Part 23: Christmas PartyUpdate 22 - Christmas Party
Now that we've claimed several Santas as innocent, it's time to investigate further!
: Were you really at the yakiniku place and the market yesterday? Or were you somewhere else?
Haru wastes no time. This is an interrogation, not a social gathering.
: Wait, what? Why do you have to meet in secret?
: Well, the thing is... Our classes have been at odds because of our results in the athletics festival since May. We're both class representatives, so we met together to see if we could mend the rift... But then, when we met...we fell in love.
Awww, how romantic. A true love story for the ages.
There they go, off into the sunset. Well, maybe not the sunset, but you get the picture. That's two down, so let's continue.
: Are you sure you weren't somewhere else?
: ...The truth is, we were practising down in the sewer here.
: What?! Why do you have to hide down there to practise?
: We couldn't get permission from the Student Council... So what are you gonna do? You gonna turn us in?
: As long as it's nothing to do with the kidnapping, it's nothing to do with us.
: We've got a room behind the Assembly Hall. You're welcome to join whenever you like!
: Cool! Well, see you later.
I mean, the sewers might have good acoustics... But I have no idea how you didn't get the Student Council's permission. Hospo straight up blasted a hole in the wall to make their base, and you can't even play instruments in your clubroom?
The next Santa to question is taking a break in the yakiniku restaurant. You're not getting paid to eat, buddy.
: The truth is, I was with my friends trying to find a good birthday present for our Great Leader.
Kamifukuoka darts out from our party and heads for the toilet.
Twilight Penguins go!
Don't put your penguin feet on the table, Kamifukuoka. People eat there, for god's sake.
: Gah! Kamifukuoka! Er, I mean, Great Leader!
The Santa suits himself up as well.
: Well, I must take my leave now. Farewell!
: A-anyway... That clearly wasn't the kidnapper.
: Yeah, that's right...
: It looks like everyone's got some kind of story to back them up.
: That just leaves Santa H. But he might have got away by now!
As Haru says, Santa H has left town by this point.
: Let's go to Hachirou Shrine!
Since we've repaired the tracks, Hachirou Shrine is now a simple train ride away.
: There has to be a secret switch or something somewhere!
The switch is located in the adjunct room. At least make it a challenge!
A rather short and boring dungeon (as boring as lava-filled rooms can be, anyway). There are a few new enemies to be found within the walls.
Most interesting are Sham Santas, looking very jolly with their bag of tricks. They showed up in tandem with Rock Armadillos (very distinct from Rock Lobsters). There's also Bananhas and Raging Turtles.
After braving out the cave, we make it down to what looks to be a Subterra Society base.
: I would have let you live until then, but now I have no choice. Too bad, but this is it for you.
This battle just pits us against four Sham Santas. Easy-peasy.
: So what happened here?
: I was visiting Hachirou Shrine when I saw that Santa and the Principal come out. I thought it was pretty weird. Then, before I realised it, I was captured...
: The Principal again... But why were you here late at night?
: But I liked being a girl, so I asked them to let me stay this way!
My favorite part about this explanation is that it still doesn't explain why she was at the shrine late at night.
: I'm sorry I caused so much trouble, but I'm glad I could meet you, Leroy... Hee hee.
Did I just get a girlfriend?
I think I just got a girlfriend.
Don't be jealous, Yashichi. I'm sure you'll find a girlfriend one day.
In an alternate universe, Lara has just busted some Subterra Scum and rescued Yashichi.
: What happened?
: I was patrolling Hachirou Shrine, when this Santa and the Principal appeared from inside. I thought it was quite suspicious that late at night, but then suddenly I was struck from behind, and...
: The Principal again...
: Do you know about these people?
: They're called Subterra, and they're trying to take over the school. We're members of Hospo, and we're chasing after them.
: Allow me to join you!
Either way, Hospo saves the day once again!
: What about the rest of us?!
Meanwhile, Principal Ayame Tsukishiro continued her suspicious behaviour. But the kidnapping was no more than a prelude to a much greater plot...
Guess who's back!
: You've saved me again! Allow me to grace you with my presence as thanks!
: ...I don't like his smug attitude, but still, it can't hurt to have another member!
A CLOSE SHAVE
If it weren't for the quick thinking of the Hospo staff, one of Hourai's idols could have perished as a result of the Subterra Society's evil plotting. A Subterra member disguised as Santa was apprehended at the scene, underground Hachirou Shrine.
With Christmas almost upon us, the sound of Jingle Bells filled the streets, and even groups such as the Twilight Penguins and the Mad Scientists were keeping their noses clean. However, the Subterra Society appear to be stepping up their game.
In other news, the starfish-like lifeform that has been the subject of much rumour was revealed to be an alien called Starfish Ron. Have a merry Christmas, and a happy new year!