But when you low, the don't tend to you (tend to you) Actin' new when they run into you (into you)

Messin' your girl tryna feel like you (feel like you), This the message I send to you.

In the previous chapter, the duo knows that the pre-pass is located at the forest. But it is still unclear which one. However, for Robbie, it has been finally revealed to him that Chiyo has been gone long ago.


Chapter 40

Fourth Chapter

Robbie

Day 45 – 16 days left

BZZT BZZT BZZT

The annoying buzz from Robbie's alarm deafens his ears in the early morning. With his heavy eyes (want him to sleep again), he sits on his bed – trying to load his brain about what happened last night.

Her…

Robbie puts his duvet off his legs and gets off his bed. His eyeballs glare around his room, still recalling what happened before. Especially when the moment he knows Chiyo is still alive and works at three different places was just an illusion.

"I thought she is… She is…,"

Maybe I should call her parents. I want to confirm my suspicions.

At first, he wants to go downstairs to call her parents. But knowing it's still morning and people are still opening their eyes, he decided to prepare himself for school.


Robbie quickly stepped out of the classroom once the clock hits lunchtime. His destination is nowhere except class 2-2, but only to see Kano comes out first.

"Heya, Robbie!" Kano waved at him happily.

"No," Robbie turned around and left.

"No, wait! Come on!"

Kano taps his steps, pursuing Robbie (who is already annoyed). Robbie is just too lazy to respond.

"Look! Can I have lunch with you at least?"

"Why don't you just have lunch with anyone else?" Robbie replied arrogantly.

"Oh, come on. Is that how you treat me? I just want…,"

"What do you think? That will answer your question about how I treat you, stupid," Robbie walked faster after replying to him, "Leave me alone,"

"Alright, ugh… but I just want you to know. That both of your friends are busy and can't have lunch with you," Kano chased him.

"And does that keep me from enjoying my lunch? I can do it alone anyway,"

"At least I can accompany you," Kano still insists to be together with Robbie.

Knowing that Kano will continue to annoy him until he reaches to rooftop, Robbie finally decides to let him have lunch together.

"Fine. Follow me, then," Robbie grunted.

"Yaaay! Thanks!"

"Just don't do something stupid or annoying if you don't want me to pour my drink on you," Robbie threatened him.

"Sure thing,"

They both reach the rooftop - welcoming themselves there by the other students who are also having fun. Kano follows the leader moving to the coffee table to enjoy their food.

The table itself has an umbrella, protecting people from the heat of the sun. However, it doesn't cover the chairs they sit on. Hence, the chair is always warmed by the sun since morning.

"Let's see what your mom cooked today, Robbie," Kano smiled while he opened his metal lunchbox.

Robbie shows his food.

"Whoa! Those are delicious nuggets! Can I have some?" Kano lifts his choptsticks.

Robbie didn't reply. He just gave two nuggets right away. Not to forget to pour him a glass of americano for him.

"Hey, thanks!"

"I hope you enjoy it," Robbie replied.

"I thought you were going to show that tsundere behavior, tho," Kano giggled.

"Hmm…" Robbie threw him a death stare, "Let's eat,"

"Oh yeah, one thing," Kano halted him, "Can you help me bring some paperwork to the storage room on club time, please?"

"I have a club activity, Kano. Why don't you ask someone who is affiliated with go home club instead?"

"Because you're the closest person I can talk with right now," Kano replied.

"So, you're not close with Mullet or Shouko? They are in your class too, idiot," Robbie shook his head, disappointed.

"Of course, I do. But at least-"

"Enough! I just don't want to do it, okay? Now shut up and eat. You are making me late," Robbie's infuriation starts to rise.

It takes less than 15 minutes to pulverize all their food and walk back to the class. Some students are also gradually leaving the rooftop before the school bell ring.


The clubroom's warmth is kept by 3 people because the others are busy on their unknown purposes. Fortunately, Robbie's coffee is still warm and enough for three cups. And just for today, the photography club can slack off for the entire day before the school trip tomorrow.

