Part 42: Chapter 2 Deadly Life, Part 3
: This is a serious emergency! Please, please! You gotta help me!
: Just calm down, okay Hina?
: But...but...! It's an [e-mer-gen-cyyy]!
: An emergency? What happened?
: Something's wrong with Toko. She's acting super strange!
Well, I mean...she was acting pretty strange earlier, right?
: ...What should we do, Byakuya?
: Since it's Toko...I must admit, I'm intrigued. I suppose we can take a second to see what's going on with her.
: Are you sure?
: Don't make me repeat myself.
I...didn't expect that. I thought for sure he'd just say no, and that'd be the end of it.
: Okay, okay, come on! Hurry! *leaves*
: W-Wait for us, Hina!
: It looks like she headed to the dorms. To Toko's room, most likely.
: You're right!
: You guys are too slow!
: I think you're just...too fast...
: So? What's this emergency?
: Well, after what happened in the girls locker room, we left Toko in her room so she could lay down. After a while, we came back to check on her. Ya know, see how she was doing. But when we did it was weird. She refused to come out, and she kept saying all this weird stuff.
: Weird stuff?
: We should try talking to her ourselves.
: Y-Yeah, good idea.
I may as well give it a shot...
The door swung open, slowly and silently.
H-Holy crap...! An aura of negativity flowed out from behind the door, forcing a gasp out of me.
: Oh, um...nothing. It's just that...Hina was really worried about you, holing yourself up in your room...
: Leave me a-alone...
: Um, yeah, sure thing. But...could you open up, just for a second...?
: ...Won't a-allow it...
: I w-won't let Genocide Jack have control!
And just like that, she slammed the door in my face.
: Wh-What was that...?
: She's been acting like that the whole time. When I rang a little while ago...
: I'll d-drive out...the killer... D-Drive out the murderous fiend...
: It doesn't make any sense, right? I was afraid to leave her in there alone, so I tried to bust down her door but it felt like something was holding it shut on the other side. I couldn't even budge it...
Toko was scared enough to even bar her door...? Does she think the same thing as Byakuya? Does she think the serial killer Genocide Jack really murdered Chihiro? Is that why Toko's so scared...?
: Whatever it is, I'm really worried about her... Isn't there anyone who might be able to persuade her...?
: I think I know the person for the job.
: Hey, Byakuya...you think you could ask her? To come out of her room, I mean.
: ...Sure, whatever.
: Huh? You're gonna talk to her, Byakuya? Wow, I guess you can be nice when you want to!
Byakuya stood in front of her door, not making a sound, and pressed the doorbell.
After a few moments...
: Leave me alone! You're all s-s-s-so annoying... Ah--! Backula!
: It's Byakuya.
: ...I-I'm sorry. I couldn't k-keep our promise... But don't w-worry. Never again... I...! I won't let Genocide Jack have control ever again!
And with that, the door slammed shut.
: Even Byakuya couldn't pull it off...
: There's nothing else we can do. Let's get back to the investigation.
: H-Hold on! Hey, Byakuya. What was Toko talking about just now? Something about a promise?
: Hm? Oh, I have no idea. Another one of her delusions, I'm sure.
: If I say I don't know, that means I don't know. Just let Hina take care of her.
: O-Oh...yeah, okay. I'll stay here and keep an eye on her.
: Well then, let's go. *leaves*
Without waiting for a reply, Byakuya sped away.
And I hurried to catch up.
I tried to talk to him several times as we walked but he didn't even look back, let alone say anything. He just kept on walking toward his destination. Finally, his feet brought him to a stop in front of a certain room...
: ...The library?
: Come on, let's go in.
: We haven't actually been behind this door before. Luckily, it's where Byakuya is leading us.
If I remember, on the other side of this door...
: It's the archive, right?
: Hurry up and go inside.
: It'll all make sense once you're inside.
Whoa! There's so many books and files.
: ...And so much dust, too.
: I would say there's enough value in this place to endure the dust.
Huh? It's a desk lamp...
Oh yeah. It's the same one I saw Byakuya using in the library before.
: Do you have a problem with that lamp? It was here before, then I moved it over there. It's too dark over there, so I thought I'd put it to good use.
