Part 13: Demise, Part 5
Nana Ogasawara, our friend from the first game's Exchap 1, has joined our posse. With her accompanying us, we head for the entranceway.
Background Sound: Rain
There's a mysterious object on the shelf. We investigate.
Unravelling it reveals a small pile of long, whitish, stubby objects that, at first, seem like they may be candles or something. But in actuality...
Ten in total. Every finger from both of some unfortunate victim's hands. The blood was still very much wet, too, indicating that not much time had passed since these digits were severed. Wet soil was lodged under each fingernail, and faint remnants of color here and there further indicated that the owner of these fingers had painted nails.
...I-It's probably nothing. Don't worry.
Music: Escaping Samsara (A)
Background Sound: None
Next, we head all the way up to room 4-A.
Room 4-A is just an ordinary classroom now. We take a look around.
It looks like someone used a shard of glass or something to carve a message into the teacher's podium:
"To any and all Takine Middle School students.
I'm OK! I'm going to go find Kyugo. If you're reading th"
It's the partially decomposed corpse of a student. Judging by the size and uniform, this was likely a male middle school student. The back of his head seems to be completely smashed in, suggesting he was probably killed from behind with a blunt weapon. A student ID name tag can be seen partially lodged under one of his bony arms:
Teru Arai Age: 15
Left behind many wonderful works, creating a true legacy for himself among his peers.
"Are you certain you're on the right path? Is it really okay to trust her?"
We can't enter any of the other rooms on the first floor, so we head down this way.
Hey, Kishinuma, what's that?
I wonder if we can get it...
Is seriously doubt it. This hole looks like it doesn't bottom out for a while. There could be a whole storehouse down there!
We can't proceed east thanks to the big hole.
That doesn't matter though, because I know just where to find a rope.
We head back into the locker room.
It's the gauze bandages that were used to tie up Nana.
Take the bandages
Sound Effect: Item
Kishinuma then obediently pulled them taut in a few places to test their tensile strength.
There's definitely enough here to work with, and as long as we fold it over enough times, I don't think there'd be any risk of it tearing.
There are two strips, too. We can probably twist them together, and the end result should be about as sturdy as a real rope.
And so we folded both strips of gauze in half, then twisted the two double-ply strips together to form something that resembled a braid. I'd done something similar to this once before when making rope-like decorations for theater costumes, so it didn't prove to be particularly difficult. It almost felt like rope-making 101. In ten minutes' time, presto, we had a do-it-yourself rope in our hands! Granted, it was pretty flimsy compared to the resin ropes you might buy at a home center, but it seemed like it would hold one person's weight just fine.
And with our makeshift rope, we head back to the pit.
Maybe, but there's nothing to tie the rope to on this end, so I think somebody up here is going to have to hold onto it.
If Nana and I work together, we should be able to hold the rope long enough for you to get whatever's down there and climb back up, I think...
So you've already decided I'm the one who's going, huh?
Would the two of us really be able to hold him, though? Wouldn't it be better for the boy to hold the rope and one of us girls to get the object?
I-I don't know if I could do it, honestly. I'm not very good at sports or anything. Even if I made it down, I'm not sure I could climb back up...
Then how about I go?
You? Do you think...you'd be able to?
I...should be fine. I'll do whatever I have to if it means I can see Nari and the others again.
(I can relate. I'll do whatever I have to in order to see Shig again, too...)
You're...very brave, Nana. Especially for how young you are. It's kind of incredible. But...Kishinuma, I really think I should be the one to go.
(Shig... Everyone always bends over backwards to help me. From Shig's point of view, I must really seem like a helpless child sometimes. But just this once, I want to be the reliable one. I want to protect Nana and lead her home safely.)
I don't really mind either way, honestly...
The screen fades out and back in.
Isn't it...a little tight? It's hurting my stomach!
Better than slipping out and falling, isn't it?
Y-Yeah, that's true. All right. Lower me down slowly, okay?
Please be careful, Mayu. I've tied some knots at regular intervals to help make it easier for you to climb back up.
That sounds great. Thanks, Nana.
Mayu climbs down into the pit.
It's kind of amusing how dangerous this whole thing is, and they're doing it all to pick up a shiny object. They don't even know what it is, it could just be some corpse's eyeglasses for all they know.
Everything okay? How's it look down there?
It's...kinda dark. And there's a really nasty smell.
It was too dark to see my surroundings clearly, but I could instantly sense an oppressive atmosphere all around me. This was not a good place to be.
We pick a body at random and investigate.
Most seem to have died long ago, having decayed into proper skeletons, but a small handful seem "fresh," as if they were alive only yesterday.
Ungh... Here too, huh...
All the corpses give you this same dialog, except for this one in the brown clothes.
All of her fingers have been cut off, and her tongue seems to have been removed as well. Her student ID name tag is clearly displayed on her jacket:
Hikari Kiriue Age: 13
Musashigawa Girls' Middle School
Fingers severed postmortem by unknown assailant.
(I don't think I can bring myself to tell Nana about this...)
There's something on the ground next to Hikari's body, reflecting what little light there is down here.
Is this what we saw from above?
Sound Effect: Item
Wonder what this is? Looks like it could be water...
Having acquired the item we sought and not wanting to stay down in this hole even a moment longer than I had to, I gave the rope a triumphant tug.
Kishinuma! I got it!
Nice going, Suzumoto! Now get the hell out of there! Or...do you want me to pull you up?
No, I should be fine. It's not even ten meters deep down here. I can climb it.
She does so.
*pant* *pant* *pant*
Ugh, I am so beat, though! It didn't seem that high, but my arms and legs are trembling right now. I'll definitely be feeling this tomorrow!
Well, you did good. So what did you end up finding?
