Persona 3: The Broken Tower

Chapter 4: The Tower's Silent Requiem

Tsukiyo was glad that tomorrow was Sunday. He was too exhausted from the escapade of the previous night. So, right now, he is relaxing at the lounge while checking up with the news. "Looks like the monorail incident didn't make the news…" He sighed in relief.

"I feel sorry for the monorail driver though…" Minako stated, the girl sitting on the sofa on his left, "I mean, it was our fault that…"

"It can't be helped." He tells her, "No one knows what happened during the Dark Hour, and he is the only suspect they could find."

"Even so…"

He then noticed Mitsuru coming down the stairs, before seating on the sofa facing him. She sighed a little, Tsukiyo looking at her with an eyebrow raised.

"Is something the matter, Mitsuru?" He asked.

"I… I was just thinking about last night…" She stated, "I wasn't strong enough last time, which resulted in a difficult situation. I wanted to apologize for that."

"There's no need to apologize." Minako tells her.

"That's very kind of you…" Mitsuru said with a smile, "But, even if you forgive me, I don't think I can forgive myself. I promise to be stronger if there is a next time."

"*sigh*" Tsukiyo sighed, before walking back to his room, the two girls' eyes following him as well as the two other juniors that hang around the lobby.

"Hey, senpai." Yukari asked.

"Yes?"

"Was Amagi-senpai always like this?" She asked, "This… emotionless…?"

"As long as I've known him." Mitsuru nodded.

"I know I've just met him only a month ago… but he is almost like a robot at times…" Junpei stated, "The few times I've talked to him, he was hardly in the conversation at all."

"I know what you mean." Yukari agreed, "I bump into him a few times last year, and almost every time I've mistaken him to be one of the Lost."

"He hardly shown emotions to anyone." Akihiko stated as he entered the lounge, "But that doesn't mean he is without them. You should've seen the moments, right?"

"Yeah, but usually it is when he is angry or panicking." She said, "Kind of think of it, I've never seen him smile before. I wonder why?"

"Not sure." He stated, "No one knows for sure."

Around that time, he came down the stairs in his casual outfit, a dark gray long sleeved t-shirt under a sleeveless zipped hoodie and white pants with blue converse, and left the dorm.

"…You don't think that he… heard us… right?" Junpei asked worriedly.

"…" Minako looked outside, staring at the door.


He took a stroll around town, window shopping around. He then came across a small bookstore, "Bookworms…?"

He entered the store, an elderly couple manning the counter. The elder man moving books to one side and another, while his wife dusting the counter, "Oh, welcome!" The elderly lady greeted, "Oh my, what a dashing young man. What may our humble shop help you with?"

"I'm just checking…" He muttered as he skim through the rows of books. There were plenty of quite dated books, and classic literature books of years old that he has heard about from the classic lit teacher Ekoda. He could tell that some of these books are quite old from yellow pages.

He saw some detective novels that were quite new and decided to purchase a few. As he left the strip mall, he stopped by the beef bowl shop for some lunch, after a while, he decided to wander about at the shrine for a while.

When the sun starts to set, he decided to wander to the Moonlight Bridge. Once there, he looked over at the river, the sun already setting over the horizon coloring the city of Iwatodai in a bright hue of orange and red, the water reflecting the same color.

As he was mesmerized by the scene, he failed to notice Minako walking up to him. "Tsukiyo-senpai!" She called out, only for the teen to ignore her and kept on looking out at the sunset. She faced the scenery, understanding the beauty of the scene.

"Beautiful, isn't it?" He stated, startling Minako a little, "Don't act so surprised, I'm not completely clueless about everything…"

"…" She stood next to Tsukiyo looking over the bridge, "Why are you here?"

"This is only place I can be relax." He tells her, "Normally, it would be really noisy, but there isn't much traffic today."

"Relax?"

"…Come on, I'll treat you to dinner. How does Hagakure sound?" He asked.

They entered the ramen shop, they already have two steaming bowls of noodles in front of them. Minako slurping away at the noodle noisily. "You really like the noodles, huh?"

The girl nodded in agreement as she carries on eating. Tsukiyo slurped some of the noodles, and swallowed a mouthful before stopping. "…Minako." He said turning to her, "Do I seem all that… emotionless to you?"

