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File 145049538667.png - (2.36MB , 2429x1366 , book1.png )
18603 No. 18603 edit
Explanation and Rules

This game will differ from either a classic gameboard or a RP gameboard, though it will take elements from each. The reason for this is simple: the aim of the game is to explore an unknown gameboard, though one that is very similar to Rokkenjima for reasons yet to be discovered.

This game will be set in the year 2017, thirty years after a horrible tragedy occurred that claimed the lives of many people. On the thirtieth anniversary, a group of people gather at the place where it happened, trying to piece together the events of that tragedy so that the truth may finally see the light of day. Each has their own motives, be it fun, the challenge, or something more sinister. For the first time, however, there is one in their midst who should know what really happened.

I will be playing that person.

However, I will not simply reveal the truth. Instead, I shall act as directed by you all. Once every day or two (if my schedule holds up), I shall post a new section of the story, and end with a set of choices. After that, you all will have approximately 24 hours at least (maybe more) to vote about which of the choices to make. You can discuss it or just simply cast your vote. Each person only gets to vote for one action (so no double-voting or giving first/second/third choices.) Whichever action gets the most votes wins. In case of a tie, I will attempt to combine the two, but if that's impossible then I get to be the tiebreaker.

Well, Seacats, shall we see if together we can lift the veil of the past even as the intrigues of the present constrict around our necks? Only the truth can save us.

Welcome to the Future of the Diamond Queen.

Last edited at 15/12/18(Fri)23:41:11
112 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>> No. 19527 edit
>>19524
A.
>> No. 19528 edit
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19528
>>19524

Well that explained my hunger at least. "Alright, alright. Always listen to the health professional, right?"

She smirked. "That would be a first. Alright, Mr. Minazuki told me to call him if you wanted food delivered. He gave me his direct line." She reached into a pocket and pulled out her cellphone. Looking at the display, she frowned. "No service. Well, what with the storm and the mountains I suppose it can't be helped." Instead she went to the phone in the room and dialed an extension. "Mr. Minazuki?...Yes, he's fine. He's awake now actually, and would like to take you up on the offer of having some room service. ...Thank you." She turned and nodded. "It should be up in a few minutes."

I sighed and relaxed into the pillows. However, when I closed my eyes I just heard the laughter of the Diamond Queen and the ache in my chest. Opening my eyes again, I noticed Chou looking me over with concern. She asked to give me a quick exam, and I assented.

She was just finishing up, having discovered nothing particularly worrisome, when the food arrived, on a cart pushed by one of the twins. She offered to serve me, but Chou said that she could handle it, and that it was alright. As she passed me a plate I was once more reminded of the hospital days. I may have been done with memories, but it seemed memories were not done with me.

"What was it like?" I finally asked, once the immediate edge of my hunger was blunted. "In the ballroom."

"Honestly? It was kind of terrifying. I was worried you were going insane. You kept muttering, and the words that could be made out made no sense. You were saying names, and asking questions of the air. There were other words, words like 'blood' and 'frozen' and 'smashed' and 'knife.' At the end, though, you just kept repeating, 'the Queen, the Queen,' over and over, louder each time. Then you screamed and had your heart attack, crumpling."

"And then you and the detective saved me."

She nodded. "He got to you first because he was standing the closest, listening to everything you said. Ms. Kojima and Mr. Yukimura had elbowed their way to the front too."

That made sense, I supposed. The detective, the reporter, and the head of the group were the ones struggling the hardest to hear what I was saying. "Was there anything else odd going on at that time?"

"Well, Emi Fukuhara was very...something when you started talking about the Queen. I don't know if she was frightened or excited, but she seemed to think you had seen a real person. I don't think that girl is all there..."

"Didn't you have her down as 'normal girl stuff'?" I asked.

"Well, that was social media. Sure, she seemed to be a bit into superstitions, but a lot of kids are at that age. She is something else though. It's honestly a little unnerving..."

I nodded, but my mind wasn't on the teenager at the moment. "So did you notice anything else while I was recovering?"

"Well, no, I was rather preoccupied," she said in a snarky fashion.

I chuckled. "I suppose I deserved that. I mean after the immediate danger."

"Hmm, well, Yuri had of course brought Mr. Minazuki, and once we'd decided you weren't going to die he went off into a corner and spoke into that walkie-talkie of his before running off again with Yuri. Not very host-like of him, but I imagine he was in a bit of a panic. The detective, Mr. Yukimura, and Mr. Morita worked together to bring you up to the bed. Emi wanted to follow, but her mother held her back. That strange NEET left, following Mr. Minazuki. The Moris said something about taking a dip in the hot spring to relax before dinner, since it seemed like you'd be fine. Professor Ootsuki and his graduate student said they were going to look around the building. Ms. Kojima said she would go with them, as she had some 'new hunches.' Once you were safely resting, the detective asked if he could go over with Mr. Yukimura what they'd heard you say while you were stuck in your mind. As far as I know they went to Mr. Yukimura's room. A short while after that, Mr. Minazuki came up. He explained that he was gathering everyone for dinner, we arranged that you could have dinner brought to you, and he gave me the office extension and direct phone number. Even his cell number, though a lot of good that's going to do us, apparently."

"And then?"

