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Let the games begin

Chapter Text

Like a prey staring down it's predator, Takaoka stood in front of Karasuma and his fiancée.

"So do we have a deal, old pal?" He lingered the words, mocking him, knowing he had the upper hand.
Irina stood closer to Karasuma, feeling him tense up. It was an odd feeling, but she knew it always happened when the two males were in close contact with each other; two alpha males, both wanting to win.

"I will not jeopardize my student's safety for your sick whims." Karasuma hissed through gritted teeth. He had been dragged into this situation horribly; the phone call he received of Irina screaming for help still clouded in his mind.

He took a quick glance back at her, looking at the gashes littered across her body, the tears streaming down her face, the pure malice in her beautiful eyes as she stared at the man teasing them. The way she clung to him was with pure fear. An assassin, best in her field, rendered weak and helpless by one person with one blunt knife.

"I will ask once more," Takaoka smiled with a sick intention. "Let me have those students for my little game, or there will be consequences.”
Karasuma’s eyes quickly filled with multiple emotions, but fear was the most evident. Not only for his students, Irina and himself but for whatever the unknown consequences were. Regardless, he quickly composed himself back to his stoic nature.

“I said no. You will not harm the students.” He mustered all the venom he had. They’re not students anymore, but he still told you to protect them. The voice of the Octopus’s last words to him had remained there since he departed, and so far he had stayed true to his promise.
Takaoka’s sick smile grew. The scars from his scratching almost ripped at the seams when he let out a deranged laugh.
Irina flinched and drew closer to her fiancé, scared that if she didn’t, she’d lose him forever. Karasuma, still kept his eyes locked on the madman, but slightly hooked his arm so Irina knew he was still there.

“Look at you two, the power couple, the slut and the secret agent.” His eyes narrowed. “Now there’s something you haven’t told her, isn’t there, old friend?”
Karasuma ignored the remark of his fiancée being called a slut, but he couldn’t ignore the turquoise eyes, pleading him to give her answers. He stroked her face gently, trying to avoid the cuts.

“Oh stop being mushy, you know she was your last assignment, don’t you? Before you got reassigned to the Octopus” He smirked at Irina’s sad face. He knew he was getting to them, and that’s how he wanted it to be.

“W-what?” She stuttered, “You were meant to kill me?” Her fragile body looked like it was about to break.

“I was. I got reassigned and forgot about the case. You then came to the same place and I had orders to get rid of you once the Octopus was gone.” He sighed and turned to her properly, forgetting Takaoka. “I was going to at first, but then I started to know you and-“ He was cut off by a gunshot.

Time seemed to slow as he fell to the floor, Irina rushing to grab him, her eyes pouring rivers. Hitting the floor, his face twisted into a look of agonising pain, that wasn’t a normal bullet. Irina’s tears dripped onto his face as she held him close. Taking her jacket, she tried desperately to stop the blood loss.

“Won’t work.” Takaoka was suddenly standing over her grinning evilly. “It was laced with poison, why would I let you have longer together?” He laughed again.

“You sick bas-“ She tried to say before Karasuma grabbed her hand and squeezed it. She looked down at him, surprisingly, his face was calm and gentle, the same face he used when he proposed to her.

“You’ll be okay, you’re a tough woman, that’s why I love you.” He whispered as he squeezed her hand. The moment didn’t last long as he began to cough up blood. Irina held him. It was the least she could do.

“I love you too.” She whispered back as he quickly fell limp in her arms, a slight smile graced his lips. The lips she used to kiss, the lips that told her he loved her, the lips that were now parted, painted with blood.

“Isn’t that sweet” Takaoka appeared again. He leant down and tucked her hair behind her ear. “Now, dollface, you’re gonna call those wretched brats and tell them to come here. Don’t forget to mention the class dad here.” He nudged Karasuma with his leg as he held a gun to Irina’s head.
She took out her phone with shaky hands and started a group call with the ex-students of 3-E. She lowered the phone once she’d done and turned to the madman before her.

“They’re coming” She whispered, with tears painting her face.

Takaoka smiled again.
“Good girl. Now, let the games begin”

Chapter Text

The ex-class didn't believe what they'd just been told. Irina's heartbroken voice on the phone, very different to her normal, bubbly self. She told them to get to their old classroom tonight, that Karasuma was dead, and Takaoka was back. They could almost feel her tears drip through the phone, especially when she mentioned Karasuma. They didn't dare say a word to calm her, they knew they had to just listen, they knew she was forced to call them.

Normally, Irina would just take the shot to the head, she was an assassin, she'd never take others down with her. Her strong nature made herself promise not to. But Takaoka would find the kids anyway, and if it wasn't by her then it would've been in the worst way possible. Irina hated herself for what she did but she knew it was the only way to cause the least harm to the kids she knew and loved.

They ran. The forest they loved was flashing past their eyes. Panting, sweating, stumbling footsteps, their cross-country training going to waste as they desperately tried to reach E class. They didn't care, they just needed to be there.

They began to reach the top of the hill, pain clearly written on their faces, when suddenly Kurahashi stopped and pointed something out in the bushes.

"Is that..?" She edged closer to the crippled figure draped over the rocks, as the rest of the class stopped anxiously.

"What?" Nakamura replied, immediately followed by a large gasp from Kurahashi.

The class nervously approached behind her but instantly regretted it when they saw him too.
Karasuma lay there sprawled across the rocks, blood trickling from his stomach and mouth. His onyx eyes, eerily stayed open, but they remained staring into the distance, his usual stare, a loving glance in comparison. A faint lipstick mark dusted on his forehead, clearly from his fiancée.

The whole class was almost sick. Colour drained from their faces as they looked upon their class dad. The one who trained them all, the one who still visited them after they graduated, cared for them when they needed, the one who meant everything to them.

They had all recently received an invitation to his and Irina's wedding. Shock and excitement bloomed from all of them as Irina shoved the ring in their faces and told them they'd be getting married on the beach where the students set up the date for them.
But that day would never come.

Some began to cry as others just stared at Karasuma in silence. They could only imagine what Irina was feeling.
Terasaka was the first to move, he walked over to him and gently closed Karasuma's eyes as a sign of respect.
He turned to the class with a small tear at his eye.
"Let's go."

They continued running up the hill, trying to push Karasuma to the back of their minds. When they reached the top, the sight was much worse than the one they just saw.

Takaoka, the man they all had a pure hatred for, stood there waving at them with a overly happy grin. His other hand, tightly locked around their language teacher's neck. Her face, clearly red from crying and littered with cuts, showed fear for the students standing in front of her.

"Hey there kids!" His voice was perky yet mildly sadistic. "Look at this pretty doll I found, all for me now her boyfriend has gone." His grip on Irina grew tighter as she let out a squeak. More tears leaked from her face as her baby blue eyes desperately stared at the class.

The 28 faces that were once showing sadness quickly turned into rage. They saw how Irina wasn't even putting up a fight, her fire and mojo gone; it tipped them over the edge.

"What the hell do you want with us?" Isogai finally said what they were all thinking. His voice clearly broke, but he tried to keep his brave facade for the others’s sake.

Takaoka’s smile turned into a twisted grin as he threw Irina to her knees and held a gun to the back of her head.
"I want to play a game with my beautiful class, and if you don't play, then dollface here is gonna join that bastard on the rocks."

The class slowly looked at each other, almost as if they could read each other's minds. They had already lost two of their teachers, they weren't going to lose the third.

"Now listen to your dad and get in that class." He cocked the gun. "Now."

Sympathetic eyes glanced to Irina as they solemnly shuffled past her. Yada stopped beside her, wanting to comfort her, but with a glare from the deranged man, she continued walking, a tear dripping down her face.

Soon enough the whole class was seated, fearfully sneaking glances at each other, worried for each other's safety.

Takaoka wasn't far behind them, grinning whilst he walked in, dragging Irina by the neck. An eerie silence filled the room except from Irina’s strangled gasps, before Takaoka spoke again, “I assume you'd like to know where I'm taking you?"

Karma finally spoke up, his usual bravado missing, "You still haven't answered Isogai, what the fuck do you want with us." His voice not cocky for once, but laced with fear.

"Language." Takaoka reprimanded, forcing the gun into Irina's back. "But I will tell you what I want with you. You shits ruined my life. So I'm going to ruin yours. You're going to a special little place where I get to see you kill each other." His twisted smile gleamed once again.

"And why would we do that?" Terasaka shouted back at him, a look of worry etched on his face.

"I'm glad you asked! This is where my rules come in." His scars stretched to his smile as he threw Irina to the ground before picking up a stick of chalk. The gun aimed right at her face as he dragged the chalk carelessly, speaking as he wrote.

"Number one, at the start you do not move until the timer hits zero. A surprise might happen!" He turned to see 28 terrified faces. Smirking, knowing he had them where he wanted them, he continued:

"Number two, there are to be no alliances in the first hour. You pick up what you can, no sharing, and either kill or run. Number three, there can be only one winner, yes that's right, one of you can get out!" His smile twisted into something evil.

Irina wheezed before suddenly speaking; she was brave despite the situation. "You've beaten this bastard before, you can do it again." Her words bitter and emotionless, gazing up at the man in front of her with cold eyes, as if she was the one who was dead, not her fiancé.

