Chapter 66: The Terror of the Nekomimi Neko Mansion
Regarding the bath, when one is inside, the other one must always be on standby at the dressing room.
While inside, you have to speak out at set times.
Those were the 2 conditions placed.
Why is there a need to keep in contact constantly when inside the bathroom This one can’t be helped.
If we had an item that gives us the underwater attribute, it would be a different story, but all such items are time limited items.
Probably even Hisame doesn’t have an item like that.
Speaking of which, there was an opinion on the internet that said: if I had a match with Hisame at an underwater dungeon with an underwater attribute item, I might be able to win against Hisame even at low level.
But there were no instances of finding Hisame at an underwater dungeon, so that idea was abandoned.
I did say before that Hisame would show up randomly anywhere to help the player aside from when you are defeating the Demon Lord, but now that I think about it, I haven’t heard reports of her appearing in underwater dungeons, tall towers, or flying cities.
She might actually be very particular about it.
…Could it be that, if I manage to bait her properly into a bath and fight her there, I could win easily
But well, I wasn’t really thinking about buying a house at that time, so that’s already passed anyways.
Aah, what a wasted opportunity.
“…Souma…are you there” (Ringo)
Ringo’s voice mixed with desperation entered my ears.
I was desperately trying to escape from reality here, but that voice once again made me conscious of it.
The reason why my thoughts have been scattered for a while now is because Ringo is bathing right now.
There might be people who would say ‘And what about it’, but I have to be conscious of Ringo who is naked by the other side of the door, by the side of her undressed clothes, and the sound of splashing water every now and then.
I don’t know about other people, but this is not a situation that I can stay unfazed in as a loner.
I don’t even know who is the one making the regular checks here anymore.
The innocent voice of Ringo that doesn’t know the anguish I am facing right now echoed in the place.
“Y-Yeah, I am here! I am definitely here!” (Souma)
I responded in a loud voice.
I heard the somewhat satisfied response of Ringo and I held my head even harder than before.
After that brief moment of heaven or hell, we decided to go to bed early.
Of course, this was by my request.
If this is just the first day, I worry for the future, but I want to believe I will get used to it.
“See you tomorrow then.” (Souma)
“…See you.” (Ringo)
We parted ways in front of our rooms.
Ringo went to the neighboring room that’s made only of hearts and pink colors, and I went to my retro room with a TV and phone.
A few minutes after that…
“…So, why are you here, Ringo” (Souma)
Ringo was standing in my room with a futon full of heart patterns.
Even if the room is not locked, I didn’t expect her to enter just a few minutes after.
No wonder she didn’t say ‘see you tomorrow’ when we parted ways in front of our rooms.
I look at Ringo with a gaze of protest, but…
“…I will sleep here.” (Ringo)
She didn’t show any signs of faltering and declared this one-sidedly as she tried to lie down by the side of my bed.
I obviously hurriedly stopped her.
“W-Wait a moment! We even decided on our own rooms, right! Why do something like this…” (Souma)
Ringo received my words without feeling any remorse and said this clearly.
“You will die…if I take my eyes off you.” (Ringo)
“Don’t say something so ominous!” (Souma)
I scratched my head.
It seems like the incident at the bathroom turned the worry switch of Ringo on.
She is acting purely out of good intentions, so I can’t come out too strong here.
“…Can’t be helped.” (Souma)
I throw the bear plushie near my pillow to her.
“You didn’t bring a pillow, right Use that.” (Souma)
A gentleman would give up the bed here, but I feel like, if I do that, she would actually settle down here.
That said, I don’t have the courage to sleep in the same bed, so this is as much as I can concede here.
After Ringo stared at the bear plushie for 10 whole seconds…
She said this and placed it below her head.
“Don’t worry about something like that.” (Souma)
I said that almost reflexively, and then I suddenly felt guilt.
Ringo has really saved me so many times, to the point that I wouldn’t be here without her.
Compared to that, can I really say that I have properly and sincerely faced Ringo
Haven’t I been hiding way too much about myself by using the fact that Ringo lacks common sense
Rather than calling it for the sake of Ringo, it is more for my own sake.
I am suddenly assailed by the guilt of not telling Ringo her own identity.
