Part 11: Super High-school Level Update #9ATTENTION Stay tuned for an audience-participation poll at the end of this update!
So this is it? The place you think we can find something suitable for self defense?
Oh, look, it looks like theres something good inside the show case.
Looks like she wants us to do all the work. Right, then. Let's look at that case.
There are all sorts of stuff lying on the top shelf...
The bottom shelf, on the other hand, is more interesting. It also offers several things we can look at.
Its a Haniwa.
Surely thats not something you want in front of a gymnasium, right?
Haniwa are little figures that were ritually buried with the dead in Japans pre-cultural era. That may sound like a long time ago, but it actually isnt -- it was well after the Gregorian calendar year 0, when most other large cultures active in the modern world were already very much established.
Its a golden buddha statue...
Who would place such a thing in an award case?
Its a shield...
Maybe someone won it at some kind of sports competition.
Theres a Kabuto here.
There sure are some weird things in this case...
A kabuto is a traditional Samurai helmet. These days its used mostly for decoration.
And finally, the thing we came here for.
Is that... a real sword?
Nope. Its an imitation wooden sword.
Nevertheless, its really impressive. Its completely painted in gold. Not a spot missing.
Uwaa...! I just touched it a little bit and now theres gold paint all over my hand!
Your hand got really dirty.
I dont think that would work as a self-defense weapon...
Really? I still think its better than nothing...
If you think so, how about you take if for yourself, Naegi-kun? It can also look good as decoration for your room.
But please be careful carrying it back. It would be best if we could wrap it in newspaper or something.
She already decided Im taking it with me...
I dont see anything else suitable for self defense in here...
I... I think even if youre worried, we probably wont need anything for a while.
If the time comes when we do....
I... I will protect you...
If I can count on you as a friend... I dont need a self-defense weapon anymore.
Maizono-san said that and laughed.
She flashed that wonderful smile of hers...
Her calming smile.
Whenever I see that smile, I really feel like I can do anything.
So, lets stop looking for a weapon... Since were already here, how about talking for a while?
I guess... that's something we can do.
I know I said I wanted to talk, but when push comes to shove, I dont know what to say...
Its okay, dont worry.
If you dont have anything to say, its fine to just be quiet.
Instead of trying to have an unnatural conversation, isnt it fine for two people to just enjoy some time together quietly?
Ah, but... you will probably get bored! Sitting here without doing anything...
Nope. I wont get bored or anything. Its just...
Im not... used to it. Not speaking.
I...is that so?
Maizono-san isnt a regular high school student like me. Shes probably constantly busy and surrounded with people.
Um, I know its sudden...
But do you have a... dream, Naegi-kun?
Eh? A dream?
I dont think so... Im still searching for one...
Oh, I see. It would be nice if you found one, Naegi-kun.
She seems troubled. I wonder whats wrong?
Does it have anything to do with dreams?
So how about your dreams?
Can you tell me about them?
Ever since I was a little girl, I always admired the idols.
There were just the two of us. Me and my father, you see.
Dad used to work until late every single day. I was always alone at home.
I was just a child... It was a little lonely...
But the thing that eased my loneliness was the lives of the idols I could see reflected on the TV screen.
They were like big sisters to me. They could sing and dance really well...
And best of all... their smiles...
When I looked at their smiles, my loneliness was forgotten in the blink of an eye.
Thats why I always wanted to become an idol like them. Someone who can give other people strength.
...And I managed to make my dream come true.
Thats really amazing. Having your childhood dream come true!
Its really... great...
In order to make that dream come true, I was prepared to do anything.
Even bad things... Really... anything...
If you chase after your dreams, you can make them come true. I honestly believe that.
But if you want that to happen, you must never lose sight of your goal...
Even when you feel like youre living in a nightmare... Whether youre awake or asleep...
To make your dreams come true, you must always have them in sight.
In my business, if you let yourself relax for even a second, you can be put away and forgotten. Did you know that?
So you must always swim with the current without stopping to catch your breath.
It really is that kind of world.
I... didnt realize it was that difficult.
So... you arent having fun...?
No, thats not how it is at all. Everything is really fun. Honestly!
But... thats why Im so scared...
Right now... every day is really fun.
In my current group were all great friends... We may be rivals sometimes, but we all like each other...
Those girls were my precious best friends ever since we all had our start in the business.
If they werent there... I would probably have given up my dream a long time ago.
Making our dreams come true together, working together. Im really happy right now.
But... thats exactly... why I sometimes get scared.
What if the world suddenly gets tired of us... When that happens... what will we all do?
Our dreams will be gone, our fun days will come to an end. Everyone will go their separate ways...
She looks... really afraid...
It's her treasured dream she earned through unimaginable hard work. Maizono-san is really afraid of losing that.