This shelf is stuffed tight with files... Without really thinking about it, I picked one at random.
: Ah, you have a sharp eye indeed to select that file.
: That's the report on a presidential assassination. The original is kept at the national library. It won't be declassified for another thirty years. Are you sure you want to look at it now? There's no telling whose crosshairs you might wind up in for peeking at it...
Without making a sound, I returned the file to the shelf.
: There's so many files stuffed onto the shelf. What's in all these things...?
: Those documents are...dangerous.
: They detail all the people who control the world from behind the scenes. Dangerous truth for a commoner.
: You mean, like...members of the Diet or something?
: No, I mean the once with real power, the secret council controlling everything from the shadows. If you're ready to be disappeared for it, take a look. There are some very...interesting people in there.
: Y-You're just kidding...right?
: Am I?
I-I'll just let it go for now...
There's a ton of thick files stuffed onto the bookshelf.
: If you're thinking of looking through any of them, let me give you a little warning. Those things are filled with graphic, disturbing photos from all kinds of crime scenes. It's the kind of thing any normal person wouldn't ever want to look at. Be careful...
: Huh? What do you mean?
: All those files there are investigation reports related to different cold cases. Those are internal documents, for police eyes only. They're not the kind of thing you'd expect to leak.
There's a wooden box. ...It's empty. Although, judging by the smudges in the dust, it looks like there was something inside...
: I wonder what it was...
: There was an extension cord plugged in there. It proved very useful while I was in the library.
An extension cord, huh...?
: So? Are you finally beginning to understand the true splendor of this library? The entire reason I was interested in the library...is because of this room right here. It's home to classified government documents, police records, things no ordinary person would ever see. Isn't it magnificent?
: This...can't be for real, right?
: That's your guys' problem. Anything that doesn't fit into your preconceived reality, you label it a lie.
: Well, it's not that. It's just... It's not like I totally refuse to believe it, but... I mean, there's just so *much*. How could anyone have put all this together?
: I suppose it goes to show just how much Hope's Peak truly wields. Or perhaps the mastermind may have wanted to provide us with enough entertainment to keep us from getting bored.
U-Um... It's no use. I can't keep up with all this. It's just too unreal...
: What's wrong? You still can't believe it?
: What about you? How can you believe it so easily? Things like that are usually impossible...
: What do you mean, usually? Usual? Normal, ordinary, simple? Those things don't exist anywhere in the real world. If you don't understand what they actually represent, you don't understand the nature of anything.
You don't pull your punches, do you?
: Besides, what you consider "usual" is based on your common sense, right? But what makes you think your own "common sense" applies to me at all?
: The documents gathered here are genuine. I have [reviewed them multiple times], so there is no doubt.
> reviewed them multiple times
: H-Hold on a second! You're saying you've read all these documents, and more than once!? But...all this has to be like top secret, confidential stuff, right? So why...?
: My family has a reading room just like this at our home. Ours is bigger, of course. And not as dusty.
: Members of the Togami family have access to any variety of government-related documents. That includes foreign powers as well as domestic.
: H-How is that possible...?
: I already told you, there's a secret council that controls the world from the shadows. My family is a member of that council. And I have within me the bloodline that will allow me to one day bend the world to my will... But to become such a ruler, I must know all levels of this world backwards and forwards. So whenever I have time, I like to review whatever documents and materials that interest me. Which is why I can proclaim, without a doubt, that the materials gathered here are the real thing.
This is beyond believing or not believing. Byakuya is actually starting to scare me more than the actual mastermind...
: And what always interested me the most were the "cold case" police investigation reports. Reading through those reports has always been a hobby of mine, ever since I was little. It's excellent mental exercise. I've solved more than a few of those cases just by reviewing the reports. And among all those reports, one of my recent favorites is the Genocide Jack case.
As he talked, Byakuya grabbed a specific file from the shelf.
: This is the complete case file. Every single report surrounding the Genocide Jack cases has been compiled in here.
: Because there are so many, allow me to quickly summarize the main points. To begin, there are two notable characteristics in every Genocide Jack murder. The first characteristic is that at every crime scene, the word "bloodlust" is written in the victim's own blood. And the second...
