"Hey! Hey! Are you awake? Hello?"
I woke up to the sound of a boy's voice. I couldn't recognize who it was. Lifting my head slightly, I realized I was sitting in a desk. Had I fallen asleep in class? Embarrassed, I sat up. Wiping the drool from my cheek with my hand.
"Oh! You're awake! That's good. I was worried for a moment."
It was the same boy that had spoken before. His voice was warm and friendly. But I still had no idea who he was. I looked over to see him smiling at me. He had shaggy red hair that curled around his ears and his eyes were electric blue. His lips were curled into a welcoming smile, perfectly framed by his chiseled cheek bones. He was wearing a black tank top, which seemed kind of tight. The tank top emphasized the boys muscles. He wasn't extremely buff or anything, but you could tell that he was an athlete. He was also wearing white basketball shorts, which exposed his equally muscular legs. He finished off the athletic appearance with blinding white laced up runners.
"Is there something in my teeth?" the boy said worriedly. He quickly placed his hand over his mouth, turning away.
"No!" I said. I hadn't realized that I had been staring at him. I tried to remember his name, but I couldn't. I didn't want to seem rude, but I had to ask.
"Um... who are you?" I asked. I wasn't sure if it was because I had just woken up, but I couldn't remember anything about this boy. He sighed and shook his head.
"So you can't remember either, huh?"
Before I continue, I think it might be best if I introduced myself. My name is Yui Takaki. I'm a 17 year old girl living in Japan. I'm pretty much your average teenager. I go to school, listen to music, do chores, go on the internet; boring, everyday, average things to do.
Even my appearance is average. I have long, straight, dark brown hair and brown eyes. I wear a black hoodie, and torn blue jeans. I don't really want to wear ripped jeans, I just always forget to go buy new ones. It's the same story for my sneakers, which are grey and covered in dirt.
I'm an only child, I do relatively well in my classes, and I'm completely normal.
But that's just it. I'm a normal girl, who's in an abnormal situation.
It probably started when I got that letter from Hopes Peak Academy.
Hopes Peak Private Academy is an exclusive, government-sanctioned school that only accepts students with exceptional abilities. It claims that its goal is to raise the future "hope" of the nation, and because of that, it's earned the title of "The Academy of Hope." Tacky, I know.
Graduating from Hopes Peak Academy pretty much ensures success in life. It may sound like I'm exaggerating, but many of Hopes Peak's alumni are now employed in high positions in every field of the professional world.
So how do you make it into this amazing, unbelievable, too good to be true school? Well, there are two requirements.
One, you have to be currently enrolled in a high school.
And two, you must super-excel in your field of expertise.
There are no entrance exams, since the things tested in those are pretty much meaningless to the Hopes Peak higher ups. Instead, students are scouted by the Hopes Peak Academy's faculty members. Every student has a talent that they're great at. So great, that they're known as Ultimates.
Every high school student dreams of going to the school at Hopes Peak Academy. That is, every student except me. I'd much rather go to a normal high school, with normal people.
I can almost hear you saying, "Why would you give up such an amazing opportunity?" Well, it's because I am not an Ultimate. Well, I technically am. I'm the Ultimate Lucky Student. I wasn't scouted because of my amazing talents (of which I have none), I won my place at Hopes Peak Academy through their nation wide lottery. That's right, I'm the luckiest student in all of Japan.
Or at least that's what everyone tells me.
Like I said. I'd much rather just go to a normal school, but when my parents opened up the letter inviting me to Hopes Peak Academy, they said I had to go. They talked about the guaranteed success, and said I had no choice in the matter. That's parents for you. It's their way, or the highway. I know that they were just looking out for me, but I also knew that if I went to that school, I'd just end up disappointing them. They expected great things, and I'm just not a great person.
Nonetheless, I ended up accepting the letter. I was one of the few ordinary students going to this extraordinary school.
And thanks to that, I'm a normal person, in an abnormal situation.
"So you can't remember either, huh?"
I looked at the boy confused. Either? Had other people forgotten his name before me? I took in a breath to speak, but he beat me to it.
"Can you at least remember how you got here?"