Without warning, Takaoka kicked her with his full power, gaining a loud cough and blood dripping out of her plump lips. Her wheezing grew worse as she clutched her side. Shouts of protest filled the room as she saw Takaoka move closer.

Time seemed to slow for Irina as he pointed the gun straight between her beautiful eyes. The screams of protest became numb as she embraced her last moments. She remembered a time when she would laugh when being threatened, telling the stories about it to Lovro, and more recently Karasuma, when she got back. Karasuma loved her laugh; the way she couldn’t finish the sentence because ‘her experiences were so cliché she felt like a movie star’. Irina let out a small smile as all of her memories came flooding back. A tear shed from her eye as she glanced at the class at the side of her. They weren’t a class anymore- despite it being only two years, they had grown so much.

If only Takaoka had seen Irina’s smile, he would’ve kept her alive only to beat her more. His only weakness was people defying him. He strived on fear.

Takaoka’s grin stretched as his eyes lit with malicious intent. Cocking the gun, he ignored the screams from the kids getting louder.

A sudden silence filled the room when the gunshot went off. Irina’s frail body dropping to the ground, a pool of blood instantly forming at her head. With a tut, he rolled her over with his foot, before turning to the 28 frozen faces before him.

"Rule number four, kids. You do something I don't like, that will happen to you." He smirked, stashing the gun and pulling out a small device. "Lighten up kids! She was a bitch after all."

That threw everyone over the edge, screams, tears, swears, all thrown towards the twisted man that stood before them. What made it worse is he laughed. A deranged, mad, sickening laugh escaped his lips as he pushed the button on the device and pulled a gas mask over his face.

A dark smog entered from boxes hidden in the corners of the room. Coughs and gasps came from each student as their hateful eyes glared on the sadist in front of them, before passing out.

Nagisa realised his classmates were dropping like flies. He felt his eyes go wide with fear, sending a panicked loathing stare to Takaoka, soon joining his classmates on the floor.

Ritsu looked on at the scene from her box. Her classmates all on the ground with a shroud of gas lingering over them. Her tearful eyes were laced with terror as Takaoka began to walk towards her. When he reached her, she let out a small squeak as he placed a hand on her box.

"Now now my little government secret, you're going to help me." He whispered as he plugged in a memory stick, transferring Ritsu to his possession.

He took a step back and surveyed the class once more; 27 sleeping bodies and one dead. Takaoka smirked, knowing he was a step closer to making them suffer, he enjoyed this situation.

He pocketed Ritsu as he watched his henchmen run in and roughly drag out the ex-students, whistling a perky tune as he wandered out the door.

"Now then, let the games begin."

Chapter Text

Takaoka laughed as he surveyed the scene on his cameras, a large field set in the middle of an arena with 27 podiums standing a metre off the ground, each hosting a trembling previous member of class E. The podiums surrounded this huge, metal tent which held dozens of weapons and supply bags.

He watched more, in pure bliss as the students began to look around frantically, shouting across the field to each other. He raised an eyebrow at what Terasaka was doing, drawing attention to himself as he shouted as loud as he could to his 'squad' telling them it was going to be okay.

Takaoka laughed, deciding this was the right time to turn on his microphone. A crackle filled the arena, making the students jump, followed by his deep, sadistic voice.

"My dear class, welcome to the game." He laughed, watching the students go silent in fear. "Now, you know my rules and if you haven't guessed, this is the bit where you grab what you can and run, no alliances for an hour remember!" He chuckled more as he saw the students eyes go to the person they treasured the most. A valuable asset to the sadist watching.

"Here's another thing for you kids, when you hear a cannon sound it means someone is dead, hey, why don't we play two for your teachers? Means you know what it sounds like!" He presses the button twice and two cannon shots sounded through the arena, making the class flinch.

"Also, at the end of every day your beautiful little A.I will display the list of the dead, helps you lot to keep track of who's left, am I right?" Takaoka's face turned smug as he projected Ritsu onto the cornucopia of weapons. "This little sweetheart will also be your timer until you can leave! You have a minute, and remember no going early."

He laughed again, more sickening as he leant closer to the microphone, "Have fun."

The class began to get worried as Ritsu started ticking down, despite not being human, her eyes showed so many emotions. Clearly she had no control over anything. Hestitantly, the class prepared themselves to go, tears and heavy breaths escaping all of them, when their temporary focus was interrupted by a frustrated shout.

"Fuck this!" Okajima screamed, tears streaming down his face as his whole body shook. Ritsu's fearful eyes looked on as she reached 54, whilst the class glanced at each other- worried what would happen.

"Okajima, calm down." Kataoka's voice wobbled as she tried to reach out to him. Failing from the distance, she tried to whisper soothing words before being cut off.

"How can I calm down? Our last two teachers are dead and now we're being forced to kill each other?" He began to panic, his breathing almost erratic as his hands started to spasm. It seemed like he almost wanted to pace but there was limited space on his podium.

"Who says this is real?" His breaths turning to gasps, "Maybe he's just trying to make us scared and run from nothing." He began getting jumpy as he shifted from foot to foot, whilst Ritsu reaching 30.

"Okajima!" Sugaya shouted from across the field, his voice clearly strained but desperately trying to reach his friend. "Stop it, you're going to fall and we're not allowed to leave the podium! Remember?" He worried for whatever the surprise that Takaoka mentioned was.

Sudden realisation dawned on the rest of the class; they weren't allowed to leave the podium prematurely. Panicked screams and shouts were thrown at Okajima, telling him to calm down- that anything could happen if he fell.

22

"Fuck!" He ran his sweaty palms through his hair as he began to pace fully.

21

The screams became distant to Okajima as his tears clouded his vision.

20

Pulling at his slightly longer hair, he bit his lip, swiftly turning after a single step to take another.

19

Whilst turning he placed his foot down at an odd angle, making his ankle give way. His hands rapidly left his head to try and claw the air as he began to fall from his podium.

17

No matter how slow Ritsu ticked down, Okajima's fall seemed slower. All eyes on the field, including the falling boy's, widened as his second foot parted from from the podium.
Time seemed to stop as Okajima let out a fearful scream, his onyx eyes becoming pinpricks as they locked onto his podium- cracks forming as it began to expand.

15

Before he could even reach the floor or finish his scream, his small podium created a giant explosion, creating a mass of destruction. Shrapnel flew everywhere, shredding Okajima like a blender, one piece instantly going to his throat, cutting off his scream.
Terrified screams from the rest of the class only just managed to drown out the explosion, Kataoka and Nakamura's above the rest, their arms and torsos receiving the shrapnel that was cast to either side.

11

A cannon shot solemnly sounded throughout the entire arena, signifying he had already gone. His battered, sliced red body contrasting with the luscious green field. His chapped lips slightly parted, blood dripping from them. The rest of his face and body were indistinguishable; it was a horrific sight. Everyone, including the girls that he had perved on, began to cry. Okajima; the first one dead.

Yes, dead. Takaoka wasn't bluffing, not was this a dream. Yet, and under the worst circumstances, they now had their clarification they had to follow his rules, no matter what, and that included no alliances in the first hour.
Hearts broke and hands quivered, wondering if after that hour whether they'd see their friends ever again.

They had 6 seconds to compose themselves before they had to run into the centre and take whatever they could. Bags, weapons, health kits gleaming like treasure chests, yet still unappealing to the distraught class.

6

Maehara glanced at Isogai, his cheeks wet from tears as he watched Isogai wipe his own face and stare forward. Being brave, Maehara did the same, taking in a deep breath.

5

Yada caught Kurahashi glimpse at her, her beautiful green eyes laced with fear. She smiled softly with encouragement but they both knew it was forced.

4

Okuda and Kayano locked eyes, both terrified for their lives, their small bodies trembling almost in sync.

3

The Terasaka squad glanced worriedly at each other, yet determination was hidden somewhere beneath. They knew each member wouldn’t let this defeat them, even if their fiddling showed otherwise.

2

Sugaya and Mimura gasped with broken sobs as their eyes lingered upon the dead body of their friend; an art trio, now a duo.

1

Nagisa and Karma glanced across the arena to each other, for once, not in competition but in worry for the other’s life.

0

A loud siren screeched indicating the students could leave the podiums. Many of them were reluctant to do anything but remembered the rules and the three abrupt deaths of their teachers and classmate, so with their own and other’s lives in mind, they desperately ran towards a bag and weapon of some sort.
With very subtle eye contact, learned from their time as assassins, they managed to point out spare bags to each other, hoping to make it appear that they went in for their own bag and everything else was spare.

Mimura has only just stepped off his podium, clearly broken from his best friend’s death. Beginning to feel panicked, he sprinted into the trees, trying to escape the mess he was trapped in. Subconsciously he knew it was stupid to leave with nothing, but he was praying he could find something to snack on in the woods.

The class were out of there almost as quick as they were in, each going in slightly different directions to avoid any violation of the rules, yet trying to keep a note of the direction of their closest friends.

