“Argh…fine.” But I can’t take my eyes off his hair. It’ll take some getting used to. For as long as I had known him, his hair was always falling across his face, as he refused to put it in a ponytail except for classy occasions. It wasn’t too short though, and there was still that messy look to it, but it looked a whole lot…cleaner. “Can I touch it?” I asked.
“But I wanna!”
“Are we really doing this now?”
“Well, what are we meant to be doing?”
“Well, I was going to show you around here,” Daniel told me. “But I suppose….”
“Bitchface,” I said cheerfully. “Where are we?”
I had just woken up here a couple of minutes ago, in the centre of a giant room. The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was an endless landscape of colours and lights, and I was immediately dazzled by the beauty of it all.
Then I saw Daniel and his hair, and decided that that was the headliner.
Daniel took my hand and pulled me up. “Do you recognise this place?”
I do. It takes a while to register, but I do. “I thought this place was destroyed.”
“No. It very nearly was, but after they won, Christan sent guardians to drive them away.” There’s a hint of disgust in Daniel’s voice, and I don’t blame him.
“After?” I enquired. Daniel nodded. I clenched my jaw. “Fashionably late, was he?”
Daniel groaned. “Thommand and Clarrent are his advisors,” he reminded me. “I wasn’t at their court when this happened, but I do know that saving these people wasn’t in their best interests.”
I was silent. “Will you be alright?” he asked.
“So what are we meant to do here?”
Daniel inhaled. “Thommand wants us to collect the memories of the people here. He’s looking for one person who died in this place to give us some information.”
“Slow down there, Daniel. I’m confused.”
He shook his head in exasperation, and it’s almost how it used to be- him getting annoyed at me, and me getting flustered and pissed. “Look,” he says. “You’ve got memories of this place, don’t you?”
I nodded. “From Kaya.”
“Well, all you need to do lure the people in this place out, and interact with them.”
Trying to take in all this, I decided on pretending that I knew what the hell was going on. “Then what?”
“Watch and learn.” Daniel took off his coat and handed it to me. “Now go ahead.”
“Wait. What. Huh?”
“I’m tired,” Daniel said as his way of explaining it. “You can handle this on your own.”
I just stared at him. “I am a fricking walking disaster,” I told him flatly.
“You could say the same for me.”
“I’m sorry, but there’s nothing in your record which says ‘accidentally demolished three houses’,” I retorted.
“This place is pretty fireproof,” he informed me. “Now go on. Explore to your heart’s content.” With that, he pulled out a little flask and took a gulp.
I stared at him. “Is that what I think it is?”
“Lucky potion,” Daniel replied. “Good for the nerves.”
I snatched it from him. “You’ve got a problem mister.”
“Oi! Get your own!” I walked away from him, and he hurried after me. “Cat, give me back my medicine.”
“One doesn’t drink medicine without measuring it first.”
“I did measure it! One flask full of medicine every time I have to go out on a job for Fat man.”
“No wonder you got caught last time,” I grumbled. When Daniel didn’t reply to that, I sighed. “I’m sorry.”
We slowed to a stop. “It wasn’t the first time we’ve gotten caught and tortured,” he reminded me.
“It was the worst though.”
Daniel smiled at me and gave me a quick hug. “Don’t blame yourself,” he told me. “I know how you feel about it, but you need to remember that you had no choice.”
“No.” He kept his arms around me, and then made a grab for my hand. When I held it out away from him, he growled and caught me around the waist.
“Oi! Let me go!” I yelled.
“Give it here before I tickle you.”
“Is that an actual- oh shit!” Torn between my dignity and my stubbornness, I flung the bottle in the air in an act of desperation.
Releasing me, Daniel calmly walked over to where the bottle was flying and caught it single-handed. “That wasn’t so hard, was it?”
I stuck out my tongue at him. “Now go on, then. Explore!” Daniel sat down and took another swig of his ‘medicine’.
I gave up. I left the grand room and decided to find where the entrance was, just in case we had to make a quick getaway. “Okay,” I told myself. “I’m going to keep track of the turns I make, so I can get back to Daniel easily. And hopefully he won’t be completely intoxicated.”
First, I turned left. Then I kept going straight ahead, and then there was a right, at a smashed statue. It was then that I heard yelling. Release me, now! a woman snarled, but the voice seemed to echo in my head.
I looked around quickly. “Where are you?” I called out, praying that hopefully the source of the voice didn’t have the same personality of the vengeful ghosts in Corpse Party.
There was silence. Then I heard the voice repeat down the hall. A more cautious person would’ve gone and found Daniel, or at least, a companion who probably wasn’t an alcoholic. But at that point, I had forgotten the directions I had taken, and it was more focused on finding the source of the voice.
I opened the door to a small, plainly furnished room. There was no bed, instead, there was a mattress on the floor, with a small woollen blanket which had been tossed to its side.
Let me go, the voice demanded, or I swear, I’ll rip that precious hair of yours from your skull.
That’s when I realised whose room this was.
Did Thommand want Kaya’s memories? Really?
I shook my head at that. If he wanted this so badly, he definitely wouldn’t have sent the two people who cared for her most. Especially not one who recently pulverised a brothel owner and shattered his whore.
And burned his own scarlet tunic. And that was completely intentional.
So where was the voice coming from? As I looked around the room, I tried my hardest to understand what was going on. I had never heard of ghosts in Delirium until today, and I wondered why I heard Kaya here, instead of her home in the sky.
I suddenly remember. I’ve heard her say that before. Right before she pulled out the knife…
I laughed at the memory. Many screamed, others fainted. Daniel just stood there confused as hell, while Nereida started giggling uncontrollably. But I believe it’s still here, the evidence of her attack.
I looked under the mattress, and there they were; long silver strands, almost as long as my whole arm. They were all matted together, I would have to use all my strength to tear them into separate fibres. No wonder Kaya cut them off.
With that mystery solved, I tried to remember what Daniel wanted me to do. I was to find ghosts…and then what? What did they even look like?
I returned to the hallway, and the realisation that I had completely forgotten the road I had taken. Dammit.
Then I heard a giggle behind me. Which all you nonexistent horror game enthusiasts know means one thing; I was about to be murdered by a psychotic ghost child. Lovely.
Actually, that’s not what happened. This isn’t Corpse Party, it’s just my fucked up imagination. But at the time, I thought that would be the case.
“Hello,” I said. Because that’s what you say to creepy ghost children that will murder you in a couple of seconds. And you also turn around to face them before they kill you, because it’s impolite for them to stab you or slit your throat from behind you.
He’s different from Daniel. His body is white, and I can just see through him. There’s a sort of glow about him, and he’s gazing at me intently. He looks about six…if that.
“Ano’er hooman,” he said in a high, clear voice. Then he sweeps me a bow. “May I help you?”
Umm….. “I’m…looking for my friend,” I tell him. “Can you help me?”
“What’s her name then?” There’s no malice or hate in his face, simply curiosity. But I’ve been hurt by friendlier people.
“Her name is Kaya,” I told him. “Do you know where she is?”
Why I decided to trust him, I’m not sure. I didn’t have anything to lose, I suppose. I could fight him off if necessary, or so I hoped. And I was so used to dying, it was almost routine. I’m guessing I followed him because I wanted some faith in the goodness of people left. I wanted to be proved right.
He gave me a giant, toothy smile. “Through here, m’lady,” he lisped. He held out his hand, and I took it. “Follow me.”