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Stuck In Your Own Web

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Kirumi lets out a small sigh as she carries the inner tube up to the academy’s second floor. Her plan was all coming together, Ryoma was dead, now all that was left to do was move his body and dump it in the gym.

She had been surprised at first when she learned of her past connections with the prime minister but after mulling it over, she decided she would trust what the video said, after all it had acted like a sort of makeshift flashback light, causing memories to resurge almost immediately. Truthfully, at first, she had been a little cautious of the aforementioned torches, though their credibility at this moment was not her biggest concern, because even if they turned out to be a hoax, she was well past the point of return.

After attaching the rope tied to the inner tube to the makeshift zipline, Kirumi climbed on, Ryoma’s corpse under her left arm, being careful to balance their weight properly, and then removed her foot from its place on the windowsill.

After using her glove to slow down their momentum, Kirumi cautiously stepped onto the ledge and, with very good accuracy, threw Ryoma’s body into the tank that would be used for the magic show the next day.

She jumped down from the window after untying the attached rope and started to pull the rope only for the inner tube to come loose. She was about to climb down and get it before her brain reminded her of the damned pool rules. Cursing silently under her breath, she headed back up through the academy and, after untying the tennis cable, dumped it next to the net. After she had done all that was needed, she left through the door to the Ultimate Tennis Pro’s lab, looking back slightly guiltily.

It was a stoke of incredible luck what had happened to Ryoma. He had been searching desperately for something, anything, that would give him a reason to live and he found it, in the form his motive video, something that should’ve given it to him but instead crushed the little hope that Ryoma had let blossom. Ryoma Hoshi had nothing to gain, Kirumi Tojo had everything to lose. Once she had explained to him that she was responsible for the lives of millions, he had been more than willing to give himself up for her cause.

At least that’s what she told herself as she walked stealthily back to her dorm, banishing the images of him struggling as she held him under water, the look of pure terror and despair on his face as the light faded from his eyes.

When she entered the dorm building, she made a beeline for hers, not even daring to pause for one second in case she was spotted by one of her classmates. Upon entering she immediately changed into the pyjamas provided to her and went to bed, preparing for another early start the next morning. If she wanted to avoid suspicion, she would have to make an effort to continue on as normal which meant waking up at ungodly hours to make breakfast for her largely ungrateful classmates. Before she would have been happy, overjoyed even, at the idea of helping out her peers but now she only saw it as an inconvenience. No matter, it was only one more day, and then she would be, if everything went according to plan, free from this hell of a school they had been imprisoned in. “Perhaps she should make the meal extra good tomorrow as it would be the last one, they would ever eat”, were along the thoughts in Kirumi’s head as she drifted off into a dreamless sleep, “she may be a killer but she wasn’t a monster.”

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Kirumi groaned slightly when she was awoken to the familiar beeping of her alarm clock she had scavenged from the warehouse. Reluctantly climbing out of bed, Kirumi started her morning routine and it wasn’t until she was brushing her teeth that the events of yesterday caught up to her. She paused mid-brush, staring at her reflection as her groggy brain brought up all the memories. Grimacing slightly as she looked at the sink full of water, she put her toothbrush away and made her way to the kitchen.

Midway through preparing a batch of fresh pancakes, the morning announcement played, the high-pitched voice of Monokuma grating her ears as she flipped one over. She would not miss him when she escaped, that was for sure.

By the time she had finished the pancakes, a buzz of chatter could be heard coming from the neighbouring dining room. Checking her reflection in a nearby pot and deeming herself acceptable looking, Kirumi walked through the connecting door and started laying down plates of fluffy pancakes in front of the students currently sitting at the long table.

Gonta, Kiibo and Korekiyo seemed to be deep in discussion about something or another with Tsumugi sitting nearby, staring down at her plate, sending cautious glances towards the trio, she was no doubt still a bit shaken from the previous night. Miu was sitting a couple of seats away, scoffing down her pancakes like her life depended on it and as Kirumi glanced around she realised that everyone else appeared to be absent. Ryoma was, for obvious reasons, and she could assume the trio of Tenko, Angie and Himiko were probably finishing the set up for the show, Maki was probably still in her lab, Kokichi was probably off causing trouble somewhere, Shuichi had probably overslept but she had no idea why Kaito wasn’t there.

After making these observations she retreated to the kitchen to eat something before returning to the dining hall to retrieve the dirty dishes. After she had rinsed the plates, everyone present was making their way to the gym and Kirumi, wanting to avoid suspicion, followed without saying a word.
When the group arrived, they were greeted by an excited Angie and a slightly tense looking Tenko, with no Himiko in sight, though Kirumi assumed she was simply readying herself backstage.

After about 5 minutes of waiting, it was unanimously agreed they would start and those who hadn’t arrived yet would just have to miss the show. Angie stepped up onto the stage and began the introduction.

