Part 43: Chapter 2 Deadly Life, Part 4
: Now that Byakuya is finally gone, I'm finally able to resume narration duties instead of him dragging us everywhere. Our first stop on our individual investigation is the pool hallway, where we can find Hifumi hanging around.
: Ding ding ding! Hifumi has discovered evidence revealing the identity of the culprit! Hmhmhm... Another stat increase for me!
: Evidence? What did you find?
: I cannot reveal that just yet! But I guarantee that what I found will steal the killer's break from his lungs!
Are you sure about that...?
: Oh yeah! Miss Ludenburg said she'd witnessed something worthwhile, too.
: Really? What did she see?
: She refused to tell me. It's like when a girl bullies the boy she like, right? Right!?
: Okay, so...where is Celeste now?
: The warehouse by the dorms. She was there, but at the same time...not there.
What's it gonna be...?
: We'll keep that in mind for later. Right now, let's check out the boys locker room.
: There are a couple of things to see in here.
Huh. This poster... It's a popular boy band called Tornado. Somehow it doesn't quite seem to fit in the *boys* locker room.
There's a strange stain on the carpet... What...is it?
: Back in the girls locker room, it looks like Kyoko is done with her examination of the crime scene.
: Hey, Kyoko...have you made any progress on your investigation?
: Generally speaking. But I have to get going. I have something unrelated to take care of.
: Something besides the investigation...? What...is it?
: Nothing you need to worry about. Just concentrate on the murder.
: Before I go, let me give you one piece of advice. You should examine Chihiro's body one more time. Thoroughly. Also, her handbook is missing. You might want to determine its whereabouts.
: That's it. I'll be praying for your success. *leaves*
With that, Kyoko turned and left the girls locker room.
: I guess I'll take another look at the body, then...
And...Chihiro's handbook is missing? That's definitely worth worrying about...
Kyoko said I should...examine the body one more time.
: I know she said "thoroughly" but I do have my limits... Well, I'd better give it a shot anyway. Let's see...
Chihiro's hands are bound with...what looks like some kind of rope. The rope was used to prop her up in a kind of crucifix position. ...Huh?
This rope has a...plug!? Wait, so then...this isn't a rope at all! But the more I think about it, the more that's not the only thing that concerns me.
Chihiro's fatal injury was the blow to the head... Which means someone struck her in the head in order to kill her. That's right... There's the issue of her being suspended, and the fatal blow... At first, I didn't see any reason to think too much about either of them.
But seeing them again after looking through the Genocide Jack file, something's not quite right... What does this all mean...?
Well, the one thing most likely to tie all these mysteries together is the true nature of the "rope" that was used to suspend Chihiro. And to figure that out, there's a certain place I need to revisit and look over again. Plus, it might help to look at the Genocide Jack case file one more time.
It's the bloodstained poster. The blood is the most noteworthy part, but the big-breasted swimsuit model is pretty noticeable, too. A girls locker room doesn't seem like the kind of place you'd find something like this...
: Oh, but wait...that reminds me! The poster in the other locker room is...
That's right! There's definitely something strange about this...
In the boys locker room, there's a poster of a popular boy band... In the girls locker room, there's a poster of a big-breasted swimsuit model... Could the posters have been switched...? But if they were...why? What reason would anyone have?
: Maybe I should talk to someone who knows a little more about the locker rooms.
: Who better to talk to about the locker rooms than Sakura?
: You spend a lot of time exercising in the girls locker room, right Sakura?
: I've used it nearly every day since it opened up. Sometimes Hina and I use it together.
: Okay then, let me ask you something... Do you think the posters in the boys and girls locker rooms could have been switched?
: Sorry, I can't really say. I never paid any attention to the posters.
: I see...
: But there *is* something that's been bothering me about the locker room... You see, I like to drink a little protein coffee every time I finish exercising.
: We have protein coffee?
: In the warehouse. It's not the highest quality, but I don't have a lot of other options. I mix protein powder with coffee, and down a glass of it after exercising. Anyway, the other day, I spilled some on the carpet in the girls locker room, and it left a stain.
: A stain...? But I don't see any stain on the carpet now...
: Exactly. I noticed it earlier--the stain has disappeared. I can only assume someone came along and cleaned it up. But still, isn't it unusually clean? As if there was never a stain here to begin with...
