CHAPTER 1 · 2 · Fruitless

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CHAPTER 1 · 2 · Fruitless

Post by Story Teller on Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:16 am

So we do! As we get out I immediately walk towards the stairs, as I realize most people are choosing to search rooms closer to the gymnasium or to directly go outside. Ciel follows me, and while I hadn’t really thought about needing someone to be with me, I am pretty glad they do, because seeing how I have been reacting so far, I might actually need someone rational to cheer me up when I stumble upon something somewhat depressing. Once I am upstairs, I see nine rooms, and I am not sure where to go first, but Ciel immediately goes towards what has to be a classroom – a sign on the door says 1-A – and this time, I am the one to follow them.
We enter and see… nothing particular.
“Looks like a classroom alright.”
“Yep.”
They already look ready to walk out, but I am not. I want to make sure that I have seen every single spot of every single room. I want to make sure that I have not missed any detail, any possible secret route. I check out the tables, the board, the back of the room, and of course the windows; and I am confused for a little while, until I realize…
“This… This is a painting.”
“What?”
“The outside, it’s… it’s not true, it’s just a painting!”
Ciel, who was waiting for me to done, glancing around the room, gets closer a looks at the windows for a few seconds.
“Oh, it’s a… trompe-l’oeil? Wow, it’s pretty realistic. I don’t think I would have noticed.”
“But… why?!”
They shrug.
“I don’t know, it’s weird. Did you try to open them?”
I had not, and without answering I try to open the window right in front of me… but it’s useless. No matter I much force I put into it, it just will not open. And I’m not *that* weak!
“Okay, stop! You’re going to break it!”
The thought of being “exterminated” makes me obey immediately. I stand there for a few seconds, and then sigh.
“Let’s go search the other rooms.”
There are three other classrooms, 1-B, 1-C, and 1-D. We search them all thoroughly but they are the exact same as the first one.
“Well, it’s not like there was much to be expected from *classrooms*.”
“Yeah. The fake windows are something worth looking into, though. But let’s go somewhere else for the moment.”
In front of classroom 1-D, there are two little rooms which I rapidly identify to be bathrooms. Because I have decided to search every single inch of the academy, I walk towards them without hesitating, but before I enter the men’s bathroom, Ciel stops following and says:
“Ahem… If you don’t mind, I’ll wait right here.”
They look away as they say that, and I hesitate for a few seconds before answering:
“Oh, okay. No problem.”
“I guess they don’t know what bathroom they’re allowed to go in? It’s not the right moment, but I’d be one to tell them they can go just wherever… It’s not like anyone knows which…”
I make my own thoughts shut up.
The bathroom looks pretty normal. There are three stalls, all of which are perfectly clean, and a cleaning closet with whatever you may need to wash… whatever incident could happen in the bathroom, I guess. I check every single wall, too used to the “there was a hidden passage” trope in movies, but I do not notice anything.
When I walk out I am glad to see Ciel is still there, but without a word, trying to be as quick as I can, I walk in the ladies’ bathroom.
“Oh.”
It is the exact same. I search it thoroughly still, but I do not find anything. I simply go out, starting to wonder if I am not just wasting time doing all of this… But Ciel smiles to me as they see I’m done.
“Alright, let’s go to the next room!”
I smile too, and follow them to the room closest to the bathrooms.
“You didn’t even ask me if I found anything!”
“If you had, you’d have screamed or something, wouldn’t you? You weren’t making the face of someone who has found something anyway.”
“You got me in a box.”
The door to this new room does not have anything on it, and when we open it, it takes me a moment to understand what purpose it serves.
“It’s a storage room.”
“Sure looks like it.”
It is completely packed with a lot of different things, from dolls to ropes, passing by cans of soup too. It looks like I could find whatever I need at any moment in here!
“I don’t think there’s any issue here… Even if there were, it would take us hours to get to it. There’s way too much stuff in here.”
I nod. I try to look very closely around, but it just looks like a normal storage room. It even smells like an old attic.
“Agreed. I guess we have no other choice than to look somewhere else.”
They nod too, and we walk out and towards the next door, which happens to be right next to the storage room. I take a peek at the space between both rooms as we walk by it, but it just looks like a corridor without an issue.
Ciel opens this new door and we both gasp simultaneously.
“It’s… weapons! It’s full of weapons!”
Completely full of weapons. I can see axes, knives, swords, crossbows and even guns. It is a huge room, and it is filled with so many weapons, classed by category, that I do not think I will ever be able to count them all.
“This is the worst!”
