Naegi woke up confused, disoriented, and with a nagging feeling that he was forgetting something. As he lifted his head he let his surroundings come into focus, surroundings he didn’t recognize. The more he looked around the more confused and worried he grew, not only was there a security camera, but the windows, or what he assumed were windows, were bolted over with thick, solid metal plates. Very solid he thought after he tried to pry one off. Glancing at the clock, just after eight. Panic blossomed in his chest, he was supposed to meet with the other students for the welcome ceremony at eight, and now he was going to be the idiot that was late.
He rushed out of the classroom and raced to the front hall, not taking in any of his surroundings as they blurred passed. Bursting into the entry hall he was met with fourteen pairs of eyes landing on him. The variety of looks he received was only matched by the complete variety of students. Naegi did a quick a once over of all the teens, trying to see who he could recognize from what he read on the online forums. He froze as his eyes landed on one student in particular. He was tall and lithe, Naegi could tell that under his perfectly tailored suit there were well toned muscles. He stood away from the others, but still in position to keep an eye on them all, an aura of superiority flowing off him. His blond hair fell perfectly around his angular face, accentuating the piercing blue eyes that locked onto Naegi. The intensity of the gaze cause the brunet to take an involuntary step backwards.
‘Wait… blue?’ Naegi thought to himself, he shouldn’t be able to tell what color what color the other teen’s eyes were, unless… He wasn’t given time to ponder this train of thought as a boy with striking red eyes and eyebrows that seemed to need their own personal stylist, came over and began lecturing him on being late and how punctuality is the only way to live one’s life. After that Naegi went around and introduced himself to the others. A few people stood out from the rest as he moved around; Sayaka Maizono, Celeste, and Kyoko Kirigiri made the biggest impression on him, or so he thought as he approached the final two students. Sakura Ogami ended up scaring him a little bit, but she seemed nice enough. It would probably be best to stay on her good side, just to be safe. The last student left was the blond boy who had never once taken his eyes off Naegi. As Naegi slowly walked over to said teen, the nagging feeling from earlier returned.
“Umm, hi, I’m Naegi Makoto,” the small brunet introduced himself.
“Name’s Togami Byakuya,” was the clipped reply.
Naegi wasn’t sure what he was expecting, but even still. There wasn’t much he could do about it, even among the ultimate students Togami was special. The heir to his family’s massive financial conglomerate, and he’s even started managing business operations. His own personal assets, those separate from what he’ll inherit from his family name, are, well, vast, to say the least. His title of Ultimate Affluent Progeny is completely accurate, he’s the definition of exceptional, and not just in his accomplishments, Naegi added mentally.
“We’re done with introductions, right? How much longer are you going to stand there? Go away. I’m sick of looking at you,” he said, bright cerulean orbs peering down a perfectly sculpted nose as one would regard a screaming child in a supermarket.
Naegi quietly stepped away, a disappointed sigh slipping passed pouting lips as the brunet watched the blond retreat to a secluded corner of the room. As he turned back to the rest of the group he could hear hushed voices answering whispered questions as the other students tried to figure out what was going on. The smallest of the bunch had started to approach Naegi when a bell chimed and the monitor on the wall crackled to life.
“Ahem, testing, testing, This is a test of the school broadcast system! Can everyone hear me? Yes? Good,” an overly cheery voice came through the speakers, it was so playful and unconcerned, something was wrong with it, “Ahh, to all incoming students! I would like to begin the entrance ceremony at… right now! So if you could all make your way to the gymnasium at your earliest convenience, no dawdling, we wouldn’t want to keep everyone waiting!”
“What. The. Hell was that just now?” Enoshima asked, voicing the question on everyone’s mind.
“Well then, if you’ll excuse me,” Togami said walking out of the entry hall.
He was soon followed by Hagakure, Fujisaki, Kuwata, Fukawa, and Celeste. All leaving under much the same mood, terrified curiosity. Naegi spared a short glance at those who remained before he, too, left for the gym. Upon entering the large room he found it set up as he would have expected it to be for a welcoming ceremony, and for some reason that made the whole situation even more unsettling. Everything looked normal, well besides the thick metal plates bolted to the windows, what was up with that? Deciding to worry about it later Naegi went to join the others. The room, while quiet, was heavy with apprehension, growing more so as the last few students arrived.
“Hey there, howdy, hello! Is everyone here? Good! Then let’s got things rolling!”
