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The True Culprit
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The Golden Land
When the Silent Spirits Cry Prologue
“Uwoaah! Help, Helllp! I'm gonna fall! I'm gonna falllll!”
“Battler...Battler! BATTLER!” I was snapped out of my fugue of girlish screaming when Jessica kicked me in the head. It wasn't very difficult; I was on my knees at that point, clinging to the rails like a a frightened toddler. “The boat's been stopped for three minutes. You can open your eyes, already!”
...So it has. I was so busy freaking out I hadn't even felt the boat's rocking, or lack thereof. Figures, huh? Welp, there goes my dignity for the entire weekend. Way to make a first impression after six years' absence. I try and laugh it off, and pick myself up. “Ihihihi, hey, blame my mom. She passed her phobia onto me, y'know!”
My father, the old bastard, coughs uncomfortably, and pats me on the shoulder. “Battler, get off already, you're blocking the way.”
“Oh, uh...sorry.” I didn't need any more encouragement to get the hell off the damn dinghy, and walked with everyone to the rose garden, half-lost in thought, half-too excited to watch where I was going.
Heaven. Nirvana. Freedom from worldly misery, pain, and woe. That was what I had discovered, as my face was covered in a world of white, soft, firm delight. “Oh..um...Battler...-kun...”
“Battler!” George-aniki pulled me away forcibly from Shannon-chan's chest, which I had walked right into. It seems she was coming down the stairs just as I was walking up them, and...an unfortunate miracle was bestowed upon me. Honestly, I did feel a little embarrassed, but Shannon didn't seem as flustered as I thought.
“Hey, Shannon-chan, are you alright?” Jessica actually beat me to it, as Shannon seemed a bit pale. George-aniki advanced forward to steady her balance out of chivalrous concern. Good guy, him.
“Y-Yes...um, I woke up with quite the migraine today. Natsuhi-sama loaned me some aspirin, and I'm not used to..um...” She coughs nervously. “I was being careless and inattentive, my apologies. Please, let me help with your bags.”
So after a few hours of being ridiculed like a fool later, we were having a picnic on the beach to enjoy the sunny weather while we still had it. Apparently we were expecting one hell of a typhoon over the weekend, so we'll be cooped up inside most of the time. Kanon, a servant I wasn't very acquainted with, decided to attend in Shannon's place. We all suggested that she lie down and take a breather in her condition. “So, George-aniki, what was with that bridal carry before? I know Shannon-chan was light on her feet but-OOPH!”
Jessica had elbowed me in the stomach, and vindictively pointed out George's red face. Oh. OH! “Hehehe, hey Maria, you know this one? George and Shannon sittin' in a tree..”
“K-I-S-S-I-N-G! Uuu~!” Maria giggled, but stopped when Kanon shot her a surly look. He seemed to take offense, and I wondered what business it was of his, but it wasn't really worth getting worked up about. From what Jessica claimed earlier, the two were close.
“So, Kanon-kun,” I venture, “I don't really know anything about you, I'm sorry. What do you do in your spare time?”
“Do you like any novels? Or...?”
He seemed really agitated, and that's when I noticed that Kanon had the same weird sort of pallor as Shannon. Is there a bug going around? “Oi, Kanon-ku-” Jessica asked, noticing, but was cut off when Kanon went into a coughing fit. It was overwhelmed by the blare of a foghorn; probably the harbor calling any sea vessels to port, but I was surprised at how clearly I could hear it.
“C'mon, Kanon-kun, this time I'll be the one to help you,” Jessica said, and would lead Kanon up, supporting him with her shoulder. “Sorry, guys, but can you clean up without us?”
“No problem,” George said, and we did just that. Well, George and I did, but Maria seemed to be staring out at the water. “Something wrong, Maria-chan?” George asked.
“Uuu...Can't you hear?”
“The foghorn?” I said. “Yea, it was surprisingly lou-”
“Uuu! Not that, them! Them!”
“Uh...?” I look to George, who shrugs. “Look, Maria-chan, let's pack this up and go inside. It's going to rain soon, right?”
She stood still and shook her head. “Won't rain. I wanna wait.”