"Huh?"

"I've heard them talking about me back at the dorm, about me looking like one of the Lost…" He stated, "Normally, I wouldn't care… but now…"

"You do sometimes, actually." She stated.

"Yeah, I thought so…" He sighed, "…It's not that I don't like to show my emotions… it's just I'm scared to."

"Why?"

"…I…" He muttered, "I was scared if I do, I might scare off you guys…"

"You're pretty scary already, though…" Minako stated, "Almost creepy at times."

"Is that how you see me…?" He sighed, "I…was quite a delinquent back in middle school. I was always on the discipline committee's blacklist, beating up everyone who stood against me, most of them due to my… anger issues… It was that same issue that caused me to transfer here to Gekkoukan. I didn't want to cause my parents anymore trouble… so I choose to mask my emotions."

"Mask it?"

"If it's my anger that caused this, then I just need to mask if with something, to block showing that emotion." He stated, "But… I guess that just caused the others to be creeped out by me…"

"…" He looked down at the bowls, "Come on, let's finish this and return to the dorm."

After eating and paying for the meal, they return back to the dorm.


The next day, Tsukiyo was reminded that mid-terms exams starts next week. 'I guess that's why Mitsuru is always holed up in her room few days ago…' At lunch period, he decided to have his lunch again at the persimmon tree. On his way there, he bumped into Fuuka yet again.

"T-Tsukiyo-senpai!" She greeted quite surprised.

"Oh, Yamagishi-san." He greeted, "Surprised to bump into you again at the same place…" He then notices the rather big stack of bread and carton drinks in her arms, "You're eating that many…?"

"N-No, these are for the girls." She stated, "They asked me to buy it for them."

"…so they used you." He sighed.

"T-That's not it!" She cried, "I don't mind, really!"

"Can't you see that they're using you as their servant girl?" He groaned, "Let me guess, you used your own money to buy these too?"

"I-It's fine! Really!" She stated.

"No, it's not!" He shouted grabbing onto her shoulder firmly, "You need to break away from those girls! You can't keep being pushed around by them!"

"I said its fine!" She cried out, shaking his arms off before running off.

"Wait, Yamagishi-san!" He called out, only to see her running figure disappear behind a corner. "…Seriously… what's wrong with me…?"

After school is over, he decided to stroll about Paulownia Mall to cool his head. As he sat down on the bench, he sighed as he looked up the glass panel ceiling, the clear blue sky shining down. He thought back to Fuuka, the girl's eyes of fear in them when he nearly blow his top, 'I told myself that I wouldn't let my emotions go to my head… and yet I nearly lose my cool towards Yamagishi-san…'

His mental image of Fuuka is briefly being overlay by another girl, this one with smooth black hair and equally black eyes as his own, "…I guess… they are alike in some way…"

After sitting there for about an hour, he left the mall and return to the dorm.


When he returned to the dorm, Minako immediately walked up to him. "Yes, Minako?" He asked.

"Do you know any knowledge about fixing electronics and machines?" She asked.

"Tech stuff? Why?"

"Well, Mitsuru-senpai asked me to take a look at the equipment of the command room since they seems to malfunctioning." She explained, "I've asked Yukari and Junpei, but they doesn't seems to be helpful."

"…And I'm pretty sure Akihiko isn't any better at it either…" He groaned, "Well… I have some knowledge on it, read some books on it but not sure if that's any good…"

"Any help is good." She said as they proceed upstairs.

They went up to the command room where Tsukiyo take a good look at the circuit board under the consoles, "…No… it's impossible for me after all…" He stated bluntly, "Oh well, maybe she can call an electrician or something."

Minako meddled about on the keyboard, only to find that the surveillance camera recordings has turn itself on. When Tsukiyo looked at it, he notices CCTV recordings of every room in the dorm, "Wait… they bugged our rooms?-!"

She then notices the date of the recording, {10/05/2009 – 01:23:02}. "Want to watch this?" She asked.

"You want to peek at everyone's daily lives…?" He asked, "T-That's beside the point, why did they bugged the entire dorm? Are they paranoid or something?"

