Class 77's Ultimate Hope Steak-Off
A Danganronpa and Super Mario Bros. Crossover


Notes: This fic is set in an alternate timeline to Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak Academy – Side: Despair, and in this universe's canon, sometime prior to the events of Class 78's Face-Off Hope Romp.

Elements of this fic are taken from Paper Mario: Color Splash.


Hope's Peak Academy
Cafeteria

It was another peaceful day at Hope's Peak Academy.

…is what I'd like to say, but honestly, we all know that's just a pipe dream.

Case in point…

"WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!"

Teruteru went soaring out the kitchen doors, arms flailing about wildly as he crashed onto the floor.

…what? Not exciting enough? You'd rather go read a different story instead?

Alright, fine. Lemme elaborate a little:

Teruteru went soaring out the kitchen doors… and was promptly followed by the rest of his classmates, all of them either screaming in fear or screaming in delight (or trying not to sleep; Chiaki really needs more bedtime).

Oh, and a giant sentient steak was on their asses, too.

…hey, you asked for something exciting! I'm just providing! Don't look at me like that!

"EEEEEEEEEEEK!" True to form, Mikan had tripped the minute she had entered the room, rolling into a ball and crashing into a nearby table. "FORGIVE MEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

"What the fuck, what the fuck, what the fuck!?" Fuyuhiko was yelling, a bead of sweat going down his head as he made a break for it. Peko was right behind him, bamboo sword at the ready. "I—I don't even—How the hell is this even a thing!? Are we high!?"

"I dunno, but I think I like it!" Akane exclaimed, tongue sticking out and drooling immensely. "I get to eat and have a good fight at the same time! That's awesome!"

"Ew, why would you want to do that!?" Hiyoko screeched. "That thing's s-sweaty and slimy beyond belief!"

"It is a demon from a world outside this plane of reality," Gundham agreed. "But it is still no match for I, Gundham Tanaka, Supreme Overlord of Ice! Come, my comrades—we shall feast on this beast together, and conquer the realm it hails from!"

"As they say in Japan, heck yeah!" Sonia cheered.

The aforementioned steak stomped on the ground, somehow making an impact despite the fact that it was doing so upright. Pure malice could be felt emanating from its being, a startling revelation for the present members of Class 77-B. Either that, or it was trying to negotiate with them and failing horribly; I wouldn't know, it doesn't have a mouth at all.

Anyway, this was quite the unfolding situation. No one was really quite sure what to make of it, the more bombastic Ultimates aside. But what they could understand was that there was another weird thing to take care of—and that was enough for them to act.

"Gundham is correct!" bellowed Nekomaru. "There is challenge to face, one that we will overcome! For ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE WITH A FIGHTING SPIRIT! CHAAAAAAAAARGE!"

Akane, Nekomaru, Gundham, and Sonia proceeded to jump on into the fray, fending off the steak with adrenaline pumping through their veins.

Peko sweatdropped. "How utterly bizarre… Despite all my years of training, even I am at a loss as to how to react to this." She turned to Fuyuhiko. "Young master, are you—?"

"Yes, yes, Peko, I'm fine!" the Yakuza heir cut in. "Just focus on not getting us killed! The plates are probably sentient too, for all we know!"

And while this was all taking place, Hajime Hinata and Chiaki Nanami were sitting in the back of the room—the former exasperated and epically confused, the latter exhausted and ever-so-slightly sighing.

…Chisa would love to see this. Trust me, she would.

(Shame she's in a staff meeting at the moment.)

"Guys, can we—can we, like, not do this, guys?" the unofficial Ultimate Counselor asked, slouching. "Please? There are so many other things we can be doing right now, seriously."

"Mmm… maybe," the Ultimate Gamer yawned, rubbing her eyes. "I'd prefer playing a few games myself, but this is fine, too. We all get to eat and have fun together—and that's better than doing either alone, like I sometimes forget to do."

Hajime blinked. "…Chiaki, that's not healthy. At all."

"Yeah, Chiaki! You gotta remember to take care of yourself, too!" Ibuki chimed in, latching onto both parties' shoulders with… maybe a little too much enthusiasm. "It's like singing! Solos are okay, but duets are even better! Ooh, ooh—do you think we could do a tercet!? I'd love to hear you two's beautiful singing voices!"

"Wh-Where did that idea come from!?"

"Singing? I'd probably be bad at it… I think."

"Calm down, everybody!" the Ultimate Imposter—hereby referred to as Mitaraii—was ordering, in an attempt to keep things civil (fat chance with this crew). Ryota was cowering behind him, clearly panicked and hyperventilating. "I understand that these are some very surprising circumstances, but there's no reason to be so brash—!"

