Chapter 23:

Go Home

The Gallery

“We can’t let it get away again!” Victoria said, “We have to chase it now.”

She then painted us back up the hole and as we were ascending, the monster was already almost at the top floor.

“Hanako!” Victoria shouted in fear as we speeding up the hole back to the top floor.

This situation reminded me of what Victoria told me about her son. Will she lost her child again? No! Things will be different this time!

I won’t let anything happen to you, Hanako!

We eventually reached to top floor, but the head had already escaped the office, most likely through the floor again. Victoria quickly unlocked the door, then we rushed to the bedroom.

When we got it, we saw that the head of the monster was wrapped in tree branches, black flowers bloomed from the branches, just like the ones that Hanako used to repel the maid all the way back in the Garden.

The flowers melted into black oil dripping onto the floor, then new ones bloomed out in its place, they were lilacs this time, but they, too, quickly turned black and melted away.

“Violet! Are you okay?” Victoria said, her face shown a hint of relief, because Hanako seemed to be doing just fine.

“I’m okay! Mom!” Hanako replied, “But I can’t keep this going for that much longer!”

The head was struggling and trying to escape from Hanako’s flowers. It was trying to change its shape, but it seemed to have some trouble doing so. I couldn’t tell if it’s because of Hanako’s flowers or Mori’s fire.

Hanako hugged the wall and ran to us, avoiding the head. She quickly jumped into Victoria to hug her.

“I’m so scared…” Hanako said to Victoria as she buried her face into Victoria.

“I know, I know,” Victoria replied, “But I’m here now, I won’t let it touch you, Violet.”

“Do it, Mori,” Victoria said to Mori, he nodded, then he began to inhale, will the terror be over this time?

Mori breathed the white fire into the head, burning it and the bedroom floor in the process.

The monster let out a scream of anguish, but the sound quickly dissipated as the head got petrified. Mori stopped the fire and when the smoke faded away, the monster was none but a lifeless rock, as still as a statue.

“Is it… dead?” I said, “It’s not moving anymore.”

“Yeah…” Victoria replied, “We finally did it…”

Victoria painted something into the painting, then a hole appeared right under the monster’s head, dropping it out of the bedroom, down into the basement, when the hole disappeared, it also fixed up the burning on the floor.

Hanako and Victoria started to cry. It is clear that their lives have been plagued with the oil monsters for years now and it is finally over.

The sight of them sobbing kinda make me wanna cry as well, knowing that I can finally go back home.

“Let’s all celebrate in the dining room!” Mori told us, “I don’t think we’ve ever eaten together at all, right?”

“Yeah…” I responded, “Let’s go.”

We all headed to the dining room downstairs to eat, but when we open the door, we noticed that something was missing.

The dining room table was completely empty. There wasn’t even an empty plate on that table, let alone, actual food.

“Oh! It’s because we kill the oil monster, right?” I said, “Everything that was made with oil is all gone now.

“This is not good…” Hanako said, “What are we gonna eat?”

“Hmm… I supposed I would have to go ‘shopping’ again,” Victoria told us, “I haven’t been there for so long now.”

“‘Been there?’” I asked Victoria, “By that, do you mean…”

“I was talking about your world.” She replied, “Was that going to be your guess?”

“Yeah…” I answered, “So you’ve come to my world before?”

“That’s correct,” She replied, “But that’s not where we came from though.”

“Anyway, are you going to go home now?” She continued, “I’ll go with you to drop you off at your home.”

Is it finally… the time? Is it finally over?

“Well, I guess I can go back home now, huh?” I told Victoria, “It’s been so long.”

“Yes, thank you for everything, Daisuke.” Victoria told me, “But if you ever want to come back, you can. I’ll leave the painting of your world with you.”

“Oh! Really?” I asked her, “We don’t really have to say goodbye then.”

“It almost felt like you’re a part of our family now.” Victoria told me, “Well… now that everything is over, I guess I’ll have a talk with Dexter a bit later.”

“Wait! This might be really rude, but can I go with you?” I said to her, “The last time I met him, his condition was really bad.”

“His condition?” Victoria asked me, “What are you talking about?”

“Back in the basement, he got swarmed by the oil monsters,” I replied, “And now, part of his arm had turned into that black oil.”

“I see…” She said, “Well, you want to know what happened back then, right? So I guess I’ll let you come along.”

“Uhh… What are you guys talking about?” Hanako asked us, “Who is Dexter?”

Victoria and I looked right at each other, both of us weren’t really sure what to say to her.

“I think this is the time to finally tell Hanako, Victoria.” I told her.

“Really? You think so?” She asked me back, “Okay then,”

Victoria walked up to the shelf in the bedroom and grabbed Hanako’s sketchbook from there. She ripped out a page from that book and crumbled it, then she threw the paper at Mori.

