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  1. Blue.
  2. The floor, the ceiling, the furnishings Everything is blue.
  3. It's quite unlike what I normally see throughout my day.And yet, my heart is mysteriously calm.
  4. I recognize the slight rumbling as an engine and realize that I'm in a car.Or, rather, someplace else I recognize
  5. Bizarre faced old man: Welcome to the Velvet Room.
  6. The old man with the bizarre face sitting before me makes an expression that appears to be a smile.
  7. Sitting quietly next to the old man is a woman as beautiful and delicate as an ice sculpture
  8. Bizarre faced old man: Ah It seems we have a guest with an intriguing destiny *chuckle*
  9. Igor: My name is Igor I am delighted to make your acquaintance.
  10. The Velvet Room.
  11. Igor.
  12. Even though I'm barely conscious, I remember that this is not the first time I've heard those names.
  13. I see This is a dream.This happened in the past.
  14. I've been in this room before.If my memory is correct, what he says next isIgor: This place exists between dream and reality, mind and matter
  15. Igor: It is a room that only those who are bound by a "contract" may enter
  16. Igor: It may be that such a fate awaits you in the near future.
  17. The words I expect to hear fall from the old man's mouth.
  18. I'm surprised that I still remember them.Another me, the one not in the dream, can't help but smile at that
  19. Igor: Now then Why don't you introduce yourself?.
  20. I remember this, too.
  21. When I said my name here, it "forged a contract" with them.
  22. And so I answer.
  23. "Yu Narukami".
  24. When I open my eyes, the light is so blinding that I have to squint.
  25. For a moment, I can't figure out where I am, and I look aroundYu: Right I was on my way back.
  26. I mutter to myself and look out the window.
  27. The sky is somewhat cloudy, unfortunately, but the scenery is as peaceful as always.
  28. It seems that I fell asleep on the train headed to the countryside, where I spent the last year in Inaba.
  29. If I recall correctly, when I first came to that town, it was an afternoon just like this.
  30. I'd dozed off in the same way back then and was summoned to the Velvet Room.
  31. That was when Igor said that "misfortunes" would befall me and just as he foretold, I was dragged into an outrageous murder mystery.
  32. That was no ordinary case.
  33. The Midnight Channel, Shadows and Personas, the powers of the heart.
  34. I saw things that could scarcely be believed.
  35. But, I made memories there that could never be replaced, as well.We gained the powers of the Personas, and we suffered together.
  36. I stood with my friends on the Investigation Team against these misfortunes and fought alongside them.
  37. There's no way I could have overcome such ordeals without their help
  38. Yu: Wonder what everyone's been up to.
  39. After solving the mystery, it was decided that I would leave Inaba around the same time my parents would be returning from overseas.It's been about two months since I last saw them all, as they were saying goodbye to me at the train station.
  40. I had decided to stay at the Dojima residence during Golden Week so that I could spend the holiday with my friends.
  41. Of course, my uncle was happy to hear this, and his only daughter, Nanako, should be glad to see me, too
  42. Yu: Oh Dammit, I still haven't picked up Yosuke's gift.
  43. It was supposed to be something special, after all.
  44. Actually, I'd received a call from Teddie, one of my Investigation Team friends, this morning.
  45. The details of the conversation are a bit confusing
  46. Teddie: Helloooo! Is this Sensei?
  47. Yu: Yeah, what's up?
  48. Teddie: I'm really sorry to bring this up, but I forgot to tell you something bear-y important!
  49. Teddie: I have a special request for thesouvenirs I'm sure you'll be bringingfor your bear-est friends!.0
  50. Teddie, I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to tell people what you want them to bring you as souvenirs.