No one knew what to expect, but a black and white stuffed, talking bear thing, was probably not on anyone’s list.
“Huh? A teddy bear?” Fujisaki asked in a timid tone.
“I’m not a teddy bear! I…am…Monokuma! And I am this school’s headmaster!” the bear exclaimed.
The reactions hit all the marks, a few screamed, others laughed it off as a joke, some just waited in silence for a more realistic explanation as to what was going on. After a few quips back and forth between Monokuma and some students, the bear was able to bring the focus back to the welcoming ceremony.
“Now then, let us commence with a most noteworthy and memorable entrance ceremony! First, let’s talk a bit about what your school life here will be like. Now, ah, make no mistake-- you few students, so full of potential, represent the hope of the world. And to protect such splendid hope… You will all live a communal life together solely within the confines of this school. Everyone will live in harmony together, and adhere to the rules and regulations of the school,” Monokuma said, his cheery voice never once fluctuating, “Now then...regarding the end date for this communal life… There isn’t one! In other words, you’ll all be here until the day you die! Such is the school life you’ve been assigned,”
Tension was thick in the air, there wasn’t a calm molecule to be found, and what was once nervous fear had shifted heavily to terrified rage.
“What the hell? You can’t be for real? There’s no way I’m living here forever!” Enoshima screeched.
“Oh, I can guarantee you that I am 100% for real, and just so you know, you have been completely cut of from the outside world! So you don’t have to worry about that dirty, dirty world beyond these walls ever again,”
“Cut off…? So all those metal plates all over the school… They’re there to keep us trapped here?” Naegi inquired.
“Exactly! No matter how much may yell or scream for help...help will not come. So with that in mind, feel free to live out your life here with reckless abandon!”
“Cut this shit out! It isn’t funny anymore!” Owada growled, raising a clenched fist in a threat of bodily harm.
“A bunch skeptics you all are, you all keep saying this a lie or a joke… But I guess that’s to be expected, oh well, you’ll have plenty of time to find out whether or not what I say is true, and when that time comes, you’ll see with your own eyeballs, that I speak the undeniable truth,”
“Having to live here forever would be… quite the problem,” Celeste said morosely.
“Come on now. What’s the matter with all of you? You all chose to attend Hope’s Peak Academy of your own free will didn’t ya? And before the entrance ceremony is even finished, you already want to leave? Oh, but y’know, I guess I did forget to mention one itty bitty little thing. There is one way for you to leave the school...”
“R-- Really?” Fukawa stuttered out.
“As headmaster, I’ve created a special clause for those of you who would like to leave. I call it...the Graduation Clause! Now, let me tell you about this fun little rule! As I mentioned, in order to maintain an environment of harmony here, we rely on a communal lifestyle. And if someone were to disrupt that harmony, they and they alone would be allowed to leave the school. That, my students,is the Graduation Clause!”
“What do you mean by ‘disrupt the harmony’?” Togami snapped.
“Puhuhu… Well, you know… if one person were to murder another,” Monokuma chuckled.
“M-- Murder!?” Naegi questioned, not sure if he wanted to believe what he just heard.
“Stabbing, strangling, bludgeoning, crushing, hacking, drowning, igniting, how you do it doesn’t matter. You must kill someone of you want to leave. It’s as simple as that. The rest is up to you. Give it your all to achieve the best outcome in the worst way possible,”
The room suddenly felt significantly colder. A shiver danced along Naegi’s spine, his blood turning cold at the thought of having to murder one of his friends just to leave. He was frozen in place as some other students argued with Monokuma, he couldn’t even hear what was being said, it was all just a muffled gurgle in his ears. He was shocked back to the present when Owada stomped up to the bear and grasped it in his fist.
“Stop fucking with us, you goddamn bastard! What the hell is going on?” the gang leader snarled.
“Waah! Violence against the headmaster is in violation of school regulations!” Monokuma shouted, arms waving frantically as Owada help him in a death grip.
“Shut the fuck up! Just let me the fuck outta here, or I swear to Christ...” Owada’s threat trailed off as Monokuma stilled.
A high pitched beeping started to echo from the bear, gradually growing faster.
“Watch out! Get rid of it!” Kirigiri said, her voice calm and controlled even as the beeping grew faster.
“Hurry up and throw it!” she commanded.
