“Phew~! Finally made it.” Michael let out a long sigh as he arrived at the destination: Dusty Jame’s old house. He was ambushed by two more toddler skeletons on the way, both of which were only level-1 and almost gave Jasmine enough experience to reach Level-2.
“Well, at the very least, there haven’t been an endless tsunami of random assholes trying to fight with me at every corner. Well, probably because everyone around here seems to be dead.” He sighed as he gazed up at the small two-story greyish-black brick house. There was a rusty and broken bike on the dried up ‘grass’ lawn, to the left of the door. All the windows were either busted out completely or partially broken.
The wooden door was ripped off its hinges and half-buried in the dirt to the right. There was a large hole in the center of it, as if something or someone punched a hole through it. As he took a step into the creepy house, the wooden floor creaked and groaned. Fortunately there was no basement, so he didn’t really need to worry about falling through.
Almost as if an event was suddenly triggered, the wind outside began to pick up and made horrible eerie ‘whining’ noises throughout the building. Then thunder started echoing from the distance and the ‘pitter-patter’ of rain began to get louder, until it turned into a full-blown downpour.
“Fuck my life.” Michael groaned as he cautiously looked around the ruined first floor for anything useful to loot. After all, if he really wanted to find out what happened to Aurora Town, he could simply ask Dusty.
“Of course, I’m way too weak right now and there’s no way I can actually trust that guy. He could be a Doppleganger, an illusion of some sort or a reanimated corpse for all I know. Even if he’s the real dude, he could’ve been the one who trashed the town in the first place. There are a lot of fucking dead children here… Oh shit, did I just walk into an obvious trap?”
It was at that moment that the ‘boy’ realized that the creepy house was either the lair of a powerful Demon or an actual Yokai that was shaped like a building. There were quite a few that he could think of off the top of his head that would fit the situation perfectly. As he was about to sprint out of the wide open door-frame, Jasmine ‘Meowed’ in fear and jumped off his shoulder, hiding under half a broken coffee table.
After that… Well, nothing really happened. Michael stood in the muddy yard for a few seconds as he got drenched from the rain and laughed his ass off, until *Crack~! Boom~!*: A bolt of lightning struck the dead, dried up tree only a few meters away from him.
“Fuck, fuck fuck~!” MIchael bolted back inside the obviously haunted house and looked out the window, up at the sky that was constantly crackling with lightning. Then he saw something bright piercing through the darkness, “I forgot. Why the fuck am I afraid of some low-leveled Undead in a haunted house? This world is full of monsters that I can’t even hope to fight against…”
There were two golden eyes shining down at the tiny town, like giant search-lights, they scanned the area for a while before disappearing. The body of the creature was hidden behind the thick thunderstorm, so Michael couldn’t tell if it was a bird, dragon or just some kind of cloud-shaped Demon. Either way, it was powerful enough that he was afraid to attract its attention by using his Akuma-Phone.
“Phew~, goddamnit, I’m being way too paranoid. Why would Dusty need to go through all this trouble just to kill me? And so far, all the Demons I’ve met were only level one or two at most. If even the Babies are starving in this place, I doubt there are any Second Stage or higher level Akuma around here. Maybe Dusty clears them out every so often? Or there could be some kinda barrier surrounding this town? Maybe it’s age-related? Or level-restricted. Otherwise the Undead could escape, or at the very least, wild critters would wander into the town and get eaten by the Demons inside.”
As he was talking to himself, Michael ignored his cold and wet body as he started searching the first floor. The ground was covered in dust and broken glass. The living room was fairly small and empty. There was a ripped up couch, some picture frame pieces and other miscellaneous junk scattered around on the floor, while the walls had many holes in them.
Michael didn’t stay too long in the living room before he headed into the kitchen. This was where he finally found some useful ‘items’. Mainly, knives: There was a whole knife-block filled with stainless steel cutlery. He only picked out five of the better looking serrated steak knives and ignored the rest. After that, he found some decent-looking spoons and forks in a drawer.
