Silently Nagito made his way to the door. There are several people it could be but if Luck told him anything it would be the one that figured him out. Pausing for a second to resign himself he peeked into the eyehole to see whether his next bout of Luck would be Good or Bad. Evidently, he was to be blessed with Good Luck next.
In front of his door, he was met with the light gray hair and pale sickly face of Kimura. For some reason she was here, did she not trust him to get rid of the evidence himself? Or perhaps she realized things were through and she intends to out him herself to save her standing. Both were threats to his mission. With a shrug, Komaeda opened the door and he trusted his Luck even if with this betrayal Hope would win.
Opening the door he was quickly pushed inside as she seemingly rammed him inside. She then closed the door, twisting the lock behind her. She gazed upon him with a look of pure intensity so strong he put his arms up in self-defense closing his eyes in response to the hit that would come next. After a few seconds, there was nothing then something slipped into his hand.
Opening his eyes she had placed a spray bottle in his hands. It was a large one filled with a clear liquid that looked like water. Looking up to Kimura she was fishing through her bag. Seemingly noticing his stare she turned back to him and a long silence ensued.
“The chemical removes fingerprints with perfect accuracy not even the most advanced microscope can see past it.” She explained as she continued to fish through her bag of chemicals pulling another similar-looking bottle. With that, the realization of this reality snapped in his head.
She was risking herself to try and help. She decided to come here against her own interest and try to help him cover up his failures… It was… it was Beautiful “Wow wasting your time trying to cover for a worthless failure like myself! You’re too kind Kimura!”
He couldn’t control the words as they sputtered out. It was like vomit even more so than what he usually said. She looked at him with what looked to be confusion. She was most likely feeling uncomfortable as he almost definitely said something wrong. As he usually did when he lost control of what he was saying.
“I know the situation is kind of… bad at the moment but we can’t panic.” Kimura then proceeds to spray him with a new concoction she pulled from her bag. This liquid was not as clear as the last one or it had a very noticeable tinge of purple but was still see-through.
Seiko let out a small sigh. “Okay that one will mask your scent, not even my scent modification will be able to find you. That eliminates the threat of any kind of dog, the security or your classmate with the giant flaming temple might have.”
He was silent and she really did think this through. “You really don’t have to help me.” It was the only thing he could think to say as she began to get to spray both the cover cup concoctions around the room.
She only spared him a glance before answering. “Of course, I do what are friends for?” That one answer gave him everything he needed. She thought they were friends somehow despite his best effort he had failed. The cycle would begin again and another body would be added to the pile. He didn’t bother to keep count anymore in fact he was feeling rather apathetic at the moment. He could feel a knot of Despair rising from his chest as if he had to puke. In any other moment, the knowledge of the Hope this would make would have made him burst into ecstatic laughter but at the moment he couldn't. It felt almost hollow.
… Nagito quickly blew it off; he had greater Hope to cultivate at the moment and with a solemn smile he began to help in covering his tracks. Within minutes he had sprayed down his main living area. The bathroom he had destroyed so much evidence in was next quickly followed by the kitchen then the main living area. The entire time his Friend was following him masking his scent. The entire process would make pinning him down difficult.
With all of that out of the way, Nagito began the final steps erasing his false self. Packing up the destroyed cameras to dispose of. He wasn't sure what he was going to do with them, probably recycle them or something like that didn’t really matter anymore. They were useless, to be honest, his target was long gone from these Hopeless walls.
“Need some help?” Kimura asked as she quickly joined him without letting him answer. The two worked in silence for a bit before Kimura spoke. “So what was your plan for your classmates? After the whole gym incident don’t you think they would be suspicious of you just disappearing.?” Kimura asked with an offbeat toner slightly off from the normal nervousness that plagued her, her eyes wide pearls of curiosity.
It was a legitimate question Nagito thought as he gave his answer with a nonchalant shrug. “I assumed they wouldn’t care much and just be happy I'm out of their hair.” At his answer, she broke eye contact.
“TSumiki was kinda asking about you?” She mumbled just beneath her breath. This slightly earned his attention. “Hmm.”
“Um, a couple of days ago Tsumiki stopped by my lab to pick up a request. She had made a medicine for a hair growth pill that could allow hair to grow evenly. It works by focusing more resources on certain strains of hair while sending less to oth-.” Seemingly realizing she was on a tangent she got back to the point at hand.
“Anyway while I was giving it to her she asked if I had seen you? Her class assumed you were sick or on a trip so she wanted to check on you but your room was empty. So she asked me if I had seen you?” The Pharmacist said with a nervous tone.
