Waiting For A Chance To Pounce || Saki || Trial 3.1 || ATTN: Yuuma, Takara
Did Saki know fuck all about this case? Absolutely not. Really she almost wanted to take the chance and ask the bear to let her out for once, considering she wasn’t even a helpful member of their little group. All she did was terrorize the others with gestures she thought were relatively harmless. Whatever, she’d just have to spend the trial time talking to Takara or Rafael, as they were the closest to her.
As usual, she rolled into the room on her handy dandy office chair…A little faster than she should’ve been, actually. She quickly lost control and rolled into someone else- it seemed to be Yuuma…
Whoopsie! She’d have to apologize for that later! I blame Finn for this post too.
Much slower this time around, she wheeled into her usual spot next to Takara and smiled at him, giving him a little thumbs up for encouragement.
“Don’t forget our little talk, ‘kay? I believe in you!”
Mistrial…? Such a funny word, it was almost something to laugh at – how could they…how could this even happen? Emiko started laughing, but it wasn’t because she found it funny; she was desperate for someone to help her. “I’m sorry…Mitsuki!” She smiled one last time, before it was finally the time… the time for Emiko Akiyama’s life, to end. No chain, no anything… Emiko wondered what was the delay - but before she would even talk, she saw an empty space of where she was stepping… she was falling.
Emiko screamed, and after a very long fall… she seemed to land into a plush-like bed. It was nice, for a change! The cold hard floor… very devastating, is it not? Emiko soon stepped away from it, and wondered what was going on; there was absolutely no background, no anything - just her, and nothing else - the bed had disappeared. She continued walking, holding on to her hair, slowly pulling it as the anxiety of what was waiting for her consumed her. But then… here it was.
Emiko saw a grand light come out of the dark, until it finally lighted up the room - it was a rhythm game! Dance Dance Revolution to be exact… she found it nice, very wonderful. She soon stepped onto it, and some words flashed on the screen;
“EMI HAS STEPPED ONTO THE GAME! BROWSING OPPONENTS…”
“MATCH FOUND! EMI VS MITSUKI!”
Emiko… versus Mitsuki? Her… versus her sister?! Emiko looked around, and right next to her… was her sister, Mitsuki - she seemed so real… so wonderful. Emiko looked at her in awe, feeling tears come to her eyes; but… she needed to win, didn’t she? It’s not like Mitsuki was very good in rhythm games. She sighed, and focused on the screen - it was time for action.
Emiko felt herself follow the beat of the music, and soon her legs would start working and did swift movements - she looked at Mitsuki for a split-second, just to see that she did the same. Emiko felt herself nervous, as the person next to her seemed to be amazing at the game. The rhythm gamer started playing with more focus, and tried to do things as wonderful as she could - she was doing it… PERFECT! MARVELOUS! NICE! PERFECT!
Words flashed on the screen, but then she heard a familiar voice come out of the speakers, muffling the music… it was her family, was it not? Emiko tried to continue playing, listening to the speech;
“We’re very sorry, Emi-chan! We underestimated you, did we not…? You are wonderful at what you do! But it’s time that we request something of you, okay? We need you to… stop playing! You need to FAIL, at least one single note. We beg of you, really! It’s time that you let go… you have proved yourself.”
Emiko could feel her eyes water, but she kept on playing - she wasn’t going to let that bear start manipulating her, not at all… not one single time! She kept on pressing the buttons with the best that she could, but then that one voice, again. Now it wasn’t her parents… it was Mitsuki herself.
“Why don’t you listen to us…you’re as stubborn as ever, no? That’s just our little request, just fail one single note! No one will blame you if you’re not perfect, you know… you owe me a favour. You were mean to me, but I was trying to be nice to you. So… just do this, for me..?”
Emiko came to a sudden stop - those words just made her go pale and do nothing else. She fell to her knees, listening to the crowd boo and call her names - then, that one particular voice of Mitsuki finally yelled.