: To check on that "rope" we need to return to the library.
Huh? The lamp won't turn on... Oh, I see... It's not plugged in. The lamps cord isn't long enough to reach the outlet from here. But...last time I saw it, it was definitely on, and it was definitely right here.
Oh, that's right. Byakuya was using an extension cord! But there's no extension cord here now... I wonder if...
: Makoto also wanted to check the Genocide Jack file again.
I want to take another look at Genocide Jack's case file...
: Hmm...I know it was around here somewhere... Huh...? It's gone!
Did someone take it out of the archive? But the only one who would do something like that... I can't think of anyone but Byakuya...!
: Swing and a miss.
: Back downstairs in the halls we can find Taka.
: Maybe we should have confessed our embarrassing secrets after all...!
: Dammit! I'm sorry, Chihiro... It's all because I wasn't strong enough!
: We can also find Hiro in the main hall.
: O-Oh! Hey Makoto, what's up!?
: Ah, I haven't been up to anything myself, that's for sure. Definitely haven't looked inside the mailbox!
: Somehow I doubt that, Hiro. Next stop is the warehouse. Hifumi told us Celeste was here with information.
: Celeste... What are you doing here?
: This warehouse is amazing. It has absolutely everything one might need to live a full life. From food to clothes to towels... There's an endless supply to choose from.
: I see that, but...have you found anything related to the case?
: I knew you were going to ask me that. I thought talking about the warehouse itself might misdirect you, but I see it was pointless.
: Then you did find something?
: Very well. I will tell you, and *only* you. Last night, I saw her here... Chihiro was in the warehouse.
: What? Really!?
: This was right before nighttime.
: Hm? What are you doing out this late?
: Oh, um...I was just...
: Are you planning to go exercise, perhaps?
: What!? H-How did you know...?
: Because I can see a blue track jacket sticking out of that duffel bag you're carrying...
: Oh, you're right... Thanks. Well...I'd better get going. I'm kind of in a hurry.
: She stuffed the jacket into her bad in a hurry. It was almost like she was trying to hide it... And just like that, she was gone.
: I assumed she was merely stocking up to go exercise in the morning, but it would appear she ignored the nighttime rule, and headed directly to the girls locker room. If she hadn't broken out rule, none of this ever would have happened...
: You get what you deserve, I suppose.
So apparently she went to the girls locker room late at night in order to exercise without anyone knowing. But the strange thing is there was no trace of the track jacket or duffel bag Celeste said she saw Chihiro carrying. Which would mean the killer would have gotten rid of it somehow...
: Hina's hanging around in the dining hall instead of outside Toko's room. Let's see what she's up to.
: Oh, Hina. How's Toko doing?
: Same as before. She won't come out, and she just keeps mumbling something about Genocide Jack.
: So I just left her there.
: Y-You...left her?
: My head was all swimmy, and I was getting pretty hungry...
: Oh, but don't worry! I'm gonna head back as soon as I'm done eating. Toko's not exactly pleasant, but I'm still worried about her.
: Speaking of which, what are you eating?
: A donut, of course!
: There's two things I'm sure God created--outer space, and donuts!
: I bet Chihiro would've liked to eat more donuts. Maybe that was her one big regret...
: Ahh, I should've tried to spend more time with her...
: Come to think of it...who *did* she spend time with?
: Yeah, she was a little bit strange. Didn't really hang out with the other girls much... It was like...like she was trying to keep her distance from us.
: Actually, Sakura said something similar. She said that even though you and her invited Chihiro to exercise with you, she always refused...
: Yup, it's true. And it wasn't just us, either. It was like she stayed away from all the girls.
: Was she just...shy?
: I dunno, she talked to the boys all the time. Isn't it kinda weird to be shy around your own sex, but totally fine with the opposite sex?
: Oh, wait! Maybe... Maybe she was used to guys spoiling her. The law says you can't judge a book by its cover, right?
You think so? I never really saw her as that kind of girl...
*Ding dong, bing bong*
: Erm, so ah...I'm getting tired of waiting. Shall we just plunge right in? It's the moment you've all been waiting for...the class trial! You remember where to meet, right? Please go through the red door on the 1st floor of the school! Puhuhu. See you soon!
