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Re: Danganronpa F6: Beneath the Surface (Chapter 3 Tribunal)Topic%20Title
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"Ciro is what confuses me most of all." Benjamin winced. "Everything he did was reckless and made our lives more difficult. And yet he saved my life, or at least tried to, despite the fact that I broke his hand. I'm having trouble reconciling this, but it seems I was wrong about him."
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WinterCoat wrote:
"I ain't gonna rejoice... I jus' feel dirty," Brandy said. "None of this even feels like it was worth it..."

"It... It wasn't. This whole damned contemptible game is just..." Oliver sighed and let his words drift off. He looked completely exhausted, his eyes were puffy and red, and his tone was a far cry from his usual exuberant self.
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Haley sighed, leaning against her podium again. "Seriously, what a twist. I didn't expect that Micah actually poisoned Shizune, and that was why she was freaking out. Even if it was an accident."

She turned away from the scene at hand. "I might not be able to do much, but I'll at least acknowledge a worthy opponent, and give you tbe respect of a peaceful death."
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Micah stops crying the best she can.

"I have a good friend outside of here actually that Ciro hurt really badly. I didn't want to say anything because I didn't want you all to think I was biased about Ciro, but I guess... maybe I was."

She takes off her glasses, trying to clean them, behind them, her large eyes are bloodshot.

"He saw her walking back from a dig one day with a shovel. Apparently the way shovel looked like a weapon to him. He thought she was going to kill him. He's a trained martial artist though, and she was easily beaten within an inch of her life. She lost a lot of her memories, and she's still in the hospital."

"When I saw him here, I didn't know what to do. I still feel haunted about him staring me in the face the next day and acting like what he did was just a defensive maneuver and that sometimes people get hurt. It was like he barely let the events affect him at all."

"Thankfully, he lost his authority to practice or teach karate from that day, but..."

She puts her glasses back on, "I'm like him though. For the past three days. Thinking it was just self-defense."
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"I understand why you feel animosity towards him. But...we punished him the best we could. I wish we could have done more..."

Ivan rubbed his hands against his face and turned away from the others.
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“Ah that sounds much more like ol’ Ciro.” Benjamin seemed satisfied that his inner conflict had found some sort of resolution.
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"I'm not sure what to think about this one, men, but it's definitely a heavy hitter." Daniel sighs in exhasperation. You can see his eyes screaming for a nap. "I don't think there was much we could've realistically done here, soldiers. Everything was done in secrecy. On the other hand... it still feels like guilt."
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"He wasn't evil. He was Ciro. That's all. As much as it frustrates me, that's who he was."

Something seems to shake from within Micah.

"He saved my life from the car! I was trying not to show you all that I was crying about it, but I was! That's why I wore the mask to the trial. The moment the person who I tried to murder risked his own life to save three different people, I felt so much pity for him! I could barely take it," Micah does her best to calm down, but she can't. She just can't.
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"All of this was so... senseless. Nothing was gained, everyone involved only lost. I only hope this isn't a sign of things to come," Seb said. He was no longer crying, now only looking drained and disheartened.
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Micah bites her tongue like something bothers her, but she seems to clear her head of the thought.

"I guess I'm ready to die... Please remember me. I know that I wasn't at all close to any one of you, but if you could do this one thing for me... At least that I could become part of history," Micah utters, looking very young for her age.
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"What you did was terrible and senseless. And while with us, you were more of a deadweight than this ball on my leg. But it's over." Benjamin shook his head. "Shizune didn't spend her last moments angry with you, and I won't waste my energy doing the same. I know you tried, and that's enough."

He leaned back on the podium wearily. "I'll remember you... and we'll make sure to preserve the Historical Society for your sake."
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Seb sighed. "One last thing. Micah, you should be here while I read Shizune's message. Everyone, please listen."

