I do not own Haunting Ground, it's the propery of Capcom. I only own myself.
Ch. 3: What a surprise
My own breath hitched in my throat I felt scared to move, what made my mind and body snap back to what was happening now was when Debilitas was hopping in the air and giggling his questionable giggle. I quickly turned on my heel and began sprinting down the corridor knowing fully well that he was going to pursue me, so once I passed the doorway that lead to both the guest room and the dinning room downstairs I quickly slammed the door shut behind me to buy some time as I bolted into the guest room. Shutting the door to the guest room behind me, I quickly leaned over the railing, turned on the tv so that it would distract Debilitas and I crawled under the bed as I clamped my hand over my nose and mouth.
'Oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god! Now I know how Fiona felt.' I thought, flinching when the door was opened and I saw Debilitas's feet run passed the bed and go to the tv.
He made a frustrated grunt, "Where is you?" He threw a mini tantrum as he turned off the tv and proceeded to look around.
'I'm not under this bed, now go outside and tend to the garden please.' I thought scooting further back under the bed until I was pressing myself against the wall.
Debilitas kept freaking me out when he was doing the whole 'sniffing the air and leaning downwards', the man kept searching around the room for me. It was taking quite a bit for the man to leave, every time he left the room he'd come right back in several seconds later after leaving. I watched Debilitas do this several times and I kept telling myself over and over in my mind that I needed to get out from under the bed and get to moving, so once he left to go outside down to where that round rock garden was I slid out from under the bed and ran out of the room like mad.
"Okay, gotta remember that I already hid under the bed once so it'll be a less effective hiding spot next time." I muttered a quick reminder to myself as I ran down the outside corridor down to where Debilitas left his first doll. "If your face wasn't so broken I'd take you home and clean you up then place you right next to Bun-Bun." I had to laugh at myself for that because I was talking to a fricken doll.
I let out a heavy sigh as I carefully placed the doll in my bag, went over to the metal crate full of boxes and with all my strength I pushed it out of the way and boy was that crate a pain the butt to move! When I last played Haunting Ground I noticed that when the crate was moved there was a red smear on the floor, now that I'm Fiona I can see what it was... How I wished I never did.
I dabbed the pads of my finger on the red substance that was on the floor and when I ran my thumb over a few time I recognized the texture and how it felt when it was partially rubbed in, "Blood! Oh my god!" I rapidly wiped my hand on the ground to get the blood off and from there I sprinted to the typewriter room just to get away from the blood and get what I needed but mostly to forget that I touched foreign blood.
Getting in the room and shutting the door behind me, my mind couldn't help but wander to what the blood on the floor could possibly be, for all I knew that blood could've been animal blood but another part of me kept saying that it was human and not to deny it. Getting a grip I looked at the broken, spider web covered chandelier then to the bird cage that's also covered in webs with the bird skeleton and the lone typewriter in the corner. Walking towards the typewriter, carefully avoiding glass shards on the ground so the noise wouldn't attract Debilitas's attention I stood in front of the typewriter and looked at it thinking how much I wanted one when I was really into typing without a computer.
Popping my knuckles, I placed my fingers on the home row keys, "Okay, R-Eh-ST." I sounded out to myself as I typed, needing to press the keys hard since it was a manual typewriter. Upon finishing the word what popped out of the machine was a key plate with the word 'REST' on it. "Alright now, for nine more plates." I put the key plate in my bag and was ready to type more.
"S-AL-TI-Ah-TO. MER-CUR-Y. SUL-FUR. SALT. METH. MAG-NUS. MOR-GAN. AL-CHY-MI-Ah."
I figured that all typewriters had ten plates for use and I used what I needed or was going to need for later on and be better prepared so I didn't need to waste time going to find a typewriter elsewhere and make a key plate. Surprisingly the key plates were slightly heavy, they pretty much weighed as much as a Black Butler manga, sure all ten key plates were somewhat weighing down my back but I was okay, I lifted a duffle bag that was probably twice my weight. Though when I started running towards the door to the golem the sound of the key plates hitting one another made me hold the bag close to myself and hold onto it, so less noise would emanate from it. Opening the door to a mini alchemist room I could feel a great wave of heat hit me just from opening the door, I saw that it was coming from the oven in the back of the room but I couldn't be bothered with that right now I had things to do.
