A/N: Whohoo folks, we finally get to our introduction of our first remnants of despair (technically 2nd/3rd if you count Teruteru from Chapter 2). I will like to inform at this point I have yet to watch Danganronpa 3 past and future arcs past the first eps cause I wanted to have a good source to maintain my mojo and energy needed to write Danganronpa tics. On top of that, I wanted to wait till I finished far enough in this series that i could catch up to Danganronpa 3 in terms of fan fiction universe, that way I could enjoy that and come up with the story at the same time. But with that said, whatever details they give about the remnants of despair in that series may, or most likely are, going to be completely different from what I have intended here- or at least in terms of appearance since we (I think) don't see them after the Despair-Inducing incident occurs save for a small clip of the opening of the first ep of the future episode.
As such, my description of them in numerous factors from behavior and appearance may most likely be completely different. But all the same, I'm still looking forward to writing this chapter as get upon our first confrontation.
So, enjoy ^^!
Journal Entry #5:
Dear Mr. D,
Today my best friend got sick, so we couldn't play any more of our games for the rest of the day. Sometimes I wonder if people get sick on purpose or if some evil wizard is secretly plotting against best friends to keep them from playing their games any longer! Of course if there were really wizards, that would be so cool! I wonder if they can make a dragon or a bunny or maybe even a bunny dragon! That would be so cool and cute all at the same time! But if they did, would that bunny dragon ever find love..? I wonder...
"Alright, pay attention class." Junko instructed as she continued to write upon the white board. "Now, if three demons have two hands each and those hands all have 27 bones naturally-"
This was the usual meeting they had almost every other day. At least once a day, for one hour straight, Junko would go into her teacherly persona and teach the Warriors of Hope numerous things, such as how long can a demon hold their breath under water, or how much blood does the average demon body have. Or, one of their personal favorites, what sort of torture and pain could they inflict on the demon that would be the most excruciating and deserved of said demon. Of course they still had some of the other typical school studies such as math, English, etc., whatever Big Sis Junko decided to teach them at the time. Overall, it was mostly by random chance if she was going to teach them anything fun.
Like any school setting, aside from her teacherly appearance with the glasses and clipboard she had of numerous papers with different grades and details about different things. In the middle of the large room the Warriors of Hope always gathered at, there sat the five typical kids at a small round blue table, just big enough space for each of them with pillows to sit on. In the middle of said table was a wide assortment of goodies such as cookies and brownies, of which Jataro and Masaru were the only ones eating at the moment.
As it could be expected from the kids themselves, each of them were taking this study session in different ways. Masaru, the headstrong leader of the Warriors of Hope was more or less bored out of his mind. The only time he paid any and all attention was when it came to something involving robots or killing demons. Otherwise he was just busy eating Monaca's and Big Sis' treats. Jataro was doing his best to pay attention, but every time he came about halfway through the lesson he kept getting sidetracked by something before forgetting what he was on or where along with the assignments. Then there was the pink hyper Kotoko of the group, who was a mix of the two. She liked listening to anything and everything that came from Monaca's and Big Sis' mouth, but as opposed to Jataro who at least tried to write down half the things he heard, Kotoko was content with doodling different cute animals in her papers, only glancing up at Big Sis every now and then to follow along with what she was saying.
That about summed up the students who were paying minimal attention.
The only two paying full fledged attention was Nagisa, the Ultimate Li'l Social Studies, and Monaca, the Ultimate Li'l Homeroom. Like any elite student, Nagisa was at a perfect mix between paying attention to Junko's lessons and taking notes on every detail that she said. He didn't care how minuscule or unimportant the words were, he literally copied each and every thing she talked about, save for if she was mentioning something off topic. And as far as Monaca went, she innocently and casually listened to everything Big Sis told her. Granted she didn't write anything despite Junko placing her gently at the table, but she enjoyed listening to each and every little thing she heard, as well as enjoying the sight of her friends eating her cookies and brownies.
"Aww man, this sucks..." Masaru murmured lying his head on the table.
"Quit moping and pay attention, Masaru!" Nagisa muttered back to him.
"But why do we have to do this anyway? I thought we agreed no more stupid schools once the adults were gone." He asked eating another cookie.
"Education is still important, Masaru." Monaca commented sweetly. "We have to teach ourselves when we kill all the demons off."
"Besides, we don't see Big Sis that often now that we're running this game." Kotoko reminded as she drew another cute bunny.
"I know, I know, but it's just sooooooo booooriiiiiiing..." The self-appointed leader whined again.
"Nagisa," Junko suddenly called out," if you were to force the demons to cut off one finger in particular from both their hands, what would be the most fitting appendage to remove?"
"Huh? Oh, um..." Naegi rubbed his chin as he thought for a moment. He would've had an answer on the spot if the other kids didn't distract him. "It depends on what sort of example you want to make. If you want to make them suffer for insulting you, the middle finger would be appropriate and ironic. If you wanted to make them incapable of doing anything though for the rest of their lives, their thumbs would be your best bet."
"Very good, Nagisa, as always." Junko nodded with a smile as she graded him on her checklist. Nagisa couldn't help but blush from this and the sincere smile Monaca was giving him.
"Heh heh... thanks..."
"Teacher's pet..." Masaru mumbled.
"Ack-!" Masaru nearly jumped to his feet as Junko called him over next. "Y-Yes?"
"Perhaps you'd like to enlighten us in a little test?" She suggested as she clicked on a remote she pulled from her chest.
The group looked around as the room dimmed and a verily long displayer descended from the ceiling to the middle of the table. In a few short seconds the students watched the images come to life as it showed Ikusaba and Komaru walking through a hallway of the building they were in. Just seeing the demons alone were enough to sicken the Warriors of Hope, but what surprised most of them was the sight of the second demon along with Komaru. There wasn't any mention of another demon taking part in this game, at least not teamed up with Komaru to be entirely accurate.
"Hey, she's cheating again!" Masaru yelled angrily jumping to his feet.
"She sure does have a lot of guns, Big Sis." Jataro commented scratching the back of his head.
"If that demon has someone dangerous looking as that by her side, it may be hard to successfully hunt her." Nagisa noted. Even now he was writing down details and statistics on the off chance this was going to be an actual lesson. After all, they still had another 23 minutes of class.
"Don't let her worry you kids." Junko began rummaging through her papers once more. "Despite her appearance, she shouldn't be interfering too much with the Demon's goal personally. But at the same time we can't let this transgression go unnoticed. She's cheated not once but twice at this point."
"Grrr forget the stupid arena, I'm getting my robot and tearing down that building right now!" Masaru declared marching to the door.
"MASARU!" Junko's wrathful voice echoed through the room as she yelled, causing most of the Warriors of Hope to jump from fright, especially Masaru who froze mid-step. Even Monaca was a little jumbled by the sudden shout. However just as quickly as she shouted in rage, her expression changed to one of peace and calm by the time Masaru looked back nervously again. "Heh heh, you don't need to worry about them, leave the robot thing where he's at."
"B-But Big Sis..." The leader was timid as he thought about arguing to this. He didn't want cheating demons playing their game, but he didn't want to incur Big Sis' anger any further. "We can't let a demon go around cheating like her! What if more demons get the same idea!?"
"Not to worry, my brave little leader." Junko replied casually as she walked over. "I already have people suited for this job. And I think it's only appropriate our leader gets the first pick." She declared as she handed him several pictures.
