(I couldn’t resist. I’ve been hearing many good things about this game and I’m a fanatic for story-centric games as one could tell from my list of favorite games that I support on the side; Shinigami to Shoujo, Black Wolves Saga, and Hana Awase. I will probably blog this first before returning to Hime-hen, which I haven’t been able to drum up enthusiasm for at this point in time. I’m also going to try a new style of blogging and update by chapters, so let me know what you guys think!)
Upon waking 5 people find themselves trapped in a locked mansion. They have no memories and nothing on them except for their clothes and a cellphone with a mysterious clue. Just where are they? Who is that masked man? What are these butterflies? And who is behind the scenes pulling the strings? Is there hope or despair in this mansion? This is a suspenseful love story.
*** PROLOGUE ***
The game starts with a flash of images. The inside of a bus; its engine starts. A rain puddle. It flashes to the hallway of a damaged mansion. Back to the bus.
People can be heard talking in the background. Indistinct muttering. (Ah, I see. I understand. We need to regain it). (What do you mean). (You’re the worst). (I don’t want to get involved). (IF I COULD DO IT I WOULD!). (DID YOU THINK THAT’D BE FOR THE BEST?!). Someone yells angrily. The bus crashes.
Falling. Falling. Her entire body is surrounded by some kind of resistance much like water; gently falling into the abyss.
Her consciousness becomes unclear and her senses become dimmed. The past and future are gripped in both hands, as if they would gradually become one. Just as thought becomes hazy, her eyelids flutter open when she grasps the situation she is in. But all that entered in her vision was a boundless darkness. As she gazed vacantly at her surroundings, the optical illusion of the world and her having melted into one collapsed.
In order to explore “her” surroundings, she tries paddling through the air with both hands. She remembers a strange floating feeling of frolicking and dancing around like a butterfly. Is she drowning in the sky or is she flying in the sea? She doesn’t know. Once again she’ll close her eyes, and relax her body without warning. Let nature take its course…
She abandons her thoughts, her senses, and everything. She continues to fall in her defenseless condition. After a period of time that feels like an eternity passing like that– All of a sudden, she can feel a strong light from somewhere, and her fingers touch the bottom of the sea.
The heroine gasps and opens her eyes upon feeling the sensation of a cool floor against her head. Where is this place? Why was she sleeping in a place like this? In her hazy conscious, she raises herself up and examines her surroundings. In the spacious and open area of the high ceiling she can see countless beautiful geometric patterns spread all over the walls.
From the brightly polished and glittering stone floor she can see a splendorous chandelier in the space above her. Delicate carvings are wrapped around its multiple columns and there are candles placed on the top vaguely illuminating the room. She appears to be in the entrance of some mansion… Really, why is she here?
She follows the thread of her memories but along the way she is interrupted. She can’t remember… why she is here… what exactly she is doing here. In fact she– can’t remember anything. Not even anything about herself… No matter how many times she thinks about it she cannot recall the presence of any memories about herself. Who is she? What was she doing up until now?
Disoriented, she stands up and walks forward without aim while searching for answers to her endless questions. And then, just as she is about to cross in front of the center stairs–
Someone is crying. She startles in surprise at hearing a thin voice. Someone is here…? In the instant she turns her eyes to that direction she can see the curled up form of a young girl in a sailor uniform between the pillars. She calls out and asks what happened. Does she feel bad somewhere– The girl continues to cry without answering. The heroine gasps when the girl turns her head to reveal a ghastly goat mask covering her face. I SCREAMED HERE.
W-What is this?! Moreover, this girl’s appearance is… She takes an automatic step back at the ominous appearance… two steps… The girl speaks 「ど・・・して・・・？あぁ・・・わた、し・・・もう・・・ぃや・・・。」(W… hy…? Ah… I… no longer… no…). Suddenly, an ear-piercing and bitter scream comes from the young girl. In an instant that body is covered by a black “something” and her skin starts to turn colors as if festering.
The heroine wonders what is happening. What is this black haze?! She gulps with wide eyes at this abnormality occurring in front of her. She can do nothing but stare as the girl in front of her turns into a hideous monster. That… can’t be… The monster, which had originally been a young girl, moves unsteadily as if it were a child that had just woken up. T-This can’t be reality… The heroine is convinced that this is just a dream because this is a place that she doesn’t remember. She’s sure she’s just sleeping.
Unintentionally, as she repeats to herself that everything is a lie, she has the feeling that she’s meeting eyes with the creature’s empty sockets. She stutters out at it not to come close. It snarls loudly as she screams at it not to come. The monster’s low roar echoes across the ground and it moves unsteadily towards her. The heroine screams in denial and then runs off into a corridor.
She runs at full speed to shake off the monster that is chasing her. Why is it following her…!? And, in the first place, what is with this mansion!? Even though she’s concentrating her eyes at the end of the corridor she can’t see the end, even as she runs and runs, the same scenery continues. What should she do!? At this rate she’ll be caught! Where does it turn a corner!? But what if it just ends…!?