She shrugged. "And then there's not much to tell. I've been in here, keeping an eye on you. I heard some people head downstairs for dinner, I've heard some people come up since then, but I haven't checked to see who or listened to what they were saying. I had my charge to take care of, after all..."

I chuckled. "I know. In truth I'm amazed you remembered it all. I got lucky having you as my nurse here now, I think."

I'd finished by then. I still felt incredibly tired, but a little stronger and more stable, mentally and physically. The clock now read 7:45, and I once more had to decide what would be the best course of action.

----------------------------------------

Options

A. Go wander the grounds, and see the buildings that I hadn't seen yet.
B. Go to Mr. Yukimura's room and hopefully talk to him.
C. Wander the hotel, seeing where people might be and learning the layout.
D. Take a nap, and explore tonight undisturbed.
>> No. 19529 edit
>>19528
C
>> No. 19530 edit
>>19528
A.
>> No. 19531 edit
>>19528
C.
>> No. 19541 edit
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19541
>>19528

With a grunt I swung my legs over the side of the bed. Chou was at my side, ready to support me, but I waved her off and stood up. My legs felt a little weak under me, but otherwise I was alright. For a moment, the words that the witch in my delusion floated through my head and I nodded to myself.

"Alright, I think it's best to learn more about this place we're staying. Could you please call up a maid to take these dishes back? I figure they'd be perfectly knowledgeable about this resort.

Chou gave Mr. Minazuki another ring, and a few minutes later a maid came knocking at our door. As Chou let her in, her eyes fell upon me and she smiled.

"Mr. Ushiromiya, sir! It seems you are looking quite well. When you collapsed in front of me I was worried you had died!"

I smiled. "No need for concern...Yuri?" She nodded and smiled as she began to gather the dishes. "It'll take more than memories to lay me out. If you have a moment, though, I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions?"

She giggled. "Everyone is so full of questions in your group. You, the detective, that charming Mr. Itoh, even the Moris! But certainly, Mr. Ushiromiya. I'll do my best to answer, though I am sorry that I don't have much time to talk. With only my sister and I on duty right now we have a lot to do."

I told her I understood and wouldn't keep her long. I asked about this building, and learned that usually there was a much larger staff available. Of course, there was also usually quite a few more people, so it was only somewhat taxing to be the only maids. She gave me a basic rundown of who was in what rooms, as I indicated I may want to talk to them, as well.

Chou and I helped her carry the dishes downstairs, and as we did she pointed out the various rooms. The main office, which was also Mr. Minazuki's rooms. The bar where we'd been, the exercise room, the indoor sauna, what was normally a small restaurant and lounge, as well as the other rooms we'd seen. She thanked us for the help as we reached the kitchen in the back, but explained that it was employees only and took the dishes in herself to wash them.

So Chou and I stood, looking at the unlit fireplace in the empty, dimly-lit restaurant. It was now fully dark outside, and based on what I'd seen through the windows as we'd walked the storm hadn't let up. I'd heard Mr. Minazuki walking around inside his office when we'd passed, and I'd seen Mr. Itoh and Mr. Kojima chatting in the bar as well. I didn't know where anyone else was, offhand. Perhaps in their rooms?

Options

A. Talk to Mr. Minazuki
B. Talk to Mr. Kojima and Mr. Itoh
C. See who's about on the second floor
D. Return to the suite.
>> No. 19542 edit
>>19541
A
>> No. 19545 edit
>>19541
B
>> No. 19546 edit
>>19541
A.
>> No. 19557 edit
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19557
>>19541

Shrugging, I looked to Chou. "Want to go talk to our host?"

She yawned. "Actually, if it's alright with you, sir, I might just head back to our rooms. It's been a long day, and I didn't get the benefit of a forced nap." She smiled. "Are you still feeling alright?"

"Mmhmm. You can go rest, Ms. Kaneko. I'll see you in the morning, likely when you wake me at some godawful hour." We laughed and parted ways at the stairway to the second floor, as I went to the office of our host, Mr. Minazuki.

"Very well. Please make sure the cellar is locked up tight. I don't want any more wine to go missing, understood? Your key, so you're responsible," I heard him say as I rounded the corner into his office. I saw him holding his walkie-talkie as it clicked in acknowledgement. He sighed tiredly, and then noticed me. In an instant the tired business owner was gone and the smiling host was back.

"Oh, Mr. Ushiromiya! My apologies, you caught me by surprise. It is good to see you up and about. Hopefully with your nurse's approval?" he asked, jokingly and laughing.

"Yes, yes," I smiled in reply. "Ms. Kaneko keeps me on a pretty slack leash, thankfully."

"Ah, very good. So, is there something I can help you with? I know the maids are cleaning right now but if it's urgent I could get one of them to assist you."

"No, it's alright, I don't have anything urgent. If I'm interrupting I could come back some other time, but I was hoping to talk to you."

His eyes widened in surprise. "Me? I am certainly willing to, but why me? I would have thought you'd be searching out more memories or talking with the other Miners."

"Well, I'm not sure my body is up for more hunting at the moment, sadly, and as for the Miners, I think you qualify, even involuntarily. After all, this resort was the backdrop of the tragedy, and your father was one of the supposed victims."