"JOAN JEEEEEEEEEEETT!"

…and that would be Teruteru getting his ass handed to him by the steak. Because it's a steak, and that's a steak-y thing they do.

Oh jeez, it's really slamming into him. I've never seen somebody get hammered that hard—in the physical sense, I mean. Guess it didn't appreciate him trying to grill it to perfection.

How stingy of it. It should be honored that it gets to be a part of this gathering; the Ultimate Cook doesn't do this all the time!

"HELP! SOMEBODY HELP!" he was shrieking, limbs flailing about wildly as he was thrashed into near-incoherency. "THIS IS NOT THE TYPE OF BANGING I'M COMFORTABLE WITH!"

In the back, Gundham and Nekomaru were attempting to pull the humongous piece of meat off of him, but to little avail.

"Man… this guy is strong…!" the Team Manager acknowledged. "If this guy wasn't literally food, I'd love to train him…!"

The Breeder grit his teeth. "Hurgh…! How can this be? Even a tyrant such as I can barely hold this demon back…!"

"All I wanted… was to grill a big steak for y'all…!" the chef cried, quite literally. "Why does everything I do end up spoiled like thi-i-i-i-is…?"

(Oh, you'll live, buddy. Worse will happen in your lifetime.)

"Ahhhh… such a glorious scene…" Nagito was embracing himself, acting as off-kilter as always. "You Ultimates are on top of things as always, despite initially being taken off-guard by this unexpected foe. I can see it now: in the end, this scuffle will merely be another stepping stone for your hope to shine brighter!"

"Like hell we're on top of this!" Kazuichi screeched. "This is your fault, isn't it!? Only you could drag us into weird shit like this!"

"Hahaha… perhaps! My luck cycle works in fascinating ways. If I'm getting to see this, though, it might just be the best kind of luck…!"

Mahiru shot him a flat glare. "As much as I don't like Teruteru, even he deserves better than to—" Her eyes briefly flitted over to the poor boy moaning in pain. "—than to go through that. Aren't you at least a little sorry for him?"

"It's Nagito," Hajime deadpanned, "I don't think he understands the meaning of sorry. Or shame. I'm pretty sure the only 's' word he knows is serendipitous, and that's being generous."

The Luckster beamed. "You know me so well, Hajime."

"Well, I've gotta keep you alive somehow."

The Photographer raised her camera and snapped a few shots, frowning all the while. "Jeez… I can scarcely believe this is real," she muttered. "If I didn't know any better, I'd say I was dreaming! How is this happening, seriously…?"

Chiaki yawned again. "We'd need a flashback to explain that," she mumbled. "At least, that's what I think…"


And that's as good a cue as any for a transition!

So. Mahiru poised a pretty good question for y'all.

How did all of this happen?

Why is Class 77-B dealing with a sentient steak to begin with?

It's a fair inquiry to make, especially since when we're only joining in midway through the event.

Heck, I'm the guy narrating this, and even I can barely decipher the events unfolding on this page!

To satisfactorily answer you guys' concerns, though, there's only one thing we need to do: turn back the clock one hour. Not one year, not one month, just a single hour. Simple as that!

Now, lemme get the good 'ol Memory Viewer goin'…

…as soon as I figure out which dial I need to twist.

Is this the right one…? Please tell me it's the right one…


Approximately one hour ago…


Class 77-B's Homeroom

(Oh good, it is…)

It was another peaceful day at Hope's Peak Academy, relatively speaking.

As usual, all of Class 77-B—and Hajime, who was considered something of an honorary member—were assembled in Ms. Yukizome's classroom, interacting with each other as they were wont to do on mornings like these.

Everyone was clustered into their own groups:

Hajime and Chiaki were huddled up near a Nintendo Switch, with Nagito hovering over them in curiosity.

Sonia and Gundham were excitedly discussing eldritch rituals again, much to Kazuichi's jealousy.

Mahiru, Hiyoko, Ibuki, and Mikan were… having some sort of animated conversation? It's kind of hard to tell; they're quirkier than lizards this side of the Bitlands.

Chisa was lecturing Ryota on the art of self-care, with Mitaraii supervising (Wow, he is skinny! Too skinny!)—

Akane and Nekomaru were doing an arm-wrestling match—which was surprisingly tame, by their standards—

And finally, Fuyuhiko and Peko were simply relaxing.

Well, as much as two high-ranking Yakuza can, anyway.

Overall, everyone was having a good time. No one was dead, no one was in despair, and certainly, no one had to deal with any new WTFery. What more could they want?

"AW, YES! THIS IS HAPPENING!"

