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Everyone's got that one friend who you can always count on. Your A1 Day One. Your ride or die homie. That one pal whose always got your back, even if they're not the sharpest tool in the shed. Tonight on Deadliest Fiction, we have a showdown between two such young men, brash heroes who are both pure of heart and dumb of ass, who were gifted with extraordinary abilities. Watch in awe as Okuyasu Nijimura, wielder of the Hand who helped stop a serial killer in the bizarre summer of 1999, brawls with Ryuji Sakamoto, former track star who become one of the founding members of the infamous Phantom Thieves! We'll compare their abilities and skills to determine the answer to the ultimate question...

WHO...IS...DEADLIEST???

Intro

Okuyasu Nijimura

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I'm not that smart, okay? I just do what my heart tells me to do.
— Okuyasu Nijimura

Raised alongside his brother Keicho by an abusive minion of Dio Brando, Okuyasu Nijimura's life took a drastic turn following Dio's death, which caused the spore implanted in his father's head to turn him into a mutant. Raised by Keicho, Okuyasu was heavily reliant on his domineering older sibling, letting him make his decisions for him, including moving to Morioh after acquiring a bow and arrow that could create Stands. Keicho began creating hostile Stand users, hoping to find one that could kill their father, which ended up bringing the brothers into conflict with Josuke Higashikata and Koichi Hirose, who were investigating the appearance of Stands in Morioh.

After a brief fight with Josuke, Okuyasu was knocked out, then badly injured when Keicho's Stand, Bad Company, opened fire on him, only to be saved by Josuke, who healed him. Confused by the kindness shown him, Okuyasu helped rescue Koichi from Keicho, then witnessed his brother's death at the hands of Akira Oitishi. Okuyasu swore to avenge his brother's murderer and quickly befriended Josuke and Koichi, becoming part of an inseparable trio with them and working with Josuke's nephew Jotaro Kujo to not only capture Oitishi, but investigate the serial murders committed by Yoshikage Kira.

The investigation came to a head when Josuke and Okuyasu confronted Kira and engaged him in a brutal fight in which Okuyasu was seemingly killed. In a dream, Okuyasu meets with Keicho, who offers him a place in the afterlife, but Okuyasu ultimately makes his own choice and chooses to go back to Morioh, arriving just in time to save Josuke. Working with the rest of the team, Okuyasu savagely beats Kira, then witnesses him being run over by an ambulance. As Jotaro leaves Morioh, Okuyasu is seen living a happier life with both his father and Stray Cat, a Stand-using plant/cat hybrid used as a weapon by Kira.

Ryuji Sakamoto

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I guess what I really wanna say is, you gotta do stuff for people beyond just yourself if you wanna succeed.
— Ryuji Sakamoto

Left with just his mother after being abandoned by his abusive father, Ryuji Sakamoto was left with both a poor temper and a need to ease his mother's burden in life, leading him to becoming a track athlete in high school. Initially an excellent athlete widely respected among his teammates, Ryuji's success was complicated by the arrival of Suguru Kamoshida, who undermined and sabotaged the track team to ensure his volleyball team would be the only major team at Shujin Academy. The final straw came when Kamoshida mocked Ryuji over his parents, which led to Ryuji attacking him and getting his leg broken in "self-defense", with the incident leading to the dissolution of the track team.

Now an outcast, Ryuji befriended Joker, a fellow loner, and the two stumbled into the Metaverse, where they found Kamoshida's "Palace", a mental world created by his desires, where they meet Morgana, a cat-like creature who helps them escape the Palace while teaching them about the Metaverse. Upon the trio's return to the Palace, Ryuji is able to awaken his Persona, Captain Kidd, and help fight Kamoshida's minions. Working alongside Ann Takamaki, a student Kamoshida was attempting to extort sexual favors from, the group forms The Phantom Thieves of Heart and triggers a change of heart in Kamoshida, then vows to take down others who would prey on society in a similar fashion.