He looked down, failing to hide his sadness. "Yes, I suppose that is true, though I was just a boy at the time. Unlike the rest of you, however, I am content to let the dead rest in peace. What happened was a mysterious tragedy, but it happened, and the living must live on." Then he paused, registering everything I had said. Looking up, he gazed at me curiously. "Wait, what do you mean, 'supposedly'?"

I realized I'd made an error, but decided to press it since it was out in the open. "Mr. Minazuki, one of the memories I regained today, the ones that made me fall unconscious... I never found your father's body. His was one that was also never recovered by the police, correct?"

His eyes narrowed in annoyance. "And what exactly do you think that implies, Mr. Ushiromiya? That my father had some reason to go on a murderous rampage against guests he barely knew? Or that he caused a convenient avalanche to wipe away the thing he loved most in this world, even more than-?" He cut himself off, but he was still fuming.

"I am sorry, Mr. Minazuki. I merely meant to suggest that he might still be alive, is all." That was a lie, of course, and I'd clearly struck a nerve. I hid the thrill I felt as he digested my reply. Perhaps there was something in being an investigator, after all.

Mr. Minazuki sighed in a resigned fashion. "No, I should be apologizing, Mr. Ushiromiya. I've just had to deal with these questions myself for three decades now, as I believe you have. I've heard theory after theory about how my father was a serial killer struck down by God, or the consort of the Diamond Queen, or any other number of crackpot theories. What I know is that he was a good, hardworking man, who cared for his family and this resort, and he would never do anything to jeopardize either. Please, give me a chance to start this conversation again. Brandy?" he offered, which I readily accepted.

As he went into the back rooms, likely his living area, I asked, "Some people really say your father was the consort of the Diamond Queen?"

He laughed as he returned with two glasses of brandy. "They do. It's useless to explain to believers that there is no such thing as the Diamond Queen. You saw that girl this afternoon."

I sipped and sighed, letting the warmth of the alcohol beat back the imagined cold from the snow outside the windows. "Yet I would have thought you were a believer, what with the portrait, and the ice sculpture, and the Queen's Suite..."

He shrugged. "I may not believe, but if linking this resort to the Queen brings in some extra revenue, I won't distance myself from the legend."

"Or the murder?"

His face darkened again, but then he visibly relaxed. "Or the murder. I'm not as proud a man as my father, I will admit that. He had plenty of opportunities to make money that he passed on because he felt they were beneath him. As a result, this resort was always on the edge of bankruptcy. The sordid history of this rebuilt resort draws in its own group of tourists, so I cater to them. Plenty of other hotels and resorts around the world do it as well, after all. Look at the Stanley in Colorado."

I frowned and took another sip. "I can't say I approve, but I understand."

He smiled bitterly. "Then we're of the same opinion. I'm simply a businessman, Mr. Ushiromiya." He sipped from his glass as well, then tried to change the subject. "Of course, the other reason it'd be ridiculous to have my father be the consort of the Queen is that, according to legend, it'd be incest."

I very nearly spit out my brandy in surprise, and he laughed. "Incest? Why?"

"Oh it's an old family legend. Supposedly my ancestor many centuries ago was wandering these mountains and found a woman trapped within a giant block of ice. So he hacked and hacked at it, never stopping to rest or eat, until finally one day the ice split and revealed her. She was a spirit of the mountain who had been imprisoned in ancient times, you see, as punishment for being foolish enough to court Susano-o. In gratitude she swore to love and obey my ancestor as a daughter to a father. My how times have changed," he paused, chuckling. "So he adopted her, but being a spirit of the mountain she could not leave it. Rather than leave his new daughter in her solitude, my ancestor built a home on the mountainside, and even moved his family there when he grew too old to make the trek up from the village below. As the decades and centuries past, that home became the Snowspring Resort, and yes, the Diamond Queen is my great-something-aunt."

"I see," I said. "That's quite a tale. But...if she came from ice, why is she called the Diamond Queen?"

"Ah! That varies depending on the legend you listen to. The way it was told to me is that nobles from all around, even across the seas, came to court her, for she was such a marvelous beauty. Each came with precious items and gems, giving them to her just so that she would favor them with a smile. Yet in the end she turned them all down and they left with their riches. Then one day a noble came from across the seas, with hair made of woven gold and skin of alabaster. He came bearing a huge diamond as a dowry, along with many treasures of his homeland. It was the diamond which caught her, though, as it sparkled just as much as the snow she loved. At her acceptance, he sailed home to gather his retinue and make the proper arrangements. The day before the wedding, he crossed the sea once more, yet Susano-o had one more punishment for the Diamond Queen, and he created a great storm which floundered the noble's fleet. All were lost. The Queen went mad with grief, casting away her adopted family and isolating herself from the world she now cursed. Forevermore she weeps, surrounded by the cold treasures of her love and staring at the harsh edges of the diamond."

Silence filled the room for a moment, but it was finally broken by Mr. Minazuki's self-conscious laugh. "Ah, I used to love hearing my father tell me that story on dark nights. I didn't realize how much I'd remembered." He finished off his glass of brandy and yawned.

I yawned as well, and took my own last sip. "It's an interesting story. I wonder what the truth of it is. After all, they always say legends have a kernel of truth to them."

"Well, if there's a pile of treasure lying around anywhere, I'd sure like to know," he said, stretching.