As if running counter to her dropping her speed as she approaches her limit, the monster increases its force and gains on her. What should she do!? She yelps when she’s suddenly grabbed by a larger arm and pulled into cover. She screams out for someone to save her but a male orders her to hush and be quiet. She reflexively turns her eyes to the owner of the hand which is covering her mouth.
A young man with two moles comments on how it looks like the monsters have weak eyesight and it should pass them if they conceal themselves. At her small nod, he removes his hand from her mouth and peeks around a column to examine the hallway. The heroine is relieved to see that there is another person here. A snarl sounds and she stops her breathing and huddles together with the young man when she feels the presence of the monster.
The monster, which had lost its prey, stops in its tracks and carefully searches its surroundings. She prays for it to hurry up and move elsewhere. Please…! Did her prayers reach someone– The monster, after having stopped in one place for a while, moves down the hallway and the sound of its footsteps fade. The young man sighs. She’s relieved. The young man, whose body had been pressed against her shoulder, moves away to carefully look around their surroundings.
She hesitantly asks him what that monster was. At first, she was a normal girl… The heroine shakes her head as she corrects herself to say that she might not have been normal since she had been wearing a mask but then she suddenly changed into a monster…! The young man tells her to calm down because he doesn’t know either. She quickly asks him if he knows where this place is then? When she opened her eyes she was here… and then…
He asks her to wait and put that conversation on hold. At her confused look, he explains that the monster from before might return and they should move to another place. She follows him silently as he takes her to another corridor and comments on how this place should be fine. If anything happens, they’ll be able to run away immediately. She nods quietly. They had walked around this place until they found a location with an unobstructed view, and while they kept themselves concealed they also constantly checked to confirm the other’s presence.
She’s glad to meet someone who can talk. The heroine asks him if she can continue the conversation from earlier? At his confused look, she repeats her question again about where this place is… For an instant a lost expression appears on his face but then he slowly opens his mouth. When he woke he was in this mansion. He had collapsed in one of these rooms and when he came out to examine his surroundings he realized the situation was abnormal.
The heroine realizes that this is the same as her situation. He returns her question and asks why she is here. She opens and closes her mouth hesitantly. He asks her if she doesn’t know? What is her name? From what he can see she looks like a student. How old is she? She doesn’t answer and when she tries to remember there is a deep pain in her head. As she thought, she has no memories… She can’t remember her name, her birth date, or even her parents’ faces.
The young man with two moles asks her if she also can’t remember anything? She nods before realizing that he said “also”. He answers that he is the same. He cannot remember when he came to this mansion, what he is doing here, or even who he is. He can’t remember a single thing. He was hoping that she had memories. She points out that the two of them are alike in their amnesia then, huh.
He huffs in amusement before saying how ridiculous that sounds… but that is their current situation. He proceeds to search the pockets of his clothes while the corner of his lips turn up in a self-deprecating smile. She asks him what he is doing. He replies that he’s looking for ID or anything that can help them. She realizes that she hasn’t checked her own clothes; she places her hand inside her pocket and rustles it around searching for anything. Her fingers touch something cold.
A… cellphone? She pulls it out and presses the power button. Instantly, a time appears… she’s alarmed to see it say 89:74. THIS IS A 24-HOUR CLOCK BY THE WAY… WHICH STILL DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. She shakes the broken screen and continues on her search though nothing important appears until she opens up her email box. She has one email! She opens it, knowing that she may be grasping for straws, and sees a short note written.
『万華鏡ノ欠片ヲ探セ』(Find the broken pieces of the kaleidoscope). THIS IS WRITTEN HALF KANJI AND HALF KATAKANA. SO BASICALLY WEIRD TEXT. The young man repeats the message thoughtfully and notes that it doesn’t seem to be a cryptogram. He asks to confirm that she has no memory of this either, right? She nods. He muses out loud on how he doesn’t understand the meaning either. Is the kaleidoscope referring to the one that they know? Or it could be referring to something different altogether…
He takes her cellphone and repeats the message on her display out loud again. The heroine notes that there is no display field for the sender either. What is the meaning of this? This cellphone is really odd. She asks him if he found anything in his pockets. He replies that he has a cellphone as well, also with one email by an unknown sender. She asks him what it says and so he reads out 『館カラ出ル方法ハ一ツ』(There is only one way out of this mansion). There is nothing else.
She repeats the message thoughtfully. He points out that it looks like someone or something out there has a plan and is deceiving them, or else they wouldn’t have these messages. She realizes that he means someone out there is watching their movements. But she doesn’t see any cameras anywhere… They are interrupted by a far away roar that makes her hunch her shoulders instinctively.
The young man reassures her that the distance between them is still great. She nods shakily. He does point out though that if they remain here then they will encounter that thing again; they need to find the exit quickly. She thinks that the exit must be… in the entry hall, right? She informs him immediately that she knows where that is! He looks at her in surprise. She hopes that it is the entrance and takes him there.
