Persona 5: The Royal Journey of Ren Amamiya - Chapter 1 - HellKaiser (2024)

Chapter Text

In a new fanfic that has a completely unoriginal title, I present to you the Royal Journey of Ren Amamiya. Bear with me, this explanation is gonna be long, but I need to explain a couple things. Now of course, rules from Golden Journey will still apply, this time I’m giving life to Ren instead of Yu Narukami. Now, to be honest, I was between either Ren or Akira Kurusu, but Ren kinda rolls off the tongue better than Akira for me. Not that I don’t like the name Akira of course. Pretty nice that both names for the Persona MC are really f*cking good. Anyways, another thing is I am going to not only give life to Ren, but I also want to fix a problem I noticed in Persona 5, which was a lack of character interactions based on choices, in particular not being able to make your best friend jealous (Or congratulate you in Ryuji’s case) due to what girl you dated or took on a date like in Persona 4 Golden. Finally, like Golden Journey, this will be a harem. Considering I like the female cast of Persona 5 better than Persona 4, this is gonna be a large harem. Be warned. Now, without further adieu, let’s get into Chapter 1. I don’t own Persona, Atlus does

Chapter 1: The Beginnings of the Trickster

A woman strode confidently into an unknown room. She stood at five foot six, fairly tall for a woman, with c-cup breasts clad modestly in a dark suit. She had long, silver hair that reached her upper back, parted to the right. Her eyes were brown, and she wore a black business with a black turtleneck underneath. On her feet, she wore black high heels, and what appeared to be pantyhose if you looked really closely. Around her neck, she wore a necklace that bore a section sign emblem, showing that she held a position in the judicial system. In addition, she wore a pair of earrings and a few dark hair clips pinned over her right ear. This woman was prosecutor Niijima Sae. She walked over to a table in the middle of the room and sat down, looking towards the young man sitting opposite of her.

He stood at around 5’9 (though was currently sitting), and had an athletic build. He had a pale complexion, with unkempt, messy black hair that fell over his gray eyes, which were normally sharp and gave off an intense gaze. He wore a red-buttoned black blazer, and on his pocket was the emblem for his high school, Shujin Academy. He also wore a white turtleneck shirt with chevron detailing on the collar underneath the blazer, and wore slim red pants with a plaid pattern. On his feet, he wore black, laced dress boots. He looked like he had been through a lot, as there were visible bruises on his face from what appeared to be a very harsh beating, and his eyes seemed dull now. This young man was Amamiya Ren, a seemingly normal high school student.

“...I had my suspicions, but I didn’t expect it’d be you.” Sae expressed, slightly surprised, but mostly disappointed. Her face grew serious. “You’ll be answering my questions this time.” Her eyes fell on a syringe needle on the ground, and her fist clenched in righteous anger. “Those bastards…” It had been pretty clear that in addition to the beatings, he had also been drugged. “Can you hear me, Amamiya-kun?” she asked, leaning her head over and raising her voice. She was both cautious and concerned about the young man sitting in front of her “It seems you’ve been through a lot. Almost anything can happen here…and I can’t stop them. That’s why I need you to answer me honestly. I don’t have much time either.” She leaned back, arms crossed. “What was your objective? Why did you cause such a major incident? I didn’t think it was a prank from the get-go, but I couldn’t assemble a case for prosecution. It’s because I couldn’t figure out the method behind it.”

“Of course you couldn’t…” Ren finally spoke up, his voice hoarse. He had been trying to recall something he was supposed to do, but the drugs in his system and the beatings had taken a massive toll on not only his body, but his mind as well.

Come on Ren. Remember the plan! a voice called from inside him. He seemed to have a french accent, and a jovial one at that.

Arsene…’ Ren thought to himself. He was trying to remember what he was supposed to do, his hazy memories clearing up slightly as he picked up the pieces. The voice’s encouragement had helped him.

“True. There’s no way I could be convinced of such a ‘world’ just by reading the reports. It seems you’re coherent.” She then began her interrogation. “When and where did you find out about that world? How is it even possible to steal another’s heart? Now, tell me your account of everything…Start from the very beginning. Please…for me.” Sae’s last words almost seemed like a plea

Ren then put his right hand to his head, as he started to recall how he got here in the first place. The events that happened since he arrived in Tokyo, and led him to this point. Then, time seemed to stop, as the world darkened, and a blue butterfly appeared. He then heard a young woman’s voice.

“A prisoner of fate to a future that has been sealed in advance. This is truly an unjust game…Your chances of winning are almost none. But if my voice is reaching you, there may yet be a possibility open to you…I beg you. Please overcome this game…and save the world…The key to victory lies within the memories of your bonds–the truth that you and your friends grasped. It all began that day…when the game started half a year ago…For the sake of the world’s future…as well as your own…you must remember…”

‘This voice…’ Ren thought as he had heard this voice not once, not twice, but many times on his journey. He had always wondered who this voice belonged to, but could never find the answer. However, he did know it had a tendency to appear when he established a bond or when he needed it the most, like it did on his first day at school…’ Wait! I remember!’ Ren exclaimed in his mind. He then began his tale “It all started the day I arrived in Tokyo…”


Ren woke up. He took in his surroundings. He had fallen asleep while riding the train he was on, heading towards Tokyo, or Shibuya to be more exact. Besides not being beaten and drugged like he was in that unknown room, this Ren is wearing glasses on his face. The train’s P.A system then comes on.

“Ladies and gentleman, thank you for riding with us today. We will be arriving in Shibuya shortly. This is the last stop of this line. Please transfer here for all subway lines. The doors to your left will be open.”

Ren then looked down, recalling what got him on a train to Tokyo in the first place. A small flashback played in his mind. It showed him witnessing a woman getting accosted by a drunk man. He had stepped in, grabbing the man’s shoulder. The man spun around to see who had touched him, but in his drunken state, he couldn’t keep his footing and he fell on the sidewalk, gashing his forehead. Ren stared at his hands, shocked by what he had done, even though he really hadn’t done anything, before the man recovered, declaring he would sue him. The flashback concluded with the police arresting him, taking him away to his hometown’s local jail.

‘That trial…was a nightmare.’ Ren thought as his fists clenched as the images ended. He didn’t want to dare remember the rest. The way everyone treated him during and after his arrest, isolated and treated like garbage from his so called “friends” and “parents”. The trial where he would be quickly convicted, snuffing out any hope that he would be found innocent, even though it wasn’t very high in the first place. And the disappointment he saw from his teachers, who didn’t think he was capable of doing something like that. He wasn’t.

He had done the right thing, and what was his reward? A criminal record and scorn from his hometown. The life he had in that place was gone.

Not that I enjoyed it there in the first place…’ Ren thought with some venom. He then overheard two girls talking about something that would prove to be intriguing.

“What? Are you for real? A mental Shutdown?” the first girl exclaimed

“It’s the truth!” the other girl insisted

“To a person? That’s gotta be a joke,” her friend dismissed, “You really love that occult stuff, don’t you?”

Mental Shutdowns?’ Ren had heard only bits and pieces about that stuff, as he hadn’t bothered to pay much attention to it. All he knew was that it was something that had been going on for a while. His train eventually reached Shibuya and he got off, changing stations to take him to a small area called Yongen-Jaya.

As he reached a crossing, he looked up from his phone, which he had been using to get to the next train station, and noticed all the people walking back and forth. It was a bit overwhelming for someone who came from a small town. ‘ I knew Tokyo was big, but…’ His thoughts were interrupted when he heard a beep from his phone. His eyes widened in surprise when he saw a red and black app icon with an eye in the center, with a star-shaped pupil. The icon then grew larger, taking over almost all of his phone screen.

What the hell is this?’ Ren thought in bewilderment. He tried to tap the app to see if it would open, but nothing happened. Just then, as a man walked past him, talking loudly into his phone, he suddenly slowed to a dead stop. In fact, it wasn’t just him, everyone around him abruptly stopped where they stood. Cars, trains, trucks, bikes, all of them came to a complete standstill. ‘ What the hell? Did time just stop?’ he wondered. His panic and his uncertainty rose, wondering what in the hell was going on. He wasn’t really familiar with city life, but he definitely knew this wasn’t supposed to happen. His eyes landed on what only could be described as blue flames, which had erupted in the middle of the city square. As he watched, the fire began to take shape, transforming into a vague figure, a pair of what looked like wings snapping out behind it.