"I can understand that. Well, thank you very much for the tale, Mr. Minazuki. I'm off to bed, and I shall see you in the morning."

We said our goodbyes, and I exited the office as he shut and locked the door behind me. I really was tired, and the building seemed quiet, yet as I looked up to the second floor landing my gaze fell upon the larger-than-life portrait of the Diamond Queen. It looked like she was smiling at me, daring me to let my guard down.

Freedom in death...

For the first time in a very long time, I felt afraid to fall asleep. I didn't know what I could accomplish by staying up, and I'd be very tired the next day, but at least I could be sure no mountain spirit would steal my breath...

-----------------------------------------

Options

A. Continue to wander the first floor
B. Wander the second floor
C. Approach the portrait and resolve my fear
D. Push it to the back of my mind and go to sleep

Last edited at 16/06/03(Fri)21:20:38
>> No. 19558 edit
>>19557
D
>> No. 19560 edit
>>19557
C
>> No. 19563 edit
>>19557
C.
>> No. 19785 edit
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19785
>>19557

I straightened my spine and stepped onto the staircase. Keeping my gaze fixed on the portrait, I swallowed my apprehension and reached the top, walking over to stand in front of the portrait. Despite the fact that it was nothing more than paint and canvas, there, in the stormy night, it felt like the Diamond Queen was there, gazing down at me with her hard and intense gaze. I stood there and waited, willing my subconscious to accept that this was just a painting, that the Diamond Queen was nothing more than a ghost story. Yet no matter how I tried, I kept feeling like she was in the painting, watching me.

"I'm going to give you the same freedom you want to give to me," I muttered before I realized I was going to speak. Continuing on, I said, "I am going to prove that you are nothing more than a myth, a mask behind which countless sins have been committed. You will die, I shall be whole again, and my family will be avenged. No more will you play with lives like pieces on some unholy gameboard. As the last of the Ushiromiyas, I swear it. If you truly think you can extinguish the fire of our family so easily, then just try."

Exhaling, I felt a strain that I hadn't known I'd been holding in my shoulders loosen. I'd been afraid of this story. My soul had been telling me to keep my head down, to run away and never come back. Just now though, I felt something shift within my heart, like a door that had been jammed shut for a long time getting unstuck. It wasn't open yet, and whatever was beyond it was still hidden from me, but just this simple act of deciding to fight the thing which had frightened me enough to give me a literal heart attack had changed me. Feeling much better than I had for a while I turned away and began to walk towards my room.

First, I felt the caress of air on the back of my neck, like the warm humid breath of a predator about to bite down. Then I thought I heard a woman's soft laughter from behind me. As I whipped my head around, though, I was alone. My heart was beating fast once more, but this time I knew it wasn't from fear, but excitement. If she had been there, I would have given her the fight of her life. Even though she wasn't, I was still going to. Tomorrow, Lion Ushiromiya was going on the attack.

I returned to my room about midnight, changed into my bedclothes, and went to sleep.

It was some time later when I became aware of an unearthly sound pulling me back from the depths of sleep. It was a low and mournful cry, a tuneless and wordless song sung by a spirit of misery itself. In my sleep-addled state, I couldn't tell where it was coming from, only that it was not in the room with me. Then the wind from the storm picked up, and almost managed to drown out the wail.

---------------------------------------

Options

A. Get up and try to find the source of the sound.
B. 'Tis the wind and nothing more. Go back to sleep.
C. Go check on Chou.
D. Lay in bed, pretending to sleep, and keep listening for as long as you can.
>> No. 19786 edit
>>19785
D.
>> No. 19787 edit
>>19785
C
>> No. 19788 edit
>>19785
C
>> No. 19789 edit
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19789
>>19785

I got up from the bed, rubbing my eyes and trying to adjust to the darkness of the room. I couldn't even see the storm outside, though the howl of the wind and the chill in the air spoke of its presence. Walking carefully towards the door to Chou's room, I strained my ears. For a moment I couldn't hear the tune I had heard before, and had almost convinced myself that it was just a carryover from some forgotten dream, but then it returned. I froze in my tracks, trying to figure out where it was coming from, but although I could tell that it was definitely not in the room, I couldn't determine much else. Suddenly, as the storm winds gusted, the pitch rapidly increased, and then the song was silenced.

Shaken from my stupor, I quickly covered the last couple steps to the door. I knocked gently. "Chou? Ms. Kaneko, are you awake?" I asked quietly. There was no response. Twisting the handle, I pressed open the door and peeked inside. The room was pitch black, aside from a slight blue glow coming from the digital clock on the bedside table between two beds. Thanks to it, on the farthest bed I could see a human shape under the covers. Slowly I crept over to the bed, and although her face was turned from me, based on the hair and shape I could tell it was Chou. Satisfied that she at least was alright and hadn't been disturbed by the sounds I had heard, I decided to leave her be for the moment. She may have plenty of fun poking me about my age, but I'd noticed her slowing down some over the past couple years as well.

Returning to my room, I carefully shut the door between our rooms and yawned. The warm comfort of the bed called to me, and whomever or whatever had been making that sound earlier had stopped. However, that sound had been there, I was certain of it. The song of the Diamond Queen had resumed. I had a few hours of sleep under my belt. Should I soldier on and check the halls in the hopes of finding some source of that song, or should I rest and see what the morning brought?

