth
  1214.  
  1215. Elizabeth: Would it ring a bell if I mentioned that I am...the one who governs power?
  1216.  
  1217. Yu: You mean like Margaret...?
  1218.  
  1219. Elizabeth: Oh, do you know my older sister? I see,...no wonder...
  1220.  
  1221. Shadow Labrys: Stop ignoring me, bitch!
  1222.  
  1223. I shield the young man behind me and turn towards the Shadow
  1224.  
  1225. Elizabeth: Please wait a moment I must ask the one over...there to leave this place before we resume...
  1226.  
  1227. Shadow Labrys: It's you who's going to leave!
  1228.  
  1229. Elizabeth: *sigh* I was sure that I gave the proper...warnings earlier...
  1230.  
  1231. Elizabeth: So it goes Your fate is in the cards...
  1232.  
  1233. <Battle [vs SHADOW LABRYS]>
  1234.  
  1235. Shadow Labrys: How could it end like this...?
  1236.  
  1237. Shadow Labrys: It's all... completely ruined...
  1238.  
  1239. The Shadow falls to its knees, its will completely drained
  1240.  
  1241. I doubt it has strength left to attack us...
  1242.  
  1243. Labrys: This is me...?
  1244.  
  1245. The girl, still unable to stand, stares blankly at her own Shadow
  1246.  
  1247. I turn around towards the young man
  1248.  
  1249. This... "P-1 Grand Prix" was most likely caused by the girl's Shadow manifesting her suppressed anguish
  1250.  
  1251. But this young man tried to reach out to her, even at the risk of his own safety...
  1252.  
  1253. And even after seeing proof that she was the one who caused that risk
  1254.  
  1255. Elizabeth: Excuse me, but may I leave the rest of this...to you?
  1256.  
  1257. Elizabeth: I'm ashamed to say so, but delicate persuasion...is not my forte...
  1258.  
  1259. Yu: I understand...
  1260.  
  1261. Yu: I agree that you don't seem like you'd be too...good at it...
  1262.  
  1263. The young man walks towards Labrys, who is still at a loss for words
  1264.  
  1265. I have yet to have a proper conversation with him, but I sense a certain trustworthiness in his strong steps...
  1266.  
  1267. Yu: Miss President... or actually, Labrys...
  1268.  
  1269. Labrys: I... What am I supposed to do...?
  1270.  
  1271. Labrys: What difference does it make if I accept this?...In the end, no one's gonna understand me...anyway, right...?
  1272.  
  1273. Yu: It's true that others won't be able to easily...understand your pain...
  1274.  
  1275. Yu: But are you going to give up after just one...try at showing them?
  1276.  
  1277. Labrys: ......Yu: One victory or loss doesn't matter What...matters is that you don't give up... that's...what I think...
  1278.  
  1279. Labrys: I shouldn't give up...?
  1280.  
  1281. Yu: No You can do this You're not alone anymore
  1282.  
  1283. Labrys' eyes widen, as if just realizing the brightness of the scenery before her
  1284.  
  1285. The young man waits patiently for his words to sink in
  1286.  
  1287. After some time, Labrys finally stands up and looks towards me...
  1288.  
  1289. Labrys: Hey... is this what you were talking about...before...?
  1290.  
  1291. Elizabeth: I am also not human
  1292.  
  1293. Elizabeth: But who you are is for you to decide... That is...the power of "potential" that everyone holds...
  1294.  
  1295. Elizabeth: Even for a machine, I believe that still...holds true...
  1296.  
  1297. Labrys: ......
  1298.  
  1299. Labrys: You could've just said so when we first met
  1300.  
  1301. Elizabeth: Alas, I have always had some difficulty making...myself understood...
  1302.  
  1303. Yu: Come on now, you should go to her
  1304.  
  1305. Labrys faces her Shadow once more at the urging of the young man...
  1306.  
  1307. Labrys: ......
  1308.  
  1309. Shadow Labrys: ......
  1310.  
  1311. Elizabeth: Congratulations...
  1312.  
  1313. Yu: Yeah, you did well...
  1314.  
  1315. Labrys: ...Thanks...
  1316.  
  1317. Yu: There's no need to thank us It was all you
  1318.  
  1319. Seeing Labrys smile, I can't help but grin as well
  1320.  
  1321. But her relief only lasts for a moment before the strength drains from her body and she stumbles...
  1322.  
  1323. Yu: Labrys!
  1324.  
  1325. The young man hastily catches her
  1326.  
