just so…happy…!”


“I visit a lot of haunted places…! Of course, only where I’m allowed to enter, as I don’t want to break the law… But I’ve never experienced anything like this…! I know that it’s not real, and it’s not the least bit scary…! But being able to hear something that I shouldn’t be able to hear…even if it’s in a game…it’s so wonderful! So…occultic!”

She was further into it than I thought.
Occultic…she said it like it meant romantic.
In any case, I was glad that she wasn’t scared.
I didn’t even like such places within games, so it was great to be with someone like her…!


The countdown continued.
As the voice was right by my ear, I couldn’t tell where it was actually coming from.
But it must be close by.
I doubted the sounds were just to create an atmosphere.
We needed to find it quickly…!

I started to run as we went to the back of the mansion, and then I found a well that was built under a maple tree.
And right next to it, was a semi-transparent woman.
She was sitting on the ground and counting plates.


It was difficult to attack someone who looked so sad…
Uh, was she even an enemy?
Garbow didn’t react, and I couldn’t see an HP gauge.
Perhaps there was some kind of gimmick here…


The voice became more emotional…
Maybe this really was dangerous.
However, if she wasn’t an enemy, something bad might happen if we attacked her.

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Kyuji, what should we do!”

“Just…leave this to me.”

In the first place, in some versions of the story, you just had to wait for her to reach 9 and then shout ‘10!’ and she would be satisfied and disappear.
And so I wanted to test it here.
If it didn’t work…that just meant we probably had to fight a powerful enemy.
And that wasn’t really a bad thing!

“Seevveeeennnn! Eiiighhhhttt!”

Her voice grew louder.
Now, come on, ‘nine’!


She was really going for that dramatic pause…!
Or was she just catching her breath…?


Now, just wait a few seconds and then…


Did we harmonize?
Since she counted to ten as well…did that mean she hadn’t lost any to begin with!?
Even though it was an old yokai story, I didn’t expect them to change it this much…

“I have all ten…”

The ten plates were lined up on the ground.

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They were….stamps.
Uh, Miss Okiku.
Those aren’t plates.
Still, she continued to insist that she had ten plates.
Even though they were clearly a different shape…

“Uh… Can we borrow those sta…plates? I’ll return them immediately…”

“These sta…plates are important to my master.
I cannot let you borrow them…”

She knew they were stamps!
Hmm, this made things even more troublesome…

“However, I may let you borrow one if you bring me another plate… A replacement plate is hidden somewhere in this mansion… I will now unlock the front door for you…”

I see.
So our goal this time was to find the 10th plate.
So had we not talked to her here, the mansion door would have been locked, and we would not have been able to go inside.
We would have wasted some time had it not been for Anne’s suggestion.

“I have unlocked the door… The plate has a large ‘+’ sign written on it, so you will recognize it at a glance… If you bring it to me, I will let you borrow the stamp…”

So she wasn’t even pretending now…
Well, it was a good thing that we knew the location of the stamp, and the requirement for getting it.

“There are countless evil spirits haunting the mansion… Please be careful…that you don’t share their fate…”

And then Okiku faded away.
She must have returned to the well.

“Anne, Garbow.
Let’s keep our guard up and go.”

“Gar! Gar!”

“Yes! Ah, evil ghosts haunting a samurai mansion that is rich with historic detail… How very occultic!”

Anne’s excitement right now gave me more comfort than any weapon could.
I couldn’t help but think this as I hesitantly stepped foot into the mansion.

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