"Puhuhu, brilliant!"

The girl sat infront of a wall of cold blue light radiating from monitors, focusing intently on her classmates' expressions as they walked out of the "courtroom", and into the long hallway leading to the elevator bringing them back up to the first floor of the school. 'You really outdid yourself this time, Junko.' She felt a sense of pride as she watched. Sad, angry, mournful, confused, her classmates wore different emotions, but one thing remained constant: they all had felt the first taste of despair.

"I couldn't have done it without poor little Maizono! All alone now... I can only imagine the despair she must feel! Ahahaha!" Maniacal laughter filled the room, before it was muffled by the slurping of instant noodles. Meanwhile, a quiet hostility filled the elevator as it pulled the remaining 13 students up back to their living quarters.

'Boring.' Junko thought as she took another slurp of the noodles. 'Yell at each other or something!'

"Well at least the trial was fun. I bet ratings are through the roof, as always!"

Some time passed. Junko watched as her beloved classmates boarded the elevator, and as it reached the top with a clank. She was bored. So very bored.

In a flash, she noticed Chihiro begin to speak. Breaking herself out of her stupor, she quickly turned the volume up on the monitor.

'They're arguing.' Junko realized. 'Arguing and yelling... at Maizono!'

"Fuck yes! And I was getting fuckin' bored, too!" Junko yelled out.

"You fuckin' punk." Oowada yelled out. The insults came one after one. "You will never be forgiven!" Ishimaru exclaimed.

'All this anger... this despair... it's enough to get a girl hot under the collar!' The vitriol directed at the ever-guilty looking Maizono amused her to no end. 'If only they all knew how little they have to go back to... now THAT would be enough despair to make me burst!'

'Naegi's so determined to keep hope alive... What happens when I execute his family? Oowada finding out his feeble gang is no more? And Togami finding out his entire line has been eliminated... not much to inherit anymore, proud one. Devilish thoughts came in droves to her mind as she watched her classmates throw question after question and insult after insult in Maizono's way. 'The despair would be exhilarating... Maybe Fukawa can crack around that time too.'

"I almost forgot!" Junko yelled out loud. She set her eyes on a stack of envelopes on her desk, all 15 bearing the names of her classmates.

"Guess we won't be needing these." She took three out from the pile, bearing the names of Leon Kuwata, Aoi Asahina, and Junko Enosh-

"...Sorry Mukuro. Your existence was of use to me. But the despair.. oh the sweet despair.. I couldn't pass up on it."

Tossing the three envelopes at the nearest trash bin, her eyes returned to the pile. Now on top of it was Maizono's envelope.

"Oh, you poor bitch... You think this is bad?" Looking back up at the monitor, she heard Maizono respond to the endless questioning. "Think what you will of me." She said.

"Oh god! I'm gonna- I'm gonna drown in laughter! HAHAHAHA! D-does this broad think she's fooling anyone?" The Ultimate Analyst quickly concluded that there is a 90% chance Maizono will begin to cry, and soon, she did.

"Aww... Don't worry, Sayaka! You'll have an even better reason to cry soon!" Junko smiled and looked back to Maizono's envelope.

'God, the suspense is killing me. What a fuckin' night.' Junko thought of how to celebrate. 'Ah, yes, the champagne I stuffed in preparation for the first ever trial! I'll down it after I go open the gate to floor two.'

Junko thought back to everyone's secrets. Some were rather tame. Naegi's was particularly pathetically boring. 'Perfectly fitting for such a bland boy.' Some others... 'Oh yes, I'll have fun with her.'

"Tomorrow will be a great day."

The blurred blue outline of one of Sayaka's many bangs hung over and partially obscured a little bit of her vision as she lay in bed in an almost trance-like state. Her mind was empty. Any thought that she would usually be having right about now was gone without a trace. Well, other than two words. And with those two words, the cogs inside of her head begin to slowly unrust and kick themselves back into gear.

'I failed.'

Indeed she had. Her plan had went catastrophically wrong and now she found herself alienated from all of the other students.

'Why did I pick Leon of all people...'

She asked herself this question but didn't want to answer it. The deeper confines of her mind wanted to scream out and explore the rationale behind why she had made such a rash decision, though they remained hushed and dare not speak it into her mind. Yet try as she might to block it out of her head, it eventually managed to wriggle itself out of it's confinement from mental cage it was held captive in and present itself to the forefront of her head.