As the Thieves become more and more popular and gain several new members, Ryuji also uncovers a plot by one of Kamoshida's flunkies to bring back the track team and use it for money and fame, and works with Joker to put a stop to it, ultimately declining to rejoin the reformed team so it won't conflict with his time as a Phantom Thief.

Weapons, Powers, and Abilities

Okuyasu Nijimura

Don't think you can use your bullshit on me twice! I'm Okuyasu Nijimura, bastard!... You wanna know [how I knew who was the enemy]? I was planning on punching the both of you! 'cause I'm not too smart, you know?
— Okuyasu Nijimura

Powers and Abilities:

Take a load off Fanny/Take a load for free/Take a load off Fanny/And (and) (and) you put the load right on meeeee
  • The Hand: Okuyasu's Stand is The Hand, a humanoid short-range stand that can be projected up to two meters away from. It is notable primarily for it's absurdly powerful and effective powerset, which is described below, and Okuyasu's surprising talent and mastery with it.
    • Erasing Ability: The Hand's primary ability is the power to erase objects or people from existence entirely by making a swiping motion with it's right hand, erasing anything in it's path. Once an object is erased, it vanishes entirely and cannot be recovered, with the empty space then being filled by the area around it. Due to this ability being focused on the Hand's palm, it can be blocked or dodged by a quick or strong enough opponent, such as Crazy Diamond.
    • Teleportation: Since the Hand also erases empty space, it is possible for Okuyasu to effectively teleport, erasing the space between him and a person or object and bringing himself closer. Using this power, he could keep up with a speeding motorcycle and get the drop on Josuke by pulling him in close during their initial ability.
    • Superhuman Strength/Durability: The Hand is also incredibly powerful in physical combat, punching holes in reinforced steel and keeping up with Crazy Diamond in a pitched fight.
  • High Physical Condition: Okuyasu is himself fairly strong and durable, at one point knocking a man out with one punch and regularly surviving seemingly mortal wounds, such as one of Stray Cat's bombs and a hail of gunfire from Bad Company, though he needed Josuke's healing to properly recover.

Ryuji Sakamoto

I'm done runnin' away from my problems!
— Ryuji Sakamoto

Weapons:

  • Imprisoned Mjolnir: Ryuji's melee style revolves around bludgeoning and beating opponents with weapons like pipes, clubs, and hammers, with his most effective tool being Imprisoned Mjolnir, which is created by itemizing Thor in the Velvet Room. Like it's namesake, it's a hammer that can shock opponents, potentially stunning them.
  • Megido Blaster: Ryuji's weapon preference revolves around shotguns, the most powerful of which is the Megido Blaster, which is created by itemizing Shiva. It is a pump-action shotgun with 3 shots that has a chance to inflict burn damage, which hurts over time.

Powers and Abilities:

My parents taught me well to shun the gates of Hell/But against them I rebelled/As I sailed, as I sailed
  • William: Ryuji's Third-tier Persona is William, named after Captain Kidd, the infamous 17th century pirate who also inspired his original Persona, Captain Kidd. William's specialty in Physical and Electric attacks, allowing him to punish enemies with devastating Physical attacks after targeting their weaknesses. It can also boost the attack power of Ryuji's allies, with it's major drawback being it's weakness to wind-based attacks, though it is outright immune to electric attacks and can resist fire-based ones. It also has a variety of attacks and other abilities, such as:
    • Ziodyne: Heavy Elec damage and inflict Shock (low odds) to 1 foe.
    • Maziodyne: Heavy Elec damage and inflict Shock (low odds) to all foes.
    • Agneyastra: Medium Physical damage to all foes 1x to 3x.
    • God's Hand: Colossal Physical damage to 1 foe.
    • Matarukaja: Increase Attack of party for 3 turns.
    • Fighting Spirit: Next Physical or Gun attack inflicts 2.5x damage for party.
    • Elec Boost: Strengthen Elec attacks by 25%. Passive.
    • Shock Boost: Increase chance of inflicting Shock. Passive.
    • Eccentric Temper: May increase allies' physical attacks by 80%. William's passive trait.
  • Peak Physicality: Being in the Metaverse enhances Ryuji's natural physical abilities, allowing him to perform impressive physical feats. Despite his crippled leg, Ryuji can easily keep up with the parkour and acrobatics of the other Thieves, to the point where he was able to outrun (and survive) a series of enormous explosions that destroyed Shido's Palace, securing his friends escape at the apparent cost of his own life. He is also incredibly strong, serving alongside Yusuke and Akechi as the Thieves most consistently powerful physical attacker, and capable of surviving all manner of attacks, from explosions to stabbings to beatings to being hit with magic spells, and walking it off.

