Part 95: Kid - Entrance to Final Route - Part 8TrackKarussell Delphine
I didn't say or do anything.
No, it would be better to say that I couldn't say or do anything.
Sora's face was one big smile. But somewhere in her smile seemed a hint of sadness. At least...it appeared that way to me.
Since the game automatically makes either the Kid or Takeshi test out what Sora says in each of their routes, it seems like choosing the opposite of what happened earlier would be the right choice. Unfortunately, choosing Dont do anything bumps you off of Cocos route.
This exact choice also pops up on Takeshis entrance to Cocos route, with the exact same results for each choice. Perhaps the following dialogue holds a clue?
I decided to test it and covered my eyes with one hand. Instantly, Sora vanished. If Sora did exist, I should have been able to see her head above my hand and her feet below.
But Sora wasn't there. My hand kept the laser from reaching my eye, so I couldn't see Sora. Something about it made her seem fragile and temporary. It scared me.
I quickly put down my hand. Her beautiful image appeared without a sound. She smiled gently.
There was no real meaning in my question. Maybe it was just that I wanted to see whether or not she would answer me. Given her fragile existence, there seemed to be a danger that she might slip away at any moment...I was uneasy about it, and at the same time felt a sort of awe about the mystery of it. I felt drawn to her.
"Is there anything else? Please don't stare at me like that."
Sora was blushing.
"Oh...no. Nothing else."
Sora pinched her lips closed, as if she were slightly embarrassed.
"By the way, Kid..."
"Kid...have you ever seen the moon?"
The question came out of nowhere. My mind switched tracks and starting looking for an appropriate answer.
"Uh...the moon, huh...? I don't suppose this is a question I should have to think about, but...But having lost my memory and all...I can't say for sure that I've seen it. But...I know what the moon is...and I'm pretty sure that I have seen it."
"I see. Well, now let's say that you have seen a full moon. And let's say that you closed your eyes. Do you think that moon would still be there?"
"Ha, ha. That's easy. Of course it would."
"And how about if everyone in the world closed their eyes all at the same time?"
"I don't know what you are getting at, but...Even if everyone in the world closed their eyes, the moon wouldn't disappear."
"How can you be sure?"
"Just open your eyes and you can tell, right?"
"That goes against the purpose of this exercise."
"My question was whether there is any way of measuring whether or not the moon exists, if someone closes their eyes."
"When you close your eyes, do you think this world still exists?"
"What if I told you that not only myself, but all of LeMU was nothing but an RSD-generated illusion.....what would you do then?"
"Can you prove that the walls, the ceiling and all of the scenery that you are witnessing actually exist?"
(Is everything I'm looking at...is it RSD...???)
I panicked, glancing around at my surroundings.
"Ha, ha, I'm sorry, I was only joking."
"That was a joke?"
"Yes, LeMU really does exist. You sounded so full of confidence when you answered...I thought I would tease you just a bit."
Sora giggled, covering her mouth.
"However, I can say this...For humans to know the world around them they must use one of their five senses. If they lose all of these, they lose the ability to tell whether this world exists, or not. Another way of putting it might be to say that the perspective is in the eye of the beholder. In this instance, I don't mean just sight, but hearing, smell, taste, touch - all of the senses."
"The point at which we perceive the world - that is perspective. And I..."
"I...I am the same as the moon. Do you understand?"
I felt like I had been able to get the gist of what she meant. Still...I didn't know exactly what she meant by...'I am the same as the moon.' I mustered an image of a silvery blue moon, its light piercing through the dark night.
(I see...that's what she means.)
The answer came to me surprisingly quickly. The moon didn't bark like a dog, it didn't smell, and it didn't taste tart like an apple - at least not as far as I knew. The only way to be sure of the existence of the moon was through its small gravitational pull and its blue-white light.
Thinking of it in that way, the mysterious charm of the moon and its transience were things that Sora shared. I believed the moon was there, so it was there...I believed that Sora was there, and she was there...Maybe that was what Sora wanted to say.
"Yeah. I understand."