What’s going on?’ Ren wondered as he took in the scene in front of him. All of a sudden, where what would be the face, orange eyes and a mouth appeared, looking eerily similar to something you would find on a jack-o’-lantern. Then, through the flames, he saw himself, in a different set of clothes, yet his eyes shone with a bright yellow glow. Then…it was over. Everyone resumed moving. Ren looked around, and saw that no one else had seen what he had.

Was all that real? It felt like it.’ Ren then shook his head. ‘ I was probably just imagining things.’ He then looked at his phone, seeing the app still there. ‘ Maybe I shouldn’t mess with this app, just in case. It doesn’t even seem like it actually does anything’ With that in mind, he moved the app to the trash icon, deleting it from his phone. He then went back to what he was supposed to do: catching a train to Yongen-Jaya.

He hopped off the train, and walked right up the steps that would lead him to Yongen-Jaya. When he emerged, he walked into the residential area. It was small, but it had a convenience store, a second hand shop, and some other shops he didn’t give much thought to. If he had looked to his left, he would have seen a blue haired woman in a lab coat walk past him before turning a corner. ‘ Let’s see, I need to find Sakura Sojiro.’

He spotted a Police officer and felt a chill go up his spine, but thought it would be best to ask him for directions. “Excuse me.” he called to the officer, who turned to him. “Do you know where Sakura-san’s address is?”

“Hm? Sakura-san’s residence? It’s in an alley a bit further back. Take a right after that apartment with the stairs,” the police officer answered easily.

“Thank you.” Ren nodded before going on his way. He followed the officer’s direction and approached a part of the back alley that should lead to the house. As he walked, he overheard a young girl asking her mother why the officer was there, to which she answered that he was making sure people were safe. Ren held back a snort as he walked towards the Sakura residence. There was no way he could feel safe around cops.

It’s not like he didn’t think there weren’t cops with good intentions and wanted to help people, far from it. It’s that he came upon the truth that cops could fall prey to the whims of powerful people themselves. It was the police in his hometown that had made sure the name of the person who sued him would be scrubbed in the first place. Plus, he really didn’t have high opinions of anyone who was a part of that fiasco, since it changed his life for the worse. The drunk man who was apparently some big shot, the police who arrested him, and the woman he protected. Though the last one is a topic for another time.

He approached the house, and on the nameplate was “Sakura”, so he was definitely in the right place. He rang the doorbell, but after waiting for what felt like 5 minutes, no one answered. ‘ I’m sure I’m in the right place. Maybe he’s gone out.’ He was then broken out of his thoughts by the voice of a delivery man, holding a package in his right hand.

“Looks like no one’s home,” The man concluded, “Oh yeah, Sakura-san’s usually at his cafe around this time.”

‘Oh yeah, I was told that he owned a cafe,’ Ren recalled, ‘Where was that again?’

“Well, Leblanc’s in the back alley, so I should make my other deliveries first…” The delivery man continued “Mmm, next I need to take this package to…” He trailed off, as he went back to his delivery truck and hopped in the driver’s seat.

‘Huh, well I guess that answers my question.’ Ren thought, ‘Back alley…yeah, I think I can find that myself. I really don’t want to have to talk to that cop again.’ He walked away from the residence, and after around a minute of searching, he found the back alley that led to the cafe, labeled Leblanc. ‘This must be the place.’ He took a deep breath, before finally entering to the sound of a bell.

The cafe itself looked pretty…cozyl. It had a bar with five stools, one of which was occupied by a middle-aged man playing with a crossword puzzle. There were also three booths to sit at, one occupied by an elderly couple. Beyond the booth and bar was a single bathroom. Near the bathroom, there was a set of stairs that probably led to an attic if Ren had to assume. The TV in the back had the news on, something Ren decided to listen to.

“A public transit bus was driven down an opposing lane with its customers still in it! The citizens can’t live in peace if this keeps up.”

‘Another mental shutdown…’ Ren noted.

“How frightening.” The old man sitting at the booth commented.

“What could be going on? Didn’t something similar happen just the other day?” The old woman sitting across from the old man wondered.

The middle-aged man sitting on the bar seat didn’t seem to be paying attention, as he was absorbed in his crossword puzzle. “Vertical is…the name of a shellfish used for farming pearls…”

“Oysters,” Ren answered.

“Oysters…” the middle-aged man muttered, before filling out the vertical line with the word. He smiled. “You’re right. Thank you…” He turned to the source of the voice who gave him the answer, before his eyes widened slightly, seemingly recognizing Ren. “Oh right. They did say that was today.”

‘So he must be Sakura-san,’ Ren concluded

“We’ll be going now. The payment’s on the table.” the old man told the older man now known as Sakura, getting up.

“Thanks for coming.” the cafe owner said politely.

“This place is in the back alley, so there’s no worries of a car crashing here.” The old man remarked.

“Crashing?” the man known as Sakura asked, confused by the man’s words

“There’s been a string of those rampage accidents, you know. I just hope none of them happen around here.” The old man clarified.

‘He’s got a point. These alleyways are way too small for a car to fit in. Plus, this place has a very quiet vibe to it. It feels like a place you could hang out at for hours on end, and lose track of time.” Ren analyzed

“It’s none of my concern,” the cafe owner dismissed.

“Haha, well, see you next time,” the old man said, before departing with his wife, a bell chiming as they left.

“...Four hours for just a single cup of joe,” the restaurant owner grumbled, before his focus switched to Ren, laying his newspaper on the bar. “So, you’re Amamiya Ren?”

“Yes. You must be Sakura-san then?” Ren presumed, to which the cafe owner nodded.

“That’s right. I’m Sakura Sojiro,” he said, introducing himself, “I’m not too big on formalities, so you can call me Sojiro.” He was a man with slicked back black hair and a receding hairline, gray eyes and a and goatee, the latter flaring out slightly. He wore glasses, along with a pink dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up, a black and white pinstripe apron, khakis that had the pants legs folded up to mid calf, and white loafers. “As you’re already aware, you’ll be in my custody over the next year. You’ve been told right? A customer of mine was contacted by your parent’s friend…”

“Yes.” Ren confirmed, “Although, one, I’d think he’d take offense to being called a friend. More like an acquaintance. Two, I find it funny you’d refer to a prosecutor as just a customer.”

“It doesn’t matter what profession a customer has, they’re all the same to me.” Sojiro waved him off. “Well, enough of that…Follow me.” The cafe owner started walking to the staircase Ren had noticed when he walked in. He followed the man up the stairs to wherever he was taking him. After less than a minute, which featured Sojiro opening a door that led to yet another set of stairs, they were finally in a dusty attic room, with a box in the middle of the floor. Not only was the attic space dusty, but very cluttered. There were trash bags and junk scattered throughout the area.

‘When was the last time this place was cleaned?’ Ren thought incredulously.

“This is your room.” Sojiro announced “I’ll at least give you sheets for your bed.” Sojiro took notice of Ren’s incredulous expression at the state of the attic. “You look like you wanna say something. Is it because the room’s a mess?”

“Uh, yeah. It’s pretty cluttered…” Ren muttered, rubbing the back of his head, before smiling. “I guess I have a lot of cleaning to do.”

“That’s the spirit.” Sojiro praised, before his expression became serious. “I’ll be leaving after I lock up each day. You’ll be alone at night, but don’t do anything stupid that’ll break your probation. Your character has been vouched for already, but I don’t know you. That’s why I won’t hesitate to throw you out if you cause trouble. Got it?”

“Yes sir.” Ren affirmed.

Sojiro sighed. “To be honest, I feel bad this is all I can give you, but I have some…personal reasons why I can’t have some kid I’ve taken in to living in my house. You understand, right?” Ren nodded, allowing Sojiro to continue. “Now, I got the gist of your situation: you protected some woman from a man forcing herself on her, he got injured, then sued you, right?” Ren flinched at being reminded of that night, but nodded nonetheless, something Sojiro took notice of. He sighed. “Look, I cannot blame you for doing that. A lot of people would in your situation. But this is what happens when you stick your nose in a matter between two adults. Especially those with money, power, or both. Your actions may have been for a noble cause, but in the face of those types of people, none of that matters. All it ended up getting you was a criminal record and an expulsion from your high school.”