Within a matter of 20 seconds, the field was clear of students, aside from Okajima’s disfigured body and Ritsu's solemn image on the top of the Cornucopia of weapons. She shed a tear as she faded, watching the last handful of students disappear into the trees.

•••

The twenty-six remaining students dashed through the trees, tears falling as fast as their legs were running as they tried to escape the disturbing mental image of Okajima being ripped to shreds in front of them. The only other thing that their mind could conceive was where their friends were, what was going to happen to them, and when? They had all been told only one can win, it was just the waiting game of who. None of them wanted to be next, why would they? But every one of them knew it was inevitable.

  ••• 

 

Kimura ran as fast as his legs could possibly carry him. A successfully stolen rucksack frantically knocking against his back.  Flashes of green and brown rushing by him as he used his running skills to get him away. Tears still leaking from the quick-fire events and the death of a classmate, he just wanted to get as far as he possibly could. He continued to run, narrowly dodging each branch, jumping over tree roots and rocks.

Despite his speed and sense of direction, he missed a smaller rock behind a larger one when he flicked his head to duck under a branch. Whilst trying to leap over it, his foot managed to get lodged between the rocks and he fell forward, his leg striking into the other rock.
An ear piercing scream escaped his lips as he hit the ground, a burning pain shot through his leg as blood began to trickle down his shin.

Justice was hesitant to look down, but when he did he instantly regretted it. He almost threw up at the sight, the bone in his leg sticking out, fully snapped and shattered, and his ankle stuck between the rocks, trapped and twisted. He began to cry, screaming as he did. Birds began to fly out of trees at the horrendous sound. Suddenly, he remembered the bag he snatched. With a pained expression from twisting, he took it off his back and tipped all the contents out. Food, fishing lines and a pair of scissors fell out, but no medical supplies. He screamed again, his adrenaline wearing off and the pain becoming more intense. He knew there was nothing he could possibly do, not only could he never run again, but the thought of death scared him senseless.

He let out another cry, pure pain and anguish filled the air around him, alarming a certain redhead in the trees.

 

Hayami's head whipped to the ear piercing scream, her eyes twitching at the noise. She lowered herself from the branch cautiously before hesitating. Silently praying it wasn't Chiba, she sprinted to the origin.

She stopped dead in her tracks when she saw Kimura screaming and crying at his leg; the horrible mess now turning unnatural colours from the loss of blood. Hayami's face paled, but not to the point of Kimura; his face almost pure white from shock with dark streams down his tears from crying- he looked like death himself.

Taking a breath, Hayami ran over to him, startling him slightly at the sudden presence. She slowly kneeled in front of him on the blood-soaked ground, avoiding his leg at all costs, and placed her hand on his face.
"Justice." She stroked his tears from his cheek, "Look at me."

He tried desperately to pry his eyes away from his leg to look at her but needed the extra help from her turning his face. Tears kept streaming down his face as he looked at Hayami, his obsidian eyes begging her to do something.

She took a deep breath before looking at his mutilated leg, trying to find any way to get it free or to fix it. To no avail, she wondered if she could stop the bleeding somehow but was cut short when Justice slipped from her hand. Her reflexes managed to catch the faltering boy and hold him up but she was losing time.

"Justice, I don't know what I can do." Her voice broke as she began to cry, unable to help her friend, "I don't have the stuff to fix it."

Kimura's face melted in defeat, silence filled the air as he stared into nothing- black dots fluttering behind his eyes. Hayami's gentle touch soothing him as he let more tears flow. Justice was set on living his whole life, and here he was, sat on a patch of grass that oozed his own blood. Unexpectedly, his face hardened, if he couldn't live his life fully then at least he can help the redhead in front of him. He reached for his supplies bag and weakly forced it into her hands.

"There's food and stuff in there, take it." He let go of the bag when Hayami had a grip on it. Before either of them could say more, he threw up, swaying slightly as he brought his head back up, looking even paler than humanly possible.

"But you need-" She attempted to protest but was cut off by Justice reaching shaky hands to her gun. She soon realised what he was trying to do and with a swift movement of her gun, she shook her head. "No."

"Hayami, please." He swayed more as he began to sob. "It hurts, Rinka. Please, as a friend, help me."

Hayami was still in shock, her green eyes unknowingly locking onto Justice's before she realised he was tugging at her gun. She made a weak effort to get it back, letting it slip off her arm. The boy below her let out another cry as he reached to grab it. Hayami stopped him moving anymore, choking out a sob as she picked up the gun and lined it between his eyes.

"Please." He sobbed, the cold metal of the barrel pressing on the bridge of his nose being a somewhat relief to the burning pain in his leg.

Hayami's heart pounded out of her chest, she couldn't kill one of her friends, she couldn't. But leaving him here to suffer and die, that was much worse. With a shaky breath, she placed her unsteady hand on the trigger. She only time she had used a real gun was on the island, this was much worse. The redhead closed her eyes briefly to steady herself, restoring herself with a hardened expression.

"Masayoshi Kimura, you have my utmost respect." She bravely stated, clutching the trigger.

He smiled softly as he closed his eyes for a final time, "Thank you, Rinka."

She turned her head as she pulled the trigger, the ringing sound of her gunshot was followed by the intense sound of a cannon shot, telling the arena another one had gone. She physically winced when she heard his limp body thump on the floor.

Hayami turned back slowly, gasping for breath as her tears started up again. She looked at his closed eyes and the slight smile on his face, ignoring the gaping hole she had just created. With a heavy guilt weighing on her shoulders her face hardened again, knowing if she stayed too long, Takaoka had the power to do anything to her. With more tears, she ran back into the trees, whispering "I'm sorry."

 

Takaoka grinned as Hayami ran back into the trees, pleased that his plan was working to kill each other. He looked at the clock, seeing it had been an hour, he spoke again into the microphone.

"Go on then kids, find your friends." He said it in such a way that it was pleasant yet eerily creepy.

Takaoka leaned back in his chair, with a smug grin plastered on his face as he watched the cameras, his eyes instantly flicking to the sudden sprints of Sugino and Terasaka. He knew exactly who they were going for, he had done his research; stalking the school before he devised his game plan, gaining information, plotting.

He also knew exactly how to keep them apart, and that's exactly what he was hoping to do. Keep them apart from the ones they needed most. Break them. Create such a blind rage in them, so that he could relax on his input and let them take care of it.

He was genuinely shocked at the outcomes of Okajima and Kimura. Happy they were dead, yes. But not the ones he wanted. He wanted the loved ones, the ones who if they died would really take effect on others and send the game into anarchy.

Whilst in his thoughts, his sight wavered over Takebayashi walking increasingly close to the edge of the arena. Takaoka twitched; he definitely didn't want them to know they were enclosed in a dome as opposed to actually in the forests.

Forgetting exactly what he wanted to do, he flipped a switch with a heavy sigh. Suddenly, flames sprung out of the ground and threw themselves at trees, creating a gigantic forest fire.

He leaned back with an irritated growl, "I don't want to kill the irrelevant yet, I want to see you break!" He slapped his hands to his head before seeing another thing between his fingers.

Not too far from Takebayashi and the flames stood Yada. Her hair blowing gently as she wandered up the path, completely unaware of anything.

Takaoka smirked. His vision quickly flicked to Kurahashi, who was walking alone through trees. He remembered how close the girls were from his "research" and with that in mind, he flicked the switch again...

Chapter Text

The sun began to lower as Yoshida leaned against an overgrown tree. He breathed heavily as he observed his surroundings; taking in the masses of forests, the lack of people, the lack of his friends. Yoshida panted as he wiped the sweat off the bridge of his nose. He had been running since the podium, desperately trying to keep tabs on the directions his friends were in.

Looking at the sun, he tried to determine if their hour had been up, the anticipation of finding his squad, thriving within him. Aside from the squad, his longtime best friend lingered in his thoughts. Yoshida was longing to know if Hara was okay, even if they didn't speak much after graduation. He closed his eyes as he took in another deep breath, actually appreciating the fresh air despite the situation.

His brief moment of peace was abruptly cut off by the sound of a cannon resonating through the surroundings. Eyes snapping open from fear it was one of his close friends, he stood there in a frozen state — terrible situations running rapidly through his mind.

"Go on then kids, find your friends."

The eerie sound of Takaoka's smug voice cracking over the speakers snapped him out of his trance. Not wanting to waste time, Yoshida sprinted further into the woods; a panicked expression etched clearly on his face.

Yoshida mentally begged it wasn't the people close to him. Just the idea it could've been spurred him on to run faster. Branches scratched at him and leaves got tangled in his hair as he wove through the forest, fear clouding in his eyes.

His heart dropped as he reached a cliff. Despair suddenly turned to anger as he pounded his fists against it.

"Fuck!" Yoshida cried out, ignoring the loose rocks that fell from pounding it.

A snap of a branch alerted the boy, whipping his head round to locate the source of the noice. Far into the forest, Yoshida could make out the figure of a person heading along the rock face. Squinting to confirm who the person was, he hesitated before letting out a weak laugh, breaking into a sprint again.

