─ 2 ─
Unfortunately, the lights in the hallway went out.
I don’t remember doing anything in particular to make it so, so it must have been made to turn off naturally when the time comes.
Taking the current situation into account, it feels like it’s too much of a coincidence to be natural, but for now it’s best to brush those questions aside for later.
I chanted a basic lighting spell, creating a minimal amount of light.
As it’s a type of magic that anyone can use, this light magic can really only amount to lighting up a fingernail, but it’s already made a lot of difference.
“Ringo, don’t let your guard down.”
While calling out in that way, we continue down the hallway.
The bath incident had only just happened. It’s not that it’s about carelessness, I’m just too aware that this was the world of Nekomimineko.
The bath death-trap is probably some kind of unintentional bug, but bugs aren’t the only things that annoy Nekomimineko’s playerbase. Since the staff of Nekomimineko are a bunch of trolls, the number of events made to piss off players are many.
Since they’re often planted in very bad places, you could treat it like a secondary enemy in Nekomimineko.
In my opinion, if I were to list the things in Nekomimineko in the order of what to be the most cautious about, the first place would be the bugs, the second place would be the staff pranks, the third place would be the NPCs, and the fourth place would be monsters.
I could say that it was my fault that I didn’t avoid the landmines of the TV and the phone, knowing that the creators of Nekomimineko had a mean streak in them. I mistakenly thought that there would be no danger at home.
Nonetheless, no matter how you look at it I don’t think that every room includes such terrible mechanisms.
When I look back on it calmly, it did feel like a room packed with the staple elements of horror. The concept of the previous room was probably a “psychic phenomenon” or to “experience fear”.
In short, I pulled the short end of the stick.
If I do some exploring, I’m sure I’ll find some rooms with concepts that won’t particularly cause real harm.
On the bright side, there seemed to be the fact that if you lock the door, the anomaly inside will go away. So even if you did end up in a dangerous room, you may have been able to avoid the worst if you had the key.
(But man, this is long…)
Or is it that since we are going through the dark, my sense of distance has become out of whack?
Just as I was beginning to feel uneasy like this, I saw the door to the next room illuminated by a pale light.
“Should we go in?”
I said to the back of me, then I slowly turned the doorknob and peeked through the door.
Inside, it was a surprisingly ordinary room.
It’s about the same size as the ghost room, but there’s nothing unusual about the furniture or the walls, and it didn’t seem dangerous from the outside.
Compared to the other rooms, there wasn’t that much furniture, but I felt that this was enough to sleep in.
(I guess the concept is “Simple”. Nah, I mean, I don’t think there was a room like this the first time I went around…)
Nevertheless, the room was not locked, and the electricity was on.
I’m sure this is a room I’ve explored once. It just may have been too boring to leave a lasting impression.
(Hmm. Let’s just settle down here, shall we?)
Why I didn’t remember this room is a concern, but i’d rather talk about whether or not I’ll find a problem after I look into it.
“First, let’s make sure that this room is actually safe.”
I don’t want to be attacked in my sleep like I was before. I searched the room with vigilance, but found nothing suspicious in particular. If I was forced to say, I felt that there are too many fixtures that kept the furniture in place.
“…Well, there’s no point in thinking too much about it. Let’s just rest here for a bit, while being on guard so that we can move quickly if something happens.”
When I said that, Ringo nodded and then looked at the floor beside the bed in a troubled way.
Ringo’s futon was left in the previous room. Having said that, I don’t have the courage to go back there and pick it up.
“So, uh, how about we just use this bed together?”
Fortunately, the beds in this room are quite large. If we slept on one end and the other, our bodies would never touch each other.
Besides, it would be a problem putting too much distance between me and Ringo if things like last time happened again.
So this is a measure that can’t be helped.
And so, while I was making such excuses to myself, Ringo moved without hesitation.
As soon as she ran to the bed, she fastened the teddy bear in her hand to the fixture on the side of the bed. After that, she flipped the covers and jumped into bed.
Then, she looked at me like she was going to say, “Aren’t you gonna get in?
“Ah, aah. Yeah, I guess so.”
With that, I get into bed from the opposite end to Ringo.
I would have gotten as close to the edge as I could, but because Ringo was unexpectedly positioned in the middle, our arms were in contact.
Come to think of it, except for the demons and monsters in the locked room, there are only me and Ringo in this big house. There’s no way I can remain calm in this state.
My heart is beating fast.
(Oh, c’mon! Be quiet, my heart!)
If Ringo were to find out about this, it might turn into a rather awkward state. I kept telling myself to be quiet, be quiet.
I wonder if that wish would come true. Nah, it’s probably not relevant to that, but an unusual event happened in the next moment.
Suddenly, the heavens and the earth have been turned upside down.
Of course, I was not prepared for such a thing, and so I was thrown into the air helplessly.
I fell about two meters and hit the ground with the sheets in my hand. Wait, no, not the ground.
(Is this… the ceiling….?)
The pattern on the ground looked exactly like the pattern on the ceiling, which I had been previously looking at while calming my heart.
While helping up Ringo, who had fallen in a similar way next to me, I looked up at the spot from whence we had fallen earlier.
The bed that we were sleeping on was now attached to the ceiling.