  51. I already have souvenirs for everyone but, oh well.
  52. Sure enough, Teddie was only asking for some snacks that aren't sold in Inaba, so it wasn't much trouble.
  53. Ah But there was one problem
  54. Teddie: Oh, and one more thing! Can I ask you topick up something for Yosuke, too?
  55. Yu: I was planning on bringing something foreveryone anyway, but Go ahead
  56. Teddie: Cool! Well, Yosuke's been down in the dumpsafter his mommy burned his favorite nurse
  57. Teddie: She was what I called scorching hot, heehee!Just kidding!
  58. Yu: A A nurse?
  59. Teddie: Aww, c'mon, Sensei You know what I'mtalking about!
  60. Teddie: His nurse magazine, with the chestexaminations and the bear behinds!
  61. Yu: I see
  62. Yu: ...
  63. Yu: And you expect me to buy him a replacement?
  64. Teddie: Hrm? Of course, silly! People coming tovisit are supposed to bring presents!
  65. Yu: Mmm-hmm All right
  66. Yu: Oh, I was planning to head back tomorrow,but since we're meeting up early, I decided togo back today
  67. Yu: Can you pass that on to everyone?
  68. Teddie: Aha! Then the sexy nurses will bearriving even sooner!
  69. Teddie: It'll be like, "Sensei, we have an emergencypatient!" Yosuke will be so happy!
  70. Teddie: Okay then, we'll be waiting for you!.I'm a little worried now.
  71. I hope he isn't telling everybody something thatwould give them the wrong idea.
  72. Well, I should just call again once I get there.
  73. But I'll ignore that for now
  74. Yu: Nurses, eh?.
  75. In the end, I wasn't able to pick one up for him.
  76. How can I put it?.
  77. I'd feel bad for Yosuke if I gave him that magazine, and every time he opened it, his friend's face kept popping up in his head.
  78. And, I have to think Yosuke has his pride, too He doesn't need me buying him this stuff.
  79. Then again, this is Yosuke we're talking about.
  80. I'm sure he'll understand if I explain my reasoning.
  81. Probably
  82. Conductor: Now pulling into Yaso-InabaThis will be the last stopYaso-Inaba
  83. Yu: Oh.
  84. End of the line already.
  85. It looks like I'd been asleep for a lot longer than I thought.
  86. Just as that thought came to me a certain worry crossed my mind.
  87. If I had a dream of the Velvet Room, did that mean I was going to be dragged into another adventure?.
  88. No, I shouldn't think such things.
  89. I'm overthinking it.
  90. Igor had said, "I am delighted to make your acquaintance," after all, so it's nothing but a dream.
  91. It's quite misleading, since I've had dreams of being summoned into that room ever since.
  92. The train begins to slow, and I take that as my cue to gather my belongings from the luggage rack above me.
  93. When the train comes to a complete stop and the doors open, even the smell of the wind evokes a sense of nostalgia.
  94. Hahaha, I think I'm getting a little too sentimental.I step out to the platform with a wry smile.
  95. I'm standing in front of the train station, but this town is as quiet as it's always been.
  96. I realize that the sun has started to set, and the orange sky envelops the worldYu: Now, what should I do?.
  97. Today is May 2nd0
  98. According to the calendar, the latter half of the holidays will begin tomorrow.
  99. I'd told Dojima-san that I was going to arrive today, but it seems he's been too busy with work to come get me.
  100. Ryotaro Dojima He's my uncle I stayed with him last year.
  101. He's a detective with the Inaba Police, and he's raising his elementary school-aged daughter Nanako by himself.
  102. It seems that he was suddenly contacted by a detective from the Metropolitan Police Department regarding last year's case and will have to work late.
  103. What happened last year was very serious, so that may be why this has come up.
  104. He shouldn't have worried about it I recall how apologetic he sounded over the phone and can't help from smiling.
  105. I told him that I knew the way over from the station but a bag packed with necessities and souvenirs for everyone turns out to be quite a load.
