Kuru appeared to be completely uninterested in a language lesson at the moment. He was currently focused on the furniture in the room which consisted of a few brightly coloured couches and a coatrack that reached the ceiling. The room appeared impractical, as though it were used for storage and didn’t have a real purpose. The couches themselves were tattered. They had deep gashes in their fabric, as though a giant monster had come through and marked them with sharp claws.
“I’m sure whatever did that is long gone now,” Antony tried to reassure her.
Leafy was not so easily convinced, but still Antony’s words comforted her. Kuru approached the couch and growled lowly. He sniffed at it, his ears pricked forward and his fur standing on end. Did it still smell of the monster? Leafy squinted as she tried to find any sign of the beast. There was nothing obvious like fur or a lost tooth.
“Can you smell anything?” she questioned Antony.
The Vulticus approached the couch and inhaled deeply. His ears pinned back and a growl unexpectedly escaped his mouth as well.
“It certainly smells of some sort of creature. What it is exactly, I am unable to tell you.”
Perhaps it was best to leave the current room. It was clearly only filled with destroyed furniture and a sense of unease. Leafy stepped over to Kuru and picked him up. Antony set out to find the door which was not as simple as it sounded.
“I think the door might be hidden. Perhaps it is a puzzle we must solve,” he mused.
That made sense to Leafy. The whole mansion was somewhat of a puzzle this month. Well it was more like a trick or a joke, but the sentiment felt the same. She tried to think of a strange place that a door might be located.
“Maybe it’s got something to do with this coat rack?” she speculated.
The coat rack was certainly the thing that seemed most unique about the room. It was bare of any coats and each piece extended far like a tree branch. It seemed reasonable to expect one of them to double as a lever. Leafy approached the rack and started testing out each piece to find one that would move. Antony inched closer to her, preparing for any danger that might spring out from a hidden passage. It took the girl a few tries before she finally found the lever. With the barest of touches, it clicked into place.
It sounds as though a ghostly child stands nearby, whispering strange phrases. Some of them are nonsensical, some of them are sickeningly sweet, and others are quite disquieting. Eventually the voice peters out, in it's place comes an unmistakable sound.
At first, it was small, and quiet, like a child far away. Then it slowly got louder, and more and more distorted. The sound became faster and slower, higher and lower in pitch, like someone was fiddling with an old record player. Was it just one voice, or many? It was so hard to tell. Soon, all that could be heard was the laughing and one's own beating heart.
The lever didn’t appear to open up a doorway like they had hoped. Kuru began to growl loudly and even Antony joined in. He pressed close to her, driving her back and away from something that was behind her. Leafy froze as high-pitched giggling filled her ears. She pressed one hand into Antony’s fur for reassurance and began to test the rest of the coat rack for other levers. She closed her eyes, trying to shut out the frightening noises for a moment. Kuru continued to growl, the sound vibrating through her chest.
“Just a few more left,” Leafy said, gritting her teeth together.
She could feel Antony guarding her from whatever presence was in the room. It gave her enough confidence to efficiently check the rest of the coat rack. It took a few minutes, but she finally found another lever that clicked into place. Immediately the ground fell out from underneath them. Leafy clutched Kuru close to her chest, terrified that he would escape her arms. If she got separated from Antony, she knew the Vulticus would be smart enough to get himself out safely. But if she lost Kuru, she might never see the baby Felusine again.
They landed on a padded mat that was not nearly as soft as it needed to be. Kuru trembled in her arms and Leafy couldn’t tell if it was out of terror or excitement. She didn’t want to put him down just yet.
“Are you okay?” she questioned Antony.
“No harm was done,” he replied.
Leafy took the time to get a good look at the new area. The walls were covered in glass that reflected the entire room endlessly. The room itself was rather barren. It consisted of the giant padded mats and a random assortment of gymnastics equipment. Kuru squirmed, wanting down now that they were no longer in freefall. She decided to allow him down onto the ground.