Ciel’s voice cracks a little, and they have gone completely pale. I do not think I look much better. This room is so… frightening, I do not even know what to think. We stay silent, staring at all of these tools made for murder, for I do not know all long.
“What’s in here, boys?”
Seemingly coming from nowhere, Chris suddenly walks by in-between us, pushing us both a little to the side, to enter the room.
“Oh my fucking God.”
She looks at the weapons, then at us, then at the weapons again.
“Oh my God.”
She nervously passes her hand through her hair.
“Oh my G... What do we do?”
She turns around and looks behind us. Both Ciel and I turn around at the same time to see Noah, who must have been standing here for as long as Chris has entered. He looks worried, but rapidly signs something to her.
“But how?”
He signs again. Ciel and I look at each other, confused, and still pretty scared.
“I… I guess you’re right. We have no other choice… Yeah, yeah, you’re right, it’s gonna be fine!”
“What did he say?”
She looks startled, as if she had actually forgotten not everyone understands sign language.
“Oh, uh… He said we should close the room somehow, but then he said it can wait, we’ll think about it later if we must, ‘cause for the moment he’s pretty sure no one’s in the mood for a fucking murder.”
Noah grimaces as she finishes her sentence.
“Here he says he didn’t say “fucking”, I added that.”
I giggle.
“This face means “I didn’t say “fucking”, Chris added that”?”
We all laugh, a little bit like kids would.
“I guess we’re so nervous, anything would get us going.”
I cannot help but remark that Noah’s laugh is really… normal? I do not know why, I would have thought a mute’s laugh would sound different. But I had no idea what it would sound like, so I am guessing that is just how it is. I look at him, and I smile. Something about him looks really friendly. I wish there were an easier way to talk to him.
He gestures towards Chris and signs something.
“Someone should guard this room… Wait what? You’re saying you want to stay here?”
He answers.
“It’s not like you’d be able to let everyone know quickly if you find something… Huh… Well I mean, you know, I’m here?”
He answers.
“Huh… Okay, you’re right. We can’t just leave this room opened for everyone to access.”
“You want to guard the room? Sounds like a pretty good idea, actually. We never know if someone might come here alone and get ideas…”
A chill crosses my whole body.
“Ahem…”
The three of them turn their heads around to look at me almost at the same time. I feel kind of uncomfortable, but…
“Uh… If we let Noah guard the room, well… He’ll be alone.”
“Oh!”
Chris does not react immediately. As for Noah… I do not even dare to look at him. I am too scared to look at the expression of someone who thinks… who knows… I am being suspicious of them. I am not doing it on purpose, or against him, I am actually pretty sure he is trustworthy, but you never know… I cannot trust anyone. Not even Ciel.
Thinking that kind of makes me want to throw up.
“Hm, you’re not wrong. I’ll stay with him, then. Two should be enough.”
I look at Chris, surprised, but she looks serious and mostly unbothered. Only at this moment do I look at Noah again, and… he is just smiling. And when he notices I am looking at him, he gives me a thumbs up.
I open my mouth to say something, but nothing comes out. I smile awkwardly, relieved, but also feeling bad to have even thought of him negatively.
“What brought you here, though? Chris, I thought you would be looking outside.”
“Well, I did go outside. But…”
She looks away for a second.
“Well, you’ll see.”
“Sounds ominous.”
Noah shrugs and shakes his head, sighing. He looks like there is something negative he has already accepted.
I do not even want to think about it.
“… Then I guess we’ll look around some more.”
“Yeah.”
“Okay, see ya.”
I quickly turn around, and I think Ciel waves to them before they follow me. I immediately go to the last room we have searched yet, the one between the stairs to the 1st floor and the stairs that are completely blocked off by a solid barrier (no going around that, that much is for sure), and when I open the door, I am relieved to see that it is not filled with potential murder weapons. Rather, it is filled with computers.
“Yay, geekery!”
“Huh, what?”
“Don’t mind me.”
They shake their head, smiling, before they walk towards the closest computer.
“Doesn’t turn on.”
“Damn.”
They don’t look bothered, though, and immediately try out the next one.
“Doesn’t turn on.”
Etc., etc., etc., of course, until the very last computer in the room, which actually turns on very quickly.
“I guess you should have started here, huh…”
“It’s always like that.”
I get closer as they search the files, but… It is completely empty. It has normal programs, but apart from that, no files, no nothing.
Ciel mumbles to themselves.
“And of course, no internet connection either.”
We both stay silent for a minute, staring at the black background, until Ciel sighs, turns the computer off and gets up from the chair they were sitting on, taking a step towards the exit.
“Time to go somewhere else.”
They are starting to look *and* sound pretty annoyed. I play discrete, and follow them outside and then downstairs without a word.