“…Hey, Ringo.” (Souma)
I am on the bed and Ringo is below it.
Because of our position, we can’t see each other’s faces, and even if we could, the only light source is the moonlight coming in from the window.
But that kind of situation allowed me to speak out things that I normally wouldn’t be able to.
“Have you noticed that I know things that normal people wouldn’t know” (Souma)
There was no answer to that question for a while.
I thought that maybe she was already asleep, but a low voice eventually replied.
You could say that’s a Ringo-like answer.
I continue talking with a wry smile.
“Never thought about why I know those things Maybe, you wondered where I got that knowledge…” (Souma)
I cut off my words there and waited for Ringo’s response.
If Ringo answers with a ‘No’, I plan on stopping this topic there.
There’s no need to force this topic out if the person herself isn’t interested.
But if she answers with an ‘I am interested’, then I think it might be okay to explain to her.
Leaving aside whether to tell her about this world being a game, I can at least tell her about how I was raised at a really far away place different from here.
But after a silence longer than before, what Ringo said was neither of those.
In a low voice, one that I can’t feel confidence in, she certainly said that.
She voiced out the ‘correct answer’ that no one should know about.
“Why…do you…!” (Souma)
I was panicking.
The word ‘game’ should exist in this world too.
But this world doesn’t have advanced games that require the use of a computer.
There’s no way there would be.
The games in this world should be simple ones that don’t use machines, so it normally wouldn’t be tied with knowledge.
Noticing me panic, Ringo began explaining in a broken fashion as if flustered by my oversensitive reaction.
“…You said it before.” (Ringo)
“Before Before when” (Souma)
Ringo answered my panicked question.
“Yesterday, big—” (Ringo)
However, before she could finish speaking…
A piercing sound resonated in the room and erased her voice.
“W-What was that!” (Souma)
I reflexively jumped up from the bed.
That sound that was like the sound of an alarm came from the jet black object placed at the corner of the room.
You could call it an antique from an old era before the VR era.
If I remember correctly, it was called the black phone.
(What bad timing.) (Souma)
I thought it couldn’t be used in the morning, but maybe the reception is different
In the first place, I don’t think anyone would call the phone at this time.
Anyways, I will know once I answer.
I spoke with irritation towards the person at the other side of the phone.
I heard a faint voice from the phone.
But it was so low I couldn’t pick up what they said.
“You, what are you sa—” (Souma)
For some reason, I couldn’t pick up everything they were saying.
But the next time.
The third time, I could hear it clearly.
“I will kill you.”
At the same time as my words processed those words.
“Hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.
I hate them.
We are dead.
You die, become comrade.
Definitely definitely kill you.”
The sudden torrent of words made me let go of the phone.
“What was that just now…” (Souma)
It was like a line-up of words that were filled with malice.
I stared at the black phone on the floor creeped out, and right after I muttered this…
A sound as if something exploded rang behind me.
I reflexively looked behind me and gulped.
“Wa! T-This is…” (Souma)
There was a bright red handprint on the wall.
There wasn’t something like that when I entered the room.
When I was thinking about this, a BAM sound rang again.
“The handprints…” (Souma)
A new bright red handprint was engraved there as if an invisible person was advancing.
*BAM! BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM!!*
After that, the explosive sounds rang continuously as if a dam had broken, and the invisible something announced its advance.
The handprints creeping about on the walls seemed as if they were approaching me.
(Damn it! What in the world is happening) (Souma)
I don’t get what the hell’s going on here, but I feel like staying here is dangerous.
“Ringo, we have to leave this place at—” (Souma)
I felt instinctive fear here, but when I was about to say we should go outside…
A new allophone rang from my side.
Not only that…
(The TV!) (Souma)
The TV screen that didn’t show anything no matter what I did was showing a faint image of a person.
No, that’s not all…
A creepy voice rang.
And then, a woman with long hair crawled out from that TV screen as if crossing the 2D world to the 3d one.
—I won’t let you run away!!
It jumped at me with its pair of legs.
So much was going on, my body was not moving on command.
But the sharp voice of Ringo rang in the darkness an instant faster than those arms reached me.
