Taking the scenario at the end of the Person 5 Royal, I made some effort to put some words together and imagined a new assignment for the Joker when he left the Phantom Thieves behind. The storyline take some abrupt change to a more noir double-life crime story with some moral restraints and an internal fight between the loyalty and the law.
While seeing Akechi passing through his eye in the middle of the Tokyo Station, incredulous how come he still be alive, and more, still pursuing him through the city, the little golden box catches the Joker’s attention. It’s a simple wooden box with small yellowish details. Nothing fancy, furthermore, still have some sense of urgency and tradition.
He is still thinking about all his new friends left behind, since the Phantom Thieves could be no more. Nevertheless, he also can’t take the old man Sojiro out of his mind. The wooden box is shinnying in his lap, the last words of his mentor could be summarize in just some gibberish sensitive stream of an old man who can finally rest with his own family. And that, over all the things that he have testimony through the entire year in the attic of the Café Leblanc, is the main reason he still couldn’t open the box. A mixture of anxiety and fear of what could have be inside this box. He still can read Sojiro, even tough he learned to trust the old man.
More than half of a hour have passed since he started to stare at the box. Taking a deep breath and hoping for the best, Joker finally take some guts and open the box.
If the wood was polished, the shinning gun inside is the pinnacle of polishing. Nothing he saw in his entire life was this bright. Scared, he closes the box. “Could be possible that anyone saw that?”, he thought.
Improbable. Everyone is occupied with his own trip, putting the luggage on the train rack and saying the last goodbyes for the beloved ones who will stay in Tokyo. Joker take a quick look around and open the box again. The shinny small framed 9mm Glock is still there. There is no doubt now, it’s not a dream or an hallucination.
With the gun, also rests, beside it, a letter and an envelope. A full envelope, judging by the size of the bulge coming from. He closes the box, taking with whim the letter and the envelope. Take a look around again to be sure that no one saw the gun, and finally rest the box on the little table in front of him.
Taking an absurd care, Joker opens the letter and start to read the words Sojiro left for him.
Maybe you only will be able to fully understand my actions through this year after sometime, when you finally have your own family, but for now, just give me a vote of confidence and trust me, like I trust you a year ago when you came to my house as a perpetrator.
The things I have do made through all this years are no more than favors for an old friend. A really rich and old friend. Nothing could have happened without his “little” help in the last year, I can assure you. You have to now this in advance because in the next few lines you will finally see the life through my eyes and understand that what I giving to you now it’s not a polite asking, it’s an order, a debt, if you said so.
Twenty years ago I have no money at all and was facing a process in the government office. A really tough one. I was no guilty, at all, that I can assure you. At least not of that particular crime. But the office need a guilty, and I was the weak one in all the corruption gears of the new prime minister. I was devastated because I knew I was innocent and also knew I will be prosecuted and go to jail for some minor thing. Trust me, I never had a choice in this one.
What they were accusing me is irrelevant now, the thing you must know now it’s that this good friend came for my help. With a few other friends of him, of course. He take my face away from the prime minister and leave me with a life debt with him. I can’t said no at the time, so I took it.
Few days later all the process has gone. I don’t how, but I was again just a gear, a joint. And my friend never came to me again, neither to said what he done nor to take charge of my debt.
Some years passed away and I still struggling with money, but at least, the officers never take me anymore for any of the “business” they deal in the night. I look away from then, and they look away from me too. With that, the problems have gone.
Until one day on a cold November afternoon.
I was minding my own business, as usual, when my friend break through the door with another guy. A really tall and though one. Asking me, very nice, to remain calm and follow him. The time has come. The debt will be paid. I thought, at first, that they would call me to bribe someone. Or to pass some new construction work for the city with a high price and some cheap material. But no. My friend was not that type of guy.
“The job is simple, but require a very meticulous guy, like you Sojiro”, he started. “Also”, he continued, “I have to trust this guy with my own life” , he added, “and you are, now, like a little brother to me, and I know you will not disappoint me”.
The words are rash but calm. The henchman was far away, just looking at the streets and taking a cigarette.
I assented, nodded with my head.
“Good”, he added.
“What I’m asking is very simple indeed, you just have to kill someone to me, someone who has been crashing my business by a long time. I tried to get over this guy as many times as I can remember, but he is relentless, and now it’s time to take some more incisive measures. I can assure you that the payment is good, so good that you will start to question yourself about the position as a office boy at the government”.
My eyes were glazed with the words. I never had a gun in my hand and now I have to kill someone. Someone that made nothing to me. Someone that, possibly, it’s just doing his own job and topped up with my friend’s “business”, as he calls.
I don’t have to tell you what happened after, since I lived a good couple of years and you have my gift in your hands right now. This gun was a present from this friend, a little time before he passed away. A gun that sealed me as a associated with his other friends. This gun is a proof that I was loyal and a good employee for them. This gun also payed for the Coffee shop, the house and you romantic dinner. This gun is the reason I’m more than a office man at the government and the reason that I can secure that my daughter have a future. A better future than I had and probably a better one then you will have too.
Take care of the gun. Take the bank card and put aside, you’ll need the money for your heists. I leave a good amount of ¥50 million, it’s enough to start when needed. Take the blank card also. Those are the tools you need when I call you to your new life. A double life. The same way that my beloved friend trusted me twenty years ago, now I trust you. Don’t disappoint me and be aware that you will be called someday to start to pay the debts you have.
The letter was a bomb. Joker has no reaction while reading and, even after, the plain fear was still visible in this face. He always though about how the old man could pay for a house and a coffee shop at Tokyo just with some retirement founds from the government. A coffee shop that spent more time empty than with clients. But now, everything just make sense. That abrupt leaves at in the middle of the afternoon, the constant speech trials with him, that time were the shop was broken to the ground (and the quick way the old man could handle the reform).
It’s not like it never was some strange and disturbing noise around everything at Leblanc, but a murderer for the mob was not in the first positions he can think for Sojiro. A calm old man that can wield a gun and take a life without no effort. And he was doing this for more than two decades now.
Joker rest his head on the back of the seat while the train start to move. He had no idea of what he was doing or how to manage his new life. Sojiro left no choice for him. The disturbing noises from the wheels on the rails were rushed up by the screaming thoughts inside his head. A golden gun, a blank card and ¥50M in some obscure bank.
“Take the gun, leave the cannoli”.