Hello readers and welcome to my new chapter. So, a lot of excitement for this part of the trial. Excitement I can't blame anyone for. Will just have to do my best to meet that excitement. Here we go, with the continuation of the fifth trial and the class witnessing Kyoko's betrayal. I hope you enjoy.

Disclaimer: I do not own Danganronpa.

Chapter 101: Watching Chapter 5: 100 Miles; Pain of a Junk Food Junkie Part 13

"..." For a moment, Kyoko was silent. Then… "I'm not the only one without an alibi. Makoto's explanation is still insufficient."

…Huh?

Slowly, all sixteen pairs of eyes directed themselves towards the screen; with their brains being even slower to catch up to what they just heard.

"...Wha-?" Hina stared at the screen dumbfoundedly.

"Huh…?" Leon's jaw dropped in pure shock.

"Wha- What did she just…?" Sayaka stuttered in disbelief.

"..." Even Kyoko found herself visibly reacting to the words coming out of her own mouth, her eyes completely shot open.

"..." But the one most in shock was one Makoto Naegi, who could only stare numbly at the girl currently on screen.

They… They didn't hear that right, did they?

"Huh…?" Makoto's eyes widened at Kyoko's words.

"The sprinklers didn't get the body wet, but that doesn't mean the murder happened when he said it did." Kyoko stated.

"Wh-What are you-?!" Makoto stuttered.

"Because you see, there is a way the body could have avoided getting wet." Kyoko continued, unperturbed.

"...Interesting. I'm listening." Byakuya said with genuine interest.

No. No, they are hearing correctly. "What is- Why- What is Kyoko saying…?!" Hina stuttered out incredulously.

"Is… Is she trying to imply Makoto did it?!" Chihiro questioned, eyes the size of dinner plates.

"H-Hold on… perhaps… perhaps she's attempting to solve aspects of the case!" Taka hastily rationalized. "Point out that she couldn't have done it!"

"No. She's clearly trying to remove Makoto's alibi, and implicate him as the killer." Byakuya stated clearly, eyes narrowed into a glare. "There's no mistaking that."

Sayaka's look of disbelief slowly shifted into one of pure, adulterated fury. Mukuro was the same, a more murderous look already across her own face.

And Junko? Junko's interest peaked. 'Now what's this~?' A wide, cheshire grin entered the fashionista's lips at the sight of the amnesiac detective turning against the lucky student.

"All it would take is covering the body with the tarp to keep it from getting wet." Kyoko explained. "In fact, that's exactly what the killer did. The dirt pattern on the tarp can attest to that. Only one side of the tarp got dirty, because that's the side that got covered in water. The side that faced down over the body, meanwhile, kept perfectly clean. This proves that the killer used the tarp to keep the body from getting soaked."

"But why would they go to all that effort just to keep the body from getting wet?" Byakuya inquired.

"Most likely so they could cloud the issue of when the murder actually took place." Kyoko surmised. "In other words, to create an excuse exactly like the one Makoto just gave us…"

"..." The lucky student in question could only stare at the lavender-haired girl in shock.

"What the fuck, Kyoko…?!" Leon exclaimed, looking as incredulous as everyone else. "What's with the dirty move to point the finger?!"

"...Is… Is she doing this to save her own skin?" Sayaka hissed darkly, her face practically darkening. "Is she trying to throw Makoto under the bus, just so she doesn't get executed?!"

"..." Slowly, Makoto turned his head towards the present detective beside him, the shocked look still across his face. "K-Kyoko…?"

"..." Said detective found herself keeping her eyes away from the luckster; along with anyone else. Her features were schooled once more, very little betraying what she's feeling or thinking right now.

'Why would Kyoko say that…?' Was the question pressing onto Makoto's mind. 'Why would she want to make me look like the killer?'

'...No, I can't think about that right now.' The luckster shook himself out of his stunned state. 'That tarp… if it was used the way Kyoko said, the tarp must have touched the body, right? But the body…'

"Wait… something's not right." He then said aloud.

"And what might that be?" Kyoko questioned in response.

'I can't worry about Kyoko's motivations.' Makoto conceded to himself, a conflicted gaze aimed towards the girl. 'If I don't do something, everyone's gonna think I'm the killer! I have to refute what Kyoko said…!'

