The next morning, we all met at the dining hall. The hotel had been comfortable. Each of us had an assigned room, and each room had a bed, a table, a chair and a desk. My room had a dark blue carpet and salmon painted walls. There was also a bathroom, but I hadn't used it. I had been too tired to do anything but collapse into bed. In the morning, I was woken up by the sound of Monokuma's high pitched voice. He wished us a good morning, and then continued to blather on about meaningless things. I ignored him and tried to imagine I was somewhere else, but I couldn't hide from the horrific reality I had been thrown into.
As I opened the door to the dining hall, I realized that I was the last one to get there. Everyone looked exhausted, and there was no doubt in my mind that I looked the same way. Kinji ran over to me. Despite the bags under his eyes, he was full of energy.
"Good morning Yui!" He said cheerfully. "Did you sleep well?"
I nodded my head. Based on how tired I was it was hard to believe that I had slept well the night before, but that was the truth. Kinji smiled and nodded, and we walked over to where the others were gathered.
The dining hall almost looked like a school cafeteria. There were several tables, all of them grey. They matched the floor and walls. There was a door across the room that no doubt led to a kitchen, and a few windows that showed the scenery outside. I found myself wondering if this is what the dining hall looked like in Hopes Peak Academy.
Everyone else was standing or sitting near Mayu, who had created a makeshift pedestal using a chair. After seeing that Kinji and I had arrived, she began.
"Okay!" She said. "I think the best thing to do is split up and try to find a way out of here!"
Sota put up his hand. "Uh. Wouldn't it be better to be in groups of two?" He asked. "In case anyone actually takes the bear seriously."
Some of the students nodded. I didn't want to believe that anyone would try to kill, but it was still a possibility. Mayu nodded and came up with a quick solution.
"Okay!" She exclaimed. "In that case, everyone can partner up with the person next to them!"
I turned to talk to Kinji, but he had decided to go with his brother. Before I even had time to turn around to see who else was available, Koizumi grabbed my hand.
"I guess we're investigating buddies!" Koizumi said happily.
I had no choice in the matter. She seemed like the kind of person who wouldn't take no for an answer. Once everyone had a partner, Mayu began assigning places. Koizumi and I were given the outside areas. As soon as Mayu finished, Koizumi dragged me out the door. I almost couldn't keep up with her.
It was quiet outside. I watched as the others each went to their respective locations. Koizumi turned to me, her eyes seeming to sparkle.
"So where do you want to investigate first!?" she said eagerly. I thought of the red object I had noticed before.
"Why don't we head that way?" I asked, pointing towards the end of the area. Koizumi nodded and once again I found myself being dragged behind her. Once we reached the end, we found the red object. It was a large door, at least twice my height. Was this door the way out? I turned to Koizumi, wondering if she was thinking the same thing. She was rubbing her chin and nodding, seemingly deep in thought.
"Um... Koizumi?" I asked, trying to get her attention. She didn't seem to notice me. She continued nodding for a bit before suddenly walking up to the door. She took the doorknob in her hand and gave it a tug.
It didn't move.
"Dang it!" She said. "I thought that that could be a way out."
I walked up to her and knocked on the door. Maybe someone was on the other side. While I waited, I turned to Koizumi.
"Well, it could still be a way out." I said. "It's not like Monokuma would leave the front door open."
Koizumi nodded several times. I guess she agreed with what I said. We waited in silence for a response to my knock, but nothing happened. I tried again and unfortunately, he showed up, a large goofy grin on his black and white face.
"Knock Knock!" Monokuma said happily. I glared at him. He was the last person, um, bear, that I wanted to see. Koizumi however, went along with his little game.
"Who's there?" She asked.
"No one!" Monokuma replied, suddenly scowling at the two of us. I didn't even know bears couldscowl.
"No one who?" Koizumi asked. Did she really not see that Monokuma wasn't joking?
"No one is behind that door! So stop knocking! You're interrupting my beauty sleep."
No amount of sleep could make him look any prettier. I decided to end this before it got out of hand. I had questions and there was no doubt in my mind that he had the answers.
"What's behind the door then?" I asked, tilting my head to the side.
"I don't need to tell you that!" Monokuma said in a sickeningly sweet voice. "It would ruin the surprise!"