“WELL DONE! YOU HAVE PROCEEDED TO THE NEXT LEVEL!
PREPARE FOR THE ULTIMATE HUMILIATION!”
As the rhythm gamer looked up, all she could see was hands coming out of the screen, and dragging her into it - she didn’t even try to fight… she knew she was going to die anyways, right? As soon as her head entered the screen, the screen grew some bars that were sharp, cutting off Emiko Akiyama’s head in the process - now, what was left was her lifeless body, resting against the machine that caused her success.
She has died doing what she loved, don’t you think?
EMIKO AKIYAMA, SHSL RHYTHM GAMER, HAS BEEN EXECUTED!
To be quite honest, Orpheus didn’t even remember how he got to his seat after Monobear summoned them for Yuuma’s trial. The only thing he was conscious about in the whole duration of getting into the trial room was the strap he was holding onto tightly. Anyone who saw Yuuma more than once probably recognized it right away - it was the heavy backpack the oneirologist always carried with her. How did Orpheus ended up having it? Well, you’ll most likely hear from him when the whole thing started off.
As Orpheus glanced to his left side, his heart ached even more upon looking at an empty seat - safe for the portrait, of course. The novelist grimaced at the sight and shut his eyes tight for a deep breath, before he put the backpack there and looked away. He needed to concentrate now, right…? Forget about his grief, just focus on solving this murder case…
When Orpheus began to talk, it was… monotonous. It had a certain icy tone to it, as if he tried to detach himself from his feelings.
“… Chou-san was murdered around 1:37 am at the train platform. Her cause of death was cervical fracture. The handprints found on her neck were considerably larger than my own. I have prepared a sheet with the rough size and shape of them.”
Orpheus produced a sheet of paper out with a rather large handprint on it, though it seemed like as if he had drawn the shape only roughly. He placed his own hand there, which was of course smaller than the one printed on it. Silently, he passed the note on, though in his eyes, it was only a formality.
Afterwards, he got out another piece of paper and wrote down his own name quickly. It was a neat and rather loopy handwriting, something you would expect from a novelist like him.
“I’d like to take handwriting samples, so we can match them to something I’ve found. Though I’d like to discuss other matters while we’re doing these.”
He passed the note and pen on to the next person and supported his ellbows on the table, while his head rested on his hands. Gendou Ikari pose, here we go again.
“No other wounds were found on her body. Furthermore, the key she usually had around her neck is missing. The culprit most likely intended to keep the contents of Chou-san’s journal to be a secret.”
Although he brought said journal out, he just placed it on the table and resumed his former position.
“I’ve also found the backpack near the entrance and several pages in the plant life outside. They all belong to Chou-san’s journal, I’ve already checked it for myself. If you’re wondering how I could do it with the key being missing… Chou-san had two keys and I suspect the murderer didn’t know about it or else, they would have broke into her room to get rid of it as well.”
While Orpheus tried to appear calm, it was evident that he was anything but that. The slight shaking in his hands told as much.
you won't be able to recognise me now || takara || re: seiki
“P-please… let m-me just, let’s j-just e-end this…”
The silence that followed his outburst had pressed all of the energy out of Takara, the boy’s hands dragging down his face to let him slump on the desk. He didn’t notice Seiki at all thanks to his actions, though really, the silence coming from them was worse.
Nice job. Nice fucking job. Remember how happy you were before? Forget it.
Briefly he debated dragging himself over and using Seiki’s panel to vote for one Takara Takemoto.
But all the energy had gone from his body, leaving him slumped at his seat as though almost asleep or worse. When he spoke his words were practically slurred; there was only so long even he could go screaming and crying for without getting completely drained.
“I d-don’t… don’t th-think the p-piece of sh-shit’s g-going to speak u-up, f-for… whatever… wh-whatever reason…”
Tears were still rolling down the boy’s cheeks but silently now, every blink causing a few more quiet drops to spill. This just seemed gentle in comparison to Takara at every other stage of this trial, the boy not daring to peek at Seiki nor anyone else. Somehow, he seemed even smaller right now, words a whisper to match.