"Are the two of them actually fighting each other now?!" Hiro cried out incredulously. "After seeing them work together all this time…?!"

"It's more like Makoto is forced to defend himself against an unprovoked attack…" Mukuro growled, murder intent practically laced into each and every word.

During all this, Celeste was silent. But the narrowing of her eyes, as well as the grip on her skirt, gave a small hint as to her mood for all this.

"...Kyoko… why?!" Hina turned towards Kyoko with a confused, betrayed look. "You know Makoto didn't do it! It's a trap from the mastermind, you said it yourself! So why would your future self try to accuse him as the culprit?!"

"..." Kyoko continued to remain silent. She knew why. It was obvious to many why her future self is doing what she's doing. But she couldn't bring herself to openly say it.

"What's strange is that the underside of the tarp… it was totally spotless, right?" Makoto pointed out.

"Cuz that side was protected from water, wasn't it?" Hiro reasoned. "Since it was facing down toward the body, of course it didn't get dirty."

"But… the blood wasn't dry before the body got blown up, right?" The luckster then argued. "Byakuya said it himself - not to touch it or you might get some on you. If you put a tarp on a body in that state, it absolutely would have gotten blood on it."

"Well… maybe the culprit washed it, so nobody would know they'd use it." Hiro suggested.

"If they had, they would've washed both sides." Byakuya countered. "Just washing the one side wouldn't hide anything."

"Oh… yeah, true." The fortune teller admitted.

"More than that, what if the very blood we saw on the body was meant as a kind of camouflage?" Kyoko suggested.

'Huh…?' Makoto thought in surprise. 'The blood was… camouflage?'

"What if, after the killer used the tarp to avoid the sprinklers… they then covered the body in blood that didn't belong to the victim?" The lavender-haired girl continued her theory.

'I wonder… what's with the extra work the mastermind put in the crime scene?' Byakuya mused, putting aside Kyoko's sudden betrayal at the side for now. 'To frame Kyoko, simply the blow to the head, hiding evidence of that in the dojo, and putting the locker key in her room would do. Were they hoping to completely corner Kyoko through this?'

If so, it was nothing Kyoko couldn't see through. Maybe they had hoped Kyoko wouldn't have been able to have time to investigate… or thought that the detective would focus on trying to convince everyone of the trap. Not pin the crime on Makoto.

"Y-You mean… someone else's b-blood? Where would they get something l-like that?" Toko asked nervously.

"I know! They coulda grabbed some of the blood packs from the nurse's office!" Hiro suggested eagerly. "That's what Hifumi did, right? When he pretended to be dead?"

"No, that's not what happened this time." Kyoko refuted. "The killer got the blood from right there in the garden."

Makoto answered hesitantly. "Are you talking about… chicken blood?"

"What?! Chicken blood?!" Hina exclaimed in shock.

"W-Wait… does that mean the mastermind k-killed a chicken?" Chihiro stuttered out, looking ill. "Just for camouflage?"

"For real?! That's messed up!" Hiro cried out with some disgust.

"But it's a clever way to disguise the time of death, without resorting to running to the first floor and not risk getting spotted." Byakuya remarked. "What I'm wondering is what reason the mastermind would have to do this, if they simply wanted to frame Kyoko."

"Perhaps it's to further corner Kyoko, Byakuya dear?" Celeste suggested.

"I thought so too. But as we can see, while it's clever, it's nothing Kyoko couldn't see through."

A flashback of the chicken coop before the investigation was then shown. "When I checked the chicken before the murder, there were five chickens." The lucky student explained, before a flashback of the coop during the investigation was shown next. "But after the murder, there were only four…"

"Dude, why are you helping with the mystery?!" Leon asked Makoto incredulously. "You do remember that Kyoko is trying to corner you, right?"

Leon's questioning snapped the lucky student out of his stun state, with him stumbling in his answer. "I-I… Future me doesn't know the full story himself. Besides, Kyoko pretty much already figured it out." He explained, best he could. "I'm just… I'm just connecting the dots myself."

"Makoto…?" Sayaka's angry gaze shifted to one of worry, seeing the state her luckster was in.

But said luckster didn't acknowledge the worried look and call of his name; too rattled by the sudden turn of future Kyoko. The detective herself had to hold back a wince, seeing the state Makoto was in.