And then Teruteru randomly decided to loudly steal the spotlight.

(And steal a certain hedgehog's line, while he was at it.)

Immediately, all of Class 77-B stopped what they were doing and turned to face the Ultimate Cook. He was staring at his e-Handbook, a bright smile perched on his face—the brightest they'd ever seen him, actually.

The sound of a Mario Kart race pausing briefly echoed through the room.

"Teruteru?" Chiaki tilted her head. "Did something big happen?"

"Oh ho ho ho… did it!" He showed his fellow classmates what he had seen: an email sent to him from the staff of Hope's Peak Academy. As far as emails went, it was pretty standard—but given that it was enough to get Teruteru genuinely excited, everyone figured it was worth giving it a close read.


Teruteru Hanamura,

The staff of Hope's Peak Academy are pleased to inform you that your request for a supply of Prism Island's finest steak has at last been fulfilled. After many long negotiations with the employees of Tangerino Grill, we have received an exclusive shipment from their stocks—and given their intended purpose, they have been delivered to our kitchen for your personal use.

Due to the… nature of this shipment, we recommend that you brush up on the recipe for this steak, included in this email as an attachment. There are several safety guidelines we believe you should follow, as well as a few quirks you would do well to inform yourself of.

We wish you the best of luck in improving your skills with this fresh batch of steaks, and happily await reports on your eventual results.

Best regards,
Hope's Peak Academy


Chisa's eyes noticeably widened. "Ah! I remember hearing about that! So, you finally got what you've been asking for, Teruteru?"

The country boy beamed. "That's right, Ms. Yukizome! I've been waiting for this for a long time!"

"Umm… not to be a spoilsport or anything, but—what's so exciting about this?" Mahiru asked, raising her hand. "I mean, you cook amazing things all the time."

"Ah, but that was with my usual ingredients! While they are perfectly serviceable as well, they are nothing compared to the legendary status of Prism Island's steaks!" Teruteru put two fingers into the air as he got into his element. "There's no one in the world of cuisine who hasn't heard of them, and especially that one chef who turned them into a household name! This famous food critic even gave them a star of prestige, which doesn't happen every day, y'know! I don't quite remember either of their names, though—one of them was Italian, maybe…?"

Hajime and Chiaki shared a glance.

"Anyway, what this means is that I've got another date with Hope's Peak's kitchen! With my expertise as the Ultimate Chef, I'll make sure that you guys' mouths will explode with delight all over again!" He got out from his desk and rushed over to the exit, too energized to sit still any longer. "I'll be 'round in the cafeteria, if anybody needs me~!"

"Just make sure there's a lot less aphrodisiac this time," Hiyoko sassed him.

"That was all you and you know it, girl!"

As he left the classroom, discussion proceeded to spring up again.

"Mmm… I'm gettin' hungry, thinkin' 'bout what Teruteru's cookin' up!" Akane burst out, already drooling from the prospects. "Maybe I should go over and sneak a bite while I'm at it…"

"Patience, Akane!" Nekomaru admonished the Gymnast. "Teruteru will be finished when he's finished. We need only give him time—no athlete becomes accomplished in a mere day of training, after all!"

"Whatever he's doing, it better not involve any funny business," Fuyuhiko snorted, feet laying on his desk. "I've got half a mind to go up and supervise him just in case, however sincere about this he may be."

"Oh, come on now," Chisa said, "I'm sure things'll be fine! Teruteru knows better than to do that by now."

Ryota stared at Mitaraii. "Is—Is that really true?" he quietly queried.

"…a little," the Imposter admitted. "He's still questionable, though."

"In any case, it's something to look forward to, I guess," Hajime said. "There's a lotta things you can say about Teruteru, but being bad at cooking isn't one of them."

Nagito laughed. "Indeed! Every bite of his meals is like having another little sliver of hope rolling around in my stomach. If this latest lunch of his is anything like those, then we are surely in for a treat!"

Kazuichi made a face. "Dude, please stop with the weird-ass metaphors! Nobody wants to hear them!"

"Ha ha, sorry. I know I'm trash in comparison to you all; I'll try to tone it down."

"Nobody wants to hear you say that to yourself, either!"

"Oh boy, Ibuki can't wait!" the Musician piped up. "I'm so excited, I feel like running around the classroom a dozen times to celebrate!"

"P-P-Please be careful!" Mikan wailed. "Th-There are so many chairs, y-you might trip and i-injure yourself!"

"And that's a bad thing… how?" the Ultimate Traditional Dancer snarked.

In spite of their… quite colorful commentary, everyone was legitimately looking forward to this event. They had only known each other for a few months, and yet, there was no doubt that they were truly some of the closest of friends.