"Huh?" Masaru eyed the pictures she handed him curiously, rummaging through them with a mix of wonder and confusion. "What are these, more demons? Why would you want to send more stupid demons to a demon that cheats?"
"What?" Junko almost immediately became heartbroken as she collapsed to her knees and hands. "B-But..." She paused dramatically as she sniffled. "But those are Big Sis' best friends. So if you think they're demons then... sniff... do you think I'm a demon too?"
"Masaru, how could you be so mean!" Kotoko yelled angrily as she ran over to pull his ear.
"It's ok Big Sis, honest!" Jataro tried to comfort. "You can use a fly swatter again to hit me if it makes you feel better."
"That... really might have been a bit harsh, Masaru... " Even Nagisa couldn't help but feel sorry for his Big Sis, seeing her sniffle in sadness where she was.
"W-Wait wait! You got it all wrong!" Masaru yelped as Kotoko let go of his ear. "I-I-I mean stupid as in... stupid cool! These are awesome looking de- friends of yours, Big Sis!" Masaru said apologizing. It was only then did the other three begin looking at the numerous pictures Junko handed him. They were a rather wide assortment of pictures from one person to the next, nearly fourteen of them. Each of them had a very disturbing look to each of them, almost what an actual demon would look like, but if they were Big Sis' best friends then they must've been great not-demons! Everyone was in agreement as they saw the numerous men and women among the pictures.
Strangely enough, some of them had different writing on them compared to others, and at least all of them had a number written on them. Several of them had the number one with a circle around it in the corner, while a few less had two, and then a three. Only one single picture out of them all had a star mark on it compared to the rest, but they could barely make out who that guy was or what since most of the image was darkened. And among all of them, only one of them had a pink X plastered on the front of them, some strange looking friend of Junko's that was dressed as a chef.
"What's the deal with this fat one with the X on him?" Masaru asked curiously.
"Eh, he already tried to kill that stupid demon but she got away from him even before she teamed up so I found him useless." Junko commented wiping her tearless eyes.
"Hmm... well... "Masaru had to think carefully. He didn't entirely know what the numbers met, and he couldn't figure out who or what the strange one in darkness was, so he wanted to pick an answer that would make Big Sis very happy once again. "Mmh... If I had to go with a choice... I'd pick these two." Masaru decided, handing back two of the pictures.
"Masaru! You can't pick two at once!" Kotoko pouted puffing out her cheeks.
"Well I'm just trying to make Big Sis happy again! Besides for some reason these two seem fitting."
"Upupupu, this is perfect!" Junko declared with excitement, springing to her feet immediately with joy. Masaru nearly jumped again as Junko through her arm around his neck, rubbing his head with a cheeky grin. "That's my wonderful leader for us! You always know what to do!"
"Ah-! Hahaha! Ack! Sis, ok ok! I get it!" He couldn't help but switch between laughing and yelping every few moments he had. The noogie she was giving him had a perfect mix between ticking him somewhat and making his head sore with each passing second. All the same the other kids couldn't help but laugh at the fun the two were having, especially seeing how quickly Big Sis was to get back to her feet with joy.
At the same time, Monaca just casually hummed to herself as she watched the monitors closely. Poor little Komaru thought she had every single thing about this game thought out. Just find an exit to their game, possibly find Naegi along the way, and get out of this game alive with them altogether. Oh how stupid Monaca saw her as as she grabbed another cookie from the plate in the middle. That would probably be the best way Monaca would declare Komaru as: a cookie.
First, they soften them up and roll them on a tray full of little pieces of dough, adding a hard candy to them to make them even more irresistible and tasty. Then, after roasting them alive so their skin would harden to a crisp, sometimes a little extra in case the baker was feeling lazy, take them out and let them cool so they can relax for a little bit before being consumed by an abyss, a person's mouth in some cases, pure despair in this case. Sometimes they may even throw in some milk to add to the taste, just to soften up a cookie before consuming.
Yet no matter what sort of cookie it was or how much milk you drowned them in, they always had the same thing in common as the cookie Monaca snapped in front of herself while watching Komaru.
They always break.
"Oh my god..." Komaru gulped to herself silently as she saw the dead bodies before her.
To say this girl had one heck of a morning would be an advanced understatement to anyone but her. Since this morning, she was awoken as some group of children's prisoner, forced to run through halls while avoiding and fighting several crazed Monokumas, was forced to partake in some strange game these children created called Demon Hunting, met the possible mastermind behind everything that happened to her and everyone in this city, and finally came across her supposed rescuer who nearly tried to kill her five minutes later.
It could only be an assumed rescuer because, under normal circumstances, no one would send this dangerous girl to rescue someone as helpless as her. Mukuro Ikusaba, the Ultimate Soldier. One of the members of the Future Foundation, at least according to what Ikusaba said, was now a partner in helping Komaru possibly escape from this city. Even now Komaru had yet to understand who thought it was a good idea to send a crazed maniac like her to help the sister of the Ultimate Hope, and that was provided she was telling the truth at all. For all she knew she could still be working for her own sister, Junko Enoshima, the Ultimate Despair!
See, there were several problems troubling both girls, only one or two of which the other were fully aware of. For Komaru, it was being able to trust this girl at all. According to the Future Foundation when they came to rescue her two days ago via helicopter, not only was Ikusaba Junko's sister, but she was also responsible for the kidnapping of her sister several months prior from the Future Foundation, and possibly helping her own sister with the Demon Hunt she was being forced to play. Unfortunately for Komaru, that was the lighter half of the bad news.
The worse part out of this was Ikusaba's strange, as she could only call it for the time, "shift in character". It wasn't like a split personality or anything, she was still fully aware of her actions and everything she was doing. But for some strange reason, according to Ikusaba, whenever she was surrounded by a large amount of stress or sadness, not knowing the truth of the substance was from Despair itself, she had a tendency to suddenly lash out or go crazy. While she had yet to experience anything since the first time, which was ten minutes ago, she still couldn't let her guard down around her.
For whatever reason, this strange character shift she had was an entirely different person than her in almost every manner. She became creepy, vile, and most importantly dangerous. Not two seconds after saving Komaru the second time over she immediately went on to trying to strangle her to death. If it wasn't for the strange device on Ikusaba's chest that kept her in line, Komaru would probably be dead right now.
And it's said device that caused a whole 'nother issue in itself. See, it was designed to stop Ikusaba if she went too far off the deep end and she tried to kill Komaru. Simple right? Well that was also the problem behind it. Apparently it had two stages to reach before it was sure to stop Ikusaba for good. The first stage was a semi-loud beeping sound that would keep hopefully catch Ikusaba's attention and snap her out of whatever lustful trance she found herself in.
But if it got worse, the second stage would assure she couldn't harm anyone after a minute. And what better way could there be than releasing an electrical shock with enough lethality and force strong enough to kill a horse? Or at least some degree of whatever the Ultimate Soldier was comprised of. Thankfully the shocks it releases were only as strong as however far gone Ikusaba was in her emotional shift, so the more she was out of it the stronger the shock. At the same time, it naturally meant if she was reeling herself out of it, then it would only release a simple shock, if anything at all after a full minute.
Out of all of this though, none of these were Ikusaba's concern. Her concern was Komaru herself. She had no care for the girl, no respect or concern about any sort of fate that would befall Komaru herself. Her one and only concern was for her beloved Naegi.
Unfortunately, this required her making sure Komaru followed through on whatever it was that was asked of her from the game. She needed to make sure no matter what, Komaru never died in this game or got sidetracked throughout all of this. Of course, if she could find a way for Komaru to get out of this game, then that was probably for the best too. After all, she was just forced to keep her alive and through the game, but there wasn't anything outside of her deal that said she needed to finish it.