“Don’t wander too far,” she mimicked Antony’s earlier warning to the baby. Perhaps if it was said enough, the message would stick.
Antony shook himself, sending loose fur flying in opposite directions. Leafy frowned at him.
“That seems rather rude, don’t you think?” she muttered.
Antony ignored her and decided to follow Kuru around as the baby Felusine explored. He was getting better at navigating the strange rooms, but he still faltered as he tripped over a discarded jump rope.
The room itself was fairly large. The glass walls served to make it appear even larger. Leafy found her reflection to be rather odd. It was certainly not proportioned the way it should have been. Her head appeared much larger than it actually was. Antony’s head appeared a lot smaller. The mirror managed to make both changes at the same time.
“It’s impressive really. That’s exactly what you look like,” Antony remarked.
Leafy huffed and decided to ignore him. Kuru luckily could not see the reflections in the mirror and thus didn’t have to experience any hits to his self-esteem. He seemed content to just snap at the jump rope that he’d manage to tangle himself it. The baby pet appeared more determined than frustrated so she let him be for now. If he needed help, she could always untangle him later. Antony began to walk around the room, his ears pinned back and his fur standing up.
“I am not fully convinced that presence has left us,” he said.
Leafy didn’t want to think about the possibility of the mansion being haunted. The whole thing put her on edge, but leaving the mansion at this point would be admitting defeat.
Determination filled her chest as she felt a rush of confidence surge through her.
“I’m not going to let any ghosts frighten me off!” she exclaimed.
Antony nodded in agreement, opting to follow Kuru as the tiny Felusine bounded forward. He snapped his jaws at Antony before accepting his presence. The Felusine was certainly feisty. She wondered if she should watch him closely as well, but Antony appeared to have that covered. With an impromptu babysitter found, she decided to take one last sweep around the room before trying to find an exit.
“I wonder if these mirrors move,” she mused aloud.
The mirrors were still insulting as they warped her appearance. Leafy closed her eyes, not wanting to see the mocking imagery before her. She pressed one hand on the glass and tried pushing it. She felt the cool class beneath her fingertips. It confused her slightly since she didn’t think the room was particularly cold. The glass appeared sturdy, but she knew that it could simply be a trick. She would try a different mirror. Each of the mirrors appeared practically indistinguishable from one another. The only thing that changed was how the reflection was distorted and even that was constantly changing.
Leafy squinted as she tried to see anything unusual in the reflections. There were distortions for sure, but she couldn’t see anything obvious like a reflection in the mirror that wasn’t there in real life. If it was meant to be a puzzle, it wasn’t one with a solution that she could see.
“Is everything alright over there?” Antony asked her.
“Yes, I’m just trying to figure out if the mirrors were of any importance.”
Kuru trotted up to her, managing not to trip over anything for once. He pricked his ears forward and stared in her direction. It was rather unnerving considering he was blind.
“Do you have any insight into this situation?” she asked him.
Kuru stepped forward and pressed his nose against the mirror. The glass fogged under his breathe and when it did, Leafy realized that a strange pattern formed. It was certainly not natural and there were no grooves in the glass that would create such an effect. There had to be something more at work here.
“Hey Antony do you think you could help me out here?” she called him over. “I think I need to make the glass fog up enough for it to show a secret message.”
“I’ll try my best to help,” Antony commented. “Though I likely won’t be as effective at puzzle solving as you are.”
“That’s fine. Just sit back and tell me what you see when I do this.” Leafy demonstrated by using her breath to fog up the glass.
Antony tilted his head, considering for a moment what pattern the glass was trying to create. Kuru decided that during this point of intense concentration, he needed attention. He growled low and pounced at a mat that lay close to the mirrors. Leafy glanced at him briefly before turning back to the mirror.
“I don’t think it’s going to be possible for me to do this by just breathing on it. Maybe there’s something in here that will fog up the room?”
She scanned the room, searching for something like a fog machine or a tap that dispensed hot water. There seemed to be something that looked similar to a shower head in the corner that she had overlooked before.