Part of that was primarily due to Chiaki's efforts: she put so much of herself into keeping her class together, she actually lost sleep over it (hence her often narcoleptic state). In turn, her friends did their best to help her live a somewhat stable life. She really was the heart of Class 77-B—and that extended even to bringing Hajime and Ryota into the fold.

The Ultimate Gamer hummed happily. "So, I guess we're going to have a barbeque in the cafeteria," she remarked. "That's not so bad. We'll get to hang out again, and that's always fun… even with all the property damage."

"I can't deny that there's never a dull moment with you guys," her Reserve Course companion conceded. "So long as we don't blow up the school or something, I'm game for whatever else we end up doing."

"That's the spirit, Hajime!" the ex-Ultimate Housekeeper said, standing upright. "Unfortunately, I've got a staff meeting to head off to in a few minutes, so I won't be able to join you guys for a while—but I hope that doesn't discourage you from having fun without me!" She smiled warm and brightly, a familiar sight for the class she was the homeroom teacher to. "Make sure you make this occasion a good memory, okay?"

"Don't worry, we will!" the remaining students said in chorus.


Back to the present…


Cafeteria

And so, once homeroom let out for the day, the fifteen-and-a-half Ultimates trekked to the cafeteria to check up on Teruteru. It may have been too soon for him to be finished, but hey, there was nothing wrong with wanting to support their friend!

Unfortunately, they proceeded to walk in on the giant-ass steak he was cooking inexplicably coming to life.

Which made for… an interesting scene, to say the least.


Seventeen pairs of eyes stared at the steak.

A nonexistent pair of eyes stared back.

Teruteru, for once, was at a loss for words.

"Wh-What?"

"I agree," Peko stated, rather hoarsely. "What?"

"Oh. Em. Gee," was Ibuki's response. "The food is alive. The food is alive!"

"…I must be hallucinating," Mitaraii muttered. "Perhaps this is a sign I need to up my intake of fats and sugars…"

Sonia's eyes were glimmering in delight. "Amazing…! The occult is happening, right before our eyes!" To her best friend, she pointed a finger at the sentient steak. "Look, Gundham, look!"

"I see it, Sonia," the self-styled Dark Lord breathed. "It seems the curtain has been lifted for a meaty spectacle."

"Don't move," Hajime hissed—"whatever you guys do, don't move. If we don't do anything, anything at all… maybe it'll just ignore us."

"Like a Metal Gear Solid game," Chiaki chimed in.

This tense stand-off continued for a little while longer. No words were spoken, and no actions were taken—if somebody had this playing on their TV, they might have wondered if they had accidentally pressed the Pause button.

Right as things were about to reach a fever pitch, though…

the steak slapped Teruteru with the force comparable to a certain Baseball Star's bat swings, sending him flying right out of the kitchen.

"WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!"

"Okay!" Mahiru raised her voice, an incredibly fixed smile on her face. "I think it's time we leave right now!"

She swiftly dashed straight out the doors, and everyone followed shortly after.


Chiaki blinked. "…and that would be where a flashback would end. Probably."

…well.

Aren't you just Genre Savvy today, Chichi?

"Flashback?" the Photographer repeated. "Chiaki, what are you talking about?"

"Oh, nothing."

Anyway, now y'all have a good idea as to how this scenario was born.

I hope it sunk in well; 'tis be a shame to have spent 1.8k words on a useless detour.

With all that exposition out of the way…

It's time we get back to the main event!

"So, what do we do now?" Hajime brought up, crossing his arms with the utmost seriousness. "We can't just let this thing wreak havoc across the academy!"

"You freakos better do something!" Hiyoko yelled at him, from behind one of the tables (naturally). "'Cause if I have to look at this wacked-out meal any longer, there'll be bugs in your hair for all of eternity!"

Mikan whined loudly as she slowly pulled herself together. "N-Not there…! It's—It's always so hard to g-get the stains and the smells out…!"

As everyone was contemplating their next course of action, something clattered out of Teruteru's pocket, to the tune of him being physically lambasted by the steak. Nagito looked down at the floor as the chef's e-Handbook slid close to his feet.

Idly, the Luckster picked it up and turned it on, bypassing the lock screen via his overflowing Stache—I mean, Luck. (Or it could be his Ahoge stat, I dunno.) "Oh? What's this?"

Hajime and Chiaki popped up from over his shoulder, looking over the tablet's screen—and the email still brought up on it. "Hey, that's the message they sent to Teruteru," the former realized. "Do you guys think…?"

"…the notes attached could help?" the latter finished. "Yeah, we should probably check those."