Ren was silent for a few moments. Finally, he asked “Do you think I was wrong?” His voice was hoarse and vulnerable, as if he was on the verge of breaking down.

Sojiro picked up this, and walked up to the young man, putting his hand on his shoulder. He was only a few inches shorter than Ren, so it wasn’t too difficult. “I don’t,” he admitted, to Ren’s surprise, yet relief. “In that situation, I would have done the same thing. Just because I’m scolding you doesn’t mean I think you were wrong. I’m just telling you because the last thing any of us need is for you to get in another situation like that.” Sojiro paused for a moment, before he asked “Was there no other alternative? You couldn’t have just called the police?”

Ren clenched his fists. “I could have, but when I heard that woman’s cry for help, that was the furthest thing on my mind. Plus, the man himself said the police were his ‘bitches’ and one of the officers who ended up arresting me called him ‘sir.’ So even if I had called them, I’m pretty sure nothing would have happened to him. And besides, someone had already called them by the time I intervened.”

Sojiro started rubbing his forehead, feeling like he was about to suffer an incoming headache trying to wrap his mind around what Ren had just told him. “If I hadn’t gotten the vouches for your character, or if I hadn’t spent the last few minutes speaking to you, I would have assumed you were lying. Talk about unlucky, you not only cross paths with a guy with the ability to ruin your life, but also has the power to make even law enforcement bend the rules for him. Do you remember what the guy looks like?”

“No.” Ren answered regretfully, “It was dark, and I was too preoccupied with getting arrested. If I heard his voice again, I could probably identify him.”

“Like that will happen, but you never know. Life can be funny sometimes,” Sojiro said, before noticing Ren’s conflicted expression. He sighed again, usually not one to want to get too deep into someone else’s business. But since Ren was opening up to him, he couldn’t just not ask his next question. “Do you think you made the wrong decision?”

Ren started to shake, feeling like his emotions were going to burst, as he gave his answer “I don’t…but…with everything that has happened to me since that night, part of me has wondered what would have happened if I had just kept walking home. I’ve lost…a lot. Not even my own parents took my side, and now they want nothing to do with me. I never really had…the best relationship with them, but it still hurts.” The so-called delinquent felt some tears gather in his eyes, before he wiped them quickly. “Sorry about that. I kinda vented a bit too much there.”

“It’s fine,” Sojiro waved him off. “You’ve been through a lot. There’s nothing wrong with talking about it.” He walked past him, before giving him a pat on the back. “Your luggage arrived earlier. I left it over there.” He pointed at a box in the middle of the room. “Tomorrow, we’ll be heading to Shujin.”

“Do you know anything about that school?” Ren asked, having only basic information about his new school.

“Nope,” Sojiro answered curtly, “But it is one of the few places that’ll accept someone like you, so does it really matter?”

“I guess not,” Ren sighed, “Considering my record, my pool of school choices is limited.”

“It’s better to just count your blessings," the older man agreed, “I’m gonna head back downstairs. I have a business to run after all.” He started to head down the stairs, before stopping to give Ren one last suggestion. “If I were you, I’d start cleaning now.”

‘Don’t have to tell me twice,’ Ren thought, changing into more comfortable clothes he’d grabbed from the box, before he began his massive cleaning project. Said comfortable clothes were jeans, a black jacket, and a white t-shirt. The so-called delinquent had hoped that after cleaning, he could explore the area of Yongen-Jaya a bit more. Unfortunately, that was not gonna happen, as the cleaning took so much time that evening came quickly, and Ren felt a bit exhausted by the end of it. However, the once-dusty and cluttered room was now much more habitable. He now had a couch he could sit on, there was much less dust in the room than before, he had access to a clean table, which just had junk on it before, and his bed was properly made and cleaned. There was still some junk in the right corner of the room, but Ren was starting to feel exhausted from the toll of cleaning nonstop all day. His box had been put on the shelf near the stairs. Just as Ren had decided he was gonna call it a night, Sojiro walked in to check on him.

“What the heck? I knew you were cleaning, but…” Sojiro looked around the room in amazement, stroking his goatee as he took in the newly cleaned attic. He smirked. “The place doesn’t look too bad. Good job.”

“Thank you,” Ren replied, accepting the praise, “I think I might have gotten a bit carried away, but I don’t want to live in a pigsty.”

“That’s only natural,” Sojiro commented, “Why don’t you go to bed? You don’t have anything better to be doing, right?”

“I kinda wanted to explore a bit of the area after I cleaned, but this took a lot longer than I expected,” said Ren, before he yawned, “Yeah, I think I’ll hit the sack.”

“Alright. I’m going to close up shop and get out of here myself.” Sojiro turned to leave, but stopped. “Do you need anything else before I leave?”

“I don’t need anything,” was his answer, “However, I do have one question.”

“What is it?”

“How much sound can escape this room?” Ren inquired

Sojiro blinked “Huh? Why do you want to know that?”

“Well…” Ren began, a light blush starting to form on his cheeks “If I ever happen to bring a girl up here, and some…stuff happens…” Ren’s blush became brighter as he continued to answer.

Sojiro looked completely speechless. Only silence was present for a few moments, before the cafe owner finally broke the silence, a proud smile on the man’s face “...I think we’re gonna get along just fine.” He took a few steps down the stairwell “See you tomorrow.” he called, before he went downstairs, leaving Ren alone in his room once again.

‘Well, time to head to bed.’ Ren thought, as he changed out of his current attire, into his loungewear, which consisted of a black-long sleeved shirt, and olive green sleep pants. As he climbed into bed and laid his head on his pillow, Ren could only think back to the events that led him here in the first place


Ren was walking home from school, earlier than he usually did. His attire consisted of a baseball shirt that said “1797” over the front, gray jeans, and black sneakers. He carried his school bag over his left shoulder. The neighborhood looked the same. Same houses, same buildings, nothing too special. Suddenly, he heard a shout from a man coming from the incoming block

“Just get in the car!”

‘Huh?’ Ren thought. He had no time to ponder on that, because the next shout came from a woman this time.

“Stop it!” she cried

“What the hell?” Ren said aloud ‘It sounds like she’s in trouble…Don’t tell me…’ Ren started running. He turned a corner, and kept running straight, and sure enough, his worst suspicions came true: A woman was being forced upon by a drunk man.

“No!” she cried.

“Don’t give me that sh*t…” The man chided harshly. His grip on her tightened.

“Ow! P-Please Stop!”

“I can’t ignore this.” Ren muttered to himself, clenching his fists in rage at the scene in front of him. He walked up to the man and woman, as they continued to argue.

“Tch…what a waste of time. You think you’re worth causing me trouble? Huh?” he asked rhetorically.

“I-I’ll call the police!” she declared

“Heh, call them if you want!” the man dared her, “The police are my bitches. They’re not gonna take you seriously.” He used his free hand to grab the woman’s breast roughly.

“No…Stop…!” she weakly cried, seemingly pleading for someone, anyone to step in. All of a sudden, sirens began to be heard, seemingly getting closer to them

“Someone called the cops, huh? Get in the car!” he ordered the woman, “Incompetent fools like you just need to shut their mouths and follow where I steer this country!” He suddenly noticed Ren looking at him with an expression of rage, his fists clenched. The woman’s face turned to one of slight hope. “...What’re you looking at? Get outta my face!” He barked “This ain’t a show, Get lost, kid. See? This is all because you’re so damn slow! Get in the car!”

Flashback End

Ren cut back the memory there, as he didn’t feel like remembering the rest of what happened that night. Suddenly, his phone buzzed, and he went to check it out. It was a text message from an unknown number. It said:

???: Hello there, Ren.

Ren immediately became alarmed that some unknown person knew his name. He texted back

Ren: Who is this?

After a few moments, the person replied back.

???: That doesn’t matter. I have heard about your little predicament. All I want to say is,

???: You didn’t do anything wrong.

Ren was very confused on how to feel. This unknown person seemed to want to give him some words of encouragement. On one hand, he felt glad there was another person who sympathized with him. On the other hand, he was still cautious.

Ren: Thank you. Although, I don’t feel comfortable receiving thanks from someone I don’t even know the name of.

Ren waited for a reply back, and he got it a few moments later.

???: Fair enough. Call me Alibaba.

