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Re: Danganronpa F3: Risk vs. Reward - Chapter 6Topic%20Title
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Spoiler: Vote Result
The votes had been tallied.

Kagayaki: 1
Shirly: 1
Molly: 1
Lyla: 1
Akio: 1

W-What?” The look on John’s face was clear. Utter disbelief.

“Ha!” Akio stood triumphantly, fists on his hips. “Your stupid game is over! …t-that’s what this means, right?”

John grimaced, not even wanting to look at them. “Yeah. You can go.”

“Hell yeah!” Kagayaki pumped her fist, then quickly blushed and composed herself. “That is to say, this is wonderful. Let’s go.”

“Thank god.” Lyla moaned. “Tired of this crappy place.’

“Oh my…” Molly began to tear up. “We’re…actually going home?”

“I-I’ll get to see my family again...” Shirly sniffed. “That’s right! I’m gonna find them! I’ll make sure of it!”

“Alright, let’s get out of here!” Akio decided. “This place is already rigged to blow!”

“…huh?” Lyla said.

“Yeah, made sure to douse the place up in lighter fluid if given the chance to leave! So you guys grab any stuff you need and we’ll skedaddle!”

“Man, did you learn anything?” Shirly crossed her arms.

“Sure I did! This fire isn’t hurting anyone besides a stupid killer bear and a vacuum cleaner!”

The five of them ran onto the elevator and headed upstairs.

Some time passed downstairs, the heat in the room rising rapidly, smoke congesting the air.

“Ah geez…” Monokuma grumbled. “W-We need to get out of here!”

“ON IT.” The roomba said. He went over to the elevator and waited. “JOHN, CAN YOU PLEASE SUMMON THE ELEVATOR?”

Flames began to spread.

John rolled his eyes. “No.”

“H-Huh?” Monokuma began to sweat.

“I have no reason to help you two after this terrible performance. Great fucking job.”


“Nobody would love you!” Monokuma growled. “You’re just a pain in the ass!”

“Agreed.” John grumbled. “Your only use to me was being a vacuum cleaner, and you weren’t even good at that. Giving you a personality was a terrible mistake.”

The fire spread more and more throughout the room. Monokuma was set ablaze and John began to gradually flicker away.

“O-Ow!” Monokuma shouted. “M-Man, this really is the end, isn’t it?”


Spoiler: Finale
The class watched by the boat as the casino exploded into a large fireball, debris raining nearby on the island.

“Alright, Akio. I’ll admit it.” Lyla shook her head. “That was awesome.”

The class stared at the boat. But moreso…beyond it. The horizon. The outside world.

“I-I wonder what’s out there.” Molly clutched her arm. “It’s been 4 years…”

“We’ll face it together.” Kagayaki smiled. “This is what we worked towards, remember?”

“Man, I still can’t believe that worked.” Tears were streaming down Shirly’s face, but she was smiling. “M-My heart’s never beat faster.”

Akio clutched his jar of fire close to his chest. “I-I can’t wait to see what’s out there! How the world’s changed! It better get ready for my arrival!”

“I-I’m not even sure if there’s a home for me to go back to…” Lyla frowned.

“It’s alright.” Molly put her arm around her. “W-We’re always here for you. Even if there’s nothing out there, you’ll have us.”

As the boat departed the horizon, a bittersweet feeling hung in the air. Dallas, Terrence, Penelope, Momo, Claud, Dale, Sachiko, Casey, S, Silas, and Anissa. They all died for this outcome. There were people waiting for them, who they’d never see again.

They stared at the sky—outside of this world. Perhaps in another universe, they were crying for them.

Risk vs Reward: End
Final Graduates: Akio, Kagayaki, Lyla, Molly, Shirly
Re: Danganronpa F3: Risk vs. Reward - Chapter 6 - FINALETopic%20Title
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Spoiler: Verdict: Molly Reynard
Transitioning back into civilian life was rather awkward for Molly, now that she didn't have a home or family to fall back on. Technically she was an adult now, counting the years lost in the bizarre Cluedo mansion. So in other words, it was time she started providing for herself. Bidding farewell to the remaining students, she set off with what few possessions and money she had on hand to start a new life for herself, boldly heading back to France, mostly out of a need for familiarity. “Goodbye, everyone! I'm sure I can figure this out on my own, maybe!” she claimed.

... unfortunately, she was woefully underprepared for solo living. A wad of pocket cash and a box full of silly puppets a living does not make. In fact, that money was only good enough to buy her a few meals and two nights in a rather seedy inn near the edge of town. This was a desperate time, and Molly needed to rely on her wits and myriad of skills to get her through this trying time.

“Spare change for a young girl’s dreams? A poor, suffering girl trying to live her lifelong dreams?” A handful of change clinked into the cup held in the ex-star’s hands. She wasn't really sure what her 'dream’ was anymore, but that did earn her enough sympathy money to keep her belly filled for the time being. Of course, she couldn't stick around in one place too long pulling that trick, so Molly had to keep moving. Perhaps hunt for a job soon, as her delicate constitution wouldn't last too long living the bum’s life.

Almost two weeks of aimless wandering, hitchhiking and panhandling later, the young puppeteer eventually found herself in a no-name town out in the countryside. Quite fortuitously, she’d stumbled upon a small theater house so desperate for an extra set of hands, they were willing to hire her on the spot, with the condition that she donated some of her puppets to the owner (to cut costs on hiring real actors). She wouldn't dare question the logistics of having a normal sized human being conversing with a two-foot tall clown or ballerina on stage, she was just thankful to have a job.

“Girl, why does this clown have a bullet hole in it?”
“Professional touch-up, all the big name show houses are doing it.”

...very thankful.

It was a pitiful place, the stage was run-down, props were near non-existent, and there was a grand total of three other performers working alongside her. The whole place reeked of unprofessionalism, but there really weren't any alternatives. The fallen star had no idea how the place stayed open, or where the owner got the money to pay the four working under him when she'd never seen the audience peak above twenty attendees at any given show, but that was a problem for some-other-time Molly.

As it stood, she could live with this. Maybe the constant near-death experiences in the killing games had humbled her, lowered her standards enough that anything was better than being dead in the middle of nowhere. As horrible as it was to think about, the whole thing did wonders for her maturity levels. And she was glad to have met all those strange people back on the island. She could only hope they were getting along well enough in their own. Perhaps she'd reach out to them sometime.

