Part 100: Chapter 4 Deadly Life, Part 3
: Last time, we stopped in the dorm halls. We're supposed to go talk to Toko and Hiro about the note they supposedly received from Sakura.
I pressed the doorbell...
And after a few seconds...
: Huh? Wh-Who's there?
Agh, the most negative aura I've ever felt... An aura of total decay...
: Well? What do y-you want?
: So you're back to normal. Genocide Jack isn't around anymore...
: D-Don't even say her name... It makes me s-sick to my stomach... I was in such a g-good mood, too...!
She didn't *look* like she was in a good mood...
: Hey, I was...hoping to talk to you about something. Is now a bad time?
: ... Kh...!
Obviously annoyed, Toko slithered out into the hall.
: Wh-What do you want? You said you wanted to [talk] to m-me about something...?
: I wanted to talk to you about the fact that Sakura had asked to meet with you.
: I-I-I don't know what you're t-talking about!
: Byakuya already told me she had asked to meet with him.
: What...? She w-wanted to meet with Master, too?
: Ah! I just s-said "too," didn't I...?
: I guess now it's t-totally obvious, huh?
: Y-Yeah, pretty much... So, can you tell me about it?
: I a-admit, I did get the note... B-But I didn't go see her! I was s-scared, so...I couldn't bring m-myself to go!
Hmm... Toko claims she didn't go see her, but...can I really believe her? Well, until I can prove otherwise, I have no choice but to accept it as fact.
: Is that g-good enough? Then I'm going back to m-my room... *leaves*
With that, Toko quickly retreated into her room.
: Well, that wasn't so bad. Let's see what Hiro has to say.
I pressed the doorbell...
And after a few seconds...
: What's up, Makoto? Did you [need something]?
> need something
: Yeah, actually...I just wanted to check something. It's about how Sakura wanted to meet with you...
: H-H-How'd you know about that!?
: Uwah! Did you maybe...gaze into my soul? Have your special abilities awakened in you!?
: B-But! I'm not the only one she wanted to meet with! Ogre told me herself that she asked Byakuya and Toko to come, too!
: What? When did Sakura tell you that?
: Oh--! W-Well...!
: When she asked me to meet with her, of course!
: But...didn't she write you a note?
: Yeah, uh...a note...she uh...
: She gave it to me in person! And she happened to mention the others, like, in passing!
I gotta be honest, this is super suspicious...
: So then you went and met with Sakura?
: N-No way, I totally didn't! Why would I ever do that!?
: The last time I saw Ogre was when Hina got hurt and I took her to the nurse's office!
: I haven't seen her since then!
: While I'm here, could you show me the note she gave you?
: Oh, um...do I still have it...? Let's see...
Hiro was feeling around in his pockets...
: Ah, sorry! Looks like I don't have it anymore!
With a big, goofy smile on his face, he pulled his hands back out of his pockets. But when he did, I saw something flutter to the ground... Something had fallen out of Hiro's pocket.
Quick as the wind, Hiro snatched it back up again and shoved it back into his pocket.
: Ehehe. Sorry, just a bit of trash I forgot to throw out...
: A-Anyway! I can't deny that Ogre asked to meet with me, but I never went... So, well, if you'll excuse me...! *leaves*
Before waiting for a reply, Hiro quickly slipped back into his room. Hiro said that was just trash, but...there's no way that's all there was to it.
: Hiro could not have been more suspicious there unless he was covered in blood with a giant neon sign reading "I DID IT".
Okay so I've heard from Toko and Hiro. Umm...what next? I'll definitely have to look at the actual crime scene again, but on top of that maybe I should find out more about the protein can we found on the floor of the rec room. I'm sure it must have come from the chem lab...
: So...where should I start?
: We're going to start with the Chem Lab.
: Makoto...did you have your eye on the chem lab, too? Just make sure you don't get in my way.
: Yeah, I got it.
: I think what you meant to say was, "Yes, sir. I understand."
: I'm glad Makoto doesn't respond there. Byakuya's been getting more and more unbearable as the game goes on. Whatever the case, let's check the cabinets over here. There appears to be some stuff on the floor.
This isn't my first time seeing the shelf, but I just can't get over how big it is... I should probably take a closer look at it...
It looks like three shelves have been connected together to make one giant shelf... But more important right now... What's that powder that's been spilled in front of the shelf? I have to be careful not to step in it...
: I'm not good at following narrative directions, so we're going to check out the three shelves first.
