Part 141: Chapter 6 Deadly Life, Part 5
: Last time we got an e-Handbook with no limitations. Maybe we can use it in the locker room.
Maybe only the locker's owner can open it. Which means none of us can do it...
: Wait, but...?
: What about that emergency handbook I found in the headmaster's hidden room? Okay, let's give it one more try...!
I took the emergency handbook and ran that across the card reader, and...
Alright! Just what I was hoping for! Now let's see what we've got inside.
: ...I don't see anything that might be a clue...
: Some of the intact lockers are empty, but this one...
Looks like the locker opened... Now let's see what we've got inside.
This thing is practically empty. There's just one thing--some kind of pocketbook. I don't see a name written on it, so I can't say for sure whose it is. But there's some writing inside. It could be important.
: I don't like violating the owner's privacy, but I'd better take a look.
It looks like a girl's handwriting... And all the letters are spaced out evenly, like whoever wrote them was measuring them. Whoever wrote this must have been really meticulous.
♪ Music fades out. ♪
I was flipping through the pocketbook, but my hand froze when I got to a certain page. I saw something familiar written there, words I'd heard before.
???: "There's a plan to turn Hope's Peak into a shelter, and isolate the students here in a communal life. I decided to talk to the one who came up with the plan directly. It just so happens to be the headmaster--and my father. He was willing to give me some more details regarding the plan. Here's what he said...
'The point is to keep our student prodigies safe, to keep them as our hope for the future. Only their genius can overcome disaster, and only their hope can overcome despair. For the future of our country, our world, it's not an exaggeration to call this our final hope. We must isolate ou superior youth from the corrupted world, to server as the foundation for a new era. This is the only hope we have. I hope that you'll be willing to go along with this plan...'
???: "So that's what my father had to say to me. As usual, he made a selfish decision without consulting anyone else. I can't imagine a worse father."
: This...can't be true, can it?
But I knew it was. And I knew exactly who the pocketbook belonged to. Kyoko... It couldn't be anyone else.
: But if this belongs to Kyoko...
...what was it doing in this locker? And what she wrote here completely contradicts what she already told me. She said she hasn't seen her dad since he left when she was little.
???: "I decided to talk to the one who came up with the plan directly. It just so happens to be the headmaster--and my father."
: What does this all mean...!?
I quickly scanned the remaining pages of the notebook. I must have been looking for something that would prove me wrong about this whole thing. But when I reached the last page, the question marks spinning through my mind just started spinning that much faster.
When I looked at it... Unlike the rest of the pocketbook, the writing here was messy, disorganized, scrawled.
: What is this...? What does it mean? I have no idea... How could this possibly make any sense?
Looks like the locker opened... Now let's see what we've got inside.
This locker is totally disorganized. Whoever it belongs to probably has organization problems in every part of their life...
Is this a deck of playing cards? No...they're tarot cards. But...wait... Aren't those used for telling fortunes?
: ...It's...just a coincidence, right?
This is...a crystal ball. Huh? A crystal ball...?
: No...it can't be...
There's no way he ever used this locker. It's just not possible...
: There's all kinds of textbooks and notebooks stacked up in no particular order. And dust everywhere... I have to assume whoever's stuff this is didn't do a lot of studying. ...Not that I can really talk.
Trying to act as casual and natural as possible...I picked up one of the notebooks I saw. But the moment I looked inside the notebook...any sense of easiness I may have had evaporated.
There was no denying what I saw. Inside the notebook was written "Yasuhiro Hagakure."
: Is this... *our* Yasuhiro?
The notebook also contained a large number of notes for a variety of different classes. Which would mean...
: He...attended classes here?
No...that can't be possible. I mean, Hiro came to this school at the same time as the rest of us. And we were all sucked into this evil world. We never had the chance to take any classes...
: So...what *is* this notebook?
But the more I see, the less sense it makes. Because these lockers... I mean, they had to belong to the previous students, right? So why am I seeing this...? Why are there things in the lockers that look like they belong to people here?
: A notebook that seems like it belongs to Hiro... And a pocketbook that seems like it belongs to Kyoko...
: ...There has to be some kind of explanation. But if I want to find that out, I have to keep moving the investigation forward. And I have to believe in everyone.
: Time to leave the depressing 2nd floor dorms and continue our investigation elsewhere.
: The Monokuma room in the Data Center should be open now.
: Ah, Makoto! Are you here to look around, too?
: Is that what you're doing here?
: Yeah. I can't help but wonder about that Monokuma door...
: So I figured...if all the doors in school had been unlocked, that one should be open too, right!?
: Although...I couldn't being myself to open it.
: Cuz it might explode, right!? And that'd really suck. So...you open it!
I'm sure she didn't mean it, but she made it sound like she was okay with *me* getting blown up...
: Okay, so...I guess I'll open it.
: Ah, wait! Lemme take cover first! I don't wanna get exploded!
Hina raced over to a nearby desk and hid underneath it.
: Okay! Go ahead!
Everything will be okay...right?
: Alright, here goes nothin'...!
I threw all my weight into it, but the door opened much easier than I expected.
♪ No Music. ♪
There was no explosion, thankfully. My first impression was...
: Whoa! This place is totally sci-fi!
: ...Yeah, I was kinda thinking the same thing.
: I mean, every part of this school leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but...
: ...this place is like number one gross! It's in a whole different league of creepy!