The idea made her shudder a moment later, realizing she'd considered reaching out to the four of them before her father had even crossed her mind. How exactly was he getting along without her? He'd been locked up some time ago after falling into the wrong crowd, as her letter so long ago had revealed. And as things stood, she had no way to help him out. Yet, even if she did have the power to help him, Molly didn't have the courage to even face him. His entirely livelihood was thrown down the drain instead for a life of petty crime, all because the actions of a boastful father and his desperate to please daughter had pushed an entire company to conspiring against them. There was so little of her life left to pick up, maybe it was for the best that she left every piece of it behind...

But there was enough time to worry about that later. Right now, the puppeteer had to get ready for a shoe-string budget rendition of Red Riding Hood. One could only hope the audience would suspend their disbelief enough to look past the 'wolf’ being portrayed by a wooden soldier draped with a bad wig.

Spoiler: Verdict: Lyla Everell
*Ding, dong. Ding, dong.*

An all too familiar sound echoed throughout the cold air. The sound was almost a tune of bells. In fact, it was a doorbell - a doorbell belonging to the house of none other than the figure standing in front of the wooden door.

She lets out a heavy sigh, and runs her hands through her hair. A pained expression rests on her face, as she contemplates what she was about to do. The killing game had just ended, and after seeing what her brother said about her, she dared to come back to her family's house.

*Maybe he was right. Why am I doing this? I'm just better off going away.*


*Nobody's answering. I knew it. I shouldn't even be here. I bet he knows I'm here. That's why they're not ans--*

Her thoughts are cut short by the sound of a door unlocking. The door is opened, where a young man stands in the entrance. A man that looks about the same age as Lyla, with short brown hair and a young visage. He's dressed in sports clothing, a duffel bag sitting next to his feet.
The first expression to appear on the man's face was surprise. An immeasurable surprise. But, before he could say anything, his words are yet again cut short by the woman walking up to him and embracing him.

It was a moment that felt like it lasted for ages. The boy was still stuck in his own thoughts, trying to process what happened. But then, just then-- a few words escaped from the girl's mouth.

"Nathan! I'm so sorry! I know it was my fault, I know it was all my fault!"

A heartfelt apology was the last thing Nathan could have expected from his sister. They grew up very close, and thus he could easily see through her lies. After all, they teased eachother continiously as children.

But that wasn't a lie. No, it was as heartfelt as a sentence could have been.

Nathan finally returns the embrace. All his hatred and sadness were replaced by happiness. His sister was, after all, finally back for good.

"... You know, Lyla, a lot changed. But I forgive you."

Those were the only words his sister wanted to hear. In fact, she was tearing up right now.

"... Thank you."


It was finally over. The nightmare that lasted for a year in the Killing Game was finally over.

Those were the only words running through Lyla’s mind as she looked up to the starry night sky. It was well past midnight, but she found herself staring at the stars from her house’s balcony.
Nothing was wrong anymore. The killing game ended. Her family took her in once again. They were all oh so happy to see her again, their child who had been missing for one whole year.
And finally, it happened.
She was reunited with her family, and all was well again. But one thing was missing. The figurehead in her life-- the person she looked up to.
Her father.
“It just won’t be the same anymore,” She speaks to herself and sighs. It wasn’t right. It really wasn’t. But life will continue to go on regardless.
What else felt off, then? It clearly wasn’t just that. There was still something else, a feeling that just won’t go away. Was it anger? No, it wasn’t. Fear? Not at all. Was she anxious? That wasn’t it either. It almost felt like a feeling for vengeance. But that wasn’t exactly it.
Was it… a sense of duty? That had to be it. Nothing else could have been the same feeling.
She did need to choose a direction in her life, after all. Her talent meant nothing anymore. It wasn’t as important as it used to be. No longer was it an obsession to her. She had realised how stupid her quest to improve herself was, and abandoned that path.

She walked out of the balcony and into the house, heading for her father’s room. It seemed to be in disorder since he was no longer there. A modest room with a big desk, a matrimonial sized bed, a wardrobe, a blue wool carpet, and unassuming grey walls. A window led into another balcony, complete with chairs and a small coffee table. On the desk were various handbooks and photos. She had never looked into the handbooks, but she figured now was a good time to. Not like she could have slept that night anyways.

Lyla opens the handbook. Said handbook details about one person her father had been chasing all along. From the information written on it, it seems like he was coordinating with an investigator to catch this person-- a serial killer, she assumes from the listed crimes. Murder and such heinous crimes were detailed too, with an odd amount of detail. This killer also seemed to still be on the loose, from the looks of it. No news stories were ever published about him, and his crimes were incredibly erratic. All over the nation. Only a few things were written on the last page. That was the calling she looked for. What she had to continue.

“I’ll follow your lead.” She smiles, deposits the handbook, and heads off to her room. It was time for a new beginning.


A wake up alarm rings throughout the room.

Just five more minutes
She turns around and hits a button on the clock. The wake up alarm stops and she rubs her eyes.
I should have time for five more minutes, right… What’s the time?
She sits up and looks at the clock. 7:48 AM.
One more year passed. It was a tough one, much tougher than any year. She decided to join her local town’s police force as an investigator. Partly due to personal interest, partly due to the aforementioned sense of duty.
Today was the day. She would receive her badge today, after all the training and such. It was finally time.

1:07 PM

The ceremony was starting now. Her excitement was very hard to contain, but it had to be contained nonetheless. After all, a professional appearance had to be kept up.
She sat through an hour of talks. It was quite boring, all in all. But finally, her badge was just a few minutes away.
Why does it take so long? She sighs, waiting on a fancy blue chair. Looking around, she could recognize some faces as others that were waiting on their badge. Just as equally tired of waiting. She toyed with her now-shorter, but still tied into a ponytail hair in boredom.

She was called after a few minutes. A man in a dress uniform handed her the badge. A shiny, golden badge, with her town’s name inscribed on it and other information.

This is yours.”, the man says. Lyla nods, standing straight. But it was just a facade. In reality, her excitement was getting far too hard to contain.


Now, she can finally continue on.

Spoiler: Verdict: Akio Taira
A year had passed since the killing game had ended for Akio. Immediately after leaving, he went off on his own, trying to find his own path. He’s independence was as noticeable as ever; he had vanished, seemingly lifted from the face of the Earth. No one -- not even those in the killing game, could locate him. The only trace of him, was a letter found in the mailbox of where he grew up as a child.