Koizumi finally caught on to what was going on.
"Then it's not a way out?" She asked. Monokuma shook his head.
"I'm not talking."
I raised my hand and knocked on the door again, keeping my gaze locked on Monokuma.
"Didn't I say not to- Gah! Fine! All I'll say is it's not a way out. But you'll see what it is soon enough! Now stop your knocking!" Monokuma left, leaving Koizumi and I alone. Koizumi shrugged.
"Well, I guess we'll just have to wait then."
If Monokuma was telling the truth. I didn't have anytime to think about what he had said before Koizumi was dragging me along again. I was almost used to it at this point. We investigated the other areas and headed back to the dining hall to share what we found. The others were already there. Mayu waved at us as we entered.
"And there's Yui and Koizumi! That's everyone!" She said, probably to herself. She turned to the group. "We can share what we found now!"
Kinji was the first to respond.
"Ren and I searched the library. There were a bunch of books, and some ugly statues of Monokuma."
Almost immediately after Kinji finished speaking, Ren began.
"The library is also the only two story building in the area. The second floor is a balcony like structure that outlines the inner walls."
Kinji had been so blunt with his description, while Ren's vocabulary seemed much more formal. It was almost scary how different the two twins were. After a moment, Sota began speaking.
"There's also a storage area. It's full of shelves with all kinds of things!"
Mayu nodded and added onto what Sota had said.
"Nothing that can help us get out of here though." She said. "There was just clothes and stuff. I guess there was some rope, but even if we tied it all together it wouldn't reach the top of the walls."
After yawning, Asami joined in.
"Bessihiki and I saw some climbing rope in the gym too. But it still wouldn't be enough." Somehow, she started nodding off while standing up. Seeing that she wasn't going to continue, Bessihiki reluctantly finished reporting what they had found.
"The rest of the gym was exactly what you'd expect. A gym. You guys saw it yesterday."
He apparently had nothing else to say, so after a moment of silence Koharu quietly said "At least we won't go hungry. There's a huge grocery store with lots of food." She stopped for a moment, looking like she was trying to remember something. Michiyo sighed.
"There's a pharmacy attached to the grocery store too." She said monotonously. Koharu nodded and it seemed like she remembered what she wanted to say.
"Yeah! But make sure you read the labels. There's a shelf full of poison there."
I wondered why there would be poison in a pharmacy, but I realized that Monokuma probably put it there. Poison would be an easy way to discreetly kill someone. Not that I would try it. Luckily, before I could think any other negative thoughts, Isoya spoke up.
"We investigated the classroom, but our search granted no more information than what we knew yesterday."
"Yeah, we did spend a lot of time there, so there wasn't much left to find anyways. On a different note, Hamano and I investigated the train station."
Hamano interrupted Saruwatari, signalling for him to stop talking. He turned to the rest of us.
"And before any of you ask. No. The train wasn't working."
What's the point of having a train if it's not working? This whole area was just confusing, and I wanted to get away from it. I noticed Mayu checking the map on her eHandbook. She nodded.
"Alright, then next is the hotel! Akio and Nori were investigating that, right?"
Akio stepped forward while the latter mentioned just stood with her arms crossed. She looked like she didn't want to be here. Akio turned to the group.
"I wouldn'y say that we investigated it together. She left halfway through."
"What do you expect? Being around a loser like you was boring as hell."
"What do you mean a loser!?"
"I meant exactly what I said. You're a loser who's not worth my time."
Akio was practically radiating anger. It looked like he would lunge at Nori at any moment. I decided to step in before things got out of hand.
"Guys, now's not the time to be arguing. We should be discussing what we found."
I could see Akio's muscles relax, so at least Nori wasn't in danger anymore. The carpenter turned to me.
"I don't need a girl like you telling me that." He scoffed, turning away from me. "I looked at the hotel. There's a room for each of us, and each one can only be opened by the owner's key. That was pretty much it."
We all nodded. I noticed Koizumi shifting her weight from foot to foot. She was obviously excited to share what we had found. Mayu noticed this as well and gestured for her to speak. Koizumi began almost immediately.
"Yui and I investigated outside. We found out that all the buildings are connected by the path, the area is triangular, and there's a large red door at the triangle's tip."