Not knowing what compelled him to do so, whether it be Kirigiri’s order, or something else, Owada chucked Monokuma to the far side of the gym, as it reached the apex of it’s arc it exploded in a violent smattering of stuffing and metal. Thankfully all the debris didn’t get thrown far enough to injure anyone.
“Is, is the teddy bear dead?” Fujisaki asked quietly.
“I-- I think so?” Yamada answered, inching away from the remains.
“I told you, I’m not a teddy bear! I’m Monokuma! And I’m not dead,”
The voice caused everyone to jump and turn back to the stage. There they found another Monokuma sitting exactly where the previous one had.
“What the hell man?” Hagakure exclaimed.
“There’s another one?” Kuwata yelled.
“You son of a bitch! You seriously tried to kill me!” Owada growled.
“Well, yes. I was serious about trying to kill you. You did violate one of the school regulations, after all. I’ll let you off with a warning time, but you’d better be careful from now on. Any naughty boy or girl who violates my rules won’t get off with just a little swat to the butt,” Monokuma said.
“H-Hey… So does this mean there’s like, a bunch more of you around here somewhere?” Enoshima inquired.
“Monokumas have been placed all throughout the school, yes. Plus, don’t forget the surveillance cameras installed everywhere. And if you’re caught breaking any rules, well… you just saw what happened, right? Puhuhu… And next time I won’t be so forgiving with my punishment, so don’t let it happen again!”
Everyone stared, wide eyed, at the bear, how was one even supposed to respond to that?
“Now then, lastly… To commemorate your joyous entry into our school, I have a little something for you,” Monokuma said, handing out small tablets to each student, “This is our official student handbook! Pretty cool, huh? As you can see, it’s fully digital. So naturally we call it… The e-handbook! This handbook is absolutely vital to a healthy school life, so don’t lose it! When you start it up, it will display your name. Always make sure you have the right one! Now this is not your everyday notebook. It has so many more uses than that! Also it’s completely waterproof. Splash it, wash it, drown it, it’ll keep on ticking! And thanks to its space-age design, it can withstand an impact force of up to ten tons. Very resistant! It contains all of our school regulations, so make sure you review them thoroughly!
You’ll hear me say this a lot, but any violation of school regulations will not be tolerated. Rules restrict, yes, but they also protect. Society, for example, would be utter chaos without laws. The same thing applies here! Which is why it’s crucial we have strict punishments in place for violators. Okay, well...that brings our entrance ceremony to a close! Please enjoy your abundantly dreary school life! See ya!” Monokuma concluded.
“Wait!” Maizono shouted Monokuma started to leave.
“What-- what about our soulmates?” she asked.
“Your what now?”
“Our soulmates! The one who brings color to our lives, our other half!” Ishimaru proclaimed.
“Oh… Those. Not my problem,” and with that Monokuma was gone.
“I’m never going to see Takeshi-kun again?” Maizono said, voice hallow, reflecting the emptiness in her eyes as she fell to her knees.
“At least you know who your soulmates is,” Asahina remarked, a jealous undertone to her words.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, it’s just that, I can see colors, so I must’ve met my soulmate, right? But I can’t remember them,”
“You can see colors too?” Maizono asked, shocked that she wasn’t the only one.
The swimming pro nodded solemnly, a lone tear crawling down her cheek as she thought about it. Most people didn’t meet their soulmates until their university years, that was usually when one would find the people that would have the greatest impact on their life. Occasionally people would meet their soulmate when they were very young, but those occurrences were few and far between.
“Is there anyone else who isn’t colorblind?” Kirigiri asked the group, curious to see if this was a single instance or not.
Naegi, Ishimaru, Owada, Ogami, and to everyone’s surprise, Togami, all raised a hand in answer.
“And do any of you remember who your soulmate is?”
All five shook their head in the negative, which drew an inquisitive expression to the lilac haired girl’s face. But before she could continue down that train of thought she was interrupted.
“Aren’t there more important things we should be focusing on? Such as getting out of here, or whether or not someone is actually considering this?” Togami stated.
Everyone fell silent once more, eyes shifting nervously to every other person in the room, everyone wondering if someone really would betray them just to get out.
“You’re right, but that doesn’t mean that what we just learned isn’t important. Anyways, what we should be doing right now is exploring this place, seeing what we can find, any clues about where we are and how got here. We can meet back up in a few hours in the dining hall to compare our findings,” Kirigiri said.