On top of that, she also needed to figure out what else Komaru knew about her. She needed her to trust her whether Ikusaba liked it or not, and the sooner she revealed what she knew the sooner she wouldn't feel too suspicious around her and be able to help her better. At the very least she wouldn't need to worry about checking her back every couple seconds in case Komaru became concerned over something.
So for Komaru, her priority was finding a way out of this city, and possibly finding Naegi at the same time. And for Ikusaba, that meant putting up with someone she could only consider a whiney little bitch until this was all over while being as patient and kind as possible with her.
That didn't help with anything they came across though, like the first two dead bodies they found after coming from the rooftops.
"A-Are they really...?" Komaru hesitated to ask, already knowing the answer.
"You don't really need an answer, do you?" Ikusaba muttered, tapping the corpse slightly with her foot.
"D-Don't kick at it like that!" Komaru yelped pulling back Ikusaba's arm out of instinct. It only registered to her after several seconds what she did, the look Ikusaba gave her being the only message she needed. "S-Sorry..."
"I'm going to put this as delicately as possible, but don't suddenly grab me out of nowhere like that." It wasn't exactly in a threatening tone, but firm enough for Komaru to get the point. "I've been on the battlefield plenty of times, and usually people who end up grabbing me out of nowhere end up with their neck snapped."
"M-Message received..." Koamru gulped.
"Anyway, you shouldn't let bodies like these get to you." Ikusaba stated as they explored the halls. "You're going to be coming across a lot of those over the city."
"I-Is it really that bad?" Komaru asked worriedly. "I-I mean I know the Monokumas have been around a lot, b-but..."
"The Monokumas are the least of your worries." Ikusaba paused as she looked at the shutters before her. "What the hell...?"
"These shutters weren't here a minute ago. How do you think I got up here?" Ikusaba pointed out. Komaru looked at the shutters curiously, scratching her chin.
"You didn't?" She glanced over at the wall as she noticed the nearby switch. "Why not try the switch?"
"Forget the switch, I got this." Ikusaba said with a smug grin, cracking her knuckles before sliding her fingers through the openings of the gate. "Hnnnnngh!" Ikusaba grumbled to herself as she pulled on the shutters with all her might.
Komaru was very curious as to how strong the Ultimate Soldier before her was. She was strong enough to take down dozens of Monokumas in front of her, even drop kicking one of the lunging Monokumas right under her heel! It was at this moment before her that she would get to see just how strong the soldier was, how much her strength could really push her!
"Huff!" Ikusaba let out a gasp of breath as she released the gate. All that buildup she had going for herself was met with nothing more than the shaking of the gate. She hadn't moved it an inch off the ground despite her best efforts, and the silence filling the room was enough to tell Komaru how hard she was taking this. Glancing back to the girl herself, Komaru looked away quickly as Ikusaba gave her a blushing, twitchy, look of irritation. "Not a single word..."
"Eh I-I wouldn't dream of it..." It took a bit of Komaru's willpower to keep herself from chuckling at the scene. "Anyway, what do we do now?"
"Try chanting some mystical spell, I'm sure the doors password protected by magic."
"Really!?" It took several seconds of silence before Komaru realized she was just joking.
"You really are the younger sister, aren't you?" Ikusaba commented as she looked around the corner of the hall.
"W-What's that supposed to mean!?" Komaru asked following along.
"Never mind, just... Ah, in here." Ikusaba lead Koamru over to the door at the end of the hallway. "There's a generator in here."
"Really?" It was a bit surprising to think the generator they required was on the same floor of the locked shutters.
The room itself was pretty much what you'd expect from a Hospital Building. It wasn't much to look at either since the generators were the only thing that filled over half the room. There were numerous electrical appliances adorning the walls of the room with multiple wires protruding from them to the generators themselves, some of them stretching into the walls and ceilings that most likely spread to the rest of the Hospital room.
"Up there." Ikusaba pointed to the strange looking electrical switch near the ceiling. "Try using the Move function on it or something."
"Umm... Ok..." Komaru replied, doing as instructed with little wonder. Sure enough, after firing a green radio wave of energy, the generator hummed as it came to life. As if to prove it the lights above the room slowly blinked as they started coming to life, filling not just the room but the rest of the hospital with light. "Hey, it worked!"
"Told ya, now let's go." Ikusaba didn't waste a second to leave the room as quickly as they came in.
"H-Hey wait!" Komaru yelped running after her. "How did you know the gun could do that?"
"Hell-o? I'm with the Future Foundation?" Ikusaba reminded. "I saw them testing the thing on numerous electrical appliances. Some of them worked, some of them didn't."
"Oh... right..." Ikusaba noticed Komaru's sudden silence at this.
She didn't know what Komaru knew, and Komaru herself wanted to keep it that way until she could think of what to say. She knew Ikusaba was a traitor and she knew she couldn't trust her completely, even though she did save her life. She also knew she couldn't keep her concerns bottled up the entire time but she needed to know the right time to actually ask her about her past.
All the same, Ikusaba wanted to know what was actually going on with her. She knew something she wasn't telling Ikusaba, and that made things more concerning for the soldier. If she didn't know what Komaru knew about her, there would be no end to the unease she felt around her. On top of that, there may have been the chance she knew about the deal she had with the Servant, and that made her an obstacle in the long run of things. She wasn't going to let Naegi's sister come between her and herself, so if Komaru became a threat to that, she would make sure to deal with it.
"Huh?" Both girls' attention was caught by the strange squishing sound they heard from the hall they were at earlier, the one with the shutter and dead bodies.
"H-Hey!" Komaru yelled a little excited. Neither of them knew what was causing the strange and brief flash of light, but if there was a light there was a chance it was someone else who was still alive. She wasted no time running down the hallway, hopeful to find anyone else that was still alive.
"K-Komaru wait!" Ikusaba's nerves grew uneasy at the sight of the strange flash. She wasn't expecting anything, she wasn't warned by the Servant before they disconnected, and she had no idea what to expect from this point onward. On top of that, all her experiences on the battlefield gave her a sort of sixth sense. Not so much in the whole ghost or psychic link sorta way, but when something bad was coming up, her nerves were the first thing to jitter about.
At least they did before and after the Mutual Killing Game.
Komaru continued to pay no attention to the girl pleading for her to stop. This was her chance to find someone else who was still alive, someone who was both normal and stuck in this game like her. She didn't mind Ikusaba's help of course. As matter of fact, she preferred her help out of anyone considering this was someone who was a full-fledged soldier, even if she couldn't be the one to lead them all through the city. But even then the more company they had the better, and the more people working together improved their chances of getting out of here alive!
Unfortunately, fate was not so lucky.
The air grew thick with tension as Komaru came upon the scene before her, finding the fellow survivors in the city. They were nothing like what she expected, however. For one thing, there wasn't just one but two of them, which was better than finding a single person altogether. At least it would be if she wasn't greeted with the sight before her. She could've gone without seeing this, or better yet gone without finding these two survivors, because the minute her eyes laid upon them she almost wished she was the only survivor left.
There were two of them, one slightly shorter than Komaru and the other one a little bit taller than Komaru. The first one with blond hair and a single ponytail hairstyle, was dressed in a fashionable purple kimono with white floral designs patterned across the outfit. Within both her hands were elegantly decorated fans which opened and close in synch with her dance steps. And while she couldn't see them due to the kimono dropping down to a mere inch off the ground, she could hear the clacking footsteps in step one after the other in rhythmic harmony, pounding along each step in sequence.