Thats the reason I decided to join Hopes Peak Academy.
Eh...? What do you mean?
They say everyone who graduates from here is successful in everything they do, right?
If thats the case... I thought I could make everyone in my group stay together forever...
Thats... what I thought...
Were locked in this place and cant get out...
Im sure... my friends are waiting for me...
Even though the more time passes... the more were going to be forgotten...
It takes no time at all... to be erased...
I DONT HAVE TIME FOR ANY OF THIS!!
That was the first time I heard her scream straight from inside her soul.
It was real anger.
But she had every right to be angry.
I mean, because shes locked here, all the hard work she and her friends put into making their dreams come true might be for nothing.
No, I cant simply call it hard work.
For someone like me, there is no way to measure the burden on her shoulders.
I made you listen to my silly complaints...
Are you... mad with me?
N...no. How can I possibly be?
Are you hungry, by any chance?
Why dont we go grab something to eat at the cafeteria before returning to our rooms?
In that case...
In that case, how about I make you something?
I may not look it, but my cooking is pretty good!
Eh, really? Whats your specialty?
Heh heh heh. It was a joke.
She said that and laughed again.
Her troubled face from before was gone.
And in its place, the same bright expression she always wore floated back up.
This time it looked to me like a mask. Like some formal expression she had to put on.
After that we went to the cafeteria together and ate lunch.
And then we returned to our individual rooms.
A golden imitation sword in such a plain room...
Somehow, it feels out of place.
Anyway, I still have some time today...
I dont feel like standing still. I should go somewhere.
During your stay in Hopes Peak Academy, there will be periods of time provided for free activity.
During those times, you may spend time with your fellow classmates and strengthen your connections with them.
Furthermore, you may give them presents to advance your friendship even further.
Presents can be acquired by using the Monomono Machine at the school shop, so please drop in for a visit!
As you deepen your connections with your classmates, you can witness hidden events and add data to their profiles in the Report Card.
In addition, you may receive various handy gameplay skills from your new friends.
By all means, go on and communicate with as many kids as you can!
When you spend time with a classmate, some time will pass and you will find yourself back in your room.
After you exercise Free Activity several times the story will resume again.
If you wish to skip Free Activity, you may rest on the bed in your room instead.
We do not think you should take advantage of that option often, but it is useful when all you want is to advance the story.
To start with, how about spending some time with Sayaka Maizono-sama?
We apologize for choosing the first partner for you.
So, as the tutorial just told us, we get to do some picking and choosing about who we fraternize with. This has no effect on the story, but it does reveal the back stories and inner motivations of whoever we choose to talk to. Each character has several scenes we can see where something is revealed about them. Choosing a suitable present and selecting the right conversation options will show us those scenes, and choosing wrong can hide them from us (don't worry - I will make the correct choices).
Speaking of presents, we need to get some. The school shop is that strange room we meet Enoshima at earlier today. Let's head there.
...and that's the Monomono machine, on the counter to the right.
What's... this thing?
Oh! Is that one of those machines where you pull the handle and get a prize?
You have probably found several small coins at various locations in Hope's Peak Academy.
These are the fabled Monobear Coins you hear about everywhere these days.
You may check the number of Monobear Coins you have collected at the ID Card Menu screen.
You may use those Monobear Coins in the machine found in this room, and acquire commodities for your effort.
The more Monobear Coins you collect, the easier it is to acquire unique items.
You may confirm the commodities in your possession in the Presents menu.
As you can see, we managed to collect 8 coins so far. The number at the top left is how many we want to put into the machine. The number in the lower right is the chance to get a duplicate prize. Right now we have no prizes at all, so it's zero. The more we get the higher this number gets, but we can put in more coins to make our chances better. Let's just stick with one coin for now and pull the handle...
We got... a quill pen.
There are several dozen prizes to win, though you don't need more than a few for Free Activity purposes. There are pieces of concept art to unlock for the completionist, and some other secrets related to getting rare prizes.
I will handle getting more prizes off-screen for the rest of the LP. It's kind of a boring process.
The characters are all lurking around the school right now, and we can go and get some one liners from them that aren't very interesting. The tutorial wasn't kidding, though. For the sake of tutorializing we're stuck with going out with Maizono again. So let's jump straight to her door...
Lets try rining the bell...
Im... restless. I think Im scared after all...
What should I do? Should I try inviting Maizono-san to spend time with me?
SPEND TIME TOGETHER / GO SOMEWHERE ELSE
We're choosing the first option.
Will you please try and... cheer me up?
Im sorry for... taking up so much of your time...
I tried my best to comfort Maizono-san.
I think we became a little closer...
Should I give her a present?
GIVE / DO NOT GIVE
Let's try to find something suitable...