A flash shone the dark room brightly, and it blew away the woman that jumped at me.
Ringo’s Lightning Strike.
“Y-You saved me there.” (Souma)
I thank Ringo with a slightly high-pitched voice.
Ringo grabbed my hand without a single smile and tried to bring me to the exit of the room.
“But that one just now…” (Souma)
The moment I was about to say this.
—Won’t let you run…
I once again heard noise from the TV.
When I looked back at this…
—Won’t let you run…!
The long haired woman that should have been defeated before was creeping towards us at outrageous speed.
“Wa! You gotta be kidding me!” (Souma)
We hurriedly left the room.
And quickly closed the door.
“With this…” (Souma)
I couldn’t finish saying that ‘we managed to escape’.
Clattering noises rang and the doorknob was being turned at terrifying speed.
I jumped at the door a breath faster than the door being opened.
I barely managed to stop the door from opening.
But the strength trying to force the door open was strong, and I doubt I will be able to last long.
“Ringo, the key!” (Souma)
After opening all the rooms on the first floor, we left the house key at the table in the living room.
In order to lock this door, either one of us must go get the key.
“…Wait for me.” (Ringo)
Ringo really is reliable at times like this.
She didn’t panic or asked for instructions twice, and quickly turned around.
—I won’t…I won’t let you…run away!!
Strong blows were shaking the door ceaselessly.
My body is on the verge of being blown away at every instance.
But I am desperate too.
I place my back on the door and stand ground with my legs with all my strength.
At the same time as that eerie voice rang as if it echoed directly in my mind, an especially strong impact crashed onto the door.
At this rate, the door will give out before I even run out of strength.
“Ringo! Not yet!” (Souma)
I ended up shouting.
That prayer must have reached…
“Here, Souma!” (Ringo)
The voice of Ringo pierced through the darkness.
I properly caught the shining thing that came flying.
The house key.
—I won’t let you run! Never!!
The resentful voice still rang.
I endure covering my ears and jam the key into the keyhole.
I scold my trembling hand and turn it.
The moment it was locked, I could tell that the pressure on the other side of the door decreased.
The voice and the banging continued for a while, but it eventually weakened…
—Won’t let you run.
Won’t let you…
A few seconds later, the room turned silent.
(…We did it) (Souma)
I slowly slide down and sit in place.
Even though I took a bath not long ago, I ended up breaking into cold sweat.
I was sitting in the dark corridor for a few seconds without moving.
Ringo, who had cheekily brought out the bear plushie, tapped my shoulder.
Unfortunately the electricity () in the corridor is gone.
I don’t remember having anything to do with that, so it is probably made in a way that it goes out at a certain point in time.
Considering the situation right now, that’s quite the unpleasant setup, but I won’t pursue that topic right now.
I chant the basic light spell and create the bare minimum amount of light.
As one would expect from a spell that anyone can use, it is only as bright as a lighted up fingernail, but having this makes a lot of difference.
“Ringo, don’t lower your guard.” (Souma)
I say this as I advance the corridor.
The incident at the bathroom happened just recently, so I didn’t exactly have my guard lowered, but I lacked way too much awareness that this is the world of Nekomimi Neko.
The death trap at the bath was most likely unintended with various other elements coming into play to create it, but it is by no means a bug.
The many events that came from the childish heart of the Nekomimi Neko staff that have absolutely no self-restraint, they are set up in really malicious locations.
You could even say they are the second biggest enemy in Nekomimi Neko.
This is my personal opinion, but if we were to line up the things that you must be careful about in Nekomimi Neko by danger level, the 1st place would be the bugs, the 2nd would be the maliciousness of the developers, 3rd the NPCs, and 4th would be the monsters.
Even when I knew the deplorable personality of the Nekomimi Neko developers, I just concluded that there should be no dangers since it is my own home, and didn’t avoid the TV and phone that were clear landmines.
You could say that was my own mistake.
That said, I don’t think there’s horrible setups like this in all the rooms.
Thinking back on it calmly, that felt like an amalgamation of classic horror film tropes.
The concept of the room just now was most likely ghosts and scary experience.
In other words, I pulled quite the bad card there.
If we explore, we should be able to find a room with concepts that are not that harmful.