Yet her appearance wasn't the disturbing part about her that truly terrified Komaru. It was the dead bodies below her feet, the very same Komaru and Ikusaba came across earlier, that she was dancing on. Each trample reduced their body to more of a bloody paste with each passing step as she made sure to reach each and every remaining part of the first corpse's body.
Perhaps that would explain the small gleam of fresh blood that swayed across the bottom of her Kimono.
And yet she continued to dance, humming to herself in fashion as if she never had a care in the world.
As for the other person, they had a more common appearance for someone in this day an age, looking like a typical high school girl like Komaru would be if the world didn't come to an end years ago. She had a simple white short-sleeved shirt with a simple pocket on the left chest of it and a lacy brown necktie around the collar. She wore a typical short light brown skirt with similar-looking long dark blue socks, but with black shoes instead of white ones like Komaru wore.
In terms of the girl's face, it appeared to be normal too, with a common haircut that kept her long hair out of her eyes while the outer edges of it drooped down surrounding her neck. Unlike the last girl, instead of the same common happy expression on her face, her expression was completely neutral wit a few freckles bridging across her nose. But her eyes were the true attention grabber for Komaru.
They were soulless, empty. It was like she was nothing more than a mere puppet with that hollowed outlook under her eyes, not seeming to care about anything she was doing at the time.
Like taking the pictures with her professional camera with a flash attachment on it, the very same that drew Komaru and Ikusaba to them.
Thus, Ikusaba and Komaru could only be comparable to moths to a flame. Simple creatures attracted to a simple pure light, not realizing how deadly the flames truly were.
"Squish, squish, squish!" The blond shorter girl chirped as she continued to dance upon the dead.
Komaru had to shield her eyes briefly from the immense light suddenly created by the camera.
"Ugh..." The red-haired girl moaned with sadness. "What's the point of taking these pictures Saionji? They're just going to rot away with the rest of the world." She looked over her camera without losing that soulless expression on her face. "Everything just rots... you'll rot, I'll rot, they'll rot... It's just pointless."
"You need to learn to lighten up, Mahiru!" Saionji replied, twirling in place. "You need to live in the moment like I am! All the time, 24/7, without end! Cause the minute I stop is when the rest of the world hates me. So you can never ever ever stop, even if your own feet bleed!"
"They're just bleeding cause you wouldn't stop dancing after getting her feet stitched on..." Mahiru mumbled.
"A-Ah-Aaah-Ah..." Komaru was too disturbed for words. She only met these people for literal seconds, both completely unaware up till now of her presence, and yet they were already more terrifying than Ikusaba when they first met. The way they acted without any care for the dead bodies the blond one was stepping on, desecrating and taking pictures of their handiwork. It was completely unthinkable, unspeakable. They had to have come straight from an asylum for all Komaru knew.
"Huh?" Saionji suddenly paused misstep as she heard Komaru's gasp. The minute she did though she looked back to her feet. A complexity of rage and anguish filled her face as she squeezed her head, eyes tearing up from frustration as her teeth gritted. "N-No no nooooooo!" She yelled to herself shaking her head back and forth in tantrum. "I stopped, you made me stop! You ruined my 113 straight hours of dancing you conceited trashy pig shit!"
"T-Trashy pig shit?" Komaru repeated as her eyes began to water. She wasn't about to cry from the insulting words the shorter girl used, it was from the terror emanating from them together. It was just like the rest of them, Ikusaba, Junko. They were giving off the same aura of death those two did when she first met. It was gnawing away at each passing seconds as Komaru trembled in fear.
"Komaru!" Ikusaba yelled finally catching up, panting a it as she caught her breath. "You shouldn't run away from me y-!" All life and color drained from Ikusaba's face as her eyes were met upon by Mahiru's and Saionji's. Unlike hers, the color from their faces only seemed to brighten slightly with their grins. "N-No... No way..."
"Well well well," Saionji spoke swaying her hips from side to side, "look who we have here. If it isn't Junko's backstabbing bitch from the whore house..."
"W-Wh-What..." Komaru was actually amazed looking back at Ikusaba. Her entire expression was almost similar to her own, body shaking from fear, eyes full of sorrow and terror. It was almost like looking into a mirror itself. "W-What are you... Why are you guys even here!?" She stammered.
"We could be asking you that, you know." Mahiru retorted as she tilted her head. "Here I thought you'd have the sense to be groveling at your Junko's feet, begging for forgiveness."
"Tch," the fear was quickly replaced with anger despite the frustration she still maintained, "I don't know who that is, but that isn't Junko!"
"Oh, we know." Saionji poked her own cheeks as she grinned. "We know perfectly well who it is, don't we Mahiru?"
"Just like we know what she did to Naegi." Mahiru added in.
Komaru nearly flinched at the red-handed mark left on Mahiru's left cheek by Saionji's slap.
"You can't give out too many spoilers you stupid red-head!" She grumbled. "Next you'll end up telling them about the bomb!"
"Bomb!?" Komaru repeated. "What bomb?"
"Gah, now look what you made me do!" Saionji growled slapping Mahiru's face again. All the same the red-head didn't seem to care. She just had that plain solemn look on her face as always, even as the red mark darkened after the second hit.
"It's not like it'll matter Saionji, it's gonna be pointless soon." Mahiru muttered. Saionji continued to puff her cheeks for a few more seconds before sighing.
"I guess you're right. After all, I still need to punish the trashy pig shit for ruining my dancing!" She grinned.
"D-Dancing?" It disgusted Komaru to no end. There was no way she could accept what she was doing as simple dancing, seeing the trembled remains of one of the dead bodies under her feet. It was almost enough to make her throw up if the two didn't horrify her as they did. "W-What part of that disgusting display was dancing!? Those were human people dancing on, once living breathing people like you and me! What you did was horrible!"
"... Horrible? You... You call my dancing... horrible?" It was too late for regrets. All color instantly drained from Saionji's face as her arms dropped to her side. What started up as a mere buildup slowly became a massive volcano as Saionji's face was flushed with rage and tears. "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" She screamed a deafening cry which shook the very building itself. Ikusaba and Komaru were forced to cover their ears tightly at the massive vibrating cry she let out. Only Mahiru refrained from doing so despite the pain it had to be causing her. Her left ear began bleeding and yet she didn't so much at wince at the shattered eardrum. "Forget these stupid bitch-assed no good dirty rotten pig shitting prostituting whore monkeys!" She screamed as she teared all at once. "Forget all of this! Let's just kill them already Mahiru!" She whined in an almost begging tone.
"Whatever..." Mahiru mumbled, still hearing just fine from her right ear. It was only as she lifted the camera facing the other two did Komaru noticed the bandages on her right hand. They traveled up from her elbow to her wrist, a little bit of it covering the palms of her hand. But upon seeing the tips of it, she realized, as strange as it was, that those weren't her fingertips. For one, as opposed to her other fingers, these were stitched at the knuckle of each finger, each one marked with cuts and scratches all around them. In addition, unlike her other hand, the fingers on her right were longer with pink nail polish, albeit crusty and worn out. These weren't her own fingertips.
They were someone else's completely.
"Ahhhh!" Komaru and Ikusaba cried out in pain as their eyes were overcome with a horribly blinding light. The entire room shined with a never-ending brightness as everything before them was enveloped.
