It took me a long while before I can post again... (I'm in Yokocho mode...aka Gamer mode right now and our PC broke down..LOL) So I'll take this chance to say that... I think it will take me a long time (again) to post another fic due to the unavailability of our PC... I'll post my JUN-Da, YaMaki, and the Sayumi-Koharu bday fic once I manage to open our PC....Gomenasai.... As for my Maiden's Curse fic.... I have my back up at my cousin's PC...until chapter 9. So yeah... For now... Enjoy the fic..XD
“You’re right! We didn’t notice it earlier. The door was locked right? Let’s try to find some other way.” Maki’s character leaned on the edge of the window. A door on the first floor was blinking. “I guess we should go downstairs.” The others followed her lead. They encountered another set of zombies guarding the stair case. They fought them with their chosen ancient ninja weapons and put the peculiar snakes on the bags. Miki’s controller vibrated suddenly. She turned around and saw the hooded woman coming towards her. The others were busy fighting in the front. Miki immediately pressed the button and her character removed a snake from the bag. The woman vanished suddenly.
“That was close. I thought I’m done for.” Miki uttered to herself. They continued going down the stairs until they saw the blinking door. Hitomi went towards it and the door opened revealing a vast garden leading to the shrine.
“That shrine looks familiar.” Hitomi said. Maki laughed at her.
“Of course! Almost all shrines were built that way. They were meant to look like a shrine.”
“I know…” Hitomi retorted.
“Somehow I feel like I’ve seen that one before.”
The five explored the garden, with the full moon as their only source of light to guide their way. As they continue their odyssey, the zombies kept popping out of the grass. After minutes of running, fighting, walking up the stairs and killing each zombie that blocked their way, they reached the entrance of the shrine. They saw a large bell on the right side of the main shrine. Miki ran towards the door.
“Minna, I’m going to open it. Be ready.” Miki pulled down a lever and the large door opened. A faint sound was heard as soon as it was opened.
“Did I just hear a hissing sound?” Hitomi asked. The others listened intently on their headset. Indeed, a hissing sound can be heard. “It seems like it’s coming from underground. Let’s check it out.” Maki laughed at what Hitomi said.
“Hmm, getting bold already? Where’s your phobia?”
“Urusai… I’m trying to focus here.” Hitomi made her character walk towards the altar. Incenses were still alight so the smoke it created made the room feel quite eerie. Risa noticed a figure being made by the smoke in the far corner of the room.
“Look! Do you think that character is Eri-Hime?” Risa asked. They haven’t seen any picture of Eri-Hime before.
“Maybe. What’s her role in this game by the way? Is she an enemy or we do need to save her? Or that’s just another zombie girl hiding in the thick mist!” Miki retorted. She got a snake from her sides and threw a snake on the figure. It didn’t vanish but instead, the figure became clearer. The clothing of the woman looked like a Buddhist monk’s garment. They can’t see the face clearly so they decided to approach her but when they did; the figure vanished into thin air.
“What was that?” The group looked at each other and just continued on their search. It seemed that there were many mysteries surrounding the life of this ‘hidden’ princess. Risa went on the place where the figure was standing before. She noticed that the floor was not equally levelled. She pressed the ‘action button’ on her controller to check whether there’s a hidden door again. She was surprised to see another hidden passage under the tile of the floor where the figure was standing.
“Minna! There’s another hidden door!” The others immediately followed her. Hitomi got another torch and lead the way downwards.
“EHHH!!!!” Rika covered Hitomi’s mouth before someone will hear them. Inside the hidden passage was a large door intended to hide something. Hitomi opened it and saw a bunch of snakes similar to the one serving as a lock on the journal.
“Guys, I feel like something bad is about to happen right now.” Maki said suddenly. The others stopped moving their characters and looked at Maki’s distraught face. “I guess we need to save this game and call it a day.”
“Why, are you the one being scared now?” Hitomi jeered. Maki looked at her seriously. Hitomi stopped and did what Maki told them.