That was what I answered. Sora's eyes lit up and her cheeks wrinkled into a big smile. And, it may have been my imagination, but from somewhere I thought I smelled the tart scent of an apple.
This is it for the Coco path relevant content. Next bit of new content from Kick-the-Can begins at the s. Otherwise, if you want to skip Kick-the-Can altogether, be sure to check the note at the end of the update.
In the ocean it was only slightly darker than before. Fortunately, the damage to LeMU hadn't worsened. I had a light dinner, eating the chicken sandwich that Takeshi had made. Incidentally, we had gotten rid of that frozen tuna because nobody knew how to cut it up. After eating, there was really nothing to do.
Takeshi's yawn was contagious.
"Well.... There's really nothing to do either."
Everyone was slouched in chairs, just spacing out. There was no impending danger. No new developments. Our situation was unchanged and it felt like time had stopped.
"Takeshi, you're such a slob..."
You said, but she sounded tired.
"And stop dawdling..."
"Look, there's no reason to go wandering around the complex now, right? We're just...going have to wait for help to come anyway, right?"
"Alright...I'm off for a little bit..."
Rubbing her neck and trying to relax her stiff shoulders, You stood up.
"What? Are you going somewhere?"
"Yeah. Nowhere in particular. Just a walk..."
"I've got to move around or I'll get tired..."
"Hey! I've got a great idea."
Sara raised her hand and stood.
"Ladies and gentleman, we shall partake in a game to give us some exercise."
"Alright, but what kind of game?"
"That might be a bit..."
"Well, how about normal tag?"
Sora seemed up for the idea.
"I suppose that would be okay."
"Alright. Everybody, let's play."
"Hey, hey. You expect me to play some kid's game...?"
"What about you, Kid? In or out?"
"What? Me too?"
"We've been talking about everyone participating. So you're playing, too."
"I'm not going to play."
"I'm out, too."
"I meant that everyone apart from Tsugumi is playing, anyways."
"I said, I'm out."
"Hmmmm.... Alright. I'm in."
I was pretty much sick of the boredom.
"Alright. It's settled!"
"But don't you think normal tag will be boring?"
"How about kick the can?"
"Sora, you sure have good grasp of simple games like this..."
"Not that...something a little out of the ordinary."
We all thought. And then...
Tsugumi stood up from her chair sluggishly. She walked briskly toward the corner of the room...
"Wh-what are you thinking? It's dark."
"How about that? Satisfied?"
"I'm fed up.... Even I am about to go crazy."
Tsugumi shot us a nasty look and left the room.
"What...was that about?"
"Maybe we were talking too much for her."
"But, still, why turn out the lights?"
"What does she mean 'even' her? She's the one that's lost it. But she'll be back after a while."
"Hey, Kid. Would you mind getting the light?"
I went to go switch on the lights...
"What is it?"
"Since the lights are off, why don't we try the game with them off?"
"We'll play tag...no...kick the can in the dark!"
Sara took one of the empty cans from the table.
"We'll call it 'Yamioni.'"
"That sounds cool. Let's go with that!"
"It's a bit more exciting than normal tag."
"Of course, Takeshi's good with it, right?"
We decided who was 'it' using rock, paper, scissors.
"Damn. I lost!"
...Takeshi was out on the first try.
"Alright. So Takeshi is 'it' first."
"Then it's settled."
Everybody was grinning at Takeshi. Takeshi looked about as sorry as it was possible for him to look.
"Here you go, Takeshi."
I handed the empty can to Takeshi.
"But...hiding anywhere is okay, as long as it's on this third floor. Okay, let's hide."
"W-wait a sec!"
Takeshi held up a hand hurriedly stopping You from sending everyone off.
"You, what did you just say?"
"No. Before that."
"You can hide anywhere on this third floor."
"...Are you serious? Not just the Conference Room?"
"This room is too small. And there aren't that many places to hide."
"But the WHOLE third floor?"
"Oh, of course, the areas you can't walk from here are off limits. And the emergency corridors and stairs are no good either."
"That's still too big!"