"Hara!"
•••
The ground seemed to sway under Sugaya's feet as he stumbled through the trees. His mind was unable to process anything, especially the recent death of one of his best friends. Sugaya's head pounded, his vision going fuzzy, as he had no time to mourn. The more he thought about Okajima, the more nauseated he felt. Suddenly leaning against a tree to throw up, the final image engraved in his mind was his shredded body just laying there, bleeding out.

Sugaya wiped his mouth with the back of his sleeve, not caring if it got dirty. Tears finally began to stream as he got a moment to himself. The silence of the forest becoming hell; letting him dwell in the disturbing images in his mind.

The silence was broken by a single cannon shot, followed with Takaoka's gruff voice. Sugaya slumped more, almost relying on the tree to support him. He didn't care about finding his friends. One was already gone, and the most recent cannon gave him the immediate fear the other one was gone too.

Hearing a rustle of leaves, he gave no effort to look. Sugaya hesitated, wondering if someone was out for him- the cannon indicated to him that the class was already turning on each other. He didn't particularly want to die, but he had no strength to fight them off.

Swaying more than before, he hurled again. Nausea and shock shrouding his mind, he finally let himself collapse, oblivious to the fast footsteps getting increasingly closer...
•••

The sun rested on the horizon as Takebayashi began to sweat. He had been walking, his mind trying to escape the outcome of earlier when he began to get increasingly warm. Finally, reaching his limit, he turned to see a gigantic blaze towering before him. His jaw dropped; behind the terror, an uneasiness could be seen in his wide eyes.

Trying to turn as fast as he physically could, a fireball suddenly flung itself across his path and cut him off before he could even take a glance in the other direction. Desperately seeking an escape route, he soon began to panic; ducking and running was definitely not his forté.

Takebayashi began to pant as he kept twisting his slim body in search of freedom from the flames. Sweat beaded on his forehead and his mouth went dry as the heat got more intense. Every second felt like forever as he stood in his panic; however, cursing himself for not being able to find a solution.

As the flames danced demonically around him, he finally succeeded in spotting a weak part in the fire. His heart filled with adrenaline as his eyes narrowed with determination. Eager for his escape, he sprinted through the blaze, cursing as burns instantly formed across his skin that was showing.

Tears pricked in Takebayashi's eyes as he reached the other side, but to his dismay, the inferno got larger. Ignoring the urge to itch his stinging arms and face, he put all his faith in his athletic abilities and began to dash through the blazing trees.

Takebayashi had never run so fast in his life. The fire kept growing, catching up with him, no matter how far or fast he ran. He began to falter, tripping over the odd rock and branch, his lungs wheezing at the lack of oxygen, his sweat making his glasses slide up an down his nose.

The inferno got stronger. With every grasp from the flames, another scar appeared on the boy's weakening body. Despite his glasses, his vision began to fade as a pain in his head began to form. Letting out a low grunt, Takebayashi forced himself to continue, pushing the pain in his head and lungs to the back of his mind.

Something caught his eye through the sea of flames; a flash of dark auburn hair gently flowing in the heated breeze. Takebayashi's could hardly make out who it was, his eyes were dry from the heat, but luckily he managed to spot the familiar scrunchie that held the brunette's locks.

Takebayashi forced himself to shout. His dry throat scratching as he screamed, yet too focused on helping the girl, he was unable to spot the danger hurtling towards him.

"Yada, Run!"

•••
Yada wiped the sweat from her forehead as she walked. She didn't understand why she was beginning to feel hot and feverish, but her uncertainty was soon answered as she heard the distant, yet eerily close cry of someone else.

Startled by the fact she wasn't alone, she spun around to see Takebayashi sprinting towards her, followed by a burning inferno, screaming her name and for her to run as he kept stumbling over rocks.

Yada's jaw dropped. The blaze engulfing the forest that surrounded her, shock and fear overcoming her. Yada stood dumbfounded as she stared at the ocean of orange, unable to move.

A short scream knocked Yada out of her trance. Diverting her eyes swiftly back to Takebayashi, she froze as an enormous fireball flew in from the left and hit Takebayashi square on, flinging him into a tree.

Yada's eyes widened as tears began to form and cling to her eyelashes. The flames began to get closer, licking at her arms and face. Hesitantly, she turned and was about to run before she heard an earsplitting scream of pure agony.

Flicking her head back to the tree, Yada saw Takebayashi emerge from the flames, burnt to a crisp. His glasses had melted into his cheeks and his body was barely recognisable with how quickly he had been scarred.

Yada had to cover her ears as Takebayashi screamed his aching lungs out again, it easily overpowered the crackling of the flames. It was clear he wasn't going to make it, but the way he looked at her- the pain and desperation in his eyes- Yada couldn't just leave him.

Ignoring her own weakening body, she clumsily ran to him, narrowly dodging smaller fireballs and spreading flames. Her lungs quickly began to lose their capacity at the lack of oxygen, but she pushed herself to reach him.

When she got there he was as stiff as a log. Takebayashi's burns were unbelievably deep and horrible, the molten metal of his glasses seeping into his crisp, blackened skin. Yada almost threw up. Her skin began to receive the same treatment as she stood in a panic, unsure how to help the boy in front of her.

Yada felt her throat get tighter and her vision started to fade; her rapid breathing from her current panic attack causing her more harm. Desperately trying to soothe her, Takebayashi reached to embrace her, neglecting the pain and stiffness of his own body. Before he could, he noticed another fireball heading directly towards them. The fear in Takebayashi's eyes alerted Yada; slowly turning, an expression of terror was etched on her face in the split second before they were hit...

•••

Takaoka smirked as he leant back, watching the two teenagers scream and writhe in pain as their bodies were pinned between the molten rock and the trees. He let out a sadistic chuckle as he saw their bodies collapse, indicating the carbon monoxide had defeated them both.

He grinned as he let off another two cannon sounds at the push of a button. Watching them die was only his second favourite thing. The first? Watching the rest of the teenagers' faces drop into a state of panic every time a cannon went off. It amused him. But when he pressed those two? It turned to chaos.

No one would ever expect two to go, but then again, no one knew of Takaoka's forceful input.

Takaoka swivelled in his chair as he watched his vast amount of cameras. His grin twisted into a horrible sight as he remained watching the ex-students, laughing at their misfortune.

It was reaching the night. Takaoka's plans of displaying the four already deceased students on a screen- wanting to taunt the class further. Firing Ritsu up again on a separate screen, he planned a slideshow of the four, with their photos, the time and how they died.

He smirked as he typed 'shot by Rinka Hayami' for Justice; hoping the limited detail would put even more fear into the students, wanting them to be scared of each other.

As Takaoka was typing, one of his screens stood out to him. His eyes fell onto Kayano, leaning in intently as he observed her body language. Her small figure twitching, her eyes clenched almost as if she was in pain, the way she held her neck.
It thoroughly confused him, stopping him from typing as he took notes, yet deep down, he knew...

Things were going to get much more interesting.

Chapter Text

Night fell upon the arena soon after the life-stealing fire had dwindled away; leaving embers to float between the trees like tiny, glowing butterflies. Just like the fire, the chaos of the class seemed to subside, yet still, with the number of cannons already in the first day, there was a high tension still in the air.

Suddenly a large blue square lit up across the sky with a thundering sound that made all the ex students across the arena stare up at it in awe and confusion. The blue aura it gave off made the arena feel colder than it actually was. Yoshida had Hara tucked under his arm to keep her warm. Kurahashi had tried to drag an unconscious Sugaya under a tree and used a blanket she had grabbed to drape over him. The others were on their own, wanting to find their friends, but the darkness meant they had to wait until morning.

As soon as the sound finished, it echoed ominously before it went silent again, Ritsu showing up at the corner of the screen. Her eyes were as dead as they were when she first joined- clearly Takaoka had reprogrammed her during the day.

A picture soon faded onto the screen, bigger and more still than Ritsu. After a couple of seconds it was clearly a picture of Okajima, laughing freely with his arms raised in the air, one hand holding his camera. As his picture was fully displayed, Ritsu's monotonous voice spoke his name- the tone as dead as the boy on the screen.

The classes eyes filled with tears as they understood what was happening; Takaoka was showing them the deceased, whether it was a cruel trick or a general update, they didn't know. The only things they did know was that there was going to be four people from the four cannons, and it wasn't going to be easy for them to watch.

Ritsu continued, "killed by podium explosion."
Mimura's mind flashed back to the incident, his heart breaking all over again. He'd lost one of his best friends, the other he had no idea where he was. The boy wiped his eyes as he kicked at the ledge he was on; a safe place to rest for the night. Mimura begged that Sugaya was still alive- that he wasn't one of the other cannons, but he could only watch the screen and wait...

Megu frowned as she saw Okajima. Despite her always telling him to behave, and not flirt with every girl, she still couldn't help but shed a tear. They'd grown close from their interactions, an unlikely friendship, but still a good one.

As Okajima's picture faded away, the class awaited the next one- their eyes going wide with fear as they heard it.
"Masayoshi Kimura- killed by Rinka Hayami."

Hearts broke with confusion as they wondered what could've happened. Was it a fight? An accidental kill? Did Hayami have a sudden urge to win? No one knew, but it didn't sound good...