Of course I could! Why wouldn't I? Once again I opened my mouth to speak, but then I came to a horrific realization.
I didn't know how I got here. I didn't even know where here was.
I looked around the room. It was a normal classroom. There were wooden desks lined up in rows. I was sitting near the back. There was a chalk board at the front of the class with a small clock above it. The walls were a greenish yellowish colour, and the carpet was brown. There was a large desk at the front. It no doubt belonged to the teacher, who was nowhere to be found. On the right wall was a wooden door, which was closed at the moment.
In other words, it was a normal classroom. Except for three things.
The first strange thing was a monitor next to the door. I suppose it isn't too strange. I had heard that some schools are rich enough to have monitors in every classroom, but I wasn't used to it. My old school was a public school that couldn't even afford new gym equipment let alone a monitor for a classroom.
The second thing was a security camera at the front of the room. A blinking red light showed that it was on. For some reason that made me feel uncomfortable. I looked away, turning my gaze to the third and final strange thing.
The windows. They were covered with large iron plates. Why would there be something like that in a classroom?
As for how I got there? I couldn't remember. I assume I used the door, but I honestly couldn't remember anything from before I woke up. I turned to the boy who was waiting for me to answer his question. I shook my head slowly. He sighed.
"Yeah. I expected as much. None of us can remember either."
Us? I looked around. Somehow, I had been so focused on the classroom that I hadn't notice the other people in the room. Including the boy and I, there were sixteen students. Before I had time to say anything, the boy spoke again.
"I'm Kinji by the way. Kinji Saruwatari" He held out his hand. "I'm the Ultimate Jogger. It's nice to meet you!"
I shook Kinji's hand and smiled. He smiled back. Somehow, his smile helped me relax. Letting go of his hand, I decided to introduce myself.
"I'm Yui Takaki" I said. "I'm the... Ultimate Lucky Student."
I half expected him to recoil in horror. Why would an Ultimate student like him want to talk to someone like me? Instead, he just smiled even more than before.
"That's awesome! It's nice to meet you Yui!" He laughed. I'm not sure why he did, but it helped lighten the mood. After he calmed down he held out his hand again. This time to help me out of the seat.
"Why don't you introduce yourself to the other students Yui?" He suggested, pointing to the others. "You're the last one to wake up, so I'm sure they'll want to talk to you."
"The last one to wake up? What do you mean? Was everyone else sleeping too?
Kinji ignored my question and pushed me to a nearby student, no doubt harder than he intended too. After regaining my balance I looked at the girl in front of me. She had brown shoulder length hair which matched the shade of her chocolate brown eyes. She was wearing a school uniform, which included a white dress shirt, a black dress jacket and a short brown skirt. She added her own personal touch to it with a red bow tied around the collar and black gloves. She also had knee high checkered socks and black sneakers. She looked at me up and down, seemingly fascinated with my appearance. Out of nowhere, she started speaking, causing me to jump.
"Are you a fan of fantasy adventure movies?"
She placed her hands out, forming a frame with her fingers. She looked at me through the frame and started nodding her head.
"Yep! You would definitely be an awesome antagonist in a fantasy adventure movie!"
She put her hands down and continued nodding her head.
"Yep! You'd pretend to be the good guy's friend, but then you'd actually be an evil enchantress in disguise!" She grabbed my hand and started violently shaking it.
"I'm Mayu Akimoto by the way! I'm the Ultimate Director!"
I placed my hand on hers to get her to stop shaking. She smiled and took her hand away, unfazed. She looked at me expectantly, waiting for me to reply.
"I'm Yui Takaki" I said. "I'm the Ultimate Lucky Student."
She nodded several times saying "I see" To herself. Suddenly, her head shot up, as if she had gotten an idea. She began walking away mumbling something about "Evil Enchantress Takaki." I watched for a moment, confused, but then decided it would be best to just not question it. I moved over to the next closest student. A boy sitting in a nearby desk. He had dark black hair, that almost looked green in the light. It was unevenly cut, like it had been cut with garden sheers. He was wearing a white trench coat which looked like it needed to be washed. There were seed packets sticking out of the pockets. He had beige pants that we full of holes and covered in grass stains, and ankle high beige hiking boots which were double knotted. His face was round, and his cheeks were rosy. He seemed deep in thought.