Everyone seemed to agree with her decision and slowly began to trickle out of the gym. Soon enough only Naegi, Togami, Fukawa, and Kirigiri remained.
“Well? What are you three waiting for? A personal invitation?” the violet eyed girl quipped.
Togami sneered at her but didn’t say anything, while Fukawa stuttered out an apology. Naegi couldn’t speak for the other two, but he was still trying to process everything that had just happened. Something about the soulmate thing struck him as odd, which was an impressive feat considering all that had just been revealed. How could he forget his soulmate? That just didn’t seem possible, and for five others, besides himself, to be in the same predicament, it was all just too odd. With a shake of his head to clear his thoughts he bid the others goodbye and left to begin his own search of the school.
He didn’t search so much as wander aimlessly, lost in thought. Sure he could be forgetful, but to forget his soulmate? Even he wasn’t that bad. Naegi was so deep in his thoughts that he wasn’t watching where he was going until it was too late, and he was on the floor rubbing his head.
“Oh I’m sorry, I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going,” a soft, female voice apologized.
“Ah, no, it’s my fault, I wasn’t watching where I was going,” Naegi said, “Here let me help you up,” he continued, offering his hand to help the girl after clamoring to his feet.
“Wait, Naegi? I was actually looking for you,”
“Y- You were?” he inquired, surprised that anyone would be looking for him, especially Sayaka Maizono.
“Of course, I had something I wanted to ask you,” she said with a sweet smile.
He stared at her, blinking in confusion, this day was getting stranger and stranger with every passing moment.
“You went to Blackroot Junior High, right? You were in class 2?”
“Uhh… Yeah? Why?”
“I knew it!” she cheered, her excitement startling the short brunet.
Naegi nodded, stunned into silence.
“I was in class four! It’s strange though, I never thought that I would get a chance to talk to you like this. All through middle school, you never talked to me, in fact, you never even looked at me,”
“It’s because you were like a celebrity! I couldn’t just go around staring at you… Wait, how do you know I never looked at you?” he pressed.
“Because I looked at you all the time...”
“I was always looking for an opportunity to talk to you,”
“You… wanted to talk to me?”
“But since I always had so many people around me, we ended up graduating without saying a word, that was one of my biggest regrets,”
“But why me?” Naegi couldn’t fathom why someone would find him interesting, he was just an average high school student, there was nothing special about him.
“Do you remember during our first year of junior high, that huge crane that wandered into the school pond? It was so big, the teacher had no idea what to do. But you lead it into the forest behind the school. You helped it find its way out,” she said.
‘Only because I was in charge of taking care of the animals at school, they made me do it...’ the brunet thought to himself bitterly.
“I should’ve said thank you then, but… is it okay if I do it now?”
“Yeah! Honestly I was so impressed… That’s why I always wanted to talk to you, even just once. I never imagined the would be how I got my chance… anyways, what I’m trying to say, is that it’s nice to know somebody here, you know?”
“Uh… Yeah,” Naegi said slowly, still not fully understanding what was going on.
Maizono laughed, a melodic sound that helped ease Naegi’s nerves, if only a little. He returned the gentle smile she sent his way when something clicked in his brain.
“Hey, Maizono,” he started as they walked through the school, “You said something about your soulmate earlier, right?”
“Well, umm, do you think it’s possible to forget your soulmate? Or to not realize you met them?”
“Huh? What do you mean? Oh! You were one of the ones who couldn’t remember their soulmate. That’s so sad! And you don’t remember anything about them?”
“No, nothing, but that didn’t answer my question,”
“Sorry! It’s just, that’s really weird. People don’t just forget their soulmates… Maybe your soulmate is one of the others who forgot?” she suggested.
“Not likely, I hadn’t met any of them before today, and even so, aren’t soulmates supposed to compliment each other? I’m not even on the same level as any of you guys! I only got into this school because I got lucky, not because I have some ‘ultimate’ talent,” Naegi protested.
“So that means you couldn’t balance out one of them?” Maizono pondered, truly confused by the boy’s hard-fast denial that he could be the missing piece to one of the other students.
“Who do you think it would be? Can you really say, based on our limited first impressions of them, that I could possibly balance any of them?”