'Had I wanted the plan to go wrong all along..?'

The logic was sound. After all, someone like herself could never hope to overpower someone with a frame as well built as Kuwata's. In a way, the entirety of the plot had almost felt like a way for her to throw her hands up into the air and say she had tried to escape. But..

'Is that really it..? No. It can't be.'

Her face contorted into a snarl unbefitting of such a usually well mannered girl. That couldn't be it. It wasn't it. If that really were her intent, what were her dreams? Everything she had been through with her bandmates? The quest to become Japan's #1 idol? The proud looks she always saw plastered on her parents faces? What about the world tour she was in the progress of taking before she ended up in this nightmare? Even the bad things hadn't been for nothing. Every bit of suffering and hardship in her life had been for one goal and one goal alone; to be just like the idols she grew up on watching on TV as a kid. No, she wanted to be better than them. She wanted to be THE greatest idol, the one that every girl across Japan could look up to and adore if they so pleased.

But even that was really just a secondary goal. It was an expectation she had set for herself sure, but in truth her passion just came from a deep rooted love of singing and music. At the end of the day, that was the extent of it. Spreading happiness was a secondary mission to her, though a mission nonetheless. Ultimately though, she just loved doing what she did. To throw away all of her missions and life goals? No. Her intent was genuine. She wanted to murder Leon Kuwata. She wanted to frame Makoto Naegi. These were not actions she would ever consider taking in a normal circumstance, but with her entire life of which she had worked so hard for on the line? She had to. The smiles on her fans' faces meant the world to her. Getting to sing meant the world to her. It all made the world go round for Sayaka, that is who she is and always was.

A soft mumble escaped from underneath her breath without her own realization. It was a lyric to one of her songs, her groups most popular work. It had even made it up to #4 on the Billboard Top 100. She longed for the stadiums filled with adoring fans. She longed being able to look down and sing with her parents sitting in the front row cheering for her. Even the menial tasks such as making sure the dance choreography was up to snuff and that their outfits had been properly prepared or even that the microphone wasn't out of tune all seemed like far off dream worlds compared to where she found herself now.

And where did she find herself? Alone. Empty. Someone who had attempted to take the life of someone else and had gotten someone killed in the process. She was responsible for Asahina's death, as well as Leon's. It was something she never thought she'd have to face. Was she even really capable of killing? Well, based on her actions the answer to that was apparently a yes. Sayaka was the sort of person who felt guilty over killing beings as insignificant as ants, yet she tried to murder another person directly with her own two hands. In a way she had succeeded at it, too.

All she could do was sigh. No doubt guilty, but she couldn't bring herself to cry. It was as if parts of her usual bodily functions had shut down, or rather shut themselves off completely. She wanted to run away from every aspect of the living world and retreat into the darkness of her own closed eyes. Hell, if it were up to her right now she'd be asleep. She had found herself unable to sleep however, so all she could really do was menial chores around her room and lay in bed. In that moment, the intercom let out a bit of a static noise before turning on. A familiar voice blared itself from over the speakers.

"Good morning, everyone! It is now 7 a.m. and nighttime is officially over! Time to rise and shine!"

From the mattress of her surprisingly comfortable bed, her eyes darted up the wall and fixated themselves onto the clock.

'Oh right... the others are probably heading to the Cafeteria right now..'

For a split moment Sayaka half-considered going, but quickly laughed off the idea. She had found her own naivety in the face of the situation so amusing in fact that she had chuckled outloud. Ridiculous. As she had laughed, she swore she saw a moving shadow pass underneath her door. She leaned back and let her head hit the pillow, letting out a long sigh as she did so.

As his foot steps paced along at their usual speed down the hallway, Naegi couldn't help but stop himself as he came by Maizono's door. He just stood there for a few seconds, frozen in time. There were so many things he wanted to ask. So many questions had swelled up in his mind during the time following the trial. Could he even forgive such an act? Was an act like the one she had pulled even something that was forgivable?

'But... it's Maizono... she was so nice otherwise..'

But she got two people killed.

'I'm sure she.. had her... oh what am I saying..'