X-Factors

Okuyasu Nijimura X-Factors Ryuji Sakamoto
70 Experience 90
30 Training 35
45 Intelligence 40
80 Mobility 85
60 Brutality 65

Explanations

  • Okuyasu faced a number of Stand users, each with strange, unpredictable abilities, over the course of a crazy summer, but it was ultimately a three month period in which he got in a handful of fights. Ryuji has him beat in both time, having been a Phantom Thief for almost an entire year, and variety, thanks to battles with a wide variety of enemies including knights, demons, angels, eldritch monstrosities, rival Persona wielders, and even two straight-up gods, giving him a fairly notable edge.
  • Neither guy has any real training, having largely learned through experience and tinkering with their own powers, but Ryuji takes a small edge due to the (grudging) mentorship of Morgana and being able to work alongside teammates that he could bounce his own abilities and skills of off. Okuyasu only ever had Keicho, who wasn't exactly the most doting of siblings, giving him little chance to learn the extent of his abilities.
  • Okuyasu and Ryuji are both notably unintelligent and reliant on others to make plans for them, and while Ryuji does show moments of depth and wit such as his scheme to out the new coach of the track team or his noted expertise on exercise and sports, he never makes an effort to push himself or mature over the course of his time as a Thief. On top of being surprisingly responsible with money, Okuyasu notably develops into someone a lot more confident and clever over the course of his friendship with Josuke, ultimately making his own choices and helping to defeat Kira, and it shows in his creativity with his Stand's powers, experimenting with them to turn a short-ranged Stand into something a lot more dangerous.
  • Okuyasu has the Hand's teleportation ability, which allows him to close short distances and keep up with a speeding bike, but other than that's he a fairly standard teenager and is limited in his movement as such. Ryuji may have a bad leg, but it does little to slow him down in the field, and he's regularly able to keep with the other Thieves as they pull off complicated parkour and infiltration.
  • Okuyasu is short-tempered and quick to a fight, but he's never shown a particular willingness to kill people. Even when he confronted the man who murdered his brother, he ultimately beat him to a pulp and left him for the others to deal with. Ryuji is similarly quick to violence and has no problem killing generic Shadows, but he draws the line at actual people, showing horror and disgust after the apparent death of Kunikazu Okumura and hesitating at the initial idea of a change of heart if it meant potentially killing Kamoshida, his worst enemy, though he loses this reservation following Shiho's attempted suicide.

Notes

  • Voting ends February 23rd, the release date of Persona 5 Strikers.
  • It will be set in DFederal.
  • Scenario: After a long day of school and studying, Ryuji and Okuyasu both stop at the same diner to grab a bite to eat. Trouble arises when Okuyasu uses the Hand to swipe the last sandwich and refuses to hand it over when confronted, and a fight ensues.

The Battle

The ringing school bell represented the end of another day at DFederal’s North University, with numerous students shuffling out of their classrooms and towards the school’s various exits to their respective districts. Numerous conversations blended together into a larger, difficult to understand mix, but one particularly loud voice stood out among the rest.

“Eugh, that was friggin’ boring!”