Now, as much as I would love to show you the entire recipe… I have no idea how to accurately write something as professional as that. (Also, it'd probably be boring as hell for us normies.) Thus, I'll just give y'all the cliff notes version of what the trio learned:


How to grill the perfect steak:

Step 1: Tenderize with a hammer, until it's bending over halfway.

Step 2: Season with salt and pepper. Lots of salt and pepper.

Step 3: Grill evenly. Hot flames are permittable.

Step 4: Add lemon juice – no amount is too much!

Step 5: Block its attacks… then watch it collapse!


See? That's pretty digestible, isn't it?

…oh, and one more thing:


WARNING: Using replicas will cause the steak to taste like replicas.

Don't use replicas.


"…if you have to fight to even get this steak in position, then why would you bother making this a regular dish to begin with?" To say Hajime was baffled would be an understatement. "There's gotta be better choices to put on your menu…"

Chiaki put a hand to her chin. "This reads kind of like a video game walkthrough," she noted. "You could label it instructions for a boss fight and I wouldn't be able to tell the difference… if I read a lot of walkthroughs, anyway."

"Well, it's better than nothing!" Nagito cheerfully stated. "All you two need to do is coordinate a plan and lead everyone to victory. With both of your hopes combined into one, there's no way this class will lose to despair!"

"Ooh," Ibuki's voice flitted in, "what're you three up to?" She and a few others were standing a little off to the side, themselves curious about what was going on. "I smell a conspiracy coming along~!"

(Chiaki pursed her lips. "…is that really what we look like?")

"Do you, perhaps, have a strategy in mind?" Mitaraii asked. "Given the circumstances, anything would be appreciated at this point."

"You could say that," the brunette replied. "C'mon, let's get everyone who's not fighting the steak. We're gonna need a few hands for this…"


"Ah, hello!"

The sentient steak turned around, Teruteru having long since been rendered thoroughly unconscious. (Yeesh, he's seriously bruised!)

Nagito Komaeda stood alone in front of it, isolated from the rest of his classmates. His two hands were placed in his pockets, and a casual smile was perched on his face.

"You're one of the steaks that got shipped in, aren't you?" He lightly chuckled. "It must have been a sight, waking up to Teruteru about to grill you."

His opponent leaped into a tight stance. If it could growl, it probably would've.

"You shouldn't be so aggressive, though—I'd give anything to be in your position. To help raise this class's shining stars as high as they can go… that's an honor I can only dream of!"

Unamused, the steak proceeded to lunge toward the white-haired boy. By some unholy coincidence, it missed by an incredibly large shot.

"Ha ha, I should've guessed that you wouldn't want to make things easy. That's fine – it'll make the triumph of hope that much greater."

While Nagito distracted the piece of meat by virtue of being himself…

Akane squinted her eyes at the large hammers in her hand. She, Nekomaru, Gundham, and Sonia were each holding one; notably, the latter had a more extravagant-looking weapon than the rest. "Remind me why I can't just go back to beatin' up that thing with my fists, again? Weapons aren't really my thing."

"Normal abilities are no use against this beast," Gundham said—"that is why we must use these arms to supplement our magical prowess! With these mighty mallets, we may yet surmount this sinister steak!"

"That is correct!" Sonia chimed in. "I've always wanted to try using a hammer myself!" She experimentally lifted hers up and down, smiling brightly as she did. "I must say, it's a lot lighter than I thought it'd be! You must've put a lot of work into this, Kazuichi!"

"Yeah, well… it was a bit of a side project," Kazuichi admitted, wiping some sweat from his forehead. "It's not exactly finished—but for you, Miss Sonia, I made sure it was good enough! J-Just don't break it or the other hammers; I don't wanna go through all that work again."

"Never fear, Kazuichi!" Nekomaru bellowed. "We'll spare your hammers as much damage as we can! I wouldn't be much a man if I couldn't do that—!"

"Will you idiots go already!?" Hiyoko snapped.

The Gymnast sighed. "Fine, fine, we're going!"

With that, the frontline crew stormed back into the fray, mallets ablazing. The oversized beef had no time to react before it was pounded into the ground—and no time to counter given the four weapons coming down on it at the same time.

Hajime whipped out a stopwatch and clicked it on. 'Tenderize with a hammer until it's bending over halfway' was a very vague instruction, so he was gonna let the quartet go for ten seconds and evaluate things from there.

"One… two… three…"

"Remember the plan, everyone," Chiaki said, wide awake. "After Team Plumber finishes Step 1, Team Halberd is up for Step 2."