“Hello everyone! Thank you all for coming to our magic show! Today, the amazing Himiko will be attempting the water escape trick. She will enter this tank and if she’s not out by the time the one-minute timer runs out, she shall be eaten by the piranhas! Nyahaha!” After that ominous speech, Angie stepped off the stage as Himiko climbed up, shaking slightly and looking like she was about to hurl.

“Like Angie already said, I’m going to be doing this trick… I’m too lazy to explain, Nyeh” Himiko said rather sluggishly, averting eye contact from the crowd. Himiko then turned around and, with one final glance towards the audience of her peers, jumped into the tank. As she did so the timer started counting down and, glancing around, Kirumi noticed that most of her classmates were tense with anticipation. Looking back over at the stage, Kirumi’s eyes drifted up to the piranha tank, the piranha tank she had thrown the dead body of Ryoma Hoshi in the night before, and felt her stomach churn.

She knew what was going to happen in 20 seconds, but why did it make her feel sick?

Kirumi was snapped out of her daze by Gonta rushing past and jumping up onto the stage, staring down at the tank with worry in his eyes. She was just about to say something about him coming down when the timer beeped signalling it had finished and the tank containing the piranhas opened, dropping them all into the water below.

“Nyahaha! Now everyone, let us see if Himiko successfully escaped or if she was eaten alive by the hungry piranhas!” Angie proclaimed, a huge grin on her face as she pulled back the curtain, a curtain Kirumi had sewed the day before she remembered bitterly, to reveal the floating corpse of Ryoma Hoshi.

She heard gasps, a few screams and a proclamation of “What the fuck!”, most likely coming from Miu, but before anyone could even think of acting the hungry piranhas swarmed around their prey and devoured Ryoma’s corpse like vultures to a rotting carcass.

Though she knew it would inevitably happen, Kirumi couldn’t help the need to choke down the bile rising in her throat, and, judging by the faces her other classmates were making, she wasn’t alone.

Amongst all the commotion, Kirumi barely acknowledged Himiko until she was standing centre stage, a triumphant grin on her face. “I did it!” she proclaimed with an unusual energy. When nobody responded she appeared to finally look down at her classmates and notice their shocked faces. “Nyeh, why do you all look like someone di- “

Before she could finish her sentence, a familiar chime echoed throughout the gym and everyone swivelled around to the nearest monitor. “A body has been discovered, please report to the gymnasium. After an investigation period, there will be a trial, good luck!”

After the screen shut off, it appeared Himiko had decided to look down and caught sight of Ryoma’s remains, letting out indignant squeak and nearly falling off the stage. She was able to stabilize herself but she still looked incredibly shaken.

“My, oh my, this is quite the turn of events. To think, someone was daring enough to kill their victim right in front of us! This killer must be incredibly sure of themselves to do something so daring! This is marvellous!” Korekiyo declared, a look of pure elation on his masked face which Kirumi couldn’t help but cringe at.

“What are you on about Creep show!? You getting turned on by this?” Miu yelled almost meekly, glaring at everyone around her.

“Gonta not sure what to do. Gonta couldn’t protect Ryoma and now he dead” Gonta sniffled, holding back tears as he stared at the now bright pink tank

Kirumi looked around at her peers, all seemingly still in a somewhat state of shock, deciding the best course of action would probably try to get them somewhat together, as that’s what she would normally do.

“I know we are all pretty shaken by what we just witnessed but I think the best course of action would be- “

“A body has been discovered; everyone please report to the dormitories. After an investigation period, there will be a trial, good luck!”

What?

Kirumi’s heart practically stopped.

Another body.

Someone else was dead.

Someone she didn’t kill.

Kirumi was snapped out of her daze by the sound of walking around her, only then did she notice the majority of her peers were heading towards the door of the gym, looks of sheer terror painted on their faces like twisted works of art.

Stealing herself, Kirumi swiftly followed, heartrate picking up as the inevitable truth she was going to have to face started sinking in. As the door to the dormitories neared, Kirumi could feel sweat forming on her forehead as her nerves got the better of her.

When she inevitably arrived at the door, she hesitated, something she rarely did, and she considered not entering at all but that idea was quickly scrapped when she heard the heavy footsteps of Gonta not to far behind her.

Upon entering she noticed three things. One, everyone was crowded around a ground floor dorm on the boy’s side. Two, Kaito Momota was standing a small distance away from the group, eyes puffy as if he’d just been crying, his classmates sending him worried glances. Three, the only person unaccounted for in the growing group of students was their resident ultimate detective.

Upon realising all of this, a mix of dread, fear and relief pulled in Kirumi’s gut. On as steady as she could manage feet, Kirumi walked over to where the majority of group had gathered and saw something that was both expected and still shocked her at the same time.

Shuichi Saihara lying dead on the floor of his dorm room, throat slit, a look of surprise frozen on his face.