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Chapter 29: 5/14-5/15: The World’s Most Oblivious Stalker
This update contains content from Parts 26 and 27 of the original LP.
Anon: I searched… makes no sense
Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)
Not studying is tiring work.
I envy Ryuji’s ability to stay up late. I’m not even that old, I’m just very sad. And now you are too!
Ah, more yawning! Looks like I wasn’t alone staying up all night goofing off!
What? I was up late studying.
Good work, Lady Ann. This idiot is doomed.
What? Your brain is the size of this walnut, except way smaller!
I can hear the empty rattling inside your brain from here.
Ugh, will you please shut up!? You’re gonna make me forget everything I memo—
Don’t worry, hallucinations are perfectly normal. I have them all the time.
We don’t have time to deal with that right now… What is it, Ann?
It’s… it’s nothing. I hope…
Video: Suspicious Person
Isn’t this bad?
Fine… Come on.
Music: Suspicious Person
Is there something you want?
So this is where your passion led. All is well that ends well.
Creepy! Well, seeya.
I didn’t even notice the calls from Sensei… But thank goodness, I caught up to you.
If you didn’t notice them, how did you know you got them at all? You haven’t checked your phone since we started this conversation. Wait, sorry, I’m interrupting you explaining how you’re totally *not* stalking me. Continue.
You’re the woman I’ve been searching for all this time! Please, won’t you—
Oh god, this again? Listen, buddy, I just got finished with a completely unrelated tragicomedy involving unwanted advances from a dude with no sense of personal boundaries. You’re at least not a pedophile, but I still need, like, at least another few days to recover from that one, oka—
Music: My Homie
I can sense your inner passion bursting forth from the mere sight of you! Surely, you will be the muse I need to capture that essential spark!
This is the sketchiest thing in the effin’ world, man. Please don’t tell me you’re going for this.
Will you do it? Please, tell me!
Wait, man. First, who even *are* you?
Oh, my apologies. I’m a second year at Kosei High, fine arts division. My name is Yusuke Kitagawa.
I’m Madarame-sensei’s pupil, and I am being allowed residence at his place. I’m striving to become an artist.
Wait, the same Madarame that was on that morning talk show the other day!?
I have also never heard of this person, because I might as well have retrograde amnesia that deleted my memory of all but one event in my life before April 9th.
Wait, ain’t Madarame that dude Nakanohara told us about in Mementos?
Nah, couldn’t be. That would be needlessly contrived.
He was introduced as a super-famous Japanese-style artist who’s been recognized all over the world.
I’m sorry, Sensei. I’ll be right there!
That old guy’s Madarame?
Madarame-sensei’s exhibition will begin at the department store near the station tomorrow. I’ll be there to help out on opening day. Please come by. It’d be great if you could give me your answer in regard to being a model then…
You two look uncultured. I’ll give you tickets as well as a token of good faith, but I don’t expect you to show up.
I’m more of a Neo-Cubist guy myself.
Well then, I hope to see you there tomorrow!
Three years later I still don’t quite understand what Ryuji is saying here, because Yusuke, for all his faults, isn’t actually that easy to read.
You’re not plannin’ on goin’, are ya?
I might, actually.
Apparently I’m the most preternaturally beautiful woman in the entire world, so I have to use this power responsibly. By that logic, it seems right to help Yusuke out.
Yusuke… Mark my words, pretty boy, this means war!!!!
Music: Interrogation Room
That’s basically what I said!
So be it. What I want to know most is your method. It’s true that Madarame was an unforgivable criminal worthy of the scorn thrown at him. He was an adult who cultivated his own fame and fortune by sacrificing the livelihood of children… But he’d been covering his tracks for years. How did you uncover the truth in such a short span of time?
We fuckin’ broke his kneecaps until he squealed. No, really, it was the Metaverse.
That nonsense again? …Fine. Even if I’m to believe that you can change hearts by stealing a person’s Treasure, then that raises another question… These mental shutdowns and psychotic breakdowns seem, at a glance, very similar to changes of heart… Did you have anything to do with those?
…… I have some… top-secret intel, Ms. Lady… Sojiro is the Tooth Fairy… Don’t tell him I know that… *barf*
Ugh, damn drugs… Hey, stay with me! Just keep talking about Madarame, okay? And keep it brief.
