The painting depicted...
On his body, I could still see the black stain on where the cage was supposed to be, and this brush too... Was the Master used all of these to turn Mori into how he is now?
I might be on to something...
I continued to refill my paints, after I was done, I headed back to Mori, who was in the Pine Forest. I took the paintbrush and the Mori's canvas back with me.
When I got back, I showed Mori the painting, he seemed a little scared.
I took out one of my paintbrushes and painted a black line on Mori's body.
I then took the paintbrush that I found along with the painting and painted the same black line on his body again.
All of a sudden, a black line appeared on Mori's body, exactly where I painted it too.
I wanted to make Mori smaller, but I didn't know how to do that just yet, I guess I'll have to wait until I come up with something.
"Hey! Mori, can I make you smaller?" I asked Mori, in case he didn't want to be smaller.
Mori nodded cheerfully. I wish I knew how Mori originally looked like, so I can just turn him back to the puppy that he was.
But I would never know how he used to look like now, so let's design a new Mori.
I used random blank canvas from the corridor, just in case I messed something up.
I began sketching what I think Mori should look like with the pencil that I have.
My first rendition was a standard looking puppy. It was rather rough, since I had no background in art whatsoever.
I showed my sketch to Mori, but he didn't seem to like it at all, well, sketching more stuff would be a great practice anyway, so I'm not complaining.
My second rendition of Mori was how he is now, with wings and fins, but I sketched him as a small puppy.
He didn't like that one either, in fact, he seemed to dislike it even more than the first one.
This would be a lot harder than I thought, it seemed.
Either way, it seemed like my exploration had come to an end. I couldn't leave this dining room, since the bathtub that connected to the Pine Forest is here.
The last time I was on the top floor, I was there for more oil paints in the Living Room, But I didn't explore that floor much at all.
So I decided to walk up the stairs to explore the area around the Living Room.
It should just be the same endless corridor, but I wanted to check, just to be sure.
While on the top floor I came across a weird hallway, it was different than all of the places in this mansion.
In that hallway, there were two doors facing each other, the door looked expensive and luxurious, next to each door, there was a sign, One of them labeled: "Bedroom."
And the other sign is labeled: "Office."
I knew instantly, who these rooms belong to, and I started to panic.
I wanted to open that door and confront her right there, but I was too scared that I couldn't stop shaking.
I stood there for a while, trying to compose myself, but I'm not brave enough yet. I don't know what she would do to me this time.
I slowly backed away, my body was still shaking. When I thought I was far away enough from the room, I just ran for my life, away from those rooms.
But I'll come back for sure, just you wait!
I ran back down the stairs and back into the Pine Forest.
If I want to fight the Master, I would have to be a much better artist, so I started training every day in the Pine Forest and the Garden.
I only came into the mansion for food and to refill paints now.
With absolutely nothing else to do, I was improving quite quickly. I also found a drawing book in the Living Room that seemed to belong to the Master.
It had a bunch of sketches of different people, places, and animals, this one seemed quite old, though, she must have sketch these a long time ago.
Since some of them were just rough sketches, I used the book as a reference for my own drawing. I learned about anatomy and perspective by replicating the sketches.
And after countless hours of practice, I could paint a lot better now, still not as good as Hanako, but I could probably paint a new body for Mori now.
I came up with a few more iteration of Mori, there was one where he was a falcon, there was another one where he was an ape, there was even a human version of Mori, but he didn't seem to like any of them all that much.
Until I finally landed on the one that Mori liked. This one was a small hamster with a pair of wings, now I just had to paint it onto the canvas somehow.
But it seemed like I'm forgetting something. It felt there was something important that I should be doing right now. Maybe I was just too tired?
I came back to the Garden to relax a bit. I planned to lie down under the tree to rest myself up. I haven't done that for a long time now.
I saw the unfinished painting of my house that I left under that tree, and it just hit me. I should be finding a way to get home, How could I forget something so important? It almost felt like someone deleted it from my brain or something.
Either way, I remembered it now, and I knew how to paint as well. Let's finish this painting. It's been a long time coming.
I put that painting on the painting easel that Hanako left there under the tree and spend a few days slowly added in the details of the painting.
I didn't know why, but my memories of the world that I came from were really foggy, I had to really think about the simple details, like the color of my fences, or my roof.
This is really bad, but I think I have become more familiar with the Gallery than my actual world. How bizarre?
I managed to complete the painting, but it wasn't perfect as I couldn't remember some of the details of my house, even I couldn't tell if it was really my house or not.
But here goes nothing. I said to myself as I got ready to go home, hopefully anyway.
After the paint dried, I jumped into the painting, and I couldn't believe what I saw.
It was actually my house, all of a sudden, all of my memories of my own world started coming back, and I could remember all the details of my house now.
I am back...
I got into the house, expected to see my mom, my dad, and my older sister, but it seemed like no one was home.
I waited in my room for a while, but no one came home, not only that, but the sun didn't seem to move at all since I got here, it just stayed in the middle of the sky.
I quickly rushed outside of my house to see if any of my neighbors were home or not, but I couldn't spot anyone at all.
This clearly wasn't my world, it was just a recreation of it. There was not a single soul here.
But maybe I should just stay here either way, at least it's better than sleeping on the Garden floor.
Out of curiosity, I decided to go to the mall, and sure enough, there was an art exhibition right there.
Still, there were no humans, or even animals in sight.
I went to the room of the exhibition, where the Gallery painting was there.
In that room was the same corridor painting, but this time there was someone standing in the painting as well.
It was the Master.
"You genuinely thought you've escaped?" She said, "It's not that simple!"
"How do you know where I am?" I asked.
"I know everything in the Gallery!" She replied.
"Then why did you let me escape the Pine Forest? Why did you let Hanako live in the Garden?" I continued asking.
