Chapter 11:

Basement Dweller

The Gallery

While I was eating the food on the floor, the man walked back in.

We stood still and shared a glance for a second, then I took the rock pick out of my backpack, and pointed it at him.

“Back away from me!!” I shouted at him.

“Shhh. Please keep quiet.” The man whispered to me, “Or they will hear you.” 

All of a sudden, he pushed me back into the stall that I just came out of, then we walked in with me and close the door.

A bunch of oil monsters barged into the toilet right after. They stumbled around the toilet for a bit, looking for us, but when they couldn’t find us, they slowly left the toilet.

We got out of the stall right after.

“Who are you?” I asked the man. I still have the rock pick pointed at him just in case.

“I should be the one asking you.” The man replied, “Who are you? And why are you here?”

“I… I accidentally got here.” I replied, “And I want to go home.”

“Accidentally got here? Then shouldn’t you be at the top?” He continued asking, “Why are you down here?”

“Victoria sent me here.” I answered.

As soon as he heard her name, the man quickly backed away from me. He picked his lantern back up and was about to leave the toilet.

“Then I want nothing to do with you.” Said the man, as he was about to leave. “Please don’t do anything to me.”

“Wait!” I said, “What do you mean?”

“Victoria sent you here, right?” He responded, “Then you must be after me.”

He rushed out of the toilet before I could say anything back. I quickly ran after him and saw him reentered the dining room.

I entered the dining room as well. I still have more questions to ask him.

“Hey!” I called him as he ran deeper into the dining room, quickly disappearing into the darkness.

I followed the light from the lantern, but I couldn’t catch up to him.

Eventually, the man walked back to me. He was holding a big bottle of clear liquid.

“What’s that?” I asked him.

“It’s called linseed oil.” Said the man, “I use it to get food from the oil monsters.”

My suspicion was correct. He actually used linseed oil to feed the oil monsters.

“So why are you doing this?” I asked the man, “Why are you down here?”

“Victoria didn’t tell you?” He asked me back.

“She didn’t say anything about the basement, or about you.” I replied.

“But you said that she sent you down here.” He said. “Aren’t you here to kill me?”

“No?” I responded, “She sent me here to kill me.”

“You’re lying…” He said, “She wouldn’t do that.”

“What do you mean?” I asked, feeling a little lost about what he was saying.

“Victoria would just trap people in the painting.” He replied, “She wouldn’t send anyone down here.”

“She did.” I said, “And I managed to escape it.”

“Huh?” He seemed confused and a little surprised, “How?”

“I snatched some gold ingots before I got trapped.” I replied.

“And you melt the gold?” He continued asking, “How could you do that?”

“I found Mori while I was trapped in there.” I answered, “He helped me escape the painting.”

“Mori?” He asked. I completely forgot that “Mori” wasn’t his actual name.

“Oh, yeah… I’m talking about Axel.” I told him, “Do you know him?”

“Axel…” He said as his eyes started to tear up, “Oh… I haven’t heard his name in so long.”

“How long has it been?” He continued mumbling to himself, “I don’t even remember what year this is anymore.”

“I miss how things were back then.” He continued, “I want to be up there too.”

“Uhh… Are you okay?” I asked him, interrupting his thinking out loud.

“I guess I’m okay…” He responded, “Can you tell me who you are?”

“Yeah…” I said, “My name is Daisuke, and you?”

“I am Dexter.” He replied, “I’d been stuck here in this basement’s floor for so long now.”

“This floor?” I asked, “What about the other floor here? You can’t go to any different floor?”

“I could…” He answered, “But what’s the point? Every floor here are the same anyway.”

“That’s true.” I said, “Can I asked why are you stuck down here?”

“Just some family issues.” He replied, “Nothing much.”


Maybe he is related to Victoria?

“Uhh… Do you happen to know… Violet?” I asked him, if he related to them, maybe, I could know more about the Gallery, and actually find a way to get home.

All of a sudden, he collapsed to his knees, and start to break down crying.

He mumbled something to himself, but I couldn’t really understand them since he was crying at the same time.

This is getting quite awkward, and I don’t know what I should do, so I just sat on one of the chairs, waiting for him to stop crying.

He looked hopeless, miserable, and sad. It felt like he really wanted to get out of the basement. This is getting uncomfortable…

After a short while, he stopped crying and slowly got back up.

“I am Victoria’s husband, and Violet’s dad.” said Dexter.

“I kinda saw that coming…” I told him. “But what I really want to know is why is this “basement” the exact copy of the mansion?”

“I… I don’t really want to talk about it.” Dexter said as he turned away from me, looking ashamed of himself. “It was all my fault…”

“Do you know how to get out of here?” He asked me.

