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Fandom The Phantom Thieves

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That Weird girl

Reach Out to the Truth
Ann Takimaki thought Kajiki Sato was a very sweet person and was quite possibly blinded by love. She didn't think Kajiki was doing bad things and using her. She wanted to believe that he was a good man but countless people at Shunjin kept saying nasty stuff about him. Ann chose to ignore it and instead focus on their relationship and how he made her feel. She was currently in the library studying for her exams and had her phone by her in case Kajiki wanted to talk to her. She took a little break and looked at her phone and saw this weird app that said Metaverse navigator 2.0, Ann tried to delete it but she could not though she did get a text from Kajiki and that made her excited.

Kajiki- Hey, I need your help
Ann- With what? I am here for you
Kajiki- Getting Agata senpai off my back- A pretty girl like you should be able to convince him.
Ann- WHAT?!

Ann was shocked that Kajiki would suggest that, Sougo would surely expel her for that. There was no way in hell that Ann would try to seduce Sougo since she could get in big trouble. Kajiki wanted to use Ann to get heat off of his back and she was beginning to question their relationship now. Ann wondered why Kajiki needed Sougo off his back and intended to do some research on the matter.

She gathered her things and got of the library to go do some digging. The person she wanted to see was Shiro who was his rival, although she might not like Ann and try to hurt her.
 

Nellancholy

One Thousand Club
Shiro held an open book in front of her face as she leaned against one of the shelves in the library.

Two Essays on Analytical Psychology

C. G. Jung

It was proving a...decent read, but it hardly managed to distract from the real problems. That narcissistic thug Kajiki was getting bolder and more greedy, him and his boys working as mules and scouts for the businesses owned by this area's Yakuza family. They were taking over parts of the slums Shiro and her friends inhabited, which they could almost deal with. But that would mean increased police activity in the area, leading ever closer to the possibility of Shiro's group being found and arrested. The younger and more...reformable might be sent straight back to the parents they ran away from, whereas the rest...

Even those problems remained on the horizon. After her little scuffle with one of Kajiki's subordinates yesterday, she could at least wait for the heat to ease up by hiding at school, one of the places where she rarely appeared. Awfully careless of the librarians to leave the door so casually locked, quite easy to pick. But it came as a surprise that...she wasn't alone in the room at the moment.

Tentatively, she raised her gaze...noticing the blonde hair of a girl she'd seen from a distance a few times. "Huh..." One of Kajiki's hangers-on. She had to wonder what she was doing here, at this time. Seemed almost worried...
 

That Weird girl

Reach Out to the Truth
Ann couldn't believe that she was facing her narcissistic boyfriend's enemy. Kajiki had called her a lot of stuff, brutish, evil, all the nasty stuff you could think of. Honestly Shiro just seemed like a girl who happened to be troubled and wronged by society. In a way Ann felt like Shiro's situation was relatable since deep in her heart she knew that she was just one of Kajiki's hangers on but did not want to admit it. She had a feeling that she would end up getting hurt but she had to find out.

"You're Akiyama-san right?" Ann asked to confirm it, "I need your help...I can pay you but I need to know about Kajiki and any illegal stuff he's done and if he really loves me. Tell me the truth I don't care if it hurts." Ann didn't know what she would do if she was just another girl to Kajiki but she would have to stop him.

"Oh I am Ann Takimaki," she said, "you probably seen me with him a few times and I am sorry for thinking you were a horrible person...seems like Kajiki had lied to me about you...I thought you were violent." Ann had to admit that she was kinda scared of Shiro but after this she wasn't very scared or at least right now. She was a human being like herself.
 
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Nellancholy

One Thousand Club
As the slightly shorter girl approached her, Shiro sighed. There she was. What kind of game was she playing? Without much prompting, Ann appeared to pour out much of the story Shiro was interested in knowing. Of course. This foolish, privileged girl had hooked up with Kajiki, and now she was worried about her own well-beling. Unlike him, Shiro had no interest in using people in covert, manipulative ways. But if Ann was being honest, it meant she could be in danger too. And Shiro couldn't say no to that.