"It's not fair to the person that's 'it'. While he's looking, he's sure to get it from somebody else..."
"I think it's fine."
"It's not fine. The game won't work. That's a MAJOR problem."
"Gosh. You sure complain a lot."
"Well, he would certainly appear to be at a disadvantage..."
"I will dim the lights on the third floor...but in return I will make it so that sounds carry better. If sounds carry, then you can hear when someone moves across a corridor with water. That will give the person who is 'it' an advantage. And I will make it so that you know where people are moving. I will synthesize footsteps and dispatch the data to voice converters."
"Alright. That sounds better."
"Oh, but...what should I do if I should get to the can first?"
"That's right. You can't kick the can!"
We'd only just noticed. If we played tag, we just would have had to ban Sora from jumping about as an image...
"Then I'll team up with you. We'll make it so that Sora and I have to be within a yard of each other when we hide or when we are 'it'. So I can kick the can..."
"Okay? Let's try it this way."
On top of that we made Sora promise not to use the bio scan or LeMU to monitor the location of anyone.
"Yeah, that makes it fair then."
"Alright. All set."
It looked like everyone was ready.
"So I'll count. O-n-e, t-w-o, t-h-r-e-e..."
As Takeshi started counting, we dashed out of the Conference Room.
Splash, splash, splash...
The sound of our stepping through water sounded deeper than before.
(I get it...so this is what she meant by making the sound bigger...)
I thought that we would have to pay attention to which sounds were our own and which others. And we'd have to determine which footsteps belonged to the person that was it. But for the person that was it, it was easier because everyone else was the enemy. That pretty much negated any advantage we might have had. At least that was what I thought.
You, who had been running at the front of the pack, stopped us.
"If you don't hide, he'll find you."
"Don't worry about that. Just listen."
"It appears that you have some kind of strategy."
"Yes. Exactly right."
"If we continue like this, then we'll just get all separated and hide... But that increases the chance that we'll lose."
"But that's the way the game works, isn't it?"
"You're SO naive. In games a man is supposed to WANT to win."
'But aren't you supposed to be a girl, You?'
I stopped myself from saying that in the nick of time.
"But there is no way to guarantee a win, right?"
"Mayo...is that what you really think?"
You said this as she played with Sara's braids.
"Well, hurry up and tell us already."
"If you'll think about what we have...and what Takeshi doesn't, then you'll get it in a flash."
"What we have...?"
"What Takeshi doesn't...?"
"Numbers. We are many. Takeshi is one."
"YES! That's it."
Hopefully the smart/dumb questions are removed from the updated Xbox 360 version, but until then well have to deal with them. The one here was I get it./I dont get it.
"Oh, I get it...we'll try to win by sheer numbers."
"Yup. If we all mob together then there is nothing the person that's it can do."
"So if somebody gets found, somebody else just kicks the can. And if that person gets caught, then somebody else kicks the can..."
"That's right. So if we all get there at once and unleash an attack, Takeshi won't be able to defend, right?"
"Oh, I get it."
"So...after we all split up we'll aim for the can and charge the Conference Room. After kicking the can, we'll separate again immediately."
"By repeating this hit-and-run we'll win."
"But isn't that kind of cheating?"
"Not at all. Attacking with overwhelming numbers is a basic military strategy."
"So it's kind of like violence by the masses?"
"Or a democratic strategy."
"In a democracy...the majority rules... In other words...those with less numbers are weak."
But our footsteps were sure loud. Still, if we didn't hurry, Takeshi would find us. I just hoped that someone would get there and kick the can before he found me.
"Who is that?"
Suddenly, Takeshi's voice rang out behind me. I was so concerned with the sound of my own footsteps that I didn't hear him approach. At this distance...there was no way I could get away. I gave up.
"Oh, no. You caught me... Am I the first one?"
"Dang. That means if you catch everyone, then I'm 'it' next?"
"I reckon so."
"I wonder if someone will show up to help me."
"Takeshi, if you don't go step on the can, then I'll go kick it."
"You sure know your kick-the-can rules."
