It is time to presents the presents for the Invisible Friend 2015 Edition.
Some pretty good stuff this year! Rather jealous, myself. I tried to finish this quickly so I can get all the presents posted, so if I made any errors, please let me know ASAP
Anyways, here are the presents, which are ordered alphabetically!!!
"I GUESS WE SHOULDN'T HAVE INVESTIGATED THAT WEIRDNESS BUBBLE."
"I BLAME YOU FOR THIS, WRIGHT!"
And just because...
This year I did again a danganronpa style, I hope you like it.
I had a lot of fun doing these, Calliope is a really well designed character.
And if you are curious, I did not use any base or pre existing character.
Took me a while to figure out what to make, but here ya go! Pokemon-style sprites of your two PokeRP characters, as well as battle screen-type things. Hopefully you enjoy them, and merry Christmas!
As much of a hassle this was, spriting it was pretty fun! Goddamn that jacket tho...........
“Hey, wake up! We should be getting there soon.”
“Hmm…?” Isis slowly came back to consciousness from the girl next to her rocking her awake. Isis blinked, and looked around. She was sitting on an uncomfortable shoddily-made seat. Another seat was right in front of her, she could see a forest out of the window to her right, and a chipper young girl with a black coat and green and yellow scarf was sitting directly to her left.
That’s right… She had been sent on this weird field trip thing. Isis wasn’t particularly happy about getting dragged to all these places, but at least Sylvie was on the trip too. The last thing Isis remembered was looking out the window, and it seems like the vibrations of the bus had sent her asleep.
“’There’? Where are we going first, again?” Isis asked Sylvie.
“It’s the first stop and you’re already forgetting the itinerary?” Sylvie sighed. “We’re first going to Pleasanton.”
“…Never heard of it.”
“It’s not the flashiest place to visit first, but it’s supposed to be a quaint little town. It’s in a nice location, with a pretty forest,” Sylvie said, giving a small gesture out the window with her head. “Plus I’ve heard that there are… strange things that happen there.”
“Strange things? What kind of strange things?” Isis asked. She took a moment to fix her hair using her reflection in the window.
“I don’t know. I haven’t heard much. Just… strange things,” Sylvie said. “We’re only spending the day in Pleasanton, so there shouldn’t be much of a chance for anything too strange to happen.”
“I wouldn’t mind something exciting happening,” Isis said, stifling a yawn. Isis hated long, boring trips like this. She had forgotten to pack her solid gold PSP, which meant that she’d have to pass the time… interacting with other people. What a pain.
Looking over the other people in the bus, though, it seemed like there was a rather eclectic group. If Isis had to be stuck with a group of random people, this could definitely be more boring groups. Plus Sylvie was with her.
Isis looked across the aisle at the seat on the left half of the bus. In the aisle seat was a boy with tan skin, a dark coat, and a lime green mohawk. While the most conspicuous part of his appearance was his hair, further inspection revealed a strange pair of metal gloves on his hands. His arms were crossed and he was staring directly at the seat in front of him, and annoyed expression on his face.
The cause of his annoyance seemed to be the boy sitting directly to his left. This boy had spiky black hair with a pair of goggles on his head, and was wearing a turquoise and black striped coat with four buckles. He was lazily staring out the window, puffing on a cigarette. The smoke seemed to fly directly to the right into the first boy’s face, causing said annoyance.
“Daisuke, you’ve been blowing that smoke in my face this entire damn ride,” the boy on the right finally said. “Can you give it a rest just for a little bit?”
“Let me think about that.” Daisuke paused. “No,” he announced, blowing another blast of smoke into the other boy’s face. “Besides, Declan, the attorney chick says we’re going to be there soon. Once we get there you can get out and get all the fresh air you want.”
“If you’re not going to stop smoking, can you at least open the window so that the smoke goes outside, instead of right into my face?” Declan asked, looking longingly at the latches on the window to his left.
“Naaah,” Daisuke replied, not bothering to turn his head to look at Declan. “If I liked fresh air, I wouldn’t be puffing on these.”
“Ughhh,” Declan groaned, slumping in defeat.
“If you want some fresh air, I heard that Pleasanton has some nice hiking trails in the woods.” The boy with spiky black hair who was sitting directly in front of Declan turned around to talk to him. “I was actually planning on checking it out myself. Do you want to come too? I bet there’s a short one we could get through while we’re there.”
“Sure, sounds great!” Declan’s expression immediately perked up. “Thanks, Yakuro. It’ll be nice to be surrounded by nice, living… not-decaying things.”
“Please, call me ‘Kyou,’” Yakuro said before returning to his normal sitting position.
“Um, excuse me, Driver-san,” the blue-haired girl on Yakuro’s left stood up as far as her seatbelt would allow, in order to speak with the woman in the driver’s seat right in front of her.
“What is it, Mikal? And please, call me Desiree,” the tan woman with platinum blue hair cheerfully replied.
“According to my schedule, we were supposed to take the exit we just took approximately 43 seconds earlier,” Mikal said, leafing through a notebook she had pulled out while adjusting her red-rimmed glasses.
“Don’t worry so much about it,” Yakuro reassured her. “I mean, if you keep track of things in minutes we’re still on time, right? Besides, I’m the commander in charge of this mission, so just relax and let me do all the worrying, okay?”
“…Okay,” Mikal sighed and sat down. “But to think you organized and planned out this entire trip for us! It’s so amazing! I want to hear all about how you were able to create these plans!” Suddenly, Mikal’s eyes were shining. It seemed she cared more about the making of the plans than the plans themselves…
“M-Maybe later,” Yakuro said, letting out a nervous laugh. He then leaned forward to speak to the woman driving the mini-bus. “Oh, but Desiree, thanks again for volunteering to do this. This wouldn’t be possible without someone to drive us around.”
“Oh, don’t mention it!” Desiree replied. “It’s a pleasure to help! Young people are our future, after all!” …Our future billionaires, that is, Desiree thought to herself with a chuckle. Zenaide’s newest art project involved sleeping for a whole week straight. Desiree figured that even Zenaide couldn’t cause trouble while doing that, heard about this trip, and decided to help out.
Representatives from eight different schools had been chosen, and were going around on a trip around the world to expand their worldview and get to know kids from other schools. Which meant that Desiree would have a front row seat to meet and get to know the top students from a bunch of elite schools—the future leaders and money-makers of the world.