He buried his face into his hands for a few moments, before finally lifting his head back up. He began to drag himself down the hallway again, not wanting to have any of the other students see him in the hallway standing outside of Maizono's door like a homeless puppy. As his feet quietly pressed against the floor in route towards the cafeteria, which was his destination, he bumped into Ishimaru in the halls.

"Makoto! It is good to see you my friend! As our honorable class representative, I am the first to the cafe-" Ishimaru paused, realizing that he was looking at Makoto but that they were standing just outside of the cafeteria. His mind briefly entered a state of blank terror, before he quickly began to enter into a mad dash towards the cafeteria's doors.

"DRAT!" Ishimaru ran at an incredible speed towards the door, leaving Makoto behind in a state of bewilderment.

"Uhm... yeah... that's Ishimaru alright.." Makoto mumbled under his breath, before continuing his walk towards the cafeteria doors. As he entered them, his mind shifted a bit.

'Why am I here so early today anyway... eh... I guess it doesn't matter.' He mumbled to himself. Thankfully, before he could dwell on this thought for too long Ishimaru resumed their brief conversation from out in the halls the moment he entered the cafeteria.

"AHEM." Ishimaru cleared his throat. "Makoto! Good morning. Like usual, I am here first!" As he said that, a nervous look constructed itself onto his face for a brief moment, before returning to it's usual programming. "It is nice to see you! I'm sympathetic for what you've been through, but laying down and moping about it won't help anything! So that's why it's good that you came here first of everyone else, it means you aren't letting it get to you!" Ishimaru gave him a genuine smile, and Naegi smiled back without noticing.

"T-thanks Ishimaru.."

"Why don't we go ahead and get our plates while we wait for the others? This place's food isn't so bad you know."

"Sure thing."

The two of them walked over towards the food line. Makoto put some eggs and toast in his plate. His appetite wasn't at it's usual level frankly, and that usual level already wasn't particularly high.

'Will I even be able to eat all of this..?' he pondered, heading back to the table where the students usually gathered. Ishimaru sat down beside him.

"You didn't get very much, did you? Not much of a heavy eater?"

"Nah.. not really..." he replied, biting into some of the eggs.

"Did your room get fixed up? I figure it'd probably be hard to sleep with a corpse about 5 feet away from your bed."

"Y-yeah..."

As the two ate, the other students started rolling in through the doors. The cafeteria's environment quickly went from quiet other than Ishimaru's occasional loud exclamation to much louder as the other students held small talk and other such conversations with each other as they waited in line for their food. Yet despite the increase in volume, it still felt rather quiet as compared to usual.

'Huh.. maybe I should start coming early more often so that I don't have to wait in line. Noted.'

After some time had passed, all of the other students had finally sat down at the table. Yet before most of them could even begin to cut into their food, let alone talk with one another... the god-forsaken intercom popped itself on.

"Hello wonderful students! I have a special announcement to make, I apologize to cut your breakfast time so short but you can all head back later! Get over here now!"

There was quite a bit of understandable grumbling.

"Who does that fuckin' punk think he is?"

"B-but I just starte-"

"You devious bear! Most of our students haven't yet gotten the chance to eat yet!"

Monokuma grumbled over the intercom a bit. "Oh come on now. There's a microwave ya know. Get your butts over here pronto!" As he said that, the intercom turned off.

"Hell no! I'm eating!"

Kyoko looked at the others. "Look, we'll have plenty of other chances to get food. Come on, let's go. This could be a clue."

Some members of the group accepted her request, though others were more stubborn. Eventually though, all of the students who had gathered in the cafeteria began making their way down the halls to the gym. Makoto and Ishimaru were once again the first two to enter the gym, followed by Kyoko and then the others. And last of all of them... Maizono walked in the door and positioned herself in one of the furthest corners of the room away from everyone else.

"Pupupupu! Good to see you Sayaka! I thought I was gonna have to go out there and drag ya here for a second!"

Kyoko's eyebrow raised at the last statement. "Drag her here? What, is this important or something?"

"You betcha! Now spread your arms!"

Kyoko's face quickly went from a look of intrigue to a look of confusion.

Celes groaned. "Uhm... excuse me? Are you telling me that we have to do PE?"

"Of course! Staying fit is an integral part of your Killing School Life! After all, how will you run from a would be murderer if you're all puckered out? Okay! Now lift your arms, up and down! Now reach wayyy up and back down.. tighten those muscles!"