Suddenly You came flying from the side and completely sideswiped Takeshi with a jumping cross-chop to the neck.
Takeshi's head had gone under water.
You was pointing at the submerged Takeshi and cackling crazily.
Takeshi, floundering in the water, stood up.
"Hee, hee...I won this battle!"
"Hey you! Wait!"
"Wait for you to catch me? No thanks!"
"Hey you! I'll get you back for that! Just you wait!"
Takeshi took off in a mad dash after You.
"...Well...I guess I'd better go kick the can."
I strolled leisurely to the Conference Room.
"I found the Kid! I stomped on the can!"
Takeshi pointed at me declaring this. He was stepping on the can. You was near him and looked depressed. It looked like she had lost.
"Ha, ha, ha! Did you really think you could outwit me?"
"Takeshi you cheat! You changed the place of the can!"
"Nobody said where we had to put the can, right? Besides, you smacked me so I figure we're even."
"Alright, alright. Whatever. Anyway, so I'm the first person you caught?"
"You got it."
"Well, that plan was sure a failure..."
"...Huh? What plan?"
As they were talking, the sound of splashing footsteps could be heard approaching the door...
"I found Sora and Sara."
Takeshi stepped on the can.
"Oh, did you get beaten here, You?"
"Things didn't quite work out as planned."
"Nakkyu, don't you think you jumped the gun just a little bit?"
"You said we would all charge together."
"So that was your plan..."
"Yeah. I thought if we all went for the can at once, you wouldn't be able to stop us."
"That's pretty tricky."
You laughed mischievously and with a hint of embarrassment. We gathered in the center of the room.
"Well, finding all of you was easier than I thought..."
"First of all, mob-style kicking of the can is definitely outlawed."
"You think I can stop you if you all come attack at once?"
"That's why. It takes all the fun out of it. Timing your rush, just right, for when the person who is 'it' goes searching...all of that would disappear from the game."
You reluctantly agreed to be 'it' the next time.
"Alright. Everybody good with that?"
Sora, Sara, I - everyone nodded.
"Okay then. You is 'it' next. The can is over there, so you get it. Put it where you want and count..."
Clatter, clatter, clatter...
The sound of a can being kicked rang out in the darkness.
"Hey! Who kicked that?"
"It wasn't me!"
As soon as she got this out of her mouth, You started to run away.
We all scattered like scared butterflies.
You said this as she ran.
"That was a close call."
"But who kicked the can?"
All four of us had been found by Takeshi. The rules were that anyone caught couldn't kick the can.
"It wasn't me or Nakkyu. And Sora can't kick."
"I didn't kick it."
"You don't suppose it was Tsugumi, do you?"
"Tsugumi? No way."
"But that's the only possibility."
"I wonder if Tsugumi wanted to play the whole time."
"She was probably just embarrassed to say so."
That could have put a new, almost adorable twist on her personality.
"Oh, ho! We'll have to thank her when we see her."
Sara laughed happily as she said this.
You proposed this as we reached a T in the corridor.
"Yeah, let's split up. Good luck!"
"Okay. We will meet up later."
You went left and Sara and Sora went to the right. Uh...I...
"Kid, you decided to come this way?"
"Yeah...but where do you plan to hide?"
"If you are going to stay with us, you have to help us think of something!"
I ran with the two of them.
"I know! I've got a great idea!"
Saying that, Sara stopped suddenly.
"What is it?"
"It's times like this that call for Ninja skills!"
"Sora. When Takeshi comes through, use RSD to show him an empty corridor. This is known as the Elite Art of Ninja Camouflage."
"Huh? But that would be..."
"Isn't that against the rules?"
"Don't be a spoilsport. We banned instant travel and bio scans, but NOT using LeMMIH. Right?"
"In the lexicon of the Ninja, we call it a 'secret technique.'"
"No. I'm not having any of it."
"I'm sorry, but I'm afraid that I can't agree either."
"Then...how about the 'Elite Ninja Doppelganger technique?'"
"We can use RSD to make it appear that there are lots of us to confuse Takeshi."
"That's the same thing!"
