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Fanfic / The Thief of Light, The Maid of Shadows

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Cover art by Nankodoujin

"Sadayo Kawakami wanted nothing to do with Akira Kurusu, her new transfer student. He was a problem child with a criminal record and she simply wished he was taken out of her hands. She had no idea how much her life would change after an accidental encounter with him during her night job, or how important a person he would become in her life, just like she would his."
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The Thief of Light, The Maid of Shadows is an ongoing Persona 5 fanfic written by Lonely_Support.

The fanfic largely follows the canonical events of the game, but almost exclusively from the perspective of Sadayo Kawakami, and focusing largely on her growing relationship with her student, Akira Kurusu. It explores and contextualized much of Kawakami's Confidant route, adding its own flavor by the characterization that Akira is given, and expanding upon it, as well as continuing to explore and expand on the relationship well past the point where the Confidant ends, and how this affects the lives of both Akira and Sadayo, and those they grow close to.

For the most part, it largely overlooks and/or references the more supernatural elements of the video game (Akira's adventures with his comrades as Phantom Thieves), and instead opts to focus more on the mundane but far more relatable struggles of their daily lives, expanding on the protagonists' backgrounds, lives, social circles and families, adding quite the depth to them and making the story that much more immersive.

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The fanfic provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Nickname: Eventually, "Master" becomes this from Sadayo to Akira, and "Becky" is very much the same from the other end. Just as well, "My Mistress" from Akira to Sadayo.
  • The Atoner: While a secret, this is what drives Kawakami early in the story: Wanting to make up for failing her former and deceased student, Taiki Takase.
  • Aura Vision: Joker's "Third Eye" ability from the game, which gets explored in the narrative and tested by Kawakami as Akira proves how he can tell what's what, even at a distance, while having his eyes blindfolded.
  • Bash Brothers: Joker and Skull. Both having been used to fighting together by this point that they are quite in sync when fighting Oberon. Same with Panther and Queen dealing with Titania.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Akira in a nutshell. He may be The Hero, but when he's pissed off, his expression will send a chill down everyone's spine.
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  • Blackmail: Part of the Confidant route (in more ways than one) and henceforth integrated into the fanfic.
  • Bring It: By the time the group find the Takase's Shadows Akira is just about done with them. Walking up to the Husband and slugging him in the face before telling him to get up, since he's not don with him yet.
  • Chick Magnet: Chapter 20 reveals that not only Sadayo, but Chihaya, Tae and Ohya all have feelings for Akira. Unusually enough, though, none seem to have intentions of acting on those feelings and instead seem to respect the fact that he and Sadayo are already dating.
  • Childhood Friends: Akira is revealed to have one later in the story: Hana Izumi. Her introduction to the story later might or might not complicate things for both him and Sadayo.
  • Christmas Cake: Bit of a factor for Sadayo, who at times can't help but feel a little jealous whenever Akira's hanging out with girls closer to his age.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Notably averted. While Sadayo is not above feeling a bit jealous and insecure at times (which is understandable, considering Akira is a Chick Magnet), she never lets this overtake her or drive her to do something irrational.
  • Combat and Support: While Sadayo never gets directly involved with the Phantom Thieves activities, she later starts supporting the cause through crafting tools for them, managing their resources, and even providing massages to treat overexerted muscles during combat.
  • The Confidant: Almost all of Akira's Confidants have made an appearance at least once in the story interacting with him. They are always happy to help Akira out when he needs assistance, and he even asked some of them to help him out with Sadayo's situation. Sadayo has actually either seen or met most of them herself as well.
  • Contrived Coincidence: In a way, the catalyst for Akira and Sadayo to start growing closer.
  • Cool Teacher: Sadayo actually lacks a few of the talents she displays in the original game, but she nonetheless proves to be quite the reliable teacher once her life starts piecing itself together.
    • Psychologist Teacher: Once Sadayo is free from the blackmail she's been suffering for so long, she starts to become this, not only becoming a better teacher, but also starting to notice her students' struggles and helping them in any way she can.
    • Stern Teacher: But don't think she'll let you slack around!
  • Cool Uncle: Akira's foster uncle, Tetsuya Sawada.
  • Despair Speech: Sadayo has one big one in Chapter 11, as she gets pushed to her breaking point and reaches her Despair Event Horizon. She was able to climb up from said despair thanks to Akira's support, but it didn't last long.
  • Emotion Control: A benign example of this trope. Akira is so filled with rage at the Takases for what they did to Sadayo that he uses a Nigi Mitama with Null Rage to keep himself calm. Once he finds out the guardian's motivations though, that goes out the window.
  • Fake Relationship: Discussed In-Universe, as Akira happens to find himself in two situations where he pretends to be another girl's, but chose to discuss it with Sadayo first before giving his answer. At least for the second time it happened, as the first one happened before they dated.