Ren: Nice to meet you, Alibaba.

Alibaba: Likewise. Although, this could be the last time I message you. I just wanted to do something good, that is all.

Ren pondered his next action very carefully. On one hand, getting a name was good enough for him, and he probably shouldn’t continue texting with an unknown stranger. It was probably better he just let this be the last interaction he has with this person, and continue on with his life. However, this person didn’t seem to have any ill intentions. What could someone possibly gain from learning about Ren’s predicament just to tell him he didn’t do anything wrong? There were probably some avenues, but they seemed too far-fetched. Could it really hurt to continue talking to this person? Ren’s intuition screamed a resounding no

Ren: Is there really no way we can continue to talk to each other?

Ren waited for a response, but got none for 5 minutes. Just as he was about to go to sleep, he got a notification of a response.

Alibaba: Well, I could always contact you whenever I’m in the mood to talk. Fair warning, you won’t be able to message the same number again.

Alibaba: As for why, that’s private.

Alibaba: Goodbye, for now.

Ren tried to send another message to Alibaba to see if what they were saying was true, and sure enough, he could no longer send messages to the number. ‘Well, that was…an odd conversation.’ Ren thought, before he decided now was time to head to bed…only to be met with another notification. Ren checked it, wondering if it was Alibaba contacting him again, only to be met with an unexpected surprise: the eye app he had deleted earlier, when all that weird stuff happened. ‘Speaking of that, was I hallucinating? It didn’t feel like it. Then again, hallucination can feel pretty real.’ He stared at the red eye app. It was weird to see an app he was sure he had deleted reappear mysteriously, but then again, maybe he hadn’t if he had been hallucinating. ‘Still a weird thing to hallucinate. Or maybe it is one of those apps you need to delete a second time for it to go away completely…’ Ren cringed ‘Ugh, that feels like a stretch. But it’s the best I got.’ The so-called delinquent deleted the app from his phone for what should be for good, pulled his covers over himself, and finally fell fast asleep.

Ren awoke with a start. He looked at the ceiling, and was pretty sure this was not the ceiling to his attic. It was a blue velvet ceiling. He got up, and discovered a few things: First, the entire room around him was blue velvet, not just the ceiling. Second, his hands were chained, and his attire consisted of prison garb. And finally, he wasn’t in some room: He was in a jail cell as he saw bars in front of his cell. ‘Okay, three questions: One, where in the hell am I? And two, how the hell did I get here? And finally, how in the hell am I in this prison getup?’ He asked himself. As if things couldn’t get any stranger, all of a sudden, what appeared to be two little twin girls dressed as prison guards waltzed to the front of his cell. Ren got up, and started walking to the front of his cell. It was then he realized his legs were chained to a massive ball and chain, another item you would see worn by prisoners. He approached the front of his cell, he put both hands on his cell, and was about to ask the children what the hell was going on, but he stopped short.

Behind the children, several feet away from them, was a small desk and a large chair. In the chair was a man with a long nose, bald at the top of his head with white hair on the sides, and bloodshot eyes. He wore a black suit with white gloves and black shoes. “Trickster…welcome to my Velvet Room.” he greeted with a deep voice, a wide grin on his face.

“So you’ve come to, inmate,” the first girl said. She had platinum blonde hair and a yellow eye, for her left eye was covered by an eye patch emblazoned with the letter V, in addition to her prison guard outfit. Her hair was done in buns, and her hat was embossed with the letters X-M-R-N. In addition, she carried a baton in one hand.

‘Inmate?’ Ren thought, puzzled by the girl’s choice of words.

“The you in reality is currently fast asleep. You are only experiencing this as a dream.” The second girl informed Ren. There were a few differences she had from her twin. For one, her hair was done in a ponytail instead of the twin buns of her sister and for another, her eye patch was on her right eye instead. Thirdly, her hat bore the letters O-Y-O-O, and she carried a clipboard.

“W-What?” Ren stuttered, feeling a range of emotions from his new predicament. ‘Okay, so is this a dream? No. I can’t think of many instances when the people in your dreams are telling you you're dreaming. Wait, the one the ponytail just said I’m ‘experiencing this as a dream’ and that I’m asleep. So is all this real? Has my subconscious been teleported or something? Argh, no that can’t be, there has to be a logical explanation for this, right?’

“You’re in the presence of our Master! Stand up straight!” the bun-haired twin ordered, slamming the baton she carried on the prison cell bars.

“Y-Yes ma’am!” Ren stammered, complying with the little girl’s orders. ‘Wait, why did I do that?’ he questioned internally, ‘It’s not like she has any real power over me. But, when she ordered me to stand up straight, I felt compelled to do so. Almost like…’ Ren’s eyes widened ‘A prison guard ordering around a prisoner.’

“Welcome. I am delighted to make your acquaintance.” The long nosed man began “This place exists between dream and reality, mind and matter. It is a room that only those who are bound by a ‘contract’ may enter. I am Igor, the master of this place. Remember it well. I summoned you to speak of important matters. It involves your life as well.”

“Important matters?” Ren repeated. “What are you talking about? And why can’t you let me out?”

“The state of this room reflects the state of your own heart.” Igor answered, glancing around the room. “Still, this is a surprise…to think a prison would appear as such. You truly are a ‘prisoner’ of fate.”

‘Prisoner of fate?’ The words replayed in his mind, before his mind drifted back to his arrest. ‘Is he talking about my arrest? Is that why I’m stuck behind bars? He did say that the state of this…what was it called? Oh right, the Velvet Room. That’s what this guy called it. Yeah, he said that the state of this ‘Velvet Room’ reflects the state of my heart. I guess he isn’t too far off. Man, this stuff is so confusing, but I think I’m starting to get a grasp on it.’

“In the near future,” Igor continued, “There is no mistake that ruin awaits you.”

“Ruin? Are you kidding me?” Ren inquired, not believing what he was hearing.

“I speak to the end of everything,” the goblin-like man clarified, “However, there is a means to oppose such a fate. You must be ‘rehabilitated.’ Rehabilitated toward freedom…that is your only means to avoid ruin. Do you have the resolve to challenge the distortion of the world?”

‘I really don’t understand what this guy is talking about. Frankly, I don’t know if this is some trick my mind is playing on me or what. Although, for some reason, it doesn’t feel like it is. Regardless…’ Ren’s thoughts ceased, as his eyes burned with resolve. “I’d rather avoid ruin.”

Igor and the twins looked momentarily surprised, before Igor’s grin grew even wider. “Oh ho. You didn’t decline, hm? Very well, that is enough. Allow me to observe the path of your rehabilitation.” Igor abruptly caught himself. “Ah, pardon me for not introducing the others. To your right is Caroline.” he gestured to the girl with buns. “And her sister, Justine.” He indicated the girl with the ponytail. “They serve as wardens here.”

“Umm, forgive me, but…don’t you think they are too young to be-” Ren started, before Caroline banged on the cell with her baton once again to shut him up. He jolted, before deciding that maybe it was not the best idea to get on the wardens’ bad side. “Nevermind.”

With a satisfied smirk, Caroline began to speak. “Hmph, try and struggle as hard as you like.” she taunted.

“The duty of wardens is to protect inmates. We are also your collaborators.” Justine continued. “...That is, if you remain obedient.”

“And what happens if I’m not?” Ren queried.

Caroline’s eyes narrowed “Don’t try it.” she warned, as she gestured to her baton. Her smirk returned when she noticed Ren gulped.

‘Damn, terrified of children. I’m pathetic aren’t I?’ Ren lamented.

“I shall explain the roles of these two at another occasion.” Igor interjejected, looking somewhat amused “Now then, it seems the night is waning…it is almost time. Take your time to slowly understand this place.” Igor’s grin became wider, if that was even possible “We will surely meet again, eventually…”

Suddenly, an alarm blared in the Velvet room. “Times up!” Caroline announced “Now hurry up and go back to sleep.”

“W-Wait!” Ren exclaimed, as the world around him started to shift into darkness, until finally, as quickly as he had entered the Velvet Room, it had completely disappeared into the void.