Okano looked at the photo of her dead friend- in an utter state of shock that he was killed by another friend of hers. Tears dripped down her cheek as she realised she'd never see Justice again. Never train with him, never go for a nightly jog with him, never do anything with him anymore. She was starting to see him as one of her best friends...but she wouldn't know if he felt the same.
Something changed in Okano as her brows furrowed and her breathing got gruff. She grabbed the bag she snatched and pulled out a knife, vowing to find Hayami and avenge her friend...whatever the cost.

As Okano started her mission to find the 'killer', the screen changed again, to a surprisingly happy version of Takebayashi. The class was somewhat surprised, Takebayashi actually had a good chance. Despite his lower skill in fighting than the others- he had an amazing will power, probably from spending too much time around Terasaka in maid cafes. He was relentless if he wanted to be.

As Ritsu spoke "killed in a forest fire", the class were once again utterly confused. Either one of the class had accidentally started a fire, or something with much more power was messing with them.

Terasaka gritted his teeth as he saw Takebayashi. Despite their unlikely friendship, they had spoke a fair amount at the maid cafes they went to. Takebayashi probably knew more about Terasaka than the squad did- his deeper darker secrets at least, the ones he wouldn't dare tell his gang.
Terasaka wiped the tear that was hanging off his eyelash, something else he wouldn't admit, as he leant back against the tree to see who the final death was.

The screen slowly changed again, the suspense killing the ex students. It was only a couple of seconds, but it felt like hours. As the screen faded onto the final person- a girl.

Once Yada's photo was on there, the girls in the class were soon in tears, some of the guys crying too. No one expected Yada to be one of the first to go, but once they heard that she died the same way as Takebayashi, they understood how bad the fire would've been.

Kurahashi was weeping the most, her favourite person in the class was actually gone. Her only wish was to see her one last time to hug her. The sound of her tears woke Sugaya beneath her. His queasiness still apparent, but his main concern for the girl above him.

"What happened?" He reached up to her to try and wipe her tears.

Kurahashi sobbed as she explained the screen, showing who had died during the day. She was inconsolable as she listed the four who died- breaking into a larger sob as she got to Yada.

All Sugaya could do was hug her, he felt even more broken at hearing Justice had died too. Two of his closest friends were gone- he only begged Mimura was still okay. The two of them kept weeping as the screen and Ritsu faded away, making the whole arena almost pitch black- the only light emitted from the virtual moon in the glass sky.

As the whole class tried to settle down for the night, knowing it would be best to after the day they had, Nagisa stayed in his tree- staring at the fake moon. He sighed sadly, memories returning to him of their past encounters with Takaoka and how they survived them.
But this? This was worse.

Nagisa lay down, his mind drifting off to each one of his classmates- all dead and alive. The statement about Hayami lingered in his mind- he only begged there would be no more classmates killing classmates.

It was quiet in the arena. Only the sound of tears and he rustle of leaves in the breeze could be heard. The ex students were all asleep, except for Okano, only dreading in their dreams of how the next day would turn out...

Chapter Text

As the virtual sun came up, the ex-students didn't waste one minute in sprinting off to search for their friends again. It was painful, waking up to run and search for people who could be dying the same day, especially if they were your closest friends. It had only been a day, but it was already beginning to feel like a rat race.

Takaoka laughed as he watched the students run frantically in all directions. He saw how close they were getting before dashing in another direction, narrowly missing someone they knew. He was proud of himself for the layout of the arena; thick trees, high cliffs with loose rocks, caves, and more, and it was even better with the fact that he could control it all.

Leaning back, Takaoka glanced at his notes he took when he secretly stalked the class before and after they graduated. He was still irritated that the few he wanted to die first hadn't. That was his main plan; to kill the ones that everyone loved in the class to watch the others break down and eventually kill each other until there was one left. But even though this wasn't his true plan, he could wait. He wanted to wait. What was happening worked, and was almost better than his original idea.

Takaoka flicked through the screens again before stopping on an unlikely pair. Yoshida and Hara confused him; they didn't hang out often, but when they did it was almost as if they were inseparable. He sighed and kept the camera on them, turning the volume up to try and hear their conversation.

-

After a restless night from sleeping on the floor, Hara and Yoshida woke to the sun rising above them. Both of them looked around, sighing with disappointment when they realised their situation wasn't a dream.

"Nice to know we weren't killed in the night." Yoshida let out a weak laugh, clearly scared but desperate to not show it to Hara.

"Yeah, the day is still ahead of us however." Hara stretched her back out before standing and offering a hand to Yoshida, "Come on, we better find Terasaka and the others."

Yoshida nodded and took her hand, stiffly pulling himself up. He was worried for the outcome of the squad, they all had their strengths and weaknesses. Terasaka and Muramatsu would able to go far with their strength, and Hazama and Itona's smarts would help them a lot, but faced with the opposite and all of them could crumble. Hara noticed the worried look on his face and grabbed his hand reassuringly.

"They'll be Okay, you really think the squad could die so soon? We'll find them, together." She smiled gently and patted his hand before letting it go, Yoshida sending a smile back to her in response.

"You're always right, let's go." He nodded and jogged alongside her, staying close to the cliff as an anchor point.

-

Sugino scrambled across the rocks and tree roots, desperate to find Kanzaki. His chest hurt as he ran, the adrenaline pumping through him as he scoured the forest for any sign of his girlfriend. The ground seemed to be falling under his feet with how panicked he felt, an emotion he wasn't used to. Eventually, his legs gave in beneath him and he fell to his hands and knees, panting heavily.

"She's not dead.. she wasn't on the screen and there's been no more cannons.." Sugino shakily reassured himself as he kept trying to get up, "Come on legs, I need to find her."

He kept trying to get himself up, but ending up collapsing after each time. The pain in his chest grew with each try and it was clear his body was telling him to take a break. He quietly cursed, sinking into the floor, placing a hand on his chest and staring into the treetops.

"I'll find you Yukiko, whatever it takes"

-

Rio held her knife between her teeth as she climbed down the tree she had slept in. The bag she had snatched had given her a good selection of items, both food, medicine, and a knife, which also motivated her to get far.

Taking the knife out her mouth, she wiped it on her leg and slot it back into the holster, a determined look on her face. She dashed further into the forest, her thoughts from the previous night clouding her mind.

Rio looked down as the blue screen faded, wiping a tear from her eye. The face Yada had died broke her heart, and surprisingly Okajima had also upset her, especially how she was next to him when he died. She looked down at her arms, still seeing the cuts that the flying shrapnel had given to her. Her early heartbreak, her early wounds, they struck a nerve within her. As she looked up, there was a sudden darkness in her ocean blue eyes, staring coldly into the treetops.

"I need to win." Her voice came out as a surprised mutter before it hardened. "I have to win, I will win."

"I'm going to win." Rio kept muttering to herself as she ran. "I need to get rid of my biggest compet..."

She trailed off as she faintly saw a dash of red hair in the trees in the distance. Her lips curved into a smirk as she ran after the colourful locks, her hand readying her knife. As she got closer she remained silent, waiting for her perfect chance...

-

After they'd had a sleepless night of endless crying, Kurahashi finally mustered the strength to keep going, but her main problem was encouraging Sugaya to do the same. He was surprisingly stubborn, much to Kurahashi's dismay.

"Sugaya please..." she could feel herself getting more upset with each word, having to explain her side of the argument each time.

"Kurahashi, I can't..." Sugaya felt sick once again, ever since he saw Okajima die, and knowing others were dropping like flies, he couldn't stop feeling queasy.

"You can! You can continue Sugaya, just think about Okajima and Justice... they would want you to keep fighting, for them..." she gave a desperate smile with the point she tried to make a dozen times.

"I don't want to...there's no point to fight if I don't have my friends" he stood back slightly when he saw Kurahashi's disappointed face.

"Mimura is still alive...and you still have everyone else...and me..." Kurahashi reached out for him, Sugaya making no move to draw away or go closer.

"I do now. But there's one winner, Hinano...either I'm going to die, watch my friends die and then I die, or the worst, watch them die then have to live on with knowing I'm the only one left... I can't go on Hinano...I'm sorry.." he brushed his fingers against her hand before turning away.

Kurahashi let out a hmph, she was getting to her last nerve, "Sugaya. I care for you, you're my friend. I'm asking you to please come along with me and we can get through things together. Please, we can help each other."

"Kurahashi, No. One of us is bound to die and I don't want to be there when it happens to you, I just..I can't watch another friend be taken.."

"Suit yourself!" She shouted, surprising Sugaya, "Just when we can go and make alliances and I find someone you don't even want to be with me! I had a crush on Yada and she's dead too! But I know she'll want me to continue...for her."

Kurahashi teared up when Sugaya shook his head. She muttered a last 'fine' before turning on her heel and stepping through a small trail down the forest.

Sugaya threw up again, the argument really not helping his current state. He heard passion in her words, an emotion Sugaya always admired, yet it didn't even stir him. He wiped his mouth before collapsing back on the floor, sitting in the silence with just his thoughts.

The silence was broken with a panicked shout coming from the direction Kurahashi left. It took a minute for Sugaya to zone back in, before another shout happened- calling his name out desperately.