Digging into my bag, it took me a bit since me being temporarily idiotic; I placed the METH key plate in between the other key plates, so I had to sift through the bag just to find that one plate. Pulling it out after a couple of moments of searching I went in front of the golem, slid the key in and stepped back as it crumbled to the ground. Among the dirt and rock of the fallen golem there was the Obsidian Choker and from what I remember it dulls the sense of the Lumis so they wouldn't be as attracted to me, I put the choker on and already didn't seem to like it but I needed it, so I had to deal.
"My dolly!" I heard Debilitas cheer from behind me so without even thinking I bolted through the door.
"Exire Debilitas!" I shouted hoping it would work but since I still heard footstep pursuing me that was a clear sign that it didn't work.
I scrambled to the ladder but what I didn't think was for a way to climb fast down the ladder, sure one could climb up it fast but going down is a whole 'nother story! But I tried climbing down the ladder fast which wasn't working out too well because I'd either misplace my footing or go slow and when I looked up, lo and behold Debilitas staring at me climbing down. I was really starting to put ladders on my worst enemy list because of how slow I had to go down it to avoid injury but when I got to a reasonable distance from the ground, I just went 'screw it' and jumped down. Sure my legs had that sensation run up them from falling a far height and it slightly hurt to run shortly after but I had the doll loving gardener on my tail, so ignoring the pain was something I needed to do. I stumbled to the door across from the sealed well and ran as fast as my legs would allow for now, recognizing where I was I just jumped over the stairs leading down and hopped over the barrels in a shaded corner and hid.
'Hopefully he won't find me here; I'm safe in this spot.' I told myself in thought as I started massaging my legs to make the pain dull. 'It's dark, if I'm sitting down or crouching Debilitas won't see me.' I kept telling myself, I put my hand over my heart and felt it practically beating out of my chest. 'Okay, I need some lavender...if that stuff actually works.'
I tried calming down by breathing in deeply and exhaling slowly but whenever I heard Debilitas come to the area I was in, grunt in frustration then run off to god knows where. Slowly and cautiously I peeked over the barrels to see that he was nowhere in sight and the door to the music room was still closed. A smile came onto my face as I saw my chance to go, so I ran around the barrels, got to the door to the music room and went inside to hear a dark soundly melody fill the room.
"That sounds so nice," I quietly said, enjoying the music Riccardo was playing. While the keeper of the castle was playing I quietly closed the door behind me and I sat down near the gigantic harp. The music was rather nice until there was the sudden bang of the piano keys which made me cringe because whenever I hear either bad singing or music pieces that don't seem right or made on purpose it just bothers me to no end.
"Ah, Fiona, I see you've finally awakened." Riccardo started out, looking over the balcony down to me.
"That I have and been chased by the gardener of this fricken castle not once but twice!" I told him, then had a humorous idea in mind that got me laughing.
"Now what is it that's so funny, dear Fiona." Riccardo asked me, intrigued at what I thought was so funny.
Composing myself for a few moments, "Before you say anything else I would like to do something for a moment." I said as I got down on my knee and looked up to the keeper once more. "But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Ri- eh, you are the sun." I had to stop myself from saying Riccardo's name because he hadn't introduced himself to me yet and he'll find it suspicious that I know who he is. After saying my little piece I busted up laughing.
"Fiona! We are not quoting that Shakespearean play!" He let out an irritated sigh, obviously not expecting what I did there then calmed down, "There's something I've wanted to show you for quite some time. Pull away that sheet in front of you." Riccardo directed me as I looked to the sheet knowing fully well what that is.
"It's not going to jump out and bite me, is it?" I asked, not being serious about the question at all, I was just wanting to hear Riccardo's reaction.
"Fiona..." Riccardo sounded like he was getting more irritated with me being the way I am. "It's not going to harm you."
I looked up at him one last time before walking over to the statue. "Okay if you say so," I pulled away the sheet and just stood there in shock and was disturbed.
"Beautiful, isn't it?"
"Dude, you seriously need to see a psychologist. Because this is far from beautiful, it's plain creepy and shouts 'I'm a stalker with a delusion in mind!'" I yelled at him, feeling myself freak out more and more about the statue then quickly covered it back up.