"Hi I'm Yui Takaki! It's nice to-"
I was interrupted as his finger shot up, signalling for me to stop talking.
"One moment" He said, without looking at me. "I've forgotten something really important, and I'm trying to remember it right now."
"Did you forget how you got here?" I asked. He looked up in surprise.
"Yeah! That's it! How did you know?"
"Well, Kinji said it's the same for everyone. The truth is, none of us know how we got here."
The boy's face relaxed in relief. He smiled, his cheeks turning red with embarrassment.
"I tend to forget things easily, so I was kind of worried when I couldn't remember something like that." He turned to face me and held out his hand.
"I'm Sota Shikiba! The Ultimate Gardener! Sorry if I forget your name. It's nothing personal if I do."
I took his hand and shook it.
"Yui Takaki. Ultimate Lucky Student. And I don't mind if you forget it." I let go of his hand. "Though I heard that writing someone's name three times on your palm when you meet them helps you remember their name."
"Really?" Sota said, his eyes wide with amazement. He began tracing my name on his hand with his finger.
"Yui Takaki, Yui Takaki, Yui... darn it."
Was his memory really that bad?
"Just Yui is fine." I said. Sota nodded and smiled, turning back to the desk. He began looking around the room, tracing and mumbling the names of the other students. I decided to leave him be. Turning around I walked into what felt like a brick wall.
I looked up to see a boy staring down at me. Well, he didn't look like a boy. In fact, he looked way too old to be a student. He had short blond hair, which barely reached his ears. He was wearing a white tank top and dark blue torn jeans. The jeans were held up by a tool belt. He also had steel toe boots and brown gloves. However, his most prominent features were his muscles. They were huge, and no doubt what I had walked into a moment ago. And the cause of the throbbing pain that had started in my head.
"Hey! Watch were you're going!" He said. Obviously, the impact had hurt me more than it hurt him.
"Sorry" I said rubbing my head.
"Geez." He said annoyed. "Girls never look where they're going."
"What does being a girl have to do with that?"
He looked down at me and shrugged.
"Well, I've never bumped into a guy, it's always girls that run into me."
"Well, I'm Yui Takaki." I said. "The Ultimate Lucky Student." I figured I would just introduce myself and leave. This guy was giving me a headache in more ways than one.
"Akio Shigehito. Ultimate Carpenter" He replied. He looked away, uninterested in the conversation. Still rubbing my head, I walked over to the next person. This time, it was a boy sitting alone in a desk by the wall. He was tapping his fingers on the wooden surface.
"Hello?" I said, trying to get his attention. He was wearing a pale green hoodie and black sweat pants. He had the hood pulled up, and tufts of light brown hair were sticking out. His skin was very pale, and even with the hoodie on, I could see he was very skinny. He was also wearing black fingerless gloves.
Tap, tap, tap.
Realizing that he hadn't heard me, I tried again.
"Hi! My name's Yui Takaki! What's your name?"
Without looking at me, the boy spoke. He seemed annoyed.
"Did I say I wanted to know your name?" He asked.
"No. I just..."
"Then don't tell me it. You're just wasting my time otherwise."
I felt myself getting angry, but I calmed myself down. Causing a scene wouldn't be the best first impression.
"I was just hoping that I could learn your name."
The boy sighed and looked at me. His eyes were a dark shade of brown. In fact, they were almost black.
"I'm Bessihiki Madarai. Ultimate Hacker. Now get lost."
I nodded and walked away. I could see that he didn't want me bothering him. I looked around trying to find someone more sociable. All of a sudden someone bumped into me. I turned around to see Kinji. Except, now he was wearing glasses.
"Oh! I'm sorry Kinji" I said. Kinji sighed. Turning towards him, I realized that the glasses weren't the only thing that had changed. His clothes were different too. Now he was wearing a navy blue school uniform with golden buttons. His hair was neater than before as well. Had he just changed in the middle of the classroom? Or was this-
"I'm sorry to disappoint you" Kinji said, his voice seeming more sophisticated. "But I'm not Kinji. I'm Ren Saruwatari, the Ultimate Mathematician. His twin brother."