She shrugged her shoulders in a gesture of confused before starting the playback:

[Command Room: 05/10/2009]

In the command room, Ikutsuki is sitting on the sofa alone writing something in a file of papers.

"Hm… A Shadow in the middle of town… It managed to take over public transportation… I should investigate whether this means it's finally begun…"

"…"

"Monorail…Listen to the monorail in monaural…"

He broke out into chuckles at the silly pun, "Oooh… I must make a note of that one…!" He writes that down on a separate notepad.

"Luck played an uncomfortably large part in the victory… Especially towards the end… if she hasn't guessed at the right controls, things could have been very bad. For Shadows to work in a group to overrun large machines is unprecedented…"

"…"

"The engine… That was an engine-ous move!"

He broke out into chuckled yet again, "What's with me today?-! I'm on a roll! Oh yeah, better write that one down too…" He scribbles onto the separate notepad.

"…"

"…One should always wear bright clothing at night… Otherwise, the Shadows could make it dangerous to walk near traffic!"

He broke out into chuckles yet again, " Whoa, I'm getting off subject... but who cares?-!"

"Hey… I should write all these down and show them off the next time everyone gets together!"

"…"

"Don't care for seafood? They also serve GROUND beef!"

He broke into full out laughter at that point, "This has nothing to do with the status report anymore, but I'm having a blast! Let's see… what else~?"

[Recording End]

"…"

"…"

The two looked at each other, making a silent agreement to never speak of this ever again. Then, Minako left the room, leaving the senior alone in the room.

"…"

"…"

"…"

"Pft!" He broke out into hyena of laughs, "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!-!" He even dropped to the floor to roll around in laughter, "Monaural! HAHAHAHA! T-They just sound the same! That…!That makes no sense! And engine-ous! HAHAHAHAHA! It's…!It's just the first two syllables!"

"An-And what do bright clothing has to do with Shadows and traffic! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA"

He laughed the entire night away, not knowing that Minako is standing by the door listening on his laughing fit.


The next day, Tsukiyo bumped into Minako on the way to school at the monorail station, "Oh, morning." He greeted.

"Morning!" She greeted.

The train head on its way towards the artificial island, Tsukiyo busy looking at his phone checking the cases of the Apathy Syndrome. "There are lesser cases of Apathy Syndrome in the last few days…" He stated absent-mindedly, "Must be due to the defeat of that large Shadow."

"Also because of we did our best!" She added.

"Yeah, that too." He stated, "Hey, did you study these past few days? Midterms are coming, so you better prepare. I sure hope that nothing big happened during that time… Oh yeah, that reminds me. Mitsuru told me to tell you guys. She's apparently going to reward you juniors if you did well on the midterms."

"Oh, that's nice." She said.

"Yeah, but knowing her, her standard of doing well is to get at least the top ten spots of your grade…" He groaned, "Good luck with that."

After a few more small talk, they left for their respective classrooms.

Tsukiyo decided to return back to the dorms after school to try and study some more. He was falling behind slightly due to his two weeks coma and he needs to catch up as soon as he could.

When he left the dorm to buy some dinner, he came across one of the Lost, a young woman wandering around with a blank daze and just acting like a zombie. 'Even if there are lesser cases, the Lost are still everywhere…'

After dinner, he returns back to the dorms.


The next day of school wasn't as eventful as yesterday, although he did hear some rumors about the school being haunted due to some mysterious incidents in town. So after school, he went back to the dorm to study again. After a while, he was called by them that they are going to Tartarus today.

Mitsuru informed them that the first barrier to the next section has disappeared, theorizing that the other barriers between each section will disappear with time. She re-confirm their goal of reaching the top of the tower, before they decided to move upwards towards the next section.

Right now, they are in the second section of the tower, this one seems to be purple in shade and theme, different from the green glass plane feel of the first section. Unfortunately, Mitsuru isn't able to scan too far at the moment so they decided to explore a bit more.

Tsukiyo has taken note that he has improved over time, the battle on the monorail definitely helped their Personas' fighting ability. He also notes that Minako now has the ability to switch Personas mid battle, already showing off different Personas besides Orpheus in battle.