  106. Nanako must be waiting for me alone at the house, so I want to get there as soon as possible, too.
  107. To be honest, I don't know when the bus will come Maybe I should just call for a taxi?.
  108. Just as I'm thinking this
  109. Yu: Hm?
  110. Yu: Nanako?
  111. Nanako: Big bro!.
  112. It IS Nanako.
  113. There's no way I'd mistake her
  114. Yu: You came to meet me all on your own?.
  115. Why did she come to the station all by herself?.
  116. True, the Dojima residence is within walking distance, but it couldn't have been easy for her.
  117. And even though it's still light out right now, it will get dark soon, and the country roads are barely lit.
  118. What would she have done if I hadn't been here?.
  119. I'm about to voice my concerns, but Nanako sounds slightly proud when she says:Nanako: Don't worry, Dad knows about it!He gave me money for the bus!Nanako: He said he couldn't make it, so I came instead
  120. Nanako: Welcome back, big bro! I wanted to see you so much!
  121. Yu: Haha, thanks I'm happy to see you again, too.
  122. I see She must've wanted to show me that she's grown up, too.
  123. She is around that age, after all.
  124. For a moment, I'm surprised that Dojima-san let her do this.
  125. But I can kind of imagine what kind of conversation took place.
  126. Nanako had always been a capable girl, but over the past year, her housekeeping skills have improved greatly, and she's proven herself to be very reliable.
  127. She takes the lead in many things within the house, and even Dojima-san can't compete with her sometimes.
  128. I can easily imagine that scene in my mind.
  129. And, it's true that I'm glad someome came to welcome me.
  130. I take Nanako's hand and we begin walking side by side
  131. Yu: Well, no sense standing around hereWhat's in the fridge at home?
  132. Nanako: Umm, lots! Dad and I bought a ton of stuffsince you were coming to visit.
  133. If Nanako says so, then he really must've bought a lot.
  134. Dojima-san did say he'd pick up dinner for us, but if that's the case maybe I should put together something to go with it.
  135. I ask Nanako what she wants to eat, and she looks back with a twinkle in her eyesNanako: Are you gonna cook dinner? I wanna help!.
  136. Nanako and I make small talk while we walk through Inaba for the first time in a little while.
  137. Being here like this makes me feel as if I've gone back in time to a year ago.
  138. After we get back to the Dojima home, I hurry and unpack my belongings before heading to the kitchen.
  139. Nanako helps me out as diligently as she had claimed earlier.
  140. The way she mixes the eggs seems more skillful than before.
  141. You're such a good girl, Nanako
  142. TV Reporter: Good evening This is the Evening Journal withnews for May 2nd. Our top story is on thedomestic airline that was hijacked yesterday.
  143. The TV in the living room echoes through the house.
  144. The TV was on quite often in this house.
  145. When I first came to Inaba, Nanako was practically being raised by the television.
  146. There had been this odd sense of distance between us around that time She hadn't started calling me "big bro," and we didn't cook together like we are now.
  147. It's the little things that bring back memories.
  148. Right when we were about done making dinner, Dojima-san arrived with some deluxe sushi.
  149. Nanako quickly gets up and rushes to the door.
  150. She seems so happy when Dojima-san comes home.
  151. Dojima-san apologizes about the sudden increase in his workload, and then we all sit at the table and begin eating.
  152. Being here like this makes me feel like the two months I was gone never happened at all.
  153. There's a warm atmosphere, as if I've always been a part of this family and have lived here with them for my entire life.
  154. I thank both of them from deep in my heart, and after I give them the souvenirs I'd brought for them, we enjoy chatting with each other as a family
  155. Yu: Whew.
  156. Another familiar room This is the room that was prepared for me on the second floor of the Dojima residence.
  157. Nanako fell asleep from all the excitement After carrying her to her room, I tell my uncle that I'd be going to bed early as well, since I have plans.
  158. All he said was "Okay"
  159. I'm a little perplexed by this, but I have my suspicions and as I open the door to my old room, it seems I was right.