"Ahh!" Komaru heard Ikusaba suddenly yelp in pain, followed by the sound of something slamming into a wall.
"Ikusaba?" Komaru called out trying to open her stinging eyes. The ongoing brightness continued to envelope them completely for several more seconds, not once giving the two girls a chance of peace or loneness. It was only after about another twelve seconds that the brightness slowly dimmed from the room, Komaru's eyes weakly adjusting to the normalcy of the room once more. She couldn't understand how a camera could be as bright as that, nor understand a single thing that transpired before her. Those two knew who Ikusaba was from the looks of it, Ikusaba had her own fear of those two for some reason even she wasn't aware of, and after insisting they were going to kill the two, they disappeared as the light cleared from them.
By the time she could see clearly again, they were completely gone. No Saionji, no Mahiru, the only evidence of their existence beforehand were the still trampled on remains of the dead bodies the blond girl was dancing upon. It took all of Komaru's strength to keep from upchucking whatever pieces of food her stomach held, not wanting to look at the disgusting remains or horror of the blonde's idea of dancing. All she was concerned about now were the two who declared they were going to murder them, and Ikusaba who she suddenly saw thrown against a wall, having slid down along it to the floor. Despite not seeing any visible injuries, she could see Ikusaba wincing as she clutched her stomach in pain, clearly having been attacked by one of if not both the girls at once.
"Ikusaba!" Komaru cried worriedly rushing to her side. "Are you okay?" She asked helping her up.
"Geh, that fucking blonde has one hell of a kick." She muttered before grabbing Komaru's hand. "Let's go!"
"W-Wait!" Komaru wasn't given a single ounce of leeway as Ikusaba suddenly ran down the hall to the open shutters, not giving her a chance to recover for herself or explain what just happened. "Who were those girls?"
"I'll explain later!" Ikusaba quickly replied, checking the hallways past the now opened doorway. She didn't seem to focus on anything else than getting out of this place alive. Not even caring about the lone Monokuma that was searching the halls, casually looking left and right and yet not directly down the hallway itself. "There. Monokuma. Kill it!" She quickly instructed as she pulled Komaru in front of her.
"But..." Komaru was about to question things before she saw Ikusaba clutching her own chest.
She could see it on her expression, the trembling of her body, the grinding of her teeth, and the sweat pouring from her face. Whoever those girls were they were obviously from Ikusaba's past. Not only that, but for whatever reason, them being here alone was enough to cause stress and anxiety to the soldier who couldn't afford to stay within these situations for an indefinite amount of time. By the looks of it alone she was struggling with herself as she shifted her eyes side to side, glancing back and forth between the hallways and the numerous doors around them. She was close to snapping.
She wasn't afraid of them directly, she realized. It was the chest piece that Ikusaba showed her from earlier. Whoever they were, they were causing her stress to no end. She needed to escape from them as fast as possible, without worry over the Monokumas themselves or anything around her. The chest piece was the one thing she truly feared as a soldier at this time. And the longer Komaru waited contemplating this, the more Ikusaba was going to suffer as a result.
Sighing to herself, Komaru breathed deeply as she took aim of the Monokuma nearly twenty yards away. Fortunately, dealing with this one was much easier than the dozen that surrounded her earlier. The first shot missed it's glowing red eye but still got it's attention easily as it recoiled from the hit. With Komaru in it's sights, it began charging down with it's speeding feet, cackling in a mechanical voice as it charged her with it's paws raised. While it was on the move, it became harder to shoot directly due to the unsteady hands Komaru hand. She knew those things would tear her apart, and it was that constant fear that always put her on edge in this situation.
Still, given the distance, Komaru managed to keep calm as she fired another several blasts, using up to about six more shots before the beast whirred and swayed. For a moment, she was content with herself having taken down another Monokuma. With each one taken down, that took away another ounce of fear that was filling her heart. Over time, she knew she was going to get used to these things and the sooner the better. She wouldn't have to fear the Monokumas as much, and that meant getting out of the city easier.
Unfortunately, nothing was ever easy in this world.
The moment the machine exploded, the time it took for it's smoldering cloud of cinder to evaporate, there she stood. Mahiru, the red head with a camera, with a cheap plastic smile on her face and eyes filled with Despair. Before Komaru could register what she was doing, and by the time Ikusaba looked ahead again, it was already too late.
"Ahhh!" This time Komaru yelped in pain following the blinding light. The next thing she knew her face was collided with the harsh footing of a wooden sandal, swiping across her chin as it literally kicked her off her feet and onto the ground behind her. "Ow..." She cried sheepishly as she teared up, rubbing her chin. On the bright side of things, no pun intended, the blindness of this flash wasn't as powerful as the one before it. It only took several seconds between the time the flash started to the time the light receded for something to attack Komaru and make it's escape before anything could be seen again.
"Komaru!" Ikusaba quickly sped to her side before kneeling down. "You alright?"
"Mmh," Komaru whined briefly as she rubbed her chin, "that seriously hurt..." She commented getting back to her feet.
"Hehehe." Saionji's laughter echoed throughout the halls in a ghastly tone. "This is one of the more fun dances I like to do. It's especially effective against stupid demons who don't know how to look away from the light like fucking blind rats."
"Ghh..." Ikusaba hated this. She couldn't afford to fight in this condensed space and watch Komaru's back at the same time. She needed to find someplace safe for the two, or at least where they could hold out to get their bearings. "C'mon, in here." Ikusaba quickly instructed running to the doorway at the end of the hallway. The hallway still went around the corner, but for some strange reason the floor between the two ends of the hallway had collapsed. Whether from the Warriors of Hope themselves or the Monokumas, something destroyed the flooring and the edges were too rough to grab onto if Komaru or Ikusaba tried to jump.
Making it the perfect trap as Ikusaba opened the door.
"Fucking-!" Ikusaba growled as she covered her eyes once more. Luckily for Komaru, this time she was better protected from the blinding light as she stood several yards away from the door Ikusaba lead her towards. The light itself was definitely from the room Ikusaba tried to access as the doorway blocked off the Light's glare from Komaru's vision. It was also thanks to this that she could see how the two mysterious girls worked in tandem. Immediately after shielding her eyes, her gut was assaulted by the hard wooden clops of Saionji's sandals, leaping straight through the doorway as she attacked the unaware soldier. Komaru hastily ran to her side grabbing her left hand before Ikusaba leaned anymore backwards, nearly falling into the dark pit that separated the flooring.
Following this, Saionji gracefully leaped across the gap with ease as Mahiru made her way out the other door, proving the room was connected to the door on this side.
"Grrrr I hate that fucking blonde!" Ikusaba shouted again as she rubbed her eyes. Checking the room itself carefully from the doorway, Komaru nervously lead Ikusaba into the awaiting room, hoping nothing would pop out at them during this brief moment of rest.
"C-Come on, we should be safe in here." Komaru suggested as she pulled her in. As the soldier rubbed her eyes clear Komaru quickly locked the door they just entered from. Least now they wouldn't have to worry about Saionji attacking from behind as they rested for a bit. That made up the good part of the news. The bad part of the news was what awaited them. "Ah-!"