Desiree went over the students on the trip in her head once again. She had to be sure of who was who if she wanted to get on all their good sides. Directly behind her, in the window seat of the left seat in the first row, was Mikal Kitahara from Homurahara Gakuen. Next to her was Yakuro Mutsuho, SHSL Commander, from Hope’s Peak Academy. Behind Mikal was Daisuke Shuto, SHSL Marksman, from… Hope’s Peak Academy. Each student was supposed to be from a different school, and Desiree knew that there was a third student also from Hope’s Peak, and they all actually did seem to be from different schools, but… Desiree gave her head a small shake. The details weren’t important. Declan Dominguez from Hero Heights was sitting next to Daisuke. It was a strange name for a school, but Desiree didn’t really care. The mini-bus had four rows of seats (excluding the driver’s seat), but the last two rows were filled with the students’ bags and suitcases (and one folded-up wheelchair). So continuing clockwise, the next occupied seat was the right seat in the second row—the one with Sylvie Silverwing, SHSL Attorney, of Hope’s Peak, and Isis Shields of Shelvington Academy. Each school was supposed to send their best and brightest student, but Desiree had a sneaking suspicion that Shelvington had chosen Isis just to get her out of the school a bit. (The Shields family had donated too much money to the school for them to simply expel Isis, no matter how much Isis wanted it.) Finally, there was the two girls in the seat on the right in the front row. In the aisle seat was a short girl with red eyes and an oversized purple hoodie. She was Kanya Shiroi, and she was from a place called Smiles Asylum, which was apparently part-mental institution part-high school. But even if Kanya was a bit strange in the head, it was clear to Desiree that she was the smartest of the bunch by far. Finally, sitting next to Kanya was a girl with teal streaks in the front of her hair and a mantis t-shirt. She was Caroline Queen, from… Desiree didn’t actually know what school Caroline was from. But Caroline had already made a name for herself online—that girl was definitely going places!
They had been preoccupied for most of the trip with the video game that Caroline had brought. Even if Caroline couldn’t make reviews while on the trip, she could still play games so that she’d have plenty to review once it was over! Of course, she wasn’t having that great a time with it, as Kanya was watching it over Caroline’s shoulder and blurting out all the oncoming plot twists, calling the plot “so zetta predictable.”
Finally, they reached their destination. The flickering streetlight, the sole pine tree, and the “Welcome to Pleasanton!” sign passed them on the right. A few minutes later, the bus had stopped in the town square. The students filed out of the mini bus. Seven of them stretched their legs after the long ride while Desiree got Caroline’s wheelchair out of the back and helped Caroline into it.
“O-Oh, wait,” Yakuro said before Desiree locked the bus. He dashed back inside, and emerged after a few moments wearing his large, bulky backpack. “If we’re going to go hiking, I should bring our supplies,” he explained.
“Good thinking,” Declan replied, taking his first big gulp of smoke-free air in hours.
“I think the entrance to the trails is… that way.” Yakuro did a quick scan of the group, giving the others a chance to speak up and invite themselves if they wanted. When it became clear nobody else wanted to go, he added, “Make sure you all get back to the bus on time, or we’ll leave you behind! Anyway, let’s head off.” And with that, Yakuro and Declan left.
“I developed my own plan in order to see all the highlights of Pleasanton in the amount of time we have here,” Mikal announced. “However, the 43 seconds late we arrived took up the 43 seconds I was going to use to invite you all with me, so now I can’t. See you all later!” And with that, Mikal was off to follow her perfectly prepared plan.
“Wait, let me go too!” Desiree shouted, running after the blue-haired girl. Desiree didn’t have much hope for this town… but if there was anything here that Desiree might be able to use in a money-making scheme, it’d probably be one of the highlights Mikal mentioned.
“So… what do you want to do?” Sylvie asked Isis.
“I dunno. Something not boring,” Isis replied.
“Well, I guess we could just walk around and see what’s around,” Sylvie suggested.
“I guess. Might as well,” Isis said.
By this time, Daisuke had already disappeared. It seems like he had already slunk off from the group alone.
“I heard there’s a nice little church here,” Caroline said to nobody in particular, although there weren’t that many people left to talk to at this point. “I kind of wanted to go check it out.”
“I could go for that,” Kanya said. “Maybe it’ll be one of those corrupted churches that’s actually just a front for a coven of witches and demons, and I’ll have to grind them all to bytes in an epic battle!”
“It’s probably just a boring old church,” Isis said grumpily. “C’mon Sylvie, let’s go find something exciting.”
“Boooooooooooooriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing,” Isis groaned, trudging back into the town square. “This town is so BORING! I thought you said there was weird stuff in this town. There was nothing! Absolutely nothing! …Okay, there is one strange thing in this town, and it’s the fact that this town doesn’t commit suicide out of BOREDOM!”
“It wasn’t that bad,” Sylvie said. “I mean, we got to do some shopping, and you bought that cute ribbon for your hair.”
“Well, the ribbon is nice,” Isis admitted, slightly adjusting it in her hair, “But this town is still so BORING. That’s why I want to get to the bus and get out of here as soon as possible.”
“Despite what Yakuro said, I doubt we’ll leave until everybody gets back,” Sylvie replied. “Which means our departure time is governed by the last person to arrive, not the first. It’s so much earlier than our meet-up time, we’ll probably be the first ones there.”
And yet, when as the mini bus came into view, Sylvie and Isis caught side of Daisuke leaning against the side of the bus, smoking a cigarette.
“Hey,” he simply said as the two girls approached.
“Hello. You’re certainly back early,” Sylvie commented.
“You are too,” Daisuke replied.
“What’d you do?” Sylvie asked.
“We did nothingggg,” Isis interjected. “It was so BORING.”
Daisuke shrugged. “Just walked around a bit. Didn’t do much. Didn’t really mind, though. This place is nice.”
“I’m glad SOMEBODY can appreciate it,” Sylvie said with a smile.
Suddenly a strange expression came over Daisuke’s face. “What happened to you?”
Sylvie and Isis were confused for a moment, but then realized that Daisuke was staring behind them. They turned around and saw Declan and what appeared to be a brown blob entering the town square. For a moment Isis thought this was one of the town’s strange occurrences, but then realized it was just Yakuro covered in mud.
“O-Oh! I, uh, didn’t think anybody else would be back this early,” Yakuro muttered when he noticed the other three students. “T-This is kind of embarrassing…”
“What happened?” Sylvie asked, echoing Daisuke’s question.
“If it wasn’t obvious, he fell into the mud,” Declan answered in an exasperated tone.
“I really did see it!” Yakuro shouted at Declan, picking up on his tone.
“Sure, sure,” Declan sighed.
“See what?” Sylvie asked.
“It was a… this… armadillo… porcupine… capybara… THING!” Yakuro exclaimed. “I only caught a glimpse of it, but I’ve never seen anything like it. It startled me, and I fell into the mud.”
“He isn’t actually SHSL Commander,” Declain said. For a moment, an expression of terror crossed Yakuro’s face, but Declan continued, “He’s just SHSL Klutz,” and Yakuro let out a sigh of relief when he realized it was a joke.
“The mud got all over everything, but… it’s not that big a deal,” Yakuro said. “I have extra clothes and stuff. I just came back early to see if I could get cleaned up in there.” He gestured to a building with a sign on top that read “The Winking Owl Bar and Inn.”
Yakuro disappeared inside, and reemerged later a new man. There were no traces of his mishap left, except for a few wayward stains on his backpack.
By this time, everyone had returned. Mikal had a smile on her face; she had been pleased with her plan. Desiree didn’t look as enthusiastic; it didn’t seem like she had found anything interesting on the tour. Kanya and Caroline were happily chatting with each other. They seemed to have found common ground in Caroline’s love of beat-‘em-up video games and Kanya’s love of beating things up.