"Robbie, can I taste your coffee?" Mullet asked.

Without replying, Robbie poured his remaining americano into three disposable cups provided by the club. The pouring sound creates a warmer atmosphere – reviving their weary souls.

"I thought this was a latte. But thanks," Mullet sipped his coffee a bit.

"Thanks anyway," Shouko lifted her cup.

After the trio placed its taste remains in their taste buds, Shouko stands up and goes outside the clubroom. Without any ideas, the girl checks the surroundings - making sure no one is around.

"Uh… is something matter?" Robbie asked.

She didn't reply.

Shouko closed the door and walked back to them, but not sitting on the couch.

"There is something actually I want to talk about," she said.

"What is it?" Robbie asked.

"Alright, this is what actually I need to talk discreetly," Shouko spoke in a whisper, "It has been a while since you guys are here. But I am sure that I know about what happened here – proven by what you said and what you remember,"

"Huh?" Mullet stopped playing with his phone.

"I still remember when you said there was a stabbing accident during early days you both were here, right?"

It took a while for Robbie and Mullet to recall the memory about the stabbing. But luckily, Mullet knows it first.

"On our early days… and he's from class 1-2, right?" Mullet replied.

"Exactly,"

"Wait. You remember that?" Mullet asked.

"I remember what you guys said before. But I have no idea what just happened. The days after that so-called accident that you said, more people are missing, including two of my friends. But I have no idea who are they,"

Nino and Mary…

"They are your best friends, right?" Robbie asked.

"Yes! They are both always close to me. But I dunno who is their name," Shouko continued, "But that's not the only problem. Kano's behavior creeps me up lately. I feel like he is preparing something for you. And I am afraid that both of you are in great danger,"

Hearing what she said just before, Mullet's eyes glare at left and right. Hesitation and his urge to tell the secret about them crawled up to his brain.

"Robbie. Should we tell her?" Mullet whispered.

"Don't. Stick to the plan,"

Robbie prepares a question but still covers their secret.

"Alright. When you said that someone went missing after that accident. Can you explain that?"

I hope she can tell us something worth hearing.

"Well… Only a few people here are disappeared first. But then, more of us just vanish, including the closest ones. I dunno but, I don't think they are come out alive,"

"How about Kano's behavior? What kind of thing will he prepare?" Robbie asked the second question.

"I think something bad like trying to hurt you. But this may have been premeditated for a long time. I am afraid if he just pretends to be friendly,"

"Premeditated?" Robbie lifts his eyebrows.

"I don't know. But I feel like he planned this all," Shouko averted her gaze.

"Is that what makes us in danger?" Robbie threw her the last question.

"Not only that," Shouko shook her head, "But I think you should move to the new school. I am afraid things are getting worse if you two stay here any longer,"

I think she is probably known this. But she pretends to hide it… but if we got caught, then we had to prepare for the worst.

"Shouko… can you get out of this clubroom, please? There is something we need to talk about privately," Robbie was satisfied enough with all the answers.

After she leaves the room, Robbie pulls Mullet to the camera studio room – making it more private.

"You hear that before, right?" Robbie closed the door.

"Yeah. But does that mean she knows?" Mullet replied in a whisper.

"I dunno. But I am pretty sure she is a bit aware of these all. And she is not the one,"

"Who then?" Mullet asked.

"Sena. Did you remember when she asked me to follow her alone?"

Mullet nodded.

"She talked to me about the same thing before. But by judging what she said, I think Shouko knows more about this than her," Robbie recalled his memory.

"Oh yeah. Do you remember when I told you about Shouko got threatened by Kano? I guess he is actually preparing something that not only would happen for tomorrow," Mullet also recalled his memory.

"Then he prepares this all for next couple of days," Robbie gave his hypotheses.

"Mullet,"

"Yeah?"

"I have no idea how… but I think everyone is against us soon," Robbie somehow got his paranoia pierced into his mind.

"What do you mean?" Mullet raised his eyebrows.

