Part 65: Chapter 3 Daily Life, Part 10
*Ding dong, bing bong*
: Good morning, everyone! It is now 7 a.m. and nighttime is officially over! Time to rise and shine! Get ready to greet another beee-yutiful day!
Today...we have to look for Alter Ego.
: Okay, first things first... To the dining hall!
I found myself in surprisingly high spirits, and hurried to the dining hall. But when I found out what was waiting there for me...
: Is this it? What happened to the others?
: Aren't they coming...?
There were only three people in the dining hall--Sakura, Hina, and Kyoko... So including me...
: Only...four people?
: God! This is why I hate people who take their sweet time with everything!
: Anyway, let's wait a little while longer for the others.
So we decided to wait, in case anyone else showed up. But no matter how long we waited...
: So...it's 8 o'clock. We've been waiting here a full hour...
: Why haven't the others come?
: Hiro and Celeste have never missed a day...till now.
: And what I'm really worried about is...Hifumi and Taka. They were more eager than anyone to look for Alter Ego...and they're not here.
: Something must have happened.
: I was careless. I was too distracted by Alter Ego... But Monokuma gave us a motive. There was no way something wouldn't happen eventually.
: Ten million dollars! I've prepared this graduation present for whichever lucky student makes it out of here alive! Whaddya think? It's ten million bucks! Ten million smackaroos! It's like totally wowie wow wow, am I right!?
: Don't tell me someone did something...for money!
That's what I wanted to say, but I didn't bother. I already understood. I understood, and I hated that I did. You can never really know another person completely. Anything can happen here, and you can't consider it "strange." Not really...
: We need to go look for the people who never showed up.
: O-Okay. Let's go track them down...
Without another word, we left the dining hall.
: We can cover more ground if we split up. Sakura, you go check the dorms. Make sure to check all of our rooms. Makoto, you check the 1st floor of the school. Meanwhile, I'll check the 2nd floor.
: Okay, then I guess I'll check the 3rd floor.
: Don't take any risks. If anything happens, call for help right away.
: I really hope nothing happens...
: So do I.
: Okay, let's go.
Anxiety was written across each of our faces as we went out separate ways. Without hesitating, I rushed to the 1st floor of the school.
Okay, I need to look around the 1st floor...
: We have free reign of the 1st floor at this point so we'd better start checking rooms.
: First off, it was mentioned a while ago but the nurse's office is now open to us.
: As it turns out, there's not much of interest here. More importantly, there's no one in the room.
: This is Classroom 1-B. I don't think I've ever shown a picture of it before this point. Like most classrooms, there is nothing important in it but it does have some snazzy blue wallpaper. There are also no students in here right now.
♪ Music cuts out and a piercing scream is heard. ♪
???: S-Someone! Come here!
That was Hina! She's supposed to be checking...
: ...the 3rd floor!
There was no time to think. I was running for the stairs before I knew what was happening.
I flew up the stairs leading to the 3rd floor. Right away, I saw her standing there in the hallway.
: Hina, what's wrong!?
: I-It's awful... The rec room door was open... A-And when I looked inside, I saw...I saw...!
What did you see?
: I'd better get the others...right...? I...I'm gonna go get 'em! You go on ahead, Makoto! *leaves*
Before I could say anything, she was rushing downstairs.
: The rec room...? What did she see in there...?
By this point, I was used to acting without thinking. So without thinking, I leapt into the rec room.
The first thing I saw when I got in the rec room was...
It was Celeste. And she was hurt.
: Gh... Makoto!
: C-Celeste! What happened!?
: I was...stupid. I got...attacked.
: Attacked!? By who!?
: I am not sure. Some sort of...strange man.
: Strange man...?
: A suspicious person whose existence is so unusual, I can't help but call him strange... Without a doubt, it was some sort of strange suspicious individual. And that man attacked me, with the hammer on the ground there...
What is this...? It's some kind of...wooden hammer or something? Pretty strange design... There's some writing on the head...
: That is the hammer he attacked me with. I barely managed to avoid the blow, but I stumbled and fell. I now curse my lack of daily exercise...