“Ogami would crush me, as would Owada, both are too, I don’t know, but I’m not what they need. Asahina is too similar to me, we would clash more than balance each other. Ishimaru? Yeah right, if anyone were to balance him it would be Owada. And there’s absolutely no way it’s Togami,”
“I guess...” Maizono sounded unconvinced but didn’t push the matter further as they entered the dining hall.
Ishimaru, Ogami, Asahina, and Fujisaki were already there, sitting at the long table in the center of the room. Enoshima, Kuwata, and Hagakure showed up not long after, followed a few minutes later by Yamada and Celeste. Fukawa slunk in behind Owada. Togami arrived by himself, and finally Kirigiri being the very last to make an appearance. Ishimaru took charge, getting everyone’s reports on their findings.
It seemed there two staircases that were blocked off, as was the bathhouse, nurse’s office, and warehouse. The trash room was only accessible to whoever was on cleaning duty. The kitchen was stocked, and, according to Asahina, would be replenished each night. Everyone had their own dorm room, and, other than the gym and two classrooms, there was an A/V lab and a school store on the first floor. Ogami reported to have had no luck in trying to pry the iron plates off the windows. No one had any luck locating a way out. Kirigiri was the only one who turned up any kind of clue as to where they were; a map of Hope’s Peak Academy that matched the layout of wherever they were perfectly.
After the meeting everyone went their separate ways, leaving Naegi alone once more. Not knowing what else to do he went to his room, ‘might as well see were I’m going to be living for… well… who knows how long...’ he thought to himself as he opened the door marked with his name.
His room wasn’t anything special, there was a bed with light blue sheets, a small table, a desk and chair, a lint roller, and a notepad. As he looked around he found a note taped to the wall explaining that the water would be turned off between ten pm and seven am as well as stating that the girls’ bathrooms all had locks on them, and that all the girls’ rooms came with a sewing kit and a map of the vital organs, while the boys’ dorms had a toolkit.
Naegi glared at the paper ripping it off the wall, crumpling it up, and throwing it away. He let out an exasperated huff as he flopped down on his bed to think about the day. There had to be some other way out that didn’t involve murdering each other, there just had to be. He already knew there was no way he would ever resort to killing someone, he just didn’t have it in him to consider that a viable option. His mental pondering was interrupted by the chime of his door bell. Opening the door he found Maizono standing on the other side, a smile lighting up her face.
“Maizono?” he asked.
“Naegi, I was wondering if you would like to hang out for a little while?” she said.
“Oh? Uh, sure, just a minute,”
Naegi moved to grab his room key off the table so he could lock his door before following the singer out into the first floor of the school. The pair eventually found themselves standing in the small hallway between the gym and the main hall. They chatted quietly, not really talking about anything when Maizono’s deep blue eyes fell upon the replica sword in the trophy case.
“You should take that sword back to your room with you,” she said.
“It’s a little...gaudy, don’t you think? And I’m pretty sure it’s only a replica, not sure how useful something like that would be,” Naegi countered.
“sure, but, you know, it might look nice? Even if it is a bit on the flashy side you can still use in self-defense,”
The brunet thought it over, nodding in agreement after going over the pros and cons. Reaching for the replica he pulled his back as if it had burned him.
“Geez, I barley touched and I’m covered in the gold leaf,” he grumbled.
Taking his blazer off, he used that to wrap the sword up so as to not cover himself in any more of the flaking gold leaf. Maizono followed at his side, chatting mindlessly about her pop group and soulmate as they trekked back to Naegi’s room. After depositing the sword on top of his dresser they returned to the dining hall to get dinner.
It seemed everyone else had a similar idea. The other students were all gathered together, eating their meals or just chatting with someone who was. When Naegi and Maizono entered the room Celeste rose to her feet to address the group, she must have been waiting for everyone to arrive.
“As we are all now here, I would like to make a suggestion. We all understand that we’re trapped here, which means that we will be spending the night. However, you all remember the rule regarding nighttime, right? So regarding the nighttime, I think we need to add a rule of our own,” the gambler said, a calm seriousness on her face.
“What do you mean?” Naegi asked.
“Going out at nighttime should be prohibited altogether. The school regulations do not actually tell us not to go out at night. I would like to make it official,”
“B-But why?” Fukawa stuttered.
“The way things are now, every time night comes we will start to get worried and anxious. We will be afraid someone might try and come kill us. If we have to worry about that night after night for who knows how long, it will wear us down in no time,” Celeste elaborated.