“Can you burn this for me?” Victoria asked Mori.

Mori burned the paper to ash before it could even land on the ground, then Victoria took out her pencil and started to put something in its place in the sketchbook.

I looked at Hanako, wanting to witness what remembering her father again after such a long time, but Hanako just looked very confused about the whole thing, as if burning the paper didn’t do anything at all.

“Why are you doing that?” She asked. “Why would you burn the paper?”

“Let’s go and see you dad! Violet,” Victoria said, “I bet you miss him, right?”

“Yeah!” She answered, “I haven’t seen him for quite a while now.”

“Let’s go! Let’s go!” She Hanako said to us quite energetically as she rushed to the door.

“What did you write in there?” I turned to ask Victoria.

“That her dad is sick.” She answered, “I know, I know, I promise you that I’ll her the true story later, just go with it for now, okay?”

“Whatever.” I replied then I followed Hanako out the door, Mori and Victoria soon followed after.

For whatever reason, we decided to take the stairs down, instead of creating a hole in the floor, but it seemed like everyone just wanted to live a normal life for once, so we all headed to the spiral staircase and started descending the stairs.

Our destination was all the way down on the very bottom floor, so this is going to take a while.

Victoria and Hanako were having some mother and daughter talk with each other, which is kinda cute to see and Mori landed on my head.

“I don’t wanna fly anymore.” He said. He must be so exhausted after fighting the monster, so I don’t blame him.

Eventually, after such a long time, we reached the bottom floor, we then walked to Dexter’s room and knocked on the door.

We didn’t get any response. We tried knocking it multiple times and even called his name, but it was completely silent.

“What should we do?” I asked Victoria, “Should we just enter the room anyway?”

“I think you should be the one who entered the room,” She replied, “We’ll wait outside.”

“Well, if you say so…” I replied, then I knocked on the door one last time and after getting no response once again, I opened the door.

Dexter was sleeping on his bed, that’s why he didn’t answer us. Well, I think I should wake him up now and see if he’s getting better or not.

“Wait! Something’s wrong here…” Victoria suddenly yelled out, “Don’t go there, Daisuke!”

“What are you talking about?” I asked her, “He’s just sleeping? Are you saying that he’s dead?”

“No, but… but…” She reluctantly said, “I can still vaguely feel the oil monster’s presence around here.”

“Maybe it’s from the basement?” I told her, “It’s very close to here.”

“I’m pretty sure it’s in this room…” She replied, “You have to trust me here, Daisuke!”

“Then what should we do?” I asked her, “Should we move Dexter to somewhere safer?”

Victoria didn’t answer me, rather, she just stood still and stared at Dexter’s bed, she seemed to be thinking about something difficult.

“Mori!” She called him, “Burn the bed!”

“Wait? What? NO!!” Hanako said, “You can’t kill dad!”

What are you doing?” I asked her, “Stop that! Mori!”

But Mori listened to Victoria and breathed his white fire right at the bed.

Dexter jumped out of the bed before the fire could hit him. The fire completely destroyed the bed and the wall behind it.

“You…” Dexter looked at us and revealed that part of his face was now infected with the black oil. It covered his eyes and part of his mouth and cheek. The oil spread from his arm.

“It’s not over yet!!” Dexter replied, then he used his fist that was turned into a statue to smash the part of the wall that was damaged from Mori’s fire.

He broke the wall, revealing the outside, which was an endless ocean of oil, then he jumped out of the mansion.

“See? This is why I didn’t want to see him again.” Victoria said, “The oil monster is still alive and it escaped to the outside now.”

“What is this?” I asked her, “I’m so confused… What’s happening?”

“It’s nothing… You can just leave now.” She replied to me.

“Wait! Victoria! What does this mean?” I asked her, “Where is the monster going?”

“Probably back to my hometown,” She responded, “Across the ocean.”

“Are you gonna go there and kill that monster?” I asked her.

“We left that town years ago… And I have no intention of going back.” She replied, “I’ll just going to live with Violet here.”

“I… I’ll go!” I told her, “I’ll go to your hometown and kill the monster myself.”

“Why?” She asked me, “Don’t you want to go home?”

“Yeah, but that can wait.” I replied, “In a way, it was kinda my fault.”

“I’ll go with you as well!” Mori said, “I won’t it run away this time!”

“Hmm… well, then come to my office,” Victoria told us, “I’ll get you ready! Let’s go, Violet.”

Hanako still seemed confused about the whole thing, but she left Dexter’s room with Victoria.

“Victoria’s hometown, huh?” I said, “I wonder what it’s gonna be like. Have you ever been there?”

“No, but it's probably not that good, right?” Mori replied, “Because they left that place, then built a giant mansion in the middle of the ocean.”

“You’re right…” I told him, “Well, let’s go to the office then, our journey is not ending any time soon!”

The Gallery