New Westward Circus. The sun was shining, beating down on the red and yellow tent. The air was calm and serene, the only noise being the swift breeze and the bustling wildlife that surrounded the workers. Near the front of a circus tent was a man; he was a soft fifty-six years, his facial hair grossly ungroomed, increasingly obese. He sat on a lawn chair, blissfully ignorant to the rips and tears that were a result of his substantial size.

“Good morning!” the boy exclaimed, saluting with an exaggerated pose. “What are you reading, Ringleader? Ah..! Let me take a look, please!”

The Ringleader swatted the boy away, annoyed, as he read the contents of the letter. It was comprised of several pages -- a seemingly long and irritating read. There was an obscene sketch of a donkey holding up a human hand, a middle finger drawn neatly outwards, pointed at the reader.


“What is it? Sir?”

“...It is a letter.”

“Well, I enjoy letters! Would you like me to read it for you?”

The ringleader shrugged. “...Be my guest.”

The boy, who was renowned from within the circus (although not anywhere else) for his utmost courtesy and respect, picked up the letter. “What a good morning it is!” he exclaimed as he neatly folded the paper. “The sun is shining...the birds are chirping...I’m sure it’ll just be a great day too--”

All of a sudden, the boy’s face grew darker. Visibly disgusted. It was impossible to describe how awful he felt as he laid his eyes on the letter.


I got out, motherfuckers! Fuck you very much!



“T-This is...this is from…”

“Akio Taira...indeed.”

“And what? He’s mad at us..?”

“I suppose.”


“Well...we did provide our consent.”

“What’s his problem...It wasn’t us who sent him there, sir! It was that lady! She simply came to us, to ask us if we were okay with it!”

“There’s more to that letter. You should read it.”

The boy sighed, and brought his attention back to the letter.


Anyways, let me tell you assholes what you put me through. I’m sure you would have loved being in my was a lot of fun! I killed some guy -- that was sort of exciting. I guess I can say I have experience with that now, huh? So I guess you wouldn’t mind if I came to getcha, huh?


“S-Sir! This is--!”


...NAH! I’m just screwin’ with ya! That was really awful! I think if I ever have to see blood again, my insides would fuck themselves. I’d become a crip -- and I don’t want that!


The boy threw the paper down at the ground in frustration. His face grew redder with anger as he abandoned his efforts of toleration; just knowing where the letter came from was enough for anyone in the circus to implode.

“You read the rest, sir! I would like to go without my day without another stroke! That shitbag burned us way too many times for me to listen to him! He deserved everything, you know? Probably sat in that killing game and wondered how else he could screw someone’s life up!”

“...Oh please. You didn’t have a stroke.”

“...I-It was a heat stroke! Or...I thought it was. But I don’t even know how I got out from there! I could have died! He should have died!”

The ringleader sighed. “Well, if we didn’t all agree, would we have given our consent to sending that boy there? I was hoping he’d be gone forever...but imagine my surprise when I checked the mail, and this long letter fell from the mailbox. I thought, maybe it would be my tax rebate! Or all our insurance claims for the statue he accidentally burned down...but no. It was just confirmation that our efforts failed, once more, to remove him from our sights…”

“...But our efforts will not end here, will they lad?” The ringleader continued, rising from his seat.

“What do you mean..?”

“We can’t give up here! We tried so hard to kill that boy, just as he nearly killed our way of life…Nearly killed the two of us, yeah?”

“So...what are you implying?”

“Well...don’t you think he should still die?”

“...Ah! Are you thinking what I’m thinking sir?”

“I am.”

The boy excitedly raised his hands, running next to the ringleader. “You know what? You’re right! We can’t give up here! Let’s kill Akio Taira!”

The two jumped simultaneously in excitement. The Earth shook violently as the ringleader transcended back onto the ground. After settling down, the Ringleader realized that their goal was out of their reach.

“, lad, we cannot kill him,” the ringleader sighed.

“W-Why not?!” the boy yelled in surprise. “How is that fair?!”

“Well, murder would be morally wrong.”


“...But, sir, didn’t we send him to a brutal and awful killing game? He could have easily died there. He probably almost did, a couple times or so.”

“Yes, but we weren’t the ones killing, were we?”

“Well, no…”

“So would we have killed him?”


“So how is it our fault?”

“...Ohhhhh. I get it! So what do we do?”

“We get someone else to kill him again.”

“...O-Okay! Yeah! We can do that!”

The two nodded, inspired by their new goal.

“So...sir?” the boy asked.


“Where is he..?”

“...That’s a good question.”


The two simultaneously clutched their chins, deep in thought about where Akio’s whereabouts.

“...Sir! I have an idea! Let’s take another look at the letter!”

“Ah..! A fine idea..!”

Holding up the letter, the two proceeded to re-examine the letter, hopefully finding a clue as to where Akio may have headed.


But yeah. Had no fun at that death camp. Thanks for doing nothing to find me, or anything. Clearly, everyone at the circus wanted me gone...I thought I did so much for all of you. I’d bring in crowds after crowds, headlining the shows, bringing in all that cash...and for what? To be sent to die? If I had any way to prove it…

I just love fire, anyways! All those vacant buildings I burnt...every time I set something on fire, it was for you guys! How rude to know that you guys didn’t like that stuff at all! All you had to do was say something! In fact, I’ve tried to change! Better myself as a person, you know! The first thing I did, was try and find that lady who I ended up burning up...well, turns out, I couldn’t find her anyways. Made me feel pretty bad...I wonder if I accidentally burnt up someone else like that? It’s hard to imagine that I did…


The ringleader angrily clutched the paper, before calming down and going back to the letter.


...But yeah. I decided the first thing I’d do, after seeing that lady, is, well, refining my talent. I tried to find a new talent during the killing game, and that didn’t go down well...I nearly died! Like, three times! Just for trying to get away from fire...killing someone with fire pretty much shat on any sort of confidence I had with it.

But then I thought, if I can’t find a new talent, what could I do with my life..? I guess I didn’t know. I didn’t have anywhere to go...except here, but I sure as hell wasn’t coming back.

So I applied for a job..! And uh...well…


“What the hell do you mean I’m not qualified?! I can be a life coach! I’ve experienced more life than half of you!”

“...Sir, you set yourself on fire while giving us your application papers. You set the sprinklers off and ruined hundreds of documents.”

