Dangan Ronpa, City of Despair

Chapter 3

Once again, I woke up to the sound of Monokuma's irritating voice. So he was going to do that every morning. Sitting up, I noticed the two photos on the table. I had put them there before, not sure what else to do with them. I guess it would be fine to just leave them there for now. Like yesterday, I reluctantly got out of bed, heading out the door once I was dressed.

I saw Ren walking towards the dining hall and jogged over to catch up to him.

"Hello!" I said cheerfully. Perhaps he would be in a better mood today.

"Hello." He replied. He continued walking, unwilling to even look in my direction.

"So. How was investigating yesterday?" I asked. I wasn't even sure why I kept trying to talk to him. The conversation would probably just turn into an awkward silence again. Rather than continuing to walk and ignore me, Ren stopped.

"I apologize," He began. "But I am not in the mood for conversation."

Once he had finished dismissing me, he began walking again.

"Why?" I asked. Technically ignoring what he had said. Normally I would leave people alone if they wanted to be, but at the moment I needed some kind of communication. Even if it was with him. He sighed.

"I see no reason to get to know people who may end up dead the next day." He said bluntly. I almost thought I had misheard him. Could someone really think like that?

"That's not going to happen though!" I exclaimed. "No one is going to kill anybody."

The tone of my voice sounded confident, though I did know that I felt a sliver of doubt. That didn't change the fact that it would be better to stay optimistic though. Once again, Ren stopped walking.

"You're just naive if you really believe that." He said. "If you get too attached to the people here, then it will hurt more when they're gone."

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I tried to say something back. To tell him he was wrong. But I couldn't find the words. Instead, I turned away, just wanting to get away from him. He was nothing like his brother. Kinji was optimistic, happy, energetic. How could the two of them even be related?

Looking around, I noticed Saruwatari walking ahead of us. Leaving Ren behind, I walked over to him. He smiled at me when I got there, but then frowned as he realized that something was wrong.

"Is everything okay Yui?" He asked. I shook my head.

"Ren said that there's no point in talking to anyone since we're going to end up dead." I explained. I wasn't sure why I was wasting Saruwatari's time with something like that, but I had said it anyways.

"Well, he's got that wrong." Saruwatari said. "The only way we're going to get through this is if we work together."

I nodded and realized that we had reached the dining hall. Saruwatari smiled and opened the door for me. I thanked him and walked inside. I felt a bit better thanks to what Saruwatari had said. Unfortunately, the happy feeling was short lived. Asami's voice rang out through the dining hall, signalling that another fight had broken out.

"What did you say!?" She shouted. Following her gaze, I realized that the question was directed at Koizumi. The young investigator shrugged.

"I said that I wouldn't mind if someone got murdered." She replied. I felt my jaw drop. Did Koizumi really think that? I saw Asami clench her fist.

"Didn't you hear what Monokuma said?" She asked. "He told us that we all went to school together!" She gestured to the others who, like me, were shocked by the scene unfolding before them. "These are your friends! And you say youwouldn't mind if one of them died?"

Part of me wished that Koizumi was lying, or that this was all a dream, but I knew that wasn't the case. Koizumi's next words proved that.

"No." She replied. "I'm excited to investigate a real murder! And to do that, there needs to be a body."

"Are you even listening to what you're saying!?" Asami shouted back. Before things could get more heated, Mayu placed her hand on Asami's shoulder.

"Take a deep breath Asami." She said calmly. "Anger isn't going to help." After she made sure Asami was calmer, she turned to Koizumi.

"It might be better if you went back to your room Koizumi." She suggested. Once again, Koizumi shrugged, leaving the dining hall with a smile on her face. I felt my hands shaking. Was it from fear? Adrenaline? Both? I felt my head grow fuzzy, but Mayu's voice snapped it back to reality.

"We all need to calm down." She instructed. "Anger leads to violence, which can unfortunately lead to a murder. If we want to avoid that, then we're all going to have to get along." Saruwatari walked up to her, also addressing the rest of us.

"Yeah!" He said. "I'm sure we'll be rescued soon enough!"

Somehow, Saruwatari's words brought a glimmer of hope. I saw some of the others nodding, realizing that he was right. Of course, he couldn't let us feel happy.

"Puhuhuhu! That has to be the funniest thing I've heard all day! Bwahahahaha!"

I jumped back. Somehow Monokuma had appeared right next to me, and I hadn't even noticed. Once he had finished laughing, he continued.

"You aren't going to be rescued." He said. "And I'm starting to get really bored. Can one of you just kill already?"