“I-I’m sorry, Rafael… I f-failed you..! T-the most I ever h-have failed someone-! A-and s-so many others- s-so many others I’m s-sure… I k-know I… h-have…”
Slowly he drew himself up and away from the table, legs pulling themselves up into the chair and red scarf covering Takara’s face as he buried his head in his knees. He was done.
They hadn’t expected Takara to shout so loudly. Or, well, shout at all. A knot of shock, confusion and anxiety balled up in their throat until they could not speak. The very person they had been aiming to defend had shot them down.
Even the reuse of their surname…?
… Well. Takara was quite right. What on earth were they getting so upset about? There was nothing they could do. What had happened to their calm, collected self? Had they thrown all of their values away?
always finds a way to break me down || takara || re: seiki, orpheus
Had that been Takara?
The shriek had come immediately after Seiki had finished speaking, panic and regret flashing across Takara’s expression at his outburst towards them almost right after. But then the upset took over again, the sound of Seiki slamming the furniture and Orpheus hitting his voting panel ringing in his ears. For a good few moments all Takara could do was bury his face in his scarf, the thick material not quite masking the repeated muffled pleas of ‘shut up’ before he managed to sit up again.
“I-I’m sorry-! I’m s-so sorry, Se- Chiba-san-” Don’t deserve that name right after that. “I d-didn’t- I didn't mean- pl-please-”
Didn’t mean what? To scream at them? To fall apart like this? Something else entirely? Seemed the answer would go unknown forever- Takara’s words were lost in sobs again, throat raw from crying now and preventing him from speaking for a good few moments. When he could talk again, it was a miracle he could be understood.
“W-we- we d-don’t know! W-we don’t f-fucking know- a-all we can- all we c-can do is hope t-that r-rotten fucking killer h-has b-bad luck…e-ehe… he… th-that’s right, j-just… p-piece of shit… e-ehe…”
Yes, that laughter was definitely more of a panic response.
What actually happened when they got it wrong? Was the person to be executed actually randomised?
Oh, he hoped it wasn’t anyone close to him. It was safe to say Takara could not take that at all.
He was fucking up. He was fucking up so damn hard, others were starting to focus on him more than anything else, and even though Takara was visibly ignoring the concerned tone in which people were saying his name now it didn’t mean that the note wasn’t ringing in his mind. He was only just sat on the line between shaky calm and complete and utter panic, trying to focus on the tea he still had cupped in his hands as some means of grounding himself.
Takara wasn’t sure how successful that was actually being.
Orpheus was speaking again and the boy forced himself to at least try and listen to what the other male was saying, giving a few sniffles and a few rapid blinks to clear his vision. Oh he’d always hated trials, that much had been obvious since the very beginning, but certainly no improvement had been made since then. Perhaps there had been a chance when he’d actually found himself able to speak rather than simply passing notes, but now surely all hopes of any further progress had been dashed.
(The crossed-out portraits surrounding him were not helping Takara much either)
“C-can anyone even remember that to check?” When he finally managed to speak his voice was a whisper, but at least he was talking. “Th-the thickness of t-the lines, that i-is..? Sh-should we… do this?”
Perhaps it was unknown whether those quiet words were even heard over Orpheus’ continued discussion. But there was no doubt that his next exclamation was heard, the boy suddenly jolting to life again as shock pierced him.
“H-he expected to d-die?!”
And there were the words that tipped Takara over that line straight into panic again, palms feeling like they were burning as he finally moved them away from the tea Seiki had passed to cover his mouth instead. Well. Surely he had the right to freak out- to say that he was surprised his friend might have known he was going to die through whatever means was an absolute understatement., If anything this was the most Takara had panicked so far this trial, eyes undoubtedly full of fear and worry even to those who perhaps didn’t know him too well to recognise the usual emotion there.