: ...is that when the victims are murdered, their bodies are suspended in a certain way.
"Bloodlust" written in blood, and the victim's body is suspended... It's exactly the same as what happened to Chihiro!
: Save your surprise. The best part is yet to come. For the second characteristic, where the victims are suspended... The only ones who knew about that particular fact were members of the police and other higher-ups. By all accounts, nobody in the media ever found out.
: In other words, no one on the news, no one online, *nobody* knew about that aspect of each crime. Only key officials and the killer himself knew about this act of "mounting" the victim.
: Now, if you'll recall Chihiro's corpse, her body was most certainly mounted in this fashion.
: So...how could the killer have known about suspending the victim...?
: That's the key question. But in fact, the answer is quite simple.
: The culprit isn't a copycat killer... It's the real Genocide Jack.
: That right there is the evidence that Genocide Jack has hidden himself among the rest of us.
Th-Then...Genocide Jack really is... Such a brutal, fiendish killer really is walking around among us?
: Hmhmhm. Things are really starting to get interesting, aren't they? I never imagined a killer with such a reputation would ever become part of our little game. Now, don't you think it would be good for you to take a look at what I've already seen? You might just manage to ferret out a clue or two. If you get down on your knees and beg, I might even show you myself.
: Umm, Byakuya...about that Genocide Jack case file... Could you let me see it?
: Well, you didn't beg, but I guess it's okay this time. Feel free to look at it in here, but you can't take it with you.
Byakuya handed me the file, and I flipped through it with tense, nervous fingers. Suddenly my hand stopped... I had reached the page where photos from the scene of each crime had all ben collected.
The names of Genocide Jack's victims ran on for several pages. Ken Harada, 32. Tetsuhiro Honda, 17. Shoji Gaku, 23. Kanno Isei, 14. Takeshi Yoshida, 30. Komatsuna Taro, Takefumi Gono, Udhida Naohisa, Takeshi Masamune, Yuto Yumejima, there was no end to it... But one thing became perfectly clear as I read... All of the killer's countless victims were killed and suspended in exactly the same way. And at the scene of every murder, the word "bloodlust" was left in the victim's own blood.
: Now take a look at the next page, and you'll find another interesting tidbit.
: The next page...?
"All of the crimes took place either on weekdays at night, or during holidays, either day or night. The most common time for the killings to take place was on holidays, in the afternoon. Based on these facts, it could be suggested that the suspect may be a student. Evidence suggests that the suspect lingered at the scene, but when they did leave, they were in a panic. Because an eyewitness has never come forward, it's unlikely there was any external reason for this. This confused behavior suggests..."
: "...that the suspect may potentially suffer from dissociative identity disorder."
: The key point here is that the culprit may well have a split personality.
A split personality...? Like the kind of thing you see on TV? So I'm part of another totally unbelievable story... But this one is way more unbelievable than anything else up till now. Or...maybe it really isn't. I dunno, I feel like my mind has gone numb...
: Alright, we should get going soon.
: Huh? Where are we going?
: Anywhere but here. We've finished our business here, haven't we? *leaves*
: Ah, wait! Byakuya!
As usual, Byakuya turned and left without another word. I hurried out of the library to catch up.
: Well...this is where we part ways. I have some things I need to take care of before the class trial.
: Huh? Just all of a sudden like that?
: Come on, enough of your annoying misapprehensions. Did you really think we'd be together the whole time? Take responsibility for yourself and do something useful. Move the investigation forward on your own.
: Well, goodbye. *leaves*
And just like that, he was gone. Just as quickly as he'd asked me to join him, he'd cut me off. In the end, I felt like I was just some play thing getting tossed around. At the same time, I'd uncovered some really important clues thanks to him... Genocide Jack... He's the one that killed Chihiro. And that murderous fiend is one of us! But who is it...? I have to find that out, no matter what it takes. And to do that, there's somewhere I have to go investigate one more time...
I have to go back to the crime scene, the girls locker room. I should also check the boys locker room, too... And the others might have come up with some info I might find useful, while I'm at it. I need to find out everything I can...
: Byakuya's finally gone and we can conduct our own investigation now. We'll get to that next update.