Code:
Dear Stars,

I am writing this message ahead of time in the hopes that I won't need it, since if you are reading it, it means I have passed on. That being the case, there is no point in my keeping secrets, and doing so could easily hurt you more than I already have. I'm truly sorry for everything I've put you all through.

Ciro Pérez is dead because of me. I sent him a letter typed with ink laced with medicine that causes heart failure. The details of the letter aren't important aside from the end, where I asked him to burn it after reading, releasing the chemicals into the air so he would breathe them in.

I had no choice. I realized my sickness since falling into the lake was no natural illness; I was intentionally poisoned by Ciro when I ate at his banquet. Dr. Pratt has been doing his best to help me, but I can't be cured while trapped down here. If I couldn't get to the surface and get medical attention there, I would die.

The thought of killing someone to escape, even the person who is slowly killing me at this moment, made me sick. However, as bad as that was, the thought of dying here, of never seeing my family again, of never finding someone to love and who would love me in return, of never finding my place in the world, was even worse.

I hope you all can forgive me for this, and for all the other trouble I've caused you throughout this expedition. My apologies especially to Ms. Henn and Mr. Gustily, whose favors I was unable to return, and to Sebastian and Dr. Pratt; I am forever grateful for your support and friendship through this ordeal.

Sebastian, do you recall when you said everyone is forgotten in a few generations, yet their legacies will live on? I was never able to create my own legacy to leave behind. Even so, I hope at least you and the other Stars will remember me in some positive way. Don't forget our promise, okay?

I have one final request. I know I'm asking a lot, especially considering what I've done, but if any of you are willing and able when you leave this place, please take Claudia with you and bring her to my parents. I think they would want her. Their address is on some of my mail at home.

I believe that's everything I wanted to say. For all of you who read and listened to my last words, I thank you. It's been a tremendous honor meeting you.

Eternally yours,
Shizune Takata

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Brandy found herself tearing up as the message was read.

“God damn it, Shizune... It ain’t fair that you had to get involved in all o’ this... but jus’ know I refuse to let your death be in vain.”

She leaned over and rested her head on her podium and quietly sobbed for the time being. What a horrible nightmare.
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Micah sits there, listening softly to Shizune's soft words.

"You will be known to history as a good person, Shizune Takata... I hope..."
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Matt looked over to shizune with a pained expression, grabbed one of his beers and began pooring one out.

"Gir...no shizune...gave ya a damn hard time, truth is you didn't deserve none of it. most of these dumbasses do but you were one of the good ones."

Matt sighed.
"well, lets get this crap over with unlike her the bitch over there just getting her dues, but hey least you got your damn revenge right?" matt spat on the ground and turned his head to his side.
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"...I'm at a loss for words," Ivan sighed, lowering his head. A mix of sadness and anger swelled up inside him as he clenched his fists and prepared for the punishment waiting for Micah.
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"I know, I know, I know..." Micah repeats against Matt's words, her head swimming with regrets.
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Oliver just closed his eyes and looked down after the letter was read aloud. He had no idea how to respond to it or anything going on around him. He quietly sighed and opened his eyes, blinking out a few tears. "You were a kind young lady, Shizune... Seeing you go so soon is just... tragic. This whole situation is tragic..." he muttered, taking in a few shaky breaths.
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"I must say, there was a lot of entertainment to be had today. I found myself almost feeling the emotion all of you were."

"H-h-h-h-hhhhh..." he cackles. "Not quite of course. But I can imagine what it might be like in a way..."

"Regardless, this is the end of the line. Any last words, Micah?"

Micah's mouth opens but not a sound escapes her.

"Of course you don't."

Spoiler: For Whom the Bell Tolls
The lights go out. The shadowy cavern envelops them.

They hear something bubbly and burping in the darkness, dragging across the ground.

The slimy sound of a monster seems to be moving through their midst. Over their heads. Right near their feet. Making horrible, uncomfortably close, eating noises.

A bell rings out, once, twice, three times. It's call beckons them to the blackness of the recesses of history.