“It seems we’re all here! Good job, recruits!” Yakuro announced. “Let’s get on the bus, and deploy to our next station!”
Desiree helped Caroline onto the bus, and then the rest of the students entered in the same seats as before—except for Declan, who darted onto the bus before Daisuke, took the window seat and opened the window a few inches. And with that, the bus headed off to its next destination.
“This is it!” Desiree declared as the bus came to a halt.
“Make sure you take your things,” Yakuro told everyone.
The doors opened and the students exited in order to behold… nothing. It seemed like the bus had stopped on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.
“…Huh? This is where you told me to go, isn’t it?” Desiree asked Yakuro as she exited the bus with Caroline.
“This is even more boring than Pleasanton,” Daisuke sighed.
“No, no, we’re in the right place!” Yakuro assured everyone. “It’s just that this isn’t our final destination. You can’t take cars there, so we’ll have to walk the rest of the way.”
“No cars? Are you sure?” Desiree asked.
“Yes. I’ve booked a room for you at a hotel down the road,” Yakuro told her. “You’re going to stay there tonight, and then, as you should already know, you’ll pick us up here tomorrow at 9:30 AM.”
“Right, right, I know,” Desiree said. “Have fun, everyone,” she said before going back into the bus and driving off.”
“…So, where exactly are we going?” Caroline finally asked.
“Over there!” Yakuro pointed, and leading off the side of the road there seemed to be a dirt path leading off. “Let’s start walking. I’ll explain the rest on the way.”
The group moved over there, and started walking down the path. It was a decently wide path that was lined with extremely tall grass on both sides, and reached several feet over the tallest one there.
“We’re going to none other than… Parfum Palace!” Yakuro announced after a few minutes. You can find out all about it in here. Yakuro suddenly took a bunch of pamphlets out of his bag and passed them out to everyone. “This is Route 6, and it’s the only way to get to it.”
Isis took a look at the papers when she got her copy. On the cover the words “POKEMON X & Y STRATEGY GUIDE” had been crossed out, and “Field Trip Travel Guide” had been written in its place. She flipped through a few pages, until she found a map of the area.
“So we’re getting to stay at Parfum Palace?” Caroline excitedly asked.
“…Not exactly,” Yakuro answered. “In the area around the palace they have huts that they rent out. In fact, I’ve already gotten everyone’s keys!” He took a bundle of keys out of his bag, and began giving out one to everybody.
“A hut?” Isis quietly groaned as the group walked along the downward-sloping path. “I can’t believe I have to get dragged around on this boring trip to sleep in a f***ing hut?”
“Hey, you get an entire building to yourself,” Sylvie pointed out with a smile. “You get to be aaaaall alone. No other people-germs at all.”
Isis’ expression went blank for a moment, and then she smiled. “…Well, when you put it that way, I guess it’s not so bad.”
They continued walking in silence for a few minutes, but Isis’ smile didn’t fade.
“…You actually seem a lot happier about it than I thought you’d be,” Sylvie commented.
“Hmm… It’s not really that,” Isis said. “It’s just… this place. I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something about this Kalos region that I like. I feel like… I have a connection to it or something.”
“Really? Have you been here before?” Sylvie asked.
“Nope!” Isis replied. “Just… I dunno. I like it here.”
“Well, that’s good, then,” Sylvie said. “It’s too bad we aren’t staying here longer, then. But I guess you can take a trip here whenever you want.”
“You got that right!” Isis said with a smile.
The group finally reached the end of the path, and the majestic Parfum Palace came into view.
“Wow, it’s beautiful!” Caroline exclaimed.
“That’s some pretty impressive factorization…” Kanya murmured.
Isis, however, wasn’t as impressed. “Ehh, I guess it’s almost as good as the Shields family manor.”
“I’ve booked a night tour for us through the palace, but first let’s drop us our stuff at our rooms,” Yakuro said. “The huts are just a bit farther down, so let’s go.”
Soon they could see a smattering of small buildings, and they passed a small kiosk on the side of the path.
“That’s the key return,” Yakuro said, pointing out the kiosk. “In the morning, lock your hut and drop your key off there before you leave. Make sure you drop your key off, because if you don’t, you’ll have to go all the way back down the path to drop it off, and it’ll make us really late! And make sure you’re not late for our meet-up for any other reason, too.”
“Roger that!” Mikal enthusiastically said.
The group split up, and everyone went to their respective cabins. They met up a small while later for their tour of Parfum Palace. Everyone enjoyed it except for Isis, who felt like she was just taking a shorter, cheaper tour of her own house.
Isis was, however, able to get a good night’s rest, as the bed in the hut was surprisingly comfortable and she had absolutely no worries about people-germs.
She was interrupted from her sleep, however, from knocking at the door. Isis looked at the clock in the hut, and saw that it was just before 9 AM. The knocking wouldn’t stop, so she dragged herself out of bed and opened the door. There was standing Sylvie, perky as ever, a suitcase on the ground next to her.
“Are you ready to go, Isis?” she asked.
“Yeah! If we don’t leave now, we’re going to miss the meet-up time.”
“Oh, crap!” The door to the cabin suddenly slammed shut.
Sylvie sighed, and waited for her friend. Five minutes later, Isis emerged from the hut, carrying her bag on her back. She looked relatively good for having gotten packed and ready in five minutes, except that her hair wasn’t done yet.
Isis took out the ribbon she had bought in Pleasanton, and began doing her hair, when Sylvie called out for her to stop. “You need to put your key back!” she shouted.
Isis looked to her side, and there was the kiosk that Yakuro had pointed out the day before. “O-Oh, right. Thanks, Sylvie,” Isis said before walking over and depositing her key into the slot there.
“You’ve already made us late enough,” Sylvie said as she dropped her key into the drop-off kiosk. “All right, let’s go.”
The two of them proceeded to walk down Route 6. They didn’t talk much; Sylvie could tell that Isis was still in a good mood from being in Kalos, and was perfectly content to walk through the greenery with her friend. Occasionally there was a rustle or two from the very tall grass, but they figured that it was a pokemon, and since they had no pokemon of their own to defend themselves, they just continued on.
Eventually they reached the road. “Phew, basically on time,” Sylvie said, checking her watch. It was 9:32 AM.
However, even though they were late, the entire group hadn’t arrived yet. Desiree and the bus were already waiting, but the only other ones there were Daisuke and Mikal. Daisuke was nonchalantly smoking a cigarette, but Mikal seemed to be panicking. She was frantically going through papers and itineraries, trying to figure out how to salvage their planned route.
“There you are!” she screeched when she saw Isis and Sylvie. “W-Where is everybody?! We were already supposed to have left by now!”
“So you woke me up for nothing!” Isis groaned at Sylvie, completely ignoring Mikal. “I could’ve slept in who knows however much longer!”
“I don’t know,” Sylvie said to Mikal, ignoring Isis’ complaints. “We didn’t see anybody else on the way over here.”
“It’s fine, it’s fine,” Desiree said, consoling Mikal. “It’s early. They’re just a little late, it’s no big deal. I’ll just make up for it in my driving!”