The distance from the next room was unnaturally large.
The fixtures that had been installed with so much care so the furnature wouldn’t move around.
And the fact that I didn’t recognize it, even though I’d explored it once. That means one thing.
(So this was the “room with all the furniture stuck to the ceiling” that we found the last time we looked around!)
No, that’s not exactly right.
This must be a room where the floor rotates 180 degrees at certain times.
This room is probably some kind of contraption that rotates at regular intervals, swapping the floor and ceiling positions.
The first time I came in, the floor and ceiling were reversed, so it had appeared to be “a room where all the furniture is stuck to the ceiling,” and the last time I came in, the floor and ceiling were swapped again.
So this time, it looked like an “ordinary room with a lot of furnature fixtures on the floor.”
The fact that there was so much space between the rooms was probably due to the turning radius of this room. It took up more space than the other rooms because of its rotational system.
“What a house, this is…” I let my mumbling slip out.
I guess it’s pretty imaginative, but I would like to see a room made with the people living in it kept in mind. Anyway, it’s impossible to spend the night in a room like this.
I pulled Ringo, who was staring wistfully at the stuffed bear that had been pinned to the ceiling, and left the room.
The next thing we visited was Ringo’s room. I had decided a mere few hours ago that this room was for girls to sleep in, so I kept it out of my mind earlier. Now, however, I can’t afford to ignore it. I don’t like this pinky-pink taste, but if it’s just a girly room, I think I can live somehow.
“What the hell!?”
As soon as Ringo and I sat down on the heart-shaped bed, the ground felt like it was moving again.
I thought it was another up and down rotation, but this time it was a side rotation. The bed we were on started to spin like a merry-go-round.
At the same time, the lights in the room switched to a harsh pink color with flickering lights, moody music and a woman’s voice shouting “Ahhhhhh” or “MmmmmmMMMMmm” out of nowhere…
I’m certain I know what the concept of this room is.
This is, could it be… a love ho-……
“C-come on, let’s get out of here!”
This room is not good for Ringo’s education!
I hastily pulled Ringo’s hand and ran out of the room.
Finally, we arrived at the room closest to the entrance. It was just a sitting room, no bed, no nothing.
I feel like I can’t sleep in any room any longer. So, I thought it would be best to sleep in this huge room with no facilities and no gimmicks instead.
After all, Ringo was probably tired, too.
Let’s just sleep here today, shall we?
She was not opposed to this suggestion.
Fortunately, the sofa in this room was large and of high quality, so it was big enough for one person to lie down on.
I brought only the futon from the rotating room and the room with the bright red wallpaper. With that, we each lay down from each other on the two sofas positioned around the table.
We said “good night” to each other this time and closed our eyes on our respective couches.
I know that nothing is supposed to happen here, but my hypersensitive nerves are hard to cure.
Every time I heard a noise, I jump up and have a hard time sleeping.
(Haaah… I miss the stables…)
In retrospect, I wonder why I complained when I was sleeping there.
The place was large enough to be a place to sleep. The bedding was warm. Thanks to the moonlight and starlight, we could see well enough, and the only threat we had to be on the lookout for was thieves.
The place was like a paradise.
(That place from back then was kinda a luxury…)
Just as I was thinking about it, she tapped me on the shoulder.
Apparently, Ringo hasn’t been able to sleep and is interrupting me.
To be honest, I’m glad it’s the case because I also can’t sleep at all, but if we continue to play, we’d both more or less not sleep the whole night.
I mentally decided to ignore her. However…
Tap tap, tap tap.
Ringo’s interruptions don’t stop easily.
I’ve been pretending to be asleep for a long time, but it’s getting annoying. However…
Tap, tap, tap.
When Ringo tapped me on the shoulder harder than before, my patience was at its limit.
‘Hey, Ringo. It’s about time we got some sleep,” I said, unintentionally raising my voice.
“…I’m.. over… here?” I heard Ringo’s voice from a distance.
From the direction of her voice, I determine that Ringo hadn’t moved from the couch across from me.
(Then who’s the one who just tapped me on the shoulder?) Chills ran through my entire body.
I have a premonition that something horrible is looking at me. But if I don’t turn around, I won’t know anything.
I muster up the courage to flip my body over to the other side.
And there, is….
There was something on the table where no one was supposed to be.
‘”A a a a a a a h h h…..”
In the dimness, a shadow emerges.
—The form is nothing like a human’s.
—Fat, clumsy hands and feet that can be described as very strange..
—Its entire body is the colour yellow.
I’m certain about the identity of the shadow that has emerged in the darkness…
It was the stuffed teddy bear that Ringo loved to carry around with her.
“Phew…” I take a big breath.
It’s often said that the real forms of ghosts are withered flowers, but I’m not really the one to be intimidated by such things.
“Man, you scared the crap out of me.”
I lay down on the couch again, picked up the stuffed bear and complained about it.
Suddenly, however, I realized.
(Oh, wait. Wasn’t that stuffed animal left in the spinning room?) When I thought about that, something tapped my arm again
I’m not sure what to expect, but when I looked at the stuffed animal in my hand, the mouth of its adorable smiling face split wide open.
I won’t let you get away.
“Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!” The night of horror continues….!
END OF CHAPTER 3