Inside the relatively intact refrigerator/freezer, he found lots of bones and plastic bags of black goop. There were some glass hot-sauce bottles that didn’t look completely disgusting, but he wasn’t about to find out how many decades those things were past the expiration date. When he opened the top, freezer compartment, Michael jumped back and shouted: “Holy fuck!”
“Meow~!” Jasmine walked into the kitchen and nuzzled up against his ankle, as he calmed down from the shock. There was a human skull sitting there in the main compartment, with a black mold all over the place. It was only after a few seconds that he confirmed that it was just a regular human skull, not a Demon of some sort.
“Shit, what the fuck? Why? No, I don’t care. It doesn’t matter.” Michael gave up trying to figure out the mystery of the human head in the freezer. Instead, he kept scrounging around for useful items that might be hidden in the cabinets.
“Where would someone store spare Akuma Rings?” He scrounged around for a few minutes, but ultimately couldn’t find anything else in the kitchen. The bathroom was a disaster, with the toilet smashed into porcelain chunks and rainwater coming in from the hole in the wall where the shower should have been. The mirror above the sink was shattered, but behind it was a plastic toothbrush that looked somewhat intact… But he wasn’t about to ‘loot’ an ancient used toothbrush.
“Dusty’s room is upstairs… Fortunately the stairs are mostly not falling apart.” Michael snickered as he slowly made his way up the creaking wooden stairs. He felt like he might fall through at any moment, so he made sure to hold onto the equally rickety railing as he climbed slowly. Jasmine ‘meowed’, easily hopping up several steps at a time.
*Ginglinglingling~!* A sudden and extremely loud noise made Michael scream: “Fuck!” It was his Akuma-Phone, which was in his pocket. When he pulled it out, he noticed a text from Dusty.
[DJ: Hey Mike, just checking on you. Was worried you might be trapped somewhere due to the sudden storm, and well, the Dragon that caused it. Don’t worry, it’s one of mine. She just wanted to go for a run… Through the clouds… Anyway, so I totally forgot about this before, but since your phone can pretty much only contact me, you can’t actually update it. A lot has changed over the decades since it came out, so I found an update that might be helpful. Otherwise you’ll probably run into some ‘new’ Demons that didn’t even exist back in the olden days and have no clue what they are or how to deal with them. Just hit accept on this attachment.]
“Umm, okay then…” Michael snickered and replied [MC: Thanks, currently in your old house. Haven’t found any camping gear, or much of anything useful yet. No intact personal items either. I’m gonna update the phone now, talk to you later.]
[Akumatech Demonica-Phone 26.75 Update for Old Devices… Downloading .5%.]
“Ugh, this is gonna take a while.” The boy sighed and continued trudging up the stairs, even as the wind was howling through the house, causing him to get a mild headache. Rainwater was actually leaking down the edges of the staircase and down into the cracks of the stairs themselves, making Michael wonder: “How the fuck has this place lasted so long anyway?”
He ignored the possibility of some sort of magical spell empowering the house and quickly made his way to the second floor. The ground vibrated harshly everytime the thunder echoed and he constantly felt like he was on a swaying boat due to the wind. It was at that moment that Michael saw something creepy at the end of the hallway: There was a large brown teddy bear crucified on the wall. Blood was dripping from its nubby ‘hands’ and ‘feet’, that were nailed to the rotting wooden cross.
“Seriously Dusty, what the fuck?! Like have you never come back here or are you just okay with someone vandalizing your house? Hopefully he wasn’t the one who did all this shit…” Since his phone was updating, he couldn’t scan the disturbing decoration to find out exactly what kind of Demon it was, but he already had a pretty good guess: “A goddamn Kumacross…”
[#40. Kumacross: A ghastly crucified teddy bear. Often the Soul of a young child that was placed within the body of a stuffed animal that they cherished while alive. By crucifying the bear, the child is forced to endure horrible agonizing pain, while also being unable to escape from the object in a spectral form.]