The second section has Shadows that are far stronger than the previous section. There stronger versions of the Tiara Shadows, Table Shadows, Hand Shadows and the Balance Shadows and several new ones like ones that looks like a male and female dancer without their heads with a floating heart with a mask on it, large raven like Shadows, a lion chained to a metal ball where the mask is, and even ones that look like a large wheel that reminds him of a youkai creature of folklore.

After a while, they cleared a few floors, sighing in relief as they took a small break. "Man, the Shadows just keep getting tougher the higher we go up." Junpei stated.

"It's like that video game I played as a kid…" Tsukiyo stated.

[It appears so… I've sensed a strong presence five floors above you, proceed with caution.]

"Got it."

"…Why is she always like that…?" Yukari muttered.

"…" Tsukiyo keeps his mouth shut, knowing the misplaced grudge between the archer and his friend.

"Hey, guys!"

"What is it Minako-W-W-What the hell?-!" Junpei cried out in shock.

There stood their leader, only clad what could be described as 'armored panties'. Chainmail designed like a girl's lingerie with matching stockings and gloves, even a knight visor in her hair. Minako definitely filled up the needed positions perfectly, her curves shown to the male members of the party.

"M-Minako! W-What are you wearing?-!" Yukari cried blushing.

"It's called Battle Panties~!" She giggled, "I've got it from a friend, and I want to show it off!"

"…" Junpei and Tsukiyo looked at her with bright red faces, not sure where they should look or whether they should look at all.

"You guys better not be looking!" Yukari warned them, the two guys quickly turned around, "Minako! You can't wear that to battle! What if it falls off during a fight?-!"

"…Hm… you do made an excellent point." She nodded in understanding, "I'll go change!" She ran off into a random corner.

The two guys looked at each other, Junpei whispered to him, "Did you get hard?"

"…Are you seriously asking that question…?" Tsukiyo asked.

After that, awkward incident, they carry on climbing the tower, before making to the floor where the Guardian is, where there are three big Table Shadows ready to fight. "Let's end this quickly!" Tsukiyo called out as he summons Lancelot, "Let's see… Garula!" His wind skill has improved on the way up here, the cyclone of wind stronger than before as it blow away one of the Tables.

"Alright, my turn!" Junpei summons out Hermes, "Let's see… Assault Drive!" The persona charges forward, ramming itself into another of the Table that disintegrates into nothing on impact to the ground.

"Last one!" Minako cried as she summons out Jack Frost, "Bufu!" It waved its arms a little, a blizzard surrounds the last table, incasing it in ice before it broke into pieces.

"Yahoo! Easiest guardian yet!" Junpei cheered.

"This is definitely easier than I thought…" Tsukiyo muttered.

"…" Yukari stood there, looking down on the ground.

"Is something wrong, Yukari?" Minako asked worriedly.

"Oh, no, it's nothing." She tells her, "Don't worry about it."

"…Okay…" Minako muttered, "Why don't we head back for now?"

"Already? I can keep on going!" Junpei stated.

"No… I agree with her." Tsukiyo stated, "The easier the boss, the more likely for the next one to be far stronger than the previous. We need to prepare for now. Besides, we have midterms next week, so we need to study as well."

"Oh man, don't remind me!" Junpei groaned.

[What Tsukiyo said is true. We can't rush things as they are. Come back for now.]

"'Kay, 'kay…" He moaned out in anguish, "I sure wish I'm gifted in studying like Mitsuru-senpai…"

"She is definitely incredible…" Yukari muttered.

"…She needs to get rid of that bad habit though…" Tsukiyo muttered.

"Huh? Did you say something, Tsukiyo-san?" Junpei asked.

"Nothing, nothing at all." He stated.

After exiting Tartarus, they went back to the dorm to rest.


The next day, Tsukiyo sat down by his favorite spot by the persimmon tree during lunch period eating his lunch while simultaneous reading a new detective novel he bought from the Bookworms bookstore. Once again, he somehow or the other lost his contacts yet again, as such wore his glasses to school.

He was getting to a good part, before someone overshadowed the perfectly good shade of the tree. He looked up, Minako looking down at him smiling, "I was right!"

"…About what?"