  160. The room is no different than it had been when I was living here.
  161. It's exactly the same as it was when I left Inaba I close the door with a feeling of wistfulness.
  162. As I sit down on my sofa, thinking about my uncle's thoughtfulness,
  163. I sigh from the exhaustion of the long journey.
  164. I'll be able to see my friends tomorrow.
  165. Considering that there are still several days left in this holiday, it may be nice to leave early tomorrow and go visit the shopping district
  166. Yu: It's raining.
  167. The time is just before midnight.
  168. In mere moments, it will be a new day.
  169. Whenever it rains at night, I keep checking the time.
  170. While I spent the last year in Inaba, I was always checking for the "Midnight Channel," which was a popular urban legend here in Inaba.
  171. It's a bad habit of mine, even when I'm not here.
  172. "If you look at a turned-off TV at midnight on a rainy night, you will see your soulmate".
  173. Discovering that this rumor was actually true was the first reason why I became involved in the murder investigation last year.
  174. But the person who actually appears on the Midnight Channel isn't your soulmate.
  175. It's the next victim.
  176. After discovering this, we all nervously sat before our TVs on rainy nights in order to solve the case
  177. Yu: Ha That brings back some memoriesNothing will show anymore, though.
  178. Will nothing really appear, though?.
  179. I suddenly have doubts.
  180. Why would I think that?
  181. After we solved that case, we all confirmed that the Midnight Channel wasn't appearing anymore.
  182. The empty screen stays silent.
  183. So why?
  184. Yu: Just in case.
  185. It's not going to turn on There's no way.
  186. The more I think about it, the more I feel my resolve fading.
  187. I peer into the TV screen, as if something is drawing me into it.
  188. The only thing I see is my reflection in the dark glass of the CRT television.
  189. Or so I thought
  190. Yu: Wha--!?
  191. Yu: "Sister-Complex Kingpin of Steel".
  192. Was that me?.
  193. "Sister-Complex Kingpin of Steel".
  194. I'm impressed There's so much wrong with that phrase, I don't know where to begin.
  195. No I shouldn't be thinking about that.
  196. Those words aren't the problem here.
  197. I hurry to make sure that the TV isn't plugged in.
  198. That was the Midnight Channel.
  199. What it was actually showing was rather ridiculous But, thinking back, everything the Midnight Channel showed last year didn't make much sense, either.
  200. I'm suddenly gripped by tension.
  201. If the Midnight Channel is appearing again, I have to find out why.
  202. I pull out my cellphone and search for Yosuke's numberYu: Let's see, H Hanamura, Yosuke.
  203. I quickly hit the call button.
  204. Does everyone know about this?.
  205. Is everyone aware that the Midnight Channel is still being broadcasted?.
  206. Do they know that it's showing us?.
  207. And that we've been given taglines that can only be described as "uncharitable"?
  208. Yosuke: H-Hello!? This is Yosuke
  209. Yu: Yosuke?
  210. Yosuke: I-It's nothing, I just freaked out when youcalled all of a sudden! Yeah, that's itWhat's up? Hey, when do you want to meet!?.