Only a few students were following along, the majority looked at him with blank stares.

"You're all such party poopers! Well whatever, doesn't this just feel so good to those of you who are following along?"

"Why did you bring us here? Just to try and make us exercise?!" Sakura grumbled at him, looking angry. Makoto didn't know if he had ever seen her angry to this point, and it was a quite terrifying sight to say the least.

"Just to make you exercise? JUST TO? You'd think a bodybuilder like yourself would be more educated on keeping a healthy routine! Now if you keep up with the routine, you'll all unlock the secrets to-"

"Would you just tell us why you really brought us here? Surely it wasn't just to exercise?" Makoto said back to the bear in an angst-filled tone.

"Of course not! You think I have that much time on my hands? I'm a very busy zoo animal you know."

"I'm sure. Would you get to the point?"

"So impatient! Well I know you kids nowadays have lots of ADHD, so I suppose it makes sense. Fine. Every time you overcome a class trial, a new world opens to you! It'd be really cruel if you were stuck living here without anything to stimulate you after all. Even I'm not that cruel! So go on, look around, explore the new post trial world!"

And as he said that, he disappeared. Leaving everyone confused for what felt like the umpteenth time.

"Could he have been talking about a way outside?"

"Well we dont know till we look!"

"Whatever he meant.. we probably have to search the school again." Oogami said amidst the blurted out theories.

"Okay then! Lets split up and investigate! We'll meet up at the dining room once we're done!" Ishimaru replied.

With that, most of the other students scattered off. Makoto was interested in something else other than the other room. He wanted to speak to Sayaka.

'Where did she go?' he asked himself internally as he scanned the room. She had disappeared seemingly.

'Damn. I guess I'll go by her room later and knock.. for now it's best if I investigate.'

Makoto walked out of the gym and began to search around the school. He checked most of the rooms near the cafeteria, even the laundry room and the baths, but didn't find much. After engaging and disengaging with some sporadic small talk with some of the students he found, he resolved himself to head towards the general direction of the dorms. Before he did that, he decided to check out the stairs.

'Might as well be thorough.'

He made a right and started to head towards the blocked off staircase. Except.. it wasn't blocked? The barrier that had been there previously was gone. At the staircase, he found someone else waiting for him there as well. It was Celes.

"Hmm.. seems like Monokuma opened the staircase for us." She flipped apart of her hair before looking at Naegi.

"Yeah, it seems that way. Should we tell the others?"

"Well, you can if you wish. I'm going up there. Bye."

"W-what? You can't jus-"

Before he could finish that thought, Celes had already vanished up the stairs. Makoto let out a groan.

'As considerate as usual.. well whatever. I'll go get the others.'

The first person Makoto ran into the halls was Oogami. The two banded up and searched the school. Eventually after some time the other students had been gathered. Well other than Maizono, who was nowhere to be seen. All of them traveled up the stair case and began their own investigations into the floor. Makoto's first thought was to check all of the rooms, he was interested in seeing everything there was to see.

'Maybe there's a way out... or at least a clue?'

Naegi walked up the stairs slowly, and with caution. At the top, he was met with the 2nd floor of Hope's Peak Academy, dim blue lights illuminating the hallway.

'Maybe there's some kind of clue here. Yeah, there's got to be something here!'

He stepped forward, and noticed a narrow hallway to his left. Following down the hallway, he found himself inside a green room, which he realized held pool equipment such as lifesavers and pool noodles. 'Asahina would've loved this,' he thought, still subconsciously in mourning. 'I can't believe she's-'

"Is that a gatling gun?!" Makoto yelled, not even noticing he spoke out loud. In a flash, he heard the door behind him swing open.

"What's wrong?"

It was Chihiro.

"Eek! A-a gun!" Chihiro ran to Makoto's side and pressed herself tight, grasping on Naegi's arm. "I-it's ok, it might not even be real..."

"Oh, you bet it's real!" As if appearing out of thin air, Monokuma jumpscared the two.

"Aah!" Chihiro and Makoto collectively screamed.

"Ahahaha! Did I scare you?"

"Of course you did!" Naegi's face was fuming with red as Fujisaki further embedded himself in Naegi's side. "What do you WANT?"

