Part 135: Trial 5, Part 8
The massive high school towers over all the other buildings in this bustling urban area. It's like the school stands at the center of the entire world.
It brings in top students from every field imaginable. A government-funded school of privilege... They say that if you come here and manage to graduate, you'll be set for life. With hundreds of years of tradition, it sends the cream of the crop into the work force every year. It was built to raise hope in the nation's future. Which makes Hope's Peak a pretty fitting name.
There are two things you need to attend this school... One, you have to already be attending high school. Two, you have to be the very best at what you do. No ordinary student could enroll here. The only way in is if you're scouted by the school itself.
And standing there at the gate of the ultimate school filled with the ultimate students...
: Wh-What...? Where am I?
I woke up with my head resting on top of a hard wooden desk. My body felt...heavy. It's pretty normal for me to zonk off in the middle of some boring class or whatever, but... What was I doing asleep here just now? This isn't a classroom I've ever been in before.
: What the heck is going on...?
Finally... I could finally feel my mind and body start to come back together again. And then...I was awake. Or...was this just another dream?
A dream...inside a hopeless nightmare.
: No...this isn't a dream.
I could tell, because the stench invading my nostrils was too powerful for a dream.
: What an awful smell...
I was in a vast, dark cavern, with the barest hint of light seeping in. Trash was piled high all across the area.
: This must be some kind of...underground garbage pit.
A heck of a situation to find myself in. But that was just the beginning of my problems... Was I going to be stuck in there till I wasted away and died?
: No, I can't let that happen...! Not after what my good friend went through to save me!
I remembered all too well what had happened.
Alter Ego...saved me. And he used up the last little bit of strength to do it...
: So I can't give up now! For myself, and for my friend!
And with that, my pursuit of survival began... First up was to start looking for a way out of there.
That's...a rocket, and a tank... I'd better not think too much about what I'm seeing down here.
This is...a desk. It's probably the one that fell down with me.
Is that...an airplane? How'd something like that wind up in the school's garbage pit?
No matter how many times I pushed or pulled or kicked at it, it didn't budge.
: Getting out of here isn't gonna be that easy...
Well, if I'm not getting out of here anytime soon...
I decided to look around for some food.
: There's plenty of food here, but it's all rotten...
But that was pointless, too.
Next I searched for some water.
: How can I be sure which liquids I can drink, and which ones are an all-around bad idea...?
: I feel like I'm blocked in on all sides.
But that's still not enough reason to give up. Because...!
: Because I'm still alive! As long as I'm alive, I'll never give up!
After making that proud declaration, the next thing I decided to do was...
...go to sleep.
My sleep was deep and uninterrupted. That was my only way to preserve what little strength I had left, after not being able to eat or drink. I can't be sure, but I think at least a full day had to have passed. And all I did was sleep and sleep...
It was like I was waiting for some kind of sign to come falling out of the sky. However... What fell from the sky wasn't a sign. Not exactly...
: What the--!?
The strange sound pierced my silent isolation, jarring me awake.
As I watched, the pile of garbage jostled and formed an odd shape...
: Did something fall down over there...?
Something fell from up above... What could it have been?
: Did a giant piece of trash just fall down here...?
I carefully stretched my hand out toward whatever it was that had tumbled down here with me...
♪ Music fades out. ♪
???: A giant piece of trash? Rude.
before she even emerged from the pile of garbage, I knew who it was...
: This place smells awful.
: You look like you're doing better than I expected...
: Wh-What are you doing here?
: Isn't it obvious? I'm here to help you.
: I'm glad to hear that, Kyoko... Umm...you've got a bit of garbage in your hair...
She gave her head a quick, sharp shake to get rid of the trash, then faced me again...
: First, I have something for you.
: Go ahead and eat it. We can talk once you're finished.
: ...! Th-Thank you!
I snatched the bread and water that she was holding out for me. Within seconds, it was in my mouth and making its way toward my stomach.
: Whew, that really hit the spot! Now I've got all the energy I need to keep going!
: So you still haven't given up, then.
: Of course not! After all, the fact that I can keep going forward is about all I'm good at...
: Well, that's not such a bad thing to be good at.
: But Kyoko... Why'd you come to rescue me?
: To pay a debt. Or, no...to atone.
: During the trial, even though you knew I was lying, you didn't say anything.
: So...you knew that I knew...
: But even though I knew, I did nothing to help you.
: I...abandoned you.
: Don't say that! You didn't abandon me!
: No, that's exactly what I did. I abandoned you in order to save my own life. You were trying to save me, and I couldn't bring myself to do the same for you.
