Part 54: Chapter 3 Daily Life, Part 2
When I got back to the dining hall, the first thing I noticed was...
I tried to talk to her, but my voice was immediately drowned out by the others as they rushed into the dining hall.
: Huh? I thought she was sick or somethin'.
Everyone rushed past me and crowded around Hina. Being surrounded by everyone like that, Hina looked really uncomfortable.
: Are you feeling better already?
: Y-Yeah... I ate a few donuts, and that really helped a lot.
: You do love those donuts...
: But...wasn't it your stomach that was hurting?
: Well, my stomachache kinda made me hungry, so...you know...
: Er, ahaha...I guess my memory's kinda fuzzy lately...
: They say that a goldfish will eat however much food you give it, even if it's about to burst. Miss Asahina's pretty much the same, it looks like.
: Hey! You of all people don't have any room to talk!
: Anyway... I was worried about you.
: Besides that, you--!
: Jeez, your knockers are HUGE! What the heck, did you convince them to double up on milk production!?
: Stay away from her, fiend.
: Had you noticed this Japanese game was so far lacking in boob jokes? Well don't worry, Jill has you covered.
: A-Anyway...first thing's first, we should talk about what we found. Right, Taka?
: We have to speak with everyone to progress the story. We may as well begin with Hina.
: Um, I wasn't able to help much with the investigation, but...I did make one discovery...
: It didn't happen to be a donut-related discovery, did it?
: What does that even mean? Never mind... It's about the nurse's office! Remember? There's one on the 1st floor, right?
: I remember. But it's locked.
: Actually...not anymore.
: Did you find any protein in there? Or even vitamin supplements would be fine.
: I did look, but no dice... Just a bunch of headache medicine and over-the-counter stuff.
: I see... That's disappointing.
: It *is* disappointing. Like the end of the world is already here...
I-I'm not sure it's *that* disappointing...
: The long road to maidenhood begins with a single step... That road may begin with only wrinkly old men, but it will end with strapping young adorable boys!
: What the hell are you talking about...?
: There was a rather remarkable physics lab on the 3rd floor. In the middle of the room, there was a machine bigger than anything I've ever seen before...
: Oh yeah, apparently it's an air purifier.
: Huh? What's something like that doing there?
: Is the device really that big?
: I...really don't get it.
: Oh, I just remembered! I saw Byakuya a little while ago.
: Where!? WHERE WAS HE!?!?
: Y-You're kinda scarin' me...
: Where. Was. HE!?
: He was in the locker room... He had a huge stack of books he musta got from the library.
: So THAT'S where he was hiding! I won't let him get away from me! Kyehehe... *leaves*
: She just...ran off!
: Is...is she okay?
: We should not concern ourselves with her.
: ... ...
It's no use...
: There *is* one piece of good news. There just so happens to be a rec room up on the 3rd floor! I have no doubt that our student life here will be even more enjoyable because of it.
: Hmhm. Will someone join me in a game of Othello sometime?
: I searched the entire 3rd floor, but...all the windows in the halls and the rooms were blocked off.
: I wish they'd give this a rest already, for serious! Gimme back my bright blue skies!
: Just forget about it.
: You make it sound like I dropped a nickel or something!
: Just to be sure, I went from one end to the other, testing each metal plate. None of them budged. It would seem escape via the 3rd floor is as impossible as we feared...
: I see...
: There was an art room on the 3rd floor, and it had all kinds of gear. Myehehe... Now I'll be able to recreate all my favorite [anime characters]!
> anime characters
: Oh yeah! Speaking of anime, that reminds me... I found something while I was looking around!
: Hrm...a digital camera?
: That's what it seems like...
: Does it still work?
: Yeah, it seems fine.
: Well then, let's see it!
: What the heck? This thing is like a kid's toy! It looks like it can store like five pictures, maybe? It doesn't have a timer or anything!
: On top of that, its appearance seems...questionable. Is this some kind of anime character? Strange...
: Rude! She's not strange! She's Princess Piggles, from "Demon Angel☆Pretty Pudgy Princess"!
: Oh, you recognize this, Hifumi?
: Of course I recognize it! It's a super rare prize that was given away at a bingo contest at a big anime convention... You have any idea how much I had to pay that guy to get my hands on it!?
: Wait...that's my camera!
: Wh-Where did you find it!?
: In the physics lab...
: It's my most prized possession. I brought it here with me, but I lost it the first day, along with my phone.
: Why would it have reappeared in the physics lab...?
: Agh, but look at it! It got all messed up!
: Like when someone steals a sticker from your collection, or you buy a secondhand shirt... Well, that's it...
: Huh? That's it...?