They make their way to the entry hall where the young man with two moles scouts the area first. He tells her that there doesn’t seem to be a problem and she can come out now. She comes out at his signal from her cover but finds her eyes drawn to the luxurious interior design. The young man tells her with a smile that she has quite the luck to wake up in the entry hall. She smiles wryly and admits that she would think that if she hadn’t been attacked by a monster… She thinks of it more as bad luck to be chased around immediately upon waking.
Anyway, the young man suggests that they head outside; so saying that he places his hand against the thick door and pushes but–… there is a clicking noise. He grits his teeth when he realizes that it’s not opening. In fact, the door isn’t even moving an inch. She can’t believe it and so she rushes over and adds her strength onto his, but even with the both of them pushing the sturdy door doesn’t move at all. Each time they push the brass handle clatters annoyingly.
She wonders if it is locked from the outside… She takes a step back to look at the entire door and, at that time, in the corner of her vision something unfamiliar appears. Black… butterflies? The black butterflies, clad in dark shadows, flutter in front of her before disappearing without a trace. Her heart is pounding awfully fast and she wonders just what was that right now…?
Suddenly, her companion yells at her and asks her what she is doing spacing out. She returns back to the present at his shout and follows his line of sight to… She gasps when she sees the monster they had seen before gradually coming closer to them from the path they came. She shouts out that they need to run! But the young man tells her that it’s impossible… they’re surrounded. She looks to the opposite side and sees another monster with the same shape roaring at them and coming closer.
W-What do they do!? If they run at this distance they’ll be caught immediately. She’s scared! She screams, frozen in fear, when one of the monsters attack her with its claws but she isn’t struck at all. Instead, the young man defends her and his arm begins to bleed with dark red blood. She gasps in shock but he just turns to her with a snarl about how he already told her not to zone out. Does she want to die?!
She apologizes shakily while he groans lowly with pain as his clothes turns wet and heavy with blood. The heroine is struck by how much blood he’s losing. It’s because she was too slow that he was injured…! The smell of iron spreads thickly and the drops of blood and dark red… she is suddenly struck by how everything in front of her is reality. What should she do? The monster looming over there suddenly jumps into the air towards them with an extended claw. It’s too late…!! She shuts her eyes tight with that thought. But then–
In the next instant, nothing strikes at her body. She opens her eyes to see the monster dissolve in the air together with its earth-shaking scream. She can see a bullet in it now but the borders of the monster flicker like a black heat haze. And then… its big frame becomes transparent and changes into a swarm of dark butterflies that become sucked into the necklace of someone standing still on the upper floors. That person is…
Several meters ahead of them is a male who is still pointing the muzzle of his gun towards them. She can’t read his expression because he is wearing a fox mask. Did he save them…? Or…? She flinches when he fires the pistol without hesitating past them into a monster behind them that was out of their sight. She notices that they once again became black butterflies and are sucked into his necklace from the place the monster died.
The male in the fox mask, who eradicated the monsters, pulls his pendant up high to his eyes. And then, after confirming something carefully, he silently moves to depart. But the heroine calls out for him to wait and asks if he is someone who lives here? Why does he… wear that mask? Her companion asks her in a hiss if she’s sane to call out to someone that suspicious looking. She tries to protest.
For a second, the man in the fox mask turns around and lets out a small noise as he stares at them, but then he disappears down a hallway on the second floor as if having lost interest in them. Her companion with the two moles sighs at how thoughtless she is. Not only does she not protect herself but she also tries to get involved with someone who could either be an enemy or ally.
She apologizes but then points out that the person seemed to have saved them… But then she recalls the wound on his arm and then wonders worriedly what to do because the blood is…! He admits that it hurts but it looks deeper than it is and right now he thinks they should concentrate on getting out. She tries to protect but he cuts her off and says that they have no time; they could be attacked again by those monsters and then their lives will be in danger. She lowers her head in acknowledgment.
The young man with two moles has already turned back to the door again but then, while thinking about what to do now, she sees something glittering in the place where the monster had been. She picks it up and wonders what this is. A fragment of glass? It’s glittering and she finds it pretty…
Her companion asks her what she is doing, to which she replies quickly that it’s nothing. She pockets the multicolored and glittering fragment and then turns her attention to the door. The young man notes that this door doesn’t seem like it’ll open at all. She wonders out loud if it’s locked. He won’t reject that thought but the structure of the door is simple compared to its thickness and he thinks it might open if they ram it with their bodies.
He orders her to stand back. She steps back in the direction that he points at with his chin and then watches as he rams the door with his uninjured shoulder. Even though he tries breaking through it multiple times the door remains stiffly closed. Just as he takes another step back to try again, the heroine interrupts and suggests that they think of another way before he injures his other shoulder. He tries to protest but she points out that other monsters might hear this loud noise.