  211. I can tell what's going on just by the sound of his voice.
  212. Yosuke knows about what's happened on the Midnight Channel just now, and he's trying to hide that from me.
  213. Considering that I've been out of Inaba for a while, I'd bet he's trying to keep me from worrying about it.
  214. There's no need for him to be concerned about that.
  215. Then again, I can kind of understand how he feels I am his friend, after all
  216. Yu: That's not why I was calling
  217. Yu: I saw the Midnight Channel You sawit too, right?
  218. Yosuke: Huh!?.
  219. I can easily hear Yosuke panicking on the other side of the phone.
  220. He's probably surprised that I saw the Midnight Channel, when I shouldn't even be in Inaba right now.
  221. He must be thinking that the Midnight Channel is now appearing on a national TV network.
  222. *sigh* Looks like Teddie didn't tell them, after all
  223. Yu: Did Teddie not tell you? Since we're meeting upearly tomorrow, I decided to come today
  224. Yu: I figured you wouldn't think I could haveseen it, so I gave you a call
  225. Yosuke: Urgh Well, I assumed you weren't here yet,so I didn't want to rely on you
  226. Yu: Hah, you haven't changed
  227. Yu: So, how about it? You're not going to leavethis be, are you, Captain Ressentiment?
  228. Yosuke: Wh-Why'd you zero in on that part!? Did yousee how they called you a "Sister-Complex Kingpin"?
  229. Yu: Haha Mine's not that bad
  230. Yosuke: You think!?
  231. Yosuke: Oh, I oughtta tell you, that program's not the only strange thing lately
  232. Yosuke: Teddie, Rise, and Kanji aren't here either. They disappeared.
  233. For a moment, I'm at a loss for words.
  234. Not only has the Midnight Channel come back on, we've lost contact with three of our friends?.
  235. I have a bad feeling about this.
  236. I can't believe that those two things are unrelated
  237. Yu: All right We should get together tomorrowlike we planned
  238. Yosuke: Yeah, at the Junes food courtYosuke: Welcome back partner.
  239. I'm suddenly reminded that I haven't even greeted Yosuke yet0
  240. I finally feel the sense of worry fade a little and I answer with a smile
  241. Yu: It's good to be here.
  242. No matter what has happened, our friends may be in danger.
  243. If that's so, then there's only one thing to do.
  244. Hm?.
  245. Speaking of things I have to do
  246. Yu: Oh, right sorry to say, I forgot topick up your souvenir
  247. Yosuke: A souvenir? Don't even worry aboutit, man
  248. Yu: You sure? I thought you were reallylooking forward to it Those nurses
  249. Yosuke: N-Nurses?.
  250. I had a feeling he wouldn't get it if I don't tell him flat out.
  251. This is rather hard to bring up but, oh well
  252. Yu: Yeah, Teddie asked me to get it for youHe said you were crushed that theygot burned
  253. Yosuke: W-Wait, this is all!
  254. Yu: I didn't know you were into nursesY
  255. Yosuke: Aaaaaaaaaaaah! Shut up! That's enough!
  256. Yosuke: Dammit, you're trying to wind me up,aren't you!? Stay home, you jerk!
  257. Yu: But I'm already here. Well, I'll see you tomorrow--.
  258. At least it seems like he understands about his souvenir.
  259. In any case, the preparations have been made.
  260. Tomorrow, I'll meet with everyone to sort through whatever information we have on this situation If we have to, we'll go back into that world.
  261. It'd be best if this was all just our imaginations.
  262. But, unfortunately, we know that the Midnight Channel wouldn't have appeared without a reason.
  263. I should make sure I'm ready for tomorrow and get some rest.
  264. This place is lively as always.
  265. I look across the food court on Junes' roof for the first time in a while.
  266. Even though there aren't many people in Inaba, this place is exceptionally crowded.
  267. Plus, because it's Golden Week as well, I feel like it's busier than usual.
  268. I happen to run into Yosuke at the elevators We briefly greet each other.
  269. Guys are weird like that.
  270. The closer we are, the more simple our interactions when we meet each other face-to-face.
  271. The two of us step out to the food court We immediately find Yukiko and Chie.
  272. They wave back at us from the bench they're sitting on
  273. Yu: Good to see you guys again
  274. Chie: Welcome back! We missed you!
  275. Chie: The guest of honor's finally here!You're looking well
  276. Yukiko: Welcome back Um, should we?
  277. Yosuke: Hm? Oh, he already knows about theMidnight Channel thing
  278. Yosuke: He's actually the one who calledme up about it
  279. Yukiko: Oh, I see This has turned into a prettythrown-together reunion, hasn't it?
  280. Yukiko: But I'm glad you came.
  281. We chat some more while we all sit down.
  283. <to be finished>
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