: But listen, not that I'm trying to make excuses, but...there was a [reason that I had to survive] no matter the cost.
> reason that I had to survive
: Why did you have to survive?
: I'll tell you. I'll tell you everything... The reason I have to survive...
: ...is so that I can do what I came to this school to do.
: I made up my mind to come to Hope's Peak Academy for one [very important reason].
> very important reason
: So you have some reason for coming to Hope's Peak?
: That's right. At least, I did, once.
: Until recently...I'd forgotten what it was.
You forgot? But thats...!
: I have no memory of what I am.
: You have no memory...? You mean...
: Then...is it really true? You lost your memory?
: Do you remember, Makoto? Do you remember the first thing that happened to each of us as soon as we arrive at this school?
The first thing...?
: You're talking about when we fainted, right? I fainted, and when I woke up...I was trapped here.
: I fainted, too. And when *I* woke up...I noticed a strange feeling of...separation within myself. A disconnect.
: Thinking back on it now, at that point my memory was gone. At that time...I'd forgotten. I couldn't remember why I'd come to this school, and I couldn't remember what my "ultimate" ability was.
: But...what would make you forget all that?
: Strange, isn't it? It's hard to imagine it happened by chance. It seems much too convenient.
: Are you saying you think you lost your memory because...?
: I don't think. I'm positive it was the work of the mastermind. They stole my memory...
: B-But...why would they want to do that?
: There's only one reason I can come up with. Because of my purpose, and my ability. Somehow, they would interfere with the mastermind's plans.
So the mastermind just...stole them from you?
: And it could also mean...somehow, my memories may be connected to the mystery of this school, and the mastermind. Which is why I have to get them back. That's why I've been investigating things by myself this whole time.
: But if what you say is true, why didn't you ask the rest of us to help you?
: If I did that, and we all worked as one, the mastermind would have noticed right away. Plus... There's always the chance that the mastermind is actually one of us...
: Well, don't make too big a deal of it. It's just a possibility. But since it *is* a possibility, we can't ignore it, right?
The mastermind...one of us... If she believed that, then of course she couldn't trust anyone around her. In which case, it only makes sense that she would look into her missing memory by herself.
: That being said, there was a limit to what I could do by myself. Which is why I asked you to help me.
: But...why me?
: Because among everyone, you were least likely to be the mastermind. That was just intuition, but...
: I-I see... Your intuition was right, though. There's no way an ordinary kid like me could've been the mastermind.
♪ Music cuts out. ♪
: I understand... I should...understand everything. My goal isn't to get out of here... It's...to stay here.
It's just like the dream I had before, but... Why did that just happen...?
: Are you okay?
: O-Oh, yeah...it's nothing.
It *is* nothing, right...? ...
: Even now, I still trust you, you know? It's just... I'm not used to relying on others.
: I know I never asked you for help the right way, so I understand if you're not convinced...
Honestly, I *was* convinced. I think...that's just her personality.
: You said you had a reason for doing all that investigating on your own... So...how'd that turn out? Were you able to remember anything?
: I think there's still a lot I don't remember. But at the very least...
: ...I was finally able to recall [my purpose, and my ability].
> my purpose, and my ability
: You mentioned your ability...
: My ability--what everyone should have known me for...
: I'm the Ultimate Detective.
: And the reason I came to Hope's Peak Academy... There was [someone I had to find] here in the school.
> someone I had to find
: You had to find someone...? Who?
: Well... It was the headmaster of Hope's Peak Academy.
: The headmaster!? Why did you want to find the headmaster!?
: Because he's my father.
: I was separated from him as a child. As it turns out, he became the headmaster of Hope's Peak.
Kyoko's dad...is Hope's Peak's headmaster...!?
: Then that explains... When Alter Ego told us how he thought the headmaster was involved...
: I'll find a way...
: No matter what it takes...I will find the headmaster. No matter the cost...
: Kyoko? What's going on...?
: My memory hadn't come back at that point. But when he said that, I felt...strange. It makes perfect sense now, of course, since my whole purpose for coming here was to find him.
: That makes sense...
: But listen, Makoto. I want to make this perfectly clear, so there's no misunderstanding...
: I said the headmaster wasn't the mastermind, but I didn't say that to protect him. I only said what I felt based on what I'd seen when I snuck into the headmaster's room.
: Then...what did you see in there?
: The room had been ransacked. The shelves were a mess, the desk drawers dumped on the floor... The only conclusion is that someone who didn't know where anything was had been in there.
: You mean...the mastermind, right?
: That was my assumption, yes. And to confirm my suspicion...