"That, my dear, is what you'll become in the future." Riccardo said, obviously not acknowledging what I just said.
"I am not going to be pregnant! I'll do everything in my power to make sure that never happens!"
"Deny it all you want, dear Fiona, but that is what you'll be when the time comes." Riccardo shot back then added, "Go ahead... you may touch it."
"Seriously dude, it doesn't have the 'BOOM pregnant' powers so I'm not going to even bother touching it. Aren't you even listening!"
I was getting scared but what he said next just went over the top. "You will be mine, Fiona!" the mad keeper declared as his sinister laugh echoed throughout the room as he left.
I felt so paralyzed with fear that I backed up slowly to a corner, purposely fell on the ground, curled into a ball and almost started crying. Tears were welling up in my eyes but they refused to fall, I tried dismissing everything Riccardo had said from my mind but his declaration and laugh stayed no matter how hard I tried to be rid of it. I looked behind where the statue was to see a small bottle that had a picture of lavender on it, getting up, I picked up the bottle, uncorked it and the scent that came out was really nice, relaxing even. Corking the liquid lavender I put it in the miscellaneous section of my bag then picked up the Garden Key which unlocked the door that lead to the marionette room, bathroom and the kitchen.
From the moment I grabbed the key I quickly made a mad dash to the door out of the room and began running to the small yard with the sealed well and had the backwards bench. Though before using the key I went over to the two vases that were somewhat hidden behind the well, I didn't find any items in the first vase but the second one had magnesia in it which looked like a small light green diamond that was pretty to look at, I liked pretty things. Getting back on track I went to the locked garden door and just as I was about to use the key, a noise resembling bells resounded in the air, I looked to my right and walked away from the door a bit to see what it was. Floating from where I just left there was a blue glowing ball just flying about, in all honesty it looked pretty like a blue lightning bug but unfortunately I had to remember that it was a Lumi and Lumis plus me equals bad things, so I quickly got back to the door unlocked it and closed the door behind me just before the pretty creature could catch my azoth's scent.
Knowing where I was I dug through my key items side of the bag to get out the REST key plate so I wouldn't have to spend so much time sifting through the bag just to look for it like I did with the METH key plate. The whole hallway was lit by pretty glass chandeliers on the ceilings which was good, walking down the corridor on my right there was the marionette room which I had to pass since I didn't get the broken marionette, on my left was the door to the kitchen and just up ahead were the stairs leading down to the restroom. I stopped in front of an arch made on the wall and looked down to see some stones looking like they were about to crumble, I kicked that spot a few time and once it was cleared...
"EEEK!" I literally jumped a foot in the air and back stepped a bit away from the bugs crawling out of the hole. "God, I hate bugs! Moths and butterflies are cute but any other bug, no!" I wigged out and as soon as all the bugs seemed to crawl away to a new home I looked into the hole to find Refined Antimony. "Okay, maybe the antimony was worth it."
I put the ball of orangish-yellow powder in my back with the magnesia and regular antimony as I went down stairs to put in the key plate, once it was in the slot the door to the bathroom was unlocked but I didn't go inside the bathroom right away because I went to pick up the broken half of the original REST plate which was the 'RE' part. The bathroom was nothing interesting; there was a sink that in the game was a status restore spot, the shower that serves as a hiding spot and the stalls back there was a dummy hiding spot, a storage space and the path leading down to the Castle Gate Key and a pair of special boots. I went into the restroom anyway to get the item that I knew was in there which was actually a medallion, then went out before I had any unexpected company.
Jogging up the stairs I looked around the corner to find that the coast was clear so it was safe for me to go to the kitchen, upon entering the kitchen my sight immediately went to the ham hanging above the cutting counter.
"Ham? I always thought those were severed heads." I shrugged my shoulders as I went to the other side of the counter to reach over and grab the jerky on the counter, "I wonder which jerky this is?" I looked around to see if anyone was watching as I tore a tiny piece off and ate it, "Chicken...and it's good, but gotta save it for Hewie." I told myself as I went around to where I was on the inside to find something to wrap the chicken jerky in.