  • Festival Episode: The Fireworks Festival from the game that is cut short due to the weather is expanded upon and made to coincide with the night that concludes the Confidant Route, and leads to the Relationship Upgrade, the firework show happening at the distance giving an even further romantic connotation to the final moment shared between the new couple that night.
  • First Kiss: Chapter 19, at long last!
  • First-Name Basis: The story makes careful and deliberate use of the moments in which Akira and Sadayo refer to each other by their first names, originally happening as mere slips of the tongue, but later as a natural consequence of their Relationship Upgrade.
  • Fortune Teller: Chihaya Mifune's powers are talked about a bit in the story, as she is trying to figure out a way to save Akira from his fate by using her deck of cards to find those with whom he's formed strong bonds.
    • She's actually the one that instigates the Four-Temperament Ensemble, and is able to tell that Akira is in a romantic relationship with the person who represents the Temperance Arcana thanks to her experience as a fortune teller.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble
    • Sanguine: Chihaya Mifune (Cheerful, overly friendly)
    • Choleric: Ichiko Ohya (Loud, upfront, outspoken)
    • Phlegmatic: Sadayo Kawakami (Supportive, comforting)
    • Melancholic: Tae Takemi (Cold, calculating)
      • Highlighted when the four of them become friends by Chapter 20.
  • Good Parents: Both Akira and Sadayo's parents are brought up and explored during the story, with both pairs having wanted nothing but the best for their children. Serves as a stark contrast to the antagonistic Takases, who are about the worst type of guardians a child could end up with.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: With everything Akira has to deal with involving his criminal record, being the leader of the Phantom Thieves, the Metaverse, and just the large amount of contacts and people he knows and has gotten involved with, it would be very taxing for anyone. For him, Sadayo is like an oasis where he can just put all of that behind him and just act like a normal high-schooler with his loving girlfriend. Well, as normal as dating your teacher can be.
  • Hidden Depths: Nearly all characters that are given focus eventually reveal this.
  • Hot Teacher: Take a guess.
  • Lap Pillow
  • Luminescent Blush: As of Chapter 21, the word "blush" has shown up seventy-eight times.
  • Meido: Just look at the cover.
  • Messy Hair: Both protagonists.
  • My Greatest Failure: Sadayo in regards to Taiki, the student that she tried to help.
  • Muggle–Mage Romance: On the one hand, Akira is also known as Joker. Leader of the slowly becoming infamous Phantom Thieves. Capable of going into another world, do amazing feats of acrobatics, summon powerful beings known as Personas and able to change the hearts of criminals. On the other hand. Sadayo Kawakami is just a regular high School Language teacher.
  • Now, Let Me Carry You: At Chapter 14, after all the help Akira provided for her, Sadayo turns the table on him, borderline commanding him to stop trying to handle all by himself and to allow her to help her now that he needs a hand, least he ends up expelled from school. It also serves as a theme for the story, as mutual support is practically the foundation for the couple's relationship.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: This is basically the one defining event in their lives that Akira and Sadayo share, and has shaped their present day's circumstances. Both of them tried to help someone who needed it, both their lives were screwed over because of this, leaving one branded with a criminal record, and the other a guilt-burdened victim of blackmail.
  • The Oldest Profession: Discussed. Akira inquired Sadayo about the nature of her work as a maid, learning that no, her current work does not involve any sexual services beyond a few teases. However, when things get worse for her, she actually dares consider such line of job in order to pay the money she's demanded.
  • Platonic Prostitution: Kawakami's job as a maid.
  • The Power of Friendship: Lampshaded by Takemi during Chapter 21.
  • Private Tutor: Sadayo once did this. It's what got her in serious trouble later on.
  • Real Men Cook: While Sadayo slowly improves as the story goes, it is clear that Akira is the better cook of the two. It's mainly coffee and curry, but more often than not it's him who's doing the cooking.
  • Relationship Upgrade: At long last happening at the climax of Chapter 15.
  • Road Apples: For a rich girl, Haru is surprisingly comfortable handling manure.
  • Secret Keeper: Sadayo and Akira to each other, but also plenty of other characters as the story develops.
  • Self-Deprecation: Arguably one of Sadayo's biggest flaws.
  • Sentimental Drunk: Both Sadayo and Chihaya are a lot more open with their emotions after a few glasses.
  • Shipper on Deck: Futaba knows, and she's rooting for them.
  • Teachers out of School
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Pretty much the focus of the story. It is made clear that both parties are aware of the taboo nature of their relationship, and thus do their best to make it work despite the setbacks and the fact tha they gotta keep it secret. Furthermore, they both make sure to put a clear divide between their roles at school, and their relationship as a couple. That being said, it doesn't stop Akira from teasing his teacher from time to time.
  • Understanding Boyfriend: Due to Sadayo's maturity, Sadayo always tries her best to be understanding. She tries her to get a good grasp of what all the Metaverse stufs, she knows and embraces the fact Akira is an unapologetic Meddler who never hesitates to help others, and is even GenreSavvy enough to not jump the gun and hear him out. (Like when she found the photo of him and his friends at the maid cafe). As Akira sort of Lampshades,"It pays to be with a mature woman."

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