“D-do-” Oh god, he could barely get the words out anymore. His throat felt like it was closing up, as though his whole body was so against him speaking regarding this. “D-do you- th-think he knew- he k-knew he would e-end up like- like th-that? O-oh god- f-fuck, wh-what was he- what w-was he thinking-”
He was acutely aware that this train of thought and speech was helping no-one, certainly not himself. But he was too far along with it to possibly stop now.
breathing in and out and in and out || takara || re: akemi, seiki
Oh god, why couldn’t he stop crying?
Perhaps that was a question often asked in his life. But this was surely the time that it rang most true, no manner of calming measure new or old doing anything at all to even lessen his tears by a few. The only time he spoke was when Akemi spoke directly to him- and ‘spoke’ was a very loose term.
His frantic voice would have been enough to suggest otherwise even without the tears he still shed.
It was only Seiki sliding their tea towards him that started to bring Takara out of his state, at least to a point where he could actually take the edge of panic out of his breathing and respond in a way that didn’t involve simply shaking in his seat. Even if it did take him a few moments.
Once he was sure that his hands were steady enough to take the cup passed to him without spilling it Takara did so, staring at Seiki dumbfoundedly for a few moments before managing a very small smile.
“Y-you… you didn’t… h-have to…”
He didn’t attempt to take a sip just yet though, instead feeling that he should actually bring himself to speak up again.
“S-Seiki’s right, surely… s-surely disguising writing is… e-easy… th-through a number of m-methods…” He swallowed nervously, before forcing words out again. “A-as for m-myself, I… I’ll s-say I was awake, I… ehe, p-peaceful sleep is… s-something rather foreign now, th-that much is… p-probably obvious…”
His hands were starting to heat up where he held the tea. But that seemed to be the last of his concerns.
“I-if it’s none of us on th-the notes, then… w-where do we g-go next..?”
it'll wear you down and wear you down || takara || trial start, re: orpheus
Unsurprisingly, Takara was in his room yet again when the call to trial went off. It was a miracle he didn’t injure himself yet again directly afterwards, the boy frantically scrambling to finish off what he was doing before he ran out of time and had to leave. Sadly he had to try and compose himself on the way to the trial room rather than in isolation, though when he reached their destination, it didn’t look like he’d done a very good job at all.
Somehow the boy seemed even smaller in his chair this trial, body hunched as though he desperately wished to curl into a ball where he sat. Well, it wasn’t far from the truth. Sitting between all these crossed out portraits was unnerving, too… thankfully, moving his chair hadn’t nudged Rafael and Saki’s images to face him more. Being stared at by the living was bad enough.
Deep breath in. Deep breath out. Okay. It was time to -god help him - talk.
“I… I h-have evidence too… in-incredibly. From the trash can i-in the kitchen…” His trembling hands fumbled over themselves as he retrieved a note from his pocket, double checking that it was the right thing - oh, how embarrassing if he’d left it in his room! - before smoothing it out on the desk. “It’s… it’s th-the exact same message as th-the others Orpheus d-described, except signed b-by… A… Ake…”
Lord. He couldn’t even still his voice enough to say her name.
That’d do. His rush to actually get the words out had left him like a rabbit about to bolt, eyes wide and visibly tensed up where he sat. Then he swallowed hard, forcing himself to take a deep breath through his mouth.
“I… I c-can vouch for Orpheus t-too… handwriting th-that is…” Another deep breath, Takara’s hands turning over on themselves in his lap. “I th-think… oh, I r-realise this may be r-rich coming f-from me, seeing as my… n-name is on a note…”
Pure fear shot through the boy again, silencing him for a moment or two.
“-B-but! L-like Orpheus said.. either the c-culprit is one o-of these people or they’re… n-not, and the c-culprit is trying t-to get us to focus on th-these people… or that’s w-what they want us to th-think, o-or… or… A-AH!”