"Well, first. Shouko and Sena kinda know about us. And second, I am afraid if our secret is already known by someone, or maybe everyone,"

"Well… uhh… if they actually know, what should we do?" Mullet ran out of a question.

"Then we probably prepare for the worst. It's either we are going to end this, or he will end this all,"

"He?" Mullet asked.

"That English teacher, dude,"

Robbie looked at the door - focusing on one thing, "Our time is running out,"

Suddenly, Mullet's phone buzzed, a chat asked him to read it.

"Who is it?"

"Jimi," Mullet answered, "he said he got the update for the pre-pass. It's located somewhere in Toto Forest Park. The object shall we find is a doll. But until now, he has no idea when it will open,"


Day 46 – 15 days left

"Thank you, Robbie! I know you would like to help me!" Kano folded his hands.

"Just get this over with. I have some club work after this," Robbie facepalmed.

Robbie finally helped Kano move papers to the storage room despite Robbie's face showing that he was not doing it sincerely. With vigorously, Kano leads him to the teacher's room - ready to move some paperwork down to each storage room.

"Anyway, can I stay in your room on tomorrow's trip?" Kano happily asked after moving papers out of the teacher's room.

"Nope. You will never get into my room. Private property," Robbie refused.

"But at least it's not your property at all…,"

"Just bring these darn papers, will you? I don't want to lose my time procrastinating my job because of you!" Robbie walked faster.

"Oh, hehe… sorry. I take that as a no, then," Kano chuckled.

After they moved all the papers into each storage room, Kano leads Robbie to the nearest vending machine – buying him bottled juice as a reward.

"Thanks. I like it," Robbie gulped his juice.

"You're welcome," Kano replied, "Do you have any plans for tomorrow?"

"I don't know,"

While they are resting on the lobby couch, footsteps can be heard - filled through the corridor. Now, who is that?

Robbie's classmate comes into the lobby with his eyes are focused on him. By looking at Robbie's visions, the kid was doing some kind of tiring task proven by some sweats running down his hair and drenched his sleeves.

"What do you want?" Robbie asked.

"Uhh… can you help me arrange or sort all of our stuff and our class activity for tomorrow's school trip?" he replied.

"Huh?" Robbie replied in a disdainful tone, "Isn't that a job for the class pres? And not to mention that you make me a bit confused,"

"Well. We have a hard decision on it. And what do you mean you confused?"

"Arrange or sort. You mean you want me to only do one thing or both?" Robbie facepalmed.

"Oh, sorry! I mean both," he recoiled – realizing his mistake.

"Yeah, whatever,"

"Can I follow?" Kano asked.

"No,"

Robbie and his classmate leave Kano alone in a sun-lighted lobby, proceeding to his classroom to arrange all plans that can be done by anyone else. Robbie closes his eyes and shakes his head, not understanding why they cannot do such an easy task.


"Done,"

Robbie rubbed his hands, feeling satisfied with his task was done although it wasn't his job, "You all should rechoose all plans before putting it down on the list,"

Can't believe they are all kinda bit nuisance right now…

"Thanks, Robbie. We will be ready if you want some help in the kitchen tomorrow," his classmate replied.

"Now excuse me. I need some time alone outside. This class is really suffocating me,"

The only place Robbie wanted to go out is the school park since tranquillity can be found there. What he just said before is correct. The heat from the sun took away oxygen inside the school – leaving grains of dust and the noiseless hallway suffocating his lungs. He just wants fresh air.

The temperature from the outside is marginally different from the inside. Robbie can feel winds sweep away his sweat and regain his stamina once he goes into the groves of trees in the park. Thanks to the red brick pathways, he can locate the nearest bench to sit, although it's a bit old.

Now it's time to call Chiyo's parents.

Robbie pulled his phone and dialed her parents.

"Hello, Ryou. Can I help you?" Chiyo's dad answered.

"Uhh... hello, dad. I am sorry that I haven't called you for years. But may I ask you a question?"

