Part 46: Tooth, Part 2Music: Tooth
The students of Byakudan Senior High have been trapped in Heavenly Host Elementary. Shortly after their arrival, Katayama's leg was severed by a trap. He's resting by the bathrooms on the third floor, watched over by Ohkawa and Emi while Tohko, Kizami and Shimada search for an exit. Mitsuki, Fukuroi and Kurosaki are still unaccounted for.
Heading downstairs from the bathrooms, we begin exploring the second floor of the school.
It's a recently-deceased corpse, still a bit warm. Based on appearance and uniform, this was most likely a high school boy. There's a student ID name tag on the ground next to him. But...is that an alias? A fake ID? The name on the card seems highly suspicious:
Onda Fourthstreet Age: 18
Kurashiki Industrial High School
Intended to manufacture Heavenly Host Elementary goods and sell them for a premium price, but died before seeing this dream come true.
I would probably pay a premium price for Heavenly Host Elementary goods.
After grabbing Mr. Fourthstreet's name tag, we head into room 3-A.
This door...seems like it might just be openable!
Sound Effect: Spill
It's a bunch of...dishes? They must have been propped against the door. There are wet, bloody prints all over them. It's a little disturbing.
"How do...t feel to be sta...d?"
The writing is partially erased, making it hard to interpret what it might have said.
It's a newly-deceased corpse. Based on appearance and dress, she seems to have been female. There's a student ID name tag at her feet:
Megumi Onda Age: 16
Karasuyama High School
Dehydrated; last words were, "I'm so thirsty..."
Finished in 3-A, we head next door. Note the grey square on the map; a large hole prevents us from accessing the west hallway.
The cabinet is locked. There appear to be numerous thick books inside. They have titles like, [The Truth of Ties] and... [Adorababble Enough to KEEL U]?! What in the world could that last one possibly be about...?
There are letters scratched into the corner of the blackboard, seemingly with fingernails:
"DO NOT TRUST THEM. THEY WILL BETRAY YOU. THE ONE WHO VOLUNTEERED TO GO WILL BETRAY YOU MOST SEVERELY."
The words "kill before you're killed" are scribbled all over this school flier.
We exit the classroom and head south down the hallway. The lab is locked, so we pass it by and stop in front of the infirmary.
Not sure why I felt that way, to be honest. But for good measure, I shouted, 'Is anybody in there?' We still hadn't found Mitsuki, after all. I didn't hear her call back, though. So really, we had no business in this room whatsoever.
Wait... Was that a key sticking out of the lock? Who would've locked the door, but left the key? What would be the point?
Sound Effect: Lock
Ah! What are you doing?!
Hey, there could be boogeymen in there or somethin'. And then what would we do? I figure, better to lock 'em in and keep 'em out of our hair!
*sigh* And what exactly do you plan to do with that key?
I'm gonna hang onto it, of course!
Stop tossing it around! That's dangerous!
Don't you worry, I aaal...ways catch whatever I throw. Hell, I can go even higher!
Pain. In. The. Ass. Shimada was such a pain in the ass. I really couldn't stand the guy.
We continue south, to the staircase.
God you're persistent. Look, you're very good at throwing and catching, okay? So just stop already!
The ceiling in this place sure is high. Let's see if I can touch it! Alley... ... ...oops!
Ehh, whatever. I don't give a shit.
...Aaand now the infirmary was cut off from us if we needed it. Brilliant.
The group automatically heads down to the first floor and finds their way to the entrance.
I rushed over to the door, hopeful yet afraid, knowing it might not open but praying this horrid place would show us at least a little mercy. Gingerly, I raised my hand and pushed on it, and it swung open without even the slightest hesitation. It seemed almost too easy...
Background Sound: Rain
It was unnaturally dark outside, though, and the rain was coming down so hard that peeking my head out for just a moment left my uniform completely soaked. Shimada pushed past me, throwing the door open even wider with his usual lack of regard for anyone and anything around him. My clothes went from soaked to drenched in a matter of seconds. If I were to actually walk out into it, I felt like I'd drown.
What is this place? It's way too dark out here. ...We in a forest, maybe?
It's really coming down. If we went out there in a rainstorm like this, we'd get soaked to the bone.
I...wouldn't mind seein' that look on you...
...Anyway...we know we can get outside safely now. Let's go back and get Katayama.
He was standing back by the hall, where he could watch over us while also keeping an eye out for anyone else who might happen by. The model of maturity. Shimada, on the other hand...
Background Sound: None
I'm not about to stick around in this fucked-up place any longer than I have to. Screw the others; I'm outta here!
You can't be serious...
Hell yeah I'm serious! Those assholes are the ones who chose to stay behind. They're just gonna die one by one, and I say let 'em!