“So you’re suggesting we limit our activity at night as a kind of preventative measure,” Ogami stated.
“However, unlike the other rules, nobody can be forced to comply. We all have to agree to follow it,”
Everyone glanced around at each other, trying to decide if someone wasn’t going to agree.
“On behalf of all the men here, I agree to comply!” Ishimaru declared, “I would also like to suggest that we all have breakfast together, that way we can all be sure everyone made it safely through the night,”
All the students ended up agreeing, some more begrudgingly than others, and when the nighttime announcement sounded over the monitors they all returned to their rooms for a chance to find rest.
Locking his door him, Naegi leaned his forehead against the cool wood, shutting his eyes in an attempt to settle the nausea bubbling in his stomach. He was trapped in this ‘school’, if it even deserved to be called that at this point, with fourteen other students, all but one he had never met before. The headmaster was some robot teddy bear thing that wanted them to kill each other so one person could leave. The only positive thing was that he knew someone, and even that didn’t seem like such a good thing, considering. And on top of all that, he had apparently forgotten his soulmate.
Another sigh escaped his lips, he seemed to be doing that a lot today. Settling his himself, Naegi pushed away from the door and moved over to the dresser, surprised to find it fully stocked with his own clothes. Rummaging around, the brunet soon located a pair of sleep pants and changed into them, leaving on the white t-shirt from that day, he would change it in the morning, after a shower. Tossing the dirty clothes into the hamper and flicking the lights off, the ‘lucky’ student finally settled in for a restless night.
After a night of tossing and turning Naegi was brought into consciousness by the morning announcement. Groaning in exhaustion, the small boy dragged himself out of bed and shuffled over to his bathroom. Turning the knob he expected to just walk into the bathroom, instead he found himself getting intimately acquainted with said door. “Huh?” Naegi said drowsily, “I thought only the girls’ dorms had locks?”
“Right you are Mr. Naegi,” a voice came from behind the brunet, “It’s actually pretty ironic that you would get this room,”
Naegi would forever deny any accusations that he screamed like a young girl when he turned around, even though the was video proof of that fact thanks to the surveillance cameras.
“Holy crap! How the fuck did you get in here? I thought I locked the door?” he shouted.
“A magician never reveals his secrets. But anyways, about your bathroom, you see the door doesn’t quite sit right in the frame,”
“So it’s not locked? It just doesn’t fit?” Naegi was still half asleep and thus having trouble processing everything.
“Didn’t you see the notice? It clearly stated that only the girls’ bathrooms have locks. Geez, whatever, all you need to do to get the door to open is turn the knob then lift up while pulling,”
“You’re really slow in the mornings aren’t ya? Oh well, just remember, lift up and pull. Seems like rotten luck for someone who’s supposed to be the ‘Ultimate Lucky Student’ to get the one room with a broken door. Anyways, I suddenly don’t feel like being here anymore. Bye!”
Before Naegi could give any form of response Monokuma had gone. He hadn’t even seen him leave, and he’d been watching the bear the whole time, he must be more tired than he realized. Shaking his head to rid himself of any lingering sleep, he opened the door tot he bathroom and proceeded to get ready for the day ahead.
He dressed in almost the same thing as the day prior, and after making sure his door was locked, Naegi headed to the dining hall to meet up with the others. Only a few others were already there, nibbling on their breakfast or sipping on a drink. He wasn’t surprised to find Ishimaru there, but Owada and Kuwata somewhat shocked him. By eight o’clock everyone had arrived, but no one knew how to move forward from that point.
“Are we just supposed to sit here like brainless sheep for the whole day?” Togami finally broke the silence that fallen over then with his snide remark.
“Oh? Did I hear that you’re looking for something to do today?” Monokuma asked, appearing on the monitor, “Well too bad. You’re all smart kids, I’m sure you find some way to entertain yourselves. I’m a headmaster not a babysitter, so figure it out,”
“Whatever, I’ll be in my room if anyone needs me,” Enoshima said, walking out of the dining hall.
“I, too, shall be in my room if someone were to require my presence,” Celeste said, following Enoshima’s lead.
Others soon left as well, either to go to their rooms or wander the halls, leaving Naegi, Fujisaki, Kuwata, and Maizono. The latter two were chatting animatedly about something music related that Naegi didn’t understand. Looking over he saw Fujisaki sitting by herself and decided to go over and chat with her.
