Chapter 15:

Chapter 15: “If you must falter, be wise”

Madman's Forgiveness

Chapter 15: “If you must falter, be wise”

Upon hearing Yua’s blood curdling scream, Kentaro immediately jumped to the conclusion that something happened to his older sibling. The last he had seen of her was earlier in the day when she went down this direction to speak to Troy.
Kentaro knew his sister better than any of them. In his eyes, Yua was the perfect symbol of strength. She was never the type not to stand her ground. So whatever happened to prompt such a grotesque sound must have meant she was in danger.

The fear had set in before either of them could properly rationalize the situation.
“You can’t just head out there on your own!”
“If something actually is out there, you’re just rushing to your death!”
“We need to find Hiro and Suzume so we can get out while we still can!”
Kazuma pleaded as he struggled to catch up to his friend. Everything had been going smoothly up until now. After the game of volleyball, the groups separated. Hiro had requested some private time away from them in order to finally set things right with Suzume. There were certain topics lingering on his mind that needed to be discussed.

Kentaro and Kazuma opted to check out their old cabin. They remembered that due to the time-frame of the tape, they still had the table tennis game that Kazuma had “borrowed” from one of the male counselors cabins.
It wasn’t nearly the same, but Kazuma suggested that they play a match as a way to make up for their loss earlier in the night. He believed that it’d be a perfect way for the two to “train their reflexes”

This however was a thinly veiled distraction.
Kazuma’s goal for the night was to finally get Kentaro comfortable enough to come out of his shell. To learn how to be himself and not put so much of his focus on the troubles of others.
This whole trip outside of the volleyball matches, Kentaro had mostly served as an almost “parental figure.”
This was due to the suspicion that he held of Troy. In his eyes, the guy was irredeemable. The only thing Kentaro wanted was for his sister to be happy. After all, she had changed significantly since her and Troy became a pair.

As he continues following Kentaro down the campsite's western path.Kazuma comes to realize that no matter how loud he calls out for him, it’d just be in vain. Kentaro’s only focus at this very moment is finding Yua. The distance between Kazuma and Kentaro grows further the more they continue. After minutes following him, it gets to the point that Kazuma ends up losing sight of Kentaro as he makes his way through the underbrush.

Coming to a complete stop, Kazuma finds himself in the middle of a clearing. Stretching across this plot of land are seemingly endless rows of trees. Kazuma didn’t pay proper attention to his surroundings when he chased after Kentaro, leading to him being lost in a portion of the camp unfamiliar to him.
What was worse was the fact that no matter where he turned, he couldn’t quite pinpoint which direction would lead him back onto a proper path.

“This isn’t good..”
“God damn that Kentaro..”
“Just because he’s a little more athletic doesn’t give him a free pass to dust everyone in everything..”
Kazuma thought to himself scratching the back of his head.
“I guess I’ll just have to wait out here until daylight..”
“I’m sure everyone will be alright.”
Though his mind attempted to trick itself. Kazuma’s body knew better. He grabs at his left arm, hoping to stop it from the sudden onset of tremors he feels within it. Kazuma is terrified. Not of the typical fears like being alone in the dark or childish things like that. Kazuma was numb to these phobias.
This was partially due to the fact that his old club would specialize in the like. No matter how many investigations they’d host. The group would never come across anything that would actually put them in danger. Inadvertently leading them to debunking a lot of the camp’s mysteries.
The only fear that Kazuma wasn’t able to conquer was something far more sinister. Something that had just made its presence known to him.
Kazuma screams as a grotesque masked man steps out of the darkness roughly 10 meters to his north. The man was holding something with both hands that Kazuma couldn’t see through the darkness.
He wasn’t just going to just stand around as the man began to move closer so he could find out however. Taking his eye off of him, Kazuma began to run in the opposite direction
“Yua!” Kentaro screams out as he finally pushes through the entrance of the northern path. The noise had led him to the library surprisingly enough.
Though his body sustained minor injuries from the poison ivy leaves and the branches he powered through. A look of triumph stretched across his face as he began to process the fact that he had successfully found Yua. There she was standing motionless in the middle of the library's entrance. She was giggling to herself. She appeared to be holding something in her hands that glistened throughout the darkness.

“I’ve been looking all over for you!”
Kentaro called out running up to his sister.
There was something off about her, but he was too blinded in the moment to recognize the fact that Yua had somehow regained the appearance of her 30 year old counterpart.
“What all happened with you and Troy?”
“I heard some screaming so I came to make sure he wasn’t trying shit with you.”
When his questions go unanswered, Kentaro begins to grow upset.
After the whole night looking for her, she at least owed him a proper explanation he thought.

Grabbing hold of her by the shoulder, he intended on turning her around so that she would face him; and so that they could actually have a fluid conversation. By her actions, it would seem that Yua had something else planned.
“What’s with the sudden silent act..?”
“Is there something you aren’t telling me-”
Before he can continue this interrogation any further, she swiftly leans forward to his surprise.


This feeling was unfamiliar to Kentaro. His body felt as if it were freezing all over except for one isolated spot. That being the center of his stomach. “What are you doing-”
He tried to ask, only to cough up a strange grayish white ash.
Yet Yua still didn’t respond. She just stood there, in a trance-like state. Her giggling gradually changes into that of laughter.
Kentaro could feel the strength fading from his being. Kentaro knew that this was it. This was where Kentaro Takano was fated to die. As his body began to dither, becoming one with the fast approaching whitenoise. Kentaro used the last of his strength to wrap his arms around his sister. For someone knocking on death’s door, Kentaro seemed relatively content. His gentle pat on the back of her head was enough to snap her out of it. Though she ultimately was the cause of his demise, he didn’t see her any different from the person he’d looked up to over the years.

Yua asked softly, trying to make sense of the sight before her. In as little as a second, her brother was gone. All that was left in his place were his clothes, which were now draped across her knife.

She screamed out once more, falling to her knees.


“This is bad!” Kazuma repeated to himself as he traversed the wooded landscape. Though he refused to look behind him, he could feel the killer's presence lurking in the shadows.
“This place is like a goddamned labyrinth!”
“There’s gotta be something near!”
“Something I can fight with”
“Somewhere I can hide!”
“I'll take anything!”
Just at the edge of the clearing something caught his eye. It appeared to be the shine of a passing headlight. Kentaro had somehow managed to travel across the camp lines. He ended up in front of the overpass that separated it from the national park. Just over the rail was the lake. “Jackpot!” Kazuma thinks to himself as he carefully climbs over the metal railing.
If he were to dive in and swim across, he would have a better possibility at survival than if he were to just wait around for the killer to resurface.. Yet as he peered over the edge, he realized the fault in this option.


Lining the bottom of the mountain side were sharp jagged rocks. Jumping would have spelt out certain death for him. The sound of rustling behind him served as a wake-up call. No matter what he did, all options led to death being a strong possibility. It was just a matter of how he’d want to die. He didn’t know what Michael was capable of, so as the killer drew closer; Kazuma closed his eyes.
“So this is it huh..?”
“Can’t say it wasn’t a wild ride..”
“Maybe next time I’ll live a little longer..”
“Ha, who am I kidding…” he laughs to himself.
“Life doesn’t allow retries..”
Extending his arms outward Kazuma’s final act of deviance before falling to his demise, is to flip off the masked man.
“I’d see you in hell..”
“But, I think there’s worse in store for us..”

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