“No, I don’t.” I answered, “I was going to ask you about it, and about this place as well.”

"There’s no use talking to you then.” He said as he picked his lantern up, put it out, and walked into the darkness.

I tried calling for him, but got no response.

I decided to pull my lilac out and chase after him, but it was too late now.

He disappeared into the dining room.

I think I should wait for him to calm down a little before I try to talk to him again.

I head out of the dining room and headed back upstairs, all the way up to the top floor, trying to make a little noise as possible.

When I arrived on the top floor, I saw a big black shadow in front of me.

It looked like it noticed me, and was about to run away, so I just ran up to it immediately before it could do anything.

It was a giant parrot. It spread its wings and was about to fly away, so I quickly held on to its feathers.

Both of us took off. The bird was so strong that it could carry me up quite easily. Maybe this parrot could carry me out of the basement?

But came to think of it, this parrot must be that soft thing that I felt last night… What was it doing here?

The parrot tried to wiggle me off of it, but I held on to it as tight as I could. Eventually, we flew into the wall and fall to the floor.

While I was lying down, the parrot got up and flew away.

I didn’t have a chance to say anything, so I didn't know if the parrot could talk or not, but I think that must be one of Hanako’s drawings when she was a kid.

So from what I’ve managed to gather so far, the basement was the original mansion, and for some reason, Victoria had to rebuild the mansion, but Dexter got trapped here.

Or was he stuck here after that?

I could only make guesses for now, until I found Dexter again, and have a talk with him again.

I waited around on the top floor for a really long time, my goal was to wait until Dexter has to get the oil out for the oil monsters. I planned to talk to him at that time.

When I think I waited long enough, I quickly ran down the stairs, all the way to the bottom floor.

I stood in front of the dining room, and after a short while, the oil monster from the floors above started piling down the stairs and entered the dining room.

When Dexter opened the door for them, he noticed me, but he quickly walked back in, presumably to serve the linseed oil to the oil monsters.

Then he walked out of the dining room with his lantern.

“I’ll tell you more about myself.” Said Dexter, “But you must promise me that you will help me save the Gallery…”

He paused for a bit.

“And save my family.” He continued.

“If you send me back home right after,” I said, “I will.”

“That’s fine by me.” He said.

“Well, as you know, I am Dexter.” He continued, “And in this place, there was an accident that happened when Violet was still just a baby.”

“We had to move out, so we created another mansion on top of this one, and called the old mansion 'the basement’.”

“We continued living our lives as usual, but one day. I-“ 


Why am I on the top floor again?

Where is Dexter?

I found myself back on the top floor of the basement again. I tried looking around to see what happened.

There was a silver canvas on the wall behind me.

And Victoria was in the painting.

“It’s been a while…” Victoria in the painting started talking. “I’m honestly surprised that still managed to survived down there for this long.”

“What did you do?” I asked.

“It seems like you’ve found someone you shouldn't find, huh?” She said, “You should stop talking to Dexter, you can’t trust him.”

“But I can’t trust you either.” I responded, “Why don’t you send me back home then.”

“You’ll have to find the source of the oil monsters first, remember our deal?” She replied.

“But Dexter promised the same thing.” I said, “I’ll just gonna go talk to him instead, I’m sick of you now.”

“Then enjoy your eternal life down there.” Victoria said to me while smirking, “Both of you will be stuck down there together.

Right after she’s done talking, her portrait quickly disappeared from the painting, but the painting still remained on the wall; however, it was now depicted the Bedroom from the mansion above.

I kinda miss the luxury of the mansion, if I am being honest.

Now I’m stuck down here, sleeping on the floor.

I miss the Garden and the Pine Forest so much. Things were so simpler back then.

I sat down on the basement floor for a bit, thinking about the times in the mansion.

After a moment, I managed to compose myself again. I got up and decided on my next plan.

I want to find that parrot again, and have a proper chat with it. I also want to continue talking with Dexter, but I think waiting for when I’m hungry again would be more efficient, since I have to go all the way down the basement spiral stairs each time.

I now have a lot of time to kill and decided to quickly mix up a batch of green oil paint, using the paint that I had in my backpack.

I splattered the paint onto the Bedroom painting, hoping for Victoria to react.

All of a sudden, the whole painting started to fade away slowly, it turned itself into a blank canvas, with no response from anyone at all.

I think that’s enough trouble for today, I’ll go to sleep now.

Tomorrow, I will find a chance to talk to Dexter again.

I lied down on the floor, at this point, I’ve got pretty used to sleeping on this wet, dirty floor now, so falling asleep wasn’t that hard.

I woke up to find a purple light right on top of my head. The light came from a lilac, similar to the one that Hanako sent me last time.

It seemed like Hanako sent me something again, I quickly got up to check it out.