Chapter 16:

The Oil Boy

The Gallery

I took one of the lanterns, then I left the bedroom.

“Goodbye, for now, I guess.” I told him.

I slowly walked back up to the top floor, still without any idea of what to do next.

When I got to the top floor, The parrot was already back there. It was sitting next to my blanket and pillow.

“Hi! Thank you for taking me there.” I told the parrot.

“Thank you! Thank you!” The parrot repeated what I said cheerfully while nodding.

“Uhh… Do you know your name?” I asked the parrot.

The parrot tilted its head, which probably meant that it forgot its name or didn’t have one in the first place.

“Can I name you then?” I continued asking the parrot.

The parrot cheerfully nodded once again.

I spent quite a while thinking about its name, but since I named Hanako based on a flower, and I named Mori based on the trees, it was only fitting if I name the parrot based on where it was.

“I think I’ll name you ‘Sora’!” I told the parrot.

I decided to name it “Sora,” which means “sky”. I think it’s a pretty fitting name.

When the parrot heard me said that, it started to dance around and repeating its own name.

“Sora! Sora! Sora!” It said.

Well, I supposed I can let Sora do its things for now then. I have to find a way to light this lantern, so that I could see properly again.

How did Dexter light the lantern? There shouldn’t be any fire in the basement, so how did he do it?

I’ve been trying to light this lantern for a long while now, but I have no idea how to do so.

I thought about how I would do it, but all of the methods that I could think of will most likely set this whole place on fire.

Eventually, I gave up on trying to light the lantern, so I just put the lilac into the lantern as a joke.

But to my surprise, some part of the lilac came into contact with the oil inside and it started to illuminate a little more.

Hmm… That’s interesting.

I took the lilac back out and completely submerged it in linseed oil and sure enough, the lilac started glowing even more.

It lit up a big part of the corridor with its purple glow, And when Sora saw it, he started to freak out.

“Violet! Violet! Violet!” Said Sora.

So Sora knew that this lilac belonged to Hanako? Just how long has she been making these flowers?

“Hey! Sora, can you take me to the mansion?” I asked Sora.

Sora looked especially confused this time. Could it be that it didn't even know that the above mansion exist?

“Do you know what’s above this floor?” I continued asking Sora.

It shook its head, still looked extremely confused.

“Umm… Here! Follow me!” I told Sora, then I led him to the spiral staircase and pointed to the opening in the glass dome.

“Yeah… I need to go up there.” I said, “Can you carry me up there?”

I nodded, but it seemed a little reluctant, probable because it didn’t know what exactly is up there.

I got on Sora’s back and it flew me up through the glass dome, but it stopped as we reached the ladders.

I took a rope out of my backpack and tied one end of the rope to the last step of the ladders, then I hopped out of the Sora’s back.

Sora didn’t seem like it wanted to go into the mansion very much, but that didn’t really matter anyway, because the trapdoor was far too small for Sora to go through.

I threw the rope back down into the basement.

The rope was long enough that it almost reached all the way down to the basement floor.

Now I have a way to go back and forth between the mansion and the basement.

All of the sudden, I saw a tree branch creeping along the ladders and slowly made its way all the way down into the basement.

That was another Hanako’s letter!

I quickly asked Sora to fly me back into the basement right away.

“Violet sent me a letter! Sora, let’s go back down and read it together!”

I hopped back on Sora’s back and it flew me down to the floor.

Hanako’s letter, along with a lilac were dangling on top of my blanket. Sora flew up to the ceiling and collect the letter and the flower for me.

The letter looked a little scuff this time; it wasn’t properly wrapped like the previous ones and it looked like it was written on some sort of scrap paper as well.

I opened the letter and read it out loud for Sora to hear; the letter read as followed:

“Hi! Daisuke! Are you still okay? My mom caught me sending these letters to you, so now I’m grounded in the bedroom, hehe~ Good thing that there were a lot of notebooks in here, so I just tore a page out of one of them and wrote this letter. I don’t really have a lot to say, but I wanna tell you that I probably can't send anything to help you anymore for a while, I don’t even know if I can send you any more letters. If my mom catches me doing this again, I’ll be in trouble. I hope we can meet again soon. I know you’ve been making progress. See you soon! - Hanako.”


I hope she’s okay.

And she knew that I’m making my way back up there as well?

Did Victoria know what I was doing too?

Did she know that I found all of her old stuff?

I should probably go back to the mansion as soon as possible.

I really need to find the source of the oil monsters before the tension between this family increased even more.

“Sora! I have to leave now.” I told Sora. “See you later!”