“That was an accident!!”


I guess office work is..not for me. So for a change of pace, I tried my hand at BMX biking!


“...And #16 flies through the air. Man...he’s biking like a complete and total dumbass.”

“It says here, that Akio Taira...the, er...Super Highschool Level expanding his horizons by exploring different athletic opportunities.”

“Well, as long as he has a day job. Oh, and will you look at that! Akio Taira’s bike seems to have undergone some sort of explosion. He is unconscious in a ball of fire! Will he survive?”

“I don't know. I think he died, John.”


I felt bad, but I didn’t have any money, so I couldn’t pay for the bike…

That night was pretty bad...I think I had to hide in a trash can, cuz like, I couldn’t go to prison... It was really smelly, and my body was like, broken or whatever...but something kept me from giving up…

I met someone in the killing game...she gave me this looked like liquid fire on the inside. She believed in me, you know? And I just spent the night trying to remember her. Cause I couldn’t forget... Unlike you assholes. So I held the jar real tight. And I couldn’t forget...everyone that died, everyone that hated me, or liked me, or whatever, and decided the next morning would be better. I thought, yeah! Everything will go great from now.

...The next morning, I woke up in a garbage truck. But that’s not the point. The driver was really surprised…he dropped me off in the middle of nowhere, and I just sat on the side of the road. It was crazy, really! I had to walk really far...I got a lot of blisters, too. Plus, my bones were still sort of broken from the night before. It was not a good time.


“...Why aren’t there any hints?! Where is he?!”

The ringleader held up his hand. “Quiet child...there is still more. Retribution will arrive in due time.”

“...A-Alright...I’m sorry, sir. I just really wanna kill him...I never wanna see him again.” The boy held up his right arm, painted with burn marks -- skin peeling off, horribly disfigured. “If he ever comes back…”

The ringleader nodded. “That boy has caused us many a problems...we are well aware of that. Is that not why we gave that poor woman our blessing?”

“You were like a father to him, sir.”

“That I was.”

“And how does he repay us?”

“...By burning down everything we know and love.”

“And how will we repay him?!”

“With the loss of his life.”

The two jumped up in the air, excited about the prospects of their future. Once again, the ringleader shook the Earth with his seismic slam. After celebrating a bit more, they returned to the letter, hoping they’d find another clue.


When I saw that first reaction was, it couldn’t be me. It had to have been something else! But you know, I killed someone in the killing game. I guess I didn’t do it alone, but still...I burned him alive. I was probably really painful. So yeah, blame me for getting a little scared.

But everytime I look at that jar...that jar of liquid fire, I think I get inspired. I think I can find a way to use my talent for peace and joy. I don’t really know how...I know how to make homemade flares. Maybe I could make some of those? Give them out for free? Or...I don’t know. I always liked performing! I tried to perform in the killing game once. I thought it would help with group unity, or whatever, but someone died before I could even start. So that was a bomb.

But if I were able to perform for them...I think we would have been fine. And I think she’d be alive too…

The paragraph was followed by a damp stain -- perhaps from a droplet of water. The ringleader and the boy weren’t really sure. The letter continued on.


And I decided to test it out! I was in this park once, practicing my routine in front of a bunch of different people, and there was this crying baby, and this sweet looking lady sitting near a water fountain. I walked up, and I lit a fire. A small little blue fire on the palm of my hand. It was so tiny and dainty, but it was really warm. I think I helped, cause the baby started laughing, and I was having a good time too!

So...that’s what I’m gonna do. I’m like, 50% fire, and 50% burn marks. If I run away from that, then I’m nothing, right? So I have to work on that. I’m trying to be more conscious, now. I saw this really nice wooden statue that no one would miss if I burnt it up a bit...but I managed to control myself! Cool, right?

...W-Well, maybe I chipped a small piece of it off and burnt it off in the privacy of my own home. But uh, baby steps!


“...His own home? He has a house?!” The boy yelled angrily. “He doesn’t deserve a roof over that daft head of his!”


...Oh. You’re probably wondering where I am, right now? You’re probably really angry. Well, sorry, but I don’t know what the hell I did to get you guys so mad. I mean...I have an idea, judging on why everyone else is mad and stuff...But, I mean, I don’t really wanna die either…

You probably won’t find me. I found another circus...these people are really nice. They thought I was a lot younger than I actually was...they gave me like, a lot of ointment for my burn marks too, that was pretty nice. And they feed me, and they let me light the fireplace, and when it’s cold, we all huddle around and warm our hands around the fire. They’re helping me figure things out...they tell me when I do something wrong, but I know they’re just trying to help, so I don’t mind. I think they think I’m like, twelve, or something...but still, it’s sort of nice! It makes me feel warm. Er...figuratively. I’m always warm.

We do parades and stuff, but we’re pretty far from where you guys are, so I don’t think you’ll be able to find me. I’m not sure what to say right now...sorry... If I made you mad enough to kill me. I don’t know why, but then again, I’m not really good at thinking.


The two dropped the letter on the ground, disappointed at what they had just learned. But they wouldn’t give up. Eventually, they promised themselves, they would find him. They were a motley crew, after all. They weren’t the thinking type -- they were bitter, hostile, and unaware. And they had no filter. They’d just say what they wanted to say, but it came from a fair place. They never had a role model, or parents, and they never grew up in a warm, caring environment. But at the end, it seemed to be over for them. The circus losing all their revenue, after all.

“Where should we start looking..?” The boy asked. “It doesn’t seem like there’s any traces of him.”

“That there isn’t...let’s start walking, then! We will find him eventually!”

“But what about the circus..?”

“We’ll come back, eventually. It’ll still be here when we come back, right?”

“...Umm, I guess you’re right.”

“And we have workers here, don’t we?”

“We do!”

“And they’ll take care of things around here.”

The two got up, and began walking. They began to leave the circus behind, in a mission fueled with hatred and vitriol. They didn’t realize, however. It was too late for them. Their souls were tainted; blackened with spite.

Somewhere in the distance, however-- where they wouldn’t ever reach-- was a young man on top of the world. The natural light of the sunset cast a peaceful glow onto the streets, in which children and their parents would line up together on the sidewalks, watching as elaborate floats of all different shapes and sizes trek downwards. On top of one was a clean looking young man. His goggles were strapped on tight as a blue flame ejected fiercely from his mouth. He was the boy on fire, and while he lit up the skies with warmth and brightness, it was his future that would shine brightest.

