King of the Blue Maze

Promise Me?

I've always felt like I can't tell him about what was in that red room. And, especially, about that painting. Ib thought's churned in her head.

Why is that picture here? He's clearly here with me. What's 'The King of the Blue Maze'? Somehow, I don't know why...but I can't let him notice. Cannot...let go. Of his hand. I've always felt like that.

Blue looked over at Ib. Ib doesn't look to good. Her eyes are swollen. What happened in there...? However, this kid is feeling uneasy. Of course, in this situation anyone would feel uneasy...But it's not just that. It's something... 'Hey Ib.'

'What?' Ib said, finally turning around to look at Blue.

'T...that...I-if we...uh, when we get out of here, lets go to a cafe and have delicious foods together. That's right! Do you know these snacks called macaroons? Their so cute and tasty! When we get out of here how about we - '

'No.' Ib stated offhandedly.

'Eh...what? Do you dislike sweet things? How about red tea?'

'...It's not that.' Because...because...'I can't make that kind of appointments.' That kind of appointments, there's no way to attend to it.

'Ib...IB! Your feet!'

Whatever happens, there's no way. sOMEhoW i FEeL sO...

'This tile is - no, it's a picture?! Just what is going on?'

Where Ib was standing, the ground has turned soft, and Ib had started sinking. By now her ankles were covered. 'Ib, here. Take my hand!'

Cannot...let go. Of his hand.

'Stay calm!' Blue said panicking, which Ib found rather ironic. 'Lift your left foot first. Here! I'll pull you up.'

However, going down like this...he may as well...His hands...

'Eh...?' Blue's eyes widened as Ib let go of his hand. 'Ib? Don't...Don't you fool around with me, Ib!' He stepped into the picture with her and grabbed her shoulders. 'It's alright, you know... clinging to others, relying on others...' She turned her face away, looking in the other direction. He pulled her close as they sunk through the painting together.

Abyss of Quicksand

Heaps of uneasiness

is like quicksand in

depths of a heart.

Once both your hands

and feet are trapped in it,

There's no other way but

to be swallowed by it


'Uhhhhh...it...hurts...mmmm...ithurts...' a figure moaned. Looking down, Ib could just make out the outline of the figure that was in pain. A glint caught her eye, a key. The...thing on the floor was in no condition to use it, so she took it instead. Continuing down the path there was an open door, and another hallway with...surprise, another door. This door was unlocked, but the way was blocked by a big, heavy headless statue.

Ib sighed. Another dead end.

After passing the figure again, she glanced at it again, calling out, making sure it was still alive. It moaned back. Ib glanced at it one last time, then tried the other hallway. There was a room, in a room. And the room in a room had a window. The door was windowed room was locked, but they key she picked out of the moaning figure's hands fit the lock. Inside was another one of those lady-paintings, and she was picking apart a blue rose. Ib tried to get closer to the lady-in-blue, but since the room was dimly lit, Ib didn't see the short stool in front of her and ended up tripping over it; the stool making a loud crashing sound as it fell.

As soon as she spotted her, she abandoned the rose she was picking at and ran for Ib. Ib ran back to the door and slammed it. Her heart was pounding loudly in her ears...that wasn't her pulse. The lady-in-blue was pounding at the window, trying to get out of the windowed room.

She smashed through the window, and ran for Ib. Ib, not thinking about the current situation, ran back into the windowed room. since the window was shattered, there was a bit more light in the room than before. Glancing around the room, Ib saw the stool she tripped over earlier propped up against the window. So that's how the lady-in-blue got through the window. Which means she couldn't enter from outside the room, right? Farther in the opposite corner there was the blue rose the lady-in-blue was picking apart. Ib picked it up, and a leaf fell of the stem. She thought she had seen a vase in the hallway, but that meant she would have to get out of the room first.

Slowly opening the door, she saw that the lady-in-blue was looking the other way. She ran out of the room with the rose in her hand. The vase on the wall with a plaque on either side caught her eye and she raced over to it. Unfortunately, so had the lady-in-blue. Not only was her rose getting away from her, so was her lunch.