He clumsily sprinted to the voice, wobbling on his collapsible legs before falling to the ground. Conveniently where he'd fallen wasn't too far from the green eyed girl in front of him. He forced himself to crawl closer before Kurahashi yelled at him to stop.

Sugaya have a confused face before he stood up, seeing the true danger. Kurahashi was thigh deep within a bank of quicksand, trying to scavenge through her bag for an item to help.

"D-don't move..." Sugaya stuttered, "The more you move, the quicker you sink..."

Kurahashi nodded and stayed still as she watched Sugaya search for something to pull her out with. She began to panic as she sank deeper, the sand creeping up to her hips. It was against her by the fact she was rather short also.

"Sugaya.." she mumbled and tossed her bag onto the bank, "Please hurry.."

Sugaya only nodded, not that she could see, as he fumbled for a long stick. Successfully finding one, he rushed back and handed her one end, holding onto the other himself. As he pulled, Kurahashi kicked her legs as if she was treading water, but it only seemed to make things worse.

"Stop kicking, you're only making it worse." He panicked himself as he saw the sand encasing her more. She immediately stopped and nodded waiting for him to pull her out.

Using all the strength he had, Sugaya pulled on the stick before Kurahashi yelped and let go, making him fall back.

"Something's grabbing my ankle!" She cried out, wiggling to get it off.

"Stop moving!" Sugaya tried pushing the stick back to her but she had sunk to her chest.

"Ow! It's biting me!" Kurahashi tried to move the sand out of the way as she kicked her foot with her other leg, "I can't get it off!"

Sugaya watched as she was now neck deep, realising she wouldn't listen and his fears were coming true. He tried desperately one last time to force the stick into her hands but all of sudden, she was yanked below the surface, nothing to be seen. Sugaya yelled and dug the stick into the sand, almost fishing for her before she drowned in the sand.

He spent a minute searching before he fell back in shock at the cannon shot that went off, signifying she had gone.

"No. No no no..." he dropped the stick which soon also began to sink. His heart was racing as he sat back in disbelief- this time, the death was his fault. If only he had gone with her, this wouldn't have happened.

Sugaya felt sick again, his eyes glancing to the bag Kurahashi had tossed onto the bank. A shaky hand reached out to grab it and he checked he contents; a single gun, with a small orange beside it. He looked past the gun and grabbed the orange, thinking the food would at least help fill his stomach.

Placing the bag on his back along side his own, that was filled with water, he decided to get up and continue walking, despite his shaking legs.

"I'll keep going...for you..."

Chapter Text

Maehara wiped his brow as he stared up at the sun. From where it was in the sky, he knew it was close to midday, which would've explained the heat. With a large sigh, he continued his trek through the forest, before spotting a large clearing.
A circle of tall trees surrounded the clearing, a perfect stream of sunlight beaming through the leaves, making light stencils on the dusty ground. A few shrubs of small white flowers lay between the trees, almost looking like plush beds, particularly in the heavenly sunlight.

Maehara couldn't help but smile at the beautiful scene in front of him, deciding to sit down. Despite the situation, he was trying to remain positive. He'd mourned for his friends, but he still continued, telling himself he would make it far enough to find whoever was left. He had desperately vowed to find Isogai, no matter what it took, he had to find him.

Looking around again, something felt off. It felt too beautiful, more like an art piece than a natural clearing. He sat up, squinting his eyes to try and focus on what could be out of place, but he found nothing other than the sky very quickly turning dark. Shuffling back further under the tree, he pulled his hood up for more shelter, only hoping what looks like a storm would pass soon.
•••
Sugaya couldn't help his fatigue as he tried to find his way out of the endless woods. He kept collapsing on trees, still in shock at the deaths he had witnessed and the five cannon shots he'd heard alongside them, excluding the two played for Irina and Karasuma.

Irina and Karasuma.

Sugaya clenched his eyes shut as their lifeless, blank faces flashed in his mind. The way Karasuma's body was carelessly thrown across the rock was sickening. His eyes were dead and colourless, contrasting the scarlet liquid that trailed from his mouth and chest. One of his arms was mangled, clearly from being dragged without care, a horrible blueish tint was formed around it. Despite the horror, Sugaya never actually saw him die.

Irina on the other hand.

It was still like a slow motion dream, the way her face contorted into panic once the gunshot went off, almost showing every emotion from confusion, to panic, to fear. The wretched gasp that escaped her throat as she fell to the floor, her beautiful blonde hair slowly seeping up the blood that flowed from her scalp. If it wasn't for the blood and tears, she almost looked like she was sleeping.

A drop of water from above startled him out of his dark thoughts, making him shiver. He didn't realise how cold it had gotten until he looked up to see the darkening sky.

"When did that happen..?" He mumbled to himself before wrapping his jacket closer around him and stepping to the side, under a nearby tree. The shelter only gave him time to think as he kept dwelling on what he had seen and heard.
•••
Okuda yelped as a large raindrop fell on her head. Ever since she had started running from the cornucopia, she was on high alert. In addition to the fact Hayami, one of the girls who she surprisingly got close to after 3-E, had killed one of her other friends, only made her more petrified of her surroundings. Since the skies were now almost pitch black, Okuda could barely see far into the forest, only adding to her fear.

A sudden mass of torrential rain poured down, making the small woman fall to her hands and knees under the pressure. A cry escaped her lips as she struggled to get up, the rain as harsh as bullets on her back, forcing her further into the floor. Her elbows gave way, making her collapse head first into an expanding puddle. She clenched her eyes shut as she felt her glasses sink into the now muddy earth, trying to protect her eyes from the puddle that was now creeping over her face.

A loud crack of thunder sounded. Okuda gasped from fear, only to take in a breath of pure liquid. She tried to cough it out, but the force from the rain was only making it harder on her back and lungs to expel the water. Thought's clouded her mind as her tears blended into the puddle, this couldn't be how she died could it? Her small stature and lack of muscle being the reason for this untimely death?

Okuda saw spots clouding her vision as she desperately tried to gain some oxygen. Every medical book she knew told her to not panic in this situation, but once she was experiencing it, that was a different story. Her body was paralysed, the heavy rain stopping her from moving, the only thing she could physically do was inhale the water and cry.

Sharp pains struck at her throat and chest as the puddle deepened, submerging her whole head. She made a feeble but desperate attempt at lifting her head but to no avail. Only then did she give in, and let herself succumb to darkness...
•••
Fuwa dashed through a large clearing with her arms crossed over her head to try and shelter herself from the heavy rain. It started to hurt her arms, but she found constant movement helped her continue to find shelter. The atmosphere turned eerier as she ran further into the deep forest. The faint sounds of rocks falling and trees rustling in the distance were still overpowered by the rain, but still subtle enough to make Fuwa fear where she was.

"Where's stupid shelter when you need it?" She whispered to herself as she took a break under a tree. Clumsily wiping her soaking bangs from her eyes, she took a glance around the deep forest. A flash of brown caught her eye from behind the treeline. Fuwa blinked and tried to look again, swearing to herself it was hair or fur. Silently praying it was hair, she avoided calling out to it in case it was the latter.

As she glanced around again, a hillside caught her attention. She scurried over to find the large, decesending slope, that almost looked like a waterslide in this situation, with a large cave at the bottom, though with only a little entrance. Finding it rather odd, she turned to leave before the rain got heavier, almost causing bruises on her arms that were still above her head. She bit her lip before deciding the rock hard cave would be her best chance of shelter from the liquid bullets, and turned back to head towards it.

Despite trying to keep herself steady, she lost her footing as soon as she set her foot on the hillside and clumsily slid down

Her body was covered in mud as she lay at the bottom of the hill, desperately trying to force herself up against the pressure of the rain. Realising that was more or less impossible, she found she wasn't too far from the small entrance of the cave. With a desperate push, she rolled onto her back, instantly getting hit in the face by the rain. She pushed herself again onto her front, smiling as her rolling idea was working, and after a few more pushes, she was under protection of the cave.

With a breathy laugh, Fuwa picked herself up, trying to brush off some of the mud from her face and hands. She noticed how there was a large puddle of muddy water at her feet, obviously coming from the hill, almost like the pool at the end of a water slide.

Realising the cave was smaller than what she thought, she made the decision to go further into the dark cave, trying to avoid the growing pool of water.

She found a small raised bank at the back of the cave after feeling around. It was incredibly dark but the light beaming from the small entrance and shining off the water gave her enough light to see. Stifling a yawn, she lay on the bank, thinking it was best to sleep to wait out the storm.
•••
Muramatsu stood under a large tree which sheltered him enough to avoid the brute force of the rain, but he still managed to get drenched regardless. He'd been running since the cornucopia trying to find the squad, only resting when the sun went down. His legs started to give out under him and he collapsed with a sigh.

Wiping his brow, he glanced around through the downpour, only being able to see a few metres in front of him. Though squinting through the rain, he caught a twitching flash of green. He was convinced it was a bunch of leaves, but when it turned and glared at him with black and gold eyes, he knew something was off.

The person was clutching their neck, letting out a cry of pain that made Muramatsu wince. He squinted more, trying to make out who the person was. The green hair finally made it click as he called out to them.