“…Says the woman who was 43 seconds late yesterday,” Mikal said sullenly.
“D-Don’t worry, I’ll do better today!” Desiree didn’t like Mikal’s attitude… but she had to stay on her good side.
A few minutes later, Caroline came wheeling out of the path. “S-Sorry I’m late everyone. I didn’t—”
Caroline’s apology was interrupted by Kanya’s, who came barreling out of the path just after her. “Sorry I’m late everyone,” she said, although her tone was unapologetic. “I don’t know which hectopascal decided we should get up this early, but I’m going to square their root so hard…!”
“That particular, er, hectopascal doesn’t seem to have arrived yet,” Daisuke said.
“He’s already 10 minutes late! Where could he be?” Mikal demanded, stamping her foot.
“I’m sure he’ll be here soon,” Isis shrugged. “There’s nothing we can do but wait.”
They waited, and waited and waited, and Yakuro finally emerged from the path. “Sorry sorry sorry! Really sorry everyone! I know it’s unbecoming for a commander to be the last one onto the battlefield, but I overestimated my ability to get up without coffee, heh heh heh… Anyway, we’re behind schedule enough already. Shall we depart?”
“We still don’t have everyone here yet, though,” Mikal pointed out.
“…Huh?” Yakuro cocked his head to the side.
“Declan. Declan isn’t here,” Mikal said.
“What?” Yakuro looked around, and sure enough Declan was missing. “That’s… weird. I checked with the hotel, and they said that all of our keys had been returned, so I thought everyone had left before me.”
“Well Declan hasn’t arrived,” Daisuke said matter-of-factly.
“Hmm…” Yakuro pulled out his cell phone and dialed a number. He spoke for a minute and then put it away, the puzzled expression still on his face. “I just had them check again, and they’ve definitely gotten all the keys. Has anybody seen him today at all?”
Everyone shook their heads. Nobody had seen anybody else while going down the route. (Except for Kanya, who had caught glimpses of Caroline at the very end.)
“Maybe he got lost on the path?” Sylvie asked.
“It’s a one-way path,” Kanya retorted. “What kind of idiotic dividend could get lost?”
“Nngh…” Mikal nervously looked at her watch. “We’re already almost half an hour late. Maybe we should go look for him? I mean, there’s only one path, so he needs to be on it somewhere, right?”
Yakuro nodded. “Excellent strategy. Let’s split up, and search down the path. Desiree, you stay here with the bus, and you can tell Declan that we’re looking for him if he shows up. Anyway, let’s go!”
The seven students went down the path. This time, however, they all split up, went down the dead end side-paths and took small forays into the tall grass.
They were looking for a few minutes, when Isis suddenly heard a scream from back up the path—the direction of the road. She ran back up the road. She reached the area where she thought she had heard the scream… but there was no one there. Isis then remembered that there was something off to the side of the path around here. She parted the tall grass aside a bit, and found what she was looking for—another, smaller, side path. She darted down it, and a few seconds later emerged in what appeared to be a small dirt clearing.
Mikal was standing near the entrance of the clearing. She was trembling, with her left hand covering her mouth and her right hand pointing ahead. Isis followed the direction of Mikal’s finger, and suddenly she saw it.
At the other end of the clearing, Declan’s body was lying on the ground.
A crimson liquid was pooling around his head.
“So the victim was Declan Dominguez, correct?” The officer asked. She had blue hair pulled back in a ponytail, a smart blue suit, and black leggings.
“T-That’s right,” Yakuro sullenly answered. The group was by their bus on the side of the road.
“W-Wait a second. Are you… Officer Jenny?” Sylvie suddenly asked.
“Actually, I was promoted. You can call me Detective Fir,” the policewoman replied. “I… I didn’t really want to be a police officer, actually. I wanted to be a pokemon professor, but that didn’t really work out, and…”
It was clear that the others did not want to hear about this.
“Anyway, let me get this straight. All of you except for Ms. De La Cruz, who was at a hotel down the road from here, were staying in the hotel huts by the Parfum Palace. You’ve been going on a field trip tour together. You were supposed to meet here at 9:30 AM this morning, but the victim never showed up, so you all went out to look for him on Route 6. Ms. Kitahara was the first to discover the body. She screamed, and everyone else came running.”
Mikal silently nodded.
“Do you… D-Do you have any idea who killed him?” Daisuke asked. It was difficult to know if Daisuke was shaken up because Declan had been killed or because he wasn’t smoking—he had crushed his cigarette as soon as he saw the cop car pull up.
“Well, this isn’t exactly the most popular time for tourism or traveling,” Detective Fir said. “There wasn’t anybody staying in the Parfum Palace huts except for you eight, and it doesn’t seem like there were any pokemon trainers on Route 6. I’m sure you all noticed the large, blood-stained rock by Declan’s body… That indeed seemed to be the murder weapon, and it was wiped of prints, so there aren’t any leads there.”
“Could you tell when he died?” Kanya suddenly asked.
“It’s difficult to know without a full autopsy, but it didn’t seem like a completely fresh corpse,” Detective Fir answered. “In other words, he probably died around 9:30 AM. Maybe within a 10 or 15 minute range.”
“That’s when we were supposed to leave…” Mikal murmured.
“Yes, that’s right…” Detective Fir said. “I’d like to go over your stories again. The first one here was Mr. Shuto.”
Daisuke nodded. “Nobody else was here when I got here. That was… around 9:20.”
“We only have your word for that, but it matches up with when you left the huts. Five minutes later, Ms. De La Cruz arrived in the bus,” Detective Fir continued. “Five minutes after that, Ms. Kitahara came.”
“Exactly on time,” Mikal said softly.
“Ms. Silverwing and Ms. Shields came about five minutes after that,” Detective Fir said. “Five minutes after that was Ms. Queen, and Ms. Shiroi came at almost the same time. The last one to arrive was Mr. Mutsuho, about ten minutes after that. It then took about five minutes before you decided to go look for the victim, and about five minutes after that Ms. Kitahara found him.”
“The hotel has a camera installed at the kiosk where keys are returned,” Detective Fir announced. “It recorded when all of you left, so I confirmed all your story for that.”
According to the security tape, everyone left at the following times:
8:52 – Daisuke
8:55 – Declan
9:00 – Mikal
9:02 – Sylvie and Isis
9:05 – Caroline
9:08 – Kanya
9:10 – Yakuro
According to everyone’s testimony, they arrived at approximately the following times:
9:20 – Daisuke
9:25 – Desiree
9:30 – Mikal
9:35 – Sylvie and Isis
9:40 – Caroline and Kanya
9:50 – Yakuro
Declan was killed at approximately 9:30, give or take 10 or 15 minutes on either side. They started to look for Declan at 9:55, and Mikal found him at 10:00.
“Hmm… There doesn’t really seem to be any leads,” Sylvie said.
“Really?” Caroline suddenly asked, with a glint in her eye. “Are you so sure about that?”
“Any dodecahedron with even half a brain should be able to figure out the killer from this,” Kanya said.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Caroline asked.
“There’s only one way to find out,” Kanya replied with a grin.