Sota's eyes practically lit up at the mention on the door.
"A door!?" He asked. "Is it the way out?" I shook my head.
"No. Monokuma said that it's not a way out, but we'll find out what it is soon enough."
The sparkle in his eye flickered out as quickly as it had appeared. I guess he had gotten his hopes up.
Koizumi and I were the last ones to share, so Mayu took control again.
"So I guess that means there's no way out." She said. "But we can't lose hope! We can investigate again in case we missed something."
Some students nodded, but most of us just shifted around. Investigations weren't everyone's cup of tea. Kinji put up his hand.
"Maybe we could investigate separately, so we can cover more ground."
Mayu nodded. We would cover more ground by splitting up, but I had this worrying feeling that someone would take Monokuma seriously. I couldn't investigate on my own. Mayu dismissed the group, allowing everyone to go their separate ways, and I scanned the room for someone to investigate with. I noticed Koizumi standing alone, thinking to herself. I walked over to her and tapped her shoulder. She jumped.
"Ah! Yui! You startled me!"
"Sorry! I was just wondering if you wanted to investigate with me."
Koizumi had been tensed up from the scare, but she immediately relaxed at the mention of investigating. She clapped her hands together.
"Of course! I'd love to!"
So I spent some time with Koizumi. We re-investigated the areas that we hadn't looked at before, but couldn't find anything new. Eventually, we found ourselves in the dining hall again. I wasn't sure what to say, so we just stood there in an awkward silence. Suddenly, Koizumi turned to me.
"Hey Yui. Do you like crime dramas?"
That was a random question. It caught me off guard, but it would be rude not to answer.
"I guess I'd watch them on T.V if they were on." I answered. Koizumi nodded several times.
"I love them a lot! My favourite part is trying to figure out who the killer is before they reveal it!"
She clapped her hands together.
"The shows are actually really accurate when it comes to forensics you know? My dad is the head of forensics in the police force, and he says they portray it really well."
I nodded, not sure why she was telling me all of this. I guess she was being more open because we were becoming friends? She took my nod as a sign to continue.
"Sometimes he lets me use his equipment, like fingerprint powder and luminol spray!" She turned to me. "You know what that is right?"
I thought for a moment. The name seemed familiar, but I wasn't sure where I had heard it. I think they mentioned it in a game I had played once. What did it do? I tried hard to remember, and after a moment the answer came to me.
"It's a spray that lets you see traces of blood, right?"
"Yeah! It's really cool! I haven't gotten to use it with any real blood, but I will one day!"
That wasn't exactly a good thing to look forward to doing. If there's blood somewhere than it had to have come from someone. That fact didn't seem to phase Koizumi.
"I'll let you use some of my luminol when we get out of here." Koizumi said. I thanked her. I wasn't sure why she started talking about all of this in the first place, but it felt like we had grown closer. I was feeling a bit tired though, so I said goodbye and headed back to my room.
Once I was in my room, I felt exhausted. All the walking around must have drained me. I decided to go to the washroom and splash some water on my face. When I tried to open the door, it felt jammed.
"What? Is it locked?" I asked, despite the fact that no one was listening.
But I forgot that he was listening.
"Nope! It's not locked!" Monokuma said happily. "It's just jammed! There's a special trick to opening it."
I glared at the bear. Whenever he was around, I felt sick to my stomach. I let go of the doorknob and turned to face him.
"Well, can you either fix it or tell me how to open it?"
"I can't fix it! It was designed to be like that!"
Designed that way? Why on earth would he design a broken doorknob? Probably just to be more of a nuisance. Monokuma walked up to the door.
"You need to push up, and then turn it." He explained, doing the actions as he spoke. The door opened up easily, it's well oiled hinges were silent as they did their job. I entered the bathroom and looked around. There was a toilet, a sink and a shower. The floors were tiled. I heard Monokuma mumbling to himself behind me.
"It's always the lucky students who are unlucky." He said. Lucky students? Wasn't I the only Ultimate Lucky student here? I turned around to ask Monokuma what he meant, but he was gone. I sighed and turned back to the washroom. Why did he have to keep doing that? As I turned back around, I noticed a small piece of paper on the ground. Picking it up, I saw that it was a picture of a teenage girl.