Robbie is allowed to call her parent's dad and mom thanks to their very close relationship.

"Of course. What is it?"

"You're not busy, right?" Robbie asked.

"No. I just finished all my work,"

"This is about Chiyo. I want to ask about your daughter," Robbie took a breath, "Am I actually saved her seven years ago?"

"What do you mean? Of course, you saved our daughter. Why do you ask that?"

"After I saved her, was that real she went missing?"

"Of course. But we found her two days later by the authorities," he replied.

"Where is she now?"

Robbie's question paused the whole atmosphere, even the ambiance around him was halted. Something that turned everything into goosebumps for Robbie and Chiyo's father.

"You… you have no idea whatsoever about it?" he replied in a stammer.

"No,"

"She is dead, Ryou. Our beloved daughter was found dead," he answered with a soft yet sadful tone.

Well… she was right. But I had to know more.

"H… How?"

"Seven years after you saved her, Chiyo was found missing again for a week. The police can't find her, but us. We found her dead… our beloved daughter was half… half-buried," he stammered, holding himself not to cry.

"The last thing she held was a photo of her with you, and a paper reads sorry, I haven't told you before,"

"I… I don't… I did not hear that before. Not even a news popped her case there," Robbie talked again.

"The murderer is arrested and faced lifetime sentence. But he died in his cell with his body got disemboweled," he continued.

"Oh… do you know the reason why?" Robbie asked. Knowing the murderer's death is not usual.

"I have no idea. Even the murderer is still unknown until today,"

"Well… thanks for all the questions, dad. I am sorry to hear all the news now," Robbie closed his questions.

"You're welcome. And keep yourself safe out there. See you,"

BEEP BEEP BEEP

Looks like he is a member of that cult.

Knowing if Chiyo's murderer might be the cult member, Robbie assumed Chiyo knew about it and tried to tell everyone about its dark secret. But only to be failed and murdered afterward.

"Chiyo might know about this… I better tell Mullet know,"

Robbie decided to step back into the stuffy school lobby, ready to choke himself with the hot air from inside and some students in the hallway. Nevertheless, that is not what he wants. It's time for him to tell Mullet about his childhood friend and what to do tomorrow.

After leveling up to the fifth floor, Robbie moved into his clubroom – ready to slide open the green door. But weird still, the room itself is empty despite being unlocked.

"Mullet? Where are you?"

He decided to seek his friend in the camera studio room.

"Dude. Stop playing games,"

He may be in his class right now…

Before leaving, Robbie picked a paper. He writes that the door is locked and asks him for access. He picked up the key and locked the clubroom, not to forget to stick it on the door's window. It's time for him to cruise down the long hallway like a lonely astronaut in a space station.

It takes him roughly 90 seconds to reach class 2-2. But again, nobody is inside. Only all desks that are neatly arranged and apple fragrance from the floor cleaning liquid pierced through his nose. Nobody is here.

Robbie decided to leave the class empty to walk back to the clubroom, peeling off the loose-leaf paper he stuck on its door before. Tapping footsteps and sliding doors are getting more frequent as it's almost time to go home, proven by some students passing by like traffic.

Once again, Robbie sees the door is unlocked even though he locked it. The paper he pinned on it is gone, being torn forcefully. Only the upper part of it is still intact. Feeling leery, he approached the clubroom slowly.

"I thought I closed it before. Can't these dudes read at least?" Robbie murmured.

He slides open the door. But only gave him a minor panic and confusion as the clubroom got ransacked. Papers and photos fell from the bulletin board. Some of them are scattered around. For a moment, Robbie glared around before grunting.

"Just great. Our clubroom got raided," he grunted.

Robbie leaves the room without closing the door since he is too angry. He is now had to march to the counselor's office to report and find his best friend later. But luckily, his anger that brattles in his brain is not burst out yet.

Several steps later, Robbie passed the toilet and was about to reach the teacher's room. The windows from there reflect the light that pierced through the hallway windows, forming a dazzling white light that can burn his eyes if he stares at it for too long.