"MICAH YANDELL, LET IT BE KNOWN THAT YOU WILL BE LOST TO THE SANDS OF TIME. SHOULD ANYONE ESCAPE THE WORLD BELOW, THEY WILL FORGET ALL AOUT YOU. ALL OF THE THINGS YOU HAVE DONE AND RESEARCHED IN LIFE WILL BE FORGOTTEN. ALL YOUR ARTIFACTS SHALL BE EATEN OR DESTROYED."

That's when they hear the first crunch and ear-piercing scream. No matter how much anyone opens their eyes or closes them, the only thing they can feel is the symphony of the feast resonating in their ears.

CHOMP

CRACK

CRUNCH

They hear the lip smacking and burp at the end of someone satisfied with their meal.

Everyone's lights turn back on. Micah is gone. There's no trace of her. Not the robe, the mask, the glasses, the blood, the tears, the anything.

She's now but a memory.

Incidentally, Shizune's body has been removed as well.


"I'm sure Micah was ready for this. She knew as well as any that some things aren't meant to be remembered."

Belphegor bows his head, "I hope to see you all again one day soon. It is always a treat."

He walks right past them and into the darkness, "H-h-h..."

Welcome Back: END
9 Souls Remain


Last edited by Doctor Nanjo on Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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"...Tch. What a lie. How can we ever forget about such a pathetic girl..? She's so sad, she stands out almost too much..."

His words were hurtful, but his voice was filled with pain and sorrow.

"...Either way, a promise has been made. It would be irresponsible for us to break it."
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"Her work will disappear too? That's... troubling," Seb said uncomfortably. He was a little disturbed that Shizune's body had been eaten too, but was also apparently used to corpses and death enough that it didn't overly bother him. Indeed he walked up to the spot she'd been in without trepidation and picked up Claudia. The typewriter was surprisingly heavy. "If no-one has any objections, I'll hold onto Claudia for now. But if I die also, someone else needs to take up the burden to deliver her to Shizune's parents when this game is finally over."
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"... May He grant your souls eternal peace in this ring of hell," Haley muttered, crossing herself as she made her request. With that out of the way, she shrugged at Seb.

"I have no qualms with it one way or the other. But frankly, I'm exhausted, and more than a little hungry. So I think I'm going to hunt for whatever serves as a kitchen around here and scrounge up some grub. Y'all are welcome to join me if you want."
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"What a horrible way to go. No legacy, nothin'," Brandy said with a hint of fear in her voice. "But she was a kook, a disgrace to her field. I don't regret snappin' at her, especially since it was her irresponsibility that got Shizune killed."

She watched Seb pick up the typewriter. "Go 'head n' take it, Seb. It looks like, out of all of us, you were the closest to her, so I think you have the right to take it with you. You can go 'head n' take it with you back to the surface, 'cause you ain't dyin' in this hole. No way, no how."
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"Well said, Brandy. Very--" His weary-sounding voice suddenly cracked, causing him to blink and clear his throat. "... Ahem. Very well said indeed," Oliver concurred, trying to keep himself from vomiting. Forcefully swallowing bile was not a fun endeavor, causing his face to contort a bit, though he was able to go back to a neutral, almost distant expression soon enough.
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"She got what was coming for her. She knew what she was doing and paid the price. Nonetheless, it's still sad to see a soldier go."

Daniel holds a solemn look for about three seconds before yawning into his right hand, grunting. "Soldiers, I think it's best if we rest for a while after this trial. This was the most exhausting thing I've done. Recently, at least."
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Datamatt wrote:
"She got what was coming for her. She knew what she was doing and paid the price. Nonetheless, it's still sad to see a soldier go."

Daniel holds a solemn look for about three seconds before yawning into his right hand, grunting. "Soldiers, I think it's best if we rest for a while after this trial. This was the most exhausting thing I've done. Recently, at least."


"Rest..?"