Ryuji Sakomoto yawned and stretched as he exited the classroom, where the professor, a bald man with a distinct glasses and goatee combo, attempted to remind the class that their chemistry quiz was next week, only to give up after it became clear he’d lost their attention. Ryuji, followed closely by Joker, headed down the hallway towards the doors to the greater campus. He stopped at the foot of the stairs and looked at Joker with a sheepish grin.

“Dude, I hope you took notes because I was totally gonna pass out by the end of that. What a drag.”

Joker sighed and replied, “Do you like any of the classes here?”

Continuing to walk, Ryuji paused, scratching the back of his head as he wracked his brain, then shrugged, mumbling, “I dunno, gym’s pretty cool sometimes.”

At that, there was ruffling in Joker’s bag, and a small black and white cat with distinct blue eyes poked his head out, smirking as it asked, “Is that because of your crush on Coach Li?”

Stopping dead in his tracks, Ryuji’s eyes widened as his cheek turned a shade of red and he raised a fist at Morgana, who stuck his tongue out in response.

“Wha-NO! S-SHUT UP YOU STUPID CAT!”

Morgana’s indignant response that he was not, in fact, a cat was muffled as Joker firmly put his hand over the cat’s face and shoved him back into the bag. Ryuji laughed, then stopped to sheepishly rub his stomach as it loudly growled. He chuckled, then said, “Damn, guess havin’ to sit through that class worked up an appetite. I might swing by LaBeau’s and see if Yusuke’s got anything cookin’. You in?”

Joker shook his head.

“Sorry, I’m gonna wait for Makoto to get out of Student Council.”

Ryuji rolled his eyes and scoffed.

“Lame, but whatever. I’ll see you back at our place.”

With that, the two went their separate ways, with Joker heading towards one of the school buildings while Ryuji headed towards the gates, giving Joker a final peace sign that quickly turned into a middle finger as Morgana poked back out of the bag to look at him.


“Oi, Josuke, what’d you get on number three? I’m totally stumped, bro.”

Sitting at the foot of Josuke’s bed, Okuyasu held up his homework for Josuke to look over, and Josuke very politely took the paper and squinted at his friend’s various doodles, before laughing at his answer.

“How did you get 1866? The answers are all single digits, dude.”

Okuyasu threw his hands up in annoyance and snapped, “We’ve been at this for, like, three hours. It’s boring and I’m totally starving. Can we do anything else?”

Josuke gave a wary glance to the clock hanging over his desk to see that they had been studying for a while, then said, “Yeah, screw it,” before slamming his book shut and tossing it aside.

“Let’s grab something at LaBeau’s, then try this stuff again.”

Okuyasu beamed and excitedly followed Josuke as they left his room, with Josuke stopping to yell down the hall, “Ey, old man, we’re gonna head out and get a bite! We’ll be back in a bit.”

From Josuke’s father’s office, a voice replied, “Before you go, could you lend me a hand, Josuke? These damned essays are taking longer to grade than I expected, and I could use another set of eyes! You know how mine get after too much reading.”

Josuke groaned, but nodded and trudged towards the office, turning back to his friend with a reluctant expression and saying, “Just save me something good. Like one of those chicken sandwiches they sell or something. I’ll catch up.”

Okuyasu gave Josuke a determined nod, then headed down the stairs.


The bell above the door of LaBeau’s Diner gave a friendly ring as Ryuji stepped inside, sighing in annoyance at the sizable line by the cash register. It was the downside of making such good food so close to a school: the place was always packed when the school closed. Pushing through the small crowd, Ryuji walked up to the counter and attempted to get the attention of the owner, who was more invested in showing an impressed woman with short black hair and glasses a card trick.

“Hey, excuse me dude, looking for one of the cooks here.”

No response as the card melts in a burst of purple flame, leaving it in the shape of a heart.

“Hello? Sitting right here, man.”