There's some kind of hatch on the floor... But right now I'm more concerned about that weird device...
What is this device? It looks like some kind of...control panel. It's really over the top, though. Like some kind of military installation or something...
: Yeah, it kinda looks like a mech cockpit, right? Hifumi'd probably freak out if he saw it!
So the Monokuma room has a control panel that looks like some kind of...cockpit. Then could that mean...?
: Alright! Let's start poking at it or whatever! I'm gonna start pushing buttons!
: H-Hold on! You can't just "or whatever" something like this!
But it was too late... Hina was already jabbing away at the control panel.
♪ Music cuts out. ♪
: Something I have failed to mention until this point, mostly because there's never been a reason to bring it up, is that every time Monokuma appears or disappears a very distinct "boing" sound effect plays. It's at this moment that that very sound effect plays.
: Huh? Did you hear that?
: Yeah, I think it came from the other room. Hina...what did you push?
: I-I'm not totally sure, but...I think it was that one. The button that says Data Center.
: Data center...?
I took a good look at the control panel...and I saw a bunch of buttons, each with the name of a room next to it. And just like Hina said, there was one labeled Data Center. That must be the one she pushed. But the data center... That's right next door. The room we were just in... That's where the strange noise came from.
: I'd probably better go check it out...
: Yes please! I'm kinda scared out of my mind right now, so I'll just...cheer you on from over here!
Did I just hear what I think I heard...?
: Graar! Groooar! Gimme all yer donuts!
: ...Is that...you, Hina?
: What!? Aw man, busted! How did you know?
: Anyway, what is this? Some kinda remote-control camera kinda setup?
: You don't even know what you're controlling...?
: Well I mean, I can't really see anything from in here.
: Ah, guess what I found! A self-destruct button!
: Whatever you do, don't push it!
: Aww maaaan!
: ...Were you seriously gonna push it?
A-Anyway...I guess that settles it. The room with the Monokuma drawing on it, and the control panel inside...
: Whoa! Hey Makoto, what the heck was that just now!?
: Huh? What do you mean?
: What you were controlling just now. It was Monokuma.
: What!? For real!?
: Yup. It looks like that panel definitely controls Monokuma. Which means...the mastermind has been controlling Monokuma from this room.
Yeah...they were definitely in here. The mastermind has been controlling Monokuma from this room. And this control room is totally separate from the data center area with all the monitors. In other words...
: Maybe the mastermind can't monitor us and control Monokuma at the same time.
Kyoko's theory was right...
: But...if the mastermind's been controlling Monokuma from here...that means they've been inside the school this whole time, right?
: I guess that would have to be true.
But if that *is* true...
: Kehehe... It's a very polarizing approach, I know, but--okay, enough puns. Anyway, here's a hint... I'm sure I told you this already, but...this killing game began with sixteen participants, all of them high school students. And the only people to take a single step in Hope's Peak since the killing game began...are those sixteen students.
Then the mastermind, Monokuma's puppeteer, really is the sixteenth student...?
No, it can't be... There's no way...right?
: What's wrong, Makoto? I don't like that face you're making...
: Oh, no...it's nothing.
: O-Oh, okay...
: What about you? Is everything okay?
: Oh, well, it's just... This is where the mastermind's been hiding, right? Who knows if they set up traps or something...?
I can't say it isn't possible... But I really hope it's not true.
: So, like...
: You wanna leave soon? There's still lots of other places to check out.
: Yeah, good point. We can't waste all out time standing around here. Okay, you wanna get going?
♪ Music fades out. ♪
As soon as the door to the data center was closed, I heard a strange sound.
: What was that...?
: Ah! The door! It just locked on its own!
My hand shot out to grab the doorknob...
: You're right, it's locked. But...why?
: Of course it's locked! Because the data center is now restricted!
: Hey, no fair! You can't just go around restricting whatever you feel like!
: It's for YOUR benefit! Cuz if that room stays open, I won't be able to move around.
: Imagine how depressed everyone would get if the school mascot just up and stopped moving!
: Then...that room...
: As you may have guessed, that's where my controls are!
: So...right now, you're being operated by someone in that room?
: But that doesn't make any sense! We were just in there, and we didn't see anyone!
: Oh you didn't, did you? Puhuhu... Are you sure you were as thorough as you could have been?
: Did you happen to check...a certain suspicious hatch?
: N-No way...! The hatch on the floor...!?
: Puhuhu, too bad! That was your one big chance, and ya blew it!
: Of course, that hatch can't be opened from the outside anyway. So whatever!
: Now then, this room is officially restricted. So no more investigating! I'll be relying on you guys to tell the others.
: Puhuhu... Peace! *leaves*
: He's gone. But...
: ...was he telling the truth? The mastermind was hiding in there?
: In fact, if you think back to when we got locked out of the control room, that proves it for sure.
: Then...when I said we should leave...
: Well, that hatch couldn't be opened from the outside anyway, right? So it's not your fault.
: Anyway, we don't have to let it get to us. We have to stay positive and make the most of the time we have left!
: You're right... If there's one thing I'm good at, it's keeping my body moving...!
: Okay! I'm gonna go run around and tell everyone what we found here! Nice! You've got me all motivated again!
: Okay, I'm out! See ya later!
Hina took off at a full sprint.
: And I have to do what I can, too...!
That's the only way forward!