"S-So you're saying… someone killed a chicken and then covered the body with its blood?!" Hiro exclaimed with disgust. "Man, that's messed up!"

"Killing a living thing just to do something like that is awful! They should have at least eaten it!" Hina said angrily.

Normally, Hina would readily and verbally agree with her future self. But the current main events of the trial kept her silent, confusion and disbelief rattling her heart.

"I wonder if the killer had to get the blood from the scene so they wouldn't be spotted walking around…" Kyoko mused, mainly to herself. "Anyway, there's no denying that a chicken went missing, which provides a basis for my theory."

"Perhaps, but even so… there's one thing that still doesn't make sense." Byakuya pointed out. "You said the culprit used the tarp to avoid the water, and then covered the body in blood, right? But if that's the case, then the blood should have soaked into the ground around the body."

A flashback of the body was then shown. "But that's not what we saw. Only the victim's clothing had blood on it. The ground was completely clean."

"I have to agree, that certainly is strange…" Kyoko conceded. "Maybe they didn't apply the blood on the scene. Maybe they covered the coat in blood beforehand."

"They covered it… beforehand?" Makoto repeated with slight confusion.

"When you discovered the body, was it wearing the coat like you normally would?" Kyoko inquired.

"Um… I think you…" The lucky student said in musing. "Wait, no… the head was through the neck hole, but the arms weren't in the sleeves."

"Hmm… it seems that you're correct in that this is something Kyoko couldn't see through…" Celeste said to the Togami heir, as a means to distract her from her anger. "Which makes me wonder what the point of doing that is."

"...Perhaps it's another form of camouflage." Sakura suggested, getting some attention from the others. "Rather than trying to disguise the time of death, in reality, they were really trying to hide the state of the body."

Byakuya hummed at the idea. "That has some merit to it…" He accepted. "After all, Mukuro's corpse had definitely lost plenty of blood during her death. They would still be disguising the time of death; but not in the way our future selves are thinking."

And he had to admit, if they're line of thought falls correctly, then this was a very cunning plan indeed. And to have made it in the short amount of time that they had… was another display of how intelligent the mastermind truly is. How dangerous they could be.

"...Does that matter? Does any of that matter right now?!" Sayaka stated, close to shouting in anger and frustration. "We're watching Kyoko use that camouflage to frame Makoto! Implicating him just so she doesn't get executed!"

"...We are very much aware of what's happening, Sayaka dear." Celeste assured her, a dark edge in the gambler's tone. "Trust me… I have not forgotten what Kyoko is attempting to do."

"But it's still important to analyze the mastermind's thought process." Byakuya added in, looking more composed. "This is an enemy we have to face in the future. It's best to figure out, not only how powerful they are or will be; but how they tick. Their intelligence and cunning."

"Then that settles it." Kyoko declared.

"...Sorry, I'm having a hard time keeping up." Hina admitted to. "What settles what…?"

"Here's what happened - the murder took place before the sprinklers went off." Kyoko explained. "But the body didn't get wet, because the killer covered it with the tarp. Then, later, at the same time the killer was gathering up the tarp… they pulled the coat over the body. The coat they'd already covered in blood. This series of cover-ups was meant to disguise the actual time the murder occurred. They wanted us to think the murder happened sometime after the sprinklers had gone off, at 7:30."

"..." Makoto was silent, giving Kyoko a conflicted look.

"Is… Is Kyoko really gonna frame Makoto for this?" Hina questioned, looking very conflicted. "Make it look like he did all that to make an alibi for himself?"

"You heard what she said at the start…" Mukuro said darkly, her murderous gaze not fading at the slightest. "She made a very clear implication that he was the killer."

"..." Like his future counterpart, the lucky student was just as quiet. Conflict and hurt edging across his face. 'Would she… would you really do that Kyoko, when pushed to a corner?' He asked himself. 'Are you really trying to sacrifice my life for yours?'

But then… would he have done the same in her shoes? Point the finger despite knowing that the person he's targeting isn't the killer? That something else is wrong with the trial? Immediately, the thought was no… but he wasn't the one being targeted by the mastermind, was he?

"If that's actually what took place, it certainly becomes possible that the murder happened earlier…" Byakuya accepted.