"Dear students," Monokuma's tone was as sardonic as ever. "I have come to help! With knowledge!"

"I-is it an exit?" Fujisaki spoke so quiet he was practically whispering.

"An exit? NO!" The bear seemed angry now, stubby arms raised in the air and his red eye glowing. "I wanted to let you both know about the rules of the pool area. That gun is there for a reason, you know."

"You all have student handbooks, correct? The handbooks have your gender coded inside them. Only boys can use their handbooks to enter the boys' locker room, and only girls can enter the girls. This way, my beloved school will have NO PERVERSION!"

"Why not enact the same policy with the dorms?" Naegi curiously asked.

"I don't care what you all do on your own time! Knock yourselves out in the dorms, go crazy with lust, It's fine by me. You're all teenagers, after all. I only care about the school's image."

"B-but-"

"Silence!" Monokuma quickly put a stop to Makoto's sentence. "Back to what I was saying before. If any boy tries to enter the girls locker rooms, or vice versa... SWISS CHEESE! HOLES ALL OVER! GOT IT?"

"Alright, alright. What if a girl loans their e-handbook to a male student, and he uses it to open up the girl's locker room?" Makoto wasn't really expecting an answer, but he sure got a definitive one.

"Oh my... Makoto Naegi... ahhh... planning something?" The bear seemed... Aroused!? Makoto felt physically ill.

"I was asking a legitimate question!"

"Well, my little pervert, I have answers once again." Makoto scoffed at the comment, but continued to listen. "I hadn't thought of your DEVIOUS idea. And I MUST take action against it. For now on, loaning your e-Handbook to another student is strictly prohibited. Look! I'm writing it down right now in the rulebook!"

Monokuma actually took out a pen and a large hardcover book with lettering that read "Hope's Peak Academy Guidelines & Rules" and begun to pretend to write in it. If the bear hadn't caused three murders so far, Naegi might've laughed.

"There!" Monokuma suddenly threw his pen across the room, and begun his drivel yet again. "Please look at your student handbook."

Naegi did as requested and opened up the "Rules" tab on his e-Handbook. Indeed, the new rule had been entered. 'How'd he do that so fast...'

"You see it? Good. My work here is done. Goodbye students!"

Monokuma left as quick as he appeared. He always seemed to come at the worst time, almost to mock them all. The room was silent for a moment. Fujisaki shook into Naegi's side.

"I-is he gone?" Chihiro asked with a whimper.

"Yeah. It's all clear."

Chihiro slowly removed her grasp on Makoto's arm, and regained her composure, though she was still visibly shaken. Naegi wanted to break the silence. "Wanna check out the pool area?"

"No." Chihiro was quick to respond. "I... don't like swimsuits."

'That makes sense,' Naegi thought, 'She doesn't seem like the kind of person to care much for swimming.'

"You don't have to put on a swimsuit to look, but alright."

"Sorry, Makoto. But it looks like there's enough exercise equipment here for anyone to ask for. I'd like to give it a try."

"R-really?" Makoto hadn't pegged Chihiro for someone much into exercising.

"Yeah! I'd like to get a bit stronger. But... I'm not brave enough to enter the locker room..."

Naegi was confused, and it showed on his face. "There's nothing to be afraid of, I'm pretty sure we're the only two people who have even been in this area so far."

"It's not that I'm scared of it... I just..."

'I don't get it, but she's clearly having a hard time. I'd better not ask her any further.' Makoto needed to get going, anyway.

"I understand." He didn't, but Naegi felt a desire to move on. "Stay there, I'll tell you if there's anything interesting in the lockers or pools."

"Alright..." Chihiro was clearly unsure of being alone, but Makoto pressed on.

There wasn't much in the boys locker room. A substantial amount of weights, rows of lockers, some racks for bench presses, about what you'd expect. 'I'm far too weak for this stuff...'

The pool area was equally disinteresting. It was your typical school pool with little else of note. 'Maybe a little relaxation could be had here, at least.' The pool kept Naegi thinking about Asahina. She died for nothing, simply a victim of circumstance... And Leon, who only killed after being found out he was in danger of being killed himself... 'I can't keep thinking about it. WE can't keep thinking about it. We have to move on, and keep fighting whatever it is that's keeping us here.' And Makoto did move on, out of the pool.