  1327. Elizabeth: There's no need to worry She must have reached...the limits of her stamina
  1328.  
  1329. He props the unconscious Labrys down against a wall
  1330.  
  1331. Elizabeth: The strength that binds hearts together...No matter how many times I witness it,...its beauty never fades
  1332.  
  1333. Elizabeth: May I borrow some of your time?
  1334.  
  1335. The young man looks over his shoulder in surprise, but when our gazes cross, he turns, as if understanding...
  1336.  
  1337. Yu: Are you... a resident of the Velvet Room too?
  1338.  
  1339. Elizabeth: Well... in a way I have abandoned my duties...at the moment in order to see through a desire...of mine...
  1340.  
  1341. Yu: What did you want with me?
  1342.  
  1343. I calm myself before opening my mouth once more
  1344.  
  1345. Elizabeth: In order for my wish to be granted, I require...a power much greater than what I have
  1346.  
  1347. Elizabeth: But it is most likely not power used to fight...it is something else I wish to understand...what that is
  1348.  
  1349. Elizabeth: The power of the wild card that changes...bonds into strength... I have a feeling that...the key lies there...
  1350.  
  1351. Yu: I don't really understand...
  1352.  
  1353. Elizabeth: Put more bluntly, I wish for you to show me...your potential...
  1354.  
  1355. The young man considers everything I said, but eventually sighs before responding...
  1356.  
  1357. Yu: ...I get it now
  1358.  
  1359. Elizabeth: You don't mind?
  1360.  
  1361. Yu: Would you back down if I said no?
  1362.  
  1363. Yu: After what you said before, I don't think...you'd back off that easy
  1364.  
  1365. Elizabeth: Haha, touche
  1366.  
  1367. I take a slightly defensive stance
  1368.  
  1369. Elizabeth: There is no need to be lenient I invite you...to approach this battle as if you intend to...kill me...
  1370.  
  1371. Yu: I didn't think I could win any other way
  1372.  
  1373. Elizabeth: Thank you
  1374.  
  1375. Elizabeth: Well then... here goes! Your fate is in the cards!
  1376.  
  1377. <Battle [vs YU]>
  1378.  
  1379. Yu: Ngh... She's so strong...!
  1380.  
  1381. Elizabeth: I see... you do indeed have great power
  1382.  
  1383. Even while saying so, I am conflicted, and my expression clouds
  1384.  
  1385. It's true that he was strong
  1386.  
  1387. He expertly wields the power of the wild card
  1388.  
  1389. But thinking about it, that isn't what I wanted to learn
  1390.  
  1391. The power of the wild card doesn't stem just from one's skill in a fight
  1392.  
  1393. His strength comes from his knowledge that he cannot avoid fighting to gain his desire That strength happens to manifest as power in battle
  1394.  
  1395. But what I want to learn... has little to do with combat Will I ever get closer to the root of the matter with this method?
  1396.  
  1397. But even if I find that I can't, I don't see another way I have measured all types of strength, great and small, as the one who presides over power
  1398.  
  1399. ...I feel suddenly anxious
  1400.  
  1401. Elizabeth: Could it be that it's something I cannot...understand...?
  1402.  
  1403. Will I never be able to understand, as one distant from the workings of human society...?
  1404.  
  1405. Has it been impossible from the start for my wish to be fulfilled...?
  1406.  
  1407. ...I then notice the sound of footsteps...
  1408.  
  1409. Yosuke: Heeeey, are you okay!?
  1410.  
  1411. Yosuke: Oh, shit! Dude, what happened to you!?
  1412.  
  1413. Yukiko: Yu-kun, are you all right!?
  1414.  
  1415. Rise: Senpai! Hang in there!
  1416.  
  1417. It seems that once the Shadow who created this place was vanquished, the rules keeping everyone trapped were nullified
  1418.  
  1419. These must be the friends he formed bonds with
  1420.  
  1421. But...
  1422.  
  1423. Kanji: Yo... did you do this? What'd you do to Senpai!?
  1424.  
  1425. One of them turns his fierce eyes on me...
  1426.  
  1427. Teddie: You're so mean, miss! This is going too fur!
  1428.  
  1429. Chie: Who are you, anyway!? You better explain...yourself!
  1430.  
  1431. Naoto: If you did this with malign intent, we won't...let you leave here so easily...
  1432.  
  1433. Elizabeth: ......
  1434.  
  1435. Their anger at seeing their friend hurt...
  1436.  
  1437. That was a new experience for me
  1438.  
