Chapter 17:

A Reunion

The Gallery

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.

“Are you okay? Dexter.” I asked him, “What’s happening?”

“I don’t know!” He replied, “One of the monsters touched me, then this happened!”

“Hey! Tell me how you light the lantern! Quick!” I told him, knowing that fire will solidify the black oil.

“What? Right now?” He asked, “Can’t you help me first?”

“I’m helping you!!” I shouted at him, “Just tell me already!”

“Okay! Okay!” He replied, “I use a lighter! It’s in the first drawer of my nightstand!”

I rushed to open that drawer and picked up the lighter. I then gave it to Dexter.

“Here! Use that at the oil!” I told him.

“Why? Are you trying to kill me or something?” He asked.

“The black oil will harden.” I told him, “Its weakness is heat.”

“F- fine!” He said, “I guess this is my only option.”

He put the lighter right up to the black oil, and sure enough, the black oil started to solidify.

After a while, the oil became completely hardened and it stopped spreading.

But now, his right hand has become pretty much unusable.

“Can you still move your arm?” I asked him.

“Well… no… it wouldn’t move anymore.” He responded, “But at least I didn’t turn into one of those monsters.

“Yeah… I supposed this wasn’t the worse case scenario” I responded.

“Do you know why the monsters attacked me back then?” He asked me, “I was on my way to visit you, then I got swarmed by the oil monsters.

Should I tell him about that oil monster? It seemed like he didn’t want Dexter to find him, but he knows the source of the oil monsters.

Maybe if I tell the truth to Dexter, he’ll send me back to my world?

But shouldn’t the painting of my world be with Victoria? What could Dexter even do?

I guessed I’ll keep the monster a secret for now.

“I don’t know…” I answered, “Did you make too much noise?”

“I don’t think so…” He replied, “I just walked like how I always do.”

“I don’t know much about the monsters myself,” I replied, “So I can’t really tell you what happened.”

“Yeah… I guess so…” He responded, “Well, anyway, I’d like to apologize for what I did earlier… that was too immature of me.”

“That’s fine. I understand.” I said, “I know you really love your family.”

“Thank you…” he said, “But can I keep this stuff?”

“Sure, But if I need them, would you give them to me?” I asked him.

“Why would you need them, though?” He asked me back. “It’s not like this could help you go home or anything.”

“Yeah… but I wanna ask anyway just in case, ya’ know.” I answered, “You’ll never know what’s gonna happen.”

“I suppose that’s fair.” He replied. “But what are you gonna do next?”

“I don’t really know…” I said, “I’m debating if I should go back up to the mansion or not.”

“What? You’ve found a way up now?” He asked.

“Well, Yeah.” I said, “What about it?”

“How?” He asked, “Can I see them?”

“I don’t know what is your problem is, with Victoria,” I said, “But do you really want to go up there?”

“I miss them so much…” He replied, “But I’m really nervous as well.”

“Then what are you gonna do?” I asked him.

“Can you go with me?” He asked, “You know them, right? Can you help me talk to them up there?”

“I think you sh-“


Where am I?

I looked at Sora, who was right in front of me and he seemed scared and nervous.

I’m back on the top floor again?

This could only mean one thing.

I turned around to the wall and found yet another painting of Victoria with a silver frame.

“Hello, child.” Said Victoria, “We meet again.”

“Wh- What do you want this time?” I asked her.

“Stop what you’re doing right there!” She said angrily, “Do not help this man!”

“But why?” I asked her, “What did he do to deserve being trap down here?”

“You’re too young to understand, kid!” She said, “Now stop snooping around other people’s businesses!”

“Let me go home then.” I told her, “And I won’t help him.”

“You haven’t completed our deal yet, have you?” She said, “You can’t leave until then!”

“But it’s impossible!” I opposed her, “How am I gonna find it in this endless mansion? Especially when you barely told me anything about this place!”

“Well, that’s not my problem!” She said, “But you’re not talking to that man anymore!”

When she’s done saying that, The stairs in the spiral staircase started to raise up and it turned into a wall that completely blocked my path down the stairs.

“Now, continue your search!” She said as she slowly disappeared from the painting.

“W- Wait! Come back!!” I said.

I went to comfort Sora, who was still quivering in fear of seeing Victoria.

“Violet… Violet…” It said.

Then I walked to the spiral staircase to observe how the stairs were.

It completely blocked the stairs and I couldn’t go downstairs anymore.

What should I even do next?

I mean, I could always get Sora to fly me to Dexter, but if Victoria found that out, what would happen to Sora?

I guess I should just go back to the mansion for now.

