Dangan Ronpa, City of Despair

Chapter 17

Everyone was in the dining hall the next morning. Perhaps we would really be able to ignore Monokuma's motive! I sat down next to Koharu like usual.

"Everyone seems cheery today." I said. "I think we're actually going to be able to pull this off." The artist nodded.

"Yep." She said. "And it's all thanks to Missa! After all, she was the one who convinced everyone to ignore the motive." I nodded and looked over to Missa. Her and Isoya were talking and she she was smiling.

"That's a rare sight." Sota said as he sat down at the table. Koharu and I looked at him and he gestured to Missa. "I don't think I've seen Missa smile even once since we got here."

"I've seen her smile quite a few times." Koharu said. "You must have just forgotten"

"Yeah, probably." Sota said, nodding slowly. "I have a horrible memory. I'd forget my own head if it wasn't screwed on right." He laughed, and Koharu and I couldn't help but laugh with him. However, my laugh was cut short by a tap on my shoulder. It was Mayu and she looked pretty sad. Before I could ask why, she explained.

"There wasn't any film at the store." She said. "So I can't film."

She seemed pretty bummed about it, so I tried to think of a way to cheer her up.

"Why don't you try writing some scripts instead?" I suggested. "That way you'll be ready when we get out of here and you can film again." Mayu's depression was gone immediately. It was replaced by a spark of excitement that was almost overwhelming.

"That's a great idea!" She exclaimed. "I could make a movie about what we're going through. It could be my way of honouring those we've lost. Especially since I know we aren't going to lose anyone else." She held out her hands in a mock frame and looked at me through it. "You know Yui, I think you would be pretty good as a lead role type character." I shook my head, slowly lowering down her hands before she poked my eye out.

"Nah. I think if anything, I'm more of a supporting character, or even an extra." I said. Mayu shrugged.

"Suit yourself."

"What are you going to name it?" Koharu asked. Mayu thought for a moment.

"I'm thinking... Dangan Ronpa!" She answered. Sota tilted his head to the side.

"What kind of name is that?" He asked. Mayu looked slightly hurt at the question.

"It's abstract! And foreign!" She said defensively.

"And it makes no sense" Sota said back. Mayu didn't hear him. She was walking away, mumbling about sets and characters.

"Ember says he thinks it's a cool name." Koharu said. I nodded and excused myself, heading to the library.

I was there for a while, reading a bunch of different books, and eventually I heard the television monitor turn on. Was it ten o-clock already?

"This is a public service announcement." Monokuma said. "Could all citizens please come to the gazebo? It is urgent, so please don't dilly dally."

He was speaking politely, but the tone showed that he'd rather not be. Worried about what could be happening, and not wanting to anger Monokuma more than necessary, I made my way to the Gazebo. At the train station, I saw Isoya waiting.

He was alone.

"Hey." I said, walking up to him. "Where's Missa?"

It was weird not seeing the two together. Had something happened? Isoya looked as worried as I felt.

"I do not know." He said. "I was relieving myself when I heard the announcement. When I left, Missa was nowhere to be seen."

In other words, he was going to the washroom and Missa was gone when he left. He could have just said it that way.

"She's probably just at the gazebo already." I said. Isoya nodded before taking a thin, rolled up book out of his pocket. It was the music book he had been carrying before.

"You're still holding onto that?" I asked.

"Yes, I am." He replied. "It was a gift from Miss Missa, so I will never lose it."

Sweet as ever.

The train arrived and we rode it together in silence. Eventually we made it to the gazebo. It was covered in a large white sheet from top to bottom. Unable to see what was inside, we waited for everyone to arrive. One by one, people approached the gazebo, each one curious as too what was inside. I felt my stomach tighten as I thought of the worst case scenario.

Had someone killed a friend for the million dollars?

"Finally! It took forever for you all to show up." Monokuma said, causing us all to jump. "Didn't I say no dilly dallying?"

He looked angry. Granted, it was hard to tell for sure since he was a bear.

"I've called you all here because I'm very annoyed." He said. "You're all ignoring my motive, even after all the effort I put in to coming up with it."

His mouth curled into something like a smirk. Was it possible for a bear to smirk? Either way, it made me uncomfortable.

"Because of how ungrateful you all were, I've come up with a new motive." Monokuma said. He pulled the sheet, finally revealing the contents of the gazebo. The sides were now all glass and there was no way inside. However, more importantly, laying on the ground was Missa. I felt my muscles tense up when I saw her. Was she... was she dead? No, she was breathing. Monokuma was still smirking, holding the sheet in his paw.

"Since this little brat is the one responsible for your change of heart," He began. "I'm going to have to punish her. I'll let her out once someone has committed a murder. If you guys ignore this too, she'll just stay in there until she dies, and then all of you will be the murderers!"

"Wouldn't that mean we all get to leave?" Saruwatari asked. Was he really considering letting Missa die to save ourselves!? Granted, I suppose we did that in every class trial... Either way, it wasn't right. Monokuma shook his head.

"Nope." He replied bluntly. "There wouldn't be a class trial. We'd skip right to the punishment."

"What the hell is with him?" Akio asked. "Has he gone insane or something?" Ren shook his head.

"It seems more like he's being a sore loser." He said. Monokuma's smirk became a frown again.

"I'm not being a sore loser!" He snapped. "I'm just trying to show you guys what happens when you ignore the mayor's generosity. Now, the clock is ticking! Puhuhu."

And then he was gone. I looked around. It seemed like no one knew what to do. Beside me, I saw Isoya clenching his fist. He never showed emotion. The situation must have been really hard on him.

"Are you okay, Isoya?" I asked. Realizing that I was watching him, he relaxed and nodded. Nori shrugged.

"I say we just leave her in there." She suggested. "It's not like she's doing anything to help us anyway."

"Besides the obvious reason we can't do that," Ren said. "She's our friend. We can't exactly leave her to die."

"Yep." Michiyo said. "Plus, Monokuma just said that if she dies, we all die." Next to her, Sota was frantically looking through his E-Handbook.

"Isn't that against the rules or something though?" He asked. Asami shook her head.

"Based off the current situation, I'd say that Monokuma isn't really following rules anymore." She said.

"Nonetheless" Ren continued. "We can't allow a murder to happen. We'll have to think of something else to do." Saruwatari gestured to the gazebo.

"Why don't we just break the glass." He said. "Or signal to Missa to try and find a way out."

As he said this, Missa woke up. Mayu immediately ran to the glass and began to wave her arms.

"Missa! Hey Missa!" She shouted. Missa didn't respond. How could she not see her?

"Oh yeah! I forgot to mention." Monokuma said. Once again, we all jumped. When did he get back?

"The glass is one way glass, shatter proof, and sound proof. In other words, the only way you're getting her out, is by killing someone." He said proudly. "Also, since you're all here anyways I'll make the announcement now. It is now 10pm and night time has begun. You all need to get back to your rooms. Bwahahaha"

Once again he left. His laughed echoed through the air, and sent shivers down my spine. He seemed to be proud of himself.

"I guess we have no choice but to go to bed then." Mayu said. As much as I hated to admit it, she was right. Reluctantly, we all returned to our rooms. I couldn't sleep knowing that I was in a comfortable bed while Missa was stuck in that cold, small, dark gazebo. With her claustrophobia, she had to be terrified.

"Damn you Monokuma!" I shouted.

I'm not sure where that had come from, but the words were filled with a deep hatred. I sighed and curled up under the covers, wishing for things to go back to the way they had been before. When everyone had been full of hope. After what seemed like an eternity, I fell asleep.

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