"But… to pull all that off… wouldn't they have had to go back to the garden after the sprinklers turned off?" Hina pointed out.

"That actually wouldn't have been all that difficult." Kyoko said assuredly.

"Huh…?" Was Makoto's confused response.

"They already had the coat already. So they just had to grab the tarp and pull the coat over the body." The lavender-haired girl explained. "They'd be done in no time."

"Maybe, but still…" Makoto spoke up in slight protest.

"Hina. After you met up with Makoto in the dining hall, did you two stay together from that point on?" Kyoko inquired.

"Oh, no." Hina shook her head. "I headed off to the gym, and Makoto didn't show up till later."

"Then he had plenty of time to spare, wouldn't you say?"

Despite knowing what she was doing, hearing her implied Makoto's supposed guilt already… it was a shock to several students' systems to hear such blatant accusations. Eyes were wide, jaws were dropped, confusion was clear across many different faces… as well as furious and murderous ones.

"Th-That's not-!" Makoto protested.

But Kyoko cut him off. "Don't bother saying it's not possible."

"Ng…!" The luckster could only let out a strangled noise of shock at this point.

"I… I didn't think Kyoko would do something this under-handed…" Junko said with a convincing amount of shock. "I mean, what the hell, girl?"

"This is… I can't…" Hina found herself unable to finish any proper sentence, shock, as well as betrayal and anger for the lucky student she cares for, lodging her throat considerably.

"Kyoko… what was it you said to me before…?" Sayaka spoke rather softly, looking at the detective with an eye-closed smile. However, anyone with a working pair of eyes can see the absolute dark aura of rage that was emitting through that smile. "Something about not tolerating betraying someone's trust? Especially if it's someone like Makoto too?"

"Oh?" Celeste turned towards the idol and the detective with clear interest, a similar yet smaller smile across her own face. While the fury wasn't as potent as Sayaka's, it was close and considerable. "She has said something like that, has she?"

"..." Again, Kyoko remained silent. Unable to say… anything. No defense for her future actions. No explanation. Nothing that would appease her shocked, confused, and enraged classmates (If there were any such words to begin with).

She was not immune to the shock of what her future self has done. Like the others, it took completely out of left field. But there was no confusion, as she knew well that this was to save her own life. To ensure she lives, so that she can continue to solve the mysteries of the school.

But… was this really the low she really would take if cornered like that? Implicate an innocent boy, someone who's been on her side almost since the start, just so the others wouldn't immediately vote for her? Did… she feel that the mastermind would solely focus on getting rid of her?

"K-Kyo-... Kyoko…" The detective found herself unable to hold back a wince this time, at the call of her name beside her. But, cowardly it may be, she didn't dare look at the source. She honestly doesn't know if her heart can handle it.

Fortunately, the lucky student wasn't staring at her directly. The look of pure hurt and betrayal was aimed purely at the screen. Tears were even stinging in the corner of his eyes. 'I… I can't believe it…' He thought to himself. 'I can't believe Kyoko would do something like that. Just… why? Why entrap me like this?'

He couldn't believe that it was to save her own life. That idea, even if he understood it, was something he was just unable to swallow. To throw someone else in the fire just so you don't get burned… was that something Kyoko truly capable of?

"I wouldn't let you get framed for something you didn't do, Makoto. No matter the situation." Her words from the first trial played in his mind like a taunt.

"I must admit, Kyoko's reasoning is sound." Byakuya conceded with a sigh. "Makoto's alibi is… inadequate."

"And there back to square-fucking-one…!" Mondo growled. Like the others, he was shocked at what Kyoko had done. But that shock quickly shifted to his ever-present anger. "Fan-fucking-tastic!"

"Nothing about this situation is good…" Taka stated, his fists clenched tightly. "But to betray an ally, a friend, like that… that's completely unacceptable!"

"This damn trial is just getting more and more complicated…" Leon grumbled under his breath.

"..." Makoto fell silent to this. 'And the suspicion falls back on me again…'

'But why? Why is Kyoko trying to entrap me?' He looked towards the ever-composed girl, who had her eyes turned away from him. 'I don't understand…'

It took all of Mukuro's will-power not to go and gut Kyoko with her knife. She used him as bait, acted like a petulant child when he refused to say anything about Sakura, dragged him around with little to no explanation… and now she does this? Point the finger at him just so the heat would be off her?