Ren woke up the next morning, and got dressed in his Shujin uniform the next day as he waited for Sojiro to take him to Shujin Academy. As he waited, he sat on his bed, trying to ponder what had happened last night. ‘That was a very strange dream…no.’ Ren shook his head. ‘That did not feel like a dream at all. Hell, I know that wasn’t a dream, but it’s the only way I can explain what happened logically…But I can’t just explain whatever the hell that was away with traditional logic. And what that Igor guy was saying…Ruin, Rehabilitation, Distortion of the World. Those twin wardens. What does it all mean?…” Ren’s thoughts were interrupted by the incoming steps of Sojiro. He wore his usual dress shirt, but this time, he also had a white two button blazer with a white trilby hat.

“Looks like you're up.” Sojiro commented. “You seemed to have something on your mind. Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I just had a weird dream last night, and I was trying to figure out what it all means,” the so-called delinquent answered truthfully.

“Must have been pretty weird for you to be so deep in thought like that.” Sojiro sighed. “Well then, let’s go introduce ourselves properly to the staff about your transfer. The school you’re attending is in the Aoyama district. It’ll cost you a bit to ride the train there, and the route transfers are a pain,” he informed Ren, “I’ll drive you there, but just for today. You better be grateful because men aren’t usually allowed in my passenger seat.”

“How often do you have a woman in your passenger’s seat?” Ren asked with a grin, as he stood up.

“You’d be surprised how suave an old man like me can be,” his new guardian replied with a smirk, “Come on, let’s go.” Sojiro headed down the stairs, Ren following behind him. As the pair walked towards Sojiro’s car…

‘For a middle-aged man who might seem a little bit grumpy, he’s been pretty nice to me so far.’ Ren mused, ‘Plus, while he definitely seems strict, I can tell he does care if yesterday is anything to go by. Although…’ He frowned. ‘Sojiro has a grasp on my side of the story, and has had people vouch for my character. I have a feeling…no, I know that is not gonna be the case with the teachers here. Hell, even if they did, who’s to say they would even care?’ Ren sighed, as he got in the passenger’s side of the car. ‘I hope I can manage this whole year without any problems.’

Sojiro and Ren arrived at the school after around 23 minutes. Ren took time to analyze the building. It was a massive, white building with what appeared to be at least 3 floors. The gates were a metallic black with several signs on the right gate, although Ren paid no real attention to them. Finally, there was a black metallic sign attached to some darkened concrete with the kanji for “Shujin Academy.” Ren paused for a moment as he stared at the sign ‘Shujin. Shujin. Why is that name bothering me now?’ He suddenly recalled Caroline, and it all made sense for him, as he slumped. Well sh*t, I guess I really am a prisoner of fate.’

“So, what do you think?” Sojiro inquired.

“Well, it’s definitely a big building.” Ren answered “And it definitely screams…elite.”

Sojiro nodded. “Elite is probably the best way you can describe it. And yet, they accepted you, a guy with a criminal record.”

“Now that you mention it, it does seem kinda strange how a school like this would accept someone like me.” Ren said, starting to wonder why he was even accepted by this school in the first place.

“Think about it. What would happen if this school was able to reform a ‘former delinquent?’” Sojiro asked rhetorically.

“Their reputation would increase,” he finished.

“Right. Although, for an elite school, they must not have the best reputation if they are willing to take a risk like this.”

“You have a point.” Ren shrugged. “Although, I can’t really complain about it too much. As you said, there aren’t many schools that would accept me, so in this case, the stars align.”

“That’s a good mindset,” said Sojiro, “Now, let’s head inside. Oh, and I hope I don’t need to tell you this, but behave yourself.”

“I will,” Ren promised.

“Good. Let’s go.” He climbed the stairs of Ren’s new school, with the new Shujin student in tow.

The duo had made it to the Principal’s office, where Sojiro began to fill out the necessary paperwork to confirm Ren’s transfer to the Academy.

“To reiterate,” the principal began. He was a fat, bald, middle-aged man. He wore a beige suit, a white undershirt, and a red bow tie. “Just so we’re clear, you will immediately be expelled if you cause any problems.”

Ren bowed. “I understand.” Meanwhile, in his mind, an internal struggle was occurring. ‘Just make a good impression on these people. Just behave yourself. Do not think about how this principal looks like the Kingpin.’ he repeated in his head like a mantra.

“Honestly, I hesitated on accepting someone like you, but there were circ*mstances on our side…” The principal cut himself off, before locking eyes with Ren, a stern expression etched on his face. “You might have done a variety of things in hiding in your hometown, but you will behave yourself here. If you are thrown out from our school, there will be no place for you to go.”

“I will keep that in mind, sir,” said Ren, his face neutral. On the inside, he was more than a little aggravated. ‘I go my entire life without ever committing a crime, but the moment I have one incident on my record, I have all this sh*t assumed about me by Mr Egghead over here.’ He took a deep breath to calm himself. ‘Calm down, he doesn’t know what actually happened. All he sees is the assault on my record. But that still doesn’t give him the right to judge me like that. It doesn’t matter though. The best way I can make him eat his words is to prove myself with my actions.’

“Good. This is the teacher in charge of your class.” The principal told him, gesturing to the woman standing next to him.

“I’m Kawakami Sadayo.” The woman introduced herself neutrally. She was a pretty woman with dark brown, unkempt hair and equally brown eyes. She wore a long-sleeved, yellow shirt, striped with red, a blue denim skirt, and white heel pumps.

“It’s nice to meet you.” Ren responded politely.

“Here’s your student I.D,” she said, placing Ren’s student I.D on the desk. As Ren was about to grab it, he noticed a pink flier underneath it. Sadayo panicked, and snatched it up. “Th-that’s not for you!”

Ren just shrugged, and took his I.D. ‘I don’t know what that was about, but something tells me I shouldn’t pry into it too much.’

“Be sure to read the school rules,” she advised him, quickly regaining her composure, “Any violations will send you straight to the guidance office. And if by any chance you cause any problems, I won’t be able to protect you at all…” She turned to the Principal. “That IS your promise, yes, Principal Kobayakawa?”

“He is responsible for all his actions.” Kobayakawa confirmed.

“But really though, why me…There should have been better candidates,” Kawakami grumbled.

‘Ugh, I knew it was gonna be like this.’ Ren groaned internally. ‘On the bright side, at least my homeroom teacher looks nice. Plus, I’m not picking up the same hostility as reject Kingpin over here, so maybe she won’t cause me too many problems.’

“It was a sudden transfer, and your class was the only one that had an opening.” Kobayakawa explained dismissively, “Plus, from the records from his previous school, he was a very diligent student.” That detail caught Kawakmi’s attention. Before she could ask for further clarification, however, a certain cafe owner spoke up.

“If you’re done explaining things, mind if we get going?” Sojiro asked impatiently, “I’ve got a store to get back to.”

“Sakura-san, please keep a close eye on him,” the principal urged him, “Don’t let him cause any trouble outside…”

“Well, I’ll be sure to have a serious talk about the situation he’s in,” he promised.

“Come to the faculty office when you arrive at school tomorrow.” Kawakami instructed Ren, “I’ll show you to your classroom.”

Ren nodded, and with that, he and Sojiro left the office. As the duo made their way towards the school lobby…

“They’re treating you like some kinda nuisance…” Sojiro commented.

“As if it’d be any other way,” Ren sighed.

“That’s what it means to have a criminal record. Turns out your past follows you wherever you go.” Sojiro stated.

“I’m aware, it’s just…” Ren started, but stopped short.

“Just what?”

“It just feels wrong to have my entire character assassinated by people who don’t know the full story.” Ren finished.

Sojiro sighed “I understand, but that’s just the way it is. You probably know this better than anyone, and if you don’t, well…you’ll learn.”

Ren huffed. “I know, and I expected this. It just hurts. But there’s nothing I can do about it, so it’s not worth continuing to cry about.”

“That’s right. Just put your head down and focus on your school work.” Sojiro advised “Oh, and remember, don’t do anything that will get you expelled-”

“-Otherwise you’ll kick me out and I’ll be sent to juvie,” Ren finished with a sigh. “You think I want to go there willingly?”

Sojiro shook his head. “No. I’m just worried you might mess with the wrong guy again. Playing the hero is only viable in fiction. The world is a lot more complicated than that. Keep that in mind. Come on, we’re going home.” Ren was left with a lot to think about, as the so-called delinquent and Sojiro exited the school, and hopped into the car.