For the modern person who is not satisfied with tap water, we processed water from the depths of the ocean into a soft drink.
Eh? Is that a present for me?
Thank you very much. I will treasure it.
She seems a little happier...?
I have something I want to tell you.
W...what is it? You sound so formal all of a sudden...
I may sound a little strange, but
I have really come to depend on you, Naegi-kun.
I think I can become really strong, just because youre here for me.
If you were not here, I would probably be overwhelmed with anxiety...
Whatever it is we got involved with is scary, but because you are here I feel somehow... safe.
Being told something like that directly from Maizono-san...
Im happy, but also a little embarrased.
I feel the same thing. Youre really saving me by being here, Maizono-san.
Heh heh. You flatter me.
That wonderful, calming smile...
I am not flattering her at all. That smile is really my savior.
But its really amazing, you know.
Ive never thought I could talk with you that way, Naegi-kun.
When we were in junior high, you never talked to me. You never even gave me a good look, didnt you?
Thats because you were a celebrity. I couldnt just go staring at you.
Hey, wait? How did you know I never looked at you?
Because I was looking at you from time to time, Naegi-kun.
I always searched for an opportunity to start a conversation.
A chance to... start a conversation with me?
But there were always a lot of people around me, and in the end we graduated without ever talking...
Thats something Ive always regretted.
But... why me of all people?
Do you remember our first year at school? There was a big bird that got lost and got stuck in our pool.
Now that she says it, I think I remember that incident...
It was that bird that always shows up in Japanese fairy tales. You know what I mean, the one in that saying about turtles and thousands of years...
The big bird that got stuck in the pool during our first year...
A CRANE / A SPARROW / A HERON
The crane is an important bird in Japanese folklore, and its no surprise its one of the most basic figures you fold when learning to do origami. The most famous tale involved an elderly couple freeing a crane from a trap. The crane later comes to them disguised as a young girl and weaves wonderful fabric for the old man to sell. She leaves when the couple discover her true form. The saying Maizono refers to is a popular take on a sentence from the Huainanzi, a famous Chinese philosophical text: you can wish someone a long life by hoping they have the cranes one thousand years or the turtles ten thousand
It was a crane. It got lost and came to our schools pool.
It was really cool. I mean, it was a crane.
It was so big, even the teachers didnt know what to do...
But you managed to set it free, didnt you, Naegi-kun? You managed to take it all the way to the forest behind the school...
It was only because I was in the animal-rearing club... And I dont think I did a very good job. I was probably being too forceful.
Can I... thank you for that time?
I am that crane. I came to repay the favor. Will you let me weave you some fabric?
Heh heh. Im just joking.
Yeah... I got that.
But its not a lie that I was moved by what you did.
Thats why I wanted to try and talk to you just once.
I just never thought it would be in this kind of circumstances...
Maybe if it happened in the middle of the city, we could have some kind of a dramatic reunion...
But in this place... this creepy school...
But heres what I think.
Im just like that crane right now. Im being saved by you, Naegi-kun.
It may just be my intuition, but I really feel that way.
Im... saving Maizono-san?
Ill do my best, then. I dont want it to be just an intuition.
If theres anything I can do, Ill do it.
I really believe it. I mean, my intuitions are very strong.
Its because I can read minds.
Heh heh. Its a joke.
Maizono-san laughed again.
The closer we get, that smile makes me stronger.
...thats how I felt.
Game System posted:
Sayaka Maizonos profile is updated.
Congratulations. You acquired the skill Beautiful Voice.
I parted with Maizono-san and returned to my room.
I will explain what skills do when we get to the relevant part of the game.
*Ding dong ding dong*
Ehhh.... This is a school announcement. It is now 10pm.
Night Time begins now.
The cafeterias doors will be locked shortly. You are forbidden to enter it.
Well then, good night. I wish you all have pleasant dreams...
So... another day has passed...
Im sure well find something to help us tomorrow.
As I closed my eyes...
I replayed my conversation with Maizono-san in my head several times.
I regret it a little.
She opened her heart in front of me, and I couldnt do the same.
She carries a burden on an entirely different level from a regular high school kid like me.
She didnt come to this school for a simple reason, like I did.
Thats why... I cant share my feelings with her.
Compared to her... no, compared to everyone else here...
I am most certainlty different.
Eh, welcome, everyone. Our school year of mutual killing is already in progress, but...
Really, I can just laugh.
Our students, all full of hope, still think they have a chance of escaping!
Upupu... When will it start, I wonder?
Our hope killing each other...!
Will it be long now? Will it be long now?
My heart is thumping with excitement!!
ATTENTION On the next update we get some real Free Activity time and can choose to spend it with any of our new friends. So let's put it up for a vote! I need two characters, so vote for the two you'd most like to find out more about! Thank you for your cooperation!