“Do you think there’s a tap to turn that on?” she questioned.
Antony turned to nuzzle Kuru for a moment. The baby pet immediately calmed down. It was almost like a switch had been flipped.
Leafy wished she had the ability to calm down a rambunctious pet as easily as Antony could. There was something about the Vulticus that was inherently soothing, a quality that she didn’t possess. There was a wheel that looked like it connected to a valve or some sort close to the showerhead. Perhaps that was the key to switching the thing on. She approached it warily, not wanting to be tricked by the strange room.
“I think I should be strong enough to turn this,” she said.
She was hopeful as she gripped the wheel. Kuru perked up at the strange sound of her fingers hitting the metal surface. She flexed her fingers over the edge of the wheel first before curling them back over the wheel. When she felt ready, she began to turn it clockwise. It was heavier than she expected it to be, but she was able to turn it just fine with a little effort. A strange hissing sound filled the room and steam began pouring from the showerhead.
“Well I certainly hope that steam is harmless,” Antony said.
Leafy agreed with him, but even if it wasn’t safe, she hoped they wouldn’t be in this room long enough to find out.
The steam filling the room did the trick in revealing the strange pattern on the mirror. Antony and Leafy both took the time to analyze the image. The pattern was a series of rectangles and squares with various areas marked with the letter x. An x usually marked treasure or something of interest.
“I think this might be a map!” she decided. “Like one a pirate would use.
“Perhaps not a pirate, but I’ll agree that this certainly looks like a map,” Antony responded. “Do you think you’ll be able to remember this?”
“I’ll try to remember the areas marked with an x, but I don’t think I’ll be able to remember how to get the specifically.”
“That’s fine. Commit the shape of the rooms to your memory and I’ll try to remember the order that they appear in.”
It sounded like a good plan to Leafy. She wished she had some paper to mark the map down on. Perhaps she would need to remember that for next time.
“Okay I think I’m ready to go now,” she said.
She picked up Kuru, cuddling the baby Felusine close to her chest. He squirmed for a moment before settling down and closing his eyes.
When she had turned the wheel, it had not only switched on the steam but also opened up an exit to the room. It felt a bit too simple, but finding the wheel had taken quite a bit of work. She approached the exit with confidence. She stuck her hand onto the door handle and flinched when a brief electric shock jolted through her body. It didn’t hurt, but it was an unpleasant sensation.
“Is the door pranking me?” she frowned.
“Well the mansion certainly isn’t lacking in character.”
Antony encouraged her to grab the handle once more. Wagging his tail as she turned it. Thankfully the door didn’t shock her a second time. She felt a touch odd when she walked through the door, but Kuru’s small form was enough to comfort her. The door swung shut behind them once they were fully inside the next room.
“I hate when it does that,” she complained.
“It certainly is unsettling. I’d imagine the door has probably locked itself once again too.”
Leafy didn’t think about the fact that the door was locked. She decided to pretend that it wasn’t and that she’d be able to leave whenever she felt like it.
Rather than focus on being locked inside the room, Leafy decided she would explore it. Kuru thrashed violently until she set him down on the ground. It felt redundant at that point to warn him to stay close. She had already told him twice already.
“Be careful, this room feels strange,” Antony remarked.
The room was larger than the others had been. She recognized it from the map, being one of the rooms located to the left of the map. That meant this was close to the beginning. It was difficult to see much of anything in this new room. The only source of light was a single lightbulb dangling from the ceiling. It was covered in cobwebs and swung back and forth as though being pushed by some invisible force.
“It’s probably not ghosts,” she mused.
There were boxes covering the entirely of the room. Some were made from cardboard and other were made of wooden planks. It seemed obvious that she was meant to open them, but doing so would likely prove dangerous. There was no telling what might be hidden away in the boxes. Kuru made the choice for her when he ran straight into one of the cardboard boxes and knocked it over.