"Kayano!"

Her head snapped around to face him again with a pained expression. Muramatsu tried waving at her to call her over but within a second, she was gone further into the forest and rain.

Muramatsu cursed, the one person he found had ran off from him for whatever reason. He sighed again when the chance she could help him find his friends was also gone with her.

The sky was still dark and stormy; not showing any signs of clearing any time soon. The trees started to sag with the amount of rain pushing down on them, creating puddles everywhere on the ground. A stream of water flowed onto Muramatsu's head but he was too drenched already to care.

With a sigh, he leaned back against the tree, watching the rain pour in front of him, knowing he couldn't do much until it had passed. He only hoped Hazama and Itona would be able to withstand the pressure of the rain.

•••

Mimura clambered up the side of the cliff, his feet slipping every step from the mud and wet moss.

It had taken him ages to reach the cliff. Even though he was the first to run from the cornucopia, it was still at least a mile out; and to climb it was a different matter. Every five steps he took, a rock would crumble away from under him. He knew there was a safer way somewhere, but he didn't have time to go randomly looking for such place- especially when classmates were killing classmates.

He recalled how the screen said Justice was killed by Hayami. It still made him sick to the core. One of his good friends murdered by another good friend, it only gave him paranoia of who he could trust. Every snap of a branch or crackle of a leaf startled him, he had to get Sugaya and get out of here.

Sugaya he could trust; and after Okajima's death, it seemed he was the only one he had left at all. He hoped the cliff would be able to give him a view of the arena, where he would be able to camp until he found Sugaya. Then they'd be able to figure out a plan together, one where they could save as many classmates as they possibly could. Though the only issue was if someone else found him first...

Mimura finally got control of his feet as he got to the top of the cliff, taking a breath before standing up straight. Looking across the horizon, he felt like he back on the cliff of the 3E class; staring across the vast forest, the gentle breeze brushing the leaves, an incredibly calming sight, despite the slowing downpour of rain.

For a moment, he felt calm. He didn't feel like he was in a murder arena. He didn't feel threatened. Or lost, or scared, or worried. He didn't even feel the rain on his face. He was calm. As he closed his eyes, he took a step forward, a soft smile on his face, not feeling how the rocks softly crumbled below his feet. He was happy. He thought about all the films he could make from just this one sight and how beautiful they could be and then he...

His eyes shot open when the ground shifted below him, knocking him out of his thoughts. He froze as the rock he was standing on started to tilt out of place, showing all the vines and moss in between the new gap that was slowly being formed.

The rock jolted again, sending the boy off balance and bringing him to his knees. He sent a frantic glance up, trying to figure out his best move before the rock fell further. Biting his lip, Mimura crouched the best he could so that he could leap across the gap to the cliff edge.

After a breath, he jumped.

And he would've made it if it wasn't for the wet moss making his feet slip out from underneath him.

Almost in the same motion as his late friend, time seemed to slow as he fell down to the edge of the cliff, his body wriggling and sprawling to try and remain on the cliff. The edge only got closer. He closed his eyes, waiting for the inevitable to come as he felt his legs and hips slide off the cliff.

Mimura felt a sharp pain on his hand as he suddenly came to a holt. Opening his eyes, he realised he'd involuntary gripped onto the cliff, thankfully on a bit without moss. His breathing got more rapid as he dangled from the incredibly tall cliff, slowly realising the danger he was in.

Desperately, he tried to swing his other arm up to try and get a stronger hold on the cliff, but it only made his other hand loosen It's current grip from the action. Tears formed at his eyes as he realised there was nothing he could do to save himself. Now he was faced with the choice of letting go or waiting until his arm couldn't take it anymore.

The rock suddenly crumbled beneath Mimura's fingers, making his eyes widen in horror. He started begging at the rock, wanting it to stop crumbling away, almost asking it as if it was a person who was dropping him. His eyes kept streaming tears as he noted he didn't want to die alone. The Korosensei situation he could deal with, if it got to the point of blowing up the Earth, he would at least be with his friends and family. But this wasn't the case.

Mimura whimpered as his arm began to ache. He hadn't been hanging long, but to hold his whole body weight on his fingers was soon proving to be a struggle. He knew it wouldn't be long until he fell, and there was only one thing he could still do. Clearing his throat, he looked at the cliff edge before shouting as loud as he could.

"Sugaya!" His voice broke at the third syllable, but he didn't care at this point. He waited a moment to see if he could hear anything in return. After a moment of silence he tried again. "Sugaya! Please, I need y-"

The slip of his fingers cut him off. The surrounding soon flashing past his eyes as the once gentle breeze turned harsh and unforgiving against his skin. He didn't feel the scream escape his lips, nor the trees and branches scraping his flesh. Amongst the chaos surrounding him, he heard one voice calling for him from the cliff edge, questioning his whereabouts.

It kept calling for him. The panic and worry clearly increasing in the voice, yet it was familar and it was soothing. Though he'd never be able to see Sugaya again, he was still comforted by how he still cared. He could still trust him. He was content in that brief moment.

As he decended, the voice of his best friend began to fade.

His eyes started to close for the last time.

A faint smile on his face as he finally lay to rest.

Chapter Text

The torrential rain that occurred had finally slowed down. It was still harsh and heavy, yet now it was just enough to snap a few branches. The earthy scent of rain filled the arena, a rather appealing scent despite the horrible situation.

Karma took in the scent as he pulled an unconscious Okuda from the large puddle that had formed. As he felt how limp and cold she was, his worry and determination increased; he couldn't lose someone like her, not if he could help it. He hauled her over his shoulder and quickly ran to a drier patch of land to place her down. His medical knowledge he learned from her kicked in as he checked her breathing and pulse. There were no breaths, however when he found a small and weak pulse, he felt a sliver of hope.

Despite the urgent situation, Karma tried to remember everything about CPR; where to place his hands, how many compressions and at what reps, when to breathe for her. He knew if Rio was by him, she would snap a photo every time he gave mouth to mouth, but at this point he couldn't care less. His brow furrowed in concentration as he tried to clear her airways, but Okuda still wouldn't breathe.

Suddenly, a cannon rung through the arena, startling the redhead. His head flicked down to Okuda's pale face in determination, desperate to keep her alive

A voice in head told him to stop; that she was gone, and there was nothing he could do. Karma shook his head and pressed down harder, the willpower written clear on his face.

"Come on Okuda." Karma gritted his teeth as he kept his efforts up, the last time he witnessed a death was Korosensei, and he wasn't ready to have Okuda as the next.

But with Okuda, it was someone he cared about dearly. She was someone who he could be himself around without feeling judged. Someone who just brightened his day from her smile. Someone who was so scared and frail but still managed to put her trust and faith into him, no matter how sadistic he could be.

But he couldn't save her.

Karma's hands shot up to his hair, tugging on it in anger and denial. A tear dropped from the side of his eye, not caring about it for once. The rain dropped from the strands of hair that lay over his eyes, his face darkened, knowing there was no more he could do and that he had to move on. He hated the thought, leaving one of his closest friends dead in front of him.

He let out an anguished growl, annoyed wirh himself for letting her die. He stood up, his face dark and cold as he turned away, ready to move on.

A weak cough suddenly sounded from below him, snapping him out of his emotional state and making him look back at Okuda.

There was another cough, before a wheeze and gagging sounds as Okuda tried to cough the water up from her lungs. Karma instantly rushed back to help, patting her back and tilting her forward. Despite the severity of the situation, he couldn't wipe the small smile off his face knowing that she was still alive.

Once she had cleared her airways, Okuda tried to speak, but it came out as more of a strangled whimper.

Karma simply shook his head and patted her hand. "Don't talk, you're okay."

She smiled gently, happy to see her friend's affectionate side once again as they sat together, the rain pouring around them, Okuda not even caring she'd lost her glasses in the whole ordeal.

They sat for a few minutes before Karma spoke up again. "I heard another cannon. I thought it was you, but then you were okay. Do you think Takaoka made a mistake?"

Okuda looked around and shook her head, closing her eyes and then tapping Karma's hand to listen into the distance with her. "Some...one is... grieving."

The redhead nodded as he heard the screams and cries coming from the distant cliff. "Must've been someone else at the same time..."

Okuda nodded sadly, sniffling ever so slightly. Karma could tell she was scared for her friends, not to mention she was almost the next one to go. He gently pulled her into a hug, letting her cry on his chest as he stroked her hair.

The blonde looked upon the scene with a smirk graced over her lips; she didn't care she didn't have her phone right now, she only cared that Karma had his guard down.

•••

Sugaya could only cry and scream at how Mimura's mangled body lay over the rocks on another ledge of the cliff. The cannon sounded loudly, making him fall to his knees in despair and wail even louder. The rain pounded down on his head, but he didn't care.

He couldn't tear his eyes away from how Mimura lay. His neck and legs were dispositioned at awkward angles, blood flowing from both his parted lips and the gash he sustained in his side. His fingers were red and swollen from holding onto the cliff, and his arms seemed bruised and bloody from how he landed. The rain turned into a red stream after washing over Mimura, creating a crimson waterfall over the rocks. It made Sugaya sick to the bone, yet he could still envision his best friend as perfectly fine, standing up and brushing his knees off before waving up to Sugaya and asking him with his long arms to help him up.