The two girls moved forward, as if they were taking center stage.
“The killer is…” they declared, each dramatically raising their pointer fingers…
Their hands descended, as if they were the blades of a guillotine, ready to strike off the head of the murderer. There was only one problem…
Caroline and Kanya were pointing in the exact opposite direction. While Caroline was pointing at Daisuke, Kanya’s finger was aimed squarely at Mikal.
Caroline and Kanya’s eyes locked, and the world seemed to freeze for a moment. How would they react to their conflicting opinions? Would there be some sort of grand logic battle? …Or maybe Kanya would try to solve things physically.
The spell was shattered by Caroline and Kanya’s respective smirks.
“It seems like we were following the same algorithm after all,” Kanya said.
“Great minds thing alike,” Caroline replied.
“G-Get that f***ing finger out of my face!” Daisuke roared at Caroline.
“I… I-I didn’t do it!” Mikal pleaded.
“W-Wait a second,” Sylvie interjected. “What do you mean you have the same idea? You’re accusing different people!”
“Well, there isn’t enough to figure out exactly which one did the deed,” Caroline said, lowering her arm. “But there’s enough to narrow it down to two.”
“Would you care to explain your reasoning?” Detective Fir demanded.
“There are two key facts to solve this murder,” Kanya declared. “First, there is only one, direct path from here to Parfum Palace.”
“And second, the tall grass on the side of the road prevents anybody from taking any other path,” Caroline continued. “In other words…”
“Everybody was walking in single file!” Kanya and Caroline declared in unison.
“Ah…!” Everybody finally realized where their deduction was heading.
“Nobody ran into anybody else while going down the route,” Kanya said.
“So a victim in a single file line could only be killed by the person in front or behind them,” Caroline said.
“In this case, Daisuke in front…”
“Or Mikal behind!” Caroline concluded.
Silence descended upon the group.
“That’s… That’s bullcr*p!” Daisuke finally shouted.
“I-I didn’t do it!” was all Mikal managed to say.
“…They have a point, though,” Desiree said, taking a map and looking at it. “You, Daisuke, and Declan were the first three to leave, and there’s only one past. In order for any of the others to have killed Declan, then would’ve needed to have passed you, Mikal.”
“That’s… That’s…” Mikal’s eyes were darting about wildly, when suddenly an idea seemed to strike her. “W-Wait! T-The killer has to be Daisuke! After all, I left pretty early, and Declan was in front of me. What if Declan had been the first one to leave? Then the only person adjacent to Declan in the ‘line’ would be me, and I’d be the only suspect! There’s no way I could do that! The killer would have to be Daisuke, who was before Declan! He knew there would be someone else behind Declan who would also become a suspect!”
“Don’t give me that cr*p!” Daisuke countered. “Maybe you were hiding out in the grass by the kiosk, watching people leave, so you knew that I had left before Declan!”
“W-What?!” Mikal screamed. “That’s… I didn’t…”
“Calm down you two!” Detective Fir finally shouted. “Looking at everything… It does seem extremely likely that the killer is one of you two. I’d like to take you both down to the station for questioning.”
The color instantly drained from Daisuke and Mikal’s faces.
“B-But… The itinerary…” Mikal murmured, clutching her papers to her chest.
“I think sticking to the itinerary is the least of your worries now,” Iris said dryly.
“It should only take a few hours,” Detective Fir said. “You’ll be out of there afterwards… if it all goes well.”
“…I don’t think we have much of a choice,” Yakuro said. “You two should go with her. If you’re innocent, you should have nothing to fear, right?”
“O-Of course!” Daisuke shouted.
“N-Naturally,” Mikal said.
The two suspected teens entered Detective Fir’s car, and they drove off.
“…Now what?” Desiree asked. She slumped against the side of the bus as if she was a doll that had just had its stand taken away.
“I don’t think we have much choice but to wait for them to come back,” Yakuro said.
“…I can’t believe something like this happened,” Caroline said suddenly. The glint that had been in her eyes from when she was giving her deductions had vanished.
Kanya just shrugged. “People die. The prime factorization of 6 is 2 and 3. These things happen, they’re just facts of life.”
Isis turned to leave, and pulled Sylvie’s sleeve. “C’mon, let’s go,” she said quietly.
“Where?” Sylvie asked.
“To investigate. There’s a couple of things I want to check out.”
Sylvie and Isis started walking down Route 6 again. Isis took out her map again, and marked a few locations.
“A is where we all started, and B is where we all—most of us—ended,” Isis murmured to herself. “C is where Declan was… killed. Let’s go there first.”
She walked down the path until she found the entrance to the clearing. While it had been relatively well hidden before, it was now clearly marked by all the footprints leading into it. The pair went down the tiny side path, and reached the clearing.
“What is this place?” Isis wondered aloud.
“It’s apparently the location of one of the battles in the war three thousand years ago,” Sylvie answered, looking at her pamphlet. She took a quick look around and added, “It doesn’t seem like there’s much left.”
“Wait, three thousand?” Isis asked. “I thought in that tour of Parfum Palace last night, they said it was three hundred years ago.”
“So you were paying some attention!” Sylvie remarked with a sly grin. “There were two wars: one three hundred years ago, and one three thousand. Parfum Palace was for the one three hundred years ago, and this place is the one three thousand years ago.”
“I see,” Isis said as they finally reached the other side of the clearing.
Everything had been taken by the police already. A white outline signaled where the body had lain, and there was a dark pool of liquid around a head. There was another dark stain on the ground a few feet away, where the rock had been. There was a small sign to show that the rock had been there. Rocks similar to the murder weapon littered the clearing. There was a second sign a few feet away, to show where Declan’s bag had been. He had apparently dropped it when he was attacked and a few things had spilled out, but it didn’t seem like the murderer had stolen anything. According to the police, nothing from the bag was missing.
Isis stood there silently for a few moments, looking over the scene.
“I don’t think there’s anything else here,” Isis said quietly, and turned back to the entrance of the clearing.
Sylvie sighed and followed Isis. “What were you expecting to find? I mean, this all seems pretty simple. I’m not sure there’s anything more to it.”
“…Maybe,” Isis simply said. “I don’t think I was really expecting to find anything here… I just wanted to see it. There’s only one place I really want to check… This place I marked ‘D’ on the map.”
The girls followed the path down to that point, and reached a dead end.
“A dead end,” Sylvie declared. “Just like the map declared.”
“I know, but look at the map,” Isis said. “These two paths are dead ends, but they go really close to each other. If it was possible to cross over here…”
“Oh, I see!” Sylvie exclaimed. “It’d be possible for someone to ‘cut’ in line without getting scene by Mikal. Which would mean… someone else is the murderer!”
“Exactly,” Isis said. “So let’s see…”
Isis bravely ventured forward into the tall grass, and Sylvie followed a few feet behind her.
She had only gone a few steps forward, when she came to what appeared to be a clearing. There were no trees or bushes—just a bunch of grass on the ground.
“I guess going through here was even easier than I thou—” Isis stepped into the clearing, and the leaves she stepped on rustled.