“What did you say?” It was all Nagito could express the constant whiplash of the day having exhausted him from his massive step to end his search only to find he had been caught. Kimura expressed her friendship and now that he might have another loose end to deal with. Not to mention chances were a good few of his classmates were probably more on to him than Tsumiki admitted. Not wanting to make him sound bad would be high on the Nurse's properties.
If Nagito wanted to be honest with himself he very much wanted today to end. It was rare for his Luck to act up like this, so many times it made him somewhat curious. What could have happened to Hinata for his Luck to consider this step to be so good?
Kimura broke his little thought tangent with her answer. “I told her you were okay. I didn’t like the idea of lying to her and besides, I'm a pretty bad liar.” As Kimura gave her explanation even though she was wearing a mask Nagito could tell she developed a sheepish grin.
After that, everything needed was packed; the rest could burn for all that Nagito cared about. Once this was done he would leave the academy for a few days, go someplace nice and get some souvenirs to show his class as he was on a trip. Then return to his quest while he knew he was on a time limit he still had a bit of time and he knew he was close. He couldn’t help but smile. Soon things will be good soon Hope shall win soon this day will end…
Then and there Nagito’s Hopes were shattered by a Knock on the door.
With a name, tracking Komaeda down was easy, especially with the head of security on your side. They literally just had to look him up and there was his room number. Chisa couldn’t help but feel a tinge of nervousness. There was really no telling what was going on in that room. He could have explosives again or potentially even worse who even knows what he was doing with those poisons.
As she questioned her situation she felt a clasp on her shoulder from Sakakura who was to her right. He gave her a look of concern then simply nodded. For Chisa, that was enough and she knocked. Hopefully, they would do this the easy way and he would just open up. she really didn’t want to have to use the spare key and knock Komaeda out in his current state; it would probably be unhealthy for him.
The two sat there in silence and waited. Sakakura looked annoyed and clearly did not want to be in this situation which Chisa could empathize with. The entire situation sucked but Komaeda needed this and no one else was going to give it to him. Nagito has no one else to give it to him. Chisa could feel the ache in her chest starting to tear open as she stood alone in her thoughts. Fortunately, before it could expand out of control, extending his hand to Sakakura caught her attention.
“I think that's enough with time.” He said as he unlocked the door. At that moment she wasn’t sure if it was a feat of her own luck or Sakakura had been growing keen enough to read her but she was glad they could continue forward so with a turn and a forceful push they entered.
Entering the room they were met with the strong smell of bleach and a rather empty cleared-out room. In the middle of the room was Komaeda. He was still wearing his disguise though it looked rougher than the picture taken in the school's file on him. More wrinkled and it looked like his tie was quickly thrown on.
If Chisa was being honest she was legitimately impressed with the disguise. He went out of his way to make himself look completely different. From his Hazel contact lenses to the difference in body language and different hair. Now that she dedicated some time to it their class was supposed to have an Ultimate Imposter that she could never track down. With Komaeda being a self-proclaimed Hope fanboy, could he have gotten some help?
Chisa’s theorizing was broken by said disguised Ultimate speaking
“Wh-wh-what are you two doing in my dorm”? He sounded terrified and Chisa was a bit unsettled by his line. It sounded nothing like Komaeda, not in tone or pitch or even how he said it. If it wasn’t for the documents she got confirming it was her Ultimate Student she never would have guessed. A part of her questioned if the person before her was even Komaeda and not some pawn in the fourth-dimensional chess game he was playing against himself.
“Komaeda, don’t fuck around we know it’s you,” Sakakura said as he started to approach the Ultimate Lucky student Chisa knew what was about to go down and did nothing to stop it. In her mind, it was for the best, and besides, as long as he didn’t struggle sakakura would probably just grapple him.
Komaeda was a smart kid. Chisa knew that by grades when he was actually attending classes he was the third in the class. The only ones who beat him are Sonia and Pekoyama. Granted there is a good chance his luck was responsible for that seeing how she really liked multiple-choice questions… But that doesn't matter at the moment, the one thing he fell behind in was physical classes where honestly he challenged Nanami for last. Knowing that his body is dying made that fact sadder but it didn’t change the fact he stands no chance of overpowering a world-class boxer.
As predicted Komaeda struggles but to no avail as Sakakura has him overpowered in seconds. Despite this, he was still struggling which was almost out of character. A part of her believed the moment they entered that room he wouldn’t struggle and just give up like ‘Whoops guess I failed might as well just give up then.’ To see him struggle just spoke to the desperation Komaeda had in whatever he was doing.