However, due to his height, the light flashed Robbie's eyes. He had nothing to do except he had to cover them. But suddenly, he realized someone was tailing him from behind.

He looked at the shadows behind him. A shorter man wields a machete, ready to charge his attack to Robbie's head.

"Wha-"

Robbie quickly pulled himself forward while turning around. To surprise him, Kano tries to kill him. Although he missed the sudden attack, Kano swung his machete, trying to lacerate Robbie's chest.

Again, Robbie dodged the second attack and the third since he managed to fall back before that long blade pierced his body.

"What are you doing?!" Robbie snapped.

"What am I doing? I just want to be your friend, Robbie! And you treat me like you don't know me!" Kano replied. His mood swing makes Robbie stunned.

Both of them are halted. Their voices attract the others to the fifth floor.

"What are you talking about? We already treat you as a friend! You are in our circle!"

"In your circle, but feel like being ostracized! You treat Shouko more as a friend than I am!" Suddenly, after Kano mentioned her name, Shouko appeared like a magic spell.

"What do you mean?" Robbie still prepares himself if Kano tries to poke him with his machete, "are you must be conditional so we can call you, our friend? That is not how it goes, idiot!"

"Shut up! I don't care," Kano screamed, "Now he told me to get rid of you. This will be much pleasure,"

Did he tell you?

His words made Robbie lose his focus. Kano swings back his machete and is ready to hack through Robbie's head. Surprisingly, Shouko sprints towards Kano and grabs the machete by her hands.

"Stop!" she shrieked.

Knowing someone gets in his way, Kano immediately pushes the machete backward, slashing Shouko's hands and her left hip in the process. Blood gushed out of her palms, along with the extreme pain she got from her injuries. Not giving up, Shouko pushed Kano with her full power - causing him to lose his balance.

Having a chance to strike Kano, Robbie quickly his right knee. He successfully fell down to his knees. Right after that, he shoves Kano's head against the wall in front of him, but not making him fall unconscious – giving a sudden machete swing to Robbie without seeing.

Robbie fell down while dodging the attack to his legs. This time, almost half of the students have filled the fifth-floor hallway – watching a gladiator for free.

"Who told you to do this?! You're an idiot!" Robbie gets up on his feet.

"You should've known that,"

Kano jerked his right arm forward, trying to reach Robbie's neck with his blood-stained machete. But again, Shouko has not lost her heroism. She grabs Kano and tries to get his machete using her right hand.

Alas, Kano's strength was able to outpower Shouko. He managed to break free from her grasp and jolted the woman against the window. The glass breaks violently, and she falls down to the teacher's office.

Meanwhile, Kano is still fighting against Robbie. He is now getting cornered. This time, he tried to kick Robbie on his pancreas, but Robbie anticipated it by grabbing his left leg and slamming him back to the wall.

"Why can't you die already so I can end this once and for all!" Kano screamed.

Shouko comes back and grabs Kano once again, apart from her injuries that are getting severe and her own blood soaking herself.

"Take him out!"

Robbie used his right hand, charged his fist, and landed it on Kano's face. Only one punch, and he knocked out like a professional boxer defeating him. Kano is finally collapsed. Meanwhile, Shouko has suffered total agony with glass shards pierced and stuck into her body.

"It hurts…," She groaned in pain.

With her hands clutching her own back, Shouko makes her way to the counselor's office – giving Robbie a hint. And just a few steps she moved, Mullet comes out with his bruises vandalizes his body.

"Robbie, where is Kano?!" he spoke while running, finding the person he mentioned before.

Mullet stopped himself after seeing Kano lies unconsciously on the floor with his bloodstained machete next to him. Panic and confusion swirled in him while seeing the whole chaos in his eyes. Nevertheless, he does not care about the crowd walling up the hallway.

"Shouko, are you okay?" Mullet's mind is now aimed towards her, who is now carried by Robbie.

"Mullet, we need to bring her to the infirmary. There is still time," Robbie then yelled at everyone, "make way for us!"