"If you'd like a sound thrashing, I can give you one." She muttered dryly as she rolled her shoulders. She didn't appreciate the self-interested claims Kajiki had apparently been making about her. "And save your money. Your contemptible paramour has been smuggling drugs through my domain on the mob's payroll. He and his little lackeys have been growing in their greed by the day. As for love? I'm sure he loves you as much as he loves crushing even lesser people under his foot."

She sneered. "If you feel like investigating, you should seek him out yourself. As for me...I want nothing more to take the fight straight to him."
 

That Weird girl

Reach Out to the Truth
“Selling drugs on the mobs payroll?” Ann gulped, this was way worse than she would ever anticipate. Shiro had no reason to help a privileged girl like her but maybe she would help if it turned out Kajiki would probably do something bad to Ann if she did anything.

But she supposed the slightly taller girl was right and she should probably do some snooping on her own. Although she didn’t know what to even do about him. And what could she do? She wasn’t someone who could hold her own like Shiro unless she found a way to fight back.

Ann brought up her phone and was going to text Kajiki but the Metaverse app caught her eye and she tapped it. She was wondering about the app, why was it not deletable and who sent her it? Either way it seemed like she had to unlock some of the locations.

“Do you have this app?” Ann asked her looking up from her phone. She showed her the app and how it couldn’t be deleted.
 

Nellancholy

One Thousand Club
"Indeed." Shiro replied curtly. "How else do you think he got all that filthy lucre he spends on you? Or more likely...on himself." It was almost amusing to see Ann flounder in her apparent ignorance, as though it was possible for someone supposedly so close to Kajiki to be utterly ignorant of what he did. Looks like she had her answer after all, about whether Kajiki really loved her.

"So what will you do, girl?" Shiro folded her arms. "You can go ahead, run to the police if you want. They might do something...if you can tell them enough. On the other hand, I will not rely on such things."

Before she could continue to lecture Ann, she had pointed out the Metaverse app. "Huh? If you want to send me a missive...forget about it. I'm not waiting for you to call me..." Even so, she brought out her own phone. It was looking rather beaten up. Would be time to...appropriate a new one soon. And there it was, right there. "You. Did you send this to me? I told you, I'm not interested..."
 
The discussion between the vice president and the student librarian could be heard from inside the library. "I assure you, I am well aware of the situation and have already narrowed down the suspects," Sougo replied to the student, reassuring her that the situation was under control. "Wait...didn't I lock this door?" The librarian wondered out loud, as she opened the door. And just like that, the door opened, revealing the people who have entered the library through questionable means.

"You....how did any of you get in?!" The librarian questioned in a panic only for Sougo to place his hand on her shoulder. "Oops....I must have forgotten to lock it up just now. Don't worry, I'll lock once I am done with the catalog.." The librarian seemed hesitant at first but eventually nodded in agreement, leaving Sougo to deal with these troublemakers. "I hope both of you have a good reason to be in the library, outside of its operating hours." It was pretty obvious that Sougo lied to the librarian for their sake. The young was an enigmatic fella, his intentions were always difficult to understand, but most people he is a fairly reasonable person to be friends with. One of them was Shiro, a troublemaker girl who he had already suspected had connections with the recent surge in gang violence. The blonde was the Kajiki's girlfriend, though he suspects that the relationship is largely one-sided.
 

That Weird girl

Reach Out to the Truth
“What? I didn’t send you anything,” Ann responded to her. She didn’t even know what this app was let alone how to share it with people. She heaved a sigh not knowing what to do and was about to answer when she saw the Librarian and internally panicked since she didn’t realize the time.

Thankfully Sougo was there to help although sometimes Ann didn’t always know his intentions. Why did he save them getting in trouble? Either way Ann thought she would benefit from having him as a friend. He probably wouldn’t want to associate with her though because of Kajiki.

“I’ll think of something,” Ann said to Shiro and turned to Sougo, “Ummmmm we were just discussing about this book and time just flew by….won’t happen again Agata Senpai.”