The owner hands her the makeshift heart and she gives him a wry smile, which quickly vanishes and changes to a mixture of annoyance and concern as Ryuji pounds his fist on the bar.

“Hey, asshole! Quit ignorin’ me when I’m trying to ask you a question.”

The owner rolled his eyes and chuckles, gesturing for the woman to wait one moment, then sidled up to Ryuji and looked the teen over.

“Fraid I’m gone have to ask ya to abstain from such nasty language in here, mon ami.”

Ryuji massaged his brow in annoyance.

“Look, I’m just trying to find my friend. Yusuke. Blue hair? Tall? Kind of weird in a cool way?”

At the mention of his name, Yusuke peeked through the kitchen window and gave Ryuji a friendly wave before stepping out to greet him, taking a moment to wipe his hands clean. The issue resolved, Gambit returned to his flirting, only to find the woman gone. He smirked. She’d come back. They always do. Yusuke leaned against the bar and asked, “Ah, Ryuji, what brings you to visit my workplace? I suppose you’d like to try my latest masterpiece?”

Ryuji grinned and nodded excitedly.

“Hell yeah, dude. I don’t know how you do it, but no one can whip up a sandwich like that.”

Yusuke nodded.

“Yes, I am very grateful to LaBeau-san for allowing me to experiment and hone my craft behind the grill. It has truly broadened my perspective. Now, my art contains the perspective, no, the true sweat and tears of a working man!”

On the last point, Yusuke dramatically wiped his hand across his brow, and Ryuji stared in polite confusion.

“…yeah, anyway, can you whip one up for me? Gonna take it to go so I can eat back at our place.”

Yusuke frowned, stroking his chin with a troubled expression, and reluctantly explained, “Unfortunately, we are fairly busy. If I were to prepare a fresh meal, you would likely be waiting for a half an hour at the earliest. Although-“ He gestured towards a glass box containing a small set of rotating plates that sat under a heat lamp, helpfully labelled “The Snatch ‘n Grab”, “-there is one remaining, though I must admit that eating it after it’s been sitting there does not reflect my work at it’s strongest.”

Ryuji’s stomach grumbled again and he gave an apologetic shrug to Yusuke.

“Yeah, that’s sad and all, but I’m starving. See you after work, man.”

He stepped towards the Snatch ‘n Grab, mouth watering in anticipation, and opened the door, reaching excitedly for the tin-foil wrapped sandwich, only to cry out in surprise as the sandwich flew off the plate and directly over his shoulder and into the hand of another teenager, this one with short hair and a distinct X across his front.

Okuyasu grinned as he stepped towards the register to make his order. Thanks to the Hand, he’d been able to secure Josuke’s meal, but he just needed to figure out his. Maybe he’d get the gumbo? Although, he was feeling in the mood for a burger with cheese fries now that he was thinking about it? His thoughts of food were interrupted by a scowling Ryuji stepping in front of him and firmly placing a hand on his shoulder.

“Hey asshole, that was mine!”

Annoyed, Okuyasu slapped Ryuji’s hand away and frowned.

“Yeah, well I saw it first! You snooze, you lose, bro.”

Ryuji’s nostrils flared and he jabbed a finger into Okuyasu’s chest, earning a scowl from the teenager.

“You used your weird-ass powers to take it, so save that “snoozed and lose” bullshit.”

Gambit whistled, getting both of their attentions, and raised a card, letting it glow as a clear threat, before saying, “Now, if you boys are gone cause trouble, I’d advise it takin’ outside. Make sense?”

Ryuji grinned and answered, “Oh, trust me, if he wants to go, he can meet me outs-“

His boast was cut short by Okuyasu summoning the Hand and landing a blow to Ryuji’s jaw, sending him flying through the window of the diner and tumbling into the street. Kicking up the food on the table in front of him, Okuyasu quickly scaled it and jumped through the newly made hole. Concerned, Yusuke quickly untied his apron and went to leave, only for Gambit to stop him and shake his head with a reassuring, “You’re still on the clock, mon ami. Gone have to let your friend handle himself on dis one, no?”