"Ah! Did you find anything?" Chihiro seemed happy to see him.

"Nothing of any particular interest. There's more exercise equipment in the boy's locker rooms, though. Not so sure about the girls."

"That's great!" Her smile was rather infectious. "W-well, um, I hope there's some in the girl's too..."

All of a sudden, there was an awkward silence. Nobody seemed keen on leaving.

"Hey, Chihiro. What's wrong?" Naegi was hesitant to ask, but something was clearly off with her. 'Ever since I mentioned the lockers...'

"Huh? Oh, nothing... J-just scared is all." She replied, her arms hugging herself in an attempt to find comfort. "I'm always so scared..."

"We're all scared. Even the ones that hide it, Kirigiri, Togami, they're scared too. There's nothing wrong with being scared in this place."

Fujisaki perked up. "Y-yeah... but I've always been scared. P-people can be so... unkind."

'Unkind? What's she talking about?' Makoto wanted to decipher what was going on inside Chihiro's head that made the usually cheery girl so depressive.

"Unkind?"

"Sometimes people don't like it when you act a certain way. Or dress a certain way. A-and they'll call you names, and say all kinds of nasty stuff, and-and..." Chihiro begun to sob into her uniform sleeve.

Makoto knelt down and placed his hands on Chihiro's shoulders. "Hey, hey... It's alright... Nobody's calling you anything here. It's ok."

"I-I don't want to be scared anymore... I just want to be s-stronger..."

Naegi had never consoled anyone before. Komaru was always too independent, and he'd never been close enough to anyone else to get such a vivid look at their rawest emotions. He thought he had with Sayaka, but everything he knows about her he can't be sure about anymore. Safe to say, he wasn't sure he was good at it. But he felt like giving it a shot. Makoto pulled Chihiro close and hugged her.

"You're very strong."

"H-huh?" Chihiro seemed to reset herself for a moment.

"You're the only person here strong enough to be so honest with yourself, nevermind saying all that to me. That takes incredible courage." Chihiro stopped sobbing for a moment and removed her face from her sleeve.

"R-really? I, I'm strong?"

"Without a doubt." Naegi slowly broke the hug, but kept a hand on her shoulder. "Nobody's going to yell at you for being who you are. We're all your friends, and you ours."

"You mean that..."

"Of course I do. Every word."

"Every word..." She muttered. Fujisaki took a moment to compose herself, then looked Naegi in the eye. "Friends, right?" she said.

"Friends." Makoto smiled for the first time since the night before Asahina's murder. 'Moving on... Oh, right.'

"Hey, Chihiro. Wanna help me explore the rest of the floor?"

"Y-yes!" She replied, or more snapped. "Um, oh, did I sidetrack you... sorry."

"No, no not at all! It's nothing, there's plenty of time in the day. Let's get moving!"

The two stepped out of the room and back into the dimly lit hallway. Continuing on, Naegi had only taken a few steps when he noticed another flight of stairs, with Celeste standing near them. The blue light complimented her pale skin as Makoto approached the stairs.

"It appears that the stairs to the third floor are blocked, as the second floor was before the trial." Celeste said, ever calmly. 'Figures.' Naegi thought. "The second floor has a number of facilities to keep us occupied for the time being, however." Celeste smiled, and brought her hands up to her chin. "Whatever else is going on, one must admit things are being made much more comfortable for us. If things continue like this, the occasional class trial may be tolerable."

'Tolerable? How could she say that? Two people died. That'll never be tolerable.' Naegi banished the thought as he asked Celeste a question. "So, the floors must open up after every trial."

"It appears so. Well, we will just have to wait for more pleasantries, but I think this floor will suffice for the time being."

"Was there anything resembling an exit?" Chihiro asked her.

"No. All the windows are bolted shut as per the first floor, and no rooms have anything hinting at an exit. You should make yourself comfortable, Fujisaki." Celeste bent over and glared at the much smaller girl.

"H-how could I ever be comfortable here?" Fujisaki looked away from Celeste's cold gaze and shivered. "This place is awful..."

Celeste snapped up and returned to a smile. "Well, you will just have to make do for now. Ciao!" She skipped away, and with that, the conversation ended.

Naegi and Fujisaki continued further into the floor. The lights went from blue to pink, making the main hallway even dimmer. They came across the library door, the only room that seemed to be present in the open hallway, and hesitantly entered.