Early Morning → Morning
Music: Life Goes On
…… Well, it wasn’t too bad. You should have gotten a decent score, right?
Morning → Afternoon
Anon: I searched… makes no sense
Anon: try and steal it asshats
Anon: prolly some publicity stunt
Anon: Is this some kind of cult?
Anon: viral marketing…?
Anon: I’ve been waiting for this!
Anon: sauce plz
Anon: Who made this site? Ridic
Hey, are you gonna go in for counseling?
I saw the volleyball guys getting called in…
Oh shit, I got that question wrong!
I know, right? I feel like I have to protect that teacher!
Afternoon → After School
Music: Break it Down
God, I’m screwed… How’d you do, Maaku?
The cat had to try to teach me how to write on the fly back there. Lost a lot of time on the essay questions.
You’re an absurd human being. Let’s just stop talking about this, okay?
…It’s no use. There ain’t any useful info. The number of posts are gettin’ less and less too…
I am not letting this end as a one-hit wonder, okay?
Let’s not stress out over this. Why don’t we use some of the money left over to go out for lunch?
No! This is my money!
I could go for some sushi!
I don’t think we have *that* much left…
Oh right. There are those tickets to Madarame’s exhibit! Wait, that’s tomorrow.
Don’t tell me… Was it love at first sight with that Yusuke guy?
No! It’s just… when I was watching that talk show, his artwork seemed pretty good. And the tickets are free, after all. And I’m still worried about what Nakanohara told us in Mementos, anyway.
…Madarame, was it?
C’mon, what are the odds that we’d just run into the guy Nakanohara was talking about? That would be incredibly convenient.
Well, we should still check it out. Wanna use the other two tickets, guys? C’mon, appreciate the fine arts.
Sounds boring, but… got nothin’ better to do.
We should go. If you can’t identify good art, you’re a pretender as a phantom thief.
I’m in. It sounds like the mature kind of boring.
All right. Let’s meet at the exhibit entrance tomorrow.
After School → Evening
Music: Beneath the Mask
I’m curious to know if this Madarame has anything to do with the name we heard in Mementos… We can’t afford to be late tomorrow. We’d better not go out right now.
Could he have been talking about the famous artist Madarame?
>You know, I didn’t want to say anything, but now that you mention it for the third time, I’m coming around to that possibility.
It’s a pretty rare last name, so I just figured it’s probably the same guy! If it’s true, then Kitagawa-san’s teacher is corrupt…
He treats people like tools, you mean. We gotta look into this for Yusuke’s sake.
Let’s finish off Bubbly Hills, 90210.
Music: “Joy” from Persona 3
(Girl voice) I… I still have feelings for you.
(Complete shithead voice) Hmm… I guess if you’re okay with the fact that I have a girlfriend… maybe we can work something out here!
Where does this game, of all games, get off lecturing me about that?
Maaku gains Charm +2.
Anon: prolly some publicity stunt
Anon: Thieves should be arrested!
Anon: Never even heard of them
Anon: Isn’t it just a prank?
Anon: gtfo with that shit LOL
Anon: even kids aren’t that dumb
Oh, that exhibition must be opening today.
It’s really packed… Wanna come back another time?
I want it, but it’s so pricey… I should take out a loan.
I wanna see that! Let’s go together sometime!
Early Morning → Daytime
Music: Break it Down
Keep your head inside the bag. I don’t know how Maaku’s gotten this far while carrying you around everywhere, but you’re bound to get noticed with this many people around.
…And you two are here as well.
You gave us tickets!
Just don’t bother any of the other visitors. Come now, Takamaki-san. I’ll show you the exhibit and tell you about the piece I’d like your help with.
Well, see you guys later.
She’ll be fine, Morgana. I don’t think Yusuke knows what sex is.
Maaaan, do we have to spend a perfectly fine Sunday lookin’ at paintings? I wanna go home…
Ryuji, we’ve been here for thirty seconds.
Yeah, I guess we should at least take a look around…
Huh? I was agreeing with you.
(Interviewer) Your imagination seems boundless. How do you find such deep reservoirs of inspiration time and time again?
I’m just a genius, I guess! Please, continue praising me.