Her companion sees her point and the both of them step back to examine the entrance. On the double doors there were three hinges and, like the young man said, it looks like it could break with some force. But apparently it wasn’t that easy… He points out that they can’t see a lock on the inside, yet the door is stuck which means…
Someone is blocking it from the outside; an unknown person finishes their sentence. The heroine spins around in surprise to see a kind looking young man with drooping eyes who appeared all of sudden from somewhere. Who is this person? Where has he been up until now? No, more importantly… She asks him if he knows anything or if he is also–
When she tried to approach the new person, she is drawn back by a grip on an arm and can feel a sharp look directed at her. Her companion whispers to her harshly that he told her before not to approach unidentified people so easily. HEEHEE, HE’S SO OVERPROTECTIVE. She stutters out that she knows that but… He snaps back that she doesn’t understand since she was walking over there unconcernedly without any caution.
She knows that she shouldn’t tell him that this new person has a softer atmosphere compared to the man in the fox mask. The young man with the drooping eyes hesitantly asks them if they are suspicious of him…? Her companion nods curtly and apologizes but they can’t trust him. The heroine exasperatedly tells him that he doesn’t need to say it so bluntly. The stranger wonders what to do… because even if he wanted them to trust him he doesn’t know anything about himself…
The heroine looks over to him in surprise. He answers that he woke up here a few days ago and has no memory of why he is in this mansion; the doors would not open either. She notices it’s the same situation as they’re in! As she thought, this person isn’t suspicious. She apologizes for suspecting him and then reveals that she and her companion are the same; when they woke up they were in this mansion. And then…
He laughs with relief and asks if he can think of them as companions then…? He’s glad because he was discouraged upon being alone. And then he requests to join them. She answers cheerily that he could, of course! Upon saying this, she can feel a piercing gaze and looks up to see the young man beside her with an exasperated look in his eyes. She winces and then asks him quietly if they can’t?
Her companion replies flatly that he would like her to ask him that before she makes a decision. Oh well, it doesn’t seem like the newcomer intends any harm. She’s relieved that he ended up accepting it because she would like any kind of ally here. At the same time he lets out a small sigh of relief, she finds her eyes caught by an earnest look in the eyes of the other young man. She asks him if something is the matter…?
He quickly shakes his head before asking her in a puzzled frown if they’ve met somewhere before? She tilts her head in confusion. Her companion comments flatly that if the other man is going to flirt with her he should choose a better time and place. HE SOUNDS SO UNAMUSED I’M DYING HERE. The other man stutters out that he’s not trying to do that! But he also thinks that they should move. He reveals that he’s found a hiding place where the monsters won’t enter and offers to take them there.
The heroine can see that her first companion still doesn’t trust in the stranger, but they need to treat his wound. And so she asks the young man with the drooping eyes to lead the way and grabs the arm of her dubious companion to drag him there.
They are taken to a room, which gives off a warm atmosphere, and is surrounded by old-fashioned furniture. The living room, which could be called a lounge, has a tablet set; couches and sofas; an area to play; and further inwards is a kitchen. She’s surprised that this kind of room exists and there’s a feeling of being able to live here… and it’s calm… She looks down in surprise at the moment when butterflies with milky white wings pass by. They dance in front of her line of sight, as if playing, before disappearing off to somewhere.
What was that just now? Her thoughts are interrupted by the young man with the drooping eyes who notes that the wound on her companion must have been done by a monster? The wound looks quite large. He is currently rustling through wooden shelves. Her companion responds that the blood has stopped and there’s no need to worry. The droopy-eyed man tells him that they can’t leave it like that and then addresses the heroine.
He hands her a first-aid kit when she looks at him and tells her that there are bandages inside. She should wrap the wound after cleaning the area around it and these kinds of things are a girl’s strong point, right? ARE YOU IMPLYING SOMETHING? She nods and says that she’ll do it. Her companion deposits his jacket on a sofa and sits down, allowing her to place a damp towel beside the first-aid kit and roll up his blood-soaked sleeve. OH MAN THIS GUY LOOKS SO GOOD IN HIS VEST.
She examines the wound and can see that, just as the bearer said, it isn’t that deep and will heal in a couple of days. Her attention wavers as she looks at the wound and so the young man with the two moles calls out to her. She looks up startled. He asks her if she is weak to blood and that if she is going to cry she shouldn’t undertake the task of being the nurse. She echoes his words blankly and so he asks her if she didn’t even notice it? She should touch her face.
The heroine does as he asks only to startle when she feels tears. She apologizes to him before answering that she isn’t weak to blood, it’s just that she’s now fully realizing her own situation and that their lives are in danger. She thanks him sincerely for saving her. He crosses his arms and turns away with a huff before stating that it would be bad to let someone die without helping upon waking, that is all. She replies that, no matter what his reason, it doesn’t change the fact that he saved her.
And then she warns him that she’ll be touching the wound now. The cotton towel becomes dyed in blood after she wipes at his upper arm, but soon she can see raw claw marks and how there is a black bruise spreading around the tear. He defended her yet… he was given this awful wound. She has feelings of guilt but it is also competing with her feelings of terror and both settle heavily deep in her chest. It is unbearable for someone to be hurt because of her and she has the feeling that something out there is torturing them as they live here.