: ...I decided to investigate the 2nd floor of the dorms using the key I'd found.
: But...why there?
: Because I also found this in the headmaster's room.
: This is...some kind of map?
: It's a layout of the entirety of Hope's Peak Academy. I found it in the headmaster's room, along with Mukuro's profile and that key. The map showed that the 2nd floor was home to a number of rooms meant for faculty use. Some of the staff must have had to stay overnight from time to time. And I figured the headmaster would have some kind of private room there... I assumed that if that were true, that room would likely hold more clues. So I went to check...
: And that's when I finally remembered. I remembered that my purpose was to find the owner of that room.
: So you went there to see if the headmaster really did have a private room there...
: But once I got there, I noticed that the [2nd floor of the dorms] didn't have any cameras or monitors.
> 2nd floor of the dorms
: So...what was it like? That part of the school, I mean...
: It's hard to describe. All I can say is...
: The moment I saw it, I realized...whatever's going on in this school is more horrific than we ever imagined.
: Wh-What do you mean...?
: I can't explain it. You need to see it for yourself. And I'm sure you'll get your chance soon enough...
It sounds like it must be important. And really ominous...
: Of course, once I got to the 2nd floor of the dorms, there were no cameras, and no monitors. Which is why I had no idea [what was going on] in the rest of the building.
> what was going on
: It has to do with Mukuro Ikusaba, doesn't it?
: Just to be perfectly clear, I didn't kill her. And I know it wasn't you, either.
: I know you're right. But that just means... Everyone but you and me had an alibi. So then who *did* kill her...?
: What I can say for sure is that the mastermind is directly involved. To begin with, the point of the class trial of Mukuro Ikusaba... was to get me killed.
: Get you killed...?
: I stole that key and disappeared, and disappeared, and in retaliation they wanted to draw me out and eliminate me.
: That was the point of the class trial.
: It was...?
: The mastermind knew they couldn't interfere directly.
: You mean...because of the school regulations?
: The mastermind is adamant about following the rules, and with that rule in place, they couldn't step in. Since they couldn't kill me themselves, they tried to use the class trial to do it.
The mastermind could't step in because of the rules? That makes it sound like...the mastermind themselves is somehow bound by the school regulations.
: There's one other thing I'd like to point out about the murder of Mukuro Ikusaba...
: What's that...?
: There was a point where Mukuro may not have become the victim...
: It could have been [you], Makoto...!
: I could have become the victim...?
: You know what I'm talking about, right?
: Do you mean...?
During the night...?
: I can hear them, you know. The footsteps of the god of death.
: I can hear the god of death as he moves. That ability naturally draws me into cases, just like this.
: Which is exactly what happened with you. I was in the dorms, and I had a sudden sense of dread. I looked down the stairwell...and I saw a white shadow cross the corridor. I gave chase right away. As I followed it, I saw the shadow go into your room...
: I ran into your room, and I saw what was happening. I intervened immediately, of course.
: That wasn't the end of things, of course. I stopped them, but that led to...
: Whoever the masked assailant was, they ended up dead. And their murder was disguised, and the dojo key wound up in my room...
: It all has to be [the work of the mastermind], in an attempt to use the class trial to eliminate me...
> the work of the mastermind
: So all this would mean that whoever killed Mukuro is also the mastermind, right?
: I don't have conclusive evidence, but that's what I think. But that's really bad if true. It means the mastermind can kill whoever they want if they feel like it.
: Wait, but doesn't that create another contradiction? The mastermind wanted to use the class trial to try and kill you cuz they couldn't interfere, right?
: You're right. That *is* a contradiction. And it's not just Mukuro... They needed the class trial to kill me, but seemed ready to kill you in your room... Everything they did is a contradiction.
: So...what does it all mean?
: It means that the mastermind is the one who's been cornered.
: Just a little more... A little more, and I should be able to figure out the mastermind's identity.
: The identity of...the other Ultimate Despair.
: The *other* Ultimate Despair...?
: There's no doubt that Mukuro was the Ultimate Despair, and that she's dead. But I don't think the Ultimate Despair is just one person.
: It's not...?
: If you think about it, "the Ultimate Despair" seems to implicate whoever caused that event.
: You're talking about...
: ...what happened a year ago--the biggest, most awful, most tragic event in human history.
The Tragedy... Whoever's responsible for that... They're the Ultimate Despair?
: That despicable group whose only purpose and motivation comes from despair...
: Then they're...
: Make no mistake...
♪ Music cuts out. ♪
: They're the root of all the evil that has forced us to go through this.
: *That* is the Ultimate Despair. And that is our real enemy.