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Re: CHAPTER 1 · 2 · Fruitless

Post by Story Teller on Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:18 am

There are some people searching downstairs but Ciel immediately walks towards a seemingly empty room on the left of the staircase, avoiding the bathrooms. I do not know if they did it on purpose or just assumed there would not be anything interesting there, but I figure I am not going to force them to wait for me again; there probably is *not* anything important in the bathrooms. And if there is, I am sure someone has found it already. After all, we are something like 16 searching!
We find ourselves in an extremely dark room. Somehow, even though the door is still open, it is completely black, and we cannot see a thing. The light from outside draws a thin line on the floor were the darkness starts… That is certainly ominous. I hear Ciel stumbling around the room, not too far from me, and suddenly the room is completely lightened-up by hundreds of bright spots, so much so that it blinds me for an instant.
“I found the light switch.”
“Yeah… I, I saw that.”
A short pause. I think they turn to look at me, but I am not sure, I am blinking like a madman, trying to see again.
“Haha, now you’re blind!”
“Wh- Don’t tell me you aren’t?!”
“I didn’t stay blinded for too long. My eyes were never really sensible.”
They chuckle.
“That was just a very old reference anyway. I’m sorry if it came off as blunt.”
“Oh? Oh, okay. It’s fine, then. Well, it was fine anyway.”
“Hm-hm.”
As I am starting to see better again, I see them walking away from me, looking around what seems to be a gigantic room. I blink a few times again, and I recognize the kind of auditorium you only find in private, very rich schools, and movies always assume every single highschool has. It lacks decoration, though, and is mostly black and white, except for the seats, which are a beautiful, deep red. Starting from where I am it goes down, and at the other end of the auditorium there is a huge scene, fit for conferences or probably school plays. Ciel is already there, and they call out to me.
“Can you keep looking over there? I’d like to test something.”
I cannot help but notice their voice is perfectly audible, almost as if they were standing right next to me, and the echo is pretty discrete.
“Oh yeah, and… If I die, tell my parents I love them.”
“You fuck-”
They turn around before I can fully answer and pull what must be a string coming from the ceiling.
A white screen falls from the same place and entirely covers the scene. The room turns dark again, but light coming from up somewhere in the middle of the room shows on the screen. It is the only thing I can see, and I completely lose sight of Ciel.
“Ciel? Are you still here?!”
“I’m not gonna sneak up on you, man.”
A few seconds have passed by and suddenly, black words appear on the otherwise white screen.
THE STORY HAS JUST STARTED.

