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Peanut bear doesn't care
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“I see. So Ginshi and Maiya have an alibi as well.” Flare smiled as she looked at Izo in a somewhat grateful way. “You speak as if you have no stakes in this trial, but your condescending words help us nonetheless so thank you Izo.”

“Help? That asshole has done nothing but insult me and conspire with Monokuma!” Snow called out as she slammed her fist onto the stand. “Ugh this making my head spin, did our suspect list just get bigger or smaller? Me, Taka and Ryuma are still protected by the rule of three right? And Ginshi, Maiya, Izo, Shirou and Aurel have their alibi’s.”

“You forgot Momoe.”

“No I didn- whatever, fine.” Snow said with a downplaying hand gesture. “So who’s left then? Chikako? Hibiki? Hiroki?” Snow let her finger go over a few ultimates until it pointed straight at Hiroki. “Yeah, what is your deal? tell us what your alibi is.”



“Is that blood?” The reluctance to keep looking at the scissors told enough as Flare spoke, but looking away wasn’t an option either. “That’s… horrible. For anyone to carve into someone’s throat like that, I’d become sick in an instant. They’d need such a big resistance to the gory, like a butcher.”

“Are you suggesting something?”

“No... I’m not.” Flare lowered her chin as she retreated into herself, getting lost in thoughts. Snow gave her a short glance before opening up to the rest of the group with her hands clenched.

“So if we’re gonna accept the scissors as the uhh, murder weapon, then does anybody know where they might get them? I… like to fiddle with scissors a bit, like cutting shapes into cloth and leaves. It helps keep my hands busy when I’m not cutting actual hair.” Though her eyes averted all others, there was an innocence in her voice. “But ever since getting here, I haven’t been able to find any. Not that I really searched for them.” She silently sneered.

“Actually.” Flare remarked as she rose up from her thoughts. “I have not seen any scissors but I know a place that could have them. Back during the investigation, I searched through Maiya’s research lab and it was filled with odds and ends, from the trivial to the useful. And with Maiya’s talent, scissors definitely belong there.” Flare stopped for a second, putting a finger on her chin. “More importantly, there was a trashcan that contained something strange. A CD case with pieces of a CD still inside; not the entire CD tho-”

“Wait, a broken CD?” Snow interrupted Flare. “The showers contained shiny shards, those must’ve been part of the CD, and there were pieces of pink torn fabric too, and the shower was still running!”

“Snow, please slow down. You’re hard to follow.” Flare raised her hand towards Snow, gesturing downwards.

“Don’t you get it? That means the killer totally got the CD and the scissors from maiya’s lab, or should I say, the blackened’s lab.”



To be honest, Snow didn’t really want Momoe to fire back at her, but being ignored like she was put a scowl on her face to match the most childish pouts. luckily for everyone involved, the scowl didn't last long as her attention drifted towards the actual content that Momoe brought to the table, even Snow could admit that the one-eyed predator had a way with words.

Unfortunately Izo’s condescending nature shone ever brightly right now, putting even Shirou in a foul mood. If Snow’s arms weren’t crossed already they’d fly into position immediately when Izo addressed her.

“Haven’t I suffered enough? I am a victim here, just like …” She stopped herself from finished the sentence, doubt causing her eyes to drift to the floor. “I … slept through it, all of it. Or well, I think I couldn’t wake up. When I opened my eyes this morning, My mind was hazy and hurt a lot, and I felt a bump on the back of my head.” She reached for her injury as she returned her gaze to Izo. “If I was knocked unconscious, I wouldn’t wake up whatever happened… and I think Naomi did it. I would definitely wake up if someone tried to break the lock in the middle of the night, it had to have been someone in the room with me … But I can’t wrap my head around why?”

“Why she did it doesn’t matter right now, it’s more important to gather all the information we can before getting into the motive. Thank you for telling us, I’m starting to see the bigger picture.” Flare assured Snow with a nod, to which Snow only responded by averting her gaze.