"That this is your favorite spot." She stated sitting down on the grass next to him.

"…Yeah, so?" He asked. She just beamed at him, he turned back to his novel reading. Once he finished his meal, he took out a handkerchief to clean his glasses.

"You look rather cool with your glasses on." Minako stated.

"…" He looked down at his glasses, before putting it back on, "I know that. I just find it rather annoying to maintain every day so I prefer contacts."

"Isn't contacts harder to clean compare to glasses?" She asked.

"…indeed they are." He stated, turning back to his book, "…I don't get you…"

"Huh?"

"Normally, people would just try to stay away from me, either creeped out by me or just got bored being around me." He stated, "But you… you didn't walk away. If it's because you're the field leader, I understand but…"

"It's because I want to spent time with you!" She tells him with a smile.

"Really? Huh…" He muttered, "Thanks, I guess." He looked down at his book, before turning to her, "Hey, what kind of novels do you like?"

"Hm… I'm more of a manga person myself." She stated.

"Is that so? Can't argue with you there. Most of the people our age prefer looking at pictures than reading out words…" He stated, "Even so, a great story sometimes can only be brought to life by words."

They sat down just making small talk until lunch period ended.


After school, he stopped by the mall to see if he could buy any contacts. When he passed by the windows, he saw his reflection, a glasses wearing idol face.

"You look rather cool with your glasses on."

"Glasses definitely suits you!"

He sighed a little as he carries on walking, looking for the spectacles shop.

After purchasing new contacts, he went back to his dorm to study. He can tell already that Junpei is definitely going to flunk his midterms, considering the procrastination he has been doing over the past few days. When he finished studying and revising all he can, he went to bed.


The next morning, he bumped into Minako and Mitsuru by the school gate. "Morning." He greeted the two.

"Good morning." Mitsuru greeted, "Exams begin next week. Are you prepared?"

"Of course." Minako stated.

"That's good to hear." He stated.

"I'll be looking forward to seeing your grades…" The student council president chuckles, "If they're good, I'll give you something… consider it a reward."

"But don't expect them to part of the top ten grades of their grade." He tells her, "Minako, don't study too hard. It's a good idea to rest when you need to."

"Like Junpei?" Minako chuckles.

"…No, if you do that, you can forget about moving up a grade… or graduating at that matter…"

"To be honest, I'm not as prepared as I should be." Mitsuru stated, "I'm still preoccupied with monitoring Shadows. At any rate, the number of incidents has decreased since our last mission. If we can continue to defeat them, we may be able to rid the public of their fear…"

"Will we…?" He muttered.

"However, every time a new Shadow appears, it seems to be more powerful than the last…" Mitsuru stated, "And even after Akihiko returns to battle, we still won't be at full strength…"

"You shouldn't worry too much now, Mitsuru." Tsukiyo sighed, "When it comes to that, then we'll worry about it."


After school, he made it back to the dorms to read up on some books. When some of the juniors came back, they saw him sitting down by the sofa reading a book in his hand, the same pair of glasses perched on his nose.

Junpei blinked a bit, "Nice pair of glasses, Tsukiyo-san." He stated.

"Y-Yeah…" Yukari muttered.

"You wear them in the dorms too?" Minako asked.

"…" His eyes then rolled up, looking at the three teens looking at him, "Is there something you need?"

"Did you…hear us just now?" Junpei asked.

"Hear what?"

"…He's really into his books huh…" He muttered, "But the glasses thing is new. I didn't know you wear glasses, Tsukiyo-san."

"I hardly wear them outside. It became a pain when I do…" Tsukiyo groaned.

"Really? I sure don't think so." Yukari stated.

"I'm back." Mitsuru greeted as she came in through the front door, "Oh, I see you're wearing glasses today, Tsukiyo."

"Welcome back, Mitsuru." He greeted her.

"Welcome back, senpai." Yukari greeted.

Minako turned to the teen reading his book, Tsukiyo flipped to another page. "You really do love books." She commented.

"…" He carries on reading.

"He definitely does…" Junpei muttered, "I still can't see the link here. He's a bookworm, yet a prodigy kendo practitioner at the same time. Besides Mitsuru-senpai, I don't think I have seen anyone capable of finding a balance between the two until now…"

"I believe it is called time management." Yukari deadpanned, "Use it sometimes, Stupei."