The burst into tears was sudden but probably expected by this point if one were to think about it, the boy suddenly jolting and tears starting to spill as thought the weight on Takara’s shoulders had painfully slammed down on him. His throat felt raw, nausea stirring in his stomach too,
“S-SORRY! I’m sorry! I- I j-just- I d-don’t, c-can’t talk ab-about this-!”
sad little sounds as they fall from my mouth || takara || re: alphonse, orpheus
By the time Takara came to his proper senses again after gratefully registering Yang trying to help Alphonse it was, in essence, all over.
He didn’t know what to do. Then again, what could he do? This wasn’t like that second trial; everything Alphonse was confessing to really couldn’t be debated here. The boy had no real option but to shrink back in his chair, scarf tugged up to cover his mouth to cower back from the combat expert opposite him. The culprit they had been looking for.
Perhaps it was horrible of him, no, it was definitely horrible, but Takara honestly felt a large rush of relief that this threat he’d picked up on early in this god forsaken game would be… well. Wiped out. Judging by the voiced reactions of some of his other classmates, it seemed he wasn’t the only one that had this particular opinion.
If Takara wasn’t cowering in his seat before he definitely was now, and very obviously so too. Orpheus’ yelling rang in his ears as he drew his legs up to rest on the chair, burying his face in his knees to curl up into a ball on the chair. Every word the novelist was spitting Takara was honestly agreeing with, though each particularly stressed point sent a jolt through him in a way that didn’t feel too good at all. It seemed even the cool-headed, logical Orpheus had been cracked by something here now. He could only imagine the agony hidden behind that anger being spilt forth but that was enough to make Takara’s heart hurt, the boy practically pleading with the universe in his mind to bring Yuuma back for his friend now.
I fucking hate this place.
Eventually, fueled by frustration and perhaps a hint of desperation, he forced himself out of that seat.
His chair was left spinning as Takara practically sprung out of it, quickly moving past Rafaël and Reisuke’s seats to make it to Orpheus. For a moment he hesitated, recalling that slam of Orpheus’ fists on the desk just now, before biting the bullet and tugging on the other male’s arm. His shocked expression faded into one of concern, upset clear in his eyes but forcing his tone of voice to stay as level as possible. For Orpheus’ sake.
“I- o-oh, sorry, th-this- this will s-sound like nothing b-but a heap of bullshit I’m s-sure- b-but I…”
His voice dropped, intended to be heard by only those very close to the two at absolute most.
“I… I j-just don’t think Y-Yuuma would w-want us t-to be screaming a-and yelling like this… ehe, at someone w-who seems to b-be considering paper a good meal r-recently t-too…”
It felt like he’d been knocked off a building. The harder they are, the bigger they… no, wait- the bigger they are, the HARDER they fall. Right, that was it…
Alphonse mentally kicked himself for having not done anything sooner. Out of his head, though- back to the external. Groggily, he came back to his senses- still pale, still utterly disgusted by the world around him, and by the fact that he was on the floor, when he heard something that sounded accusatory.
Well, that sure slurred together in his head, but we aren’t talking about what was going on his mind- no, we’re discussing him as he was being pulled onto the seat. Completely in a daze, he just assumed he had been seated all along, before announcing-
“I… I do not have a key.”
He felt sick. Was it the blood or what his diet had been reduced to? He didn’t feel like thinking about the latter option. The tea did leave a scent in his hair that certainly did… make him hungry for something.
"I have nothing to contribute, and I have nothing to say. I have no key, nowhere… nowhere.”
Grimacing, he placed a hand on his stomach. Jeez louise. With a whisper of ‘one, two, three-’ he got to his feet, falling back into his seat with a huff. And he looked just as disgruntled as ever- although, within reason, this time. …Perhaps.
“Poss… Urf. Possibilities remain… for, hrr. For why the killer could have possibly not…”
Okay, that wasn’t working. He felt sick. To add another layer onto his layers of badness in how he felt, he coughed. Sputtered. Ducked away from the table and coughed- hard. A very, very soft clatter could be heard, and he stared down at the floor- he’d just coughed it up. What they had been looking for- oh god. It felt as though he’d just hit a roadblock… one there was absolutely no chance of getting around.