"I can't believe it!" They were greeted by Hifumi's bellowing voice. "All these books and not a single work of mine!"

"Heh, nobody wants to read your degenerate filth... why would there be comics in a library a-anyway?" The two great minds of literature, Toko and Hifumi seemed to be arguing.

"Degenerate filth... watch your tone! I'll have you know my art is the pinnacle of the genre."

"Don't make me l-laugh, you fat idiot. Most 'fanfiction' is glorified pornography."

Hifumi was enraged, and screamed back. "YOUR FEEBLE MIND CANNOT UNDERSTAND MY WORK! AND THE 'FAT' YOU SEE BEFORE YOUR EYES IS SIMPLY THE MEATY PULP OF MY GENIUS!" He lowered his voice and continued as Fukawa snickered. "It's fine. I'm used to being misunderstood as a writer. I welcome the challenge."

'Those two... They scare me sometimes.' Naegi canvased the room. Toko and Hifumi had made their presence known the second they walked in. Kirigiri was investigating some computer, unsuprisingly. Togami sat comfortably at the center table.

"This library is most interesting..." Togami quietly spoke to himself, looking lost in thought.

"What'd you find interesting?" Naegi asked him, but didn't expect much of a reply.

"A-ah, nothing. Just thinking out loud."

'He's hiding something, but it's best not to press him. Hopefully it's not too important.'

"H-hey, Makoto, look at this!" Chihiro beckoned by a smaller bookshelf. "It's some kind of letter."

Naegi and Togami walked toward him in curiosity. Kirigiri spoke from across the room. "That was buried behind a thick layer of dust. One would assume it's been left untouched for quite some time."

"Well, open it Fujisaki."

Chihiro did as Byakuya asked, and opened the wax-sealed letter. At first, the letter seemed irrelevant to their captivity, until Fujisaki read the part that stated that Hope's Peak had prepared to cease operations. "Serious issues beyond our control."

"It appears Hope's Peak had stopped functioning as a school." Togami stated the obvious. "And if what Kirigiri said about the dust is true, it must have been quite a while ago."

"I would say the letter is about a year old, give or take." Kirigiri confirmed.

"S-so," Fujisaki gave everything some thought. "The mastermind must've somehow took Hope's Peak over after it had been shut down..."

"That means the school was already shut down when we all came here for the first day of the semester." Byakuya deducted.

"I-I didn't get the sense the building was abandoned." Makoto was confused. 'When I arrived, everything seemed pristine. There's no way...' He repeated his thought out loud. "If the school HAD been shut down, wouldn't have been on the news and stuff? This is a important, government funded facility. If it happened over a year ago, how did we not know already before coming to attend?"

"That must have been part of their plan." Togami went into thought again after speaking. "Someone who could manage to lure us all in here... And create a place to judge and execute people out of an abandoned school building... The mastermind is far more dangerous than we previously thought. Assuming the letter is real, of course."

Makoto thought back to the letter. Something bugged him about the way it was worded. "Serious Issues" caused the school to shut down. 'What could that mean...' "What about the ""serious issues"" part? Could that be related to why we're here?"

"Until we find more clues, there's no way of knowing." Kirigiri said, and Togami cut her off before she could say anything else. "Only the mastermind knows the truth."

During the conversation, Chihiro skipped over to where Kirigiri was. She seemed to be interested in the laptop.

"Is there anyway to get it working?" Kyoko asked Chihiro.

"I'm not sure... Maybe. There's no damage visible. With a little time, I could probably get it up and running at least. No promises on any internet or what's even on the thing."

"That would be helpful." Kyoko stood there while Chihiro prodded at the laptop for some time. She seemed to be occupied, so Naegi moved on from the library without her.

The only rooms left were the classrooms. Neither of which held anything of note besides the usual mocking drawing on the chalkboards. Makoto was worn out from... all this. 'Maybe I'll sit here a while. No harm done.' He thought, sitting down on one of the many desks lined across the room. 'Just for a bit.'

A/N: Makoto found himself getting into a good deal of interactions this chapter, and the new floor being open is always exciting. It'll bring some much needed entertainment for our students at Hope's Peak, that's for sure. Hope this was an enjoyable read!