Also, it is good that we managed to ascertain that the abnormalities inside can be quelled down if you lock it.
Even if we pull a dangerous room, as long as we have the key, we can avoid the worst.
(But this is taking so long.) (Souma)
Did the rooms feel so apart from each other before
Or is it my sense of distance going weird because we are advancing through the darkness
While I was feeling uneasy about it, we found a new room.
“We are entering.” (Souma)
I said this and slowly turned the doorknob, and then peek inside.
The inside was a normal room to an unexpected extent.
It is around the same size as the ghost room, but there’s no abnormalities with the furniture and the walls, and it doesn’t look dangerous.
It only has the bare minimum furniture compared to other rooms, but I feel like this is plenty enough for sleeping.
(The concept is simplicity, I guess But I feel like there was no such room before…) (Souma)
That said, the room wasn’t locked and there’s electricity.
There’s no doubt it is a room we have explored before.
Could it be that it was so normal that it didn’t leave much of an impression
(Hmm, guess I should leave the conclusions for later.) (Souma)
A room this normal is rare, and I should be able to learn something if we were to investigate this room further.
“First, let’s confirm whether this room really is safe or not.” (Souma)
It would be troubling if we were to get attacked while sleeping like before.
We investigated the room while wary of our surroundings, but there wasn’t really anything suspicious.
If I had to mention anything, it would be that there’s an awful lot of places with metal fixtures for the furniture.
“…Well, no point overthinking.
Let’s be on guard so that we can move immediately when something happens and rest here.” (Souma)
When I said this, Ringo nodded and looked at the floor at the side of the bed as if troubled.
The futon of Ringo has been left in my room.
That said, I don’t have the courage to open that room again and get the futon.
“T-Then, let’s use this bed together.” (Souma)
Fortunately, the bed in this room is pretty wide.
If we sleep on one corner and the other, there won’t be any inconveniences.
Also, in the case something like before happens again, it would be troubling if Ringo is too far from me.
That’s why this is an unavoidable measure.
While I was giving excuses to myself, Ringo moved without hesitation.
She ran to the bed one step faster, and placed the bear plushie at the side of the bed, affixing it to a metal fixture, and jumped onto the bed.
And then she directed a gaze at me as if saying ‘you are not coming in’.
“A-Aah, yeah, right.” (Souma)
I follow her example and enter the bed from the opposite side.
I tried to stay as far to the side as possible, but Ringo took a spot in the middle, so our arms are touching a little bit.
Now that I think about it, there’s only me and Ringo in this big house -excluding the vengeful spirit.
There’s no way I can stay completely calm.
My heart was drumming.
(Aah, damn it! Calm down, my heart!) (Souma)
If Ringo finds out, it would be pretty awkward.
I continued chanting it to calm down.
That wish must have been transmitted, or maybe it had nothing to do with it, but an abnormality happened the next instant.
Heaven and earth flipped around.
I obviously wasn’t prepared for such an abrupt happening, so I fell into the air without being able to do anything.
I fell for around 2 meters and crashed onto the floor with the blanket and everything.
No it is not the floor.
(This is…the ceiling…) (Souma)
The pattern of the floor is the same as the pattern of the ceiling that was calming my heart down before.
No, it is the very same.
I helped Ringo by my side, who had fallen just like me, and I looked at the place overhead where we were.
The bed we were sleeping at just a few moments ago is sticking to the ceiling.
(I see!) (Souma)
The weird open distance between rooms.
The metal fixtures placed meticulously everywhere as if fearing that the furniture would shift.
And the reason why I didn’t remember this room despite having come once.
This means one thing.
(The first time we found this room, it was when it was the room with all the furniture on the ceiling!) (Souma)
No, that’s not really accurate.
It is most likely that the floor and ceiling of this room rotate 180° at fixed times.
Since the position of the floor and the ceiling were reversed when we first came, I thought this was a normal room with the furniture fixed to the ceiling.
The rooms being strangely apart from each other must be in order to set up the contraption for the flipping of the room.
“What an unbelievable house…” (Souma)
I ended up complaining.
I do get their childish nature, but I would like them to think about the people who are living in it.