Kazuichi hopped onto a makeshift machine-gun mech, loaded up on containers of salt and pepper. Ryota and Mitaraii were hanging behind, ready to reload if necessary.

"Don't worry," the Mechanic affirmed, "we've got this well and handled!"

"Four… five… six…"

"Step 3 will be taken care of by Team Star Power—"

Ibuki held up her custom-made guitar and let a few flames shoot out of its head, a wicked grin sitting on her face. "Hahahahaha! Watch me! Ibuki Mioda is gonna make this the performance of her life!"

Mahiru sweatdropped, as did Hiyoko and Mikan. Is it a good thing or a bad thing we're only controlling her temperatures…? she thought, sitting by the Musician's modified speakers.

"Seven… eight… nine…"

"—and after that, us—Team Aperture—" She pointed to herself, Hajime, Fuyuhiko, and Peko "—will deal with Step 4."

Fuyuhiko stared at the… 'lemon' in his hand. It was a lemon, no doubt – a ripe, yellow lemon with all the lemon juice one could want.

There was one key thing about it that set it apart, though…

"Chiaki, why did you ask for these to be grenades?"

The Gamer flitted her eyes away. "…I thought it'd be funny," she mumbled. "'Make life take the lemons back' and all…"

"…and ten!" Hajime clicked the stopwatch again. "Okay guys, you can stop now!"

Akane, Nekomaru, Gundham, and Sonia promptly backed off, leaving their poor target practically flattened against the floor. It shakily got back up, only for its upper half to flop over like a piece of paper.

"Ah, I think it is weakened now!" the Princess merrily pointed out. "Shall we attack anew with everything we have!?"

The class's everyman nodded. "Yeah. Team Halberd, you're up!"

"Aw right!" Kazuichi aimed his cannon and grinned. "Let's get this party started!"

Ryota gulped. "I have regrets…"

The pink-haired boy fired on all cylinders, expelling plumes of particles onto the steak's otherwise dry surface. The rate of fire was rather extreme, given how it was sent spiraling around and around—but honestly, nobody really cared. So long as this thing was taken care of, the means didn't really matter. (I can sympathize!)

Mitaraii sighed as he replenished Kazuichi's ammo, alongside the Animator. "The things we do to get good food on our plates…"

(Where do you kids get this stuff, anyway? Ultimates or not, there's no reason these needed to be saved for a rainy day…

…wait, what the hell does a rainy day even look like for these guys—?)

A few more seconds of this passed, before Chiaki gave out her next order.

"Team Star Power, rock out!"

"Don't hafta tell me twice!" Ibuki bounced onto the battlefield and let loose, practically shoving her red-hot flames right up its nonexistent anus—front and back, it should be noted. "Prepare for the best song you've ever heard, Crazy Steak! I call this one, 'Blowing Up the Universe With the Power of Love'!"

As she did, Hiyoko was turning up the dials as far as they could go. "Kehehe… that nasty, trashy pigshit's gonna feel it now," she giggled maliciously. "After it's done burning, it'll regret trying to show its face around me!"

"A-Ahhhh…!" Meanwhile, Mikan was… uhh… drenched over the speakers, a perverted smile and luminescent blush on her face. "This feels… so warm…!"

Mahiru's jaw hung open in exasperation. "Mikan, don't do that! That's not appropriate to do at all!"

Thankfully, the Ultimate Musician had the sense to stop doing the toasty-woasty after a while. As a result of the impromptu grilling session, the sentient food was now dancing as if it had feet. Okay, it was less dancing and more 'oh god the floor is lava', but you get the idea.

"We're almost there!" Chiaki said. "Team Aperture, let's make lemonade!"

"I wish I knew what you were referencing half the time…" Fuyuhiko muttered. Only Hajime's able to read you, which is a miracle in and of itself.

Nevertheless, he did his duty alongside Hajime, pulling the latches and tossing the grenades where they needed to be. (Peko was handing them more on the side, for those curious.) They actually weren't that bad; you could mistake them for being grenade-throwing experts!

…wait, no, that's a bad thing.

"Aaaaaaaand we're done!"

The minute their supplies of combustible lemons ran out, the four stepped back and watched their target.

It was perfectly cooked—not an area untouched, not an atom left not steaming. It was truly a grilling worthy of the Ultimate Cook… even if he was unconscious for most of said grilling.

"That's Steps 1-4 complete," Hajime said. "All that's left to do is wait this guy out!"

"A task easier said than done," Peko grimly remarked. "This steak doesn't seem to be content with a quiet end."

Indeed, the steak was acting far more frantic now—with one last burst of energy, it began to rush toward the remaining students with a speed comparable to Mario Kart at 200cc (shudder).