"I… I don't get it either…" Chihiro admitted, tears forming around the corners of his eyes. "I mean, I heard why, but… Kyoko, would you really do this? Sacrifice Makoto, any of us, just so you don't die?"

"...I don't think my future self is trying to sacrifice him." Kyoko finally spoke. "She may just be directing the fingers away from her, so that there's more time to figure out the true mystery."

The justification sounded weak, even out of her own mouth. But there was little else she could say.

And of course, none were happy with that explanation. "You purposefully worded it as though Makoto was the one who set things up for that alibi!" Sayaka retorted with a dark hiss. "Purposefully directed the suspicion onto him! And even if what you said is in any way remotely the truth, that still puts Makoto in the firing line!"

"And using him as a human shield…" Mukuro added just as darkly.

None of those things Kyoko could deny. So she could only go back to being silent, her eyes remaining away from everyone else.

"...Let us just continue. Keep our focus on the trial itself." Sakura advised, a rather stony look across her face. "It's far from over. So let's see what the outcome will be, before casting any judgment."

Some like Sayaka and Mukuro looked as though they didn't want to let this go. But, knowing that the martial artist's right about the trial not being done yet, they held back their fury and focused on the screen.

"Well then, it looks like we're back to square one." Byakuya sighed. "Makoto's alibi is no good, so once again our suspects are him and Kyoko."

"For serious, man… which one of 'em did it?" Hiro grumbled, before brightening up. "Hey, why don't we let luck decide? Let's flip a coin! Fifty-fifty odds!"

"...Goddamn stupid." Leon and Mondo deadpanned together, facepalming. They were joined by a few others.

"Eh, knowing what we know, it would probably work either way…" Junko remarked with a shrug.

"Oh-!" Hina gasped in remembrance.

"See? Pretty good idea, right?" Hiro bragged, grinning.

"No, not that!" Hina refuted, shaking her head. "I just remembered something super serious!"

"Well, don't just stand there. Out with it." Byakuya demanded.

"You know that knife we found all black and burnt?" Hina mentioned.

"...Shit!" Leon's curse pretty much summarized the group's feelings on this.

"Fuck!" Mondo followed right after in empathize.

"Aaaaand this'll cement the suspicion on Mr. Naegi…" Hifumi remarked nervously, biting his nails.

"The one we found stuck in the body before it exploded, right?" Hiro recalled. "According to the Monokuma File, the knife went all the way through, from front to back. So? What about it?"

"I'm pretty sure I'd seen that knife somewhere before…" The swimmer explained. "That's what I thought when I first saw it. I just remembered!"

A flashback of the group handing the knife to Makoto was then played, before shifting back to the trial room. "I-It's… the knife we g-gave to Makoto?!" Toko gasped in shock.

Celeste sighed. "We should've known that the group would figure that out at some point…" She stated, a frown across her face. "But with the implication Kyoko has made, this'll make it much worse."

"Not to mention keeping the realization about the knife to himself…" Junko pointed out, a finger aimed at the screen.

"..." The lucky student in question was quiet at this.

Byakuya noticed the lack of reaction. "You don't seem surprised. You must have noticed earlier…" He pointed out.

"Y-Yeah…" Makoto hesitantly confirmed.

"Then why did you hide that fact?" The Togami heir then questioned.

Grimaces and gritted teeth were shared as they witnessed that little scene. "This… definitely doesn't high-light any innocence on Makoto's part…" Taka reluctantly agreed.

"Like I said, I don't blame him for not mentioning… anything, about the attack." Leon sighed, scratching the back of his head. "Still…"

"You d-don't hide that type of s-stuff if you're innocent." Toko spoke, biting her thumb.

Makoto himself barely had any reaction to this; his head still swimming from the accusation Kyoko made towards his future self. He could only look on silently for the time being as he visibly wrestled with his emotions.

"It's not that I hid it." Makoto denied. "It's just…"

A flashback of last night's attack was then played. 'I couldn't be sure of what actually happened last night.' He thought to himself. 'I thought maybe… I really did kill her…'

The scene went back to the trial, with Hiro speaking up. "Suspicious… very suspicious indeed!" He remarked. "The knife we found stuck in the body came from Makoto! Now I'm totally convinced he did it! Twelve thousand percent convinced!"