Ivan shook his head in disapproval.

"...We no longer have time for rest. I...I am tired of playing this game...why isn't there more we can do..? We live hour by hour, day by day, just waiting for more and more casualties..."
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CaptainPancakes wrote:
Datamatt wrote:
"She got what was coming for her. She knew what she was doing and paid the price. Nonetheless, it's still sad to see a soldier go."

Daniel holds a solemn look for about three seconds before yawning into his right hand, grunting. "Soldiers, I think it's best if we rest for a while after this trial. This was the most exhausting thing I've done. Recently, at least."


"Rest..?"

Ivan shook his head in disapproval.

"...We no longer have time for rest. I...I am tired of playing this game...why isn't there more we can do..? We live hour by hour, day by day, just waiting for more and more casualties..."


Daniel walks over to Ivan and places a mighty hand on his shoulder. "I understand how you feel, Ivan, but there's not much we can do. As much as I despise this scum suckin' game and the horrors it's made so many young soldiers do, I've accepted this is how it is to be. Maybe it's because of my age." He frowns at the last comment.

...

...

"AND THAT'S EXACTLY THE KIND OF ATTITUDE WE SHOULD BE FIGHTING, SOLDIER!" Daniel's voice instantly starts booming through the tribunal. "What kind of police chief gets so beat down over one problem?! If anyone can get us out of the mood grinder it's YOU! Is this really all you have left?!" His voice can be heard cracking a bit. It sounds tired and croaky, much like someone who yelled too much.
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Ivan's eyes widened in surprise after Daniel's outburst.

"...I...I don't know what's left in me," Ivan sighed.
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"Statistically, I won't make it through this if the game ends when there are just three survivors," Seb said, holding Claudia awkwardly under one arm. Typewriters are a lot harder to carry when you can't rest them on your legs, apparently. "But that's still no reason to give up. Three of us surviving is still better than none, and whoever those three are need to leave with their sanity intact and spirits raised. And apparently the game also ends 'if the Game Master decides to let it end', so that's a goal we can pursue too. We're the only ones capable of tracking down Enola, whether to save her or to demand answers. For all we know, the key to ending the game early may lie with her."
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CaptainPancakes wrote:
Ivan's eyes widened in surprise after Daniel's outburst.

"...I...I don't know what's left in me," Ivan sighed.


"There has to be a way out, Ivan! You're telling me you'd want to die here and leave everyone above hanging?! I don't remember you getting swapped out with a cheap third rate clone!"
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CaptainPancakes wrote:
Ivan's eyes widened in surprise after Daniel's outburst.

"...I...I don't know what's left in me," Ivan sighed.

Matt grabbed a candy cigarrette to chew on.
"Ow boo hoo, look at me bad things happened now I cant go on. dont know bout your pathetic ass but ill get out of this shithole even if I have to walk over the dead to do it. aint about to kill anyone but dont think I damn well wont if its yours or my ass on the line." Matt walked away.
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Ivan glared at Matt slightly.

"I don't think you know what you're saying."

Then he turned to Daniel.

"A way out? I cannot think of a single way right now. But what won't help us right now is 'rest.' Just waiting until there are three survivors left..? Don't make me laugh."
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"I know I, at least, can't think clearly without getting some rest every now and then," Seb said, already turning to leave the tribunal area. "And after... Well, after a trial like that, nothing good will come from me immediately leaping into action. I need time to decompress, even if a day is the most we can afford to allocate." Saying that, he left to return to the campsite.
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"Decompressing is a good idea. Today was... well, today was very taxing on us, to say the least," Oliver agreed, nodding in response to Seb.

"The more well-rested we are, the more clearly we'll think. And... I know that we'll find a way get out of here. Whether it's finding Enola or doing something else entirely... We cannot give up. If we give up now, then everyone else's needless deaths would have been in vain. We need to keep pressing on and find a way to escape this damned killing game. For them."

...