Your styles are so diverse and plentiful, it’s incredible to think that it all comes from a single artist…
But it was! No plagiarism here! Certainly not an absurdly far-reaching and complicated series of frauds! I’m also not funding any massive political murder conspiracies, before you ask.
What’s important is to distance oneself from worldly desires such as money and fame.
Wow, you really live humbly, then! So inspiring!
Feels like I’ve heard the word “shack” somewhere before…
(Sharp-Eyed Customer) Madarame-san is actually here!?
(Excited Customer) Over there!
(Fangirl) I’m so glad I came on opening day!
There’s way too many people!
I’m getting crushed…
Anyways, we gotta head for the exit! Don’t die on us, all right!?
Yes. Sensei does it all… by himself…
Ah, the girl from yesterday. Are you enjoying the exhibit?
I don’t know how to put it into words… but it’s really amazing.
You’re sensing something from the artwork… That alone is enough to give us artists satisfaction. I hope this becomes a wonderful piece, Yusuke.
It had better be, if I’m gonna steal it…
Well then, if you’ll excuse me.
Yes. Absolutely. No disagreement there whatsoever.
I guess it’s the painter’s anger? I’m not sure, but I sense this… strong frustration from it. To think such a cheerful and gentlemanly person could make such a piece…
…… Sorry, that piece is trash. Just absolute garbage. I’m glad my name isn’t on it, hehe…
Don’t mind me. There are better pieces than… this one. Come now, this way!
…But thanks to that, I remember now. It’s about a post online.
Ryuji, I’m sure the people making fun of you on Twitter are big poopheads or whatever. You can’t keep coming to me every time you get dunked on.
Not that! Here, take a look at this.
Thanks for ditching me, guys!
It’s not like that! We had to bail from all the people crushing us in there! Whatever, it doesn’t matter. You should see this too.
This post might be about Madarame.
What’s it say?
“A master of the Japanese arts is plagiarizing his pupil’s work. Only his public face is shown on TV.”
I saw it a while back, but didn’t think twice about it until just now. The word “shack” from Madarame set off some alarm bells, I guess.
Why? Nothing in that post mentioned a shack.
Because… I dunno! Dude seemed sketchy talking up his oh-so-humble lifestyle. Made me wanna puke. So I thought back to this.
“He treats them inhumanely, as if disciplining a dog…”
Abuse on top of plagiarism, hm?
If this is real, it’ll be a huge scandal.
I wonder… could Kitagawa-kun have posted this?
It’s anonymous… so maybe.
Then the Madarame we heard about in Mementos might really be the same person.
This all seems so unbelievable… I wish we could ask that Shadow from earlier more about this.
Unfortunately, the Shadow is gone…
Yeah, and we can’t exactly go blabbin’ about Mementos to the real guy… Plus, Madarame could find out if we’re not careful.
What about you, Maaku? Ain’t Madarame suspicious?
I haven’t trusted anyone older than me since I was six and my parents bought me a goldfish as a lesson about mortality. Goddamn adults hoarding their knowledge… Anyway, yes I agree.
Right? It can’t just be a coincidence. And if it’s legit, isn’t it exactly the kind of target we’ve been searchin’ for?
Well, sure, but… We don’t have enough information yet. It could be false for all we know.
Well, let’s find out. Did you decide about that modeling thing?
Kitagawa-kun gave me his contact info and the address to the atelier.
He lives there, right? Perfect. Let’s try goin’ there tomorrow after school and askin’ him about it.
Daytime → Evening
Music: Beneath the Mask
If it is, this might just be exactly what we needed!
(Male Host) Here’s what we’ve got for you today! First up, the Allergy Relief Pack! Great for anyone who’s sick of being sick! 2 Calming Mask and 20 Wide Eye Drops! These will be in one set! What a steal! But wait! There’s more! Next up. The Cosmetic Cure Gift! Great for anyone seeking peace of mind! 1 Aroma Machine and 1 Omni-Vitamin! These will both be in one set! What a steal!
The Cosmetic Cure Set is both overpriced and not very useful, so we go with the Allergy Relief Pack.
Let’s start reading The Alluring Dancer.
Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)
It wasn’t just her looks, but her way of life was also very beautiful…