Her thoughts are interrupted by her wounded companion who asks the other young man when he found this room. He answers that he found it on the first day he awoke. Several days ago, he woke up in one of the rooms and went exploring. Her companion asks if he did so even though the monsters prowling about. The other youth replies that he was scared but he wanted to confirm if there was anyone else here. He’s really glad that he found them. He also offers them some tea he just brewed.
He takes away the first-aid kid and, with the actions of someone familiar with the motion, he prepares a tea set. The heroine notes that they can use water and electricity here. It looks like all the daily necessities are provided here. The droopy-eyed young man tells them that the second floor of this place has countless guest bedrooms and they have a bed too, so it’s possible to lodge here without a problem.
Her injured companion acknowledges his information on the inner rooms but asks if he can say that this place is safe; isn’t there a possibility that the monsters will get a wind of this place and attack them? The other young man admits that he can’t say it is completely safe but he thinks this room is somehow okay… while he was exploring he noticed that the monsters do not approach areas with white butterflies.
The heroine realizes that he means the things she saw floating at the entrance. He nods in confirmation and then tells them that, opposite that, black butterflies are ominous signs and they should be cautious when they see that. She wonders where these white butterflies and black butterflies are coming from since they are inside. Her companion interrupts and points out that they can’t just stay hidden here forever though. If they can’t open the door then they should break a window and climb out.
The droopy-eyed young man informs him that he’s tried that before but, no matter how many times he tried breaking a window, the window sustained no scratches. He can’t see outside either because of the mist. The heroine wonders out loud how they could possibly get out of here then. But she remembers something the moment she says this. The cellphones… she asks the young man if he has a cellphone on him.
At his surprised look, she explains that they had cellphones in their pockets and messages in them. He replies that he has one of those then and one email in his mailbox. Her companion instantly asks what is written on it. The other young man answers that he doesn’t know the meaning of it… but shows them. And so they all look at what is printed on his phone’s display; 『武器ハ手中二アリ』(The weapons are in your hands) is the contents.
The heroine reads that out loud and wonders what the heck that means. Her companion asks the other youth if he has anything in his clothes. He shakes his head and tells them that he just had the cellphone and nothing else, which is why he has no idea what this message means. Her companion notes that the sender is also unknown and it must be the same person who sent them their messages. The droopy-eyed young man asks them what kind of messages they have.
They tell him their messages but it doesn’t seem like he can understand the true meaning of them either. He ponders on how maybe the kaleidoscope is something important to the sender of their messages and it disappeared so now they need help finding it…? She is hesitant about that and wishes they had something more concrete so she can think on more options.
Silence descends in the room. With the three of them having no memories, they could not even make small talk and all they could do is stare at the cellphones set on the table. What should they do from here? Suddenly, she felt as if she heard something. Her companion notices her expression and asks her what is wrong. She points out that she heard something from the outside…?
She walks closer to the door and sets her ear against it. The moment she does so she can hear a male scream from far away. She startles before turning to inform them that someone is shouting and no doubt they are being attacked by a monster! The young men quickly approach her and crack open the door to examine the situation outside. Another cry comes out just as they do so and she points out the voice. Her companion confirms that it’s a man.
But she’s pressed with wondering what to do! At this rate, those people will end up like…! She shuts her eyes upon remembering the sight of the wound she just treated. She turns around and grabs something, causing the droopy-eyed young man to ask her in alarm where she’s going. She tells him that she has to do something…! Like how they were saved before… Her companion crosses his arms and asks her flatly if she intends on using “that” to face the monsters?
Her eyes fall to the flower vase that she grabbed unconsciously. Her injured companion snaps at her angrily and asks her if she is an idiot. Their opponent is an unknown monster and does she think she can oppose it with that!? He takes the vase away from her forcefully. She knows she’s being reckless but she can’t just stand by and overlook this! She suddenly shakes off their attempts to stop her and dashes out the door, throwing an apology over her shoulder. Her companion yells after her.
Meanwhile, in the entry hall a young man with piercings gasps out about how this is a huge pinch they’re in. What’s going on?! In response, a young man with sanpaku eyes snaps at him to shut up because he doesn’t know either. DID THEY REALLY HAVE TO DESCRIBE HIM LIKE THAT OMG. The heroine, who arrived at the entrance, observes the situation hidden behind a column.
The youth with the piercings suddenly states that this must be a joke, right? A joke show? He laughs awkwardly and admits to being more than surprised. The cameramen can come out now… he’s also impressed by the special makeup. The monster roars in response, making the other man growl at him not to say such unnecessary things and to just shut up. The two men in front of the doors have raised their voices and she can hear them losing their composure.
There are three monsters… She knows that if she calls out she’ll be chased from here, but she can’t run fast even if she’s the decoy… Suddenly, her companion appears beside her and sarcastically congratulates her on how her thoughtlessness can go beyond his expectations. She startles upon seeing him and asks him why he is here. He reminds her that he said it before about how it’s a bad awakening to watch someone die. But, if they come out from here, it’ll just be like what happened to them last time.