The fury Sayaka had shown before quelled into feelings of frustration, a scowl and gritted teeth aimed at the floor. Why? Why him? Why does he have to be suspected of murder, again? Why does he have to be targeted? Why is being betrayed for the second time?

Her look of frustration then shifted into one of worry as she gazed at her favorite fan. It was clear he was still out of it from the accusation from future Kyoko. So in hopes of giving him some comfort, she wrapped her arms around his sides and snuggled into his shoulder. When Makoto turned towards her in response, she gave him the best comforting look she could.

Thankfully, that was able to snap him out of his daze, his body relaxing some and a blush adorning his cheeks. Still, it was clear his mind wasn't completely out of the entrapment Kyoko pulled.

The lucky student shook out of his nervous state, taking a more determined look. 'Considering everything up till now, I should be able to make it clear…' Makoto thought to himself. 'I have to prove that I didn't murder anyone! I'm NOT the killer!'

'He… He's really coming into his own in these trials, is he?' Was Kyoko's proud, yet melancholic thought. She was glad to see Makoto showing off more and more of his intelligence, something that she took note of about him.

Yet it's only because she herself pushed him into a corner, in order to get out of her own corner, that has to do this. He had to defend himself, just because the mastermind was targeting her, and she dragged him into the mess. She wondered… could this have been avoided? Could she have gotten out of this without implicating Makoto as the killer? Or was this the only way to avoid dying?

Kyoko clenched her fists. The thought of sacrificing Makoto, risking his life like that to spare her own… it sickened her. Made her stomach clench in ways that it hasn't for a long time. Was this due to the bond she shared with her luckster, along with her fellow classmates? How different was she during the beginning of the school year?

Those were gonna be thoughts that'll eat her up later on, she could tell.

The non-stop debate started up once again, with Hina speaking first. "The knife we found lodged in the dead body…" She spoke.

"I-It's the same one we g-gave to Makoto!" Toko finished with her usual stutter.

"It really is, isn't it?" Hina sighed sadly. "I was afraid of that…"

"If he did have that knife before, then… that seals it! Makoto did it!" Hiro declared confidently.

"Just because I had the knife once… that automatically makes me the killer?" Makoto questioned back in response.

"Well, getting stabbed is what killed her, right?"

'No, that's wrong!' The bullet was shot as Makoto spoke to refute that. "Wait, hold on. The stab isn't what killed her. That should be clear from the description of the cover-up we just heard!"

"Lies!" Was Hiro's loud protest. "We never talked about what killed her!"

"No, don't you remember?" Makoto insisted. "The killer covered the dead body with the tarp, and then put the bloody coat on it, right? In other words, the victim never wore that bloodstain until after they were dead."

"So yet another part of the camouflage…" Celeste noted. "Or is it part of the attempt to frame Kyoko, rather?"

"Likely the latter. After all, if we assume that Mukuro was killed by one of the survivors, why else would the knife be used like this other than to frame Makoto?" Byakuya answered. "And the only one who would want to frame is the only one without an alibi. Kyoko."

"Man, this back-and-forth is so tense…!" Hiro groaned, grabbing the sides of his head. No one could disagree with him there.

"Okay, fine!" Hiro groaned in frustration. "So what?!"

"So, when we discovered the body… the knife had been thrust through the coat along with the body." The luckster reminded them. "Meaning, if she wasn't stabbed until the coat was put on, and she was already dead at that point… obviously the stab wound isn't what killed her!"

"So the blood-stained coat, along with the knife through my body, will be turned back towards Kyoko now…" Mukuro observed with a neutral tone.

"I have to admit, the mastermind is indeed cunning with their deceit…" Byakuya stated openly. "They not only concealed the state of the body, but also made it look as though Kyoko was attempting to frame Makoto for the crime."

"And since Kyoko has indeed pointed fingers at Makoto…" Celeste added, still in clear disapproval over that action.

"It'll only cement that idea in the survivors' heads." Sakura finished solemnly.