There was no way in hell Sougo would believe that but Ann hoped he would just lecture them. She didn’t need her parents knowing about this or Kajiki. She wondered if she could call the police on him and have them do anything.
 

Nellancholy

One Thousand Club
And here came along the respectable, clean cut golden boy, trying to protect them from getting into trouble. As though there was a lot that librarian could do to them in the moment. Maybe he wanted something from them. Or at least try to improve his already popular image in front of others. Ann wasn't necessarily the best regarded, but definitely sympathetic enough to most people. But helping someone like Shiro herself? Agata wouldn't gain anything from that...right?

Either way, she chose to regard him with a certain coldness, not bothering to adjust her posture as he approached. "No reason that'd be good enough for the likes of you." Flipping the book around in her hand, she slid it back into its place on the shelf. "Besides, I won't be staying here long. If you're interested in patrolling this school for miscreants, you may as well turn your eyes to see if any of Kajiki's knaves are still hanging around making a nuisance of themselves."
 
Their reasonings were...questionable at best, but there is no benefit to making enemies needlessly, even if one of them was one of the culprits for the current gang wars. "Right...." he responded to Ann's reasoning with a skeptical snark before turning his attention to Shiro. "What an....interesting comment... you seem to know a lot about these gang wars huh?" He rubbed his chin and smiled. "Publically, we haven't given any of the gangs any names....but you seem to have identified them so easily.." He grinned, implying that he already knew about her involvement. "Oh and Ann...would you mind passing a message to Kajiki for me?" He gave her a pleasant smile before relaying her the message. "If he continues his...activities... he's gonna have a really bad time. The same goes for everyone anyone else involved." He gave them both a sly smile as he slid a few books into the shelves. All these gang fights were causing problems for the school, and if they were causing problems to the school, they were causing problems for him. He already had an idea of how to stop the fights, but he wanted to squeeze out more "value" from it.
 

That Weird girl

Reach Out to the Truth
Ann nodded and sent the message that he had asked her to send. She was planning to leave as well as soon as they were done with Sougo. She did not know how well it would go with Kajiki now that he knew she was caught by Sougo. Why couldn’t he tell him? Was he that sly? What value could be found from this situation? Either way Ann knew that she had to make it up to Shiro somehow since she did tell her the truth and she also did spread those nasty rumors about her…oof that wasn’t a very good look for the blonde.

She thought maybe she could get the heat off of Shiro, “actually I know some information that could be useful to the school,” Ann said, “if you don’t get her in trouble.” That was a lie. Ann didn’t know anything about the situation but she figured if Sougo knew that then she could infer that he knew about the situation and who’s involved.

“Kajiki is with the mob,” Ann said to Sougo, “he is doing many illegal-“ suddenly she was being transported as her surroundings changed to a Japanese castle and she was confused. “What just happened?” She took out her phone and saw that one of the options on that Metaverse app was unlocked.

“What are you doing out of your cells?!” A samurai guard barked at the two girls and started walking towards them. Ann backed up, “ummm what?” The samurai didn’t answer as he drew his katana out but stopped for a second as he looked at Shiro, “you…you are killed on sight.” Ann rubbed her eyes to be certain that this was happening and she wasn’t dreaming, “wait! Who are you and why are you killing her!” The guard turned to Ann and looked confused for a second.

He then turned back to Shiro but Ann spoke again, “Wait!” He was annoyed and kicked Ann in the chest knocking her down to the floor out cold.
 

Nellancholy

One Thousand Club
"Indeed, I am well aware of what is transpiring." Instinctively, Shiro's fists balled up as Sougo tried to play coy with her. "Kajiki's goons have been treading on my domain. Trying to...exploit my friends. Or just trying to practice their own brand of violence on us. To no avail, I might add." A defiant smile crept onto her face as she recollected her experience beating those thugs. "If you wish to do something by yourself, you'd better-"

A wave of red and black overtook Shiro's gaze. It looked...almost like that app on Ann's phone. "Better- ah..." Her senses faltered for a moment, and she found herself staggering unsteadily. The ornate but utterly hostile room that surrounded them felt...real. Very real. Almost too real, like it was being beamed directly into their brains, bypassing their eyes, ears, their nerves...