I felt my cheeks growing warm. Kinji had a twin brother? And I had gotten them mixed up? I looked up, smiling apologetically.
"Sorry! I had no idea. I really thought you were-"
Ren interrupted me.
"Kinji? Well, it seems you were mistaken. Also, is it not common courtesy to introduce yourself to someone when they've done so for you?"
"Oh! Right! I'm Yui Takaki! The Ultimate Lucky Student." I said quickly. I had no doubt that my face was as red as a ripe tomato. Ren nodded.
"Well Yui. It was a pleasure to meet you." He turned to leave, but was stopped by Kinji putting his arm around his shoulder. Ren's legs buckled slightly from the impact.
"Oh! Hey Yui! I see you've met Ren?" Kinji said smiling. Seeing the two of them together, I felt justified in getting them mixed up. Besides the clothes, they were identical. Ren sighed and moved Kinji's arm off his shoulder.
"Yes. She mistook me for you. Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to go finish my Sudoku puzzle." Kinji pouted and looked at his brother.
"Come on Ren! You should talk to people! It's not everyday you get to meet a bunch of Ultimate students!"
Ignoring his brother, Ren walked to the back of the classroom. Kinji followed him, waving goodbye to me as he went. I decided to leave the two of them to sort things out. Scanning the classroom, I noticed a girl sitting in one of the desks. I walked over to her. Her hair was blonde and tied into two long braids. She was wearing a school uniform, with a brown buttoned up jacket, a short brown skirt and a white dress shirt. She was also wearing a long, light purple scarf which had pastel smudges on it. Her eyes were a misty, pale blue and seemed distant. She was hunched over the desk, and as I got closer, I saw that she was scribbling away on a piece of paper. She turned towards me as I got closer.
"Hello." She said softly. Her voice seemed warm. Almost like I was listening to the voice of a summer breeze. "My name is Koharu Koijima, the Ultimate Artist. We're really happy to meet you."
I smiled. She almost seemed too young to be a high school student.
"I'm Yui Takaki. The Ultimate Lucky Student." I stopped. Did she say we? No. I must have heard her wrong. I went to speak to her again, but realized that she had returned to her drawing. I decided to go and talk to a girl leaning against the wall instead. She had long, straight, dark brown hair that reached down to her hips. She was wearing a hot pink tube top and a white miniskirt. Beneath that she was wearing black tights and knee high boots. For some reason, she seemed familiar.
"Hi! My name is Yui Takaki! It's nice to meet you."
The girl turned to me. She seemed annoyed. I felt my stomach tighten. Hopefully she wasn't going to be like Bessihiki. She sighed.
"What do you want? An introduction?"
"I... uh... yes, I guess."
The girl sighed again. It seemed to be a common action with her.
"Fine. Even though I shouldn't need one. I'm Nori Ayuma, the Ultimate Actress."
I felt something click in my brain as I realized how I knew her. Nori Ayuma was one of the biggest teen actresses in Japan. She had been in countless movies and I had seen quite a few. That was why she seemed familiar. Was someone like that really in my class? Suddenly, Nori spoke, snapping me from my thoughts.
"Wipe that dumb grin off your face. You're creeping me out. You got your introduction, so go away already."
Starstruck I nodded and turned away without a second thought. After a moment, I realized how much of a jerk she had been. Who would have thought that she was so mean in real life. Was someone like that really in my class?
I felt a chill run down my spine. It felt like someone was watching me. Was it the camera? I shook my head. That wasn't it. I looked around and noticed a boy standing near the door. He was staring right at me. I walked over.
"Um... can I help you."
The boy just stared at me, so I did the same to him. He was wearing a black suit, which seemed kind of strange for a student. His tie was red, and his hair was pitch black. The only thing bright about him were his eyes, which were an icy blue. He seemed very mysterious and... mature? I guess. I couldn't think of anything else to describe him. He was definitely quiet. If this conversation (If you would call it that) was going to go anywhere, then I would have to be the one to talk first. I started talking, ending the silent staring contest.
"Well... my name is Yui Takaki. I'm the Ultimate Lucky Student. It's nice to meet you."