  1439. Their bond gave birth to anger, grew into animosity, and that fury is now directed towards me...
  1440.  
  1441. But the young man stands up...
  1442.  
  1443. Yu: ...One more time
  1444.  
  1445. He requests this even though he is badly wounded
  1446.  
  1447. A rematch would seem to have only one possible outcome...
  1448.  
  1449. Yosuke: Wh-What!?
  1450.  
  1451. Elizabeth: Please, that is enough I've already witnessed...your strength...
  1452.  
  1453. Yu: If this ends with my defeat... it doesn't count...as me showing you my potential
  1454.  
  1455. Elizabeth: But...
  1456.  
  1457. Yu: You shouldn't jump to conclusions...
  1458.  
  1459. Yu: I thought I said this once today... what's...important is that you don't give up after one...try... you have to hang in there...
  1460.  
  1461. Yu: My friends that I haven't seen in a while are...all here... I can't just wave the white flag!
  1462.  
  1463. The moment the young man makes his declaration...
  1464.  
  1465. A mysterious presence fills the area
  1466.  
  1467. Elizabeth: What in the...!?
  1468.  
  1469. The presence surges with power and creates a whirlpool of light around him
  1470.  
  1471. Within that light, the young man's determination and drive instantly rekindle
  1472.  
  1473. Elizabeth: What is that power!?
  1474.  
  1475. Is it the wild card he holds...?
  1476.  
  1477. I then notice that the young man's friends are standing behind him in support, all of them fixing their gazes on me as I stand perplexed
  1478.  
  1479. The bond that they share in their very core is echoed in their eyes
  1480.  
  1481. I suddenly feel as if I am confronting a fearsome giant
  1482.  
  1483. Elizabeth: I cannot believe I am seeing this...
  1484.  
  1485. I find myself starting to back off
  1486.  
  1487. My footsteps are unsteady as I go...
  1488.  
  1489. A small dip in the floor behind me, no larger than a fingernail, throws me off balance
  1490.  
  1491. Elizabeth: Ah...!
  1492.  
  1493. Surely I'm about to fall...
  1494.  
  1495. But then unseen arms catch me...
  1496.  
  1497. Aigis: Are you all right?
  1498.  
  1499. Elizabeth: You're...
  1500.  
  1501. In contrast to my utter bewilderment, she wears a calm smile
  1502.  
  1503. When I turn back to the young man, the surge of power has already dissipated
  1504.  
  1505. I catch myself sighing in relief
  1506.  
  1507. Even when I review my long memory, I can recall no occasion on which I had felt so overwhelmed before
  1508.  
  1509. Elizabeth: What was that just now...? Do you happen to know...what this power is?
  1510.  
  1511. Aigis: I do not know the specifics But...
  1512.  
  1513. Aigis also turns her gaze towards Yu and his friends...
  1514.  
  1515. Aigis: That must be the power of their bonds The power...that stems from not being alone...
  1516.  
  1517. Aigis: I don't know why, but I feel like I understand when I'm watching them
  1518.  
  1519. Elizabeth: The power of not being alone...
  1520.  
  1521. It's a power they all share? It isn't just his...?
  1522.  
  1523. Did their strong bonds turn his determination not to lose into an instant recovery for him?
  1524.  
  1525. I am suddenly reminded of a conversation I once had with my sister...
  1526.  
  1527. "If something is impossible for them to accomplish alone, they will work together His friends have even worked miracles at times"
  1528.  
  1529. ...Those were the words I spoke to her
  1530.  
  1531. Elizabeth: "What's important is that you don't give up"...
  1532.  
  1533. It is a cliche to hear, but its wisdom is profound
  1534.  
  1535. I dismissed his potential judging by my standards
  1536.  
  1537. I almost gave up in the same way, thinking that I would be unable to understand
  1538.  
  1539. But he refused to allow that
  1540.  
  1541. His power proves there is not only one standard...
  1542.  
  1543. It is truly the strength found in numbers
  1544.  
  1545. Elizabeth: So this is a bond...
  1546.  
  1547. When I think about the guests I met who had formed bonds, I may have focused too much on those individuals
  1548.  
  1549. I never took much interest in who they bonded with, or how those bonds were forged
  1550.  
  1551. Elizabeth: What I should be studying isn't just him,...but all of them together...
  1552.  
  1553. Elizabeth: Not the strength of a person, but of people...That may be the lesson
  1554.  
  1555. Elizabeth: It seems I am starting to find hope
  1556.  
  1557. I nod in satisfaction
  1558.  
