Part 47: Tooth, Part 3Music: Tooth
Tohko heard Mitsuki's voice echoing up from the first floor, so we head down there to begin our search.
Upon arriving on the first floor, we stop for a moment at the foot of the stairs.
There's a thoroughly decomposed corpse here. The name on its name tag sounds male, but it's a little hard to tell:
Motohiro Suzuki Age: 17
Matsukaze Prefectural High School
Suffocated after tongue severed by sharp object.
Beginning our search proper, we head to the west of the exit.
Tohko isn't willing to continue any further west beyond this point, but there is something to find here...
It's a half-decomposed corpse. Though kind of hard to tell, it appears to be the remains of a female senior high school student. She still seems to be loosely gripping her student ID name tag in one of her hands:
Leona Oomura Age: 17
Kurashiki Industrial High School
Cranium bashed in with blunt object.
Next, we head north from the exit.
Once again, Tohko won't proceed beyond this point.
It's a thoroughly decomposed corpse. Having gone completely skeletal, it's virtually impossible to determine age or gender. Fortunately, the deceased's name tag seems to have survived, and identifies him as a male student from a trade school:
Tooru Takahashi Age: 18
Komashiro Trade School
Member of school newspaper club. Came to Heavenly Host to investigate. Always seemed to be in a big hurry.
There it is. The game's final name tag!
You don't get anything for collecting them all, beyond a sense of satisfaction and the knowledge of how 63 people died.
After collecting those name tags, we head back toward the staircase.
If I kept running in circles like this, I'd never find her. I was in a state of panic, and I was allowing it to steer my path. Frustrated with the situation, and with myself for choosing to give up and head back empty-handed, I forced myself to stop and turn. I was going to do what I should have done in the first place: call out Mitsuki's name with everything I had in me, and hope she responded.
Mitsuki! Mitsuki, where are you?! we're all here!
...No answer. Just the cold, lonely sounds of rain and wind bearing down on this old, dilapidated building. This may have been a fairly large school, but sound traveled well in here. If she were anywhere in this hallway, I'm sure she would have heard me. ...And if she were just here only minutes ago, she definitely should have been around now. Could something have happened to her...?
Giving up in our search for now, we head back up to the third floor staircase.
Ahh...! Wh-What...? Is that a...gh...gh...?
We flee from Ryou, back down to the first floor.
And we head into the entranceway.
Wh-What the hell was that? What had just appeared in front of me?!
From the looks of it, you're another victim dragged here against your will, no? Well, I'll tell you now, there's no escape from this school. There is nothing to be gained here but despair. Though if you've got an iron will, you might be able to survive for a little while, at least. Here, you should have this. It'll help keep the wandering spirits at bay...though it only works once. So take it, get out there and fight like hell. Stay alive as long as you possibly can.
The spirit vanished, but lying on the floor below where it had been was a gemstone. Specifically, a violet-colored gemstone. Probably an amethyst.
(So I can use that to keep the wandering spirits at bay one time, huh? I guess he meant the full-body ones, or it would've kept him at bay too...)
Either way, with this gem, I felt like I could actually get back to my friends safely. I was...as hopeful as one could expect, all things considered.
Sound Effect: Item
...Of course, he also said there was no escape from here. But it was my prerogative to believe what I wanted to believe and ignore what I wanted to ignore.
We head back upstairs, and return to Ryou.
It appears to be the ghost of a young boy.
Use the amethyst
I held the amethyst in front of my and approached the spirit.
...And incredibly, it actually worked. Both the ghost and the gem faded and disappeared. The stairwell was now free to be traversed.
Music: End of Chapter 2
*pant* *pant* Emi! Are you okay?! There was...like...a ghost... at the bottom...of the stairs... Where's everyone else? Come on, we have to get Katayama situated and get out of here!
Emi's face was absolutely wrecked with tears, and she was shaking her head violently. She wanted to tell me something, but the words just weren't coming.
I had a really bad feeling about this. I ran past her to the bathrooms. To where Katayama was being lifted onto Yuuya's shoulders when I left.
Katayama was back on the floor, right where we'd set him down when this whole ordeal began. Why wasn't he on Yuuya's shoulders? What was going on? (I had an inkling, but I didn't want to believe it, so I pushed it out of my mind...)
We... We need to get Katayama ready to go!
He didn't...make it.