Spoiler: Verdict: Svetlana Mlynark aka Shirly Cahill
“What? Absolutely not.” The police officer glared Shirly down. She’d entered the office, asking to remove Stanley’s criminal record after being framed by Momo. The day before, she had gone in and tried to free the person Dallas had wrongly convicted.

“Oh, but you must, he does not deserve it,” said Shirly.

“Who do you think you are lady? Get out, get out.”

Hunched down, Shirly dragged herself out of the police station. The sun had long since set, and it was raining ever so slightly. She didn’t care. She just let the rain drip on her.
A whole month now. She'd done everything in her power to try and right the wrongs, but nothing worked. She sometimes wondered if it was better to have set sail straight home. Redemption was harder than she anticipated. The orphanage Silas burnt down was gone for good, and one unemployed foreign exchange student had no hopes of rebuilding it. Erin was with a happy family, but alas, could not be legally reunited with her mother. It was all Shirly's fault they were separated too.

It’s hopeless, Shirly thought. We have made too many mistakes, we have no way of fixing what we have done.

The café she worked at was no longer operational. Apparently, Shirly’s boyfriend and manager, Jonah, had been caught contaminating the coffee of anyone he did not like. He was on the run from the law now. Shirly had no way of contacting him anymore.

My whole experience here has been a disaster.

The rain got heavier and heavier. Shirly shuffled her way to the Czech embassy, the one place which still accepted her.

Everything I am, everything I was… all gone. I am so tired of this… I want to go back to being little Svétlana Mlynarik living in a small little village. I tried to be something I’m not. Big superstar Shirly Cahill, raking in all the tips and the customers… cutting her skirt so short all the boys looked her way. Hah, no wonder everyone there called me a thot. They were all right, I really am shallow and just as talentless.

Shirly looked up at the door to the embassy. She knew what she must do. She entered, and said to the ambassador:

“Home… I want to go back home!”

The plane landed in the little Czech airport. Svétlana Mlynarik walked out, taking a deep breath of the sweet Czech air. She took out a name tag. It showed the name: Shirly Cahill. Svétlana tore the thing in half. She carried it in with airport security, tossing it into the trash. She got through all the customs, and finally, made her way back to her home village.
The first thing she did was stride back into that old café she worked at almost half a decade ago. Little had changed, besides everyone looking a tiny bit older. A few heads turned. They gasped upon recognizing who it was.

“Svétlana!” they said. “Oh, it has been so long. We were all worried sick about you. My, you look so tired, yet not a day older."

Svétlana tried to smile it all off. They re-offered her the barista job as it was 4 years ago. She tried to get information on her parents and siblings. Alas, an address for a foster home was all she could find. Until she found a place, they allowed Svétlana to sleep in the café’s back room.

She went off to the foster family and rang the doorbell. An elderly man answered the door.


“Hi,” Svétlana smiled. “My name is Svétlana Mlynarik, I believe you were fostering my brothers and sisters.”

"Oh," the man said, looking a bit surprised. "My child, they are all gone now! They've grown up and scattered all across the world."

“They… what… oh, err, what about my parents? What happened to them?”

“Them? The oldest one’s taking care of them now.”

Svétlana breathed a sigh of relief. She thanked the man and went back to her café. For the first time in a long, long while, she poured herself a blue star coffee.

She sipped away while staring out the window. While she was gone for such a very long time, her family had been put in dire straits. But out of that, they learned to be self-sufficient, to be able to stand by themselves. Svétlana was now the only one of her family still in the village. Her career path was limited. Her reputation as barista was ruined to the outside world, there was no way to make it big now. But she did not worry. What happened, happened, and there was no way to change it. She would just let it all be, and focus instead, on creating a brighter future. Most importantly, those she cared about here at home, her family, the community was happy. And so, she was too.

Spoiler: Verdict: Kagayaki Saitou
Dash was pissed.

Today's shipment had taken a lot longer to move than he'd expected. He was already getting home later than he'd wanted, but what did he find waiting for him there? A note stuffed under his door, reminding him of a life he'd left behind years ago and hoped would have remained in the past.

'I have important information about your former gang, the Westies. Meet me at the second floor of the warehouse at Pier 34 at 9:00 tonight.'

He couldn't imagine who would send him a message like this; certainly nobody he knew. Still, it wasn't exactly something he could just ignore, so that night, Dash entered the warehouse as instructed. This stank of a trap, but he'd never been one to back down. He found it to be entirely deserted - unsurprising given how late it was, but he'd expected to at least find the note-sender here. Setting aside his reservations, he called out into the partial darkness. "Oi! I'm here, the fuck you want with me?"

After a brief pause, the darkness answered with an oddly pleasant, feminine voice. "My, your demeanor is quite different from your former associate's. ...You are Dash Garvey, the man who nominated Dale Valler for the 'game', correct? I have seen the video where you admitted as much and gave your reason for doing so, but I would still like to hear from you directly why you chose to condemn him in that way."

"The fuck? What's it to you?" Dash demanded, glaring in the direction he thought the voice was coming from and trying to make out its owner. "Got a problem with what I did? I don't fucking regret it, if that's what you're asking! A dishonourable man like him... he deserved what he got." Put on edge by the situation, his speech was a lot looser than it had been in the nomination video. "I lost a lot of friends that day. A lot of them never done anything they deserved to die for. And none of them deserved to die as much as Dale, yet he took that bribe and went on living happily afterwards. So fuck you, and fuck you judging me, he got what was coming to him." He finished his rant by spitting on the ground in the voice's direction.

"'Living happily afterwards'?" the voice repeated with a wry chuckle, seemingly unperturbed by the vulgarity hurled at it. "Is that what you believe happened to Dale?" She sighed. "I will not deny Dale Valler's greed and ignorance indirectly cost the lives of many who were close to you. However, your desire to take revenge upon him has also borne unforeseen consequences for another you knew. As a man who speaks of honor, surely you would wish to know of this and take responsibility for it, yes?" she asked earnestly.

The statement only seemed to strike a nerve, however. "Another I knew? Look, that man got everyone I knew killed! And the ones that didn't die defected, so I don't give a rat's arse about them, they'd have been better off dead. There's no-one left, you hear me?"

"I cannot imagine Tina Jin would have defected," the voice replied evenly. "She certainly would not in her current condition, in any case."