George responds with a warm smile, and calmly tells her, “Right, you want to enjoy the view, right? Look, as soon as you see storm clouds, come inside, okay? We won't want your mother to worry.”
“...Kay.” She doesn't look up, just staring at the horizon. She'll be fine, right? Honestly, I felt all kinds of worries about leaving a kid here like this, but...I trust George. If there was cause for concern, he'd pick up on it.
“Twenty minutes,” I amend. “We don't want you to be washed away like a message bottle, ihihi!”
No response. Yea, yea, I know, my joke is lame. You could atleast pretend to laugh, Maria.
“That sort of deal is preposterous. Why would I ever agree to something like that?” Krauss said in a calm tone of voice.
Eva, however, was calling his bluff, “We know about Father, Nii-san. Kyrie, if you would?” The other woman wordlessly withdrew financial papers, as Eva explained, “You've been spending a lot of money. Money we know isn't coming from your investments. So you either found the gold, or you're embezzling father's money.”
Natsuhi was about to come to her husband's defense, but Krauss spoke up first. “Do you really think you're in any position to accuse me of stealing anything? You stole money out of mother's purse throughout high school!”
Rudolf, blowing out cigarette smoke, coldly responded, “Could you blame her? You kept breaking her things and blaming it on Rosa and I.”
Rosa bit her lip as she remembered those days, and lobbied at Rudolf, “Like you ever took any of the blame...”
“What was that?” Rudolf said innocently.
“I MEAN you're the one who kept getting out of things by pinning it on me. You would chase me into the woods and break things so you can point to my absence as an admission of guilt!”
“Hold on a minute, everyone, this isn't-”
“Quiet, dear.” Hideyoshi tried to calm the room, and Eva was having none of it, pointing her fan at Rosa. “What about you?! How many times have I woken up to find your boogies all over my open diary?”
Rosa barked, “I made it better! Seriously, do you really write letters to yourself like that? You're about as out of touch as my daughter.”
“Zing,” Rudolf said with a malicious laugh, and Krauss stared at him.
“You're not one to talk, little brother. Or do you have something you'd like Kyrie-san to hear?”
THAT got her attention. “Pardon me, what was that? What's he talking about, Rudolf?”
“Nothing! Absolutely nothing,” Rudolf said, “Atleast none of OUR kids mysteriously fell off the cliffside. Stillbirth can't be blamed on parental negligence.”
Judging by Natsuhi's expression, that cut deep. Her face reflected terror, sadness, regret, rage, confusion...and loneliness. Everyone was expecting her to hell, but she just muttered something as a foghorn blared in the distance. “Sorry, what was that?” Eva said snidely.
“...Just...just stop. Everyone just stop,” Natsuhi said, repeating herself. Not up for anger, she broke into tears, and just exited the room. That was a sobering exit to the group, and Hideyoshi again made attempts at pacification.
“Let's take a break. An hour or so.” Everyone just nodded, many of them avoiding each other's gazes. None of them felt very grown-up, then.
Genji opened the door to Kinzo's study, stepping in to continue the pointless ruse regarding Kinzo's life. Bringing Nanjo in with him, he noticed that Kumasawa was already here, staring at a book that had fallen off of one of the shelves. The tome was a crimson red, with a black magic circle of three circles within a larger, rune-marked ring. “Kumasawa-san?” Nanjo asked, but she ignored him, staring straight at Genji with something resembling...fear? Fury? Despair?
“Genji-san,” she said in a deadpan calm. “Who. Was. The last person in here?”
Genji solemnly closed his eyes in thought, and sighed. “That would have been...'Kinzo'. Is that the one?”
“Yes. This is that book.”
Nanjo spoke up again, confused. “W-what is it? What's wrong?” But his only answer was Genji retrieving some glasses to pour some drink of the Green Fairy.
“It's better if you don't know,” he said. “Please. Drink. Drink enough to lose your senses. That will be our apology to you.” As he slid Nanjo the first glass, a fog horn blared from across the sea...
When the Silent Spirits Cry: An Umineko/Silent Hill crossover fanfiction
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