Right after you left...he let out a huge scream... and then he just...went limp...
A person had just died. And not some stranger, but a person I knew. A friend. It was the strangest feeling. I kept looking at him and thinking, is he really dead? Is this really what a person looks like when he dies? Seeing him like that drained every last bit of energy I had in me. I fell to my knees, thoroughly defeated.
For some reason, Emi's expressions never seem to match her dialog. She looks terrified here, rather than upset.
So what are we supposed to do now?
Emi and I couldn't stay near the body. We'd gone down to the second floor, where we picked a corner and just stood there, trying to recompose ourselves. Yuuya elected to stay with Ohkawa on the third floor, I guess to try and break him from his shock and help put some distance between him and Katayama. None of this felt real. Or maybe I just didn't want it to be real. It was a nightmare. It had to be. I'd just sit up in my bed, and it would all be over...
...I'm not waking up. I don't get it.
I'm not waking up! I keep trying to tell myself this is all just a dream...but... *sniffle* *hic*
Emi followed my lead, and put an arm around me for comfort. A friend had just died. He just...died! God, why?!
Sound Effect: Footsteps
...? Emi and I looked at each other. We both heard them. Footsteps coming down the hall. It was too dark to make out who it was, but the gait was decidedly male. The two of us slowly and quietly rose to our feet, hid around the corner and peeked out, both terrified and curious as to whom (or what) we might see.
There, at the end of the hall, the figure finally came into view. It was a tallish man, unsteadily teetering as he slowly strode toward us.
Emi shot forward, intending to run toward him, but I grabbed her arm and held her back without even thinking about it. She turned and looked at me with a puzzled expression.
I can't handle him.
What? Don't tell me he...did something to you...!
*sigh* Thank goodness. At times like these especially, we really need to keep each other in the loop about everything that happens.
She looked back at me again as she said this, staring right into my eyes in an almost disciplinary manner. It was the perfect guilt stare. I couldn't help but succumb to it, feeling bad for not having filled her in about the Shimada incident.
Something was wrong with him. And while I loathed the man, I didn't want to see him suffer. Emi and I were both poised to rush to his aid...when other figures randomly began appearing all around him. Figures of children, blue and ethereal, shimmering with their own light.
Wh-What... What are they?!
We could barely even see Shimada from our vantage point anymore, as his body was obscured almost completely by the backs of these ghost children. He wasn't moving, though, so it didn't seem like they were doing anything to him...but then...he wasn't moving. At all. Which seemed highly suspicious. It occurred to me that maybe we should try to save him.
Was he unconscious? Emi and I looked at one another and nodded. It was a silent signal to move forward and do whatever we could to help.
The children vanished as we approached, revealing a horrific sight. Shimada's stomach had been flayed wide open. He was dead. The knife he'd flaunted earlier was jutting from the wound. It was an almost ceremonial death, like that of a samurai who'd thrown himself on his sword.
What...were those children...?!
How should I know?! And they might still be nearby!
Yuuya, who'd presumably rushed down to see what was wrong, calmly walked over to Shimada's body. He was checking for signs of respiration or pulse. He turned back to face us again a moment later, and his facial expression said it all.
I was beginning to lose it. I just couldn't take any more of this. My friends and acquaintances were dying, one by one. I guess I should say 'had died,' but it...didn't seem like it was over. Not by a long shot.
This is bad. There's...something in here with us. Something that's trying to kill us!
Hell, it was doing more than trying. It had already succeeded twice over. I was scared. I was paranoid. I was shaking, and crying, and screaming inside. I was deathly afraid that something else would show up...and then it did.
It was a little girl in a red dress, standing between us and the third floor staircase. I couldn't make out the expression on her face through her bangs, but I could literally feel the hatred in her eyes as she stared into our souls. Then she turned around and 'slid' up the staircase, into the third floor hallway.
Emi was turned the other way, so she hadn't seen the girl at all. She eventually followed our gazes, but by that time, the girl was gone. She looked confused. That particular apparition looked a lot different from the other ghosts I'd seen...but there was still no doubt in my mind. She was definitely a ghost.
Wh-What do we do about Ohkawa? We have to go get him! W-We have to get out of this school, now! I'll go call him down!
Yuuya! I'll come with!
It could be dangerous. You wait here.
I nodded, and watched his back recede into the darkness as he chased after Emi.