: It's not mint condition. I don't need it anymore...
: But weren't you just saying how much it meant to you?
: Then...may *I* have it? I might be able to find some sort of use for it. If any of you would like to borrow it, please feel free to ask.
: Well...I can't really imagine any of us are gonna need to take any pictures or whatever...
: Yeah, true...
Okay, I've heard what everyone else has to say. So now it's my turn...!
: Hey, um...can I tell you guys something? I found something that's...kinda been bothering me.
: What is it?
: I found this weird picture in the repository. Apparently Monokuma took it...
: A weird picture? You mean, like...dirty!?
: No, not that kind of weird. It was...a picture of Leon, Mondo, and Chihiro all together.
: Those three...?
: And the three of them were...laughing.
: It showed the three of them together, laughing? When could it have been taken?
: And there's more... In the picture, there weren't any metal sheets covering the windows.
: Then...the picture wasn't taken here?
: But I don't recall hearing anything about them knowing each other before coming to this school.
: You probably just imagined it! Monokuma cast a spell on you!
: No! I saw it, I'm telling you!
: But if it wasn't taken before we got here, or *after* we got here...
: I bet they're all still alive! They left the school and then took that picture!
: That's impossible. After all...
: ...we saw it with our own eyes.
: They're all dead.
: Either murdered or executed...
And they're not the only ones...
Monokuma killed Junko. And then there's...
...Sayaka. *That* wasn't an illusion. It was real, I'm sure of it. They all died. There's no way any of them are still alive.
: So we have to figure out when that picture was taken...
: Monokuma most likely forged it. I can't imagine any other possibility.
Forged...? Is that all there is to it?
: Stay focused, man! Don't let Monokuma's bullcrap sidetrack you!
: He's right. But more importantly...
: On another topic, there is something that has been [bothering me]. I would like to discuss that.
> bothering me
: What's bothering you, Celeste?
: It's about Hina...
: What? Me!?
: You said your stomach hurt, did you not? But I believe that was a lie. What really happened?
: It varies from person to person, but whenever someone lies, they tend to have a way of showing it. It is called a "tell"--something that you can't hide, no matter how hard you try.
: Whenever Hina lies, the tip of her nose gets just a little bit longer.
: What!? For real!?
: Actually, no.
: But your reaction just now confirmed it--you *were* lying.
: Th-That's no fair!
: Hmhm. If you are going to lie, at least try to lie convincingly.
: Hina...be honest. Were you lying about your stomachache?
: ... Y-Yes...
: Why...? Why would you lie about that?
: Are you feeling guilty about something!?
: No, that's not it at all!
: It's just... I mean, I have a reason for it!
: To be honest...I didn't have a stomachache. I did it cuz...even it I came and told you [the truth], I thought you wouldn't believe me...
> the truth
: The truth...?
: ...I saw it.
: Saw what...?
: A ghost...
: A ghost...? You mean like, THAT ghost!?
: Is there more than one ghost...?
: B-But...I mean, ghosts are...
: See! I told you you wouldn't believe me!
: I-It's not that I don't believe you, but...
: ...I believe you. No matter what anyone else might say, I will believe whatever you say, no matter what. So...can you tell us exactly what happened?
: If you really mean that, Sakura...then okay. I'll tell you.
: Umm, so...it happened last night.
: I was in bed, but I couldn't get to sleep. I just kept thinking about everything that's happened up till now. I ended up just getting more upset... So to try and cheer myself up, I thought I'd go get some donuts.
: Donuts again!?
: And you ignored the rule regarding nighttime...
: I know, sorry. I feel really bad about that...
: Anyway, please continue.
: Well... So I left my room and headed for the warehouse...
: But then I started hearing a strange sound...
*Grn grn grrnnn*
: It was coming from the direction of the bathhouse. So I headed that way...
: The locker was halfway open, so I took a look inside...
: And I saw a human shape, surrounded by a pale green light. There's no doubt who it was... It was Chihiro!
: N-No way...! A gh-gh-gh-ghost!?
: It is simply not possible. You must be mistaken. Just as in most cases of "paranormal" activity, it was born from your weakened mental state.
: Then all we have to do is go see for ourselves, right? Let's just go to the bathhouse and see what Hina saw.
: It is a waste of time.
: Maybe, but...there's no harm in it, right? If we don't find anything, that'll be the end of it.
: You're gonna go try and see a gh-gh-ghost...? Is that really a good idea? It might put a curse on you!
: You can wait here if you want.
: I don't wanna be alone! Take me with you!
: What are you going to do, Celeste?
: I suppose I have no choice...
: How about you, Mr. Ishimaru? Are you gonna wait here?
: ...I guess that's a yes.