Unfortunately, Sojiro and Ren were caught in every driver’s worst nightmare: traffic. “It’s not moving at all…” the cafe owner groaned.

“I’m assuming this is why you only wanted to drive me to school just for today?” Ren asked with a deadpan stare.

“Well, it doesn’t get this bad all the time…Still, you’re taking the train, starting tomorrow.” Sojiro reminded Ren. “So how was it? The school, I mean. Think you can manage?”

“It’ll be tough, but I think I can manage,” Ren answered. “The fact I was able to re-enroll at another school is a blessing, even though I know it’s only to increase the school’s reputation.”

“It’s also not like any teachers will be sympathetic towards you…but you can still find some friends who don’t know about your record.” Sojiro assured him, “Still, if that’s what it was like at school, people might say stuff about me in the future too…what a troublesome kid I’ve taken in.”

“Sakura-san, why did you take me in?” Ren asked, curious if there was some other reason why Sojiro took him in besides the vouches.

“I was asked to do it, and I just…happened to agree to it,” said Sojiro reluctantly, “I’ve already been paid for it too, after all.”

“Is that really it?”

“Well, no, not entirely…let’s say you remind me of someone, and leave it at that.” Sojiro suggested, trying to get away from the topic.

“Alright.” Ren complied, satisfied for now. Just then, a newscaster spoke over the radio, which had been turned on so Sojiro could figure out why traffic was so backed up.

“...And now back to today’s top stories. A subway has derailed at Shibuya Station, greatly affecting the timetable across the-” Sojiro turned the radio off.

“...Another accident? So that’s why it’s so crowded. There’s been a lot of those lately,” he said mournfully.

“I heard some girls talking about mental shutdowns while I was on my way here yesterday.” Ren mentioned.

“People have been talking about those all the time,” his guardian replied, before a sad expression appeared on his face. “I heard there was a real sad one just last month…if I remember right, the girl that passed away was only fifteen.”

“sh*t…” Ren uttered, the thought of a girl not much younger than him dying like that horrifying him.

“Her parents gotta be just…” Sojiro started, but stopped himself, clearly not wanting to imagine that scenario himself. The duo continued to make small talk throughout the car ride, hoping to pass the time until traffic finally cleared.

Unfortunately, while traffic eventually cleared, the duo would not be able to make it home until the evening. As they entered the cafe, Sojiro spoke up. “Damn, to think there’d be that much traffic…What a waste of time.” He turned to Ren. “Head upstairs. There’s something I need to give you.” Ren nodded, and the two of them walked all the way upstairs to Ren’s room.

When they reached Ren’s room, the so-called delinquent asked, “So, what do you need to give me?”

Sojiro pulled a small book out of his pants pocket. “It’s a diary. Make sure you write in it.” The cafe owner set the book on the table near the stairs. “You may be under probation, but there’s no special limitations on what you do in particular, besides following the law, that is. However, I’m obligated to report on you, which is why I’m having you record your daily activities.”

“I’ll make sure to do that.” Ren promised

Sojiro gave an approving nod. Suddenly, his cellphone rang and he picked u. “Hey, what’s up?” he inquired. After a few moments of listening, Sojiro responded, “...I’m about to leave right now. Don’t worry, I’ll be there in no time.” There was another pause and distant chatter, before Sojiro spoke again. “Uh-huh. I’ll see you soon.” He hung up.

“Who was that? A girl?” Ren asked with a grin.

“Nothing for you to be concerned about.” Sojiro responded sternly, catching Ren off guard. “Well, I’m off. I’ll lock the place up, so do whatever you want for the rest of the night. I know you wanted to explore Yongen-Jaya, and you can…but I don’t think you want to do that now, right?”

“Right. I kinda just want to lay down after sitting in all that traffic.”

“You weren’t even the one driving.” Sojiro deadpanned.

“Yeah, but one can only sit in a car for hours before they start getting bored.”

“Hey, it wasn’t all bad. You had yours truly to keep you entertained,” he declared proudly. Ren responded with a deadpan stare, and Sojiro sighed. “What a disrespectful brat I’ve taken in. He has no respect for his elders.” The cafe owner started heading downstairs. “Make sure you don’t mess up my store.” he called from halfway down the stairs “I don’t think you’ll steal anything, but you’re a teenager, so…”

“I know. I won’t mess with anything. I’ll just make some dinner and head to bed,” Ren told him.

“That’s fine. I’ve got plenty of ingredients for you to use. Just don’t touch the stuff on this list, I need that to make curry.” Sojiro gave him the list, which Ren read and nodded at. “I saw you use a couple of those ingredients yesterday.”


“It’s fine, just make sure you don’t do it again.” Sojiro waved him off. “You’ve got school tomorrow…if you’re not gonna explore the neighborhood, then make your dinner and head to bed, alright?”

“Alright. See you tomorrow.”

Sojiro finally finished his descent down the stairs and eventually left the shop, leaving Ren alone in his room.

The boy decided to check the news for the day, and was horrified to hear that 80 people had died from the mental shutdown accident mentioned earlier. ‘It feels as if these accidents keep happening one after another. I wonder what causes these things in the first place. Then again, if even scientists can’t fully explain it, then what hope do I have?’ Ren’s thoughts were broken with the ringing of a phone, an old one at that. ‘Where is that coming from?’ he asked himself, before tracking down the source of the ringing: a pay phone seated on the Leblanc bar counter. ‘Who the hell is calling the public phone while the cafe is closed?’ he wondered, before he decided to satisfy his curiosity and answered the phone “Hello?”

“Yo, it’s me.” a familiar voice greeted from the other line.

“Sakura-san?!” Ren exclaimed in disbelief.

“Yeah.” Sojiro confirmed, sheepishly. “Uh…I closed up shop, but I forgot to flip the sign to CLOSED. It’s too much of a hassle for me to go back, so could you flip the sign for me?”

“Uh, yeah I can. But…why did you call the public phone?” Ren asked incredulously, “Don’t you have my number?”

“Well, yeah, I have it written down somewhere at home. I just make it a habit not to save guys’ phone numbers on my cell phone.” Sojiro explained shamelessly.

Ren blinked, before deadpanning. “Just my personal thoughts, but you might want to make an exception for the guy whose parole you’re in charge of.”

“I’ll take it under consideration,” Sojiro replied dryly. Ren could almost feel the cafe owner smirking over the line. “In the meantime, you should get yourself some new girls’ numbers, if you haven’t already.”

“As much as I would like to, I don’t think it’s for me.” Ren stated.

“Fair enough. You should focus on making friends too. But, if you need any help with any girls you happen to like, I might have a few suggestions”

“Hah. Duly noted.”

“I have a spare key hidden near the cash register.” Sojiro informed him, "Make sure you have that on you so you can lock the place up.”

“Got it.” Ren nodded in understanding. Afterwards, they both hung up. He was able to find the spare key, just as Sojiro had told him, and went outside, flipping the sign over from OPEN to CLOSED. Finally, he went back inside and locked the door again. After making himself some dinner, he went back to his room, ready to head to bed as he changed into his loungewear.

“Let’s see. I’m taking the train to school tomorrow,” he said to himself, as he checked the train schedules on his phone. “I need to go out to Shibuya, then transfer there. Although, with that Subway accident, the timetables tomorrow are gonna be affected.” He slapped his forehead in frustration. “Ahh, damnit, I said all that out loud…I thought I’d gotten rid of that habit!”

‘It usually reappears when I’m nervous. But it makes sense, since tomorrow’s my first day of school.’ he thought. Just then, he received another notification from his phone: for the third time, that eyeball app appeared on his phone again . ‘Why the hell does this app keep showing up? I guess I’ll delete it again. I should also reboot my phone just in case…’ Ren rubbed his eyes. ‘Looks like I’m ready to crash.’ He pulled over his covers and fell fast asleep. He hoped that he wouldn’t have to deal with Igor and those twin wardens again. As much as he would like to avoid ‘ruin,’ he didn’t think he could take another wound to his pride from the twins running roughshod over him.


He had gotten his wish, as he did not encounter them in his sleep this time. ‘Maybe that was all a dream after all…no, it wasn’t. Igor said we would meet again, but when?’ Ren’s thoughts kept racing at the warning Igor had given him, and wondered when, or even how, their meeting would occur. However, he realized he shouldn’t worry about that now, as he had something more pressing to worry about: his first day of school. He got ready, grabbed his bag, and descended the stairs to Leblanc. When he arrived downstairs, he was greeted by the scent of curry. Ren followed the smell to the bar, where Sojiro was waiting for him.