Within the middle of the room, standing casually with that same Monokuma smile, was a young girl. The young girl was eerily similar to the one from the Park, the same one Komaru met before they were suddenly attacked before Komaru could escape. They just stood their as if nothing had happened between them at any given point, swaying side to side with their hands behind their back. Even the casual dress gave no indication to how dangerous the girl was, her expression shrouded behind the mysterious helmet they wore. Strangely, which was saying a lot after all the weird things Komaru had witnessed since she broke out of her apartment, she was a small white package with a green ribbon wrapped around it. It was identical to the one Komaru saw in the room the Servant awoke her in, standing a few feet from the child just screaming for her to open it. It was by this time Ikusaba's eyesight finally returned to normal, heart skipping a beat briefly when she thought she saw another Monokuma before them.
"I-It's the girl form the park!" Komaru screeched. Taking a step forward, Ikusaba eyed the girl curiously.
"Nah, doubtful." She stated in a casual tone.
"Huh? What makes you say that?" Komaru asked wondering.
"I've come across a couple of these kids while exploring the city." Ikusaba explained. "They all seem to be wearing that stupid looking helmet and school uniforms, so this girl could be anyone."
"Anyone...?" Komaru's attention shifted from the girl to the package near her feet. "What about the present?"
"Why not open it and find out?" Ikusaba suggested.
Komaru gulped to herself as she looked back nervously. "A-Are you sure? What if... What if it's a bomb or something?"
"If they wanted to bomb us, they wouldn't be in the same room as us, would they?" The soldier commented looking back to the strange helmet-wearing girl. "They wouldn't kill the adults in that way."
"Oh... right..." Still with a sense of unease, Komaru carefully unwrapped the package as she examined it's contents. To her surprise, and minor delight, it was ammunition! At least enough of those ammo chips to restore another fifteen bullets to her gun, bringing her nearly to the full amount she had earlier when dropped down to the rooftops. "It's more ammo!" She announced taking it out. "It's just enough to..." It slowly dawned on her war Ikusaba had truly said before she opened the package. "W-Wait... What did you mean by kill the adults in that way?"
Ikusaba crossed her arms as she turned away. "Isn't it obvious? These kids and those Monokumas are all working together to kill all the adults."
"K-Kill the..." Even after meeting the Warriors of Hope she had refused to believe it. She wanted to believe with every fiber of her being that Ikusaba was lying, or meant in some strange mannerism of a game. But she knew this was just her refusal to believe all around her. Looking back to the young girl before her, the small child simply giggled after Komaru emptied the package's contents before running out of the room. "T-They're... R-Really killing the adults?"
"To be fair, I don't know if it's directly or not, but all I do know is that they're using the Monokumas to help them." Ikusaba clarified. It didn't bring any more comfort to Komaru's heart. Just the fact these kids were all trying to team up to kill all the adults or anyone considered a demon horrified her. There was no sense of peace or decency in anything they were doing. It was simply horrifying.
"T-That's... That's terrifying..." Komaru's eyes watered a bit as she stood up again. "How can kids just go around and do things like that!?"
"... I don't know... " It was weird hearing a calmness coming from Ikusaba like that. She almost seemed regrettable as she spoke of the children who had killed their own parents, hinting a deeper knowledge of these killings than she was letting on. "Either way, we need to figure out to get out of here," Ikusaba continued as she neared the other door, "we can't keep running down the halls with those two asses dropping on us at every turn."
"W-Who... Do you know who they are?" Komaru wondered.
"Do you wanna keep talking about it, or do you wanna get out of here?" Ikusaba retorted. It was obvious to Komaru that she was dodging the question, but to be honest she was right at the same time. There was just no way they could wait out everything and hope their assailants would leave. Either the girls would just drop in on them again, or the Monokumas could rush them by filling the room, ripping them to shreds in seconds. "We need to think of a plan..."
"M-Maybe... I could use my Hacking Gun on their camera?" Komaru suggested. "I mean it might work, right?"
"I'm not willing to risk it with those two running around." Ikusaba shot down "Even if you could get a shot at it, there's no guarantee it would work. That thing launches Radio Waves in the form of energy, that's why it works on the Monokumas so easily. But even if it worked on that Camera, which is doubtful, there's no way it or you would be fast enough to hit it before she covers it again."
"R...Right..." Komaru frowned to herself. She wanted to do anything she could to help the Ultimate Soldier, but what could she do? She had a hard enough time trying to aim at the Monokumas, these two were mere psychopaths before her. And on the unlikely chance they did destroy the camera with the Hacking Gun, they still had to deal with Saionji, the dancer with a powerful kick. "Well... we can't let the flash get to us..."
"And we need to avoid Saionji and the Monokumas while we're at it." Ikusaba added. "They keep coming at us when our guard is down or the Monokumas are destroyed. So that's our only opportunity to get Mahiru and her stupid flashing camera."
There was a moment of silence between the two girls as they went into thought. They both wanted to find the solution out of this predicament, and they needed to do so while fighting off or avoiding the Monokumas. So what was the solution?
"...Huh!" Komaru let out a gasp as a spark of ingenuity struck her.
"What? You got something?" Ikusaba asked slightly curious.
"I got it! We're in a hospital office, right?" Komaru sounded rather enthusiastic as she began sorting through the drawers in the room. It was a long shot but maybe they had just the thing she needed.
"Then... maybe... Ah!" Komaru smiled with relief as she pulled something out. "Maybe this would work?" Ikusaba was rather impressed with Komaru's creativity, actually grinning with sincerity for once since they met. This was along the lines of being a long shot, but it was definitely one worth going through.
Especially since their options was limited.
Ikusaba popped her head carefully out of the room as she examined the hallways. She wouldn't admit this even to herself but she was definitely nervous. They needed to make it to the end of the hallway where the entrance was located, and between them and there was definitely the two remnants of despair, even if she couldn't see it. There was a lot more riding on this than their lives, at least to Ikusaba herself. Every obstacle they came across would be a blockade between her eventful reunion with herself and her Naegi, and despite her personal rule from the Future Foundation, she needed to get through this without taking lives or building up her stress. Even now it was at the halfway point of being critical which meant the odds were already against her. At least if their plan did work, they could hopefully escape from the hospital in time and from these two especially.
"You ready?" Ikusaba asked looking behind her.
"You're the one who has it, so you tell me?" Komaru reminded. With a silent nod back to her, Ikusaba began to sweat as she began walking outside the room. The eerie silence of the halls were unsettling with each step they took. If the plan worked the way they expected, much less needed for them to pull it off, then any moment now there should be...
"Upupupu!" The cackling laughter of the mechanical bears filled the halls as the door at the end of the hall burst open. As expected another Monokuma came running out the doors with excitement as it charged down the halls, arms flailing about as it prepared for murder.
"There's another Monokuma, Komaru!" Ikusaba quickly stated, quite audibly compared to usual.
"I got it!" Komaru announced as she stepped ahead of Ikusaba. Despite the fear rising again she managed to stand her ground as she took aim of the killer bear once again. To her surprise, after firing normal the first time around, she managed to get a lucky hit on the bear's red eye, destroying it within two shots. Like before, two things happened. One, Komaru's displayed ammo within the Hud was glowing again, indicating her shot was charged up once more. And two, like last time, Mahiru suddenly appeared when the smoldering ash began to dissipate, camera on the ready like before.
"You two never learn, do you..." She mumbled as she prepared to flash them once more.
"Now!" Komaru yelped as she ducked covering her eyes.
"Ahhhh!" Mahiru suddenly cried out in pain as she dropped the camera, covering her eyes.