“Sora! Sora! Sora!” It said.

I didn’t really know how Sora felt, so I just packed my bag and left.

I walked toward the rope to climb up, then I noticed someone coming up the spiral stairs.

It was the small oil monster that I found all the way back even before I came down here.

What is it doing here?

It saw me, then it smiled at me.

“Hey! We meet again!” It said to me. “Thank you for opening that door for me! I didn’t get a chance to thank you back then.”

“Wait? You can talk!?” I asked the monster.

The monster seemed a lot healthier and happier than the first time that I met it.

“Let’s just say that… I’m a little special.” It replied while giggling.

“What are you talking about?” I asked, “How are you special?”

“Hmmm… How should I explain this…” It said.

Then suddenly, I heard footsteps coming from the staircase.

“Daisuke? Are you there?” Dexter called me. I heard his voice coming from down the stairs.

“Yes?” I replied, then I walked to the stairs to talk to him. The monster ran away to hide behind me.

“Get him out.” The monster mumbled.

“Are you talking to me?” I asked.

But before it could reply, I heard some commotion happening down the stairs.

I turned to see what was happening, and saw that Dexter was completely surrounded by the oil monsters from the floor below.

The monsters forced him back down the stairs and eventually, he and the monsters vanished into the depths of the basement.

“H… How did you do that!?” I turned to ask the child monster, but it too, disappeared.

There was only Sora and I left on that floor.

“Pss, Pss, I’m here.” The monster whispered to me.

“Huh? Where are you?” I still couldn't see it, but judging by the sound, it was really close to me.

“I’m in here!” It said, “Look in the lantern!”

I picked the lantern up from the floor and found the monster was hiding in that lantern. It shrunk itself all the way down to the size of my palm.

“What? How did you do that?” I asked. I was so confused at that moment, not only that it can control the oil monsters, but it can shrink itself as well?

“Well, as I said, I am a little special.” It giggled again.

“You’re not gonna tell me, are you?” I asked the monster after it danced around my question and not answering it.

“Hehe~ You’re pretty smart. I’m sure you can figure it out yourself.” It responded to me.

“What are you talking about?” I asked it. “Do you know me?”

The monster jumped out of the lantern and spreader its tiny arms and legs out.

All of a sudden, the black oil from the corridor began to fuse with the monster.

It grew larger and larger, until it grew back to its original size again.

“I’ve been looking at you for a while now, actually.” It replied. “Ever since you came down here.”

“And you didn’t show yourself once?” I asked. “You could have at least help me when I didn’t have any water.”

“Well, I didn’t have any water either.” It answered, “I would have helped you if I could.”

“Oh, yeah, you’re right…” I answered, “By the way, you’re an oil monster, right? Do you know where you guys came from?”

“Why do you want to know that?” It asked me back.

“Well… uh… this is pretty awkward, but I have to find your source and destroy it if I want to go home.” I responded, “It’s my only way back.”

“If you destroy the source, I’ll be dead then.” It said, “I’m not gonna tell you.”

“Does this mean that we are enemies now?” I asked.

“Everything in the Gallery is your enemy, if you think about it.” It replied. “But I don’t think you’re my enemy, though.”

“Why?” I asked, “I’m literally going to kill all of you.”

“You’re not powerful enough to do it, Daisuke.” It replied, “The source is a lot more powerful than you could imagine.”

“Wait? You know my name as well?” I asked.

“Hehehe~,” It said, “Well, I have to go now. You’re gonna go up to the mansion, right? Good luck with that! Tell the people up there that I say hello.”

“What?” I asked, “Do you know Violet and Victoria too?”

“Maybe.” It said as its legs seeped through the crevices in the wooden floor and slowly disappeared into the ground.

What was wrong with that guy?

He was so weird and he seemed to know a lot of things about this place too.

Well, it didn’t really matter for now. I should just focus on finding the source of the oil monsters myself.

But where is it?

I could either be in the basement or in the mansion, right?

That monster could speak down here, so did this mean that the source of the oil monsters actually is down here?

Maybe I should stay down here a little longer.

If I go up there now, I’ll probably come across that stupid spider anyway.

And I didn’t wanna leave Sora or Dexter alone down here as well.

Speaking of Dexter, I probably should go downstairs and check on him a little bit.

I descended down the spiral staircase and walked to the bedroom.

I opened the bedroom door and was shocked by what I saw.

It was Dexter, but one of his arms was partially turned into black oil just like the monsters.

“Daisuke! Good timing! Please help me!” Dexter shouted at me.

He seemed extremely scared as the black oil started to spread up his arm.