“Have you forgotten that Maki somewhat developed her psychic ability because of reading those books? If she said, something’s going to happen, something will definitely happen.” Miki said after saving her game. She was now, logging out her computer. The others followed her lead. They checked if everything’s in order before they locked the door again. As soon as they turned around to go towards the stairs they saw a beam of the flashlight going up the stairs.
“Shit! We’ll be caught!” Risa whispered. Maki signalled them to follow her lead. They went towards the opposite direction and ran as silently as they could. Maki thought of using the fire exit to find their way out.
“Faster!!!” Risa whispered impatiently. Maki turned the knob, opened the door and went out. They had to walk lightly so as not to produce any sound from the metal flooring.
“I told you something bad was going to happen. If we stayed any longer, we’ll be caught.” Maki proudly said. They arrived at the 2nd floor. An extending stair was needed for them to get down on the ground floor. Maki checked whether the coast was clear before putting down the stair. She went down first and jumped as soon as she reached the last step. She was followed by Miki, Risa, Rika and Hitomi consecutively.
They ran outside the school premises as soon as all of them reached the ground. Hitomi noticed that Rika was silent ever since they started to play the game.
“Hey, are you alright?” Hitomi asked, full of concern for her new friend. Rika just looked at her with puzzled eyes. “Why what happened?” The rest turned around to face the two.
“Can you guys, go with me to my house for a moment? I forgot to bring something important.”
“Don’t worry. My family are on their vacation right now. They went to Hokkaido for three days.” Rika said to the four as they entered their white bungalow house. She signalled for them to sit on the couch while she went to her room to get something.
“I’m thirsty…” Miki whispered. She stood up and went to Rika’s kitchen. Maki saw what she’s going to do and immediately ran after her.
“What do you think are you doing? We’re not inside our house!” Maki scolded. Miki just smiled at her and screamed.
“Rika! I’m thirsty! Can I get a drink?” Maki shook her head and sat beside Hitomi who’s smiling evilly at her.
“Sure! Just open the refrigerator and drink whatever you want!” Rika shouted back. Miki looked at her sister and smiled triumphantly. She opened the ref and took a can of soda. She went back to her seat and opened the can. She drank some of the contents and gave a sigh of relief. Miki looked at her sister, somewhat mocking her before noticing that her nose has some droplets of soda. She wiped it away with the tip of her tongue.
“Gross… Don’t ever do that again.” Maki scolded as Hitomi laughed at the two. Risa was shocked at the new found talent of her ‘rival’.
“Sugoi…. How did you do that?”
“Himitsu.” Miki replied and did it again while facing Risa. Miki stopped it but Rika already saw what she can do.
“Wow! That’s a weird talent.” Rika put down a brown envelope on top of the table. The others look at her curiously. Rika removed the seal, opened the envelope and took out some pictures coming from the police station.
“I told you that I have a hacker friend. I asked him to hack our local police department for they have the information and data base of pictures in the crime scene.” Rika showed them the first picture which is Reina.
“Tanaka, Reina. 15 1/2 years old. She died from a broken neck and loss of blood.” Rika showed them the next picture. “Takahashi, Ai. 16 years old. Died from broken bones due to the distortion of her body and also from the loss of blood. Michishige, Sayumi. 16 years old. Died from the loss of blood due to the open wound made by a ‘Ninja-To’, a sword shorter than a katana, from the throat towards her chest. The victim died immediately and last one; Konno, Asami. 16 years old. Died from the loss of blood due to the hit from a ‘Kusari-Gama’ on her throat. And all of them has a snake bite on their left arms and has a scratched, bloody face.”
The rest took the pictures and examined it thoroughly. Hitomi looked at Rika seriously. She now understood why Rika was silent during the game. She saw that the way they died in the game was similar to the way that they died in real life.
“This is crazy.” Miki uttered in disbelief. “This is just coincidence right?” The others looked at her weirdly.