She hadn't expected it which worked to Ikusaba's and Koamru's advantage. Immediately before Mahiru could flash the camera, Komaru ducked as Ikusaba stood right behind her. That single second of time between Mahiru flashing the camera and Komaru ducking out of the view was all they needed as Iksusaba revealed a small hand mirror within her hands. With her own eyes closed, Ikusaba waited for her eyelids themselves to flash briefly to show the dazing light they were assaulted with before opening them following Mahiru's screech. Normally, such a small personal mirror wouldn't have affected the camera girl before them. At most it would've just been a minor flash that would've irritated her under normal circumstances.
But Mahiru wasn't a normal camera girl. When she took her pictures, even if it was more nothing more than a simple means to attack with, she did it like any true professional. With her camera's vision zoomed in so Komaru's head was fitted within the camera's sights, it was the perfect size to capture nearly the entire mirror that replaced her view. Thanks to it, she was unprepared for the blinding flash that was returned to her, blinding her right eye and startling her enough to drop the camera as she screamed.
Perhaps it wasn't enough to completely blind her, seeing how her other eyes was closed as she took the shot. But the dual vision she was now stuck with, the eye seeing clearly and the one filled with a white haze were fighting against her brain, filling her head with a painful migraine as the view before her suddenly tilted back and forth endlessly. Her body wavered back and forth as she struggled to maintain any sense of balance. Even her hands moving right before her eyes were nothing short of a slow wave of moment, blurring back and forth before her as she squinted her eyes.
Thus the trap for the next assailant as one of the nearby doors burst open. Thanks to the expected flash, Ikusaba made sure to keep her eyes shut as Mahiru blinded herself in her place. Because she didn't have to focus on the blinding sight, all her senses were focused on her surroundings, including her ears which caught her attention of the door to the right of Komaru. Like she had done several times beforehand, Saionji suddenly sped through the doorway preparing to strike Komaru like before. To her surprise, however, not only did she catch Komaru's attention, who seemed to be looking at her just fine, her face was greeted with the heel of Ikusaba's boots, striking her square in the nose and sending her flying back into the room she came from.
"Aghhghhghh!" Saionji squealed in pain as she clutched her bleeding nose. Komaru had to give compliments to Ikusaba's speed. She wasn't ready to react to someone coming at her so fast out of nowhere, especially when there were several areas she could've leapt from. Yet, within the two seconds she had to herself, not only did Ikusaba manage to see where Saionji was attacking from, she managed to counter fast enough before she could strike Komaru herself. "You nashty shit brained shkank headed bimbosh!" Saionji lisped slightly as she cried. It was moments like these Komaru was glad Ikusaba was on her side when she watched Saionji squirming on the ground while clutching a profusely-bleeding nose.
"That was close..." Komaru sighed wiping her brow.
"Come on!" Ikusaba yelled pulling her again. She really didn't want to waste any time around here, pulling Komaru out of her tiny trance as they ran down the halls once more passed Mahiru. "The entrance is right around- oh fuck..." Komaru suddenly looked ahead to see what all the fuss was about, face filling with an all too familiar fear.
If it was one Monokuma, that would've been something. If it were two or three Monokumas, that would've been just as well. The entrance was large enough to fit literal hundreds of people in if they were all standing about all gathered in a single crowd. But before them wasn't just one, or two, but a near dozen Monokumas, all of whom began shifting their attention to Komaru and Ikusaba one by one. Several of them were chuckling, others sharpening their claws together. One by one, it registered to each of them that Komaru and Ikusaba were boxed in, a factor only Komaru realized as she turned her head back.
They weren't anymore ready than they were before, but Saionji was angrily marching her way slowly over to Mahiru while clutching her bleeding nose with her left hand. Mahiru herself was slowly getting back to her feet as well, still rubbing the small bits of dizziness out of her eyes. All that mattered though was how much they neared over to them. There was no possible way Ikusaba or Komaru could handle both the Monokumas and the two remnants at the same time, and whichever the two did focus on, the other side would attack.
"W-What do we do?" Komaru asked worriedly. She did her best to aim her gun at the Monokumas, but even then her hands trembled in fear. Even if she didn't focus her mind her body remembered the fear it felt the last time she was surrounded by the Monokumas, how close their claws came to her flesh. There was no getting passed that feeling so soon.
"I-Ikusaba?" She began to grow more worried from Ikusaba's silence than their predicament. If the Monokumas weren't going to harm them or the remnants, then Ikusaba definitely would threaten them if her emotions ran rampant once again.
"Close your eyes!" She quickly shouted, helping shield Komaru's eyes with her sleeve.
"Ah-!" It was the sight of the flash that startled Komaru more than the flash itself. She barely caught so much as a glimpse of it before seeing the familiar camera clutched in Ikusaba's hands. With a held breath, she raised it high before setting off the flash, filling the room with the familiar brightness once again. Having looked away from the flash herself, Komaru was the quickest to recover from the exposure as she saw the sight ahead.
To her shock, all the Monokumas were suddenly swaying about as if they were in a trance. Not one of them moved forward anymore than the one next to them as they just swayed side to side, stuck in a state of disorientation as they tried to get their bearings. At the same time, Mahiru and Saionji were both covering their eyes once more, getting their teeth as they dared not to look. Too many flashes of this camera would blind just about anybody, and with two girls constantly taking pictures of the camera, it was only natural the two were more sensitive to it than the rest.
"H-Hey, you-!" Komaru began to speak before seeing Ikusaba.
"Ghhhh..." Unfortunately for the soldier, she had to look at the flash. She needed to ensure she clicked the right thing and had it set properly before the blast went off, to make sure every Monokuma caught sight of it. Because of that, she fell victim to the disorientation along the rest, rubbing her eyes hastily as she looked to Komaru with closed eyes. "G-Get us out of here," she instructed, "the flash won't keep them disoriented for long!"
She was terrified. She was desperate. But most importantly, she didn't have a choice. No matter how scared she was, she had to pull Ikusaba's hand through the crowd of Monokumas. Her heart raced with each Monokuma she neared, slowly maneuvering around them so she didn't touch a single one. It didn't matter if they were temporarily blinded, any contact between them would result in any one of them grabbing one of them. But she was more than terrified at the idea of any one of them possibly snapping out of it and suddenly attacking them once more.
Thankfully, the distance between where they stood and the doorway wasn't that far, only about thirty yards in-between. After a few careful pulls between the bears, Komaru let out a breath of relief, quickly jutting over to the doorway with Ikusaba still in hand. To even more of their luck, the doors were fortunately not locked from the outside. The one thing that would've made this entire situation terrible was just to find out the doorway was locked, because no sooner did they open it did the familiar cackle of the Monokumas catch Komaru's attention. Looking back, she let out a small yelp before running through the doors again, seeing several Monokumas running after them once more with a bloodthirsty look upon their angry faces.
"Come on!" She yelled running through the doors. By the time they reached the middle of the streets did Ikusaba suddenly pause, to Komaru's confusion. "Why are you stopping..." Her question was answered as soon as she asked it, looking back to the doors like Ikusaba.
For whatever reason, they just stood there. Every Monokuma that was ready to tear their beating hearts out just stood by the closed glass doors, not budging an inch despite how easy it would be to simply chase them. Was it their robotic instincts or something? There was a good distance between the two and the bears, even though Komaru still needed to work on her aiming to ensure an actual kill shot. On top of that, since they were on the outside and in the open, Ikusaba's emotions should've become a little more stable, possibly enough to finally fight at Ikusaba's side.
But instead, the bears simply stood there. Passed them Komaru could make out two figures approaching the doors, Mahiru and Saionji on her left, approaching the doorway as two of the Monokumas cleared the way.