"I guess you aren't much of a talker, huh?"
I turned to leave, but stopped when I heard a deep voice.
"I am Isoya Taiki. It was a pleasure to meet you Miss Takaki."
"Oh! Just Yui is fine."
Isoya nodded slowly, processing what I said.
"I that case, it was a pleasure to meet you... Yui."
I nodded and slowly backed away. Though it seemed like something else had caught Isoya's attention. Following his gaze I saw a girl standing in the corner, looking around nervously. Her hair was a bluish black, and was pulled up into two small pigtails. She had round glasses which framed her violet eyes. She was wearing a long black dress which covered her arms and reached down to her ankles. Her shoes were black and her feet were turned inwards. She was hugging a book to her chest. I walked over to her. She looked at me, and then looked away quickly. I guess she wasn't much of a talker either.
"Hi. Sorry to bother you, but do you mind if I talked to you?"
The girl looked up, but her eyes continued to dart around the room.
"If you want." She said quietly. She reminded me of a frightened mouse.
"Well, My name is Yui Takaki, I'm the Ultimate Lucky Student" I said to her, trying my best to not be to forceful. "It's nice to meet you."
The girl made eye contact just long enough to nod in greeting, and then her eyes began darting around again. Eventually she just started staring at the floor.
"I'm Missa Johnouchi. I'm the Ultimate Pianist."
After she introduced herself, I could see that she wasn't going to say anything else. I decided to move on to the next student. How long did it take to meet fourteen people anyways? This was starting to get tiresome. I decided to talk to a girl relaxing near the chalkboard. Her black hair was pulled up into a pony tail, and she was wearing an orange turtleneck with black yoga pants. She seemed friendly enough.
"Hi! I'm Yui Takaki! The Ultima-"
The girl interrupted me with a cold stare. I didn't even know that was possible. She started talking. Her voice was surprisingly slow and monotonous.
"I don't really care about introductions. I'll tell you my name, and then you'll leave."
I nodded. I didn't want to get on this girl's bad side.
"I'm Michiyo Yoshikuni. I'm the Ultimate Baker."
I couldn't help but be a bit surprised. I thought that an Ultimate Baker would be more bubbly and peppy. Both her appearance and her title were misleading. I walked away from her, trying to escape her icy glare. Looking around, I saw that there were only a few people left. The closest person was a girl wearing a white lab coat. The jacket was undone, and she was wearing a light blue t-shirt beneath it. She was also wearing black dress pants. Her hair was blonde and pulled up into a ponytail. She also had safety goggles dangling around her neck. Before I could even start walking, she ran towards me.
"I was wondering when you were going to notice me!" She said grabbing my hand and shaking it."You were talking to everyone else, and I was starting to worry you were never going to talk to me!"
I tried to introduce myself, but once again, she beat me to it.
"I'm Koizumi Saki, the Ultimate Forensic Scientist. And you're Yui Takaki right?"
I nodded, trying to keep up with the conversation. She was speaking so quickly that it was making me dizzy. Before I could even take a breath to reply, she started again.
"I heard you introduce yourself to Michiyo. Sorry, I can't help but eavesdrop sometimes. You can find out a lot of information that way!"
I nodded and finally found the opportunity to speak.
"Well, it was a pleasure meeting you Koizumi, but I need to go meet a few more people."
Koizumi nodded several times and wished me good luck. I turned around, and headed to the next person. He was interestingly dressed. He was wearing a black top hat with a white ribbon tied above the rim, and a black cape with a white star and a V-cut pattern at the bottom. His hair was tucked into his hat, but it looked like it was a greyish white. His hair matched his gloves and shoes, which in turn matched his shirt. On top of his shirt was a black vest, and beneath it were black pants. He smiled as I walked up to him.
"Hey there" He said, nodding his head. "What brings a beautiful girl like you to a dump like this?"
I should have felt flattered, but for some reason I just felt disgusted. I decided to go with my gut and ignore his pick up line.
"Hi! I'm Yui Takaki, the Ultimate Lucky Student."
"You must be lucky if you caught the eye of the great Hamano Hatsuhara." He flicked his arm out, revealing a white rose. He handed it to me and continued. "The Ultimate Magician."