“If it is true that Naomi 'put Snow to sleep', She would have no problem removing her handcuff and leaving the cabin. Momoe, Aurel, if you were truly awake, didn't you hear anything last night?”



A finger twitched, an eyebrow raised, a feet tapped the floor. It was all Snow could do to contain herself from going all out when Momoe and Taka insulted and accused her. They had already proven to be trouble-making brats, but pointing their barbaric tendencies at Snow just made her feel gross. As she glared daggers at the two, she took a step back from the counter. The conversation went in all kinds of directions to prove her innocence, but she didn't need help; didn't want it. and Aurel and Maiya trying to white knight her didn’t score any points either. Yet when Maiya spoke again, Snow just had to comment on it.

“Tinkerbell, you cannot be this Gullible.” She sighed. “Of all the things to ask, why this trivial question? I can tell you right now that I was asleep during the night, and good luck finding a different answer from the others. Even if they were awake, telling us all now only makes you more suspicious!” In tune with her pent up frustration, she raised her voice as her arms started moving to her words. “And don’t even try asking about the 20 minutes rule, because every single one of you is dense enough to continue sleeping like a sheep as your partner uses their 20 minutes! Like, my god, it’s like you’re trying to derail the trial when you know that our lives are on the line. You do know that right?” Not feeling ready to settle down, she took another breath and pointed her finger towards Momoe. “And don’t you dare say something witty and obnoxious again! I am sick and tired of your attitude and if you can’t behave like a proper lady, just stay back with that cross-dressing prick and let us get out of trial alive!” Releasing all the stress, she breathed out slowly and crossed her arms.



It was eerily quiet. Even as Monokuma’s cheerful introduction finished, nobody spoke a word, they hadn’t spoken ever since entering the elevator; how would you even go about starting a conversation as morbid as they were meant to. Judges and juries were trained for years to face this and even then some could crack, a bunch of kids on a deserted island wouldn’t do any better, and yet…

“Listen.” the sandy-haired girl broke the silence. “Whatever you’re all thinking, I’d like you to stop and listen.” Like always, Flare spoke to a calm tune, but no longer devoid of disruptive emotions. Her voice was soft, yet harsh; subtle, but thorough. As she raised her head to face the group, she committed to her words. “Naomi was murdered, we all know it, but we don’t know who did it. I can’t speak for all of us, but I don’t want to let this murder go unpunished. Even if our captors didn’t command us to become detectives, I want the criminal to know that they cannot just kill. So let’s not think about what’s wrong, but about what’s right.”

With her speech finished, she released some tensed up air as she relaxed slightly. She hoped that her words were enough to motivate at least a few of the group to speak up, but to steer the direction forward, she continued on and looked towards Snow.

“Snow… You’ve been so quiet ever since it happened, it must’ve really shocked you… Still, you were the first to see Naomi, I need to know what you’ve seen; is there anything you can tell us?”

Waiting a few seconds after Flare asked her question, Snow finally raised her eyes off of the floor for the first time today. She looked at Flare, and then the rest, before exhaling.

“I don’t know. I don’t know anything you don’t know… I went to bed yesterday, and when I woke up, it had already happened.” As she spoke, her glassy eyes started to melt, and regain the spark that belonged there, and they turned to Monokuma.

“I… I think I’m happy I was asleep. If I had been conscious, who knows what could’ve happened, what I would’ve seen.”

“But I have doubts, about the murderer, the one who killed Naomi. From all the people that could have done it, who would stand to gain the most out of it? Not me, not anyone who got locked up here,” She pointed towards the bear. “But our captors. It should be obvious to see that nobody here would kill anyone over being stuck together for a few days, that’s absurd! But if that bear killed someone and made them believe it was us!? We would start to see killing as a real option for escape… after all, what’s one more corpse on the pile.”