The heroine knows that he has a point. Unable to do a anything, they can only watch as the monsters slowly close in on the two below them. And then, after a long yet short time passes, one of the monsters lashes out its arm violently. The young man with the sanpaku eyes manages to jump back and avoid any further problems, but his back collides with the door. A strained smirk appears on his face as he notes that these things really intend to kill them. The other man with piercings mutters that in this case…
He calls out to the monsters and tells them to eat the other guy because it’ll be much more rewarding with his brains and muscles. The other man snarls at him not to offer him up like that and he should be the one to step out since he said it! The youth with piercings refuses because he doesn’t want to die. Pressed side by side, the two glare at each other as the monsters’ claws draw nearer to them and, in the next move, only one of them will be left.
The heroine wonders what she can do… If only she had a weapon then she could help them… Yes, just like that man in the fox mask… if she had a weapon… a weapon… like a gun. If she had that gun–! In the next instant, underneath her eyelids, she can see something flash and then she feels her hands automatically clenching around something heavy and metallic. W-What is this!?
In her hands has appeared a pistol and the cold sensation of its reality stuns her. W-Why is she holding this!? She hadn’t been holding anything before…! Her companion asks her what she just did and if she pulled that out from… somewhere…? She shakes her head and blurts out that it just spawned itself… She was just thinking about saving the two of them… and remembering the gun that the man with the fox mask had… and then in the next instant… Her mind is all mixed up and she doesn’t know how to explain it.
Her companion recalls the words about how their weapons are in their hands. At her look of confusion, he reminds her about the message from before and how it looks like that message anticipated this. She recalls the words and realizes he has a point. He repeats her words thoughtfully about remembering the gun and wonders if he can just imagine one. Muttering that, he lowers his eyes and breathes in quietly. And then at the moment that he exhales slowly…
She gasps in shock. No way! An inexplicable light shines as if by magic and then when it disappears a gun appears in his hands. He’s grinning even as he exclaims his surprise on how it actually worked. Seriously, what is going on? She has no idea either. She watches as he grips it with his dominant hand and then checks over the magazine and trigger before his eyebrows draw together deeply.
He informs her that it doesn’t look to be a toy and there are bullets loaded inside; so it looks to be complete as a weapon. She realizes that this means… He finishes her thought by saying that they are mostly to fight those monsters. At the same time as those words, they both hear the monsters roar and look down to see it raise its large arm up to strike at its target. Her companion shouts at her to move. AND THEN THIS IS WHERE WE GET THE SHOOTING GAME.
The monsters, which had been shot, lose their form even as they cry out in their death agony. The heroine gasps heavily as she asks him if they’ve defeated them. Her companion pants out that it looks that way. And then the monsters become a swarm of black butterflies that are sucked away into their accessories. She notices the butterflies going into her hairpin and wonders if it’s okay to leave it like that…
More importantly though, her breath… she wavers on her feet as she gasps for air and her companion supports her quickly while asking her if she is alright. She nods and tells him that it’s just hard to breathe. Her body feels heavy as well but, on top of her feelings, there is the touch of the pistol in her hands, the smell of smoke, the terror in facing the hostility of the monsters, and their death screams. That and an intense fatigue are surging through her. She… killed those monsters.
Her introspection is interrupted by the young man with sanpaku eyes who asks them what they are and why they have guns. While breathing heavily, she tries to answer him. But how should they explain it? She’s at a loss as to how to answer his inquiry and the whole thing is frankly above reason and probability. Her companion coldly points out that he shouldn’t be talking like that after being saved. They could have abandoned them.
The young man with sanpaku eyes raises an eyebrow. Saved? They could say that but he can’t trust people who are holding something dangerous. Her companion replies that he feels the same way and he can’t trust them either. He doesn’t think they should have risked themselves to save these people, especially when there doesn’t seem to be a benefit. The other man snarls at him, which makes the heroine try to calm the two down.
And then the young man with piercings gets between the two and places a hand on their shoulders. He thinks they should both cool down and it’s a fact that they narrowly escaped from death, so he should be thankful for that. The other man just huffs and turns away. The young man with piercings sighs at how sad the other person is to not even be able to say thanks, especially when a cute girl risked her life for him. He thanks the heroine directly.
She shakes her head and tells him that she’s just glad they are all unharmed. But then she blinks in surprise when, the moment she released her breath, the gun in her hands dissolves into the air. Her companion notices that his disappeared as well and he closes and opens his hand multiple times before looking up at them. He points out that, at any rate, this place is dangerous and they should move elsewhere.
Back in the lounge area, the moment they open the door the young man with droopy eyes welcomes them relievedly and rushes up to them impatiently. He was worried with the way both of them ran out. Are they okay? Did anything change…? He notices the additions to their group. The young man with sanpaku eyes looks around thoughtfully at how this is their headquarters, huh. The youth with piercings comments on how it feels quite comfortable. The droopy-eyed young man asks who these people are.