They suddenly popped out from the ground revealing a blue bulb with red eyes and a mouth underneath. “Oddish! Oddish!” it shouted angrily. Other leave started to pop out of the ground, all over the clearing. “Oddish! Oddish!” they chanted. They started to shake, and purple powder started to shoot out from the top of them all.
“W-Watch out! That’s poison powder!” Sylvie shouted. She pulled Isis backwards, through the tall grass and back to the path.
Isis dropped to the ground, coughing. Luckily she had only breathed in a few of the spores, and recovered after a few moments.
“So, *hack* that patch is completely infested with Oddish. I don’t think there’s any way through it,” Isis said.
“At least, not without getting a face full of poison powder,” Sylvie said.
While on the ground, Isis took the opportunity to look at her shoes. “It seems like the ground in that area is covered in all sorts of powder and spores because of all those Oddish,” she said. “If somebody tried to go around the perimeter of the area, their shoes would get covered in the spores, but I don’t think any of us had anything on our shoes.”
“In other words, there’s no way to go from one of these paths to the other,” Sylvie said.
“I don’t think so.”
“So there was no way except for our single-file line. Which means the killer had to be Daisuke or Mikal,” Sylvie concluded.
“I guess. Unless…” Isis suddenly dove into the grass.
“Stay there!” Isis shouted back before Sylvie could follow. Sylvie sighed, and took out her copy of the map of the area to look at while she waited.
A few minutes later, Isis burst back into the path, panting. “No dice. It’s completely impossible to navigate or move quickly through grass that tall while avoiding all the pokemon. Plus you get covered in grass,” she said, patting herself off.
“Hm… This jagged line…” Sylvie said, pointing to the vertical jagged line on the bottom half of the map.
“That’s the cliff face,” Isis said. “Didn’t you notice it? There’s a massive cliff there… The side on the right is the higher side. That’s why the path slopes down. It curves down and around the cliff. There’s was no way for somebody to climb it, and especially not with their bags.”
“Well, a person couldn’t climb up it… but maybe a pokemon could?” Sylvie suggested. “After all, there’s that rock climb move. Or maybe they could’ve used fly?”
Isis shook her head. “It wouldn’t work. To use those moves, you need a gym badge. Gyms keep track of everyone they give badges too. Detective Fir told me that she cross-referenced all the gyms here in the Kalos region, and nobody in our group has any gym badges. Plus, if anybody in our group had a pokemon, I think we would’ve noticed by now… Yeah, I think it’s safe to say that pokemon aren’t a part of this at all.”
“So that really is it, I guess,” Sylvie said.
“…There’s just one last, final thing I want to check,” Isis said. “I just want to measure the time it takes to walk on all these paths… Just to be sure.”
And so Isis and Sylvie did just that, and marked their results on Sylvie’s map. People could move faster or slower, but they marked down the average walking time in minutes.
“So it’s half an hour total, from Parfum Palace to the road,” Isis said, looking over their results.
“Yeah. That’s about how long it took everyone,” Sylvie said. “With the ‘shortcut,’ it’d only be 24 minutes. And if the murderer ran, they could cut it down even further.”
“But there’s no way to actually take that shortcut, so it doesn’t matter,” Isis said.
“…No, I guess not,” Sylvie said. “Anyway, let’s head back.”
Isis nodded, and the two returned to the bus. Everybody else was mostly keeping to themselves. Having one of them murdered and two of them accused of it had put a damper on the situation.
Soon enough, Detective Fir’s car pulled back up, and she exited along with Daisuke and Mikal.
“Well, questioning wasn’t exactly productive,” Detective Fir announced with a sigh. “They both stuck to their stories. The way it is now, it seems like an impasse… It could only have been them, but there’s no way to tell which one.”
Mikal and Daisuke silently looked at the ground.
“Normally I wouldn’t want murder suspects traveling around,” Detective Fir said, “But I understand you’re all on this trip. As long as you all stick to your set itinerary, there won’t be a problem.”
“Well, we had planned to stop by Flytrap Canyon today, but I think we’re going to have to skip it,” Yakuro said glumly.
“And if either of you two runs away…” Detective Fir let the sentence trailed off. Daisuke and Mikal both knew what it meant. “…Alright, I think that’s let. Let me know if anything else comes up.”
“O-Of course, Detective,” Yakuro said, and gave her a small salute before she departed.
A silence once again descended upon the group. It seemed like both Daisuke and Mikal had trouble making eye contact with anybody.
“W-Well, let’s get this show on the road,” Yakuro said, forcing cheerfulness into his voice. “We may have had a, er, minor setback, b-but… we can still have a good trip, right?”
They all filed into the bus, and took their usual seats… except Daisuke, who stopped in the aisle, staring at the empty seat that he had shared with Declan.
“W-Would…” Daisuke gulped. “Would anybody switch seats with me?”
Silence. Daisuke continued to stand in the aisle. It seemed like he refused to sit in that seat—but nobody else was willing to, either.
“I-I will,” Caroline finally said.
“It’s okay, I’ll sit there,” Kanya interjected and stood up.
“Oh…” Caroline said. However, she realized that she would then be sitting next to Daisuke and spoke up again. “N-No, let me sit there! I insist!”
“Fine,” Kanya finally relented. They helped Caroline into Daisuke and Declan’s old seat, and Daisuke and Kanya sat together in the right seat in the front row.
Daisuke put a cigarette in his mouth and pulled out his lighter.
“No smoking, you byte,” Kanya snapped.
Daisuke put away the cigarette while muttering something under his breath that Kanya pretended she didn’t hear.
And so the van set off to its next destination in total silence.
The bus stopped. “…We’re here,” Desiree announced quietly.
Isis looked out the window. She had completely zoned out during the ride, and had no idea where they were. Outside the window was a tall, yellow building. Through the windows on the other side of the bus Isis could see a beach and the ocean. Off in the distance she thought she could make out a small island.
“Where is this?” Caroline asked.
“This is—” Yakuro suddenly stopped, and his face paled. “D-Dead Caribbean,” he said, having lost all his enthusiasm. Yakuro hadn’t thought anything of the name while planning the trip, but considering what had happened. “I-It’s on Commander Dragon’s Island,” Yakuro finished, trying to get off the subject.
“I-Island?” Iris asked.
“Didn’t you notice that massive bridge we drove over?” Sylvie asked.
Come to think of it, Isis did vaguely remember something like that from the ride…
“This is a luxury resort,” Yakuro explained as the group got off the bus. “It was built by the hit game designer Commander Dragon. And the n-name is just a name. Anyway, I need to go check in for all of us.”
The group entered the luxurious lobby, and Yakuro headed over to the front desk. He returned to the group a couple of minutes later, and started to hand out keys to everyone. He picked out one particular key to give to Daisuke, and then handed out the rest of them almost randomly. “The only floor where smoking is allowed is the sixth floor, so he gets room 604. Everyone else has a room on the fifth floor. I also got the entire half of that side that faces the ocean, so everyone gets an ocean view! There are eight rooms on each side of the hotel, so it worked out perfectly.” Of course, there wouldn’t be eight of them on the fifth floor now, but none of them wanted to think about that.