Where they were...was a prison. And no prison was without its guards. She had barely steadied herself when the samurai all but materialized, barking orders at Ann...and a threat at Shiro. Ann tried to intervene, taking a kick for her troubles. That was it. She had no idea what was going on, but she knew a thug when she saw one. And so...

She took a step back, a wave of her hand pulling out the switchblade in her jacket pocket, which opened with a click. "Killed on sight? That's a new one." A desperate laugh escaped her lips. "Come on then! Come and take me!" She had no idea who...or what was before her, but the sword it wielded was clear as day. Was she really about to fight...? A blade was just a blade in the end, and as long as she could read that thing's movements, she could jam that knife into-

It swung, a wide cleave that could take off her head. Shiro ducked and sprung forward, the knife aimed straight at the neck of the strange creature. And the blade struck...nothing. Or more like it seemed to cut through nothing more than a shadow, or a cloud of mist. No sooner had Shiro landed on her feet than a sharp pain sliced through her body, like nothing she had felt before.

"God...damn it...urgh...!" The girl fell to her knees, ragged coughs erupting from her throat. No blood flowed, but rather it seemed like an entire chunk was gouged off her body. Her vision dimmed, as she fought to remain conscious...
 
"Hmm interesting..." the mysterious figure spoke, walking into the scene with a regal cloak while clapping in a condescending manner. "So you two have the potential as well?" the figure laughed as welcomed the two with open arms. "Welcome.....to the Meta Verse!" It was...funny to say the least since one of them was completely knocked out while the other was struggling to stay conscious.
8b110ad365d2d00922ad6efc11f217ea.jpg
The samurai did not respond kindly to this stranger turning his back on him, immediately attempting to bisect the figure only for him to disappear from sight, leaving a bewildered samurai. Noticing a presence behind him, the samurai slowly swivels his head to the back before being cleanly cleaved in two by the figure's bare hands. The two parts of its body began to dissolve rapidly, including the black residue on the figure's hands. He turned to the two girls and shrugged, leaving them some healing items on the floor. No sense in helping them too much. They probably haven't even awakened yet. "I'll be seeing you two.." he said with a playful tilt to his head. And with that, the figure let out a sinister laugh that echoed throughout the area before disappearing from sight.
 

That Weird girl

Reach Out to the Truth
“wake up pigtails,” Justine said as she was waiting for Ann to wake up by her cell so she could take her to Igor. Ann slowly woke up and looked around in amazement, this place was pretty cool looking. Minus the fact that she was in a cell of course since she wondered if that was because of Kajiki. Fucking bastard. Ann wanted him to feel the weight of his actions and she might have found out how.

“Are you ready to see our master inmate?!” Lyka snapped at her making Ann jump a little. She then saw Shiro in a cell across from her and gave a friendly smile even though Shiro had made it clear that she never wanted to help her out. “Who is your master?” Ann asked.

“Be respectful inmate!” Lyka snapped yet again making Ann jump. Soon a pointy nose man entered the room and looked at the two girls as he sat at his desk, “I am Igor. I have brought you both here to start your rehabilitation…you must start for there is a coming ruin that requires you both to be strong. All you need to do is sign this contract.” Igor brought a clipboard to both Ann and Shiro.

Ann didn’t know what to do but she had nothing to lose anymore so she signed it. Hopefully this would help her take down Kajiki but she knew Shiro needed to be strong if they would have a chance.

Back in the palace Ann began to wake up feeling more powerful. She glanced at the healing items and wondered who gave them it. Either way some samurai guards came in looking angry and pointed their katanas at Ann. Ann smirked at them not scared at all anymore.

“I am thou, thou art I. Feel the wrath of the femme fatal.” A whirlwind surrounded Ann and a mask formed on her face that she ripped off to unleash her persona. Carmen appeared next to Ann of and threw fire at the guards burning them alive.

“Seize Lady Ann!” A golden samurai captain yelled and more samurai came charging at Ann.
 