Uh, well... This.
It doesn't smell or anything. I think it's just water.
My friend Hikari had a bottle just like it. It's a kind of protective charm, supposedly infused with the power of a famous spiritual medium. It has the ability to ward off evil, and some people believe it grants luck with money or love when kept in your bag.
Sounds pretty sketchy to me.
Saenoki? Oh yeah, her. I guess...if she says it's the real deal, then it's possible there may be something to it.
You've heard of her, Kishinuma? I'm a little surprised by that, I have to admit...
Is this something you can buy?
You can get it online, but in Hikari's case, her dad works for the TV station and got a bottle of it directly from Naho after taping.
Hmm? I-I dunno. Maybe it's someone else's. Or maybe Hikari dropped her bottle down the hole.
Shinozaki's really into this stuff too. There are probably a lot of girls who bought these.
Yeah... You're probably right.
Music: Escaping Samsara (A)
Now that we've collected a bottle of holy water and lied to Nana, we head up the west staircase.
And we head into room 1-C.
This was most likely a female junior high student. Though anything beyond that was impossible to determine, as everything above the waist was missing. Whoever killed this girl must have done it recently, as the wound was still fresh and the blood all over the floor was still wet. Her exposed intestines seem to have been pulled out of her body and draped onto the floor, where they were then crushed flat like a worm under a big shoe.
It's okay, Nana! Try to stay calm!
Yeah, try not to think of the worst case scenario right off the bat. There's no reason to assume this is one of your friends!
Nana was wrought with grief. She was shaking uncontrollably, to such an extent that her teeth were chattering. We gently led her out of the classroom. I wanted to get out of there myself, to be honest. Seeing a human body so horribly mutilated was more than I could handle.
We take one more look at the legs.
Partially hidden under the body is a student ID name tag, which must have fallen from the missing torso:
Hodoka Manome Age: 13
Musashigawa Girls' Middle School
Gradual death from massive blood loss. Upper half of body missing.
There's nothing else of interest in this or the nearby classrooms, so we head out.
Music: Escaping Samsara (A)
And we head back up to the bathrooms.
Nana is with us, so the logical place to take her is the boys' restroom, since she has a friend there.
But the room is boarded up, unfortunately. There is a corpse nearby, though.
It's the remains of a student, completely decomposed into a skeleton. Based on its size and the uniform it's wearing, it was probably once a senior high school girl. There are deep scratches on the ground nearby with several fingernails and even a few teeth adorning them, indicating the ferocity of her struggle.
There's also a student ID name tag:
Rena Saeki Age: 17
Matsukaze Prefectural High School
Ate rotten food: died of food poisoning.
There's nothing else to be done on the third floor, so we head back down to the second.
And we go to the west stairway.
This video covers the remainder of the update.
Some thugs are blocking our progress.
How about we try using that holy water on them? It was recommended by a spiritual medium, after all...
Throw the holy water
So hot... It burns like acid!
Damn you all! You're still alive! Isn't that enough?!
May death soon come for you, too!
Kishinuma quickly leaped in front of me, hands out, taking the full brunt of the spirit's attack in my place. Then, all three flames simply disappeared.
Geez, take it easy! I'm fine, I just burned my hand a little, that's all.
I'm so sorry. I should have been paying closer attention. I've got some stick-on bandages in my bag somewhere. Let's see...
Hmm? Oh, n-nothing. Here you go.
Ah, please, allow me. Just show me where you got burned.
Thanks a bunch. And Suzumoto, seriously, what's wrong?
Well... I seem to have lost my student ID. I probably dropped it when I was climbing down into that hole.
Isn't that it in your hand?
No, this belongs to the deceased girl in the school entranceway. I picked it up earlier.
I probably should've just left it there, but...well, I was all alone and scared, and thought maybe I'd learn something useful from it, you know?
No, I think that's perfectly reasonable. We've got to do whatever it takes to reunite with everyone and get the hell out of this school. You mind if I take a quick look at it?
Sure. I don't think you'll find anything too helpful in it, though.
Yoshiki takes the book and flips through the pages.
It's...a box? I wonder what it means.
The memo page Kishinuma opened to was ringed with bloody, sticky fingerprints. And centered among them was a rough sketch of a box drawn in ballpoint pen, along with numerous lines of text written in rough, shaky letters. They seemed to have been written with an excessive amount of force, resulting in countless black splotches and small tears in the paper:
"I need to hide her. Ao is mine, and mine alone. She must be protected. If I hide it in that box, no one will ever find it.
Ao, I love you so much."
These words were written over and over again, with the ink getting blotchier and more haphazard each time.
You're right, it really does!
Isn't this...a keyhole?
Oh, hey, you're right! I wonder if...maybe that key I found will fit the lock...
Kishinuma and Nana were both watching me expectantly as I procured the rusty key from my bag. I inserted it into the lock. It fit! Crossing my fingers, I began turning...and with no resistance at all. It was the right key! The lid popped up, and nostalgic music started to play.
Sound: Music Box
Nostalgic music, indeed.
This is not the time or the place for karaoke.
Kishinuma took the music box from my hands with a sort of derisive smile on his face.
So something's inside this thing, then, right? *groan* No good. It's too tight a squeeze. My fingers won't fit.
Try turning it upside down and shaking it.
Yoshiki does so.
Ooh, something came out! But...it's another...
Sound Effect: Item
Who hides a key behind a lock?!
But this means we can probably open some door now that we previously couldn't.
I placed the key in my pocket for safe-keeping. And tried in vain to remind myself that I shouldn't get my hopes up. But in truth, I was downright thrilled. We were making actual progress!
Now that the spirits are gone, nothing is stopping us from heading up to the third floor. We head up in our search for the door that matches our new key.