“Well, look who’s ready for school,” he greeted.

“Is this for me?” Ren asked.

“Well, no, I’m serving this to a special customer later,” he remarked sarcastically, “Of course it’s for you.”

“Thank you.” Ren eagerly accepted the food, sitting at the table. “Although, I’m not really used to eating curry for breakfast.”

“Just try it.”

He shrugged, before taking his first bite. Immediately, his eyes widened in amazement. ‘This is…’ He took another bite, and another. ‘Delicious!’ It was better than any dish he had ever made in his life. Not that he was a bad cook by any means. He began wolfing down the curry, wanting to experience more of this flavor. In less than 5 minutes, Ren had finished his breakfast. “That was amazing.” Ren praised.

Sojiro smiled proudly. “I’m glad you liked it. Now, hurry over to school. You’ll end up late if you get lost on the way. Oh, and flip the sign for me, would you?”

Ren nodded. “Got it. And that’s why I woke up earlier than I probably should have.”

“Well, look who has everything together this morning. Now hurry on out, country boy.” Sojiro cracked with a grin.

“You got it, city slicker,” Ren jabbed, his own grin present, before he stepped out of Leblanc onto the streets of Yongen-Jaya, before heading for the train station and hopping on a train. By the time his train departed, Ren’s car was crammed with a crowd of people.

‘As I thought, there are some lingering effects from yesterday’s accident. Ugh, I hope the next ride is less packed than this one, but I doubt that,’ Ren groaned internally.

The rain stopped in Shibuya, and Ren was able to make it out of the train car…somehow. He then headed for the Ginza line, passing through the first ticket gate. Thankfully, due to his status as a student, he could go through the gate for free. As he transferred to the first ticket gate, he overheard a woman with a camera around her neck talking with a station attendant.

“Repeated psychotic episodes terrorize the city! What are your thoughts on all this, sir?” the woman asked, “Some people are saying it’s the result of an oppressive work environment. Do you have any comments on that?”

‘A reporter,’ Ren noted, ‘I’m kind of curious what that station attendant has to say too…’

Unfortunately for both the reporter and Ren, this attendant was completely unreliable. “I-I’m terribly sorry,” he stuttered, “I don’t know anything! We’ll, uh, make an official statement at a later time…”

‘Well, that was a waste of time.’ Ren grumbled in his head, before he continued on his way to the Ginza line. After momentarily getting lost, he was able to ask someone for directions, leading him up the stairs to the station square. After having to listen to a man shouting with a megaphone about some sun god or whatever the hell he was on about, Ren made it to the Ginza line, where he had to wait in line for a minute, before he could finally make his way to the Aoyama district, and by extension, Shujin Academy

Ren’s train arrived at the Aoyama district. He all but ran up the stairs, just as rain began to fall. ‘Crap, I didn’t bring an umbrella.’ Ren quickly spotted a building with an awning he could hide under. It would keep his phone dry, of course, not to mention the rest of him. When he stopped under it, he opened his navigation app to see where he was and figure out how far he was from the school. As he did so, he was once again met with the eye icon. ‘Okay, how the hell does this thing keep coming back?!’ He bellowed from his mind, annoyed. He sighed. ‘I give up.’ All of a sudden, Ren heard approaching footsteps, and noticed a hooded figure darting under the same awning, clearly hoping to avoid the rain like him.

The figure undid her hood, to reveal a beautiful girl with wavy, platinum blonde hair styled in a pair of bushy pigtails, with parted side bangs on the right side of her face. She had pale blue eyes and was relatively tall, though if Ren had to guess, he would say she was 4 inches shorter than him. She was a Shujin student as well,, wearing the standard blazer, but unbuttoned. The rest of her uniform was modified: she wore a white varsity hooded sweatshirt under her blazer, which covered the standard plaid skirt. To finish, she wore a set of red tights and brown boots.

Ren stood there in awe of the girl next to him. ‘She’s…gorgeous.’ he thought as he stared at her. The platinum blonde seemed to notice Ren’s presence, turning an idle glance at him. She gave him a small smile, and all he could do was smile back, it was an incredibly infectious expression. His thoughts began to race. ‘I have a feeling Sakura-san will somehow kill me if all I do is smile at this girl. And if he doesn’t, I will, so I might as well say something.’

“Do you go to Shujin too?” Ren asked, trying to break the ice.

The girl blinked, before she snorted. “Uh, yeah. There aren’t other schools with uniforms like this. Why do you ask?”

“Well, I just transferred in, so I’m not too familiar with the school and I don’t really know anyone else,” he answered

“Really?” the girl asked, surprised, “Then welcome, umm…”

“Amamiya Ren.” Ren introduced himself.

“Takamaki Ann.” Ann gave her name with a warm smile. “Nice to meet you.”

“Thanks, you too.” he said, a smile of his own present on his face. ‘She seems nice enough so far. Let’s see if I…’ Just then, a car pulled up near the curb. The window rolled down to reveal the face of a man with a strong jaw and a friendly face.

“Good morning. You want me to give you a ride to school? You’re gonna be late.” The man offered Ann.

“Um, sure. Thank you.” Ann said, although Ren almost wondered if she seemed reluctant to say so. She began walking towards the car’s front seat.

“Do you need a lift too?” the man asked Ren.

“No, but thank you,” Ren politely declined, ‘I don’t think I really need it, plus I don’t want to burden this man. Argh, cut the bullsh*t, I’m just annoyed at this guy for cutting our conversation short. He probably didn’t mean anything by it though, so I'll give him a pass.’ As Ann got into the car and put on the seatbelt, Ren noticed that the girl seemed suddenly…displeased about something. Before he could further analyze it, the car drove off. Then, without warning, a young, blond-haired boy came running after the car, only to stop when he realized it was futile.

“Dammit…” he cursed, “Screw that pervy teacher.”

“...Pervy teacher?” Ren repeated. Little did the black haired boy know, the eyeball app had activated, its audio function up and running. The audio function responded with a bing, but before Ren could look down at his phone, the blond boy walked up to him.

“...What do you want?” the boy questioned with a glare, an edge present in his tone. “You plannin’ on rattin’ me out to Kamoshida?” In addition to the boy’s blond hair, which was spiky and most likely dyed, he had dark brown eyes. He wore a modified Shujin uniform just like Ann had earlier. His blazer was unbuttoned, and it revealed a yellow t-shirt with a comic style star and the word “ZOMG!” below it. His trousers were plaid like Ren’s but they were rolled up at the bottom. Finally, he wore white sneakers.

“Kamoshida? Who’s that?” Ren asked, puzzled.

“Huh? In that car just now. It was Kamoshida.” the boy clarified. “He does whatever he wants. Who does he think he is–the king of a castle? Don’t you agree?”

“Which castle?” Ren inquired, his phone chiming again. ‘Is he talking about that guy in the car? He seemed nice enough…is there something I’m missing?’

“Uh, it’s just a sayin’...Wait. You don’t know Kamoshida? Are you for real? You’re from Shujin, right?” the boy queried. At that moment, another bing sounded on Ren’s phone.

“I just transferred here.” Ren informed the blond haired boy.

“For real? Well sh*t, no wonder I ain’t ever seen you before,” the boy said, relaxing slightly.

“Why don’t we start over?” Ren requested. “Amamiya Ren.”

“Sakamoto Ryuji. Good to meet ya.” the boy now identified as Ryuji said. “Ngh…!?” Without warning, a feeling of lightheadedness washed over the two boys, making them both grip their heads. Little did they realize that there was also a haze of purple that enveloped them in a shroud, filtering the surroundings around them.

‘What the hell? Why do I feel dizzy all of a sudden?’ Ren wondered. ‘And why am I getting so many notifications from my phone right now? Crap, I think I’m running late now too.’

“My head hurts…” Ryuji bemoaned. “Dammit…I wanna go home…” He shook his head. “Ugh, c’mon, I know a shortcut to school.”