Nellancholy

One Thousand Club
The next layer felt strange and murky. Unlike the palace, it felt less real, a vision barely rising up from the subconscious. The strange man, the fierce woman, and the playful boy that greeted them in a hall of blue velvet. She remembered signing something. Never sign something, and definitely not a confession. But that wound, if she could call it that, was healed. The clinging shadows and the hole gouged into her seemed to fill up and flake away as she signed the agreement. Her body felt its strength return, and with a rush of wind...

...she was back in the palace, kneeling on the solid floor outside the jail cell. Her head felt heavy, as if a millstone had been tied around her neck. Pants and gasps escaped her lips as she struggled against the weight, flames dancing around her as Ann laid waste to their otherworldly assailants. The infernal heat seemed to creep up her spine, the back of her head aching as if something was trying to burrow into her head.

The weight grew only stronger, and Shiro could barely manage to scream as she fell flat onto the ground. This was the moment. She could stay fallen, or she could embrace that power with which she could shatter chains and ignite the flames of rebellion.

"Knaves...I...I shall not fall here." She spat. "You won't stop me from returning to my sisters." The flames surrounding her turned blue, as a wave of ice surged from her brain. The weight coalesced into a biker's helmet, encasing her head with the power of her resolve.

I am thou.

Thou art I.

Let's tear up the sky together, and bring it down on these assholes' heads.

Take the power of the protector for those who deserve it, and damn everyone else.

All you need to do is call my name...

A satisfied grin formed on Shiro's face as she reached up, closing the visor down on her face.

"I hear you. Come to me...Thrud!"

A sound like a house of glass shattering split the air as the blue flames gathered, solidifying into the form of an armored shieldmaiden borne aloft on bladed wings. The imposing figure fell down with a loud clang, and with a flick of her wings, several of the samurai fell apart as easily as chopped wood.
 

That Weird girl

Reach Out to the Truth
Ann was taken back as several samurai was sliced apart by a figure's wings. She turned back to Shiro who had seemed like she went through the same thing she did. "What happened to you? What happened to me? Never mind that we need to get back before we attract any more of them." Ann picked up the healing stuff that Sougo had left for them kindly. "One problem...I don't know where the hell we are..." Ann gulped and looked around the area for any clues of how to get out.

"Lady Ann and a criminal?" Morgana muttered to himself as he had watched the event happen between the samurai and the persona users. He could use their help for stealing the treasure and the fact that they just awakened means that they could help with the Metaverse. Morgana started to rattle on his cage hoping to get their attention. Ann turned towards the cat person with a confused expression, they have a cat prisoner?

"I can help you both with the basics of the Metaverse if you help me with something," Morgana said to her, "you guys will be killed by shadows without my help." Ann doubted that and chuckled at the cat, "What do you mean killed by shadows? Haven't you seen us? We are powerful." Morgana shook his head knowing about Sougo and that he could be swayed to be a mercenary if the value was good. "You don't get it Lady Ann," He sighed, "there are more dangerous individuals and if you don't know how to get an edge on combat then you are dead..."

"What could a cat teach us?" Ann asked, "also Shiro is probably mad at me for putting us in danger so the last I can do is get us out of here." Morgana's eyes lit up, "YES I can help you escape if you let me out...but you owe me for this." Ann then blasted fire at his cage lock to free him.
 

Nellancholy

One Thousand Club
Shiro exhaled, taking a knee as their assailants melted away. For all her fury and bluster, simply calling forth Thrud for a minute had left her drained. Ann, ever the opportunist, had apparently lost no time making conversation with another one of the inhabitants of this deadly place. Apparently, she wasn't too worried about the possibility of it turning into yet another monster and trying to tear them apart.

Well, it definitely wasn't too threatening. It appeared, in fact, to be some manner of capering, big-headed jester. No doubt some kind of servant to this castle's master. Hauling herself to her feet, Shiro lumbered over to the creature, resting her hand gently but surely on its neck. "You needn't speak of life and death with us, stranger. I trust you...we trust you to lead us out of this place. Or else..."