Following Chikako into the building, the floor squealed as Flare’s boots stopped in their tracks. Surveying the room, Flare’s gaze betrayed a tiredness, though that didn’t stop her from continuing her duty. She stepped towards a closet and wiped her fingers over it, but raising her hand to her eyes, not a speck of dust stuck to her fingers.

“Aurel Fuchs, the ultimate thief ... maybe this place must resemble his hideout.” She mused to herself before facing Chikako and Lilly. “I’m gonna check a different lab, you two have this under control.” She didn’t wait for a response as she calmly stepped outside to peer at the cabin beside her.

Releasing a subtle sigh, Flare started her approach of Maiya’s lab, but her mind was drifting away from the investigation. This was the first time she was alone since being cuffed to Lilly. It wasn’t that Lilly was a bad person to hang around, but being tied to them at all times became old very quickly.

A horrible feeling stirred inside her; she felt guilty for being relieved that a murder happened; after all, it was the reason she could be alone like this again. But this wasn’t the time for reflection, there was still the unsolved murder, and it wasn’t gonna fix itself.

Stepping up to the door of Maiya’s lab, Flare reached out to the doorknob, but retracted her hand abruptly. What if she found something bad or incriminating in there, what would she do? A confident relaxed mind was better at handling the situation, taking a deep breath, she went into that attitude and opened the door to walk inside.

For whatever it’s worth, there wasn’t anything special to see, besides the obvious. With a weird talent like ultimate improv engineer, the contents of the lab were fairly ordinary, but the amount of variety on display was frightening. How was anyone supposed to find a clue here? there were so many different things, it would be impossible to determine what could or would be used for a crime.

But overwhelmed by the room, she stumped her toe on a trash bin. With a tiny “Shit!”, the trash came rolling out, revealing something that may be her salvation. “What’s this?” She mumbled as she squatted next to the bin.

Between the junk, there was a coverless CD case, but the CD inside was shattered to pieces. At first glance it could seem like it just broke because Flare pushed the trash bin over, but the pieces were incomplete. The fragments that were there wouldn’t complete the CD; a portion was missing.

Leaving the scene as it was, Flare jogged back to Chikako and Lilly and informed them of her findings, and that would be all she would find at the labs.

Truth bullet - CD Case
An CD case without a cover, along with some fragments of the CD inside. Found in Yukimori’s lab trash bin.



To her absolute regret, when she looked to where Laurence came from, her gaze met with something putrid. As if a blizzard flew through her, Ava froze on the spot, unable to take her eyes of the crimson eyes that whispered into her ears. The way it moved was lucid, and it’s tentacle like limbs were abhorrent to look at, it was too much for Ava’s mind to register it all.

But there was one word that tightened her grip on reality, Fuck! and along with it, came a tug on the arm to which she could do nothing but follow. She tried her hardest not to look back, instead focusing on who gripped her hand. As frantic as their running was, Ava could see Alex and Hakuro clearly, and the raven wasn’t far ahead either; for however small, it reassured her to see them active and alive. Once the adrenaline kicked in, she let go of Alex as she felt like she could run past them easily, but the bird had other plans.

A single glance down into the tunnels was enough to let her take a step back. Why the bird wanted them to head into the metro tunnel was one thing, but their one guide was about to leave them alone with these monsters. If it wasn’t for the panic, she would’ve begged the raven to stay, but she could hear the moans behind her getting closer, and the metro was just as frightening; they were really in deep shit now.

...

But that wasn’t like her at all. Scary things happen all the time, and the only way to handle them is by facing them and headbutting them with all you’ve got! Ava took a deep breath, and broadened her shoulders to intimidate whatever came at her. And she wasn’t alone either, she could depend on Hakuro and Alex. Speaking of Alex, he seemed to have a plan of his own as he charged off towards some creepy balls…

“Alex!?”

She frantically stepped forward, edging her toes on the top stairs, but her legs didn’t carry her further. She looked back towards Hakuro, and back down again as she swallowed her fear. That idiot ran straight into those monsters and of course it didn’t work. He was already rolling across the floor to dodge whatever things were attacking him, but she couldn’t watch as her friend was being torn apart.