  1559. Elizabeth: Today's festivities made for quite a wonderful...Grand Prix!
  1560.  
  1561. Elizabeth: Considering that there have been some gains,...I should be going If you'll all excuse me...
  1562.  
  1563. I turn to make my exit...
  1564.  
  1565. Chie: Huh!? Wait a sec, you haven't explained yourself yet! You haven't even told us your name!
  1566.  
  1567. Elizabeth: It's Eliiiizabeeeeeth!
  1568.  
  1569. Kanji: Hey, get back here! What're you all happy for!?
  1570.  
  1571. Naoto: Who was she...? Well, the odds are low that...she was the mastermind behind this case...
  1572.  
  1573. Rise: Enough about her! Senpai's more important!...We'll get you out of here in no time, so hang...in there, Senpai!
  1574.  
  1575. Rise: Teddie! Get a stretcher ready!
  1576.  
  1577. Teddie: H-Huh!?
  1578.  
  1579. Rise: What're you standing around for!? Move!
  1580.  
  1581. Teddie: Eeeep!
  1582.  
  1583. Yu: Uh, guys...? I'm not exactly critically...injured, you know...
  1584.  
  1585. Aigis: I think it's wonderful...
  1586.  
  1587. Yu: You're...
  1588.  
  1589. Aigis: Seeing you surrounded by friends reminds me of...a certain someone...
  1590.  
  1591. Yu: A certain someone...?
  1592.  
  1593. Aigis: There is no need to worry, everyone His wounds...are not serious He is merely exhausted...
  1594.  
  1595. Yukiko: Oh, thank goodness...
  1596.  
  1597. Yukiko: Wait... um, who're you...?
  1598.  
  1599. I could have left by a shorter route, but I return to the school's front gate and look back at the school
  1600.  
  1601. The faces of the people I parted with a moment ago are called to mind
  1602.  
  1603. Amongst them is that young man's face
  1604.  
  1605. I only faced him briefly, yet I recall him with surprising vividness
  1606.  
  1607. Elizabeth: I'm sure that he will continue to increase...his strength of heart...
  1608.  
  1609. Elizabeth: It is a given, with so many friends... I am...a little bit envious
  1610.  
  1611. I turn the pages of the Compendium and draw a magic circle in the air
  1612.  
  1613. Elizabeth: Well then, farewell...
  1614.  
  1615. I soundlessly pass through it and leave as if melting into the scenery
  1616.  
  1617. I close my eyes and my thoughts drift to the past...
  1618.  
  1619. Margaret: ...Elizabeth?
  1620.  
  1621. Margaret:  Elizabeth, are you listening?
  1622.  
  1623. Elizabeth: ......
  1624.  
  1625. Margaret: You seem lost in thought like that frequently...of late...
  1626.  
  1627. Margaret: Could this mean that you've finally began to be troubled over things like a normal person?
  1628.  
  1629. Elizabeth: How scathing of you... as usual...
  1630.  
  1631. Margaret: Believe me, sister, I am not as bad as you...
  1632.  
  1633. Margaret: ...What's the matter?
  1634.  
  1635. Elizabeth: My dear sister... I want to tell you a...fairy tale...
  1636.  
  1637. Margaret: Hm...? What's this about?
  1638.  
  1639. Elizabeth: In our world, at the far reaches of the sea of...the soul... there stands a large door
  1640.  
  1641. Elizabeth: A soul which devoted itself to sealing that door...slumbers there...
  1642.  
  1643. Margaret: Why did it do such a thing?
  1644.  
  1645. Elizabeth: That soul is risking itself to prevent those who...have lost sight of life's brilliance from luring...the world to self-destruction...
  1646.  
  1647. Elizabeth: It has become the guardian of the door... of the...whole world, in fact...
  1648.  
  1649. Margaret: That is a very sorrowful story
  1650.  
  1651. Elizabeth: My dear sister, do you think I can save...that person?
  1652.  
  1653. Margaret: Hm? I thought it was a fairy tale
  1654.  
  1655. Elizabeth: It may be impossible alone, but what if I joined...forces to do it?
  1656.  
  1657. Elizabeth: This person's friends are capable of miracles...at times...
  1658.  
  1659. Margaret: This "person" you speak of... is it...?
  1660.  
  1661. Margaret: I hope you're not planning to...
  1662.  
  1663. Elizabeth: Oh, don't be silly, my dear sister I told you...it was only a fairy tale...
  1664.  
  1665. Margaret: ......Margaret: *sigh* To a certain degree, all of your stories...are like fairy tales...
  1666.  