"For everyone except Bennett."
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Spoiler: ???
The outcast liked to play pretend.

When they were young, it was the princesses in the story books that captured their imagination the most. Delicate like flowers that grew in the sidewalk. Long, gorgeous hair and an infectious smile. Awaiting a prince with hope in their hearts.

From where they stood at the top of the tower, the outcast could almost remember those days. The smiles on distant strangers’ faces still pulled at their heartstrings.

That was before her life had ended.

The cavern was so far below her now. Figures milled about on the cobblestones. Were they humans, ghosts, monsters? She didn’t care. They meant nothing to her. Certainly not now.

The outcast was standing in the same place she’d always been. At the apex of the underworld; perched on the precipice. A prisoner of her own inhumanity, awaiting a rescue she knew would never come.

Her toes stroked the edge of the windowsill. Her tears fell from the tower, a gentle trickle of raindrops for the creatures far below. They paid her no mind.

From the distance, she heard the gentle whisper of a choir. She looked up. Three angels flew before her. Long, flowing robes. White wings. Eyes shining in the dark. One that raised her, one that tolerated her, and one that loved her.

The angels beckoned to her. They wore smiles on their faces like the ones she missed. She rubbed her eyes, trying to dry the tears that had left them red.

As the song continued, the outcast smiled despite the horror she’d just witnessed. She leaned out over the abyss reaching for the angels, hoping for their embrace. Her other hand hung from the windowsill like a tenuous lifeline.

The angels’ wings fluttered as they alighted beside her, reaching out to hold her gently. She trembled as if in divine ecstasy. Light flooded the cavern in a glorious rapture. The outcast saw how every moment of her life had led to the depths of these caverns and all after led to a prolonged state of nothingness.

Wasn’t this all anyone wanted? Wasn’t this all they’d expected?

Her foot left the edge and swung gently into the air, stepping out toward oblivion.

Everything seemed clear to her now. She may have been a princess, but there was no prince to save her. Not when the dragon was eating her from the inside.

There was nothing left to be said. Her throat was too dry to scream any longer.

She was in heaven’s hands now.



……


The nine remaining on the expedition walk toward the huge obsidian building with a tower balancing on the top of it. Even though most of the fake Rattlewater is under the light of a fake sun, the tower itself goes so high up that it disappears into darkness.

They approach the main doors, anxiously discussing among themselves what the plan should be. Haley doesn't waste any time, "Yeah, yeah, quit yapping. I've got this shit. I know it."

She walks right up to the doors with the note on it about a great witch being able to open it. She pushes, and the doors slowly swing inward revealing the shimmering décor of a fantastical palace.

Spoiler: Throne Room
Everyone, even Haley, shuts up, in awe of the hall laid out in front of them. There's golden adornments, colorful velvets, ivory-colored marble, and rich beautiful mahoganies. A glittering colossal chandelier lights up the space in a familiar, homey way. A lush, thick, swirling red and black carpet leads straight down the center of this main hall, up a short set of stairs to a golden throne. The rest of the room is partially Hallways on either side lead off to staircases and other rooms. Huge portraits stand on both walls, but the figures inside them are all blacked out, making it look like they're pictures of deep, black storm clouds. Light streams in through red and blue stained glass high on the walls.


Spoiler: Library
A two-floor Tudor-style library. There is book upon book of poetry lining one shelf. On another there's books and books of murder mysteries. Another one has fantasy stories with incredible creatures illustrated in them. Many books are literary classics as well. There's a couple of big comfy chairs for reading in. Shizune would have loved this place. There's desks and textbooks for studying.


Spoiler: Ball Room
White statues of snakes line the sides of this polished ball room. To one side sits a series of expertly-tuned string instruments. A gramophone sits on the side of the room, it's large bell aimed at the dance floor. The space feels wide open and free to move in. There's also an exceptionally old timey movie camera in this room, which can be used to record reels of film. Set into the wall is a projector, which can be used to play a variety of great-looking classic movies.