… I look at it in silence, but nothing else happens.
“I am truly disappointed.”
“This is just we-”
The lights suddenly turn on again. Now blind, I finish my sentence.
“-ird.”
“Ah, Neo, I’m sorry! I should have told you I was going to turn the lights back on!”
I hear their steps as they quickly walk back towards me.
“You sure could have, but it’s fine, I’m fine.”
“Are you sure? Doesn’t it hurt too much? I don’t realize! I swear, I could stare at the sun and it would barely even hurt.”
I blink, and start to adapt quicker than I did the first time.
“Well you’re weird… But I envy you.”
“I’m glad you appreciate oddness.”
Still blinking a lot, I chuckle.
“Yeah, sure.”
I actually appreciate Ciel a lot. They are really nice, and I glad they are sticking by me. I know I would get discouraged and angry really fast if I were alone.
“So, do you think there’s anything here?”
“No, there’s nothing here but walls. No exit.”
“You didn’t look well enough!”
We both jump in surprise. Now, where the ever living hell did she come from?!
“What the- what?”
I turn around to see Emily, standing in the frame of the door, her usual contented look pasted on her face.
“I said you didn’t look well enough.”
She turns her head around and seems to be calling someone over.
“I’m right, aren’t I?”
I hear a faint “Why? What did who say?”, and I recognize Isabella’s hesitant voice.
“Oh, poor, poor Isabella.”
“Ciel said there wasn’t anything else than walls in the auditorium!”
“Now who is- oh.”
She appears next to our good old friend Isabella, and barely smiles to us.
“Hi.”
“Hi. Sorry to be interrupting.”
She glances at Emily.
“Uh… Well, yes. There are two doors beside the scene. Emily and I already went there. Don’t worry though, they only lead each to one small changing room. It seems you can only access the scene from the small staircase on the left side.”
“Aaaaah, Isabella says it so much better than I would ever have..!”
Indeed, Isabella’s speech is clear and beautiful to say the least. She has a beautiful voice too, and is lovely to hear. I feel like I could listen to her speak for hours days and days and I would never get bored of it.
“Oh, then it does sound like I didn’t look hard enough.”
Ciel looks at Emily and forces a smile.
“Looks like you found my weak point.”
She chuckles. Her voice is pretty cute too, actually, and her laugh reminds me of that of a little girl.
“Yay! That’s Emily’s new talent! Ultimate Flaw Finder! And it’s not that easy ‘cause Ciel is such a good person!”
Isabella laughs awkwardly.
“Emily easily gets attached, doesn’t she?”
“Kindaaaa! But I already talked a little to Ciel!”
“I am… Sure it’s just enough.”
Ciel does not look too euphoric at the idea that Emily got attached to him.
“Well… I’m sorry to have interrupted you two, but we’ve already searched this room thoroughly. I do not think there is much more to be found in it.”
“It’s okay, Isabella. We were about to head off anyway.”
“And it’s a good thing you came here before we did. As you may have noticed, I’m not really that thorough.”
“Everyone is being helpful in their own manner. You see, Emily here quickly gets bored of looking, but she is also very enthusiastic and notices some things much quicker than most people would have.”
“Oh!”
Emily slaps her hand onto her own chest, and her cheeks turn a little red. I expect her to answer, but she remains completely silent.
“It’s true, I’m sure Neo and I have different ways of searching.”
They hush the rest.
“But his are much better than mine.”
Isabella and Emily do not seem to hear it, and the latter taps the first on the shoulder.
“Isabella, Isabella, are Emily and you gonna search the hall?”
“Ah, sure. That is what we were planning to do, let’s leave these two young men alone.”
She quickly waves to us and they both leave. I can hear Emily seeing all kinds of random things to her newfound best friend, and Isabella hesitantly laughing, sounding somewhat annoyed, but not showing it.
When Isabella talks to us, it seems we unconsciously try to match her polite and beautiful speech. I had never heard myself speaking so slowly and picking my words so laboriously, and it is interesting to say the least.
I look at Ciel and smile unhesitantly.
“Let’s go somewhere else too, then!”
They nod, and I lead the way out of this room. I do not know where to head yet but I am cut off in my steps by a big noise, seemingly coming from the room right next to the one we were in.
“What happened?”
I dart over towards the ajar door and open it in a rush to see…

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