The sixteen present students reacted with panic, scrambling to get out of the way.

"Not again!"

"It's still going!?"

"ACK! MY MECH! I JUST FINISHED THAT!"

For a hot minute, destruction reigned all over the cafeteria, with more chairs and tables being knocked across the room. Kazuichi's aforementioned mech lasted approximately 2.5 seconds against it, and most of the others didn't fare much better.

Ibuki was smashed into Mahiru and Hiyoko, together getting tangled up into a ball—

"WHOA! This is new!"

"YAH! What the—!?"

Akane was dropkicked into Nekomaru, too fast for either to react—

"Ugh—! I'm gonna feel that in the morning!"

Ryota tripped and ate floor, much to Mitaraii (and Mikan's) concern—

"WAAAAAAAAAAH! Regrets! So many regrets!"

"Ryota! P-Please don't move, I'm c-c-coming!"

Nagito… didn't manage to escape this time, unfortunately for Kazuichi—

"Oof! Pinned under five chairs… My bad luck has struck again, I see…"

"AHHHHHHH! Too much stuff falling, too much stuff falling!"

Needless to say… no one was getting that sweet, sweet No Damage Coin Bonus today.

Finally, after going through all of Class 77-B, the well-baked cuisine stopped right in front of Hajime and Chiaki.

The probably-maybe-definitely-or-not-a-couple were ill-equipped to deal with it. Sure, Hajime had some exercise on his resume, and Chiaki could dish out a mean Heaven-Slaying Dragon Fist… but they weren't exactly fighters by any definition of the term.

"I don't think I'm at a high enough level for this," the Gamer blankly stated.

"If we're gonna die, at least it'll be together," her crush took in a breath.

The steak lunged in for an attack…

…and was subsequently countered by Chisa Yukizome barging in with a giant mallet of her own, which just so happened to be glowing like a goddamn rainbow.

Where can I get that!? That'd be such a cool conversation piece to have back home!

"Hmm. Not the weirdest thing I've ever seen at Hope's Peak," she quipped. "Good thing I decided to bring this Legendary Hammer with me to school today."

Several faces brightened up. "Ms. Yukizome!"

The ex-Ultimate Housekeeper beamed. "Hello, kids! Sorry I'm late; I didn't find out what was happening until a few minutes ago." She looked around at the virtual storm surrounding her. "Wow, this place is a mess! You guys must've had one heck of a barbeque!"

Hajime sweatdropped. "That's… quite the understatement…"

Chiaki let out a sigh of relief. "At least it's over, now…" Under her breath, she mumbled, "I wonder how much that Super Move will affect our end rank…"

The steak went soaring through the air, far more gracefully than it had any right to be. Eventually, it landed on a large silver plate and finally, finally fell inert…

…just in time for Teruteru to wake up.

The chef initially didn't have much to say, only offering groans of pain. Then, he noticed the dish on the floor – the dish that he very clearly remembered not actually making.

"Uh," he blinked. "Guys? What happened? Did we—did we win?"

What a truly epic victory.

Stick a fork in it—it's done!


One hour later…


Courtyard

So.

Now Class 77-B had a giant steak, but nowhere to eat it.

The cafeteria was temporarily in ruins, and like hell they were gonna go back to their classroom for such a magnificent meal.

Luckily, the weather outside was nice and warm—

—thus, the crew decided to host an impromptu picnic out in Hope's Peak's courtyard.

There are worse places to choose from, I guess.

(Like in the middle of a desert during the apocalypse, for example.)

Everyone had thankfully recovered from the incident, and were happily chowing down on their portions of the steak. Nagito, Sonia, Gundham, Ibuki, Fuyuhiko, Peko—even Ryota was joining in, his extreme nervousness barely considered a fact.

A sense of satisfaction hit Hajime as he looked around. Even now, having spent so much time with this batch of Ultimates, the scene before him couldn't be described as anything less than bizarre.

The bastions of hope for the world and beyond… animatedly chowing down with no regard for any sort of social norms.

Seeing this… really helped put things into perspective.

He glanced down at his phone as it vibrated, a familiar Discord chat lit up on-screen.


ShroomStasher: Man, that's quite the story!

ShroomStasher: I never could have guessed you two coming into contact with something like that!

ShroomStasher: You guys are okay, right?


Hajime snorted.


FortheFuture: Yeah. Ms. Yukizome saved us, in the end.

ShroomStasher: That's a relief!

ShroomStasher: I've fought a couple of steaks myself, and they're no cakewalk!

FortheFuture: Of course you've already seen some…


Knowing his luck (or Nagito's), he was probably the 'that one chef' Teruteru was talking about. If he wasn't, he'd chop off his cowlick.