Dash was struck silent at the proclamation. When he finally responded, he sounded much more uncertain than he had before. "What...? How do you know that name? What does this have to do with- She's dead. Dead like the rest of them. She couldn't have survived. In all the gunfire and chaos, there's no way a little girl would have made it. You just trying to get a rise out of me? Is that what this is?" He demanded, growing angry again.

"Well, you are not entirely wrong," the voice admitted. "I did wish to see your reaction, although it was not for my amusement; I am not nearly sadistic or bored enough to go to all of this trouble just to laugh at the suffering of someone I do not even know. Tina Jin is indeed alive," she continued. "At least, she is for now. Dale Valler found her in critical condition after the massacre and rushed her to a hospital, where she has remained ever since. Dale had been working towards earning enough to pay for operations she needs, but since his disappearance, his savings have been used solely to pay Tina's basic hospital fees, and even those are nearly exhausted." The voice paused for a moment before asking, "Now that you have been made aware of this, what will you do? Or do you still believe this is a hoax?"

"She's... the boss's daughter's still alive?" Dash said, the anger draining away as quickly as it had come. "I... the boss took me in when I had no-one." He revealed, contemplating the new revelation. "Gave me a home, gave me a family. His little Tina's still alive? Shit..." He hung his head and began pacing, clearly troubled. "Where is she?" He finally asked, not even questioning the possibility that the voice was lying. "Dale needed to fucking die, don't go trying to make me feel bad about that, but at least that twat had enough honour left in him to do his duty. Now it's my turn." No longer pacing, he stared intently into the darkness that concealed the voice. It was clear he was serious.

"...I can tell you were not the diplomat of the Westies," the voice responded with a sigh, starting to sound annoyed. "How do you think I learned about Tina in the first place? It was through Dale. I do not expect you to forgive him; however, I have gone to quite a bit of trouble not only locating Tina after all these years, but informing you of her condition, yet thus far you have only rewarded me with disdain, both towards myself and to someone that, for all you know, I considered a friend. If our positions were reversed, how inclined would you be to offer me your assistance?"

Dash gritted his teeth, bouncing on his toes a little. "Okay, look. I know I'm not a good talker. Me and Dale? It's not so simple. I knew him well enough to know that this is the treatment he'd expect, after what he did. And anyway, I only call my mates twats. Guess even after all this time that stuck... Was a thing we had going, this group of us at the Westies. We'd screw with each other all the time, it was great fun. Really, it's what I miss most... and Dale probably felt the same. Fucking twat..."

The voice remained silent for some time after Dash's explanation, as if considering his words. "I suppose there is much I did not know about Dale and his associates," she finally said, resignation in her tone. "It's a shame I had not conversed with him more when I had the opportunity."

"Lady, I... shit, I'm not good at this. I can't even see your face, how am I supposed to-" He cut himself off, trying not to put up such a prideful front. "I'm not trying to sound rude here. Tina's the only connection I have now to that past life, and I've got to do my duty to the boss. And more than that, well, Tina was special to us. A little ball of happiness, far away from the knives and the gangs and the violence. We all figured we'd do our best to make sure she grew up right, got a proper chance at being a proper, normal person. I mean, shit, Dale even stopped swearing for her, and he used to be the worst of us at that. I dunno what it'll take to get you to trust me on this, but I'll do it. I want to help her."

"...Tina rests at St. Agatha's, in Room 403," the voice replied.

"Yeah? Well, uh... Thanks." Dash didn't seem sure how to respond, and after bouncing on his toes a little more just turned to leave, not wanting to waste any time. "You did the right thing." He called back, finally finding something to say. "...shit, I'm gonna need a better job..." He then muttered to himself, contemplating the new direction his life had been abruptly put in. Just as he was about to reach the door-

"The hospital is in need of ambulance drivers."

The voice was much closer than before; Dash snapped his head to his left just in time to watch a figure clad all in dark gray clothing vanish into the open loading elevator shaft a few feet away.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

"How are you and your family faring after the game?"

The question came without warning, much like the person who asked it. Diana had just finished her work day and was walking to her car, when she saw someone she didn't recognize standing near it; a young woman with short black hair in a gray business suit, seemingly waiting for her. As Diana approached, the unknown girl gave her a friendly but somewhat awkward smile. "Diana Silke? I am Kagayaki Saitou," she said. As if sensing the name was vaguely familiar to Diana at best, she quickly continued. "...I was with your younger sister when she passed away."

Diana blinked, then smiled bitterly. "Oh," was her simple reply.

"Can we talk?" Kagayaki asked.

"...Sure," Anissa's elder sister answered.

The two left the car behind and walked to the park a block away from Diana's office, a small patch of nature breaking up the rows of commercial buildings. The leaves on the trees there were just beginning to change color but hadn't quite started falling yet, and a small brook flowed through the center of the park itself. Kagayaki and Diana traveled silently down the brick walkway until they reached a small wooden bridge built over the brook, then stood there for some time, just gazing at the water for a bit until Kagayaki decided to ask about Diana and her family.

"Well, to be completely honest," Diana said. "...Things have improved somewhat. I've at least become somewhat successful, and now that that dreadful business is over with, I even began taking night courses so I could at last earn my diploma. As for my brother, well... he's been engaged for several months now. Unfortunately, my parents haven't been the same since they lost their daughter, and they're still under the impression that she simply ran off... I suppose it's better that way." She looked away and let out a long sigh. "Perhaps that wasn't the answer you were hoping for, but that's the honest truth. What's done is done..."

"I did not ask hoping for a specific answer," Kagayaki replied. "I am merely attempting to view your decision through your perspective." She frowned. "I suppose it would be an even greater tragedy if nothing good at all came of it..." She mirrored Diana's sigh and turned her eyes to the brook below them. "Do you regret your choice?"

"Of course, I'd be lying if I said I was proud..." Diana explained. "But it was the only way to prevent the Silke family from falling apart. If anything, I merely regret that there wasn't a less... distasteful solution."

"...Anissa was a sweet girl," Kagayaki mused sadly, still not looking at the older woman. "Her utter lack of self-esteem made it a little difficult to engage her at times, but she always put the group's best interests before her own, and in the time I knew her, her confidence grew considerably." She chewed her lip. "Her life was ended so mine could continue. I miss her, and won't ever forget her."