Sugaya shook his head at the thought, slipping into a daydream wouldn't be a good idea at all. So he decided to sit on the rocks and stare out at the arena. Letting the rain slip over him, knowing he couldn't care any more with what the weather was doing.

•••

As the cannon rang through the arena, it shook the cave Fuwa lay in, starling her awake. It startled her even more to find the cave had filled up with water as she slept. The raised bank she was on only just let her escape the flood, but she knew she wouldn't have a lot of time before the whole cave filled up. She recalled how the hill was a direct slide for water to travel through the small entrance, remembering the small puddle and slapping her head.

"Stupid Fuwa, should've noticed the damn puddle." She gasped slightly as she felt the water graze her ankles, knowing she had to do something fast.

Looking around the cave, she vaguely remembered where the entrance was, and after a deep breath, she dove underwater in search of it. Though she was no Kataoka, she found herself to be a decent swimmer, easily diving under and feeling around for the entrance.

'Rock. Rock. Ouch! Sharp rock.' Fuwa held her finger from the small pain as she kept herself occupied in the panic with narrating her movements. After a few moments of searching, she finally found the entrance; a small gap with the bottom two thirds clogged up with mud from the hill like a wall, and a stream of water flowing over the top. She tried pushing at the mud to get out, but instead having the opposite affect and letting more water in.

Fuwa was forced back into the cave wall from the new, harsh flow of water, making her lose air as she was winded. Her arms frantically paddled to where she first was to regain her air, but she couldn't find the small ledge with the air pocket.

Panic invaded her mind as she realised what she'd done. By opening the mud wall, more water entered the cave and sealed the only air she had left. Her lungs began to send sharp pains through her chest as they were being deprived of oxygen, making Fuwa panic more. If she hadn't been winded, she knew she had at least two minutes before she desperately needed air, but now, she had no idea how long she had.

Knowing her only way out was the entrance, she weakly swam back towards it. The current propelled her as much as possible but Fuwa still pushed through. Her fingers managed to curl around the edge of the entrance and she gritted her teeth, trying to pull herself out. She was almost there, but finally her body gave out and forced her to take a breath.

Fuwa instantly let go of the entrance to grip her throat, being forcefully pushed into the wall once again. The hit only made her gasp again, filling her lungs with more water. She tried to scream at how bad the pain was, but nothing came out. It dawned on her that no one would ever be able to find her unless after the rain someone else found that specific cave. Fuwa wanted to cry desperately, but in her situation it was impossible. The pain from her lungs filling with water, seared through her whole body.

Eventually, as fate determined, the black dots finally clouded her vision as her body went limp, her hands dropping from her throat, floating by her side. The whole of her body slowly rising to the top of the cave, resting against the rough stone ceiling of the cave.

She had died alone, seeing no one before her untimely death, and no one would know she was ever there. The girl who stood out for her enthusiasm and witty references, would now never be found, almost as if she would be forgotten for good.

•••

The seventh cannon that sounded made Terasaka flinch. It wasn't much that scared him, but the fact his classmates were dying so quickly, struck fear into his heart. He was convinced at least one of his squad were a part of the last three cannons, even with his lack of math skills, he knew the odds of all his friends surviving at this point were low; especially after the storm.

He swore under his breath, reaching out to punch a tree. The games were making him reach his limit, and the fact his friends were parted from him only made it worse.

His main concerns were for Hazama and Itona, the rain could've easily taken them out. He recalled how even he was forced to find shelter to avoid the liquid bullets; so what meant for his smaller squad members? He knew Itona had the skills to avoid the harshness of the rain, but Hazama was a different story.

Terasaka's jaw clenched as he thought of the possibility of her death. He knew Hazama was better to be defeated by some rain, but he also knew how her strength and stamina were no comparison to most of the class. He silently hoped she had met someone to keep her safe for the time being, but with the amount of deaths he had heard, he wasn't sure he could trust her safety with anyone.

He was surprised with how much he was worried for her, realising he had stopped in his tracks as he was lost in his thoughts. He couldn't recall a time where he'd thought of her so much. Punching the tree again to try and clear his thoughts, he noticed the rain was finally slowing down and showing signs of stopping soon, so he decided to continue further.

Terasaka cursed softly and ran a hand through his soaking hair to slick it back out of his face, ignoring how the the feeling of his hair felt against the new cuts on his knuckles. He knew he had to continue, but where to start was the question. Glancing around, he saw a large cliff in the distance between the trees.

Something caught his eye at the top. Squinting, he could see the figure of a person at the edge of the cliff, and next to them, an incredibly loose rock hanging by a few vines.

"Well that's fuckin' weird" Terasaka mumbled to himself, subconsiously rubbing his knuckles. He took a few steps forward, squinting harder to try and see who the figure was.

Seeing the person was rather tall, he hoped it was Muramatsu, though he was then concerned with what he was doing. He decided Muramatsu or not, the cliff was probably as good a starting place as any, he would probably be able to get a better view of the arena as well, or even to shout loud enough to make his presence the squad known.

Having made up his mind, Terasaka finally set off through the lighter yet humid rain, silently pleading he wouldn't be too late.

•••

As the rain started to come to a stop, Chiba finally got a chance to open his bag and survey the contents. He'd been running, desperate to find Hayami before anything happened to either of them; the only time he took a break was when his body was so exhausted he just had to sleep. He was worried for how other's took the statement of Hayami killing Justice. He knew she wouldn't do it on purpose or to win, there had to be further meaning to her actions. He wondered if anyone took it the wrong way and wanted their revenge, but Chiba didn't even want to think of that.

His hands feeling over a sliver of metal shook him out of his thoughts. Looking down at the bag, he pulled out a familar object; a scope.

Chiba's eyes lit up as he kept pulling out parts of a gun out of the bag, it was clear he had to assemble it himself, which definitely wasn't an issue for the marksman. There was also a small amount of food and a nylon fishing line. He considered himself rather lucky, even if he was in a literal death arena.

As he started to assemble the gun, he heard a rush of leaves beside him. It was close, making him question why he hadn't heard a disturbance before. Taking on a defensive stance, he stared at the bushes intently.

The rustles drew nearer and a golden brown eye peeked out of the leaves. The single eye looked around the area before settling on Chiba, blinking a few times. The marksman was taken aback at first, but slowly drew closer to the eye, trying to see who it belonged to.

It let out a sudden hiss and Chiba fell back, just managing to see how the white of the eye started to turn darker before it slipped away into the bushes, going father in the other direction.

Much more alert than he was before, Chiba proceeded to assemble the gun, much quicker this time as the sense of danger hung around him. He tested it a few times, making sure it wasn't fake and would endanger him more when he needed it most. The eye lingered in his mind, it seemed incredibly familar yet still like a dangerous beast. It blinked innocently, drawing him closer, but the hiss was a clear indicator he shouldn't get any closer.

Chiba put his new gun on the safety latch and secured it on his back with the strings of the drawstring bag. He'd taken out an energy bar to regain some stamina, before he was on the hunt for Hayami again, making the mental note to avoid the direction of the creature.

•••

The scent of the rain hung over the small shelter Hazama sat under. She was lucky to find the place, her eyes glancing over the bruises that were forced on her by the rain. She had only just made it, her body barely withstood the pressure.

Hazama shifted slightly, wincing at the soreness of her tired and battered muscles. She had no idea how long it had been since the rain started, but upon hearing two cannons within that time, she knew it had been going a while. With a sigh, she brought her bag closer, emptying out the contents. A small but sharp knife, and several large items of food fell out, earning a disappointed sigh from the girl above.

"It could be worse." She mumbled as she placed the food back in the bag, leaving the knife in front of her. "It could be worse..."

Normally in a morbid situation, she would be fully embracing it and possibly even make light of it; but this was way too far for even the twisted Hazama.

Biting her lip, she looked out expectantly into the forest. She didn't like relying on others but she'd hoped someone had at least found her by now. She enjoyed her alone time but that usually meant she had a book, or her friends in the background- she was never truly on her own. Yet, now she was.

Hazama brought her knees to her chest as she sat sadly in the silence. Here, she had to face the real world, not transport into her books fantasy realms, or having the squad to distract her from the negative aspects that often clouded her mind. She rested her head on her knees as thinking about the squad only made her feel more lonely; and she could only hope that the none of them were the last three canons.

It hadn't even been fourty eight hours, but it already felt like an eternity without the squad. Who knew what had happened to them, who they'd found, who'd they killed. In all honesty Hazama didn't care about that, she only cared if they were still alive and if she would see them again.

She let out a single tear as she pulled her legs in closer, still not wanting to face the reality of the situation. At this point, she wished she could spend her time with her mother, she'd rather be in her presence than sitting alone in a death arena. Death had always facinated her, but when it could be her or her closest friends or her classmates, that was a different story.

The only time a death truly affected her was Korosensei. It'd somehow brought her to tears, but then again it had also made the rest of the gang cry too; a rare feat. But with how these games were turning out, she knew there would be a lot more tears shed.