So you were attacked...with this? Justice Hammer 1...
???: Makoto! Celeste!
: I found Sakura!
: C-Celeste... What on Earth happened here?
: Apparently she was attacked by some kind of strange man...
: A...strange man? Tell us everything you can remember, Celeste. Be as detailed as you can...
: Well, it all happened earlier this morning... I woke up a little before 7 a.m. Nighttime was not yet over but I knew it was about to end, so I decided it would be okay if I... I decided to take a little stroll around the 1st floor. ...I understand now that that was a mistake. Anyway, that is where I first saw the strange man. I was immediately wary of him... He was obviously suspicious, so I decided to follow after him in secret. As I followed, I saw him go into the rec room. I tried to peek through the gap in the door which is when he noticed me, and...
: And that's when you were attacked.
: It happened after 7 a.m., just after nighttime had ended.
: So if it happened just after 7 o'clock...
: ...then that was just about an hour ago. Right when we were all meeting in the dining hall...
: The attack caused me to lose consciousness. Which would mean, I was unconscious for about an hour.
: Well, I'm just glad you weren't hurt too badly...
: That is because I begged and groveled for my life...
: You did?
: I told him I would do anything if he spared me. I offered to lick his boots, whatever it took...
: So you were willing to throw away all your pride...
: It is a necessary skill for survival. Anyway, the important thing now is that we go search for the suspicious individual. If we do not hurry, this could become a [serious problem].
> serious problem
: Celeste... What do you mean, a "serious problem"?
: When I looked in the rec room, I saw that the suspicious man was not alone. He had with him...Hifumi.
: After he attacked me, he dragged Hifumi away...
: You mean...Hifumi was kidnapped?
: Shouldn't we start looking for him, then...? Listen, Celeste...did anything in particular stand out about this strange guy?
: Did anything stand out? Well... Rather than trying to explain it, it would probably be faster if I simply showed you.
: Show us...?
: This is Hifumi's hand-me-down. His digital camera...
: You don't mean...!
: I was able to photograph the suspicious individual without him realizing it.
: Seriously!? Let's see it!
: I would tell you not to be shocked, but I fear it would do you no good.
With that strange comment in mind, we all looked at the camera...
: Huh...? Whaaaaaaat!?
Well, you were definitely right about the "strange" part... Their face is totally covered.
: Is that a...robot costume?
: As I said, a very strange and suspicious individual, yes?
: So this weird robot guy...dragged Hifumi away?
: And I took this right after being attacked. In other words, a full hour ago. Which is why if we don't hurry, it could become a serious problem.
: I believe I understand what happened. Well, no, there is much I don't understand. But... The point is, someone dressed like that dragged Hifumi away.
: And it happened over an hour ago...
: This is bad! We have to hurry!
: Celeste, do you know where this mysterious man went?
: When they left the rec room, they headed left...
: If that's true, they were headed toward the stairs leading down to the 2nd floor!
: Then he must be down there, right!?
: The 2nd floor... That's where Kyoko was supposed to be...
: Huh? Speaking of which, why isn't Kyoko here?
: Sorry...I didn't have time to go look for her.
: This is bad. If the strange man did head to the 2nd floor, Kyoko might run into him...
: We have to hurry! Kyoko's in danger!
As soon as the words were out of my mouth, we all rushed out of the room and down to the 2nd floor.
???: Hey, you two...
: What's going on? What's all the fuss?
: Yeah! You guys playin' a game or something!?
: Does it freaking LOOK like we're playing a game!?
: Listen, have either of you seen Kyoko or Hifumi?
: Nope nope, sure haven't!
: Are they on this floor? We just got here ourselves. I heard some kind of uproar, so I came running.
: We came here together!
: No...you're just stalking me.
: A-Anyway, can you guys help us look for them?
: Why? What happened?
: There's no time now. We'll explain later.
: Well...fine. It sounds like something interesting is going on.
: HIFUMI! KYOKO! If you can hear me, say something!
Her voice echoed down the hall in vain...
: Did you hear something?
: I think it came from...the library!
: The library!? Okay, let's go!
We ran to the library as fast as our legs would carry us.