"Hmph... She was certainly 'a little difficult.' At least we can agree there..." Diana mumbled grimly. "...I suppose I'm being too harsh. The truth of it is, I barely even watched that absurd game. I had no desire to watch random people murder one another... Though I did happen to catch her attempt to, well... off herself... and I can't say I was particularly surprised. Still..." she added, sighing. "If what you say is true, she lived a more fulfilling life in there than she would have out here. I guess I can at least be thankful of that."

A pained smile crossed Kagayaki's face as she finally raised her head again. "She was happy in the end, and surrounded by people who cared dearly for her. There is no better way to pass on."

* * * * * * * * * * * *

A lean man with an intense gaze and messy chestnut hair leaned over a pool table in the back of a smoky room. Behind him, shadowy people drank and chattered, having fun amongst themselves. He wore a worn leather jacket, and his features were handsomely drawn. His lips twitched into a charming smile as his opponent missed his shot. "Yeah, I knew you'd mess that one up. That was a bad spot to be in. It was a close one though... a well fought game. I'll be takin' my cash then, okay?"

His smile turned slightly bitter, like he got a whiff of something vile, as he took a pile of bills from the gruff-looking man he played against. As he turned his attention back to the table he saw a bespectacled young woman with short, black hair wearing a fairly new-looking leather jacket and blue jeans. His expression warmed, in contrast with the momentary discomfort that washed over him. "Hey! I don't recognize you from around here. Do you wanna play? Just for fun, I mean?"

The girl blinked and briefly looked behind herself, as if making sure the man wasn't talking to someone else, before turning back to him with a pleasant smile. "Hello, I am indeed new to this area. I'm not very skilled at pool, but if that's alright, I wouldn't mind playing with you."

"Hey! Alright then! We have a match! This'll be rad!" The man quickly racked the table, and soon it was ready for a game. He confidently handed a cue over to her, but in his mind his thoughts wandered. He wasn't sure what it is about this girl and her mannerisms, but a faint sense of nostalgia washed over him. He thought back through his often hard life to some of his fondest days. Whoever this was, they were rare and interesting. "Make sure it's the right height, okay? I'm ready when you are, go ahead and take the break."

The 'rare and interesting' girl accepted the cue handed to her graciously. "Thank you. However..." She reached behind her to the long bag slung over her back, partially out of sight, and pulled another cue from it. It looked finely made, with a pattern of green triangles on it along with an odd switch on the side, and it was clearly well cared for. "I would prefer to use this one, if that's alright," she finished.

Although the man wanted to look casual and confident as he prepared the table, his mind wandered from the routine and he fumbled embarrassingly a few times. He wasn't sure... "Oh, I see you have your own cue! It looks like it really suits you, dude! Wait uh... Not dude, sorry. That's my bad. But yeah that looks serious! Where's it from, if you don't mind me asking?"

The girl's smile tightened slightly as she stepped up to the pool table. She set the other cue aside and took aim at the balls with her own. "It was hand-crafted by someone very dear to me." She took her first shot, and the balls scattered across the play field.

"Oh! That's... That's sweet. It definitely looks cool!" Her response bothered him for some reason. A deep sense of mystery enshrouded the girl, who should not know pool very well and yet for some reason had been gifted a hand-crafted pool cue. "That was a good break, miss. Are you sure you're not a stone cold pro? I'm glad I didn't bet nothing!"

The man brushed his hair nervously out of his face as he took his first shot. He could feel he wasn't on his game at all. He felt her eyes on him, and he spent an awkwardly long time lining up, chuckling nervously. He wound up sinking one ball over the course of his shots. "So, why are you playing here? Is it just an excuse to use your sick gear?" He punctuated the comment with a goofy smile, but he watched intently for her response.

"We have only begun; I believe it is a bit early to assume my skill level," the girl pointed out with a polite giggle. She chewed her lip briefly before knocking a ball into a pocket, then moved to another position to line up her next shot. "Actually, I came here looking for someone. They knew the person who gave me this cue, you see." She sank another ball, then missed the next.

"Oh really? Well I'd love to help you out, then! I know most of the people who come through here, you know? It's probably safer to ask me first, too. What's this guy look like? What's his name?" Suddenly, the man realized what was so magical and strange about the girl. She was on a mission and seemingly one for someone close to her. It was to be admired, and for a moment he felt like he was about to cry. The idea of loyalty was a little bit of a sore spot. "Alright, th-that was three, it's your turn."

She smiled at the offer. "That is rather gracious of you; however, I do not wish to trouble you. Besides, I do not mean to brag, but I am rather gifted when it comes to locating people I wish to find." After sinking another ball, the girl looked up from the table at her opponent. "Would you mind if I asked you a somewhat personal question, though?" she inquired innocently.

"Um, I suppose you could! Shoot, I ain't got nothing to hide. I've been a little nosy myself, you know." The man wanted to say that with his entire heart, but it was very difficult. There were definitely things he would rather not talk about, but it was not like he was afraid to talk about them. Maybe he'd be able to make them into a fun topic if he tried hard enough. He did not want to keep sweating things in his life.

"Do you believe that if one person wrongs another, the former should be repaid in kind?" The girl missed her next shot and motioned to the table as she stepped back.

"Y-yeah! Always! That ain't even a personal question really. That's just how things work. You know what's gonna happen if you do something wrong. Turnabout is fair play and all that. I mean, that's just how I feel about it is all." He turned around after taking his shot. "Sorry if that's kind of intense, I just feel kind of strongly about this sort of thing," he added.

"I see," the girl replied simply. She clutched her cue a bit more tightly. "The one who gave this to me... For convenience's sake, I will call her 'Suki'. Suki was... incredibly rash at times, but she was also the friendliest person I'd ever known. She was the type who cared deeply for her friends, and was willing to accept most anyone for who they were without hesitation... even someone like me. In a short time, I grew to treasure Suki." She bit her lip. "But as I said, she could be very impulsive. Due to this, she made an error in judgment at one point, which resulted in someone resenting her so much, they put her in a situation which would very likely cause her to die. This... eventually came to pass. I could do nothing to prevent it from happening and was forced to watch as someone I cared so much for perished. I still have nightmares about it from time to time."

The girl's eyes darkened. "When I think of the person who condemned Suki to such a terrible fate, it fills me with rage. My heart cries out for vengeance, even though my mind knows nothing would come of it. Nothing can change the fact that I'll never see Suki again."

