Part 33: Shangri-La, Part 4Music: Unrest (B)
Mitsuki and Fukuroi are now travelling with Morishige. There's also been an earthquake, so the positions of holes have shifted. With that in mind, we head back up the southeast staircase.
And we head north up the hallway to the fork.
And at last, we're able to reach the toilets.
We head upstairs and stop by the boys' room.
"Don't give it back."
Of course the room is boarded up, so there's nothing for us here aside from the note. we head next door into the ladies' room.
It's a half-decomposed body. Based on uniform and height, it seems to be that of a senior high school girl. Her head was thrust into the Japanese-style floor toilet, where she more than likely..."drowned."
There's a student ID name tag on her chest:
Shino Noguchi Age: 16
Reubens Academy Senior High School
Suffocated after head stuffed into urinal. Killer is unknown.
There's something under her body.
Background Sound: Atmospheric Hum
W-Wow, Morishige. I'm...kind of impressed. I don't think I could bring myself to touch a dead body like that.
He's trying to find his friend, so I doubt he'd let something as simple as that stand in his way.
Having been lodged under a decaying corpse, the logbook has seen better days. Its pages are warped and stained with blood and other fluids. The class designation "3-A" is still faintly visible on the cover, however, and there are sections that seem to have escaped the "leaking" intact.
Which section should we read?
There are missing letters and numbers all over this page. Many of them seem to have been intentionally erased.
(It may be best to take this logbook with us.)
Sound Effect: Item
Background Sound: None
Music: Unrest (B)
Finished on the third floor, we head back downstairs.
And into room 3-A, which was marked on the front of the logbook.
We've already explored this room, but we couldn't investigate the podium before.
"Bring back the class logbook you took from the reference room right this instant! There's no telling what's going to happen next. You understand that, don't you?"
We head in the direction of the reference room.
Conveniently, this hole has sealed up as well! We head upstairs.
And we stop outside the reference room.
It's a comparatively "fresh" corpse. Based on uniform and height, it seems to be that of a junior high school girl. Her limbs are contorted, as if she died clinging to the ground like a frightened insect. On further inspection, this seems to be indicative of her injuries, as it looks like someone repeatedly bashed her feet and hands into the floor.
It looks as if she collapsed here, perhaps with an injured leg or foot. I'd assume she was being pursued, and her legs were crushed as she tried to hobble away. Quite thoroughly, too, as the bones are practically liquefied. The attacker then seems to have crushed her arms after the intense pain caused her to stop resisting. Cause of death was...shock from loss of blood, perhaps? A pitiable and rather agonizing way to die. I wouldn't be surprised if she soiled herself.
Looking closely at the girl's face, something seemed off. It didn't take long to realize what it was: she had no tongue.
Did someone...cut it out of her mouth? I've heard that psychopathic murderers do often take mementos of their victims, but why the tongue? What does it symbolize?
(More to the point, whoever did this is probably still at large. I'm getting more and more worried about Mayu...)
Even her name tag is bloody, but still legible:
Hiroko Kikumura Age: 13
Seisho Junior High School
All four limbs crushed by blunt object; died writhing on the ground.
I like to imagine Mitsuki and Fukuroi are just staring in a stunned, uncomfortable silence after Morishige's extremely detailed rant about that girl's death.
That aside, let's head into the reference room.
It's locked. And not with a key this time. It seems to be some sort of combination lock. Six digits, by all appearances.
Let's see if we can figure this out.
I guess they didn't want to program in a numberpad or anything like that, so it just asks us for each of the numbers one at a time, giving us four options each time.
The solution to this puzzle is the "Disaster Drill" page of the logbook. Six numbers appear on that page, so you just enter them all in order. Aside from that page being the most conspicuous due to the missing letters, you can also figure out that it's important because there's a sign in classroom 3-A that mentions the disaster drill.
The combination is: 824322
With the lock out of the way, we head into the reference room.
Bookending one particular gap on the shelf is a ceramic ornament depicting some kind of demon eating the left arm of a naked, headless figure.
It is. It's...genuinely disturbing. But well-made, I'll admit.
Francisco de Goya. "Saturno devorando a su hijo." I believe it's called. "Saturn Devouring His Son." Though the original was a painting, not a sculpture.
You're quite well-versed in art history, it seems.
Are you in your school's art club or something, Morishige?
No, I'm in the drama club.
(How is that 'impressive'? I'll bet he'd have responded the same way if I'd said I were in the basketball club or woodwind band, too.)
The room fell into an awkward silence after that. I became acutely aware of my own poor disposition. Though I suppose I've never been very good at social interaction in the first place. I don't believe in wasting smiles on trivial things and I never quite learned how to lie, even to save face or keep from hurting someone's feelings.
I'm sure there are a lot of variables to consider. Setting the stage, costuming, scripting...
Mayu is in charge of all of that. I'm just... the lead actor.
Ooh, nice. Being as tall and handsome as you are, I'm sure you must be a big hit!
No. Not especially. It's not the outward appearance that matters, after all, but the acting.
So are you planning to try for an acting school in the future, then?
If possible, I'd like to study abroad and apprentice with real actors. I've been saving money and focusing on language studies to that end for some time.
Whooooa. Very nice!
It's amazing that you've put so much thought into your future plans at this young age.
(I can't even conceive of being this captivated by the life details of a person I've only just met. But then, maybe I'm just overly pragmatic...)
Shouldn't we be going? Aside from that sculpture, there really doesn't seem to be anything else of note in here.
