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Rated: E · Fiction · Fantasy · #2069467
The story of a man who gained a new power through a dream.
August 12, 2:04 A.M.
??????????

??????: What in the world? Where am I?

The man who asked such a question is Kiyoshi Hanketsu, an Opromian freelance blacksmith. And right now, he is surprisingly not in his own home, but in what appears to be the back of an extravagant limo. The material on the seats feel like velvet and appear to be deep blue. On his left is what appears to a few shelves carrying wine glasses, a bottle of Cognac, and a few bottles of wine. Sitting right across from him is an old man with bloodshot eyes and an extremely long nose wearing a tuxedo, and to the old man's left is a young woman, appearing in her early 20's, having long platinum blonde hair, pale skin, yellow eyes and wearing a blue dress with yellow circles and black lines for decoration, perhaps.

Long-Nosed Man: Welcome to the Velvet Room. No need to be alarmed. You are simply asleep in the real world.

Kiyoshi: So, this is a dream?

Long-Nosed Man: Indeed. You have been summoned to a realm between dream and reality, mind and matter. However, where are my manners? Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Igor. And the woman to my side is my assistant, Margaret.

Margaret: It's a pleasure to meet you.

Kiyoshi: Likewise. If you don't mind me asking, why have you summoned me here?

Igor: As I have discovered, you are 'one who governs over power', I believe?

Kiyoshi tilted his head, not understanding the question.

Kiyoshi: That is one way of putting it, I believe.

Igor: It appears that we share similar roles, assisting others on their journey, as well as share similar powers.

Kiyoshi's eyes widened as Igor said that statement.

Kiyoshi: You are able to allow others the powers to use their soul as a tool?

Igor: Not exactly. We have assisted our guests who possess the power to summon their true selves, or 'Persona' . Think of it as a mask to protect yourself from life's affairs.

Kiyoshi was even more confused when Igor said that statement, scratching his head in response.

Igor: It will make more sense when you see it yourself. Tell me, my friend. Do you believe in fortune telling?

Igor says this while spreading a deck of card across the table in from of him. He then chooses the 9th card from his left and inspects it.

Igor: Ah, that of the Hermit. Quite fitting, as you are one who chooses to hide in the shadows, acting as support for others, and wishing to help others in any way possible.

Kiyoshi: Yes, I believe that is appropriate. I still wish to help others, but I don't wish to impede them in any way. As such, I have been researching and creating powers and weapons, hoping to help others.

Igor: Then allow us to give you a guide that will lessen the load.

Kiyoshi: Hmm? What do you mean?

Margaret: We wish to give you your own Persona. My master believes that it will allow you to fully understand your research and reach new heights.

Kiyoshi: Really? That's amazing. How do I gain this power?

Igor: That, I'm afraid, is for you to discover for yourself. Your Persona will only be summoned when you hear them calling for you. Only then will you be able to summon them.

Kiyoshi strokes his beard to ponder this, but he understands Igor's words...kind of.

Kiyoshi: I think I understand. Have there been others who have possessed these powers?

Igor: Indeed. There have been several Persona-users, many of which were our guests. However, there were a few guest who possessed an ability unlike anything: the power of the Wild Card.

Kiyoshi: Wild Card?

Margaret: It is a special ability that allowed our recent guest to use multiple Personas. However, this ability is tied to that of the Fool Arcana.

Kiyoshi: The Fool? Oh, the first of the deck, right.

Igor: Correct. The Fool is tied to the number zero. It means nothing, but also holds endless possibilities. In fact, it appears that you'll be seeing one of our recent guests in the near future.

Kiyoshi: I will? How is that possible?

Igor: I'm afraid that you'll have to discover this for yourself. Well then, we shouldn't keep you any longer. May the possibilities for your research be endless and fruitful. Until we meet again, farewell.

Kiyoshi: Wait! Who will I see?

However, it is already too late. Kiyoshi's vision is blurring more and more, until he can no longer see Igor or Margaret, with their voices being drowned out by a loud ringing noise.

August 12, 8:00 A.M.
Hanketsu Residence, Judgment Dimension

"RIIING RIING RIIING" "RIING RIING RIIIIING"

Kiyoshi: *grumbling*

Kiyoshi shuts up the alarm clock by summoning a hammer and smashing it until it stops ringing. However, a few seconds later, the remains disappear, and a new one appears. After the dreaded alarm clock massacre, Kiyoshi gets up from bed, stretching and yawning. After getting through his usual morning routine, he dresses for the day. He wears a pair of black cargo pants, a red button-up shirt with a hammer emblem on his left breast and a pocket on his right. He wears a black headband to keep his dreadlocks from getting into his eyes, a pair of black walking shoes, and a pair of regular prescription glasses.

You see, this is where Kiyoshi works on his research, creates weapons, and lives. He has lived here for over 2,000 years. When he died of old age in his past life, his soul was actually stopped by the Creators of Opromia to give him a second chance to benefit the world and gain a new life. He was chosen to be a Sage, one who watches over the world. However, Kiyoshi wished to do more, and saw the work of a Sage as not beneficial to him, so he quit, becoming a freelance blacksmith who would create powers that could benefit the world. He started development of his research as a Sage, but took it a step further when he went freelance.

At his table, Kiyoshi was pondering what Igor said.

Kiyoshi: Was that really a dream? It seemed like those two were telling the truth. In that case, who could really be coming here? The only ones who has entered this realm besides me were the Sages, and that's only because they built this place.

Kiyoshi strokes his beard and finishes his orange juice while pondering this further.

Kiyoshi: Not only that, but those two appeared...human. Why give a power like this to an alien if they have assisted humans in the past? Argh, my head.

As Kiyoshi clasps his head, he suddenly hears a voice.

?????????: I am thou, thou art I...

Kiyoshi: Huh!? Who's there!?

Kiyoshi stands up, looking around, but finding nothing.

Kiyoshi: Am I hearing things again? I must've finally snapped.

??????????: If so, I wouldn't be talking to you. Me. You know what I mean.

Kiyoshi: Who are you? Are you my Persona?

??????????: Yes. I am Goro Nyudo Masamune, Japan's greatest swordsmith. I have been born from your wish to learn more and to use your powers to help others. Together, I believe we can build a new path for everyone.

Kiyoshi: I believe so, too. There is just one question. How do I bring you out?

Masamune: Only when you channel your power throughout your body and truly focus will I be summoned.

Kiyoshi tried to test this out. He got to an open space, breathed deeply and removed all distractions from his mind. With this, he cried out...

Kiyoshi: ...Persona!!

...Nothing appeared.

Masamune: ...We'll work on it.
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