Begin the class trial, or...?
: It's about to begin.
The red door...is right through here. ...
: Ahem, so...is everyone ready to--whaaat!?
: Am I blind, or are we missing someone?
: Yeah, Toko's not here.
: And Toko is...?
: You really don't remember...?
: Kidding! I'm just kidding. How could I forget that little nutjob? She's a crucial part of the class trial this time!
: Okie dokie, I'll go ahead and drag her out here kicking and screaming. Just one moment, please!
And just like he said, a few minutes later he reappeared, dragging Toko behind him.
: Nng...ghh... I t-told him I didn't want to, but...h-he forced me! I can't believe you would d-drag a girl around...
: Terrible...! You're t-terrible!
: Whew! So NOW everyone's here, right? Okay then, hustle onto the elevator and let's get this show on the road!
: I'll see you guys down there! *leaves*
: So, shall we get going? It's time to find out who killed Chihiro.
Chihiro... Chihiro Fujisaki... She was so gentle, so calm and meek. Nobody had any problems with her...
Someone made the choice to kill...a girl like that...
And that murderer...is one of us. Someone standing right here...
: We have no choice, right? We have to do this...
I gave a small nod in reply. With one last deep breath, I walked toward the elevator on shaky legs. With each step forward, I could feel my heart starting to race faster and faster. As soon as everyone was on...the elevator began to descend. I couldn't get a handle on my emotions, couldn't stop speculating...
The steel box sank with heavy clunking sounds deeper and deeper into the ground. And as we went deeper, the uneasiness in my heart grew bigger and bigger. The elevator was unaffected, however, and continued to descend without hesitation. Until finally...
...it came to a sudden stop.
: What do you think? I redecorated! Isn't it so fresh? Isn't it so EXCITING!?
: Don't waste our time with stupid questions. Let's get this over with.
: Good, good, you're rip-raring to go! Gotta say, I don't hate it! Not at all! Okay then, let's get this show on the road!
: Everyone, please find your assigned seats!
And so, the curtain opened once again...
A deadly judgment... A deadly deception... A deadly betrayal... A deadly riddle, a deadly defense, a deadly faith...
A deadly...class trial!
: It's time for the Class Trial once again. The ticker along the bottom reads the following:
"The bizarre class trial begins again. Why was Chihiro murdered? Is the killer hiding within the group? Is there any help to be found in this series of murders...?"
: In the Skills menu, I've taken a moment to equip Upshift and Algorithm in addition to all the skills I had equipped for Trial #1. I explained what these did back when I got them earlier in the chapter, but here's the game's explanation for each:
Upshift: Increases your aim speed. Effective during the Nonstop Debate and the Hangman's Gambit. Costs 1 SP.
-This skill came from Mondo. The increased cursor speed is not absolutely necessary but there's a mechanic introduced in this trial that makes having a faster cursor much more desirable in the Nonstop Debate. Plus, I just like having a fast cursor.
Algorithm: Increases the speed of memorizing a statement. Effective during the Nonstop Debate. Costs 2 SP.
-This skill came from Chihiro. If I'm remembering the game correctly, we'll be encountering the Memorization mechanic during Nonstop Debates in this trial. This skill just speeds up how long it takes to memorize something. It sounds like a quality of life skill but later on in the game I'm sure it will be quite handy.
: We're actually using all our SP at this point for a total of 11/11 SP, so if I want to keep using these skills and new ones later I'll need to get some more SP from Free Times.
: Next is the list of Truth Bullets we got during our investigation.
: ...to the head with a blunt object. She was killed instantly.
: ...stated that she desired help with her efforts.
: She may have been meeting someone in the locker room the night she was murdered.
: ...possible for two people to enter at the same time.
: Additionally, lending someone your handbook is a violation of school regulations.
: ...handbook is Leon's.
: However, Monokuma claims it's very unlikely that Leon's handbook would have broken.
: ...found at the scene of each crime, written in blood.
: Profiling indicates the killer is likely a student suffering from a split personality.
: ...well with her male classmates.
: ...band popular with teenage girls.
: ...clothes were not found at the crime scene.
: Celeste had not told anyone other than Makoto about this encounter.
: Next time, the Second Class Trial begins.