When she reached it, she jammed the rose in, then realized that there was no water in it. Eyes widening, Ib grabbed the rose out and turned to run to the exit, only to see the lady-in-blue behind her. She reached out, grazing Ib's leg. A petal fell off her rose. She ran towards the door and slammed it behind her.

Out in this hallway, there was a vase that was full of water. She placed her rose and the blue one in the vase and they both regenerate at a surprising speed. She picked them both up and walked towards the figure. she called out to him again.

'...mmm...what's this? The pain...is gone...oh?' The figure stood up, it's face hidden in shadows. 'Could...someone...gallery.' The words faded in and out. 'Thank goodness...gone mad...asked your name...I'm...You are?...Ib you say? Nice to meet you~. We...stick together...'

More shadows seemed to collect together and the figure was soon whisked away.


Ib's eyes fluttered open 'Ugh...who...?'

She opened her eyes all the way, staring into they eyes of Blue. 'Ib?' He asked full of worry. She opened her mouth to answer, but was cut off by a tight embrace. 'You're finally awake again!'

Eh...?

Blue sighed in relief 'That's goooood...you weren't breathing earlier...'

This is...this is talking about earlier...

'You fell into that pond-like basin earlier.' Blue pointed to a pool of standing water that was dark, and deep looking. 'When I was going to pull you up y-you...you...then you didn't wake up, even thought you were breathing again, and I didn't know what to do...' Blue's voice broke. Ib just noticed that his hair was dripping and he wasn't wearing his weird jacket.

CPR...So does that mean...first...My first kiss...uwaaaaaaaahhhhhh Ib blushed.

'Are you alright? Your face is red. Are you feeling ill? You look a bit dizzy.'

'Eh...no that;s not it I'm fine I'me very conscious now.' Ib rushed out.

'Is that so?...That's good.' Blue said smiling.

Ib looked away, muttering, 'I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm really fine, and conscious, I'm very conscious.'

'Ib...' Blue said; Ib looked at him. He raised his hand and Ib flinched. He reached to the side of her head and picked something out of her hair, then stroked her head. 'I am very angry right now.'

Even thought you say that, you still look the same Ib though.

'At that time, when you were sinking in the picture...you purposely let go of my hand didn't you?'

That...'B-But-'

'No 'but's! But I really...I'm begging you. Never do that again. Were going to leave this place together, Okay? Promise me, please'

He's trembling. However, his body temperature's...cold...

'So...next time I won't drag Blue into this, so It's not such a big deal...'

There was a silence, then Blue hugged Ib. 'Fine. We haven't known each other for long. It's not that easy to trust one another, and It's not like we have lot's to talk about...But I hope you can promise me something.' Blue looked into her eyes, 'Don't cry alone silently. I want to be by your side if that happens, Okay? Maybe I can't do anything, but I can be next to you.' Right...this kid's personality is like that. But as long as I don't let go of her hand, it will be fine.

He knew about me crying in the red room Ib thought. 'Um...'

'We agreed about this, right?'

'Hm...now that I've calmed down...I don't think this position is the best for us...'

This kid has a big brain. 'Ah, sorry. It is uncomfortable?'

'No it's not that...'

'It feels like forever since we first met...now that I think about my gender...'

'Ah, that's right.' Ib said sitting back on her knees. 'Since you forgot everything about yourself, maybe you even forgot about your gender?' That would explain...

'Ummm...you're being a bit rude, aren't you? Ah, you're already sixteen, I can't put you on par with a nine year old.' Blue stopped. 'Ah - how - where did that come from, the nine year old thing...?'

The red room had pictures of me from when I was nine years old. It should be unrelated...right? Ib turned her face away to check out her surroundings,

Looking out over the dark basin, Ib saw that it was full of headless statues, blue creepy dolls, and even a few paintings. The only difference between these and the one they saw before, was that these seemed to be falling apart. Old, beaten looking picture frames linked themselves together, as if they were forming some sort of path across the basin. The blue dolls had limbs falling off, button eyes coming un-sewed, yarn hair falling out, and threads sticking everywhere. Old paintings were floating over the basin like lily pads. Their painting was smeared and leaking, the canvases frayed. Headless statues seemed to be unraveling, their insides, despite their weight, were hollow.

'Back to the topic now...what is actually going on?!'


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