I took the rose and thanked him before heading to the next person. There were only two more to go. One of them, a girl, waved me down. She was tall and relatively muscular. Her hair was pulled back into a ponytail, but some stands had fallen out. She had bags under her eyes, and was wearing black gym shorts with a white tank top. She had a blue hoodie tied around her waist as well. I walked over, nodding in greeting.
"Hi! I'm Yui Takaki. the Ultimate Lucky Student. It's nice to meet you."
The girl smiled and opened her mouth to speak, but she was interrupted by an enormous yawn. Once she finished she tried again.
"Sorry about that. I'm Asami Tanno, the Ultimate Basket Ball Player." She shook my hand and yawned again. Once I was sure she was finished, I let go of her hand.
"Are you okay?" I asked. "You seem kind of tired."
She shook her head.
"I'm fine. I just need-" She began yawning again, but continued to speak. "An energy drink."
She began to nod off, so I helped her sit down in a desk. She laid her head down and began to sleep.
I walked towards the front of the classroom where the final student was waiting. He had scruffy black hair, that almost made him seem like he had just gotten out of bed. He was also wearing a doctor's jacket over a black shirt with the Hopes Peak Academy crest on it. He was wearing black pants that looked very comfortable. I reached the front of the classroom.
"Hi! My name is-"
He put his hand up and smiled.
"Let me guess. Yui Takaki? You're the Ultimate Lucky Student?"
I nodded. It seemed like he had heard me already. He chuckled. Based on what I had seen so far, he seemed like an easy going person. He leaned on the desk and looked towards me.
"It must have been tiresome introducing yourself to everyone, huh?"
I nodded. The other students were certainly... interesting? The boy moved towards me and took my hand.
"Well, I'm the last one, so don't worry. I'm Saruwatari Kureno. I'm the Ultimate Veterinarian." He gave my hand a quick shake and then let it go before returning to his spot at the teacher's desk. He looked down slowly and pointed at a piece of paper.
"Do you think that was left for us by the teacher?"
I moved closer to the paper and picked it up. It was a note written in crayon. Would a teacher write a note in crayon? I shook my head. That wasn't the important thing right now. Squinting my eyes in order to focus on the yellow letters, I began reading the almost illegible writing.
"To the students. Please meet me in the gym at 12:00."
Below the writing was a crudely drawn map to the gym. Before I could even process what I had just read, someone tapped me on the shoulder. Turning towards the person, I saw Mayu staring at me expectantly. She looked at the note in my hand.
"Is that from the teacher?" She asked. I nodded.
"I think so. It says to go to the gym."
Mayu nodded several times. She turned to the rest of the class and began speaking at a volume that no doubt could only be achieved by the Ultimate Director.
"Okay everyone!" She shouted. "The teacher's note says we need to go to the gym! So let's go!" She finished her sentence with an over dramatic point to the door. I had to lean back to avoid getting hit.
After a moment of hesitation, everyone started heading out the door. Some more reluctantly than others. What else were we supposed to do? The note was the only thing we had that provided any clue as to what we were doing there. Merging into the line of Ultimate students, I left the classroom.
As I walked through the door, I expected a dimly lit school hallway. Unfortunately for my eyes, I was met with blinding sunlight instead. Shielding my eyes, I looked around. We were in a large open area with several buildings. There were cement paths leading to each building, dividing patches of healthy looking grass. Why was this outside a classroom? I didn't have time to worry about that though, due to the larger problem that had presented itself. And I mean literally large. The entire area was surrounded by a very tall, very large, and very grey cement wall. Looking around I saw that it was cone shaped. To the right it branched out wide, and it curved around connecting the two sides. To the left, it became tighter and I could see something bright red at the point where both sides met. I would have to check to investigate that later. Right now, I needed to get to the gym.
Following both the path and the note's directions, we all made our way to the gym. It was a large building right next to the classroom. Inside, there was a wooden floor. The Hopes Peak Academy crest was painted in the middle. There were bleachers on either side of the room, and a small stage at the far end. Behind the stage was a large mural of a bonsai tree. Compared to the classroom, this room was much more open. The white and salmon tiles on the walls also created a nice, welcoming atmosphere.