"Put her in a situation...? Condemned her? You had to watch? That's pretty screwed up..." The man's voice trailed off. This girl's situation seemed so bizarre, and yet he knew that he himself had probably been in a similar one a couple of years ago. "I once had a friend like that actually. She was manic in the good way, and it was so much fun being with her, even when everything else was horrible. It always felt like she had my back and that she we would always be there for me."

"It didn't last, though. I guess it was all probably just fake. She was a con artist, and one minute she was cheering me on and making promises and all of that stuff, and the next minute she was gone without a trace. It sounds like Suki was a lot better than the girl I knew, so treasure that." He tried to give a reassuring smile to the girl, but he felt intimidated by the darkness over her, and he quickly averted his gaze. "But you know... Maybe you're lucky that Suki died before she could break your heart."

Since he'd turned away from the girl, the man was unable to see her approach until she was standing right in front of him; her face popped into view inches away from his, with an unnatural smile resting on her lips. "What you said just now was truly horrible, Nathan McGuire," she whispered to him in a pleasant tone that contrasted sharply with her words. "Hurt feelings can be mended, but once someone's life has been extinguished, that can never, EVER be undone. Do you understand?"

Stunned into place, the man's synapses grappled frantically with the words the girl was saying. His head swung back instinctively, and his breathing quickened. She had known everything. "Sh-she freaking left me for dead, kid! Sh-she sent me to the wolves, so sure, maybe I sent her back! Maybe she wasn't as lucky as me, but isn't that justice!?"

"Is that how it went?" The girl tilted her head and gave Nate a quizzical look. "You believe she intended for that 'big hustle, as you called it, to fail, because she hoped you would be killed in the process?" She sighed before continuing to speak casually, as if this were a perfectly normal conversation. "Well, I suppose that doesn't really matter. What DOES matter is that you are responsible for the death of someone who was very dear to me. Therefore, since you have wronged me in this way, it only seems fair that you suffer the same loss. Although..." She paused to frown. "Considering what you did to your supposed 'best friend', I doubt there is anyone you really care about aside from yourself, so I guess you'll have to do. Isn't that 'justice'?"

"Huh? W-what do you mean by that?! I-is that a threat?! Look, the score is settled, dude!" Nate could not believe the amount of dread that filled his own voice. The dissonance of her demeanor and the message terrified him, and self-preservation was almost the only thing on his mind. Almost. "And yeah! Maybe she didn't know whether it would kill me or not, but she didn't care! So I didn't care what happened to her either!" He pleaded to the girl, his voice not entirely argumentative. His pretty face was filled with a grave concern.

"I don't believe you are in any position to decide whether or not matters have been settled," the girl replied coldly. "Nor are you doing a particularly good job in convincing me your 'justice' is nothing more than revenge. It seems I may have wasted my time speaking to you." She stepped away from Nate, not taking her eyes off him until she reached the pool table again. She took one more shot, sinking the last of her balls.

"Well, that's game, isn't it?!" Nate's face, as handsome as it was, looked worse for wear. Apoplectically flush with red, his face suddenly seemed much more creased than it had previously. His playfully messy hair looked disheveled. The thoughts in his mind were even uglier. "We played the game right?! You came in, twisted the knife, and now that's what you wanted right?! I've been had!! So... you can leave!!" Beads of sweat ran off his hand as he gestured violently back to the door. A few spectators watched in uncomfortable awe, while others ignored the outburst.

The girl calmly slid her cue back into its bag, then slung it over her shoulder. "You are either an unbelievable optimist or an unbelievable fool. Perhaps both," she responded bluntly. "After all of the suffering and agony Casey went through because of you, did you truly believe your only punishment would be a bit of discomfort and a lost game of pool?"

She smirked. "Well, you're partially correct. Someone like you doesn't deserve to live, but you will... for now. Who can say when that will change, though? Perhaps it will be weeks later, after you cannot possibly fall any further. Perhaps it will be years later, after you've turned your life around and are at your happiest. Or perhaps it will be in another hour. Whenever it happens, I'm certain you will not realize your time is up until it is much too late. So farewell, and enjoy the remainder of your life, Nathan McGuire," she chuckled wryly. "Or spend the rest of it fearing its inevitable end. Either is fine with me."

"..." Nate couldn't think of what to say, even as he began to leave. Everything he wanted to say, he knew that she wouldn't want to hear him, and he begrudgingly respected that. Respect was a good word for what he felt. Casey, for as much as he had resented her, had found herself a real, loyal, badass friend. "I once thought Casey would do for me what you are doing now for her, dammit. Goodbye. When you next see me, maybe I'll have come to terms with all this." He didn't bother to try and phone in a smile.

The girl did not respond to Nate as he left. In the end, he never did learn her name, nor did he ever see her again.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

There were a great number of loose ends left by this terrible ordeal John Bramwell orchestrated that Kagayaki felt needed resolving, but finally, she was nearly done. Only one task remained.

During her second mission, she'd blundered horribly. All this time, she'd neglected to take responsibility for her mistake. She regretted it, of course, but she'd always believed her own objectives took priority over making up for an unforeseen casualty. It was due to that selfish line of thinking that she was captured and forced to participate in that killing game in the first place. She couldn't put this off any longer. She decided, in order to atone for murdering Aizawa's daughter, she would offer her own life to him to do with as he wished.

...As she stood before the graves of Shinnosuke Aizawa and his daughter Miyabi, Kagayaki thought about how often life refuses to go according to plan. She'd learned he had passed away a short time after the killing game ended; whether it was out of grief that Miyabi's killer had survived after all, or mere coincidence, she'd never know. What she did know was that she had lost the chance to even attempt to make amends.

She wondered if the path she had chosen to follow was the correct one. Some people certainly did more harm to society than good, and the world would probably be better off without them in it. With the exception of those laid to rest here, she'd never regretted killing such people even now, but... was doing so actually helping? For every vile or corrupt wretch she'd cut down, another would rise up to take their place. Even killing John Bramwell hadn't really solved anything in the end. Was all of this blood on her hands worth it?

Perhaps it was time to burn the gohei that cost the Aizawas so much and choose a new path in life. Perhaps that would be one thing she could do for them.

Kagayaki sighed wistfully and shook her head. With Shinnosuke's passing, she had time to consider her future. For now, she could weigh her options on her way back home.

Her parents would be elated to see their daughter again.
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