She turned as firmly as she could, pushing Morgana forward to take the lead. Standing up straight, she made sure to keep herself between the creature and Ann, without being too conspicuous.
 

That Weird girl

Reach Out to the Truth
"How dare you threaten me," Morgana said glaring at Shiro, "you know who I am?" The cocky 13 year old was a little frightened but he was still aa loudmouth and a dick to some extent. He had no choice and he rather not be torn apart by Thrud so he did as told and lead them out of the castle to get them out of there. "What happened to us?" Ann asked curiously not doing anything to help the creature against Shiro's threats since she had no reason to do so.

"You both are persona users," Morgana explained, "personas are deep in one's personality but not everyone has one...except one man who I see hanging around this palace but he doesn't seem interested in helping me with my plan to steal the treasure of the lord Kajiki- he actually put me in jail which is why I need your guys help in defeating him and stealing the treasure."

Ann thought about this for a moment to process this, "So this other persona user put you in jail and you want us to fight him and steal the treasure for you? Yeah no thanks.." Morgana shook his head trying to appeal to the girls, "no no, we would be getting the treasure and I can help you out Lady Ann." He figured trying to appeal to Ann was better than Shiro since she seemed like she would listen to him more. He then lead them to the entrance , if only they gave him a chance to explain more but he would travel to the human world if need be.
 

Nellancholy

One Thousand Club
"We are not some workers for hire, buffoon." Shiro scoffed at Morgana. "Not for you, anyway." As she returned to the material world, her body felt lighter but just as drained, almost as if she had been deflated like a balloon. There they were, still in the library. Almost as if the past hour or so hadn't happened. But that strange creature was still there, a testament to their strange escapade. Of course it was able to follow them. Does that mean...it would stay here and continue to be an annoyance?

"Whatever treasure you seek after in that castle, you may as well hurry back and take for yourself." With the otherworldly danger they just faced, Shiro's purpose felt ever more certain than before. "The only thing I want is Kajiki...dead." Her voice lowered as she said that. She might or mightn't have actually meant that, though her words certainly didn't carry quite as much conviction as she may have liked. "...I just want my domain and my friends out of his grip. Whatever it takes to do that, I don't care."
 

That Weird girl

Reach Out to the Truth
"You want Kajiki dead?" Morgana asked as he was a black cat now and would meow to anyone except Sougo, Ann, Shiro. He looked at her and knew how to kill him mentally but he was not sure if she really wanted that since if he was dead it would not help anything. He would not be able to admit what he did to them and the school. "I know how to kill Kajiki," Morgana said, "but you will need to listen to me and not threaten me. Ask Nicely."

Ann rolled her eyes at the two before turning her attention to Sougo still there and quickly moved in front of Morgana hoping to hide him from sight. "I texted Kajiki the thing you asked me to...now can I go? Me and Shiro were going to go to the mall." Ann lied about that part but she wanted to talk to Shrio alone and with Morgana too.

"No way...Sougo..." Morgana muttered to himself as he caught glimpse of the man before Ann blocked his sight, "that guy is here?"

TreasureSniper TreasureSniper
 
"Oh?" Sougo turned around to greet them while he was in the middle of arranging some books. "Ow you guys are still here. Shouldn't you guys be leaving by now?" he added, seemingly confused on why they were still here despite saying they were going to leave soon. He heard Ann's response as well as a voice that he had heard in another place. "Good I look forward to his reply.." He smiled and turned around, continuing his catalog work.

"Oh...and one more thing..." Sougo spoke with looking at them. "You do know the school has a very strict no animals policy right? I like cats as much as the next guy, so I won't report it this time. But I don't think the other council members are as forgiving." He gave them stern warning. "And don't try to do anything stupid against Kajiki. He is a lot more powerful than you think." Once again, Sougo gave an ominous warning, almost if he knows than he lets on, which seems to be running theme with him. "Delivering the message to him should be more than sufficient..."
 