They all went into the elevator and headed up. The elevator stopped at the fifth floor, and all exited except for Daisuke.
Isis went to her room, Room 502. As Isis turned the key and open the door she saw Sylvie reach the door of her room, Room 506.
Even Isis had to admit the room was luxurious. There was a large, plush bed with fancy art on the walls and exquisite lighting pieces.
Isis walked over and plopped onto the bed without even bothering to unpack. After everything that had happened today, she just wanted to curl up and—sleep, she forced herself to finish the sentence.
However, just when she was about to fall asleep she was jolted awake by a knock at the door. She dragged herself out of bed and looked through the peephole to see Sylvie on the other side.
“What’s up?” Isis asked, opening the door.
“Do you, uh, know where Yakuro is?” Sylvie asked. “My key doesn’t seem to work… I tried to resolve it at the front desk, but since Yakuro was the one who reserved the room, they need Yakuro.”
“That sucks,” Isis said. “I think Yakuro was in the room between us.”
“Thanks,” Sylvie smiled. “See you later.”
Isis closed the door, and went back to the bed. This time, thankfully, her sleep was uninterrupted.
Unfortunately for Isis, however, having gone to bed way too early, she woke up way too early. She tried to stay in the comfy bed, but eventually it became unbearable. She had to get up and do something.
Isis took a shower, changed her clothes, and did her hair. She looked at the clock in the room. It was still a while before they were supposed to leave. She sighed, took her bag, and went and knocked on Room 506. After a few moments Sylvie opened the door. She was still in her pajamas, but it looks like she was getting ready.
“I woke up early, and I’m already ready to go,” Isis explained quickly.
“I was just getting ready myself. I’ll be ready soon,” Sylvie said and closed the door. True to her word, she emerged a few minutes later with her regular green and yellow scarf.
“We still have a while until we leave… I guess we may as well just go to the lobby and chill,” Isis said.
They took the elevator down, and crashed on two of the sofas in the lobby. They were the first ones down, which was to be expected. The lobby was completely empty, except for them and the clerk at the front desk.
The minutes passed… and the other students finally started to appear. Kanya came in from the outside, went through the lobby, and went to the elevators, and came back out with her suitcase a few minutes later. It was still a bit before they were supposed to meet.
Shortly after that, Yakuro appeared from the elevators. “It would be unbecoming of the commander to be late twice in a row,” he laughed.
At 9:30, their meet-up time, Caroline emerged from the elevator bank. A few minutes after that Desiree joined them.
“So we’re still missing…” Yakuro did a quick scan of the group. “…Daisuke and Mikal.”
The group fell into silence. They knew what those two meant.
However, no matter how long the group waited, they didn’t show up.
“I-I’m sure they’re just oversleeping,” Yakuro said, forcing cheerfulness. “Why don’t we go wake them up?”
“Might as well,” Kanya sighed.
“Sylvie, will you help me?” Yakuro asked. “I’ll go get Mikal, and you can get Daisuke. He was in Room 604.”
“O-Oh, um, sure,” Sylvie said. She seemed a bit startled at having been put on the spot suddenly.
Sylvie and Yakuro went to the elevator, and Isis leaned back into the sofa.
A few minutes later, Yakuro rejoined the group. “She wasn’t there,” Yakuro said with a shrug. A couple of minutes after that, a ringing echoed through the lobby.
“Oh, that’s me,” Isis said. She pulled out her cellphone, and suddenly Sylvie’s frantic voice came through the receiver. “C-Calm down, Sylvie!” Isis shouted into her phone. “I can’t understand a word you’re saying!”
Sylvie’s words stopped. Isis thought she heard her take a big breath. When Sylvie started talking again, it was still frantic, but Isis could understand her this time.
“C-Call the police! They’re both dead!”
“…You all again?” Detective Fir asked, cocking an eyebrow.
“We could say the same thing,” Yakuro said weakly. He had tried to lighten the mood with a little joke, but it didn’t work. At all.
Detective Fir took out her notepad, and went over her notes. They were all gathered outside Room 604—the crime scene. The door was open, but the two bodies had already been taken and replaced with white tape, and the important objects in the room had been replaced with little numbered signs. The room looked exactly the same as Isis’ had on the floor below. The window was open a few inches, and the salty smell of the sea breeze blowing in almost covered the scent of blood.
“Let’s go over all this,” Detective Fir said. “This time, the victims were Daisuke Shuto and Mikal Kitahara.”
“Both of the suspects from last time…” Caroline said quietly.
“…That’s right,” Detective Fir said. “Both were stabbed, and died from blood loss. The estimated time of death is around 9:10 AM this morning.”
“When I... d-discovered them,” Sylvie said quietly. “I thought I saw two knives. C-Could they have…?”
Detective Fir gave a small nod. “There were indeed two knives, so it’s certainly possible. One knife was initialed with ‘D.S.’, so it was probably Mr. Shuto’s. It had his fingerprints and Ms. Kitahara’s blood, and the other knife had Ms. Kitahara’s fingerprints and Mr. Shuto’s blood.”
“Were there any other fingerprints?” Kanya asked.
Detective Fir shook her head. “The inside doorknob just had Mr. Shuto’s prints. Unfortunately, it seems like Ms. Silverwing smeared all the fingerprints on the outside doorknob when she discovered the bodies, so we couldn’t get any prints but hers. And between the cleaning staff and all the past guests, we couldn’t get anything useful from prints from the rest of the room. The only other thing is that Mr. Shuto’s body seems to have been covered in injuries… but they all seem to be relatively old, and likely unrelated to this incident.”
“So they probably did kill each other…” Caroline murmured.
“We shouldn’t jump to conclusions,” Detective Fir firmly stated. “Unlike last time, I should have solid evidence this time. Come with me.”
The group went down the hall, and then took the elevator to the second floor. Detective Fir lead the group to a door on the side of the hall, and opened it to reveal a room with a wall filled with TV monitors. A handsome young man with blonde hair in a uniform sat in a swivel chair. He stood up and jolted to attention as soon as Detective Fir opened the door.
“Welcome to the surveillance room,” Detective Fir announced. “Mr. Smiles, you have the tapes prepared?”
“Yes ma’am!” Johnny Smiles replied.
“These cameras will show us who went into that room,” Detective Fir explained as Johnny took his seat. “That will show who the murderer is.”
Johnny began to manipulate the control panel and explain the security system. “Unfortunately, recording all this video takes up a lot of memory, so we can only keep an hour of footage at a time. We can store more in emergencies, though, so… Basically, we only have footage starting from an hour before the bodies were discovered. Anyway, here we go!” He pressed a button on the control board, and all the monitors sprung to life at quadruple speed.
Isis stared at the monitored that showed the feed from the sixth floor, but she made sure to keep tabs on the other monitors. From the time stamps on the monitors, the footage was starting a couple of minutes before 9 AM.