  1667. Margaret: I don't know what's troubling you, but be sure...that you don't neglect your duties
  1668.  
  1669. Elizabeth: ......
  1670.  
  1671. When I open my eyes again, I am in the sea of the soul... A world where countless bright lights shine like a nebula
  1672.  
  1673. Elizabeth: Veeelvet, oh velvet...
  1674.  
  1675. I begin singing a song... but now that I'm here again, I feel a hint of loneliness
  1676.  
  1677. I smile inwardly at myself
  1678.  
  1679. What happened today was very fruitful for me, though it came with a certain realization
  1680.  
  1681. I still don't have anyone in the world outside the Velvet Room that I wish to form a bond with
  1682.  
  1683. My lack of a hunger for such things may have prevented me from understanding
  1684.  
  1685. Elizabeth: No... that's not quite right either...
  1686.  
  1687. Lack of hunger?
  1688.  
  1689. That's not it
  1690.  
  1691. In truth, it was within my power, but I was turning my gaze away from it
  1692.  
  1693. After all, I didn't begin this journey only to find the means to defeat that monster...
  1694.  
  1695. I thought by defeating it, I could see him again
  1696.  
  1697. Elizabeth: Haha, to think I was unconsciously afraid of...something and keeping my distance from it...
  1698.  
  1699. Elizabeth: That is quite a surprise
  1700.  
  1701. The mechanical girl, the young man today, and my old guest all had their own desires and resolve from the start
  1702.  
  1703. I should make myself just as resolved if I am to achieve my desire as well
  1704.  
  1705. I will face it unblinkingly and accept it
  1706.  
  1707. I will admit that the loneliness in me arose from leaving my old residence
  1708.  
  1709. The sick feeling of loneliness will surely torment me and cause me grief forever
  1710.  
  1711. But if I harden my resolve to allow for embracing that pain, I'm certain that my yearning heart will yield great power
  1712.  
  1713. Bonds... The other half of being alive, along with death
  1714.  
  1715. Just as death gives life its shine, I'm sure loneliness will shed new light on the question of bonds
  1716.  
  1717. That is when I will obtain the power of bonds in the truest sense--certainly I will not achieve that miracle alone
  1718.  
  1719. Elizabeth: Though I cannot defeat that monster now, I may...in time gain the power to truly erase it...
  1720.  
  1721. He must've felt that hunger as well...
  1722.  
  1723. That is why he tried to protect his bonds with his life...
  1724.  
  1725. Leading him into the Universe
  1726.  
  1727. I smile to myself again
  1728.  
  1729. As one who leads others, I have only now gained enlightenment about the true meaning of "bonds"
  1730.  
  1731. And at that moment...
  1732.  
  1733. A single card drifts down before my eyes
  1734.  
  1735. Elizabeth: Oh...!
  1736.  
  1737. Hovering before me, like a butterfly fluttering its wings, is the card of The Fool
  1738.  
  1739. It bursts into pearls of light on my hand
  1740.  
  1741. Elizabeth: To think the day would come where I would behold...my own Arcana and not that of a visitor's...
  1742.  
  1743. "The Fool"
  1744.  
  1745. It represents freedom, purity, possibility, and...
  1746.  
  1747. Elizabeth: And... the beginning of a journey
  1748.  
  1749. Elizabeth: It may be that my journey has finally truly...begun...
  1750.  
  1751. Elizabeth: "The Fool", hm...?
  1752.  
  1753. Elizabeth: Well, I am aware that I still do foolish things
  1754.  
  1755. I give a wry smile and look up
  1756.  
  1757. My gaze is fixed on what lies ahead
  1758.  
  1759. It is an enormous door that looms like a small mountain in the center of the void
  1760.  
  1761. Elizabeth: Please wait for me... one day, I shall surely...see my wish come true
  1762.  
  1763. I briskly turn on my heel away from the door
  1764.  
  1765. My walk begins...
  1766.  
  1767. Elizabeth: Veeelvet, oh velvet...
  1768.  
  1769. My bright song will no longer have mournful undertones
  1770.  
  1771. Elizabeth: My maaaster has a laaarge nose...
  1772.  
  1773. I have yet to determine a sure path There's no assurance that my wish will come true
  1774.  
  1775. Whether those I encountered today will truly share something with me isn't certain either
  1776.  
  1777. But I have hope now
  1778.  
  1779. And that is what lets me go on
  1780.  
  1781. This time, I can head towards the future I desire without losing my way
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