Only chance was to go over it, or to simply break through. Slamming one hand down on the table, Alphonse Yoshioka let out one shaky breath.
“I have reached… my wit’s end with you people. I have reached the very last bit of patience I had, and now I have to confess to spare you all the utter self-deprecation that would come in your failing to convict me.”
He looked up rather suddenly to stare at the general assembly, looking very much like he had before- disgruntled. Angry. Bitter.
“I killed Yuuma Chou. I asked her out so I could apologize, and I was going to do it too- until I realized… I could do something better. I took the knife Seishirou left in my care during the second murder, and took it with me to the great outdoors. For once… I-I was using my brain.
"I snapped her neck with my bare hands, and she didn’t feel a thing.”
Alphonse held up both hands, then- if you were to cross-examine them with the paper he’d passed over, they would match perfectly.
“Then I decided to stab myself to frame someone else. I will come back to this momentarily… as I then decided it would be a great idea to take her notebook and tear out pages. Leave no trace that I had been there.
"…I haven’t had a proper meal in four weeks now. I ate paper from her notebook, and damn if I am not at least slightly ashamed of it. I spit pieces out when I got back to my dorm, but… Whatever.
"I took her backpack and tried to throw it onto the roof- unfortunately, it came crashing back down directly onto my face, and it broke her snow-globe. I am not a clever man.
"I then locked her notebook and ate the key. …As evidence of… what just occurred. Ahem.
"Back to the knife… from before. I threw it in front of Orpheus’ door and… did not notice that I left a trail until later. I stabbed myself and planted the knife to frame Orpheus.”
It was, at that time, that Mr. Yoshioka stood up again, all but snarling as he seemed to be re-enacting his stance from before, gaze directed, FOCUSED on Orpheus.
"I swore to protect that boy, and what did you do?! You led everyone to believe that voting for him was ideal! You led the minds of all these people astray with your… your fancy words and your… LOGIC! You let that boy die! Time and time again since we have arrived, you have been the roadblock in my way- YOU!”
His heart was racing, eyes wide behind the strands of hair that fell down, down, pooling onto the table’s top below.
“I wanted you to die so I could get the one thing I have wanted for years, for YEARS—! And now I have to throw it all away because.. obviously you are to blame for this not going right!”
…Foolproof logic? No. Not in the least. No, this was flawed beyond repair, and he knew it. One eye twitched as he froze in place, breathing labored from the sudden bursts of energy and of genuine passion. How long had it been since he’d felt like this….?
It had been years. The static in his head cleared- it had been years since he had last felt his heart racing so, and he wasn’t even in the ring.
It was quite the spectacle to be sure, one that Remi Shijou had no desire to participate in whatsoever.
A distinct quietus had taken the girl since the conclusion of the first trial since their abduction. She had weighed strategies in her mind every since; day-in-day-out wondering which would be the best strategy to follow. In the end, she, even with a distinct knack for treachery and guile, decided that associating with the rabble was simply out of the question.
“… . .”
The girl, rather the facade, who had seemed to emphatic and helpful during the beginning had been quiet for so long now that she doubted that anyone would notice if she was gone at all from the proceedings. Even now, she refused to make eye contact with anyone else, quietly looking at her pleated skirt.
this broken beautiful mess i've made || takara || re: seiki, alphonse, orpheus
He’d fucked up.
He’d fucked up so hard.
Yet what was he doing about that? Sitting there squirming under Alphonse’s intense stare, that was what.
Please stop staring.
Words were trying to make themselves heard, his body pushing him to move and just get away from Alphonse. But Takara couldn’t bring himself to complete either action, face still completely drained of colour with Alphonse’s words barely registering as anything above static in his ears. His entire body had frozen in his seat, hands clutching its side with knuckles white, eyes wide and stinging with tears and meeting Alphonse’s despite his utter terror in doing so oh god oh god-
And then Seiki happened to stop by.
