Part 11: Chapter 1 Daily Life, Part 5
: Here we go. I might be able to find something here to protect myself with...
: Yeah, I'm sure I'll find something in the display case I can use.
: Self-defense, huh? That sword seems like the most useful thing available.
Is this...a sword? Oh, no, I think it's just a replica. Still, it's pretty impressive. It's completely covered in a gold coating. But...
: Jeez! I barely touched it and I got that gold stuff all over my hands.
: Wow, you're right. Your hands are totally gold! Even just for self-defense, I think it's a little...
: Well, it's still better than nothing, I guess.
: You should take it with you! It might help liven up your room a little.
: You think so?
: But I guess you'd better be careful taking it back. You should wrap it in newspaper or something.
And just like that, it's been decided...
: I don't see anything I could really use for self-defense...
: H-Hey, don't worry about it! It's not like you need it right away, right? Plus, if anything *were* to happen... When the time comes...I'll protect you.
: You'll...protect me?
: Thank you for saying that... If I've got you on my side, I guess I don't need a weapon after all!
Sayaka giggled as she said that. That mysterious smile... I can tell it comes from the heart. It makes me feel at ease... When I look at her, I honestly feel like I can do anything.
: Okay, we can stop looking for a weapon, then. But as long as we're here, let's hang out a bit more.
: I know I said I wanted to talk to you, but now that we're here...I don't really know what to talk about.
: And I was the one who invited you to come with me, too. Sorry...
: It's okay. I mean, if there's nothing to talk about, then we can just not talk, right?
: You don't have to force yourself to talk. We can just, I dunno...stare off into space or whatever.
: Stare off into space...?
: Oh, but you're probably super bored! Just standing around doing nothing...
: No, it's not that it's boring. It's just...
: I've never really done it before. I don't have a lot of time to just...do nothing.
: I-I guess that makes sense. You're not a normal high school student like me. You've got tons of stuff to do every day.
: ...Hey, um...this is kinda out of nowhere, but... Makoto, do you have a [dream]?
: Well...what about you, Sayaka? What's your dream? I'd love to hear...
: I... My dream is... I've always wanted to be a star, as long as I can remember. I grew up without a mother, you know... And my dad worked really late every night. I was always home alone... I was just a kid, ya know? So I was really lonely. But that all changed when I saw a pop star on TV for the first time. She was so pretty, like a princess. And she could sing, and dance... But more than anything else, there was her smile. Looking at her smile, I could feel my loneliness melting away. I decided that's what I wanted to be someday. I wanted to give that kind of encouragement to others.
: Eventually, that became my dream.
: That's so amazing, though. You were able to actually fulfill your lifelong dream. Honestly, it's really incredible.
: ...I did whatever it took to reach that dream. I mean it. Even some things that...weren't so pleasant.
: I honestly believed that as long as you kept chasing your dreams, someday they had to come true. But to do that, you can't take your eyes off of your dream, not even for a second. Even if sometimes it's a bad dream... Whether you're awake, whether you're asleep... To make your dream a reality, you have to keep your gaze fixed on it no matter what.
: In that world, if you lose focus for even a split second, you get left behind. You have to keep on swimming against the current, without even taking time to breathe... That's the kind of world my dream lives in.
: I-Is it really that tough? Is it not fun at all?
: Oh no, don't get the wrong idea. It's super fun!
: But...that's exactly what scares me.
: I enjoy every single day I wake up and get to do what I do. Everyone in our group is amazing. We're rivals in a way, but they all mean so much to me. We've been performing together since we were young, so they're all like family to me. Without them, I would have given up on my dream a long time ago. To work together, and fulfill our dreams together, has brought me so much happiness...
: But that's the thing that scares me the most. If the world gets tired of us, then what happens? What happens to us? Then the dream dies, those wonderful days come to an end, and everyone goes their separate ways...
S-Sayaka... She's trembling... She must be terrified. She worked so hard, sacrificed so much, to get where she is. She must be terrified of losing it.
: So that's the reason I decided to come to Hope's Peak.
: Huh? What do you mean?
: Well...they say that if you graduate from here, success is basically guaranteed. Which means I could keep on performing with my best friends, for ever and ever. At least, that's what I thought. I really did believe that, but...now we're trapped here, with no way out. They're probably waiting for me...
: While I'm in here, the world out there is forgetting about me. Minute by minute, we're all disappearing. But still...
: I can't afford to be stuck in here!
That was the first time I heard her cry out from deep within herself. She sounds...desperate. But I can understand why she'd feel that way. Trapped here this way, the dream she put so much effort into is on the verge of disappearing forever. And that isn't something that can be fixed with a few kind words. The weight she's carrying... I can't even imagine it.
: Ah--I'm sorry, I didn't mean to complain..
: I kinda killed the mood, huh?
: No, not at all.
: I'm really sorry...
: ... Um, Sayaka...Actually, are you hungry? Before we head back, why don't we go to the dining hall and get some food?
: You want me to make us something to eat? I might not look like it, but I'm actually a pretty good cook!
: Wow, really? What's your specialty?
: Chili oil.
: You mean the condiment!?
: Hahaha. Just kidding!
She burst out laughing. Her earlier mood disappeared, replaced by the bright smile I'd quickly grown used to. But how'd it happen so fast? It was almost like a mask, like some kind of neutral expression.
Anyways, we headed to the dining hall to get something to eat before returning to our rooms.
The only thing in my room is...a fake sword covered in gold. All it does is make me feel that much more uncomfortable. Anyway, there's still plenty of time left in the day. I really don't feel like just sitting here. Maybe I'll take a look around...
: You're about to have your first experience with Free Time. As you live out your school life here, you will be given free time at certain points. During your free time, you can spend time with your fellow classmates to deepen your friendships. You can also give them presents, which can potentially give them an even better impression of you! You can get these presents from the MonoMono Machine in the school store. Come by early and often!
: At certain points, you'll witness intimate events, and new info will be added to each person's report card. These events can also open up new skills, which will prove useful as everything plays out. We strongly encourage you to develop and deepen as many friendships as you can! Also keep in mind that when you talk with a classmate time will pass... When you're finished, you will automatically return to your room.
: After a certain amount of time passes, your free time will come to an end and the story will progress. If you'd prefer not to engage in free time, you can always choose to simply go to sleep to skip it. We wouldn't recommend this approach, but if you absolutely MUST press forward with the story, then...
: Anyways, why don't you try it out by spending some time with Miss Sayaka Maizono? She's the ideal partner to begin with, don't you think?
: So Free Time is where we get to spend some time with the other students and see what they have to say about the situation and their lives. We are forced to meet with Sayaka for the first one as tutorial, but after that we are free to hang out with anyone we want. Additionally, some people will be unavailable to spend time with on occasion.
: My plan with free time is to choose who to spend time with on my own. As was mentioned, skills can be earned from free times and are very useful to have for a the trial portions. I'd like to get myself some early skills that will help throughout the LP but to do so I need to choose who to spend time with myself. Additionally, it allows me to create a backlog of updates and work ahead since I don't have to stop for impromptu voting.
: So then, next time, we'll spend some Free Time with the others.