"Uh, why don't we just say no Ninja techniques using LeMMIH?"
"It's probably You."
We peered through the darkness in the direction of the sound. We made out the silhouette of a person. That build could only be...
"No. It's Takeshi!"
"Hurry! We've gotta hide!"
We dashed down the corridor.
"Oh, no! That way is no good..."
"A...a dead end?"
"That's what I was saying..."
There was no room nearby that we could escape into. We should have hidden in a room somewhere. Takeshi was heading toward us for sure. At this rate we would be caught for sure!
"Oh! What're we gonna do?"
"It looks like we have no choice but to give up."
Sara was flustered, Sora resigned to fate. On the other hand, I...
At this distance, I decided that it would be better to make a dash for the nearest room.
"Let's go! I think we'll make it."
We found an entrance and dove into a room.
"Hey, if it ain't the Kid!"
(Whoa! What happened?)
I couldn't believe it...he'd cut us off.
"It's no good! Go back!"
"Huh? What do you mean?"
There was Takeshi.
"He caught us!"
"Geez, that took a long time..."
"Oh! It's all because the Kid said we should go back!"
I didn't know what else to do.
"Alright! Now I just need to get Tsugumi."
Takeshi stepped on the can, looking satisfied.
"Still, it's kinda weird..."
"Weird? What is?"
"The can when it was kicked before...it was still in the same place."
"Huh? I don't know what you are trying to say."
"I mean that the can should have been kicked, but it was still standing up!"
Takeshi said this as he squished the can some more.
"It was like no one had kicked it."
"Isn't it likely that the can was toppled and righted itself? Theoretically it is quite possible."
"In the same place I put it?"
"But shouldn't you go looking for Tsugumi?"
"Yeah. If you're gonna be a sore loser, you should at least go do that."
"I'm not the loser here - you guys are!"
"Whatever. You're right. It's exactly as you say..."
"We got it already. Now get out of here and search."
You and Sara waved Takeshi away.
"Geez. You are so full of yourself.... It doesn't even feel like I won..."
Takeshi left the room grumbling. Soon after that -
Clatter, clatter, clatter...
The sound of a can being kicked rang out in the darkness.
"Wh-what was that?"
"I have no idea, but..."
"Now is our chance!"
"Do...do you think we should...?"
"I wonder...if it's okay?"
In the confusion we made our third escape.
We heard Takeshi shouting soon after. Of course, neither I, You, Sara nor Sora...none of us had kicked the can.
'Oh, that had to be Tsugumi again. She probably sneaked into the room without anybody noticing.'
That was what we thought.
Ultimately, Takeshi soon caught us again. He howled that we had cheated and started out to find us right away, so we didn't get far. Takeshi checked to make sure everyone was there and stepped on the can (even once for Tsugumi.) The next time nobody kicked the can....
"Alright. So I count to one hundred, right?"
"Alright, here I go... O-n-e, t-w-o, t-h-r-e-e..."
They left the Conference Room fleeing around the floor.
I set the empty can by my feet. It was as far from the entrance as I could get it. Scanning the dark area around me, I didn't see anyone.
(Well, I guess I'll go looking...)
There was no sign of anyone. Just in case, I also checked in the elevator that Sara had been trapped in the day before. The elevator door was still open. Of course, there was no one inside.
This place was a waste of time. I decided to go elsewhere.
There was no sign of anyone there. Just in case, I peeked inside. Of course, there was no one there.
This place was a waste of time. I decided to go elsewhere.
There was no sign of anyone there. The can stood silently where I had left it. Just in case, I looked in the corners of the room. Of course, no one was there.
This place was a waste of time. I decided to go elsewhere.
Since we dont find anybody in those locations, were forced to look in previous areas. This is the end of new content in this update, but check at the end for a little note.
This attraction was designed with the motif of a lost continent believed to have sunk to the ocean floor ages ago. Standing there in the darkness in that eerie setting, it almost made me imagine that I had sunk to the bottom of the ocean. No, that was only half true.
Huh? It sounded like a footstep.
(Is someone there...?)