Leafy flinched as the box tipped over. The contents spilled out and Kuru was eager to pounce on where he anticipated that they were. His accuracy was adequate for being blind and he managed to grasp something. Leafy leaned forward to get a closer look before recoiling in disgust. Kuru grasped some sort of animal skull. It was much too small to be human. It looked more rodent than anything else. Leafy wasn’t particularly fond of whatever diseases surely clung to the thing.
“Well it’s your choice if you want to play with that, but there’s a chance it might make you sick,” she commented.
Antony hummed in agreement. The dead skulls didn’t appear to faze him all that much. Leafy figured he must have been used to them. Afterall, he was a predator and he knew how to hunt for his food. She regarded the other boxes warily, not wanting this room to become filled with skulls if Kuru knocked more of them over. She would certainly catch an illness then.
“I think you might need to open more boxes if you wish to solve the mystery of this room,” Antony spoke softly, in an effort to comfort her.
Opening more boxes wasn’t the most appealing idea, but it seemed like something that needed to be done. She grimaced as she approached one of the wooden ones. Perhaps this one would contain anything but old animal skulls.
“I’m sure it won’t be as bad as you think it will be,” Antony said.
The words sounded nice, but Leafy was still nervous about opening the boxes. She hoped that the next one would have some treasure inside to make up for the first. The box didn’t open so easily. She tried to pry open the top, but there was nothing to hold onto. Kuru moved closer to help out as well. His version of helping consisted of gnawing on the side of the box.
“Well I suppose that might be helpful?” she considered.
She wouldn’t chew on the box herself. Her teeth were much too fragile for that. She needed a tool or something similar to open it. Perhaps she would find one hidden away in another box. She could try the other cardboard boxes. Those were easy enough to open.
“Do you mind helping me look?” she asked Antony.
The vulticus padded over and used his snout to knock over one of the boxes.
Jack: Thanks for the notice!
May 28, 2020 10:05:26 GMT -6
Darky: Heads up: there's a chance you might notice Trepuldra images having loading issues on June 3rd, for about 3h. No need to panic, Veebimajutus just notified there's going to be some scheduled maintenance, is all x3
May 28, 2020 10:05:06 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: right??? i was really hoping i could find one of those pachee before the season was out.
May 26, 2020 18:51:32 GMT -6
Fanged: Oh wow that's an awesome garden find FF
May 26, 2020 18:13:26 GMT -6
Riku: Oh how perfect! I woke up wanting to post (unexpected, but yay) and saw I had a reply. <3 Meant to be.
May 26, 2020 6:40:43 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I really, really love all the updates that have come~! <3
May 24, 2020 2:12:37 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: np!!! I hope y'all like it!
May 23, 2020 13:45:06 GMT -6
Riku: What an awesome update, staff! Thanks for that! <3
May 23, 2020 12:06:52 GMT -6
Jack: All have been found!
May 23, 2020 9:53:27 GMT -6
Jack: Might want to be on the lookout for anything... odd
May 22, 2020 23:51:22 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Yeah it’s definitely a coincidence but wow did it work out well for us! XD
May 22, 2020 6:43:27 GMT -6
Silver: I'm pretty sure that was just a coincidence, but it sure feels lucky!
May 22, 2020 2:07:09 GMT -6
Riku: So did you guys make this hosting switch perfectly RIGHT before pb broke? >.< Thaz crazy. It’s a huge relief and I’m very glad we’ve come to this. <3
May 22, 2020 1:41:01 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: It’s free up to a certain number of GB, which we haven’t hit yet.
May 21, 2020 6:46:33 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Is the site that is going to be used to host all those images also the type you'd need to pay for? (definitely noticed the broken images yeah. Photobucket feels like it is standing on its last legs. X3 )
May 21, 2020 0:13:57 GMT -6
Morgan: I'm just kinda nervous about them going down before things get moved over completely. It's prolly nothing to be worried about though. :3
May 20, 2020 22:13:15 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Thank goodness we're moving out of there? XD
May 20, 2020 21:59:22 GMT -6
Renathan: Ugh, photobucket has the images broke again. x3
May 20, 2020 21:18:53 GMT -6