*sigh* Didn't think you were quite that callous. But far be it from me to stop you.
The tone in his voice said it all. He'd hit the ultimate low. After abandoning his friends to save his own hide, he was now basically propositioning me...
I really don't want to see you die. You've been real precious to me for quite some time, you know.
...with an obviously rehearsed and truly sickening pick-up line. He really was the slimeball to end all slimeballs.
Unbelievable. What the hell is wrong with you?! Get your eyes off me, you jackass!
I couldn't believe he had the nerve to pull something like this. I felt like that may have been the first time I'd ever truly yelled at someone. I was absolutely livid. And he wasn't even done! No, he still had plenty of salt left to throw in the wound.
I was just tryin' to be nice and give you a ticket outta this hellhole. But if you don't want it, that's your loss!
Tch. You need to die already! ...This guy's a lost cause, Yuuya. Let's just go.
My head was swimming. I was scared, I was angry, I was sad...every negative emotion brought to the forefront, and every positive emotion pushed away. I didn't look back. I just turned away from Shimada, walked over to Yuuya's side and continued past him into the hallway. Yuuya had been watching all of this unfold from the other side of the room, and for a moment, he just stood there, staring blankly at Shimada.
Shimada then drew a large knife from his breast pocket. Its tip struggled to glisten in the dull light of the room, but it did ultimately succeed. He began waving it around like a dumbass, probably thinking it made him look more menacing.
Check it out. Just bought this baby yesterday. Not bad, eh? Bet I could put it to good use... in a lot of ways...
Haha. You are an amusing fellow.
How low of an opinion must he have of women in general to pull crap like that?! There's just no excuse!
I was indignant. I was fuming. I just kept cursing and mumbling as I fast-walked back to the third floor to meet up with the others. And all the while, Yuuya was keeping pace with me, saying nothing at all. Always the model of maturity. Always even-tempered. He really was like a rock. ...Or maybe... Maybe he found my mutterings annoying, and was just keeping quiet so I'd do the same...
I didn't like that possibility one bit. So I mentally slapped myself on the cheek, forced positivity in my voice and tried to engage him in cheery banter.
I mean, I know you've got a lot of women falling for you, but I've never once heard a single bad rumor about you from any of them. It's kind of amazing.
I looked him square in the eyes, as if asking him, 'isn't that right?'...and for a moment, his eyes did meet mine. But then they went right back to the hall. Hmm? Was he not used to receiving compliments from women? That seemed hard to believe.
I'm not sure what you mean.
What a cute, innocent response.
...and then I'd start to feel scared of this school again, or angry at Shimada, or sad for Katayama. My mind just couldn't make up its mind what to feel.
Music: Chapter 5's Second Theme
...Mitsuki... That was Mitsuki, wasn't it?! It was coming from downstairs!
Mitsuki's voice echoed up from below, but our friends were waiting for us above. For a moment, I wasn't sure which direction to go. But only for a moment. The fact is, our friends were very, very close. So close that it would be foolish not to tell them what was going on before chasing after Mitsuki.
Come on! We need to check in with Emi and the others, then follow that voice downstairs!
Yuuya just nodded and began running up the stairs. And I was right behind him.
I was out of breath, staring down at the ground and talking to what I assumed would be three very attentive friends. But then I looked up...
They were all there, but there was no immediacy, no urgency on anyone's face. Emi and Ohkawa weren't even looking at me, nor at Yuuya...but at Katayama. They were fixated on his face, and each bore a sad, hopeless, empty expression. And they certainly weren't about to 'get moving.' There was a general heaviness in the air. Something was very wrong.
...Wh-What... What's going on?
*sob* Tohko... He's... Katayama's...getting weaker. He's not...going to make it...
Emi's eyes were filled with tears. Ohkawa, too, was cradling Katayama's head, and looked like he'd been crying this whole time. His eyes were bright red and his nose was running. Yuuya, still saying nothing, just walked over to Katayama's side, bent down and began examining his wound.
We need to hurry.
And we had to be very, very quick about it, or he really would die. I could tell just by looking at him that his time was almost up.
Kizami, can you carry him?
Yeah. I could use your help getting him up on my back, though.
Ryosuke... Hang in there. We'll save you!
As this was all going on, I had that nagging feeling like I was forgetting something... Of course! Mitsuki! We had to go find her. We couldn't just leave her behind, after all!
He didn't even have to say anything this time. His eyes told the whole story. 'Got it. I know I can trust you with this task,' they said. And that was enough for me. I shot off down the hall like a bullet. I was determined to find Mitsuki and rejoin everyone en route.
But Mitsuki's voice was coming from even farther down. I'd have to keep going to the first floor, ahead of the others...
Tohko runs down to the second floor, and begins her search for Mitsuki.