That Weird girl

Reach Out to the Truth
"You are much more forgiving than Niijima san," Ann commented, "I don't know why mr. Whiskers is with us...must have escaped my bag." Morgana was about to protest about the name Ann gave him but he stayed silent since he did not want to get in trouble again. Thank god that Makoto was not here to see Morgana Ann thought to herself since she would not be as kind to the two about having a cat with them. She nodded and thought about him saying that Kajiki was more powerful than they thought, "We won't try anything stupid on him right Shiro?" Ann asked and it kinda felt like he was giving a warning about facing him in that other world too strangely.

Morgana knew he wanted to protect his assets and was trying to scare them. The cat wanted to give him a piece of his mind and that he would take that treasure with the help of the two girls. "Think you're going to scare us?" Morgana said to Sougo, "under my guidance they are going to be fine-" Ann then stopped Morgana up and put him in her bag.

"Hey!" Morgana yelped and meowed, "not done with him yet! OW!" Ann then turned to leave the library before more people noticed them.

Nellancholy Nellancholy TreasureSniper TreasureSniper
 

Nellancholy

One Thousand Club
A few days later...

Sunlight filtered in through the windows of the abandoned building Shiro and her friends were hiding out in. She'd overslept again. It was getting harder and harder to relax, thinking about the experience she had a few days ago. An experience that she could not deny, not with the strange being in her head exhorting her to fight, to show her strength, to take the fight to Kajiki and anyone else who cared to threaten their domain.

Exhaling, she sat up in her futon, looking around the room. The rooms and hallways the group had cleared out weren't the least bit dusty, but maybe a little grimy. This room was pretty large, probably used as some kind of meeting room or classroom by the last people to inhabit it "legally". Electricity covertly channeled from the nearest electrical transformer by some of the other squatters powered dim fluorescent lights and a few other appliances in the room, like a couple of stand fans, a hot plate, and a mini fridge that couldn't be counted on for more than a day or two.

Everyone else was out already. The more...put-together members of the group were probably at their "part time" jobs, while the rest were probably...hustling somewhere.

Or so she thought.

"Banchou! Banchou!" A girl's voice called from outside as she knocked on the door to the meeting room. Without waiting, the girl barged in. The willowy girl, Koyuki, was the closest thing to a second-in-command the group had. A former member of a rising idol group, she was made to "graduate" after some overzealous fans noticed her going out with a boy her own age. Her parents, apparently unhappy with the loss of their future golden goose, began neglecting and starving her, driving her to flee her own home as well. Typical parents, unable to handle the truth or accepting the ways their children changed.

But that was the past. A new crisis had just begun. Shiro sighed, drawing her hand across her tired face. "I hear you, Koyuki-dono. Speak."

"Banchou!" Koyuki panted. "T-those bastards...Kajiki's swine! They've...they've set fire to the building opposite, the old cinema!"

"Fuck..." Shiro grunted under her breath. The fact that they were even able to get into the slums, and so close to Shiro's base of operations was bad enough. Now they were setting fire to buildings? The cinema was across a wide street, meaning they weren't in any immediate danger, but..."Fire department will be coming."

"Uh-huh." Koyuki's face turned grim as she nodded. "And this land and these buildings still belong to some rich fiends..."

"Which means Kajiki's yakuza friends likely bade him commit a little insurance fraud. AND take the opportunity to try and intimidate us too. Well, it's not working."

"W-well, it's not just that." Koyuki gulped. "It's obviously arson, so that means the police will be here soon too..."

A chill came over Shiro as the color drained from her face. "And if they see anyone squatting in the area...they'll try to make us 'move along'. Or arrest us. Or...take some of us back to their parents."

"Truly sagacious of you, Banchou." Even then, Koyuki did not cease with her flattery. "Might I suggest grabbing what we can and regrouping?"


Banchou @ 3:30 pm: Office building got exposed. Regroup at park once you're off work.

With that text message fired off to the group members, Shiro and Koyuki sat in the park, large plastic bags of food, clothes, and a couple of tents sitting by them.

"What a relief..." Koyuki sighed. "...we got most of the essentials, anyway."

"Yes, essential." Shiro rolled her eyes. "As our freedom is essential."

"Guess we'll have to find a new place, huh?"