'Kyoko…' Makoto looked at the detective worriedly. Despite whatever shock or confusion he felt, whatever betrayal he felt, he still doesn't want Kyoko to be voted for and executed. Still remembers that this trial is a fake created by the mastermind.

"M-Maybe you stabbed her twice! Once to kill her, and once to cover it up!" Hiro argued.

"Hiiiroooo…" Slowly, Sayaka turned towards the fortune teller with her dark smile back in place. "Is there a reason you're so adamant about Makoto being the killer?"

"...I-I'm an idiot?" Was all Hiro could whimpered, pale and shivering at the furious stare aimed at him.

"Just as long as you understand that…" Nodding in satisfaction, went back to snuggling the lucky student. Some couldn't help but sweat-drop at that little interaction, including the student currently being snuggled.

But Makoto shook his head. "The Monokuma File clearly states that there was only one stab wound."

"Oh yeah, it sure did!" The fortune teller realized in remembrance. "I totally forgot about that!"

"You really are a fool…" Celeste remarked with an eye-roll.

"A forgetful fool at that…" Byakuya added with his own eye-roll.

The fortune teller could only hang his head in shame. "Some friends I got…" He muttered to himself.

"Then the knife…" Hina spoke in realization.

"..was just another piece of camouflage set up by the true killer." Makoto finished for her.

A flashback of the body was shown yet again, along with the explosion after. "They probably stabbed her to draw attention away from what actually killed her." The lucky student theorized. "Exploding the body afterward was probably meant to do the same thing. The explosion severely damaged the body, making it impossible to know what really killed her. It was all the killer's attempt to destroy all evidence of their crime!"

"So they wanted us to notice the stab wound, and then detonated the body afterward…" Byakuya summarized. "They meant for us to latch onto the knife as the cause of death, then destroy any evidence proving otherwise."

"Oh, hey, I have a question! It kinda goes back to the beginning, but…" Hina spoke up. "What's the deal with that explosion, anyway? Why'd the body just blow up all of a sudden like that?"

"If you bothered to put that lump of gray matter between your ears to use, you'd know the answer…" Byakuya snarked.

"Hey…!" Hina protested with an angry pout. "How am I supposed to immediately know that it was that Monokuma bomb, or whatever?"

"As my future self said, use that clump of brain cells to figure it out."

"I- you- agh!" The swimmer cried out in frustration, close to pulling hairs.

"Well if you're so smart, just tell me!" Hina sniped back.

"I'll tell ya!" Hiro spoke eagerly. "I bet some unknown quantum particle caused an atomic-level spontaneous combustion!"

"..."

"..."

"...Hiro…" Taka couldn't help but turn towards the fortune teller, a dumbfounded look across his face. "Do you… be honest, do you actually hear the things you say? Do you?"

"What?" As clueless as ever, Hiro turned towards his classmate in his confusion. "What did future me say wrong this time? It's a perfectly valid idea, isn't it?"

"The answer is no. No, he does not." Celeste deadpanned. Or he does, but whatever brain cells he has can't process the utter stupidity.

"I might be dumb, but even I'm not dumb enough to believe that!" Was Hina's response to that suggestion.

"I like to believe most people in the world aren't dumb enough to believe something like that…" Sayaka sighed from Makoto's shoulder. "Much less think it up as a possible reality."

"And don't berate yourself like that, Hina." Sakura admonished her friend, shaking her head. "You aren't dumb. We're merely among much more intelligent classmates."

"Hehe. Thanks, Sakura…" Hina told her friend gratefully, rubbing the back of her head. But even so, she's self-aware of her own intelligence; and to say that she's far from the likes of Celeste, Kyoko, and even Makoto would be an understatement.

"Go ahead, Makoto." Byakuya urged the lucky student. "Tell her, or we won't make any headway on this."

That got Hina to blow a raspberry at the Togami heir. "What? Can't explain it yourself?"

"Can't be bothered to…" Byakuya corrected with an eye-roll, unperturbed. "I don't need to waste my breath on the obvious."

"Yeah, sure. I toooootally believe you…" The swimmer responded back, clearly unbelieving.

"After the explosion, we found a tiny fragment of something on the ground near the body, right?" Makoto began, showing a picture of said fragment. "That fragment reveals the cause of the explosion."