It didn’t relax Takara instantly of course; how could it? It was sheer terror the boy was experiencing at that moment after all, focus entirely on the combat expert; so much so that it actually took the boy a good few moments to register what had just happened.
Then he actually let out a light breath of relief, one that could easily be taken for having some hints of humour underneath it as he mouthed to Seiki ‘thank you’.
(Not specifically for him? Whatever. He could feel embarrassed about that later.)
The time-out was only brief however. Others began speaking and Takara eased himself properly into his seat again, taking a few deep breaths and trying to force himself to relax. Orpheus sliding his notebook back snapped his attention back to the other male just in time to hear most of what he said.
And, of course, just in time to catch the latest drama with Alphonse too.
…Now, Super High School Level some-medical-profession Takara was not. And fond of Alphonse, Takara… was not.
But there was something in him that absolutely could not leave someone like that.
“C-COULD- s-sorry, could- could s-someone near him-! S-someone near him- h-he’s lying down, right, p-prop his legs up somehow if w-we can-! P-put pressure on t-that wound too, t-tie something round it i-if you can- I w-would do it my-myself but I th-think I would hinder- especially with h-him-!”
Medically inclined now, are you, Takara?
Another deep, shuddering breath was heard from the boy, his hands clutching the edge of the table despite himself. He really did want to do all this himself, it would probably be easier… but somehow, he figured Alphonse wouldn’t react too well at all to Takara leaning over him should he wake up. Hopefully someone could help…
But for now, it seemed Takara would have to stay this side of the table and focus on the trial. Lest another injury become part of this mess.
(He really did not want to take a hit from Alphonse.)
“Thhhh… the snowglobe, c-could… could Y-Yuuma have… c-caused that wound on him w-with that if… if she was… b-being attacked…”
Well, he could try. That was all he could ever do.
why do you always end up right back here || takara || re: trial start, orpheus, alphonse
He’d promised to investigate his hardest. Yet here Takara voice, already red faced from shame as he entered the trial room.
All bark no bite as usual, huh?
It was incredibly difficult not to take notice of the new crossed out portraits that adorned his side of the table, Takara’s mind already cringing at the image of them he was already able to imagine. Shuffling carefully around Saki’s former seat a shaking Takara sat on the very edge of his own, trying to focus on Rafaël and Seiki either side of him rather than the nearby portrait.
As usual Orpheus was the first to speak up, though this was the first time Takara’s chest had hurt at the sound of the other male’s voice. He really wasn’t doing well, that much was obvious… but what could Takara do? Simply wishing that he could help clearly couldn’t change him, judging by how swearing and trying to investigate had done absolutely nothing…
Best to just focus on the trial for now and help here as much as he could.
(Takara would be lying if he said he didn’t strongly desire to find the culprit too.)
“H-handwriting samples? I- I can- h-hold on-!”
While Orpheus appeared to be passing round a dedicated piece of paper for handwriting samples, it was rather clear at least to Takara after the past three trials that time could easily become of the essence. He pulled his general notebook and a pen out of his shirt pocket, picked up for notes after promising to investigate (hah), and scribbled his name on the first page in his neat joined up writing. Then he snapped the notebook shut, making sure to at least appear to catch Orpheus’ glance before sliding the notebook down the table towards him.
“M-maybe… maybe Yuuma and t-the killer had arranged to meet p-prior to the murder t-taking place, and she… w-wrote about it them i-in her journal..? E-explains why they would want to h-hide its contents, t-taking the key and s-such…”
The next point and the memory it was based on was rather painful to bring up. But Takara persisted.
“I-it is possible that t-that was the case I th-think… w-when I was with Yuuma after S-Saki’s ex… ex… tr-trial, she just… s-started writing in it r-right there and then, so… m-maybe the culprit we’re l-looking for has the key…”
Both notes actually passed by Takara then, though currently on the opposite side of the table. It was probably due to the fact that Takara preferred to look at the table rather than up at Alphonse (the other male did still terrify him, after all) that he noticed the pieces of paper being passed on- and shock, horror, the still-shaking boy actually spoke up with something of a bite.