------------------------------------------
Options

A. Sleep until morning
B. Walk the halls, upstairs then downstairs
C. Wake the maids and Mr. Minazuki
D. Walk the halls, downstairs then upstairs
>> No. 19790 edit
>>19789
C.
>> No. 19791 edit
>>19790
C
>> No. 19925 edit
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19925
>>19789

If anyone had heard the song before, it would be the people who worked here. Forcing myself to ride the adrenaline the song had pumped into my veins, I threw a robe over my sleeping clothes, grabbed my cellphone for a convenient light source, and walked into the hallway. The glow from my phone screen wasn't much, but it kept the hallway from being pitch black. I could still hear the wind outside, but there weren't any other immediate sounds. I managed to keep myself from being distracted by the portrait again as I walked past, heading towards the servants' quarters.

I knocked on the door to the maids' room and waited. Hearing nothing inside, I knocked again a little louder and called out, "Ayame? Yuri?" There was still no sound, so I opened the door and peeked inside.

Holding the phone out, I saw a long room with beds lined up on each side, though only two were clearly occupied at the moment. I called out the maids' names again, but they didn't stir. I walked forward slowly, and that's when I began to realize their bodies were sprawled on the mattresses at awkward angles, with limbs stretched in every direction. Their hair had fallen in front of their faces, and their jaws were open and slack, like a person dumbstruck. I was hit by a sense of terrible dread, and I had a passing thought of going to get the others before I destroyed evidence.

Then one of them snored, and the moment was broken. It seemed these girls were just fast asleep. Chuckling, I walked forward and saw they both had earplugs in and masks over their eyes, maximizing the amount of rest they'd get from the night's sleep. Luckily for them, despite the sprawled nature of their positions, their nightgowns were preserving their modesty. I shook one awake, and her yelp of surprise was enough to wake the other.

"Please, please, calm down!" I said, staying back as to not frighten them further. "Please, I just need your help. I just heard the song! The song of the Diamond Queen!"

Gasping as she brought herself under control, one looked to the other and then looked to me. "A series of moaning sounds changing in pitch?" At my nod, she sighed. "I'm sorry sir, but what you heard was the wind."

"No, it wasn't," I said emphatically. "There's a difference between the sound of wind and the sound I heard. The one I heard was pure, without any whoosh or whistle to it at all. I have never heard any wind sound like that."

The other maid spoke up. "We have, sir. Our first winter here, we had that same reaction, and Mr. Minazuki explained that it was the wind. We didn't believe him though, and we kept trying to find the source of the sound."

"Then we noticed that it only ever happened during storms," picked up the other one. "It doesn't happen every storm, but it never happens without one. We aren't sure what exactly makes it sound like it does, sir, but it's definitely the wind. Which is why we are wearing these tonight," she said, holding up her mask. She yawned, a yawn which spread to both her sister and myself. "If it please you, sir, could we go back to sleep?"

Were they right? Was I just chasing the wind?

---------------------------------------------

Options

A. Go back to sleep
B. Continue on to Mr. Minazuki alone
C. Go to Mr. Minazuki with them
D. Investigate without them
>> No. 19926 edit
>>19925
D
>> No. 19929 edit
>>19925
D.
>> No. 19930 edit
>>19925
D
>> No. 20138 edit
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20138
>>19925

"Yes, yes, forgive an old man his superstitions," I sighed. "Sleep well," I said as I left the room, closing the door behind me.

I was resolute, though. There had to be something more to the song of the Diamond Queen than wind blowing by outside. So thinking, I walked back along the corridor towards my room, straining my ears for any hint of that sound, or any sound, really. A particularly strong gust of wind rattled the window panes in the window up ahead of me.

"Is the Queen going to get us too, Lion?"

"Hmm?" I asked, surprised by the question that came from behind me as I passed the stairway.

"The Queen isn't going to get us, Ange, not while Lion is here," replied Maria, comforting her younger cousin even as she looked at me with fear in her eyes. I couldn't let them down.

"That's right," I whispered to the two of them in the dark hallway. "I came to find you two and she didn't get me, right? She knows that she can't stand up to an Ushiromiya. And you're both Ushiromiyas too. She'd be terrified to come near, but only as long as we're all brave, ok?" I asked, kneeling in front of them. Maria nodded and gripped my hand harder, but Ange wasn't convinced.

"What about Grandfather? He's dying! She cursed him!"

I tried to keep calm, even as I remembered how Father and I had found Kinzo. Father had come back, saying that he and Grandfather had gotten separated while searching the rooms and he wanted my help looking for him. We found him in the middle of the front hall, face down, barely alive and with blood coming from his lips. We raided the missing manager's office for first aid supplies, but none of us really knew what we were doing. Genji was looking after him now, but even I could tell that he was getting worse. Right now all I could do though was try to keep my cousins safe. If I could just get them back to the room with Battler, George, and Jessica, we could barricade ourselves and wait for the others to get back from...from...


