Undesirable Sanity

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Ding Dong Ding Dong.

“A body has been discovered!” Dimitris’s voice rang throughout the mansion. “After a short investigation time, we will hold a house trial!”

“Hmm,” Brayden said, narrowing his eyes and looking around the room.

“There really was a dead body with a Batman suit in here!” Josh exclaimed.

“W-well it’s not me!” Randy said shakily.

“Nate, you never told us there were two bodies!” Bruce pointed out. “G-Greg is dead, too!”

Nate shook his head helplessly. “When I came here before, I only saw the Batman suit. Greg was never here!”

“That’s not Greg,” Brayden pointed out. “Look at the glasses. That’s Suiko.”

“But I just saw Suiko half an hour ago!” Nate protested.

“Well, he’s...dead now,” Brayden sighed. “He came to all of us, remember? We all saw him half an hour ago.”

“This...this is terrible,” Leroy said in disgust, walking up to Suiko’s corpse, careful not to step in the large pool of blood. There were still stains on Leroy’s shoes from when he had stepped in it from before.

“He’s cut and slashed all over...” Randy said. “Who’d do this?! And this was recent!”

Josh nodded. “Remember, before the blood was still flowing out of the door. It’s pretty much stopped now, b-but it still looks wet...”

“The blood reeks, too...” Leroy added, scrunching his nose.

Wait!” Nate called as everyone began to split up or start investigating the body.

“If...if Randy’s alive, then who’s that?!” he beckoned to the Batman-suit corpse.

“It can’t be a person...we’re all here, right?” Bruce asked, frowning. “Is anyone missing?” he stopped, his eyes widening. “No way...”

Brayden cautiously walked up to the body, looking both curious and bewildered, and removed the Batman mask.

Everyone gasped, and Brayden even dropped the mask in surprise.

The person under the Batman suit was Mark.

“Wh-wh-WHAT?” Randy stuttered.

Out of all the people to die in this house, Nate thought Mark seemed the least likely.

He stared at Mark in shocked silence. Mark wasn’t wearing his headphones since he had been under the Batman mask, and his hair was slightly messy, probably from the mask, too. His eyes were closed and he was frowning slightly-similar to the final expressions of Bill and Seto. Nate half expected Mark to blink open his eyes any second and laugh at them all, saying this was another “hope test”, but he knew that wouldn’t happen. Mark was dead. Greg and Suiko were dead. This wasn’t just some silly test. There was even a body announcement.

“Why was Mark in a Batman suit?!” Brayden exclaimed. Even he seemed shocked by this discovery.

“Could he have taken one of my extra suits?” Randy asked, still shaken. “I mean, there was obviously someone in my room who knocked me out. They could have taken it from my closet...”

“This doesn’t make any sense...let’s just investigate and get our facts straight, so my brain doesn’t explode,” Leroy said in blunt shock. Everyone nodded, relieved to have a clear objective in all this chaos, and split up. Some houseguests were eager to leave the second floor (which they had to leave through the Study Room teleporting, obviously), which was reeking of blood and was soon to reek of death, while others decided to stay and investigate the bodies, including Nate. The only houseguests left on the second floor were him, Brayden, and Leroy.

“You should be happy,” Brayden muttered to Nate. “The two people who have tried to murder you in the past, dead. Right here in front of us.”

“I’m never happy when anyone dies,” Nate replied simply. Brayden nodded and went to inspect Greg’s body with Leroy. Nate personally wanted to investigate Mark’s body.

It was still bewildering, that two people had died, and that they were Mark and Suiko.

Nate cautiously touched Mark’s shoulder, just to confirm that Mark was really dead.

Mark was cold...very cold, actually. He must have died a while ago.

The last time Nate had seen Mark was around breakfast this morning...which was only about an hour ago, actually.

Nate did a quick check of the rest of Mark’s body. His neck was bent at an odd angle, obviously broken. His hair was somewhat messy, and there were no visible wounds or blood on Mark’s body.

Besides that, there wasn’t that much detail on the body. From the looks of it, Mark’s neck had been snapped, and the Living Room painting was taken off its hook. Mark’s dead body, in the Batman suit for some reason, was then hung up on the hook by the cape.

Either Mark was wearing the suit when he died, Nate thought, or the culprit put it on him after he killed Mark.

Doing one last scan of Mark’s body, something in Mark’s hair caught Nate’s eye. Nate carefully picked it out and investigated it.

This looks like...a woodchip? Nate wondered. A small splinter of wood, what was that doing in Mark’s hair?

Maybe it was just in the mask he was wearing, Nate thought, pushing the thought aside for now and putting the woodchip in his pocket.

Nate then walked over to investigate Suiko, as Leroy and Brayden were pretty much done.

“What’d you find?” Leroy asked Nate.

“Well, the body’s cold,” Nate started. “There aren’t really any visible wounds, and there was a woodchip in his hair.”

“A woodchip?” Brayden echoed. Nate nodded.

“Hm. You can take a look at Suiko, I wanna investigate Mark,” Brayden said, heading over to the other body. Leroy followed.

Nate stopped in front of Suiko’s body. This truly was horrible. It looked as if Suiko had been tortured. But why? Why was all this bloodshed necessary? The message and the blood smear on the walls, the blood pool forming even on the other side of the door...so much blood.

Not only that. Suiko had been taped up to the wall, as if on display, like Mark. Taped up between the door and the wall, to make sure no one got in, even if the door was locked.

Nate shook his head and sighed. What really got to him was that someone amongst them had done this. He tried to deny that fact every time, but someone always ended up being guilty.

Ivan had seemed like a pretty mellow guy, even if Nate never got to know him well.

Peter usually seemed calm and collected. No one would have thought he would brutally stab Bill.

Thomas had basically lost his mind to the point where he enjoyed killing Seto.

And Mike had been talked into poisoning Casey by Mark.

Nate looked up and down Suiko’s body confusedly. A lot of things weren’t right here. First, where did the culprit find the tape and an arrow? The arrow looked like it had been shot, too. There must have been a bow...

Nate looked up at Suiko’s face. Why didn’t he look tortured, in agony? He looked confused and angry. But no, not in any sort of major pain.

“Hey, Nate.”

Nate glanced over his shoulder to where Brayden was bent down by Mark’s body.

“Come look at this.”

Nate cautiously walked over to Brayden, who was casually poking around Mark’s face, opening his eyes and mouth and turning his head to the side.

“Did you see this?” Brayden asked, and opened Mark’s mouth. Nate blinked in surprise-there was some dried blood in Mark’s mouth.

“Maybe this wasn’t a clean murder after all,” Brayden suggested.

“Was he poisoned like Casey?” Leroy asked.

Brayden shook his head. “The blood probably wouldn’t have been this dry if that was it.”

“Then why is the blood dry?” Nate asked.

Brayden shrugged. “We can discuss it at the Trial.”

“I found something interesting, too,” Leroy added. “It could be our murder weapon, actually.”

He toppled the painting leaning against the wall over with his foot, and a sword that was behind it landed on the floor with a klunk.

“Isn’t that the sword Thomas used?!” Nate exclaimed.

Leroy nodded. “There’s wet blood on it, too.”

Nate took a closer look. The blood on it was definitely new.

“Who do you think that was used on?” Leroy asked. Nate looked over at the slashed-up body of Suiko just as Dimitris made his announcement.

“That’s enough investigating time!” he declared. “Everyone must make their way to the elevator for our fifth Household Trial.”

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