“W-what, allergic to p-paper now? I-I t-think everyone should con-contribute to this-!”
It was only a few moments later that the colour drained from Takara’s face.
Seiki was finding it more and more needless to speak during trials, although they realised that at some point some intervention may be necessary. These poor souls were so stressed, so driven from their raw and innocent forms due to the panic of the situation.
They, on the other hand, were practising calm. They had even brought a mug of tea into the boardroom, and sipped it at regular intervals, especially when people started crying. When the execution played on the screen, they put down their cup, placed their hands together and chanted the Gatha of Impermanence:
“All composite things are impermanent, They are subject to birth and death; Put an end to birth and death, And there is a blissful tranquillity.”
Then they bowed their head, wishing a quick and painless death upon the girl on the screen, although they averted their eyes in the final moments.
Once the elevator was open again they picked up their cup and exited. Anyone would have thought they’d attended a boring seminar, they way they looked so unaffected. That was what they willed themself to look like.
Yes, now everyone was sure to come for them for solidarity and advice. They had proved their strength of character. They would become the calm and rational leader of this bunch of hooligans, and lead them to the righteous path.
They had completely forgotten the sacrifice of their own emotions.
当惑気味 | Izumi | School Trial [RE: Discussion, Akemi]
Fortunately, it seemed that the girl who had banged her head against the desk was coming around. Any longer than that, and thy might have had a real problem on their hands. But if Izumi had been in the middle of a sigh of relief, it was cut short by the words that escaped Yuuma’s mouth. Ah. So that was how it was. That was the source of the chain in the elevator. What he felt was not a sense of victory, or even satisfaction at the fact that the culprit had been found.
On the contrary, he felt a deep and piercing cold that sat in his abdomen, as though he had swallowed a lump of ice. They didn’t want her to go — Saki, that was. How much time would she lose if she died now? How much time had Miyuki had left? Their lives were going to waste; it was all a waste. And as he continued to think, Izumi came to realize that the blackest ink in the world would have paled in comparison to the feeling that was spreading outwards from the pit of his stomach.
Such a waste. When compared to —
The sound of Akemi collapsing directly to his right caused Izumi to blink in alarm, and he pulled his chair back slightly as she hit the ground. For a moment, the calligrapher sat still in his chair, mouth slightly open, before he shook himself out of his stupor.
“… … … … … …”
It wasn’t right to leave a fallen person on the ground like that, especially someone who lived in the same dorm, but he was no paramedic, either. Leaning down, Izumi gave the girl’s arm a cautious shake before withdrawing his hand. Yes. Good. That worked wonders.
It had taken Takara a good few minutes to answer that message, holed away in his room with nothing but the computer screen for light as he racked his brains to arrange words just as he wanted them.
Friends, yes. Interests, no. Fairly sure they see me as some sort of crazy salesman with his wares inside his trench coat. Hey, kid, wanna buy a virtual pet?
Oh, he could create incredible lies given enough time and privacy.
Perhaps if Takara had enough time here as he had then and for many other responses, shut away with enough time and space to howl and scream and panic in private, he could have taken this situation in a similarly cool manner. But of course he was not, and Saki was right here saying she’d changed her mind, she wanted to stay alive, gripping his hand and telling him he was her first best friend-
The office chair spun round and jumped a little as Takara shot to his feet, suppressing another wail of anguish underneath that sudden confidence he knew was fuelled by panic. The hug was shaky, threatening to perhaps collapse any moment due to the boy’s shaking legs, but even then he did not intend to let go of the girl.
“I don’t- I don’t k-know if I- if I will b-be okay-!” A hasty giggle escaped him, clearly born from fear rather than humour. “T-then they’ll… they’ll j-just have to d-drag us both off..!”
One final, mad burst of confidence. That was the aim.