I was alone in the hallway, kneeling in front of empty air. The faces of the two little girls faded from my mind. I was breathing raggedly, and both my head and chest were throbbing. Standing, I felt a wave of vertigo wash over me, and nearly fell headfirst down the long flight of steps to the front hall. Reeling back, I backed up and bumped into something that didn't feel like the wall, but more like rough cloth. Turning, I once more found myself face to face with the portrait of the Diamond Queen. As I stared, I once more began to hear the low moaning song. It was too soft to figure out where it was coming from. It sounded like it came from all around me. I tried running this way and that along the corridor, but no matter which way it seemed to get quieter. It finally started to get louder as I went down the stairs on shaky legs. Yet as I reached the bottom, I realized it had gotten quieter again. As I got ready to go back up the stairs it once more increased in pitch and disappeared, and I was in the front hall, alone in the dark and silence. The small digital clock on a nearby counter read that it was 4:17 A.M., and I could feel weariness settle in bone-deep. I couldn't go on any more, so I trudged up the stairs, went to my room, locked the door, kicked off my slippers, crawled under the covers, and went to sleep.

"Wake up, sleepyhead, breakfast is apparently ready," said Chou, seemingly right after I'd closed my eyes. I was still only half-conscious, and my whole body felt like it was filled with lead.

---------------------------------------------

Options

A. Tell Chou to let me sleep
B. Force myself to wake up and go to breakfast with the others
C. Get breakfast brought to me
D. Talk to Chou about last night
>> No. 20139 edit
>>20138
B
>> No. 20145 edit
>>20138
B
>> No. 20225 edit
File 148722466085.png - (923.40KB , 1278x720 , brekkie.png )
20225
>>20138

Groaning, I levered myself up on my elbow. "Mrrf," I replied, then yawned.

She smirked. "Thoughtfully put, as always, sir," she said. Blinking away the sleep, though, I could see her eyes were showing concern.

Waving my hand, I shooed her back. "I'm fine, I'm fine. Just had a late night, is all. A heart of a lion is resilient!" I tried to sound determined, to show off the resolve I'd gained in the wee hours of the morning. Another yawn cut in though, and Chou giggled.

"A heart of a lion, eh? How about the laziness of a housecat? Alright, I'll leave you be to get dressed, sir, but I'll be in my room. You call me if anything feels amiss, alright?"

"Yes, yes. If I feel an incredible urge to start kicking buckets or buy farms, I'll let you know." As she left the room, I dragged my feet over the edge of the bed and sat there. Allowing myself a great stretch, I rubbed at my eyes again. I felt incredibly weary. I wasn't a young man any more, and getting only a couple hours of sleep the night after a heart attack was clearly something I wasn't going to be able to shake off right away. Still, perhaps breakfast would help some, and I was eager to hear if anyone had found anything.

So it was that after quickly getting dressed and presentable, Chou and I headed downstairs. We weren't the last to arrive to the dining area, but we certainly weren't the first. Mr. Itoh was already seated, sipping on tea and eagerly eyeing the doors from which the food would emerge. The detective was seated next to him, and Mr. Morita was idly pacing the room, a cup of what smelled like Turkish coffee held gingerly in his hands. Ms. Kojima was seated next to my spot from the previous day, and her face broke out into a smile that I couldn't decode when I appeared. The Fukuharas were seating themselves, not saying anything to each other, as was apparently usual for them. Mr. Yukimura came in right behind me, and Ms. Seki right after him. After Chou and I had been seated for a couple minutes, Professor Ootsuki entered, as well as our host.

"Good morning to you all. I hope you found your night here restful and rejuvenating and you're ready to continue your great work. First, allow our resort to treat you to some breakfast." And with that, the twin maids brought out carts laden with delectable breakfast dishes and refills of whatever drink we wished.

As I got coffee poured for me, I asked the obvious question, "What about the Moris? Should we wait for them?"

Professor Ootsuki waved his hand. "Ah, I knocked on their door, they told me to go away. I don't think they're the type that enjoys getting up for mornings, no matter how good the food smells. Maybe they'll join us later. Now then, Mr. Ushiromiya, if you are feeling recovered from yesterday, perhaps you could enlighten us as to what you discovered?"

Most of those looking at me nodded in agreement, especially Ms. Kojima who had been staring at me ever since I sat down.

-------------------------------------------

Options

A. Check on the Moris myself. I've got a bad feeling about this.
B. Try to brush off the question and ask what everyone else did.
C. Explain the memories I'd rediscovered and see if anyone can shed light on them.
D. Declare that breakfast is not the time to think on such things and try to use small talk to get to know people better.
>> No. 20226 edit
>>20225
C.
>> No. 20227 edit
>>20225
c
>> No. 20228 edit
>>20225
A
>> No. 20229 edit
>>20225

A
>> No. 20230 edit
E
>> No. 20231 edit
>>20225
A
>> No. 20232 edit
File 148739417087.jpg - (78.02KB , 450x380 , skullfood07.jpg )
20232
>>20225

Something was nagging at me. Maybe it was the memories I'd been having, or maybe it was the spooky feelings I'd had by the portrait in the upper hall, but the Moris not coming down already just did not sit right with me. I took a sip from my coffee, looked longingly at the marvelous looking omelette that had been set in front of me, and shook my head.

"Not just yet. I imagine they'd be very annoyed with all of us if I were to go over some of these without being here, and I don't particularly want to have to recount them more than once." Hoping that was a convincing enough reason, I made to go.