"A new place...any place we could fit in is a place some mob, corporation, or the police are going to stick their filthy hands into." Shiro felt that strange blue fire flow through her again. "Banchou doesn't know what we'll do about that...but I know one place to start." Pulling out her cracked phone, Shiro opened the Metaverse app, sending another message to Ann.

Shiroko to Ann: Hey blondie. When are you and that dumbass cat ready to go back into that castle and take the fight to Kajiki? I will settle for no less than his head next time.
 

That Weird girl

Reach Out to the Truth
Ann finally got the courage to break up with Kajiki and it had been more peaceful for her but of course Kajiki was salty about losing his number one fan and it would be likely that he would find another one. Ann didn't really care about the death threats that Kajiki or his goons gave her because it meant nothing anymore. Ann could use the metaverse to kick their ass and she could also kill Kajiki with Shiro if she wanted but a part of her wanted him to spill everything he did to the masses.

Ann to Shiroko: Just about! Me and Morgana are just eating at a diner...about to pay the bill and will meet up with you soon.

Ann put her phone down on the table shutting it off for a moment. Morgana was eating some of her meat on a plate that she put it on. She was eager to go to the castle again and fight Kajiki and his goons to see if she and SHiro could make it to Kajiki although a part of her worried about the man and that he would put a hitch in their plans somehow but she knew with Shiro they would be fine.

A waitress came back with the bill for Ann to pay and quickly Ann hid Morgana. Ann gave a smile thanking her and paid the bill as she got up to leave the diner to meet Shiro. For that she had to go on the subway to meet her since she was pretty far away or at least where her hideout was...the news covered a fire happing of the old cinema and Ann knew who it was. She was not going to be naive about it...but that made her in trouble maybe since she was affiliated with Kajiki, well used to be.

It would not be below Kajiki to slander her and put the blame on her. Ann clenched her fists knowing that Kajiki would drag her under. "Looks like we need to stop him," Morgana commented to Ann, "he is hurting a lot of people...and he might frame you." Ann nodded but they would need more help to deal with Kajiki but who? He wondered if she could convince Sougo to help the three out.

She walked outside and made her way to the subway to go to their hangout spot which was the park. Not the best hangout spot but they were new to this whole thing who could blame them? One thing was that Ann did not know was that Shiro's friends were at the park and they would for sure hate her or at lease think she is a privileged rich blonde fiend.

On the subway Ann sat down on a seat which was pretty lucky to spot. It seemed everyone was going somewhere and the streets of Tokyo were packed like always. She watched the other people on the subway while she waited for her stop.

mysteryxio mysteryxio
 
Leon was scrolling through his phone, not in looking for anything specific, merely trying to pass the time. He was on his way to...well he didn't really have a destination in mind. He didn't want to stay in his house or spend time with his family. He knew that he'd been distant lately, but there was no way for him to talk to them. No way that they'd understand how he felt. His friends were the same way. How could he explain that he never really felt original or that he was his own person. Lately he'd just felt numb.

He passed by a man standing on a crate who seemed to be trying to get people to listen to him. He was wearing a suit and seemed like he understood the politics he was talking about but the crowd was only half convinced. Leon kept walking, nearly getting bumped into by a kid running in a "GET SMOKED" who apologized as he kept running. Eventually, he found himself in front of the subway and a weird thought crossed his mind. Maybe a ride on the train will put me on a path. As odd as it sounded perhaps there was a way for randomness to guide him somewhere. At least it'd keep him occupied.

Trying to board a subway was like trying to defuse a bomb, at least when you had somewhere to be. While it always sucked being stuck in a confined space with way to many people, sometimes there were moments where you'd be able to find somewhere to sit and not have to stand and hold on for who knows how long. That was the case for Leon this time around, as he found himself a space somewhat close to the doors. He put in some headphones so that he wouldn't hear where he got off, but not before hearing a "Meow" come from somewhere. Leon searched for the noise but didn't see anything. Were pets allowed on the subway? He shrugged then played a list of songs on his phone as he shut his eyes and allowed his mind to calm.
 

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