The last student entered the room and we all headed over to the stage. It was 12 o-clock, but the teacher was nowhere to be found. We all waited in silence. This entire situation was so abnormal that none of us knew how to react. The silence continued until all of a sudden, we heard a strange, high pitched voice. Not the kind of voice you would expect a teacher to have.
"Mic check! Mic check! Can you all hear me? Yes? Good!"
The sound was coming from the stage. We all turned towards it, expecting to see our teacher. Instead, we saw a bear. Not a bear like a grizzly. It was a stuffed bear who was half black, half white, standing on two legs, and holding a microphone. Before we even had time to question this strange object, it spoke.
"Hello! I am your headmaster and mayor, Monokuma!"
It had moved! The bear had moved! Not only that, but it had spoken too. Had I really just watched a bear introduce itself? I had a lot of stuffed bears back home, but none of them were like this. Once again, we weren't sure how to react. This time for a different reason. The bear tilted it's head to the side.
"What's wrong? Cat got your tongues?"
He laughed at his own joke. I was speechless, but apparently Mayu had managed to find her voice before the rest of us. She walked up to the stage.
"How can you be a headmaster and a mayor?" She asked. Was that really the thing that was bothering her? Monokuma tilted his head to the side again.
"Well, I'm the headmaster of Hopes Peak Academy, and I the mayor of Monocity!"
This time, it was Asami who spoke.
"There's no city named Monocity." She said. "You made that up!"
The headmaster shook his head.
"Nope! I most definitely did not! If it's a made up city, then how are you guys standing in it?"
Hamano walked up to the stage. He looked at Monokuma and sighed.
"You didn't call us here to talk about stuff like this right?"
Was he the one who called us here? I was pretty sure that the note was left by a teacher, and despite his claims, this guy didn't seem to be one. This entire situation was just confusing me, and Monokuma's next words did not help.
"You're right!" He said cheerfully. "I'm not here to talk about the city. I'm here to talk about you." He looked at each of us, slowly scanning from one end of the group to the other. "You all seem like pretty smart kids, so I'm just going to say this quickly so we can get moving. You're all stuck in this city, and the only way out is to kill someone without getting caught!"
He said it so cheerfully that I almost didn't fully comprehend what he had said.
"K-kill someone?" I asked. Had I heard that right? Was this some kind of joke? Monokuma sighed.
"Yes. Kill someone. Bludgeon, electrocute, stab, burn, drown, poison, et cetera. If you want to get out of here, you've gotta kill someone."
It looked like Monokuma was going to say more, but he was interrupted by Sota.
"This has to be kind of joke! You can't be serious! Right?"
"Nope! I'm deadly serious! Get it? Deadly?"
Once again he laughed at his own joke. We all stood there in horror. It couldn't be true! This was a dream. No. A nightmare. In a moment I was going to wake up.
"But anyways. I have a gift for you guys. It's in the box right there!"
Monokuma pointed to a cardboard box next to the stage. I was too frightened to even move. I was sure that if I tried to take a step, I would just fall to the floor. It was a miracle that I was even standing. Luckily, Isoya wasn't in the same situation. He walked over and opened the box. He looked confused as he turned to Monokuma.
"What are these?" He asked. Monokuma tilted his head to the side.
"Huh? What do you mean?" He asked. "They're your E-handbooks! Or electronic handbooks for those of you who don't speak abbreviationese. Now, there's one for all of you, so come and grab em kiddos!"
I somehow found the strength to walk. I hoped that I'd wake up soon. The nightmare was becoming too real for my liking. I picked up the handbook and turned it on. Immediately, it went to a page titled city laws. It seemed like Monokuma had programmed it to do so, since he began to explain almost immediately.
"Those are the laws of Monocity. You all have to follow them if you don't want to get punished." After clearing his throat, he continued. "Law one. The students will live a communal lifestyle with no time limit inside the city walls."
No time limit? Did that mean that we were stuck there until... until someone died?
"Law number two. The time between 10pm and 7am is called "Night Time". During Night Time, students will be expected to return to their rooms."