FortheFuture: I hope we don't get blindsided by something like this again. I may be pretty capable, but this was really new.

FortheFuture: If I'm being honest, it… kinda scares me a little.

ShroomStasher: Life can be like that.

ShroomStasher: Star Spirits know I could do with a break sometimes.

ShroomStasher: Don't worry, though—whatever surprises wait in store, I'm confident you'll be able to deal with them this go-around.

FortheFuture: …that means a lot, coming from you. Thanks.


"A battle against a giant sentient steak, huh…?" Chisa's voice pulled him back into reality. "Now that's something I wish I could've properly participated in!"

The eccentric homeroom teacher was sitting with Hajime, Chiaki, and Teruteru, as the resident Class Representative filled her in on everything that had happened in the interim. She took the infodump well in stride, whereas Teruteru seemed to be simply dejected.

"Too bad I was knocked out for most of it," the chef sighed. "I'm supposed to be the Ultimate Cook, but that—thing bested me before I could even do anything!"

"Hey, you couldn't have predicted that would happen!" Hajime comforted him, putting a hand on his shoulder. "I'm still coming to terms with it myself."

Chiaki nodded. "You were facing a superboss when you were only at midgame stats. No one blames you for being caught off-guard."

"I know, I know… it's just so frustrating, though!" he wailed. "This was supposed to be my big moment, and now everything's ruined! When am I ever gonna get an opportunity like this again…?"

…yeesh. Somebody sure takes their cooking abilities seriously.

He really needs to chill out a bit, maybe get a magazine or something…

"It's not the end of the world, Teruteru," Chisa said. "You may be the Ultimate Cook, but you're still learning! So long as you're willing to learn from your mistakes, I think you'll be fine."

He paused. "Ms. Yukizome… you really think so?"

"Of course! Rome wasn't built in a day, after all!"

A smile came upon the Ultimate Gamer's face. "That's right. And if you need help, we'll be there for you—me, Hajime, and all of our other classmates."

"We survived one steak, we can probably survive another," Hajime affirmed. "I'd prefer it if we didn't have to go through that circus again, but admittedly, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world."

Teruteru took a moment to consider their words.

Now, he may have been a shameless pervert, but he was plenty human nevertheless—capable of being demoralized, capable of being inspired.

And these little speeches were certainly inspiring enough, if you ask me.

"…yeah. Yeah, you three are right." He pumped a fist in the air, freshly reenergized. "I may have been defeated once, but I won't let that stop me! Next time, instead of me being hammered, I'll be the one doing the hammering! Heh heh heh!"

That's… quite the worrying statement coming from his mouth, not gonna lie.

(Can he stop it with the innuendos for a single second…?)

"Glad to see you're back to normal," the Reserve Course student said. "Kind of."

"You know it! Say, Hajime… to celebrate, how 'bout we get to know each other with our bodies tonight? I've got plenty of free time~!"

Chiaki glared, and tugged at her friend's arm possessively. "No."

"Aww…"

And so it was that this little tale draws to a close. Perhaps not in the most elegant way possible, but conclusive it still is. Now that we've gotten a good look at this wonderful cast of characters, I have to say, I can't wait to see what other shenanigans these guys manage to get into.

That being said, I can't help but feel like I've forgotten something… hmm…

Chisa blinked, a question coming to her mind as well. "Hold on… Teruteru, a shipment of uncooked steaks was sent over to Hope's Peak, right? Not just one?"

"Yeeeeeeeees," Teruteru slowly answered. "That's what they said. Why do you ask, Ms. Yukizome…?"

The doors to the academy promptly burst open without warning. Everyone turned to look, and lo and behold, they were greeted by three different overly-sized steaks.

And they was likely more where they came from, too.

A brief moment of silence ensued.

"This is gonna suck," Hajime said wisely.


This idea has been brewing for a long time now. Like, 'November 2018'-long time.

And hey, since Paper Mario: The Origami King literally got released just this month, I figured that I might as well finally get this fic out the door.

One of the wackiest (and funniest) things to come out of Paper Mario: Color Splash was the fight against a sentient steak. You heard me right—a sentient. Steak. It's certainly a bit Guide Dang It-y and comes outta nowhere, but I love it anyway. Best fight in the game, hands down.

Since I'm weird and love crossing over the weirdest things, I decided, "Hey, why not toss Class 77-B in front of one of these steaks and see what happens?" I mean, if Side: Despair is any indication, this is certainly something they'd get involved in. Can't let Class 78 take all the insanity for themselves, right?

Well, that's all for now – see you around!