Shit! She screamed as she ran down towards Alex. But nary a few feet from him, she stopped dead in her tracks as Alex started shooting at them with a tommy gun? “What the!? Where did you-Eek!” With the sound of her scream, her foot kicked one of the blobs as it jumped at her leg, sending it flying into another blob.

“Shoot them, shoot them!”



The response that the student gave to Kiyori upon her mild outburst came over as very dejected. She knew she was in the right, but peering upon the students broken body nonetheless made her heart ache. Considering the circumstances, she was too harsh and it must have left a sour impression upon the new recruits. As she looked to her feet stepping through the mud, she made sure to remember to carry and protect the boy if he were to fall unconscious.

 




The river pillar spoke again, but his words were harsh and insensitive. uncomfortably glancing at her master as he joked about what she considered taboo, she felt like responding at all would be a mistake. For as long as she's known him, he had these quips of immaturity, but considering the gravity of the situation, there was the expectation that he would act the part at least somewhat; it would go a long way to convince and inspire the new recruits.

To absolutely nobody’s surprise, the student responded less then kindly, sending all sorts of shade towards her master; not even the now named Kuchizaki could calm his agitation. Kiyori always felt this aura around Tamagawa, like he wasn’t susceptible to outside opinions and his unbiased thoughts could flow freely; it made him feel invincible. Not Kiyori though, every time the student opened his mouth to insult her master, more and more blood shot to her head until the veins started showing.

She knew how it looked from an outside perspective, and she understood why the boy lashed out like he did. If you had just betrayed your friends and family for a cause that might get you killed, of course you would want that cause to support you, tell you that it wasn’t a mistake. It was exactly for that reason that Kiyori swallowed her feelings and kept walking, or so she would if he hadn't…

“How about you?” Kiyori’s words echoed from the front of the group. As Kiyori turned her head sideways to pierce her vibrant cat-slit eyes into the students' she could feel her blood boiling hot. “Forgive me if I am wrong, but I would almost believe you aren’t fully committed to this new life you’ve chosen; with the way you talk about your master you sound like you respect his opinion. So I wonder, what would he think if he heard that his precious student had betrayed him.” Although she returned her eyes on the road and hidden from her peers, the spite behind her words were obvious to any man with ears.

“Don’t judge master Tamagawa by just his flaws, I know the Ubuyashiki do not.”



Multiple sets of footsteps echoed through the woods, each step blending in with the surrounding rain. Strolling along the rear of the group, the river pillar confidently looked ahead; in the middle, the demon boy walked next to the student who held onto his shoulder as if it were about to fall off; and in the front was Kiyori, her cautious eyes scanning the perimeter for any threats.

For a while, not a word was spoken, and the only noise protruding through the rain were the strained breaths of the injured student. Wiping off some raindrops from her forehead, Kiyori peered into the distance, though her focus was split between the road ahead, and her back.

“Your breathing is heavy. Does it hurt?” Kiyori softly asked.

“I’m fine, just keep your eyes on the road.” He spoke before releasing a painful cough.

“I don’t buy it, all this rain is keeping your wounds from closing-”

“I said I’m fine.” The student harshly interrupted the demon. Looking at the hand that was supporting his shoulder, he observed the blood on it slowly being washed away by the rain.

“Suit yourself,” Kiyori stated. “Once you collapse, your friend can carry you.” As she continued to walk down the road, she rested her left hand on her blade. It hadn’t completely sunk in yet, but they were truly on the run. Even when she had to stay hidden in the estate, it never felt like a prison; if anything, it was a safe haven from the prejudice and hate that so many harbored against her. But now it caught up with her.

Releasing a deep sigh, her lungs filled the air with warm vapor that dissipated quickly into the rain as she followed it up until her eyes rested on the luminescent moon. As the sound of thunder loomed in the distance, she could only ponder on how pretty the night sky could be.
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