Under the cutting counter was some paper towels so I used that as a wrap, finishing wrapping the chicken jerky, I placed it in my bag and made sure that it didn't get on the bisque doll. From there I decided to unlock the short cut back to the guest room, when I opened the door to the dining room I had to stop and stare at how amazing the whole place looked because never in my life had I ever seen a more beautiful dining room. The chandelier lit up the head of the table while the second chandelier was off on the back half of the long table, heck I couldn't help but feel the fabric the deep red curtains were made of along with the table cloth and the lit candles made everything even more stunning. Walking along the right side of the table I found the other half of the original key plate, I was going to use it for when I get to the water tower, retrieving the other half of the key plate I went straight to the door out of the dining room to unlock it thus opening another pathway. I went back into the kitchen and went down the stairs leading to a storeroom though when I was held up by the boards of wood. For some reason, I didn't just want to kick it down or charge into it...I wanted to break it with style, so I got into a fighting stance like I would in karate, mind you I'm a black belt, and knowing fully well what I'm wanting to do I chambered my back leg and stuck the barrier with a side kick. The wooden barrier broke away when I brought my leg back, I had to relish in that small victory as I went down the stairs though when I saw the map on the table I did not like what I was going to encounter when I went back upstairs.
I picked up the map and looked at it, I remember clearly never even looking at it because it always seemed useless. "Okay, so I'm at like Belli Castle and totally lost. Oh my god, a map it'll help me, wait this map is useless." I spoke in one of those voices that's often used in a mocking tone.
After looking at the map I folded it carefully and placed it in my bag for any possible future use but if I get to the other side of the castle with Daniella stalking me, the map's going in a fire. Before leaving the storeroom I opened the lid to the vase and ended up pulling out more chicken jerky, I wrapped it up in the same 'packaging' I had the first chicken jerky in and put the vase on its side to show that I've looked at it. As I was going up the stairs I thought I heard the sound of fast shifting footsteps, I knew who it was and I was not going to like it but I was not going to what Fiona did, I was going to keep my distance. Upon getting back into the kitchen once I got a few steps away from the stairway to the storeroom I heard something that sounded like something, or rather someone, beat against the glass window. The sound in the silent kitchen made me jump a little but it wasn't enough to make me hug the counter where Debilitas was hiding behind, reason why; I haven't the faintest idea but I don't care. Giving the sound a moment to settle, I let out a sigh to hopefully start off what's supposed to happen and practically on cue Debilitas sprung from his hiding spot.
"Bye-bye!" I bid farewell for now as I ran out the door, slamming it behind me and sprinted to the corridor and started going up the wide stairs. 'I will not pull a Fiona. I will not pull a Fiona. I will not-aaaah!' My thought were interrupted when the tip of the boot caught the very edge of the third step which caused me to fall, "God dang it! I pulled a fricken Fiona!" I hissed because the majority of the injury I sustained went straight to my knees since that was what I fell on.
As I was trying to get back up on my feet and continue to get away from Debilitas, the door leading to the kitchen was being opened. I looked back to see the door opening, the gardener of the castle closing the door behind him, at first he had his back to me but as he turned around and saw me it took him a few moments to actually get through his head that I was near and had a look of surprise on his face. The look of surprise lasted for a few moments as he was laughing but it faded and turned to a look as if he was mean and scary, I managed to get back up on my feet and run up the rest of the stairs but it was there that I felt eyes watching me, I didn't like that one bit since it got my paranoia worked up even though there was no one in front of me. Before I could even try to look around the corner the sound of dragging footsteps from behind me sounded closer, I turned around to see that Debilitas was practically in arm's reach of me! Deciding to not be a coward for once in my life I got into my fighting stance and was fully prepared to fight off the guy, but when he took only a step forward and angry voice yelled.
I looked behind me to find no one there, 'Oh come on! I tried that and he didn't even do a dang thing!' When I looked back to Debilitas he looked off in the distance as if the voice came from there, he held out his hand as if contemplating whether to touch or grab me but then he wore the face of a beaten child as he put his hand down. As he turned to leave the man looked back at me as if saying that he was sorry or something close to that, from there he left the area to who knows where and I let out a sigh of relief, 'I hate to say this but thank you Riccardo.'
"Please excuse me, Miss." Riccardo's voice rung in the halls again, I turned around to find him walking out in the open wearing his brown garbs and had the hood over his head. "I am Riccardo, keeper of the castle."
"Yeah, you're also the creep who made that disturbing statue of me pregnant in the music room!" I shot back, still not even remotely amused.