“Wow, being you is pretty hard, huh?” Someone said from behind me. I turned to see who it was and the child oil monster was there.

“Oh! You’re back?” I said, “Where have you been?”

“That doesn't matter.” It replied, “What happened to the stairs?”

He laughed at the staircase, but calling it a wall might be more fitting at this point.

“Well… Victoria did that.” I told it. “She was angry that I tried to help Dexter.”

“What?” It asked, “Victoria was here?”

“Yeah.” I answered, “You don’t wanna see her?”

“Oh! It’s nothing, really.” It answered.

“And this the painting that she came from, right?” It asked while pointing at the silver frame painting on the wall.

“That’s right, but wh-“

All of the sudden, Victoria reappeared in the painting. She seemed really shocked and angry.

“It’s you…” She said, “Daisuke! Get away from that thing!”

“Long time no see, Ms. Victoria.” The oil monster said.

“I won’t let you do anything this time!” She remarked.

Then suddenly, the ceiling above me started to shatter open.

My body felt lighter as I slowly levitated from the floor.

I quickly grabbed my backpack and my lantern before I floated back up to the mansion.

When I arrived at the mansion, the mansion’s ceiling began to spread open as well and I floated right up to the higher floor.

Eventually, I arrived at Victoria and Hanako’s bedroom on the top floor.

“You’re okay, right?” Victoria asked me, “Did that thing touched you?”

“No, not yet.” I answered, “Is it that Dangerous?”

“It is so much more than dangerous.” She said, “The truth is…”

“That’s pretty rude, don’t you think?” The oil monster said from somewhere.

All of us turned toward the sound and saw that the oil monster had shrunk itself once again and was hiding in the lantern.

“Hello everyone!” It said, “I haven’t seen you guys in person for a while, nice to meet you again, though!”

“tsk! Y- You!” Said Victoria as her face started to turn from being concerned to being disgusted

“I can’t believe you still t…” Victoria was about to say something, but then she stopped herself.

“Not gonna continued?” The monster asked her while smirking. “Then I shall the rest of the story.”

“No!” Victoria suddenly shouted, “I won’t let you speak of him no more!”

“Him?” What is she talking about? Who is she referring to?

She rushed to the shelf and pulled out a painting from the back of it.

The painting has a gold frame and it depicted the mansion. The last time I saw that painting was when she trapped me in the pine forest.

She took out her paintbrush and proceeded to paint something on to the canvas.

A picture frame then manifested under the oil monster. The frame was just a standard wooden one, without any kind of texture.

The monster realized what was about to happen, so it tried to escape by breaking itself apart, but Victoria forced it back together, then forced the oil monster down into the painting.

It slowly got sucked down the canvas, but it didn’t seem to be freaking out all this much, it was still smirking as it was disappearing from the bedroom.

“Uh oh! What shall I do?” The monster asked sarcastically, then it splashed some oil on to the bedroom floor before it disappeared into the painting completely.

The oil that was on the floor started sucking the oil from other places in the mansion and it started to expand itself bigger and bigger.

Then it split in two and they took the shape of the butlers.

“Wh- What even is happening?” I asked Victoria. “Who was that child?”

“I…” Before Victoria could say anything, one of the oil monsters leaped at her.

She managed to dodge it, but then the other one jumped at Hanako.

I pulled Hanako out right before the monster could get to her. Victoria opened the door and Hanako quickly rushed outside the bedroom.

“We have to leave right now! Daisuke!” Victoria said to me.

“It’s dangerous in there!” Hanako said, “Get out!”

But I realized that the oil monsters only chased Hanako and Victoria. The monsters didn’t seem to care about me at all, must be the child monster’s doing.

The oil monsters leaped out of the bedroom to continue chasing them, they then ran away without chasing for me, finally leaving me with some peace.

I could assess the situation a little bit better now.

Victoria was so in a hurry that she didn’t bother to close the hole in the ground that she made in the middle of her bedroom to carry me up here.

Huh? What is this?

The canvas that Victoria used to trap the child oil monster.

I thought it was completely blank, but the canvas actually has a hint of gray in it.

But this probably meant that the child oil monster would manage to find a way out of the painting somehow.

I have to get ready for when it inevitably comes back out, even though I didn’t even know what it is or should we be fighting it or not.

“Hey! Daisuke!” I heard a voice coming from somewhere in the bedroom.

“Huh? Who’s there?” I said and turned to the voice to find Mori coming out of under the bed.

“Mori!?” I said, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah…” He replied, “I was hiding under the bed while all the commotions were happening.”

“I’m glad to see that you're still okay, Daisuke!” Mori said.

“Yeah…” I responded, “I’m glad you’re okay too.”