As Ryuji groaned and pulled himself up, Okuyasu cracked his knuckles and let the Hand float above him.

“Trust me, you don’t wanna mess with the Hand.”

Wiping blood from his mouth, Ryuji grinned and boasted,” Oh, you think that’s tough? Let me show you some real shit, asshole,” before pressing his finger to bridge of his nose and yelling, “WILLIAM!”

In a burst of light, Ryuji’s normal school clothes vanished, replaced with an all-black leather outfit topped off with a red bandana around his neck and a black skull mask, while a large skeletal figure standing atop some form of boat towered over him. Okuyasu took a step back, momentarily surprised, then his eyes narrowed in determination and he sent the Hand forward. The Stand quickly threw a punch which William rushed to block, then counter with it’s own blow, sending Okuyasu stumbling back.

Using his opponent’s momentary weakness, Ryuji casts Ziodyne, with William firing a blast of lighting that Okuyasu scrambled to avoid, summoning the Hand to sever one of the bolts clean in half. Ryuji stared, confused as the bolts travelled in two separate directions.

“For real?!? How the hell do you erase lightning?”

Okuyasu smirked and replied, “That’s my Stand’s power. Anything my right hand touches gets erased like it was never there! Still think you got a chance against me?”

With that, the Hand lunged forward, throwing a series of punches that Ryuji struggled to dodge, with leaving him gasping in pain as one blow collided with his gut. Dropping to the ground, Ryuji casts God Hand, and a giant hand rockets towards Okuyasu, who quickly resummons the Hand to block it. The force of the impact sends Okuyasu skidding down the alley, and he takes a moment to catch his breath as Ryuji stands back up. The two advanced towards each other, and their respective fighting spirits clash once more, with the Hand blocking a strike from William as the two stood locked in place.

Ryuji unsummons William and charges forward, ducking under the Hand as he draws Mjolnir and swings it forcefully, smashing it into Okuyasu’s side and causing him to spit blood in pain. The Hand moves quickly, putting itself between Ryuji and it’s wielder, and Ryuji tries and fails to swipe at it, the hammer passing uselessly through the Stand before it counters with it’s right hand, cutting the weapon clean in two. As the top of the hammer clatters to the ground, Ryuji can only stammer out a confused, “For re-“ before a fierce uppercut from the Hand collides with his chin and knocks him into the air. The Hand raises it’s right hand and erases the air around Ryuji, pulling him facefirst into it’s fist, the blow knocking him into a set of trashcans.  

Ryuji stands on shaky legs as Okuyasu confidently watches him.

“People can’t hurt Stands, dude. C’mon, even I know that.”

Tightening his grip on Mjolnir and ignoring the pain in his side, Ryuji grits his teeth and replies, “Well, in that case, WHOOP EM PERSONA!”

William aims it’s arm cannon and fires, letting loose another Ziodyne that surrounds Okuyasu and coats him in electric bursts. Okuyasu tries to cry out, but he realizes he’s frozen in place. Following up, William slams into Okuyasu, smashing him into the wall of the alley, then uppercuts him into the air. As Okuyasu tumbles to the ground, Ryuji grabs the top half of Mjolnir, pointing it with an exaggerated flourish, and then pulls back and swings with all his strength, the hammer colliding with Okuyusu’s back and shooting him down the alley, where he hits a wall and slumps to the ground.

Panting, Ryuji lets the hammer fall to the ground once he realizes his foe isn’t getting up, then walks cautiously towards the downed Okuyasu before digging through his jacket until he pulls out his prize: a slightly smashed chicken sandwich, still wrapped in slightly crackling tin foil. Pulling it open, he breathes a sigh of relief as he sees the damage isn’t too severe, then tucks the re-wrapped sandwich into his coat pocket. His grin of triumph changes to a frown as he glances back at the broken window of the diner, through which several patrons stared at him in both shock and concern, and he awkwardly rubbed the back of his head as his Thieves outfit reverted to his original clothes.