Riccardo let out a hearty chuckle when I said my piece, "Everyone's a critic when it comes to art, I thought you would appreciate it." From what I could see on Riccardo's face, he now wore a different type of expression that I couldn't read, "So sorry to hear about your accident. Your parents..."
I held my head in my hands as another memory flash went through my mind, all I could remember that it was dark, the car was heading for a log pile, the car crashed and Fiona's scream. My head was slowly but surely killing me, heck it was worse than a migraine!
"As Master Ugo and Mistress Ayla are both deceased, you, Miss Fiona are the sole surviving heir of Belli Castle."
When Riccardo mentioned my, well, Fiona's parents another memory appeared in my mind, Ayla looking in the back seat at her daughter while Ugo was driving the car sometime during the evening. Fiona's mother placed her hand on her father's hand lovingly, everything seemed like nothing could go wrong in that span of time.
The headache got progressively worse to where it felt like someone was pounding on the inside of my skull, "Are you in pain, Miss?" Riccardo asked, putting on a tone of worry or concern. "Will you be all right?"
"Yeah, and could I at least have a cold washrag to ease this fricken headache." I groaned as it was starting to become unbearable, so unbearable that I was crying from the pain.
"I will get one for you, now you've had a long day. Please rest upstairs, your bed has been prepared." were the last words I heard from Riccardo as I fell to the ground and passed out from the pain.
After Britt passed out on the ground the castle's keeper walked over to her unconscious body and stared at her with an unknown intent in his eyes that couldn't be seen due to the top half of his face being hidden by the hood. Being careful not to wake her up Riccardo picked up the woman and proceeded to carry her back to the guest bedroom without encountering Debilitas or the maid, Daniella. Having to trouble carrying Britt or as he knows her, Fiona, to the bedroom, he laid her down on the bed, removed her boots, pulled the covers from underneath Britt and covered her up. Finishing tending to the unconscious woman, he left the room to go get the wash cloth to help ease the headache Britt received.
While Britt slept it gave the memories suppressed by Fiona's trauma to start surfacing, like the memory that appeared before it went a little longer, how the car crashed into the pile of logs, the windshield breaking into the car from wood, Fiona screaming in fear, and the man in the dark coat and hat peering into the car looking at Fiona.
I jumped awake from the dream/memory that played in my mind, everything felt so real and unknowingly putting myself in Fiona's position I brought my knees to my chest and almost started crying again.
"It's just a dream...no... They're Fiona's memories, losing her parents in a car crash and now in this nightmare." I spoke to myself as I realized that I was in the guest room bed with the covers on. I raised my hand to my forehead to find no washrag. "So much for getting that cold washrag." As I stretched out I felt that something was amiss...where the flip did my bag go?
Literally I scrambled out of bed, my foot getting wrapped up in the blankets thus me falling to the floor and when I finally got the covers off my feet I did a complete circle to see that my bag was hanging on the bedpost. I sighed in relief that Riccardo or whoever carried me back to the room didn't leave my bag just laying around, I put my bag back on my body and let out another sigh which was of disappointment that I was still in a video game character's body and in this blasted castle. I wanted to go home where everything was normal and sane, my thoughts of going home were interrupted when I heard a dog's cry.
"Hewie!" I exclaimed as I ran out the room, not even bothering to get my boots or to look out the window to see if he was really where he was at.
The cool air actually felt rather nice and was doing wonders for the pounding headache I had, after getting down the first flight of stairs I noticed that the door to the broken marionette was opened but I couldn't be bothered with that at the moment. Going down the rest of the stairs the soft ground felt nice on my feet even though I was still wearing my socks but more important matters had to be addressed. I ran to the bound white German Shepard, pet him a few times to calm him down, the whines he was making just tore my heart to shreds so I went over to the tree, managed to undo the wire holding the noose around Hewie's neck and I got the wire off him. Once the wire was off him I grabbed the capture device that was used by dog catchers and with force I broke it in half by slamming it on my knee, sure it kinda hurt but it was worth it because it was now broken and can't be used.
Getting back to Hewie, I knelt down on the ground till we were almost eye to eye with one another and I couldn't help but notice a blue sparkle in his eyes...wait a sec, Hewie's eyes were brown...