Finally finding my voice, I turned to face the monochrome bear. "None of us are going to do something as horrible as that!" I said, half to him and half to myself. I still felt a sliver of doubt, knowing that a murder was still possible. Once again, Monokuma laughed.

"If you talk like that..." He said in the same sickly sweet voice as before. "You'll probably end up being the victim. Puhuhu."

As he laughed, he left the dining hall. The atmosphere had been bad before, but somehow he had made it feel even worse. I tried to stop my hands from shaking, but couldn't. I could faintly hear Sota's voice as it rang out through the dining hall.

"We aren't going to be rescued?" He asked. The panic he was feeling was blatantly obvious in both his voice and body. Before he could lose control, Akio put his hand on his shoulder.

"Calm down man." He said. But his voice betrayed him as well. In fact, even the air in the room seemed to be shaking from fear. I could feel it. My head began spinning as I thought about what Monokuma had said. Was I really going to be killed?

"Yes, you're right. We should go back to our room."

The voice belonged to Koharu. Everyone watched as she left the dining hall. I wasn't sure who she had been talking to, but she was right. We all dispersed, going our separate ways. I returned to my room. As I closed and locked the door, I realized that I felt very cold. Wrapping my blankets around me, I laid in bed. I knew that the blankets couldn't protect me, but it helped to feel secluded from them all.

I spent the rest of the day like this, drifting in and out of reality as I fell asleep and woke up over and over again. The entire time still shaking. Still cold.

Eventually, there was a knock at the door. Despite every fibre of my being telling me to ignore the noise, I went over and turned the doorknob. The person who had knocked was Kinji, who still had his hand up to try again.

"Oh! Yui!" He said, quickly putting his hand down. "I was worried about you, since you hadn't left your room all day."

I sighed, both mentally and physically relieved. I had half expected it to be Monokuma at the door.

"Thanks." I said. "But I'm fine. Just a bit worried about what Monokuma said." I moved to the side, letting him in. I wasn't sure why I did, but it seemed like my body was acting on it's own. Nevertheless, I did feel like I could trust Kinji, so I closed the door and gestured to the chair. He sat down and I moved to the bed, sitting down and turning to face him.

"I don't think you need to worry." Kinji said, once he was comfortable. "No one is going to kill you." He seemed very certain, and I couldn't help but smile. Even in horribly dark situations, he could still stay optimistic. Unfortunately, my smile faded as I remembered what his brother had said.

"Ren doesn't think so." I said. "He doesn't trust anyone and thinks we should all do the same."

"I guess that makes sense." Kinji said. "Ren and I didn't have many friends growing up, so trusting people has never been his strong suit."

I could understand Ren not having many friends. His social skills weren't the best after all. But I found it difficult to believe that Kinji was alone as well. Perhaps he used to be different than the Kinji I had met in the classroom.

"What do you think of all this?" I asked. The question was random, but I needed to know. I had to see if anyone felt the same way as I did. Kinji shrugged.

"I don't like it." He answered. "But I'm not extremely worried about it either. Before this all happened, I was being bombarded by scouts. Even with Ren's help, I was having trouble deciding. The stress was really getting to me, but if what Monokuma said was true, I must have gone with Hopes Peak Academy. Something about that just seems... reassuring, you know?" He smiled, and I couldn't help smiling as well. It seemed like Kinji was always able to see the silver lining of a situation.

"It must be more than reassuring knowing you're the best at what you do." I said. Kinji nodded and laughed. He had a nice laugh.

"I'm just happy that Ren and I got to be together, even if it did end up getting us here." He said before pausing. He stood up and headed towards the door. I got up and put my hand on the door knob to open it for him. He put his hand on mine to stop me. "I'm also happy I got to meet you." He added. Before I could even comprehend what he had said, I felt his arms around me. He pulled me close to him in a tight hug. I could feel the warmth of his body and felt blood flushing to my cheeks. The moment was over quickly though and Kinji turned away, opening the door.

"Come see me if you're feeling scared again, okay?" he said once he had stepped outside. I nodded, still shocked by what had just happened. I had never been that close to a boy before, and I couldn't help but feel a bit dazed and confused. After a while I realized that the door was still open. I quickly closed it and sat back down on my bed.

"Ahem, this is a message from your Mayor. It is now 10pm and night time has officially begun. Please return to your hotel rooms as some areas will now be closed. Thank you. Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite."

Monokuma's voice filled the room, but I ignored him. Instead, I just let myself fall into a deep sleep, still feeling warm from before. Feeling happy. Feeling hopeful.

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