Spoiler: Art Room
Outside of the art room is a number of painted portraits of pained and monstrous faces. Every one of them seems to be of someone in pain. In the art room is a partially-finished marble sculpture, as well as still-glistening unfinished paintings. One painting is of a severed hand clutching a sheet of paper. The place is filled with jewel-like paints, which seem to come to life off the canvas. There's plenty of supplies for painting and sculpting.


Spoiler: Parlour
A nice place for entertaining guests, with many close chairs to gather around. A warm fire is going in the hearth. There's a tea set filled with hot tea. As much tea is poured from it, it always pours exactly one cup, and it's always hot. On the tables are classic board games, such as Sorry or Cluedo along with many others. A set of crisp and clean cards and poker chips are around as well.


There's a huge, winding set of dark stairs leading upwards, this must be the tower.

Spoiler: Master Bedroom
A large window to one side of the bedroom overlooks the town. They can see the streets, eerily empty. In the center of the room is a huge, indulgent bed, filling anyone who sits on it with immense comfort. The pillows and beddings are a royal violet, as is the canopy above. In the corner is a big wardrobe. It can be walked into. On one side is lots of pretty dresses and frilly clothes. On the other side are fancy assorted suits and hats. On the wall are many masquerade masks. Seems like quite the ball could be had with these.

Next to the bed on a table sits something: The Bell of Forgiveness, as pristine and white as ever. Was it brought here?


Spoiler: Observatory
A simple room with a chair and a telescope going out through the ceiling. Decorating the walls and ceiling though is a mural of the nights sky. Strangely though, the constellations are completely foreign to everyone there. Looking through the telescope seemingly shows the night sky. Is it night time on the surface? Does this telescope really go to the surface?


The same staircase leads downwards, and the air gets far more oppressive the further they are followed. It's like the caves but every wall is a stone brick.

Spoiler: Cellar
A wine cellar and distillery. Seems like someone is making barrels of various brews. Along the wall are many aged wines. Some of the oldest alcohol goes back over a hundred years.


Spoiler: Dungeon
Rod metal cells are locked shut. Behind each it is a set of shackles on the wall. Iron pokers are sitting on the wall. The place gives off a creepy vibe and is clearly meant for prisoners.


Spoiler: ???
A mysterious iron door sits shut down here. It's cold black face sits menacingly with no clear method of opening it. On it is written:

Prepare yourselves for a challenge. Know your virtues.

--Belphegor


Chapter 4: The Crooked Waltz
Beginning
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The Brains

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Klifford stares at the entrance to the library, seemingly ignoring everything else.

"Shizune..." He mutters quietly.
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Matt stares at the vast collection of wines in the cellar.

"Well not usually much for the fancy crap but damn if this ain't a beautiful place to be. guess ill grab a few and go down to that parlour. they can keep the tea crap for themselves."

Matt proceeded to look through and pick out a few wine bottles.
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Benjamin stood in the art room, looking at the pained faces. He frowned a bit as he looked as if it wasn't what he expected. Everyone's a critic I suppose.

One painting of a barely living man who seemed to be inflicted by some disease seemed to stick out to him though. He stared at this one for quite some time.
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Haley was oddly quiet, her usual spunk escaping her. If anything, she seemed... crushed by the weight of the emptiness, but she had more pressing matters.

"How the hell is an entire damned castle with a distillery, an observatory, and a dungeon in the middle of a set of caves?" She shook her head, crossing her arms. "More importantly, how was this stuff never found? I would've expected spelunkers to have found all of this ages ago."
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"We're dealing with magic, Miss Shapeshifter," Seb responded, looking around uneasily. "For all we know none of this was even here until Belphegor arrived. Either than or it was sealed somehow until the killing game unearthed it. Regardless, there's strange things here to be investigating. I'll start with the observatory: is it really the outside world we're seeing through that telescope?"
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