"Huh?" Hina perked up at the site of the piece of evidence. "You know, I feel like I've seen something like it somewhere before…"

"That's only natural. Because, of course…" A flashback of the group dismantling Monokuma was shown as Makoto spoke. "We saw the same thing when we dismantled Monokuma. It's part of a bomb."

The screen then went back to the trial, with Hina speaking. "Oh! Then the explosion was cuz of the Monokuma bomb!"

"Anyway, the culprit's motive is becoming more and more obvious by the minute." Byakuya back-tracked to the main topic at hand. "They wanted the knife wound to look like the fatal injury so that we'd suspect Makoto. And the only one who would benefit from that…"

The Togami heir turned his eyes towards the only other suspect. "...is the only other possible suspect. You, Kyoko."

"..." And yet again, the lavender-haired girl went silent.

"And they're back to suspecting Kyoko now…" Junko remarked with fake concern.

And of course, this raised back the tension and unease among the group. Whatever their feelings on what the future Kyoko did to deflect suspicion away from her, they all still remember that this trial is a sham. None of them wanted Kyoko to die for this sham.

"Hold on a second, Byakuya…" Makoto quickly spoke up.

"...What's the problem?" The Togami heir inquired.

"Well, I just feel like… we need to think this through." The lucky student stated. "We still don't know what actually killed the victim."

"...Dude, are you… are you actually trying to cover for Kyoko there?" Leon asked dubiously, turning towards his friend with a raised eyebrow. "Even after the bull she pulled?"

"...I can't say I know what my future is thinking right now." Makoto admitted to. "It may, at least, be a part of it. He could also see something about this trial that's off. Strange. Or he just wants to get all the facts before anything is fully set in stone."

That got a hum from Sakura. "A wise thing to do. To get as many facts close before coming to a definitive close." She stated. "Still, it's impressive that you aren't letting yourself be pressured to corner Kyoko alongside the others."

Rather than responding with his usual bashfulness, the lucky student merely looked down in somberness. "Yeah…" Was all he could say, something that had several of the students looking at him in concern. Sayaka, in particular, was looking at him worryingly from where she was leaning on him.

Kyoko herself remained silent through it all. She honestly doesn't know what to think at the moment. What to expect. The hope was that their future selves could discover the oddities of the trial, figure out that this was fake… but it doesn't seem like it would be the case.

Right now, it just seems like a battle between her and Makoto. One instigated by herself.

"That's true! It's definitely bugging me." Hina agreed readily. "What really killed her…?"

"...Fine. I have no problem with that. Let us continue the debate." Byakuya shrugged. "It won't change the facts of the case, regardless."

"..." Again, Kyoko was silent through it all.

"It seems as though Byakuya's fully convinced that Kyoko did it…" Sakura observed.

"Not surprising. Ever since the start of this 'chapter', Byakuya made it clear that he held suspicion for her." Celeste reminded them all. "So of course he would suspect the girl that constantly disappears is the one who killed Mukuro, rather than the boy who has been open with everyone."

"That's the main advantage a lucky boy has, isn't it?" Junko commented idly. "He pretty much earned everyone's trust throughout the school life, or whatever. Kyoko didn't."

That was something the detective herself couldn't deny. Her future self's lack of trust in any of the others, which resulted in her doing things in secret, hasn't led to any credibility on her part. Is… this why she felt the need to implicate Makoto? Cause she knew that the others wouldn't listen to a thing she said? Or is it that she still doesn't trust everyone fully?

Suddenly, she felt a hand cover her glove-covered one, jolting her out of her thoughts. She turned to the source… to see that it was Makoto's hand. When had they let go? Was it during the point she pointed accusations towards him?

However, she found herself wincing when she took note of the somber, lost look across his face, and quickly turned away. He wasn't even looking directly at her… yet he still went to give some type of comfort.

For the first time in a while, if ever… she felt shame over what her path as a detective led her to become.

And that's the end. I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter, along with the reactions to Kyoko's sudden turn. Tried to balance the class's reaction to Kyoko's implication, make it so that they don't overreact or underreact. Really want to save the overall reactions for when the verdict is reached, and the things that happen after the verdict. Next chapter, we'll likely be finishing up the trial; or at least got closer to finishing. Review, favorite, and follow, and I will see you later.