"What's this doing on the floor?" I asked, hoping he wouldn't show up again. The girl had long dark blue hair. She was wearing a sailor uniform with a large pink bow on the front. Her eyes were blue and her face seemed very familiar. I thought about it for a bit, and then I realized that it was a picture of the pop singer Sayaka Maizono. She was super famous and I had seen her on T.V quite a few times. You couldn't be a teen in Japan and not know who she was. But why was her picture in my bathroom shower? I did what I needed to do in the bathroom and returned to the main part of my room. Laying on my bed, I stared at the photo. I racked my brain trying to figure out why Monokuma would leave the picture in that location of all places. I felt my eyelids grow heavy, and fell asleep before I could come up with a solution.
"This is a public service announcement. It is now 10pm, and nighttime has officially begun. For your own safety, it is recommended that you stay indoors. Well then, good night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite!"
I was woken up by the sound of Monokuma's voice. Had I fallen asleep? With that thought in mind, I sat up, noticing the picture still clutched in my hand. I wasn't going to solve that mystery anytime soon, so I put it on my desk. As I moved, I realized that I was extremely hungry. I must have slept through dinner. Getting up, I began heading to the dining area.
It was dark out and I could see the slightest trace of my breath, but I didn't mind. I followed the path, making my way to the dining hall. Once I was there, I slowly opened the door, expecting to see an empty room. To my surprise, I saw Kinji sitting alone at one of the tables. He turned towards the door as it opened. He seemed frightened at first, but relaxed when he saw me.
"Oh, hey Yui." He said, smiling. "What are you doing up so late?"
"I slept through dinner." I said, walking over to the table. "So I'm grabbing some now."
He nodded. "Yeah, Ren fell asleep pretty early too. I think everyone is just tired from all the stuff that's going on."
I nodded and sat down next to him. He looked pretty tired too, but was still giving off an energetic aura. I guess that was just an effect of having his kind of personality. After a bit, I couldn't stand the silence anymore.
"So you're a runner right?" I asked. He nodded, seemingly relieved that I had started talking. He must have been thinking of something to say too.
"Yeah, running is what I'm best at, but I'm also good at track and field stuff."
"Wow! That's awesome! So what track and field stuff do you do?"
He began counting on his fingers, mumbling sports names to himself. After doing this for a bit, he looked up and started naming off the sports.
"Discus, long jump, high jump, and definitely the 100 and 400 meter dash."
He really was good at track and field! I could do the long jump if I tried hard enough, but I wasn't good enough to compete. The conversation felt like it was going to become an awkward silence again, so I thought up another question to ask.
"What do you do for training?"
Once I asked this, Kinji's face became red. He rubbed the back of his neck and laughed weakly.
"Oh, um. Do you promise not to tell?"
I promised. But what could be so secretive about training? After making sure I was telling the truth, Kinji continued.
"Well, whenever there's a sports test or event at our school, I compete twice." He explained. "Once as me, and once pretending to be Ren since he can't do it."
He paused, making sure that I was following along. I more or less understood, since Ren definitely didn't seem like an athlete. Seeing that I wasn't confused, Kinji continued.
"And with the extra practice, plus some help from natural talent, I got good! Eventually I started competing professionally."
I nodded. It made sense. He got good by helping his brother keep his grades up. Before either of us could continue talking, I heard my stomach growl. Kinji laughed.
"I think it's trying to tell you something." He said smiling. "You should probably go get some dinner."
I nodded and stood up. Kinji did the same. He stretched his arms up and yawned.
"I should probably go to bed anyways." He said, walking to the door. "It was nice talking to you Yui!" He opened the door, but stopped moving. He looked like he had remembered something. He turned around to face me.
"Oh yeah! Mayu said we should meet here in the morning. Just in case you didn't know."
I nodded and thanked him. Smiling, he walked out the door into the darkness. I had almost forgotten that it was already night time. My stomach growled again, snapping me from my thoughts. I headed to the kitchen to grab some food before returning to my room. As I laid in bed, I began to feel very tired, but despite the fatigue, I was happy. I was beginning to feel a small amount of hope that we might actually have a chance of making it through this.