Our rooms? So we at least had somewhere to stay during all of this. And how was that a law? It was more of a statement or a suggestion if anything. Not that I would want to be out at night anyways, just in case anyone here was actually considering what Monokuma had said.
"Law number three. Sleeping is only permitted in the personal rooms prepared for you in the hotel. Anyone intentionally falling asleep elsewhere will be punished. Rule number four, You may investigate the city as you please. There are no restrictions on your actions."
Looking around, I saw that most of the other students seemed as frightened as I was. However, Isoya, Ren and Saruwatari all seemed indifferent. How could they be so calm in a situation like this?
"Law number five. No violence is permitted against the city's mayor, Monokuma. Destruction of the surveillance cameras is forbidden."
How many laws were there? I almost wasn't even listening. I couldn't even begin to comprehend the situation. We were being imprisoned here by a monochrome bear until someone committed murder? It had to be a dream. Something as strange as this only happened in video games. Or really weird fanfictions.
"Law number six. A "culprit" who kills a fellow student will get to leave the city. However, they must not let any other student know they are the culprit."
Wait! So only the killer gets to leave? Then what happens to the rest of us? I was too afraid to ask. The bear, or whoever was controlling it, obviously had a sick sense of humour. I felt my skin crawl at the thought of what they might do.
"The last law is that additional laws may be added by the school at any time."
None of us responded. What could we say? I was sure that everyone was thinking the same thing as me. It had to be a dream. Suddenly, I heard Kinji speak. He was right next to me and made me jump.
"But why are we doing this? Shouldn't we be at Hopes Peak?"
Monokuma laughed. I didn't see what was so funny about Kinji's question. Everyone here was an Ultimate student right? So shouldn't we be at the school instead of this weird city? Apparently, I was very wrong.
"What are you talking about?" He asked. "You already graduated!"
Monokuma's statement finally got a reaction from us. Every single one of us looked confused. Koizumi spoke first.
"What are you talking about?" She asked. "I've never even set foot in the school! How could I have graduated?"
The other students nodded in agreement. Monokuma was obviously lying. There was no way all of us had already gone to Hopes Peak. If that wasn't true, then the other things he had said must be lies too. Though, this new found hope quickly disappeared when I saw Monokuma's smirk.
"Because I erased your memories of ever being there!"
The room became silent. He had to have made that up. He was lying! I turned to look at the other students. They all seemed to be thinking the same thing as me. Ren fixed his glasses and turned to Monokuma.
"Something like that is not scientifically possible. If you want to fool us into thinking that all of this is true, then you should try you best to avoid science fiction as a theme."
Everyone nodded. Something like that was way too farfetched. Or so we thought. Saruwatari's voice pulled us back into the nightmarish reality we had been so close to escaping.
"Can we be sure about that?" He asked. "I mean. I remember getting the letter, but I don't remember actually going to the school."
"That's because we never went." Michiyo said in a monotonous tone. Saruwatari shook his head.
"But I think he could be telling the truth. After all. None of us can remember how we got into that classroom right?"
All we could hear was the buzz of the lights above us as we all realized he was right. The silence almost became deafening. I opened my mouth to ask Monokuma if this was the truth, but I realized that he was gone. I'm not sure how long we stood there in silence, dumbfounded by everything we were just told. We had been thrown into this abnormal game of life and death, and had no way of escaping. And to make it worse, we had all grown close at Hope Peak Academy, but then had those memories stolen from us. It seemed like something that could only happen in a manga, or a movie. But it wasn't fiction. It was real.
The deafening silence was broken when Asami yawned loudly. Surprised, we turned towards the source of the sound. Next to her, Koharu tilted her head to the side.
"So what are we going to do?" She asked. The same question had been on everyone's mind. Looking at the map, Mayu said "Well, the map says that there's a hotel, so... I guess we can go to sleep and figure all of this out tomorrow."
Saruwatari nodded. "Yeah! We can't really find a way to escape if we can barely keep our eyes open. Let's meet..." He looked at the map on his E-Handbook. "In the dining hall tomorrow morning."
Just talking about sleep made me realize how tired I was. Both physically and mentally. Using the map on my E-Handbook, I made my way to the Hotel.