The heroine answers that they met them at the entrance when they were being attacked by monsters… and… He steps closer to her in alarm and asks her if she is alright. Is she injured anywhere? She reassures him that she’s fine and they managed to overcome it. He slumps with relief and is glad.
At any rate, they seat themselves around the table and, as a silence descends on them, exchange assessing looks. The droop-eyed youth asks the two newcomers if they are willing to share their story. The young man with piercings admits that he’d like to but he can’t. The youth with sanpaku eyes informs them that he woke up inside an unknown mansion and knows nothing else. The heroine realizes that this is…!
The young man with piercings continues on to say that, while having nothing in his head, he had collapsed in the same room as the other youth and they went outside when they came to only to be attacked by monsters. She notes in her mind that this is the same as them. Her first companion admits that he had a feeling they would say that because there are three people here with similar circumstances. It wouldn’t be strange if this increased. The pierced young man points out that his words sound like he knows something and he’d like to know anything that they know.
She explains the sequences of events that have happened up until now and watches as, before her eyes, his face becomes cloudy. The pierced youth summarizes that someone has brought them here, along with those weird creatures, and locked them inside? And then stole their memories? How idiotic! How would they do that? For what reason? The young man with two moles, her first companion, snaps out that he wants to ask the same thing but right now there is no way to express the situation they are in.
The youth with sanpaku eyes asks slowly if those guns of theirs are also something that can’t be explained? Her companion confirms it, making the young man with sanpaku eyes scoff. Everyone closes their mouths and becomes lost in thought and it looks like everyone in the room is caught in this quandary. Time, like a heavy chain dragging them, passes by slowly.
Suddenly, she is startled upon hearing a high electronic noise that cuts through the silence. The youth with sanpaku eyes realizes that it’s a cellphone noise. The young man with piercings confirms that he has one too! The heroine realizes that they haven’t confirmed what everyone is holding. Both of them pull out their cellphones and what shows on their display is–
『記憶ノ鍵ハ館ノ中』(The key to your memories is inside this mansion) and 『万華鏡ヲ完成サセロ』(Complete the kaleidoscope). The droopy-eyed young man notes that its referencing the kaleidoscope again. Up until now, they’ve all received messages from a mysterious person and it is always a plain message without any further additions. She recalls the first three clues which were: Find the broken pieces of the kaleidoscope, there is only one way out of this mansion, and the weapons are in your hands.
And now they have: the key to your memories is inside this mansion, and complete the kaleidoscope. She doesn’t understand any of it. Once again the droopy-eyed young man thinks out loud that they have no choice but to complete this so-called kaleidoscope. The young man with the sanpaku eyes calls for them to wait because his message doesn’t have the literal “kaleidoscope” characters in it.
He points out that they don’t know the aim of the message and if it means what they all think it means or if it is referring to all of them here. Her first companion thinks he has a point but points out that, when one thinks about everyone here meeting, then obviously they are going to affirm these messages. Meaning… the youth with the piercings concludes that “someone” with ill will has trapped them all here in this situation. And that person wants them to complete the “kaleidoscope” and so has taken their “memories” and “freedom” hostage until they cooperate, right?
Her companion nods brusquely. The droopy-eyed man wonders out loud on if it is possible to steal someone’s memories… The heroine, upon thinking of a sinister someone, shudders at the penetrating cold sensation. But that’s right, there’s no other way to call someone who trapped them in this mansion along with ominous monsters wandering about. The youth with piercings sighs loudly and wonders if this is all just some prank.
The young man with the sanpaku eyes spits out a curse at their unknown captor and punches the cushion beside him but, as if to sneer at their confusion, it returns immediately to its original shape. The heroine realizes in alarm that the atmosphere is turning bad and right now the only thing she can do is… she asks if she can consider everyone in here an ally then. Her first companion gives her an astonished look.
She explains that she has no memories, no idea where this place is, or why anything is happening. She doesn’t have anything that is clear in her mind and so she’d like to be able to call the people here her companions at least. The droopy-eyed man looks at her with warmth. She continues on to say that if it becomes fact that they are companions then they are one step away from having nothing, right? Will they cooperate with her to escape this mansion?
Everyone’s gaze slowly turns to her after her timid proposal. Was she a bit too forceful? Finally, the droopy-eyed man agrees with her and thinks it would be best to have people who can help each other. It is also heartening to know that they have companions who feel the same. She returns his gentle smile and lets out a breath, though she is still full of uneasiness. Her first companion tells her that he has no objections to it, although the term companions sounds cliché, but he doesn’t think this situation is something one person can overcome.
She turns her eyes to the two new people. The youth with sanpaku eyes mumbles that he doesn’t care about anything so long as they can get out. The young man with piercings shrugs and says that it doesn’t seem like they can do anything else, so. Everyone nods after looking at each other and even though all they did was this, somehow she feels heartened, and the noise in her heart calms down.