“Alright.” Ren nodded, before following Ryuji. The boy led him down an alleyway. As they went, the app began to activate on its own again, a distortion forming on his phone screen. After a few minutes, he noticed a slow shift around him, into a purplish-red tint. ‘Is it just me, or does everything look more purple than it should be?’ Finally, the boys arrived at where the school would be normally, except…

“Wha…?” Ryuji uttered, perplexed. Standing in front of the two boys was a massive, medieval-style castle, in place of where the school normally stood. The only way Ren was able to tell he was in the right place was the sign that he took immediate notice of.

“This is the school, right?” Ren questioned, clearly confused by how there was a castle where the school should be.

“We didn’t come the wrong way…yeah, this should be right…” Ryuji answered, just as bewildered. “What’s goin’ on here…? I guess we’ll just have to go around and ask.”

“Good idea…” Ren said, although for some reason, his instincts were telling him that something was very wrong. Nevertheless, the two boys began walking across the drawbridge, reaching the castle gates. They encountered massive doors, which the two boys pushed open, grunting with the effort as the heavy wood creaked and groaned, before they finally entered the castle.

To Be Continued

End Chapter

Well, we’re off to a fun start here. The interactions here have changed a lot, although, that’s standard when you no longer have a silent protagonist limited to dialogue options. Most notably, I made some huge changes. I’m pretty sure you noticed them, so let me explain them.

  • Early Dadjiro? I switched up the interactions a lot between Ren and Sojiro. Here’s my thing: I understand why he was initially hostile, because of Japanese society stuff, but considering the man has a step daughter he is taking care of, that we know damn well he cares about, it’s not the best look in the world. The other thing here, is he has vouches from two people about Ren’s character, and is written to be more understanding here. And strict as hell, but it is because he obviously cares. Plus, Ren and him can find some common ground on trying to charm the ladies.
  • Did Sae recommend Ren to Sojiro? Yes. Well, it was a team effort from Ren’s family friend, but I changed the customer, who was unknown at this point, to Sae. Why? In early development of the game, you were supposed to live with Sae for your probation, but that changed to the best guardian Sojiro. Since the customer/acquaintance was never revealed, I decided to add a middle man who contacted Sae, who then contacted Sojiro, and you get in my opinion a decent compromise. Who is this acquaintance? Well, since I don’t think I will be doing Bleach fics, I decided on a guy named Chad Sato. Why? Because only CHADS support Ren and say f*ck japanese society. Yeah, I’ll see myself out.
  • FUTABA contacting Ren earlier?! Yep, and I will neither confirm nor deny I might have plans to save Futaba earlier. But that is neither here nor there, and depends on the flow of the story.
  • Finally, some minor interaction changes, where Ann becomes acquainted with Ren earlier than in canon. And while I say it is minor, they could prove to be major down the line, who knows.

As a harem/polycule fic lover myself, this fic definitely pushed the limits of who I wanted to put in. Why? Because this game decided to snap with so many fun romance options. Tae? Mommy. Ann? Freaking awesome. Makoto? Bad! Ass! And that’s just some of them. As much as I don’t like how less immersive Persona 5 feels in comparison to Golden, they nailed it with the romance options. Which is why due to this fic, my absolute limit for harems/polycules is 12. At least for now, until there is another series creates this problem for me. Ren will get every girl except Ohya. And Ann’s rival. That should give you a clear picture of who’s in. I’d mention the other girls that are present in this game, but they are so irrelevant, they have no portraits. Also, one thing I want to note: Lavenza will be modified. For OBVIOUS reasons. And for you Ohya lovers, don’t worry, I’m not that cruel. She’ll find someone. Just for personal reasons, she ain’t one of my favorites. Welp, see you all for chapter 2. Peace.

6/3/23: So, about those plans...I threw them into the furnace. I was looking at them and thought to myself "yeah, this kinda sucks." So screw it, Ohya is in too. You can scream to the high heavens.

Persona 5: The Royal Journey of Ren Amamiya - Chapter 1 - HellKaiser (2024)


What is Joker's canon name? ›

While the player can freely choose a given name for Joker, his Phantom Thief codename, he is canonically named Ren Amamiya in most appearances.

Is it Akira or Ren? ›

Akira Kurusu is Joker's name in the Persona 5 manga, which is why certain people have been led to believe that it's his canon name in the game. However, Ren Amamiya was used in the official anime series based on the game, as well as in Persona 5 Dancing in Starlight.

What is Joker's real name in Persona 5 Royal? ›

Joker goes by the name of Ren Amamiya in the Persona 5 anime, but he also goes by the name Akira Kurusu in the manga, leading to arguments and debates between fans as to which is actually his real name.

How old is Ren Amamiya? ›

Ren "Joker" Amamiya
Ren Amamiya
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Who is Joker's crush? ›

The Joker's most famous romantic partner is definitely Harley Quinn. Together, they were two peas in a pod, at least until it all came crashing down. Harley Quinn got her start with the Joker when she became his psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum.

What is Joker's girlfriend's name? ›

Harleen Frances Quinzel, later known as Harley Quinn, is a fictional character in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), based on the character of the same name created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm as a comic relief henchwoman for the supervillain Joker in the DC Animated Universe (DCAU) animated series Batman: The Animated ...

Why is Ren so obsessed with Akira? ›

Akira was Ren's first, and only love. When she was younger, she was a maid in the Sohma house and basically Akira's maid. She would always be his maid, no matter what. But as time moved on, Ren and Akira fell deeply in love with each other, and he married her.

Is Akira a Hispanic name? ›

Akira is a gender-neutral name of Japanese and Scottish origin that can have a variety of meanings, depending on the kanji that's used to write it.

What does Akira stand for in Japanese? ›

AKIRA is both male and female (gender-neutral name) It's origin is Japanese. It's meaning is “bright, clear, ideal

Who is Joker's twin? ›

Jeremiah Valeska is a major antagonist in the television series, Gotham. He is the twin brother of the terrorist cult leader, Jerome Valeska, as well as being the arch-nemesis of Bruce Wayne. Jeremiah is the show's equivalent to the Joker, taking over from Jerome, although both of them never took on the Joker alias.

Is Joker's girlfriend real? ›

One of the biggest revelations in Joker was that Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck's relationship with Zazie Beetz's Sophie was not real and was all inside his mind. This, according to Beetz, was not set from the start and Sophie's role and story actually evolved and changed during filming.

What year is Persona 5 set in? ›

Persona 5, a 2016 role-playing video game by Atlus, is set in Tokyo beginning in April of the year "20XX". It centers on the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, a masked vigilante group of high-school students working to change people's hearts and have them confess their crimes.

How tall is Lavenza? ›

The Persona Character Of The Day & Facts! Lavenza's height is 110 cm (3'7")!

Why does the Joker wear glasses on the P5? ›

Some fans have speculated that he does it to soften his appearance and blend into the background at Shujin in an attempt to reconcile his "criminal" image. Others have suggested that they're his metaphorical "mask" in the real world, mirroring the black-and-white mask he wears as a Phantom Thief.

Who is the oldest Persona protagonist? ›

Maya Amano is the protagonist of Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, and she is the oldest protagonist of a Persona game at 23 years old. Maya's personality is also well-established; she's known for being a positive and kind person.

What is the Joker's real name in Canon? ›

Martha reveals that she forced Psycho-Pirate, a villain capable of knowing all of DC's timelines, to tell her everything she knew about the main DC. It is at this point that Psycho-Pirate revealed that the Joker's real name is Jack Oswald White.

What was the Joker's real name? ›

It is then revealed that the Joker's real name is "Jack Oswald White." Martha then shares that she visited the Flashpoint universe's version of Jack Oswald White, discovering him to be a struggling family man supporting his wife and a child as a janitor at Wayne Casino.

What is the canon name of Persona 5 Royal? ›

The protagonist of Persona 5, canonically named Ren Amamiya (which appeared in several spin-off media before becoming his default name in the 2022 re-release of Persona 5 Royal), is a second-year transfer student at Shujin Academy, being placed there to continue his academics due to his ongoing probation resulting from ...

Is The Emperor Joker canon? ›

Note: while this comic is canon, due to the story eventually being rendered non-existent/having never happened by the end, we agreed that Joker from this comic could be approved as Near Pure Evil. What's the work? Emperor Joker is a 2000 Superman storyline focusing on the Joker gaining omnipotent cosmic powers.


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