“Hey, what are you all staring at? I’m gonna pay for it! The sandwich, I mean. The window was his fault. Honest.”

Inside the diner, one of the patrons, a young man in an olive-green suit and red teashades, amused by the proceedings, writes down the events in his notebook and underlines the words “Have Ramona update statuses”. That had certainly made for an entertaining watch on his lunchbreak, so why not throw a reward the boy’s way?


Josuke massaged the back of his neck as he walked towards the diner. His dad’s work had taken almost an hour, but he’d finally managed to help finish it. He just hoped he hadn’t kept Okuyasu waiting too long with their food. His concerns were replaced as he turned the corner to see a dazed Okuyasu sitting on the steps of the diner, holding a bag of ice over his eye. Upon seeing Josuke, he waved, and his friend ran to his side.

“Okuyasu! What the hell happened, man?”

“Some dude took our lunch. Don’t worry though, I kicked his ass.”

Quickly summoning Crazy Diamond, Josuke repairs Okuyasu’s injuries, then helps him to his feet with a vengeful frown.

“Well, where is this guy? Let’s show him why they don’t mess with the unstoppable duo!”

Okuyasu waves him off and replies, “Okay, so I sort of lost him, BUT a bunch of people saw me totally kick his ass before that and they bought us this!”

He excitedly holds up a large brown bag, and Josuke stares at him in bafflement.

“Wait, they bought you lunch?”

“Hell yeah. Now, come on, I ain’t gonna be able to eat this by myself.”

Okuyasu started the walk back to the Joestar estate, and Josuke, both amused and deeply confused by the turn of events, followed him. After all, a free lunch was a free lunch, no matter how one acquired it.


“So, what you’re saying is you lost Mjolnir in a fight over a chicken sandwich?”

At Joker’s query, Ryuji nodded, while Makoto and Morgana both sighed.

“Yeah, there was this dude, and he had something called a Stand that was like a Persona but also not like a Persona, and he tried to steal my sandwich, so then when I tried to get it back, he hit me, and THEN-“

Joker held up a hand, silencing him, and asked, “You want me to try and get it back?”

Ryuji nodded, looking at the ground and awkwardly kicking a pebble out of embarrassment, while Makoto massaged her temples and Morgana snickered. Joker paused to think about it, wondering if his employer would be able to make that happen. Given what he’d seen him do in the past, he was pretty confident he could do it for him.

“Yeah, I’ll try.”

Ryuji smiled and pulled Joker in for an enthusiastic hug, which he eventually reciprocated, then exclaimed, “Nice! I promise I won’t lose this one, dude!”

As the quartet ascended the stairs to their apartment, Joker stopped by the Thieves collective mailbox. Very rarely did they receive any sort of notice, but it was nice to make a habit of checking, nonetheless. His brow furrowed as he realized the sole piece of mail was for, of all people, Ryuji, and he held it out to him. After a moment’s hesitation, Ryuji took the envelope, then tore it open to find a small slip of paper that simply read, “For an enjoyable spectacle. -B”

Ryuji’s confusion turned into a massive grin as he realized the other content of the envelope: a small key with an address attached to it. Excitedly, he held the key out and yelled, “Looks like ya boi is getting his own pad! Man, chicks are so gonna dig this!”

Expert’s Opinion

Okuyasu’s Stand mastery made him a formidable foe for Ryuji, but he was ultimately hampered by the lack of versatile options his Stand could provide. William could match the Hand in terms of power, and it’s electric and physical attacks meant that Ryuji had plenty of surprises in store, while his weapons enabled him to fight even without his Persona’s assistance. Everyone’s favorite PHANTOM THIEF just had the experience and skillset to win in this back-alley scrap.

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