Let's see... What's on this shelf? There are all kinda of dietary supplements and different medicines. The protein drink we found in the rec room probably came from this shelf... All the containers on this shelf are labeled with the letter A, and a number. So I guess I can consider this part of the shelving unit section A.
: ...Huh? But wait!
There's one bottle here that's labeled CHEM C-9...! Could someone have put it here on accident...?
So...on this shelf is... It looks like...a bunch of chemicals that I have no idea what they are...
: They're reagents. Put simply, they're used in experiments to bring about a chemical reaction. How have you lived in such ignorance for so long? It must truly be bliss...
: I-Isn't that kinda harsh...?
: What, you think studying science and mathematics has no practical application in the real world?
: The words of a lifelong loser. Which, I suppose, suits you well.
I...didn't even say that... Anyway, that doesn't matter. Right now I need to focus on the shelf... All the containers on this shelf are labeled with the letter B, and a number. So I guess I can consider this part of the shelving unit section B.
Hmm...I don't see anything out of the ordinary here. In which case, I don't think I have to worry too much about this shelf.
On this shelf is... One look and I can tell it's nothing but dangerous chemicals. These look like poisons and other powerful chemicals. All the containers on this shelf are labeled with the letter C, and a number. So I guess I can consider this part of the shelving unit section C.
: I should try to find out more about this shelving unit.
It looks like it's split into three sections. Section A has dietary supplements, section B has reagents, and section C has...lethal chemicals. Sakura must have gotten the protein powder from section A. But what concerns me is that in section A, there was a bottle with a label from section C... What was a bottle of poison from section C doing in section A? There's definitely something going on there...
: Let's investigate the powder next.
There's a broken bottle in front of the shelf. Is this where all the powder came from...? It looks like the bottle had a label on it-- CHEM C-4...
: Would you like to hear something interesting? I was on the 4th floor this morning, checking things out, and at that point...this room wasn't like this.
: Then...this powder must have been spilled...
: That's right. It could only have been around the time of the incident.
If that really is when it happened, it must be related to the case somehow.
These are...footprints? And they're only in front of the left shelf...
: How do these footprints relate to the scene as a whole? We may need to sketch out the floor plan...
: By "we"...do you mean me?
: How kind of you to offer.
With an insufferable smirk, he handed me a piece of paper and a pen.
: Well? Let's go, chop chop!
So I got to work, and before long I'd drawn up a sketch of the room.
: Um, so...how's this?
: Not bad. For you, I mean.
: So, when you look at it like this... Interesting... It would appear that whoever left these footprints only had business at the leftmost shelf. They came in, went straight to that shelf, did whatever they had to do, and then left. That's what the footprints tell me. These footprints must be...
: Makoto, are they yours?
: Okay. Then let me see your shoes and I'll confirm their size for myself.
I couldn't think of a reason not to, so I quietly did what Byakuya said.
: I see... Your feet do appear to be too big. Unfortunately, I must admit these are not your footprints.
: But with how clear these prints are, it should be quite easy to determine who they *do* belong to.
Then these prints are a really valuable clue.
: Lastly, we have to check the powder between the glass shards and the footprints.
: I should probably take a good, hard look at that powder...
There's a bunch of yellow powder scattered on the floor in front of the shelf.
There's also remnants of a broken bottle. It looks like the bottle was labeled CHEM C-4... Also, it looks like someone left some footprints in the powder.
Based on the positioning of the prints, whoever it was only went to the left side of the shelf. According to Byakuya, the powder would had to have been spilled right around the time of the incident. That's all I can tell for now...
I've already taken a good look at the chem lab. Maybe I should take another look around the rec room...
: Before we leave, let's quickly talk to Byakuya once more.
: Makoto. I admit, you have a good eye for spotting useful clues.
: But you also need to learn how to make use of those clues.
: Let me take a moment here. One thing I've noticed is that Byakuya is sometimes really inconsistent in his character. Moments like this make you think he's having a breakthrough in his character development since he didn't insult anyone or be a general asshole like he was for the rest of the time he was here in the chem room with us. But he'll just as quickly go right back to being a jerk as soon as we walk out of here. This feels like one of those places where having a fully completed set of Free Time Events could have changed how he acts towards Makoto had the developers chosen to implement conditional dialogue. It's something that has always bugged me about his character. His character should either start warming up to the group or stay totally isolated from them but sometimes he walks the line between the two and it feels wrong to me.
: Regardless of how I feel about Byakuya, we'll pick up next time back at the rec room for one more pass through the crime scene.