"It's just like before..." Komaru commented to herself.
She remembered it perfectly, just like the last time these Monokumas acted weird. Back when the rioting started and the bears flooded the city, she remembered the one chef of the restaurant, the one who screamed at the Monokumas to leave his diner posthaste. At first Komaru was terrified, thinking they were all about to attack her at once when she tripped over the floor. But despite her helpless position at that moment, the Monokumas simply ran on by, following their orders strictly to get out of the restaurant even if there was someone nearby.
"That's the remnants for you." Ikusaba finally spoke, never taking her gaze off the two. "They're all allies off Junko Enoshima, the Ultimate Despair. Because of that those damn bears know the difference between them and any other person from a crowd. They know it, Junko knows it, and I'm sure the children wandering around know who they are too." At this point, Saionji simply gave Ikusaba the middle finger for a brief moment before her and Mahiru began walking away, the Monokumas following along with them.
"W-Why are they leaving like that?" Komaru asked confused. "D-Don't they have the advantage?"
"Doubtful." Ikusaba stated bluntly. "Whether they have higher authority than the kids or Monokumas, they still have to follow Junko's orders, which includes staying within certain areas. Junko is absolute, that is the only law any of them will follow." Komaru's heart wavered at the wording of that.
"Y-You said... them?" She asked with a sweating brow.
"You don't think those are the only two, do you?" Ikusaba responded crossing her arms. "Even I don't know how many there still are, provided they're even alive at this point. I just know a few of them."
That was a bit more to take in than Komaru had wished. According to her, not only was there Junko, the children, or the Monokumas to contend with, there was also these mysterious Remnants of Despair to deal with now, all of who were probably the most dangerous out of them all! They could command the Monokumas in any way they wanted, use them to their advantage along with any kids they came across. If wanted, they could probably command every Monokuma within earshot to charge headfirst to Komaru and Ikusaba, neither of who could hold off so many at once, especially depending on where they were at the time.
Still, they did at least survive their first encounter with them, and that was a good mark in Komaru's book.
"W-Well...h-hey, we won, right?" Komaru tried to cheer, raising her hand for a high five. Even with this bout of optimism, Ikusaba just continued to shoot her a look of irritation, not seeming phased by anything they had to deal with within the last ten minutes. There was something unnerving about the way she stared at her, even with all they've been through.
"What are you doing?" The soldier asked.
"It... It's a high five. We did it, right?" Komaru responded trying to sound hopeful.
"D-Did what? We beat them, so good job!" She tried to encourage again.
"...Ugh..." Ikusaba groaned rubbing her eyes once more. Komaru couldn't tell if she was rubbing them out of irritation from the flash or the sudden optimism Komaru was trying to show off, probably the latter. At the same time it didn't make sense what exactly was bothering her. "Kid, I'm gonna remind you of one key detail in all this," Ikusaba stated as she pointed around, "we just escaped a single building with barely our lives and that camera. We still have an entire city to get through."
It was despair. Whenever Komaru began to feel hope, there was always despair that followed. Looking around, she could only feel the dread filling her mind as she realized the truth of the matter. Buildings were torn apart, people's bodies were thrown about the streets here and there, and blood covered most of the pavement. There was nothing to be optimistic about all this, nothing to celebrate. They had just gone through an entire building, barely escaped two psychopaths, and only got passed a dozen Monokumas thanks to Ikusaba's quick planning with the camera. If not for that, they would currently have their guts strung about the halls of the hospital, or stuck under the heels of Saionji's wooden shoes as she danced upon them.
With a mental sigh, Komaru frowned a bit as she lowered her head. They had a long way to go throughout this entire city, and there wasn't any way they were getting any easier. If anything, they just experienced the tutorial of a long winded game, barely a prologue. Not to mention numerous things Komaru had to ask Ikusaba about just from their time in the Hospital alone, like the child with the ammo for her and such.
Everything tom this point onward was going to get much, MUCH, worse.
"Oh come on!" Masaru grumbled as he stared at the screen.
Back with the Warriors of Hope, the warriors watched with dismay as the screen showed a view of Ikusaba and Komaru outside the Hospital, Komaru's head still hung lower as she walked along with Ikusaba once more. Class seemed to be over with for the day seeing how Junko herself was eating a bag of popcorn at the table, seated next to the ever-optimistic green haired girl herself, helping herself to a few bits of popcorn from time to time too.
From the moment the pictures were selected by Masaru to the end of the show before them, they watched with anticipation as the two battled their way through Junko's friends and the Monokumas, all the way up till they finally got out of the building alive and well, emotions unaccounted.
"They so totally should've gone after them!" He yelled pounding the wooden table before them.
"Uh-uh, can't do that." Junko replied as she gobbled down another handful of popcorn. "You have to make the levels fair for the newbies, which means only having enemies appear in certain places."
"As well as barring access to other places." Nagisa added as he sipped some of the warm apple juice from his teacup. "If it was as easy as chasing them anywhere, we'd send all Monokumas and robots after all the demons one at a time, Masaru. We can't just rush everything and expect it to be over in minutes. We'd be no better cheaters than they are if we did."
"Do you think the yellow hair girl has a floor mat to wipe her feet?" Jataro wondered drinking from a can of soda.
"I don't care," Masaru yelled back, "cheating demons should get no fairness at all! We should just hunt them down till there's none of them left!"
"But that's not how I want the game." Monaca spoke calmly. All tension he felt pent up instantly vanished as Masaru looked back to Monaca's innocent smile. "All games should be fair for all sides, and this wasn't any exception."
"Y-Yeah but..." Masaru was torn between arguing against Monaca and complaining about fairness.
"Besides," Kotoko spoke up catching his attention, "it's not like we're done with all our options just yet." At this, Masaru watched as she pulled out another picture from her pockets, another number written across it in a similar manner as the last two.
"W-Where'd you get that?"
"Pffft, you didn't think that one picture I gave you was all there was, did you?" Junko asked chuckling. "Oh my faithful, fearless, leader. Please try to understand this. Your Big Sis' has plenty of allies, and this game won't be over until all 15 of them are defeated..."
A/N: Annnnd HOOFTAH! Another chapter done, and had particular fun in this one with introducing the first/2nd of many-to-come remnants of despair. What'd you guys think of the action this time around :P? There was more action to put into this than otherwise. I feel like it came out pretty well. And like I said, while I'm not keeping this word for word, I am making sure I keep the scenery and style similar to that, even if I omit some things like the arcade machine before the Hospital Entrance. Some things will be added, others taken out. All that really matters is whether or not you guys enjoy it to me, so lemme know in the comments ^^
So with that said, hope you guys enjoyed! Leave a fav and follow if you enjoyed it, be sure to keep tuned in from hopefully a scheduled update, or just whenever whenever. Till next episode guys, take care :P! Going back to the same rule as last fanfic, 3 reviews before the next chapter- why am I so paranoid about reviews? Aside from liking feedback i get and the possible bottle of pills I found in my mom's medicine cabinet that have been giving me schizophrenic visions, I always consider reviews as a sign of popularity, and the more you have, the more people will be interested in what ya have to offer ^^
(Oh and to anyone who finds it weird that I used "BWAK" as a sound effect for Hiyoko/Saionji's kicks, don't look at me like that XP For some reason that's just the sound it apparently generates when used in a written format. I find it weird too but then again I'm just going by what the website says. When the site tells me to use "meow" for an explosion, THEN i'll start getting suspicious XP)