Anyways, we can’t rest in a room like this.
I pulled Ringo, who was looking at the bear fixed at the ceiling as if regretful, and left the room.
The next room we went to was the room of Ringo.
I don’t really like the overdose of pink here, but if it is simply the taste of a girl, it sounds liveable…is what I thought, but…
“W-What’s going on!” (Souma)
The moment Ringo and I sat at the heart shaped bed, I felt the ground move again.
I thought it was going to rotate again, but the rotation this time around was horizontal.
The bed began to spin like a merry-go-round the moment we sat there.
Then the lights of the room flicker and the pink color switched to a gaudy one.
Moody music played from somewhere, and the voice of a woman going ‘ahn’ and ‘ahaan’ echoed…
“This place is…” (Souma)
There’s no doubt what the concept of this room is.
Could this possibly be a love…
“A-Anyways, we are leaving!” (Souma)
This room is terribly bad for the education of Ringo!
I pulled the hand of Ringo and hurriedly escaped this room.
And the place we ended up at was the room closest to the entrance.
A normal living room with no bed or anything at all.
I feel like we won’t be able to sleep no matter what room we go to.
Then, it would be best to just sleep in this spacious room that has no accommodations for sleeping needs, but also has no contrivances.
Ringo must be tired too.
“Let’s sleep here.” (Souma)
She didn’t object to that.
Fortunately, the sofas in this room are big and high quality, so it is plenty enough for someone to lie on it.
I brought out just the blankets from the rotating room and the wallpaper room, and we laid down on the sofas opposite to each other with a table in between.
This time around we said ‘good night’ and closed our eyes at our respective sofas.
(Aah, damn it!) (Souma)
Even though I know nothing should happen here, I have gotten hyper sensitive.
Every single time I hear a sound, I would jump up.
I am barely getting any sleep here.
(Haah, I miss the horse shed…) (Souma)
Now that I think about it, I don’t know why I was complaining when I was sleeping there.
That place had decent enough space to sleep in and a warm bed.
Thanks to the moonlight, there was plenty of vision around, and the most you would have to be wary of were thieves.
It was like paradise.
(I was living the life back then, huh…) (Souma)
While I was thinking that, my shoulder was tapped.
Looks like Ringo couldn’t sleep and has come to interact with me.
(Good grief…) (Souma)
I can’t sleep at all either, so I am honestly happy about this, but if I were to respond to her here, it is even less likely that we will get to sleep here.
I steel my heart and decide to ignore her.
*Tap tap…tap tap*
Ringo was not stopping.
I have been pretending I was asleep, but that’s turning into a pain in and of itself, so finally…
*Tap tap…tap tap tap*
When Ringo was beginning to tap me on the shoulder harder than before, I reached the limit of my patience.
“Oi, Ringo, let me sleep already.” (Souma)
When I raise my voice…
“…I am here…though” (Ringo)
The voice of Ringo came from far away.
Judging from Ringo’s voice just now, Ringo has not moved from the sofa at the opposite side.
(Then, who has been tapping my shoulder for a while now) (Souma)
Chills ran down through my whole body.
Something fearsome is looking at me.
That kind of feeling was seizing me.
But if I don’t turn around, nothing happens.
I squeeze out my courage and turn my body to the other side.
And then, there it was…
‘Something’ was on the table that should have nothing on.
A shadow floating in the darkness.
That form that’s impossible for a person.
Thick and ugly arms and legs to the point of being called abnormal.
The yellow that is coloring its body gaudily.
There’s no doubt about it.
The identity of the shadow is..
…The bear plushie that Ringo had taken a liking to.
I already saw a ghost, so if I were to get scared by this, I would be lacking courage.
Giving me a fright.” (Souma)
I once again laid down on the sofa hugging the plushie and spit out that complaint.
But I suddenly noticed.
(Eh Wait a moment.
This plushie should have been left in the rotating room…) (Souma)
The moment I thought that, my arm was tapped again.
There’s of course no shadow around.
While thinking that’s not possible, I look at the plushie in my hands, and the mouth that should have been smiling lovingly…split apart widely…
I won’t let you run away…
The night of fear continues…!
Author: It won’t.