"PFT!"

They turned around when they hear a small chuckle. Tsukiyo sat there with a stone-cold expression as usual reading his book. Minako glanced at him with a knowing smirk on her face.

"What's with that face, Minako?" Yukari asked.

"Oh, nothing~"

"…"


The next couple of days were pretty uneventful. He went to school, bumped into Akihiko who was training again since his cast is ready to come off soon, end school and then return back to the dorm to study a bit.

On the weekend, mostly stayed in his room to study up some more, coming out to buy lunch and dinner. At night, he definitely heard Junpei shouting out complains from his room, something that he really don't want to hear the day before the exams.

After a while, he had enough and brought all his stuff to the lounge in hopes of studying without interruption. Unluckily, Ikutsuki is there and he ended up trying to study with him staring down at him over his shoulder.


The days from the 18th to the 23rd are exam days, so everyone is busy with their own tests. Tsukiyo crammed as much as he can over the weekends and the hours before, so he felt confident.

On the 23rd, he bumped into Akihiko and Minako at the school entrance.

"Morning." He greeted.

"Morning." Akihiko greeted back.

"Good morning, senpais!" Minako greeted them.

"Today's the last day…" Tsukiyo stated, "Hey, Akihiko, confident that you'll pass?"

"Heh, it was no sweat." The boxer smirked, "I'm definitely acing this one. Although, I'm worried about mathematics though…"

"I'm more worried about my classic lit…" He muttered, "What about you, Minako?"

"I'm okay!" She stated with a smile.

"That's good to hear." Akihiko chuckled, "By the way, I've a check-up after school today. If the doctor checks out okay, I'll be able to fight with you guys again… finally."

"That's great. We could use the additional manpower." Tsukiyo stated.

"Speaking of, Minako, I have a favor to ask." The boxer stated, "You've been doing a good job leading the team in Tartarus… would you mind continuing after I come back? That way, I can concentrate on building my strength."

"Hey, hey, is that a good idea?" Tsukiyo stated, "Minako, you don't have to-"

"Leave it to me!" She stated with a hand to her chest.

"…" He sighed, already mentally tired from this, "I'm heading to class."


Exams are finally over, Tsukiyo stretched his back and shoulders, tired from the mental battle of texts. "Hey, Tsukiyo." Mitsuru walks up to his desk, "So, how do you fare?"

"Pretty good, I believe." He stated, "I'm pretty sure I can pass at least."

"I wouldn't be surprised if you got an amazing score." She said with a smile, "You were the top of the grade last year after all."

"I just crammed as much as I could before the exams." He stated, "I'm not like you, the Miss Perfect Student Council President."

"Don't flatter me." Mitsuru chuckles softly.

"…Are you okay?" He asked her.

"Oh? I'm perfectly fine." She assures him.

"…You're slightly nodding off, you know." He tells her, "And you're slightly wobbling around too. Did you… went through a couple sleepless nights again…?"

"Huh? Oh, yeah… Nothing slip pass you, Tsukiyo." She sighed, "But its fine. I'll take a nap back at the dorm later."

"After the Student Council work?" He pointed out, "You better rest at the nurse office first."

"It's fine, I can…" Tsukiyo groaned as he stood up, slinging on his school bag before sweeping Mitsuru off her feet into his arms in a bridal carry, stunning everyone around them, "W-W-Wait, Tsukiyo! Put me down at once!"

"Once we reach the nurse office, Miss President." He stated before taking into a slight jog out of the class. He ignores the looks he was getting from almost every student he ran past or the struggling red head and sped up his pace. They soon reached the nurse office, where the infamous teacher, Mr Edogawa, is sitting.

"Oh, this is a surprise." He stated, "Not really, do you two planned this routine every year?"

"Can't blame me for her not resting when she can." Tsukiyo sighed, "I can't let her fainting in the middle of the corridor, every time after the exams."

"You don't have to bother with me." Mitsuru stated.

"Not when it happens in front of me, almost all the time!" He groaned.