Anyway, after some idle talk, she hears a listless voice exclaim that he’s tired and he’d like to rest now. It’s the young man with piercings. This makes the youth with sanpaku eyes wonder what time it is. The heroine realizes that the clocks are broken so they don’t know… and it’s dark outside the windows so she’d guess that it’s night. But she notes in her mind that the fog is thick and it could be noon for all she knew.
The droopy-eyed young man, who overheard their conversation, stands up and heads to the second floor before turning back to look at them. He invites them to use the guest rooms here and informs them that there are plenty. The young man with sanpaku eyes smiles upon seeing the inside of the rooms. The youth with piercings notices that there’s even a bed and comments on how carefully prepared everything is. His voice is full of admiration as he continues down the corridor and looks into every room.
They are told by the droopy-eyed young man that there are no windows, so he can’t say it’ll be comfortable, but it doesn’t seem to be a problem for them to rest here. The heroine nods and reassures him that there’s no problem; she actually likes this kind of room. He’s glad to hear that. After a while of looking around at the rooms, her eyes come to a stop at the young man who is leaning against the wall with crossed arms. She asks him if there is something wrong.
Her first companion, the young man with two moles, points out that it would be bad if every member went to sleep, right? He will be keeping a watch on the living room, just in case. Her eyes widen at that and she points out that his body won’t be able to handle that. But she realizes that he has a point and it might be better to have a guard…? The droopy-eyed young man volunteers to switch with him midway and then tells the heroine that she doesn’t need to worry.
She thanks him and then offers to act as the person on watch tomorrow– but she’s interrupted by the young man with piercings. He points out that, more importantly, it’s inconvenient to continue calling everyone “hey you” or “you there”. She realizes he has a point because they won’t know who anyone is talking about. The youth with sanpaku eyes points out that it can’t be helped since they don’t remember their names. The young man with droopy eyes thinks it’s better to have names to call each other if they are going to live together.
The heroine ponders this problem because without knowing their original names they can’t really give themselves nicknames either… The young man with two moles comes up with a solution; he walks over to one of the doors and points at a nameplate that is hanging down from a post. It looks like each room has a similar nameplate and he suggests that they just call each other by that name.
The youth with piercings hums before noting that the other man is calling himself “Hikage” then? In that case, he’ll be in this room! He’s now “Karasuba”! The young man with sanpaku eyes shrugs and claims one as well. Hikage reads out “Yamato” and says he’ll start to use it from now on then. Yamato huffs and tells him to do what he wants.
The droopy-eyed young man directs the heroine to a certain room because she’s a girl and then tells her that he’s the one beside her. She takes a look at the nameplate and confirms that his name is now “Kagiha”? He nods and tells her to call him if anything happens. She thanks him. ME TOO THANK GOD. THEY ALL HAVE NAMES NOW. YOU GUYS DON’T HAVE TO ENDURE THE WHOLE MAN WITH “X” AND MAN WITH “Y” ANYMORE.
And then, with Hikage left outside as the watch, everyone else enters their room. From now on her name is… she looks at the golden nameplate hanging in front of the door. She is now “Beniyuri”. She opens the door, the hinges creaking, and then enters her room. The room is not that large but simple. Designs are carved into the top of the door and other areas, and she gets the sense that they are well-done and polished. Delicate patterns are engraved in the furniture and it seems to be gilded in ivory, along with the expensive looking bed, and a lamp that gives off a beautiful light.
She then notices more white butterflies that are even here. She looks up at the ceiling where she can barely hear the quiet fluttering of their wings as they dance. She recalls the talk they had about how white butterflies means that monsters won’t come near the area while black butterflies are bad. She finds it strange since, normally, butterflies are drawn to fly around flowers. Is there something pulling on them?
Her mind recalls the moment when she confronted the monsters. What was the gun that appeared at that time…? And at the end the monsters became black butterflies and were sucked into her hairpin, right? She raises a hand to her head and removes the hairpin. She turns it over in her palm and looks at it glitters and reflects a brilliant light. It’s beautiful… and she had such a thing in her hair, huh.
She wonders if it can be considered a protective charm since it sucked in those sinister butterflies. She touches it lightly with a finger and, as if in reply, her hairpin flashes momentarily twinkles…
Clattering. She can hear something bouncing from far away. It must surely be the large drops of rain striking the floor harshly. Surrounded by thick walls, much like a prison, this place doesn’t seem to have a sense of reality. All she is positive about is the prickling and stabbing sensation of cold on her skin. Cold… is she this cold because of the rain? Lying on the bed, she draws up her blankets and rubs her hands together.
But it does absolutely nothing to warm her body and she is so cold that her fingers have lost all feeling. Ah… she remembers this feeling… when her entire body’s sensations disappeared and she felt like she became just a spirit… When was that memory? She thinks on it vaguely because she is unable to remember anything inside her empty head. Falling. She’s falling. Once again, she’s falling. This time, she might be swallowed up by a darkness that has no bottom. She… While in that hallucination, she falls into the valley of sleep. YEAH DON’T LOOK AT ME. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT’S GOING ON EITHER.