I wondered if it were my imagination. It wasn't. In the darkness...in the building in front of me was the dim outline of a person. But in that light and at that distance, I couldn't be sure who it was. It was like the person was holding their breath waiting for me not to notice. But he or she looked like she was ready to dash off in an instant. I thought that if I bumbled closer, the person would run away. I'd have to figure out who it was from afar... Uh...it had to be...
"You...I found you!"
As if it had given up, the silhouette started toward me.
"How did you know it was me?"
It looked like my hunch had paid off.
At first it looked like there was no one there either...But... Then I noticed something. One of the stone pillars silhouettes in the open area was an odd shape. No, it was the top of the pillar that had something strange about it. I edged closer.
There was definitely something there. From where I was, I couldn't tell exactly what that 'something' was, but it was definitely a person. Maybe they thought they were acting like a koala. What did they intend to do if they fell?
(I mean, can you really call that hiding?)
I called out to that clinging 'something.'
"Uh, isn't that tiring? It sure looks dangerous."
"But you sure have got a lot of guts. You're tougher than I thought, Takeshi."
"Arrrggh...! How'd you know it was me?"
Takeshi slid down the column.
(The only person stupid enough to hide there was Takeshi.)
I didn't think there was anywhere there for anyone to hide...
The room was set up with the center surrounded by a giant monitor and console. There was Tsugumi. She sat sloughing in her chair staring blankly at the monitor.
"Tsugumi, I caught you!"
At my declaration, Tsugumi looked at me like I was a fly in her soup.
She glared at me.
"I'm not playing."
"Come on. You already kicked the can twice."
Takeshi might have fallen for it, but not me.
I walked around Dritte stock looking for the two of them.
I heard footsteps in the direction of the Conference Room. I was sure it was Sara.
(Gosh, I hope she isn't planning to kick the can!?)
I made a mad dash for the Conference Room. At the entrance to the room - the two of them were just at the door - - Sara and Sora. I sprinted into the room on their heels.
Pata, pata, pata...
But Sara just ignored me and kept running. Her eyes were on the can. It was as if she knew where the can was.
(D-damn! I thought I changed the location of the can.)
I also ran toward the can.
Pata, pata, pata...
Would she kick the can first? Or would I step on it first?
The next thing that I noticed, I was on top of Sara. Sara's eyes were open, staring at me. I barely managed to support my body with my arms so that I didn't come into contact with her, but... Her face was closer to me than I had ever imagined.
I felt like I might be sucked into her eyes and was captivated by her cute nose, slightly opened lips and glimpse of her tongue...
I felt her breath on my face. She had been running until that time and I felt the heat rising from her skin. It smelled of sweat. The smell of our sweat mixed together. I felt the warmth of her body against me. It was hard to breathe...my mind started to go blank. My whole body stiffened and I couldn't move. It was as if our bodies were paralyzed as we lay there staring at each other.
(Oh...oh...danger! She's mad...)
This was not what I should have been worrying about. The can...? Where was the can? I turned by neck searching for the can.
There it was!
"Sara and Sora! I gotcha!"
And I stepped on the can triumphantly.
"That was twice as fast as Takeshi."
"When I was 'it' everybody was cheating."
"Wow. I can't believe you guessed everybody right in the dark. It's pretty amazing."
Everyone crowded around me and started making a fuss.
"Nakkyu...what are you talking about?"
"Oh, Mayo, you don't know? This kid..."
As You placed her hand on my head, she explained about how I had caught her and Takeshi.
"Hey, Tsugumi! Give it up. Why don't you just come out and admit you were playing too?"
At some point Tsugumi had returned to the Conference Room. Tsugumi sat in a chair pretending to be asleep and ignored Takeshi. I felt someone watching me and turned around.
Sara was looking at me strangely. I thought she might be angry again...
(It was just an accident...)
I avoided her look uncomfortably.
In the end, it remained a mystery who kicked the can those times... We passed the rest of the night uneventfully... It was a peaceful time... And I decided to enjoy a satisfying rest.
Next time: It begins.