Only three people were initially displayed on the monitors: Isis, Sylvie, and Kanya. Isis and Sylvie were chatting while sitting on couches in the lounge. The hotel had a security camera overlooking the entrance, and the beach could also be seen beyond. Kanya was walking along the beach, carrying a… stick? It seemed like she was drawing it through the sand… drawing, or maybe writing, something…
At 9:01, the door to Daisuke’s room opened up. Everyone in the room held their breath. Daisuke exited, his goggles covering his eyes. Looking at the floor in his usual slouched posture, he walked down the hall, away from the elevator, and disappeared out of the camera field. A moment later he came back down the hall, and re-entered his room.
“…What was that about?” Caroline wondered aloud.
“There’s a vending machine in that part of the hall on every floor,” Detective Fir explained. “It seems like he bought a candy bar.”
“So his last meal was a candy bar?” Sylvie murmured.
“Not quite. We found it unopened in his room,” Detective Fir said.
“So he didn’t even get to eat his last meal,” Sylvie sighed.
While they were talking, Caroline exited her room with her bag. She shortly reappeared in the hotel’s restaurant on the second floor, and began eating breakfast.
Shortly after that, Desiree appeared from her room, and went up and began swimming in the pool on the roof.
At 9:08, Mikal left her room. Once again, everyone refocused their attention in nervous tension. She went to the elevators, and reappeared on the sixth floor. She knocked on the door to Room 604. A moment later the door opened, Mikal entered, and the door closed.
“…So they killed each other,” Kanya said.
“No, we still can’t quite rule it out yet,” Detective Fir said. “It’s possible that the killer had entered the room before the footage started, and will leave now.”
Everyone returned their gaze to the monster, and watched… and watched… but nobody ever came out from Room 604.
At 9:22, Kanya came in from outside, got her bag from her room, and returned to the lobby. At 9:26, Yakuro emerged from his room with his bag in tow, and hurried down to the foyer. At 9:30, Caroline finished dining, and went to the foyer. Finally 9:32, Desiree emerged from the pool, dried off, slapped on new clothes, and went down to the foyer.
Fifteen minutes passed, and the group just sat in the foyer. Finally, Yakuro went up to the fifth floor, and Sylvie up to the sixth. Yakuro knocked on Mikal’s door, waited a few minutes, and went back down. Sylvie, however, went to Room 604. She knocked, and a couple of minutes later, tried the doorknob. It opened, she entered… and a moment later torpedoed out in terror. She slammed the door shut, pulled something out of her pocket, and held it to her face. She stayed like that until a uniformed police officer entered the hall.
Johnny paused the footage. “And that’s all she wrote.”
“So now can we finally say…?” Yakuro asked.
Detective Fir thought for a moment, and then slowly nodded. “I suppose so. On the footage, the only people who entered the room were Mr. Shuto and Ms. Kitahara. And it’s impossible for the killer to have been hiding in the room from beforehand and left, since nobody else was in the room when Ms. Silverwing first discovered it, or when the police searched. Mr. Shuto and Ms. Kitahara must have killed each other… Hm… Once again, the suspects are narrowed down to Mr. Shuto and Ms. Kitahara, but we have no idea which one did it. Although I guess this time it doesn’t really matter.”
Nobody said anything.
“I guess not,” Yakuro said quietly.
“Well, I think this case is basically settled,” Detective Fir said. “I’ll need to settle a few things with all of you, but then you’ll be free to go.”
The group returned to the foyer. Yakuro went off to the side and made a call with his phone.
“I have some bad news, everyone,” Yakuro said when he returned.
“There’s already been pretty bad f***ing news,” Isis said.
“W-Well, I spoke with the committee from our schools that sponsored this trip, and because of the, uh, events that’s happened, they want to cancel the rest of it,” Yakuro said. “I tried to explain that there’s, er, no more danger for us, but… Well, this is the end.”
Nobody said anything. Everybody was ready for this godforsaken trip to be over.
“We’re going to skip our next destination,” Yakuro continued, “and instead just take a ship directly to the Sea of Thieves this afternoon. That was our last destination, so it’s where all of the transportation back to our schools is located.”
“That’s in the opposite direction from our schools,” Sylvie said quietly to Isis.
“It’d be okay if we got our own transportation, right?” Isis asked Yakuro.
He shrugged. “I don’t see why not.”
“Alright then,” Isis grinned. She pulled out her cell phone, and pushed a few buttons.
A minute passed.
“What’d you do?” Sylvie asked.
“Wait for it…”
Suddenly, a beautiful red new Mustang dropped onto the road in front of the hotel.
“A sweet new ride!” Isis proudly declared. “Ordered with super special ultra turbo deluxe shipping! It’s not gold-plated, but it’ll do.”
“W-Well then, I guess we’re, uh, going now,” Sylvie said, standing up.
“Have a save trip home,” Caroline said pleasantly.
“I’ll let you know if I ever need your services,” Desiree said with a wink.
“It was, um, nice to meet you all,” Sylvie said as she and Isis exited the hotel.
Isis dumped her bag in the back seat, and then stopped short. She had forgotten to factor her lack of a driver’s license into this equation…
“Don’t worry. I can drive,” Sylvie said.
“They let you drive?” Isis asked.
“They let me practice law,” Sylvie replied with a shrug.
“…Good enough for me,” Isis said as she hopped into the passenger seat.
They drove along, over the bridge back onto the mainland. Isis stared wordlessly out the window. This time, she didn’t doze off. There was something about the events of the past few days that Isis just couldn’t get out of her head.
Sylvie turned off the highway, and suddenly Isis perked up at that.
“W-Wait, weren’t you supposed to get off at Exit 18?” Isis asked.
“Huh? Didn’t I?” Sylvie asked.
“No, that was Exit 13,” Isis replied.
“O-Oh, sorry,” Sylvie said. “There was a branch in front of a bit of the sign, and I guess I misread it.”
“And you didn’t notice that the previous exit was Exit 12?” Isis… wanted to say, but decided that after everything they had been through, it was probably better to keep her mouth shut.
“I’ll just turn around here…” Sylvie made a U-turn, and headed back to the highway entrance.
However, suddenly about what Sylvie just said… There was something about it to Isis. Something she couldn’t put her finger on…
Just when Sylvie pulled up to the highway entrance, it all clicked for Isis.
Sylvie started to turn the wheel to the right, but Isis lunged over it and twisted it to the left.
“KYAAAAA!!” Sylvie screamed as the car swerved onto the road. She regained control of the car, although it was now going back the way they came. “What the hell are you—”
“Hurry, we have to go back!” Isis shouted, interrupting Sylvie. “If we let the true murderer escape to the Sea of Thieves, we might not ever get another chance to catch them!”
To receive the final chapter of this story, solve the murders of Declan, Daisuke, and Mikal… or the identity of your Invisible Friend.
And that's it! This ends the list of presents of the Invisible Friend 2015 Edition! I hope you all had fun making those presents and opening them!
It's a tad upsetting we ruined our streak of "everybody submitting their presents," but almost got everybody, which is something I doubted was going to happen earlier in the week!
Do you guys prefer continuing IF into Christmas or would you rather it move back to over summer holidays?
Regardless, it was a good year, everybody! Good job! Happy Holidays, AAO~
People excluded from the next Invisible Friend