“This can’t be a coincidence. The probability that it was planned is too high. Maybe principal Iida was right. Maybe there’s someone who kills anyone who died in this game and then… that person was arranging the bodies in the position when they died in the game. We can’t leave out that possibility.” Maki explained. Miki shook her head and readied for a rebuttal.
“How did that person knew the way they died? And why would he do that? It can’t be the producers because if the authorities will find out that their game is involved, they might not see this game introduced in the public.”
“We’re connected on-line so they might have some kind of an access to check the progress of their clients. And if this game will cause a commotion during its testing period, the people will be more curious to try and play it right? So I guess, the one who’s killing the gamers is one of the makers of this game.” Maki assumed. Risa was just listening intently on the two and was formulating her own theory.
“It’s creepy right? I can’t speak when I saw the way they died in the game. Before I went to your school, my friend already delivered this to me and looked for the similarities earlier. And they were REALLY alike. Every detail was accounted for.” Rika explained. She got the pictures again and placed it back inside the envelop.
“Maybe a psychopath was arranging them to replicate the way they died in the game.” Risa uttered. The others looked at her weirdly. “What?! Is it bad to say out loud what I’m thinking?” The others decided to disregard what she said.
“So, what are we going to do?” Miki asked. She took another sip from her soda and crushed the can after finishing up the drink.
“I guess, let’s do what we planned for earlier. Let’s do a research about this game.”
“You need to help me do the research.”
“Researching is fine but why do I need to read your books? I won’t understand its language!” Miki and Maki were walking down the street towards their house. After what Rika showed them, Maki decided to look for clues about the story of Eri-Hime on her books. Since Miki was her sister and was technically living in their house, she commanded her to help find some answers on her ‘witchcraft’ books.
“Just ask me about the words that you don’t understand. Time’s running out. We might be the next victims.” Maki explained. They arrived at their house 15 minutes before 11 in the evening. They tried to walk as quietly as possible so as not to disturb their sleeping parents. Maki went directly in her room and signalled her sister to follow her. Miki reluctantly obeyed her older sister and sat on the bed. She gazed at the big, black-colored book beside her. She flipped it open and saw different symbols and signs with incantations below it.
“I can’t believe I’m reading this crap.” Miki commented. Maki threw her another book, and this time; it’s smaller in size. The brown cover paralleled the yellowish color of each page due to its old age. Some of its pages were torn out while others were really hard to read because some of the letters or words were missing. Miki gave her sister a penetrating look.
“Are you mocking me? You know that I have some problems with my eyes and you….” Miki prolonged it for a moment. She threw back the book to her sister. “gave me a harder book to read!”
“Ow, come on…” Maki went to sit beside her sister. She placed the book on Miki’s lap and gave her a serious look. “If you’re going to ruin your eyes, it’s better if you use it to read this one than to play games until the wee hours of the morning. Be useful even just for a day, would you?” Maki patted her sister’s head and went back to her ‘mini library’. Miki lay down on the bed and read the small book.
“It’s really creepy…” Hitomi uttered while still looking at the pictures which Rika printed. Risa took a sip at her glass of juice which Rika served a while ago.
“You know guys; my mom gave me an article before. You know how I spend hours playing games in the computer right? The article was about ‘Perceptive Reality’.”
“What was that? Perspective reality?” Rika was in front of her computer while the two were sitting on her bed. She looked back at Risa to hear what she said, clearly.
“Its PERCEPTIVE reality, not PERSPECTIVE reality.” Risa stressed out the two confusing words.
“Ahhhh. I got it now… So what about it then?”
“I’ve read that when a gamer plays for too long, he or she will have some kind of a hallucination or something like that.”
“Ehh? Hallucination? Is it somewhat like the hallucination experienced by a drug addict?” Hitomi asked. Her left hand was supporting her right elbow while her right hand was rubbing her chin. Rika giggled softly at the comparison that Hitomi made.