“Komaeda, stop struggling, it's over… What were you even doing here?” She said as she began to look around the room. The smell was thick and strong like an air freshener but slightly off. Looking around the room it seemed clean, like even more than Nagito clean, cover up clean.
“What were you up to, kid,” Sakakura said, putting some strain on the restrained Komaeda’s arm. This earned a shriek from Komaeda but no answer. To be honest his fake voice was still a bit unsettling.
“How are you even sounding different!?” Chisa shouted in frustration at his different voice; perhaps it was just unsettling how different he looked. Or she just wanted to make him sound normal as reassurance it really is him and Komaeda didn’t trick them into attacking a random reserve course to get us off his back.
Komaeda stayed silent, His struggling slowing down. This seemingly opened the possibility for Sakakura to speak. “The voice change has to be a tool on his body,” Sakakura grunts confidently in his statement.
“While Komaeda is definitely crazy enough to get a vocal cord transplant his condition would ensure he would be out for a while longer than he’s been in attendance. This means whatever is changing his voice has to be a physical tool on his body at this very moment.”
As Juzo spoke two concurrent events transpired, one in Chisa’s mind and another right before her eyes. As her friend spoke she recalled a meeting between Sakakura, Kyosuke, and Herself. They were covering things that could be used to infiltrate the academy before getting hired there. When it actually came to investigating the idea came up of using disguises including a voice-changing bowtie. The item was commonly used by skilled detectives. While the idea seemed good the current headmaster's connections to the Detective Library made the chances of him recognizing the tool too risky.
Then there was Komaeda himself as Sakakura gave his theory he made out a slight demeanor change in her student. It was small and he was clearly trying to hide it but his mouth slightly twitched into a smile for a second. She recognized that smile. It was the same one Komaeda gave when he would know the answer to a very complicated problem and forced the class to work together with the small hints he would hand out instead of giving it to them straight.
With that coy smile to Juzo’s explanation and the sloppy put-on bowtie. It was all the evidence Chisa needed to test her theory. Within a second it was off and the room was filled with torn laughter. It was Komaeda’s but not how it normally was, not even his more unhinged cackles compared to this one. It was a shriek yet there was no pain it sounded happy, ecstatic even.
“There really is no hiding the truth from you huh Miss Yukizome.” He said in the same unhinged voice. “And the head of security I wondered if you two were still friends. You were always together in the Libraries Yearbook section for your years.” He was starting to calm but his voice still had a venomous bite to it; it seemed they had successfully made the ever-cool lucky student mad. Yet he continued.
“But there was a third one, was there not? You can’t forget the man who’s going to bring Hope’s Peak to the world stage right?” Chisa froze at this while she was not sure about her own reaction judging by Sakakura’s they were both in panic mode now. Not that it stopped Komaeda from making the situation worse.
“So if you two are still close friends then Munakata must not be too far behind. Now if that's the case why are you here and not the international branch helping him. Unless there is… something here he wants.?”
It was quicker than she could even react Sakakura spun Komaeda around and delivered a match-ending uppercut. Komaeda was sent flying head first into the sealing. Then to the ground out cold.
Chisa was in shocked silence for a second then flame. “Juzo!” She roared, turning towards her best friend and pointing at the unconscious ultimate. “Why did you knock him out?”
This justifiably earned a shocked look from her friend. “What?” Juzo sputtered. “He knew too much.”
While that was true it didn’t warrant a concussion like that. “If he’s too sick for surgery you think a world-class boxer uppercutting him was good for him?”
This seemingly shut down the boxer as he silently mumbled apologies and picked the unconscious Komaeda out.
“We should take Komaeda to Gekkogahara for now, then we need to call Munakata and let him know what’s been going down.” Chisa said as calmly as she could muster at the moment. It wasn’t a perfect plan but it was the best they had at this moment. Chisa wanted to keep Munkata out of this he had enough to deal with but with the corruption, this situation was filled with and Komaeda proving a bit too inquisitive for his own good she needed to tell him. Like it or not Komaeda Nagito was now a battle in the war against the school's corruption and Chisa desired nothing but total victory.
With a nod from her best friend, they removed Komaeda from the room and they left. As Chisa closed the door her eyes were caught for a second. Looking the room over again she could have sworn she saw the closet door twitch. chalking it up to nerves she shut the door. Komaeda for all his strengths had one weakness.
He always worked alone; he sees himself as in a category of his own. Not good enough for his classmates in the main course and above the normal students of the reserve course. This obsession with tiers leaving him alone was probably how they beat him. Darn and bless that kid if he could just work with people he would probably be unbeatable.