"Please, Mr. Ushiromiya, enjoy your breakfast. If you wish, I will go and fetch them," said one of the maids. Although I really wanted to go get them myself, I knew that insisting on it would just make people question me more. So I nodded and instead took my first bite of the omelette. It was just as good as it looked, and the warmth of the hot eggs radiated out into my whole body, making my fears seem out of place in this early morning.

It seemed like peace was not in the cards for me, however, as Ms. Kojima spoke up beside me. "Well, while we wait, I think it might be best if I were to say that, on behalf of all of us, we are very happy to see you seemingly fully recovered, Mr. Ushiromiya. You gave us all a dreadful fright yesterday."

Chou cut in. "He may seem to be in good health again, Ms. Kojima, but as his nurse I would like to emphatically state that he should be given ample time to recover. Yesterday was quite stressful for him, and combining that with the thin mountain air means that the chances for another attack are higher than I think any of us would like. So, I beseech all of you," and with this she looked right at me, "please do not continue to push Mr. Ushiromiya too hard."

I'd heard that voice a few times, the voice that was intended to remind me that she had plenty of medical training and she was my nurse before she was my friend. I knew I was supposed to listen to her when that happened. Every time in the past, I had. This time though, I had so much to gain. I was in a fight to regain my life. Could I really afford to take it slow?

It was a thought I put on the back burner as Ms. Kojima replied, "A-ah, yes, my apologies, Ms. Kaneko. I am sure we don't want to cause Mr. Ushiromiya any more stress. Right?" she asked the group, most of whom nodded in a suitably chastened way. The exceptions were Mr. Itoh and Emi Fukuhara. The former just continued to look at me over his tea as he washed down some grilled fish. The latter just stared at her plate and poked at her food, not even seeming to pay attention to what the rest of us were saying.

"Thank you, all," I said, carefully, returning my nurse's gaze. "It's true that I am still not feeling completely well, but at the same time-"

At that moment, about five minutes after the maid had left, fate decided that it no longer mattered whether the Miners were going to let me rest or not.

There was a woman's scream of terror from somewhere outside the dining room.

------------------------------------------

Options

A. Grab anything that can be used as a weapon and wait to follow others.
B. Look around, making sure everyone else heard that as well. Might be another memory.
C. Figure out the fastest way to find out what's wrong.
D. Run out as fast as possible, trying to find the source of the scream.
>> No. 20233 edit
>>20232
b
>> No. 20234 edit
>>20232
C.
>> No. 20235 edit
>>20232
C
>> No. 20236 edit
File 14878250501.jpg - (45.91KB , 525x525 , walkie.jpg )
20236
>>20232

The other maid had dashed out the door immediately. Detective Yamauchi, Professor Ootsuki, and Mr. Itoh were up and heading toward the door right after her, the last going slower due to his girth and lack of fitness. Everyone else seemed frozen in confusion and shock for a moment. Thinking quickly, I looked to Mr. Minazuki and said, "Radio."

He started a bit at my words, seemingly taking a moment to process them, but quickly fumbled for the walkie-talkie he had. Everyone had stood by that point. Chou gripped my shoulder, silently asking if I was alright. I nodded, she nodded in return, and ran out the door. Always the nurse. Mr. Morita, upon regaining his senses, had run out as well, but everyone else had stayed to hear Mr. Minazuki talk into the radio.

"Yuri? Yuri, what's wrong?"

There was no reply through the radio, though the screaming had stopped.

"Yuri, come in."

"T-there's blood everywhere, sir...they're gone..." came the shaky reply.

I felt my blood grow cold. It looked like my feeling was right. Grabbing the radio from our host I said, "What do you mean? Are they dead?"

"N-no. Yes? I don't know. S-so...so much blood!" she sobbed in response. Before she clicked off I could hear approaching running footsteps, likely from the first ones who ran out. Cursing, I slapped the radio back into Mr. Minazuki's hand. We'd determined what caused the scream, but that was it. My heart was pounding, and I could feel a pressure building in my head, like there was a memory trying to resurface. With all the chaos of the moment, though, could I really afford to pay attention to it? I flashed back to the vision I'd had of the Diamond Queen, the one where she'd talked about playing with the new pieces.

She'd just made her first move. What would be mine?

-----------------------------------------

Options

A. Take charge of the people still in the room, get them to check the surroundings now in case there's someone else on the premises.
B. Embrace the memory, even though it will take a few moments.
C. Wait and see what those who are remaining do.
D. Get to the room as fast as possible before the scene is too disturbed by the others.
>> No. 20237 edit
>>20236
b
>> No. 20238 edit
>>20236
B.
>> No. 20239 edit
>>20236
B.
>> No. 20267 edit
File 14887746294.jpg - (20.50KB , 400x400 , dc8b84ace635410c0b520fb3a4a10f86.jpg )
20267
>>20236

I could hear the commotion of people shouting and running around me, here in this room, and I felt the rising tide of memory get ready to overwhelm me once more. Feeling like a diver getting ready to make a leap into a pool, I focused, closed my eyes, and willingly gave myself to it.

"We have to get out of here!" Kumasawa was saying. All of the Rokkenjima group had gathered in the dining room to figure out what to do, since it was big enough to actually hold all of us.

"And how do you propose we do that?" asked Kyrie. Although it sounded like the question should have been asked in a mean way, she didn't say it like that. "The bridge is gone, and I don't think that we'd be able to make it down the mountain in this snowstorm. We're trapped until it ends, at least."