Robbie's shrieks made the students that swarmed them begin to make way for the trio – divide them into half like splitting a sea. Meanwhile, Shouko just walks away from the crowds, apart from all the shards that slice through her flesh. She does not care about all the injuries since her death is imminent or losing too much blood. All she wants is to keep her distance, ready to tell Robbie and Mullet a secret.

"Robbie, Mullet…," She called their name.

"I… I…,"

"It's okay," Robbie replied, "we are bringing you to the infirmary,"

"No,"

Suddenly, Shouko asks them to stop walking. Her feeble legs ceased her from moving forward. In such a worst-case, she felt the shards now tickling her throat – resulting in blood filling her esophagus.

After not a few seconds, Shouko threw up blood to (at least) unleash the pain off her body. But on the other hand, it paralyzed her more – making her collapse like a ragdoll. Lucky enough, she still has some time to tell them who she actually is.

"Robbie, Mullet. No…,"

"It's okay," Robbie replied, trying to save her (although in vain), "Mullet, call the ambulance,"

"No, wait. There is something I want to tell you," Shouko pat Robbie's shoulder.

For a moment, tears are running down from her beautiful face. Something that neither Robbie nor Mullet know why.

"I am sorry," Shouko cried, "I am so sorry,"

"It's okay. We will bring you out," Robbie wiped her tears.

"No,"

Shouko decides to speak up, although her wounded throat makes her voice barely audible. "I just want to tell you both. That I know what is actually happened here – nightmares that you both underwent until now,"

"You… you know everything?" Robbie carried her further to make them distant from the others.

"I know. All the killings you see… I tried my best to keep you alive until today. You guys are the strongest person so far,"

Shouko paused again. Her injuries keep forcing her to die. But her consciousness keeps her speaking up like a secret message that will explode once heard.

"You are almost ready. Just one piece of the puzzle... and you are both will free," Shouko strokes Robbie's face, "Don't be worried about me, both of you. Big sis here will be watching you. And also, my job here is done,"

With her remaining breaths she has, Shouko smiled at Robbie and Mullet, "It's about to end. I will keep you both safe. I promise you guys can get out of this. And last… I will not go anywhere,"

After a few pats on Robbie's hair, Shouko grasps it and holds it for a few seconds until her soul leaves her own body. Her left hand dropped along with her temperature. Her eyes only stared upward with a pure sweet smile from her bloody mouth. And thus, she died with her mission accomplished at least once.

"Shouko? Shouko! Hey!" Mullet tried to wake her up.

She only responds with her smile again.

"Mullet!" Robbie stops him, telling him she is now a soulless body.

A final mourn was drawn in their faces. Another horrible memory recorded into their brains which only time will make it blurrier until it vanished. They have no more friends to hold, just like what the shadow person told them before. The color is more desaturated, and the hourglass is getting emptier.

But all the grief was suddenly interrupted as a student changed the atmosphere with his words.

"Everything is done! Let's do our final work!"

All the students' trauma suddenly wiped off their faces as nothing had happened. They all just walk down casually after one of the commands everyone to reset their emotions and brains, even though their memories were drowned by the sadness just before.

On the other hand, Robbie and Mullet glared at them all while regulating their breaths – remaining calm in the whole dead expressions.

"Robbie. What just happened? This is not like usual," Mullet alarmed him, "What does he mean?"

Robbie replayed his memory in his brain. He recalls what the shadow person told him before in the cold and pitch-black world. Only knowing that they are now on the bottom of the inverted triangle. They are almost there with the time is running out.

"Mullet," he said, "If they say so…,"

"Then let's prepare for the worst,"

To be continued…


That's for chapter 40.

Hope you all enjoyed the chapter, and I know you guys are disappointed since all of their "friends" are gone. But well… at least there is nothing to be worried about except time for them to dig the tunnel to get out of the prison before their execution date.

But before that, I will leave something tho…

And as for tomorrow, there will be the school trip. Will they enjoy it? Who knows :v

Thanks for reading.