I slightly jumped at the Shepard's sudden bark but it wasn't aggressive, "Hewie?" When I said his name he started to growl, 'I thought Hewie liked being called by his name and what's with his eyes?' "Sorry, I've noticed that your eyes...they're not well...animal-like." The dog cocked his head in confusion as he continued to watch me, "You probably think I'm crazy," I put my face in my hands and ran them over my hair, "God, I wish I was at home talking to one of my friends."
When I mentioned the fact that I wished I was at home talking to one of my friends Hewie barked once again, I looked into his eyes and seen that they were an icy blue, something about them didn't seem right. "Okay, um, just curious, you wouldn't happen to know anyone that's not from around here... Do you?"
Hewie barked again which made me start wondering if this white German Shepard was really Hewie. He brought up his paw to show a spiked collar tied around its leg, it looked like something one of my friends would...
I went wide-eyed, "Lex?" I asked, unsure if that was really who 'Hewie' was and to my surprise the dog barked happily. I fell backwards to the ground, sat down, totally not believing this was happening. I looked at the dog, who bared it's teeth as if grinning.
Did this Fiona look-alike call me by my real name? I shout excitely, which came out as barking.
This'll be weird, but I guess I have to protect Britt. That's fine, but since I'm a dog, things may be different for me...
'Damn, this'll be weird.'
I had a hard time believing that we were in this kind of situation, it was just way too strange but this was how it's going to be until we've reached the very end. Britt's reaction to realizing that I was me was pretty funny, I noticed that she made a minor change to Fiona's costume which was by just adding a pair of capris on under the skirt and the bag. I also noticed that she didn't have her boots on.
"Hey, where are your boots?" I tried asking but like before it came out as barks so I had to point to her feet so she'd know what I was talking about.
"Oh, I left my boots in the room, when I saw you with the wire around your neck I immediately ran out here without even thinking about putting the boots back on...Speaking of which I don't even remember taking them...Eeeeew, Riccardo touched my legs!"
I couldn't help but snicker at how Britt was reacting but then again if we were in the opposite positions we were in, I wouldn't be too thrilled about it either. When Britt got up I knew that we were going to be going back to the guest room and waiting for us there would be Debbie.
"Ready Lex?" Britt asked but then reached into her bag; pulled out something wrapped in a paper towel and thanks to my dog sense of smell it smelled like chicken. "Here's some chicken jerky I found, I figured you would want something to eat."
"Thanks," I barked as I ate the chicken jerky Britt gave me; it was pretty good and definitely filled my stomach for now.
Once I was done eating Britt and I starting going up the long flight of stairs and by the time we got to the door to the guest bedroom all we had to do was walk in. Wasting no more time we went inside the room Britt didn't seem surprised to see Debbie sitting on the bed, swinging his feet back and forth and when he saw Britt he waved to her and I think he was trying to say 'hi' to her. I was ready to attack as he went into his flailing moment to look intimidating and when I looked to Britt to see if she was okay, her expression was that of confusion or wondering what the hell he was doing. She backed up a bit when Debbie got on all fours like a dog and tried to touch Britt but that was when I stepped in and started barking at him, he didn't look remotely happy about me being here and then got up and tried to look threatening to me.
"Lexi use bite attack!" Britt commanded and I noticed that she pointed towards his neck so running towards the mentally challenged man I jumped up and managed to bite into his neck, drawing blood.
I could tell Debbie didn't like it from how he was shouted in pain, I let go of him when he looked like he was going to slap me and from the moment I let go he ran out of the room holding his neck wound.
"Yay Lex! That earned you 1900 experience points!" Britt made a Pokémon reference as she kneeled down to me and was petting me.
Something was telling me that this was only the beginning of our adventure through Belli Castle.
(8 and 1/2 pages...That's how long this chapter is, I hope you like it and I really appreaciate the reviews I'm getting even though they're anon reviews. Nice reviews are nice reviews and I hope I continue getting them because I really love them and love this story since I have some ideas in mind. Lex, I really hope I got you in character, you may scold me if I didn't get you in character. Well time to work on the fourth chapter. Byebye. Also I know that in the game lavender is a plant but I wasn't sure how exactly one would be able to use it so I put it in it's liquid form which the scent is much stronger, so that's how it's going to be.)