"But we're trapped with a killer!" despaired Kumasawa. "The girl in the spring, and now those two girls from the band? Someone is going to pick us off one by one..."

"Tch," said Aunt Eva. "They're probably just hiding somewhere. A serial killer? Please. We just need to wait this out. I just wish we didn't have to wait so long. You'd think that the staff would have some emergency way to contact the town, or at least be more willing to help us. I can't believe they all scattered like that. They're even more scared than the others, I think."

"Why do they all think it was us?" asked Maria, holding on to little Ange's hand. Ever since this had began, she'd been watching after her younger cousin.

"Because we're rich," replied Eva, instantly. "Poor people love to gawk at us when we have problems, and blame us for their own."

"Enough!" shouted Kinzo, and Eva was immediately silenced. The shout, however, got Kinzo coughing for a moment, and we all stood awkwardly until he finished. "We cannot blame others for their reactions, we can only monitor our own. Killer or not, it seems this place is dangerous. We must be on our guard and look out for each other. We are the Ushiromiya clan. This will not best us if we remain vigilant."

Many of us nodded, feeling better until Battler looked around. "Hey...where's Gohda?"


Then I was being shaken. Ms. Kojima roused me from my memories and I saw that we were the only two left in the room. "Mr. Ushiromiya! Are you all right? Come on!" I had a headache, and my heart was pounding. She was pulling me in the direction of the door towards the hallway. I wasn't sure, but I'd guess everyone had exited to see what was in the Moris' room, and she'd noticed I wasn't coming.

--------------------------------------------

Options

A. I can send her on ahead and use the chance to break away from the group.
B. Tell her about what I've just seen.
C. Get her to go on, while I try to push myself for even more of the memory.
D. Go with her.
>> No. 20268 edit
>>20267
A.
>> No. 20269 edit
>>20267
D
>> No. 20277 edit
D
>> No. 20500 edit
File 13118934377.png - (296.84KB , 640x480 )
20500
>>20267

"Sorry, sorry..." I gasped, trying to look like I'd just gotten too excited. I followed after her, out into the hallway and around. Up the stairs we went. Hurrying to the right, I saw a lot of people standing around outside the door to the first room, the Moris' room. One of the maids, Ayame I presumed was holding the other as she cried, which was probably Yuri. At a glance I could see that Mr. Itoh, Detective Yamauchi, and Chou weren't outside, and as Ms. Kojima and I approached the door I could see why. They were all inside, looking at a large reddish-brown stain that managed to stand out against the already reddish-brown carpet. To my untrained eye, if that was blood then it was far more than one or maybe even two people could lose and still be alive, and if the smell in the air was any indication, that was definitely blood. Detective Yamauchi was on one knee, gently placing his hand on the patch. Mr. Itoh was standing over his shoulder, frowning and looking at the stain as well. Chou was standing back by the doorframe, and when I tried to enter she put her hand out.

"I'm sorry, sir, but detective's orders." I looked over her shoulder to see the detective hold his hand out towards Mr. Itoh and rub his fingers together. Mr. Itoh nodded and they began a whispered conversation. I looked back to Chou and she shrugged helplessly.

I sighed. It seemed that I had missed my chance to look inside the room at this moment. "Alright, what do you know?" I asked my faithful friend and assistant.

She frowned, looking over her shoulder, before whispering to me, "Well, I didn't get much of a chance to look, since we were trying to see if there was anyone in need of medical attention. But I'm pretty sure there's no one else in this room. I also had to unlock the window to look outside in case they'd been dropped out. They hadn't been. I think the snow looked undisturbed too."

Well, it was better than nothing, I supposed. I thanked her and waited for the Detective and Mr. Itoh to come talk to us. Taking a moment, I looked around again. Now that I had time to count heads, I was sure that everyone was here, aside from the Moris'. There was something nagging at me though, like I wasn't quite accurate in that count...

As I tried to figure out what was bothering me, though, the two came to the door of the room. Ushering Ms. Kaneko out, they asked the crying maid for the key she'd used to enter the room. Sniffling, she pulled it out and gave it to the detective. Closing the door to the room, he locked it, then put the key in his pocket.

"Attention everyone," he said, "This is now a crime scene. No one but myself is allowed to enter unsupervised until the police get here."

"Um...sir?" began the other maid. "...that's the only master key there is. Could we have it back in case it's needed?"

The detective shook his head. "Sorry, no. Hopefully the police will be able to get here quickly so that won't be an issue. I have to call it in. Mr. Minazuki, could you show me to your landline? Since we're out of cell range?"

"Of course," said Mr. Minazuki. As they turned to walk away and the others began to murmur amongst themselves, I felt a nervous energy build within me. I couldn't just be a bystander, not now. I had to play the Diamond Queen's game. Before I even really knew what I was saying, I called out.

-------------------------------------

Options

A. "Shouldn't we look for them first? They might just be playing some weird prank."
B. "Tell us what you've figured out, please. We have a right to know."
C. "Why was Mr. Itoh in there with you?"
D. "Wait a minute, not everyone's here. Who's missing?"
>> No. 20501 edit
>>20500
D.
>> No. 20502 edit
>>20500
D
>> No. 20504 edit
>>20500
A
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