Wait. We should return the logbook while we're here.
True. We really didn't need the logbook anymore. The Goya sculpture, on the other hand, was practically calling my name. I reached for it, picked it up and...handed it to Mitsuki, since she had the biggest bag out of any of us. She looked puzzled, but took it anyway.
Sound Effect: Item
This statue is much cooler than the fetus and Baphomet statues from the previous game. Though that may just be my appreciation for the original painting speaking; it doesn't really make any more sense to find this statue here than it did to find the other ones.
Music: Unrest (B)
With the Goya sculpture in hand, we head back down to the second floor.
And then to the first floor.
And across the floor, to the locker room.
And it's really cold, too. It feels like there's cold water wrapped around my entire body.
Continuing down this hall may be dangerous.
The trio proceeds down the hallway for awhile, and then...
It does feel like we've been walking for an awfully long time. Did this building always have such an... expansive hallway?
No, I'm pretty sure something screwy is going on here! With all the distance we've covered, we should have been outside the school twice over by now!
Maybe we turned a corner without realizing it. It is quite dark, after all.
There's no way we could've! Not in a narrow hall like this!
If you're that concerned, shouldn't we just turn back?
...and saw nothing but an endless corridor vanishing into inky blackness. It was basically a mirror image of the trek we'd been making these past few minutes.
No... No, this can't be right! Did we really walk so far that we can't even see the light of our candle in the distance? That's not possible, is it?!
C-Calm down, Mitsuki! It probably just blew out.
It's a straight shot, either way. All we can do is keep heading back the way we came.
How can you be so cold, Morishige?! For all you know, we could be st--
Freaking out about it isn't going to help matters. Let's just keep going.
Morishige's right. Times like these call for cold, rational decisions. It's the only way.
Oooh...and part of it broke off. That's not good, is it?
No, it is most assuredly not. Abandoned school building or no, it's something that doesn't belong to you!
Hmph. You really are a stickler for the rules no matter where you are, huh?
May I see that for a moment, please?
Uh, sure. But why?
I think I see something inside it, from where it broke off.
Isn't it just the wire frame the sculptor used to hold the object's shape?
I don't think so! That's not all that's in there, anyway.
I know one way to find out.
As they say, sometimes the simplest solution really is the best. And if we wanted to see what was inside this thing, there was one surefire method.
Sound Effect: Crash
The Goya sculpture hit the ground with all the force I could muster and shattered into countless pieces.
It looked old, but since it had been sealed away from the elements all this time, there wasn't a single trace of rust or corrosion on it.
Look, there's a label: 'Heavenly Host Elementary.' So I guess that means it does indeed belong in this school building.
Clearly, this was an important item to have found. Now aware that Mitsuki's bag was not the safest place to store things, however, I pocketed it myself.
Sound Effect: Item
With our new key, we head to the north end of the first floor, to room 4-A.
Music: Unrest (B)
Use the copper key
With a click, the door unlocked.
There's a chalk picture drawn on the board. It shows a high school girl who was just run over by a steamroller. And at the helm of said steamroller is a young-looking child with a biiiiig smile on her face.
It's some sort of mechanism with a lever attached to it.
What a strange-looking device. It's...vaguely similar to a movie projector, but clearly not one...
The lever won't budge. It may be rusted in place at this point.
Looks like it's still got a decent wick and plenty of methanol in it, too.
Aren't these...handprints on it, though? In...blood...?
I hadn't noticed them at first, but Mitsuki was correct. There were small, bloody handprints on the alcohol lamp. Small enough that they most likely were made by a child. Or children.
I don't know about you guys, but this lamp gives me the creeps!
Still, the more light sources available to us in here, the better.
Sound Effect: Item
With the lamp in hand, we return to the dark hallway.
Shall I try lighting the alcohol lamp, then?
Light the lamp
That would certainly be a lot brighter than a candle, and should burn longer as well.
Here, I've got matches. We found them in the music room earlier.
And somehow, the darkness just seemed to shrink away from it, powerless against this unexpectedly capable opponent.
We continue out to the pool.
This video covers the remainder of the update.
Background Sound: Rain
Urabe! Hey! Urabe! Stay with us, now!
Collapsed on the ground was someone both of my companions clearly knew. She wore the same uniform as Yamamoto. Both Fukuroi and Yamamoto immediately ran to her side and began attempting to rouse and console her.
Thank God you're alive!
Are you okay, Urabe? Are you injured at all?
And what about the others? Tohko, or Kizami? Do you know if they're all right?
Ahh! Ahhhh! Nooo!!
Mitsuki...! Wh-What's wrong, Urabe?!
Get ahold of yourself, Emi! It's me, Mitsuki! And Fukuroi's here, too!
She darted her head around wildly, surveying her surroundings quickly and frantically like a wide-eyed fawn who sensed a predator closing in. What on earth could've happened to her...? It was as if her own paranoia had completely drowned out the sounds of her friends and classmates, to such an extent that she didn't even notice them. She was also perceptibly shaking -- a lot more than she would from the cold rain alone -- and her teeth were chattering. Something had truly spooked her.
W-We're all...going to die... He's going to kill us! AAAAHHHHHHHHH!!
We've got to go after her!
(Maybe I should join them in their chase. But I have no responsibility here. This isn't my fight. They did accompany me in my search for Mayu, so I'd like to do something for them in exchange... But things seem in disarray right now. And I'd prefer not to get caught up in their mess.)