“Hey, Fujisaki, right?” Naegi asked as he approached the small girl.
“Huh? Oh, yes, that’s right, ad you’re Naegi, right?” she replied.
“Yep! Hey, so, uh, do you wanna hang out?” he asked, nervously rubbing the back of his neck.
“Sure, was there anything in particular that you wanted to do?”
“Umm, not really, I figured we could just walk around and talk,”
“Okay,” Fujisaki said with a bright smile.
Somehow the two found themselves in the A/V room where Fujisaki was examining the DVD players. Not finding anything worthwhile she slumped in her seat with a defeated sigh and scowled at the machine.
“No luck?” Naegi asked, though he had no clue what she had been trying to do.
“No, not that I expected anything, but...” she trailed off, “It’s doubtful this would have given us any leads anyways, it’s just a stupid DVD player, it’s not like I could hack it or anything,”
Naegi didn’t really comprehend what the programmer was saying but nodded in response. After spending a bit more time together and getting to know one another, the two parted ways and Naegi returned to his room. Finding there were still a few good hours until ‘nighttime’ the brunet left his room to see who else he could get to know. It was by pure happenstance that the person he had hoped to spend time with was also leaving their room at that moment.
“Oh,” Naegi said brightly, “Togami-kun,”
The blond in question turned to look at the shorter boy, “What?” he asked, sharp as usual.
“I- uh, I was, umm-”
“Just spit it out already, I don’t have all day,”
“I was wondering if you might want to spend some time together?” Naegi blurted out.
“And what makes you think I would want to waste my time entertaining your pathetically average mind?” Togami sneered.
“I, uh, well, I guess I had just hoped,” Naegi said quietly, gaze lowering to the floor.
Togami wasn’t sure why, but seeing the other boy fall from his bright and upbeat self to a quiet, sad shell, just from his words, bothered the heir. He studied the brunet for a moment, trying to determine why the lucky teen would want to spend time with him, or anyone for that matter. In this game they had been forced into, relationships, no matter how small, could, would be nothing more than a handicap. And yet, for some unfathomable reason, Togami found himself intrigued by the teen in front of him, a mere commoner who would never have caught the blond’s attention outside of this school.
“Fine, you may accompany me to the kitchen,” the young heir stated, already walking away.
Naegi scurried after him, his blinding smile back in place. Togami didn’t say anything as they walked through the empty dining hall to the kitchen. He remained silent as he moved around the space, preparing himself a cup of coffee, and as an after thought, made a second cup, adding a large amount of sugar and milk to it. In his own cup he only tipped half a teaspoon of sugar, stirring it slowly.
“How did you know how I like my coffee?” Naegi asked, taking the cup offered to him and enjoying a small sip of the hot beverage.
“What do you mean? How could I possibly know how you like you coffee?”
“But you just...” Naegi didn’t know how to finish that thought, thoroughly perplexed by the situation.
They stood there in awkward silence for another moment before the brunet couldn’t take it any longer.
“So, you don’t remember your soulmate?”
“Not that it’s any of your business, but no, I don’t. Not that it really matters,” Togami answered.
“How could it not matter?” Naegi shouted, somehow personally offended by Togami’s nonchalance about not knowing who his soulmate was.
“As heir to the Togami name I don’t have time for a relationship. And once I do take over as head of the family I shall be required to produce multiple heirs with multiple, wealthy, women around the world, something I highly doubt my soulmate will be willing to comply with,” the blond explained, voice monotone and face void of expression, like a practiced answer he had rehearsed. Though, as Naegi looked closer, he could see the sadness that was weighing on the teen in those startling blue eyes.
“That’s… That’s just terrible! Why would you ever agree to that?” Naegi yelled.
“Hmph, I would never expect someone as plainly ordinary as you to ever understand,”
“Try me,” the shorter boy challenged.
“I don’t have to explain anything to you, now if you’ll remove yourself from my personal space, I’m going to return to my room,” Togami took his coffee and pushed passed Naegi, leaving the other to stew in anger and confusion.
Glaring at his own cup of coffee, Naegi let out a small growl and poured the cup out before leaving to go back to his room as well. He changed into his sleep pants, still frustrated with Togami’s blatant uncaring attitude towards his soulmate. Locking the door and turning off the light, Naegi got ready for bed, falling into another restless sleep.