“I don’t know! Am I a drug addict for me to know that one?!” Risa replied crossly. Rika couldn’t control her giggle anymore and laugh out loud.
“You’re a game ADDICT, that’s for sure!” Risa got a hold of a pillow beside her and threw it at Rika. Rika caught it before it landed straight on her face.
“Anyway, where was I?”
“Sitting on Rika’s bed.” Hitomi uttered. Rika heard it and started laughing hard again. Risa got another pillow and hit Hitomi over and over again. “Hey! Stop that!!! I’m your sempai!!!” Hitomi screamed.
“I don’t care! The two of you are clearly making fun of me!!! I’m serious about this article!” Risa yelled. Hitomi stood up and went beside Rika.
“Ok, we’re going to listen now. Promise!” Rika and Hitomi raised their right hand, as if taking an oath. Risa put down her pillow while Hitomi took out a chair from Rika’s study table and sat beside Rika. She didn’t want to sit beside Risa, again.
“As I was trying to tell you EARLIER, it’s about perceptive reality. The longer hours you take playing games, the more you will think that the game world’s a reality. In short, if you’re playing a horror game, you will think that you’re seeing or feeling something that’s related to the game that you’ve played.”
“Kindly elaborate it. I’m a slow learner.” Rika joked. Hitomi knew that she’s one of the top students in her class but what Risa just said, didn’t make sense at all.
“Ok, for example, you played Silent Hill for five straight hours. And then you went to your bathroom to wash your face before you sleep. Your mind will start playing games on you and you will feel like you’re being watched or you will ‘see’ something behind you… And the like.” Risa ended. The two were left agape for a minute.
“So, what is its relation to the killings?” Risa looked at her sempai and shook her head.
“I just remembered that because of our topic earlier at the restaurant… About the ‘sightings’ that we saw. And about the killings…” Risa paused and looked at the two. “It’s either cursed or a twisted psychotic game developer did this to lessen the top-notch gamers in Japan. So the best thing that we can do for now, is to help those two to do a research about this game.”
“I know. That’s why I opened my computer. I’ll look for its game developer. Do you have the cd?” Risa shook her head.
“Wait, I have it.” Hitomi stood up and went to her knapsack beside the door. She rummaged through her bag and dug up a black CD-case. She quickly handed it to Rika.
“Nakako Games Incorporated? I’ve never heard that game developer before. Have you?” Rika asked the two as she typed the name.
“Nuh uh. Never heard that one. Maybe it’s an underground type of company.”
“Or maybe it’s a new company. It was sent to Konno to pilot test it right?” Hitomi explained. Risa stood up and went beside them to look at the results of their search.
“Nothing?! Zero results? I told you I’m right! It’s an illegal underground company.” Risa pointed at the results on the monitor. Rika typed another search engine on the web browser. She typed the same name and pressed enter. The results were all the same.
“So? Did you find anything?” Maki asked the moment she saw her best friend the next morning.
“Nothing.” Hitomi replied.
“As in?! Then why did the two of you stay in Rika’s house? I thought that you’ll help us do some research?”
“I’m not finished with my sentence… What I really wanted to say is that, we found NOTHING about the game developer. We’ve tried different search engines that we know… Even game forums but we still cannot find any details about the ‘Nakako Games Incorporated.” Hitomi explained. Miki took out her notebook and scanned something. When she found the right page, she showed it to Hitomi.
“I saw this in one of sis’ books.” Hitomi took it and read it. “Can you believe that I’m reading her books now?” Miki whispered in Hitomi’s ears. Hitomi smiled and continued to read what was scribbled in there.
“I’ve told you that we already heard about that Eri-Hime when we were kids. Our grandma kept telling us to go back to our house before the sundown because; Eri-Hime will drink our blood for her ritual. It’s written in there that there’s a girl sometime around the 16th century who was accused of killing girls and drinking their blood.” Hitomi looked up at Maki with a strange look.
“So, are you telling me that Eri-Hime in the 16th century was the same Eri-Hime in the game?”