"You two have a quite a strange bond." The teacher commented, "Do you know that-"

"Sorry, but I don't wish to know, Mr Edogawa…" The teen groaned again, before seating down by the chair, "Now, go to sleep, Mitsuru."

"…" She stared at him before shuffling under the covers.

"Good." He sighed before turning to Edogawa, "Mr Edogawa, mind keeping an eye on her? Make sure she stays in bed for at least three hours."

"No problem." The teacher nodded, "I'll try and keep her for four."

"Thank you." He proceed to walk out of the nurse office and ran towards where the student council room is at. Once he told Hidetoshi about Mitsuru's condition, he went to the school store to purchase some drinks for them. When he returned, he notices that she is asleep on the bed.

He sat next to her bed, taking out a book to read.


They returned back to the dorm together, Mitsuru went to the student council office right after she woke up and he waited for her all the way. "We're back." He greeted them.

"Ah, welcome back Tsukiyo-san, Mitsuru-senpai." Junpei greeted.

"How was the hospital check-up, Akihiko?" Mitsuru asked.

"Completely healed." Akihiko stated with a smirk, "I can't wait to get back to training. I've slacked off for a whole month."

"Whatever you say." Tsukiyo moaned, "But you might want to take a couple of days off just to be sure."

"By the way, Tsukiyo-san~ I wanted to ask you something." Junpei said grinning, "Are you and Mitsuru-senpai dating?"

"Huh?" He blinked at the surprising question, "No, we're not."

"You sure~? You came back around the same time, and I've seen you carrying her around in school today. In a princess carry no less!" The junior chuckled.

"Woah, this is true?-!" Yukari cried out in surprise.

"N-No! T-That's not…!" Mitsuru cried blushing.

"The nurse office?" Akihiko asked.

"The nurse office." Tsukiyo nodded.

"Nurse office?" Minako asked.

"There isn't anything strange about this anyway." The boxer explained, "It became somewhat of a routine between them. Every time during the final days of the exams, Mitsuru is always carried to the nurse office to rest by Tsukiyo."

"Every time?" Yukari asked.

"I always assures him that I'm fine, but…" Mitsuru stated.

"The previous times you said that, you collapsed right outside the toilet or somewhere along the corridor." Tsukiyo stated.

"At least it is a princess carry." Akihiko stated, "The last time this happens is after last years' finals. He carried her like a sack of potatoes under his arms."

"…That's…um…" Junpei muttered.

"I'll die of embarrassment if that happens to me." Yukari sighed sweat-dropping.

"…" Mitsuru looked down blushing.

"Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention." Akihiko added, "We found a new Persona-user."

"We did?-! Sweet!" Junpei cheered, "Is it a girl…?"

"Actually, it is. She's a junior who goes to our school." He stated.

"Really? Who is it?" Mitsuru asked.

"Fuuka Yamagishi." He explained, Tsukiyo flinched at the name, "Do you guys know her?"

"Yamagishi…? Oh that girl in 2-E." Yukari nodded, "She gets sick a lot, from what I heard… I don't see her at school very often."

"She was at the same hospital as me." The boxer stated, "That's how we found out about her."

"I…see…" Tsukiyo muttered.

"You know her, Tsukiyo-senpai?" Minako asked.

"Bumped into her a few times." He explained, "She seems to be a victim of bullying though… even if she doesn't notice."

"Bullying?-!" Mitsuru cried, "I'll look into this as soon as I'm able!"

"Oh, thanks... I guess...?"

"…Maybe we shouldn't recruit her…" Akihiko stated, "At least… until the whole bullying situation is settled."

"What?-! Really?-! We're giving up on her?-!" Junpei cried, "I was gonna offer her some private lessons…"

"You're like an old perv." Minako pointed out.

"Hahaha! Oh man, I was thinking the exact same thing!" Yukari laughed.

"Yow! Retract those claws ladies!" He cried out, "I'm totally a hip, happenin' teen! You dig?-!"

"No one says like that anymore…" Tsukiyo pointed out.

"W-Why're you lookin' me at like that?" Junpei asked, "C-C'mon… I'm a guy! Whaddya expect?-!"

"…" Tsukiyo looked at him, before sighing.

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