"They're all parts of my plan!" She exclaimed, "And there's nothing you can do about it. Hahah!!"
"Just accept it, kid!! You're trapped here in the Gallery as a pawn of my plan forever!" She continued.
"Now, show me what you're capable of!" She said as she disappeared from the painting.
The moment that she disappeared completely, the ground started shaking really hard. I ran out of the mall and saw that there was a really strong earthquake going on, I quickly rushed back to my house to escape.
The ground under me started to split apart, I almost fell into the crevices multiple times, but I eventually manage to get home.
Right before I left the painting, the ground under my house started to split too, and I was forced to watch my house slow get engulfed into the ground, as a final insult to my attempt to escape, I supposed.
I made it back to the mansion safely, I was pretty disappointed and confused.
Then the painting of my house started to break apart, before it slowly crumbled into dust.
Another worthless effort, it seemed.
What was the plan she talked about? Will I ever get home at this point?
So basically, the Master knew I was this whole time? But didn't do anything, because I was a "part of her plan"?
I am so confused and scared, but there wasn't a lot that I could do. I'll just have to be more cautious for now, I guess.
With no ways of escape, I turned my focus on Mori, and how to turn him into the drawing that I sketched for him not too long ago.
I decided to do some experiments on him.
First, I covered his wings with white, the same color as the canvas.
And to my surprise, his wings actually disappeared. If I just replace one part at a time, maybe this could work.
So I continued, removing a part of Mori, and added new ones based on my sketch of a hamster I drew earlier.
I started with his fins, then his legs, drawing small hamster's legs in their place, then I moved on to his body, his tail, and eventually, his head.
When I'm done, Mori turned into a small hamster, small enough to fit in my palm. I added a new pair of wings and now Mori is a flying hamster.
And the good thing is, Mori could still breathe the white fire, which would come in handy when we eventually have to fight the Master.
Mori seemed happy with his new form.
And with that all completed, now my priority is to restore the Garden and rescue Hanako somehow.
I really wanted to get rid of those statues, but I just don't know how, burning didn't work, and I couldn't just paint something over them either.
The grass that grew on them made them a lot less scary, but they still bother me every time I looked at them.
But now that I have Mori with me in the Garden, I felt a bit more relaxed, even in the middle of those monster statues.
I took Mori into the Garden for the first time. We messed around under the tree for a bit, after a long while, we decided to go to bed.
I painted the Garden's sky black, like how Hanako used to do it, and as the sky started to get dark and the sun started falling down, I used yellow to paint a full moon.
The full moon slowly ascended from the horizon, and the berries and the flowers started to glow.
Mori and I went to sleep.
I woke up in the middle of the night, I saw the monster statues in the corner of my eyes.
It reminded me of the time when I just got here, things were a lot more peaceful back then.
Was one of the statues just moved?
Nah... That's not possible. I must have been too tired.
I woke up for a second time after having sufficient sleep to find the grassy field on fire.
There were a lot of statues on that field too and Mori was burning them. The statues on the field almost doubled in amount.
Does this mean that the moving statue I saw at that time was actually a monster?
Luckily, Mori was awake to burn them, it seemed like when he turned into a hamster, his fire didn't get weaker at all, which is good.
When there were no monsters moving, I told Mori to stop, then I painted the sky blue, painted the sun and clouds, then I repainted the grass again.
It was daytime now, and the field was a lot scarier and more unsettling than before. I really should find a way to get rid of these statues.
Maybe I should go to the office after all? Maybe there's something in there that I could use?
"What should I do, Mori?" I asked Mori.
He squeaked. He seemed sad as well.
"It seemed like we can't do anything after all." I continued. "We don't have any gold ingots left too."
I felt truly hopeless for the first time since I got here.
I started crying.
Mori tried to comfort me as much as he can, but I couldn't stop crying.
"I'm just a kid, why do I have to face so much?" I said. "Can I really win a fight against a grown woman?"
I continued to cry, until I fell asleep again.
I woke up for the third time today, feeling a little better now.
I knew that I have nothing to lose, and I couldn't just wait around either.
I decided to visit the Office and the Bedroom.
after a bit of preparation, I was ready.
Mori and I leave the Garden and headed up the spiral stairs.
We reached the top floor, there were some maids and butlers on there, but Mori burned all of them into statues.
Eventually, we reached the Living Room. We got to witness one of the monsters being created.
It slowly emerged from the painting, starting small, but slowly getting bigger.
Mori burned it before its creation was completed, while I refill my oil paints on the other side of the room.
When I was done, I turned to the monster to find that the monster, along with all of the oil dripping from the painting was completely solidified.
this could actually be the end of the maids and the butlers, but I could only hope that was the case.
We continued down the corridor and made it to the Office and the Bedroom.
I hesitated a little, before prying the Office door open.
Luckily, there was nobody in here.
The room was pretty small, with shelves and drawers everywhere, and a fancy table and an equally fancy chair in the middle of the room.
I started rummaging through the shelves and the drawers right away.
I found some more gold ingots, which is nice.
I also found some weird glass bottles in one of the drawers, all of them have a label that said "Highly acidic" with a skull symbol next to it.
This could be something that can melt the oil away, I should take a couple with me.
I put everything I took into my bag and started to get paranoid of the Master.
She said that she knew everything in the Gallery, so surely, she must know that I am here too.
I should leave before she caught me.
As I was about to leave the area, I got curious of how the Bedroom would look like.
So I slowly pried the door open to see what's inside.
The Bedroom was as fancy as I expected, the room was really big, and in the middle of it, was a really luxurious looking bed.
Someone's sleeping on the bed.
It must be Master, so I started to close the door and was about to run away.
But the person got up before I could close the door.
It was Hanako...